Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.2.12–14 Jagannātha Deities Installation , San Francisco , 1967-03-26

Prabhupāda: ...[indistinct] they are called śruti. Śruti means the subject matter which is...

[break] Without devotion, simply we go on hearing for millions of years, oh, that will not also not act.

[aside:] It is here.

Bhaktyā śruta-gṛhītayā

[The seriously inquisitive student or sage, well equipped with knowledge and detachment, realizes that Absolute Truth by rendering devotional service in terms of what he has heard from the Vedānta-śruti.]

This is the process of understanding absolute knowledge. Please note these points, what are the process. First thing is that one must be faithful. Second thing is that he must be thoughtful. The third thing is that he must have knowledge. What is that knowledge? "I am not this body."

And then detachment. As soon as I am convinced that I am not this body, then why should I take so much care for the body? Let me take care of my self. And as soon as these qualifications are fulfilled, then you can see within yourself what you are. Paśyanty ātmānaṁ cātmani [SB 1.2.12]. And all these things is on the basis of devotional service and by the process of hearing from the authoritative source. These are the qualification for understanding Absolute Truth.


ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā
svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya
saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam

[SB 1.2.13]

[O best among the twice-born, it is therefore concluded that the highest perfection one can achieve by discharging the duties prescribed for one's own occupation according to caste divisions and orders of life is to please the Personality of Godhead.]

Now, it is clearly stated here that what is that Absolute Truth. Because as soon as you understand Absolute Truth, then there must be a process of activity, the process of activity. Just like we do sometimes business. First of all we understand each other and make an agreement. Then there will be business procedure. And then, next stage is profit.

Any way you take it... Suppose a boy and a girl agrees to get themselves married. So that is called agreement: "Yes, I shall marry you. You shall become my husband," "You shall become my wife." That is agreement. Then they should live together as a husband and wife. And the result is that they get good child, very nice child, lovely child. So everything, first there is to establish relationship. The next work is to act on that relationship. And the result—then enjoy.

So similarly, if we understand what is Absolute Truth... The Absolute Truth is already mentioned, that "We understand the Absolute Truth in three phases: first of all, impersonal Brahman; second, localized Paramātmā, Supersoul; and the ultimate, last, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

So if you at all understand that "Supreme Personality, Godhead, is the cause of all causes. I am also one of the effects of that cause," then what is your duty? That duty is mentioned here, that ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ.

The speech was being delivered by Sūta Gosvāmī amongst great sages. So he is addressing, "My dear learned brāhmaṇas." All the sages, they were brāhmaṇas. So, "My dear learned brāhmaṇas," ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ, "according to the division of social system..." What are the division?

The first-class man is a brāhmaṇa, full of knowledge, spiritual knowledge; the second-class man is the administrator, maintaining the state; and a third-class man, economic development, mercantile people; and fourth-class men, they are laborer class. This is the division of the society.

And there is division of spiritual advancement. What is that? That brahmacārī, the beginning of spiritual life; then gṛhastha, householder, to live just like gentleman, with responsibility with spiritual view, householder; then vānaprastha, retired life; then sannyāsa, renounced life. These are the divisions, varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ. Varṇa means four division of the social system, and āśrama means four division of spiritual enlightenment.

So here it is said, "My dear brāhmaṇas, learned brāhmaṇas, according to the division of the social status and spiritual status, everyone's duty is..." What is that duty? Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya. Everyone has got particular, specific occupational duty. A brāhmaṇa has got his occupational duty. The kṣatriya has occupational duty.

Similarly, brahmacārī, householder and retired—everyone has got specific duty. That is mentioned in all the śāstras. In the Bhagavad-gītā also that is mentioned, and in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is also mentioned. And one is to be understood what he is according to his quality and work, not by birth.

When it is default, it is taken on the basis of birth. But actually, in the śāstras, or scripture, there is no question of birth. Anyone can become a brāhmaṇa, anyone can become a kṣatriya, anyone can become a sannyāsī, anyone can become a brahmacārī—provided he acts according to the quality of the work.

So here Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya: "Everyone has got a particular type of occupational duty, but the ultimate goal of that duty is

saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam

[SB 1.2.13].

[O best among the twice-born, it is therefore concluded that the highest perfection one can achieve by discharging the duties prescribed for one's own occupation according to caste divisions and orders of life is to please the Personality of Godhead.]

If you want to make perfection of your duty, then you have to satisfy the Supreme Lord." It doesn't matter what you are. You may be a brahmacārī, you may be a householder, you may be in the renounced order of life, and you may be a laborer class, you may be a brāhmaṇa or you may be administrator.

Whatever you may be, it doesn't matter. But your duty, your occupational service, will attain perfection when you try to satisfy the Supreme Lord by your occupation. That is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

There is no harm that one is born a laborer class or uneducated or one is very learned or one is born of a very high family. These material qualification has nothing to do for spiritual evolution. Spiritual evolution is that you have to satisfy with the..., with your talent, with your capacity, with your work, to satisfy the Supreme Lord. That is your perfection. That is your perfection. It does not mean...

Suppose you are a businessman and you are doing some business. Now, it does not mean that because you are businessman, your perfection will be when you become a man like Rockefeller or Ford. That is not perfection. Perfection is that whether you are satisfying the Supreme Lord by your occupation. It doesn't matter what you are doing or what is your income.

You will be surprised to know that Lord Caitanya had a very poor friend. In His childhood He had a poor friend. His name was Śrīdhara. His income was daily, in those days, five hundred years before, his income was, say, about five cent daily. And not even that. Suppose five cent. So out of that five cent, he would spend two-half cent for gaṅgā-pūjā, for worshiping mother Ganges.

And with the balance two-half cent, he will maintain his family. So similarly, there are many instances. So it doesn't matter what is your income—five cent or five hundred dollars. You must try to satisfy according to your capacity the Supreme Lord. That should be.

There are many examples. Just like Rūpa Gosvāmī. Rūpa Gosvāmī is the direct disciple of Lord Caitanya. When he retired from his service—he was government minister—oh, he brought home golden coins, full, a boat full, full of gold. Now, just imagine how much the amount was. But he divided like this: fifty percent of his accumulated wealth, he spent for Kṛṣṇa.

There are many expenditure for Kṛṣṇa. If you ask, "How we can spend for Kṛṣṇa?" this Society for Kṛṣṇa conscious give you very nice program. If you have got millions of dollars to spend, we can give you program. Unfortunately, we are not getting. But our program is ready. For Kṛṣṇa consciousness we can spend any amount of money.

So Rūpa Gosvāmī, he gave fifty percent to the persons who are working for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Twenty-five percent he gave to his relatives, because they expect something. If I am a family man, I have got my children, my wife, so they expect something. So they must be given—but twenty-five percent, not all.

And twenty-five percent he kept for himself, so that in times of emergency... Because as soon as my money is gone out of my hand, I have no control. We have recently lost six thousand dollars. As soon as the check is out of the hand... Not here; in our New York. So as soon the check is out of hand, now it is gone. It is gone.

Therefore we should keep something, because, after all, we have got this material body. Either I pay to Kṛṣṇa... Kṛṣṇa consciousness spent, that cannot be returned. Now, if I give to my relatives something, that is also not returned. Then what to me if I am in danger, if I am in some difficulty? So something must be kept for yourself. So this is the process. So everyone should try.

Now, it is clearly stated that svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya saṁsiddhiḥ. Saṁsiddhiḥ means the complete perfection. Complete perfection is to satisfy the Supreme Lord. Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam [SB 1.2.13].

[O best among the twice-born, it is therefore concluded that the highest perfection one can achieve by discharging the duties prescribed for one's own occupation according to caste divisions and orders of life is to please the Personality of Godhead.]

Now, how to make satisfaction of the Supreme Lord? That is stated here:

tasmād ekena manasā
bhagavān sātvatāṁ patiḥ
śrotavyaḥ kīrtitavyaś ca
dhyeyaḥ pūjyaś ca nityadā

[SB 1.2.14]

[Therefore, with one-pointed attention, one should constantly hear about, glorify, remember and worship the Personality of Godhead, who is the protector of the devotees.]

The satisfaction is how you can satisfy the Supreme Lord. That is also stated here. What is that? Ekena manasā: "with one attention," not diverting your attention to so many things. Simply, I mean to say, fixing your attention on the Supreme Lord. Tasmād ekena manasā bhagavān.

Now, here is... The Bhāgavata does not say

brahmeti paramātmeti

[Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramātmā or Bhagavān.]

The Absolute Truth is Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān. That is mentioned. But here, when I have to give attention, then must be the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Otherwise, where I am going to give attention? If the impersonal feature, if I think impersonal feature, oh, it is very difficult where to fix up my mind. Therefore impersonal feature, Brahman, is not said. Ekena manasā.

Then Supersoul. Supersoul is within you. That is understood by meditation. Impersonal Absolute Truth is understood by philosophical process, speculation, and the Supersoul is understood by meditation. So..., and Bhagavān, Bhagavān is practical.

Just like we are interested with Kṛṣṇa. Here is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa's form is there, Kṛṣṇa's color is there, Kṛṣṇa's helmet is there, Kṛṣṇa's advice is there, Kṛṣṇa's instruction is there, Kṛṣṇa's sound is there—everything Kṛṣṇa. Everything Kṛṣṇa. There is no difficulty.

But if you turn your attention to the impersonal and to the Supersoul, it is very difficult. It is very difficult. You cannot fix your attention to the impersonal. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that

kleśo 'dhikataras teṣām avyaktāsakta-cetasām

[Bg. 12.5]:

[For those whose minds are attached to the unmanifested, impersonal feature of the Supreme, advancement is very troublesome. To make progrese in that discipline is always difficult for those who are embodied.]

"Those who are attached to the impersonal feature of the Absolute Truth, their business is very troublesome. Very troublesome," not like that, chanting, dancing and eating. Oh, it is very nice. That is very troublesome—speculate, "This is not, this is not. This is not Brahman. This is not Brahman," go on. And the result is also achieved—by working so hard for many, many lives you'll have to come to Kṛṣṇa.

Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jṣānavān māṁ prapadyate

[Bg. 7.19].

[After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.]

This morning we have been discussing this śloka.

So here also Bhāgavata says that tasmād ekena manasā: "With your one attention," tasmād ekena manasā bhagavān sātvatāṁ patiḥ, "you have to fix your mind on the Supreme Personality of Godhead," sātvatāṁ patiḥ, sātvatāṁ patiḥ, "the master of the devotees." Which bhagavān?

There are many bhagavān, because nowadays we have manufactured many bhagavāns. But here it is said that bhagavān means sātvatāṁ patiḥ: who is accepted by great devotees, just like Brahmā, Śiva, and not that by ordinary public one has been accepted, "Oh, here is incarnation of God." No.

So that God is Kṛṣṇa. That conception of God is Kṛṣṇa, because in the Bhagavad-gītā you find mattaḥ nānyat parataram asti. Kṛṣṇa says that "There is nothing beyond Me. There is nothing beyond Me."

Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate

[Bg. 10.8]:

[I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who know this perfectly engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.]

"I am the origin of everything." Mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate: "Everything emanates from Me." Iti matvā: "One who knows this," iti matvā bhajante māṁ budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ, "those who are actually learned, he knows it, and therefore he becomes My devotee."

In the Brahma-saṁhitā also it is stated,

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ

[Bs. 5.1].

[Kṛṣṇa who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes.]

There are many gods, but who is the Supreme God? The Supreme God is Kṛṣṇa. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ. Paramaḥ means the Supreme. You may be your god, I may be god, and there are many gods. But Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme God. Nobody is above Him.

Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ anādir ādir govindaḥ. He has no cause, anādi. He is causeless. We have got cause; He is causeless. Anādir ādir govindaḥ. Govinda means He is pleasure of... He is the reservoir of all pleasure, Govinda. Anādir ādir govindaḥ sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam [Bs. 5.1], cause of all causes.

So here it is said that "That Bhagavān, who is sātvatāṁ patiḥ..." That means there are many great, great devotees, stalwart devotees, ācāryas and teachers, and for all of them, He is the master. Sātvatāṁ patiḥ. And what is to be done about Him?

Śrotavyaḥ: "You have to hear about Him." Where I can hear? Oh, when He speaks Himself. Why don't you hear there? How can you know the Supreme, the cause of all causes? Nobody can explain. But when He explains Himself, you can hear. That is Bhagavad-gītā: Kṛṣṇa is explaining Himself.

Suppose if you want to know me or know something about me, you can ask some friend, "Oh, how is Swāmījī?" He may say something; other may something. But when I explain to you myself, "This is my position. I am this," that is perfect. That is perfect. So if you want to know the Absolute Supreme Personality of Godhead, you cannot speculate, neither meditate.

It is not possible, because your senses are very imperfect. So what is the way? Just hear from Him. So He has kindly come to say Bhagavad-gītā. Śrotavyaḥ: "Just try to hear." Śrotavyaḥ and kīrtitavyaś ca. If you simply hear and hear in the class of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and go outside and forget, oh, that will be not nice. That will not make you improve. Then, what is? Kīrtitavyaś ca: "Whatever you are hearing, you should say to others." That is perfection.

Therefore we have established Back to Godhead. The students are allowed, whatever they are hearing, they must be thoughtful and write. Kīrtitavyaś ca. Not only simply hearing. "Oh, I am hearing for millions of years; still, I cannot understand"—because you do not chant, you do not repeat what you have heard.

You have to repeat. Kīrtitavyaś ca. Śrotavyaḥ kīrtitavyaś ca dhyeyaḥ. And how can you write or how you can speak unless you think of Him? You are hearing about Kṛṣṇa; you have to think, then you can speak. Otherwise not. So śrotavyaḥ kīrtitavyaś ca dhyeyaḥ and pūjyaś ca. And you should worship. Therefore we require this Deity for worshiping. We have to think of, we have to speak, we have to hear, we have to worship, pūjyaś ca... Then? Occasionally? No. Nityasya: regularly. Regularly. Nityasya. This is the process.

So if anyone who adopts this process, he can understand the Absolute Truth. This is the clear declaration of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Thank you very much. Any question?

[pause] You can ask any question, what you have heard. Yes?

Guest: What is the source of lifes [indistinct]? Not the ordinary life. I am referring to it in the spiritual sense of the word. What is the source of... I don't mean to ask you if Brahman is the source of life. For example, I mean could sound create life?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Sound create life, that is the scientific truth. From ether, sound is created. From sound, fire is created. From fire... No. From sound, air is created. From air, fire is created. And from fire, water is created. From water, land is created. This is nature's law. But where the ether is created, that you have to search out. If you go upstair where ether is created, then you come to God. Therefore from God, everything is created. Ether is the subtle form of matter. Then it becomes gross, grosser.

So the grossest is this materially, this matter, I mean, dark. And the finest in the material is the ether. And finer than the ether is the mind. And finer than the mind is intelligence. And finer than the intelligence is the soul. And who is the source of soul? The Supreme Lord. Therefore the Supreme Lord is everything.

Guest: Somebody said Christ studied in India. Is this true?

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Guest: Somebody... I have heard or read somewhere that Christ had studied in India. Is this true?

Prabhupāda: Yes, I have also heard, but I do not know whether it is true. Maybe, because India is the place of learning. From China, from other places, from Greece, the history says, they used to go to India. So quite possible. And I have heard from reliable sources that Christ was absent from his home for twelve years, and he went to India for studying. Maybe. Yes.


Guest: You mentioned about how you should fulfill the supreme law, and you should be what your..., what the spirit tells you or what this Supreme Being, whatever, this tells you. I mean, like, if you, like, if you meditate a lot and you really, well, you feel something, that you should do something...

Prabhupāda: It is not something. It must be actual fact. There is no question of "something." "Something" is vague. You must speak what is that something.

Guest: Well, let's say it'd be to, er...

Prabhupāda: Oh, that you cannot express. That means you have no idea. So you have to learn. This is the process. I am speaking of the process. So if you want to have knowledge of Absolute Truth, the first thing is, basic principle is, faith. Then you must be thoughtful. Then you must be devoted, and you must hear from authentic sources. In this way, these are the different methods.

And when you come to the ultimate knowledge, from Brahman platform to Paramātmā platform, then Paramātmā to the Supreme Absolute Personality of Godhead, then your duty shall be to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the perfection of your active life. These are the process.

These are the process, and it is concluded that, therefore, everyone—never mind what he is—his duty is to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And how we can satisfy? We have to hear about Him, we have to speak about Him, we have to think about Him, we have to worship Him, and that is regularly.

That will make..., help you. If you have no worship, if you have no thought, if you have no hearing, if you have no speaking, and you are simply thinking of something, something, something, that "something, something," it is not God.

Guest: No, well, I mean, well, you know, I'm still young and I didn't know what I mean. I don't know what I'm...

Prabhupāda: So here don't talk. That I am speaking, that you have to know in this process. We are all "don't knows." So we have to know. This is the process.

[pause] Yes?

Nandarāṇī: But since we don't yet understand the supreme law, because we are young and just new to this, how can we speak about it without saying...?

Prabhupāda: Therefore you have to hear. First thing is śrotavyaḥ. You have to hear. Unless you hear, how can you speak? We are, therefore, giving you facility to hear. You hear, and then you can speak, then you can think. We are giving all facilities: to hear, to speak, to think, to worship. This is the Society's work.

Unless you hear, how you can speak? The first, I mean, task is given,

śrotavyaḥ kīrtitavyaś ca dhyeyaḥ pūjyaś ca nityadā

[SB 1.2.14].

[Therefore, with one-pointed attention, one should constantly hear about, glorify, remember and worship the Personality of Godhead, who is the protector of the devotees.]

These are the process. You have to hear, and hearing, you have to repeat, chant. And then you have to think, you have to worship. These are the processes.


Upendra: Swāmījī, so we can hear, but do we speak? Or do we listen for a long time then speak, or do we...?

Prabhupāda: No. Why? Suppose you hear two lines. Oh, you repeat that two lines. Now, anything... Suppose leaving aside everything, now hear Hare Kṛṣṇa. Oh, you can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. What is the difficulty there? Śrotavyaḥ kīrtitavyaś ca. You have to hear and chant.

So if you cannot remember all the topics which are, mean to say, speaking from Bhagavad-gītā or Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, then you can at least remember this, "Hare Kṛṣṇa." Therefore it is the easiest process. You hear Hare Kṛṣṇa and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Then other things will come automatically.

Now, this is possible for everyone. Even the child can repeat Hare Kṛṣṇa. What is the difficulty? You hear Hare Kṛṣṇa and you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. We are not giving you very difficult or troublesome task. Then everything will follow. We are giving you everything.

But if you feel in the beginning to be difficult, then you can do this. This is very nice, Hare Kṛṣṇa. We are doing that actually. Somebody is speaking and hearing and you are chanting. This process will help you.

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
sakhyam ātma-nivedanam

[SB 7.5.23]

[Prahlāda Mahārāja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Viṣṇu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words)—these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Kṛṣṇa through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge.]

This śravaṇam... Hearing and chanting is the basic principle of advancement in spiritual life. Without hearing, we shall simply concoct, simply waste our time and mislead people. We have to hear from the authoritative sources.

[aside:] Hayagrīva, come here. Come here. Now this should be lighted up, and when there is kīrtana, one must be doing like this before the Deity. You see? Yes, with the kīrtana. When he is tired, he should hand over to another person, devotee. When he is tied, he should another. So, so long kīrtana will go on, this will go on. You just, with the kīrtana just now... You do not follow? You begin, and when you are tired, you hand over to others. It will go on.

Hayagrīva: Like this?

Prabhupāda: Yes, that's it, before the Deity.

[break] You bring that before me. Show everyone. Each and everyone show. Whatever they contribute... You take, take the... Yes, like this. Yes, yes. Show everyone.

The Bhāgavata has recommended hearing, chanting, thinking... Just... Hearing, chanting, thinking and worshiping, the process which we just now introduced on the advent of Jagannātha Svāmī. Now this temple is now completely fixed. So this worshiping process..., this is the worshiping process. By light... This is called ārātrika. So at the end of kīrtana this ārātrika will go, and the worshiping process is to take the heat of the light, and whatever your condition is, pay something for the worship.

So this simple process, if you follow, you just see how you realize the Absolute Truth. Another, I request you, all the devotees, when you come to the temple, you bring one fruit and one flower. If you can bring more fruit, more flower, it is very good. If not, it is not very expensive, one fruit and one flower. And offer to the Deity. So I'll request you when you come to the temple you bring this. Whatever fruit it may be. It does not mean that you have to bring very costly fruit. Any fruit, whatever you can afford. One fruit and one flower.

Yes. Now you can distribute prasādam?

[pause; guests taking prasādam]

Girl devotee: Maybe if we just put a plate at the end of the table...

[indistinct comments about serving prasādam]

Prabhupāda: Very nice preparation. Mmmm. All glories to the cookers.

Girl devotee: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Jagannāthaḥ svāmī nayana-patha-gāmī bhavatu me. Howard, repeat this.

Hayagrīva: Jagannāthaḥ svāmī nayana-patha-gāmī bhavatu me.

Prabhupāda: Yes, this should be chanted. J

jagannāthaḥ svāmī nayana-patha-gāmī bhavatu me

[Śrī Jagannāthāṣṭaka].

[Sometimes in great happiness Lord Jagannātha makes a loud concert with His flute in the groves on the banks of the Yamunā. He is like a bumblebee tasting the beautiful lotuslike faces of the cowherd damsels of Vraja, and great personalities such as Lakṣmī, Śiva, Brahmā, Indra, and Gaṇeśa worship His lotus feet. May that Jagannātha Svāmī be the object of my vision.]

[pause; taking of prasādam continues]

Hayagrīva: Oh. Uh, "Lord of the universe, please be present before me."

[pause; door opens and closes]

Prabhupāda: Oh, why he is going away?

[someone goes out]

Ask him to come. Please, please take prasādam. Give him. [break] [end]