Lecture on SB 6.1.7 -- San Francisco, March 1, 1967:
Śāstra means direction—both past, present, and future. Everything is there. Therefore we have to consult the Vedic literature. It is perfect. It is without any mistake, without any cheating. This is śāstra. Just like in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam you'll find the indication of Lord Buddha's birth. It is stated in the list of incarnation of God that buddha-nāmnāñjana-sutaḥ kīkaṭeṣu bhaviṣyati. Bhaviṣyati means future tense. In the beginning, just after the beginning of this age, kīkaṭeṣu, in the province of Gayā... If you have gone to India, you will see still there is a place known as Gayā in the province of Bihar. And Lord Buddha, I mean to say, flourished himself in that part of the country. And it is indicated there that kīkaṭeṣu bhaviṣyati, in future. And his mother's name is also mentioned: añjana-sutaḥ. Lord Buddha's mother's name was Añjana. He was Hindu, kṣatriya, a prince. So everything is stated there. Similarly, the next incarnation at the end of this Kali-yuga is also mentioned in the Bhāgavata. That will take place 400,000's of years after from this time. But His father's name and the incarnation's name and the place where He will come, that is also stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
So this is called śāstra. Śāstra means you can consult. Just like you consult dictionary, you consult encyclopedia, you consult so many authoritative books for understanding knowledge, similarly, if you consult, you get all information. So in this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is all stated: "If you do like this, you get birth like this. If you do like this, you get birth like this." And in the Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā it is generally spoken, ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthāḥ (BG 14.18). Those who are in the modes of goodness... There are three qualities in this material world: the quality of goodness, the quality of passion, and the quality of ignorance. So in the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated that ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthāḥ. Those who are cultivating the quality of goodness, they can be promoted to the higher status of life in higher planetary system. Ūrdhvam. Ūrdhvam means higher. Ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthāḥ. And madhye tiṣṭhanti rājasāḥ. Rājasāḥ means those who are in the modes of passion. They remain either in this planet or some of them may be elevated to the heavenly planet. Heavenly planet is also in the middle of the universe. And adho gacchanti tāmasāḥ jaghanya-guṇa-vṛtti-sthāḥ. Jaghanya—very abominable characters. Jaghanya-guṇa-vṛtti-sthāḥ. Those who are situated not only ignorance... Out of ignorance, one remains in abominable condition. So jaghanya-guṇa-vṛtti-sthā adho gacchanti tāmasāḥ (BG 14.18). They go downwards, even to the animal life. So we have to consult and we have to mold our life in that way.
Lecture on BG 2.22 -- Hyderabad, November 26, 1972:
So our proposition is that to receive knowledge from Kṛṣṇa, the perfect person, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We accept śāstra, means which is infallible. There is no mistake. Just like when I was walking near the cowshed, heaps of, piles of cow dung was there. So I was explaining to my followers that if such heaps of animal, I mean to say, man stool was heaped up here, nobody would come here. Nobody would come here. But the cow dung, there are so much heaps of cow dung, still, we find it pleasure to go through it. And in the Vedas it is said, "Cow dung is pure." This is called śāstra. If you argue, "How it can, it has become pure? It is an animal stool." But the Vedas, they... Because the knowledge is perfect, that even in argument we cannot prove how animal stool becomes pure, but it is pure. Therefore Vedic knowledge is perfect. And if we take knowledge from the Vedas, we save so much time for investigating, or researching. We are very much fond of research. Everything is there in the Vedas. Why do you waste your time?
2.1. Basically the advice of Rg-veda, the first Veda that descends from the upper world to this world, is: „The primary requirement for you all is to conceive that there is a world above, and ‚above’ means in the line of consciousness. Your highest identity is that of consciousness, and you must adopt that conscious world above you as your shelter. You will live and move there. This is the radical change. Here, you are in the atmosphere of exploitation, but that is the land of service. There,
you have to think in terms of service. That is on your head. That region is superior to the stuff you are made of. So do you want that connection? Or do you prefer to reign in hell than to serve in heaven? What do you like? Consider, and then come forward. You can have a prospect of attaining everything up to Krsna, the Absolute. Otherwise you will have to revolve here in this world of 8,400,000 species“:
Inner Fufillment by Srila Sridhar Maharaja 2.1
Faith is the only means through which we can see, hear, or feel the higher world; otherwise it is all meaningless to us. To understand that plane, an inner awakenment is necessary. We can connect with the upper world only through a higher source. Therefore divyam jnanam, knowledge of the higher plane, is not ordinary knowledge; it is transcendental, supramental feeling and sense. But to realize this, surrender is compulsory. After that, we may go on hearing and chanting, remembering and worshiping and praising the Lord, or rendering so many other kinds of service, but the first thing - the foundation of devotion - must be self-surrender. Otherwise nothing will be effected; our show of devotion will all be imitation. We must sincerely feel, "I shall be faithful in my service to the Supreme Lord. I am meant for Him. I am ready to die to live. I want to live for Him only and not for fulfilling any separate interest. I want nothing less than the absolute. I want to be His completely." This sort of intensity is an indispensable necessity for a devotee. A devotee has to conceive, to feel, that he is meant for Krsna. He is not an independent entity; He is dependent on Krsna - the highest absolute center - and nothing else
Loving Search For The Lost Servant by Srila Sridhar Maharaja - The Gradation
Here, Srimad-Bhagavatam is saying: "There is a knot within our hearts, but that knot will be torn asunder by Krsna consciousness. At that time, the flow of our innate tendency for divine love (svarupa sakti) will inundate the whole heart. When the knot of the heart is torn apart, then, as the sleeping soul awakens, the Goloka conception within will emerge and inundate his entire being." But this is apparently a difficult problem. How is it possible that all our doubts may be cleared? Is it possible for the finite to know everything? This statement seems rather inconsistent. It seems absurd. The Upanisads, however, say: "Who knows Him knows everything; who gets Him gets everything." How will the finite know that he has everything, that he has known everything? It appears absurd, but it is confirmed in the scriptures. And if this problem is solved, then all problems are solved automatically. The finite will realize wholesale satisfaction; all his inquisitive tendencies will be satisfied. This is confirmed not only in the Upanisads, but also in the Srimad- Bhagavatam.
Loving Search For The Lost Servant by Srila Sridhar Maharaja
Sometimes we may be misguided to believe that we must not study the devotional books, thinking: “To analyze, to know, that is not part of devotion. That is not necessary; it is knowl- edge, jñåna, and that is anti-devotion.” Thinking in this way we will go on taking the Holy Name, and wherever there is some explanation being given about the devotional school, we will try to avoid it. But that is not always best, because by hearing from the proper source we get the kind of knowledge that gives us impetus to go on in our sådhana. In Sri Chaitanya-charitåmrta Srila Krishnadås Kaviråja Goswåmi says: siddhånta baliyå, we should discuss the siddhånta (perfect conclusions of devotion).
Heart And Halo by Srila Sridhar Maharaja