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Hedonism

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Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

"Get money some way or other and live." That is Cārvāka theory. Hedonism. "Get money..." So this is going, this civilization is going on.
Lecture on BG 2.22 -- Hyderabad, November 26, 1972:

So brain may be a, a combination of nice matter, but it cannot work without the spirit soul. We should clearly understand this. And if we accept this body as the everything... Just like the other day, I told you, I met one big professor, Russian professor, in Moscow. He said, "Swamiji, after this body is finished, everything's finished." This is the atheistic theory. This is not new. In India there are many atheists, followers of Cārvāka. According to Cārvāka Muni, his theory is: bhasmi bhūtasya dehasya punaḥ kutaḥ punar āgamano bhavet ṛṇaṁ kṛtvā ghṛtaṁ pibet yāvad jīvet sukhaṁ jīvet. Ṛṇaṁ kṛtvā pibet. "Just live joyfully, merrily..." "No, I have no money." "All right. Take, beg, borrow and steal. Some way or other, get money." That is going on. "Get money some way or other and live." That is Cārvāka theory. Hedonism. "Get money..." So this is going, this civilization is going on. "Somehow or other, get money." Because without money, you cannot get woman, you cannot get nice palatable food, nice dress, nice apartment, nice car. "So bring money, somehow or other." Everyone is coming forward as very philanthropist leader. The aim is how to get money. That's all. That is their philanthropism. They, they speak so many nonsense things, but the real idea is how to get money.

If you cannot see Kṛṣṇa physically... Although Kṛṣṇa is present everywhere, but we have no eyes to see Him. Therefore this Deity worship... Deity is not hedonism or idol worship. No. Deity is as good as the original Supreme Personality of Godhead. He's absolute.
Lecture on BG 2.32 -- London, September 2, 1973:

If you cannot see Kṛṣṇa physically... Although Kṛṣṇa is present everywhere, but we have no eyes to see Him. Therefore this Deity worship... Deity is not hedonism or idol worship. No. Deity is as good as the original Supreme Personality of Godhead. He's absolute. His form and He is not different. Abhinnatvān nāma-nāminoḥ (CC Madhya 17.133). Abhinna, identical. We are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, not that like gramophone.(?) No. We are associating with Kṛṣṇa. Abhinnatvān nāma-nāminoḥ. By chanting Kṛṣṇa's name, Kṛṣṇa is present on your tongue. Unless we realize in that way, then it is the period of nāma-aparādha or nāmābhāsa. Not nāmābhāsa—nāma-aparādha. This is nāma-aparādha, to consider that the name is different from the person. As we have got experience in the material world that the name is different from the substance. If you want to drink water, simply if you chant "water, water, water," your thirst will not be satisfied. But in spiritual world, the absolute world, the name and the person is the same. Otherwise, why we stress so much on chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa name?

That is nastik theory. This nastik or atheism... One of them is Carvaka. He's very famous atheist. His philosophy is hedonism.
Lecture on BG 4.9 -- Bombay, March 29, 1974:

That is nastik theory. This nastik or atheism... There were many saints in India also. One of them is Carvaka. He's very famous atheist. His philosophy is hedonism. Ṛṇaṁ kṛtvā ghṛtaṁ pibet yāvaj jīvet sukhaṁ jīvet. His theory is, because in India the luxury is to eat something which is cooked in ghee: luci, purī, halavā. So Carvaka Muni says that you take loan from your friends if you have no money and eat as much as possible ghee. Ṛṇaṁ kṛtvā ghṛtaṁ pibet yāvaj jīvet sukhaṁ jīvet. And so long you live, you live by gratifying your senses. Here sukham means sense gratification.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

If it is applicable for their satisfaction of senses, they'll do it. They'll do it. They don't care anything. "Oh, I can satisfy my senses by this way. Never mind. Oh, we don't care for God, don't care for sin or hell or this or that. They are all simply allegory." Hedonism.
Lecture on SB 1.5.13 -- New Vrindaban, June 16, 1969:

So viṣṇu-bhakto bhaved daiva āsuras tad-viparyayaḥ. Unless, even after having all the qualifications, material qualifications, if one is simply nonsense about God, he is rākṣasa, or demon. That is the injunction, or that is the verdict of Vedas. You may have all material qualifications. That's all right. You may be very great man. You may be very well situated man, very much educated, but if you are godless, then you are demon. Viṣṇu-bhakta... That is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā. Kṛṣṇa says, na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ (BG 7.15). Duṣkṛtinaḥ. Duṣkṛtinaḥ means these rascals, these demons, these atheists, these godless men can act in any way for their sense gratification. They can do any sinful act, never mind, however grievous it may be. If it is applicable for their satisfaction of senses, they'll do it. They'll do it. They don't care anything. "Oh, I can satisfy my senses by this way. Never mind. Oh, we don't care for God, don't care for sin or hell or this or that. They are all simply allegory." Hedonism.

That is civilization. How much you are given facilities to gratify your senses. This is the modern idea, hedonism. More eat, more drink-eat, drink, be merry, and enjoy. Sense gratification.
Lecture on SB 1.5.33 -- Vrndavana, August 14, 1974:

Actually, this is the essence of Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. What is that? People become diseased by sense gratification. Everyone knows. Too much sense gratification means creating disease. For example, some nice eatable. But if you, because it is very nice rasagullā, therefore I shall devour one dozen, that's not very good. That will create indigestion immediately. So in this material world, people are so much enthusiastic in the matter of sense gratification. Whole world. Not only now, this is the place for competition of sense gratification. Advancement of civilization means, the so-called civilization, material civ..., means how much you are able to gratify your senses. That is civilization. How much you are given facilities to gratify your senses. This is the modern idea, hedonism. More eat, more drink-eat, drink, be merry, and enjoy. Sense gratification.

"So long I am living, let me enjoy life." This is the modern philosophy, hedonism. But that is not the fact.
Lecture on SB 1.8.25 -- Los Angeles, April 17, 1973:

These, they, people do not know that. They think, especially in this age that: "I am now in comfortable position. I have got enough money. I have got enough estate. I have got enough comforts, enough food. So as soon as the body's finished so I am not going to take birth again. So long I am living, let me enjoy life." This is the modern philosophy, hedonism. But that is not the fact. Kuntī is therefore anxious: apunar bhava-darśanam (SB 1.8.25). Apunar bhava, not to repeat. If you see always Kṛṣṇa, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa consciousness means always thinking of Kṛṣṇa. Your consciousness should be absorbed in Kṛṣṇa thought.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures

The Vaiṣṇava is always thinking how to deliver these fallen souls who are so much captivated with this false philosophy of hedonism—"Eat, drink, be merry and enjoy." This is called hedonism. So they are always thinking how to deliver them.
Lecture on CC Adi-lila 1.12 -- Mayapur, April 5, 1975:

So the activities of Advaita Ācārya means that He's īśvara. He called Caitanya Mahāprabhu to come down. That is īśvara. You cannot call the Supreme Personality of Godhead to come down. That is not possible. But īśvara, or one who has attained the power of attorney from īśvara, he can do that. It is no otherwise possible. Otherwise, it is impossible. Kṛṣṇa-śakti vinā nahe nāma pracāra. We have to receive the authority from Kṛṣṇa. Then it is possible to preach the cult of Hare Kṛṣṇa movement. That means Īśvara, and anyone who attains the power of attorney from Īśvara, he's also īśvara. That is called power of attorney. He can act on behalf of the proprietor. That is possible. So Advaita, Advaita Ācārya did it. He inaugurated this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. When He saw that the people are so much misled that simply they are busy for the bodily necessities of life and completely have forgotten Kṛṣṇa, He became sympathetic. That is Vaiṣṇava behavior. Vaiṣṇavas, they are the best friend of the society, best friend, Vaiṣṇava. Patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ. The Vaiṣṇava is always thinking how to deliver these fallen souls who are so much captivated with this false philosophy of hedonism—"Eat, drink, be merry and enjoy." This is called hedonism. So they are always thinking how to deliver them. Advaita Prabhu did it; therefore He is Īśvara. Prahlāda Mahārāja did it. Any Vaiṣṇava who is actually feeling for the poor, conditioned souls, he must make arrangement for delivering these rascals from the death knell of ignorance. They do not know that nature is working, as it is said here, māyayā. Māyayā. The material nature means māyā. That is an energy, or agent of Kṛṣṇa, to act something, instrumental. Māyā is instrumental. Māyā is not all in all. Material nature is not all in all. That is foolish observation. This materialistic theory of creation—"There was a chunk, and there was..."

Festival Lectures

That is the difference between idol worship and Deity worship. If there is no life, then it is idol worship, hedonism. And when there is life, feeling, "Where is Kṛṣṇa? Here is Kṛṣṇa. Oh, I have to serve Kṛṣṇa, I have to dress Him, I have to serve Rādhārāṇī, She is here. Oh, I must do it very nicely. And as far as possible decorate Her to the best capacity."
Sri Sri Rukmini Dvarakanatha Deity Installation -- Los Angeles, July 16, 1969:

Fire, you are also fire, but now you are covered fire, covered by this material body. Therefore you have to spiritualize this body by purificatory process. The same example, just like the iron rod, it is iron, but you put into the fire. It becomes warm, warmer, warmer, then red hot, then it is fire. Similarly, by this process, chanting process, by regulative process, you are becoming warmer, warmer, warmer, warmer. And when you fully become red hot warm, then your body is as good as Kṛṣṇa's. So we have to keep ourself always in the fire of Kṛṣṇa consciousness; then everything is all right. (laughs) Otherwise, it will become dull and it will be simply idol worship. That's all. That is the difference between idol worship and Deity worship. If there is no life, then it is idol worship, hedonism. And when there is life, feeling, "Where is Kṛṣṇa? Here is Kṛṣṇa. Oh, I have to serve Kṛṣṇa, I have to dress Him, I have to serve Rādhārāṇī, She is here. Oh, I must do it very nicely. And as far as possible decorate Her to the best capacity." In this way, if you always feel Kṛṣṇa conscious, then you are fire. The same example, keeping with the fire. And if you think it is a brass-made doll, I mean to say, idol... Ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham (BG 4.11). If you think this is a brass-made idol, then it will remain a brass-made idol to you forever. But if you elevate yourself to higher platform of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then Kṛṣṇa, this Kṛṣṇa, will talk with you. This Kṛṣṇa will talk with you.

General Lectures

Either you say God or Absolute Truth or the Supersoul, the same thing. But this life is meant for understanding. If we miss this opportunity, we do not know where we are going. The defect of the modern civilization is they don't care. Hedonism, Cārvāka's theory.
Lecture -- Seattle, October 9, 1968:

There are so many verses of this govindam ādi-puruṣam, the Brahma-saṁhitā. And Bhagavad-gītā also, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also. So there is immense knowledge of understanding. It is a great science, science of God. So if anyone is interested about understanding the science of God, then he should take seriously this movement of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Now one may question, "Why should I be interested to understand the science of God? Why not to understand the science of so many material things? Why one should be..." No. This is the necessity. That is the Vedānta's injunction. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. This is the opportunity. This human form of life is the opportunity to understand the science of the Absolute. Either you say God or Absolute Truth or the Supersoul, the same thing. But this life is meant for understanding. If we miss this opportunity, we do not know where we are going. The defect of the modern civilization is they don't care. Hedonism, Cārvāka's theory. There was, long, long before, there was an atheist philosopher. As there are many atheist philosophers nowadays, in former days also. He was known as Cārvāka Muni. According to his opinion, he says that don't care for next life. Don't care. Bhasmī-bhūtasya dehasya kuto punar āgamano bhavet. He says... Because according to Vedic system, the body is burned after death. As you bury underground... There are three processes everywhere. Somebody throws away for being eaten up by birds, or somebody puts within the ground, or somebody burns it. So Cārvāka Muni says that "After burning this body, who is coming and who is responsible? You see. You live merrily as far as possible. Ṛṇaṁ kṛtvā ghṛtaṁ pibet. If you have no money, then borrow or steal, but live very nicely for sense pleasure." That is Cārvāka Muni's theory, and mostly, at the present moment, that theory is being followed. But the question is that Cārvāka Muni says there is no next life. What is the proof? Does it mean that his word is proof that there is no next life? Then everyone will say something. Of course, that is being accepted. Anyone discovers or says something nonsense, it is accepted.

The whole world, especially the Western country, their ideology, philosophy, is this, hedonism. "Enjoy this life very comfortably, as nicely as possible." But that is a great defect and great mistake.
Lecture -- Detroit, July 16, 1971:

So we are contemplating to live in this material world very comfortably. That has become our business. That is very much manifest in your Western countries. They are always busy how to live comfortably in this world. But they forget that one day will come, however secure and comfortable we may make our country or home, we will be kicked out: "Please get out immediately." You cannot say that "I have not finished my decoration of the apartment. Let me stay here for some days." No. The death is so cruel that one day, all of a sudden, it will come and say, "Please get out immediately." So if I could not finish my business during that time, and if I am kicked out, then just imagine how much loss we suffer and what kind of fool we are. The modern civilization, they do not know this. They think that "This body has come out all of a sudden by accident"—and the body means the senses—"and let us enjoy the senses to the best capacity. That is perfection of life." The whole world, especially the Western country, their ideology, philosophy, is this, hedonism. "Enjoy this life very comfortably, as nicely as possible." But that is a great defect and great mistake. Those who are in gross sense enjoyment platform, it is very difficult for them to understand. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, bhogaiśvarya-prasaktānāṁ tayāpahṛta-cetasām (BG 2.44). Those who are too much attached to material sense enjoyment, bhoga... Bhoga means material sense enjoyment. And roga, roga means which puts impediments to sense enjoyment, or diseased condition. You cannot enjoy life in diseased condition.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

"So long as I am alive, enjoy as much as you can." Yes, that is their philosophy. Hedonism.
Morning Walk -- May 9, 1973, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: What merciful? Animal has mercifulness. They are animals only. This modern civilization is producing animals. That's it. Who was speaking that slaughterhouse they are giving some injection that the animal may not feel pain? Rascal, he is killing him, and he is humanitarian work, he may not feel killed. If I say, "I shall kill you, but you will not feel any pain. Come on." This is their philosophy. They are killing, and they are saying, "Oh, may not be feeling any pain." Such rascaldom is going on. I therefore do not talk with any rascal except my disciples. I know they are all rascals. Waste of time. All this rascaldom is coming out of that wrong notion that life is from matter, that wrong notion.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: That is why they say, "So long as I am alive, enjoy as much as you can."

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is their philosophy. Hedonism.

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

Their developed consciousness is being used for sense gratification. That's all. They have taken up, sense gratification is the highest aim of life. Hedonism.
Morning Walk -- June 2, 1974, Geneva:

Yogeśvara: In the ancient tribal system, there was some form of religiosity. There was some form of worship of God. The so-called modern civilization doesn't even maintain that.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Their developed consciousness is being used for sense gratification. That's all. They have taken up, sense gratification is the highest aim of life. Hedonism. What is that hedonism?

Karandhara: Hedonism means to eat, sleep and be merry.

Prabhupāda: That's all.