730515 - Lecture SB 01.09.01 - Los Angeles

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

730515SB-LOS ANGELES - May 15, 1973 - 22:40 Minutes

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. (leads chanting of verse) (Prabhupāda and devotees repeat)

sūta uvāca
iti bhītaḥ prajā-drohāt
tato vinaśanaṁ prāgād
yatra deva-vrato 'patat
(SB 1.9.1)


sūtaḥ uvāca—Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī said; iti—thus; bhītaḥ—being afraid of; prajā-drohāt—because of killing the subjects; sarva—all; dharma—acts of religion; vivitsayā—for understanding; tataḥ—thereafter; vinaśanam—the place where the fight was held; prāgāt—they all went; yatra—where; deva-vrataḥ—Bhīṣmadeva; apatat—lay down for passing away.

Translation: "Sūta Gosvāmī said: Being afraid for having killed so many subjects on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira went to the scene of the massacre. There, Bhīṣmadeva was lying on a bed of arrows, about to pass away."

Prabhupāda: So the most important point is that the king, he was so responsible, he became afraid, that "I have killed so many prajā." Prajā. It is not said there "human being." No. Prajā. Prajā means . . . pra means prakṛṣṭa-rūpeṇa, and means jāyate. Just like every living entity takes somewhere birth. So considering nationalism . . . just like American nation. What is the meaning of these people, American nation or Indian nation? The human being is the same—two hands, two legs, and they also eat. Everything is the same. Why this nationality? Nationality is only for the sake that that particular human being has taken birth in that particular land. That is called prajā. Prajā.

Jāyate. Now, jāyate, one who takes birth . . . just like the other day I was speaking . . . one Indian girl, she has given birth to a child in America. So because that child is born in America, she becomes naturally American national. So if this fact is to be accepted, that anyone who takes birth on the land of America, he becomes immediately American, and the American government takes charge for his protection, so why this is restricted only for the human child? If this is definition, prajā, "One who takes birth," so the animals also take birth. The trees also take birth. So many other animals, other living entities, they also take birth. So yes, therefore they are all prajās.

Not only . . . miserly, you limit your prajā conception, national conception, within the human society only. You expand it. Even it is taken nationally, anyone who takes birth in this land, he is national, either human being or animal or tree or plant. That is the definition of prajā. Prakṛṣṭa-rūpeṇa jāyate: any living entity who has taken birth. Just like in America, there are so many jungles and trees. If outsider like me comes and begins to cut the trees, so will the American government tolerate? Immediately I shall be prosecuted. I can say: "What is the harm? It is a tree. I am cutting." "No, you cannot cut this tree, because they are on the American land." So this conception should be prayed.

So Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja is not only thinking of the human being who were killed in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. He is thinking of all the horses, elephants—because they are also living entities. They are also prajā, national. "National," this word there was . . . we don't find in the Vedic literature, "national." It is modern invention. So if we feel nationally, then we feel for every living entity who is born in that land. That is real Kṛṣṇa consciousness, not sectarian that, "I feel for this living entities, not for that." So iti bhītaḥ, he was very much afraid that, "I have killed so many animals and men. So what to do?" Prajā-drohāt. Droha, droha means to become enemy. Unless you become my enemy, you cannot kill me, neither I can kill you. So droha means if you become enemy.

So when the prajās were killed, the king became enemy. He is thinking, "Otherwise, how I could induce them to be killed?" He was thinking like that. Prajā-drohāt. As you, if you rebel against the king it is also a great fault, similarly, if you rebel, revolt against the prajās, that is also great fault. Therefore he is afraid. Bhītaḥ prajā-drohāt. "Now what to do?" Sarva-dharma-vivitsayā. This is the position to approach a guru, when you are bewildered. When things are not in order, brain is puzzled . . . just like Arjuna accepted Kṛṣṇa as guru when he could not ascertain whether he shall fight or not. Bewilderment. So similarly, Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja also became bewildered that, "I have killed so many prajās. What is my position? I have become so much sinful. How can I rule over the empire?"

So when all these questions puzzled him, he decided to go to Bhīṣmadeva, who was lying on the arrows' bed before his death. As I told you that Bhīṣmadeva could not be dead without . . . so long he does not wish. That was the benediction given by his father that, "My dear boy, you have taken such a strong vow. So I give you one benediction." Formerly, everyone was so powerful. Of course, father's benediction always there, but they were actual benedictions. Everyone was so powerful.

For example, the brāhmaṇa's son who cursed Parīkṣit Mahārāja, he was only twelve years old, a boy, and because he cursed Parīkṣit Mahārāja that, "Within seven days he will have to die," so he had to die. Just a small brāhmaṇa boy, how he was powerful. And it could not be changed. Although Parīkṣit Mahārāja was competent to change it, but he did not change. He showed honor to the brahminical curse. That is discussed by his father. So those who were powerful, actually they could benedict. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ. As we read in the Gurvaṣṭaka, "By the benediction of the spiritual master, one becomes benedicted by the Supreme Lord."

So this Bhīṣmadeva . . . when he became puzzled, he went to Bhīṣmadeva, Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja went to Bhīṣmadeva. So this is the process. One must approach a superior person, who is called guru. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). We, in this material world, we are confused, step by step. This is our position. Step by step. Every step. Padaṁ padaṁ vipadāt. Padaṁ padam means every step; vipadāt, danger. It is such a nice place, this material world, that every step there is danger. And as soon as there is danger, we are confused. So . . . and as soon as we are confused, "How to solve?"

Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet. Therefore the Vedic instruction is "Because you are confused, because you do not know which path to follow, therefore you must approach a guru." Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). This word abhigacchet is used when there is compulsory, "You must." You cannot say that, "Without going to guru, I shall chalk out my own path." No, that is not possible. Therefore this very word is used, gacchet. In Sanskrit all words are meaningful. Gacchet means it is a question of must, not that, "I may and may not." Nowadays it is going on, and there is many rascals who come here in your country to preach that, "There is no need of guru. You can become your own guru yourself." That is not Vedic injunction. Vedic injunction is you must go to a guru, tad-vijñānārtham, in order to understand the transcendental science. And that is natural.

When we are confused in our ordinary life, we also go to a friend, senior friend or experienced friend, and ask him, "My dear friend, I am in this condition. I am very much confused what to do." That is natural. Similarly, when Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja was so much afraid that he had killed so many prajās, he knew that "Now, still, there is a superior person, my grandfather, who is lying on the bed of arrows. Let me go there." Tato vinaśanaṁ prāgāt. Then he decided, "Let me go to Bhīṣmadeva. He can give me instruction." What is that instruction? Sarva-dharma. Sarva-dharma: instruction on all kinds of different varieties of religious system. Sarva-dharma.

We will find . . . dharma . . . dharma means occupational duty. dharma means not a religious sentiment, that, as it is translated in English, "a sentiment." Just like "Animal has no soul." This is not dharma. Without any scientific knowledge, if somebody says in some religion, for eating meat that, "Animal has no soul. You can kill as many as you like," that is not dharma. dharma, real meaning is occupational duty, not a sentiment. dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). It is just like state laws. The state laws are given by the state. You cannot manufacture laws. Similarly, dharma, which we call religion generally, you cannot manufacture by your concoction. It is stated by the Supreme Lord. That is dharma.

Just like Kṛṣṇa says that, "I am the father of all living entities." Sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya sambhavanti mūrtayo yāḥ (BG 14.4). And He is accepting not only human society. Sarva-yoniṣu. Sarva-yoniṣu means in all species of life. Kṛṣṇa claims that, "Fish, beginning from fish, aquatic life, these living entities, they are also My sons. The birds, they are also My sons. The beasts, they are also My sons. The trees, they are also My sons. The human beings, they are also My sons. The demigods, they are also My sons." Sarva-yoniṣu: in every species of life. This is the conception of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We do not say that simply human being has soul. No. Every living entity. Even a small ant, a small plant, it is living entity. By its different work he has got a different dress only. Just like we are sitting, so many persons, and we have got our different dresses according to our different choice, similarly, we get these bodies.

We are all sons of God. There is no doubt about it. We, all spirit soul, either in the human form of body or animal form of body or tree form of body—anything. Sarva-yoniṣu. We are all living entities. But we have got different dresses, that's all, according to karma. This is the philosophy. So we cannot make that "These dressed living entities are important than the other dressed living . . ." No. Everyone. The paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18), those who are actually learned, paṇḍita, sama-darśinaḥ, they are equal, equipoised, "Never mind here is a dog, he is also living entity, and here is a brāhmaṇa, he is also living entity. By his work he has got the body of a brāhmaṇa, and here he has got the body of a dog. But as living entity, they are all equal."

So without Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the philosophy of equality, fraternity, as in your country they profess, it is not possible. Artificial. Without coming to the Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that every living entity is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, or God, this equality, fraternity, big, big words, universal brotherhood, it is impossible. That is not possible. Therefore one has to become learned scholar, paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18). Then he will be able to see equally. Just like Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira is thinking of all prajās, not only . . . otherwise, the language would have been "human being." No. Prajā, "All, all kinds of prajā." This is universal understanding.

So deva-vrata. Deva-vrata is Bhīṣmadeva. Vrata means vow, and deva means God. So he took brahmacārī-vrata, "I'll, I remain ever celibate. I'll never marry." It is called deva-vrata. Naiṣṭhika-brahmacārī. This is possible in high-class society, that "I shall remain celibate all the life, naiṣṭhika-brahmacārī." They do not marry. Naiṣṭhika-brahmacārī. So Bhīṣmadeva was naiṣṭhika-brahmacārī. Therefore his name is deva-vrata.

All right. Let us begin. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotees: Hare Kṛṣṇa. All glories to Śrī Guru. (end)