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750224 - Lecture SB 01.01.03 - Caracas

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

750224SB-CARACAS - February 24, 1975 - 59:57 Minutes

(translated throughout by Hṛdayānanda)

Nitāi: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. (devotees repeat) (leads chanting of verse)

nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalaṁ
śuka-mukhād amṛta-drava-saṁyutam
pibata bhāgavataṁ rasam ālayam
muhur aho rasikā bhuvi bhāvukāḥ
(SB 1.1.3)


Hṛdayānanda: (leads recitation of translation in Spanish)

(break) (01:26)


nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalaṁ
śuka-mukhād amṛta-drava-saṁyutam
pibata bhāgavataṁ rasam ālayam
muhur aho rasikā bhuvi bhāvukāḥ
(SB 1.1.3)

Last night we discussed the verse dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavaḥ atra (SB 1.1.2), that "In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam the cheating type of religious system is rejected." We have already explained, dharma does not mean a kind of faith, blind faith. Dharma means the real characteristic. For example, just like water is liquid. This is the characteristic of water. That is dharma. Stone is solid. That is the characteristic of stone. That is dharma. So faith is different thing. Faith, I have got faith today in something; tomorrow I may have faith in some other thing. And actually we see, sometimes a person called a Hindu, he is changing his faith to Muslim or Christian, or a Christian is changing his faith to another way. So faith can be changed, but the characteristics cannot be changed. Just like water is liquid. The liquidity cannot be changed of water. So in Sanskrit language or in Vedic literature, dharma means the characteristics which cannot be changed. Now let us consider what is the characteristic of the living being. The characteristic is that every one of us is serving somebody superior.

Nobody—we are sitting in this hall—can say that "I am not serving anyone." If somebody is not serving anyone, then he must be serving his own senses. The whole material world is going on because the people are engaged in the service of the senses. For sense gratification, one is doing very, very risky job. So nobody can say that "I am not serving." That is the characteristic of the living being, and that is called dharma. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said that jīvera svarūpa haya nitya-kṛṣṇa-dāsa (CC Madhya 20.108-109), means we living entities, our real characteristic is to serve God. But we have given up the service of God; therefore we are now engaged in the service of the senses. And because we are constitutionally servant, therefore either we shall serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or the Absolute Truth, or, if we do not like to serve the Absolute Truth, then we must serve our senses. Therefore it is described, dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavaḥ atra, means "Cheating type of religion is completely rejected here in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam."

Here, this material world means everyone is trying to be master. But actually he is servant. Just like take, for example, in a family. The family head is the . . . actually, he is servant of his wife, of his children or of his even servants. He is servant, but he is thinking that "I am the master of this family." In your country especially, if the husband cannot satisfy the wife, immediately there is divorce. So although in the name one is husband of the wife, but actually he is servant of the wife. The head of the family, just to keep the family members satisfied, he must be ready to serve all of them. If he dissatisfies any one of the family members, even to the servant, the whole family is disturbed. Therefore, constitutionally we are all servant, but we are serving misguidedly the senses. Why I serve my wife? Because she gives me facility of sense gratification. Actually, I do not serve even my wife, but I will serve my own senses. In this way, if you make an analytical study of everyone, you will find that everyone is engaged to serve his senses.

Therefore my original characteristic is to serve, but I am misplacing my service to somewhere else. So therefore it is said in this verse, dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavaḥ atra. Kaitavaḥ means cheating. So everyone is serving his senses, but he is thinking that he is master. That is kaitavaḥ, means cheating, or māyā. The conclusion is that as we are constitutionally servant, we must remain a servant, not try falsely to become master. But by experience, we see that by giving service to so many things, nobody is satisfied, neither I am satisfied. For example, again let us go to the family life. A man has served the family with heart and soul throughout the whole life, and when he is old man, if he asks permission from his wife, "My dear wife, now I have served so much. Let me take sannyāsa now," the wife will never give permission. She will say, "What you have done? I have got to do so many things. Your this son is not yet settled up; this daughter is not yet married. How you can take sannyāsa? So you cannot do." So actually, he is the servant of the wife, but he is thinking, "I am master of the family."

This is called māyā. And any religious system on the platform of this false understanding is also cheating. Therefore it is said, dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavaḥ atra. Kaitavaḥ means cheating, which is not dharma, which is not the characteristic. The characteristic is that I am eternally servant of God. So instead of serving God, if I serve the dog, that is called cheating religion. Nobody is meant for serving a dog, but because I am servant, if I haven't got sufficient engagement as servant of God, then I keep a dog to serve him. So the conclusion is that constitutionally I am servant, servant of God, but instead of giving service to God, I am now engaged in the service of the dog. So on the standard of this so-called service, the Bhāgavata-dharma is not discussed, means the false service.

Now, how it is concluded? Therefore the next verse says, nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalam: "This real service is enunciated here as the essence of all Vedic knowledge." Nigama means the Vedas, and it is called kalpa-taru. Kalpa-taru means desire tree. Vedic knowledge is so perfect that you can receive from the Vedas all different types of knowledge. You can receive knowledge from the Vedas, all types of knowledge, means that social, political and scientific, and there are so many departments of knowledge, even engineering, medical science. The medical science is called Āyur-veda. Āyur-veda means the Vedic knowledge about the duration of life. Similarly, there is Dhanur-veda, Dhanur-veda, military science. There are so many departments. Just like this aeroplane. That is also mentioned in the Vedas. There are not only aeroplanes; there are three other sciences. It is called kapota-vāhī. Kapota-vāhī means . . . the ka means the sky, and pota means ship. So as there is science how to manufacture the airship, there is there. There is another science of the same type, it is called kapota-vāhī. Kapota means pigeons. You can train up pigeons, and they will carry you from one place to another. There is another science which is called ākāśa-patana. Ākāśa-patana means in the ākāśa, in the sky, you can fly with any vehicle. There are mantras—suppose I am sitting on this throne—by chanting those mantras this seat will be flying in the sky. We read from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that Kapiladeva . . .? No, Kardama Muni, father of Kapiladeva, he made an aeroplane or a exactly a township, with big, big buildings, with lake, garden and so many people, that was flying in the sky and visited all the planets. Therefore it is said, nigama-kalpa-taru. Kalpa-taru means desire tree.

So Vedas are compared with the desire tree. Desire tree means just like here in this material world you go to the mango tree, you get mangoes. But you cannot get samosā. (laughter) But desire trees there are. In the spiritual planets there are desire tree. Whatever you want, you can get from that tree. If you go to any tree, and whatever you like, you get it from it. So that is called kalpa-taru. So these Vedas are compared with the kalpa-taru because you can derive any kind of knowledge from Vedic literature. So Veda means knowledge. The word Veda means knowledge. So Vedic literature means . . . you can take it, any kind of knowledge, it can be called Vedas. Vetti veda vido jñāne vinte vid vicāraṇe. So in Sanskrit grammar the vid-dhātu. From vid-dhātu . . . means knowing. And from vid-dhātu the word Veda has come. Now, the author says that "This Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the essence of Vedic knowledge." Vedic knowledge is compared with the tree, and the tree has got fruit. So this Bhāgavatam is the fruit of the Vedic tree. That means you keep a tree for some getting fruit. If there is no fruit, that is meant for fuel. It is useless tree.

So here it is said, nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalam (SB 1.1.3), means "The Vedic literature is just like the desire tree, and the Bhāgavatam is the ripened fruit." And galitaṁ phalam means a fruit ripened in the tree, it is very, very delicious. Generally, for business purpose, fruits or unripe fruits are taken from the tree, and it is artificially kept to ripe. That fruit means the unripe fruit taken from the tree and it is ripened artificially—that is not so tasteful. And if the fruit is ripened in the tree fully, then you taste it—it is very delicious. Another thing is that if any fruit in the tree, when it is ripened, it is tasted by the parrot, touched by the beak of the parrot, it becomes more delicious.

So here it is said that this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is not only the ripened fruit of the Vedic tree, but it is tasted by Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Śukadeva Gosvāmī is the realized person. He is liberated, realized person. Therefore, to hear Bhāgavatam from him is immediately delicious and effective, śuka-mukhād amṛta-drava-saṁyutam. It is because it is explained by Śukadeva Gosvāmī, not a professional, third-class man, but Śukadeva Gosvāmī. It is the injunction of Sanātana Gosvāmī that one should hear Vedic literature—Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā—from the realized person. Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī says, avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇaṁ pūtaṁ hari-kathāmṛtam, śravaṇaṁ naiva kartavyam (Padma Purāṇa). Means "If hari-kathāmṛtam," means the Bhāgavata, Bhagavad-gītā . . . this is hari-kathāmṛtam, the nectarean about the activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore it is called hari-kathāmṛtam. "So one should not hear hari-kathāmṛtam from a non-realized avaiṣṇava." Vaiṣṇava means visnu-asya devatā, one who worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu. And Viṣṇu is the expansion of Kṛṣṇa.

It is said in the Vedic literature,

rāmādi-mūrtiṣu kalā-niyamena tiṣṭhan
nānāvatāram akarod bhuvaneṣu kintu
kṛṣṇaḥ svayaṁ samabhavat paramaḥ pumān yo
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
(Bs. 5.39)

Means that Lord Kṛṣṇa has plenary expansions in many, many forms, beginning with rāmādi—Lord Rāmacandra and Paraśurāma and Balarāma. There are three Rāmas, and matsya-avatāra, kūrma-avatāra, vāmana-avatāra, kalki-avatāra, many. Some of them are mentioned in the Bhāgavatam. So the original person is Kṛṣṇa: kṛṣṇaḥ svayaṁ samabhavat paramaḥ pumān yo. The idea of praising Śukadeva Gosvāmī means he is not a professional Bhāgavata reader; he is realized soul. Therefore hearing of Bhāgavata from Śukadeva Gosvāmī is recommended—or the representative of Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Representative means one who is strictly following the principle adopted by Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Just like Śukadeva Gosvāmī first of all spoke Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam before Mahārāja Parīkṣit, and in that meeting, Sūta Gosvāmī was present. So here you will find in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, sūta uvāca - means Sūta Gosvāmī, after hearing from Śukadeva Gosvāmī, he repeated the same Bhāgavata recitation in the Naimiṣāraṇya. There was a big meeting about 2,500 years ago or more than that at Naimiṣāraṇya. That Naimiṣāraṇya is still there in India; it is now changed by the name Nimsar. It is situated about hundred miles off from Lucknow. So still there are many hermitages in Naimiṣāraṇya. People go there to visit as it is a place of pilgrimage. So this Bhāgavatam was discussed there at Naimiṣāraṇya.

So here it is recommended that "Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the essence of all Vedic literature, and it was first spoken by Śukadeva Gosvāmī." The Vedic literature is full of knowledge. That I have described. And the essence of Vedic literature is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Among the learned circles in India it is said, vidyā bhāgavatāvadhiḥ, means "Your education should be up to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam." Then you will have complete education. Then we shall understand what is our constitutional position and what is our real characteristic. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam the word mukti, or liberation, is stated. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam defines mukti as this: muktir hitvā anyathā rūpaṁ sva-rūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ (SB 2.10.6), means mukti means giving up, giving up our unreal engagement and to be situated in the real, original characteristic engagement. For our original characteristic, that we are eternal servant of God, Kṛṣṇa, if we are situated in that platform or eternal platform, serving Kṛṣṇa, that is mukti. Mukti means give up the false conception of life and take the real conception of life. That is mukti.

So Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā gives mukti in these words: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). Sarva-dharmān means all kinds of these bogus religious system. You . . . sarva-dharmān parityajya. Otherwise why He is advising parityajya, "Give it up."? Because it is bogus; it is cheating. The real dharma is mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: "Only surrender unto Me." Mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja. Yes. This is religion. Kṛṣṇa in the beginning, in the Fourth Chapter, He says,

yadā yadā hi dharmasya
glānir bhavati bhārata
abhyutthānam adharmasya
tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham
(BG 4.7)
paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ
vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām
sambhavāmi yuge yuge
(BG 4.8)

These are the statement. Means, "Whenever there is mismanagement of the word dharma, or pure characteristic, at that time I appear." So Kṛṣṇa appeared for reestablishing the real principles of dharma, or religion. So He did not come or did not appear for establishing the so-called religion system—Hindu religion and Muslim religion or Christian religion or this religion, that . . . not that type. Real religion. Therefore He says, sarva-dharmān parityajya (BG 18.66): "Give up all these. Simply surrender unto Me."

So any religious system which is teaching to divert the attention of the follower to so many things, that is cheating religion. Just like in India, there is a class of men, they are called Māyāvādīs. They recommend that "You worship any demigod. The result is the same." This is false religion. Kṛṣṇa said that mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: "Only surrender unto Me." Then one may ask that "In the Vedas there are . . . so many demigods' worship is recommended. Is that false?" That is not false. Because it is mentioned in the Vedas, you cannot say it is false. But they are meant for all material benefit. Material benefit means it is mentioned that "If you want to be very educated, you worship this demigod," that "If you want a beautiful wife, then you worship this demigod. If you want to be very wealthy, then you worship this demigod." In this way there are different items, but these things are all material things. So that is mentioned in the Bhagavad . . . kāṅkṣantaḥ karmaṇāṁ siddhiṁ yajanta iha devatāḥ (BG 4.12): "Those who are desirous of getting success in this material life, for them the different demigod worship is recommended."

Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said also, kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānā yajante anya-devatāḥ (BG 7.20), means that "Those who are engaged in worshiping other demigods, their sense is lost by lusty desires." Suppose if I want wealth or beautiful wife or very good position or good education, what are these? These are all temporary things so long this body is there. But one should be interested for eternal things, because every one of us is eternal. So if we want a beautiful wife or wealth, that is simply for this body only. In next body our desires should be different. Suppose next body I get an animal body, then I will require a wife in a different type. Therefore in Bhagavad-gītā it is said, antavat tu phalaṁ teṣāṁ tad bhavaty alpa-medhasām (BG 7.23). The material desirous persons, they get some benefit for this short duration of life, but that will be ended. That will not continue. With the end of the body, everything will be finished. Therefore these desires, that "Let me have wealth. Let me have nice wife. Let me have nice material education and so on, so on," these are not permanent. It is temporary, antavat. Antavat tu phalaṁ teṣām. So a real learned person who is interested in eternal life, they are not interested with all these temporary things. Even if you go to the heavenly planet—because these things are promised in the Vedic literature—that is also temporary.

So mukti means to give up all these material desires and be situated in your original constitutional position, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is liberation. Liberation does not mean that when you get liberation—you have got now two hands—you will have four hands, like that. No. Liberation means change of consciousness. Now we are conscious of material enjoyment: "Give me nice wife. Give me nice wealth. Give me nice education. Give me this. Give me this," so many. There is no end. So therefore Bhāgavata says, hitvā anyathā rūpam: "These are all meant, the necessities of the body." Sva-rūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ: "You be situated in your original consciousness, namely Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is mukti, liberation." Therefore the definition of bhakti means anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam, no other material desires; no desires, material . . . desire means we desire now material desire.

ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-
śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā
(Brs. 1.1.11)

This is bhakti-mārga, means simply to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. That is bhakti-mārga—no other desire, no other motive. So that is recommended by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He says,

na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ
kavitāṁ vā jagadīśa kāmaye
mama janmani janmanīśvare
bhavatād bhaktir ahaitukī tvayi
(CC Antya 20.29, Śikṣāṣṭaka 4)

This is the instruction of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. We are following Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and therefore His instruction should be followed. What is it? Na dhanam: "I don't want any wealth, material wealth," na dhanam. Na janam: "I don't want any so-called followers." Then, na sundarīṁ kavitām: "Neither I want a very beautiful wife." "Then what do You want? These are the material things everyone wants." No, mama janmani janmanīśvare bhavatād bhaktiḥ: "Even I don't want liberation." Liberation means there is no more janma. But He said, janmani janmani: "Life after life, I want to be engaged in Your devotional service." This is real characteristic, and that should be followed.

So this is the essence of Vedic knowledge. The essence of Vedic knowledge is Vedānta. Vedānta. There are four Vedas and many branches, eighteen Purāṇas and then 108 Upaniṣad. All combined together, the essence is taken as the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. First of all, Vyāsadeva . . . Vyāsadeva is the author of all these literatures. Not author; he has written. Formerly there was no need of writing because people were very intelligent: as soon as one hears from the spiritual master, he remembers. That was the position five thousand years ago, not now. Now the memory is not sharp. Therefore he left all this Vedic literature, Vedic tradition, into writing. So Vedānta-sūtra is the cream of all Vedic literature, and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the further explanation of this Vedānta-sūtra. So because Vyāsadeva knew that later on this Vedānta-sūtra will be misinterpreted by so many rascals, therefore he left the comment on the Vedānta-sūtra in the form of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Therefore, if we hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from Śukadeva Gosvāmī and his disciplic succession, then we shall enjoy life even after liberation. Rasam ālayam. Ālayam. Ālayam means liberation, means this material life completely finished. Spiritual life. In the spiritual life also you will enjoy Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. But for whom it is meant? That is said here, muhur aho rasikā bhuvi bhāvukāḥ: those who are very thoughtful and rasika, humorous, transcendentally humored, they can understand Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and enjoy it.

That's all right. Now any question? (break)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) What is the position of a person who takes to devotional service with the idea of liberation?

Prabhupāda: That is not pure bhakti. You can take devotional service with any idea; that will be fulfilled. But anyone who wants liberation by devotional service, he is not a pure devotee. That is called jñāna-miśra-bhakti, means bhakti adulterated with jñāna. Real bhakti, as I have explained, anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam (Brs. 1.1.11), means no other desire than to serve Kṛṣṇa. That is pure bhakti. Jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam (CC Madhya 19.167) means the karmīs, they want promotion in the heavenly planets, and the jñānīs, they want to become one with the Supreme or liberation. So it should be uncovered by the result of jñāna and karma and fully devoid of any other desire. That is bhakti. So those who are bhaktas and desiring after liberation, they are not pure bhakta. Because why a devotee shall aspire after liberation? As soon as a bhakta, he is already liberated. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā,

māṁ ca yo 'vyabhicāreṇa
bhakti-yogena yah sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān
brahma-bhūyāya kalpate
(BG 14.26)

"He, anyone who is engaged in pure devotional service, he is transcendental to all these three qualities of the material world, and he is situated in the Brahman platform." Liberation means to be situated on the Brahman platform. So for a bhakta the liberation is already there. Śrīla Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura has said, muktiḥ mukulitāñjali sevate asmān: "We are devotees, so mukti, liberation, is standing on my door with folded hands, 'What can I do for you?' " So why a pure bhakta should desire after liberation? For a pure bhakta, the liberation is standing on the door as maidservant. So a devotee is not aspirous of liberation. (break)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) Is it possible to achieve liberation with other religious . . .

Prabhupāda: There is no other religion except Kṛṣṇa consciousness. All cheating religion. That is the . . . we discussed. Dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavaḥ: "All cheating type of religion is rejected, kicked out." (break)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) . . . in other words, until you have arrived here, there was no possibility of liberation for humanity?

Prabhupāda: That you can judge. (laughter) If I say, it will be self-advertisement. But you are intelligent. You can judge. But I have not brought something invented by me. I have brought the Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā. That's all. That's all.

Guest: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) In other words, people, until now, people did not have the chance to liberate themselves.

Prabhupāda: No, why not liberation? But the thing is they are not trained up. Just like take for example the Christians. They call themself Christians; they violate all the principles of Christianity. Just like in the Christian principle is "Thou shall not kill," and they are very expert in killing. So where is Christian religion? And who is Christian?

Guest: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) How can the people in general recognize when a devotee is pure?

Prabhupāda: That is, I have already described. He has no material desire except to serve Kṛṣṇa, or God. That is devotee. That is pure devotee.

So, that's all right? Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotees: Jaya! (offer obeisances) (kīrtana) (break) (end)