Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [devotees repeat] [chants verse]
yad brahma-bandhoḥ śira ātatāyinaḥ
gāṇḍīva-muktair viśikhair upāhare
tvākramya yat snāsyasi dagdha-putrā
Translation = "O gentle lady, when I present you with the head of that brāhmaṇa, after beheading him with arrows from my Gāṇḍīva bow, I shall then wipe the tears from your eyes and pacify you. Then, after burning your sons' bodies, you can take your bath standing on his head."
yad brahma-bandhoḥ śira ātatāyinaḥ
gāṇḍīva-muktair viśikhair upāhare
tvākramya yat snāsyasi dagdha-putrā
So yad brahma-bandhoḥ. Brahma-bandhu, or kṣatra-bandhu, a person born in the family of a brāhmaṇa but has no brāhmaṇa qualification, he is called brahma-bandhu, "friend of a brāhmaṇa." Bandhu means friend. Just a... A person, a man, his father is high-court judge. So there is no harm that he belongs to the family of such and such high-court judge---but that does not mean he is high-court judge. It should be noted. That is the difference, brāhmaṇa and brahma-bandhu. Brāhmaṇa means guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ [Bg. 4.13]. He must have the quality = śamo damaḥ śaucaṁ titikṣā ārjavam, jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam [Bg. 18.42]. He must be self-controlled, controlling the mind and the senses. Then very clean, śaucam. Satyaṁ śaucam. Then titikṣā, tolerant; ārjavam, very simple, no duplicity. Simple, ārjavam. Jñānam, full knowledge; vijñānam, knowledge applied in practical life. This is vijñānam. Just like we call science. Science means to know the things correctly, and by practical experiment to understand the things correctly, that is vijñānam. Jñānam means theoretical knowledge, and vijñānam means practical application of the knowledge. Simply if I know, "This is the qualification of brāhmaṇa," but there is no practical application, that will not do. One must pass the engineering examination and work as engineer; then he's called an engineer. One has passed the law examination and is practicing in the court, then he's lawyer. Two things required. Similarly, all these varṇa-vibhāga, division of varṇas... Guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ. Guṇa means he must have the necessary quality, at the same time he must work with that quality. Then he is... Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ [Bg. 4.13].
So here, Aśvatthāmā, he's born of a brāhmaṇa father, but his work has been proved just like a butcher. So therefore he is called brahma-bandhu. He's called not a brāhmaṇa = brahma-bandhu. Brahma-bandhoḥ śira ātatāyinaḥ. Ātatāyinaḥ, aggressor. A brāhmaṇa does not require to kill a person with weapon. No. That is kṣatriya's business. If one is actually a brāhmaṇa---of course, in the Kali-yuga such brāhmaṇa is not to be found---his simply curse is sufficient to kill a man. If a brāhmaṇa curses somebody... Just like Mahārāja Parīkṣit, he was cursed by a brāhmaṇa's son. Means not fully brāhmaṇa, grown-up. A child, a boy twelve years old, he cursed Parīkṣit Mahārāja that "Within seven days you'll be bitten by a serpent," and it came to be true. So brāhmaṇa does not require any sword or any arrow to kill a man. His very word is sufficient. Therefore when somebody was to be killed, the brāhmaṇa would bring him to the kṣatriya---not killing himself by weapon. Just like Viśvāmitra, he wanted to kill one rākṣasī, so he came to Mahārāja Daśaratha, kṣatriya, to do the business of killing. There are so many... That is śāstric evidences.
So here, a brahma-bandhu... Aśvatthāmā was born of a brāhmaṇa, Droṇācārya, but he killed the five sons of Draupadī most abominably, when they were sleeping. So what to speak of brāhmaṇa, he's less than a kṣatriya even, because a kṣatriya also do not kill anybody while one is sleeping. A kṣatriya challenges, offers him weapon, fights, and then one of them is killed. That is... So here it is brahma-bandhoḥ ātatāyinaḥ. Ātatāyinaḥ, aggressor. Anyone who kidnaps one's wife is called aggressor. One who sets fire in your house, he's aggressor. One who is coming to kill you with weapon, he's aggressor. In this way there is a list of aggression. So aggressor can be killed immediately, if somebody is aggressor. There is no sin in killing aggressor. Enemy who sets fire to the house, administers poison, attacks all of a sudden with deadly weapon, plunders wealth or usurps agricultural field or entices one's wife is called an aggressor. Everything... This is Vedic knowledge. Everything has got definition.
So this Aśvatthāmā was an aggressor. Therefore Arjuna decided to kill him. He is, although he's born in a brāhmaṇa family... Naturally a person born in a brāhmaṇa family is expected to become a brāhmaṇa by qualification. That was the training. The brahmacārī... Generally, the sons of brāhmaṇa and kṣatriyas especially, these two sects, up to vaiśya, they were trained up as brahmacārīs. And śūdras were not interested. The door is open for everyone, but the lower class, except brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, they are not interested to become brahmacārī, or their parents are not interested. Just like we are going to open this brahmacārī school, or āśrama, but I am doubtful whether we'll get many children. Because in this age people are interested to become śūdra. Nobody is interested to become brāhmaṇa. Technology. Technology means śūdra. Technology is not the business of a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya or vaiśya. No. Just like blacksmith, goldsmith, carpenter, craftsman. These are technology. They are meant for the śūdras. Brāhmaṇas, they are to be trained up how to become truthful, how to become controller of the senses, how to become simple, how to become tolerant. In this way.
Kṣatriya---how to become strong, stout, brave, no going away when there is challenge, not to go away from fighting, to possess land, to rule over, īśvara-bhāvaś ca, and charity. These are the kṣatriya qualifications. The charity was given by the kṣatriyas. Even there are instances that Muhammadan rulers in this country, they also gave in charity land and temple in Vṛndāvana. There are many instances. Aurangzeb gave some land, Jahangir gave some land. There is still one temple, it was constructed by Jahangir, and the other side of the Yamunā there is a village called Jahangir-pura. That village was given to the brāhmaṇas for maintaining the temple. So charity, that is kṣatriya's business, and perform yajñas, give in charity, to rule, not to go away from fighting, challenge, very strong, stout---these are kṣatriya qualification.
And the vaiśya qualification---agriculture. Kṛṣi. Kṛṣi-gorakṣya, and cow protection. Kṛṣi-gorakṣya-vāṇijyam [Bg. 18.44]. And if there is excess, then vāṇijya, trade. Otherwise there is no question of trade. And vaiśya... And śūdra, paricaryātmakam---to work for some payment. That is this blacksmith, goldsmith, weaver. You take some work from him and pay him something, maintain him. That is śūdra. So in the śāstra it is said, kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ. In the Kali-yuga almost everyone is a śūdra. You'll find they're interested in accepting some service. Even one is born of a brāhmaṇa family, he is looking after some good job, that is śūdra mentality. That is not brāhmaṇa's business. Brāhmaṇa will not accept anyone's service, neither the kṣatriyas, neither the vaiśyas. Only śūdras.
So considering all these points, Aśvatthāmā is accepted here as brahma-bandhu. And at the same time he's aggressor. Brahma-bandhoḥ ātatāyinaḥ. Therefore Arjuna promised, "I shall kill him." Arjuna did not promise to kill a brāhmaṇa. No. That was his not business. Because he's proved to be brahma-bandhu and ātatāyinaḥ, he deserved to be killed. Therefore he decided.
So, next verse you can read? This verse is finished.
Pradyumna: [leads chanting of verse and synonyms]
anvādravad daṁśita ugra-dhanvā
kapi-dhvajo guru-putraṁ rathena
Translation = "Arjuna, who is guided by the infallible Lord as friend and driver, thus satisfied the dear lady by such statements. Then he dressed in armor and armed himself with furious weapons, and getting into his chariot, he set out to follow Aśvatthāmā, the son of his martial teacher."
Prabhupāda: So "Arjuna, who is guided by the infallible Lord as friend and driver." Kṛṣṇa's name is Acyuta. Cyuta means fallen, and acyuta means never fallen. The Māyāvādī philosophers, they foolishly say that when God becomes entangled by māyā, He becomes a living entity---jīva-bhūta. Jīva means when He forgets that He is God, then He becomes a jīva, living entity. This is Māyāvādī philosophy. But how God can degrade to become a man or an animal? He is Acyuta; He never falls. Otherwise how He is God? If God also falls... Just like we fall down... Aśvatthāmā, he is son of a brāhmaṇa, but he is fallen to become a butcher because he's a living being, he's different from God. In another place we find Kṛṣṇa says to Arjuna that both Arjuna and Kṛṣṇa was present when the Bhagavad-gītā instruction was given to sun-god millions of years ago. Kṛṣṇa said that "You have forgotten. I did not." So this is Acyuta. He never falls down from any standard. He is always perfect, complete.
So one who is not complete, he's jīva. Aṇu and vibhu. Vibhu, there are many examples. Just like fire, blazing fire, you have got experience. And there are sparks. The sparks fall down sometimes and becomes extinguished, without any illumination, without any burning power. When..., so long the spark is within the fire, it has got the same quality---illumination and burning quality. But as soon as falls down = extinguished, no more illumination, no more burning power. So our position is like that. Although we are part and parcel of God, mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ [Bg. 15.7], because we have cyuta, fallen down from our spiritual atmosphere... Just like spiritual atmosphere, Kṛṣṇa's friends, cowherds boys, they're playing with Kṛṣṇa. That is also playing. And here in this material world the boys, they also play, football play. But these two plays are different. One is spiritual and another is material. The same example = the spark, when it is with the fire, it is illuminating and burning, but when the sparks fall down, they may fall down on the ground. There are three chances. One chance is the spark falls down on dry grass---then there is fire. As soon as the spark falls down on the dry grass there is fire for some time. And when the sparks falls down on the ground, it is extinguished. And when the fire, spark, falls down on the water, then it is not only extinguished, it becomes no more inflammable. Very difficult to inflame it.
Similarly, when we fall down from the fire, spiritual world, we associate with three qualities. Puruṣaḥ prakṛti 'stho bhuṅkte prakṛti-jān guṇān [Bg. 13.22]. This is the statement of Bhagavad-gītā. Prakṛti-jān guṇān. In the prakṛti, in this material world, there are three modes of material nature = sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa. So there is chance... When you fall down, you can fall down anywhere. This example, the same example = the spark falls down from the original fire, so it can fall down on the dry grass, it can fall down on the water, it can fall down on ground. There are three chances. Similarly, when the living entity, originally part and parcel of God, the same quality, not the same quantity... Just like spark and fire, they are same quality but not same quantity. Fire is very big; therefore the big fire is acyuta. It is never degraded. But the small fire, degraded.
So when Kṛṣṇa comes, big fire comes, He is not degraded. He's acyuta. He is... Don't think that because Kṛṣṇa has come in this material world, so He is also affected by the material qualities. No. In Bhāgavata it is said, etad īśanam īśasya [SB 1.11.38]. This is controlling power. Although He comes in this material world, He's not affected by the material qualities. He's not fallible; He's acyuta. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is described as acyuta. When Arjuna was asking Kṛṣṇa to move his chariot, so he addressed Him as Acyuta. Senayor ubhayor madhye rathaṁ sthāpaya me acyuta [Bg. 1.21]. Why Acyuta? Because Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord and Arjuna is living being, entity. Arjuna is servant and Kṛṣṇa is the master. Jīvera svarūpa haya nitya-kṛṣṇa-dāsa [Cc. Madhya 20.108]. So how the servant can order the master? It is not the etiquette, neither it is possible. Therefore Arjuna reminded Kṛṣṇa, "Acyuta, my dear friend, You are Acyuta, never fallible. You promised that You shall drive my chariot. So now, because You are my driver, I'm asking You to follow my orders. Don't be sorry, Acyuta." This is the purpose. Therefore senayor ubhayor madhye rathaṁ sthāpaya me acyuta [Bg. 1.21]. In this way we'll find Kṛṣṇa never failed in His promise. He remained always... When He was pierced with the arrows... Sometimes the chariot driver is killed, the horses are killed, to make the enemy inactive, because without horses, without chariot driver, how he can drive?
So Kṛṣṇa is Acyuta. He never falls. So this is a false theory that when God falls down He becomes a jīva, and when He is again revived in His original position, He becomes God. This is nonsense theory. It has no meaning. God never falls down. But rascals, avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam [Bg. 9.11], because they're rascals, they think Kṛṣṇa as ordinary human being. Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhāḥ. Therefore Kṛṣṇa's līlā in Vṛndāvana, so many rascals, they think that Kṛṣṇa's dealing with the gopīs is the same as one young man or young boy plays with other young girls. No. They are different.
Ānanda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhāvitābhiḥ [Bs. 5.37]. This dealing, in this material world, between young boys and girls, they're material. They're simply a reflection of the original dealing. The verse in the Vedānta-sūtra, janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1] = from Brahman everything is emanating. Without being in Brahman, nothing can be manifest or existing within this material... So these love affairs between young girls and young boy, is there in Brahman. That is the dealing of Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs. So that dealing is pervertedly reflected within this material world. It is not the same thing. It is different. But those who are not in the knowledge, they take it that the dealings... Idam... Viṣṇu and the vraja-vadhū, it is so nice that actually if one hears about the dealings of the gopīs and Kṛṣṇa, then he becomes so elevated in devotion that he forgets the lusty dealings between man and woman. That is the result.
It is stated in the Bhāgavatam, apahinoti..., bhaktiṁ pratilabhya apahinoti kāmam. If one is eligible to hear the dealings of gopīs and Kṛṣṇa, the result will be he'll forget the lusty desires of this material world. Therefore it is not for all. These dealings of gopīs and Kṛṣṇa is meant for the liberated person. They can hear, not the ordinary persons. Therefore this kṛṣṇa-līlā is given in the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So don't jump over. First of all you try to understand Kṛṣṇa, Acyuta. Janmādy asya yataḥ anvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ svarāṭ [SB 1.1.1]. To understand Kṛṣṇa, not only... The Bhagavad-gītā is the A-B-C-D, and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam begins when one is actually Kṛṣṇa conscious. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekam [Bg. 18.66]. Then Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam begins. So don't jump over the kṛṣṇa-līlā or jump over Rādhā-kuṇḍa unless you are a liberated person. This is the instruction. Acyuta. You must be also acyuta---not falling down from the standard of pure devotional service. Acyuta-gotra.
A Vaiṣṇava, when he's asked about his identification, he gives acyuta-gotra: "Now I belong to the Acyuta, not to my original family." Therefore for a sannyāsī, when he's asked, "What is your identification?" it is said, pūrvāśrama. Pūrvāśrama means "Formerly I belonged to such and such family. Now I belong to the family of Kṛṣṇa, acyuta-gotra." This is the etiquette. One should not... Sannyāsī should not be inquired about his identification, because he has given up the family relationship. So he should not be bothered. That is not etiquette. Even somebody inquires, he should inquire like that, pūrvāśrama: "What was your pūrvāśrama? Before taking sannyāsa, what was your identification?" So to take sannyāsa means to become in the family of Acyuta. Acyuta-gotra. Gotra means family. In Indian system there are gotras of big, big ṛṣis' name = gautama-gotra, kaśyapa-gotra, vasiṣṭha-gotra. Like that. So they are coming in disciplic succession, or family. All of them were gṛhasthas. Some of them are coming from the family, and some of them are coming from disciplic succession, but both of them are of the same gotra. So therefore it is understood, acyuta-gotra. Those who are renounced order of life, they are called acyuta-gotra.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda. [end]