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680112 - Lecture SB 01.05.04 - Los Angeles

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

680112SB-LOS ANGELES - January 12, 1968 - 34:01 Minutes

Prabhupāda: . . . akṛtārtha iva prabho (SB 1.5.4). The question of Nārada to Vyāsadeva, his disciple that, "My dear disciple Vyāsadeva, you have thoroughly inquired," jijñāsā, adhītam. Adhītam means "You have studied thoroughly." What about? Brahman. Brahman means the Absolute Truth. Jijñāsitam adhītaṁ ca brahma, and the Absolute Truth, yat tat brahma sanātanam. Sanātanam means eternal.

The conception of Brahmin, Absolute Truth, is eternal. Brahmin, the definition of Brahmin is "that which is the greatest." Just like we say God is great. Greatest. And increasing also. Brahmin is not limited. Just like we have got some idea, say, the sky, the greatest. But this is also increasing. According to astronomical calculation, the planets and the universe, they can increase. So the Absolute Truth, that is eternally increasing. There is no comparison of Brahman's increasement and magnitude. Sanātana: and that is also eternal.

So for spiritual realization this is very important thing, jijñāsā. Jijñāsā means inquiry. One who is not inquisitive, for him there is no progress, either spiritually or materially. In ordinary school also, the boy who inquires from the teacher always, he is considered to be very intelligent boy. Similarly, in our householder life, sometimes, generally, the children, they inquire from the parents: "Father, what is this? Father, what is that?" That boy, that child, is supposed to be very intelligent. This is experienced. So for spiritual life also, one should be very seriously inquisitive and studious.

It is a great science. It is not a bluff, that anybody can manufacture something spiritual. No. It is a great science. One has to study the science from bona fide spiritual master. Study means . . . it does not mean that one has to be very highly qualified in academic education. Spiritual science does not depend on one's academic education. You'll be surprised to know that my grand–spiritual master, my spiritual master's spiritual master, he was illiterate. And my spiritual master was the learned . . . greatest learned scholar of his age.

Now, how he became the disciple of an illiterate man? So, but that Gaura Kiśora Dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja . . . his name was Gaura Kiśora Dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, my spiritual master's spiritual master, my grand–spiritual master. So he was illiterate, but when you asked him some question, some intricate question of spiritual significance, he'll answer you immediately very nicely. That is realization.

Now, how this realization takes place? Not by academic education, but by sincerity. If one is very sincere, that he wants to know what is spiritual science, what is God, what is self, what is Superself, what is this world, what is spiritual world—there are so many questions. Unfortunately, we are not inquisitive. And one who is not inquisitive, for him there is no need of accepting a spiritual master.

In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is directed, tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta (SB 11.3.21): "One should surrender to a spiritual master." Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ. Who will surrender? Who has become very inquisitive, "What is God?" Take for example, "What is God? What I am?" Now, unless one is very seriously inquisitive about this subject matter, there is no need of spiritual master. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ. Jijñāsuḥ means very inquisitive.

And what sort of jijñāsuḥ, inquisitive? There must be some subject matter of inquiry. Just in the market place the businessmen, their inquiry, "What is the rate? What is the price of this thing?" He's interested in purchasing and selling. The Bhāgavata says: "Not that kind of inquisitiveness. Not for any material inquiry." There is no need of asking about any material things which are hackneyed. Jijñāsuḥ śreya: "What is my ultimate goal of life?" That inquiry.

Now, everyone knows that, "My ultimate goal of life is to accumulate a big bank balance." Generally, we think like that. Or somebody thinks that "If I possess a big skyscraper house and several motorcars, that is ultimate goal of my life." But Bhāgavata says: "Not that kind of inquiry. You do not require to enquire about how to achieve a skyscraper house or several motorcars or very good apartment," just materialists, as they want.

That you may enquire or not enquire. What is destined to you, it will come. It will come. The Bhāgavata says that, "Either you enquire . . ." You go to astrologer that, "What is in my fate? Whether I am getting such and such things or not?" You enquire or not enquire, if you are destined to achieve that thing, it will come automatically. Everyone is bound up by the reaction of his past work.

Tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovidaḥ. There is another verse in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Kovida. Kovida means very intelligent person. He should work for that purpose. What is that?

tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovida
na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ
(SB 1.5.18)

Now we have invented so many instruments for flying in the space. Upary adhaḥ means very upward, fifty thousand miles up, and again down, you can travel. But the real goal of your life is not to be achieved in that way. Bhramatām upary adhaḥ. Suppose if you reach the moon planet or sun planet . . . there are so many planets higher and higher, bigger and bigger. But that is not your goal of life.

tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovida
na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ
(SB 1.5.18)

Your goal of life is that which you cannot achieve even by traveling the whole space. What is that? That goal of life is to search out God and your relationship with God.

Because you are part and parcel of God, and somehow or other, you have been entrapped by this material atmosphere, and you are not happy. Nobody is happy. If one says that, "I am happy," he must be a crazy man or he must be speaking lie. Nobody is happy. How you can be happy? Because we are always full of anxiety. That is our condition. Even if you are sitting here in the classroom of Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, still, I am thinking, "What will happen tomorrow? This business I have got to do." So anxiety.

So, so long we have got anxiety, there is no question of happiness. And other things . . . just like threefold miseries. Miseries means we have got three kinds of miseries: miseries pertaining to the body, pertaining to the mind, and pertaining to other people with whom we have got connection and pertaining to the nature's disturbance.

So there are so many miseries, threefold miseries. Adhyātmika, adhibhautika, adhidaivika. And besides that, we have got birth, death, old age and disease. So in this . . . so long we have got this body, there is no question of happiness. If somebody is satisfied that "I am happy," he is cheating himself. Happiness has to be found out.

The Bhagavad-gītā says that sukham ātyantikaṁ yat (BG 6.21). If you want supreme happiness, then you have to search out beyond the sense happiness. We are entrapped here in this material world in sense happiness. If our senses are satisfied, we think we are happy. But Bhagavad-gītā says that real happiness is to be searched out beyond the senses, transcendental.

So Bhāgavata also says like that, that you should be inquisitive for the goal of your life. The goal of life—everyone is searching after happiness, but where I can get uninterrupted happiness, eternal happiness, blissful happiness? That you have to search out. That is the direction of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovidaḥ. Intelligent persons who search out that kind of happiness, na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ (SB 1.5.18), which cannot be achieved even by traveling or covering the whole space . . .

Then one may question that, "If I am engaged in searching out the goal of my life, accepting that spiritual realization is the goal of my life, then what about my living condition? I have to work." So Bhāgavata answers that "You be engaged in your whatever engagement God has ordained to you, and do it honestly. But the gain out of your engagement will automatically come. Don't be very much anxious. You should be anxious to realize yourself." And how it will be achieved, my material needs? The answer is, "As you achieve all these miseries."

The miseries are enforced upon us. Nobody desires that such-and-such misery may come upon him. Nobody expects. Just like there is fire brigade always running. Nobody expects that, "There may be fire in my apartment or house," but sometimes it takes place, and the fire brigade has to be called for. Similarly, as we do not expect fire but it takes place, similarly, even I do not try for my material happiness, whatever ordained, whatever I am destined to achieve, that will come. That is the answer of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Therefore we should not be wasting our valuable time of human life simply for economic development. We should be inquisitive about "What I am." This is the first inquiry. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. This is called brahma-jijñāsā. So Nārada Muni is instructing Vyāsadeva that "You have already inquired . . ."

Because he's the spiritual master, he knows how Vyāsadeva inquired and how learned he was, how he studied very seriously. Everything known. Therefore he's asking, jijñāsitam adhītaṁ ca brahma (SB 1.5.4), "You have inquired very elaborately about Brahman, and you have studied about the subject matter Brahman, sanātanam, eternal, athāpi śocasi, but still, I see that you are morose; you are not happy." Śocasy ātmānam akṛtārtha iva prabho. Akṛtārtha means "of this you have done nothing." Just like a foolish man sometimes, in very grave thought, that "What is the ultimate goal of my life? I do not know what to do," so "You are thinking like that." So answer, vyāsa uvāca. Now, Vyāsa's answer is:

asty eva me sarvam idaṁ tvayoktaṁ
tathāpi nātmā parituṣyate me
(SB 1.5.5)

"Yes, sir. You are right. I have studied about Brahman, I have inquired about Brahman, and I know what is Brahman." He says, "I know what is Brahman."

asty eva me sarvam idaṁ tvayoktaṁ
tathāpi nātmā parituṣyate me

"But I do not know why I am not satisfied. I'm not satisfied."

tan-mūlam avyaktam agādha-bodhaṁ
pṛcchāmahe tvātma-bhavātma-bhūtam
(SB 1.5.5)

"Therefore you are my spiritual master. I am asking you to find out what is the defect in me. What is the defect in me that, in spite of my so advancement of knowledge in spiritual science by studying . . . by inquiring and by writing so many books, the . . ."

You'll be glad to know that this Vyāsadeva is the original writer of Vedānta-sūtra. You have heard about Vedānta-sūtra. There are many, I mean to say, classes here in your Los Angeles. There is a Vedānta Church. This Vedānta philosophy was written by this Vyāsadeva. But after even writing this Vedānta philosophy, he was not satisfied. That is the conversation is going on.

sa vai bhavān veda samasta-guhyam
upāsito yat puruṣaḥ purāṇaḥ
(SB 1.5.6)

"Now I am asking you what is the defect in me, because you know the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

Now, in other words, Vyāsadeva agrees, or accepts, that he knows Brahman, the Absolute Truth, but he does not know the Absolute Truth's ultimate feature, the Personality of Godhead. That he admits. Absolute Truth in the beginning is impersonal. Just like the example, the sun. The sun, the first experience of sun is the sunshine. Every one of us has got the experience how sunshine is overcast all over the universe.

It comes within your room, in your apartment, or when you come out you see sunshine, everything. So just like in the night there is no sunshine, but in the morning, as soon as there is sunshine, you experience what is sunshine, similarly, at a certain stage of our life we may understand what is Brahman.

Brahman is compared with the sunshine, light. Sunshine is light, and Brahman is light. How? Light . . . what is the difference between light and darkness? Light, the difference of light and darkness is . . . just like at the present moment it is darkness. We cannot see things rightly. Although we have got very lightening arrangement, artificial electricity, still, we do not see things as they are. Suppose you go up to your roof, and if you want to see, find out some friend's house, you cannot see. This is darkness. Darkness means you do not understand things as it is. But in the sunlight you can see everything.

Similarly, Brahman is light. As soon as you realize Brahman realization, Brahman, then you can see things as they are—what you are, what is this world, why you are unhappy, how you can be happy. So many things are there, the light. Therefore the Vedic sūtras, mantras, advises that tamasi mā jyotir gama (Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad 1.3.28). Don't keep yourself in darkness.

Try to come out of the darkness and see the light. See the light. So . . . now, here Vyāsadeva says that "I have seen the light, but still I am not happy." So that means even one who has realized Brahman but has not ultimately realized what is the ultimate end of Brahman, still there is no happiness. Still there is (no) happiness.

Just like you are seeing the sunlight, but suppose if you are able to go to the sun planet, that will be still more extensive knowledge. But not only going to the sun planet. If you can meet the president of the sun globe . . . everywhere there is a presiding deity. Just like you have got your president in your country, or in my country we have got a president. Similarly, in every planet there is one presiding deity. They are called demigods, and they have got their different names. We get all this information from . . .

Take, for example, the sun planet. The sun planet is presided over by one gentleman whose name is Vivasvān. Vivasvān, Vaivasvata. And his son is Manu. These things are described. In Bhagavad-gītā also you'll find. We read Bhagavad-gītā, but we do not take information. In the Fourth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā these things are stated there. Imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam (BG 4.1), "First of all, I recited this bhakti-yoga or Bhagavad-gītā yoga system to Vivasvān."

You can ask me that, "Swāmījī, where do you get the name of the presiding deity of sun-god, er, sun planet, as Vivasvān?" I say: "I get it from Bhagavad-gītā. It is mentioned there." Just like in our country who has not seen America, if he has studied the Constitution of America, he knows the presiding gentleman is Mr. Johnson. There is no need of seeing. Simply from authoritative scripture, authoritative book, one can understand who is the presiding deity, who is ruling there, what is the condition. Everything is there in the scriptures and authorized books of Vedic literature.

So here Vyāsadeva says that sa vai bhavān veda samasta-guhyam. "My dear Nārada, my dear spiritual master, you can answer why I am unhappy, because you know the presiding Deity of the whole creation, purāṇa-puruṣaḥ." Purāṇa means old, and puruṣa means the Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is the oldest. He must be oldest, because He is the father of everything. So nobody can be older than Kṛṣṇa. Here it is said purāṇa-puruṣaḥ.

In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is also described how is that purāṇa-puruṣaḥ, the oldest man, Kṛṣṇa. So it is described there:

advaitam acyutam anAdim ananta-rūpam
ādyaṁ purāṇa-puruṣaṁ nava-yauvanaṁ ca
(Bs. 5.33)

That Purāṇa-puruṣa, that oldest man, Kṛṣṇa—not man, God—He is oldest. Advaitam acyutam, and He is infallible, and He is without any second. Nobody is greater than Him, nobody is equal than Him. Advaitam acyutam anAdim. And He has no origin. These are the description of God. He has no origin. Just like I have got my origin. I am generated by my father, you are generated by your father, your father is generated by his father, his father . . .

You go on. But the Supreme Lord, purāṇa-puruṣaḥ, He has no father. But in the . . . in His pastimes, as you see Nanda Mahārāja is His father or Vasudeva is His father. They are His devotees. When God comes, appears on this planet, He appears just like ordinary man. He's born, and He accepts His devotee as father. These are the intricate questions there.

So Vyāsadeva says that, "You know that oldest Supreme Personality, purāṇa-puruṣaḥ. Therefore you can answer." Indirectly, one who goes deeper and deeper into his spiritual understanding . . . the first understanding is the impersonal Brahman. The next spiritual understanding is Paramātmā, or the Supersoul.

The Paramātmā, or Supersoul, means God is staying . . . he's situated with you, within your heart, He is Paramātmā. That is another feature. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). The Supreme Personality of Godhead is existing, is sitting with you. This is confirmed by the Upaniṣads and other Vedic literature. But the . . . just like the same example: the sunshine and the sun planet and the presiding deity, the sun-god Vivasvān. Similarly, Absolute Truth is understood in three phases. The first understanding is impersonal Brahman, light. The second understanding is to know Him by meditation within your heart. Those who are meditator, they are expected to see the Supersoul within himself. Unless he can see the Supersoul within himself, his meditation, or samādhi, is imperfect, or it is not finished.

So the yogīs, they find out, they try to find out. Not find out; try to find out the localized aspect of the Supreme Personality of Godhead within himself. And the devotees, they want to go directly to the planet where Kṛṣṇa is there and associate with Him. And the jñānīs, those who have simply come to the light . . . just like the sunlight. So to experience sunlight, as it is not perfection of understanding of the sun, similarly, to experience Brahman is not all. One has to understand the Paramātmā feature and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, ultimately Kṛṣṇa.

The Vedic information says, yasmin vijñāte sarvam idaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.3). If one can understand Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then everything becomes automatically known to him. Everything becomes automatically known to him. And Nārada is expected to know Kṛṣṇa, and therefore Vyāsadeva is asking him that, "Because you know Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, you can understand what is the defect in me."

sa vai bhavān veda samasta-guhyam
upāsito yat puruṣaḥ purāṇaḥ
parāvareśo manasaiva viśvaṁ
sṛjaty avaty atti guṇair asaṅgaḥ
(SB 1.5.6)

What kind of Personality of Godhead? Parāvara . . . (break) (end)