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731228 - Lecture SB 01.15.51 - Los Angeles

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

731228SB-LOS ANGELES - December 28, 1973 - 37:03 Minutes

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

yaḥ śraddhayaitad bhagavat-priyāṇāṁ
pāṇḍoḥ sutānām iti samprayāṇam
śṛṇoty alaṁ svastyayanaṁ pavitraṁ
labdhvā harau bhaktim upaiti siddhim
(SB 1.15.51)


Prabhupāda: Hmm.

Pradyumna: yaḥ—anyone; śraddhayā—with devotion; etat—this; bhagavat-priyāṇām—of those who are very dear to the Personality of Godhead; pāṇḍoḥ—of Pāṇḍu; sutānām—of the sons; iti—thus; samprayāṇam—departure for the ultimate goal; śṛṇoti—hears; alam—only; svastyayanam—good fortune; pavitram—perfectly pure; labdhvā—by obtaining; harau—unto the Supreme Lord; bhaktim—devotional service; upaiti—gains; siddhim—perfection. (break)

Translation: "The subject of the departure of the sons of Paṇḍu for the ultimate goal of life, back to Godhead, is fully auspicious and is perfectly pure. Therefore anyone who hears this narration with devotional faith certainly gains devotional service of the Lord, the highest perfection of life."

Prabhupāda: Hm. Yaḥ śraddhayaitad bhagavat-priyāṇām. Bhagavat-priyāṇām. There is a common word in English, "If you love me, love my dog." That is very important. So bhagavat-priyāṇām, one who is very dear to Kṛṣṇa, if you love such person, then Kṛṣṇa is more pleased. Kṛṣṇa is more pleased. Bhagavat-priyāṇām.

There is a version in the Purāṇas, Devī Purāṇa. Pārvatī was asking questions to Lord Śiva, and Lord Śiva was replying. This is the process at home. The wife is supposed to inquire from the husband about spiritual advancement of life, and the husband must be competent to reply all the questions of wife. That will keep relation very nice. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam (SB 7.5.23). That is bhakti. So Pārvatī was asking . . . because according to Vedas, there are so many demigods. Viṣṇu is sometimes taken, but Viṣṇu is not . . . Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Maheśvara. They are the principal deities. So the inquiry was, "Which worship is the best? Viṣṇu or Lord Śiva or Brahmā or Candra?" There are so many demigods. Sometimes they are misunderstood that all of them are Gods. No. They are called demigods. God is one. That is . . . originally, God is Kṛṣṇa. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ (Bs. 5.1).

So the inquiry was, "There are so many gods. So which worship is the best?" So Lord Śiva replied:

ārādhanānāṁ sarveṣāṁ
viṣṇor ārādhanaṁ param
tasmāt parataraṁ devi
tadīyānāṁ samarcanam

(Padma Purana, Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta 2.4)

Means "My dear wife, Devī . . ." wife is addressed "devi," not by name. The husband should address wife, "devi." They must be like devi. Devi means goddess. And the wife must address the husband as "lord." This is the system. So he replied, "Devi, ārādhanānāṁ sarveṣām. There are many kinds of recommendation. 'If you want this, you worship this God. If you want this, if you worship . . .' " These are described in the Bhāgavatam. "So of all different types of worship, the worshiping of Lord Viṣṇu is the best," he said, ārādhanānāṁ sarveṣāṁ viṣṇor ārādhanaṁ param. And again he said, tasmāt parataraṁ devi, "There is still better worship." What is called? What is that?

Tadīyānāṁ ārādhanānāṁ: "To worship the devotee of Viṣṇu, Vaiṣṇava." Tadīyānāṁ ārādhanānāṁ. That is the best. First of all he said, viṣṇor ārādhanaṁ param: "That is the supreme." Then again he said, tasmāt, "From that," tasmāt parataram, "still better," tadīyānāṁ ārādhanānāṁ, "to worship the devotee of God." So this is very simple method. You cannot approach God. It is not very easy thing. But God's representatives, God's devotee, on behalf of God, who is canvassing, tadīyānām—that worship is better. Tadīyānāṁ ārādhanānāṁ.

Therefore here it is said that bhagavat-priyāṇām. These Pāṇḍavas . . . why one should be interested in the Pāṇḍavas' activities, Arjuna's fight with his brothers? There are so many other people, they are fighting with their brother, with their enemies. Why we are not recommended to hear about that thing? Why the Battle of Kurukṣetra? Because Arjuna is there, tadīyānām. We are not interested with . . . in any battlefield stories. Why we should be interested? There are so many cats and dogs fighting. So we are not interested. But why you are interested in the Bhagavad-gītā, Battlefield of Kurukṣetra? Tadīyānāṁ ārādhanānāṁ. Because there is Arjuna. He is fighting.

So to worship God is very good, but to worship the devotee of God is still very good. This is the . . . that is also admitted in the Bhagavad-gītā, na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ (BG 18.69). Kṛṣṇa says, yo māṁ mad-bhakteṣu: "Now, this Bhagavad-gītā . . . anyone who is preaching this Bhagavad-gītā," na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ. Bhagavat-priyāṇām. Priya-kṛt. Priya means dear, very dear. Kṛṣṇa said that na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu (BG 18.69): "Anyone who is preaching the message of Bhagavad-gītā to the suffering people of the world," Kṛṣṇa says, na ca tasmāt priya-kṛt, "nobody is dearer to Me than him."

So how to become very dear to God? Don't try to see God. Even if you see . . . you can see God everywhere if you have got eyes to see. But the real business is not to see. God wants to see you, what you are working for God. That He wants to see. To see God is not very difficult business. Anyone with eyes to see, he can see God. But to be seen by God, do something by which you can draw the attention of God and He can see you, "Oh, here is My devotee," that is wanted. Let God see you! Don't try to see God. That is foolishness. Let God see you. This is our philosophy.

My Guru Mahārāja used to say that, that "Don't try to see God, but try to do something so that God can see you." This is the philosophy. And whom God will see? As soon as . . . just like any business firm, any man who is working very sincerely, it comes to the notice of the master, "Oh, this man is doing very nice." That is wanted. That is wanted. So a devotee is not very much anxious to see God. God is there. Simply . . . and one who has become devotee, he always sees God. Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva (Bs. 5.38). Sadaiva, twenty-four hours he sees. That is not very difficult job. But do something so that God will see you, "Oh, here is . . . here is My devotee."

So He . . . therefore here it is called, yaḥ śraddhayaitad bhagavat-priyāṇām. The Pāṇḍavas were so dear to Kṛṣṇa. So it is better to hear about the Pāṇḍavas than to hear about Kṛṣṇa. To hear about Kṛṣṇa, people may be very much inclined, but the śāstra says, "To hear about the devotees of Kṛṣṇa is still better." Therefore in the . . . you chant daily, yasya prasādāt. Sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair ruktaḥ. The spiritual master, is said that, "He is directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstraiḥ. Ruktaḥ, "said."

Sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair uktas tathā bhāvyata eva sadbhiḥ: "It is not only said, but it is accepted by sadbhiḥ, those who are actually advanced in spiritual life, sadbhiḥ." Why? Why the spiritual master should be accepted as directly as the Supreme? Kintu prabhor yaḥ priya eva tasya. This priya, again, priyāṇām: "Because he is very, very dear to Kṛṣṇa." Not that because he is worshiped as Kṛṣṇa, therefore he thinks himself Kṛṣṇa and declares, "Now I am Kṛṣṇa." No. Kintu prabhor yaḥ priya eva tasya. This priya. Priya is word. So therefore try to become priya of Kṛṣṇa. Do, act in such a way that Kṛṣṇa can understand that you are very dear to Him.

And the very simple thing is that ya idaṁ guhyaṁ mad-bhakteṣv abhidhāsyati. This confidential service, preaching of Bhagavad-gītā . . . what is that? Bhagavad-gītā preaching essence: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). Simply go and preach. This very thing. Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65). This is Kṛṣṇa's desire. Preach to the world, "Just be Kṛṣṇa conscious." Man-manāḥ. "Just become Kṛṣṇa's devotee." Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī. "Just worship Kṛṣṇa." Mad-yājī mām . . . "just offer your obeisances to Kṛṣṇa." Four words. Then you become a preacher. It is not very difficult to become a preacher and to become a spiritual master. How?

Very simple thing, go and speak what Kṛṣṇa says. That's all. You have nothing to manufacture, Dr. Frog. (laughs) There is no need of manufacturing. We are very safe because we don't manufacture. We simply repeat, parrotlike, what Kṛṣṇa has said. That's all, finished. Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: "Let aside everything. Just become My devotee, surrendered soul." So we are preaching that. We don't make any compromise. Therefore all people are against me because, "This man simply says, 'Kṛṣṇa.' " Yes. But I cannot say anything more. That's all.

So to become priya, very dear to Kṛṣṇa, is very easy. That is siddhi, perfection. Labdhvā harau bhaktim upaiti siddhim. Perfection, highest perfection: to become dear to Kṛṣṇa. That's all. You become dear to Kṛṣṇa, that is your perfection, highest perfection, supreme perfection. So such easy thing, and such highest perfection. Why people should not accept this? And it is practical. It is . . . just last night I was talking with Śrutakīrti that this church, nobody was coming. Therefore they were obliged to sell it off, and we purchased. So the church is the same, building is the same, and you are all Americans. But you did not come before, so that it was to be sold. Now everywhere it is packed up. Why? Because Kṛṣṇa is there. This is practical. This is practical. There is no question of enviousness. It is practical.

In Boston one Christian priest said frankly that, "These boys, girls, they are our boys, our girls. Either coming from Christian group or Jew's group, they are, after all, Americans. So they did not care for anything about God. Now they are mad after God. What is this?" This is practical. There is no question of competition. It is practical. Because they are trying. They are trying. Our only business is, "Just become dear to Kṛṣṇa." That's all. Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means, "You are trying to be dear to so many things." Somebody is trying to be dear to his father, to his mother, or to his family, children, or country, community, society, nation. Everyone is trying to be dear, "I will do such-and-such thing for you. Please give me vote. Please make me president." They are trying. And after all, the president also is not dear, neither people is not dear. The real fact becomes disclosed after a few days when the, what is called, face covering, ah, mask, is over. That's all.

So this kind of trying to become dear is no use. It is simply waste of time. So if you try to become dear to Kṛṣṇa, that is siddhi. That is perfection. You are trying to become dear to so many objective. At last, to become dear to a dog, ferocious dog. He does not say anything to the master. That means the master has become dear to him. So we are trying to become dear to somebody. That is our desire, dormant desire. But that is being misplaced. We do not know where to become dear. That we do not know. That is Kṛṣṇa. If you become dear to Kṛṣṇa, that is the highest perfection. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye (BG 7.3). Siddhi, this siddhi, perfection. Out of millions and millions of person, one is interested to become perfect. Because this world is imperfect. So everyone is imperfect, all of us. So neither they do know what is perfection.

But here is described, here is perfection. What is that perfection? Yaḥ śraddhayā etad bhagavat-priyāṇāṁ pāṇḍoḥ sutānām iti samprayāṇaṁ śṛṇoti. Śṛṇoti. You simply hear about the Pāṇḍavas. Practically the whole Vedic literature, the Purāṇas, the Mahābhārata especially, those were narration, the Vedic knowledge . . . vedic knowledge, directly, it is very difficult to understand. Just like in the Vedānta-sūtra. The sūtra, the code words are there. Athāto brahma jijñāsā: "Now it is the time for inquiring about the Absolute Truth." This is sūtra, code word. But that is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, in narration. This is brahma-jijñāsā. The whole Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is brahma-jijñāsā. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. Only this code is being . . . therefore Bhāgavata begins, janmādy asya yataḥ anvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ sva-rāṭ (SB 1.1.1). Because Vedānta-sūtra says: "The Absolute Truth is that supreme source of everything." So Bhāgavata begins from that word, janmādy asya yataḥ, explaining. Explaining.

So Purāṇa means supplementary to the Vedas, to explain the knowledge. That is Purāṇa. Mahābhārata. Mahābhārata is also explanation of the Vedic knowledge, but through history. Because Vyāsadeva found it that directly to understand Vedic knowledge will be difficult for three classes of men. Trayī na śruti-gocarā. Strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocarā (SB 1.4.25). Trayī. Trayī means Vedas, dealing with the three guṇas. Traiguṇya-viṣayā vedāḥ. In the Bhagavad-gītā, traiguṇya-viṣayā vedāḥ. Trayī. There are three subject matters in the Vedas. The first subject matter is to know God and what is my relationship with God. This is the first subject matter. Then second subject matter is that what is the ultimate goal of life, and the third subject matter is how to attain it. To know God, my relationship with God, and what is my ultimate goal of life and how to attain it—these three subject matters are Vedic knowledge. That is everywhere. Another subject matter is . . . trayī, means Veda is dealing with this material world. There is spiritual knowledge in glance.

Therefore Vyāsadeva, after compiling all Vedic literatures, so many Purāṇas, so many Upaniṣads, Vedānta philosophy and four Vedas, but he was not satisfied. He was not satisfied. So when Nārada Muni, his spiritual master, came, he inquired that, "Why you are not satisfied?" So Vyāsadeva said: "My dear sir, yes, as you say, I have done so many activities. I have written so many book. But still, I don't feel any satisfaction. So I do not know why it is. You can direct me. You are my spiritual master." So he said that, "You have done, you have labored so hard in writing so many books, but you have not glorified the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Simply ordinary dealings with man to man, how to deal, dharma, artha, kāma, mokṣa (SB 4.8.41, CC Ādi 1.90), how to make people religious, how to develop economic position, how to satisfy senses, how to go to the heavenly planet to enjoy more and . . . these things you have described. But you have not described about yena ātmā samprasīdati, by which your ātmā, your soul, will be satisfied. That you have done nothing." You have read in the First Canto, jugupsita-dharma. "You are diverting the attention of the people to the dharma, artha, kāma, mokṣa, never to the bhakti. Then in future, if people are advised, 'Come to the bhakti platform, not on the platform of this dharma, artha, kāma, mokṣa, cātur-bargā—they will not take it. So whatever you have done, it is not very good. Better simply try to explain about Bhagavān." That is Bhāgavata. That is Bhāgavatam.

Bhāgavatam means . . . bhagavata. Bhagavata means the Supreme Lord, and bhāgavata means about Him, or about His devotees. That is bhāgavata. Because a devotee is called bhāgavata. This is book Bhāgavata, and a devotee is person bhāgavata. So according (to) our Caitanya Mahāprabhu's cult, the Bhāgavata should be studied from the person bhāgavata, not from the professional reciters. No. Therefore Svarūpa Gosvāmī . . . one . . . because when Caitanya Mahāprabhu was present at Jagannātha Purī, many people used to come, present so many literature, so many commentaries, but Caitanya Mahāprabhu will not hear them unless it is passed by His secretary, Svarūpa Dāmodara. First of all Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī will see whether it is written properly, according to siddhānta. Then he will allow. That was the business.

So one brahmiṇ came. So there was many discrepancies in his writing. So Svarūpa Dāmodara chastised him that, "You do not know how to write. Why you have attempted this?" So he said, bhāgavata paḍā giyā bhāgavata sthāne: "If you want to know about Bhāgavata, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, then you study Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from a person bhāgavatam, whose life is Bhāgavatam. From such person if you read, if you understand Bhāgavata, then you will benefit." It is not a scholarship. Because you know, ongbong (hodgepodge) that is not the qualification. Bhāgavata should be studied from the person whose life is Bhāgavata. This is the instruction of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's personal secretary.

So here it is said, yaḥ śraddhayā. And what is that śraddhā?

tac chraddadhānā munayo
paśyanty ātmānaṁ ātmani
bhaktyā śruta-gṛhītayā
(SB 1.2.12)

Bhaktyā śruta-gṛhītayā. You can realize. God realization is possible by a person who is faithful, tac chraddadhānāḥ. And what is that faith? That faith is explained in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta: śraddhā-śabde viśvāsa sudṛḍha niścaya (CC Madhya 22.62). One who has been firmly convinced . . . what is that conviction? Kṛṣṇa says:

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi . . .
(BG 18.66)

One who has got firm faith in declaration that, "If I become devotee of Kṛṣṇa, if I fully surrender to Kṛṣṇa, then all perfection is there," this is called faith. This is called faith. Not flickering faith, "Let me adopt this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, and when there is opportunity, let me go to some rascal who has appeared as Bhagavān." That kind of faith will not help. That will not help. Śraddhā-śabde viśvāsa sudṛḍha niścaya. That is śraddhā, firm faith. It cannot be changed at any cost, at any circumstances. That is called firm faith. If that firm faith is not obtained, then we are still on the imperfection platform. But when there is firm faith, śraddhā, śraddhayā . . .

Now, if anyone accepts that Pāṇḍava . . . these Pāṇḍavas, five brothers, son of Mahārāja Paṇḍu, they are very, very dear to Kṛṣṇa. And they are as good or sometimes better than Kṛṣṇa. Because Lord Śiva, authority . . . there are twelve authorities. Lord Śiva is one of the authorities. Svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ (SB 6.3.20). Śambhu. Śambhu is authority. He says that tasmāt parataraṁ devi tadīyānāṁ samarcanam: "Better worship . . . Kṛṣṇa worship, Viṣṇu worship is good, but still better worship is to worship the kṛṣṇa-bhaktas." Because he is very dear to Kṛṣṇa. Kintu prabhor yaḥ priya eva tasya (Śrī Gurv-aṣṭaka 7). Why spiritual master is very dear to Kṛṣṇa? Because his only anxiety is how Kṛṣṇa will be known all over the world. That's all. He has no ambition, pounds, shilling, pence. He only wants to know, only wants to see that everyone is devotee of Kṛṣṇa and they are happy.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya . . . (cut) (end)