The following is a class given by His Holiness Jayapatākā Swami on January 22nd, 1995 in Bangalore, Karnataka, India. The class is given with a reading from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
Canto, Chapter 1, Text 12.
paṅguṁ laṅghayate girim
yat-kṛpā tam ahaṁ vande
śrī caitanya īśvaram
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Canto 1, Chapter
1, Text 12.
bhagavān sātvatāṁ patiḥ
jāto yasya cikīrṣayā
Translation by His Divine Grace Śrīla Abhaya Caraṇa Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda.
Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Jayapatākā Swami: All blessings upon you, O Sūta Gosvāmī. You know for what purpose the Personality of Godhead appeared in the womb of Devakī as the son of Vasudeva.
PURPORT: Bhagavān means the almighty God who is the controller of all opulences, power, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation. He is the protector of His pure devotees. Although God is equally disposed to everyone, He is especially inclined to His devotees. Sat means the Absolute Truth. And persons who are servitors of the Absolute Truth are called sātvatas. And the Personality of Godhead who protects such pure devotees is known as the protector of the sātvatas. Bhadraṁ te, or "blessings upon you," indicates the sages' anxiety to know the Absolute Truth from the speaker. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appeared to Devakī, the wife of Vasudeva. Vasudeva is the symbol of the transcendental position wherein the appearance of the Supreme Lord takes place.
ends the Bhaktivedānta Svāmi
translation of Canto 1, Chapter 1, Text 12.
Oṁ tat sat.
Today we're speaking at Śrī Śrī Kṛṣṇa-Balarāma temple, Bangalore, on the 22d of January, 1995 Chriṣṭābda, 508 Gaurābda.
So, we're beginning the study of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from the First Canto, First Chapter. This is very important, to study the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from the beginning to the end. So, one has the darśana of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we should first look to His lotus feet, then gradually allow, just like here we have Bālājī. We look to His lotus feet, gradually the eyes, rise up to the knees, to the waist, to the chest, to the neck, to his lotus smiling, and to His eyes, and then again back to the lotus feet. This is the system. We don't directly look to the face. We first look humbly to the lotus feet.
So, in the same way, the First and Second Canto Bhāgavatam are compared to the lotus feet. As you go up Third and Fourth Canto are to the knees. Like that, Fifth and Sixth, the waist. Seven and Eight, the chest. Nine, the neck. And then, by the time you get up to the 10th Canto, you're looking at the lotus face. So in this way, there at 12 Cantos to the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and one should systematically read 1 through 12, one after another.
Generally people go ahead right to the 10th Canto to hear about Kṛṣṇa's pastimes with the gopīs in the rāsa-līlā, but if you don't study the first 10 Cantos, then it's sometimes difficult to understand Kṛṣṇa's position. And sometimes people mistake what the pastimes in Vṛndāvana are about.
Here the sages are saying to Sūta Gosvāmī that, "You know the mystery why Bhagavān has come as the son of Vasudeva and Devakī." Bhagavān is unborn, aja. He is possessing all opulences. Fame, as mentioned here in the purport. All the opulences. Opulence: power, fame, beauty, knowledge, and renunciation. This is the meaning of Bhagavān, who has these six things in total. Total opulence, total power, total fame, total beauty, total knowledge, and total renunciation.
The Lord creates the whole
material world, but he doesn't stay here. He only occasionally makes a visit to
fulfill the desires of his devotees. Otherwise, He's not coming and making His
presence visible here in the material world most of the time. So He's very
detached. Most renounced. If we create something, then
we're all attached. What will happen? Just like if someone creates a family
with children, and then grandchildren, and although the Vedas say at the end of
life we should prepare ourselves to leave the body and become detached take vānaprastha, with the wife visit holy places, even at
the ripe old age some people might take sannyāsa,
but people are generally hesitant, or they're you can say distracted from these
spiritual activities because they're very much attached to what they have
created even though they have to leave it sooner or later. So, it's natural to
be attached, but we gradually have to become more attached to Kṛṣṇa.
Then we will be drawn back to Kṛṣṇa. But Lord Kṛṣṇa
Himself, He is detached. So he has all the renunciation.
This is a mystery how the Supreme
Lord is taking birth. This is a very big mystery. Even great sages, they are
not able to understand how it is that the Lord takes birth. How can the unborn
be born? Many speculations come. People think that if you're born you must be
material. Therefore Kṛṣṇa, Rāma,
They have taken birth, They must be material. But why
the great sages, they know that He's Bhagavān.
He has all the opulences, yet He is born. So, they're
not speculating. They're asking. What is the significance? What is the real
meaning of this? This is the correct procedure. If we want to know something
about spiritual life we should ask. We should learn from the, from the śāstra, from guru, and from the great mahājanas and saintly people. Then, we can understand
what is the actual significance of these occurrences.
Actually Kṛṣṇa, He never takes a material body. Even if he did, He wouldn't be affected by that because He's the controller of all His energies. But in the Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa says sambhavāmy ātma-māyayā, that "I come out of My own energy." Avatāra means He descends from the spiritual world. So actually, the Lord is descending with a, with a sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ, with a form of eternal blissful knowledge, but He can make that form do anything He wants.
On the battlefield of Kurukṣetra, Bhīṣma was shooting arrows at Him, and the arrows were striking His body. Blood was coming, so it looked like Kṛṣṇa was a man. That He was being injured. Kuntī Devī, later in Bhāgavatam, she said Kṛṣṇa is a great actor, the greatest actor. He can play whatever part He wants. So in the battlefield, He's playing the part. Later Kṛṣṇa pulls out the arrows, and He's immediately, no mark or anything is on His transcendental body. No scars, no injuries.
Nowadays the modern movie makers, they can do these things. We went, I saw exhibition on how to do exhibition. And they show how when someone is running from the bullets, and you see someone shooting, then you see from the ground, all the bullets are coming, and he's just running, and somehow missing. So you think, "Oh very dangerous." In the ground, they are putting gas, pressurized gas, so according to the program of computer, as he's running, this gas is coming out from the ground, so it looks as if a bullet has hit there. But actually in the ground, they're just shooting out some compressed gas. And sound is going, [imitates bullet sounds] just at that time, so then you see that, "Oh, they're shooting." But actually there is no danger. There's no bullet. Only sound and some spray.
So, they have so many techniques now. They'll show you, they'll put the sword right through the person, and you think, "Oh, he's stabbed." Then later, they'll show that the sword, they'll take it out, and the sword is going like this. It's showing going through because first, what they'll do is they'll show that the person is being stabbed.
They have special sword and it's a telescopic, it actually just becomes short. So, they'll first stab like this. Then the movie, "Cut!" Then, the guy comes out with the sword that is like this, looped, that goes like this. Then the person, they'll have blood, everything, that's all ketchup, and colored die. Then he'll, "Ahh!" They'll turn on the side, and you'll it coming out the other side. Then your mind, "Oh, he's been stabbed." There're so many techniques.
Kṛṣṇa doesn't need all these techniques. He can do by His mystic power, and then if He wants, "Okay, enough acting." Then, as He is. But for the devotees, these are not wonderful. For Kṛṣṇa can do anything. If He wants to appear that He's wounded, He can appear wounded. The next second, He can be as He is. Actors can do that. Why Kṛṣṇa can't do it? He can do it without all these paraphernalia. He can do by His own power. So He makes the whole scene appear very real.
Sometimes the demons, they think, when they're fighting with Viṣṇu, that, "Aha! Now I have got Him." When Hiraṇyakaśipu was fighting with Narasiṁhadeva, Narasiṁhadeva was holding him, and he was squirming like a bug. He let him go. He got loose and he said, "Ha ha! I am so strong. He couldn't even hold me." The demon said. And the demigods, the devas, they were watching going, "Ooh. Oh, Hiraṇyakaśipu got free." But like sometimes, the cat lets the mouse go. The mouse runs a little bit and again the cat jumps. Cat is always in control of the situation. He's just enjoying. So like that, since Narasiṁhadeva is the Supreme half-lion/cat, and half-man, so He's playing like that with the mouse.
Then again, Hiraṇyakaśipu
attacks, but then Narasiṁhadeva got tired with the play. "All right." He was just waiting for the right
moment. Because Brahmā said he shouldn't die at
day or night, so He's waiting for the twilight. In the meantime, He has to cut
the time, right? But it was enough to create some dramatic anxiety in the devas. Even the devas are not fully sure what powers Viṣṇu
has. Viṣṇu is beyond their purview. He's living in a higher place.
So even the devas, the only information is what they hear from śāstra, and so sometimes they might have some
doubt. And Kṛṣṇa, He dispels all their doubts, "Don't
Some great personalities in the universe, they know the power of Viṣṇu. There was a time when the Tripurāsura, he was fighting with the devas, and he had by help of Māyā, the asura, the dānava, Māyā, the great scientist, demon scientist, he had some special flying saucers and flying machines which could go in the air, and fly here and there, and disappear, go so fast they come out of sight. So, he was able to defeat the devas with his flying machine.
So, the devas went to Lord Śiva, said that these machines are like cities. They're like very big fortress. They were so huge, they had so many soldiers and somehow the devas couldn't counteract. They're very well made machines. So they called Lord Śiva and Lord Śiva used his weapon, and he killed all the demons, and they were all killed on the flying machine. The flying machine came back. At that time, Māyā Dānava had a special kuṇḍa of amṛta. So he just dipped all the asuras in amṛta, and then they all came back to life.
Again, so next day, they're back to fight. So this disturbed Lord Śiva, "I killed them once, and there again alive. What's going on here? This way every time I kill, every time they come alive, I'm not going to be able to defeat them. It's like a stalemate."
So then he went to Lord Viṣṇu and requested, "You please help me. Somehow I'm in a fix. Every time I kill the demons, they come back to life. They've got some trick."
Lord Viṣṇu said, "Don't worry. I'll help you out."
So Lord Viṣṇu took the form of a cow, and the Lord Brahmā took the form as a calf, and as a cow and as a calf, they walked right into the demons' war camp, and you know sometimes you see in India, the cow is just walking around, eating some grass. Nobody bothers, right? Like that, they kind of walk in, and they're grazing here and there. So eventually, they kind of end up over by the amṛta-kuṇḍa, the well of nectar, and then Viṣṇu as a cow, and Brahmā, they start drinking the nectar, and they completely drink the well dry.
So Māyā, he sees the cow is drinking nectar with the calf, and immediately he said, "Nobody can do this but Viṣṇu. Using His illusory energy, He has entered into our camp, and He is drinking all the nectar." Then he made a declaration which is very interesting. He said that, "All right, everything is finished. Once Viṣṇu decides who's going to win, once He enters into the fray, it doesn't matter deva, or asura or a nara, a human being, the demons, the demigods or the human beings, it doesn't matter whatever anybody thinks or does, nothing can change anything. Whatever Viṣṇu decides, that's the final."
Now, up to the point when Viṣṇu was just being neutral, the devas and asuras were fighting, the asuras were winning, but once Lord Śiva went to Viṣṇu and said, "You please intervene." and Lord Viṣṇu cannot refuse Lord Śiva, vaiṣṇavānāṁ yathā śambhuḥ, he's the greatest of all the devotees, greatest of all the devas in the material world, so, He decided, "All right, I'll help Lord Śiva." As soon as Māyā Dānava knew, that Viṣṇu, now He's on the side of the devas, He decided to help out the devas, that means that no matter what we do, we're finished. Now there's no hope.
He was very intelligent. He knew the Supreme Powerful is Viṣṇu. Of course, even then he was still a demon. He knew Viṣṇu doesn't take sides, unless He's especially requested, so, as long as He doesn't take sides, then he can get away with whatever he wants. But he had that much intelligence that if Viṣṇu take sides, being the supreme, then there is no more hope.
So, this Transcendental Personality of Godhead is very difficult for people to understand. How he is appearing within the material world, so Sūta Gosvāmī knew this secret, this mystery, this tattva. That's the great thing about the Vedic culture, about the Bhāgavatam is that many mysteries are revealed about Bhagavān. Sometimes, we discuss with the leaders of other religions, and when you ask them a question, then they tell you, that's a mystery. Then you ask another question, and that's a mystery.
So everything is a mystery. A mystery means there's something we don't know, and it's a mystery. It's very mysterious. It cannot be understood. But we find here in the Vedic literature is that the great sages, they wanted to find out what were the mysteries. This is very natural. They want to know. They want to solve the mysteries. Mysteries are to be solved. They're to be understood, it's only a mystery because we don't know what it is.
Just like for a small child, we heard for instance you go in ancient history, you find when the British, and the Europeans came to see the Chinese Emperor, they bring with them one of those mechanical clocks, the ones with the music boxes, with the little birds coming in and out and everything, for them it was a mystery. How this is working? [imitates sound of mechanism] "Cuckoo cuckoo cuckoo" coming, and they said, "Okay for that, okay. You can have Hong Kong. Sure, take it. 99 years, no problem. "Cuckoo cuckoo." They get a little toy, and they think, "Okay take. You want a trade permit? Bring me another of these machines. I like very much. It's mysterious, how it's working."
But it's like nowadays, you can buy in Tirupati, you're going, and they're selling all these things on the footpath, right? ₹8, ₹20 you can get cars running. If you had one of those machines before, 200, 300 years ago, you could become a governor of China, by giving one such machine. Now for ₹15 you can buy. No more mystery. Who knows how to make a flying saucer, you can make, and everyone will want to buy one for the military.
But Māyā Dānava, he knows the mystery. And there are many things like that. If we don't know it, it's a mystery, if we know it, it's no longer a mystery. That's what is called confidential knowledge. Kṛṣṇa reveals in the Bhāgavatam secrets about Himself, through the guru-paramparā, which normally people don't know. They don't know how God comes in this world. Many people don't know that God comes in the world.
Many people don't know how the Lord has form, yet He is formless. How He has form, yet He has no material quality. He is nirguṇa, yet He has form sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ. Form is there. But upaniṣads also say He's nirguṇa. Although He's nirguṇa, He has no material quality, but yet He can accept everything with His hand, and he can run faster than everyone else. So what does it mean? It's a mystery.
So people read the upaniṣads, many of them, they come into mystery. So this way, in the Vedas it describes, in many places, there's many pramāṇa that beyond the four Vedas, you know the four Vedas: Ṛg, Yajur, Atharva, Sāma Veda, beyond that, there's a pañcama-veda, a fifth Veda. The pañcama-veda is the Purāṇas. Jīva Gosvāmī has established this very clearly, the Purāṇas are the fifth Veda in his Tattva-Sandarbha, and there, he also has many pramāṇas.
After establishing by Vedic pramāṇa, the Vedas themselves are saying that
this is the fifth Veda. The Purāṇas also
say, "We're the fifth Veda." then after establishing that, then
there's other pramāṇa that Lord Kṛṣṇa
says in the Purāṇas, and in the Vedas,
that the Purāṇas are more important than
the four Vedas because the Purāṇas are all
analogies, and stories and histories, so it brings everything to life by practical
Just the tattva, just the
philosophy sometimes people might not grasp it, but you give a practical
example, then you can understand, "Oh, it's like this." So, the Purāṇas are all practical examples. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa
is more pleased when you explain things with many stories and practical
examples because people can understand easily. So actually, the Purāṇas are more important than the four Vedas
and Upaniṣads because they're explaining
everything very clearly with many examples. And of all the Purāṇas,
the Bhāgavata Purāṇa is called Amala Purāṇa,
pure Purāṇa, free of any material
contamination. There's no mixture of material and spiritual. It's giving purely
the science about the Personality of Godhead.
So, this is what the sages wanted to hear. They'd already heard so many things. Now they want the secret. The supreme Bhagavān, He's born through Devakī and Vasudeva. How is that? How can the unborn be born? We want to know this mystery. In effect, that's what they're asking. And Sūta Gosvāmi, he knows for the devotees, this is not a big mystery that the Lord can be born, and he can take the child form, and different forms. This is His līlā, so he's going to explain in great detail how this is possible.
In the previous verse, it's very
interesting. Because in the previous verse it also explains the sages said:
ataḥ sādho 'tra yat sāraṁ
brūhi bhadrāya bhūtānāṁ
TRANSLATION: There are many varieties of scriptures, and in all of them there are many prescribed duties, which can be learned only after many years of study in their various divisions. Therefore, O sage, please select the essence of all these scriptures and explain it for the good of all living beings, that by such instruction their hearts may be fully satisfied.
In other words, the sages, they sat down for 1,000-year yajña, but even then, they didn't feel confident that, "If we sit here, we should listen to all of the four Vedas, 108 Upaniṣads, Vedānta-sūtra, Mahābhārata, and all the other literatures. Because there are so many varieties of scripture, and each of us got a particular line, and a particular described duty to learn. So many, many years to study all these. And then only we could come to understand which is the best, which is the most applicable. We may not live that long, we may never understand. So here's someone who knows. He has the overview of the whole Vedic picture. Sūta Gosvāmī is such an authority.
So, they're saying, "Please
give us the essence so we can be satisfied, so all living entities can be
satisfied." How we can be fully satisfied in this lifetime? That is the
real purpose of religion. That is the purpose of dharma. We should get totally
satisfied. If after doing all the dharmas, we're
still not satisfied, and we're still hankering for things, then what is the
use? Śrama eva
hi kevalam. Then, we're giving so much
energy, but were not getting the fruit. The fruit is only the effort, so it's
not enough that we're born in a Hindu family, or that we even accept guru or
initiation, or born in a family of a devotee. We have to actually understand
the science. These are great ṛṣis, and
sages. Sometimes people say, "Why are you preaching in India? Just preach
in the West." Actually, there are thousands of devotees preaching in the
West. A few devotees, we have to also preach here in India. These are great ṛṣis, and they're asking questions.
Vedas say athāto brahma jijñāsā. If you say the
Vedas are for the Hindus, then it's telling the Hindus, "You ask
question." If you say the Vedas are for everyone, well then everyone,
including Hindus should ask questions. But in any case, asking questions and
getting the answer, this is a duty for everyone. So just being born in India
doesn't mean that, "Okay, I'm born in India. I don't need to ask any
question. I don't need to learn anything more about my śā ... to be born is enough." We have
There's a very interesting story
about Indians from about 350 years ago, or 300 years ago, during the Mogul
regime. There was a king in Bengal called Kṛṣṇa-candra and he had a famous courtier called Gopāla Bhā̐ṙa. I think here in Karnataka, there's also some
famous clever advisor to one king, but I heard about that. So if you give me a
translation, I'll use his examples too if I find anything suitable. Anyway
they're always interesting, because even Indian humor is always filled with
culture. That's what Prabhupāda loved. I heard about this personality, but
no one's given me the book yet.
If you're looking for something to give me very cheaply, I don't know if there's a translation. So, there's such a person in Bengal. His name was Gopāla Bhā̐ṙa so what happened was the Emperor at that time was a Mogul, but he had many kings who were Hindus. Emperor means he has many kings and lords under him. So this emperor's capital was in a place called Gauṙa about 200 miles north of Navadvīpa, and the King Kṛṣṇa-candra, Rāja Kṛṣṇa-candra, he was the king of Nadiyā district. So Navadvīpa fell under him. And that was the seat of great learning even 300 years ago. At the time of Lord Caitanya, it was the center of learning in India, at least in northern India.
So, one dig-vijaya
paṇḍita, he came and he saw the emperor,
and said that "I am a dig-vijaya paṇḍita. I am defeating all other paṇḍitas. I am the greatest paṇḍita
in India. And I'm challenging all the paṇḍitas
of your Empire. You send the best paṇḍitas
here, I will defeat them in front of you, and when I defeat them, they have to
accept me as their guru. And if they defeat me, then I will accept any of them
as my guru. So I'm challenging you and your kingdom to provide a paṇḍita who can defeat me. I,
the great dig-vijaya paṇḍita!"
So, then the Emperor said, "Well, I'm sure we have a paṇḍita who can defeat someone like you. Anyway, let's see." So, he called his minister and said, "Send a message off to Rāja Kṛṣṇa-candra to inform the paṇḍitas in Navadvīpa. They can send someone here to defeat this dig-vijaya." So, then Rāja Kṛṣṇa-candra gets the message that he has to provide a paṇḍita. He sends a message over the Navadvīpa to the top paṇḍitas, and someone's got a sick stomach, and someone's feeling a little bit under the weather, and someone has to visit his mother-in-law. In other words, all the paṇḍitas, they wanted to avoid facing some dig-vijaya because then if they happen to get defeated, then it's a big embarrassment for them.
So, nobody felt so confident to go there and face off, so the king was in great trouble because if he doesn't send a paṇḍita, the Emperor will say, "What kind of King are you? You're supposed to have all the paṇḍitas and you can't send anyone?" So his whole position will become very much down, politically, just on a little thing like that. So he was in anxiety putting his head in his hand, and Gopāla Bhā̐ṙa came up and usually they have jokes together. He was the one who could spoof on the king. So, he asked the rāja, "My Lord, Your Majesty, how's everything going?"
said, "Don't joke around. I have no time for you. I have a serious
not coming to joke. I'm your advisor. You tell me what's your
"Aré, don't joke around. I have no time for jokes."
"I don't want to joke. Just
tell me what the problem is. Maybe I have the solution. Don't underestimate me."
he told, "Okay, this is the problem I'm facing, and then what to do?"
then Gopāla Bhā̐ṙa said,
"No problem. I'll go there."
said, "You'll go there? You're not a paṇḍita.
How are you going to defeat?"
said, "Don't worry. If I go there you'll give me some reward if I'm
"Oh yeah, sure. I'll give you 1,000 gold coins
if you can defeat the dig-vijaya."
problem. I'll do it."
He went back to his house, and shaved all his hair off, and kept a big śikhā. Then he got the wooden khaṙams, and took off his normal dress, and got a good silk dhotī, and cādara, got a harināma cādara with Hare Kṛṣṇa. Everything's all over, stamped. Got a very big brāhmaṇa thread on, and put on a big tilaka, and all kinds of marks of Viṣṇu and everything. And he had one broken bed, so he took the leg off of the broken bed and he wrapped it up in a cloth, silken cloth. You know this story? Then, he went and the king saw, he's like pakka paṇḍita, śikhā, tilaka, everything, harināma cādara, and he says, "Whew, well Gopāla, you look very impressive."
Gopāla's quite healthy, so he said, "I'm off now to see the Emperor. I'll defeat this dig-vijaya, don't worry."
"I didn't know you were such a veda-vit."
worry. I've got with me my 'khaṭavaṅga purāṇa'."
Don't worry. With this śāstra, I'll defeat
Then he went off to walk to the
Emperor, and he came in ready, very proud with his śāstra
under his arm. He came, he looked at the dig-vijaya. He did praṇāma
to the Emperor, and said, "Well, I'm tired after a journey, so I can rest
for a couple of days, and then I will make this dig-vijaya.
No problem." Even the dig-vijaya got a little
bit, you know. He's not afraid at all. It's like psychologically, he was unsure
So then, Gopāla Bhā̐ṙa, for a few days he feasted, had some
good meals, and whatever he wanted, he ordered. The king said, "Whatever
he wants, give him." So, he was having a lot of dai baṙā and
everything, whatever. So, the dig-vijaya says,
"Where's your paṇḍita? How long is
he going to rest?"
So he sent a message and said, "Okay, today I'm coming." Again Gopāla came, strutting. Very big with his śāstra. So, the dig-vijaya, he said, "Acchā, well I see you are you're carrying some pu̐thi, some book. What śāstra you are carrying?"
said, "Oh, this is the Khaṭavaṅga Purāṇa!"
The paṇḍita is saying, "Khaṭavaṅga Purāṇa? So, I know the Skanda Purāṇa, Bhāgavata Purāṇa, the Viṣṇu Purāṇa, all the 18 Purāṇas, but Khaṭavaṅga Purāṇa? Could I see that?"
But then, Gopāla said, "Aré!" He held it, "Khaṭavaṅga Purāṇa is speaking! Emperor, Khaṭavaṅga Purāṇa is never wrong! The Khaṭavaṅga Purāṇa is speaking! I'm hearing it speak! Yes! Now, at this lagna, in this muhūrtam, at this rāśi, in this yogam, at this moment, for the next muhūrta, this dig-vijaya paṇḍita, he has got some special siddhi; anyone who gets one hair from his head will be free from all kinds of suffering, will get great world fame, but they've only now for 48 minutes. You have the one muhūrta, now!"
Then all the people start running and grabbing his hair. And he goes, "Ahh!" And they're all pulling, and so he ran out. And everyone was running after, pulling his hair.
So he ran right out from the palace, and he escaped from that empire. The Khaṭavaṅga Purāṇa is never wrong. So, the Emperor was very happy. He gave him 1,000 gold coins. He got 2,000. Went back, and got another 1,000 from the king. So, when he got back to the king, the king said, "How could you do that? What is this Khaṭavaṅga Purāṇa?"
Then he unwrapped the cloth, and he showed a broken bed leg. "You see, I have my khaṭa. Khaṭa means bed, and this is the aṅga of the bed. One leg is one aṅga. And this is also a very old one, so it's a purāṇa: Khaṭavaṅga Purāṇa. I didn't tell a lie.
Said, "How could you do that? How could you go there? You had so much guts just to go there and do this. You weren't afraid? What if ... anything could've happened."
"No, if some paṇḍita comes and challenges, and he wants a Mogul Emperor to be the judge, what does a Mogul Emperor know about Veda śāstra? Someone so foolish that he wants his paṇḍita, his scholarship to be judged by someone who knows nothing about the subject, he's meant to be cheated. In this way he's a fool number one.
If you want to get a judge, you have to have people who are capable of understanding the subject matter. So, I knew that anyone who did that, he's very proud, and he's very foolish, so in this way, I can easily defeat him."
So, this is the thing is that although many people are born in India, just like that Mogul Emperor, or even some paṇḍita dig-vijaya, they don't have sometimes they don't know all the śāstric inner meanings, and that's why even these great sages, they're asking Sūta Gosvāmī, "We want to hear from you essence of the śāstra." Because you know so many things sometimes, and you still don't know what is the essence. You can go to the whole university. What is the essence? Actually, university, what essence is there?
Vedas, at least you get essence. What is the purpose of life? Who is Bhagavān? How Bhagavān is coming in this world? And yet he remains Bhagavān. He is not diminished. Or is He? All these doubts and questions and mysteries they want cleared up. So, being in this opportunity, you're all the very most fortunate people in the world because you're born in this great culture. There's no culture greater than Indian culture. There's philosophy, there's knowledge. But everyone born here should take advantage of it, and fully understand.
All the mysteries should be
answered. There should be no excuse. What is the mystery? Because this is the
beauty of the Vedas, especially all the mysteries have been answered in
Bhāgavata, and in Gītā. Most significant mysteries haven't even
been left. A few details, then Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He also clears those
up, and His followers. But the principle philosophical points are all answered.
That is the wonderful thing.
That's why people all over the world, they're flocking to the Kṛṣṇa conscious movement, and to the Bhāgavata dharma because they're getting all their questions answered, and that is a wonderful thing. Everyone should know this science, especially anyone who is part of sanātana dharma, they should know it thoroughly. And once you know it, Lord Caitanya said that everyone born in India, they should perfect their life.
janma haila yāra
janma sārthaka kari’ kara para-upakāra
Perfect your life and then help
others. Why do you want me to? Well, if I get saved, then I should save someone
else also. If I get pulled out of the water, I'm drowning, and then our other
friends are there drowning, I should throw them a rope and pull them out, too.
In this way, everyone can be saved. So, we should take advantage. Don't be like
this emperor and these people. They don't know anything, of their own. They're
born in India but they don't know their culture. They don't know what is the great gift of the Vedas.
And even the Vedas are so vast, what is the essence of the Vedas? That we should know. So Bhāgavata is described as the ripe fruit of the Vedic tree. You have a mango tree, what's the most important thing of the mango tree? The leaves, the branch, the root, the wood? What's the most important thing? The fruit. The fruit of the tree is most important, that's why we know the tree because of its fruit. Why do you say jackfruit tree, mango tree, lime tree, orange tree, because the fruit of mango, jackfruit, lime, orange and so on. So, it's said, the ripened fruit of all the Vedas is the Bhāgavata Purāṇa. So, that's why Caitanya Mahāprabhu said if you can't read anything else, but read Gītā, and read Bhāgavata.
These two books are the essence of everything. In fact if you read these, you don't need to read others also. Others are all good, but these are the essence. These contain all the essential knowledge. Other knowledge is additional. You can take it or leave it. It's not that you have to have that information, but it's there, so we respect it, and we use it. It adds more weight and explanation sometimes. Therefore you'll find in the purport, many śāstras are quoted. We respect all the śāstra, but the Vedas are very vast and if we just know Gītā and Bhāgavata, it's enough to get the real understanding.
So, we thank all of you for your interest coming here on Sunday morning and having these special classes, and actively participating in all of the temple programs throughout the year. We want to see that here in Bangalore, there should be thousands of home programs, and lākhas of people chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa for Prabhupāda's Centennial, there should be 100,000 people chanting japa. So, that can happen because all of you have to become preachers. You all have to become conversant with these truths, and then convince other people to take up this most important program of bhakti-yoga. Essential, for everyone to do bhakti yoga.
Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣna Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare
... Not really contradictory. If one is actually being gradually awakened, then it's not a śrama eva hi kevalam. Sometimes people might be sticking to a process which is not really dharma. In the name of dharma, or it may be dharma, but it might be a sub-religious principle. Just like being honest is a sub-religious principle. It's part. It's not a dharma in itself. Not that if you're just honest, that's a religion. But it's a quality of religion to be honest. But religion means your relationship with God. Dharma means your development of your relationship with Kṛṣṇa.
If you have just a series of
sub-religious principles and no understanding, and no consciousness, and a relationship and knowledge of the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, then by doing all those things, you're still going to simply be in the
karmas, you're not actually progressing out of the material world. You have to
have some connection with the Absolute Truth, with the Supreme Personality of
Godhead. That's the point.
Sometimes people just stick to some idea which might appear to have some relation with dharma, but it might only be a sub-religious principle, or it might be that one has already graduated.
Someone just goes to first grade, but they never graduate. Every year they go back, first grade, first grade, first grade, first grade, first grade. They never go back to second grade. They just stick to the same thing. Some principles are there to purify us so you go to the next grade. But some people, they just hold on: First grade, to the end. "I'll never leave first grade. I love my first grade. Until I'm 100 years old, I'll be in the first grade, primary school." Does it make sense?
What is the use of going again,
and again, and again to first grade? You go to first grade, finish it. You and
your, a, i, u, or you learn you ABCs, all right, you go on to the second grade.
So, some religious principles are there to train us and bring us up to the next
level. But if the person never goes on to the next level, then after a time, you
can say he's wasting his time. Or he's just putting in effort, but he's not
It's like someone's running the wheels, but still, the break is on. The car's not moving. You take off the break, go ahead. You can say, "Okay, there's some benefit, he's not going back. At least he's staying in the same place." What does this say? It doesn't say he's falling. As it said, you're putting energy, but you're not getting the fruit. You're not getting the fruit from that because you're not going ahead.
So what is the progress? How we can measure our progress? How much we're developing our consciousness of God. How much we're developing a consciousness of Bhagavān, our attraction to hear about Bhagavān is a personal test. Since as you say, everything is meant to bring us to that end, and every practice we're doing is to gradually purify us, and make us more attracted to serving and hearing about the glories of Kṛṣṇa, so we can judge in our own personal consciousness, "Am I more attracted to serving Kṛṣṇa? Then I am making progress. Am I more attracted to simply the sports and more attracted to the cinemas, and more attracted to this and that? Then we know I'm still very neophyte. I have to get more association, and build up my attraction to Kṛṣṇa."
So, it's not really a contradiction. You have to see it from the right perspective. If you do even a beginning activity, you get a little more inspiration, you go to the next activity, next. So you're making progress. It's just when someone gets stuck up, and they're not increasing in there, then they should know something is wrong. Somehow, I am... like you get in the mud and the wheels spin in the car, and you don't go forward. For some reason, they got stuck up. So, the energy is being spent, but they're not making progress from that point. So it's actually a very progressive statement. So, we should analyze our own progress, and see that we're making progress.
That could apply to people at different levels. Someone might be in a very neophyte, or a maybe even a little more advanced, and we get stuck up at any level. So, we want to keep on progressing. And if we're not progressing at some point, we just get stuck at the same level, then we should be consulting with guru and śāstra, and we should be seeing, "What is our problem?"
Vyāsadeva asked his guru, Nārada
Muni, "Why I am not feeling satisfied?"
Because if we are progressing spiritually, we should be satisfied. We should feel some inner satisfaction. So Vyāsadeva wasn't feeling satisfied, and that is going to be described later on in the later chapters. That was also inspiration for Vyāsadeva to write the Bhāgavata śāstra, Bhāgavata Purāṇa, because after reading, writing all the Vedas, he wasn't feeling happy in his heart. Until he wrote Bhāgavata, then he felt peace of mind.
Of course, Lord Caitanya
recommended we should all worship Kṛṣṇa, but if somebody is
very much attached to another form of Viṣṇu other than Kṛṣṇa
like Rāma, or Narasiṁha, or some other
form, then in some of cases, He would make exception when He saw that they were
very sincerely attached to that form. But otherwise, if one does not have that
kind of very strong fixation on a particular form, and they're open to more or
less any form of Viṣṇu, then worship Kṛṣṇa
because that's the original form.
But when we worship Kṛṣṇa from this conditional state, we cannot imitate being one of his vraja-vāsī cowherd friends or anything. We cannot just immediately come and want to put our arm around the Deity, and go out with the cows. Because that would be all artificial. So initially, when we approach the Lord, although we worship Kṛṣṇa, but we approach Him in awe and reverence. We approach Him in a mood of service. As a servitor. In the mood of dāsya. But we hear about Kṛṣṇa's pastimes, and we hear about His majestic aspects, His avatāras.
All the Cantos of the Bhāgavata tell about different incarnations. We hear about all the incarnations that have been scheduled. And we also hear about Kṛṣṇa's own intimate pastimes, own revealed pastimes, and in this way, then gradually, we get attracted to the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, but we know that what Kṛṣṇa is doing is not some mundane activity because Kṛṣṇa's pastimes are very much human-like. So we don't know Kṛṣṇa's position as the Supreme Viṣṇu, ananta devo, ananta viṣṇo, we don't know that He's the Supreme Viṣṇu, then sometimes we could get confused just if we hear about Kṛṣṇa's pastimes, and think that, "Well, what He's doing is like a human being." You won't to understand the inner significance of it.
So therefore, first it's recommended that we know all about Viṣṇu-tattva, the basic essential factors, and then when we understand how Kṛṣṇa is the supreme Viṣṇu, we can understand that although He's doing this activities, He's stealing butter from the monkeys, not that He's a thief, He's the proprietor of everything. What He can steal? But somehow monkeys have come, and they're great ṛṣis, and sages who have come in the form of monkeys, and He's playing and giving them the nectar of food from His own hand, but from his mother's point of view, "Oh, He's my little child, and He's stealing the butter, and what butter will be left for me to feed Him?"
And she's also simply concerned out of love, so she's chasing after Kṛṣṇa that, "You stop stealing the butter." And Kṛṣṇa is running away and playing and all these things, so see for very grave people, paṇḍitas, sometimes they can't figure out how God is running around stealing butter. But for the devotees, once they understand Kṛṣṇa's position, naturally even they feel attracted by all these activities, because it shows how the Lord can also come down to a very personal loving relationship with his devotees. He leaves off his majestic side, and he just becomes intimately connected with all his devotees and loving relationships, and that has got very beautiful attractive features. More beautiful than the features of Nārāyaṇa.
But if we make the mistake and think that Kṛṣṇa is an ordinary human, then we'll be a big aparādhī and offender, and we'll fall down from our position. So, not get that confusion, and not misunderstand Kṛṣṇa's position, therefore we are to worship in awe and reverence until formally, while we are in this planet, and that way, we're worshiping in a sense like we would worship Lakṣmi and Nārāyaṇa, although we're worshiping the form of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma.
But then, we also remember Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma's pastimes. We do Govardhana pūjā. We do Janmāṣṭamī. We do many. Jhulana-yātrā, and so many different pastimes. So, in this way, gradually the devotees get attracted to this loving form of the Lord. So, this is the prescribed procedure.
When one gets very advanced in their devotional service, they naturally become attracted to serving Kṛṣṇa in a particular mood, and that time, they serve Kṛṣṇa following some resident of Vṛndāvana. That's called rāgānuga, but we don't artificially imitate that. We first start off in sādhana-bhakti, and then gradually these things developed by the mercy of guru and Kṛṣṇa.
Five rasas. Four of them are active, and one is passive. The guru, we worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead through the guru. We cannot directly approach Kṛṣṇa. We have to go through the guru. And since we are to worship the Lord first in the mood of dāsya, then as we develop, some people remain in dāsya. It's not like a material thing that one is better than the other in some mundane sense. The different devotees have got different relationship with the Lord. Someone's relationship may be dāsya. May be sakhya. May be Vātsalya. May be in servitude, friendship, parental or conjugal.
We have to do our devotional service in this material world in any case in the mood of dāsya, until such time as we're awakened to any other rasa, if we happen to have another rasa. So the guru is the one who controls and guides and acts as the transparent via media for getting all this understanding, and he introduces us in the spiritual world to Kṛṣṇa and to the associate that we are to assist.
Hare Kṛṣṇa. Thank you.
Transcribed by Jagannātha dāsa
November 20th, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio