New York, January 7, 1967



krṣṇa bhakti abhidheya sarva sastre kaya
ataeva muni-gaṇa kariyache niscaya

So we have just studied the constitutional position of Krṣṇa by His original standing as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, His different expansions, incarnations, and how He is situated as the supreme controller of the spiritual and material manifestation. So far, as far as possible, we have studied through the grace of Lord Caitanya. And even up to the prime, primal living entity within this material world, namely Brahma... Brahma is considered to be the supreme. He is also living entity like us, but he is supreme powerful within this material universe. Just like within this state, President Johnson is the supreme powerful, but he is a man like us, a living entity, but he has got supreme power. Similarly, Brahma is a living entity like us, but by his meritorious and devotional service to the Lord, he is exalted as the supreme personality within this material world. But he is not Supreme Personality of Godhead. Supreme Personality of Godhead is Krṣṇa. Ekale isvara krṣṇa ara sab... [Cc. Adi 5.142]. And only Krṣṇa is the master, and everyone is servant, however great he may be.

So even Krṣṇa's expansion, Viṣṇu, He is also subordinate to Krṣṇa. The greatest manifestation of Viṣṇu is the Maha-Viṣṇu who is lying on the Causal Ocean of material creation, wherefrom the material universes are emanating by His breathing process. Such a gigantic and huge, I mean to say, form of Viṣṇu with four hands, He is also stated in the Brahma-saṁhita,

yasyaika-nisvasita-kalam athavalambya
jivanti loma-vilaja jagad-aṇḍa-nathaḥ;
viṣṇur mahan sa iha yasya kala-viseṣo
govindam adi-puruṣam tam ahaṁ bhajami
[Bs. 5.48]

"I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, whose plenary parts of the portion is Maha-Viṣṇu." And what is that Maha-Viṣṇu? "In whose breathing period all these universes are coming and being annihilated." That is the process of His breathing. Just like with our breathing we are extricating so many germs and again we are taking so many germs, similarly, the breathing period of Maha-Viṣṇu is He is exhaling so many universes and again inhaling so many universes. That Maha-Viṣṇu is also the plenary expansion of Krṣṇa.

So we are going to have our relationship with that Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then how that can be achieved? That is now being explained by Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and that is called, the process of executing the service by which we can attain to that point, is called abhidheya. Abhidheya means execution of duties, execution of duties, or execution of obligation—not duty: obligation. Duty you sometimes may avoid, and you may be excused, but obligation we cannot. Obligation means you have to. Because you are meant for that, if you do not do that, then you will be in difficulty. Our obligation as living entities... We are part and parcel of the Supreme. Just like the hand. At once I feel some itching sensation here, so at once the hand comes without asking for it. It is so made psychologically and mechanically and whatever you may say. At once I feel some itching; at once the hand comes—obligation. It is obligation. Similarly, we are part and parcel of the Supreme. We have got obligation to serve Krṣṇa. If we are not doing that... That means if the hand is cut off from this body, there is no obligation. The hand which is cut off from this body, that hand will not come to cure my itching. That means it is fallen. His business is finished. Similarly, if we do not... Just like if the hand does not work the obligation which it has—to serve this body—then it is to be understood the paralyzed or diseased, infected. And doctor sometimes advise, "Cut it off. If you want to save your other parts of the body, then cut it off." Similarly, these conditioned souls, they are now conditioned, or in one way they are cut off from the original, I mean to say, relationship, forgetful. So if we want... If this hand wants to remain in healthy state, it is the duty of the hand to fulfill the obligation of the hand's duty, and then it remains very healthy condition.

So our duty is to serve God. There is no other duty. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's preaching, that "You have no other duty, anything. That is all false illusion. If you have selected any other duty than to serve Krṣṇa in Krṣṇa consciousness, then you are foolish. You are doing something wrong, which is not for your interest." This is the teaching of Lord Caitanya and the Bhagavata also. So if somebody may argue, "Oh, if I completely engage myself in the service of Krṣṇa, then what to do? How I shall live in this material world? Who will take care of my maintenance?" that is our foolishness. If you serve an ordinary person here, you get your maintenance; you get your wages, dollars. You are so foolish that you are going to serve Krṣṇa and He is not going to maintain you? Yoga-kṣemaṁ vahamy aham [Bg. 9.22]. Krṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gita that "I personally take charge of his maintenance." Why don't you believe it? Practically you can see. That means faithlessness. There is no reason. Suppose I am serving some master here, so-called master, and he is at once paying me wages—"Take your wages"—twenty-five dollars, ten dollars or whatever it may be, at once paying. And I am going to serve the Supreme, and there is no maintenance for me? Oh, what a foolishness. This is called forgetful. This is called spell of maya. Maya will dictate, "Oh, you are going to serve Krṣṇa? How you'll maintain yourself, you foolish. Don't go there. Don't go to the Krṣṇa consciousness society. It is cheating." No, it is not cheating. It is actual fact. Yes. It is not cheating. But if you want to gratify your senses, oh, there is no scope. Then go to hell. Then go to hell. But if you want to serve Krṣṇa, there is every arrangement for you. There is every arrangement for you. If you want to cheat Krṣṇa, then Krṣṇa will also cheat you. Dyutaṁ chalayatam asmi. Krṣṇa has said in His vibhuti-yogam that "Amongst all cheating process, I am gambling. I am gambling." There is cheating process. Wherefrom this cheating process comes? There is cheating process in Krṣṇa also because He is the origin of everything. Whatever there is, even cheating process, thieving process, what is condemned in this world, that is also there in Krṣṇa, but that is without any contamination. That is difference. When He cheats, it becomes worshipable. Krṣṇa wanted to cheat Dronacarya. That is a fact in the Mahabharata. He advised Arjuna, "Just go," asked Yudhiṣṭhira that "Just go and tell lie to Dronacarya that 'Your son is dead.' " Don't you think Krṣṇa is trying to cheat? So there is cheating. Everything is there, but that is in full. God is good; therefore His cheating is good, His thieving is good. Everything is absolute. Unless you cannot understand this Absolute Truth, there is no understanding of Krṣṇa. There is no understanding of Krṣṇa.

So here it is said, abhidheya. How to make progress in that execution of devotional service, that is being taught. So,

srutir mata prṣṭa disati bhavad-aradhana-vidhiṁ
yatha matur vaṇi smrtir api tatha vakti bhagini
puraṇadya ye va sahajani nivahas te tad-anuga
ataḥ; satyaṁ jñataṁ murahara bhavan eva saraṇam

One great sage, a learned sage, after finishing all kinds of Vedic literature... There are two kinds of Vedic literature. One is called sruti, and the other is called smrti. Sruti means the original Vedic injunction which is coming through disciplic succession beginning from Krṣṇa down to this day. There are certain axiomatic truths which is called Vedic injunction. The axiomatic truth, as I have given you several times example that cow dung is pure... Now, your reason is, "Oh, you say the Vedic injunction that if you touch stool of any animal you have to take your bath, purify yourself. And the Vedic injunction says cow dung is pure. Oh, this is contradictory." No. Not contradictory. This is injunction. People are actually accepting this, no argument, and they are benefited by it. So axiomatic truth. How it is truth? You may not have sufficient intelligence, but if you go deep into the matter you will find it is all truth: "Yes, it is all right." That is called Vedic injunction. So you cannot argue. You have to accept as it is. You cannot interpret. What education we have got, what intelligence, that we can interpret on Vedic injunction? No. It should be accepted as it is. That is called Vedic injunction. This is called sruti. You have to simply hear and act accordingly. That is called Vedic. And smrti. Smrti means if you are learned scholar in the Vedic injunction, if you have heard from the bona fide souls, and if you are convinced, then if you write something, that is smrti. You cannot write nonsense. You have to write something which corroborates with the Vedic injunction. That is called smrti. You cannot manufacture anything. You should always remember that "I am a tiny brain here, so I have to receive knowledge from superior sources." Then whatever knowledge you have received, if you can expand that in your, by your, I mean to say, capacity, that is called smrti.

So there are two different kinds of Vedic literature. One section is called sruti, originally coming. Just like this Caitanya-caritamrta. This is a book written by Krṣṇa dasa Kaviraja Gosvami, a great devotee of Lord Caitanya. It is called smrti. Why? Everything written here is corroborating the Vedic literature. There is nothing, suggestion, "I am a philosopher. I am a speculator. I think this will be like this" Here you'll see in every step he is quoting from Vedas. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is quoting. This is the topics between Sanatana Gosvami... This is the Vedic way. Now that sage, a great sage, he is giving his conclusion that srutir mata prṣṭa disati bhavad-aradhana-vidhim: "I have inquired so many Vedic literature. Now I am in conclusion that worshiping the Supreme Lord, that is the injunction of the..., nothing more. Nothing more." The whole idea is... And that is confirmed by Bhagavad-gita also. Krṣṇa says in the Fifteenth Chapter you will find. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyam [Bg. 15.15]. What is the purpose of Veda? The purpose of Veda is to understand Krṣṇa. That's all. If you can understand to some extent Krṣṇa, then your all Vedic studies finished. No more taking trouble. So we have to follow.

Now, here the great sage says that "I have consulted all the Vedic process, all the Vedic literature, and I see that bhagavad-aradhana-vidhi: the only injunction is that, to worship the Supreme Lord." And similarly, in the Bhagavad-gita it is confirmed by the Lord, vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyam: [Bg. 15.15] "By Vedic study means I. One has to understand Me. That's all." If you try to understand Krṣṇa as far as possible, through the reliable sources, through the bona fide sources, then your Vedic study is going on in Krṣṇa consciousness. Tepus tapas...

aho bata sva-paco 'to 'pi gariyan
yaj-jihvagre nama tubhyam
tepus tapas te juhuvuḥ; sasnur arya
brahmanucur nama...
[SB 3.33.7]

The Bhagavata says that aho bata svapaco 'to 'pi gariyan. There is classification of human society. Svapaca means those dog-eaters. There are many animal eaters, but the dog-eaters, they are condemned, svapaca, in the society, in the human society. But the Bhagavata says, "Oh, a dog-eater, but if he vibrates the transcendental sound of God's name, oh, he is glorified. Never mind that he previously was a dog-eating man. That doesn't matter." The Bhagavata confirms it. Aho bata svapaca 'to 'pi gariyan: "Even the dog-eater becomes glorified." How? Yaj-jihvagre nama tubhyam: "In whose tongue is chanting Hare Krṣṇa." Never mind what you are. That chanting has made him all purified. You see. Aho bata svapaca 'to 'pi gariyan yaj-jihvagre nama tubhyam, tepus tapas te [SB 3.33.7]. "Oh, how is that? He was... Just a few days before he was eating dog. And because he is chanting Hare Krṣṇa, he has become purified?" At least Hindu society, they are hesitant. Oh, the reply is, "You do not know." Tepus tapas te: [SB 3.33.7] "In their previous life they had already undergone many severe penances prescribed in your Vedas." Sasnur arya: "Oh, he is not dog-eater. He belongs to the arya, the advancing Aryan society." These are the injunctions.

So any way, some way or other, if one takes to this Krṣṇa consciousness, he becomes at once purified, at once. Never mind what he is. There may be classification in the social convention: he is big, he is small, he is brahmaṇa, he is sudra. Caitanya Mahaprabhu never says that "I am a brahmaṇa," "I am a kṣatriya." Nahaṁ vipra na ca nara-patiḥ;: "I am neither a brahmaṇa nor a kṣatriya nor a vaisya and anything of this material designation." "Then what You are?" Gopi-bhartuḥ; pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasaḥ;: [Cc. Madhya 13.80] "I am the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of Krṣṇa." That is our transcendental... So as soon as we take to this, then everything is all right. But we have to take it very seriously. That is called abhidheya. With all seriousness... Then everything is all right. It is such a nice thing. Everything is all right.

Yatha matur vaṇi. Now sruti, this Vedic, vedo mata. Vedo mata. Veda is called mother. Why? But this mother gives birth the second birth. We have... Several times we have discussed in this hall that first birth is given by this material father and second birth is by the spiritual master. The spiritual master is the father, and the Veda is the mother. So when a person is called dvija, second birth, when he goes to the spiritual master and takes lessons from Veda... This upana... The sacred thread is called upanayana... Upanayana means to bring him nearer. Upa means nearer, and nayana means bringing. To take a fallen soul nearer, that is called upanayana. And when the spiritual master sees that he is quite competent to come near to God, he recognizes him and he gives him sacred thread. That is called brahmaṇa. That is the symbol that he has approached an acarya. Acaryavan puruṣo veda. How one is understood that he knows spiritual science? That means who has a spiritual master. These things are there.

Srutir mata. Srutir mata. Smrtir api tatha vakti bhagini. Now, I have... We have divided the Vedic literature into two. The knowledge which is coming in disciplic succession, that knowledge is mother, and this knowledge, by memory, with reference to the context of Vedic literature, if you sometimes write, that literature is the sister. That is compared with sister. One is with the mother, and the other is the sister. Puraṇadya ye va sahaja nivahas te tad-anuga. So all these Puraṇas, they are called sruti. There are eighteen Puraṇas, the Mahabharata, the Ramayaṇa, and there are so many, Vedanta-sutra... They are called... Upaniṣad is Veda; it is sruti. That is the gist of Vedic knowledge. But Puraṇas, they are called smrti. So this sruti smrtir, according to Indian theistic scholarship, there are two kinds of literature: sruti smrti. So there was another devotee of Krṣṇa. He has written another nice song. He says, srutim apare smrtim apare bharata manye bhava-bhitaḥ;. Well, people are taking shelter of the Vedic literature who have become afraid of this conditional life. What is the end of Vedic literature? Just to get oneself liberated from this material entanglement. So he says that "People, those who are afraid of this material life, material entanglement, let them worship sruti, Veda, or smrti, or Mahabharata. Let them be engaged in that way." Srutim apare smrtim itare bharatam anye bhajantu bhava-bhitaḥ;. "Then? What is that?" "Now, I am not going to do that." "What you are going to do?" Aham iha nandaṁ vande yasyalinde paraṁ brahma: "I shall worship Nanda Maharaja." "Why? You have left all Veda and Puraṇas, everything. Why you are going to worship Nanda Maharaja?" "Because he has captivated the Supreme Lord playing as a crawling child in his courtyard. So I shall worship Nanda. Nanda Maharaja is so great that God is obliged to come to him to play as a child and crawling in his courtyard. So I shall... Nanda Maharaja." So if you approach such a devotee who can bring God to crawl in his courtyard, that is all perfection.

Thank you. Any question? (end)