Paris June 13, 1974
The key to fearlessness is to rise above material existence by connecting with the supreme controller.
tasmad bharata sarvatma
bhagavan isvaro harih
srotavyah kirtitavyas ca
"O descendant of Bharata, one who desires to be free from all miseries must hear about, glorify, and also remember the Personality of Godhead, who is the Supersoul, the controller, and the savior from all miseries." Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.1.5
Who does not want abhayam? Abhayam means fearlessness. Everyone wants it. Covered by material nature, we have four positions. One position is to be always fearful: "What will happen next?" Even a big man like President Nixon is fearful: "What will happen next?" So many charges are brought against him. Although he is in a very exalted position as the President of the USA, he is also always fearful. That is the result of being under the material nature. Can anyone say that he is not fearful? Is it possible? Then what to speak of us.
The next position is that we require to eat something. Then after eating comes rest, sleeping. Then after rest, sex indulgence.
In today's verse it is implied that one who desires fearlessness and does not make any arrangement to get out of fearfulness is not a human being. Human beings always take precaution to save themselves. Although it is natural to be fearful, human beings still try to save themselves from the causes of fearfulness. Therefore it is said, icchata abhayam. Abhayam means no fear. If anyone wants to be fearful no more, then for him the prescribed duty is given in this verse.
Pariksit Maharaja is addressed here as Bharata, which means "descendant of Maharaja Bharata." Pariksit Maharaja belonged to the dynasty of King Bharata, from whose name the word Bharatavarsa has come. This planet is called Bharatavarsa because it was ruled by King Bharata. At that time the world was ruled under the Aryan culture. Gradually, the original Aryan, or Vedic, culture was lost. You French people are also from the Aryan family, but the culture is lost now.
This Krsna consciousness movement is reviving the original Aryan culture. We are all inhabitants of Bharatavarsa, and therefore we should be within the Aryan culture. But over time the Aryan culture has been lost, and Bharatavarsa has become divided. Now it is divided into so many countries: "This is India,""This is France,""This is Germany,""This is this,""This is this." But formerly, the whole planet was known as Bharatavarsa. One culture: Vedic culture. One flag. Now they have increased hundreds and thousands of flags. If you want United Nations, unity, then you must take this culture, Krsna consciousness, and again become Bharata, followers of the Vedic culture. That will save the situation.
"One culture" means politically one flag; religiously one God, Krsna; to understand Krsna, one scripture, the Bhagavad-gita; and one work, simply to satisfy Krsna. That is oneness. And if you want at least to become free from all fearful conditions, then you should always remember whom? Sarvatma.
Sarvatma means the living force of everyone. He is called sarvatma. There is a living force. I have got a living force, you have got a living force everyone. But from where is the living force coming? From Krsna. Bijo 'ham sarva-bhutanam [Bhagavad-gita 7.10]. Krsna is the origin of the living force. He is the supreme living force. Mamaivamso . . . jiva-bhutah [Bhagavad-gita 15.7]. This is all stated in the Bhagavad-gita: "All these living entities are My parts and parcels." Just as a man with sons can claim, "They are all my sons," Krsna can claim, "All living entities are My sons." That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita (14.4):
murtayah sambhavanti yah
tasam brahma mahad yonir
aham bija-pradah pita
Krsna says, "I am the seed-giving father of all living entities."Sarva-yonisu means in all the forms or species of life.
Vedas for Full Knowledge
This outward dress, the body, is different from the self. Someone has become ant, and someone has become an elephant or, bigger than that, a fish. There is a kind of fish called timingila. That perhaps we have not seen. Some have seen the whale. It is as big as a big house. The timingila can swallow a whale as you might swallow a small nut.
There are so many varieties of life. We do not know them all. But we know about them from the sastra, the scriptures. Therefore we should consult Vedic literature to have full knowledge. In the Vedic literature it is said, jalaja nava-laksani: "In the water there are 900,000 species of life." Now, who can deny it? If you deny, then I shall tell you, "Go and count." [Laughs.] But we can get full knowledge from the sastra. That is the quality of Vedic knowledge. Everything is complete.
Learn from the Vedic literature. All information is there. And all the Vedic literature is summarized in this Srimad-Bhagavatam. Nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam [Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.3]. The Vedic literature is compared to a desire tree. Every word used in the Vedic literature is peculiar to the ordinary man. The ordinary man has no experience of the desire tree. But there is a tree called the desire tree, kalpa-taru. What is the business of the desire tree? Whatever you desire you get from that tree. The desire tree is there in Krsna's loka, Krsna's abode. In the spiritual world there are trees, but each tree is a desire tree. You can get anything from that tree. The Vedas are considered a desire tree. That means that any kind of knowledge you want, either spiritual or material, is there completely and perfectly in the Vedas.
There is Dhanur-veda, Ayur-veda, Jyotir-veda. Veda means knowledge. So for military art, if you want to consult Vedic literature you will get complete information, perfect. Similarly, Jyotir-veda. Jyoti means the luminaries in the sky, the stars. You can get information about them in the Jyotir-veda. We are trying to go to the moon and wasting our time and energy, but if you consult the Vedas, you get full information of the moon, the sun, or any other planet. There are millions and trillions of planets. You can get information on planets up Brahmaloka, the topmost planet. And Ayur-veda. Ayuh means duration of life. Nobody wants to be diseased. So the medical science is given fully in the Ayur-veda.
The Father of Everyone
Because material life means we are all full of fear, in today's verse the Srimad-Bhagavatam is giving the prescription for becoming fearless: "Hear about, glorify, and also remember the Personality of Godhead, who is the Supersoul . . ." Krsna is sarvatma, the supreme father of everyone, of all living entities, in all forms. He says in the Bhagavad-gita, "I am the seed-giving father of all living entities." The father impregnates the mother by giving the seed. Similarly, this huge material cosmic manifestation is considered the mother, and the father is God, or Krsna, who impregnates her with the seed of the living entities. When there is creation, they come out as children of this material world. Just as a woman is impregnated and the child comes out, this material world is impregnated by the seed-giving father and the living entities come out.
Women cannot produce children automatically, without being impregnated. Similarly, to produce all the living entities in different forms of life, the seed-giving father is required, and that is God, Krsna. Is there any bad logic in that? There is confirmation in the sastra. Krsna says, aham bija-pradah pita: "I am the seed-giving father." [Bhagavad-gita 14.4] Is it possible to produce life without the father? Is it possible? Then why do the rascal scientists say, "Now we shall produce life"? How can you do it? It is not possible. This is rascaldom.
In the Christian world the Supreme Lord God is accepted as the supreme father. "O father, give us our daily bread." To accept the Supreme Lord, the supreme father, is very good. Everyone must accept Him. That is human life. That is human knowledge. That is common-sense knowledge: "If I am produced by my father, where have so many living entities come from? They have come from the supreme father." He is called sarvatma.
Struggle for Existence
Today's verse is about freedom from fearfulness or material existence. Material existence means the struggle for existence. Everyone has to struggle: "I want to stay." In your country there has been so much fighting, such as the French Revolution and so many fights between the Protestants and the Catholics. And your Napoleon Bonaparte fought. Fighting is called the struggle for existence. Everyone wants to exist, and so he has to fight. And if there is no fighting, at least we must fight with the winter season or the summer season. Without fighting, you cannot stay in this world. That is called the struggle for existence and survival of the fittest. You must be fit. That is the nature of life in the material world. And in the spiritual world there is no fight simply friendship, that's all. That is the spiritual world, which is called Vaikuntha. Kuntha means "anxiety," and vaikuntha means "without anxiety."
We have been put into this place of anxiety on account of our rebellion against God. That is the cause of all material existence. We should know this. Why are we put into this condition of fearfulness, anxiety, and always struggling for existence? We don't want it. When this inquiry comes, then one is a human being. As long as this "Why?" does not come, one is an animal. The animal does not ask, "Why am I put into the slaughterhouse? Why have I been brought here to be slaughtered?" Similarly, a human being is like an animal if he does not understand, "I have been put into this material world for being slaughtered by the laws of material nature. Never mind whether I am Napoleon or an ordinary man, I will be slaughtered."
This world is called martya-loka, "the universe of being slaughtered." Nobody wants to be slaughtered. The animal does not want to be slaughtered, but by force it is slaughtered. Similarly, nobody wants death, but we are forced. Even such a big man as Napoleon he wanted to complete that arch, but he was slaughtered before his desire was fulfilled. That is material nature. You must be slaughtered before your desire is fulfilled. That is material nature. You must be slaughtered as soon as required.
Therefore it is said here, icchata abhayam: "Anyone who wants fearlessness, who wants to be saved from being slaughtered, must do this." What is that? One must hear about, glorify, and remember sarvatma bhagavan isvarah, "the Supreme Lord, the origin of all living entities, Bhagavan."
Bhagavan and iSvara
Bhagavan means "all-powerful" and "possessor of all-opulences." Bhagavan can do anything and everything. He is not like the imitation rascals who claim "I am God" but cannot do anything. He is not that kind of Bhagavan. Bhagavan means all-powerful. Whatever He likes, He can do. sad-aisvarya-purna, full of six opulences. That is Bhagavan.
sannam bhaga itingana
[Visnu Purana 6.5.47]
This is the definition of Bhagavan. Everything has a definition. Nothing should be accepted blindly. First mentioned is aisvaryasya, wealth. Bhagavan means the person who has the complete riches. Now, I have some money, you have some money, he has some money, but nobody can claim, "I have all the money." No, that is not possible. One who possesses all the money is Bhagavan. And He possesses all strength, beauty, intelligence, fame, and renunciation.
You can find some very big rich man in this material world, but you cannot say that he is the supreme richest man. That is not possible. You will find another man richer than him. And then you will find someone richer than that man. In this way, by research, when you actually come to the richest person, He is Bhagavan. He is God.
If you have the energy you can search for such a person, and He is Bhagavan. It is not difficult. The definition of God is there in sastra. But here in the material world, there is competition for His position. God is known not only as Bhagavan but also as isvara, "controller." Everyone is isvara. I am controlling this institution. Somebody is controlling his office, his factory, his kingdom. President Nixon is controlling the United States. So all of us, more or less, are isvara, controllers. This mother is controlling the small child. So she is also isvara, because she is controlling.
God has given everyone a little controlling power. In that sense every one of us is isvara. But here it is said, bhagavan isvarah: "the supreme controller." We are controllers, but we are controlled by somebody else. But the Bhagavan Isvara is not controlled by anyone. That is Krsna. Isvarah paramah krsnah: "The supreme controller is Krsna." [Brahma-samhita 5.1].
We are being controlled. Foolishly we are thinking, "I am free." How can we be free? The biggest personality in this country, Napoleon Bonaparte, was not free. How can you be free? This is a misconception. Nobody can be free. Everyone is controlled.
But we rebel. "No, I don't want to.
I don't want to be controlled." But you will be controlled. For example, if you don't want to be controlled by the state laws, the state will force you into the prison to be controlled. This is our position. We cannot be free. Therefore freedom is not good for us. If a child is given freedom, he will simply create havoc. So he is not to be given freedom; he must be controlled. Similarly, all living entities, being children of God, must voluntarily put themselves under the control of God. That is the perfection of life. Don't try to be falsely free. That is not possible.
The mother will never give freedom to the child, because that is not good for him. Anyone who is weak must not be given freedom.
Similarly, we are weak. God is great. God is all-powerful. We are very tiny. We have no power. Therefore our normal life is to voluntarily accept the controlling power of God. That is human life. And God comes and He pleads, "My dear boy, why are you struggling here? You will never be happy."Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekamsaranam vraja. [Bhagavad-gita 18.66] "You have manufactured so many plans to be happy, but you will never be happy. Therefore your only business is to come under My control, and then you will be happy."Aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami masucah. [Bhagavad-gita 18.66] "I will give you all happiness."
That is the sum and substance of the Bhagavad-gita. And when anyone agrees to be controlled, then success of life begins from that point. Unfortunately, at the present moment the whole world population has been taught in such a way that they do not want to be controlled. Therefore there is always a chaotic condition.
Read These Books
Here is the solution: If you want to be saved from the chaotic condition of life, if you want to be free from all anxieties, then your business is srotavyah: "Hear about the supreme controller, Krsna." And for hearing about the supreme controller, we have got eighty books. Not one, two, three, four eighty books. If you are actually intelligent, if you are actually a scientist, if you are actually philosopher, read these books. That is called srotavyah: Hear about the supreme controller. Not simply, "God is there." Just try to understand how God is there. That you will find in this literature. There is no other literature like it throughout the world.
And after you hear from this literature, spread this knowledge. Kirtitavyah: "My dear sir, there is God. God is like this. I have heard from the authority." That is called kirtitavyas ca, preaching. First of all hearing. Without hearing, how will you preach? And smartavyah. As soon as you become an expert hearer and an expert chanter, you will remember always. And as soon as you always remember Krsna, there is no more fear. Finished. That is life.
Thank you very much.