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XXVIII. The Enchanting Story

Sage Suka commenced his momentous message to the king. He said: "Maharaja! The great tree that Bhagavatha is, truly inspires reverential awe. It has, incorporated in it, every conceivable source of auspiciousness and joy. The Lord, Sri Narayana is the seed from which it has sprouted. The sprout is Brahmam. The trunk of the tree is Narada. Vyasa constitutes the branches. Its sweet fruit is the nectarine story of Krishna. Those earnest souls that yearn for that nectar and pine plaintively, regardless of bodily comfort or the passage of the years, until they secure the fruit and imbibe its essence, such are real saints and yogis."

"O, ye ascetics and sages! This day, I am relating to you that Bhagavatha Sastra, that enchanting story of Krishna; treasure it in your memory and save yourself from delusion and grief. You have listened to the recitals of all Sastras already. You have also mastered all Sadhanas. But, you have not known the greatest of them all. I shall now give you the sacred name of Krishna and the sweetness that is flowing from it. It is the sweetest name one can conceive; when it falls on the ear, the heart is filled with joy; when you recall the name to memory, a stream of love springs from the heart. The Bhagavatha inspires and promotes deep devotion to Lord Krishna."

"The universal absolute, the birthless, formless, unmanifest, infinite, took on limitations of name and form, and concretised Itself as Avathars (incarnations) on many occasions and manifested countless instances of divine intercession and grace. Through these, as well as the characteristics assumed and the ideas propagated, God saved mankind from downfall. Those who sing the story of this glory, those who listen eagerly to the recital, those who imbibe and digest the lessons conveyed, these are the real devotees. They are the Bhagavathas, those who follow the path laid down in the Bhagavatha. Bhagavatha binds Bhaktha with Bhagavan; that is to say the story fills you with God, and transmutes you into divinity."

"God incarnates, not merely for the destruction of the wicked; that is just an excuse, one of the obvious reasons. Really speaking God incarnates for the sake of Bhakthas (faithful devotees). The cow has milk primarily as sustenance for its calf. But, it is used by man for maintaining his health and efficiency. So too, God incarnates, primarily for the sustenance of the faithful, the devoted, the virtuous and the good. But, even the faithless and the bad, use the chance for their own purpose. Therefore, in the Bhagavatha, stories of such wicked persons intervene amidst the accounts of the glory and grace of God. This does not make the Bhagavatha any the less holy. When the sweet juice has been squeezed out of the sugarcane, the bagasse is discarded. When the sweetness of divine majesty has been tasted, the bagasse can well be thrown out. The cane has both bagasse and sugar; it cannot be sugar only. So too, devotees have to be amidst the faithless; they cannot be without the others.