When one comes to the point that "I have rendered service in so many ways. So neither I am happy nor the person to whom I have served, they are happy. Then what is the remedy?" That is discussed in the Vedānta-sūtra philosophy. Athāto brahma jijñāsā: "Now inquire about your real master, Brahman, or the Supreme, the great, the Absolute Truth." That is required. So we should be prepared like that, that we have served our propensities, different propensities, lusty desire, greediness, anger, kāma, krodha, lobha, mohaḥ... Mohaḥ means illusion. I am doing something wrong, and I am thinking it is all right. This is called illusion, mohaḥ. Mātsarya. Mātsarya means envious, to become envious. Every one of us, either individually or socially or community-wise or nationally, we are all envious. The Russians, they are envious of the Americans, and the Americans, they are envious of the Russians. Similarly, everyone. That is the nature. So we are serving all these propensities. Now, this is called pravṛtti-mārga, progress towards sense gratification in different ways. And if we stop that and make progress to our real self-realization, real happiness, that is called nivṛtti-mārga.
Inquire (Lectures, SB cantos 6 - 12)
So everyone knows that you have got mind, I have got mind. Everyone knows that you have got intelligence, I have got intelligence. And everyone is puffed up with some identification, "I am this, I am that." These three conception, this is called subtle. Subtle body. So we simply see the gross body, but we do not see the subtle body. When death take place—that means this gross body is finished—then the subtle body is there. And the subtle body carries the soul to another gross body. That we cannot see. Therefore we do not understand how this spirit soul is migrating, transmigrating from one body to another. We do not see. Therefore our seeing should be through knowledge, paśyati jñāna-cakṣuṣā, not this gross seeing. Gross seeing is imperfect. It has no value. We know. We should inquire that "This gross body is finished. Now what about the subtle body?"
Sādhu-saṅga means you have to give up the association of nondevotees. This question was asked to Śrī Caitanya was asked to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu by a devotee. He was householder. So he inquired, "My dear Sir, what is the real standard of behavior of a devotee?" He immediately answered that asat-saṅga tyāga ei vaiṣṇava-ācāra (CC Madhya 22.87). "Vaiṣṇava devotee, his first behavior is he should give up unwanted association." That is first. Now, the next question will be: "What is that unwanted association?" He answered, asat eka strī-saṅgī kṛṣṇābhakta' āra: "This unwanted association means people who are too much attached to sex life, they are unwanted. And the another: nondevotee of God. They are unwanted." So you be careful not to mix with these people and come to the devotional service, then your life is perfect.
Initiation is the third stage. First stage is that... Just like you have come. This is called śraddhā, faith, little faith, not full faith. Then you have to increase this faith by association of devotee. That is required. And when the faith is increased, then the question of initiation. Initiation should not be immediately offered. That will be misused. Therefore when we initiate, we inquire from the head of the temple, "How long he is coming? What is his behavior?" If he certifies that "Yes, he is doing nice," then we initiate. Our initiation is not so cheap, "You come and be initiated." No, we do not do that. We must test you first of all. Then we initiate.
That is also accepted in the Padma Purāṇa, 8,400,000 species, forms of life, and then we come to this human form of life. What is next? That is the question. But they have no knowledge. They have no sense. They cannot explain what is next. And there is next life. If by evolutionary process through the channel of so many species of life, 900,000 aquatics. Jalajā nava-lakṣāni sthāvarā lakṣa... Two millions trees and plants, then 1100,000 insects, and one million species of birds, and then 33,000,000 species of animals, four-legged animals, paśu. And then we get this human form of life, especially civilized form of life. Then what is next? That question nobody inquires, neither there is answer by the so-called modern scientist, that what is next.
So Vedānta philosophy says I... That is Vedānta philosophy, ultimate knowledge. The ultimate knowledge, that is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, what is that ultimate knowledge. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam (BG 15.15). You are cultivating knowledge. "The ultimate goal of knowledge," Kṛṣṇa says, "is to know Me." Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam (BG 15.15). The whole knowledge is meant for understanding God. That is the end of knowledge. By progressive knowledge you can make progress, but unless you do come to the point to understand what is God, then your knowledge is imperfect. That is called Vedānta. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. This human form of life, nice facility, intelligence... Just like Australia was undeveloped. Since the Europeans came here, it is now very developed, resourceful, because the intelligence has been utilized. Similarly, America, many other places. So this intelligence should be utilized. But if we simply utilize this intelligence for the same purpose as the cats and dogs are engaged, then it is not proper utilization. The proper utilization is Vedānta. Athāto brahma jijñāsā: "Now you should inquire about Brahman, the Absolute." That is intelligence.
So the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, as I have repeatedly said, it is that culture. Athāto brahma jijñāsā: "What is the ultimate aim of life, ultimate goal of life?" Because I am eternal. I am simply changing body. Na jāyate na mriyate va kadācit. Kadācit means at any time the ātmā, the soul, is never born, na jāyate, the living soul. Na jāyate. Na jāyate means never born. "But I see. My child is born." No, that you see, the body of the child, not the child as soul. That is knowledge. That is called brahma-jñāna, that "This body... I am not this body; I am spirit soul." Then the inquiry will be "Then wherefrom the spirit soul has come?" That should be the inquiry. "And why, if I am eternal, then why I am put to this condition of repetition of birth and death?" These are inquiries. This is called brahma-jijñāsā. Brahma-jijñāsā means inquiry about the spirit soul. That is brahma-jijñāsā. So in this way we should utilize our intelligence, life, not simply for these bodily comforts of life, no. That bodily comforts of life even the dogs and hogs they are also seeking. They are also seeking. Then what is the difference between dogs, hogs, and myself? Therefore śāstra says, nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛloke kaṣṭān kāmān arhate viḍ-bhujāṁ ye (SB 5.5.1).
So human life is meant for finding out who is there to operate. That is human life. Otherwise it cats' and dogs' life. They are eating, sleeping, mating, and dancing. That's all. That is not human life. You must find out who is the operator. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. This is called, in Sanskrit word, "Now this human form of life is meant for inquiring about the supreme operator." Now, that supreme operator, Kṛṣṇa, is so kind. He is giving evidence in the Bhagavad-gītā, mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram: (BG 9.10) "Now here I am. Under My direction the prakṛti, the nature, material nature, is working." So you accept. Then your business is done. And Kṛṣṇa give evidences how He is controlling the nature. When Kṛṣṇa was seven years old, He lifted one big mountain on His finger. That means the Our understanding is that there is law of gravitation. By law of gravitation, such a big mountain, it cannot stay in one man's finger. That is our calculation. But He did it. That means He counteracted the law of gravitation. That is God. So if you believe this, then you know God immediately. There is no difficulty. Just like if the child is warned, "My dear child, do not touch fire. It will burn you." So if the child accepts, then he gets the perfect knowledge immediately. If the child does not accept, he wants to make experiment, then he will burn his finger.
So I couldn't go out before half-past-nine to the Regent Park, and it was full of snow and ice, and it is very difficult to walk. So just like in this planet there are different places of different conditions, so it is natural to accept it that different planets have got different atmosphere, different opulences, different kinds of population, living entities. Keśava tuyā jagat vicitra. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has sung that "My dear Kṛṣṇa, Your creation is variegated." There are different types. Similarly, there are planets where hellish conditions perpetually continue. Just like you can compare the northern pole. It is a hellish condition within this earth. And similarly, there are planets, so, and they are suffering. So Parīkṣit Mahārāja inquired that
- adhuneha mahā-bhāga
- yathaiva narakān naraā
- nānogra-yātanān neyāt
- tan me vyākhyātum arhasi
"You have described 'For this kind of sinful activities one has to take his birth in this kind of planet or this kind of place.' Now please let me know how these suffering living entities can be delivered from this suffering condition, different varieties of suffering condition." Ugra. Ugra means very acute. "If there is any means to deliver them?" So that answer is given.
You have read in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta that one Buddhimanta Khan, he was formerly... He was very rich man and Nawab Hussain Shah was the servant when he was not Nawab. So he was menial servant. So he stole some money as servants are generally habituated. So he whipped him with his cane. So that whipping stripe was on his back side. When he was Nawab, so his wife saw it and inquired, "What is this scar?" So he replied the whole story, that "I was formerly a menial servant to this Buddhimanta Khan and I did something wrong. So as my father, he punished me. That's all. He was treating me as my son." So he admitted that he was so kind. But his wife said, "Oh, this scar is a defamation. If somebody sees and you explain, then it will be known that you were a menial servant previously."
That is friend's action—father, mother or friend. Similarly, Vaiṣṇava, Vaiṣṇava is patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ. We offer our respectful obeisances to Vaiṣṇava because Vaiṣṇava is meant for delivering the fallen souls. That is Vaiṣṇava's business. They have taken so much trouble just to deliver the fallen souls from the sinful activities, and those who are being punished, to save them, this is Vaiṣṇava's business. So Parīkṣit Mahārāja, not for himself, but for others he inquired this question: "My dear Śukadeva Goswāmī, I understand that these people are suffering so many different types of punishment. But how to rescue, rescue them? Is there any method to rescue them? If there is, kindly describe, kindly describe." Adhuneha mahā-bhāga yathaiva narakān naraḥ. Adhuna—now; iha—in this world; mahā-bhāga. Mahā-bhāga, the Śukadeva Goswāmī is described, mahā-bhāga, most fortunate. A Vaiṣṇava is most fortunate.
So any slight deviation from the law and we are put into undesirable condition. That is a fact. Just like here, according to Vedic principle, the laws are given by Manu, Manu. From Manu, the word manuṣya has come, or "man." And there is Manu-saṁhitā. In the Manu-saṁhitā it is stated that if a man commits murder then he should be hanged. He should be hanged. That is followed by every human society. Why? Because the sinful activities which he has enacted, if he is punished in this life, then he'll not so suffer again in the next life. His punishment will be finished. So that is a favor. If a murderer is hanged, then that is a favor shown by the government, because the next life you'll not have to suffer. So when Parīkṣit Mahārāja inquired,
- adhuneha mahā-bhāga
- yathaiva narakān naraḥ
- nānogra-yātanān neyāt
- tan me vyākhyātum arhasi
"Kindly describe how these sinful men who are suffering, how they can be rescued from this sinful reaction?"
The he comes to the standard of human life. And there is Upaniṣad, Kena Upaniṣad. Kena means "why." Just like Sanātana Gosvāmī, when he approached Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he placed this question, "Why? Why I am suffering?" Ke āmi, kene jāre tāpa-traya. "I do not want to die. Why there is death? I do not want to suffer from disease. Why there is disease? I do not want to take birth. Why I am put into the womb of mother again and again? Janma-mṛtyu jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9). And I do not want to become old. Why I am forced to become old?" When a person comes to this standard, to inquire "Why these things are there?" this is real intelligence. Intelligence does not mean you gather, like asses, all the stones and iron and put them together and be satisfied that "Oh, I am very happy." That is asses' business. Ass is very expert to overload his body with heavy tons of... You know that? Maybe you do not know, but in India there is washerman, he puts tons of cloth over the back of the ass, and it carries. It cannot move, still it carries it.
Therefore Parīkṣit Mahārāja here, Śukadeva Goswāmī, "Yes. Real prāyaścitta is to inquire, to become inquisitive." This is the Vedānta-sūtra, beginning of Vedānta-sūtra philosophy. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. Vimarśanam. And,
- nāśnataḥ pathyam evānnaṁ
- vyādhayo abhibhavanti hi
- evaṁ niyamakṛd rājan
- śanaiḥ kṣemāya kalpate
- (SB 6.1.12)
He's prescribing first thing. Just like if you live regularly, if you take foodstuff not more than what you require, if take nice foodstuff, healthy foodstuff, if you follow the hygienic principles, then you will never be attacked with disease. Very reasonable (indistinct). Similarly, we have to live very regulated life; then we shall not be affected or infected by sinful activities. That is the prescription.
So therefore this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is the greatest welfare activity to the human society. Those who are intelligent enough, they should try to understand it and help it as much as possible. Otherwise it is very risky civilization. People are kept into ignorance. He does not know what is the value of life. He does not know what he is. He does not know what is God. He does not know what is life. He does not know what he is going to become next life. He's completely in darkness. Therefore Bhāgavata says, parābhavas tāvad abodha-jāto yāvan na jijñāsata ātma-tattvam. So long he does not inquire that "What I am? What is my necessity? Why I am suffering?" Unless one comes to this position of inquisitiveness, whatever he is doing, it is all defeat for him. It is all defeat for him because he does not know what is his position. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is just to giving him the chance to understand himself, and it is very easy, it is very easy.
So there was the king in Bengal at that time. He was known as Nawab Hussein Shah. Formerly he was a Mohammedan servant to a big Hindu landlord. So this boy servant committed some theft so the master punished him by striking with a cane. So the striking mark of the cane was there on his backside. So one day the Nawab's wife, Begam, saw the mark and inquired from her husband, "What is this mark?" So the Nawab described that in his childhood, when he was a servant of that Hindu gentleman, Buddhimanta Khan, he beat him with that cane and that mark is there. So the wife of the Nawab, Begum Sair(?), she requested that "You kill this man. Otherwise people will blaspheme you." The Nawab, however, declined. "No, no, this cannot... This is not possible. He was my master, just like my father. He chastised me. There was no fault." So the wife then requested, "At least make him a Mohammedan." So the Nawab, to satisfy his wife, he agreed, "Well, that is not very difficult task." So one day he called Buddhimanta Khan and sprinkled the water on his body.
So we have come to that stage of civilization. But Parīkṣit Mahārāja, simply by hearing from Śukadeva Gosvāmī that "A person, if he commits sinful activities, he suffers like that," he is not seeing; he is compassionate: "How such person can be delivered?" This is the inquiry, that "They are suffering for some sinful activities. How they can be saved?" This is Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇava means para-duḥkha-duḥkhī. Vaiṣṇava is unhappy by seeing others' unhappiness. He has no unhappiness. Personally he has no unhappiness.
Nityānanda Prabhu, He is... Hā hā prabhu nityānanda, premānanda sukhī, kṛpābalokana koro, āmi boro duḥkhī. Nityānanda means... Nitya means eternally; ānanda means happy. So Nityānanda has no unhappiness, but He was passing on the street, there was a crowd, and Nityānanda Prabhu inquired, "Why there is so much crowd?" So somebody informed that "There are two brothers, Jagāi and Mādhāi, and they are very fallen souls, although they were born in brāhmaṇa family, very nice, rich family. But being addicted to drinking and prostitution, they have become now rogues, thieves, this way. So they are disturbing the whole neighborhood."
So here Parīkṣit Mahārāja, out of compassion, he inquired from Śukadeva Gosvāmī, "These persons, they are rotting in the naraka. Is there any means to deliver them?" That he's saying. Nānā ugra-yātanā. Ugra-yātanā. These are described. We find also, there are many persons, they are suffering ugra-yāta. Ugra means severe, severe punishment. There are living entities, they are suffering so many ugra-yātanā. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means to save people from the severe punishment of materialistic life. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Caitanya Mahāprabhu's movement, Kṛṣṇa's movement, is to save. Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata (BG 4.7). Tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham. Kṛṣṇa said. Kṛṣṇa also very compassionate: "Whenever there is discrepancies, people put themselves in great suffering. Māyā will not excuse. Nature will not excuse.
So after hearing all these descriptions of hellish planets... As there are heavenly planets, there are hellish planets also. So Parīkṣit Mahārāja inquiring from Śukadeva Gosvāmī,
- adhuneha mahā-bhāga
- yathaiva narakān naraḥ
- nānā ugra yātanān neyāt
- tan me vyākhyātum arhasi
- (SB 6.1.6)
"Sir, I have heard from you about many hellish planetary description, and the men who are very much sinful, they are put into those planets." But Parīkṣit Mahārāja is a Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇava is always feeling for others' distress. That is Vaiṣṇava. (aside:) Don't make this sound. (indistinct) Vaiṣṇava—para-duḥkha-duḥkhī. They're very much afflicted with others', I mean to say, miserable life. Just like Lord Jesus Christ, he presented himself as very much afflicted with others' miserable condition of life. So all the Vaiṣṇavas, devotees... It doesn't matter which country he belongs to or which sect he belongs to. Anyone who is God-conscious or Kṛṣṇa conscious... Therefore to blaspheme a Vaiṣṇava, a preacher of God's glory, is great offense. Kṛṣṇa, or God, will never tolerate offense on the lotus feet of a Vaiṣṇava.
So a Vaiṣṇava is thinking, mahā-bhāga, "How these people can be delivered from this hellish condition of life?" That was his inquiry. "Sir, you have described that on account of these sinful activities, he's put into this hellish condition of life or in hellish planetary system. Now what are the countermethods by which they can be saved?" This is the question. This question... Because he is Vaiṣṇava, he is thinking, "Oh, so many living entities are suffering. How they can be saved?" A Vaiṣṇava comes, God also comes and God's son or very confidential devotee also comes. Their only mission is how to save these sinful men who are suffering so much. That is their mission. They have no other mission. Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja. When Nṛsiṁha-deva met him, he said a very nice verse. I'll quote that verse.
That is up to you. If you think that without Kṛṣṇa consciousness you'll be happy, do that. Kṛṣṇa does not object to that. Yathecchasi tathā kuru (BG 18.63). Kṛṣṇa, after advising Arjuna, He simply inquired, "Now I have explained to you everything. Whatever you desire you can now do." So immediately Arjuna replied, kariṣye vacanaṁ tava (BG 18.73): "Now I shall execute Your order." That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. God does not interfere with your little independence. If you want to act according to the order of God, then God will help you. Even sometimes you fall down, if you become sincere that "From this time, I shall remain Kṛṣṇa conscious and execute His orders," then Kṛṣṇa will help you, in all respects. Even you fall down, He'll excuse you and He will give more intelligence, "Don't do this. Now go on with your duty." But if you want to forget Kṛṣṇa, if you want to become happy without Kṛṣṇa, He, He'll give you so many chances that you'll forget Kṛṣṇa, you'll forget. Life after life. That's all.
The distinction is when a human being is inquisitive, "Why I am put into this miserable condition of life? Is there any remedy? Is there any perpetual, eternal life? I want I shall not die. I shall live very happily and peacefully. Whether there is such chance? What is that method? What is that science?" When these inquiries will be there and steps should be taken for answering the question, that is human civilization. Otherwise it is dog's civilization. If there is no such inquiry, then it is animal. Animals are satisfied if they can eat something and sleep and have some sex life and some defense. That's all. There is no defense, actually, because nobody can protect himself from the hands of the cruel death. Therefore Hiraṇyakaśipu wanted to live forever, and he underwent severe austerities. The so-called scientists are also saying that "By scientific method we shall stop death." This is also another crazy utterances. That is not possible. You may make very much advance in scientific knowledge, but there is no solution, by your so-called science, of these four problems: birth, death, old age and disease. There is no solution.
- dṛṣṭa-śrutābhyaṁ yat pāpaṁ
- jānann apy ātmano 'hitaṁ
- karoti bhūyo vivaśaḥ
- prāyaścittam atho katham
- (SB 6.1.9)
This is intelligence. Mahārāja Parīkṣit is Vaiṣṇava, and his inquiry was: "How these men who are rotting in this hellish condition can be relieved?" That was his question. So... (about music on loudspeakers:) What is that?
Jayatīrtha: The radio, some interference on the microphone. The radio is being picked up outside.
Prabhupāda: I have already explained that there are three ways, karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa, and upāsanā-kāṇḍa. Therefore Veda is called trayī, three kinds of activities. So devotees, they are not in the karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa. He is not pure devotee. Bhakti means jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam: (CC Madhya 19.167) "There is no touch of this fruitive activities or speculative knowledge." The devotees do not accept this.
Then Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued to speak, "My dear king, if a diseased person eats the pure, uncontaminated food prescribed by a physician, he is gradually cured and the infection of disease can no longer touch him. If one follows the regulative principles of knowledge, he gradually progresses toward liberation from material contamination." Therefore in the Vedānta-sūtra it is said that athāto brahma jijñāsā: "Now this life, human form of life, is simply meant for inquiring about Brahman." At the present moment, especially in this Kali-yuga, nobody is interested in brahma-jijñāsā. Therefore he prescribes from scripture,
- tapasā brahmacaryeṇa
- śamena ca damena ca
- tyāgena satya-śaucābhyaṁ
- yamena niyamena vā
- (SB 6.1.13)
One should make his life successful by tapasya, austerity, penance. So brahmācārya is one of the item. Tapasya means beginning with brahmācārya, celibacy. Here we have given the meaning of tapasya: "by austerity or voluntary rejection of material enjoyment." Tapasā bramacaryeṇa. So tapasya. I do not like something to do because it is pleasing to me, but for the sake of my advancement of spiritual life I must have it. This is called tapasya.
So does it mean that "I shall become submissive, and whatever my guru will say, I will have to accept?" No. Paripraśnena. Tad viddhi. Here is the paripraśna. Śrī-rāja uvāca. Ask him. That is intelligent. Intelligently serve. First of all we must... It is not that he is checking the guru, "How my guru is learned?" No. The submission is there. But when the guru says something, he may not understand. That concession is given, paripraśna. You inquire.
So Śukadeva Gosvāmī said that "You have to atone for your sinful activities before your death; otherwise you will suffer in the next life." Rājovāca. Rājovāca, rāja, the king, he was little doubtful about this atonement. Atonement. So his inquiry...
- dṛṣṭa-śrutābhyāṁ yat pāpaṁ
- jānann apy ātmano 'hitam
- karoti bhūyo vivaśaḥ
- prāyaścittam atho katham
- (SB 6.1.9)
"Sir, you have spoken about atonement, but they are doing atonement. Every moment they are suffering, but still, again he is committing the sinful activities. So what is the use of this atonement?" Just like in the Christian church they go to confess every weekly, "Sir, I have done it." "All right, give some fine." And again, next week, again, the same thing going on. So this is very intelligent question. The atonement is there in every religion. In the Vedic process there is atonement, but what is the use of this atonement if he does not cease committing the same sinful activity? Just like practically we see a thief. So he knows that "I am committing theft. I shall be punished if I am arrested." He knows it; otherwise why he goes silently at night and break? He knows it well that "If I am arrested I will be punished."
So Parīkṣit Mahārāja inquired from Sūta Gosvāmī, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, how the people in general, rotting in hellish life, could be saved. This is the desire of a Vaiṣṇava. Others, they do not care whether one is suffering or enjoying. But a Vaiṣṇava, a devotee of the Lord, he always thinks of the fallen condition of general people. Just like in Christian philosophy they believe that Lord Jesus Christ suffered to be crucified by assimilating all the sinful activities of the people. Yes. A devotee of Lord thinks like that. Similar devotee was Vāsudeva Datta, Lord Caitanya's... He requested the Lord that "You have come. Kindly deliver all these people now present on this earth, and take them to Vaikuṇṭha. And if You think that they are so sinful that they cannot be delivered, then please transfer all their sins unto me. I shall suffer. You take them." This is Vaiṣṇava: "So for all their sins, I shall suffer. You take them." This philosophy is also expressed in Bible, Lord Jesus Christ, that he agreed to suffer himself for the sins of all the people. But that does not mean that Jesus Christ or Vāsudeva Datta should make a contract for ourself and we shall go on committing sins. This is most heinous proposal.
When Kṛṣṇa kills, He kills wholesale. When I kill—one after another. But when Kṛṣṇa kills, they assemble all the killers and kill. Therefore there is atonement in the śāstras. Just like in your Bible also there is atonement, confession, paying some fine. But after performing atonement, why people commits the same sin again? That is to be understood.
So Parīkṣit Mahārāja is very intelligent. He's Vaiṣṇava. He therefore inquires from Śukadeva Gosvāmī that,
- dṛṣṭa-śrutābhyāṁ yat pāpaṁ
- jānann apy ātmano 'hitam
- karoti bhūyo vivaśaḥ
- prāyaścittam atho katham
- (SB 6.1.9)
A man... Suppose a man... Of course, if..., if he commits murder, he's killed and gone. That's another thing. The, the Śukadeva Gosvāmī's proposal was that tasmāt puraiva āśu iha pāpa-niṣkṛtau yateta mṛtyor avipadyatātmanā. "Before your death, next death comes, you should perform atonement so that you may not carry the sinful activities to suffer next life." If I do not commit, perform atonement for the commit, for the sinful activities, then nature will not excuse me.
Exactly like that, you are diseased, the physician gives you medicine, you are cured. But it is not guarantee that you'll not be attacked again by that type of disease. That is not guarantee. One man is suffering from venereal disease, and it is painful. Doctor gives some painful injection. Some way or other, he's cured, but again he's attacked with venereal disease, again comes to the doctor. There are many instances like that. A man has committed theft and he was punished. He was taken to the government custody and he was punished for six months or one year. And comes back. Again he commits the theft. Why? This is intelligent question. So, so Parīkṣit Mahārāja inquires from Śukadeva that 'Atonement, that's all right. You are prescribing atonement. That is all right, to counteract the sinful activities. But why a man commits again the same sinful activities? What is the remedy for that?"
Don't do this; you'll be punished. Don't kill. Thou shalt not kill. Otherwise, you'll be punished." But nobody's caring. Why? What is the remedy for that? Everything is there. Dṛṣṭa, practical experience, and śruta,... Śruta means heard also from authoritative sources. So he says, dṛṣṭa-śrutābhyāṁ yat pāpam (SB 6.1.9). Everyone knows it, jānan, everyone knows that this is pāpa, this is sinful activity. Everyone knows. Nobody can say that "I do not know that is sinful activities." Who does not know that stealing is sinful, committing murder is sinful, or so many other things? So Parīkṣit Mahārāja inquires that dṛṣṭa-śrutābhyāṁ yat pāpaṁ jānann apy ātmano 'hitam (SB 6.1.9). "And he knows that 'It is not good for me; if I steal I'll be arrested, I'll be punished, I'll be put into jail. That is not a very comfortable life.' He knows that." Karoti bhūyo vivaśaḥ. "But he commits again and again, vivaśaḥ, as if forced by something, forced by something." Karoti bhūyo vivaśaḥ prāyaścittam atho katham (SB 6.1.9).
If one has no sense to understand Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or God consciousness, he is no better than the dog and cat. No credit. According to Vedic civilization anyone who is thinking, "I am this body," and doing accordingly—for the bodily pleasure he is working so hard—so that is not knowledge. Here it is suggested that prāyaścittam vimarsanam. If you want to be saved from the tribulation offered by the material nature, then you have to very thoughtful, thinking that what is the actual position. That is the beginning of Vedānta-sūtra, that "You inquire about Brahman, the Absolute Truth." Athāto brahma jijñāsā. This human form of life, don't spoil it like cats and dogs, eating, sleeping, mating and dancing. No. So, so same dancing, same eating can be utilized when it is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then he will be... Simply by dancing and chanting and taking prasādam you'll be learned scholar.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī first recommends tapasya. Just like here, in our institution, whoever comes and becomes an initiated member, we first of all ask them to undergo tapasya. Tapasya. Especially in your country, it is a great tapasya to give up illicit sex life, to give up intoxication up to the point of smoking and tea drinking, and to give up meat-eating, and to give up gambling. Although they're only four, but it is very difficult to give up these four items. Even Lord Zetland, in England, when he was asked to do this, one of my Godbrothers, Lord Zetland, Marquis of Zetland, he inquired from my Godbrother, "Swamiji, whether you can make us brāhmaṇa?" So he said, "Yes, why not? You have to give up these four principles of life, prohibited: no illicit sex, no intoxication, no gambling, and no meat-eating." The Lord Zetland replied "Impossible." Yes, it is impossible. Because in Europe and America, this is the way of life from the very beginning. And from India, our Indian gentlemen come here to learn this art, how to do it nicely. And they think it is advancement. India is automatically taught this tapasya by their culture, but they come here to forget that culture and accept another type of life.
So if one is unable to control the senses... I have seen in some yoga practice institution in New York. They are practicing some, this āsana, and just after finishing, immediately smoking. You see. This much control they learned. So these, these are all bogus. This is not yoga system. Yoga system is not so easy, especially in this age. Yoga system means to control the senses, control the mind; and control the mind means you have to control so many things—your eating, your sleeping, your behaving. These are prescribed in the Bhagavad-gītā, how to practice the aṣṭāṅga-yoga. You have to find out a suitable place, a sacred place, a solitary place. Therefore real yogis, they used to go to Himalaya. Sometimes some young men, here, in your country, they inquire from me how to go to Himalaya, and what you'll do there, going there, Himalaya? So you are not practiced. So instead of practicing yoga in the Himalaya, you practice yoga here. We have come here to help you. Here this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is there. If you are serious about practicing yoga, this, take bhakti-yoga. That will come, how it happens in the next lines.
So this aṣṭāṅga-yoga is not possible in this age—śamo damaḥ, controlling the mind, controlling the senses.
This is the beginning of human life, that unless you come to this knowledge... athāto brahma jijñāsā. This is called brahma-jijñāsā. So that is possible in the human form of life. A dog cannot. A dog comes within your room, and you drive him away, you punish him, and still, with some plea he will come. So therefore Parīkṣit... Śukadeva Gosvāmī suggests that we have to make him free from the avidyā, ignorance. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Everyone is under the spell of māyā. Punaḥ punaḥ. Bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate (BG 8.19). It is going on, but we do not inquire that "Why I am repeatedly accepting the cycle of birth and death?" That is avidyā. They are, rather, supporting, "Suppose if I become dog, what is the wrong there?" They say like that: "What is the wrong there?" So this means avidyā, ignorance.
So this is intelligence. Therefore we should live very regulative life. And as I was going to say, the Vedic civilization... Just like the Visvamitra when he went to Mahārāja Daśaratha, kṣatriya, to get help, Mahārāja Daśaratha inquired that... Just like if we go to a friend, so what is our inquiry? "You are happy with your family, with your children?" Because they have a family. But here is a saintly man. So what should we inquire? Inquire, the inquiry is aihiṣṭhaṁ yat tam punar-janme-jayāya: "My dear Viśvāmitra Muni, brāhmaṇa, I know that you are all trying to get release from repetition of birth and death." Why he has gone to the forest? He has gone to the forest for executing austerity, so that next life may be not material but spiritual life. This is the aim of life. The whole human effort, civilization, should be conducted with the aim how to stop this repetition of birth and death. This is science. Aihiṣṭhaṁ yat tam punar-janma-jayāya. He inquired—he was a brāhmaṇa, great sage—that "You have taken so much trouble that you are living in the forest, you are undergoing meditation and other regulative principles—why?" Punar-janma-jayāya: "To stop next birth."
That is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā. Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā (BG 9.11). Because they see as a human being they commit mistakes and they say, "How it can be?" Just like Arjuna inquired from Kṛṣṇa, "How can I believe that You delivered the yoga system of Bhagavad-gītā to the sun-god?" Arjuna was taking the position of ordinary man. Because our form, we have got this form in our previous form, body, we are existing because we are eternal, but we don't remember. We don't remember what I was in my previous life. So this form is distinct. Kṛṣṇa's form is distinct from this form. He hasn't got a form like this useless form. Therefore He is formless. Not that He hasn't got form. His form is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha (Bs. 5.1). His form is eternal, sat; cit, full of knowledge; and blissful. Our this form is not blissful. Why you are covering the body? Because it is painful.
If you can execute cent percent, then the whole life is perfect. But even if you do not come to the perfectional point, whatever you have done, that is your permanent asset. Next life you begin from that point. These things are stated in the Bhagavad-gītā when Arjuna enquired that "If one cannot finish the whole course of yoga system, what happens to him?" He assured that "Whatever he has done, that remains his permanent asset. Now, from next life, he begins—suppose he has finished fifty percent—from the next life he begins from fifty one percent." But for the karmīs, whatever they have done in this life, whatever they have earned... Suppose by working very hard, you got millions of dollars. But you cannot take it away. It is left here and go. You cannot take. But Kṛṣṇa conscious activities you take with you and next life begin again.
This is not jñāna, that brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā. If brahma is satya, then jagat is also satya. Jñāna means to know real fact. The real fact is that is (as) Brahman is satya, anything which is emanated from Brahman, that is also satya. In the Vedānta-sūtra it begins like this: athāto brahma jijñāsā. "Now we have to inquire about Brahman." So about this description, Brahman, yato vā imāni bhūtāni jāyante. And in the Vedānta-sūtra it is said, janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). Anything which is emanating... Everything which is emanating from a particular source, that is Brahman. So what is that original source of everything? That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ: (BG 10.8) "From Me everything is emanating." Therefore Kṛṣṇa is Parambrahman. Therefore the conclusion is that if you come to the platform of bhakti, then automatically you become liberated.
Although Kṛṣṇa was speaking to him that "You fight," he was declining. This is the stage of abhakta, or nondevotee. Although mundane person will very much be pleased that "Arjuna was not willing to fight. He is nonviolent," but Kṛṣṇa was not accepting. So fighting is not a good business, so Arjuna was declining to fight. It was good from the worldly point of view. But after hearing Bhagavad-gītā, when Kṛṣṇa inquired from Arjuna, "What you have decided?" Arjuna replied, naṣṭo mohaḥ smṛtir labdhā kariṣye vacanaṁ tava (BG 18.73): "Now I am quite in knowledge. I shall execute Your order." This is mukti. When we are prepared to execute the order of Kṛṣṇa, that is the platform of mukti. Therefore it is said, kecit kevalayā bhaktyā vāsudeva-parāyaṇāḥ (SB 6.1.15). Simply by executing the order of Vasudeva one becomes mukta. Just like master and servant.
Eight thousand rupees for his personal expenditure. So he was utilizing that money by inviting sannyāsīs of Jagannātha Purī. There were many sannyāsīs. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu was also being invited. So after a few days, there was no invitation. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu inquired His secretary that "Why Raghunātha does not invite?" So he replied that "He refused to take his father's contribution." So Caitanya, "Oh, it is very nice." It is not that "Money will come from home, and I shall become a renounced order of life." No. He understood that "I have left my home. Why shall I take money from my father?" He refused.
One day he went to beg some rice from Śikhi Māhiti's sister, and there was a young woman and he lustfully saw her. That is sometimes natural. But Caitanya Mahāprabhu understand that, just to teach us, while He was eating He said, "Who brought this rice?" "Choṭa Haridāsa." "So ask him not to see Me anymore, finished." Everyone was surprised: "What happened?" Then by inquiry it was found that he lustfully saw one young woman. So just Caitanya Mahāprabhu is so strict that rejected him from His associates. Then other big, big devotees requested Him that "He has committed some mistake. Please excuse him. He is Your servant." Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "All right, then you bring him back, you live here. I am leaving this place. I am leaving this place." Then they said, "No, Sir, we shall not raise this question anymore." So when Choṭa Haridāsa found it impossible to again go into the assembly of Caitanya Mahāprabhu he found it a hopeless life. Then he went to Triveṇī and committed suicide. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu knows everything. Sometimes afterward He inquired that "What about Choṭa Haridāsa?" Somebody said, "Sir, You rejected him. Out of disappointment he has committed suicide." "Oh, that's nice." Just see how strict. "That's nice." He never expressed any sympathy: "Oh, I rejected this person and he has committed suicide. Oh." No. He said, "Oh, that's nice. That's all right." He said like that. This is one thing.
So kāla, as it is said. Kālaḥ atyagāt mahān. Mahān means very powerful, great. You may be a very big scientist and very powerful politician, you don't care for anything, but you cannot conquer over the mahān, the great powerful time. Oh, that is not possible. You are independent. You don't care for God. But God will come. You will see. Kālo 'smi. When Kṛṣṇa showed the gigantic form, virāḍ-mūrti, Arjuna enquired, "Who are You, Sir?" Because he was dealing with Kṛṣṇa as friend, but after seeing the virāḍ-rūpa, the gigantic universal form, so he enquired, "Who are You, Sir?" He replied, kālo 'smi: "I am kāla, kāla. I have appeared to take away all these sinful demons." So Kṛṣṇa appears still in form of war, big gigantic war, and takes away so many millions of people by one stroke. This is going on. So we should have sense that "We hear from the śāstras that we are eternal. Why we are subjugated to these laws of nature, kāla? I do not wish to die, I do not wish to suffer, I do not wish to be old man, I do not wish to be diseased, and these things are forced upon me. I have to accept, and still, I am so fool, I am thinking I am independent." This is called foolishness, rascaldom.
That is sometimes natural. But Caitanya Mahāprabhu understand that. Just to teach us, while He was eating, He said, "Who brought this rice?" "Choṭa Haridāsa." "So ask him not to see Me anymore. Finish." Everyone was surprised. "What happened?" Then by inquiry it was found that he lustfully saw on young woman. So just... Caitanya Mahāprabhu is so strict that He rejected him from His associates. Then other big, big devotees requested him that "He has committed some mistake, and please excuse him. He is your servant." So Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "All right, then you bring him back. You live with him. I am leaving this place. I am leaving this place." They said, "No, sir, we shall not raise this question anymore."
So when this Choṭa Haridāsa found it impossible to again go into the assembly of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he found it hopelessness. Then he went to Triveṇī and committed suicide. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu knows everything. Then, sometimes after, He inquired, "What about Choṭa Haridāsa?" Somebody said, "Sir, You rejected him. Out of disappointment, he has committed suicide in the..." "Oh, that's nice." Just see how strict.
This institution is called varṇāśrama-dharma: four varṇas and four āśrama. So when one is educated or trained up by this varṇāśrama institution, then his human life begins. Otherwise he is animal. One who does not take to this varṇāśrama-dharma, he remains in the animal life. That is the Vedic system. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu enquired from Rāmānanda Rāya, "What is the aim of life?" Rāmānanda Rāya immediately replied that,
- puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān
- viṣṇur ārādhyate panthā
- nānyat tat-toṣa-kāraṇam
- (CC Madhya 8.58)
The real purpose of life, goal of life, is to satisfy Viṣṇu. Viṣṇu, Lord, the Supreme Lord, or Kṛṣṇa. This is life, to become Kṛṣṇa conscious, to know Kṛṣṇa, and try to satisfy Him. That is life.
So our aim of life should be how to associate, how to keep association with devotee. Then everything will be possible. And as soon as we give up the association and we associate with māyā, then our life is finished. Always remember this. Caitanya Mahāprabhu was enquired by a devotee that "What is the business of a devotee? How he will make progress without any difficulty?" So Caitanya Mahāprabhu said in two lines that asat-saṅga-tyāga, ei vaiṣṇava-ācāra: (CC Madhya 22.87) "A Vaiṣṇava should always avoid asat, materialistic person, always avoid the association.' Asat-saṅga-tyāga. But matter is asat, not permanent. So those who are attached to the material world, they are called asat. Satāṁ prasaṅgāt, one should associate with sat, means those who are in spiritual advancement. They are called sat. And those who are interested in material advancement, they are called asat. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu advised, "Don't associate with persons who are trying to be advanced in material way." Asat-saṅga-tyāga, ei vaiṣṇava-ācāra. And how we can understand this person is materialist? That is stated next line: asat eka strī-saṅgī.
We must always know that "There is death behind me." At any moment he can capture my neck and take it away. That's a fact. Is there any guarantee that you shall live hundred years? No. Even just after few seconds, if you go to the street, you may immediately meet death. There may be heart failure. There may be motor accident. There may be something, something. So to live is wonderful. To die is not wonderful. Because you are meant for death. As soon as you took your birth, immediately you begin to die. Immediately. If you enquire, "Oh, when the child is born?" you say, say, "One week." That means he has died one week. We are taking that he is living one week, but actually he has died one week. That is wonderful, that still he is living, he has not died. So death is not wonderful because it is sure. It will come—after one week or after one hundred years. That is not wonderful. So long you live, that is wonderful.
So when he was just on the point of death, naturally he had affection for his son, so he was calling, "Nārāyaṇa, Nārāyaṇa, Nārāyaṇa, Nārāyaṇa, please come here, please come here." That is natural. I know my father, when he was dying, so I was not at home. So he lived for one day to see me. He was always inquiring "Whether Abhay has come back, come back," like that. So by the paternal affection he showed that. Similarly, the Ajāmila was also calling, "Nārāyaṇa, Nārāyaṇa." And in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ tyajaty ante kalevaram (BG 8.6). This practice means at the time of death if one can remember Kṛṣṇa, Nārāyaṇa, then the whole life is successful. At the time of death. Because the mentality, status of the mind at the time of death, will carry him to the next life. Just like the flavor is carried by the air, similarly, my mentality will carry me to a different type of body.
The assistants of the Yamarāja, Yamadūtas, saw that they are very beautiful and their bodily features are very attractive because they are coming from Vaikuṇṭha, with four hands. So immediately they got some respectful attitude and inquired that "Who are you, that you are trying to interrupt in the administration of Yamarāja? It is not possible. You cannot... Nobody has ever interrupted with the administration of Yamarāja, so we are surprised. Who are you?" Ūcur niṣedhitās tāṁs te vaivasvata-puraḥsarāḥ. Vaivasvata-puraḥsarāḥ. Yamarāja is also the son of Manu; therefore his assistants are called vaivasvata-puraḥ. Ke yūyaṁ pratiṣeddhāro dharma-rājasya śāsanam: "Who are you? You have appeared before us as opposing party," pratiyuddhāraḥ. Warriors, they have got opposite party to fight. So they expected there will be fight because they are determined to take away Ajāmila to the Yama-mandira, whereas the Viṣṇudūtas, they forbade, "Oh, you cannot take them. You cannot take him. Stop."
So the constables of Yamarāja inquired from the Vaikuṇṭhadūta, the messengers of Vaikuṇṭha, that yūyaṁ pratiṣeddhāraḥ: "Why you are interrupting in our business?" Pratiṣeddhāro. Pratiṣeddhāraḥ. Pratiṣeddhāraḥ means the opposing elements. "Why you are opposing? We are Yamadūta. It is our duty to take away a sinful man, sinful soul, like Ajāmila, who has simply acting misdeeds throughout his whole life. Now, at the end of his life, we are authorized to take him to the Yamarāja. Why you are preventing us? Why you are interrupting in our business?"
You do not want to be a dead man, but you are forced to accept death. You do not want to become old man, but you are forced to accept. And these things, if you accept—happiness—that is your foolishness. Vyādhi. Jarā-vyādhi, disease. If you are constantly suffering from various types of diseases and if you think you are happy, that is another foolishness. Therefore Bhāgavata says, parābhavas tāvad abodha-jāto yāvan na jijñāsata ātma-tattvam, that "All the foolish persons who are born foolish, all their activities are defeat for them unless they are enlightened to inquire about ātma-tattvam."
So in the modern education there is no department for inquiring about ātma-tattvam. And they are proud of advancement of learning. But Bhāgavata says, parābhava: "These are all defeat." They do not know what is ātmā, what is ātma-tattva. They are identifying, "I am this body." "I am Indian," "I am American," "I am Gujarati," "I am Bengali," "I am this," "I am that." Yasyātmā-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke, sa eva go-kharaḥ (SB 10.84.13). Anyone who identifies himself with this body, he is nothing but ass and cow. And that is going on.
So we should be very careful. This is... This human form of life is a chance to make your choice, whether you are to go on being punished like this in different forms of life or whether you shall go back to home, back to Godhead. Here is the chance. Manuṣyānāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye (BG 7.3). Out of many millions and millions of persons, one is intelligent enough, he can inquire that "Why I am suffering?" Everyone is suffering. That's a fact. Only the rascals, they think, "We're enjoying." Everyone is suffering. This is a place for suffering. Duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam (BG 8.15), Kṛṣṇa says, who has created this place. It is a place of suffering. Every moment you are suffering due to this body, due to the mind, due to the suffering imposed by other living entities. The mosquito will bite, the flies will disturb you, the bugs are there, and then the dogs will bark unnecessarily. You are passing, and his business is barking. Ha? "Bow! Bow! Bow!" (laughter) So this is also suffering. You don't like the next door the dog is barking.
So their challenge was that "You are claiming to be servants of Yamarāja, but we are doubting whether you are bona fide servants of Yamarāja. Otherwise why you are committing this mistake?" So this indicates the servant should be as good as the master. That is servant. Because sometimes servants may be challenged. So that is the qualification of Kṛṣṇa's servant. Kṛṣṇa's servant must be always equipped, because they have to meet so many opposing elements, Kṛṣṇa's the... Paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām (BG 4.8). There are so many... Practically the whole material world is full of duṣkṛtām. They want to create God. They don't want to become servant of God. That is their challenge. Therefore, anyone who is claiming to become servant of God, Kṛṣṇa, he must be well equipped to meet the challenging spirit of others. Prahasya idaṁ megha-nirhrādayā girā. Very gravely enquired from them. What is that enquiry? They said, śrī-viṣṇudūtā ūcuḥ. The Viṣṇudūta replied. Their submission was, "Sir, you are so nice gentlemen. You appear to be coming from the very elevated planets, and why you are interfering?"
So the Kṛṣṇa conscious life is not very difficult. It is very easy. In one second, if he agrees: "Yes, Kṛṣṇa, whatever You say, I shall do..." That Arjuna did at last, after hearing the whole Bhagavad-gītā. When Kṛṣṇa asked, inquired from him, "Now, what is your decision...?" Kṛṣṇa never interferes with your decision. You have got little independence. Kṛṣṇa has given you. But if you use your independence, do not like to obey the orders of Kṛṣṇa, that is your business. You can do that. Kṛṣṇa will not interfere with you. But Kṛṣṇa says that "If you want actual happiness, liberation, then follow what I say." That is Kṛṣṇa's request. As we are subordinate, Kṛṣṇa can order that "You must do it." That Kṛṣṇa does not say, never. Kuru. He says sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66), "You do it." He doesn't say "You must." That is your option. You can deny it.
You cannot say that "Without going to a spiritual master, I shall learn the transcendental science." No, that is not possible. Therefore, in our Vaiṣṇava principles, it is said, ādau gurv-āśrayam. In the very beginning of understanding spiritual knowledge, one has to take shelter of a guru. Ādau gurv-āśrayam. Sad-dharma-pṛcchati: "The next stage is inquiring from the spiritual master about real spiritual life." These are the processes.
In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also it is said that tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam: (SB 11.3.21) "One who has actually become serious inquiring about supreme subject, uttamam..." Udgata tamaṁ yasmāt. In the material world, all knowledge is covered with illusion, and material world is known as tama. Tamasi mā jyotir gamaḥ. This is darkness. So real knowledge means which has surpassed this province of darkness, uttamam. Jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam: "Anyone who has become very much inquisitive to learn about the transcendental subject matter, he has to accept a guru."
He has taken simply to the spiritual life and simply surrendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And at the same time, he knows all the Vedic conclusions. This is the description of a guru. Similarly, Kathopaniṣad it is said, tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta... (SB 11.3.21). This is Bhāgavata. Tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet samit-pāniḥ śrotriyam (MU 1.2.12). Śrotriyam. One who has very nicely heard, one who has acquired Vedic knowledge by the hearing process, śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham, and the result is that he is fully, firmly fixed up in Brahman. Bhagavad-gītā also says that tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā (BG 4.34). Tat. If you want to understand the spiritual knowledge, then you have to learn it by surrender, praṇipāta. Praṇipātena, paripraśnena and sevayā—these three things. You have to surrender. You have to inquire or make questions with service, not by challenging way. Upadekṣyanti tad-jñānaṁ jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ. Then you will be able to understand real spiritual knowledge.
In the words of Nārāyaṇa there are no deficiencies. In the words of conditioned soul there are so many deficiencies. Why? The deficiencies are that bhrama... Any conditioned soul, however great he may be, he must commit mistakes. That is one of the deficiencies. In this material world, however great one may be in the estimation of the general populace, he is not above committing mistakes. "To err is human," as it is said. We commit mistake. Bhrama, pramāda. And pramāda means to accept something as something, something else. Just like the most erudite scholar, he also accepts that "This body is the self. There is no soul." Others... There are many scholars, they do not accept that there is soul differently. "This body is everything," that is called pramāda. Bhrama, pramāda, vipralipsā. Vipralipsā means cheating. Every conditioned soul has a cheating propensity. "For my purpose, to fulfill my purpose, I say something to you which is not beneficial to you, but still, I impress that this is right." That is called cheating. And karaṇa-pāṭava. Karaṇa means the senses. The senses are also imperfect. I am seeing the sun daily with my eyes, but still, I have no full knowledge of the sun because my eyes are imperfect. If there is any sound upstairs, and I inquire, "What is this sound?"
Now, imagine what is that period. Jīvanti loma-vilajā jagad-aṇḍa-nāthāḥ. And also from the holes of the body, many universes are coming out. Such Viṣṇu, the Brahma-saṁhitā says, yasya iha kalā-viśeṣaḥ, such Viṣṇu, Lord Viṣṇu, Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, He is also a plenary portion of Govinda. Just imagine what is Govinda. Yasyaika-niśvasita-kālam athāvalambya jīvanti loma-vilajā (Bs. 5.48). That is also confirmed by Govinda, Kṛṣṇa, in the Bhagavad-gītā: ekāṁśena sthito jagat (BG 10.42). When Arjuna inquired from Kṛṣṇa, "What is Your opulence?" then He is describing the opulence, and in that opulence He concludes that "There is no necessity of describing My opulence very much. You simply understand that the whole material creation is existing in one fourth of My energy." So that is understanding of Bhagavad-gītā. We have to understand what is Kṛṣṇa.
So nature's way, evolution... The punishment is beginning from the aquatics. Then gradually, gradually, by evolutionary process, nature gives the chance that from aquatics you become plants and trees; then from plants and trees you become insect, reptiles; then from that, you become bird; then from that, you become beast; and from that beast, you become human being. In this way, by evolutionary process, you come to the platform of becoming a human being. Now, developed consciousness, you have to decide, "Where... Whom I shall serve now? I have... So long I have served the laws of material nature, and it has brought me to this platform." Now you have to decide, "What kind of service I shall accept?" That is human life. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. Jijñāsā means enquiry. A sane man will understand that "I have been engaged in different types of service, now by evolutionary process, I have come to the human form of life. What is my real service? Under whom I shall work? Shall I loiter in the street like the dog, or find out some good master?" This is human life.
The Parīkṣit Mahārāja inquired that "Śukadeva Gosvāmī, Kṛṣṇa, He came to establish dharma, but it appears that He danced with other's wife or other's daughter." According to Vedic civilization you cannot mix with any other woman except your wife. That is not allowed. So, according to the Vedic conception of life, it was not right thing that Kṛṣṇa danced with other's wife or other's daughter. This question was put. Parīkṣit Mahārāja said that Kṛṣṇa, because He is God, He cannot do anything wrong. Just like in England, the constitution says, "The king can do no wrong." King cannot be subject to any law. Similarly, when Kṛṣṇa danced with the gopīs, it has got a deep meaning. Because they are all devotees, they did not know except Kṛṣṇa, and they prayed to the Kātyāyanī, although they are married, they prayed to Kātyāyanī before they were married, that "Let Kṛṣṇa become our husband." Kṛṣṇa is so beautiful. Naturally there is attraction.
If you want to be learned fully, especially if you want to learn the transcendental science, gurum eva abhigacchet: "One must go to a guru." Guru—the spiritual master as well as the teacher also, guru. So he must att..., he must go to a guru. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā (BG 4.34). And going to guru, what you have to do? Praṇipātena. You have to fully surrender. Paripraśnena. After surrendering, then you can enquire, you can put question. Otherwise, it is illegal. If you do not accept anybody as guru, then don't put question before him to waste his time and your time. This is the process. First of all find out whom you like to accept as guru. Then put question. But sometimes we have to talk with persons who is not student: outsider. That is preaching work. But śāstra says that one should approach a guru, and with surrender he would ask him, and guru will talk with a person who is surrendered. Otherwise, there is no necessity of talk, because he will not accept. One who has come to challenge the guru, so he will simply waste time. He will not accept. But a disciple who has surrendered, he will accept. Therefore talking is recommended between guru and disciple, not outsider. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). This is essential. And guru trains the disciple according to the Vedic principle. Therefore there are division of varṇa and āśrama.
He doesn't want distresses, but it is enforced. This should be the question, to... When one accepts the spiritual master... Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Sanātana Gosvāmī, he is by his practical example, he said that one should go and inquire from the spiritual master that "Why I am in this condition of life, always suffering?" Tri-tāpa yātanā. But we have become so dull, like the animals. The animals, they cannot question. They are suffering. Everyone knows animal life is full of suffering, but they cannot realize. But a human being can realize. And when the question comes, when he becomes intelligent enough that "Why I am suffering?" then his human life begins. Otherwise, he is animal. The animal cannot inquire. An animal is being taken to the slaughterhouse, but he cannot question or inquire that "Why I am taken by force in this slaughterhouse?" That is animal. But if you take one human being to be killed, if he understands, he'll make a great noise, that "This man is going, taking me. Why I am being...," so on, so on. Yes. That is human life. That is the distinction between human life and animal life, that one can understand that "Why I am put into this condition of suffering?" This is called brahma-jijñāsā. That is the beginning of Vedānta philosophy. athāto brahma jijñāsā. Then we understand, one after another.
So we should take advantage. Not that we shall live like animal, without any inquiry, without finding out the remedy, how to stop this miserable condition of life. We are actually trying. Everyone is working so hard, struggle for existence. He is trying. Why one is trying to get money? Because he thinks that "If I get money, then the distressed condition in which I am suffering, it can be mitigated." So the struggle for existence is going on. Everyone is trying to become happy. But that is not in the material way. Material way, we are trying to get happiness, that means sense gratification. That is not happiness. Happiness means spiritual happiness. That is happiness. This material happiness is temporary. That is not happiness, but perverted happiness. It is exemplified just like we are trying to find out water in the desert. Actually in the desert there is no water, but an animal, he sees that there is water in the desert, as we also see. But we are human being. We know in the desert there is no water, it is a reflection of the sunshine. But animal does not know. He's thirsty, he looks after the water in the desert. So this is the distinction between animal and human life.
We are changing the circumstances, naṣṭa-janma-smṛtis. As soon as one form of body is finished... Death means forgetfulness. Death means forgetfulness. Everyone is continuing life, but when one forgets the activities of this life and accepts another body, that is called death. Otherwise, a spirit soul has no death. So therefore we should be careful that I have already got this body which is meant for suffering. More or less, it doesn't matter. There is suffering. A cat or dog is suffering more than a human being, but it does not mean that the human being is without suffering. That is not possible. Everyone is suffering. So in the human form of life we can inquire, "Why I am suffering." That is human being. So śāstra says that you are already suffering, in any form of body. Either you are President Nixon or a man in the street, you are already suffering. That's a fact. Now you are suffering on account of this body. Nūnaṁ pramattaḥ kurute vikarma (SB 5.5.4). And still you are doing something which will cause to accept another material body.
So even Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya and other big, big, big guns of Caitanya Mahāprabhu's associates, Rāmānanda Rāya, they requested that "This man is Your eternal servant. Somehow or other, he has committed this sin. So You kindly excuse him." Caitanya Mahāprabhu was so much stern in this respect that He immediately replied that "If you like Choṭa Haridāsa, better you remain with him. Let Me go away." So from that moment nobody ventured to request again Caitanya Mahāprabhu to excuse him. So when he was hopeless not to be excused by Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he came here in this place, Prayāga, and in the confluence of river Yamunā and Gaṅgā he committed suicide. He drowned himself. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu knew also this incident. So after some time, when he died, say after some months, He simply inquired, "Where is Choṭa Haridāsa now?" So his other associates replied, "Sir, You did not accept him, so he has committed suicide." So Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "Yes, this is very good. This is very good." So vajrād api kaṭhora. Caitanya Mahāprabhu was sometimes harder than the stone, and sometimes He was softer than the flower.
In the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam it is said that dharmārtha-kāma-mokṣa (SB 4.8.41). So mokṣa means tattva-jijñāsā. Jīvasya tattva-jijñāsa na yas ceha karmabhiḥ. So that tattva-jijñāsā means to understand Kṛṣṇa. You'll find in the Bhagavad-gītā, kaścid vetti māṁ tattvataḥ. The same. Tattva-jijñāsā... Who will inquire about tattva? Those who are siddha. So that siddha stage, brahma-bhūta stage, is not for everyone. Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye (BG 7.3). Out of many millions of persons, one may be interested how to become siddha, to understand ahaṁ brahmāsmi. That is called siddha. And yatatām api siddhānāṁ kaścid vetti māṁ tattvataḥ (BG 7.3). This is called tattva-jijñāsā. So tattva-jijñāsā is meant for the siddhas, not for the fools and rascals. They cannot. They are inquiring, ke apa haya. (Hindi?) You find in the market, big, big merchants, they have got exchange in Calcutta, Bombay. The inquiry is ke apa haya. So not that inquiry. Ke apa haya, share cut ke apa haya, cao ke apa haya, dal ke apa haya.(?) Not That is not tattva-jijñāsā. Tattva-jijñāsā means "What is Brahman?" That is tattva-jijñāsā, because Vedas indicates that "Try to understand ahaṁ brahmāsmi, 'You are Brahman.' " Tat tvam asi. So 'ham. So this is the Vedic injunction.
So the Vedic injunction, tattva-jijñāsā, that is the first aphorism in the Vedānta-sūtra. Athāto brahma-jijñāsāḥ: "The human form of life is meant for inquiring about the Absolute Truth." Therefore Bhāgavata explains, jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā. That is the explanation of Brahma-sutra. Therefore you will find at the end of each chapter of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, śrīmad-bhāgavate mahā-purāṇe brahma-sutra-bhasye. The Śrīmad Bhāgavatam is the real comment on Brahma-sutra, Vedānta-sūtra. Vedānta-sūtra was compiled by Vyāsadeva. He summarized all the Vedic knowledge, summarized all Vedic knowledge into Brahma-sutra, in nutshell. Then he was not satisfied, although he made so many Purāṇas, Mahābhārata, Brahma-sutra, Upaniṣads and... Means these were correct. He wrote into letters in the book. Being compassionate on the people of this age, all fools and rascals—they have no good memory—therefore he compiled all these Vedas into writing. Before that, there was no writing. People were so sharp in memory, simply by hearing from the guru, they will remember. Simply. The education and the brain and the capacity was so nice.
He used to live alone. But sometimes these Māyāvādī sannyāsīs, they were criticizing Him that "This Bengali sannyāsī comes from Bengal, and He does not indulge in reading Brahma-sutra or Vedānta-sūtra. He dances and chants with some ecstatic people. What kind of sannyāsī He is? A sannyāsī is meant for studying Vedānta-sūtra, Sāṅkhya philosophy." Some of them were very learned scholars. There's no doubt about it. But when Caitanya Mahāprabhu was inquired by Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, "Sir, I learned that in your previous life..." He was a learned scholar. He was known as Nimāi Paṇḍita. "And You have taken sannyāsa. So instead of reading Sāṅkhya philosophy and Vedānta-sūtra, You are simply chanting and dancing with some fanatics. What is this?" This was the question. Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied that "Sir, if I reply your question candidly, please do not be sorry." "No, I am not sorry. We are prepared." "Because My guru mahārāja saw Me: I am the greatest fool." Guru more mūrkha dekhi, karila vedanta nāhi tava adhikāra (CC Adi 7.71). He became a fool. The purpose was that at the the present moment they are simply fools and rascals. What they will understand about Vedānta? Therefore the sastric injunction is harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam (CC Adi 17.21).
Why an impersonalist, although very advanced in knowledge, in Vedic knowledge, still he does not know what is Kṛṣṇa? He inquires, "What is God?" Just see. God is canvassing, "Here I am," and he is inquiring, "What is God?" So this is our misfortune. Why they cannot realize? Duṣkṛtina. Duṣkṛtina means acting sinfully. Specifically denying the existence of God. That is the greatest offense. Suppose you are a gentleman, and if I say, "You are blind. You are lame. You are handless. You are armless. You have no head. You are...," will you be sat..., happy? Will anybody be happy? Similarly, those persons who are describing the Absolute Personality of Godhead, "He has no eyes..." In other words, he is blind. "He has no hand" mean armless. "He has no leg," then he is lame man. "He has no tongue." In this way it is the definition by negation, and after all, make it zero. If you cut my hand, leg, my head, my eyes, ears, then what I remain?
You know the Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura's life? A similar rasa-līlā was going on. You know that story? Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura was magistrate, and one person in Orissa, he declared himself that "I am Viṣṇu," and in the village he was enticing young women and girls to dance at night. And some of them protested, and they lodged complaint to the government that "This person is doing like that." And the government commissioner, he knew that Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Kedāranātha Datta was a very elevated, religious man, and he was magistrate. So the commissioner entrusted the inquiry to Kedāranātha Datta at that time. So Kedāranātha Datta, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, took the matter and went to inquire at that, in the village of Orissa, with some constables in plain dress. So when he went there... He had some yogic power, so immediately he could say, "Oh, your name is Kedarnatha Datta. I know you are very good man, but don't be after me. You will not be happy. And I shall elevate you to become the king of this country. Don't be after me." Now, if anyone... He was Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, a strong devotee.
So the Yamadūtas inquired from Yamarāja, "Whether there is another controller than yourself?" So that he has described, that "There is supreme controller than myself." Tasyeva rūpaṁ guṇaḥ prabhāvaḥ prabhāvāya svabhāvaṁ bhakta-vatsalyādi yeṣām. So that tasyātma-tantrasya harer ahīśituḥ parasya māyādhipater mahātmanaḥ, so he is informing that "There are Viṣṇudūtas also. They are..." Viṣṇudūta means devotees, the devotee of Lord Viṣṇu. "They are also..." Just, the Yamadūtas, they are also traveling everywhere to find out... Not to find out. Everyone is sinful. "Similarly, there are Viṣṇudūtas also." That is the information. "They are also seeing, inspecting what kinds of actions we are actually performing." Prāyeṇa dūta iha vai manoharaḥ. Because the Viṣṇudūtas came to take away Ajāmila, so they were surprised, that "Who these persons, the great personalities, were there?"
Beginning... Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura was a magistrate. What do you mean by "beginning"? As soon as he is situated in his own original position, then he is pure devotee. That's all. It doesn't matter what he has done in the past. It is called nagna-mati. Nagna-mati.(?) One's mother was naked in her childhood. So one is asking, "Mother, why you are putting on those saris? You were naked. You can remain naked." This kind of argument is no argument. Whatever one may be in his past, that's all right. As soon as he is situated in pure devotee, devotional state, that's all. One hasn't got to inquire, "from the beginning" or "from the end." There is no need of such inquiry. As soon as he is situated in his original position, hitvā anyathā-rūpaṁ svarūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ (SB 2.10.6), gives up nondevotional activities, but is situated in devotional service, immediately he is all right, pure devotee. Doesn't matter whether he was in the beginning. Because even a person, ordinary person, ordinarily, he is not contaminated. He lives aloof from this material existence. But for sometimes, even if he is influenced, that doesn't matter. As soon as he comes to his real position, he is a pure devotee. There is no question of tracing his past history. There is no question. You be situated in pure devotional service; you are pure devotee. That's all. There is no question of inquiring what he was in the past. That doesn't matter. Is it clear? Yes. Just like Ajāmila. In the past history he, simply sinful, Jagāi-Mādhāi, simply sinful, but as soon as they come to the position of pure devotional life, he is pure. That's all. Yes.
Kṛṣṇa, when He was inquired about His opulence, about His potencies, vibhūti, Kṛṣṇa explained that "I am like this, I am like this, I am like this." But He concluded that "How much I shall describe? Try to understand this."
So this demon Hiraṇyakaśipu, some way or other, he achieved great prowess and he conquered over all the planets. Even the demigods, they were under the subjugation of Hiraṇyakaśipu. So his son Prahlāda from the very beginning of his life, because he got instruction from Nārada Muni within the belly of his mother... This is the story. When the demigods conquered over this Hiraṇyakaśipu, they captured his wife Kayādhu. At that time the wife of Hiraṇyakaśipu was pregnant, and Prahlāda Mahārāja was there. So because the woman was pregnant, the demigods were taking her away. On the way, Nārada Mahāmuni met the demigods, Indra. So he inquired, "What you are doing? You are dragging a woman? Oh, this is not good." So they explained that "We have nothing to do with this woman. Because within the womb of this woman there is a son of Hiraṇyakaśipu—he is also demon—therefore, as soon as she gives birth to the child, we shall kill him. This is our program." Nārada Muni said, "No. This child is not demon.
So this is also another feature, that why one becomes devotee, why the other does not become? That means in his former life he was a devotee. It could not be finished in one life, but in this life automatically he is trying to become devotee. Therefore devotional service is so nice that even if you cannot finish the whole course in one life, next life you are guaranteed to get a very nice birth so that you can develop further. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭoḥ sañjāyate (BG 6.41). When Arjuna inquired from Kṛṣṇa that "A yogi, he cannot finish his duty or yogic process in one life. Then what happens? He becomes neither this way or that way." Kṛṣṇa said, "No. Whatever he has finished, that is his permanent asset. Next life he begins from that point and he gets the opportunity of take birth—śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe. He is given birth in very nice family, either in very nice brāhmaṇa family or very rich family." In these two places one gets the opportunity to increase his Kṛṣṇa consciousness very easily. If he gets his birth in a nice brāhmaṇa family, automatically he is trained in that way. And if he gets his birth in a rich family, he has no economic demand. He hasn't got to earn. He can save the time for developing Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So those who are born in rich family, they should know that "By the grace of Kṛṣṇa, by the grace of Lord, we are born with silver spoon, but we should utilize this opportunity." Not only rich man; every human being should be conscious to utilize this human form of life to understand God. That is the highest perfection of life. Otherwise it is animal life. The animal life means the animals are also eating, sleeping, mating and defending. So if we are simply engaged in four principles of bodily demand and do not inquire about the Brahman—athāto brahma jijñāsā, that is the Vedānta-sūtra—then we are no better than animals.
So he was king. He could understand that the boy is... By nature he is doing that. Then he inquired, "Prahlāda, wherefrom you have learned this art of God consciousness, service? Wherefrom you have got this Kṛṣṇa consciousness?" Then Prahlāda Mahārāja, explaining to his father,
- prahlada uvāca
- matir na kṛṣṇe parato svato vā
- mitho 'bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām
Gṛha-vratānām: "those who have taken it as vow to be happy in this material world." Therefore they are called gṛha-vrata. Gṛhastha... There are two words in Sanskrit language. One is gṛha-stha, and one is gṛha-vrata or gṛha-medhi. Gṛhastha means gṛhastha-āśrama. As soon as... Those who are conversant with Vedic language, they know. Āśrama means something in connection with God. That is called āśrama. So gṛhastha-āśrama means one may live with family, children, wife, children, friends—that's all right. Live. Whatever life is suitable for you, you accept. But you change Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Cultivate Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
They are called gṛha-vrata. Generally, at the present moment, everyone is gṛha-vrata. That's all. They simply want "How to improve my economic condition." That's all. Individually, socially, family wise, internationally or nationally, that is their aim. They are called gṛha-vrata. So Prahlāda Mahārāja said, because he knew that his father is number one gṛha-vrata, atheist number one, and materialist number one, so when he inquired, "How you developed Kṛṣṇa consciousness?" he said immediately, flatly, to his father, "My dear father, don't worry. You will never will have Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (laughter) Because you are so much attached to this materialistic way of life, be sure you will never increase your devotion to Kṛṣṇa. Be sure. Don't be agitated." Yes. Matir na kṛṣṇe parato svato vā mitho 'bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām. "Those who have taken this vow, for them there is no possibility of increasing or culturing Kṛṣṇa consciousness. There is no possibility." These boys who have come to me, and they have become so nice devotee, because they are not gṛha-vrata.
There is a verse in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: yasyāham anughṛnāmi hariṣye tad-dhanaṁ śanaiḥ. Sometimes Kṛṣṇa, to show some special favor to His devotee, He takes away his all material opulences. Dhanaṁ śanaiḥ. Just like the Pāṇḍavas. The Pāṇḍavas, they were bereft of their kingdom, although Kṛṣṇa was present there, Kṛṣṇa as their friend was present there. Still they became bereft of their kingdom, they lost their property, their wife was insulted, they were driven away to the forest—although Kṛṣṇa was there. This question was inquired by Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja to Kṛṣṇa, "How is that?" Indirectly he inquired that "You are our friend, and why we are put into such difficulty?" So Kṛṣṇa replied to Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja that "This is My special favor. This is My special favor." Sometimes we do not, we cannot understand the special favor of Kṛṣṇa. So this frustration of these boys, these American boys or English boys, in the materialistic way of life is a good sign for accepting Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They are searching after something nice. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So Prahlāda Mahārāja, when he was inquired by his father that "Who has taught you this Kṛṣṇa consciousness...?" Because he knew that "He is my son, king's son. He does not go to mix with anyone else. He simply takes his lesson from the appointed teachers. How is that this boy, five years old only, and he is so much Kṛṣṇa conscious?" So he was surprised. He asked him that "How you have taken to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness?" The answer is that "My dear father, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness cannot be achieved by a person like you, whose vow is simply to enjoy this material world." Hiraṇya. Hiraṇya means gold, and kaśipu means nice bed, very soft, cushioned bed. Hiraṇyakaśipu.
It is not human civilization. Human civilization means he must be sober. He should be inquisitive. A human being should be inquisitive to know "Who I am? Why I am put into this condition to work very hard to get a few breads only? Why I am this uncomfortable situation? Wherefrom I have come? Where I have to go?" These are inquiries. These inquiries are called brahma-jijñāsā. The Vedānta-sūtra begins, athāto brahma jijñāsā: "A human being should be inquisitive to know these things: 'Who I am? Wherefrom I have come? Where I have to go? Why I am put into this uncomfortable position?' "
So Kṛṣṇa consciousness is for them who have become detestful of this material world. They are good candidates for developing Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then the inquiry may be that "What for these men are working so hard? What is their goal of life?" That is answered in the next verse by na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (SB 7.5.31). These people are working so hard because they do not know actually what is the goal of life. Na te viduḥ. Viduḥ means knowing; na means not.
He cannot move an inch even, and he has to stand there in cyclone, in scorching heat, in everything. Why? We are Both of us, we are living entities. Why he has got this body, I have got this body, and one may have better body than me? Why there are so many, 8,400,000 species of life and different position? Why this is? There is no such inquiry. There is no such knowledge. Therefore they have been described here as andhā, blind. They do not know the goal of life that we are part and parcel of God. Mamaivāṁśo jīva bhūtaḥ (BG 15.7). Some way or other, we have come in material contact. Now it is our duty to get out of these laws of material Īśa-tantryā. Īśa-tantryā, under certain condition Just like under certain condition a criminal is put into the prisonhouse.
Then it can be transformed into spiritual world, although spiritual world is differently situated. Paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo 'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ (BG 8.20). There is another nature which is spiritual world. They have no information. But we get information from Bhagavad-gītā and other śāstras that spiritual world is still bigger. This material world is the one-fourth of the God's creation, and the spiritual world is the three-fourth. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, ekāṁśena sthito jagat.
When Arjuna inquired about Kṛṣṇa's vibhūti, His opulence, He summarized,
- athavā bahunaitena
- kim jñātena tavārjuna
- viṣṭabhyā idaṁ kṛtsnam
- ekāṁśena sthito jagat
- (BG 10.42)
"My dear Arjuna, how long I shall describe you about My opulence? I summarize it that this material world is only one-fourth manifestation of My opulence." Ekāṁśena sthito jagat. This material world means... You have... We have got experience about this universe up to the sky, as far as we can see, the horizon. This is one universe. And there are millions of universes like this.
What is that qualification? What is the disciple's qualification? That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam (SB 11.3.21). Śreya uttamam. Everyone is engaged for some temporary benefit, everyone in this world, you will find. Everyone is very busy. When you say, "Please come to our temple," "Sir, I am very busy." What is his business? The business is eating, sleeping, and mating. That's all, his business.
- nidrayā hriyate naktaṁ
- vyavāyena ca vā vayaḥ
- divā cārthehayā rājan
- kuṭumba-bharaṇena vā
- (SB 2.1.3)
What is the engagement? At night, sleeping or sex indulgence, and at daytime, "Where is money? Where is money?" And if there is money, then "Where to purchase these things?" Go to the store. Go to the shop. Finish. So that sort of inquiry engagement is not a qualification for understanding spiritual science. One should be inquisitive. Jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam.
There is a very nice story. I have several times perhaps recited that one morning... In the western countries also fair takes place, some in county, some village place. So in India there are weekly bazaar which is called haṭṭa. So at that time the salesmen with their goods, commodities, they assemble and many purchase are..., just like in market place. So there was a market, weekly market, and thousands of people assembled there. So one old lady of that village, she began to cry. Then her elderly son inquired, "Mother, why you are crying?" "No, where shall I accommodate all these people to lie down in the, at night? There are so many people in this village, and how I shall accommodate?" The son began to laugh. "My dear mother, you don't bother. It will be all arranged." "No, my dear son, I am very much perplexed." So she began to cry. So in the evening the son called the mother, "Mother, now you see in the marketplace." She saw, "Oh, where are all those people gone? Huh?" So there is arrangement. All those thousands of people assembled in the market, they have got their sleeping place. They have got their eating place. So by arrangement.
Just like in India still, in this fallen condition of India, whenever there is Bhāgavata recitation, thousands of people still will assemble because the benefit is that they are little poverty-stricken than the western people. So Jīva Gosvāmī says that a person who is too much puffed up with material facilities, it is very difficult for him to come into Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In the Bhāgavata it is stated, Kṛṣṇa..., I mean to say, question and answer between Mahārāja Parīkṣit and Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Mahārāja Parīkṣit inquired his spiritual master Śukadeva Gosvāmī that "Generally we find that those who are Vaiṣṇava, or Kṛṣṇa conscious persons, they are poorer, whereas we see those who are worshiper of Lord Śiva, they are very rich." This question was put by Mahārāja Parīkṣit to Śukadeva Gosvāmī, and he narrated that "Lord Śiva is so poor that he hasn't got even one house to live. He is living underneath tree. He cannot provide even a shelter to his wife, who is coming, who is the princess of a very great king, Mahārāja Dakṣa. So why this difference? And whereas persons who are devoted to Viṣṇu, who is the master of everything, goddess of fortune..." Lakṣmī-sahasra-śata-sambhrama-sevyamānam (Bs. 5.29). Not only one goddess of fortune, but many hundreds and thousands of goddess of fortune is serving Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu in the spiritual planet. "So the devotee of Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu, they appear to be poorer than the devotees of Lord Śiva, who is less than a poor man. Why this contradiction?"
As I described the other day that there are twelve authorities. Out of them, Śukadeva Gosvāmī himself is one of the authorities. But still, he is citing the authority of Kṛṣṇa. That is the way of presenting things. That is called Vedic knowledge, that you must giving... Whatever you say, it must be supported by the authority. Just like a good lawyer. He gives good evidence from other courts' judgement, authority. So Śukadeva Gosvāmī said that "This very question was inquired by your grandfather, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, to Kṛṣṇa because they were put into so many calamities, the Pāṇḍavas. Kṛṣṇa was their personal friend. Still, they were put into so many calamities for which they had to fight forcibly." So Kṛṣṇa answered. When Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira inquired "Why this contradiction? The Vaiṣṇava, who is worshiper of the most opulent personality, Viṣṇu, they appear to be poorer, whereas the worshiper of Lord Śiva, who appears to be poorer than ordinary man, they become very richer. Why?"
So one who requires to go to the world of light, he requires a guru. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ (SB 11.3.21). Jijñāsuḥ means inquisitive. Everyone is jijñāsuḥ. We go to the market to purchase something, we are also jijñāsuḥ there. "What is the price of this? What is the price of that?" That is also inquiry. But not, inquiry is not like that, as we go to the market and other material markets. That is also, inquiry is the life—but material inquiry. Jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam. Śreya, śreya means ultimate goal of life. In the material world, there is no question of śreya; it is all preya. There are two things, preya and śreya. Immediate benefit, that is called preya. Just like child. If you ask child to sit down and read book, he would not like. If you offer one lugdu, he will immediately accept. A small child, we see, you have seen: we distribute biscuits and immediately, the small child, immediately he knows how to take it and put it in the mouth. This is called preya, "dear." They do not know anything else. If you give him poison, he will like to eat. This is child's nature. So if you ask the child, "Now you sit down and read books and write," he would not like. That is called śreya. To become educated is good for him for future, but he doesn't like. But if we give our lugdu, immediately he'll accept. This is the distinction between śreya and preya.
Still, you feel unhappy?" So he admitted, "Yes." "Oh, what is the cause?" "Now, I want to go to the prostitute, Lakṣahīra." Just see. He is leper, a poor man, and he is aspiring to go to a prostitute who charges 100,000 of pieces of diamond. So anyway, she was a faithful wife. She wanted to satisfy her husband. Some way or other, she arranged. Then, when the leper was at the house of the prostitute, the prostitute gave him very nice dishes of food but everything in two dishes, everything, one in the golden pot, another in iron pot. So while he was eating, so he inquired the prostitute, "Why you have given me in two pots?" "Now, because I wanted to know whether you will feel different taste in different pots." So he said, "No, I don't find any difference of taste. The soup in the golden pot and the soup in the iron pot, the taste is the same." "Then why you have come here?" This is foolishness. The whole world is going on like that. They are simply trying to taste the same thing in different pot. That's all. They are not detestful that "No more, sir. I have tasted enough." That is not fact. That is called vairāgya-vidyā, no more tasting: "It is all the same, either I take in this pot or that pot."
As soon as you say that "Here is a law which is being carried very nicely," there must be a lawmaker. You have to accept it. The science of astronomy, the planets, the stars, the sun, the moon moving in their orbit very nicely, very perfectly, and accurately—there is law. This is law of nature. You might have discovered—you are great scientist—that under this law, the law of gravitation or this law, that law, so many laws there are. But the background you have to inquire, "Who is the law-maker?" Unless there is law-maker, how there can be law? Take for example your state laws. As soon as you say that this is law, "Keep to the right," you have to accept there is a law-maker under whose direction this law is being carried out nicely. If you don't carry out, then you are punished. Similarly, nature's law is not ultimate. There is law-maker, and that law-maker is God. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram: (BG 9.10) "Prakṛti," means nature, "is working under My superintendence, under My superintendence." How you can deny? If there is nature's law, who made this law? You see that the clock is running very nicely, the machine is going on, but that is not the ultimate. There is a maker of the clock or watch. Without understanding the maker, simply if you understand the clock only, that is not sufficient knowledge.
So our lusty desires, sense gratification, cannot be satisfied even throughout the whole life. The account is being given of the whole life, hundred years. So out of hundred years, fifty years wasted by sleeping, twenty years wasted by playing like boy and young man, and twenty years as old man, diseased, invalidated, and balance ten years... Because ninety years he has been so much attached to materialistic way of life, naturally the balance ten years, śeṣam, he cannot utilize in any other way. He can simply engage himself in that lusty desire for material existence. Adurātmanena kāmena. In this connection there is a very instructive story—it is fact—that the Emperor Akbar, he enquired from his minister... He had one very big minister; I forget just his name.
The yogi can float alone in the air. Now five hundred passengers, they can float in the air. So there is no need of such yoga, yoga-siddhi. The science, the material science of craftsmanship, mechanical, they have done it. Or formerly these things were very magical. Still, the so-called yogis, they are trying to achieve such perfection. Sometimes they can float in the air, they can walk on the water, they can get anything they desire, prāpti. Prāpti, in my childhood there was my teacher. He said that he had his guru, a yogi. So he told me that his spiritual master, yogi, he inquired from his disciple, "What do you want to eat?" So he said that "We want to eat some pomegranate from Kabul." So he said, "Yes, you can get it. Go into the room and you'll find." So they found a bunch of pomegranate just fresh taken from the tree. This is called prāpti. The yogis, they can get all these facilities. Prāpti siddhi. Īśitā, they can keep anyone under his control. Īśitā, vaśitā... There are eight kinds of aṣṭa-siddhi. But that is not perfection of life.
So there is no logic, there is no argument. But people do so. Anyāyenartha-sañcayan. Anyāyena, it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā that is demonic principle. So a gṛhastha, of course, required to accumulate some money because he's living with family, but so far brahmacārī, vānaprastha and sannyāsī is concerned, they should not keep any money. Caitanya Mahāprabhu was so strict that his personal servant, one day he was taking after eating a little, what is called, myrobalum (indistinct), haritaki. So one day he was giving myrobalum (indistinct) and Caitanya Mahāprabhu inquired, "Where you got this myrobalum (indistinct)?" So he said, "I kept it from yesterday." "Oh, you are stocking?" He immediately criticized him. "You are stocking? This is not good." So this principle... Of course, even if we do not stock, don't think that we'll starve. Kṛṣṇa has provided. But we should be depending on Kṛṣṇa. There is no anxiety. Actually, there is no anxiety. We have experienced this. I was alone for many years, but not a single day I was starving. No. There was food.
Yes. In the Bhagavad-gītā, the Absolute Truth, Kṛṣṇa, is explaining Himself. Absolute Truth is the ultimate end, Vedānta. The subject matter of knowledge is Absolute Truth. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. So we have got this human form of life to inquire about the Absolute Truth. Jijñāsuḥ śreyaḥ uttamam. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreyaḥ uttamam (SB 11.3.21). Unless one is jijñāsuḥ, inquisitive, there is no need of accept a so-called fashionable guru. To accept guru is not a fashion, style, that "Everyone has guru; I'll have a guru." No. The śāstra says, tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreyaḥ uttamam. One should accept guru when he is inquisitive, jijñāsuḥ. What about? Śreyaḥ uttamam. The Absolute or the auspicity beyond this material world. Uttamam. Tamaḥ means darkness, ignorance.
Yes. There are so many physical changes. We have seen it practically. Yes. Some of our students, so long he was here, he was so nice. He was so glowing. And as soon as he has left, he has become just like damn rascal. Yes. We are experiencing practically. There are so many instances. Because my face is the index of mind, so similarly, what is going on within you, that will be reflected. That will be reflected. Caitanya Mahāprabhu was asked that "How can I understand...?" One of His disciples inquired from Caitanya Mahāprabhu, "How can I understand that a man is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness?" He immediately replied, "If you see a man and at once you remember Kṛṣṇa, you must know that he is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness." It is such a nice thing. By seeing the face, by seeing the appearance of a person, if you remember Kṛṣṇa, you should know that "This man is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness." So there is change of physical feature also.
Therefore, what is that guru? Bhagavad-gītā also says, tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā (BG 4.34). Paripraśnena. Paripraśnena means inquiry. Ādau gurv-āśrayam, sad-dharma-pṛcchā. To accept a guru means to inquire from him about spiritual life, about transcendental situation. Not that fashion, "Oh, I have met a guru and he lives 300 miles away, I have no connection, no call for him(?)." No. Why the... The student should be very much inquisitive to learn, because accepting a guru is necessary for a person who is very much inquisitive to learn about the spiritual world. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam. Those who are not inquisitive to learn about the spiritual world, to learn about God, they need not keep a guru as a fashion, there is no need.
We have several times cited the example, that reading of Bhagavad-gītā... When Lord Caitanya was traveling in South India, He saw one brāhmaṇa, he was reading Bhagavad-gītā, but he was illiterate. But he was crying. So on inquiry from Caitanya Mahāprabhu what he is reading, he frankly admitted that "I am illiterate. I do not know even the letters. But my Guru Mahārāja asked me to read Bhagavad-gītā daily, so I am trying to read it. But I cannot read it." Then Caitanya Mahāprabhu inquired, "Then why you are crying?" He replied, "Yes, I get an ecstatic sentiment. As soon as I touch this book, I see the picture, that Kṛṣṇa is driving the chariot, and Arjuna is sitting, and He is instructing. So Kṛṣṇa is so kind, Kṛṣṇa is so faithful to His devotee, that He has taken the menial execution of service to His devotee. These feelings, whenever I feel, I am crying." This is the stage. This is the stage, when one becomes too much, I mean to say, glorifying about the wonderful acts. This is very wonderful act. The Supreme Personality of Godhead who is the greatest, God is great, but He has taken the service of a devotee as a menial driver. So this feeling gave him in ecstasy. This is a sign. It is not artificial. Tad guṇa-sūnavan, er, śruti-mātreṇa.
So everything is there. Don't think that God is zero. No. Śūnyavādi. Everything. Janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). Athāto brahma jijñāsā. You are inquiring about Brahman. Paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān (BG 10.12). So there must be anger, not that God should be always peaceful. But the difference is His anger and His peaceful attitude produces the same result. Prahlāda Mahārāja, a devotee, He is very satisfied with Prahlāda Mahārāja and He is very much dissatisfied with his father, but result is the same: both of them got liberation. Although a devotee becomes associate whereas the demon who is killed by God, he does not become an associate... He is not qualified. But he enters into the spiritual kingdom. He gets liberation from this material bondage. So why a devotee should take the same position? Therefore, māṁ eti. Tato māṁ tattvato jñātvā viśate tad-anantaram. They viśate, enters, enters in the spiritual kingdom. Everyone who is liberated, he is entered.
And He says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65). This is the instruction. This is the substance of all instruction. Believe Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality. Here is Kṛṣṇa. Believe that there is Kṛṣṇa. Innocent child will believe, but our brain is so dull, we will inquire, "Whether the Deity is made of stone or brass or wood," because we are not innocent. We are thinking that this Deity is something made of brass. Even it is brass, a brass is not God? Brass is also God. Because Kṛṣṇa says, bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhir..., apareyam..., bhinnā me prakṛtir aṣṭadhā (BG 7.4). Everything is Kṛṣṇa. Without Kṛṣṇa there is no existence. So why Kṛṣṇa cannot appear as He likes? He can appear in brass. He can appear in stone. He can appear in wood. He can appear in jewel. He can appear in painting. Any way He can... That is all-powerful. But we have to take it that "Here is Kṛṣṇa." Don't take it that "Kṛṣṇa is separate from this Deity, and here we have got a brass form Deity." No. Advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam (Bs. 5.33). Advaita. He has multi-expansion, but they're all one.
So it is very difficult, especially in this age. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo (SB 1.1.10). They are... Mandāḥ means they are not interested, or even they are little interested, they are very slow. They do not understand this is the prime knowledge. And first of all you must know it, athāto brahma jijñāsā, that superior knowledge. That is required. But everyone is neglecting. There is no inquisitiveness even what is that thing which is moving this body. There is no inquiry. They think automatically, by combination of this matter... They are still persisting on this point, and when you challenge, "You take this chemical and prepare the living force," they'll say, "That I cannot do." And what is this? If you cannot do, then why you are speaking like nonsense, that "The combination of matter or chemicals gives the life"? You take the chemicals. Our Doctor Svarūpa Dāmodara in the California University... One big professor came to lecture on chemical evolution, and he challenged immediately, that "If I give you the chemicals, can you produce life?" He said, "That I cannot say." So this is their position. They cannot prove it. They cannot do it.
So Prahlāda Mahārāja's position is nitya-siddha. Gaurāṅgera saṅgi gane nitya-siddha boli māne. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, when He came... Not only He, but others also. Just like with Kṛṣṇa so many devotees, they descended. Just like Arjuna. Arjuna is nitya-siddha, nitya-siddha friend. When Kṛṣṇa said that "I spoke this philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā to the sun-god...," imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam... (BG 4.1). That is so many millions of years ago. To clear the matter, Arjuna inquired that "Kṛṣṇa, You are of my age. How I can believe that You spoke this philosophy so many millions of years ago?" So what Kṛṣṇa replied, you know, that "My dear Arjuna, both you and Me, we appeared many, many times. The difference is that you have forgotten. That means you were also present at that time because you are My nitya-siddha friend. Whenever I appear, you also appear. But you have forgotten; I have not forgotten." That is the difference between jīva and śiva, or Lord, that we are minute part and particle of the Supreme; therefore we may forget. But Kṛṣṇa does not forget. That is the difference. So nitya-siddha. Prahlāda Mahārāja is to be understood as nitya, mahā-bhāgavata, nitya-siddha. They appear to complete the līlā of Kṛṣṇa.
The father asked the best thing the boy learned from his teachers, and the boy, five-years-old boy, replied, "My dear best of the demons." He never addressed his father, "My dear father," because his father was atheist number one, godless, and he was a great devotee of God. So when the father inquired, he straightly replied. He knew that his father was very powerful demon, but he was not afraid, although he was five-years-old boy. He plainly replied, "My dear the best of the demons,' sura-varya, asura varya. Asura means demons, and varya means the best, first-class demon. So "I think," tat sādhu manye-sādhu means honest, very good, very nice—"that is very nice." What is that? Dehināṁ: "For the entities who have accepted this material body..." He is speaking universally. Not for himself or for his father, but he was speaking generally for everybody. Everybody. Anyone. Dehināṁ. Dehi means this body. We are different from this body.
They, although they are always in the exalted position, they never advertise that "I am in exalted position." He is never puffed up. As you have read it, the author of Caitanya-caritāmṛta, such a great devotee, who could produce in his ripe old age such nice transcendental literature, which is certified by my Guru Mahārāja as the postgraduate study of the devotees... So Bhagavad-gītā is the study for the neophytes, those who are inquiring, those who are trying to understand the science of God, for them. That means it is primary study. And after studying Bhagavad-gītā, just like the boys, after passing the school final examination, they are allowed to enter into the degree college, similarly, one who has understood Bhagavad-gītā very nicely and taken up the instruction, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66), such person is eligible to enter into the study of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. He accepts Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is a preliminary qualification.
So that Nṛsiṁha-deva has appeared to give protection to Prahlāda Mahārāja and to kill his demon father, and He was very much angry. Now, some nonsense people may say... They inquire like this: "Why God should be angry?" Why should not He be angry? Wherefrom the anger comes? If God is the source of everything, then wherefrom this anger comes? It comes from God. How you can deny it? Why God should not be angry? If Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate (BG 10.8), "I am the source of everything," so anger is not within the categories of everything? So why God should not be angry? He must be angry. But He is angry on the nondevotee, not on His devotee. On the demons He is angry.
Because you are allowing your ear to receive the sound vibration, you are being benefited. Puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ. Śṛṇvataṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ. So if you... Please, simply hear what is going on here. That is also beneficial, puṇya. Puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ. Simply hearing, chanting, you join with us chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, you hear Hare Kṛṣṇa, then you become pious. Puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ. Kṛṣṇa is so nice. Bhavadbhir loka-maṅgalam. Suta Gosvāmī said that the kṛṣṇa-sampraśna, because you have inquired about Kṛṣṇa, so it is loka-maṅgalam, it is very much beneficial to the whole world. This saṅkīrtana movement is like that. Anywhere we are going, we are making the whole atmosphere purified. It is not here in India, we have got branches all over the world. In Africa, even those black men, they are also. Because in the spiritual world, there is no such consideration the black, white. Because it is the spiritual platform. The spirit soul is neither black, neither white, neither yellow.
This is still the Indian system. So they were kidnapped for so many days or so many years, so they appealed to Kṛṣṇa that "We'll not be accepted either by our father, neither anybody will agree to marry." Then Kṛṣṇa understood that "Their position is very precarious. Although they are released, they cannot go anywhere." Then Kṛṣṇa... He's so kind, bhakta-vatsala. He inquired, "What you want?" That... They said that "You accept me, otherwise we have no other means to stay." Kṛṣṇa immediately: "Yes, come on." This is Kṛṣṇa. And not that His sixteen thousand wives was concentrated in one camp. He immediately constructed sixteen thousand palaces. Because He has accepted as wife, he (she) must be maintained as His wife, as His queen, not that "Because they have no other means, they have come to My shelter. I can keep them any way." No. Most respectfully as queen, as Kṛṣṇa's queen. And again He thought that "The sixteen thousand wives... So if I remain alone, one figure, then My wives cannot meet Me. Everyone has to wait for sixteen thousand days to see the husband. No." He expanded Himself into sixteen thousand Kṛṣṇa. This is Kṛṣṇa. The rascals, they accuse Kṛṣṇa as woman-hunter. It is not like you. You cannot maintain even one wife, but He maintained sixteen thousand wives in sixteen thousand palaces and in sixteen thousand expansion of form. Everyone was pleased. This is Kṛṣṇa. We have to understand what is Kṛṣṇa. Don't try to imitate Kṛṣṇa. First of all try to understand Kṛṣṇa.
Kṛṣṇa has created... Eko bahu śyāma. We are vibhinnāṁśa-mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ (BG 15.7)—part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, every one of us. So everyone has got some duty. Kṛṣṇa has created us, expecting something to be done by us for satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa. That is bhakti. So that, our opportunity, is obtained in this human form of life. We should not waste our valuable time in any other occupation or business. Simply inquire and be ready how to serve Kṛṣṇa. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīla Ānukūla. Not your satisfaction but Kṛṣṇa's satisfaction. That is called ānukūla, favorable. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam (CC Madhya 19.167). And anuśīlanam means activity, not that "In trance I am in meditation." That is also Something is better than nothing, but real devotional service is activity. One must be active, and the best activity is to preach the glory of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the best activity. Na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu kaścid me prīya-kṛttamaḥ.
What is the difference between Kṛṣṇa and your body? That is said in the Bhagavad-gītā also. When Arjuna inquired from Kṛṣṇa, "Kṛṣṇa, You say that You spoke this yoga system of Bhagavad-gītā to sun-god, but I know that You are born just like me. Your age and my age is similar. You are my friend. How can I believe that You spoke this philosophy to sun-god, which means some millions of years ago?" So what was the reply of Kṛṣṇa? The reply was that "Your birth and My birth, there are many, many times. But I remember them all and you forget. That is the difference." Why we forget? Because we get a different body. Just like you remember you had been a child. Just like here is a small baby, he has got a small body. But when she'll be grown up girl she'll forget, because the body has changed. Forget. So because we change our body, therefore we forget. This is a fact. Just like when you, at night you are in dream. You forget your body. You are dreaming that you have got a body of a bird. You are flying in the sky and you have forgotten completely that you are Mr. and Mrs. such and such, lying in a room. You have forgotten. So in daily experience we can understand that due to change of body we forget. Death means change of body and forgetfulness. That is death. So Kṛṣṇa said that "You forget, you have forgotten, but I have not forgotten." That means indirectly Kṛṣṇa says that "I do not change My body, but you change your body." So we are all changing our body.
They have got very nice estate, very nice wife, very nice foodstuff. And the Vaiṣṇavas, who are worshiper of Viṣṇu, the most opulent, the controller of Lakṣmī, lakṣmī-sahasra-śata sevyamānaṁ, whom not only one, but millions and billions of goddess of fortune are always in His service, such opulent Kṛṣṇa and Viṣṇu, those who are worshiper of Viṣṇu and Kṛṣṇa, why they become poorer? This contradiction was inquired by Mahārāja Parikṣit to Śukadeva Gosvāmī, and Śukadeva Gosvāmī said that... This is the process of great personality. He said, "I'll not answer this question, but this very question was inquired by your grandfather Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira to Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. And it is better to take the answer directly from Kṛṣṇa."
That civilization is spiritual life. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. This human life is meant for spiritual life, not for material life like cats and dogs. This is not required. This is Vedānta philosophy, athāto brahma jijñāsā. One must try to learn what is the ultimate source of everything, not that theorizing or, what is called, imagining something. Take knowledge from the right source, brahma-vidyā, the Vedic knowledge, and try to understand the situation, what is Brahman, what you are. We are also Brahman. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi. These things are to be known. And when we neglect to understand these things, that means we are going to the wrong way of life. The wrong way of life can be allowed up to the animal life. Out of 8,400,000 forms of life, the animal life, three million types of animal life, by evolutionary process we come to the human life. Now we should inquire about spiritual life. That is civilization. Without spiritual life, without inquiring the spiritual life, it is animal life. Sa eva go-kharaḥ (SB 10.84.13). So try to understand this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. And spiritual life means to understand Kṛṣṇa. That is spiritual life. Kṛṣṇa comes to explain Himself. And hear from Him and understand Him as He says. Then, as soon as you understand Kṛṣṇa, your life is successful. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
But Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, or this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, is above these four principles of materialistic way of thinking. Kṛṣṇa consciousness means to inquire the value of life and the destination of life. We advocate that human form of life is meant neither for religious ritualistic performances or economic development or for sense gratification or for so-called searching after liberation. Śrīmad-Bhāgavata says that jīvasya tattva-jijñāsaḥ. We have to accept economic development so far as we keep our body and soul together, fit for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We do not recommend that unnecessarily you should give trouble to the body. We do not recommend any man to go to the forest for spiritual realization. We simply recommend that you try to understand what is your constitutional position. If you actually think or meditate very cool-headed what is your actual position, first of all you shall realize that you are not this body.
These rascals, they inquire, "Why, if Kṛṣṇa is so good, why He has put me into this position?" The rascal does not know that Kṛṣṇa wants you all to be happy, and He has given the instruction how to become happy, but we are unfortunate. We do not take Kṛṣṇa's instruction and suffer. This knowledge is not there. Māyāyapahṛta-jñānā. He's suffering for his own fault, and he's accusing God that "He has put me into this position." No. Therefore those who are devotees, they do not become so foolish. When they are suffering, they do not accuse Kṛṣṇa. They say, "My Lord, it is Your mercy that I am suffering." Just the opposite. Tat te 'nukampāṁ susamīkṣamāṇaḥ (SB 10.14.8). Because he knows that "I am suffering on account of my own fault. So better Kṛṣṇa is adjusting the thing, giving me little trouble, that's all." That is the position. Karmāṇi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhājām (Bs. 5.54).
So from this point Caitanya Mahāprabhu starts His instruction. When Sanātana Gosvāmī approached Him that "By Your mercy I have left my this material engagement. I was minister. I was very much puffed up. So by good fortune I saw You. Now I have retired from my so-called happy life. Now please tell me what is my position?" Ke āmi kene āmāre jāre tāpa traya: "Why I am? What I am? Why I am put into this condition of suffering?" Just like one goes to the physician, a diseased man. He submits and inquires from the physician that "Why I am suffering from this pain? Some pain always in the heart, some pain in the belly, some pain in head. So what is the disease?" So Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "The disease is that you are servant of Kṛṣṇa. You are, rascal, trying to be master of the world." This is the struggle. A servant is trying to become master. How it is possible? It is simply entanglement. Just like in an office, a menial servant, if he wants to imitate the master, he'll be involved in so many difficulties. So that is our position.
When Kṛṣṇa with His sixteen thousand wives went to Hastināpura, so Draupadī... It is natural between woman and woman, they talk about their husband. That is natural. So Draupadī was inquiring from each and every wife of Kṛṣṇa. Not all of them. It is impossible, sixteen thousand. At least the principal queens, beginning from... What is the end called?(?) Rukmiṇī, yes. So every one of them were describing their marriage ceremony, that "My..." Rukmiṇī explained that "My father wanted to hand over me to Kṛṣṇa, but my elder brother, he did not agree. He wanted to get me married with Śiśupala. So I did not like this idea. I wrote Kṛṣṇa a private letter, that 'I have dedicated my life to You, but this is the situation. Please come and kidnap me.' So in this way Kṛṣṇa kidnapped me and made me His maidservant." The queen's daughter, king's daughter... Everyone of them were king's daughter. They were not ordinary person daughter.
So why it is required to serve Vaiṣṇava? If you want to get relief from this conditional life, then you have to serve Vaiṣṇavas. Chādiyā vaiṣṇava sevā, nistāra payeche keba. This is the... "Who has got," I mean to say, "liberty from this entanglement of material existence"—chādiyā vaiṣṇava sevā—"if you do not serve a pure Vaiṣṇava?" Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimukteḥ (SB 5.5.2). This is everywhere. If you want liberation from this material entanglement, then you must take to mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimukteḥ (SB 5.5.2). You must. There is no alternative. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam (SB 11.3.21). "If you are actually interested to inquire about the transcendental subject matter, you must accept a guru."
He was prime minister. He knew himself, Sanātana Gosvāmī, that he was prime minister of Hussain Shah and he's coming of very learned brāhmaṇa family. He knew it. Then why he's asking, ke āmi: "Who am?" This is knowledge. This is knowledge. One has to understand himself. That is the basic principle of spiritual life. Unless we understand who I am... You go to the spiritual master, our first business is inquiry. That inquiry is "Who am I?" This is the... This is the beginning of inquiry. So our, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is authorized. We have printed one pamphlet, "Kṛṣṇa Consciousness Movement Is Authorized." It is not a sentiment, fanaticism. No. It is scientific, authorized. So I am very glad that you European and American boys, you have taken so much trouble to come here, but you'll be benefited if you come here and try to take lessons from Caitanya Mahāprabhu as He gave it to Sanātana Gosvāmī. Sanātana Gosvāmī inquired, "Who am I?" and He replied very simple thing: jīvera svarūpa haya nitya kṛṣṇa dāsa (Cc. Madhya 20.108-109). This is the beginning of our lesson, so we must understand very nicely this point.
So this is going on not only in this life, before this life also, anādi, anādi. So once we get the chance to understand what is the problem of life, and this human life is given a chance. By evolution, by nature's way, 8,400,000 species of life we are coming through. Then the nature has given one chance, this human form of life. Now it is for understanding what is our position. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. But if we do not take care of this questioning... Ke āmi kene āmāya jāre tāpa-traya. Sanātana Gosvāmī placed this inquiry before Caitanya Mahāprabhu. To approach guru means to inquire about himself, "What I am?" That is intelligence. Sanātana Gosvāmī was the minister. He was very opulent. Tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīṁ sadā tucchavat. But when he came to his senses after meeting Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he wanted to know, "What I am?" This is real inquiry. He could be very satisfied to get answer himself that "I am minister. I have got so big salary. I get so much respect." No, he was not satisfied. He went to guru, Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
So this is our material condition of life. Prahlāda Mahārāja is describing one after another. So sometimes foolish person accuse God that "Why He has put us into this miserable condition, different status of life? Somebody is rich, somebody is poor, somebody is diseased, somebody is healthy, and so many varieties." Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has said, keśava tuyā jagata vicitra. Vicitra means varieties. "So if God is kind, why He has made so many varieties?" This is not the common question you meet? You are preaching. They inquire like this: "Why God is not kind to everyone? Why He has made this distinction?"
But there is no education of these Vedas and Purāṇas. They are interested in Freud philosophy, Darwin's theory, all this nonsense. The Vedas, Purāṇas, are there; they are neglectful. But the rascal philosophy, they are interested. Their life is spoiled. This is spoiling civilization. One has got the opportunity of understanding himself. He has forgotten himself, and there is bona fide literature how to understand himself. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. The Vedānta is there: "Now you inquire what you are." The inquiry must be there. Unless you inquire, automatically it will not be, because God has given you independence. Very little independence, but we are misusing. We are misusing. Therefore unless by using properly our little independence we accept Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, and surrender unto Him, there is no liberation. Kṛṣṇa can force you, but He does not do that. Because you have misused your independence—you have forgotten Kṛṣṇa—again you have to use properly your independence and accept Kṛṣṇa. That is wanted. That is wanted. This is the process.
So You have kindly brought me from this hellish condition, simply politics and pounds, shilling, pence. So it is a great mercy for me of Your Lordship. But my first question is ke āmi: 'What I am?' " This is the first question. It must be... Jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam. Here the same word is used, śreyas-kāmāḥ. Śreyas-kāmāḥ. Anyone who is dhīra, he'll inquire about the ultimate goal of life, śreyas. There are two things, śreyas and preyas. Preyas means immediately very nice. Suppose somebody says that "Oh, there is a very nice dancing girl singing, and why you are here, saṅkīrtana? What you'll enjoy? Come here. There's a very nice girl." That is preyas. Preyas means immediately very pleasing. And one comes here, that is śreyas, means it will do him ultimately good. So there are two things, way. Those who are foolish persons, they are after śreyas..., er, preyas, immediately palatable. And those who are intelligent, dhīra, they are after śreyas. Śreyas-kāmāḥ. Without becoming śreyas-kāmāḥ, nobody can be Kṛṣṇa conscious. If one is preyas-kāmāḥ, if one wants to enjoy this material world, sense gratification, he cannot become Kṛṣṇa conscious. That is not possible. Only śreyas-kāmāḥ.
So he was very glad to receive those articles and invited Sanātana Gosvāmī and prepared so many nice foodstuff and offered to the Deity, and Sanātana Gosvāmī was given the prasādam. So Sanātana Gosvāmī was very pleased, and he inquired, "Rūpa Gosvāmī, where you got these nice things? You are living in this... How you could receive all these things?" "Yes, my dear brother, I was just thinking in the morning. In the meantime a very nice young girl came and offered so many things, so I could..." "So what is that? Who is that young girl in this forest? So how She was looking?" "Oh, she was very, very beautiful." "Oh, Rādhārāṇī. Oh." So he was very sorry. "You have taken service from Rādhārāṇī? Oh, you have done very wrong. We are trying to serve Rādhārāṇī, and you have taken service from Rādhārāṇī?" He rebuked him. This is pure service. They are avoiding to take service from Kṛṣṇa-Rādhārāṇī. And Kṛṣṇa-Rādhārāṇī was finding out the opportunity how to serve the devotee.
This human form of life is meant for tapasya, to learn how to become detached from this material world. And the beginning is this brahmacārī life. Brahmacārī gurukule vasan dāntaḥ. Dānta means self-controlled. That is real teaching. Either a gṛhastha lives... If a gṛhastha lives, even he has got wife, he does not... One side, according to Vedic civilization, there is no sex life except for begetting a nice child, and that also with garbhādhāna-saṁskāra. In other words, whimsically sex life is completely stopped in Vedic civilization. There everything under regulation. Therefore brahmacārī means how to control the senses, to keep under his own control, not that "I am now sexually inclined. I must have immediately sex." No. Dānta. That is taught. Just like in our society, even gṛhastha, he is also under restriction, and what to speak of brahmacārī. But we should always remember that this human life is meant for controlling the senses. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. It is simply meant for inquiring about our spiritual life. That is perfect civilization.
That is the real necessity of this human form of life. The animals, they cannot inquire about himself or about the Supreme. But a human being can inquire, that "I want to become happy, but miseries are coming upon me one after another." At least, one should know what are the miseries. The miseries are three kinds of miseries. It is not the question of one religion or another religion. The miserable condition of life is for everyone, either he is Hindu or he is Muslim or Christian or Jew. It doesn't matter. Anyone who has accepted this material body has to undergo the miserable condition of material existence. That is a fact. And what are the miserable condition? There are three types: adhyātmika, adhibhautika, adhidaivika. Adhyātmika means pertaining to the body, mind. Everyone is experienced that "I'm not feeling today well due to some sickness of my body or some mental disturbance." This is called adhyātmika.
But that is not the way of seeking happiness. If we actually want to be happy, then you have to inquire about your constitutional position, what I am. That is meditation, to know. You just think over yourself, "Whether I am this body?" If you think that... Suppose you think over your, meditate upon your finger. You'll come to the conclusion that "I am not this finger. It is my finger. I am not this finger." Because if the finger is cut off, that I am not dead, therefore I am not finger. It is very easy to understand. So you meditate on every part of your body. You'll come to the conclusion, if you are sane, that "I am not this body. The body is mine. I am not this dress. The dress is mine." That is the conclusion. Then what I am? At the present moment I am identifying with this body, with this dress. (child disturbing) That is illusion. Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke (SB 10.84.13). Bhāgavata says anyone who is identifying himself with this body, he's an ass.
So this is... The function of human activity is to know oneself, what he is, and then begin his work. And if he works simply just like animal, eating, sleeping, mating and defending... These are animal activities. If you simply endeavor for eating whole day and night, and if you are satisfied whatever you like to eat, and you think that "My mission of life is finished, now my belly is full with foodstuff," that is not human civilization. But in this age people are degrading so much that at the end of the day, if he can have a full belly meal, he says, "Oh, I am now satisfied." Just like animal. Or "If I can sleep in a nice apartment, oh, I am very happy." Or "If I can mate with a beautiful opposite sex, oh, I am happy." These are animal happiness. Actual human happiness is not simply to meet the bodily demands. That is called brahma-jijñāsā. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. Now where to inquire about this Brahman, about oneself, that is the next question. Just like if you want to learn something about medical science you have to approach some medical man or you have to take admission in some medical school or college.
That is very nice qualification. Unless one is disgusted with this materialistic way of life, that actually in this materialistic way of life there is no happiness... This proposition must be convinced by one, that he should know certainly that "In the material way of life I cannot become happy." This is the first condition. Tasmād. Tasmād means "therefore." Similarly, in Vedānta-sūtra also, atha ataḥ brahma-jijñāsā. When we become fed up, disgusted with the materialistic way of life, natural inquiry is then "What is next?" That "next," in order to understand that "next," the Vedānta-sūtra says, the Vedic knowledge says that tasmād gurum evābhigacchet. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta. Therefore one should seek after a bona fide spiritual master and learn there. That is the Vedic injunction. So one who is actually convinced that "The materialistic way of life cannot make me happy," his duty is to seek after a bona fide spiritual master to be enlightened in the transcendental science of understanding oneself and what is God.
So that sort of question is not required to be solved by the spiritual master. The spiritual master should be approached by a person who is inquisitive to understand śreya uttamam, what is the highest benefit, spiritual benefit, beyond this material existence. For that purpose. Śreya. Śreya means the benefit, highest benefit. Preya and śreya. Preya means immediately I want some benefit, and śreya means the ultimate benefit. One who is inquisitive about the ultimate benefit, he should be inquisitive or inquire from a bona fide spiritual master. Jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam.
Now, the next question is, "Who is spiritual master, where I have to go and inquire?" Otherwise I'll be misled. I may approach a person who is not actually bona fide spiritual master. That should also be known. And what is that? That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, in the Vedas and Bhagavad-gītā—everywhere the same thing is. Here also it is said that you should approach a bona fide spiritual master. Jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam, to whom? Śābde pare ca niṣṇātam: (SB 11.3.21) one who has actually taken full bath in the ocean of transcendental knowledge. Śābde pare ca niṣṇātam. Śābde means the transcendental sound.
One man can purchase a two-cent worth this thread and put it on the..., "Oh, I come from a brāhmaṇa family." Without any education, without any acceptance of spiritual master and without anything, simply by showing the thread, that "I have got this thread," he becomes a brāhmaṇa or vipra, or twice-born or... Nonsense. But this will be done in Kali-yuga. Actually, these things are being done in India especially. Because here, in your country, there is no sacred thread ceremony, but in India there is this division of brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, and still the sacred thread ceremony is there. So in order to pose oneself as born of high family, one can simply purchase two-cent-worth thread and put on the breast and he can introduce himself, "Oh, I am brāhmaṇa." And nobody is going to inquire whether he is actually a brāhmaṇa. As soon as one sees that sacred thread: "Oh, he's a brāhmaṇa." That's all. So this is the, another symptom of Kali-yuga, that simply by two-cent-worth sacred thread one becomes a brāhmaṇa.
False propaganda. Simply if he can satisfy the mass people by false propaganda, then he will be accepted that "You are very learned." Nobody will inquire whether he is learned according to the standard books, because nobody has got knowledge of the standard book. I may speak something without any reference to the standard book, but if I can convince you, if I can flatter you, then you will accept me. Just like so many propaganda is going on that "You can become a great yogi, at the same time you can indulge your senses. There is no restriction." People like, they like it. So people are following that. But actually, if we refer to the standard books of yoga, it is very difficult. But that will not be spoken because they will not like it. So everyone can manufacture in his own way some cheap thing, and people will like it. So pāṇḍitye cāpalaṁ vacaḥ.
Yes. Vedas means from the beginning of creation. Brahma, the first living creature, he was impregnated with Vedic knowledge by Kṛṣṇa. And that is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: tene brahma hṛdā ādi-kavaye. Ādi kavi means the first living creature, Brahma. In his heart, hṛdā... Hṛdā means heart. Tene, impregnated. Brahma, brahma means Vedic knowledge. So he was the first living creature. So one may inquire that how he was educated in Vedic knowledge, because there was no other living being. So therefore it is stated, tene brahma hṛdā. Hṛdā means from within. There is education from within and without. From within the Supersoul gives you education. Kṛṣṇa gives you education. Not to everyone. Who is devotee, to him, the Lord speaks from within. And from without, the spiritual master. So both ways we are getting opportunity for learning Vedic knowledge, from without, from within. And if still we don't take advantage of it, then it is our misfortune. The spiritual master is considered to be the outward expression of the Supersoul. God is so kind that He is within, giving you education, provided you are prepared to hear. And from without, He sends His representative. So both ways we are benefited. We have to take advantage of this opportunity. From without, we have got these books, the spiritual master, the saintly persons, so many. Friends, books. And from within, Kṛṣṇa, the Supersoul.
|Compiled by||Visnu Murti + and Mayapur +|
|Completed sections||ALL +|
|Date of first entry||November 30, 0011 JL +|
|Date of last entry||January 21, 0012 JL +|
|Total quotes||127 +|
|Total quotes by section||BG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 127 +, Conv: 0 + and Let: 0 +|