Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)
pitrā cānumato rājā
cakāra rājyaṁ dharmeṇa
“After this, the great religious king, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, executed the royal power in the kingdom strictly according to the codes and royal principles approved by his uncle and confirmed by Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa.”
Prabhupāda: This is very important verse: the king’s duty and how a king is recognized. The first recognition was made by Dhṛtarāṣṭra, his uncle. Why? Because there was fight between two section of cousin-brothers, the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas. So the Kauravas were all killed. The Pāṇḍavas also, except the five brothers, their sons were all killed. So it is not that by force… There was force, but it was dharma-yuddha. Kṣatriyas, they would claim by strength, by fight, not by high-court judgment. By strength, by bodily strength.
So the Pāṇḍavas proved their bodily strength, and Dhṛtarāṣṭra was under the impression that because actually the kingdom belonged to him, but on account of his becoming blind, he could not inherit on the throne. Defective in the body. A king should be all complete. So not a blind man can be king. That is not possible. So after the death of his younger brother Pāṇḍu, he thought, actually the kingdom belonged to him. Now, after the death of his brother, his sons should inherit. That was the political conspiracy of the battle of Kurukṣetra. Now everything finished, decided by the battle. Dhṛtarāṣṭra accepted, “Yes, my dear nephews, you can become king now. We have tried our strength, and you have come out victorious. Therefore I also confirm that you become king.” It is said, pitrā cānumataḥ. Not that against the will of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira accepted the throne. No. He took permission: “My dear uncle, now you decide whether we shall become king or you shall remain king.” So he said, “No, you become king. Now your right is confirmed.”
Then again, it was confirmed by Kṛṣṇa, Vāsudeva. Because a king is representative of God. King is not ordinary person. Just like spiritual master is representative of God, similarly, king is also representative of God. The father is also representative of God. These are the statements of the śāstras. Because they will guide. The king will guide. The spiritual master will guide. The father will guide. What is that guidance? That guidance is how one can become Kṛṣṇa conscious by education, by culture. This is guidance, not that to guide them how to become hippies. This is not guidance. This is misguidance. Guidance means… The whole system of human civilization is guide the people to become God conscious. This is the Vedic civilization, not to make them dog conscious, cat conscious, animal conscious. No. (aside:) Sleeping. You are feeling sleepy? Why not sleep? But don’t make like that.
So people… Animals, they do not know that the goal of life is to understand God, Viṣṇu. Animals cannot know, cannot… Even they are instructed, they cannot know it. That is not possible. But the human beings, however fallen he may be, if he is properly guided, if he is properly instructed, he can become God conscious. This is the special privilege of the human life. Animal cannot do. You can train one animal how to dance. That also you can do. So many things. Just like in circus, the animals are trained up to do so many things. But an animal cannot be trained to be God conscious. Sometimes also, by proper guidance, the animal also becomes, but that is very rare case. So it is the king’s duty to see that his citizens are becoming God conscious. That is king’s duty. First of all father’s duty, spiritual master’s duty, ultimately, king’s duty. King’s, king’s duty.
Therefore it is said, dharmeṇa, cakāra rājyaṁ dharmeṇa. Dharmeṇa means “by religious principles.” What is that religious principle? Religious principle means to guide everyone to become God conscious. This is religious principle. Dharmeṇa. Therefore varṇāśrama-dharma. In the Vedic culture the varṇas and āśrama, they are accepted as dharma. Dharma means duty which you must execute. That is called dharma. Compulsory. If you don’t do it, then you will suffer. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19]. And wherefrom this dharma comes? It comes from Bhagavān, God. He gives these dharmas. And the king, the spiritual master, being representative of God, it is their duty how to guide people to develop that God consciousness. This is called human civilization, dharmeṇa. So it is the king’s duty to observe his dharma, kṣatriya. Kṣatriya’s duty is to give protection to the citizens, security of life and property, and guide them gradually to develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is kṣatriya’s duty. Brāhmaṇa’s duty is to guide the kṣatriyas, whether he is actually executing his duty according to śāstra. That is brāhmaṇa’s duty. Brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. Similarly, vaiśya’s duty is to see economic development of the state, and the śūdra’s duty—because śūdra means fourth-class men; they have no intelligence—therefore their duty is to serve the three higher classes, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya. This is the system. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ [Bg. 4.13]. According to quality and work—brāhmaṇa’s quality and brāhmaṇa’s work; kṣatriya’s quality and kṣatriya’s work; vaiśya’s quality and vaiśya’s work.
Quality means education, culture. Just like a medical practitioner. When he passes his examination in the medical college, that is his quality. Or a lawyer. When he passes his examination in the university, that is his quality. But simply by passing the examination, if he sits down at home, then he cannot be called a medical practitioner. He must work as a medical man. Not only… (aside:) You sit down properly, not like that. Not simply acquiring the quality, but he must work as a brāhmaṇa. Then he will be accepted as a brāhmaṇa. Now everything is thrown away. If somebody happens to take birth in a brāhmaṇa family, he becomes a brāhmaṇa. All others, śūdra. And he may do all nonsense, and still he is brāhmaṇa. That is not… It is the duty of the state to see whether you are qualified as a brāhmaṇa. “You are claiming as brāhmaṇa. Whether you are actually qualified as a brāhmaṇa? Whether you are working as a brāhmaṇa?” It is the state’s duty to see. It is the king’s duty. He may not misguide others.
Just like nowadays a so-called brāhmaṇa is working as a cobbler, and he is claiming to become brāhmaṇa. Not like that. It is the… Just like a medical man. A medical man, if he wants to practice, then he must get certificate from the medical board, registration. The medical board will see whether he is qualified as a medical man, whether he has passed medical examination. Then he will be allowed to practice as a medical man. So whenever a medical practitioner gives you a prescription along with his name, he gives his title, M.D., B.S. and registered number. That means he is approved. Then he can practice. This is common sense affairs in the every state, a lawyer is given certificate by the government. Then he is allowed. Similarly, it is the duty of the state or of the monarch to see that one who is claiming as a brāhmaṇa, whether he is qualified, whether he is acting as a brāhmaṇa. Similarly, a man claiming kṣatriya, whether he is qualified as a kṣatriya and he is acting as a kṣatriya. Similarly, the vaiśya. And śūdra is general. Śūdra means one who has no education, no culture. That is called śūdra. So that is the remnants. First of all, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśyas, and others, those who have no sufficient brain, they are counted as śūdra. Still, śūdras have also prescribed duties. If there are others, those who are less than śūdras, or even the śūdra qualities are wanting, they are doing anything and everything without any control, they are called mleccha-yavana. Mleccha-yavana. This is the pañcama, fifth-grade. First grade, brāhmaṇa; second grade, kṣatriya; third grade, vaiśyas; fourth grade, śūdras; and all others, rejected, fifth grade, they are called caṇḍālas, caṇḍāla.
But this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is so nice that even caṇḍālas can be also raised to the platform of brāhmaṇa. Caṇḍālo ‘pi dvija-śreṣṭho hari-bhakti-parāyaṇaḥ. Even if a caṇḍāla is trained up as a devotee, he can be better than a qualified brāhmaṇa. These are the shastric injunctions. Kirāta-hūṇāndhra-pulinda-pulkaśā ābhīra-śumbhā yavanāḥ khasādayaḥ [SB 2.4.18]. The yavanas’ names are there also. Yavana-mleccha means generally they are meat-eaters, especially cow meat, cow flesh eaters. They are called yavana-mlecchas. So the higher caste, they cannot become meat-eaters. Meat-eating is there. That is for the lower class, not for the higher class. If anyone gives up meat-eating or the bad habits of lower class, illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication, gambling, and if he’s trained how to become a qualified brāhmaṇa, then he can be accepted. That is sanctioned in the Bhagavad-gītā. These rascals, they say that these mlecchas and yavanas cannot become brāhmaṇa. Because we are making brāhmaṇas from the mlecchas’ and yavanas’ section, they are protesting. Some of them are protesting that “Swami Bhaktivedanta is ruining Hindu religion.” The rascals, they do not know that I am acting strictly according to śāstra. The śāstras says… Kṛṣṇa says Himself, māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye ‘pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ: [Bg. 9.32] “Anyone born in low-grade family.’ Pāpa-yoni, māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya, “if he takes to Me according to regulative principles,” vyapāśritya, “according to the principle,” te ‘pi yānti parāṁ gatim, “he is immediately becomes eligible to be promoted,” parāṁ gatim, “the highest perfection of life.” One thing is pāpa-yoni. So there is no restriction that pāpa-yoni shall remain always pāpa-yoni. Why? They should be given enlightenment. That is brāhmaṇa-ism. Brāhmaṇa means liberal, and just the opposite word of brāhmaṇa is kṛpaṇa, miser. A brāhmaṇa should give chance to everyone, even to the pāpa-yoni, how to become brāhmaṇa. That is real brāhmaṇa. And the rascal who thinks that “I shall remain simply brāhmaṇa; others shall remain mlecchas and yavanas,” he is not brāhmaṇa; he is śūdra, because his mind is so crippled. He does not want to see others to become brāhmaṇa. He is miser, kṛpaṇa. Kṛpaṇaḥ phala-hetavaḥ.
So our this movement is not for the kṛpaṇas. It is meant for the brāhmaṇas. We want to become ourself brāhmaṇa, and we want to make others also brāhmaṇa. Because there is need of brāhmaṇa at the present moment. The whole human society is now running by the śūdras, all śūdras. Kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ. In this Kali-yuga, everyone is a śūdra. Maybe born of a brāhmaṇa family, but because he has no culture… The first culture is garbhādhāna-saṁskāra. If garbhādhāna-saṁskāra is not observed even in a brāhmaṇa family, he becomes immediately śūdra. This is the statement of the śāstra. So nobody is observing garbhādhāna-saṁskāra. Therefore, according to śāstra, everyone is a śūdra. Now because everyone is śūdra, therefore he cannot be trained up as brāhmaṇa? No. He can be trained up. Caṇḍālo ‘pi dvija-śreṣṭho hari-bhakti-parāyaṇaḥ. If that śūdra or caṇḍāla can be turned into a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, hari-bhakti-parāyaṇaḥ, then under training he can become better than brāhmaṇa.
So these are the principles of the state, to see. Therefore it is called cakāra rājyaṁ dharmeṇa. Dharmeṇa, to establish dharma. Cakāra rājyaṁ dharmeṇa. How? Pitṛ-paitāmaham. The king, Yudhiṣṭhira, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, his father Pāṇḍu, his father, his father… This is the descendance. When Mahārāja Parīkṣit was born and the name-giving ceremony was going on, and all the learned brāhmaṇas, they predicted that this boy would be such, such-and-such powerful like such-and-such king, such-and-such munificent like such-and-such great… That description is there in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira inquired whether this boy will be loving his prajā like his forefathers. That is the first inquiry. Therefore to follow the tradition of the pitṛ-paitāmaham, forefathers… The kings… Formerly all the kings, they were following the footsteps of their forefathers. Just like Mahārāja Parīkṣit, grandson of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, when he saw that one black man was trying to kill one cow, he immediately took his sword, and he said, “Do you think that because there is no Arjuna, no Yudhiṣṭhira, you shall do anything you like?” Forefathers, remembering forefathers. “Still I am there. I am his representative. You cannot do it.” So forefathers.
So the monarchy, as soon as it becomes a personal property… The kings thought that “This kingdom is mine. I can do whatever I like, and still, the kingdom is mine.” Then the monarchy was failure. Then from the whole world, the monarchy is now wiped out. But the so-called democracy is no good. Because democracy means by votes. So the votes are given by the rascal śūdras. So what is the meaning of electing somebody if the vote givers are also rascal and fool, and the vote-taker is a big food, big rascal, that’s all? He manages something, somehow or other to take the votes. Therefore, you see, dacoit is going on. The government is there, and at night you are not secure. You have to take care of yourself, whether dacoits are coming or not. And they are coming. So what is the meaning of this government? If the dacoits are there, rogues are there, thieves are there, miscreants are there, so what is the meaning of government? No. At the present moment the government means that the same rogues and rascals come to become minister and take fat salary and sleep, and you take care of yourself. That is going on.
So it is not that kind of kingdom. Here it is said, cakāra rājyaṁ dharmeṇa. Cakāra rājyaṁ dharmeṇa pitṛ-paitāmahaṁ vibhuḥ. He was so great, powerful. According to the tradition of the pitṛ-paitāmaham, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, recognized by his uncle, recognized by Kṛṣṇa, took up the reigns of the government, and dharmeṇa, according to the…, strictly to the shastric principle, he ruled over. This is king. So in the Bhāgavata you will find everything, politics, sociology, religion, culture, philosophy, science, everything you will find. It is not that simply dogmatic, something saying, some miracles. No, it is not like that. It is a great science, scientific. Therefore in the beginning it is said, nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalam idam [SB 1.1.3]. Nigama. Nigama means the Vedic literature. Nigama. So the essence, the quintessence of Vedic literature, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam… Veda means knowledge, I have several times explained. So Veda contains all kinds of knowledge. Āyur-veda, the knowledge about medical science. Dhanur-veda, the military science. Āyur-veda, Dhanur-veda, Yajur-veda. Veda means knowledge.
So it is kalpa-taru, nigama-kalpa-taru; the Vedic knowledge is just like kalpa-taru. Kalpa-taru means desire tree. Anything you want from that tree… Just like here in this material world we can get mangoes from the mango tree, pineapple from the pineapple tree. If we ask the pineapple tree, “Give me mango,” that is not possible. But in the spiritual world there are trees. That is described in the Brahma-saṁhitā. Cintāmaṇi-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vṛkṣa-lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhīr abhipālayantam [Bs. 5.29]. That is kalpa-vṛkṣa. You can get from any tree whatever you like. That is spiritual. So nigama-kalpa-taru. The kalpa-taru, the Vedas. The very word, referred, kalpa-taru, means it is not material. It is coming from the spiritual world, Veda. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo vedānta-kṛd vedānta-vid ca aham.
So Veda is coming from the spiritual world. Therefore you cannot find any history of the beginning of Vedas, because it is beyond the story of creation. Therefore Vedic knowledge is perfect. Any knowledge within this material world, that is defective, with four kinds of defects: mistake, illusion, imperfectness and cheating. But Vedic knowledge is not like that. Vedic knowledge is perfect. Therefore, amongst the learned society, if you give evidence from the Vedas, it is accepted. Immediately accepted. Just like in the law court, if you give reference from the lawbooks section, it is accepted. Similarly, Vedic knowledge is so perfect that if you refer to some verse in the Vedas, in the Upaniṣads… Just like raso vai saḥ. “Saḥ, that Kṛṣṇa, is reservoir of all pleasure.” Raso vai saḥ. So yato vā imāni bhūtāni jāyante. These things are… There are so many statements.
So dharmeṇa rājyaṁ cakāra. Not whimsically, not by the high-court decision, no. No. There was no need of high-court decision if it is confirmed by the superiors. Just like Mahārāja Dhṛtarāṣṭra confirmed, “Yes, my dear boy, you can become king.” Kṛṣṇa confirmed, “You can become king.” So he became king. Fighting was also there. The fighting also, they came out victorious. But still, it was confirmed by Yudhiṣṭhira and Kṛṣṇa. Then he took over the charge of the government and he ruled the citizens, dharmeṇa, as it was done by his predecessor forefathers.
Thank you very much. (end)