The guru, or the bona fide spiritual master, is competent to teach the disciple in the right path with reference to the context of all authentic Vedic literature. He does not attempt to juggle words to bewilder the student
SB Canto 2
O Brahmā, just follow this conclusion by fixed concentration of mind, and no pride will disturb you, neither in the partial nor in the final devastation.
As in the Bhagavad-gītā, Tenth Chapter, the Personality of Godhead, Lord Kṛṣṇa, has summarized the whole text in four verses, namely, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ (BG 10.8), etc., so the complete Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam has also been summarized in four verses, as aham evāsam evāgre, etc. Thus the secret purpose of the most important Bhāgavatite conclusion has been explained by the original speaker of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, who was also the original speaker of the Bhagavad-gītā, the Personality of Godhead, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. There are many grammarians and nondevotee material wranglers who have tried to present false interpretations of these four verses of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam but the Lord Himself advised Brahmājī not to be deviated from the fixed conclusion the Lord had taught him. The Lord was the teacher of the nucleus of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in four verses, and Brahmā was the receiver of the knowledge. Misinterpretation of the word aham by the word jugglery of the impersonalist should not disturb the mind of the strict followers of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the text of the Personality of Godhead and His unalloyed devotees, who are also known as the bhāgavatas, and any outsider should have no access to this confidential literature of devotional service. But unfortunately the impersonalist, who has no relation to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, sometimes tries to interpret Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by his poor fund of knowledge in grammar and dry speculation. Therefore, the Lord warns Brahmā (and, through Brahmā, all future devotees of the Lord in the disciplic succession of Brahmā) that one should never be misled by the conclusion of the so-called grammarians or by other men with a poor fund of knowledge, but must always fix the mind properly, via the paramparā system. No one should try to give a new interpretation by dint of mundane knowledge. And the first step, therefore, in pursuance of the system of knowledge received by Brahmā, is to approach a bona fide guru who is the representative of the Lord following the paramparā system. No one should try to squeeze out his own meaning by imperfect mundane knowledge. The guru, or the bona fide spiritual master, is competent to teach the disciple in the right path with reference to the context of all authentic Vedic literature. He does not attempt to juggle words to bewilder the student. The bona fide spiritual master, by his personal activities, teaches the disciple the principles of devotional service. Without personal service, one would go on speculating like the impersonalists and dry speculators life after life and would be unable to reach the final conclusion. By following the instructions of the bona fide spiritual master in conjunction with the principles of revealed scriptures, the student will rise to the plane of complete knowledge, which will be exhibited by development of detachment from the world of sense gratification. The mundane wranglers are surprised that one can detach himself from the world of sense gratification, and thus any attempt to be fixed in God realization appears to them to be mysticism. This detachment from the sensory world is called the brahma-bhūta (SB 4.30.20) stage of realization, the preliminary stage of transcendental devotional life (parā bhaktiḥ). The brahma-bhūta stage of life is also known as the ātmārāma stage, in which one is fully self-satisfied and does not hanker for the world of sense enjoyment. This stage of full satisfaction is the proper situation for understanding the transcendental knowledge of the Personality of Godhead. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.20) affirms this:
- evaṁ prasanna-manaso
- mukta-saṅgasya jāyate
Thus in the completely satisfied stage of life, exhibited by full detachment from the world of sense enjoyment as a result of performing devotional service, one can understand the science of God in the liberated stage.
In this stage of full satisfaction and detachment from the sensory world, one can know the mystery of the science of God with all its confidential intricacies, and not by grammar or academic speculation. Because Brahmā qualified himself for such reception, the Lord was pleased to disclose the purpose of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. This direct instruction by the Lord to any devotee who is detached from the world of sense gratification is possible, as stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (10.10):
- teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
- bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
- dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ
- yena mām upayānti te
Unto the devotees who are constantly engaged in the Lord's transcendental loving service (prīti-pūrvakam), the Lord, out of His causeless mercy upon the devotee, gives direct instructions so that the devotee may make accurate progress on the path returning home, back to Godhead. One should not, therefore, try to understand these four verses of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by mental speculation. Rather, by direct perception of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one is able to know all about His abode, Vaikuṇṭha, as was seen and experienced by Brahmājī. Such Vaikuṇṭha realization is possible by any devotee of the Lord situated in the transcendental position as a result of devotional service.
In the Gopāla-tāpanī Upaniṣad (śruti) it is said, gopa-veśo me puruṣaḥ purastād āvirbabhuva: the Lord appeared before Brahmā as a cowboy, that is, as the original Personality of Godhead, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Govinda, who is later described by Brahmājī in his Brahma-saṁhitā (5.29):
- cintāmaṇi-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vṛkṣa-
- lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhīr abhipālayantam
- govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
Brahmājī desires to worship the original Personality of Godhead, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who resides in the topmost Vaikuṇṭha planet, known as Goloka Vṛndāvana, where He is in the habit of keeping surabhi cows as a cowboy and where He is served by hundreds and thousands of goddesses of fortune (the gopīs) with love and respect.
Therefore Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original form of the Supreme Lord (kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28)). This is also clear from this instruction. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is Lord Kṛṣṇa, and not directly Nārāyaṇa or the puruṣa-avatāras, which are subsequent manifestations. Therefore Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam means consciousness of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the sound representation of the Lord as much as the Bhagavad-gītā is. Thus the conclusion is that Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the science of the Lord in which the Lord and His abode are perfectly realized.