Preparations for Bhagavat katha


Preparations for Bhagavat katha
Venue: ISKCON Noida
Dated: 15 May 2018
Occasion: Sukratala annual yatra 2018

So Katha is going to start from tomorrow. Today afternoon you will depart from here for Sukratala. Today here we are welcoming all the yatra devotees. I thought there should be some preparations. In that context Chatuskumar have given some rules and regulations in 6 th chapter Srimad Bhagvat Mahatmya of Padma-puran. So we will hear from them directly. They are the famous and well-known katha reciters in the whole brahmanda. In Haridwara they did a special katha. Among the 12 Bhagvats they are also mahabhagvats. One is grantha Bhagvat and other is person Bhagavat. Chatuskumar have given some special tips for management team of katha. Some are for listeners, some for speakers, some for managers of the yatra. So you all note down. Note books you all should bring so that one will be awake while taking notes and will have to hear attentively for that.

kumaraha uchu
atha ye sampravaksyamah saptahasravane vidhim (SBM 6.1)

The four Kumars are speaking about the vidhi of Bhagavat saptaha. I don’t know how they are speaking together but they all spoke together. They did not take turns first Sanat Kumar speaks and then others no not like that. They all spoke together that’s why it’s said, ‘ Kumaraha uchu’. It’s not said Kumar uvacha, Kumar uvacha means one Kumar is speaking but here its Kumaraha uchu, meaning all the four Kumar’s said.

So the Kumaras said, “O Narada, now we will explain the process of performing Saptaha.

daivajnam tu samaahuya muhurtam prcchaya yatnatah (SBM 6.2)

So first they are say one who knows astrology, ask them about muhurat- which is the auspicious masa and time for it. I don’t know whether are organizers had met anybody to ask about the katha muhurta, but now Purusottma masa is about to start. This whole month is auspicious, so no need to find out any muhurat, Haribol.

vivahe yadrsam vittam tadrsam parikalpayet (SBM 6.2)

Regarding wealth required for Bhagavat saptaha, the Kumar’s are saying one should not be a miser. We should with the help of enthusiastic people collect wealth. As one does it during marriage ceremony in his family. If needed we even take debt, somehow or the other we collect money and have grand celebration. Like that we should collect money for Bhagavat katha also. So now we have selected a good muhurta and wealth required is also collected now katha is going to start.

Four Kumar’s are saying the message that katha is going to start should be spread all over.

dese dese tatha seyam varta preshya prayatnatah (SBM 6.5)

Special efforts should be taken to spread the news of katha all over. Advertising of katha should be done in our own coutry as well as other countries.

bhavisyati katha catra agantavyam kutumbibhih (SBM 6.5)

When you make invitation cards for the katha, mention there that ” you all should come with family, friends and dear ones “.

dureharikathah kecitddureca-acyutakirtanah
striyah sudradayo ye ca tesam bodho yato bhavet (SBM 6.6)

They are saying make a list of all the devotees and without fail invite them, that include women and sudras, to hear Hari-katha.

striyo vaisyas tatha sudras te ‘pi yanti param gatim (BG 9.32)

Bhagavat katha is for all the members of four varnas and ashram.

Then Kumars say,
dese dese virakta ye vaisnavah kirtanotsukah (SBM 6.7)

First they remembered others and invited them for katha. Then those knowledgeable, renunciate vaishnava’s interested to hear Hari-katha should be invited.

satam samajo bhavita satparatram sudurlabhah
apurvarasarupaiva katha catra bhavisyati (SBM 6.8)

One should announce in writing that for seven day the rare opportunity to hear the transcendental, nectarian message of Shrimad Bhagavatam will be organized. Also stated in Bhagvatam

nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam suka-mukhad am?ta-drava-samyutam
pibata bhagavata rasam alayam muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhavuka? (SB 1.1.3)

Oh rasikah devotees, those who are full in the knowledge of mellows come and drink the nectarian katha of the Lord. So same bhava is being described here by the four Kumars.

sribhagavatapiyusapanaya rasalampatah (SBM 6.9)

Rasalampata, What does is it mean by lampata? Now days its going all over this lampata that lampata visayalampata.

prati-kshanaswadana-lolupasya vande guroh sri-charanaravindam (Sri Sri Gurvastakam)

The Gurujans the acharyas they also are lampata but they are bhaktirasalampta. At every momemt they are relishing bhaktirasa. Call them also for katha. Kumars are saying write this also,

navakasah kadacicceddnimatram tathapi tu (SBM 6.10)

If they are very busy , naavakasah. Oh, we are very busy no time to die also. Tell such people dinamatram- just come for a day if you can’t come for seven days.

sarvatha ’gamanam karyam ksano ’traiva sudurlabhah (SBM 6.10)

Even if you come for a moment it will be beneficial for you. Don’t miss this rare opportunity.

evamakaranam tesam kartavyam vinayena ca (SBM 6.11)

Send invitations with humble attitude. And now invitations have been sent and devotees have come for
katha. First reached Noida then Sukratala then,

agantukanam sarvasam vasasthanani kalpayet (SBM 6.11)

All have come now make proper arrangements for their board and lodging. Invitations have been sent and then when guests come there is a signboard at the door “beware of dogs.” That means you are not welcome.

atithi devo bhava

Such signs were there in the good old days now they are replaced by signs “beware of dogs. “

So where can be katha organized? Four Kumars say,

tirthe vapi vane vapi grhe va sravanam matam ( SBM 6.12)

The recitation of Bhagavatam can be done either in a holy place, a forest if that forest is Vrndavan then it’s the best place. Or katha can be organized in one’s house. But whatever place you select should be,

visala vasudha yatra kartavyam tatkathasthalam (SBM 6.12)

The place where katha is organized should be decorated. A nice podium should be arranged and decorated with fruits, leaves, flowers, banana trees, and so forth. So now place for katha is selected. Now who is coming kathavrati, have you noted down this word. Kathavrati- You take a vow, that’s a sankalpa , there are so many vrats going on. So now you all have also made sankalpa, so you all are kathavrati, meaning those who have taken vow for katha. Like Lord Ram had taken ekapatnivrta, brahmacaris take up brahmacarivrata. So like that there are many vrats and yours is what vrat? Kathavrat. From that comes kathavrati- you all are kathavrati. So now kathavrati has arrived.

urdhava saptaiva lokasca kalpaniyah savistaram (SBM 6.16)

In the big katha ground or pandal in one part one should imagine the upper seven planetary systems.Seven planetary systems, called Bhur, Bhuvar, Svar, Mahar, Janas, Tapas and Satya, are upward planetary systems, one above the other.

tesu vipra viraktasca sthapaniyah prabodhya ca(SBM 6.16)

In that specific place proper seats should be offered to renunciates, vaishnavas and saintly persons.

purva tesamasanani kartavyani yathottaram
vaktascapi tada divyamasanam parikalpayet (SBM 6.17)

There should be a nice vyasasana for the speaker.
virako vaisnavo vipro veda-sastra-visudhikrta(SBM 6.20)

The speaker should be a renounced brahmana, learned, expert and specifically its said here that he should be a vaishnava. And he should be able to explain the essence of Vedic literature.

drstantakusalo dhiro vakta karyo ’ti-nihsprhah(SBM 6.20)

And he should be able to give proper examples , he should be dhira gambhira and free from material desires.

krishna-bhakta — nishkama, ataeva ‘santa’
bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kami sakali ‘asanta’ (Caitanya-caritamrita Madhya 19.149)

So he should be Krishna bhakti- devotee of Lord Krishna. Because a devotee of Lord Krishna is desireless, he is peaceful.

Speaker should not be,
aneka-dharma-vibhrantah-strainah pakhandavadinah (SBM 6.21)

There should not be, bahu-sakha hy anantas ca meaning he should be follower of, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja. Those who are cheaters, attached to women, and who do not know the essence of religion, one who does show off, whose speech and actions differ should not be invited to speak on Shrimad Bhagavatam. We should avoid such speakers and stay away from them.

krsnamuddisya mantrena caretpujavidhim kramat (SBM 6.26)

Lord Krishna should be established in the katha pandal inform of a small altar. Thereafter, he should worship Lord Krishna by chanting proper mantras. Name of the mantra is not given but the mantra should be for Lord Krishna, which is that mantra?

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare!

Katha has not yet started just preparations of katha are going on.

pradakshina-namaskaran pujante stutimacaret ( SBM 6.26)

There has been worship of Lord and chanting of proper mantras. Now the speaker should circumambulate the Lord and offer his obeisance’s to the Lord.

stutih prasannacittenam kartavya kevalam tada(SBM 6.29)
srimadbhagavatakhyo ’yam pratyaksah krsna eva hi (SBM 6.30)

He should cheerfully praise the Lord and offer the following prayer: “O Lord Krishna, You are directly the Shrimad Bhagavatam. Srimad Bhagavatam is Lord Himself. Srimad Bhagavat is vangamayamurti of the Lord.

svikrto ’si maya natha muktyartha bhavasagare (SBM 6.30)

“O most merciful Lord, O Bhagavatam I am drowning in the ocean of this material world. Please accept me, I have surrendered to you Oh Natha. Please deliver me from this world.” So here Bhagavat is addressed as Natha. It’s also important to remember Sukhdev Goswami, so the four Kumars say,

sukarupaprabodhana sarvasastra-visarada (SBM 6.33)

Thereafter, the host should worship the speaker, give him nice cloth, and offer the following prayer, “You are the personification of Sukadeva and are expert in explaining the meaning of Shrimad Bhagavatam. Remembering Sukhdev Goswami, prayers should be offered to him.

etatkathaprakasena madajnanam vinasaya (SBM 6.33)

Let the light of knowledge enlighten our hearts, please reveal the knowledge of Bhagvatam to us and dispel our ignorance.

om ajnana timirandhasya jnananjana salakaya caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri gurave namah

So our adiguru is Sukhdev Goswami, so we pray to him. With the torchlight of knowledge please open my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance. And establish knowledge in place of ignorance. And what is knowledge?

bahunam janmanam ante
jnanavan mam prapadyate

sa mahatma su-durlabhah (BG 7.19)

So once we have knowledge we will surrender unto to Lord. And how much knowledge you should have?

vasudevah sarvam iti

Vasudev Hari..Vasudev Hari…Vasudev Hari…Vasudev is all in all. Lord Himself has said in Bhagvat-gita. When there is katha, we have kirtan and when we hear katha we remember the Lord. Sravanam and then Smaranam. Then after sravan and smaran there should be chintan that’s contemplation on what we have heard. So after hearing katha if we keep remembering the katha that’s called chintan or manan. Meaning giving a deep thought.

So manan is very important , then only one can get the best results or desired goal. After hearing katha we should learn to give katha. We all should try to become katha speakers. Otherwise there is no entry in Vaikuntha. What does the devotees of Vaikuntha and Golok do? They only do,

srnvanti gayanti grnanti sadhavah

They do sravan and kirtan. What does the Gopis do? What does the cowherd boys do? What does Yasoda and Nanda baba do? They only do katha and kirtan. “hata may kam mukha may nama” meaning by hands they work and by theirs mouths they are always chanting the glories of the Lord. Yasoda also while churning butter she is singing glories of Lord Krishna. So entry in Vaikuntha is only for those who are busy in “kirtaniya sada hari.” So we need to practice and learn it. We need to change our habits.

kathacittah suddhamatih sa labhetphalamuttamam (SBM6.37)

Those who hear the katha attentively, with great faith and a pure mind, will receive the highest benefit. It’s also said that the kathavrutis should stay away from whom? Lust, pride, greed, envy, anger, illusion, hypocrisy and so on. This is the most difficult work. But it’s possible with the help of katha.

mam eva ye prapadyantemayam etan taranti te

This all maya, “kama,krodha,lobha, moha, mada and matsarya”. But if you take shelter of katha and get fully absorbed in katha then it’s possible. Then we can be saved from them. Kathavrutis should also avoid criticizing or hearing criticism of the Vedas, Vaishnavas, brahmanas, the guru, women, the king, great personalities, or those who render service to the cow. Is anyone left? Then whom will you criticize? There should be someone but here full list has been mentioned, nobody is left. Then what should be done?

satyam saucam dayam maunam arjavam vinayam tatha
udara-manasam tadvat evam kuryat kathavrati (SBM 6.50)

Maunam means one should not talk about mudane topics he can do lots of katha and kirtan. Udara-manasam, he should be udar that is generous.

udarcaritanam tu vasudhaivkutumbakam

We all our family (addressing to the devotees in the yatra) how many members are there in our family? They may not be 88,000. In Naimisharanya when Suta Goswami was reciting katha how many rishis were there? 88,000. We all may not be so much but one thousand may be there. So such a big is our family.

‘he vishwachimaze ghar’ (marathi)

The whole world is my own family. This is a higher thought; this is also stated in Bhagavatam. Highly
realized persons, saints, devotees think in this way. So during katha you all should practice to bring such
high thoughts.

Gaura Premanande hari haribol.

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