Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.16.12
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Los Angeles, January 9, 1974

Pradyumna: “Maharaja Pariksit then conquered all parts of the earthly planet—Bhadrasva, Ketumala, Bharata, the northern portion of Kuru-jangala, Kimpurusa, etc.—and exacted tributes from their respective rulers.”

Prabhupada: So in this verse it is descriptive, different parts of the world. So the important word is here, vijitya jagrhe balim. Balim, I do not know how it is said, “strength.” Tax, tributes. The king, the emperor, would conquer a country and levy tax. Must give at least token. Doesn’t matter even one pound or one dollar per year, but he must pay something, token. That means he agrees to become subordinate. Just like according to rent act, a poor man must pay something. It may be… In our country it is so… So that the landlord has the claim. Without rent, after some years it becomes his property.

So this conquering of other countries was not like the Napoleon conqueror or Hitler conqueror. No. As it will be evident from the character of Maharaja Pariksit, the idea was to keep the whole world Krsna conscious. If certain countries, certain portion of the world, would not be Krsna conscious, then this king would go and chastise them. Just like Krsna used to kill the demons. There was one Paundraka. Even during Krsna’s time, he placed himself as Visnu. He artificially made four hands. So he challenged Krsna that “I am Visnu.” So Krsna immediately cut his head. So any imposter, pretender, representing as the incarnation of God or something like that, in those days, the king would not tolerate; immediately would cut his head, what to speak of thieves and rogues. So king’s going to other country, conquering, it did not mean that to acquire some possession, land possession. No, that was not the aim.

The aim was… All the fights in Mahabharata or in Ramayana, it was meant for chastising the godless, godless. Just like Ramacandra. Ramacandra, Lord Ramacandra, chastised Ravana. So he went to Lanka—they call Ceylon—and crossed the sea by making bridge. But what was the idea? The idea was that “This rascal demon is a godless person; so therefore he must be punished.” He was punished not alone. Anyone who joined with him, everyone was punished. But Lord Ramacandra did not occupy the land for His kingdom. He installed his brother Vibhisana, who was a devotee in the place of Ravana. Just like Krsna. Krsna was taking part in the Battlefield of Kuruksetra and inducing Arjuna that “You fight.” Arjuna was not willing to fight, but He was inducing to fight.

So what is the purpose? Because the other party represented thieves, rogues, and demons. So Krsna wants therefore that somebody must be king who is His representative, devotee. That is the whole plan.

yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjamy aham [Bg. 4.7]

paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam dharma-samsthapanarthaya… [Bg. 4.8]

This is the purpose, dharma-samsthapanarthaya, to establish religious principles. If people become irreligious, then the whole world becomes a hell. Just like at the present moment, anywhere you go, it is hellish condition. Nobody is peaceful, nobody is happy, although materially very much advanced. Political entanglement, social entanglement, religious entanglement, economic entanglement. Simply entanglement. No peaceful living, anywhere. Just like at the present moment, the whole world there is… What is that crisis? Power crisis? Energy crisis. So crisis must be there. Otherwise, if you live peacefully, even within so many crisis, war, and fighting, we are thinking this world is very nice. In spite of all these difficulties. Especially in the Western countries, every ten years there is a war. First World War, Second World War. Before that, Hundred Years War, Seven Years War, Trafalgar’s war, Waterloo war. War, war, war. There cannot be any peaceful life, because everyone is rogue and rascal, so there must be war. There must be punishment by nature. As soon as there is overpopulation…

That is Malthus’s theory also, that as soon as there is overpopulation, there must be something disturbance, war, pestilence, epidemic, and finished, finished. The extra population, unnecessary. Varna-sankara. They are called varna-sankara. Varna-sankara… Because by nature there must be brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, by nature. That should be organized. Head is head, tail is tail, not that head, tail, everything is one. That is called varna-sankara. Krsna, Arjuna has argued that if the family members… If the woman becomes widow, then there will be varna-sankara population. Varna-sankara population means a population who cannot say who is his father. That is varna-sankara. Or which caste does he belong, what is his father, what is his family. No, nothing, no information. That is called varna-sankara. So when the varna-sankara population increases, then the whole world becomes hell.

So in order to save the world to become hellish, the king was so alert. That is also bhakti. Because the whole natural plan is to come back to home, back to Godhead. This is nature’s plan. Daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya [Bg. 7.14] Just like the police department. What is the meaning of police department? Why government spends so much money for police department? Just to keep law and order. There must be. As soon as there is disobedience of law and order, immediately police department must go and punish and arrest. We can experience these things. Similarly, by God’s side, there is such department, police department. That is maya, Durgadevi. Durgadevi, you have seen. Most of you might not have seen Durgadevi’s picture, with trident, trident in the hand. The asura is being attacked by the trident. So this trident means threefold miseries. You have seen the picture, mother, goddess Durga is piercing the trident just here on the heart. This trident means threefold miseries: adhyatmika, adhibhautika, adhidaivika. I have several times explained: pertaining to the body and mind, pertaining to the other living entities, adhibhautika, adhidaivika, pertaining to the nature’s disturbance.

So always we must be disturbed. If everything is all right… Just like in your country, supposing everything is all right. But what is that severe disease? Cancer. Cancer. People are afraid of cancer. Or something else. Must be. You cannot be peaceful here. That is not possible. Daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya [Bg. 7.14]. But the foolish rascals, they cannot understand that “I want to live peacefully, happily. Why these things are enforced upon me?” That is consciousness, real consciousness. Nobody wants to die, nobody wants to suffer from disease. Nobody wants to be suffering from any calamity, or nobody wants that there should be fire. Now just see. Especially in America we see, dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun, going down, fire brigade. But nobody wanted fire, but the fire brigade is alert because there must be fire somewhere. That is expected. That is expected. And if there is fire, there will be havoc. So nobody wants the havoc, but it takes place. It takes place. This is the nature’s law. Because as soon as dharmasya glanir bhavati, tadatmanam srjamy aham. There may not be discrepancies in the process of religious life. That is nature’s law.

So what is that religion? That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gita. Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam [Bg. 18.66]. This is religion, to surrender to God. It doesn’t matter what religion you profess. It doesn’t matter. But you must learn how to obey the Supreme Lord. That is religion. Religion does not mean that you stamp some stereotype religion, “I am Christian,” “I am Hindu,” “I am Muslim,” “I am Buddhist,” and then fight. That is not religion. That is fanaticism. Religion means how one has become devoted to God. That is religion. Sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje [SB 1.2.6]. You claim to be religious, or you claim to be Hindu or Christian or Buddhist. That’s all right. But do you know what is God? Oh, everyone silent. Everyone, all nonsense rascals, silent. He does not know what is God. And what is his religion? If you do not know what is God, a vague idea, that is not religion. You must know what is God. Just like to become American citizen, it requires to know something of the history of America. So if American citizen, if you ask him, “What you are?” “Now I am American.” “Who is your president?” “I do not know.” What is this nonsense, American? Would you like to hear from him that “I do not know who is president”? Similarly, a human being professing some certain type of religion, but you ask him, “What is God?” Religion must be in relationship with God, any religion. But ask him, “What is God?” No answer. But religion means,

sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje ahaituky apratihata yayatma suprasidati [SB 1.2.6]

This is religion, first-class religion. What is that first-class religion? Yato bhaktir adhoksaje, by practicing which one becomes a devotee of the Lord. That is religion. That is religion. So instead of becoming devotee of the Lord, we are devotee of dog. This is our position.

So in order to save the human society from this dangerous condition, without any knowledge of God, without any knowledge of religious principle, there must be some strong king, strong government, to save the people. Because this human life is a chance. Other inferior type of life, animals, birds, beasts, trees, it is not possible. They are also living entities, but human life is developed consciousness. So this is nature’s gift, that “Now you try to understand what is God. Now you try to understand what is your relationship with God. Now you practice yourself, how to go back home, back to home, back to…” This is the business of the human society. So unless the king or government looks after it, how people will be advanced? The government is advocating that “You drink, you eat meat, you have prostitution and gambling, and give me tax. Finished. My business is finished.” So Pariksit Maharaja was not like that. Pariksit Maharaja is conquered all these places to serve Krsna, to teach Krsna consciousness. Therefore he conquered. Otherwise… That is the business of all devotees.

Yesterday we were speaking of digvijaya. So every devotee should be so sincere to Krsna, or God, that he must execute Krsna’s mission. Krsna Himself comes. Krsna comes as devotee. When He came personally, He established His position as God, with all opulences, six opulences. And He asked, through Arjuna, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66] This is Krsna’s demand, “You rascal…” Because we are all parts and parcel of Krsna. We are suffering. Manah sasthani indriyani prakrti-sthani karsati. A great struggle for existence within this material world, simply by mental speculation. Manah sasthani indriyani. And then the indriyas are misguided, simply sense gratification, not for controlling the senses. Human life means to control the senses, not to open the senses, naked. This is not human life. So control… That is the distinction between animal and human life. Animal cannot control. The human civilized man must be, must have the capacity to control. That is human civilization. That is called tapasya. Tapasa brahmacaryena yamena damena va [SB 6.1.13]. This is human life. So Pariksit Maharaja, in so many ways… He was king, emperor, not for exploiting the citizen, but to give them real sense, real consciousness, so that they may become happy. And you can read some of the description of the places, we have selected from Mahabharata. Read it, purport.

Pradyumna: “Bhadrasva: It is an island near Meru Parvata. There is a description of this island in Mahabharata, Bhisma-parva, 7.16-18. The description was narrated by Sanjaya to Dhrtarastra. Maharaja Yudhisthira also conquered this island, and thus the province was included within the jurisdiction of his empire. Maharaja Pariksit was formerly declared to be emperor of all the lands ruled by his grandfather, but still he had to establish his supremacy…”

Prabhupada: This island might have changed, the name. Because there are so many islands. Just like the Java(?) island and Laksadvipa island, very small islands. Similarly, this Meru is also another island. Not only these small island, but according to Vedic culture, each planet is called island. Each planet. Just like this planet, earthly planet, is called Jambudvipa. Why it is called dvipa? Dvipa means island. Because actually it is island of the air. Just like there are so many islands in the sea, similarly, this vast air, outer space, and all these planets, are floating like island. Therefore they are called island, dvipa, Jambudvipa. Here in this earthly planet, long, long ago, it is said in the Vedic literatures, sapta-dvipa. Sapta means seven. So this earthly planet is of seven dvipa, seven islands. These two Americas, north and south, they are islands. Africa, one island. And combined Asia and Europe, another island. The two poles, two islands. Australia, another island. You see? Sapta-dvipa. So they say they discovered America. But this discovery was long, long, many, many millions of years, it was known. Where is the discovery? Their poor fund of knowledge. Because they have no knowledge in the Vedic literature, they think, “Now I discovered.” Just like a child born, he thinks, “Now I’ve discovered the world. Before my birth, there was no world.” This kind of knowledge called poor fund of knowledge.

Therefore knowledge must be taken from the Vedic literature. Veda means full knowledge. And that full knowledge, when it is properly utilized, then you can understand Krsna. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah [Bg. 15.15]. First of all you have to take to take to the Vedic literature for real knowledge. And when you come to the platform of real knowledge, then you can understand Krsna. Before knowing Krsna, you are in darkness. You are in darkness. Because it is said, vedais ca sarvaih. Veda means knowledge. The ultimate goal of knowledge is to understand Krsna. And therefore it is called Vedanta. Vedanta. Veda means knowledge, and anta means the ultimate. Vedanta. Vedanta philosophy. So Vedanta philosophy gives you direction that what is the object of knowledge. Athato brahma jijnasa: “Now object of knowledge is to understand the Supreme, the origin of everything.” That is object of knowledge, philosophy. Philosophy means science, anything. Science also trying, “What is the original cause of this creation? What is the original cause of life?” But because andha yathandhair upaniyamanah, the so-called philosophers, scientists, they have been taught by another unscientist, not scientist, so he is also not scientist, not philosopher, because he has been taught by another andha. Just like one blind man leads other blind man. So what he will get, knowledge? So therefore, according to Vedic civilization, it is enjoined, it is ordered, that “If you want to take knowledge,” tad-vijnanartham, “to understand the complete science,” tad-vijnanartham, “the spirit,” sa gurum eva abhigacchet, “oh, you must approach a bona fide guru.” Otherwise there is no knowledge. That is not knowledge.

So Vedic knowledge is so perfect that this Bharata-varsa, seven islands. Now the seven islands still there. You cannot make eight or nine, or six. The seven islands are still there. So seven islands means, within seven islands, the two Americas, North and South America, are there. So why it is called Columbus, Columbus discovered? No. It was already in the Vedic literature. You will find in Sankaracarya’s… When Columbus discovered America, how many years ago? Two hundred years?

Devotee: Five hundred.

Prabhupada: Five hundred years. And Sankaracarya has described about the seven islands 1,500 years ago. So why the credit should go to Columbus? (laughter) It should go to Sankaracarya. But andha yathandhair upaniyamanah. He says that “I have discovered.” So he was talking, perhaps you know this story. He was talking among his friends. So the friends ridiculed another friend. So they were criticizing, “Oh, for nothing you got some credit, that you have discovered America. What you have done? It was already there.” So he said, “Yes, that is knowledge. Things are already there, but one who puts it into the forefront of the public, that is credit.”

So actually, everything is existing. We have to simply take the knowledge. The modern method is ascending process. The knowledge is there, but still, they are trying to understand it by aroha-pantha, ascending process. It is called inductive knowledge. Inductive knowledge means that… Suppose a man is mortal. So the so-called scientists, they are trying to discover the law, why man is mortal. They are studying, “This man is mortal, this man is mortal, this man is mortal. Therefore it is concluded that all men are mortal. Nobody is immortal.” But another man will argue that “You have not studied all the human society. How you can conclude? Therefore we must study.” So this study will go on for life after life. They will never come to a person who is immortal. But they will protest that “We cannot accept.” But our process is deductive. We say that man is mortal, first of all. Therefore John is a man. He is also mortal. This is deductive process. First of all we accept, man is mortal. The inductive process is that “Why shall I accept man is mortal? I may not have seen a person who is immortal.” So that argument can be given.

But we accept this Vedic knowledge, the first premises, accept, accepted. Just like we accept that God is the source of everything. God says, Krsna says, that,

aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate iti matva bhajante mam budha bhava-samanvitah [Bg. 10.8]

Krsna says, “I am the origin of everything. Everything emanates from Me.” Mattah sarvam prava… Sarvam means everything. There are two things: animate and…, what is opposite? Inanimate. There are two things. So Krsna says, aham sarvasya prabhavah: “I am the source of both animate and inanimate.” So Krsna. What is Krsna? Krsna is life, supreme life. Krsna is not dead. We are getting Krsna’s description. He is not a dead body. These are things very, I mean to say, elaborately described in the Vedic literature. Just like in Vedanta it is said, “The origin of everything is Brahman.” Janmady asya yatah [Bhag. 1.1.1], athato brahma jijnasa. Now this origin of everything, what is the formation, animate or inanimate? This is accepted, that Brahman means, the Absolute Truth means, the origin of everything. Now the next question would be that “What is that origin?” The modern scientists, they think the origin is chemicals. But we say, “No. It cannot be chemicals.” Janmady asya yatah anvayad itaratas ca arthesu abhijnah [Bhag. 1.1.1] The origin of everything must be cognizant. He knows everything. Otherwise how He can be origin? It is very logical. Janmady asya yatah anvayat, origin. Just like I have established this institution. I know how it was established perfectly, and how it is going on. And somebody may not know how it was established in New York with so great difficulty. But because I am the origin founder, I know. So similarly, so many things are going on in the nature’s way. So the origin, He must know everything. And if He knows, then He cannot be inanimate. Where is the possibility of the origin becoming inanimate? No. Because the argument is, if one is origin of everything, or something he is origin of, he must have sense how things are going on.

So that is explained in the Srimad-Bhagavatam: janmady asya yatah anvayad itaratas ca arthesu abhijnah [Bhag. 1.1.1]. Abhijnah. This word is used. Abhijnah means cognizant. Then if He is the origin of everything, how He got all knowledge perfectly? Therefore the next word is sva-rat: He is fully independent. He doesn’t require to take knowledge from anyone else. Otherwise how He can be origin? Sva-rat. Muhyanti yat surayah. That origin is so perfect, and still, surayah, many scholars, many scientists, philosophers, they are also bewildered, that “How He can be a person?” Muhyanti yat surayah. Tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayah. These things are described.

So actually, if we want to have knowledge of everything, the source of knowledge is Vedas. And the essence of Veda is called Vedanta. And the descriptive explanation of Vedanta is Srimad-Bhagavatam: bhasyam brahma-sutranam **. Brahma-sutra. Brahma-sutra is the Vedanta philosophy. Krsna has also referred to Brahma-sutra: brahma-sutra-padais caiva hetumadbhir viniscitaih [Bg. 13.5]. He recommends that hetumadbhir prasthana. There are three prasthanas, and Brahma-sutra is also prasthana, the way of understanding. So Krsna has recommended that “If you want to know things with reason and argument, then try to understand Vedanta-sutra.” Those who want to know the Absolute Truth through reasoning and argument, then one should study Vedanta-sutra. But Vedanta-sutra… Sutra means codes. Just like they have got code book. One word, it is meaning so many other things. Businessmen, they have got codes. When they send cable to their customer or to their principle, they use some codes. It saves so many words. So Brahma-sutra. Sutra means codes. So in that code also, required explanation. That explanation is Srimad-Bhagavatam. Bhasyam brahma-sutranam **. Brahma-sutranam, the codes explained in the Brahma-sutra, that is explained in the Srimad-Bhagavatam.

Thank you very much. (end)