anyad evahur vidyaya / anyad ahur avidyaya
iti susruma dhiranam / ye nas tad vicacaksire

srila prabhupada - Back To Godhead

“The wise have explained that one result is derived from the culture of knowledge and that a different result is obtained from the culture of nescience.” Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 10

This verse is very impor tant. Susruma means “it is heard.” In the Vedic disciplic succession, it is never said, “It is experienced.” Rather, one learns by hearing from authority. That is the secret of Vedic understanding.

People are now engaged in researching what is on the moon. That is the materialist way to try to understand things by one’s own experience.

That is called pratyaksa, direct, experimental knowledge.

The Vedic way of understanding is different. It is Sruti. Sruti means to hear from an authoritative source. Knowledge gained in that way is real knowledge.

I have often given the example that if you want to know who your father is by experimental knowledge, will that be possiblen No. So how can you know who your father is? By hearing from the authority, your mother. Similarly, with your imperfect senses you should not try to understand things beyond your experimental knowledge.

If you cannot know your material father by experimental knowledge, how can you know the Supreme Father your original father by experimental knowledgen People are searching for God. But after searching, searching, searching, they fail. They say, “Oh, there is no God. I am God.” Their search is finished because they do not know how to find God.

Here it is said, iti Susruma: “it is heard.” That is how one receives Vedic knowledge. From whom does one hearn From the storekeepern No. Dhiranam: from sober persons. Dhira means one whose senses are not agitated by material influence. Such a person is also called a svami or goswami. There are different kinds of agitation. The first agitating agent is the mind. Another is the tongue. Another is our speaking power. Another is anger. When we become angry, we forget. We do anything due to the agitation of anger. When we speak in anger, we speak so many nonsense things. In Sri Upadesamrta (1), Srila Rupa Goswami list six kinds of agitation:

vaco vegam manasan krodha-vegam
jihva-vegam udaropastha-vegam
etan vegan yo visaheta dhiran
sarvam api mam prthivim sa Sisyat

“A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind’s demands, the actions of anger, and the urges of the tongue, belly, and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world.”

The Food Allotted To Human Beings

Jihva-vegam refers to the agitation of the tongue. To agitate the tongue there are so many advertisements. “Here is liquor.” “Here is chicken.” “Here is beef.” What for? To satisfy the urges of the tongue. Is it a fact that without beef, without chicken, without liquor, we cannot liven It is not a fact. For living, we have so many nice things that God, Krishna, has given for human beings. You can take grains, fruits, milk.

The cow produces so much milk, not for itself but for human beings. That is our allotment from God: “Mrs.Cow, although you are producing milk, you cannot drink it. It is for human beings, better animals. What will you do by drinking milk?

Of course, in infancy every animal lives on mother’s milk. That is nature’s arrangement. But cow’s milk is specifically meant for human beings. We can take what is ordained by Krishna, or God. But we have the agitation of the tongue, so we think, “Why shall I be satisfied simply taking grains, milk, vegetables, and fruits? Let me maintain hundreds of slaughterhouses and kill these animals. Although by giving me milk they have become my mother, let them be killed because of the agitation of my tongue.” You seen

You haven’t got to hear from such nonsense persons, but you have to hear from the dhiranam, those who have controlled their senses, the goswamis or swamis. You must hear from one who has control over six kinds of agitating agents: control of the mind, control of the tongue, control of anger, control of speaking, control of the genitals and control of the belly. One who has control over these six things is called dhira.

The Example of Lord Shiva

There is a poem by the great poet Kalidasa called Kumara-sambhava. The poem describes how Parvati killed herself in the Daksa-yajna, or the sacrifice conducted by Daksa, her father. Because of the circumstances surrounding Parvati’s death, Lord Shiva, her husband, was very angry. He left to engage in meditation. Later, when there was a fight between the demons and the demigods, the demigods wanted a general. They concluded that only a son born of Lord Shiva would be able to lead them in the battle. Lord Shiva was meditating naked. The demigods sent Parvati, reincarnated, to worship the Shiva-linga just to agitate him for sex. But he was not agitated. He was silent.

Kalidasa says this event shows that Shiva is the perfect example of dhira.Shiva is naked, and a young girl is worshiping and touching his genitals, but he is not agitated.

Dhira means there may be causes for agitation, but one does not become agitated. There may be very nice food, but still, my tongue shall not be agitated. There is a very nice girl or boy, but I shall not be agitated sexually. In this way, when you are able to control the six agitating elements, then you become dhira. Not that Lord Shiva had no sexual potency but was dhira. He had potency, but he was not agitated. That is the example. Similarly, Krishna danced with so many girls, but there was no sexual arousal. That is called dhira.

Here it is stated, iti Susruma dhiranam. You have to hear from such a person, a dhira. Then your knowledge will be perfect. If you hear from adhiranam, those who are not controlled, then it is useless knowledge. Here in the Isopanisad, the Vedic method hearing from self-controlled persons is given: iti Susruma dhiranam ye nas tad vicacaksire.

The student approaches the spiritual master and says, “I have heard knowledge from the Vedic authority. Now kindly explain it to me.” The teacher or the spiritual master does not invent something. He gives the same old thing as heard from Vedic authority. In the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna is again explaining the old thing to Arjuna.

So we have nothing to research. Everything is there. We simply have to hear from a person who is dhira, who is not agitated by the six agitating agents. That is the process of Vedic knowledge.

tad viddhi pranipatena
pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam
jnaninas tattva-darsinah

“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.” [Bhagavad-gita 4.34]

Always remember that we have to learn from one who is dhira, who has control over these agitating agents.

Thank you.