Characteristic (BG Lectures)

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Lecture on BG 1.20 -- London, July 17, 1973:

So we should be very careful. If we actually are interested in understanding... Manuṣyāṇāṁ. It is not so easy. In the Bhagavad-gītā you will find. Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye (BG 7.3). Out of many millions of persons, kaścid yatati siddhaye, one person becomes interested how to make his life successful. Because they do not know what is successful life. They simply know how to work like hogs and dogs, day and night working. And what is the goal of life? Now, sense gratification. Just like the hogs. Hogs, you will find, day and night finding out where is stool. And he will eat. And as soon as the hogs become very fatty, because they eat actually very substantial... Stool is chemically very substantial food. It contains hydro-phosphytes. The doctors said. I do not know whether they have tasted. (laughter). But they taste it actually. When they test in laboratory, they taste. I know that. They taste it. They have to taste it. Because their laboratory, chemical examination means the symptoms has to be written, the characteristics. Just like potassium cyanide, they have not tasted. Because as soon as you taste, you will die. (laughter)

Lecture on BG 1.20 -- London, July 17, 1973:

I know that. They taste it. They have to taste it. Because their laboratory, chemical examination means the symptoms has to be written, the characteristics. Just like potassium cyanide, they have not tasted. Because as soon as you taste, you will die. (laughter)

So chemical analysis means one has to test to find out the characteristic. So this I have seen, one doctor friend, he was keeping one dysentery stool in a plate, on his table, I saw. "What is this doctor?" He said, "Oh, it is to be tasted... It is dysentery stool". So they taste it. They have to. They take fish... Everyone, medical men know. So this hog's business is to eat stool, and as soon as he gets fatty, then sex. And that sex has no discrimination. You will see, a hogs, he does not care whether mother, sister or anyone, daughter. It doesn't matter. So this is hog civilization. Simply eating and getting strength of the senses and enjoy it.

Lecture on BG 2.1-10 and Talk -- Los Angeles, November 25, 1968:

Simply for money, in spite of so much affection and intimate relationship, they have accepted the service of Duryodhana, counting on money. So therefore they are avaricious. But in spite of their being avaricious, they are my respectful." This is respect. This is respect, that the respectful person who is my respectful, even there are some characteristics who does not command respect, still respect should be offered. This is a respectful offering. Yes. Sometimes it may be. The example is given. In the Bhagavad-gītā you'll find, api cet sudarācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ (BG 9.30). "Even a devotee is sometimes found not acting properly, but because he has got that unflinching faith and devotion upon Me," Kṛṣṇa says, "therefore he is saint." Only for that one qualification—he does not know except Kṛṣṇa. So to such person, even some flaws are found in their character... Just like we have imposed some rules that illicit sex relationship and intoxication, meat-eating, so many things.

Lecture on BG 2.7 -- London, August 7, 1973:

It is a common example, it is given, that yasya hi yaḥ svabhāvasya tasyāso duratikramaḥ. One, habit is the second nature. One who has, who is habituated or one whose nature, characteristic in some way, it is very difficult to change. The example is given: śvā yadi kriyate rājā saḥ kiṁ na so uparhanam. If you make a dog a king, does it mean that he'll not lick up shoes? Yes, dog's nature is to lick up shoes. So even if you dress him like a king and let him sit down on a throne, still, as soon as he'll see one shoe, he'll jump over and lick it. This is called svabhāva. Kārpaṇya-doṣa.

So in the animal life, it is not possible to change one's nature, which is given by the material energy, prakṛti. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni (BG 3.27). Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo 'sya, kāraṇaṁ guṇa-sangaḥ asya sad-asad-janma-yoniṣu (BG 13.22). Why? All living entities are part and parcel of God.

Lecture on BG 2.7 -- London, August 7, 1973:

So in the animal life, it is not possible to change one's nature, which is given by the material energy, prakṛti. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni (BG 3.27). Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo 'sya, kāraṇaṁ guṇa-sangaḥ asya sad-asad-janma-yoniṣu (BG 13.22). Why? All living entities are part and parcel of God. Therefore originally the characteristic of the living entity is as good as God. Simply it is a question of quantity. Quality is the same. Quality is the same. Mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ (BG 15.7). The same example. If you take a drop of sea water, the quality, the chemical composition is the same. But the quantity is different. It is a drop, and the sea is vast ocean. Similarly, we are exactly of the same quality as Kṛṣṇa. We can study. Why people say God is impersonal? If I am of the same quality, so God is also person, how He can be imperson? If, qualitatively, we are one, then as I feel individually, so why God should be refused individuality? This is another nonsense. The impersonalist rascals, they cannot understand what is the nature of God.

Lecture on BG 2.13 -- Hyderabad, November 18, 1972:

So that we can understand the quality of the Lord. Just like if you test a small particle of gold, then you can understand the composition of gold. If you test a little drop of water from the ocean, you can analyze the chemical composition of the sea. Similarly, if you can analyze the characteristics of the living entity, then you can at least understand what is God, what is the characteristics of God. Therefore the beginning of spiritual education is to understand one's self, this self-realization. How to realize self? We have to take knowledge from others. Knowledge means..., to acquire knowledge, to learn from the teacher. So here is the supreme teacher, Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is accepted as the supreme teacher by everyone, by all the great sages formerly, like Vyāsadeva, Nārada, Devala, Asita. All other great sages. And recently, in the modern age, by our ācāryas, Śrī Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Rāmānuja, yes, Śaṅkarācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī.

Lecture on BG 2.13-17 -- Los Angeles, November 29, 1968:

Yes. This is the sign, characteristics or symptoms of a person who is going to be liberated in this life. He has to do his duty. So far we are concerned, we have accepted Kṛṣṇa consciousness duty, so we have to execute our duties faithfully and seriously. Then it is sure Kṛṣṇa will give us the desired result. A nice example is given. Just like a girl is married to a boy. Generally, girls desire a child. So if she, after the marriage, if she immediately wants a child, that is not possible. But because she is married, and if she serves faithfully her husband, her husband is pleased and there is love, in due course of time, there will be child. Why there is hesitation? There will be child. Similarly, we have taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If we discharge our duties faithfully, then in due course of time, Kṛṣṇa will give the desired result. Don't be hesitant. Don't be doubtful. It is sure. Kṛṣṇa says that tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya (BG 4.9). Anyone who is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness perfectly, for him, after leaving this body, he's coming to Me. This is His assurance. So we haven't got any doubt, Kṛṣṇa has assured. So let us do our duty perfectly, as far as possible.

Lecture on BG 2.14 -- Mexico, February 14, 1975:

That is spiritual life. So sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam (CC Madhya 19.170). We have to give up all these designation of life and we have to become purified. Then we come to our normal condition.

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He wants to know what are the characteristics of a person who has realized that he is not this body.

Prabhupāda: Yes, he is engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He doesn't know anything but Kṛṣṇa. That is normal condi... (break) Thank you very much.

(Questions and answers with Spanish translator)

Hanumān (translates into Spanish throughout): (Spanish)

Prabhupāda: Actually spiritual consciousness keeps the body fit. Just like in the body the spirit soul is there and the consciousness is also there, maybe polluted, but as soon as the spirit soul gives up this body, the body immediately begins to decompose.

Lecture on BG 2.24 -- Hyderabad, November 28, 1972:

You do not know what is what. If living entity's sanātana, and if the process by which one can realize his sanātana nature... That is called sanātana-dharma.

Dharma, if we take these two words... Sanātana means eternal. That is called sanātana. And dharma, dharma means occupation, characteristic. Dharma does not mean some superficial ritualistic ceremonies. Dharma means the characteristic. That is real meaning. Dharma is not a kind of faith. Dharma is characteristic. Sanātana-dharma means sanātana characteristic, eternal characteristic. The changing... Now, I have got now this body, Indian body, and then, next body may be cat's and dog's or demigod's, according to my karma. So the body changes. So sanātana-dharma cannot be applied to this body. Sanātana-dharma means the characteristic of the soul. That is sanātana-dharma, to understand the characteristic of the soul. Kṛṣṇa is describing here the characteristic of the soul: sanātana.

Lecture on BG 2.24 -- Hyderabad, November 28, 1972:

You cannot be dictated by the senses. You have to dictate to the senses. As soon as the tongue says, "Now, you will take me to that restaurant, or give me a cigarette," if you say, "No. No cigarette, no restaurant; simply kṛṣṇa-prasāda," then you are gosvāmī. Then you are gosvāmī. This is the characteristic, sanātana. Because I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa. So this is called sanātana-dharma. That we are describing in the Ajāmila-upākhyāna. This stage can be attained. Tapasā brahmacaryeṇa śamena damena śaucena tyāgena yamena niyamena (SB 6.1.13).

Therefore the whole Vedic literature is meant for how to control the senses. Yoga. Yoga indriya-saṁyama. That is yoga. Yoga means not to show some magic. This is the first-class magic. If you are practicing yoga... I have seen so many so-called yogis, but they cannot control the sense for smoking. You see. Smoking and so many things are going on.

Lecture on BG 2.24 -- Hyderabad, November 28, 1972:

So things are going on like... So sanātana-dharma means when one understands his real position, his real posi... that is self-realization. Or, in other words, Kṛṣṇa is sanātana. If you engage yourself in the service of Kṛṣṇa, then, by practicing the sanātana-dharma, you are transferred to the sanātana place, Vaikuṇṭha. That is sanātana-dharma. Dharma means characteristic. So what is our characteristic? I was going to explain. That we are now serving our senses. This is our material characteristic. Material characteristic because originally I am servant. I am not master. But I have given up service of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha hañā bhoga vāñchā kare (Prema-vivarta). "Why shall I become servant? I shall become Kṛṣṇa." All right, you become Kṛṣṇa. You become enjoyer. That is material world. Everyone is trying to become Kṛṣṇa, enjoyer. So there is fight. Always. You are becoming, trying to becoming Kṛṣṇa. I am trying to become Kṛṣṇa. As there are so many incarnations of God nowadays—every lane, every street. So we are all imitation Kṛṣṇa.

Lecture on BG 2.25 -- Hyderabad, November 29, 1972:

So Kṛṣṇa is sanātana. We are also sanātana. But when we forget to serve Kṛṣṇa, that is our asanātana. And when we are engaged again in the service of Kṛṣṇa, that is sanātana-dharma. So sanātana-dharma means eternally serving Kṛṣṇa. Another example, dharma... What is dharma? Dhṛ-dhātu. Characteristic. You cannot change it. You cannot change it. Just like sugar. Sugar characteristic means sweetness. And chili characteristic means pungent. So everything has got characteristic. Everything. That is called dharma. If sugar has become pungent and chili has become sweet... You purchase chili. If it is not very pungent, you throw it... "Oh, it is not good." Because the dharma of the chili is lacking there. Similarly, if you take sugar and if you find it salty, then you... "Oh, what is this?" So everything has got some characteristic. So we are living entities. We have got our characteristics. That is sanātana. I am sanātana, eternal, and my characteristic is to serve God. If I don't serve God, then the characteristic will remain there. Then I'll have to serve māyā, in the illusion that I have become master. Actually, he's serving, but... Just like one man has got motorcar.

Lecture on BG 2.46-62 -- Los Angeles, December 16, 1968:

So Bhāgavata says, yasya yal lakṣaṇaṁ proktaṁ puṁso varṇābhivyañjakam. There are symptoms. You'll find all these in Bhagavad-gītā, who is brāhmaṇa, who is kṣatriya, who is vaiśya, who is śūdra. By symptoms, by characteristics, you'll know. Similarly, if you find a man knows Kṛṣṇa, you must accept him: "He is a brāhmaṇa." He's a brāhmaṇa. Brahma jānāti iti brāhmaṇa. So the miser, the opposite word is liberal or brāhmaṇa. Miser knows his self-interest, "How much nice foodstuff I have got to eat daily." That's all. And liberal, "How much Kṛṣṇa prasāda I am distributing to the world." Liberal. A miser is thinking, "How much nice dishes I have eaten today. How much I have satisfied my tongue. Never mind I go to hell. Let me eat this, that, so many nice things. Let me satisfy my tongue." "Oh, for your tongue so many animals are being sacrificed, killed?" "Never mind. I want to satisfy my tongue."

Lecture on BG 2.46-62 -- Los Angeles, December 16, 1968:

Prabhupāda: This is very important thing. The symptoms, the characteristics, of Kṛṣṇa conscious persons, they are described there, item by item.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: "The Blessed Lord said, 'O Pārtha, when a man gives up...' "

Prabhupāda: This is the result of talks between Arjuna and Kṛṣṇa. Arjuna is putting in such a way, and Kṛṣṇa is answering. That means it is meant for all conditioned souls. Unless Arjuna would have asked all these questions, how we could have received such transcendental message? Therefore it was necessary that Arjuna would play the part of an ordinary conditioned soul. Actually he was not. He's simply playing the part in order to eschew transcendental message. Because Kṛṣṇa has spoken, everyone will take it as authorized. So Kṛṣṇa is now speaking. Go on.

Lecture on BG 4.7 -- Bombay, March 27, 1974:

First of all you have to understand. Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glāniḥ (BG 4.7). What is dharma? First of all you have to understand. Dharma means occupational duty. Or natural characteristic. That is called dharma. Just like sugar. Sugar is sweet. The sweetness is dharma of sugar. Chili is very hot. The hotness is the dharma of chili. If the chili becomes sweet and sugar becomes hot, that is adharma. Try to understand this. So first of all, who can give us dharma? That is stated in the śāstras, dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). Dharma means the orders, given by the Supreme Lord, or Supreme Being, God. That is dharma. This is the shortest definition of dharma. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19).

Just like law. Law means which is given by the government. You cannot manufacture law at home. That is not possible.

Lecture on BG 4.7 -- Bombay, March 27, 1974:

So dharma means, as Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). This is dharma. This is dharma. And our dharma, our characteristic is also there.

Because every one of us, we have surrendered to somebody. Analyze everyone. He has somebody superior where he has surrendered. It may be his family, his wife, or his government, his community, his society, his political party. Anywhere you go, the characteristic is to surrender. That you cannot avoid. That was the talk with Professor Kotovsky in Moscow. I asked him, "Now, you have got your Communist philosophy. We have got our Kṛṣṇa philosophy. Where is the difference in philosophy? You have surrendered to Lenin, and we have surrendered to Kṛṣṇa. Where is the difference?" Everyone has to surrender. It doesn't matter where he is surrendering.

Lecture on BG 4.8 -- Montreal, June 14, 1968:

This verse we have been discussing, that the Lord descends out of His own spiritual energy. He descends, appears. Yuge yuge sambhavāmi, in every millennium. And dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya. Two things are visible in his characteristics. One thing is paritrāṇāya sādhūnām. Those who are pious, following strictly the rules and regulations of particular type of scripture, to protect such persons, and to vanquish duṣkṛtām, miscreants... Miscreants. Who are miscreants? Miscreants, means just like outlaw. A person may be very nice, well-educated, or wealth. So many qualifications he might have. But if he is an outlaw, then all his qualification becomes damned. Similarly, duṣkṛtām, miscreant, outlaw, those who are not obedient to the laws of nature or laws of God.

Lecture on BG 4.34 -- New York, August 14, 1966:

And Arjuna also accepted that "You are asamordhva: "Nobody is equal to You, and nobody is greater than You."

And our Gosvāmīs in Vṛndāvana... There were six Gosvāmīs. They were very good scholars, especially Jīva Gosvāmī. They have analyzed the characteristics of the Absolute Truth, Personality of Godhead, and they have established that Kṛṣṇa has got the all the transcendental qualities of Godhead in Kṛṣṇa. And in Nārāyaṇa there are ninety-four percent of the transcendental qualities of the Absolute Truth. Similarly, in Lord Śiva there is eighty-four percent of all the transcendental qualities of the Absolute Truth. And in living being, as we are, we have got seventy-eight percent of the transcendental qualities. That is also in fraction, not in full.

So there are some scholars, analytical study like this. Now, the point is that Kṛṣṇa says that "All kinds of sacrifices, whatever sacrifice you can undertake..." There are different kinds of, mentioned, dravya-yajña, jñāna-yajña, yoga-yajña, so many. There are different types of yajña. But here Kṛṣṇa concludes, "All the different types of yajña," sarvaṁ karmākhilaṁ pārtha jñāne parisamāpyate, "whatever yajña you can perform, that's all right.

Lecture on BG 5.7-13 -- New York, August 27, 1966:

So bad work He is also responsible." Now, here the answer is na kartṛtvaṁ na karmāṇi lokasya sṛjati prabhuḥ. Prabhu. Prabhu means the Lord. The Lord does not create work for you, neither He creates the result for you. Na karma-phala-saṁyogaṁ svabhāvas tu pravartate. Svabhāvas tu pravartate. As you have acquired your characteristics, so you create your own work and you create your result of own work and you become entangled. It is not the creation of God. You create. "How I create? If it is sanctioned, if it is controlled by God, then how I create?" The question may be. Yes. The answer is very simple. You can understand that a person who is criminal, who is condemned. Now he's condemned to death or he is condemned to be imprisoned. Now he makes appeal that "Oh, excuse me, what was done(?)." But the judge puts him into the jail or condemns to life. So he thinks that "The judge has condemned me to death or the, he has put me into jail." But is the judge enemy of a particular person that he puts somebody into the jail and condemns to death? No. I have created. I have created my jail life before. The judge is simply giving me the direction.

Lecture on BG 5.7-13 -- New York, August 27, 1966:

You can understand that a person who is criminal, who is condemned. Now he's condemned to death or he is condemned to be imprisoned. Now he makes appeal that "Oh, excuse me, what was done(?)." But the judge puts him into the jail or condemns to life. So he thinks that "The judge has condemned me to death or the, he has put me into jail." But is the judge enemy of a particular person that he puts somebody into the jail and condemns to death? No. I have created. I have created my jail life before. The judge is simply giving me the direction. "Oh, you have done this. Now you have to go." He is not responsible. Similarly God is not responsible for my work, neither He creates my work. It is my nature, it is my characteristic, which, by which I create my work, I create the result and I suffer. God simply gives direction because He is the supreme director. Or the agent of God.

So He is not responsible. I am responsible. I am responsible. But if I become Kṛṣṇa consciousness, if I act on His account and completely becoming dependent on Him then He is responsible for everything happening. That is the principle.

Lecture on BG 7.1 -- Sydney, February 16, 1973:

If in any religion the understanding of God is lacking, that is not first-class religion. So we are preaching not any particular type of religion. Religion is described in the English dictionary as "a kind of faith." Actually, religion does not mean. The Sanskrit word dharma, that dharma means characteristic. It is not a kind of faith—characteristic, or occupational duty. Generally it means characteristic. The characteristic is that every living being, whether it is animal or human being or tree or plants or insect... (loud noise from speaker system) (aside:) What is it? Every living being has a particular characteristic that is visible in all kinds of forms of living being. That is service. Everyone is rendering service. Here we have so many ladies and gentlemen present, but every one of us is rendering some service to the superior. That is our position. The animals also, the inferior animals, they are rendering service to the superior animal. The superior animal is eating the inferior animal, jīvo jīvasya jīvanam.

Lecture on BG 7.3 -- Bombay, March 29, 1971:

He has to acquire the qualities. That is stated in Bhagavad-gītā. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). And the qualification of brāhmaṇa is also stated there: satyaṁ śamaḥ damaḥ śaucaṁ titikṣā ārjavam āstikyam, jñānaṁ vijñānaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam. These are the characteristics of brāhmaṇa. Similarly, there are characteristics of kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra.

So in the Bhagavad-gītā it is not stated... At least... We are discussing Bhagavad-gītā. In the Bhagavad-gītā at least, there is no such statement that a man becomes brāhmaṇa simply being born in a brāhmaṇa family or a man becomes śūdra simply by becoming born in a śūdra family. Guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ. This is also confirmed in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Śrī Nārada Muni instructs Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira:

yasya yal lakṣaṇaṁ proktaṁ
puṁso varṇābhivyañjakam
yad anyatrāpi dṛśyeta
tat tenaiva vinirdiśet
(SB 7.11.35)

Nārada Muni said that if the symptoms or characteristics of a certain status of social order is found in other family... For example, if a śūdra-born boy is inclined to accept brahmanism or Vedic culture, he should be given the chance. That is accepted in the Pāñcarātriki-vidhi.

Lecture on BG 9.2 -- Melbourne, April 20, 1976:

One meaning of dharma is the basic principle of our life or the occupational duty of our life, dharma. Occupational duty of our life, that is called dharma. Generally in the English dharma is translated by the word religion, a kind of faith. But actually dharma means the characteristic. That is real meaning of dharma, characteristic.

Just like you can understand. By the characteristic in the chemical laboratory they test different chemicals. So the heading is characteristic. "This chemical looking such and such color. The granules are like this. The taste is like this. The reaction is like this. If you put with this, it will react like this." So many. If certain chemical complies with all the characteristic, then it is declared pure. So suppose what is the characteristic of sugar? Everyone knows. It must be sweet. Sugar and salt, both of them externally seem the same, white. But you have to understand which is sugar and which is salt by tasting. So there are different test of characteristic. If sugar becomes salty, immediately, "Oh, it is not sugar. Throw it." And if salt become sweet, you throw it. Similarly, dharma means everything has got a special characteristic. That is called dharma.

Lecture on BG 9.2 -- Melbourne, April 20, 1976:

The actual business is that every one of us giving service to others. This is our dharma. That is enunciated by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Jīvera svarūpa haya nitya-kṛṣṇa-dāsa (Cc. Madhya 20.108-109). This is the characteristic of living entity. Living entity is meant for giving service to Kṛṣṇa. This is the characteristic. When this characteristic is not found or lacking, that means it is diseased condition or that is material condition. Just like this finger. What is the characteristic of finger? The finger characteristic, it is the part and parcel of my body. As soon as I say, "My dear servant finger, please capture this," immediately I capture, immediately. "Oh, my dear servant finger, come on the head and give me some itching." "Yes." So this is characteristic. If the finger... I order, "Please pick up this rasagullā." "Yes." "Give it here." "Yes." The finger cannot eat. Just try to understand. The finger, if he gets one rasagullā, nice, tasteful sweetmeat, the finger will never try to smash it and spoil it. (laughter) The fingers immediately will take. You'll find. It is psychology, even for a child.

Lecture on BG 9.15-18 -- New York, December 2, 1966:

He goes directly. If it is a fact that one has to come to this point for perfection of knowledge, why not take it immediately? I may not understand anything. I accept it. Let me accept it blindly. Some scientist, and some layman... And the teacher says, "This is fire." Oh, scientist says, "Oh, I'll see the characteristics of fire. I must see. Then I shall accept." All right, you can see. And somebody says, "All right, you are teacher. You are saying it is fire. All right, I accept it." But the scientist who, after studying the characteristics fire may come to the fire, he'll also feel the warmth of the fire, the heat of the fire, the light of the fire. He'll also understand. And this man, blindly or by devotion, by love, accepts... The result is the same, because fire is fire. Either you blindly touch it or your scientifically touch it, fire will act.

So this Bhagavad-gītā says that those who are trying to make a show of their knowledge, so let them do that. Viśvato-mukham. The universal form, pantheism, monotheism, monism. We have so many theories. But not atheism. You see? So these have come to this point.

Lecture on BG 16.2-7 -- Bombay, April 8, 1971:

Then He explains that "If you develop your godly characteristics, then you make progress toward liberation." Daivī sampad vimokṣāya (BG 16.5). Vimokṣa. Vimokṣa means liberation. This word vimokṣa is very significant. Mokṣa means liberation. And why this word vi? Vi means viśeṣa, specifically. Specifically mokṣa. There are two kinds of mokṣas. Actually, there are five kinds of mokṣa, but five kinds can be divided into two kinds. Liberation... Sāyujya, sāmīpya, sālokya, sārūpya, sārṣṭi (CC Madhya 6.266). Then again, these five kinds of liberation can be divided into two. One is sāyujya-mukti and another: sārūpya, sālokya, sārṣṭi, sāmīpya—these four into one division. Sāyujya-mukti means to merge into the existence of the Supreme. And sārūpya-mukti means to acquire exactly the bodily feature of Viṣṇu, four hands. Just like in the Vaikuṇṭha the inhabitants are exactly of the same feature as Nārāyaṇa. They have got also four hands. You cannot distinguish who is Nārāyaṇa and who is not Nārāyaṇa. So that is called sārūpya-mukti. Just like when vaikuṇṭha-dūtas were sent to reclaim Ajāmila, they were four-handed, exactly looking like Nārāyaṇa.

Lecture on BG 16.2-7 -- Bombay, April 8, 1971:

And you can see how these boys and girls, those who are coming from Western countries, although they had many misgivings in their past life, now they are pure. Only (on) account of chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. This is... They are now developing the daivī sampat. Daivī sampat means the characteristics by which they can make very easy progress for liberation and spiritual realization. That is called daivī sampat. As soon as one becomes a devotee, this daivī sampat automatically becomes manifested. Yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ (SB 5.18.12). As soon as one develops his original dormant love of God, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then all the good qualities becomes manifest. Because the good qualities are already there. This is the process. People are trying to make people very honest. But how they can be honest? Unless there is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, it is very difficult to become honest. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ. Mahad-guṇāḥ, good qualities, good characteristics, good behavior, moral qualities, cannot be developed if one is not Kṛṣṇa conscious. That is not possible. If people are simply paid to be Kṛṣṇa conscious, then the state will save so much expense.

Lecture on BG 16.2-7 -- Bombay, April 8, 1971:

That is the formula given by Lord Kṛṣṇa. When one relishes a transcendental pleasure, he automatically gives up the so-called material pleasure, automatically.

So therefore Kṛṣṇa is stressing that, daivī sampad vimokṣāya. These daivī sampad characteristics should be encouraged to make one liberated, vimokṣāya. Just like these boys and girls have become liberated from all bad habits. Daivī sampad vimokṣāya. Daivī sampad vimokṣāya nibandhāyāsurī matā. And if you develop demonic qualities, then you become more and more entangled in this material existence. It is very risky. We are thinking that "Let me enjoy this life to my best capacity," as the atheist class of people think, but they do not know how much risk they are taking. If I develop my characteristics like cats and dogs, then my next life is becoming bound up in the body of cats and dogs. But they do not know the science.

Lecture on BG 16.2-7 -- Bombay, April 8, 1971:

And because we are doubtful, we are presenting Kṛṣṇa in a different way. And there are so many commentators, so many swamis, they put Kṛṣṇa in a different way. But Kṛṣṇa is Kṛṣṇa. Law of identity. You cannot comment on the Kṛṣṇa's personality. He says that "I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya: (BG 7.7) "There is no more superior authority than Me." We accept that. Then we can understand Bhagavad-gītā and take advantage of it; otherwise (it is) not possible. And that requires daivī sampat, godly characteristics.

So those godly characteristics are there. Either you practice yourself to come to the godly characteristics or there is simply method, if you take to devotional service, all the godly qualities automatically come. This is the process. So in this age, to develop these godly qualities is very difficult. But if you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness by the simple method, by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare, then automatically you develop all the godly qualities.

Lecture on BG 16.2-7 -- Bombay, April 8, 1971:

Because although Arjuna was fighting, it was violent, because the fight was on account of Kṛṣṇa, therefore it is good. Otherwise how you can support? He was engaged in killing business and it is called daivī sampat. Then He explains,

dvau bhūta-sargau loke 'smin
daiva āsura eva ca
daivo vistaraśaḥ prokta
āsuraṁ pārtha me śṛṇu
(BG 16.6)

that "I have very vividly described what are the godly characteristics. Now I shall explain to you what are the demonic characteristics." Pravṛttiṁ ca nivṛttiṁ ca janā na vidur āsurāḥ (BG 16.7). Who is a demon? A demon's first qualification is he does not know what is, I mean to say, real duty, or what one should do and what one should not do. (break) ...pravṛtti. Pravṛtti and nivṛtti. There are two kinds of activities, pravṛtti. So if one does not know what kind of activities one can accept and what kind of activities one should reject, if he does not know, then he is a asura, demon.

Lecture on BG 16.4 -- Hawaii, January 30, 1975:

We have discussed last night some of the divine characteristics, and abhayaṁ sattva-saṁśuddhiḥ, like that, sixteen divine characteristics. And here the demonic characteristics. We can understand a thing by analysis of characteristics. In the chemical laboratory, things are tested by characteristics. Just like this chemical: "Color is like this. Shape is like this. Then taste is like this. Then chemical reaction is like this." They are stated for each and every chemical, and we can understand the purity by the characteristic. The characteristic is also called dharma. Just like a snake. The snake characteristic is that unnecessarily, without any offense, it bites, and the animal which is bitten, he dies. This is the characteristic. Without any fault... The snake is going, and the other animal is going. Go, but the characteristic of snake is unnecessarily bites. This is the characteristic.

Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says, sarpaḥ krūraḥ khalaḥ krūraḥ sarpāt krūrataraḥ khalaḥ, that "Two kinds of krūraḥ, envious animals, are there.

Lecture on BG 16.4 -- Hawaii, January 30, 1975:

What is that? " herbs and mantra." There are snake charmer. They chant mantras, and they apply some herb, and the snake come under subjugation. But khalaḥ kena nivāryate: "But the snake-like man, he cannot be subdued at any cost."

So there are characteristics. By the characteristics we can understand who is a godly man and who is a demonic man. So they are stated. And the next verse is that daivī sampad vimokṣāya. If one has these divine characteristics, then he is eligible for going to the spiritual world. Vimokṣāya. Daivī sampad vimokṣāya nibandhāya āsurī matā (BG 16.5). But these demonic characteristic, dambho darpaḥ abhimānaś ca pāruṣyam ajñānaṁ sampad āsurī, if we develop this kind of characteristic, then it is our material bondage. So we are the cause of material bondage and freedom from material world. We are, ourself, the cause. There is no other cause. Simply we have to develop either this demonic characteristic or the divine characteristic. So human life is meant for developing divine characteristic, not this demonic char... Demonic characteristic is already there. Just like dambhaḥ.

Lecture on BG 16.4 -- Hawaii, January 30, 1975:

Demonic characteristic is already there. Just like dambhaḥ. A dog has also pride: "I am this dog, grr." (laughter) "I am fox terrier. I am this. I am that." So dambhaḥ is there even in the dog, even in the lower animal, even in the cat. But the divine characteristic, "Oh, I am so low," Tṛṇād api sunīcena, "I am lower than the grass. I am lower than the grass"... This is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's teaching. What is this dambhaḥ? Why I should be pride? What is this pride? So that is ignorance, due to ignorance. When one man is unnecessarily proud, that means it is due to ignorance. And Caitanya-caritāmṛta author, he describes himself that "I am lower than the worms in the stool."

Lecture on BG 16.4 -- Hawaii, January 30, 1975:

Topmost. Gopī-bhāva-rasāmṛtābdhi-laharī-kallola-magnau muhur vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau. The Gosvāmīs were always thinking of the gopīs' service to Kṛṣṇa. Gopī-bhāva-rasāmṛtābdhi.

So now the two things are there. The divine characteristic and the demonic characteristic. Both of them are there, now you have to select which one you want. If you actually want to love Kṛṣṇa, then take this divine characteristic. There is no cause of helplessness. You can... Just like amānitvam. Here it is said, dambhaḥ, adambhitvam. Adambhitvam, without any dambhaḥ. Here it is said, abhayaṁ sattva-saṁśuddhir jñāna-yoga-vyavasthitiḥ. So you can practice this. That is devotional life. You have to practice this. If you want to be divine, your characteristics have to be changed. Here we are busy.

Lecture on BG 16.7 -- Hawaii, February 3, 1975:

So these are the symptoms of asura. We have already discussed the characteristic of divine nature and the characteristic of demonic nature. In the Viṣṇu Purāṇa this is also confirmed. Dvau bhūta-sargau loke daiva āsura eva ca (BG 16.6). There are two kinds of people all over the universe. There is asuraloka and devaloka, planet. So devāsura fight. That is going on perpetually, daiva and āsura, demonic nature and divine nature.

There are many people; they do not like us because we are preaching God consciousness. This is our fault. Even in our country, in India, the government do not like us because nowadays, everywhere practically, the demonic people being very much increased, the government is also demonic. So they do not like people in divine nature. They will tolerate all kinds of noise, barking of the dogs, the motor car passing, the aeroplane on overhead. But as soon as there is kīrtana, they're disturbed. They'll tolerate so many different types of noise, but they'll not tolerate kīrtana.

Lecture on BG 16.7 -- Hawaii, February 3, 1975:

They'll go away.

So two classes of men, demonic and divine. So divine nature has been explained in various ways from the very beginning. Now Kṛṣṇa is explaining about the demonic nature. The first characteristic of demonic nature is they do not know what should be the pravṛtti and what should be nivṛtti, proper and improper action. Improper action is mentioned here, beginning, that na śaucaṁ nāpi cācāraḥ (BG 16.7), not cleanliness. Cleanliness is essential. "Cleanliness is next to Godliness."

In India, especially in the villages, you'll find cleanliness. He has got one cloth, poverty-stricken, one cloth, not very white. Due to dirt, it is black. But that one cloth should be washed daily, still, one cloth. They'll take one napkin and wash the cloth and India, tropical climate, here also, and spread it on the floor. Within five minutes it will be dry, and then change clothes.

Lecture on BG 16.8 -- Hawaii, February 4, 1975:

This is the verdict of the asuras. We have discussed the characteristics of asuras for the last two days. Now, gradually, Kṛṣṇa is explaining the demonic characteristic. He has explained the divine characteristic extensively before this. Now He is explaining what are the demonic characteristics. So, nāpi cācāraḥ. They even do not know how to live nicely. That verse we have already discussed last night.

pravṛttiṁ ca nivṛttiṁ ca
janā na vidur āsurāḥ
na śaucaṁ nāpi cācāro
na satyaṁ teṣu vidyate
(BG 16.7)

Pravṛtti and nivṛtti means which one, which path, we shall take and which path we shall reject. That they do not know. Na śaucam, not cleanliness. Even ordinary things, cleanliness, that is very hygienic. That also they do not know. Na śaucaṁ nāpi cācāraḥ. They do not know how to behave also.

Lecture on BG 16.8 -- Hawaii, February 4, 1975:

That they do not know. Na śaucam, not cleanliness. Even ordinary things, cleanliness, that is very hygienic. That also they do not know. Na śaucaṁ nāpi cācāraḥ. They do not know how to behave also. Na satyam. And no truthfulness is there. This verse we have already discussed.

Now, the next characteristic is asatyam: "This world is simply phenomenal; it has no foundation." The Māyāvādīs, they directly say, brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā. So Māyāvādī, at least they say that "There is Brahman. He is truth, but this phenomenal world is not truth. Manifestation of material energy, that is not true." So, according to our philosophy, Vaiṣṇava philosophy, we don't say that this māyā, or the... Māyā means this temporary manifestation. This material world is fact, but it is temporary, not false. We cannot say it is false. Just like I am sitting on the seat or you are sitting on the floor. We are sitting on something. It is not false; it is fact. I am not sitting on the air. You are not sitting on the air. So how we can say it is false?

Lecture on BG 16.10 -- Hawaii, February 6, 1975:

We have explained who are demons and who are divine, or demigods. Demigods means those who are devotee of the Lord. Viṣṇu-bhakto bhaved daivaḥ. Viṣṇu-bhakta, the all-pervasive Supreme Personality of Godhead and His devotee... The Godhead is called deva, and his devotees are called daiva. So we are discussing about the characteristics of the demons. So they have lost their intelligence. Etāṁ dṛṣṭim avaṣṭabhya naṣṭātmānaḥ alpa-buddhayaḥ. Naṣṭātmānaḥ. Ātmānaḥ means spirit soul. So they have lost the sense of spirit soul. They do not know that "I am not this body, I am spirit soul. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi." So therefore they do not know this. Therefore they are called naṣṭātmānaḥ. They have lost their spiritual sense. Why? Alpa-buddhayaḥ, not very intelligent.

We have discussed very elaborately. Anyone who has got intelligence, he can understand that "I am not this body. Within this body there is a living force, and without that living force the body is useless, lump of matter.

Lecture on BG 17.1-3 -- Honolulu, July 4, 1974:

What are the symptoms to know that one is situated in the sattva-guṇa or one is situated in the rajo-guṇa or one is situated in tamo-guṇa? By the symptoms. The symptoms are also mentioned. The sattva-guṇa means brāhmaṇa. Sattva-guṇa in brāhmaṇa, their symptoms are mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā. Everything is there, characteristic. You have to test it. Just like in the chemistry there is analytical study, whether it is pure or not. So every chemical has got characteristics, Its color, its formation, its taste, so many things. Those who are chemists, they know how to test. So when the characteristic and the test of the chemical is found as "Yes, it is according to the standard," then it is accepted as a pure chemical, and it can be used for the purpose. And if it is adulterated... Everything... We are cooking food. If the ghee is pure, then taste is different. If the ghee is impure, the taste is different. And if it is not ghee at all. oil, the taste is different. It is like that.

Lecture on BG 18.45 -- Durban, October 11, 1975:

The word dharma, as it is explained in the English dictionary, "a kind of faith," actually dharma does not mean that. Dharma means your occupational duty, the characteristic. Everything has got characteristic. Just like this microphone. The characteristic of microphone is to vibrate the sound loudly. This is dharma. If simply the microphone is there and it does not act to produce the sound loudly, then it is out of his dharma or out of order. Try to understand what is dharma.

There are many other examples. Just like water. Water is liquid, everyone knows. But sometimes water becomes solid, ice, under certain circumstances. That is not his dharma. To remain liquid-its dharma. Therefore, sometimes water, even it is transformed into solid ice, it melts, again wants to become water. This is dharma. So what is our dharma, we human being. There is no question of any sect, any nation or any party, no, as human being. As human being or living being, what is our dharma? Dharma is to render service.

Lecture on BG 18.67-69 -- Ahmedabad, December 9, 1972:

The purport is that there are symptoms, characteristics, of brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. That is mentioned in Bhagavad-gītā: satyaṁ śamo damas titikṣā, satyaṁ śaucam, śamo damas titikṣā ārjavam, jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.42). Similarly, for kṣatriya, there are seven qualification. Similarly, for the vaiśyas, three qualification: kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyaṁ vaiśya-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.44). And for the śūdras, only one: paricaryātmakaṁ kāryaṁ śūdra-karma svabhāva-jam. So the..., this is śāstras. This is the injunction of the Vedic literature. And Nārada Muni says, yasya yal lakṣaṇaṁ proktam. The symptoms, the characteristics, varṇābhivyañjakam, to indicate, or to decide, in which varṇa, whether this person belongs to brāhmaṇa-varṇa, or kṣatriya-varṇa or śūdra-varṇa, like that. So there are symptoms. So Nārada Muni says if these symptoms are found elsewhere... Yad anyatrāpi dṛśyeta. Suppose a śūdra, or a vaiśya, but he has got the qualification, symptoms, of a brāhmaṇa. So he should be accepted as brāhmaṇa, not as śūdra, as vaiśya. Similarly, a person born in brāhmaṇa family, if he has got the symptoms of a śūdra, he should be accepted as śūdra.

Compiled bySunitaS +, RupaManjari + and Mayapur +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entryAugust 7, 0011 JL +
Date of last entrySeptember 2, 0011 JL +
Total quotes42 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 42 +, Conv: 0 + and Let: 0 +