Srila Vyasa Deva’s focus on Bhagavata Dharma (Lecture by HH BCS)
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
So today we are going to discuss about the fourth chapter of the first canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. We are discussing chapter one now. Just to get a proper understanding of Srimad-Bhagavatam, the fourth chapter is describing, “The Appearance Of Narada Muni.”
So the discussion is going on, where is the discussion going on? This aspect of Srimad-Bhagavatam was spoken by whom? Srila Suta Goswami. To whom did he speak? To the sixty thousand sages who assembled in Naimisaranya. So it was spoken at Naimisaranya. Where is Naimisaranya? Naimisaranya is, you can say, is in Uttar Pradesh, not too far from here actually, Madhya Pradesh and then north of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh. So Naimisaranya also is considered to be the center of the universe. If the universe is seen as a wheel, then the hub of that wheel is Naimisaranya. So the sages there assembled in Naimisaranya to perform a thousand year long sacrifice.
There, one morning, they requested Suta Goswami to enlighten them about what needs to be done. They could foresee the condition of this planet was going to be very, very difficult. Dharma will be practically lost and now how to save that situation? Because when dharma is lost the whole situation becomes extremely chaotic and extremely miserable. When one follows dharma his life becomes joyful. If one rejects dharma, his life becomes devoid of joy and full of misery. They could foresee that and they decided that something needs to be done. Therefore they were performing that thousand year long sacrifice, sahasra-samam asata, thousand year long sacrifice. [SB 1.1.4] Then they requested Suta Goswami to speak and then Suta Goswami started to speak.
In the previous chapter Suta Goswami described how Krishna is the source of all incarnations. Suta Goswami described how many incarnations of Krishna in the previous chapter? Twenty two incarnations. And then what did he say? That there are innumerable incarnations of the Lord, not only just twenty two incarnations. Sometimes people think because of Dasavatara-stotra there are only ten incarnations of the Lord, but here we can see that Suta Goswami is describing about twenty two incarnations of the Lord. And then he makes the point that this is just to give some idea of different incarnations of the Lord, but actually there are innumerable incarnations.
Like, we can see even the Purusa-avatara. There are three types, three different Purusa-avataras: Karanodakasayi Vishnu, Garbhodakasayi Vishnu and Kshirodakasayi Vishnu. Now how did Kshirodakasayi Vishnu expand Himself? He expanded Himself in every single living entity as well as in every single atom. Andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham. [Bs 5.35] In every atom also the Lord has expanded Himself. He is everywhere. He is even in every single atom. That is how inconceivable His potency is. Eko ‘py asau racayitum jagad-anda-kotim [Bs 5.35], kotishv asesha-vasudhadi vibhuti-bhinnam. [Bs 5.40] Eko ‘py asau, although He is one, racayitum jagad-anda-kotim, He has created innumerable universes. Then He had entered in each universe and also in every single atom of the universe. This is Krishna’s inconceivable potency. He is there in the heart of every living entity. That is how inconceivable He is. He is not only in the heart of His devotees, although Krishna says that, “I reside in the heart of My devotee”, but actually He is in the heart of everyone. Not only in the hearts of human beings, not only in the hearts of animals, birds, reptiles, insects, trees, plants, in every living entity’s heart He is residing. That is how inconceivable He is. Won’t it be wonderful to take shelter of Him? A person who has such inconceivable potency and we are always in need of help. We always need help. Every single moment we need help. So won’t it be wonderful to take shelter of such a personality who is so powerful, whose potency is so inconceivable? Therefore the important thing and the intelligent thing to do is to take shelter of Krishna.
And we can ask Him, if we need something, we can ask Him. Prabhupada is saying that if we have to ask something then we better ask Krishna, not to any demigods or not to any powerful person. Sometimes we are in need of something so we go to some powerful person like the political leaders or a big rich man for help. But best thing is to just depend on Krishna and ask Him for His help. Asking for some favor from a demigod and asking for some favor from some material person is the same. Maybe the demigods are little more powerful. But Prabhupada is saying there is no need to ask to any demigod for something. Demigods’ worship is based on that: danam dehi, yaso dehi, give me money, give me things, give me long life, give me good health. So always asking. People worship demigods with their demands and Prabhupada is discouraging us from doing that. He is saying, “No, don’t ask them! Ask from Krishna, there is no harm.” And Prabhupada is explaining just as a son can ask from his father and there is no harm, rather the father becomes happy, “My son is asking from me”, similarly there is no harm in asking from Krishna. Rather, Krishna will be also happy, “Instead of asking from the demigods or asking from somebody else, he is asking from Me.” Then what will happen? Our faith in Krishna will increase. That is the important consideration. We ask from Krishna and Krishna gives, then our faith is increased. “Oh, Krishna is there!” And in this way the relationship develops.
Suta Goswami described different incarnations of Krishna and then he pointed out that Krishna is the source of all incarnations. Ete camsa-kalah pumsah krishnas tu bhagavan svayam. [SB 1.3.28] Not only Suta Goswami is saying that in Srimad-Bhagavatam, this point has been explained elaborately in various others scriptures also, for example in Brahma Samhita describing
ramadi-murtishu kala-niyamena tishthan
nanavataram akarod bhuvaneshu kintu
krishnah svayam samabhavat paramah puman yo
govindam adi-purusham tam aham bhajami
All different incarnations like Rama, Narsimha, Varaha, Kurma, they are the parts and parts and parts of Krishna. Kala-niyamena tishthan nanavataram akarod, in this way Krishna expanded into various incarnations. Kintu krishnah svayam samabhavat paramah puman yo, but Krishna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead. And that point also has been very nicely established. How Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead? What are the relationships between Krishna and the different incarnations?
diparcir eva hi dasantaram abhyupetya
yas tadrig eva hi ca vishnutaya vibhati
govindam adi-purusham tam aham bhajami
Just as one lamp lights other lamps, and once the lamps are lit, they have the same potency. All the lamps give out the same amount of light, yet the first lamp is the lamp that lit the other lamps. That is the relationship between Krishna and the different incarnations. All the incarnations of Krishna are Krishna Himself! They have the same amount of potency whether they display it or not. For example, Krishna has sixty four qualities, however Lord Rama has sixty qualities. Like different incarnations may not display the full potency, but they are endowed with the same amount of potency. For example, the Supersoul. The Supersoul is just standing there in our heart, inactive. He is just standing there as a statue, just like on the altar. On the altar, like the deities, they are standing there. They are not displaying the potency and other qualities as such. The Supersoul in the heart is standing there and simply watching what we are doing, upadrasta and anumanta. [Bg 13.23] Upadrasta means witness, and the Supersoul, in the heart Krishna is simply witnessing all our activities, what we are doing. And anumanta, He is sanctioning our desires. We desire and He is the one who decides what should be given to us and what should not be given to us. He is deciding how we should also get the results of our actions. In this way Krishna is just seated in the heart. There He is not displaying qualities as such. Most of the qualities are not displayed.
Saunaka said: O Suta Gosvami, you are the most fortunate and respected of all those who can speak and recite. Please relate the pious message of Srimad-Bhagavatam, which was spoken by the great and powerful sage Sukadeva Gosvami.
In what period and at what place was this first begun, and why was this taken up? From where did Krishna-dvaipayana Vyasa, the great sage, get the inspiration to compile this literature?
His [Vyasadeva’s] son was a great devotee – who is the son of Vyasadeva? Answer: Srila Sukadeva Goswami – an equibalanced monist, whose mind was always concentrated in monism. He was transcendental to mundane activities, but being unexposed, he appeared like an ignorant person.
These are the questions that Saunaka Rishi is asking. Saunaka Rishi, as the head of the assembled sages in Naimisaranya, is asking the questions on behalf of the sages of Naimisaranya.
While Srila Vyasadeva was following his son, beautiful young damsels who were bathing naked covered their bodies with cloth, although Srila Vyasadeva himself was not naked. But they had not done so when his son had passed. The sage inquired about this, and the young ladies replied that his son was purified and when looking at them made no distinction between male and female, but the sage made such distinctions.
[altar curtains close] Jaya Sri Sri Radha Madana Mohan ki jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Krishna Balarama ki jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Gaura Nitai ki jaya!
How was he [Srila Sukadeva, the son of Vyasa] recognized by the citizens when he entered the city of Hastinapura [now Delhi], after wandering in the provinces of Kuru and Jangala, appearing like a madman, dumb and retarded?
So Sukadeva Goswami, although a young boy, he was just wondering around like a madman. He was in a stage which is called “avadhuta.” They do not relate to the material world. They are completely absorbed, they are completely situated in the spiritual nature. Their activities cannot be understood by the people of this material nature. Like, Sukadeva Goswami was not wearing any clothes. He did not have any awareness of his surrounding, like a madman. Now a madman because he completely is out of his mind – out of his mind means his mind does not function – therefore whatever he sees, his sense perceptions are not related to the mind. So he does not register what he is seeing. People are there around him but he does not register them. He does not hear them. People are abusive, people insult him but he can’t register that, that they are speaking badly about him or to him.
Why? Because he can’t relate to this nature. He lost his intelligence and the faculties of his mind. That is a madman, whereas an avadhuta also acts like a mad man, apparently. But is an avadhuta a madman? No. You see, a madman can not relate to this nature, his surrounding and an avadhuta also cannot relate to his surrounding, this nature. But actually they are two opposite poles. A madman does not have the ability and intelligence to relate to this nature, whereas an avadhuta or a paramahamsa is transcendental to the material nature. Therefore does not relate to this material nature. Or in simple words we can say, a madman cannot relate to the material nature, whereas a paramahamsa doesn’t relate to the material nature, he is beyond that. He does not have relationship with this material nature, he is in another reality. Like, if we say the material nature is here, then a madman is below material reality, whereas the paramahamsa is beyond the material reality. One is below and the other is beyond. And two extremes sometimes appear to be alike but they are opposed. For example the sunrise and the sunset, don’t they look alike? Sunrise and sunset look exactly alike but they are opposite.
So Sukadeva Goswami’s nature was like that, but people were thinking that he is a madman. And just the way people behave to a mad man, they were trying to do that to Sukadeva Goswami. Not only to Sukadeva Goswami, this is the case we have seen with many other exalted personalities, for example Rishabhadeva. He is another personality who did not have any awareness of his surroundings. He did not relate to this nature around him, but it should not be done artificially. One should not imitate these exalted personalities. Sukadeva Goswami was in a paramahamsa stage, therefore he didn’t wear any clothes. He was moving around naked. He did not have any awareness of his surroundings. He did not care what people spoke to him. Now that does not mean that walking naked will make one a paramahamsa. That’s what actually happened, imitating Rishabhadeva, there was a king in the province of Konka and Venka. When Rishabhadeva was there passing through that region, thousands of people were following him and the king thought, “Oh, I am a king and people do not worship me like that, treat me like that. This person is attracting so many people but he is moving about naked.” So he thought, “If I do that then people also will consider me to be a great personality.” So this kind of imitation is undesirable. One should not imitate. It should be done as a natural development. Therefore devotional service is extremely practical. It is practical. Just be yourself. You don’t have to be somebody else. Just be yourself and become a devotee. Be surrendered to Krishna. Be yourself.
It is said that Maharaja Parikshit is a great first-class devotee of the Lord and that his birth and activities are all wonderful. Please tell us about him.
He was a great emperor and possessed all the opulences of his acquired kingdom. He was so exalted that he was increasing the prestige of the Pandu dynasty. Why did he give up everything to sit down on the bank of the Ganges and fast until death?
He was such a great emperor that all his enemies would come and bow down at his feet and surrender all their wealth for their own benefit. He was full of youth and strength, and he possessed insuperable kingly opulences that were difficult to give up. Why did he want to give up everything, including his life?
So who is asking this question? Saunaka Rishi to Suta Goswami. Saunaka Rishi heard about Bhagavatam spoken by Sukadeva Goswami to Parikshit Maharaja, so now he is requesting him to recite or explain the Srimad-Bhagavatam. He is asking about Sukadeva Goswami and now he is asking about Parikshit Maharaja. These questions are quite relevant. Why did Parikshit Maharaja do that? Give up his kingdom and went to the bank of the Ganges? Although he was a powerful king, why did he do that? And on the bank of the Ganges he sat down to give up his life. Why did he want to give up everything, including his life?
Those who are devoted to the cause of the Personality of Godhead live only for the welfare, development and happiness of others. They do not live for any selfish interest. So even though the Emperor [Parikshit] was free from all attachment to worldly possessions, how could he give up his mortal body, which was shelter for others?
We know that you are expert in the meaning of all subjects, except some portions of the Vedas, and thus you can clearly explain the answers to all the questions we have just put to you.
Then Suta Goswami started to explain.
Suta Gosvami said: When the second millennium overlapped the third, the great sage [Vyasadeva] was born to Parashara in the womb of Satyavati, the daughter of Vasu.
This is an important point actually. There is a chronological order of four millenniums. They are Satya Yuga, Dvapara Yuga, Treta Yuga and Kali Yuga. The normal chronological sequence is Satya, Dvapara, Treta and Kali. But sometimes there is overlapping. During the regime of Vaivasvata Manu, there was an overlapping of the twenty eighth round of the four millenniums and the third millennium appeared prior to the second. There are fourteen Manus in a day of Brahma and the seventh Manu is Vaivasvata Manu. In Vaisvasvata Manu’s time, in the twenty eighth chatur-yuga the overlapping between Treta Yuga and Dvapara Yuga takes place. Although Treta Yuga comes after Dvapara Yuga, but in that millennium, in that chatur-yuga, the Treta Yuga came before and Dvapara Yuga came after. From the name of the yuga also it becomes clear; Dvapara means second and Treta means third. So Satya is the first, then second yuga is actually Dvapara Yuga. Then how come it is Treta? Because there was an overlapping. In the Vaivasvata Manvantara, in the twenty eighth chatur-yuga, Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appears in the Dvapara Yuga, when it overlaps. And Dvapara yuga comes after Treta Yuga, it overlaps and then Chaitanya Mahaprabhu comes in the following Kali Yuga.
Once upon a time he [Vyasadeva], as the sun rose, took his morning ablution in the waters of the Sarasvati and sat alone to concentrate.
The great sage Vyasadeva saw anomalies in the duties of the millennium. This happens on the earth in different ages, due to unseen forces in the course of time.
So Vyasadeva, one morning saw that there were some anomalies. There were some disorders, undesirable happenings.
The great sage, who was fully equipped with knowledge, could see, through his transcendental vision, the deterioration of everything material, due to the influence of the age. (Which age? Kali). He could also see that the faithless people in general would be reduced in duration of life and would be impatient due to lack of goodness. Thus he contemplated for the welfare of men in all statuses and orders of life.
He saw that the sacrifices mentioned in the Vedas were means by which the people’s occupations could be purified. And to simplify the process he divided the one Veda into four, in order to expand them among men.
What is the original source of knowledge? The Vedas.
The four divisions of the original sources of knowledge [the Vedas] were made separately. But the historical facts and authentic stories mentioned in the Puranas are called the fifth Veda.
After the Vedas were divided into four divisions, Paila Rishi became the professor of the Rig Veda, Jaimini the professor of the Sama Veda, and Vaisampayana alone became glorified by the Yajur Veda.
The Sumantu Muni Angira, who was very devotedly engaged, was entrusted with the Atharva Veda. And my father, Romaharshana, was entrusted with the Puranas and historical record.
So four sages were given the four Vedas and Romaharshana Suta was entrusted with the knowledge of the Puranas.
All these learned scholars, in their turn, rendered their entrusted Vedas unto their many disciples, grand-disciples and great grand-disciples, and thus the respective branches of the followers of the Vedas came into being.
Thus the great sage Vyasadeva, who is very kind to the ignorant masses, edited the Vedas so they might be assimilated by less intellectual men.
Out of compassion, the great sage thought it is wise that this would enable men to achieve the ultimate goal of life. Thus he compiled the great historical narration called the Mahabharata for women, laborers and friends of the twice-born.
O twice-born brahmanas, still his mind was not satisfied, although he engaged himself in working for the total welfare of all people. Thus the sage, being dissatisfied at heart at once began to reflect, because he knew the essence of religion, and he said within himself:
I have, under strict disciplinary vows, unpretentiously worshiped the Vedas, the spiritual masters and the altar of sacrifice. I have also abided by the rulings and have shown the import of disciplic succession through the explanation of the Mahabharata,
[altar curtains open] Jaya Sri Sri Krishna Balarama ki jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Radha Madana Mohana Lalita Vishakha ki jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Gaura Nitai ki jaya! Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!
So Vyasadeva was, even after doing so much, dividing the Vedas and the Puranas separately and then writing the history in the form of Mahabharata for the general mass, so to say. For the scholars there were the Vedas and Puranas and Upanishads, but for ordinary people, those who were intellectually not so advanced, for them he gave Mahabharata but still his heart was not satisfied and he began to reflect:
I have, under strict disciplinary vows, unpretentiously worshiped the Vedas, the spiritual masters and the altar of sacrifice. I have also abided by the rulings and have shown the import of disciplic succession through the explanation of the Mahabharata, by which even women, sudras and others [friends of the twice-born] can see the path of religion.
I am feeling incomplete, though I myself am fully equipped with everything required by the Vedas.
This may be because I did not specifically point out the devotional service of the Lord, which is dear both to perfect beings and to the infallible Lord.
kim va bhagavata dharma
na prayena nirupitah
ta eva hy acyuta-priyah
This was Vyasadeva’s important consideration. Kim va bhagavata dharma, Bhagavata dharma means the dharma that directly indicates the worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Vedas the others processes are indirectly applied to the Lord but Bhagavata dharma is direct worship or direct approach, direct devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, which means devotional service. So Bhagavata dharma means bhakti yoga, bhagavad bhakti. So Vyasadeva wondered kim va bhagavata dharma na prayena nirupitah, I have not clearly pointed out the importance of Bhagavata dharma which is priyah paramahamsanam. Priyah means dear and to paramahamsanam, I described about the paramahamsa, the most exalted devotee of the Lord. Ta eva hy acyuta-priyah, and it is also dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Acyuta. This Bhagavata dharma, which is dear to the devotees of the Lord – not only devotees but the most exalted devotees of the Lord – and Bhagavata dharma which is dear to even the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Is it because I did not narrate it clearly or describe about it, nirupitah, properly, indicate, directed is that why my heart is dissatisfied?
As mentioned before, Narada reached the cottage of Krishna-dvaipayana Vyasa on the banks of the Sarasvati just as Vyasadeva was regretting his defects.
At the auspicious arrival of Sri Narada, Sri Vyasadeva got up respectfully and worshiped him, giving him veneration equal to that given to Brahmaji, the creator.
So thus ends the fourth chapter of the first Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam entitled, “The Appearance Of Sri Narada.” So this chapter in this way describes how Narada Muni came to Vyasadeva, “The Appearance Of Sri Narada.”And the next chapter will describe the discussion between Vyasadeva and Narada Muni and how Narada Muni instructed Vyasadeva about glorifying the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
So did everybody understand about the chapter? Fourth chapter is very simple. The first few chapters were quite complex, full of important instructions, but this is more or less just narration. The sages of Naimisaranya headed by Saunaka asked Suta Goswami to describe how Sukadeva Goswami, who was the most exalted personality, he was wondering around like a madman. And then Parikshit Maharaja who was such an exalted personality, such a powerful king, he was the glory of the Pandu Dynasty and he was the ruler of the entire earth planet and he was so powerful, he was so noble and generous in his nature, so why did he all of sudden give up his kingdom and went to the bank of Ganga and decided to give up his life? And what did Sukadeva Goswami instruct?
So then Suta Goswami started to describe from the beginning. What is the description of Suta
Goswami? Vyasadeva appeared in this particular millennium when Treta Yuga and Dvapara
Yuga overlapped each other.
One morning Vyasadeva noticed what would happen to the mankind in this age of Kali. So Vyasadeva considered that these people will not have very long duration of life, they will be very lazy, unintelligent and their mentality will be perverted, so how will these people ever derive spiritual benefit? Dharma will be lost in this age. So without the Vedic scriptures dharma will be lost and how will people derive their spiritual benefit. So considering that, Vyasadeva divided the Vedas in four Vedas: Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva. Then he entrusted those Vedas to four of his disciples: Paila, Jaimini and Vaisampayana, and who was the….Yeah, he gave Rig Veda to Paila, Sama Veda to Jaimini, Yajur Veda to
Vaisampayana and Angira, Atharva Veda to Angira and the fifth Veda, which described the histories and narrations of the Puranas to Romaharshana Suta. Romaharshana Suta is the father of Ugrasava Suta who is describing now. Romaharshana Suta was killed by Balarama. Balarama was upset with Romaharshana Suta. Romaharshana Suta was reciting the Puranas, instructing, narrating the Puranas to the sages. At that time Balarama appeared there. Everyone offered respect to Balarama but Romaharshana Suta did not get up and show respect. So Balarama just took a grass and touched him and Romaharshana Suta was dead. But his son Ugrasrava was a great devotee of the Lord.
When Vyasadeva divided the Vedas in this way, but still his heart was not satisfied. He was feeling deep discontentment in his heart. Therefore he was wondering, since he did not describe Srimad-Bhagavatam or Bhagavata dharma properly, clearly, is that why his heart is not satisfied? Bhagavata dharma that is very dear to the paramahamsa and very dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And at that time when he was thinking that way Narada Muni appeared there and Vyasadeva offered him great respect to Narada Muni and greeted him.
So does anybody have any question?
GM: Krishna and His incarnations are not different. We can either ask from Krishna or we can ask from, for example, for protection we ask Narsimhadeva, right? Or we can also ask Krishna, Krishna Krishna raksha mama. Krishna please protect me.
GM: Totally surrendered to Krishna means there is no other endeavor, no other desire. Anyabhilashita-sunyam. Abhilasha means desire, anya means different or no other, when there is no other desire but to serve Krishna and no other recourse to take shelter of other than Krishna. Avasya raksibe krsna-visvasa palana, to have that implicit faith that Krishna will protect me and accepting Krishna as the goptrtva varana, accepting Krishna as my only Lord and Master. So that is (unclear). For example, say one has become sick and he goes to a doctor but another person who became sick and he thinks, “Why should I go to a doctor? I’ll simply depend upon Krishna.” So he simply depends upon Krishna. He does not take any other course.
In this respect I just thought of two persons. Srila Prabhupada he did not want the doctors to come and treat him. Prabhupada’s thing was that, “What will these doctors do?” He simply wanted to depend upon Krishna. And another person is Prabhupada’s sister, Pishima. Once they were in a parikrama in Navadvipa and Prabhupada’s sister’s son got cholera. Cholera is a very deadly disease. I mean, now cholera is actually practically eradicated, but there was a time when there would be epidemic of cholera, thousands of people would die just out of cholera. There was no treatment, no medicine. Cholera means death. So Prabhupada’s sister’s son got cholera while they having parikrama. Naturally everyone was very worried but Prabhupada’s sister she just took some charanamrita and gave the charanamrita to her son and her son became cured, and from that time in Gaudiya Math Prabhupada’s sister became known as the mother of that son. I forgot his name. Actually, generally in India a woman is known as the eldest son’s mother. Like, if the eldest son’s name is whatever, like the eldest son’s name is Chandra, she will be known as Chandra’s mother. But in Prabhupada’s sister’s case in Gaudiya Math, she became known as the mother of that son, who was not the eldest, he was younger. But the whole incidence created such a sensation that from that time Prabhupada’s sister became known as the mother of that son. This is another incidence of depending upon Krishna and no one else.
Yes, Raghava Pandita?
GM: When this overlapping takes place at that time, in that Dvapara Yuga Krishna comes.
Devotee: We are very fortunate.
GM: Yes, we are very fortunate. And we are even more fortunate because not only we appeared in this Kali Yuga, but we appeared after Srila Prabhupada came. There have been so many people in Ujjain, but before Prabhupada came they did not get to know about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. But now you all got to know about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. How? Because of Prabhupada. Even in India people did not have this good fortunate, what to speak of the people abroad in America, Europe and others continents. It is because of Srila Prabhupada ‘s mercy that people are getting Krishna consciousness and as the time passes people will get more and more opportunities to become Krishna conscious.
GM: I guess it will depend upon the intensity of one’s desire. Narada Muni actually comes whenever somebody becomes qualified, Narada Muni comes to him, like for example Ratnakara. Valmiki was a bandit, was a dacoit, Dashu Ratnakara, but Narada Muni appeared to him and he became a devotee. He was not perturbed as such, but Narada Muni came and gave him his mercy. Similarly, Mrigari, Narada Muni bestowed his mercy. So the guru will come but will be up to the individual to take advantage of the spiritual master.
Devotee: Lord Buddha also is an incarnation of Krishna, then why Buddhism is disregarded by us?
GM: Very good question. Lord Buddha also is an incarnation of Krishna, then why Buddhism is disregarded by us? Actually, Lord Buddha didn’t come to give devotion, but Lord Buddha actually came to stop the demoniac activities that was going in the name of the Vedas.
nindasi yajna-vidher ahaha sruti-jatam
kesava dhrta-buddha-sarira jaya jagadisa hare
[Sri Dasavatara Stotra]
You know this? You know Narsimha prayer? Tava kara- kamala-vare nakha adbhuta-sringam? This is from a composition of Jayadeva, a great devotee of the Lord who
wrote a book called Gita Govinda and in the invocation of Gita Govinda he gave this Dasavatara Stotra. And one of the incarnations he described there is Lord Buddha. In Bhagavatam also it has been described, the appearance of Lord Buddha, and we can consult this also. Tatah kalau sampravritte sammohaya sura-dvisham. [SB 1.3.24] Sammohaya means to bewilder, sura-dvinam means the demons.
Then, in the beginning of Kali Yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Anjana, in the province of Gaya, just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theist.
Envious of the faithful theist means atheist, demon; sura-dvinam those who are envious of the suras, the demigods, asuras. So now you can see why Lord Buddha came? His teaching was to nindasi yajna-vidher, to criticize the instructions of the Vedas regarding the animal sacrifices. He came to stop animal sacrifices that was going on in the name of the Vedas. So he came to stop that, therefore Lord Buddha’s teachings is not be accepted because those teachings of Buddha was simply to bewilder the demons. So why should the devotees accept that teaching, the teaching that was meant to bewilder the demons?
And also another important consideration here is that Buddha did not really speak about God. Whenever he was asked about God, the Supreme Personality of Godhead he was silent. He did not say anything. Buddha’s teachings were not really the teachings of the Lord, but one can worship Lord Buddha as Krishna’s incarnation then that is good. We do not disrespect Lord Buddha. Lord Buddha is Krishna’s incarnation but His teachings are to be rejected. Just as Shankaracarya’s teachings have to be rejected. He is Lord Shiva but his teachings are to be rejected. Why? Because his teachings are bewildering. He also came to bewilder the demons.
GM: Yeah, good. It has been described here also that Sukadeva Goswami was an impersonalist. He was a brahmavadi at first. The first consideration is, Vyasadeva considered that my son is leaving home without being properly educated and sanctified, without being properly sanctified. That was his concern. Vyasadeva also considered that unless and until one is situated on the devotional platform, his life will not be perfect. Therefore, although Sukadeva Goswami saw the futility of one’s existence in this nature, but his understanding was not complete at that time. At that time. He was an impersonalist, brahmavadi not mayavadi. He was a brahmavadi. The difference between the brahmavadis and mayavadis is that the brahmavadi is a positive impersonalist and mayavadi is a negative impersonalist. Brahmavadi will eventually become a devotee like Sukadeva Goswami, like the four Kumaras, they were brahmavadis at first, impersonalists at first. They believed in Brahman but they did not have the understanding of devotional service to the Lord, service to the Lord. They were just meditating on the Lord and deriving brahmananda, but they did not have the knowledge of Krishna sevananda. So that ananda can be derived only by rendering devotional service, which is the highest form of bliss.
Therefore Vyasadeva actually tricked him to come back home and instructed him on Srimad-Bhagavatam. That is how Sukadeva Goswami got Srimad-Bhagavatam. He left home but then he was brought back. That also has been described not in Srimad-Bhagavatam, I think in some Upanishad, not Upanishad, in some Purana. I am forgetting which Purana it was. Maybe Brahma Vaivarta Purana or Vishnu Purana. You see, Vyasadeva, in order to bring Sukadeva home, back to him, he sent some of his disciples to the forest. When they used to go to the forest to collect wood, he asked them to recite the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and on hearing that Sukadeva Goswami became attracted and he wanted to know where they got this. And then they told him about Vyasadeva and this way Sukadeva Goswami was brought to Vyasadeva and thenVyasadeva gave him Srimad-Bhagavatam. Then he recited or explained Srimad-Bhagavatam to Parikshit Maharaja.
Does it answer your question?
GM: He was self realized in Brahman realization not self realized in Bhagavata realization. By birth one can be Brahman realized or even Bhagavata realized but the custom is that one must approach a bona fide spiritual master to receive the seed of devotion.
brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru-krishna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija
[Cc. Madhya 19.151]
One receives bhakti-lata-bija but there may be some exceptions also because one may continue from previous lives. One such exception actually is Jada Bharata. We do not see that Jada Bharata was duly initiated but he had the Bhagavata realization. He started to speak that to King Rahugana. It has been described in Srimad-Bhagavatam he did not go through the process of initiation. So some cases like that may be there but they are exceptional. Exception should not become the standard, the standard should be followed and that standard has been established by Krishna Himself. When He came, He took initiation. Of course, the question is that initiation can be diksha parampara, diksha initiation or even siksa initiation. For example, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave siksa initiation to many disciples, like the kurma brahmana. He instructed him, “Go and instruct Krishna consciousness to everybody and on My order you become a spiritual master.” He did not give him diksa initiation but He gave him instruction, siksa.
Yes, Yamuna Priya?
Devotee: You mentioned about envy
GM: I mentioned about?
Devotee: Envy. [inaudible]
GM: Devotional service takes care of all our impurities. Envy, of course, is the last one to get rid of, the most difficult one to get rid of. For example, lust, greed, anger. It has been described that Lord Shiva conquered lust, but he became angry at Kamadeva. He conquered lust but he had difficulty conquering anger. Anger, illusion, pride, last is envy. Therefore in Srimad-Bhagavatam it has been described, the non-envious: when one is free from envy we have to understand that he has become free from all the other impurities of the heart. The heart has become completely purified. And ultimately it is through the vaidhi bhakti that one will become free from all these impurities. But when we become free, when our heart becomes completely purified, then in that purified heart, the love for the Lord will develop. By devotional service envy will be overcome. How? What is actually the cause of envy? Cause of envy is – you can say – false ego, misidentification: I am the controller, I am the ruler, I am the Lord, I am the enjoyer. But when we realize that I am actually not the enjoyer, I am not the controller, I am not the lord and master, rather, I am the servant, then there won’t be any room for envy. You get that point? I am the enjoyer, everything is meant for my enjoyment. Why don’t I have this? Why he has it? That is envy. Why he has it, why not me? I developed this feeling because I am considering myself to be the lord and master but when I recognize that I am not the enjoyer, Krishna is the enjoyer then I will not have this tendency of, “Why he has it, I don’t have it?” Rather, then the mood will be, “Let Krishna have everything, everything is meant for Krishna’s enjoyment.” Then also we will see that, yes, it is meant for Krishna’s enjoyment so I must get it for Him. Why this karmi has that? He is a thief, he is stealing Krishna’s property and he is enjoying. Then the tendency to get everything for Krishna is not a result of envy. You get the point? It is not envy because you are putting Krishna in the centre. It is not envy. It originally belongs to Krishna.
For example, when you recognize that someone has stolen something and you try to retrieve that and you give back to the proper proprietor, is it envy? No, it is a sense of duty. Devotional service actually brings us to the platform of duty. Everything belongs to Krishna, so now let us get everything back to Krishna. Okay, here is somebody, he is not a devotee, let us engage him in devotional service, then whatever he has will also be engaged in Krishna’s service. So in this way we can become free from envy by being engaged in devotional service.
Another question? Okay.
GM: It can be seen as not envy but competitive spirit. He is such an advanced devotee. At a neophyte stage, and that also will be at a neophyte stage, he is such an advanced devotee, he is rendering so much service to Krishna, let me also render service to Krishna in the same way or better than him. Because it is Krishna conscious it is a positive competitive spirit, but at a more advanced stage what will one do? He will say, “Oh, he is rendering service so nicely, let me surrender unto him and help him in his devotional service and derive spiritual benefit out of that.” So it will be a matter of different stages of devotion. At a neophyte stage one may feel envious but that envy can turn into a competitive spirit. That is good. “He memorized five verses, I’ll memorize six verses.” That is good because it is Krishna conscious. You put Krishna in the centre then envy also will become wonderful. But it should not become self centered. We should be careful about that. “He is rendering so much service and he is being glorified. Why he is being glorified, why not me?” Then Krishna is not the centre. Service is not the criteria, it is my self-aggrandizement and sense gratification that is the criteria. Then it is envy. It is not Krishna conscious.
There was another question? Yeah, Chitrangada?
GM: You see Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is not presenting Himself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is presenting Himself as a devotee of the Lord. Therefore He is not displaying those qualities.
GM: Devotees’ qualities? Say for example, one quality of Krishna is that He attracts everybody by playing His flute, which Narayana does not. Now is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu trying to attract everybody towards Him by playing flute? No. Rather what Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is doing, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is telling, “Krishna is God, worship Him.” He is not saying, “Be attracted towards Me but be attracted to Krishna.” So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is not displaying His opulence. Krishna displays His opulence, but Mahaprabhu did not do that. Rather, Mahaprabhu became a sannyasi, He renounced everything. So that is the difference between Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is not displaying those qualities but as a devotee he is presenting like what qualities can be manifested in a jiva, they are perfectly manifested in Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, alright?
All glories to Srila Prabhupada! Gaura Premanande Hari Haribol!