As by releasing nuclear weapon there is radiation, similarly, we have got description that when Asvatthama released his brahmastra, there was a big radiation, people were feeling very terrible heat…
astram brahma-siro mene
So this dvijatmaja, son of a brahmana. He’s not addressed as a brahmana because his actions are different. Unless one acts as a brahmana, he’s not accepted as a brahmana. This is the Vedic system. Laksanam.
yasya yal laksanam proktam
yad anyatrapi drsyeta
tat tenaiva vinirdiset
Laksanam. Brahmana’s laksanam, ksatriya’s laksanam. Laksanam means symptoms. One must act as a brahmana. So he is accepted as brahmatmaja. Of course, everyone can claim that his father is like that. But that does not mean he has acquired the father’s qualifications. That is not meaning. And onward the son may claim that “Such and such big man is my father.” Of course, from social point of view, we sometimes give respect, as it will be seen. Asvatthama, because he happened to be a great personality, Dronacarya, so he was excused from capital punishment. Otherwise, Arjuna decided to kill him. But because he was a very great man’s son, guru-putra, considering that “If he dies, then guru’s wife will be very much unhappy,” Draupadi advised… She was unhappy on account of death of her sons. So they considered that Asvatthama’s mother, she’s innocent, but on account of the son’s death, she would be unhappy. So considering all these points he was excused from the capital punishment.
So yada asaranam atmanam aiksata. He was running on on the back of a horse, but when he saw that Arjuna is coming nearer, so he has no other alternative, protection. Then he thought of the brahmastra. Brahmastra is the last weapon. Just like it is similar to modern nuclear weapon, brahmastra. As by releasing nuclear weapon there is radiation, similarly, we have got description that when Asvatthama released his brahmastra, there was a big radiation, people were feeling very terrible heat. And then Krishna informed that “This heat is due to the Asvatthama’s release of brahmastra,” and Arjuna was advised counteract it. Now they do not know how to counteract this nuclear weapon. Formerly they knew. I throw one kind of weapon, and if you are expert, you can counteract it. Now they have discovered the nuclear weapon, but they have not yet discovered the counteraction. Fight means I show some expert fighting craft or experiencing. The opposite party must also show something better than that. That was fighting. And in this way when one party fails, he’s killed. And if he’s killed then war stops. No more war. This was the system.
So Asvatthama was thinking of this brahmastra. Astram brahma-siro mene atma-tranam dvijatmajah. Hopelessly. So far, of course, I know that this nuclear weapon was already discovered by the German people and Hitler, it is said that he did not use it. Because he knew it that “If I throw this nuclear weapon there will be devastation.” So from this point it can be considered that he had some human consideration. So he’s advertised very adversely, but if it is a true fact, then how he could have this human consideration that he did not throw the nuclear weapon? And this was taken by the Americans and it was thrown in Japan. That is the history so far we know. So anyway, as we have got experience, the nuclear weapon is very, very dangerous. Similarly the brahmastra is also very, very dangerous. And another weapon, they knew this art, sabda-vedhi. Sabda-vedhi means if I throw some arrow, it will go to my enemy wherever he is. A little sound of the enemy will attract this weapon, and it is sure to kill my enemy. Sabda-vedhi. There are many instances in Ramayana, Mahabharata. Sabda-vedhi-vak.
So such warfare of mantra, very subtle. This, at the present moment this warfare is carried on gross weapons. But finer than that, there is mantra war. By mantras the warfare can go on. So this warfare is mantra. That is… Just like indriyani parany ahur indriyebhyah param manah. It is said in the Bhagavad-gita that the indriyani, so far our body’s concerned, the indriyas, the senses are prominent. But more important than the senses, above the senses is the mind. Indriyani parany ahur indriyebhyah param manah. So as we have discovered so many weapons… That is gross, to be handled by senses. Even this nuclear weapon, it is handled by the scientists. But it is not by mantra. That science is still to be discovered by the modern scientists, how to… Or just like this mantra. Snake-charming mantra still there are. You are dealing the snake poison with some counter medicine. This is one kind of treatment. But there is another kind of treatment. That is called mantra, by chanting mantra. Or by herbs you can counteract snake bite. Still, there are in India. Therefore Canakya Pandita said that mantrausadhi-vasah sarpah. Sarpa means snake. It can be brought under control by mantra and herbs. Still, in our Mayapura some Mohammedans, they know how to use these herbs and mantras for treating snake bites. In Mayapura there are many snakes, and occasionally snakebite cases are there. But they treat it. And mantra has got power. It has been seen by many medical men in Lucknow. That’s a long story.
So mantra is powerful. This is mundane. Now you can imagine how spiritual mantra is powerful. Even in mundane world the mantra acts. This is very subtle thing. Then how much… Because
indriyani parany ahur
indriyebhyah param manah
manasas tu para buddhir
yo buddheh paratas tu sah
So gross understanding–the senses, the body, directly sense perception–this is gross. I see you, you see me. I touch you, you touch me. I taste something… This is gross. Above this gross there is mental platform. So mantra is also on the mental, little above, intelligence. And above that there is spiritual platform. So if on the material platform, mental platform, the mantra can act so wonderfully, how much spiritually the mantra can benefit you. You have to simply imagine. So this Hare Krsna mantra is completely spiritual. If you chant it, spiritually enlightened, then surely it will act. Param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam. It will act. Therefore chanting is so important.
Chanting is not… Narottama dasa Thakura said this sound vibration is not this material sound. Krsna is not material sound. It is Krsna, spiritual. Abhinnatvan nama-naminoh. There is no difference between Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and His holy name, Krsna. There is no difference.
nama cintamanih krsnas
purnah suddho nitya-mukto
As Krishna is purna, perfect, complete, suddha, without any material contamination. Purnah suddho nitya, eternal. Purnah suddho nitya-muktah. Mukta means not of this material world. Mukti means anything which does not belong to, in this material world. That is called mukti. So the holy name, chanting of holy name, if we act it properly, without any offense, then we are directly in connection with Krsna. There is no doubt. Purnah suddho nitya-mukto ‘bhinnatvan nama-naminoh.
And Narottama dasa Thakura therefore says that this holy name of Krsna is imported from Goloka Vrndavana. It is not material sound. Golokera prema-dhana hari-nama-sankirtana. It is not ordinary sound. Don’t take it as ordinary. Sabde-samanya buddhir hari-namni. That is naraki-buddhi. Just like to consider the Deity as made of stone. Arcye visnau sila-dhir gurusu nara-matih, to consider guru as ordinary human being. Similarly, to think sabde-samanya buddhih, the holy name of the Lord as ordinary sound vibration, that this… That is naraki. That is not considered by spiritually enlightened persons. But those who are rotting in hellish condition, for them these are the consideration. Patthar puje hari mile(?). They think that they are worshiping patthar. These rascals say patthar puje hari mile to me puju pahada(?). They think, he’s such a rascal, he’s thinking that the Deity is patthar or stone. But it is not like that. It requires good brain to understand how Krsna can appear in a form which can be seen by us. How Krsna can appear in a form of sound which we can hear. It is for our benefit. Not that it is material. Therefore Narottama dasa Thakura says, golokera prema-dhana hari-nama sankirtana. Hari-nama-sankirtana is not ordinary sound. Don’t treat it as ordinary sound. It is the… Just like we, by radio we can send message from Europe, it may come to India. (break) …such powerful machine and you can talk. That is possible. But that is not this sound. Golokera prema-dhana hari-nama-sankirtana, rati na janmilo kene tay. So don’t think that this hari-nama-sankirtana is ordinary vibration of this material world. Never think so. You should immediately see that the sankirtana, Hare Krsna, is Krsna and Radha. Hara and Krsna. Radha-Krsna or Sita-Rama or Laksmi-Narayana. Any form of the Lord Visnu. Hare Krsna means the Supreme Lord and His spiritual potency.
So we address; Hare, “Oh, the energy, spiritual energy of the Lord,” and Krsna, “O the Supreme Lord,” Hare Rama, the same thing. Param Brahman. Rama means Param Brahman, Krsna means Param Brahman and… So what is the meaning of addressing, “He Krsna, He Radhe, He Rama.” Why? There should be some… Why you are asking? That “Just engage me in your service.” That is taught by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram
patitam mam visame bhavambudhau
krpaya tava pada-pankaja-
This is our prayer. It is not our prayer that, “O Krsna, O Rama, give me some money, give me some woman.” No. This is not the prayer. Of course, in the neophyte stage they can pray like that, but that is not, I mean to say, suddha-bhakti, pure devotion.
Pure devotion means to pray to the Lord, begging some service. “My Lord, kindly engage me in Your service.” That is the perfection of life, when one is engaged in the service of the Lord in love. You can become a very great saint and live in a secluded place and become puffed-up that you have become very great personality, and people may come to see him, that “He’s not to be seen, he’s engaged in chanting.” My Guru Maharaja has condemned this. He said, mana tumi kisera vaisnava. “My dear mind, your mental concoction, you are thinking that you have become a very big Vaisnava. You do not do anything and sit down in a secluded place and imitating Haridasa Thakura, chanting. So you are a nonsense.” Mana tumi kisera vaisnava. Why? Nirjanera ghare, pratisthara tare. To get some cheap adoration as a great chanter. Because if one is actually chanting, why he should be attracted by woman and bidi? If he is actually in such position like Haridasa Thakura then why he should be attracted by material things? That is a false show only. That is not possible for ordinary person.
Therefore ordinary person must be physically engaged. That is not physical, that is also transcendental. Always busy in some business of Krsna consciousness. That is wanted. Not that, “Oh, I have become a great scholar and I have now learned how to become a great Vaisnava. I chant sixty-four rounds, and think of my wife somewhere, and then good-bye to Govindaji and leave Vrndavana.” These rascaldom do not follow. Govindaji drives such rascals away from Vrndavana. So Vrndavana, one who is living in Vrndavana, he must be very anxious how to spread the glories of Vrndavana-candra all over the world. That is wanted. Not that Vrndavana-candra is my private property and I sit down in a place and lick up. No, that is not wanted. That is not wanted. That is condemned by my Guru Maharaja.
So mana tumi kisera vaisnava. He says, “What kind of Vaisnava, rascal, you are.” Nirjanera ghare pratisthara tare. “Simply for cheap adoration you are living in a secluded place.” Tava hari-nama kevala kaitava. Your chanting of so-called Hare Krsna mantra is simply cheating. He has said that. One must be ready very vigorously. And that is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s also order. Caitanya Mahaprabhu never said that “You chant.” He has given certainly the chanting, but so far His mission is concerned, He said that “Everyone of you become guru.” Amara ajnaya guru hana tara’ ei desa. And deliver, preach, that people understand what is Krsna.
yare dekha, tare kaha ‘krsna’-upadesa
amara ajnaya guru hana tara’ ei desa
Prthivite ache yata nagaradi. That is His mission. It is not that “Become a big Vaisnava and sit down and imitate.” This is all rascaldom. So don’t follow this thing. So at least we cannot advise you in that way. We have learned from our Guru Maharaja that preaching is very, very important thing, and when one is actually an experienced preacher, then he is able to chant Hare Krsna mantra without any offense. Before that, this so-called chanting of Hare Krsna mantra, you may practice without any offenses… And giving up all other business to make a show of a big Vaisnava, that is not required. Thank you very much. (end)
[760916SB.VRN Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.19 Vrndavana, September 16, 1976]
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada