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720809 - Lecture SB 01.02.11 - London

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His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

720809SB-LONDON - August 09, 1972 - 44:53 Minutes

Prabhupāda: (sings Jaya Rādhā-Mādhava) (prema-dhvani) Thank you very much.

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

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. (Prabhupāda and devotees repeat)

Prabhupāda: Hmm? Yes.


vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
brahmeti paramātmeti
bhagavān iti śabdyate
(SB 1.2.11)

That tune?

Prabhupāda: Tune? (chants verse to different tune)

vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
brahmeti paramātmeti
bhagavān iti śabdyate
(SB 1.2.11)

Like that. (chants again)

Pradyumna: (repeats verse to Prabhupāda's tune)

vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
brahmeti paramātmeti
bhagavān iti śabdyate
(SB 1.2.11)

Prabhupāda: That's fine. Yes. (chants verse again) Go on, anyone. (devotee chants) That's all right. Now word meaning.


vadanti—they say; tat—that; tattva-vidaḥ—the learned souls; tattvam—the Absolute Truth; yat—which; jñānam—knowledge; advayam—nondual; brahma iti—known as Brahman; paramātmā iti—known as Paramātmā; bhagavān iti—known as Bhagavān; śabdyate—it so sounded.

Translation: "Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramātmā or Bhagavān."

Prabhupāda: So in the previous verse it has been concluded that jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā . . . (indistinct) . . . lābho jīveta yāvatā jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā nārtho yaś ceha karmabhiḥ (SB 1.2.10). Don't directly . . . (indistinct)

(break) People are engaged twenty-four hours—night duty, day duty, no rest, working like ass, for eating, sleeping, mating. That's all. Ass . . . karmī . . . karmīs are compared with ass. I have several times described ass. In India, ass is engaged to bear the burden of cloth of the washerman. Tons of cloth is loaded on the back of the ass, and it takes to the, I mean to say, washing ghat, water place, and he is given little morsel, little grass, and he is satisfied standing there. And again in the evening he is loaded with tons of clothing, and he brings back to the shop of the washerman. This is ass.

He is bearing so big burden, only for little grass. But he can go away from that place and eat grass anywhere—there is sufficient grass. But no, he will stick to that washerman's place. He is under the impression that, "This washerman is protecting me, giving this grass." That is his impression. "If I go away, I may not get the grass." So this is ass. Therefore, according to the Vedic system, the ass is forced to get out of this.

There is four division of life: brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa. The system is gradually to give him detachment. In the brahmacārī life he is taught sufficiently that this life is meant for understanding Brahman. Brahmacārī, brahme cārati: he has no other business than to understand what is Brahman. Brahma jānāti iti brāhmaṇa (BG 18.54): to make him brāhmin, that is brahmacārī, brahme cārati. He is disciplined, he is initiated, he is given sacred thread. Proper position of brāhmin—cleanliness, truthfulness—so many things are taught in brahmacārī life, so that he can become a brāhmaṇa, brahma jānāti iti brāhmaṇa. That is called brahmacārī āśrama.

Then in spite of repeatedly teaching him that there is no need of enjoying this material world, because this is false enjoyment, temporary enjoyment—real enjoyment in the spiritual world—if he still wants to enjoy this material world, then the spiritual master orders, "All right, you can marry." Marriage is not essential, but one who cannot control him, then marriage is allowed: "All right."

So because he has been trained up in his early life about the nature of this world, the gṛhastha who has been trained as brahmacārī, he cannot remain for many days as gṛhastha. Or even if he likes, the śāstra says: "No, you cannot remain in household life more than fifty years. That's all. Now you get retired." So retirement means at that time the children are grown-up, so the husband and wife goes out of home and travels in many tīrthas, pilgrimages, just to detach his attachment for the home life. That is called vānaprastha.

Vānaprastha is allowed to come back again home, remain for some time again with children, again go away. When the man is properly trained up, detached from house, then wife is requested that, "You go home. You live with your grown-up children," and he takes sannyāsa. That is required. Na indriya-prītir. Kāmasya na indriya-prītir (SB 1.2.10). Kāmasya. Not that whole life I shall enjoy the senses.

The modern politicians, unless they are fired, shot . . . just like in our country Gandhi, he was a great politician, but he struggled very hard to get out of the British control. But still, after British left India, he was still in politics. Eh? I requested him that, "Mahatma Gandhi, you have got some position. People all over the world respect you as a man of spiritual understanding. You take preaching of this Bhagavad-gītā; you stand to be photographed with Bhagavad-gītā.

Now your sva-rāja is gained—India has got independence; you leave it to your disciple, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad. You retire, and you preach Bhagavad-gītā, this culture of India." I was thinking of preaching this since a very long time, and simply finding out the opportunity. So I thought, "If Gandhi takes, then it will be very nice." (laughs) But he did not reply my letter, and just after few days he was shot dead. That's all.

So attachment is so strong. You see? All these politicians in India, here also, your Churchill, unless he died he did not give up politics. Similarly, Jawaharlal Nehru. They do not give up. They are so greedy that want to stick to the position as long as possible. You see? But that is not Vedic civilization. Vedic civilization is you have got some desire to enjoy: all right, you enjoy for some time, but your real business is tattva-jijñāsā, jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā. You inquire for the Absolute Truth, athāto brahma jijñāsā (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.1). This life is meant for understanding the Absolute Truth.

There is no such institution . . . perhaps this is the only institution, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, which is teaching the absolute necessity of human being. Why perhaps? It is the only institution. All are rascals. They do not know the value of life. Simply misleading by so-called nationalism, this ism, that ism, that ism. Simply misleading. Therefore the younger generation, they are frustrated.

They are seeing actually that they are being exploited by these rascal politicians. So they are feeling frustration. They have become tools in the hands of these politician. In America you see: he doesn't want to be drafted, but he is by force he is draft. Naturally he'll become hopeless, frustration: "What is the hope? Any moment they can call me."

So this is going on. They do not know that this life is meant for tattva-jijñāsā. They do not know. These rascals are leading the society.

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

They have planned it that . . . not planned it, the plan is kicked out, every plan. The British Empire also planned that, "We shall conquer over all the world and bring money and make London the happiest city, and enjoy." The Roman Empire also made that plan. So this plan-making will not do. You are under the complete grip of the material nature, under the control of God.

There in the Bhāgavata it is stated that every one of us is just like the bull is controlled by the thread, rope. It is tied in this nose, and as soon as the driver pulls this way, he has to go this way. It is doing exactly like our position. We are controlled by the laws of material nature like this. We are tied up in the nose with ropes, and as soon as the nature says: "This side, sir, not this way," we have to turn.

prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate
(BG 3.27)

Everything is being pulled by the laws of material nature, and I am thinking, "Oh, I am independent. I am God." Such rascals. You see?

The whole world is going on, such rascals. Full of rascals. The only intelligent men, if there is anyone, it is in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. All rascals. I challenge it. Because life is meant for tattva-jijñāsā. They do not inquire. They do not inquire, "I do not want this. I do not like this. Why it is happening?" Just like why you are running on this fan? Because I do not want too much warm. But warm is forced upon me in certain period, so I have to manufacture this fan. Similarly, in winter I don't want too much cold, so I have to cover with heavy coats and heater. So this is struggling going on, and the rascals do not want, that "I do not want this. Why it is forced upon me?" This is really tattva-jijñāsā. This is called tattva-jijñāsā. Jijñāsā means inquiry, "Now why it is forced upon me?"

Just like a man is punished in prison, he can understand, "Yes, I committed theft; therefore I was arrested and punished." But how I am put into this material condition, always suffering three kinds of miserable conditions: ādhyātmika, ādhibhautika, ādhidaivika, due to this body? Just like body is feeling too much warm, I require little fan—this is bodily miserable condition.

Similarly mental miserable conditions. "I don't feel today very happy"—somehow or other mind is not good condition. This is called ādhyātmika. Then somebody, other, other living entity, he's giving me some trouble—just like the insects, mosquito, mouse, tiger or a bad man, neighbor, unnecessarily giving me trouble. I don't want it, but he is giving me some trouble, complaining, "Oh, you are having kīrtana. Let me go to the police." (laughter)

So this is called ādhi . . . adhyātmika, ādhibhautika and ādhidaivika. Daivika means just like there was all of a sudden great flood in New York. There may be a heavy earthquake, famine, some infectious disease—you cannot control. So these things are happening always. The foolish, they are thinking, "I am happy." Still they are thinking. Always kicked by the material nature, every moment, and the rascal is thinking, "I am happy. I shall adjust. I shall make plan by scientific method." This is foolishness. You cannot. You are condemned; you are punished in this way.

Now this punishment is going on in this material world beginning from the aquatic life. Eh? 8,400,000 species of life I have to go through. Then nature gives me a chance: this human form of life. Now you think over, whether you want to go back to home, back to Godhead, or you want to suffer here again. But he prefers to suffer again. This is foolishness. This is ass. The ass is given chance, after unloading the cloth; he's given free. Now he can go away. But no, unless he is shot down by somebody else, he is not giving up this politics, home and everything. No. This is called attachment.

Therefore tattva-jijñāsā. Because they do not know tattva, what is the value of life. They do not inquire why one is put into this threefold miserable condition of life. Why he is put under death? "I do not wish to die." Why he is forced to take birth? Why he is under disease? Why he becomes old? They do not inquire. Just like animal. The human life is given a chance to inquire about these things and to make solution of this problem, but they are not interested in these thing. They are simply interested eating, sleeping, mating and defending, just like animals.

So this is animal civilization. Without Kṛṣṇa consciousness, without being developed to inquire about the value of life, it is simply animal life, ass. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said:

na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ
prapadyante narādhamāḥ
(BG 7.15)

These . . . these asses, mūḍha, because they are always addicted to sinful activities, duṣkṛtino . . . duṣkṛtina, the duṣkṛtina means these four things: illicit sex, meat-eating and gambling and intoxication. These are the basic principles of sinful life. And if we say: "Please do not indulge in these things," "Oh, they are very conservative." And if one says: "Oh, why not? You have got your tongue—you can drink, you can eat chicken, anything you like, and perform yoga meditation and go to hell." "Ah, Swāmījī is very nice." And as soon as Swāmījī restricts: "Oh, he is very conservative." No followers. And if you say that, "You do whatever," ah, millions will follow.

Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās (SB 7.5.31). He is blind, and other blind rascals, they will follow. They will follow. "Oh, this Swāmījī has got so many followers." I don't want such followers. I don't want rascals; I want one real man. Then I think my mission is successful. Ekaś candras tamo hanti na ca tārāḥ-sahasraśaḥ (Cāṇakya Paṇḍita). I don't want millions of stars; I want only moon.

That is our mission, tattva-jijñāsā. This is tattva. One should be very much inquisitive, "What I am? Why I am put into these tribulations, threefold miserable condition of life? I am thinking I am very learned scholar, but I do not know what I am." The learned scholar does not know. So many learned scholars I met, they say: "Swāmījī, after this life there is nothing." He's a scholar. He's a rascal, and he is passing on as a scholar. He does not know what is next. It is very simple thing. In my life, in this present life, I am thinking that I was a child, I was a boy, I was a young man, now I am old man. So I know my past; I know my present; I know my future also: death.

Then I must try to know what is next. I am existing. That body, my childhood, is finished; my boyhood body is finished; my youthhood body is finished. Now I am old man, this body also will be finished. Then as I have got from babyhood to childhood, childhood to boyhood, boyhood to youthhood, youthhood to this old body, then I must have another body. This is the conclusion. This is called tattva-jijñāsā. Then if I am going to get another body, then I am eternal. I am eternal, even in my present experience.

So I am eternal. So therefore my next inquiry should be, "What is my next body? How I am preparing for it? I see there are so many varieties of body—cats, dogs, trees, insect, aquatics, rich man, poor man, leper, diseased. So many types of bodies there are. Which one I am going to select?" This is called tattva-jijñāsā. And if I sleep, "Oh, let it be," then if you get the body of a tree, then stand up on the bench for ten thousand years. This is called tattva-jijñāsā. Jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā. What kind of body I can get? But Kṛṣṇa is so kind, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is giving out information: "Yes," yānti deva-vratā devān (BG 9.25), "if you want the body of demigods . . ."

Because there are, all the 8,400,000 species of life, they are divided into four groups. They are four groups, means the trees, the animals, the human being and the demigods. The demigods, they are in higher status of life. So . . . or in four groups in other way: birth from embryo, birth from eggs, birth from perspiration and birth from trees. Svedaja, aṇḍaja, jarāyuja, udbhijja.

So a sane man will think, "If I'm . . . I'm . . . it is now settled up that I will have to accept another body, then what kind of body I am going to get?" I am not serious, and still I profess myself very educated. I have got degrees. "And what is your next life, sir? Do you know?" "No, it is finished. That's all. It will be finished." Then what? "Zero, śūnyavādī. Zero." Why you are struggling so much for zero? If you are going to be zero, why so much struggle? Why not make this life also zero? They have no answer. They are so rascals. They have no answer. And the Bhāgavata say: jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā. The jijñāsā, you inquire, and the answer is there in the Vedic literature.

Kṛṣṇa Himself says, yānti deva-vratā devān (BG 9.25). If you try for better life in other higher planetary systems . . . just like actually they are trying to go to the other planetary system by Sputniks. That means they have got a desire, "If there is better life in other higher planetary systems?" But that is a fact. The higher planetary system, the more you go higher, higher, higher, the thousand times better standard of life than this planet. Thousand times.

Just like moon planet. Actually, if you can go, you can live there for ten thousands of years. And what kind of years? Your six month is equal to their one day. Calculate. You can live there for so many years. Here you cannot live more . . . not more . . . for not more than fifty, sixty, seventy, utmost hundred. But there you can live for ten thousand years according to their calculation. So even after such long span of life, you have to die. You cannot avoid death anywhere, any planetary system, anywhere.

So this is the tattva-jijñāsā, to understand what is the situation, what kind . . . but I want to live—that you can get only when you go back to home: yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama (BG 15.6), "Where going you do not come back again to this nonsense material world, that is My place, Goloka Vṛndāvana." Goloka eva nivasaty akhilātma-bhūto (Bs. 5.37). These chances are there. If you want to go to higher planetary system, you can go. Yānti deva-vratā devān pitṟn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ (BG 9.25). If you want to go to the pitṟi lokas, where the highly elevated forefathers are living, you can go there. Bhūtejyā yānti bhūtāni: and if you worship tomb, dead body, just like they are standing to see the dead body, six hours' standing—that is called bhūtejyā—so you shall remain a dead body here. Mad-yājino 'pi yānti mām: "But if you worship Me, you can come to Me." Now make your selection.

That is called tattva-jijñāsā. To remain like an ass, satisfied with eating and sleeping and mating . . . give up this asses' life. Just have human life, and try to understand what is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (devotees offer obeisances) (break) (kīrtana) (end)