The Essence of all the Vedas

19th Oct 2006
Narahari Krishna das

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

Sri Krishna Paramatma says in the Bhagavad Gita that the goal of all the vedic study is to understand Him - "vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ". And understanding Him means accepting the glories of His names and chanting them with reverence and devotion. There are many branches of vedic knowledge such as puranas, jyotisha sastra, ayurveda etc. All these branches without exception glorify the Lord. Even if a person has mastered vedic knowledge, if he does not accept the glories of the Lord's names, his study of the vedas is still incomplete. This is revealed in the following sloka from Mahabharata Santi Parva (12.328.5) where the Lord explains to Arjuna about the glory of His holy names.

ṛgvede sayajurvede tathaivātharva sāmasu
purāṇe sopaniṣade tathaiva jyotiṣe arjuna
sāṅkhye ca yoga śāstre ca āyurvede tathaiva ca
bahūni mama nāmāni kīrtitāni mahaṛṣibhih

My names are sung by the Maharishis in the Rg Veda, Yajur Veda, Atharva veda, Sama veda, in the puraana, in the mystical texts of the Upanishads, in the Jyotish Vidya, in the Sankhya, in the Yogashastra, and in the Ayurveda.

And when a person studies these branches of knowledge under proper directions, he will come to the conclusion that all the vedas glorify the Lord's holy names and start to chant the names with all seriousness. The degree to which a person chants them with devotion reflects his understanding of spiritual knowledge. The following story from the life of His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada reveals this fact.

Once His Divine Grace was giving a class on the paramount supremacy of vedic knowledge and one sannyasi suggested that there should be an examination on the upanishads for all the devotees in the Gaudiya Math to find out who is the best scholar. His Divine grace agreed and told all the sannyasis to prepare a 15 page writeup on the Upanishads. All of them became so enthusiastic and prepared their write-ups and submitted to Prabhupada. They were expecting that he is going to correct them and judge the best scholar among them. But he called one devotee from the the kitchen who cleans the kitchen and cuts vegetables and told him to correct all these write-ups. The devotee was shocked and said humbly, "I don't have any knowledge of the Upanishads and I don't know Sanskrit. I'm not at all qualified to correct the writeup of these great sannyasi devotees". Then Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada replied, "The process of correction is very easy. Just look for the names Vishnu/Krishna/Narayana or any holy name of the Lord in each page and total it up and just write the grand total at the top of the first page and give it to me. You don't need any special knowledge to do this". The devotee duly did the job and submitted to His Divine Grace. One Sanyasi had the grand total of 300 (300 times the Lord's name appeared in his write up) and it was the maximum. Prabhupada called him and said , "You're the best scholar of the vedas since you've truly brought out the fact that the goal of all the vedas is to reveal the Lord's name, form, qualities and actions and His compassion". He also instructed all the devotees that they should take the chanting of the Lord's names very seriously and try to understand the glories of the holy names through scriptures by serious study. The above verse from Mahabharata clearly echoes this fact.

I'm really not having any attraction or discipline in chanting the holy names of the Lord. I pray at the feet of all the devotees in this forum, Srila Prabhupada and Gurudeva so that I'll get some attraction and reverence for the holy name.

Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Narahari Krishna das