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761003SB.VRN
Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.43

Vrndavana, October 3, 1976
Pradyumna: "She could not tolerate Asvatthama's being bound by ropes, and being a devoted lady, she said: 'Release him, for he is a brahmana, our spiritual master.' "
Prabhupada:
uvaca casahanty asya
bandhananayanam sati
mucyatam mucyatam esa
brahmano nitaram guruh
[SB 1.7.43]
So Draupadi, in the previous verse it has been described, vama-svabhava krpaya nanama ca. Vama-svabhava. Vama, woman. Women, they are very soft-hearted, vama-svabhava. So although Asvatthama killed her sons very mercilessly, and he was arrested and Krsna ordered him to be killed, and Arjuna was just preparing to punish him, but vama-svabhava, woman, being very soft-hearted, without any consideration, she immediately offered her respect, nanama. Not only she offered her respect to Asvatthama being the son of a brahmana, especially of Dronacarya, their teacher... So she immediately ordered Arjuna, mucyatam mucyatam: "Release him immediately. You have arrested a brahmana." Mucyatam mucyatam esa brahmano nitaram guruh. "Brahmana is always our guru. Although he has killed my sons, still, he stands to be my guru, your guru."
So this is Vedic culture, that they know how to offer respect to the proper persons. But Arjuna, he also decided that although Krsna ordered him to kill Asvatthama, he's guru's son, although he's not brahmana; he's brahma-bandhu. He has been described as brahma-bandhu, not brahmana. But Draupadi, being woman, vama-svabhava, very soft-hearted, she did not consider whether he's actually a brahmana. The son of a brahmana, that much she knew. This is the difference, how to calculate whether one is brahmana or not brahmana. Brahmana and brahma-bandhu, these two words are there. Just like if you are the son of a high-court judge, you can be called, you have got the right, that "son of a high-court judge." That is all right. But you cannot claim to become the high-court judge. That is not possible. Unless you are qualified, unless you are actually acting as high-court judge, you cannot be called a high-court judge. Simply by becoming the son of a high-court judge you cannot become the high-court judge. Similarly, simply by becoming the son of a brahmana, you cannot become a brahmana. A woman, vama-svabhava, she can accept that "Because he's the son of a brahmana, he's brahmana." Therefore this word is used, vama-svabhava. Because woman are considered less intelligent. In the Bhagavad-gita... Their heart is very soft. Just like children, their heart is very soft. But their intelligence is not very sharp. That is the difference. Striyah sudras tatha vaisyah. Krsna says, striyah sudras tatha... They have been put in one group: woman, vaisya and sudra. Because they are not very intelligent. They can be molded by another intelligent man to the proper channel. Therefore they require guidance. They require guidance.
This morning I was reading about Sita-devi's being kidnapped by Ravana. Now, because there was not Ramacandra present and Laksmana was also not present, she was unguarded and Ravana took the opportunity to kidnap her. So even Sita-devi, she is goddess of fortune, she is the spiritual potency of Lord Ramacandra, she is not ordinary woman, but showing us the example that even Sita-devi... Sita-devi is the original potency. Of course, Ravana could not kidnap Sita-devi as she is. That is not possible. This is described in another Purana, that when Ravana came to kidnap Sita, Sita-devi disappeared from there and she kept a maya form, false form, and Ravana kidnapped her. This is stated in very authoritative scripture. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was traveling in South India, a brahmana invited Him. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu at noontime went there, but He saw the brahmana has not cooked anything. There was nothing prepared. And he was crying and reading Ramayana. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu inquired, "Brahmana, why you are in such a depressed condition, you are crying?" "Sir, I am so..." He was in the ecstasy of Hanuman. "Sir, I am so unfortunate that Sita-devi has been taken by Ravana and I could not rescue her still." In this way he was puzzled. So he did not cook anything. Then Caitanya Mahaprabhu pacified him. Then he cooked. He could understand that "I invited..." It was done. Then, when he was returning, I forget the name of the Purana... Kurma Purana. He got evidences that Sita-devi, when she was supposed to be kidnapped by Ravana, her a false form was kidnapped, and when Sita-devi was tested, putting her into the fire, she entered into the fire and the maya Sita was burned and the original Sita came out. So it was not possible for Ravana to touch even the lotus feet of mother Sita. But apparently it is externally manifested that Sita was taken away just to teach us that even Sita-devi...
Sita-devi is the origin of all potencies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Cit-sakti. Parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate [Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport]. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has got many potencies, multipotencies, and one of the potency is hladini-sakti, pleasure potency. That pleasure potency is Sita, Radharani, Laksmi-devi. This has been described by Svarupa-damodara Gosvami, radha krsna-pranaya-vikrtir hladini-saktir asmad ekatmanav api bhuvi pura deha-bhedam gatau tau [Cc. Adi 1.5]. These are described, that the Krsna's pleasure potency, Radharani, is Krsna. But to take pleasure They became two. Ekatmanav api bhuvi pura deha-bhedam gatau tau. They became divided into two, Radha and Krsna. Again, Sri Caitanya, prakatam. When Krsna came as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Radha-Krsna combined together. Therefore the devotees of Radha-Krsna or Caitanya Mahaprabhu, they worship sri-krsna-caitanya radha-krsna nahe anya. They say. This is a fact. So Lord Ramacandra is also Krsna. Sita-devi is also expansion of Radharani. They are the same tattva.
So here the example that even Sita-devi, the direct potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, she is showing that without being protected, she can be ravished, she can be kidnapped, she can be misused by the raksasas. This is the example. Sita-devi was quite competent, but this is the example.
Another example is that because Lord Ramacandra took Sita in the forest... From moral principle, He should not have taken Sita. Pathe nari vivaryaya(?). The moral principle is that when you are going out of home, you should not take your wife with you, pathe nari vivaryaya, because there may be so many dangers. That actually happened, Sita-devi, because Lord Ramacandra was ordered to go to the forest. Not Sita-devi, neither anyone, neither Laksmana. They, out of their own affection for Lord Ramacandra, they decided to go with Him. But because Sita-devi went with Ramacandra, so many catastrophes happened. She was kidnapped, and there was fight, and the whole dynasty of Ravana was killed, and so many things happened. So this instruction that pathe nari vivaryaya. And another lesson is, even Lord Ramacandra, He was attached. Naturally one is attached to his wife. So if we become attached to a woman, then we have to face so many dangers. This is another instruction. Even Lord Ramacandra is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and still He had to accept so many troubles. They were loitering in the forest, feeling the separation of Sita-devi. So many things happened.
So vama-svabhava. They are, women are very simple, soft-hearted. The whole idea is they should be given protection. No freedom. That is injunction of the Manu-samhita. Na stri svatantryam arhati. Women should not be given freedom. They must be protected. Not that if... Sometimes we receive the complaint in foreign countries, they say that "You keep your women like slaves." I replied, "We do not keep our women as slaves. They're very respectful at home. The sons offer their highest respect to the mother. The husband gives the topmost protection to the wife." This is the example. Just like Lord Ramacandra. Lord Ramacandra is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but Ravana took Sita from His protection. Ramacandra could marry many millions of Sitas, or He could create many millions of Sita, but He's showing the example that it is the husband's duty to give protection to the wife at any cost. And He did it. For one woman He killed the whole Ravana's dynasty. This is husband's duty. So protection, not slave. It is protection. The husband should give to the wife the topmost protection, and the wife should be so faithful to the husband that... Sita-devi, she was king's daughter, Videha-raja. She was the daughter... She was not a poor man's daughter. And Dasaratha Maharaja did not ask her to go to the forest with her husband. She could easily say, "My dear husband, You are going to the forest. I am king's daughter. I cannot take so much trouble. Better You go. Let me go to my father's house." No. "I shall take all the troubles with my husband." This is faithfulness.
Similarly, Draupadi. Draupadi also went with the Pandavas in the forest when they were banished, and Kunti-devi also went with her sons in the forest. This is the system. Kunti-devi had nothing to do with the gambling of Pandavas and Duryodhana, but because the sons were to go to the forest, the mother also followed and the wife also followed. This is Vedic system. Vedic system... Caitanya Mahaprabhu also had very nice beautiful wife at home and very affectionate mother. Both personalities are very good asset in family. Canakya Pandita said that if one hasn't got mother at home and the wife is not very agreeable, or not very peaceful... He said,
mata yasya grhe nasti
bharya capriya-vadini
aranyam tena gantavyam
yatharanyam tatha grham
He advises, if one has no mother at home and wife is apriya-vadini, she talks very roughly, not very nicely, then that person immediately leave that home and go to the forest. Yatharanyam tatha grham. For him, either at home or in the forest, the same thing. Yatharanyam tatha grham. This is Vedic culture. Woman should be trained up from the very beginning how to become good wife and good mother. That is the duty. Vama-svabhava. So here is example, Kuntidevi is one example. Draupadi one example. We have got many examples how to train woman. They are very soft-hearted. They can be molded in any way. And Bhismadeva has advised... When Bhismadeva was in the bed of arrows, sara-sayya, so the Pandavas, the Kurus, they took many advices about politics, sociology. Many things—religion, king's duty, so many instruction was taken. In that instruction he also confirmed the Vedic injunction that woman should be always protected very carefully. There is one quality of shyness. If you break that shyness of woman, it will be very dangerous. It will be very dangerous. That is the one verb,(?) (word) to check.
So modern civilization is not strictly following the Vedic injunction. Therefore, especially I have seen in the Western countries, there is no home practically. There is no homely happiness, because women are allowed to mix freely and there is no protection. They are not married, there is no husband. The father also does not take care. As soon as the girl becomes fifteen, sixteen years, she goes away. Therefore I have practically seen there is no home, there is no peace in the Western countries. These are very important things, that soft-hearted woman, vama-svabhava, they should be given protection. They should be trained up how to become faithful wife, affectionate mother. Then the home will be very happy, and without happiness we cannot make any spiritual progress. We must be peaceful. This is the preliminary condition. Therefore, as far as possible, the Vedic injunction is there should be division in the society, varnasrama. Varnasramacaravata. Because the whole aim is to reach the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu. Visnur aradhyate pantha nanyat tat-tosa-karanam. Varnasramacaravata purusena parah puman visnur aradhyate. Our only aim should be how to approach Visnu.
This is the instruction of Lord Siva to Parvati. Parvati's question was, "Which aradhanam is the best?" So he replied, aradhananam sarvesam visnor aradhanam param. He said... [break] ...but the knowledge is there. They have not lost the knowledge, but we have neglected. If we take advantage of this knowledge, then the whole world will become happy.
That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission. What is the mission of Caitanya Mahaprabhu? His mission is... He said,
Anyone who has taken birth on the land of Bharatavarsa... It is punya-bhumi. And not only punya-bhumi, not only Lord Ramacandra has appeared here, not only Krsna has appeared here, not only Lord Buddha has appeared, not only Caitanya Mahaprabhu has appeared... Because it is punya-bhumi. Whenever the Lord appears, He comes on this land. Bharata-bhumite manusya. Therefore the human being, not the cats and dogs, must take advantage of this birth on Bharatavarsa and take advantage of the sastras and make his life successful. Janma sarthaka kari' kara para-upakara. Indians are not made for exploiting others. Upakara: how people will be advanced in spiritual consciousness, how they will understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead Visnu. Because they do not know what is the aim of life. Parabhavas tavad abodha-jato yavan na jijnasata atma-tattvam. We are born all fools and rascals, abodha-jata, without any sense. So we require education. What is that education? Atma-tattvam. Apasyatam atma-tattvam grhesu grha-medhinam [SB 2.1.2]. So we require education. What is that education? Atma-tattvam. Apasyatam atma-tattvam grhesu grha-medhinam. If we do not culture, cultivate atma-tattvam, then whatever we are doing, we are being defeated. That's all. We are being defeated. Atma-tattvam.
That atma-tattvam is the first instruction in the Bhagavad-gita.
dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
tatha dehantara-praptir
dhiras tatra na muhyati
[Bg. 2.13]
This is atma, beginning. Asmin dehe. Within this body there is the soul. Dehino 'smin yatha dehe. Not the body is important. Body's nothing; it is dead matter. When Krsna began His instruction and Arjuna was lamenting on the basis of this body... "If we kill our brothers their wives will be widowed and they'll be bhrastacara(?), the varna-sankara will be there." Everything he was calculating on the basis of this body. All politics, sociology, they are going on the basis of this body. But Krsna, as soon as He was accepted by Arjuna as guru... Sisyas te 'ham sadhi mam prapannam: [Bg. 2.7] "Now, Krsna, I accept You as my guru. Not as friend." Because friendly talking is useless waste of time. He accepted Him as guru. When guru speaks, you cannot argue. That is not the process. You should accept a guru who is infallible. Otherwise it is useless. He accepted guru Krsna because Krsna is infallible. If we accept guru, a bogus guru, then it is no benefit. Guru means Krsna's representative. Not that everyone can be guru.
It is said in the sastra that sat-karma-nipuno viprah. Just like here it is accepted, brahmano nitaram guruh. So generally brahmana is accepted as guru by other orders of society. So, but sastra says that brahmana is guru, that's all right, but sat-karma-nipuno viprah. One brahmana is very nipuna in his karma-kandiya knowledge, sat-karma. Pathana-pathana-yajana-yajana-dana-pratigraha. This sat-karma, nipuna, very expert. Mantra-tantra-visaradah. And he's very expert in chanting the Vedic hymns and execution of tantra and so many things. Avaisnavo gurur na syat. If he's avaisnava, if he's not attached with Visnu, if he does not carry the order of Krsna, gurur na sa syat. Sad-vaisnavah sva-paco guruh. But if a person is Vaisnava, even if he's born in the family of a sva-paca... Sva-paca means dog-eater, candala. If he's a Vaisnava he can become guru. And if one is a brahmana, if he's not a Vaisnava... Naturally, brahmana means Vaisnava. Brahmana means pandita. Still, in India a brahmana is addressed as "Panditaji." Because a brahmana and murkha, rascal, this is contradictory. It cannot be. Unless one is highly learned, unless one has learned what is Brahman, he cannot become brahmana. Brahma janatiti brahmanah. So not only one should be brahmana, but he should become a Vaisnava. Still higher. From brahmana platform he has to come to the Vaisnava platform.
One has to become brahma-bhuta [SB 4.30.20]. That is brahmana. The sign is na socati na kanksati. He does not care for anything material. He's always satisfied. Aham brahmasmi. That is brahmana. But, in spite of this quality, if he does not enter into the bhakti, then he's not a Vaisnava. He may be a brahmana... This is clearly defined in the Bhagavad-gita. Brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati [Bg. 18.54]. He's pacified. Samah sarvesu bhutesu. He's equal to everyone. Then he's qualified to become a devotee, Vaisnava. So unless he comes to that stage he cannot become guru. Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh [Bg. 4.2].
So here, the Pandava family, they are very enlightened family, and still, vama-svabhava, the woman is soft-hearted. He did not... She did not consider about Asvatthama's position. But so far Krsna is concerned, Arjuna is concerned, they considered that he is not a brahmana, but he is a brahma-bandhu. Brahma-bandhu means son of a brahmana, but behavior is something else. He's called brahma-bandhu.
Thank you very much. (end)

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