Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.41
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Los Angeles, June 7, 1976

Devotee: (leads chanting, etc.) Translation: “The supreme cause of all causes, Narayana, is situated in His own abode in the spiritual world, but nevertheless He controls the entire cosmic manifestation according to the three modes of material nature—sattva-guna, rajo-guna and tamo-guna. In this way all living entities are awarded different qualities, different names such as brahmana, ksatriya and vaisya, different duties according to the varnasrama institution, and different forms. Thus Narayana is the cause of the entire cosmic manifestation.”


yena sva-dhamny ami bhava rajah-sattva-tamomayah guna-nama-kriya-rupair vibhavyante yatha-tatham

So supreme controller is Narayana, or Krsna. Krsna also explains… Here in the sastra, we understand that Narayana is the supreme controller. In many other places the same thing is explained.

isvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam [Bs. 5.1]

So Krsna explains in the Bhagavad-gita: aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate [Bg. 10.8] So Narayana… In the Vedic mantra also, the same thing: eko narayana asit. In the beginning, Narayana was there. So Narayana is not alone. When you say the king is coming, it does not mean that king is coming alone. King is coming with his ministers, with his secretaries, with his military forces, bodyguards, many thousands. Similarly, when we speak eko narayana asit, narayana parah avyaktat, it does not mean that Narayana is alone. Narayana is always… If a king can be surrounded by so many officers and ministers, and Narayana is the supreme king, so how He is surrounded by paraphernalia we can just think over.

So Narayana-dhama, the Vaikuntha-dhama … There are millions and millions of Vaikuntha-dhamas in the spiritual world. As we see in this material world. And in each planet Narayana is there in different forms. That is described in the Caitanya-caritamrta. Different forms means Narayana has the same form, four hands with four symbolic weapons, simply changing—sankha, cakra, gada, padma; gada, cakra, sankha, padma—like that. These things are explained in the Caitanya-caritamrta. So in the Vaikuntha, the spiritual world, Narayana is there. And above these Vaikuntha planets there is the Goloka Vrndavana planet. That is described in the Brahma-samhita:

cintamani-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vrksa-laksavrtesu surabhir abhipalayantam laksmi-sahasra-sata-sambhrama-sevyamanam [Bs. 5.29]

govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

There is the Goloka Vrndavana, the description is there. There are also trees, there are also animals. And Krsna is there. And He is being served by laksmis, the gopis. Sahasra-sata-sambhrama-sevyamanam. With great respect they are serving. These descriptions are there. There, trees are desire trees. Whatever you want from that tree, you’ll get. The cows are surabhi cows, means you can draw milk as many times as you like and as much as you like. Surabhir abhipalayantam [Bs. 5.29]

So when we speak of Vrndavana, it is not imagination. In the sastra, there is description, how Krsna is there, what He is doing. Especially it is mentioned: surabhir abhipalayantam [Bs. 5.29]. Krsna has got this hobby. Just like our hobby—dog—abhipalayantam. We keep, every one of us, especially in the Western countries, a dog. So why not Krsna keeping so many cows? What is the difficulty for Him? So He, intentionally, He becomes a cowherd boy. That is His pleasure. Just like here, we, a minute particle of God, we have got so many hobbies. So He has … Because nothing can be present here without being in Krsna. Therefore Krsna says, aham sarvasya prabhavo [Bg. 10.8]. Whatever is there in this material world, bad or good, similar things are there in the spiritual world. The difference is here everything, bad, and there everything, good. That is the difference. Here we have made bad and good; it has no meaning. Caitanya-caritamrta kaja, Kaviraja Gosvami, he has explained the conception of bad and good in this material world. He says, ’dvaite bhadrabhadra-(jnana,) sakale sama ’ei bhala, ei manda’, sab mano-dharma. In the world of duality… This is the world of duality. So the absolute… There is absolute world. That is spiritual world. But here there is duality, bad and good. You cannot understand bad without having some conception of good, and you cannot understand good without having some conception of bad. You require the opposite. So in the spiritual world, this duality conception is absent. Everything is absolute. We have to understand this theoretically at the present moment. But there, everything is cintamani. Everything is alive, spiritual.

So Narayana’s place is there, sa dhamani. That is His own abode. This is also Narayana’s abode, this material world. Just like king. King’s kingdom is very widespread, but still, he has got a palace. That is sa dhamani. Everywhere his property, government property, but still there is a government house, particular. Similarly, everything belongs to God, isavasyam idam sarvam, everything. Everything, God’s property. Bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram [Bg. 5.29]. He is the proprietor. But still He has got His own abode. That is Goloka Vrndavana. Goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhuto [Bs. 5.37]. That is God. He’s always there. He hasn’t got to go out for some business. No. He hasn’t got to work for maintaining His establishment. No. He is complete, and He’s staying there. Just like Krsna… It is said in the sastra: vrndavanam parityaja na padam ekam gacchati. Krsna never leaves Vrndavana. He doesn’t go anywhere. He’s always existing there. But still, He’s everywhere. That is His inconceivable potency. Goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhuto. We are limited. I am sitting here; I’m not in my apartment. But Krsna is not like that. Krsna is in His abode, Goloka Vrndavana—He doesn’t leave that place any moment—but you’ll find Krsna everywhere. Goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhuto [Bs. 5.37]. Don’t think that “Krsna is not here.” Krsna is here also. You see, personally, Krsna is present here. Don’t think that it is not Krsna, it is some stone statue. No. He’s Krsna. But because you cannot see Krsna, He’s appearing just that you may see. Because you cannot see without stone and wood. Therefore it is called arca-vigraha, arca-avatara. Arca-avatara.

Therefore: arcye visnau sila-dhir gurusu nara-matir vaisnave jati-buddhih naraki. Forbidden, that never think the vigrahah, the form of the Lord, as stone or wood. Arcye visnau sila-dhir. One who thinks like that…, gurusu nara-matir, and the spiritual master as ordinary human being. Arcye visnau sila-dhir gurusu nara-matir vaisnave jati-buddhih: Vaisnava, who has become a devotee, to accept him belonging to some caste or nation or some… No. He doesn’t belong to anything… Never to think that’s he’s American Vaisnava, he’s Indian Vaisnava, he’s brahmana Vaisnava, he’s ksatriya… No. This is jati-buddhih, classification. Vaisnava does not belong to any jati. He belongs to Krsna, krsna dasa. Jivera svarupa haya nitya krsna dasa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]. Therefore practically you can see the members of Krsna consciousness, some of them are Indians, some of them are Europeans, some of them are Englishmen, some of them are black, some of them are white, some of them are brahmanas, some of them are Hindus, but they do not think anymore that “I belong to this category.” No. No. Or otherwise they could not work. Every one of them completely aware that “We are all Krsna’s servants.” Similarly, guru is not ordinary human being. Gurusu nara-matir. Guru is not ordinary human being. Ordinary human being cannot preach Krsna consciousness. That is not possible. Krsna-sakti vina nahe krsna nama pracara. So anyone who is preaching, he cannot be considered as ordinary human being. Even though Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has explained this, that why not ordinary being? His son is calling him “father,” or his relatives, they’re taking him as ordinary. So Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says still he is not ordinary human being. Why? Because he is preaching Krsna consciousness. So vaisnave jati-buddhih, gurusu nara-matir, and sri visnu-padatirthau. The… Just like Ganges water, Yamuna water, to think of ordinary water, these are forbidden.

So Krsna, guna nama-rupair vibhayvante yatha-tatham. He has innumerable means and innumerable forms, according to the necessity. Unlimited forms: Narayana, Govinda, Krsna, thousands and thousands of names. But He’s situated in His own place, and He’s governing the whole creation. Isavasyam idam sarvam. That is the Vedic mantra. Everything is being controlled by Him. How He is controlling, how He is witness, that will be explained in the next verse.

suryo ’gnih kham marud devah somah sandhya ahani disah kam kuh svayam dharma iti hy ete daihyasya saksinah

This will be explained, next verse, how He is controlling, how things are managed. We can see practically that universal affairs, how things are being managed. Exactly in the right time, the sun is rising, the moon is rising, and they’re working exactly to the time. In this season, the sun will stay during daytime so many hours. Exactly we find. Not that this year he’s staying from six to six, and next year he’s not appearing. No. There is no question of accidents. The same date, same month, and the same appearance of the sun and the moon. Everything. And still we say “There is no God,” “God is dead,” “There is no controller.” This is foolishness. Mudha. The mudhas, the asses… Mudha means asses, one who has no knowledge. It is commonsense affair. That if everything is going on so nicely, how I can think there is no controller? In your house, in your office, if everything goes very nicely, systematically, there is the director, there is the manager, superintendent, and everything is going nice, how, without these things, how the whole universal affair can go so nicely? That is not accidental, that there was a chunk and immediately it became a this and that. No. There was no accident. Mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram [Bg. 9.10]. There is no question of accidents. Krsna says, “Under My supervision, everything is going on.”

So Narayana, or Krsna, He’s controlling everything. And this material world is made of three modes of material nature: sattva-guna, rajo-guna, tamo-guna. Prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah [Bg. 3.27] The Bhagavad-gita also says the same thing. Prakrteh, this material nature, is working under three modes of material nature—sattva-guna, tamo-guna, rajo-guna. In the rajo-guna, the material world is created. In sattva-guna, the material world is maintained. And in tamo-guna, this material world is dissolved, or annihilated. This is the way, going on. So sattva-guna, maintenance, in charge is Visnu Himself. Without Visnu, nobody can maintain. Just like one contractor, he can manufacture a very big skyscraper building, but to maintain it, it requires another management, how to manage and maintain. And dissolution, anyone can break this big skyscraper. These three things are going on. So the maintenance in charge is Narayana, His expansion, Visnu. Visnu, Visnu is supplying all the needs of our… We are so many living entities, innumerable, but Visnu, Lord Visnu, He is supplying all our needs. Just like father, he supplies the needs of the family, children. Similarly, Visnu is maintaining. Eko yo bahunam vidadhati kaman. So many different varieties of living entities and they have got different demands, different necessities, everything is supplied by Visnu. Eko yo bahunam vidadhati kaman. That is God.

So we cannot declare independence. That is not possible. There is no independence. We are completely dependent on Visnu. There is no doubt about it. You cannot manufacture your necessities, all the necessities. You can manufacture some motorcar or some needle or this or that, but you cannot manufacture the primary necessities of life. That is not possible. When there is scarcity of food, you cannot manufacture in your factory. That is not possible. That you have to receive from Visnu, from God. That, that is explained in the Bhagavad-gita, that annad bhavanti bhutani parjanyad anna-sambhavah. Parjanyad anna-sambhavah. Anna means food grains. Or even you take that “My anna, my food, is animal.” That’s all right, either you eat animal or vegetable or food grains, it is supplied by God. You cannot manufacture it. Suppose I am eating vegetables, you are eating meat. But meat you cannot manufacture, a vegetable also I may not manufacture. That is supplied by God. Eko yo bahunam vidadhati kaman. Whatever our necessities are there, it is supplied by God, Krsna. So He advises… This world, although Krsna supplies everything, but still, you have to work. You have to work. This material world means karma-samjnah. Without working, you cannot live. You have to work. There is a verse in the Bhagavad-gita: sarira-yatrapi ca te na prasiddhyed akarmanah. Do not stop working. Some foolish people say that we are not working. We are working for Krsna. It is not that we are not working. Working is necessary here. But the difference is a bhakta is working under the direction of Krsna, and nondevotees are working under the direction of maya. That is the difference. Therefore bhakti and ordinary work, karmis, it looks similar, similar, that these men, they are also working, they’re also cooking, they’re also going to the Press, they’re also typing. They’re this… So what is the difference between bhakti and karma? The difference is that we are working for Krsna and others are working for maya. That is difference.

So nirbandha-krsna-sambhandhe yukta-vairagyam ucyate. Working is not stopped. Our Gosvamis, Rupa Gosvami, they retired from their ministerial service, they went to Vrndavana, but the work increased. When they were ministers they were sleeping thirteen hours, but when they went to Vrndavana, they had not time to sleep even for two hours. That is Vrndavana life. That is Vrndavana life. They had no time. Tyaktva turnam asesa-mandala-pati-srenim sada tucchavat bhutva dina-ganesakau karunaya kaupina-kanthasritau. These are the description about the Gosvamis that, by the order of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, they retired from ministerial job. Tyaktva turnam asesa-mandala-pati-srenim. Mandala-pati means very, very big men in society. Minister, his business was with big, big man. Who can see the minister? The zamindar, the big businessmen. So he gave up that association. Then what he became? Bhutva dina-ganesakau karunaya kaupina-kanthasritau. He took up a small loincloth. You have seen the picture of Gosvamis. Why? Just to show compassion and mercy to the whole world who are suffering. So how much business he increased? He was minister of a state. Now he has to do good to the whole world. How much responsibility it is. Nana-sastra-vicaranaika-nipunau sad-dharma-samsthapakau. They had to establish the real purpose of religion—sad-dharma-samsthapakau. So presented so many books so that they may understand what is the meaning of religion. Nana-sastra. Nana means varieties of sastra. Vicaranaika—after deliberation… You’ll find, therefore, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu or any book written by the Gosvamis, all giving reference from the sastras. Nana-sastra vicaranaika-nipunau sad-dharma, lokanam hita-karinau.

So Vaisnava, the servant of Narayana, narayana-parah sarve na kutascana bibhyati—they are not afraid to go anywhere for the service of Narayana. Narayana-parah sarve na kutascana bibhyati. Because Narayana has got so many widespread government, and Narayana’s servants, narayana-parah, they have to go everywhere. Narayana parah sarve na kutascana bibhyati. They are not afraid, “No, I’ll have to go to such distant place, no friend, no money. How shall I go?” No. Narayana is there. Narayana-parah, na bibhyati—he’s not afraid of. “Whether I’m going to die or live, it doesn’t matter. I must go there. It is the order of Narayana.” This is devotee.

narayana-parah sarve na kutascana bibhyati svargapavarga-narakesv api tulyartha-darsinah

Narayana may order, “Go to hell and preach.” “Yes.” Tulyartha. “Then if You send me in heaven or hell, I don’t mind.”

Thank you very much. (end)