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721104 - Lecture NOD - Vrndavana

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His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

721104ND-VRNDAVAN - November 04, 1972 - 38:53 Minutes

Pradyumna: (offers obeisances)

. . . sārasvate deve gaura-vāṇī-pracāriṇe

Prabhupāda: Hmm.

Pradyumna: From page number two.

Prabhupāda: Hmm.

Pradyumna: " 'Relief from Material Distress.' In the Bhagavad-gītā, the Lord says that one should surrender unto Him, giving up all other engagements. The Lord also gives His word there that He will protect such surrendered souls from the reactions of all sinful activities. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī says that the distresses from sinful activities are due both to the sins themselves and to sins committed in our past lives."

Prabhupāda: Hmm now, "Relief from Material Distress." There are two kinds of activities: pious activities and impious activities. Generally we understand by performing impious activities, we suffer, and by performing pious activities, we enjoy. But actually, in the material world there is no enjoyment.

Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī explains that dvaite bhadrābhadra sakali samāna (CC Antya 4.176). In the material world, in the world of duality, either we think, "This is pious" or either we think, "This is impious," they are practically on the same platform. We take it as pleasure. Just like several times I have explained, people here in this material world, they are working very hard all day and night. And when they gain some material profit after working so hard, they think that "This is profit. This is happiness." Actually, where is the happiness? If one is working very hard, where is the happiness?

So this is called illusion. In the śāstra it is said: "Generally, people in this material world, they are in . . . in the rajo-guṇa." Therefore hard-working activities, they take it as pleasure. If some saintly person do not work, he is engaged in devotional service or meditation or chanting, sometimes it is misunderstood that, "These people are escaping," because they take it very nice to work very hard. Unless you work very hard, they take it as a process of escaping: "They . . . they're escaping the social obligation and other obligation by taking to mendicant life and living at the cost of others." So many things. So they like it, to work very hard.

But our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is transferring that hard working to the business of Kṛṣṇa. That tendency for hard working may be utilized. Just like the Māyāvādī philosophers, they think that lust and anger, these are our enemies. Kāma-krodha-lobha-moha-mātsarya. But Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says that the kāma also can be utilized for Kṛṣṇa's service. Kāmaṁ kṛṣṇa-karmārpane. If one is very much attached to work for Kṛṣṇa, that tendency for the karmīs to work very hard for sense gratification, it can be utilized. It can be . . .

Similarly, 'krodha' bhakta-dveṣi jane (Prema-bhakti-candrikā). Krodha, anger, is not good, but anger also can be utilized for Kṛṣṇa's service. Just like Hanumān, he became angry upon Rāvaṇa for the sake of Lord Rāmacandra, and he set fire in the golden city of Rāvaṇa, Lanka. So that anger was utilized for Lord Rāmacandra's service. He never utilized anger for his personal sense gratification.

In this way, everything can be dovetailed in the service of the Lord, and as I was explaining the other six items, how devotional service, pure devotional service, is the only means to attract Kṛṣṇa. To attract Kṛṣṇa you cannot utilize your spirit karmīs or jñānīs or yogīs. You can attract Kṛṣṇa simply by devotional service. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti (BG 18.55). Kṛṣṇa says plainly that, "Simply by devotional service, one can understand Me." Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti.

So the activities of the karmīs, when dovetailed in the service of Kṛṣṇa, even by working so hard, our tendency, we can . . . actually, devotional service depend on the main principles, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam, arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyam (SB 7.5.23). But within the category of dāsyam . . . just like Hanumān, Hanumānjī: he was engaged in the platform of dāsyam. Arjuna was engaged in the platform of sakhyam. So they were also working very hard.

The Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, it was not a place of sitting down very easily and silently. When he was fighting, he was fighting just like a soldier. He took all the duties of the soldier. But it was being fought for Kṛṣṇa. That is the attraction. That is pure devotional service. Kṛṣṇa also gave him certificate, bhakto 'si priyo 'si (BG 4.3): "My dear Arjuna, you are My dear friend and devotee."

So by any action, if it is dovetailed for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa, that is devotional service, and one can attract Kṛṣṇa, attention of Kṛṣṇa. Attention of Kṛṣṇa can be attracted by pure devotional service, without any personal motive. If it is . . . and that motive, that order, is received through the disciplic succession of the spiritual master, how Kṛṣṇa will be pleased.

In the present condition, we do not know how Kṛṣṇa will be pleased, but we know from the śāstras . . . we can know also from the direction of the spiritual master how Kṛṣṇa will be pleased. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ. So Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says you have to follow the direction of the spiritual master. He's guiding as a leader. And if he's pleased, that means Kṛṣṇa is pleased. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ.

The devotional service is the only way. Karmī, karmī means they are working very hard for their personal benefit, not for Kṛṣṇa's benefit. Similarly, jñānīs, they are also trying for personal benefit, mukti. He wants mukti, liberation, nirbheda-brahmānu-sandhana. And similarly, yogīs also, they want personal benefit, some material power, aṣṭa-siddhi-yoga, aṇimā-laghimā-siddhi.

Bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kāmī sakali aśānta (CC Madhya 19.149). Caitanya-caritāmṛta kar says except pure devotee, who only wants to satisfy Kṛṣṇa, everyone is working for his personal benefit, karmī, jñānī, yogī. But Kṛṣṇa says: "Pure devotional service . . ." Not . . . Rūpa Gosvāmī says: "Pure devotional service is the only means to attract Kṛṣṇa." Hmm. Now . . . but ignorance is no excuse.

Go on reading. Next. "Generally, one commits sinful activities . . ."

Pradyumna: ". . . due to ignorance. But ignorance is no excuse for evading the reaction—sinful activities."

Prabhupāda: Yes. Generally we commit sinful activities knowingly; if not knowingly, unknowingly. Just like we are walking on the street, we are killing so many ants, unknowingly. So that is also sinful activities. You do not know, you do not want to kill the ants, but still, unknowingly, you are killing. When you take water from the jug, there are so many animals encircling the water jug, and when you take water some of them die. When we make paste on the pestle and mortar, spices, so many small insects die. That is going on.

So knowingly or unknowingly, we are committing sinful activities. So how to save? That is replied in the Bhagavad-gītā: yajñarthe karma anyatra loko 'yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ (BG 3.9). If you do not act, or if you do not engage yourself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness business, then you are becoming implicated with so many sinful activities. That is sure.

Therefore one has to take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness without fail. Otherwise he'll be entangled, karma-bandhanaḥ. Even if he's doing pious activities, he's becoming entangled in karma-bandhanaḥ, in bondage. He has to take birth. Pious activities means he has to take birth in nice family, rich family. That is also bandhana. He has to enter into the womb of the mother and live there for ten months, in compact, airtight, compact bag. That is not very good living condition. But we forget all these things, neither we do not care for these things.

But actually, fact is, knowingly or unknowingly we are becoming implicated. But if we simply take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and if we engage ourself in His unalloyed devotional service, if we try to understand Kṛṣṇa, His activities, His form, His name, His quality, His paraphernalia, then the result will be, as Kṛṣṇa says, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti (BG 4.9). There is no question of reaction. Because Kṛṣṇa says . . . even we are doing . . . that we are bound to do, as I have already explained, that knowingly or unknowingly, we are committing sinful activities. But Kṛṣṇa gives His assurance: ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi (BG 18.66). So if he . . . of course, a devotee never does anything knowingly sinful, but unknowingly, he's doing. But Kṛṣṇa is taking charge of him. Ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi. So there . . . there is no question of grief.

Therefore the subject matter is relief from material distress. If you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness without any motive, sincerely, then your position is secured. Kṛṣṇa takes charge of you. Kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati (BG 9.31). His devotee will never be vanquished. Just like Arjuna. Arjuna was considering how he could kill his kinsmen, his family men, his nephew, his brother, his grandfather, on the other side. Actually, this killing business is not very good. It is sinful. But the same thing he committed after understanding Bhagavad-gītā. He agreed, kariṣye vacanaṁ tava (BG 18.73): "Yes, I shall fight." So does it mean . . .? In the beginning he was considering about the sinful effects of his activities. Why did he engage himself in the same business, although he knew this is sinful? No.

If you . . . even it is acted so-called sinful activities, for Kṛṣṇa, under the order of Kṛṣṇa, for pleasing Kṛṣṇa, then that is also devotion. It is very difficult. We should not manufacture such concoction. But the fact is that if actually one is acting for Kṛṣṇa, there is no question of sinful reaction. That's a fact. "Relief from material distress." And material distress means it is due to sinful activities.

In another place, also, in the Brahmā-saṁhitā it is said, karmāṇi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhājām (Bs. 5.54). Karmāṇi. Everyone is being caught up by the action and reaction of karma, but a devotee is protected from the action and reaction of karma. Karmāṇi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhājām. So a devotee, a Kṛṣṇa conscious person, remains free always, provided he's fully engaged in Kṛṣṇa conscious activities for pleasing the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "Sinful activities are of two kinds, those which are mature and those which are not mature. The sinful activities for which we are suffering at the present moment are called mature. The many sinful activities stored within us for which we have not yet suffered are considered immature."

Prabhupāda: Yes. This is also another position. The, the reaction of our sinful activities we are suffering. As soon as we get a material body—it doesn't matter whether a rich man's body or a poor's man . . . poor man's body—the material body is itself subjected to threefold miseries of this material condition. Therefore Arjuna was advised by Kṛṣṇa: āgama apāyino anityāḥ tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata (BG 2.14). You cannot avoid the miserable condition of this body. That is not possible. So we have to tolerate. There is no other excuse. But do not create another body. That is devotional service. Karmāṇi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhājām (Bs. 5.54).

Due to our past karma, we have got a certain type of body. Karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa (SB 3.31.1). By the supervision of superior order, superior vigilance, we get a certain type of body. This may be a king's body or a poor man's body, an animal body or anything, we get. That is by superior order. So, we should not create another body. That is the aim of human life. We should not create another body.

Then, another place in the Bhāgavata it is said, nūnaṁ vikarma kurute, nūnam . . . prammattaḥ kurute vikarma (SB 5.5.4). Prammattaḥ. Prammattaḥ. Pra means prakṛṣṭa-rūpeṇa; mattaḥ, mad. We are, living entities, we have come here in this material world for sense enjoyment, and we are therefore mad after it, prammattaḥ. So nūnaṁ prammattaḥ kurute vikarma. Vikarma means which is against the laws. Just like karma, akarma, vikarma, these are explained. So vikarma means against the law.

The Vedic version, they give us that, "You should work in this way." But if we do not act according to the Vedic injunctions, that is called vikarma. And we become subjected to sufferings, impious activities. But we do it because we are mad after sense gratification. We do not care. Just like a thief, he knows that by stealing he will be punished, but still, because he's mad after stealing, he'll do it, taking the risk of being arrested and being harassed. Nūnaṁ prammattaḥ vikarma, nūnaṁ prammattaḥ kurute, yad indriya-prītaya āpṛṇoti (SB 5.5.4). And they are mad after doing all this nonsense only for sense gratification.

So Ṛṣabhadeva says, na sādhu manye, "This is not good." Yata ātmano 'yam. "As we have got this body, material body, miserable . . ." Because as soon as you get a material body, you are put into the miserable condition of material nature. So we should not create another body so that we shall be put into . . . under tribulation again. That is intelligence.

So if we put ourself in the activities of devotional service, we save that risk: not to create another body. If we do for indriya-prīti, yad indriya-prītaya āpṛṇoti, then we create another body. But if you act in devotional service, then, even there are something sinful activities, karmāṇi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhājām (Bs. 5.54). So for a devotee, he's saved. He's saved from creating another new material body.

In this way, the stress is given that sinful or not sinful, we should not create another body. Karma-kāṇḍa. In the . . . Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says:

karma-kāṇḍa jñāna-kāṇḍa, sakali viṣera bhāṇḍa
amṛta baliyā yeba khāya
nānā yoni brahman kare, kadarya bhakṣaṇa kare
tāra janma adhah-pāte yāya

We should not take either to karma, karma-kāṇḍa, fruitive activities for elevating to the heavenly planets; jñāna-kāṇḍa, for stopping birth and death and merge into the impersonal Brahman . . . that is jñāna-kāṇḍa.

So karma-kāṇḍa jñāna-kāṇḍa, Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says everything is viṣa bhāṇḍa, the poison pot. Why poison pot? Karma-kāṇḍa amṛta yeba baliyā khāya. If we drink poison pot, thinking it as nectar, then the result will be that we have to accept another body and we have to be under the tribulation of material nature. And sometimes we get the body of the king of heaven, and sometimes we get the body of a hog for eating stool. This is going on. Nānā yoni brahman kare. We have to wander in different species of life, and we have to eat all abominable things. Tāra janma adhah-pāte yāya. (Prema-bhakti-candrikā)

So we should not spoil our life in that way, for creating another body. We should be very careful that we may not create another material body. And what is that safety position? Kṛṣṇa says, janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ (BG 4.9). If you simply try to understand Kṛṣṇa, how Kṛṣṇa takes His birth, how He becomes the son of Devakī, son of Nanda Mahārāja, how He becomes the son of Yaśodā, these things if we study, if we try to understand Kṛṣṇa, if we don't accept Kṛṣṇa as ordinary man—avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā (BG 9.11)—then, in this way if we understand the science of Kṛṣṇa, yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā sei guru haya (CC Madhya 8.128), if one understands the science of Kṛṣṇa, he is spiritual master.

Kibā vipra kibā śūdra nyāsī kene naya. It doesn't matter whether one is brāhmin or one is a śūdra or one is a sannyāsī or one is a gṛhastha. It doesn't matter. If he knows the science of Kṛṣṇa, yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā sei guru haya, if he knows the science of Kṛṣṇa . . . yo jānāti tattvataḥ. Janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ (BG 4.9). How that tattvataḥ, the truth can be understood, that is also explained by the Lord Himself: bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ (BG 18.55). You cannot understand in truth, you cannot understand Kṛṣṇa in truth by other process, karma, jñāna, yoga. No. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti.

So we have to take to devotional service. Then we shall understand Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa will reveal. If you are engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service constantly, teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajataṁ prīti-pūrvakam (BG 10.10). If you have devoted, heart and soul, for service of Kṛṣṇa, then Kṛṣṇa is within your self. He'll give you intelligence. Buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi tam. He'll give you intelligence. He'll purify your heart. He'll purify your position. As you have read in the beginning of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:

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

If you simply hear about Kṛṣṇa. The process . . . to . . . kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā means to hear about Kṛṣṇa. That's all. Try to hear about Kṛṣṇa. Satāṁ prasaṅgād mama vīrya-saṁvidaḥ. That is very, what is called, potential. Simply if you hear from the right source of Kṛṣṇa—not from the professional or from jñānīs, karmīs or politicians. No. Pure devotee. Satāṁ prasaṅgād: in pure devotional service, in pure devotional mood. Then the potency will act and you will . . . we shall become pure devotee. Khanera gītā diya mora me pasile, mora me pasile . It will act.

And as soon as it will act, you become Kṛṣṇa conscious, then your life becomes successful, above all sinful or pious activities. What is that? Samatītyaitān. Māṁ ca avyabhicāreṇa bhakti-yogena yaḥ sevate, sa guṇān samatītyaitān (BG 14.26). Samatītya. Samyag atītya. You can perfectly overcome the influence of the guṇas, the three modes of material nature.

Because our suffering is due to association of the three guṇas. Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo 'sya sad-asad-janma-yoniṣu (BG 13.22). We are getting different types of body, either as a king or as a dog. Sat, asat. We think, "The king's body is very nice. Dog's body is not good." But whatever body we get, material body, that is not very good.

Na sādhu manye yata ātmano 'yam asann api kleśada āsa dehaḥ (SB 5.5.4). Any body, any type of body you get, you must suffer. It doesn't matter, European body, American body or Indian body or this body or that body. If we think, "Now we are Americans. We are very happy. You are Indians. You are poor . . ." No. Either poor or happy, it is all unhappiness. Kāraṇaṁ guṇa saṅgo 'sya sad-asad. That is, means association with the modes of material nature. But if you engage yourself twenty-four hours in Kṛṣṇa consciousness business, in devotional service, then sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate (BG 14.26), immediately you are on the brahma-bhūtaḥ position, liberated position.

So just like one man is suffering from disease. Somehow or other if he comes in the, what is called, convalescent stage? Means freed from the diseased condition. But if he keeps that convalescent stage rightly, he do not, what is called, again . . .?

Devotee: Relapse.

Prabhupāda: Relapse. If you do not relapse the disease, then you are nice. Similarly, to keep in Kṛṣṇa consciousness means you are not diseased condition, but do not allow the disease to relapse. That means do not deviate from the devotional service. Māṁ ca avyabhicāreṇa bhakti-yogena yaḥ sevate. Avyabhicāriṇi. Don't misuse the devotional service. Then you are all right. Sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate (BG 14.26).

Then you keep yourself always in the transcendental position, brahma-bhūtaḥ position. And then from brahma-bhūtaḥ position, you can elevate yourself to the parā bhakti, spontaneous. Parā bhakti means spontaneously, spontaneous devotional service. Automatically, you will be loving Kṛṣṇa.

brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
(BG 18.54)

The under . . . after being in the brahma-bhūtaḥ stage, that devotional service is very sound. Parā bhakti. Otherwise, if we stick to the devotional service of temple worship . . . just like one is performing temple worship, regulative principles. That is also . . . we should go forward. This is kaniṣṭha-adhikārī. Sa bhaktaḥ prākṛtaḥ smṛtaḥ.

So we must elevate ourself to the second-class devotee position. To become first-class devotee, that is very difficult job. We can expect after executing devotional service as a madhyama-adhikārī. Then we can be promoted. But if we keep ourself simply on the lower stage of devotional service, then there is chance of falling down. Sa bhaktaḥ prākṛtaḥ smṛtaḥ (SB 11.2.47).

Simply . . . just like, generally, they keep in the kaniṣṭha-adhikārī stage. Of course, there is no loss. In any adhikāra, in any position, you are benefited because you have taken to devotional service. But our attempt should be from kaniṣṭha-adhikāra to madhyama-adhikāra.

Madhyama-adhikāra means preacher. Unless one comes to the madhyama-adhikāra, he cannot preach. Because in the uttama-adhikāra there is no need of preaching, because uttama-adhikāra, he sees everything good. He does not think anyone is lacking Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He says everyone is Kṛṣṇa con . . . "Simply I am not Kṛṣṇa conscious." Just like Kavirāja Gosvāmī says, purīṣera kīṭa haite muñi sei lagiṣṭha (CC Adi 5.205). He sees himself lower than the worm in the stool . . . but he's not so, but he thinks like that.

So uttama-adhikārī, it is not to be imitated. One must keep himself in the madhyama-adhikārī stage. Madhyama-adhikārī stage means that one knows what is Kṛṣṇa, īśvara; one knows who is Kṛṣṇa's devotee. Īśvare tad-adhīneṣu. And one knows who is innocent, neither devotee nor nondevotee, and he knows who is nondevotee. This is preaching. In kaniṣṭha-adhikārī, he knows simply how to worship the Deity. Arcāyām eva haraye śraddhayā pūjāṁ śraddhayehate.

So it is the duty of the spiritual master to promote the devotees from the kaniṣṭha-adhikāra to the madhyama-adhikāra. Not to keep them. My Guru Mahārāja, sometimes he used to lament because so many disciples he had, but nobody was coming out very nice preacher. He was lamenting, "So only kaniṣṭha-adhikārīs. We are keeping simply people in the kaniṣṭha-adhikāra and engaging them in the arcana-mārga."

So that is not required. They should not . . . a kaniṣṭha-adhikārī does not know who is a devotee, na tad-bhakteṣu cānyeṣu (SB 11.2.47), what is the duty to others. He is very busy in temple worship for his personal interest. That is also good. But one has to promote further to become a madhyama-adhikārī and then analyze who is God, who is devotee, who is innocent, who is nondevotee, and behave in that way. So their business is to make friendship with devotee, to love Kṛṣṇa, and to the innocent, preach, to enlighten them in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And those who are atheists, to avoid them. These four principles.

So in this way, we should execute our devotional service. Then our life will be viśvaṁ pūrṇaṁ sukhāyate (Caitanya-candrāmṛta). It will be very happy life. That is the heading, subject matter, "Relief from Material Distress." Immediately. If we actually keep ourself in devotional service according to the description given by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, then we keep ourself fit in devotional service, and there is no question of material distress.

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (break)

Acyutānanda: . . . says first-class, second-class and third-class devotees, they are pure devotees.

Prabhupāda: Yes, pure devotee is anyone who has no other motive except to serve Kṛṣṇa. It doesn't matter he's first class, second class or third. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam (Brs. 1.1.11). If he has got some motive, then he's not pure devotee. He may be not advanced, but if he has not motive, then he's pure devotee. If he wants to utilize Kṛṣṇa for his personal benefit, then he's not pure devotee. He's impure. So first of all he has to become pure devotee. (break) (end)