Śāstra means which governs. The Vedic literature governs. There is a verbal root which is called śās. Śās means to rule. The ruling, there are three kinds of ruling. One ruling is śāstra, law codes. Just like every civilized country is ruled by the laws of the state, and the statute book which contains all the rules, that is called law books. That is also śāstra. That is śāstra. And then another śās-dhātu is śastra. Śastra means weapons, that like guns, swords. Śāstra and śastra.
So there are two sections of people: those who are civilized, they are ruled by the śāstra, by the law codes; and those who are law-breakers, they are ruled by the śastra, weapons. Both things are required, śāstra and śastra. And śāśam, śāśam means government. The government has two department—criminal and civil. Civil department is controlled by the śāstra, law codes, and the criminal department is governed by the śastra, weapons. So this is the rule from time immemorial. Both things are required. Sometimes violence required, police force required for the unruly persons. They will not care for the śāstra, don't care for śāstra, but you care for the śastra. So two things are there.
Similarly, Kṛṣṇa says that "I am this and that." He says, raso 'ham apsu kaunteya (BG 7.8). Those who are sober, those who want to understand Kṛṣṇa, they can understand Kṛṣṇa in every step of life. Just like raso 'ham apsu kaunteya, "I am the taste of the water." Water you have to drink. Just like I drank just a minute before and quenched my thirst. But that quenching active principle is Kṛṣṇa. So we can realize Kṛṣṇa every time we'll drink water. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Śās . . . prabhāsmi śaśi sūryayoḥ. Kṛṣṇa is the sunshine, Kṛṣṇa is the moonshine. Kṛṣṇa is the fragrance of the flower. As soon as you take a flower and smell it, the fragrance is Kṛṣṇa.
In this way, every step we can understand Kṛṣṇa. Even in sex life we can understand Kṛṣṇa. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: dharmāviruddho kāmo 'smi (BG 7.11), sex life which is not against the religious codes. What is that? Sex life for begetting children is allowed. That is not against the religious code, and that is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, dharmāviruddho kāmo 'smi. Kāma, lust. Sex life is the business of lust. Kṛṣṇa says, "Yes, lust is also good provided it is not against the religious codes."
So nothing is bad; everything is good, if it is for developing our Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Nothing is bad, because everything is creation of Kṛṣṇa. How it can be bad? It cannot be bad; it is good, provided we follow the rules and regulations. Everything is good. Therefore we require to consult various śāstras. Nana-śāstra-vicaraṇaika-nipunau, vicāra. Vicāra means to study them with careful attention. Vicāra. Nana-śās . . .
So these Gosvāmīs were studying many kinds of Vedic literatures. There are hundreds and thousands of Vedic literature—primarily four Vedas: Sama, Yajur, Atharva . . . Ṛg, Atharva. Then from the Vedas, there are supplementary Vedas, which are called Purāṇas, eighteen Purāṇas. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is one of the Purāṇas, Mahā-Purāṇa. Then there is . . . there are Mahābhārata, "The Great History of India." Bhārata means India, and mahā means greater, greater India.
The greater India was the whole planet. The whole planet was Bhārata-varṣa. Now it is crippled. It has become a small tract of land. But originally everywhere, this portion of the world, America, it was also Bhārata-varṣa. Sapta-dvīpa, seven islands. Seven islands. Actually the whole planet is full of water—Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean. Full of water. And these are islands only—Asia, Europe, America. There are seven islands, sapta-dvīpa. The planet is sapta-dvīpa, seven full . . . comprising of seven islands.