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If I have to gain something supernatural which will give me the ultimate benefit of my life, then why shall I wait for old age?

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"If I have to gain something supernatural which will give me the ultimate benefit of my life, then why shall I wait for old age"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Generally we think that when we are old we die. But who can say that I'm not old enough to die in the next moment? If I have to gain something supernatural which will give me the ultimate benefit of my life, then why shall I wait for old age? Immediately let us begin.
Lecture on SB 7.6.1 -- New York, April 9, 1969:

So our, this paramparā system from Lord Caitanya, as we have given account just now, we do not manufacture any knowledge by our fertile brain. We accept knowledge as it is coming down from the supreme authority. That is the process of... That is perfect knowledge. That is perfect knowledge. Just like we receive knowledge from our parents, "This is called lamp, this is called table, this is called book." If you protest against it, "Why shall I call it book? I may call it something else." You can do that, but that is deviation from the knowledge. So paramparā system is considered to be perfect system of knowledge. Perfect... I may be imperfect or my disciple may be imperfect, but if you stick to the knowledge coming down from the paramparā system, then I am perfect. It is so simple, nice thing. Just like a child. His parent teaches him, "This is called watch, timekeeper, timepiece." If he accepts it, he hasn't got to make a research, that, "Why it is called timepiece?" (laughter) It is very easy system. "My father has told me this is timepiece. I accept it as timepiece," and everyone will understand that this is a timepiece. But if I manufacture some name out of my fertile brain, "This is this," oh, people will call me crazy, "What you are saying?" So the paramparā system is very nice and...

Just like, man is mortal. Man is mortal, I have learned it from my parents or my teachers that man is mortal. Now, if you want to make research worker, work, whether man is mortal or not, it will take long, long time. But you accept it from the authorities, man is mortal, your knowledge is perfect. So this paramparā system of knowledge is given in the Vedic system of knowledge, and this system of knowledge is followed by the great ācāryas, and the Prahlāda Mahārāja is one of the great ācāryas. So you try to accept what Prahlāda Mahārāja is advising to his classfellows.

So what he's advising? Kaumāra ācaret prājño. Kaumāra ācaret prājño dharmān bhāgavatān iha (SB 7.6.1). He's advising, "My dear friends, Kṛṣṇa consciousness should be practiced from the childhood." From the childhood. So, why childhood? Because if one is intelligent, he says prājñaḥ... Prājñaḥ means intelligent. If one is intelligent, he can understand that "There is no certainty whether this is my childhood or old age." Because generally we think that when we are old we die. But who can say that I'm not old enough to die in the next moment? If I have to gain something supernatural which will give me the ultimate benefit of my life, then why shall I wait for old age? Immediately let us begin. If Kṛṣṇa consciousness is very nice thing and if it will give us the highest benediction of my life, then if I am intelligent, then I must begin it immediately. Without any delay. Because generally people think that childhood or youthhood should be enjoyed.

The Śaṅkarācārya he was passing on the road and he's singing. He was lamenting, what is that? Balas tavad krida sakta. Oh, all these boys are playing. Generally, when you pass a road you see the boys are playing, very much busy, and they're very jolly in playing. Bālas tāvad krīḍāsaktas taruṇas tāvad taruṇī raktaḥ. And young boys, they're after young girls. You see? Taruṇas tāvad taruṇī-rakto vṛddhas tāvad anta-magnaḥ. And the old man they are very much morose, what is to be done next. Parame brahmaṇi ko 'pi na lagnaḥ. Oh, everyone is busy. Nobody's interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, spiritual life. Everyone is busy. How they are spoiling their life! That is the version of Śaṅkarācārya. He's lamenting, that the boys, the youths, the old man, they are very happy in their materialistic way of life, but a spiritualistic man like Śaṅkarācārya or Lord Jesus Christ, they are unhappy, "Oh, what foolish things they are doing." That is the thankless task of persons who are spiritually enlightened. They can see it plain that how they are spoiling their valuable life. Simply for sense gratification.

So Prahlāda Mahārāja is practically instructed the same thing, that kaumāra ācaret prājño dharmān bhāgavatān (SB 7.6.1). Dharmān bhāgavatān iha Bhāgavatān dharmaḥ. Dharma means your occupational duty. The "religion," word "religion," translation of the Sanskrit word, dharma, is not perfect. Is not perfect. Religion is a kind of faith. That we can change. But dharma, dharma means your occupational duty. You cannot change. You have to execute it. What is our dharma? What is our compulsory duty? I have several times analyzed this fact. Our compulsory duty is to serve. Compulsory duty. Every one of us is serving and all the boys and girls present here can know it. And nobody can deny that he or she is not serving. Everyone is serving. That is our compulsory duty. I may change my faith I am Christian or I am Hindu. I may change myself to become a Mohammedan or Christian or Hindu, but my real occupational duty is to render service to others. That cannot be changed. That is the real enunciation of religion. And therefore in the Vedic system it is called sanātana-dharma.

Sanātana-dharma means that eternal occupational duty which you cannot cease. Now, Prahlāda Mahārāja is advising that, dharmān bhāgavatān. Bhāgavatān means... Bhāgavata means pertaining to Bhagavān. And Bhagavān means to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So bhāgavata is the adjective form of the noun word Bhagavān. Bhaga, real form of the word is bhagavat. Bhagavat. Vat means possessing, and bhaga means opulences. One who possess all the opulences, He's called bhagavat. And from bhagavat this word has come, bhāgavata. So bhāgavata means pertaining to God and His devotees. That is called bhāgavata. Just like this book is called Bhāgavata because it deals only with the subject matter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, nothing more. Bas. Therefore it is called Bhāgavata. And you'll find description in this book, the dealings between Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and His devotees. So there are two kinds of bhāgavatam. The devotee bhāgavatam and the book Bhāgavatam. And Prahlāda Mahārāja advises that from the very child-hood if one is very intelligent then his duty is kaumāra ācaret prājño dharmān bhāgavatān iha (SB 7.6.1). One should engage himself in the execution of the duties, occupational duties, in relationship with devotees and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thank you very much.