In the previous episode, we had witnessed why faith and belief are of paramount importance when we start reading and understanding any spiritual text. In this context of Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana, if Bhagawan Krishna Himself is giving an assurance that He is in the form of this sacred text in this Kali Yuga, what more do we require? Isn’t it imperative for us to just pick up the text and start experiencing it?
In continuation with this important point, we started to discuss the structure of the text. We had witnessed yesterday that this Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana is divided into 12 major “Skandas”, which are again split into innumerable “Adhyaayas” (just like how it is in the Mahabharata and Ramayana) to accommodate around 18,000 slokas in total. If I say 18,000 as a number, it would not be exactly 18,000. It might be a little here and there, as each “Adhyaaya” contain an uneven number of slokas. This makes it difficult to give an exact number of slokas that the Bhaagawatha Puraana comprises of. Hence, for an understanding purpose, we shall consider a round figure of 18,000 slokas. Anyway, the number of slokas is not important. What is more important is the contents and messages that each sloka tries to convey. So let us not worry much about the numerical aspects here.
Moving on thus, we had also commenced a discussion as to how this Puraana is split into seven parts (“Saptaaham”). As we’ve repeatedly mentioned before, there is a practice of reciting this Puraana in a period of seven days. Each day has a definitive portion to be recited. In that manner, the first day we discuss the first, second and the third “Skandha” wherein we would witness the all-important episode of Shri Varaaha Avatara (One of the main incarnations of Bhagawan Vishnu). It is after this, comes the “Manu-Karthama Samvaadam”. The discussion of day-one ends with this particular portion.
Now moving on to the second day’s discussion,
“Bharataakhyaana paryantham dvitheeyepari vaachayeth!”
Now on “Day 2”, we finish the remaining segment of the third “Skandha” and move on to the fourth “Skandha”. We witness the entire fourth “Skandha” and move on to the fifth “Skandha”. In this fifth “Skandha”, we finish with the 12’th “Adhyaaya”. This 12’th Adhyaaya contains the story of someone called “Aadhi-Jada-Bharatha”. This is a very interesting story, and I’m sure when we come to this point after many episodes, we would automatically develop that interest that we can also live such a noble and a wonderful life in this earth.
Now moving on to the third day’s discussion,
“Trithiyee divase kuryaath sapthamah skandha puraanam!”
On “Day 3”, we commence from where we left from the fifth “Skandha”, travel throughout the fifth, enter the sixith “Skandha”, traverse the entire length and breath of it, enter the seventh “Skandha” and till it’s end. This is where the important incarnation of Vishunu – Narasimha Avatara takes place. Many of us might be knowing this well – How Bhagawan Vishnu took the incarnation of a half-lion and half-man (Bhagawan Narasimha) to protect little Prahlaadha from his wicked father Hiranya-Kashibu. Thus, the entire story of the Narasimha Avatara comes as part of the third day’s discussion.
Now moving on to the fourth day’s session,
“Krishna aavirbhaava paryantham chaturthe divase vadeth!”
On Day 4, we start with the 8’th “Skandha”, and traverse all the way till the 10’th “Skandha”. It is in the 10’th “Skandha” that we start a detailed description of the Krishna-Avatara. We thus finish the fourth day’s discussion with the 3’rd Adhyaaya of the 10’th “Skandha” wherein we commence the discussion on the Krishna-Avatara. Here we leave it at the point wherein Bhagawan Krishna is born to Devaki and Vasudeva as the eighth son, after the previous seven children were killed by his uncle Kamsa.
Moving on thus, the fifth day’s session is as follows:
“Rukminyudhvaaha paryantham panchamehaneesha pashyate!”
Here on the fifth day, we start from the 4’th Adhyaaya of the 10’th Skandha and move on till the 54’th Adhyaaya of the same 10’th Skandha. This is where Bhagawan Krishna marries Rukmini Devi. This might seem a relatively small discussion, but it is the opposite. The 10’th Skandha is a very long one and it would take quite a bit of time to complete.
Moving on thus, the sixth day’s session is as follows:
“Shri hamsaakhyaana paryantham shashtehanee vadeth Sukhee!”
Thus the sixth day discussion commences from the 55’th Adhyaaya of the 10’th Skandha and extends till the 13’th Adhyaaya of the 11’th Skandha. Here we witness a very important segment – Bhagawan Vishnu takes the form of a swan (Hamsa) and he gives important advice to Bhagawan Bramha on various issues. Here, Bhagawan Vishnu talks about Bhakthi in extreme detail and it is very important for all of us to understand the words that have directly come from Bhagawan’s mouth!
Finally, the seventh day’s session is as follows:
“Saptha me tu dine kuryaathpoorthim bhaagawathasyavai!!”
Finally as we end the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana on the seventh and the last day, we witness the departure of Bhagawan Krishna to Vaikunta. It is after Bhagawan Krishna’s departure, starts the Kali Yuga. A detailed analysis of the Kali Yuga – It’s positives, merits, negatives, demerits, the “Dharma” of Kali Yuga is given and it finally culminates with the benefits of reading through and understanding this great text.
So with this, we’ve had a preliminary run-through of the entire Bhaagawatha Puraana text and how it is taken for part-by-part discussion for seven days. From tomorrow’s episode, we shall dive into the contents of the first day’s discussion with greater detail. We shall try and understand the contents as lucidly as possible and from now on, I solicit the love and support of all our readers in making this a great learning experience for all of us! Stay tuned! 😊