Smara Re Bhagavatam
Smara Re Bhagavatam has been curated to bring to the listeners, the bliss of Bhagavatam with the sweetness of Madhurageethams. Madhurageethams are Divine Compositions by HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji. These kirtans have been matched with slokas from Srimad Bhagavatam, taking us through the story line from the 1st canto upto the 12th canto. Musicians, dancers, rhetoricians and artists from around the world have come together to bring to you this most unique compilation of 108 kirtans.
1. Bhagyavasathal: https://youtu.be/dGp0rKpNpk4
We begin this series with Guru Vandanam, offering salutations to the Lotus Feet of Guru Maharaj. Guru – the sole refuge for all, is God Himself, who has taken a human form out of compassion. Out of causeless mercy and love, He showers Grace on all. He is the brilliant sun who dispels the darkness of ignorance from our lives. He has come as that ray of hope in this Kali Yuga, to bestow Nama to us, as the simplest and sweetest way to attain Bhagavan. He sanctifies this earth by being immersed every single second in the bliss of Nama Sankirtan, Srimad Bhagavatam and Yugala Pooja.
We offer our Pranams to the all-compassionate Guru who is our only solace in this world, beseeching Him to bestow all auspiciousness, satsanga, Nama ruchi and Guru bhakti on all of us.
2. Bhagavatam Pathatha: https://youtu.be/m1wOzlUuREg
To guide each and everyone of us in the path of Sanathana Dharma, we have been blessed with Itihasas and Puranas too, apart from Vedas. Among all puranas, Srimad Bhagavatam, bestowed by Sri Veda Vyasa Maharishi, and told by Sri Shuka Maharishi, is considered the most glorious. Srimad Bhagavatam not only wipes away all sorrows of this material world, but is also the easiest path towards moksha (liberation). Srimad Bhagavatam teaches us Bhagavata Dharma and Nama Kirtan, the only hope for us in Kaliyuga. Srimad Bhagavatam is the means to completely eliminate the daunting fears of this material world. In Srimad Bhagavatha Mahatmyam, Sanath Kumaras tell Sage Narada, ‘Every home where Srimad Bhagavatam is recited everyday transforms into a holy kshetra, redeeming its residents of all sins. Those who desire to attain the Supreme state, should attempt to chant one verse, or at least part of a verse from Srimad Bhagavatam.’
Sri Swamiji, in this kirtan wishes for Srimad Bhagavatam to be celebrated in every home, to be worshipped every day to be fondly remembered every moment and salutations offered to Bhagavan with every verse chanted.
3. Srimad Bhagavatam Swayam Harireva: https://youtu.be/NmjRJtwEWDU
When Bhagavan Sri Krishna decides to leave from bhooloka, Uddhava, the dearest devotee of Bhagavan is unable to accept the physical separation from His Lord. Uddhava pleads “Hey Prabho! I beseech you to consider the plight of your devotees after your disappearance. Who will they hold on to on this earth? Where will they run to for shelter?” Bhagavan, pondered on this request from Uddhava and merged into Srimad Bhagavatam with His Beloved Queen, Radha Rani. Bhagavan proclaimed to Uddhava, that Srimad Bhagavatam is Bhagavan Himself. Srimad Bhagavatam was narrated by Sri Shuka Muni out of immense compassion to redeem those in Kaliyuga, of all sins. Srimad Bhagavatam shines brightest amidst all puranas. The holy scripture imparts jnana (wisdom), vairagya (dispassion) and bhakti (devotion) to those who read with shraddha (sincerity).
Celebrated by Mahatmas, every single canto, every single chapter and every single verse of this sacred grantha repeatedly emphasizes the glory of satsanga, nama kirtan, Bhagavatha Dharma and the unconditional love that Bhagavan has for His bhaktas.
4. Kadhai Kelu Kadhai Kelu: https://youtu.be/RAcZvso1ByU
Among the nine ways in which one can practice bhakti according to Prahlada Maharaja, Shravanam – to listen – is listed first. Sri Swamiji says, it is out of great compassion that shravanam has been shown as a path to attain God. Listening to the Glory of Bhagavan, His Leelas and His Gunas, is the most effortless path to pursue. Other ways of bhakti, such as singing, performing Poojas, offering prostrations, would require some effort. But listening is undemanding. In fact, our ears do not even require the slightest trouble of opening or shutting, like the lids of our eyes do. In this kirtan, Sri Swamiji gently invokes us to listen to Bhagavath Katha. The song tells us that the purpose of Bhagavan’s incarnations, is to live amidst mankind, to inspire and to allow them to imbibe all the great qualities He embodies. Sri Swamiji extols the virtues of listening to the glories of Bhagavan, and sings about paying careful attention to Mahatmas and Sadhus who expound Hari katha with bhakti and dispassion.
Srimad Bhagavatam begins with an assemblage of Maharishis, gathered at Naimisharanyam to perform a yajna, requesting Sri Suta to expound Srimad Bhagavatam to them. It is in fact said that the yajna was only a pretext to gather, while the actual intention was to listen to Hari Katha from a great exponent.
5. Vyasarai Thudhithiduvom: https://youtu.be/wGrxLGlZqXY
Born to blessed parents Sri Parasara Maharishi and Sri Satyavati; the great grandson of Sage Vasishta, Sri Veda Vyasa is an incarnation of Lord Narayana Himself. Sri Veda Vyasa Maharishi – the benevolent sage who chronicled Srimad Bhagavatam is renowned as the compiler of the Vedas, Brahma Sutras, Upanishads, Puranas, Mahabharata. ‘Vyaasocchishtam jagat sarvam’ – all that we know of our scriptures and epics today is left to us by the great Sri Veda Vyasa. Despite having compiled all of these great works, Sri Vyasa felt unsettled and dissatisfied. He contemplates on the reason for his discontentment and wonders whether it arose from the fact that, despite all of his works, there was a group of people that were left unserved. His concern was regarding us, the people of Kali Yuga. All of His works till then spoke of many paths full of tough norms and rigid practices to reach Bhagavan, but none spoke of the path of Bhakti in detail. Bhakti – Devotion – which would be the simplest and most universal path for all. After His meeting with Sage Narada, who initiated him to give a divine present for the present era, He blessed the 18000 slokas of Srimad Bhagavatam, that talk about the glory of Bhagavan’s leelas and Bhagavata Dharma, and passed on this crown jewel of all Puranas, Srimad Bhagavatam to His son, Sri Shukha. Sri Shuka’s narration of it to King Parikshit, is what we read today. We offer our obeisance to the great Vyasa Bhagavan!
6. Naradarai Panindiduvom: https://youtu.be/OdiuARp7w9U
Sage Narada is the son of Sri Brahma. Forever singing the divine names of Bhagavan as he plays his Tumburu Veena, he leads us to God by showing and practising the path of Bhagavata Dharma. He has the boon to freely transit between all three lokas. While it was the all-compassionate Sri Veda Vyasa who gave us Srimad Bhagavatam to elucidate the simple and sweet path of Bhagavatha Dharma, it was Sage Narada who urged Sri Veda Vyasa to bless the world with this Mahapurana. He humbly entreated Sri Veda Vyasa to keep in mind the people of Kali Yuga, who will be trapped in the clutches of samsara, and grant them a Grantha that advises a sure path, one that certainly takes us to the Supreme, yet one that is without any norms or rules to attain Bhagavan. Sage Narada who has given us the bhakti sutras, is the embodiment of Bhakti. Time and again, we observe in our scriptures that Sage Narada, out of infinite grace and kindness, is present right at that very moment when a devotee sincerely seeks God. It is He, who initiated by Bhakti Devi, performed Srimad Bhagavatha Sapthaha Yajnam in bhooloka at the banks of the River Ganga, because of which millions of sapthahams are performed by bhaktas all through the year till this date. Hence, in this kirtan, Sri Swamiji asks us to join Him in offering prostrations to the great Sage Narada to bestow us with bhakti.
7. Un Kripayindri: https://youtu.be/9aC9LssEOIA
Sri Suta begins his narration of Srimad Bhagavatam with the state of affairs around the end of the Mahabharata war at Kurukshetra. The Pandavas look up to Bhagavan with hearts filled with gratitude. They know it was because of Bhagavan Sri Krishna’s causeless mercy and steadfastness that they were victorious in war. Sri Dronacharaya’s son Ashwatthama, after having been humiliated by Arjuna, releases the Brahmastra to bring an end to the entire Pandava clan. This powerful weapon rushed towards the womb of pregnant Utthara, the wife of Abhimanyu. Utthara surrendered to Lord Krishna, seeking His protection. Bhagavan protected the child in her womb, and the entire Pandava clan from the Brahmastra. In deep gratitude following this. The blessed Mother of the Pandavas and Bhagavan Sri Krishna’s aunt, Kunti Devi, sings Bhagavan’s praise. She recounts the innumerable occasions when Bhagavan had come to deliver them from the several dangers that befell. Bhagavan did not hesitate even for a moment. He immediately assumed full responsibility to protect them all as He knew they were holding on to Him with complete trust and total surrender. Kunti Devi says, everything that has happened – both happiness and sorrow, good and bad, is solely Bhagavan’s Krupa. She in fact goes on to say, having experienced the warmth of Bhagavan’s embrace during difficult times and having been sheltered under the armour of His Grace, she wishes for more troubles to come to them so they may be able to experience that love again and again.
8. Bhishma Pitamaham Pranamami : https://youtu.be/EIBJau-qEdo
Sri Bhishmacharya, who had to take the side of Kauravas due to a vow, lay defeated in a bed of arrows at the battlefield. The Great Bhishma Pitamaha always stood by dharma, and even as he was lying in his death-bed, he gave profound instructions to Yudhishthira on statecraft and responsibilities of a king. When asked what in his opinion is the greatest dharma, what is the japa that a living being should do to be free from the shackles of samsara, Sri Bhishmacharya, bestowed the Vishnu Sahasranama, declaring that chanting the Divine Names of Lord Vishnu is the way to free oneself from material bondage. Bhishmacharya, who was blessed with the boon to choose his time of death, decides to leave his mortal coil when Bhagavan was by his side, with His eyes fixed on Bhagavan Sri Krishna, singing His praise till His very last moment. Salutations to that great Acharya who pronounced Bhagavatha Dharma as the greatest path to God.
9. Matri Vaitha Padathil: https://youtu.be/9JiMS_lKlcs
Bhishma, the son of King Shantanu was a great Yogiswara. Bhishma was a great warrior who terrorised his opponents in the battlefield. Bhishma who had such a majestic personality, nurtured a tender affection in his heart for Lord Sri Krishna. As Sri Bhishma was about to leave his mortal coil, with his glance fixed on Bhagavan, begins to pray. Sri Swamiji in this most beautiful Madhurageetham sings this moving prayer by Bhishma who pleads for His mind to be constantly fixed on the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Bhagavan considered the sweet calves of Brindavan as his own and tended to them and protected them. Sri Swamiji prays to that cowherd boy Sri Krishna to take Him too, unto Bhagavan’s fold. Sri Swamiji is enthralled by the galvanizing eyes, mesmerizing smile, captivating charm and the countless virtues of Bhagavan; and above all, totally moved by the manner in which Bhagavan always takes the side of His devotees.
10. Un Katchi Mattume: https://youtu.be/C0Qbjo5IpHA
As Bhishmacharya’s unswerving mind begins to meditate on the most beautiful Sri Krishna, He describes Bhagavan’s delightful form. Sri Swamiji, in this Madhurageetham, sings of that enchanting form with the most beautiful words, full of rasa. He blissfully relishes Bhagavan’s dark-hued complexion, curly tresses, peacock feather adorning His head, mellifluous tunes from His Flute, the cows that never leave the proximity of His Holy Feet, the blue radiance from him that shines brilliantly across Brindavan – clad in yellow silk fabric, donning a garland made of five different flowers, sporting a mesmerising smile that lingers in the heart, may this form of my Lord alone rule my Heart.
11. Parithavitha Parikshithum: https://youtu.be/5wJh0UW5RQU
Sri Swamiji celebrates the glory of Srimad Bhagavatam in this kirtan by saying how Parikshit Maharaja attained the Supreme state by listening to Srimad Bhagavatam from Sri Shuka Maharishi.
Sri Swamiji says the stories of Bhagavan Sri Hari are unparalleled because they can bestow that Vaikunta which is difficult to attain even after years and years of intense tapas.
12. Solla Solla ParakkudhadA: https://youtu.be/ZlSOhDv_tDs
After King Parikshit was cursed that he would be bitten by a snake in seven days, he renounced his kingdom and went to the banks of Ganga to fast until death, with a sincere quest to attain Bhagavan. When the seeker’s yearning is true, Bhagavan Himself sends the Guru. Sri Shukhacharya himself came in search of Parikshit. Parikshit offered respectful obeisances to him, and explaining his predicament prayed to him to show him the way to attain Bhagavan in the time that was left. Parikshit was blessed by the all compassionate Lord, with the greatest fortune of listening to Srimad Bhagavatam from the great Sri Shukhacharya himself. When Sri Sukhacharya started narrating Srimad Bhagavatam to Parikshit, he emphasized the greatness of the Divine Names of God. He says, constantly chanting the Divine Names of Bhagavan, is the most certain, fearless and doubtless path for all – be it those who have no worldly desires, or those who have all worldly desires.
Sri Swamiji in this kirtan sings how Nama kirtan effortlessly drives all our sins away, removes all troubles from our path, bestows the greatest blessings on us, and fills us with peace and bliss.
13. Agaccha Agaccha Sajjana Sangam: https://youtu.be/KjlnCrXxAKs
In the third canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, we find the most profound teachings of Sri Kapila Vasudeva. Lord Kapila, an incarnation of Bhagavan Himself, was born to Sri Kardama Muni and Sri Devahuti to establish the saankhya marga. Extremely pleased that the Lord Himself was born to them, Kardama muni seeks Lord Kapila’s blessings to renounce and pursue his search for the Supreme. Sri Devahuti, fully aware of the Greatness of Lord Kapila, requests Him to give her spiritual instructions. Lord Kapila explains the glory of satsang to her. He says one should pray to Bhagavan for satsanga, because it is the association of sadhus that brings all goodness and prosperity. In satsanga, one listens to the stories of Bhagavan and his bhaktas, which gradually fixes one’s mind on God and helps one advance towards attaining God realization. It is in satsanga that one’s spiritual journey begins.
In this kirtan, Sri Swamiji sings about the greatness of satsanga, as he simultaneously warns us of the perils of being in the association of the evil-minded.
14. Ethunai Murai Nan: https://youtu.be/gOYS2081LJ0
As Lord Kapila Vasudeva explains various philosophies to his mother Devahuti, he very movingly describes the agony undergone by a jeeva in the mother’s womb. Pained and troubled by the microbes and body fluids that surround, the child remains trapped like a bird in a cage, without freedom of movement. At that time, the jeeva remembers all the wrongdoings and sufferings of hundreds of previous janmas, and repents. Having failed yet again to get liberated from the repeated cycle of birth and death, the child prays to Bagavan to protect from being born again. Sri Swamiji, in this Madhurageetham, sings about how all living beings who are caught in this ocean of samsara, are striving to either reach ashore or at the least, live in peace amidst this turbulent ocean. He pleads to Bhagavan to help us reach ashore by saying (saTrE) karai sErtthiDuvAy, with the word ‘satre’ signifying how this is a great ordeal when we trust our own effort, but is a child’s play for Bhagavan. He also stresses the fact that it is only by the compassion of Bhagavan, can one be relieved from this cycle.
15. Dakshinyam kuru me Dakshayani : https://youtu.be/ygJC81Unhec
The beginning of the fourth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam narrates the charitram of Dakshayani, the divine consort of Lord Shiva. Dakshayani’s father Dakshs organized a yajna to which all Gods, except Shiva, were invited. Wanting to visit her paternal home, Dakshayani, known as Sati Devi reasoned to Lord Shiva that the formality of invitation was not very necessary in a family event. Lord Shiva tried to stop her as he knew that Daksha will humiliate her, but when she was not convinced, he sent her with an escort of his attendants. Daksha was furious at her uninvited arrival and humiliated her and mocked Lord Shiva. Wanting to break all ties with her father and uphold the honour of her husband, Sati Devi celebrated the virtues of her husband and immolated herself. She later appeared as the daughter of the mountain king and married Lord Siva. Sri Swamiji beautifully sings in praise of the pure and virtuous Dakshayani.