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Going to the forest is not the main purpose of life. Because in the forest there are many animals. Does it mean they are advanced in spiritual life? That is called markata-vairagya. Markata-vairagya means "monkey renunciation

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"going to the forest is not the main purpose of life. Because in the forest there are many animals. Does it mean they are advanced in spiritual life? That is called markata-vairagya"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Formerly, after gṛhastha life, vānaprastha life, sannyāsa life, they used to live in the forest. But going to the forest is not the main purpose of life. Because in the forest there are many animals. Does it mean they are advanced in spiritual life? That is called markaṭa-vairāgya. Markaṭa-vairāgya means "monkey renunciation." Monkey is naked. Nāga-bābā. Naked. And eats fruit, monkey, and lives underneath a tree or on the tree. But he has got at least three dozen wives. So this markaṭa-vairāgya, this kind of renunciation, has no value.

Lecture on BG 2.15 -- Hyderabad, November 21, 1972:

Prabhupāda: You cannot become permanently happy in this material world. That is not possible. So don't waste your time to become happy here. In another place, it is said, padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ na teṣām (SB 10.14.58). The same example can be given. In America, so many millions of people die in motor accidents. How many? What is the statistic? You don't remember?

Śyāmasundara: Sixty thousand, I think it's...

Prabhupāda: Sixty thousand? No, no. More than that sixty... So many people die of motor accidents. So some of our students, a few months ago, they died of motor accident. The motor accident dying in America is not very astonishment. Because the motors are, I mean to say, running at the speed of seventy miles, eighty miles, ninety miles, and not only one motorcar, one after another, hundreds. And if one is little slow, immediately: (imitates crashing sound) tarak taka tak. (laughter)

So you cannot become happy. These boys and these girls, American, American, European, they have tasted all this motorcar civilization. They have tasted very nicely. Motorcar, nightclub and drinking, they have tasted very nicely. There is no happiness. Therefore they have come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore nāsato vidyate bhāvo nābhāvo vidyate sataḥ. Abhāvaḥ, and the sataḥ. So we are unhappy on account of our accepting asat, which will not exist. That is the description given by Prahlāda Mahārāja: tan ma..., sadā samudvigna-dhiyām asad-grahāt (SB 7.5.5). Sadā samudvigna-dhiyām. We are always anxious, full of anxieties. That's a fact. Everyone of us, full of anxieties. Why? Asad-grahāt. Because we have accepted this material body. Asad-grahāt. Tat sādhu manye 'sura-varya dehināṁ sadā samudvigna-dhiyām. Dehinām. Dehinām means... Deha and dehī, we have already discussed. Dehī means the proprietor of the body. So everyone is dehī, either animal or human being or tree or anyone. Every living entity has accepted a material body. Therefore they are called dehī. So dehinām, every dehī, because he has accepted this material body, he's always full of anxiety.

So we cannot be anxiety-free unless we come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is not possible. You have to become Kṛṣṇa conscious, brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā (BG 18.54); immediately you become anxiety-free. If you don't come to the platform of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you'll always be full of anxieties. Sadā samudvigna-dhiyām asad-grahāt, hitvātma, hitvātma-pātaṁ gṛham andha-kūpaṁ vanaṁ gato, vanaṁ gato yad dharim āśrayeta (SB 7.5.5). That is the Prahlāda Mahārāja giving us direction that if you want to get relief from this status of anxiety, sadā samudvigna-dhiyām, then hitvātma-pātam, hitvātma-pātaṁ gṛham andha-kūpam... Gṛham andha-kūpam. Gṛha means... There are so many meanings. Especially it is meant: home. Home. Homesick. Our Vedic civilization is that drive away from home. Go away from home. To take sannyāsa, to take vānaprastha. Not to remain up to the last point of death as family member, grandfather or great-grandfather. That is not our Vedic civilization. As soon as one is little grown up, pañcāśordhvaṁ vanaṁ vrajet, he must get out from this gṛham andha-kūpam. Gṛham andha-kūpam, if we discuss threadbare, it may be very unpalatable. But we have to discuss from śāstra what is gṛha. Gṛha, it is... Another word, it is called aṅganāśrayam. Aṅganā. Aṅganā means woman. To live under the protection of wife. Aṅganāśraya. So śāstra recommends that you give up this aṅganāśrayam to go to the paramahaṁsa-āśrayam. Then your life will be saved. Otherwise, as Prahlāda Mahārāja says, gṛham andha-kūpam, "If you keep yourself always in this dark well of so-called family life, then you'll never be happy." Ātma-pātam. Ātma-pātam means you'll never be able to understand spiritual life. Of course, not always, but generally. Generally, who are too much attached to family life or extended family life... Extended... Family life, then society life, then community life, then national life, then international life. They're all gṛham andha-kūpam. All gṛham andha-kūpam.

So the Prahlāda Mahārāja advising that "You give up all this nonsense conceptions" Vanaṁ gato yad dharim āśrayeta (SB 7.5.5). Just vanaṁ gataḥ, means just become free from this conception, gṛham andha-kūpam conception of life. Take the broader life of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then you'll be happy. Hitvātma-pātaṁ gṛham andha-kūpaṁ vanaṁ gato yad dharim āśrayeta (SB 7.5.5). Harim āśrayeta. The real business is harim āśrayeta. Vanaṁ gataḥ. Vanaṁ gataḥ means go to the forest. Formerly, after gṛhastha life, vānaprastha life, sannyāsa life, they used to live in the forest. But going to the forest is not the main purpose of life. Because in the forest there are many animals. Does it mean they are advanced in spiritual life? That is called markaṭa-vairāgya. Markaṭa-vairāgya means "monkey renunciation." Monkey is naked. Nāga-bābā. Naked. And eats fruit, monkey, and lives underneath a tree or on the tree. But he has got at least three dozen wives. So this markaṭa-vairāgya, this kind of renunciation, has no value. Real renunciation. Real renunciation means you have to give up the andha-kūpa life and take shelter of Kṛṣṇa, harim āśrayeta. If you take shelter of Kṛṣṇa, then you can give up this, all this "ism" life. Otherwise, it is not possible; you'll be entrapped by this "ism" life. So hitvātma-pātaṁ gṛham andha-kūpaṁ vanaṁ gato yad dharim āśrayeta (SB 7.5.5). Not to give up... If you give up something, you must take up something. Otherwise, it will be disturbed. Take up. That is recommendation: paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate (BG 9.59). You can give up your family life, social life, political life, this life, that life when you take Kṛṣṇa conscious life. Otherwise, it is not possible. Otherwise, you must have to take some of this life. There is no question of your freedom. There is no question of freedom from anxieties. This is the way.

So here the same thing, that tattva-darśibhiḥ, those who are actually seer of the Absolute Truth... athāto brahma jijñāsā, as it is said in the Vedānta-sūtra... Just yesterday, one boy was asking me: "What is the Vedānta? Vedānta, what is the meaning of Vedānta?" It is very nice, it is very easy. Veda means knowledge, and anta means ultimate. So Vedānta means ultimate knowledge. So ultimate knowledge is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo vedānta-kṛd veda-vid ca aham. He is the maker of Vedānta and He is the knower of Vedānta. Unless He is knower of Vedānta, how He can write Vedānta? Actually, Vedānta philosophy is written by Vyāsadeva, incarnation of Kṛṣṇa. So He's vedānta-kṛt. And He's vedānta-vit also. So the question was whether Vedānta means advaita-vāda or dvaita-vāda. So it is very easy to understand. The first aphorism of Vedānta: athāto brahma jijñāsā, to inquire about Brahman, the Absolute Truth. Now the, to inquire where? If you want to inquire, you must go to somebody who knows the thing. Therefore, immediately, in the very beginning of the Vedānta-sūtra, there is duality, that one must inquire, and one must answer. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. So in Vedānta-sūtra, how you can it is advaita-vāda? It is dvaita-vāda, from the very beginning. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. One must inquire what is Brahman, and one must reply, or the spiritual master, or the disciple, that it is dual. How you can say it is advaita-vāda? So we have to study in this way. Here it is said, tattva-darśibhiḥ. Tattva-darśibhiḥ means vedānta-vit, one who knows Vedānta. Janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). One who knows the Absolute Truth, from where everything begins. Janmādy asya yataḥ. That is the beginning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.