670124 - Lecture CC Madhya 25.40-50 - San Francisco

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

670124CC.SF - January 24, 1967


...saṁsāreṣu narādhamān
kṣipāmy ajasram aśubhān
āsurīṣv eva yoniṣu
CC Madhya 25.40)

This is a verse from Bhagavad-gītā, that those who are deriding upon God, "God, there is no God; I am God," they are called asuras. Asuras, atheists, or demons. The demons... The Kṛṣṇa, Lord Kṛṣṇa personally says that tān ahaṁ dviṣataḥ krūrān (BG 16.19). Those who are such envious upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the result is that they are thrown into perpetual ignorance, and born life after life where they cannot understand what is God. Because they want to forget God, therefore God puts them into such condition that they will never be able to understand what is God. This is the version from Bhagavad-gītā by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

That means the condition of the atheists are always abominable. Tān ahaṁ dviṣataḥ krūrān saṁsāreṣu narādhamān (BG 16.19). Saṁsāreṣu. Saṁsāra means this material entanglement. This is called saṁsāra. And narādhama. They are called the lowest of the human kind, because human life is especially meant for God realization, self-realization. So instead of realizing oneself and the Supreme Self, if one derides, doesn't want to understand what is God, what is God consciousness, what is Kṛṣṇa, he is to be understood as the lowest of the mankind, narādhama. Adhama means lowest. Or, in other words, he is an animal in the form of a man. Narādhameṣu. And birth after birth, such atheist is put into the species of life where there is no chance of understanding God. There are different species, we have discussed. Even in human society there are some species or class, that it is not possible for them to understand what is God at all. Not even the idea. Generally, even the aborigines, they have got some sense of God. Whenever they find something extraordinary, just like lightning, or a great hill, or a great tree, they offer their respect. So that is sense of God. Sense of God is there in everyone's heart. Unless he is an animal, everyone heart there is. Artificially, we try to drive away this obedience. But there are other Even in the civilized society, there are persons, they are put into such a circumstances that they will never be able to understand what is God consciousness or what is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They are so misfortunate. And as soon as one becomes godless or forgetful (of) his eternal relationship with God, then his life is immediately condemned.

sūtrera pariṇāma-vāda tāhā nā māniyā
vivarta-vāda sthāpe vyāsa bhrānta baliyā
CC Madhya 25.41)
ei ta' kalpita arthamane nāhi bhāya
śāstra chāḍi kukalpanā pāṣaṇḍe bujhāya
CC Madhya 25.42)

So that disciple of Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī admitted that godlessness in Vedānta-sūtra is not the purpose. Actually, by misinterpreting the Vedānta-sūtra they want to establish that "There is no God; we are God." So after explanation of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, at least there was one convert amongst all the sannyāsīs, and he was glorifying Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Eta sei kare kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana. And while he was glorifying Lord Caitanya, automatically he began to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Śuni' prakāśānanda kichu kahena vacana. When his disciple was glorifying Lord Caitanya and His process of teaching, his spiritual master, Prakāśānanda, said like this: ācāryera āgraha-advaita-vāda sthāpite. He admitted... Ācārya means Śaṅkarācārya. He means here Śaṅkarācārya. Śaṅkarācārya wanted that there is only one Brahman and we are also Brahman, but he wanted his philosophy of monism. Dualism, God and living entity separate, they do not admit. They admit that God and living entity the same. It is simply for the time being covered, which is called māyā. Māyāvāda philosophy. So the Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī also admitted that because Śaṅkarācārya wanted to establish his philosophy of monism, therefore he had to cover the real meaning of Vedānta-sūtra.

Tāte sūtrārtha vyākhyā kare anya rīte jani. Anya rīte, in a different interpretation. He was a very learned scholar. If a scholar likes to present something in a different way... Just like an expert lawyer, he can get out of the entanglement of law by jugglery of words and interpretation, he is called a big lawyer, similarly, there are philosophers who can put different theories and not admit the existence of God. So Śaṅkarācārya's real purpose was no existence of God, because he had a very thankless task. He was dealing with the persons who are Buddhists. They did not believe anything except matter. So for them, to establish that there is God, it is very difficult. Therefore he adopted this means that "There is no separate God. We are all God. You are God, I am God." And a demonic person, if he is addressed, "Oh, you are God," oh, he becomes very happy because he does not become responsible to any higher authority. He becomes God. He can do anything. He can perform any nonsense. Nobody is going to punish him. It is very nice theory, that "I have become God. Because I have no more..." Suppose you yourself become the government of United States. Then you can do anything. It is very nice. "I am everything: I am president, I am secretary, I am everything. Therefore who is going to check me? I can do any nonsense." This is the basic principle of godlessness—to avoid the higher authority. Just like already in your country, that class of youngsters who are defying any authority. Not only in your country—in other countries also—that has become a fashion, to defy authorities. So this godlessness is also like that, to defy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is no practically difference between Buddha philosophy and Śaṅkara's philosophy. Buddha philosophy says that the matter is everything. Beyond matter there is nothing, everything void, and the combination of matter is the source of our miseries. So you make a dismantlement of the matter, nirvāṇa—there will be no more miseries. And Śaṅkara's philosophy says that brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā. It is little, little farther advanced, admitting the spirit, but he says that spirit is impersonal. "There is no God. It is impersonal." So practically the same thing: ultimately, it is void or there is no God.

But Vedānta philosophy does not say that. Vedānta philosophy, from the very beginning it asserts that athāto brahma jijñāsā, "Now it is the time for discussing on the Absolute Truth." And what is that Absolute Truth? Janmādy asya yataḥ: (SB 1.1.1) "Absolute Truth is the summum bonum substance from which everything emanates."

yei grantha-kartā cāhe sva-mata sthāpite
śāstrera sahaja artha nahe tāṅhā haite
CC Madhya 25.49)

This is the secret of modern fashionable interpretation. If you want to establish... Suppose you have got some conviction, and if you want to establish it by evidence of an approved literature... An approved literature. Just like Gandhi. Gandhi wanted to establish nonviolence from Bhagavad-gītā. He was a... He is known to be a great student of Bhagavad-gītā, but he was not at all. His political theory was that he wanted to conquer over the enemies by nonviolence method. Nonviolent noncooperation, that was his, I mean to say, theory. He wanted to get away all kinds of nonviolence from the world, all kinds of violence from the world. So he wanted to prove from Bhagavad-gītā nonviolence. But how you can prove nonviolence from Bhagavad-gītā? Because Bhagavad-gītā is being spoken in the violent battlefield. But because he wanted to prove nonviolence, therefore he says, "Oh, these Pāṇḍavas means this. This Kṛṣṇa means this. This chariot means this. These Kurus means this. Dharmakṣetra means this. Kurukṣetra means this." He has invented and manufactured so many rascal meaning that it is very difficult... He said that dharmakṣetre... In the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā there is the verse, dharmakṣetre kurukṣetre samavetā yuyutsavaḥ (BG 1.1). Now the very word yuyutsavaḥ means persons who are desiring to fight with one another. Now, how you can prove nonviolence? But he extracts some meaning: "These Pāṇḍava means five senses and the Kurukṣetra means this body." In this way, his interpretation.

Therefore, all different interpretation... The Vedic literature, either take Bhāgavata or Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā, or any Upaniṣad, the meaning is very clear. It is sheer foolishness to understand that "The meaning is vague, now I am clearing. I am a great scholar. I can interpret in a different way." So... As if Vyāsadeva left the meaning to be cleared by some rascal. You see? He was not himself competent to clear the meaning, but he left the work to be done by some rascal. That is their interpretation. But actually it is not. In every śloka, if you know Sanskrit, you'll see the meaning is clear. Just like in the Bhagavad-gītā, dharmakṣetre kurukṣetre samavetā yuyutsavaḥ (BG 1.1). There was actual some fight between the two cousin groups, and they fought at the battlefield of Kurukṣetra. That Kurukṣetra is still existing. If you go to India that... There is a railway station, Kurukṣetra. It is about 150 miles from Delhi. And people go there for pilgrimage. Therefore it is dharmakṣetra, a place of religious rites. And in the Vedas, Sāma-Veda, I think... I don't exactly remember. But one of the Vedas it is written that kurukṣetre dharma yajayet. In the Kurukṣetra, that place, if anyone wants to perform religious rites, he should go to Kurukṣetra and perform there. It will have better effect. This is the indication in the Vedic literatures. Therefore Kurukṣetra is still accepted. Those who travel, wander in pilgrimages, they go to Kurukṣetra still. The system is going on. If there is a lunar eclipse, they go to Kurukṣetra to make some charities. So Kurukṣetra is accepted from the very, very long period in the Vedic age as the place of pilgrimage. So it is stated there, dharmakṣetra. How can I interpret that this Kurukṣetra means this body? In which dictionary he finds this meaning? But people are so foolish, because Mahatma Gandhi has interpreted, "Oh, it is right." So this is going on.

So, yei grantha-kartā cāhe sva-mata... If anyone wants to establish his own foolish theory, he takes advantage of popular book and tries to explain in his own way. So in other words it is clear that Śaṅkarācārya, he wanted to establish this theory of monism, and therefore he has explained Vedānta-sūtra in his own way, but that is not the actual explanation. What Lord Caitanya said, that is real explanation. All of them admitted. And this Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, he also admitted. Bhagavattā mānile advaita nā yāya sthāpana. Now, they wanted to establish the theory of monism, no difference between living entity and God, one; there is no separate God. Then, if admit, if it is admitted that God is the source of everything, then you have to accept duality. Because the source of everything and the everything emanated—duality.

tāte sūtrārtha vyākhyā kare anya rīte
'bhagavattā' mānile 'advaita' nā yāya sthāpana
ataeva saba śāstra karaye khaṇḍana
CC Madhya 25.48)

Because the whole aim was to get away the existence of God, therefore all the Vedic literature was..., were interpreted by Śaṅkarācārya in his own way. Still it is going on. That process is still going on. Although there are many, I mean to say, explanation of Vedānta-sūtra by the Vaiṣṇava sampradāyas. Just like Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya... Every Vaiṣṇava sampradāya has his own explanation of Vedānta-sūtra. Don't understand Vedantist means the monopoly by Śaṅkara sampradāya. No. But people in general, they understand Vedantist means Śaṅkara sampradāya. Because the devotee class, they do not give much importance to Vedānta. Because they read Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is accepted by the Vaiṣṇava sampradāya, especially by the sect of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, as the real explanation of Vedānta; therefore they do not give any other explanation of Vedānta than Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And because the Vaiṣṇava sampradāya does not give very much importance to Vedānta-sūtra—because the explanation is there, they are reading actually Vedānta-sūtra—people misunderstand that the Vedantist, followers of Vedānta, is the Śaṅkara sampradāya, not this Vaiṣṇava sampradāya. That is their misunderstanding.

Actually, any sampradāya, either the Śaṅkara sampradāya or Vedānta-sampradāya, if they have no standing on the Vedānta-sūtra, they are not recognized. They are (not) recognized. In... The Indian system is, in the spiritual society, that if you have got any sampradāya, particular, then you must present your explanation of Vedānta-sūtra how do you understand Vedānta-sūtra. On the basis of that understanding you will be recognized. So the Vaiṣṇava sampradāya, they are also Vedantists. And because Vaiṣṇava sampradāya, they are concerned with the bhakti, bhakti, I mean to say, cult, therefore our society, the Vaiṣṇavas, they were pleased to give me this title, Bhaktivedanta, that "You will explain the Vedānta-sūtra." So this Bhaktivedanta title was especially offered to me, and I do not know why. That's all.

So that Vedānta means bhakti, devotional service. That is the Vaiṣṇava philosophy. And Vedānta means, for the Śaṅkara sampradāya, that "There is no God. I am God." Mīmāṁsaka kahe īśvara haya karmera aṅga. You know there are six kinds of philosophies in India: the mīmāṁsaka philosophy; and Sāṅkhya philosophy; and nyāya—nyāya means logic—nyāya philosophy; then Māyāvāda philosophy; then Patañjali, yoga system, Patanjali philosophy; and at last, this Vedānta philosophy. So there are six kinds of philosophers. Out of them, only the Vedānta philosophy is compiled by Vyāsadeva. So it is considered that Vedānta philosophy only establishes the existence of God. All other philosophies, they do not admit the existence of God. They are atheistic philosophies. Mīmāṁsaka. Mīmāṁsaka means they have decided that "There is no necessity of worshiping God. If there is any God, all right, you do your duty nicely, and He will be obliged to award you the required result. Then there is no question of flattering Him." That is mīmāṁsaka philosophy. Just like in government, there are so many departments. So you need not to flatter him, but you do your duty, you pay your tax, you abide by the laws, then everything will be right. You need not worship any person. That is their philosophy, mīmāṁsa karma-mīmāṁsa. Everyone is... Under the spell of karma, everyone is suffering or enjoying as the result of his past deeds. So the karma-mīmāṁsaka philosopher says, "There is no necessity of worshiping God. You do your duty." Just like some moralists say that "What is the use of God, God, Hare Kṛṣṇa? Just do your duty." But he does not know that what is his duty. The duty is only to worship God, and nothing more. That is the duty. All other duties are māyā's spell only. There is no other duty. Because this human life is meant for that duty. The animals cannot execute that duty. Only the human being. Therefore our only duty is to understand God and engage ourself in that way. So these different kinds of philosophies are there. We shall gradually discuss.

Thank you very much. (end)