Prabhupada Lecture – Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.1.1

 

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Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.1.1

Caracas, February 20, 1975

Prabhupāda: (translated into Spanish by Hṛdayānanda dasa)
oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya
janmādy asya yato ‘nvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ svarāṭ
tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ
tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ yathā vinimayo yatra tri-sargo ‘mṛṣā
dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi
[SB 1.1.1]

So first of all, before beginning the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the author is offering respectful obeisances to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is explained in the following four lines. The first line is janmādy asya yataḥ, means Supreme Personality of Godhead is the origin of all emanation. The human mind is inquisitive. A human being, even a child, he enquires from his father. We have got experience personally. Any intelligent boy, he enquires from the father. He is inquisitive. That is human life. He enquires, “What is this, father? What is this father?” And the father replies. So unless this enquiry is there, he is not human being. A cat and dog cannot enquire about the origin of a thing. But a human mind is developed in such a way that he enquires, he makes research to find out the original cause. Just like nowadays the scientists are enquiring about the origin of life. But unfortunately, they are finding out the original cause which is not. Just like they are trying to research out what is the origin of life. And there are many, many learned scientists. They think that the origin of life is chemical combination. So that is not the fact.

Therefore, without being guided by authority, nobody can find out the perfect answer of an enquiry. Even in the university level, those who are research scholar, they are guided by three experienced professors. And when the student’s research work is admitted by the three professors, then he is awarded the doctorate designation. So the, as I have already said, the child enquires, “What is this, father?” Similarly, we should also enquire, “What is the origin of this universe?” Not only universe, but any item within our experience, naturally we are inclined… Just like here is a microphone. So an intelligent person is inquisitive to enquire, “Who is the manufacturer of this microphone?” Just like we enquire about a child, “Whose son he is? Who is his father?” similarly, this is human mind, to enquire about the origin. That is the only business of human being. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said, jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā, means the jīva, means human being especially… Jīva means all living being, but above all living beings, the human being is the most awakened consciousness. Therefore his business is to enquire about the Absolute Truth. It is said, jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā.

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

means that we have got some desires for gratifying our senses or for the maintenance of the body. Such desires are based on four principles of bodily demands. Every living being is busy, the lower animals and the human being, in finding out where is food, where is shelter, where is sex and where is defense. So they have selected four businesses: where to find out food, where to find out shelter, where to find out sex indulgence and how to defend ourself. These propensities are prominent both in animal and man. So these things are common for both the animals and the human being. A dog is also searching after food; a hog is also searching after food; a bird is also searching after food; a man is also searching after food. Now, in the broad road so many cars are going in seventy mile speed. What is their research? “Where is food? Where is money?” Ask anybody who is very busy in driving car in seventy miles speed that “What is your business?” He will answer that “I have got to take money from there. I have to do this business.” That is also money. This will be the answer. They have no other answer. And if you ask him, “What you will do with your money?” then he will say, “I shall live in a very nice apartment, I shall eat very nice foodstuff, I shall have to enjoy very good sex life and I will have to defend myself.” But the Bhāgavata says, or the supreme authority says, “No, this is not your business. Because you are human being… This business is also there in the animal life. Therefore your business is tattva-jijñāsā, jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā. When you are developed animal… Now you are also animal because you don’t enquire about the Absolute Truth. But you are developed, so now your business is to enquire about the origin of everything.” Your business is not to increase the problem of the four necessities of life. By this karma or unnecessary activities you are increasing simply problems.

Just like amongst the birds and beasts there is no economic problem. The birds rise in the morning, and they chirp between themselves, and after a few hours or minutes they go away, and they get their food. Similarly, the animals also, they also go. Even in the jungle, they get their food. The birds and beasts, they have got their home. The bird lives on the top of the tree very comfortably at night without any disturbance. Similarly, the beast… Even in the jungle there are elephants, there are tigers, there are so many others. They have got their some place to rest. So far sex is concerned, that is also guaranteed. The birds, when they are in the eggs, there are two eggs, one male, one female. And you will find these birds, beasts, they are in pair. Just about two months before, when I was in Māyāpura, the two snakes, not very big, small, were found in the lavatory, and they were also two, in pair. That means this pair in birds and beasts, in animals, in snakes, they are found. The tiger, the elephant, there are two. So there is no scarcity of sex also. And so far defense is concerned, everyone is provided with nails, jaws, and wings, and everything. According to their capacity, they can defend also. So in this way, so far our four necessities of life required, it is already arranged by the laws of nature. So we, means the living entity, or the soul, we are wandering throughout the whole universe in different types of bodies. And because we are part and parcel of God, our four necessities of life, namely the food, shelter, sex and defense, that is already provided. So for these four things we need not work very hard. Because they are available even in the animal life, birds life, beasts life, lower form of life, and why not in human life? Therefore the śāstra says,

tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovido
na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ
tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukhaṁ
kālena sarvatra gabhīra-raṁhasā
[SB 1.5.18]

They say that “So far these necessities of life are concerned, they are ready, supplied.” In any life, either in human life or in birds and beasts, lower animal, trees, plants, that is ready. Therefore we should not waste our time for these things, but we should be ready to enquire about the Absolute Truth. So human intelligence is there to enquire about the Absolute Truth. So they have got better developed consciousness or intelligence than the lower animals. So that higher intelligence should be utilized for enquiring about the Absolute Truth. So that is… Vedānta-sūtra says, janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1], athāto brahma jijñāsā. This life, human life, is not meant for wasting time for adjusting how to get better food, better shelter, better sex and better defense. So the human intelligence is that when one thinks that “If these necessities of body are ready even for the animals and beasts and birds, then why not it is ready for me?” It is ready for the human being also. That is a fact. We see when human being are uncivilized, the ready food is there. They live in the jungle. There is fruit ready for eating. Everything is ready there. They do not know how to produce food, the uncivilized man. They eat some animal. They eat some fruit. This is already ready. So uncivilized man, who cannot produce food, even for him, there is food ready. Similarly, the civilized human being, for him also the food can be improved. Just like he can produce from the field, agriculture, so many food grains, varieties of food grains he can produce. So these things are already there. There is no need of extra time for developing how to eat nicely, how to sleep nicely. One should be satisfied like the animals. They are satisfied with their position. They are not agitated. Similarly, we should be satisfied whatever is available automatically by the gift of nature or by God.

Nature has given us the opportunity now to enquire about the Absolute Truth. And what is that Absolute Truth? Because this is our only enquiry, that “What is the Absolute Truth, or the origin of everything?” Therefore in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, first of all the obeisances or the respect is offered to Vāsudeva. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya means “I offer my respectful obeisances to Lord Vāsudeva, or Kṛṣṇa.” This Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is being presented by Vyāsadeva, the most exalted personality, the guru, Vyāsa guru or Vedavyāsa, for the all advanced spiritually conscious men. The spiritual master is called, therefore, representative of Vyāsa, Vyāsadeva. Therefore, on the birthday of spiritual master, it is said, Vyāsa-pūjā. So this understanding, that Vāsudeva is the origin of everything, is available in human life. It is said, therefore, in the Bhagavad-gītā,

bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ
[Bg. 7.19]

means… We are researching. The scientist is researching, the philosopher is researching, everyone is researching, but researching in their own way. Therefore it takes time to understand what is the original source of everything. So in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, Kṛṣṇa said, that

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ
budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ
[Bg. 10.8]

Kṛṣṇa says, God directly says, that “I am the origin of everything.” Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate. “Everything emanates from Me.” Iti matvā, “When one understands this,” budha, “a learned person,” bhajante māṁ dṛḍha-vratāḥ, “he engages himself fully in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” So Kṛṣṇa is the origin of everything, but it takes little time, according to the position of the man, to understand it. This is a fact, that Kṛṣṇa is the origin of everything, but the intelligent man can understand it very easily. Therefore he takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And those who are not intelligent, he tries to understand whether Kṛṣṇa is the origin of everything, therefore it takes some time. Therefore persons who are making research what is the origin of everything, they are also learned scholars, but because they are doing in their own way, therefore it takes many, many births to understand that Kṛṣṇa is the origin of everything.

So in this way of material research, one will come to the conclusion, if he is really a research scholar that vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti [Bg. 7.19]. But those who are more purified, instead of making research, he immediately accepts that Kṛṣṇa is the origin of everything. So just to understand Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa is explaining Himself in the Bhagavad-gītā. So if one is fortunate, if one is intelligent, if he accepts Kṛṣṇa’s version—Kṛṣṇa says at last, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]—he accepts it. So one who has accepted Kṛṣṇa as the supreme source, Absolute Truth, for them, this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is there. Here it is beginning, oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya, means “I offer my respectful obeisances to You, Kṛṣṇa, because I surrender unto You.” One who is fortunate, he immediately accepts Kṛṣṇa’s version, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66], but one who is unfortunate or less intelligent, he makes research work for many, many births, and then he will come to the same conclusion, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ [Bg. 7.19]. So you accept Kṛṣṇa in both ways, either on good faith… As Kṛṣṇa says that ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ, “Don’t worry. I shall give you all protection, you surrender unto Me.” If you take this immediately, then you become liberated. And if you don’t take, then make research work of Kṛṣṇa. Ultimately you will come to this conclusion, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ [Bg. 7.19].

If you say, “I can’t believe it, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa is the origin of everything,” that is of course your business, your independence. Then you wait for many, many births, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante [Bg. 7.19]. You come to the same conclusion. But because you have denied, you have to wait for many, many births. You have to come to this conclusion because He is the origin of everything, sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam [Bs. 5.1]. So there is no other second or alternative. You have (to) come to that conclusion. But if you don’t accept now, you will have to wait for many, many births. But even that, if you are intelligent enough and if you have to accept because Kṛṣṇa says blindly, that is also good. Just like gold. Gold, you accept blindly or by chemical examination, the gold is the same. So if you are scientist, if you say that “First of all I shall test whether it is gold and chemical composition and other ingredients. Then I will accept you” …And somebody says, “No, my father says it is gold. My Guru Mahārāja says it is gold. Well, so many ācāryas says it is gold,” then you accept it, gold. So one accepts gold by the authoritative statement of the superiors, and one accepts gold by chemical analysis. So one who accepts by the authority’s statement, he is more advanced. He immediately gets the gold immediately. And those who are awaiting for chemical examination, they will get it. They will also know, but it will take time.

So in this Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa Himself explains Himself, analytical study, and Vyāsadeva presents Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, “Here is God, Kṛṣṇa.” Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Now it is up to you to take it or reject it. That is your business, but things are ready for acceptance. So everyone is searching after what is God. Somebody says, “There is no God.” Somebody says, “God is dead.” Somebody, “Something, something,” but no. God is neither dead nor the action, action that “There is no God”—both of them foolishness. God is not dead; neither we are dead. Because we are part and parcel of God. So if God is alive, then part and parcel are alive. Just like if my body is alive, the finger is alive, because finger is part and parcel of my body, similarly, if God is alive, we are alive. And because we are now in material condition of life, therefore we do not understand what is God and what is our aim. Therefore it is called ajñāna, ignorance. Therefore one who dissipates this ignorance, he is called guru.

ajñāna-timirāndhasya
jñānāñjana-śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ

The guru means he gives light to the persons who are living in darkness. So that is the motto in our Back to Godhead paper, that “Godhead is light, and nescience is darkness. Where there is God, there is no nescience.” So Kṛṣṇa or God or light, the same thing. If you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there will be no more ignorance. Just like here there is light, electric light. There is no darkness. The darkness is there, but when there is light, darkness automatically goes away. Similarly, if you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then darkness of life immediately goes away. And that is required in human life. The animal life means full of darkness, and the human life, although full of darkness, it can be dissipated. So our request is—we are pushing this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement everywhere all over the world—just to drive away the darkness of ignorance and come to the light of knowledge. So this center is open for this purpose. I request you, all of you, to take advantage of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and be enlightened and be happy in your life. Thank you very much. [break]

Hṛdayānanda: (translating question:) There are many religions that speak of the light. How can we know we are actually facing the real light?

Prabhupāda: Light is to be realized personally. Light… Just like this room is dark. When there is light, it doesn’t require to be enquired, “Is it light?” You personally perceive it is light. Just like you are hungry and foodstuff is given to you and when your hunger is satisfied, appetite is appeased, then you naturally you feel, “Yes, I am satisfied.” You don’t require to enquire anyone. Therefore it is called self-realization. Automatically you realize. You don’t require to enquire. This is the process. [break]

Hṛdayānanda: …that in the spiritual path everyone has to be married.

Prabhupāda: No, not necessarily. If you can remain without marrying, it is better. But because you cannot, you become bachelor daddy, therefore you must marry. (laughter) Please don’t become bachelor daddy. (laughter) This is most sinful life. (end)

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Author: Mukunda dasa

I desire to fully surrender my life and soul to Srila Prabhupada. Then I can become instrumental in assisting him with his mission of delivering all the conditioned souls to the shelter of Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai and Sri Sri Radha Krishna.

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