They are stories-yes, the definition is as simple as that one. The difference is just that these stories, narrating the events of the past, are composed with extreme intelligence and empathy so as to show us a way to live a soulful life. The greatness of the maharshis of our land are clearly visible through their works today. Their impeccable brilliance of making us understand some of the sophisticated aspects of life are all evident from their works.
So, basically puranas are our significant books which help us understand our ancient culture well. They tell us stories of various valorous emperors, various other souls who have lived their life fruitfully in the past. The books enlighten us literally about the purpose of life. Literally. The rishis are the best possible influencers, I must say. They show us a way and bring meaning to life when we closely understand them. Sadly, as we all know, the word ‘purana’ is used so unreasonably today.
Maharshi VedaVyas is one of the greatest scholars our land ever saw. There are 18 puranas written by Him. Bhagavatha purana is his last work, written in his very experienced stage. The stories are narrated so beautifully in these books that we find such awesome logical placing of facts there.
This work is at least 5,000 years old. It is said in our culture that this book alone is enough for life. There is almost no knowledge that is required for life and not mentioned in Bhagavatha.
Why should I read the Bhagavatha?
We are all aware of the education system our land has seen in the past. What we study today only teaches us ways to earn more, make a lot of money. Money is a treasure that will get exhausted over this life and in the next life, no matter how rich we were in our earlier life, we have to earn from the scratch. Basically our system today teaches us just what is required to satiate our stomach’s hunger. Going behind this, people have forgotten to recognize the hunger of soul. The point here is that- satiating only hunger of stomach will only make it hungrier the next day. Soul’s hunger once satiated will only open up the treasure inside of us. Students of the past were taught to earn this treasure that will never get exhausted, a treasure that will only multiply upon using it and sharing it.
However, we cannot obviously sit up and blame the education system we have today, instead the best we can do is to learn to earn this treasure ourselves, in a DIY way. So, the package we can choose is making a lot of money with our education and making life meaningful with the study of these books. It’s been 4 years since we started this journey of studying the bhagavatha every day and this has been the best decision so far we made. Trust me, it makes life a lot simpler and a lot more meaningful. I cannot imagine what my life would be just with this CA degree without studying the bhagavatha. It has, personally to me, taught to slowly realize and acknowledge every action I do, every penny I earn and to every conversation I have. Trust me, everything around will start making better sense when this journey begins.
I just now feel like I understand why our maharshis composed this beautiful work. It is mentioned in the book about how this era we currently live in would be. So, the book helps us not to lose ourselves in the notional rat race we have around us.
Ever wanted to start this journey?
One need not really need to know Sanskrit to study the Bhagavatha. They are available in our native languages today. ISKON is doing a great job by not only publishing books in English, but also in delivering beautiful lectures in English. On our travel to the European countries, especially in the Czechian cities, we were at awe to see how the people there are so much in love with this scripture. So, when the western guys have found our thing so attractive, don’t you think there is something amazing in it?
Well, a very beautiful material is published by Geetha Press, Gorakhpur. They have translated the shlokas mindfully, enough for easy understanding of beginners.
There are various lectures available on online platforms too today, which a seeker can take the highest advantage of. Our Guru Srimad Sudhindra Thirtha Swami have also delivered a beautiful pravachan on this, and it is the best we have come across in our lifetime.
However, the best thing about starting this journey is that you need not really work hard and wonder about gathering material to learn. You just have to seek, develop willingness to study- and you got it! That’s the beauty of this journey.
Hope it helps, thank you 😊