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Krsna Book Audio Dictation - Introduction

From Vanisource

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada




The Supreme Personality of Godhead. First line. KṚṢṆA in big letters. And next line, in small letters, The Supreme Personality of Godhead. Text.

This verse:

kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! He
kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! He
kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! rakṣa mām
kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! pāhi mām
kṛṣṇa! keśava! kṛṣṇa! keśava! kṛṣṇa! keśava! pāhi mām

Next line.

rāma! rāghava! rāma! rāghava! rāma! rāghava! rakṣa mām
(CC Madhya 7.96)

While attempting to write this book, Kṛṣṇa, first of all let me offer my respectful obeisances to my spiritual master, Oṁ Viṣṇupāda 108 Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja Prabhupāda. Then let me offer my respectful obeisances to the ocean of mercy, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa Himself, in the role of a devotee just to distribute the highest principles of devotional service, beginning from the country known as Gauḍadeśa, West Bengal. As I belong to the Mādhva-Gauḍīya-sampradāya, therefore I must offer my respectful obeisances to the disciplic succession, known by the above name. This Mādhva-Gauḍīya-sampradāya is also known as Brahma-sampradāya because originally the disciplic succession begins from Brahmā. Brahmā instructed the sage Nārada, Nārada instructed Vyāsadeva. Then Vyāsadeva instructed to Madhva Muni, or Madhvācārya. Śrī Mādhavendra Purī, the origin of Mādhva-Gauḍīya-sampradāya, belonged to the Madhvācārya disciplic succession. He was in the sannyāsa order of life and had many renowned disciples, just like Nityānanda Prabhu, Advaita Prabhu and Īśvara Purī. Īśvara Purī happened to be the spiritual master of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. So let us offer our respectful obeisances to Īśvara Purī, along with Nityānanda Prabhu, Śrī Advaita Ācārya Prabhu, Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita and Śrī Gadādhara Paṇḍita.

After that, let us offer our respectful obeisances to Svarūpa-Dāmodara, who acted throughout as the private secretary of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu; and let us offer our respectful obeisances to Śrī Vāsudeva Datta and the constant attendant of Lord Caitanya, Śrī Govinda, and constant friend of Lord Caitanya, Mukunda, and Murāri Gupta. Then let us offer our respectful obeisances to the six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvana, namely Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī, Śrī Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, Śrī Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī and Śrī Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī.

Next paragraph.

Kṛṣṇa has explained Himself in the Bhagavad-gītā about Himself, that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and whenever there is discrepancies in the regulative principles of man's religious life and there is a prominence of irreligious activities, at that time Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa appears on this earthly planet. In other words, when Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa appeared, there was a necessity of minimizing the load of sinful activities accumulated on this planet, or in this universe. The affairs of the material creation, Lord Mahā-Viṣṇu, plenary portion of Kṛṣṇa, is in charge. Actually, as stated in the Bhagavad-gītā that the Lord appears when there is discrepancies of religious principles and prominence of irreligious activities, that incarnation of the Lord emanates from Mahā-Viṣṇu, or Viṣṇu. Mahā-Viṣṇu is the original cause of material creation, and from Him expands Garbhodakaśāyi-Viṣṇu and then Kṣīrodakaśāyī-Viṣṇu. And generally, all the incarnations appearing within this material universe are plenary expansion from Kṣīrodakaśāyi-Viṣṇu. Therefore the business of minimizing the overload sinful activities of this earth does not belong to the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa Himself. But when Kṛṣṇa appears, along with Him all the Viṣṇu expansions, They also join with Him. As such, Kṛṣṇa's different expansions—namely Nārāyaṇa and the quadruple expansion, namely Vāsudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, as well as different incarnation, just like partial plenary expansion of Matsya-avatāra, incarnation of fish, and other yuga-avatāra, or incarnation for the millennium, and manvantara-avatāra, incarnation of Manus, all of them combine together, appear with the body of Kṛṣṇa.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is a complete whole. As such, all plenary expansions and incarnations do always live with Him. Therefore the conclusion is when Kṛṣṇa appeared, Lord Viṣṇu was also with Him. Actually, in the incarnation of Kṛṣṇa the business of killing the demons were done by the Viṣṇu portion of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa actually appears to demonstrate His Vṛndāvana pastimes to attract the fortunate conditioned souls, inviting them back to home, back to Godhead. The affairs of killing the demons was simultaneous activities only done by the Viṣṇu portion of Kṛṣṇa.

Next paragraph.

In the Bhagavad-gītā, Eighth Chapter, twentieth verse, there is a statement of the Lord's abode wherein it is stated that there is another eternal nature, spiritual sky, which is transcendental to this manifested and nonmanifested matter. The manifested world we can see so many stars and planetary systems—the sun, moon, etc. —but beyond this there is a nonmanifested portion, which is not approachable by anyone in this body. And beyond that nonmanifested matter there is spiritual kingdom. That kingdom is described in the Bhagavad-gītā as the supreme and eternal, never annihilated. This material nature is subjected to repeated creation and annihilation, but that part, the spiritual nature, remains as it is, eternally.

Next paragraph.

The supreme abode of the Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is also described in the Brahmā-saṁhitā as the abode of cintāmaṇi. That abode of Lord Kṛṣṇa known as Goloka Vṛndāvana is full of palaces made of touchstone. There the trees are called desire trees, and the cows are called surabhi, and the Lord is being served by hundreds and thousands of goddesses of fortune, He whose name is Govinda, the Primal Lord and the cause of all causes. There the Lord plays His flute, His eyes like lotus petals and the color of His body like a beautiful cloud, on His head a peacock feather. So attractive is He that He excels thousands of Cupids. Lord Kṛṣṇa gives only a little hint in the Gītā about His personal abode, which is the supermost planet in the spiritual kingdom. But in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, actually Kṛṣṇa appears with His all paraphernalia and demonstrates His activity in Vṛndāvana, and then at Mathurā and then at Dvārakā. The subject matter of this book will comprise all such activities, gradually.

Next paragraph.

The family in which Kṛṣṇa appeared is called the Yadu dynasty. This Yadu dynasty belongs to the family descending from Soma, the god in the moon planet. There are two different families, kṣatriya families of royal order: one descending from the king of the moon planet and the other descending from the king of the sun planet. So whenever the Supreme Personality of Godhead appears, generally, because He has to establish religious principles, or life of righteousness, generally He appears in the kṣatriya family. Kṣatriya family is supposed to be protector of the human race. That is the Vedic system. So the Supreme Personality of Godhead, when He appeared as Lord Rāmacandra, He appeared in the family descending from the sun-god, known as Raghu-vaṁśa. And when He appeared as Lord Kṛṣṇa, He did so in the family of Yadu-vaṁśa.

There is a long list of these kings of this Yadu-vaṁśa in the Ninth Canto, Twenty-fourth Chapter, and all of them were great, powerful kings. Kṛṣṇa's father's name was Vasudeva, descending from the Yadu dynasty. Actually, the Supreme Personality of Godhead does not belong to any dynasty of this material world, but the family in which the Supreme Personality of Godhead appears becomes famous, by His grace. The example is given just like sandalwood is produced in the states of Malaya. So sandalwood has its own qualification, but because accidentally such wood is mostly produced in the states of Malaya, sandalwood is known as "Malaya sandalwood." Similarly, Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, belongs to everyone, but as the sun rises from the eastern side, although there are so many sides, similarly, by His own choice the Lord appears in some family and that family becomes famous as sandalwood is called Malayan sandalwood.

As already explained above, that when Kṛṣṇa appears, all His plenary expansions also appears with Him. So Kṛṣṇa appeared along with Balarāma, who is known as His elder brother, but Balarāma is the origin of Saṅkarṣaṇa, of the quadruple expansion. Balarāma is also plenary expansion of Kṛṣṇa. In this book an attempt will be made how Kṛṣṇa appeared in the family of the Yadu dynasty and what was His transcendental characteristics. These things are very vividly described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, specifically Tenth Canto, and the basic principle of this book will be Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Tenth Canto.

Next paragraph.

The pastimes of the Lord are generally heard and relished by liberated souls. Those who are conditioned soul, they are interested to read stories and fiction of the material activities of some common man, but the similar stories and similar narrations are found in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and other Purāṇas, describing the transcendental activities of the Lord. But the conditioned soul, they prefer to study ordinary narrations, but they are less interested in the matter of studying the narrations of the pastimes of the Lord, Kṛṣṇa. But still, the description of the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa is so nice that they are relishable by all classes of men.

There are three classes of men in this world. One class of men is called liberated souls, and the other class of men is called persons trying to be liberated. And the third class of men is called the materialistic men. So either one is a liberated soul or one is trying to be liberated, or even one is a grossly materialistic man, for everyone the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa is…, is worth studying. So far the liberated souls are concerned, they have no more any interested any…, in any materialistic activities. The impersonalist philosophy that after liberation one becomes inactive, there is no more anything to be heard, that does not mean that a liberated person is actually inactive.

A living soul cannot be inactive, either in conditioned state or in liberated state. Just like a diseased person: A diseased person in diseased condition is also active, but his activities are all painful. Similarly, the same person, when he is freed from the diseased condition, he is active. But in the healthy condition his activities are completely different. They are not painful, but they are full of pleasure. Similarly, the impersonalists only seek to get free from the diseased conditional activities, but they have no information of the activities in healthy condition. So those who are actually liberated and in full knowledge, they take to the activities of Kṛṣṇa, or spiritual activities. So it is essential for the persons who are actually liberated to hear about the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. They relish it. That is the relishable subject matter in liberated condition. So far as persons who are trying to be liberated, they also, if they hear such narrations as Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, their path of liberation becomes very clear.

Bhagavad-gītā is the preliminary study of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. By studying this book, one becomes fully conscious about the position of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and when he is fixed up in the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, he understands the narrations of Kṛṣṇa described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Lord Caitanya has therefore advised us that those who are actually following the footprints of Lord Caitanya, their business is to propagate kṛṣṇa-kathā. Kṛṣṇa-kathā means narration about Kṛṣṇa.

So kṛṣṇa-kathā, there are two kṛṣṇa-kathās. The Sanskrit meaning of kṛṣṇa-kathā means narrations spoken by Kṛṣṇa and narrations about Kṛṣṇa. So Bhagavad-gītā is the narration of the philosophy, or the science, of God, spoken by Kṛṣṇa Himself. So that is also kṛṣṇa-kathā. And Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is narration about the activities and transcendental pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. So that is also kṛṣṇa-kathā. So this kṛṣṇa-kathās should be spread all over the world. That is the order of Lord Caitanya. Because the conditioned souls who are suffering under the pangs of material existence, if they take to kṛṣṇa-kathā, then their path of liberation will be open and clear.

The purpose of presenting this book, Kṛṣṇa, is primarily to induce people to understand Kṛṣṇa or kṛṣṇa-kathā, and thereby they become freed from the material bondage. And so far the most materialistic persons are concerned, for them also this kṛṣṇa-kathā, or narration about Kṛṣṇa, will be very much appealing, because Kṛṣṇa's pastimes with the gopīs are exactly like loving affairs of the young boys and girls within this material world. Actually, the sex feeling of the human society is original. It is not unnatural, because the same sex feeling is there in the original Personality of Godhead. The pleasure potency is Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Actually, the attraction of sex or loving affairs on the basis of sex feeling is the original feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And we, the conditioned souls, being the part and parcel of the Supreme, we have got such feelings, but they are in a perverted minute condition. Therefore this material world who are after this sex life, they also, when they hear about Kṛṣṇa's pastimes with the gopīs, they will relish another, transcendental pleasure, although it appears to be materialistic. The advantage will be that such materialistic person will gradually be elevated to the spiritual platform.

In the Bhāgavatam it is stated that the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa with the gopīs, if somebody hears from authorities and submissively, then the result will be that he will be promoted to the platform of transcendental loving service to the Lord, and his material disease and lust within the heart will be completely vanquished. Therefore, on the whole, this kṛṣṇa-kathā, or this book Kṛṣṇa, will be equally appealing for the liberated souls, for persons who are trying to be liberated, as well as to the grossed, conditioned materialistic persons.

So according to the statement of Mahārāja Parīkṣit, who heard about Kṛṣṇa from Śukadeva Gosvāmī, it is concluded that every human being, never mind in whatever condition of life he is staying, this book Kṛṣṇa or the subject matter of kṛṣṇa-kathā will be equally applicable. Surely, every one of them will appreciate to the highest magnitude.

Next…

Śrī Mahārāja Parīkṣit has also warned that persons who are simply engaged in killing animals and killing themselves, they may not be very much attracted with this book Kṛṣṇa or kṛṣṇa-kathā. In other words, ordinary persons who are following the regulative principles of scriptures, moral principles, generally they may be in any condition, as stated above, will be certainly attracted. But persons who are killing themselves… The exact word used in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is called paśughna; paśughna means killing the animals or killing oneself. Persons who are not self-realized, not interested in the matter of spiritual realization or self-realization, they are killing themselves; they are committing suicide. Because this human form of body is especially meant for this purpose—self-realization. But neglecting this important part of his activities, if one is simply wasting time like animal, he is also paśughna. And the other one who are actually killing animals, that means persons who are animal eaters. There are different kinds of animal eaters, even dog eaters. They are engaged in killing animals in so many ways: hunting, slaughterhouse. Such persons cannot be interested in kṛṣṇa-kathā.

Next paragraph.

King Parīkṣit was especially interested in hearing kṛṣṇa-kathā, because he knew that his forefathers, his grandfather Arjuna, was victorious in the great Battle of Kurukṣetra on account of Kṛṣṇa only. Clearly, even if we take this material world as a Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, that is, everyone is struggling hard for existence in this battlefield, and in every step there is danger, so according to Mahārāja Parīkṣit the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra was just like a vast ocean full of dangerous animals. His grandfather Arjuna had to fight with such great heroes as Bhīṣma, Droṇa, Karṇa and many others. They are not ordinary fighters; just like timiṅgala. Such personalities have been compared as timiṅgala fish. Timiṅgala fish is in the ocean which can swallow up the big whales very easily. Similarly, these great fighters in the Battle of Kurukṣetra could swallow many, many Arjunas very easily. But it was simply due to Kṛṣṇa's mercy that Arjuna was able to kill all of them. And the comparison is just like one can cross over the pit full water impressed by the hoof of a calf. There is no exertion in jumping over such a small pit. Similarly, Arjuna, by the grace of Kṛṣṇa, was able to jump over the ocean of Battle of Kurukṣetra very easily.

So Mahārāja Parīkṣit was very much appreciative of Kṛṣṇa's activities for so many reasons. Not only his grandfather was saved by Kṛṣṇa, but he was also saved by Kṛṣṇa. Because after finishing the Battle of Kurukṣetra, actually all the members of the Kuru dynasty, namely the sons and grandsons and grandchildren on the other side of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, and this side also, Pāṇḍavas and their sons and grandsons, they were fighting, but only excepting the five brothers, everyone died in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. And Mahārāja Parīkṣit was at that time within the embryo of his mother. His father, Abhimanyu, son of Arjuna, also died in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, and he was posthumous child. But when he was within the womb of his mother, there was brahmāstra released by Aśvatthāmā to kill this child in the embryo. And when Parīkṣit Mahārāja's mother, Uttarā, approached Kṛṣṇa, seeing the danger of abortion, Kṛṣṇa entered the womb of Uttarāand saved Mahārāja Parīkṣit. Mahārāja Parīkṣit's another name is Viṣṇurāta, because within the womb he was saved by Viṣṇu, Lord Viṣṇu Himself.

Next paragraph.

Thus everyone, in any condition of life, should be interested to hear about Kṛṣṇa and His activities, because He is the Supreme Absolute Truth, Personality of Godhead. He is all-pervading. He is living within everyone's heart, inside, and He is living outside as…, in His universal form. Still, as it is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, He appears as He is in the human society just to invite them to His transcendental abode—back to home, back to Godhead. So everyone should be interested to know about Kṛṣṇa, and this book is presented with this purpose, that people may know about Kṛṣṇa and be perfectly benefited in his human form of life.

Next paragraph.

In the Ninth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Śrī Baladeva is described as the son of Rohiṇī, another wife of Vasudeva. Vasudeva, the father of Kṛṣṇa, had sixteen wives. Out of them, Rohiṇī the mother of Baladeva, is one. But Baladeva is also described as the son of Devakī, so how He could be son of both Devakī and Rohiṇī? This was one of the questions of Mahārāja Parīkṣit to Śukadeva Gosvāmī, and that will be answered in due course.

Another question of Mahārāja Parīkṣit to Śukadeva Gosvāmī was why Śrī Kṛṣṇa, just after His appearance as the son of Vasudeva, was immediately carried to the house of Nanda Mahārāja in Vṛndāvana, Gokula. He also wanted to know the activities of Lord Kṛṣṇa while He was in Vṛndāvana, as well as while He was in Mathurā. Besides that, he was especially inquisitive to know why Kṛṣṇa killed His maternal uncle, Kaṁsa. Kaṁsa, being the brother of His mother, he was a very intimate superior to Kṛṣṇa, so how is it that He killed Kaṁsa? His question was also how many years Lord Kṛṣṇa remained in the human society, along with His activities like a human being. How many years He reigned over the kingdom of Dvārakā, and how many wives He accepted there? Kṣatriya kings are generally accustomed to accept more than one wife; therefore Parīkṣit Mahārāja inquired about Kṛṣṇa also, how many wives He accepted.

Actually, the subject matter of this book, Kṛṣṇa, is answering of the questions made by Mahārāja Parīkṣit to Śukadeva Gosvāmī. The example of Mahārāja Parīkṣit and Śukadeva Gosvāmī is unique. Mahārāja Parīkṣit is the right person to hear about the transcendental pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, and Śukadeva Gosvāmī is the right person to describe it. If fortunately such combination is made possible, then kṛṣṇa-kathā, or narration of Kṛṣṇa, becomes immediately spiritualized, and people benefit out of such conversation to the highest possible degree.

Next paragraph.

So Parīkṣit Mahārāja was listening to Śukadeva Gosvāmīat the point of his death. This narration of Kṛṣṇa was presented by Śukadeva Gosvāmī when Parīkṣit Mahārāja was prepared to give up his body and he was fasting on the bank of the Ganges. So in order to assure Śukadeva Gosvāmī that in the matter of hearing kṛṣṇa-kathā he won't feel tired, he expressed very frankly that "Hunger, thirst may give trouble to the ordinary persons or unto me, but the topics of Kṛṣṇa is so nice that one can continue to hear about Him without any feeling of tiredness, on account of being situated in transcendental position." In other words, it is understood that if one is fortunate enough to hear about kṛṣṇa-kathā very seriously, as Mahārāja Parīkṣit was hearing —namely, he was expecting death at any moment—so similarly, every one of us should be conscious of our death at any moment. This life is not assured at all. Any time we can die, it does not matter whether I am young man or old man. So before death takes place, we must be fully Kṛṣṇa conscious. That is...

Kṛṣṇa, tape number two. Kṛṣṇa, tape number two.

King Parīkṣit was hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from Śukadeva Gosvāmī at the point of his death, and when he expressed his untiring desire to hear about Kṛṣṇa, Śukadeva Gosvāmī was very much pleased. Śukadeva Gosvāmī was the greatest of all Bhāgavata reciters, and thus he began to speak about Kṛṣṇa and His pastimes, which are all destroyer of inauspiciosity in this age of Kali. Śukadeva Gosvāmī thanked the king Parīkṣit for his eagerness to hear about Kṛṣṇa, and he encouraged him by saying, "My dear King, your intelligence is very decisive, because you have so much eagerness to hear about the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa." He informed Mahārāja Parīkṣit that the hearing and chanting of the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa is so auspicious that such a process purifies three classes of men, namely one who recites about the transcendental topics of Kṛṣṇa, one who hears such topics and one who inquires about Him, just like the Ganges water which is emanated from the toe of Lord Viṣṇu purifies the three worlds, namely the upper, the middle and the lower planetary system.