SB 1.2.11 — April 26, 1974, Tirupati

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [Prabhupāda and devotees repeat] [leads chanting of verse] 

[Prabhupāda having discussion with devotee in background: “I will speak in English. Give him mic, mic. That’s all right.”] 

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

[break] [01:47] 

“Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramātmā or Bhagavān.” 

Prabhupāda: [aside:] I will speak, then you translate. [translated throughout by Mahāṁśa Swami] 

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

Yesterday we have been discussing the aim of life. That is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, that kāmasya nendriya-prītiḥ. Kāma… Lābho jīveta yāvatā [SB 1.2.10]. The purpose of life is not sense gratification. Kāmasya na indriya-prītiḥ. We have got this body and we have got some bodily demands, āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithuna, the bodily demands. We want to eat something, we want some resting place, we want to satisfy our senses, and we want to defend from dangers. These are bodily demands. But we should not be simply concerned with the bodily demands. Then we shall become on the level of animals. Our real demand is self-realization. 

As it is stated in the Brahma-sūtra, athāto brahma jijñāsā, similarly, here it is advised, 

kāmasya na indriya-prītir
lābho jīveta yāvatā
jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā
nārtho yaś ceha karmabhiḥ
[SB 1.2.10]

This is very important verse for understanding the aim of life. Jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā. Not that simply economic development for sense gratification. Tattva-jijñāsā. What is the value of life? That is the main business. [aside:] Yes, you can translate. [break] …to give you one example of Sanātana Gosvāmī. Sanātana Gosvāmī, he was minister in the government of Nawab Hussain Shah. Somehow or other, he came in contact with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and he decide to retire from government service and join the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement started by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu five hundred years ago. 

About them it is said by one learned scholar, tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīṁ sadā tucchavat. Because they were ministers, their association was with aristocratic family, big, big men. But he decided, tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīm. Maṇḍala-pati means leaders, social leaders, political leaders. So they gave up the company of the so-called aristocratic circle—tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīṁ sadā tucchavat—as most insignificant. Bhūtvā dīna-gaṇeśakau karuṇayā kaupīna-kanthāśritau. Just to give real service to the mass of people, they became mendicant, kaupīna-kanthāśritau, or accepted the sannyāsa order. As Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu accepted sannyāsa order, all the ācāryas—Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī—they accepted for the greater benefit of the human society. 

tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīṁ sadā tucchavat
bhūtvā dīna-gaṇeśakau karuṇayā kaupīna-kanthāśritau
gopī-bhāva-rasāmṛtābdhi-laharī-kallola-magnau sadā
vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau
[Śrī Ṣaḍ-gosvāmy-aṣṭaka 4]

So they gave up this life of luxury, exuberance, but adopted sannyāsa order for greater benefit of the human society. 

So when Sanātana Gosvāmī approached Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to become His disciple, he inquired from Him, tattva-jijñāsā. [to translator, Mahāṁśa Swami:] Shall I stop here? 

Mahāṁśa: Who is the disciple? 

Prabhupāda: Sanātana Gosvāmī. [break] So this Sanātana Gosvāmī, when approached Caitanya Mahāprabhu… That is the system. We sometimes accept one guru. But why should we accept guru? What is the necessity of accepting guru? This is the necessity, for tattva-jijñāsā, for inquiring about the Absolute Truth. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet, samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham [MU 1.2.12]. This is the Vedic injunction. Simply if we remain engaged in the four activities of this material body, namely eating, sleeping, sex life and defense, then we are animals. Our human life should be executed with the aim of life. 

The aim of life is tattva-jijñāsā. That Sanātana Gosvāmī did when he approached Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He inquired from Him, ke āmi kene āmāya jāre tāpa-traya [Cc. Madhya 20.102]: “My dear Lord, kindly let me know who am I and why I am put into the threefold miserable condition of life.” Then one can say, “You are minister. You know what you are.” Then he says, “No, actually I do not know what I am.” Grāmya-vyavahāre kaha paṇḍita satya kore māni [Cc. Madhya 20.100]: “Some neighborhood men, they call me I am very big man, I am very learned man, and when I study myself,” āpanāra hitāhita kichui nā jāni, “I do not know what I am, wherefrom I have come, where I have to go after leaving this body, why I am put into the tribulation of threefold miseries. I do not want to die. Why death is enforced upon me? I do not want to take birth. Why that is also enforced upon me? I do not want old age. Why it is enforced upon me? I do not want disease. Why it is enforced upon me? And what is the purpose of my coming in this material world, and where I shall go after my death? Or this is the finish?” There are so many things to inquire. That is called tattva-jijñāsā. This is called tattva-jijñāsā. Jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā. 

The Bhāgavata recommends that in the human form of life, the only necessity is to inquire about the Absolute Truth. That includes so many other things. The Absolute Truth is experienced by different persons from different angle of vision. That is explained here. Vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam. That is the Absolute Truth—Brahman or Para-brahman—which is nondual. Vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam. Advayam means without any duality. When we say Brahman, impersonal Brahman, or when we speak Paramātmā, or when we speak of Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there is no difference between these three terms. Just like sunshine and the sun globe and the sun-god. According to Bhagavad-gītā, we have got the name of the predominating deity in the sun globe. Imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1]. This is said in the Bhagavad-gītā. First of all Kṛṣṇa says, “Long, long ago, millions of years ago, I spoke this philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā to Vivasvān.” Vivasvān means the present predominating deity of the sun globe. Just like we have got a president, similarly…, but he has got a particular name, similarly, the president of the sun globe is called Sūrya, Sūryadeva. But he has got a particular name. 

So at the present moment, the predominating deity of the sun globe is called Vivasvān. So this Vivasvān, or the sun-god, and the sun globe and the sunshine, they are not different. All of them are light. Without light in the sun globe, how so much light is emanating? So therefore the inhabitants of the sun globe, their body is made of fire. Therefore everything is glowing. And we, from distant place, we see the sun globe also glowing. And the sunshine is also glowing. Similarly, Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān, they are one, the glowing or the light, but still, there is difference. What is that difference? If you remain in the sunshine… Every one of us, we remain in the sunshine. That does not mean that I am in the sun globe or I have seen the predominating deity, Vivasvān. Similarly, brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate, you can realize the Absolute Truth in three features: Brahman, Paramātmā… 

[break] …brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate. The same Absolute Truth is realized from three angle of vision. Those who are trying to understand the Absolute Truth by their own scholarship, eruditely… There are many philosophers, they are trying to find out what is the original source of everything. The scientists, they are also trying to find out the original source of everything. So somebody, say, for example, the scientists, they are finding original of everything as matter, chemical, chemical evolution, the modern theory of originality. But actually, if we study what is the position of chemical theory, the so-called scientists, they could not produce life from chemicals, although their theory is that from matter life comes. 

This is against our Vedic knowledge. Vedic knowledge says, as it is said in the Brahma-sūtra, Vedānta-sūtra, that the original cause of the Absolute Truth is a living entity. It is not matter. Just like Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate [Bg. 10.8]. That aham, Kṛṣṇa, is not a dead matter. He is the living entity, supreme living entity. And we also understand from Upaniṣad, nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]. The Absolute Truth is person, a living entity. He is the supreme living entity. Similarly, the original Absolute Truth is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya [Bg. 7.7]. That is Absolute Truth. There is no more para-tattva, superior tattva. Here the question is, vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam [SB 1.2.11]. We want to know the Absolute Truth, and here is Kṛṣṇa, Bhagavān. Bhagavān is the Absolute Truth, Kṛṣṇa. Bālajī is Absolute Truth, Bhagavān, person. Brahmaṇo ‘haṁ pratiṣṭhā. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, “The impersonal Brahman is situated on Me.” Just like the sunshine: although it is all-pervading throughout the universe, the light is there, but wherefrom the light is coming? The light is coming from Kṛṣṇa. 

That is explained in the Brahma-saṁhitā: 

yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi-
koṭiṣv aśeṣa-vasudhādi-vibhūti-bhinnam
tad brahma niṣkalam anantam aśeṣa-bhūtaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[Bs. 5.40]

The Brahman effulgence is the bodily glowing of Kṛṣṇa. Yasya prabhā. When Kṛṣṇa expands His bodily effulgence, then everything generates. This material world has also come out of the brahma-jyotir, or from the rays of the body of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says that brahmaṇo ‘haṁ pratiṣṭhā. In another place Kṛṣṇa says that mayā tatam idaṁ sarvaṁ jagad avyakta-mūrtinā [Bg. 9.4]. His impersonal feature, the Brahman feature, is expanded everywhere. Sarvaṁ khalv idaṁ brahma. Mat-sthāni sarva-bhūtāni [Bg. 9.4]: “Everything is resting on My bodily effulgence, Brahman.” Nāhaṁ teṣu avasthitaḥ: “But I am not there.” This is tattva-jñāna. It is not that because everything is resting on Brahman, therefore everything should be worshiped. No. That is not. 

So brahmeti paramātmeti. If we try to understand the Absolute Truth, then we can approach only up to the impersonal feature. Just like if we simply want to come to the light, so we can see the sunshine is light. But if we want to study what is the sun globe and if we want to study what is the predominating deity in the sun globe, that is different thing. That is, simply coming to the light, sunshine, will not help you. You must have strength and process to go to the sun globe. The same example: one can understand impersonal Brahman by dint of his speculative knowledge, but he cannot understand Paramātmā, who is situated in everyone’s heart. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe ‘rjuna tiṣ… [Bg. 18.61]. That is Paramātmā feature. That Paramātmā feature is also one-fourth expansion of Kṛṣṇa’s personal existence. And it is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, 

athavā bahunaitena
kiṁ jñātena tavārjuna
viṣṭabhyāham idaṁ kṛtsnam
ekāṁśena sthito jagat
[Bg. 10.42]

The Paramātmā feature is one-fourth part expansion of Kṛṣṇa’s bodily expansion. 

[aside:] Shall I stop here? [break] 

So Bhagavān is the ultimate Absolute Truth. Therefore Kṛṣṇa confirms it, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat. You go, make progress. You understand the impersonal Brahman feature. You understand Paramātmā feature by yogic practise. By yogic… The yogīs, they try to understand the Paramātmā. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānām [Bg. 18.61]. The Paramātmā is sitting in everyone’s heart. The yogīs try to understand the Paramātmā. And the jñānīs, impersonalists, they try to understand the all-pervading feature of the Supreme Lord. But one who understands Kṛṣṇa, then he understands both the features, the Paramātmā feature and Brahman feature. Therefore in the Vedas it is said, yasmin vijñāte sarvam idaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati [Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.3]. If you simply understand Kṛṣṇa, then the Brahman feature and Paramātmā feature will be automatically understood. You haven’t got to understand Brahman and Paramātmā separately. Simply by understanding Kṛṣṇa, you will understand both. 

Another example is: just like if you see a mountain. Just like surrounding your this place, Tirupati, there are so many hills. From the distant place, your vision is not clear. You simply see something like cloudy, the same mountain. But if you make little further progress, you see the same mountain or hill greenish. And if you actually go in the same hill, you will find there are so many animals, so many men and so many houses. So object is the same, but from different angle of vision it appears differently. Similarly, unless one can understand Kṛṣṇa perfectly, he realizes the Absolute Truth as impersonal, nirākāra Brahman. Unless one understands Kṛṣṇa perfectly well, he cannot understand what is Paramātmā, which is realized by yogic principles. But when you understand Kṛṣṇa, then you understand Paramātmā and Brahman. This is the verdict of the śāstra. Just like if you have got one lakh of rupees, your possession of few thousands of rupees or few hundreds of rupees are already there. 

Similarly, Kṛṣṇa says, janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ [Bg. 4.9]. The same thing, tattvataḥ. Vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam. Kṛṣṇa says that “My appearance,” ajo ‘pi sann avyayātmā, “how I appear, how I disappear, if anyone understands in truth…” Because we do not understand Kṛṣṇa in truth, therefore we consider Kṛṣṇa as ordinary human being. Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhāḥ [Bg. 9.11]. Mūḍhāḥ means asses, or rascals. They consider Kṛṣṇa as something of this material world. But He is not that. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says that janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ. If anyone understands Kṛṣṇa as Absolute Truth, then immediately his mission of life is complete. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]. Therefore this is tattva-jñāna. Vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam. This is tattva-jñāna. Try to understand Kṛṣṇa, what He is. 

But that understanding, how it can be achieved, that is explained in the next verse: 

tac chraddadhānā munayo
paśyanty ātmani ca atmānaṁ
bhaktyā śruta-gṛhītayā
[SB 1.2.12]

Bhaktyā śruta-gṛhītayā. You have to hear of Kṛṣṇa in devotion, bhaktyā, not as nondevotee. A nondevotee cannot understand Kṛṣṇa. He has no scope. If a nondevotee interprets on the Bhagavad-gītā, he is simply wasting time of himself and others. Here it is clearly stated, bhaktyā śruta-gṛhītayā. One has to become devotee and hear from the authorities. Just like Arjuna. Arjuna was a bhakta. Bhakto ‘si priyo ‘si sakhā ceti [Bg. 4.3]. And he heard from the Absolute Truth, Kṛṣṇa. Therefore he understood Bhagavad-gītā. So one who has not heard Bhagavad-gītā or about Kṛṣṇa and who is not a devotee, his speaking on Bhagavad-gītā is simply useless waste of time. Yes. [break] 

So as it is stated here in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, paśyanty ātmani ca ātmānam, this is paramātma-darśana, ātmani. Or there is another verse in the Brahma-saṁhitā, premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena. The same word, bhakti. 

santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti
yaṁ śyāmasundaram acintya-guṇa-svarūpaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[Bs. 5.38]

So one has to learn the art of seeing the Absolute Truth in three features—as Bhagavān, as Paramātmā and as impersonal Brahman. That prescription is given here: tac chraddadhānā munayaḥ. The ordinary person not. Munayaḥ. Those who are very much advanced in the process of thinking, munayaḥ, or great saintly persons… Tac chraddadhānā munayo jñāna-vairāgya-yuktayā. Jñāna and vairāgya—these two things are required. First of all, one must have sufficient knowledge and vairāgya, renunciation, detachment. Then he can see what is Bhagavān, what is Paramātmā and what is impersonal Brahman. It is a very long subject matter, but as it is stated here by Vyāsadeva, that paśyanty ātmani cātmānaṁ bhaktyā śruta-gṛhītayā: through bhakti and śruti, by hearing the Vedic literature… Not whimsically, not by sentiment. One has to develop his dormant bhakti consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, by thorough study of the Vedic literature. Then he can understand what is Brahman, what is Paramātmā and what is Bhagavān. Otherwise it is not possible. 

Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā also it is said, “The basic principle is bhakti.Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ [Bg. 18.55]. One has to learn the Absolute Truth through bhakti. Bhakti is the principle. If you have got bhakti, then jñāna-vairāgya will automatically come. But if you remain only on the platform of jñāna-vairāgya, you may not develop bhakti. This is the process. That is also mentioned in the beginning of this chapter. 

vāsudeve bhagavati
bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ
jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam
[SB 1.2.7]

This is the… You must have complete knowledge, jñānam, and vairāgya, detachment. Jñāna means detachment. If one is attached to the material activities, he is not a jñānī, because he is in the bodily concept of life. Therefore he is not jñānī. Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke, sa eva go-kharaḥ [SB 10.84.13]: “If one is in the bodily concept of life, he is no better than the cows and the asses.” This is the verdict of the śāstra. So you cannot understand the Absolute Truth on the platform of bodily concept of life. You must get yourself on the transcendental platform, and bhakti is the transcendental platform for the activities of the spirit soul. 

brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
[Bg. 18.54]

You can attain bhakti when you are already Brahman-realized person, or perfect brāhmaṇa. Brahma jānātīti brāhmaṇaḥ. 

So when you have realized, when you are a brāhmaṇa, when you have complete knowledge of Brahman, that is the beginning of bhakti life. Not that by bhakti one comes to the Brahman realization platform. One who has got complete understanding of Brahman, he can make progress to the bhakti platform. 

brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām

After all these qualification, making oneself brahma-bhūta [SB 4.30.20] and prasannātmā, no more lamentation, no more hankering, always joyful, jubilant, blissful… This is the symptom of Brahman realization. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati, samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu [Bg. 18.54]. Then he can see on equal level to all living entities. Samaḥ sar… Then he can enter mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām. 

So I do not wish to take much of your time, and the children are disturbing. It is a very great subject matter. So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is this expanding this bhakti cult on the basis of Vedic knowledge. It is not a sentimental thing. These European, American boys and girls who have joined us, they are not going on sentiments. They are being taught actual knowledge, śruti. Bhaktyā śruta-gṛhītayā [SB 1.2.12]. And therefore they are being fixed up. So our request is that this temple, Bālajī’s temple, is the greatest temple in the world, and Kṛṣṇa’s temple. For spreading Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement all over the world, the temple authorities should fully cooperate in spreading Kṛṣṇa knowledge. 

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. [end] 

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