"Ruling By Religious Principles"

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.9.49
Mayapura, June 15, 1973

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Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
 

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Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)

pitra canumato raja
vasudevanumoditah
cakara rajyam dharmena
pitr-paitamaham vibhuh

Translation: "After this, the great religious king, Maharaja Yudhisthira, executed the royal power in the kingdom strictly according to the codes and royal principles approved by his uncle and confirmed by Lord Sri Krsna."

Prabhupada: This is very important verse: the king's duty and how a king is recognized. The first recognition was made by Dhrtarastra, his uncle. Why? Because there was fight between two section of cousin-brothers, the Pandavas and the Kauravas. So the Kauravas were all killed. The Pandavas also, except the five brothers, their sons were all killed. So it is not that by force... There was force, but it was dharma-yuddha. Ksatriyas, they would claim by strength, by fight, not by high court judgment. By strength, by bodily strength.

So the Pandavas proved their bodily strength, and Dhrtarastra was under the impression that because actually the kingdom belonged to him, but on account of his becoming blind, he could not inherit on the throne. Defective in the body. A king should be all complete. So not a blind man can be king. That is not possible. So after the death of his younger brother Pandu, he thought, actually the kingdom belonged to him. Now, after the death of his brother, his sons should inherit. That was the political conspiracy of the battle of Kuruksetra. Now everything finished, decided by the battle. Dhrtarastra accepted, "Yes, my dear nephews, you can become king now. We have tried our strength, and you have come out victorious. Therefore I also confirm that you become king." It is said, pitra canumatah. Not that against the will of Dhrtarastra, Maharaja Yudhisthira accepted the throne. No. He took permission: "My dear uncle, now you decide whether we shall become king or you shall remain king." So he said, "No, you become king. Now your right is confirmed."

Then again, it was confirmed by Krsna, Vasudeva. Because a king is representative of God. King is not ordinary person. Just like spiritual master is representative of God, similarly, king is also representative of God. The father is also representative of God. These are the statements of the sastras. Because they will guide. The king will guide. The spiritual master will guide. The father will guide. What is that guidance? That guidance is how one can become Krsna conscious by education, by culture. This is guidance, not that to guide them how to become hippies. This is not guidance. This is misguidance. Guidance means... The whole system of human civilization is guide the people to become God conscious. This is the Vedic civilization, not to make them dog conscious, cat conscious, animal conscious. No. (aside:) Sleeping. You are feeling sleepy? Why not sleep? But don't make like that.

So people... Animals, they do not know that the goal of life is to understand God, Visnu. Animals cannot know, cannot... Even they are instructed, they cannot know it. That is not possible. But the human beings, however fallen he may be, if he is properly guided, if he is properly instructed, he can become God conscious. This is the special privilege of the human life. Animal cannot do. You can train one animal how to dance. That also you can do. So many things. Just like in circus, the animals are trained up to do so many things. But an animal cannot be trained to be God conscious. Sometimes also, by proper guidance, the animal also becomes, but that is very rare case. So it is the king's duty to see that his citizens are becoming God conscious. That is king's duty. First of all father's duty, spiritual master's duty, ultimately, king's duty. King's, king's duty.

Therefore it is said, dharmena, cakara rajyam dharmena. Dharmena means "by religious principles." What is that religious principle? Religious principle means to guide everyone to become God conscious. This is religious principle. Dharmena. Therefore varnasrama-dharma. In the Vedic culture the varnas and asrama, they are accepted as dharma. Dharma means duty which you must execute. That is called dharma. Compulsory. If you don't do it, then you will suffer. Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. And wherefrom this dharma comes? It comes from Bhagavan, God. He gives these dharmas. And the king, the spiritual master, being representative of God, it is their duty how to guide people to develop that God consciousness. This is called human civilization, dharmena. So it is the king's duty to observe his dharma, ksatriya. Ksatriya's duty is to give protection to the citizens, security of life and property, and guide them gradually to develop Krsna consciousness. This is ksatriya's duty. Brahmana's duty is to guide the ksatriyas, whether he is actually executing his duty according to sastra. That is brahmana's duty. Brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra. Similarly, vaisya's duty is to see economic development of the state, and the sudra's duty -- because sudra means fourth-class men; they have no intelligence -- therefore their duty is to serve the three higher classes, brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya. This is the system. Catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. According to quality and work -- brahmana's quality and brahmana's work; ksatriya's quality and ksatriya's work; vaisya's quality and vaisya's work.

Quality means education, culture. Just like a medical practitioner. When he passes his examination in the medical college, that is his quality. Or a lawyer. When he passes his examination in the university, that is his quality. But simply by passing the examination, if he sits down at home, then he cannot be called a medical practitioner. He must work as a medical man. Not only... (aside:) You sit down properly, not like that. Not simply acquiring the quality, but he must work as a brahmana. Then he will be accepted as a brahmana. Now everything is thrown away. If somebody happens to take birth in a brahmana family, he becomes a brahmana. All others, sudra. And he may do all nonsense, and still he is brahmana. That is not... It is the duty of the state to see whether you are qualified as a brahmana. "You are claiming as brahmana. Whether you are actually qualified as a brahmana? Whether you are working as a brahmana?" It is the state's duty to see. It is the king's duty. He may not misguide others.

Just like nowadays a so-called brahmana is working as a cobbler, and he is claiming to become brahmana. Not like that. It is the... Just like a medical man. A medical man, if he wants to practice, then he must get certificate from the medical board, registration. The medical board will see whether he is qualified as a medical man, whether he has passed medical examination. Then he will be allowed to practice as a medical man. So whenever a medical practitioner gives you a prescription along with his name, he gives his title, M.D., B.S. and registered number. That means he is approved. Then he can practice. This is common sense affairs in the every state, a lawyer is given certificate by the government. Then he is allowed. Similarly, it is the duty of the state or of the monarch to see that one who is claiming as a brahmana, whether he is qualified, whether he is acting as a brahmana. Similarly, a man claiming ksatriya, whether he is qualified as a ksatriya and he is acting as a ksatriya. Similarly, the vaisya. And sudra is general. Sudra means one who has no education, no culture. That is called sudra. So that is the remnants. First of all, brahmana, ksatriya, vaisyas, and others, those who have no sufficient brain, they are counted as sudra. Still, sudras have also prescribed duties. If there are others, those who are less than sudras, or even the sudra qualities are wanting, they are doing anything and everything without any control, they are called mleccha-yavana. Mleccha-yavana. This is the pancama, fifth-grade. First grade, brahmana; second grade, ksatriya; third grade, vaisyas; fourth grade, sudras; and all others, rejected, fifth grade, they are called candalas, candala.

But this Krsna consciousness movement is so nice that even candalas can be also raised to the platform of brahmana. Candalo 'pi dvija-srestho hari-bhakti-parayanah. Even if a candala is trained up as a devotee, he can be better than a qualified brahmana. These are the shastric injunctions. Kirata-hunandhra-pulinda-pulkasa abhira-sumbha yavanah khasadayah. The yavanas' names are there also. Yavana-mleccha means generally they are meat-eaters, especially cow meat, cow flesh eaters. They are called yavana-mlecchas. So the higher caste, they cannot become meat-eaters. Meat-eating is there. That is for the lower class, not for the higher class. If anyone gives up meat-eating or the bad habits of lower class, illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication, gambling, and if he's trained how to become a qualified brahmana, then he can be accepted. That is sanctioned in the Bhagavad-gita. These rascals, they say that these mlecchas and yavanas cannot become brahmana. Because we are making brahmanas from the mlecchas' and yavanas' section, they are protesting. Some of them are protesting that "Swami Bhaktivedanta is ruining Hindu religion." The rascals, they do not know that I am acting strictly according to sastra. The sastras says... Krsna says Himself, mam hi partha vyapasritya ye 'pi syuh papa-yonayah: [Bg. 9.32] "Anyone born in low-grade family.' Papa-yoni, mam hi partha vyapasritya, "if he takes to Me according to regulative principles," vyapasritya, "according to the principle," te 'pi yanti param gatim, "he is immediately becomes eligible to be promoted," param gatim, "the highest perfection of life." One thing is papa-yoni. So there is no restriction that papa-yoni shall remain always papa-yoni. Why? They should be given enlightenment. That is brahmana-ism. Brahmana means liberal, and just the opposite word of brahmana is krpana, miser. A brahmana should give chance to everyone, even to the papa-yoni, how to become brahmana. That is real brahmana. And the rascal who thinks that "I shall remain simply brahmana; others shall remain mlecchas and yavanas," he is not brahmana; he is sudra, because his mind is so crippled. He does not want to see others to become brahmana. He is miser, krpana. Krpanah phala-hetavah.

So our this movement is not for the krpanas. It is meant for the brahmanas. We want to become ourself brahmana, and we want to make others also brahmana. Because there is need of brahmana at the present moment. The whole human society is now running by the sudras, all sudras. Kalau sudra-sambhavah. In this Kali-yuga, everyone is a sudra. Maybe born of a brahmana family, but because he has no culture... The first culture is garbhadhana-samskara. If garbhadhana-samskara is not observed even in a brahmana family, he becomes immediately sudra. This is the statement of the sastra. So nobody is observing garbhadhana-samskara. Therefore, according to sastra, everyone is a sudra. Now because everyone is sudra, therefore he cannot be trained up as brahmana? No. He can be trained up. Candalo 'pi dvija-srestho hari-bhakti-parayanah. If that sudra or candala can be turned into a devotee of Krsna, hari-bhakti-parayanah, then under training he can become better than brahmana.

So these are the principles of the state, to see. Therefore it is called cakara rajyam dharmena. Dharmena, to establish dharma. Cakara rajyam dharmena. How? Pitr-paitamaham. The king, Yudhisthira, Maharaja Yudhisthira, his father Pandu, his father, his father... This is the descendance. When Maharaja Pariksit was born and the name-giving ceremony was going on, and all the learned brahmanas, they predicted that this boy would be such, such-and-such powerful like such-and-such king, such-and-such munificent like such-and-such great... That description is there in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. So Maharaja Yudhisthira inquired whether this boy will be loving his praja like his forefathers. That is the first inquiry. Therefore to follow the tradition of the pitr-paitamaham, forefathers... The kings... Formerly all the kings, they were following the footsteps of their forefathers. Just like Maharaja Pariksit, grandson of Maharaja Yudhisthira, when he saw that one black man was trying to kill one cow, he immediately took his sword, and he said, "Do you think that because there is no Arjuna, no Yudhisthira, you shall do anything you like?" Forefathers, remembering forefathers. "Still I am there. I am his representative. You cannot do it." So forefathers.

So the monarchy, as soon as it becomes a personal property... The kings thought that "This kingdom is mine. I can do whatever I like, and still, the kingdom is mine." Then the monarchy was failure. Then from the whole world, the monarchy is now wiped out. But the so-called democracy is no good. Because democracy means by votes. So the votes are given by the rascal sudras. So what is the meaning of electing somebody if the vote givers are also rascal and fool, and the vote-taker is a big food, big rascal, that's all? He manages something, somehow or other to take the votes. Therefore, you see, dacoit is going on. The government is there, and at night you are not secure. You have to take care of yourself, whether dacoits are coming or not. And they are coming. So what is the meaning of this government? If the dacoits are there, rogues are there, thieves are there, miscreants are there, so what is the meaning of government? No. At the present moment the government means that the same rogues and rascals come to become minister and take fat salary and sleep, and you take care of yourself. That is going on.

So it is not that kind of kingdom. Here it is said, cakara rajyam dharmena. Cakara rajyam dharmena pitr-paitamaham vibhuh. He was so great, powerful. According to the tradition of the pitr-paitamaham, Maharaja Yudhisthira, recognized by his uncle, recognized by Krsna, took up the reigns of the government, and dharmena, according to the..., strictly to the shastric principle, he ruled over. This is king. So in the Bhagavata you will find everything, politics, sociology, religion, culture, philosophy, science, everything you will find. It is not that simply dogmatic, something saying, some miracles. No, it is not like that. It is a great science, scientific. Therefore in the beginning it is said, nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam idam [SB 1.1.3]. Nigama. Nigama means the Vedic literature. Nigama. So the essence, the quintessence of Vedic literature, Srimad-Bhagavatam... Veda means knowledge, I have several times explained. So Veda contains all kinds of knowledge. Ayur-veda, the knowledge about medical science. Dhanur-veda, the military science. Ayur-veda, Dhanur-veda, Yajur-veda. Veda means knowledge.

So it is kalpa-taru, nigama-kalpa-taru; the Vedic knowledge is just like kalpa-taru. Kalpa-taru means desire tree. Anything you want from that tree... Just like here in this material world we can get mangoes from the mango tree, pineapple from the pineapple tree. If we ask the pineapple tree, "Give me mango," that is not possible. But in the spiritual world there are trees. That is described in the Brahma-samhita. Cintamani-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vrksa-laksavrtesu surabhir abhipalayantam [Bs. 5.29]. That is kalpa-vrksa. You can get from any tree whatever you like. That is spiritual. So nigama-kalpa-taru. The kalpa-taru, the Vedas. The very word, referred, kalpa-taru, means it is not material. It is coming from the spiritual world, Veda. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo vedanta-krd vedanta-vid ca aham.

So Veda is coming from the spiritual world. Therefore you cannot find any history of the beginning of Vedas, because it is beyond the story of creation. Therefore Vedic knowledge is perfect. Any knowledge within this material world, that is defective, with four kinds of defects: mistake, illusion, imperfectness and cheating. But Vedic knowledge is not like that. Vedic knowledge is perfect. Therefore, amongst the learned society, if you give evidence from the Vedas, it is accepted. Immediately accepted. Just like in the law court, if you give reference from the lawbooks section, it is accepted. Similarly, Vedic knowledge is so perfect that if you refer to some verse in the Vedas, in the Upanisads... Just like raso vai sah. "Sah, that Krsna, is reservoir of all pleasure." Raso vai sah. So yato va imani bhutani jayante. These things are... There are so many statements.

So dharmena rajyam cakara. Not whimsically, not by the high-court decision, no. No. There was no need of high-court decision if it is confirmed by the superiors. Just like Maharaja Dhrtarastra confirmed, "Yes, my dear boy, you can become king." Krsna confirmed, "You can become king." So he became king. Fighting was also there. The fighting also, they came out victorious. But still, it was confirmed by Yudhisthira and Krsna. Then he took over the charge of the government and he ruled the citizens, dharmena, as it was done by his predecessor forefathers.

Thank you very much. (end)
 
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.9.49 -- Mayapura, June 15, 1973

© 2001 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International. Used with permission.

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