After Hiraṇyakaśipu was killed, the Lord continued to be very angry, and the demigods, headed by Lord Brahmā, could not pacify Him. Even mother Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune, the constant companion of Nārāyaṇa, could not dare come before Lord Nṛsiṁha-deva. Then Lord Brahmā asked Prahlāda Mahārāja to go forward and pacify the Lord's anger. Prahlāda Mahārāja, being confident of the affection of his master, Lord Nṛsiṁha-deva, was not afraid at all. He very gravely appeared before the Lord's lotus feet and offered Him respectful obeisances. Lord Nṛsiṁha-deva, being very much affectionate toward Prahlāda Mahārāja, put His hand on Prahlāda's head, and because of being personally touched by the Lord, Prahlāda Mahārāja immediately achieved brahma-jñāna, spiritual knowledge. Thus he offered his prayers to the Lord in full spiritual knowledge and full devotional ecstasy. The instructions given by Prahlāda Mahārāja in the form of his prayers are as follows.
Ecstasy (SB cantos 7 - 12)
SB Canto 7
The gopīs are absorbed in such thoughts at home, although Kṛṣṇa is away from them. Similarly, when Kṛṣṇa plays with His young friends, mother Yaśodā is very much disturbed by thoughts that Kṛṣṇa, because of always playing and not taking His food properly, must be getting weak. These are examples of the exalted ecstasy felt in Kṛṣṇa's service as manifested in Vṛndāvana. This service is indirectly praised by Nārada Muni in this verse. Especially for the conditioned soul, Nārada Muni recommends that one somehow or other be absorbed in thoughts of Kṛṣṇa, for that will save one from all the dangers of material existence. Full absorption in thought of Kṛṣṇa is the highest platform of bhakti-yoga
Sometimes, upon seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Prahlāda Mahārāja would loudly call in full anxiety. He sometimes lost his shyness in jubilation and began dancing in ecstasy, and sometimes, being fully absorbed in thoughts of Kṛṣṇa, he felt oneness and imitated the pastimes of the Lord.
The first realization is impersonal Brahman, but one must go still further to realize Paramātmā and eventually the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is worshiped by the transcendental feelings of a devotee in a relationship of śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya or mādhurya. Here the feelings of Prahlāda Mahārāja were in the mellow of vātsalya, filial love and affection. As a child cries when left by his mother, when Prahlāda Mahārāja felt that the Lord was away from him he began to cry (nadati). Again, a devotee like Prahlāda sometimes sees that the Lord is coming from a long distance to pacify him, like a mother responding to a child, saying, "My dear child, do not cry. I am coming." Then the devotee, without being ashamed due to his surroundings and circumstances, begins to dance, thinking, "Here is my Lord! My Lord is coming!" Thus the devotee, in full ecstasy, sometimes imitates the pastimes of the Lord, just as the cowherd boys used to imitate the behavior of the jungle animals. However, he does not actually become the Lord. Prahlāda Mahārāja achieved the spiritual ecstasies described herein by his advancement in spiritual understanding.
When a devotee feels separation from the Lord, he becomes eager to see where the Lord is, and sometimes when he feels pangs of separation, tears flow incessantly from his half-closed eyes. As stated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in His Śikṣāṣṭaka, yugāyitaṁ nimeṣeṇa cakṣuṣā prāvṛṣāyitam. The words cakṣuṣā prāvṛṣāyitam refer to tears falling incessantly from the devotee's eyes. These symptoms, which appear in pure devotional ecstasy, were visible in the body of Prahlāda Mahārāja.
Because of his association with perfect, unalloyed devotees who had nothing to do with anything material, Prahlāda Mahārāja constantly engaged in the service of the Lord's lotus feet. By seeing his bodily features when he was in perfect ecstasy, persons very poor in spiritual understanding became purified. In other words, Prahlāda Mahārāja bestowed upon them transcendental bliss.
As mentioned in verses thirty and thirty-one, one's first duty is to approach the spiritual master, the representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to begin rendering service to him. Prahlāda Mahārāja proposed that from the very beginning of life (kaumāra ācaret prājñaḥ) a small child should be trained to serve the spiritual master while living at the guru-kula. Brahmacārī guru-kule vasan dānto guror hitam (SB 7.12.1). This is the beginning of spiritual life. Guru-pādāśrayaḥ, sādhu-vartmānuvartanam, sad-dharma-pṛcchā. By following the instructions of the guru and the śāstras, the disciple attains the stage of devotional service and becomes unattached to possessions. Whatever he possesses he offers to the spiritual master, the guru, who engages him in śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ (SB 7.5.23). The disciple follows strictly and in this way learns how to control his senses. Then, by using his pure intelligence, he gradually becomes a lover of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as confirmed by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī (ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgaḥ). In this way one's life becomes perfect, and his attachment for Kṛṣṇa becomes positively manifested. In that stage, he is situated in ecstasy, experiencing bhāva and anubhāva, as explained in the following verse.
When one chants the holy name of the Lord in ecstasy, not caring for outward social conventions, it is to be understood that he is ātma-mati. In other words, his consciousness is turned toward the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
By the touch of Lord Nṛsiṁha-deva's hand on Prahlāda Mahārāja's head, Prahlāda was completely freed of all material contaminations and desires, as if he had been thoroughly cleansed. Therefore he at once became transcendentally situated, and all the symptoms of ecstasy became manifest in his body. His heart filled with love, and his eyes with tears, and thus he was able to completely capture the lotus feet of the Lord within the core of his heart.
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, the best member of the Bhārata dynasty, thus learned everything from the descriptions of Nārada Muni. After hearing these instructions, he felt great pleasure from within his heart, and in great ecstasy, love and affection, he worshiped Lord Kṛṣṇa.
It is natural that when someone belonging to one's family circle is understood to be very great, one becomes ecstatic in love, thinking, "Oh, such a great personality is our relative!" When Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who was already known to the Pāṇḍavas, was further described by Nārada Muni to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead, naturally the Pāṇḍavas were amazed, thinking, "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is with us as our cousin!" Certainly their ecstasy was extraordinary.
SB Canto 8
Unless one is a completely pure devotee, one cannot enjoy the transcendental bliss derived from chanting and dancing in the ecstasy of the saṅkīrtana movement. Such ecstasy is not possible for an ordinary devotee. Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu showed us how one can enjoy transcendental bliss simply by chanting, hearing and dancing in ecstasy. This is bhakti-yoga. Therefore the King of the elephants, Gajendra, said, ādhyātmika-yoga-gamyam, indicating that unless one is situated on this transcendental platform, one cannot approach the Supreme Lord. The benediction of being able to approach the Lord can be achieved after many, many births, yet Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has awarded this benediction to everyone, even to the fallen souls who have no heritage of anything in spiritual life. That is actually being seen in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Therefore the path of bhakti-yoga is the spotless process by which to approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Bhaktyāham ekayā grāhyaḥ: only through devotional service can one approach the Supreme Lord.
The King of the elephants was so very eager to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead that when he saw the Lord coming in the sky, with great pain and in a feeble voice he offered respect to the Lord. A devotee does not consider a dangerous position to be dangerous, for in such a dangerous position he can fervently pray to the Lord in great ecstasy. Thus a devotee regards danger as a good opportunity. Tat te'nukampāṁ susamīkṣamāṇaḥ. When a devotee is in great danger, he sees that danger to be the great mercy of the Lord because it is an opportunity to think of the Lord very sincerely and with undiverted attention. Tat te 'nukampāṁ susamīkṣamāṇo bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam (SB 10.14.8). He does not accuse the Supreme Personality of Godhead for having let His devotee fall into such a dangerous condition. Rather, he considers that dangerous condition to be due to his past misdeeds and takes it as an opportunity to pray to the Lord and offer thanks for having been given such an opportunity. When a devotee lives in this way, his salvation—his going back home, back to Godhead—is guaranteed. We can see this to be true from the example of Gajendra, who anxiously prayed to the Lord and thus received an immediate chance to return home, back to Godhead.
Indradyumna Mahārāja retired from family life and went to the Malaya Hills, where he had a small cottage for his āśrama. He wore matted locks on his head and always engaged in austerities. Once, while observing a vow of silence, he was fully engaged in the worship of the Lord and absorbed in the ecstasy of love of Godhead.
Aditi stood silently with folded hands, unable to offer prayers to the Lord. Because of transcendental bliss, tears filled her eyes, and the hairs on her body stood on end. Because she could see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face, she felt ecstasy, and her body trembled.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: When the supreme, ancient, eternal Personality of Godhead had thus spoken to Bali Mahārāja, who is universally accepted as a pure devotee of the Lord and therefore a great soul, Bali Mahārāja, his eyes filled with tears, his hands folded and his voice faltering in devotional ecstasy, responded as follows.
SB Canto 9
When Lord Bharata understood that Lord Rāmacandra was returning to the capital, Ayodhyā, He immediately took upon His own head Lord Rāmacandra's wooden shoes and came out from His camp at Nandigrāma. Lord Bharata was accompanied by ministers, priests and other respectable citizens, by professional musicians vibrating pleasing musical sounds, and by learned brāhmaṇas loudly chanting Vedic hymns. Following in the procession were chariots drawn by beautiful horses with harnesses of golden rope. These chariots were decorated by flags with golden embroidery and by other flags of various sizes and patterns. There were soldiers bedecked with golden armor, servants bearing betel nut, and many well-known and beautiful prostitutes. Many servants followed on foot, bearing an umbrella, whisks, different grades of precious jewels, and other paraphernalia befitting a royal reception. Accompanied in this way, Lord Bharata, His heart softened in ecstasy and His eyes full of tears, approached Lord Rāmacandra and fell at His lotus feet with great ecstatic love.
Having been cursed by Mitra and Varuṇa, the celestial woman Urvaśī had acquired the habits of a human being. Therefore, upon seeing Purūravā, the best of males, whose beauty resembled that of Cupid, she controlled herself and then approached him. When King Purūravā saw Urvaśī, his eyes became jubilant in the ecstasy of joy, and the hairs on his body stood on end. With mild, pleasing words, he spoke to her as follows.
The real purpose of Kṛṣṇa's appearance, however, was to manifest how one can take part in loving affairs with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Reciprocations of loving affairs in ecstasy are possible only in Vṛndāvana. Therefore just after His appearance as the son of Vasudeva, the Lord immediately left for Vṛndāvana. In Vṛndāvana, the Lord not only took part in loving affairs with His father and mother, the gopīs and the cowherd boys, but also gave liberation to many demons by killing them. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (4.8), paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām: the Lord appears in order to protect the devotees and kill the demons. This was fully exhibited by His personal behavior. In Bhagavad-gītā the Lord is understood by Arjuna to be puruṣaṁ śāśvataṁ divyam—the eternal, transcendental Supreme Person. Here also we find the words utpādya teṣu puruṣaḥ. Therefore it is to be concluded that the Absolute Truth is puruṣa, a person. The impersonal feature is but one of the features of His personality. Ultimately, He is a person; He is not impersonal. And not only is He puruṣa, a person, but He is the līlā-puruṣottama, the best of all persons.
SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13
Once when the entire world was overburdened by the increasing military power of demons in the form of kings, mother earth assumed the shape of a cow and approached Lord Brahmā for relief. Sympathetic to mother earth's lamentation, Brahmā, accompanied by Lord Śiva and other demigods, took the cow-shaped mother earth to the shore of the milk ocean, where he offered prayers to please Lord Viṣṇu, who lay there on an island in transcendental ecstasy. Brahmā thereafter understood the advice of Mahā-viṣṇu, who informed him that He would appear on the surface of the earth to mitigate the burden created by the demons. The demigods, along with their wives, should appear there as associates of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the family of Yadu to increase the sons and grandsons in that dynasty. By the will of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Anantadeva would appear first, as Balarāma, and Kṛṣṇa's potency, yogamāyā, would also appear. Brahmā informed mother earth about all this, and then he returned to his own abode.
When mother Yaśodā and Rohiṇī were unable to protect the babies from calamities threatened by horned cows, by fire, by animals with claws and teeth such as monkeys, dogs and cats, and by thorns, swords and other weapons on the ground, they were always in anxiety, and their household engagements were disturbed. At that time, they were fully equipoised in the transcendental ecstasy known as the distress of maternal affection, for this was aroused within their minds.
Kṛṣṇa presented Himself as an innocent child to increase the transcendental ecstasy of maternal affection. As described in the śāstra, tāḍana-bhayān mithyoktir vātsalya-rasa-poṣikā. This means that sometimes a small child speaks lies. For example, he may have stolen something or eaten something and yet deny that he has done so. We ordinarily see this in the material world, but in relation to Kṛṣṇa it is different; such activities are meant to endow the devotee with transcendental ecstasy. The Supreme Personality of Godhead was playing as a liar and accusing all the other devotees of being liars. As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.12.11), kṛta-puṇya-puñjāḥ: a devotee may attain such an ecstatic position after many, many births of devotional service. Persons who have amassed the results of a vast amount of pious activities can attain the stage of associating with Kṛṣṇa and playing with Him like ordinary playmates. One should not consider these transactions of transcendental service to be untruthful accusations.
Without disturbing the ecstasy of His mother's affection, Kṛṣṇa opened His mouth and displayed His own natural opulences. When a person is given varieties of food, there may be a hundred and one varieties, but if one likes ordinary śāka, spinach, he prefers to eat that. Similarly, although Kṛṣṇa was full of opulences, now, by the order of mother Yaśodā, He opened wide His mouth like a human child and did not neglect the transcendental humor of maternal affection.
Then he advances further to study the Upaniṣads and gain brahma jñāna, impersonal realization of the Absolute Truth, and then he advances still further, to sāṅkhya-yoga, in order to understand the supreme controller, who is indicated in Bhagavad-gītā (paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān/puruṣaṁ śāśvatam (BG 10.12)). When one understands that puruṣa, the supreme controller, to be Paramātmā, one is engaged in the method of yoga (dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ (SB 12.13.1)). But mother Yaśodā has surpassed all these stages. She has come to the platform of loving Kṛṣṇa as her beloved child, and therefore she is accepted to be on the highest stage of spiritual realization. The Absolute Truth is realized in three features (brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate (SB 1.2.11)), but she is in such ecstasy that she does not care to understand what is Brahman, what is Paramātmā or what is Bhagavān. Bhagavān has personally descended to become her beloved child. Therefore there is no comparison to mother Yaśodā's good fortune, as declared by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu (ramyā kācid upāsanā vrajavadhū-vargeṇa yā kalpitā). The Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, may be realized in different stages.
Although when the Supreme Personality of Godhead stole the butter, curd and milk of the neighboring gopas and gopīs this teasing superficially seemed troublesome, in fact it was an exchange of affection in the ecstasy of devotional service. The more the gopas and gopīs exchanged feelings with the Lord, the more their devotional service increased. Sometimes we may superficially see that a devotee is in difficulty because of being engaged in devotional service, but the fact is different. When a devotee suffers for Kṛṣṇa, that suffering is transcendental enjoyment. Unless one becomes a devotee, this cannot be understood. When Kṛṣṇa exhibited His childhood pastimes, not only did Nanda Mahārāja and Yaśodā increase their devotional affection, but those in their association also increased in devotional service. In other words, persons who follow the activities of Vṛndāvana will also develop devotional service in the highest perfection.
Unless one is very advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one cannot stick to hearing the pastimes of the Lord constantly. Nityaṁ nava-navāya-mānam: even though advanced devotees hear continually about the Lord for years, they still feel that these topics are coming to them as newer and fresher. Therefore such devotees cannot give up hearing of the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa. premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti. The word santaḥ is used to refer to persons who have developed love for Kṛṣṇa. Yaṁ śyāmasundaram acintya-guṇa-svarūpaṁ govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi (Bs. 5.38). Parīkṣit Mahārāja, therefore, is addressed as bhāgavatottama, the best of devotees, because unless one is very much elevated in devotional service, one cannot feel ecstasy from hearing more and more and appreciate the topics as ever fresher and newer.
Lord Brahmā bowed down like a stick, and because Lord Brahmā's complexion is golden, he appeared to be like a golden stick lying down before Lord Kṛṣṇa. When one falls down before a superior just like a stick, one's offering of obeisances is called daṇḍavat. Daṇḍa means "stick," and vat means "like." It is not that one should simply say, "daṇḍavat." Rather, one must fall down. Thus Brahmā fell down, touching his foreheads to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, and his crying in ecstasy is to be regarded as an abhiṣeka bathing ceremony of Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet.
"Let others study the Vedas, smṛti and Mahābhārata, fearing material existence, but I shall worship Nanda Mahārāja, in whose courtyard is crawling the Supreme Brahman. Nanda Mahārāja is so great that the Para-brahman is crawling in his yard, and therefore I shall worship him." (Padyāvalī 126)
Brahmā was falling down in ecstasy. Because of the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who exactly resembled a human child, Brahmā was naturally astonished. Therefore with a faltering voice he offered prayers, understanding that here was the Supreme Person.
SB Cantos 10.14 to 12 (Translations Only)
Sometimes the honeybees in Vṛndāvana became so mad with ecstasy that they closed their eyes and began to sing. Lord Kṛṣṇa, moving along the forest path with His cowherd boyfriends and Baladeva, would then respond to the bees by imitating their singing while His friends sang about His pastimes. Sometimes Lord Kṛṣṇa would imitate the chattering of a parrot, sometimes, with a sweet voice, the call of a cuckoo, and sometimes the cooing of swans. Sometimes He vigorously imitated the dancing of a peacock, making His cowherd boyfriends laugh. Sometimes, with a voice as deep as the rumbling of clouds, He would call out with great affection the names of the animals who had wandered far from the herd, thus enchanting the cows and the cowherd boys.
My dear friends, as Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma pass through the forest with Their cowherd friends, leading Their cows, They carry ropes to bind the cows' rear legs at the time of milking. When Lord Kṛṣṇa plays on His flute, the sweet music causes the moving living entities to become stunned and the nonmoving trees to tremble with ecstasy. These things are certainly very wonderful.
For those gopīs who could not go to see Kṛṣṇa, intolerable separation from their beloved caused an intense agony that burned away all impious karma. By meditating upon Him they realized His embrace, and the ecstasy they then felt exhausted their material piety. Although Lord Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Soul, these girls simply thought of Him as their male lover and associated with Him in that intimate mood. Thus their karmic bondage was nullified and they abandoned their gross material bodies.
One gopī took the Lord through the aperture of her eyes and placed Him within her heart. Then, with her eyes closed and her bodily hairs standing on end, she continuously embraced Him within. Thus immersed in transcendental ecstasy, she resembled a yogī meditating upon the Lord.
Their heartache vanquished by the ecstasy of seeing Kṛṣṇa, the gopīs, like the personified Vedas before them, felt their desires completely fulfilled. For their dear friend Kṛṣṇa they arranged a seat with their shawls, which were smeared with the kuṅkuma powder from their breasts.
My dear gopī, sometimes Mukunda imitates the appearance of a wrestler by decorating Himself with leaves, peacock feathers and colored minerals. Then, in the company of Balarāma and the cowherd boys, He plays His flute to call the cows. At that time the rivers stop flowing, their water stunned by the ecstasy they feel as they eagerly wait for the wind to bring them the dust of His lotus feet. But like us, the rivers are not very pious, and thus they merely wait with their arms trembling out of love.
Kṛṣṇa moves about the forest in the company of His friends, who vividly chant the glories of His magnificent deeds. He thus appears just like the Supreme Personality of Godhead exhibiting His inexhaustible opulences. When the cows wander onto the mountainsides and Kṛṣṇa calls out to them with the sound of His flute, the trees and creepers in the forest respond by becoming so luxuriant with fruits and flowers that they seem to be manifesting Lord Viṣṇu within their hearts. As their branches bend low with the weight, the filaments on their trunks and vines stand erect out of the ecstasy of love of God, and both the trees and the creepers pour down a rain of sweet sap.
Maddened by the divine, honeylike aroma of the tulasī flowers on the garland Kṛṣṇa wears, swarms of bees sing loudly for Him, and that most beautiful of all persons thankfully acknowledges and acclaims their song by taking His flute to His lips and playing it. The charming flute song then steals away the minds of the cranes, swans and other lake-dwelling birds. Indeed they approach Kṛṣṇa, close their eyes and, maintaining strict silence, worship Him by fixing their consciousness upon Him in deep meditation.
Increasingly agitated by ecstasy at seeing the Lord's footprints, his bodily hairs standing on end because of his pure love, and his eyes filled with tears, Akrūra jumped down from his chariot and began rolling about among those footprints, exclaiming, "Ah, this is the dust from my master's feet!"
The very goal of life for all embodied beings is this ecstasy, which Akrūra experienced when, upon receiving Kaṁsa's order, he put aside all pride, fear and lamentation and absorbed himself in seeing, hearing and describing the things that reminded him of Lord Kṛṣṇa.
The joy of seeing the Supreme Lord flooded Akrūra's eyes with tears and decorated his limbs with eruptions of ecstasy. He felt such eagerness that he could not speak to present himself, O King.
As the great devotee Akrūra beheld all this, he became extremely pleased and felt enthused with transcendental devotion. His intense ecstasy caused His bodily hairs to stand on end and tears to flow from his eyes, drenching his entire body. Somehow managing to steady himself, Akrūra bowed his head to the ground. Then he joined his palms in supplication and, in a voice choked with emotion, very slowly and attentively began to pray.
The ladies of Mathurā had repeatedly heard about Kṛṣṇa, and thus as soon as they saw Him their hearts melted. They felt honored that He was sprinkling upon them the nectar of His glances and broad smiles. Taking Him into their hearts through their eyes, they embraced Him, the embodiment of all ecstasy, and as their bodily hairs stood on end, O subduer of enemies, they forgot the unlimited distress caused by His absence.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: As He walked down the King's road, Lord Mādhava then saw a young hunchback woman with an attractive face, who carried a tray of fragrant ointments as she walked along. The bestower of the ecstasy of love smiled and inquired from her as follows.
The King's wives felt the greatest ecstasy upon attaining Lord Kṛṣṇa as the dear husband of the royal princess, and a mood of great festivity arose.
The eternal form of Lord Kṛṣṇa is the everlasting residence of the goddess of fortune. As soon as King Yudhiṣṭhira embraced Him, the King became free of all the contamination of material existence. He immediately felt transcendental bliss and merged in an ocean of happiness. There were tears in his eyes, and his body shook due to ecstasy. He completely forgot that he was living in this material world.
The ecstasy of beholding Lord Kṛṣṇa having dispelled the weariness of their imprisonment, the kings stood with joined palms and offered words of praise to that supreme master of the senses.
Upon hearing their account of the great favor Lord Keśava had mercifully shown him, King Dharmarāja shed tears of ecstasy. He felt such love that he could not say anything.
The lotus-eyed Supreme Lord felt intense ecstasy upon touching the body of His dear friend, the wise brāhmaṇa, and thus He shed tears of love.
Taking hold of the Lords' lotus feet again and again, Bali, the conqueror of Indra's army, spoke from his heart, which was melting out of his intense love. O King, as tears of ecstasy filled his eyes and the hair on his limbs stood on end, he began to speak with faltering words.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Bhṛgu felt satisfied and delighted to hear the solemn words spoken by Lord Vaikuṇṭha. Overwhelmed with devotional ecstasy, he remained silent, his eyes brimming with tears.
The devotees of the Lord constantly discuss the glories of the Personality of Godhead among themselves. Thus they constantly remember the Lord and remind one another of His qualities and pastimes. In this way, by their devotion to the principles of bhakti-yoga, the devotees please the Personality of Godhead, who takes away from them everything inauspicious. Being purified of all impediments, the devotees awaken to pure love of Godhead, and thus, even within this world, their spiritualized bodies exhibit symptoms of transcendental ecstasy, such as standing of the bodily hairs on end.
O brāhmaṇa, we see that you are devoid of any contact with material enjoyment and that you are traveling alone, without any companions or family members. Therefore, because we are sincerely inquiring from you, please tell us the cause of the great ecstasy that you are feeling within yourself.
Thus clearly understanding by discriminating logic the unique position of the Absolute Truth, one should expertly refute one's misidentification with matter and cut to pieces all doubts about the identity of the self. Becoming satisfied in the soul's natural ecstasy, one should desist from all lusty engagements of the material senses.
Therefore, O lotus-eyed Lord of the universe, swanlike men happily take shelter of Your lotus feet, the source of all transcendental ecstasy. But those who take pride in their accomplishments in yoga and karma fail to take shelter of You and are defeated by Your illusory energy.
The ecstasy of seeing Them completely satisfied Mārkaṇḍeya's body, mind and senses and caused the hairs on his body to stand on end and his eyes to fill with tears. Overwhelmed, Mārkaṇḍeya found it difficult to look at Them.
Standing with his hands folded in supplication and his head bowed in humility, Mārkaṇḍeya felt such eagerness that he imagined he was embracing the two Lords. In a voice choked with ecstasy, he repeatedly said, "I offer You my humble obeisances."
Mārkaṇḍeya said: O mighty lord, what can I possibly do for you, who are fully satisfied by your own ecstasy? Indeed, by your mercy you satisfy this entire world.
From beginning to end, the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is full of narrations that encourage renunciation of material life, as well as nectarean accounts of Lord Hari's transcendental pastimes, which give ecstasy to the saintly devotees and demigods. This Bhāgavatam is the essence of all Vedānta philosophy because its subject matter is the Absolute Truth, which, while nondifferent from the spirit soul, is the ultimate reality, one without a second. The goal of this literature is exclusive devotional service unto that Supreme Truth.