Pradyumna: “She could not tolerate Aśvatthāmā’s being bound by ropes, and being a devoted lady, she said: ‘Release him, for he is a brāhmaṇa, our spiritual master.’ “

Prabhupāda:

uvāca cāsahanty asya
bandhanānayanaṁ satī
mucyatāṁ mucyatām eṣa
brāhmaṇo nitarāṁ guruḥ
[SB 1.7.43]

So Draupadī, in the previous verse it has been described, vāma-svabhāvā kṛpayā nanāma ca. Vāma-svabhāvā. Vāma, woman. Women, they are very soft-hearted, vāma-svabhāvā. So although Aśvatthāmā killed her sons very mercilessly, and he was arrested and Kṛṣṇa ordered him to be killed, and Arjuna was just preparing to punish him, but vāma-svabhāvā, woman, being very soft-hearted, without any consideration, she immediately offered her respect, nanāma. Not only she offered her respect to Aśvatthāmā being the son of a brāhmaṇa, especially of Droṇācārya, their teacher… So she immediately ordered Arjuna, mucyatāṁ mucyatām: “Release him immediately. You have arrested a brāhmaṇa.” Mucyatāṁ mucyatām eṣa brāhmaṇo nitarāṁ guruḥ. “Brāhmaṇa is always our guru. Although he has killed my sons, still, he stands to be my guru, your guru.”

So this is Vedic culture, that they know how to offer respect to the proper persons. But Arjuna, he also decided that although Kṛṣṇa ordered him to kill Aśvatthāmā, he’s guru’s son, although he’s not brāhmaṇa; he’s brahma-bandhu. He has been described as brahma-bandhu, not brāhmaṇa. But Draupadī, being woman, vāma-svabhāvā, very soft-hearted, she did not consider whether he’s actually a brāhmaṇa. The son of a brāhmaṇa, that much she knew. This is the difference, how to calculate whether one is brāhmaṇa or not brāhmaṇa. Brāhmaṇa and brahma-bandhu, these two words are there. Just like if you are the son of a high-court judge, you can be called, you have got the right, that “son of a high-court judge.” That is all right. But you cannot claim to become the high-court judge. That is not possible. Unless you are qualified, unless you are actually acting as high-court judge, you cannot be called a high-court judge. Simply by becoming the son of a high-court judge you cannot become the high-court judge. Similarly, simply by becoming the son of a brāhmaṇa, you cannot become a brāhmaṇa. A woman, vāma-svabhāvā, she can accept that “Because he’s the son of a brāhmaṇa, he’s brāhmaṇa.” Therefore this word is used, vāma-svabhāvā. Because woman are considered less intelligent. In the Bhagavad-gītā… Their heart is very soft. Just like children, their heart is very soft. But their intelligence is not very sharp. That is the difference. Striyaḥ śūdrās tathā vaiśyāḥ. Kṛṣṇa says, striyaḥ śūdrās tathā… They have been put in one group: woman, vaiśya and śūdra. Because they are not very intelligent. They can be molded by another intelligent man to the proper channel. Therefore they require guidance. They require guidance.

This morning I was reading about Sītā-devī’s being kidnapped by Rāvaṇa. Now, because there was not Rāmacandra present and Lakṣmaṇa was also not present, she was unguarded and Rāvaṇa took the opportunity to kidnap her. So even Sītā-devī, she is goddess of fortune, she is the spiritual potency of Lord Rāmacandra, she is not ordinary woman, but showing us the example that even Sītā-devī… Sītā-devī is the original potency. Of course, Rāvaṇa could not kidnap Sītā-devī as she is. That is not possible. This is described in another Purāṇa, that when Rāvaṇa came to kidnap Sītā, Sītā-devī disappeared from there and she kept a māyā form, false form, and Rāvaṇa kidnapped her. This is stated in very authoritative scripture. When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was traveling in South India, a brāhmaṇa invited Him. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu at noontime went there, but He saw the brāhmaṇa has not cooked anything. There was nothing prepared. And he was crying and reading Rāmāyaṇa. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu inquired, “Brāhmaṇa, why you are in such a depressed condition, you are crying?” “Sir, I am so…” He was in the ecstasy of Hanumān. “Sir, I am so unfortunate that Sītā-devī has been taken by Rāvaṇa and I could not rescue her still.” In this way he was puzzled. So he did not cook anything. Then Caitanya Mahāprabhu pacified him. Then he cooked. He could understand that “I invited…” It was done. Then, when he was returning, I forget the name of the Purāṇa… Kūrma Purāṇa. He got evidences that Sītā-devī, when she was supposed to be kidnapped by Rāvaṇa, her a false form was kidnapped, and when Sītā-devī was tested, putting her into the fire, she entered into the fire and the māyā Sītā was burned and the original Sītā came out. So it was not possible for Rāvaṇa to touch even the lotus feet of mother Sītā. But apparently it is externally manifested that Sītā was taken away just to teach us that even Sītā-devī…

Sītā-devī is the origin of all potencies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Cit-śakti. Parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate [Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport]. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has got many potencies, multipotencies, and one of the potency is hlādinī-śakti, pleasure potency. That pleasure potency is Sītā, Rādhārāṇī, Lakṣmī-devī. This has been described by Svarūpa-dāmodara Gosvāmī, rādhā kṛṣṇa-praṇaya-vikṛtir hlādinī-śaktir asmād ekātmānāv api bhuvi purā deha-bhedaṁ gatau tau [Cc. Ādi 1.5]. These are described, that the Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure potency, Rādhārāṇī, is Kṛṣṇa. But to take pleasure They became two. Ekātmānāv api bhuvi purā deha-bhedaṁ gatau tau. They became divided into two, Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Again, Śrī Caitanya, prakaṭam. When Kṛṣṇa came as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa combined together. Therefore the devotees of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa or Caitanya Mahāprabhu, they worship śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya rādhā-kṛṣṇa nahe anya. They say. This is a fact. So Lord Rāmacandra is also Kṛṣṇa. Sītā-devī is also expansion of Rādhārāṇī. They are the same tattva.

rāmādi-mūrtiṣu kalā-niyamena tiṣṭhan
nānāvatāram akarod bhuvaneṣu kintu
kṛṣṇaḥ svayaṁ samabhavat paramaḥ pumān yo
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[Bs. 5.39]

So here the example that even Sītā-devī, the direct potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, she is showing that without being protected, she can be ravished, she can be kidnapped, she can be misused by the rākṣasas. This is the example. Sītā-devī was quite competent, but this is the example.

Another example is that because Lord Rāmacandra took Sītā in the forest… From moral principle, He should not have taken Sītā. Pathe nārī vivaryaya(?). The moral principle is that when you are going out of home, you should not take your wife with you, pathe nārī vivaryaya, because there may be so many dangers. That actually happened, Sītā-devī, because Lord Rāmacandra was ordered to go to the forest. Not Sītā-devī, neither anyone, neither Lakṣmaṇa. They, out of their own affection for Lord Rāmacandra, they decided to go with Him. But because Sītā-devī went with Rāmacandra, so many catastrophes happened. She was kidnapped, and there was fight, and the whole dynasty of Rāvaṇa was killed, and so many things happened. So this instruction that pathe nārī vivaryaya. And another lesson is, even Lord Rāmacandra, He was attached. Naturally one is attached to his wife. So if we become attached to a woman, then we have to face so many dangers. This is another instruction. Even Lord Rāmacandra is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and still He had to accept so many troubles. They were loitering in the forest, feeling the separation of Sītā-devī. So many things happened.

So vāma-svabhāvā. They are, women are very simple, soft-hearted. The whole idea is they should be given protection. No freedom. That is injunction of the Manu-saṁhitā. Na strī svātantryam arhati. Women should not be given freedom. They must be protected. Not that if… Sometimes we receive the complaint in foreign countries, they say that “You keep your women like slaves.” I replied, “We do not keep our women as slaves. They’re very respectful at home. The sons offer their highest respect to the mother. The husband gives the topmost protection to the wife.” This is the example. Just like Lord Rāmacandra. Lord Rāmacandra is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but Rāvaṇa took Sītā from His protection. Rāmacandra could marry many millions of Sītās, or He could create many millions of Sītā, but He’s showing the example that it is the husband’s duty to give protection to the wife at any cost. And He did it. For one woman He killed the whole Rāvaṇa’s dynasty. This is husband’s duty. So protection, not slave. It is protection. The husband should give to the wife the topmost protection, and the wife should be so faithful to the husband that… Sītā-devī, she was king’s daughter, Videha-rāja. She was the daughter… She was not a poor man’s daughter. And Daśaratha Mahārāja did not ask her to go to the forest with her husband. She could easily say, “My dear husband, You are going to the forest. I am king’s daughter. I cannot take so much trouble. Better You go. Let me go to my father’s house.” No. “I shall take all the troubles with my husband.” This is faithfulness.

Similarly, Draupadī. Draupadī also went with the Pāṇḍavas in the forest when they were banished, and Kuntī-devī also went with her sons in the forest. This is the system. Kuntī-devī had nothing to do with the gambling of Pāṇḍavas and Duryodhana, but because the sons were to go to the forest, the mother also followed and the wife also followed. This is Vedic system. Vedic system… Caitanya Mahāprabhu also had very nice beautiful wife at home and very affectionate mother. Both personalities are very good asset in family. Cāṇakya Paṇḍita said that if one hasn’t got mother at home and the wife is not very agreeable, or not very peaceful… He said,

mātā yasya gṛhe nāsti
bhāryā cāpriya-vādinī
araṇyaṁ tena gantavyaṁ
yathāraṇyaṁ tathā gṛham

He advises, if one has no mother at home and wife is apriya-vādinī, she talks very roughly, not very nicely, then that person immediately leave that home and go to the forest. Yathāraṇyaṁ tathā gṛham. For him, either at home or in the forest, the same thing. Yathāraṇyaṁ tathā gṛham. This is Vedic culture. Woman should be trained up from the very beginning how to become good wife and good mother. That is the duty. Vāma-svabhāvā. So here is example, Kuntīdevī is one example. Draupadī one example. We have got many examples how to train woman. They are very soft-hearted. They can be molded in any way. And Bhīṣmadeva has advised… When Bhīṣmadeva was in the bed of arrows, śara-śayyā, so the Pāṇḍavas, the Kurus, they took many advices about politics, sociology. Many things—religion, king’s duty, so many instruction was taken. In that instruction he also confirmed the Vedic injunction that woman should be always protected very carefully. There is one quality of shyness. If you break that shyness of woman, it will be very dangerous. It will be very dangerous. That is the one verb,(?) (word) to check.

So modern civilization is not strictly following the Vedic injunction. Therefore, especially I have seen in the Western countries, there is no home practically. There is no homely happiness, because women are allowed to mix freely and there is no protection. They are not married, there is no husband. The father also does not take care. As soon as the girl becomes fifteen, sixteen years, she goes away. Therefore I have practically seen there is no home, there is no peace in the Western countries. These are very important things, that soft-hearted woman, vāma-svabhāvā, they should be given protection. They should be trained up how to become faithful wife, affectionate mother. Then the home will be very happy, and without happiness we cannot make any spiritual progress. We must be peaceful. This is the preliminary condition. Therefore, as far as possible, the Vedic injunction is there should be division in the society, varṇāśrama. Varṇāśramācāravatā. Because the whole aim is to reach the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu. Viṣṇur ārādhyate panthā nānyat tat-toṣa-kāraṇam. Varṇāśramācāravatā puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān viṣṇur ārādhyate. Our only aim should be how to approach Viṣṇu.

ārādhanānāṁ sarveṣāṁ
viṣṇor ārādhanaṁ param
tasmāt parataraṁ devi
tadīyānāṁ samarcanam
[Cc. Madhya 8.58]

This is the instruction of Lord Śiva to Pārvatī. Pārvatī’s question was, “Which ārādhanam is the best?” So he replied, ārādhanānāṁ sarveṣāṁ viṣṇor ārādhanaṁ param. He said… [break] …but the knowledge is there. They have not lost the knowledge, but we have neglected. If we take advantage of this knowledge, then the whole world will become happy.

That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mission. What is the mission of Caitanya Mahāprabhu? His mission is… He said,

bhārata-bhūmite haila manuṣya-janma yāra
janma sārthaka kari’ kara para-upakāra
[Cc. Ādi 9.41]

Anyone who has taken birth on the land of Bhāratavarṣa… It is puṇya-bhūmi. And not only puṇya-bhūmi, not only Lord Rāmacandra has appeared here, not only Kṛṣṇa has appeared here, not only Lord Buddha has appeared, not only Caitanya Mahāprabhu has appeared… Because it is puṇya-bhūmi. Whenever the Lord appears, He comes on this land. Bhārata-bhūmite manuṣya. Therefore the human being, not the cats and dogs, must take advantage of this birth on Bhāratavarṣa and take advantage of the śāstras and make his life successful. Janma sārthaka kari’ kara para-upakāra. Indians are not made for exploiting others. Upakāra: how people will be advanced in spiritual consciousness, how they will understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead Viṣṇu. Because they do not know what is the aim of life. Parābhavas tāvad abodha-jāto yāvan na jijñāsata ātma-tattvam. We are born all fools and rascals, abodha-jāta, without any sense. So we require education. What is that education? Ātma-tattvam. Apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām [SB 2.1.2]. So we require education. What is that education? Ātma-tattvam. Apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām. If we do not culture, cultivate ātma-tattvam, then whatever we are doing, we are being defeated. That’s all. We are being defeated. Ātma-tattvam.

That ātma-tattvam is the first instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā.

dehino ‘smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
tathā dehāntara-prāptir
dhīras tatra na muhyati
[Bg. 2.13]

This is ātmā, beginning. Asmin dehe. Within this body there is the soul. Dehino ‘smin yathā dehe. Not the body is important. Body’s nothing; it is dead matter. When Kṛṣṇa began His instruction and Arjuna was lamenting on the basis of this body… “If we kill our brothers their wives will be widowed and they’ll be bhraṣṭācāra(?), the varṇa-saṅkara will be there.” Everything he was calculating on the basis of this body. All politics, sociology, they are going on the basis of this body. But Kṛṣṇa, as soon as He was accepted by Arjuna as guru… Śiṣyas te ‘haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam: [Bg. 2.7] “Now, Kṛṣṇa, I accept You as my guru. Not as friend.” Because friendly talking is useless waste of time. He accepted Him as guru. When guru speaks, you cannot argue. That is not the process. You should accept a guru who is infallible. Otherwise it is useless. He accepted guru Kṛṣṇa because Kṛṣṇa is infallible. If we accept guru, a bogus guru, then it is no benefit. Guru means Kṛṣṇa’s representative. Not that everyone can be guru.

It is said in the śāstra that ṣaṭ-karma-nipuṇo vipraḥ. Just like here it is accepted, brāhmaṇo nitarāṁ guruḥ. So generally brāhmaṇa is accepted as guru by other orders of society. So, but śāstra says that brāhmaṇa is guru, that’s all right, but ṣaṭ-karma-nipuṇo vipraḥ. One brāhmaṇa is very nipuṇa in his karma-kāṇḍīya knowledge, ṣaṭ-karma. Paṭhana-pāṭhana-yajana-yājana-dāna-pratigraha. This ṣaṭ-karma, nipuṇa, very expert. Mantra-tantra-viśāradaḥ. And he’s very expert in chanting the Vedic hymns and execution of tantra and so many things. Avaiṣṇavo gurur na syāt. If he’s avaiṣṇava, if he’s not attached with Viṣṇu, if he does not carry the order of Kṛṣṇa, gurur na sa syāt. Sad-vaiṣṇavaḥ śva-paco guruḥ. But if a person is Vaiṣṇava, even if he’s born in the family of a śva-paca… Śva-paca means dog-eater, caṇḍāla. If he’s a Vaiṣṇava he can become guru. And if one is a brāhmaṇa, if he’s not a Vaiṣṇava… Naturally, brāhmaṇa means Vaiṣṇava. Brāhmaṇa means paṇḍita. Still, in India a brāhmaṇa is addressed as “Paṇḍitajī.” Because a brāhmaṇa and mūrkha, rascal, this is contradictory. It cannot be. Unless one is highly learned, unless one has learned what is Brahman, he cannot become brāhmaṇa. Brahma jānātīti brāhmaṇaḥ. So not only one should be brāhmaṇa, but he should become a Vaiṣṇava. Still higher. From brāhmaṇa platform he has to come to the Vaiṣṇava platform.

brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
[Bg. 18.54]

One has to become brahma-bhūta [SB 4.30.20]. That is brāhmaṇa. The sign is na śocati na kāṅkṣati. He does not care for anything material. He’s always satisfied. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi. That is brāhmaṇa. But, in spite of this quality, if he does not enter into the bhakti, then he’s not a Vaiṣṇava. He may be a brāhmaṇa… This is clearly defined in the Bhagavad-gītā. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati [Bg. 18.54]. He’s pacified. Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu. He’s equal to everyone. Then he’s qualified to become a devotee, Vaiṣṇava. So unless he comes to that stage he cannot become guru. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2].

So here, the Pāṇḍava family, they are very enlightened family, and still, vāma-svabhāvā, the woman is soft-hearted. He did not… She did not consider about Aśvatthāmā’s position. But so far Kṛṣṇa is concerned, Arjuna is concerned, they considered that he is not a brāhmaṇa, but he is a brahma-bandhu. Brahma-bandhu means son of a brāhmaṇa, but behavior is something else. He’s called brahma-bandhu.

Thank you very much. (end)

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