In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important and a direct message from Bhagawan Krishna Himself that in this Kali Yuga, He would be in the form of Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana text. Thus it is highly imperative that if we’re able to read and understand this sacred text, we can feel Bhagawan Krishna’s presence amongst all of us! If He himself has given this assurance, what more “incentive” do we require to pick it up and read? Thus, during the departure time of Bhagawan Krishna to Vaikunta, he gives this assurance to his ardent devotees headed by Uddhava, which is of course applicable to all of us as well. He eventually promises Uddhava that although he might not be visible in the physical form during the Kali Yuga, He might be felt when someone reads, recites, writes and / or understands the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana.
Having said thus, we should remember always that it is all about the faith and belief that we have from here on. If we should be able to attain the full benefit and grace from Bhagawan from the Bhaagawatha Puraana, the first step is to have the belief that Bhagawan’s promise and assurance will hold true. Just like how we have the faith and belief that He is present in the form of a statue (“Vigraha”) in a temple – How do we get this belief? All of us go to a temple and worship Bhagawan isn’t it? It might be a small temple nearby our home, or a “Divyadesa” temple that is very famous, or it can be a “Saalagrama” (A special kind of stone that we get from the holy rivers of Ganges and Ghantaki in the Himalayas), or it can even be a small Krishna image that we might have at our prayer hall within our homes too. Thus, irrespective of whatever it is – “Vigraha” or “Saalagrama” stone, or an image or a portrait that we have at home, we have the instant belief that Bhagawan is present with us in the form of either or all of these. If we’re able to have the faith in all of the above mentioned items, we should also have the firm belief that Bhagawan Krishna is definitely present in the form of Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana as well. Thus with this point, we establish hereby that Bhagawan Krishna does reside in this world, in this Kali Yuga in the form of Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana.
In this point, there is another important benefit that we get. It might be a bit funny, but it is still significant. If for instance, we get a thought that we would want to worship Bhagawan Krishna at his birthplace of Mathura, what can we do? As all of us might be knowing that this place called Mathura is in the banks of River Yamuna, in the present-day Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. As this place is in the north of India, people from the south find it a bit difficult to go there, worship and come back. We have problems with respect to time, food, culture, language, etc. In olden days, if people have to undertake huge “Yatras” (Spiritual journeys) from the south to some places like Badrinath, Kedarnath, Mathrua, Dwaraka, etc. it was not an easy task. If such journeys had to be undertaken, transportation was not well-developed. Other infrastructural facilities such as accommodation, food, etc. weren’t upto the mark. Hence it was extremely difficult for people who do it. Nowadays of course, we have excellent transportation facilities in the form of flights, decent trains, etc. to travel much easier and quicker. At many pilgrimage places today, we have very good restaurants and hotels, which also make people’s lives easier than before. However, having said all this, we still need to plan, make lot of efforts even today to travel to such places and if we’ve to do it instantly, it is still a distant dream for many of us! However, if we have a book of Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana at our home, all these difficulties can be put to rest! It is because of this simple fact that Bhagawan Krishna had promised His presence in it! So if we have a sudden urge to worship Bhagawan Krishna, for whatever reason we might have, it is very easy here – Just take out the Bhaagawatha Puraana text and start reading a few slokas from it! Bhagawan Krishna is right there with all of us! 😊 How much easier can it be beyond this? Hence, let us make sure that we use this opportunity to enjoy Bhagawan’s presence in this divine and sacred text, as we move on with its contents.
Having said thus, we shall now witness the seven important divisions or parts of this great text and thus justify the methodology of “Sapthaaham”. In due course, we shall also witness the broad structure of this text as well.
“Manu karthama samvaadhaparyantham prathamenani!”
Thus on the first day, we witness the conversations that happened between Manu and Karthama-Prajaapathi. This part is actually in the third “Skandha”. It is to be noted that this purana has in total, 12 “Skandhaas” (Bigger parts) and around 18,000 slokas, packed into innumerable “Adhyaayas” (Smaller chapters). Just like we’ve witnessed in the Ramayana and the Mahaabhaarata before, every text would have a definitive structure. Here, this text has a structure wherein it is broadly divided into 12 major “Skandaas” (We can consider it as “Parts”) and each “Skandha” would have a definitive number of “Adhyaayas” (Sub-parts or chapters).
Thus in the first day as per the above sloka, we witness the first, second and the third “Skandha” wherein we would witness the episode of Shri Varaaha Avatara (One of the main incarnations of Bhagawan Vishnu). It is after this, comes the “Manu-Karthama Samvaadam”. Thus on the first part, we cover these many aspects of the Bhaagawatha Puraana.
So for today, let us understand this structure first. We shall go slowly into the description of the seven parts (“Saptaaham”) as we move into the next episode. Stay tuned! 😊