So Arjuna is in gṛhastha-āśrama. He wants to serve Kṛṣṇa. He's Kṛṣṇa's friend. He is a devotee. Kṛṣṇa has already recommended. In the Fourth Chapter He will declare, bhakto 'si priyo 'si me (BG 4.3). "You are My dear friend. You are My devotee." So he is qualified, gṛhastha-āśramī. He is devotee of Kṛṣṇa, but he is also family man. He has his wife, children. So here the problem is what is śreyas? What is ultimate good? That is mistaken here. Therefore Bhagavad-gītā is required. He is thinking that "Kṛṣṇa is not so important. My family is important. My family." Although he is devotee. Therefore kaniṣṭha-adhikārī, in the lower stage of devotee, in the lower stage of devotion, one may be interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but his real interest is how to improve this material life. Just like: "O God, give us our daily bread." So he has gone to God not to serve God, but to take bread. Ārtaḥ arthārthī. That is also good. But he... Because he has gone to God to ask for bread, he is better than the rascals who do not care for God. He has gone to God. That is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā. Ārto jijñāsur arthārthī jñānī ca bharatarṣabha. Catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ janāḥ sukṛtino 'rjuna (BG 7.16). "Arjuna, four kinds of people, they become devotee." Who are they? Ārta. Ārta means distressed. Arthārthī, one who is poor, wants some money; jijñāsu, inquisitive; and jñānī, and a man of knowledge. So ārtaḥ arthārthī, this is meant, this is referred to the gṛhastha. The gṛhasthas, they become sometimes distressed. The gṛhastha-āśrama means unless there is Kṛṣṇa or full consciousness of Kṛṣṇa, it is simply miserable, simply miserable. Duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam (BG 8.15). Simply working hard day and night, then there is, child is sick, then wife is not satisfied, the servant is not satisfied... So many things, problem. But if there is Kṛṣṇa in the center, the all problems will be solved. But people do not know this. They think that "I shall be happy with wife, children, servants, house, and this and that." No. That is not possible. Therefore one should be in gṛhastha-āśrama. Not only in family life. Family, the dogs have got family life. He has got wife, children. The cats and the hogs, a big family. Because a hog begets, at a time, one dozen children. What you beget? You are afraid of begetting one child even. This contraceptive method. But they are not afraid. They beget one dozen children at a time, twice in a year. So to live with family, wife, children... Then the hog accepts family life. No. That is not family life. You live with wife, children, peacefully, if you like, but bring in Kṛṣṇa in the center. That is gṛhastha-āśrama.
- 1 Lectures
- 2 Conversations and Morning Walks
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
One has to change to satisfy Kṛṣṇa, not to satisfy himself or the family or the society or the nation, no. Whether Kṛṣṇa is satisfied, that is the criterion. That is ultimate good. Kasmin tuṣṭe jagat tuṣṭam. If Kṛṣṇa is satisfied, then other things will be automatically satisfied. But they do not know. They are thinking that "I can bring Kṛṣṇa in the midst of my family provided Kṛṣṇa helps me to enjoy this material life." They are thinking like that. That is ārta. But that is also good. Just like Dhruva Mahārāja, he was ārta. Ārta, means he wanted something material, benefit. His stepmother insulted him, that "You cannot sit down on the lap of your father because you were not born in my womb." He was kṣatriya; he took it insult. So his father had two wives. So he was born the eldest queen. The father was not very much attached to the eldest queen. The father was attached to the junior queen. And the junior queen was very proud that "The king is in my hand." So she insulted. The father was not happy. The... Although Dhruva Mahārāja was born of the eldest queen... And it is sometimes liking. So that does not mean he did not like his son. So he wanted to sit down on the lap of his father and the stepmother insulted. So he took it very seriously. And he wanted to have the kingdom. This is arthārthī. He wanted something. And his mother advised that "You take shelter of Kṛṣṇa. He can fulfill your desire." So therefore ārtaḥ arthārthī. He was distressed; at the same time, he wanted a kingdom by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. That was his purpose. So because he went to worship Kṛṣṇa for some material benefit, he is to be taken as pious.
Lord Kṛṣṇa says that "Four kinds of men who are pious, they come to Me." And who are they? Ārta. Ārta plus pious. Ārta means distressed, at the same time pious. A man distressed does not mean he is impious. He may be pious. A pious man, he may be in distress because this material world is meant for distress. So it is meant for pious or impious, both. Just like when there is winter, winter season, everyone suffers. It does not care for the pious, impious, rich or poor. Similarly, this place is full of miseries. So the pious, he thinks of God in his miserable condition, but the impious, he cannot think. Just like if somebody is distressed and he goes to the church and prays, "My Lord, I am distressed. Please help me," oh, he is good man. He is good man. Although he is praying for some necessities, but still, he is good man than the man who does not go at all to the church because he does not believe. So here his faith, faith in God, therefore he is accepted. Ārto arthārthī. Arthārthī, a poor man. He goes to the church and temple and prays to the God, "My dear Lord, I am very poor man. Give me some money so that I may be happy." Oh, he is good man. He is good man.
So by indulging in sinful life it is not possible to understand Kṛṣṇa. That is, Kṛṣṇa also says in various places in the Bhagavad-gītā. I have repeatedly informed you, yeṣām anta-gataṁ pāpam. One who is completely free from all sinful life... Janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām. This is puṇya-karma, not to indulge in illicit sex life, not to indulge in nonvegetarian diet, not to indulge in gambling, and not to indulge in intoxicants. So catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ sukṛtino 'rjuna ārto arthārthī jñānī jijñāsuḥ. Four kinds of men who are actually leading pious life, such persons... (applause) Hare Kṛṣṇa. Such persons, when they are distressed... Ārta means distressed. We have go so many distresses in this material life: tri-tāpa, three kinds of distresses, pertaining to the body, pertaining to the mind, distresses offered by other living entities. Adhibhautika, adhyātmika, adhidaivika. We are always in distress; that is a fact. But there is a covering influence of māyā that even in distressed condition, we think that we are happy. That is covering influence of māyā.
The gṛhasthas are called bhogīs, and the tyāgīs are brahmacārīs and sannyāsīs. So jñānī, when he makes searching after God, there is no question of being put into distressed condition or in need of money. They are searching after God for God's sake, what is the nature of God. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. They are inquiring, inquisitive about Brahman, what is the nature of Brahman. They are called jñānī. And jijñāsuḥ, they are also within the category of the jñānīs. So the jñānīs and the jijñāsuḥ, inquisitive, they are better than the ārta and the arthārthī. Ārta means distress, and arthārthī means those who are in need of money. So even being ārta or even being distressed and in need of money, we approach Kṛṣṇa... Kṛṣṇa says mām. Not any other demigods. Catur-vidhā bhajante mām. Mām means, Kṛṣṇa says, mām means Kṛṣṇa. So four kinds of men, those who are leading pious life, sukṛtino 'rjuna... Because they have no other alternative than to approach God for mitigating their distress. Actually our inventions or so many distressed mitigating instruments... Just like medicine. Take for example. When a man is diseased, generally the counterpart is physician and good medicine. But śāstra says that actually they are not counteracting agents, because it is found that a man suffering from certain type of disease, although attended by the first-class physician and although offered first-class medicine, he dies. Why? Because there is no sanction of the Supreme Lord.
So according to the time, circumstances, men, the different scriptures are there. The ultimate aim of scripture is to bring one to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But everything is not explained because the people are unable to understand. Just like in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we are making movement, but not that everyone is understanding. Those who are very intelligent, or those who are, whose background is pious, they can understand. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ (BG 7.15). Those who are miscreants, mūḍha, rascal; narādhama, lowest of the mankind; and māyayā apahṛta-jñāna, and knowledge is taken away by māyā—such person never submit to Kṛṣṇa. But who submits? Catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ sukṛtinaḥ arjuna Those who are pious, out of them, four classes of men, ārto arthārthī jñānī jijñāsuḥ. Ārta means distressed, and arthārthī means need of money, jñānī means man of knowledge, wise man, and jijñāsu, inquisitive.
Generally, they worship God, needy ārtaḥ arthārthī. Ārtaḥ means diseased, arthārthī means in need of money. People generally go to church (or) temple when they are suffering from some ailments or need of money, these two classes. Another two classes, jijñāsuḥ jñānī. Jñānī means who is after pure knowledge and jijñāsuḥ means inquisitive—what is the nature of God. These are, they are higher section but they are not bhaktas. Just like there are many philosophers, they also talk of God, but they are not bhaktas. But because they are talking of God, they are getting some benefit. Just like if you handle with fire, you perceive some warmth automatically. So these four classes of man they are not bhaktas, devotees, ārtaḥ, arthārthī, jñānī, and jijñāsuḥ. But because they come to Kṛṣṇa for some benefit, somehow or other they offer their service, because praying is also another service. There are nine kinds of services: śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam, arcanaṁ vandanam (SB 7.5.23). Vandanam, this is also service. But because this service is rendered for some motive to mitigate the sufferings, ārtaḥ arthārthi, or to satisfy some inquires, they are not pure devotion.
Kṛṣṇa says there are four kinds of beginners of devotional service, four kinds. What are..., who are they? Ārtaḥ. Ārtaḥ means one who is distressed; artha-arthī, one who is in want of money; ārto ar...jijñāsuḥ, one who is searching after knowledge; and jñānī, and wise man. So out of these, ārto and arthārthī, they are low-grade worshiper. Those who are jñānī and jijñāsuḥ, they are higher grade. Generally, they are lower grade. But they are not pure devotees.
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures
So jñānī, there are two kinds of jñānīs. One jñānī is trying to understand what is the Absolute Truth, and one jñānī is trying not only to understand the Absolute Truth, but merge into the existence of the Absolute Truth. So according to Bhagavad-gītā, they are also sukṛtinaḥ. Catur-vidhā bhajante mām. The beginning of bhajana, bhagavad-bhajana... If they are, if persons are pious, they can begin bhagavad-bhajana in four ways. Sukṛtinaḥ. Sukṛtinaḥ means "whose background is pious activities." They can take to bhagavad-bhajana in four stages in life. Ārtaḥ... Ārtaḥ means those who are distressed; arthārthī, those who are poor, need of money; jijñāsuḥ, inquisitive; and jñānī. So the ārtaḥ and arthārthī, they are lower than the jñānī and the jijñāsuḥ. Because sometimes we go to worship Bhagavān in the temple in distressed condition, but as soon as my distress is over, I forget. Or if I get some money, I forget. There is chance. Not that always we forget. But because māyā is very powerful, daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī (BG 7.14), sometimes we forget. Very rich men, opulent, they don't care for what is God. Generally, we see at, in Europe and America, they don't talk of anything about God. They are busy only how to acquire money and enjoy sense gratification.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1973 Conversations and Morning Walks
1974 Conversations and Morning Walks
Devotee: Śrīla Prabhupāda, yesterday in the paper I saw a picture. Nixon had his sixty-first birthday, and he had a big cake made, and he offered the first bite, the first lick to his dog.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is good. That is stated in the Bhagavad... ārto 'rthārthī. He is in great distress. Now he is taking shelter of God. Ārto 'rthārthī. Then he is good at least. Catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ sukṛtino 'rjuna. Ārtaḥ. Ārtaḥ means very much distressed. He is very much distressed than all the Americans.
Gurukṛpā: He had a cake for his sixty-first birthday. He gave the first bite to his dog, d-o-g.
Prabhupāda: Oh, not God?
Devotees: No, no, dog. (everyone laughing)
Svarūpa Dāmodara: Dog has become his God then.
Prabhupāda: Then why he should not become dog? Become yaṁ yaṁ vāpi... He has great love for dog, and it is said that yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran loke tyajati (BG 8.6), at the time of death, he will think of dog and he will become dog.
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Indian lady (3): On Maṅgalbara they and... Here usually they do like that.
Prabhupāda: Let them come.
Brahmānanda: Let them come to our function rather than going to their function.
Prabhupāda: Their function means recreation. That is not function. By that function they'll... But it is... Something is better than nothing. That is another thing. Arto 'rthārthī jijñāsur jñānī-four kinds of men, they take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, the arto 'rthārthī. Ārtaḥ means distressed, and arthārthī means those who are in need of money. So they are arto 'rthārthī, and better than the rogues and ruffians, but their Kṛṣṇa consciousness, chanting Kṛṣṇa, means they want to get some money and to get out of some distress. That is ninety-nine percent people. And some of them are jñānī. They want to learn about Kṛṣṇa very seriously, not to fulfill their material desires. They are called jñānī. Jñānī and jijñāsu, inquisitive. So in jnani, those who are after knowledge, and inquisitive, they are better than this arta and arthārthī. But devotee is transcendental to all of them. They are neither arto, not distressed, nor in need of money. They do not want to speculate for knowledge or... They know, "Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme, and if I am part and parcel of the Supreme, it is my duty to serve Him to My best capacity." That is real bhakti. And those who are trying to exploit Kṛṣṇa for their, some material fulfillment of desire, they are not on the platform of bhakta. They are pious, not bhakta. A bhakta is above piety. Bhakta's position is sarvopadhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam (CC Madhya 19.170). He is cent percent pure, without any mat... These are all material things. But beginning is all right. If you go to the fire, some way or other you will get the heat. So either be arta, arthārthī, jñānī, jijñāsu, if you somehow or other, you have come to Kṛṣṇa, it is good for you. There are many private functions like that you said?
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: If you speak only on the subject matter as it is mentioned in the books, it is already tactful. Yasyāṁ śrūyamāṇāyāṁ kṛṣṇe parama-pūruṣe, bhaktir utpadyate puṁsaḥ śoka-moha-bhayāpahā. Now they are in a position of śoka-moha-bhaya. So you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is the best tact. Now it is the time. Now they are put into śoka-moha-bhaya. It is already there going on, śoka-moha-bhaya. But it is now special time for śoka-moha-bhaya. So you have to take it. It may be out of fear, bhaya, they may take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Akṣayānanda: Still, they have to just take, that's all.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ janāḥ sukṛtino 'rjuna ārto (BG 7.16), ārto. Ārtaḥ means who is afraid of. So this is the position of ārta, śoka-moha-bhaya. Take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But that he can take provided he is sukṛtina, if there is background. But still, by hearing Hare Kṛṣṇa he becomes sukṛtina.
Akṣayānanda: I think most of the devotees became by fear. I think most of the devotees have become devotees because of fear.
Prabhupāda: Fear must be. If he's a gentleman he must be afraid of this material world. That is very good qualification. If one is afraid of this material existence, it is very good symptom.