Prabhupāda: We shall speak something about the compilation of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by Vyāsadeva. [break] …known as Vedavyāsa. Vedavyāsa, because he has compiled all the Vedic literatures, wonderful education… There are millions of verses in the Purāṇas, Mahābhārata, in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Only Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam contains 18,000 verses. Mahābhārata contains about more than 100,000’s of verses. Similarly, there are other Purāṇas. Besides that, Upaniṣads. He is the editor and compiler of all these Vedic literatures.
But he was not satisfied even after his presentation of the Vedānta-sūtra. He summarized all the Vedic knowledge in sūtra—Sūtra means codes—so people may take advantage. Just like there are business codes, Bentley’s codes, Henry’s codes. So one or two words will give impression of volumes of knowledge. Businessmen, they need it to save the expenditure on wiring, on telegraphing. Just like CIF. “Accept your offering. CIF.” CIF means “cost including freight.” That means goods will be delivered at your door. So similarly, there are many codes in business matter. In military arts there are so many codes. So Vedānta-sūtra means codes of all Vedic knowledge. Sūtra. Sūtra means codes.
Just like athāto brahma jijñāsā. Atha, “now,” ataḥ, “after this,” brahma, “the Supreme Absolute Truth,” jijñāsā, “one should inquire.” Now you can explain in volumes of books athāto brahma jijñāsā. So there are different commentators, they have explained when brahma-jijñāsā should begin, when one should be prepared to inquire about the Supreme. Somebody says, “After karma-kāṇḍīya, after finishing all these sense gratificatory processes,” or “After this, after this.” Because the word is atha, “now, hereinafter.” “Therefore.” “Therefore,” that’s atha. This word is very significant, atha. Why “therefore”? Especially in your America—you are all American boys and girls—you should take note of this atha, “therefore.” What is that “therefore”? “Therefore” means that “You have enjoyed your material life as luxuriantly as possible, but you are confused. You are not happy. You have produced hippies, frustration. Therefore.” You can take this word, “therefore.” Because we have failed, the Americans have failed to achieve the highest pleasure of life even by arranging all kinds of material facilities, therefore they should be eager to understand. At least, they should inquire what is the cause. (aside:) Don’t bother about that. Here.
So brahma-jijñāsā. This brahma-jijñāsā is answered immediately in the Vedānta-sūtra. What is Brahman or what is the greatest? Say, greatest happiness. Now you have enjoyed material happiness, but you are not satisfied. You are confused. Then you should inquire what is greatest happiness. So these codes are so important thing, Vedānta-sūtra. You can explain “therefore” in so many ways according to your knowledge. But scientifically, this “therefore” means we are trying to find out the original source of everything. We are trying to find out what is the original source of this cosmic manifestation, why we are hankering after happiness, why we are confused. So many things.
What is the original source? The original source is replied immediately in the next sūtra, next code. Janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. The original source, either of happiness or of distress, everything original source is that. Simply giving original… Janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. Wherefrom everything emanates. Distress also emanates and happiness also emanates. This cosmic manifestation also emanates. The supply also emanates. Everything emanates. The supreme source. Now you can explain. Everything emanates. How is that distress also emanates and happiness also emanates, knowledge also emanates, ignorance also emanates? Yes. That is fullness. That is fullness. This is the… How that original source is for everything, that is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, Bhāgavata also. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā that ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ: [Bg. 10.8] “I am the source of everything. I am the source of happiness, I am the source of distress, I am the source of all this Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Maheśvara, everything.” Mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat: [Bg. 7.7] “There is no more supreme source than Me.” Then why these two things, duality, distress and happiness?
That is also answered in the Bhagavad-gītā. You’ll find, sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca: [Bg. 15.15] “I am sitting in everyone’s heart and from Me there is memorization and forgetfulness.” (bell sound) Why you are disturbing? Sit down. Hear. Try to hear. So mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca [Bg. 15.15]. One forgets and also one remembers. Remembrance and forgetfulness. So why one remembers Kṛṣṇa consciousness and why one forgets Kṛṣṇa consciousness? Actually, my constitutional position is, as Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, that jīvera svarūpa haya nitya-kṛṣṇa-dāsa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]. Actually, the constitutional position of the living entities are that he is eternally servant of God. That is his position. He’s meant for that purpose, but he forgets. So that forgetfulness is also janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1], the Supreme. Why? Because he wanted to forget.
kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha hañā bhoga vāñchā kare
nikaṭa-stha māyā tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare
Just like sometimes we imitate. Somebody, I think he is very much enjoying, so I also think, “Why not I enjoy like him?” This is natural. We have got independence to think like that. Similarly, when the living entities, whose business is to serve Kṛṣṇa, when he wants to become Kṛṣṇa, when he wants to become God, although he is dog, still, when he wants to imitate, he is immediately put into the clutches of māyā. “All right. You enjoy. Try yourself. Try yourself to become God.”
So this is material world means everyone is trying to become God. I am trying to become God, you are trying to become God. So there is competition between Gods. He has forgotten that he is dog, but he’s trying to become God. Especially in these days, especially in our (chuckling) India, Bengal, there (are) so many Gods incarnation, rascal. You see? So many. As if God is so cheap thing that anyone can become God. So God has given us the chance, “All right. You try to become God.” He’s trying to become God, and more and more… This is asuric. Just like Hiraṇyakaśipu. As soon as his little child would say “Kṛṣṇa, Nārāyaṇa,” he would immediately become angry: “Oh, who is this Nārāyaṇa?” “Oh, He is God.” Just like this child is doing. “I am God. Who is God? You are trying to respect some other God?”
So this philosophy is there always, and now it is very prominent that everyone wants to become God. So many swamis, they come to your country and they, “Oh, you are God, I am God, this God, that God.” So this is going on. And in the lower stage they are grossly under the impression that “I am this body,” “I am this mind,” or “I am this intelligence.” And later on, “I am God,” and so many things. So this Bhāgavata, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, explains that Supreme from where everything is emanating. Janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. From the very beginning. Janmādy asya yataḥ anvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ svarāṭ. Very nicely. You have read our explanation, English explanation in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. What is that Supreme? That Supreme, janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1], that Supreme is abhijñaḥ. He knows everything. But the so-called cheap Gods, do they know everything? He does not know even what is going to happen in next moment. Just like I heard there was a “God,” Meher Baba. He had came. And he did not know that he is going to meet with some motor accident, and still he claimed that he’s God. You see?
So Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the right explanation of the philosophy. What is the original source of everything, that is the beginning. Janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. Therefore it is called bhāṣyāyaṁ brahma-sūtrāṇām. Bhāṣya ayam. Ayam (grantha?) Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the right commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra. So how this Vedānta-sūtra commentary was originally written by the author himself is explained in the Fifth Chapter of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, First Canto. You try to understand it. So the cause was that after compiling all these Vedic literatures up to the end, Vedānta-sūtra, Vyāsadeva was not satisfied. Vyāsadeva was still morose. So Nārada Muni, he is spiritual master, he could understand that Vyāsadeva is seeking something, that “Why I am morose? I have tried to give knowledge to the people as far as possible, as far I have known from reliable sources. So why I am not satisfied?”
At that time Nārada came to him, and Vyāsadeva received him, as it is the duty of the disciple to give good reception to the spiritual master. And when he was seated nicely, it is said,
atha taṁ sukham āsīna
devarṣiḥ prāha viprarṣiṁ
vīṇā-pāṇiḥ smayann iva
So Devarṣi, when he was comfortably seated, with his hand, in his hand that vīṇā, vīṇā-pāṇiḥ. Vīṇā-pāṇiḥ is called Sarasvatī. Vīṇā means that stringed instrument which is carried by Nārada and also Sarasvatī, the goddess of learning. Sarasvatī. Students, they worship Sarasvatī for getting learning, material knowledge. And we Vaiṣṇavas, we also… He is also Sarasvatī. Nārada is also Sarasvatī. My spiritual master was known as Sarasvatī, Siddhānta Sarasvatī. Sarasvatī is the knowledge.
So there are two kinds of knowledge, avidyā and vidyā. Real vidyā means brahma-vidyā. This brahma-jijñāsā, athāto brahma…, that is vidyā. That is real knowledge. And avidyā, karma-saṁjña. Another vidyā is how to learn technology, avidyā. Avidyā. That is avidyā. Avidyā-karma-saṁjñānyā tṛtīyā śaktir iṣyate. So now, at the present moment, the education is being given to the people how to work hard, karma-saṁjña. That is not now. That is the system everywhere, because everyone wants to enjoy senses as far as possible, so he has to work very hard. But in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam you will find the instruction is by Ṛṣabhadeva, that this life is not meant for that simply hard labor for sense gratification. If you work hard, you try to work hard for attaining Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then your life will be successful. You have to work hard. If you want to enjoy senses, they are not very easily available. It is said that udyogināṁ praharṣaṁ praheti lakṣyam.(?) Unless you become industrious, laborious, you cannot enjoy even this material world.
So one has to work because his business is to become servant. Jīvera svarūpa haya nitya-kṛṣṇa-dāsa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]. So if he does not become servant of Kṛṣṇa, then he will have to become servant of māyā. Just like same thing we are doing in this New Vrindaban or anywhere. The same thing. We are also cooking, we are also cleansing. So this is for Kṛṣṇa. So even if we get tired by cleansing for Kṛṣṇa, but that is an asset. Yes. And if we work the same thing for sense gratification, that is simply spoiling time. This is the technology of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that we can achieve the highest perfection of life by doing the same thing. Nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yuktaṁ vairāgyam ucyate.
So Vyāsadeva, he also worked very hard, wrote so many books, unlimited. But he was not happy. So if you work for māyā, then you’ll never be happy. You’ll get tired and you’ll simply be confused. But if you work for Kṛṣṇa, then you’ll be happy. Just like… There are so many examples. Arjuna. Arjuna also, he remained a military man. He was in the beginning military man, and after hearing Bhagavad-gītā he remained a military man. But that military man was for Kṛṣṇa. And in the beginning he was a military man for acquiring some kingdom for sense gratification. So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is simply to change the consciousness, to change the account. The activities may be the same, but when the account is changed, then you’ll get the highest profit.
So when Vyāsadeva was morose, his spiritual master is addressing Vyāsadeva as pārāśarya mahā-bhāga. Mahā-bhāga. Pārāśarya means Vyāsadeva is the son of Parāśara Muni, who was a great sage. His mother was Satyavatī. Actually Vyāsadeva was born… His mother was a fishergirl, fisherwoman. In Bengali we call māchaoyālī. So, but because the father was very great, Parāśara Muni, so there is no question of father and mother. Everyone comes in his own ability according to karma. Nobody is responsible for his birth. Everyone is responsible for his work. So Vyāsadeva became a great personality although he was son of a fisherwoman. Pārāśarya. He’s addressing, “My dear son of Parāśara, mahā-bhāga.” Mahā-bhāga means “You are very fortunate.” Bhāga means fortune. Bhāgya. Mahā-bhāga. Pārāśarya mahā-bhāga bhavataḥ kaccid ātmanā parituṣyati. “Do you think that you’ll be satisfied identifying yourself with this material body or mind? That is not possible.” Parituṣyati śārīra ātmā mānasa eva vā. Śārīraḥ śarīrābhimāny ātmā, ātmanā tena śarīreṇa kaccit kiṁ parituṣyati(?). One who is… “You have compiled so many books on this concept of life, that the living entities are, some of them are considering that ‘I am this body,’ and some of them are considering ‘I am this mind,’ and some of them are considering ‘I am this intelligence,’ but he is none of them. He’s above this. He’s transcendental.” Unless he comes to that position, there is no question of paritoṣa, or satisfaction.
So this is the first question, that “My dear Vyāsadeva, you are so great. You are born of a great father. You are so learned. Mahā-bhāga, you are so fortunate. But still, all your compilation of these books are based on the concept of this body and mind. Therefore you cannot get happiness.” Then he says,
api te mahad-adbhutam
kṛtavān bhārataṁ yas tvaṁ
“You have recently done…” Because Vyāsadeva, after the Battle of Kurukṣetra, he wrote Bhārata, this Mahābhārata, history, history of India or history of this planet, Mahābhārata. So he says that kṛtavān bhārataṁ yas tvaṁ sarvārtha-paribṛṁhitam.
Sarvārtha. Artha means, what are the arthas? Artha means interest. Interest. So there are four kinds of interests. We are interested in four things. If we are actually human being, a civilized being, then we should be interested with four things. What are those four things? Dharma-artha-kāma-mokṣa [SB 4.8.41, Cc. Ādi 1.90]. In human society, for at least peaceful living, the human society must have religion, dharma. And artha means economic development, good condition, economic con… That is also required. One, that the human society should be religious, they must have nice economic organization, and the kāma, they must have also nice arrangement for sense gratification. So sense gratification is not denied. Dharma, artha, kāma, and mokṣa. And after that, when one is satisfied, when he, when one is, by religious procedure, he is satisfied in his economic development, in his satisfaction of senses, the next need is mokṣa. Mokṣa means liberation from material bondage. These are four arthas. Catur-vargaḥ puruṣārthaḥ. Puruṣārtha means the interest of the living entity. But they are not final. They are not final.
So Nārada will give the hint what is the final puruṣārtha. That final puruṣārtha is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Not that even if we become liberated, if we merge into the existence of the Absolute, oh, that is also not final. Therefore in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam you’ll find in the beginning that dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo’ tra [SB 1.1.2]. These four principles of our interest, means dharma-artha-kāma-mokṣa, projjhita, they are thrown away from this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And the great commenter, commentator, I mean to say, Śrīdhara Svāmī, he says that dharmaḥ projjhita-dharma-artha-kāma-mokṣa atra mokṣa-visandhir(?) api parityaktaḥ. One should not aspire even for liberation. That is the position of a devotee.
Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ kavitāṁ vā jagadīśa kāmaye [Cc. Antya 20.29, Śikṣāṣṭaka 4]. These are dharma-artha. Anyone wants… Everyone wants money, everyone wants good wife, good family, good comfortable life. Caitanya Mahāprabhu denies, that “I don’t want all these things.” Na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ kavitāṁ vā jagadīśa kāmaye. Then that is… [break]
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam you should study very scrutinizingly, critically. And there is explanation of great, I mean, stalwart devotees. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam there are eight kinds of commentary. In Bhagavad-gītā… They are authorized. They are not ordinary commentaries. Ordinary commentary, there may be many. Similarly, Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā there are nine kinds of commentary. So Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā or Bhāgavata, they are themselves illuminating. Just like sunlight—there is no need of a lamp to see the sunlight. Similarly, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhagavad-gītā, they are self-illuminating. Simply word to word if you try to understand, then you’ll get enlightenment. Still, there are ācāryas who can help you.
So this Mahābhārata, which is referred now by Nārada Muni: kṛtavān bhārataṁ yas tvaṁ sarvārtha-paribṛṁhitam He says that jijñāsitaṁ susampannam api te mahad-adbhutam. Jijñāsitam. Because Vyāsadeva inquired from Nārada. That is the duty of the disciple. Just like Rūpa Gosvāmī says that how we can develop… We are explaining these things in our Nectar of Devotion. Ādau gurvāśrayam. You must inquire, you must be inquisitive. Wherefrom inquiry? You have to inquire from a guru, a spiritual master, who can actually give you right knowledge. And spiritual master means he is able to answer your question. So one should be very much inquisitive. What sort of inquisitiveness? Asking his spiritual master, “What is the rate of this article?” Just like businessman? No. That is also explained in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, that you should inquire. What is that inquiry? Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ [SB 11.3.21]. Jijñāsuḥ. Inquisitive. What is that? What is that inquiry? Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam. One who is inquisitive to understand uttamam, beyond this darkness. Because anything you inquire about material things, that is darkness. Tamasi mā jyotir gama. Uttama. Tama, tama means darkness. Ut. Ut means udgatam.
So every word has volumes of meanings. Udga… Therefore sometimes right commentary required. So uttamam means udgataṁ tamam. Tama means this material world. When one is inquisitive to understand about the spiritual life, then he should accept a spiritual master. Otherwise there is no need. A spiritual master is not a fashion, that “Oh, I should have a spiritual master.” People after fashion. No. One must be very much inquisitive to know. What about, inquisitive? Uttamam. Śreya uttamam, what is the highest perfection of life. If one is actually inquisitive to understand about the highest perfectional stage of our life, then he should search after a spiritual master. That is the direction.
So here Nārada says that “You, jijñāsitam, you have inquired. You have inquired. And after inquiry you have done also very nicely.” Because Vyāsadeva has written so many books. Just like we are trying to write so many books. What is that book? That means whatever we have understood from our spiritual master. That’s all. So one should be inquisitive, assimilate them, and susampannam, and… This is called śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ [SB 7.5.23]. The inquiry means śravaṇam. Inquiry means to get the answer; that is hearing. And then assimilate. Then kīrtanam, then distribute the knowledge to the world. That is the order of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, that bhārata-bhūmite haila manuṣya janma yāra [Cc. Ādi 9.41]. Anyone who has taken birth in this holy land of India, Bhāratavarṣa… Just see how Caitanya Mahāprabhu gives power to every Indian. Every Indian has got this opportunity because his land of religion, the land of knowledge, spiritual knowledge. But these rascal men, they are being taught that “Throw away these books.” You see. Such misfortunate condition is now in India. They are recommending wholesale cow slaughter in India, to make this business… Unfortunately, we have to be governed by such rascals. So the sooner the Indians give up their…, now, so long these nonsensical things are going on, it is better. It is better.
So jijñāsitam. Nārada says that “You inquired nicely and you have written very nice books also.” Jijñāsitaṁ susampannam api te mahad-adbhutam. “And your knowledge is wonderful.” Everything, all credit is being given to Vyāsadeva. Adbhutam. Jijñāsitam adhītaṁ ca brahma yat tat sanātanam. “Not only ordinary things, not only your material knowledge, but you have inquired about Brahman.” Athāto brahma jijñāsā. Sanātanam. The Brahman means that is eternal. And what is not Brahman, that is temporary. So sanātana, “You have inquired about Brahman and you have understood, you have assimilated. You have compiled very wonderful books, adbhutam, and the history, bhāratam, Mahābhāratam.” Sarvārtha. Sarvārtha-paribṛṁhitam. “And in that Mahābhārata you have given all the information of these four principles of perfection, namely dharma-artha-kāma-mokṣa. And this Bhagavad-gītā is there in the Mahābhārata. In the Bhīṣma-parva.” So tathāpi śocasi. Tathāpi:. “Still you are morose. After doing all these things, you are still morose.” Tathāpi śocasy ātmānam akṛtārtha iva prabho. Prabho.
Now, here you see. We are teaching our disciples to address amongst themselves “prabhu.” This is not new thing. This is very old. Now Nārada is addressing Vyāsadeva, “prabhu,” his disciple. His disciple, he’s addressing prabhu. So we should give respect. Just like we address, “Kīrtanānanda Mahārāja.” Although he’s my disciple, but the respect should be given. Here, see, Nārada is addressing Vyāsadeva: “Prabhu.” “My dear prabhu, still you are lamenting. You have done so nice, wonderful things and you are learned, you have asked about the transcendental subject matter, you have compiled so many nice books. Why? Why you are?” This question must be there just to apprehend that “What is the reason?”
So this is the question and answer of Vyāsadeva. It is very interesting. You have got already your book, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Fifth Chapter, First Canto. They are very interesting. So we shall discuss. What is time now? It is time now. We shall stop. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (end)