Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.12.3 , Bombay , 1976-04-14
Pradyumna: Translation = "Being called by the spiritual master, one should study the Vedic mantras regularly, and every day, before beginning his study and at the end of the study, the disciple should offer respectfully his obeisances unto the spiritual master."
āhūtaś cet suyantritaḥ
upakrame 'vasāne ca
caraṇau śirasā namet
This is the training. The brahmacārī should rise early in the morning and worship guru, agni, fire, sūrya, and in the morning there should be class, and on the order of the guru, they should assemble and begin reading Vedic literature, chandāṁsi.
So for reading Vedic literatures it does not require any erudite scholarship. Simply one has to hear. Therefore the another name of Vedic literature is called śruti. Śruti smṛti purāṇādi [Brs. 1.2.101]. This class means that everyone has to learn Sanskrit? No, that is not necessary. You may be a very good scholar or not, but Kṛṣṇa has given you the facility of seeing and hearing. You have got eyes; you have got ear. So in the gurukula the students, they first of all attend the maṅgala-ārati, guru-vandana, hearing. Then hear this Vedic literature. Here is Vedic literature, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhagavad-gītā. They are all Vedic literature. The Mahābhārata is Pañcama-veda. The four Vedas are there = Sāma, Yajur, Ṛg, Atharva. And Mahābhārata is Pañcama-veda, the fifth Veda. Stri-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocarā [SB 1.4.25]. Woman and śūdra and dvija-bandhu, they cannot understand Vedic language. It is difficult. For them Vyāsadeva made Mahābhārata. In the manner of studying history, Mahābhārata... Mahābhārata means the great history of greater India. So in that history, Vedic literature, Pañcama-veda, there is the Bhagavad-gītā, essence. So if you read Bhagavad-gītā, even if you read Mahābhārata, that is all Vedic literature---Mahābhārata, Rāmāyaṇa, the Purāṇas, the Upaniṣad, Vedānta-sūtra and the Vedas, original Vedas. Original Veda is Atharva Veda. Atharva Veda was divided into four parts = Sāma, Yajur, Ṛg, Atharva. So they are all Vedic literatures.
So especially in this age Bhagavad-gītā is essence of Vedic literatures, and it is based on the Vedānta-sūtra. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, hetumadbhir viniścita. Brahma-sūtra padaiś caiva hetumadbhir viniścitaiḥ [Bg. 13.5]. This Bhagavad-gītā is based on Brahma-sūtra. Brahma-sūtra means Vedānta-sūtra. Vedānta-sūtra is very important. It is the summary of Vedic study, sūtra. The janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1], this is a sūtra, a synopsis. And you can explain very nicely from the Vedas. So there are small sūtras, aphorism. From that aphorism you can expand. Vedānta is the summary of all the Vedic literatures, anta, the supplement of the Vedic literatures. And Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the explanation of Vedānta-sūtra. Bhāṣyāyāṁ brahma-sutrāṇām. In every chapter of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam you'll find brahma-sūtra-bhāṣya: "This is real commentary on the Brahma-sūtra." So one should read daily at least one, two hours. That is human life. They are going to the libraries for reading newspaper and nonsense literature, but they will not come to hear Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the essence of Vedic literature. Nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalaṁ idam [SB 1.1.3]. It is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, nigama. Nigama means Vedas. Agama, nigama. So nigama-kalpa-taru. Vedas just like desire tree. Whatever knowledge you want to get, there is perfectly there, without any mistake, without any illusion, without any cheating. All other literatures, man-made literatures, you will find these things = cheating, imperfectness, mistake and illusion. In the Vedic literature you won't find these four defects. Therefore, according to Vedic civilization, if you give evidence from the Vedic literature, it is to be accepted. No more argument. Anything which is accepted in the Vedas, vedavatā, there is no more argument. This is Indian civilization. All our literatures you'll find, therefore, full of quotation from Vedic literature to prove it. That is the actual. It is not imaginary.
So one should read or hear chandāṁsi. Chandāṁsy adhīyīta guroḥ. It is guru's duty. Ādau gurv-āśrayam. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. Tad-vijñāna, transcendental knowledge, one should approach guru. So guru-kula means guru's place. So he keeps the disciples to learn the Vedic literature. This is gurukula. We are constructing such big, big houses. Why? We are inviting people to come here and live in this gurukula and learn Vedic literature. This is our purpose. Bombay is a very big city, people are rich, so we can give you nice room, nice prasādam. Come here, live here at least once in a week and learn Vedic literature, Vedic civilization. The essence of Vedic literature is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Bhāṣyāyāṁ brahma-sutrāṇāṁ vedārtha-paribṛṁhitam. Our mission is to invite people to take advantage of learning Vedic literature, chandāṁsi. And what is the ultimate goal of studying Vedic literature? That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam [Bg. 15.15] = to understand Kṛṣṇa. So therefore our movement is known as Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
So chandāṁsy adhīyīta guror āhūtaś cet suyantritaḥ. Very well behaved. Just like machine works systematically. You have seen. Everyone has seen, the machine of the watch is working very systematically, correctly. Similarly, every student, every disciple must work very correctly, like the machine. There is no question, "Why you did not attend the school or the class?" You cannot say that "This is this. This is this." No. As machine work, everyone should attend the class, rise early in the morning, attend maṅgala-ārati. This is called suyantritaḥ, working like machine, no discrepancy. That is wanted. Suyantritaḥ. Then upakrame avasāne. In the beginning [indistinct] the students should come and offer obeisances to the lotus feet of guru. This is begin. Ādau gurv-āśrayam. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ. This is the principle. If you offer your respectful obeisances to guru, he becomes pleased. Anyone, even one is offender, if he comes and offers obeisances to the superior guru, then even there was offense, he forgets. Father. Father of... The son may be offender, but when he comes and offers his respect to the father, he forgets. So that should be done regularly, suyantritaḥ, just like machine. As soon as one sees guru, immediately he must offer obeisances. Beginning, end. When he comes to see guru he must offer obeisances, and when he leaves that place he must offer obeisances. And in the in-between, coming and going, he should learn from the guru Vedic understanding. This is the principle of living in gurukula.
So upakrame avasāne ca caraṇau śirasā namet. Just at the lotus feet of guru the brahmacārī... So our students, they are very obedient. And if our students see the guru hundred times, he practices this process, offering obeisances while meeting and while going. These things are to be practiced. Then dānta. Brahmacārī guru-kule vasan dānta [SB 7.12.1]. Then he'll be controlled, self-controlled. Obedience is the first law of discipline. If there is no obedience, there cannot be any discipline. And if there is no discipline you cannot manage anything. That is not possible. Therefore this is very essential, that the students should be very disciplined. Disciple means one who follows discipline. This is disciple, śiṣya. The Sanskrit word is also the same, śiṣya. I have several times explained. Śiṣya, it comes from the verb śās, śāsana, ruling. So śiṣya means one who voluntarily accepts the ruling of the spiritual master. He is called śiṣya. Śiṣya, śāsana, śāstra, śastra, śāsana---these things are the same, from the same root. So this is the instruction.
āhūtaś cet suyantritaḥ
upakrame avasāne ca
caraṇau śirasā namet
This is essential. To make the human life real civilized, the children should be sent to the gurukula. But there is no gurukula at the present moment. So we are starting. We have got some gurukula in the United States, Texas. We are starting another gurukula in Vṛndāvana, and we can start another gurukula here in Bombay to train the students. I wanted to start this gurukula long, long ago, before going to the USA, in 1960, say '62, '61, but I approached so many gentlemen friends; they never agreed to give their sons to gurukula. They never agreed. Everyone said, "Swāmījī, what benefit there will be by training our students in the gurukula way? They have to earn their bread."
So that is India's position now. They do not care for their original culture. They are after money. You teach them something to earn money. Therefore they are after technology. This is not experience in India. In US also, many Indian students question me. Long ago, when I was speaking in the Berkeley University, one Indian student came forward and he said, "Swāmījī, what this Hare Kṛṣṇa will do? We have to learn now technology." He said. So this is India's mentality at the present moment, that they are not very much interested in the spiritual advancement of life. It is very risky, very risky, because these foolish persons, they do not know how much risky it is to spoil the human life simply for eating, sleeping, mating and gambling. This is very risky life. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is very scientific movement. It is trying to save the human society from risky life. Risky life means that if we are not cultured, if we do not take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and properly trained up, there is every chance to become again cats and dogs next life. This is the understanding. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ [Bg. 2.13], I repeatedly say you. Kṛṣṇa confirms. Kṛṣṇa says, and we are repeating Kṛṣṇa's word. Dehāntara-prāptiḥ: you have to change this body to another. And if you do not properly work like human beings, and if you keep yourself like cats and dogs, then dehāntara-prāptiḥ means you'll get the body of cats and dogs and pigs. So they do not know this science. Therefore they want to forget that there is life after death. They think after death everything is finished, but that is not the case. So, the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to help everyone so that he may not fall again to the cycle of birth and death at the risk of becoming cats and dogs.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: Jaya! [end]