730312 - Lecture Bengali RV - Calcutta
(Translated from Bengali)
The Sun is continuously giving light and heat for millions of years, without its power diminishing. If this is possible to create and maintain for an entity within the material universe, then why would the Supreme Person, who has created of the entire manifestation of innumerable universes with his unlimited energy, become formless? This is not possible.
Nowadays, only five or six, or at most two or three children are born to parents. In the earlier times, Bharata Mahārāja's father Ṛṣabhadeva had one hundred children. Dhṛtarāṣṭra had one hundred sons. They were great kings, and they lives are historically documented. From this we learn that during the earlier ages, even ordinary people gave birth to a hundred sons. At that time there was no problem with over-population, now even with smaller numbers of children, there is a problem with over-population. What is the logic behind this? Earlier, even with hundreds of children, there was no overpopulation, and now with just two or four children, how can there be overpopulation? This is to be contemplated.
The Supreme Person. Just as a father does not lose his form after giving birth to hundred children, the Supreme Person says, "sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya, ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā (BG 14.4). Why would the Supreme Person, who is the creator of innumerable forms of living entities, become form-less Himself? Please give this a thought and decide . . .why would a father become formless after procreating many children? This is reality.
That is why the Supreme Person has said, "kleśo 'dhikataras teṣām avyaktāsakta-cetasām" (BG 12.5) - those whose minds are attached to the unmanifested it is very troublesome for them to understand the Supreme Person. 'Kleśo dhikataras'. And those who accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Person, who Himself is stating, "ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo" (BG 10.8)
In the Vedantra Sutra it is stated, "janmādy asya yataḥ" ( Śrimad Bhāgavatam 1.1.1 & Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.2) - that He is the Supreme Father, and the Supreme Father is saying that "I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds" (BG 10.8), then where is the difficulty in understanding this? There is no difficulty.
However, if we do not want to understand, concoct our own meaning, destroy the Bhagavad-gītā and give it to people. Neither are the people going to understand, nor will you. You perhaps know, that the Bhagavad-gītā we distribute and preach is called Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. There is no need to distort the meaning, we have to present it exactly the way the Supreme Person has spoken.
The proven result I would like to share with you. Our Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, is being published by the MacMillan company. They are printing 50,000 copies every year. This started in 1968. '68, '69, '70, '71 – there are four editions. Now it is the fifth edition. People in America and England are eagerly accepting it. Even though there are many English editions, written by reputed scholars from India, as well as scholars of other countries.
However, in our Bhagavad-gītā As It Is . . . (indistinct) . . ., Kṛṣṇa says, "I am the Supreme Person," and we are also saying, "Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Person." That is all. We do not need to do research to find, "Who is God?’ God is Himself saying, "I am the Supreme Person, Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa." The scriptures, say, "Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam"(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.3.28). . . . (indistinct) . . .
- īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
- (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.1)
This is stated in all the scriptures, in the Vedas, and all the great ācāryas (spiritual masters) have confirmed it. Rāmānujācārya. No one is greater authority than them. Madhvācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī, Caitanya Mahāprabhu. So, should we listen to the conclusions of these great devotees and learned spiritual masters who have dedicated their lives to the protection and propagation of practical Vedic dharma, or should we listen to the unqualified? "Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ" (Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya Lila 17.186).
We have to follow the path of the great mahājanas or great authority, not the so-called mahājanas who are manufactured by the figment of imagination. Mahājana means one who accepts the earlier Mahājanas. That person is a true mahājana. The ones who rejects the previous mahājanas, and declares themselves mahājanas, they are not mahājanas but maha-yama, they are all-destructive. "Mahājano yena gataḥ sa" . . . it is stated in sastra that the great authorities are . . . Brahmā, Śiva is mahājana, Nārada is mahājana, Kapila is mahājana, Manu is mahājana, Prahlāda Mahārāja is mahājana, Bhīṣmadeva, Janaka Raja, Vyāsadeva, Śukadeva Gosvāmi, Yamarāja. They have all been listed as Mahājana or great authorities. Scriptures say, 'Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ'.
People may ask, “Who is Mahājana?” There is no need to speculate, it is clearly stated who these mahājanas are. The are all in the line of disciplic succession. This needs to be understood from Veda, Vedānta, and the scriptures. The disciplic succession begins with Lord Brahmā, the Brahmā-sampradaya. Our Gaudiya-sampradāya is in the Brahma-sampradāya. Caitanya Mahāprabhu is in the Brahma-sampradāya. Rāmānujā is in the Sri-samprādaya. That is the Supreme Person's potency, Laksmi’s sampradāya. "Vaiṣṇavānāṁ yathā śambhuḥ" (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 12.13.16). Śambhu – Mahādeva is an exalted Vaiṣṇava, he has a sampradāya, represented by Viṣṇu Svāmī. Kumara-sampradāya, is the sampradāya of the four Kumāras, also known as the Nimbārka-sampradāya. We have to receive transcendental knowledge from one of these four bonafide disciplic successions.
"Athāto brahma jijñāsā" (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.1). From whom do approach for that enquiry? From a particular line of bonafide disciplic succession. All these bonafide disciplic successions are devotees of the Supreme Person, Bhagavān. However, each bonafide disciplic succession has their own specialty. Just like political parties, who are all dedicated to the nation but each has their own specialty. That specialty is essential to ensure growth. Even though each one offers different and unique ways of performing a particular task, the objective is to render service and achieve a good outcome.
Similarly, the prime objective all the devotional bonafide disciplic successions is to render devotional service. Hence, even though these bonafide disciplic successions have different names, the focus is to render service to Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Nimbārka-sampradaya worships Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, as we do in the Madhvācārya's Gauḍīya-sampradāya, and the Śrī-sampradāya worship Lakṣmi-Nārāyana. All these sampradāyas worship the Supreme Person. They are not impersonalists. They are all worshippers of the Supreme Person, Bhagavān.
"Cintāmaṇi-prakara-sadmasu kalpa" . . . (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.29) Brahma, in the Brahma-saṁhitā has described the transcendental form and qualities of the Supreme Person. Many people concur that Kṛṣṇa's form is merely the imagination of the artist who have given Him a flute and made Him look beautiful, standing in the three-way curved form. No, this is not the artist's imagination. It is Vedic statement, as spoken by Brahmā in the Brahma-saṁhitā, describing the Supreme Person,
- cintāmaṇi-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vṛkṣa-
- lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhīr abhipālayantam
- (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 5.29)
Just like we keep pet dogs here, Bhagavān also has a special pastime, to be a cowherd boy . . . "surabhīr abhipālayantam". So, just because the Supreme Person, Bhagavān, has the desire to be a cowherd boy, does His importance diminish? Brahma suspected, "Has my worshipable Lord and Master, appeared in Vṛndāvana, and is tending cows?" Indra also suspected. As you know, all these pastimes are mentioned in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam.
"Muhyanti yatra sūrayaḥ" (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.1.1). Many highly learned personalities have become perplexed about the transcendental pastimes of the Supreme Person. They have been confused thinking, "What is this?" However, one who is a devotee of the Supreme Person, understands everything.
Prahlāda Mahārāja, and his father Hiraṇyakaśipu who was a great atheist, while his son was an exalted Vaiṣṇava authority. When the Supreme Person appeared as Nṛsiṁhadeva to annihilate Hiraṇyakaśipu, seeing that fierce form of the Supreme Lord, in front of Whom Hiraṇyakaśipu was insignificant, grabbed the demon's neck, put him on His lap and tore him apart, killing him immediately. Hiraṇyakaśipu who was a great demon was frightened, but Prahlāda Mahārāja was not.
It is mentioned in the verse that Prahlāda Mahārāja says, "Bhagavān, I am not frightened by Your fierce form. Please do not be angry. All the demigods are very frightened, and all the people in this creation are frightened. You have completed Your mission of annihilating my father Hiraṇyakaśipu, so please do not be angry anymore." The next verse questions if Prahlāda was frightened. So, the verse after that has Prahlāda saying, "I am not at all frightened by Your fierce form. I have only one fear, and that is this material existence. I am frightened not by Your angry form but by this material existence where I may have to live birth after birth."
Ironically, most people in this world have no fear of this material existence thinking, "Whatever will happen, we’ll see. For now let us enjoy what we have. What is this fear? Are you mad?"
- pisaci paile yena mati-cchanna haya
- maya-grasta jivera haya se bhava udaya
- (Jagadānanda Pandita – Prema-vivarta)
Piśācī – ghostly haunted. All of you may have seen the people possessed by ghosts. They will speak all kinds of nonsense. Similarly most human being possessed by piśācī – influenced by the ghost of māyā, speak all kinds of nonsense like, "There is no God. God is dead. I am God. You are God. Why are you searching for God?" Etc. etc., and all kinds of speculative theories and philosophy.
In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, the plight of such people have been described as, pisaci paile yena mati-cchanna haya maya-grasta jivera haya se bhava udaya. They talk utter nonsense. The Supreme Person cannot be understood like this, rather we have to understand transcendental science by listening to Him, and by following His instructions.
The Supreme Person is Himself explaining this knowledge about Himself. However, there is nothing to be gained if instead of focusing on this transcendental knowledge, people become entwined by the dictates of the illusory material energy and all nonsensical theories that are propagated. There is no gain. Hence it is said,
- tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet
- samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham
- (Kaṭha Upaniṣad - MU 1.2.12)
- Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam
- (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.3.21)
This is stated in the scriptures and the Supreme Person is Himself saying,
- tad viddhi praṇipātena
- paripraśnena sevayā
- upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
- jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ
- (Bhagavad-gītā 4.34)
Approach a spiritual master who has seen the Absolute Truth, and approach the spiritual master submissively, and not in a challenging mood like, "Can you show me the Supreme Person?" It is pointless if you approach with this attitude. "Praṇipātena . . . sevayā". Offer service, and while doing so ask questions submissively. (indistinct sloka)
This is our endeavour. We are preaching and propagating the message of the Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, all over the world. There is no change or concoction like, "Kuruksetra signifies the body, and the Pāṇḍavas are the five senses." No, the bonafide spiritual master has not stated this. Those who concoct like this have the audacity to surpass the words spoken by the great authorities. What utter nonsense. Instead of following the instructions of the great spiritual masters, by the deductive process, such persons pose themselves as greater than the greatest authorities.
It is my earnest request to you that in our country, in India, we have a treasure of transcendental scripture, and these have been brought together, the meaning of the Vedas . . .the words spoken by the Supreme Person Himself, "ya svayam padmanabhasya mukha padma vinisrita" (Gītā-mahātyam – Verse 4). This Bhagavad-gita has been presented as it is, without mixing any concocted ideas and theories, that would render it useless. The Supreme Person in the Bhagavad-gītā is saying,
- dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre samavetā yuyutsavaḥ
- māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva kim akurvata sañjaya
- (Bhagavad-gītā 1.1)
There is no need for any mental speculation, like, "Kurukṣetra signifies the body, Pandavas signify the five senses, this and that." By doing this the everything is spoilt because this is not the actual meaning. The actual meaning is that Kurukṣetra is a place and there is a station by that name in Kurukṣetra. Then what is the need for saying that Kurukṣetra is the body.
Interpretation is needed only when something is not clearly understood. When something is not understood then a person may interpret and explain what it actually means. Only when it is not clear, like it is said in scriptures that, "Gaṇgā goṣapadi" that, on top of the river Ganges, there is a colony called 'Ghoṣpāda'. So, one may be confused as to how there could be a human dwelling on top of river Ganges that is full of water. Here, the interpretation is needed, and explained that this implies that there is a colony with human dwelling by the banks of the river Ganges.
In the Bhagavad-gītā, every line has been explained in a simple and easy manner, hence there is no 'colony on the Ganges' kind of doubt. Even today, Kurukṣetra, a place of pilgrimage also known a pious place, that is visited by pilgrims. In the Vedas it is mentioned, 'Kurukṣetre dharma . . .' that Kurukṣetra is a place of piety, hence the battle was fought there. That 'dharma-kṣetra', where the Pāṇḍavās were tricked by their sinful relatives . . . even now, when there is a dispute in the village, they say, "Let us go to the temple and resolve it. Say it in front of the Supreme Person." Even in this present day, this practice exists.
Similarly, the battle of Kurukṣetra was fought there because it is a dharma-kṣetra. This kind of place helps the mind to regain balance, just like it did for Arjuna. The effect of the 'dharma-kṣetra' was apparent on Arjuna when he says, "Śrī Kṛṣṇa, let it be. There is no point in my fighting this battle. Let them enjoy what they have taken away from us. I do not want to fight and kill them, my relatives." This is because Arjuna is a pious person, and the place had a further effect on him. Even impious people would feel the good effect of such a place. However, if the person is very sinful, then it would not help such a person. Just as, when a person becomes very ill then medicines stop having a healing effect.
Factually, Kurukṣetra is a 'dharma-kṣetra'. In fact, Dhṛtarāṣṭra was suspecting, "Since both of them have gone to fight this battle on a dharma-kṣetra, they may have a change of heart. Has the battle been called off? "Kim akurvata sañjaya - What are they doing?" First Dhṛtarāṣṭra asks, "Dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre samavetā yuyutsavaḥ."The brothers have gone to fight. "Māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva." (BG 1.1) My sons and Pāṇḍu’s sons have gone to the 'dharma-kṣetra' to battle, so now what are they doing? Dhṛtarāṣṭra was questioning Sañjaya even though he was aware that they had gone to Kurukṣetra to fight a battle so what was the need for him to ask such questions?
No, because he was suspecting that even though they had gone to the battlefield, it was a pious place, so, "Have they resolved the situation and decided not to fight?" This was his suspicion, and he was anxious to know because he did not want an amicable settlement. If he had wanted a peaceful resolution, that was initiated by Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself, he would have done so earlier. However, Dhṛtarāṣṭra did not want to negotiate peace because he wanted the battle to take place, so that his hundred sons would easily defeat the five brothers, undoubtedly. Hence, he was asking, "What did they do?" In this narration, there is no hidden or esoteric meaning, this meaning, that meaning or any other meaning. It is clearly a historical event.
Unfortunately, some people will not understand, and also not allow others to understand the real meaning by adding many distorted and speculative narrations. There are many such bogus narrations of the Gītā. However, there is only one narration and meaning of the Gītā, that the Supreme Person is Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and we have to surrender ourselves at His lotus Feet, and that is our first and foremost duty.