The S’rîmad Devî Bhâgawatam-The First Book-Chapter 1-2

On the questions by S’aunaka and others

p. 2

11-18. O Saumya! Hence all these Brâhmins, being distressed with the fear of this Kali, have come here to this Naimisâranya, eager to hear attentively the Purânas, and are staying here with this one object. Time must be spent away anyhow or other; those that are fools while away their times in sports and other evil practices and those that are learned pass away their times in meditating on the S’âstras; but these S’âstras are too vast and very varied; they contain Jalpas (debates or wrangling discussions to win over the opposite party), Vadas (sound doctrines to arrive at just conclusions), and various Arthavâdas (explanations and assertions, recommending Vidhis or precepts by stating the good arising from its proper observance and evils arising from its omission and also by adducing historical instances for its support; praises and eulogies) and filled with many argumentations. And, amongst these S’âstras again, the Vedânta is the Sâttvik, the Mimâmsas are the Râjasik and the Nyâya S’âstras with Hetuvâdas, are the Tâmasik; so the S’âstras are varied. Similarly, the Purânas are of three kinds :– (1) S’attvik, (2) Râjasik and (3) Tâmasik. O Saumya! (one of gentle appearance) you have recited those Purânas endowed with five characteristics and full of many narratives; of these, the fifth Purâna, equivalent to the Vedas and with all the good qualities, the Bhâgavata yields Dharma and Kâma (religion and desires), gives liberation to those who desire for emancipation and is very wonderful; you mentioned this before but ordinarily; you did not dwell on this specially. Now these Brâhmanas are eager to hear gladly this divine auspicious Bhâgavata, the best of the Purânas; so kindly describe this in detail.

19-25. O knower of Dharma! By your faith and devotion to your Guru, you have become Sâttvik and thus have thoroughly known the Purâna Samhitâs spoken by Veda Vyâs. O Omniscient one! Therefore it is that we have heard many Purânas from your mouth; but we are not satisfied as the Devas are not satisfied with the drinking of the nectar. O Sûta! Fie to the nectar even as the drinking of nectar is quite useless in giving Mukti. But hearing the Bhâgavata gives instantaneous Mukti from this Samsâra or round of birth and death. O Sûta! we performed thousands and thousands of Yajñas for the drinking of the nectar (Amrita), but never we got the full peace. The reason being that Yajñas lead to heaven only; on the expiry of the period of punya (good merits, the heavenly life ceases and one is expelled, as it were from the Heavens. Thus incessant sojourns in this wheel of Samsâra, the constant rounds of births and deaths never end. O Knower of every thing! Thus, without Jñâna (knowledge, wisdom) Mukti never comes to men, wandering in this wheel of Time (Kâlachakra) composed

p. 3

of the three Gunas. So describe this holy Bhâgavata, always beloved of the Mumuksas (those that desire Mukti), this secret work yielding liberation, holy and full of all sentiments (rasas).

Thus ends the first chapter of the first Skandha on the questioning about the Purâna by Saunaka and other Rishis in the Mahâpurâna S’rîmad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Here ends the First Chapter of the First Skandha of S’rîmad Devi Bhâgavatam on the questions by S’aunaka and other Risis.

Om Namah Shivay

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