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Srimad Bhagavatam, Uddhava Gita and a King Elephant's Hymn to Lord Vishnu: A rich mix of Devotion, Knowledge and Dispassion

Paperback - 09 February 2013
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ABOUT THE BOOK Srimad Bhagavatam is one of the greatest books in Hinduism emphasizing Bhakti or devotion. Immensely popular all over India, it has inspired poets, saints and artists, as it provides a great range of material for their art. It enthralls the mind and turns it away from Samsara, the mundane world, towards the Lord. Every word of it speaks of His Leelas, plays and activities, embedded with the teachings of the Vedas. The author lucidly explains the importance of Puranas as a part of Vedic literature and the exalted position of Srimad Bhagavatam as the Mahapurana which is the word-form of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. As the glories of Bhagavan's incarnations are highlighted, the crown-jewel of incarnations, avataras - Sri Krishna Avatara is introduced as the child of Mother Yashoda, the cowherd-lover-boy of the Gopikas and the teacher for Arjuna and Uddhava. While Bhakti-rasa or significance of the essence of devotion is given precedence, the Vedantic teachings are highlighted in Srimad Bhagavatam by portraying the Bhagavan as an embodiment of Jnana, Knowledge. To reveal the glory of this Mahapurana, the author explores the hidden teachings behind the verses or slokas as he briefly encapsulates the gist of each canto. Reflective of the extensive research involved in shaping this work, various slokas are quoted from Srimad Bhagavatam along with their parallels drawn from other Vedic Texts like the Upanishads, Patanjali Yogasutras, Srimad Bahagavad Gita etc. These instances reveal that at the heart of Srimad Bhagavatam is the Advaita Philosophy which is quintessence of the entire ocean of Vedic Knowledge. Besides providing a glimpse into the splendid world of Srimad Bhagavatam, the book gives the mind a taste of Bhagavan's farewell speech called Uddhava Gita contained in its 11th canto. It is the final message given by Lord Krishna to his friend and devotee Uddhava before his departure from the earth to console him from his sadness explaining why the "Yadu" race or Yadava community should fall. In Uddhava Gita Krishna explains about, spirituality, religion, code of conduct for various classes of society and stages of life, supremacy of devotion, different paths to enlightenment, the mind as a root cause for all miseries of life and many other similar subjects. This work concludes with a hymn or prayer called "Gajendra Moksha", addressed to Lord Vishnu by Gajendra, the King Elephant. It is a legend from the 8th canto of Srimad Bhagavatam where Lord Vishnu comes down to earth to protect Gajendra (King Elephant) from the clutches of death of a Crocodile. It is one of the popular hymns of bhakti or devotion from the Bhagavat Mahapuran, superbly embellished with the jnana, knowledge and vairagya, dispassion of the Upanishads.

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