Acharya Shrivatsa Goswami - ‘The Narrative of Kṛṣṇa in Mahābhārata and Beyond’

Acharya Goswami began his lecture by expressing a predicament and explained the taboos aligned with the texts of Mahābhārata. In the same reference he explained, how the text of Mahābhārata was not allowed to be placed in the household. After explaining briefly about the conceptions and ideas associated with Mahābhārata Acharya Goswami began to explain about Kṛṣṇa and talked about three manifestations of Kṛṣṇa. He explained that these three manifestations are the three dimensional leela of mind, each of them equally true. The three of them are; Braj leela, Mathura leela and Dwarika leela. Mahābhārata basically falls in the Dwarika leela.

Acharya Goswami then began to explicate the significance of Veda Vyāsa and thus gave an outstanding exposition on the relevance, significance and impact of Veda Vyāsa. He also explained to the audience about the importance of Bhagavadgītā and said that it is the most important text because it opens the meaning of Mahābhārata to its readers. After giving an exposition to these key ideas he explained a dialogue between Vyāsa and Narada where Narada is asserting to Vyāsa that he has not been fair to Kṛṣṇa in his narrative. Through beautiful Sanskrit shlokas and explication of this dialogue, Acharya Goswami, explained this mysterious and intriguing dialogue of Vyāsa and Narada.

Moving on further, Acharya Goswami, also explained the hermeneutic of Mahābhārata and briefly explained about the Bhagavada purāṇā and its relevance in order to understand the complete meaning of Mahābhārata. He then explained the teachings of prakriti which taught Kṛṣṇa. He explained about the core lessons of the prakriti and thus explained that it was prakriti (the nature) that taught Kṛṣṇa one of the most important lesson which taught that one has to serve whatever is related to him/her, and must serve out of love; selflessly. Acharya Goswami also explained the story of Udhava. Through these expositions and stories Acharya Goswami primarily explained the relevance of Bhakti and service.

Through some more stories Acharya Goswami briefly explained the significance of the notion of love, service and Bhakti in the Mahābhārata and also in the life of Kṛṣṇa. It is in this reference he also explained the story of Kṛṣṇa and the Gopis.

Towards the end of the lecture, Acharya Goswami, explained about the notion of Dharma in the Mahābhārata by primarily focusing of the Mokṣa Dharma. While focusing on the Mokṣa Dharma he explained the audience about the significance of alternating absolutes and how these conceptions are raised in the Indian philosophical thought processes. He explained that it is Bhagavada which explains that the reality is non-dual, but because of the path of approach it appears as Brahman when we are cognitively approaching it, it appears as paramātma when we connately approach it and it appears as Bhagvān when we emotively approach it.

Acharya Goswami concluded his lecture by saying that knowing, willing and feeling is the Indian yoga which is given to us by the gītā and elaborated by Srimad Bhagavada. The Mahābhārata is two dimensional Sat and Chit, and to have the three dimension we urge to Bhagavada purāṇā and Pachām Purusartha.

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