Brahma acquired the seed of the Devi Bhagavatham from Sri Maha Vishnu. He then taught it to Narada. Narada taught it to Veda Vyasa who expanded it into 12 skandhAs. This was taught to Suka Maharshi. It not only contains the essence of the Vedas and Dharmasastras as well as the essence of BrahmaVidyA., but there is enough action in it like the killing of Vritra to delight ordinary people.
Eighteen thousand S’lokas are in this Purâna. If anybody reads or bears this Purâna, fit to be praised in every way, all-auspicious, capable to increase posterity by the addition of sons and grandsons, giving long life, happiness and peace, he sees the Sun of Wisdom, resting in his breast and dispelling all darkness of ignorance.
S’ûka studied the Purâna and stayed in Vyâsa’s Âs’rama. But he was naturally dispassionate like Sanat Kumâra, etc., the mind-born sons of Brahmâ; therefore he could not get peace in studying the contents of the Purâna which deal with Karma-Kânda (actions) fit for the house-holders. He remained in a solitary place, his heart being troubled very much. He appeared, as if, with his heart void. He did not mind much for his food and he did not fast also.
Once Vyâsa Deva seeing his son S’ûkdeva so thoughtful, said :– “O Son! What do you think constantly? And why are you troubling yourself so much? Like an impoverished man, entangled in debt, you are always disturbed by your thoughts. O child! When I your father is living, what for do you care? Leave aside your inmost sorrows and be happy. Cast off all other thoughts and think of the wisdom contained in the S’âstras and try your best to acquire Vijñâna, the essence of wisdom.
When Vyasa realised that Suka was still unhappy. He advised Suka to go and meet rAjaRSi Janaka, the king of Mithila and the father of Sita Devi. Raja Janaka was a Jivan Mukta, one who was liberated tho still living in his body. He was an ocean of Dharma and Satya and an expert in yoga. Vyasa advised Suka to question Janaka on the varNAs’rama dharma.
The highly spirited Suka found this very hard to swallow. How could light and darkness co-exist in the same place? Similarly how could Janaka be a king and a RSi at the same time? How could he remain in samsâra unattached like a lotus leaf in water?
Was it some **Buddhist version of Nirvana? or some materialistic version as with the ##cArvAkas!
If he has got the sense of heat and cold, pleasure and pain, how can he be a Jivanmukta? That king is thoroughly expert in reigning his kingdom; how then the ideas of enemy, friend, taste and distaste, remaining absent in him, he can govern his state? How can he look with the same eyes a thief and an ascetic? And if he makes any distinction, how then is his liberation effected? I have never seen such a man, that is liberated while living and at the same time an expert king in governing his subjects. For these reasons, great doubt has arisen in me. I cannot understand how can the king Janaka be liberated, while he is remaining in his house? Whatever it be, I desire now greatly to see him after his Jivanmuktahood; so I desire to go to Mithilâ to solve my doubts.”
Thus ends the Sixteenth Chapter of the first Skandha on S’ûka’s desiring to go to Mithilâ to see Janaka, in the Mahâpurâna S’rîmad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses.
** Only the west considers that Buddhism started with Gauthama Kasyapa Buddha. In Hindusim, Buddhism is considered an Ancient Religion and Gautama Buddha is considered just one of the greatest proponents of Buddhism and no less than an incarnation of Vishnu himself. The Buddha Avatar we consider was designed to test the devout and divert the weaker minds away from Vedic Tradition. See 22 Avatars of Vishnu – Srimad Bhagavatam. There are strong viewpoints on either side of this : Kalahana records that Ancient Buddhists did their best to subvert Hinduism. In the Valmiki Ramayanam, Sri Rama accuses JAbAli of being a buddhist, until Vasishta steps in to calm the debate. In all conflicts between the Buddhists and the Hindus, the mainstream west supports the Buddhist view over the Hindu view. However there are some very strong individual supporters of the Hindu side also in the west., so we cannot tar all with the same brush. Similarly, there are some Macaulayed Indians who also hold the mainstream western view.**
##While the Buddhists were agnostics initially., the Charvakas were considered atheists.##
Sri Krishnarpanam. Please Read : Tat Tvam Asi
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