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730813 - Lecture BG 13.05 - Paris

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His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

730813BG-PARIS - August 13, 1973 - 40:50 Minutes

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. (leads chanting of verse) (devotees repeat)

ṛṣibhir bahudhā gītaṁ
chandobhir vividhaiḥ pṛthak
brahma-sūtra-padaiś caiva
hetumadbhir viniścitaiḥ
(BG 13.5)

ṛṣibhiḥ—by the wise sages; bahudhā—in many ways; gītām—described; chandobhiḥ—Vedic hymns; vividhaiḥ—in various; pṛthak—variously; brahma-sūtra—the Vedānta; padaiḥ—aphorism; ca—also; eva—certainly; hetumadbhiḥ—with cause and effect; viniścitaiḥ—ascertain.

Translation: "That knowledge of the field of activities and of the knower of activities is described by various sages in various Vedic writings, especially in the Vedānta-sūtra, and is presented with all reasoning as to cause and effect."

Prabhupāda: So about the soul and Supersoul, ṛṣibhiḥ, great sages, saintly persons, they have also discussed. Just like in the present age also, we are different parties, the impersonalist and the personalist. Śaṅkara-sampradāya, they ascertain the Absolute Truth as impersonal, nirviśeṣa, and the Buddhists, they ascertain, "The Absolute Truth is zero."

We are struggling—nirviśeṣa-śūnyavādi. We are struggling against these nirviśeṣa-śūnyavādi, voidists and impersonalists. So it is not now new. From time immemorial there are different views. But Kṛṣṇa refers herewith that brahma-sūtra-padaiḥ hetumadbhir viniścitaṁ. Others . . . there are many other books of knowledge, they are not very reasonable. That is dogmatic. But hetumadbhiḥ, if we accept with our logic and sense, that is first-class book which gives us information of the ātmā, Paramātmā. Therefore, in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta the author says,

caitanyera dayāra kathā karaha vicāra
vicāra karile citte pābe camatkāra

The author says that, "You kindly put your consideration and judgment about the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. And if you consider with logic and reason," vicāra karile pābe citte camatkāra, "you'll feel that these are wonderful things."

So we haven't got to accept anything blindly. The Brahma-sūtra, or Vedānta-sūtra, is called nyāya-prasthāna. There are three different processes for understanding the Absolute Truth: nyāya-prasthāna, śruti-prasthāna, smṛti-prasthāna. Brahma-sūtra is nyāya-prasthāna. Nyāya-prasthāna means everything, all the sūtras and codes, are there with full reasoning. Hetumadbhir viniścita. And whatever Brahma-sūtra says, that is viniścita, means ascertained. There is no doubt. Just like Brahma-sūtra says, athāto brahma jijñāsā. Brahma-sūtra says, "Now it is the time for inquiring about the Absolute Truth." "Now" means in this life, human form of life, or . . .

Just like in Europe and America, it is the time now to inquire of the Absolute Truth because materially they are advanced. They have seen all material advancement. The scientists are now perplexed that, "How we shall maintain ourselves? Because we have nothing to give anymore. Whatever stock we had, that is finished." Now they are simply to bluff, no more stock to give. They have given us motorcar and atomic bomb and aeroplane and electronic activities. So many things they have given. That's all right. Simply they could not give us relief from birth, death, old age and disease. That's all. The real problems are there, but they have given some superfluous.

Just like this is also scientific improvement, microphone, but the microphone sometimes goes wrong. That does not mean I stop speaking. We can do without microphone. That is not a very great problem. Suppose science has given us motorcar. That's all right. But sometimes, without motorcar, we walk. Or there is bullock cart. So real problem, which very much disturbing us, that we, all of us, we do not want to die, but the science could not give us any formula assuring that, "There is no more death." That is not possible. So athāto brahma jijñāsā.

As I was talking, that in the Western countries, Europe and America . . . about forty years ago, sometimes in the year 1935, '36, about forty years ago or little less, one of my Godbrother, German . . . his name . . . he's still living. He's now in Switzerland. So he is . . . now he has taken the name of . . . what is the name?

Haṁsadūta: Sadānanda.

Prabhupāda: Sadānanda, yes. His real name is Soulye, German. So when he came to India, in a meeting he said that, "So far mystic power is concerned, that we have solved by science. So we have nothing to learn about the mystic power. I have come to India to learn how to understand God and His service, loving service."

So actually, that is the position. Forty years ago he said. So the Europe and America, they have enough of material enjoyment. Meat-eating, wine, woman—they have got sufficient. So they are not very much interested with all these things, although, because they have no other alternative for enjoyment, so they are enjoying or trying to satisfy them. But that is not giving them real satisfaction. That's a fact. This wine, woman and meat-eating, that is not giving them any more satisfaction. But because they have no other alternative, what they can do? Punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām (SB 7.5.30), chewing the chewed, that's all. It is already chewed, it is already tasted, but there is no other alternative; therefore they are tasting the same thing this way and that way.

So their time is now athāto brahma jijñāsā. Therefore from India, any rascal comes as yogī and sādhu and avatāra—they go. They are hankering after. We see practically this younger generation. They ask me sometime that "Why so many younger . . . younger generation come to you?" Yes, they are frustrated. They are no more interested to live like their fathers and grandfathers. That is become . . . that has become hackneyed. The same things, same gambling, same meat-eating, same woman-huntering and same intoxication—that has finished. So when one has finished his material enjoyment, then the next question is brahma-saukhya. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. They try to inquire about the Absolute Truth. That is natural sequence. Therefore the Vedānta-sūtra, the first aphorism is, athāto brahma jijñāsā. Yes, that is natural.

As you are, you young boys and girls, why you are after me? The natural sequence is that, "Now we have to inquire what is the next, because this material happiness has not given us any happiness actually." So when a man becomes civilized, when a man has enjoyed enough of this so-called material, the next inquiry is about the Absolute Truth. That is natural. That is natural, because every living entity is spiritual spark. He's not this body.

Therefore . . . Kṛṣṇa has already explained. To understand what the kṣetrajña, the knower of the body, and to understand what is this body, kṣetra-kṣetrajñayoḥ, and who is the another, real proprietor of the body, Kṛṣṇa—kṣetrajñaṁ ca api māṁ viddhi. So if one can understand these three things—kṣetra, kṣetrajna, and the supreme kṣetrajna—he . . . it is . . . even by common sense we can understand. It requires little cool brain. But that cool brain cannot act without giving us . . . giving up these four things, namely illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication and gambling. If your brain is congested always with all these four rubbish things, you cannot think of higher, finer things. That is not possible.

Therefore we restrict, to make the brain clear to understand about Kṛṣṇa. Parīkṣit Mahārāja said, vinā paśughnāt.

nirvṛtta-tarṣair upagīyamānād
ka uttama-śloka-guṇānuvādāt
. . . virajyeta vinā paśughnāt
(SB 10.1.4)

Vinā paśughnāt. And these are the śāstric injunction. The meat-eaters, they have no brain to understand about the Absolute Truth. It is no . . . they simply speculate. They cannot understand. It is not possible. That is the . . . Parīkṣit Mahārāja says, vinā paśughnāt: "Except the rascals who are accustomed to kill animals, all, everyone, will take shelter of the glorification of the Lord, except these persons." Vinā paśughnāt (SB 10.1.4). He says, nirvṛtta-tarṣair upagīyamānāt. Glorification of the Lord:

Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare
Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare

It is chanted by the liberated person. It is not chanted by the conditioned soul. It is not possible. Therefore not everyone can chant. You'll . . . you have seen it, experienced, that your chanting, dancing, is very in ecstasy, emotion—others are standing, without opening their mouth. They cannot chant. That is a very difficult job for them, because it is the property of the liberated person, not for the conditioned soul.

Therefore Parīkṣit Mahārāja said, nirvṛtta-tarṣaiḥ. Tarṣaiḥ. Tṛṣṇa. Tṛṣṇa means hankering. Hankering. Just like if you are thirsty, you feel, "Where is water? Where is water? Where is water?" That is called tṛṣṇa. So nirvṛtta-tarṣaiḥ means one who has finished all hankering for material enjoyment. He's called nirvṛtta-tṛṣṇa. Nirvṛtta means finished, and tṛṣṇa means hankering. The same thing is described in the Śrīmad . . . Bhagavad-gītā: brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati (BG 18.54). Kāṅkṣati. Kāṅkṣati means if I hanker, that means still I am hungry or thirsty. But there is a position, brahma-bhūta position, by brahma-jijñāsā, that we can get relief of these two activities, hankering and lamenting.

The material world, there are two things only: lamenting and hankering. Those who haven't . . . those who do not possess, he's hankering. And those who have lost, they are lamenting. But they are two things only. Actually we do not possess. Somehow or other if we possess, that is also lost. Just like we have got this body. Kṣetrajña, kṣetra-kṣetrajña. Kṣetra is this body. So by hankering, by desiring, you can get any type of body. There are 8,400,000's of bodies. Just if you are eager to get a certain type of body or certain type of standard of living, Kṛṣṇa will give you. Ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham (BG 4.11).

Because here it is the business . . . Kṛṣṇa's business is . . . these rascals, these conditioned souls, they want to lord it over this material world, and Kṛṣṇa has to supply them. That is Kṛṣṇa's business in this world, simply botheration. Just like so many children, and the father is put into difficulty. One children wants, "Father, give me this." Another child says: "My father, give me this," "Give me that," "Give me that." And father, being affectionate, he has to satisfy all the children. So Kṛṣṇa's position is like that.

Therefore Kṛṣṇa comes, being bothered by these rascals, that "You want from Me so many things, but you are not happy. Please, therefore, give up this business." Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekam śaraṇaṁ (BG 18.66). "Just become . . . follow Me. You'll be happy." Therefore Kṛṣṇa comes. Real solution is that: Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore the Vedānta-sūtra says, athāto brahma jijñāsā: "Now you don't inquire for any other things." Why should you? All other things required by you, that is already supplied. It will be supplied. Why you bother? You just try to understand the value of your life in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is your only business. Tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovidaḥ. Kovida: "Those who are intelligent," tasyaiva hetoḥ, "for that thing," prayateta, "endeavor." So try to get that thing. For that thing . . . na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ (SB 1.5.18).

Just like people are struggling. Wherever you go, material world, either you go to London or go to Paris or to Calcutta or Bombay, anywhere you go, what is the business? Everyone is struggling: (makes sounds) whoosh-whoosh-whoosh-whoosh-whoosh-whoosh-whoosh. Day and night the motorcar going this way, that way, this way, that way. Last night I was speaking with Śrutakīrti. Wherever we go, we see this nonsense thing, whoosh-whoosh-whoosh-whoosh-whoosh-whoosh-whoosh. Any city you go, the same road, same motorcar, same whoosh-whoosh, same petrol, that's all. (laughter) What is the difference? But we say—this is called illusion—"I have come to Paris," "I have come to Calcutta." But where is the difference between Calcutta and Paris and Bombay? The same thing. Punaḥ punaḥ carvita-carvaṇānām: again and again, chewing the chewed. That's all.

Therefore the Brahma-sūtra advises, "Now you have done this chewing the chewed so many lives." "Chewing the chewed" means āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca (Hitopadeśa 25). Either you are dog or you are man, you have to make solution how to eat, how to sleep, how to satisfy your sex and how to defend. The same problem is in the dog life, the same problem in the human life. Same life is in the demigod life also.

Just like our Bhagavān dāsa was telling me that in Paris they are levying taxes, twenty percent, for maintaining the expenditure of atomic bomb. So we are simply creating problem. That's all. The so-called advancement of civilization means the same problem. Atomic bomb, what is that? Defensing. Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya. Bhaya means fearfulness. Because we are afraid. Either English or France or German, everyone is afraid. Just like a dog is afraid whether another dog is coming, so the so-called civilized men, they are also afraid—"Whether Englishmen are coming to attack? Whether Germany . . .? Therefore there must be atomic bomb. I shall throw. Therefore you must give me tax." These things are simply the trying to solve the problems of fearfulness. That's all. Defense.

So this fearfulness is there in the dog, in the hog, in the small sparrow bird—everywhere. You have seen the sparrow bird. As soon as one, they land, want to eat something, like this, like this. (gesticulates) He's afraid: "Is not somebody coming to kill me?" That's all. Everywhere. In the aquatic also. Everyone is afraid for life. But Kṛṣṇa has given them different types of defensive measures. It is learned from the śāstra that the fish, they can, by the waves of the water, they can understand that "Few miles away there is enemy." They can understand. And they become immediately defensive, how to protect. Because this is struggle for existence. I want to eat you; you want to eat me. Jivo jīvasya jīvanam (SB 1.13.47). This is going on.

So everyone is afraid. Everyone is taking defense. Even tiger is also afraid. Do you know that? Tiger is also. Tiger has become very powerful animal. Everyone is afraid of. He can catch anyone and kill him and eat him. Unfortunately, he does not get the opportunity of catching anyone. The tiger cannot eat every day very nicely. He gets once in a week a chance or once in a fortnight a chance to capture an animal. Therefore he kills and keeps it for eating daily. It is not that . . . just like you are getting daily bhagavat-prasādam, nice dish. Nobody is supplying to tiger. Nobody is going to tiger's front: "Sir, kindly kill me and eat me." No. Nobody's going. Everyone has got to struggle. Na hi suptasya siṁhasya praviśanti mukhe mṛgaḥ (Hitopadeśa). This is the statement. This material world is so made that even the lion, if he keeps himself sleeping . . . because lion is considered to be the king of the forest. So if he thinks that, "I am the king of the forest. So why shall I work? Let me sleep, and my eating animals will come and enter into my mouth . . ." No. You have to struggle. You have to struggle. You have to find out.

Therefore this energy is called karma-saṁjñānyā. This . . . there are many energies of Kṛṣṇa. Parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.8, CC. Madhya 13.65, purport). But learned scholars, they have divided into three: the spiritual energy, the marginal energy and the material energy. Tṛtīya-karma-saṁjñānyā tṛtīya-śaktir iṣyate (CC Madhya 6.154). So here this material world, either you become a tiger, either you become Lord Brahmā or you become a small ant, you have to struggle for your existence. This is material world. You cannot think that "I shall be happy without any working."

People are trying to do that, that . . . when a man gets some money, bank balance, he no more works. But that is the tendency, that "Without working, I shall maintain myself happily." That is our tendency. Ānanda-mayo 'bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12), Vedānta-sūtra says. Because our tendency is to enjoy life, but we do not know where to enjoy, how to enjoy. And that is called illusion. We are trying to enjoy life in this material world, where there is no enjoyment. There is no enjoyment. Repeatedly śāstra says. Kṛṣṇa says, duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam (BG 8.15): "This place is simply for miserable condition of life." Duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam. "And still, it is temporary." Even if you think, "All right, there are so many miserable condition. Never mind. Let me adjust and live here permanently," oh, no, that will also not be allowed. Temporary. You may decorate your Paris city. Napoleon tried and other tried. But you cannot live here, sir. You have to go out.

But these rascals, they do not understand. They are decorating, decorating. "Tax. Give more tax. Give more tax. Let us decorate." But how you'll . . . how long you shall live in this decorated city? Even if you live, if you are so much lover, great nationalist of the country, suppose next life you get the . . . because when one has very much attraction for a certain land, then he again takes birth in that land. So if you take your birth not as human being or as a cat and dog or a cow, then you'll be sent to the slaughterhouse. Then what is the use of your becoming nationalist? Your men, for whom you have worked so hard, next life if you take your birth as a cow, the same men will send you to the slaughterhouse. But these rascals, they do not know what is the mystery.

Therefore to make solution of this problem, athāto brahma jijñāsā: "Now inquire what is the Absolute Truth." That is intelligence. Therefore Kṛṣṇa, although He is Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is giving reference to the Brahma-sūtra. Whatever He speaks, it is all right. He doesn't require to refer any authoritative book. But He is also giving. You have seen Caitanya Mahāprabhu. That is the way. But these rascals are trying to avoid authoritative scriptures. Even Kṛṣṇa is giving reference to the authoritative scripture, and these rascal, they have so degraded, they say, "Oh, why these books? Now I can manufacture own knowledge." And other rascals, they are accepting: "Yes, it is right."

So this is called Kali-yuga. People are so degraded, less than animal, less than animal. Therefore to revive them, the Vedānta-sūtra says, athāto brahma jijñāsā: "Now you inquire about the Absolute Truth." Hetumadbhir viniścitaṁ. Now, hetumadbhiḥ. Hetumadbhiḥ means "with reason." Reason. What is that reason? Now, if I want to inquire about the Absolute Truth, so how I shall understand? Now . . . there are three ways, namely pratyakṣa . . . pratyakṣa, aitihya and śruti, śruti-pramāṇa. Śruti-pramāṇa, pratyakṣa-pramāṇa, direct perception. Now, Brahman, the Absolute Truth, how we can understand the Absolute Truth? Absolute Truth means the Supreme. Now we have got experience that everything is created by somebody—everything, whatever we see, this pillow, this seat, or this book, or this microphone, whatever we are seeing. Even my body is created by my father and mother. Everyone can understand. So why they should deny the creation of this material world?

We see, everything material, that has got a beginning, date of birth and date of death. And there are, in the middle, between the birth and death, there is disease and old age, deterioration. Old age means deterioration. Just like this body. When I was young man, child, I was also jumping. Now I have to go with a stick. The deterioration . . . this is called de . . . deterioration. Deterioration means now it is coming to be finished.

There are six changes: first of all birth, then living for some time, then producing some by-product, then deterioration, then finish. Janma-sthiti . . . there are six kinds of changes. So anything material you study, these six kinds of changes are there. So this material world . . . how this rascal says that "It was existing"? (break) "It was existing." Nothing was existing. Otherwise, why the Brahma-sūtra says, janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1), that "The Absolute Truth is that from whom, or from which, everything is taking birth." This is Brahma-sūtra.

So "everything is taking birth" means this material world also has taken birth from that Absolute Truth. That is answered in the Bhagavad-gītā: ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate (BG 10.8). Kṛṣṇa says that "I am the origin of all births, everything." So the material world was not existing. This is insufficient. How you can say it is existing? Anything you see, material, it has got a date of birth. Who can deny it? Can you present anything material which was . . . which has no beginning? Everything has got beginning. So how you can say this material world has no beginning? This is nonsense.

Therefore hetumadbhir viniścitaiḥ. Hetu means "with reason," not like dogmatic obstinacy. You must have a beginning. Then, as soon as you . . . we accept that this material world has had a beginning . . . the śāstra says it has beginning. Just like Brahma-sūtra, janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). Why it says janmādy asya? Everything has beginning. And we see from the śāstra how this material world has begun. There was first of all Mahāviṣṇu. From Mahāviṣṇu, these universes came out.

yasyaika-niśvasita-kālam athāvalambya
jīvanti loma-bilajā jagad-aṇḍa-nāthāḥ
viṣṇur mahān sa iha yasya kalā-viśeṣo
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
(Bs. 5.48)

Before this universal creation, Kṛṣṇa took the form of Mahāviṣṇu, and Mahāviṣṇu's breathing period is the creation and annihilation. So long the breathing goes on, exhaling, that is the creation period; inhaling, the destruction, annihilation. So the whole cosmic manifestation is being maintained within the breathing period of Mahāviṣṇu. Yasyaika-niśvasita-kālam athāvalambya jīvanti loma-bilajā jagad-aṇḍa-nāthāḥ (Bs. 5.48). Jagad-aṇḍa . . . Brahmā. Brahmā is the supreme living being within this universe. But it is plural number, jagad-aṇḍa-nāthāḥ. So there are innumerable universes.

So if we discuss all these things from the śāstra, then we get really knowledge, and then we can actually act what is the perfection of life. Therefore Kṛṣṇa suggests, brahma-sūtra-padaiś caiva hetumadbhir viniścitaṁ. Try to understand Brahma-sūtra, Vedānta philosophy. Vedānta philosophy is explained—Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. That is the real commentary of Vedānta-sūtra. You cannot understand Vedānta-sūtra as it is, because it is mentioned in codes. Just like we have got business, Bentley's code. One small word, but they take that it has got a big sentence. Just like in business they write, Bentley's, CIF. So CIF means it is the . . .

Just like we say ISKCON. ISKCON means . . . "I" means international, S means society, and K means Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and so . . . Kṛṣṇa, and CON means consciousness. As we have simplified, similarly there are many things, codes. So in the Vedānta-sūtra means they are codes, but in each code there is ample meaning. So that is commentary.

So Vedānta-sūtra says, janmādy asya yataḥ. Simply two words. Bhāgavata explains. Bhāgavata ex . . .

janmādy asya yataḥ anvayat itarataś ca artheṣu abhijñaḥ svarāṭ
tene brahma hṛdā ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ
(SB 1.1.1)

Explanation. Explanation. Explanation. So similarly, athāto brahma jijñāsā, and Bhāgavata has jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā. So same thing is explained in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. First of all the whole Vedic knowledge is summarized in Vedānta-sūtra by Vyāsadeva. And again he explains, under the instruction of Nārada, the Bhāgavatam, Brahma-sūtra. So brahma-sūtra-padaiś caiva hetumadbhir viniścitaṁ. So one has to take lesson from Bhāgavata, Brahma-sūtra, Bhagavad-gītā, and . . . not that, "I reject all these books, and . . ."

Just like the other day one, another crazy came. He said: "I am poet." What kind of poet? "Now, I have no aim of life." That's all. "I am such a big poet that I have no aim of life."

(indistinct background comment)

Oh. I think we are taking too much time. Yes.

Thank you very much. No more.

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