Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 2.3.14–15 , Los Angeles , 1972-05-31

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Page 142, text number 14. [leads chanting of verse] We already chanted yesterday, so I will just chant all the lines. [Prabhupāda and devotees repeat]

etac chuśrūṣatāṁ vidvan
sūta no 'rhasi bhāṣitum
kathā hari-kathodarkāḥ
satāṁ syuḥ sadasi dhruvam

Prabhupāda: Any? Next, anyone? [devotees chant] Girls. [ladies chant]. That's all.

etac chuśrūṣatāṁ vidvan
sūta no 'rhasi bhāṣitum
kathā hari-kathodarkāḥ
satāṁ syuḥ sadasi dhruvam

Now word meaning?

Pradyumna: [leads chanting of synonyms]

etat---this; śuśrūṣatām---of those eager to hear; vidvan---O learned; sūta---Sūta Gosvāmī; naḥ---unto us; arhasi---may you do it; bhāṣitum---just to explain it; kathāḥ---topics; hari-kathā-udarkāḥ---result in the topics of the Lord; satām---of the devotees; syuḥ---may be; sadasi---in the assembly of; dhruvam---certainly.


"O learned Sūta Gosvāmī! Please continue to explain such topics to us, because we are all eager to hear. Besides that, the topics which result in the discussion of the Lord Hari should certainly be discussed in the assembly of devotees."

Prabhupāda: [aside to devotee:] What is this? You stop all this. Hear attentively. Don't divert your attention in that way. Hmm. Then?

Pradyumna: "As we have already quoted above from the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu of Rūpa Gosvāmī, even mundane things, if dovetailed in the service of the Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, are accepted as transcendental. For example, the epics or the histories of Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata, which are specifically recommended for the less intelligent classes of men---women, śūdras and unworthy sons of the higher castes---are also accepted as Vedic literature because they are compiled in connection with the activities of the Lord.

"Mahābhārata is accepted as the fifth division of the Vedas after its first four divisions, namely Sāma, Yajur, Ṛg and Atharva. The less intelligent class of men do not accept Mahābhārata as part of the Vedas, but great sages and authorities accept it as the fifth division of the Vedas. Bhagavad-gītā is also part of the Mahābhārata, and it is full of the Lord's instruction for the less intelligent class of men.

"Some less intelligent men say that Bhagavad-gītā is not meant for householders, but such foolish men forget that Bhagavad-gītā was explained to a gṛhastha like Arjuna, and spoken by the Lord in His role as a gṛhastha [family man]. So Bhagavad-gītā, although containing the high philosophy of the Vedic wisdom, is for the beginners in the transcendental science, and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is for the graduates and postgraduates in the transcendental science. Therefore literatures like Mahābhārata, the Purāṇas and similar other literatures which are full of the pastimes of the Lord are all transcendental literatures, and they should be discussed with full confidence in the society of great devotees.

"The difficulty is that such literatures, when discussed by professional men, appear to be mundane literature like histories or epics, because there are so many historical facts and figures. It is said here, therefore, that such literatures should be discussed in the assembly of the devotees. Unless they are discussed by devotees, such literatures cannot be relished by the higher class of men. So the conclusion is that the Lord is not impersonal in the ultimate issue. He is the Supreme Person, and He has His different activities. He is the leader of all living entities, and He descends at His will and by His personal energy to reclaim the fallen souls, playing exactly like the social, political or religious leaders.

"Because such roles ultimately culminate in the discussion of topics of the Lord, all such preliminary topics are also transcendental. That is the way of spiritualizing the civic activities of human society. Men have inclinations for studying history and many other mundane literatures---stories, fiction, dramas, magazines, newspapers, etc.---so let them be dovetailed with the transcendental service of the Lord, and all of them will turn to the topics relished by all devotees.

"The propaganda that the Lord is impersonal, that He has no activity and that He is a dumb stone without any name and form has encouraged people to become godless, faithless demons, and the more they deviate from the transcendental activities of the Lord, the more they become accustomed to mundane activities that only clear their path to hell instead of return them home, back to Godhead.

"Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam begins from the history of the Pāṇḍavas, with necessary politics and social activities, and yet Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is said to be the Pāramahaṁsa-saṁhitā, or the Vedic literature meant for the topmost transcendentalist, and in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, paraṁ jñānam, the highest transcendental knowledge, is described. Pure devotees of the Lord are all paramahaṁsas, and they are like the swans, who know the art of sucking milk out of a mixture of milk and water."

And there's a footnote, "The demons, the more they deviate the propaganda that the Lord is impersonal and He has no activity and He is a dumb stone, without any name or form, will encourage people to become godless, faithless demons. And the more they deviate from the transcendental activities of the Lord, the more they become accustomed to mundane activities that only clear their path to hell instead of returning them home, back to Godhead."

And a footnote = "Even fifty years ago, the social structure of all Indians was so arranged that they would not read any literature which was not connected with the activities of the Lord. They would not play any drama not connected with the Lord. They would not organize a fair or ceremony which was not connected with the Lord. Nor would they visit a place which was not holy and sanctified by the pastimes of the Lord. Therefore even the common man in the village would talk about Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata, Gītā and Bhāgavatam, even from his very childhood. But by the influence of the age of Kali, they have been dragged to the civilization of the dogs and hogs, laboring for bread without any sense of transcendental knowledge."

Prabhupāda: Yes. In our childhood, we saw every village, every town, the transcendental knowledge. Any common man could speak about Rāmāyaṇa, Mahābhārata, Lord Kṛṣṇa. And the system was---still there are, but practically closed now---that in the evening, in the village, everyone should assemble in a place to hear messages from Mahābhārata, Rāmāyaṇa, especially, because these two books can be understood by common man. Not Vedānta philosophy was discussed.

So my maternal uncle's was in the suburb of Calcutta, about ten miles from our house. So sometimes when we used to go there, so in the evening after taking their meals, by eight o'clock, they would go to a place, assemble, and hear about Rāmāyaṇa, Mahābhārata, Bhāgavata. And they should discuss while coming home, and they should go; they would go to bed thinking that memory. So they'll sleep also Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata. Yes, and dream also Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata. You see? This was the system. Sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ [Bg. 8.6].

If you think of Kṛṣṇa twenty-four hours, then you'll become fully Kṛṣṇa conscious, and your life is successful. Don't allow anything. This requires little practice, abhyāsa-yoga-yuktena cetasā nānya-gāminā [Bg. 8.8]. I should not allow my mind to go, to think of any other subject than Kṛṣṇa. Now we have got so many books. So whenever you find time... You must find time. There is so much time. So read all these books or chant. But when you are hungry, you take prasādam. When you are sleepy, take a snap. Not very much; just to refresh. And go on, either chanting the beads or reading the books or talking about Kṛṣṇa. In this way, always remain in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Smartavyaḥ satato viṣṇuḥ. Kṛṣṇa consciousness means to remember Viṣṇu always, twenty-four hours, some way or other. Type for Kṛṣṇa, write for Kṛṣṇa, go outside for Kṛṣṇa, saṅkīrtana party, sell book for Kṛṣṇa, bring money for Kṛṣṇa, spend for Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa. That's all. Everything Kṛṣṇa. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ [Bg. 9.14], in the Bhagavad-gītā you'll find. Tuṣyanti ca ramanti ca. We require some satisfaction and some enjoyment, because that is our nature. Ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt [Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12]. Spirit soul. God is also blissful, and we part and parcel of God, we are also blissful. We want simply ānanda, pleasure. That is our nature. But that ānanda, pleasure, you cannot enjoy independently. That is not possible. You must enjoy with Kṛṣṇa. That is called rāsa-līlā. Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs, they assemble together. Similarly, we are part and parcel... Just like part and parcel of big machine, they are assembled, then it works. If the part and parcel are scattered, oh, then it has no meaning; it is a simply scrap of iron, that's all. But when they are assembled together, that is meaning. Similarly, we are all part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. So we must assemble together. Central Kṛṣṇa. Central Kṛṣṇa.

So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is... Just like in this house, we are living. And the next house, they are also living. So what is the difference? The difference is here, Kṛṣṇa is center. That's all. Therefore it is temple. And the next door, a house. That is the difference between house, ordinary house, and temple. There is no difference. It is also made of bricks and stones and wood, that is also made of bricks and stones. They are also live, they also cook, they also eat. Everything is the same, practically. But the difference is there is no Kṛṣṇa, here is Kṛṣṇa. That is the difference. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So when I walk on the street and go anywhere, I simply think how these nice bungalows, house, but still, they're not satisfied. It is "For Sale." You see? Why? There is no Kṛṣṇa. Aprāṇasyeva dehasya maṇḍanaṁ loka-rañjanam. Just like a body, beautiful body, lying down on the street dead. Nobody cares. Because the life is not there. The spirit soul is not there. Nobody cares.

Similarly, bhagavad-bhakti-hīnasya jātiḥ śāstraṁ japas tapaḥ [Cc. Madhya 19.75, Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya 3.11]. Big nation. You Americans, you are big nation. But bhagavad-bhakti... There is no Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Jāti, big nation. Jāti means big nation. Bhagavad-bhakti-hīnasya jātiḥ japaḥ, their activities, tapaḥ, tapasya... They are trying to invent so many nice things scientifically, mechanically. Or invented machine. Everything. Jātiḥ śāstraṁ japas tapaḥ kriyā. Activities, very methodical. On the road there is light arrangement. Everything is all right. But if it is less Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then it is... What is that?

Aprāṇasya hi dehasya maṇḍanaṁ loka-rañjanam. Just like a dead body, if you decorate. A body, dead body, and you apply pomade and nice dress and scent, what is the meaning? Loka-rañjanam. Loka-rañjanam means you may please some of the people, "Oh, how you are decorating a dead body," but it has no meaning. It is useless, waste of time. Similarly, very nice arrangement, big nation, politics, everything, minus Kṛṣṇa consciousness is like that. Aprāṇasya hi dehasya maṇḍanaṁ loka-rañjanam.

Therefore your young men, young girls, they have become frustrated, in spite of all this arrangement, nice arrangement. There is no comparison of your country's arrangement. I am traveling all over the world. Such nice roads, such every... Everything nice. But why they are becoming frustrated and confused? Due to this aprāṇasya. There is no life.

So life is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So if you actually feel for your country, for your community, for your people, just spread this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They're dying. You spread this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they'll come again to life, and everything will be actually beautiful. That is my request. I came to your country with this mission, that "The American people, they are feeling frustration. If they take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they'll be happy, and others will follow their example." So now, some of you, my advanced students, you have understood the philosophy. Some of you have taken sannyāsa. So go town to town, village to village. Preach this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Bring them to life, so this frustration will be stopped. The leaders of the society, the politician, they should take care where they are going.

So it is said, kathā hari-kathodarkāḥ satāṁ syuḥ sadasi dhruvam. Therefore if we discuss this hari-kathā... We are discussing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, hari-kathā. So kathā, hari-kathā, udarkāḥ satāṁ syuḥ sadasi dhruvam. If it is discussed among devotees, then one can understand. This book, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, has value amongst the devotees. And to others, they may purchase. They see that "What is this? Sanskrit verse, something written. Scrap of paper." You see. Just like this newspaper, for us, is scrap of paper. We don't care for it. But they keep it very carefully on their chest, "Oh, it is so nice." [chuckles] [laughter]

Newspaper in the Western countries is so popular. One gentleman told me a story that one Christian priest went to preach Christian religion in Sheffield. Sheffield, where is it? In England? So the workers, laborers, he was preaching amongst them that "Lord Jesus Christ will save you. If you don't take shelter of Lord Jesus Christ, then you'll go to hell." So first of all he..., "Who is Jesus Christ? What is his number?" That means he...., they thought, "Jesus Christ must be one of the workers, and every worker has a number, so what is his number?"

So "No, Jesus Christ, he's son of God. So he has no number. He's not worker." Then "What is hell?" Then described, "Hell is very damp, very dark," and so on, so on. So they were silent. Because they are working in the mines; it is always dark and damp. [laughter] [laughs] So what is the difference between hell and this, what is called, mine? They were silent. But when the priest said, "There is no newspaper," "Oh, horrible!" [laughter] "There is no newspaper." [laughs] Just see. Therefore, in your country, so many big, big, I mean to say, bunch of newspapers, they are distributed.

So if for Los Angeles City, which is nothing but a point in this world... There are so many cities, but there are so many newspapers. Not only one edition; two, three editions. And if they can give so many news from this one point, now, how much news we have got? That is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, from spiritual world. But there is no customer. That is the difficulty. Otherwise, so valuable instruction, so much information, all fact, dhruvam. Dhruvam means fact, not fictitious. So there would have been many, many customers. And because there is no Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there is no culture, these literatures, they are not appreciated.

So, what is next? Another verse.

Pradyumna: [leads chanting of verse]

sa vai bhāgavato rājā
pāṇḍaveyo mahā-rathaḥ
bāla-krīḍanakaiḥ krīḍan
kṛṣṇa-krīḍāṁ ya ādade

Prabhupāda: Next? Yes? [devotee chants] Very good. Next. [more devotees chant] Very good. Nice.

sa vai bhāgavato rājā
pāṇḍaveyo mahā-rathaḥ
bāla-krīḍanakaiḥ krīḍan
kṛṣṇa-krīḍāṁ ya ādade

So Parīkṣit Mahārāja's, these are the qualification. Sa vai bhāgavato rājā, not ordinary rājā. Rājā means king. Bhāgavataḥ. Bhāgavata means great devotee, first-class devotee, bhāgavata. Pāṇḍaveya. How he became bhāgavata? Because son and grandson, all in the dynasty of the Pāṇḍavas. Parīkṣit Mahārāja was the grandson of Arjuna. So Arjuna was Kṛṣṇa's friend, he was bhāgavata. So unfortunately, Arjuna's son died in the Battle of Kurukṣetra. He was also bhāgavata. He was Subhadrā's son. Arjuna... Kṛṣṇa's sister, the Subhadrā, who is sitting here with Jagannātha, so Subhadrā's son was Abhimanyu, but he died in the battlefield of Kurukṣetra, sixteen years old. But fortunately, his wife, Uttarā, was pregnant. So Parīkṣit Mahārāja was within the womb of Uttarā, so he was saved. All others died. So pāṇḍaveyaḥ, "coming in the dynasty of the Pāṇḍavas." Therefore bhāgavataḥ.

Mahā-rathaḥ: at the same time, he could fight thousands of warriors, mahā-ratha. A kṣatriya who alone can fight with another thousand kṣatriyas, he's called mahā-ratha. So it does not mean to become bhāgavata means..., to become devotee, one has to stop all other activities. No. Here it is called mahā-ratha. Mahā-ratha means a great commander.

So a great commander can also become bhāgavata, a great merchant can become also bhāgavata, and a great brāhmaṇa, learned scholar, he can also become bhāgavata. There is no restriction. Not that simply one who is Vedāntist, who is very learned scholar, he can become bhāgavata. No. The social system was so nice that everyone could become bhāgavata. The brāhmaṇa could become bhāgavata, a kṣatriya could become bhāgavata, a vaiśya could become bhāgavata, or a śūdra could also become a bhāgavata. Striyaḥ śūdrās tathā vaiśyāḥ. Kṛṣṇa says personally, "Never mind whether he's woman or a śūdra or a vaiśya," te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim, "all of them can go back to home, back to Godhead." How? Māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ [Bg. 9.32]. "Simply he has to take shelter of Me seriously. That's all. Never mind what he is." Te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim.

So this Parīkṣit Mahārāja, in his childhood he was bāla-krīḍanakaiḥ krīḍan. He was playing with Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. That is the advantage of getting birth in a Vaiṣṇava family. Just like some of our children, they are playing with Jagannātha, they are playing with Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. In India that Sarasvatī, Śyāmasundara's daughter, she offers ārati and brings the ārati for me. I take. Yes. [chuckles] So learning. Just as child, mother is offering obeisance, and the child is doing. We used to do that. We got this opportunity of good father and mother. We were trained up. Similarly, you can also train up your children. Then your becoming father and mother is perfect. Otherwise, the dogs and cats and hogs, they also beget children. They're more expert. A hog can beget children twice in a year, and each time, more than one dozen.

So you cannot compete with that. It is not possible. [laughs] Sometimes you beget two children twice, but that is not competition. The competition is that you make your children God conscious. Give them. They're playing with Kṛṣṇa. At our New Vrindavan, D-D-D [Dvārakādhīśa], he was given by his father toys. I was present. And he did not touch the toys. He said, "It is māyā." [laughter.] Yes. "It is māyā." So everything should be taught from childhood. That is Prahlāda Mahārāja's instruction. Kaumāra ācaret prājño dharmān bhāgavatān iha [SB 7.6.1]. So in the..., from the very beginning there is no teaching, there is no God consciousness, then what will be the result? You may send in a very decorated university, but the result will be hippies. That's all. You cannot expect anything more. You cannot expect.

So teach them from the very beginning how to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. Then you'll find nice population, beautiful population, peaceful atmosphere, social condition very nice, systematic, everyone is happy. And with, in happiness, they're all chanting, Kṛṣṇa conscious. Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, every house there is dingling of bells, "Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa." [laughter] Make Vaikuṇṭha. That is my request. Teach from the very beginning of life. Just like bāla-krīḍa. Bāla-krīḍanakaiḥ krīya [SB 2.3.15]. By playing, he's becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious. So in our Dallas you go. Make all these..., save all these children, those who have come to your shelter. It is the duty of the father and mother. It is the duty of guardian to save the dependents from the impending danger of death, repeated birth and death. So if you cannot save these children, then it is useless. Save them.

So we have got our center in Dallas. All children should go, and the advanced girls, they should go there and take care. Just produce a new generation, just like Parīkṣit Mahārāja. Produce a new generation, bāla-krīḍanakaiḥ, from the very childhood thinking of Kṛṣṇa, playing of Kṛṣṇa, eating of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa... Then he cannot become otherwise. Therefore Prahlāda Mahārāja, he was child, five-years-old child, he was teaching his class fellows. So they refused, that "Prahlāda, why you are bothering with this? When we shall get old, we shall think of this Kṛṣṇa." "No," he insisted. "No." Kaumāra ācaret prājño dharmān bhāgavatān iha, durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma... [SB 7.6.1]. "You cannot get again such opportunity. So you immediately begin. Immediately you try to become Kṛṣṇa conscious."

All right, kīrtana.

Devotees: Jaya. All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. [devotees offer obeisances] [end]