“Shrimati Kunti Devi has prayed to the Lord just to enunciate a fragment of His glories. All His devotees worship Him in that way, by chosen words, and therefore the Lord is known as Uttamashloka. No amount of chosen words is sufficient to enumerate the Lord’s glory, and yet He is satisfied by such prayers as the father is satisfied even by the broken linguistic attempts of the growing child.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.8.44 Purport)
“There is a principle in broadcasting that the fewer words the better. This is with trained professionals, obviously. I am not referring to the popular practice of giving radio talk shows to people who have no business being behind a microphone. Just because they are famous through some other means does not make them capable of holding an audience.
“Brevity is the soul of wit. Culled from Shakespeare, this saying is to remind people to get to the point. Your statement will be stronger that way; it will have wider appeal. Think of the quotes superimposed on images that then go ‘viral’ on the internet. If you put too many words, that will not make as big an impact; people will not pay as much attention.
“This brings me to the area of scripture as it relates to the Vedic tradition. While the original Vedas are not voluminous, you have the famous texts of Mahabharata and Ramayana. The Puranas seem to be rather lengthy, as well.
“Is not something lost in the messaging when the content is so long? I think Mahabharata would take almost a year to read. To think that the sages originally memorized the verses. I think His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada says that people in ancient times had such enhanced brainpower that they could remember these works after hearing only a single time.
“Nevertheless, don’t you think the impact would be far reaching if the length was cut down? Something manageable; perhaps a few hundred pages.”
One of the many names for the Almighty is Uttamashloka. If we attempt a literal translation, we get, “A verse that is above darkness.” Uttamashloka means that God is glorifed in the choicest poetry. He is worthy of the best. No one can compare to His eternal consort, Lakshmi Devi. No one is more dedicated to Him than Ananta Shesha Naga. No one can outperform Narada Muni in rescuing the world and inspiring great thinkers and teachers.
As He is Uttamashloka, God can be glorified perfectly in a single verse. Many are set to memory already. Take any of the famous Sanskrit shlokas from Bhagavad-gita, for instance, and you have enough to support an entire lifetime of devotion.
At the same time, devotion is not reserved for a select few. There isn’t some elite club that limits the number of members. Though He is Uttamashloka, the Supreme Lord can also be worshiped by the young child who is only learning to speak.
What qualifications do I really have to assume the occupation of devotee? From Narayana’s perspective even the best poetry I compose will be the equivalent of broken language from a child. Although I am not perfect, if I am sincere in my effort than the other side appreciates.
With respect to Mahabharata and Ramayana, the extensive length by comparison is due to the opportunity afforded to many devotees. Valmiki is not the only person glorifying Shri Rama, the avatara of Narayana who roamed the earth to eliminate the plague that was the Rakshasa demon named Ravana.
Vyasadeva is not the only person glorifying Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are others who put forth their observations. They each come from a unique perspective in life, as do we. All are eligible, and there is no risk of circumlocution since the glories of God are endless. Even Anantadeva laments that He has not a sufficient number of hoods necessary to accurately describe the one whose glories are without beginning and without end.
As brevity the soul of wit,
The point please get to it.
With shastra a possible risk?
Since reading anything but brisk.
Idea that best verses reserved,
To Supreme Lord richly deserved.
But not limited to person one,
From any source can come.