Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 2.1.1 , Dallas , 1972-09-12
Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [leads chanting of verse, etc.] [Prabhupāda and devotees repeat]
varīyān eṣa te praśnaḥ
kṛto loka-hitaṁ nṛpa
śrotavyādiṣu yaḥ paraḥ
Pradyumna: loka-hitam---beneficial for all men; nṛpa---the king; ātmavit---transcendentalist; sammataḥ---approved; puṁsām---of all men; śrotavyādiṣu---in the matter of all kinds of hearing; yaḥ---what is; paraḥ---the supreme.
Translation = Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said = My dear King, your question is glorious because it is very beneficial to all kinds of people. To hear the answer to this question is the prime subject matter of hearing, and it is approved by all transcendentalists.
Prabhupāda: So Śukadeva Gosvāmī welcomed the question of the King, Parīkṣit Mahārāja. Parīkṣit was... Parīkṣit Mahārāja was to live there just after seven days, therefore all the learned scholars, learned persons, Kings because he was Emperor so he was going to die within seven days all these men from all parts of the world came to see him.
And in the assembly of such great personalities he enquired, "What is my duty?" And when he died, just after seven days, then what is my duty now? This is called brahma-jijñāsā everyone should enquire, "What is my duty?" But there is no such enquiry simply they are interested, "where is my bed, where is my sex, where is my buffet [indistinct] and where is my defence." These are the...
Actually they do not know that after death there is life, the same thing you put in an egg. As I have my past life, so I have got my present life, there must be future life, past present and future finally eternal. So the people do not know the modern education they have no knowledge what, what is the [indistinct] next life. Therefore lost. Therefore this kind of education has no value because after being educated if one does not know what is the value of life, simply for working and to earn livelihood to fill up this belly. This is done by the animals also. They are also busy all day, where is food, where is shelter, where is sex and where is defence?
Therefore when Parīkṣit Mahārāja enquired, so whether I shall devote myself [indistinct] for undestanding Kṛṣṇa. [indistinct] because he was a devotee of Kṛṣṇa from his childhood the grandson of the Pāṇḍavas. The Pāṇḍavas were great devotees of Kṛṣṇa so he inherited the family tendency therefore he enquired whether I shall continue my Kṛṣṇa consciousness or if I have to do something for the [indistinct], something else. The answer to these questions Śukadeva Gosvāmī says, "Glorious, your question is very nice because you are enquiring about Kṛṣṇa." To enquire about Kṛṣṇa and receive the proper answer that is our life.
The people do not know what is the value of life, so he agreed that your question is varīyān, varīyān means glorious. Why glorious? So because the answer to be given it will be beneficial for the whole people of the world. Just like Arjuna was talking with Kṛṣṇa and putting some questions and he was answering Kṛṣṇa, and that answer is not only for Arjuna, it is for every human being.
When Kṛṣṇa asked Arjuna to "Surrender unto to Me" that = sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁśaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. This was not meant for Arjuna only, it was meant for all human beings. When Kṛṣṇa says = man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65] "You just become My devotee, worship Me, offer your obeisances unto Me," so this is not only for Arjuna this is for the whole human kind.
Although Arjuna is considered a human being who was present. Similarly here also the question is welcome because Kṛṣṇa [indistinct]. Simply by questioning about Kṛṣṇa, what we can understand what is Kṛṣṇa and when we understand what is Kṛṣṇa then immediately you are liberated. Therefore Śukadeva Gosvāmī says that your praśnaḥ, enquiry is very glorious.
Ātmavit-sammataḥ, ātmavit those who know the value of life it is approved by them. It is approved by persons who know the value of life then it is acceptable, whether [indistinct] approved. Not that I theorise something, where your approval? The atheist class they say, "There is no God," where. Where is the proof of your statement? You say, "There is no God," I say, "There is God." We settle up this [indistinct] prove whether you are right or I am right.
So when man says, "There is no God," where is the evidence? You must say something which is scientific, approved by learned scholars but we find... So most of them they will approve that, "Yes there is God, we cannot say that there is no God." Besides that we have got Vedic proof, if you say something, if you cannot quote from the Vedas then it is not accepted. Just like the law court if you propose some legal significance you must quote from the law books. Then it will be accepted by the judge otherwise if you manufacture something it will be not accepted in the law court.
So Indian system of acquiring knowledge means it must be approved by persons who know what is the... Or the person who is giving some statement he must quote from Vedic literature in support of his claim. That is to be realised otherwise whimsically if you say something, at least we Kṛṣṇa consciousness [indistinct] you will not accept. Unless there is approved scientific statement, we don’t care for any of it. Therefore it is said ātmavit-sammataḥ, ātmavit one who has realised the soul, not for one any other person.
One who has not realised soul, ātma, these statements which are proven will not be accepted because he is a fool. Anyone who says that there is no soul, there is no birth after his death, they are all rascals. Immediately [indistinct], that he is first-class rascal, talking all nonsense. It should not be allowed. Maybe in the estimation of modern people, that man is a great scientist or a great philosopher. He is not actually scientist or philosopher because he does not know what is next, where he will go after the life, he does not know. Then what is the value of his vast knowledge? No value.
Here it is said that, ātmavit-sammataḥ puṁsām and this question is very important therefore he says, śrotavyādiṣu yaḥparaḥ [SB 2.1.1]. To prepare..., we have got to hear so many things [indistinct] that is our life to question just like a child questions his mother, "What is this mother, what is this mother." That child is very intelligent if a child questions than it is to be understood he is going to be a very learned scholar in the future, these are the symptoms, inquisitive. Without inquisitiveness the last question should be, "What is God?" That is very nice if the persons do not enquire about God he’s animal. The animals cannot enquire, "What is God?"A human being must enquire, "What is God?", and he must try to understand.
So, ātmavit-sammataḥ puṁsāṁ śrotavyādiṣu yaḥ paraḥ [SB 2.1.1], śrotavyādiṣu just like in the morning so many people are interested in the newspapers, bunch of newspapers, all advertisements, so many news, just after reading for half an hour it is thrown. It has no value, sometimes at 10 o’clock the newspapermen they sell at less price because nobody requires anymore. They require some information in the morning, so that kind of information has no value, here it is said, śrotavyādiṣu yaḥ paraḥ, paraḥ means supreme. Supreme enquiry is, "What is God, what I am, what is my relationship with God, what is this material world?"
These are questions and when these questions are discussed in the assembly of sane persons then it becomes kṛto loka-hitaṁ nṛpa, it is beneficial for everyone who will hear. Not that the hearing about the news information, it is śrotavyam, this śrotavyam means beneficial to the human. So if it is not beneficial to the human, it may be beneficial to a certain class of men, suppose those who are businessmen. They are interested to know the market price of certain things that is found in the newspapers.
So it is beneficial to that person but it is beneficial to that person for two hours because market is changing, the price has already changed. That is not permanently [indistinct] but these questions, "What is God, what I am, what is my relationship with God," this is permanently beneficial and so long one does not enquire about these things he is considered as animal. The animals cannot enquire about God. Read the purport.
Pradyumna: "Even the very question is so nice that it is the best subject matter for hearing. Simply by such questioning and hearing, one can achieve the highest perfectional stage of life. Because Lord Kṛṣṇa is the original Supreme Person, any question about Him is original and perfect. Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said that the highest perfection of life is to achieve transcendental loving service of Kṛṣṇa. Because questions and answers about Kṛṣṇa elevate one to that transcendental position, the questions of Mahārāja Parīkṣit about Kṛṣṇa philosophy are greatly glorified."
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa, God... so our human life is meant for reviving our love for God. This material life means forgetfulness of God, because we are sons of God or we are part and parcel of God. We belong to the same unit, God and the living entities that is complete unit. Just like in family, the father, the mother, the children, the servants and others, complete unit. Similarly God and the living entities they are complete unit but when we forget that unity, when we forget that I am also part and parcel of God and his creation then that is called material. So human civilisation they have got some sort of religious principles that means to know God, religious principles means to know God. Not only to know but to love God that is ultimate goal of life. Go on.
Pradyumna: "Mahārāja Parīkṣit wanted to absorb his mind completely in Kṛṣṇa, and such absorption can be effected simply by hearing about the uncommon activities of Kṛṣṇa."
Prabhupāda: Yes, just like we are interested in some person but if you hear more about him, "Oh this person is so big, he is becoming so big, he is so intellectual, he is so dedicated to work," then our relationship with that person becomes more and more firm. That is natural, similarly if we want to love God then we must hear about God about His greatness. Simply we say, "God is great," but how great He is, how He has become great, then we must hear about God.
Then we can understand that He is very great then our love and devotion for God increases but the impersonalists they have no knowledge how God is great therefore they become gradually atheists. But here in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we have got immense information about God’s activities. God is speaking personally, Kṛṣṇa, in the Bhagavad-gītā and about Him it is spoken by Vyāsadeva in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. If we...
Now we have published this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, if we read some verses, if we simply discuss daily one verse enquire and try to understand, it will take at least 55 years. Purify you simply by discussing one verse, so if you study about God for 55 years how you can be without loving God? Suppose you love... you try to love somebody and if you hear about him, about his glories, form, in a few years you become very staunch lover of that person.
"Oh he is so great, he is so nice, he is so educated, he is so beautiful, his pastimes are so nice." These are attractions, so Kṛṣṇa has got His activities so nice therefore He attracts everyone. Kṛṣṇa means attraction, God must be attractive otherwise who is interested? You can hear about your son because he attracts for you but not for others. You always know my son was great and he was saved like this he [indistinct]. Because you love, so about his activities you always think of him. Similarly either you think of God 24 hours or to hear about Him for 24 hours, the same thing. There is no difference, so if we chant or hear about God, about Kṛṣṇa you’ll find so many things interesting. Go on.
Pradyumna: "For instance, in the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated that simply by understanding the transcendental nature of Lord Kṛṣṇa's appearance, disappearance, and activities, one can immediately return back to home, back to Godhead, and never come back to this miserable condition of material existence."
Prabhupāda: Yes that is stated in Bhagavad-gītā = janma karma ca me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma [Bg. 4.9]. Our problem is that we don’t want to have any more material body which is subjected to birth, death, old age and disease this is our problem. We want to stop this, we are eternal, we want eternal life blissful life. Everyone stands for that, everyone stands to live. Suppose if somebody comes and shows you a revolver, a gun, "I’ll kill you," immediately you go away because you do not like to die.
That means I want to live forever because that is my constitutional position. I’m being obliged, just like if I become diseased, that is not my position, I am healthy as soon as there is some disease I immediately go to doctor and take some medicine to cure. Why? That is my inclination, I do not wish to die, I do not wish to be subjected to disease, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi [Bg. 13.9], I do not wish to become old man, these are my problems but the solution is there but we are so foolish that instead of making solution of this problems we are simply wasting our life like ordinary animals, eating, sleeping, mating and defending. They are simply wasting life the real problem is set aside,
Therefore those who are actually learned, educated there problem is this. What? Janma birth, mṛtyu death, old age and disease. But this big problem they set aside but he doesn’t want to die. He the scientist, or the philosopher they do not think very deeply how to stop death. They discover atomic bomb to kill, how to accelerate death problem but not to stop. They can manufacture so-called nice medicine for disease but they cannot stop disease, these are the problems, otherwise what is the value of scientific knowledge but here is the science Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We can stop your birth death old age and disease. This is the greatest welfare activities to the human society. Go on.
Pradyumna: "It is very auspicious, therefore, to hear always about Kṛṣṇa. So Mahārāja Parīkṣit requested Śukadeva Gosvāmī to narrate the activities of Kṛṣṇa so that he could engage his mind in Kṛṣṇa."
Prabhupāda: Because Kṛṣṇa says that if you simply understand about Me, what I am. You become immune from birth and death, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti. We give up this body, we accept another body by our activities. We have got two kinds of bodies gross body and subtle body. When this gross body is unworkable then the subtle body, mind, intelligence and ego carries me to another gross body.
So this is my problem, that after giving up this body I have to accept another body because I’m materially conscious but Kṛṣṇa says that if you become Kṛṣṇa conscious, always thinking of Kṛṣṇa. Always thinking and how one can think, unless you think of Kṛṣṇa’s activities then tyaktvā deham, after giving up this body next body is spiritual so that there is no more birth, death, old age and disease. Go on.
Pradyumna: "The activities of Kṛṣṇa are nondifferent from Himself. As long as one is engaged in hearing such transcendental activities of Kṛṣṇa, he remains aloof from the conditional life of material existence. The topics of Lord Kṛṣṇa are so auspicious that they purify the speaker, the hearer, and the inquirer. They are compared to the Ganges waters, which flow from the toe of Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Wherever the Ganges waters go, they purify the land and the person who bathes in them. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa-kathā or the topics of Kṛṣṇa are so pure that wherever they are spoken, the place, the hearer, the inquirer, the speaker and all concerned become purified."
Prabhupāda: So when you will become formally purified, then there is no more birth, death, old age and disease, this is the science. Thank you very much.
Children and Devotees: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. [obeisances] [end]