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Catuh-sloki Lectures

The Bhagavata depicts Brahma in search of his source at the dawn of creation. In answer to his soul searching, Brahma hears a mandate in the form of two Sanskrit syllables that represent the essence of meaningful life: ta and patapa.  The Sanskrit word tapa implies “heating”; here it refers to the fire of self-sacrifice—a life of devotion. It is by the fire of self-sacrifice that one moves forward in this world, for if there is anything to gain in this world it is to be found in the act of giving. Give and grow; give and know; give and live a life worth living. And if we are to give comprehensively, we must do so without motive, while directing our giving to the center, by which the circumference and all within its circle will be served. Following this directive, Brahma proceeded to meditate on these two syllables. He sat in meditation for years on end and eventually, the center of all sacrifice personified, Sri Krishna, appeared within his heart. At that time, Brahma asked Krishna four questions: two concerning sambandha (a conceptual orientation to Krishna bhakti), one concerning prayojana (the goal of bhakti-sadhana), and one concerning abhideya (the performance of bhakti):

  • What is the nature of your form in all respects? (sambandha)
  • How do your various energies interact? (sambandha)
  • What is the nature of your lila filled with prema for you? (prayojana)
  • How can I attain you? (abhideya)

Sri Krishna replied to Brahma’s questions in six verses, two of which preface and explain the four essential verses that follow. These four essential verses answer Brahma in the order of his questions and thus deal with sambandbhaprayojana, and abhideya, in this order. 

Excerpt from
Approaching the Catuh-Sloki of the Srimad-Bhagavatam

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  1. 080412 Catuh-sloki of the Bhagavatam: Class 1
  2. 080419a Catuh-sloki of the Bhagavatam: Class 2
  3. 080419b Catuh-sloki of the Bhagavatam: Class 3
  4. 080502 Catuh-sloki of the Bhagavatam: Class 5
  5. 080505 Catuh-sloki of the Bhagavatam: Class 6
  6. 121207 Catuh-sloki of the Bhagavatam: Introduction
  7. 121208 Catuh-sloki of the Bhagavatam: Brahma Begins Questioning
  8. 121211 Catuh-sloki of the Bhagavatam: Brahma Asks About Krishna's Shaktis and Lila
  9. 121217 Catuh-sloki of the Bhagavatam: Brahma Asks Krishna How to Attain Him
  10. 121219 Catuh-sloki of the Bhagavatam: Verse 1, Krishna Gives Brahma the Means to Attain Him
  11. 121221. Catuh-sloki of the Bhagavatam: Verse 2, Krishna Grants Brahma Complete Realization
  12. 121224 Catuh-sloki of the Bhagavatam: Verse 3, Krishna Alone Exists in the Past, Present and Future
  13. 121226. Catuh-sloki of the Bhagavatam: Verse 2, Anything Unrelated to Krishna Is Unreal
  14. 121231 Catuh-sloki of the Bhagavatam: Verse 3, Krishna Explains Prema to Brahma
  15. 130104 Catuh-sloki of the Bhagavatam: Verse 4, Krishna Advocates Raganuga-sadhana
  16. 130107 Catuh-sloki of the Bhagavatam: Krishna Blesses Brahma with Humility

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