Material Nature Is Fallible

Material Nature Is Fallible

THE FOLLOWING LECTURE ON SRIMAD-BHAGAVATAM, CANTO 3, CHAPTER 1, QUESTIONS BY VIDURA, TEXT 20, WAS GIVEN BY HIS HOLINESS BHAKTI CHARU SWAMI ON 2 APRIL 2008 IN ISKCON UJJAIN, INDIA.

Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

Srimad Bhagavatam, third Canto, chapter one ‘Questions By Vidura’, text twenty.

ittham vrajan bharatam eva varsham
kalena yavad gatavan prabhasam
tavac chasasa kshitim eka cakram
ekatapatram ajitena parthah

Synonyms:
ittham — like this; vrajan — while traveling; bharatam — India; eva — only; varsham — the tract of land; kalena — in due course of time; yavat — when; gatavan — visited; prabhasam — the Prabhasa pilgrimage site; tavat — at that time; sasasa — ruled; kshitim — the world; eka-cakram — by one military force; eka — one; atapatram — flag; ajitena — by the mercy of the unconquerable Krishna; parthah — Maharaja Yudhisthira.

Translation:
Thus, when he was in the land of Bharatavarsha traveling to all the places of pilgrimage, he visited Prabhasakshetra. At that time Maharaja Yudhisthira was the emperor and held the world under one military strength and one flag.

Purport:
More than five thousand years ago, while Saint Vidura was traveling the earth as a pilgrim, India was known as Bharatavarsha, as it is known even today. The history of the world cannot give any systematic account for more than three thousand years into the past, but before that the whole world was under the flag and military strength of Maharaja Yudhisthira, who was the emperor of the world. At present there are hundreds and thousands of flags flapping in the United Nations, but during the time of Vidura there was, by the grace of Ajita, Lord Krishna, only one flag. The nations of the world are very eager to again have one state under one flag, but for this they must seek the favor of Lord Krishna, who alone can help us become one worldwide nation.
[End of Purport]

ittham vrajan bharatam eva varsham
kalena yavad gatavan prabhasam
tavac chasasa kshitim eka cakram
ekatapatram ajitena parthah
Thus, when he was in the land of Bharatavarsha traveling to all the places of pilgrimage, he visited Prabhasakshetra. At that time Maharaja Yudhisthira was the emperor and held the world under one military strength and one flag.

Vidura left just before the battle of Kurukshetra began and he had been travelling for many, many months and years. The battle of Kurukshetra lasted only for how many days? [audience: eighteen days] Eighteen days. In eighteen days the battle of Kurukshetra was settled and within eighteen days Duryodhana’s side was finished, completely plundered. Duryodhana ran away. He was hiding under water. The Pandavas found out and along with Krishna they went. They started to insult Duryodhana and as a result of that Duryodhana came out of the water. He was given a choice that he could fight with one of the Pandavas, anyone of them, and he could select the weapon that he wanted. That is how fair they were. Although they could have killed Duryodhana straight away, they did not. They gave Duryodhana a chance and the battle was not settled, was not decided until Duryodhana was killed. All had died. All the big warriors, all the big maharathis, the generals died, those who were invincible. The first one to follow was Bhishma, then Drona, then Karna. Duryodhana thought that with their help he was going to win the war.

Now that is the materialistic situation. No matter how powerful the situation may appear to be, everything in this material nature is fallible. No matter how secure one’s position appears to be, everyone in this material nature is fallible. Duryodhana could never imagine that Bhishma could be killed. He could never imagine that Dronacarya could be killed. He could never imagine that Karna would be defeated. He could never imagine that seven akshauhinis of the Pandavas, the seven akshauhinis soldiers of the Pandavas could defeat the eleven akshauhinis soldiers that he had. And that’s why he became so desperate for the war. So many exalted personalities came and advised that, “Don’t get into this war. Make peace.” One after another, and Vyasadeva advised, Maitreya Rishi advised but Duryodhana wouldn’t listen. Maitreya Rishi therefore gave him a curse, still he wouldn’t listen. Maitreya cursed him, “You will die in the battle. You are not listening to me, so I curse you that you will die.” Still he wouldn’t listen. Bhishma came. His mother Gandhari advised. Duryodhana wouldn’t listen to anyone. Then Krishna came. What to speak of listening to Krishna’s advice, he tried to arrest Krishna thinking Him to be an ordinary person.

And that’s the problem with the materialistic people. Materialistic people give the maximum value to their own sense perception, and their own mind and their own intelligence. That’s the symptom of materialistic way of looking at things. Yes, from the materialistic calculation Duryodhana was bound to win the battle, from materialistic calculation. Bhishma was practically immortal. He had the boon of ‘ichha mrityu.’ He was the greatest general, the greatest warrior. So was Dronacarya. Nobody could actually kill Dronacarya. Dronacarya had the blessing that nobody would be able to kill him as long as he had a weapon in his hand. Nobody would be able to defeat him, what to speak of kill him, as long as he had a weapon in his hand. So who could kill Bhishma? Who could kill Drona and Karna? Such a powerful warrior. But the reality is, the material nature is fallible. Everything in this material nature is fallible, whereas the spiritual reality, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is infallible.

So from this we have to learn our lesson. And our lesson should be: do not give any importance, do not give so much importance to the materialistic calculation. Rather, depend upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Personality of Godhead may appear to be very insignificant. He may appear to be a dwarf, a small little boy. He may appear to be a fish. He may appear to be a tortoise, or He may appear to be a Deity in the temple, not moving, a piece of stone. Just a statue carved out of a piece of stone in the temple room. Although He may appear in a certain way in our eyes but we should not miscalculate Him. We should always recognize that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So that is how we should actually look at the spiritual reality and be submissive to the spiritual reality, and then we can never lose. If we remain fixed in the spiritual reality we’ll never lose. We will never go wrong.

Okay, I’ll just end now. Does anybody have any question?

Devotee: Guru Maharaja, how long did Yudhisthira Maharaja rule the kingdom after he won the battle, before he left for ‘maha prasthana’?
BCS: Must have been quite some years. Well, I don’t know the exact calculation but it must have been some years. At least one way we can see is that Parikshit Maharaja at the time of the Kurukshetra battle was in the womb of his mother and when Yudhisthira Maharaja took maha prasthana, Parikshit Maharaja was grown up.

Devotee: And regarding the statement that we should not give importance to material calculation but depend on Krishna, so although we depend on Krishna, is it that we should not be systematic in our approach, in doing things? I mean when we are systematic in our approach and we plan ahead what we want to do and how we want to do, a certain amount of calculation and planning also is required.
BCS: Again we can go back to the battle of Kurukshetra. Were the Pandavas just sucking their thumbs, depending upon Krishna? Or they made the arrangements? They got their soldiers. They got their army together. So yes, materially one has to make arrangements. You see, the reality also is that we are in the material nature. The material nature according to us is not ‘brahma satya jagan mithya.’ Our understanding is brahma satya jagat satya. The material nature is also real but material nature without Krishna is illusory. Material nature with Krishna is Absolute Reality.

Devotee:  Guru Maharaja, you said that Duryodhana was given a fair chance to choose whom he wants to fight and with what weapon. What did Duryodhana chose?
BCS: Duryodhana chose the mace and the person he chose was Bhima. This is also Krishna’s arrangement because Duryodhana had to be killed by Bhima. Bhima took a vow that he would break his thigh. But here also it shows the nobility in Duryodhana because he was very expert in mace fight. That was his expertise.
Devotee: Is it that from Balarama he learned to fight?
BCS: Yeah, he was very expert in mace fight so he could have selected somebody who was not that expert like Bhima in mace fight. And the condition was that if he could defeat any one of them, then he could get his kingdom back.

Okay, Hare Krishna! All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!