Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)
hatvā svariktha-spṛdha ātatāyino
yudhiṣṭhiro dharma-bhṛtāṁ variṣṭhaḥ
kathaṁ pravṛttaḥ kim akāraṣīt tataḥ
“Śaunaka Muni asked: After killing his enemies who desired to usurp his rightful inheritance,
how did the greatest of all religious men, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, assisted by his brothers, rule his subjects?
Surely he could not freely enjoy his kingdom with unrestricted consciousness.”
Prabhupāda: So here the most important word is yudhiṣṭhiro dharma-bhṛtāṁ variṣṭhaḥ. Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira was known as Dharmarāja, very strictly following religious principles. So he killed… For his sake, sixty-four crores of men were killed in the battlefield of Kurukṣetra. So he was not happy although the battle, the fight, was religious fight. It is not whimsical. Just like in the modern days the politicians, they fight unnecessarily to fulfill their desire… Just like in our country, unnecessarily they divided Pakistan, and to fulfill the whims of the leaders, they are fighting with nobody’s gain, neither there is any religious principles.
So fighting whimsically by the politicians, that is not sanctioned. There must be dharma-yuddha. Dharma-yuddha means religious fight, fight on religious principles. So what was the religious principle? (aside:) Hm, where is that mat? (Bengali) Saccidānanda. Here it is said, hatvā ātatāyinaḥ. Ātatāyī means aggressor. If somebody comes to your home to kidnap your wife, to take by force your property or to set fire in your house, he is called ātatāyī. He should immediately be killed. It is not that nonviolence nonsense. If somebody is coming to attack you unnecessarily, you must kill him first. It is not Vaiṣṇavism… “Oh, this man is coming to kill me. Right. All right, let me embrace him.” No. That is not the rule. When there is ātatāyī, aggressor, you must fight, you must kill. That is religious.
So Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja, dharma-bhṛtāṁ variṣṭhaḥ, he was so strictly followers of religious principles that when even Kṛṣṇa advised him that “You go and say some lies to Droṇācārya. Because Droṇācārya will not believe anyone, you say and go there that ‘Your son Aśvatthāmā is dead.’ ” And Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja hesitated, that “How can I say this lie?” Of course, this is too much following religious principles. This is also another instruction. When Kṛṣṇa said that “You go and speak the lies,” he should have done immediately. That is dharma. Because dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19]. Dharma means which is given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is dharma. You cannot manufacture dharma. Just like nowadays so many dharmas have been manufactured. They are not dharma. Dharma means the order which is given by the Lord. That is dharma. Just like Kṛṣṇa said, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. We have manufactured so many dharmas: Hindu dharma, Muslim dharma, Christian dharma, Parsee dharma, Buddha dharma, this dharma, that dharma. They are not dharma. They are mental concoction, mental concoction. Otherwise, there will be contradiction. Take for example, the Hindus think cow-killing is adharma, and the Muslims think that cow-killing is their dharma. So which is correct? Whether cow killing is adharma or dharma?
So these are mental concoction. Caitanya-caritāmṛta kaṛacā says, ei bhāla ei manda saba manodharma, “Mental concocted.” Real dharma is what is ordered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is dharma. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: [Bg. 18.66] “Give up your all manufactured dharma. Here is the real dharma.” Śaraṇaṁ vraja. “Just become surrendered unto Me, and that is real dharma.” Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19]. Just like law. Laws can be manufactured or can be given by the government. You cannot make any law at your home. That is not law. Law means the order given by the government. The supreme government is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat [Bg. 10.8]. There is nobody better than Kṛṣṇa. Therefore the order given by Kṛṣṇa is dharma. Our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is that dharma. Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: [Bg. 18.66] “You give up all other so-called dharmas, this dharma, that dharma, so many dharmas. Simply just surrender unto Me.”
So we are preaching the same principle, and that is confirmed by Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Śrī Caitanya Mahā… Āmāra ājñāya guru hañā tāra’ ei deśa, yāre dekha tāre kaha kṛṣṇa-upadeśa [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. This is dharma. Caitanya Mahāprabhu did not manufacture any new system of dharma. No. Caitanya Mahāprabhu is Kṛṣṇa Himself. Namo mahā-vadānyāya kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te, kṛṣṇāya kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmne [Cc. Madhya 19.53]. So the only difference is He is Kṛṣṇa Himself. The only difference is that Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly orders that “You give up all nonsense; simply surrender unto Me.” This is Kṛṣṇa. Because He is Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is giving directly order. The same Kṛṣṇa, because people misunderstood Him… Even big, big scholars, they say, “It is too much that Kṛṣṇa is ordering like that.” But they are rascals. They do not know. They cannot understand what is Kṛṣṇa. Therefore because people misunderstood Him, Kṛṣṇa came as a devotee to teach how to surrender to Kṛṣṇa perfectly. Kṛṣṇa came. Just like sometimes my servant gives me massage. I say by giving his head massage, “Do like this.” So I am not his servant, but I am teaching him. Similarly, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is Kṛṣṇa Himself, but He is teaching perfectly how to approach Kṛṣṇa, how to serve Kṛṣṇa, The same principle. Kṛṣṇa said, “You surrender unto Me,” and Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, “You surrender to Kṛṣṇa.” So on principle there is no change. On principle there is no change.
So here Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja, dharma-bhṛtāṁ variṣṭhaḥ, of all the followers of religious principle, he is the foremost, variṣṭhaḥ. So he was very sorry that “For my sake, for enthroning me, oh, so many people have given their lives.” Not only his cousin-brothers, the soldiers… And, because at that time, five thousand years ago, these kings or the emperors of Hastināpura were ruling all over the world… This planet was called Bhārata-varṣa, the whole planet. Not this now, a small tract of land. The whole world was called Bhārata-varṣa. Formerly it was called Ilāvṛta-varṣa. Since the reign of Mahārāja Bharata, this planet is called Bhārata-varṣa. So the Pāṇḍavas or the Kurus, they were the rulers of the world. As such, when there was fight between the two section of cousin-brothers, from all parts of the world, somebody joined this side, somebody joined that side. So I think in the Mahābhārata it is stated that sixty-four crores of men were killed, and many disappeared. Nobody knows about their whereabouts. So actually, Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja, dharma-bhṛtāṁ variṣṭhaḥ, he was so great, stalwart, foremost followers of religious principle. He was very, very sorry that “For my sake so many people let down their life.” So he was not happy.
Therefore in our śāstra, when you commit some necessary sinful activities, to counteract it, a fasting, fasting is recommended. Therefore Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja was observing fasting, taking little necessities. Therefore śaunaka Muni is inquiring that sahānujaiḥ pratyavaruddha-bhojanaḥ kathaṁ pravṛttaḥ kim akāraṣīt tataḥ: [SB 1.10.1] “Then he was undergoing some prāyaścitta system; then how did he take the reigns of ruling over the kingdom?” That was his inquiry, Śaunaka Ṛṣi. Actually, the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam was first of all, in the beginning… The first beginning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam was in front of Mahārāja Parīkṣit. Śukadeva Gosvāmī explained, and Sūta Gosvāmī was in that meeting also. So he learned explanation of Bhāgavatam from Śukadeva Gosvāmī. This is called paramparā system. Now, generally the professional reciters of Bhāgavatam, they do not follow the paramparā system. They make business. Just like we are reading Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, we are discussing about the warfares, the professionals, they will go immediately to rāsa-līlā, as if these things are not necessary. Anyone who hears Bhāgavatam from these professionals, they do not know what are the other subject matter in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Because they haven’t got the chance to hear. They do not discuss. Whenever there is recitation of Bhāgavatam, it means they are discussing some rāsa-līlā. Because the rāsa-līlā is very palatable to the rascals. They think that Kṛṣṇa is ordinary young boy, and the gopīs are young girls, and as they read novel and dramas, one man, one woman, their activities, they think Bhāgavata is like that. They think… Arcye viṣṇau śilā-dhīr guruṣu nara-matiḥ. They think like that. The gopīs, the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa with the gopīs, it is most confidential part of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. It is to be relished by the liberated soul, not these ordinary persons who have got sex attraction. They are unfit for hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, rāsa-līlā. Unfit.
So unfortunately, these professional reciters, they do not begin Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from the very beginning, where Vedānta-sūtra is discussed. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. Janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. So Bhāgavata begins with this word of Vedānta-sūtra, janmādy asya yataḥ anvayād itarataś ca artheṣu abhijñaḥ svarāṭ. So it is the, in the beginning, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the explanation of the Vedānta-sūtra. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has recommended, therefore, one should learn Bhāgavatam from a person who knows Vedānta-sūtra. Śruti-gṛhītayā, bhaktyā śruti-gṛhītayā. Bhakti should be generated, śruti-gṛhītayā, by studying Vedānta-sūtra. Bhakti is not sentiment. Bhakti is the transcendental science. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, jñānī viśiṣyate(?). You should be in full knowledge what is Kṛṣṇa, not that accepting Kṛṣṇa as something fictitious. Even big, big scholars—Dr. Radhakrishnan, Gandhi—they cannot understand Kṛṣṇa. How they can understand? It is not understandable by the fools and rascals.
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ
So to understand Kṛṣṇa is not so easy thing. Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu. Out of many millions of persons, all rascals and fools, animals, what they will understand Kṛṣṇa? Therefore Kṛṣṇa personally says, manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye. Siddhi. Siddhi means perfection. All over the world we are touring, all full of rascals and fools. Nobody is trying to make his life perfect. What is that perfection? Paramāṁ siddhim. That perfection is,
mām upetya punar janma
saṁsiddhiṁ paramāṁ gatāḥ
To go back to home, back to Godhead, that is the highest perfection of life. Nobody knows what is Godhead. Nobody knows how to go back to Him. So to understand Kṛṣṇa and to become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, it is not very easy thing. Very, very difficult. But Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, mahā-vadānyāvatāra, He has distributed this Kṛṣṇa science and love of Kṛṣṇa in such an easy way that by His mercy even a most rude person can also understand, if He takes the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
So Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja was a kṛṣṇa-bhakta, and therefore, he is explained, is dharma-bhṛtāṁ variṣṭhaḥ, the most foremost personality, because he knows… He agreed to fight with his cousin-brothers because Kṛṣṇa wanted. Kṛṣṇa, when Arjuna said, “My dear Kṛṣṇa, there is no need of fighting. Because the other side, they are my brothers, nephews, I better prefer to give them the kingdom. I shall beg and live, but I don’t want to fight with my brother,” so immediately Kṛṣṇa condemned it: kutas tvā kaśmalam idaṁ viṣame samupasthitam: “What nonsense you are speaking? You must fight.” Then still he was unwilling to fight. Therefore the whole Bhagavad-gītā was spoken to him. And after explaining Bhagavad-gītā, He inquired from Arjuna, “Whether you are now determined to fight?” Yathecchasi tathā kuru [Bg. 18.63]. This liberty was given to Arjuna: “I have explained to you everything. Now whatever you like, you can do.”
So Kṛṣṇa does not force anyone to become kṛṣṇa-bhakta, but He gives the chance. He explains everything, that “If you become kṛṣṇa-bhakta, or surrendered soul, then you will be happy. Otherwise you will not be happy.” This is Kṛṣṇa. Kuru. He says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. He does not force. Now it is our choice, whether we shall surrender to Kṛṣṇa or not. These are the instruction of Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, that one’s ultimate goal of life is to surrender to Kṛṣṇa. That is the ultimate goal of life. But they do not know it. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum [SB 7.5.31]. They do not know. They think for some worldly happiness and go to some demigods… That is condemned in the Bhagavad-gītā, kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ yajante anya-devatāḥ [Bg. 7.20]. They have lost their intelligence, those who go to worship other demigods for some paltry benefit, temporary benefit. Antavat tu phalaṁ teṣāṁ tad bhavaty alpa-medhasām [Bg. 7.23]. Those who are, brain substance is not very much in good quantity… Brain substance, instead of brain substance, there is cow-dung. Such people go to worship the other demigods. There is no necessity. There is no necessity. Of course, we do not show any disrespect to any demigods. We offer all respect. But we do not accept that Kṛṣṇa and all other demigods are on the same level, as the Māyāvādī says, that “Either you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra or chant ‘Durgā Durgā,’ ‘Kālī Kālī,’ it is the same.” This is rascaldom. This is rascaldom. Harer nāma. Śāstra says, harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam. Śāstra does not say that “You chant this name, that name, any dog’s name, cat’s name, and it is all right.” Śāstra does not say. Śāstra says,
harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
[Cc. Ādi 17.21]
So yaḥ śāstra-vidhim utsṛjya vartate kāma-kārataḥ na sa siddhim avāpnoti: [Bg. 16.23] “Anyone who avoids or disregards the injunction of the śāstras and acts whimsically, he will never get perfection.” Na sukhaṁ na parāṁ gatim. Therefore our principle is, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means we strictly follow Kṛṣṇa. Our leader is Kṛṣṇa. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). So everyone requires a leader. I have talked many times that “Leader must be followed.” When I was talking with Professor Kotovsky in Moscow, I asked him, “Where is the difference between your philosophy and our philosophy? You are following Lenin. We are following Kṛṣṇa. So we have to follow one leader. You cannot avoid it.” So he was silent. He could not reply. So to become perfect, to achieve perfection, one has to follow a leader. So why should we follow the misleaders, the rascal leaders? Let us follow the perfect leader, Kṛṣṇa, and become perfect.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (end)