So pravṛtti-mārga, nivṛtti-mārga. Pravṛttir eṣāṁ bhūtānāṁ nivṛttes tu mahā-phalam. Pravṛtti means inclination. Here in the material world everyone is inclined to gratify the senses. This is material world. Everyone is trying. Āhāra-nidra-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca. The best type of āhāra-nidra. Even in the human form of life they are also trying for the same thing, as cats and dogs are trying. The cats and dogs, they are also trying to find out where it is, food, where sleeping comfort, where sex life, and where defense. If the human form of life is also utilized for this purpose, pravṛtti-mārga, then it is, as I was talking in the park, it is just like using sandalwood for burning fuel. There is distinction even in wood. There are so many jungle wood, we can use it for cooking. But if the sandalwood, which is so valuable, if we do not know what is the value of sandalwood, if we use it for cooking and burning... Similarly, if we use this human form of life exactly like the cats and dogs, simply for sense gratification, then we are committing suicide.
The whole Vedic civilization means how to utilize this human form of life for better purposes. Even modern scientific point of view. Not scientific, but they say. Accepting their version... Just like Darwin's theory: by evolution you come to the human form of life. Accepting that from monkey one becomes a human being, so what is after this form? Then they have no information. What is the next life? If the evolution is... That is also accepted in the Padma Purāṇa, 8,400,000 species, forms of life, and then we come to this human form of life. What is next? That is the question. But they have no knowledge. They have no sense. They cannot explain what is next. And there is next life. If by evolutionary process through the channel of so many species of life, 900,000 aquatics. Jalajā nava-lakṣāni sthāvarā lakṣa... Two millions trees and plants, then 1100,000 insects, and one million species of birds, and then 33,000,000 species of animals, four-legged animals, paśu. And then we get this human form of life, especially civilized form of life. Then what is next? That question nobody inquires, neither there is answer by the so-called modern scientist, that what is next.
But the answer is there. Answer is there in the Vedic literature that there is higher planetary system. We can see at night: there are so many millions and millions of planets. So we can go there. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, that ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthāḥ (BG 14.18). Now we have come to the human form of life. If we cultivate sattva-guṇa... The material word is composed of three modes of material nature, the sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa, and tamo-guṇa. So if we remain in the sattva-guṇa, then we shall be promoted to the higher planetary system. If we remain in rajo-guṇa, then we shall remain where we are. And if we remain in tamo-guṇa, ignorance, then we shall go down again to the lower species of life. This is the laws of nature.
- prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni
- guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
- kartāham iti manyate
- (BG 3.27)
The rascals, they are thinking they are independent. They are not independent. Completely under the control of the material nature. Otherwise why there are different species of life? Where is the arrangement? Arrangement is there. If you remain in sattva-guṇa, then you get higher form of life. Nature's law is so perfect that it hasn't got to create. It is automatically. Just like if you infect some disease, germs, you will automatically suffer from that disease. Similarly, if we are in contamination, sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa... Sattva-guṇa... Here sattva-guṇa is also a contamination. And what to speak of rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa? So this is called pravṛtti-mārga. According to our inclination we are contacting a certain type of the modes of material nature and we are getting different types of body. Kāraṇaṁ guṇa saṅgo 'sya sad-asad janma yoniṣu (BG 13.22). Kāraṇam. Why one is getting better position, and why one is not getting? Why one is dog, and why one is millionaire? So it is due to our association with different modes of material nature.
So here it is said,
- nivṛtti-mārgaḥ kathita
- ādau bhāgavatā yathā
- brahmaṇā yad asaṁsṛtiḥ
Saṁsṛtiḥ means the cycle of birth and death. This is called saṁsṛtiḥ. Saṁsṛtiḥ. And asaṁsṛtiḥ means to stop the cycle of birth and death and go back to home, back to Godhead. Then, if you want to go back to home, back to Godhead, then you have to follow the nivṛtti-mārga. Pravrtti is there, my inclination is there, but if you practice nivṛtti-mārga, then you overcome the cycle of birth and death, saṁsṛtiḥ. So this human form of life is meant for nivṛtti-mārga, not to indulge the sense gratification but minimize sense gratification as far as possible. Try to make it zero. Then that is called nivṛtti-mārga. We are. We require this eating, sleeping, mating and defending. But if we try, if we practice, that is called austerity. Tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyet sattvaḥ (SB 5.5.1). Śuddha. Śuddha means purification, existence, purifying the existence. We are eternal, we are existing, and on account of impurity, we have got this material body, and it is subjected to the laws of material nature, and we have to change one after another. This is pravṛtti-mārga. But in the human form of life if we come to senses that "Why I shall accept repetition of birth, death, old age, disease, and so many miserable conditions?" so that is called sense. That is intelligence. That intelligence can be developed in human form of life, and if we do not do, then the same example: just you use the sandalwood for burning purpose.