Srimad Bhagavatam 01.04.24 - Vyasadevas Bridge Preaching (download mp3)
by Radha Gopinath Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
ta eva vedā durmedhair
dhāryante puruṣair yathā
evaṁ cakāra bhagavān
Thus the great sage Vyāsadeva, who is very kind to the ignorant masses, edited the Vedas so they might be assimilated by less intellectual men.
The Veda is one, and the reasons for its divisions in many parts are explained herewith. The seed of all knowledge, or the Veda, is not a subject matter which can easily be understood by any ordinary man. There is a stricture that no one should try to learn the Vedas who is not a qualified brāhmaṇa. This stricture has been wrongly interpreted in so many ways. A class of men, who claim brahminical qualification simply by their birthright in the family of a brāhmaṇa, claim that the study of the Vedas is a monopoly of the brāhmaṇa caste only. Another section of the people take this as an injustice to members of other castes, who do not happen to take birth in a brāhmaṇa family. But both of them are misguided. The Vedas are subjects which had to be explained even to Brahmājī by the Supreme Lord. Therefore the subject matter is understood by persons with exceptional qualities of goodness. Persons who are in the modes of passion and ignorance are unable to understand the subject matter of the Vedas. The ultimate goal of Vedic knowledge is Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead. This Personality is very rarely understood by those who are in the modes of passion and ignorance. In the Satya-yuga everyone was situated in the mode of goodness. Gradually the mode of goodness declined during the Tretā and Dvāpara-yugas, and the general mass of people became corrupt. In the present age the mode of goodness is almost nil, and so for the general mass of people, the kindhearted, powerful sage Śrīla Vyāsadeva divided the Vedas in various ways so that they may be practically followed by less intelligent persons in the modes of passion and ignorance. It is explained in the next śloka as follows.