Srimad Bhagavatam 11.20.01 - The True Test of One's Character (download mp3)
by Mukund Mala Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
vidhis ca pratisedhas ca
nigamo hisvarasya te
gunam dosam ca karmanam
Sri Uddhava said: My dear lotus-eyed Krsna, You are the Supreme Lord, and thus the Vedic literatures, consisting of positive and negative injunctions, constitute Your order. Such literatures focus upon the good and bad qualities of work.
At the end of the previous chapter, Lord Krsna stated, guna-dosa-drsir doso gunas tubhaya-varjitah: “Focusing upon material piety and sin is itself a discrepancy, since actual piety means to transcend both of them.” Sri Uddhava now pursues this point so that Lord Krsna will give a more elaborate explanation of this difficult subject matter. Sri Uddhava here states that the Vedic literatures, which constitute the laws of God, deal with piety and sin; therefore, it must be clarified how one transcends activities recommended in the Vedas. According to Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Uddhava suddenly understood Lord Krsna’s purpose in the words He had just spoken, and to induce the Lord to elaborate upon this interesting point Uddhava outwardly challenged the Lord’s statement.