The Mahābhārata, the basic principle of Mahābhārata is the fighting between the two groups of royal family and on that politics, sociology, religion... But those who have read Mahābhārata, they will be surprised how elevated knowledge are there in Mahābhārata. But they were meant for śūdras and, I mean to say, less-intelligent class of men. So you can imagine how intelligent at that time people were that Mahābhārata was... Mahābhārata is even at the present moment they can(not) understand rightly Mahābhārata. Say, for Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā is part of Mahābhārata. But the philosophy is not understood properly even by the greatest philosophers. They commit mistake. So that means as the days are going, we are becoming less, less intelligent. Less, less intelligent.
Therefore in this age of less-intelligence class of men, this, the yoga system as it is... Not bluff yoga, real yoga. Yoga indriya saṁyama. Oh, that is not possible, real yoga system. Controlling the senses, sit in a solitary place, and alone, with celibatic life, no sense enjoyment. There are so many rules and regulations. Not that... If I say that "Whatever you like you can do. You just meditate," what meditation you'll do? That is not possible in this age. Next stage of elevation is sacrifice. These are statement of the Vedic literature. (break)
...kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇum. Meditation means meditating on Viṣṇu, on the Supreme Lord, this Viṣṇu form, as you have got in my front. Meditation. That is called yoga. By meditating on Viṣṇu, one realizes everything and gets some power, wonderful power. So Bhāgavata says that kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇum. The perfection of life (is) attained in the Satya-yuga, or golden age, by meditating on Viṣṇu. That is meditation.
Tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ. The next stage, Tretā-yuga, by offering sacrifice. That is in the second age. And dvāpare paricaryāyām. In the next age, Dvāpara age, by temple worship, church worship. So Lord Caitanya says that kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva. Three times. Three times "no." That means meditation is not possible, sacrifice not possible, temple worship or church worship not possible. Then what is possible? Kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt. In this age, simply by chanting the glories of the Lord, Hare Kṛṣṇa. These are prescribed. Therefore Lord Caitanya, you see, He is preaching this cult, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa... There is no distinction whether you are in church or temple or mosque. You simply vibrate Hare Kṛṣṇa wherever you are, at home or in temple or anywhere. Or in the street or in bed, or in hospital or in office, you can chant. Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa. So kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ, dvāpare paricaryāyāṁ kalau... (SB 12.3.52). Kalau means this age, in the age of Kali. Hari-kīrtanāt, simply by chanting. Hari means God.
So here Nārada is asking Vyāsadeva, jijñāsitam. "You are a very perfect scholar." Now the first word is used here, jijñāsitam. A scholar is he who has perfectly inquired from his spiritual master. Inquiry. Just like in the Vedānta-sūtra, the first aphorism is athāto brahma jijñāsā. One must be very inquisitive. That... I have explained already several times, that first inquisitiveness should be "What I am? Am I this body? Oh, the bodily comforts are so many. I have got my car, I have got good apartment, I have got good wife, and... Why I am not happy? Why I am not happy? Everything is there. So am I this body?" No. Vyāsadeva here is asked this question, jijñāsitam. So jijñāsitam adhītaṁ ca. Jijñāsitaṁ susampannam api: "And after inquiry, you have very nicely written all kinds of literature, authoritative literature."
If one is perfect in his inquiry from the authorized spiritual master, he can write things. Otherwise, what is the use of writing nonsense? Those books will be thrown away. After reading..., just like the newspaper thrown away and the other books are thrown away. But Bhagavad-gītā or Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam you cannot throw away. You cannot throw away. I'll give you one practical example in my life. In Calcutta... My birthplace is in Calcutta. So my friend, he had one European gentleman tenant. I am speaking of, say, about thirty years before story. So that gentleman, he was a very respectable man, manager of a big firm, and he was tenant of my friend. So he was going to take possession of the house. He was vacating. So I also went with him. That European gentleman... I forgot his name now. It is... There was a Bhagavad-gītā in his almirah. So my friend, Mr. Mullik, he, out of inquisitiveness, he was touching that book. He thought that "He is European Christian. Why he has kept this Bhagavad-gītā?" So he was seeing that Bhagavad-gītā. And that European gentleman, he thought that "I'm going, and this landlord may ask this book, because the Bhagavad-gītā belongs to the Hindus." He immediately said, "Dear Mr. Mullik, I can give any book you like, but I cannot give that Bhagavad-gītā. This is my life." Just see. I heard it in my own ear. So he replied, "No, Mr. such and such, I don't want your book. I was just seeing that how, why you have kept Bhagavad-gītā in your almirah?" "Oh, Bhagavad-gītā is my life."
So it is the... Śāstra means that you cannot throw it away. Nobody has thrown Bhagavad-gītā at any time, anywhere, because it is perfect. Nobody has thrown Bible—because they are perfect in knowledge. Jijñāsitam adhītaṁ ca. Jijñāsitaṁ susampannam api te mahad-adbhutam: "You have done wonderful work." And kṛtavān bhārataṁ yas tvaṁ sarvārtha-paribṛṁhitam: "And you have created the great literature Mahābhārata, in which everything is there." Eh? Jijñāsitam adhītaṁ ca. "And not only simply you have inquired, but you have studied fully." There are many inquisitive persons, inquire so many things, but do not study. Reciprocation, there must be study and inquiry. Just like a nice scholar in the college, he inquires from the professor, at the same time studies. So the process of acquiring knowledge is to study and to inquire.
So here it is said jijñāsitam adhītaṁ ca brahma. Brahma means the Supreme Absolute Truth. "You have inquired sufficiently..." Because he was spiritual master, Nārada, he knows how he was inquisitive. So, "You have inquired about the Supreme Absolute Truth." Jijñāsitam adhītaṁ ca yat tat sanātanam. Absolute Truth, sanātana means eternal. Absolute Truth is not relative. Here in this world everything we see relative. This world, material world, is called relative world. And therefore it is not sanātanam. Sanātanam means eternal. As soon as we are in the relative world, there is no eternal life. Relative world means that one thing has to be understood by another thing. Just like what is the meaning of "son"? The son is the son of a father. So unless there is father, there is no question of son. Unless there is husband, there is no question of wife. Unless there is black, there is no question of white. Similarly, whatever you try to understand, there must be the opposite number. That is called duality, or dvaita-jagat, or the duality. But in the absolute world there is no such distinction. One. The same father and the same son. Therefore, if I do not mistake, sometimes Jesus Christ is accepted as the father and sometimes as son. Because in the material world there is such distinction, master and servant, father and son, lower or higher. But in the spiritual world, although there are varieties, but there is no distinction. There is no distinction.
The Māyāvādī philosophers, they cannot understand the spiritual varieties. As soon as they think of varieties they think of material things. But actually, that is not. There is variety in the spiritual... Unless there is variety... Because Vedānta-sūtra says, janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). Unless there are varieties, how in the shadow the varieties are there? Just like in a cinematographic picture, unless in the original photograph or the subject matter from which photograph is taken, unless there were varieties, how the picture can be variety? So in the material world the varieties are reflection of the spiritual world. Here is also father, but this is imitation father. But there is also father, but that is not father, that is real father. It is imitation father. A friend is imitation friend. Real friend is Kṛṣṇa. Real father is Kṛṣṇa. Here husband, imitation husband. Real husband is Kṛṣṇa. Master, imitation master. Real master is Kṛṣṇa. So in this way, if we establish our relationship with Kṛṣṇa as..., either as husband or lover or master or friend or son or father, it is perfect. It is perfect. We have to go to that stage.