The conception of Vedic civilization was that people used to be satisfied on agricultural produce and for three months working during rainy season. So they get some agriculture produce and they used to eat the whole year

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"the conception of Vedic civilization was that people used to be satisfied on agricultural produce and for three months working during rainy season. So they get some agriculture produce and they used to eat the whole year"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

The modern society has practically encumbered the whole human activities, and therefore they have no time for spiritual culture. You see? But the conception of Vedic civilization was that people used to be satisfied on agricultural produce and for three months working during rainy season. So they get some agriculture produce and they used to eat the whole year. So nine months they were free to advance in spiritual culture and only three months they used to work for accumulating their foodstuff.
Lecture on BG 2.46-47 -- New York, March 28, 1966:

Utsāhāt. Utsāhāt means you must be very much enthusiastic that "In this life, in this human form of life, I must complete my spiritual consciousness, or God consciousness, so that in the next life I may not have this material body. That is called utsāhāt. Utsāhāt means very much enthusiastic. Just like a man is very much enthusiastic that "In this life I must accumulate ten millions dollars in the bank," and he does work with great enthusiasm; similarly, we must have also similar enthusiasm that "In this very life, in this very human form of life, I must make my spiritual life perfect so that after leaving this body I may not come again to this material world." That is called utsāhā, enthusiasm. Utsāhād dhairyāt. Dhairya means patience. Patience. There may be so many obstacles in prosecuting our spiritual life, but we should patiently go forward. We shall not be discertained. Utsāhād dhairyāt niścayāt. And with confidence, with confidence that "Because I am following..." Just like Bhagavad-gītā is a standard book. If not Bhagavad-gītā, take Bible or take Koran, whatever you like. Now, there are some formulas for prosecuting spiritual life. So one must have confidence that "Because I am following the standard method, so my spiritual life will really be perfected." We must have this confidence. And that is a fact. Utsāhāt, first enthusiasm; second, patience; and then third, with confidence, niścayāt. Dhairyāt, utsāhād dhairyāt niścayāt tat-tat-karma-pravartanāt. Simply enthusiasm will not do. The formulas which are prescribed there we must follow. We must actually apply in our life. Utsāhād dhairyāt niścayāt tat-tat-karma-pravartanāt sato vṛtteḥ. And we must be, our vṛtti, our profession, occupation, must be very pure, must be very pure. Impure activities cannot lead me to spiritual emancipation. You will find in Bhagavad-gītā that the God is described, paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān (BG 10.12). Pavitram means the purest. God is the purest. So unless we are purest, we cannot approach God. Therefore it is stated that sato vṛtteḥ. Our occupation, our vṛtti, should be very clear, pious. Sato vṛtteḥ and sādhu-saṅga (CC Madhya 22.83). Last, last word is very important, that all these things can be executed if we make our association with similar persons, similar persons. Those who are on the path of realizing spiritual perfection, we must make our association with such association. We must be associated with such society so that we can make our... This is... Just like we are holding these classes. This is called sat-saṅga. We are not discussing politics, we are not discussing something for sense enjoyment. We are discussing from Bhagavad-gītā about the constitution of the soul, about the what is God, what is our relation with God. This is called sato vṛtti, sat-saṅga. Sat-saṅga means association with good persons who are engaged, if not cent percent, at least engaged, certain portion of his life for spiritual realization.

So these six things are required for making progress in spiritual life. Similarly, there are six other things also which will degrade us from the spiritual life. And what are those?

atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca
prajalpo niyamāgrahaḥ
jana-saṅgaś ca laulyaṁ ca
ṣaḍbhir bhaktir praṇaśyati
(NOI 2)

Praṇaśyati means "It is lost." "The spiritual path is lost by the second six principles." And what are these? Now, atyāhāra. Atyāhāra means to eat more than what you need or to accumulate more than what you need. Āhāra means eating, and āhāra means accumulation. So, of course, any householder, he requires some deposit in the bank for emergency. That is, of course, allowed for householders. But just for us, we are sannyāsī; we are renounced order of... We haven't got to accumulate any money. You see? That is the system of Indian philosophy. But those who are householder, family men, they may have some deposit for emergency. Otherwise, those who are renounced order, those who are brahmacārī, for them to keep money separately for his maintenance or for accumulating bank balance is not allowed. Atyāhāra. Similarly, āhāra, eating. You have to eat only things which can maintain your body properly. Now, say, for human being. Say, human being, the eating things are grains, vegetables, fruits, milk and so many things which are given by God for human eating. So we should be satisfied with those things which are meant for humanity. We should not simply... For the pleasure of the tongue we should not eat anything. That is called atyāhāra. So atyāhāra and then prayāsa. Prayāsa means to labor very hard to achieve a thing. Life should be conducted in such a way that our necessities of life may come not with great effort, easily, easily. We should not encumber ourself, our life, living policy, in an encumbered way. Then our spiritual progress will be hampered. The modern society has practically encumbered the whole human activities, and therefore they have no time for spiritual culture. You see? But the conception of Vedic civilization was that people used to be satisfied on agricultural produce and for three months working during rainy season. So they get some agriculture produce and they used to eat the whole year. So nine months they were free to advance in spiritual culture and only three months they used to work for accumulating their foodstuff. You see? So atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca prajalpa (NOI 2). Prajalpa means talking nonsense. We assemble and go on talking for nothing, neither for this life, neither for that life. We should not talk... Suppose if we are gaining something materially, we may go on talking. Or if you are gaining some spiritually, we may talk. But if there is no gain, simply wasting time, that should not be done. Atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca prajalpo niyamāgrahaḥ. Niyamāgraha means simply to stick up to the rituals. Just like people... In every religion there are some rituals that... In our Hindu religion the people are advised to observe some ceremonies. In every religion the same system is there. They go to temple, you go to church, and the Mohammedans, they go to mosque, and similarly, there are different systems. But if one is simply sticking up to the system without seeing "How much progress I am making in my life?" then that is waste of time. That is called niyamāgraha, simply observing the rules. And niyamāgraha also means that you should not neglect also the rules. You should not neglect the rules and regulation; at the same time you should not stick up to the rules and regulation. So atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca prajalpo niyamāgrahaḥ laulyam (NOI 2). Laulyam means to be, to be greedy, to be greedy. You should not be greedy, that "I want so much. I want so much. I want so much." No, not like that. Atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca prajalpo niyamāgrahaḥ laulyam and jana-saṅgaś ca. Jana-saṅgaś ca means the persons who are not interested in spiritual matter, we should not associate with them. This should be... These are the, these six things, which retrograde the progress of spiritual life, and the other six things which I previously, just moment, I described, they will help us in our progressive life to the spiritual path.

So in this way, that work should not be stopped... Work... According to our position, according to our quality, work must be executed. But the fruit of the result, we should not accept. If we accept the fruit, then I must be responsible for the reaction, reaction of the work. Now, this question has come to be discussed by Lord Kṛṣṇa to Arjuna because Arjuna was a military man, he belonged to the administrative class, and this Bhagavad-gītā was described in the battlefield. So he was hesitating from his duty: "I shall not fight. I shall not fight because by killing my kinsmen, by killing my spiritual master, by killing my teacher, killing my grandfather, I will be sinful." That was his conclusion. Now, Kṛṣṇa says that "If you think in that way, that you shall be, I mean to say, enjoying, enjoying the reaction. Then, of course, you'll not be working in the spiritual field. You don't take in that way because this war is a duty and because I want that you should fight." It is the order from the authority. Kṛṣṇa is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. "Therefore you should fight." So fighting for the cause of the Supreme, that will not affect you. That will not affect you. Just like you can take an example that fighting for the country and killing the enemies, that is taken into good account, but fighting for one's personal cause, fighting or killing one man for personal cause, that man is hanged by the laws of the state. Similarly, fighting is also not bad if it is done for the supreme cause. Anything which is done for the supreme cause, that is transcendental. That is above, I mean to say, our mundane calculation. So Śrī Kṛṣṇa says that "You should not stop working, but you have to work cautiously for the supreme cause. That is the way of working on the spiritual platform."