Published on March 25th, 2023 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada12
Prabhupada Speaks on Bona Fide and Bogus Gurus
Translation: “O Sūta Gosvāmī, your words are pleasing to our minds. Please therefore explain this to us as it was spoken by the great devotee Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who is very expert in transcendental knowledge, and who spoke to Mahārāja Parīkṣit upon being asked.”
Prabhupāda: So Parīkṣit Mahārāja was asking and Śukadeva Gosvāmī was replying. Both of them were fit to ask and to reply. Bhāgavata-pradhānaḥ. Mahārāja Parīkṣit was disciple, and Śukadeva Gosvāmī was his spiritual master. If both of them become fit, are fit, then the discussion of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is very pleasing. The student and the master. If the master is learned and the student is foolish, then it will be not very much pleasing. Or the master is foolish and student is also foolish, that will also not be … Both of them should be … Satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ [SB 3.25.25]. Vīrya, vīrya means potency. Just like if a potent husband and potent wife have sex intercourse, immediately there will be pregnancy. Therefore this word is used. Potent. Formerly, this was being used. Both the husband and the wife remained potent, not impotent and sterilized. They remained potent, voluntarily. But when they wanted to beget a child, that one sex intercourse is sufficient. There is child.
Therefore it is said, satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ [SB 3.25.25]. If the Bhāgavata discussion is done between the two potents, the disciple and the master, then immediately, sadyaḥ hṛdi avarudhyate. As it is said in the beginning. Have you got Bhāgavata? The first, beginning? Sadyo hṛdy avarudhyate. Nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalam idam [SB 1.1.3], Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Sadyo hṛdy avarudhyate, śuśrūṣubhis tat-kṣaṇāt. Śuśrūṣubhiḥ, those who are serious about understanding about the Supreme Absolute Truth, so for him, immediately God becomes entrapped within the heart. God is there, but especially… Hṛdi avarudhyate, kiṁ vā paraiḥ… Avarudhyate means you capture God. If there is discussion between devotees… Tuṣyanti ca ramanti ca. In Bhagavad-gītā it is said. Tuṣyanti ca ramanti ca. When Bhāgavata discussion is there amongst devotees… It is the business of the devotees, not the business of the nondevotees. Unfortunately, India, it has become a profession.
Some unscrupulous persons, they recite Bhāgavata-saptāha, and the audience gather also for some material benefit. They take it as auspicious activity, śubha-kārya. They don’t care for neither the speaker nor the devotee. They don’t care for understanding the science of God. They are after some material profit. The professional reader, he reads, he takes some contribution, some money, some clothing, some umbrella, some shoes, some food, some money. In this way, he collects a very lump sum for his maintenance of his family, and the audience also thinks that “By hearing Bhāgavatam, I’ll be very much profited materially.” This is going on. Bhāgavata-saptāha. Bhāgavata-saptāha, imitation. Parīkṣit Mahārāja heard for one week Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from Śukadeva Gosvāmī. So they are imitating this one week. But where is Parīkṣit and where is Śukadeva? Both of them have got some ulterior purpose to hear Bhāgavata. Therefore it is not affecting. They are hearing Bhāgavata for thousands of years, but still, they are where they were formerly.
But actually, if Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is heard… Just like Parīkṣit Mahārāja is hearing… Śrī-viṣṇoḥ smaraṇe. Śrī-viṣṇu, abhavad vaiyāsakiḥ kīrtane. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam [SB 7.5.23]. Śrī-viṣṇoḥ śravaṇe parīkṣit. Parīkṣit Mahārāja got salvation simply by hearing about Viṣṇu. Śrī-viṣṇoḥ smaraṇe, śravaṇe. Parīkṣit Mahārāja he was king, he was politician. So he had no much knowledge about Vedic instruction. But when he was cursed that he would die in seven days, he became very serious, and all the sages and saintly persons agreed that “Mahārāja Parīkṣit, for the last remaining days of his life, seven days, he should hear attentively Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.” So śrī-viṣṇoḥ śravaṇe parīkṣit. He got salvation simply by hearing about the glories of the Lord or activities of the Lord, which is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śrī-viṣṇoḥ śravaṇe parīkṣid abhavad vaiyāsakiḥ kīrtane. And Vaiyāsaki… Vaiyāsaki’s name is mentioned here. Vaiyāsakir ātma-vidyā. Vaiyāsaki means Śukadeva Gosvāmī.
He simply went on narrating. In the middle, there were some questions, intelligent questions, by Parīkṣit Mahārāja. Question is also required. If you simply hear, do not understand, just like dumb stone, that’s not good. You should hear attentively, and as soon as there is some difficulty, you should question. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā [Bg. 4.34]. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that you should understand… First of all surrender. Praṇipāta. Tad viddhi praṇipātena. Praṇipātena means you must find out an able teacher, where you can surrender. So nobody wants to surrender, but if he sees that there is a greater personality than him, he surrenders. That is nature. So this praṇipāta word means that you do not go for understanding Bhagavad-gītā and Bhāgavata to a store-keeper. You should go to a person where you can surrender. Tad viddhi praṇipātena [Bg. 4.34]. And paripraśnena. And inquiry. And sevayā. You should not take… You should not inquire gratis; you must give service.
Just like if you purchase something, you must pay for it. Therefore it is called sevayā. You cannot pay by returning the value which is taught by the spiritual master. That is not possible. Therefore it is called sevayā. Dedicate your life for his service. You cannot pay. What you have got to pay to a spiritual master? Just like our King Pṛthu Mahārāja. When the Kumāras preached to him about transcendental knowledge, he very humbly submitted, “My dear spiritual master, you have taught me so nice. I require to give you some dakṣiṇā.” Dakṣiṇā, that is required. After initiation, one should pay dakṣiṇā. That is a system. “I should pay dakṣiṇā, but what shall I pay? I haven’t got anything as my personal possession. It is already by the mercy of the brāhmaṇas that I am enjoying this kingdom. So it is already belonging to you. My kingdom, it is already belonging to you.” That was the system. If any saintly person, brāhmaṇa, will ask from a kṣatriya king, he cannot deny.
Karṇa, he gave his son to be sacrificed. A brāhmaṇa asked that “I want your son to be sacrificed by you.” He was incarnation of God. He tested Karṇa’s charity. He was very charitable, so he asked him that “I want your son, and you shall sacrifice, you both, husband and wife.” He agreed, Karṇa, “Yes, I’ll do that.” So there was some test like that. So actually, formerly, the kings, they possessed their kingdom just to manage, not thinking “It is my property. I am the king.” As soon as the kings thought like that, the monarchy finished. The king never thought like that. He thought himself as appointed agent of God, king. So he never thought. So Par… Śuka. . . Pṛthu Mahārāja said that “Nothing belongs to me, and even if I can pay from my treasury, so I cannot actually pay for the benefit I have derived from you. Therefore, the only way I can pay—that I surrender unto you. You can utilize me in any way.” So, tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā [Bg. 4.34]. Therefore the disciple’s duty is to be ready always to serve the spiritual master, at any cost.
That is the disciple’s duty. Sevayā. Upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ. So real knowledge can be achieved in this process. Praṇipāta… Not that I can challenge, “Oh, I can know. I have got so much education and degrees. I can understand what is God,” or “There is no need of God. I am God. We are the controller.” So these are all rascaldom. Real thing is tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena, as Parīkṣit Mahārāja, the emperor of the world, he’s hearing from Śukadeva Gosvāmī, you have seen that picture in our Bhāgavata, newly published, how Parīkṣit Mahārāja humbly asking and sitting before Śukadeva Gosvāmī. So bhāgavata-pradhānaḥ. Bhāgavata-pradhānaḥ. So Śukadeva Gosvāmī is the chief bhāgavata. Bhāgavata, there are two kinds of bhāgavata: grantha bhāgavatam and this person bhāgavatam. So Śukadeva Gosvāmī was person bhāgavatam, bhāgavata, chief. Bhāgavata-pradhānaḥ. Bhāgavata-pradhānaḥ means realized souls. We should not hear Bhāgavatam from a professional man, who are observing the Bhāgavata-saptāha.
I know, in Bombay there is a big speaker of Bhāgavatam. He preaches that “You remain in your family life very peacefully. This is the instruction of Bhāgavata.” He never teaches that you have to give up this nonsense family life and you have to go back to home, back to Godhead. He never preaches that. There are so many examples. He comes to the conclusion that “You live peacefully,” as if to live peacefully in this material world is the highest achievement of life. They will never disclose the actual fact that nobody can live in this world peacefully. It is not possible at all. But they want money. So they’ll flatter or they’ll go to Kṛṣṇa’s rāsa-līlā, presenting Kṛṣṇa as ordinary human being and the gopīs are ordinary girls. So this is very palatable for us, kissing, embracing young girls. So Kṛṣṇa is doing, but they take it that their embracing and kissing is supported by Kṛṣṇa. This is going on. That is a different subject matter; they do not know that.
Therefore the Kṛṣṇa’s dealing with the gopīs have been described in the middle of Tenth Canto. And nine cantos have been devoted, describe, so that one may understand what is Kṛṣṇa. What is Kṛṣṇa. The beginning of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Begins, janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. What is this Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa? Janmādy asya yataḥ. “He the origin of everything.” And we, if we take Kṛṣṇa as ordinary person and He’s dancing with the gopīs just like ordinary thing, then what Bhāgavata he will understand? He will go to hell. He’s deriding, taking Kṛṣṇa very insignificantly. Avajña. Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam [Bg. 9.11]. “These rascals, because I observe My pastimes just like human being, they’re accepting Me as human being, ordinary.” Mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam. Paraṁ bhāvam ajānantaḥ. They do not know what is the background of Kṛṣṇa. The background of Kṛṣṇa is in the beginning said janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. The first aphorism of Vedānta-sūtra.
That means, Vedānta means to understand Kṛṣṇa. These rascal Vedantists, they try to kill Kṛṣṇa. They want to become himself Kṛṣṇa, the so-called Vedantists. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. The purpose of reading Vedānta means to understand Kṛṣṇa. So without understanding Kṛṣṇa, without being trained up how to understand Kṛṣṇa, if one reads about Kṛṣṇa’s rāsa-līlā, he’ll go to hell. Because he has got the tendency of this easy sex, so he thinks, “Kṛṣṇa is like us.” And therefore, for ordinary men, this kṛṣṇa-līlā… Kṛṣṇa-līlā means they simply understand kṛṣṇa-līlā means Kṛṣṇa’s rāsa-līlā. That’s all. And Kṛṣṇa’s killing the Kaṁsa, that is not līlā. Because Kaṁsas, the rākṣasas, they are afraid of being vanquished by Kṛṣṇa. So they do not like that līlā. They’ll like this līlā. So therefore the idea is that if we want to understand Kṛṣṇa, we should… Kṛṣṇa understanding is not so easy.
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ [Bg. 7.3]
You do not know. You are going to the street… Just like the two boys were coming. They did not know that they were going to be killed. So our life is so jeopardized. Any moment I can die. That’s a fact. If you don’t take seriously like that, that “Any moment, I can die.” So Parīkṣit Mahārāja had the opportunity of hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam for seven days, so I do not know whether we’ll have, I have opportunity for reading Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam for seven minutes. So let me read it very seriously.” That should be our attitude. Not that, “Seven… Oh, Parīkṣit Mahārāja was given seven days notice. Oh, I have no such notice. I may live for seven millions of years.
” That is our disease. Here the most wonderful thing is that everyone is seeing that everyone is dying every moment, but the man seeing, he’s thinking that he will live forever. This is the most wonderful thing. Nobody thinks, “No. He is dying, so I will have to die.” No. He thinks “I’ll live. He is dying.” This is the most wonderful thing.
Aśītiṁ caturaḥ, eighty-four lakhs or 8,400,000’s. Bhramadbhiḥ puruṣaiḥ prāpyaṁ mānuṣyam. In this way, going through so many species of life, we have got this human form of life.
In this valuable life, it will also be spoiled if we don’t surrender to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is canvassing personally,
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
Kṛṣṇa personally comes to canvass. Because we are all Kṛṣṇa’s children, He’s very sorry that we are in this miserable condition of life. He’s very sorry. But we are so fool, we do not know that what is the condition of our life. We are thinking we are very much happy. This is called māyā. He’s suffering, he’s kicked by the shoes of māyā every moment, and still, he’s thinking “I am very happy. Why shall I go back to home? I shall remain in America.” But you cannot be allowed to remain in America. You are thinking, “All right… You are born of a very rich family, a rich nation, you have got opulence. You have… Your roads and your houses are very nice, but who is going to allow you to live here? Why don’t you think like that? You may live for fifty years, or sixty years, or utmost 100 years; then you’ll be kicked out. But they do not know that life is eternal.
When I am kicked out, then what life I am going to accept? They are in oblivion. There is no education in the university. This is going on. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is a boon to the human society. You should take it very seriously and utilize your human form of life to understand it and be happy. Thank you very much. (pause) Why not begin immediately?