The best way of understanding is to accept such a divine instruction, and Brahma, the prime spiritual master of everyone, is the living example of this process of receiving transcendental knowledge

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"The best way of understanding is to accept such a divine instruction, and Brahma, the prime spiritual master of everyone, is the living example of this process of receiving transcendental knowledge"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

There is no difference between the Lord and the sound vibration coming from Him, even though He is not personally present. The best way of understanding is to accept such a divine instruction, and Brahmā, the prime spiritual master of everyone, is the living example of this process of receiving transcendental knowledge. The potency of transcendental sound is never minimized because the vibrator is apparently absent. Therefore Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or the Bhagavad-gītā or any revealed scripture in the world is never to be accepted as an ordinary mundane sound without transcendental potency.
Lecture on SB 2.9.4-8 -- Tokyo, April 23, 1972:

Prabhupāda: Don't appear to you. What do you know about plant life? Something does not appear to you, that does not mean there is nothing such thing. You don't be so courageous that you know everything. You have to know from the śāstra. They have got breathing. They have got feeling also. That is already proved by modern scientists, Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, that when you cut a plant, it feels the pain and it is recorded in the machine, the feeling. So everything is there. As soon as you find some living entity... A small full stop-like... Sometimes you find in the book. It is lesser than the full-stop. It is moving, (makes sound) "but, but, but, but." It has got heart; it has got legs; it has got everything within it. Otherwise, how it is working? Everything is there. This is rascaldom, that "This has got soul; this has got no soul." This is rascal's theory. Living entity so small, one ten-thousandth part of the top tip of the hair, we are. Very... You cannot imagine. So any life he takes, any form, it has got all the, I mean to say, functional thing. Everything is there. That is God's creation. Aṇor aṇīyān mahato mahīyān. The biggest of the biggest. He has got the same, what is called, physiological construction. And the ant, he has got the same physiological construction. You cannot see. What is your strength? That we are studying with our tiny brain, "Oh, it has got no breathing. It has no soul," that is our tiny brain.

But we have to know actually from authentic śāstra what is the actual thing. Śāstra-cakṣusā. You don't see with your, these blunt eyes, rascal eyes We see through the śāstras. That should be. That is real knowledge. What is our capacity of these eyes, these senses? They are all imperfect. So whatever knowledge you gather, the so-called scientists, they are all imperfect. Real perfect knowledge is here, Veda. Vedaiś ca sarvaiḥ. Therefore you should see through the Vedic version what is actually the fact. So the living entities, sarva-ga. Sarva-ga means a living entity can enter anywhere, and the material function is there. Just like we say "The point has no length, no breadth." Why? But I can see point. Why length and...? "I have no instrument to measure it." That you say. You cannot say there is no length and breadth. You have no instrument to measure what is the length and breadth of the point. You say...

Similarly you cannot understand what is the form of God. You say, "Oh, God is false." But from the śāstra we can understand. Here it is said that rūpaṁ sa ādi-devo jagatāṁ paro guruḥ. Brahmaṇe darśayan rūpam. So if God has no form, how He showed His form to Brahmā? He has form. Brahmā has attained the perfection to see the form of God, and the rascals who have no such perfection, they say "No form." That is the position. They, with their imperfect senses, all rascal theories, they are thinking that they have become perfect. But they are not perfect. First thing is that the senses with which you are studying, they are imperfect. What is the value of our eyes? Unless there is sunlight, you cannot see. So how can you say that "Our seeing is absolute"? It is relative. So whatever knowledge we are getting, they're all relative knowledge. Relative means according to my power I am studying, "This is this. This is this." But they are all wrong. You do not know what is actually the position. Therefore the conclusion is that we have to take knowledge from the perfect. Śāstra-cakṣusā. Your eyes should be... Actually we are doing that. Now, directly we are seeing the sun. We see just like the disk. But when you go through scientific books, geographic and other authorit..., astronomy, they, "No, the sun is fourteen hundred thousand times bigger than this planet." So actually we are understanding about the sun not by our direct eyes but through the authoritative knowledge, through the śāstra, through the books.

Śruti-pramāṇam. That is evidence, śruti-pramāṇam. Śruti means Veda. In the Vedas it is stated... Just like Brahmā. He is receiving Vedic knowledge from, directly from God, Kṛṣṇa. Brahmaṇe darśayan rūpam. This is the process of understanding. Brahmā, how Brahmā is receiving knowledge? Directly he sees there is nobody there, but he is receiving knowledge. Directly he could not see. Upāśṛṇot, upāśṛṇot. Upāśṛṇot: "He simply heard." Upāśṛṇot. Ear, not the eyes. So therefore knowledge has to be gathered by aural reception, not by the eyes. My Guru Mahārāja used to say that, "Do not try to see a saintly person. You try to hear a saintly person." If you see a long beard and very strong man, he is a great sādhu. Oh. That's it." No. You have to hear. What does he speak? Then you understand. Upāśṛṇot. Divyaṁ sahasrābdam. Then? Go on.

Pradyumna: Vijita—controlled over; ubhaya—both; indriyaḥ—one who has such senses; atapyata—executed penance; sma—in the past; akhila—all; loka—planet; tāpanam—enlightening; tapaḥ—penance; tapīyān—extremely hard penance; tapatām—of all the executors of penances; samāhitaḥ—thus situated.

Prabhupāda: Then?

Pradyumna: "Translation: Lord Brahmā underwent penances for one thousand years by the calculations of the demigods. He heard this transcendental vibration from the sky and he accepted it as divine. Thus he controlled his mind and senses and the penances which he executed were a great lesson for the living entities. Thus he is known as the greatest of all ascetics."

Prabhupāda: So one has to become ascetic and therefore penance. Then these things will be learned. Not with imperfect senses, imperfect conclusion we can understand. No. Then?

Pradyumna: "Purport: Lord Brahmā then heard the occult sound tapa, but he did not see the person who vibrated the sound. And still he accepted the instruction as beneficial for him, and therefore he engaged himself in meditation for one thousand celestial years. One celestial year is equal to 6 x 30 x 12 x 1000 of our years. His acceptance of the sound was due to his pure vision of the absolute nature of the Lord. And due to his correct vision he made no distinction between the Lord and the Lord's instruction. There is no difference between the Lord and the sound vibration coming from Him, even though He is not personally present. The best way of understanding is to accept such a divine instruction, and Brahmā, the prime spiritual master of everyone, is the living example of this process of receiving transcendental knowledge. The potency of transcendental sound is never minimized because the vibrator is apparently absent. Therefore Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or the Bhagavad-gītā or any revealed scripture in the world is never to be accepted as an ordinary mundane sound without transcendental potency.

One has to receive the transcendental sound from the right source and accept it as a reality and prosecute the direction without any hesitation, and the secret of success is to receive the sound from the right source of a bona fide spiritual master. Mundane manufactured sound has no potency, and as such, seemingly transcendental sound received from an unauthorized person also has no potency. One should be qualified enough to discern such transcendental potency, and either by discriminating or by fortunate chance, if one is able to receive the transcendental sound from a bona fide spiritual master, his path of liberation is guaranteed. The disciple, however, must be ready to execute the order of the bona fide spiritual master, as Lord Brahmā executed the instruction of his spiritual master, the Lord Himself. Following the order of the bona fide spiritual master is the only duty of the disciple, and this completely faithful execution of the order of the bona fide spiritual master is the secret of success.

Lord Brahmā controlled his two grades of senses by means of sense perception and sense organs, because he had to engage such senses in the execution of the order of the Lord. Therefore controlling the senses means to engage them in the transcendental service of the Lord. The Lord's order descends in disciplic succession..."

Prabhupāda: If you simply engage your senses to execute the order of the Lord, then it is controlled. Otherwise, you cannot control. It is impossible because we have got our senses—they are very strong. Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ (SB 9.4.18). The mind is the master of the senses. The central sense, the chief sense, the prime minister sense is the mind. Therefore Mahārāja Ambarīṣa first of all engaged his mind in Kṛṣṇa. Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ. If you engage your mind always to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, then the sense deviation, sense going other, otherwise—immediately controlled. Immediately controlled. The senses are very strong. They are compared with serpents. Durdāntendriya-kāla-sarpa-paṭalī. Kāla-sarpa. Just like cobra. Someway or other, it touches—immediately death. So our senses are so strong that it is simply dragging us towards hell. Adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisram (SB 7.5.30). Mind is dragging somewhere, eye is dragging somewhere, ear is dragging somewhere, and touch sensation is dragging somewhere. In this way we are perplexed.

Therefore the process is sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane (SB 9.4.18). You have to engage your mind unto the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, and your tongue, always chanting and taking little prasādam. Then all senses will be controlled. Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane. And see. Eyes should be engaged to see the Deity, very gorgeously, nicely dressed. Then our eyes will not ask, "Oh, let me see this beautiful woman." No. You will see the most beautiful woman, Rādhārāṇī, and you will become... Similarly, ear should be engaged always hearing about Kṛṣṇa. Eyes, ear... Nose should be engaged for smelling the flower which is offered to Kṛṣṇa. Legs should be engaged for preaching work going or going to the temple. Hands should be engaged for cleansing the temple. In this, way if you are engaged always your senses, you are perfect. You are the greatest yogi. Yogi means yoga indriya-saṁyamaḥ: "Yoga practice means to control the senses." But this bhakti process is so nice-automatically senses are controlled.

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ
(BG 6.47)

He is the highest yogi. Those whose senses are always engaged in serving or satisfying Kṛṣṇa, he is the greatest yogi. Finished? "Therefore controlling the senses means to engage them in the transcendental service of the Lord."

Pradyumna: "The Lord's order descends in disciplic succession through the bona fide spiritual master, and thus execution of the order of the bona fide spiritual master is factual control of the senses. Such execution of penance in full faith and sincerity made Brahmājī so powerful that he became the creator of the universe. And because he was able to attain such power, he is called the best amongst all the tapasvīs."

Prabhupāda: Nārādhito yadi haris tapasā tataḥ kim: "If you cannot approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then what is the value of your tapasya?" Ārādhito yadi haris tapasā tataḥ kim: "And if someway or other, if you approach Kṛṣṇa, there is no more necessity of tapasya." You have already got all the results of tapasya.

ārādhito yadi haris tapasā tataḥ kim
nārādhito yadi haris tapasā tataḥ kim
(Nārada Pañcarātra)