Calcutta, India — Wednesday, March 30th
Krishna the Revolutionary
In this edited excerpt from Chapter 11 (Spiritual Revolution) of Srila Gurudeva's soon-to-be-published Amnaya Tattva — Revealed Truth (previewed in this PDF), His Divine Grace explains how the subjective evolution of consciousness culminates in a revolution of consciousness.
In Srimad Bhagavad Gita Krishna explains the evolution of consciousness. Krishna explains how the conditioned souls can advance from irreligious life into yoga, and how their yoga practice as buddhi-yoga can evolve from karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, dhyana-yoga, etc., into bhakti-yoga.
In this way, we can understand that the gist of all the scriptures is present in Srimad Bhagavad Gita and that everything essential for the spiritual evolution of all conditioned souls is explained there... Bhagavan Sri Krishna mercifully gave His divine glance to everyone through His lecture to Arjuna and He distributed the essence of the Vedas and all the scriptures for the spiritual evolution of everyone...
Evolution means the gradual improvement of a substance. I consider that the idea of evolution is good. There is no problem with the idea of spiritual evolution: we can always see things moving up, step by step towards the divine form of Reality. And we can see Reality's divine form also, step by step, effulgently evolving...
But when Krishna Himself teaches the conditioned souls He does not present only spiritual evolution, He presents spiritual revolution. Why? Everything Krishna Himself does is always revolutionary — revolution is the actual subject and factor of Krishna Himself.
By Krishna's will the Vedas, Vedanta, Upanishads, eighteen Puranas, etc., appear in this world, and all of their teachings gradually lead everyone towards worshipping Krishna. And Krishna incarnated in so many different forms — Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Vamana, Rama, etc. — and taught proper Vedic religious behavior. However, Krishna Himself always knocks the Vedic channel; He Himself always minimizes the teachings of the Vedas.
This is miraculous! I am surprised by this, and not only temporarily, I am permanently surprised by this... Krishna's dismissal of the Vedic teachings must be surprising to almost everyone. It must be surprising to hear that the final advice of the Vedas is to ignore the general line of progress the Vedas teach!
...What evidence can there be for the revolutionary idea that the final advice of the Vedas is to abandon them? The first-class primary evidence for this is found in Krishna's own instructions to Uddhava in Srimad Bhagavatam. Krishna first gives a clue about His own revolutionary teachings to Arjuna at the end of Srimad Bhagavad Gita with His sloka,
sarva-dharman parityajya / mam ekam saranam vraja
but Srimad Bhagavatam begins from that stage. Srimad Bhagavatam begins from Krishna's own teaching not of a subjective evolution of consciousness, but a subjective revolution of consciousness. And in Krishna's instruction to Uddhava in Srimad Bhagavatam, we find Krishna's revolutionary teaching from the conclusion of Srimad Bhagavad Gita expressed more clearly:
tasmat tvam uddhavotsrjya chodanam pratichodanam
pravrttim ca nivrttim ca srotavyam srutam eva ca
mam ekam eva saranam atmanam sarva-dehinam
yahi sarvatma-bhavena maya sya hy akuto-bhayah
—Srimad Bhagavatam (11:12:14-15)
Krishna's first condition in His instruction to Uddhava was, "Uddavotsrjya! Uddhava! Whatever rules and regulations that were given by the Vedas — everything that was given for the spiritual evolution and upliftment of the conditioned souls to the transcendental abode in the Vedas — all of that you should avoid! And not only avoid; if it happens to come to you, throw it away!"
Prabhupad Srila Saraswati Thakur explained the word utsrjya in this way. I heard from Srila Guru Maharaj that Srila Saraswati Thakur used a word in the Oriyan language, phaphadiba, that means, "You throw it away!" And what is being avoided and thrown away?
Krishna says, "Chodanam pratichodanam: the inspiration given in the scriptures for following the perfect evolutionary Vedic line, both the sruti and the smrti, that is to be avoided. And pravrttim ca nivrttim ca, both your attachment and your detachment, leave them both. If you have attachment for some type of food, leave that type of food. If you have detachment from wealth, you leave behind that mentality also so whether wealth comes to you or not, you won't care for that.
"Srotavyam srutam eva ca, what you have heard before (srutam), and what you will hear in the future (srotavyam), what knowledge you have gathered before and whatever knowledge you may collect in the future — you should avoid all of it. Anything that you have heard or will hear other than the consciousness of eternal service to Me, that you must leave behind and avoid.
"And what should you do? What should be your mood? Surrender to Me (mam ekam eva saranam atmanam sarva-dehinam)! Who am I? I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the emporium of all rasa, an ecstatic ocean of rasa. All your necessity — everything! — will be fulfilled when you come to Me, take shelter of Me, and surrender to Me (mam ekam eva saranam)."
...In this way Krishna expressed His revolutionary advice: "The laws, rules and regulations, the procedures beneficial in the lives of practitioners given in the Vedas, you can ignore all of it and come exclusively to My channel, that is, surrender to Me and serve."
So Krishna is always fully independent and detached from the general line of the Vedas; He is revolutionary and supreme.... He makes the rules. He reveals the Vedic scriptures and evolutionary spiritual teachings, and He also dismisses them. He makes the rules and He also breaks the rules.
This is very difficult for ordinary people to digest. Many persons are able to understand something about Vedic knowledge, Vedic culture and philosophy, etc., but they struggle to understand this finest point. The main point of understanding needed to harmonize everything, to properly understand Krishna's revolutionary teaching, is given by Krishna in the Padma Purana:
man-nimittam krtam papam api dharmaya kalpate
mam anadrtya dharmo 'pi papam syan mat-prabhavatah
Krishna says, "Anything you do that is for Me, even if it is sinful according to Vedic law, is actually a pious act (dharma), and anything you do that is not for Me, even if it is pious according to Vedic law, is actually a sinful act."
Krishna's advice is revolutionary but also simple. It is actually a direct description of all jiva-souls' position as His eternal servants. Krishna's teaching is actually an expression of the universal spirituality natural to all souls: anything not done in Krishna consciousness is sinful, and everything done for Krishna is truly pious.
This is the key to harmonizing everything and understanding Krishna's revolutionary teaching at the conclusion of Srimad Bhagavad Gita and throughout Srimad Bhagavatam — Krishna's subjective revolution of consciousness...
Krishna is a revolutionary. Krishna makes the rules and Krishna breaks the rules. And why? For Himself. "Reality is by Itself and for Itself." Krishna is the Absolute Reality, by Himself and for Himself — everything is really only for His play and satisfaction — and the jiva-souls who realize this revolutionary ideal experience the supreme joy of Krishna consciousness.
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Layout by iMonk — March 30th, 2011.