"My dear Lord, You have advised me to select one of the princes such as Śiśupāla, Jarāsandha or Dantavakra, but what is their position in this world? They are always engaged in hard labor to maintain their household life, just like the bulls working hard day and night with an oil-pressing machine. They are compared to asses, beasts of burden. They are always dishonored like dogs, and they are miserly like cats. They have sold themselves like slaves to their wives."
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Beast of burden
- 1 Bhagavad-gita As It Is
- 2 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 3 Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
- 4 Lectures
- 5 Conversations and Morning Walks
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
BG Chapters 7 - 12
The mūḍhas are those who are grossly foolish, like hardworking beasts of burden. They want to enjoy the fruits of their labor by themselves, and so do not want to part with them for the Supreme. The typical example of the beast of burden is the ass. This humble beast is made to work very hard by his master. The ass does not really know for whom he works so hard day and night. He remains satisfied by filling his stomach with a bundle of grass, sleeping for a while under fear of being beaten by his master, and satisfying his sex appetite at the risk of being repeatedly kicked by the opposite party. The ass sings poetry and philosophy sometimes, but this braying sound only disturbs others. This is the position of the foolish fruitive worker who does not know for whom he should work. He does not know that karma (action) is meant for yajña (sacrifice).
SB Canto 3
As confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (7.15), the miscreants who are simply concerned with material enjoyment, who work very hard like beasts of burden, can hardly know the Personality of Godhead at any stage due to āsurika-bhāva, or a spirit of revolt against the Supreme Lord.
SB Canto 4
The Bhāgavatam considers those who are attached to their bodies to be like cows and asses (sa eva go-kharaḥ). The cow is a very innocent animal, and the ass is a beast of burden. One who labors under the bodily conception simply works like an ass and does not know his self-interest.
SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13
When Devakī understood that Kaṁsa would be killed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who would appear from her womb, she felt great joy. The word vahase is also significant because it indicates that the ominous vibration condemned Kaṁsa for acting just like a beast of burden by carrying his enemy's mother.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
The material body is awarded to us by the modes of material nature, and on account of this we are full of anxieties. The material condition of life simply involves bearing the burden of this dead body. As a result of fruitive activities, we have thus been subjected to being beasts of burden for these bodies, and, being forced by conditioned life, we have given up the pleasing life of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Now we realize that we are the most foolish persons. We have been entangled in the network of material reactions due to our ignorance. We have therefore come to the shelter of Your lotus feet, which can immediately eradicate all the results of fruitive action and thus free us from the contamination of material pains and pleasures.
The chariot of Lord Kṛṣṇa started for Hastināpura accompanied by many other chariots, along with elephants, cavalry, infantry and similar royal paraphernalia. Bugles, drums, trumpets, conchshells and horns all produced a loud auspicious sound which vibrated in all directions. The sixteen thousand queens, headed by the goddess of fortune Rukmiṇīdevī, the ideal wife of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and accompanied by their respective sons, all followed behind Lord Kṛṣṇa. They were dressed in costly garments decorated with ornaments, and their bodies were smeared with sandalwood pulp and garlanded with fragrant flowers. Riding on palanquins nicely decorated with silks, flags and golden lace, they followed their exalted husband, Lord Kṛṣṇa. The infantry soldiers carried shields, swords and lances in their hands and acted as royal bodyguards to the queens. In the rear of the procession were the wives and children of all the other followers, and there were many society girls also following. Many beasts of burden like bulls, buffalo, mules and asses carried the camps, bedding and carpets, and the women who followed were seated in separate palanquins on the backs of camels. This panoramic procession was accompanied by the shouts of the people and was full with the display of different colored flags, umbrellas and whisks and different varieties of weapons, dress, ornaments, helmets and armaments. Shining in the sunlight, the procession appeared just like an ocean with high waves and sharks.
You don't require big factories, big workshop, and whole day and night with motorcar going this way and that way. No. There is no necessity for economic development. This is māyā. Simply at the end he will eat some grains or some this or that, little. And by whole day... Therefore they are called mūḍha. According to Bhagavad-gītā, they are rascals, mūḍha, ass. Just like ass, the beast of burden. He takes washerman's load, three tons, four tons. Whole day working, but eating a morsel of grass, that's all. He has no knowledge that "I take a morsel of grass only, I live. And why whole day I bear these so much tons of clothing of the washerman?" You have no experience of the ass, ass's business. In India the washerman loads the ass three tons and he goes to the waterside and the washerman washes all these clothings in some bank of river or reservoir of water. Again evening, the ass brings back the clothing.
The karmīs have been described as ass, whole day working, a beast of burden. Simply, unnecessarily, they have piled up on their back so many work. They have no more interest, nothing, no more interest, neither philosophy, nor Kṛṣṇa, nor... Simply work hard and get some money and enjoy in eating, sleeping and mating, eat, drink, be merry and enjoy. That is their... That is... They are called karmīs.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1971 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Therefore the material advantages or disadvantages are already settled up according to karma. So those who are sane man, they are confident that "Kṛṣṇa has given me this body according to my past karma, so let me not improve. Let me not waste my time for improving the advantages and disadvantages of this material world." But you cannot do it. The body is already there, according to your karma. Karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa (SB 3.31.1). It is already given to you. So people should be satisfied. Just like when I got this body of an ass, so you can test. And the advantage and (indistinct) that ass is meant for becoming beast of burden. He has to do that. Similarly, there is a body, the hog, he has to eat stool. So we should know it, that either we are born in such a country, such society, the body is there, and I can get my happiness and distress according to this body. This is settled up. But they do not know. They're simply trying to, unnecessary wasting time for bodily comforts. "Oh, you are so comfortable. Let me try." Huh? "I shall try also." So Prahlāda Maharaja says, "No, don't waste your time like that. Your time is very valuable."
1974 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: The mūḍhas: those who are grossly foolish like hard working beasts of burden. They want to enjoy the fruits of their labor by themselves and do not want to part with them for the Supreme. The typical example of the beast of burden is the ass. This humble beast is made to work very hard by his master. The ass does not really know for whom he works so hard day and night. He remains satisfied by filling his stomach with a bundle of grass, sleeping for a while under fear of being beaten by the master, and satisfying his sex appetite at the risk of being repeatedly kicked by the opposite party. The ass sings poetry and philosophy sometimes, but this braying only disturbs others. This is the position of the foolish fruitive worker who does not know for whom he should work.