TEXTS 1–2
śrī-rājovāca
yena yenāvatāreṇa
bhagavān harir īśvaraḥ
karoti karṇa-ramyāṇi
mano-jñāni ca naḥ prabho
yac-chṛṇvato ’paity aratir vitṛṣṇā
sattvaṁ ca śuddhyaty acireṇa puṁsaḥ
bhaktir harau tat-puruṣe ca sakhyaṁ
tad eva hāraṁ vada manyase cet
SYNONYMS
śrī-rājā uvāca—the King inquired (from Śukadeva Gosvāmī); yena yena avatāreṇa—the pastimes exhibited by different varieties of incarnations; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; hariḥ—the Lord; īśvaraḥ—the controller; karoti—presents; karṇa-ramyāṇi—were all very pleasing to the ear; manaḥ-jñāni—very attractive to the mind; ca—also; naḥ—of us; prabho—my lord, Śukadeva Gosvāmī; yat-śṛṇvataḥ—of anyone who simply hears these narrations; apaiti—vanishes; aratiḥ—unattractiveness; vitṛṣṇā—dirty things within the mind that make us uninterested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness; sattvam ca—the existential position in the core of the heart; śuddhyati—becomes purified; acireṇa—very soon; puṁsaḥ—of any person; bhaktiḥ harau—devotional attachment and service to the Lord; tat-puruṣe—with Vaiṣṇavas; ca—also; sakhyam—attraction to association; tat eva—that only; hāram—the activities of the Lord, which should be heard and kept on the neck as a garland; vada—kindly speak; manyase—you think it fit; cet—if.
TRANSLATION
King Parīkṣit said: My lord, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, all the various activities exhibited by the incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are certainly pleasing to the ear and to the mind. Simply by one’s hearing of these activities, the dirty things in one’s mind immediately vanish. Generally we are reluctant to hear about the activities of the Lord, but Kṛṣṇa’s childhood activities are so attractive that they are automatically pleasing to the mind and ear. Thus one’s attachment for hearing about material things, which is the root cause of material existence, vanishes, and one gradually develops devotional service to the Supreme Lord, attachment for Him, and friendship with devotees who give us the contribution of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If you think it fit, kindly speak about those activities of the Lord.
PURPORT
As stated in the Prema-vivarta:
Our material existence is māyā, or illusion, in which we desire different varieties of material enjoyment and therefore change to different varieties of bodies (bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni yantrārūḍhāni māyayā [Bg. 18.61]). Asann api kleśada āsa dehaḥ: [SB 5.5.4] as long as we have these temporary bodies, they give us many varieties of tribulation—ādhyātmika, ādhibhautika and ādhidaivika. This is the root cause of all suffering, but this root cause of suffering can be removed by revival of our Kṛṣṇa consciousness. All the Vedic literatures presented by Vyāsadeva and other great sages are therefore intended to revive our Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which begins to revive with śravaṇa-kīrtanam. Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ (Bhāg. 1.2.17). Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and other Vedic literatures exist simply to give us a chance to hear about Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa has different avatāras, or incarnations, all of which are wonderful and which arouse one’s inquisitiveness, but generally such avatāras as Matsya, Kūrma and Varāha are not as attractive as Kṛṣṇa. First of all, however, we have no attraction for hearing about Kṛṣṇa, and this is the root cause of our suffering.
But Parīkṣit Mahārāja specifically mentions that the wonderful activities of baby Kṛṣṇa, which amazed mother Yaśodā and the other inhabitants of Vraja, are especially attractive. From the very beginning of His childhood, Kṛṣṇa killed Pūtanā, Tṛṇāvarta and Śakaṭāsura and showed the entire universe within His mouth. Thus the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, one after another, kept mother Yaśodā and all the inhabitants of Vraja in great astonishment. The process to revive one’s Kṛṣṇa consciousness is ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgaḥ (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.4.15). The pastimes of Kṛṣṇa can be properly received from devotees. If one has developed a little bit of Kṛṣṇa consciousness by hearing from Vaiṣṇavas about the activities of Kṛṣṇa, one becomes attached to Vaiṣṇavas who are interested only in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore Parīkṣit Mahārāja recommends that one hear about Kṛṣṇa’s childhood activities, which are more attractive than the activities of other incarnations, such as Matsya, Kūrma and Varāha. Wanting to hear more and more from Śukadeva Gosvāmī, Mahārāja Parīkṣit requested him to continue describing Kṛṣṇa’s childhood activities, which are especially easy to hear and which create more and more inquisitiveness.

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