Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.8.20 , New York , 1973-04-12

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [leads chanting of verse, etc.] [Prabhupāda and devotees repeat]

tathā paramahaṁsānāṁ
munīnām amalātmanām
kathaṁ paśyema hi striyaḥ

Prabhupāda: Next, anyone? [more devotees chant] [break]


Pradyumna = Translation = "You Yourself descend to propagate the transcendental science of devotional service unto the hearts of the advanced transcendentalists and material speculators who are purified by being able to discriminate between matter and spirit. How then can we women know You perfectly?"

Prabhupāda: So Kuntīdevī, she is submissively... This is the symptom of Vaiṣṇava. The Lord, Kṛṣṇa, has come to Kuntīdevī to take the dust of her feet. Because Kṛṣṇa considers Kuntīdevī as her [His] aunt, to show her respect, Kṛṣṇa used to touch the feet of Kuntīdevī. But Kuntīdevī, although she is in such exalted position, practically on the level of Yaśodāmāyi, such a great devotee, so she is so submissive that "Kṛṣṇa, You are meant for the paramahaṁsas, and what we can see You? We are women."

So as it is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrāḥ [Bg. 9.32]. In another place in the Bhāgavata it is said, strī-śūdra-dvijabandhūnām. Śūdra, strī and dvijabandhu. Dvijabandhu means those who are born in brāhmaṇa family or kṣatriya family, high caste. According to Vedic system, there are four divisions = cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma [Bg. 4.13]. According to quality and work, the first-class man is the brāhmaṇa, intelligent; the next, kṣatriya; the next, vaiśyas; and next, śūdra. So according to this classification, women, śūdra and dvijabandhu, dvijabandhu, they are taken in the same category. Dvijabandhu means born in brāhmaṇa family, kṣatriya family, but has no qualification.

The thing is to be considered by qualification. It is very practical. Suppose one man is born the son of a high-court judge. So it does not mean that because he's a son of a high-court judge, he is also high-court judge. This is going on. Because one happens to take birth in a brāhmaṇa family, without any qualification he claims to become a brāhmaṇa. That is the falldown of Vedic civilization in India. A rascal number one, he's claiming that he's brāhmaṇa---without any qualification. His qualification is less than a śūdra; still he's claiming. And that is being accepted.

So it is clearly stated = guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ [Bg. 4.13]. Without qualification... The brāhmaṇa means the qualification. It is not this body. There are so many arguments, but they won't hear. They are very much against, in my movement, because I am making brāhmaṇas from Europe and America. They are against me. But don't care. We don't care for them. Neither any reasonable man will care for them. But there is a propaganda against me. Even amongst my Godbrothers, they are making. Because they cannot do it, so find out some fault. You see.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said:

pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi grāma
sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma

[CB Antya-khaṇḍa 4.126]

In every town, city, village of the world, His cult will be preached. What is His cult? Does it mean that the Europeans and Americans will not become brāhmaṇa? Because Vaiṣṇava cult means past brahmanism. Past brahmanism.

māṁ ca 'vyabhicāreṇa
bhakti-yogena ya sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān
brahma-bhūyāya kalpate

He, bhakti-yoga, one who takes to bhakti-yoga, he immediately comes to the transcendental platform, brahma-bhūta [SB 4.30.20]. What to speak of brāhmaṇa? And this stereotyped, crippled idea has killed Vedic civilization. Now we are again reviving. It is meant for everyone.

Kṛṣṇa says,

māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya
ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
striyo śūdrā tathā vaiśyās
te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim

Kṛṣṇa says. Although ordinarily we take striya---means women---śūdra and vaiśyas in the lower-class grade, but when one becomes a devotee, the..., he is or she is no more in the lower grade. Te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim. The devotional service is so nice that anyone... Ordinarily women is taken less intelligent; śūdra is taken less intelligent; vaiśya is taken less intelligent. But if he takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he is the most intelligent.

Kṛṣṇa yei bhaje sei baḍa catura. This is the statement in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta. Anyone who has taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he is the most intelligent. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja, kona bhāgyavān jīva [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. Ei rūpe brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is not for the wretched, unfortunate class of men. No. It is meant for the most fortunate man. Anyone who has taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he is to be considered as the most fortunate man because he has got the line of action how his life will be perfect.

Therefore, anyone who is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and discharging the duties nicely, he is the most fortunate man, most perfect man. That is, Kuntīdevī is humbly submitting. Although is womanly body, she is a devotee. She is not like ordinary woman, less intelligent. She is the most in... She has recognized Kṛṣṇa, that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. "Although He has come to me, materially, as my nephew to offer me respect, but He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

Therefore in the previous verse she said, alakṣyaṁ sarva-bhūtānām antar bahir avasthitam [SB 1.8.18] = "You are not seen by ordinary men, although You are inside and outside." In another verse also, na lakṣyase mūḍha-dṛśā [SB 1.8.19] = "Fools and rascals cannot see You." That means Kuntī sees Him. Unless she sees Kṛṣṇa as He is, how she can say, mūḍha-dṛśā na lakṣyase? And [s]he says, prakṛteḥ param: "You are transcendental to this material creation."

So here also [s]he continues her humbleness. This humbleness is very good in devotional service. Therefore Caitanya..., Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu teaches us = tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā [Cc. Ādi 17.31]. One should be tolerant than the trees and humbler than the grass to make progress in spiritual life. Because there will be so many disturbances. Because māyā... We are living... Just like if we are in the ocean. So you cannot expect very peaceful situation in the ocean. It must be always tilt..., what is called, tiltering, tilting.

Even, even a big ship, it is also not very fixed-up position. At any moment there may be tumultuous waves. So in this material world you should always expect danger. You cannot expect very peaceful life within this material world. Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadām [SB 10.14.58]. Śāstra says in every step there is danger. But if you become a devotee, then you escape. Māyām etāṁ taranti te [Bg. 7.14]. Otherwise...

So in the beginning, if you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there will be so many disturbances by the māyā. Māyā will test you how far you are fixed up. She will test you. She is also agent of Kṛṣṇa. She does not allow anyone who is meant for disturbing Kṛṣṇa. Therefore she tests very rigidly whether you are..., you have taken Kṛṣṇa consciousness to disturb Kṛṣṇa, or you are actually serious.

That is māyā's business. So there will be in the beginning test by the māyā, and you will feel so much disturbances in making progress in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But if you remain steady... Steady means if you follow the rules and regulations and chant sixteen rounds, then you will remain steady. And if you neglect, then māyā will capture you, immediately. Māyā is always ready. We are in the ocean. At any moment, we will be disturbed. So therefore one who is not disturbed at all, he is called paramahaṁsa.

Therefore Kuntīdevī says, tathā paramahaṁsānām [SB 1.8.20]. Parama means ultimate; haṁsa means swan. So paramahaṁsa means the perfect haṁsa. Haṁsa. It is said that if you... Haṁsa means swan. If you give to swan milk mixed with water, she will take the milk part and leave aside the water part. Similarly, a person who knows what is this material world... Material world is made of two natures---the inferior nature and the superior nature. The superior nature means spiritual life, and inferior nature is material life. So a person who gives up the material part of this world and takes only the spiritual part, he is called paramahaṁsa. Paramahaṁsa.

Spiritual part means one who knows that whatever is working in this material... Just like this body---your body, my body. Anyone who knows that this movement, the activities of this body, is due to the soul which is within this body... That is the real fact. This is only outward covering. Similarly, one who knows that Kṛṣṇa is the center of these all activities, he's paramahaṁsa. He's paramahaṁsa. He knows the fact.

So bhakti-yoga is for the paramahaṁsa, one who knows that Kṛṣṇa is the central fact. Aham ādir hi devānām [Bg. 10.2]. Mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate. So one who knows that Kṛṣṇa is the cause of all causes, not only theoretically, but practically convinced, he is paramahaṁsa. So Kuntīdevī says that "You are meant for the paramahaṁsas, not for the rascals and fools. You are meant for the paramahaṁsa." Tathā paramahaṁsānāṁ munīnām [SB 1.8.20]. Munīnām means those who are thoughtful. Also mental speculators, they are called also muni. Munīnām amalātmanām. Amala. There is no dirty things in their heart.

Materialistic person means full of dirty things within the heart. What is that dirty things? That lust and greediness. That's all. This is the dirty things. All materialistic person, they are lusty and greedy. Therefore their heart is full of dirty things. And amalātmanām means those who are freed from these two things, lust and...

Devotees: Greed, greed.

Prabhupāda: Eh? Greed, greediness. Amalātmanām. For them, bhakti-yogam. This bhakti-yoga is meant for the cleansed hearted, not the lusty and greedy. That is not... They may try. They'll gradually advance. But once one is situated in bhakti-yoga, there is no more lust and greediness. Viraktir anyatra syāt. This is the test, whether one has become free from lusty desires and greediness. Then he is situated in bhakti-yoga. He's paramahaṁsa.

So Kuntīdevī, by humble submission, that "You are meant for the paramahaṁsa, for the amalātmanām, for the munīnām and who are engaged in bhakti-yoga. And what we are? We are simply woman. We are in the lower grade. How we can understand You?" This is humbleness. Although she understands everything, but still she's taking the position of an ordinary woman, that "How can I understand You?"

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotees: Jaya... [end]