Among human beings those who are followers of the Vedic principles are considered civilized. Among these almost half simply give lip service while committing all kinds of sinful activities against these principles. Such people do not care for the regulative principles. “ Prabhupad mentions in the purport that the highest type of religious system is described in Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.6 thus, sa vai puàsäà paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokñaje ahaituky apratihatä yayätmä suprasédati “The highest form is religion is that by which one becomes fully conscious of the existence of God, His form, name, qualities, pastimes, abode and all pervasive features. When everything is completely known that is the perfection of Vedic knowledge. The fulfilment of Vedic knowledge is systematic knowledge of the characteristics of God. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad Gita 15.15 – vedais ca saravair aham eva vedya. The aim of Vedic knowledge is to understand God. Those who are actually following Vedic knowledge and searching after God cannot commit sinful activities against the Supreme Lord’s order. However in this age of Kali although men profess to belong to so many different kinds of religions most of them commit sinful activities against the orders of the Vedic scriptures. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore says herein veda nishidha paapa kore dharma nahi gane. In this age men may profess a religion but they actually do not follow the principles. Instead they commit all kinds of sin. So among the followers of the Vedic knowledge most are following the process of fruitive activity and distinguishing between good and bad work. Out of many such sincere fruitive actors there may be one who is actually wise. Out of many such wise men one may actually become liberated, mukta. And out of many millions of such liberated persons a pure devotee of Lord Krishna is very difficult to find. Research is going on for the karmis, gyanis and yogis but until the search is complete no one can attain peace. Therefore the Bhagavad Gita says gyatva maam shanty mrchhati. One can actually attain peace when he knows Krishna. This is described in the next verse – Krishna Bhakta nishkaama mata eva shanta, bhukti mukti siddhi kaami, shakale ashaanta. Because a devotee of Lord Krishna is desireless, he is peaceful. Fruitive workers desire material enjoyment, gyanis desire liberation and yogis desire material opulence. Therefore they are all lusty and cannot be peaceful. “ So here the objective of all the processes of yoga, karma, gyana, the ultimate objective is to achieve Krishna consciousness. And that is achieved by studying the Srimad Bhagavatam. The purpose of the Srimad Bhagavatam therefore is different than the other scriptures. When we try to explain to people what is the purpose of the Srimad Bhagavatam, it is very difficult to use the reference of other scriptures because the Srimad Bhagavatam sails far over their objectives. The Srimad Bhagavatam’s purpose is to actually leave the material world and go back to Godhead. When most of the other scriptures’ purpose is how to live in the material world with the blessings of God. Oh God, our Father who art in heaven, give us this day our daily bread. The objective is normally not to return to God. Even I was once preaching to a person and just the thought of seeing God, the person started to get real nervous and said that I don’t want to see, I am not ready. What would I do? And he got all like completely hysterical you know. Just the thought that suddenly what if you know, there came God. He was like completely flustered with even the idea. People, they are so far from God consciousness that it is very pitiful that here is a human being. They have the opportunity to achieve this highest consciousness and that is made even more easily attainable by the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. But they are completely neglectful of this, the summum bonum of life, the prime purpose of life. So studying the Bhagavatam is so important.
His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaj
1984, 26th Sep, SB class @ Murari Sevaka Farm, USA