The essence of all topics – The topics of the Lord


The essence of all topics – The topics of the Lord
Venue: Denver USa
12061993 [58:58]

tad asya kausarava sarma datur
hareh katham eva kathasu saram
uddhrtya puspebhya ivarta bandho
sivaya nah kirtaya tirtha kirteh [SB]

Translation: O Maitreya, O friend of the distressed, the glories of the Supreme Lord can alone do good for people all over the world. Therefore, just as bee’s collect honey from flowers, kindly describe the essence of all topics – the topics of the Lord.

Purport: There are many topics for different persons in different modes of material nature, but the essential topics are those in relationship with the Supreme Lord. Unfortunately, materially affected conditioned souls are all more or less averse to topics of the Supreme Lord because some of them do not believe in the existence of God and some of them believe only in the impersonal feature of the Lord. In both cases there is nothing for them to say of God.

Both the nonbelievers and the impersonalists deny the essence of all topics; therefore, they engage in topics of relativity in various ways, either in sense gratification or in mental speculation. For the pure devotees like Vidura, the topics of both the mundaners and the mental speculators are useless in all respects. Thus Vidura requested Maitreya to talk of the essence only, the talks of Krsna, and nothing else.

So if everyone in the world would demand such a thing of ‘kindly describe the essence of all topics – the topics of the Lord’ and making this request unto the person who is qualified to talk about the topics, such combination and many, many such combinations all over the world – if this was to happen, that would change a lot of things in this world.

Unfortunately as Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita,
manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye {B.G 7.3}.

Out of thousands and thousands – kascid yatati siddhaye, someone, one, two are trying for siddhi the perfection and that’s so difficult. Now those enquiries are not being made, nowadays no-one wants to hear. although someone is approaching someone’s house nearby or next door or on the telephone, long distance calling, faxing, common communications – questions answers are very common.

On the streets in the marketplace, in the schools, colleges, parliament and everywhere someone is begging him ‘please tell me, please please’ he is crying ‘please’ and then there is someone who responds to that. Even birds early morning they get up and then they are making some enquiries, we don’t understand what is being enquired but some enquiry is there and the response is also there. and the world is always making – people in world are making enquiries and then there are responses.

srotavyadini rajendra nrnam santi sahasrasah (SB 2.1.2)

Sukadeva Goswami says, as soon as Sukadeva Goswami started speaking 5000 years ago, when he had to speak to king Parikshit and Parikshit had just enquired that was when the dialogue was just about to begin and King Parikshit asked ‘what should one hear? What must one talk about and what one should worship and chant? Especially the mrimanusya, one who is about to die. Please tell me what he should do – what about chanting and hearing?’

So that was one question raised and in fact in response to this one question the whole Srimad Bhagavatam was recited. So recitation began – Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya. You don’t have to say it, Sukadeva Goswami said it and then he said one sentence, second sentence, only second statement after he said Om Namo Bhagavate – this is the very beginning of the seven day discourse, the dialogue between Sukadeva Goswami and king Parikshit.

The very second or we could call the second sentence, Sukadeva Goswami says ‘Srotavyadini rajendra, O Raja O King’ Srotavyadini rajendra nrnam santi sahasrasah. There are thousands – sahasrasah means thousands. There are thousands and thousands of topics of Srotavya, means hearing, Srotavyadini means etcetera, for hearing etc. nrnam santi sahasrasah people are always fond of thousands of topics. Who are these people?

apasyatam atma tattvam grhesu grha medhinam

Those who are in grha, in house – in their home, grha medhinam, the fallen householders. apasyatam atma tattvam – those who do not realise or do not see, Pasya means to see and apasyatam means to not see. What do they not see? atma tattvam – atma the soul, the self and tattva the science of self. They do not understand and for such people- Srotavya, when it comes to some talk or some hearing, nrnam santi sahasrasah – there are thousands and thousands of topics. Every single person, normally some people must be up, at least some people must be up by 8.15. What is today? Saturday so no work so it is to early to get up at 8.15.

So there are no cars as yet but at least some people are up and they must be making enquiries so no-one, each person is making different, different enquiry. all day today there will be enquiries made and they will be different from yesterday’s enquiries. and each person is making different enquiry. The world like this goes on till the end and none of those enquiries or most of those enquiries would have nothing to do with Hari katha. So this is what goes on in the world but Vidura is not interested in such topics because king Parikshit is not interested in such topics.

This statement even though we are reading in the chapter entitled ‘Vidhua’s talks with Maitreya’ then ‘Maitreya talks to Vidura.’ So this is just a reference, Sukadeva Goswami is making a reference to that dialogue but he is talking to who? Sukadeva Goswami is talking to King Parikshit and he is interested in hearing topics about Krishna. So Sukadeva Goswami is just trying to break about those topics ‘oh yes, yes I know.’ One time Vidura and Maitreya Muni had just met. and they talked about Krishna. You are interested in hearing and talking about Krishna, right?

You are interested so I can tell you, soon after Lord Krishna’s departure, Maitreya Muni and Uddhava they are on their way to Badrikashram and they were asked by the Lord to meet Vidura and pass on some messages. So on their way to Badrikashram they found Vidura and when Vidura and Maitreya Muni met, they talked about the Lord you know, they talked about Krishna. They didn’t talk about – ‘that’s what I want to hear!’ King Parikshit is thinking like this ‘yes, yes that’s what I want to hear.’

So Sukadeva Gsowami just kind of brings up the topics, those topics that king Parikshit is interested in, the topic that will be beneficial to king Parikshit who is about to get out of the body, leave his body. So here Vidura is ‘yes, I want to hear.’ You know Vidura, who is Vidura? Yamaraja! Vidhura is incarnation of Yamaraja, Yamaraj ahas appeared as Vidura and what is the position of Yamaraja? Yes, he is the superintendent of death and at the same time in Vaishnava circle, the circle of the devotees of the Lord, he is Mahajana, great soul.

There are twelve great souls, famous great souls. Svayambhu – that is Brahma. Svayambhur naradah sambhuh, that is Shiva. Four Kumaras, Kapila – kapila manuh. Prahlado janako bhismo. Bali Maharaja, Sukadeva Goswami and Yamaraja. In fact this list which we just said, this was said by Yamaraja himself to his Yamadutas, his messengers. He said ‘We twelve people know everything about the Lord.’

So Yamaraja is one of those twelve personalities and now he has appeared – normally he has to always deal with the deaths and judging ‘get the records out.’ So then his all pious activities are recorded – so much grand total, all his pious activities. ‘Oh but he also chanted few rounds when he was a new Bhakta.’ ‘Okay let’s do this – plus and minus the whole accumulative, total. Okay human birth, no Vaikuntha and no hell for him so another human birth. He made a little progress by that chanting so human birth. Then he could be given birth in some Hare Krishna family – ‘let him go to Gurukula.’

Like that he always has to go with the cards as everyone is performing some activities, immediately the witnesses, sun is witnessing, moon is witnessing, air, directions, night, day and in the abode of Yamaraja there is always traffic going back and forth. all those who are witnessing they are coming to report and tell the records of each one of us – there is one page for us, for you there’s one page, for me – all of us there is one page of these records. If we chant Hare Krishna the records go on changing. When we do lots of chanting and performing devotional service and no more pious, impious, all finished.

Then if we go on chanting then ‘oh this person? We have nothing to do with him anymore.’ Then who will deal with this person now? Vishnudutas, now he is in jurisdiction of Vishnu, so it is transferred that name – ‘this name is out, you leave this name. So Kurma he has done a lot of cooking so his name, let’s transfer it now, let it go to Vaikuntha and when his time comes, Yamadutas our messengers – they are no more. Nothing to do with Kurma, he is now – Vishnudutas will take care of him.’ In fact they are happy also, one less person to handle. Don’t think there is a competition that they want to handle more and more cases and that they’re unhappy when someone is no more on their list. So this Yamaraja has difficult task and heavy duty management constantly there are – dying goes on day and night. Is there any day in which there is no dying, death?

In america any day is there that day there is no death? In India such day does not exist, every moment people are dying.

ahany ahani bhutani gacchantiha yamalayam

Every day they are going to Yamalaya the abode of Yamaraj.

sesah sthavaram icchanti kim ascaryam atah param {S.B 7.2.57}

Yudhishthira Maharaja said ‘everyday – most wonderful thing is everyday ahany ahani bhutani, everyday living entities are dying in big quantities, big number’ so Yamaraja he’s busy all the time. So he wanted to take some break and he wanted to time his break, he wanted to go away from his abode and take birth at the time of Krishna’s appearance on this planet. and when Krishna appeared, Vidura also appeared – Yamaraja also appeared as Vidura.

Vidura means one who knows, he was very knowledgeable and that is why he always tried to instruct his two brothers, Pandu and Dhritarashtra. Pandu was no more, he died. and then Pandu’s children were also under the care of Dhritarastra. But his children did not get along. Dhritarastra’s son Duryodhan, he was kind of a crook and I mean no offences at the feet of Duryodhan but he is very famous, he is always competing with the Pandavas, very envious, torturous.

and when various things happened Vidura used to tell his brother Dhritarastra ‘This is no good you better control your children, especially Duryodhan.’ and Dhritarastra was, he used to understand this. He used to agree with Vidura but because he was too much attached to his sons, especially to Duryodhan, he was not able to act upon the advice of Vidura.

and there was one time he also gave advise to Dhritarastra and this time Duryodhan, he came to know that such advice is being by Vidhura so he gets very angry and he did not appreciate this advice. This was not being appreciated for a long, long time and then some insulting words coming from Duryodhan.

and Vidura, right there on the spot he just walked out, he went to the forest and went on pilgrimage and in the meantime – I’ll give you a little Mahabharata background information. In the meantime the battle of Kurukshetra took place. Vidura was away from the family and Lord Krishna from Kurukshetra where battle took place, he had returned to Hastinapur. From Hastinapur Krishna went to Dwarka and then Krishna left the planet and that’s the time Maitreya and Uddhava had met Krishna and Vidhura was out of touch, he didn’t know all that what had happened. He didn’t know about this Kurukshetra war, he didn’t know that Krishna was no more on this planet, that he is very anxious to know – very, very anxious.

Hare? katham eva kathasu saram – the essence of all the topics – as the bees, Puspebhya take honey from each flower. Honey in the flowers are the essence of the flowers, the most essential thing is the honey. The honey bees are coming and they’re taking. So Vidura who had come to associate with the Lord, he had association with the Lord – Lord was very kind. You all know the story how the one time Duryodhan had arranged a nice lunch engagement for Krishna and Krishna had gone also, with the intension of eating there but once when Krishna reached he did not get good vibes.

This is all american way of saying things, so that you understand this I have picked up some of this. So Duryodhan – his intentions were not good. The lunch, this food that he had cooked and invited Krishna, the whole purpose was kind of, was trying to bribe Krishna. Trying to impress upon him, take him on his side. This is the time when Krishna had gone to see if there could be some compromise – this was before the battle of Kurukshetra. Krishna had gone to avoid the war, see if the war could be avoided. ‘Whatever, five villages – at least five villages?’

‘No! Five villages, that’s a lot of land and property you are talking about! I will not even part with how much land? Land that sits on top of the needle, not even that much land I will spare for the Pandavas. and you are talking about five villages? Forget it!’

So what Krishna was trying, what they say that he encouraged arjuna to fight, but ultimately when everything was tried and nothing worked then Prabhupada said that violence is a nice quality. It’s nice to be non-violent but non-violence is not a policy to be adopted under all circumstances, sometimes violence is necessary. So Krishna and arjuna, they are known for being non-violent but if there has to be violence for the benefit of the society and the world then let there be violence. Let’s prepare for killing, let there be bloodshed. So that is why at that time Krishna had come and he was just trying different things.

Duyodhan had also erected nice gates, arches, he knew what way Krishna was going to come from and he had arranged very nice receptions but his whole intention was to just get him on his side and not go for this compromise and all that. So Lord did not eat there, everything was all ready, ready to go, all set so Krishna just walked away. and then he was very happy to eat in a Kutir –Vidura’s kutir a little hut, his dwelling – Vidura and Vidurani. Vidura and his wife were staying and when guests like Krishna, not only VIP but VVIP, very important person had come to their simple residence they all became overwhelmed. They didn’t know what to do and how to receive such an exalted personality. When time came to feed Krishna, then we know what Vidurani did? She was giving Krishna some banana peels. She chopped them nicely. Maybe she was cutting banana and she put them on the plate and threw away and she offered peel to Lord Krsna. and Krishna is absorbed in talking and is eating and says ‘aha, where did you get nice fruit like this, which garden is it?’

‘Yes’ Vidura is talking and is spicing his talks with his banana peels, so Krishna was not eating banana or banana peels, he was eating the devotion of Vidura and Vidurani. Krishna is not hungr, Krishna is hungry for our devotion. It doesn’t matter – patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya.. If there is bhakti, then Krishna is ready to sit down and relish your offering. It doesn’t matter how small or big it is but here it was a big offering Duryodhan had prepared, Krishna was not interested – he just walked away.

So this is Vidura we are talking about, this is Vidura who was one time – he is Yamaraja. So certainly being a Mahajana, he is interested in hearing about Krishna and he was away from Krishna for a lot of time and he had no news of the Panadava family and whereabouts of Krishna so naturally as he is meeting Maitreya, the first thing on his mind ‘please tell me about Krishna and how is everything?’

Kathasu saram – the essence. Tad asya kausarava sarma datur – one who awards good fortune, he is addressing Maitreya ‘Kausarava. Oh Maitreya. and you are what? You are one who awards good fortune.’ also he has been described here as ivarta bandho. He is Bandho, he is friend of one who is in distress. ‘So please talk, please talk’

Sivaya nah kirtaya tirtha kirteh- bring some auspiciousness to our life, kirtaya by glorifying the Lord. and Prabhupada talking again in the purport how the world is either talking about some mundane topics or how the world is talking about some impersonal topics, topics about the impersonality of God and both of these topics are useless. and they are not certainly sara, or the essence of all the topics, one thing is just mundane and material and the topics about impersonalism, that is not completely true – it is the truth but incomplete. Brahman is one of the aspects of realization.

Brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate {S.B 1.2.11}

Lord could be realised as Brahman, as Paramatma and ultimately as Bhagavan. So some talk of Brahman, that is the truth but not complete, it is incomplete, so it not certainly the essence of all topics. Our acaryas are engaged in talking about Krishna’s guna, rupa, namnam.

Sri radhika madhavayor apara madhurya lila guna rupa namnam {Guru astaka 5}.

Sri radhika madhavayor apara – for Radha Madhava the spiritual master what does he do? Why do I offer my humble obeisances at the lotus feet of my spiritual master? Because he is always engaged in talking about Radha Madhava. Radha madhavayor apara madhurya lila – in conjugal, loving pastimes and guna their qualities, rupa their form, nama their names.

Prati ksanasvadana lolupasya vande guroh sri caranaravindam

Prati ksana means at every step, Prati ksanasvadana – asvadan means drinking. Prati ksanasvadana lolupasya – Lolup means he is addicted, his addiction. He is addicted to drinking or feeding others all the time Prati ksana, topics related with Radha Madhava’s Madhurya Lila, their qualities, their names, their form. This is what all Vaishnava acharyas do and that is the essence of all the topics.

That is very pleasing to the soul, the soul is pleased and that is the way to develop detachment from the worldly things – mundane or impersonal topic, you have no more interest. So that means topics in Bhagavatam, all those topics by hearing and reading those topics, one would naturally develop distaste for anything that is mundane or speculative, speculation impersonal talk.

‘Yes, yes God exists’ Mayavadi may say ‘but He doesn’t see’ and Prabhupada says in Isopanishad ‘a person who cannot see we call him what?’ He is blind, so Prabhupada says ‘So Mayavadi says Yes, yes God exists but he is blind. Yes, yes God exists but he doesn’t speak.’ One who doesn’t speak we call him dumb. They say ‘God exists but God is dumb, God is deaf, God is lame or helpless.’ Is that God; is that the description of God? Who would care for such a God? ‘I can’t see, I can’t see – I am just a nobody. I have a form and even I am attracted to my own form, such a beautiful form I have. and I’m trying to make it more beautiful by applying different things and cutting nails properly and hairstyles. But God doesn’t have, he has no form. Poor God has no form.’

So Prabhupada he has simple argument ‘so that means you are more than God. Even you have form but God cannot have form so what kind of God are you talking about?’ Who would care for such a God? Even you are superior tom him, you have form and he has no form.’ That God is described as Purnam.

om purnam adah purnam idamm purnat purnam udacyate
purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavasisyate {Isopanisad 1}

Lord is Purnam, complete. If someone could be complete and incomplete, both- If you say he has no form, then God is incomplete or in order for God to be complete, Purnam then God should have form and no form. That is how God is personal and impersonal.
But that impersonal, even that has origin in personality, the impersonal feature, the Brahman the light comes from the personality of Krishna.

any questions, comments?

I don’t know much, anyone could tell more about? I don’t get to hear much.There’s some other Puranas that focus more on his life and Maitreya Muni. There must be one of his confidential associates when the Lord left the planet he chose – Lord chose to meet with Maitreya.

We have limits so being living entities, first of all tiny living entities and then the conditioning is also there and in the process of preaching and teaching we want to make sure we really are able to maintain our spiritual life without any casualty or setback and not go for imitation.

‘Oh! Nityananda Prabhu did this, oh! Chaitanya Mahaprabhu did this.’ Prabhupada writes in Chaitanya Charitamrta, I think he says ‘Chaitanya Mahaprabhu indiscriminately chanted and dances amongst anybody everybody including animals.’ So he says ‘We cannot do it. Especially chanting and going to the forest and especially where there are lions and tigers and snakes.’ Im not sure whether I would. Yesterday I took this little walk and went this way and first turned left while chanting and then one big dog came running.

a big black dog, you know dogs – it took me some time to realise that he was tied by a strong rope. It took fifteen seconds for it to just come all the way and reach me so I stepped back, I was trying to go away from the dog. Somehow I didn’t remember the pastimes of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and this is just a dog, what to speak if he was a lion or a tiger. and this is just in the midst of this Denver town and what to speak of being in a forest by yourself. Then Prabhupada makes a point that the present day society is like the animal society. They are like the tigers and the lions in that they eat and bark and fight.

Prabhupada said that we could be happy in limiting ourselves and preaching to the human beings and that is as good as Chaitany Mahaprabhu’s preaching to the animals. He preached to the animals and let us preach to the human animals, he considered that as the same. Then there is further guideline from the scriptures that one who is in second class position, there is discrimination. We serve God, we are friendly with the devotees and we preach to the faithful and avoid the demoniac – those who are not faithful they are not going to give aural reception to what you have to say. They don’t go by logic and argument there’s no way -like fanatic Christians – they are useless to try to make your points and you are just wasting Krishna’s energy because your energy is Krishna’s energy so you should be wise.

Prabhupada also explains that this is the whole art of preaching, no imitation – you are only a small person and you have only so much energy and so much time and it should be appropriately utilised in the service of Krishna without wasting. So preaching to the faithless is considered an offence against the holy name and because we have limited power we are limited in number, there are only so many devotees and the public is a large population so there has to be some discrimination.

Prabhupada gives an example that when on the battlefield, fierce battle going on and arrows going back and forth – no more arrows these days there are guns and missiles and so many casualties, some half dead and hand broke off or neck chopped off or bullet stuck in the chest. So all kinds of casualties so there are the red cross mission and there are doctors there – it is their desire to help everyone, cure everyone, recuperate everyone but Prabhupada makes a point that a wise doctor knowing his limitations and knowing that only so many doctors are there and that unlimited person need medical care, they will not waste their time in trying to fix up somebody’s body who is kind of a gone case.

It is hopeless, there is no way – ‘In five ten minutes he will be gone but let me use this five, ten minutes to do a little first aid and he will be okay. He will even get up and fight. Let me just get the bullet out of his chest and he will be okay or let me apply some ointment and little ointment and he will be probably.

So the doctor will not spend time with those who are lost cases, not under war going in all that. He will handle only those who are easily curable cases first before going for those who are bad ones the worst ones, the hopeless ones. So this is our position also, everyone needs our help – devotees, Krishna’s help but the devotees are only a handful. We must pick and choose so our energy is properly utilised and these persons end up becoming Krishna conscious and they come closer to Krishna. Doesn’t that make sense? So being compassionate for all the fallen souls and wanting to help everybody, fine but how are we going to manage?

So it’s kind of some management, preaching and some priorities for preaching to new devotees from what I could handle, no? If there is some more advanced senior devotee he can handle much more. So we should also be like ‘No, no not me. I will introduce you to Jayapataka Maharaja who is coming this afternoon. Why don’t you come over?’ Like that we should do, not that I can preach to anyone and everyone – no, no. Don’t see that I could handle him; I have enough emanation of power.

Or temple president may even hand over some visitor to Bhakta, ‘Yes you preach. He is only nine months but definitely he will handle him.’ Or temple president will say ‘no, no, no let GBC come or some temple sannyasi and then I would like you to come and you could sit down and talk.’ So like that we should be doing how much we can handle, who we are and the party that I have to preach to – what is his status and what is his field of knowledge and what are his arguments and who could defeat them on behalf of Krishna?

This has to be all worked out and then approach, something like that no? You don’t agree with this, so what is your policy? God doesn’t – God is not material. a material God, a non- material God, a spiritual God would not enjoy something that is material. He is disinterested in the matter, that is the external energy and it is there for the conditioned souls to think it to be real and try to enjoy it – not for God.

and Brahmin is eating and then Lord is eating also, you want Lord to eat then feed the Brahmin and Lord is eating at the same time. That kind of enjoyment, transcendental enjoyment the Lord is very much there.

Otherwise Lord could have eaten that food cooked by Duryodhan, he did not because he saw some material flavour, and the smell was all mundane so he did not look at the food. He has made it very clear – patram puspam phalam.. and he has many also – ‘If you want to feed me okay I have already told. When I met arjuna I told him what I like and what I dislike and at the same time it has to be with devotion.’

Devotion is something spiritual we are talking about – it’s not a material thing. and the Lord, he described how the body is compared to a tree and there are two birds on this tree. and there are the supersoul and there is the soul. The soul is trying to enjoy this body through the senses. and as a result the conditioned soul is sometimes enjoying sweet fruits and sometimes bitter ones but the supersoul is just there to witness. He does not want to enjoy any material fruits – good or bad are both material. as soon as you transcend this materiality – good and bad, and come to the transcendental then the Lord is not a witness anymore, he is participant, he will grant things and will enjoy also.

He is waiting for you to stop enjoying material and good or bad, both sides of material thing. So each time the conditioned soul is watching supersoul is only standing there, peaceful, blissful each time as you are going through the bitterness, bitter experiences– nothing changes for the supersoul. He is wanting also to attain a position like that then he remains this way adjusting and begins acting transcendentally.

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