Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 6.1.56–57

Type:
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
Date:
August 14
Year:
1975
Place:
Bombay

Prabhupāda: 

ayaṁ hi śruta-sampannaḥ
śīla-vṛtta-guṇālayaḥ
dhṛta-vrato mṛdur dāntaḥ
satya-vāṅ mantra-vic chuciḥ
gurv-agny-atithi-vṛddhānāṁ
śuśrūṣur anahaṅkṛtaḥ
sarva-bhūta-suhṛt sādhur
mita-vāg anasūyakaḥ
[SB 6.1.56-57]

These are qualification of the most exalted person. In the society the brāhmaṇa is the topmost division of human society, not by caste or by birth but by qualification. These things are spoken about Ajāmila. These are ajāmila-upākhyāna, the history of Ajāmila. Ajāmila, although he was a very well trained brāhmaṇa boy at the beginning of his life, but later on, on account of bad association he became the most sinful man in the world. But at the end of his life he chanted the holy name of Nārāyaṇa, not meaning Nārāyaṇa the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but his youngest son’s name was Nārāyaṇa. He called the holy name of Nārāyaṇa, calling his son. He did not know that he is chanting the holy name of Nārāyaṇa, and still, he got salvation. That is the purport of this history, that the holy name of God, Nārāyaṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Rāma… There are many names of the Lord. Nāmnām akāri bahudhā [Śikṣāṣṭaka 2]. He has got thousands of names, and you can chant any one of them, either Kṛṣṇa or Rāma, Govinda, Nārāyaṇa, like that. So you get the result. 

So here the example is that Ajāmila, although he had forgotten Nārāyaṇa, but on account of his chanting the holy name of Nārāyaṇa, although he meant his son, it was effective. We have to understand like this. Somehow or other, if you chant the holy name of the Lord, knowingly or unknowingly, it will have its effect. Just like you touch fire knowingly or unknowingly, it will burn; similarly, if you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra knowingly or unknowingly, it will be effective on your life. Therefore we see it practically that in the Western countries, although they did not know who is Nārāyaṇa or Kṛṣṇa… It is in the dictionary, English dictionary, there is statement, “Kṛṣṇa is the name of Hindu god.” So…, but nobody is consulting dictionary for chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. But the śāstra says that somehow or other, if you chant the holy name of God, then you gradually become purified. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇaṁ śreyaḥ-kairava-candrikā-vitaraṇaṁ vidyā-vadhū-jīvanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. So this history of Ajamila’s life is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to show the importance of chanting the holy name of God. That is the purpose. 

So the Ajāmila later on became a great sinful person. Therefore he was to be taken to Yamarāja. But because he chanted at the end of his life “Nārāyaṇa,” he became purified from all sinful activities. So the order carriers of Nārāyaṇa came to deliver him, save him from the hands of the Yamadūta. So the Yamadūta is describing the history of Ajāmila in the past, how he was in the beginning. Because he was the son of a brāhmaṇa, his father trained up the brāhmaṇa boy like a brāhmaṇa. So as such, he got this training. What is that? Ayaṁ hi śruta-sampannaḥ: “This boy got training to become expert in Vedic knowledge.” Śruta-sampannam. Śruta means Vedic knowledge, and sampannaḥ means finished. Within twelve years a brāhmaṇa’s son is supposed to finished all the studies of Vedas, vyakāraṇa, grammar. That was education. From five years he is trained up. He goes to… Nowadays also, the children are sent to school at five years’ age, but the mode of education, different. Formerly, within twenty years a student, a brahmacārī, was trained up with all these qualifications, as it is described. What is that? The first is śruta-sampannaḥ, “expertly aware of Vedic knowledge.” Ayaṁ hi śruta-sampannaḥ, śīla, śīla-vṛtta-guṇālayaḥ. Śīla means śuddhacara, cleansing. Because brāhmaṇa’s qualification is śamo damo satam… What is that? Śamo damo… Tapo satyam. Cleanliness. So this is also trained up, how to become clean, to rise early in the morning, take bath, wash mouth, feet. Guṇa-sampannaḥ. Then take to maṅgala-āratika. In this he was also trained up. Ayaṁ hi śruta-sampannaḥ śīla-vṛtta-guṇālayaḥ. Guṇa means sad-guṇa, this śamo damo titikṣa ārjava, jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyam. These are guṇālayaḥ, reservoir of all good qualities. Dhṛta-vrata. These things not occasionally, but regularly: dhṛta-vrata. “I must rise early in the morning”—that is called dhṛta-vrata, vow. “I must do it.” Dhṛta-vrato mṛduḥ, mild, gentleness. This is human life, not to live like cats and dogs. That is not human life. Real human life, the picture is here. One must be trained up to all these qualification. Just like nowadays we send our boys to school, college, for being trained up as a technician, formerly the boys were sent for education… These are the effects of education. 

Education means to become human being. Cāṇakya Paṇḍita, he also, although he was a politician but brāhmaṇa, he also says who is educated, paṇḍita. The brāhmaṇa is known as paṇḍita. So what is the sign of paṇḍita? He has summarized: 

mātṛ-vat para-dāreṣu
para-dravyeṣu loṣṭra-vat
ātma-vat sarva-bhūteṣu
yaḥ paśyati sa paṇḍitaḥ

Paṇḍita means mātṛ-vat para-dāreṣu: “to accept all women as mother,” para-dāreṣu. Dāra means wife, and para means others’. Except his own wife, he should treat all women outside, taking them as mother. Therefore, still in Hindu society, every woman is addressed by an unknown man, “mother.” It doesn’t matter if a person is unknown. He can speak with another woman, addressing him first…, addressing her first, “mother,” mātājī. Then nobody will be offended. This is the etiquette. That is taught by Cāṇakya Paṇḍita. Mātṛ-vat para-dāreṣu. Woman should be addressed as “mother.” And para-dravyeṣu loṣṭra-vat: and others’ property should be accepted as some pebbles on the street—nobody cares for it. If some pebbles, some stones, are thrown on the street, nobody cares for it. Garbage. So nobody should touch others’ property. 

Nowadays the education is how to make friendship with others’ wife and how to take away others’ money by tricks. This is not education. The education is here: mātṛ-vat para-dāreṣu para-dravyeṣu loṣṭra-vat, ātma-vat sarva-bhūteṣu. Sarva-bhūteṣu: in all living entities… There are 8,400,000 different forms of living entities. The grass is also a living entity, and Brahmā is also a living entity. So a paṇḍita accepts everyone as living entity, and he deals with them, ātma-vat: “What I feel, pains and pleasure, I must deal with others by the same sentiment.” Therefore modern days’ nationality means human being. But actually the animals, they are also national. National means one is born in the same country, according to their definition. The “national” word is never found in the Vedic literature. This is modern invention. So here, ātma-vat sarva-bhūteṣu. It doesn’t matter whether one is national or outside of national. Sarva-bhūteṣu. Here is also… It is said, sarva-bhūta-suhṛt. Suhṛt, friend, well-wisher, sarva-bhūta. Why I shall think only well for my relatives or my family members? That is kṛpaṇa, miser. A broad-minded brāhmaṇa should be engaged for doing good to all, everyone. 

Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mission is, pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi-grāma [CB Antya-khaṇḍa 4.126]. Caitanya Mahāprabhu never instructed that “You should limit your preaching within your society or within your country.” He is asking, pṛthīvite āche yata nagarādi-grāma: “As many villages and towns are there on the surface…” [aside:] That’s all right. Don’t be disturbed. Sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma. This is the mission. This is Vedic knowledge. Sarva-bhūta-suhṛt. You should become… 

[someone talking] [pause] 

Devotee: [indistinct] 

Prabhupāda: Why you are speaking? They can come inside. [devotees speak to guests in Hindi] [aside:] We are dropping this. So we should be engaged, sarva-bhūta-hite ratāḥ. Everyone should be taken as friend, suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām [Bg. 5.29]. This is the qualification of an advanced Kṛṣṇa conscious person. So this qualification… 

ayaṁ hi śruta-sampannaḥ
śīla-vṛtta-guṇālayaḥ
dhṛta-vrato mṛdur dāntaḥ…

Dāntaḥ means self-control. Śānta, dānta. Śānta means how to become self-controlled, not to become disturbed by the senses. These are training for a first-class human being. But there is no class human… Nowadays it is said “classless.” First class and last class, all one. This is the modern philosophy. But that is not very scientific proposal. The scientific proposal is that there is first-class man and there is tenth-class man, but everyone can be utilized for the ultimate goal of life. That is classless. And that means everyone can become Kṛṣṇa conscious. It doesn’t matter whether by his qualification he is first class or last class. 

Kṛṣṇa consciousness is transcendental. First class, last class is considered in the material world. But so long one is not on the platform of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, for him this training is required to become a first-class man. And for a Kṛṣṇa conscious person, if he simply becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, then automatically he becomes a first-class man. This is the secret of success. Kevalayā bhaktyā vāsudeva-parāyanāḥ, dhunvanty aghaṁ nīhāram iva bhāskaraḥ [SB 6.1.15]. It is said, dhunvanti… Every sinful reaction becomes washed away if one becomes vāsudeva-parāyanāḥ, kevalayā bhaktyā. All these qualities can be attained by a devotee automatically. Yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā sarvair guṇair tatra samāsate surāḥ [SB 5.18.12]. Sarvair guṇaiḥ, all good qualities As it said, guṇālayaḥ, the reservoir of all good qualities. This can be attained, this stage can be attained, only by training in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. 

So about Ajāmila, the Yamadūtas, they said, “We know that this man Ajāmila was fully qualified before.” Dhṛta-vrato mṛdur dāntaḥ satya-vāṅ: truthful, never speaks untruth. Satya śama dama, satya. Or satya-vāṅ means paraṁ satyaṁ dhīmahi [SB 1.1.1]. Paraṁ satyam is Kṛṣṇa, Vāsudeva. Who is only speaking about Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Truth, he is called satya-vāṅ. He does not speak anything… Kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ [Cc. Ādi 17.31]. He is simply glorifying. If one’s life is dedicated to preach about Kṛṣṇa, then he is also satya-vāṅ. He does not speak anything else. So our these Kṛṣṇa conscious members, they are simply trained up to go and speak about Kṛṣṇa. Therefore they are satya-vāṅ. They do not speak anything else. They do not waste their time by speaking anything which has no relation with Kṛṣṇa. That is satya-vāṅ. Satya-vāṅ mantravit. Mantravit means… Vit means one who knows, and mantra means Vedic hymns. Mantravit. So therefore Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra… Hare Kṛṣṇa, this chanting, is called mahā-mantra. So if anyone chants Hare Kṛṣṇa, then he is not only mantravit but he is mahā-mantravit, because the Hare Kṛṣṇa chanting is called mahā-mantra. Mantravit. 

Mantravit and śuci. Śuci means brāhmaṇa, and muci means non-brāhmaṇa. There are two words still current in the Hindu society: śuci and muci. Muci means cobbler, dealing with skin. “I am this skin.” “I am white skin,” “I am black skin,” “I am American skin,” “I am Indian skin”—this understanding means muci. And muci is skin expert. “This is cow skin. This is goat skin. It is lamb skin. This is…” He is called muci, skin expert. Modern technology has given the title “tannery expert.” So this tannery expert, if you become tannery expert, then you are muci. So there is a Bengali proverb, muci haya śuci haya, yadi kṛṣṇa bhaje. Every one of us, we are all tannery expert, and we are created so many “isms” on the basis of becoming a tannery expert. Therefore they are called muci. So muci haya śuci haya. And śuci means brāhmaṇa, pure. He has no such sense of becoming a tannery expert. He is brāhmaṇa, brahma-vit. One who knows Brahman, he is called brāhmaṇa. He is śuci. He is no more tannery expert. So therefore it is said, if from the muci platform if you want to become śuci, really brāhmaṇa, purified, then you have to take to Kṛṣṇa conscious. Muci haya śuci haya, yadi kṛṣṇa bhaje. If one becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, then from the platform of becoming a muci, one becomes śuci. 

Therefore we have no caste distinction, because our process is to elevate the muci to the platform of śuci, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Actually that is the fact. We are unnecessarily becoming tannery expert. That is not the aim of life. The aim of life is to become śuci, to become brāhmaṇa, or the person who is aware of Brahman. Brahma jānātī iti brāhmaṇaḥ. This is the philosophy. But nobody is interested to become a brāhmaṇa. Everyone is interested to remain a muci and tannery expert. That is not the aim of life. So this is training. Muci haya śuci haya. One can be trained up to become a śuci from the platform of muci. And even though one is born of a śuci family, if by practice he is not Kṛṣṇa conscious, then he automatically becomes a muci. Śuci haya muci haya, yadi kṛṣṇa tyāje. If one gives up Kṛṣṇa consciousness, even though he is born in a brāhmaṇa family or even though he has practiced brāhmanism, still, on account of his not accepting Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he is accepted as muci. Śuci haya muci haya, yadi kṛṣṇa tyāje. And muci haya śuci haya, yadi kṛṣṇa bhaje: if one is Kṛṣṇa conscious, then he is śuci. This is… 

So this Ajāmila became śuci, brāhmaṇa. Then guru, agni. Guru, the spiritual master; agni, the fire; and atithi. Atithi means uninvited guest, hospitality. If somebody comes at your home without your invitation, he is called atithi. Tithi means particular time and date. But a person arrives at your home without any invitation on particular time and date, he is called atithi. Atithi-satkāra. This is also one of the items of Vedic culture. Atithi-satkāra. So the sannyāsīs especially, they are begging from door to door. So they have no fixed-up program in which door he will go on which date. No. Anywhere they approach. Therefore atithi means generally the brahmacārī and the sannyāsa. Brahmacārī is also begging alms from door to door, and a sannyāsī also allowed. But door to door does not mean that he would collect more than is necessity. But he does not cook. A sannyāsī goes to a pure householder’s life, er, home, because generally in a brāhmaṇa’s house or kṣatriya or vaiśya… But not to a śūdra. This is restriction. Why? Because the three upper classes, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, especially the brāhmaṇa—they are considered the topmost—they have got Viṣṇu worship at home. Still in all brāhmaṇas’ family, ancestral śālagrāma-śilā is worshiped in a brāhmaṇa family. So also in kṣatriya family also. So these sannyāsīs go to a brāhmaṇa family because it is known fact the brāhmaṇas are engaged in worshiping Viṣṇu. 

Brāhmaṇa means Vaiṣṇava. Brāhmaṇa means paṇḍita. Therefore two words are used along with the word brāhmaṇa: brāhmaṇa-vaiṣṇava, brāhmaṇa-paṇḍita. Śruta-sampannaḥ. The first qualification is śruta-sampannaḥ. He must be learned scholar in Vedic… Vedic knowledge means śruti. So that is the first qualification. Ayaṁ hi śruta-sampannaḥ. So therefore brāhmaṇa is paṇḍita. Without becoming a paṇḍita, how one can become brāhmaṇa? No. Śruta-sampannaḥ. Śruta-sampannaḥ, then guru, agni: very respectful to spiritual master, agni, the fire. Because a brāhmaṇa has to make fire sacrifice every day. Guru, agni and atithi. Atithi is a sannyāsīs. They are coming to a brāhmaṇa’s house for one capātī. They don’t want more. They are called mādhu-karī. Mādhu-karī means mādhu… Mādhu is collected by drops, not in lump. The, what is called, bees? Honey bees? What is called? [devotees make suggestions] No, honey, and bees, what is called? Mādhumakṣi? Bumblebees. Yes. So they collect a drop—from this flower, drop; that flower, drop; that flower, drop. In this way they make a big honeycomb. So a brāhmaṇas and kṣatriya, er, sannyāsīs, although they are meant for collecting, they do not collect heavy at a place. Little. Because they are collecting not for his sense gratification. He is collecting for satisfying Kṛṣṇa. So everyone is given chance, that “You give little. You give little. You give little,” and whole thing is engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service. And just like here we have got the container of flour and container of rice. So although we are feeding two hundred men daily, still, it can be collected by muṣṭi. Everyone, gṛhastha, can come and place one muṣṭi āṭṭā. That is not difficult for him. He has got children, family. He is consuming five kilos of āṭṭā daily. Out of that, little, if it is put into the temple, he does not feel any burden. Therefore the collection… Sannyāsī, brahmacārī collects little, little, little from everywhere. That is called mādhukāri, exactly following the footstep of mādhukāra, bumblebees. 

So they are very… Householder… This is meant for the householder especially. This is ideal householder, that guru, agni, atithi, vṛddhānām. Old man also should be taken care of. Nowadays the philosophy is coming, “mercy killing.” “Old men should be killed to show him mercy.” Because he is burden in the society, the communistic theory, “Old man does not do anything and simply eats; therefore to show him mercy he should be killed.” Mercy killing. Just see the philosophy: “Killing is mercy.” But this is going on, mercy killing. Is that? “Mercy killing”? What is that? 

Brahmānanda: They kill someone for that person’s benefit. 

Prabhupāda: Benefit. So the man killer, will he take that benefit? If somebody comes that “I shall kill you for your benefit,” that he will be afraid of. But he is philosophizing, “mercy killing.” This is going on. So one should be respectful also to the old men. According to Vedic knowledge, brāhmaṇa, old men, child, woman and cow, they have no fault. They are free. They are not within this jurisdiction of law. So therefore cow-killing, brāhmaṇa-killing, woman-killing and elderly person–killing, they are accepted as the great sinful activities. So gurv-agny-atithi-vṛddhānāṁ śūśrūṣur anahaṅkṛtaḥ. Anahaṅkṛtaḥ, not with any pride or puffedness; anahaṅkṛtaḥ, very humbly. Sarva-bhūta-suhṛtam. This is the most exalted qualification, to become well-wisher of all living entities. Not that we open hospitals for the human being and we send the cows to the slaughterhouse or poor animals should be slaughtered. That is not suhṛt sarva-bhūtānām. That is partiality, and it has no meaning. If you become envious to other living entities and if you become friend of particular living entity, that is not good qualification. Suhṛdaḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ. Sarva-bhūtaḥ-suhṛt sādhu. He is sādhu. Sādhavaḥ sādhu-bhūṣaṇāḥ [SB 3.25.21]. These are the qualification of a sādhu. Suhṛdaḥ sarva-bhūtānām. Sādhavaḥ sādhu-bhūṣaṇāḥ. Everything is described in the Vedic literature, all, I mean to say, description. 

So this Ajāmila’s past qualification is described in this, that he was well-qualified brāhmaṇa, well trained, because these qualification became manifested in his life. Then his degradation began. 

ekadāsau vanaṁ yātaḥ
pitṛ-sandeśa-kṛd dvijaḥ
ādāya tata āvṛttaḥ
phala-puṣpa-samit-kuśān
[SB 6.1.58]
dadarśa kāminaṁ kañcic
chūdraṁ saha-bhujiṣyayā
[SB 6.1.59]

That, this…, we may describe later on, and how degradation begins even to exalted person, as described, Ajāmila. So the degradation began—dadarśa, he saw on the way… Kāminaṁ kañcic chūdram. Chūdram, these male-female behavior… Nowadays, not so much in India, but in the Western countries it is very usual thing—a young man is embracing another young woman or kissing. So there is no fault. But according to Vedic civilization, this is fault because it will give chance to others. Nowadays in picture they are also shown, to enthuse others to become lusty, and that is the beginning of his falldown. But there is no restriction. The young men, they are seeing daily in the cinema, on the road, in their school, college. But this Ajāmila, although he was so exalted a brāhmaṇa, simply by seeing one śūdra… Śūdra means who has no training—fools, rascals. So he was embracing another woman, and that became attractive to this Ajāmila, and then he wanted to do the same thing and he became degraded. This will be described later on. 

Hare Kṛṣṇa. 

Devotees: All… [break] [end]