Srila Prabhupada on Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.5-6,
Part Three


May 06, 2011 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial exploration of Srila Prabhupada's preaching on Srimad Bhagavatam.

Following are the translations for Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.5 and 1.1.6 and beneath that, a breakdown of the statements contained therein. Under each statement, we have included references to the related points Srila Prabhupada made in his lecture on the combined slokas, as paraphrased in the previous segment.

Of course, each one of Srila Prabhupada's statements contains so much information, they could rightly be applied to more than one statement from the slokas. We have simply divided them into obvious categories in order to point out the comprehensiveness of Srila Prabhupada's instructions on aspects of these verses.

    SB 1.1.5 Translation

    "One day, after finishing their morning duties by burning a sacrificial fire and offering a seat of esteem to Srila Suta Goswami, the great sages made inquiries, with great respect, about the following matters."

    SB 1.1.6 Translation

    "The sages said: Respected Suta Gosvami, you are completely free from all vice. You are well versed in all the scriptures famous for religious life, and in the Puranas and the histories as well, for you have gone through them under proper guidance and have also explained them."

One day, after finishing their morning duties by burning a sacrificial fire

    Fire ceremony was held daily in the morning. That is Vedic system. The Arya-samajis do it regularly in the morning. Not exactly in the same way ...we are also holding that ceremony. agnir nirvapanad va.

    The system was very strict and regular and people rigidly followed. Anyone can follow the regulations, but they do not like to do.

    Everyone should rise early in the morning before four o'clock.

    In India there is regular seasons. The sun rises in the morning about five, regularly, either in winter or summer. Maybe half an hour difference.

    Indian public, even they are not very educated, because the culture is there, especially in the villages, they rise early in the morning and take bath. By nature, in the morning either the river or the well water is very warm. With the advance of day it becomes cooler.

    After taking bath, in the temple there will be mangala-arati and other ceremonies. One of the ceremonies is this pratar huta-hutagnayah, holding the fire ceremony.

    ta ekada tu munayah. Generally, they're high-caste brahmanas. So regularly this principle was being observed.

and offering a seat of esteem to Srila Suta Goswami,

    Suta Gosvami, was given due respect, the vyasasana. Due respects, the welcoming, receiving, sat-krtam sutam asinam. The speaker must sit very comfortably. Sukha means certainly he should not feel any inconvenience. Then the speaking will go on nicely.

the great sages made inquiries, with great respect, about the following matters.

    The saunakadi rsis... there were thousands of rsis in Naimisaranya. It is very, very old place. At least, from historical point of view, modern estimate is it is five thousand years old, because the first Bhagavata discussion took place there after instruction of Vyasadeva.

    idam adarat. The questions should be put not by challenging, by adarat, with great adoration. "I beg to submit, this is my question." "Can you tell me like this?" No, that is challenge. Very submissively. tad viddhi pranipatena (Bg 4.34). The question should be put by surrender.

    If somebody challenges, he'll never be able to understand. The question has to be very submissive. Arjuna was questioning Krsna, "I have heard like this; if You think that I am fit to understand it, You can please explain it." Similarly Pariksit Maharaja was asking submissively, "If you think I can understand, then please explain." This is the process of question.

The sages said: Respected Suta Gosvami, you are completely free from all vice.

    Reducing eating, sleeping, mating, that is spiritual advancement. This is the test. The idea is to bring it to nil. Just like Gosvamis. nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau (Sri Sri Sad-gosvamy-astaka, Srinivasa Acarya), they conquered over sleeping and eating and mating.

    We will conquer over maya when we see that we are not disturbed by these four processes; eating, sleeping, mating and defending. This is the test.

    It is not required that don't eat, don't sleep, don't... But minimize it; at least, regulate it, try. This is called austerity, tapasya.

    Vyasa-puja means a spiritual master is representative of Vyasa. Just as we are teaching this Bhagavata-dharma, the Srimad-Bhagavatam--we are following the footsteps of Vyasadeva.

    The preacher's seat is Vyasadeva's asana. Just like in the high court, nobody else can sit there, only the high court judge, representative of king for giving law to the citizens, he can sit down. Similarly, the vyasasana is occupied by the representative of Vyasadeva.

    Gosvami or svami, the same meaning. One who has been able to control his senses. When one becomes controller of the senses, then he's gosvami.

    Sannyasa means who has fully control of the senses. One should not accept sannyasa whimsically. One must know about himself, how far he can control the senses.

    Generally, sannyasa is not accepted until one is sixty years old. But in this age there is no guarantee we are going to live up to sixty years old, so sometimes younger generation is also offered sannyasa.

    Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted sannyasa at the age of twenty-four. We are not imitating Caitanya Mahaprabhu. But for executing His mission, if we are sincerely working for Him, then we can take sannyasa at an early age. But when one is actually a sannyasa, a master of the senses, he can be addressed as gosvami or svami.

You are well versed in all the scriptures famous for religious life,

    First of all, there is the Veda. Originally, the Veda, Atharva-veda. That is divided now into four: Sama, Yajur, Atharva, Rg. Then all the Vedic instructions are concentrated in the Vedanta-sutra.

    There are 108 Upanisads, and many others. All the knowledge is concentrated in the Vedanta-sutra, or Vedanta philosophy.

    In the Vedic civilization there are twenty big, big books, dharma-sastra, for regulating life. Very difficult subject matter. Suta Gosvami was offered the seat of vyasasana because he was aware of these things, itihasa, history, purana, still older history, dharma-sastra, the scriptures, everything.

    Therefore Suta Gosvami is first of all addressing that "You have read... Not only you have read, but you have described." Unless you fully assimilate, understand, you cannot describe it.

    Simply reading will not help us. When we shall be able to preach the reading matter, doesn't matter whether in the same language or in my own language... It doesn't matter. That is wanted. Akhyatany adhitani. Adhitani means "You have read."

and in the Puranas and the histories as well,

    It is explained for common men by puranani, by Puranas. Just like this Bhagavata-purana. Purana means old, old history, purana. And itihasa means history.

    Vedic civilization was concerned with historical evidences which are very, very important. At the present moment, they write history chronologically. One period may be important, one period may not be important, but they write all the history. The Vedic way of writing history was not like that. Suppose for millions of years of history you write, then where you'll keep the records? It is not possible.

    Nobody used to write autobiography. But the life of great kings, sages, saintly persons, they were recorded.

    All the statements or narrations described in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, they're all historical evidence, they're not imagination. Itihasa means history.

    Vedic language is sometimes very difficult to understand. So Puranas are explanation of the Vedic knowledge in a supplementary way by taking references from the history, from the life of great saints and sages.

    Mayavadi philosophers say that the Puranas are not Veda. That is not the fact. Here in the Bhagavata it says the Purana is part of the Vedas. As Upanisad is part of Vedas. It is written in simplified language for those who are less educated, having less brain substance.

    Mahabharata means the history of greater India. Maha means greater. Bharata means India, At that time the whole world was Bharata-varsa.

    Mahabharata especially was written for three classes of men: stri, sudra, dvija-bandhu. Stri means woman, sudra means worker class, and dvija-bandhu means persons who have taken their birth in higher caste, brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, but they're degraded. They could not keep up their standard of culture.

    Simply by becoming the son of high court judge, one does not become a high court judge. He must have the qualification. So when one is simply proud of his high parentage, he is called dvija-bandhu.

    All English boys and girls present here, now you become greater than your forefathers by taking this Krsna consciousness. That will make you more powerful, spiritually powerful. You can render service to the humanity. Every human being should try to become very important. That importance can be achieved by culture.

for you have gone through them under proper guidance and have also explained them.

    What was written five thousand years ago for the less intelligent class of men, that literature is not understandable even by the highest and elevated, educated persons at the present moment. Try to understand this point. How much you have degraded!

    Formerly this Vedic literature was not in written pages. Just like Suta Gosvami. There is no question of taking notes. As soon as they will hear, they'll immediately get it in memory, and they will never forget. Memory was so sharp. At the present moment, our memory is so low-grade we cannot remember even what I have done two hours past.

    So this is Kali-yuga. We are in so many degraded positions; still, falsely we are proud that we are advancing. It is false prestige. Actually, we are very, very much degraded.

    The only means of our being elevated to the highest position is this: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

Sastric Citations

With respect to the sastric references Srila Prabhupada made in his lecture on SB 1.1.5-6, nearly all the citations in this lecture are quotes from the slokas themselves, with the exception of these two:

    tad viddhi pranipatena (Bg 4.34)

    nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau (Sri Sri Sad-gosvamy-astaka)

They are presented below, in full:

    Bhagavad-gita As It Is 4.34:

    tad viddhi pranipatena
    pariprasnena sevaya
    upadeksyanti te jnanam
    jnaninas tattva-darsinah


    tat -- that knowledge of different sacrifices; viddhi -- try to understand; pranipatena -- by approaching a spiritual master; pariprasnena -- by submissive inquiries; sevaya -- by the rendering of service; upadeksyanti -- they will initiate; te -- you; jnanam -- into knowledge; jnaninah -- the self-realized; tattva -- of the truth; darsinah -- seers.


    "Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.


    The path of spiritual realization is undoubtedly difficult. The Lord therefore advises us to approach a bona fide spiritual master in the line of disciplic succession from the Lord Himself. No one can be a bona fide spiritual master without following this principle of disciplic succession. The Lord is the original spiritual master, and a person in the disciplic succession can convey the message of the Lord as it is to his disciple. No one can be spiritually realized by manufacturing his own process, as is the fashion of the foolish pretenders. The Bhagavatam (6.3.19) says, dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam: the path of religion is directly enunciated by the Lord. Therefore, mental speculation or dry arguments cannot help lead one to the right path. Nor by independent study of books of knowledge can one progress in spiritual life. One has to approach a bona fide spiritual master to receive the knowledge. Such a spiritual master should be accepted in full surrender, and one should serve the spiritual master like a menial servant, without false prestige. Satisfaction of the self-realized spiritual master is the secret of advancement in spiritual life. Inquiries and submission constitute the proper combination for spiritual understanding. Unless there is submission and service, inquiries from the learned spiritual master will not be effective. One must be able to pass the test of the spiritual master, and when he sees the genuine desire of the disciple, he automatically blesses the disciple with genuine spiritual understanding. In this verse, both blind following and absurd inquiries are condemned. Not only should one hear submissively from the spiritual master, but one must also get a clear understanding from him, in submission and service and inquiries. A bona fide spiritual master is by nature very kind toward the disciple. Therefore when the student is submissive and is always ready to render service, the reciprocation of knowledge and inquiries becomes perfect."

    Bhaktivedanta Book Trust

    Sri Sri Sad-gosvamy-astaka by Srinivasa Acarya:

    sankhya-purvaka-nama-gana-natibhih kalavasani-krtau
    nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau catyanta-dinau ca yau
    radha-krsnam-guna-smrter madhurimanandena sammohitau
    vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau


    "I offer my respectful obeisances unto the six Gosvamis, namely Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, and Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, who were engaged in chanting the holy names of the Lord and bowing down in a scheduled measurement. In this way they utilized their valuable lives, and in executing these devotional activities they conquered over eating and sleeping and were always meek and humble, enchanted by remembering the transcendental qualities of the Lord."


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