Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.20
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
New York, April 12, 1973

Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)

tatha paramahamsanam muninam amalatmanam bhakti-yoga-vidhanartham katham pasyema hi striyah

“You Yourself descend to propagate the transcendental science of devotional service unto the hearts of the advanced transcendentalists and material speculators who are purified by being able to discriminate between matter and spirit. How then can we women know You perfectly?”

Prabhupada: So Kuntidevi, she is submissively… This is the symptom of Vaisnava. The Lord, Krsna, has come to Kuntidevi to take the dust of her feet. Because Krsna considers Kuntidevi as her aunt, Krsna used to touch the feet of Kuntidevi. But Kuntidevi, although she is in such exalted position, practically on the level of Yasodamayi, such a great devotee… So she is so submissive that “Krsna, You are meant for the paramahamsas, and what we can see You? We are women.”

So as it is said in the Bhagavad-gita, striyo vaisyas tatha sudrah. In another place in the Bhagavata it is said, stri-sudra-dvijabandhunam. Sudra, stri and dvijabandhu. Dvijabandhu means those who are born in brahmana family or ksatriya family, high caste… According to Vedic system, there are four divisions: catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma… [Bg. 4.13]. According to quality and work, the first-class man is the brahmana, intelligent. The next, ksatriya; the next, vaisyas; and next, sudra. So according to this classification, women, sudra and dvijabandhu, dvijabandhu, they are taken in the same category. Dvijabandhu means born in brahmana family, ksatriya family, but has no qualifications. The thing is to be considered by qualification. It is very practical. Suppose one man is born the son of a high court judge. So it does not mean that because he’s a son of a high court judge, he is also high court judge. This is going on. Because one happens to take birth in a brahmana family, without any qualification, he claims to become a brahmana. That is the falldown of Vedic civilization in India. A rascal number one, he’s claiming that he’s brahmana—without any qualification. His qualification is less than a sudra; still he’s claiming. And that is being accepted.

So it is clearly stated: guna-karma-vibhagasah. Without qualification… The brahmana means the qualification. It is not this body. There are so many arguments, but they won’t hear. They are very much against, in my movement, because I am making brahmanas from Europe and America. They are against me. But don’t care, we don’t care for them. Neither any reasonable man will care for them. But there is a propaganda against me. Even amongst my Godbrothers, they are making… Because they cannot do it, so find out some fault. You see. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu says:

prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama

In every town, city, village of the world, His cult will be preached. What is His cult? Does it mean that the Europeans and Americans will not become brahmana? Because Vaisnava cult means past brahmanism, past brahmanism.

mam ca yo ’vyabhicarena bhakti-yogena sevate sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate [Bg. 14.26]

He, bhakti-yoga, one who takes to bhakti-yoga, he immediately comes to the transcendental platform, brahma-bhuta. What to speak of brahmana? And this stereotyped, crippled idea has killed Vedic civilization. Now we are again reviving. It is meant for everyone.

Krsna says,

mam hi partha vyapasritya ye ’pi syuh papa-yonayah striyo vaisyas tatha sudras te ’pi yanti param gatim [Bg. 9.32]

Krsna says. Although ordinarily we take striya, means women, sudra and vaisyas in the lower-class grade, but when one becomes a devotee, the, the, he is or she is no more in the lower grade. Te ’pi yanti param gatim. The devotional service is so nice that anyone… Ordinarily women is taken less intelligent; sudra is taken less intelligent; vaisya is taken less intelligent. But if he takes to Krsna consciousness, he is the most intelligent. Krsna yei bhaje sei bada catura. This is the statement in the Caitanya-caritamrta. Anyone who has taken to Krsna consciousness, he is the most intelligent. And Caitanya Mahaprabhu says: guru-krsna-krpaya paya bhakti-lata-bija [Cc. Madhya 19.151], kona bhagyavan jiva. Ei rupe brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva [Cc. Madhya 19.151] The Krsna consciousness movement is not for the wretched, unfortunate class of men. No. It is meant for the most fortunate man. Anyone who has taken to Krsna consciousness, he is to be considered as the most fortunate man because he has got the line of action how his life will be perfect.

Therefore, anyone who is in Krsna consciousness and discharging the duties nicely, he is the most fortunate man, most perfect man. That is, Kuntidevi is humbly submitting. Although is womanly body, she is a devotee. She is not like ordinary woman, less intelligent. She is the most in… She has recognized Krsna, that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. “Although He has come to me, materially, as my nephew, to offer me respect, but He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” There in the previous verse she said, alaksyam sarva-bhutanam antar bahir avasthitam: “You are not seen by ordinary men, although You are inside and outside.” In another verse also, na laksyase mudha-drsa: “Fools and rascals cannot see You.” That means Kunti sees Him. Unless she sees Krsna as He is, how she can say, mudha-drsa na laksyase? And (s)he says, prakrteh param: “You are transcendental to this material creation.”

So here also she continues her humbleness. This humbleness is very good in devotional service. Therefore Caitanya, Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu teaches us: trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna. One should be tolerant than the trees and humbler than the grass to make progress in spiritual life. Because there will be so many disturbances. Because maya… We are living… Just like if we are in the ocean. So you cannot expect very peaceful situation in the ocean. It must be always tilt, what is called, tiltering, tilting. Even, even a big ship, it is also not very fixed up position. At any moment there may be tumultuous waves. So in this material world you should always expect danger. You cannot expect very peaceful life within this material world. Padam padam yad vipadam. Sastra says in every step there is danger. But if you become a devotee, then you escape. Mayam etam taranti te [Bg. 7.14]. Otherwise…

So in the beginning, if you take to Krsna consciousness, there will be so many disturbances by the maya. Maya will test you how far you are fixed up. She will test you. She is also agent of Krsna. She does not allow anyone who is meant for disturbing Krsna. Therefore she tests very rigidly whether you are…, you have taken Krsna consciousness to disturb Krsna, or you are actually serious. That is maya’s business. So there will be in the beginning test by maya, and you will feel so much disturbances in making progress in Krsna consciousness. But if you remain steady… Steady means if you follow the rules and regulations and chant sixteen rounds, then you will remain steady. And if you neglect, then maya will capture you, immediately. Maya is always ready. We are in the ocean. At any moment, we will be disturbed. So therefore one who is not disturbed at all, he is called paramahamsa.

Therefore Kuntidevi says: tatha paramahamsanam. Parama means ultimate. Hamsa means swan. So paramahamsa means the perfect hamsa. Hamsa. It is said that if you… Hamsa means swan. If you give to swan milk mixed with water, she will take the milk part and leave aside the water part. Similarly, a person who knows what is this material world… Material world is made of two natures—the inferior nature and the superior nature. The superior nature means spiritual life, and inferior nature is material life. So a person who gives up the material part of this world and takes only the spiritual part, he is called paramahamsa. Paramahamsa. Spiritual part means one who knows that whatever is working in this material… Just like this body—your body, my body. Anyone who knows that this movement, the activities of this body is due to the soul which is within this body… That is the real fact. This is only outward covering. Similarly, one who knows that Krsna is the center of these all activities, he’s paramahamsa. He knows the fact.

So bhakti-yoga is for the paramahamsa, one who knows that Krsna is the central fact. Aham adir hi devanam. Mattah sarvam pravartate. So one who knows that Krsna is the cause of all causes, not only theoretically, but practically, convinced, he is paramahamsa. So Kuntidevi says that “You are meant for the paramahamsas, not for the rascals and fools. You are meant for the paramahamsa.” Tatha paramahamsanam muninam. Muninam means those who are thoughtful. Also mental speculators, they are called also muni. Muninam amalatmanam. Amala. There is no dirty things in their heart. Materialistic person means full of dirty things within the heart. What is that dirty things? That lust and greediness. That’s all. This is the dirty things. All materialistic persons, they are lusty and greedy. Therefore their heart is full of dirty things. And amalatmanam means those who are freed from these two things, lust and

Devotees: Greed, greed.

Prabhupada: Eh? Greed, greediness. Amalatmanam. For the…, bhakti-yoga. This bhakti-yoga is meant for the cleansed hearted, not the lusty and greedy. That is not… They may try. They’ll gradually advanced. But once one is situated in bhakti-yoga, there is no more lust and greediness. Viraktir anyatra syat. This is the test, whether one has become free from lusty desires and greediness. Then he is situated in bhakti-yoga. He’s paramahamsa.

So Kuntidevi, by humble submission, that “You are meant for the paramahamsa, for the amalatmanam, for the muninam and who are engaged in bhakti-yoga. And what we are? We are simply woman. We are in the lower grade. How we can understand You?” This is humbleness. Although she understands everything, but still she’s taking the position of an ordinary woman, that “How can I understand You?”

Thank you very much. (end)