Lecture on SB 6.1.20 -- Chicago, July 4, 1975
And this Kurukṣetra is dharma-kṣetra. Not because the fight was there and Kṛṣṇa was on the battlefield, therefore it is called dharma-kṣetra. Sometimes it is interpreted like that. But actually Kurukṣetra was dharma-kṣetra since very, very long time. In the Vedas it is stated, kuru-kṣetre dharmam ācaret: "If one wants to execute ritualistic ceremony, he should go to Kurukṣetra." And it is the system still now in India, if there is some disagreement or quarrel between two parties, so still they would go to the temple—temple is dharma-kṣetra—so that one may not dare to speak lie in front of the Deity. This was still going on. Even one is very low in mentality, still, if he is challenged that "You are talking this false. Now speak before the Deity," he will hesitate, "No." This is India still. You cannot speak lies before the Deity. That is offense. Don't consider that Deity is a marble statue. No. Svayaṁ bhagavān. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu. As soon as He saw Jagannātha Deity, He immediately fainted. "Oh, here is My Lord." Not like us: "Oh, here is some statue." No. It is the question of appreciation. So you appreciate or not appreciate, the Deity is the Supreme Personality of Godhead personally. We should always remember. So we shall be very careful before the Deity, not to commit offense. In serving Him, in offering Him prasādam, in dressing Him, we should always think, "Here is personally Kṛṣṇa." He is personally, but due to our lack of knowledge, we cannot understand it.
So everything in the śāstra we should follow. This is called brahminical culture. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means brahminical culture—the cultural exhibition of the first-class men, first-class men. The brāhmaṇa is to be understood as the first-class man within the human society. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). Itihāsa, history, history means to understand the activities of the first-class man. That is history. They pick up the most important incidences. Therefore the example is given here that udāharanti imam itihāsaṁ purātanam. Because it is a first-class incidence... Otherwise, if you record the history of the whole period, then where..., who will read that, and who will appreciate that, and where you will keep that? Daily so many things are happening. Therefore, according to Vedic system, the only important incidences are recorded in the history. Therefore it is called Purāṇa. Purāṇa means old history. Purātanam. Purātanam means very, very old. That are recorded. So this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the collection of very old history, historical incidence. Itihāsa purāṇānāṁ sāraṁ sāraṁ samuddhṛtya(?). Sāram means essence. Not that all nonsense records have to be taken. No. Sāraṁ sāram, only the important, essence, that are to be recorded. This is called Indian history. Mahābhārata... Mahā means Greater India. Greater India, there were so many incidences were there, but the most important incidence, the Battle of Kurukṣetra, is there. Not that all the battles should be recorded.
Only Srila Prabhupada, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and the others of our parampara
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