Which devotee in the Srimad-Bhagavatam inspires you the most, and why?
Parikshit Maharaja inspires me the most. He was born in a family of devotees, he was saved by Lord Krishna Himself when in the womb, and he was a great learned and powerful king who could punish anyone, but still he did not curse the brahmana boy or try to save himself from death. Instead, he took the shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord and heard the Srimad-Bhagavatam attentively from Sukadeva Goswami without food or water for seven straight days. He gave us the jewel among the Puranas. He showed that a devotee benefits and lets others benefit.
Prahlada Maharaja inspires me the most even though other devotees mentioned in Bhagavatam are also sources of inspiration. As a child growing up in India, I never got tired of hearing the narration of Prahlada Maharaja over and over again. It is amazing to me that as a mere child he was a fully accomplished devotee of the Lord and was not at all afraid of his father’s atrocities.
Child Prahlada was so fixed in devotion to Krishna that he did not give in to his father’s harassments. He even tried to preach to his atheist father every chance he got about the supremacy of Vishnu or Krishna, but to no avail. At the end when Nrisimhadeva was about to kill his father, Prahlada Maharaja requested that his father be spared from going to hell, because he loved his father and because of his Vaishnava compassion. He truly was a pure devotee of Krishna born in the family of demons and is considered a mahajana by spiritual authorities.
Prahlada Maharaja ki jaya!
Vitthalbhai D. Mistry
Prahlada Maharaja is practically my role model. He got the chance to see Krishna at such a young age, and his unique experience with his father is a pastime to remember.
I feel inspired by the devotion of the gopis. They did not do any great sacrifice or perform austerity, but they have lived wholly for Krishna.
In the book Krishna, Prabhupada explains how the gopis always thought of the Lord even while doing normal household duties. Even now, in this age of Kali, when a women loves someone other than her husband, everyone speaks ill of her and treats her as an outcaste, but the gopis did not care about the social customs, which naturally were more rigid then, and they were ready to do anything for the Lord. Their devotion is so pure and unalloyed that they never forget Krishna and always remember Him. Obeisances unto the feet of Prabhupada and my Guru Maharaja for helping me at least to know of these pure devotees.
Suvarnangi Radha Devi Dasi
Maharaja Parikshit inspires me the most because he was poised even when he knew he had just seven days left before his death. Although he was the emperor of the earth, he didn’t ask for VIP security. Parikshit Maharaja did not try to counteract the curse or kill the snake that was to take away his life. His last seven days teach us some of the opulences of human life: He was renounced, nonviolent, and self-controlled. He was a qualified recipient of the highest knowledge. He had compassion toward mankind. (For our benefit, he asked Sukadeva Goswami perfect questions and received perfect answers.) He showed that people with his qualities are eligible to see God. He perfected his life and set a perfect example.
Tripti Madhavi Devi Dasi
King Parikshit’s role is the most inspiring in Srimad-Bhagavatam. It is due to him that today Srimad-Bhagavatam is available to all of us in this Kali-yuga.
During King Parikshit’s rule, Kali was there but could not influence the people, as not only was the king pious and a great devotee of Lord, but he made his citizens equally pious. He did not kill Kali, but allowed him to stay at restricted places.
King Parikshit very humbly accepted the curse of Sringi Rishi, though he was the king of the entire earth. He renounced everything and left his palace to hear the glories of the Lord on the bank of the Ganges. He chose the liberated soul Sukadeva Goswami as his spiritual master and heard Srimad-Bhagavatam with full concentration. So he was not only a perfect disciple but also a perfect listener.
The above qualities are inspiring to all of us, as he was a king and a householder but achieved the highest level of perfection in devotional service.
I like the character of Kunti Devi, the mother of the Pandavas. She prayed to Lord Krishna to give her more difficulty, because He was with them when she and her sons faced difficulties but was away when they enjoyed their wealth and other treasures. This is a great attitude. We should have a very strong and great heart to ask God for difficulties instead of materialistic wellness.