Prabhupada: So to understand Kṛṣṇa is not so easy thing. Kṛṣṇa can be understood by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa, not by this karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa, yoga-kāṇḍa, upāsanā-kāṇḍa. No. That will be explained: bhaktyā mām abhijānāti (BG 18.55). Kṛṣṇa never said that "One can understand Me by practicing karma-kāṇḍa or jñāna-kāṇḍa or mystic yoga practice." No. Kṛṣṇa never said. So Bhagavad-gītā is the knowledge by which you can understand Kṛṣṇa. Therefore here it is said, imaṁ vivasvate yoga. This yoga means not that eightfold mystic yoga. This yoga means bhakti-yoga. And you'll find also in this Bhagavad-gītā that the first-class yogī—jñāna-yogī, karma-yogī, dhyāna-yogī, hatha-yogī—out of many such yogīs, yoginām api sarveṣāṁ, out of many (indistinct), yoginām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gatenāntarātmanā. Āntarātmanā—within the core of the heart, who has accepted Kṛṣṇa only to think of: mad-gatenāntarātmanā. Śraddhāvān: with faith and persistence. Bhajate māṁ—bhajate means bhakti. Bhakti comes from the word bhaj-dhātu, so this word has been used, bhajate māṁ; it means "engaged in devotional service." Yoginām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gatenāntarātmanā—"a person who is keeping Me always within the core of the heart."
The best example are the gopīs. They, they had no other business than to keep Kṛṣṇa always within the heart. Gopīs requested Kṛṣṇa, "Please, if You get out from our hearts then we can concentrate to our household duties. These yogīs and munis and great saintly persons, they are trying to keep You within the heart, and we request You, "Kindly go out of our hearts so we can concentrate on our household duties." " They wanted to do it, but they could not. This is gopīs' position. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu has advised, ramyā kācid upāsanā vraja-vadhū-vargeṇa yā kalpitā (Caitanya-manjusa): there is no more better method of worship than what was done by the gopīs, because gopīs always kept Kṛṣṇa within their hearts. So therefore they are the most perfect yogīs, because Kṛṣṇa said: yoginām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gatenāntarātmanā bhajate māṁ sa me yuktatamo (BG 6.47). So they are the perfect. Yatatām api siddhānāṁ kaścin vetti māṁ tattvataḥ (BG 7.3).
In the Vṛndāvana-dhāma, to practice that yoga system, following the footsteps of the gopīs, that is stated by Śrīnivāsācārya in the prayers of the Gosvāmīs: tyaktvā (indistinct) tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīṁ sadā tucchavat (Śrī Ṣaḍ-gosvāmy-aṣṭaka 4). Maṇḍala-śreṇīṁ. Maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīṁ. Maṇḍala-pati means great leaders, political leaders, social leaders—they are called maṇḍala-pati. Still in Indian village, the chief man is called maṇḍa, in Bengal. So maṇḍala-pati. There were many villagers, and above them there was one maṇḍala-pati. So Rūpa Gosvāmī was minister; naturally he had connections with many maṇḍala-patis. Maṇḍala-patis used to come to see him—political leaders, ministers. Tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīṁ—not one, two maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīṁ was coming to see him for interview, but aśeṣa, many. Tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīṁ sadā tucchavat: he gave up, became a mendicant. He did not like: "What is this nonsense, seeing these maṇḍala-patis?" So he gave up. Tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīṁ sadā tucchavat. Then what did he become? One gives up something and accepts another thing. One cannot remain vacant. If you give up something, then you must take something. That is also described. What is called?
Devotee: Bhūtvā dīna-gaṇe…
Devotee: Bhūtvā dīna…
Prabhupāda: That is nice. Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate. Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate (BG 2.59). If you find something better, then you can give up the inferior. If you get rāsagullā, then you can give up gur. You have something sweet, gur, but if you take rāsagullā, like that, then you will prefer to give up gur and take rāsagullā. Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate. To give up means to accept something better. So all these ministers—Sanātana Gosvāmī, Rūpa Gosvāmī—tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati. They are aristocratic association, all ministers, zamindars, big men. They used to sit down with them, talk with them, eat with them. That was the system. But he gave up:
- tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīṁ sadā tucchavat
- bhūtvā dīna-gaṇeśakau karuṇayā kaupīna-kanthāśritau
- (Śrī Ṣaḍ-gosvāmy-aṣṭaka 4)
And they accepted… They thought it better to become a beggar, a mendicant: tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīṁ sadā tucchavat. Tucchavat: "insignificant." You know that then he must have taken some valuable things. What is that? Bhūtvā dīna-gaṇeśakau karuṇayā kaupīna-kanthāśritau: accepted kaupīna and kanthā. And you see in Vṛndāvana there are many imitation of Rūpa Gosvāmī—kaupīna and kanthā. Bhūtvā dīna-gaṇeśakau karuṇayā. Because Caitanya Mahāprabhu's movement means to reclaim the downtrodden mass of people, bhūtvā dīna-gaṇeśakau karuṇayā, becoming compassionate upon them. Caitanya Mahāprabhu's movement means to become compassionate to the poor people. Poor people means that those who are poor in spiritual understanding, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They are poor. They are thinking they are very big men, but they are the poorest, because they are losing the chance of understanding Kṛṣṇa in this human form of life. They are thinking this motorcar or this big, high palatial buildings and bank balance, big business profits—that is the aim of achievement. No. That is not the aim of achievement. The aim of achievement it to athāto brahma-jijñāsā—to understand Brahman. That is the aim of life. But they are not interested in that aim of achievement; therefore very, very poor. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu's business, or mission, is to reclaim these poor human beings—those who are not interested in spiritual understanding.