SB 1.1 - The Lord captured in the heart

The cause of Bhāgavatam’s glories is revealed in the words mahāmuni: because the author is the crest jewel of philosophers, the Bhāgavatam is glorious. Jīva Gosvāmī says that the second text explains that directly experiencing the Supreme Personality easily comes into one’s possession by relishing Bhāgavatam. Hearing the Bhāgavatam establishes the Lord in the living entity’s heart. Of course, Kṛṣṇa is already there (BG 15.15) but toward most living entities He remains neutral (BG 9.29). Lord Brahmā (in SB 3.9.12) confirms that the Lord in the heart is unavailable to non devotees. As soon as one desires to hear Śrīmad Bhāgavatam Kṛṣṇa personally removes all obstacles to their advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness by becoming actively established in one’s heart. It is not that everyone hears Bhāgavatam. The word sukṛtibhiḥ indicates that without having pious credits one will not develop the desire to hear Bhāgavatam and thus the Lord remains neutral to such souls.

Bhāgavatam is the essence of all scriptures and shows what is beneficial and unbeneficial for the soul. It laments for the great diversity of recommendations of what is beneficial and unbeneficial for the soul arising from people’s different qualifications and from different philosophical opinions. Thru the hearing process of Bhāgavatam the Lord is immediately brought under control and captured in the heart by accomplished persons, who are devoid of selfishness and who are qualified for this scripture. This indicates that prema arises in the devotees, since the Lord is brought under control only by prema.

Kṛṣṇa enters the hearts of even those who have suddenly developed the desire to hear, even from the moment they begin to hear. And the Lord being captured in the mind cannot leave. That imprisonment occurs immediately even without faith. Somehow this has the power to attract Kṛṣṇa completely. Bhāgavatam should thus be understood to be a great science. Kṛṣṇa is brought under control immediately for those who are qualified; whereas it happens after a slight delay for those who are not so qualified. Both the accomplished and the unaccomplished are qualified for Bhāgavatam.

Tat-kṣaṇāt can also mean that because of Kṛṣṇa’s merriment or festival (kṣaṇāt) He becomes caught in the devotee’s heart. Kṛṣṇa is happy and filled with prema when the devotees hear Bhāgavatam. This result is not achieved by any other scripture or other practices (kim vā paraiḥ). Mahāmuni indicates that the Lord Himself became the sage and planned the work. The Bhāgavatam was first revealed in an abbreviated form by the Lord Himself in four verses.