Cobbler is taken as the low..., those who prepare, expert in skin. So they are generally very poor man. Now they have advanced, because now the Kali-yuga is the age of the sudras

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"Cobbler is taken as the low..., those who prepare, expert in skin. So they are generally very poor man. Now they have advanced, because now the Kali-yuga is the age of the sudras"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

In India there is a custom that low-class men... Just like cobbler. Cobbler is taken as the low..., those who prepare, expert in skin. So they are generally very poor man. Now they have advanced, because now the Kali-yuga is the age of the śūdras. So they decorate the dead body. If a cobbler's father dies, he brings, he spends money. He brings nice covering cloth, and with flower and everything.
Lecture on SB 1.15.21 -- Los Angeles, December 1, 1973:

Jāti, big nation, big achievement, japas tapaḥ kriyā, big activities... Just like you American people, you are big nation. Your activities are very big, considered in other parts of the world. And your tapasya is there. You have earned this, you have made this America so nice by tapasya, by austerity. It has not come out automatically. You have labored hard. That is called tapasya. So this big nationality, jāti, japas, tapaḥ, these hard work, scientific discoveries, they are very nice, but what kind of popularity it is? Bhagavad-bhakti-hīnasya jātiḥ śāstraṁ japas tapaḥ. All these are simply decoration of the dead body. I do not know whether in your country it is a fashion. In India there is a custom that low-class men... Just like cobbler. Cobbler is taken as the low..., those who prepare, expert in skin. So they are generally very poor man. Now they have advanced, because now the Kali-yuga is the age of the śūdras. So they decorate the dead body. If a cobbler's father dies, he brings, he spends money. He brings nice covering cloth, and with flower and everything... So śāstra says that,

bhagavad-bhakti-hīnasya
jātiḥ śāstraṁ japas tapaḥ
aprāṇasyeva dehasya
maṇḍanaṁ loka-rañjanam

If you decorate a dead body, it may be very fanciful to the people, that "This dead body is decorated with costly garments and flowers and all things." So, but the dead body is dead. It is not enjoying. You can be complacent that "My father, the body of my father or my relative, is decorated so nicely." But factually, if you study scrutinizingly, what is the benefit out of this? What is the benefit? Dead body decoration? But people do that. They are accustomed to do that.

So similarly, this body is dead. That's a fact. It is dead from the very beginning. Because it is matter. Matter is always dead. So this body made of matter, bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ (BG 7.4)—earth, water, fire, air. This external body is dead, but it is living on account of that small spark of spirit. That is the real meant. That we understand from Bhagavad..., dehino 'smin yathā dehe (BG 2.13). Dehinaḥ, the small spark, spiritual spark, he is within this body. This is the first understanding of spiritual knowledge. You must know. This is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā. When Bhagavad-gītā was taught to Arjuna, Arjuna was lamenting for this body. So Kṛṣṇa, when He was accepted Arjuna's spiritual master, śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam (BG 2.7), then He advised him that "You are talking like a very learned scholar." Aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase (BG 2.11). "You are talking just like you know..." Just like our so-called scientists, they speak as if they know everything, but real thing they do not know. That is zero. What is spirit, they do not know. They are thinking this body. And according to Vedic knowledge, if one is misguided on the bodily identification of ourself, he is animal. He is animal. He may be Ph.D., D.H.C. or something, but he is animal. Sa eva go-kharaḥ (SB 10.84.13). Because he does not know how the body is moving. And neither they can discover anything. When the body is dead... It is dead from the very beginning, but it was moving. Just like so long petrol is there, the motorcar moves. But as soon as there is... Now there is crisis. So how their motorcars will move? They are concerned. So why their crisis? Because the petrol is the life of the movement of the motorcar. Similarly, that spiritual spark, or spirit soul, is the petrol of this body.

So without knowledge of this, sa eva go-kharaḥ (SB 10.84.13), just like cats and dogs, they cannot understand how he is moving. That he does not know. If a human being also does not understand that how this body is moving, neither they can discover what it is, then what is this? It may be very so-called decoration of the body. A decoration of the dead body, what is the profit thereof? If you do not know what is the real living force within this body, then if you simply decorate the body, dead body, loka-rañjanam, you may get some applause from ordinary men, but it has no value. It has no value.