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 m