Hari-śauri: Tell him to leave the door open.
Prabhupāda: So the whole thing is that if you chant hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and give up these sinful activities, automatically you become reformed, come to the spiritual platform, and in this way your life will become successful.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Can we go on to the next question, Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Question fourteen. "It is said that the karma-kāṇḍa in the Vedas has almost gone out of use, except for a few rites which remain in vogue for marriage, śraddhās, etc. Is it advisable to revive the karma-kāṇḍa with its stress on the performance of various yajñas?"
Prabhupāda: So that is not possible in this... Taking consideration of the time, circumstances, it is not possible. There are different kinds of karma-kāṇḍīya-yajña. It is expensive also and there is no expert brāhmaṇa to guide how to perform this yajña. So Kali-yuga, it is not possible to perform yajñas. Kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ (SB 12.3.52). In the Treta-yuga yajñas were possible. Dvāpare paricaryāyāṁ kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt, that in this age of Kali-yuga the real yajña is hari-kīrtana. Yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi su-medhasaḥ (SB 11.5.32). Therefore those who are intelligent, having good brain substance, they take to this yajña, saṅkīrtana-yajña. And practically we are experiencing, simply by saṅkīrtana-yajña, even the lowest person in the sinful activities, he is becoming purified. So karma-kāṇḍa is, to revive them in this age is not possible. Neither jñāna-kanda. That is also not possible. People are so fool and rascal that it is impossible. Therefore Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura said... He has condemned karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa. Even it is properly done. Karma-kāṇḍa, by performing ritualistic ceremonies of karma-kāṇḍa, you can go to the heavenly planet. But what is the benefit there? You can enjoy there materialistic way of life in higher standard. That's all. You can live for a very, very long duration of period. But that does not mean that you become immortal. The demigods, they are called amara. Amara means they have got very long duration of life. Does not mean he is immortal. So by karma-kāṇḍa you can elevate yourself to the higher planetary system. Even it is properly done... And now it is not possible to do it properly. And even it is properly done, that is condemned. It is not required. Similarly jñāna-kāṇḍa. Even it is properly done... You can merge yourself into the Brahman effulgence. But that is also not safe because in the śāstra we see that arūhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adhaḥ (SB 10.2.32). Even one merges oneself into the impersonal Brahman, he again falls down. Patanty adhaḥ. We have seen practical, in India many sannyāsīs, they elevate themselves by jñāna-kāṇḍa, but because they cannot stay, they again come to the karma-kāṇḍa, philanthropy activities and hospitals and schools. That is their fall down. So either in karma-kāṇḍa or jñāna-kāṇḍa you cannot achieve the real purpose of life. Therefore Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura has said, karma-kāṇḍa jñāna-kāṇḍa sakali visera bandha. Either you accept karma-kāṇḍa or jñāna-kanda, they're different pots of poison. Amṛta boliya jeba khai. If by mistake you take poison, death is inevitable. Similarly, by karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa nobody can derive any actual benefit. By upasana-kāṇḍa, that is the... The Vedas, Vedic ritualistic ceremony means there are three kāṇḍas: karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa, and upāsana-kāṇḍa. So upāsana-kāṇḍa, there are recommendation of many, worship of many demigods. But the best upāsana is Viṣṇūpāsana. Viṣṇor arādhanaṁ sarveṣāṁ. Viṣṇor arādhanaṁ param. Oṁ tad viṣṇuṁ paramaṁ padam. There are different types of upāsana recommendation, but the viṣṇor arādhanam, worshiping Lord Viṣṇu, that is the Supreme. That is Supreme. So gradually, there is elevation to karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa, upāsana-kāṇḍa, but in the Kali-yuga all these things are not possible to revive. Best directly give him the best upāsana-kāṇḍa, Viṣṇūpāsana, bhakti, everything will be automatically achieved by bhakti-mārga.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: The next question, Śrīla Prabhupāda, fifteen. "Hinduism has been defined as a way of life."
Prabhupāda: Yes. Actually it is the way. That, I have already described it. It is not a sectarianism like Muslimism, Christianism or "Thisism..." Hinduism also now one of them. Actually, it is a way of life, varṇāśrama-dharma, how to become elevated to the spiritual platform. So that begins by the varṇāśrama-dharma, to select persons according to his capacity to different varṇas. Some of them selected, trained as brāhmaṇas. Some of them trained as kṣatriya, some of them as vaiśya, some of them as, remain... Those who cannot take any training, they are śūdras. So in the ways (indistinct) there must be social division not by birth, but by education. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). That we have lost. The so-called Hinduism they have lost. And because they did not follow real varṇāśrama-dharma, therefore India, so many renegades, Muslim became... Once they become Muslim, there was no reformation. But according to Vedic principle, even one is fallen, he can be raised to the highest standard. Māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ (BG 9.32). One may... Saṁskārād bhaved dvija. And Sanātana Gosvāmī says that
- yathā kañcanataṁ yati
- kaṁsyaṁ rasa-vidhānataḥ
- tathā dīkṣā-vidhānena
- dvijatvaṁ jāyate nṛṇam
As by chemical process the bell metal can be turned into gold by adding with the mercury.... This is a chemical process. If you can add in the bell metal proportionately mercury, then it will turn into gold. Here is the process given in the śāstra. If you are able to do it, you can do it, turn gold some of these bell metals. So the example is given that as the bell metal, base metal, can be turned into gold by chemical process, similarly, by dīkṣā-vidhānena, by proper initiation by the bona fide spiritual master, everyone can be turned into dvija, twice-born. Dvijatvaṁ jāyate nṛṇam. Nṛṇam means all men. It is not there is no discrimination, that only the Hindus, only the Indians, or only the so-called brāhmaṇas can be turned. Everyone can be turned. That is the injunction. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to do that, trying everyone to become a bona fide brāhmaṇa. Without becoming a brāhmaṇa you cannot become Vaiṣṇava. So this reformatory process is recommended in the śāstras. What is the question?