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720819 - Lecture SB 01.02.16 - Los Angeles

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His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

720819SB-LOS ANGELES - August 19, 1972 - 52:58 Minutes

(Govindam prayers playing; Prabhupāda singing along)

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

Devotees: All glories to Śrī Guru and Gauranga. All glories to you, Śrīla Prabhupāda! (devotees offer obeisances) (break)

Prabhupāda: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya.

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. (Prabhupāda and devotees repeat) Text number 16?

Prabhupāda: Chant.

Pradyumna: (leads chanting of verse)

śuśrūṣoḥ śraddadhānasya
syān mahat-sevayā viprāḥ
(SB 1.2.16)

Prabhupāda: Now ladies. Ladies. Hmm. That's all. Now word meaning.


śuśrūṣoḥ—one who is engaged in hearing; śraddadhānasya—with care and attention; vāsudeva—in respect to Vāsudeva; kathā—message; ruciḥ—affinity; syāt—is made possible; mahat-sevayā—by service rendered to pure devotees; viprāḥ—O twice-born; puṇya-tīrtha—those who are cleansed of all vice; niṣevaṇāt—by service. (break)

Translation: "O twice-born sages, by serving those devotees who are completely freed from all vice, great service is done. By such service, one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vāsudeva."

Prabhupāda: Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimukteḥ (SB 5.5.2). In another place it is said mahat-sevā, rendering service to the pure devotee, mahat. Mahat means who is great soul. Who is great soul? Great soul means who is twenty-four hours engaged in the service of the Lord. In the Bhagavad-gītā, the description of mahat, mahātmā, is given there:

mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha
daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ
bhajanty ananya manaso
(BG 9.13)

This is the mahātmā. They are under the daivī-prakṛti. Daivī-prakṛti . . . there are two kinds of prakṛtis, we have studied in Bhagavad-gītā: aparā-prakṛti, parā-prakṛti. So parā-prakṛti, or nature, transcendental nature, that is called daivī-prakṛti.

Just like we are trying to be under the guidance of Rādhārāṇī, daivī-prakṛti. Prakṛti means woman, and daivī, transcendental woman. And those who are materialists, they are under the mahā-māyā, material energy, Goddess Kālī, Durgā. They are the symbolic representation of material energy.

So those who are materialist, they take shelter of the material energy, and those who are transcendentalist, they take shelter of the transcendental nature. So those who are mahātmā, they take shelter of the transcendental prakṛti. So we have to render service to such person who is in . . . under the protection of the transcendental nature. That is called mahātmā. A mahātmā, this word you have heard. A mahātmā's description is mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ (BG 9.13). Mahātmā has nothing to do with this material world; he is simply under the care of the transcendental prakṛti.

So śuśrūṣoḥ, śuśrūṣoḥ śraddadhānasya (SB 1.2.16). Those who are engaged in hearing with faith, śraddadhāna . . . ādau śraddhā. Without faith, you cannot make any progress. This is the beginning of spiritual life. Ādau śraddhā. "Oh, here is . . . Kṛṣṇa consciousness is going on. It is very nice. They are preaching nice." People still, they are praising our activities. If we keep our standard, then they will appreciate. So this is called śraddhā. This appreciation is called śraddhā, śraddadhānasya. Even he does not join, if one says: "Oh, it is very nice, it is very . . . these people are good . . ." Sometimes they, in papers they say that, "These Hare Kṛṣṇa people are nice. We want more of them." They say.

So this appreciation is also an . . . also a lift for such person. If he doesn't hear, doesn't come, simply one says: "It is very nice." Yes. Just like small children, a baby, he's also appreciating, trying to stand up with his cymbal. Appreciating. From the very beginning of life, appreciating, "It is nice." He knows or does not know, it doesn't matter. Simply appreciation is giving him a touch of spiritual life. It is so nice. Śraddhā. If they do not go against, simply appreciate, "Oh, they are doing nice . . ." So development of spiritual life means development of this appreciation, that's all. But degrees, there are appreciation.

So śuśrūṣoḥ śraddadhānasya vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ. In the previous verse it has been explained, yad anudhyāsinā yuktāḥ. One has to be engaged always thinking. This is the sword. You have to take this sword of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then you become free. The knot is cut by this sword. So . . . now how we can get this sword? That process is described here that you simply, with faith, you try to hear. You'll get the sword. That's all. Actually, our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is spreading.

We are getting the sword one after another, simply by hearing. I started this movement in New York. You all know. I had no actually any sword. Just like in some religious principles, they take the religious scripture in one hand and another hand, sword: "You accept this scripture; otherwise, I cut your head." This is also another preaching. But I had also sword, but not that kind of sword. This sword—to give chance people to hear. That's all. Vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ.

So as soon as he gets a ruci . . . ruci, ruci means taste. "Ah, here is Kṛṣṇa talks, very nice. Let me hear." This very much you get the sword, immediately. The sword is in your hand. Vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ. But the ruci comes to whom, this taste? Because, as I have several times explained, the taste, just like the sugar candy. Everyone knows it is very sweet, but if you give to a man who is suffering from jaundice, he'll taste is bitter. Everyone knows sugar candy is sweet, but the particular man who is suffering from disease, jaundice, he will taste the sugar candy as very bitter. Everyone knows it. That's a fact.

So ruci, the taste for hearing vāsudeva-kathā, kṛṣṇa-kathā, this materially diseased person cannot taste. This ruci, taste. To get this taste there are preliminary activities. What is that? First thing is that appreciation: "Oh, it is very nice." Ādau śraddhā, śraddadhāna. So śraddhā, the appreciation, this is the beginning. Then sādhu-saṅga (CC Madhya 22.83). Then mixing: "All right, these people are chanting and talking of Kṛṣṇa. Let me go and sit down and let me hear more." This is called sādhu-saṅga: those who are devotees, to associate with them. This is second stage.

Then third stage is bhajana-kriyā. When one is associating nicely, then he will feel, "Why not become a disciple?" So we receive application, "Prabhupāda, if you'll kindly accept me as your disciple." This is the beginning of bhajana-kriyā. Bhajana-kriyā means to be engaged in the service of the Lord. This is the third stage.

Then anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt. As soon as one is actually doing bhajana-kriyā . . . bhajana-kriyā means chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and observe the regulative principle. To observe the regulative principle means anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt. Anartha means all rascal habits are immediately vanquished. Just like we say: "No illicit sex." So this is only a rascal habit, illicit. "You can marry a boy or girl. If you like, you can have sex." No. They'll not agree. They will agree to that rascal habit, illicit sex. "You want sex? All right. Take a wife, take a husband." But no, they want illicit, without marriage. Married wife left aside; another illicit. This is anartha, rascaldom.

According to Vedic civilization, because man is very aggressive, so he's allowed to accept more than one wife. He's allowed. Generally, female population is greater than the male population. So the Vedic principle is that every girl must be married by the guardian, father. A father's duty is, as soon as girl is thirteen years old, fourteen years old, it is the duty of the father, or in the absence of father, it is the duty of elder brother to get her married. Some way or other, find out any husband. Yes. So if every girl has to be married, and if the female population is greater, then where to get so many husbands? Therefore it is very nice system that one man can marry more than one wife. That is natural.

So in Vedic system a husband can marry . . . why others? Kṛṣṇa, He married 16,000 wives. But not like us. He was present in the house of 16,000 wives by 16,000 forms. Every . . . each and every wife had palatial building, establishment. Each wife had ten sons. Not that because He has married 16,000, He cannot meet all of them. No. So that is Kṛṣṇa; He is God. But even common man . . .

Just like Kṛṣṇa's father, he had also sixteen wives. Kṛṣṇa is one wife's son. Vasudeva . . . Subhadrā is another wife's daughter. Balarāma is another wife's son. So in order to stop this rascaldom, that a human, I mean to say, man, he's allowed: "Marry them. Keep them nicely. Give them apartment. Give them nice food, nice dress, nice ornament. You enjoy." But rascaldom means, "No, without responsibility I shall make phish, phish, phish," that's all.

So this rascaldom, so long the rascaldom is not gone, illicit sex, intoxication . . . these are called anartha. Anartha. Unnecessarily they have created this atmosphere, illicit sex, intoxication. What is the use of intoxication? There is no need. Just like in our Society there is no intoxication. We don't take tea, we don't smoke. Are we dying for that want of tea or smoke? No. Therefore it is anartha; it is unnecessary. So first stage is appreciation, śraddhā. Second stage is associating with the devotees. Third stage is to be engaged in devotional service. And if one is actually executing the rules and regulations of devotional service, naturally he'll be freed from this rascaldom. Anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt.

Then next stage is niṣṭhā, faith. That faith, beginning faith, becomes strong, fixed up. Then ruci, this ruci, taste. Just like immediately, the person suffering from jaundice cannot taste sugar candy as sweet, but the sugar candy is the only medicine for him. He is to be given sugar candy, and in this way, as the disease is cured, he comes to this taste stage, "Oh, it is nice, it is sweet."

(aside) Don't do that.

So to come to the stage of taste, you have to first go through the so many . . . not so . . . five stages.

ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgo 'tha bhajana-kriyā
tato 'nartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt tato niṣṭhā rucis tataḥ
(CC Madhya 23.14-15)

This ruci. Vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ. Śuśrūṣoḥ śraddadhānasya (SB 1.2.16). So if you continually hear with faith and appreciation, then you will come to the stage of tasting, "Yes." Taste means, if you like it, that is called taste. Not that by force one has to eat something. Unless he has got a taste for it . . . just like if we are forced to eat meat, we cannot eat, because we have no taste for it. But another, as soon as you give a plate of meat, immediately, voracious eating. Yes. Because he has got the taste for it. So this taste is required. Then you get the sword, yad anudhyāsinā. If there is taste, then you can very nicely go on chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Because taste.

Just like Rūpa Gosvāmī, he increased the taste. They were liberated soul. Therefore, he is writing that "If I could possess millions of tongue and trillions of ear, then I could nicely chant and hear." And so far we are concerned, because we have no taste, that sixteen round is also very difficult job. Because we have no taste. Why there is no taste? Because we are lacking in that previous processes, bhajana-kriyā.

So one after another, to get that sword, it . . . they requires this qualification: ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgaḥ (CC Madhya 23.14-15). Then there is taste. Now how this taste is created, that is also explained in the next line: syān mahat-sevayā. Mahat-sevayā. Mahat means . . . I have already explained: a devotee, pure devotee, whose . . . who has no other business than to serve Kṛṣṇa, he is called mahat.

So one has to engage himself in the service of the pure devotee. As soon as we serve a pure devotee . . . as it is spoken by Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ. Yasya prasādāt. If you satisfy a pure devotee by your service, then, even there is some discrepancies, you get all these qualities. Syān mahat-sevayā rājan. Syān mahat-sevayā viprāḥ.

Viprāḥ. All the audience members hearing Sūta Gosvāmī, they were all brahmins. Otherwise, how they will have got taste? Brāhmin, Vaiṣṇava, they have taste. Not the śūdras. Because at the present moment there are śūdras, they are lacking taste. But our propaganda is, by some way or other, even they are śūdras, even they're demons, we are creating the taste. That is our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Even there is . . . there is no taste for vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ, still, our process is so nice that we create the taste. Nobody was interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but there are thousand now. How? Because we are trying or we have created the taste, by this process.

The process will be explained in the next verses very nicely, but the main principle is to hear. To hear and . . . that is also natural. If we are pure, then we shall be naturally inclined to hear. Just like child—he is not taught, he is not educated, he has no knowledge, but he is also trying to hear. He's trying to get up and join us. It is natural. Because in everyone's heart that kṛṣṇa-bhakti, or devotional service to Kṛṣṇa, is there. But it has been covered by material dirty things. So this chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12), to cleanse that dirty things. The more you chant, more you hear, then the dirty things on the heart will be cleansed.

And plus, if you engage yourself to carry out the orders, to satisfy a pure devotee . . . syān mahat-sevayā viprāḥ, puṇya-tīrtha-niṣevaṇāt (SB 1.2.16). Puṇya, pious. These are pious activities. Tīrtha, tīrtha, a saintly person is called tīrtha. And niṣevaṇāt. In other places also, the same thing is . . . mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam (SB 5.5.2). Mahat-sevā, serving the pure devotee, is the path of liberation.

Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam. And if we become too much sexually inclined, then it is the path of darkness. Two paths are there. Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam. Not only to become personally very much sexually inclined; if you associate with a person who is sexually inclined, then you will fall down in the hell. Yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam.

So we should be very much careful about this. Married life sex is allowed. Nothing else. That is sinful. Kṛṣṇa says, dharmāviruddhaḥ kāmaḥ, lust, lust which is sanctioned by religious principle. Sanctioned means . . . this is sanction: you can have sex life in married life, not otherwise. If you want, more wife. But not more husband. No, that is not allowed. More wife is allowed. A man can have more wives, but woman cannot have more husband.

Of course, in special cases, that is another . . . but generally, this is the rule. This is Vedic civilization. So as far as possible, we shall try to avoid this illicit sex, because that is very detrimental for advancing in the path of spiritual life. Therefore our first principle is no illicit sex. Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam (SB 5.5.2).

So things are difficult, at the same time very easy, provided we are determined that, "In this life, I shall go back to home, back to Godhead." So these are the processes. So? Purport?

Pradyumna: "The conditioned life of a living being is caused by his revolting against the Lord . . ."

Prabhupāda: That's all right. No time. Now chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotees: Jaya. All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. (break)

(kīrtana) (Sudāmā leads) (Prabhupāda plays gong)

Prabhupāda: (prema-dvani) Thank you very much.

Devotees: All glories to Śrī Guru and Gauranga. All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. (end)