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721027 - Lecture SB 01.02.16 - Vrndavana

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

721027SB-VRNDAVAN - October 27, 1972 - 38:17 Minutes

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

śuśrūṣoḥ śraddadhānasya
syān mahat-sevayā viprāḥ
(SB 1.2.16)


śuśrūṣoḥ—one who is engaged in hearing; śraddadhānasya—with care and attention; vāsudeva—in respect to Vāsudeva; kathā—the message; ruciḥ—affinity; syāt—is made possible; mahat-sevayā—by service rendered to pure devotees; viprāḥ—O twice-born; puṇya-tīrtha—those who are cleansed of all vice; niṣevaṇāt—by service.

Translation: "O twice-born sages, by serving those devotees who are completely freed from all vice, great service is done. By such service, one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vāsudeva."

Prabhupāda: Hmm.

śuśrūṣoḥ śraddadhānasya
syān mahat-sevayā viprāḥ
(SB 1.2.16)

So our purpose is, as described in the previous verses, how to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. Our present consciousness is absorbed in so many external subject matter. One is self-centered, bodily conscious; some of them are family-wise, family conscious. Some of them community conscious, society conscious, nation conscious or international conscious. Utmost. No more; finish their business. But still, you have to extend more and more. "International" means within this . . . within this planet. But what is this planet? It is only insignificant spot within the universe.

So if you increase your consciousness more and more, then it may be interplanetary consciousness. But what is this interplanetary? This universe contains millions of planets. That's all right. But there are millions of universes also. Yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi (Bs. 5.40). Not only one universe. This universe which we are seeing, this is only one of them.

Caitanya Mahāprabhu compared this universe . . . one devotee, he requested Caitanya Mahāprabhu, "My Lord, You have come. Please liberate all the people of this universe. And if they are sinful, so all their sins I may take, but they may be delivered." This is Vaiṣṇava philosophy. "Others may be delivered by the grace of the Lord; I may rot in the hell. That doesn't matter." Not that "First of all I go to the heaven, and others may rot." This is not Vaiṣṇava philosophy. Vaiṣṇava philosophy is, "I may rot in the hell, but others may be delivered." Patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ (Maṇgalācaraṇa 9).

Vaiṣṇava is meant for delivering all the fallen souls. Just like a very good example: Lord Jesus Christ. According to the Christian idea, he took all the sins of all people and he sacrificed his life. Very good example. Similarly, Haridāsa Ṭhākura also. There . . . Nityānanda Prabhu. The Vaiṣṇava is always eager how to deliver all these fallen souls rotting in the hell of māyā. Therefore here it is recommended, syān mahat-sevayā. You have to take shelter of a mahat. Mahat means mahātmā or Vaiṣṇava.

Mahātmā is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, who is mahātmā: sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ. That mahātmā, simply by dressing like me with a saffron cloth, does not become a mahātmā. The mahātmā is described in the Bhagavad-gītā:

bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ
(BG 7.19)

There are many mahātmās, but one who has understood Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, is the cause of all causes . . .

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ
(Bs. 5.1)

He's mahātmā. One who knows that Kṛṣṇa, Vāsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the origin of everything . . . Kṛṣṇa also says in the Bhagavad-gītā:

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ
budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ
(BG 10.8)

Actually one who knows things as they are, they understand, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti (BG 7.19), "Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, is the root of everything." Here also it is stated that śuśrūṣoḥ śraddadhānasya vāsudeve . . . vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ (SB 1.2.16). To know, to become inquisitive about Kṛṣṇa, to know about Him, this is required. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said:

siddhānta baliyā citte nā kara alasa
ihā haite kṛṣṇe lāge sudṛḍha mānasa
(CC Adi 2.117)

Siddhānta, to become a pure devotee, a staunch devotee of Kṛṣṇa, one has to learn about Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is, therefore, coming personally to teach us what He is. That is required. Vāsudeva-kathā-ruci (SB 1.2.16). Our life is meant for becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious. Ruci.

This ruci is very important thing. Ruci means . . . just like we like to eat some favorable food. That is called ruci. Somebody is interested in eating some salty food, somebody's interested some sweet food, spicy food . . . just like we have got taste for different types of food, similarly, when we shall increase our taste, propensity for Kṛṣṇa, that is the beginning of our perfection. Before that, we are in the material consciousness.

When we increase the taste for Kṛṣṇa, for understanding Kṛṣṇa . . . this ruci comes when one is actually liberated. This ruci. Tato 'nartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt. First of all, śraddadhānasya. As it is stated here, śraddhā, faith. Kṛṣṇa is . . . Kṛṣṇa says that mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya (BG 7.7): "There is no more superior authority than Me." Mattaḥ parataraṁ na anyat. Na, "Nobody else. I am the Supreme."

So when we have faith in this explanation of Kṛṣṇa . . . as Arjuna said . . . Arjuna, after hearing Bhagavad-gītā, he said, sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye yad vadasi keśava (BG 10.14): "My dear Kṛṣṇa, whatever You are saying, I accept them in toto, word to word." This is required. Not that I give up this portion, I give up that portion, whatever is to my purpose . . . just like sometimes the politicians, scholars, they also try to understand Bhagavad-gītā. Because Bhagavad-gītā is very authoritative book, they want to exploit. They do not understand what is Bhagavad-gītā; otherwise they would have preached Kṛṣṇa.

Because what is Bhagavad-gītā? Bhagavad-gītā is Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, the supreme. That is to be taught. That is to be understood. That is Bhagavad-gītā. Not that keeping Bhagavad-gītā in front, a scapegoat, I become great politician and great scholar and give my own opinion: "In my opinion, it is like this." This is nonsense. What you are, your opinion? We don't care, we don't care for all these nonsense who gives his own opinion, as if Kṛṣṇa left something to be opined by another rascal. This is their business. He becomes greater than Kṛṣṇa, to interpret Kṛṣṇa's words. This is rascaldom. We don't accept.

We accept yad vadasi keśava, following the footsteps of Arjuna, who directly understood Bhagavad-gītā. He said: "My dear Kṛṣṇa, whatever You say, I accept them as it is." Then others may say, "Well, Arjuna was Kṛṣṇa's friend. So just to flatter Him, he might have said like that." No. Arjuna gave immediately evidences that, "I . . . not only I accept You, but great personalities like Vyāsa, Nārada, Devala, Asita and many others." Authorities. Just like when you speak something in the legal court, you give evidences from other judgment, authorities. That is a good case.

Similarly, Arjuna accepted Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān (BG 10.12): "My dear Kṛṣṇa, I accept You. You are the Supreme Brahman." Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate. Brahmeti bhagavān, paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate. Therefore Bhagavān is paraṁ brahma. Simply impersonal Brahman realization is not finishing the business. You have to go further, further, further. In the Īśopaniṣad it is said: "My dear Lord, kindly wind up Your blazing effulgence so that I can see You actually." That is stated in the Īśopaniṣad.

So one should not be, I mean to say, amazed simply by realization of impersonal Brahman. There is further business. Brahmeti paramātmeti. Just like we are experiencing daily the sunshine. So if we become satisfied with the sunshine only—"Now we have come to the light"—that is not perfection. You go to the sun planet.

Because from there, from the sun planet, the sunshine is coming out. So the source of sunshine is the sun planet. But unfortunately, it is very difficult to enter into the sun planet. And if you enter into the sun planet, you'll find there is a predominating deity whose name is Vivasvān, god, sun god. These are the statements. As Bhagava . . . Bhagavad-gītā says:

imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ
proktavān aham avyayam
vivasvān manave prāha
manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt
(BG 4.1)

So formerly people used to go to the sun planet. It requires such yogic mystic power. Just like Durvāsā Muni, he used to travel all over the universe and beyond the universe. He reached to the Vaikuṇṭha planet also by yogic power, and he returned within one year. So it is possible. You can go. The yogīs, the perfect yogīs, they can transfer them to any planet they desire. Any planet they desire. These are stated in the śāstras, in the Bhāgava . . . Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

So to become Kṛṣṇa conscious, that is the highest perfection of life. Paraṁ Brahman. Paraṁ Brahman. Brahman, impersonal effulgence. Just like the sunshine. Then localized sun, the sun globe. Then further, if you are able to enter the sun globe, you'll find there is a predominating deity. There are also cities and palaces—everything, just like in this planet.

But this planet is made prominently of earth, and that planet is made predominantly of fire. That is the difference. Fire is also one of the elements, material elements—earth, water, fire, air. So if this planet is made of earth, why not other planet made of fire? What is the scientific reason to deny it? Because I cannot live in the fire, it does not mean other living entities cannot live there.

There are different kinds of living entities. Just like you cannot live within the water, within the ocean, but there are other living entities . . . just like fish. They live very comfortably within the water. So why should we conclude that there is no life in the sun planet or moon planet? This is not perfect knowledge. From Vedic books we can understand that this moon planet is one of the heavenly planets, and people live there. They are demigods. Their duration of life is very long. And one can go to that planet by performing the rituals. They are described.

In the Bhagavad-gītā also it is said, yānti deva-vratā devān. If you are serious to go to the planets where demigods live, you can go. There are rules and regulation, rituals. Just like if you want to pass law examination, you prepare for that examination, and you pass, you become a lawyer. You become an engineer.

Similarly, any planet you want to go, you prepare in this life. Don't degrade yourself to become again cats and dogs, but you prepare yourself to be promoted to the other, higher planetary system, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthāḥ (BG 14.18). You can go there. Kṛṣṇa says. Kṛṣṇa says:

yānti deva-vratā devān
pitṟn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ
bhūtejyā yānti bhūtāni
mad-yājino 'pi yānti mām
(BG 9.25)

So there is another planet . . . not another planet, another nature, sanātana. Paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo 'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ (BG 8.20). There is another nature, eternal nature. That is called Vaikuṇṭhaloka. Yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama (BG 15.6). Every dhāma, every place, is Kṛṣṇa's. He is the supreme proprietor. Sarva-loka-maheśvaram (BG 5.29): "I am the proprietor."

But there are differentiation, paraṁ dhāma and aparaṁ dhāma. This is aparaṁ dhāma. This material world is aparaṁ dhāma, inferior nature. These are stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Apareyam itas tu viddhi me prakṛtiṁ parām. Itas tu viddhi me prakṛtiṁ parām. There is another prakṛti, another nature. There is Vaikuṇṭhaloka. Not one, two, but millions, unlimited. And the topmost planet is called Goloka Vṛndāvana. That is mad-dhāma, Kṛṣṇa says, or tad-dhāma.

So all these informations are there. Simply we have to know. Unfortunately, because we are too much materially absorbed, we cannot understand. We cannot understand. Neither we are very much interested to know. So vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ. There is no ruci, because they are conditioned by the material nature, by the three modes of material nature: sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa . . . tamo-guṇa is the lowest, rajo-guṇa is the via media, and one who is the sattva-guṇa, he can understand.

Therefore the whole Vedic civilization is meant for making people brāhmin. Not to keep him in ignorance, not to keep him in the position of a śūdra. The whole Vedic scheme is that from the lowest grade of li . . . existence, one can be elevated to the highest grade. Śudhyanti. Śudhyanti, purification. That is purification. In ordinary life also there are purificatory methods, daśa-vidha-saṁskāra.

That purificatory method begins before the birth, which is called garbhādhāna-saṁskāra. Not that a man, a high-caste brāhmin or kṣatriya or even vaiśya . . . especially brāhmin and kṣatriya. Especially brāhmin. He's not meant for giving birth to a child like cats and dogs. He has to observe the garbhādhāna-saṁskāra. In the śāstra it is said in a brāhmin family, if the garbhādhāna-saṁskāra is not observed, he immediately falls down to the śūdra class. Kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ.

Because this garbhādhāna-saṁskāra is not observed, therefore it is to be taken, accepted, everyone is a śūdra. But the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to again elevate the śūdra to the standard of brāhmin. This is the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Because without brāhmin . . . just like without head, what is the value of your body? Brāhmin means the head.

puruṣasyāśramaiḥ saha
catvāro jajñire varṇā
viprādayaḥ pṛthak guṇair
(SB 11.5.2)

Brāhmin means the head. Therefore brāhmin is offered so much respect. Because head, without head . . . in the head, in the brain, you conceive something, and the hands and legs, they execute the order. Similarly, the head of the society, they should be the brāhmins. They are not interested in capturing political power. No. Brāhmin is to give instruction. We find from Vedic literature, there were committees, privy council committees of great sages and brāhmins. They would give the king advice that, "You rule in this way." And if the king is disobedient, sometimes the brāhmins would dethrone them or kill them. That was Vedic system.

We find from the life and ruling of Mahārāja Pṛthu, how he was ruling over the world, how he was observing that every community, either brāhmin or kṣatriya or vaiśya or śūdra, they were properly employed. There was no unemployment question. It was the duty of the king to see that not a single man is unemployed. He must be engaged. So they made arrangement like that.

So what is the idea? The idea is to elevate everyone gradually to the position of brāhmin and Vaiṣṇava, and thus make their life perfect. That is the scheme of Vedic civilization. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). Not that "Keep the śūdras or the mlecchas in the downtrodden position, and let me advance." No. Everyone should cooperate. Why the śūdras or mlecchas and yavanas should remain as such? Actually, India's falldown is meant by that process. Nobody cared. So many Muslims, they converted, but the higher caste, they did not care: "Oh, they have become Muslims. Reject them." Why reject? Kṛṣṇa says:

māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya
ye pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrās
te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim
(BG 9.32)

Why these Muslims were neglected? Why they were not turned into Vaiṣṇavas, just like we are doing? This is the fault of the leaders. Therefore India is now divided, Pakistan and Hindustan.

So if we actually try to understand Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there is solution for all the problems of society, of government and everything. It is not a sentimental movement. Vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ. One must increase the taste for understanding Kṛṣṇa. Just like Kṛṣṇa came. He came not only to dance with the gopīs. He took part in politics. He killed so many demons. He established good government. He showed how householders' life.

Kṛṣṇa . . . it is all described in our Kṛṣṇa Book, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. He was lying with His beautiful queens, and as soon as there is cock crow, immediately He would rise, early in the morning, three o'clock. The queens will be disgusted: "Now it is early in the morning. Kṛṣṇa will go away." But Kṛṣṇa immediately gave up the company of the wife and immediately rise and immediately take bath and do the needful, as it is enjoined in the Vedic performance. He's ideal gṛhastha.

He will give in charity every day thirteen thousands of cows to the brāhmins. Read all these things. Don't think that Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is simply dugdughi. Not dugdughi. It includes everything, all-pervasive. Kṛṣṇa is ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ (BG 10.8). Kṛṣṇa is the root of everything. Therefore anything you conceive of—politics, sociology, philosophy, religion, anything—there is adjustment if you become Kṛṣṇa conscious. That is the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.

Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ (BG 3.21). Therefore we want some leading personalities to become Kṛṣṇa conscious so that others will follow. So that others will follow. But if we go some leading personality, minister or prime minister, "Oh, we are secular. We have rejected Kṛṣṇa, that's all." Nonsense, what is your value, rejecting your Kṛṣṇa? Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ (SB 5.18.12). You are rejected.

You have no good qualification. You have rejected Kṛṣṇa; therefore we reject you. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ. Anyone who is not Kṛṣṇa conscious, he has no value. We don't give any value, however he may pose himself as a very great man. No. We say, harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ. Mano-rathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ. "Because you are not Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you are hovering on the mental plane. Therefore you must fall down." This is the conclusion of śāstra.

So here it is, śuśrūṣoḥ śraddadhānasya (SB 1.2.16). Just like you all people have gathered, there is śraddhā, that "Let us hear something about Kṛṣṇa, what Swāmījī's spoke, speaking." This is called śraddhā. This śraddhā has to be increased. Then when you come to the point of ruci, vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ, that is the beginning of our perfection.

At the present moment, there is no ruci, no taste. Vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ. There are so many exalted persons, but they have no ruci, they have no taste. They have lost all taste. Vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ. There are two faults. Either people could not preach properly so that they could not create taste of the people in general . . . it is not the fault of the people in general; it is the fault of the so-called preachers also. Because they could not create taste, they wanted to take the place of Kṛṣṇa. That was their purpose. Imitation Kṛṣṇa. Imitation God. That will not do.

You have to create taste, just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu did. Namo mahā-vadānyāya kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te (CC Madhya 19.53). Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, when he first met Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he offered this prayer: namo mahā-vadānyāya, "You are the most munificent incarnation because You are giving Kṛṣṇa. You are giving Kṛṣṇa. You are . . . you are greater than Kṛṣṇa." Mahā-vadānyāya. Because Kṛṣṇa asked everybody to surrender. He did not give Himself immediately. But Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He's also Kṛṣṇa, in the form of devotee, He's giving Himself, "Take Me," without any price.

So vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ (SB 1.2.16). People should be educated how to increase the taste for understanding Kṛṣṇa. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Everyone should come forward. Āpani ācari prabhu jīvere śikhāya. One should behave himself as Kṛṣṇa conscious; then he will be able to make others Kṛṣṇa conscious—not by theoretical knowledge, but by behavior. Āpani ācari prabhu jīvere śikhāya.

So this is required. It is a very, very, very important movement. Any leader of the society, any political leader, any social leader, they should study. Our only request is that, "Please try to understand this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement." Just like Caitanya-caritāmṛta kaṛ says that caitanyera dayāra kathā karaha vicāra. It is not blindly accepting. Vicāra. Just judge yourself how great important this movement is. Caitanyera dayāra kathā karaha vicāra, vicāra karile citte pābe camatkāra (CC Adi 8.15). If you are sober, thoughtful, you'll find it is sublime. It is sublime.

So that is our request. The people who are leaders of the society, they should take this Kṛṣṇa conscious movement very seriously, study, and then give their judgment, and people will be happy.

Thank you very much. (break) (end)