Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.9.3
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Los Angeles, May 17, 1973

Pradyumna: Translation: “O sage amongst the brahmanas, Lord Sri Krsna, the Personality of Godhead, also followed, seated on a chariot with Arjuna. Thus King Yudhisthira appeared very aristocratic, like Kuvera surrounded by his companions, the Guhyakas.”

Prabhupada: So Suta Gosvami, he is explaining in the assembly of learned brahmanas. The Naimisaranya meeting took place some five thousand or more than that, at least five thousand years ago. But the, all the members who assembled there, they were all very learned scholar and brahmanas. Therefore they are addressed as viprarse. Not only brahmana, but they were rsi. Rsi means saintly person. They were rajarsi, rajarsi. Saintly person can become, anyone, provided he lives like a saintly person. It doesn’t matter whether he is a brahmana or ksatriya. Generally, brahmana and ksatriya, the first and second status of the human society, they can live as good as the saintly persons within the forest or Himalaya. At home they can live. So another place these brahmanas were addressed as dvija-sresthah, “best of the brahmanas.” A brahmana is already the best man, but if he becomes a saintly person, then it becomes still more magnified.

So in another place these brahmanas were addressed, atah pumbhir dvija-srestha varnasrama-vibhagasah: “You are all brahmana, the topmost of the human society.” There are divisions of the human society. First-class men, second-class men, third-class men, fourth-class men, that, in the Vedic civilization. Not that all, all one class. No. Why? There must be a division. That I have already explained. So the qualified brahmanas, they are first-class men. The topmost class. And the second-class men, the ksatriyas. And the third-class men, vaisyas, mercantile, simply “Where to get money?” And they are, according to Vedic civilization, third-class men. But at the present moment those who are acquiring money somehow or other, they are first-class men. It doesn’t matter what is his qualification. If he has acquired some money some way or other, then he is a first-class man. This is Kali-yuga. In the Kali-yuga there is no honor for qualification. There is honor for money only. That’s all.

So it is stated that without money, you cannot get justice even. In the court of justice, everyone is expected to get proper behavior, but in the Kali-yuga it is stated (that) even in the court of justice, you cannot get justice without money. That’s a fact. If you have no money, then you cannot appoint a good lawyer. And sometimes you have to bribe the judge also. This is the position now. Now in your country so many big, big men have been arrested or something like that for their dishonesty. So Kali-yuga is so polluted that the minister is dishonest, the judge is dishonest, and what to speak of ordinary men. So only thing is that you get money some way or other. Then you can pass on as a nice gentleman, polished. You keep yourself always polished, and within you may be full with all dirty things, but if you have got your pockets filled up with coins and notes, then you are nice. Formerly it was not like that. One must be qualified. Varnasrama-vibhagasah.

Vibhagasah. There must be division. But people are very much anxious to make classless society, no division. And that is Krsna consciousness society. We have no such division. Division means under the jurisdiction of the three modes of material nature. That is division. Otherwise, brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, these divisions are calculated when one is under the control of the material nature. But if you become devotee, the material nature has no more any control over you. That is the difference between a perfect Krsna conscious person and a perfect, I mean to say, mundane person. The difference is that a Krsna conscious, a devotee, is no more under the influence of the three modes of material nature. But ordinarily, everyone should be…, is—“he should be” not.(?) He is under the control. Therefore they are called dvija-sresthah, the best of the brahmanas. Even a brahmana is also under the control of material nature. But the same brahmana, when he becomes a Vaisnava, a devotee, he the best of the brahmanas. Atah pumbhir dvija-sresthah. Or he becomes rsi. Viprarse. Rathena. Rathena. They were not walking, all these respectable personalities, brahmanas and bhagavan.

Bhagavan api. Here Krsna … The author could have mentioned the name, krsna api. No. He’s especial: bhagavan api. All others’ name is mentioned. Yudhisthira’s name is mentioned. Dhananjaya, Arjuna’s name is mentioned. Other’s name is mentioned. But when it comes to the terms of Krsna, He is mentioned as Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Bhagavan. This word I have explained many times. Bhaga means opulence, all fortune. That is called, from the bhaga, the word bhagya has come. One who is very fortunate person, he is called bhagyavan. Not this bhaga. So bhaga means opulence, and van means one who possesses opulences. So Krsna possesses all the opulences, six opulences: all strength, all influence, all beauty, all knowledge, all—everything complete. So Bhagavan means one who has complete opulence, six opulences in complete, purnam. Purnam idam purnam adah [Isopanisad, Invocation]. That is Bhagavan. That is Bhagavan. There are so many rascal come as incarnation of God, Bhagavan, but you have to taste whether all the opulences are complete there. Aisvaryasya samagrasya. First thing is riches. So whether one has got all the riches. Then he will be Bhagavan. And nobody can say that “I have got all the riches.” I may have something more than your riches, but I cannot say that “All the riches…” So if you find out somebody, somebody like you or me, and if he possesses all the riches, all strength, all influence, all knowledge, all beauty—then He is Bhagavan. That Krsna possesses.

There is no comparison of Krsna’s opulences. I have several times given the example. Say, in the human society there is marriage. So Krsna married 16,800 wives. And for each wife a palace, marble palace, bedecked with jewels, and the furniture made of ivory and gold, and bed and curtains, they’re all made of silk. So… And the… Not only palace, but also garden attached to the palace. And the flower trees, parijata flower. The parijata flower was brought from the heaven. This parijata flower is not visible in this world. From heavenly planet Krsna brought it. His wife Satyabhama, He requested… He… Both of them, Satyabhama and Krsna, went to the heavenly planet. So generally woman, they are after something. So (laughs) (she) requested the husband, “Krsna, I want this flower.” “All right.” So He gave her one flower. So He also told, “Why the flower? I shall take the tree so that you’ll get flower daily.” So when He was doing so, Indra came. Indra is the king of heavenly planet. “No, Sir, you cannot do that. (laughter) You cannot take this tree to the lower planet. No, I cannot allow.”

And so Krsna said, “No, My wife wants it. I must.” That is Krsna. (laughter) How He is complete, just like a hen-pecked husband (laughter) to satisfy the wife in every respect. When He plays the part of a child before mother Yasoda, He plays everything perfectly. When He plays the husband… He doesn’t require any wife or mother. He is Supreme. But when He plays the part of a husband, He plays it perfectly. The wife may think that “How much my husband is attached to me!” So she remains very much satisfied. Krsna is not attached to anyone, but that is Krsna’s superexcellence, that although He had to satisfy 16,800…, 108 wives, everyone was satisfied and everyone is thinking that “Krsna is very much attached to me than His others wife, other wives.” This is Krsna’s play.

Therefore Bhagavan, full, in every respect, any field of work: fighting, opulence, household life, renounced life also. If you study the life of Krsna, you will find everything in complete. Beauty, knowledge. Now Krsna gave us a little knowledge, which is known as Bhagavad-gita, and five thousand years ago this knowledge was given, but is still going on, all over the world. In our movement we sell Bhagavad-gita the most. Is it not? We sell our Bhagavad-gita As It Is everywhere and in large number. Because it is full knowledge, not partial. Everything is complete. Can you show any book in the world which has so much sale and which is so much perfect? There is no book. And I am not…, because we are Krsna devotees we are eulogizing like that, but any scholar, any philosopher, any scientist will say like that: “Oh, there is no comparison of this book.” I do not know exactly, but one gentleman told me that Professor Einstein, he was also reading Bhagavad-gita daily. Hitler was reading. Such, such big, big men. But I know many scholars, even Muhammadans, they also read Bhagavad-gita.

So that is the test of knowledge, Krsna’s knowledge. Therefore Bhagavan. Just try to understand Bhagavan. Bhagavan is not so cheap that any rascal comes and he says that “I am Bhagavan. You worship me,” and another rascal comes and… Not like that. Don’t take it cheaply. Bhagavan is not ordinary thing. He must be complete in everything. Aisvaryasya samagrasya. Therefore Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is mentioned here, bhagavan api. Api. Why api? In Sanskrit composition each word has meaning. Api means “Although He is Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, still, He was going to see Bhismadeva.” So just consider the position of Bhismadeva. He was lying on deathbed with all these… Of course, the Pandavas, they were their grandson. It is their duty. But why Krsna should go there? Therefore it is said bhagavan api: “In spite of His being the Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of God…” He was also going to show respect. How much great He was, just imagine. And all the brahmanas, all the sages. That will be mentioned. There will be list of great personalities who were present.

So Bhisma was such a great personality. He is not ordinary man. Just like when a big person dies, all the selected person of the city, they come to offer their homage… So here he is not dead, but he is going to die. Because Bhisma would not die unless he desires, “Now let me die.” Then he would die; otherwise not. So he was lying down on the deathbed, but was expecting to see Krsna at the last stage. So therefore he was so great. And Krsna was also going.

Now you can chant Hare Krsna. (end)