The essence of Vedic knowledge

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is

BG Preface and Introduction

Bhagavad-gītā is also known as Gītopaniṣad. It is the essence of Vedic knowledge and one of the most important Upaniṣads in Vedic literature.
BG Introduction: Bhagavad-gītā is also known as Gītopaniṣad. It is the essence of Vedic knowledge and one of the most important Upaniṣads in Vedic literature. Of course there are many commentaries in English on the Bhagavad-gītā, and one may question the necessity for another one. This present edition can be explained in the following way. Recently an American lady asked me to recommend an English translation of Bhagavad-gītā. Of course in America there are so many editions of Bhagavad-gītā available in English, but as far as I have seen, not only in America but also in India, none of them can be strictly said to be authoritative because in almost every one of them the commentator has expressed his own opinions without touching the spirit of Bhagavad-gītā as it is.
Vedic knowledge is complete because it is above all doubts and mistakes, and Bhagavad-gītā is the essence of all Vedic knowledge.
BG Introduction: All Vedic knowledge is infallible, and Hindus accept Vedic knowledge to be complete and infallible. For example, cow dung is the stool of an animal, and according to smṛti, or Vedic injunction, if one touches the stool of an animal he has to take a bath to purify himself. But in the Vedic scriptures cow dung is considered to be a purifying agent. One might consider this to be contradictory, but it is accepted because it is Vedic injunction, and indeed by accepting this, one will not commit a mistake; subsequently it has been proved by modern science that cow dung contains all antiseptic properties. So Vedic knowledge is complete because it is above all doubts and mistakes, and Bhagavad-gītā is the essence of all Vedic knowledge.

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 1

The Bhagavad-gītā is the essence of all Vedic knowledge. It is the first book of spiritual values, as the Upaniṣads are.
SB 1.4.25 Purport: Vyāsadeva and Lord Kṛṣṇa are both on the transcendental plane, and therefore they collaborated in doing good to the fallen souls of this age. The Bhagavad-gītā is the essence of all Vedic knowledge. It is the first book of spiritual values, as the Upaniṣads are. The Vedānta philosophy is the subject matter for study by the spiritual graduates. Only the post-graduate spiritual student can enter into the spiritual or devotional service of the Lord. It is a great science, and the great professor is the Lord Himself in the form of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. And persons who are empowered by Him can initiate others in the transcendental loving service of the Lord.

SB Canto 2

One can become fixed in one's prescribed duty by faithful aural reception of Vedic instructions and assimilation of the essence of Vedic knowledge by devotional service to the Lord.
SB 2.2.5, Purport: The Lord is residing in everyone's heart, and unless one is purified by the prescribed process, one will feel that he is alone. But a man in the renounced order of life must be purified by the process; thus he will feel the presence of the Lord everywhere and will have nothing to fear (such as being without any company). Everyone can become a fearless and honest person if his very existence is purified by discharging the prescribed duty for each and every order of life. One can become fixed in one's prescribed duty by faithful aural reception of Vedic instructions and assimilation of the essence of Vedic knowledge by devotional service to the Lord.

SB Canto 4

As far as transcendental vibrations are concerned, the essence of all Vedic knowledge is the mahā-mantra—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
SB 4.18.14 Purport: Bṛhaspati is the priest of the heavenly planets. Vedic knowledge was received in logical order by the great sages through Bṛhaspati for the benefit of human society, not only on this planet, but throughout the universes. In other words, Vedic knowledge is considered one of the necessities for human society. If human society remains satisfied simply by taking grains from the planet earth as well as other necessities for maintaining the body, society will not be sufficiently prosperous. Humanity must have food for the mind and ear, as well as for the purpose of vibration. As far as transcendental vibrations are concerned, the essence of all Vedic knowledge is the mahā-mantra—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. In Kali-yuga, if this Vedic mahā-mantra is chanted regularly and heard regularly by the devotional process of śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam [SB 7.5.23], it will purify all societies, and thus humanity will be happy both materially and spiritually.

SB Canto 5

If one has unflinching faith in the Supreme Lord and the spiritual master, the essence of all Vedic knowledge is revealed to him.
SB 5.1.6 Purport: This verse states that by serving the lotus feet of his spiritual master, prince Priyavrata very soon attained the perfectional stage of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is the only way to advance in spiritual life. As stated in the Vedas:
yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
prakāśante mahātmanaḥ
[ŚU 6.23]
"If one has unflinching faith in the Supreme Lord and the spiritual master, the essence of all Vedic knowledge is revealed to him. (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23) A devotee always thinks of the Lord continuously. While chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, the words Kṛṣṇa and Hare immediately remind him of all the Lord's activities. Since his entire life is engaged in the service of the Lord, a devotee cannot forget the Lord at any time. Just as an ordinary man always engages his mind in material activities, a devotee always engages his mind in spiritual activities. This is called brahma-satra, or meditating upon the Supreme Lord always. Prince Priyavrata was perfectly initiated into this practice by Śrī Nārada.

SB Canto 6

Bhagavad-gītā is the essence of all Vedic knowledge, and therefore it is the scripture whose instructions should be especially accepted.
SB 6.5.20 Purport: The word śāstra refers to the scriptures, particularly the Vedic books of knowledge. The Vedas-Sāma, Yajur, Ṛg and Atharva—and any other books deriving knowledge from these Vedas are considered Vedic literatures. Bhagavad-gītā is the essence of all Vedic knowledge, and therefore it is the scripture whose instructions should be especially accepted. In this essence of all śāstras, Kṛṣṇa personally advises that one give up all other duties and surrender unto Him (sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]).

SB Canto 7

The Supreme Being, the Personality of Godhead, is the essence of all Vedic knowledge, the root of all religious principles, and the memory of great authorities.
SB 7.11.7 Translation: The Supreme Being, the Personality of Godhead, is the essence of all Vedic knowledge, the root of all religious principles, and the memory of great authorities. O King Yudhiṣṭhira, this principle of religion is to be understood as evidence. On the basis of this religious principle, everything is satisfied, including one's mind, soul and even one's body.

SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13

The Purāṇas are old, authentic histories, but nondevotees cannot understand them, especially Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which is the essence of Vedic knowledge. Nondevotees cannot understand even the preliminary study of transcendental knowledge, Bhagavad-gītā.
SB 10.2.36 Purport: The Purāṇas are old, authentic histories, but nondevotees cannot understand them, especially Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which is the essence of Vedic knowledge. Nondevotees cannot understand even the preliminary study of transcendental knowledge, Bhagavad-gītā. They simply speculate and present commentaries with absurd distortions. In conclusion, unless one elevates himself to the transcendental platform by practicing bhakti-yoga, one cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead or His name, form, attributes or activities. But if by chance, by the association of devotees, one can actually understand the Lord and His features, one immediately becomes a liberated person.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Adi-lila

In this age, no one is actually competent to study Vedānta, and therefore it is better that one chant the holy name of the Lord, which is the essence of all Vedic knowledge, as Kṛṣṇa Himself confirms in the Bhagavad-gītā.
CC Adi 7.72 Purport: One who is very much attracted to the study of Vedānta philosophy must take lessons from Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. In this age, no one is actually competent to study Vedānta, and therefore it is better that one chant the holy name of the Lord, which is the essence of all Vedic knowledge, as Kṛṣṇa Himself confirms in the Bhagavad-gītā (15.15):
vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham

“By all the Vedas, I am to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.”

The essence of all Vedic knowledge—comprehending the three kinds of Vedic activity [karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa and upāsanā-kāṇḍa], the chandas, or Vedic hymns, and the processes for satisfying the demigods—is included in the eight syllables Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa.
CC Adi 7.76 Purport: The Nārada-pañcarātra also praises the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra as follows:
trayo vedāḥ ṣaḍ-aṅgāni chandāṁsi vividhāḥ surāḥ
sarvam aṣṭākṣarāntaḥ-sthaṁ yac cānyad api vāṅ-mayam
sarva-vedānta-sārārthaḥ saṁsārārṇava-tāraṇaḥ
“The essence of all Vedic knowledge—comprehending the three kinds of Vedic activity [karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa and upāsanā-kāṇḍa], the chandas, or Vedic hymns, and the processes for satisfying the demigods—is included in the eight syllables Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa. This is the reality of all Vedānta. The chanting of the holy name is the only means to cross the ocean of nescience.”
Vedānta refers to the essence of Vedic knowledge, and it is not a fact that there is nothing more than Śaṅkarācārya’s Śārīraka-bhāṣya.
CC Adi 7.101 Purport: According to Sadānanda Yogīndra, the Vedānta-sūtra and Upaniṣads, as presented by Śrī Śaṅkarācārya in his Śārīraka-bhāṣya commentary, are the only sources of Vedic evidence. Actually, however, Vedānta refers to the essence of Vedic knowledge, and it is not a fact that there is nothing more than Śaṅkarācārya’s Śārīraka-bhāṣya. There are other Vedānta commentaries, written by Vaiṣṇava ācāryas, none of whom follow Śrī Śaṅkarācārya or accept the imaginative commentary of his school.
One who is unflinchingly devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, and similarly devoted to the spiritual master, with no ulterior motive, becomes a master of all knowledge. In the heart of such a devotee, the real essence of the Vedic knowledge becomes manifested.
CC Adi 17.257 Purport: One who is unflinchingly devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, and similarly devoted to the spiritual master, with no ulterior motive, becomes a master of all knowledge. In the heart of such a devotee, the real essence of the Vedic knowledge becomes manifested. This essence is nothing but surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead (vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]). Only unto one who fully surrenders to the spiritual master and the Supreme Lord does the essence of Vedic knowledge become manifested, not to anyone else.

CC Madhya-lila

The essence of Vedic knowledge is devotional service, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (15.15): vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ.
CC Madhya 1.33 Purport: Śrīla Śrīnivāsa Ācārya has sung:
nānā-śāstra-vicāraṇaika-nipuṇau sad-dharma-saṁsthāpakau
lokānāṁ hita-kāriṇau tri-bhuvane mānyau śaraṇyākarau
rādhā-kṛṣṇa-padāravinda-bhajanānandena mattālikau
vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau
The six Gosvāmīs, under the direction of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, studied various Vedic literatures and picked up the essence of them, the devotional service of the Lord. This means that all the Gosvāmīs wrote many scriptures on devotional service with the support of the Vedic literature. Devotional service is not a sentimental activity. The essence of Vedic knowledge is devotional service, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (15.15): vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ. All the Vedic literature aims at understanding Kṛṣṇa, and how to understand Kṛṣṇa through devotional service has been explained by Śrīla Rūpa and Sanātana Gosvāmīs, with evidence from all Vedic literatures. They have put it so nicely that even a rascal or first-class fool can be delivered by devotional service under the guidance of the Gosvāmīs.
To one who reads the Bhagavad-gītā with faith and devotion, the essence of Vedic knowledge is revealed.
CC Madhya 9.102 Purport: According to the śāstras: bhaktyā bhāgavataṁ grāhyaṁ na buddhyā na ca ṭīkayā. One should understand the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by hearing them from a real devotee. One cannot understand them simply by erudite scholarship or sharp intelligence. It is also said:
gītādhītā ca yenāpi bhakti-bhāvena cetasā
veda-śāstra-purāṇāni tenādhītāni sarvaśaḥ

To one who reads the Bhagavad-gītā with faith and devotion, the essence of Vedic knowledge is revealed. And according to the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (6.23):

yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ
[ŚU 6.23]
“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.”

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Teachings of Lord Caitanya

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is thus the essence of all Vedic knowledge.
Teachings of Lord Caitanya Chapter 22: Under the instructions of Nārada Muni, Vyāsadeva compiled Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam with the purpose of explaining the Vedānta-sūtra. In writing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Vyāsadeva collected all the essence of the Upaniṣads, the purpose of which was also explained in Vedānta-sūtra. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is thus the essence of all Vedic knowledge. That which is stated in the Upaniṣads and restated in Vedānta-sūtra is explained very nicely in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the authorized explanation of Brahma-sūtra, and it is a further explanation of Mahābhārata. It is the expansion of the gāyatrī mantra and the essence of all Vedic knowledge.
Teachings of Lord Caitanya Chapter 23: We should understand that Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the real explanation of the Brahma-sūtra, and it is compiled by Vyāsadeva himself.

In the Garuḍa Purāṇa it is said:

artho 'yaṁ brahma-sūtrāṇāṁ
bhāratārtha-vinirṇayaḥ
gāyatrī-bhāṣya-rūpo 'sau
vedārtha-paribṛṁhitaḥ
grantho 'ṣṭādaśa-sāhasraḥ
śrīmad-bhāgavatābhidhaḥ
"The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the authorized explanation of Brahma-sūtra, and it is a further explanation of Mahābhārata. It is the expansion of the gāyatrī mantra and the essence of all Vedic knowledge. This Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, containing eighteen thousand verses, is known as the explanation of all Vedic literature."

Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead

Great sages and scholars are interested in Vedic knowledge, but the essence of Vedic knowledge is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. Through the knowledge of the Vedas, Kṛṣṇa has to be understood.

Krsna Book Chapter 21: Great sages and scholars are interested in Vedic knowledge, but the essence of Vedic knowledge is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. Through the knowledge of the Vedas, Kṛṣṇa has to be understood. From the behavior of these birds, it appeared that they were great scholars in Vedic knowledge and that they took to Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental vibration and rejected all branches of Vedic knowledge.
The twenty-eight verses of the Veda-stuti are to be considered the essence of all Vedic knowledge.
Krsna Book Chapter 87: The twenty-eight verses of the Veda-stuti are to be considered the essence of all Vedic knowledge. The four Kumāras and all other authorized sages know perfectly that devotional service in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the essence of all Vedic literature, and they preach this on different planets, traveling in outer space. It is stated herein that such sages, including Nārada Muni, hardly ever travel on land; they perpetually travel in space.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī informed Mahārāja Parīkṣit of the answers to his questions regarding the essence of Vedic knowledge and what is considered to be the ultimate goal in the Vedas.
Krsna Book Chapter 87: Nārada Muni, after offering respects to Nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi, went to the āśrama of Vyāsadeva, his disciple. Being properly received by Vyāsadeva in his āśrama and seated very comfortably, Nārada Muni narrated the entire story of what he had heard from Nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi. In this way Śukadeva Gosvāmī informed Mahārāja Parīkṣit of the answers to his questions regarding the essence of Vedic knowledge and what is considered to be the ultimate goal in the Vedas. The supreme goal of life is to achieve the transcendental blessings of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and thus become engaged in the loving service of the Lord. One should follow in the footsteps of Śukadeva Gosvāmī and all the other Vaiṣṇavas in the disciplic succession and should pay respectful obeisances unto Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari. The four sects of Vaiṣṇava disciplic succession, namely the Madhva-sampradāya, the Rāmānuja-sampradāya, the Viṣṇu-svāmi-sampradāya and the Nimbārka-sampradāya, in pursuance of all Vedic conclusions, agree that one should surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Renunciation Through Wisdom

At present only a small portion of the knowledge contained in the Vedas, Vedānta-sūtra, and Upaniṣads is available to the general populace. What is noteworthy, however, is that the essence of all Vedic knowledge is available in the Gītopaniṣad, popularly known as the Bhagavad-gītā.
Renunciation Through Wisdom 5.1: At present only a small portion of the knowledge contained in the Vedas, Vedānta-sūtra, and Upaniṣads is available to the general populace. What is noteworthy, however, is that the essence of all Vedic knowledge is available in the Gītopaniṣad, popularly known as the Bhagavad-gītā. Lord Kṛṣṇa milked the cow of the Upaniṣads, and Arjuna drank the milk thus obtained—the Bhagavad-gītā. If Arjuna found time to hear the Bhagavad-gītā in the middle of a battlefield at Kuruksetra, then what urgent business is stopping us from hearing the Gītā? When knowledge of the Gītā spreads, then everyone will easily be able to attain the platform of yoga. And as the pure devotees of the Lord become successful in their efforts to use their spiritual intelligence in the Lord's service, then the science of love of God taught by Lord Caitanya, the most magnanimous incarnation of Godhead, will be distributed everywhere.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Bhagavad-gītā is known also Gītopaniṣad, the essence of Vedic knowledge, and one of the most important of the various Upaniṣads in Vedic literature
Introduction to Gitopanisad (Earliest Recording of Srila Prabhupada in the Bhaktivedanta Archives): Bhagavad-gītā is known also Gītopaniṣad, the essence of Vedic knowledge, and one of the most important of the various Upaniṣads in Vedic literature. This Bhagavad-gītā, there are many commentations in English and what is the necessity of another English commentation of the Bhagavad-gītā can be explained in the following way. One American lady, Mrs. Charlotte Le Blanc asked me to recommend an English edition of Bhagavad-gītā which she can read. Of course, in America there are so many editions of English Bhagavad-gītā, but so far I have seen them, not only in America but also India, none of them can be said strictly as authoritative because almost every one of them have expressed their own opinion through the commentation of the Bhagavad-gītā without touching the spirit of Bhagavad-gītā as it is.
So my idea is that Vedic knowledge is complete because it is above all doubts and all mistakes. So, and Bhagavad-gītā is the essence of all Vedic knowledge. The Vedic knowledge is therefore infallible
Introduction to Gitopanisad (Earliest Recording of Srila Prabhupada in the Bhaktivedanta Archives): It has been found by modern chemists, modern science, one Dr. Lal Mohan Gosal, he has very minutely analyzed the cow dung and he has found that cow dung is a composition of all antiseptic properties. So similarly, he has also analyzed the water of the Ganges out of curiosity. So my idea is that Vedic knowledge is complete because it is above all doubts and all mistakes. So, and Bhagavad-gītā is the essence of all Vedic knowledge. The Vedic knowledge is therefore infallible. It comes down through the perfect disciplic succession.
There are the four original Vedas, Sāma, Yajur, Ṛk, Atharva, and then the Upaniṣad, then the essence of Vedic knowledge, Vedānta-sūtra, then Rāmāyaṇa, Mahābhārata
Lecture on BG 9.1 -- Melbourne, April 19, 1976: There are the four original Vedas, Sāma, Yajur, Ṛk, Atharva, and then the Upaniṣad, then the essence of Vedic knowledge, Vedānta-sūtra, then Rāmāyaṇa, Mahābhārata... Mahābhārata is the greater history of this planet, Bhārata. In this way immense literature are available. If we like, we can read them. We are presenting in English translation so many books. The purpose is people of the world may know the Vedic knowledge. So essence of Vedic knowledge is this Bhagavad-gītā. Not only that, it is being spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
So the whole Bhagavad-gītā is the essence of Vedic knowledge, and the Vedic knowledge means to understand Kṛṣṇa
Lecture on BG 13.18 -- Bombay, October 12, 1973: But actually Bhagavad-gītā is meant for bhaktas. Bhakto 'si sakhā ceti. Bhagavad-gītā was instructed to Arjuna for his only qualification, that he was a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Bhakto 'si me sakhā ceti. So the whole Bhagavad-gītā is the essence of Vedic knowledge, and the Vedic knowledge means to understand Kṛṣṇa. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. Vedeṣu durlabham adurlabham ātma-bhaktau [Bs. 5.33]. Even if you study Vedic literature, without bhakti, without studying the Vedic literature, you cannot understand the Absolute Truth.
This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. And it is authorized because we are speaking on the basis of Bhagavad-gītā. On the basis of Vedic knowledge. And Bhagavad-gītā is the essence of Vedic knowledge
Lecture on BG 13:22 -- Hyderabad, August 17, 1976: It is a very dangerous type of civilization without any spiritual knowledge. Very, very dangerous position. Risky. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement on authoritative basis trying to enlighten people to release him from these clutches of māyā and ignorance. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. And it is authorized because we are speaking on the basis of Bhagavad-gītā. On the basis of Vedic knowledge. And Bhagavad-gītā is the essence of Vedic knowledge. Bhagavān says in the Bhagavad-gītā, vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. What is the purpose of Vedic knowledge? The purpose of Vedic knowledge to understand Kṛṣṇa. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ. Bhagavad-gītā is also the process to know Kṛṣṇa. Therefore it is the essence of Vedic knowledge. Because if it is a fact that by studying Vedas one has to understand Kṛṣṇa. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. So Kṛṣṇa is explaining Himself, what He is. So therefore it is essence of Vedic knowledge. This essence of Vedic knowledge is there. It is very simple. Anyone can understand. There is no difficulty.
This movement is strictly based on the śāstra and the Vedic knowledge, and the essence of Vedic knowledge is the Bhagavad-gītā
Lecture on BG 13:22 -- Hyderabad, August 17, 1976: Anyway, this movement is strictly based on the śāstra and the Vedic knowledge, and the essence of Vedic knowledge is the Bhagavad-gītā. And we are presenting as it is. We do not explain Kurukṣetra as this body. There is no meaning. There is no dictionary which means Kurukṣetra this body. So Kurukṣetra is a place. Dharmakṣetra, it is a place of religion or as our Vedic instruction, kurukṣetre dharmān yajayet. You go to Kurukṣetra and perform ritualistic ceremonies, that is recommended. So there is no question of interpreting Kurukṣetra Dharmakṣetra when you can understand it very easily and directly.
The essence of Vedic knowledge is Bhagavad-gītā because the Supreme Personality of Godhead is speaking personally
Lecture on BG 13:22 -- Hyderabad, August 17, 1976: According to our Vedic principles one who has full faith in the Vedic knowledge, he's āstika. And who has no faith in the Vedic knowledge, he's nāstika. So be āstika, don't be nāstika. There is no useful purpose becoming a nāstika. Be āstika. And the essence of Vedic knowledge is Bhagavad-gītā because the Supreme Personality of Godhead is speaking personally. Take advantage of it. Apply it practically life and be happy not only in this life, but the next life.
We say that God is the creator. Not we say, but the Vedānta says. The essence of Vedic knowledge, Vedānta philosophy, Vyāsadeva, he says that janmādy asya yataḥ
Lecture on BG 16.6 -- South Africa, October 18, 1975: Actually they do not know what is what, what is the adjustment. But our philosophy, Vaiṣṇava philosophy, we don't say that "There is no God" or "This world is created by accident or combination of matter." We don't say that. We say that God is the creator. Not we say, but the Vedānta says. The essence of Vedic knowledge, Vedānta philosophy, Vyāsadeva, he says that janmādy asya yataḥ: [SB 1.1.1] "The source of janma or creation, the maintenance and annihilation, the source..." Where it is? Yato vā imāni bhūtāni jāyante. This is Vedic information. That is Brahman, wherefrom everything is coming. The same thing is said in the Vedānta-sūtra. Janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. Athāto brahma jijñāsā.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

The next verse says, nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalam: [SB 1.1.3] "This real service is enunciated here as the essence of all Vedic knowledge."

Lecture on SB 1.1.3 -- Caracas, February 24, 1975: So the conclusion is that constitutionally I am servant, servant of God, but instead of giving service to God, I am now engaged in the service of the dog. So on the standard of this so-called service the Bhāgavata-dharma is not discussed, means the false service. Now, how it is concluded? Therefore the next verse says, nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalam: [SB 1.1.3] "This real service is enunciated here as the essence of all Vedic knowledge." Nigama means the Vedas, and it is called kalpa-taru. Kalpa-taru means desire tree. Vedic knowledge is so perfect that you can receive from the Vedas all different types of knowledge. You can receive knowledge from the Vedas, all types of knowledge, means that social, political and scientific, and there are so many departments of knowledge, even engineering, medical science.
Now, the author says that "This Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the essence of Vedic knowledge." Vedic knowledge is compared with the tree, and the tree has got fruit. So this Bhāgavatam is the fruit of the Vedic tree
Lecture on SB 1.1.3 -- Caracas, February 24, 1975: The word Veda means knowledge. So Vedic literature means... You can take it. Any kind of knowledge, it can be called Vedas. Vetti veda vido jñāne vinte vid vicāraṇe(?). So in Sanskrit grammar the vid-dhātu. From vid-dhātu... Means knowing. And from vid-dhātu the word Veda has come. Now, the author says that "This Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the essence of Vedic knowledge." Vedic knowledge is compared with the tree, and the tree has got fruit. So this Bhāgavatam is the fruit of the Vedic tree.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, janmani janmani: "Life after life, I want to be engaged in Your devotional service." This is real characteristic, and that should be followed. So this is the essence of Vedic knowledge. The essence of Vedic knowledge is Vedānta, Vedānta
Lecture on SB 1.1.3 -- Caracas, February 24, 1975: We are following Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and therefore His instruction should be followed. What is it? Na dhanam: "I don't want any wealth, material wealth," na dhanam. Na janam: "I don't want any so-called followers." Na sundarīṁ kavitām: "Neither I want a very beautiful wife." "Then what do You want? These are the material things everyone wants." No, mama janmani janmanīśvare bhavatād bhaktiḥ: [Cc. Antya 20.29, Śikṣāṣṭaka 4] "Even I don't want liberation." Liberation means there is no more janma. But He said, janmani janmani: "Life after life, I want to be engaged in Your devotional service." This is real characteristic, and that should be followed. So this is the essence of Vedic knowledge. The essence of Vedic knowledge is Vedānta, Vedānta. There are four Vedas and many branches, eighteen Purāṇas and then 108 Upaniṣad. All combined together, the essence is taken as the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. First of all, Vyāsadeva... Vyāsadeva is the author of all these literatures. Not author, he has written. Formerly there was no need of writing because people were very intelligent. As soon as one hears from the spiritual master, he remembers.
If you really have learned the essence of Vedic knowledge, automatically you'll be inclined to preach it
Lecture on SB 1.2.3 -- London, August 24, 1971: So what Śukadeva Gosvāmī did, that after assimilating the whole Vedic literature, he distributed it. That is another instinct. If you really have learned the essence of Vedic knowledge, automatically you'll be inclined to preach it. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam. Śravaṇam means to hear, to receive the knowledge. And next, kīrtanam, means to distribute, to describe the knowledge. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the essence of Vedic knowledge. Nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalam idam [SB 1.1.3]. Nigama. Nigama means Vedic literature. And it is kalpa-taru. Kalpa-taru means desire tree. Whatever knowledge you want, you will get it
Lecture on SB 1.10.7 -- Mayapura, June 22, 1973: So there are so many things in the Mahābhārata, in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. You can learn social, political, economical, philosophical, religious, anything. Veda, veda means knowledge. So these are Vedic literatures. Pañcama-veda. Mahābhārata is pañcama-veda. And Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the essence of Vedic knowledge. Nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalam idam [SB 1.1.3]. Nigama. Nigama means Vedic literature. And it is kalpa-taru. Kalpa-taru means desire tree. Whatever knowledge you want, you will get it. Veda means knowledge. Vetti veda vida jñāna(?). So Veda means jñāna, knowledge. Any type of knowledge you want, there is in the Vedic literature. So it is meant, Veda, jñāne, knowledge is meant for the human society. It is not meant for the animals. Animals cannot study Veda. And what is the purpose of Veda? The purpose of Veda is to understand Kṛṣṇa. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. This is Veda.
So this Bhāgavatam, it is the essence of the Vedic knowledge and when it is received through the paramparā system of pure devotee, then it becomes still more sweet than before. That is the purport
Lecture on SB 2.9.1 -- Tokyo, April 20, 1972: Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu recommended to study Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from bhāgavatam. Bhāgavata para giyā bhāgavata sthāne. Bhāgavata means the grantha-bhāgavata, book bhāgavata... Bhāgavata means about Kṛṣṇa. Bhagavān is Kṛṣṇa. And anything in relationship with Kṛṣṇa is called Bhāgavata. So the devotee is also in relationship with Kṛṣṇa. He is also called bhāgavata. Mahā-bhāgavata. Those who are highly advanced, or first-class devotees, they are called mahā-bhāgavata. So this Bhāgavatam, it is the essence of the Vedic knowledge and when it is received through the paramparā system of pure devotee, then it becomes still more sweet than before. That is the purport.
There are four Vedas, Sāma, Yajuḥ, Ṛk, Atharva, and Mahābhārata is the fifth Veda. And the essence of Vedic knowledge is given within the Mahābhārata, this Bhagavad-gītā
Lecture on SB 3.25.5-6 -- Bombay, November 5, 1974: So this Mahābhārata was made by Vyāsadeva for these strī-śūdra-divja-bandhūnām. Therefore Mahābhārata is called "Fifth Vedas." There are four Vedas, Sāma, Yajuḥ, Ṛk, Atharva, and Mahābhārata is the fifth Veda. And the essence of Vedic knowledge is given within the Mahābhārata, this Bhagavad-gītā. So although woman is inferior than the man, still, the Vedic civilization is so perfect that the man, as father, as husband, or as son, takes care, full care of the woman. This is Vedic civilization. Therefore it is said that mātuḥ priya-cikīrṣayā. The son was ready always to see that "Mother is not unhappy. My father has gone away. So she may not feel the absence of my father."

General Lectures

Bhagavad-gītā is accepted by all ācāryas, or authorities in transcendental science, as the essence of all Vedic knowledge
Speech at Olympia Theater -- Paris, June 26, 1971, (with translator):: According to Vedic civilization, the progressive march towards perfection of life is to realize one's relationship with Kṛṣṇa, or God. There is a book, perhaps you read or you know, Bhagavad-gītā. That Bhagavad-gītā is accepted by all ācāryas, or authorities in transcendental science, as the essence of all Vedic knowledge.
The summary of Vedic knowledge is here in the Bhagavad-gītā, because here God directly is instructing about Himself. Therefore it is the essence of all Vedic knowledge
Lecture at Upsala University Faculty -- Stockholm, September 7, 1973:: Anyone who knows God, who knows the Parabrahman, he is brāhmaṇa. Brahma jānātīti brāhmaṇaḥ. So Vedic knowledge means ultimately to become a brāhmaṇa. That means to know God. That is Vedic knowledge. And the summary of Vedic knowledge is here in the Bhagavad-gītā, because here God directly is instructing about Himself. Therefore it is the essence of all Vedic knowledge. The ultimate goal of Vedic knowledge is to know God.
Lecture with Translator -- Sanand, December 25, 1975:: So our request is, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, that you study Bhagavad-gītā. You don't require... Because Bhagavad-gītā is the essence of all Vedic knowledge. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam [Bg. 15.15]. Vedas means if you are actually a student of Veda or Vedānta, Veda-Vedānta, then the ultimate goal is to understand Kṛṣṇa. And if you cannot understand Kṛṣṇa, however big Vedāntist you may be, you remain a fool. This is the conclusion of Bhagavad-gītā.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1977 Conversations and Morning Walks

"Take only Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam as the book of knowledge. Bas. You need not read any other." Nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalam idam: [SB 1.1.3] "This is essence of all Vedic knowledge."

Meeting with Mr. Dwivedi -- April 23, 1977, Bombay: Prabhupāda: And in the beginning Vyāsadeva said, kim anyaiḥ śāstraiḥ: "Take only Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam as the book of knowledge. Bas. You need not read any other." Nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalam idam: [SB 1.1.3] "This is essence of all Vedic knowledge."

Correspondence

1970 Correspondence

Letter to Professor J. F. Staal -- Los Angeles 30 January, 1970: As the goal of Spiritual realization is only one, love of God, so the Vedas stand as a single comprehensive whole in the matter of transcendental understanding. Only the incomplete views of various parties apart from the bona fide Vedic lines of teaching, give a rupturous appearance to the Bhagavad-gita. The reconciliative factor adjusting all apparently diverse propositions of the Vedas is the essence of the Veda or Krishna Consciousness (Love of God).
Letter to Jayagovinda -- Los Angeles 18 April, 1970: Actually all our devotees are supposed to be brahmanas. A brahmana's business is to preach the glories of the Lord, to learn the essence of Vedic knowledge—Krsna Consciousness—and to teach others of the same knowledge. And for living condition, whatever they get in the form of contribution from others, they can they can live barely to keep the body and soul together, and the balance spend for Krsna.

1974 Correspondence

Letter to Sri Raghava Charyulu -- Bombay 23 December, 1974: Actually by the evolutionary process when a living entity comes to the status of human life it is his duty to solve all the problems of life. The chief problems of life are collectively birth, death, old age and disease. Bhagavad-gita gives information how to solve these four problems. It is the essence of all Vedic knowledge presented by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. I am so glad to learn that you have taken so much interest in my book, Bhagavad-gita As It Is.
Compiled byVisnu Murti +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entryDecember 15, 0007 JL +
Date of last entryJanuary 4, 0009 JL +
Total quotes43 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 2 +, SB: 7 +, CC: 6 +, OB: 6 +, Lec: 18 +, Conv: 1 + and Let: 3 +