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Pradyumna: "Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan."


vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvam yaj jnanam advayam
brahmeti paramatmeti
bhagavan iti sabdyate
[SB 1.2.11]

So the Absolute Truth is realized in three different features, according to the capacity of realization of the Person. Those who are trying to approach the Absolute Truth by exercise of the senses, they can reach up to the point of impersonal Brahman. Those who are searching out the Absolute Truth by meditation, by mystic yogic practices, they can realize the Paramatma feature of the Absolute Truth. And those who are engaged in devotional service, they realize the Absolute Truth as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Actually, we have to reach to the point of Personality of Godhead, person. Before that, Brahman realization and Paramatma realization, that is partial realization of the Absolute Truth. Because Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, brahmanah aham pratistha. The impersonal Brahman is resting on Krsna. Just like the sunshine. Sunshine is very all-embracing, wide, widely spread all over the universe, the sunshine. But the sunshine is resting on the sun globe. We see the sun globe, localized. It is floating in one corner of this universal sky. But the sunshine is covering the whole universe. That does not mean the sunshine is more important than the sun globe. And if you can penetrate within the sun globe, then you'll find there is sun-god.

That is also mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita, imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1]. Krsna says that "This yoga system, bhakti-yoga system, as they are mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita, it was first explained to the sun-god, Vivasvan." The sastra gives us the name of the predominating deity of the sun-god, sun globe. Just like any gentleman can know or give the name of your president, Mr. Nixon. He might not have seen, but he knows that the present president of U.S.A is Mr. Nixon. Similarly, actually, those who are in knowledge, they know who are the predominating deities of the different planets. They know. Not to speak of others, Krsna, who can know better than Him? Vedaham samatitani. Krsna knows past, present, and future. So He's saying that imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1]. "This imperishable yoga system, bhakti-yoga..." It is imperishable, avyayam. This very word is very significant. Bhakti-yoga is imperishable. Other yoga systems may be perishable, but bhakti-yoga is not perishable. Whatever you execute in this life, bhakti-yoga, that becomes your permanent asset, so that in the next life you can begin from the point where you ended in this life. If you can finish in this life, cent percent, that is very nice. If not,... Suppose you have finished fifty percent. Still it is permanent asset. It will never be lost. Therefore Krsna says avyayam, inexhaustible. Imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1].

So here we find that the Absolute Truth is realized as Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. Bhagavan is the ultimate, the last word in the understanding of the Absolute Truth. Unless you come to the point of Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna... Bhagavan means original Bhagavan is Krsna. Krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. All other Bhagavans, They are expansions, plenary or part of the plenary expansion of Bhagavan, Krsna. Krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. So in the spiritual world also one has to go farther and farther until he reaches to the point of Krsna. That is ultimate progress. It is said therefore in the Bhagavad-gita,

bahunam janmanam ante
jnanavan mam prapadyate
vasudevah sarvam iti
sa mahatma sudurlabhah
[Bg. 7.19]

After many, many births, understanding the Brahman... Brahman understanding is certainly transcendental, but because Brahman is only partial realization of the Absolute Truth, only the eternity... The Absolute Truth is eternal, blissful, knowledgeable, cognizant. So Brahman realization means realization of the eternity portion. Paramatma-realization is knowledgeable. Paramatma knows everything. Paramatma is present in everyone's heart, and He knows everyone's activities. But actual realization, complete realization means ananda, sac-cid-ananda. That ananda-realization is in Krsna-realization. Anandamayo 'bhyasat. Krsna is by nature jolly, always full of bliss. You have seen the picture of Krsna. He's always tri-bhanga-murari, with two hands, with, playing on flute, surrounded by the gopis, enjoying. That is blissfulness.

So brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate, step by step. But if you approach Krsna and try to understand Him through devotional service, then automatically you understand Brahman and Paramatma. There is no need of separate endeavor for understanding Brahman and Paramatma. Anyone who knows Krsna, tattvatah, in fact... Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita,

manusyanam sahasresu
kascid yatati siddhaye
yatatam api siddhanam
kascin mam vetti tattvatah
[Bg. 7.3]

So one has to know Krsna in tattvatah, as He is. So this tattvatah means accept the process of devotional service. Tattvatah, Krsna as He is, cannot be understood by the other methods, namely by mental speculation or mystic yogic exercises. Krsna cannot be understood in that way. If we want to understand Krsna, then we have to accept the Krsna method, bhakti method. That is plainly spoken by Krsna: bhaktya mam abhijanati [Bg. 18.55]. Krsna does not say that you can know Him by mental exercises or yogic practices. No. Yogi can know... Tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yoginah [SB 12.13.1]. Dhyanavasthita-tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yoginah. Yogi also, by meditation, they see Krsna. That is real yoga. As it is explained in the Bhagavad-gita, the first-class yogi is he who always thinks of Krsna within himself.

yoginam api sarvesam
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah
[Bg. 6.47]

That is first-class yogi.

So you are thinking of Krsna by chanting Hare Krsna because the more you practice, immediately with your chanting, the name, the form, the quality, the pastimes, everything will be revealed. As we go on cleansing our dirty heart by chanting Hare Krsna mantra, and as we chant faultless, offenseless harer nama, Krsna reveals. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah. By service attitude, if you chant Hare Krsna mantra without any offense, then Krsna will reveal Himself. You cannot try to see Krsna by your speculation or yogic practice. If you simply submissively, surrendering yourself, chant His holy name, there is no difference between Krsna's name and Krsna. Abhinnatvan nama-naminoh. People generally ask that what is the meaning of chanting this Hare Krsna mantra. We explain, you know, chanting of Hare Krsna mantra means immediately, directly associating with Krsna. One has to approach Krsna by yogic practice or mental speculation for many, many births. Bahunam janmanam ante [Bg. 7.19]. They can come to the conclusion that "Here is Krsna." Vasudevah sarvam iti. But if you take to this chanting of Hare Krsna mantra without any offense, then immediately you contact Krsna. You save so much time. Why should you wait for many, many births?

That is the gift of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It is in the sastra. Caitanya Mahaprabhu does not give you anything which is not in the sastra. He's acarya, although He's God Himself. He can make sastra. Whatever He does, whatever He speaks, that is sastra. But still, because He's playing the part of acarya, He immediately gives Vedic evidences. That is the way of acarya. Acaryas will never say, "I think." "It is in my opinion." No. Such things are not accepted. No personal opinion. It must be supported by Vedic evidences. That is called parampara system, genuine system of understanding. As Krsna says, evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh [Bg. 4.2]. No change. Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gita as it is. We do not change. We have no power to change. Then where is the authority of Bhagavad-gita? I am a third-class man, and if I change the statements in the Bhagavad-gita, then where is the authority of Bhagavad-gita? That is going on. Therefore it is practically... You have got experience that there are hundreds of Bhagavad-gita editions in the Western countries, but because we are presenting Bhagavad-gita as it is, our sale is better than all others. He says, "While other editions are dwindling, going down, this edition is coming up." They published our, this present enlarged edition of Bhagavad-gita, fifty thousand in the month of August. They are going to print again, second edition, August, September, October. So the reason is that if we present things as they are, it will be accepted. Without any adulteration. Sometimes, you know, people say that I have done miracles. They say everywhere. But I do not know anything, miracles or magic. If there is any miracle, that miracle is that we present things as they are. That's all. Without any adulteration. So that should be the principle. Present as it is. It will be accepted.

So Bhagavan. Brahmeti paramatmeti. We, we do not present Brahma-jnana. Brahma-jnana automatically comes if one is conversant with the knowledge of Krsna. Then he can understand that this Brahman effulgence is the bodily rays of Krsna.

yasya prabha prabhavato jagad-anda-koti-
kotisv asesa-vasudhadi-vibhuti-bhinnam
tad brahma niskalam anantam asesa-bhutam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
[Bs. 5.40]

So we immediately understand that this brahmajyoti, impersonal effulgence of brahmajyoti is the rays of Krsna's body. Yasya prabha [Bs. 5.40]. Krsna also confirms this in the Bhagavad-gita: brahmano 'ham pratistha. Aham sarvasya prabhavah. Krsna says everything is emanating from Him. The Brahman is also emanation from Him. Paramatma is also expansion of Krsna.

So therefore if you understand Krsna, tattvatah, yo mam vetti tattvatah... Tattva is that Krsna, the Absolute Truth, is originally a person. Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam. He's the supreme eternal nitya. He's the supreme living being. As we are beings, living entities, Krsna is also living entity. He's not a dead stone. He's living entity. And as we have got all the propensities of living entity, He has got all the propensities of living entity. Here we are pervertedly... A young boy likes to love a young girl. A young girl likes to love a young boy. But wherefrom these natural propensities come? Because it is there in Krsna. Aham sarvasya prabhavah. So there cannot be any question of impersonalism. Because by studying the sample living entity, you can understand the chief living entity. Krsna is the chief living entity, supreme living entity. So we are samples. Whatever propensities we have got, Krsna has also got. But we have got in a limited proportion. Krsna has got unlimited proportion. The... Take the same example. The loving propensity, yupat..., yupatidvan yatha yuna,(?) this is natural. But we may finish... Because it is perverted, we may finish these loving propensities within time and space. But Krsna's loving propensity is not finished within time and space. It is eternal. That is the difference between Krsna and ourself.

So if we actually study Krsna,... The Bhagavad-gita is the Krsna-science, and it is further explained in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. So the Bhaga..., Bhagava..., Srimad-Bhagavatam is explaining in tattva, in fact, in truth, what is Krsna. So if we learn Krsna, if we understand Krsna, then our life is fulfilled. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]. This is our only business. Try to understand what is Krsna, what is Bhagavan. Kasmin tu bhagavo vijnate sarvam idam vijnatam bhavati. If you simply try to understand Krsna through authorities, through Krsna, through acaryas, not mental concoction, manufacturing something... Krsna should be understood through the authorities. Krsna's love affair with Radharani should be understood through the authorities. Not that because we see Krsna is just like a young boy, Radharani is young girl, if we see here, it is very nice... Of course, it is very nice, but if we do not try to understand Krsna through the authorities, we shall be misled. Therefore in the beginning one should not try to understand the loving affairs of Krsna with the gopis. Then... Because it appears like ordinary dealings. But if we do not go through the authorities, we shall take Krsna as ordinary boy or man, as it is warned in the Bhagavad-gita, avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam [Bg. 9.11]. Because He's acting just like a young boy, if we do not try to understand tattvatah, vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam [SB 1.2.11], in fact, in truth, through the authorities... Because here it is: vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam [SB 1.2.11]. Tattva-vit. Yei krsna-tattva-vetta sei guru haya [Cc. Madhya 8.128].

So guru means krsna-tattva-vit, one who knows about Krsna. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He explains about Krsna. Krsna explains about Himself. The Gosvamis, Sad Gosvamis, they are explaining about Krsna. And in their parampara system, the acaryas, they are also explaining Krsna. So if we do not go through these tattva-vits, then we'll misunderstand Krsna. Therefore Narottama dasa Thakura says, rupa-raghunatha-pade hoibe akuti, kabe hama bujhabo se jugala-piriti. All of a sudden, if you become a knower of the jugala-piriti, love of Radha-Krsna, then there is chance of becoming fallen. There is chance. So we should... Vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam [SB 1.2.11]. We must approach the tattva-vit, one who knows the truth; through them, through him, we should try to understand Krsna. Not simply by

Therefore they're ma..., committing so many mistakes. Even scholars like Dr. Radhakrishnan and others, they're committing so many mistakes. Because they do not go through tattva-vit. There are so many political leaders who are commenting on Krsna's book without knowing Krsna, without any knowledge of Krsna. Just see their impudency. Without knowing Krsna, they want to make trade with Krsna. That is not very good. You cannot make trade commodity, Krsna as trade commodity. You cannot handle Krsna by your whims. Let you be handled by the Krsna's whims. Then you'll be successful. Then... My Guru Maharaja used to say that "Don't try to see Krsna; do something so that Krsna may see you." That is wanted. If Krsna, if you can draw little attention of Krsna, yat karunya-kataksa-vaibhavavatam, kataksa-vaibhavavatam... Prabodhananda Sarasvati says... If you somehow or other you can draw little attention of Krsna, your life is successful. Immediately. And how you can draw? Bhaktya mam abhijanati [Bg. 18.55]. Simply by serving Krsna. Take service, take to service of Krsna, as it is ordered by the spiritual master. Because spiritual master is the representative of Krsna. We cannot approach Krsna directly. Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah **. If you have bona fide spiritual master, representative of Krsna, it is also not very difficult. Everyone can become representative of Krsna. How? If you simply carry the message of Krsna without any adulteration. That's all.

Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, amara ajnaya guru hana, "You become a spiritual master under My order." So if you carry out the order of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Krsna, then you become guru. Amara ajnaya guru hana. Unfortunately, we do not wish to carry out order of the acaryas. We manufacture our own ways. We have got practical experience how a great institution was lost by whimsical ways. Without carrying out the order of the spiritual master, they manufactured something and the whole thing was lost. Therefore Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura stresses very much on the words of the spiritual master. Vyavasayatmika buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana. If you stick to the order of spiritual master, then, without caring for your own convenience or inconvenience, then you become perfect.

yasya deve para bhaktir
yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah
prakasante mahatmanah
[SU 6.23]

This is the confirmation of all authorities. We have to carry out very faithfully the order of the bona fide representative of Krsna. Then our life is successful. Then we can understand Krsna in truth. Vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam [SB 1.2.11]. We have to hear from the tattva-vit, not from the so-called scholars and politicians. No. One who knows the truth, you have to hear from him. And if you stick to that principle, then you understand everything very clearly.

Thank you very much. (end)
Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.11 -- Vrndavana, October 22, 1972

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