The blessed ones

CHENNAI: In the Srimad Bhagavatam, which tells the story of Lord Krishna, there are 18,000 verses. Lord Vishnu wrote the Bhagavatam and taught Lord Brahma the verses. In turn, Brahma taught Lord Narada, who taught Vyasa. Vyasa taught Sukhabrahmam and Sukhabrahmam taught Pareekshit. Thus, the Srimad Bhagavatam is of divine origin, said Damal Ramakrishnan in a discourse.

Pareekshit is cursed to die of a snake bite, and only seven days of his life are left. He asks Sukhabrahmam how he should spend the last days of his life. Sukhabrahmam tells him that he should listen to the story of Krishna. Pareekshit wonders whether he will be able to listen to all of it in just seven days. Sukhabrahmam replies that even if one listens to Krishna’s story for an hour every day, one will benefit. Only those who are blessed will have the good fortune of listening to Krishna’s story. We have to take several births — as grass, reptiles, and animals — before we are born as human beings. So to be born as humans is a blessing in itself. To be born in the ‘punya bhumi’ where Krishna lived is a greater blessing. This ‘punya bhumi’ is further blessed by the birth in it of several Acharyas, who have travelled the length and breadth of the country. One should be blessed to have good parents, who make it possible for their children to listen to the elevating stories of Krishna. Man is conditioned by his surroundings, and a person who has the opportunity to listen to stories of Krishna should consider himself blessed.

The Lord appears on this Earth when dharma is under threat and Mother Earth’s burden becomes unbearable. When Kamsa rules Mathura, Bhooma Devi, along with Brahma and the celestials, decides to go to Lord Narayana for help. But even before they take two steps, the Lord, aware of their desire, tells them that He will appear as Krishna and slay Kamsa.

In the case of human beings, parents pray for good children. But in the case of Krishna, He chooses His two sets of parents — Devaki and Vasudeva — as His biological parents, and Yasoda and Nandagopa to be His foster parents.

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