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720519 - Lecture SB 02.03.01 - Los Angeles

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His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

720519SB-LOS ANGELES - May 19, 1972 - 46:18 Minutes

Prabhupāda: Kīrtana, kīrtana. Have kīrtana. (kīrtana) (Prabhupāda leads chanting) (break) (prema-dhvani) Thank you very much.

Devotees: All glories to Śrī Guru and Gauranga. (obeisances) (break)

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Where is Pradyumna?

Devotee: . . . (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: Eh? Where is Pradyumna? Eh?

Devotee: Pradyumna? There he is.

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotees: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: All right, take it. Begin.

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya.

(leads chanting of verse) (Prabhupāda and devotees repeat)

śrī-śuka uvāca
evam etan nigaditaṁ
pṛṣṭavān yad bhavān mama
nṛṇāṁ yan mriyamāṇānāṁ
manuṣyeṣu manīṣiṇām
(SB 2.3.1)

Prabhupāda: (interrupts the chanting of the śloka) Repeat once, twice more. (chanting resumes) Next? Kīrtanānanda Mahārāja, you can.

Kīrtanānanda: Translation?

Prabhupāda: No. First of all read.

Kīrtanānanda: Chant?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

(Kīrtanānanda chants; Prabhupāda corrects him: mriyamāṇānām) Karandhara. (chants) You. (another devotee chants) Anyone? More? (chanting resumes) Very good. Anyone else?

Devotee: Hṛdayānanda. (chants verse)


evam etan nigaditaṁ
pṛṣṭavān yad bhavān mama
nṛṇāṁ yan mriyamāṇānāṁ
manuṣyeṣu manīṣiṇām
(SB 2.3.1)

So, translation? Read translation? Translation? Oh, no. Word meaning. Yes.


śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; evam—so; etat—all these; nigaditam—answered; pṛṣṭavān—as you inquired; yat—what; bhavān—your good self; mama—unto me; nṛṇām—of the human being; yat—one; mriyamāṇānām—on the threshold of death; manuṣyeṣu—amongst the human beings; manīṣiṇām—of the intelligent men.

Translation: "Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Mahārāja Parīkṣit, as you have inquired from me as to the duty of the intelligent man who is on the threshold of death, so I answered you."

Prabhupāda: Hmm. Now, this is the important part of the verse, that "man who is on the threshold of death." Who can say that "I am not on the threshold of death"? Is there any man in this universe who can say that "I am not on the threshold of death"? Can anyone say? Everyone is on the threshold of death. That's a fact. But such questions are made amongst them . . . everyone is subject to death, and threshold, on the threshold of death.

Nobody can say that, "I shall live for so many years." No guarantee. Everyone is on the threshold of death. Any moment, we can die. Therefore it is said, "As sure as death." All other things may be not sure, but death is sure. Therefore, before death, one . . . manīṣiṇām, manuṣyeṣu manīṣiṇām. Not ordinary man. Manīṣī. Manīṣī means thoughtful. They question, "What is to be done now, before death comes? Shall I die like cats and dogs, or shall I die like human being?" This is the question. Cats and dogs dying, nobody cares. But a human being dying, there are so many ceremonies, mourning, because human life is important.

So Parīkṣit Mahārāja, although he was on the threshold of death, he was allowed seven days' time. He was cursed to death, but he was given seven days' time: "You, King, you shall die within seven days—after seven days—being bitten by serpent." This was the curse given to him. He accepted. He could counteract it. Parīkṣit Mahārāja was Vaiṣṇava. He was very powerful. But he thought that, "Yes, I am offender. The brahmin boy has cursed me, I shall accept it."

So he prepared himself for death. For seven days he placed himself on the bank of the Ganges without drinking a drop of water, and for seven days continually he heard Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from Parīkṣit Mahārāja . . . er, from Śukadeva Gosvāmī. That was decided. Harer nāmānukīrtanaḥ. In any circumstances of life, hearing and chanting is prescribed. So Parīkṣit . . . Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: "My dear King, I have explained to you what is to be done now, at the time of death."

So we should take example, or instruction, from the behavior of Parīkṣit Mahārāja that on the threshold of death . . . everyone is on the threshold of death, but the foolish person, they do not know. Foolish person thinks that, "I shall live forever." That is foolishness.

ahany ahani lokāni
gacchantīha yamālayam
śeṣāḥ sthāvaram icchanti
kim āścaryam ataḥ param
(Mahābhārata, Vana-parva 313.116)

Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja was asked by Dharmarāja, "What is the most wonderful thing within this world?" He answered this, ahany ahani lokāni gacchantīha yamālayam: "Everyone, every moment, is going to the Yamarāja's place, the superintendent of death, where a man's life is scrutinizingly studied, what he has done, and . . ." I say man, not animal. Animal, they have no such thing, "wrong" or "right," because it is animal. But a human being must have this conscience, "right" or "wrong." Pravṛtti, nivṛtti.

In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, pravṛttiṁ ca nivṛttiṁ na vidur āsura-janā (BG 16.7). Asura-janā, those who are demons, they do not know these two things, pravṛtti and nivṛtti, what is our duty and what is our not duty. Pravṛttiṁ ca nivṛttiṁ ca . . . that is modern civilization. They do not know. What is our duty to do and what is our duty not to do, they do not know. Neither any education in this life what we should do, what we should not do.

So therefore this particular word is mentioned here, manīṣiṇām. In human society, those who are specifically intelligent, for them. Caitanya-caritāmṛta kāṛ, he says, kṛṣṇa yei bhaje sei baḍa catura. Catura means very intelligent. Without being intelligent, nobody can take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But our propaganda is to educate people to become intelligent. They are foolish. They do not know the value of life. They do not know what is going to happen after death. No. Just like cats and dogs.

Therefore Upaniṣad says, Gargopaniṣad, etad viditvā yaḥ prayāti sa brāhmaṇaḥ: "One who leaves this body after knowing everything, he is brāhmaṇa." And etad aviditvā yaḥ prayāti sa kṛpaṇaḥ: "Or anyone who dies without knowing the value of life, he's kṛpaṇa, miser, cripple-minded," because he could not utilize the opportunity given to him by nature. Such nice, beautiful body, you American boys and girls—nice country, good facilities, no poverty—everything is very nicely given to you. But, if in spite of all these facilities, if you don't take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then you are kṛpaṇa, miser.

"Miser" means one who has got money, but he cannot utilize it. He is miser. And one who knows how to utilize money . . . there are many merchants, they get a few thousands of dollars from their father, but due to intelligence he increases to millions of dollars. That is intelligence. And miser, or foolishness is that, "I get some money from my father, but I spend it for nothing."

So this human form of life is specially meant for becoming brāhmaṇa. We are therefore creating brāhmaṇa. We are not creating śūdras. Śūdras are already there. Janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ. Anyone born is a śūdra. Śūdra means who has no knowledge: ignorant. He is called śūdra. Paricaryātmakaṁ kāryaṁ śūdra-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.44). Śūdra is not intelligent. He cannot do anything nice, thoughtful. "Ehh, get some work, get some few dollars daily. Eat and sleep." That is śūdra. They cannot do anything independently.

A brāhmaṇa will not accept anyone's service. That is specially forbidden, that a brāhmaṇa . . . brāhmaṇa, even if he is in difficulty, he should not accept anyone's service like a dog. The especially this word is used. A dog cannot live without master. A dog, if he hasn't got a good master, is a street dog. He may be killed at any time. He has no protection. Therefore this very word is used. Śūdra means dog. He must have a master; otherwise he cannot live.

So there are classes of men, śūdras. No, they must have a protection. Woman must have protection, because they cannot do anything independently. To give them independence means to create some trouble. In the Manu-saṁhitā it is clearly said, na strī svātantryam arhati. Woman cannot be given independence. No. They must be protected. When they are child, up to twelve years, thirteen years, say fifteen, sixteen years, not more than that, she must be protected by the father. And at the age of thirteen to sixteen years, she must be married, find out some boy who can take charge, the second charge. And when she's old, the charge is given to the elderly sons. So woman is protected like that.

So śūdras also should not be given independence. They should be given protection, but no independence. Striyaḥ śūdrās tathā vaiśyāḥ, in the Bhagavad-gītā there is. Striyaḥ means woman, śūdra and vaiśya—they are put into the same category. In Bhāgavata also, strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocarā (SB 1.4.25). So one has to be enlightened. As the śūdra can be enlightened under good protection, similarly, a woman can also be enlightened. There is no, I mean to say, barricade to enlighten woman. Everyone can be enlightened. Everyone has got the light. But ordinarily, the śūdra and the vaiśyas, they are not to be considered very intelligent.

Janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ. Everyone is born śūdra. Saṁskārād bhaved dvijaḥ. By saṁskāra . . . just like we follow. Not all of a sudden we accept anyone as brāhmaṇa. We give saṁskāra, chanting. First of all, association. Satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvidaḥ (SB 3.25.25). By good association, by the association of devotees, one can understand automatically what is God, what is Kṛṣṇa.

(aside) Let him sit properly.

So saṁskāra . . . saṁskāra . . . although the śūdras are not given any saṁskāra . . . because those who are in the very lowest stage of life, it is very difficult for them to accept saṁskāra, reformatory method. But this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, under the direction of Gosvāmīs and pañcarātra system, they are giving the opportunity everyone to become a brahmin. Because without becoming brahmin, nobody can understand what is Kṛṣṇa or what is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

One must be on the platform of goodness. When one is fixed up on the platform of goodness, the other two qualities—namely, ignorance and passion—cannot disturb him. Nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā. Naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā (SB 1.2.18).

śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi
vidhunoti suhṛt satām
(SB 1.2.17)

Hṛdy antaḥ-sthaḥ. Kṛṣṇa is within your heart. If you kindly continue to hear about Him, as you are doing, then Kṛṣṇa will be very much pleased, "Oh, this person is now interested in me." Because nobody's interested in Kṛṣṇa. So Kṛṣṇa is also silent to them. But as soon as you become interested, oh, Kṛṣṇa becomes very active: "Oh, he's trying to do something. I shall help him."

In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, teṣāṁ satata-yuktānām (BG 10.10). Teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānām. What is that verse? Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam, buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi tam. Kṛṣṇa says. He's silent for the nondevotees, but he speaks to the devotees. That is very natural. If some big man . . . he talks with men who are intelligent, who is businesslike. Why he wastes his time talking with some rascals and fools? So Kṛṣṇa talks, but talks to the devotee. Who are devotee? Satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam. Those who are twenty-four hours engaged in rendering loving devotional service to the Lord. To such person Kṛṣṇa gives intelligence, not others.

So this process of hearing from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā, must be continued. That is our life. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ (SB 7.5.23). Śravaṇam means hearing. Kīrtanam means chanting about Lord Viṣṇu. Not for others. "Now I am hearing and chanting about Nixon," (chuckles) that will not help. Because everyone is busy in newspaper, "What Nixon said, what he is doing . . ." Everywhere.

The politicians, they have made the minds of general people, general public, that they're very much interested in what the politician says. Every day he sees that he's simply speaking all nonsense, still he's interested. Punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām (SB 7.5.30). They are called "chewing the chewed again and again." Matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā mitho 'bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām.

na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ
durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ
andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās
te 'pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ
(SB 7.5.31)

Īśa-tantryām, by the laws of material nature, one who is bound up tight, hands and legs . . . we are all. We cannot, I mean to say, neglect the laws of nature. If you eat little more, then you have to fast for three days. That we actually know. If you expose little to cold, then you have to pay ten dollars to the doctor, fine. So they are so much bound up by the laws of nature; still, they are thinking, "I am free. I am independent. Where is God? I am God." Just see. Such foolish persons, that every moment he's being kicked on his face by the boot of material nature, and still he's saying, "I am God. I am independent." You see?

So andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ (SB 7.5.31). Just like one blind man is speaking other blind men, "Please follow me. I shall lead you to the right path." "But you are blind yourself, and we are also blind. What will be the help?" But no, they will follow. In our country, Gandhi promised that "I shall give you independence in one year, if you follow me—non-violence, non-cooperation." People followed, but it took thirty years. But actually, that is not independence. So these politicians, especially, they mislead us. Not only politicians; the so-called yogīs, so-called . . . so many things. Real leader is Kṛṣṇa.

So if we surrender to Kṛṣṇa as Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66), "Give up all other occupation, duties. Simply just surrender unto Me." Ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ. "Don't hesitate. Do it." Kṛṣṇa is personally canvassing. He's so kind, He comes personally. He speaks the whole truth in the Bhagavad-gītā. He's canvassing, "Please do it." He again comes as a devotee, Lord Caitanya.

Lord Caitanya is teaching how to surrender to Kṛṣṇa. There is no difference between Lord Caitanya's teachings and Kṛṣṇa's teaching. The same thing. In one form, Kṛṣṇa is saying that, "You surrender unto Me," and Lord Caitanya says that, "You surrender to Kṛṣṇa." The fact is the same. So we are following Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. We are canvassing, "Please surrender to Kṛṣṇa."

So our business is not very difficult. If we follow ourself, if we surrender to Kṛṣṇa fully and teach others also the same thing . . . not that something adulteration. No. Exactly what Kṛṣṇa says. Then you become spiritual master, guru. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says:

āmāra ājñāya guru hañā tāra' ei deśa
yāre dekha tāre kaha 'kṛṣṇa'-upadeśa
(CC Madhya 7.128)

"Under My order, you become spiritual master and deliver the people of your country." And what is that order? That yāre dekha tāre kaha kṛṣṇa-upadeśa (CC Madhya 7.128): "Whomever you meet, you simply speak what Kṛṣṇa has said, or what is spoken about Kṛṣṇa." That is Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

So every one of you follow the instruction, as you have received. Chant sixteen rounds regularly, without fail, and follow the regulative principles, and hear about Kṛṣṇa and preach about Kṛṣṇa—every one of you become a spiritual master. Simple thing. No education required. Because we are hearing about Kṛṣṇa, so we can speak the same thing. What is the difficulty?

If I hear from my spiritual master or from any learned man that, "Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead," so if I say by hearing that, "Kṛṣṇa is Supreme Personality of Godhead," so I haven't got to search out whether Kṛṣṇa is Personality of Godhead or not, but if I accept the authority, then I speak the real truth. This is our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.

Therefore sometimes, when people say in India, "Swāmījī, you have done wonderful," and yes, I do not know. I'm not a magician. But so far I am confident that I did not adulterated the words of Kṛṣṇa. That's all. That's my credit. I did not like to take the position of Kṛṣṇa. I remained servant of Kṛṣṇa, and I spoke what Kṛṣṇa said. That's all. This is my secret. So everyone can do that. There is nothing magic. The magic will act as soon as you become a pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa.

The magic will be done by Kṛṣṇa, not by me or you. He will do it. Just like a small child: Nobody can hurt him; the father will take care. He does not know. He's simply depending on father, "My father, mother," that's all. Kṛṣṇa says that, "You surrender unto Me, I give you protection." He's not a liar. He's not inefficient. He's strong. He's sufficiently opulent. He can do that.

So believe in Kṛṣṇa's word and surrender unto Him, and don't spoil this human form of life. Death is sure. Before death, we must prepare to go back to home, back to Godhead.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. (obeisances) (end)