Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.2.14-16 , San Francisco , 1967-03-27


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.]

This verse we have been discussing in last meeting. In order to understand that Absolute Truth, it is the duty of everyone to hear, śrotavyaḥ kīrtitavyaś ca, and chant; and dhyeyaḥ, means meditating or remembering, dhyeyaḥ; pūjya, and worshiping; nityadā, regularly.

Whom? Bhagavān sātvatāṁ patiḥ, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the master of all righteous persons. He's master of everyone, but the devotees, they especially recognize that Lord is the master of everyone. And the demons, they do not care for God, and God also do not care for them. Let them do their own work and ripe [reap] their own fruit. God does not take responsibility for the demons, but He takes responsibility for His devotees.

Therefore it is the duty of the devotee to hear. The hearing process is Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And kīrtitavyaś ca, and narrate also. Unless one narrates or unless one speaks, one cannot hear. So the two process are going on: somebody is hearing and somebody is chanting. And then when hear and chant, there must be meditation.

If we attentively hear, then there must be meditation. And pūja. Pūjā means worship. The simple process of worship in this age is this performance as we are doing—chanting, hearing, and offering some fruits, flowers, and showing this candle. This is simple, that's all. There are... According to Vedic literature there are many parapher..., sixty-four item for worshiping. That is not possible in this age. So this is all right.

So this process will make you understand the Absolute Truth. You just follow this principle ekena manasā, with one attention, without diverting your attention to any other subject matter. If you follow this principle, ekena manasā, to hear, to chant, to think of and to worship... This simple process. This is the injunction of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

yad-anudhyāsinā yuktāḥ
chindanti kovidās tasya
ko na kuryāt kathā-ratim

[SB 1.2.15]

[With sword in hand, intelligent men cut through the binding knots of reactionary work [karma] by remembering the Personality of Godhead. Therefore, who will not pay attention to His message?]

What is the benefit of this process? The benefit of this process is karma-granthi-nibandhanam. Karma-granthi-nibandhanaṁ chindanti. Chindanti means cut off. What is that, cut off? There is a knot of our activities. Without performing this ceremony, or without following these instruction to hear, chant, think and worship, we cannot be out of the great knot of our material activities.

So long we are engaged in material activities, you are just acting one after another just like film spool. We have seen film—one picture after another, one picture, one picture, one... There are hundreds and thousand and millions of picture. Similarly, for my past activities I am now in this picture.

So my present activity is making another picture forward. Just like in my past activities I created this body. Similarly, by my present activity also I am creating my next body. So this transmigration of soul is going on. But if you adopt this process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then karma-granthi-nibandhanaṁ chindanti. This knot, one after another, this will be cut off.

So if it is so nice... Bhāgavata says yad-anudhyāsinā. Simply by following this procedure, yad-anudhyāsinā yuktāḥ, being engaged, karma-bandha-nibandhanam, the spool of the result of our activities one after another, chindanti, is cut off. Kovidāḥ, if an intelligent man is there, tasya ko na kuryāt kathā-ratim. Why an intelligent man should not engage himself in hearing about the topics of Kṛṣṇa? Is there any difficulty? If by this simple process you can cut off the eternal...

Not eternal; without any tracing of history... When my this spool of fruitive activities has begun we do not know. The result is that I'm simply transmigrating from one body to another. If this is stopped now, now if I get in my next body my eternal life, eternal knowledge and eternal bliss, why I shall not accept this? Kovida. Any intelligent man, why he shall not accept this process?

Karmāṇi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhājām. There is a very nice verse in the Brahma-saṁhitā. It is said there that,

yas tv indra-gopam athavendram aho sva-karma-
bandhānurūpa-phala-bhājanam ātanoti
karmāṇi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhājāṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

[Bs. 5.54]

[I adore the primeval Lord Govinda, who burns up to their roots all fruitive activities of those who are imbued with devotion and impartially ordains for each the due enjoyment of the fruits of one's activities, of all those who walk in the path of work, in accordance with the chain of their previously performed works, no less in the case of the tiny insect that bears the name of indragopa than in that of Indra, king of the devas.]

"I worship, I offer my respectful obeisances unto Govinda." Why? "Because He cuts off my entanglement in these material activities." He cuts off.

[thumping sound] What is this sound?

Mukunda: Maybe next door.

Prabhupāda: Oh. So, and for others? Only the devotees' entanglement of fruitive activities cut off, and what about the others? That is said, yas tv indra-gopam athavendram aho sva-karma.

Now, there are living entities of different grades. There is one living entity, it is very small, microscopic bacteria. It's name is indra. Don't think that bacteria was unknown in the past. The bacterias also were known. In the Vedic literature they were known. So there is one... They have got different names. Not that simply they say "bacteria." So one bacteria is called indra-gopa.

It is very small. It is to be seen by microscope. So Brahma-saṁhitā says that beginning from this indra, the indra-gopa bacteria, up to the Indra... Another Indra is, he is called the heavenly king. His name is also Indra. This bacteria is called indra-gopa, and the other Indra, who is king of the heaven, he is called Indra.

So Brahma-saṁhitā says beginning from this Indra up to that Indra... That beginning from that bacteria up to the king of heaven, yas tv indra-gopam athavendram aho sva-karma [Bs. 5.54], everyone is enjoying or suffering according to his own activities.

Gopam aho sva-karma-bandhānurūpa-phala-bhājanam ātanoti. Bandha, the same thing, nibandhanam. According to the knot of fruitive result, everyone is enjoying or suffering. Karmāṇi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhājām: but one who is engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and devotional service, his karma-nibandhana is cut off. Karmāṇi chindanti.

So this is the benefit of being Kṛṣṇa conscious, that whatever we are acting in our past life, and according to that we have got this body... Either impious or pious, whatever you have done, that's all right. Don't think that because we are doing some pious activities we shall be out of the bondage of fruitive activity.

No. That is also not possible. I have several times explained that if we do pious activity, then the result will be that we shall be able to get our birth in a very nice family, aristocratic family, rich family, pious family, big family. These are the result. Janma.

Or janma aiśvarya. Janma means a very rich man, born in a rich family or high family, that means automatically he becomes a rich man.


[SB 1.8.26]

[My Lord, Your Lordship can easily be approached, but only by those who are materially exhausted, because one who is on the path of [material] progress, trying to improve himself with respectable parentage, great opulence, high education and bodily beauty, cannot address You with sincere feeling.]

Or somebody becomes very highly or great learned man, śruta. And śrī; śrī means beauty: or one becomes very beautiful. So these things are obtained by righteous activities. And similarly, by acting impious activities we become very ugly, we become fool, we are born in a very low family or animal family and we become very poor. These are the results of different activities.

Now why... One may say, "If I get next life in a very rich family and becomes very rich man and becomes very learned man, very beautiful man, why shall I not take this opportunity?" But intelligent man says that "Even if I get such opportunities, the material miseries are there." It is not that because a child is born of a very rich family, he hasn't got to go into the womb of his mother and suffer the consequence. Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi [Bg. 13.9].

[Humility, pridelessness, nonviolence, tolerance, simplicity, approaching a bona fide spiritual master, cleanliness, steadiness and self-control; renunciation of the objects of sense gratification, absence of false ego, the perception of the evil of birth, death, old age and disease; nonattachment to children, wife, home and the rest, and evenmindedness amid pleasant and unpleasant events; constant and unalloyed devotion to Me, resorting to solitary places, detachment from the general mass of people; accepting the importance of self-realization, and philosophical search for the Absolute Truth—all these I thus declare to be knowledge, and what is contrary to these is ignorance.]

The distress of birth, death, disease and old age equally there, either you become born in a very high family or either you born in a very low family, either you're born in India or you are born in America.

This suffering, the four kinds of sufferings, are everywhere. Not only India and America, they are in this planet, but even if you go to the moon planet or if you go to the sun planet, ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ, even the highest planet... The modern scientist says that if we want to go to the highest planet it will take forty thousands of years... No. Four hundred thousands of years. Something like that they say. By sputnik. So anywhere you go... Lord Kṛṣṇa says,

ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino 'rjuna

[Bg. 8.16]:

[From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kuntī, never takes birth again.]

That repetition of birth and death, that will continue. Therefore intelligent person, those who are intelligent, they will take it up: "Oh, why shall I continue this birth and death process? Why not have my eternal life?"

If I am, by constitution, if I am eternal, if I am constitutionally blissful and if I am eternally full of knowledge, now I am covered by this material nature, why not take up this process so that this karma-bandhana, this continuous birth and death of transmigration of myself from one place to another, that should be stopped?

The Bhāgavata says therefore that yad-anudhyāsinā yuktāḥ karma-granthi-nibandhanam. If one can surpass this chain of birth and death, why an intelligent man should not take up this process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness?

What is that Kṛṣṇa consciousness? Just we are demonstrating. We are hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, we are hearing Bhagavad-gītā and chanting—hearing and chanting. Then we are thinking of. Unless you think of... Because whatever we hear and chant, naturally we have to think of. And pūjyaś ca, and offering a little flower and a little fruit and offer our respect to the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa. He is here. So is there any difficulty?

So Bhāgavata says, "Who will not take up this process? Forget what you are. Take this process, and you will be relieved of repeated birth and death." Karma-granthi-nibandhanam. Chindanti kovidās tasya ko na kuryāt kathā-ratim [SB 1.2.15]. "Who is such a fool who will not do this?"

Or "Which intelligent man will not do this?" It is very nicely put: "Which intelligent man will not do this?" Rather, who is such a fool who will not do this?


śuśrūṣoḥ śraddadhānasya
syān mahat-sevayā viprāḥ

[SB 1.2.16]

[O twice-born sages, by serving those devotees who are completely freed from all vice, great service is done. By such service, one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vāsudeva.]

Now this mentality, to have some attraction to hear about Vāsudeva... Vāsudeva-kathā means Kṛṣṇa, to hear about Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa has many activities. In the world there are many scriptures—undoubtedly they accept God. But there is no information of God's activities. That is the difference between Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and other scriptures.

In Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa is speaking about Himself personally, and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also speaking about Kṛṣṇa by..., spoken by Vyāsadeva. Practically the subject matter is the same. In the Bhagavad-gītā the Supreme Personality of Godhead speaking Himself, and in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the compiler, the author, Vyāsadeva, he is speaking of Kṛṣṇa.

So kṛṣṇa-kathā. This is full of kṛṣṇa-kathā. These two important Vedic literature is full of kṛṣṇa-kathā. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu... We are worshiping Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He is supposed to be... He is incarnation of Kṛṣṇa. So He also advised everyone, yāre dekha tāre kaha kṛṣṇa-kathā. Tāre kaha kṛṣṇa-kathā. He said that,

āmāra ājṣāya guru haṣā tāra' ei deśa
yāre dekha tāre kaha 'kṛṣṇa'-upadeśa

[Cc. Madhya 7.128]

[”Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa as they are given in the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In this way become a spiritual master and try to liberate everyone in this land.”]

He said that "Each and every one of you..." Whoever met Lord Caitanya, or whoever is in the chain of disciplic succession of Lord Caitanya, he's advised by the Lord that "You become a spiritual master." How? "Under My order. I give you order that you become a spiritual master." And then... "I am a fool." "No. You are not fool.

You have simply to say kṛṣṇa-kathā." These two kṛṣṇa-kathā—you have nothing to manufacture. You haven't got to tax your brain by meditation, by speculation. Everything is there. You have simply to place, submit, "Here is kṛṣṇa-kathā. Here is Bhagavad-gītā and here is Bhāgavata. Just please hear." That is your business.

You need not become a very learned speculators. Just like there are so many books simply full of speculation. You haven't got to do that. Caitanya Mahāprabhu is giving very simple formula: yāre dekha tāre kaha 'kṛṣṇa'-upadeśa [Cc. Madhya 7.128].

Kṛṣṇa-upadeśa means instruction of Kṛṣṇa—instruction given by Kṛṣṇa or instructions spoken about Lord Kṛṣṇa. If you do this, then you become a spiritual master.

So it is there. Simply we have to hear. Suppose if you are illiterate, you cannot read Bhagavad-gītā. Or... Of course, many of you, you do not know Sanskrit language, so you cannot read, but there are English translation. But you can hear. Bhagavān, the Lord, has given you the chance of hearing. You have got God-gifted ear. If you can attentively hear, you'll learn everything.

Formerly, of course, people were very intelligent. Simply by hearing. They need not take any note or need not read any book, but simply by hearing. So śrotavyaḥ. Therefore in the Bhāgavata it is recommended first thing that you have to hear. Simply by hear. And if you think, you become a spiritual master and you distribute this knowledge.

śuśrūṣoḥ śraddadhānasya
syān mahat-sevayā viprāḥ

[SB 1.2.16]

[O twice-born sages, by serving those devotees who are completely freed from all vice, great service is done. By such service, one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vāsudeva.]

Now this mentality for hearing kṛṣṇa-kathā, how it is developed? That is also śuśrūva. You must be very sincere, śuśrūva. And you must be inquisitive to hear. Śuśrūva. One who is very eager to hear, he can become, in future, the spiritual master. Śuśrūva śraddadhānasya, with faith. Vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ. Ruci means taste, and vāsudeva-kathā means Kṛṣṇa, the topics of Kṛṣṇa.

I am speaking of you of my personal experience how this eagerness of hearing is a very important thing. When I first met my spiritual master in 1933... Not... I met him first in 1922. Then for several years I was out of Calcutta and I could not meet him. Again next meeting was in 1933.

So at that time I was simply inquiring from other disciples of my spiritual master—at that time I was not spiritual master..., I mean to say, disciple—"So when His Holiness will speak?" So this information was noted by my spiritual master, and he was pleased to accept me immediately, that "This boy is very nice. He's very inquisitive to hear. He does not go away."

So this is a very good qualification. One who becomes inquisitive to hear, so śradda śuśrūṣoḥ. Śuśrūṣoḥ means one who is very inquisitive to hear; at the same time, to render service. These two qualifications. Śuśrūṣoḥ. Śraddadhānasya [SB 1.2.16], with faith. Vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ. For him the taste for hearing kṛṣṇa-kathā is very easy. And syān mahat-sevayā.

And this is also can be possible if we are fortunate enough to come in contact of a great soul, mahat-sevā. Mahat means great. And if we serve him, if we want to please him, mahat-sevayā viprāḥ: "My dear brāhmaṇas," he was addressing, puṇya-tīrtha-niṣevaṇāt. And puṇya-tīrtha. There are many sacred places. They are called puṇya-tīrtha. Sacred...

There are two kinds of sacred places. Just like if you go to a place... Just like in Vṛndāvana or Kankhara. In India there are... In the Christian also you have got your sacred place. The Muhammadans they have got their sacred place, Medina, Mecca.

You have got your Jerusalem. Similarly, these..., those who are followers of Vedic principles, they have got their several places, sacred places. One... Some of you who have visited India might have seen Haridwar, Kankhar[?], Lakshmanjhula, Prayāg, Vṛndāvana and Rāmeśvaram. There are many places.

So by serving these sacred places... To serve these sacred places means to... There are many good souls, great souls. So if you can find out such great souls, they are making their performances there. So if you find out some good, I mean to say, transcendentalist, and if you hear from him, then your process of life may be changed.

So puṇya-tīrtha-niṣe... Or sometimes such person, they travel all over the world also. So if you come in contact with such person and if you hear, then the vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ is developed. Then your tendency for hearing about Kṛṣṇa and Vāsudeva will develop.

This is the two... Thing, that you must be very much eager. And when you are eager, Kṛṣṇa will send you. Kṛṣṇa is within you. As soon as He understands that "Here is a person who actually wants transcendental elevation," He makes you contact with such person. Such persons are all over. They are in the world. It is not rare. Of course, in this age it is very rare. But if we are sincere, if we are eager...

teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi taṁ
yena mām upayānti te

[To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.]

In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that Kṛṣṇa, or the Supersoul, is situated within your heart. He's not very away long, long distant. He's just within yourself, sitting within you. You are also sitting in the heart, and the Supreme Lord also, as Supersoul, He is sitting there. You are sitting there two, just like friends. That is stated in the Upaniṣad, that two friends, two birds, sitting on the same tree. So this body is the tree, and you are sitting.

So as soon as we are sincere, we are eager to develop our spiritual consciousness, He gives us opportunity. Buddhi-yogam. That is buddhi-yoga, intelligence. He gives. What for? Yena mām upayānti te: by which one can attain perfection in understanding the Supreme Lord. This is given by Him. So we have to become serious and very eager. Unless you become eager...

God wants to see you that how much you are eager. So with the development of our eagerness and sincerity to have our knowledge in spiritual understanding, God will help us.

So śuśrūṣoḥ śraddadhānasya vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ syān mahat-sevayā [SB 1.2.16]. Mahat-sevā means if you, by chance, you get in contact of a great personality, great soul who knows Kṛṣṇa science, you just try to please him. Therefore we, every day in the morning, we sing yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ.

By pleasing such great soul, the spiritual master, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ, to please him means to please God. Because he is representative of God.

Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto 'pi.

[By the mercy of the spiritual master one receives the benediction of Kṛṣṇa. Without the grace of the spiritual master, one cannot make any advancement. Therefore, I should always remember and praise the spiritual master. At least three times a day I should offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master.]

If we cannot please such representative, bona fide representative of Kṛṣṇa, then there is no hope. There is no hope of our spiritual advancement.

Therefore the first duty in the morning is that dhyāyan stuvaṁs tasya yaśas tri-sandhyam. We have to remember about his glories and we have to offer our respectful obeisances unto him three times at least in a day, or tri-sandhyam. Tri-sandhyam means... In the morning, when the night is being passed, day is beginning, that is first sandhyam, junction.

And then when the sun is on the meridian, that is also another junction. And when the day is passing and night is beginning, that is another junction. So it is the duty of the student to offer respect to the bona fide spiritual master three times respect.

So serve, mahat-sevā, because that will, I mean to say, help me in making advance in spiritual knowledge.

Syān mahat-sevayā viprāḥ puṇya-tīrtha-niṣevaṇāt

[SB 1.2.16].

[O twice-born sages, by serving those devotees who are completely freed from all vice, great service is done. By such service, one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vāsudeva.]

And also by visiting sacred places. So it is not always possible to visit sacred places. It may be very distant place.

But when you get chance of a bona fide spiritual master, a great soul, if you try to please him, to satisfy him, that will make you eligible to have taste for kṛṣṇa-kathā, on the topics of Kṛṣṇa.

Thank you very much. Any question?

Devotee: Swāmījī?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Devotee: Should one offer his respects to his spiritual master wherever he is at this first time, or should he go to where the spiritual master is to offer his respects?

Prabhupāda: What do you say? I do not follow. What is that?

Devotee: Should a disciple go to his spiritual master directly to offer the respects at least three times, or offer them where he is?

Prabhupāda: Well, if it is possible to go to him directly, that should be taken chance. But if he's not, it is not possible, then his picture or his idea should be offered respect. Yes. But if he's directly available, one should avail of that.

[pause] Any other question?

[pause] All right. Let us have kīrtana.

[aside:] You are following the same verse from the book? [end]