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The beginning of Bhagavad-gita is to teach that soul is eternal, it is migrating from one body to another, so there is next life. That is authoritative knowledge

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"The beginning of Bhagavad-gītā is to teach that soul is eternal, it is migrating from one body to another, so there is next life. That is authoritative knowledge"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

By ordinary common sense knowledge, if I say: "There is no next birth," that is not authoritative. Because authoritative knowledge is . . . suppose from Bhagavad-gītā, next life is accepted. Tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati (BG 2.13). The beginning of Bhagavad-gītā is to teach that soul is eternal, it is migrating from one body to another, so there is next life. That is authoritative knowledge. But if somebody says that, "There is no birth," that is not authoritative. That is a layman's statement.

So a layman can put up his own theory in so many ways. Then what shall be the conclusion? The conclusion should be to take authoritative knowledge from authorities—one who is beyond the four defects of common man: one who does not make any mistake, one who is not illusioned, one who does not cheat, and one whose senses are perfect.

Real knowledge is how to get freedom from repetition of birth and death. They do not believe in the next life. They think simply . . . big, big professors, I have talked, especially in Russia. They think that "So long this body is there, you enjoy sense gratification to the utmost," the Cārvāka theory. This was also cultured long ago in India.

ṛṇaṁ kṛtvā ghṛtaṁ pibet
yāvaj jīvet sukhaṁ jīvet
bhasmī-bhūtasya dehasya
kutaḥ punar āgamano bhavet

"Why you are thinking of next birth? When this body is burnt into ashes, everything is finished." That is Cārvāka theory, atheistic. That is going on still. The Cārvāka class of men are always there.

So I have talked with so many big professors in Russia, and their theory is that "After finishing this body, everything is finished." But (if) everything is finished, then why you are working so hard, if everything will be finished? They . . . their, their theory is different. That is asuric theory, asuric theory. They do not believe in the self, they do not believe in God, they do not believe in the next birth, although these are facts. Simply a sober brain with cool head, one can understand. But these are facts. They're taking risk only.

Now, by ordinary common sense knowledge, if I say: "There is no next birth," that is not authoritative. Because authoritative knowledge is . . . suppose from Bhagavad-gītā, next life is accepted. Tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati (BG 2.13). The beginning of Bhagavad-gītā is to teach that soul is eternal, it is migrating from one body to another, so there is next life. That is authoritative knowledge. But if somebody says that, "There is no birth," that is not authoritative. That is a layman's statement.

So a layman can put up his own theory in so many ways. Then what shall be the conclusion? The conclusion should be to take authoritative knowledge from authorities—one who is beyond the four defects of common man: one who does not make any mistake, one who is not illusioned, one who does not cheat, and one whose senses are perfect. We are devoid of all these qualification. We commit mistake, we are illusioned, we cheat, and at the same time, our senses are imperfect. So how we can give by speculation perfect knowledge? That is not possible.

Therefore our principle, Vedic principle, is to receive knowledge from the perfect. So-called scientists, so-called philosophers . . . because basically they're imperfect, how they can give you perfect? They can speak something, "Perhaps it is like that," "Maybe like that," "Perhaps it was like that." All their theories are like that. But actual fact is different. Actual fact we get from the Supreme Person, Kṛṣṇa, that dehāntara-prāptiḥ, tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati (BG 2.13). Dhīra: one who is sober.

There are two classes of men: dhīra and adhīra. Dhīra means sober, and adhīra means mad after sense gratification. That is called adhīra. So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is so nice, dhīrādhīra. What is that? Kṛṣṇotkīrtana-gāna-nartana-parau premāmṛtāmbho-nidhī dhīrādhīra-priyau (Śrī Śrī Ṣaḍ Gosvāmy Aṣṭaka 1). Dhīrādhīra-priyau: it is pleasing both to the dhīra and the adhīra.

Those who are sober, they will understand how great this movement is. And even those who are adhīra, they will also appreciate, because our program is very nice, "Come here, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, dance and take prasādam." Who will not accept this? And actually, everyone is liking, "All right, let us go to this Society, chant for some time, dance, and take prasādam." And gradually, he becomes spiritualized, then appreciates, then he becomes a member. So it is pleasing for the adhīra also.

So here, whatever is spoken in this Bhāgavata statement by Sūta Gosvāmī, dharmasya hy āpavargyasya . . . everyone is trying to become engaged in particular type of occupational duty. Suppose one man is professor or one man is engineer or one man is medical man. Anyone. Everyone has to do work for livelihood. That's a fact. You cannot live in this material world without working. In the Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa advised Arjuna that "You have to work. Without working, you cannot," I mean to say, "keep yourself, your life and soul and body together. You have to work." Śarīra-yātrāpi na prasiddhyet (BG 3.8). Śarīra-yātrā.

So you have to work. Kṛṣṇa never said . . . Kṛṣṇa is . . . Arjuna is a great devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Just imagine, he's talking personally with Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa is personally helping him. How much exalted he is. But still, Kṛṣṇa is advising to work. Kṛṣṇa never said: "Oh, Arjuna, you need not fight. You sit down silently. I shall . . ." Actually, He was doing everything. At last He said, nimitta-mātraṁ bhava savyasācin (BG 11.33): "You are simply instrumental. I am doing everything." So Kṛṣṇa does for the devotee everything, but it does not mean that he will sit down. It is not. This is not our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, that idle, creating some idlement. You must work for Kṛṣṇa's sake. That is the program. Not for sense gratification. That is called dharma.