740110 - Lecture SB 01.16.13-15 - Los Angeles

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



740110SB-LOS ANGELES - January 10, 1974 - 35:49 Minutes



Pradyumna: (leads chanting of verse, etc.) (Prabhupāda and devotees repeat)

tatra tatropaśṛṇvānaḥ
sva-pūrveṣāṁ mahātmanām
pragīyamāṇaṁ ca yaśaḥ
kṛṣṇa-māhātmya-sūcakam
ātmānaṁ ca paritrātam
aśvatthāmno 'stra-tejasaḥ
snehaṁ ca vṛṣṇi-pārthānāṁ
teṣāṁ bhaktiṁ ca keśave
tebhyaḥ parama-santuṣṭaḥ
prīty-ujjṛmbhita-locanaḥ
mahā-dhanāni vāsāṁsi
dadau hārān mahā-manāḥ
(SB 1.16.13-15)

(break) (02:35)

Translation: "Wherever the King visited, he continuously heard the glories of his great forefathers, who were all devotees of the Lord, and also of the glorious acts of Lord Kṛṣṇa. He also heard how he himself had been protected by the Lord from the powerful heat of the weapon of Aśvatthāmā. People also mentioned the great affection between the descendants of Vṛṣṇi and Pṛthā due to the latter's great devotion to Lord Keśava. The King, being very pleased with the singers of such glories, opened his eyes in great satisfaction. Out of magnanimity he was pleased to award them very valuable necklaces and clothing."

Prabhupāda: So Mahārāja Parīkṣit is on his tour, and what did he meet in every place? Tatra tatra upaśṛṇvānaḥ. Everyone was speaking very highly, sva-pūrveṣām, about his forefathers, especially the grandfathers, Pañca-Pāṇḍava, mahātmanām. They are not ordinary persons. Mahātmanām. Mahātmāna and durātmāna, two words. Mahātmāna, a great mind or great personalities. And durātmāna means mischievous person. There are two kinds: mischievous and magnanimous. Everywhere.

So the forefathers of Mahārāja Parīkṣit, sva-pūrveṣām, they were not ordinary person. They were mahātmā. So how one can become mahātmā? It is not very difficult, provided one wants to become mahātmā. Nothing is difficult in this world, provided one wants to have it, or to become. So how to become mahātmā? That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. What is that? Mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ, bhajanty ananya-manaso (BG 9.13). This is mahātmā. Sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ. First of all Kṛṣṇa said, sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ (BG 7.19): "To get a mahātmā, broadly-minded great personality, it is very difficult to find out." But still, one may try to find out what are the symptoms of mahātmā. That is discussed in Bhagavad-gītā. When one understands, "Kṛṣṇa is the origin or original source of everything," janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1), as it is indicated in the Vedānta-sūtra that "The Absolute Truth is that from whom everything emanates," that is Absolute Truth.

So what is the nature of that Absolute Truth—animate or inanimate? That is also discussed: abhijña, animate. The origin, source of everything, must be animate. In this way, when one comes to the conclusion, as it is stated by Kṛṣṇa Himself personally, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya (BG 7.7): "My dear Dhanañjaya, there is no more superior," I mean to say, "objective than Myself." So people will not accept this. If I say that "There is no more superior person than me," so people will laugh. It may be true or not true, that is also... But if anyone is very much proud of his personality and he says that "There is no more superior person than me," then at least in the beginning people will laugh. That is nature. But when Kṛṣṇa says, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya (BG 7.7): "There is no more superior person than Me anywhere," so who will accept it? One who knows. He will accept, "Yes, Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

So how this knowledge is achieved? Because to accept Kṛṣṇa... Just like we accept, by authority. We belong to the Caitanya Mahāprabhu's cult. He preached... His cult means..., Caitanya cult means Kṛṣṇa cult. Kṛṣṇa-varṇam, simply describing Kṛṣṇa. That was His business. So in this way, when one understands Kṛṣṇa... Not perfectly. One cannot understand Kṛṣṇa perfectly. It is not possible. Even Kṛṣṇa Himself cannot understand Himself, He is so great. That is greatness, "God is great," that the God who is great, He cannot also understand how great He is. That is God. Nobody can understand. But as far as possible, we can understand from the śāstras—sādhu, śāstra, guru, three sources—we can understand and make our conclusion that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme.

So that is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, that,

bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ
(BG 7.19)

People are searching after knowledge—philosophers, scientists, politicians, and others, so many. Everyone is after knowledge. Brahma-jijñāsā. Jijñāsā: everyone is inquiring what is the Supreme Absolute Truth. That is possible in this human form of life, not in the cat's and dog's life. So those who are cats and dogs in the form of human being, they cannot inquire. They cannot inquire. Because they may be in the form of a human being, but actually they are no better than cats and dogs. Who are they? So, āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca sāmānyam etat paśubhir narāṇām (Hitopadeśa). Then the eating, material necessities of life... Eating. We want to eat something. We must eat, to keep this body fit. Then we must sleep also after eating. Not always. Not in this assembly. But after eating, you can sleep. (laughter) There is sleeping place, but not here. That is not good. So eating, sleeping. Then, after eating, after sleeping, everyone knows, the sex becomes agitated. Then mating. Eating, sleeping, mating and defending, "How to protect myself?" Because the whole world is full of enemies. This is material world. So everyone is struggling hard, "How to protect myself?"

So these four principles are animal principles. So that is the difference, that such animal propensities are there amongst the cats and dogs, and in the human being also, these necessities are there. But if we remain captivated only by these four principles, then we remain cats and dogs. It doesn't matter, however nicely we are dressed, but we remain as cats and dogs, in the category of cats and dogs. The modern civilization is that he is actually a dog, a cat, but he dresses himself very nicely to become gentleman. So śāstra says no. We have to test whether he is human being or a cat and dog, what he is. So if we see that people are engaged only in these four business—eating, sleeping, mating and defending—he is cat and dog. Above them, they are inquiring. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. They are inquiring about the Absolute Truth. They are above these cats and dogs. This is the test: what subject matter he is inquiring. Just like there are big, big scientists, they are making research, "If petrol can be substituted?" So in the eyes of the common man he may become a very great scientist, but those who are advanced in spiritual consciousness, they will take him no better than cat and dog—because his subject matter is how to eat, sleep or mate or defend. The subject matter... We have to understand what is the subject matter of this person. In the English proverb it is said, "A man is known by his company." So similarly, if the subject matter is animalistic, āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithuna, then, however he may be big man, we will take him amongst the categories of cats and dogs.

Then who is above? That above—who is inquiring about the Absolute. Jijñāsuḥ śreya-uttamam. He is human being, jijñāsu. He may not know in the beginning, but if he is inquisitive about knowing the Absolute Truth, he is human being. Just try to understand what is the distinction between a human being and cat and dog. So a human being means he is inquiring about the spirit soul or the spiritual world, the supreme spirit, God, Kṛṣṇa. He is human being. Otherwise cats and dogs. It is very easy to distinguish who is a cat and dog and who is a human being. There is no difficulty. What is the subject matter of his inquiry, and what he is after? What he wants in life? Everyone wants to eat very nicely in table, chairs and nice plate, nicely cooked food, and palatable. Never mind whatever nonsense it is, it must be palatable. So that is eating, eating problem. So in this way, if we analyze, it is not difficult to find out who is a human being and who is a cat and dog. That is... Everything can be understood.

So when one is inquisitive, jijñāsu... And jijñāsu means, what kind of jijñāsu, inquisitive? Śreya uttamam. Jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam (SB 11.3.21). There are fields, different fields of activities. So when becomes inquisitive to know the ultimate necessity, ātyantika-duḥkha-nivṛtti, ultimate necessity, śreya uttamam. There are two things: śreya and preya. I have discussed all these thing many times. Preya means immediately very palatable. That is called preya. And śreya means ultimately good. Suppose if you take some palatable foodstuff, it may be very palatable to you... There are many example. Just like smoking. Smoking, everyone knows, the scientists, the doctor, they declare, "This is the nonsense thing. It should be avoided." They advertise even in the packet also. But people still smoke. But that is called preya. That is called preya. Preya means immediately very nice. And śreya means when one gives it up, "No, it will keep my health nice," that is śreya. Try to understand what is śreya and preya. Another example: just like a child, he wants to play whole day. Even Kṛṣṇa was playing with His friends. Mother Yaśodā had to call Him thrice, four times, then He would come back. So that is the nature of children—they want to play whole day and night. But that is not preya, er, that is not śreya. The mother, the parents, take care, "My dear boy, come here, take your bath, change your dress, take your food. It is already late." So he does not know that these things are śreya. He wants to play. Just try to understand śreya and preya. Preya means according to one's position, there are different subject matter of sense gratification. That is called preya. And śreya means for future goodness, ultimate good. That is called preya, er, śreya. Therefore a human being is he who is inquisitive about his ultimate goal of life, to know, "How..., what is my ultimate goal of life?" That is human being. So jijñāsu.

So when a human becomes jijñāsu, inquisitive, śreya uttamam... Śreya means ultimate goal of life, and uttamam... Uttamam. Tama means darkness. Tama means darkness. Not in the darkness, but uttamam. Udgata-tamaṁ yasmāt. When he transcends this darkness field of activities... Tamasi mā jyotir gama: "Don't remain in the darkness activity. Come to the light activity." So when one becomes inquisitive for the light activity, he is human being. He's called jñānī. The karmīs, they are in darkness. Their activity has no meaning. The other day we have discussed, vyartha-karmabhiḥ. Vyartha-karmabhiḥ (SB 1.16.9). Vyartha means futile, useless. The karmīs, they are thinking very busy. If you go to see a karmī, he will say, "Oh, I have no time." "What you are doing, sir?" "No, I am very busy. I am earning money." So... But śāstra says, "You are simply wasting your time." Vyartha-karmabhiḥ. Vyartha-karmabhiḥ. The karmīs, they are working simply for useless result. How useless result? Because you have to change your body. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ (BG 2.13). That is a fact. You believe or not believe, you are changing your body every moment. So simply you have no eyes to see, you have no brain to understand. You may be... Because you are cat and dog, you cannot understand. Because the cats and dogs, they cannot understand that there is another life after this dog's body and cat's body. They cannot understand. So anyone who cannot understand the simple truth of the transmigration of the soul, he is no better than this cat and dog.

So these karmīs are like that. Some of them understand. They at least believe in future life. But they do not know how to stop this transmigration of the soul. That they do not know, karmīs. They know, "It is unavoidable to change the bodies. So there is no need of endeavoring..." Therefore they do not know, they cannot know, neither they can do. They simply, "Yes, there is life, but let me become in more comfortable situation." Just like in this life they are trying just to become in comfortable situation of this body, similarly, when they understand that, accepting at least that there is next life, they want to go to the heavenly planet, svarga. But they do not know that that is also not ultimate happiness. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. You read nicely. Ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino 'rjuna (BG 8.16). Because even if you go to the Brahmaloka, the highest planet, either by good work or by your aeroplane sputnik... It is not possible to go there by sputnik (laughter), but you can go there by your pious activities. Yānti deva-vratā devān pitṟn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ (BG 9.25). Yānti, you can go, but you have to adopt a means. But these are for the karmīs, those simply want comfortable life of this body. They cannot understand that "However comfortably I may live, I have to give up this body. Then what is my next position?" They do not know. They are called karmī.

So when one comes to this point to understand that "This is simply futile, to work for this body," he is jñānī. He is jñānī. Jñānī means he is inquisitive to know the ultimate goal of life, "How I am eternal, how I can get eternal life." In this way, he tries for it. That is called jñānī. Karmī, jñānī, yogī and bhakta. There are four kinds of men. So jñānī and yogī... Jñānī simply speculates, and yogī tries to practice. That is the difference. Their aim is the same. But yogī means he practically endeavors, and jñānī means he is simply theoretical. Just like everything, in science also, there is theoretical and practical. So karmī is in the darkness. Actually, nicely dressed cats and dogs. That is karmī. And jñānī, who understands the futility of simply being engaged for the bodily comfort... He understands, "After all, the body will not stay. So why I am wasting by this way, if there is another business?" That is jñānī. And yogī means who practically endeavors.

So out of the yogīs, the bhakti-yogī is the best. That is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā: yoginām api sarveṣām. Yoginām api sarveṣām (BG 6.47). There are many classes of yogī. Out of all these yogīs, the one yogī who is always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, he is first-class yogī. He is first-class yogī. Yoginām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā. Mad-gata, "thinking of Kṛṣṇa only." He may not know very much about Kṛṣṇa, but simply he is thinking of Kṛṣṇa. That is sufficient. That is sufficient. Here we have got the Deity of Kṛṣṇa, and if we twenty-four hours see the Deity only, seeing here, you will be perfect. You will be perfect, simply by seeing. And then hear, then chant. There are so many. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam (SB 7.5.23), nine kinds of methods. You adopt them all, or some of them, or at least one. Then you become perfect. That is bhakti-yogī. Some way or other, think of... Yena tena prakāreṇa manaḥ kṛṣṇe niveśayet (Brs. 1.2.4). That is the instruction of Rūpa Gosvāmī, "Some way or other, just engage your mind in Kṛṣṇa." Some way or other. Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānām.

Kṛṣṇa also says, satata-yuktānām, "continuously attached to Me." Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam (BG 10.10). Prīti-pūrvakam. Here it is prīti, it is said. Prīty-ujjṛmbhita. So with love. With love or no love. Without love, you cannot think of Kṛṣṇa. That is not possible. So as soon as you think of Kṛṣṇa, there is a tinge of love, must be there. So as you increase your thinking of Kṛṣṇa, then you increase your love of Kṛṣṇa. That is recommended by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. That is our ultimate goal of life. Premā pum-artho mahān. Premā pum-artho mahān. Everyone is attached to, those who are human being... Dharmārtha-kāma-mokṣa (SB 4.8.41). The karmīs, they want to be religious. They go to temple, church, for some material benefit, "O God, give us our daily bread." That is their function. But still, that is accepted. So in this way, we have discussed many times. So the jñānī... Who is mahātmā, that is the subject matter here discussed. So jñānī..., the mahātmās are to be found not amongst the karmīs, but of the jñānīs, jñānī field. Just like in India, we manufacture some mahātmā. But according to śāstra, he is not mahātmā because he was—Mahatma Gandhi, I mean to say—he was not on the platform of knowledge. He was on the platform of karma, karmī. He wanted to deliver his countrymen from the clutches of the British, Britishers. That was his aim. But because he was not jñānī, he could not understand that "Why I am trying to drive away some people for the benefit of another?" That is a great subject matter.

So anyone who is on the karmī field, he is not jñānī. He is not jñānī or mahātmā. Then who is mahātmā? That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā: bahūnāṁ janmanām ante (BG 7.19). After working uselessly for many, many lives like cats and dogs, trees and plants and like that, evolution, when one works for understanding the ultimate goal of life, jñānī... So jñānīs also cannot understand immediately that Kṛṣṇa is the ultimate goal of life. They cannot understand, although it is stated that vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ (BG 15.15). Through the studies of Vedas, what knowledge one should achieve? When one achieves the knowledge that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord, that is, I mean to say, perfection of Vedic study. But these so-called jñānīs, they are simply bookworms, simply reading Vedas, four Vedas. And they say, "We are concerned with Vedas. We are not concerned with Kṛṣṇa." So... Just like the yājñika-brāhmaṇa. Yājñika-brāhmaṇa, they were interested with the Vedas, but their wives were interested with Kṛṣṇa. So they got perfection. So in this way, jñānīs... Karmī are rejected. Karmīs are useless. And jñānīs, when they cultivate knowledge... Not in one life, because immediately they will not accept that Kṛṣṇa is the ultimate goal. They are surprised, "How Kṛṣṇa? He was a cowherd boy, playing with the cows and calves. He can be...? This is māyā." Therefore they are called Māyāvādī. They cannot understand. They cannot understand what is the position of Kṛṣṇa, although they are studying Vedas.

So the jñānīs, who actually... No, I mean to say, jñānīs, they also immediately come. Therefore they have to try to come to this position of understanding Kṛṣṇa, many, many, births, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante (BG 7.19), not in one birth. They will have to take birth. Their so-called liberation is not possible, because if you have to take birth, then where is your liberation? There is no liberation. Liberation means no more accepting birth in this material world. That is called liberation. So Bhagavad-gītā says, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān. Those who are cultivating knowledge, so there is no mukti, because they have to take birth again. So in this way, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate, when he actually comes to the knowledge point, he surrenders to Kṛṣṇa. Then vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ (BG 7.19). This is mahātmā, when he understands that Kṛṣṇa is the... Because the perfection of knowledge means to know the ultimate source, athāto brahma jijñāsā, janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1), from where everything is emanating. But they do not know. The scientists, philosophers, they do not know. They are simply speculating, that's all. Actually, they do not know. But when one knows, then he is perfect. And what is that knowledge? Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ (BG 7.19). That is mahātmā.

Again, it is further explained. Then what is the business of mahātmā? He... Suppose he understands, surrenders to Kṛṣṇa. Then what is his business? Simply knowing and surrendering will do? No. Mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ, bhajanty ananya-manasaḥ (BG 9.13). Engaged in service. Not that "I have understood Kṛṣṇa. Let me sit down and sleep now." He is not mahātmā. But vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa ma... (BG 7.19). Mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ (BG 9.13). Daivī. Daivī means spiritual, spiritual energy. He is in the spiritual energy, not this material energy, āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithuna. Spiritual energy. And what is the symptom of being in the spiritual energy? Bhajanti: always chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. So they are mahātmās.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya... (end)