Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Odessa, Ukraine: September 22, 2002
I want to give you a general idea of Shrimad Bhagavatam. It has been told by Shrila Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa, who is one of the incarnations of Krishna, that this world was created by the Supreme Lord. He is very powerful, and that is why He is called God; G stands for generator or creator, O for operator or manager, and D stands for destroyer. Our Vedic rsis, like Vyasadeva, Narada, and Brahma have told us that the Supreme Lord has a very beautiful form and many millions of transcendental qualities. If a father has a form, then only his son may have a form. If the father has no form or qualities, then the son will neither have form nor qualities, nor can He even exist. It is stated in our scriptures:
aho bhagyam aho bhagyam
purnam brahma sanatanam
["How greatly fortunate are Nanda Maharaja, the cowherd men and all the other inhabitants of Vrajabhumi! There is no limit to their good fortune, because the Absolute Truth, the source of transcendental bliss, the eternal Supreme Brahman, has become their friend."(Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.14.32).]
The son of Nanda Baba in Vraja is very beautiful, sweet, and merciful. He sports with His cowherd boys and millions of gopis – dancing, singing, making merry, and playing on His flute. He is not an ordinary person, He is the Lord of lords. He is purna-brahma sanatana. He is unlimited and unparalleled. No one is equal to Him and no one can be greater than Him; all are subordinate to Him. He does not directly create these worlds. The servants of the servants of His servants create them all, where as He Himself is always engaged in playing and giving pleasure to all His associates.
A shadow of this truth has been explained in the Bible, wherein it is said, "God created man after his own image" – this is the same thing. The Supreme God had created man. He is beautiful and He also made man like that. In the Bible it has been written that the Supreme Lord has a form. It has also been written in the Koran of the Muslims and in other religious scriptures that Ghoda, or Allah, created man in His own image. No one can deny these statements of the Bible and the Koran.
Jesus went to India when he was about sixteen years old, and he visited many places of pilgrimage, like Vrindavana, Ayodhya, South India, and Jagannatha Puri. In Puri he saw Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra, and he heard Jagannatha addressed as Krishna. From this name came Krista, then Kroosta, then Kroosna, and then Christ – Krishna, Kroosna, Krista, and then Christ – they are the same. There are no separate Gods.
In this entire universe there is only one Supreme God. There are many gods, but the Supreme God is not Russian, British, German, or Australian. He knows all the languages perfectly, and ultimately there is no need of knowing these languages. There is only one real language in the entire world, and that language is called love.
Our eyes can speak the language of love, our ears and our hands can speak and understand the language of love, and a smiling a face can tell everything. Our Supreme Lord Krishna knows all languages with no difficulty. God is one and He is Krishna. All other names, like Brahma, Paramatma, Buddha, Allah, and God are included within Him.
Krishna is love, and His love is Radhika. Without love – without Radhika – He cannot exist for even a second. If you want to take darsana of Krishna, in a moment you can have darsana of Krishna if you will follow Radhika and call out to Her, "O Radhike!" Krishna will then come at once.
This is the philosophy of love, and it is imperative that we know this philosophy. Shrimad Bhagavatam is the philosophy of love, Shri Caitanya Caritamrta is the essence of love, and the books of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, such as Ujjvala Nilamani and others, are all about transcendental love and nothing else. For example, in the first verse of the Shrimad Bhagavatam, Shrila Vyasadeva and Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami offer obeisances to the Supreme Lord:
Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya
janmady asya yato ’nvayad itaratas carthesu abhijnahsvarat
tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayah
tejo-vari-mrdam yatha vinimayo yatra tri-sargo ’mrsa
dhamna svena sada nirasta-kuhakam satyam param dhimahi
O my Lord, Shri Krishna, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Shri Krishna because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmaji, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Shri Krishna, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth."]
Although Shrila Vyasadeva is addressing Krishna in this way: "You are creating this world; You are the supreme cause of this creation", he knows that this is a secondary consideration. It is not primary. Krishna can at once create millions and millions of universes simply by His eyes or by His wish.
Krishna is fully independent. No one can control Him and there are none equal to Him. Even Brahma, the creator of this universe, can understand something about Krishna in his meditation, but he does not understand Him fully. He does not know who He is and how He performs all of His wonderous feats. Krishna has a very powerful energy; and this energy is called Radhika and sometimes Yogamaya. He also has His shadow, the illusory maya, and by the work of this shadow energy we sometimes imagine we are seeing water in earth and fire in water.
The meaning here is that this body is mortal. It is made of stool, urine, blood and many other foul substances. Although this is a fact, still we think, "I am this body, this world is true, and it is mine." This is the influence of Krishna's deluding potency called maya-sakti. I have come only to point this out and to encourage you to be careful in this regard.
In this world there is no pure love and affection. The appearance of love and affection here is also due to Krishna's deluding potency called maya. In this world we have great affection for our wives and our children, but that blind love is not pure. If your wife is very beautiful, energetic, and always serving you, you keep her; but if she becomes invalid in any way and not so beautiful, you will change your wife. You will divorce her and get a new wife. In the same way, a lady also gives up her husband if he is not doing well and is not serving her. Thus, there is only blind love and affection in this world; it is not real. We cannot love anyone by these bodies. The only pure love is experienced by the soul to the Supersoul. It is for this reason – to give you this pure love – that we have come to you.
Due to the deluding maya we misunderstand this world to be true and our affection to be true, but it is actually extremely painful. Becoming old and dying is very painful. You cannot take with you what you are collecting day and night in this world. Moreover, you cannot take your body and present mental conceptions with you. Therefore, what is the use of laboring like the donkeys? There is no need to do so. We are offering our prostrated obeisances, Shrila Vyasadeva is offering his prostrated obeisances, and Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami is offering his prostrated obeisances, to He whose deluding potency maya makes us blind and ignorant.
In the first sloka, Shrila Vyasadeva has stated, "Satyam parama dhimahi." I meditate on parama-satyam (the transcendental truth), Shrimati Radhika with Krishna. Offering respectful obeisances and meditating on satyam parama; this is the essence of the first sloka. In the second sloka of the Shrimad Bhagavatam, Shri Vyasadeva again offers His respectful obeisances:
dharmah projjhita-kaitavo ’tra paramo nirmatsaranam satam
vedyam vastavam atra vastu sivadam tapa-trayonmulanam
srimad-bhagavate maha-muni-krte kim va parair isvarah
sadyo hrdy avarudhyate ’tra krtibhih susrusubhis tat-ksanat
Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavata Purana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhagavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyasadeva [in his maturity], is sufficient in itself for God realization. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhagavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart".]
In this world there are many kinds of new religions, although they are actually not religions. They are not permanent and eternal religions. These religions (dharmas), can only give us information about how to maintain our worldly lives. The adherents of Buddha-dharma, for example, do not discuss any relation with the Supreme Lord; they only consider their relationship with mortal bodies, and it his therefore not eternal. Nowadays, Buddha-dharma is everywhere, but its followers do not believe in the Vedas. Actually, it is not religion. Its followers do not believe in God and in fact they do not believe in anything. They do not even believe in their own existence, and they accept nothing more than false logic. If someone will follow them, he may lose his existence – in the sense that he will merge with the impersonal brahma, where there is no activity, no form, and no qualities. This is likened to losing ones existence or becoming zero. Buddha-dharma is pervading everywhere, like the air, so beware of it.
If the world is false, if God is false, if we are false, then love is also false. Without love, however, we cannot maintain our lives for even a second, and therefore their theory is totally false. Whereas they advocate no love at all, our God is supreme, eternal, and He is the embodiment of love and affection. Do you know what religion was in this world earlier than 2002 years ago. Christianity is only 2002 years old, and younger than that is the Muslim faith, which is only 1400 years old. But love existed even at the beginning of the universe. Love is really our religion, and this love is called Sanatana (eternal) dharma, or Vedic dharma.
If you throw a piece of stone, earth, wood, or other solid or liquid object in the sky, it will go upward and then return down. Why? This is due to the earth's law of gravitation. Anything made of earth, wood, and so on will fall down if there is nothing to hold it up. On the other hand, flames of a fire also go up, but they do not turn again towards the earth. If you send a balloon into the sky, it will go up and it may be that it will never return. The example of this balloon is given because a balloon refers to the air; and air and fire are not part of the earth. When any part of a whole meets with its whole, the two will exist together and be happy. Otherwise, if they do not have this relationship, they will not. Similarly, we are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, so unless we meet Him with love and affection, we cannot be happy. This is the philosophy of love.
Even dangerous lions, tigers, bears, and very poisonous snakes, and even dacoits have some kind of love. Despite our repeated change of body, only love will remain with us. We all want ananda, happiness, and real happiness is nothing but love.
Does anyone present here want suffering? You can raise your hands if you want to suffer and I will give it to you at once. Nobody likes suffering. All want happiness, and this happiness is pure love. But love does not mean body-to-body. Inside the body is the soul and the Supersoul, Krishna. The Supreme Lord is also there. He is everywhere, and if we attain pure love and affection for Him, then we can serve Him eternally – and He can be controlled. This is the philosophy of the Shrimad Bhagavatam.
The Supreme Lord is very kind; He is causelessly merciful. He has donated a very valuable asset to us, and that asset is love. We have love, but we will have to purify it by loving Krishna. Only in this way will He be controlled. The only way to be happy, and the only way to control the Supreme Lord, is by this love and affection that He has personally donated to us.
The philosophy of love has been given in the Shrimad Bhagavatam, and Shrimad Bhagavatam not only gives philosophy, but also examples of real love and affection. It explains how the gopis and other Vrajavasis love Krishna fully, with their lives and souls. If one hears Shrimad Bhagavatam and thinks about even one line or even half of a line, or even one word – Krishna or Radha – he will attain that pure love and be able to control the Supreme Lord.
Shri Vyasadeva realized the full love felt between Krishna and all His associates in his trance of meditation. He also saw how a conditioned soul forgets Krishna and falls down to this material world, and how one who remembers His names attains that love and affection very quickly. We should try to hear very carefully and attentively whatever Shrimad Bhagavatam is telling us.
The transcendental religion explained in Shrimad Bhagavatam is not periodical, or partial. It is not like worldly intoxication in the name of religion. Rather, it is permanent, transcendental love and affection. If anyone will hear it, he will be happy in this life and, giving up his body, his pure soul will go to Goloka Vrindavana and he will be happy there.
It is true that we are not seeing Krishna, but He sees us, and He may hear what we say to Him. We do not hear what He is telling us, and we do not hear His calling us by playing His flute, but our call is heard by Krishna who is very kind and causelessly merciful. He has sent all our guru-parampara acaryas, He has also sent Jesus, and sometimes He Himself descends with all His associates – only because He loves us. He is calling us saying, "Come, come My sons and daughters. Chant this mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Chant even one time. I will take you to Goloka Vrindavana and you will be transcendentally happy forever." Do not be hopeless; never be hopeless. You can always have hope, because He is weeping for us. He is lamenting for us. We cannot lament or weep for Him, but He is lamenting and weeping for us. Go on chanting, remembering and offering obeisances, and you will be able to very quickly attain all the invaluable gifts I have described.