Paṇḍāl Lecture , Delhi , 1971-11-21
Prabhupāda: Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you very much for your participating in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
tad tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
Lord Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā this verse, that the leading people must be ideal, yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas. Śreṣṭhas means “leading personalities.” Tad tad evetaro janaḥ: and his actions are followed by the ordinary men. The present condition of India, I may say, is spiritually so much fallen because our leaders were disinterested in the spiritual matter. So I am glad that His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Jahar[?], he attended this meeting and expressed his views on the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, or the system of bhāgavata-dharma, which was being discussed by me in this platform for three, four days.
dharmān bhāgavatān iha
So I am glad, Mr. Jahar's speech on the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is quite appropriate, and he has acknowledged the importance of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
So far we proposed to open an institution for teaching the bhāgavata-dharma in this city, great city. We may inform the public that bhāgavata-dharma means to understand the science of God. As I have many times explained what is the science of God and sanātana-dharma: to understand the science of God means sanātana-dharma.
Every living entity is sanātana; the Personality of Godhead, He is also sanātana; and the system, or the modus operandi which we execute, is that to achieve that final goal how we can again unite together, both sanātanas—the jīva and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This unification does not mean that we become amalgamated, homogeneous. No. This unity means that in the conditioned state of our existence, or in our material life, we do not agree to the proposal of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Personality of Godhead says, Kṛṣṇa,
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
But so long we do not agree to this proposal—the open offer by the Supreme Personality of Godhead—that is our material existence. Material existence and spiritual existence does not mean that in our material existence we have got two hands and in our spiritual existence we shall have four hands, or something different. It is not like that. Spiritual existence means to agree with the offer or proposal by the Supreme Godhead. This is unity, unity of agreement. Not that we become one. One in agreement.
In the second chapter of Bhagavad-gītā you will find that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, says to Arjuna, “My dear Arjuna, you, Me, all these kings and the soldiers who are now assembled here, it is not that they were not existing in the past, neither it is that they will cease to exist in the future.” That means Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna and the other living entities, all of us, nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13], we are all individuals. Kṛṣṇa is individual, you are individual, I am individual—everyone individual.
And we have got individual independence also. Pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya [Īśo Invocation]. Kṛṣṇa is so perfect that whatever He creates, that is also perfect. So if we are supposed to be created by God, or Kṛṣṇa, then perfectly we have got all the qualities of Kṛṣṇa—but in minute quantity. That is the difference. We have got all the qualities. You can study Kṛṣṇa simply by studying your qualities. Whatever quality you have got, Kṛṣṇa has got also the same quality. The difference is that you have got them in minute quantities, and Kṛṣṇa has got them in full quantities. That is the difference.
Therefore unity, or to become one with Kṛṣṇa, means that we agree to His proposals. It is very simple to understand. Just like in the family: the head of the family, and there are many members, sons and daughters or servants, wife, children, so many. If all the family members agree to the proposal of the prime person, the family life is very peaceful. Similarly God is the center, Kṛṣṇa is the center. Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ [Bg. 10.8]: from Him everything is coming, everything is emanating.
The Vedānta-sūtra also says, janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. That is parabrahman, Absolute Truth. The same example: just like in a family, the father is the chief man, and from him every children is coming out. Similarly in the creation, either material or spiritual, Kṛṣṇa is the center, sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam [Bs. 5.1], and the world should be one family, and Kṛṣṇa the head. That is the ideal. That is ideal communism or socialism.
But in the spiritual world that ideal society is already there. In the spiritual world there are innumerable planets, which are known as Vaikuṇṭha planets. As in this material sky we have got innumerable planets, but they are all material, but in the spiritual sky there are also innumerable planets, and the most important planet is called Goloka Vṛndāvana. And other planets, they are called Vaikuṇṭhas. Vaikuṇṭha means vigata-kuṇṭha yasmāt.
In those planets there is no anxiety. In the material world, in any planet you go, ā-brahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ [Bg. 8.16], either if you go to the Brahmaloka… There are many lokas, planetary systems. This is called Bhūloka, and then Bhuvarloka, then Sarloka, or Svargaloka, then Janaloka, Maharloka, Siddhaloka, Satyaloka, like that. So many. Similarly down this there are many other planetary systems: Tal, Atal, Bital, Talātal, Rasātal, Pātal. These descriptions are there in the Vedic literatures, in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. You will find them in the Fifth Canto. They are very vividly described.
Unfortunately, in our country it has become a policy, or system, to earn some money by reciting Bhāgavata. Therefore in spite of Bhāgavata being our property, we do not know what is real Bhāgavata. The professional men, they earn some money simply reciting the rāsa-līlā. And people misunderstand, and therefore sometimes I meet with some question: “Why Kṛṣṇa was behaving with the gopīs?” “Why Kṛṣṇa had sixteen thousand wives?”
They are thinking Kṛṣṇa… Because they are not hearing from authorized persons, they take Kṛṣṇa as ordinary man. They do not consider that if Kṛṣṇa is the original bhokta, bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasām [Bg. 5.29], then He is the proprietor of all women. Otherwise, how He can be bhokta? Rather one woman, which I claim as my wife, that is also Kṛṣṇa's. But it requires understanding. If Kṛṣṇa is the bhokta, then why He should be limited?
But these questions and answers are very great. Unless one becomes expert in understanding Kṛṣṇa,
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścin vetti māṁ tattvataḥ
One has to understand Kṛṣṇa as He is. And that can be learned by the process,
upadekṣyanti tad jñānaṁ
We have to learn from the tattva-darśi, not from the professional reciters who make business with Bhāgavata. Therefore there is misunderstanding of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So India, this should be stopped. Really one should learn Bhāgavatam scientifically, as we learn in the schools and colleges from A-B-C-D up to M.A. Not that we jump over all of a sudden to the M.A class. The behavior of Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs, that is postgraduate study of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. It is not to be understood by a student who is studying A-B-C-D.
Therefore bhāgavata-dharma has been misused. Why Vyāsadeva made ten cantos in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam? He could have immediately described Kṛṣṇa from the very beginning. No. That he has not done. In the very beginning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam he describes what is Kṛṣṇa:
oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya
Śrīdhara Svāmī says, kṛṣṇaya cin makalandaya[?]. This vāsudevāya, oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya, immediately Śrīdhara Svāmī points out vāsudevāya means kṛṣṇaya. And in the very beginning of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is a description of the Vedānta-sūtra. He wrote first of all Vedānta-sūtra. And he was not satisfied, even after compiling.
He first of all collected all the Vedic aphorisms, then he selected the Upaniṣads, and then he wrote the concised…, summarized the whole Vedic knowledge in the Vedānta-sūtra. And this Vedānta-sūtra was not explained; simply the sātras, the codes were there—it requires explanation. So Narāda Muni, his spiritual master, asked him that “This is not sufficient. You should describe it nicely.” So then he wrote Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Therefore the actual commentary of Vedānta-sūtra is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
This Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Vedānta-sūtra, is not monopolized by a class of men who are known as Vedāntists. Every one of the Vaiṣṇava ācāryas—Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī, Nimbārka—all of them have their Vedānta commentaries. Vedānta saṅgraha—Śrī Rāmānujācārya. But the Gauḍīya-sampradāya, through Rūpa Gosvāmī, he did not write any commentary on the Śrīmad…, on the Vedānta-sūtra because Lord Caitanya informed that Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the right commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra given by the author himself.
Vyāsadeva wrote Vedānta-sūtra, and he explained personally Vedānta-sūtra. Therefore Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the authorized commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra, and therefore Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam begins from the first aphorism, or codes, of Vedānta-sūtra: janmādy asya yato. He explains this code, janmādy asya yato 'nvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ svarāṭ [SB 1.1.1].
Therefore when we propose to open a Bhāgavata institution to teach the Bhāgavata principles, or bhāgavata-dharma, to the people, it will be open to everyone, because Bhagavān, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is for everyone. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā,
ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
Even those who are considered to be born in low families, they also will be taught Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. That is our duty. Kṛṣṇa says that,
ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
It is not that Kṛṣṇa said that this Bhagavad-gītā, bhāgavata-dharma, is simply monopolized by the higher section of the human society. The lower section of human society, they are also eligible, and it is the business of the devotees of Kṛṣṇa, Vaiṣṇavas, to teach them, and to reclaim them, and to help them to go to the paragati, te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim [Bg. 9.32]. It is the duty. Therefore a Vaiṣṇava is called para-dukha-dukhī, para-dukha-dukhī. Vaiṣṇava is not simply interested for his benefit. Vaiṣṇava is interested for the benefit of all living entities, never mind whether he is high or low; it doesn't matter.
That is also accepted by Śukadeva Gosvāmī. You will find, I think in the fourth chapter of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam of Second Canto, Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī says:
ābhīra-śumbhā yavanāḥ khasādayaḥ
ye ’nye ca pāpā yad-apāśrayāśrayāḥ
śudhyanti prabhaviṣṇave namaḥ
So Śukadeva Gosvāmī says that Viṣṇu has got so glorious adventures that even the kirātas, kirāta-hūṇāndhra-pulinda, these classes are known as caṇḍālas according to our Vedic..., because they are less than the śūdrās. So all these classes of men, if they take shelter of a pure devotee, yad upāśraya—a devotee is called upāśraya—so if these people who are accepted as lowborn, if they take shelter of a pure Vaiṣṇava, then śudhyanti: they become śuddha.
There was some years ago in India a śuddhi movement by our friends, but that was failure because it was not properly done. Here is the śuddhi movement, Hare Kṛṣṇa movement, by which you can turn all over the population into Vaiṣṇava, pure Vaiṣṇava, śuddhanti. Why not that institution in this great city of New Delhi? Why it should be neglected? It must be done.
I am very glad that the Finance Minister and the Governor both agreed to this point, and I shall request you, all respectable citizens of New Delhi, try to establish this institution. We have got perfect direction from Kṛṣṇa, so there will be no mistake. Even if you think that our state is secular, this will be perfect secular. When we give chance everyone to become Kṛṣṇa conscious, that will be perfect secular.
It is the duty of the state to see that people are advancing Kṛṣṇa consciousness; otherwise they will never be happy. People must be taught, educated, to become Kṛṣṇa conscious, and the state should see. That is the instruction of the great sages and saintly persons given to King Vena. There was a king, Vena. Due to his mother's impurity, that King Vena became very vicious, unrighteous. But the great sages and saintly persons…
Formerly, although India was governed by monarchy, no democracy, as our student Śrīmān Śyāmasundara has quoted from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the kingdom of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira… There were many other kings. Practically all the kings, they were so pious and advanced in spiritual science that they were called rājarṣi. And as in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ:
imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ
It is the duty of the governor and the king to understand this science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is the duty. Otherwise how you will be able to give benefit to the citizens?
So everything has been topsy-turvied. Of course, the time is already very much; otherwise I would have read some portion of the instruction given by the great sages and saintly persons to Vena Mahārāja, how to govern. Don't think that Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is simply meant for hearing Kṛṣṇa's rāsa-līlā. Actually people take like that: when there is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it means to hear Kṛṣṇa's rāsa-līlā.
And they take some wrong impression, and therefore Kṛṣṇa is derided. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam every knowledge is there. The..., how this universe is constituted, how every planetary system is being governed, how this planet should be governed—politics, sociology, religion, culture, economics, science, astronomy. Everything is there; simply we have to learn it. Therefore if we get the chance of starting the institution for teaching bhāgavata-dharma, don't think that the students simply will learn Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Of course in Hare Kṛṣṇa is everything there, but Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam gives all-round knowledge, perfect knowledge. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam explains the Vedic instruction: yasmin vijñāte sarvam eva vijñātaṁ bhavanti. If we simply try to understand bhāgavata-dharma, then every knowledge will be perfect. We are discussing and meeting all Western philosophers from the angle of vision of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So we are never defeated. We come out victorious in every case, and it defeats all other philosophy.
So bhāgavata-dharma is so sublime. I wish, therefore, that the proposal to start an institution to give lesson to the boys, to the children of the country, without any discrimination, without any distinction. Everyone, every student, is welcome to understand the great science of bhāgavata-dharma. And as it is promised by the great personalities who came here, and if we endeavor, let us start it as soon as possible.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. [end]