K N Pandita
Shrimad Bhagavat Mahapurana (Urdu) hardbound, pages 654, translated by Advocate Makhan Lal Thusu Vishnupad, Price Rs 1500/- Published by the author M L Thusu, House No 1,Land 14, Rajpora, Shakti Nagar Chowk, Jammu
The Bhagavat Purana is one of the eighteen Puranas of the Hindus. It is also called Shrimad Bhagavatam or simply Bhagavatam. The main theme of the Bhagavata Purana is devotion. In the Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu avatar Shri Krishna is depicted as the God of all the gods and the Lord himself. With this, we get to see the devotion of Ras Bhavan. Traditionally, the author of Bhagavata Purana is considered to be Maharishi Ved Vyas. In the story of Bhagwat Purana, Lord Sukhdev Maharaj shows Raja Parikshit the path of devotion and leads him towards attaining salvation. In each verse of Bhagavata Purana, there is a light of love for Shri Krishna. Herein, there is a wonderful collection of inspirational anecdotes and stories with a lot of knowledge and with the elements of the following: the methods of winning divine grace, siddha-bhakti, maryada-marga (the path of modesty), duality & non-duality. Let us talk about various aspects of Bhagwat Puran and the importance of Srimad Bhagavatam Mahapuran.
Shrimad Bhagwat Purana, which is enacted on the streets and squares, enjoys the status of being a very important scripture in Hinduism. The Bhagavata Purana is the main text of the Vaishnava sect. The esoteric and mystical subjects of the Vedas, Upanishads and Philosophy are referred to in the Bhagavata Purana very simply. We can also call this great book the encyclopaedia of Indian religion and culture. For hundreds of years, this Purana has been playing an important role in establishing the religious, social and temporal limits of Hindu society. In this Purana, we get to see in detail the secrets of fruitful action, duality-non-duality, nishkama karma, devotion, grace, siddhi sadhna, knowledge sadhna, maryada, vyak- avyakt and nirguna-sagun secrets.
The description and meaning of Shrimad Bhagwat Purana is full of poetic beauty. It is an inexhaustible storehouse of knowledge. This Purana gives all kinds of welfare and calms the mind. The Bhagavata Purana is a great book of knowledge, devotion and dispassion. There are twelve skandhas in this Purana, in which only the incarnations of Vishnu are described. Sut ji has told the story of twenty-four incarnations of Shri Krishna through this Purana on the prayers of Shaunkadi sages in Naimisharanya. The divine and supernatural form of Shri Krishna has been described time and again in the Shrimad Bhagwat Purana.
Only by listening to Shrimad Bhagwat Katha, the vices of human birth are destroyed. By following it, the cosmic and spiritual development of the creatures takes place. It is believed that Bhagavata Purana has a special significance in Kaliyuga. Through its study, a human crosses the ocean of worldly sufferings. The sleeping human knowledge is awakened by the mere hearing of the Bhagwat Katha. It is said Bhagwat Katha is like a Kalpa tree for the salvation of human beings, by which all human desires can be fulfilled. The essence of the Bhagwat Katha is considered to be the source of salvation.
First of all, Raja Parikshit attained salvation by listening to the nectar words of Bhagavat. Even today, direct evidence of this can be seen in mythological texts and Puranas. By listening to the story of Shrimad Bhagwat, one attains liberation. According to the beliefs, Bhagwat is the form of Lord Vishnu in Kaliyuga. If one remembers it with a sincere heart, it becomes like the fruit of crores of virtues. It is said that even gods and goddesses yearn to listen to the Bhagwat Katha. The welfare of the creature is possible only by listening to Shrimad Bhagwat Katha. Let us have a closer look at the sections of the Bhagavata Purana.
The Bhagavata Purana containing the secret Brahma element is a virtuous Purana in various ways. Just like Ganga is for rivers, Kashi is for pilgrimages, in the same way, Bhagwat Puran is for the scriptures. This is the most respected and revered book of Hindu society. There are 12 Skandas (parts) in this Purana in which the story of 24 incarnations of Vishnu is described. In the first skandha, Bhakti yoga and dispassion are discussed. Also, there is information about the 24 incarnations of Lord Vishnu. In the 2nd section, there is about the renunciation of the body through yoga and the origin of the natural creation. Shrimad Bhagwat is centred across 10 subjects.
In Kaliyuga, the importance of listening to Bhagwat Katha has been much emphasized. Using it, we can get rid of all sorrows, pains and problems. The benefits of listening to the Bhagwat Katha are as follows. By listening to the story of Shrimad Bhagwat, one attains self-knowledge. Hearing the divine stories of the Lord, a person experiences intense compassion or love for the Supreme Lord.
By reciting the story of Shrimad Bhagwat, one’s fortune increases. By listening to the Bhagwat, a person attains superiority in the afterlife after enjoying all kinds of pleasures on earth.
Shrimad Bhagwat Katha teaches humans to live and remove the fear of death as well as liberates from Pitra Doshas.
A person who has not done any good deed in his life has always indulged in misconduct, who has always burnt in the fire of anger, who has become adulterous if that person also gets to hear the story of Bhagwat, he/she too becomes free from sins.
Those who deviate from the true path, have started hating even their parents, do not follow their religion, they too become pure if they listen to the Bhagwat Katha. Any sinful act done with the mind, speech, intellect like stealing, conspiring, making a living with the money of others, even one who kills a Brahmin, if he/she listens or recites the Bhagwat Katha with true heart, then his/her life also becomes holy.
If the story of Bhagwat is done in the name of a person who has entered the ghost-yoni after his death (because of the wrong acts that he/she has committed), then he/she, too, attains salvation by being freed from the ghostly existence. From this description of the contents one can understand the seriousness of the theme in hand. The Bhagavata was first translated into French in 1788 CE which introduced Hinduism to the western world in its entirety. There have been Hindi translations also as the original is in Sanskrit. Its translation in other regional languages of India has also been published. Existence of a Farsi translation is also reported.
Advocate Makhan Lal Thusu (Vishnupad) has undertaken an important but difficult task of translating the important text into simple Urdu for the readers who are adept in Urdu language. Translation from one language into another is generally a risky enterprise. Firstly, it presupposes the translators acumen and skill of using the necessary vocabulary from both languages, and secondly, perhaps more importantly, his ability to understand and utilise the phraseology as lucidly as he can. There is also the element of honesty involved in the task of translation.
A particular thing about the Urdu translation is that the translator has meticulously avoided using the Persianized parallels of Sanskrit words and terms, and has instead used the original Sanskrit or Hindu terms which, though not in common usage, are, nevertheless, comprehensible through frequent usage of the idiom. One can say that he has almost inadvertently enriched the Urdu vocabulary. The translator writes in the introduction that he took care that he used only “salees” meaning lucid Urdu language. I think by “salees” he means devoid of archaic and Persianized diction that we so often find in works of history and fiction in Urdu. Any reader with elementary knowledge of Sanskrit or Hindi idiom will find it an entertaining fictional history or mythological fund. He has filled the gap that Urdu-knowing people usually complained about while rummaging through the fund of ancient Hindu culture.
I have devoted the first few paragraphs to the content and background of the mythological fund so that the readers have an idea of what he or they will be reading in the nearly seven hundred pages of the book.
K N Pandita