Sober (BG and SB)
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
BG Chapters 1 - 6
As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.
Any man who has perfect knowledge of the constitution of the individual soul, the Supersoul, and nature—both material and spiritual—is called a dhīra, or a most sober man. Such a man is never deluded by the change of bodies.
BG Chapters 7 - 12
Then, bewildered and astonished, his hair standing on end, Arjuna bowed his head to offer obeisances and with folded hands began to pray to the Supreme Lord.
Once the divine vision is revealed, the relationship between Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna changes immediately. Before, Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna had a relationship based on friendship, but here, after the revelation, Arjuna is offering obeisances with great respect, and with folded hands he is praying to Kṛṣṇa. He is praising the universal form. Thus Arjuna's relationship becomes one of wonder rather than friendship. Great devotees see Kṛṣṇa as the reservoir of all relationships. In the scriptures there are twelve basic kinds of relationships mentioned, and all of them are present in Kṛṣṇa. It is said that He is the ocean of all the relationships exchanged between two living entities, between the gods, or between the Supreme Lord and His devotees.
Here Arjuna was inspired by the relationship of wonder, and in that wonder, although he was by nature very sober, calm and quiet, he became ecstatic, his hair stood up, and he began to offer his obeisances unto the Supreme Lord with folded hands.
BG Chapters 13 - 18
Since the present civilization is not very congenial to the living entities, Kṛṣṇa consciousness is recommended. Through Kṛṣṇa consciousness, society will develop the mode of goodness. When the mode of goodness is developed, people will see things as they are. In the mode of ignorance, people are just like animals and cannot see things clearly. In the mode of ignorance, for example, they do not see that by killing one animal they are taking the chance of being killed by the same animal in the next life. Because people have no education in actual knowledge, they become irresponsible. To stop this irresponsibility, education for developing the mode of goodness of the people in general must be there. When they are actually educated in the mode of goodness, they will become sober, in full knowledge of things as they are. Then people will be happy and prosperous.
SB Canto 3
O sober one, others, such as Hṛdīka, Cārudeṣṇa, Gada and the son of Satyabhāmā, who accept Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa as the soul of the self and thus follow His path without deviation—are they well?
O sober Vidura, King Indra, his honor having been insulted, poured water incessantly on Vṛndāvana, and thus the inhabitants of Vraja, the land of cows, were greatly distressed. But the compassionate Lord Kṛṣṇa saved them from danger with His pastime umbrella, the Govardhana Hill.
Please also describe the fruitive results of charity and penance and of digging reservoirs of water. Please describe the situation of persons who are away from home and also the duty of a man in an awkward position.
The digging of reservoirs of water for public use is a great work of charity, and retiring from family life after fifty years of age is a great act of penance performed by the sober human being.
Lord Brahmā continued: Those two principal doorkeepers of the Personality of Godhead have now entered the womb of Diti, the powerful semen of Kaśyapa Muni having covered them.
Here is clear proof of how a living entity coming originally from Vaikuṇṭhaloka is encaged in material elements. The living entity takes shelter within the semen of a father, which is injected within the womb of a mother, and with the help of the mother's emulsified ovum the living entity grows a particular type of a body. In this connection it is to be remembered that the mind of Kaśyapa Muni was not in order when he conceived the two sons, Hiraṇyākṣa and Hiraṇyakaśipu. Therefore the semen he discharged was simultaneously extremely powerful and mixed with the quality of anger. It is to be concluded that while conceiving a child one's mind must be very sober and devotional. For this purpose the Garbhādhāna-saṁskāra is recommended in the Vedic scriptures.
If the mind of the father is not sober, the semen discharged will not be very good. Thus the living entity, wrapped in the matter produced from the father and mother, will be demoniac like Hiraṇyākṣa and Hiraṇyakaśipu. The conditions of conception are to be carefully studied. This is a very great science.
Thus he gradually became unaffected by the false ego of material identity and became free from material affection. Undisturbed, equal to everyone and without duality, he could indeed see himself also. His mind was turned inward and was perfectly calm, like an ocean unagitated by waves.
When one's mind is in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness and one fully engages in rendering devotional service to the Lord, he becomes just like an ocean unagitated by waves. This very example is also cited in Bhagavad-gītā: one should become like the ocean. The ocean is filled by many thousands of rivers, and millions of tons of its water evaporates into clouds, yet the ocean is the same unagitated ocean. The laws of nature may work, but if one is fixed in devotional service at the lotus feet of the Lord, he is not agitated, for he is introspective. He does not look outside to material nature, but he looks in to the spiritual nature of his existence; with a sober mind, he simply engages in the service of the Lord. Thus he realizes his own self without false identification with matter and without affection for material possessions. Such a great devotee is never in trouble with others because he sees everyone from the platform of spiritual understanding; he sees himself and others in the right perspective.
The mode of goodness, which is the clear, sober status of understanding the Personality of Godhead and which is generally called vāsudeva, or consciousness, becomes manifest in the mahat-tattva.
The pure status of consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, exists in the beginning; just after creation, consciousness is not polluted. The more one becomes materially contaminated, however, the more consciousness becomes obscured. In pure consciousness one can perceive a slight reflection of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As in clear, unagitated water, free from impurities, one can see everything clearly, so in pure consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one can see things as they are. One can see the reflection of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and one can see his own existence as well. This state of consciousness is very pleasing, transparent and sober. In the beginning, consciousness is pure.
SB Canto 4
The sage Maitreya said: When such cursing and countercursing was going on between Lord Śiva's followers and the parties of Dakṣa and Bhṛgu, Lord Śiva became very morose. Not saying anything, he left the arena of the sacrifice, followed by his disciples.
Here Lord Śiva's excellent character is described. In spite of the cursing and countercursing between the parties of Dakṣa and Śiva, because he is the greatest Vaiṣṇava he was so sober that he did not say anything. A Vaiṣṇava is always tolerant, and Lord Śiva is considered the topmost Vaiṣṇava, so his character, as shown in this scene, is excellent. He became morose because he knew that these people, both his men and Dakṣa's, were unnecessarily cursing and countercursing one another, without any interest in spiritual life. From his point of view, he did not see anyone as lower or higher, because he is a Vaiṣṇava. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (5.18), paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ: one who is perfectly learned does not see anyone as lesser or greater, because he sees everyone from the spiritual platform. Thus the only alternative left to Lord Śiva was to leave in order to stop his follower, Nandīśvara, as well as Bhṛgu Muni, from cursing and countercursing in that way.
It is possible to worship a form of the Lord made of physical elements such as earth, water, pulp, wood and metal. In the forest one can make a form with no more than earth and water and worship Him according to the above principles. A devotee who has full control over his self should be very sober and peaceful and must be satisfied simply with eating whatever fruits and vegetables are available in the forest.
My dear slender maiden, when a master chastises his servant, the servant should accept this as great mercy. One who becomes angry must be very foolish not to know that such is the duty of his friend.
It is said that when a foolish man is instructed in something very nice, he generally cannot accept it. Indeed, he actually becomes angry. Such anger is compared to the poison of a serpent, for when a serpent is fed milk and bananas, its poison actually increases. Instead of becoming merciful or sober, the serpent increases its poisonous venom when fed nice foodstuffs. Similarly, when a fool is instructed, he does not rectify himself, but actually becomes angry.
The Queen took her bath and dressed herself nicely with all auspicious garments and ornaments. After taking food and becoming completely satisfied, she returned to the King. Upon seeing her beautifully decorated attractive face, the King welcomed her with all devotion.
A woman is generally accustomed to dress herself nicely with fine garments and decorative ornaments. She may even sometimes wear flowers in her hair. Women especially dress themselves up in the evening because the husband comes home in the evening after working hard all day. It is the duty of the wife to dress herself up very nicely so that when her husband returns home he becomes attracted by her dress and cleanliness and thus becomes satisfied. In other words, the wife is the inspiration of all good intelligence. Upon seeing one's wife dressed nicely, one can think very soberly about family business. When a person is too anxious about family affairs, he cannot discharge his family duties nicely. A wife is therefore supposed to be an inspiration and should keep the husband's intelligence in good order so that they can combinedly prosecute the affairs of family life without impediment.
On the brahma-bhūta platform the living entity is liberated from material bondage, and he engages in the service of the Lord. In this verse the word dhīra is sometimes read as vīra. Actually there is not very much difference. The word dhīra means "sober," and vīra means "hero."
One who is struggling against māyā is a hero, and one who is sober enough to understand his position is a dhīra.
Without becoming sober or heroic, one cannot attain spiritual salvation.
SB Canto 5
"They are rotting in material activities for transient material pleasure and spoiling their lives toiling all day and night simply for sense gratification, with no attachment for love of Godhead. I am simply lamenting for them and devising various plans to deliver them from the clutches of māyā." (SB 7.9.43) Karmīs who act very seriously for sense gratification are always referred to in the śāstras by such terms as pramatta, vimukha and vimūḍha. They are killed by māyā. However, one who is apramatta, a sane, sober person, a dhīra, knows very well that a human being's primary duty is to render service to the Supreme Person. Māyā is always ready to kill those who are pramatta with her invisible bows and arrows. Āgnīdhra questioned Pūrvacitti about this.
SB Canto 6
To concentrate the mind, one must observe a life of celibacy and not fall down. One must undergo the austerity of voluntarily giving up sense enjoyment. One must then control the mind and senses, give charity, be truthful, clean and nonviolent, follow the regulative principles and regularly chant the holy name of the Lord. Thus a sober and faithful person who knows the religious principles is temporarily purified of all sins performed with his body, words and mind. These sins are like the dried leaves of creepers beneath a bamboo tree, which may be burned by fire although their roots remain to grow again at the first opportunity.
When one is in knowledge of duality, one knows both fear and bliss. The same Supreme Lord is a source of bliss to devotees and fear to nondevotees who have a poor fund of knowledge. God is one, but people understand the Absolute Truth from different angles of vision. The unintelligent see contradictions in Him, but sober devotees find no contradictions.
Therefore, O King Citraketu, carefully consider the position of the ātmā. In other words, try to understand who you are—whether body, mind or soul. Consider where you have come from, where you are going after giving up this body, and why you are under the control of material lamentation. Try to understand your real position in this way, and then you will be able to give up your unnecessary attachment. You will also be able to give up the belief that this material world, or anything not directly in touch with service to Kṛṣṇa, is eternal. Thus you will obtain peace.
The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is factually endeavoring to bring human society to a sober condition. Because of a misdirected civilization, people are jumping in materialistic life like cats and dogs, performing all sorts of abominable, sinful actions and becoming increasingly entangled.
The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement includes self-realization because one is first directed by Lord Kṛṣṇa to understand that one is not the body but the owner of the body. When one understands this simple fact, he can direct himself toward the goal of life. Because people are not educated in terms of the goal of life, they are working like madmen and becoming more and more attached to the material atmosphere. The misguided man accepts the material condition as everlasting. One must give up his faith in material things and give up attachment for them. Then one will be sober and peaceful.
SB Canto 7
The Lord, the Supersoul of all living entities, is sober, peaceful and equal to everyone. Since the great devotee Prahlāda was protected by the Lord's potency, Hiraṇyakaśipu was unable to kill him, in spite of endeavoring to do so in various ways.
When Hiraṇyakaśipu teases the great devotee Prahlāda, his own son, who is peaceful and sober and who has no enemy, I shall kill Hiraṇyakaśipu immediately, despite the benedictions of Brahmā.
Sober and expert persons should search for the spirit soul with minds purified through analytical study in terms of the soul's connection with and distinction from all things that undergo creation, maintenance and destruction.
A sober person can study himself and distinguish the soul from the body by analytical study. For example, when one considers his body—his head, his hands and so on-one can certainly understand the difference between the spirit soul and the body. No one says, "I head." Everyone says, "My head." Thus there are two entities—the head and "I." They are not identical, although they appear to be one conglomeration.
One may argue, "When we analyze the body we find a head, hands, legs, a belly, blood, bones, urine, stool and so on, but after everything is considered, where is the existence of the soul?" A sober man, however, avails himself of this Vedic instruction:
yato vā imāni bhūtāni jāyante; yena jātāni jīvanti; yat prayanty abhisaṁviśanti; tad vijijñāsasva; tad brahmeti.
(Taittirīya Upaniṣad 3.1.1)
Thus he can understand that the head, hands, legs and indeed the entire body have grown on the basis of the soul. If the soul is within, the body, head, hands and legs grow, but otherwise they do not. A dead child does not grow up, for the soul is not present. If by a careful analysis of the body one still cannot find the existence of the soul, this is due to his ignorance.
The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is meant to educate sinful men so that they may become pious simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.
- harer nāma harer nāma
- harer nāmaiva kevalam
- kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
- nāsty eva gatir anyathā
- (CC Adi 17.21)
To cleanse the heart so that one may become sober and wise in this age of Kali, there is no value to any method other than the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Prahlāda Mahārāja has confirmed this process in previous verses. Tvad-vīrya-gāyana-mahāmṛta-magna-cittaḥ (SB 7.9.43). Prahlāda further confirms that if one's mind is always absorbed in thought of Kṛṣṇa, that very qualification will purify one and keep one purified always. To understand the Lord and His activities, one must free his mind from all contamination of the material world, and this one can achieve by simply chanting the Lord's holy name. Thus one becomes free from all material bondage.
Sex life is compared to the rubbing of two hands to relieve an itch. Gṛhamedhis, so-called gṛhasthas who have no spiritual knowledge, think that this itching is the greatest platform of happiness, although actually it is a source of distress. The kṛpaṇas, the fools who are just the opposite of brāhmaṇas, are not satisfied by repeated sensuous enjoyment. Those who are dhīra, however, who are sober and who tolerate this itching, are not subjected to the sufferings of fools and rascals.
Materialists think that sexual indulgence is the greatest happiness in this material world, and therefore they make elaborate plans to satisfy their senses, especially the genitals. This is generally found everywhere, and specifically found in the Western world, where there are regular arrangements to satisfy sex life in different ways. Actually, however, this has not made anyone happy. Even the hippies, who have given up all the materialistic comforts of their fathers and grandfathers, cannot give up the sensational happiness of sex life. Such persons are described here as kṛpaṇas, misers. The human form of life is a great asset, for in this life one can fulfill the goal of existence. Unfortunately, however, because of a lack of education and culture, people are victimized by the false happiness of sex life. Prahlāda Mahārāja therefore advises one not to be misled by this civilization of sense gratification, and especially not by sex life. Rather, one should be sober, avoid sense gratification and be Kṛṣṇa conscious. The lusty person, who is compared to a foolish miser, never gets happiness by sense gratification. The influence of material nature is very difficult to surpass, but as stated by Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad-gītā (7.14), mām eva ye prapadyante, māyām etāṁ taranti te: if one voluntarily submits to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, he can be saved very easily.
A sober, self-realized person who has full knowledge should merge the various parts of the body in their original sources. The holes in the body are caused by the sky, the process of breathing is caused by the air, the heat of the body is caused by fire, and semen, blood and mucus are caused by water. The hard substances, like skin, muscle and bone, are caused by earth. In this way all the constituents of the body are caused by various elements, and they should be merged again into those elements.
As the soul transmigrates, one who has taken birth must give up the present body, and then he must certainly accept another body. This should be no cause for lamentation. Therefore Lord Kṛṣṇa says, dhīras tatra na muhyati: (BG 2.13) one who is dhīra, or sober, who is learned in philosophy and established in knowledge, cannot be unhappy over the transmigration of the soul.
SB Canto 8
When one is materially opulent, he should learn to be sober and well-behaved toward Vaiṣṇavas and saintly persons; otherwise he will fall down.
Mahendra, the King of Heaven, was generated from the prowess of the Lord, the demigods were generated from the mercy of the Lord, Lord Śiva was generated from the anger of the Lord, and Lord Brahmā from His sober intelligence. The Vedic mantras were generated from the bodily holes of the Lord, and the great saints and prajāpatis were generated from His genitals. May that supremely powerful Lord be pleased with us.
Sober and tolerant and well equipped with paraphernalia for fighting, Bali Mahārāja moved before Indra on the great battlefield. King Indra, who always carries the thunderbolt in his hand, rebuked Bali Mahārāja as follows.
O most exalted and worshipable Lord, best of those who bestow benediction, You can fulfill the desires of everyone, and therefore those who are sober, for their own welfare, worship the dust of Your lotus feet.
A devotee is always sober. He is never disturbed by any conditions.
Even if a devotee remains in gṛhastha life and does not renounce material possessions, he should still be understood to be praśānta, sober, because of his pure devotion to the Lord. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu therefore said:
- kibā vipra, kibā nyāsī, śūdra kene naya
- yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā, sei 'guru' haya
"Whether one is a brāhmaṇa, a sannyāsī or a śūdra-regardless of what he is-he can become a spiritual master if he knows the science of Kṛṣṇa." (CC Madhya 8.128) Anyone completely aware of the science of Kṛṣṇa, regardless of his status in life, is a guru. Thus Prahlāda Mahārāja is a guru in all circumstances.
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O King Parīkṣit, when Bali Mahārāja was thus advised by his spiritual master, Śukrācārya, his family priest, he remained silent for some time, and then, after full deliberation, he replied to his spiritual master as follows.
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura remarks that Bali Mahārāja remained silent at a critical point. How could he disobey the instruction of Śukrācārya, his spiritual master? It is the duty of such a sober personality as Bali Mahārāja to abide by the orders of his spiritual master immediately, as his spiritual master had advised. But Bali Mahārāja also considered that Śukrācārya was no longer to be accepted as a spiritual master, for he had deviated from the duty of a spiritual master.
SB Canto 9
Urvaśī said: My dear King, you are a man, a hero. Don't be impatient and give up your life. Be sober and don't allow the senses to overcome you like foxes. Don't let the foxes eat you. In other words, you should not be controlled by your senses. Rather, you should know that the heart of a woman is like that of a fox. There is no use making friendship with women.
Rantideva never endeavored to earn anything. He would enjoy whatever he got by the arrangement of providence, but when guests came he would give them everything. Thus he underwent considerable suffering, along with the members of his family. Indeed, he and his family members shivered for want of food and water, yet Rantideva always remained sober. Once, after fasting for forty-eight days, in the morning Rantideva received some water and some foodstuffs made with milk and ghee, but when he and his family were about to eat, a brāhmaṇa guest arrived.
Having spoken thus, King Rantideva, although on the verge of death because of thirst, gave his own portion of water to the caṇḍāla without hesitation, for the King was naturally very kind and sober.
SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13
Wanting to pacify Kaṁsa, who was so cruel and envious that he was shamelessly ready to kill his sister, the great soul Vasudeva, who was to be the father of Kṛṣṇa, spoke to him in the following words.
Vasudeva, who was to be the father of Kṛṣṇa, is described here as mahā-bhāga, a very upright and sober personality, because although Kaṁsa was ready to kill Vasudeva's wife, Vasudeva remained sober and unagitated.
Vasudeva said: O best of the sober, you have nothing to fear from your sister Devakī because of what you have heard from the unseen omen. The cause of death will be her sons. Therefore I promise that when she gives birth to the sons from whom your fear has arisen, I shall deliver them all unto your hands.
Those who are devotees of Lord Viṣṇu, Kṛṣṇa, are suras, or devas, whereas those who are opposed to the devotees are called asuras. Devotees are expert in all transactions (yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ (SB 5.18.12)). Therefore they are called kovida, which means "expert." Asuras, however, although superficially showing expertise in passionate activities, are actually all fools. They are neither sober nor expert. Whatever they do is imperfect. Moghāśā mogha-karmāṇaḥ. According to this description of the asuras given in Bhagavad-gītā (9.12), whatever they do will ultimately be baffled. It was such persons who advised Kaṁsa because they were his chief friends and ministers.
When brāhmaṇas are free from envy, untruthfulness, unnecessary pride, grudges, disturbance by the opulence of others, and false prestige, their blessings never go in vain. Considering this, Nanda Mahārāja soberly took Kṛṣṇa on his lap and invited such truthful brāhmaṇas to perform a ritualistic ceremony according to the holy hymns of the Sāma Veda, Ṛg Veda and Yajur Veda. Then, while the hymns were being chanted, he bathed the child with water mixed with pure herbs, and after performing a fire ceremony, he sumptuously fed all the brāhmaṇas with first-class grains and other food.
O great saintly person, you have compiled the astrological knowledge by which one can understand past and present unseen things. By the strength of this knowledge, any human being can understand what he has done in his past life and how it affects his present life. This is known to you.
The word "destiny" is now defined. Unintelligent persons who do not understand the meaning of life are just like animals. Animals do not know the past, present and future of life, nor are they able to understand it. But a human being can understand this, if he is sober. Therefore, as stated in Bhagavad-gītā (2.13), dhīras tatra na muhyati: a sober person is not bewildered. The simple truth is that although life is eternal, in this material world one changes from one body to another. Foolish people, especially in this age, do not understand this simple truth.
Kaṁsa is both a great diplomat and a very sinful man. Therefore, having heard from Yogamāyā, the daughter of Devakī, that the child who will kill him has already been born somewhere else, having heard that the eighth pregnancy of Devakī could not bring forth a female child, and having understood your friendship with Vasudeva, Kaṁsa, upon hearing that the purificatory process has been performed by me, the priest of the Yadu dynasty, may certainly consider all these points and suspect that Kṛṣṇa is the son of Devakī and Vasudeva. Then he might take steps to kill Kṛṣṇa. That would be a catastrophe.
Kaṁsa knew very well that Yogamāyā was, after all, the maidservant of Kṛṣṇa and Viṣṇu and that although Yogamāyā had appeared as the daughter of Devakī, she might have been forbidden to disclose this fact. Actually this was what had happened. Gargamuni argued very soberly that his taking part in performing the reformatory process for Kṛṣṇa would give rise to many doubts, so that Kaṁsa might take very severe steps to kill the child. Kaṁsa had already sent many demons to attempt to kill this child, but none of them had survived. If Gargamuni were to perform the purificatory process, Kaṁsa's suspicions would be fully confirmed, and he would take very severe steps. Gargamuni gave this warning to Nanda Mahārāja.
SB Cantos 10.14 to 12 (Translations Only)
Gradually the different areas of land gave up their muddy condition and the plants grew past their unripe stage, in the same way that sober sages give up egotism and possessiveness. These are based on things different from the real self-namely, the material body and its by-products.
Indra, you may now go. Execute My order and remain in your appointed position as King of heaven. But be sober, without false pride.
Anyone who faithfully hears or describes the Lord's playful affairs with the young gopīs of Vṛndāvana will attain the Lord's pure devotional service. Thus he will quickly become sober and conquer lust, the disease of the heart.
Gentle Akrūra, you always carry out your duties soberly, and therefore I am depending on you, just as powerful Indra took shelter of Lord Viṣṇu to achieve his goals.
The sober King, beyond material association and free of doubt, was convinced of the value of austerity. Absorbing his mind in Lord Kṛṣṇa, he came to Gandhamādana Mountain.
O Mukunda, You are equal only to Yourself in lineage, character, beauty, knowledge, youthfulness, wealth and influence. O lion among men, You delight the minds of all mankind. What aristocratic, sober-minded and marriageable girl of a good family would not choose You as her husband when the proper time has come?
Rukmiṇī appeared as enchanting as the Lord's illusory potency, who enchants even the sober and grave. Thus the kings gazed upon her virgin beauty, her shapely waist, and her lovely face adorned with earrings. Her hips were graced with a jewel-studded belt, her breasts were just budding, and her eyes seemed apprehensive of her encroaching locks of hair. She smiled sweetly, her jasmine-bud teeth reflecting the glow of her bimba-red lips. As she walked with the motions of a royal swan, the effulgence of her tinkling ankle bells beautified her feet. Seeing her, the assembled heroes were totally bewildered. Lust tore at their hearts. Indeed, when the kings saw her broad smile and shy glance, they became stupefied, dropped their weapons and fell unconscious to the ground from their elephants, chariots and horses. On the pretext of the procession, Rukmiṇī displayed her beauty for Kṛṣṇa alone. Slowly she advanced the two moving lotus-whorls of her feet, awaiting the arrival of the Supreme Lord. With the fingernails of her left hand she pushed some strands of hair away from her face and shyly looked from the corners of her eyes at the kings standing before her. At that moment she saw Kṛṣṇa. Then, while His enemies looked on, the Lord seized the princess, who was eager to mount His chariot.
A person who has thus become sober fully realizes the Absolute as the highest truth, the most subtle and perfect manifestation of spirit, the transcendental existence without end. In this way realizing that the Supreme Truth is the foundation of his own existence, he is freed from the cycle of material life.
A sober person, even when harassed by other living beings, should understand that his aggressors are acting helplessly under the control of God, and thus he should never be distracted from progress on his own path. This rule I have learned from the earth.
When the living entity sees that the entire universe has been seized by the serpent of time, he becomes sober and sane and at that time detaches himself from all material sense gratification. In that condition the living entity is qualified to be his own protector.
After many, many births and deaths one achieves the rare human form of life, which, although temporary, affords one the opportunity to attain the highest perfection. Thus a sober human being should quickly endeavor for the ultimate perfection of life as long as his body, which is always subject to death, has not fallen down and died. After all, sense gratification is available even in the most abominable species of life, whereas Kṛṣṇa consciousness is possible only for a human being.
Although the false ego has no factual basis, it is perceived in many forms—as the functions of the mind, speech, life air and bodily faculties. But with the sword of transcendental knowledge, sharpened by worship of a bona fide spiritual master, a sober sage will cut off this false identification and live in this world free from all material attachment.
The people of Satya-yuga are for the most part self-satisfied, merciful, friendly to all, peaceful, sober and tolerant. They take their pleasure from within, see all things equally and always endeavor diligently for spiritual perfection.