Pradyumna: In Sanskrit the parrot is also known as śuka. When a ripened fruit is cut by the red beaks of such birds, its sweet flavor is enhanced. The Vedic fruit which is mature and ripe in knowledge is spoken through the lips of Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who is compared to the parrot not for his ability to recite the Bhāgavatam exactly as he heard it from his learned father, but for his ability to present the work in a manner that would appeal to all classes of men. The subject matter is so presented through the lips of Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī that any sincere listener that hears submissively can at once relish transcendental tastes which are distinct from the perverted tastes of the material world. The ripened fruit is not dropped all of a sudden from the highest planet of Kṛṣṇaloka. Rather, it has come down carefully through the chain of disciplic succession without change or disturbance. Foolish people who are not in the transcendental disciplic succession commit great blunders by trying to understand the highest transcendental rasa known as the rāsa dance without following in the footsteps of Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who presents this fruit very carefully by stages of transcendental realization. One should be intelligent to know the position of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by considering personalities like Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who deals with the subject so carefully. This process of disciplic succession of the Bhāgavata school suggests that in the future also Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam has to be understood from a person who is factually a representative of Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī. A professional man who makes a business out of reciting the Bhāgavatam illegally is certainly not a representative of Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Such a man's business is only to earn his livelihood. Therefore one should refrain from hearing the lectures of such professional men. Such men usually go to the most confidential part of the literature without undergoing the gradual process of understanding this grave subject."
Prabhupāda: In India there is a class, they are professional Bhāgavata reciters. They make contract that he shall recite Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, finish within a week, and he should be rewarded. These things are not recommended in the authoritative scriptures. We should follow the footsteps of Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī. He's explaining Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from the very beginning. Janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). Try to understand the philosophy of Bhāgavata. Then gradually, when you are accustomed to understand what is Kṛṣṇa, then go to the Tenth Canto, wherein Kṛṣṇa's rāsa dance is described. Without reading in the beginning what is Kṛṣṇa, if we all of a sudden jump over to understand the rāsa dance... That is a very natural tendency. No, we should not go like that. First of all, try to understand what is Kṛṣṇa. To understand Kṛṣṇa is very difficult subject matter. But by the grace of Lord Caitanya we can understand little about Kṛṣṇa. And then gradually... Of course, the ultimate goal is to enter into the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa. But not by speculation or by material misconception. Gradually, step by step. Prādurbhāve bhavet kramaḥ.
There is a chronological way or gradual process. Ādau śraddhā. First of all, śraddhā, faith. "Oh, Kṛṣṇa consciousness is very good." This is faith. Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgaḥ (Cc. Madhya 23.14-15). Then, to increase that faith, we should mix with persons who are actually developing or cultivating Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is called sādhu-saṅga (CC Madhya 22.83). Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sā... atha bhajana-kriyā. Then, after mixing, after associating with the devotees, naturally one becomes eager to be initiated how to execute devotional service. That is called initiation. Bhajana-kriyā. And if he is properly initiated and if he executes the order of the spiritual master, regulative principles, then anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt. Then things which are not wanted in our life, that becomes vanquished. Just like nobody will die without sex life. Nobody will die without meat-eating. Nobody will die without intoxication. Nobody will die without playing gambling. These are learned by association only. By bad association we learn how to drink, how to smoke. Similarly, by good association we can give up drinking and smoking. So this is called anartha. Anartha means which there is no gain, simply loss. Practically we can see. So a man who has learned to smoke, he's spending one pound or like that daily for smoking. At least we save that money. We don't smoke. So anartha. There is no necessity, still we have learned.
So anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt. If one is actually initiated and follows the rules and regulations, he'll no more be attached with these unwanted things. Then anartha... Tato niṣṭhā. Then firm faith. By these four processes the faith becomes firm. Tato niṣṭhā tato ruciḥ. Ruci means taste. Just like you are sitting here. Unless you have got some taste to understand Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you could not sit down. Tato ruciḥ. Tato niṣṭhā rucis tataḥ, athāsaktiḥ. Then attachment. Instead of being attached to this material enjoyment, one becomes attached to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In this way, tato bhāvaḥ. Then ecstasy. Then love of Kṛṣṇa.
So when you come to the platform of love of Kṛṣṇa by this process, at that time if we try to understand Kṛṣṇa's rāsa dance, that will be very relishable. Before that, if we try to understand, the effect will be we shall consider Kṛṣṇa as a young boy of this material world and the gopīs are young girls, and they're enjoying. "So let me imitate also and I become Kṛṣṇa, you become gopīs." That will be the effect. Don't do that. First of all try to understand Kṛṣṇa. Then go to read rāsa dance. Finish it.
Pradyumna: "They usually plunge into the subject matter of the rāsa dance, which is misunderstood by the..."
Prabhupāda: These professional readers, they won't read. Just like we are reading the philosophical side here. They won't go. People are not interested the philosophy. They immediately jump over the rasa dance, and they think, "Oh, Kṛṣṇa is enjoying with the gopīs." Just like we read some novel, one boy is enjoying with another girl. They take it like that. You see? So that is degradation. Avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇaṁ pūtaṁ hari-kathāmṛtam, śravaṇaṁ naiva kartavyam. Therefore Sanātana Gosvāmī has warned that one who is not actually Vaiṣṇava, a realized soul of this Vaiṣṇava philosophy, one should not hear from him. Avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇaṁ pūtaṁ hari-kathāmṛtam, śravaṇaṁ na kartavya... Don't hear.
So actually, this Bhāgavata-saptāha is going on in India in village to village, but we see the effect is that they are not Kṛṣṇa conscious. They are not as good Kṛṣṇa conscious as you are becoming. Because they take it as, as a matter of some refreshment. No. It should be taken very seriously and should be heard from the right source. Then you will get the result.
Pradyumna: "Some of them take this to be immoral, while others try to cover it up by their own stupid interpretations."
Prabhupāda: Yes, sometimes they say, "Oh, Kṛṣṇa is so immoral." Yes, that will be the effect. "Kṛṣṇa is enjoying with others' wives and others' sisters, like that." They'll take it like that. They do it. We have to sometimes explain. They question. Even Parīkṣit Mahārāja questioned. Parīkṣit Mahārāja questioned... Not that he was ignorant. He questioned this fact from Śukadeva Gosvāmī, and it was answered so that others may understand that Kṛṣṇa's pastime is not immoral. That is the highest sublime spiritual pastime. Go on.
Pradyumna: "They have no desire to follow in the footsteps of Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī. One should conclude, therefore, that the serious student of the rasa should receive the message of Bhāgavatam in the chain of disciplic succession from Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who describes the Bhāgavatam from its very beginning and not whimsically to satisfy the mundaner who has very little knowledge in transcendental science. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is so carefully presented that a sincere and serious person can at once enjoy the ripened fruit of Vedic knowledge simply by drinking the nectarean juice through the mouth of Śukadeva Gosvāmī or his bona fide representative."
Prabhupāda: That's all. Now have kīrtana. (end)