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Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahūti

Posted: 04 Jun 2012 06:17 PM PDT

…The purpose of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to inform everyone that no one is superior to Kṛṣṇa, God. Because many young Americans and Europeans are fortunate and know nothing of any hodgepodge god, they have taken this bona fide Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement seriously. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam: Bhagavān, God, means Śrī Kṛṣṇa. We have simply presented this information, saying, "Here is God. Śrī Kṛṣṇa." Because they have taken this seriously, many young Americans and Europeans are advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Consequently many people are surprised to see how Americans and Europeans have become such great devotees and are dancing in ecstasy. How is it they are so advanced? They have taken the information seriously: kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam. Whether one touches fire blindly or knowingly, fire will burn. It is not that because the fire is touched by a child, fire will not burn. These young Westerners have touched fire, and consequently it is acting as fire.

Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahūti
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter One

The Purpose of Lord Kapila's Advent

TEXT 1

śaunaka uvāca
kapilas tattva-saṅkhyātā
bhagavān ātma-māyayā
jātaḥ svayam ajaḥ sākṣād
ātma-prajñaptaye nṛṇām

TRANSLATION

Śrī Śaunaka said: Although He is unborn, the Supreme Personality of Godhead took birth as Kapila Muni by His internal potency. He descended to disseminate transcendental knowledge for the benefit of the whole human race.

PURPORT

The word ātma-prajñaptaye indicates that the Lord descends for the benefit of the human race to give transcendental knowledge. Material necessities are quite sufficiently provided for in the knowledge given in the Vedic literatures, which offer a program for good living and gradual elevation to the platform of sattva-guṇa, the mode of goodness. Once one is situated in sattva-guṇa, one's knowledge expands. On the platform of passion there is no knowledge, for passion is an impetus to enjoy material benefits. On the platform of ignorance there is neither knowledge nor enjoyment but simply animalistic living.

The Vedas are intended to elevate one from the mode of ignorance to the platform of goodness. When one is situated in the mode of goodness, he is able to understand knowledge of the self, or transcendental knowledge. Such knowledge cannot be appreciated by any ordinary man; therefore a disciplic succession is required. This knowledge is expounded either by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself or by His bona fide devotee. Śaunaka Muni also states here that Kapila, the incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, took birth or appeared simply to disseminate transcendental knowledge. To understand that one is not matter but spirit soul (ahaṁ brahmāsmi: "I am by nature Brahman") is not sufficient for understanding the self and his activities. One must be situated in the activities of Brahman. Knowledge of those activities is explained by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. Such transcendental knowledge can be appreciated in human society but not in animal society, as clearly indicated here by the word nṛṇām, "for the human beings." Human beings are meant to lead a regulated life. By nature, there is regulation in animal life also, but that is not like the regulative life described in the scriptures or by the Vedic authorities. Only when one's life is regulated according to the Vedas can one understand transcendental knowledge.

For the propagation of this transcendental knowledge, Kapiladeva, the incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, gave instructions in Sāṅkhya philosophy to His mother, Devahūti. Later, another Kapiladeva appeared who expounded atheistic Sāṅkhya philosophy, which dealt with the twenty-four elements but gave no information about God. The original Kapila is called the Devahūti-putra Kapila, and the other is called the atheist Kapila. Concerning Kapiladeva, Śaunaka Ṛṣi says, kapilas tattva-saṅkhyātā. Kapila is the Supreme Person; therefore He can explain the Absolute Truth. Actually only Bhagavān can know the true position of the ultimate truth. No one else can know it. Bhagavān, Kṛṣṇa or His incarnation, occasionally visits the earth to give humanity information about the aim of life. Thus the Supreme Lord descended as Kapiladeva, tattva-saṅkhyātā. The word saṅkhyātā means "expounder," and tattva means "the Absolute Truth." The Absolute Truth is Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself. We cannot understand the Absolute Truth or the Supreme Person by mental speculation, especially when we are under the influence of the three modes of material nature (sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa). Only those who are situated in sattva-guṇa (the mode of goodness) are fit to understand the Absolute Truth. According to Bhagavad-gītā (18.42), those possessing brahminical qualifications are situated in sattva-guṇa.

śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṁ
kṣāntir ārjavam eva ca
jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ
brahma-karma svabhāva jam

"Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge and righteousness—these are the qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work."

According to the Vedic conception, there must be men in society who are factually brāhmaṇas, capable of expounding the real truth. If everyone becomes a śūdra, the Absolute Truth cannot be understood. It is said that at the present moment in Kali-yuga everyone is a śūdra (kalau śūdra-sambhavāḥ), and it is very difficult in this age to find qualified brāhmaṇas, for they are very rare. There is practically not a single qualified brāhmaṇa in this age.

prāyeṇālpāyuṣaḥ sabhya
kalāv asmin yuge janāḥ
mandāḥ sumanda-matayo
manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ

"O learned one, in this iron age of Kali men have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed." (Bhāg. 1.1.10)

The people in this age are very short-lived and slow in understanding spiritual life. Actually human life is meant for understanding spiritual values, but because everyone in this age is a śūdra, no one is interested. People have forgotten life's real purpose. The word manda means both slow and bad, and everyone in this age is either bad or slow or a combination of both. People are unfortunate and disturbed by so many things. According to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam there will eventually be no rain and consequently a scarcity of food. The governments will also levy very heavy taxes. The characteristics of this age predicted by Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam are already being experienced to some degree. Since Kali-yuga is a very miserable age, Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who is Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself, advises everyone simply to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.

harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nasty eva gatir anyathā
[Adi 17.21]

"In this age of Kali there is no alternative, there is no alternative, there is no alternative for spiritual progress than the holy name, the holy name, the holy name of the Lord." (Bṛhan-nāradīya Purāṇa)

This process is not Caitanya Mahāprabhu's invention, but is advised by the śāstras, the purāṇas. The process for this Kali-yuga is very simple. One need only chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Since everyone in this age is an unintelligent, unfortunate and disturbed śūdra, how can anyone understand the Absolute Truth or the aim of life? As stated by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gītā (4.7):

yadā yadā hi dharmasya
glānir bhavati bhārata
abhyutthānam adharmasya
tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham

"Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion—at that time I descend Myself."

Some hundreds and thousands of years ago Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared as Devahūti-putra Kapiladeva. His father's name was Kardama Muni. After Kapiladeva grew up, His father, according to the Vedic system, retired, took sannyāsa and left home to cultivate spiritual life. It is not that one should rot in this material world throughout one's whole life. pañcāśordhvaṁ vanaṁ vrajet. According to the Vedic injunctions, there are four āśramas and four varṇas, and these used to be followed very strictly. After his son grew up, Kardama Muni, being a strict follower of the Vedas, left home and put his wife in the charge of his grown son, Kapiladeva.

It is said of Kapiladeva: kapilas tattva-saṅkhyātā bhagavān. Lord Kapila is Bhagavān. Nowadays Bhagavān is taken very cheaply because the word is misused, but actually Bhagavān is not an ordinary man. Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhāḥ: because Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa appeared as a human being, fools and rascals (mūḍhas) consider Kṛṣṇa an ordinary human. As Kṛṣṇa Himself states in Bhagavad-gītā (7.13):

tribhir guṇamayair bhāvair
ebhiḥ sarvam idaṁ jagat
mohitaṁ nābhijānāti
mām ebhyaḥ param avyayaṁ

"Deluded by the three modes (goodness, passion and ignorance), the whole world does not know Me, who am above the modes and inexhaustible."

Yet there are mahātmās, great souls, who can understand Kṛṣṇa. Arjuna could understand that although Kṛṣṇa was playing the part of his friend, He was nonetheless the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Arjuna was in perfect knowledge, yet Kṛṣṇa instructed him for our benefit. Arjuna requested Kṛṣṇa's instructions, which are set forth for all human society. After hearing Bhagavad-gītā, Arjuna addressed Kṛṣṇa as paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma [Bg. 10.12], "the Supreme Brahman and supreme abode."

Every person is actually Brahman, spirit soul. We are not actually the body. Awareness of ahaṁ brahmāsmi ("I am Brahman") is actual self-realization. According to Vedic culture, one must understand that he is Brahman, not the body. We should not remain in ignorance like cats and dogs, thinking, "I am this body, I am American, I am Indian, I am brāhmaṇa, I am kṣatriya, I am Hindu, I am Muslim," and so on. These are all bodily designations. When one comes to spiritual understanding, he understands ahaṁ brahmāsmi, "I am Brahman." This is called Brahman realization. It is not that we become Brahman by some practice. Gold is gold, even if it is covered with some dirt, which can certainly be removed. Similarly, we are all Brahman, spirit soul, but somehow or other we have come in contact with these material elements (bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ), and we have acquired bodily coverings. Consequently we think, "I am this body." This is ignorance, and unless one is enlightened by spiritual knowledge, he remains animalistic.

Understanding one's spiritual identity is called dharma. The ultimate goal of dharma is enunciated by Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself in Bhagavad-gītā (18.66). Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: "Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me." On this earth we have created so many dharmas—Hindu dharma, Muslim dharma, Christian dharma. These are all manufactured dharmas, but real dharma is attained when we come to the conclusion that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is everything. Again, in the words of Śrī Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad-gītā (7.19):

bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ

"After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare."

The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is meant for the propagation of this message. We are not preaching a particular sectarian religious system but a real religion, dharma. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam: [SB 6.3.19] no one actually knows what dharma is, and no one can manufacture dharma. Dharma is the order of the Supreme Being. No one can manufacture state laws; they are given by the government. The simplest definition of dharma is that dharma is the order of the Supreme Being. Since the Supreme Being, God, is one, His order must be one. How, then, can there be different dharmas? lt is not possible. Different dharmas are created due to ignorance, which causes people to think in terms of Hindu dharma, Muslim dharma, Christian dharma, this dharma or that dharma. No. Gold is gold. If a Christian possesses some gold, does it become Christian gold? Gold is gold whether possessed by a Hindu, a Muslim or a Christian. According to the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, dharma means surrendering unto that Supreme Being. This is bhāgavata-dharma, and everyone should be taught how to surrender unto God. God is one; there cannot be two Gods. When there is competition, there is no God. Presently there is a different God on every street, but Kṛṣṇa is not that kind of God. He is the Supreme God. As Kṛṣṇa Himself states in Bhagavad-gītā (7.7):

mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat
kiñcid asti dhanañjaya
mayi sarvam idaṁ protaṁ
sūtre maṇi-gaṇā iva

"O conqueror of wealth [Arjuna], there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread."

The purpose of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to inform everyone that no one is superior to Kṛṣṇa, God. Because many young Americans and Europeans are fortunate and know nothing of any hodgepodge god, they have taken this bona fide Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement seriously. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam: Bhagavān, God, means Śrī Kṛṣṇa. We have simply presented this information, saying, "Here is God. Śrī Kṛṣṇa." Because they have taken this seriously, many young Americans and Europeans are advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Consequently many people are surprised to see how Americans and Europeans have become such great devotees and are dancing in ecstasy. How is it they are so advanced? They have taken the information seriously: kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam. Whether one touches fire blindly or knowingly, fire will burn. It is not that because the fire is touched by a child, fire will not burn. These young Westerners have touched fire, and consequently it is acting as fire.

Ācāryopāsanam: this information (kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam) is not concocted, but is accepted by the ācāryas in the disciplic succession. Although an impersonalist, Śaṅkarācārya has accepted Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So have Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇusvāmī, Nimbārka and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His followers. They all accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme, just as Arjuna himself did. This is the simplest method. There is no need to speculate, "What is God? Where is God?" Why foolishly go on searching? Here is God—Kṛṣṇa. We may think that Kṛṣṇa cannot be seen, but Kṛṣṇa can appear in the form of His energy. Of course, a stone is not God, but a stone is another one of God's energies. Heat and light are not fire, but without fire there cannot be heat or light. In that sense, heat and light are nondifferent from fire. This material world is like the heat and light of the supreme fire.

ekadeśa-sthitasyāgner
jyotsnā vistāriṇī yathā
parasya brahmaṇaḥ śaktis
tathedam akhilaṁ jagat

"Just as a fire is situated in one place, but spreads illumination all around, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Parabrahman, spreads His energies throughout this universe." (Viṣṇu Purāṇa 1.22.53)

The sun is situated in one place, and its light and heat expand throughout the entire solar system. As soon as we perceive light and heat, we can understand that the sun is there. Since light and heat can be perceived by everyone, Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā (7.8), prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ: "I am the light of the sun and the moon." people are saying, "Can you show me God?" while not realizing that they are seeing God daily at every moment. Because people are foolish in this age, they cannot understand that when we perceive the energy of the Lord, we can feel the presence of the Lord.

The young devotees in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement are presently worshiping Kṛṣṇa. What are the signs of a devotee? The actual sign of a devotee is that he is no longer interested in material enjoyment: bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir anyatra ca (Bhāg. 11.2.42). The disciples of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement do not go to cinemas, restaurants or clubs, and they do not smoke or drink. In European and American countries all these things are available and are very cheap, but these young people are not interested in them. They are simply interested in sitting on the floor and learning about Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Why is this? They have actually rejected the material world. When one comes to detest material enjoyment, one can understand that he has advanced spiritually. Spiritual life does not mean taking sannyāsa and then smoking or drinking tea. One must actually come to detest material life. One comes to lose interest in material activities and becomes interested only in the understanding of God, the Supreme Being, and His service. As enjoined in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (5.5.1):

nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛloke
kaṣṭān kāmān arhate vid-bhujāṁ ye

"Of all the living entities who have accepted material bodies in this world, one who has been awarded this human form should not work hard day and night simply for sense gratification, which is available even for the dogs and hogs that eat stool." The word vid-bhujām means "stooleaters." Hogs work hard day and night simply eating stool, and because stool contains chemicals, hydrophosphates, the hog gets strength, becomes very fat and enjoys sex. In any case, human life is meant not for imitating the life of a hog but for tapasya, austerity:

tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena sattvaṁ
śuddhyed yasmād brahma-saukhyaṁ tv anantam

"Rather, my dear boys, one should engage in penance and austerity to attain the divine position of devotional service. By such activity, one's heart is purified, and when one attains this position, he attains eternal, blissful life, which is transcendental to material happiness and which continues forever." (Bhāg. 5.5.1)

This is the meaning of Vedic civilization. The society of varṇāśrama-dharma—composed of brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas, śūdras, gṛhasthas, vānaprasthas, brahmacārīs and sannyāsīs—is meant to elevate people gradually to the perfect stage of understanding God. The whole aim of the different varṇas and āśramas is the worship of the Supreme Lord. One can attain this understanding through this social system, which admits of gradations. When one goes to school, he begins with the first grade, then progresses to the second, third and so forth. In this way one makes progress.

When human society accepts varṇāśrama-dharma, it can gradually come to the understanding of Brahman. By birth, everyone is a śūdra; therefore everyone has to be educated. The word dvija means "twiceborn." One is first born through the womb of a mother, and one's next birth is given by the spiritual master and Vedic knowledge. Vedic knowledge is the mother, and the spiritual master is the father. When one is twice-born (dvija), he receives a sacred thread from the spiritual master and begins to learn about spiritual life. He is then allowed to read the Vedic literatures. In this way one becomes a son of Vedic literature. Nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalam: [SB 1.1.3] Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the essence of Vedic culture. It is a wish-fulfilling tree, and we can take whatever we want from it. Vedic knowledge is perfect, and if we want to come to know it, we must take shelter of a bona fide guru (tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]).

Unfortunately, in this age everything is mismanaged. people forget the aim of life, and at such a time the Supreme Lord Himself comes. The Supreme Lord descends out of compassion because He is more anxious to have us return home, back to Godhead, than we are to go. Because we are in ignorance, we do not know anything about the kingdom of God. We know nothing about how to get there or how to become happy. We have forgotten all this. Therefore Kṛṣṇa comes at intervals or sends His representative, the pure devotee. Sometimes He comes personally, and sometimes He sends His incarnation.

Kapiladeva is an incarnation of the Supreme Person, Kṛṣṇa. Therefore it is stated: kapilas tattva-saṅkhyātā bhagavān ātma-māyayā. The word māyā means not only "illusion," but also "affection" and "energy." When Kṛṣṇa comes, all His energies also come. It is not that He is forced to come. We have to accept a certain type of body because we are forced to do so, but this is not the case with Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Presently I may have a human form, but in the future I cannot demand a human form. We receive bodies in the next life according to karma, not will. One cannot demand to be a high-court judge unless one has been educated for the job. First of all, one must become qualified. If one qualifies himself, one may become a devatā, a demigod like Indra or Candra, or one can become a dog or a cat. That depends on one's karma, or activities (karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa). When Kṛṣṇa or His incarnation come, they do not depend on karma for their bodies. The Supreme Lord is above karma and is fully independent. It is therefore said, ātma-māyayā. The Supreme Lord comes by His own energy, not by the external energy or by force. When the governor visits the prison, he is not forced to do so. He is not to be considered a condemned person; rather, he goes by his own good will just to see how things are going on, However, it is understood that when an ordinary person is placed in jail, he is sent there by force because he has been proven a criminal. A criminal may think that he and the governor are one, just as rascals and fools think that Kṛṣṇa is one of them. Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam [Bg. 9.11]. A knowledgeable person knows that when Kṛṣṇa or His incarnation descends upon the material world, the Supreme Lord maintains His transcendental position. He is not an ordinary man, nor is He forced into the material world due to karma. The Supreme Lord comes by His own good will. paraṁ bhāvam ajānantaḥ. Rascals cannot understand what Kṛṣṇa is; therefore they think that Kṛṣṇa is a human being. As Kṛṣṇa Himself states in Bhagavad-gītā (7.3):

manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ

"Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth."

Understanding Kṛṣṇa is therefore not so easy. As stated by Kṛṣṇa, out of many thousands one person may become a siddha, a self-realized being. And out of many siddhas, one may be able to understand Kṛṣṇa. It is our great fortune that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Kṛṣṇa Himself, has appeared and given us a very easy process by which we can understand Kṛṣṇa. What is that process? We need only hear about Kṛṣṇa. That's all. We have therefore opened all these centers of Kṛṣṇa consciousness throughout the world.

śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ
hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi
vidhunoti suhṛt satām

"Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramātmā [Supersoul] in everyone's heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted." (Bhāg. 1.2.17)

If we hear about Kṛṣṇa, we become purified. Hearing about Kṛṣṇa means associating with Kṛṣṇa. In this way we may perfect our lives.

Text pasted from; Causless Mercy


Hearing The Gita As Arjuna Did

Posted: 04 Jun 2012 04:50 PM PDT

…So if you want to understand Bhagavad-gita, then we must understand in the same way as the person who directly heard from. This is called parampara system. Suppose I have heard something from my spiritual master, so I speak to you the same thing. So this is parampara system. You cannot imagine what my spiritual master said. Or even if you read some books, you cannot understand unless you understand it from me.This is called parampara system.

“Hearing The Gita As Arjuna Did”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.15.30 Lecture
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Los Angeles, December 8, 1973

gītaṁ bhagavatā jñānaṁ
yat tat saṅgrāma-mūrdhani
kāla-karma-tamo-ruddhaṁ
punar adhyagamat prabhuḥ

gītam—instructed; bhagavatā—by the Personality of Godhead; jñānam—transcendental knowledge; yat—which; tat—that; saṅgrāma-mūrdhani—in the midst of battle; kāla-karma—time and actions; tamaḥ-ruddham—enwrapped by such darkness; punaḥ adhyagamat—revived them again; prabhuḥ—the lord of his senses.

Pradyumna: Translation: “Because ofthe Lord’s pastimes and activities and because of His absence, it appeared that Arjuna forgot the instructions left by the Personality of Godhead. But factually this was not the case, and again he became lord of his senses.”

Prabhupada: Hmm. So here it is explained what is Bhagavad-gita. Gitam bhagavata. Bhagavata means “by the Supreme Personality of Godhead,” and gita means “spoken.” They say “sung,” you can say. But gita means “spoken by.” Therefore it is called Bhagavad-gita, “the instruction given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead personally.” Therefore it is called Bhagavad-gita.

Now Arjuna said that science was spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If we read Bhagavad-gita, then we must follow the person of Arjuna, because Arjuna directly heard Bhagavad-gita from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And he says that this science, gitam bhagavata. So why there should be interpretation? Because the person who heard directly from Bhagavan, the Supreme Per…, he said that this is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So one who is hearing directly, he’s saying something, but you are saying something. You have no right. This is called parampara system. The person who heard Bhagavad-gita directly from Krsna, whatever he says, that is to be accepted. You cannot interpret. This is the parampara system.

So if you want to understand Bhagavad-gita, then we must understand in the same way as the person who directly heard from. This is called parampara system. Suppose I have heard something from my spiritual master, so I speak to you the same thing. So this is parampara system. You cannot imagine what my spiritual master said. Or even if you read some books, you cannot understand unless you understand it from me.This is called parampara system. You cannot jump over to the superior guru, neglecting the next acarya, immediate next acarya. Just like our, this Gau…,Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s cult; we cannot understand Caitanya Mahaprabhu directly.It is not possible. We have to understand through the Gosvamis. Therefore you’ll find in the Caitanya-caritamrta and at the end of every chapter, the writer says,

sri-rupa-ragunatha-pade yaraasa
caitanya-caritamrta kahe krsna-dasa

This is the process. He does not say that “I’ve understood Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu directly.” No. That is not understanding. That is foolishness. You cannot understand what is Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Therefore repeatedly he says, rupa-ragunatha-pade… “I am that Krsna dasa, Kaviraja, who is always under the subordination of the Gosvamis.” This is parampara system. Similarly, Narottama dasa Thakura also says, ei chay gosai jarmui tar das, “I am servant of that person who has accepted this six Gosvamis ashis master. I am not going to be servant of any other person who does not accept the way and means of…” Therefore we say or we offer our prayer to our spiritual master, rupanuga-varaya te, rupanuga-varaya te, because he follows Rupa Gosvami, therefore we accept, spiritual master. Not that one has become more than Rupa Gosvami or more than… No. Tandera carana-sebi-bhakta-sane vas.This is the parampara system.

Now here, the same thing is repeated: Arjuna, who directly heard from Krsna. Sometimes some people say that “Arjuna heard directly from Krsna, but we don’t find Krsna in our presence, so how can I accept?” It is not a question of direct presence, because you have no idea of the absolute knowledge. Krsna’s words, Bhagavad-gita, is not different from Krsna. It’s not different from Krsna. When you hear Bhagavad-gita, you are directly hearing from Krsna because Krsna is not different. Krsna is absolute. Krsna, Krsna’s name, Krsna’s form, Krsna’s quality, Krsna’s instruction,everything Krsna’s, they’re all Krsna. They’re all Krsna. This has to be understood. They’re not different from Krsna. Therefore Krsna’s form here, He’s Krsna. He’s not a statue. “He’s a marble statue.” No. He’s Krsna. He has appeared before you because you cannot see Krsna. You can see stone, wood; therefore He has appeared in that form. You think that it is stone and wood, but He’s not stone and wood; He’s Krsna. This is called Absolute Truth. Similarly,Krsna’s words are also not different from Krsna. When Krsna’s words are there in the Bhagavad-gita, it’s Krsna.

Just like the South Indian brahmana. As soon as he opened his… He was illiterate, he could not read Bhagavad-gita. But his Guru Maharaja said that “You shall read every day eighteen chapters of Bhagavad-gita.” So he was puzzled, that “I’m illiterate, I cannot… All right, take me the…, the Bhagavad-gita.” So he was in a Ramanatha temple. He took the Bhagavad-gita and went like this. He could not read. So his friends who knew him, they were joking, “Well, brahmana, how you are reading Bhagavad-gita?” He did not answer because he knew that his friends are “Joking me because I do not know… I’m illiterate.” But when Caitanya Mahaprabhu came, he was also puzzled, “Brahmana, you are reading Bhagavad-gita? “He said, “Sir, I am illiterate. I cannot read. It is not possible. But my Guru Maharaja ordered me to read. What can I do? I’ve taken this book.” This is trying follow guru’s word. He’s illiterate. He cannot read. There is no possibility. But his Guru Maharaja ordered, “You must read Bhagavad-gita daily,eighteen chapters.” Now what is this? This is called vyavasayatmika buddhih. I may be quite incomplete. It doesn’t matter. But if I try to follow the words ofmy Guru Maharaja, then I become complete.

This is the secret. Yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau [SU 6.23]. If one has strong faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead and as much faith in the guru, yatha deve tathagurau, then the revealed scriptures become manifest. It is not the education. It is not the scholarship. It is faith in Krsna and guru. Therefore Caitanya-caritamrta says guru-krsna-krpaya paya bhakti-lata-bija [Cc. Madhya19.151]. Not by education, not by scholarship, never says. Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, guru-krsna-krpaya, by the mercy of guru, by the mercy of Krsna. It is aquestion of mercy. It is not a question of scholarship or opulence or richness. No. The whole bhakti-marga depends on the mercy of the Lord. So we have to seek the mercy. Athapi te deva padambuja-dvaya-prasada-lesanugrhita eva hi, janatitattvam… Prasada-lesa, lesa means fraction. One who has received a little fraction of mercy of the Supreme, he can understand. Others, na canya eko ‘piciram vicinvan. Others, they may go on speculating for millions of years. It is not possible to understand. So Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Therefore we are presenting because we are presenting Bhagavad-gita as it was understood by Arjuna. We do not go to Dr. Radhakrishnan, this scholar, that scholar, this rascal, that ra… No. We do not go. That is not our business. That is parampara.

So Arjuna here says, bhagavata,”What I heard from that personality, Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan.” Bhagavan means full of six opulences. I’ve described it many times. So here is the direct hearer, listener. He says bhagavata. How you can say that Krsna is not Bhagavan — ordinary person? How you can say? One who heard the message, he says directly. This is called parampara system. This is called parampara. Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh [Bg. 4.2]. So if we understand Bhagavad-gita, as Krsna…, as Arjuna understood. that is perfect. That is Bhagavad-gita As It Is. And if you try to understand Bhagavad-gita as some rascal commentator says, then you are reading somebody else; rubbish. There’s no meaning. You’re simply wasting your time. He may be such scholar, such big politician, like this. In our country, big politician, they have commented; big,big yogis, they have commented; big, big scholars they have… They’re all useless. Take it: useless. If you read such commentary of Bhagavad-gita, it is simply waste of time. If you actually want to study Bhagavad-gita, then as Arjuna understands. Arjuna directly listened from Krsna.

So in Bhagavad-gita Arjuna says,after understanding Bhagavad-gita from Krsna, he said, “You are Parabrahma. “Param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan [Bg. 10.12]. Bhavan. Bhavan means “Your Lordship.” “You are Parabrahma, the Supreme Brahma.” He’s the Supreme Brahma. Brahma means spirit and brahma means the greatest. So he has explicitly explained that spirit soul, we are all spirit soul, every one of us. But He is the supreme spirit soul, param. Param means the supreme. He’s not ordinary. So He comes as ordinary, not ordinary, as human being, but He is the supreme human being. That is the difference. Supreme human being. But one who cannot understand, one who thinks, “Oh, Krsna is like us. He has got also two hands, two legs, one head. We have got also. He is like me,” he is a mudha, rascal. Therefore it is said in the Bhagavad-gita, avajananti mam mudhah: “These rascal fools, they deride.” Manusim tanum as… Param bhavam ajanantah, “They have no knowledge of the param bhavam.” So the param bhavam, that is understood by the devotees. That is the difference. Budha bhava-samanvitah, Krsna has said.Budha bhava-samanvitah. Param bhavam, this bhava… Bhava means assimilation –”Oh, Krsna is so great.” This is called bhava. That is real understanding, when you understand really this bhava stage. Bhava-bhakti. Bhava-bhakti. Simply engaged in Krsna’s service. Param bhavam. Person who has not come to this stage of bhava, he cannot understand Krsna. Param bhavam ajanantah. The bhava stagecomes.

Everyone can attain that bhava stage. There is process. This process is described by Rupa Gosvami how to come to the bhava stage. Bhava stage means just prior to perfection. One must come to the bhava stage, next stage is perfection. Next stage is full perfection. So how to come to this bhava stage, that is Rupa Gosvami has described, adau sraddha. First of all little faith. Just like many outsider also come here, “What these people are doing, these Krsna consciousness men? So let us see.” So sraddha. That is called sraddha. Sraddha, real sraddha means complete faith. That is described by Caitanya-caritamrta. Sraddha-sabde visvasa kahe sudrdha niscaya. One who has got this much faith, strong faith, that Krsna is the SupremePersonality of Godhead, this faith, not flickering, firm faith, “Yes, Krsna isthe Supreme Personality…” That is called sraddha. That is beginning of sraddha. If you have got still doubt, then you have not come to the stage of sraddha even. Superfluous. You may come, but when you actually believe that”Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and if I engage myself in Krsna’sservice, I am perfect” — two things — that is sraddha. And the more you increase this sraddha you become advanced. The beginning is this sraddha. Adausraddha.

So how this sraddha, this faith can be increased? Sadhu-sanga. If you keep yourself associated with the devotees, then this sraddha can be increased. If you simply believe, “Yes, Krsna is Supreme Personality,” but you do not live with the sadhus or devotee, then it will drop. It will finish. So just to keep the standard, the temperature right,you must keep always yourself warm. If you go away, then your (indistinct) is gone. Again you become cold. You see. This is the process. Adau sraddha tatahsadhu-sangah. Everything is perfect. The first thing is that you must believe that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yes. And to keep this faith strong and going on, you must keep association with devotees. Otherwise whatever little faith you got, it will be lost. It become again under the clutches of maya. Adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sangah. And if you actually associate with sadhu,then the next stage is bhajana-kriya, initiation, how to worship Krsna. The nanartha-nivrttih syat. If you are actually engaged in devotional service, anartha, which are not required, things will vanish. Just like we ask ourstudents, “No illicit sex, no intoxication, no gambling, no meat-eating.” Simply by hearing it you cannot follow it. It is not possible. If you make bhajana-kriya, if you’re actually following — chanting sixteen rounds — then you can follow the others. Otherwise, if you are spiritually weak, you cannot. The government is spending so much money to stop this intoxication, LSD, in your country. They’re all failure. But here, with our pure association, a person can give up immediately. Just see how much the association is strong. Adau sraddhatatah sadhu…, bhajana-kriya. Anartha.

Then after one is free from these sinful activities, then he comes to the understanding stage. So long one is sinful, he has no possibility of understanding. Yesam tv anta-gatam papam. One who is completely free from all sinful activities, anta-gatam, finished, yesamtv anta-gatam papam jananam punya-karmanam. And how you can become free from sinful activities unless you act piously? Because we must have some engagement. If you have no pious engagement, then you cannot become free from sinful activities. You must act. If you do not act piously, then you must act viciously. This is the way. The Mayavadi philosopher, they simply wants to stop impious activities. But they do not engage themselves in pious activities.Therefore they fail. They fail. You must have side by side. Param drstvani vartate. If you get something better, then you can give up inferior. But if you do not get better, you cannot give up the inferior. That is notpossible.

So you can give up this impious activities provided you are engaged fully in devotional service. Otherwise it is not possible. Simply by moral instruction, that “Stealing is very bad. Don’t steal,” nobody likes it. Nobody likes it. It is practical. One man has stolen, and he’s arrested and he’s going to the police custody. So everyone has seen,and he has heard also that the government says that if you steal, you’ll be punished. In the Bible or in any other religious scripture it is said that stealing is not good. So he has heard it, and he has seen it that a man who has stolen, he is going to jail. So these two things are experienced: hearing and seeing. In spite of all his experience, why does he steal? Because he has no good association. He knows that stealing is bad; otherwise why he steals at night? Nobody can see. He knows he is doing some bad thing. But why he cannot give up that bad thing? Because he’s not associating with good person. That is it.

So association is so… Therefore we have named this Krsna Consciousness Society. Not Krsna consciousness only. Krsna Consciousness Society. A society’s so beneficial we should understand. So, in this way, atha bhajana-kriya anartha-nivrttih syat. If we prosecute our devotional activities and keep our association with the devotees, then we can be free from sinful activities. And when you are completely free from sinful activities, then we get nistha. Yes, it is full faith. Nistha means full faith. Tato nistha. Tato rucih. Ruci means taste. Why you are hearing about Krsna daily, the same thing? We are speaking nothing new. “Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and you have to surrender.” This is our daily business. But why you are coming to see…, hear the same hackneyed words? Because it is very pleasing. This is called ruci, taste, “Yes, I want to hear this repeatedly. Yes. Krsna is the Supreme Lord, I am the eternal servant.” You have got a taste. Unless one gets the taste, then you’ll say, “What is this hackneyed word?” Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, twenty-four hours you can chant because you have got the taste. Others cannot do. This is called ruci. And ruci means asakti, attraction:”I must go. I must chant. I must do.” Tato nistha, tato rucih, atha asaktih.Tato bhavah. Then bhava: “Ah, Krsna. I will associate with Krsna. Then Krsna’slove, that is perfection.”

So those who are not attained to this stage, first stage is how to become free from sinful ac…, anartha. Anartha you don’t require, but you are habituated. And maya is so strong, you don’t require to smoke, but the maya is advertising, “Here is one coolcigarette, or this hot cigarette, or this…” This is called maya. You don’t require it. It has no existence. There is no pleasure, but still you areattached to it. That is called maya, illusion. That is called illusion. So we have got so friend, so nice friends all over the world, that we… You do not require… They are simply illurimous(?), “Here is whisky, here is this wine, here is that wine, here is this woman, here is this illicit sex, here is this cigarette, here is meat-eating, here is…” This is going on.

So therefore this Krsna consciousness movement is the only humanitarian work who can save the human society. All are helping them to go to hell. This is a fact. All are helping simply… So many innocent human beings are being slaughtered by education, by culture, by so-called society, friendship… It is very vicious cycle. Therefore here it is said, Krsna sai… Arjuna said, yatha…, sangrama-murdhani,kala-karma-tamo-ruddham. This nice instruction of Bhagavad-gita becomes choked up by the time, kala. The time, you know, everyone, time’s business is to destroy. You construct very nice house — ten years or, say, five years after, you have to again replace it because the time has destroyed it, so many things. The time…, time destroys. This is the business of time, kala. And karma, our karma, because we are always engaged in sinful activities, karma. Kala, karma,and tamas, ignorance. Ignorance. Tamas means darkness, and the symptom of tamo-guna is laziness and sleep. Those who are lazy and sleeping, you must know he’s under the influence of tamo-guna. And rajo-guna, always acting foolishly. Just like these people are running. They’re rajo-guna. But actually in thi sworld there are two gunas — rajas and tamas, ignorance and foolishly active. Foolish active is very dangerous. There are four classes: lazy intelligent, busy intelligent, lazy foolish, and active foolish. The active foolish is a fourth-class man. So at the present moment they’re very active, but they’re all foolish. Therefore the world is in danger. Active foolishness. Foolish, if he stops, he does not work, it is better. But as soon as he becomes active he becomes more dangerous.

So this rajas-tamo-bhava is prominent. There is no sattva-guna, goodness. It is very rare. The symptom of goodness is that he can see everything right. That is goodness. Prakasa. Just like in sunshine you can see everything clearly. Similarly, one who sees clearly things as they are, they are in the goodness, mode of goodness. There are three modes of the material nature. One who’s acting foolishly, he’s in rajo-guna, and one who does not know what is the meaning of life, simply laziness and darkness, that is tamo-guna. So those who are in the tamo-guna, jaghanya-guna-vrtti-sthaadho gacchanti tamasah. So they will go to the again to the animal kingdom. They’ll go again animal kingdom. Rajo-guna may have their human birth again, but that is also very difficult. But if you stay in the sattva-guna, then your life is successful even if you do not get Krsna in this life; you’ll get next life if you keep yourself sattva-guna. Urdhvam gacchanti sattva-sthah, they will gradually be promoted to the higher planetary system or in the spiritual world.

Therefore we are trying to keep ourselves, our students always in the sattva-guna. Cleanliness, sattva…, to remain a brahmana. If you remain a brahmana then you’ll not fall down. You’ll not fall down. Otherwise, if you remain in tamo-guna, then you are going to be next animal. This is the process of nature. You cannot check. You may be very great scientist, but you cannot check the process of nature. That is not…Daivi hy esa guna-mayi mama maya duratyaya. That is not possible. That i snatural. I’ve given the instance that if you contaminate some poisonous disease you must suffer. That is natural way. Not that why you shall suffer. No, you must suffer because you are already contaminated. Therefore the contamination of the material world is going on, sattva-guna, rajo-guna, tamo-guna. If you contaminate with the tamo-guna, then you must suffer. If you contaminate rajo-guna, you must get disease. That is not in your hand. You cannot say. But people are so foolish they do not know how nature is working. They’re puffed up with little knowledge and thinking they’re master of the thing. That is not possible.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya! Hari bol! (end)


Amit Teli

Amit Teli is the man behind the Chant Hare Krishna Blog.

He likes ISKCON, Pure Vegan Food and Devotes to Almighty Lord Sri Krishna who is his spiritual Master.

In his free time he mostly blogs, prays to the lord and sleeps.

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