Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.8.21 , Māyāpur , 1974-10-01

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

kṛṣṇāya vāsudevāya
devakī-nandanāya ca
govindāya namo namaḥ

[break] [01:25]

Translation = "Let me therefore offer my respectful obeisances unto the Lord, who has become the son of Vasudeva, the pleasure of Devakī, the son of Nanda and the other cowherd men of Vṛndāvana, and the enlivener of the cows and the senses."


Prabhupāda: So in the last verse, it is..., it has been explained by Kuntī that Kṛṣṇa is meant for the paramahaṁsa, muni, very, very exalted persons; they can understand Kṛṣṇa, bhakti-yoga-vidhānārtham. Because such learned persons, such exalted persons, they can only understand what is bhakti-yoga. Bhakti-yoga is the topmost yoga. There are different kinds of yogas = karma-yoga, jñāna-yoga, dhyāna-yoga, haṭha-yoga, many others. Yoga means "contact" or "having connection." So bhakti-yoga means directly connection with Kṛṣṇa, or God. That is bhakti-yoga. Other yogas, they are not directly connected.

Karma-yoga... Yoga means connection with Kṛṣṇa, or God, but when there is the word karma-yoga, it is adulterated. It is not pure yoga. Karma-yoga means, yat karoṣi yad juhoṣi yaj aśnāsi tapasyasi yat kuruṣva tad mad-arpaṇam [Bg. 9.27]. That is karma-yoga. Whatever you doing... In the beginning, one cannot take to pure bhakti-yoga. Therefore karma-yoga is recommended = "Never mind whatever you doing. In that position you can become a devotee." Karma-yoga, that is. People are interested with different types of work. So therefore Kṛṣṇa says, yat karoṣi. "Never mind whatever you are doing." So how it becomes karma-yoga? Now, kuruṣva tad mad-arpaṇam: "You give it to Me." Suppose you are doing business, and you are earning lots of money. So Kṛṣṇa says, "All right, go on. You are attached to business. You go on doing that. But the money earned out of your business, you give it to Me." This is karma-yoga. Not that you earn money and spend for your sense gratification. That is not karma-yoga. The rascals, they are saying this is karma-yoga. For sense gratification they are using, and that is karma-yoga. No. That is not karma-yoga. Here is karma-yoga: "It doesn't matter, whatever you are doing, but the ultimate result, you give it to Me."

In another place, Kṛṣṇa says, karmaṇy evādhikāras te mā phaleṣu kadācana [Bg. 2.47] = "You can go on. You can go on with your business, but don't expect the fruit of the business." Mā phaleṣu. He indirectly says, "The fruit should be given to Me." Mā phaleṣu kadācana: "Don't expect the fruit." Suppose you grow a nice mango tree, and there will be fruit, nice fruit. So according to Bhagavad-gītā, it is said, mā phaleṣu kadācana: "You don't take the fruits." "Oh? Such a nice mango tree I have nourished in so many years. Now the fruit is there, and Kṛṣṇa says, mā phaleṣu kadācana: 'Don't take the fruit.' Then who will take the fruit? It will rot? It will fall down on the ground, and it will rot?" No. The idea is, "You don't take, but you give it to Me." This is karma-yoga. It is not that it should be wasted. So that is karma-yoga. So those who are karmīs, very much attached to material activities, for them, this karma-yoga is recommended. Some way or other, be connected with Kṛṣṇa. It is not so meant... It is very great achievement that you work hard, earn money, and give it to Kṛṣṇa. That is a great sacrifice.

So by karma-yoga also, you can satisfy... Because the main business is to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. Ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ [SB 1.2.13]. Varṇāśrama. There are four varṇas and four āśramas = brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsī. So these are the scientific division of civilized society. Unless there are these divisions, it is a chaotic condition; it is not very satisfactory. That is happening. Nowadays, there is no scientific division of the human society. Therefore there are so many chaotic conditions. So actual human civilization begins when we accept these eight departmental management of the society. That is human society. Otherwise it is animal society.

So... So according to Vedic civilization, every department, division, has got a particular duty. The brāhmaṇa, their duty is how to practice to control the mind, to control the senses, śamo damas titikṣā, to be tolerant, to be very simple, simple living, not very gorgeous living. Whatever is absolutely necessary, a brāhmaṇa will accept, not more than that. That is simplicity = simple living, high thinking. So this is brāhmaṇa's... Śamo damas titikṣā ārjava. And then jñānam. Jñānam means to understand what is what. People are all in ignorance, rascals. The brāhmaṇa should not be rascal. Therefore brāhmaṇa is given the title paṇḍita. Still in India they say brāhmaṇa-paṇḍita. Brāhmaṇa must be a paṇḍita, a learned. A brāhmaṇa rascal is not brāhmaṇa. You are... "What you are?" "I am brāhmaṇa." "What do you do?" "Now, I pull ṭhelā." So that is not brāhmaṇa. Brāhmaṇa means paṇḍita. He must be a learned man. Paṭhana-pāṭhana yajana-yājana dāna-pratigraha. These are the brāhmaṇa's occupational duty. He must be learned scholar himself, and he would try to make others also learned scholar, paṭhana-pāṭhana. Not that "I know." If you know something better, means very valuable, you must distribute it. Otherwise, in Sanskrit language they are called jñāna-khala: "miser in knowledge." One who has got knowledge... Just like in the modern world, if one is scientifically advanced, he gives the knowledge to others. He goes from university to university and speaks about the new invention. So similarly, brāhmaṇa means that he must have full knowledge and he must distribute the knowledge, not that keep it for himself, reserved = "Nobody should know it." No. Paṭhana-pāṭhana. So jñānaṁ vijñānam.

Similarly, everyone has got particular type of business. Kṣatriya has got; vaiśya has got. So yat karoṣi, whatever you are doing, you must do it for Kṛṣṇa's satisfaction. Kṛṣṇa's satis... If you have got some knowledge, you distribute the knowledge for Kṛṣṇa's satisfaction. How you can do that? Whatever knowledge you have got, you try to describe Kṛṣṇa. Kavibhir nirūpitaḥ yad uttama-śloka-guṇānuvarṇanam [SB 1.5.22]. This is the first-class distribution of knowledge. Whatever you know, you try to explain Kṛṣṇa by that knowledge. Just like our Dr. Svarūpa Dāmodara. He's a scientist, and now he is trying to explain Kṛṣṇa through his scientific knowledge. Similarly, if you are a medical man, you can explain also Kṛṣṇa through medical science. If you are engineer, you can explain also Kṛṣṇa through engineering. Kṛṣṇa can be explained. But the person who is explaining, he must be intelligent. Because Kṛṣṇa is everything, so simply we must have the intelligence how to explain engineering and come to the conclusion of Kṛṣṇa. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was doing that. He was teaching grammar. So when there was question of dhātu, He was explaining Kṛṣṇa. So the students, some of the students, they did not like that explanation. So therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu had to wind up His school because they did not like.

So Kṛṣṇa can be... Kṛṣṇa is everything. Simply one must have sufficient knowledge how to see Kṛṣṇa through everything. That is mahā-bhāgavata. Sarvatra sphūrti haya nija iṣṭa-deva [Cc. Madhya 8.274]. Whatever he sees, Kṛṣṇa, because actually Kṛṣṇa is everything. So there..., bhakti-yoga is so nice that that is the perfect yoga. And Kṛṣṇa confirms it:

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ

The first-class yogī is he who is always thinking of Kṛṣṇa. The same way = If you are a medical man, if you think of Kṛṣṇa, how to prove that Kṛṣṇa is the best physician or Kṛṣṇa is the best surgeon through medical science, if one thinks like that, and if he tries to do it, he is first-class yogī, even though he is a medical man. Similarly, everyone can become the first-class yogī if he takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Now, the question is that some of the rascals, they take Kṛṣṇa as a black man. [aside:] Who is talking? Black man. Some..., one government officer, I think, some rascal. His name is Mr. Anand. He has described Kṛṣṇa that "He was a black aborigine, and He became very powerful some way or other, and people worship Him as God." It was published in a government magazine. So there are so many rascals. Sometimes Kṛṣṇa... Means those who are demons, to defy Kṛṣṇa, that "This Kṛṣṇa is a crow" or "This Kṛṣṇa is a black man" or "Kṛṣṇa is śūdra..." Kṛṣṇa means so many things. Kṛṣṇa... Śūdras, they are also kṛṣṇa, called. The brāhmaṇas are called śukla, and the... So in this way, the rascal demons, they want to describe Kṛṣṇa in their own way so that Kṛṣṇa devotees may be unhappy, and that is their pleasure.

Therefore, to teach these rascals, Kṛṣṇa..., er, Draupadī..., er, Kuntī is pointing out, kṛṣṇāya vāsudevāya: "You rascal, you don't take Kṛṣṇa otherwise. I am speaking of Kṛṣṇa the son of Vāsudeva..., Vasudeva." Just like to identification in the court, if you give your name, then you must give the father's name, your village, your district, like that. That is identification. So therefore Kuntīdevī is pointing out = "It is no other Kṛṣṇa. The Kṛṣṇa whose father's name is Vasudeva, whose mother's name is Devakī, whose father's name is Nanda Mahārāja, whose mother's name is Yaśodāmāyi. That's all." When that Vallabha Ācārya... He wrote some essays and book, The Meaning of Kṛṣṇa. The Meaning of Kṛṣṇa. And he went to Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and he wanted some eulogization that he has so many meanings of Kṛṣṇa. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "No, no. I know Kṛṣṇa's name, only two or three. That's all." He said, "I know Kṛṣṇa is the son of Yaśodāmāyi, Yaśodā-stanamdana[?]. Kṛṣṇa means the boy who sucked the breast of Mother Yaśodā. I know that."

So here also, nanda, nanda-nandanāya... He [She] says, nanda-gopa-kumārāya. Kumāra. Kumāra means "who is not married." So Kṛṣṇa remained in Vṛndāvana up to sixteen years. Therefore He remained always kumāra, Nanda-kumāra, Nanda-nandana. Here it is explicitly said, Nanda-gopa. And who was Nanda? That is also explained. Nanda means that leader of the cowherds men, or he was king, Nanda Mahārāja. "King" does not mean always one has to become a king of very big kingdom. No. Anyone who possesses... Still in India, anyone who possesses some land, he is called king, rāja. He is called rāja, the zamindar, one who possesses some land, in..., especially in the up-country. [coughs] So Nanda Mahārāja, because he possessed some land... He was well-to-do, rich man. [coughs] Because... [aside:] Where is water? He possessed cows and grains. Formerly, a man... Still now, also, actually that is rich, riches. Gavayā dhanavān, one who has got many cows, he is to be considered as rich man. Dhānyena dhanavān. One who has got large quantity of food grain, he is dhanavān. Nowadays, one who has got a bunch of paper, he is considered... And the paper is nothing. As soon as the government is failure, then the hundred..., thousand-dollar note and hundred-dollar notes, it will have no value.

So actual, actual value = to keep cows, to have food grains or gold, jewelries, these are the signs of richness. But Kali-yuga is so cruel that if you have got gold, if you have got jewels, then government will take away. Dasyu-dharmabhiḥ. Formerly there were ordinary plunderers, thieves. Now, according to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the government will be composed of organized thieves. That is meant = dasyu-dharmabhiḥ, rājabhiḥ. Government officer means organized thieves, in every country. That will be the situation. So you cannot keep now. You have to be satisfied with these papers. That's all.

So Nanda Mahārāja was rich because he possessed nine lakhs of cows, not... And Kṛṣṇa had to take care of. Although Kṛṣṇa was Nanda Mahārāja's son, king's son, still He had to go... When He was young, five, six years old, He had to take care; not only Kṛṣṇa, but all His friends. That was the system. Small boys, they would take care of the calves, and after sixth year, they would take care of the cows. So in this way, fifteen, sixteen years they would pass. Then they would..., they may go to school, but the ordinary vaiśyas... Nanda Mahārāja happened to be vaiśya, not kṣatriya. His father, Kṛṣṇa's father, was Vasudeva. He was kṣatriya. His uncle, Kaṁsa, he was kṣatriya. He belonged to the kṣatriya family because born as the son of Vasudeva, but because He was transferred in His..., just after His birth to Nanda Mahārāja, so in the boyhood, in childhood, he remained a vaiśya.

Actually Kṛṣṇa is neither vaiśya nor śūdra nor kṣatriya nor brāhmaṇa. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Prakṛteḥ param. That has been described by Kuntī. Prakṛteḥ? Namasye...? What is the beginning?

Devotee: Namasye puruṣaṁ tvādyam.

Prabhupāda: Ah. Namasye puruṣam... What is that verse?

Devotee: Ādyam.

Prabhupāda: Ādyam.

Devotee: Tvādyam.

Prabhupāda: Tvā. Tvā means "You." So īśvaraṁ prakṛteḥ param [SB 1.8.18]. He is beyond the jurisdiction of this material world, prakṛteḥ param. So He is neither brāhmaṇa... This brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, brahma..., they are these material designation. They are not actually fact. So, as Kṛṣṇa is not belonging to this material world... He belongs to the spiritual... Prakṛteḥ param. Paras tasmāt tu bhāvaḥ anyaḥ [Bg. 8.20], as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Para. Para means "another," or "the superior." Paras tasmāt tu bhāvaḥ anyaḥ. In the Bhagavad-gītā you'll find that... You are seeing this material world up to the sky. Your vision is up to the sky, although you do not know what are these planets, how they are existing. You have no knowledge. But still, at least, you can get experience that this universe is covered by this round sky, and within this universe there are so many planets.

So... So Kṛṣṇa does not belong to these planets or this material sky. He belongs to the paravyoma. Again, paravyoma means sky. And para means the superior, or spiritual. Therefore Kṛṣṇa does not... Kṛṣṇa belongs to everything, because everything is Kṛṣṇa's. But He has got His special abode. That is Vaikuṇṭha, Goloka Vṛndāvana. That is situated in the spiritual sky, not in this material sky. A... In the material sky, the, that Goloka Vṛndāvana is there, replica, just Vṛndāvana, where we go. When Kṛṣṇa comes... Just like government = the governor or the king, when he is on tour, in every city he has got a special house. What is that house called? Huh?

Devotee: Embassy.

Prabhupāda: Now... Just like... Similarly, when Kṛṣṇa comes in this universe, He comes there, in Vṛndāvana, in Mathurā, in the Dvārakā. So... But the real... But there is no difference between that Vṛndāvana, Goloka Vṛndāvana, and this Vṛndāvana.

So these things are to be understood. Kṛṣṇa is para. Paras tasmāt tu bhāvaḥ anyaḥ [Bg. 8.20]. In the Bhagavad-gītā we get this information. There is another nature exactly like this. But these so-called scientists, they are so ignorant, they cannot estimate that there is another nature, there are spiritual planets... This... They do not know even how many planets are there, how they are situated, how they are inhabited. They think simply this planet is full of living entities; in other planets, there is no living entity. But that is not the fact. Every planet. Every planet is full with living entities, even in the sun planet, moon planet. So this is a subject matter we have discussed many times. So Kuntī has already pointed out that Kṛṣṇa is īśvara, and He's beyond the jurisdiction of this material world. That Kṛṣṇa, when He comes here... Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati [Bg. 4.7]. He comes. Tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham. He comes. Then how He comes? He comes as the son of Vasudeva. Kṛṣṇāya vāsudevāya. Vāsudeva, vāsudevāya. His name... Because He comes as the son of Vasudeva, therefore He is called Vāsudeva. Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ [Bg. 7.19]. If one knows that this Vāsudeva is everything, then he is the most exalted mahātmā.

So these things are to be understood. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And if we remain fool... No. Everything is there. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, in Bhagavad-gītā, everything is there about Kṛṣṇa. Anyone can understand if he's little intelligent. And as soon as you understand Kṛṣṇa, then you are liberated person.

janma karma me divyaṁ
yo jānāti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma

So why should you not understand Kṛṣṇa? Everything is given there. Why you should...? At least, the intelligent class, the Americans and Europeans, they are very intelligent materially. They have proved their intelligence. Why not spiritually? If they are materially intelligent, brain is there, you can utilize it either for material purpose or... Now, so far, you have done for material purposes. You have done enough, so many machineries and so many things. But there is no happiness. You take to..., apply your brain and intelligence to understand Kṛṣṇa. Then your life is successful.

That I have said many times, that you American boys or American people, you are fortunate so many ways. How? Now, because you have got the result of pious activities. What is the result of pious activities? Janmaiśvarya-śruta-śrī [SB 1.8.26]. You have... You were born in very rich nationality, in America. You were born of rich fathers. Nobody is poor; poverty is unknown there. I have studied. If, by voluntarily, one becomes poverty-stricken, that is another... But actually there is no poverty, so far I have studied. That is result of pious activity. To take birth in poor family, low family, is the result of sinful activities. So because you are born in rich nationality, rich family, that is good sign. Janma, aiśvarya. And opulence. You don't care for money. Money is nothing for you. This... We, we, we take money so carefully. But you spend money without any... So these are the results... Janmaiśvarya-śruta, education. And śrī, beauty. These are... So now you utilize this. Because one is fortunate if he gets all this opportunity, so you take this opportunity and utilize it for understanding Kṛṣṇa. Then your life is successful.

And I am hoping also that if you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and... It was the duty of the Indians. As Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, that,

bhārata-bhūmite haila manuṣya janma yāra
janma sārthaka kari' kara para-upakāra

[Cc. Ādi 9.41]

Of course, I am Indian, so I have tried my best to give you this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It was the duty of the Indians to preach this cult. But even they are not doing, so you can take up, and for the benefit of the human society, you simply preach about Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇāya. We are speaking of this Kṛṣṇa, not that Kṛṣṇa, the "aborigine Kṛṣṇa" or "the black Kṛṣṇa." "No, kṛṣṇa means black." No, Kṛṣṇa means many things. Kṛṣṇa means also attractive. Does not mean... Kali-Kṛṣṇa does not mean that He's black. He's... "Your Kṛṣṇa is black." Yes, my Kṛṣṇa is black, but at the same time all-attractive. So many beautiful gopīs all became attracted. So many queens all became attracted. So this blackness of Kṛṣṇa is not this ordinary. Therefore in the Brahma-saṁhitā it is said that kandarpa-koṭi-kamanīya-viśeṣa-śobham [Bs. 5.30]. Kṛṣṇa's blackness is not ordinary blackness. Asitāmbuda-sundarāṅgam. Although He's blackish like the black cloud, but sundara, very, very beautiful. How much beautiful? Kandarpa-koṭi-kamanīya-viśeṣa-śobham. He's so beautiful that if you bring millions and millions of Cupids---Cupid is supposed to be very beautiful---still, He will surpass. So Kṛṣṇa... Śyāmasundaram. Śyāma means black, and still, very, very beautiful. That is the understanding of Kṛṣṇa.

So therefore to understand Kṛṣṇa perfectly, Kuntī is pointing out that Kṛṣṇa who is the son of Vasudeva, that beautiful Kṛṣṇa, that Śyāmasundara Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇāya vāsudevāya [SB 1.8.21]. Then Vāsudeva may be... There may be Vāsudevas. Then mother's name also. Devakī-nandanāya: "That Kṛṣṇa is born of Devakī and Vasudeva, not others." Then there cannot be any mistake. If both the father's and mother's name... And again, he's [she's] pointing out, nanda-gopa-kumārāya: "That Kṛṣṇa who was carried to Vṛndāvana, and He remained as foster son of Mahārāja Nanda." And then he [she] says, govindāya. Govindāya, that "He was a cowherd boy, played as a cowherd..." Govinda. Go means cows, and go means indriya, senses. So He was pleasure to the cows. The cows were very much pleased with Kṛṣṇa. As soon as Kṛṣṇa will call them, they will immediately come.

And this govinda word is explained in the Brahma-saṁhitā in so many ways. Govindam. Therefore this reference is given there, govinda. What is that...?

sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-sādhana-śaktir ekā
chāyeva bhuvanāni bibharti durgā
icchānurūpam api yasya ca ceṣṭate sā
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ...

[Bs. 5.44]

Govinda is not ordinary thing. That Govinda... Which Govinda? Now, this material energy, Durgā, who is working so wonderfully, sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-sādhana-śaktiḥ, she has... This material energy has got so much power that it can create, it can destroy, it can maintain---so much power. But don't think that this material energy is working independently. And then how is...? How she is working? Chāyeva yasya bhuvanāni bibharti durgā [Bs. 5.44]. Just she is working just like shadow. The... Then what is the reality? Govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi. So we are worshiping that person who is the original director of this material... Because we are captivated by the three guṇas of material energy, we think this material energy, material world, is everything, because we are foolish. Nābhijānāti mām ebhyaḥ param avyayam. Tribhir guṇamayair bhāvaiḥ. They have been captivated by the three material... They cannot understand that behind this, there is Kṛṣṇa.

So this govinda word can be explained in so many ways. Kṛṣṇa can be... You can try to explain this verse year after year, still it cannot be ended, it is so nice verse. But you... We should try to understand Kṛṣṇa. There are so many ways to understand Kṛṣṇa. Some way or other, simply if you understand that Kṛṣṇa is īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ [Bs. 5.1], that much, that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead---if you are convinced on this subject matter---then your life is successful.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya... [end]