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Selasa, 12 Agustus 2014

LANJUTAN BHAGAVANTA-PURANA




Bab lima Narada menyarankan Srimad-Bhagavantam untuk Vyasadeva


1. Suta Gosvami mengatakan: Narada duduk dengan nyamannya dan memperlihatkan senyumnya kepada Vedavyasa

2. Ditunjukkan kepada Vyasadeva, Putra dari Parasara, Narada bertanya: Apakah anda puas dengan menyamakan badan atau mind ( pikiran ) sebagai objek dari Kesadaran Diri ?

3. Pencarian anda sudah benar dan pendidikan anda juga sungguh baik. Sehingga tidak ada halangan anda menceritakan Mahabarata, sungguh kerja yang luar biasa dan menarik. Menjelaskan semua weda secara teliti dan tersusun.

4. Anda sudah benar-benar menggambarkan tentang Impersonal Brahman (Tuhan yang sulit digambarkan) dengan baiknya seperti pengetahuan semua datang darinya. Kenapa anda merasa putus asa dengan semua kedengkian ini, Apakah anda berpikir ada yang belum dilakukan ?

5. Sri Vyasadeva berkata: Semua sudah anda katakan tentang saya bahwa sudah benar. Walaupun begitu saya merasa tidak tenang. Untuk itu saya menanyakan kepada anda penyebab dari semua ketidakpuasan saya, saya tahu pengetahuan anda tak terbatas, karena anda keturunan ( cucu ) langsung dari Brahma . yang tak terlahirkan secara duniawi( tanpa ayah dan ibu duniawi).

6. Yang Mulia, segala yang rahasia anda tahu, karena anda memuja Sang Pencipta dan Pelebur Dunia Material dan Pemelihara Dunia Spiritual, Personalitas Tuhan yang asli, melampaui dari Tri Guna.

7. Seperti Matahari, kebaikan anda bisa ada dimana – mana di ketiga dunia, dan seperti udara anda bisa masuk kedalam tempat tinggal semua orang. Sebagaimana kebaikan anda yang bisa meresapi semua jiwa. Saya mohon, cari tahu kekurangan saya walaupun saya sendiri sudah mengerti aturan – aturan agama dan sumpahnya.

8. Sri Narada mengatakan: anda sesungguhnya tidak menyebarkan tentang keagungan dan menitikberatkan pada kejayaan dari Personalitas Tuhan. Filsafat yang anda jelaskan sebelumnya tersebut tidak akan memuaskan Tuhan, yang sesungguhnya lebih dari itu. jadi dipandang tidak bernilai.

9. Walaupun anda sudah dengan sangat luasnya menjelaskan dari awal empat dasar pokok dari kegiatan beragama, tapi anda tidak menggambarkan keagungan dari Personalitas Tuhan, Vasudeva.

10. Setiap kata – kata yang tidak menggambarkan keagungan Tuhan, yang dengan sendiri bisa menyucikan seluruh atmosphere alam semesta ini, dipandang oleh para terpelajar seperti tempat suci bagi burung gagak. Biarpun orang sempurna adalah penghuni tempat yang ini, mereka tidak akan mendapatkan kesenangan dari sana.

11. Lain halnya bila sastra – sastra menjelaskan secara detail tentang keagungan nama – nama yang tanpa batas, kemashyuran, wujud, masa lalu, dll. Tuhan Maha tinggi adalah berbeda dengan ciptaan, Melampaui kata – kata, secara langsung membawa perubahan kepada mahluk yang tidak beriman di dunia ini pada peradaban yang salah arah. Sastra yang seperti itu walaupun disusun kurang lengkap, didengar, dinyanyikan, diterima oleh orang suci yang dengan sendirinya menjadi jujur dan baik.

12. Pengetahuan tentang Kesadaran Diri, meskipun membebaskan diri dari hubungan material, tidak akan kelihatan baik tanpa pemikiran yang sempurna. Selanjutnya apa gunanya kegiatan ritual, secara sadar menyakitkan dari awal dan hanya bersifat sementara karena pengaruh Tri Guna, jika tidak berdasarkan pelayanan Kepada Tuhan?

13. O Vyasadeva, Pandangan anda benar – benar sempurna. Anda sungguh termashyur. Anda kuat dalam sumpah dan doa dan berada dalam kepercayaan penuh. Dengan begitu anda bisa memikirkan masa lalu Tuhan. Untuk kebebasan umat manusia dari jeratan dunia material.

14. Bagaimanapun keinginan untuk menggambarkan Tuhan apabila terpisah dari pandangan Tuhan bisa memberikan reaksi, dengan bentuk yang berbeda, nama- nama dan hasilnya, bisa meresahkan pikiran seperti Angin menggoncang perahu dan tidak ada tempat untuk istirahat.

15. Orang - orang secara alamiah ingin menikmati kesenangan. Dan anda telah mendorongnya untuk menikmati itu dengan nama Agama. Ini sungguh sangat menjatuhkan dan sunguh bertentangan dengan akal. Karena mereka dituntun oleh petuah anda, mereka tentu akan menerima aktivitas ini dengan nama agama dan sungguh – sungguh peduli pada larangan – larangannya.

16. Tuhan yang maha esa tidak terbatas. Oleh karenanya hanya orang – orang yang berkepribadian dan ahli yang mau meninggalkan Kesenangan duniawi, mampu memahami pentingnya pengetahuan spiritual ini. Untuk itu seseorang yang tidak dalam kondisi baik, karena pengaruh dunia materi, seharusnya ditunjukkan jalan Kesadaran Diri, dengan kebaikan anda, lewat penjelasan dari aktivitas Tuhan yang tak terbayangkan.

17. Seseorang yang telah mendedikasikan Pekerjaaan duniawinya dan menyibukkan diri dalam pelayanan Tuhan, bisa saja jatuh ketika masih dalam tahap belajar, semuanya itu  walaupun tanpa kesuksesan bukannya tidak ada gunanya. Lain halnya dengan yang tidak punya pelayanan kepada Tuhan, pikiran nya selalu disibukkan dengan tugas duniawinya, itu tidak akan menghasilkan apa – apa dalam dunia spiritual.

18. Orang yang benar – benar cerdas dan punya filsafat seharusnya hanya cenderung tujuan akhirnya seperti itu ( Pelayanan Tuhan), bukan untuk memperoleh alam Brahma (brahmaloka) atau alam paling bawah seperti Patala. Sejauh kebahagiaan hanya didapatkan dari kebahagiaan pikiran, seiring dengan berjalannya waktu itu akan bisa kita dapatkan, tapi seiring berjalannya waktu kita juga akan terus mendapatkan ilusi walaupun tidak kita inginkan.

19. Maharsi, bahkan jika seorang Pencinta Tuhan Krisna sewaktu – waktu jatuh, dia sungguh – sungguh di luar pengaruh Duniawi tidak seperti yang lainnya ( bekerja mengharapkan hasil, dll) karena seseorang yang sudah pernah sekali saja merasakan Kaki padmanya Tuhan tidak bisa berbuat apa – apa tapi ingatan akan kecintaan Tuhan akan datang lagi dan lagi.

20. Personalitas Tuhan yang maha tinggi ini adalah diriNYa sendiri dalam alam semesta yang luas ini, semua adalah diriNya. Hanya dari beliaulah Semuanya ini berasal, kembali lagi kepadaNya sesudah terjadinya Penghancuran. Anda tahu betul tentang semua ini. Saya hanya memberikan ringkasan.

21. Anda mempunyai pandangan yang sempurna tentang kebaikan. Anda sendiri tahu Jiwa tertinggi dari kepribadian(personalitas) Tuhan karena anda hadir disini sebagai bagian sempurna dari Tuhan. Walaupum anda tak terlahirkan, anda hadir di dunia ini untuk kebaikan mahluk hidup dan semua orang. Untuk itu tolong gambarkan masa lalu dari Personalitas Tuhan Sri Krisna yang selalu melampaui dengan lebih jelas.

22. Orang – Orang terpelajar punya kesimpulan yang baik dan tujuan sempurna dari Pengetahuan kedepannya, dengan sungguh – sungguh belajar weda- weda, melakukan Pengorbanan, menyampaikan doa-doa dan berderma, dan mencapai puncaknya dalam Pelayanan kepada Tuhan, semuanya dijelaskan dalam bentuk puisi.

23. O muni, pada zaman yang lalu, saya lahir sebagai seorang anak laki-laki tepatnya pembantu, disibukkan untuk melayani para brahmana yang mengikuti prinsip Wedanta. Ketika mereka tinggal bersama – sama selama empat bulan di waktu musim hujan, saya secara pribadi melayani semuanya.

24. Walaupun mereka masih di bawah pengaruh Tri Guna, semua pengikut ajaran wedanta itu memberkati saya dengan kemurahan hatinya. Seketika saya sadar, saya bisa mengontrol diri saya dan tidak terikat dengan kesenangan, walaupun saya masih muda. Akibatnya saya tidak nakal dan tidak berbicara jika tidak diperlukan.

25. Suatu hari, dengan ijin dari semuanya, saya memakan sisa dari makanan beliau dengan melakukan itu semua dosa saya terhapus. Menyibukkan diri dengan pelayanan, hati saya menjadi suci dan pada saat itu pelayanan kepada Tuhan sangat menarik perhatian saya.

26. O Vyasadeva, dengan bergabung dan karena kemurahan hati para penganut weda itu, saya bisa mendengarkan mereka menggambarkan aktivitas Tuhan Krisna yang begitu memikat, mendengarkannya secara sungguh – sungguh , secara perlahan saya selalu berkeinginan untuk mendengarkan Personalitas Tuhan.

27. O yang paling Bijaksana, dengan segera saya bisa merasakan Personalitas Tuhan, perhatian saya selalu tertarik untuk mendengarkan Tuhan. Seiring dengan dibangunya perasaan saya , saya jadi sadar bahwa semua ini hanya karena kebodohan . saya menerima badan halus dan kasar ini. Tuhan dan saya keduanya adalah sama ( Tat Twam Asi ) .

28. Selama dua musim – musim hujan dan musim semi – saya mempunyai kesempatan untuk mendengarkan – para jiwa yang bijaksana itu menceritakan cerita yang murni tentang kebesaran dari Tuhan Hari. Seperti arus air saya memulai Pelayanan kepada Tuhan, sifat tri guna yang menutupi selama ini seperti hawa nafsu dan kebodohan dihapuskan.

29. Saya sangat dipengaruhi oleh mereka semua, saya jadi bisa bersikap baik, dan seluruh dosa saya lenyap karena melayani mereka. Dalam hati saya mempunyai kepercayaan yang kuat terhadap mereka. Saya sudah menaklukkan indria, saya secara keras mengikuti mereka dengan badan dan pikiran

30. Ketika para pencinta wedanta itu semua sudah meninggal, mereka yang sungguh sangat baik kepada jiwa yang hatinya begitu miskin, memberi tahu saya sesuatu yang paling rahasia yang disampaikan oleh Tuhan sendiri.

31. Dengan Pengetahuan rahasia ini, saya jadi bisa mengerti dengan jelas pengaruh dari energi Tuhan Krisna, sebagai pencipta, pemelihara, pelebur kesemuanya ini. Dengan mengetahuinya seseorang bisa kembali kepadaNya and secara pribadi bertemu denganNya.

32. O Maharesi Vyasadeva, telah diputuskan oleh orang bijaksana ukuran untuk menyembuhkan, menghilangkan segala masalah dan khayalan dengan cara mendedikasikan seluruh kegiatan pada pelayanan kepada Kepribadian tertinggi dari Tuhan(Sri Krisna).

33. O jiwa yang mulia, tiada lagi yang lain, lakukan pengobatan, sembuhkan segala penyakit yang disebabkan oleh semua itu?

34. Ketika setiap orang aktivitasnya ditunjukkan untuk Pelayanan kepada Tuhan, perbudakan dari karma phala bisa di hancurkan.

35. Apapun jenis pekerjaan yang dilakukan di kehidupan ini jika tujuannya untuk memuaskan Tuhan itu dikatakan bhakti yoga, atau dikatakan pelayanan cinta kasih kepada Tuhan dan itu pula yang namanya Pokok Pengetahuan.

36. Ketika menjalankan tugas sesuai dengan apa yang diperintahkan Sri Krisna, Personalitas tertinggi Tuhan, seseorang secara tetap bisa mengingatNya, Nama - namaNya, dan kualitasNya.

37. Marilah kita ceritakan seluruh keagungan dari Vasudeva bersama kesempurnaanya yang ditunjukkan lewat Pradyuma, Aniruddha, dan Sankarsana.

38. Itulah sebenarnya yang dicari oleh para pemuja, di lakukan dalam bentuk Pelayanan kepada Personalitas Tuhan, Visnu, tanpa mempunyai wujud material.

39. O brahmana, oleh karena Tuhan Krisnalah saya dianugerahi Pengetahuan yang abadi ini, Pengetahuan Tuhan seperti yang diajarkan secara rahasia oleh Weda – Weda. Dan juga dikarenakan oleh pencapaian Pengetahuan spiritual dan Kecintaan saya pada Pelayanan kepada Beliau.

40. Mohon, untuk itu , gambarkan Kegiatan – kegiatan Tuhan yang begitu luar biasa ,sama seperti luasnya Pengetahuan Weda, untuk kepuasan dari hasrat para terpelajar dan lain daripada itu bisa meringankan kesengsaraan rakyat jelata yang merupakan bagian terbesar dari penduduk yang selalu menderita oleh kepedihan Material. Sesungguhnya, tidak ada cara lain untuk menghilangkan kesengsaraan.

Selasa, 07 Agustus 2012

vedanta sutra

SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM--THE NATURAL COMMENTARY ON VEDANTA (ARTHO 'YAM
                            BRAHMA-SUTRANAM)

     A STUDY GUIDE BASED UPON THE GOVINDA-BHASYA OF SRILA BALADEVA
                              VIDYABHUSANA


                              INTRODUCTION

     The word Veda means 'knowledge.'  In the modern world, the term
'science' is used to identify the kind of authoritative knowledge upon
which human progress is based.  To the ancient people of Bharatavarsa,
the word Veda had an even more profound import than the word science has
for people today.  That is because in those days scientific inquiry was
not restricted to the world perceived by the physicial senses.  And the
definition of human progress was not restricted to massive technological
exploitation of material nature.  In Vedic times, the primary focus of
science was the eternal, not the temporary; human progress meant the
advancement of spiritual awareness yielding the soul's release from the
entrapment of material nature, which is temporary and full of ignorance
and suffering.

     Vedic knowledge is called apauruseya, meaning that it is not
knowledge of human invention.  Vedic knowledge appeared at the dawn of
the cosmos within the heart of Brahma, the lotus-born demigod of
creation from whom all the species of life within the universe descend.
Brahma imparted this knowledge in the form of sabda (spiritual sound) to
his immediate sons, who are great sages of higher planetary systems like
the Satyaloka, Janaloka and Tapaloka.  These sages transmitted the Vedic
sabda to disciples all over the universe, including wise men of earth in
ancient times.  Five thousand years ago the great Vedic authority Srila
Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasa compiled the sabda into Sanskrit scripture
(sastra) which collectively is known today as 'the Vedas.'

     In the India of old, the study of the Vedas was the special
prerogative of the brahmanas (the priestly and intellectual class).
There were four degrees of education in Vedic knowledge that
corresponded to the four asramas of brahminical culture (the brahmacari
or student asrama, the grhastha or householder asrama, the vanaprastha
or retired asrama and the sannyasa or renounced asrama).  The first
degree of learning was the memorization of the Vedic Samhita, which
consists of thousands of mantras (verses) divided into four sections--
Rg, Sama, Yajur and Atharva--that are chanted by priests in
glorification of the Supreme Being during sacrificial rituals.  The
second degree was the mastery of the Brahmana portion of the Vedas,
which teaches rituals for fulfillment of duties to family, society,
demigods, sages, other living entities and the Supreme Lord.  The third
degree was the mastery of the Aranyaka portion, which prepares the
retired householder for complete renunciation.  The fourth degree was
the mastery of the Upanisads, which present the philosophy of the
Absolute Truth to persons seeking liberation from birth and death.

     The texts studied in the four stages of formal Vedic education are
collectively called sruti-sastra, 'scripture that is to be heard' by the
brahmanas.  But sruti-sastra is not all there is to the Vedic
literature.  Chandogya Upanisad 7.1.2 declares that the Puranas and
Itihasas comprise the fifth division of Vedic study.  The Puranas and
Itihasas teach the same knowledge as the four Vedas, illustrating it
with extensive historical narrations.  The fifth Veda is known as
smrti-sastra ('scripture that must be remembered'); Srila Vyasadeva
compiled it into eighteen Puranas and the Mahabharata.  Smrti-sastra
study was permitted to non-brahmanas.  At Naimasaranya, therefore, Suta
Gosvami, a non-brahmana by birth, was requested by the great assembly of
brahmanas to recite the Srimad-Bhagavata Maha-purana that his father
Romaharsana had learned directly from Vyasa.

     Before Vyasadeva's compilation, the Vedas had long been taught in
the brahmana-asramas by six schools of Vedic philosophy.  Each of these
schools had come to be associated with a famous sage who was the author
of a sutra (code) expressing the essence of his darsana (standpoint on
the ultimate meaning or purpose of the Veda).  To dispel the confusion
that had arisen among brahmanas because of the incongruities of these
standpoints, Vyasa wrote Vedanta-sutra as a final judgement on the
arguments of the six schools as well as those of other philosophies.
Vedanta-sutra forms the third great body of Vedic literature after the
sruti-sastra and smrti-sastra.  It is known as the nyaya-sastra,
'scripture of philosophical disputation.'

     The sad-darsana (six standpoints) are Nyaya (logic), Vaisesika
(atomic theory), Samkhya (analysis of matter and spirit), Yoga (the
discipline of self-realization), Karma-mimamsa (science of fruitive
work) and Vedanta (science of God realization).

     The sad-darsana are termed astika (from asti, or 'it is so'),
because they all acknowledge the Veda to be authoritative.  The nastika
philosophies of the Carvakas, Buddhists and Jains (nasti, 'it is not
so'), reject the Vedas.  Beginning with Nyaya, each of the sad-darsanas
in their own turn presents a more developed and comprehensive
explanation of the conclusion of Vedic knowledge.  Nyaya sets up the
rules of philosophical debate and identifies the basic subjects under
discussion: the physical world, the soul, God and liberation. Vaisesika
engages the method of Nyaya or logic in a deeper analysis of the
predicament of material existence by showing that the visible material
forms to which we are all so attached ultimately break down into
invisible atoms.  Samkhya develops this analytical process further to
help the soul become aloof to matter.  Through Yoga, the soul awakens
its innate spiritual vision to see itself beyond the body. Karma-mimamsa
directs the soul to accept the duties prescribed in the Vedic
scriptures.  Vedanta focuses on the supreme goal taught in the
Upanisads.

     Originally, the six darsanas were specialized fields within
a harmonious, comprehensive study of the Veda.  The purest and most
ancient versions of these darsanas are found in Srimad-Bhagavatam,
propounded by great mahajanas like Brahma, Narada, Siva, the four
Kumaras, Devahuti-putra Kapiladeva and Sukadeva Gosvami.  But later and
far lesser scholars of the darsanas advanced opposing, contentious
points of view.  Thus Vedic philosopy came to be misrepresented for
selfish ends.  For instance, Karma-mimamsa (which by 500 BC had become
the foremost philosophy of the brahmana class) was misused by
bloodthirsty priests to justify their mass slaughter of animals in Vedic
sacrifices.  But the unexpected rise of a novel non- Vedic religion
challenged the power of Karma-mimamsa.  This new religion was Buddhism.
When King Asoka instituted the Buddha's doctrine as the state religion
of his empire, many brahmanas abandoned Vedic scholarship altogether to
learn and teach nastika concepts of ahimsa (nonviolence) and sunyata
(voidism).  This seriously eroded the influence of the astika schools.

     In the seventh century after Christ, Buddhism in its turn was
eclipsed by the rise of the teachings of the Vedantist Sankara, who
revived the Vedic culture all over India. But Sankara's special
formulation of Vedanta was itself influenced by Buddhism and is not
truly representative of the original Vedanta-darsana taught by Vyasa.

     After Sankara, Vedanta was refined by the schools of great teachers
(acaryas) like Ramanuja, Madhva and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Having shed
the baggage of Sankara's crypto-Buddhism, Vedanta philosophers soared to
heights of dialectical sophistication that has been much appreciated by
many Western intellectuals.  Vedantic dialectics are represented today
in the bhasyas (commentaries) of the acaryas and the tikas
(subcommentaries) of their disciples.  All possible philosophical
positions, including some bearing remarkable resemblance to the ideas of
European philosophers, are therein proposed, analyzed and refuted.

     Vedanta study is jnana-yoga, the yoga of theoretical knowledge. But
from jnana one must come to vijnana, practical realization of the
ultimate truth.  The theoretical dialectics (sastratha) of Vedanta twist
and turn from thesis (purvapaksa) to antithesis (uttarapaksa) to
synthesis (siddhanta) like the gnarled branches of a tree.  But the ways
of philosophical disputation do not themselves add up to the Absolute
Truth.  The Absolute Truth, being transcendental, is only indirectly
framed in the branches of jnana, like the rising full moon may be framed
by the branches of a tree.  A friend who wishes us to see the moon may
first draw our attention to that tree.  This may be compared to the
indirect or theoretical stage of knowledge.  Actually seeing the moon is
vijnana.

     There is a straightforward path to vijnana.  It is explained by the
Supreme Personality of Godhead to Brahma in Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.9.31:

                          sri-bhagavan uvaca
                        jnanam parama-guhyam me
                         yad vijnana-samanvitam
                        sarahasyam tad-angam ca
                          grhana gaditam maya

                              TRANSLATION

     The Personality of Godhead said: Knowledge about Me as described in
the scriptures is very confidential, and it has to be realized in
conjunction with devotional service. The necessary paraphernalia for
that process is being explained by Me. You may take it up carefully.

     This verse, which establishes that vijnana is attainable by one who
coordinates scriptural study with pure devotional service, is the
prelude to the Catuhsloki Bhagavatam, the four original verses of the
Srimad-Bhagavatam spoken before creation by the Lord to His servant
Brahma. (Bhag. 2.9.33-36)  Five thousand years ago, the Catuhsloki
Bhagavatam was expanded into 18,000 verses by Srila Vyasadeva as his own
commentary on Vedanta-sutra.  The Srimad-Bhagavatam, then, is meant for
persons who are willing to go beyond mere thinking about the Absolute
Truth to the realized stage of practical engagement--body, mind, soul
and words--in the ninefold angas (divisions) of devotional service to
Krsna.  As Sri Prahlada Maharaja states, kriyeta bhagavaty addha tan
manye 'dhitam uttamam: 'One who has dedicated his life to the service of
Krsna through these nine methods should be understood to be the most
learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge.' (Bhag. 7.5.24)

     The study guide that follows is designed to help the student of
Srimad-Bhagavatam to 1) discern the original Bhagavata versions of the
six darsanas, 2) learn the Srimad-Bhagavatam's answers to challenges
fired from many different philosophical stances, and 3) appreciate the
solid Vedic philosophical foundation of Krsna-bhakti.  In this guide,
verses of the Srimad-Bhagavatam are presented as commentaries on
philosophical controversies raised in the Vedanta-sutra.  The outline of
Vedanta controversies provided by this guide is drawn from the
Govinda-bhasya of Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana.  The Govinda-bhasya
quotes a number Bhagavatam verses deemed to be the elucidations of
specific sutras.  All verses mentioned therein are incorporated into
this study guide.  And wherever the Govinda-bhasya provides no
Bhagavatam verses to match the Vedanta, other Vaisnava studies of the
Srimad-Bhagavatam were consulted.  They are: Sri Bhagavata-arka Marici
Mala by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Sri Bhakti Ratnavali by Visnu Puri,
Vedanta-darsana by Haridasa Sastri and--first and foremost--the
computerized BBT Folio of the books of His Divine Grace A. C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

    Readers should note that this study guide examines the Srimad-
Bhagavatam from a very specific angle of vision--Vedanta philosophy-- so
as to heighten our appreciation and understanding of certain verses that
may have escaped our careful consideration due to their seeming
technical or esoteric nature.  Thus this study guide is really aimed at
augmenting an already developed appreciation for Bhagavata philosophy.
It is not conceived of as a general introduction to the Srimad
Bhagavatam.  Nor is it meant to be an exhaustive study of the
Vedanta-sutra either.  Many of the finer details of Vedanta philosophy
that are dealt with in Govinda-bhasya can find no place in such a work
as this, which utilizes Vedanta only as a background reference for
a deeper understanding of the Srimad-Bhagavatam.

SRILA PRABHUPADA ON THE SRIMAD-BHAGAVATAM AS THE NATURAL COMMENTARY ON
VEDANTA-SUTRA

From Teachings of Lord Kapila, Chapter 4: 'Srimad-Bhagavatam is
a commentary on Vedanta-sutra. Vedanta-sutra explains that the Supreme is
the source of everything, and the nature of that source is explained in
Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.1.1): janmady asya yato 'nvayad itaratas carthesv
abhijnah svarat. That source is abhijna, cognizant.  Matter is not
cognizant; therefore the theory of modern science that life comes from
matter is incorrect. The identity from whom everything emanates is
abhijna, cognizant, which means He can understand.  The Bhagavatam
(1.1.1) also states, tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye: Krsna instructed
Lord Brahma in Vedic knowledge. Unless the ultimate source is a living
entity, how can He impart knowledge? Srimad-Bhagavatam was compiled by
Vyasadeva, who also compiled the Vedanta-sutra.  Generally the Mayavadis
emphasize the commentary made on the Vedanta-sutra by Sankaracarya, the
Sariraka-bhasya, but that is not the original commentary on
Vedanta-sutra. The original commentary is given by the author himself,
Vyasadeva, in the form of Srimad-Bhagavatam. To understand the actual
meaning of the Vedanta-sutra, we must refer to the commentary made by
the author himself. As stated by Sri Krsna Himself in Bhagavad-gita
(13.5):

                         rsibhir bahudha gitam
                      chandobhir vividhaih prthak
                       brahma-sutra-padais caiva
                        hetumadbhir viniscitaih

"The knowledge of the field of activities and of the knower of
activities is described by various sages in various Vedic writings--
especially in the Vedanta-sutra--and is presented with all reasoning as
to cause and effect."

Transcendental knowledge is therefore very logical.  According to the
Vedic system, the acarya must understand Vedanta-sutra (also called
Brahma-sutra) before he can be accepted as an acarya.  Both the
Mayavada-sampradaya and the Vaisnava-sampradaya have explained the
Vedanta-sutra. Without understanding Vedanta-sutra, one cannot
understand Brahman.'

From Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, Chapter 7, Text 72, purport:
'Knowledge of the unlimited is actual brahmajnana, or knowledge of the
Supreme. Those who are addicted to fruitive activities and speculative
knowledge cannot understand the value of the holy name of the Lord,
Krsna, who is always completely pure, eternally liberated and full of
spiritual bliss.  One who has taken shelter of the holy name of the
Lord, which is identical with the Lord, does not have to study Vedanta
philosophy, for he has already completed all such study.

One who is unfit to chant the holy name of Krsna but thinks that the
holy name is different from Krsna and thus takes shelter of Vedanta
study in order to understand Him must be considered a number one fool,
as confirmed by Caitanya Mahaprabhu by His personal behavior, and
philosophical speculators who want to make Vedanta philosophy an
academic career are also considered to be within the material energy.
A person who always chants the holy name of the Lord, however, is already
beyond the ocean of nescience, and thus even a person born in a low
family who engages in chanting the holy name of the Lord is considered
to be beyond the study of Vedanta philosophy.  In this connection the
Srimad-Bhavatam states:

                     aho bata svapaco' to gariyan
                  yaj-jihvagre vartate nama tubhyam
                 tepus tapas te juhuvuh sasnur arya
                   brahman ucur nama grnanti ye te

"If a person born in a family of dog-eaters takes to the chanting of the
holy name of Krsna, it is to be understood that in his previous life he
must have executed all kinds of austerities and penances and performed
all the Vedic yajnas." (SB. 3.33.7) Another quotation states:

             rg-vedo 'tha yajur-vedah sma-vedo 'py atharvanah
              adhitas tena yenoktam harir ity aksara-dvayam

"A person who chants the two syllables Ha-ri has already studied the
four Vedas--Sama, Rk, Yajuh and Atharva."

Taking advantage of these verses, there are some sahajiyas who, taking
everything very cheaply, consider themselves elevated Vaisnavas but do
not care even to touch the Vednta-sutras or Vedanta philosophy.  A real
Vaisnava should, however, study Vedanta philosophy, but if after
studying Vedanta one does not adopt the chanting of the holy name of the
Lord, he is no better than a Mayavadi.  Therefore, one should not be
a Mayavadi, yet one should not be unaware of the subject matter of Vedanta
philosophy.  Indeed, Caitanya Mahaprabhu exhibited His knowledge of
Vedanta in His discourses with Prakasananda Sarasvati. Thus it is to be
understood that a Vaisnava should be completely conversant with Vedanta
philosophy, yet he should not think that studying Vedanta is all in all
and therefore be unattached to the chanting of the holy name. A devotee
must know the importance of simultaneously understanding Vedanta
philosophy and chanting the holy names. If by studying Vedanta one
becomes an impersonalist, he has not been able to understand Vedanta.
This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (Bg. 15.15).  Vedanta means "the end
of knowledge." The ultimate end of knowledge is knowledge of Krsna, who
is identical with His holy name.  Cheap Vaisnavas (sahajiyas) do not
care to study the Vedanta philosophy as commented upon by the four
acaryas.  In the Gaudiya- sampradaya there is a Vedanta commentary
called the Govinda-bhasya, but the sahajiyas consider such commentaries
to be untouchable philosophical speculation, and they consider the
acaryas to be mixed devotees. Thus they clear their way to hell.'

From Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, Chapter 7, Text 102, Purport: 'The
Mayavadi sannyasis, appreciating Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, inquired from
Him why He did not discuss Vedanta philosophy.  Actually, however, the
entire system of Vaisnava activities is based on Vedanta philosophy.
Vaisnavas do not neglect Vedanta, but they do not care to understand
Vedanta on the basis of the Sariraka-bhasya commentary. Therefore, to
clarify the situation, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, with the permission
of the Mayavadi sannyasis, wanted to speak regarding Vedanta philosophy.
The Vaisnavas are by far the greatest philosophers in the world, and the
greatest among them was Srila Jiva Gosvami Prabhu, whose philosophy was
again presented less than four hundred years later by Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Maharaja. Therefore one must know very
well that Vaisnava philosophers are not sentimentalists or cheap
devotees like the sahajiyas.  All the Vaisnava acaryas were vastly
learned scholars who understood Vedanta philosophy fully, for unless one
knows Vedanta philosophy he cannot be an acarya. To be accepted as an
acarya among Indian transcendentalists who follow the Vedic principles,
one must become a vastly learned scholar in Vedanta philosophy, either
by studying it or hearing it.

Bhakti develops in pursuance of Vedanta philosophy. This is stated in
Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.12):

                        tac chraddadhana munayo
                        jnana-vairagya-yuktaya
                        pasyanty atmani catmanam
                        bhaktya sruta-grhitaya

The words bhaktyasruta-grhitaya in this verse are very important, for
they indicate that bhakti must be based upon the philosophy of the
Upanisads and Vedanta-sutra. Srila Rupa Gosvami said:

                         sruti-smrti-puranadi-
                         pancaratra-vidhim vina
                         aikantiki harer bhaktir
                         utpatayaiva kalpate

"Devotional service performed without reference to the Vedas, Puranas,
Pancaratras, etc., must be considered sentimentalism, and it causes
nothing but disturbance to society." There are different grades of
Vaisnavas (kanistha-adhikari, madhyama-adhikari, uttama-adhikari), but
to be a madhyama-adhikari preacher one must be a learned scholar in
Vedanta-sutra and other Vedic literature because when bhakti-yoga
develops on the basis of Vedanta philosophy it is factual and steady. In
this connection we may quote the translation and purport of the verse
mentioned above (SB. 1.2.12):

                            TRANSLATION

That Absolute Truth is realized by the seriously inquisitive student or
sage who is well equipped with knowledge and who has become detached by
rendering devotional service and hearing the Vedanta-sruti.'

From a lecture by Srila Prabhupada, given on January 11, 1967: 'So far
Vedanta-sutra is concerned, Bhagavata is Vedanta-sutra itself. Bhagavata
is the natural commentary on the Vedanta-sutra.  Therefore one who has
sufficient knowledge in Bhagavata, he has automatically sufficient
knowledge in Vedanta-sutra.'