730413 - Lecture SB 01.08.21 - New York

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Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.8.21 - New York, April 13, 1973



730413SB-NEW YORK - April 13, 1973 - 32:41 Minutes



(Video - 13:19)

Devotees: (repeating) oṁ namaḥ bhagavate vāsudevāya

kṛṣṇāya vāsudevāya
devakī-nandanāya ca
nanda-gopa-kumārāya
govindāya namo namaḥ
SB 1.8.21

(Video - 19:12)

Prabhupāda: That's alright.

Devotees: (repeating)

kṛṣṇāya—the Supreme Lord;
vāsudevāya—unto the son of Vasudeva;
devakī-nandanāya—unto the son of Devakī;
ca—and;
nanda-gopa—Nanda and the cowherd men;
kumārāya—unto their son;
govindāya—unto the Personality of Godhead, who enlivens the cows and the senses;
namaḥ—respectful obeisances;
namaḥ—obeisances.

(Video - 20:03) (Audio start)

Pradyumna: Translation: "Let me therefore offer my respectful obeisances unto the Lord, who has become the son of Vasudeva, the pleasure of Devakī, the boy of Nanda and the other cowherd men of Vṛndāvana, and the enlivener of the cows and senses." (SB 1.8.21)

Prabhupāda: So in the beginning Kuntīdevī said that namasye puruṣaṁ tvādyam īśvaraṁ prakṛteḥ param (SB 1.8.18): "I offer my obeisances unto the person, puruṣam, who is prakṛteḥ param, who is beyond this material manifestation." Kṛṣṇa is complete spirit soul, Supersoul. He has no material body. So in the beginning Kuntīdevī gave us this understanding that God, the supreme puruṣa. Puruṣa means person. He's not imperson. Puruṣa. But He's not a puruṣa of this material world, not a personality of this material creation. That is to be understood.

The impersonalists cannot accommodate in their poor fund of knowledge how the Supreme Absolute Truth can become a person, because whenever they think of person they think of a person of this material world. That is their defect. So they have poor fund of knowledge. Why God should be a person of this material world? So that was cleared in the beginning. Prakṛteḥ param: beyond this material creation, but He is a person.

So now that personality, although alakṣyam, invisible, now, by the grace of Kuntī, we can understand that although the Supreme Person is invisible, now He has appeared to be visible: Kṛṣṇa. Therefore she says, kṛṣṇāya vāsudevāya (SB 1.8.21). Vāsudeva conception. Sometimes the impersonalists, they have vāsudeva conception, means all-pervading. So Kuntīdevī is pointing out, "That Vāsudeva is Kṛṣṇa, all-pervading." Kṛṣṇa, by His Vāsudeva feature, He is all-pervading. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61).

This feature of Kṛṣṇa... Kṛṣṇa, the original person, has got three features: as the Supreme Personality of Godhead; as all-pervading Paramātmā, Supersoul; and impersonal Brahman effulgence. So those who are interested in bhakti-yoga, they have no business with the impersonal Brahman effulgence. That is for common men. Common men. Just like you can try to understand: those who are inhabitants of the sun planet, what they have got to do with the sunshine? That is a most insignificant thing for them, sunshine. Similarly, those who are advanced in spiritual life, they are interested in the person, puruṣam, Vāsudeva. Puruṣam.

That realization takes place, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, after many, many births. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante (BG 7.19): at the end of many, many births. These impersonalists who are very much attached to the Brahman effulgence, such persons, they are called jñānī. They are trying to understand the Absolute Truth by dint of their knowledge, but they do not know that their knowledge is very imperfect and limited.

And Kṛṣṇa, the Absolute Truth, is unlimited. You cannot approach the unlimited by your limited knowledge. That is not possible. So, by the grace of devotees like Kuntīdevī, we can understand that here is Vāsudeva. The all-pervading Absolute Truth, Paramātmā, Vāsudeva, is here. Kṛṣṇāya vāsudevāya (SB 1.8.21). So this vāsudeva realization is possible by the impersonalists after many, many births. Not very easily.

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

Sudurlabhaḥ, "very rare"; mahātmā, "broad-minded." But one who cannot understand Kṛṣṇa, they are cripple-minded. They are not broad-minded. If one becomes broad-minded, then, by the grace of Kṛṣṇa, he can understand Kṛṣṇa.

Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau (Brs. 1.2.234). The process is sevonmukha, service. Service, beginning with the tongue, vāsudeva realization is possible. The service, the first service is śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam (SB 7.5.23). Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and hear repeatedly, and take prasāda. These are the two businesses of the tongue. So you'll realize. Very simple method. Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam... Kṛṣṇa will reveal. Not that by your endeavor you can understand Kṛṣṇa, but your endeavor in the loving service, that will make you qualified. Kṛṣṇa will reveal. Svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ. Kṛṣṇa is very much anxious to take you back home, back to Godhead. But we are stubborn. We do not wish. So He's always finding out the opportunity how you can be taken back home, back to Godhead.

Just like affectionate father. Rascal son left his father, loitering in the street and have no shelter, no food, suffering so much. The father is more anxious to take the boy home. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa is the supreme father. All these living entities within this material world, they're exactly like the misled child of a big, rich man, loitering in the street. Therefore the greatest benefit to the human society is to give him Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Greatest... You cannot give any benefit; any kind of material profit will not satisfy the living entity. If he's given this Kṛṣṇa consciousness... Just like the same process: A bewildered boy is loitering in the street. If he's reminded, "My dear boy, why you are suffering so much? You are son of such-and-such very rich man. Your father has got so much property. Why you are loitering in the street?" And if he comes to his consciousness: "Yes, I am the son of such-and-such big man. Why shall I loiter in the street?" he goes back home. Yad gatvā na nivartante (BG 15.6).

Therefore this is the best service, to inform him that "You are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. You are son of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is opulent, six kind of opulence. Why you are troubling, why you are rotting in this material world?" This is the greatest service, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But māyā is very strong. Still, it is the duty of every kṛṣṇa-bhakta to try to enlighten everyone to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Just like Kuntīdevī is pointing out. First of all she said, alakṣyaṁ sarva-bhūtānām antar bahir avasthi... (SB 1.8.18). Although Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Person, is without and within, still, to the rascals and fools, He is invisible. Therefore she is pointing out, "Here is the Lord, kṛṣṇāya vāsudevāya (SB 1.8.21)." He is the all-pervading Supreme Personality of Godhead, but He's very much pleased to become the son of Devakī. Devakī-nandanāya. Devakī-nandana is mentioned in Atharva-Veda also. Kṛṣṇa comes as Devakī-nandana, and His foster father is Nanda-gopa, Nanda Mahārāja.

So Kṛṣṇa likes to be related with His devotee as father and mother. Here in this material world, we try to make our relationship with the Supreme as father, but Kṛṣṇa wants to become the son. Therefore nanda-gopāya. He takes pleasure to become a devotee's son. Ordinary men, they want God as father, but that is not very pleasing to Kṛṣṇa. Father means... To become father means always botheration: "Give me this, give me this, give me this, give me this." You see? Of course, Kṛṣṇa has got immense potencies to supply. Eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). He can supply everyone as much he wants. He's supplying food to the elephant. He's supplying food to the ant. Why not to the human being?

But these rascals, they do not know. They're working day and night like ass to find out bread. And if he goes to church, there also: "Give me bread." They are only bread problem. That's all. Although the living entity is the son of the richest opulent person, but he has created his bread problem. This is called ignorance. He thinks that "If I do not solve my bread problem, if I do not drive my trucks day and night...Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. whoosh. Such a nonsense civilization. You see? Bread problem. Where is bread problem? Kṛṣṇa can supply. If He can supply food to the elephant in Africa... There are millions and millions of African elephants, you know, and they are supplied food.

The Bhāgavata says don't waste your time for this bread problem. Don't waste your time. Tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovido na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ (SB 1.5.18). Don't waste your time how to solve your economic problem. This is nonsense. Of course, it is very revolutionary. People will hate me. "What Swāmījī is speaking?" But actually this is the fact. This is another madness. Suppose you have got your rich father, enough food. Where is your economic problem? This is madness. There is no economic problem. If you are..., if you know that "My father is the richest man of the city," then where is my economic problem?

Actually, that is the position. We have no economic problem. Everything is there, complete. Pūrṇam pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaṁ pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate (Īśopaniṣad, Invocation). Everything is complete there. You want water. Just see: there are oceans of water. You want purified water. You cannot... Although the ocean water's so much, when there is scarcity of water, you have to take help of Kṛṣṇa. He'll evaporate the water; He'll make it cloud. Then when it is falls down, then it becomes sweet. Otherwise you cannot touch. Everything under control. Everything is full—water, light, heat. Everything is complete. Pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate, pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate (Īśo Invocation). His stock is never finished. Simply you become obedient, and the supply is there. You can understand.

These Kṛṣṇa consciousness persons, they have no problem, economic problem. Everything is sufficiently supplied by Kṛṣṇa. In Los Angeles, the neighborers there, they are very envious, that "You do not work, you have no anxiety, and you have got four cars. You are eating so nicely. How is that?" They inquire from our devotees. That is the actually the fact. We are spending so much money, we have got so many centers. The calculation is about $70,000 we are spending. Who is supplying? Somehow or other, we are getting.

So there is no problem. You simply become sincere servant of Kṛṣṇa, everything is there. This is the test. They are envious of us that we do not work. Still, we have got so much. "So why don't you come and join us?" That they will not do. "You come with us, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa." "No, no, no. That I cannot do." All right, then work with your trucks: whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. They have made their own position dangerous and others' position also. They say... At any moment, there may be accident. You see? This is the civilization. Nonsense. This is not civilization. Civilization means calmness, peace, prosperity, śānti. In peace and prosperity one should be Kṛṣṇa conscious always.

Tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovido na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ (SB 1.5.18). In the animal life, or other than human life, we had worked so much only for morsel of food—day and night, working. But still the food is there. Simply avidyā-karma-saṁjñānyā tṛtīyā śaktir iṣyate (CC Madhya 6.154). Avidyā. This material world is full of ignorance. So therefore our endeavor should be how to come out of this ignorance. Tasyaiva hetoḥ. For that reason, we should work only—how to come out of this ignorance, that "I am this material body. I have to work day and night, and then I shall get my food, then I shall live." This is ignorance. Tasyaiva hetoḥ prayate...

So this ignorance, this life of ignorance we have passed in the, I mean to say, the forms other than the human being—animal life, bird's life, beast's life. Now this life should be peaceful, calm and quiet. And jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā, simply for inquiring about the Absolute Truth. That should be the business. Simply. Jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. Simply sit down, just like we are sit down. We are sitting down and inquiring about Kṛṣṇa. This is life. This is life. And what is this life? Working day and night like the ass? No. That is not life.

Therefore Bhāgavata says your life should be engaged for this purpose: tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovidaḥ. Kovida means intelligent. Then: "How my economic problems will be solved?" The answer is: tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukham. You are after happiness. Are you after distress? "No, sir." Why distress comes upon you? You are not anxious for distress, calamities. Why do they come upon you? Similarly, so far your happiness is also concerned, that will also come upon you. Because your life, according to your karma, is mixed up with some portion of happiness, some portion of distress. If the distress comes without any invitation, the happiness also will come without invitation, without any endeavor. Because you are destined already that so much happiness, so much distress you will have. Destined.

So you cannot change it. Try to change your lord(?), this material condition of life. That is your only business. Tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovido na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ... Bhramatām upary adhaḥ. You have tried. Bhramatām upary adh... Upari means higher planetary systems. Sometimes we get our birth in higher planetary system as demigods, and sometimes, adhaḥ, as animals, as cats and dogs, as germ of the stool. This is going on. This is going on according to our karma. Caitanya Mahāprabhu said: ei rūpe brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva (CC Madhya 19.151). Only a fortunate living entity gets this opportunity of association of Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa's devotee. Then his life becomes sublime.

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

This bhakti-latā-bīja, the seed of devotional service, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.

So Kuntīdevī is pointing out that "Who is the person, alakṣya, invisible?" Here: Kṛṣṇa. "Kṛṣṇa? There are so many Kṛṣṇas." Vāsudevāya, the son of Vasudeva. "There are many Vāsudevas." No, nanda-gopa-nadanāya (SB 1.8.21), the foster son of Mahārāja Nanda. Three times she's pointing: "Here is Kṛṣṇa." Kṛṣṇa, who officially takes His birth as son of Devakī and Vasudeva, but He enjoys the company of Mother Yaśodā and Nanda Mahārāja—the childhood company. This is Kṛṣṇa's pastimes.

So ānanda-līlāmaya-vigrahaya. Ānanda-līlā, Kṛṣṇa's līlā, pastimes, are all jubilant. Ānanda-līlāmaya. Ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12). He is by nature ānandamaya. Kṛṣṇa, you'll never find Kṛṣṇa is very unhappy. Kṛṣṇa is never unhappy. Kṛṣṇa is always happy. Therefore, nanda-gopa-kumārāya govindāya (SB 1.8.21). He is happy, and whoever..., whoever associates with Him, he's also happy. Govindāya. We are after sense gratification. Go means senses. So if you associate with Kṛṣṇa, you enjoy your senses affluently. Just like the gopīs are dancing with Kṛṣṇa.

So there is no scarcity of sense gratification also. But that is not this sense gra..., gross sense gratification. That is spiritual sense. That is spiritual sense. Ānanda-cinmaya-sad-ujjvala-vigrahasya (Bs. 5.32). We chant every day. That sense, you get, sense gratification is ānanda-cinmaya, cinmaya, in the spiritual world, not this third-class ānanda, with these bodily senses. This is not ānanda; this is an illusion. This is illusion. We are thinking that "I'm enjoying," but that is not ānanda. This ānanda is not fact, because we cannot enjoy this material sense pleasure for long. Everyone has got experience. It is finished. It is finished. But spiritual enjoyment does not finish. It increases. That is the difference. Ānanda-cinmaya-sad-ujjvala-vigrahasya govindam ādi-puruṣam (Bs. 5.32).

So you have to associate with Govinda. Here is, also, it is said, govindāya namo namaḥ: "I offer my respectful obeisances to Govinda." So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is so nice—you become directly in contact with Govinda. This Deity worship is also directly in contact with Govinda.

Śrī-vigrahārādhana-nitya-nānā-śṛṅgāra-tan-mandira-mārjanādau. This vigraha, the Deity of Kṛṣṇa, that is also Kṛṣṇa's mercy. Because Kṛṣṇa is alakṣya, invisible, He has become visible for your facility, as you can see. Still... It is not that Kṛṣṇa is stone or Kṛṣṇa is wood or Kṛṣṇa is metal. Kṛṣṇa is always Kṛṣṇa, but He appears... Because you cannot see except wood, stone and metal, He appears like that, wood, stone or metal. But He's not wood, stone or metal.

You'll get the same facility as Kṛṣṇa personally if you associate..., when you associate. You will associate with Kṛṣṇa. But at the present moment, because Kṛṣṇa is invisible, therefore He has very kindly taken a form which is visible by you. This is Kṛṣṇa's mercy. Do not think, "Oh, here is Kṛṣṇa, stone Kṛṣṇa." Kṛṣṇa is everything. Kṛṣṇa is everything. So Kṛṣṇa is stone also. Kṛṣṇa is stone also, but He's not that stone that cannot act. Kṛṣṇa act also in the stone form also. Kṛṣṇa act also in metal form also. And you will perceive that. Svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ. The more you give service, the so-called stone also speak with you. There are many instances like that.

So we should take to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement according to the śāstra. Śrī... I am very pleased that you are doing nicely, dressing the Deity very nicely. More and more, in this way offer Kṛṣṇa nice prasādam, nice foodstuff, nice dress. Keep the temple very clean.

Śrī-mandira-mārjanādiṣu. Mārjana means cleansing. Either you dress Kṛṣṇa or cleanse the temple, the effect is the same. Don't think that "I am a cleanser and he is a dresser." No. The dresser and the cleanser are the same. Kṛṣṇa is Absolute. In any way, be engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service. Your life will be successful. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.

So by the grace of Kuntīdevī we can understand that Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva. Vāsudeva... Another meaning of vāsudeva is that when you come to the platform of vasudeva... Sattvaṁ viśuddhaṁ vasudeva-śabditam (SB 4.3.23). Sattvam. Sattva, goodness. First of all, you have to come to the platform of goodness. But here, in the material world, the goodness is also sometimes contaminated by other low qualities, ignorance and passion.

So by hearing about Kṛṣṇa, śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ... (SB 1.2.17). Just like you are hearing about Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, try to hear about Kṛṣṇa always, twenty-four hours chant about Kṛṣṇa. In this way, the dirty things will be cleansed. Naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā (SB 1.2.18). Nityam. Nityam means always. Not that bhāgavata-saptāha, official. No, not like that. That is another exploitation.

In the Bhāgavata it is said, nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā. Nityam means daily, twenty-four hours. Either you read Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or carry out the order of your spiritual master. This is also order. Bhāgavata is spiritual master. Vaiṣṇava, he's also bhāgavata. Ācāryas, bhāgavata. Grantha-bhāgavata and person, person bhāgavata. So person bhāgavata or book Bhāgavata, you always serve. Nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā (SB 1.2.18). Bhagavaty uttama-śloke bhaktir bhavati naiṣṭhikī. Then you will be fixed up. Naiṣṭhikī. Nobody can move you. Bhagavaty uttama-śloke, unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

So in this way, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement should be realized by you by the process prescribed, and try to give to the people. This is the greatest welfare activities in the world, to awaken Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is, of course, practically, we can see, four or five years ago none of you were in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but it has been awakened. Now you are Kṛṣṇa conscious. So others can be awakened also. There is no difficulty. The process is the same.

So by following the footprints of devotees like Kuntī, we shall be able to understand, as she's pointing out: kṛṣṇāya vāsudevāya devakī-nandanāya ca, nanda-gopa-kumārāya (SB 1.8.21). This is Kṛṣṇa's identification. Just like we take identification of a person: "What is your father's name?" So here we're giving, presenting God with His father's name, with His mother's name, with His address. We are not impersonalists, vague idea. No. Everything complete, perfect, the identification. If you take advantage of this propagation of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then you are certainly benefited.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. (Audio end) (Obeisances)

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa!

(Video - 52:00) Kirtan to end