16 Mar Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 3, Chapter 1, Questions By Vidura, Text 3
THE FOLLOWING LECTURE ON SRIMAD-BHAGAVATAM, CANTO 3, CHAPTER 1, QUESTIONS BY VIDURA, TEXT 1, WAS GIVEN BY HIS HOLINESS BHAKTI CARU SWAMI IN ISKCON UJJAIN ON 16 MARCH 2008..
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Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Srimad Bhagavatam, third Canto, chapter one, text three.
kutra ksattur bhagavata
kada va saha-samvada
etad varnaya nah prabho
raja uvaca – the King said; kutra – wherein; ksattuh- with Vidura; bhagavata – and with His Grace; maitreyena – with Maitreya; asa – there was; sangamah – meeting; kada – when; va – also; saha – with; samvadah – discussion; etat – this; varnaya – describe; nah- unto me; prabho – O my lord.
The King asked Sukadeva Gosvami: Where and when did the meeting and discussion take place between Saint Vidura and His Grace Maitreya Muni? Kindly oblige, my lord, and describe this to us.
Exactly as Saunaka Rishi inquired of Suta Gosvami and Suta Gosvami replied, so Srila Sukadeva Gosvami replied to King Pariksit’s inquiries. The King was very anxious to understand the meaningful discussion that took place between the two great souls.
[End of Purport]
kutra ksattur bhagavata
kada va saha-samvada
etad varnaya nah prabho
The King asked Sukadeva Gosvami: Where and when did the meeting and discussion take place between Saint Vidura and His Grace Maitreya Muni? Kindly oblige, my lord, and describe this to us.
So, Prabhupada is pointing out that just as at the beginning of Srimad Bhagavatam we find that Saunaka Rishi is asking questions to Suta Gosvami, here also we are coming to a situation when Parikshit Maharaja is asking questions to Srila Sukadeva Gosvami. We notice that this transcendental knowledge actually flows in the form of questions and answers. The sincere seeker, the sincere student questions and the qualified teacher answers those questions and this way he imparts the knowledge. We find in Bhagavad Gita the process has been described as tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya. [Bg 4.34] First is pranipatena. One must approach in a humble state of mind. One should approach a qualified teacher, a saintly personality with a humble state of mind and then he should ask sincere questions.
Nowadays, especially in India, we find that people, when they meet the saintly persons, they don’t approach them with a humble state, many often time. Their approach is very arrogant and they don’t pariprasna, they don’t question. They challenge. That is the unfortunate state and as a result of that they’re deprived of receiving the message. And we can understand also, because nowadays generally who becomes sadhu? Those who can’t do anything they become sadhus. People think that those who are useless, sadhus are a kind of beggars. And actually it has become like that. Those who can’t do anything they become sadhus, a little dignified beggars, and that’s why people don’t have respect. This is the unfortunate state of affairs in the age of Kali. They think, “Oh, this guy is a sadhu. He is useless. So I should give him some advice.” Not “I should hear from him,” “I should give him some advice. I know everything. I am a pandita. I went to school. I did my graduation. I am a graduate.” But what to speak of graduates even the PhDs are a dime a dozen. Dime, you know what a dime is? In American calculation a dime is ten cents. The ten cents coin is called dime in America. In Hindi: ‘do paisa.’
[HH BCS speaks in Hindi to the Indian audience, translation by the transcriber: You have a coin worth ‘do paisa’ (two paisa, Indian currency). Now it doesn’t exist anymore, there is one of ten paisa. Do paisa is finished now. Before this, one used to have one paisa, two paisa, five paisa, a quarter. So consider this ten paisa. Dime a dozen, meaning with ten paisa you can get a dozen PhD’s nowadays. So that is the quality of the education here nowadays and still these people are so proud.]
They are so proud and they think that they don’t need to…And the sadhus also they’re a bunch of fools and ignorant people. So when you speak often time you see the sadhus and you see that they don’t have any knowledge.
That’s the first experience I had of sadhus in India. I came back from the West and straight away I went to Haridwara and then to Hrishikesha. And I could see that these people, most of them are just useless. From morning till night they smoke ganja and charas. And there is free food. There are ‘dana chhatras.’ Whenever they want they can go, sit down. People come, give them food, give them money. Because the so-called sadhus are ignorant people, murakhas, they are not sadhus, they are not saintly people, they are not educated people, they are not rich with spiritual knowledge, but they are murakhas, they are fools, they are illiterate, and that’s why people don’t have any respect for sadhus. And as a result of that when a true sadhu comes to give them knowledge they are not able to receive that.
Generally in India there are two kinds of sadhus, nowadays we are seeing. One kind of sadhus are illiterate, beggars, and the other kind of sadhus are the showmen. They are actors. They make a very good show. They give a very good performance. People think, “Oh, bahut achha bola hai.” [meaning: Oh, he spoke very well] And they get a lot of people to come because people in India are generally pious. They think that going to a sadhu, listen to them is important but what does a real sadhu do? Is visiting a sadhu the same like going to a movie? [In Hindi:] Teen ghanta ke liye baitha, bahut maja mila. [laughs] Kitna barhiya acting tha. [meaning: we really had a good time the three hours we sat there (the duration of most Indian movies), what a great acting] This has become the quality of the spiritual discourses nowadays. Kitna barhiya acting, kitna barhiya performance. [meaning: what a great acting, what a great performance] Just as we go to see a movie and see the performance of an actor and we praise, “Oh, what a brilliant acting.” So here also, what a brilliant acting.
But what does a sadhu do? A sadhu cuts, a sadhu cuts our material attachment. You go to a sadhu and if your material attachment is not reduced then it is pointless going to the sadhu. Therefore, be careful when you go to a sadhu. The sadhu will cut your material attachment. If you listen to a sadhu with a humble state of mind, that’s what he will do. First he will cut your material attachment and then he’ll engage you in the service of Krishna, because if you maintain your material attachment you cannot become properly engaged in serving Krishna. Krishna is not going to take the service from anyone and everyone because when Krishna takes the service, Krishna becomes indebted. When Krishna receives something from His devotee Krishna becomes grateful to the devotee. That’s why Krishna doesn’t want to give devotion. He gives liberation very easily but not devotional service. Why? Because giving devotional service means Krishna receives the service. Krishna receives the service, and when Krishna accepts the service then Krishna becomes indebted. Krishna has to give back something in response, in return. That’s why Krishna doesn’t want to give devotional service so easily.
The point is that the foundation, the basis of spiritual subject matter, the basis of receiving spiritual knowledge is questions and answers. A sincere seeker will have questions, and here we are seeing, Parikshit Maharaja is about to leave his body, in seven days he is going to leave his body, but what is Parikshit Maharaja asking? “Please tell me what happened to Vidura. Please tell me what discussion took place between Vidura and Maitreya.” Because he heard that Vidura left home and he met Maitreya Rishi and a very wonderful discussion went on between these two personalities. Vidura was asking questions and Maitreya Rishi was answering. And there is a beautiful background also. It is natural that Parikshit Maharaja would ask this question because Vidura is his great grandfather, such an illustrious personality. So when it was mentioned about Vidura he became very, very curious. We can see, at the end of the previous chapter we noticed that although the entire creation, the sarga aspect and visarga aspect of creation was described in the ninth and tenth chapter of the second Canto, but at the end we find that he was not interested. So Parikshit Maharaja was not interested about that. Rather, Saunaka Rishi was not interested about that. He also wanted to know what actually happened to Vidura. Saintly people, the devotees of the Lord are not so interested how the material nature was created because it is not that important.
For example, when you go to a palace to meet a very important person, then what becomes your interest? To meet the person or see the palace and find out how the palace was built, who built it, how much money was spent, how much time it took. What is more interesting? If you are interested about the palace and buildings and things, then yes, you’ll be interested about who built it, how long it took, how much money was spent. But if you are interested in the person then you don’t care about the palace. You just go straight and meet the person. So, similarly the devotees are not interested about the material nature, the creation, maintenance, and all the other aspects of material nature. They are interested about the personality who is the cause of all causes. They are interested in the personality and they are interested in the personalities those who are attached to that person. So the devotees are naturally interested about the devotees and the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
So Parikshit Maharaja is inquiring, “What happened to Vidura?” This chapter will describe what actually happened. It is very interesting. Yesterday I was mentioning that Mahabharata is the perfect drama. All the elements of a good drama have been most wonderfully presented in Mahabharata. You’ll never find a drama more exciting than Mahabharata, the most exciting drama. And it is not an imaginary concoction. It’s real. There is an expression that ‘facts are stranger than fiction.’ Reality, real life is more exciting, more interesting than fiction and especially when that is arranged by the Lord Himself. Krishna actually made this arrangement for Mahabharata.
I thought of reading a part of Mahabharata where Krishna came to the, how Krishna… The other day we discussed about Krishna went to Vidura’s house. He refused to take the foodstuffs offered by Duryodhana. So I’ll just read that chapter. When the Pandavas just wanted five villages and that also was refused by Duryodhana, he said that without a war he was not going to give a piece of land the size of the tip of a needle. The war became inevitable, still Krishna thought that He would try. So Krishna went to Hastinapura, the palace of Duryodhana and Dhrtarashtra. So we will just read from Mahabharata.
“Krishna went to the palace of Duryodhana. It was beautiful. It was like the palace of Indra. Krishna climbed the steps and entered the great hall. He saw Duryodhana sit around the throne. Shakuni, Dushashana and Radheya [Karna] were sitting by his side. They all stood up when Krishna entered. They received Him cordially. There was place for Him to sit which was fretted with precious stones and inlaid with ivory and gold. Krishna sat down on it with a pleased smile. Duryodhana was talking to Radheya. He now spoke to Krishna. He said, “Krishna, I am feeling very hurt that You have not accepted our hospitality. We have made all arrangements for You to stay here and for Your pleasant amusements we have prepared excellent food for You. Why do You refuse all this and go to Vidura’s house?” Krishna listened to his complaint and said, “Why Duryodhana, you have been entertaining Me well. It is no matter if I do not eat in your house. I will eat with you when My work is finished.”
[HH BCS:] Krishna actually told that a ‘duta’, a messenger, takes food only when his mission is accomplished. Otherwise he doesn’t take food. “So I came here as a messenger. Unless My mission is accomplished I can’t take food from you.” That’s what Krishna is saying: “It is no matter if I do not eat in your house. I will eat with you when My work is finished. Duryodhana said, “That is beside the point, whether Your work is finished or not is immaterial. You are related to us. We have been so anxious to have You as our guest. It is wrong of You to have been indifferent to our hospitality. There is no enmity between You and me. You must not talk like this to us. We are quite fond of You. Krishna smiled gently and said, “I am afraid I have to be frank with you. I am not interested in your grand feast. I do not relish food in the house of a person who is not righteous.”
[HH BCS:] Who is Krishna? He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Whose food He will take? Therefore become righteous. Make it a point to become righteous otherwise Krishna will not accept your offering.
“I do not relish food in the house of a person who is not righteous. You have been hitting the Pandavas for no reason for the last so many years. The Pandavas are dear to Me. I am the soul of the Pandavas. He who is a slave to avarice and ill treats them is considered by Me to be the lowliest of men.”
[HH BCS:] Krishna is heavy, completely straightforward. No diplomacy. Sometimes in India there is another common saying: “Oh, Krishna is a diplomat. Krishna is a politician.” No, Krishna is not a politician. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And whatever Krishna does is the best. When Krishna does politics, it’s the best. When Krishna becomes your enemy, He is the best enemy you can ever find. You become Krishna’s enemy, you’ll find the best enemy in Him. When Krishna dances He is the best dancer. When Krishna sings He is the best singer. When Krishna plays the flute He is the best flute player. So this is what Krishna is: He is the best because He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead! That’s another thing, everyone, whatever he admires, he finds Krishna to be the best in that. And because these politicians, THEY are politicians, they find Krishna to be the best politician.
Actually, we saw that in the recent past Mahabharata and Gita and all these scriptures in India have been profusely used by the politicians. It started off with Gandhi. He started to use the Vedic scriptures for the sake of politics, and Prabhupada gave a very nice reply to him. And there was a saying also, actually Prabhupada’s saying: Gandhi was a saint among the politicians and he was the politician among the saints. And Prabhupada, a few days before Gandhi died, Prabhupada told him. And it was very interesting, what was his name, Raghava Pandita? Vijayashankara Mehta. He was remembering that. He read Prabhupada’s Lilamrta and he was recalling that the other day when he gave the class. He was telling about that incident. Less than a month before Gandhi was assassinated Prabhupada wrote to him that he was seeing that getting involved in politics destroyed your reputation, took away your mental peace. So give up politics and spread the pure message of Bhagavad Gita for the benefit of people. And he said that Prabhupada then finally wrote, “And if you don’t then you will meet with an inglorious death. If you do that, then your life will be successful. But if you don’t do that then you will meet with an inglorious death.” And that’s what actually happened. He was assassinated. Although Prabhupada in his youth he was an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi.
So anyway, unfortunately people in today’s world do not want to accept Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although they appreciate Krishna’s qualities but they cannot accept Him as God. And here we are seeing Krishna is not a politician. What do the politicians do when they meet with his enemy and go as a messenger? He would put his words in a very, very mild way to please him, but here Krishna is completely straightforward. And this is how a messenger has to be: he must carry the message purely and present it. We find that also in Ramayana when Angad, son of Vali, went to meet Ravana as a messenger of Ramacandra. He was just giving it straight to Ravana. He said, “Your days are numbered. Better you surrender to Ramacandra. You are such a fool that you are not recognizing who is Ramacandra.” [laughs] Like, you know, going to Ravana and telling him must have made that… so much courage. But that’s what he is. A messenger must be completely transparent. He must carry the message just the way it has been presented to him.
Krishna is saying, [continues reading from Mahabharata] “I am the soul of the Pandavas. He who is a slave of avarice and ill treats them is considered by Me to be the lowliest of men. You hit them. So the food which you offer Me is the food of an enemy. It must not be eaten. The Pandavas mean My very life to Me.”
[HH BCS:] This is how Krishna considers His devotees. Krishna knows that He is the life and soul of His devotees and Krishna also considers that His devotees are His life and soul. That’s what Krishna is saying, [continuing the Mahabharata chapter:] “The Pandavas mean My very life to Me. Your food is not welcome to Me. I will only eat the food given to Me by Vidura. He is dear to Me and the Pandavas are dear to him.”
Krishna got up and walked out. He walked into the street and proceeded towards the house of Vidura. Bhishma and Kripa walked with Him. They said, “Please enter the house we have equipped for You.” Krishna said, “Please go back to your palaces. You have entertained Me with your words. I am now going to the house of Vidura.” They had to return.
Krishna entered the house of Vidura who received Him with great affection. He pleased Krishna with his worship. Krishna ate His food there. He rested for some time. Night had fallen. After being refreshed by His rest Krishna got up and sat with Vidura discussing the burning topic of the day. Vidura said, “Krishna, Your coming is wrong. The foolish Duryodhana has become immune to good advice. He does not care to listen to anyone. If You talk to him he will not listen. In spite of the advice of all of us, he has decided on war. He thinks that he can win the war with the help of Bhishma, Drona, Kripa, Asvatthama, Radheya and Jayadratha. Looking at the huge army he has collected he thinks that victory is his. He is sure that Radheya is enough to destroy his enemies. Your words and mine will be disregarded. It will be as useless as playing sweet music to deaf ears. They are all sinners. I do not like the thought of Your sitting in the midst of them. Please do not waste your breath in talking to them about peace. I do not like to send You there, to the court of Dhrtarashtra. They will insult You, the Greatest of Men. How can I bear to see You insulted?”
Krishna said, “You are fond of Me and you are dear to Me. I have no secrets from you. Please listen carefully why I came here, the reason for My coming. I know all that is to happen. I have come with the full knowledge of the probable way the talk will proceed. I have come to try and rescue these people from the death which is imminent. I will achieve great fame if I am able to do it. Even if I am unable to achieve it, the fact that I tried to save a dying man will be enough for Me. If a man thinks sinful thoughts and is not able to translate them into action, even if he has thought wrongly, the sin does not attach itself to him. And so if this war can be averted I think sin cannot be ascribed to Duryodhana and his father.
This great danger has now come very near the house of the Kurus. If a man seeing ruin approaches someone still does not do anything to avert it, he is not a man. Even if he has to be dragged by the hair a doomed man must be saved from the danger that is threatening to engulf him. I am very keen on doing this service to humanity. I am hoping to convince Duryodhana. Yudhisthira has told Me that he wants peace. He has asked Me to try My best to avoid the war. I am very fond of Yudhisthira. He is the greatest man that has been born on this earth. It is an honor to be loved by him. To oblige him I have come on this mission of peace. I know it is sure to fail. But then I want to have the feeling that I tried My best. There is also this to be said: I want to talk in the court in such a manner that people will see the man Yudhisthira as he really is. I want the world to know the kind of people whom Duryodhana has wronged. I want the kings who have rallied round the serpent banner to see what kind of man Duryodhana is. The man for whose sake they are prepared to lay down their lives. I want Bhishma, Drona and all the others to see what a sinful course they have adopted in fighting with the Pandavas. The war cannot be averted but the world will know why the war is to be fought. That is the reason for My coming, Vidura.” Krishna brought the subject to an end and then they talked of many things.
[HH BCS:] You want to listen more? Okay. [laughs] The next chapter is describing ‘Krishna, The Peacemaker.’ [Continues reading from Mahabharata] “In the morning Krishna was just finishing His routine duties when Duryodhana and Radheya accompanied by all the Kauravas came to the house of Vidura to take Krishna to the court. Daruka brought the chariot of Krishna. Krishna ascended the chariot accompanied by Vidura. Duryodhana and Radheya followed Him in the chariot of Duryodhana. Satyaki and Kritavarma followed these two. A guard of honor was waiting for Krishna. The reception given to Him was very impressive. Many elephants and horses followed His chariot to the palace. All the people in the city had thronged to see the great Krishna.
The procession reached the palace. The noise of the chariots brought all kings to the gates of the palace. Krishna descended from His chariot. His two palms were held by Vidura and Satyaki. Krishna entered the great assembly hall. Radheya and Duryodhana led Him into the hall. Kritavarma followed Krishna. Dhrtarashtra and the other elders of the court got up from their seats and honored Krishna. They waited for Him to sit down. He was led to a seat made especially for Him. Just before He sat down Krishna chanced to see Narada and other rishis waiting to watch the happenings in the court. He told Bhishma that rishis were waiting to enter the court. Bhishma hurried to them and brought them with great respect to the court. All of them were requested to sit on special seats and then, with a smile, Krishna sat down. Dushashana led Satyaki to a richly covered seat. Vivimshati, a brother of Duryodhana, did the same thing to Kritavarma. Not too far away from Krishna sat the two friends, Duryodhana and Radheya. They shared the same seat. Shakuni was there, near them. Vidura was seated on a seat which was touching that of Krishna.
All eyes were turned towards Krishna. They looked and looked and were not satisfied. He was so charming that the eyes were happy to rest on Him. His glory lent brilliance to the great hall. With His favorite jewel Kaustubha on His chest, with His favorite yellow silk draping, His dark body, Krishna looked like a dark mountain lit up by the yellow rays of the rising sun. For a moment there was an intense silence. Suddenly Krishna broke it with His voice, like the rumbling of a distant thunder. He looked at Dhrtarashtra. His words were addressed to the king. He said, “I have come to Hastinapura to prevent the death of so many heroes. I have come to bring about peace between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. I do not have to say much. You know everything. This, your family, is famous. The house of the Kurus is the noblest house in this Bharatavarsa. The scions of your house have been reputed for their great qualities. They have all been endowed with kindness, sympathy, truthfulness, generosity and love of justice. Having been born of such an illustrious race, it is not right that you should be the first person to be so different. It does not become a son of the house of Kurus to do what you are doing. Your sons, My lord, have left justice behind them and are proceeding on the path of sin like butchers. They have no discipline. They have no respect for elders. They are avaricious. They behave wrongly towards their kinsmen. This should have been known to you already. They have now knowingly or otherwise reached a dangerous stage. It is dangerous to them and to the world. Because of their indiffe- rence to the advice of the good people they are threatening to destroy the world. If you really want to, My lord, you can control them and ask them to make peace with their cousins. Even a difficult thing can be achieved if the will is there to do it.
This peace is in your hands. Please be firm with your sons. Establish your authority. All the people here in this great assembly know how necessary it is for you to assert your authority. The Pandavas and the Kauravas will be saved if you interfere in time and do something. Please be warm and guileless towards the sons of Pandu. If this peace is made there will be no one to equal you. Think of yourself being guarded by the Kauravas and the Pandavas. If you have the protection of the Pandavas there is nothing that you have to fear. With Bhishma, Drona, Kripa, Radheya, Vivimshati, Ashvatthama, Vikarna and Somadatta on one side, supported by Jayadratha and Duryodhana, you will have the added support of Yudhisthira, Bhima, Nakula, Sahadeva and Arjuna, Satyaki and Abhimanyu. Think of the wonderful army of yours. You will be honored in this world and in the next world as the greatest man born in the house of the Kurus. You will be the lord of the world, as you are now. Nothing can oppose you, no one can. If you are friendly with the Pandavas they’ll conquer for you the world and all its riches. You can be lord of all that. Instead of that glory you are courting infamy and destruction.
What do you get by this split between the two branches of the same tree? What do you gain by the slaughter of the armies on both sides? With your sons killed in the battle by the great Pandavas, what are you going to achieve? Your sons are powerful fighters but so are the Pandavas. Please avert the ruin threatening the world. I cannot contemplate without a shudder the war between the cousins. All the kings who have assembled here are bent on dying. Can you not save them all? Please save the world! The Pandavas are good and full of affection for you. Let your sons and their cousins live in peace. Remember the time when they came to you in distress? They had just lost their father. They have lived as your children. It is but right that you should be a father to these orphans. When they are in trouble it is you that should comfort them. Do not kill the natural affection that should be present in your heart. You called them to Hastinapura. You sent them on an exile which lasted so many years. They have suffered so much. They still think of you as their father! You must take advantage of this opportunity and make up for all your past wrong actions. You are familiar with all the rules of conduct. It is but right that you should observe them now. You and your sons are not doing the right thing. This assembly is not a proper ‘sabha’ at all, where justice is being throttled by injustice, where truth is being overwhelmed by untruth, where all this is happening and the so-called elders allow it and are just looking on at this continual injustice. It is not a sabha. It is a breeding place of sin.
Please do consider My words carefully. Return to the Pandavas the kingdom that is theirs by right. You know very well the nature of Yudhisthira. He will never remember the wrongs of the past. He will be very obedient and affectionate. I am fond of you, My lord. I do not want you to suffer the death of your sons. If you have any desire for peace in aftertimes, you must make peace with the Pandavas now.”
Everyone was listening as if spell bound. Krishna finished talking and yet no one spoke. No one could think of anything to say after the words of Krishna. A few moments later the king began to speak. He said, “Krishna, You have spoken to me about the necessity of peace. Can You not see that I am helpless? I am not the master here. My wishes will not be obeyed. My sons do not care for me and my words. If You can try and convince Duryodhana and Radheya I’ll be happy. They will not listen to any words of advice from anyone. Duryodhana is too willful. His mother, Gandhari, has tried to talk to him. Vidura has tried his best, so has our Bhishma. It is all to no purpose. If You can succeed where others have failed I’ll be eternally grateful to You.”
Krishna turned to Duryodhana and said, “Duryodhana, listen to My words. You are a descendant of the great house of the Kurus. You are rich and you are endowed with all the great and noble qualities which are characteristic of that race, the race of the Kurus. Why then do you behave like this? My dear Duryodhana, only those born of a low family, only those who are of small nature will be avaricious and cruel. How is it that you are trying to behave against the traditions of your family? The behavior of good people is ever in the path of truth. Only evil minded people will behave in an abnormal fashion. The behavior of yours is wrong. It will bring eternal disgrace to you and to your name. Please save your soul. Even now it is not too late. Please rescue your brothers and your dear friends from eternal shame. You can do it if you make up your mind. You will be gladdening the hearts of so many people here. Your father, your grandfather, your guru and all your friends will be so very happy if you agree to make peace with the Pandavas. Gladden the heart of your mother, Gandhari, who is the noblest of all women. Your father is willing to make peace with the Pandavas. Why do you still hesitate? Do not disgrace the advice of your elders.
There are three kinds of people in this world. The first class is made up of those who are righteous by nature. The second class of people has only profit in view. Even if you belong to the second class, it will be profitable to make peace with the Pandavas. You are hoping to be the lord of the world. You are hoping to be that with the help of Radheya, your brothers and Shakuni. It will be more to your advantage if you have the brave Pandavas as your companions. They are definitely superior to your supporters. There is no one to equal Arjuna and Bhima. Your grandfather and all the mighty heroes on your side cannot equal Arjuna in prowess. If you make friends with them they will surely establish you as the Yuvaraja [crown prince]. Your father will continue to be king. They will be happy with their share of the land of the Kurus. They will not encroach into your territory. Why do you not make them your supporters in war with others? No one can dare to defy you if you have the Pandavas as your allies. Think it over. There is a third type of man. He enjoys doing what is wrong. I do not want to believe that you belong to the third type. Can you not recognize fame and glory when they are waiting to be yours? Why do you persist in this enmity? Why are you so blind to the advantages of peace? Make up your mind. Shed off this sinfulness as the serpent does its old skin. Emerge out of it with new brilliance. Give half the land to the Pandavas and save the world from annihilation.”
Krishna had finished His talk. Bhishma spoke words of the same import. He said, “My child, please do not be obstinate. Listen to the words of Krishna. It is not a good thing to disregard His words. He has spoken words full of meaning. Do not bring ruin on this beautiful and glowing Bharatavarsa. With your extreme ego you are trying to destroy the world. Do not sadden the heart of your noble mother with this your behavior.” Drona too spoke words of gentle persuasion. Vidura said, “I do not feel sorry for you. I am only sorry for Gandhari and your father who have to suffer sorrow in their old age. They will be childless. They’ll be just helpless and friendless in this wide world. They will suffer for this sin of having for son a sinner and egoist like you.” [laughs]
Bhishma and Drona spoke again. They said, “So long as this Krishna and Arjuna do not enter the battlefield, so long as this bow of Arjuna, the Gandiva, is not making music on the battlefield, so long as Yudhisthira does not look on your army with his burning eyes, you have hopes of living. Bhima, with his eyes red with wrath, will cause havoc in your ranks. Nakula and Sahadeva with Dristhadyumna will destroy your army. Please take heed and avert this calamity! Everyone is for peace. Make peace with the Pandavas. Return their kingdom to the Pandavas and live.”
[HH BCS:] Okay, ‘Duryodhana’s Anger.’ [chuckles] I’ll just read a few paragraphs and then end.
“Duryodhana had listened to all these speeches. At last he turned his eyes towards Krishna. He said, “Krishna, You have been talking all this while to me. You talk as though all the blame is to be placed on my shoulders. I have been watching Your gracious Self, my father, my grandfather, my acarya and Vidura. All of you seem to think that I am to blame for everything that has happened. I do not see what I have done to deserve so much censure. I really have tried to see but I cannot find that I am in the wrong. Let me tell You what happened.
Yudhisthira played the game of dice willingly enough with my uncle. He lost his kingdom to Shakuni. How is it that I am blamed for that? It is not my fault that he played a bad game. You must have heard that I returned the kingdom and everything else to Yudhisthira immediately. Is it my fault that he lost it all again in the second game that was played? They lost and went to the forest according to the conditions. They are now thinking of many reasons to blame me for their foolishness. Now they have joined the Pancalas and collected an army. They are trying to pick a quarrel with me. We have not hurt them in any way. There is no reason for this war which they have declared on us. As for us, we cannot be frightened. Even if Indra comes to fight with us we are not scared of him. We will not bow down to him in fear. I cannot see anyone strong enough to defeat us in battle. Bhishma, Drona, Kripa and Radheya are on my side. No one can face them in battle. I am only following the dharma of a kshatriya in preparing to fight with those who are quarreling with us for no reason at all.”
[HH BCS laughing:] There is a saying, the Bengali saying goes ‘chore na sune dharma kahine’: a thief doesn’t want to listen to the instructions of dharma. So here is Duryodhana: “If I have to I will die on the battlefield hurt by arrows or we will make them sleep on a bed of arrows. The dharma of a man who is a kshatriya is just that. If we are killed in the battle we reach heaven. If death embraces us in the battle, if we are able to die without bowing our head down in front of our enemies, why, that is more than enough. We will not be sorry to die! Which man born of a kshatriya woman will give place of fear in his heart? Who will be frightened by the enemy and accept that he is afraid? Who will be false to his noble birth and bringing up by bowing in front of the enemy with the hope of saving his life? The rule set down for a prince is this: he should always be upright. He should stand erect. He is a man only if he acts. A kshatriya should never bend, to break rather than bend. I have always lived like a king. I have bowed my head down but that is only to my elders who deserve respect. I have never bent my head down to anyone, never. This is a rule for a kshatriya and this is the rule I have followed for myself always. I’ll never swerve from my dharma.
As far this kingdom called Indraprastha, my father gave it to them in the olden days. I know it. I admit it. But that will never be restored to them, not as long as I am alive. So long as my father, this king Dhrtarashtra is alive the Pandavas and ourselves must leave our weapons in their sieves and live as his dependants. When Khandavaprastha was given to Yudhisthira I was a dependant, I was a child and I was not old enough to be consulted. It was given away to them either in ignorance or in fear, I do not know. But now that kingdom will never, never be returned to them. Not as long as I am alive. Krishna, remember these words of mine, note them carefully: not even land which can be covered by the tip of a sharp needle will be surrendered to the Pandavas by us.”
Krishna laughed a strange laugh. It expressed contempt and a great pity for Duryodhana. It was tinged with anger and sorrow. It made the entire assembly tremble with an unknown fear. They had not heard this laughter of Krishna. They had seen Him smile. They had seen Him frown. They had seen His face grave and serious. They had seen so many different expressions on the mobile features of Krishna but this strange laughter struck terror in the hearts of everyone. Krishna got up suddenly from His jeweled seat. His eyes were crimson with fury. Still He smiled that strange smile and said, “Duryodhana, you seem to desire a bed on the field of battle. So be it. You will get what you want. You have always got what you wanted. Be firm. In a few days you will see a great slaughter. You will meet your death which you seem to love so much. You and your dear advisers will all get what you desire.”
This is Mahabharata! [laughs]
Okay, so today we end here. It is almost nine o’clock.
So the point is that the devotees are always surrendered to Krishna, but the non-devotees, those who are not fortunate enough, rather those who have been cursed by their misfortune will never surrender to Krishna. Those who are fortunate they will surrender to Krishna and receive the eternal glory and a life full of knowledge and bliss, prosperity. But those who don’t they will be destroyed. No matter how glorious and powerful they may appear to be. Just as Duryodhana. He was powerful. He was extremely powerful and that’s why he thought he would win the battle. But when one doesn’t surrender to Krishna the inevitable destiny is death and he’ll lose everything.
Thank you very much.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Gaura Premanande Hari Haribol!
Transcription : Her Grace Ranga Radhika Dasi
Editing : Ramananda Raya Dasa
Audio :click here