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Although atma, the self, is different from this body - that is the first lesson in spiritual life - still, this body, although temporary, but as soon as you accept this material body you will have to suffer according to the body

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"still, this body, although temporary, but as soon as you accept this material body you will have to suffer according to the body"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1970 Conversations and Morning Walks

Although ātmā, the self, is different from this body—that is the first lesson in spiritual life—still, this body, although temporary, but as soon as you accept this material body you will have to suffer according to the body. If you get a dog's body you suffer according to that. If you get a man's body... Suffering will be there more or less as soon as you get this material body.
Room Conversation -- December 12, 1970, Indore:

Prabhupāda: (Hindi) Muhammad, he also did not believe in the Vedic literature. But according to Vedic literature, anyone who does not believe in the Vedic literature, he is nāstika. Just like the Mohammedans, they say, "Anyone who does not believe in Koran, he is kafir." The Christians say, "Anyone who does not believe in the Bible, they are heathens." That is there everywhere. Similarly, Lord Caitanya said that veda na manīyā bauddha haila nāstika. He is giving the definition because we have to follow the great personalities, great ācāryas. That is our process. We do not make any research, or we do not make any statement made by us. We simply accept the injunctions given by great ācāryas. Ācāryopāsanam. That is the process of Vedic system. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). One must approach a spiritual master and learn from him. So whatever spiritual master says, that is accepted. Sādhu guru śāstra vākya. Real evidence is, it must be stated in the scriptures, it must be explained by the spiritual master or saintly persons. That is evidence.

Guest (3): Śastra-vākya-pramāṇa.

Prabhupāda: Śāstra-vākya-pramāṇa. And it should be known through the spiritual master. Just like nowadays Bhagavad-gītā is being interpreted in so many foolish ways because they do not accept explanation from the authority. They become themselves authorities. Therefore misused. That is not explanation. Somebody is explaining that Kurukṣetra means this body, pañca-pāṇḍava means the senses. These are all nonsense. You have to accept Bhagavad-gītā as it is. When you cannot understand, you should get it explained by your spiritual master. Therefore one has to accept a spiritual master to understand. Tad-vijnanārtham. In order to understand that transcendental science one must approach a bona fide spiritual master. That is injunction. So here it is said that kānyakubje dvijaḥ. Dvijaḥ means he was offered the sacred thread. That means he was born in a brāhmaṇa family. Janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ. Everyone is born a śūdra, a foolish. Sudra means a foolish man who simply laments. That is the real meaning of śūdra. Anyone who has no intelligence, he is śūdra. We also generally say, gadāh, less intelligent. So brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas, they are called higher caste. According to their... Brāhmaṇa, first-class because his intelligence is first-class. Kṣatriya, his intelligence is second-class. Vaiśya, his intelligence is third-class. And śūdra means fourth-class. And less than śūdra, they are called pañcama, caṇḍāla. They are accepted as animals, those who are less than śūdras. This is the Vedic system. Now, here it is said that this Ajamila, dvija... Dvija means he was properly initiated, second birth. First birth by father, mother, is śūdra. Anyone, even if he is born in a brāhmaṇa family, the natural birth is considered as śūdra. But if there is garbhādhāna-saṁskāra, then he's accepted as born brāhmaṇa, born brāhmaṇa. Still, one is born brāhmaṇa, he has to undergo the saṁskāras. So our, this... Now it is known as Hindu society although the "Hindu" word is given by the Mohammedans. It is called sanātana-dharma or varṇāśrama society, who very strictly follow the four divisions, social divisions of varṇa—brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra—and four divisions of spiritual life—brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, and sannyāsa. So our, the Vedic system is called varṇāśrama. Varṇa means the social order. Āśrama means spiritual division. Therefore those who are following strictly the Vedic principle, that family life is called gṛhastha āśrama. Āśrama. Whenever you add this word āśrama there is spiritual significance. So all the division-brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, and sannyāsa—they are known as āśrama. Anyone can understand āśrama. As soon as there is āśrama that means "Here some men, saintly persons, spiritually advanced persons, lives." That is āśrama. So that āśrama, when a student follows the regulative principles, he is supposed to be situated in brahmacārī āśrama. A householder living with family, husband, wife, children, if they are following strictly the regulative principles—gṛhastha āśrama. Similarly, retired life, if he is following the regulative principles—the vānaprastha āśrama. Similarly, a renounced life, sannyāsa, if he is following the regulative principles, that is sannyāsa āśrama. Not that imitating somebody, I put on a saffron dress and I become a sannyāsī and by begging I live. This has killed the whole Hindu society or the sanātana-dharma society. Unqualified persons, they do not know the regulative principles but for solution of economic problem they dress themselves. This is Kali-yuga. They will pass on simply by the dress without any knowledge. So here also, although Ajamila was born of a brāhmaṇa father and he was strictly following the regulative principles of a brāhmaṇa—that will be stated—but he fell. He fell in love with a prostitute And therefore his characters were lost. Naṣṭa-sadācāraḥ. The reason is why? Dāsyāḥ saṁsarga-dūṣitaḥ. Because he associated with a prostitute, therefore his all regulative principles became lost. And as soon as you are lost of regulative principles then you take to all kinds of sinful activities. The regulative principles will keep you on the standard of life. If you give it up, then immediately you fall down, māyā. So this man Ajamila, because he was durācāra, naṣṭa-sadācāra, lost of all regulative principles on account of associating with a prostitute, then, although he was born of a brāhmaṇa family, he became... His livelihood was juha(?), bandy-akṣaiḥ, cheating and stealing. Bandy-akṣaiḥ kaitavaiś cauryaiḥ. Cauryaiḥ means stealing. Garhitāṁ vṛttim āsthitaḥ. This kind of profession is garhitā. Garhitāṁ means... Hitā means beneficial. But this profession is garhitā because it is not beneficial. Ultimately he will be punished either by the king's law or by the God's law. I can escape the king's law by doing something which is abominable but I cannot escape God's law. That is not possible. Therefore, although he is thinking that "Now I am cheating this person," or "I am stealing and getting some profit," that is not good for him. Just like a man is killing some man, another man. So that is not good for him because as soon as he will be arrested he'll be hanged. So they think that "I am cheating the state, I am cheating God, and I can go on gratifying my senses by all these activities," but that is stated in the śāstra as garhitā. Garhitā means it is not beneficial for you." Na sādhu mānye yato ātmano 'yam. In another place it is said, "These kinds of activities, vikarma, is not good ultimately." Na sādhu mānye yato ātmano 'yam asann api kleśada āsa dehaḥ (SB 5.5.4). Although ātmā, the self, is different from this body—that is the first lesson in spiritual life—still, this body, although temporary, but as soon as you accept this material body you will have to suffer according to the body. If you get a dog's body you suffer according to that. If you get a man's body... Suffering will be there more or less as soon as you get this material body. Therefore Ṛṣabhadeva said, na sādhu mānye: "You are acting abominable. It is not good because you are already suffering in this body." Otherwise why you are stealing? You are in want of money. You are suffering. Therefore necessity is now law. Therefore you are accepting. Even you know that stealing is bad, still, you are accepting it because that is a suffering. So for some of your activities in the past life you are now suffering, and if you go on, continuing committing this nonsense, then you will again, you will have to again accept a body and you'll suffer. Therefore garhitāṁ. There are so many things to know but these things are not discussed nowadays. Very cheap thing: "You can do whatever you like. You simply meditate and become God, that's all." So much cheating is going on everywhere, all over the world. So-called yogis, they go, "Oh, you meditate. You are... And as soon as you realize, you are God, within six months." No. Therefore in this age the only method... It is a concession to the fallen people of this world, this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. They 'll not be able to follow all the regulative principles; therefore they must commit all kinds of abominable activities. Under the circumstances the śāstra or God has given a concession that you simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and gradually you will be elevated to the highest position of spiritual life. Other things you cannot follow. You are already fallen. So you take to this process of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra without any offense. And in order to save yourself from the offenses, a little austerity that you cannot have illicit sex life. Why should you have illicit sex life? Everyone's need is sex life. Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunam. These are the bodily needs. So śāstra has sanctioned, "All right. You can live peacefully by married life and have sex life for children, good children." That is allowed. But why should you have illicit sex life? What is this? Irresponsible life. "I shall not take responsibility of family life, and I shall go on as so-called bachelor and have illicit life." But that is not good. That is garhitāṁ. Na sādhu mānye: "This is not good." This is the advice of Vedic literature. Ultimately you'll suffer. You are thinking at the present moment that you are avoiding suffering because family life is very responsible life. So if you think that family life is responsible, yes, it is responsible life. If you don't take, if you cannot take the responsibility, then remain as a brahmacārī. Why should you marry? Yes. If you practice brahmācārya, then you become free, seventy-five percent freedom immediately. But you do not want to undergo the austerities of a brahmacārī, and still, you want to remain as an unmarried man. Everywhere in the world it is going on. This is increasing. That is stated here, sadācāra. Naṣṭa-sadācāro dāsyāḥ saṁsarga-dūṣitaḥ. The illicit connection with man and woman will certainly make him abominable, fallen down to this abominable life. I... When I was... In my younger days, when I was in business, so I was to take agency one of big company, Smith's Transit Company. So they had to... I had to give some guarantee of my honesty. So in that program the question was whether married or unmarried. Because unmarried man mostly become dishonest. So that inquiry was there, "Whether he is married?" Married man cannot be dishonest because he has got responsibility. If he is arrested he will be insulted in his family. His family members will be in difficulty. Therefore he does not commit dishonesty very easily unless it is absolutely... But that should not be done. But unmarried man, because he has got no responsibility, he commits all kinds of sinful activity. That's a fact. Therefore in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we do not allow such illicit sex life, no. You must get yourself married. And practically, we are seeing, that is very effective and that is going on nicely. All right. (Hindi)