Sum & Substance: Chant Hare Krishna

Hansadutta at Santa Rosa Junior College (Part 8/10)
Guest speaker to Professor Carla Grady’s Asian Philosophy Class
September 27, 2010

The Mahabharata was composed by Vyasadeva, who is the author of all Vedic literature, and it contains 100,000 verses. Maha means great, and Bharata means the planet Earth. Earth was known as Bharata-varsha. Varsha means island. It is the history, the great history of the planet Earth in relation to Krishna’s appearance and Krishna’s devotees. He formulated this book especially for the people of this age, which is known as Kali-yuga. Kali-yuga is the age of darkness, quarrel, irreligion, deception and so forth. And in this age people are very short-lived, they are less intelligent, and they are inclined to quarrel on a slight misunderstanding. People in Kali-yuga will not be interested in spiritual matters. So in order to tactfully – sort of like putting candy coating on a medicine for a child – attract them to the essence of the whole Vedic wisdom, Vyasadeva recorded the entire history of this Mahabharata era, or Kurukshetra era, and in it he put the Bhagavad-gita, the discourse or discussion between Krishna and Arjuna, so that people who are more interested in politics, economics, morality, and romance – which is all there in the Mahabharata – would inadvertently or imperceptibly come upon this one chapter, the Bhagavad-gita. Bhagavad-gita is actually only one chapter in the entire Mahabharata. It is 700 verses, whereas Mahabharata is 100,000 verses. We can hardly deal with the 700 verses, yet they were spoken by Krishna in half an hour or 45 minutes time, in the midst of two warring armies who were about to do battle.

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