Understanding scriptures as they are

So, as we are discussing, then sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana, that is how subject matter is divided. That is the Vedic system, it is the best system for presentation. Because all subject matter is included in this. Then the means of presentation, the logical presentation, that is what is called pancanga-nyaya, the five limbs of logic. They cover the same points, it is just a matter of whether they emphasize simply logical presentation or whether you are having to deal with, it is more of a debate, so you are not just presenting opposing arguments. Like Prabhupada would say ‘some may say’, and then he will say, but there is no one actually there opposing. But when there is someone opposing, you are actually talking with the person who has the doubt, then the form takes on the element to deal with it, the other one who brings it up and clear it. But here you actually deal with it at the moment.

So then the five aspects are,

(1) you have your thesis, what you are saying, that this is your point. It can be a thesis, generally it is always presented in one sentence. It is very clear, exactly what you are trying to say.

(2) Then after that you give your reasons for that thesis. Like you are saying Krsna is God, now there is so many reasons that Krsna can be God. So then you say, no one is equal to Him, no one is superior to Him that is your reason. So now, generally, along with the reason, that is when the doubt arises. Because you say, the thesis… Much of the time the thesis is too concise to get too many doubts. You might have a doubt immediately, but the point is, generally in your explanation that is when the doubt comes up. ‘No, but somebody else says the demigods are equal to Krsna. They are greater, He came afterwards. Ramacandra is worshiping Lord Siva for His blessings to kill Ravana.’ The doubt may come up from there because you made your point.

(3) Then you have your antithesis. So they give their reason now. They have a doubt, ‘This is my doubt that He is not God,’ and then they say what is their thesis. So that is also, you clear that through your examples. So then using your examples your clear away whatever doubts that they may have.

(4) And then once that is done then you give an alternative viewpoint, means they have this idea and you are saying something else. So if they are looking at it slightly differently then how they are looking at it then it is all synthesized.

(5) And then having done that and giving any further explanations ,and now like solidifying, then you come to the final conclusion and the proper connection to other scriptures.

So if you are just making a pleasant presentation, you are making your point, you are giving your reason, you are giving your explanations, you are bringing all that together into one point and then giving basis on other sastras on how this connects.

If it is dealing in an argument or a debate then you are presenting your point, they will bring up their doubt, they will give their reasons, you will then give yours and show the alternative viewpoint and then you’ll conclude it back into yours.

So the modern logic, they give thesis, antithesis and synthesis. So they are combining these 5 into 3. But the one thing they don’t do is conclusion. They don’t come to a conclusion. That point is left off. And the process of synthesis, you will have them to give the points and then based on those points then you will show how their philosophy is already contained in what you have said. So the synthesis, you are giving examples and explanations as part of synthesis. It is part of the process but it is actually two different parts. And conclusion they will always avoid.

Academics basically don’t like conclusions. 2 plus 2 is 4. That is ok. I can see it with my senses. This is supposedly a rock made out of certain elements and I can verify that, that is ok. But if I want to say, ‘This is good or bad,’ – that they want to avoid like the plague.

Now it is a matter of how this logic is used. The logic is used to present or establish a point. That in the sastra, as we go through then they will come up with a particular point that they are making. So pancanga-nyaya will be used to make that point, that point is technically called an adhikarana. In a presentation there will be so many adhikaranas. Like Bhaktivinoda Thakura, you have your dasa-mula, so those are then points. But within those there will be so many adhikaranas. That you’ll have the nature of the soul, how the soul is servant of Krsna, how they can only function on that platform, so all these need to be proven. Because otherwise other people have a different idea what the soul is. So the pancanga-nyaya is used to establish that. So then he mentions here. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura explains the application of an adhikarana:

“…Though the various Upanisadic mantras have apparently conflicting features, they are reconciled by the aphorisms of Sri Vyasa in his Uttara-mimamsa philosophy under different systematic logical categories known as Nyayas or Adhikaranas. Each theme of an Adhikarana has been fully dealt with by Pancanga or five-fold positions of the logical system to meet all opposing controversies….”

Shri Caitanya’s Teachings, page 174, published by Shree Gaudiya Math, March 1967).

In other words, you are presenting a point, that is a logic. And so that logic has five aspects of presentation. We are going through this because we start to note when we get into the purports that Prabhupada presents everything exactly in this way. He’ll nicely use these five, you can just pick that out in the purport.

Here then Prabhupada mentions in Caitanya-caritamrta about this pancanga-nyaya:

Every theme must necessarily be explained with reference to pratijna, or a solemn declaration of the purpose of the treatise. The solemn declaration given in the beginning of the Vedanta-sutra is athato brahma jijnasa, which indicates that this book was written with the solemn declaration to inquire about the Absolute Truth. Similarly, reasons must be expressed (hetu), examples must be given in terms of various facts (udaharana), the theme must gradually be brought nearer for understanding (upanaya), and finally it must be supported by authoritative quotations from the Vedic sastras (nigamana).

(CC Adi 7.106 Purport)

He is using the…this is Gautama’s use of it. So what we mentioned, the thesis, the reasons, the examples, the further explanations and the supporting quotations from scriptures. So that is the general because you are writing a book, you are writing the purports, that’s how you are going to present it. Or we are in the class here it will be like that. Somebody may have a question, but it is not a major argument. Major argument then it is the person’s argument becomes a prominent part of this. Otherwise it is not. You are presenting and just clearing the doubts as you go.

So Vedanta-sutra then works in that way because Vyasadeva is just writing, from the essence of the Upanisads he is giving those points, all the adhikaranas and presenting them according to this pancanga-nyaya.

Then this giving of this fifth item, nigamana, this fifth item is also called sangati. So this sangati is also then of various kinds. One is like what Prabhupada mentioned – that is the sastra-sangati. That it’s consistent in the sastra. So the brahma-sutras are on athato brahma-jijnasa, so every sutra in the brahma-sutras must have that as the topic, as the theme and they are just presenting various aspects of that. So that is sastra.

Then it must be that within it a section within it, you’ll have a major chapter, or a major section like a Canto like in the Bhagavatam, then that Canto has a main theme. Like Prabhupada says, ‘The Summum Bonum,’ ‘Status Quo,’ different things he will give, that is the theme of that Canto. Then everything in that Canto must be in line with the purpose of that Canto and the work. Then you have the particular subsections of the chapter. That chapter has a particular point it is making, so everything in that must be consistent there, and that chapter is consistent with the bigger section, and that is consistent with the work.

From the Vedic sastras also, even beyond that, what Prabhupada is mentioning here is you connect one sastra to another. Like in Bhagavatam Prabhupada is always quoting Bhagavad-gita and Caitanya-caritamrta. In Gita he is always quoting Bhagavatam and Caitanya-caritamrta. In Caitanya-caritamrta he is quoting Gita and Bhagavatam. So when you are dealing with one sastra you show its connection, this same point is being made in another sastra, it is being supported there. So then that is also a broader range of sastra-sangati that it means not only the one sastra that you are dealing with but all other sastras.

Because all sastras are actually dealing on one basic subject matter and that is Krsna. That is actually the overall theme of the Vedas, is service to Krsna. Then each sastra will have its specific approach how it is bringing that out and showing that how Krsna’s position is being brought out. Then within that sastra it will have various subdivisions which are all consistent with all this.

So that’s how we can so strongly speak from one sastra to another because it is all consistent. All the sastras are saying that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We are the soul, our business is to serve Him, pure love of God is the ultimate goal. So this sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana, this is all sastras are saying. Then the specific sastra we are dealing with says the same thing from its own particular perspective. Then within that all the subsections of that sastra are saying the same thing. So we have no problem, we are confident, we know what the sastras say. So we don’t have to worry, ‘I don’t know this, I don’t know…’ They are saying the same thing anyway.

So if somebody brings up a verse from another sastra then you simply have to bring it in line with the philosophy that is given in the Bhagavatam and explain it in that way. That is the mimamsa, as we were discussing, or the hermeneutics, the law of interpretation is that we have our method of understanding the verses as given to us by Srila Vyasadeva and the acaryas. So whatever verse there is in the sastra we can interpret it that way and be confident that it is correct. Because the method we are using is given by Krsna Himself, Lord Caitanya Himself, the acaryas themselves. So we know this is the ultimate conclusion. So many other conclusions are there but this is the ultimate conclusion: the perspective of those who know Krsna in Vraja. That then gives this overall that any other form doesn’t give. These other forms are only partial.

Devotee (1): So basically all our philosophy is logically presented by that system?

HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes, all our philosophy, all the acaryas use it, Vedanta-sutra uses it, they all use it. It is just a matter of being able to understand. Now in this, this will be the reason why sometimes we don’t understand its logical presentation.

Now the sangati, now you are getting between adhikaranas. Now we have talked about the sastra, other sastras, their connection, then the overall, the major sections and the subsections. Then within those subsections they have adhikaranas, the major points that are being made. What connects one adhikarana to the next, that sangati takes 6 forms. This is where we generally get thrown off because the other is pretty straight-forward. There are six sorts.

(1) One is aksepa or objection. Somebody may object, so that comes up in the discussion. That’s like, ‘Somebody says this, so…’ Like Prabhupada says, ‘One may say,’ or ‘Some say…’

(2) The other drstanta or illustration. You start to give an illustration about that. So this illustration can be as big as the whole story of Puranjana. Means Narada Muni is making the point that your karma-kanda methods are not going to make you happy, you have to worship the Supreme Lord, and Pracinabarhishat, he has never heard this before. He has only been in the association of karma-kandi brahmanas. He has never heard that there is something beyond, that there is transcendence. So it’s like, ‘What is that?’ Then whole chapters, much of the Canto goes in an illustration that is simply connecting this to now he will make the point. So now that will be all the illustration, which is then his explanations. And then he will come to the conclusion that therefore you should worship the Supreme Lord. So then you will see one point here the adhikarana, then you go through this all, so many things which will be so many other adhikaranas being explained within that explanation. Then you’ll come back to the original adhikarana that was being made. So all that is actually so many adhikaranas and their explanations, that pancanga-nyaya is being used within one part of one adhikarana. That’s why it can get very complex.

(3) Pratidrsanta or counter-illustration. You have given one illustration that didn’t work so good, then you give a different one. Or you are presenting the opposing argument that is their illustration, you give an illustration to counter that.

So this idea that Bhagavatam has only analogies and it is not actually real that means the person who is saying that doesn’t understand the Vedic logic and presentation.

Because this system of presentation is not meant for academics. It is meant for those who actually want to understand the sastra. Therefore they will think, ‘All those are analogies, so the Bhagavatam isn’t actually real, so we don’t have to listen to anything the Bhagavatam says.’ That is their conclusion.

Devotee (2): …they want to have faith?

HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes, as it was explained previously that only when the knowledge, the study is applied with faith that you want to use it, then the scriptures reveal themselves. Otherwise you can learn so many facts and figures but you don’t actually get anywhere. You don’t really understand.

Only when the knowledge, the study is applied with faith that you want to use it, then the scriptures reveal themselves. Otherwise you can learn so many facts and figures but you don’t actually get anywhere. You don’t really understand.

(4) Then prasanga or incidental illustration comes up, not because you were planning to put it there. You were going along in a logical presentation, but the other person had a question or something, or you know the mentality of the person, so as you are explaining one thing and you hit upon a point you know that needs to be more explained, so then you go off on a side point illustration within your illustration. You are explaining things and then you go off on a side thing. That means you are already going from your thesis to your conclusion. Then within that you are also making other smaller thesises and conclusion just to make it that they are convinced of that aspect that illustration that you have made, those examples.

(5) Then utpatti or introduction. Means, something is new, you don’t know the topic, so, therefore, you go into a whole explanation of that whole topic so that you are familiar with it, so then it can be used within your explanation. So then that seems this is a whole different topic, that is generally how we look at it, ‘Oh it is a different subject matter.’ No, this is part of the foundation for making the point.

(6) And last is apavada or exception. Something is normally going along but you are pointing out the exceptions to the rule. Like you are making the rule, ‘One touches stool then one must take a bath,’ but there is the exceptions, ‘If it is cow dung that is purifying,’ and then you may go into pointing out how the cow is pure, and the background behind it, and the blessings by Lakshmi-devi and different things like this, that therefore the cow… Then you think it is a discussion about the cow. No, we are actually discussing about purity and the cow is pure, so it is part of the discussion, but the real discussion was touching things impure you must purify yourself.

So those are 6 forms of sangati that holds together one point being made and the next. That’s why also it is not recommended you skip through in a book and just kind-of like read here and there because you won’t actually get what the book is all about. ‘Oh, it is about this, about that…’ No, you won’t actually get the main theme, and it is using all these other points as examples. So that is very important. Then we can see in that it is going off into all these other aspects.

Then that will be presented when we are dealing in that you have how to get an understanding of the theme. Because now what we have found out here is that a theme will be presented through these five different forms and this last of the five forms then it has so many side points on how it may be connected to the next point. But then the question comes up, how do we understand the point? How do we know what the point is? What is the adhikarana? So then that is understood through what is called mimamsa, or the tatparya-lingas.

So these tatparya-lingas, so this is done by. There is 6 ways that you can tell, you want to know what the book is about.

So then you have the beginning and the end. In other words, how it opens and how it closes. Because as we said Prabhupada gives the example the Brahma-sutras open with athato brahma-jijnasa, that means the book is going to be about that, so everything in between. So how it opens, how it closes.

Like we see also in Manu, it opens with the sages, they approach Lord Brahma and say, ‘You know varnasrama in connection with how to use it to serve the Lord, to actually realize the Lord. Everybody else knows varnasrama as a social system for dharma, artha, kama and moksa. But you know varnasrama how to use it as daivi-varnasrama in connection to Krsna and so how to go back to Godhead.’ So that is what makes the Manu-samhita special, because it is how to follow varnasrama connected to Krsna. And in the conclusion, at the very end then it says, ‘A brahmana who follows all this, he will attain perfection,’ and all these different things. We can understand that therefore the whole point of following varnasrama as given in Manu is to develop one’s relationship with the Supreme Lord, it is to express that. Then you know that this is what the book is about. So beginning and end.

(1) So in the beginning we have what is called anubandha-catustaya. Anubandha-catustaya is the introduction to the book or the invocation. The invocation actually establishes everything about the book. So in there it will consist of, it will take different forms. It will take the form of paying obeisances to the teacher or the worshipable Deity or both. It will take the form of asking for blessings from the Lord or giving blessings to the readers, like that glorifying the Lord. And it will summarize the subject matter of the book.

So now in doing that it will bring out the qualifications of the person studying it. Then the connection of the book and its subject, how this book is actually dealing with this subject, what is the angle on it. The subject matter itself, what the book is actually about and what the reader will gain by learning this and practicing it. So all that is said within the introduction. That’s why the introduction is important. Sometimes these introductions are taken also in the modern academic thing as interpolation that they put in because they deal with so many things, it doesn’t make sense. And also the element that sometimes it seems it is very short, sometimes it seems very long. Sometimes this introduction, this anubandha-catustaya, the invocation, may be a full chapter in itself. Because sometimes it can just say that it is about a certain thing or it can list details.

Like in artha-sastra, it will list the details of all the points that are going to be made in the whole artha-sastra in the opening. It gives a very simple opening just about glories to the Deity, this that, and then goes into this. So it very much emphasizes the topics. Because it’s artha, it is practical, you are going to get your results, you have to know what is going on, so it emphasizes that aspect. Poetic works, we generally emphasize more the praise to the Deity, the blessings upon those who are hearing it. In any case, it depends on the work, but they carry these same elements. So that’s how by the opening you can tell what the book is about. So the opening and conclusion will give you a very solid foundation of what the book is about.

Like in Bhagavatam, it opens glorifying the Supreme Lord. Second verse says, this is about real religion, not any other kind of religion. We kick out any other religion than that which is connected to the Supreme Lord. And who is this for? It is for rasikas, those who are interested in tasting the interactions or pastimes between the Lord and His devotees. So then we know what’s there. So the qualification of the person to read the book means they have to be interested in tha, they have to be freed from the need for bhukti and mukti because that is kicked out. So that person then will get something from the book. This book is then established, it’s been heard from Sukadeva Goswami. That he has heard all these things, that he has presented it very nicely to the sages. And so by this subject matter, the subject is about the Lord, and by it you will be able to establish yourself in pure unalloyed devotional service. So the first three verses of Bhagavatam are complete in themselves. It gives you a complete overview of what the Bhagavatam is. Then the rest of the Bhagavatam will be all in pursuance of that. And if we see, the last verse is talking about those who are intelligent are going to take up this sankirtana movement and be absorbed in the Lord’s glories. So then we can understand here it is saying what it is and the last is actually what you are going to do with it.

(2) Then the next point is repetition. What is brought up again and again and again, you know that is important. Like how many times does Krsna say in the Gita about performing your duties with knowledge, for Him, remembering Him with devotion? All those different aspects He will say. Sometimes He only mentions three out of five, sometimes he mentions four, sometimes all five. But it comes up again and again and again, so you can understand that this is important.

Or then you have the verses ‘yo yo yam yam..’, so then it is not that you are dealing with a kid there that is sucking on a lolly and playing with a yoyo. It is a matter of, there is something important here, therefore it is repeated. Many Sanskritists, they describe there is something wrong in the Sanskrit, why would they have to say it twice? So this means they may know some grammar, but they do not know logic. Otherwise they wouldn’t say these things. That’s why one needs to know all these things. Otherwise a lot of funny things go around in the name of education. Mother used to say if you’d have half a brain you would be dangerous. Or a little knowledge is dangerous. So you have to have enough knowledge, then you stop being dangerous.

You have to have enough knowledge, then you stop being dangerous.

Or Krsna in the Gita says, I have said all this, “But I say it again.’ So He even says that ‘I have explained this now,’ we hear it again from another angle.

Then you see also the Third Chapter and the Fifth Chapter, karma-yoga, it is repeated. So what does that mean? It is important. So that element of doing service to Krsna through your activities, engaging the senses in the service of the Lord – that is very important. But one is explaining the importance of just engaging them and not doing something else. And the other one is explaining doing that with knowledge. So in other words, it is the same thing taking a step forward. But it is still repetition.

(3) Then uniqueness. That something that hasn’t been explained before, something very special, it is brought out, and it is given special attention, that uniqueness. That then means that’s important. So many things that will be going along in natural progression and then something will be brought to light. So that is special. Then you know there is something important there.

(4) Result. Whenever it tells what the result will be, you know that is important. As soon as it says, ‘by doing this then one will…’, ‘By devotional service one automatically gets jnana and vairagya.; So that means this is important. Devotional service, by performing it you get this result. So that is immediately being presented, right in the beginning. So we can understand that therefore devotional service becomes important. Because it is what is getting you the results.

(5) Then praise. When they praise something. The praise of devotional service, the praise of the association of devotees, praising the Lord. All these things then you understand, these things are important, these are major elements.

(6) Illustrations. So whatever you are illustrating, that means that point is important, otherwise why would you illustrate it? You just go along and say something. But when you give illustrations you are giving more emphasis to the points. So it is very important. Therefore for this big illustration of Puranjana it is important to understand that karma is going to give you some reactions. There may be no sin but there is still reactions. So that is not good enough. You want to be happy, so you are doing these yajnas. So you are having animal sacrifices, your killing of the animals is not violent, that is given by sastra. Because it is being done according to the scriptures, according to sacrifice, the animal is benefited, you’re benefited. So you will not go to hell, there is no sin. But it doesn’t mean there is not going to be reaction. All those animals, they are also waiting there with all their horns and all that because even though they got benefited they didn’t appreciate being killed, so, therefore, when you come they are going to express their dissatisfaction.

These six, it says, are the sixfold indications in ascertaining the purport of a text. So this then is used in all the different literatures. This is all used so that you can figure out what is being done. Because sometimes there is a question: what’s important? Then this is what you have to look at.

Otherwise you can lift anything from anywhere. Like three days ago you said, I was talking to you, what did you say? I said this. And then later on we are having a totally different discussion and then they said, ‘I am saying, no, everybody knows, everybody is saying.’ ‘Who says?’ And then I lift from a different conversation ‘Well, he said.’ Because in the words he used, I said, but it had nothing to do with this conversation. So you can do that very easily. You can lift from the purports, you can lift from the conversations just an isolated point. But it has to be taken in context.

You can do that very easily. You can lift from the purports, you can lift from the conversations just an isolated point. But it has to be taken in context.

Because the tatparya-lingas means, all these six have to be looked at. So if Prabhupada once says one thing but six times says something else that six times what he had said, that is the point, not the other one. You have to see what is the context that he gave it. Therefore there is some variety of sangati. He has been trying to connect…

Like we were reading the other day, on the BBT, is that we know Prabhupada made the BBT separate from ISKCON in management as legal entity because if anything happens within ISKCON, the books will still be there. Because if the books are there then you can, like a phoenix from the ashes, the whole movement will come up again. But there is always that thing of ‘Who controls it?’ that is always the… ‘Who is in charge?’ like this kind of thing. So they are having a conversation with Prabhupada about this. Means, you can see from some there is the angle that ISKCON is the beneficiary so ISKCON should control it. And Prabhupada is saying, this is your concept, this is your consideration and going on like this. You can see from it he makes points that make it sound like it is kind-of like that, but then you see at the end, he then says that no, the BBT is what it is, if you can do what the BBT is supposed to do, you can also be a trustee. In other words, you want to control the BBT, fine, be qualified and be a trustee. So he brings it right back to what he had said in the beginning. But there was a whole thing on who controls it it is, ISKCON men who are trustees they run it. So ISKCON runs it in the form of trustees, not in the form of the GBC.

But if you pull out just one of the statements of Prabhupada in there, you could say, ‘No, see, Prabhupada is saying it is under the GBC.’ But he is saying it is, but its management is different. The GBC, they want to preach, they want some books, they want to print in this language, therefore the BBT prints it. But managing the printing of it and all that – that is the BBT’s business. The money that they have, that is the BBT’s business.

So like that you can take any topic and pull out of it something, but it has to be this whole element of the pancanga-nyaya, the tatparya-lingas, these elements, if they are in place then you can actually tell what is being discussed. Otherwise it can be easily taken out of context and this bewilders devotees because you can take any verse and different parties argue it completely different.

You can use it in so many ways. You can use it, ‘Sarva-dharman-parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja, therefore just surrender to Krsna, stop being mental and do your service.’ So that is one way of using it. Another way of using it is that Krsna says, ‘I don’t have any of these services, varnasrama, we don’t follow, we just give up all religion and so all that, so I just surrender to Him. So why I should listen to you? Because that is part of the whole system of varnasrama and duties and all that and Krsna says therefore we give that all up. So I just have to do whatever I want, just chant Krsna’s name, do bhajan however I like, whenever I like, when I feel, I don’t follow any form because that would be wrong.’ But we are following that. And then some interpret it, ‘Oh, ISKCON says, because in their translation ‘give up all religion,’ that means they are irreligious people, they are against Vedic religion.’ That is why we are not in Singapore because the local brahmanas there, they present it to the government that that is our position because they want to keep us out of Singapore. They have been successful until today.

So you can take all this. But the point is, Krsna is saying that your surrendering to Him and that is your performing your… Because He through the whole book said, perform your duties to Him. So what happened here is not that the form has changed – the attitude has changed. Before it is like, I have my duties, I identify with these duties, I am a conditioned soul, I like to do these duties. Or maybe I am not even that much, I am not even dutiful, I have to do these things, so, therefore, I am taking it up because sastra says I should. But in any case, whether it is coming form sakama or niskama, whatever the position, the consideration is, these are what I would be doing. Now I am going to do that for Krsna either directly as sannyasa or indirectly through renunciation. But in any case, it is activity for Krsna.

But here He is saying no, there you are starting with the activity, then you are going to Krsna. I am starting with my conditioned nature and then going to Krsna, which is good, that is recommended, that is what Krsna was talking about. But better than that is start with Krsna and then come back to your position. Surrender to Krsna, just work to please Krsna, that is the position. Then, okay, how do I do that? Mother Yashoda is doing that by serving Him in parental rasa, the cowherd boys by serving Him there. We are conditioned in the material world, we use our conditioned nature to serve Him.

In other words, it is a matter of where you are starting in the equation: with us or with Krsna. But the form of it looks the same. Otherwise then it is thought all this is being said and thrown out the window. How will it be thrown out the window? There is repetition. At the same time this is something unique. It hasn’t been spoken before. So this stands out. This must be something prominent. So therefore the process is there, that is there, now He is talking about the attitude and then we see that is supported also by ‘man-mana bhava mad-bhakto,’ this aspect, and that one is said twice, the same verse. So that must be important. And ‘be My devotee.’ But now, ‘be My devotee,’ this that, but now we are taking it, you start with that the attitude of being Krsna’s devotee, then you move back into what you do.

You have affection for somebody, therefore it is not the affection is shown specifically because you have something to do. You have that affection and wherever there is an opportunity you express it. The other, you got to do things I am going to do them anyway, but I’ll direct that towards [Krishna]. I am going to get out and work anyway, and make money whether I had a family or not, but now that I have a family I am going to direct that to the family. So that is good, that is pious. But the other is ‘I have affection for the family, so what can I do for this family?’ Therefore, okay, they need facility I’ll create the facility, they need attention, I’ll give that. It is different.

So we can see the level of consideration is higher. So that sarva-dharman-parityajya is a higher consideration of the same activities. Because ultimately that is what we are trying to get out to split, that you have the action that you are to perform and you have the attitude that you are supposed to perform it in. Better you are performing something based on sastra, but that should be connected to Krsna and the attitude should be that to please Krsna. Otherwise I can follow the sastra connected to Krsna for the purpose of material benefit or purpose of liberation. You can get all that from devotional service. Bhagavatam is saying that whatever your position, whether you are interested in liberation, materialism or in pure unalloyed devotion, all that comes from practicing devotional service. So then the attitude whether it is neophyte, madhyama or uttama attitude, that is also there. So the quality of devotional service and then that attitude that is there. So all that combined together becomes very nice. So then so much is there to explain it.

Devotee (3): I am personally a victim of being told out of context certain things…

HH BVPS Maharaja: So that is a personal problem. But what we were dealing with is not your personal problem, but the concept of why your personal problem comes up is because of this point. So that’s why we are sitting here, so that we can understand properly sastra, so that we won’t do that. Our business here is not to address what has happened to you. Because everybody has his story. What we are trying to address is that we understand how it functions so we in our own mind can rectify things, so that we know that confusion was there what’s right, and we know properly how to deal so we do not do that to others.

Because the idea is, one studies the sastra then one leads the society in one’s own way, whatever it is, one’s own family, one’s community, the temple, whatever it is. It is one studies these things so that one can be a leader. And leaders therefore are then careful about making these mistakes.

(Lecture on Tatparya-lingas, November 21, 2008, Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur)

Transcription by Uddhava Priya Prabhu, used with permission. Minor adjustments made by site authors. Emphasis ours.

Foto © Ananta Vrindavan http://life-photography.info

Used with permission

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