……That is the gift of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. It is in the śāstra. Caitanya Mahāprabhu does not give you anything which is not in the śāstra. He’s ācārya, although He’s God Himself. He can make śāstra. Whatever He does, whatever He speaks, that is śāstra. But still, because He’s playing the part of ācārya, He immediately gives Vedic evidences. That is the way of ācārya. Ācāryas will never say, “I think.” “It is in my opinion.” No. Such things are not accepted. No personal opinion. It must be supported by Vedic evidences. That is called paramparā system, genuine system of understanding. As Kṛṣṇa says, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. No change. Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is. We do not change. We have no power to change. Then where is the authority of Bhagavad-gītā? I am a third-class man, and if I change the statements in the Bhagavad-gītā, then where is the authority of Bhagavad-gītā? That is going on. Therefore it is practically… You have got experience that there are hundreds of Bhagavad-gītā editions in the Western countries, but because we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is, our sale is better than all others. There is a report from the trade manager of Macmillan. He says, “While other editions are dwindling, going down, this edition is coming up.” They published our, this present enlarged edition of Bhagavad-gītā, fifty thousand in the month of August. They are going to print again, second edition, August, September, October. So the reason is that if we present things as they are, it will be accepted. Without any adulteration. Sometimes, you know, people say that I have done miracles. They say everywhere. But I do not know anything, miracles or magic. If there is any miracle, that miracle is that we present things as they are. That’s all. Without any adulteration. So that should be the principle. Present as it is. It will be accepted.
excerpted from a lecture on the Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.11 Vrindavan India October 22, 1972
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Lecture 1.2.11
Vṛndāvana, October 22, 1972
Pradyumna: “Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramātmā or Bhagavān.”
vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
bhagavān iti śabdyate
So the Absolute Truth is realized in three different features, according to the capacity of realization of the Person. Those who are trying to approach the Absolute Truth by exercise of the senses, they can reach up to the point of impersonal Brahman. Those who are searching out the Absolute Truth by meditation, by mystic yogic practices, they can realize the Paramātmā feature of the Absolute Truth. And those who are engaged in devotional service, they realize the Absolute Truth as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Actually, we have to reach to the point of Personality of Godhead, person. Before that, Brahman realization and Paramātmā realization, that is partial realization of the Absolute Truth, because Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, brahmaṇaḥ ahaṁ pratiṣṭhā. The impersonal Brahman is resting on Kṛṣṇa. Just like the sunshine. Sunshine is very all-embracing, wide, widely spread all over the universe, the sunshine. But the sunshine is resting on the sun globe. We see the sun globe, localized. It is floating in one corner of this universal sky. But the sunshine is covering the whole universe. That does not mean the sunshine is more important than the sun globe. And if you can penetrate within the sun globe, then you’ll find there is sun-god.
That is also mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā, imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1]. Kṛṣṇa says that “This yoga system, bhakti-yoga system, as they are mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā, it was first explained to the sun-god, Vivasvān.” The śāstra gives us the name of the predominating deity of the sun globe. Just like any gentleman can know or give the name of your president, Mr. Nixon. He might not have seen, but he knows that the present president of U.S.A is Mr. Nixon. Similarly, actually, those who are in knowledge, they know who are the predominating deities of the different planets. They know. Not to speak of others, Kṛṣṇa, who can know better than Him? Vedāhaṁ samatītāni [Bg. 7.26]. Kṛṣṇa knows past, present, and future. So He’s saying that imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1]. “This imperishable yoga system, bhakti-yoga…” It is imperishable, avyayam. This very word is very significant. Bhakti-yoga is imperishable. Other yoga systems may be perishable, but bhakti-yoga is not perishable. Whatever you execute in this life, bhakti-yoga, that becomes your permanent asset, so that in the next life you can begin from the point where you ended in this life. If you can finish in this life, cent percent, that is very nice. If not,… Suppose you have finished fifty percent. Still it is permanent asset. It will never be lost. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says avyayam, inexhaustible. Imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1].
So here we find that the Absolute Truth is realized as Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān. Bhagavān is the ultimate, the last word in the understanding of the Absolute Truth. Unless you come to the point of Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa… Bhagavān means original Bhagavān is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam [SB 1.3.28]. All other Bhagavāns, They are expansions, plenary or part of the plenary expansion of Bhagavān, Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam. So in the spiritual world also one has to go farther and farther until he reaches to the point of Kṛṣṇa. That is ultimate progress. It is said therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā,
bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ
After many, many births, understanding the Brahman… Brahman understanding is certainly transcendental, but because Brahman is only partial realization of the Absolute Truth, only the eternity… The Absolute Truth is eternal, blissful, knowledgeable, cognizant. So Brahman realization means realization of the eternity portion. Paramātmā-realization is knowledgeable. Paramātmā knows everything. Paramātmā is present in everyone’s heart, and He knows everyone’s activities. But actual realization, complete realization, means ānanda, sac-cid-ānanda. That ānanda-realization is in Kṛṣṇa-realization. Ānandamayo ‘bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12). Kṛṣṇa is by nature jolly, always full of bliss. You have seen the picture of Kṛṣṇa. He’s always tri-bhaṅga-murāri, with two hands, with, playing on flute, surrounded by the gopīs, enjoying. That is blissfulness.
So brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate [SB 1.2.11], step by step. But if you approach Kṛṣṇa and try to understand Him through devotional service, then automatically you understand Brahman and Paramātmā. There is no need of separate endeavor for understanding Brahman and Paramātmā. Anyone who knows Kṛṣṇa, tattvataḥ, in fact… Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā,
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ
So one has to know Kṛṣṇa in tattvataḥ, as He is. So this tattvataḥ means accept the process of devotional service. Tattvataḥ, Kṛṣṇa as He is, cannot be understood by the other methods, namely by mental speculation or mystic yogic exercises. Kṛṣṇa cannot be understood in that way. If we want to understand Kṛṣṇa, then we have to accept the Kṛṣṇa method, bhakti method. That is plainly spoken by Kṛṣṇa: bhaktyā mām abhijānāti [Bg. 18.55]. Kṛṣṇa does not say that you can know Him by mental exercises or yogic practices. No. Yogi can know… Tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ [SB 12.13.1]. Dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ. Yogi also, by meditation, they see Kṛṣṇa. That is real yoga. As it is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, the first-class yogi is he who always thinks of Kṛṣṇa within himself.
yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ
That is first-class yogi.
So you are thinking of Kṛṣṇa by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa because the more you practice, immediately with your chanting, the name, the form, the quality, the pastimes, everything will be revealed. As we go on cleansing our dirty heart by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, and as we chant faultless, offenseless harer nāma, Kṛṣṇa reveals. Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ [Brs. 1.2.234]. By service attitude, if you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra without any offense, then Kṛṣṇa will reveal Himself. You cannot try to see Kṛṣṇa by your speculation or yogic practice. If you simply submissively, surrendering yourself, chant His holy name… There is no difference between Kṛṣṇa’s name and Kṛṣṇa. Abhinnatvān nāma-nāminoḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.133]. People generally ask that what is the meaning of chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. We explain, you know, chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra means immediately, directly associating with Kṛṣṇa. One has to approach Kṛṣṇa by yogic practice or mental speculation for many, many births. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante [Bg. 7.19]. They can come to the conclusion that “Here is Kṛṣṇa.” Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti. But if you take to this chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra without any offense, then immediately you contact Kṛṣṇa. You save so much time. Why should you wait for many, many births?
That is the gift of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. It is in the śāstra. Caitanya Mahāprabhu does not give you anything which is not in the śāstra. He’s ācārya, although He’s God Himself. He can make śāstra. Whatever He does, whatever He speaks, that is śāstra. But still, because He’s playing the part of ācārya, He immediately gives Vedic evidences. That is the way of ācārya. Ācāryas will never say, “I think.” “It is in my opinion.” No. Such things are not accepted. No personal opinion. It must be supported by Vedic evidences. That is called paramparā system, genuine system of understanding. As Kṛṣṇa says, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. No change. Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is. We do not change. We have no power to change. Then where is the authority of Bhagavad-gītā? I am a third-class man, and if I change the statements in the Bhagavad-gītā, then where is the authority of Bhagavad-gītā? That is going on. Therefore it is practically… You have got experience that there are hundreds of Bhagavad-gītā editions in the Western countries, but because we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is, our sale is better than all others. There is a report from the trade manager of Macmillan. He says, “While other editions are dwindling, going down, this edition is coming up.” They published our, this present enlarged edition of Bhagavad-gītā, fifty thousand in the month of August. They are going to print again, second edition, August, September, October. So the reason is that if we present things as they are, it will be accepted. Without any adulteration. Sometimes, you know, people say that I have done miracles. They say everywhere. But I do not know anything, miracles or magic. If there is any miracle, that miracle is that we present things as they are. That’s all. Without any adulteration. So that should be the principle. Present as it is. It will be accepted.
So Bhagavān. Brahmeti paramātmeti. We, we do not present Brahma-jñāna. Brahma-jñāna automatically comes if one is conversant with the knowledge of Kṛṣṇa. Then he can understand that this Brahman effulgence is the bodily rays of Kṛṣṇa.
yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi-
tad brahma niṣkalam anantam aśeṣa-bhūtaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
So we immediately understand that this brahmajyoti, impersonal effulgence of brahmajyoti is the rays of Kṛṣṇa’s body. Yasya prabhā [Bs. 5.40]. Kṛṣṇa also confirms this in the Bhagavad-gītā: brahmaṇo ‘haṁ pratiṣṭhā. Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ [Bg. 10.8]. Kṛṣṇa says everything is emanating from Him. The Brahman is also emanation from Him. Paramātmā is also expansion of Kṛṣṇa.
So therefore if you understand Kṛṣṇa, tattvataḥ, yo māṁ vetti tattvataḥ… Tattva is that Kṛṣṇa, the Absolute Truth, is originally a person. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). He’s the supreme eternal nitya. He’s the supreme living being. As we are living beings, living entities, Kṛṣṇa is also living entity. He’s not a dead stone. He’s living entity. And as we have got all the propensities of living entity, He has got all the propensities of living entity. Here we are pervertedly… A young boy likes to love a young girl. A young girl likes to love a young boy. But wherefrom these natural propensities come? Because it is there in Kṛṣṇa. Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ [Bg. 10.8]. So there cannot be any question of impersonalism. Because by studying the sample living entity, you can understand the chief living entity. Kṛṣṇa is the chief living entity, supreme living entity. So we are samples. Whatever propensities we have got, Kṛṣṇa has also got. But we have got in a limited proportion. Kṛṣṇa has got unlimited proportion. The… Take the same example. The loving propensity, yupat…, yupatidvan yatha yuna,(?) this is natural. But we may finish… Because it is perverted, we may finish these loving propensities within time and space. But Kṛṣṇa’s loving propensity is not finished within time and space. It is eternal. That is the difference between Kṛṣṇa and ourself.
So if we actually study Kṛṣṇa,… The Bhagavad-gītā is the Kṛṣṇa-science, and it is further explained in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So the Bhāga…, Bhāgava…, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is explaining in tattva, in fact, in truth, what is Kṛṣṇa. So if we learn Kṛṣṇa, if we understand Kṛṣṇa, then our life is fulfilled. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]. This is our only business. Try to understand what is Kṛṣṇa, what is Bhagavān. Kasmin tu bhagavo vijñāte sarvam idaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati. If you simply try to understand Kṛṣṇa through authorities, through Kṛṣṇa, through ācāryas, not mental concoction, manufacturing something… Kṛṣṇa should be understood through the authorities. Kṛṣṇa’s love affair with Rādhārāṇī should be understood through the authorities. Not that because we see Kṛṣṇa is just like a young boy, Rādhārāṇī is young girl, if we see here, it is very nice… Of course, it is very nice, but if we do not try to understand Kṛṣṇa through the authorities, we shall be misled. Therefore in the beginning one should not try to understand the loving affairs of Kṛṣṇa with the gopīs. Then… Because it appears like ordinary dealings. But if we do not go through the authorities, we shall take Kṛṣṇa as ordinary boy or man, as it is warned in the Bhagavad-gītā, avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam [Bg. 9.11]. Because He’s acting just like a young boy, if we do not try to understand tattvataḥ, vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam [SB 1.2.11], in fact, in truth, through the authorities… Because here it is: vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam [SB 1.2.11]. Tattva-vit. Yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā sei guru haya [Cc. Madhya 8.128].
So guru means kṛṣṇa-tattva-vit, one who knows about Kṛṣṇa. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He explains about Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa explains about Himself. The Gosvāmīs, Ṣaḍ Gosvāmīs, they are explaining about Kṛṣṇa. And in their paramparā system, the ācāryas, they are also explaining Kṛṣṇa. So if we do not go through these tattva-vits, then we’ll misunderstand Kṛṣṇa. Therefore Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says, rūpa-raghunātha-pade hoibe ākuti, kabe hāma bujhabo se jugala-pīriti. All of a sudden, if you become a knower of the jugala-pīriti, love of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, then there is chance of becoming fallen. There is chance. So we should… Vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam [SB 1.2.11]. We must approach the tattva-vit, one who knows the truth; through them, through him, we should try to understand Kṛṣṇa. Not simply by
Therefore they’re ma…, committing so many mistakes. Even scholars like Dr. Radhakrishnan and others, they’re committing so many mistakes. Because they do not go through tattva-vit. There are so many political leaders who are commenting on Kṛṣṇa’s book without knowing Kṛṣṇa, without any knowledge of Kṛṣṇa. Just see their impudency. Without knowing Kṛṣṇa, they want to make trade with Kṛṣṇa. That is not very good. You cannot make trade commodity, Kṛṣṇa as trade commodity.
You cannot handle Kṛṣṇa by your whims. Let you be handled by the Kṛṣṇa’s whims. Then you’ll be successful. Then… My Guru Mahārāja used to say that “Don’t try to see Kṛṣṇa; do something so that Kṛṣṇa may see you.” That is wanted. If Kṛṣṇa, if you can draw little attention of Kṛṣṇa, yat kāruṇya-katākṣa-vaibhavavatām, katākṣa-vaibhavavatām… Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī says… If you somehow or other you can draw little attention of Kṛṣṇa, your life is successful. Immediately. And how you can draw? Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti [Bg. 18.55]. Simply by serving Kṛṣṇa. Take service, take to service of Kṛṣṇa, as it is ordered by the spiritual master. Because spiritual master is the representative of Kṛṣṇa. We cannot approach Kṛṣṇa directly. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ **. If you have bona fide spiritual master, representative of Kṛṣṇa, it is also not very difficult. Everyone can become representative of Kṛṣṇa. How? If you simply carry the message of Kṛṣṇa without any adulteration. That’s all.
Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, āmāra ājñāya guru hañā [Cc. Madhya 7.128], “You become a spiritual master under My order.” So if you carry out the order of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Kṛṣṇa, then you become guru. Āmāra ājñāya guru hañā. Unfortunately, we do not wish to carry out order of the ācāryas. We manufacture our own ways. We have got practical experience how a great institution was lost by whimsical ways. Without carrying out the order of the spiritual master, they manufactured something and the whole thing was lost. Therefore Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura stresses very much on the words of the spiritual master. Vyavasāyātmikā buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana [Bg. 2.41]. If you stick to the order of spiritual master, then, without caring for your own convenience or inconvenience, then you become perfect.
yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
This is the confirmation of all authorities. We have to carry out very faithfully the order of the bona fide representative of Kṛṣṇa. Then our life is successful. Then we can understand Kṛṣṇa in truth. Vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam [SB 1.2.11]. We have to hear from the tattva-vit, not from the so-called scholars and politicians. No. One who knows the truth, you have to hear from him. And if you stick to that principle, then you understand everything very clearly.
Thank you very much. (end)