Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)
iti bhitah praja-drohat
tato vinasanam pragad
yatra deva-vrato 'patat
"Suta Gosvami said: Being afraid for having killed so many subjects on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra, Maharaja Yudhisthira went to the scene of the massacre. There, Bhismadeva was lying on a bed of arrows, about to pass away."
Prabhupada: So the most important point is that the king was, he so responsible, he became afraid, that "I have killed so many praja." Praja. It is not said there, "human being." No. Praja. Praja means... Pra means prakrsta-rupena, and ja means jayate. Just like every living entity takes somewhere birth. So considering nationalism... Just like American nation. What is the meaning of these people, American nation or Indian nation? The human being is the same -- two hands, two legs, and they also eat. Everything is the same. Why this nationality? Nationality is only for the sake that that particular human being has taken birth in that particular land. That is called praja. Praja.
Jayate. Now jayate, one who takes birth... Just like the other day I was speaking... One Indian girl, she has given birth to a child in America. So because that child is born in America, she becomes naturally American national. So if this fact is to be accepted, that anyone who takes birth on the land of America, he becomes immediately American, and the American government takes charge for his protection, so why this is restricted only for the human child? If this is definition, praja, "one who takes birth," so the animals also take birth. The trees also take birth. So many other animals, other living entities, they also take birth. So yes, therefore, they are all prajas. Not only... Miserly, you limit your praja conception, national conception, within the human society only, you expand it. Even it is taken nationally, anyone who takes birth in this land, he is national. Either human being or animal or tree or plant. That is the definition of praja. Prakrsta-rupena jayate. Any living entity who has taken birth. Just like in America, there are so many jungles and trees. If outsider like me comes and begins to cut the trees, so will the American government tolerate? Immediately I shall be prosecuted. I can say, "What is the harm? It is a tree. I am cutting." "No, you cannot cut this tree because they are on the American land." So this conception should be prayed.
So Yudhisthira Maharaja is not only thinking of the human being who were killed in the battlefield of Kuruksetra. He is thinking of all the horses, elephants, because they are also living entities. They are also praja, national. "National," this word, we don't find in the Vedic literature, "national." It is modern invention. So if we feel nationally, then we feel for every living entity (who) is born in that land. That is real Krsna consciousness, not sectarian, that "I feel for this living entities, not for that." So iti bhitah, he was very much afraid, that "I have killed so many animals and men. So what to do?" Praja-drohat. Droha, droha means to become enemy. Unless you become my enemy, you cannot kill me, neither I can kill you. So droha means if you become enemy. So when the prajas were killed, the king became enemy. He is thinking, "Otherwise, how I could induce them to be killed?" He was thinking like that. Praja-drohat. As you, if you rebel against the king, it is also a great fault, similarly, if you rebel, revolt against the prajas, that is also great fault. Therefore he is afraid. Bhitah praja-drohat. "Now what to do?" Sarva-dharma-vivitsaya. This is the position to approach a guru, when you are bewildered. When things are not in order, brain is puzzled... Just like Arjuna accepted Krsna as guru when he could not ascertain whether he shall fight or not, bewilderment, so similarly, Yudhisthira Maharaja also became bewildered, that "I have killed so many prajas. What is my position? I have become so much sinful. How can I rule over the empire?"
So when all these questions puzzled him, he decided to go to Bhismadeva, who was lying on the arrows' bed before his death. As I told you that Bhismadeva could not be dead without..., so long he does not wish. That was the benediction given by his father, that "My dear boy, you have taken such a strong vow. So I give you one benediction." Formerly everyone was so powerful. Of course, father's benediction always there, but they were actual benedictions. Everyone was so powerful. For example, the brahmana's son who cursed Pariksit Maharaja, he was only twelve years old, a boy, and because he cursed Pariksit Maharaja, that "Within seven days he will have to die," so he had to die. Just a small brahmana boy, how he was powerful. And it could not be changed. Although Pariksit Maharaja was competent to change it, but he did not change. He showed honor to the brahminical curse. That is discussed by his father. So those who were powerful, actually they could benedict. Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah **. As we read in the Gurvastaka, "By the benediction of the spiritual master, one becomes benedicted by the Supreme Lord."
So this Bhismadeva... When he became puzzled, he went to Bhismadeva, Yudhisthira Maharaja, went to Bhismadeva. So this is the process. One must approach a superior person who is called guru. Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. We, in this material world, we are confused, step by step. This is our position. Step by step. Every step. Padam padam vipadam. Padam padam means every step; vipadam, danger. It is such a nice place, this material world, that every step there is danger. And as soon as there is danger, we are confused. So... And as soon as we are confused: "How to solve?" Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigacchet. Therefore the Vedic instruction is "Because you are confused, because you do not know which path to follow, therefore you must approach a guru." Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. This word abhigacchet is used when there is compulsory, "You must." You cannot say that "Without going to guru, I shall chalk out my own path." No, that is not possible. Therefore this very word is used, gacchet. In Sanskrit all words are meaningful. Gacchet means it is a question of must, not that "I may and may not." Nowadays it is going on, and there is many rascals who come here in your country to preach that "There is no need of guru. You can become your own guru yourself." That is not Vedic injunction. Vedic injunction is you must go to a guru, tad-vijnanartham, in order to understand the transcendental science. And that is natural.
When we are confused in our ordinary life, we also go to a friend, senior friend, or experienced friend, and ask him, "My dear friend, I am in this condition. I am very much confused what to do." That is natural. Similarly, when Yudhisthira Maharaja was so much afraid that he had killed so many prajas, he knew that "Now, still, there is a superior person, my grandfather, who is lying on the bed of arrows. Let me go there." Tato vinasanam pragat. Then he decided, "Let me go to Bhismadeva. He can give me instruction." What is that instruction? Sarva-dharma. Sarva-dharma. Instruction on all kinds of different varieties of religious system. Sarva-dharma. We will find. Dharma... Dharma means occupational duty. Dharma means not a religious sentiment, that, as it is translated in English, "a sentiment." Just like "Animal has no soul." This is not dharma. Without any scientific knowledge, if somebody says in some religion, for eating meat, that "Animal has no soul. You can kill as many as you like," so that is not dharma. Dharma, real meaning is occupational duty, not a sentiment. Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. It is just like state laws. The state laws are given by the state. You cannot manufacture laws. Similarly, dharma, which we call religion generally, you cannot manufacture by your concoction. It is stated by the Supreme Lord. That is dharma.
Just like Krsna says that "I am the father of all living entities." Sarva-yonisu kaunteya sambhavanti murtayo yah [Bg. 14.4]. And He is accepting not only human society. Sarva-yonisu. Sarva-yonisu means in all species of life. Krsna claims that "Fish, beginning from fish, aquatic life, these living entities, they are also My sons. The birds, they are also My sons. The beasts, they are also My sons. The trees, they are also My sons. The human beings, they are also My sons. The demigods, they are also My sons." Sarva-yonisu, "in every species of life." This is the conception of Krsna consciousness. We do not say that simply human being has soul No. Every living entity. Even a small ant, a small plant, it is living entity. By its different work, he has got a different dress only. Just like we are sitting so many persons, and we have got our different dresses according to our different choice, similarly, we get these bodies. We are all sons of God. There is no doubt about it. We (are) all spirit soul, either in the human form of body or animal form of body or tree form of body, anything. Sarva-yonisu. We are all living entities. But we have got different dresses. That's all. According to karma. This is the philosophy. So we cannot make that "These dressed living entities are important than the other dressed living entities." No. Everyone. The panditah sama-darsinah [Bg. 5.18]. Those who are actually learned, pandita, sama-darsinah, they are equal, equipoised: "Never mind, here is a dog, he is also living entity; and here is a brahmana, he is also living entity. By his work he has got the body of a brahmana, and here he has got the body of a dog. But as living entity, they are all equal.
So without Krsna consciousness, the philosophy of equality, fraternity, as in your country they profess, it is not possible. Artificial. Without coming to the Krsna consciousness, that every living entity is part and parcel of Krsna, or God, this equality, fraternity, big, big words, universal brotherhood, it is impossible. That is not possible. Therefore one has to become learned scholar, panditah sama-darsinah [Bg. 5.18]. Then he will be able to see equally. Just like Maharaja Yudhisthira is thinking of all prajas, not only... Otherwise, the language would have been "human being." No. Praja, "All, all kinds of praja." This is universal understanding.
So deva-vrata. Deva-vrata is Bhismadeva. Vrata means vow, and deva means God. So he took brahmacari-vrata: "I'll, I remain ever-celibate. I'll never marry." It is called deva-vrata. Naisthika-brahmacari. This is possible in high-class society, that "I shall remain celibate all the life, naisthika-brahmacari." They do not marry. Naisthika-brahmacari. So Bhismadeva was naisthika-brahmacari. Therefore his name is deva-vrata.
All right. Let us begin. Hare Krsna. (end)
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.9.1 -- Los Angeles, May 15, 1973