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Vanisource - the complete essence of Vedic knowledge

710824 - Lecture SB 01.02.03 - London

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

710824SB-LONDON - August 24, 1971 - 41:56 Minutes

Prabhupāda: (jaya rādhā-mādhava) (breaks) (prema dhvani) (devotees offer obeisances)

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. (Prabhupāda and devotees repeat) (leads chanting of verse etc.)

yaḥ svānubhāvam akhila-śruti-sāram ekam
adhyātma-dīpam atititīrṣatāṁ tamo 'ndham
saṁsāriṇāṁ karuṇayāha purāṇa-guhyaṁ
taṁ vyāsa-sūnum upayāmi guruṁ munīnām
(SB 1.2.3)


yaḥ svānubhāvam akhila-śruti-sāram ekam
adhyātma-dīpam atititīrṣatāṁ tamo 'ndham
saṁsāriṇāṁ karuṇayāha purāṇa-guhyaṁ
taṁ vyāsa-sūnum upayāmi guruṁ munīnām
(SB 1.2.3)

So, yaḥ svānubhāvam akhila-śruti-sāram ekam. Akhila means entire.

(aside) Hmm. Read the word meaning.

Pradyumna: yaḥ—he who; sva-anubhāvam—self-assimilated (experienced); akhila—all around; śrutiVedas; sāram—cream; ekam—the only one; adhyātma—transcendental; dīpam—torchlight; atititīrṣatām—desiring to overcome; tamaḥ andham—deeply dark material existence; saṁsāriṇām—of the materialistic men; karuṇayā—out of causeless mercy; āha—said; purāṇa—supplementary to the Vedas; guhyam—very confidential; tam—unto him; vyāsa-sūnum—the son of Vyāsadeva; upayāmi—let me offer my obeisances; gurum—spiritual master; munīnām—of the great sages.

Translation: "Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto him (Śuka), the spiritual master of all sages, the son of Vyāsadeva, who, out of his great compassion for those gross materialists who struggle to cross over the darkest regions of material existence, spoke this Purāṇa, supplement to the Vedas, the cream of Vedic knowledge, after having personally assimilated it by experience."

Prabhupāda: So these are the qualification of spiritual master. What is that? Svānubhāvam, "must assimilate personally." Svānubhāvam akhila-śruti-sāram. Śruti. The Vedas are called śruti, absolute knowledge. It has to be learned by hearing, not by speculation. Śruti. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet śrotriyam (MU 1.2.12). From śruti, the śrotriya comes.

So he's offering respect to Śukadeva Gosvāmī because he has assimilated the whole Vedic knowledge. Śruti-sāra. What is that sāra? Sāra means essence. What is the ultimate goal of knowledge, essence of knowledge? This is also explained in Bhagavad-gītā: vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ (BG 15.15). The real purpose of Vedic knowledge is to search out where is Kṛṣṇa.

So Śukadeva Gosvāmī assimilated the Vedic knowledge, and he was after Kṛṣṇa. Although he was liberated soul, still, he was after Kṛṣṇa. To become liberated is not the final stage. To . . . liberated means one who understands that he is not this material body. He is liberated. But that much knowledge is not sufficient. One must act according to that. Just like one is cured of the feverish condition.

One was suffering some fever, now there is no fever. That's nice. But that is called convalescent stage. In the convalescent stage, if we do not take care nicely, again the fever may be relapse. That is marginal stage. In this stage, and diseased condition stage, and between them there is marginal stage. So we cannot stay on the marginal stage. We must come this side or that side.

So even if we are liberated, if we are not engaged in the activities of liberation, then we are to be considered on the marginal stage. And marginal stage means we may again fall down in this material condition. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adho 'nādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ (SB 10.2.32).

Āruhya kṛcchreṇa. Kṛcchreṇa means with great difficulty. The philosophers, they try to understand the Absolute Truth by mental speculation. But simply by mental speculation you cannot stay in that understanding. Or, in other words, by theoretical knowledge you cannot escape. It must be practiced. Practiced.

So in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we are putting the candidates into practice. Without practice, simply knowledge is no good. That is . . . simply foolishly to become puffed up that, "I am now liberated. I have got this knowledge, I am now liberated," no. That is not liberation. That is explained in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam elsewhere. Ye 'nye 'ravindākṣa vimukta-māninaḥ (SB 10.2.32). Vimukta-māninaḥ. They're thinking that they have become liberated.

Just like the Māyāvāda sannyāsīs, they address amongst themselves as "Nārāyaṇa," namo nārāyaṇa. That means everyone has become Nārāyaṇa. The modern increase of incarnation of God means this Māyāvāda philosophy. Because in the Māyāvāda philosophy everyone thinks that he is God, Nārāyaṇa. "I have become Nārāyaṇa." Brahma-bhūta (BG 18.54). "Now I have become Nārāyaṇa." No. You cannot become Nārāyaṇa. You can become Nārāyaṇa's dāsa, servant. That is your healthy state.

So if after liberation . . . liberation means sufficient knowledge to understand that one is not this body. That is called liberation. So after liberation there is activity. That they do not know. They think after liberation there is no other activity. Some of them say that when the water pot is full, there is no more sound; it is solid. But our philosophy is that when one is liberated, his actual life begins. What is that actual life? The actual life is to be engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. That is actual life.

Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said:

brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
(BG 18.54)

After being brahma-bhūtaḥ, not simply by knowing ahaṁ brahmāsmi. No. One must realize, assimilate, how he is Brahma. Brahma means the same thing as the Absolute Truth. So we, all living entities, being part and parcel of the Supreme Brahma, Kṛṣṇa, certainly we are Brahma. There is no doubt about it. But if one stops activities of Brahma realization, then he falls down.

The Brahma activities are this devotional service. People may see that, "These Kṛṣṇa conscious people, they are also working, they are also eating, they are also sleeping, they are earning money. We are earning money in this way, they are earning in another way." So they may see the similarity of action. Karma and bhakti to the fools appear to be the same. No. It is not the same.

Here is realization that everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa, whereas in the karma platform, the realization is that, "Everything belongs to me. It is my house, my money, my children, my country, my society, my property." "My" and "I." "I am the monarch of all I survey, and I am the proprietor of everything." So this misconception is not there in the bhakti. In the bhakti school, everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa. We don't take anything as our own. That is called Vaiṣṇava philosophy. Assimilate. Anubhāva.

So it is stated here, yaḥ svānubhāvam. Svānubhāvam. Svānubhāvam means personally convinced. Anubhāvam. God can be realized at the present stage by anubhāva. We cannot see God now, but anubhāva, appreciating or understanding the nature of God and seeing God, there is no difference. Absolute.

So our business is at the present moment to feel the presence of the Lord in every action. To . . . presence . . . the presence of the Lord—that is wanted. So in someday, if you continue in that Kṛṣṇa consciousness, presence of Lord in everything, then it will be possible some day to see Kṛṣṇa eye to eye, just like we are seeing.

We are seeing Kṛṣṇa: here is Kṛṣṇa. But still, because we are conditioned souls, sometimes we think that, "This is not actual Kṛṣṇa; this is a statue of Kṛṣṇa." But that is not the fact. Fact is Kṛṣṇa is one. Kṛṣṇa is absolute, advaya-jñāna. He is identified to everything. What is everything? Everything means manifestation of His energy.

So energy is not different from the energetic. Śakti-śaktimatayor abhedam. There is no difference. Just like the sun and the sunshine, or heat of the sun. Heat of the sun and the sunshine, they appear to be different from the sun, but actually it is not, because they are simultaneous.

Wherever there is sun, there is heat and light. Or wherever there is heat and light, there is sun. In the morning, when you see that it is now clear, there is no more darkness, immediately you understand that there is sunrise. So this svānubhāva, when there is no darkness within your heart . . . svānubhāva. What is Kṛṣṇa, when you understand fully within your heart, at that time your actual liberation is attained.

So what Śukadeva Gosvāmī did, that after assimilating the whole Vedic literature, he distributed it. That is another instinct. If you really have learned the essence of Vedic knowledge, automatically you'll be inclined to preach it. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam. Śravaṇam means to hear, to receive the knowledge. And next, kīrtanam, means to distribute or describe the knowledge. Yaḥ svānubhāvam akhila-śruti-sāram ekam adhyātma-dīpam (SB 1.2.3). Dīpam means lamp. So this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is just like the lamp in the darkness to see Kṛṣṇa, or God. Adhyātma-dīpam.

And for whom is it meant? Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is not meant for the street boys, or who are accustomed to read so many nonsense literature. They want to waste their time. They have no engagement. They purchase some book, fictitious book, and read it. Not only they—even elderly men, they read it. But this book is different from those books. It is meant for person . . . those who are desiring to get out of this world of ignorance. Tamo 'ndham. Gṛha andha-kūpam. Andha. Andha means blind or darkness.

So our materialistic way of life is described as gṛha andha-kūpam (SB 7.5.5). This family life is just like dark well. We are already in the darkness, and another darkness is to fall in the dark well. If one falls down in the dark well, it is very difficult to get out, because he may cry very loudly and people may not hear. These dark well are sometimes there in the paddy field.

I have seen one dark well. In your country, when I was guest in John Lennon's house in 1969, we saw in the garden there was a dark well. Dark well means a very deep ditch, well, but it is covered with grass. You cannot know that there is a deep well, but while walking, you may fall down within it. And it is already covered with grass, and it is very deep. If you fall down and you try to get out of it, because it is lonely place, nobody is there, nobody may hear you, and you may simply die without any help.

So this materialistic way of life, without any knowledge of the outside world or without any knowledge . . . outside world means just like we are within this universe. It is covered. The round thing which we see in the sky, that is the covering. Just like a coconut shell: a coconut shell, within and without. Within the coconut shell it is darkness, and without it is light. Similarly, this universe is just like the coconut. We are within.

As in within coconut there is water, half water, similarly, within this universe there is half water. On that water, Lord Viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, is lying. And from His navel, a lotus stem is sprouted. Just imagine within the coconut there is water, and somebody's lying, and there is some stem out of the navel. Exactly this universe is like that. But outside the universe there is light.

Here, within the universe, because it is covered, light is required—sunlight is required; moonlight is required; electricity is required. But in the spiritual world there is no necessity of light. They're self-effulgent. Therefore, tamo 'ndham saṁsāriṇām, atititīrṣatāṁ tamo 'ndham. Those who are actually serious about going out of this darkness and come to the light . . . tamasi mā jyotir gama: "Don't remain in this darkness. Come to the light."

So anyone who is very serious . . . titīrṣatāṁ tamo 'ndham. Saṁsāriṇām . . . adhyātma-dīpam atititīrṣatāṁ tamo 'ndham. Those who are actually serious to go out of this darkness to light, for them this is the lamp. Just like in darkness, if you are helped with a lamp, "Please come this way. Come this way," so you can come out of the darkness. Similarly, atititīrṣatām, one who wants to get liberation from this darkness, for them this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is given by Śukadeva Gosvāmī.

Saṁsāriṇām . . . karuṇayā. This is the business of the saintly person. They are very much compassionate to these materialistic men, saṁsāriṇām. Saṁsārī means they are perpetually rotating, wandering, within this darkness in different forms of life. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says:

ei rūpe brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva
guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja
(CC Madhya 19.151)

We are wandering. The modern education system has no knowledge. They simply know that, "This life is everything. Waste this life by sense gratification, because after death everything is void. Now I have got this body. Body means the senses. So enjoy my senses." This is the materialistic way of life. They have no knowledge that there is life after death. We should prepare ourself, what kind of body we shall have next life. Instead of, they are being washed off. Not washed off, carried away by the waves of material nature.

Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura therefore sings:

(miche) māyār bośe jāccho bhese' khāccho hābuḍubu bhāi
jīv kṛṣṇa-dās e biśwās korle to' ār duḥkho nāi

Everyone is suffering, māyār bośe. Under the influence of māyā, the illusory energy, they are being carried away by the waves. Waves means the three modes of material nature. And suffering: sometimes being drowned, sometimes up, sometimes relief, sometimes distress. This is going on. So the only way to get out of this anxiety or to stop the perpetual being carried away is to take shelter of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa also says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66): "You are suffering; you simply surrender unto Me."

So what Kṛṣṇa says, the Bhāgavata also says the same thing. Bhāgavata begins, paraṁ satyaṁ dhīmahi: "The Supreme . . . I offer my respect to the Supreme." Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya: "I offer my respectful obeisances to Lord Vāsudeva." Vāsudeva means Kṛṣṇa.

So saṁsāriṇāṁ karuṇayāha purāṇa-guhyam. Purāṇa. Purāṇa means . . . sometimes the Māyāvādīs, they say these Purāṇas are stories. No. They are not stories. It comes from the Purāṇa. Purāṇa means filling up, supplementary, to complete it. Purāṇas, they are not out of the Vedic literature. Rāmāyaṇa, Mahābhārata, Purāṇa, they are . . . mahā . . . yes, they are all belonging to the Vedic literature. Especially Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is called Mahā-Purāṇa. Therefore Mahā-Purāṇa . . . why Mahā-Purāṇa? Purāṇa-guhyam. Very confidential Purāṇa.

There are sāttvika-purāṇa, rājasika-purāṇa, tāmasika-purāṇa—three kinds of Purāṇas. So the aim is to take the leader on the liberation platform, but according to the quality. In the tāmasika-purāṇa there are recommendation for Goddess Kālī and other. And rājasika-purāṇa there is recommendation for yajña or worshiping the demigods in the heavenly planet—Indra, Candra.

But in the sāttvika-purāṇa only about Viṣṇu, Lord Viṣṇu, is recommended to be worshiped. So this is called purāṇa-guhyam, because in this Purāṇa you won't find any recommendation for worshiping any other demigod. Simply satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi (SB 1.1.1). Only the Absolute. Satyaṁ param. The ultimate Absolute Truth, Kṛṣṇa, oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya.

Saṁsāriṇāṁ karuṇayāha purāṇa-guhyam. He first of all spoke Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to . . . being compassionate to the people suffering from these material pangs. Taṁ vyāsa-sūnum upayāmi guruṁ munīnām. Guruṁ munīnām: "He's not only my guru, but he is guru, spiritual master, of great sages and saintly persons." Even Vyāsadeva also considered his son greater than himself.

When Śukadeva Gosvāmī appeared in the assembly where many saintly persons were present at the time of Mahārāja Parīkṣit, so at that time all the munis stood up to receive him. All the munis. Even there was Vyāsadeva, he also stood up. Therefore he is guruṁ munīnām: he is spiritual master of all saintly persons.

Read purport.

Pradyumna: "In this prayer, Śrīla Sūta Gosvāmī practically summarizes the complete introduction of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the natural supplementary commentary on the Vedānta-sūtras. The Vedānta-sūtras or the Brahma-sūtras were compiled by Vyāsadeva with a view to presenting just the cream of Vedic knowledge."

Prabhupāda: Yes. First of all, there was only one Veda, Atharva-veda. Then he divided according to the subject matter into four Vedas: Sāma, Yajur, Atharva, Ṛg. Then he explained the Vedas by the Purāṇas, and he compiled Mahābhārata also for same purpose: how one can understand the Vedic literature. Strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocarā (SB 1.4.25).

Those who are less intelligent—woman, śūdra and dvija-bandhu . . . dvija-bandhu means those who are born in brahmin family but are not just to the quality. They are called dvija-bandhu. For them this Mahābhārata. And at the end he compiled . . . he summarized the whole thing by writing Vedānta-sūtra. Still, he was not happy, and under the direction of his spiritual master, Nārada, he wrote himself the commentary of the Vedānta-sūtra, and that is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Go on.

Pradyumna: "Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the natural commentary on this cream. Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī was a thoroughly realized master of the Vedānta-sūtra, and consequently he also personally realized the commentary, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And just to show his boundless mercy upon bewildered materialistic men who want to cross completely over nescience, he recited for the first time this confidential knowledge.

"There is no point in arguing that a materialistic man can be happy. No materialistic creature, be he the great Brahmā or an insignificant ant, can be happy. Everyone tries to make a permanent plan for happiness, but everyone is baffled by the laws of material nature. Therefore the materialistic world is called the darkest region of God's creation. Yet the unhappy materialists can get out of it simply by desiring to get out. Unfortunately they are so foolish that they do not want to escape."

Prabhupāda: They do not know that there is escape. They think this is all. This is their education. They have no knowledge. Although they are suffering in every step, they are making plan in their own way within this material world. Just like the UNESCO and so many other, all nation attempts are there. They are planning within this. That is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam as carvita-carvaṇānām. Carvita means chewing the chewed. They see that, "Our previous leaders, they also did like this, it was not successful," still they are going on in different way. That is not the way. Actually if you are really anxious to become free from the conditional life, then you have to take to adhyātma-śāstra. You have to take knowledge from spiritual sources.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "Therefore they are compared to the camel, who relishes thorny twigs because he likes the taste of the twigs mixed with blood. He does not realize that it is his own blood and that his tongue is being cut by the thorns."

"Similarly, to the materialist, his own blood is as sweet as honey, and although he is always harassed by his own material creations, he does not wish to escape. Such materialists are called karmīs. Out of hundreds of thousands of karmīs, only a few may feel tired of material engagement and desire to get out of the labyrinth. Such intelligent persons . . ."

Prabhupāda: Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate (BG 7.19). After many, many births they come to realize that "This is not the way of solution. I must take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

That's all right. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. (devotees offer obeisances) (end)