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SB 1.1 - Question 6 - Who is the shelter of religious principles after Kṛṣṇa's departure?

(Q6) (1.1.23) The sages wanted to know to whom the religious principles had gone for shelter after Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa had departed for His own abode. Religion is the prescribed codes enunciated by the Personality of Godhead. When there is a decline in religious principles, the Lord appears to restore them. The Śrīmad Bhāgavatam is the transcendental sound representation of the Lord, and thus it is the full representation of transcendental knowledge and religious principles. Viśvanātha Cakravarti says that the Bhāgavatam, along with additional connected discussions (prasaṅgas), constitutes the answers to the questions of the sages.

The sages had assembled at Naimiṣāraṇya to hear at great length the message of Godhead and in this way perform sacrifice, knowing well that the age of Kali had begun. The people in Satya-yuga, living a lifetime of a 100,000 years, performed prolonged meditation for self realization. In Tretā-yuga, when the duration of life was 10,000 years, people performed great sacrifice. And in Dvāpara-yuga, when the duration of life was 1000 years, self realization was attained by the worship of the Deity of the Lord. But in Kali-yuga, the maximum duration of life is 100 years and the recommended process of self realization is to hear and chant the holy name, fame and pastimes of the Lord. By the example of the sages one should learn that regular hearing and recitation of the Bhāgavatam is the only way for self realization. Lord Caitanya recommended that those born in India should broadcast the messages of Bhagavad gītā and Bhāgavatam.

The sages accepted Sūta Gosvāmī as their leader. To cross over the dangerous ocean of Kali, one must follow the footsteps of the sages of Naimiṣāraṇya and accept Sūta or his bona fide representative as the captain of the ship, which is the message of Kṛṣṇa in the shape of Bhagavad gītā or the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam.