Lecture , San Francisco , 1971-06-28
Prabhupāda: So I am very glad that you are following the footprints of the Gosvāmīs, six Gosvāmīs. Vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau. Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī, vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau, and two Raghunātha Gosvāmī—one Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī and one Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī. Vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau, four. Śrī-jīva-gopālakau: and Sri Jīva Gosvāmī and Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī. They were direct disciple of Lord Caitanya. There are thousands of disciples of Lord Caitanya, but they are prominent, who gave very prominent service to the Lord by executing the mission of Lord Caitanya.
By the order of Lord Caitanya they went to Vṛndāvana, and the present city of Vṛndāvana is the contribution of the Gosvāmīs. First of all Sanātana Gosvāmī went there, then Rūpa Gosvāmī. In this way the city was excavated. It was formerly, five hundred years ago, there was no trace where and how Kṛṣṇa līlā was performed in that tract of land. But when Caitanya Mahāprabhu went there, He first of all discovered Rādhā-kuṇḍa, the lake in which Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī used to take bath and Kṛṣṇa used to come. There is Śyāma-kuṇḍa also. The Śyāma-kuṇḍa, Rādhā-kuṇḍa, two lakes are still existing. Hundreds..., thousands of people, devotees, go to see that lake every day.
So the six Gosvāmīs were..., some of them were very prominent government officers. Just like Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī: they were two important ministers in the then-Muhammadan government, Nawab Hussain Shah, his government. They resigned their ministerial post and joined Sri Caitanya Mahāprabhu for propagating His mission of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So rūpa-sanātanau, they are very responsible government officers.
And raghu-yugau, raghu-yugau, two Raghunātha: one Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa and one Raghunātha dāsa. Raghunātha dāsa was the only son of his father and uncle, very big landholde of Bengal. Their father's income was twelve hundred thousands of rupees in those days. Now you can increase at least fifty times and then calculate what was the income of Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. But he left everything to join Caitanya Mahāprabhu's movement.
Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī also came from a very learned brāhmaṇa family. Similarly, Jīva Gosvāmī was the greatest scholar till now. Nobody can compete with Jīva Gosvāmī's scholarship in Sanskrit and philosophy. That is the verdict of all learned scholars. The world's best philosopher and Sanskrit scholar was Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī. He happened to be the nephews of Rūpa Gosvāmī.
When Jīva Gosvāmī's father and uncles left home, he was only ten-years-old boy. He thought, "If my father and uncles have left, why shall I not leave home?'' So at the age of ten years he left home and went to Benares, the seat of Sanskrit scholars. He learned there Sanskrit very nicely, became a very great scholar, and then joined their uncles in Vṛndāvana. Of course, at that time Caitanya Mahāprabhu had passed. So Jīva Gosvāmī, he is also very learned scholar. His books are still adored by all spiritual sections. Sandarbas, six sandarbas, philosophical theses.
And then vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau. Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, he was also learned scholar. So all rich men, rich politicians, scholars, great brāhmaṇas, they joined Caitanya Mahāprabhu. It is so nice movement. It attracted thousands of people, just [as] it is attracting you, American boys and girls.
So in those days, a scholarly section, learned section, rich section were attracted by Caitanya Mahāprabhu's movement. And what was their business? This business, as you are doing: kṛṣṇa kīrtana-gāna-nartana-parau [Śrī Ṣaḍ-gosvāmy-aṣṭaka 1]. Their engagement was kṛṣṇa ut kīrtanam. Kṛṣṇa kīrtanam, singing about Kṛṣṇa, just like you are doing—Hare Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa ut-kīrtana, very loudly chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, kṛṣṇot-kīrtana-gāna, and sometimes prayer, songs. Nartana. Naratana means dancing. These were their engagement: kṛṣṇot-kīrtana-gāna-nartana-parau premāmṛtāmbho-nidhī. And as soon as they chanted, immediately they were immersed in the ocean of bliss, prema, ecstasy of love of God, Kṛṣṇa.
Kṛṣṇot-kīrtana-gāna-nartana-parau premāmṛtāmbho-nidhī dhīrādhīra-jana-priyau. They were very much affectionate, or dear, to all classes of people. There are two classes of men: dhīra, adhīra. Dhīra means sober, and adhīra means just the opposite: debauchers. So they were dear to both classes of men. This is kṛṣṇa-kīrtana, is so nice. It is dear to all classes of men. Dhīrādhīra-jana-priyau priya-karau nirmatsarau pūjitau. Because they are not envious.
This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is not meant for a particular class of men. It is meant for everyone. So... And what was their other qualification? Śrī-caitanya-mahāprabhu-dhīrādhīra priya...., jana-priya-priyakarau nirmatsarau pūjitau, śrī-caitanya-mahāprabhu... They're very dear servitor of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu for delivering the fallen souls of this world. And we have to offer our respectful obeisances to the six Gosvāmīs, vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau srī-jīva-gopālakau.
Then their next qualification, next engagement, was nana-śāstra-vicaraṇaika-nipunau. Śāstra, all kinds of Vedic literature. Śāstra means which governs. The Vedic literature governs. There is a verbal root which is called śās. Śās means to rule. The ruling, there are three kinds of ruling. One ruling is śāstra, law codes. Just like every civilized country is ruled by the laws of the state, and the statute book which contains all the rules, that is called law books. That is also śāstra. That is śāstra. And then another śās-dhātu is śastra. Śastra means weapons, that like guns, swords. Śāstra and śastra.
So there are two sections of people: those who are civilized, they are ruled by the śāstra, by the law codes; and those who are law-breakers, they are ruled by the śastra, weapons. Both things are required, śāstra and śastra. And śāśam, śāśam means government. The government has two department—criminal and civil. Civil department is controlled by the śāstra, law codes, and the criminal department is governed by the śastra, weapons. So this is the rule from time immemorial. Both things are required. Sometimes violence required, police force required for the unruly persons. They will not care for the śāstra, don't care for śāstra, but you care for the śastra. So two things are there.
Similarly, Kṛṣṇa says that "I am this and that.'' He says, raso 'ham apsu kaunteya [Bg. 7.8]. Those who are sober, those who want to understand Kṛṣṇa, they can understand Kṛṣṇa in every step of life. Just like raso 'ham apsu kaunteya, "I am the taste of the water.'' Water you have to drink. Just like I drank just a minute before and quenched my thirst. But that quenching active principle is Kṛṣṇa. So we can realize Kṛṣṇa every time we'll drink water. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Śās..., prabhāsmi śaśi sūryayoḥ. Kṛṣṇa is the sunshine, Kṛṣṇa is the moonshine. Kṛṣṇa is the fragrance of the flower. As soon as you take a flower and smell it, the fragrance is Kṛṣṇa.
In this way, every step we can understand Kṛṣṇa. Even in sex life we can understand Kṛṣṇa. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: dharmāviruddho kāmo 'smi [Bg. 7.11], sex life which is not against the religious codes. What is that? Sex life for begetting children is allowed. That is not against the religious code, and that is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, dharmāviruddho kāmo 'smi. Kāma, lust. Sex life is the business of lust. Kṛṣṇa says, "Yes, lust is also good provided it is not against the religious codes.''
So nothing is bad; everything is good, if it is for developing our Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Nothing is bad, because everything is creation of Kṛṣṇa. How it can be bad? It cannot be bad; it is good, provided we follow the rules and regulations. Everything is good. Therefore we are consult various śāstras. Nana-śāstra-vicaraṇaika-nipunau, vicāra. Vicāra means to study them with careful attention. Vicāra. Nana-śās...
So these Gosvāmīs were studying many kinds of Vedic literatures. There are hundreds and thousands of Vedic literature—primarily four Vedas: Sama, Yajur, Atharva..., Ṛg, Atharva. Then from the Vedas, there are supplementary Vedas, which are called Purāṇas, eighteen Purāṇas. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is one of the Purāṇas, Mahā-Purāṇa. Then there is..., there are Mahābhārata, "The Great History of India.'' Bhārata means India, and mahā means greater, greater India.
The greater India was the whole planet. The whole planet was Bhārata-varṣa. Now it is crippled. It has become a small tract of land. But originally everywhere, this portion of the world, America, it was also Bhārata-varṣa. Sapta-dvīpa, seven islands. Seven islands. Actually the whole planet is full of water—Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean. Full of water. And these are islands only—Asia, Europe, America. There are seven islands, sapta-dvīpa. The planet is sapta-dvīpa, seven full..., comprising of seven islands. That is Bhārata-varṣa.
So nana-śāstra-vicaraṇaika-nipunau. So we have to study the Vedic literature very carefully, following the footsteps of Gosvāmīs. Not only chanting. This is also required, kṛṣṇot-kīrtana-gāna. But this is meant..., if you simply go on chanting without reading books, that is also good, especially in this age, because nobody has got power to study books. Education is very less. So still, one who is able, they should consider all this. We have given in English translation so many important books. You study, and chant this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra like this, and that is the following the footsteps of Gosvāmīs. Ācāryopāsanā. We have to worship the ācāryas. That is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā for making progress in spiritual life, ācāryopāsanā.
So this is ācāryopāsanā, by reading their books, nana-śāstra-vicaraṇaika-nipunau sad-dharma-samsthapakau. Why studying so many books? For the sake of establishing real religious life, sad-dharma. There are two kinds of dharmas, religious, religions: pravṛtti-mārga, nivṛtti-mārga. Pravṛtti-mārga means materialism, and nivṛtti-mārga means spiritualism. Pravṛtti means because we had intention to enjoy this material world, therefore we have been given this material body by the energy of Kṛṣṇa, prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni [Bg. 3.27], by the..., for associating with this material world.
We are spirit soul. We have been given this chance to associate with the material world, this material, which is called... So there is still the rules and regulation. You associate, you enjoy this material world under this instruction, then you'll not be fallen, you'll not be implicated. That śāstra. Śāstra gives you codes. Just like when I immigrated in this land, they gave me one paper, "Welcome," and some immigration rules. That is śāstra. Similarly, the Vedas means the rules and regulation which, following, they'll very happily live in this material world.
Material world is not required by me or you. We are spirit soul. We have no business in the material world. Just like we are living entities of the land. We have no business with the water. But if anyone wants to cross over the sea, he must have a well-built ship to cross over. Similarly, we spirit souls we have no business in this material world, but because we wanted to enjoy it, leaving the association of Kṛṣṇa, we have been given this ship, this body, to ply over the material ocean.
So if you know how to ply the ship over the ocean there is no, I mean to say, fear of being drowned. If you have got a good captain of the ship and the ship is well built, then you'll have no danger. So the captain is the spiritual master, and this body is a very good ship. This is..., these are the examples given. We have to cross over this material ocean. So we must have a captain and good ship, and favorable air.
If the air is favorable, suppose you're going to the western side, and if the wind is blowing towards western side, it will automatically push your boat or ship. It will be favorable. If you go against the wind, it is difficult. So you have got a very good ship—this human form of body—and the captain is the spiritual master, and the favorable wind blowing, the instruction of the śāstras. So taking this opportunity, if you cross over this material ocean, then there is no difficulty. So we should take opportunity of this body, of the instruction of Kṛṣṇa, Bhagavad-gītā, and the spiritual master, then very easily we cross over.
Nana-śāstra-vicaraṇaika-nipunau sad-dharma-samsthapakau lokanam hita-karinau. The Gosvāmīs were very much fond of doing welfare activities for the general people, just like this movement. This movement is the greatest welfare activities in this world. Lokanam hita-karinau. It is beneficial for all kinds of human being.
Nana-śāstra-vicaraṇaika-nipunau sad-dharma-samsthapakau lokanam hita-karinau tri-bhuvane manyau. So if we execute this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, following the footsteps of the Gosvāmīs, then tri-bhuvane manyau, you will be honored in the three worlds, wherever you go.
Just like I am Indian, but you are honoring me. Why? Have I bribed you with my Indian money, currency? I came with forty rupees only, had no money. Why? Because you are having some message of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the stage of being honored. Similarly, just like this time when I went to India, all my American students—forty students are still there—they're being honored very nicely everywhere. In every city—Calcutta, Bombay, Benares, Amritsar. Why? Many American tourists go there. They are not honored. But why these boys are honored? Only for this kṛṣṇot-kīrtana-gāna-nartana. They are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.
So not only... This is the process. Any country you go, if you are strictly adherent to the rules and regulation of chanting sixteen rounds, that is your spiritual strength, and following the, I mean to say, prohibitive rules, then you will be honored everywhere. Any part of the world you go, you'll be honored. It is not very difficult to chant sixteen rounds and following the regulative principles, but if you follow strictly, rigidly, you'll get spiritual strength and you'll be honored all over the world. Just take this secret. They'll not ask you to know how far you are educated, or that you have passed your M.A. examination or Ph.D. No. They will be charmed by this kṛṣṇot-kīrtana-gāna-nartana. So the Gosvāmīs showed us the way.
Then next, śrī-gaurāṅga-guṇānuvarṇana-vidhau. They were very expert in describing the transcendental qualities of Lord Sri Caitanya, Gaurasundara, śrī-gaurāṅga-guṇānuvarṇana-vidhau. So in this way they passed their life in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and if we'll follow the footsteps of such mahājana, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.186]... Our business is, we haven't got to make research work. Everything is there, given by the Gosvāmīs and ācārya. We have simply to follow. That's all. Who..., what is Kṛṣṇa, what is God, you haven't got to make research. Kṛṣṇa is personally saying about Himself, Bhagavad-gītā, "I am like this.'' Raso 'ham apsu kaunteya [Bg. 7.8], mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate.
So these are thing there. You have simply to accept it, to know it and follow it. Then your life is successful. We are not so foolish that we are going to make research work. Why? When there are so many things present already, what is the use of research work? First of all assimilate what is already there. And what research you can make? Your senses are faulty, imperfect. What research you can work? So that is not possible. That is humbug. You simply try to understand, without any malinterpretation, Bhagavad-gītā as it is, and you understand what is Kṛṣṇa, what is God. And you follow the ācāryas, then your life is successful.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. [devotees offer obeisances] [end]