Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 2.1.1 , Delhi , 1973-11-04

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

śrī-śuka uvāca
varīyān eṣa te praśnaḥ
kṛto loka-hitaṁ nṛpa
ātmavit-sammataḥ puṁsāṁ
śrotavyādiṣu yaḥ paraḥ



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 arrived at the point of death of Mahārāja Parīkṣit. Mahārāja Parīkṣit was cursed by a brāhmaṇa boy that he would die within seven days, bitten by a snake. Just imagine how the brahminical culture was so powerful that even a boy born in a brāhmaṇa family---he was only ten or twelve years old---when he heard that his father was insulted by Mahārāja Parīkṣit by garlanding him with a dead snake... His playmates informed him that "Your father has been insulted in this way." So he retaliated, that "Within seven days this snake will bite the king and he will die."

So when it was fixed up... Mahārāja Parīkṣit was also very powerful. He could retaliate the brāhmaṇa's cursing, but he did not do it. He accepted, "Yes." Therefore Lord Śiva said, nārāyaṇa-parāḥ sarve na kutaścana bibhyati [SB 6.17.28] = "When one is devotee of Nārāyaṇa, he is not afraid of anything." Nārāyaṇa-parāḥ sarve na kutaścana bibhyati. He was cursed that "Within the seven days you'll die." So he was not afraid. "That's all right." So he prepared himself, and many learned scholar, saintly person, kings, even demigods, all approached because he was the emperor of the world, and he was going to die. So many big, big stalwart people... Even Vyāsadeva, he was present there. And Parīkṣit Mahārāja said, "Now what is my duty? You are all big men present here. I am going to die. Now what is my duty?"

This is very important question, that... We are working very hard in this material world, but we are not preparing ourself for death, which is a "must" fact. Everyone must die. The modern civilization, they are afraid of death, but they do not know how to counteract death. This is the modern civilization. But there is process. In the Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa informs us that our real problem of life is death---birth, death, old age and disease. Birth is the beginning, and then, one who has taken birth, he must die. Yāvat, yāvaj jananaṁ tāvan maraṇam. But if one does not take birth, then he does not die. This is the actual problem. Why we have to take birth? People do not know even that there is again life after death. And Bhagavad-gītā's first instruction is tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ.

dehino 'smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ...

As we are changing our body in this life from childhood to boyhood, boyhood to youthhood, then old man, then we give up this body, Kṛṣṇa says that similarly, as I was a child, now I have got a different body; similarly, when I give up this body, I'll get another body. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ.

The people do not even know that there is dehāntara-prāptiḥ: again we have to accept another body. They do not care for it. And there are so many varieties of body. Just like if we are sitting here, so many ladies and gentlemen, each one of us has got a different type of body. Nobody's body is similar exactly to the other body. This is a fact. We can see. So why we have got different types of body? That we do not try to understand. Not only human body, but there are other bodies also. Jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati [Padma Purāṇa]. We have got bodies in the water, we have got bodies on the land, the tree life, the plant life, the insect life, the birds' life, the beast life, the human form of life... Amongst the human being there are different varieties---some American, some Indians, some others. So why there are different bodies? What is that science? Why there are different types of bodies?

The different type of body is due to our different karma and different mentality. That we do not know. But Parīkṣit Mahārāja, although he is king... Nowadays the kings and president, they are sure that "I am prime minister" and "I am president. My position is secure," because he is prime minister. This is the difficulty. The big, big men, they think that "My position is secure," "I am prime minister," "I am Rahis," "I am Birla," "I am big man, so my position is secure." But Parīkṣit Mahārāja did not think like that. Although he was the emperor, most powerful king, Parīkṣit Mahārāja, he did not think that "I am secure. Because I am emperor of the world, I am secure." No.

He immediately become alert = "Oh, I will have to die within seven days. So I must prepare." This is the problem. We do not know whether we are going to die within seven seconds, because there is no guarantee, whereas Parīkṣit Mahārāja had at least seven days' guarantee that he will die after seven days. But so far we are concerned, we can go on the street, there may be any accident; I can die immediately. There are so many deaths are taking place. The death is sure, and when it will take place, that nobody knows.

Therefore we should take lesson from Mahārāja Parīkṣit that what we are going to prepare for our next life. That is human life. Otherwise it is animal life. The cats and dogs, they do not know, "What is my next life." They think that... They do not know anything. So if a human being does not know, "What I am preparing for the next life?" he is no better than cats and dogs. That is the statement of the śāstra. It is not my statement.

yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke
sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ
yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ

Go-kharaḥ. Go means cows and khara means ass. So anyone who has got this concept that "I am this body"---"I am Indian," "I am American," "I am brāhmaṇa," "I am kṣatriya," "I am black," "I am white," "I am fat," "I am thin," "I am this," "I am that"---this is ātma-buddhi, dehātma-buddhi. Yasyātma-buddhi... One should know that "I am not this body." That is real knowledge. That is real knowledge. But nobody knows that. Everyone thinking. The fighting is going on all over the world. Just like Israel and the..., what other the party?

Devotee: Arabs.

Prabhupāda: Arabs. [laughs] They are thinking that they are this body, and they are fighting. And everywhere it is going on = "I am this body." Cats and dogs are fighting. So actually, we are not this body. That is knowledge. Therefore Bhagavad-gītā begins when Arjuna was thinking in terms of his body that he was declining to fight in terms of body. "Kṛṣṇa, they are my family members---my brothers, my grandfather, my nephews. How can I kill them?" So therefore Kṛṣṇa, when Arjuna accepted Kṛṣṇa as his spiritual master...

Śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam [Bg. 2.7] = "Kṛṣṇa, now we are talking like friends, but that will not make a solution, because friendly talking, useless waste of time. Let us talk seriously. So I accept You as my spiritual master." Śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam. "Now You teach me."

So this is the process of taking lessons. Just like Mahārāja Parīkṣit also trying to take lesson from the learned saintly persons there. At last it was settled that "Whatever Śukadeva Gosvāmī will say, that will be accepted. That will be accepted." So therefore Śukadeva, after being questioned by Mahārāja Parīkṣit, Śukadeva Gosvāmī is answering, varīyān eṣa te praśnaḥ [SB 2.1.1]. He inquired. Śuka... Parīkṣit Mahārāja inquired.

He was a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa from the very beginning. Because Pāṇḍava family, they were all Kṛṣṇa's devotee, so Parīkṣit Mahārāja also was a devotee from his childhood. He was worshiping the Deity of Kṛṣṇa. That was his plaything. Just like Mirabhai had kṛṣṇa-mūrti. So those who are born devotees, their inclination is to... That is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā = śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭo sanjāyate [Bg. 6.41]. Devotees, from the childhood, they get chance of worshiping Kṛṣṇa or to become Kṛṣṇa conscious.

So Parīkṣit Mahārāja was a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. So he inquired from Śukadeva Gosvāmī, "Whether I shall now fully devote myself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness?" And therefore the answer was from Śukadeva Gosvāmī, varīyān eṣa te praśnaḥ [SB 2.1.1]. "Yes, it is very nice, glorious, you are thinking of Kṛṣṇa." Varīyān eṣa te praśnaḥ. Then?

Pradyumna: Kṛto loka-hitaṁ nṛpa.

Prabhupāda: And loka-hitam: "My dear King, this praśna, this question, is not only good for you, but it is good for the whole world." Loka-hitam. Loka-hitam. So the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is like that. It is not a whim, that I went to the Western countries because I love Kṛṣṇa, so I wanted to preach it. No. Loka-hitam. As soon as Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement was started in the Western countries, immediately they took it. Took it. Because it is loka-hitam. It is actually beneficial. All these young boys and girls from America and Europe, why they are seriously taken? I have not bribed them, neither I have any money to pay them. But they have taken because it is loka-hitam. Because it is loka-hitam. And...

[aside:] What is the next word?

Pradyumna: Sammataḥ, ātmavit-sammataḥ.

Prabhupāda: Ātmavit-sammataḥ. Ātmavit means self-realized souls. Tattvavit or ātmavit.

vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
brahmeti paramātmeti
bhagavān iti śabdyate

Ātmavit, self-realized person, transcendentalist, they are not interested with these material affairs. Ātmavit.

So there are three kinds of ātmavit or tattvavit. Some of them are brahmavit, some of them are paramātmavit and some of them are bhagavadvit. The... Those who are trying to understand the Absolute Truth through knowledge, by dint of their own knowledge, that is called brahmavit. They can approach up to the impersonal Brahman. And those who are yogīs, trying to understand the Absolute Truth by meditation---dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ [SB 12.13.1]---they are paramātmavit. And those who are devotees, they are bhagavadvit, or bhāgavata. They are called bhāgavata.

So there are three classes of transcen..., vit, but everyone accepts this. Ātmavit-sammataḥ. We should accept something which is agreed by the ātmavit, not ordinary person. Now it has become a fashion that you manufacture any way of thinking of self-realization, that is accepted. No. Whether it is accepted by ātmavit. Whether it is accepted by the Vedic culture. Then it is true.

Otherwise you cannot manufacture. Therefore all over the world there are so many religious principles, because they have been manufactured by some men. Actually, religion cannot be manufactured. Religion is, according to Vedic culture, dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19]. Dharma, it should be given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, just like law is given by the state, government. You cannot manufacture law. That is not possible. If you manufacture some law, that "I have manufactured this law," that "I will follow this law, my law," that will not help you. You must follow the law given by the government. Similarly, religion means the religion which is given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And the ātmavit, those who are actually self-realized, they accept that religion, not any manufactured religion.

Therefore from the Bhāgavata we can understand that dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra [SB 1.1.2] = cheating type of religious system is kicked out from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Projjhita, swept off. We don't find that. Paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satāṁ vāstavaṁ vastu vedyam atra. This Bhāgavata system is meant for the paramo nirmatsarāṇām. Matsaratā. Matsaratā. It is explained by Śrīdhara Svāmī, para utkarṣa asahanam.[?] When a man cannot tolerate his friend or other man is rising more than him, he becomes envious. This is the material world. Even my brother becomes greater than me, I becomes envious. Either in richness or any way---competition.

So... But this Bhāgavata-dharma is different thing. Paramo nirmatsarāṇām. A devotee is never envious of another devotee. If one's friend or Godbrother or brother increases in devotion, the other devotee, he is not envious. He simply thanks him, "Oh, my brother," "my sister," or "my father," like that, "he has advanced in so much devotion. I could not do. So how I can follow him?" This is Vaikuṇṭha conclusion. Just like in the material world, everyone is envious. If I become richer than you, then you become envious, that "Oh, how this man has become richer? We are in the same business." So this is material. There is no appreciation.

But in the Vaikuṇṭha world there is comparative devotional service. Just like Rādhārāṇī and the gopīs, they are on the same status, but the gopīs know that "Rādhārāṇī is the better worshiper than us." Therefore their only business is how to take Rādhārāṇī and join with Kṛṣṇa. This is Vaikuṇṭha understanding. They are not envious, that "Kṛṣṇa loves Rādhārāṇī so much," and they are envious. No, no. Not at all. They want it that "Kṛṣṇa loves Rādhārāṇī so much, and Rādhārāṇī loves..." They simply try to join Them. And they are happy, "Oh, Kṛṣṇa and Rādhārāṇī is now joined together." That is their happiness. This is Vaikuṇṭha appreciation. Here in the material world, suppose there are competition = "Oh, this girl has got such a nice lover. Then let us break it." This is material. But Vaikuṇṭha, there is everything. Everything, varieties. But that variety is concentrated on Kṛṣṇa. That is called ātma-sammataḥ. Ātmavit-sammataḥ. Ātmavit, self-realized, those who are actually on the transcendental, spiritual platform. That must be approved.

So the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is approved. It is not a manufactured thing, whimsical thing. It is approved. Just like Arjuna said to Kṛṣṇa that paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān, puruṣaṁ śāśvataṁ ādyam... [Bg. 10.12] = "Kṛṣṇa, You are the Para-brahman." Para-brahman. Not that Kṛṣṇa may say... Or anyone can say, "Oh, Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna are friends. Therefore Arjuna has eulogized his friend, 'Para-brahman.' " No. Kṛṣṇa..., Arjuna said that "It is not that simply because I am appreciating You.

You are appreciated, you are approved by Devala, Asita, Vyāsa and Nārada." That is called ātmavit-sammataḥ. Ātmavit. Vyāsadeva, Nārada, Devala, Asita, all the great sages, they accept. Similarly, at the present moment we have got four ācāryas---even take five ācārya---Śaṅkarācārya, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, they all approve, kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam [SB 1.3.28]. Even Śaṅkarācārya, he is this impersonalist, still, he has commented on his Bhagavad-gītā, sa bhagavān svayaṁ kṛṣṇaḥ: "Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

So Kṛṣṇa is approved. And because Parīkṣit Mahārāja wanted to talk about Kṛṣṇa, the whole Bhāgavata is full of kṛṣṇa-kathā. That is the beginning. Therefore Śukadeva Gosvāmī said, ātmavit-sammataḥ.

[aside:] And what is the next word?

Pradyumna: Śrotavyādiṣu yaḥ paraḥ.

Prabhupāda: Śrotavyādiṣu yaḥ paraḥ. Now we have got to hear so many things. Now what we are doing in this world, in big Delhi city? In the morning we get a bunch of paper to hear about so many advertisements, so many political struggle, and so many things---all useless waste of time. But in our country it is... How many pages newspaper nowadays? But in the Western countries, oh, such huge, a big bag. You see? So many, you see? So there are so many things to hear, they are nonsense. Therefore he said, śrotavyādiṣu yaḥ paraḥ. This is the...

Now, if there had been some political meeting, oh, many hundreds of people would have come to hear. But because we are talking of Kṛṣṇa, nobody is here, although it is the śrotavyādiṣu yaḥ paraḥ, it is the supreme subject matter to hear. This is the position. This is the position of the material world. They have lost interest even to hear about the transcendental life, what is this life, what is next life, how we can improve, how, where we are going. Nothing. Simply like cats and dogs they are working hard. Therefore śāstra says, nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛloke kaṣṭān kāmān arhate viḍ-bhujāṁ ye [SB 5.5.1]. Viḍ-bhujām. Viḍ-bhujām means the hogs, the pigs, who are eating stool. They are also working very hard for finding out the stool, "Where there is stool? Where there is stool? Where there is stool?"

So Ṛṣabhadeva warned, "My dear sons, this life, this human form of life, is not meant for working so hard simply for eating, sleeping, mating and defending." Then what it is meant for? Tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyet [SB 5.5.1]. "My dear boys, just try to become austere. Just tapasya." Tapasya means voluntarily accepting some difficulties. Not difficulties. Just like in our Society we say, "No illicit sex life, no intoxication, no meat-eating, no gambling." But in the Western countries, these things are daily affair. But they have given up. But they have..., not they have died. All these boys and girls who have taken up Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, they have given up = no illicit sex life, no meat-eating, no intoxication. They do not drink even tea, coffee; they do not smoke even cigarette. This is tapasya, little tapasya. [break]

Everything is there. But we have become so unfortunate, led by rascal and fools leaders, that we are missing the opportunity of this human form of life where we can solve all the problems of life, and the indication are there, here in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā.

Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mission is, yāre dekha tāre kaha kṛṣṇa-upadeśa. This is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mission, that

āmāra ājñāya guru hañā tāra' ei deśa
yāre dekha tāre kaha kṛṣṇa-upadeśa

[Cc. Madhya 7.128]

This is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mission, that "I give you order. You, every one of you become a spiritual master." "Oh, I have no qualification. How can I become spiritual master? It requires high knowledge, Sanskrit understanding." "No, you don't require anything. Simply you speak kṛṣṇa-upadeśa." What is kṛṣṇa-upadeśa? Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. You simply go door to door and say, "Please surrender to Kṛṣṇa." Then you are spiritual master. I have done this. What I have done? I have gone to your country to say this thing, that "Here is Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You surrender, you'll become perfect." That is being done.

So it is not very difficult to become spiritual master. Simply you have to become very serious and sincere to the service of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore Śukadeva Gosvāmī, varīyān eṣa te praśnaḥ [SB 2.1.1] = "Oh, it is very nice." Loka-hitam: "It will be beneficial to the whole human society."

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotees: Jaya Prabhupāda. [break]

Prabhupāda: ....Sītā-Rāma, Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa. So we are not worshiper of Kṛṣṇa alone. With His śakti, with His energy. Therefore we are appealing both to the śakti, and the śaktimān.

Guest: Śaktimān.

Prabhupāda: Ah. This is very easy to understand. Suppose if you, husband and wife, sit together, and I appeal to you. And if the female part of your life, if she agrees, "Oh, yes," then you cannot deny. [laughter] Therefore the devotees, they appeal to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. In Vṛndāvana they shout, "Jaya Rādhe!" They are more devotee of Rādhārāṇī, because Rādhārāṇī is so softhearted, that as soon as someone says "Kṛṣṇa," she thinks, "Oh, here is a greater devotee than Me." [laughter] She immediately recommends, "Oh, here is a very nice devotee. He is greater than Me. Please accept." Now Kṛṣṇa has no other way. [laughter] Therefore, "Hare Kṛṣṇa." First of all Rādhārāṇī---Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma... This is the [indistinct] position, to appeal. Nijinko-ma atma dase[?]

We are so shameless that we are serving our so many, I mean, society, friendship, love, country also. But they are not grateful. Even Mahatma Gandhi, who served so much for his country, his countrymen, they shot him dead. Yes. He died. Ask any man, in your family, in your.. Nobody is grateful. Nobody will say, "Oh, you have done so much for me, now you retire." No, no retirement. "Up to the point of death you must serve us." This is the position. Therefore one who is intelligent, he'll surrender to Kṛṣṇa = kāmādīnāṁ kati na katidhā pālitā durnideśās [Cc. Madhya 22.16]. This material service, I want to serve the countryman. That is not serving the countryman. Just like you see all this politician, they are presenting their manifesto that "We shall serve the country." But they go to the political post to serve himself.

Guest: Hmm.

Prabhupāda: Or his kāma, his desire.

Guest: Yes.

Prabhupāda: He never goes to serve the country.

Guest: Serves his own humanitarian good. [indistinct]

Prabhupāda: Yes. Therefore we are serving neither the country, nor the society, nor the family, nor the husband, nor the wife---none. I am serving my lusty desires.

Guest: Lust for God.

Prabhupāda: Huh? Lust for my sense gratification, that's all.

Guest: And the priest[?] for redemption.

Prabhupāda: This is going on, in the name of service. This is not service. This is all lust. Only service can be rendered to Kṛṣṇa. That is, He is the only person who can accept service. Nobody can accept service. Therefore, the resolution should be how to serve Kṛṣṇa. That is real dharma. Therefore Bhāgavat says, dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra [SB 1.1.2]. Dharma, artha, kāma mokṣa. People are after this, to become religious. Why? "You'll get money." And what you'll do with the money? "Ah, I'll satisfy my senses, nicely." And then? "Then after satisfying my senses in this material world, I'll become God." That is another sense gratification = "I'll become one with God." And how you become one with God? But he is aspiring like that. He is thinking like that.

So these are... Therefore Bhāgavat says kaitava-dharma: these are all cheating type of religious system. The real dharma is, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁśaraṇaṁ vraja

Similarly, Bhāgavat begins with the word paraṁ satyaṁ dhīmahi..., oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya [SB 1.1.1]. This is dharma, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Any other question? [silence] Hmm. Mrs. Kildan you have got any question?

Mrs. Kildan: No. [indistinct]

Prabhupāda: You have got any question?

Mrs. Kildan: [indistinct]

Prabhupāda: Hmm. Now you can open this fan. And chant Hare Kṛṣṇa once more. Bod dure hey? ["It is very difficult?"] [Hindi]

Guest: Bod dure hey. [in agreement]

Prabhupāda: Hmm. [Hindi] [both laugh] [end]