The Glories of Chapter One of the
Bhagavad Gita from the Padma Puran
Godess Parvati said to Lord Shiva “My dear husband, You know all the transcendental truths, and by your mercy I have heard the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna. Oh Lord, now I long to hear from You the glories of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita, which was spoken by Lord Krishna, and by hearing which, one’s devotion to Lord Krishna increases”
Lord Shiva replied “That person, Whose body is the color of a dark rain cloud, whose carrier is the king of birds, Garuda, and Who is lying on Ananta-Sesha, the thousand headed serpent, that Lord Vishnu, Whose glories have no limit, I am always worshipping. My dear Parvati once after Lord Vishnu had killed the demon Mura, He was resting peacefully on Ananta-Sesha, when the bestower of all good fortune of the universe, Sri Lakshmi, respectfully inquired from Him.
“Bhagavan, You are the controller and maintainer of the whole universe, but yet You are sleeping unhappily on this ocean of milk What is the reason?”
Lord Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, I am not sleeping, but I am watching how wonderfully My energy is working. It is by this wonderful energy of Mine, by which I am controlling all things, and yet remain separate. And it is by remembering these divine activities of Mine, that the great devotees and yogis manage to free themselves from the wheel of birth and death, and attain that transcendental nature of Mine, which is eternal and free from all qualities.”
Lakshmi said, “O, controller of all things. You are the goal of the meditation of great yogis. Nothing can go on without You. And yet You are separate. You are the cause of creation, maintenance and destruction of all the material universes. Kindly inform me about the workings of Your wonderful energies, which are so attractive, that even You are lying here, meditating upon them”
Lord Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, the workings of My multi-fold energies, and how to become free from the bonds of birth and death, and attain My eternal Nature, can only be understood by one of pure intelligence, who has an inclination to render service unto Me. This transcendental knowledge is fully explained in the Srimad Bhagavad-gita”
Lakshmi inquired, “My dear Lord, if you yourself are amazed, by the workings of Your energies, and are ever trying to fathom their limit, then how is it possible that the Bhagavad-gita can describe those unlimited energies of Yours, and how to cross over them, and attain the transcendental nature?”
Lord Vishnu said, “I Myself have manifested in the Form of Bhagavad-gita. Please understand that the first five chapters are My five heads, the next ten chapters are My ten Arms, and the Sixteenth Chapter is My stomach. The last two chapters are My lotus-feet. In this way you should understand the transcendental Deity of the Bhagavad-gita. This Bhagavad-gita is the destroyer of all sins. And that intelligent man who daily recites one chapter or even one shloka, one half shloka, or at least one quarter shloka, will attain the same position as Susharma had attained.”
Lakshmi inquired, “Who was Susharma? What class did he belong to? And what destination did he attain?”
Lord Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, Susharma was a very wicked and a most sinful man. Although he was born in a brahmana family, his family had no Vedic knowledge. And he only took pleasure from hurting others. He never engaged in the chanting of My names, in giving charity, or receiving guests. In fact, he never performed any pious activities. For his livelihood he collected leaves, and sold them in the bazaar. He especially enjoyed drinking wine, and eating flesh. In this way he passed his life.
“One day that foolish Susharma had gone to the garden of one sage for collecting leaves, when a snake came and bit him, and he died. After his death he was cast into many hells, where he suffered for a long time. After which he attained the body of a bull. That bull was purchased by a crippled man, who engaged him in his service. For about seven or eight years he was carrying extremely heavy loads. One day that crippled man had piled a very heavy load onto the back of his bull. Very quickly he was forcing that bull along when suddenly the bull fell over and became unconscious. Many persons gathered there, to see what was happening, feeling sorry for that bull. One pious man bestowed upon that bull the results of some of his pious activities. Seeing that, other persons standing there started remembering their pious activities, and offered the results of some of those activities to that bull. In that crowd there was also one prostitute who did not know if she had ever performed any pious activities, but seeing everyone else offering their pious credits to that bull, she also offered the results of any pious activities she might have performed After that, the bull died, and was taken to the abode of Yamaraja, the God of Death.
There, Yamaraja informed him, “You are now free from the reactions of all your previous sinful deeds, due to the pious credits given to you by that prostitute.” Then he took birth in a very high brahmana family. In that birth, he was able to remember his past lives. After many days, he decided to search out that prostitute, who had been the cause of freeing him from his hellish situation.
After he had found and introduced himself to that lady he inquired from her “What were the pious activities performed by you, the fruits of which freed me from my hellish situation?” The prostitute replied to him, “My dear sir, in that cage is one parrot, which recites something everyday. Hearing that recitation, my heart has become completely pure. The results of hearing that recitation I had given to you.”
Thereafter they both inquired from that parrot about that recitation. That parrot, remembering his previous life, started to narrate his history. “Previously, I had been a very learned brahmana. But due to my pride, I used to insult other learned persons. I was also extremely jealous. After I died, I was cast into many hells, and after a long time of suffering, I achieved this body of a parrot. Due to my past sinful activities, my mother and father died while I was a baby. One day, while I was lying on the hot sands, with no protection, some rishis saw me, and took me to their ashram, and put me in a cage. At that same place, the children of those rishis were learning the recitation of the First Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita, Hearing them repeat those Shlokas, I also, started repeating those shloka along with them.
“Shortly after, one thief stole me from that place and sold me to this pious lady.” Lord Vishnu continued, “By reciting the First Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, that parrot had become completely pure. And by hearing that recitation that prostitute also became completely pure. And by receiving some of the pious results of hearing that recitation, Susharma also become completely pure.
After discussing for some time the glories of the first chapter of Bhagavad-gita, Susharma returned to his home, and the three of them individually engaged in reciting the First Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, and very quickly attained the supreme destination, Vaikuntha.” Anyone who recites, who hears, or studies the First Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, will very easily cross over the ocean of material miseries, and attain the service of the lotus-feet of Lord Krishna
The Glories of Chapter Two of the
Bhagavad Gita from the Padma Purana
Lord Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, you have heard from Me the glories of the First Chapter of Bhagavad-gita Now please listen carefully, as I tell you the glories of the Second Chapter.
Once in the South in the town of Pandharpur, a very learned brahmana by the name of Devashyama lived. He was able to perform all kinds of fire sacrifices. He also knew the importance of receiving guest. And by his activities he managed to satisfy all the demigods. But he was not happy and peaceful in his heart and mind. He had the desire to attain knowledge of the soul’s relationship with the Supersoul, Paramatma, and towards this end he would invite many yogis and tapasvis, and render all kinds of service to them and inquire from them about the Absolute Truth. In this way he passed many years of his life.
One day, while he was walking, he saw one yogi in front of him, sitting cross-legged with his eyes fixed on the tip of his nose, totally absorbed in meditation. Devashyama could perceive that this yogi was completely peaceful, and without any material desires.
Devashyama, with the greatest respect and reverence, fell at the feet of that yogi, and inquired from him, how he could attain complete peace of mind. At that time, that yogi, who had complete knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna, advised Devashyama to go to the village of Sowpur and meet one Mitravan; who was a goat-herder by profession, and take instructions in the science of God-realization from him. After hearing this, Devashyama again and again offered his respectful obeisances at the feet of that yogi and immediately left for Sowpur. When he arrived there he found on the northern side, one beautiful forest where he was informed that Mitravan lived. When he entered that forest, he saw on the bank of a small river, Mitravan seated on top of some rocks.
Mitravan looked very beautiful and totally peaceful. In that forest the wind was blowing very gently and a beautiful aroma was emanating from every direction. The goats were peacefully moving here and there, totally unafraid. Some were seen to be sitting next to tigers and other ferocious animals very peacefully.
When Devashyama saw this scene, his mind became very peaceful, and he respectfully approached Mitravan and sat close to him. Mitravan appeared to be fully absorbed in his meditation. After some time Devashyama inquired from him, how he would be able to attain devotion to Lord Krishna. When Mitravan heard this question, for a moment he was lost in deep thought. Then he replied, “My dear learned Devashyama, once long ago, I was in the forest looking after the goats, when a very ferocious tiger attacked. At that time all the goats ran here and there to save themselves. I also ran off, due to fear of that tiger. From some distance I looked back and saw that that tiger on the bank of this river encountered one of my goats. At that time a strange and wonderful thing happened. That tiger lost all his anger and desire to eat my goat. Thereupon, my goat inquired from that tiger, “You have attained your food, so why are you not eating the meat of my body? You should immediately kill me, and with great relish eat up my flesh. Why are you hesitating?”
That tiger said, “My dear goat, since I have come to this place, all anger has left me, and I have no hunger or thirst”. The goat said, “I also do not know why I am feeling so fearless and peaceful. What can be the reason for this? If you know, then kindly inform me”.
The tiger replied, “I also do not know. Let us inquire from that person” When I saw this change take place in the activities of that tiger and goat, I become very much astonished. At that time they both approached me, and inquired as to the reason. I noticed that a monkey was sitting on the branch of a nearby tree. I went along with the two of them and inquired from that monkey-king. That monkey replied to our question with great respect.
“Listen, I will tell you, it is a very old story. In that forest, just in front of you, there is a very large temple in which Lord Brahma installed a Shivalinga. Long ago, a learned sage of the name Sukama, who had performed many austerities, lived there. Daily he would bring flowers from the forest and water from the river, and worship Lord Shiva.
In this way he was living here for many years, when one day one sage arrived. At that time, Sukama brought fruits and water and fed that sage. After the sage had eaten and rested, Sukama spoke to him. “Oh learned one, only for the reason of obtaining knowledge of Lord Krishna, am I living here, performing austerities and worship. But the results of my austerities have been attained today by coming in contact with you.”
When the sage heard the words of Sukama, which were full of submission, he became greatly pleased. And he wrote on one piece of stone the Second Chapter Srimad Bhagavad-gita. He then instructed Sukama to daily read those verses. “By so doing, you will quickly attain your goal.” After having spoken thus, that sage disappeared from that place while Sukama was looking on. After that, following the instructions of that sage, Sukama recited those verses daily for the rest of his life. Very quickly he attained complete knowledge of Lord Krishna. And from the day he started reciting those verses, he felt no more thirst or hunger.
And due to this austerities and devotion, at this place, any one who visits here does not, feel the pangs of hunger and thirst, and immediately attains complete peace.”
Mitravan said, “My dear Devashyama, after the monkey had finished telling us that wonderful story, I along with the tiger and goat went to that temple. We found there written on a piece of stone the Second Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. And I started to recite those verses daily. In this way, we were able to attain very quickly devotion to Lord Krishna. My dear brahmana, if you also start reciting the verses of the Second Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, you will very quickly attain the mercy of Lord Krishna.”
Lord Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, in this way Devashyama attained knowledge from Mitravan and after worshipping that great soul, he returned to Pandharpur and daily recited that Second Chapter. And whoever visited Pandharpur, Devashyama would first recite before him the Second Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. In this way Devashsyama attained the lotus feet of Lord Krishna.
My dear Lakshmi these are the glories of the Second Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita.