Collaborate with us to invoke and fully manifest Srila Prabhupada's Vani-presence.
720521 - Lecture - Los Angeles
(Sunday feast lecture)
Prabhupāda: (aside:) You'll play mṛdaṅga, I'll sing. (sings Jaya Rādhā-Mādhava) (prema-dhvanī) Thank you very much.
Devotees: All glories to Śrī Guru and Gauranga. (devotees offer obeisances)
Prabhupāda: So this is the true picture of God: jaya rādhā-mādhava. Jaya rādhā-mādhava kuñja-vihārī. He is simply enjoying, Rādhā-Mādhava. You have seen the picture, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. So eternally engaged in enjoyment, in the association of the gopīs. Gopī-jana-vallabha. And His only business is how to please the gopīs.
Just like here, in this material world, the young boy who loves a young girl, he tries to please the girl always. This is natural, because originally, the same thing is there in God. It is a pleasure. It is a pleasure for the male to please the female counterpart. That is originally created. Rādhā-kṛṣṇa-praṇaya-vikṛtir ahlādinī-śaktiḥ. These Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa love affairs is the originally there. Rādhārāṇī, the female counterpart, is the manifestation of ahlādinī-śakti, pleasure potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He has got many potencies. Parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.8, CC Madhya 13.65, purport).
God, God means with His potencies. Just like ordinarily, we are part and parcel of God, a minute particle; still, we have got so many potencies. Every man, every living entity... Not only man, the animals also, they have got various potencies, creative energy. So you just imagine how much creative energies and potencies are there in God.
This is the understanding. If I am a little portion, part and parcel of God, I have got so much potencies... "I" means the human being. Or even animal. There are many animals, they have got... Just like a bird. He can fly in the sky without any mechanical arrangement. He has got the potency. You cannot. If you want to fly in the sky, then you have to make some machine. But a small insect, he is flying very freely, without any mechanical... You cannot make such a small machine like an insect. That is not.
But God has given him potency, although he's a very insignificant small ant, insect, he can very freely fly. You cannot live within the water. If you want to live within the water, you have to make so many arrangements, submarine and this and that, so many things. But a small fish, he doesn't care even the ocean, playing. A small fish. When I was walking on the beach of Hawai...
(aside:) What is that animal with many le...?
Prabhupāda: Crab. So, when we were walking, they were flying towards the sea. They have got instinct, or reason, that "Somebody's coming. He may kill me. So let me have shelter of the Pacific Ocean." The crab is not going this side, to the forest, because he knows certain that "The forest cannot give me shelter; the Pacific Ocean can give me shelter."
This is the psychology. I never seen the crab is going this side, forest side. It is going to the Pacific Ocean side. And, so far I am concerned, as soon as the waves are coming, I am going away from the ocean, although I am a human being. I cannot take shelter of the Pacific Ocean, because I have not the potency.
So in this way you have to study. We are samples of God, part and parcel. Just like you take little sample from the Pacific Ocean, a drop of water. You can taste it, and it is salty, you can understand the whole water is salty. Similarly, living entities, they are sample of God, small, very small. You can create one sputnik or jet plane, and you take so much credit, "Oh, I am flying in the sky." But why don't you give the credit to God, who is plying..., flying millions of sputniks in the sky?
Not small; with so many mountains, seas, houses, trees, plants, and so many. You can see so many—the sun planet, the moon planet and others, so many other pla... Koṭiṣu vasudhādi vibhūti-bhinnam. In each and universe, every universe, there are millions of planets. Koṭiṣu, vasudhādi. Vasudha means planet.
- yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi-
- koṭiṣv aśeṣa-vasudhādi vibhūti-bhinnam
- tad brahma niṣkalam anantam aśeṣa-bhūtaṁ
- govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
- (Bs. 5.40)
The brahma-jyotir, yasya prabhā, is the bodily effulgence of God, Kṛṣṇa, Govinda. So on that effulgence, jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi, there are innumerable universes. It is not very difficult to understand. Just like you see in the sunshine innumerable planets are floating. So what is the difficulty to understand that there is a shining effulgence from the body of God, Kṛṣṇa, and in that shining effulgence, innumerable universes are floating? What is the difficulty? There is no difficulty. It is most scientific proposal.
So these are the potencies of God. Not that I can show some magic and immediately I become God. Just see the magic, real magic of God. Don't accept cheap God. God must show godly magic. Just like we are showing little magic, floating some airplane or sputnik or jet in the sky. We are taking so much credit—so much credit that scientists are declaring, "There is no God. I am God, because I have made this airplane." And what is your airplane in comparison to these planets? So intelligent person, they will give more credit to God than to these scientists or philosophers. Because he can see the potencies, how much potency is there.
So He has many potencies. In the Vedic literature we can understand, parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.8, CC Madhya 13.65, purport). In the Vedas, Upaniṣad: na tasya kāryaṁ karaṇaṁ ca vidyate (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.8). God has nothing to do, personally. Na tasya kāryaṁ karaṇaṁ ca vidyate. Na tat-samas cābhyadhikaś ca dṛśyate. Nobody is found equal to Him or greater than Him. Nobody. That is God. If somebody is competitor, one God competitor, another God competitor...
Just like nowadays it has become a fashion to become God, and there are competition between one "God" and another. But actually, nobody can compete with God. That is God. Na tasya sama. Sama means equal; adhikasya, or greater. That means everyone subordinate. Everyone subordinate. Everyone is lower than God. He may be very powerful, but nobody can be equal or greater than God. That is the Vedic information.
Na tasya sama adikasya dṛśyate. We don't find... They are also, great saintly persons, they're researching that who is the greatest personality. Greatest personality. So by research work by great saintly person, especially by Lord Brahmā... He is the first creature within this universe. So he has found by his spiritual advancement and research work that Kṛṣṇa is the greatest. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ (Bs. 5.1).
He gives his decision: "The greatest personality is Kṛṣṇa." Just like we are sitting, so many ladies and gentlemen here, we can analyze who is the greatest here. So, say, for arguing, you can accept that "You are the greatest." But I am not the greatest. I have got my spiritual master. He has got his spiritual master. He has got a spiritual master. In this way, we go up to Brahmā. Brahmā is the original spiritual master within this universe, who gave us the Vedic knowledge. He's therefore called forefather, er, grandfather, pitāmaha. But he's also not independent.
In the Vedānta-sūtra or Bhāgavata it is said that Brahmā, he's the first creature. There was no other, any other living entity when he was created first. So if I say that he also got knowledge from others, then the argument may be, "Who is the next person to give him knowledge?" So therefore Bhāgavata says, "No. He received knowledge from Kṛṣṇa." How? "From the heart." Tene brahma hṛdā. Hṛdā. Because God, Kṛṣṇa, is sitting in everyone's heart—your heart, my heart, everyone. And He can give you instruction. His name is therefore caitya-guru. Caitya-guru means who gives conscience and knowledge from within.
In the Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa says, sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo (BG 15.15): "In everyone's heart I am sitting." Hṛdi, "within the heart"; sanniviṣṭo, "I am sitting there." Sarvasya: not only you and me; even animals insects, birds, beasts, Brahmā, everyone. Sarvasya, all living creatures. So sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo mattaḥ: "from Me"; smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca, "remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness." Forgetfulness also. If you want to forget God, God will give you intelligence that you can forget God forever. He's so kind. Whatever you want, He will give you intelligence, "Do like this."
So there are two things. There are two living entities. One is trying to forget God, and another is trying to remember God. That's all. There are two kinds of people, or men. Men, not the animals. Animals cannot understand what is God. It is the business of human being. So if you want to know God sincerely, seriously, then God is within yourself. He'll give you intelligence how you can know Him.
But if you want to forget God, challenge God, "There is no God. God is dead," then He'll give you such intelligence that you'll always think that there is no God, that God is dead, like that. He'll give some arguments. There are so many atheists, they are also putting their arguments. So wherefrom the argument comes? It comes from God, that "You take this argument and forget God forever." Mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca, vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam (BG 15.15).
Vedic knowledge means to understand God. That's all. One who has understood God, he has studied all Vedas. Finished. And one who has not understood God, simply studying this literature, that literature, that scripture, then he's simply wasting his time. That's all. Because ultimate knowledge is God. If one cannot understand what is God after so much education, then Bhāgavata says, śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8): "It is simply labor, labor, waste of time." Simply waste of time. There is no education. Education, knowledge, means ultimately to understand, to know what is God. Actually; not fictitiously, vaguely.
So there are many classes of men who have no understanding of God. Some of them are saying, "God is dead," or "God is impersonal," "There is no God," "Zero," "I am God," "You are God," so many things. All these people do not know what is God; therefore there are different theories. Therefore somehow or other if you can understand God, then your life is successful. Somehow or other. Because this human life is especially meant for understanding God. Athāto brahma jijñāsā, the Vedānta-sūtra. You have heard the name of Vedānta. Vedānta means... Veda means knowledge, and anta means ultimate. The ultimate knowledge. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam (BG 15.15): "The ultimate purpose of reading Vedas is to know Me."
So who can read Vedānta philosophy? Very learned scholar he must be. At least, he must be very learned scholar in Sanskrit. He must have sufficient brain substance to understand what are these Vedānta-sūtras. Because everything is there in a small aphorism. Just like the first aphorism of Vedānta-sūtra is athāto brahma jijñāsā. In three words: atha, ataḥ, brahma, jijñāsā. Four words. So it contains volumes of philosophy.
Then next aphorism is janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). Janma, ādi, asya, yataḥ. "From whom," asya, viśvasya, "of this universe, cosmic manifestation," from where this cosmic manifestation has come, and where it rests, and where it will dissolve. Janmādy asya yataḥ. In this way, Vedānta-sūtra means..., gives you the whole purpose of Veda, knowledge, in small code words.
So to understand these code words, one must have very big brain or very highly standard educational qualification. Then... All the ācāryas, those who are controlling Vedic civilization, like Śaṅkarācārya, Madhvācārya, Rāmānujācārya, they have all written their commentaries on the Vedānta-sūtra. Because unless one explains Vedānta-sūtra, he'll not be accepted as an authorized ācārya. He's not... Not that anyone can become ācārya. He must give explanation of the Vedānta-sūtra, prasthāna-traya. There is system.
So ultimately, Vedānta-sūtra, as Kṛṣṇa says, vedaiś ca sarvaiḥ. Sarvaiḥ means including Vedānta-sūtra. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam (BG 15.15): "I am to be understood." Why? Vedānta-kṛt vedānta-vit ca aham. Vedānta-kṛt, "I am the compiler of Vedānta-sūtra." The Vedānta-sūtra was compiled by Vyāsadeva. He is incarnation of Kṛṣṇa, Dvaipāyana Vyāsa.
So therefore, it is compiled by His incarnation, so it is compiled by Him. Because His incarnation, He is the same. So vedanta-kṛt means Veda..., compiler of the Vedānta, and the compiler of the compiler of the Vedānta is vedanta-vit, one who knows Vedānta. Because I have written some book, so I know what is the purpose of writing my book. You cannot know. My purpose you cannot know.
There is a small instructive story in this—not story; fact—in this connection. In Calcutta there was a great dramatist. He was very well known, government officer. He wrote one book, Shah Jahan. That is very famous book for theatrical play. So in that Shah Jahan, means the king-emperor Shah Jahan, the... Practically, the name which is given on the book, the hero title, he's the hero. So one of the friends of Mr. D. L. Ray, he inquired from Mr. Ray that "In your book Shah Jahan, the actual hero is Aurangzeb. Why you have given the title Shah Jahan?" He could not understand it.
So I'm just trying to explain that the purpose of the book must be known to the author, not others. So the author replied, "My dear friend, the actual hero is Shah Jahan, not Aurangzeb." Although the Shah Jahan book is full of activities of Aurangzeb, the fact is that Shah Jahan was the emperor. He had many..., four, five sons, and his wife died, Mumtaz, at an early age. You have seen, those who have gone to India, you have seen the Taj Mahal building. That building was constructed in the memory of that Mumtaz by Shah Jahan. He spent all his money for constructing that building. So it is one of the seven wonders of the world.
So that Shah Jahan lost his wife at an early age. She (he) was very fond of his wife. And because, affectionate father, he did not very much chastise his sons, and he spent all his money in constructing the memory of his wife, so when the sons grew up, the third son, Aurangzeb, came out very crooked. And he made a plan how to usurp the empire. He killed his elder brother and other brothers. He arrested his father, Shah Jahan.
So this is the book subject matter, Shah Jahan. So whole activities. But the author says that "Aurangzeb is not the hero. Hero is Shah Jahan." Then he explained why. "Now, because Shah Jahan was living, sitting in the Agra Fort as a prisoner, and all the reactions of Aurangzeb's activities—killing of his other sons, usurping the empire—that was beating on his heart; therefore he was suffering. He is the hero."
So this is an example. The author of a book knows very well what is the purpose of that book. That is my statement. Similarly, this Vedānta-sūtra was compiled by Vyāsadeva, or Kṛṣṇa's incarnation, or Kṛṣṇa Himself. So He knows what is Vedānta-sūtra. So if you want to understand Vedānta-sūtra, then you must understand Kṛṣṇa. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam (BG 15.15). Kṛṣṇa says also that by studying all the Vedic literature, one has to understand Kṛṣṇa. And He also confirms...
And Vyāsadeva explains Vedānta-sūtra in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Because He knew that "Vedānta-sūtra, being authoritative version of Vedic literature, so many rascals will comment in different way. Therefore I must leave..." That was also done under the instruction of Nārada. He wrote personally a commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra. That is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Bhāṣyāyāṁ brahma-sūtrānāṁ vedārtha paribṛṁhitam. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the right commentary by the author Himself. And the vedārtha paribhṛmhitam, the purpose of Vedas, the scheme of Vedic literature, is explained in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
So the human life... Athāto brahma jijñāsā means, the Vedānta-sūtra says, that "This life, this human life, is meant for understanding God." Brahmā-jijñāsā. At least, not understanding, at least inquiry, jijñāsā. Jijñāsā means inquiry. So where the inquiry should be made? If I want to inquire about God, shall I go to the store-keeper or drug shop or a motor shop? No. Tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). If you want to know the transcendental science, then you must find out a guru. That is injunction.
Jijñāsuḥ śreyaḥ uttamam. Guruṁ prapadyeta. Tasmād prapadyeta guruṁ jijñāsuḥ śreyaḥ uttamam. If you are actually inquisitive to understand higher science, uttamam... Uttama means higher. These are not higher science, how to earn some money. Earn some money, and eat something and sleep, and have some sex life and die—this is not higher science. This is not higher science. Higher science is brahma-jijñāsā, to inquire about Brahman. That is higher science.
This science, earning money and fulfilling the hungry belly, this science the birds and beast also know how to do it. It does not require much education. There is no scientific education how to enjoy sex life. Everyone knows how to do it. Similarly, there is no need of scientific education how to eat or how to find out your food. The birds and beast, they are also finding out, and are they also eating. So these are not higher sciences.
The higher science is to inquire athāto brahma jijñāsā, to inquire about God, the Supreme. And that can be done by the human being, not by others—not the cats and dogs. So if we do not give education of this higher science to the human society, if we keep them dumb about this, or if we make secular state, prohibitive injunction to understand God, then it is an animal society. It is an animal society.
So such things happen sometimes. So there is a narration of King Vena. The King Vena happened to be a atheist king. So because that... The reason is given that his mother was the daughter of an atheist king. Narānāṁ matur lakṣānām. It is a scientific fact that a son inherits the quality of the mother, and a daughter inherits the quality of father. So the King Vena's mother inherited the quality of her father, and the Vena, King Vena, inherited the quality of grandfather, or mother. So he was atheist king, atheistic. When he become king... He was very powerful, strong, but atheist. So when he became king, because he was very powerful, he declared by drum-beating... What is that?
- na yaṣṭavyaṁ na dātavyaṁ
- na hotavyaṁ dvijāḥ kvacit
- iti nyavārayad dharmaṁ
- bherī-ghoṣeṇa sarvaśaḥ
- (SB 4.14.6)
Bherī-ghoṣeṇa means by sound of bugle. Formerly, when there was some declaration by the king, by the government, one should go in the marketplace and, the government men, and take a drum and one bugle, and they will declare, "This is the law from this day." That's all. No more gazette. So this is the old system. Somewhere it's still existing.
So the Vena king declared that "These are all nonsense." What is this? Na yaṣṭavyam: "No more worship of God. No more sacrifice." Na dātavyam: "No more charity. Stop all this." Na dātavyaṁ na hotavyam: "No more offering oblation to the fire, sacrifice." Dvijāḥ kvacit iti. This business was meant for the brāhmaṇas; therefore dvija, he's restricting the brāhmaṇas that "Don't do all this nonsense anymore." Dvijāḥ kvacit. Iti nyavārayad dharmam: "In this way he stopped all religious activities." Bherī-ghoṣeṇa sarvaśaḥ.
So formerly, the king was controlled by saintly person, by priestly order. They would give the king advice. The Vedic society is divided into four classes of men. It is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13): according to quality and work, there are four divisions of men: the brāhmaṇa, the intelligent class of men; the kṣatriyas, the administrative class of men, the martial class of men; and the vaiśyas, the productive class of men; and the śūdras, the worker class of men. That is still existing in a different name, but the difficulty is, the classification is not made according to quality and work. That was the actual position of classification.
Nowadays, a śūdra is on the government. A person who is a nonsense number one, he has no knowledge, he is on the head of the government. The things have been topsy-turvied. A person on religious category, he's advocating something—oh, it is not to be uttered. Homosex. You see? He's advocating homosex. Just see. These has been topsy-turvied. The four classes of men are there, still, but the third-class, fourth-class man is taking the place of first class. And the first-class man is kicked out, "Go out. Don't talk of God." This is the position at the present moment. The classes are there. That is natural.
There must be some first-class men, there must be some second-class men, there must be some third-class men, there must be some fourth-class men. But the difficulty is that the fourth-class man is taking the position of first-class man, and the first-class man is being kicked out. Therefore there are so many problems in the society. Guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ. First-class man must be acting first class. But he's acting as last class, but he is posed in first class. Things have been topsy-turvied.
So it is the duty of the government to find out the first-class man and employ him for first-class business, first-class activities. And what is that first-class activities? The first-class activity is athāto brahma jijñāsā. That is first-class activity. Otherwise, it is fourth-class activity. If the human society is not divided into right order, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13)...
And it is the duty of the government to see that the first-class man is employed in first-class activities, the second-class man is engaged in second-class activities. Then the government will be nice. Now here, the Vena Mahārāja, he's on the head of the administration, royal king. Now he is advising, "Reject religion. No more charity, no more sacrifice, no more worship. Stop all this nonsense." Then what is the condition of the society? So that is being done.
So it will take some time to explain about these activities of first-class, second-class, third-class men. It is a great science. So we shall try to explain, one after another. You please come on Sunday. I shall hold this class. And for the time being, excuse me.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Devotees: Jaya. All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. (obeisances)
(kīrtana) (prema-dvani) Thank you very much.
Devotees: All glories to Śrī Guru and Gauranga. (obeisances) (end)