Lecture on BG 2.15 — Hyderabad, November 21, 1972
So the Prahlāda Mahārāja advising that “You give up all this nonsense conceptions” Vanaṁ gato yad dharim āśrayeta (SB 7.5.5). Just vanaṁ gataḥ, means just become free from this conception, gṛham andha-kūpam conception of life. Take the broader life of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then you’ll be happy. Hitvātma-pātaṁ gṛham andha-kūpaṁ vanaṁ gato yad dharim āśrayeta (SB 7.5.5). Harim āśrayeta. The real business is harim āśrayeta. Vanaṁ gataḥ. Vanaṁ gataḥ means go to the forest. Formerly, after gṛhastha life, vānaprastha life, sannyāsa life, they used to live in the forest. But going to the forest is not the main purpose of life. Because in the forest there are many animals. Does it mean they are advanced in spiritual life? That is called markaṭa-vairāgya. Markaṭa-vairāgya means “monkey renunciation.” Monkey is naked. Nāga-bābā. Naked. And eats fruit, monkey, and lives underneath a tree or on the tree. But he has got at least three dozen wives. So this markaṭa-vairāgya, this kind of renunciation, has no value. Real renunciation. Real renunciation means you have to give up the andha-kūpa life and take shelter of Kṛṣṇa, harim āśrayeta. If you take shelter of Kṛṣṇa, then you can give up this, all this “ism” life. Otherwise, it is not possible; you’ll be entrapped by this “ism” life. So hitvātma-pātaṁ gṛham andha-kūpaṁ vanaṁ gato yad dharim āśrayeta (SB 7.5.5). Not to give up… If you give up something, you must take up something. Otherwise, it will be disturbed. Take up. That is recommendation: paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate (BG 2.59). You can give up your family life, social life, political life, this life, that life when you take Kṛṣṇa conscious life. Otherwise, it is not possible. Otherwise, you must have to take some of this life. There is no question of your freedom. There is no question of freedom from anxieties. This is the way.
So here the same thing, that tattva-darśibhiḥ, those who are actually seer of the Absolute Truth… athāto brahma jijñāsā, as it is said in the Vedānta-sūtra… Just yesterday, one boy was asking me: “What is the Vedānta? Vedānta, what is the meaning of Vedānta?” It is very nice, it is very easy. Veda means knowledge, and anta means ultimate. So Vedānta means ultimate knowledge. So ultimate knowledge is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo vedānta-kṛd veda-vid ca aham. He is the maker of Vedānta and He is the knower of Vedānta. Unless He is knower of Vedānta, how He can write Vedānta? Actually, Vedānta philosophy is written by Vyāsadeva, incarnation of Kṛṣṇa. So He’s vedānta-kṛt. And He’s vedānta-vit also. So the question was whether Vedānta means advaita-vāda or dvaita-vāda. So it is very easy to understand. The first aphorism of Vedānta: athāto brahma jijñāsā, to inquire about Brahman, the Absolute Truth. Now the, to inquire where? If you want to inquire, you must go to somebody who knows the thing. Therefore, immediately, in the very beginning of the Vedānta-sūtra, there is duality, that one must inquire, and one must answer. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. So in Vedānta-sūtra, how you can it is advaita-vāda? It is dvaita-vāda, from the very beginning. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. One must inquire what is Brahman, and one must reply, or the spiritual master, or the disciple, that it is dual. How you can say it is advaita-vāda? So we have to study in this way. Here it is said, tattva-darśibhiḥ. Tattva-darśibhiḥ means vedānta-vit, one who knows Vedānta. Janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). One who knows the Absolute Truth, from where everything begins. Janmādy asya yataḥ. That is the beginning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
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