Srila Prabhupada on Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.3,
Part Two


Jun 27, 2011 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial exploration of Srila Prabhupada's preaching on Srimad Bhagavatam.

In our last segment, we presented Text 3 of the Second Chapter, First Canto from the original Srimad Bhagwatam, offering a few comments about the differences between the various editions. Today we will begin to explore Srila Prabhupada's preaching on SB 1.2.3, beginning with one of two lectures he gave on this sloka.

In his lecture from London, August 24, 1971, Srila Prabhupada mentions the following (paraphrased) points, among others:

These are the qualifications of the spiritual master. What is that? Svanubhavam, "must assimilate personally."

The Vedas are called sruti, absolute knowledge. It has to be learned by hearing, not by speculation. Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet srotriyam (Mundaka Upanisad 1.2.12). From sruti, the srotriya comes.

He's offering respect to Sukadeva Gosvami because he has assimilated the whole Vedic knowledge. Sruti-sara. Sara means essence.

vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah (Bg 15.15) -- the real purpose of Vedic knowledge is to search out where is Krsna.

Although Sukadeva Gosvami was a liberated soul, still he was after Krsna. To become liberated is not the final stage. Liberated means one who understands that he is not this material body--he is liberated. But that much knowledge is not sufficient. One must act according to that.

Even if we are liberated, if we are not engaged in the activities of liberation, then we are to be considered on the marginal stage, and marginal stage means we may fall down in this material condition. Aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah patanty adho 'nadrta-yusmad-anghrayah (SB 10.2.32). Krcchrena, with great difficulty.

By theoretical knowledge (of Absolute Truth) you cannot escape. It must be practiced. So in our Krsna consciousness movement we are putting the candidate into practice.

Without practice, simply knowledge is no good. Simply foolishly to become puffed up that "I am now liberated," no. That is not liberation. Ye 'nye 'ravindaksa vimukta-maninah. Vimukta-maninah (SB 10.2.32).

The Mayavada sannyasis address themselves as "Narayana." In the Mayavada philosophy everyone thinks that he is God, Narayana. No. You cannot become Narayana. You can become Narayana's dasa, servant.

Liberation means sufficient knowledge to understand that one is not this body. When one is liberated, his actual life begins. Actual life is to be engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati (Bg 18.54).

After being brahma-bhutah, not simply by knowing aham brahmasmi. One must realize, assimilate, how he is Brahman.

Brahman means the same thing as the Absolute Truth. All living entities, being part and parcel of the Supreme Brahman, Krsna, certainly we are Brahman. But if one stops activities of Brahman realization, then he falls down.

The Brahman activities are this devotional service… realization that everything belongs to Krsna. In the bhakti school, everything belongs to Krsna. We don't take anything as our own. That is called Vaisnava philosophy. Assimilate. Anubhava.

Svanubhavam means personally convinced. Anubhavam. God can be realized at the present stage by anubhava. We cannot see God now, but anubhava, appreciating or understanding the nature of God and seeing God, there is no difference. Absolute.

Someday, if you continue in that Krsna consciousness, presence of Lord in everything, then it will be possible to see Krsna eye to eye.

Krsna is absolute, advaya-jnana. He is identified to everything. What is everything? Everything means manifestation of His energy.

Energy is not different from the energetic. Sakti-saktimatayor abhedam. This svanubhava, when there is no darkness in your heart... What is Krsna, when you understand fully within your heart, at that time your actual liberation is attained.

Sukadeva Gosvami, after assimilating the whole Vedic literature, distributed it. That is another instinct. If you really have learned the essence of Vedic knowledge, automatically you'll be inclined to preach it. Sravanam kirtanam.

Yah svanubhavam akhila-sruti-saram ekam adhyatma-dipam (SB 1.2.3). This Srimad-Bhagavatam is just like the lamp in the darkness to see Krsna. It is meant for those who are desiring to get out of this world of ignorance. Tamo 'ndham.

Andha means blind or darkness. So our materialistic way of life is described as grha andha-kupam (SB 7.5.5).

Family life is just like a dark well. We are already in the darkness, and another darkness is to fall in the dark well. If one falls down in the dark well, it is very difficult to get out because he may cry very loudly and people may not hear. You may simply die without any help.

This materialistic way of life, without any knowledge of the outside world... Outside world means just like we are within this universe. Just like a coconut shell. Within the coconut shell it is darkness, and without it is light. As in within coconut there is half water, similarly, within this universe there is half water. On that water, Garbhodakasayi Visnu, is lying. But outside the universe there is light.

Here, within the universe, because it is covered, light is required. Sunlight and moonlight is required. Electricity is required. But in the spiritual world there is no necessity of light. They're self effulgent, therefore tamo 'ndham.

Those who are actually serious about going out of this darkness and come to the light, tamasi ma jyotir gama (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad): "Don't remain in this darkness. Come to the light."

Atititirsatam tamo 'ndham (SB 1.2.3). Those who are actually serious to go out of this darkness to light, for them this is the lamp, this Srimad-Bhagavatam is given by Sukadeva Gosvami.

This is the business of the saintly persons. They are very much compassionate to these materialistic men, samsarinam. Samsari means they are perpetually rotating, wandering, within this darkness in different forms of life. Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, ei rupe brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva (Cc. Madhya 19.151).

Materialistic way of life, they have no knowledge that there is life after death. We should prepare for what kind of body we shall have next life. Instead, they are being carried away by the waves of material nature.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura therefore sings, (miche) mayar bose jaccho bhese' khaccho habudubu bhai (Gitavali, BVT). Everyone is suffering, mayar bose. Under the influence of maya, the illusory energy, they are being carried away by the waves of the three modes of material nature, and suffering.

Krsna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja (Bg 18.66): "You are suffering; you simply surrender unto Me." So what Krsna says, the Bhagavata also says the same thing.

Sometimes the Mayavadis say these Puranas are stories. No. They are not stories. Purana means filling up, supplementary, to complete it. Ramayana, Mahabharata, Purana, they are all belonging to the Vedic literature. Especially Srimad-Bhagavatam, which is called Maha-purana. Purana-guhyam. Very confidential Purana.

There are three kinds of puranas. In the tamasika-purana there are recommendations for goddess Kali and other. In rajasika-purana there is recommendation for yajna or worshiping the demigods in the heavenly planet, Indra, Candra. But in the sattvika-purana, only Lord Visnu is recommended to be worshiped. This is called purana-guhyam because you won't find any recommendation for worshiping any other demigod. Only the absolute. Satyam param. The ultimate Absolute Truth, Krsna, om namo bhagavate vasudevaya.

Samsarinam karunayaha purana-guhyam (SB SB 1.2.3). He first of all spoke Srimad-Bhagavatam, being compassionate to the people suffering from these material pangs.

Tam vyasa-sunum upayami gurum muninam (SB SB 1.2.3). "He's not only my guru, but he is guru, spiritual master, of great sages and saintly persons."

Vyasadeva also considered his son greater than himself. When Sukadeva Gosvami appeared in the assembly, all the munis stood up to receive him, even Vyasadeva. gurum muninam. He is spiritual master of all saintly persons.

First of all, there was only one Veda, Atharva-veda. Then he divided according to the subject matter into four Vedas: Sama, Yajur, Atharva, Rg. Then he explained the Vedas by the Puranas, and he compiled Mahabharata

Stri-sudra-dvija-bandhunam trayi na sruti-gocara (SB 1.4.25). Those who are less intelligent, woman, sudra, and dvija-bandhu... for them this Mahabharata.

And at the end he compiled, he summarized the whole thing by writing Vedanta-sutra. Still, he was not happy, and under the direction of his spiritual master Narada he wrote the commentary of Vedanta-sutra, and that is Srimad-Bhagavatam.

If you are really anxious to become free from the conditional life, then you have to take to adhyatma-sastra. You have to take knowledge from spiritual sources.

Bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate (Bg. 7.19). After many, many births they come to realize that, "This is not the way of solution. I must take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

Bhaktivedanta Book Trust


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