adau bhagavata yatha
brahmana yad asamsrtih
sri-pariksit uvaca—Maharaja Pariksit said; nivrtti-margah—the path of liberation; kathitah—described; adau—in the beginning; bhagavata—by Your Holiness; yatha—duly; krama—gradually; yoga-upalabdhena—obtained by the yoga process; brahmana—along with Lord Brahma (after reaching Brahmaloka); yat—by which way; asamsrtih—cessation of the repetition of birth and death.
Maharaja Pariksit said: O my lord, O Sukadeva Gosvami, you have already described [in the Second Canto] the path of liberation [nivrtti-marga]. By following that path, one is certainly elevated gradually to the highest planetary system, Brahmaloka, from which one is promoted to the spiritual world along with Lord Brahma. Thus one’s repetition of birth and death in the material world ceases.
Since Maharaja Pariksit was a Vaisnava, when he heard the description, at the end of the Fifth Canto, of the different hellish conditions of life, he was very much concerned with how to liberate the conditioned souls from the clutches of maya and take them back home, back to Godhead. Therefore he reminded his spiritual master, Sukadeva Gosvami, about the nivrtti-marga, or path of liberation, which he had described in the Second Canto. Maharaja Pariksit, who at the time of death was fortunate to have met Sukadeva Gosvami, inquired from Sukadeva Gosvami about the path of liberation at that crucial time. Sukadeva Gosvami very much appreciated his question and congratulated him by saying:
“My dear King, your question is glorious because it is very beneficial for all kinds of people. The answer to this question is the prime subject matter for hearing, and it is approved by all transcendentalists.” (Bhag. 2.1.1)
Pariksit Maharaja was astonished that the living entities in the conditional stage do not accept the path of liberation, devotional service, instead of suffering in so many hellish conditions. This is the symptom of a Vaisnava. Vancha-kalpa-tarubhyas ca krpa-sindhubhya eva ca: a Vaisnava is an ocean of mercy. Para-duhkha-duhkhi: he is unhappy because of the unhappiness of others. Therefore Pariksit Maharaja, being compassionate toward the conditioned souls suffering in hellish life, suggested that Sukadeva Gosvami continue describing the path of liberation, which he had explained in the beginning of Srimad-Bhagavatam. The word asamsrti is very important in this connection. Samsrti refers to continuing on the path of birth and death. Asamsrti, on the contrary, refers to nivrtti-marga, or the path of liberation, by which one’s birth and death cease and one gradually progresses to Brahmaloka, unless one is a pure devotee who does not care about going to the higher planetary systems, in which case one immediately returns home, back to Godhead, by executing devotional service (tyaktva deham punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]). Pariksit Maharaja, therefore, was very eager to hear from Sukadeva Gosvami about the path of liberation for the conditioned soul.
According to the opinion of the acaryas, the word krama-yogopalabdhena indicates that by first performing karma-yoga and then jnana-yoga and finally coming to the platform of bhakti-yoga, one can be liberated. Bhakti-yoga, however, is so powerful that it does not depend on karma-yoga or jnana-yoga. Bhakti-yoga itself is so powerful that even an impious man with no assets in karma-yoga or an illiterate with no assets in jnana-yoga can undoubtedly be elevated to the spiritual world if he simply adheres to bhakti-yoga. Mam evaisyasy asamsayah. Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (8.7) that by the process of bhakti-yoga one undoubtedly goes back to Godhead, back home to the spiritual world. Yogis, however, instead of going directly to the spiritual world, sometimes want to see other planetary systems, and therefore they ascend to the planetary system where Lord Brahma lives, as indicated here by the word brahmana. At the time of dissolution, Lord Brahma, along with all the inhabitants of Brahmaloka, goes directly to the spiritual world. This is confirmed in the Vedas as follows:
“Because of their exalted position, those who are on Brahmaloka at the time of dissolution go directly back home, back to Godhead, along with Lord Brahma.”
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