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By parampara system, guru is seated on the vyasasana because he is the representative. Just like in the high-court, the bench, it is called bench. Actually, the bench is to be used by the head of the executive power, the king or the president

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" by paramparā system, guru is seated on the vyāsāsana because he is the representative. Just like in the high court, the bench . . . it is called bench. Actually, the bench is to be used by the head of the executive power, the king or the president"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

By paramparā system, guru is seated on the vyāsāsana because he is the representative. Just like in the high-court, the bench, it is called bench. Actually, the bench is to be used by the head of the executive power, the king or the president. But the high-court judge is the representative of the head executive; therefore, he sits on that bench.


Lecture on BG 2.16 -- London, August 22, 1973:

We say that everything is emanating from the Supreme. Yato vā imāni bhūtāni jāyante (Taittirīya Upaniṣad 3.1). Everything is emanating from Brahman, the Supreme Absolute Truth. So that cannot be false. Because Absolute Truth, how from truth, false will come? This is our philosophy. The matter may be temporary, but it is not false. The Vedic injunction is mā asataḥ. Mā asato sad gamaya: don't try to be entangled with the asat, sad asat, but try to come to the platform of sat.

In the previous verse, yaṁ hi na vyathayanty ete puruṣaṁ puruṣarṣabha (BG 2.15), Kṛṣṇa says: "Those who are not disturbed by the material changes . . ." Sama-duḥkha-sukhaṁ dhīraṁ so mṛtatvāya kalpate. Our mission, human mission, is to come to the platform of amṛtatvam, immortality. We have discussed this point. Amṛtatvam, immortality. The modern civilization, the so-called scientists, philosophers, they cannot imagine even that there is possibility of becoming immortal. They cannot imagine. Their brain is so dull that they cannot think of, that we can become immortal. Then how Kṛṣṇa is speaking about immortality?

Is He speaking something nonsense, utopian? No. He is speaking the fact. Otherwise, if Kṛṣṇa speaks something nonsense, utopian, then nobody would be interested to read Bhagavad-gītā. We may be third-class men, that we indulge in Bhagavad-gītā, and Kṛṣṇa is speaking something utopian, nonsense, but there are big, big ācāryas—Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya. Why they are giving attention to the reading of Bhagavad-gītā? Kṛṣṇa does not speak anything nonsense. It is fact. So if it is the fact that there is possibility of becoming immortal . . . that is sat.

So sat . . . our business should be to be engaged in the sat platform, not in the asat platform. Asat platform: nonpermanent or, according to somebody's opinion, false. So false or nonpermanent, whatever it may be, the real human civilization should be based on the purpose of becoming immortal, sat, not asat. That is the distinction between India and other countries. Now I am not speaking of India of today, but India as it is. Big, big ācāryas, just like Vyāsadeva . . . Vyāsadeva is the original ācārya; therefore the birthday of guru is called vyāsa-pūjā. Vyāsa-pūjā. Vyāsa-pūjā means original guru. Guru is the representative of Vyāsadeva.

This throne is called vyāsāsana, sitting place of Vyāsadeva. So one who is representative of Vyāsadeva, he can sit on this throne. So guru, by paramparā system, guru is seated on the vyāsāsana because he is the representative. Just like in the high court, the bench . . . it is called bench. Actually, the bench is to be used by the head of the executive power, the king or the president. But the high-court judge is the representative of the head executive; therefore he sits on that bench.

So Vyāsadeva, so learned scholar, everyone knows how great scholar he was. He has written so many books: four Vedas, eighteen Purāṇas, then Vedānta-sūtra, then Upaniṣads. So many things. Recorded, not written; recorded. So such a big scholar was residing . . . he was guiding the whole society, but he was living very humbly. Even Cāṇakya Paṇḍita, he was prime minister, but he was living in a cottage. That is the distinction between Vedic or Indian civilization and the modern civilization. The Indian civilization means they are interested in sat, and others, they are interested in asat. Asat means which will not exist. I've already explained.

In India . . . of course, materially, five hundred . . . five thousand years ago, materially also, India was very opulent. Why five thousand years? Even five hundred years or four hundred years, India was so opulent that Europeans were attracted to go to India. Even during the time of Mogul Empire, it was so opulent.