Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.14
Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya
Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya
Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya
Today, we’re reading from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, First Canto, Second Chapter, text number 14.
bhagavan satvatam patih
srotavyah kirtitavyas ca
dhyeyah pujyas ca nityada
bhagavan satvatam patih
srotavyah kirtitavyas ca
dhyeyah pujyas ca nityada
Therefore, with one-pointed attention, one should constantly hear about, glorify, remember and worship the Personality of Godhead, who is the protector of the devotees.
caksur unmilitam yena
tasmai sri-gurave namah
caksur unmilitam yena
tasmai sri-gurave namah
Sankarshan Das Adhikari - Krishna consciousness is not taking up some different activity. It’s taking what we already do, and connecting it with the supreme. We already have a tendency to hear about some person, speak about some person, to remember some person, to worship some person. Sometimes we visit some home, going into the room of the teenager who has a big poster of some athlete, or some rock and roll star on the wall. They’re worshipping that person. There are so many fan magazines on the market. Movie stars, athletes, so many stars. Everyone is attracted to stars. Some big personality they can hear about, remember, glorify and practically worship.
This is a natural tendency. We like to hear about someone, glorify someone, remember someone, worship someone. If we can take that natural tendency we all have and repose it in the Supreme, then we become delivered. We become enlightened. We become ecstatic. We become free from all the suffering conditions of material existence. Krishna consciousness is not taking up some new activities. It’s taking what we already have a tendency to do, and reposing it in the Supreme. That’s where that tendency actually belongs. It’s meant to be reposed in the Supreme. But, due to bad conditioning in this material existence, we put it somewhere else.
They have dog shows. People want to hear about, remember, glorify and worship dogs. They have dog shows. People train their dog and bring the dog to the competition. "My dog is the best dog." Panels of distinguished judges watch the dogs, and discuss which is the best of all the dogs. The dog who wins, comes forward very proudly and they put a blue ribbon on it. The dog is very proud. "Yes, this is the best dog." Everybody applauds. "Yes, this is the best dog." This is the same tendency. We want to hear about the dog, remember the dog, glorify the dog and worship the dog. They’re very crazy about the dogs. They like to hear about them, remember them, glorify and worship the dogs. They find great pleasure and satisfaction. It goes on all over the Western world. It’s a very big thing. If you can have the best dog, then you’re considered a very good person. "My dog is the best dog."
Instead of reposing to hear about, remember, worship and glorify a dog, we should repose this tendency in God. What is God spelled backwards? Dog. G-O-D or D-O-G. That’s all we’re saying. All you have to do is reverse it. Right now, they’re worshipping dog. They hear about, remember, glorify and worship dogs. This is the modern-day society. They say dog is the best friend. In the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna says suhrdam sarva bhutanam, that "I’m the best friend."The propaganda of the modern-day society is that dog is the best friend. Instead of saying God is the best friend, they say dog is the best friend. Therefore, we should repose that tendency to hear about, remember, worship and glorify not in dog, but in God.
If we can make this one simple adjustment, to worship God, instead of worshipping dog, then our lives will become perfect. But they’re so attached to worshipping dog. They have a very difficult time giving it up because the dog licks them on the face. They’re thinking, "He licks me all over the face with his tongue, therefore he’s very nice."
They also worship the unqualified men who are in the category of dogs. They take some ordinary politician and elevate him to some superstar status by putting him all over the newspapers. Putting him on television, putting him on the radio, putting him on the Internet. They’ll take some ordinary person and make him into some super huge celebrity. Actually, these people just worship these stars. One man was saying about some famous song writer, "If I could just somehow get the opportunity to shine his shoes, that would be my great happiness." This is some ordinary person.
They elevate ordinary people who have no qualification to superstar status. An ordinary person who has the same emotional, psychological difficulties that everybody else has, but they elevate them artificially through the media to some superstar status. People like to worship, glorify, remember and hear about such personalities. Instead of this foolish misuse of our tendency to hear about, remember, worship and glorify, this should be reposed in Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
"Why?" people argue, "Krishna’s just a myth, why should I hear about Him? At least these athletes and songwriters and movie stars are real people."
They say, "Krishna’s just a myth. Why should I hear about Him? He’s just some mythological figure from the Hindu mythology."
But that is a very big mistake. Krishna is the ground of our being. We exist by the fact that He is emanating us from Himself at this very minute. If you want proof that Krishna exists, then just become devoted to Krishna, and He will reveal Himself to you. He’ll directly reveal Himself to you. All you have to do is become devoted to Krishna, and you will know Krishna, scientifically.
This Krishna consciousness movement is not something artificially imposed upon our minds. Rather it is the reawakening of the dormant enlightened consciousness which is there within us. It’s there right now, it’s just in a dormant condition. We invite you to take this process very seriously. Become very, very serious about chanting 16 rounds every day without fail, following our regulative principles and becoming solidly situated in the path of bhakti. This is our humble request to all of you. We do not want to see you remain in this suffering condition of the repetition of birth and death. We want to see that you will come out of this suffering condition, languishing in these material modes of nature.
Kindly take this invitation that Mataji and I are making. All the devotees and Prabhupada are making it. Kindly take this invitation we’re making to you to chant 16 rounds every day. Follow the regulative principles, become initiated disciples. Prabhupada specifically states in the Nectar of Devotion that without initiation there is no connection with Krishna. You may have a very nice chandelier, but if it’s not connected to the powerhouse, it won’t illuminate the room. We may be chanting 16 rounds and following the principles. That is very nice, but if it is not connected to the initiation process, there’s no illumination. That initiation process is what firmly connects us. You can go to the store and pick out a very nice lamp. That’s all well and good, but then you finally have to get down to the point of plugging it in. That’s initiation. You make all the arrangements. You get the nice lamp, a nice house, all the nice arrangements are there, but now to finally get the benefit of it, the last step is that you have to plug it in. You have a very nice lamp. You went to the store and searched very nicely, "This will go just perfectly in our living room, this nice lamp." The husband and wife consulted together, thought about it, checked out so many varieties of lamps. You have a very nice lamp. You’ve brought it home with long-life light bulbs. Everything is perfectly planned out, the nicest possible lamp, the best light bulbs, you know exactly what corner of the room it will go in.
All the arrangements are made so it will be a very nice lamp. The final step is you’ve got to plug it in. You can make all the nice arrangements how to become regulated in chanting Hare Krishna on japa beads, follow the regulative principles, read Prabhupada’s books, bow down before the Deities of Krishna, and make all nice arrangements. What’s the last step? You’ve got to plug it in. Get initiation. That’s the last step. You’ve got to plug it in. That makes the connection with Krishna. All the other arrangements are there, now plug it in, and its finalized.
The advantage of doing that is you become then solidly fixed in hearing about, remembering, worshipping and glorifying, not dog, but God. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Are there any questions?
Question 1: What do the scriptures say about equality of man and woman?
SDA: Materially speaking, man will always be superior to woman by dint of their physical makeup in terms of strength. Men are always going to be stronger than women, just by nature’s way. The male body is stronger than the female body. Therefore, the duty of saintly men is to protect women from being exploited. Lusty irresponsible men are very much into exploiting women. They have that physical strength and women are weaker, so they want to take advantage of women for sex enjoyment, exploitation. Women do have that position physically speaking of inferiority. It’s just nature’s arrangement. That doesn’t mean that they’re spiritually inferior. In fact, in many cases women are spiritually superior. Prabhupada even points that out in his books.
In India, if you go to the temples, who is there? Mostly women. Women are more inclined to devotion than men. We see that actually in many ways spiritually speaking women, are superior to men. Materially speaking, men are superior to women. The first thing we have to realize in this connection is that we’re not men or women, actually. We have to come beyond the platform of man and woman. Simply come to the spiritual platform that 'I’m not this body. I’m not a man. I’m not a woman. I’m the eternal servant of Krishna.' Our position is not that men are superior or that women are superior. Our position is that we’re all subordinate to Krishna. Men and women both are subordinate to Krishna.
Questioner: The scriptures speak mostly about sages, not matajis.
SDA: There are great saintly ladies. Queen Kunti, for example. Look at that prostitute who became a great sadhu in the pastime of Haridasa Thakura. She became a very renounced sadhu. She shaved her head and did the same vrata as Haridasa Thakura. There are so many examples. You can say, "Why are there more men mentioned than ladies." Maybe more men took up the process than women did. It’s not required for the scriptures to mention an equal number of men and women. Affirmative Action. It’s not that someone says, "I’m a woman, therefore you have to give me a leadership position." Whoever manifests leadership qualities will naturally become a leader. It doesn’t matter, male or female, whoever manifests leadership qualities, they will be a leader. It’s not that if a group of people are there possessing leadership qualities, that we need 50% male leaders, 50% female leaders. That is artificial. Whoever manifests leadership qualities will become a leader. That is natural.
It’s not that in the law school, we need this many blacks, this many Hispanics and that many whites because that’s the percentage we have in the population. That means that you’re not really basing it on qualification. Somebody is less qualified who is given the position. Somebody who is more qualified can be denied the position. That is not proper. There was a whole lawsuit in the University of Texas. Some white students were denied access to the law school and some Hispanics were given that position in the law school even though they were less qualified. Because they had Hispanic bodies, they were given a chance, and those who were more qualified were denied, so there was a law suit against them.
This Affirmative Action idea, that 'I have this type of body , so you have to give me this position', that’s not the Vedic system. The Vedic system is not based on birth. That mentality is like the current day caste system. I’m born a brahmana, therefore you have to accept me as an authority. The real caste system is based on qualities and activities, not birth. How are you acting and what are your actual qualities? That is the determination of who has the position in society. That’s the original Vedic system. It’s not that, you’re a female body therefore you’re relegated to some inferior status, you’re a male body therefore your relegated to some sort of status. No. What are your actual qualities? That determines your position in the Vedic society. What are your qualities?
The Vedic system is based on perfect equality. Everyone is recognized and given a position according to their natural qualities as they manifest. Not according to their body.
Question 2: We believe in God based on scriptures. What do we tell persons who have no faith in scriptures?
SDA: Preach to them on the basis of logic. For example, we all have experience that every machine requires an operator. This video camera is a machine. Venkatesh pushed the button, and put it into operation. We see that every machine requires an operator. An automobile, a watch, every machine. You cannot bring any machine that can operate without an operator at some level. Even if it’s going on a computer program, turning on and off, somebody programmed it. Someone wrote the computer program. Somebody booted up the computer on which the program is running.
You’re putting the car in the gas station. Somebody has to pump the gas. Every machine requires an operator. It’s a scientific fact. We can verify it scientifically. Every machine requires an operator. This gigantic cosmic manifestation is also a machine. Therefore, I can assume that there must be an operator for this machine. That is a scientific assumption. This is logic. This is the qualification of highly advanced devotees. They can explain the science of God based on logic. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta was going to speak in some gathering, and they became very fearful because he was a powerful preacher.
So they said, "You can’t speak from this book."
He said, "Alright."
"And you can’t speak from that book."
He kept agreeing because he knew he had the ability to defeat them no matter what conditions they put.
"You can’t quote from this sastra or that sastra."
This is the symptom of highly advanced devotees; just on the basis of logic, they can completely establish the truth of Krishna consciousness.
In the modern age, no one accepts the authority of scripture.
You can say, "t’s written in the Gita."
They’ll say, "The Gita’s just some mythology. Who cares about the Bhagavad-gita?"
That’s the modern day mood. If you want to preach very powerfully, you have to learn how to preach on the basis of logic also. For the devotees, sastric evidence is our foundation; we understand that the scripture is the authority. Scripture is the center. But for non-devotees who have not come to that point of accepting the authority of scripture, you have to convince them on the basis of logic, and then after you give them the logic, then you say, "And it is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita."
You convince them on the basis of logic, and then you say it is reconfirmed by Lord Sri Krishna, in the Bhagavad-gita, and gradually train them how to accept the authority of scripture, by showing the absolutely impeccable logic of the philosophy of Krishna consciousness. This is the perfection of philosophy. There’s nothing which can come close to Krishna consciousness.
Question 3: If by satisfying Krishna, or chanting Hare Krishna, we get happiness, is that considered sense gratification?
SDA: No. Whatever comes, we take it. We satisfy Krishna, and if by satisfying Him, we become happy or unhappy, we don’t care. It doesn’t matter to us. As long as He’s satisfied, that’s all we need. If satisfying Krishna makes me happy, that’s alright. If satisfying Krishna makes me unhappy, that’s alright. I just want that Krishna’s happy. That selfless mood is the perfection of happiness. "I’m willing to suffer if it will make Krishna happy." When you’re in that mood, there is no suffering anymore. Krishna can be pleased 24 hours a day, by hearing about Him, remembering Him, glorifying Him and worshipping Him. Krishna can be easily satisfied 24 hours a day. If your happiness is to make Krishna happy, then you’ll always be happy.
The devotee is willing to suffer to please Krishna. He just wants to do what pleases Krishna, that’s all. Even if he has to suffer, it’s alright. He’s not making any conditions, like "I will serve Krishna if it makes me happy, and I won’t serve if it makes me unhappy." "I will serve Krishna for the purpose of serving Krishna, that’s all." Whatever comes, comes. We just do it. This is the highest understanding.
Question 4: Everyone knows that all the avataras come from Vishnu, how can we say that Krishna is the Supreme God?
SDA: Vishnu is the Supreme God, and His original form is Krishna. They say Vishnu is the supreme. First of all, we agree with them. Vishnu is the Supreme. When you actually understand Vishnu intimately, then you come to the point of Krishna. Vishnu means the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That Supreme Lord engages in different activities, just like your husband is a very valuable employee at Bell South. He plays a certain role at the office, and he plays a certain role at home also. People who know him at the office know him to a certain extent, but people who are close enough that they can also come and associate with him at home, know him more intimately. Vishnu at the office is Vishnu and Vishnu at home is Krishna. Krishna has His expanded form as the Vishnus, who perform so many activities of universal management like Maha-Vishnu exhaling all the universes from His breathing, Garbhodakasayi Vishnu appearing within each and every universe to give birth to Lord Brahma from the lotus flower emanating from His navel, Ksirodakasayi Vishnu, who is appearing in every atom, in between every atom and in the heart of every living being as the Supersoul, but if you go back to the original Vishnu, in His original form, that is Krishna.
We are called Vaisnavas. Vaisnava means a devotee of Vishnu. We are devotees of Vishnu, but that original form of Vishnu is Krishna. This is confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam where a list of all the different incarnations is given. Its described there krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. The original personality of Godhead is Krishna. Its confirmed in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, and it’s also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita.
Vishnu Priya Mataji:
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
SDA: Brahmaji also confirms this, saying govindam adi purusam tam aham bhajami. Govinda is the original person. Brahmaji has confirmed, Krishna confirms, all the demigods actually confirm it, so why don’t we take the Vedic authorities? Even from the standpoint of logical analysis Krishna must be the Supreme also because He has certain characteristics and qualities which Vishnu does not have. Vishnu doesn’t have the ability play the flute like Krishna.
VPM: Also a German man went to India and saw that all the other deities had some duty to perform, but Krishna was just playing around.
SDA: Every other god has some duty to perform, Vishnu also has so many duties to do, but Krishna’s manifestation has no duties to perform, simply enjoy sitting around in Goloka Vrindavan, play the flute, have His girl friends, boy friends, simply enjoy. That is the original feature of God. His expanded forms do so many features of universal management. Demigods also have so many duties to perform at the office, or factory. But when God is simply enjoying, when He has no other thing to do, He is Krishna. That is His original supreme feature. He has no duty. He just wants to know when He can kiss Radharani. He has no duty. That is the original feature.
Krishna travels to give mercy to the fallen souls. That is His loving kindness. He is our loving father and does not like to see us in this suffering condition. Therefore out of His kindness He appears. That’s His loving relationship with His devotees. Also, He comes here for sporting as well, for fighting. There’s no fighting in Goloka Vrindavana. He comes here just like a king will keep a court wrestler for fighting. Because no one will dare to fight with the king, so he’ll keep one wrestler. Krishna will send His devotees sometimes to the material world to take birth as demons so He can come and kill them for fun.
Prabhupada said it was just to keep the body fit. Krishna doesn’t have a membership down at the local gym so He sends His devotees here and makes them into big, big demons like Hiranyakasipu, or Ravana. He makes His devotees into big, big demons so that He can fight with them and kill them for fun and to keep His body in shape. Krishna is simply acting for His enjoyment and also for the sake of His devotees which is also His enjoyment. Don’t you, as a father, enjoy making sure your daughter is very happy? That is your happiness, to make sure that your daughter is happy. That is Krishna’s happiness, to make sure that all of His sons and daughters are happy. That’s why He comes again and again. He has His personal enjoyment, and His greatest happiness and enjoyment is to see that His devotees are happy. That’s His love.
When you go to the office, you feel, "Oh, Monday morning. I have to go back to the job." But you don’t feel that way when you take care of your daughter. No. "This is my daughter." You do that out of love. It’s not like, "Oh, I have to take care of my daughter." It’s a spontaneous affection. Krishna coming to this material world for the sake of His devotees is not like some duty of going to the office. It’s the spontaneous loving affection of Krishna.
Srimad-Bhagavatam ki Jaya!
Srila Prabhupada ki Jaya!
Transcribed by His Grace Jagannatha Dasa