If one can understand oneself and the Supreme Self and what is this material world, why we have come here, what is my relation with God, what is my relation with this world, this is knowledge. They are called jnanavan

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Expressions researched:
"If one can understand oneself and the Supreme Self and what is this material world, why we have come here, what is my relation with God, what is my relation with this world, this is knowledge. They are called jnanavan"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Real knowledge is Vedic knowledge, Vedānta knowledge, to know oneself, "What I am, what is God, Bhagavān, what is my relation with Him, and what is my duty, and what is the ultimate goal of life." This is knowledge. Etaj jñānaṁ tad ajñānam anyathā. Kṛṣṇa says, "This is jñānam." Kṣetra-kṣetra-jña-jñānam. If one can understand oneself and the Supreme Self and what is this material world, why we have come here, what is my relation with God, what is my relation with this world, this is knowledge. They are called jñānavān.
Lecture on SB 3.25.8 -- Bombay, November 8, 1974:

So sac-cakṣur, to see oneself and to see God, it is not very easy. Janmanām ante. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante (BG 7.19). That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, jñānavān. The so-called learned scholars, Vedantists, so-called Vedantists... One who is actual Vedant..., knower of Vedānta, he understands the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. Because veda means knowledge, and anta, "the late phase." Knowledge, there are different types of knowledge. Ordinary knowledge, as we are now interested for economic benefit, that is not actual knowledge. That is art of livelihood. That is not knowledge. Suppose you are a very big engineer, and another man is ordinary electric mistri. The qualification is the same: earning livelihood by some art. If there is some wrong in the electric line, I cannot repair it. I call one mistri. He knows the art. He immediately revives the electric current. So this sort of knowledge is called śilpa, śilpa-jñāna, "artistic knowledge." That is not knowledge. Real knowledge is Vedic knowledge, Vedānta knowledge, to know oneself, "What I am, what is God, Bhagavān, what is my relation with Him, and what is my duty, and what is the ultimate goal of life." This is knowledge. Etaj jñānaṁ tad ajñānam anyathā. Kṛṣṇa says, "This is jñānam." Kṣetra-kṣetra-jña-jñānam. If one can understand oneself and the Supreme Self and what is this material world, why we have come here, what is my relation with God, what is my relation with this world, this is knowledge. They are called jñānavān. Jñānavān, they are searching after knowledge. Ke āmi kene āmāya jāre tāpa-traya.

This knowledge begins, inquisitiveness, athāto brahma jijñāsā. Just like Sanātana Gosvāmī went to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He was minister, very big minister of Bengal, Nawab Hussein Shah's government. He left everything. He resigned from the post and became follower of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. So when he met Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Vārāṇasī, at that time, he placed this question that ke āmi kene āmāya jāre tāpa-traya. This is the inquisitiveness, knowledge. Tāpa-traya. Tāpa-traya means three kinds of miserable condition: adhyātmika, adhibhautika, adhidaivika. We are suffering always. Ātmā means body and mind—even soul. But soul is aloof from body and mind, but he is absorbed. On account of material contamination, the soul feels the pains and pleasure of mind and body on account of contact. So this is called adhyātmika. And adhibhautika, pains given by other living entities. Even if you sit down silently, without any, mean, cares, still, the mosquito will come and bite you. Or the bugs will come and bite you at night. And there are other, dogs and cats and envious persons, serpents. So many enemies. Even if you want to remain peaceful, the other living entities will not allow you to remain peaceful. This is material existence. You have got this body. From the body you'll have to suffer. At least, you have to suffer śītoṣṇa. When it is scorching heat, you'll have to suffer. Why you are running on this fan? Because you are feeling heat, extraordinary. Therefore you invented this fan. Or mosquito curtain. Just struggle. This is called adhibhautika.

Then adhidaivika. If there is no rain, there will be no food production, and the rice will go eight rupees per kilo. And you have to suffer. Durbhikṣa. Even people are not willing to give you bhikṣā. "Because the rice is so costly, how can I give?" That is called durbhikṣa. Durbhikṣa means when you do not get even bhikṣā. This is the most lowest profession. It is highest also. The sannyāsīs, they go door to door, bhikṣā. Brahmacārī go to door to door. Our Vedic civilization is that in the society there are four divisions: the brahmacārī, the gṛhastha, the vānaprastha, and the sannyāsī. Suppose there are hundred men in a village or in a place. The society is divided into four āśramas: brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha... So... This is material calculation. Suppose if there are hundred men, seventy-five men are to be considered brahmacārī, vānaprastha and sannyāsī. So these seventy-five men will live at the cost of the twenty-five men, gṛhastha. Gṛhastha has to give alms to the brahmacārī, to the vānaprastha, and to the sannyāsa. Just see how nice communism. The one twenty-five-percent group, they are earning, and they are maintaining seventy-five men. So they are living by bhikṣā. Brahmacārī will go door to door, "Mother, give me alms," and they'll give. The sannyāsī will go. So when this bhikṣā will not be available, that is called durbhikṣa, famine. This is adhibhautika. Adhibhautika, er adhidaivika. You have no control.

That is coming gradually. The more people are becoming godless, the more there will be scarcity of food. Because nature is the servant of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, mama māyā. The nature is the maidservant. Nature is mother, Goddess Durgā, material nature. But she is not independent. In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is stated, sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-sādhana-śaktir ekā chāyeva yasya bhuvanāni bibharti durgā (Bs. 5.44). Durgā, Mother Durgā is so powerful that she can make, create... Sṛṣṭi-sthiti. She can maintain. Maintenance also in her power. So because she is the maidservant of Kṛṣṇa... Chāyeva yasya bhuvanāni bibharti durgā. Durgā bibharti, maintains. But it works like chāya. Icchānurūpam api yasya ca ceṣṭate sā govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi. She is not independent. She works under the direction of Govinda. And Govinda says also in the Bhagavad-gītā, mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram: (BG 9.10) "Under My order." So prakṛti will be unkind. As we have seen, the Mother Durgā is chastising the asura on the chest; the trident, triśūla, is piercing. Why? Because he's asura. Asura means nondevotee. The asura. Sura and asura. There are two kinds of men: daiva āsura eva ca. Dvau bhūta-sargau loke 'smin daiva āsura eva ca (BG 16.6). There are two kinds of men in the world. One is called daiva, devatā, demigods, and the other is called āsura. You have heard about the devatā and asura, there is always fight. Daivāsura. So who is asura, who is deva? Viṣṇu-bhaktaḥ smṛto daivaḥ. Those who are devotees of the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu, they are devatā. Āsuras tad-viparyayaḥ. And those who are not devotee of Viṣṇu, but other demigods, even if he's devotee of Lord Brahmā or Lord Śiva, he's to be considered as asura.

Just like Rāvaṇa. Rāvaṇa was a great devotee of Lord Śiva, but he's considered as asura, rākṣasa. Nobody gives him credit. You have got, seen the rāma-līlā. Rāvaṇa is insulted. But he was a great devotee of Lord Śiva. You know that. Why he's insulted? Because he was not a Vaiṣṇava. He was against Rāmacandra. Therefore he's asura. When he was in danger, when Rāmacandra was in his front to kill him, so he began to offer his prayer, Rāvaṇa, "Please come and protect me." He knew that "I cannot be saved from the arrow of Lord Rāmacandra." That he knew very well. Therefore he was praying to Lord Śiva, "Please come and save me." But Lord Śiva could not come and save. Pārvatī was requesting him, that "Your, such a great devotee, he's in danger, and he's praying to, for protection, and you are not going?" Lord Śiva said, "What shall I do? I cannot give him protection." Therefore the simple word is rākhe kṛṣṇa māre ke and māre kṛṣṇa rākhe ke. If Kṛṣṇa wants to kill somebody, nobody can give protection. It is not possible. And if Kṛṣṇa wants to protect somebody, nobody can kill him. This is the...

So asura and deva, there are two kinds of men. Viṣṇu-bhaktaḥ smṛto daiva āsuras tad... It is Vedic injunction. Oṁ tad viṣṇoḥ... Ṛg-veda mantra. Oṁ tad viṣṇoḥ paramaṁ padaṁ sadā paśyanti sūrayaḥ. This is the Vedic mantra. Sūrayaḥ, those who are learned, advanced people, they look forward for the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Viṣṇu. So this viṣṇu-bhakta... Here it is said, tasya tvaṁ tamasaḥ and andhasya duṣpārasyādya pāragam. If you want to get relief from this duṣpārasya andhasya... We have already tried to understand that this material world is andha, andhakāra. It is simply darkness. Just see, now it is dark. Because the sun is not visible, it is just on the opposite side of the sun, therefore we are in darkness. Actually, the position of this material world is darkness. Just like here is now electric light. If the, some way or other, the current is off, it will be dark. Everyone knows it. We require artificial light because it is darkness. So Kṛṣṇa has given this artificial light both day and night. In the day there is sunshine, and there is moonshine at night. Because without light you cannot work. Without... You are very much proud of your eyes: "Can you show me God?" So the answer will be, "Have you got the eyes to see God? You rascal, you want to see God. Have you got the eyes to see God?" "No, sir." "Then why you want to see God?" God can be seen in a different way. God can be seen... Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena (Bs. 5.38). When you will be devotee, lover of God, then, by that ointment, your eyes will be cleared and you will be seeing God. Now, here is God. Kṛṣṇa. Here is God. Why the people in Bombay, those (who are) challenging, "Can you show me God?" they do not come here? Because they have no love. A few devotees here, they understand that here is God. They can see here is God. But the rascals, they cannot see God. So even though he has got eyes, he cannot see God. Nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yogamāyā-samāvṛtaḥ (BG 7.25).

So to see God you have to make your eyes cleansed. Just like with cataractic eyes you cannot see anything. Everything is dark. But if you have operation, the cataract is taken away, then you can see. Similarly, with these eyes, these material eyes, you cannot see God. Not only you see God, you cannot understand Him although His name is there. Ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi. Nāmādi. To understand God means to understand first of all His name, nāmādi. Therefore... From the beginning with nāma. Therefore Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra means the name of God. God is not different from His name, absolute. "Kṛṣṇa" and the Kṛṣṇa person is the same. I have already explained that absolute means Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa's name, Kṛṣṇa's form, Kṛṣṇa's place, Kṛṣṇa's dress, Kṛṣṇa's throne, Kṛṣṇa's prasādam, everything Kṛṣṇa, they are not different. Advaya-jñāna. So Kṛṣṇa is there in the name, in the form, but because we have no love for Him, we cannot see. Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti (Bs. 5.38). Those who have developed God consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, love for God... Unless they have got love for God, why they have sacrificed their life for Kṛṣṇa? They could earn. They know how to earn money in America, and there is money also. Here if, even if I know how to earn money, there is no money. But America is not like that. You can earn money like anything. Like anything.