Upadesha by Sri Krishna to Uddhava – Part 1

Krishna's teachings

In 11th canto of Srimad Bhagavatham, Lord Sri Krishna explains and Graces his Upadhesa to Uddhava, one of the Lord’s favorite devotee. During the Upadhesa, Uddhava raised some doubts, for which Sri Krishna provided explanations. Following are an excerpt of the questions asked and Sri Krishna’s updates.

Uddhava: How many types of ‘Yamam’ are present?

Sri Krishna: The following 12 aspects of living practices are types of ‘Yamam’.

  1. Nonviolence (Ahimsa)
  2. Truthfulness (Satyam)
  3. Absence of desire for other’s possessions (non-covetousness)
  4. Dispassion (Vairagyam)
  5. Shame (Lajja) for un-right behavior*
  6. A state of surrender to Divine without any resolve (Sankalpa)
  7. Dharma Vishwaasam [Dharmam – Being true to one’s one religion and live according to rules laid by the Holy books of the followed religion; Vishwasam – staunch faith]
  8. Continence (Bhramacharyam)
  9. Silence (Mounam)
  10. Firmness (without being disturbed/distracted) (Sthiram)
  11. Patience (Porumai)
  12. Non-fearlessness, at the same time with humility

* Having Shame enough not to perform following actions

  1. Not to perform non-Dharmic actions
  2. Not to perform self-praising
  3. Not to perform actions for self glory in front of others
  4. When praised by others, the aspirant should also not be elated on his own self but should rather dedicate the glory to Divinity


Uddhava: How many types of ‘Niyamam’ are present?

Sri Krishna: The following 12 aspects of living practices are types of ‘Niyamam’.

  1. Cleanliness
  2. Japam – doing meditative repetition of Mantras
  3. Tapas – following Spiritual austerities
  4. Homam – Performing Religious Rituals
  5. Shraddha – Unflinching faith
  6. Adhiti Upacharam – Taking good care of visitors to home, especially the holy and sages
  7. Worship of Sri Krishna
  8. Visiting Holy Kshetrams (Holy Places)
  9. Holy dips in Holy Rivers (Snanam)
  10. Helpfulness for others
  11. Satisfaction (with what is available)
  12. Guru Kainkaryam (doing holy tasks for Guru)


Uddhava: What is ‘Samam’?

Sri Krishna: Surrendering one’s intellect (Buddhi) in me (Sri Krishna) is Samam

Uddhava: What is ‘Tamam’?

Sri Krishna: Winning over ‘Indriyas’ is Tamam (Indriyas – senses and mental faculties which have a tendency to turn our consciousness to the outside world and events)

Uddhava: What is ‘Titiksha’?

Sri Krishna: Perseverance during difficult situations, understanding that it is part of Karma is Titiksha.

 Uddhava: What is ‘Truthi’ (Steadfastness and Braveness)?

Sri Krishna: Controlling tongue and desire is the true sense of Truthi.

Uddhava: What is Strength?

 Sri Krishna: Pranayama is real strength

Uddhava: What is the real fortune (bhagyam)?

Sri Krishna: Receiving My Grace is the greatest fortune and prosperity

 Uddhava: What is Gain (Laabh)?

 Sri Krishna: Appearance of Loving faith (Bhakthi) for Me is the greatest gain

 Uddhava: What is Education (Vidhya)?

Sri Krishna:That which shines to dispel darkness and show the true nature of Atma is education

 Uddhava: What is Shame (Vetkam)?

 Sri Krishna: Hatred to doing non proper / bad activities is shame

Uddhava: What is Shree / Aishwaryam/ wealth?

 Sri Krishna: Attributes such as non-desire for worldly things is the real wealth

Uddhava: What is joy (sukhaM)?

Sri Krishna: Developing a non differentiating attitude in mind to worldly events that cause happiness and unhappiness is the real joy

Uddhava: What is suffering (duhkah)?

 Sri Krishna: Desire for undesirable things such as lust is suffering

Uddhava: Who is a Pandit (learned)?

 Sri Krishna: A person who knows what is the real bonding (Bhandham) and what is real Moksham is a Pandit – learned man.

Uddhava: What is Donation (Dhaanam)?

 Sri Krishna: The greatest donation is Ahimsa – not harming others. Donation of money and kinds is only next to this.

Read Sri Krishna Upadesha Part 2 Part 3 Part 4