Verse: Srimad Bhagvatam 1.1.3
Transcription: Alaka Radha Dasi
Editing: Hemavati Radhika Devi Dasi
Actually, Bhägavatam is a presentation through stories. The most profound philosophy has been presented through stories and these stories are not really "stories". They are histories. They are factual happenings. What is the difference between history and story? Story can be fictitious but history is factual.
The activities of some exalted personalities, mainly the kings compiled the history of this world. And also another consideration was that the Vedas are flowing in two different streams. The knowledge of the Vedas is flowing in two streams. One stream is the Upanishad stream and the other stream is the Puräëa stream. Upanishad is mostly philosophical whereas Puräëas are stories, as I said history. Again the Vedas also have a history, the Vedic history. But then there is also the Puräëa. The history is called Itihäsa (and Puräëas).
The difference between the Itihäsa and the Puräëas is that Itihäsa is history, it is chronological whereas Puräëa is not chronological. Wherever certain anecdotes, certain happenings are relevant to certain topics then it has been presented. You will notice in Çrémad-Bhägavatam, when you read, it goes into a zigzag fashion. Like Bhägavatam starts, and Naimiñäraëya and Süta Gosvämé (come in) and he is asked to give them the proper understanding of how to overcome the influence of the age of Kali. And then Parikshit Maharaja’s incidents come in with Çukadeva Gosvämé.
And then it goes to Bhishmadeva instructing Yudhiñöhira Maharaja. Then Krishna leaving the planet, then Vidura meeting Maitreya Rishi. Then Vidura is questioning, Maitreya Åñi is answering. And then it goes on to the creation, Brahma’s appearance, Brahma’s son. And then briefly there is description of Hiraëyakaçipu and Hiraëyäkña, their birth and then it goes onto Manu and Shatarupa.
Hiraëyakaçipu and Hiraëyäkña’s anecdote was much before but that is coming much after and it goes on to the description of Druva Maharaja. Now prior to that is Kapila Muni. So this is a kind of juxtaposition. These descriptions and anecdotes are coming in this way. So this is the general consideration of the Puräëa. The Puräëas are not chronological, whereas the Itihäsa is chronological. Like one king after another king and then it goes on. Mahabharat is Itihäsa, but there are eighteen Puräëas.
There are eighteen Puräëas and they are in three different modes. There are six Puräëas dealing with the mode of ignorance, six Puräëas dealing with the mode of passion and then six Puräëas dealing with the mode of goodness and eventually it is taking us to the mode of pure goodness. So the Puräëa that is in the mode of pure goodness, which means beyond this material nature is Çrémad-Bhägavatam. Bhagavata Puräëa is the essence of all the Puräëas and that is what is being presented here.
This verse that we have selected. What is Çrémad-Bhägavatam? Bhägavatam has been described as:
nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalaṁ
pibata bhāgavataṁ rasam ālayam
muhur aho rasikā bhuvi bhāvukāḥ
So this is the description of Çrémad-Bhägavatam. So first is the invocation. The first verse is janmādy asya yato.
Now the second verse is actually describing the qualification of entering into Çrémad-Bhägavatam topic. Bhägavatam topic is not meant for anyone and everyone. Bhägavatam topic is meant for very very exalted personalities. That qualification has been described. So that’s why today we are actually discussing verse 3. SB 1.1.3. But tomorrow we will discuss about 1.1.2. Here also I will go thematically, that according to the relevance of the topics, the verses I will select. The purpose of this is to give you all a basic understanding of Çrémad-Bhägavatam. So in a way it is going to be a Bhagavata Saptah. For one week we will discuss about Çrémad-Bhägavatam and we will try to give you all a general understanding of Çrémad-Bhägavatam. I will try to give you a total picture of what Çrémad-Bhägavatam is.
So be comfortable. One thing also, generally people think that the Vedic understanding is austere. But no, spiritual life is not austere. Spiritual life, real spiritual life is happily executed. Be happy. Because if your mind is not peaceful, if your body is not comfortable your mind will not be able to focus. But don’t be too comfortable. Then, as I told you, you will fall asleep. So don’t fall asleep. Take rest when you are tired. But at least in the classes stay awake.
And take notes because it’s a class. It is not a recreation story telling session. It’s a class. So please take notes. Taking notes will keep you focus, will make you awake. Because you will see that when you are taking notes you are automatically focused. When you are focused, when you are listening, then your chances of falling asleep are very little.
Although it is said that when Lord Ramchandra killed Kumbhakaran, who used to sleep for six months and wake up for one day, then again fall asleep. So you can see what a big shelter he was of Nidradevi, the Goddess of sleep or sleep personified. Now Ramchandra killed Kumbhakaran, so Nidradevi was very sad. She lost her place of resting. So she went and told Lord Ramchandra that now You killed Kumbhakaran, where shall I go? So Lord Ramchandra said okay, wherever there shall be discussion of Krishna katha you can go there. So if anyone is suffering from insomnia then I will suggest that just go to the Bhägavatam class and you will see how soon how quickly, without making any effort you can be cured of your insomnia.
(Jai Sri Gaura Nitai ki Jai; Jai Sri Sri Radha Madan Mohan ki Jai; Jai Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Ki Jai ;Gaura premanande Hari Hari Bol!)
(Oà namo bhagavate väsudeväya. Oà namo bhagavate väsudeväya. Oà namo bhagavate väsudeväya. Narayanam namaskritya naram cha eva narottamam Devim saraswatim vyasam tato jayam udirayet. nañöa-präyeñv abhadreñu nityaà bhägavata-sevayä bhagavaty uttama-çloke bhaktir bhavati naiñöhiké.)
Canto 1: Chapter 1, Verse 3
nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalaṁ
pibata bhāgavataṁ rasam ālayam
muhur aho rasikā bhuvi bhāvukāḥ
nigama—the Vedic literatures; kalpa-taroù—the desire tree; galitam—fully matured; phalam—fruit; çuka—Çréla Çukadeva Gosvämé, the original speaker of Çrémad-Bhägavatam; mukhät—from the lips of; amåta—nectar; drava—semisolid and soft and therefore easily swallowable; saàyutam—perfect in all respects; pibata—do relish it; bhägavatam—the book dealing in the science of the eternal relation with the Lord; rasam—juice (that which is relishable); älayam—until liberation, or even in a liberated condition; muhuù—always; aho—O; rasikäù—those who are full in the knowledge of mellows; bhuvi—on the earth; bhävukäù—expert and thoughtful.
O expert and thoughtful men, relish Çrémad-Bhägavatam, the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emanated from the lips of Çré Çukadeva Gosvämé. Therefore this fruit has become even more tasteful, although its nectarean juice was already relishable for all, including liberated souls.
In the two previous çlokas it has been definitely proved that the Çrémad-Bhägavatam is the sublime literature which surpasses all other Vedic scriptures due to its transcendental qualities. It is transcendental to all mundane activities and mundane knowledge. In this çloka it is stated that Çrémad-Bhägavatam is not only a superior literature but is the ripened fruit of all Vedic literatures. In other words, it is the cream of all Vedic knowledge. Considering all this, patient and submissive hearing is definitely essential. With great respect and attention, one should receive the message and lessons imparted by the Çrémad-Bhägavatam.
The Vedas are compared to the desire tree because they contain all things knowable by man. They deal with mundane necessities as well as spiritual realization. The Vedas contain regulated principles of knowledge covering social, political, religious, economic, military, medicinal, chemical, physical and metaphysical subject matter and all that may be necessary to keep the body and soul together. Above and beyond all this are specific directions for spiritual realization. Regulated knowledge involves a gradual raising of the living entity to the spiritual platform, and the highest spiritual realization is knowledge that the Personality of Godhead is the reservoir of all spiritual tastes, or rasas.
This has a long purport so we will stop here. So the Vedas have been compared to the desire tree, “nigama-kalpa-taror”. So the first two words are indicating that.
Two Aspects of the Vedas – Incoming & Outgoing
Nigama means the Vedic literatures. The Vedas have two aspects in that way – “agama” and “nigama” and also Çruti and smriti. The knowledge that is coming and the knowledge that is being given out. Like we receive the knowledge, we learn and then we give out. Whatever we heard is kept in our memory. So Çruti means hearing and smriti means remembering. So all knowledge is a matter of these two aspects. We receive the knowledge, and then we retain the knowledge and then we impart the knowledge. So that’s why one aspect of Veda is Agama.
Agama means to come and nigama means to go out. So the root is “gam”, “gamdhatu”. Like the Sanskrit word stems from the root. That is how scientific the Vedas are. So the Vedas are the root of all knowledge. Even the Sanskrit language is the mother of all languages. I was just thinking the word “gaman” means to move or go coming from “gamdhatu”. Now see the English word for that is go. You see the link “gaman”, coming from gam and English word has been derived as “go”. I don’t know, of course where the word come has come from but certain similarities we can see.
Like in German, breathing - the word for breathing is “atmin”, “aai atmin”, “aus atmin”, inhaling, exhaling. Now see the link between breathing, the atma, the soul. The breathing is keeping the soul in the body. So keeping the soul in the body - “aai atmin” and when the soul is trying to go out - “aus atmin”. Inhaling and exhaling. So this way we can see how Sanskrit is the mother of all languages.
Contesting Senseless Scientists – Life come from Life not Matter!
Today’s world may not want to accept it because it is dominated by the west. So they don’t want to give credit to the east. They say that west is the root of everything. Their culture is fossil culture, machine culture. Life came from fossil and today’s world is accepting it. Like in Calcutta there is a place called Science City and you know what a Science City is? All dinosaurs. Now that has become the science. And that is also based on just one movie, Jurassic Park. What is that Jurassic Park? From fossil they found the gene (or whatever), they formed it into an egg and from that egg, a dinosaur came out. So this is what they are trying to prove, life comes from matter.
But what is Prabhupada’s challenge? Life comes from life. Everyone is seeing that. It is a living father and a living mother giving birth to a living child. Has a dead father and dead mother given birth to a living child? No. But that is what is going on in the name of science. Anyway so it is an unfortunate state of affairs but what can be done?
We are stuck here, but it’s a struggle to establish the reality. Establish the fact. Like everybody is seeing that, but still they can’t accept it. Why? Because the people have been taught that way. And people, the general mass of people, are stupid. Whatever you tell them they will accept it. And this so called “scientist” is presenting all kinds of fictitious ideas going on in name of science - life comes from matter.
And Prabhupada is challenging that life comes from life. And this challenge is so valid. Show me - Prabhupada used to ask show me one instance where life has come from dead matter whereas we have all the examples, all the proofs how life comes from life? And Prabhupada said what to speak of life? Just make a grain of rice in your laboratory! Just in your laboratory, create a seed of apple and the seed will fall on the ground and an apple tree will come out. Create something like that in your laboratory. You don’t have to create a human being or a lion or a tiger or a cow, just create one seed or a grain of rice in your laboratory.
That grain of rice will fall on the ground and a tree will come out. In that plant there will be many, many rice and that rice will fall on the ground, other rice trees will come out. And in those rice plants there will be rice. And in those rice, there is a tree. Create something like that. Show me. Now just use your common sense. Will any scientist ever be able to create something like that? No. So that is the difference between dead matter and a living being.
Vedas Offer the Fulfillment of All Desires
Life comes from life and that is what Vedas are clearly pointing out. So now, the Vedas are like the desire tree. So now, what does a desire tree do? Do you know what a desire tree does? Desire tree can fulfill all your desires. Just you consider. You stand in front of a desire tree and say, “Desire tree, I want a big palace,” immediately a palace will appear. “Desire tree, I want one thousand gold coins.” All the one thousand gold coins will fall right in front of you. And not only that, “Desire tree, I want to be a king”. All of a sudden you find yourself sitting on a throne. But is it possible? Yes, because the Vedas never lie.
(Altar opens- Jai Sri Gaura Nitai ki Jai; Jai Sri Sri Radha Madan Mohan ki Jai; Jai Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Ki Jai ;Gaura premanande Hari Hari Bol!)
So the desire tree can fulfill all your desires. How does the Vedic desire tree do that? Vedic desire trees are asking you, Vedas are asking you what you want. What you want and you tell that. Vedas are giving the answer, okay, do that or this and that is called the activities pertaining to the Vedic instruction. And, they are called sacrifice and that is what the Vedic desire tree does. You want to become rich, very rich, perform these activities. You want to become a king, perform these activities. Like you know you want to become the king of entire earth planet what should one do? Perform Ashwamedha yajïa. You will become king of the earth planet. So this is how the Vedas are giving the directions. You want to enjoy by fulfilling various desires. Okay, go ahead and do it. And that comprises the karma-käëòa section of the Vedas.
Escaping the Entanglement of Material Enjoyment
But then there is the jïäna-kanda section of the Vedas. You have enjoyed so much, now you want to get out of this. You became king of the earth planet, you became the king of the heavenly planet, you had so much enjoyment, but now you say, well this is not the right place where I want to be. I want to go back to the spiritual sky.
So Vedas can give you instruction for that also. How you can go back to the spiritual sky. So therefore the Vedas are “nigama kalpataro”. Now “galitam phalam” means ripened fruit. So can you imagine, the desire tree can fulfill all your desires and the fruit of that tree? A tree that can fulfill all your desires. How wonderful will be the fruit of that tree? And not only that fruit - that fruit has been mixed with the juice or the nectar from the lips of Çukadeva Gosvämé, because he spoke that.
So the Vedas are the desire tree, the ripened fruit of the desire tree, thus is Çrémad-Bhägavatam. And that Çrémad-Bhägavatam has become even more relishable because it has been spoken by Srila Çukadeva Gosvämé.
The Qualification for Drinking the Nectar of Srimad Bhagavatam
“Çuka-mukhäd drava-saàyutam”- Now who drinks this juice or the nectar? Now can anybody relish the nectar? In order to relish the nectar you have to have the taste. So that is the qualification – “Rasika”. “Rasa” means nectar or juice or mellow and “rasika” means one who thus knows how to enjoy these rasas, like rasagulla. But in order to relish rasagulla you have to be a healthy person. If you are sick would you like to taste the rasagulla or specially if you have jaundice will you be able to taste? No it will taste bitter. So in order to relish things we have to have the ability to relish it. So that is the ones - those who have the ability, they are known as rasikas. “Rasa”, one who knows how to enjoy that rasa is “rasika”.
So who enjoys this wonderful mellow of Çrémad-Bhägavatam? The rasikas ? How? How often? Is it only forty five minutes in the morning? No. “Muhu”. “Muhu” means all the time, constantly, all the time. Those who are the thoughtful individuals in this world. So that is what we are going to discuss for next seven days. So are you all ready for that? And I must thank you all those of you who have come earlier to take part because I was told that half of the participants did not arrive as yet. That’s not a good sign. Do you go to a movie after interval? No. Do you attend your university classes in the middle of semester? No. You have to do it from the beginning. So once again tomorrow also I shall mention that. Today I am thanking you, tomorrow I will blast those who came late. Because this is serious matter. It is the most important thing in this world. It’s the most important thing that you are doing in your whole life. Why this is the most important thing because this is going to free you from the bondage of birth and death.
Freedom from the Cycle of Birth & Death
This is what is going to free you from death. This is a process by which you can conquer death. Now tell me, what is more important, what is more important? What is most important? So that is how we have to accept it. Don’t consider this to be a part time recreation. Oh seven days over here now it’s a Christmas holiday. Let me go to Ujjain and have a good time. No. Come to Ujjain to have the best time in your life. And if it is the best time then you should be here on time. And thank you all for being here on time.
Hare Krishna. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Gaura premanande Hari Hari Bol !
Questions & Comments
The question is whether Kalpataru fulfills spiritual desires also?
H.H.BCS: What is Bhägavatam doing? Yes. It does. Whatever you desire. If your desires are material it will fulfill that desire. But that desire is undesirable. What we should want is to fulfill our spiritual desire. Yes Kirtikumari.
Bhägavatam is like a desire tree and it is mentioned in the Bhägavatam that Vaishnavas are also like desire trees but they only fulfill spiritual desire?
H.H.BCS: So vaishnavas are more advanced desire trees. Bhägavatam may fulfill material desires whereas Vaishnava will say don’t ever desire anything material because that will make you suffer. “Kripasindhu”. Therefore he warns you - don’t go towards the suffering condition. Material desire means suffering. Whereas spiritual desires are nectarean.
What is more important - chanting the Holy name or reading Bhägavatam?
H.H.BCS: What is more important? You read the Bhägavatam and the Bhägavatam says chant the holy name. Okay.
Question is inaudible.
H.H.BCS: Not in that way, but its covering all these ten topics. But all the other ten limbs of MahaPuräëa. As I said, we will discuss the stories as it is coming in Çrémad-Bhägavatam and we are not going into that aspect of creation, sub creation etc. What is the basic understanding or main or most important understanding of Çrémad-Bhägavatam? The most important understanding of Çrémad-Bhägavatam is:
Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and
We are His eternal parts and parcels and
The goal of our existence is to develop our loving relationship with Him.
So these are the three most important considerations and we will try to stick to that. Through each story we shall see that how Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and Krishna is our dearmost friend. When you take shelter of Him, Krishna will go out of His way to take care of us. So the objective is to develop our surrender and devotion to Krishna.
What change will it make if scientists…[inaudible]
H.H.BCS: The real scientists are already saying that and when you listen, your whole life changes. You become surrendered to Krishna. Those who are real scientists, the devotees of Krishna are the real scientists. Right? Science means what? What are you studying now? graduation from IIT Indore. Okay. Very good. So what is science? Give me the definition of science. Very good.
In science we analyze things, quantify things. For what? To get some good result. Okay. So in a way then we can say, science is experimentally verified facts. The experimentally verified facts are science. Right. Now you do experiments and through the experiments you get the results. And that is how established is the fact. Right? That is science. And that is the difference between science and fiction. Right? Now as you have asked if the scientists accept that life comes from life. Now doesn’t it immediately prove that the so called scientists are not scientists because where is their experimentally verified facts? They are saying life comes from matter. But has it ever been experimentally verified? Tell me. No.
So those who are proposing that life comes from matter, are they scientists? Don’t hesitate, I won’t club you in that category. So now, those who are saying life comes from life - are they not the real scientists? They are experimentally establishing the fact. So that’s why my answer is that is that the real scientists have already established the fact or accepted that fact life comes from life.
And those who have accepted that fact, what happens to them? Say for example. What do you accept - life comes from life or life comes from matter? So you are a scientist. So you have accepted this science. As opposed to what concept you had before? So did your life change? Did it change? How did it change? Today you are more surrendered to Krishna. Right. So that’s what happens. That’s why those who are real scientists, they have the responsibility to establish this culture all over the world. Therefore preach. Okay. Sure? Very good. Now that you have understood this, go and give it to others. To be an IIT student means you are the cream of Indian youth. So become the real cream, the real essence of the society. Benefit the society by understanding this and distributing this. Okay. Thank you.
So you have a question? That is what also I said that science is experimentally verified facts. Now is it an honest statement that life comes from matter? Life comes from life, you are a scientist also. Okay. Jamunapriya?
In the purport it said that we should be patient and submissive while hearing. Please say a little about being patient.
H.H.BCS: You see patient in the sense like you know while being attentive, being patient to receive that knowledge properly. Right? Don’t jump into a conclusion. Rather wait for the real knowledge to come and reveal in your heart. That’s why it is so important to be patient. I will read it again. “Considering all this patient and submissive hearing is definitely essential.” Like just consider the other way round. Impatient and unsubmissive hearing, can you receive any knowledge ? Okay.
Hare Krishna! All glories to Srila Prabhupada! GauraPremanande Hari Hari Bol!