Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.2.28–29

Type:
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
Date:
November 8
Year:
1972
Place:
Vṛndāvana

Pradyumna: [leads chanting of verse, etc.] [Prabhupāda and devotees repeat]

vāsudeva-parā vedā
vāsudeva-parā makhāḥ
vāsudeva-parā yogā
vāsudeva-parāḥ kriyāḥ
vāsudeva-paraṁ jñānaṁ
vāsudeva-paraṁ tapaḥ
vāsudeva-paro dharmo
vāsudeva-parā gatiḥ
[SB 1.2.28-29]

[break] [leads chanting of synonyms]

Prabhupāda: Hmm.

vāsudeva—the Personality of Godhead; parāḥ—ultimate goal; vedāḥ—revealed scriptures; vāsudeva—the Personality of Godhead; parāḥ—for worshiping; makhāḥ—sacrifices; vāsudeva—the Personality of Godhead; parāḥ—means of attaining; yogāḥ—mystic paraphernalia; vāsudeva—the Personality of Godhead; parāḥ—under His control; kriyāḥ—fruitive activities; vāsudeva—Personality of Godhead; param—supreme; jñānam—knowledge; vāsudeva—Personality of Godhead; param—best; tapaḥ—austerity; vāsudeva—Personality of Godhead; paraḥ—superior quality; dharmaḥ—religion; vāsudeva—Personality of Godhead; parāḥ—ultimate; gatiḥ—goal of life.

[04:37]

Translation: “In the revealed scriptures, the ultimate object of knowledge is Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead. The purpose of performing sacrifice is to please Him. Yoga is for realizing Him. All fruitive activities are ultimately rewarded by Him only. He is supreme knowledge, and all severe austerities are performed to know Him. Religion, or dharma, is rendering loving service unto Him. He is the supreme goal of life.”

Prabhupāda: Hm. Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ [Bg. 7.19]. The same verse, in the Bhagavad-gītā, is explained here in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. As it is said in the Bhagavad-gītā:

bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ
[Bg. 7.19]

There are many mahātmās, many yogī, jñānī, karmī. They’re all good. But if they do not approach the ultimate goal of life—means approaching Vāsudeva—then śrama eva hi kevalam.

dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ
viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ
notpādayed ratiṁ yadi
śrama eva hi kevalam
[SB 1.2.8]

You can execute your religious principles, you can execute dharma-dāna-tapaḥ-kriyāḥ, charity. Dharma, dāna. You can execute severe austerities, penances. But if you do not approach Vāsudeva, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, then the śāstra says, śrama eva hi kevalam.

In another place it is said, ārādhito yadi haris tapasā tataḥ kim [Nārada Pañcarātra]. If you can approach Vāsudeva, Hari… Vāsudeva, Hari, Nārāyaṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Viṣṇu—the same—Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, Varāha… Advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam [Bs. 5.33]. Vāsudeva has got ananta-rūpam.

Ananta-rūpam means—this is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam—just like if you sit down by the side of a river and the, the waves are flowing, you cannot count how many waves are going on in your front, similarly, how many forms are there of Vāsudeva, that is very difficult to count.

advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam
ādyaṁ purāṇa-puruṣaṁ nava-yauvanaṁ ca
vedeṣu durlabham adurlabham ātma-bhaktau
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[Bs. 5.33]

Absolute Truth is one, advaita. Advaita is one. Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate. Absolute Truth is one, but He’s realized in three phases: Brahman, impersonal Brahman; localized Paramātmā; and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They are one.

vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
brahmeti paramātmeti
bhagavān iti śabdyate
[SB 1.2.11]

The Absolute Truth is one. One who knows the Absolute Truth, he knows that Brahman, Paramātmā, Bhagavān, the same objective, but they are realized by different devotees or different knower in different features.

The example is given in this connection: Just like if you see from a very distant place one hill, you’ll find just like a cloud, hazy cloud. If you push forward further, you’ll find something green. But when you actually approach the hill, you’ll find there are many houses, many animals, many trees—varieties.

So the Absolute Truth, when it is realized by our limited understanding, the Absolute Truth appears as nirviśeṣa, impersonal Brahman. Similarly, when we try to meditate upon the Absolute Truth within our heart, He appears as Paramātmā. Yogīs… Dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ [SB 12.13.1].

But at the ultimate issue, He’s Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, origin. Advaitam acyutam anādim. Anādi: Kṛṣṇa has no source. He’s the original source of everything. Janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ [Bg. 10.8]. These things are there.

So Kṛṣṇa is the original cause of everything, cause of all causes. But He is independent, svarāṭ. That is described in the beginning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Janmādy asya yataḥ anvayāt itarataś ca artheṣu abhijñaḥ svarāṭ [SB 1.1.1]. Svarāṭ means completely independent. He’s not caused by any…, anyone. And He says also in the Bhagavad-gītā: mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya [Bg. 7.7]. So He’s the origin, Vāsudeva. Therefore all activities should be targeted to Vāsudeva. Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti [Bg. 7.19]. This is the aim of life.

Unfortunately, they do not know it. People in general, they do not know it. That is ignorance. This material world is full of ignorance. Therefore it is called tamas. Tamas means darkness. We do not know. The human civilization, at the present moment at least, it is always… At the present moment, it is completely in darkness that they do not know what is the aim of life.

Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum [SB 7.5.31]. Everyone is very intelligent. At least, he thinks like that, that “I am attaining my interest of life in different ways.” But actually one does not know what is his actual interest. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatim. Svārtha-gatim, satisfaction of our interest. Everyone is interested, but they do not know what is actual interest.

The actual interest is to search out Viṣṇu, or Vāsudeva. Therefore, here it is said: vāsudeva-parā vedāḥ. You are studying Vedas. That’s all right. But do you know what is the end of the Vedas? That is…, that is answered by Kṛṣṇa Himself: vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. This is the end of…

You are very nice student, great student of Vedas, but do you know where to end, where is Vedānta, know? Veda-anta. Veda means knowledge. Do you know what is the end of knowledge? They’ll talk of Vedānta, but minus Kṛṣṇa. This is going on. They are known as Vedāntī minus Kṛṣṇa. But what is the use? Śrama eva hi kevalam [SB 1.2.8], simple wasting time. Simply wasting time.

Here it is clearly said, vāsudeva-parā vedāḥ. If you are a student of Vedas, then you must know that ultimately you have to know who is Vāsudeva. In the Vedas there are prescription of sacrifice, so many different types of sacrifices, yajña. So yajña is the name of Viṣṇu. Another name of Viṣṇu is Yajña. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, yajñārthe karma. Karma-kāṇḍīya, rituals, religious rituals, this is meant for yajñārthe, sacrifice, or Viṣṇu.

In every sacrifice there must be Viṣṇu. Those who are Hindus, following the Vedic principles, any yajña, any sacrifice, any religious ceremony you perform, there must be yajñeśvara, śālagrāma-śilā. Without śālagrāma-śilā, no yajña sacrifice can be performed. Here it is said, vāsudeva-parā makhāḥ. In the Viṣṇu Purāṇa it is said,

varṇāśramācāravatā
puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān
viṣṇur ārādhyate pumsam
nānyat tat-toṣa-kāraṇam
[Cc. Madhya 8.58]

The whole aim of varṇāśrama-dharma… Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ [Bg. 4.13]. The brāhmaṇas, the kṣatriyas, the vaiśyas, the śūdras, the brahmacārī, the gṛhastha, the vānaprastha and the sannyāsī—this is called varṇāśrama. This is the form of human civilization. Unless one comes to this point of executing the varṇāśrama-dharma, he’s animal.

Dharmeṇa hīnāḥ paśubhiḥ samānāḥ [Hitopadeśa]. This is dharma, to execute varṇāśrama-dharma. That is dharma. So if anyone is not executing this varṇāśrama-dharma, he’s animal. Paśubhiḥ samānāḥ. That is not accepted as human civilization.

When Rāmānanda Rāya was questioned by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu: “What is sādhya and sādhana, what is human duty, sādhya, and what is the end of sādhana…?Sādhana, sādhana means cultivating something with a aim of objective. So this question was put to Rāmānanda Rāya by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu: “What is the aim of human life and what is the process of executing that will?”

So immediately Rāmānanda Rāya said that varṇāśramācāravatā: the beginning of human life is to execute the varṇāśrama-dharma. Varṇāśramācāravatā puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān [Cc. Madhya 8.58]. Why varṇāśrama? Now, viṣṇur ārādhyate. If you properly execute your varṇāśrama-dharma… Actually, it is now pervertedly spoken as Hindu dharma.

Hindu dharma is a vague term. Real dharma is varṇāśrama-dharma. Hindu dharma we don’t find, any Vedic literature. Neither in the Bhagavad-gītā. It is a, a nomenclature given by the Muhammadans—“Hindus.” From Sindhu, “Hindu.” Anyway, now we are known as Hindus.

The “Hindu” is a vague term. Real term is varṇāśrama, varṇāśrama: four varṇas and four āśramas. This is dharma and this is given by God Himself. Just like Kṛṣṇa says, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ [Bg. 4.13]. It is given by God. You cannot manufacture dharma, religion. No. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19]: “Dharma means the codes, the regulation, given by God.” That is dharma. That is dharma. Otherwise, it is not dharma.

Therefore Kṛṣṇa said, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. That is dharma, obedience to God. Religion means obedience to God. Nowadays it has become a fashion to drive away God and make a so-called show of religion. Drive away: “No God.” Just like our secular state: “Don’t think of God. This is botheration. Kill God.” Kaṁsa’s. Kaṁsa secular state. “Don’t talk of God.”

Rāvaṇa’s secular state. Without God, what is life? Without… If you do not follow the codes or the rules or the laws given by God, then what is your religion? That is not religion. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19]. Just like the state can give you laws. There is legislative assembly of the state. They can enact laws. You cannot do at home. You cannot do. That will not be accepted as law.

Similarly, our Vedic principle is: “Religion means the codes and the rules and regulation given by God.” That is religion. Kṛṣṇa says, God says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. This is religion. Vāsudeva-paro dharmaḥ. Vāsudeva-paro dharmaḥ.

Dharma, here it is said, that it should be given by Vāsudeva, or it must be approved by Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa. Vāsudeva means son of Vasudeva, Kṛṣṇa. So oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. So either you perform dharma, either you perform yajña, either you study Vedas, either you work, whatever you do, it must be targeted—the ultimate goal should be Vāsudeva. Then it is perfect.

In many places it is explained. Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam [SB 1.2.13]. You may accept any kind of dharma. It doesn’t matter. Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya. But the perfection, how you are becoming perfect in executing your dharma, will be tested how far you have satisfied the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya.

Ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ [SB 1.2.13]. Everything is very nicely explained in every śloka, in every chapter of the Vedic literature, especially in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya. Ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhāḥ. Ataḥ, “Therefore, after saying so many things,” dvija-śreṣṭhāḥ… Naimiṣāraṇya. Naimiṣāraṇya.

So still Naimiṣāraṇya is there, Nimsar. So in that Naimiṣāraṇya, all the sages assembled, and the conclusion, the resolution was: ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhāḥ. All the great brāhmaṇas, learned brāhmaṇas, dvija-śreṣṭhāḥ… Dvija. Dvija means brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, but śreṣṭha means brāhmaṇa. Dvija-śreṣṭhāḥ. Ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhāḥ. Ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhāḥ varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ.

Because human civilization means accepting this varṇa-āśrama. There must be classification. Not that everyone is the same, everyone on the same level. Everyone on the same level means śūdra, no knowledge. No knowledge, no philosophy, no culture, simply eat, sleep and… Animals’ life.

So ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā varṇāśrama… Varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ must be there. The present civilization is suffering because there is no such thing as varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ. There is no selection that there must be the most intelligent class of men, brāhmaṇa; the real kṣatriya who can give protection to the people, kṣatriya. That is real kṣatriya. And vaiśya who can actually give protection to the cows and produce agriculture…, agricultural products and trade. And śūdras, ordinary laborer class. There must be divisions. They must be trained up.

I have repeatedly said in America that there is draft board. They call, conscription, they call any young man to the military department, but most of the boys, young men, they try to avoid this, this military. Most of them. One of the causes of the hippie movement is due to the government’s draft board. They want to avoid it.

So I have repeatedly said: “Why do they avoid?” In India still we have got some martial races, the Gurkhas, the Sikhs. They will be very glad to accept military training, still, because there is kṣatriya spirit. But in other countries they have been made all śūdras. How they can take up kṣatriya spirit? That is not possible.

So according to this varṇāśrama, there must be training. Some classes of men must be trained as nice brāhmaṇas. Some people must be trained as nice kṣatriyas. Some people must be trained as nice vaiśyas. And śūdra does not require any… Everyone is śūdra. Janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ. By birth, everyone is śūdra. Saṁskārād bhaved dvijaḥ.

By training one becomes vaiśya, one becomes kṣatriya, one becomes brāhmaṇa. Where is that training? All śūdras. And how can you expect good government, śūdra government? All the śūdras are taking vote by hook and crook. And they are occupying government post.

Therefore their only business is…, Kali, in this age especially, mlecchā rājanya-rūpiṇaḥ, eating and drinking—eating flesh, drinking wine. Mlecchas, yavanas, they are accepting government post. What good government you can expect? Forget. Forget good government for millions of years. Unless you establish this varṇāśrama-dharma, there is no question of good government. There must be first-class kṣatriya who can take charge of the government.

Just like Parīkṣit Mahārāja. He was on his tour, and as soon as he saw that one black man was trying to kill a cow, immediately he took his sword: “Who are you, rascal, here?” That is kṣatriya. That is vaiśya, who can give protection to the cows. Kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyaṁ vaiśya-karma svabhāva-jam [Bg. 18.44]. Everything is there clearly. Where is the culture?

Therefore this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is so important. The leaders of the society, they should take very serious attention how you can improve the social condition of this world. Not only here; everywhere, sir. Simply it is going on in ignorance and illusion, everything. Vague, no clear idea. Here is clear idea: vāsudeva-parā vedāḥ. You are a…

Veda, knowledge, you are educating people, but where is your education to teach people about Vāsudeva, about Kṛṣṇa? Bhagavad-gītā is prohibited. Vāsudeva speaking about Himself, but there is prohibited. And if somebody’s reading, some rascal is reading, he’s making minus Vāsudeva. That’s all. Bhagavad-gītā minus Kṛṣṇa. This is going on. Whole nonsense. You cannot expect human civilization in a nonsense society.

Here it is the real purpose of human life: vāsudeva-parā vedā vāsudeva-parā makhāḥ, vāsudeva-parā yogāḥ. There are so many yogīs. I can clearly say that without Vāsudeva, yoga—simply pressing the nose, that’s all—this is not yoga. They say… In Europe and America the yoga principle is very popular because they think by practice of yoga they will have very good health, and they can use their senses very nicely.

That is yoga system. The fatty woman goes to the yoga class for reduce fat. That is yoga system. You see? [chuckles] Somebody is going to practice yoga system for making right the liver action. You see? Here is yoga: vāsudeva-parā yogāḥ. That is…

Kṛṣṇa also says in the Yoga chapter, Sāṅkhya-yoga chapter, Kṛṣṇa says,

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ
[Bg. 6.47]

He’s yogī. That is yogī. Not for health’s sake, or curing the liver disease or reducing fat, yoga system. This is not yoga system. But people are so much absorbed in the bodily concept of life, everything they want with this, in connection with this body. That’s all. Instead of vāsudeva-parā yogāḥ, they…, there is śarīra-parā yogāḥ. Śarīra-parā yogāḥ. Farce. These are all farce.

So vāsudeva-parā yogā vāsudeva-parā kriyāḥ. All the activities should be… The same thing. Kriyā means varṇāśrama-dharma, everyone is engaged in his own work. Brāhmaṇa is engaged in his own work. Kṣatriya is engaged in his own work. That is all right. But the ultimate goal should be hari-toṣaṇam.

Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya. It doesn’t matter whether you are brāhmaṇa or a kṣatriya or a vaiśya and śūdra. It doesn’t matter. Just try to see by your work whether Kṛṣṇa, or Vāsudeva, is being satisfied. Vāsudeva-parā kriyāḥ. Vāsudeva-paraṁ jñānam. Jñānam, cultivation of knowledge. What is that cultivation of knowledge? To understand Vāsudeva.

Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante [Bg. 7.19]. So-called knowledge, speculation, philosophical speculation, without understanding of Vāsudeva, means he has to continue such speculation for life after life. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye [Bg. 7.3]. Jñānam. Jñānam means knowledge. So if you immediately take to Vāsudeva… Bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ [SB 1.2.7]. Vāsudeve bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ, janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ jñānaṁ ca. The ultimate goal of knowledge is to know Vāsudeva, but if you take to Vāsudeva directly, then vairāgya and jñāna… Janayaty āśu vairāgyam jñānam. Immediately, very soon, automatically, ahaitukam, without any cause, you understand what is knowledge and what is vairāgya.

So vāsudeva-paraṁ jñānam. All scientific research should be to know Vāsudeva. In Boston I was invited in the Massachusetts Technological Institute? Yes. So I, first of all I questioned the students that “You have got technological department that where is the technology where we can understand the difference between a dead man and a living man? What is the thing is lost that a body’s called dead body? What is that technology.” So I talked on this point. The students appreciated very much.

Actually, there is no technology why a man is dead. What is the machine, what is the component part of the machine is missing? You can replace it. But where is that technology? There is no technology. Because there is no knowledge with reference to Vāsudeva. Simply superficial.

Bahir-artha-māninaḥ. They do not know what is the purpose of knowledge. They’re taking interest, taking care of this bahir-artha, external things. Bahir-artha-māninaḥ. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum [SB 7.5.31]. This is knowledge, svārtha-gatim, to approach Vāsudeva, Viṣṇu. But without that knowledge, they are simply taking outward. Just like Darwin’s theory. He has no knowledge. He’s simply studying this body. That’s all.

So one who is interested to study this body, he has been described in the śāstra as ass and cow.

yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke
sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ
yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ
[SB 10.84.13]

The bodily concept of life is meant for the animals. It is not for the human being. Therefore, vāsudeva-paraṁ jñānaṁ vāsudeva-paraṁ tapaḥ. People are taking to so much austerities. Just like modern scientists, they have discovered the atomic bomb. That is tapasya, of course. It is tapasya. But that kind of tapasya was done by Hiraṇyakaśipu also. What is the value of such tapasya? Tapasya must be to understand Vāsudeva. Vāsudeva-paraṁ tapaḥ. If one has actually undergone severe austerities of life to understand Vāsudeva, that is perfect tapasya. Otherwise it is simply…

Hiraṇyakaśipu or the manufacturer of the atomic bomb, they are also undergone severe austerities. It is not manufactured all of a sudden. But it required brain and perseverance. They have manufactured, but what is the value? Killing. Killing men. The killing, it is automatically being killed. You discover something that people will not die. People are dying. You have accelerated the death process, that’s all. But they want to take credit out of it: “We have discovered this scientific…”

But that is not knowledge. Here it is said, vāsudeva-paraṁ tapaḥ. Vāsudeva-paro dharmaḥ. Vāsudeva-paro dharmaḥ. Unless we come to that point, dharma, religious principle… Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmaḥ. That is paro dharmaḥ. What? Yato bhaktir adhokṣaje [SB 1.2.6]. Ahaituky apratihatā yayātmā suprasīdati. By executing religion one should be satisfied. But unless he comes to the point of Vāsudeva, he’ll never be satisfied. That is not… Yayātmā suprasīdati. If we learn to love Vāsudeva, yato bhaktir adhokṣaje, then we’ll be satisfied by executing religion. Otherwise it is superficial.

Dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ, notpādayed ratim yadi [SB 1.2.8]. If one is not interested to hear the kathā, vāsudeva-kathā, śrama eva hi kevalam. Similarly, only formalities will not help. We must enlighten ourself. We must enhance our propensity to hear about Vāsudeva. Śravaṇam. That is wanted. Simply formalities will help us very slowly. One…, one who is interested in hearing about Vāsudeva, his progress is very quick. Otherwise, it will be simply formalities. Vāsudeva-paro dharmo vāsudeva-parā gatiḥ. The ultimate goal: go back to home, back to Godhead. Vāsudeva-parā gatiḥ.

So this verse is very nice, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Essence of knowledge. Vāsudeva-parā vedā vāsudeva-parā makhāḥ. We should take advantage of the study of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the direction; then our life will be successful; our aim of human life, mission, will be fulfilled. That is the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. [break] Yes?

Devotee: I’ve heard of that form, but what is that form?

Prabhupāda: That you’ll know in due course. Not now. Hmm chant. [end]

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