Collaborate with us to invoke and fully manifest Srila Prabhupada's Vani-presence.
721004 - Lecture SB 01.03.29 - Los Angeles
Prabhupāda: (leads singing of Jaya Rādhā-Mādhava) (prema-dhvani) Thank you very much.
Devotees: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. (devotees offer obeisances)
Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya.
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Canto One, Chapter 3, text 29. (leads chanting of verse) (Prabhupāda and devotees repeat)
- janma guhyaṁ bhagavato
- ya etat prayato naraḥ
- sāyaṁ prātar gṛṇan bhaktyā
- duḥkha-grāmād vimucyate
- (SB 1.3.29)
Prabhupāda: Ladies. Anyone else? Word meaning?
Pradyumna: (leads chanting of synonyms)
janma—birth; guhyam—mysterious; bhagavataḥ—of the Lord; yaḥ—one; etat—all these; prayataḥ—carefully; naraḥ—man; sāyam—evening; prātaḥ—morning; gṛṇan—recites; bhaktyā—with devotion; duḥkha-grāmāt—from all miseries; vimucyate—gets relief from. (break)
Translation: "Whoever carefully recites the mysterious appearances of the Lord with devotion in the morning and in the evening gets relief from all miseries of life."
Prabhupāda: Hmm. This is called phala-śruti, result. This chapter was describing different incarnations of God, and it is concluded that kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28). There were many incarnations, and incarnations are coming incessantly, just like there are waves in the ocean or in the river. You cannot sit down and count how many waves are flowing. As it is not possible, similarly, you cannot also count how many incarnations are there, how they are coming out.
But the most important of them are described. And the conclusion is made that Kṛṣṇa is the origin, as it is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ: "I am the origin of everything, even the incarnations." Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate (BG 10.8). Everyone—all incarnations, all demigods, all living entities, all energies. The Vedānta-sūtra also confirms, janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1): the Absolute Truth is that which is the original source of everything.
So sometimes we mistake that Kṛṣṇa is also incarnation. No. He is not incarnation. He is the source of incarnation. Therefore in the last verse it has been clearly..., ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28). Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam. They are from Kṛṣṇa, not Kṛṣṇa is from them. Sometimes they argue that Kṛṣṇa is the incarnation of Viṣṇu, but that is not the fact. Viṣṇu is incarnation of Kṛṣṇa. Now, there is no use arguing, because there is no difference between incarnation and the source of incarnation.
The example is given: just like dīpārcir eva hi daśāntaram abhyupetya dīpāyate (Bs. 5.46). Just like you have got one thousand candles here. So first you light on one candle, then the second, the third, the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh—you go on increasing. So each candle is equal to another candle. So far candlepower light is concerned, there is no difference.
The first candle and the second candle, although second candle is lit up from the first candle, but the power of light is the same, either in the first candle or in the second candle. Similarly, do not think that because Kṛṣṇa is the original candle and the next candle is Balarāma, or Rāma, that does not mean Balarāma or Rāma is less powerful than Kṛṣṇa. They are equally powerful. Dīpārcir eva hi daśāntaram abhyupetya dīpāyate. Na hi tataḥ pṛthag asti (Bs. 5.45). There is no difference.
So don't consider that incarnation means less important. No. But because Kṛṣṇa is the original source, therefore Bhāgavata is pointing out that "These incarnation, all these incarnation, they are expansion of the original Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, or expansion of the expansion," kalāḥ. Aṁśa and kalā. Aṁśa means direct expansion, and kalā means expansion of the expansion. Just like Kṛṣṇa's direct expansion is Balarāma.
Then, from Balarāma, there is further expansion: Saṅkarṣaṇa, Aniruddha, Pradyumna, like that. Then Mahā-Viṣṇu, another expansion. Then from Mahā-Viṣṇu to Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Then Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu to Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. From Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, Paramātmā, Īśvara. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). The all-pervading. So all of them are expansion and equally powerful. But still, for understanding, for pure knowledge, we should understand that Kṛṣṇa is the origin. Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ (BG 10.8). This is the...
So anyone who will recite these incarnations of God, Kṛṣṇa, regularly, in the morning and evening, that is the phala-śruti... Janma guhyaṁ bhagavato. Bhagavato. He is the original source of everything, and He is taking birth. Therefore it is called guhyam. It is very mysterious. Just like Kuntī, when offered prayer to Kṛṣṇa, she said that "You are inside and You are outside. You are all-pervading. You are present everywhere. Still, people cannot see You." This is the mystery. God is everywhere, but we cannot see.
How it is? That is explained by Kuntī. Just like somebody's father is playing on the stage dressed in a different way, like a king or something. But the son cannot recognize him, although the father is playing just before him. The father is playing in his front, but he cannot understand. He's seeing some king is playing. Similarly, God is everywhere. God is everywhere.
Simply you require to purify your eyes to see God. Otherwise, God is everywhere. It is not that God has to be searched out some long, long... He's in... Of course, His real abode is long, long distant, but still, He is within your heart. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61).
So to purify the eyes we require... That is meditation, how to search out. He is within my heart. Anywhere you sit down, you can see God, provided you have got the eyes to see. Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti (Bs. 5.38). Those who are saintly person, they are twenty-four hours seeing God. They have nothing, no other business than to see God. But they have got eyes to see.
That is the difference. Ordinary person, they have no eyes; therefore they cannot see God. But those who have developed consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, purified eyes, they can see always, twenty-four hours. They don't see anything else except God. Because God is everything. Whatever we see, if we have two eyes to see, then we can see God in every second, every moment. How? Oh, that you can practice.
In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, raso 'ham apsu kaunteya (BG 7.8): "I am the taste of water." Now, you are drinking water hundreds times. So as soon as you taste water, how nice it is, you can immediately see God, Kṛṣṇa: "Oh, here is Kṛṣṇa. Here is Kṛṣṇa." So how do you say that "Can you show me Kṛṣṇa?" You can see. Here is the process. You adopt it. You taste water, and when you enjoy the taste, that taste is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, "I am this taste." Then where is the difficulty to see Kṛṣṇa? There is no difficulty. The people say, "Can you show me God?" God is everywhere, in every moment, in every step. You do not like to see Him. That is the difficulty.
Raso 'ham apsu kaunteya prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ: "I am the sunshine and moonshine." Who has not seen sunshine? Everyone has seen. From the very morning, we see sunshine, and at night also, when there is darkness, there is no sun, we see moonshine. So sunshine, moonshine—Kṛṣṇa says, prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ. So as soon as I see the sunshine and moonshine, I see God.
What is the difficulty? Śabdaḥ khe. When there is some sound, rumbling sound in the sky, khe... Khe means sky. Kṛṣṇa says, "I am the sound." So as soon as you hear even the sound of aeroplane, that is also God. Puṇyo gandhaḥ pṛthivyāṁ ca (BG 7.9). When you smell a nice flower, that smell is Kṛṣṇa. So you can remember immediately Kṛṣṇa.
So to remember Kṛṣṇa, there are so many opportunities. But we don't want to remember Kṛṣṇa. That is the difficulty. Therefore it is said that janma guhyam bhagavato. Janma, God's appearance. God is appearing every moment, everywhere. Here is, just in front, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Personally He is present. But others will see a stone, because he has not purified his eyes.
And Caitanya Mahāprabhu, as soon as He sees, He fells down immediately, unconscious: "Oh, here is my Lord." So you have to purify to see God. God is present everywhere. You haven't to ask anybody, "Can you show me God? Have you seen God?" These questions are sometimes made. And where is the difficulty to see God? You don't like to see God. That is the difficulty. Otherwise there is no difficulty.
So janma guhyam bhagavataḥ. And Bhagavad-gītā also, Bhagavān says that janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ (BG 4.9). One has to learn. One has to learn the science, how to see God. That is bhakti-yoga. One who is not in bhakti-yoga, he cannot see God, even God is present before him.
Nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yogamāyā-samāvṛtaḥ (BG 7.25): "I am not exposed to everyone. The yoga-māyā curtain is there." So first of all, before asking anybody, "Can you show me God?" you must be qualified to see God. That is required. That qualification is taught in Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, how to see God, how to understand God. Otherwise it is mysterious.
- dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ
- mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ
- (CC Madhya 17.186)
So seeing God is very mysterious, but it is very easy also. Very easy, provided we know the method how to see God. So that is bhakti-yoga. And therefore Kṛṣṇa recommends in the Bhagavad-gītā, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ: (BG 18.55) "Only through devotional service one can understand Me as I am." Otherwise he will commit mistake. There are different processes undoubtedly: jñāna, yoga, karma, bhakti. But if you want to see God, then you have to accept this bhakti-yoga, no other yoga.
Neither jñāna-yoga, nor karma-yoga, nor haṭha-yoga. You cannot see. You can see. Kleśo 'dhikataras teṣām avyaktāsakta-cetasām (BG 12.5). Those who are impersonalists... All of them are impersonalists. For them, it is very difficult, troublesome, to see God. They may try their process, but it will take long, long time to see God. But if one takes to bhakti-yoga—immediately. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ (BG 18.55).
So one may argue that "These bhaktas are not always very learned scholars. Mostly, they are mediocre. And there are so many big, big scholars, they cannot see God easily, and only the bhaktas can do?" Yes. That is the process. Kṛṣṇa says, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ. In bhakti, one can immediately... Because real process is to surrender to God. That is the real process. But these jñānīs, yogīs and karmīs, they are not prepared to surrender to God. The karmīs will say, "Let us act nicely," I mean to say, "virtuously. We are karmīs. So God must give us the result." This is called karma-mimāṁsā.
They say that... Just like the so-called scientists say that "God has created this universe. The laws are there. So we have to study the laws. What we shall do with the God?" Is it not? "God has created these... The physical laws are there. So let us study these physical laws. What is the use of studying God?" That is their view.
The karma-mimāṁsā also, that, they say that "After all, if we act virtuously, then we shall get good result. So what is the use of worshiping God? Let us work virtuously." This is their view, karmī. And jñānī. Jñānī also, they say—jñānī, the scientists, they are jñānī—that "What is the use of worshiping God? Let us study the laws of God." So jñānī, karmī... And yogī, they are also of the same view. So karmī, jñānī, yogī, and the last is bhakta.
So bhakta can see God very quickly because Kṛṣṇa recommends, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ (BG 18.55). Tattvataḥ, in truth, one can understand what is God by following the process of bhakti-yoga. And so far the jñānīs, yogīs are concerned, they will come to that point of bhakti-yoga after many, many births. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: bahūnāṁ janmanām ante (BG 7.19). At the end of millions of births, jñānī, jñānavān, those who are searching through knowledge...
So what is the value of our knowledge? Teeny knowledge. Imperfect senses. We are gathering imperfect knowledge. But we don't neglect knowledge. We give credit to the philosophers, scientists, because... But we advise them that "Your research work should be for God, not for any temporary physical or chemical compound. No."
It is advised by Nārada Muni, kavibhir nirūpitaḥ.
- idaṁ hi puṁsas tapasaḥ śrutasya vā
- sūktasya buddhasya buddha-dattayoḥ
- avicyuto 'rthaḥ kavibhir nirūpito
- (SB 1.5.22)
If you are a jñānī, a philosopher, speculating what is the truth, so the truth is..., ultimate truth is Kṛṣṇa. So if from the very beginning you try to search out by your philosophical knowledge or if you try to prove the supremacy of Kṛṣṇa by your philosophical speculation, that is perfection. That is your perfection. Otherwise it is simply laboring, waste of time.
Śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8). If you cannot go forward up to Kṛṣṇa by your philosophical and scientific research, then all the labor you have taken, that is almost simply waste of time. The limit of knowledge, the limit of scientific research, will be confirmed when you have surrendered to God.
- bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
- jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
- vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
- sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ
- (BG 7.19)
That mahātmā who knows Kṛṣṇa is the supreme cause... Govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi. So our conclusion is that there, that He is the Supreme, Govinda. So we bow down. Yes. Govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi. We give all respects to others, but so far our surrendering process is concerned, that is to Kṛṣṇa. Govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi. Under the direction of Lord Brahmā.
So therefore here it is said that janma guhyaṁ bhagavato ya etat prayato naraḥ. Just like we are here, in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we don't claim that we have become perfect. That is not our... We cannot become perfect. Or at least, we have not become perfect. But prayataḥ, we are trying to be perfect. Prayataḥ. Prayataḥ means endeavoring, endeavoring for understanding God.
So therefore here it is said, janma guhyaṁ bhagavato ya etat prayato naraḥ. Any person who endeavors for understanding Kṛṣṇa through the relative śāstras and devotional service, then what is the result? When? Sāyaṁ prātaḥ. Two times at least, in the evening and in the morning. So if we sleep in the morning, snoring, then how we can understand? It is recommended here, sāyaṁ prātaḥ. Tri-sandhyā. Tri-sandhyā means three times. We initiate... We... They promise that three times they will chant gāyatrī-mantra, but I do not know what they are doing.
So these are the recommendation in the śāstra. If we don't follow, then we must fall down. There is no doubt about it. But if we follow the regulative principles, as they are enjoined in the śāstra... Sādhu-guru-śāstra. Śāstra will say the same thing as guru advises. Sādhu-guru.
A saintly person also will say the same thing. Just like here, Sūta Gosvāmī, he is saintly person. He is advising, sāyaṁ prātaḥ, "Morning and evening you should try to understand the science of God," Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, topics, chanting. So these are the process. Sāyaṁ prātar gṛṇan bhaktyā.
Now, this is the most important word, bhaktyā. Because without bhakti... The real process is bhakti. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti (BG 18.55), Bhagavad-gītā says. Here also, it is said that "Don't read just like a academic scholar." No. That will not benefit you. It will benefit you, but it will take long, long time. Because without bhakti, God cannot be captured. Without bhakti, God cannot be captured. Everywhere you will find that.
Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, yo me bhaktyā prayacchati. Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati. Patram (BG 9.26), a little flower, little leaf. Suppose I am very poor man. I cannot arrange for purī and rasagullā for Kṛṣṇa. Then what my offering will be? No, there is no opportunity for offering Kṛṣṇa? No.
Kṛṣṇa says, "You can offer Me a little flower, a little leaf, a little water." That's all. Who cannot secure it? Any part of the world, anywhere, a person can offer to Kṛṣṇa, "Sir, I have no means. I have secured these things." Now, Kṛṣṇa says, "Yes, that's all right." Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26). "This bhakta, one who offers Me in devotion and love." That is the main ingredient.
And a nondevotee cannot offer anything Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is not poor. Kṛṣṇa has not come here He is very hungry, He has come here to eat your purī and rasagullā. No. (laughter) (laughs) Don't think like that. But Kṛṣṇa is so kind that He has come before you to accept whatever you can offer with devotion. That is the point. Yo me bhaktyā prayacchati, tad aham aśnāmi. "I eat," Kṛṣṇa says. Kṛṣṇa is a liar? He's God, He says that "I eat." You cannot say that Kṛṣṇa does not eat. Kṛṣṇa says, "I eat." Who are you to say that Kṛṣṇa does not eat?
Sometimes this atheist class, the rascal class, they say that "You are offering food. Why? Kṛṣṇa is not eating. It is there." No. Kṛṣṇa eats. But His eating is not like your eating. That is the difference. Pūrṇam, pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya pūrṇam evāvaśiṣ... (Īśo Invocation). He will eat everything and it will keep everything. If I give..., I am given a plate, I eat everything, then remains nothing. But when Kṛṣṇa eats, He eats everything and remains everything. Therefore it is prasādam. Therefore it is prasādam.
So we do not know how to know Kṛṣṇa's activities. Therefore Bhagavad-gītā says, janma karma me divyam (BG 4.9). These are all transcendental subject. Here also it is said, janma guhyaṁ bhagavato. Very confidential. These mysteries, confidence, are open to the confidential devotees. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti (BG 18.55). One who is devotee, He understands everything. Others cannot understand.
Others, they will think, "Oh, they are worshiping an idol, and unnecessarily spending money for preparing prasādam." They will see like that. But a devotee knows how Kṛṣṇa is eating, how Kṛṣṇa's prasādam is being prepared. Everything he knows, because he is bhakta.
Therefore one should try to become a devotee. Then everything will be disclosed to him. Svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ. Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ (Brs. 1.2.234). God will be revealed, and he will see everywhere God. Without any cessation, twenty-four hours he will see God. So as it is prescribed in the authorized śāstras and directed by spiritual master, if you follow the principles, it is not very difficult to see God, to understand God. It is very easy.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: Jaya! All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. (devotees offer obeisances) (end)