Animals can kill other living animals, and there is no question of sin on their part, but if a man kills an animal for the satisfaction of his uncontrolled taste, he must be responsible for breaking the laws of nature.
- 1 Bhagavad-gita As It Is
- 2 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 3 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 4 Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
BG Preface and Introduction
BG Chapters 13 - 18
The senses are so strong that they are always anxious to have sense gratification. One should not cater to these demands, which are not necessary. The senses should only be gratified to keep the body fit so that one can discharge his duty in advancing in spiritual life. The most important and uncontrollable sense is the tongue. If one can control the tongue, then there is every possibility of controlling the other senses. The function of the tongue is to taste and to vibrate. Therefore, by systematic regulation, the tongue should always be engaged in tasting the remnants of foodstuffs offered to Kṛṣṇa and chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa.
O chief of the Bhāratas, when there is an increase in the mode of passion the symptoms of great attachment, fruitive activity, intense endeavor, and uncontrollable desire and hankering develop.
SB Canto 2
Men do not know that the ultimate goal of life is Viṣṇu, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, due to being bewildered by the glaring reflection in the darkness, and as such everyone is entering into the darkest region of material existence, driven by the uncontrolled senses. The whole material existence has sprung up because of sense gratification, desires based principally on the sex desire, and the result is that in spite of all advancement of knowledge, the final goal of all the activities of the living entities is sense gratification. But here is the real goal of life, and everyone should know it by inquiries put before a bona fide spiritual master expert in the science of bhakti-yoga, or from a living personality of Bhāgavatam life.
SB Canto 3
He traveled in that way through the various planets, as the air passes uncontrolled in every direction. Coursing through the air in that great and splendid aerial mansion, which could fly at his will, he surpassed even the demigods.
Thus the man, who engaged with uncontrolled senses in maintaining a family, dies in great grief, seeing his relatives crying. He dies most pathetically, in great pain and without consciousness.
The word dama-śarīrī means that we have a body in which we can control the senses and the mind. The complication of materialistic life is due to an uncontrolled mind and uncontrolled senses. One should feel grateful to the Supreme Personality of Godhead for having obtained such a nice human form of body, and one should properly utilize it. The distinction between an animal and a man is that the animal cannot control himself and has no sense of decency, whereas the human being has the sense of decency and can control himself. If this controlling power is not exhibited by the human being, then he is no better than an animal.
Such persons, impelled by the mode of passion, are full of anxieties and always aspire for sense gratification due to uncontrolled senses. They worship the forefathers and are busy day and night improving the economic condition of their family, social or national life.
SB Canto 4
To accept the Lord's prasāda means to control the entire set of senses. The tongue is considered to be the most uncontrollable sense because it hankers for so many unwholesome eatables, thereby forcing the living entity into the dungeon of material conditional life. As the living entity transmigrates from one form of life to another, he has to eat so many abominable foodstuffs that finally there is no limit. The tongue should be engaged in chanting and in eating the Lord's prasāda so that the other senses will be controlled. Chanting is the medicine, and prasāda is the diet. With these processes one can begin his service, and as the service increases, the Lord reveals more and more to the devotee.
When he became overly blind due to his opulences, King Vena mounted a chariot and, like an uncontrolled elephant, began to travel through the kingdom, causing the sky and earth to tremble wherever he went.
My dear Lord, all living entities within this material world are mad after planning for things, and they are always busy with a desire to do this or that. This is due to uncontrollable greed. The greed for material enjoyment is always existing in the living entity, but Your Lordship is always alert, and in due course of time You strike him, just as a snake seizes a mouse and very easily swallows him.
One form of hunting is known as woman-hunting. A conditioned soul is never satisfied with one wife. Those whose senses are very much uncontrolled especially try to hunt for many women. King Purañjana's abandoning the company of his religiously married wife is representative of the conditioned soul's attempt to hunt for many women for sense gratification. Wherever a king goes, he is supposed to be accompanied by his queen, but when the king, or conditioned soul, becomes greatly overpowered by the desire for sense gratification, he does not care for religious principles. Instead, with great pride, he accepts the bow and arrow of attachment and hatred.
Materialistic persons, who are too much engaged in material enjoyment and who do not know anything beyond their material experiences, are carried by the whims of material nature. They live a life characterized by chewing the chewed, and they are controlled by their uncontrolled senses. Thus they go down to the darkest regions of hellish life.
SB Canto 5
For one who has not controlled his senses, going to the forest to become a so-called yogī is meaningless. Because his uncontrolled mind and senses are going with him, he cannot achieve anything, even by giving up household life and staying in the forest.
Herein Lord Brahmā indicates that instead of going to the forest with uncontrolled senses, it is better and more secure to engage the senses in the service of the Lord. Even household life can do no harm to a self-controlled person acting in this way; it cannot force him into material bondage
An uncontrolled mind and an unchaste wife are the same. An unchaste wife can kill her husband at any time, and an uncontrolled mind, followed by lust, anger, greed, madness, envy and illusion, can certainly kill the yogī. When the yogī is controlled by the mind, he falls down into the material condition. One should be very careful of the mind, just as a husband should be careful of an unchaste wife.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: My dear King, in this way Bharata Mahārāja was overwhelmed by an uncontrollable desire which was manifest in the form of the deer. Due to the fruitive results of his past deeds, he fell down from mystic yoga, austerity and worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If it were not due to his past fruitive activity, how could he have been attracted to the deer after giving up the association of his own son and family, considering them stumbling blocks on the path of spiritual life? How could he show such uncontrollable affection for a deer? This was definitely due to his past karma. The King was so engrossed in petting and maintaining the deer that he fell down from his spiritual activities. In due course of time, insurmountable death, which is compared to a venomous snake that enters the hole created by a mouse, situated itself before him.
As long as the mind of the living entity is contaminated by the three modes of material nature (goodness, passion and ignorance), his mind is exactly like an independent, uncontrolled elephant. It simply expands its jurisdiction of pious and impious activities by using the senses. The result is that the living entity remains in the material world to enjoy and suffer pleasures and pains due to material activity.
This uncontrolled mind is the greatest enemy of the living entity. If one neglects it or gives it a chance, it will grow more and more powerful and will become victorious. Although it is not factual, it is very strong. It covers the constitutional position of the soul. O King, please try to conquer this mind by the weapon of service to the lotus feet of the spiritual master and of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Do this with great care.
In the forest of material existence, the uncontrolled senses are like plunderers. The conditioned soul may earn some money for the advancement of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but unfortunately the uncontrolled senses plunder his money through sense gratification. The senses are plunderers because they make one spend his money unnecessarily for seeing, smelling, tasting, touching, hearing, desiring and willing. In this way the conditioned soul is obliged to gratify his senses, and thus all his money is spent. This money is actually acquired for the execution of religious principles, but it is taken away by the plundering senses.
One may be rich, learned, beautiful or highborn. One who has all these assets should know that they are all meant for the advancement of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Unfortunately, when a person is misguided he misuses his high position for sense gratification. Therefore the uncontrolled senses are considered plunderers. The good position one attains by executing religious principles is wasted as the plundering senses take it away.
SB Canto 7
Everyone enjoys the fruits of his qualitative activities. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (14.11-13):
- sarva-dvāreṣu dehe 'smin
- prakāśa upajāyate
- jñānaṁ yadā tadā vidyād
- vivṛddhaṁ sattvam ity uta
- lobhaḥ pravṛttir ārambhaḥ
- karmaṇām aśamaḥ spṛhā
- rajasy etāni jāyante
- vivṛddhe bharatarṣabha
- aprakāśo 'pravṛttiś ca
- pramādo moha eva ca
- tamasy etāni jāyante
- vivṛddhe kuru-nandana
"The manifestations of the modes of goodness can be experienced when all the gates of the body are illumined by knowledge.
"O chief of the Bhāratas, when there is an increase in the mode of passion, the symptoms of great attachment, uncontrollable desire, hankering, and intense endeavor develop.
"O son of Kuru, when there is an increase in the mode of ignorance, madness, illusion, inertia and darkness are manifested."
Prahlāda Mahārāja replied: Because of their uncontrolled senses, persons too addicted to materialistic life make progress toward hellish conditions and repeatedly chew that which has already been chewed. Their inclinations toward Kṛṣṇa are never aroused, either by the instructions of others, by their own efforts, or by a combination of both.
Just as uncontrolled senses are the enemies of all yogīs engaged in advancing in spiritual life, this Prahlāda, who appears to be a friend, is an enemy because I cannot control him. Therefore this enemy, whether eating, sitting or sleeping, must be killed by all means.
One whose mind and senses are uncontrolled becomes increasingly attached to family life because of insatiable lusty desires and very strong illusion. In such a madman's life, the remaining years are also wasted because even during those years he cannot engage himself in devotional service.
Prahlāda Mahārāja explained to his father that to be freed from all material anxieties one should go to the forest. Hitvātma-pātaṁ gṛham andha-kūpam. One should give up his household, which is a place for going further and further down into the darkest regions of material existence. The first advice, therefore, is that one must give up household life (gṛham andha-kūpam). However, if one prefers to remain in the dark well of household life because of uncontrolled senses, he becomes increasingly entangled by ropes of affection for his wife, children, servants, house, money and so on. Such a person cannot attain liberation from material bondage.
Prahlāda Mahārāja continued: My dear father, please give up your demoniac mentality. Do not discriminate in your heart between enemies and friends; make your mind equipoised toward everyone. Except for the uncontrolled and misguided mind, there is no enemy within this world. When one sees everyone on the platform of equality, one then comes to the position of worshiping the Lord perfectly.
In this material world, everyone thinks that he has conquered his enemies, not understanding that his enemies are his uncontrolled mind and five senses (manaḥ ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni karṣati (BG 15.7)). In this material world, everyone has become a servant of the senses. Originally everyone is a servant of Kṛṣṇa, but in ignorance one forgets this, and thus one is engaged in the service of māyā through lusty desires, anger, greed, illusion, madness and jealousy. Everyone is actually dependent on the reactions of material laws, but still one thinks himself independent and thinks that he has conquered all directions. In conclusion, one who thinks that he has many enemies is an ignorant man, whereas one who is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness knows that there are no enemies but those within oneself—the uncontrolled mind and senses.
SB Canto 8
O King, when that uncontrollable poison was forcefully spreading up and down in all directions, all the demigods, along with the Lord Himself, approached Lord Śiva (Sadāśiva). Feeling unsheltered and very much afraid, they sought shelter of him.
No one should think himself liberated in the presence of a beautiful woman. The śāstras enjoin:
- mātrā svasrā duhitrā vā
- nāviviktāsano bhavet
- balavān indriya-grāmo
- vidvāṁsam api karṣati
"One should not stay in a solitary place with a woman, even if she be his mother, sister or daughter, for the senses are so uncontrollably powerful that in the presence of a woman one may become agitated, even if he is very learned and advanced." (SB 9.19.17)
The Personality of Godhead said: O my dear King, even the entirety of whatever there may be within the three worlds to satisfy one's senses cannot satisfy a person whose senses are uncontrolled.
The materialistic way of life is nothing but the repeated chewing of that which has already been chewed. Although there is no profit in such a life, people are enamored of it because of uncontrolled senses. Nūnaṁ pramattaḥ kurute vikarma (SB 5.5.4). Because of uncontrolled senses, people fully engage in sinful activities by which they get a body full of suffering. Bali Mahārāja appreciated how the Lord had saved him from such a bewildered life of ignorance. He therefore said that his intelligence had been stunned.
SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13
As it is said:
- matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā
- mitho 'bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām
- adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ
- punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām
"Because of their uncontrolled senses, persons too addicted to materialistic life make progress toward hellish conditions and repeatedly chew that which has already been chewed. Their inclinations toward Kṛṣṇa are never aroused, either by the instructions of others, by their own efforts, or by a combination of both." (SB 7.5.30)
One can very easily understand that the mind is constantly flickering, changing in the quality of its thinking, feeling and willing. This is explained by Arjuna in Bhagavad-gītā (6.34):
- cañcalaṁ hi manaḥ kṛṣṇa
- pramāthi balavad dṛḍham
- tasyāhaṁ nigrahaṁ manye
- vāyor iva suduṣkaram
The mind is cañcala, flickering, and it changes very strongly. Therefore Arjuna admitted that controlling the mind is not at all possible; this would be as difficult as controlling the wind. For example, if one were in a boat moving according to the wind on a river or the sea, and the wind were uncontrollable, the tilting boat would be very much disturbed and extremely difficult to control. It might even capsize. Therefore, in the bhava-samudra, the ocean of mental speculation and transmigration to different types of bodies, one must first control the mind.
If one follows religious principles, he automatically practices birth control because if one is spiritually educated he knows that the after-effects of sex are various types of misery (bahu-duḥkha-bhāja). One who is spiritually advanced does not indulge in uncontrolled sex. Therefore, instead of being forced to refrain from sex or refrain from giving birth to many children, people should be spiritually educated, and then birth control will automatically follow.
SB Cantos 10.14 to 12 (Translations Only)
The kings who came as suitors were not allowed to marry her unless they could subdue seven sharp-horned bulls. These bulls were extremely vicious and uncontrollable, and they could not tolerate even the smell of warriors.
For as many years as there are particles of dust touched by the tears of generous brāhmaṇas who have dependent families and whose property is stolen, uncontrolled kings who usurp a brāhmaṇa's property are cooked, along with their royal families, in the hell known as Kumbhīpāka.
The mind is like an impetuous horse that even persons who have regulated their senses and breath cannot control. Those in this world who try to tame the uncontrolled mind, but who abandon the feet of their spiritual master, encounter hundreds of obstacles in their cultivation of various distressful practices. O unborn Lord, they are like merchants on a boat in the ocean who have failed to employ a helmsman.
If one's mind is perfectly fixed and pacified, then tell me what need does one have to perform ritualistic charity and other pious rituals? And if one's mind remains uncontrolled, lost in ignorance, then of what use are these engagements for him?
As explained by Prahlāda Mahārāja in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (7.5.30):
- matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā
- mitho ‘bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām
- adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ
"Those who have made up their minds to remain in this material world and enjoy sense gratification cannot become Kṛṣṇa conscious. Because of their attachment to material activity, they cannot attain liberation, either by the instructions of superior persons or by their own endeavor or by passing resolutions in big conferences. Because their senses are uncontrolled, they gradually descend to the darkest regions of material existence to repeat the same process of birth and death in desirable or undesirable species of life."
One can never be happy by advancing materially. This is also stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (7.5.30): adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām. Through the uncontrolled senses, one may advance one's hellish condition. He may continue to chew the chewed; that is, repeatedly accept birth and death.
Then great eagerness conquered all the other soldiers of ecstasy, and an uncontrollable desire arose in the kingdom of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī's mind. Greatly unhappy, She then chastised Her own mind.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Nectar of Instruction
If one can restrain the demands of the tongue by limiting its activities to the eating of prasāda, the urges of the belly and the genitals can automatically be controlled. In this connection Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says:
- śarīra avidyā jāla, jaḍendriya tāhe kāla,
- jīve phele viṣaya-sāgare
- tā'ra madhye jihvā ati, lobhamāyā sudurmati,
- tā'ke jetā kaṭhina saṁsāre
- kṛṣṇa baḍa dayāmaya, karibāre jihvā jaya,
- sva-prasāda-anna dila bhāi
- sei annāmṛta khāo, rādhā-kṛṣṇa-guṇa gāo,
- preme ḍāka caitanya-nitāi
"O Lord! This material body is a lump of ignorance, and the senses are a network of paths leading to death. Somehow or other we have fallen into the ocean of material sense enjoyment, and of all the senses the tongue is the most voracious and uncontrollable. It is very difficult to conquer the tongue in this world, but You, dear Kṛṣṇa, are very kind to us. You have sent this nice prasāda to help us conquer the tongue; therefore let us take this prasāda to our full satisfaction and glorify Your Lordships Śrī Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa and in love call for the help of Lord Caitanya and Prabhu Nityānanda."
Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
When Vasudeva was returning home with his firstborn child, although he was pleased by the behavior of Kaṁsa, he could not believe in him because he knew that Kaṁsa was uncontrolled. An atheistic person cannot be firm in his word of honor. One who cannot control the senses cannot be steady in his determination. The great politician Cāṇakya Paṇḍita said, "Never put your trust in a diplomat or in a woman." Those who are addicted to unrestricted sense gratification can never be truthful, nor can they be trusted with any faith.
Due to the reduced water and scorching heat from the sun in the autumn season, the small creatures living in small reservoirs of water are very much disturbed; they are exactly like uncontrolled persons who are always unhappy from being unable to enjoy life or maintain their family members. The muddy earth gradually dries up, and newly grown fresh vegetation begins to wither. Similarly, for one who has taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, desire for family enjoyment gradually dries up.
Because the quality of ignorance is prominent in Lord Śiva, when he heard Bhṛgu's insult his eyes immediately became red with anger. With uncontrollable rage, he took up his trident and prepared to kill Bhṛgu Muni. At that time Lord Śiva's wife, Pārvatī, was present. Her personality, like Lord Śiva's, is a mixture of the three qualities, and therefore she is called Triguṇamayī. In this case, she saved the situation by evoking Lord Śiva's quality of goodness. She fell down at the feet of her husband, and with her sweet words she talked him out of killing Bhṛgu Muni.
Renunciation Through Wisdom
Human beings are divided into two categories: the law-abiders and the law-breakers. Those who care only about satisfying their senses and do not submit to discipline and law are like animals, completely uncontrolled. Whether such an uncontrolled person is cultured or uncultured, educated or uneducated, weak or strong, his actions are always bestial. Their can never benefit anyone.
As Śrī Prahlāda Mahārāja says in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (7.5.30-31),
- matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā
- mitho 'bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām
- adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ
- punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām
- na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ
- durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ
- andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās
- te 'pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ
"Because of their uncontrolled senses, persons too addicted to materialistic life make progress toward hellish conditions and repeatedly chew that which has already been chewed. Their inclinations toward Kṛṣṇa are never aroused, either by the instructions of others, by their own efforts, or by a combination of both. Persons who are strongly entrapped by the consciousness of enjoying material life, and who have therefore accepted as their leader or guru a similar blind man attached to external sense objects, cannot understand that the goal of life is to return home, back to Godhead, and engage in the service of Lord Viṣṇu. As blind men guided by another blind man miss the right path and fall into a ditch, materially attached men led by another materially attached man are bound by the ropes of fruitive labor, which are made of very strong cords, and they continue again and again in materialistic life, suffering the threefold miseries."
Light of the Bhagavata
One should learn gravity from the sea and the rivulet. The sea is always within its limits, in spite of the many rivers pouring water into it. Similarly, one should properly use the assets of life and not squander them for purposes that have no permanent value. Uncontrolled, sensuous persons play with the assets of the body and accumulate wealth. But the strength of the body should be used for self-realization, not for sense gratification.
When the small pools of water become too hot because of the scorching heat of the autumn sun, the poor, small creatures, with their many family members, suffer terribly, as poor householders with too many family members suffer economic strains and yet go on begetting children because of uncontrolled senses.
Human life is meant for controlling the senses, for uncontrolled senses are the cause of material bondage. But for fools sense enjoyment is the pivot of life's activities. All men undergo hard, laborious duties all day and night and in all seasons of the year, only for the sake of sense pleasure with their mates. These foolish creatures have no information of other enjoyment. In a godless civilization especially, sense pleasure, accepted in the name of culture and philosophy, is all in all. Men who are addicted to this pleasure are called kṛpaṇas.
Spiritual culture means pursuing a better engagement in life. When a man engages in such cultural life, the desire for mating automatically abates, and the sufferings of uncontrolled family life are mitigated without artificial means.
Human beings are not meant to quarrel like cats and dogs. They must be intelligent enough to realize the importance and aim of human life. The Vedic literature is meant for humanity and not for cats and dogs. Cats and dogs can kill other animals for food without incurring sin, but if a man kills an animal for the satisfaction of his uncontrolled taste buds, he is responsible for breaking the laws of nature. Consequently he must be punished.