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We are thinking that we have made a paradise, but actually the place is miserable, because the threefold miseries, they are there

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"We are thinking that we have made a paradise, but actually the place is miserable, because the threefold miseries, they are there"

Lectures

General Lectures

We are thinking that we have made a paradise, but actually the place is miserable, because the threefold miseries, they are there.


Lecture to Technology Students (M.I.T.) -- Boston, May 5, 1968:

The idea is that we are making progress, certainly, in technology, in economics, in so many other departments of human necessities. But Bhagavad-gītā says that real problem of this world, or real problem of our life, it is said in the Bhagavad-gītā:

janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-
duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam
(BG 13.9)

If you are intelligent enough, then you should see the real problem is birth, death, old age and disease. Janma means birth, and mṛtyu means death. Janma-mṛtyu-jarā. Jarā means old age, and vyādhi means disease. So actual material problem is this, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi.

We have forgotten that, "In the abdomen of my mother, how precarious condition I was living in." Of course, we can know from the description of medical science or any other science how the child is packed up there and how much suffering is there. The worms bite the child and he cannot express; he suffers the suffering. Similarly, the mother eats something, and the pungent taste also gives him suffering. So these descriptions are there in the śāstras, in the scriptures and authentic Vedic literature, how the child suffers within the abdomen of mother.

So these are the sufferings of birth. At least, one child has to remain in that air-packed condition at least for ten months. Now just imagine if you are put into that air-packed condition for three minutes now, you will immediately die. But actually, we had that experience to remain in the mother's womb in that air-packed condition for ten months. So suffering was there, but because the child was incapable of expressing, therefore . . . or his consciousness was not so elevated. He could not cry, but the suffering was there.

Similarly, at the time of death there is suffering. Similarly, old man. Just like us, we have got so many complaints, bodily complaints. Because now everything, the anatomical or physiological condition, is deteriorating. The stomach is not digesting foodstuff so nicely as when I was young I could digest. So the sufferings are there. Similarly, disease. Who wants disease?

So modern technology, they have advanced undoubtedly, but there is no remedy for, I mean to say, to stop birth, death, old age and disease. This is real problem. But because these problems cannot be solved by the modern scientific advancement of knowledge, they have practically set aside or neglected because they cannot solve it.

But there is a solution. There is a solution. That solution of this problem is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā that:

mām upetya kaunteya
duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam
nāpnuvanti mahātmānaḥ
saṁsiddhiṁ paramāṁ gatāḥ
(BG 8.15)

"My dear Arjuna, if somebody comes to Me . . ." "Me" means here the Supreme Personality of Godhead is saying, Kṛṣṇa. "If somebody comes to Me, then he hasn't got to take birth again in this miserable material condition." Duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam. Duḥkhālayam means the place of miseries. We are thinking that we have made a paradise, but actually the place is miserable, because the threefold miseries, they are there. Either in America or in India or in any other country, China, or any other planet, the material miseries, which are three kinds: ādhyātmika, ādhibhautika, ādhidaivika.

Ādhyātmika means miseries pertaining to the body and the mind. Sometimes we are feeling headaches, sometimes we are feeling some other pains. Any things which are pertaining to the body and mind, there is some pain. These are called ādhyātmika. Similarly, there are other pains, inflicted by other living entities. They are called ādhibhautika. Similarly, other pains also, which is offered by the nature, by the laws of nature. All of a sudden there is earthquake, all of a sudden there is famine, or similar other which we have no control over. So these three kinds of miseries are always there.