Pradyumna: “King Yudhiṣṭhira, who was much aggrieved, could not be convinced, despite instructions by great sages headed by Vyāsa and the Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself, the performer of superhuman feats, and despite all historical evidence.”


vyāsādyair īśvarehājñaiḥ
prabodhito ‘pītihāsair
nābudhyata śucārpitaḥ
[SB 1.8.46]

After the Battle of Kurukṣetra, when everything was settled, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, who is well known as Dharmarāja, very pious king, he was very much aggrieved. It is said that sixty-four crores of men were dead within eighteen days in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. So Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira is very much pious, he did not like the idea of so many persons being killed simply for the sake of enthroning him on the throne of the kingdom. He was very much aggrieved that “For me so many men have died. How much sinful I have become, although I am going to be the king.”

But he had no cause to become aggrieved. Even great learned sages like Vyāsa… Therefore it is said, vyāsādyaiḥ. Not only Vyāsa, vyāsādyair īśvara. And Kṛṣṇa was there. He’s īśvara, īśvaraḥ paramaḥ, not only ordinary īśvara but the supreme īśvara. Īśvara means controller. So there are many different types of controller, but the supreme controller is Kṛṣṇa. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1]. So he also tried to convince Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira that it was duty. For a kṣatriya, in dutiful war, dharma-yuddha… Dharma-yuddha… Therefore the battlefield of Kurukṣetra is called dharma-kṣetra. Although there was fighting, but the fighting arena was not ordinary land. It is dharma-kṣetra because the fighting was being performed under the superintendence of Kṛṣṇa, Dharma-setu, the leader of all religiosity. Under His superintendence, under His care, the fighting was going on. Therefore this fighting was not ordinary fighting. People cannot understand that how fighting can be religious principle. Yes, the fighting can be also religious principle—but not the present fighting. Present fighting, the politicians, out of their whims, they declare war, that is not religious fighting; that is abominable. That is to serve their political ends. When the politicians cannot control the mass of people being dissatisfied, they make a clique to declare some war so that all their attention may be diverted. This is politics.

But the Battle of Kurukṣetra was not that type of battle. One should be aware of the Battle of Kurukṣetra very nicely. It was dharma-yuddha. Dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre samavetā yuyutsavaḥ [Bg. 1.1]. Why they settled up that the fighting should take place in the dharma-kṣetra? They are to fight, yuyutsavaḥ. It was settled they will fight, but why they selected the dharma-kṣetra? This is Vedic system. Even up to date, in villages, not in the cities… In the cities, as soon as there is some misunderstanding between you and me, we go to the court, either criminal court or civil court, to settle up, and it takes years to settle up the business. It goes on. I have seen for generation. One generation passed another generation; the fighting is going on in the court. But if people are Kṛṣṇa conscious, it could be settled within few minutes. Still among the villagers the system is current in India: when there is some fighting, they go to a saintly person or in a temple to settle up. Just like when Sanātana Gosvāmī was there in Vṛndāvana, so in that area, whenever there was some fighting between two parties, they would come to Sanātana Gosvāmī: bābā, ap isko phars lakharji.(?) Bābā means saintly person. So they would come to Sanātana Gosvāmī, and they would ask him to become mediator, arbitrator, to settle up. And whatever verdict or judgment he will give, they will accept that “Bābā has said. That’s all right.” Therefore Śrīnivāsa Ācārya has prayed the Gosvāmīs, dhīrādhīra. Kṛṣṇotkīrtana-gāna-nartana-parau, dhīradhīra-priyau.

Dhīrādhīra-priyau. There are two kinds of men. One is dhīra—very learned, sober, everything in knowledge, wise. They are called dhīra. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says dhīras tatra na muhyati.

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

He has specifically mentioned the word dhīra. Dhīra means the sober, learned… Generally we call in English language “gentleman.” Gentleman means he must be sober, learned, and thoughtful. That is gentleman. But nowadays, gentleman is different—simply by dress. Dhīra and adhīra. So there are two classes of men, and the Gosvāmīs were very dear to both classes of men, dhīrādhīra. That is the sign of a saintly person, samatītya. Samatītya: they have no enemy. Ajāta-śatravaḥ. Even the adhīra, the saintly person considers as friend, and even a dhīra, he considers friend. Paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ [Bg. 5.18]. This is the dhīra.

So these saintly persons were also advising, Vyāsadeva, and vyāsādyaiḥ, not only Vyāsadeva. There were other big, big saintly persons. The monarchy, as it is conceived in the Vedic civilization, that is not this monarchy. Just like we have got experience in the history, a monarch means get money and spend it for wine and woman. Not that kind of monarch. Monarchy means the king… The ideal monarchy—Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, Mahārāja Parīkṣit—they were very much advanced in spiritual knowledge, in administrative knowledge, in economic development. Everything, perfectly they were educated, and they were being guided by saintly persons like vyāsādyaiḥ. Vyāsādyaiḥ. Mahārāja Rāmacandra was being guided by Vasiṣṭha. So the kings were guided by a committee of saintly persons. Big, big learned, saintly persons, brāhmaṇas, they would give advice to the king. He is already learned. There was a case, Veṇa Mahārāja, the father of Pṛthu Mahārāja. He was very much upstart. Therefore the committee of the learned brāhmaṇas and saintly persons killed him. Because he was not hearing to the committee of the saintly persons, brāhmaṇas, he was killed, and his son, Mahārāja Pṛthu, was enthroned. There were many cases. If the king was an upstart, the brāhmaṇas, they were so powerful, they did not require any weapon; simply by their words they will kill him.

So this monarchy is different. People now, they have taken to democracy. Democracy is also mentioned in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, that in the Kali-yuga there will be no more monarchy or the kingdom ruled by the kṣatriyas, but amongst the people who will be tricky, some way or other get the votes of the people, he will be seated on the throne. That is stated. Some way or other. So therefore, people are in trouble because so many rascals, they somehow or other manage to get some vote and become the president and minister and… So what they know? They do not know how to govern, how to bring peace in the country. But this monarchy, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, just see. Because for the sake of his personal interest so many have been killed, he was sorry. Just see. Not that some way or other, you divide India: “Let me become Prime Minister, that’s all.” We have got political information that in India when it was…, the proposal was for partition, Gandhi was completely against this partition. He said, “Better I will have no independence; still, I shall not allow the country to be divided.” He was stubborn on this point. But he was absent, and in the meantime our, the big Prime Minister signed it, agreed, partition because he wanted to be prime minister anyway, some way or other. “Let the country go to hell.” This is politician, going on. Not…

Yudhiṣṭhira is not like that: “Let… Somehow or other, let me become King. Let so many people were killed. Never mind.” No. He was so sorry, so sorry that he could not be solaced even by the instruction of Kṛṣṇa and saintly person like Vyāsadeva. He was so sorry. Of course, he accepted, but personally he was so very, very sorry, that “So many people have been killed for me.” But what could be done? It was Kṛṣṇa’s desire. Kṛṣṇa comes—paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām [Bg. 4.8], His two business. So He wanted to establish the kingdom of His representative. He wanted that “Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira is right representative. He should be enthroned on the kingdom of whole world.” Formerly Bhāratavarṣa meant this whole planet, not this small tract of land. Now it is called India. But the Bhāratavarṣa means the whole planet, this planet. There was one flag. Up to Mahārāja Parīkṣit there was one flag, not like at present there are hundreds and thousands of flags. You Americans, you know. In New York, when we pass through that United Nation building, we see so many flags are there. They are united, but everywhere the flag is increasing, disunited. Not like that. Actually, by monarchy, the pious king, there was unity all over the world. All over the world. And in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra it was a family fight, so all the kings of different parts of the world, they joined this side or that side. That is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā. So… But still, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira did not like that so many people would be killed for the sake of enthroning him, but Kṛṣṇa desired. Kṛṣṇa desired. Kṛṣṇa wanted it, that… Duryodhana, they were demonlike, simply making politics and diplomacy. Their only business was… Dhṛtarāṣṭra along with his sons, they were simply making diplomacy how to kill the Pāṇḍavas and catch over the kingdom. That was their policy.

So the political head, executive head, of course, he should be intelligent to understand diplomacy and politics, but his only business is to see how people in general are in happiness. That is his business. Nowadays political parties, they are simply engaged how to keep up their position. All the political parties—I have seen personally—simply they are making plan how to keep their position in the government so they may not be dethroned, other party may not come. The whole time is wasted. When they will think of “No, the people are suffering for want of food. The people are suffering for unnecessary increase of price, although things are available in the black market. How to manage this?” That is the duty of the government first. But nobody is caring. Hundreds and thousands of people are starving, unemployment, but they are getting their fat salary, and they are satisfied. Bring income tax and divide amongst themselves, that’s all.

So Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira was not that type of king. Therefore he is known as Dharmarāja Yudhiṣṭhira, most pious king. So he was now sorry, and prabodhito ‘pi, prabodhito ‘pi. He was trying to pacify Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, “Don’t be sorry. It is done for the sake of good cause for establishing dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya, so don’t be sorry,” but still, he could not be pacified. Śucārpitaḥ. Śucā means distress. He was so much distressed within his mind that he could not be satisfied.

So, next verse? Or you can speak… (end)