6 July 2020

Remembrance of Srila Vyasadeva

Hare Krsna!

started yesterday. We have started our Caturmasiya special sadhana. What is that? Our chanting itself is our austerity, which we should be doing. That’s the real sadhana.

harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā

For spiritual progress in this Age of Kali, there is no alternative, there is no alternative, there is no alternative to the holy name, the holy name, the holy name of the Lord. ( CC. Adi. 7.76)

Yesterday was Vyasa-Purnima. Most of the people celebrate it as Guru Purnima. Yesterday we remembered our beloved Bhakti Caru Maharaja and we couldn’t remember Sri Vyasadeva. Srila Vyasadeva Bhagavan ki Jay! Vyasadeva took birth from the union of Satyavati and Sage Parashar. As he was the son of Parashar he is also called Pàràshar. As he was born in a boat near a small island ( Dvipa) so he is also called Dvaipayan. The meaning of the word ‘Vyasa’ is ‘to expand’. One who expanded the scripture, thus he received the name – Vyasa. Vyasadeva is a Saktyavesh incarnation of the Lord. He himself is not the Lord.

ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ
kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam
indrāri-vyākulaṁ lokaṁ
mṛḍayanti yuge yuge

All the lists of the incarnations of Godhead submitted herewith are either plenary expansions or parts of the plenary expansions of the Supreme Godhead, but Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. (SB 1.3.28)

The Lord has bestowed him with special power which He exhibited in the form of knowledge. The Lord created the universe and then He gave all the scriptures as manuals. Whenever any product is created, along with it a manual is given which contains instructions about assembling, operating and maintenance. The Lord also created the universe and He also created scriptures as manuals, so that all conditioned souls can become knowledgeable and will understand – ‘ke ami?’.

māyā-mugdha jīvera nāhi svataḥ kṛṣṇa-jñāna
jīvere kṛpāya kailā kṛṣṇa veda-purāṇa

The forgetful living entities or conditioned souls have forgotten their relationship with the Supreme Lord, and they are engrossed in thinking of material activities. Just to transfer their thinking power to the spiritual sky, Kṛṣṇa-dvaipāyana Vyāsa has given a great number of Vedic literatures.( CC. Madhya 20.122)

showered His mercy on those souls who are entangled in Maya and He gave the knowledge of the Vedas and Puranas. Krsna came in the form of Vyasadeva as his Saktyavesh incarnation and gave knowledge of the scriptures. He didn’t create that knowledge as knowledge is eternal. It is ‘trikalabadhit’ ( beyond past, present future). All the times of past, present or future cannot create any vikar in this. It doesn’t get destroyed with the passing of time. In the earlier days disciples heard from the Guru. There was sravan, kirtan and smaran. They heard scriptures from acaryas, understood it and remembered it. But in Kaliyuga, we souls are mandaha sumand matayo. We are ‘mand’ ( of poor memory). We are not ‘srutidhar’. In the earlier days people had photographic memories. They heard it once and remembered it. But now the situation has changed . For the current situation the Lord gave all the scriptures in written form in His incarnation as Vyasadeva. Then all the Vedas which were heard from one generation to other were divided systematically.

One Veda was divided into four. Vedas contain Upanishads which is considered as Jnana kanda . There is also Karma kanda, Upasana kanda and Jnana kanda. Vedas were first divided into four parts and then each Veda was further divided into four parts which were called Samhita, Brahmana, Aranyak and Upanishad. Upanishad is further described in detail and that scripture is known as Vedanta-sutra or Brahma-sutra which is also known as Vyasa-sutra. Sutra is difficult to understand and so it is explained in the form of Puranas along with examples and explanations of History. Thus Sruti-sastra came into existence. There are two parts – Sruti-sastra and Smriti-sastra. All the History, Srimad Bhagavatam is Smriti-sastra, which are commentaries on Vedanta-sutra, specially Srimad Bhagavatam. All these reservoirs of knowledge were made available like that. This pastime the Lord performs when he came as Vyasadeva. Lord is abhijnah svarat as is explained in the beginning of Bhagavatam.

oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya
janmādy asya yato ’nvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ svarāṭ
tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ
tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ yathā vinimayo yatra tri-sargo ’mṛṣā
dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi

O my Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa 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 Brahmājī, 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 Śrī Kṛṣṇa, 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. ( SB. 1.1.1)

Lord is Sarva jnana. We witness this when he compiled all the Vedic knowledge in the form of Vyasadeva. Krsna said in Bhagavad-Gita,

vedaham samatitani
vartamanani carjuna
bhavisyani ca bhutani
mam tu veda na kascana

O Arjuna, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I know everything that has happened in the past, all that is happening in the present, and all things that are yet to come. I also know all living entities; but Me no one knows. ( BG. 7.26)

The Lord has explained in Bhagavad-Gita, Veda aham, I know! What? – samatitani all those things which happened in the past, also vartamanani – whatever is happening in the present I know all about it. bhavisyani ca bhutani and I also know past, present and future of all the souls. But mam tu ved na kascana although I know everyone no one knows Me. For this reason also He compiled the various scriptures as Vyasadeva, so that we can know the Lord. If we know Him…

yasmin vijñāte sarvam evaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati

Vedic hymn declares emphatically that the devotee of the Lord knows everything material and spiritual in relationship with the Lord.(Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.3)

He is everything and all the things are related to Him – aham mameiti and nothing else. What is there in this universe? We belong to Him. This creation belongs to Him. The whole universe belongs to Him. Everything is of Him, these material universes as well as the spiritual universe. Universe only consists of this aham mama and nothing else. The right to say aham , belongs only to the Lord. Mam – I am there and everything belongs to Him. All this knowledge the Lord compiled as Vyasadeva. With that He made arrangements for our upliftment.

The first sutra of the Vedanta-sutra is: Athato brahma jijnasa

Now is the time to discuss the Supreme Absolute Truth, Brahman. (aphorism 1 of Vedanta Sutra)

means now, ataha means ‘due to this’, O human being inquire about Brahman. This is the first Vedanta-sutra. Athato brahma jijnasa – the last Vedanta -sutra for the aphorism ends with the sloka anavritti shabdat

Ana avritti – avritti means punarapi jananam punarapi maranam punarapi janani jathare shayanam . This is avritti. To stop this repetition, to achieve a state of

janma karma ca me divyam
evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma
naiti mam eti so ‘rjuna

One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna. ( BG. 4.9)

Our Bhakti Charu Mahāraja returned to abode of the Lord. How it is possible to attain the state of anavritti? – shabdat. Srila Vyasadeva has said in his last aphorism of the Vedanta-sutra about this shabda-brahma. All these words of Vedic literature are transcendental. By such words we attain the state of anavritti. By study of scriptures and if we live our lives according to ‘praman’ (evidences) of sastras then we attain this state of anavritti.

tasmac chastram pramanam te
jnatva sastra-vidhanoktam
karma kartum iharhasi

One should understand what is duty and what is not duty by the regulations of the scriptures. Knowing such rules and regulations, one should act so that he may gradually be elevated. ( BG. 16.24)

Krsna said, ‘I am giving these scriptures and these scriptures are praman.’ We will remain eternally indebted to Sri Vyasadeva. Vyasadeva stays in Badrikasrama. In the beginning of Bhagavatam there is a conversation between Vyasadeva and Narada Muni. Narada Muni enlightened him and then Vyasadeva compiled one more scripture. Other scriptures which he compiled had some dirt (mala) remaining and so he compiled this amala purana / scripture which is Bhagavatam. This conversation took place on the banks of the Sarasvati where there is Vyasa gufa where Vyasadeva resides. Nearby is also a Ganesh gufa. Remember the scene where Vyasadeva is dictating and Ganeshji has become his assistant, and all these scriptures are being compiled. All this happened in Badrikasrama. When Madhvacarya went to Badrikasrama, he met Vyasadeva. There was some preaching and some orders given after which Madhvacarya wrote many commentaries.

We had gone to the Vyasa gufa in November. Srila Prabhupada was in Vrindavan at that time and his health was not good. We had no means to understand whether his health is improving or deteriorating and so we returned from Vyasa gufa to Vrindavan. Then we met Prabhupada. Our travelling party’s name was ‘Narada Muni Sankirtana Party’. We distributed books and scriptures. Srila Prabhupada explained that when we study and distribute this scriptural knowledge, that is the only means of pleasing Srila Vyasadeva. Prabhupada also would become happy hearing this. When we were giving our report, we told to Srila Prabhupada that when we had gone to Vyasa gufa we showed Srila Prabhupada’s ‘Bhagavad- Gita As It Is’ to Vyasadeva. I thought when we went with Prabhupada’s books in the Vyasa gufa, we didn’t see Srila Vyasadeva, but he must have seen us and the books we carried. That is why I gave the report to Prabhupada that we showed his books to Vyasadeva. Prabhupada was very happy listening to this.

Srila Vyasadeva ki Jay!
Vyasa-Purnima ki Jay!
Srila Prabhupada ki jay!
Srila Bhakti Caru Swami Maharaja ki Jay!