Cc. Madhya 22.5 — January 7, 1967, New York


kṛṣṇa bhakti abhidheya sarva śāstre kaya
ataeva muni-gaṇa kariyāche niścaya

So we have just studied the constitutional position of Kṛṣṇa by His original standing as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, His different expansions, incarnations, and how He is situated as the supreme controller of the spiritual and material manifestation. So far, as far as possible, we have studied through the grace of Lord Caitanya. And even up to the prime, primal living entity within this material world, namely Brahmā… Brahmā is considered to be the supreme. He is also living entity like us, but he is supreme powerful within this material universe. Just like within this state, President Johnson is the supreme powerful, but he is a man like us, a living entity, but he has got supreme power. Similarly, Brahmā is a living entity like us, but by his meritorious and devotional service to the Lord, he is exalted as the supreme personality within this material world. But he is not Supreme Personality of Godhead. Supreme Personality of Godhead is Kṛṣṇa. Ekale īśvara kṛṣṇa āra sab… [Cc. Ādi 5.142]. And only Kṛṣṇa is the master, and everyone is servant, however great he may be. 

So even Kṛṣṇa’s expansion, Viṣṇu, He is also subordinate to Kṛṣṇa. The greatest manifestation of Viṣṇu is the Mahā-Viṣṇu who is lying on the Causal Ocean of material creation, wherefrom the material universes are emanating by His breathing process. Such a gigantic and huge, I mean to say, form of Viṣṇu with four hands, He is also stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā, 

yasyaika-niśvasita-kālam athāvalambya
jīvanti loma-vilajā jagad-aṇḍa-nāthāḥ
viṣṇur mahān sa iha yasya kalā-viśeṣo
govindam ādi-puruṣam tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[Bs. 5.48]

“I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, whose plenary parts of the portion is Mahā-Viṣṇu.” And what is that Mahā-Viṣṇu? “In whose breathing period all these universes are coming and being annihilated.” That is the process of His breathing. Just like with our breathing we are extricating so many germs and again we are taking so many germs, similarly, the breathing period of Mahā-Viṣṇu is He is exhaling so many universes and again inhaling so many universes. That Mahā-Viṣṇu is also the plenary expansion of Kṛṣṇa. 

So we are going to have our relationship with that Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then how that can be achieved? That is now being explained by Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and that is called, the process of executing the service by which we can attain to that point, is called abhidheya. Abhidheya means execution of duties, execution of duties, or execution of obligation—not duty: obligation. Duty you sometimes may avoid, and you may be excused, but obligation we cannot. Obligation means you have to. Because you are meant for that, if you do not do that, then you will be in difficulty. Our obligation as living entities… We are part and parcel of the Supreme. Just like the hand. At once I feel some itching sensation here, so at once the hand comes without asking for it. It is so made psychologically and mechanically and whatever you may say. At once I feel some itching; at once the hand comes—obligation. It is obligation. Similarly, we are part and parcel of the Supreme. We have got obligation to serve Kṛṣṇa. If we are not doing that… That means if the hand is cut off from this body, there is no obligation. The hand which is cut off from this body, that hand will not come to cure my itching. That means it is fallen. His business is finished. Similarly, if we do not… Just like if the hand does not work the obligation which it has—to serve this body—then it is to be understood the paralyzed or diseased, infected. And doctor sometimes advise, “Cut it off. If you want to save your other parts of the body, then cut it off.” Similarly, these conditioned souls, they are now conditioned, or in one way they are cut off from the original, I mean to say, relationship, forgetful. So if we want… If this hand wants to remain in healthy state, it is the duty of the hand to fulfill the obligation of the hand’s duty, and then it remains very healthy condition. 

So our duty is to serve God. There is no other duty. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s preaching, that “You have no other duty, anything. That is all false illusion. If you have selected any other duty than to serve Kṛṣṇa in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then you are foolish. You are doing something wrong, which is not for your interest.” This is the teaching of Lord Caitanya and the Bhāgavata also. So if somebody may argue, “Oh, if I completely engage myself in the service of Kṛṣṇa, then what to do? How I shall live in this material world? Who will take care of my maintenance?” that is our foolishness. If you serve an ordinary person here, you get your maintenance; you get your wages, dollars. You are so foolish that you are going to serve Kṛṣṇa and He is not going to maintain you? Yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham [Bg. 9.22]. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā that “I personally take charge of his maintenance.” Why don’t you believe it? Practically you can see. That means faithlessness. There is no reason. Suppose I am serving some master here, so-called master, and he is at once paying me wages—“Take your wages”—twenty-five dollars, ten dollars or whatever it may be, at once paying. And I am going to serve the Supreme, and there is no maintenance for me? Oh, what a foolishness. This is called forgetful. This is called spell of māyā. Māyā will dictate, “Oh, you are going to serve Kṛṣṇa? How you’ll maintain yourself, you foolish. Don’t go there. Don’t go to the Kṛṣṇa consciousness society. It is cheating.” No, it is not cheating. It is actual fact. Yes. It is not cheating. But if you want to gratify your senses, oh, there is no scope. Then go to hell. Then go to hell. But if you want to serve Kṛṣṇa, there is every arrangement for you. There is every arrangement for you. If you want to cheat Kṛṣṇa, then Kṛṣṇa will also cheat you. Dyūtaṁ chalayatām asmi. Kṛṣṇa has said in His vibhūti-yogam that “Amongst all cheating process, I am gambling. I am gambling.” There is cheating process. Wherefrom this cheating process comes? There is cheating process in Kṛṣṇa also because He is the origin of everything. Whatever there is, even cheating process, thieving process, what is condemned in this world, that is also there in Kṛṣṇa, but that is without any contamination. That is difference. When He cheats, it becomes worshipable. Kṛṣṇa wanted to cheat Dronācārya. That is a fact in the Mahābhārata. He advised Arjuna, “Just go,” asked Yudhiṣṭhira that “Just go and tell lie to Dronācārya that ‘Your son is dead.’ ” Don’t you think Kṛṣṇa is trying to cheat? So there is cheating. Everything is there, but that is in full. God is good; therefore His cheating is good, His thieving is good. Everything is absolute. Unless you cannot understand this Absolute Truth, there is no understanding of Kṛṣṇa. There is no understanding of Kṛṣṇa. 

So here it is said, abhidheya. How to make progress in that execution of devotional service, that is being taught. So, 

śrutir mātā pṛṣṭā diśati bhavad-ārādhana-vidhiṁ
yathā mātur vāṇī smṛtir api tathā vakti bhaginī
purāṇādyā ye vā sahajani nivahās te tad-anugā
ataḥ satyaṁ jñātaṁ murahara bhavān eva śaraṇam

One great sage, a learned sage, after finishing all kinds of Vedic literature… There are two kinds of Vedic literature. One is called śruti, and the other is called smṛti. Śruti means the original Vedic injunction which is coming through disciplic succession beginning from Kṛṣṇa down to this day. There are certain axiomatic truths which is called Vedic injunction. The axiomatic truth, as I have given you several times example that cow dung is pure… Now, your reason is, “Oh, you say the Vedic injunction that if you touch stool of any animal you have to take your bath, purify yourself. And the Vedic injunction says cow dung is pure. Oh, this is contradictory.” No. Not contradictory. This is injunction. People are actually accepting this, no argument, and they are benefited by it. So axiomatic truth. How it is truth? You may not have sufficient intelligence, but if you go deep into the matter you will find it is all truth: “Yes, it is all right.” That is called Vedic injunction. So you cannot argue. You have to accept as it is. You cannot interpret. What education we have got, what intelligence, that we can interpret on Vedic injunction? No. It should be accepted as it is. That is called Vedic injunction. This is called śruti. You have to simply hear and act accordingly. That is called Vedic. And smṛti. Smṛti means if you are learned scholar in the Vedic injunction, if you have heard from the bona fide souls, and if you are convinced, then if you write something, that is smṛti. You cannot write nonsense. You have to write something which corroborates with the Vedic injunction. That is called smṛti. You cannot manufacture anything. You should always remember that “I am a tiny brain here, so I have to receive knowledge from superior sources.” Then whatever knowledge you have received, if you can expand that in your, by your, I mean to say, capacity, that is called smṛti. 

So there are two different kinds of Vedic literature. One section is called śruti, originally coming. Just like this Caitanya-caritāmṛta. This is a book written by Kṛṣṇa dāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, a great devotee of Lord Caitanya. It is called smṛti. Why? Everything written here is corroborating the Vedic literature. There is nothing, suggestion, “I am a philosopher. I am a speculator. I think this will be like this” Here you’ll see in every step he is quoting from Vedas. Caitanya Mahāprabhu is quoting. This is the topics between Sanātana Gosvāmī… This is the Vedic way. Now that sage, a great sage, he is giving his conclusion that śrutir mātā pṛṣṭā diśati bhavad-ārādhana-vidhim: “I have inquired so many Vedic literature. Now I am in conclusion that worshiping the Supreme Lord, that is the injunction of the…, nothing more. Nothing more.” The whole idea is… And that is confirmed by Bhagavad-gītā also. Kṛṣṇa says in the Fifteenth Chapter you will find. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam [Bg. 15.15]. What is the purpose of Veda? The purpose of Veda is to understand Kṛṣṇa. That’s all. If you can understand to some extent Kṛṣṇa, then your all Vedic studies finished. No more taking trouble. So we have to follow. 

Now, here the great sage says that “I have consulted all the Vedic process, all the Vedic literature, and I see that bhagavad-ārādhana-vidhi: the only injunction is that, to worship the Supreme Lord.” And similarly, in the Bhagavad-gītā it is confirmed by the Lord, vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam: [Bg. 15.15] “By Vedic study means I. One has to understand Me. That’s all.” If you try to understand Kṛṣṇa as far as possible, through the reliable sources, through the bona fide sources, then your Vedic study is going on in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Tepus tapas… 

aho bata śva-paco ‘to ‘pi garīyān
yaj-jihvāgre nāma tubhyam
tepus tapas te juhuvuḥ sasnur āryā
brahmānūcur nāma…
[SB 3.33.7]

The Bhāgavata says that aho bata śvapaco ‘to ‘pi garīyān. There is classification of human society. Śvapaca means those dog-eaters. There are many animal eaters, but the dog-eaters, they are condemned, śvapaca, in the society, in the human society. But the Bhāgavata says, “Oh, a dog-eater, but if he vibrates the transcendental sound of God’s name, oh, he is glorified. Never mind that he previously was a dog-eating man. That doesn’t matter.” The Bhāgavata confirms it. Aho bata śvapaca ‘to ‘pi gāriyān: “Even the dog-eater becomes glorified.” How? Yaj-jihvāgre nāma tubhyam: “In whose tongue is chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa.” Never mind what you are. That chanting has made him all purified. You see. Aho bata śvapaca ‘to ‘pi gāriyān yaj-jihvāgre nāma tubhyam, tepus tapas te. “Oh, how is that? He was… Just a few days before he was eating dog. And because he is chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, he has become purified?” At least Hindu society, they are hesitant. Oh, the reply is, “You do not know.” Tepus tapas te: “In their previous life they had already undergone many severe penances prescribed in your Vedas.Sasnur āryā: “Oh, he is not dog-eater. He belongs to the āryā, the advancing Aryan society.” These are the injunctions. 

So any way, some way or other, if one takes to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he becomes at once purified, at once. Never mind what he is. There may be classification in the social convention: he is big, he is small, he is brāhmaṇa, he is śūdra. Caitanya Mahāprabhu never says that “I am a brāhmaṇa,” “I am a kṣatriya.Nāhaṁ vipra na ca nara-patiḥ: “I am neither a brāhmaṇa nor a kṣatriya nor a vaiśya and anything of this material designation.” “Then what You are?” Gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ: [Cc. Madhya 13.80] “I am the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of Kṛṣṇa.” That is our transcendental… So as soon as we take to this, then everything is all right. But we have to take it very seriously. That is called abhidheya. With all seriousness… Then everything is all right. It is such a nice thing. Everything is all right. 

Yathā mātur vāṇī. Now śruti, this Vedic, vedo mātā. Vedo mātā. Veda is called mother. Why? But this mother gives birth the second birth. We have… Several times we have discussed in this hall that first birth is given by this material father and second birth is by the spiritual master. The spiritual master is the father, and the Veda is the mother. So when a person is called dvija, second birth, when he goes to the spiritual master and takes lessons from Veda… This upana… The sacred thread is called upanayana… Upanayana means to bring him nearer. Upa means nearer, and nayana means bringing. To take a fallen soul nearer, that is called upanayana. And when the spiritual master sees that he is quite competent to come near to God, he recognizes him and he gives him sacred thread. That is called brāhmaṇa. That is the symbol that he has approached an ācārya. Ācāryavān puruṣo veda. How one is understood that he knows spiritual science? That means who has a spiritual master. These things are there. 

Śrutir mātā. Śrutir mātā. Smṛtir api tathā vakti bhaginī. Now, I have… We have divided the Vedic literature into two. The knowledge which is coming in disciplic succession, that knowledge is mother, and this knowledge, by memory, with reference to the context of Vedic literature, if you sometimes write, that literature is the sister. That is compared with sister. One is with the mother, and the other is the sister. Purāṇādyā ye vā sahaja nivahās te tad-anugā. So all these Purāṇas, they are called śruti. There are eighteen Purāṇas, the Mahābhārata, the Rāmāyaṇa, and there are so many, Vedānta-sūtra… They are called… Upaniṣad is Veda; it is śruti. That is the gist of Vedic knowledge. But Purāṇas, they are called smṛti. So this śruti smṛtir, according to Indian theistic scholarship, there are two kinds of literature: śruti smṛti. So there was another devotee of Kṛṣṇa. He has written another nice song. He says, śrutim apare smṛtim apare bhārata manye bhava-bhītāḥ. Well, people are taking shelter of the Vedic literature who have become afraid of this conditional life. What is the end of Vedic literature? Just to get oneself liberated from this material entanglement. So he says that “People, those who are afraid of this material life, material entanglement, let them worship śruti, Veda, or smṛti, or Mahābhārata. Let them be engaged in that way.” Śrutim apare smṛtim itare bhāratam anye bhajantu bhava-bhītāḥ. “Then? What is that?” “Now, I am not going to do that.” “What you are going to do?” Aham iha nandaṁ vande yasyālinde paraṁ brahma: “I shall worship Nanda Mahārāja.” “Why? You have left all Veda and Purāṇas, everything. Why you are going to worship Nanda Mahārāja?” “Because he has captivated the Supreme Lord playing as a crawling child in his courtyard. So I shall worship Nanda. Nanda Mahārāja is so great that God is obliged to come to him to play as a child and crawling in his courtyard. So I shall… Nanda Mahārāja.” So if you approach such a devotee who can bring God to crawl in his courtyard, that is all perfection. 

Thank you. Any question? [end] 

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