710802 - Lecture SB 06.01.16-20 - New York

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



710802SB-NEW_YORK - August 02, 1971 - 50:27 Minutes



Prabhupāda: So you require some fans. They are, the devotees, they are very inconvenienced. So you're . . . from next time you just arrange for some fans. Whatever facility you have got, you can use them for Kṛṣṇa's sake. Nirbandhe kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yukta-vairāgyam ucyate (Brs 1.2.255). Dry renouncement is not recommended by our ācāryas.

na tathā hy aghavān rājan
pūyeta tapa-ādibhiḥ
yathā kṛṣṇārpita-prāṇas
tat-puruṣa-niṣevayā
(SB 6.1.16)

So this verse we have been discussing, that . . . the beginning of the discussion was that people are suffering, just like a man suffers from disease. There are different types of pains. So this material world is a place where we have to suffer different types of pains by different causes. That is our position, actual position. Tridhāpa-jantrama. They are called . . . tri means "three." The Sanskrit word tri and the Latin "three," almost . . .

Now here, this thunderbolt is another pain. This is called ādhidaivika—pains or miseries offered by the demigods. According to Vedic conception, this thunderbolt is thrown by Lord Indra, the king of heaven. He is in charge of cloud and rains. So when the thunderbolt is there, it is very painful. The other day one of our student was telling me a story that on the plane, Mr. George Harrison, he was descending by the modern jumbo plane, but there was lightning and thunderbolt, and the plane was in very great danger when it was descending on New York. So he began to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. (laughter) So every passenger was surprised, "Why this fellow is chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa?" So some way or other, he said, that "We are saved."

That is a fact, of course. You believe or not believe, that is a different thing, but it is a fact, (loud thunder) that taking shelter of this mahā-mantra, if you always keep yourself in chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra . . . it is not very difficult task. Simply you have to agree, that's all. It is not difficult. Just like our boys and girls, they are chanting always, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare. What is your loss? You are not losing anything. But if there is gain, eh? Why don’t you try it? Eh?

You are not losing any money. We are not charging any money, that I shall give you this mantra. No. We are giving this mantra, chanting in the street, chanting in the . . . so you simply practice it and do it and see the result. We are not asking anything, "You first of all you do this, or that," or "You pay us something." No. We are simply inviting you, "Please come and chant with us Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, dance with us, and be happy." What is their objection? I do not find any objection. No sane man will say, "No, I have got objection." What is the objection?

So this world is always—we should remember—full of miseries. We are thinking that, "I am very comfortably situated." That is illusion. That is māyā. This is wrong conception. You should be very much pessimistic, not optimistic. Optimistic, that is animal conception. The animals, they do not know. Any miserable condition, even in the slaughterhouse, just after few minutes the animal will be slaughtered, but it is thinking that "I am safe," eating grass. I have seen the goat. In India, of course, they do not slaughter cows. Some of them slaughter cows. So the one goat is being slaughtered, and the other goat is standing there eating grass. It is thinking that, "I am very safe."

So that is illusion. This question was raised by Dharmarāja to Yudhiṣṭhira: "What is the most wonderful thing in this world?" He replied: "This is the most wonderful thing." What is that? Ahany ahani lokāni gacchanti yama-mandiram (Mahābhārata, Vana-parva 313.116): in every moment so many men are going to yama-mandriyam—means to the hands of the cruel death—śeṣāḥ sthitam icchanti: but those who are not dying immediately, they are thinking, "I am safe. We are safe." Everyone is thinking, "I will not die." My father died; that's all right. My brother; that's all right. But he is thinking, "I will not die." This is called illusion.

But there is no remedy. We are inventing so many scientific, I mean to say, processes to counteract difficulties. The scientific research is going on, how to counteract nature's onslaught on us. Just like here is a nature's onslaught—thunderbolt. Now how you can counteract it? You have some measures of counteract; that does not mean it is perfect. At any moment, everything can be dismantled. So śeṣāḥ sthitam icchanti kim aścaryam ataḥ param (Mahābhārata, Vana-parva 313.116). I am seeing . . . the same example, one goat is seeing that his fellow goat is being slaughtered, but he is thinking that he will not be killed. This is called illusion.

So here it is said that aghavān. Aghavān. Agha means sin. We are suffering all threefolds miseries. Threefold miseries means one kind of misery is due to this body and mind, that is called ādhyātmika—pertaining to the body and mind. Another kind of misery, ādhyātmika, ādhibhautika—miseries offered by other living entities: some enemy, some animal, causes some pains to your body, to your mind. So that is called adhi . . . ādhyātmika, ādhibhautika. And ādhidaivika—miseries offered by the demigods. Just like we believe that this thunderbolt is thrown by the Lord Indra.

So these three kinds of miserable condition of material existence is going on, either three all at a time or two at a time. At least one must be there. That is our conditional life. And these miseries are offered to us due to our sinful life. That's all. Without sin, nobody suffers. So in the material world every one of us—rich, poor, educated, non-educated, black, white, this, that, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, everyone—everyone is under these threefold miseries. That's a fact. Therefore . . . but everyone is trying to get out of miseries. That is also another fact.

Nobody wants to suffer. Everyone wants to be very peaceful and prosperous. Why? Because we are originally spiritual spark, part of God, sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha (Bs. 5.1), who is eternal, blissful and full of knowledge. Therefore eternally we are also blissful, although you may be part. Just like the part of gold is gold. So we are small eternal, and God is big eternal. That is the difference, that a big mine of gold and big earring of gold—both of them are gold. The quality, chemical quality, is the same.

So God is by nature ānanda-mayo 'bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12). In the Vedānta-sūtra it is said that God is blissful by nature—always enjoying pleasure. Just like here we see Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa is enjoying. He is playing on flute. And Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, His pleasure potency, is there. So this is the perfect picture of God, full of enjoyment. Why God shall be engaged in other things which is not enjoyment?

Therefore ānanda-mayo 'bhyāsāt: He is by nature ānanda-mayo, blissful. Just like we also try to, because we are part and parcel, a small particle of God, we also try to enjoy pleasure in association of young boys, young girls. That is . . . why . . . wherefrom this idea comes? The idea comes from God. In the Vedānta-sūtra it is said, janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). Everything, whatever we see, it is coming from Him.

So by nature we should be always engaged in pleasure potency. But then why you are in this miserable condition? This question must arise in human form of life. If it does not, then he has not come to the perfection of human life. If he thinks that, "I am happy," then still he is in animal process of life. He has not developed his human consciousness. If he is self-complacent that, "I am happy . . ." This is the sign of advancement of consciousness. And when he comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that means he gives up this material consciousness, unhappy consciousness of material existence, and come to, to the pleasure platform of Kṛṣṇa. Then his life is perfect.

Therefore we have to change the consciousness. In the material platform, or in material consciousness, we shall be always suffering by the threefold miseries. Just like this thunderbolt. You Americans, you may think that you are the richest nation in the world, but you cannot avoid this thunderbolt. That is not possible. You may have riches more than other countries, but that does not mean there will be no more thunderbolt in your country, there will be no more disease in your country, no more death in your country. These things must be there in material existence, however scientifically or economically you may be advanced.

So janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9), not only on this planet, in every planet you go. Either you go to the moon planet . . . they are going to the moon planet, although they cannot live there; they come back. Anyway, any planet you go, the four things will follow within this material world—janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi. Janma means birth, the pains of birth, the pains of death. When a child is born, the mother also suffers from pain and the child also suffers from pain.

He is coming out from a packed-up condition, suffocated condition. So as soon as the child comes out from the mother's womb, it feels relief: "Oh." In seven months he develops the consciousness, and the child suffers too much. He prays. One who is fortunate, he prays to God: "My dear Lord, please get me out from this condition. This time I shall simply be devotee."

So we have to repeated . . . we have to accept repeated birth and death. That is suffering. Janma-mṛtyu. Then old age. Before death, when one is old, the limbs are not so strong, the stomach is not so strong. There are so many diseases. So we are always suffering from diseases . . . from some kinds of pains. And pleasure, it is simply a mental concoction. There is no pleasure. Actually there is always pains.

Therefore the śāstric conclusion—we are discussing this point—that we suffer from pains, different miserable condition, on account of our sinful life. And for getting out of sinful life, so many prescriptions are given: that you have to undergo austerity, celibacy, you have to control your mind, you have to control your senses, you have to give your money in charity, you should be very truthful, you should be very cleanse, so on—so many methods. And now here it is said that even if we undergo all these processes of purification from our sinful life, they are never complete. Therefore Śukadeva Gosvāmī says:

na tathā hy aghavān rājan
pūyeta tapa-ādibhiḥ
(SB 6.1.16)

One cannot be completely purified by this process. Then how he can be purified?

yathā kṛṣṇārpita-prāṇas
tat-puruṣa-niṣevayā
(SB 6.1.16)

As one can become purified immediately, simply offering himself, his everything, dedicated himself to the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa. Yathā kṛṣṇārpita-prāṇas. Prāṇa means life force, living force. That is called prāṇa. So that is very dear to us. We do not wish to give up our living force. Therefore whenever there is possibility of death, we take all possible care to preserve that living force.

But if one dedicates this living force, the living energy . . . just like these boys and girls, they have given all their energies have been given to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇārpita-prāṇas. Arpita means dedicating, and prāṇa means the living force. Kṛṣṇārpita-prāṇas tat-puruṣa-niṣevayā.

How one can dedicate the living force of oneself to Kṛṣṇa? Tat-puruṣa-niṣevayā: by serving that Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore you have got the eternal form of the Lord, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, and all activities are engaged to render Him service. By this process one will be able to dedicate his everything to Kṛṣṇa. And when he has actually done it, then all the other processes, they are automatically achieved—the result of such processes—automatically.

Tepus tapas te sasnur āryā (SB 3.33.7). Anyone who has engaged himself in the devotional service of Kṛṣṇa, it is to be understood that he has already undergone all the processes of austerity, celibacy and controlling . . . everything he has already done. Just like if you see that a man, a person, is admitted as a student in law college, it is to be understood that he has passed his graduation, education in the college, because without being graduate, nobody is admitted in the law college. Similarly, anyone who has taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, it is to be understood that he has already passed all the processes recommended for getting out of contamination of sinful activities.

That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā also: yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ. Without being freed from all the contamination of sinful activities, one cannot be attached to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ
janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām
(BG 7.28)

Persons who are simply engaged in pious activities, such person, te dvandva-moha-nirmuktā. Dvandva-moha-nirmuktā: whether I shall worship Kṛṣṇa or whether I shall worship Durgā or Kali or the Śiva or this or that, or so many, there are worshipable object. But, according to Bhagavad-gītā, mām ekaṁ. Kṛṣṇa says: "Only unto Me."

So anyone who takes to this process, only to Kṛṣṇa, they are dvandva-moha-nirmuktā, they are freed from all dualities. No more dualities. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28): Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead; therefore I must surrender unto Kṛṣṇa and engage myself in the service of the Lord. This is called kṛṣṇārpita-prāṇa, dedicated to Kṛṣṇa.

sadhrīcīno hy ayaṁ loke
panthāḥ kṣemo 'kuto-bhayaḥ
(SB 6.1.17)

Now, Śukadeva Gosvāmī is recommending actually this is the perfect system, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is the perfect . . . sadhrīcīno, sadhrīcīna, just suitable. Sadhrīcīno hy ayaṁ loke. In this material world, this is the perfect system of getting uncontaminated, or purified from the sinful life. Sadhrīcīno hy ayaṁ loke, panthāḥ, the path, kṣemaḥ, profitable, akutaḥ-bhayaḥ, without any danger, without any fear, akuto bhayaḥ.

suśīlāḥ sādhava yatra
nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇāḥ
(SB 6.1.17)

So devotees of Lord Kṛṣṇa, they are very suśīlāḥ. Suśīlāḥ means gentle, well-behaved. That is another test. Suśīlāḥ: they are very gentle. Others may ill-treat them, but they are very tolerant. They treat with others with very gentle behavior. You will find it practically. They are never, I mean to say, disregardful to anyone, even being insulted. Suśīlāḥ, sādhava. Why suśīlāḥ? Because they are sādhu. Sādhu means saintly. Saintly. Sadhavaḥ sādhu-bhūṣaṇām (SB 3.25.21).

What is a saint? Saintly means titikṣava. Titikṣava means they are very tolerant. Don’t you see that Jesus Christ was crucified—still he was tolerant. He did not take any revenge. This is called suśīlāḥ sādhava, tolerant. Titikṣavaḥ kāruṇikāḥ (SB 3.25.21): one side they are, for their personal self, they are tolerating all kinds of insult; but at the same time, still, they are kāruṇikā, very merciful to the people in general.

These boys, these girls, go to the street. They are sometimes disturbed, but still they are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra so that others may hear and take profit out of it. This is their business. Titikṣavaḥ kāruṇikāḥ. Why they are taking this business? Because they know that these people are suffering on account of loss of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So by hearing this chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, gradually they will come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Actually that is the fact. When I came to your country, I did not bring; I did not import it. They are your countrymen, your boys, your girls. Simply by hearing this chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra in the Tompkinson Square—I was sitting down underneath a tree—they have come. So this chanting of mahā-mantra is so powerful. So they are kāruṇikā, they are very merciful. They are going in spite of all troubles. They are not sitting down. They go. So:

titikṣavaḥ kāruṇikāḥ
suhṛdaḥ sarva-bhūtānām
(SB 3.25.21)

Why they are so merciful? Because they are friend of everyone. Sarva-bhūtānām. They don’t discriminate, that "This white man should be my friend, not the black man," or "The human being should be my friend, not the animals." No. A devotee is friendly to everyone, every living entity. It doesn’t matter. Without any distinction. Suhṛdaḥ sarva-bhūtānām.

titikṣavaḥ kāruṇikāḥ
suhṛdaḥ sarva-bhūtānām
ajāta-śatravaḥ śāntāḥ
(SB 3.25.21)

They do not think anyone as their enemy. They think, "Everyone is our friend." Actually everyone is our friend. We are living at the, I mean, friendly relationship with the public. We have no enemies. We don’t think anyone is our enemy. If somebody acts inimically, we think that, "He has not understood, therefore he is doing like this. But let me try to make him understand what we are doing."

titikṣavaḥ kāruṇikāḥ
suhṛdaḥ sarva-bhūtānām
ajāta-śatravaḥ śāntāḥ
sādhavaḥ sādhu-bhūṣaṇāḥ
(SB 3.25.21)

These are the ornaments of the sādhu. Sādhu.

Here it is said, suśīlāḥ sādhava, well-behaved, and they are sādhu. Suśīlāḥ sādhavo yatra nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇāḥ. As soon as one becomes nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇāḥ . . . Nārāyaṇa means Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is the original Nārāyaṇa. So parāyaṇā means one who is attached to Nārāyaṇa, Kṛṣṇa, immediately all these good qualities manifest. Suśīlāḥ sādhavo yatra nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇāḥ.

prāyaścittāni cīrṇāni
nārāyaṇa-parāṅmukham
na niṣpunanti rājendra
surā-kumbham ivāpagāḥ
(SB 6.1.18)

In India, still, wine is untouchable, liquor. Not only wine; the wine bottle, even though it is empty, it is untouchable. Surā-kumbham. Surā means wine. Here, of course, in advanced civilization, they have got nice packed-up bottle (laughs), but formerly the wine drunkards, they used to keep wine in some, what is called, jug or big pot, kumbha. What is exact translation of kumbha? Eh?

Devotees: Glass bottle? Flagon? Glass?

Prabhupāda: All right, not one word. That's all right. So surā-kumbham iva apagāḥ. The pots which were used for keeping surā, or wine, liquor, that cannot be purified even if we wash thousand times with water. The example is given there. Similarly:

prāyaścittāni cīrṇāni
nārāyaṇa-parāṅmukham
(SB 6.1.18)

If this prāyaścitta, atonement, does not invoke his Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then it is just like washing the wine pot with water. The idea is, as the wine pot, although it is empty, you cannot purify it simply by washing with water; simply, similarly, a man who is not raised to the platform of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you go on trying so many types of atonement, it is like this surā-kumbha. The idea is that he cannot be purified. He cannot be purified. Day will come when his impure mind will be impetus to another type of sinful activities.

That is tried. One . . . in India, this Back to Godhead . . . it was started from India in 1944. So when I was posting in Delhi post office this Back to Godhead, the post office inquired—at that time I was not sannyāsī, I was in vānaprastha—so he inquired that, "If a man become honest, if a man deals with others very nicely, moral, and so on, so on, so what is the use of becoming devotee, devotee of God?" So I replied that if a man is not devotee, that he cannot be honest, he cannot be moralist. That is not possible. Without God consciousness, the so-called morality, honesty, gentlemanness, is impossible. It is not possible.

So if you want to revive all these good qualities in your society, then you have to invoke your God consciousness first. Otherwise it is impossible. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā. One who is not Kṛṣṇa conscious, he cannot have any good quality. It is impossible. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā mano-rathena (SB 5.18.12): because he is hovering on the mental plane. You will find so many big men, politicians, but because they are not God conscious, all their activities are not honest. It cannot be. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā.

Therefore it is said that simply by atonement, by superficial trying to become uncontaminated, is not possible, as much as the pot which contained liquor previously, you cannot purify it simply by washing with water.

prāyaścittāni cīrṇāni
nārāyaṇa-parāṅmukham
(SB 6.1.18)

Nārāyaṇa-parāṅmukham means averse to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Such person cannot be purified simply by this prescription of austerity, penance and controlling the mind, controlling . . . they cannot do it.

na niṣpunanti rājendra
surā-kumbham ivāpagāḥ
(SB 6.1.18)
sakṛn manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor
niveśitaṁ tad-guṇa-rāgi yair iha
na te yamaṁ pāśa-bhṛtaś ca tad-bhaṭān
svapne 'pi paśyanti hi cīrṇa-niṣkṛtāḥ
(SB 6.1.19)

So Śukadeva Gosvāmī says that sakṛn manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor. If some way or other one surrenders his mind unto the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, sakṛn manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor . . . sakṛn manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor.

Now here another thing you can note, that in two verses the word kṛṣṇa has appeared. This Bhāgavat was written five thousand years ago, and these incidents which Śukadeva Gosvāmī was . . . is going to narrate, these incidents happened, ajāmila-upākhyāna, the history of Ajāmila's life, many thousands and millions of years ago. So this Kṛṣṇa name is already there. Kṛṣṇa name is already there. That means sometimes the so-called historians, they say that Kṛṣṇa worship has begun after Kṛṣṇa's appearance on this planet. But that is not the fact. Kṛṣṇa worship was existent long, long before. As it is stated by Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā:

imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ
proktavān aham avyayam
(BG 4.1)

"First of all I spoke this philosophy to Vivasvān, the god of the sun planet." So historically, if the historians argue like that, that Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement has begun after the appearance of Kṛṣṇa, but that is not fact. Kṛṣṇa appears in one day of Brahmā. That is many millions of years after once . . . just like the sun appears after twenty-four hours or twelve hours; there is a period of appearance of the sun.

Similarly, there is a period of appearance of Kṛṣṇa on this planet. Kṛṣṇa is . . . He appears as a historical person, but He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore in these verses we see the name Kṛṣṇa. And not only here, in many places we will find the Kṛṣṇa name is there. So "Kṛṣṇa" is not to be taken a name picked up from history. No. He is Supreme Personality of Godhead. So here it is said:

sakṛn manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor
niveśitaṁ tad-guṇa-rāgi yair iha
(SB 6.1.19)

If somebody, somehow or other, becomes attracted to Kṛṣṇa by hearing about His transcendental qualities . . . just like you are discussing here about Kṛṣṇa. You are coming—thank you very much that you are coming—but in this way hearing and hearing, some way or other you become attracted to Kṛṣṇa. This hearing means gradually you will be attracted. The same reasons that these boys and girls are attracted—by hearing. We have not bribed them with money. No. Simply by hearing.

sakṛn manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor
niveśitaṁ tad-guṇa-rāgi yair iha
na te yamaṁ pāśa-bhṛtaś ca tad-bhaṭān
svapne 'pi paśyanti hi cīrṇa-niṣkṛtāḥ
(SB 6.1.19)

Anyone, somehow or other, he becomes attracted to Kṛṣṇa, and if he simply says: "Oh, Kṛṣṇa is very nice. Kṛṣṇa's qualities are very nice. Kṛṣṇa's pastimes are very nice," he becomes guaranteed, immune from the attack of Yamarāja.

Yamarāja means the . . . according to Vedic literature, there is a superintendent appointed by God who examines the sinful activities of the living entities and punishes him according to the gravity of his sinful life. He is called Yamarāja. And he has got many agents who take the living entity to Yamarāja after death. And when the judgment is given, then he is given a type of body for suffering or so-called enjoyment. But not enjoyment, because most heinous and sinful persons are taken to him.

So here it is said anyone, somehow or other if he has become attracted to Kṛṣṇa by His transcendental qualities and pastime, then what happens?

na te yamaṁ pāśa-bhṛtaś ca tad-bhaṭān
svapne 'pi paśyanti
(SB 6.1.19)

The agents of Yamarāja, even in dream, do not come there. Even in dream, not to speak of directly. So you are guaranteed. You are guaranteed.

Then, long, long ago, one friend asked that, "Why do you put these neck beads?" It is guarantee that we shall not be shot down. Just like dog having a belt (collar), it is not shot down by anyone. It is known that he has a master. Similarly, this belt will save us from being shot down by the agents of Yamarāja. They will see, "Oh, here is a devotee. Here is a devotee."

atra codāharantīmam
itihāsaṁ purātanam
dūtānāṁ viṣṇu-yamayoḥ
saṁvādas taṁ nibodha me
(SB 6.1.20)

Now, everything requires evidence how one is relieved from the attack of the agents of Yamarāja. He is citing some example from the history. Now here it is said that:

atra codāharantīmam
itihāsaṁ purātanam
(SB 6.1.20)

These Purāṇas . . . in the Vedic literature there are different divisions. The first is four Vedas. Then the Upaniṣads. Then they are summarized in Vedānta. Then they are again explained in Purāṇas. There are eighteen Purāṇas. This Bhāgavata Purāṇam is called Mahā-Purāṇa. The eighteen Purāṇas, they are meant for different kinds of people. There are different kinds of men: some are being conducted by the modes of ignorance; some are being conducted by the modes of passion; some of them are being conducted by the modes of goodness. So for three classes of men there are six Purāṇas each class; therefore eighteen Purāṇas. And this Bhāgavata Purāṇa is for the topmost class of men, who are in goodness. Not only in goodness, but they are devotees of Lord Kṛṣṇa.

So these Purāṇas are explanation of the Vedic system in understandable historical references. Therefore they are called itihāsam. Itihāsam means old history. So itihāsa does not mean this has to be learned chronological with date. Now if you keep a history of millions and trillions of years, it is impossible to keep. Therefore most important incidences in the history, they are picked up, and they are assorted in the Purāṇas.

So Purāṇas means . . . Mahābhārata is also history. You have heard the name of Mahābhārata. Mahā means great, and bhārata, now we call India, foreigners they call India. "India" is not the proper name. The whole planet is called Bhārata-varṣa. Bhārata-varṣa. India is, accidentally, it has come to be named a certain portion of the world, but actually the whole planet is called Bhārata-varṣa. And the history, greater Bhārata-varṣa. Greater Bhārata-varṣa, great Bhārata-varṣa, the history of the world. The Purāṇas are also history of the world, or history of the universe. There are many incidences we have taken from other planets.

So these Mahā-purāṇas, Mahābhārata . . . and the Mahābhārata especially was composed by Vyāsadeva for less-intelligent class of men, one who cannot understand the Vedas. The Vedas are not understood by three classes of men:

strī-śūdra-dvijabandhūnāṁ
trayī na śruti-gocarā
(SB 1.4.25)

Trayī. Trayī means the Vedas, where three kinds of processes are recommended: karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa and upāsanā-kāṇḍa. Karma-kāṇḍa means the ritualistic ceremonies; jñāna-kāṇḍa, this philosophical section, just like the Upaniṣad. And upāsanā-kāṇḍa. Upāsanā-kāṇḍa, there are many recommendation for worshiping the demigods, ultimately, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

So these Vedas are not sometimes understood by three classes of men—strī-śūdra-dvijabandhu, three classes of men: women . . . women and śūdra and dvijabandhu. Dvijabandhu means the friends of the twice-born. The twice-born are three classes of men: brāhmin, kṣatriya, vaiśya. They are twice . . . they are given the chance to take second birth by upanāyana-saṁskāra, by purificatory process of offering the sacred thread. That is second birth. So this second-birth ceremony is offered to the high class of men. Not high class of men by birth, but by quality.

cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ
guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ
(BG 4.13)

By developing good qualities.

So this Mahābhārata is also meant for not for the high-class men. Just try to understand. Mahā . . . strī-śūdra-dvijabandhu: it was meant for woman and śūdra and dvija-bandhu. Dvija-bandhu means born in high family, but one hasn't got the qualities; he is called dvija-bandhu. And so far Mahābhārata is concerned . . . actually, in our childhood I used to read Mahābhārata before my grandmother. In the afternoon, after taking rest, she would call me and ask me to recite Mahābhārata. There is edition, vernacular edition of Mahābhārata. So we learned Mahābhārata in association with grandmother from the childhood. So these are itihāsa. I am explaining to you, these are all histories.

Now if you read simply Mahābhārata, which is meant for the śūdras and the woman class and the less-intelligent persons born in higher class society, you will find in Mahābhārata so sublime literature. You will find sociology, history, religion, culture—everything. But this was meant for the less-intelligent class. Now how much we have been degraded that we cannot understand even Mahābhārata. And in the Mahābhārata is the Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā is the portion of Mahābhārata. And such Bhagavad-gītā is being studied by many great scholars and philosophers at the present moment—still they cannot understand.

Try to understand: Which was made for the less-intelligent class of men, now it is very difficult to understand. So what class of men we are? That is my point. Strī-śūdra-dvijabandhūnāṁ. The Mahābhārata was meant for less-intelligent class of men and women, and now at the present moment we cannot even understand Mahābhārata. Then what less-intelligent class of men we are? Try to understand. Or what intelligent class of men were there. That is to be understood.

Therefore if we want to make improvement of our life by studying this Vedic literature it is very, very difficult, especially in this age. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu's formula, kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā (CC Adi 17.21): in this age there is no other alternative, no other alternative, no other alternative; only simply chant this harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam, and you will find actual result. And you are finding already. So this is the only process you can elevate to your perfectional stage of spiritual consciousness.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: All glories to you Śrīla Prabhupāda. (end)