01 Aug Vedic Scriptures Deal With The Absolute Truth And Nothing But The Truth
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS
Founder-Ācārya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
The following lecture on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Fifth Canto, Chapter Three, Ṛṣabhadeva’s Appearance Text Twenty, was given by His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami ISKCON Radhadesh, Belgium, on 1 August 2011.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami sings :
Jaya Rādhā-Mādhava and Hare Kṛṣṇa kīrtana
Śrī Śrī Radha-Gopinatha Ki Jaya
Grantha-Rāja Śrīmad Bhāgavatam Ki Jaya.
namo om vishnu padaya krishna presthaya bhutale
srimate bhaktivedanta swami iti namine
namaste sarasvate deve gaura vani pracarine
nirvisesa sunyavadi pascatya desa tarine
oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya
oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya
oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya
naraṁ caiva narottamam
devīṁ sarasvatīṁ vyāsaṁ
tato jayam udīrayet
bhaktir bhavati naiṣṭhikī
Śrīmad Bhāgavatam Fifth Canto Third Chapter Three, Ṛṣabhadeva’s Appearance, Text 20
barhiṣi tasminn eva Viṣṇudatta bhagavān paramarṣibhiḥ prasādito nābheḥ priya-cikīrṣayā tad-avarodhāyane merudevyāṁ dharmān darśayitu-kāmo vāta-raśanānāṁ śramaṇānām ṛṣīṇām ūrdhva-manthināṁ śuklayā tanuvāvatatāra.
So, this verse is in prose form. So, I will just read it through.
barhiṣi tasminn eva Viṣṇudatta bhagavān paramarṣibhiḥ prasādito nābheḥ priya-cikīrṣayā tad-avarodhāyane merudevyāṁ dharmān darśayitu-kāmo vāta-raśanānāṁ śramaṇānām ṛṣīṇām ūrdhva-manthināṁ śuklayā tanuvāvatatāra.
So, I will just read it through since it is not in a poetry form, or verse form or we should get some of you to read it. Maybe some of you can read it.
Devotee: barhiṣi tasminn eva Viṣṇudatta bhagavān paramarṣibhiḥ prasādito nābheḥ priya-cikīrṣayā tad-avarodhāyane merudevyāṁ dharmān darśayitu-kāmo vāta-raśanānāṁ śramaṇānām ṛṣīṇām ūrdhva-manthināṁ śuklayā tanuvāvatatāra.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Thank you. Beautiful.
Word for word:
barhiṣi — in the arena of sacrifice; tasmin — that; eva — in this way; Viṣṇudatta— O Mahārāja Parīkṣit; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; paramarṣibhiḥ— by the great ṛṣis; prasāditaḥ — being pleased; nābheḥ priya-cikīrṣayā — to please King Nābhi; tat-avarodhāyane — in his wife; merudevyām — Merudevī; dharmān — the principles of religion; darśayitu-kāmaḥ — desiring to exhibit how to perform; vāta-raśanānām — of the sannyāsīs (who have almost no cloth); śramaṇānām — of the vānaprasthas; ṛṣīṇām — of the great sages; ūrdhva-manthinām — of the brahmacārīs; śuklayā tanuvā — in His original spiritual form, which is above the modes of material nature; avatatāra — appeared as an incarnation.
Translation by His Divine Grace Śrīla Prabhupāda .
O Viṣṇudatta, Parīkṣit Mahārāja, the Supreme Personality of Godhead was pleased by the great sages at that sacrifice. Consequently the Lord decided to personally exhibit the method of executing religious principles [as observed by brahmacārīs, sannyāsīs, vānaprasthas and gṛhasthas engaged in rituals] and also satisfy Mahārāja Nābhi’s desire. Consequently He appeared as the son of Merudevī in His original spiritual form, which is above the modes of material nature.
Devotees repeat the translation
Purport by Śrīla Prabhupāda.
When the Supreme Lord appears or descends as an incarnation within this material world, He does not accept a body made of the three modes of material nature (sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa). Māyāvādī philosophers say that the impersonal God appears in this material world by accepting a body in the sattva-guṇa. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī states that the word śukla means “consisting of śuddha-sattva.” Lord Viṣṇu descends in His śuddha-sattva form. Śuddha-sattva refers to the sattva-guṇa which is never contaminated. In this material world, even the mode of goodness (sattva-guṇa) is contaminated by tinges of rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa. When sattva-guṇa is never contaminated by rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa, it is called śuddha-sattva. Sattvaṁ viśuddhaṁ vasudeva-śabditam (Bhāg. 4.3.23). That is the platform of Vasudeva, whereby the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva, can be experienced. In Bhagavad-gītā (4.7) Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself says:
yadā yadā hi dharmasya
glānir bhavati bhārata
tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham
“Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion — at that time I descend Myself.”
Unlike ordinary living entities, the Supreme Lord is not forced by the modes of material nature to appear. He appears dharmān darśayitu-kāma — to show how to execute the functions of a human being. The word dharma is meant for human beings and is never used in connection with beings inferior to human beings, such as animals. Unfortunately, without being guided by the Supreme Lord, human beings sometimes manufacture a process of dharma by concoction. Actually dharma cannot be made by man. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam. (Bhāg. 6.3.19) Dharma is given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, just as the law is given by the state government. Man-made dharma has no meaning. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam refers to man-made dharma as kaitava-dharma, cheating religion. The Supreme Lord sends an avatāra (incarnation) to teach human society the proper way to execute religious principles. Such religious principles are bhakti-mārga. As the Supreme Lord Himself says in Bhagavad-gītā: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja. The son of Mahārāja Nābhi, Ṛṣabhadeva, appeared on this earth to preach the principles of religion. That will be explained in the Fifth Chapter of this Fifth Canto.
This is the end of the chapter. So, this ends, thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Fifth Canto, Third Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “Ṛṣabhadeva’s Appearance in the Womb of Merudevī, the wife of King Nābhi.
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ
sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale
svayaṁ rūpaḥ kadā mahyaṁ
vande ’haṁ śrī-guroḥ śrī-yuta-pada-
kamalaṁ śrī-gurūn vaiṣṇavāṁś ca
śrī-rūpaṁ sāgrajātaṁ saha-gaṇa-
raghunāthānvitaṁ taṁ sa-jīvam
sādvaitaṁ sāvadhūtaṁ parijana-
he kṛṣṇa karuṇā-sindho
rādhā-kānta namo ’stu te
kṛpā-sindhubhya eva ca
vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ
śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare
So, the history of Ṛṣabhadeva’s appearance has been described here. Actually, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is not a history, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is Purāṇa, Mahā-Purāṇa. The difference between history or itihāsa and Purāṇa is that, Itihas maintains a chronological order. It very systematical, chronologically describes whereas Purāṇa’s descriptions are not maintaining the chronology of time. Purāṇas are mainly the descriptions of the Lord’s activities along with His devotees. Lord’s activities and His devotee’s activities are described in Purāṇa and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the Mahā-Purāṇa. There are many Purāṇas. There are eightteen Purāṇas but Bhāgavatam is the topmost of all them, amala-purāṇa and it is the Mahā-Purāṇa. Bhāgavatam is described as Mahā-Purāṇa. A MahāPurāṇa has ten.. what makes a Purāṇa, a MahāPurāṇa? The ten symptoms dasame dasalakshnam. The ten symptoms makes… Mahā-Purāṇa must have ten symptoms. Those ten symptoms are sarga or creation, visaraga– secondary creation, the principal creation begins with Mahā-Viṣnu. Material Nature is created by Mahā-Viṣnu or, rather in order to create this material nature, manifest the material nature the Lord appears in His Viṣṇu Forms, three Puruṣa avatars – Mahā-Viṣnu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and then he hands over the creation to Brahmā onwards. So, Brahmā onwards the creation is secondary creation – visarga. atra sarga visargas ca sthānam – then descriptions of the planetary systems. Mahā-Purāṇa has one aspect that describes the planetary systems of the Universe. Poṣaṇam– how this material nature is maintained. Utaya– the tendency to expand or procreate. Then, Manvantara – a day, in a day of Brahmā, fourteen Manus appear and each Manu reigns for about seventy one Caturyugas; Brahmā’s day consists of thausand Caturyugas. so, thousand caturyugas divided by fourteen is about seventy one. So, each Manu’s reign, each reign of Manu and appearance of the Lord as Manvanatara avatāra is one aspect. Then Iśānukathā – the Lord‘s incarnation or descriptions of the incarnations of the Lord. So, here it is one of the Iśānukathā. Ṛṣabhadeva is an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
So, this Iśānukathā – the descriptions of the appearance of the Personality of Godhead in this material nature. So, this way we can see that Bhāgavatam, scriptures like Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is not mythology as it has been very badly misunderstood nowadays. The Vedic scriptures, even people in India consider them to be, they call it mythology. That means myth, mythical. It is stories without foundations, fairy tales. But no! Bhāgavatam and all the Vedic scriptures are dealing with the Absolute Truth and nothing but the Truth. In the Vedic Culture there is no room for falsity. Vedic culture is founded on truth leading to the Absolute Truth. Absolute Truth is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. How can we approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead through our mental concoctions or imaginations? It’s unfortunate that even in India which is the land of dharma, dharma is in such turmoil. It is mainly due to the British influence on India. When the British went to India they just wanted to make the Indians think that India is a primitive country without culture and now British have come to India to civilize them. They used, they introduced their own education system and they made the Indians reject their original Vedic culture and the Vedic education system. They termed Mahābhārata, Rāmāyaṇa, all the Purāṇas, Dharma śāstras, all these as mythology. And as a result of that today there is such a crisis of spiritual culture.
Fortunately Śrīla Prabhupāda came; I would say fortunately Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Thakura came; fortunately Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Thakura came; fortunately Śrīla Prabhupāda came and reestablished the Vedic culture and then Prabhupāda brought it to the West. And today it is happening, even in India people are accepting; they are realizing the values of Vedic culture and they are accepting it. And it’s all due to Śrīla Prabhupāda’s teachings. India on its own would not have accepted it. So. Śrīla Prabhupāda had to go to America. He went to America to establish Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then he sent the Americans to India to make them recognize the value of their culture and then the Indians, some Indians started to think here, if the Americans are accepting it, it must be worthwhile. Not only Americans, Americans and Europeans, because this was the state of India at that time and even today – West is the best, West is the best.
The other day someone was joking that… maybe it was true, but he was telling it to me as a joke, that he was talking to some Indian and asked him, “what’s the goal of your life?” And he said: “to be born in America.”
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: And it’s a fact. Many Indians think that it was so much better to be born in America or Europe. Therefore, it is very important that people in India recognize the value of their culture, when they see that the people in the West are accepting it. When they are trying to follow the West, Western people are actually accepting the Vedic culture (Jaya Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Gopīnātha Ki Jaya, Jaya Śrī Śrī Jagannātha Baladeva, Subhadrā Mahārāṇī Ki Jaya, Jaya Śrī Śrī Gaura-Nitāi Ki Jaya).
So, here is a beautiful description of Ṛṣabhadeva’s appearance. Another important thing that we can see that, this cannot be fairy tales; this cannot be a fictitious thing. Like, when there is a fairy tale or a fictitious story, fiction, and then we do not get such a large elaborate chronological descriptions of their lineage. Say, for example, does anybody know what is the name of Superman’s father?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Superman’s father’s description may be there, but what about his grandfather?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: or Spiderman or Batman or Cinderella. But here we find in the Vedic scriptures, their lineages go all the way back to the beginning, beginning of creation. Say, for example, Lord Ramachandra’s, His lineage goes all the way back to Ikṣvāku. Ikṣvāku’s father is Vaivasvata Manu, his father is Vivasvana. So, this is how we see, that, this culture is based on such a solid authentic foundation. It cannot possibly be fictitious. Here at least we are getting the description of, it will go back, like, we can find, like, Ṛṣabhadeva, Ṛṣabhadeva’s father is Nābhi, Nābhi’s father is Āgnīdhra and it goes all the way back. And who is Ṛṣabhadeva? Ṛṣabhadeva is not an ordinary person. It is not the birth of Ṛṣabhadeva; the chapter is not entitled as Ṛṣabhadeva’s birth; the chapter is entitled as Ṛṣabhadeva’s appearance. The Supreme Personality of Godhead doesn’t take birth. He appears; He doesn’t need to take birth like normal human being. He appears just as a king doesn’t have to commit crime to enter into prison. The king can go to prison any time; even if the king dresses like prisoner, still he is a king. Sometimes the king may dress up like a prisoner to teach the prisoners some lessons, just as Kṛṣṇa did, just as Caitanya Mahāprabhu did, just as Śrī Ramachandra did; they appeared like human beings but those are Their pastimes.
So, Kṛṣṇa Himself mentions in the 4th chapter of Bhagavad Gītā that janma karma ca me divyaṁ “ That My birth and My activities are divyaṁ, divine”, janma karma ca me divyaṁ and evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ “one who understands it properly”, tyaktvā dehaṁ puna rjanma naiti mameti so’rjuna, “If one simply understands that Kṛṣṇa’s birth, Kṛṣṇa’s appearance, Kṛṣṇa’s activities are transcendental, divine, then he doesn’t have to take birth again in this material nature, meaning he will become free of cycle of birth and death.” In this material nature we all are caught up in the cycle of birth and death- saṁsāra, saḿsāra-dāvānala-līḍha-loka, this saṁsāra means cycle of birth and death, birth in a new body, live in the body for some time, then die, then again come back and take birth in another body. So, this is chakra, it’s a cycle and in this material nature, we are caught up in this cycle and, therefore, we cannot get out of this material bondage, but when we recognize the Supreme Personality of Godhead, when we recognize Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and surrender unto Him, that mām evaṁ vetti tattvataḥ, recognize Kṛṣṇa is Supreme Personality of Godhead and surrender unto Him, then, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti so ’rjuna “when one leaves his body, he does not have to take another body again, that means he goes back to the spiritual sky, yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama, when he goes back, he doesn’t have to come back in this material nature.
In the fourth chapter Kṛṣṇa also describes how He appears. Actually its very interesting how Kṛṣṇa, how He came to this point, Kṛṣṇa told Arjuna, Arjuna I gave this knowledge long time ago to Vivasvana, imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān ahaṁ avyayam vivasvān manave prāha manur ikṣvākave ’bravīt, “I gave this knowledge to Vivasvana, the Sungod, he gave it to his son Manu, then Manu gave it to his son Ikṣvāku” and evaṁ paramparā prāptam “In this way, through disciplic succession, this knowledge is flowing through time immemorial.” So, at that time Arjuna asked the question, “Kṛṣṇa, You were born just the other day, how can You say that You gave this knowledge to Vivasvana?” So, then Arjuna.. then, Kṛṣṇa told Arjuna that Arjuna bahūni me vyatītāni janmāni tava cārjuna “Many, many times I also have taken birth and you also have taken birth but of all those birth you don’t’ remember anything, I remember everything.” tāny ahaṁ veda sarvāṇi na tvaṁ vettha paran-tapa “You don’t remember anything” and then Kṛṣṇa says ajo ’pi sann avyayātmā “Actually I am unborn, I don’t need to take birth, I am aja.” bhūtānām īśvaro ’pi san “I am the controller of all the living entities” but still prakṛtiṁ svām adhiṣṭhāya sambhavāmy ātma-māyayā “Taking advantage of my internal potency, I sambhavāmy ātma-māyayā.” Here Kṛṣṇa is not saying I take birth but Kṛṣṇa is saying that I appear, I manifest Myself. This is Kṛṣṇa’s incarnation. He manifests Himself.
Again after two to three verses He again says that why He comes? yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata abhyutthānam adharmasya tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy ahaṁ. Why did I come? “When there is an increase of irreligious activities and decline of religious principle, then, in order to reestablish the religiosity I appear.” And again He is saying, How does He appear? paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya sambhavāmi yuge yuge. Again He is repeating the words sambhavāmi sambhavāmi, I manifest.
So, this is the most important thing to understand that Kṛṣṇa doesn’t take birth, Kṛṣṇa manifests Himself out of His own sweet will by the arrangement of Yogamāyā, prakṛtiṁ svām adhiṣṭhāya, taking advantage of my internal potency sambhavāmi I manifest. And when did I understand that, that Kṛṣṇa’s birth and Kṛṣṇa’s activities are not mundane arrangement of mundane guṇa and karma. We are born according to our guṇa according to our past activities, according to the modes of material nature. As we acted in the past, accordingly we will take our birth. As we acted in the past, accordingly we are subjected to functioning in this material nature. So, we all are subjected to guṇa and karma. prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ. In the material nature, everything is happening by the arrangement of guṇa and karma, guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ. But Kṛṣṇa’s activities, Kṛṣṇa’s appearance is not subjected to guṇa and karma rather Kṛṣṇa is always the controller of the guṇa and the controller of all the happenings of this material nature. How does He appear? He simply appears by the divine arrangement, daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī, or, rather divyaṁ, ca me divyaṁ, janma karma ca me divyaṁ. When we understand that Kṛṣṇa’s activities are divine, divine means not subjected to the arrangement of material nature, it’s of another dimension, apareyam itas tv anyāṁ prakṛtiṁ viddhi me parām, understand that there is a reality beyond this material nature that reality is divyaṁ, that is the transcendental reality. It is beyond the guṇa, arrangement beyond the jurisdiction of guṇa and Prabhupāda in the purport is writing, quoting Viswanath Cakravartī Thakur, that Kṛṣṇa is śukla. Here the Supreme Personality of Godhead has been described as śukla. Śukla means white. White is the color of goodness, mode of goodness. But in the material nature the mode of goodness is not really white. In the material nature mode of goodness is saffron. It is mixed but śuddha sattva as Śrīla Prabhupāda quotes the quote from Śrīmad Bhāgavatam that śuddha sattvaṁ viśuddhaṁ vasudeva-śabditam
Devotee: Sattvaṁ viśuddhaṁ vasudeva-śabditam
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Sattvaṁ viśuddhaṁ vasudeva-śabditam that viśuddha sattva material, pure goodness. Here it is contaminated goodness, tinged goodness, tinged by miśra sattva. This sattva is goodness in mixed goodness, mixed with passion and ignorance, but in the spiritual world, in the spiritual sky, the mode of goodness existing there has no tinge of ignorance and passion. Therefore, there is viśuddha sattva. So, that color is śukla, white; and this white indicates pure goodness. The Supreme Personality of Godhead from the spiritual sky descends to the material nature and when He descends to the material nature, He doesn’t become affected by the modes of material nature. He always remains pure; He always remains unaffected by the modes. Thank you very much. All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. Does anybody have any comment, questions?
His Holiness Bhakti Purusottama Swami: That Māyāvāda Brahmavāda, and Nirākāravāda, what is this three saying Māyāvāda , please clear them.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Okay, Māyāvāda. [Unclear] Mahārāja, his question is Māyāvāda, Brahmavāda and Nirākāravāda. So, what is the difference or what are they? Actually both Brahmavāda and Māyāvāda is nirākāra, nirviśeṣa, but Brahmavāda is positive impersonalism. Nirākāravāda actually means impersonalism, understanding that the Absolute Truth is not a person. That is impersonalism. Now, Brahmavāda is positive Impersonalism. Positive in the sense from Brahman understanding one can go to Personal understanding of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, just as we find in the case of Śukadeva Gosvāmī and the Four Kumāras. Initially they were impersonalists but then they become devotees. So, Brahmavāda is Vedic, Brahmavāda is a Vedic understanding; that is at some point, when we are approaching from here, we come to Brahmajyoti. Brahmajyoti is the Absolute Truth. It is the spiritual reality. But that in itself jyoti is the energy of the Lord, the bodily effulgence of the Lord, therefore the understanding of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is personal is not there at that time but penetrating that Brahmajyoti when one becomes to the personality, then he becomes the devotee. Whereas Māyāvāda, Māyāvāda is the theory of illusion. Māyā is illusion. So, Māyāvāda is the theory of illusion. So this theory of illusion has been established by Śaṅkarācārya. Śaṅkarācārya actually started a new philosophy which he himself admitted. Who is Śaṅkarācārya? Śaṅkarācārya is Lord Śiva Himself. Lord Śiva admitted to Pārvatī māyāvādam asac-chāstraṁ pracchannah baudham ucyate mayaiva kalpitaṁ devī kalau brāhmaṇa-rūpiṇā. That in the age of Kali appearing as a brāhmaṇa, I will establish asac-chāstraṁ temporary scripture, temporary siddhānta which will be known as māyāvāda in order to defeat Buddhism. So, actually, Śaṅkarācārya came to defeat Buddhism and in order to defeat Buddhism and reestablish the Vedas, Śaṅkarācārya had to propound this new siddhānta, asac-chāstraṁ. That asac-chāstraṁ has been established in this way: Vedas are describing, according to the Vedic understanding the material nature is a transformation of the spiritual energy that is called pariṇāmavāda, theory of transformation. That Brahman became jagat sarvam khalu idaṁ. The spiritual energy has been transformed into material nature, but Śaṅkarācārya said vyāsa bhrānta bali’ ta’ra uṭhāila vivāda. Śaṅkarācārya came and said Vyāsadeva was wrong. Saying that he established a new theory and that theory is called the theory of illusion, vivartavāda. Pariṇāmavāda is the theory of transformation, and vivartavāda is the theory of illusion. What is illusion? What appears to be there but actually is not there and Śaṅkarācārya drew the example, just as mirage appears to be like water but it is not water, it is hot sand, but appears to be like water. Or, mistaking a rope to be a snake, it’s not a snake, it is a rope, so that is the vivarta or illusion. Actually it’s rope but we are mistaking it due to illusion to be a snake. It is hot sand which is fire but appears to be water. So, similarly jagat mithyā, brahmā satya jagat mithyā. This jagat is illusion, false. So, that was Śaṅkarācārya’s theory which was commonly kown as māyāvāda. Originally it is known as kevala-advaitavāda, kevala-advaitavāda – Absolute non-duality or vivartavāda commonly known as māyāvāda or theory of illsion. But Rāmānujācārya came and defeated that, that is the wonderful thing.
Rāmānujācārya made the point that fine, there is no water in the mirage, so, somewhere water must be existing. So, we are mistaking mirage to be water. Fine it’s not snake in the rope, it’s rope but somewhere snake is existing, that’s why we are mistaking rope to be a snake. If the snake didn’t exist, there is no question of mistaking the rope to be a snake. So, this is how Rāmānujācārya established his theory of viśiṣṭādvaitavāda, defeating Śaṅkarācārya’s kevala–advaitavāda through his viśiṣṭādvaitavāda that although the spiritual reality is beyond the material nature and it’s absolutely spiritual but the spiritual reality is full of variegatedness. So, in this way Rāmānujācārya actually defeated Śaṅkarācārya’s kevala–advaitavāda and reestablished the personalism. Yeah, [unclear] the difference between brahmavāda and māyāvāda is that brahmavāda is positive. Brahmajyoti is there. It is real but this brahmajyoti is the bodily effulgence of the Lord. So, if we go further, we come to see the Lord. So, from brahmavāda, it possible to approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But problem with māyāvāda is that, they describe that the Brahman is the ultimate Absolute Truth and incarnation or the form of the Lord is the form in the mode of goodness, māyā, that form also is māyā. Like brahman in the mode of goodness is avatar, brahman in the mode of passion is jīva, passion in ignorance. So, brahman is jīva and when the jīva transcends the mode of passion and comes to the mode of goodness, then it is, then it is an incarnation. Like, that’s why there understanding is that sannyāsīs are Nārāyaṇa; because they have transcended, sannyāsīs have transcended the mode of passion and have come to the mode of goodness, therefore, they have become incarnations.
Devotee: Is there anything brahman in the mode of ignorance?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Vastu,
Devotee: What’s that?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Material substance
Devotee: O substance
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Vastu is, I mean, material elements are brahman in the mode of ignorance. Thank you. Any other question?
Devotee: Śukadeva Gosvāmī has [Unclear] about Vedic literature and he explained about the Itihāsas and he mentions [unclear] Upanishads
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Chāndogya Upanishad
Devotee: Chāndogya Upanishad
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes.
Devotee: I remember, I can remember he also said something like Purāṇas like Mahābhārata, Rāmāyaṇa, Purāṇas, they are mentioned as Itihāsas and like you said in the beginning that Purāṇas are not Itihāsas?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes. Very good. Yeah, good. They can fall in the category of Itihāsa because it is describing the history of the different kings and incarnations of the Lord but at the same time in the Vedic scriptures there is a scripture called Itihāsa. Right? And so, Rāmāyaṇa and Mahabharata are the Itihāsa, history because that is maintaining the chronological order; whereas Purāṇas don’t. So, that’s why he although included the Purāṇa as a part of Itihāsa but it’s not pure Itihāsas. Like, Itihāsa must maintain a chronological order. Like, when you read the history how do you see? The history of such and such period, then after that period came this period, then after that this period and different rulers and so forth. So, Itihāsa maintains a chronological order, pure Itihāsa. But Purāṇa is not maintaining the chronological order. Therefore they are separate from Itihāsa, they are Purāṇas. The characteristic of Purāṇa is that, they describe about the activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His devotees. Okay, so, do you have a question? Okay, I thought you have.
Hare Kṛṣṇa kīrtana after this
Transcription : Anonymous helper.
Editing : Rāmānanda Rāya Dāsa