Incognito In The Kingdom Of Virāṭa

Incognito In The Kingdom Of Virāṭa


Founder-Ācārya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda


The following lecture on Mahabharata was given by His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami in Iskcon Radhadesh, Belgium, on 4 August 2011.

Hare Kṛṣṇa kīrtana.

Gaur Premānande Hari Hari bol.

namo oṁ vishnu paḍaya krishna preṣṭhāya bhūtale
śrīmate bhaktivedanta swami iti nāmine

namaste sārasvate deve gaura vāṇī pracāriṇe
nirviśeṣa śūnyavādi pāścātya deśa tāriṇe

Śrīla Prabhupāda Ki Jaya.

Hare Kṛṣṇa.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: So, yesterday we discussed up to the Pāṇḍavas ending their 12 years of exile in the forest. Twelve years of forest life and what was the condition after twelve years?

Devotees: One year incognito

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: To remain one year incognito. Incognito means ‘no one would be able to recognize them’ and if anyone of them was recognized then the term will repeat another twelve years of exile and one year in incognito. Actually they felt that the Pāṇḍavas are so famous and they are so well known and their activities are so unusual that it will be impossible for them to hide themselves. But they received the boon from Yamarāja. You remember that, that’s the last thing I discussed yesterday. Yamarāja, what boon did they get? Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja asked the benediction so that for this one year nobody could recognize them and Yamarāja consented. He said fine. And what were his blessings, Yamarāja’s blessings?

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Right. Even if you live in the middle of a city surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people, still they won’t be able to recognize you, even though you are not going to hide your identities, still they won’t be able to recognize you. But still he asked them to go to the Kingdom of Pañcāla which was the kingdom of King Virāṭa. And so the Pāṇḍavas decided, they sat together and they considered what will be their names. What kind of identity they will assume in the palace of Virāṭa, in the kingdom of Virāṭa. Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja decided to become an expert dice player.

Devotees: Haribol [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: His name would be Kaṅkā, a brāhmaṇa. Bhīma would assume the role of a cook.

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: His name would be Ballava. Arjuna, remember Arjuna’s curse by Urvaśī?

Devotees: Yes.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: That for one year he will become a eunuch. So, Arjuna decided to take this curse now. Indra told him that this curse will become a blessing because one year when you will be hiding your identity, then you will be assuming this curse and you will become a eunuch. So Arjuna became a eunuch and who would be known as Bṛhannala and he would be the dance teacher of the daughter of Virāṭa. And Nakula would become an expert horse trainer, a horse keeper. He would be in charge, he will assume the charge of Virāṭa’s stable, horses and his name would be Granthika and Sahadeva decided to become the in charge of Virāṭa’s gośālā. Virāṭa had hundred thousand cows. That was a big wealth those days. And his name was Tantrapala and Draupadī would assume the role of a hair dresser and beautician for the queen Sudeśanā, queen of Virāṭa. Her name was Sudeśanā. So in this way six of them decided to assume different roles and they went one by one to Virāṭa’s palace.

And in the mean time they decided to keep their weapons. They sent all the brāhmaṇas. They told Dhaumya to take all the brāhmaṇas to the kingdom of Pañcāla, the kingdom of king Drupada who was Draupadī’s father. All the brahamanas, now they are going on exile, so the brāhmaṇas can’t accompany them. Many brāhmaṇas were following them. Do you remember?  And they had this pot given by Sūryadeva. That pot could feed an unlimited number of guests. And they decided to send their chariots to Dvārakā, in Kṛṣṇa’s custody. Then they decided to tie their weapons, hide their weapons on top of a very big tree, next to the crematorium. Generally people don’t go to the crematorium so much. Only when people die they cremate the body, they go to the crematorium. At that time they do not have any other concerns besides cremating the body.

So that’s why they selected this particular place, this crematorium and then they selected a tree and they tied up all their weapons on the top of the tree. They put them together and put them on top of the tree. And then they also found a dead body there and they tied up the dead body also on the tree, so that the stench from the dead body will keep everybody away from there. So this way they actually kept up their weapons, took care of the brāhmaṇa guests and they went to king Virāṭa’s palace. Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja was the first to go and he introduced himself as Kaṅkā. And he told the king that he used to be a close friend of Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: And he used to be his companion in playing dice. And his appearance, his stature was so attractive that Virāṭa became very impressed and he said, “Yes you stay at my place, we will play dice together.” Then Bhīma came and introduced himself as Ballava and he was not only a cook, he introduced himself as a wrestler and he will entertain the king by wrestling with other wrestlers. And then Arjuna came as a eunuch and he said that he is expert in teaching dance and music. Virāṭa engaged him as the dance teacher for his daughter, the dance and music teacher. And he was indeed an expert dancer and musician, musician and dancer because he learnt dancing and music from Chitrasena. The Gandharvas are expert in music and dancing, in art of dancing and music. Chitrasena is the king of the Gandharvas. So you can well imagine how expert he must have been. Then Nakula came and identified himself as Granthika stable in charge, an expert in horse training and care taker of the horses. He was indeed a very expert keeper of horses. And Sahadeva went as the in charge of the Gośālā. And finally Draupadī came and Sudeśanā saw this beautiful woman from her balcony. But she was disheveled and her clothes were worned out. So she asked who she was and Draupadī told her that she was the expert hair dresser and she used to dress and take care of Draupadī. Draupadī identified herself as the maid servant of Draupadī. In this way, one by one they got their place in king Virāṭa’s palace.

Time went by, four months went by. Then there was a big festival in celebration of lord Brahmā. The wrestlers came from different parts of the world and there was one wrestler who was completely undefeatable. His name was Jīmūta. So he defeated one after another wrestler and this wrestling was terrible actually. The winner would kill the opponent; the winner would kill the opponent. And Jīmūta, after defeating quite a few wrestlers, he challenged “Is there anyone who wants to face me?” So Virāṭa, for Virāṭa it became a matter of prestige. Someone is challenging in his kingdom and there is no one and no wrestler actually stood up to fight up against him. So Virāṭa just looked at Ballava and so Ballava got the message. He just walked up to the arena. Who is Ballava?

Devotees: Bhīma.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Bhīma. So he went and confronted. A fierce battle started, a wrestling bout started. Both were very, very powerful. And after a long fight when Jīmūta now started to lose his strength… Now remember Bhīma’s tactic? When the winner would start to lose his strength, then Bhīma would pick him up and start to swing him overhead a hundred times and being spun around like… It’s not in slow motion [Laughter]

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Like really spinning, real fast overhead. Have you ever seen if you start rolling, if you start to spin what happens?

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: You feel uneasy. Being spun around like that, the person used to lose his consciousness. So at that time Bhīma would just smash him on the ground and kill him. So he and everyone were excited. And Virāṭa, especially he was very proud, “Yes my man won” and then Bhīma challenged other wrestlers also. No one was a match for Bhīma. And when there were no wrestlers to fight with Bhīma, Bhīma started to fight with lions and elephants. [Laughter]


His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: He was so powerful that with bare hands he would kill the lions, kill the wild elephants. These elephants are not tamed elephants. They are actually war elephants. They are huge and they are ferocious. So this was one exciting incident that took place at Virāṭa’s kingdom.

Then in this way 10 months went by and one day, Virāṭa’s commander in chief, he was actually the brother in law of Virāṭa. His name was… How many of you know? I am already hearing some whispers. Kīcaka. This was another very interesting episode. Kīcaka came to his sister’s palace, king’s palace and just happened to see Sairendri, Draupadī.  And just by seeing her, he became attracted and wanted her. So he asked his sister, “Who is this woman?” And she said she is Sairendri, she gave her introduction. Kīcaka said that he wanted her to become his lover. So he approached and Draupadī, Sairendri said,”Look I am already married. It is very sinful to approach somebody else’s wife. So please give up your idea.” So he said that, “Look in this kingdom I am the most powerful person. Even the king is under my control. So, you better surrender to me. Then you will get everything. I will give you everything. Just surrender to me.” Draupadī was completely adamant. Finally she said, “Be careful because I am married to five Gandharvas. They always protect me. If you try to force me, then they will come and kill you. So Kīcaka told his sister Sudeśanā to help him to get this woman. Sudeśanā said, “Okay, I will try.” And she was taking pity upon her brother also. So one day Sudeśanā told Draupadī to fetch some wine from her brother’s palace. So Sairendri said, “Look the way he is behaving, it is not safe for me to go to his palace.” Then she said, “No it’s alright. He won’t do anything. You just go and get this wine for me. He won’t dare to do anything.” Then Draupadī was forced to go because she couldn’t refuse and when she went, he started to make advances to her, Kīcaka. So she said, “Look I came to take the wine for your sister. So just give it to me.” He said, “Wine somebody else can take. Don’t worry. You stay here.” Then finally when he tried to force her, actually we can see this kṣatriya women were so strong, so powerful. Draupadī pushed him. Can you imagine? He was the army general? This people fight with lions and elephants. And she was so powerful. When she pushed he just fell on the ground and she ran. She ran into the king’s court. And at that time Yudhiṣṭhira and Bhīma also were there. And Kīcaka ran after her. He came in the court and right in front of the king and Yudhiṣṭhira and Bhīma, he caught hold of her by her hair. And as a result of that she fell on the ground. And Kīcaka kicked her. Bhīma was…

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Bhīma was… but Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja controlled him. With signs he told him, “Don’t use your temper. Because if you lose your temper what will happen? Everybody will recognize us. And then as a result of that we have to repeat our term for 12 years in the forest.” And Draupadī appealed that what kind of king is he? In front of the king this person is insulting me this way. An innocent woman is being insulted this way. And look at his ministers; look at his people in his court; what happened to them? They don’t have any sense of justice; they don’t have any sense of morality that they don’t protest. So at that time king Virāṭa told that, “Look I do not know what actually happened. Without actually knowing the background I cannot give the judgment, I cannot make my judgment. I cannot give my decision.” So then Draupadī elaborately narrated what actually happened. And then all the ministers started to praise Draupadī and started to criticize Kīcaka. But Kīcaka was such a powerful general and Virāṭa was depending upon Kīcaka’s strength and Kīcaka’s marshal expertise. Virāṭa could not take much of action there. So being insulted in this way… Anyway they told her to go back to her place but she was burning with anger that this person has insulted her.

Then one day, one night she went to Bhīma and told him that he must take revenge. So they hatched a plan. Bhīma himself also was very, very upset with this already. So they hatched a plan that Draupadī would give him the indication that she is now surrendering to him. And she would be there one night. She would be there in a newly built dance hall. And at night nobody would be there in the dance hall, so she would be waiting for him there. But instead of her whom will he find [Laughter]?

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: He will find Bhīma. So this person, Kīcaka became very excited. That finally this beautiful woman is going to surrender to him. So on the designated night he went to that place, that newly built dance hall. Nobody was there. And he saw that somebody was lying on the bed. So he approached the bed, approached that person. But who came out of the bed? His death personified [Laughter]. He also was a powerful person. So, both of them fought for a long time. And finally he succumbed to Bhīma’s onslaught. Bhīma was so angry that even after killing him, he just kept on hitting him and he literally made a mince out of it. Not only his flesh, he minced his bones also and as a result of that, Kīcaka’s body became a lump of flesh, just a lump. Nobody could recognize…, he didn’t have a head, he didn’t have a hand [Laughter], didn’t have legs. So Bhīma gave vent to his anger in such a way. And then Bhīma relented. Draupadī  went and woke up the guards of the dance hall and announced what happened to Kīcaka. She told them he tried to make an approach on her and her Gandharva husband came and killed him.

So the king came and everybody saw Kīcaka. His body was just a lump laying there, no hands, no feet, no head, everything has just been pounded into one lump. So they had to cremate Kīcaka. But Kīcaka had 105 brothers and very close associates, 105 close relatives and associates. So they became so upset that this woman had been the cause of his death. They decided to burn her also along with Kīcaka. Their point was that Kīcaka left his body desiring this woman, so he was unsatisfied in his last thought, so let this woman also go along with him. So they tied up Draupadī and they were also carrying her to the crematorium. So she called out, cried out about her dangerous situation. So Bhīma heard that cry and they had, the five of them had five names with which they were addressed. Those were the symbolic names. So when they heard these that they were addressed with these names, Bhīma could immediately understand what was happening. So while they were carrying the dead body to the crematorium, Bhīma took another road and came on the middle of the way. He took a tree, a huge tree, he uprooted the tree and broke the branches and the leaves. And he was waiting there. Along with the dead body and Draupadī as they came there, Bhīma confronted them and he alone killed these 105 associates of Kīcaka and others also ran away from there. So now everyone was afraid, this must be the Gandharva who protects Draupadī, caused the death of his 105 associates of Kīcaka. So instead of Draupadī going with Kīcaka [Laughter] his 105 associates went with Kīcaka [Laughter]

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Now one year had almost come to an end. Duryodhana sent his spies all over the world to find out where the Pāṇḍavas were, to identify the Pāṇḍavas. But all the spies came back. Duryodhana was extremely upset that they haven’t been able to find them. He started to abuse them, chastise them, curse them. And at that time Bhīṣma made one point, a very salient point. Bhīṣma said, “The way to recognize where the Pāṇḍavas are, is to find a place where there is real prosperity. Because wherever the Pāṇḍavas are there is going to be real prosperity. So that way you will find the Pāṇḍavas. So he gave that indication. That would have been the way, not directly see them, recognize them but through this indication only one could figure out where they actually are. The place where there is prosperity, unusual prosperity. That is actually what happens where the pious people live. Where the pious people live there is unusual prosperity. The real prosperity comes from piety.

Sometimes Prabhupāda used to praise Americans. Those days that: “Americans are very pious.” Because America actually reached the height of their prosperity at that time, mid sixties or mid seventies. Although Prabhupāda praised them what was the really prosperity of America? It was: Prabhupāda went there. But Prabhupāda actually gave them the credit. That the sign of piety, do you know what is the result of piety? The result of piety, the result of pious activities manifests in four ways: one is opulence, knowledge, beauty and birth in high class family. Due to piety one is born in a high class family, one gets beautiful body, one gets wisdom and one gets opulence. Janma aiśvarya śruta śrībhiḥ. So, in order to achieve these things, what will an intelligent person do? An intelligent person will simply act in a pious way. Therefore in Vedic culture we find that people act in a very pious ways. Generally people would not act in an impious way. Only those who are in total ignorance or those who are very wicked, they act in an impious way. Otherwise in Vedic culture people were trained to act in a pious way. Just as wealth, the real, what is real wealth? Real wealth is actually piety, pious deeds. It’s subtle wealth. Money or gold and all these, they are gross wealth. But the subtle wealth is piety. And what is the most pious of all activities? What is the most pious activity?

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: To become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. To serve Kṛṣṇa is the most pious activity. It can be attained by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. How does one become a devotee in this age of Kali?

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: By chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. So you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and get unusual piety. So have implicit faith in the holy name and chant. And you will see the result yourself. All your desires will be fulfilled. And unusual good fortune will be bestowed upon you. So, that was Bhīṣma’s point to them.

In the mean time the news came that Kīcaka is dead. So Duryodhana’s ally and friend, the king of the Trigarta, his name was Suśarmā, he decided to attack Virāṭa’s kingdom. Because of Kīcaka they could not defeat Virāṭa. But now Kīcaka is dead, they thought this is an opportunity to attack their kingdom and they planned that from one side Suśarmā with his Trigarta army will attack Virāṭa and from another side the next day, the Kauravas, Duryodhana and his army will attack and take away the cows. Because as I mentioned, Virāṭa had an inconceivable wealth of cows. So they decided to steal the cows. So then they acted on that, according to that plan. The Trigarta king, Trigarta attacked Virāṭa.

Virāṭa’s kingdom, now without a general, he was in great difficulty. He made his brother Śatāni into the commander. Two other brothers he made them into two generals, Satanik and Makhiraksa. At the same time he, at that time completely desperate, he decided to also include Kaṅkā, Ballava, Granthik and Tantrapala. He told his brother to give them also a chariot, give them also four chariots. Let them also fight because it seems that they are not brāhmaṇas, they are kṣatriyas. From their acts it seems that they are kṣatriyas. So Satanik and Makhraksa requested Kaṅkā, Ballava, Granthik and Tantrapala to fight also, to come into the battle. They were happy. Kṣatriyas love to fight [Laughter]. They fought.

A terrible battle took place and the fight was so terrible, even after the sunset they kept on fighting, even at night they kept on fighting. Eventually Suśarmā killed Virāṭa’s horses. So then Virāṭa jumped out of his chariot and he was running, so then Suśarmā captured him, pulled him on his chariot and all the soldiers became so upset, became so disheartened. They stopped to fight. Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja when he heard that the king has been taken captive he told Bhima to go and rescue the king.

And he told Nakula and Sahadeva to guard two sides of his chariot. So in this way they went. So naturally a terrible battle took place between the Suśarmā king or Trigarta king, Suśarmā and Bhīma. Oh yes, Bhīma was about to take a tree. That was Bhīma’s favorite weapon. So Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja told him not to fight like that. If he fights like that, then they will recognize Bhīma. So fight in just a regular way [Laughter].

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: And in that regular fight Bhīma defeated that king also. He rescued king Virāṭa and took Suśarmā as a captive. And he just kept on beating him, like when he got him, he just kept on hitting him and then he finally took him to Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja. Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja told him: “Don’t kill him. Let him go.” So he was released. Virāṭa was naturally very much indebted to Bhīma, Ballava.

In the mean time, the next day, the Kauravas came with their army and stole the cows. Now the entire army is fighting the battle in the South. And now at this time to confront the attack from the north there was no one in the kingdom. The entire army had gone to fight. The only person who was left in the palace was Uttara, the son of Virāṭa. And Uttara kept on…, when the news came to him that the cows have been stolen by the Kauravas, he just kept on lamenting, “I don’t have someone to drive the chariot. If there was somebody who could drive my chariot then I could have taught them a big lesson. I would have finished all these Kauravas.” So this is a natural spirit of a kṣatriya actually. Kṣatriyas are not afraid. But he was just a boy. He was bragging like that. At that time Bṛhannala told Draupadī to tell them that he knows how to drive a chariot and he used to – once he drove the chariot for Arjuna. So he can drive the chariot. So Draupadī went and announced that Bṛhannala, the dance teacher, is also a chariot driver. So Uttara said, “Fine let us go.” At first he was a little reluctant that a eunuch would be driving his chariot. But then finally he agreed. But when they came to the enemy line, when they saw the enemies from a distance, Uttara became so afraid. It was like an ocean, an unending ocean of soldiers. Now alone how is he going to confront them? So he just ran. He jumped out of the chariot and ran. Arjuna ran after him and caught him. He said, “Come you drive the chariot I will fight.” Then he said, “How can you fight with them? You are just a eunuch.” He said, “Don’t worry about that. I will fight, you drive the chariot.” And he told him, finally he told him that he was Arjuna.

In the mean time the one year has elapsed. So, that’s why Arjuna could reveal his identity. He said, “I am Arjuna.” Otherwise Uttara won’t be able to fight. He will be worried. He will be afraid. Therefore Arjuna… At first he couldn’t believe he was Arjuna because Arjuna is the most celebrated personality at that time. Like Arjuna in my palace, living in my palace as a eunuch as a dance teacher, teaching women how to dance. That’s not the business of Arjuna. And so he asked: “What are the ten names. “Tell me, Arjuna has ten names. What are those names?” So then?

Devotee: Pārtha.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: One name is Pārtha and…

Devotee: Dhanañjaya

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Dhanañjaya. Very good.

Devotee: Guḍākeśa.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Guḍākeśa

Devotee: Phālguna

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Phālguna. Yes. Then?

Devotee: Pārtha.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Pārtha has been said. Sañjaya told Pārtha.

Devotee: Savyasācī.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Savyasācī. Very good. Very good. So these are… And one name is Jiṣṇu. Another name he has is Kirītī. Another name is Vibhatsa. Another name is Svetavahana. Another name is, so two are left. Another name is Vijaya and the other one is Kṛṣṇa. Arjuna also has a name Kṛṣṇa. So he became convinced that this is Arjuna. So he asked him. Arjuna told him, “Look, don’t be afraid. You just stay firm on the chariot. Just you drive the chariot, I will fight.” And then Arjuna took him to that Śālmalī tree where the weapons were and he got him to climb up the tree and got the weapons.  Arjuna showed him those weapons. And he was awestruck to see these amazing celestial weapons. He saw Arjuna’s Gāṇḍīva and said, “Well I have heard so much about this Gāṇḍīva.” And Arjuna told the history of Gāṇḍīva. Originally Gāṇḍīva was the bow of Lord Śiva. Lord Śiva gave it to Indra. Then Indra gave it to the Moongod, Somadeva. Somadeva gave it to Varuṇa and Varuṇa kept it for 100 years and then gave it to? Who did Varuṇa give it to? Arjuna. Do you remember? I am sorry. He gave it to Agni. Do you remember how Arjuna got Gāṇḍīva? Who remembers?

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes.

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: At the time of the burning of the Khāṇḍava forest. Very good. Arjuna told that he needed a bow, he needed a chariot, he needed weapons. So Agni then went to Varuṇa and got it from Varuṇa. And he gave it to Arjuna. Arjuna had the bow for 65 years. So 65 years since the Khāṇḍava forest was burnt.

At that point in time Arjuna got into the chariot while Uttara was driving it. They came and in the mean time the Kurus suspected that this is Arjuna. Because apart from Arjuna no one would ever dare to confront such an army. From a distance they could see that somebody is riding, jumping out of the chariot and running. And then he is getting back. So seeing that Kṛpācārya decided to send Duryodhana back to the palace. Because Arjuna’s main aim will be Duryodhana. And Duryodhana will be in difficulty. So he divided the army into four. One fourth he sent with Duryodhana to take him to the palace. One fourth to protect the cows and take them to Hastināpura. And half of the army would face with Arjuna. When Arjuna saw that, he realized that now Duryodhana is escaping. So he went and he told Uttara to take them to the other road to Hastināpura and drive that, not facing the army which is going their way. When they were going that way they could understand that Arjuna suspected Duryodhana escaped. Therefore he is going to give him a chase. Therefore the entire army went with Duryodhana to meet with Duryodhana and confront Uttara. So, when Arjuna came to confront Duryodhana, Karṇa came to protect Duryodhana. And in that battle Karṇa´s brother died. Arjuna killed Karṇa’s brother and then Karṇa also was so badly injured that he escaped from the battle field.

So anyway the point is Arjuna singlehandedly dealt with the entire Kaurava army and then finally what did Arjuna do? Arjuna released the sammoham mantra, a weapon which he received from Indra that makes everyone fall asleep. So as he released the weapon everyone fell asleep, they became like statues. They just stood there. So when Uttara was bragging that he would go and defeat the Kauravas, his sister, Uttarā told that when you go there, bring all those nice silk and ornaments for me to decorate my toys. So, when they all fell asleep, Uttara just went and took all their clothes and ornaments. And they were just standing there in their underwear. [Laughter].

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: And Arjuna told not to go near Bhīṣma because Bhīṣma knows how to counteract this. So now when they were fighting, Duryodhana became very excited when he found out this is Arjuna. So he was very excited that now we got him. But then Bhīṣma made the calculation and told them to his utter dismay, Duryodhana’s utter dismay that one year just elapsed, just the day before it was the last day of the one year, one year of exile. But Duryodhana kept on, Duryodhana and Karṇa kept on arguing: “No, no, one year did not elapse but anyway Bhīṣma told them: “According to my calculation it has elapsed.” So then the cowherd people went to the king with the news that Uttara has defeated the entire Kaurava army. So Virāṭa was very proud. “See my son has defeated the entire Kaurava army.” But Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja, Kaṅkā kept on telling, “O that has been possible because Bṛhannala was with him.” And the king became very upset. He said: “You don’t want to give credit to my son for defeating them. You are giving the credit to this eunuch.” But Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja kept on saying, “Yes, it is because of Bṛhannala that he was able to defeat them.”

So at that time king Virāṭa became so upset that he took the dice and… The dice are generally, it’s a triangular, long kind of thing made of ivory and he hit him on the head. And so Arjuna, in the mean time Bṛhannala came back.  But Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja hid his thing, he didn’t allow… Because Arjuna had a vow that anybody who causes Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja’s blood to drop on the ground, he would kill him. So just to protect Virāṭa. Anyway so Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja tried to cover his wound and Arjuna came. Then Uttara told the whole thing what actually happened. The king was bragging that his son has defeated all the kings, the Kauravas, the entire Kaurava army. But Uttara then came in and he told that actually it was Arjuna and the king became very embarrassed. And they got to know that these are the Pāṇḍavas. These five brothers were there in the palace and Bṛhannala is actually Arjuna, Kaṅkā is Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja and Ballava is Bhīma, Granthik is Nakula and Tantrapala is Sahadeva and Sairendri is Draupadī.

At that time Virāṭa wanted to offer his kingdom to Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja, “You take my kingdom.” Already he is feeling very thankful to Ballava and Kaṅkā for rescuing him… Because he was already taken captive but they rescued him. And now they got to know that these are actually the Pāṇḍavas who were living in the palace for one year. Then as an expression of his gratitude he wanted to offer his daughter Uttarā to Arjuna. But Arjuna said: “No, I can’t marry your daughter because I was a teacher. The teacher is like a father. The teacher is the father, so how can the father marry the daughter. Rather I will accept your daughter as my daughter in law and he decided to get Uttarā married to Abhimanyu.”

So the news reached Dvārakā and Abhimanyu came and the wedding took place in Virāṭa’s palace, Virāṭa’s kingdom. A grand celebration. In the mean time Vedic ceremonies, all the allies, kings, those kings who were in alliance with the Pāṇḍavas like Drupada, Ṛṣabha and other kings came. Also Kṛṣṇa.

And so it was decided that now this period is over. That condition has been fulfilled. 12 years of exile and 1 year incognito. Now they will have to give the kingdom back. So, the messenger was sent, one brāhmaṇa was sent to Dhṛtarāṣṭra saying, conveying that proposal, “Please give our kingdom back.” At that time Dhṛtarāṣṭra said, “That in a few days we will send the reply through our messenger.” These messengers are actually just the carrier of the messages. They simply dictate like a tape-recorder. They simply say what they have been told to say. They were completely neutral. So few days back whom did they send? They sent Sañjaya, Dhṛtarāṣṭra’s secretary. He is a brāhmaṇa. Sañjaya went with a proposal that, “You have been living in the forest for 12 years, so live the rest of your lives in forest. What’s the point in coming back and claiming your kingdom? Because Duryodhana is not going to give it back. And it will automatically lead to a family feud. So you are so noble, you are so generous, so forget about your part of the kingdom and go back to the forest and let the family heritage remain intact.”

So that was the sum and substance of the message. But Kṛṣṇa actually intervened. Kṛṣṇa said, Kṛṣṇa responded. He said, “The kṣatriya’s duty is to have his claim over his property. And kṣatriyas don’t live in the forest. Kṣatriyas live in the kingdom. So if you don’t give it back then be prepared for a war.” So Sañjaya carried this message back and at the same time when asked Sañjaya also told about the prosperity, about the army, about them. So Duryodhana became afraid. So in anyway preparations were being made. Bhīṣma told Duryodhana, “Give back their share of kingdom and avoid this family feud.” But Duryodhana, as usual, he would not listen. Then both the parties, both the sides started to gather their strength and who did they go to? Duryodhana and Arjuna? They went to Kṛṣṇa.

Devotee: In Dvārakā?

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes in Dvārakā. And Duryodhana arrived before Arjuna did and there was a seat near Kṛṣṇa’s head. So Duryodhana sat on that seat. When Arjuna came, Kṛṣṇa was still sleeping. So, Arjuna sat on the bed at Kṛṣṇa’s feet. So when Kṛṣṇa woke up, he saw Arjuna. He said, “Arjuna when did you come?” And at that time Duryodhana jumped up and he said, “I came before. You should respond to me first.” [Laughter]

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: But Kṛṣṇa said, “See, as I opened my eyes, first I just saw him so that’s why.” And Duryodhana said, “No you have to side with me because I came first. “  Then Kṛṣṇa said, “Look I can see both of you came to Me asking for my help for including Me in the battle. So I have to satisfy both the parties and the condition will be: there will be Me who won’t touch any weapon nor fight the battle. Just I will be inactive in that battle. I won’t fight the battle. And on the other side there will be My entire army. So the choice is yours. Whom do you want? And since Arjuna is younger I will give Arjuna the choice to ask first.” Arjuna said, “Kṛṣṇa I want You.” And Duryodhana was happy [Laughter]

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Kṛṣṇa is not going to fight the battle whereas His army, it’s an army of ten million. So he thought that he was the winner. Then Duryodhana went to Balarāma and asked him to side with him. Balarāma said, “I won’t side with anyone.” He said, “I will stay neutral. I won’t side with anyone.” Then he went to Kṛtavarmā and Kṛtavarmā agreed to side with the Kauravas. Although he was a Yadu and naturally Kṛṣṇa’s ally, Kṛṣṇa’s relative, but Kṛtavarmā actually decided to join the Kaurava’s side. And in the mean time everyone tried to avoid this battle. Bhīṣma tried; Droṇa tried; Gāndhārī tried; then Vyāsadeva tried; so all the senior members at that time tried to stop the battle. But Duryodhana wouldn’t listen to anybody. He was completely adamant. Then finally Kṛṣṇa decided to go. Pāṇḍavas told him that, “Look don’t go. He will try to harm You.” Kṛṣṇa said, “It’s alright. Because at least it is My duty to at least give them the chance so that no one will ever say that I instigated this battle. It must be proved, it must be established, it must go in record that we tried every possible means to avoid this battle.

So Duryodhana got to know that Kṛṣṇa was coming.  So he made all kinds of wonderful arrangements to receive Kṛṣṇa. The best palace was Dusasana’s palace. So the arrangement was made that Kṛṣṇa would stay in Dusasana’s palace. All royal arrangements were naturally there but when Kṛṣṇa came and He had some initial exchange and then when they invited Him to stay there, Kṛṣṇa said, “No, I would stay rather with Vidura.” And He rejected their proposal for prasāda. And whatever prasāda they have [Laughter]

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Kṛṣṇa refused to have. Duryodhana said, “Why are You refusing? You came and we are inviting You, why are You refusing?” Kṛṣṇa said, “Look I came as a messenger and until My mission is accomplished, I am not going to take your food. That’s why I am not taking. Then Kṛṣṇa went to Vidura’s palace. Kuntī was there. So, Kṛṣṇa had some exchange with Kuntī. This time Kuntī was very, very strong. She said, “Please tell my children that they should fight this battle and gain their kingdom back. All the advantage that they have taken all these years should not repeat again. Yudhiṣṭhira is very humble, very meek, very generous, and very righteous but one should not allow the enemies to take advantage of one’s goodness. That is not just. Wicked enemies should be treated appropriately. So in this way Kuntī was actually expressing her willingness to have this battle take place.

In the mean time, when Kṛṣṇa went with the proposal, Kṛṣṇa gave them a proposal, “Just give them five villages, give them five villages and the Pāṇḍavas will be satisfied. The five brothers will have five villages. That will be fine.” Because a kṣatriya has to have his own place. That’s a kṣatriya. A kṣatriya must rule; kṣatriya is a leader. Leader must have his followers and a kṣatriya rules like that. If nothing, if not a big kingdom, at least he should have five villages to rule. So that is the bare minimum a kṣatriya needs. So he said, “Just give them five villages and avoid this battle, avoid this family battle, family feud.” But Duryodhana’s response to that was that, “I won’t give a piece of land the size of the tip of needle without war.”

Mainly because he was so convinced, he was so confident that he was going to win the battle. So the battle now became inevitable but they hatched a conspiracy. Kṛṣṇa was speaking very strongly and pointing out what would be the natural outcome of that war. Vidura was proposing and Kṛṣṇa consented that, “That Dhṛtarāṣṭra should banish Duryodhana and put him in prison along with Karṇa and Śakuni, because he was the king.” The king could do that.  Arrest anybody and put him in jail. But Duryodhana angrily walked out of the assembly.

But when he walked out, he made, they hatched a plan: “Now that Kṛṣṇa is alone, let’s capture Kṛṣṇa and let’s put Kṛṣṇa in prison and if we can do that, then the Pāṇḍavas will become weak because the Pāṇḍavas’ real strength is Kṛṣṇa.” So they made that plan and they came with all their soldiers and they tried to arrest Kṛṣṇa. At that time Kṛṣṇa showed His Universal Form. And everyone became afraid. And then Kṛṣṇa just walked out of the palace. Sātyaki was there. Sātyaki could suspect. Sātyaki was suspecting and he warned Kṛṣṇa and he said, “This is what they are going to do.” Kṛṣṇa said, “Don’t worry.” And then when they surrounded Him to arrest Him, Kṛṣṇa showed them the Universal Form.” In this way, now the battle is inevitable; nothing could stop the battle. And the Pāṇḍavas became ready with their allies and Kauravas.

Before the battle started, one day Duryodhana asked Bhīṣma, “How long will it take him to annihilate the Pāṇḍava side?” Bhīṣma said that if he used all his strength and all his celestial weapons, it would take him one month. He asked Droṇācārya. Droṇācārya also said it would take him one month. He asked Kṛpācārya. Kṛpācārya also said it would take him two months. He asked Aśvatthāmā and Aśvatthāmā told that it will take him 10 days. And then he asked Karṇa. Karṇa said it will take him five days. Bhīṣma laughed [Laughter]. He said, “You can brag only until you have to confront the Pāṇḍavas.” And he started to tell him, “So many times you ran away from the battle; so many times you have been defeated by Arjuna and now you are saying that you will annihilate the Pāṇḍava army in five days, defeat them in five days.” So the spies took that message to… At that time Karṇa being insulted in this way by Bhīṣma, he started to insult Bhīṣma and he took a vow that it is either Bhīṣma or him. If Bhīṣma is in the battle field, he is not going to fight the battle. Bhīṣma said, “Fine, we can deal with the situation without you.” And at the same time Bhīṣma made it clear also that the Pāṇḍavas are undefeatable. Droṇācārya told that beforehand also. And he reminded also that, Droṇācārya reminded that Drstadyumna had been born to kill him. He appeared from the sacrificial fire to kill him. And so anyway the spies carried the message to the Pāṇḍavas that this is what they said. Then Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja asked Arjuna, “Arjuna how long will it take you to annihilate the Kaurava army?” Arjuna’s reply was, “With Kṛṣṇa in my side, with Kṛṣṇa with me, I can annihilate the three worlds in no time [Laughter].”

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: So that is the absolute reality. When the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His devotee are there, then victory is inevitable. Kṛṣṇa can do anything. That is what a devotee does. Devotee’s understanding is: ‘Kṛṣṇa can do anything.’ It’s not that he will annihilate the three worlds in a moment but Kṛṣṇa can make it happen through him, that is a devotee’s understanding. So, now the battle is inevitable. And Pāṇḍavas are getting ready, collecting their strength. So that we will, the battle scene we will discuss tomorrow. Today we will end here. Any question? Yes.

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Take the mike.

Devotee: Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja. First question is the wrestling match you mentioned about Brahmā’s celebration

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes, Brahmā utsava. Brahmotsava, a celebration to glorify Brahmā.

Devotee: It is there an injunction that … Brahmā was a gṛhastha…

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: It was not a worship of Brahmā. But it was like a fair, a festival, not worship. Brahmā didn’t get any worship.

Devotee: Second question: we today … protect irreligious principles. In Mahābhārata they were wine… the so is it something for …

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes, the kṣatriyas were allowed to indulge in these activities. Because you see that rajo rāgātmakaṁ viddhi tṛṣṇā-sanga-samudbhavam, the mode of passion increases the desire to enjoy the material nature. Therefore Kṣatriyas are allowed these activities. But in the age of Kali there are no kṣatriyas. Therefore they are forbidden. Not for śūdras. If the śūdra has to eat meat he has to go to the forest and kill the animal and eat it. Even the kṣatriyas, they wouldn’t buy it from a supermarket.

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: And at least, they may eat meat, but never I mean one could even eat dog’s meat but not cow’s meat.

Devotee: I have a question. Balarāma was asked to fight but he said he won’t take either side. I also … Balarāma was told by the Brahmins to go to pilgrimage because….. to vent his anger in a situation like this … what is the excuse for not taking side?

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: No. Balarāma decided to go on pilgrimage. He saw both the sides are his family. So he decided not to take part with any of the sides, either of the sides and go on pilgrimage. So that’s why Balarāma did not fight.

Devotee: What about the Brahmins telling …….

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: I don’t remember that. Like my understanding is Balarāma decided on his own to go on pilgrimage. And besides that, you know, like if the brāhmaṇas said that, that’s another part of the pastimes. But does Balarāma have to listen to the brāhmaṇas? [Laughter] Or he can decide for himself? Anyway these are pastimes. Yes Sarasvatī.

Devotee: Mahārāja, ….when Kṛṣṇa Consciousness will become more prominent, do you foresee the revival of kṣatriya caste or how do you… Because nowadays the world is so full of very nāsty kind of weapons and is very unvedicy. Do you foresee that there will be a revival?

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: It has to be. You see, just consider Prabhupāda’s statement that what he has done is 50 percent. The other 50 percent is to establish varṇāśramaVarṇāśrama means kṣatriya’s ruling. And Kṣatriya’s ruling means the government they are kṣatriyas in government. Like democratic society is a hodge-podge. Democracy as Prabhupāda used to say is demon crazy. And the simple common consideration is that mass is ignorant. Now can the ignorant mass wisely decide who is going to be their leader? Like when there is an ignorant man, like say in a primary school, do the students have the right to select their teacher and if that happens, what will happen to the education system?

Devotee: Fall apart.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Fall apart. So that’s what is happening in today’s society. The ignorant man is selecting their leader. Like people, those who do not have any quality, those who do not have any qualification, those who don’t have any expertise, those who don’t have any knowledge, they are asked to do something that they don’t know, they don’t have the knowledge or experience or qualification. Sometimes we make a proposal or sometimes we just make a point. Will you fly the aircraft, airplane, if the pilot has been appointed by election? Will you risk flying in that airplane? Now, if you can’t risk someone flying the plane who doesn’t have the ability, so what to speak of ruling a nation which is million times more complex than flying an airplane. So democracy has to go and Kṛṣṇa Consciousness has to prevail and Kṛṣṇa consciousness will have two aspects: one is the social aspect, the other is the spiritual aspect. The social aspect of Kṛṣṇa Consciousness is varṇāśramaVarṇāśrama means kṣatriya’s ruling.  Brāhmaṇas are not interested in controlling or come to power or leadership but kṣatriyas, they are interested and they are powerful, they are capable of doing that, they are trained to do this.

So varṇāśrama has to prevail. That reminds me, the other day I was in Switzerland, I was just sitting with some devotees and I asked them, if you are given a chance to do anything you want and you will be able do it, you can do anything you want, and you have seven days to make the world Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, what will you do? Anyway different devotees came up with different ideas but my point was to take over all the governments of this world. Then what happens? When you take over the government, the government can make the law and everybody has to follow and if one doesn’t follow, put him in the prison, right? And the government can make it a law that everybody has to chant sixteen rounds,

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: [Laughter] Everybody has to follow the four regulative principles and if you don’t want to then you will be given the warnings, you will be given the opportunities to rectify, but if you don’t, then either we will put you in the prison or throw you out in the forest. You can’t live in a civilized world. That is how the Vedic culture was. If you want to eat meat and drink alcohol, then go to the forest, live in the forest. There you hunt animals and eat them. No one will tell you.  Even the kṣatriyas, when they have to eat meat, they have to go in the forest. So that means ruling is the controlling of power. Real power comes by ruling the kingdom. Now if the entire earth planet is ruled in this way by one government that wants to establish Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, can’t we establish Kṛṣṇa Consciousness overnight? The …government law and if somebody doesn’t want to, then he will be put in prison.

We can give one such example; just you know an example for the sake of example. The former prime minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew, he was actually the father of Singapore nation. And Singapore, when Singapore and Malaysia got divided, Singapore got their freedom or they became an independent state, he became the prime minister and at that time Singapore was in a mess. It was full of gangster’s, full of drug addicts, drug trafficking. What did he do, when he came to power? He gave seven days to surrender illegal weapons. And if somebody did not, he made it clear that they will have death sentence. And those who did not surrender he just crushed them. Drug addiction, if anyone is caught with drugs he will get death sentence. If one is caught with illegal ammunition, he will get a life imprisonment and go to Singapore and see the country today. So this is the power the government has, but the ruler has to be qualified. He has to rule with a – ruler has to rule with an iron fist. Anyway, yes.

Devotee: Hare Kṛṣṇa Guru Mahārāja. What is the difference between piety and sukṛti?

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Piety and sukṛti is the same thing. Sukṛti means ‘good action’. Good action leads to piety. But generally sukṛti, the word sukṛti is used in spiritual sense. Like in Sanskrit there are two things, two expressions: puṇya and sukṛtiPuṇya is generally piety. The result of piety is material but the result of sukṛti is spiritual. Okay. Yes

Devotee: Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja. I just have three questions….. Mahārāja you said before that Kṛṣṇa showed His Universal Form to Duryodhana while Duryodhana was trying to capture Him. But how did Duryodhana see as Kṛṣṇa … His Universal Form to pure devotees

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes, but Kṛṣṇa can show it to whoever He wants to. Only thing is pure devotees recognize it and impure individuals don’t. You know what was Duryodhana’s reaction to that? O He just showed some magical feat, some magical feat because if Duryodhana recognized that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Almighty Supreme Lord then how could he not surrender to Him. Another way of looking at it is as I say, līlās are dramas. The ultimate purpose must be accomplished, that is the objective. So Duryodhana had to fight. The Battle of Kurusetra had to happen. Duryodhana had to be the way he did because the role is already cast.

Devotee: My second question was about fear. Is that fear we have is due to …..

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Fear is due to the weakness of heart.  Śūdram hṛdaya  daurbalya. When the heart becomes weak, we will be afraid, we feel nervous; but when the heart is strong, no fear. And when you have Kṛṣṇa in your heart, no fear. Okay.

Devotee: My third question is about dealings. How can a devotee practice Kṛṣṇa Consciousness if he or she has not any physical devotee association?

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: How can one practice Kṛṣṇa Consciousness …

Devotee: If he or she has no physical devotee association, sādhu saṅga in the area? How ….

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Make devotees and have sādhu saṅga,

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: preach; make devotees; like in the early days devotees went. New devotees, young Americans, boys and girls, they went to a new place and what did they do? They preached; they made devotees; they established temples; in this way they spread Kṛṣṇa Consciousness. Devotee must, he must preach. If you want association, create that association. If it is not there, create it. Okay. Yes…

Devotee: Guru Mahārāja if you can elaborate a little more on 10 names of Arjuna.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: There is no time for elaborating.

Devotee: I have one more question.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes.

Devotee: ……where Kṛṣṇa is saying He is first showing this Universal Form to Arjuna. Now you are saying that ……………………

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Who said that he is showing the spiritual Form to Arjuna. What was Kṛṣṇa’s other forms? They are material.

Devotee: No Guru Mahārāja my question is

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Kṛṣṇa showed Viśvarūpa before also. This is not the first time that he showed Viśvarūpa. Kṛṣṇa showed Viśvarūpa to Kuntī, I mean Yaśodāmayī first when he was a little baby. Before the battle of Kurusetra He showed it to Duryodhana and those who were assembled in the court. Yes another hand went up there. O Vṛndā

Devotee: Hare Kṛṣṇa Guru Mahārāja. How long does the sleeping …

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: How long does

Devotee: sleeping

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: O I see. As long as the effect is not withdrawn.

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes

Devotee: Hare Kṛṣṇa Guru Mahārāja……

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: What’s that?

Devotee: ……Bṛhannala. He faced with the Kaurava army and he defeated them and we should understand that. So why in the battle of Kurusetra was Arjuna so overwhelmed when he faced the Kauravas?

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: He was not overwhelmed with fear. He was overwhelmed with emotions that he has to… That time it was a consideration of killing them. This battle is that both the sides are going to fight till they conquer the other. That means you know I mean it’s not just some sort of side encounter. This is the real encounter. Do or die. So that was the consideration is that I have to kill them, whereas that time he didn’t kill them.

Devotee: …..the greatest pious activity is to be a devotee and chant. But chanting is beyond the mode of goodness.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes pure chanting is in pure goodness. Pure chanting is transcendental.

Devotee: [inaudible]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: What is..

Devotee: [inaudible]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: No, that is just an English consideration. Its benefit is spiritual. In English there is no definite expression like in Sanskrit. Sanskrit has two expressions: puṇya and sukṛti. Like ajñāta sukṛti. So puṇya is piety which means the result is material and sukṛti is spiritual that brings us closer to the spiritual sky. Yes Rāmānanda.

Devotee:  Guru Mahārāja… [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Not really [Laughter]

Devotees: [Laughter]

Devotee: ….[Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Okay I got your point.

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: that beginning I thought when you said beginning I thought beginning of this retreat.

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Is it a question or a comment

Devotee: That’s my question. Is it not like that or I would like to have your comment.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: You see the Iskcon movement is new, therefore it is going through different phases and eventually it will come to the perfected platform, perfect platform. It will take time. It won’t happen overnight. Like anything takes time and you have to give it the time and go through the process. Like when you make bread, right? Like you have to get the flour, you have to make the dough, you have to give it a shape, then you have to put it in the oven, then you have to cool it down, then only it can be served on a plate. Like if we can’t expect that in no time just the flour will become bread. So the process is necessary and not only Iskcon, you know over a period of time it’s happening. Like Caitanya Mahāprabhu left, movement went through a …..then the movement became infested by the sahajiyās and Mahāprabhu’s teachings were lost. And then Bhaktivinod Thakur came, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Thakur came, Prabhupāda came and then Prabhupāda created Iskcon. Now Iskcon is moving in a certain way. So it’s all a part of the process. Yes, go ahead.

Devotee: My question is how can we most efficiently ……………

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Try your best to establish this movement all over the world. Not that everybody will try his best but some people will try their best. And as a result of their endeavour, things will happen. Just as one person, Śrīla Prabhupāda tried his best and see what happened. Now of course it’s a matter of collective endeavour. We all have to collectively struggle, collectively strive and in that collective endeavour some will be more successful, some will be less successful. Doesn’t matter; Let’s all become focused on our ultimate objective. Anyway on your- my final comment will be on your part try your best. And this effort also has to be backed with two things: intelligence and expertise. Prabhupāda gave the example of the lazy intelligence, active intelligence. Lazy fool, active fool [Laughter], right?

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Of these the active fool is the worst [Laughter]

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Because whatever he does [Laughter]. So better than a active fool is a lazy fool. And then lazy intelligence and active intelligence. If the intelligence is lazy, but that is not being applied, then that intelligence is not going to be effective. The real effectiveness of the intelligent endeavour will come by proper application. Then therefore Prabhupāda wanted us to become expert. Prabhupāda wanted us to become intelligent. Yes, he has the question.

Devotee: … Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja.This morning you said that …. Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī ………….spiritual wealth is ever increasing………….Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is another platform…………….

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes, good point. You see, the mahābhāva, the highest  bhava, spiritual emotion can be experienced by the Gopīs of Vṛndāvana also. But generally it is reserved for Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. That intense mood loving mood in separation is displayed by Rādhārāṇī at that time what the other Gopīs do? They assist Rādhārāṇī. So mahābhāva is identified as the highest emotion, highest emotion. Then the highest emotion is reserved for the top most person.  Mahābhāva is experienced by Rādhārāṇī. What I meant is: Rādhārāṇī is the personification of that mahābhāva. You see the embodiment of mahābhāva is Rādhārāṇī.  Mahābhāva svarupini rādhā ṭhākurāṇī. Yes ….

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Take the mike.

Devotee: Arjuna was asked…………to overcome……………… in no time but the Pāṇḍavas decided to leave this world ………..each one fell …………….. although he posted himself he could finish the Kauravas in one day……………………

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Where did you get that?

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Who will ever question? Why is he boasting? With Kṛṣṇa’s help I can annihilate the entire world. He didn’t say that I will win the battle. He said that I can annihilate the three worlds in no time. Can Kṛṣṇa do that? So why should it be boasting. He is not boasting on his thing. He is actually showing confidence in Kṛṣṇa’s ability.

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: I don’t know. You find out because you came up with this

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: And our understanding is this was Kṛṣṇa’s plan. Yes. These are all mundane calculations of Mahābhārata which is karma kāṇḍa aspect. Mahābhārata you have to understand that, is devoid of pure devotion. Especially Vaisampayan’s Mahābhārata is not really touching pure devotion. It is karma kāṇḍa aspect. So these are all karma kāṇḍa  considerations. Just like Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja had to go to hell because he told a lie. Where is the lie? Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja didn’t lie. Aśvatthāmā, the elephant was killed and he said that Aśvatthāmā was killed but this is some mundane karma kandik concepts. Don’t worry about that. Yes Sañjaya.

Sañjaya Prabhu: Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja. Yesterday you mentioned that …………………………

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Because he could not accept the arrangement that Gāndhārī his sister was married to a blind person so that’s why he held a grudge against the family.

Devotee: Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Okay, okay.

Devotee: I just have two questions…… Who is Śakuni in previous life?

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Śakuni is incarnation of Dvāpara yuga. Duryodhana is an incarnation of KaliyugaKaliKali personified. And Śakuni is an incarnation of Dvāpara personified. Śakuni is dvāpara personified.

Devotee: This is a question from Māyāpur TV that says that what should be the attitude of a person…

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: What should be the attitude of …

Devotee: What should be the attitude of a person who has.. of Kṛṣṇa Consciousness and then don’t come back again for example they were chanting 16 rounds before in the beginning and then not chanting later. What should be the attitude, how should they become …

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Embrace the process again whole heartedly. When you come back, you should become more fixed up. Not that come back half heartedly, come back whole heartedly, follow the four regulative principles, no compromise, chant 16 rounds, render service, read Prabhupāda’s books. Associate with devotees. That’s what Iskcon is meant for. So when you come you should do that and we are happy that you came back [Laughter]

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: When somebody comes back we become very happy.

Devotee: Thank you Mahārāja.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Thank you. Yes Prīti.

Prīti Mātājī: Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja…… My question is Arjuna chose Kṛṣṇa to… come in the battle but later you mentioned that Arjuna says with Kṛṣṇa on my side I can conquer the three worlds in no time. So is he saying that on basis of that reference that Kṛṣṇa is the supreme person. If so then according to Bhagavad-Gītā when … there is a point there where Arjuna says to Kṛṣṇa and he is lamenting that: “O, I treated you, you know we played together, did this together….”

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes. Good question. Very good question. The thing is that we have to understand that Arjuna is a pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Arjuna never forgot Kṛṣṇa. He always knew that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead but still in that drama he is playing the role of His cousin. So he is behaving like cousin and at the same time, while he is having that conviction or understanding, he also has the understanding that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead but sometimes in the intimate relationships he is not behaving like that, that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore when he is reminded about that he is lamenting. O why did I do that? Like it’s not that at one point he realized that Kṛṣṇa is God and before that he didn’t know. And especially he is playing the role, he saw the Universal Form; he saw Kṛṣṇa and then you know he is lamenting as if now he has become aware of Kṛṣṇa’s identity as God. There was one hand up here. Yes Mohinipriya.

Devotee: What position must a devotee keep if his country is at war.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: what position a devotee must have

Devotee: What position a devotee must keep or have if his country is at war.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: if his country is in war

Devotee: Yes

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Oh! I see. You see these wars are material, mundane, therefore devotees don’t get involved in these wars because a devotee doesn’t have, you know, nationalistic, patriotic feelings. He should see which one is whether it’s for Kṛṣṇa or not, right? Like Prabhupāda said like

Devotee: Now it is

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Now it is: demons are fighting with the other demons. Your country who are in your country? A bunch of demons.

Devotee: I mean where I live.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: where do you live?

Devotee: Yes.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa will protect you. Don’t worry. Not that because your country is in a war, so you have to fight then also … live [Laughter]. Yes Raghunāth. Is that clear to…

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Okay. Okay. Because you see like I mean it will be- we have to see at that time, what is the situation. And act accordingly. It is difficult to give a hypothetical answer to that. You know, you can’t just say it’s your country, you are there. You can’t just say I won’t take part. In some way you have to take part because you know like there is a war and so many situations will arise. So you have to use your Kṛṣṇa Consciousness and common sense to deal with that. And the simple answer to that will be, don’t worry who is fighting who; take the opportunity to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and make everybody chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That should be our attitude. Just like Prabhupāda did. During the Second World War, Japan was planning to bomb Calcutta because Calcutta was the big British base. They didn’t have anything against India but India was a British colony. British had their army base in Calcutta, so they wanted to bomb Calcutta. And at that time everybody was leaving the city, everybody was running away because the city is going to be bombed. You know what Prabhupāda did at that time? Prabhupāda took the mṛdaṅga and karatāla and asked everybody to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotees: Haribol

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: and it is because of Prabhupāda’s chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa that the Japanese plane went back without bombing [Laughter]

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Okay. So I will stop now. Thank you all very much. All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. Gaur premānande

Devotees: Hari Haribol.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: So tomorrow Ratha Yatra, so no class so the last the final seminar will be on Sunday.

Devotee: Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes please.

Devotee: Hare Kṛṣṇa very quickly. We have some activities……. if you do want to come………….. if you do we should be back at ……………………

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: is there any age limit.

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami:[Laughter]

Devotee: …………………………..Thank you very much. Haribol.


Audio-reference : click here
Transcription: Anonymous Helper
Editing: Rāmānanda Rāya Dāsa