The Time of the Sages film brings together the insights of prominent scholars, researchers and spiritual leaders who have dedicated themselves to the study and culture of this sacred text which is dated no later than the first half of the sixth century. The film explores the topics of the self, existence, creation, liberation from material existence, devotion, and the cultivation of a personal relationship with the divine through the Bhagavata Purana’s rich tales.
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In previous chapters Krishna has explained how to develop control of the mind as an essential feature of yoga practice. Now he elaborates this theme with special attention to the yogī’s preparation for death. He also speaks about the destination of the successful yogī, having clarified for Arjuna (near the end of Chapter 6) that a yogī who has not perfected yoga practice has nothing to fear, since he or she will be able to resume practice in the next life.
Formalized by the tenth century, the expansive Bhagavata Purana resists easy categorization. While the narrative holds together as a coherent literary work, its language and expression compete with the best of Sanskrit poetry. This annotated translation and detailed analysis shows how one text can have such enduring appeal. Key selections from the Bhagavata Purana are faithfully translated, while all remaining sections of the Purana are concisely summarized, providing the reader with a continuous and comprehensive narrative. Detailed endnotes explain unfamiliar concepts and several essays elucidate the rich philosophical and religious debates found in the Sanskrit commentaries.
O Master at whose feet all masters sit, O Śrīla Prabhupāda, here is one of your students—by no means a master—bowing at your feet and begging to remain seated there, among my many masters, your followers.
It has been fifty years since you officially established your mission in the form of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. This year we celebrate a half-century of your enduring mission, and I pray to always have a place in your Society for the remainder of my life and beyond.
This chapter turns to an elaboration on the nature of this transcendent person, bhagavān, whom Krishna identifies as himself. It is extremely rare for a human being to know this supreme being, but Krishna offers some ways one can appreciate his presence in the temporal world. First, he identifies all the physical and subtle “elements”—from earth to the sense of oneself being an independent doer (ahaṁkara)—as his “separate nature”. Krishna then identifies all living beings as constituting his “superior nature” (7.4-5).