Published on August 27th, 2022 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


The Order Of God — Not that Nonviolence Nonsense

If somebody comes to your home to kidnap your wife, to take by force your property or to set fire in your house, he is called atatayi. He should immediately be killed. It is not that nonviolence nonsense. If somebody is coming to attack you unnecessarily, you must kill him first. It is not Vaisnavism… “Oh, this man is coming to kill me. Right. All right, let me embrace him.” No. That is not the rule. When there is atatayi, aggressor, you must fight, you must kill. That is religious.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.10.1

Mayapura, June 16, 1973

Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)

saunaka uvaca
hatva svariktha-sprdha atatayino
yudhisthiro dharma-bhrtam varisthah
sahanujaih pratyavaruddha-bhojanah
katham pravrttah kim akarasit tatah
[SB 1.10.1]

Translation: “Saunaka Muni asked: After killing his enemies who desired to usurp his rightful inheritance, how did the greatest of all religious men, Maharaja Yudhisthira, assisted by his brothers, rule his subjects? Surely he could not freely enjoy his kingdom with unrestricted consciousness.”

Prabhupada: So here the most important word is yudhisthiro dharma-bhrtam varisthah. Maharaja Yudhisthira was known as Dharmaraja, very strictly following religious principles. So he killed… For his sake, sixty-four crores of men were killed in the battlefield of Kuruksetra. So he was not happy although the battle, the fight, was religious fight. It is not whimsical. Just like in the modern days the politicians, they fight unnecessarily to fulfill their desire… Just like in our country, unnecessarily they divided Pakistan, and to fulfill the whims of the leaders, they are fighting with nobody’s gain, neither there is any religious principles.
So fighting whimsically by the politicians, that is not sanctioned. There must be dharma-yuddha. Dharma-yuddha means religious fight, fight on religious principles. So what was the religious principle? (aside:) Hm, where is that mat? (Bengali) Saccidananda. Here it is said, hatva atatayinah. Atatayi means aggressor. If somebody comes to your home to kidnap your wife, to take by force your property or to set fire in your house, he is called atatayi. He should immediately be killed. It is not that nonviolence nonsense. If somebody is coming to attack you unnecessarily, you must kill him first. It is not Vaisnavism… “Oh, this man is coming to kill me. Right. All right, let me embrace him.” No. That is not the rule. When there is atatayi, aggressor, you must fight, you must kill. That is religious.

So Yudhisthira Maharaja, dharma-bhrtam varisthah, he was so strictly followers of religious principles that when even Krsna advised him that “You go and say some lies to Dronacarya. Because Dronacarya will not believe anyone, you say and go there that “Your son Asvatthama is dead.’ ” And Yudhisthira Maharaja hesitated, that “How can I say this lie?” Of course, this is too much following religious principles. This is also another instruction. When Krsna said that “You go and speak the lies,” he should have done immediately. That is dharma.

Because dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. Dharma means which is given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is dharma. You cannot manufacture dharma. Just like nowadays so many dharmas have been manufactured. They are not dharma. Dharma means the order which is given by the Lord. That is dharma. Just like Krsna said, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. We have manufactured so many dharmas: Hindu dharma, Muslim dharma, Christian dharma, Parsee dharma, Buddha dharma, this dharma, that dharma. They are not dharma. They are mental concoction, mental concoction. Otherwise, there will be contradiction. Take for example, the Hindus think cow-killing is adharma, and the Muslims think that cow-killing is their dharma. So which is correct? Whether cow killing is adharma or dharma?

So these are mental concoction. Caitanya-caritamrta karaca says, ei bhala ei manda saba manodharma, “Mental concocted.” Real dharma is what is ordered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is dharma. Therefore Krsna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: [Bg. 18.66] “Give up your all manufactured dharma. Here is the real dharma.” Saranam vraja. “Just become surrendered unto Me, and that is real dharma.” Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. Just like law. Laws can be manufactured or can be given by the government. You cannot make any law at your home. That is not law. Law means the order given by the government. The supreme government is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah parataram nanyat [Bg. 10.8]. There is nobody better than Krsna. Therefore the order given by Krsna is dharma. Our this Krsna consciousness movement is that dharma. Krsna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: [Bg. 18.66] “You give up all other so-called dharmas, this dharma, that dharma, so many dharmas. Simply just surrender unto Me.”

So we are preaching the same principle, and that is confirmed by Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Caitanya Maha… Amara ajnaya guru hana tara’ ei desa, yare dekha tare kaha krsna-upadesa [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. This is dharma. Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not manufacture any new system of dharma. No. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krsna Himself. Namo maha-vadanyaya krsna-prema-pradaya te, krsnaya krsna-caitanya-namne [Madhya 19.53]. So the only difference is He is Krsna Himself. The only difference is that Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly orders that “You give up all nonsense; simply surrender unto Me.” This is Krsna. Because He is Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is giving directly order. The same Krsna, because people misunderstood Him…

Even big, big scholars, they say, “It is too much that Krsna is ordering like that.” But they are rascals. They do not know. They cannot understand what is Krsna. Therefore because people misunderstood Him, Krsna came as a devotee to teach how to surrender to Krsna perfectly. Krsna came. Just like sometimes my servant gives me massage. I say by giving his head massage, “Do like this.” So I am not his servant, but I am teaching him. Similarly, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krsna Himself, but He is teaching perfectly how to approach Krsna, how to serve Krsna, The same principle. Krsna said, “You surrender unto Me,” and Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, “You surrender to Krsna.” So on principle there is no change. On principle there is no change.

So here Yudhisthira Maharaja, dharma-bhrtam varisthah, of all the followers of religious principle, he is the foremost, varisthah. So he was very sorry that “For my sake, for enthroning me, oh, so many people have given their lives.” Not only his cousin-brothers, the soldiers… And, because at that time, five thousand years ago, these kings or the emperors of Hastinapura were ruling all over the world… This planet was called Bharata-varsa, the whole planet. Not this now, a small tract of land. The whole world was called Bharata-varsa. Formerly it was called Ilavrta-varsa. Since the reign of Maharaja Bharata, this planet is called Bharata-varsa.

So the Pandavas or the Kurus, they were the rulers of the world. As such, when there was fight between the two section of cousin-brothers, from all parts of the world, somebody joined this side, somebody joined that side. So I think in the Mahabharata it is stated that sixty-four crores of men were killed, and many disappeared. Nobody knows about their whereabouts. So actually, Yudhisthira Maharaja, dharma-bhrtam varisthah, he was so great, stalwart, foremost followers of religious principle. He was very, very sorry that “For my sake so many people let down their life.” So he was not happy.

Therefore in our sastra, when you commit some necessary sinful activities, to counteract it, a fasting, fasting is recommended. Therefore Yudhisthira Maharaja was observing fasting, taking little necessities. Therefore saunaka Muni is inquiring that sahanujaih pratyavaruddha-bhojanah katham pravrttah kim akarasit tatah: [SB 1.10.1] “Then he was undergoing some prayascitta system; then how did he take the reigns of ruling over the kingdom?” That was his inquiry, Saunaka Rsi. Actually, the Srimad-Bhagavatam was first of all, in the beginning… The first beginning of Srimad-Bhagavatam was in front of Maharaja Pariksit. Sukadeva Gosvami explained, and Suta Gosvami was in that meeting also. So he learned explanation of Bhagavatam from Sukadeva Gosvami. This is called parampara system.

Now, generally the professional reciters of Bhagavatam, they do not follow the parampara system. They make business. Just like we are reading Srimad-Bhagavatam, we are discussing about the warfares, the professionals, they will go immediately to rasa-lila, as if these things are not necessary. Anyone who hears Bhagavatam from these professionals, they do not know what are the other subject matter in Srimad-Bhagavatam. Because they haven’t got the chance to hear. They do not discuss. Whenever there is recitation of Bhagavatam, it means they are discussing some rasa-lila. Because the rasa-lila is very palatable to the rascals. They think that Krsna is ordinary young boy, and the gopis are young girls, and as they read novel and dramas, one man, one woman, their activities, they think Bhagavata is like that. They think… Arcye visnau sila-dhir gurusu nara-matih. They think like that. The gopis, the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the pastimes of Krsna with the gopis, it is most confidential part of Srimad-Bhagavatam. It is to be relished by the liberated soul, not these ordinary persons who have got sex attraction. They are unfit for hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam, rasa-lila. Unfit.

So unfortunately, these professional reciters, they do not begin Srimad-Bhagavatam from the very beginning, where Vedanta-sutra is discussed. Athato brahma jijnasa. Janmady asya yatah [Bhag. 1.1.1]. So Bhagavata begins with this word of Vedanta-sutra, janmady asya yatah anvayad itaratas ca arthesu abhijnah svarat. So it is the, in the beginning, Srimad-Bhagavatam is the explanation of the Vedanta-sutra. Srila Jiva Gosvami has recommended, therefore, one should learn Bhagavatam from a person who knows Vedanta-sutra. Sruti-grhitaya, bhaktya sruti-grhitaya. Bhakti should be generated, sruti-grhitaya, by studying Vedanta-sutra. Bhakti is not sentiment. Bhakti is the transcendental science. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gita it is said, jnani visisyate(?). You should be in full knowledge what is Krsna, not that accepting Krsna as something fictitious. Even big, big scholars- Dr. Radhakrishnan, Gandhi- they cannot understand Krsna. How they can understand? It is not understandable by the fools and rascals.

manusyanam sahasresu
kascid yatati siddhaye
yatatam api siddhanam
kascin mam vetti tattvatah
[Bg. 7.3]

So to understand Krsna is not so easy thing. Manusyanam sahasresu. Out of many millions of persons, all rascals and fools, animals, what they will understand Krsna? Therefore Krsna personally says, manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye. Siddhi. Siddhi means perfection. All over the world we are touring, all full of rascals and fools. Nobody is trying to make his life perfect. What is that perfection? Paramam siddhim. That perfection is,

mam upetya punar janma
duhkhalayam asasvatam
napnuvanti mahatmanah
samsiddhim paramam gatah
[Bg. 8.15]

To go back to home, back to Godhead, that is the highest perfection of life. Nobody knows what is Godhead. Nobody knows how to go back to Him. So to understand Krsna and to become a devotee of Krsna, it is not very easy thing. Very, very difficult. But Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, maha-vadanyavatara, He has distributed this Krsna science and love of Krsna in such an easy way that by His mercy even a most rude person can also understand, if He takes the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

So Yudhisthira Maharaja was a krsna-bhakta, and therefore, he is explained, is dharma-bhrtam varisthah, the most foremost personality, because he knows… He agreed to fight with his cousin-brothers because Krsna wanted. Krsna, when Arjuna said, “My dear Krsna, there is no need of fighting. Because the other side, they are my brothers, nephews, I better prefer to give them the kingdom. I shall beg and live, but I don’t want to fight with my brother,” so immediately Krsna condemned it: kutas tva kasmalam idam visame samupasthitam: “What nonsense you are speaking? You must fight.” Then still he was unwilling to fight. Therefore the whole Bhagavad-gita was spoken to him. And after explaining Bhagavad-gita, He inquired from Arjuna, “Whether you are now determined to fight?” Yathecchasi tatha kuru. This liberty was given to Arjuna: “I have explained to you everything. Now whatever you like, you can do.”

So Krsna does not force anyone to become krsna-bhakta, but He gives the chance. He explains everything, that “If you become krsna-bhakta, or surrendered soul, then you will be happy. Otherwise you will not be happy.” This is Krsna. Kuru. He says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. He does not force. Now it is our choice, whether we shall surrender to Krsna or not. These are the instruction of Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, that one’s ultimate goal of life is to surrender to Krsna. That is the ultimate goal of life. But they do not know it. Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum [SB 7.5.31]. They do not know. They think for some worldly happiness and go to some demigods… That is condemned in the Bhagavad-gita, kamais tais tair hrta-jnanah yajante anya-devatah [Bg. 7.20]. They have lost their intelligence, those who go to worship other demigods for some paltry benefit, temporary benefit. Antavat tu phalam tesam tad bhavaty alpa-medhasam. Those who are, brain substance is not very much in good quantity… Brain substance, instead of brain substance, there is cow-dung. Such people go to worship the other demigods. There is no necessity. There is no necessity. Of course, we do not show any disrespect to any demigods. We offer all respect. But we do not accept that Krsna and all other demigods are on the same level, as the Mayavadi says, that “Either you chant Hare Krsna mantra or chant “Durga Durga,’ “Kali Kali,’ it is the same.” This is rascaldom. This is rascaldom. Harer nama. Sastra says, harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam. Sastra does not say that “You chant this name, that name, any dog’s name, cat’s name, and it is all right.” Sastra does not say. Sastra says,

harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha
[Adi 17.21]

So yah sastra-vidhim utsrjya vartate kama-karatah na sa siddhim avapnoti: “Anyone who avoids or disregards the injunction of the sastras and acts whimsically, he will never get perfection.” Na sukham na param gatim. Therefore our principle is, this Krsna consciousness movement means we strictly follow Krsna. Our leader is Krsna. Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam. So everyone requires a leader. I have talked many times that “Leader must be followed.” When I was talking with Professor Kotovsky in Moscow, I asked him, “Where is the difference between your philosophy and our philosophy? You are following Lenin. We are following Krsna. So we have to follow one leader. You cannot avoid it.” So he was silent. He could not reply. So to become perfect, to achieve perfection, one has to follow a leader. So why should we follow the misleaders, the rascal leaders? Let us follow the perfect leader, Krsna, and become perfect.
Thank you very much. Hare Krsna. (end)

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About the Author

Founded the Hare Krishna Movement in 1966 in New York. In only 11 years he spread the movement all over the world. He wrote more than 80 books including Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Sri Isopanisad. Prabhupada's books constitute a complete library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature and culture.

7 Responses to The Order Of God — Not that Nonviolence Nonsense

  1. Chetan says:

    Hare Krsna

    It is mentioned above “When there is atatayi, aggressor, you must fight.”

    Pls. explain this with one more example…

  2. Bhargava Kulkarni says:

    Hare Krishna!!!

    According to “If somebody comes to your home to kidnap your wife, to take by force your property or to set fire in your house, he is called atatayi. He should immediately be killed. It is not that nonviolence nonsense. If somebody is coming to attack you unnecessarily, you must kill him first. It is not Vaisnavism… “Oh, this man is coming to kill me. Right. All right, let me embrace him.” No. That is not the rule. When there is atatayi, aggressor, you must fight, you must kill. That is religious.”

    What to do when anyone demolishes a Temple??

    Like the Raama Mandir demolished by Babar at Ayodhya..

    Now, the Allahabad High Court is dividing the land into 3 parts, instead of ordering to consrtuct a Raama Mandir there!!!

    The High court is considering sentiments rather than Dharma..

    So, Should a Dharma Yudha be fought, for the Raama Mandir to be constructed there according to the order of krishna??

    • divyat says:

      hare krishan, my friend your point is absolutely correct but what i want to say is that what will we be able to do . even if we resolve this issue then there are going to be a heck of a lot more ones , so how many times shall we fight . this is my question -HOW MANY TIMES SHALL WE FIGHT IF WE KNOW THAT OUR CONTRIBUTION IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE THIS PLACE FOREVER AS NOTHING IN PERMANENT IN THIS MATERIAL WORLD.

    • Aman says:

      Hare Krishna!

      Dharma Yuddha cannot be declared by anyone except a King guided by Lord Krishna or His bona fide representative. That’s what I think.

  3. putu suardinatha says:

    In my heart there’s no violence when i remember lord KRISHNA,..

  4. Gaurasundar Das says:

    BG 1.37-38: O Janārdana, although these men, their hearts overtaken by greed, see no fault in killing one’s family or quarreling with friends, why should we, who can see the crime in destroying a family, engage in these acts of sin?

    • mages says:

      When a order comes from Krsna,then we should do it immediately. Krsna the Supreme Personality of Godhead. he is the authority.

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