Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.8.30 , Māyāpur , 1974-10-10

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

janma karma ca viśvātmann
ajasyākartur ātmanaḥ
tiryaṅ-nṝṣiṣu yādaḥsu
tat atyanta-viḍambanam

[break] [01:03]

"Of course, it is bewildering, O soul of the universe, that You work, though You are inactive, that You take birth, though You are the vital force and the unborn. You Yourself descend amongst the animals, men, sages and aquatics. Verily, this is bewildering."


janma karma ca viśvātmann
ajasyākartur ātmanaḥ
tiryaṅ-nṝṣiṣu yādaḥsu
tat atyanta-viḍambanam

This viḍambanam word, the English translation is almost similar---"bewildering." Viḍambanam, "bewildering."

So this is to be understood, what is Kṛṣṇa, because He descends out of His causeless mercy as human being for reestablishing the principles of religious system = yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham [Bg. 4.7]. [aside:] That's all right. So this is to be understood. Superficially understanding Kṛṣṇa... Of course, even not understanding, simply by uttering the word "Kṛṣṇa" in love and affection, one becomes delivered. It is said, eka kṛṣṇa nāme yata pāpa hare, pāpī haya tata pāpa kari baro nare[?]. Kṛṣṇa-nāma is so powerful, it is said, if you chant thousand times Lord Viṣṇu's name, then the result is equal to once chanting Lord Rāma's name. I forget that..., to recite that verse. But the purpose is this = that viṣṇu-sahasra-nāma is recommended to be chanted by common man. But śāstra says that after chanting one thousand of Lord Viṣṇu's name---there are hundreds and thousands of names---it is equal to if you chant once Lord Rāma's name. Similarly, if you chant three times Lord Rāma's name, then it is equal to once chanting Kṛṣṇa's name. So we understand or not understand, if we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, the result is there. Without any offense, if we chant, then the result is... Once chanting of Kṛṣṇa's name is so powerful that immediately the chanting makes you free from all kinds of reaction of sinful activities. Eka kṛṣṇa-nāme yata pāpa hare, pāpī haya tata pāpa kari baro nare[?]. The pāpīs, they are very much expert in committing sinful activities, but Kṛṣṇa, this holy name once chanted is so powerful that this expert sinful man cannot commit so many criminal..., I mean, sinful activities. This is there. So some way or other, if we offenselessly chant Hare Kṛṣṇa name, it is so powerful.

So here Kuntī says, janma karma ca viśvātmann ajasya. Aja means who never takes birth. Ajasya. Aja, the living entities, they are also aja, but sometimes the living entity, being attracted by the material energy, they come to this material world. Then their quality of aja, or not to take birth, becomes vanquished. Because in the material world one has to take birth. But actually spirit soul, or the Supreme Spirit, Kṛṣṇa, they are aja. Ajo nityaḥ śāśvato 'yam [Bg. 2.20]. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said clearly that living entity is aja, nitya, śāśvata, ayam. "Then how he is dying?" one may question. That is also replied = na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre. Don't think... That dying means he's changing body, not dying. Therefore... Because Kṛṣṇa says the living entity is aja, everyone can question that "If he's aja, he does not take birth, then why he's taking birth? Why he's dying?" The answer is immediately there = na hanyate, "Don't think that he's dying." Na hanyate. "No, I see his body's being burned." No, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. That body is being burned. That...

Suppose if your cloth is burned... In my childhood, when I was three, four years old, I was saved. My all cloth burned, and there is a scar. You have seen. I would have died that day, but fortunately I was saved. The cloth was burning. That, what is that called, matches color? So I was trying to burn, and it caught my cloth. So the cloth burned, but I did not burn. Similarly, this body also burns, but the soul... Nainaṁ śastrāṇi chindanti na dahati pāvakaḥ: the soul is never cut into pieces by any weapon, neither it is burned by the fire, soul. That is eternity. Anything material, it will burn, it will be cut into pieces, it can be dried up, it can be moistened. Because we cannot see the soul, so Kṛṣṇa has explained in a negative definition what is the characteristic of the soul = nainaṁ chindanti śastrāṇi nainaṁ dahati pāvakaḥ, na śoṣayati mārutaḥ [Bg. 2.23]. Like that.

So aja... We are also aja, because we are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. And nitya. Nityaḥ śāśva... Ajo nityaḥ. Nitya... The Māyāvāda philosophy is that we are aja, and Supreme Brahman is aja. So when we are uncovered by this material body, we mix with the aja. That is their theory, monist. We merge into the existence of aja. But that is not fact. You merge. That is like merging a green bird into a green tree. When a green bird enters a green tree it appears that the green bird is now merged, and he..., it has no more existence. No. That is not... One can understand = the bird enters into the green tree does not mean the bird has not lost his existence. His individuality is still there. Similarly, when we merge, even in Brahman effulgence, we do not lose our individuality. Although it appears that we have lost our identity, individuality, but actually that is not the fact. And because it is not fact, therefore our another quality is ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt [Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12] = we want ānanda.

As Kṛṣṇa is ānandamaya... We see Kṛṣṇa is always engaged in pastimes, either with the cowherd boys or with the gopīs or with His father, mother, or in the fight of battlefield, Kurukṣetra, or in killing some demon. But His pastimes are always there. He's never inactive. He's never inactive. There it is said, viśvātmann aja akartuḥ. He has nothing to do, but still He is acting. Akartuḥ. Akartuḥ means He has nothing to do. Here, so far we are concerned, we have to do something in the material world. We are destined. Śarīra-yātrāpi na te prasiddhyed akarmaṇaḥ [Bg. 3.8]. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā that "If you do not work, you cannot maintain even your body. You have to work." You see therefore all living entities... At night, millions and trillions of living entities, they come, fly and work. The work has no meaning. The work is death. Still, they are working. So what to speak of others? The birds, the sparrows, they are working, from here to there, here... And we are also working. So that is the nature of material existence.

But Kṛṣṇa has nothing to do. Akartuḥ. He has nothing to do. Na māṁ karmāṇi limpanti na me karma-phale spṛhā [Bg. 4.14]. He has not... But He comes as a human being just to teach us how to work. How to work. That He explains in the Bhagavad-gītā, how to work and be happy. But not to work, Kṛṣṇa has never... And neither this place is like that, that you will not work, and everything will come automatically. Things are coming automatically, but you have to pick up the things by working. That is the nature. Just like you have got gold mine under your feet. So you have to take it by working, by digging. You cannot say, "Now I have got the gold mine. Now sit down tightly." No. That is not material nature. But Kṛṣṇa has nothing to do. Na tasya kāryaṁ karaṇaṁ ca vidyate. That is the Vedic instruction. That is akartuḥ. He has nothing to do. Why He has nothing to do? Now, because He has got many energies. Just like nowadays, by electronic, one man is sitting... We have seen the pilot = he's sitting in his place; he's simply pushing on the button, and the whole, big gigantic 747 is flying in the sky. We see the pilot is sitting there. He's doing nothing, but he's doing everything. But the electronic arrangement is so perfect. But sitting in one place he is working the big, gigantic machine. As it is possible for a small material man, how much it is possible for Kṛṣṇa. Although He does not do anything, still, He's viśvātman: He is controlling the whole universe, viśvātman. He's the vital force, viśvāt... This is Kṛṣṇa.

So we have to understand Kṛṣṇa. Kuntī is helping us. Every devotee, Vaiṣṇava, they voluntarily takes this business just to satisfy Kṛṣṇa, to explain Kṛṣṇa, just like Kuntī is explaining. Because if we understand Kṛṣṇa thoroughly, then we are liberated. Therefore Kṛṣṇa..., Kuntī's trying that "Kṛṣṇa has nothing to do. Don't think that Kṛṣṇa is helping Arjuna in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, it is His duty." No, it is not His duty. He's doing it voluntarily, but He has nothing to do with it. That is Kṛṣṇa. Na me karma-phale spṛhā. He has nothing to do. We are forced to do. According to our karma-phala, we are forced to do. Tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovidaḥ. Tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukham. Here we have to..., we are forced to accept happiness or distress according to destiny. You cannot deny, that "I'll not take this distressed condition of life. I'll simply take the happiness portion." That you cannot do. You must. Kṛṣṇa is not like that. That is understanding of Kṛṣṇa. [aside:] Why you are standing? You can sit down. Kṛṣṇa is not like that. Kṛṣṇa is akartuḥ, ātmanaḥ..., although He is the vital force of everything.

So if we simply understand Kṛṣṇa, as explained in the śāstras, sādhu-śāstra, or saintly person, devotees, if we try to understand, then we become liberated. Janma karma me divyam [Bg. 4.9]. As it is said, janma karma ca viśvātmann ajasya akartur ātmanaḥ, viḍambanam. Viḍambanam. They are all bewildering. Bewildering. Therefore, if one understands properly, then the result is that he becomes liberated. That means he gets full knowledge. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante [Bg. 7.19]. Then he understands that Kṛṣṇa is everything; He's the origin of everything. Viśvātman. This is to be understood. He's the vital force of the whole universe. The whole universe is moving not automatically, but under the guidance and superintendence of Kṛṣṇa. Mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram [Bg. 9.10]. Kṛṣṇa says, "Under My superintendence." So Kṛṣṇa is active, but He has nothing to do. This is acintya, inconceivable. He is very active because He is supervising the whole activities of the universe, but still, He has nothing to do. That is Kṛṣṇa. We have to understand that. Paśyaty acakṣuḥ. He is seeing, but acakṣuḥ. Acakṣuḥ means... You may say, "Not seeing." Acakṣuḥ. He does not place His eyesight, but still, He's seeing. How it is? Now, He can see from any part of His body. Just like I close my eyes, I cannot see you. My seeing activities stop. But because, although I am..., I have closed my eyes, but my hands are there. So Kṛṣṇa can see by hands, by nails. That is Kṛṣṇa. Aṅgāni yasya sakalendriya-vṛttimanti paśyanti... [Bs. 5.1]. This very word is used, paśyanti. The limbs of the body of Kṛṣṇa, any part, He can see. Although He may close His eyes, but because other parts of the body are open, therefore He can see. Aṅgāni yasya sakalendriya-vṛttimanti.

In this way, Kṛṣṇa is explained in so many śāstras, and He explains Himself. If we simply try to understand the constitution of Kṛṣṇa, then we become liberated. And if we try to understand, Kṛṣṇa will help. Kṛṣṇa says, śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ [SB 1.2.17]. The more we hear about Kṛṣṇa, we become purified. We cannot understand Kṛṣṇa because we are not purified. But the..., simply if you hear the Kṛṣṇa name, Hare Kṛṣṇa---Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare---if you chant and hear, you become purified. So why should we not this, take this simple method, and as it is recommended in the śāstra, harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam [Cc. Ādi 17.21], simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, twenty-four hours? Kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ [Cc. Ādi 17.31]. You become perfect. Why we are losing this opportunity? That is our misfortune. That is explained by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, etādṛśī tava kṛpā bhagavan mamāpi [Śikṣāṣṭaka 2] = "My Lord, You have shown Your mercy so liberally that name, chanting of Your name, is sufficient." Nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktiḥ. This chanting of the name, abhinnatvān nāma-nāminoḥ... [Cc. Madhya 17.133], there is all potency of Him. Nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis tatrārpitā. There is all potencies. Nāmnām akāri... And there are many names, not only one name. If you don't like to chant Kṛṣṇa's name, then there are other names also, any name. Must be name of harer nāma, nāma, the name of Hari, not others. Harer nāma. Then you get all the potencies. Nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis tatrārpitā. And niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ. And there is no, I mean to say, consideration whether you shall chant in the morning or in the evening or while you are, mean, purified or not purified. Any circumstances, you can chant. Niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ. There is no such consideration.

So Kṛṣṇa is available so cheaply for the people, especially kalau, in this age of Kali. Still, we are reluctant to chant the holy name. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu regrets, etādṛśī tava kṛpā bhagavan mamāpi: "Although You are so liberal and kind upon this fallen soul, still, unfortunate as I am, I am not inclined to chant this holy name." This is our position---obstinacy, dog's obstinacy. But if we do it, then we become purified. Naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā [SB 1.2.18]. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu's recommendation is to read Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam either yourself, being purified, or without being purified you can read, chant. This is our Vaiṣṇava regulation, duty. As much as possible, we should read Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And any such literature---Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Brahma-saṁhitā---any one of them or all of them, it doesn't matter. And chant twenty-four hours Hare Kṛṣṇa. This is our business.

So we are giving this chance to everyone. We have constructed this big building, or constructing more and more---why? To give this chance to everyone = "Please come here. Chant, join Hare Kṛṣṇa kīrtana, take prasādam and do your best, whatever talent you have got, easily, not very overburdened. If you know something to do, do it for Kṛṣṇa." Everyone knows. Everyone has got some talent. So that talent should be utilized for Kṛṣṇa. And if you think that "No, I shall chant simply," all right, you chant. But don't sleep in the name of chanting. That... Don't cheat. That cheating is not good. If you think that you can chant like Haridāsa Ṭhākura, then you simply chant. We shall supply you food. There is no anxiety. But don't try to cheat. You must be engaged. Yat karoṣi yaj juhoṣi yad aśnāsi, kuruṣva tad mad-arpaṇam [Bg. 9.27]. Of course, if we can chant twenty-four hours, that is very good. But that is not possible. We are not so highly elevated. We must do something for Kṛṣṇa.

So this is... This institution, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, is giving chance to everyone. And we are opening centers all over the world for this purpose, that "You come, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, hear about Kṛṣṇa, Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā, and whatever you can do, just do it for Kṛṣṇa." Then your life is successful.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya... [end]