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Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
The spiritualist's endeavor is to work whole day and night strenuously simply for Kṛṣṇa. That is spiritual life.
Lecture on BG 2.20-25 -- Seattle, October 14, 1968: We are thinking we shall be happy by trying to satisfy our senses. Kṛṣṇa consciousness means don't try to satisfy your senses. You try to satisfy the senses of Kṛṣṇa; automatically your senses will be satisfied. This is the secret of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The opposite party, they are thinking, "Oh, why shall I satisfy? Why shall I work for Kṛṣṇa the whole day and night? Let me try for the karmīs." Just like you are working whole day and night for Kṛṣṇa, they are thinking, "What fools they are. We are very intelligent. We are working for our own sense gratification whole day and night, and why they are working for Kṛṣṇa?" This is the difference between materialist and spiritualist. The spiritualist's endeavor is to work whole day and night strenuously without any hurt(?) simply for Kṛṣṇa. That is spiritual life. And the materialist means the same endeavor, always trying to satisfy their personal senses. That is the difference, materialistic and spiritual. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means that we have to train our senses to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. That's all.
So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is being pushed in unfavorable circumstance. We cannot get immediately members of the society. We have to canvass from door to door. So our task is very strenuous.
Lecture on SB 2.1.2 -- Mombassa, September 13, 1971: But after all, this human form of life, so important, I have to know myself but I do not get my time. They do not get time. If this meeting would have been a political leader's meeting giving all kinds of false hope, millions of billions of people would have come. But because it is a meeting for understanding ātma-tattva, self-realization, nobody is here, interested. This is our position. So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is being pushed in unfavorable circumstance. Nobody is (indistinct) unless he is very, very intelligent man. We cannot get immediately members of the society like the political parties get or the (indistinct) parties they get. We have to canvass from door to door, "My dear sir, why you are forgetting yourself? Kindly try to understand. Here is a book, Bhagavad-gītā, try to understand. Here is book, Teachings of Lord Caitanya." So our task is very strenuous. Sometimes they become angry, dissatisfied, "Why you are bothering me?" But we have to do it because we have dedicated our life to Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, we have to do it. Kṛṣṇa comes to do this business Himself.
After executing spiritual life so strenuously, life after life, in this life we see that Parīkṣit Mahārāja's bereft of his kingdom, he's going to die within seven days, and he had to leave his beautiful wife, children, home, kingdom, his animals.
Lecture on SB 2.4.2 -- Los Angeles, June 25, 1972: So in India still, if one is born in a very nice, rich and pure family, he is considered to be very pious in his past life. That's a fact. Janmaiśvarya-śruta-śrī [SB 1.8.26]. These four things, janma, high grade birth; aiśvarya, riches. Janmaiśvarya... śruta, education; and śrī, means beauty. These four things are obtained by pious activities in one's past life. So Parīkṣit Mahārāja had all these assets. That means in his previous life he was also a great devotee. So now, in this life, he's bereft of everything. After executing spiritual life so strenuously, life after life, in this life we see that he's bereft of his kingdom, he's going to die within seven days, and he had to leave his beautiful wife, children, home, kingdom, his animals. Everything we keep, there is affection. It is not that animals are meant for killing. They are also treated like children. (aside:) Don't move your leg like that. So anything you associate, you get affection. That's a fact. Therefore here it is stated, rājye cāvikale nityaṁ virūḍhāṁ mamatāṁ jahau. And his kingdom was very safe kingdom. It was not that there was disturbance in his kingdom. Somebody has attacked, so he was bereft... No. Cāvikale, without any disturbance. Very nice kingdom. So what people will think?
Without permission of guru you cannot touch anything. This is the injunction. Strenuous training was there to live in gurukula and sacrifice the whole life for guru's instruction.
Lecture on SB 5.5.2 -- Hyderabad, April 12, 1975: You have to engage yourself to the service. That is the beginning. Brahmacārī is indicated, "Go to gurukula." And you may be a king's son or a very learned brāhmaṇa's son, it doesn't matter. You serve your guru just like a menial servant. This is the instruction. This is the first education. Go to gurukula and serve the mahat guru, the broad-minded guru, just like a menial servant. What is that? You go collect everything for guru, alms, and do not claim proprietorship. It is guru's property. Whatever you collect, that is not your property. That is guru's property. And go to gurukula, and when guru will ask you, "My dear boy, please come and take your prasādam," then you'll take. If guru forgets to call you, you should fast. This is gurukula. Not that "I am hungry. There is foodstuff. Let me eat." No. Without permission of guru you cannot touch anything. This is the injunction. Now how... Strenuous training was there to live in gurukula and sacrifice the whole life for guru's instruction. This is the Vedic culture, brahmacārī, and live at the place of guru just like a menial servant. Where is that education? Why you'll not expect these upstarts, Naxalites? Where is that training? Of course it is very difficult to bring back that mode of civilization at the present moment, kalau naṣṭa-dṛśām, we have lost everything by the influence of this Kali-yuga. Therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has advised that you harer nāma, harer nāma, harer nāma eva kevalam [Cc. Ādi 17.21], chant the name of Hari. Harer nāma, thrice He's stressing.
Vīrya means very strenuous, very heroic. Vīrya means heroic. So Kṛṣṇa's activities are all heroic.
Lecture on SB 6.1.6-8 -- New York, July 21, 1971: Therefore, in the Vedic civilization, a sannyāsa, renounced order of life, is recommended for prosecuting spiritual life absolutely without any anxiety. If one can execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness in family life, that's very good. Just like Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. He was a family man, magistrate. Still, he executed devotional service so nicely. Dhruva Mahārāja, Prahlāda Mahārāja, they are, they were gṛhastha, householders, but they trained themselves in such a nice way that even householder, as a householder, there was no interruption. Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja said that "I have learned the art, how to remain always in Kṛṣṇa consciousness." What is that? Tvad-vīrya-gāyana-mahāmṛta: "Simply glorifying the," I mean to, "the victorious activities, pastimes of the Lord." Tvad-vīrya. Vīrya means very strenuous, very heroic. Vīrya means heroic. So Kṛṣṇa's activities are all heroic. You can read from Kṛṣṇa book. Tvad-vīrya-gāyana. Kṛṣṇa's name, Kṛṣṇa's fame, Kṛṣṇa's activities, Kṛṣṇa's associates—everything is heroic. So Prahlāda Mahārāja says, "For me, I am certain, wherever I shall go, I can glorify Your heroic activities and I am, I mean to say, saved. There is no question of my falling down. But I wish... I am simply anxious for these persons who have created a type of civilization that they are always busy and working hard. So I am thinking of them."
If you have got conviction, if you have got faith, if you are strenuous, immediately you are in the platform.
Lecture at Initiation Fire Sacrifice -- Los Angeles, July 16, 1969: In the beginning there are three stages: offensive stages, liberated stage, and relishing stage. So you will be initiated for chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, there will be so many offenses. So we have to offend..., we have to defend ourself from the offenses. There are ten kinds of offenses. You'll get the list. So we shall try to avoid. Then our chanting will be purified. And when the chanting is purified, then immediately you are liberated. And after liberation? Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā: [Bg. 18.54] your life of devotional service actually begins. Then you relish reciprocation of love with Kṛṣṇa. So everything can be attained simply by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Everything. The means is the end and the means is the whole. It is not that we accept something and give it up and again come to another stage. No. If you have got conviction, if you have got faith, if you are strenuous, immediately you are in the platform. Apavitraḥ pavitro vā sarvāvasthāṁ gato 'pi vā. So any stage of life, yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣam, anyone who remembers Puṇḍarīkākṣam, Kṛṣṇa... (aside:) Sit like this. Yes. Puṇḍarīkākṣam. Puṇḍarīka means lotus; akṣam means eyes. Puṇḍarīkākṣam. Yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ sa bahyābhyantara-śuciḥ. Externally, internally, he becomes immediately purified. So keep on chanting, you keep yourself purified, māyā cannot touch you.
Real yoga means to see the Supreme within the core of the heart. They are called karma, jñāna and yoga. But they require endeavor to elevate, strenuous endeavor, all these practices. But the, the supreme process is simply to surrender unto the Supreme One.
Philosophy Discussion on Plotinus: Prabhupāda: That means, what he called three stages, karmī, jñānī, yogi. That karmīs, they are trying to improve their condition by this material science and material advancement of education, and some of them are trying to go the heavenly planets by pious activities. These are karmīs. And higher than the karmīs are the jñānīs. They are speculating on the Absolute Truth by their education and coming to the conclusion that God is impersonal; when we merge into that impersonal feature, that is our liberation. And the yogis, they are trying to get some mystic power by practicing mystic yoga system—wonderful power, aṣṭa-siddhi, eight kinds of perfection: to become lighter than the lightest, to become smaller than the smallest, to become bigger than the biggest. Whatever they like, they can get. They can subdue anyone, bring under his control with that yogic (indistinct). But real yoga means to see the Supreme within the core of the heart. Dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ [SB 12.13.1]. In this way there are different processes. They are called karma, jñāna and yoga. But they require endeavor to elevate, strenuous endeavor, all these practices. But the, the supreme process is simply to surrender unto the Supreme One, and He gives out intelligence how to be free from this material entanglement, and that is called bhakti-yoga. It is very pleasing to execute, and without any, much endeavor. Simply being fully surrendered to the Supreme Lord, he immediately becomes purified from all material contamination, and little practice of bhakti-yoga makes him completely fit for going back to home, back to Godhead.