Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.1.1 , London , 1971-08-07
Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [Prabhupāda and devotees repeat] [leads chanting of verse, etc.]
tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ
tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ yathā vinimayo yatra tri-sargo 'mṛṣā
dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi
[Prabhupāda interrupts chanting: "Not all at a time. Practise, then..." Pradyumna resumes chanting one word at a time, then a line at a time]
Prabhupāda: So, next, anyone? [devotees chant, with Prabhupāda correcting] Any girls? [lady devotee chants with Prabhupāda correcting] Any other girl? [lady devotee chants] Very good. So? Word meaning.
Pradyumna: [leads chanting of synonyms]
om—O my Lord; namaḥ—offering my obeisances; bhagavate—unto the Personality of Godhead; vāsudevāya—unto Vāsudeva (the son of Vasudeva), or Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the primeval Lord; janma-ādi—creation, sustenance and destruction; asya—of the manifested universes; yataḥ—from whom; anvayāt—directly; itarataḥ—indirectly; ca—and; artheṣu—purposes; abhijñaḥ—fully cognizant; sva-rāṭ—fully independent; tene—imparted; brahma—the Vedic knowledge; hṛdā—consciousness of the heart; yaḥ—one who; ādi-kavaye—unto the original created being; muhyanti—are illusioned; yat—about whom; sūrayaḥ—great sages and demigods; tejaḥ—fire; vāri—water; mṛdām—earth; yathā—as much as; vinimayaḥ—action and reaction; yatra—whereupon; tri-sargaḥ—three modes of creation, creative faculties; amṛṣā—almost factual; dhāmnā—along with all transcendental paraphernalia; svena—self-sufficiently; sadā—always; nirasta—negation by absence; kuhakam—illusion; satyam—truth; param—absolute; dhīmahi—I do meditate upon.
Translation: "I offer my obeisances unto Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the son of Vasudeva, who is the supreme, all-pervading Personality of Godhead. I meditate upon Him, the transcendent reality, who is the primeval cause of all causes, from whom all manifested universes arise, in whom they dwell and by whom they are destroyed. I meditate upon that eternally effulgent Lord who is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations and yet is beyond them. It is He only who first imparted Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmā, the first created being. Through Him this world, like a mirage, appears real even to great sages and demigods. Because of Him, the material universes, created by the three modes of nature, appear to be factual, although they are unreal. I meditate therefore upon Him, the Absolute Truth, who is eternally existent in His transcendental abode, and who is forever free of illusion."
Prabhupāda: So Vyāsadeva is offering his obeisances unto the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Bhagavate, "unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is known as Vāsudeva." Vāsudeva means the son of Vasudeva. Even the leader of the impersonalists, namely Śaṅkarācārya, he has accepted that the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared as the son of Vasudeva and Devakī.
People may not misunderstand. Just like we give identification by giving the name of father, mother, similarly, Kṛṣṇa's identification is that He is son of Vasudeva or son of Nanda Mahārāja, friend of Śrīdāmā, Sudāmā, lover of Rādhārāṇī. In so many ways He has got hundreds of thousands of names.
So people who protest that God cannot have any name... They say that God cannot have any name. Yes, we agree with that. God cannot have any name. Or God has so many names, how we'll address Him? The śāstra says that He has got many names, but the chief name is Kṛṣṇa. In the Atharva Veda it is said. Kṛṣṇa is the son of Devakī, Vasudeva. Those who are very much strict to understand everything on the evidence of Veda, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has given them quotation from Vedas, that "In the Vedas, Kṛṣṇa's name is there, His father's name is there." Like that.
So God's name... Actually, there is no God's name. There is name, but He has got so many names. His name is given according to His pastime. Just like according to... It has got meaning. You cannot give any name to God without bearing any meaning. That is the Vedic significance. When we say "Kṛṣṇa" name of God, that means He's all-attractive. All-attractive means, He's not only attractive to the devotees but to the nondevotees also. It's not that Kṛṣṇa is one-sided, He's attractive to the devotees. No. To the nondevotees also.
Just like Kaṁsa. Kaṁsa was also attracted by Kṛṣṇa. He was attracted to Kṛṣṇa as enemy. There are two kinds of attraction. We can become attracted to somebody as friend as well as enemy. That is also attraction. If you think of some person that "This man is my enemy. I want to kill him, or I want to do some harm to him. How I shall do? How shall I capture him? He goes from the office, on the road. So I can capture him in that way." So many ways. Just like in America the President Kennedy was killed. So the man who killed him, he made it a plan, thinking of President Kennedy always. That is attraction.
All-attractive means, therefore, that Kṛṣṇa is attractive to everyone, either one is Kṛṣṇa's devotee or nondevotee. The best example is Kaṁsa. Kaṁsa heard that the eighth son of his sister, Devakī, would kill him. Since that time, he became attracted to Kṛṣṇa: "Oh, somebody's coming in the name Kṛṣṇa, as my sister's eighth son. So He will kill me. So let me kill my sister, the source of Kṛṣṇa."
So he first of all wanted to kill his sister. That is due to attraction of Kṛṣṇa. He was very kind to his sister. After the marriage of his sister he was taking very jubilantly his sister and his brother-in-law in a chariot, and he was personally driving, because Devakī happened to be younger sister of Kaṁsa. Naturally, everyone has got some love for younger brother and sister.
So he was affectionate. Although he was a devotee..., a nondevotee demon, still, natural attraction one cannot avoid. Just like a tiger. Tiger is killer of everyone, but still, the tiger and the tigress have got affection for the cubs. That is natural. So he had the natural attraction for his sister, but when he heard that his sister would be the killer of him, he immediately wanted to kill his sister. That story you know. It is stated in the Kṛṣṇa book, beginning.
So the idea is... Satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi [SB 1.1.1]. Namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. So Vyāsadeva is offering his obeisances to the son of Devakī, Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa means all-attractive. Then, read. What is next?
Pradyumna: "Obeisances unto the Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva, directly indicates Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is the divine son of Vasudeva and Devakī. This fact will be more explicitly explained in the texts of this work. Śrī Vyāsadeva asserts herein that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead, and all others are His direct or indirect plenary portions or portions of the portion."
Prabhupāda: Yes. This will be explained in the Third Chapter [aside:] Third Chapter? Third Chapter of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, First Canto. When describing different incarnations, so in that list of different incarnations, Kṛṣṇa's name is also there. So Vyāsadeva has purposefully explained in that verse that there are so many incarnations. It has been described there that Kṛṣṇa, or God, has got so many incarnation, just like so many waves of the river.
If you have got some experience of the flowing river, you'll find so many waves are coming, one after another, one after another. So He has got so many incarnations that you cannot count even. Just like if you sit down on the bank of a river and go on counting the waves, so whole day and night, whole year, whole life, still, it will not be finished.
Therefore Kṛṣṇa's another name is Ananta. Ananta means "who has no end." Ananta. Anta means end. Everything of us, there is end. But Kṛṣṇa has no end. Similarly, His incarnation has no end. So in spite of so many incarnations, He is full. If we take..., try to understand Kṛṣṇa materially, that...
Just like if you take from some stock one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, like that, then the stock will be finished at a certain point. Kṛṣṇa is not like that. Pūrṇam. The Veda says Kṛṣṇa is pūrṇam, complete. What kind of pūrṇam? We understand also complete. But if you want to take something from the complete, gradually it will be reduced, and ultimately it becomes zero.
So Kṛṣṇa is not like that. The Vedas says that pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya pūrṇam eva avaśiṣyate [Īśo Invocation]. He's complete. So many incarnations are coming from Him, just like the waves of the river; still, He's complete. Pūrṇasya pūrṇam. From original Kṛṣṇa so many incarnation are coming. But still, He's there.
In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is stated that: goloka eva nivasaty akhilātma-bhūtaḥ [Bs. 5.37]. Kṛṣṇa lives at His home, Goloka Vṛndāvana. Just like Kṛṣṇa is in Goloka Vṛndāvana. So still, He emanates, He expands Himself. Akhilātma-bhūtaḥ. Akhilātma-bhūtaḥ means throughout the whole creation. He has creation; that is also innumerable. We are seeing this creation, this universe. There are innumerable planets. But... Akhilātma-bhūtaḥ [Bs. 5.37], in everywhere Kṛṣṇa is there. Still He is existing in His own abode.
We cannot imagine, because we have no such experience. Just like we are sitting in this room. We are not sitting in the other room. Try to understand the distinction between Kṛṣṇa and ourselves. But Kṛṣṇa is here, and He's not only in the other room—other building, other city, other universe, everywhere. That is Kṛṣṇa.
It is stated—not that we are imagining, because we take evidence from the Vedic literature. In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is stated like that:
yac chaktir asti jagad-aṇḍa-cayā yad-antaḥ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
One portion of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa has direct expansion and expansion of the expansion. Just like Kṛṣṇa, His immediate expansion is Baladeva, Balarāma. Then from Balarāma the next expansion is catur-vyūha, quadruple: Saṅkarṣaṇa, Vāsudeva, Aniruddha, Pradyumna. Again, from this Saṅkarṣaṇa there is another expansion, Nārāyaṇa. From Nārāyaṇa, there is another expansion. Again, second status of Saṅkarṣaṇa, Vāsudeva, Aniruddha... Not only one Nārāyaṇa, but innumerable Nārāyaṇas.
Because in the Vaikuṇṭhaloka, spiritual sky, there are innumerable planets. How many? Now, just imagine here in this universe there are planets. This is one universe. There are millions of planets. You cannot count. You cannot count. So similarly, there are innumerable universes also. That also you cannot count. Still, all these universes taken together is only one-fourth manifestation of Kṛṣṇa's expansion. So in the Vaikuṇṭhaloka there is three-fourths expansion.
So we cannot count even one planet how many Kṛṣṇa's expansions are there, because He is aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham [Bs. 5.35]. He's within the atom also. The scientists are perplexed to analyze one atom. More and more they're finding components. Kṛṣṇa... Therefore His name is Ananta. Advaitam acyutam ananta..., anādim ananta-rūpam [Bs. 5.33]. He has got multiforms. Multiforms.
So Vyāsadeva will explain in the Third Chapter that although He has got all these multiforms, nobody is lesser than Kṛṣṇa. But still that Kṛṣṇa, the name which He appeared in this list[?], He's the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam [SB 1.3.28]. All other incarnations who are mentioned in this list, they are aṁśa-kalāḥ. They're directly expansion or expansion of the expansion, expansion of the expansion, you go on; there is no limit. That is Kṛṣṇa. Just like Kṛṣṇa is in this temple. In other temples also, Kṛṣṇa is there. Not that because in this temple Kṛṣṇa is there, He is finished. Just like we are present in this room, not in other room; that means this one room—finished. Kṛṣṇa is not like that. Try to understand Kṛṣṇa.
Therefore Bhāgavata is trying to inform you about Kṛṣṇa, beginning janmādy asya... [SB 1.1.1], oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Vāsudeva Kṛṣṇa, svayaṁ bhagavān. Now, what kind of Vāsudeva? Janmādy asya yataḥ: from whom everything is there. What is that everything? Means birth, sustenance and death. Everything we can understand, any material object we can understand by these three symptoms. Just like your body, my body, or everyone's body: it has got a date of birth, it continues to live for some time, and there is end. That is called janmādy asya [SB 1.1.1]. Janma ādi asya. First of all birth, then sustenance, then death. This is three summary.
But actually there are six. Six... In the birth, then living for some time, then growth, then producing something out of the body, then dwindling, then finished. Every body. Everybody takes birth, then remains for some time, grows also or changes different body, and then from the body some other bodies are also come out. In this way one becomes old; that means dwindling. And one day will come he'll be finished. Ṣaḍ-vikāra. These are called six kinds of transformation. Any material thing we can take: six kinds of transformation. But Kṛṣṇa has not such transformation. Therefore He is not of this body. His body is mentioned in the śāstra, sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1].
So anyone accepting Kṛṣṇa like ordinary man, then he's a rascal. Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam [Bg. 9.11]. Kṛṣṇa says, "The rascal only, they take Me as a human being." Just like a great rascal scholar, he has mentioned, "Perhaps Kṛṣṇa was the leader of an aborigine, and He has been accepted as God." You see? So we cannot study Kṛṣṇa in that way, from the fools and rascals. We have to know Kṛṣṇa from authorities.
Just like Vyāsadeva is explaining what is Kṛṣṇa. First of all let us understand what is Kṛṣṇa, then we enter into the other information of Kṛṣṇa. Just like if you want to know somebody, you have to acquaint himself with that particular person. Then gradually you can understand that "This man is of this position, his financial strength is like this, his influence is like this, like that, like that." So many things you will understand. First of all sambandha.
So anyone who does not know what is God and what is my relationship. Relationship later on. First of all at least we must know what is God. Then we can speak something about God. If I do not know what is God, then how we can explain, how we can understand about Him? So that is the defect. Actually you search out all processes of understanding God.
Generally religion means the process of understanding God. That is religion. Religion without God is just like Hamlet without Hamlet. Playwright, Hamlet. Religion cannot be... Without God, the so-called religion, that is cheating. That is, it will be explained in the next verse, dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra [SB 1.1.2]. Any kind of religion which is going on under the name of religion but the system has no information of God, that is cheating religion. Cheating religion. Because religion means the laws of God. But if you do not know what is God, then how you can know His laws? If you do not know the king, how you can understand the king's laws, even though you try to understand?
Just like scientists, they are trying to understand the laws of God, but because they are imperfect, therefore they cannot understand what is God, in spite of their scientific improvement. They do not know. Ask any scientist, "You are great scientist. Can you say what is God?" The reply will be, "No. We don't believe in God. We don't believe." "Why? You believe in the laws of God?" "Yes, that we are studying."
But the laws means somebody has made that law. That is our experience. Just like when we understand government laws, we understand also the government has enacted this law. We understand that. Just like on the street when you go, it is written there, "Keep to the left." It is the order of the government. You have to abide by that. That is obedience to the government. Discipline. Discipline is the first law of obedience. If people do not care for the government laws, then there will be chaos.
So the present situation is the so-called modern civilization, they have no knowledge of God, although they are trying to study the laws of God. But they should accept at least theoretically there must be God. How I can say God is dead? Because if God is the law-giver, by His order everything is moving nicely. The sun is rising exactly at the time, the moon is rising exactly at the time, the seasonal changes are taking place exactly in due course of time. Everything is going on. Foods are grown for our feeding, for animals. Everything is going on nicely. So how I can say the manager, who is managing all these things, He is dead? How we can accept? These are imperfect knowledge, or demonic knowledge, or rascaldom.
So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is against all this rascaldom. All this rascaldom. We present, "Here is God." "Here is God. Take His name. Take His address also." [laughter] That is also... It is so perfect. They are searching after God: we are giving the name, address, activity, everything, quality, all. Nāma, rūpa, līlā, parikara, vaiśiṣṭhyam, everything. Nāma means name. Here is Kṛṣṇa, God's name. Form, here is the form. He is engaged in enjoyment with Rādhārāṇī and playing on His flute. Veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣaṁ bar... [Bs. 5.30].
We are not imagining. Not that this artist imagines, the poet imagines. No. We don't do that rascaldom. We don't do that. We take information from the Vedas. Kṛṣṇa, when He was present personally, He played on His flute. The gopīs saw and the cowherds boys saw five thousand years ago. And the ācāryas took information. Even if you don't believe in the history, then come to śāstra. The śāstra says, veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣam [Bs. 5.30]: "Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is always engaged in playing on His flute." This is Vedic statement.
Veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣam: "His eyes are just like lotus petals." Veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣaṁ barhāvataṁsam asitāmbuda-sundarāṅgam [Bs. 5.30]: "He has got a peacock feather on His head." These are the description in the Vedas. "He has got a peacock feather on His head." Barhāvataṁsam asitāmbuda sunda...: "His color is blackish." What kind of blackish? Asitāmbuda: "Just like new cloud." Asitām-sundarāṅgam: "But don't think because He is blackish, He is not beautiful. He is most beautiful." How much beautiful?
Kandarpa-koṭi-kamanīya-viśeṣa-śobham [Bs. 5.30]: "He is so beautiful that if you gather millions of Cupids, still He is more beautiful." These descriptions are there.
So Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is very nice. You will be able to understand what is God, and you will be able to understand what is your relationship with God. And you will be able to understand how you can go back to home, back to Godhead.
Thank you very much.
Devotee: Jaya! All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda! [devotees offer obeisances] [end]