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Bharata means this planet, and Mahabharata means the complete history of the whole world. Nowadays, at the present moment, history means a chronological record, but previously, history means only the important incidences at different times

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Expressions researched:
"Bhārata means this planet, and Mahābhārata means the complete history of the whole world" |"Nowadays, at the present moment, history means a chronological record, but previously, history means only the important incidences at different times"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Bhārata means this planet, and Mahābhārata means the complete history of the whole world. Nowadays, at the present moment, history means a chronological record, but previously, history means only the important incidences at different times, they were recorded. Therefore, in Mahābhārata or any other Purāṇa also... Purāṇas are also history. We don't find any chronological incidences one after another. But the most important selected incidences, especially in connection with God realization, they are recorded.


Today I shall speak before you about Mahārāja Parīkṣit. The hero of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is King Parīkṣit as the hero of Mahābhārata, the great history of India, Mahābhārata. Now, this Bhārata I have several times explained. Bhārata means this planet, and Mahābhārata means the complete history of the whole world.

Nowadays, at the present moment, history means a chronological record, but previously, history means only the important incidences at different times, they were recorded. Therefore, in Mahābhārata or any other Purāṇa also . . . Purāṇas are also history. We don't find any chronological incidences one after another. But the most important selected incidences, especially in connection with God realization, they are recorded.

So this Mahābhārata is also history, and as history is liked by common man, so Mahābhārata was written by Vyāsadeva for understanding of the most common men. Strī-śūdra-dvijabandhūnaṁ trayī na śruti-gocarā (SB 1.4.25). The Vyāsadeva has given explanation why he compiled Mahābhārata, the great history of this Bhārata. Now it is called India, but it was . . . this planet was called Bhārata, Bhārata-varṣa. So he has given explanation that "The Vedic principle, Vedic instructions, they are not directly understandable by common men and women," strī-śūdra-dvijabandhūnaṁ (SB 1.4.25).

Who are common men? Women class, as a class; and Śūdra, laborer class, working class; and strī-śūdra-dvijabandhūnaṁ, and dvija means twice-born, the higher caste. The higher caste means they must be twice-born. How is that? One birth is father and mother, real father and mother, and the next birth is spiritual master and the Vedas. That means when one is trained up in the matter of real knowledge—Veda means real knowledge—by the guidance of the spiritual master, he is supposed to be twice-born.

So dvija-bandhu. Twice-born means cultural society. Those who have Vedic cultured, those who have followed the Vedic principles rigidly, it doesn't matter whether he is a householder or a brahmacārī or a sannyāsī. There are eight divisions of human society: four divisions social structure, and four divisions for spiritual enlightenment. So unless the eight divisions are properly managed, that is not human society. Human society is distinct from animal society by culture. What is that culture? Vedic culture, knowledge. Vedic means knowledge. One must be equipped with full knowledge.

"So this Vedic culture," Vyāsadeva says, "or the Vedic principles, are not very easily understood by women class, by worker class and dvija-bandhu." Dvija-bandhu means the boys who have taken birth in the family who are supposed to be very cultured, but their habit is different. They are called dvija-bandhu.

In every country, that deterioration of social structure has already begun. They are called varṇa-saṅkara. Varṇa-saṅkara actually means that those who are illiterate. So for them it is very difficult to understand the Vedic principles. Therefore the same knowledge is described in stories just like Mahābhārata, Purāṇas, and for understanding of all men, all women. So Mahābhārata is especially written for such class of men and women. And the hero of Mahābhārata is Arjuna. Similarly, the hero of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is Arjuna's grandson, Mahārāja Parīkṣit, King Parīkṣit.