śrutam anvīkṣitaṁ brahman
bhagavān yad abhāṣata
naitaj jānanty upādhyāyāḥ
kiṁ na brūyur vidur yadi
rājā uvāca—the King said; śrutam—was heard; anvīkṣitam—was considered; brahman—O brāhmaṇa; bhagavān—the most powerful; yat—which; abhāṣata—you have spoken; na—not; etat—this; jānanti—do know; upādhyāyāḥ—the teachers of fruitive activities; kim—why; na brūyuḥ—they did not instruct; viduḥ—they understood; yadi—if.
The King replied: My dear brāhmaṇa, whatever you have said I have heard with great attention and, considering all of it, have come to the conclusion that the ācāryas [teachers] who engaged me in fruitive activity did not know this confidential knowledge. If they were aware of it, why did they not explain it to me?
Actually the so-called teachers or leaders of material society do not really know the goal of life. They are described in Bhagavad-gītā as māyayāpahṛta jñānāḥ. They appear to be very learned scholars, but actually the influence of the illusory energy has taken away their knowledge. Real knowledge means searching out Kṛṣṇa. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. All Vedic knowledge is meant for searching out Kṛṣṇa because Kṛṣṇa is the origin of everything. Janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. In Bhagavad-gītā (10.2) Kṛṣṇa says, aham ādir hi devānāṁ: “I am the source of the demigods.” Thus Kṛṣṇa is the origin and beginning of all demigods, including Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and all others. The Vedic ritualistic ceremonies are concerned with satisfying different demigods, but unless one is very advanced, he cannot understand that the original personality is Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi **. After hearing the instructions of Nārada, King Barhiṣmān came to his senses. The real goal of life is to attain devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The King therefore decided to reject the so-called priestly orders that simply engage their followers in the ritualistic ceremonies without giving effective instructions about the goal of life. At the present moment the churches, temples and mosques all over the world are not attracting people because foolish priests cannot elevate their followers to the platform of knowledge. Not being aware of the real goal of life, they simply keep their congregations in ignorance. Consequently, those who are well educated have become uninterested in the ritualistic ceremonies. At the same time, they are not benefited with real knowledge. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is therefore very important for the enlightenment of all classes. Following in the footsteps of Mahārāja Barhiṣmān, everyone should take advantage of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and abandon the stereotyped ritualistic ceremonies that go under the garb of so many religions. The Gosvāmīs from the very beginning differed from the priestly class that was engaged in ritualistic ceremonies. Indeed, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī compiled his Hari-bhakti-vilāsa for the guidance of the Vaiṣṇavas. The Vaiṣṇavas, not caring for the lifeless activities of the priestly classes, take to full Kṛṣṇa consciousness and become perfect in this very life. That is described in the previous verse as paramahaṁsa-śaraṇam, taking shelter of the paramahaṁsa, the liberated soul, and becoming successful in this life.
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