(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 13 April 2013, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Srimad Bhagavatam Lecture)
When we surrender, Krsna reciprocates by revealing knowledge. At that stage, knowledge of Srimad Bhagavatam is no longer just theoretical. Now when we read through it and we can go, ‘Okay, seven oceans containing: salty water, sugar-cane juice, liquor, clarified butter, milk, emulsified yogurt and sweet drinking water. I mean, come on! I mean, how can it be?’
One starts to think – fairy tales! In the beginning, the Bhagavatam is theoretical – we are exploring it, we are reading it but the interesting part is that as we surrender to Krsna and as we live our lives according to the directions of the Srimad Bhagavatam, we begin to realize the Bhagavatam and our perception changes. Krsna will give us insights and knowledge, and that is where the Bhagavatam comes alive. Gradually, we see that the Bhagavatam is not only in the book but it is everywhere – it is life! We actually see that this knowledge is reality, then we walk around in the world in the Bhagavat consciousness! This is the way to relate to the Bhagavatam by seeing through the eyes of scriptures. We are not only reading it intellectually but we are reading it devotionally, following it, practicing it and then realizing it deeper and deeper, until in the end of the Bhagavatam, in the tenth canto, we come to Krsna.
So many incarnations, the whole history of the universe, so many sages and so on, have been described before the tenth canto. In the ninth canto, the appearance of Lord Ramachandra has been explained, and in the tenth canto – Krsna! When Lord Ramachandra comes – he is the Supreme Lord – but he comes to teach dharma, to teach the duty for human beings. Therefore, he is acting as a human being and is following principles that human beings must follow. But the Lord is actually not bound by such limitations. Krsna comes to show how God himself can act and is acting. So, he steals! Lord Ramachandra does not steal, no, no! That is against dharma! But Krsna steals and everybody knows it, everyone worships Krsna for it and everyone loves Krsna for it.
Every day, the cowherd boys are going into forest with Krsna and everyday their mothers are making lunch packages. The mothers go all out in making really, really amazing lunch packages with lots of tasty things inside because they know very well that the cowherd boys share and sometimes steal each other’s packages. They hope that one day, just one day, the lunch package that they made for their son will come in the hands of Krsna and Krsna will taste something. Therefore, every day they are making special lunch packages in the hope that one day Krsna will steal it! We worship Krsna as a thief!
Like this, the tenth canto takes us to Lord Krsna, and by then the Srimad Bhagavatam has primed us with the full knowledge of creation and all expansions of Lord. By now, we know that there is one Lord who has many forms; he is one, not two; he is infallible and he has no other origin than himself. In this way, we understand Krsna. After we have gone through these nine cantos, we are well prepared and have got some realization. Then we are ready to taste the sweetness of transcendental pastimes of Krsna and the Bhagavatam is actually meant for that.