Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.8.41 , Māyāpur , 1974-10-21
Pradyumna: [leads chanting of verse, etc.] [devotees repeat]
viśva-mūrte svakeṣu me
sneha-pāśam imaṁ chindhi
dṛḍhaṁ pāṇḍuṣu vṛṣṇiṣu
Translation. "O Lord of the universe, soul of the universe, O personality of the form of the universe, please, therefore, sever my tie of affection for my kinsmen, the Pāṇḍavas and the Vṛṣṇis."
viśva-mūrte svakeṣu me
sneha-pāśam imaṁ chindhi
dṛḍhaṁ pāṇḍuṣu vṛṣṇiṣu
Kuntīdevī is woman. So as a man has got one family, the woman has got two family. Affection... A man has got affection for one family, but a woman has got affection for two families = father's family and husband's family. Therefore he [she] specifically mentions pāṇḍuṣu. Pāṇḍuṣu means husband's family, and vṛṣṇiṣu, that is father's family. Kṛṣṇa's father, Vasudeva, and Vasudeva's sister is Kuntīdevi. Therefore she belonged to the Vṛṣṇi family, Yadu family, from the father's side. And from the husband's side she belongs to the Kuru family. Actually the pāṇḍuṣu... Later on they became Pāṇḍus, because Dhṛtarāṣṭra wanted to separate them from the Kuru family. Both of them, the Dhṛtarāṣṭra's family and Pāṇḍu's family, both of them belonged to the Kuru's family. But because Dhṛtarāṣṭra was very much anxious to separate the Pāṇḍavas, or the sons of his younger brother, Pāṇḍu, from the family, so they were known as Pāṇḍavas, and his own sons were known as Kurus.
So Kuntī is praying. The prayer is very peculiar. What is that peculiar prayer? The prayer is, sneha-pāśam idam. Pāśam means "rope." We are bound up by the ropes of affection to the family. This family or that family, everyone is bound up. Ataḥ gṛha-kṣetra-sutāpta-vittair janasya moho 'yam [SB 5.5.8]. This family combination is māyā because we all, living entities, we are being washed away by the waves of material nature. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ [Bg. 3.27]. So just like the waves of the river carry so many straws scattered here and there, and sometimes by whirlwind all the straws meet together in the water, so our meeting---"I am the father. You are the son. She is the wife. He is the grandson," or "He is father," or "She is..."---in this way, our mixing up in a group of family is exactly like the assembly of some straws in the waves of the river. It has no meaning. Just like the straws, they gather together by the movement of the waves, and again, by the movements of waves, the straws are scattered here and there, here and there, here and... Nowadays it is very practical. Just like I am an Indian; I have my family. You are European, you are American, you have got family. But now where we are, from the family, we are scattered. This is practical. We have no more any connection with our father, mother or children. No. We are now gathered in another group, Kṛṣṇa conscious Society.
So this is māyā. Janasya moho 'yam ahaṁ mameti [SB 5.5.8]. We gather exactly like the straws, and on account of māyā's influence, we become very much attached = "Oh, here is my son. Here is my wife. Here is my family. Here is my..." And this is the, what is called, entanglement. Our main business is, in the human form of life, how to get out of this material world. They do not know. They not only create family but also society, community, nation. In this way we are embarrassed. The so-called nationalism, socialism and communism---simply moha, moha, exactly the same way as the small, that insects, under some illusion, moha, they come to the light and sacrifice their life. I have told you many times = We have seen in 1947, Partition days, Hindu-Muslim fighting. One party was Hindu, other party was Muslim. They fought and so many died. And after death, there was no distinction who is Hindu or who is Muslim. The Municipal men, they gathered together in piles and to throw them somewhere. Exactly the same way, the same insects, they come to the light and die in the morning, and we gather them together and throw in the street.
So long the life is there, everyone is thinking, "I have got this responsibility. I have got this responsibility. I have got this responsibility," and they are working very, very hard and doing all nonsense. Nūnaṁ pramattaḥ kurute vikarma [SB 5.5.4]. Now, somebody's stealing for the sake of family maintenance, doing so many sinful activities, but when they are scattered again by the laws of nature, nobody will be sympathetic to me if I suffer for my own sinful activities. But they do by the so-..., for the so-called family. They get money, and they, due to affection... First of all, whatever he earns, by hook or by crook, first of all he wants to see that his wife, children are fed up very nicely. And, at last, if there is some remnants, he can eat; out of affection. You see?
So therefore this affection is the very hard knot for being bound up in this material world, this affection. Therefore the Vedic civilization is that the affection is to be cut off compulsory at a certain age, not that the affection should continue. If the affection continues, then there is no chance of my becoming free from this material world. There is no chance. Therefore vānaprastha. Because the wife's..., affection with the wife is very, very strong. So vānaprastha means the husband and wife, they give up the affection and... Not give up; go away from home, and they travel in the holy places just to purify, and again, when the affection draws, they come to the family, again remain for one or two months, then again go away. So the wife, there is no sex connection, but wife remains as assistant to the man to be accustomed how to remain aloof from the family. And then, when he is practiced to remain aloof from the..., then wife is also sent back to the family, to the care of elderly children, and the man takes sannyāsa, compulsory. It is called "civil suicide." My Guru Mahārāja used to say, "Commit civil suicide." Mean... If you commit suicide, it is criminal. It is also suicide, no more connection with family. This is also suicide, but it is civil. There is no criminal action against... But it is also voluntarily committing suicide---no more connection with anyone.
Ata saba hari āra varṇāśrama-dharma, niṣkiñcana haya laya kṛṣṇaika śaraṇa[?]. This is the... Varṇāśrama-dharma, that is material. Varṇāśrama is planned for material life in a systematic way so that, in due course of time, one may give up the family relationship and take sannyāsa and completely devote for Kṛṣṇa's service. This is the plan of varṇāśrama-dharma. Varṇāśrama-dharma is not meant for planning something, and you remain in the family. No. The varṇāśrama... Varṇa means brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ [Bg. 4.13]. Guṇa, not everyone is qualified in the same way. Therefore you... The ācārya will pick up that "They are meant for becoming brāhmaṇas," "They are meant for kṣatriyas." Or for coming from kṣatriya family, or the brāhmaṇa family. So first of all, these varṇas, then āśrama. The brāhmaṇa, one who is qualified as a brāhmaṇa, he has to observe the four āśramas, a brāhmaṇa: the brahmacārī-āśrama, the gṛhastha-āśrama, the vānaprastha-āśrama and sannyāsa-āśrama. The kṣatriya, they'll have to observe three āśramas = brahmacārī, gṛhastha and vānaprastha. And the vaiśyas, two āśramas = brahmacārī and gṛhastha. And śūdra, only one āśrama, only gṛhastha. A śūdra is never offered sannyāsa. A... Only the brāhmaṇa is offered.
So in Śaṅkara-sampradāya, strictly, unless one is born in brāhmaṇa family, he's not offered sannyāsa. He's not given sannyāsa. So far we are concerned, we also offer sannyāsa to the brāhmaṇa, not to the śūdras. But according to quality we create brāhmaṇa, not that we are offering sannyāsa to the śūdras. No. The principle is = sannyāsa can be offered only to the brāhmaṇas. So one may not mistake that we are offering to the..., offering sannyāsa to the mlecchas, yavanas, as they complain. Some of my Godbrothers, they criticize like that, that I am offering sannyāsa to the mlecchas, yavanas. This is wrong idea. This is nārakī-buddhi. Actually, a Vaiṣṇava is above this varṇāśrama-dharma. But we don't claim that we have become perfect Vaiṣṇava. We are not so impudent. We want to remain under the Vaiṣṇava. Under the Vaiṣṇava. Otherwise Vaiṣṇava means... In Caitanya-caritāmṛta you'll find the Vaiṣṇava is paramahaṁsa. Vaiṣṇava has no saffron cloth. Vaiṣṇava is white cloth, because Vaiṣṇava is paramahaṁsa, above. But we don't claim the position of Vaiṣṇava. We want to remain servant of Vaiṣṇava. Therefore sannyāsa order is below the position of Vaiṣṇava. Sannyāsa order means still in the material classification. But this Vaiṣṇava is paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satām. Dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmat... [SB 1.1.2]. This Vaiṣṇavism is meant for paramo nirmatsarāṇām, paramahaṁsa. Sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate [Bg. 14.26].
So Vaiṣṇava position is not very easy thing; above all qualities. Therefore Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura introduced not to become an imitation of Rūpa Gosvāmī. Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana, the Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvana, they are paramahaṁsas. And in Vṛndāvana you'll find so-called bābājīs, they have imitated the dress of Rūpa Gosvāmī---half loincloth---but a bīḍī in the mouth. What is this nonsense? Rūpa Gosvāmī used to smoke bīḍī? [laughter] [chuckles] Not only that; you'll find in Vṛndāvana so many Rūpa Gosvāmīs are making bīḍī. Have you seen in the Gopīnātha Bazar? They're making trade, bīḍīs, and shameless. Therefore my Guru Mahārāja introduced this. Of course, sannyāsa is there in the Vaiṣṇava... All the ācāryas, they were sannyāsa, but later on, it so degraded that these bīḍī-smoker, gāñjā-smoker, they imitated Rūpa Gosvāmī. Therefore to purify, Guru Mahārāja introduced this sannyāsa system, below the paramahaṁsas, not that artificial means I become a paramahaṁsa. No.
When one is... The sannyāsa stage has got four stages = kuṭīcaka, bahūdaka, parivrājakācārya and paramahaṁsa. Kuṭīcaka... When one takes sannyāsa... These are the processes. He is not practiced to beg from door to door. Therefore in the beginning he makes a cottage outside the village, and the foodstuff comes from his home. But he has no connection, because by vānaprastha he has already left home, and by sannyāsa, completely. But takes prasādam from home. That is called kuṭīcaka. Then when he's practiced, he goes from door to door, and that is called bahūdaka. And then, when he's still more practiced, he becomes a preacher, parivrājakācārya, goes from country to country, state to state, for preaching. And after preaching, when the preaching is advanced to some extent, then he sits down in a place as paramahaṁsa. That is called paramahaṁsa. Different stages. Not that all of a sudden one becomes paramahaṁsa, and bīḍī also. Not like that. Paramahaṁsa stage is not to be imitation. So to stop this imitation, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura introduced this system, sannyāsa. He personally became sannyāsa, and to many of his disciples he gave sannyāsa.
So the whole process is how to get out of the affection of this family, community, nationalism. This is the process. This is illusion. But at the present moment, this illusion is being increased. They criticize the..., that "What is this nonsense? So many people, they have been entrapped by this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, and they are nothing..., they are doing nothing for the society, nothing for the nation, nothing for the family. So they are useless parasite." They are thinking like that. Even Subhash Chandra Bose, he was a politician, he came to my Guru Mahārāja that "So many people, you have captured them. They are doing nothing for nationalism." So Guru Mahārāja said, "Well, for your national propaganda you require very strong men, but these people are very weak. You can see, they are very skinny. So don't put your glance upon them. Let them eat something and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa." He avoided like that.
And then there were many others. That was a philanthropy, to give food to the daridra-nārāyaṇa. These things are going on. Nobody is interested that..., or they know it, that human life is only meant for God realization; there is no other business. Otherwise Caitanya Mahāprabhu is not so fool that at the age of twenty-four years He took sannyāsa and preached this cult:
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
[Cc. Ādi 17.21]
He was not such a fool, because that is the only business. That is the only business, how one should develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the verdict of all Vedic śāstras. What is the meaning of Vedic..., studying Vedas? Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. That is the only necessity. To become educated, learned scholar and learned in Vedas, catur-vedi, tri-vedi, dvi-vedi, four-vedi... The brāhmaṇas were divided according to education. Ordinarily they must study vedi, Vedas. Veda-pāṭhād bhaved vipraḥ. Without Vedic knowledge, nobody can become a brāhmaṇa. Veda-pāṭhād bhaved vipro brahma jānātīti brāhmaṇaḥ. And by Vedic knowledge, when one understands Brahman, the Absolute Truth, he becomes brāhmaṇa.
So there are four Vedas = Sāma, Yajur, Ṛg, Atharva. Generally they read one Veda, Sāma-vedi, Ṛg-vedi, Yajur-vedi, vedi. But one who studies two Vedas, he is called dvi-vedi, and the apabhraṁśa is du-veda. And one who studies three Vedas, he's called tri-vedi. In... And I mean to say up-country, these titles are still there = vedis, dvi-vedis, tri-vedis and catur-vedis or cho-veda[?]. In Mathurā you'll find the cho-vedas. But they have no connection with Vedas now; simply with the name, and begging in the name of dvi, dvi-vedi or tri-vedi, catur-vedi. That...
The purpose is how to become disentangled with this family relationship. Family or society, that is the increase or expansion of the same affection. So the so-called nationalism is also materialism. There is the simply expansion. Just like you have got a party of rogues, and a big party or small party, the business is plundering. That's all. Because you have got a very big party of thieves, it does not mean that you are immune from criminal activities. Therefore these things are not required. People have become accustomed, but we discourage them. We do not approve this so-called nationalism. Therefore we have named "Internationalism," "International," no distinction between this nation or that nation, this religion or that religion.
Religion is one. There cannot be two religions. If God is one... And what is religion? Religion means the law given by God. That is religion. This is a simple definition. "What is religion?" if somebody says... They will say, "Religion means this; religion means that." No. The simple definition of religion is "the law of God." Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19]. Just like law. Law means the order given by the state. That is law. Your order is not law, or my order is not law. But when the state orders, state orders, "Keep to the right," you must keep your car to the right side. Or the state orders that "Keep your car to the left side." In Europe and some, somewhere, it right side coming to left side. So, so, the, according to the state. You cannot say, "Why sometimes it is left side, sometimes right side?" No. It may be whatever it is, but because it is the state order, you have to abide by it. You cannot say that "I was driving my car in India to the left side. Why shall I drive on the right side?" Sometimes they feel inconvenienced. But no, you have to, because that is the state order.
So similarly, as the law means state order, similarly, religion means God's order. That's all. Simple definition. Dharmaṁ tu... It is not that we have manufactured. It is stated, dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19]. Nobody knows what is dharma, neither the human being, nor the demigods, nor big, big sages, saintly person, and whatever you say, philosopher. No. Nobody knows what is religion. Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ [Mahābhārata, Vana-parva 313.117; Cc. Madhya 17.186]. Mahājana means those who are authorized person by God, one who knows what is the law of God, he's mahājana. He mahājana. So a guru is mahājana because he knows what is religion and what is the law given by God. Therefore he's mahājana. How he has become mahājana? Because he is following the previous mahājana. That's all. It is not difficult. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2].
So mahājana... So therefore sampradāya. Just like we are Mādhva-Gauḍīya-sampradāya. Madhvācārya. Or Brahma-sampradāya. We are following... Brahmā is mahājana. Or there are twelve, twelve mahājanas stated in the śāstras, and Brahmā is one of them. Svayambhū. Brahmā's name is Svayambhū. The other day we were discussing Svayambhū. Or Ātmabhū. Ātmabhū, because he is born out of the abdomen of the father, not of the mother. Not... The other... Father is the seed-giving, life-giving agent. So this life was not transferred to anyone else to take the body. The life-giver, father, gave him the body. Therefore Brahmā is called Svayambhū. Svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ kapila manuḥ, kumāra [SB 6.3.20]. They are all mahājanas.
So dharma means the codes or the law given by God. That is dharma. And our life is meant for dharma. Dharma. But unfortunately we have created so many dharmas. But there cannot be so many dharmas. There cannot be. Suppose if gold... Gold is gold, pure gold. There cannot be... Just like they have made twenty-carat gold, fourteen-carat gold, sixteen-carat gold. That is mixture. That is not pure gold. We are preaching, "If you say it is religion, it is pure religion, not carat," "fourteen-carat religions" or "twenty-carat religion." No. Real, pure religion. What is that pure religion? Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇam... [Bg. 18.66]. We are teaching, "Just surrender to Kṛṣṇa," Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is pure religion, original gold, no carat gold. Therefore our Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura has said very clearly, pṛthivīte yāhā kichu dharma nāme cale: "Whatever is going on, all over the world, in the name of dharma," bhāgavata kahe tāhā paripūrṇa cale, "according to the opinion of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, all this rascaldom is simply cheating." Now, if we say that, everyone will be rebellious. But that is the fact, because if dharma means the order of God, then what is God's order? That "You become My devotee." Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namas... [Bg. 18.65]. Four things = "You always think of Me, and you become My devotee, you offer your obeisances," man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ, "and worship Me."
So we are teaching this real religion. Here is Deity, Kṛṣṇa. So we are thinking of Kṛṣṇa, "Hare Kṛṣṇa." We are worshiping Deity, Kṛṣṇa. There is no difference between Lord Kṛṣṇa and Deity. He's Kṛṣṇa. And we are offering obeisances. So the same... This... Therefore it is real religion because we are strictly following the laws of God. Anyābhilāṣitā... We have no other business. So therefore this is real religion, if you take, or real culture, real society---everything real. Because God is real, anything in connection with God, according to His instruction, that is real. All other things are imitation. So always remember that if somebody takes us as religionist, yes, we are religionist, but pure religionist. If somebody says socialist, we are pure socialist. If somebody says we are diplomats, poli..., yes, we are pure politician. What is pure politician? Politics requires violence. So annihilate the demons and give protection. The politics means two things. The state, government, what is that? Government gives protection to the good citizen, and those who are rogues, punish them. Law and order. Two things are there = maintenance and law and order. So similarly, our Kṛṣṇa consciousness is also the same thing. But so far we are concerned, because we are not in political power... Otherwise we have..., would have followed the principles of Kṛṣṇa.
But Caitanya Mahāprabhu has shown us the way, that we kill the demons in a different way. We kill the demons in this way = by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, we purify him so that his demonic activities are stopped. That is also another way of killing. He stops his demonic activities. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mercy, that He did not kill Jagāi-Mādhāi, although He wanted to kill them because they insulted Vaiṣṇava. But still, Nityānanda Prabhu reminded Him that "In this incarnation, You promised that You'll not kill. So have merciful upon them." So their demonic activities were killed. That is also killing. Caitanya Mahāprabhu accepted Jagāi-Mādhāi on this condition, that "You have to stop your sinful activities. Whatever you have done, that is done." So we make this condition. The demonic activities, we say, you have to stop. Whatever is done is done. Strictly following Caitanya Mahāprabhu, there is no consideration. Because one..., you were previously a demon, therefore you cannot become a Vaiṣṇava---no. Anyone can become Vaiṣṇava, provided he stops his demonic activities. Anyone. Anyone is welcome, provided he accepts this philosophy, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66].
So this is the way that Kuntī is praying, that sneha-pāśam imaṁ dṛḍham chindhi. So in this way we can get rid of the so-called affection for society, friendship, love, country, nationalism... No. Our sneha, affection, is completely transferred to Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Thank you very much. [end]