Found in Sanga, Sanga 1999.

Excerpt of a lecture by Swami B. V. Tripurari given in Zagreb, Croatia in January, 1998

“To have the right question asked to the right person, then your life can become perfect.”

Last night we talked a little bit about the importance of questioning. To have the right question, asked to the right person, then your life can become perfect.

The problem is, we do not have any questions, much less right questions. Last night I cited a verse from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sukadeva Goswami’s beginning statement to the great emperor Maharaja Pariksit. Sukadeva was just a boy, sixteen years old and not only just a boy, but a runaway. Sukadeva had run away from home, and he lived in the forest and jungle. He did not talk to anyone. But he came out of the forest and spoke just to answer the questions of the emperor Pariksit.

It’s quite an astounding contrast—homeless boy becomes guru of the emperor. Pariksit was, as you can imagine, vastly powerful, wealthy, and influential. He had all material facilities, but he was not satisfied with his life until he heard from this runaway boy, Sukadeva. And the questions that the emperor had were so pressing and so important that so many other learned and influential people also came to hear. They came to suggest answers too, but ultimately, to hear what answers the boy Sukadeva would give.

This is a very important moment in history. It is in this setting that the great Srimad-Bhagavatam was spoken by the boy Sukadeva. His father also came. His father was Vyasa, the author of all the Vedas. What knowledge this boy must have had! His father was so learned that it is said about him that “Just as the sky contains all sound, and outside the sky there is no sound, so outside the mind of Vyasa, no knowledge is to be found.” So broad was Vyasa’s knowledge! And so was his literary work, the Veda, the most voluminous body of literature in human society. And what we have of the Veda today is only a portion of what was originally given by Vyasa.

And Sukadeva had such a father, with such knowledge, and he left home! And when he came upon this momentous occasion to speak, even his father, Vyasa, was present. “What will the boy say? What kind of understanding does he have?” The whole universe was on edge of it’s seat. “What will Sukadeva say?”

So, although what he said is important, we must also consider the questioning of the emperor, without which Sukadeva’s speech would not have ever been delivered. So an inquiring spirit—that is necessary for spiritual progress. The emperor’s name was Pariksit. Pariksit means inquirer. What was his inquiry? Basically he had two principal questions that were very pressing on his mind. And these kinds of questions make one a human being and make for a successful human life.

What is the success of human life? And how can we know the potential of human life? Or we can say it like this, to go beyond the limits of humanity or to know the fullest potential of human life.

And what is that? It is to love.

So to have the right question, asked to the right person, your life can become perfect.

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