ust like Arjuna understood within half an hour. Others, they cannot understand. In one sense, the people at that time were so educated, advanced, that they could talk about the Absolute Truth and understand within half an hour, one hour. There was no need of books in those days. People were so sharp memoried. Once heard from the spiritual master they'll never forget. With the advancement of Kali, so many things will reduce. One of them is the memory will be reduced. People will be weaker. There will be no more mercy. The brain will not be so powerful or sharp. These things are described. So we cannot even imagine what kind of brain Arjuna possessed. Another thing, this Bhagavad-gītā is part of Mahābhārata. And the Mahābhārata was written for strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayi na śruti-gocarāḥ (SB 1.4.25). Strī, woman, strī, śūdra and dvija-bandhu. Dvija-bandhu means a person born in high family, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, at least brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, but he's not qualified brāhmaṇa or kṣatriya. He's called dvija-bandhu, the friend of the twice-born. The brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, they are twice-born. One birth is father and mother; another birth is by the spiritual master, by Vedic knowledge. The Vedic knowledge is mother and the spiritual master is the father. So the second birth. Therefore, they are called dvija, twice born. So dvija-bandhūnām, those who are not actually twice born but born in the family of dvijas. Therefore they are called dvija-bandhu, "not dvija, friends of the dvijas." Dvija-bandhu.
SB Canto 4
There are many qualities which indicate a brahminical personality, and it is understood that Ruci followed all the brahminical principles rigidly. Therefore he is specifically mentioned as brahma-varcasvī. One who is born of a brāhmaṇa father but does not act as a brāhmaṇa is called, in Vedic language, a brahma-bandhu, and is calculated to be on the level of śūdras and women. Thus in the Bhāgavatam we find that Mahābhārata was specifically compiled by Vyāsadeva for strī-śūdra-brahma-bandhu (SB 1.4.25). Strī means women, śūdra means the lower class of civilized human society, and brahma-bandhu means persons who are born in the families of brāhmaṇas but do not follow the rules and regulations carefully. All of these three classes are called less intelligent; they have no access to the study of the Vedas, which are specifically meant for persons who have acquired the brahminical qualifications.
Although Dakṣa felt defeated, he knew that his punishment was simply the great mercy of Lord Śiva. He remembered that Lord Śiva and Lord Viṣṇu are never neglectful of the brāhmaṇas, even though the brāhmaṇas are sometimes unqualified. According to Vedic civilization, a descendant of a brāhmaṇa family should never be heavily punished. This was exemplified in Arjuna's treatment of Aśvatthāmā. Aśvatthāmā was the son of a great brāhmaṇa, Droṇācārya, and in spite of his having committed the great offense of killing all the sleeping sons of the Pāṇḍavas, for which he was condemned even by Lord Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna excused him by not killing him because he happened to be the son of a brāhmaṇa. The word brahma-bandhuṣu used here is significant. Brahma-bandhu means a person who is born of a brāhmaṇa father but whose activities are not up to the standard of the brāhmaṇas. Such a person is not a brāhmaṇa but a brahma-bandhu. Dakṣa proved himself to be a brahma-bandhu. He was born of a great brāhmaṇa father, Lord Brahmā, but his treatment of Lord Śiva was not exactly brahminical; therefore he admitted that he was not a perfect brāhmaṇa. Lord Śiva and Lord Viṣṇu, however, are affectionate even to an imperfect brāhmaṇa. Lord Śiva punished Dakṣa not as one does his enemy; rather, he punished Dakṣa just to bring him to his senses, so that he would know that he had done wrong. Dakṣa could understand this, and he acknowledged the great mercy of Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Śiva towards the fallen brāhmaṇas, including even himself. Although he was fallen, his vow was to execute the sacrifice, as is the duty of brāhmaṇas, and thus he began his prayers to Lord Śiva.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
Just like Mahābhārata. Mahābhārata is the history of India. Mahā means great, and bhārata means India. And you see, Mahābhārata is the history of two royal families fighting in the Battle of Kurukṣetra and politics and diplomacy. This is the subject matter of Mahābhārata. Of course, there are many nice instructions. So this Mahābhārata was especially made for the less intelligent class of men. Strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayi na śruti-gocara (SB 1.4.25). Strī means woman, and śūdra means ordinary, labor class of men. Strī, śūdra, and dvija-bandhu. Dvija-bandhu means, dvija means higher class, twice-born. Śūdra means once-born and dvija means twice-born. That means first birth by the father and mother, and the second birth by the Vedic knowledge mother, and spiritual master father. This is called second birth, according to Vedic reformatory procedures. So dvija, dvija-bandhu means a person born in the higher family who are by tradition very cultured, but a son born in that family is not cultured. He is just like śūdra, once-born. He has no cultural birth. So they are called dvija-bandhu. (tapping sound—child playing) (aside:) You have to take him. Dvija-bandhu means born in high family, but has no quality, higher qualities. They are called dvija-bandhu.
The Vedas are divided into three kāṇḍas, or division: karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa, upāsanā-kāṇḍa. Therefore the other name of Veda is trayī. Trayī na śruti-gocarā. Strī-śūdra-dvijabandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocarā (SB 1.4.25). That is stated in the Vedic literature. Strī, śūdra and dvija-bandhu.... Dvija-bandhu means born in brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya family, especially brāhmaṇa family, but he is not possessing the qualities of brāhmaṇa or kṣatriya, as now it is going on. Everyone is presenting himself as a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, but he hasn't got the necessary qualification. A brāhmaṇa's qualification is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, satyaṁ śaucaṁ śamo damas titikṣā ārjavaṁ jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.42). Similarly, kṣatriya. Śauryaṁ vīryaṁ tejo yuddhe cāpy apalāyanam, īśvara-bhāvaś ca. In this way there are kṣatriya's qualification.
Mahābhārata is meant for strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayi na śruti-gocaraḥ (SB 1.4.25). Strī, woman, śūdra, and dvija-bandhu. Dvija-bandhu means born in a brāhmaṇa family, but he's not a brāhmaṇa. That is the dvija-bandhu, "friend of a brāhmaṇa." One who is not qualified brāhmaṇa. Satyaḥ śamo damas titikṣaḥ arjavam, jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyam brahma-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.42). He's simply giving his identification, "I am brāhmaṇa," without any qualification of a brāhmaṇa. He's called dvija-bandhu, "friend of a brāhmaṇa."
Now, this Mahābhārata is especially written... Mahābhārata. Mahābhārata means the history of greater India. Mahā. Mahā means greater. Bhārata. Bhārata means India, Bhārata-varṣa. Mahābhārata, greater India. Or at that time the whole world was Bhārata-varṣa. Therefore greater India, history in Mahābhārata is there. So Mahābhārata especially was written for three classes of men. What are those? Strī, śūdra, dvija-bandhu. Strī means woman, śūdra means worker class, and dvija-bandhu means persons who have taken their birth in higher caste, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, but they're degraded. They could not keep up their standard of culture. Just like at the present moment. They are introducing themself as brāhmaṇa, but degraded. Actually, they are not brāhmaṇa-degraded. Dvija-bandhu, friends of brāhmaṇa. Just like if I am son of a high-court judge, unless I am qualified to become a high-court judge I cannot say myself, "I am high-court judge." No. Simply by becoming the son of high-court judge, one does not become a high-court judge. He must have the qualification. So when one is simply proud of his high parentage, he is called dvija-bandhu.
First of all, there was only one Veda, Atharva-veda. Then he divided according to the subject matter into four Vedas: Sāma, Yajur, Atharva, Ṛg. Then he explained the Vedas by the Purāṇas, and he compiled Mahābhārata also for same purpose, how one can understand the Vedic literature. Strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocarā (SB 1.4.25). Those who are less intelligent, woman, śūdra, and dvija-bandhu... Dvija-bandhu means those who are born in brāhmaṇa family but are not just to the quality. They are called dvija-bandhu. For them this Mahābhārata. And at the end he compiled, he summarized the whole thing by writing Vedānta-sūtra. Still, he was not happy, and under the direction of his spiritual master Nārada he wrote himself the commentary of the Vedānta-sūtra, and that is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
Those who are on the platform of the modes of goodness, brāhmaṇa platform, satyaṁ śamo damas titikṣā ārjavam āstikyaṁ jñānaṁ vijñānaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam. This, these are the qualities of brāhmaṇa. Not that because one is born of a brāhmaṇa father, he will be brāhmaṇa. No. Guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). He must have the qualities of brāhmaṇa and must act as a brāhmaṇa. Then he'll be accepted as brāhmaṇa. Otherwise he'll be called brahma-bandhu, dvija-bandhu. Strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhu. Strī, woman, śūdra and dvija-bandhu. Dvija-bandhu means born of a brāhmaṇa father but his actions are like something else. He's called dvija-bandhu. Or born of a kṣatriya father. Dvija means brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, and vaiśya also—those who are born for the second time by initiation. First birth is by the father and the mother, and the second birth is by the spiritual master and Vedic knowledge. Vedic knowledge is the mother, and spiritual master is the father. So when one approaches a bona fide spiritual master, his second birth is there by advancement of spiritual knowledge, and that sacred thread is offered to him. Upanayana. Upa means "near," and nayana means "bringing."
So sātvata-tantra means books or literature of devotional service. In the Vedas there are different departments, they are divided into three parts-karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa and upāsanā-kāṇḍa. Therefore the other name of the Vedas is trayī. Strī-śūdra-dvijabandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocarā: (SB 1.4.25) for women, for śūdras and for dvija-bandhus, sons of the higher class but not properly educated. Bandhu means friend, a man born by a brāhmaṇa father, but he is not qualified as a brāhmaṇa. He will be called a dvija-bandhu, not dvija. Dvija means twice-born; actually he is twice-born. The birds are also called twice-born: one birth is the egg, and the other birth is from the egg, closed. Similarly every human being is born śūdra, without any knowledge. Either he is born by the brāhmaṇa father or a śūdra father, he is born a śūdra, because there is no knowledge.
There are eight divisions of human society: four divisions social structure, and four divisions for spiritual enlightenment. So unless the eight divisions are properly managed, that is not human society. Human society is distinct from animal society by culture. What is that culture? Vedic culture, knowledge. Vedic means knowledge. One must be equipped with full knowledge. "So this Vedic culture," Vyāsadeva says, "or the Vedic principles, are not very easily understood by women class, by worker class, and dvija-bandhu." Dvija-bandhu means the boys who have taken birth in the family who are supposed to be very cultured, but their habit is different. They are called dvija-bandhu. In every country, that deterioration of social structure has already begun. They are called varṇa-saṅkara. Varṇa-saṅkara factually means that those who are illiterate. So for them it is very difficult to understand the Vedic principles. Therefore the same knowledge is described in stories just like Mahābhārata, Purāṇas, and for understanding of all men, all women. So Mahābhārata is especially written for such class of men and women. And the hero of Mahābhārata is Arjuna. Similarly, the hero of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is Arjuna's grandson, Mahārāja Parīkṣit, King Parīkṣit.
Just like Vedānta-sūtra. Vedānta-sūtra, you'll find simply some clues. Janmādy asya yataḥ: (SB 1.1.1) "The source of all emanation." Now we can think over, "the source of all emanation." So Vedic literature requires explanation, authoritative explanation. So the original Vedas, they, it was not possible for understanding for ordinary class of men. And who are ordinary class of men? Now, strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhu. Strī, woman class, are taken as less intelligent. It is not partiality; it is stated in the śāstra and practically it is so. So woman class, strī, and śūdra. Śūdra means laborer class. Strī, śūdra, and dvija-bandhu. Dvija-bandhu means born of a high family... The brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya and the vaiśyas, they are considered as in the higher status of social life, and the śūdras... It is everywhere.
So ordinary literature, they're full with all this, I mean to say, grāmya-kathā. The man and woman's behavior, that is good literature. There is a hero; there is a heroine. So those who are saintly persons, they do not take interest. So Nārada was advising Vyāsadeva that "You have written this Mahābhārata. That's all right. It is a great epic, history. But the, mostly... History means the ordinary dealings of the worldly men. So what benefit there is? That is nothing. No saintly person will take interest." Actually, this Mahābhārata was written by this, by Vyāsadeva for giving instruction, Vedic instruction to the less intelligent class of men. He has given introduction, strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocarā: (SB 1.4.25) "The Vedic knowledge is difficult to be understood by these classes of men and women: strī-śūdra-śūdra class, woman class, strī, śūdra—and dvija-bandhu." And dvija-bandhu means born in high family, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, but their behavior is different, like śūdras. They cannot understand Vedas. Therefore there is restriction, that "The śūdras cannot read Vedas." They are restricted.
So Vyāsadeva, vidvān. Vidvāṁś cakre sātvata-saṁhitām (SB 1.7.6). He is learned; we are all fools. Yasyāṁ vai śrūyamāṇāyām (SB 1.7.7). If we... He has made for us. He is compassionate. Strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnām (SB 1.4.25). Those who are actually advanced brāhmaṇa, they take care of. But those who are not brāhmaṇas-strī, śūdra, vaiśya and dvija-bandhu... Dvija-bandhu means born in higher family, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya or vaiśya, but does not take care of the real values of life or does not know what is spiritual life. He is called dvija-bandhu. Dvija-bandhu means "a friend of a dvija." He cannot be called the born of a dvija. This particular name is very significant, dvija-bandhu. Just like a son of a high-court justice. You can call him the son of the justice, but he is not justice. Similarly, a son born in brāhmaṇa family, kṣatriya family, higher circle, if he does not act like that, then he should be called according to his qualification. Tat tenaiva vinirdiśet yady anyatra vinirdiśet (SB 7.11.35). This is the instruction of Nārada Muni. If the son of a brāhmaṇa has acquired the qualities of a śūdra, then he should be called a śūdra, not a brāhmaṇa. Unfortunately the..., in India especially, where we have got all the śāstras, against the śāstras, without any qualification of a brāhmaṇa one is claiming to be brāhmaṇa. In Mahārāja Pṛthu's time, he was especially supervising whether a brāhmaṇa is engaged in his brahminical activities, whether a kṣatriya is engaged in his kṣatriya activities. Not that a brāhmaṇa is engaged in śūdra activities and he should be called a brāhmaṇa. That was restricted formerly.
So yad brahma-bandhoḥ. Brahma-bandhu, or kṣatra-bandhu, a person born in the family of a brāhmaṇa but has no brāhmaṇa qualifications, he is called brahma-bandhu, "friend of a brāhmaṇa." Bandhu means friend. A person, a man, his father is high-court judge. So there is no harm that he belongs to the family of such and such high-court judge—but that does not mean he is high-court judge. This should be noted. That is the difference, brāhmaṇa and brahma-bandhu. Brāhmaṇa means guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). He must have the quality, śamo damaḥ śaucaṁ titikṣā ārjavam, jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.42). He must be self-controlled, controlling the mind and the senses. Then very clean, śaucam. Satyaṁ śaucam. Then titikṣā, tolerant; ārjavam, very simple. No duplicity. Simple. Ārjavam. Jñānam, full knowledge; vijñānam, knowledge applied in practical life. This is vijñānam. Just like we call science.
So here, the Pāṇḍava family, they are very enlightened family, and still, vāma-svabhāvā, the woman is soft-hearted. He did not... She did not consider about Aśvatthāmā's position. But so far Kṛṣṇa is concerned, Arjuna is concerned, they considered that he is not a brāhmaṇa, but he is a brahma-bandhu. Brahma-bandhu means son of a brāhmaṇa, but behavior is something else. He's called brahma-bandhu.
So in the Kali-yuga the śūdras... Śūdra means the last. Less than śūdra, the caṇḍāla, they are taking the part of kṣatriya or brāhmaṇa or vaiśya. That is the effect of this Kali-yuga. Therefore it is very lamentable. One must be trained up. This very word kṣatra-bandhu means even though one is in the royal family, but he cannot administer. Just like in England, now the royal monarchy is finished all over the world... Even there is monarchy in some countries... Just like in England there is monarchy. The queen is there. But the queen is also uneducated. She does not know how to rule. It is an official post only. The parliamentary sanction, simply she signs, that's all. She has no power to rule over. So power or no power, in Kali-yuga, the administration will be done by less qualified, no qualification. Kim kṣatra-bandhūn kalinā upasṛṣṭān. The system will be disturbed on account of this Kali-yuga. Kalinā upasṛṣṭān rāṣṭrāṇi. Rāṣṭrāṇi means states. Tair avaropitāni, put into disorder.
In the Bhagavad-gītā it is also said, māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ (BG 9.32), striyaḥ... Striyaḥ śūdrās tathā vaiśyāḥ. A woman is considered in the level of śūdra. Although a woman is married with a brāhmaṇa, the woman is not offered the sacred thread. And in the Bhagavad-gītā it is also accepted like that by the Supreme Personality... Striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrāḥ. And another place it is said that Mahābhārata was compiled by Vyāsadeva because the direct Vedic knowledge is not understandable... Strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocarā (SB 1.4.25). Trayī means Vedic literature. They cannot understand. Strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnām: women, and the śūdras, and dvija-bandhu. Dvija-bandhu means born in a brāhmaṇa family, but not qualified as brāhmaṇa. They are called not brāhmaṇa. They are called dvija-bandhu.
Sometimes people do not accept the Purāṇas as Vedic. No. Here it is said by Rūpa Gosvāmī, śruti-smṛti-purāṇādi (Brs. 1.2.101). They are all Vedas. Purāṇa means supplementary. Just like the Vedic knowledge is described in the Mahābhārata. It is in the form of history. But actually the Vedic knowledge is there. That is also stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocaraḥ (SB 1.4.25). Strī, woman, śūdra, and dvija-bandhu... Dvija-bandhu means a person who is born in brāhmaṇa family but he is not advanced in spiritual knowledge. He is called dvija-bandhu. He is not called a brāhmaṇa. Strī, śūdra. And they are classified along with strī and śūdra. Strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocaraḥ. For these persons it is very difficult to understand the Vedic injunctions. Therefore the Vedic injunctions are sometimes made into historical stories. The stories, they are not fiction; they are fact. But some of the... Just like the Battle of Kurukṣetra between the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas, this is a fact. But the incidences are so nice that you can derive Vedic knowledge from them. And Bhagavad-gītā is within Mahābhārata.
Mahābhārata was given by Vyāsadeva for the less intelligent class of men: strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocarā (SB 1.4.25). Śruti means Vedas. Vyāsadeva considered that stri, woman; śūdra, the fourth-class men... Strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnām... Dvija-bandhu means those who are born in higher-class society—brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya—but they are not qualified. They are simply proud of getting birth in higher families. They are called dvija-bandhu. They are equal to woman and the śūdra. Strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocarā. Trayī means the Vedas. Karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa, upāsana-kāṇḍa. There are three methods in understanding Vedas, and their language, their process, is very difficult. Therefore Vyāsadeva, considering the immediate inauguration of Kali-yuga... Because Vyāsadeva appeared at the end of Dvāpara-yuga. So before writing these Vedas, Vyāsadeva, by Vyāsadeva, there was no written scripture. Therefore these Vedas are called śrutis. People learn it simply by hearing, śruti. Śrotram. Śrotriyam. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham (MU 1.2.12). Śrotriyam means the guru must be (an) expert who has heard from his bona fide spiritual master.
So dvija-bandhu means who has not perfected his knowledge by hearing from the bona fide source. He is called dvija-bandhu. And the śūdras have no facility, neither the woman has got the facility to go to the gurukula and become a brahmacārī and remain there and learn the Vedic literature. Because women were not allowed, neither could follow. It is not discrimination. It is actual fact by nature. There may be some exception, but by nature it is so fixed up. So for them, this Mahābhārata, greater history, or history of greater India, Mahābhārata.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1973 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Vidura was neutral. He left home when he understood that "Fighting is now inevitable. They'll fight. Why shall I remain here?" He left home. And Kṛṣṇa also said that "I will not fight. I'll not fight because this is family quarrel. I am known to every one of you. We are related. So I cannot take this side or that side. I may be..." He divided... He, by tricks... His soldiers one side, and He Himself one side. So Duryodhana preferred, Duryodhana preferred His soldiers, that "Why shall I take this one man. I'll take His soldiers." And Arjuna said, "No, I want Kṛṣṇa." So Kṛṣṇa said, "Although I'm going to your side, but I'll not fight. Mind that." And, "Never mind, You don't fight." Mahābhārata is very nice. "Greater India." Mahābhārata means "The History of Greater India." Mahābhārata. Mahā means "greater."
Guest (8): That inspired the devotees, really, like anything, and...
Prabhupāda: And that was written for strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnām (SB 1.4.25). Mahābhārata was written by... This is history, but it was written by Vyāsadeva for woman, strī, śūdra and dvija-bandhu. Dvija-bandhu means those who are born in high family, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, but they are not cultured as their forefathers. They are called dvija-bandhu. And they are compared with śūdras. So strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnām. For these women, śūdra and dvija-bandhu, Mahābhārata is Vedic literature. But for their understanding... They could not understand the Vedic language directly. Therefore Mahābhārata was written. And in Mahābhārata he gave the topics, Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, Bhagavad-gītā. Therefore Bhagavad-gītā is the essence of all Vedic literatures.
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Yes. In this kind of-Bhagavad-gītā śloka, Bhāgavata śloka, and doll exhibition—so you prepare. I will give you the suggestion.
Dr. Patel: Sir, I have one point to ask you, that Vyāsa Bhagavān was not satisfied, doing all these things, and he finally composed the Bhāgavatam. But even Mahābhārata can be called equal to any of them. Mahābhārata, with the Bhagavad-gītā in... With the Vidura-nīti, with the Viṣṇu-sahasra-nāma and all these things can be equal to any other...
Prabhupāda: Stri-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnām (SB 1.4.25). It is meant for less intelligent class of men: stri, woman; śūdra; and dvija-bandhu. Dvija-bandhu means persons who are born in high family but they have no education. Just like a man born in brāhmaṇa family...