The Temple of Love and Affection Verse 5
Our presentation of the verses on the theme of Hari-kathā from the Temple of Love and Affection now moves from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-gītā to Śrīmad Bhāgavatam.
nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalaṁ
pibata bhāgavataṁ rasam ālayaṁ
muhur aho rasikā bhuvi bhāvukāḥ
“The Vedic Scriptures (and the knowledge they represent) are a wish-fulfilling tree (which can fulfil any and all of one’s desires—for dharma, piety, artha, wealth, kāma, enjoyment and mokṣa, liberation). Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the ripened fruit of this wish-fulfilling tree (which has no skin, seed, or any hard, discardable portion, meaning, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the ultimate, fully developed end of all revealed Truth (of all Vedic knowledge and Scripture, of all the teachings of Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyan Vedavyās); Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam itself can fulfil all of one’s desires (simply by granting one the fifth, supreme end of life—divine love for the Supreme Lord (Bhagavat-prema)); Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam has descended to this world on its own accord like a fruit which has naturally fallen from a tree and has not been (cannot be) picked by force; Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam deals exclusively with (and itself abundantly exudes) pure devotion for the Supreme Lord (rasa) and has no objectionable worldly material within it (skin, seeds, and so forth), such as endorsement of the pursuit of any and all forms of worldly enjoyment through selfish or selfless, regulated or unregulated action (karma), the pursuit of liberation or peace through knowledge and renunciation (jñāna), the pursuit of liberation or supernatural power through self-regulation (yoga), and anything otherwise related to the illusory world of the three modes of material nature).
“This ripened fruit of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is enriched with nectar from the mouth of the liberated soul and ‘divine parrot’ Śrīla Śukadev Goswāmī (meaning, Śrīmad Bhāgavatam is itself perfect in all respects, infinitely wonderful, supremely ecstatic and relishable to both conditioned and liberated souls but is nevertheless enhanced when heard from a liberated soul—a topmost devotee; Śrīmad Bhāgavatam fell from the spiritual world in an unspoiled, most palatable form by descending through the system of Guru-paramparā, heart to heart transmission between Guru and disciple—from the Supreme Lord Himself to Brahmā, from Brahmā to Devarṣi Nārada, form Devarṣi Nārada to Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyan Vedavyās, from Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyan Vedavyās to Śrīla Śukadev Goswāmī and from Śrīla Śukadev Goswāmī onwards; Śrīmad Bhāgavatam can only be truly heard by those who culture it within the Guru-paramparā system (and will spoil if heard otherwise—from those who make use of it for worldly purposes, like a fruit which falls from a tree, breaks upon the ground and becomes rotten); the ripened fruit of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam has become liquid-soft—juicy (easily swallowable and appreciated by all) and nectarean (supremely sweet and relishable, replete with supreme ecstasy) due to coming in touch with the beak of the divine parrot Śrīla Śukadev Goswāmī who recapitulates it most accurately and further enhances its nectarean taste).
“O rasikas! O connoisseurs of loving relationships with the Supreme Lord who are experts in all aspects of divine service! While within this world, again and again, perpetually, drink the supremely ecstatic, nectarean juice (rasa) of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (which is comprised of the pure, nectarean juice of the wonders of divine loving relationships with the Supreme Lord—of the supramundane, all-attractive, infinitely beautiful loving Pastimes of the Supreme Lord) until death (until you are liberated; until you faint unconscious in the ecstasy of divine love (prema); until you are utterly submerged in the supreme ecstasy of Your loving relationship with the Lord; and even when you do become liberated (even when you have obtained brahmānanda, the ecstasy of pure consciousness of the featureless aspect of the Absolute), even when you do collapse unconscious of the external world in a devotional trance, even when you are utterly submerged in the supreme ecstasy of devotion (in the supreme ecstasy of the Pastimes of the Supreme Lord, in the supreme ecstasy of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam itself) perpetually continue drinking this supreme, inconceivably, indescribably wonderful nectarean juice (rasa). Even the highest section of liberated souls, not rejecting the pleasure of relishing the juice of this fruit in the way that they reject the pleasures of heaven, this world and so forth, eternally continue relishing it (feeling ever-increasing taste, appetite and love for its wonderful, nectarean flavor).”[Translation assembled from the commentary of Śrīla Bhaktivinod Ṭhākur and other Āchāryas of our Guru-varga.]