19850416 Srimad-Bhagavatam.3.6.30 @ Bangkok, Thailand
19850416_Srimad_Bhagavatam.3.6.30_Bangkok_Thailand The following is a lecture given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami on April 16th, 1985 in Bangkok, Thailand. The class begins with a reading from the srimad bhagavatam, 3rd canto, chapter 6, verse 30. mukhato ’vartata brahma purusasya kurudvaha yas tunmukhatvad varnanam mukhyo bhud brahmano guruh Translation by His Divine grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada. O chief of the Kuru dynasty, the Vedic wisdom became manifested from the mouth of the virat, the gigantic form. Those who are inclined to this Vedic knowledge are called brahmanas, and they are the natural teachers and spiritual masters of all the orders of society. Translation: JPS: O chief of the kuru dynasty Devotees: O chief of the kuru dynasty JPS: the Vedic wisdom Devotees: the Vedic wisdom JPS: became manifested Devotees: became manifested JPS: from the mouth of the virat, Devotees: from the mouth of the virat, JPS: the gigantic form. Devotees: the gigantic form. JPS: Those who are inclined Devotees: Those who are inclined JPS: to this Vedic knowledge Devotees: to this Vedic knowledge JPS: are called brahmanas, Devotees: are called brahmanas, JPS: and they are the natural teachers Devotees: and they are the natural teachers JPS: and spiritual masters Devotees: and spiritual masters JPS: of all the orders of society. Devotees: of all the orders of society. Purport: As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (4.13), the fourth… the four orders of human society developed with the order of the body of the gigantic form. The bodily divisions are the mouth, arms, waist and legs. Those who are situated on the mouth are called brahmanas, those who are situated on the arms are called the ksatriyas, those who are situated on the waist are called vaisyas, and those who are situated on the legs are called sudras. Everyone is situated in the body of the Supreme in His gigantic visva-rupa form. In terms of the four orders, therefore, no caste is to be considered degraded because of being situated on a particular part of the body. In our own bodies we do not show any actual difference in our treatment towards the hands or legs. Each and every part of the body is important, although the mouth is the most important of the bodily parts. If other parts are cut off from the body, a man can continue his life, but if the mouth is cut off, one cannot live. Therefore, this most important part of the body of the Lord is called the sitting place of the brahmanas, who are inclined to the Vedic wisdom. One who is not inclined to the Vedic wisdom but to mundane affairs cannot be called a brahmana, even if he is born of a brahmana family or father. To have a brahmana father does not qualify one as a brahmana. The main qualification of a brahmana is to be inclined in the Vedic wisdom. The Vedas are situated on the mouth of the Lord, and therefore anyone who is inclined to the Vedic wisdom is certainly situated on the mouth of the Lord, and he is a brahmana. This inclination towards Vedic wisdom is also not restricted to any particular caste or community. Anyone from any family and from any part of the world may become inclined to the Vedic wisdom, and that will qualify him as a real brahmana. A real brahmana is the natural teacher or spiritual master. Unless one has Vedic knowledge, one cannot become a spiritual master. The perfect knowledge of the Vedas is to know the Lord, the Personality of Godhead, and that is the end of Vedic knowledge, or Vedanta. One who is situated in the impersonal Brahman and has no information of the Supreme Personality of Godhead may become a brahmana, but he cannot become a spiritual master. It is said in the Padma Purana:
sat-karma-nipuno vipro mantra-tantra-visaradah avaisnavo gurur na syad vaisnavah sva-paco guruh
An impersonalist can become a qualified brahmana, but he cannot become a spiritual master unless and until he is promoted to the stage of a Vaisnava, or a devotee of the Personality of Godhead. Lord Caitanya, the great authority of Vedic wisdom in the modern age, stated: kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene naya yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei ‘guru’ haya A person may be a brahmana or a sudra or a sannyasi, but if he happens to be well versed in the science of Krsna, then he is fit to become a spiritual master. (Cc. Madhya 8.128) The qualification, then, of a spiritual master is not to be a qualified brahmana, but to be well versed in the science of Krsna. One who is conversant with Vedic wisdom is a brahmana. And only a brahmana who is a pure Vaisnava and knows all the intricacies of the science of Krsna can become a spiritual master. Translation: O chief of the Kuru dynasty, the Vedic wisdom became manifested from the mouth of the virat, the gigantic form. Those who are inclined to this Vedic knowledge are called brahmanas, and they are the natural teachers and spiritual masters of all the orders of society. Thus ends the translation and purport of Srimad Bhagavatam by His Divine Grace Abhaycaran Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in the canto 3, chapter 6, text 30 in the chapter entitled “The creation of the universal form. JPS: There are some important points which are revealed by this translation, one is that vedic wisdom comes from the supreme personality of Godhead. Some people say that vedic wisdom is also mainly… this is wrong ….07.10-7.14… Example is given that the Brahmana coming from the mouth of the lord, that means that the brahmanas duty is to speak, is to preach. One time Srila Prabhupada explained that how for doing some type of menial works it may be possible to hire someone, but to preach Krishna consciousness to others, that can only be effectively done by a devotee. Of course a devotee takes a humble attitude and renders a very simple service in order to attract the mercy of the Lord. At the same time a qualified devotee is actually the only one who is able to convince someone else of Krishna consciousness. To become a qualified devotee sometimes we render very simple or menial, devotional service but the most important service we can render is to hear from the advanced devotees on the topics of Krishna consciousness. This is necessary to develop the ability to preach, to explain Krishna consciousness. No one can explain Krishna consciousness unless they have properly heard. So therefore all the devotional service is leading up to hearing and chanting. Even surrendering to Krishna is considered to be subordinate to hearing from a pure devotee, hearing from a pure devote, hearing from a vaisnava on Krishna consciousness. This is very important to understand. Another important point.... direction, either, whether it is military or whether it’s a educational, brahminical or whether it is economic. Different people, labour ah… are engaged in their functions. So by doing their work properly the whole society progresses forward. So everyone is important, noone is neglected. So, in ah…. through the ages this varnashram system started to decay. It was described that varnashrama would decay when the brahmanas started to despise the lower castes, when they started to think of themselves of being more important or greater, of course mouth may be more important but that doesn’t mean that the mouth will vilify the legs. You don’t find the mouth fighting your leg. So this kind of situation develops where higher castes started to despise the lower castes. In this way the whole vedic or varnashram system started to develop ah… serious problems until practically speaking the varnashrama system today no longer visible in it’s original form. But actually we find that in the original system, just as you use your hands… you use your hands and your arms to protect the rest of your body. With your eyes, with your mouth you see what’s going on, in this way you protect. You use your intelligence and your arms to protect the rest. So the original system was that the brahmanas and the ksatriyas would give the shelter and guidance to others, not to exploit or to consider them as ah… inferior in ah… kind of an envious manner but to rather consider that just like you have a weaker brother. You don’t consider your brother to be ah… despicable. One shouldn’t envy the brother, but rather if you have a weaker brother or a sister then you should try to protect them, not to devour them. So in the same way if the vaisyas or sudras have less of a spiritual understanding or if the ksatriyas are having a less of a spiritual understanding than the brahmanas should help them, that is their function. The higher or lower position is su… is only due to the amount of spiritual knowledge that they have. Because the Brahmana has more spiritual knowledge his position is considered to be more important. The ksatriyas are also considered to have spiritual knowledge but not as much as the Brahmana. That’s why the kstariyas were called rajarshi’s or raja rishis. So they had some spiritual knowledge, but they also had to manage practically a country. Therefore, a government, therefore they respected the Brahmana’s who totally dedicated to spiritual purpose. The vaisyas, they have some spiritual knowledge but very less. Less than the ksatriyas in most cases, and the sudras- they are considered to have ah… the least amount of spiritual knowledge of the four. So in this way, therefore a gradation had come. But the duty of those who have more spiritual knowledge is to give those who have less, that spiritual knowledge and education. Lord Caitanya came at a time when this way ah.. the whole varnashram system was in a confused state, was becoming more and more confused. So he established… that actually since the gradation is based upon spiritual knowledge, that person’s who has more spiritual knowledge is by definition in superior position, and the ultimate knowledge is to know Krishna. Krishna says, “sahasresu manushyanam kaschid yatate siddhaye, yatatam api siddhanam kascin mam vetti tattvatah.” That of all people, that of all the people so many stages are there. One who knows Krishna, is actually the most advanced, he is the most rare. Kascin mam vetti tattvatah, kascin, it is very hard to find. So here Lord Caitanya describes, “kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene nay, je Krishna tattve vetta se guru hai.” Whether one is Brahmana or whether one is a sudra, or whether one is a sanyasi, why not even if one is sudra, whoever knows the science of Krishna consciousness, that person is actually fit to become a spiritual master. So to know the science of Krishna that immediately qualifies one as greater than even a Brahmana. Brahmana means that he knows brahman or the impersonal absolute but the vaisnava, he knows Krishna which is the highest form of the absolute truth. Therefore in the Padma purana, Prabhupada quotes this verse that someone who only knows the personal brahman, may be considered a Brahmana but he is not qualified to be a guru. A guru has to be someone who knows Visnu or Krishna, who is the actual devotee because than he would know the full absolute truth, brahman, paramatma, bhagavan, therefore he is qualified to be a guru. The verse given here is - sat karma nipuno vipro, mantra tantra visharada, avaisnavo gurur nashyat vaisnava saphacho guru. Sat… sat karma, nipuno means someone who is very expert in doing various ritualistic, religious activities. Vipro, vipro means Brahmana, mantra means of course chanting all the transcendental mantras and vibrations, the vedic hyms. Tantra means ah… satkama nipuno you could also say one who is very meticulous in practising his religious principles. When they say that someone who is following all of the doctrines very carefully or you he may be a great Brahmana or you may know all the mantras or tantra. Tantra means he may know the specific rights. It’s like we have Vaisnava tantra. We recently did a wedding ceremony which is also a tantra. This pancharatrika vidhi, offering of fire sacrifice or deity worship, these are all… these are all types of tantra. So knowing how to do this tantra’s, that is one of the spiritual qualifications but if one knows this tantra or knows this mantra but is not personally having the faith in the Lord, he is not a devotee of the Lord, then he is considered… he may be a Brahmana but he is not qualified to be a guru. He won’t be able to liberate his followers. Therefore the avaishnava guru nasyat. So Lord Caitanya, He actually brought this understanding of varnashrama to it’s basic principles but if he understood that the varnashrama the social varnas or orders are based upon having more spiritual knowledge and based upon one’s activity and work. So then one can understand that if one has ultimate spiritual knowledge, if one has Krishna conscious knowledge, then that person would be qualified to be a guru. That person is qualified, is more than a brahmana. So in this way the entire world can spiritually come up to the same level. They will all be on the transcendental platform. Still just to organize the society in short, set example for others people may work according to their nature, whether as a Brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya or as a sudra. But if one is a devotee, if one is a vaisnava then he is considered not to belong actually to any of the castes, but to be… to be on the transcendental platform. So here we see that Brahmana is the natural teacher of the spiritual master. Prabhupada said that unless one has vedic knowledge, one cannot become a spiritual master. In other words unless one actually attains to spiritual knowledge one can’t be considered a Brahmana. It is said here that the main qualification of a Brahmana is to be inclined to the vedic wisdiom. The vedas are situated on the mouth of the Lord and therefore anyone who is inclined to the vedic wisdom is certainly situated on the mouth of the Lord and he is a Brahmana. This inclination towards vedic wisdom is also not restricted to any particular caste of community. Anyone from any family or any part of the world may become inclined towards the vedic wisdom and that will qualify him as a real Brahmana. In other words if a person is inclined to vedic wisdom, inclined to spiritual knowledge, that is the qualification for a Brahmana. When it is time for class, the people aren’t inclined to attend , that indicates they are not being inclined to the brahminical culture, they are not acting fully qualified to the brahminical culture. If one wants to come up to the level of at least of a Brahmana, that means that they have to try to assimilate vedic wisdom. That means regularly hearing class, regularly discussing the scriptures, even if someone knows more and the junior in knowledge is giving a class it is also good for him to hear how that person is giving the class, possibly he can help in case there is any insufficiency in the explanations. In this way, even sometimes a very simple point can give one great realizations. And in any case the vedas are always giving us newer and newer insights into the purpose of life, into Krishna consciousness. So vedic wisdom is there for everyone but the brahmanas are actually those who are inclined to take it, the vaisnavas being higher than even the brahmanas, they are also always inclined to take the vedic wisdom. One time in Mayapur, Prabhupada was giving class and he said, he saw some devotee was falling asleep. So he said, “since you are not able to stay awake, you are in the class, this means you are not inclined to brahminical quality. So you better go out in the field and plough. Then at least you will be doing Krishna’s seva or devotional service.” So that devotee went out in the field and took the plough and he started to plough in the order of the guru even though he was from a foreign country, he never did it, but he had the order, so he was ploughing, to be very sincere. So after ploughing from some time his taste for hearing vedic wisdom grew, and gradually he learnt not to go asleep during the class. So there are many verses like this, where it says that if somebody is inclined to hearing the wisdom about the Lord, hearing about the transcendental knowledge, this is the actual first step in spiritual life. Most of the people, as I repeat that verse again, “sahasreshu manusyanam…” the most of the people out of thousands and thousands of people, it is hard to find one person who is even interested in spiritual knowledge. Generally if you want to talk about politics, if you want to talk about some movie stars, you want to talk about sports, everyone is interested, but if you want to discuss spiritual knowledge, people they are not very inclined, for instance my previous ashram mother, she came to live in our temple under the shelter of the devotees for some time and after spending some time with the devotees she went back to her… other family members like brothers and sisters from my material life, in my previous ashram and after being with the devotees she developed a very strong inclination to hearing and talking about Krishna consciousness. So she wanted to discuss about spiritual matters, but she found that all the relatives, even ah… her own other children they are always criticizing, “why do you always want to discuss about these things, why do want to discuss about God, why do you want to discuss about spiritual matters, there are so many other things in the world to discuss about, why do you want to discuss about this?” Then she said that, “Why you don’t want to discuss about this? this is the most important thing”, but they said, “no, no, today this ah… sports is going to happen, this thing is happening, so and so it …25.22-25.26…” They always wanted to discuss material things. So then she came to a realization that ah… she became very bored actually and as she couldn’t again take association with the devotees because discussing all this useless material things was very dry. You see, generally people they are not interested in spiritual matters. They are not even enquire. They just go on blindly at….so that’s what Krishna says “sahasresu manusyanam”, out of thousands of people one enquires what is the truth, they are interested “sahasresu manusyanam kascid yatate siddhye”, and amongst those it’s very rare to find someone who actually knows the absolute truth, who enquires. Many people enquire, what are you doing, what is it about, they hear, they don’t understand, they cannot figure it out, they go away, confused, they are not able to….even they hear it, they try to understand but then they forget and they lose it, they become bewildered, they don’t understand properly. So someone who actually hears and understands, that person is even more rare, he is considered a jnani. So… out of those jnanis, out of those thousands who know, one who is actually mukta, who is actually liberated, one who is really realized. Someone may know, yes I am not the body, yes I should serve the guru, yes the purpose of life is to be ah… God conscious or Krishna conscious, yes I should chant the holy names but practically speaking that person may not do it all of the time or effectively even though a person may say, “yes I am not the body”, but when it comes to acting on the spiritual platform, if some superior representative of guru tells the person, “do this service”, even though he thinks he knows, “I am not the body”, still the false ego say, “no, why he is telling me this, why should I do, I am this, I am busy”, so much false ego is there that they are not able to swallow even a simple instruction, then what if they have understood that they are not the body or some sense gratification comes along, one knows he is not the body, but when the sense gratification comes instead of acting on the spiritual platform they fall down to the material level. So these people are not liberated. They may have knowledge but they are still considered to be conditioned souls. When a person actually is able to act on the liberated platform, when they are able to act as a spirit soul, then that is considered to be that they are liberated. But amongst those liberated persons there are many who have understood that they are not the body and they act properly, accordingly, but amongst those it is very rare to find one who is a pure devotee. They are the most rare. So if someone is a devotee, if they are vaisnava, they are qualified to be a guru, they are already considered to be on the highest level of liberation. So the purpose of the Krishna conscious movement is to bring people up to that transcendental platform so that they are free from the suffering of this material world, they are free from the illusion, na sochati, na kangshati, sama sarveshu bhuteshu, mat bhaktim labhate param, and so that they can achieve the transcendental abode of the Lord, they can achieve the shelter of the Lord, and engage in His devotional service eternally. So this function to give spiritual knowledge is the special function of the brahmanas. This Krishna conscious movement Prabhupada said is to create brahmanas in society, not only brahmanas but vaisnava brahmana’s, that means that there needs to be people who will teach the other sections of society and for this they have to be become well versed in spiritual knowledge, that means that they have to practise Krishna conscious principles and they have to regularly hear the srimad bhagavat. Even the srimad bhagavat itself contains a sloka, it says “bhagavata nitya sevaya”, one should daily hear and serve the bhagavat. Bhagavats are of two kinds, this book bhagavat and the person bhagavat, both should be served. We serve the book bhagavat, by hearing we serve the person bhagavat by hearing and when physically present also doing vapu seva and otherwise doing vani seva, that means to follow his instructions. The person bhagavat means the person is living according to the principles of the book bhagavatam, who is living according to pure Krishna conscious devotional principles. So these are very important points which this verse has instructed us. Society requires natural teachers, requires spiritual masters, and this is the means to achieve it, if nobody in society is interested in spiritual matters then what is the value, who is going to lead the society. If a teacher doesn’t have spiritual knowledge then he won’t be able to guide the society properly, that is the problem today, the intellectuals, the government has, even the business community. Generally speaking they are not having this spiritual understanding. Therefore all their solutions are made according to their materialistic speculations and this creates more problems, even than the original problem that they are trying to solve. So the solution is that there has to be brahmanas or natural teachers and spiritual masters in the society and this only comes as they become inclined to hear spiritual wisdom. So Lord Caitanya so kindly by giving this Krishna prasadam, by chanting Hare Krishna, naturally one develops a inclination to hear about spiritual life. As one hears about spiritual life and becomes purified then one’s taste for chanting also increases, so in this way there is a very wonderful ah… cycle which goes on if one is able by the ah… repeated hearing and chanting to advance higher and higher in the rungs of spiritual life until one is able to achieve pure Krishna consciousness. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare Any questions? Question by devotee: ….Thank you for the nice class. Because this verse also says that because the mouth is Lord Krishna, so he explained very expertly. Like you said that the brahmanas, no one… the mouth never bites the leg but because the brahmanas they got degraded and there is all chaos in the society but then again Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he showed the example that even the time now that the brahmanas…. Like we are the vaisnavas, we should be speak sweet words and ah… preach by anywhere to bring the sudras, vaisyas, ksatriyas, even the so called brahmana’s by some way or other back to Krishna by engaging them. So can you give more like that sweet words of engaging them, not harassing them and bring them back to Krishna. JPS: we are not recommending harassing Devotee: because… because harassment we are JPS: So we are same. Parents take care of the children who takes them, instructs them because they love them. So the proper attitude for someone with more spiritual knowledge is to love the other members of the human race because everyone is…. we are all living creatures because we are all part of Krishna and want to help them in the service of…. so that they can engage in the service of Lord Krishna. So be have a loving attitude. You are feeling one with Krishna, naturally you feel also enacting with all living entities. You feel kindness towards them. Is that… Krishna is in them and they are in Krishna. Krishna sadhaks, you are all here, any questions? Krishna sadhika’s? Devotee: she said she didn’t understand. JPS: she will explain to give a brief explanation or may be …. You can give a synopsis of this class. Devotee: Do we have to exhibit qualities of the Brahmana constantly or sometimes by ….36.20-25… Ksatriyas or sudras or vaisyas because the society is in chaos as we don’t have ashramas. My meaning is it that we have to have one quality of the brahmanas constantly or sometimes as Krishna tells. JPS: Vaisnava can act… Vaisnava always acts as a vaisnava. Superficially for devotional service we can do all of the services of all the varna or service of any one varna. It’s like a vaisnava cleans the temple. You say that that is the work of a sudra, but for Krishna we clean the temple, that cleans our heart. Devotee may also milk the cow, take care of the cows or may go and do the marketing or something. That is a vaisya work. Devotees may sometimes defend the temple or may organize or manage as a ksatriya. Devotees also giving lectures and discussing, teaching others, it’s brahminical. A devotee does all of the things but everything he is doing as a devotional service, therefore he is transcendental. Someone who is not transcendental, they do one thing, they do one work, perfect that. One who is transcendental he can’t do other works if needed but whimsically one need not do but according to the instructions. You understand? Krishna sadhaks…. Do you have any question? Question by devotee: And also can we say like Srila Prabhupada always recommended that he wants that everyone should, become a Brahmana vaisnava and there is a difference also. If a vaisnava does a sudra work but he does with intelligence, even if he does a vaisya work he does it with intelligence, even if he does a ksatriya work he does it with intelligence. So by this the society can expand more because the vaisnava….. Gurumaharaj (interrupts)…. Does it with devotion. Devotee: Because the already sudra will be acting on the sudra platform, no intelligence. Gurumaharaj: He has intelligence, how can you say that the sudra has no intelligent. Manager of a big factory, he is employed, he is considered to be a sudra, he is very intelligent, doesn’t mean that the sudra is not intelligence, they are very intelligent in their ah… particular line. The point is that if one is doing it with a spiritual understanding, spiritual wisdom, then that person is considered a vaisnava, then he is transcendental. Materially speaking one is just doing what one is told, there is a less of a… one is more conditioned, has less freedom to do the things that he wants to do. So with less spiritual knowledge, it is better that the people are given a fixed program. You don’t have spiritual wisdom it is better that you work as an employee. It’s Just like we see now that the businessmen they have so much money but they have no spiritual wisdom, so instead of using the money for a good purpose they are using the money for making ah… ah… sinful activities, for drinking, for womanising, for other things, for other things, taking drugs. Just today in the paper it said some Lord’s son, Marki or something he broke into a drug store to try to get some heroine because he is a drug addict. The judge said even though you are born in a high family but because of taking drugs you have come to the lowest level. So this is the thing. Without spiritual knowledge then the more independence a person has it is dangerous. So according to vedic, social structure more independence was given according to more spiritual knowledge, more responsibility also. If the Brahmana does something wrong then he would get more times the punishment than if another person will get. He has considered to have more knowledge, so he should do that, but because he was more responsible he was given more freedom, because naturally he won’t do those things according to his responsibility. That was the way that the society was organized. Sudra has less spiritual knowledge, therefore he wasn’t given money but he was provided with his food, he was provided with ah… his clothing, with his housing, with all of the needs, he didn’t have to worry, he had all the things to be taken care of. Vaisya he has little more spiritual knowledge, so that he was given more freedom, he could ah… buy, sell, do business, do agriculture but his duty was to donate through the Brahmana’s, to pay taxes to the king, and himself to do yajna. He was considered to be twice-born according to the varnasrama system. Like this in each ah… as you go higher up in spiritual knowledge some more independence is given. King is even more independent but he is also dependent on Brahmana. He has to follow their spiritual guidance and the brahmanas they have to follow the vedas. They are supposed to be conversant with the vedas, so because they are the most conversant with the vedas, therefore they will follow according to the guru parampara and vedas. Therefore brahmanas will practically be free from the law of the land, they could go anywhere without passport, without visa, no restrictions. They would not be taxed, neither they would work for anyone else but they could take donations because they were simply giving spiritual knowledge. This is the basic ancient vedic system. But today of course things are totally different but the basic essence is still stands, that if the person has spiritual knowledge, that brings with it responsibility that also brings with it if he acts according to that vedic wisdom, that will bring you independence from the laws of karma, if you act according to the Krishna conscious principles then you will not be bound by the law of karma. So even if one is acting as a vaisya or acting as a ksatriya whatever, if he is acting in Krishna consciousness he will not be bound by the work, that is the difference. Normally everyone is bound by the work they do but if a person acts in Krishna consciousness he not bound by that work.
Sadananda Krishnaprem Das Transcribed on 19.06.2016 at Dibrugarh, Assam.