“Radha and Krishna, the divine couple, together manifest Bhagavata Purana. The message of Vrindavana is the message of Bhagavata. The message of Vrindavana is Bhakti and Seva,” said His Holiness Acharya Shrivatsa Goswamiji, Jai Singh Ghera, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, who was the Chief Guest at the inaugural ceremony of the national conference on Bhagavatam being held at ISKCON Bangalore from June 14 to 18.
The five-day event “Message of Bhagavata” is being hosted by ISKCON Bangalore in association with Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bengaluru in an effort to disseminate the ancient timeless wisdom embedded in the celebrated Srimad-Bhagavata Purana.
The national conferences hosted by these institutions in the earlier four years focussed on the Vedas, Upanishads, Mahapuranas and Mahakavyas.
Speaking on the glories of bhakti, His Holiness said, “The glory of Vrindavana is not due to Radha and Krishna, but it is due to the bhakti which is dancing on this land. Bhakti was born in Dravida land and she grew up in Karnataka. Sri Rupa, Sanatana and Jiva (the Goswamis who were great devotees of Sri Krishna and lived in Vrindavana) were from Karnataka.”
The ceremony began with an invocation by the children of Sandipani Gurukula whose fluent and harmonious recital of Sanskrit verses from the Gajendra Moksha episode in Bhagavatam earned appreciation from the audience.
Pujya Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji, Avadhoota Datta Peetham, Mysuru inaugurated the event. Delivering the benedictory address, he said, “There is stress on bhakti, jnana and vairagya in Bhagavata through which one can attain liberation. We are all puppets of Sri Krishna and everything happens according to His will. Sri Krishna is our sole guru, no one else. He is the real Jagadguru.”
Shatavadhani Dr. R. Ganesh, Bengaluru, in his Keynote Address presented a bird’s-eye view of the topics that are going to be discussed in the sessions spanning five days.
On this occasion, Prof. Padma Shekar, Vice Chancellor, Karnataka Sanskrit University launched the book ‘Message of Mahakavyas’ which documents the previous conference. She spoke on some of the characters of Ramayana and Mahabharata and offered a brief analysis from the perspective of what lessons we get to learn from these characters and how they represent different principles of religiosity.
His Grace Madhu Pandit Dasa, President, ISKCON Bangalore, presided over the ceremony. Speaking on the unique position of Bhagavatam, he said, “Srimad- Bhagavatam is the final writing of Vyasa. It is the complete knowledge of the Absolute Truth and it is the author’s own commentary on Vedanta Sutra. Bhagavatam is the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures,” and he explained the benefits of this literature.
Referring to the description of innumerable universes, the structure of universe and different time scales in the Bhagavatam, he said that these details have to be accepted as facts as modern science doesn’t have a clear understanding of the concepts of time and space yet. Further, he quoted a few lines from an article in a science journal which talks about the possibility of the existence of multi-universes.
Justice Dr. M. Rama Jois, Former Governor of Bihar & Jharkhand, was the Guest of Honour. He said that, “Education and religiosity have great importance in our country. The revival of Indian culture can be brought about by organizing these kinds of events.”
Three renowned scholars — Dr. Radheshyam Shukla (New Delhi), Dr. Harshdev Madhav (Ahmedabad) and Dr. D. Ramakrishna (Vijayawada) were felicitated on this occasion.
The conference will feature talks on various subjects centred on Bhagavatam by over 75 scholars and also cultural programs.