Rasa-lila and the research scholar (for rasa-yatra)
Posted on October 27, 2015
Indian woman: May I ask one question, please? In the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavata, chapter starting twenty-ninth to thirty-five, there is a beautiful description of this rasa-lila, and some scholars think that there is some role of imagination in that. So will you please comment upon this?
Prabhupada: Because they are rascals. We are not commenting on rascals. [laughter] Why do you jump to rasa-lila? That is another rascaldom. Bhagavata, there is twelve cantos. And this rasa-lila is described in the thirty-fifth chapter of Tenth Canto. So why you jump there?
Indian woman: Because I got all the stages of bhakti in Bengal Vaisnavism.
Prabhupada: No, Bengal Vaisnava is not foolishism. First of all you have to understand Krsna, then go to understand what is Krsna's rasa-lila. You do not understand Krsna. Why you jump over His activities?
Indian woman: Well, I was given that work to do for research.
Prabhupada: So some foolish man has given you like that. [laughter] Yes. You should ask him that "You, Mr. Rascal, [laughter] why you have given, 'Jump over to here'? Why not other things?" That Krsna, to understand Krsna, the Bhagavata begins, athato brahma jijnasa, janmady asya yatah anvayad itaratas ca arthesu abhijnah... [SB 1.1.1]. You know Sanskrit, I think.
Indian woman: Yes, I know.
Prabhupada: So, do you understand this verse?
Indian woman: But this is from first verse from Brahma-sutra, right?
Prabhupada: No, no, Brahma-sutra, and first verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Do you understand this Bhagavatam, this sloka?
Indian woman: Not that well.
Prabhupada: Then why do you jump over there? Education means from the beginning. Suppose a small child, he wants to be educated, he immediately goes to the M.A. class? Or he learns A-B-C-D? So therefore those who have given you this task, they are not realized souls. All fools and rascals.
Indian woman: [giggles] Thank you very much.
Prabhupada: Yes. Yes. First of all you understand, "Two plus two equal to four." Then you go to higher mathematics. And all of a sudden higher mathematics? What is this? Is that very good intelligence? ...I will advise you not to make research in that way.
(March 7, 1975, New York)