Srimad Bhagavatam 11.21.28- Ritual to Spiritual - Spirit of the Ritual (download mp3)
by Baladev Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
na te mam anga jananti
hrdi-stham ya idam yatah
uktha-sastra hy asu-trpo
My dear Uddhava, persons dedicated to sense gratification obtained through honoring the Vedic rituals cannot understand that I am situated in everyone’s heart and that the entire universe is nondifferent from Me and emanates from Me. Indeed, they are just like persons whose eyes are covered by fog.
The word uktha-sastrah refers to the chanting of certain Vedic hymns, by which one obtains fruitive results in this world and the next. The word sastra also indicates a weapon, and thus uktha-sastra also means the weapon used in Vedic sacrifice to kill the sacrificial animal. Persons exploiting Vedic knowledge for bodily gratification are slaughtering themselves with the weapon of materialistic religious principles. They are also compared to those trying to see within a dense fog. The false bodily concept of life, in which one ignores the eternal soul within the body, is a dense fog of ignorance that blocks our vision of God. Lord Krsna therefore begins His instruction in Bhagavad-gita by clearing away the dense ignorance of the bodily concept of life. Religion means the law of God. The Lord’s final order, or law, is that every conditioned soul surrender unto Him, learn to serve and love Him, and thus go back home, back to Godhead. This is the process of Krsna consciousness.