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Formerly, there was no need of books. Nowadays, at the present moment, our memory is not so sharp due to Kali-yuga. Therefore Vyasadeva wrote in books, in words, because he foresaw that The people in this age, they will be dull-headed rascals

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"formerly, there was no need of books. Nowadays, at the present moment, our memory is not so sharp due to Kali-yuga"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Formerly, there was no need of books. Nowadays, at the present moment, our memory is not so sharp due to Kali-yuga. Therefore Vyāsadeva wrote in books, in words, because he foresaw that "The people in this age, they will be dull-headed rascals. Therefore, if they get this knowledge recorded in writing, they may be able to derive some benefit." Otherwise, formerly Vedic knowledge was never book reading.


Kṛṣṇa is not so cheap thing that by exercising your brain you can manufacture a way to understand Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yogamāyā-samāvṛtaḥ (BG 7.25): "I am not exposed to everyone. I am covered by yogamāyā. People will not be able to understand Me." "So many jñānīs, yogīs, karmīs, they cannot understand?" No. Then? Kṛṣṇa says, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ (BG 18.55): "Only through devotional service." Devotional service means submission, surrender. First of all surrender. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66): "You cannot understand Me by your so-called karma, jñāna, yoga or dhyāna. No, it is not possible." Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti. Bhaktyā means to surrender.

So here it is, śruti-sāram ekam. This Bhāgavata is the śruti-sāram, just like cream. You churn the milk, two maunds of milk, you get, say, five kilos, kg, of butter, the sāram, essence. Essence. If you simply try to see where is the essence . . . you have to churn it. Then in the milk there is. You may possess lots of milk, but from the milk you have to take the cream. That is intelligence. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the cream of Vedic knowledge. Therefore it is said that nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalam idam (SB 1.1.3). Nigama. Nigama means Vedas, and kalpa-taru . . . Vedas is just like desire tree. Desire tree means whatever you want, you can have it from Vedic knowledge. Just like in India, the Āyur-veda. Āyur-veda means this is material thing. But still it is in the Veda. Dhanur-veda, military science. There are so many Veda. Veda means knowledge. So the Vedic knowledge is so perfect that anything you want, material or spiritual, you will get the knowledge perfect. That is Veda. Veda is not ordinary thing. And it is learned by hearing. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet, śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham (MU 1.2.12).

Vedic knowledge . . . formerly, there was no need of books. Nowadays, at the present moment, our memory is not so sharp due to Kali-yuga. Therefore Vyāsadeva wrote in books, in words, because he foresaw that, "The people in this age, they will be dull-headed rascals. Therefore, if they get this knowledge recorded in writing, they may be able to derive some benefit." Otherwise, formerly Vedic knowledge was never book reading. No. Śruti. Śruti means hearing. This disciple is so powerful that once he hears from the spiritual master, his memory is recorded immediately. Memory. Therefore brahmacārī record. If you remain brahmacārī, then your brain will be so nice that as soon as you hear something, it will be memorized. This is benefit of brahmacārī. And if the students are allowed to be sexually, I mean to say, indulgent, then where is the brain? This is very scientific, to remain brahmacārī, to understand from the guru by simply by hearing, once hearing.

So, there was a case . . . of course, that . . . one Englishman chastised another Indian by calling him so many ill names, "damn rascal," "fool," like that. So he complained in the court that, "This man has insulted me." "So where is the witness?" So the witness . . . the complainer said: "There was a brāhmin who was witness. He was taking bath in the Ganges." So he was summoned. The brāhmin was so sharp in memory, he exactly said, just like gramophone record, tape record, whatever he said. He said: "I do not know what is the meaning of this, but these words were said." So people were so sharp in memory. That is brāhmin. Once heard from the spiritual master . . . the spiritual master means śrotriyam: he has also nicely heard from his spiritual master. Therefore Vedic knowledge, factually, it is received simply by hearing. There was no necessity of becoming literate. Illiterate, it doesn't matter, because it is after all received through the aural reception. Therefore it is called śruti. And śruti-sāram ekam. And of all the Vedic literature, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the essence.