Collaborate with us to invoke and fully manifest Srila Prabhupada's Vani-presence.
670329 - Lecture SB 01.02.17 - San Francisco
- śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
- hṛdy antaḥ stho hy abhadrāṇi
- vidhunoti suhṛt-satām
- (SB 1.2.17)
Kṛṣṇa, this sound, transcendental sound. Kṛṣṇa means the highest pleasure. Highest pleasure. Everyone, every living being, is seeking after pleasure, but he does not know how to seek pleasure. Therefore in this material conception of life we are being frustrated in every step for satisfying our pleasure, because we have no information that from which platform we can have pleasure.
That we are discussing for the last few weeks, that we are not this body; we are consciousness. Not exactly consciousness. Consciousness is the symptom of my real identity. I am pure soul. I am merged within this material body. And the modern material science, they have no trace(?) of it. Therefore they are sometimes misled about this understanding of the spirit soul. But the spirit soul is a fact. And everyone can understand by the presence of consciousness. Any child can understand. The consciousness is the symptom of the spirit soul.
So the whole process now we are trying from the Bhagavad-gītā is to bring one to get him on the platform of consciousness. And if we act from the platform of consciousness, then we may not be pushed again into the platform of this bodily conception.
And if we can continue that platform, if we continue to act on that platform of consciousness, then, at the end of this body—not even at the end of this body; even in the presence of this body—we shall be free. We shall be free from material contamination. Our spiritual life will be revived, and the result will be that in our next life, next life, after leaving this body, we shall have our full spiritual life, eternally.
Spirit is described... We have already discussed on this point that the spirit is eternal. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20): "Even after the destruction of this body, the consciousness is not destroyed." That continues. Rather, consciousness transferred to another type of body makes me again alive to the material conception of life. And that is also described in the Bhagavad-gītā: yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ tyajaty ante kalevaram (BG 8.6).
At the time of death, if our consciousness is pure, then it is sure that next life is not material. Next life is pure spiritual life. But if our consciousness is not pure at the point of the verge of death, just leaving this body, then we have to take again this material body. That is the process going on by nature's law.
We have got our finer body. This is gross body. The body which you are seeing, which I am seeing, this is gross body. Just like shirt and coat. Within your coat, there is shirt, and within your shirt, there is a body. Similarly, the pure soul is covered by shirt and coat. The shirt is mind, intelligence and false ego. Mind, intelligence and false ego. False ego means that the wrong conception that "I am matter. I am something, product of this material world." This wrong conception makes me localized.
Just like because I have taken my birth in America, therefore I think myself American. Because I have taken my birth in India, therefore I think myself as Indian. But as pure soul, I am neither Indian nor American. I am pure soul. Because this is designation. This "American," or "Indian," or "German," or "Englishman" or cats and dogs and this and that, black and white, all these are designation. Spiritual consciousness means to become free from all these designations.
So that freedom is achieved when we are in constantly touch with the supreme spirit, Kṛṣṇa. That supreme spirit is Kṛṣṇa. So this assembly which we are trying to conduct is just to keep in touch constantly with Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa..., Kṛṣṇa can be in constantly companion with us. Because He's omnipotent, God is omnipotent, therefore He can be exactly in touch with us by His words. His words and He are not different. That is omnipotency. Omnipotency means in everything relating to Kṛṣṇa has the same potency.
Just like here in this material world the..., if you want water—you are thirsty, if you want water—then this water, simply calling, simply saying repeatedly, "water, water, water, water, water" will not satisfy your thirst. Because this word has not the same potency as water itself. You require the water as it is. Then your thirst will be satisfied. But in the transcendental, in the absolute world, there is no such difference. Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa's name and Kṛṣṇa's words and Kṛṣṇa's qualities, Kṛṣṇa's pastimes—everything is Kṛṣṇa.
Somebody..., some people argues that "Arjuna was talking with Kṛṣṇa. So Kṛṣṇa was present before him, whereas my case, Kṛṣṇa is not present. So how I can get direction?" That is not the fact. Kṛṣṇa is present by His words, this Bhagavad-gītā. Kṛṣṇa... Therefore the system is... Of course, here we don't find such facility, but India, when we speak on the Bhagavad-gītā or on the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, we worship regularly with flower, with other paraphernalias required for worshiping. You see?
And in the Sikh religion they also, they have no deity, form of the deity, but they worship the book, Grantha-Sahib. Perhaps some of you who are acquainted with the Sikh communities, they..., they worship this Grantha. Similarly, the Muhammadans also, they worship the Koran. And similarly, in your Christian also, you worship Bible.
So it is a fact that Lord Jesus Christ is present by his words, Bible. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa is present by His words. These personalities, either God or son of God, who come from the transcendental world, they keep their transcendental identity without being contaminated by this material world. That is their omnipotency.
We are practiced to say that God is omnipotent. Now, this is His omnipotency. Omnipotency means that He is not different from His name, from His quality, from His pastimes, from His instruction—everything. Therefore the discussion on Bhagavad-gītā is as good as you are discussing certainly with Kṛṣṇa.
And not only that; Kṛṣṇa is seated in your heart, in my heart also. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānām (BG 18.61). God is situated in everyone's heart. God is not away from us. He's friendly. He's so friendly that in my repeated change of birth, He's with us. He's trying to see when we shall turn to Him. Rather, He's canvassing. He's canvassing. He's so kind that we may forget Him, but He has not forgotten us. He is with us. Just like the father never can forget the son, however the son may forget the father. That is..., that is natural.
Similarly, God is the original father of everything, everybody, all living entities. We may have different bodies. That is our shirt-coat. It has nothing to do with our real identity. Our real identity is pure soul. That pure soul is the part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. Mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ (BG 15.7), you'll find in Bhagavad-gītā. And that part and parcel of the Supreme Lord is encaged in this material body. And you'll find in Bhagavad-gītā that the Lord has saying,
- sarva-bhūteṣu kaunteya
- mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ
- tāsāṁ mahad yonir brahma
- ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā
- (BG 14.4)
"My dear Arjuna, whatever forms of life you are seeing..." There are eighty-four lakhs' species of life. That means eight million and four hundred thousands of different varieties of life. Not one, two, three or one thousand, three thousand. No. We have not seen.
Even the biologist or the anthropologist, oh, they cannot calculate. But from authoritative, revealed scripture we get this information that there are eight..., eight..., 8,400,000's of species of life, of which human being, they are divided into 400,000's species of life. And eighty..., eighty million, eight million, there are other species of life.
But Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, claims that all of them, never mind, either he is bird or beast or man or a snake or whatever he may..., god, or semi-god, demigod, anything, whatever, "There are different forms, but apart from the forms, real identity is that all of them, they are My sons. I am actually bīja-pradaḥ pitā, seed-giving father."
Just like the father gives the seed and the mother receives the seed, and the body is formed according to the mother's body. And when the body is completely formed, it comes out, either from cats, either from dog, either from man or anything. That is the process of generation.
The father gives the seed, and it takes..., emulsified with two kinds of secretion within the womb of the mother, and in the first night the body is formed like a pea. Then gradually it develops. There are certain holes, the nine holes. They first of all come out, nine holes. We have got nine holes: two eyes, one mouth, two ears, and penis, and so many things.
So when they are fully developed, they come out. And according to their last karma, or action, they get this body and enjoy or suffer. That is the process of birth and death which is going on. And after finishing this life, again dies, again enters into the moth..., womb of the mother, again gets another type of body, again comes out. This is going on. This is going on.
So we should be very much intelligent that "How long we shall continue this repetition of birth and death and change of body?" Any intelligent man... That is the prerogative of the human form of life. That is the prerogative. He can stop this process, repetition of birth and death. He can get his real, actual spiritual form again and be blissful, full knowledge and eternal life. That is the whole process. So we should not miss this.
And the whole thing begins just what we have begun now, now, this chanting and hearing. I wanted to point out that this chanting and hearing is as good as actual association of Kṛṣṇa. That is stated in the Bhāgavata, that śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ (SB 1.2.17). This, this process is called kīrtana. Even one does not understand the language, still, by hearing only, he acquires some piety. His, his assets become pious life, even he does not understand. It is such powerful.
Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ... Kṛṣṇa-kathā means topics in..., in the matter of Kṛṣṇa. The topics in the matter of Kṛṣṇa, there are two, two kinds of topics. One topic is this, Bhagavad-gītā. It is spoken by Kṛṣṇa. It is spoken by Kṛṣṇa. And another kṛṣṇa-kathā, I mean to..., topics about Kṛṣṇa, is this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. That is spoken about Kṛṣṇa. So there are two types of kṛṣṇa-kathā, and both of them are equally potent, because it is connected with Kṛṣṇa.
Now, in the Bhagavad-gītā... We find that the Bhagavad-gītā is spoken in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. Now, what we have to do with the battlefield? We have nothing to do with battlefield. We are here to have some knowledge in the spiritual atmosphere, and why should we bother about the battlefield? No. Because in the battlefield there...
(break) The whole battlefield has become Kṛṣṇa-ized. As Kṛṣṇa-ized. Just like if there electric charges, electric current, is in some metal, the whole thing becomes surcharged with electricity, similarly, when Kṛṣṇa is interested in some matter, then the whole thing becomes Kṛṣṇa-ized. Otherwise, there was no need of discussing the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. So that is the omnipotency.
Now this omnipotency is described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:
- śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
- hṛdy antaḥ stho abhadrāṇi
- vidhunoti suhṛt-satām
- (SB 1.2.17)
Now, simply by hearing the kṛṣṇa-kathā... That means, kṛṣṇa-kathā means... This... Kṛṣṇa-kathā, there are many. All the Vedic literatures, they are full of kṛṣṇa-kathā. And all the Vedas means that is also kṛṣṇa-kathā. Any scripture in Veda that may appear apparently different, but they are meant for kṛṣṇa-kathā. Kṛṣṇa-kathā.
Because you'll find in the Bhagavad-gītā that vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ (BG 15.15). The whole topics, they are meant for kṛṣṇa-kathā.
(aside) You'll excuse me. I am called by nature. I shall...
(break) So kṛṣṇa-kathā..., śṛṇvatāṁ kṛṣṇa-kathā. If you kindly simply hear about this kṛṣṇa-kathā, topics on Kṛṣṇa, then what will be the result? Because it is pure, transcendental vibration, the result will be, śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ, hṛdy antaḥ stho abhadrāṇi (SB 1.2.17). We have accumulated many inauspicious things within our heart due to our material contamination for many, many births. Many, many births. Not only this birth, but many, many last birth.
So when we surcharge our heart with the kṛṣṇa-kathā, then the result will be... śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ, hṛdy antaḥ sthaḥ. Hṛdy antaḥ sthaḥ. Hṛdy antaḥ sthaḥ means the contaminations which we have accumulated within our heart, that will be washed off. That will be washed off so that your heart will be cleansed of all rubbish things. And, as soon as all rubbish things are cleared off, then we are situated in pure consciousness.
Because it is very difficult to understand, to eradicate oneself from all the designation. Suppose I am Indian. Is it very easy...? It is not very easy to take it for granted immediately that I am not Indian, I am pure soul. Similarly, anyone, to not identify with this bodily designation, it is not very easy task.
But still, if we go on hearing the kṛṣṇa-kathā, as we have begun here, it will be very easy. It will be very easy. You..., you make an experiment. You make an experiment how easily you shall be able to get yourself free from all these designations. And as soon as we are free from the designation...
Now what are the freedom? What are the signs of freedom? The signs of freedom...
- śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
- hṛdy antaḥ stho abhadrāṇi
- vidhunoti suhṛt-satām
- (SB 1.2.17)
Naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu. Naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā (SB 1.2.18), bhaktir bhagavati..., bhaktir bhagavati naiṣṭhikī, bhavati naiṣṭhikī. Now, as soon as... Not cent percent clearance. It is not possible to clear our, I mean to say, rubbish things within our mind all of a sudden or very soon all things. Even some percentage of the rubbish are cleared off, then at once it happens that our the influence of the material nature becomes slackened.
- tadā rajas-tamo-bhāvāḥ
- kāma-lobhādayaś ca ye
- ceta etair anāviddhaṁ
- sthitaṁ sattve prasīdati
- (SB 1.2.19)
The material nature is working in three modes: goodness, passion and ignorance. Now, ignorance is hopeless life. Passion is too much materialistic. Passion means, one who is influenced by the modes of passion, he wants..., he wants this false enjoyment. Although... Because he does not know, he wants to squeeze out the energy of the body to enjoy this matter. That is called modes of passion. And modes of ignorance, they have neither passion nor goodness in the modes, darkness of life.
And mode of..., modes of goodness is that in that position we can understand, at least theoretically, "What I am. What is this world. What is God. What is our interrelation." This is the, I mean, stage of the modes of goodness. So by hearing kṛṣṇa-kathā, you will be freed from the two stages of ignorance and passion. You'll be situated in the modes of goodness. At least, you'll have the real knowledge, "What I am."
Because in the ignorance... Just like animals... Animals, you see, the animal's life is full of suffering. But still, the animal does not know that he's in suffering. Take the case of a hog. Of course, here in your New York City, no hog is seen, but in village, in India—not only villages; sometimes in towns—we see the hog.
Oh, how much miserable life they are, living in a filthy place, eating stools, and always unclean, and anyone sees hog and "Unhh! Nasty." But he, the hog, does not know that he's nasty condition. He's very jolly. (laughs) He's very jolly. The person who's in the upper status of life, he can see that "Oh, this is very nasty life!" The hog is very happy by eating stools and having sex intercourse with the she-hog constantly.
Oh, it is getting fat, getting... The hog gets very... Too soon, they become very fatty. Because that spirit of enjoyment is there although the nasty enjoyment... (break)
Then he'll understand what is happiness. So you'll be promoted to that stage of life: goodness.
- śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
- hṛdy antaḥ stho hy abhadrāṇi
- vidhunoti suhṛt-satām
- (SB 1.2.17)
Naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā (SB 1.2.18). Nityam, daily, as a routine, routine work, if you hear this kṛṣṇa-kathā, then the result will be that naṣṭa-prāyeṣu abhadreṣu, when all this accumulation of dirty things in our heart accumulated for life after life, they'll be cleared off. And as a matter of evidence you'll see that you are not..., no more in ignorance and in passion, but you are situated in the modes of goodness.
Then what is..., what is that position? Ceta etair anāviddham. Then your mind will not be attacked by the modes of ignorance and passion. You'll be steadily fixed up in the position of goodness. Then, when you are in goodness, then what is your attitude? Prasanna-manaso: you will find yourself joyful in every circumstances of life. You'll never feel yourself morose.
In the Bhagavad-gītā you'll find... That is our brahma-bhūta situation. The Vedas teaches us that "You are not this matter. You are Brahman." Ahaṁ brahmāsmi. Lord Śaṅkarācārya, he preached this gospel to the world that we are not this matter; we are Brahman, spirit soul. So that, when that spiritual realization will be actually done, then your symptoms will change. What are those symptoms? Now, brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati (BG 18.54): "When one is situated in his own spiritual consciousness, then he will have no hankering and no lamentation, lamentation for loss or hankering for gain."
Two things are going on in this material world. The things which we do not possess, we hanker after it: "If I get these things, I'll be happy. If I get these things... Oh, I have no money. If I get one hundred thousand millions dollars, then I'll be happy." This is hankering. And when one hundred thousand million dollars you have got, some way or other it is lost, oh, you cry, "Oh, I am gone."
So either for earning or we hanker, that is also a kind of distress, and when we suffer loss there is distress. But if you are situated in brahma-bhūtaḥ avasthāna, you'll be neither, neither distressed nor hankering. You'll be in equilibrium. Yasmin sthite guruṇāpi duhkhena na vicālyate (BG 6.22). Even if you are situated in the midst of fiery tribulation, you'll not be disturbed. That is the position.
- evaṁ prasanna-manaso
- mukta-saṅgasya jāyate
- (SB 1.2.20)
So bhagavat-tattva-vijñāna... Bhagavat-tattva-vijñāna means the science of God. The science of God becomes perceivable by such person who is situated in the brahma-bhūta, I mean to, status. So from that brahma-bhūta status we have to work, and that work is recommended here,
- buddhi-yukto jahātīha
- ubhe sukṛta-duṣkṛte
- tasmād yogāya yujyasva
- yogaḥ karmasu kauśalam
- (BG 2.50)
Now, so..., so long we have got this material body, we have to work. We cannot stop working. That is not possible. But we have to adopt the tactics of yoga so that even by doing ordinary work in which by destiny or by circumstances I am put into, there is no harm.
You'll find in Bhagavad-gītā that even if you find in your own occupation there is... Suppose I am occupied in some business in which I have to speak lie. Without speaking lie, my business cannot go on. Now, suppose if that is the position. Now, speaking lie is not very good thing, but if you think that your business is not very, based on very moral principle, "So I should give up," then Bhagavad-gītā you'll find that "Don't give up."
Even if you are put into such circumstances that your livelihood cannot go on without that unfair means, still, you should not give it up, but you should try to make it purified. You should try to make it purified. How it is purified? Now, you should not take the fruitive result of your work. That is meant for God.
So here it is stated that..., that buddhi-yukto jahātīha ubhe sukṛta-duṣkṛte. Sukṛta means pious activities, and duṣkṛta means impious activities. In the material platform we are two things, pious or impious. Pious or impious. Either we are doing some pious activities or we are doing some impious activities or we are doing mixed, pious or impious.
So Lord Kṛṣṇa advises that if you act with intelligence or devotion of the Supreme... Intelligence means... What is that intelligence? That "I am the part and parcel of the supreme consciousness, pure soul. I am not this body." This is called intelligence.
If you identify yourself, "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am this or that," then you are material plane. If you identify yourself that "I am neither American nor Indian, but I am pure consciousness, I am subordinate consciousness of the supreme consciousness," or, in other words, "I am servant of God. God is supreme consciousness, and I am subordinate," that...
So for our present understanding, subordinate means a servant. But don't carry out the idea of servant in relation to God. Here nobody wants to be servant. Everyone wants to be master. Because to become servant is very, not very, palatable thing. So... But to become a servant of God is not exactly like this. Sometimes servant of God becomes the master of God.
The real position of the living entity is a servant of God, but in Bhagavad-gītā you see that the master, Kṛṣṇa, has become the servant of Arjuna. Arjuna is sitting on the chariot, and Kṛṣṇa's accepted his drivership. Is not the servant of the owner of the chariot? So in spiritual relation we should not carry out the conception of this material relationship, although the relationship are there.
The whole relationship, as we have got experience in this world, the same relationship are there in the spiritual world. But that relationship is not contaminated with matter. Therefore they are pure and transcendental. Therefore they are of a different nature. As we become advanced in spiritual conception of life, then we can understand what is the actual position in spiritual, transcendental life.
So here the Lord instructs that buddhi-yukta. Buddhi-yukta means with the full consciousness that you are not this body. If we act in that way... Now, if I am..., I am not body, then I am consciousness. That is a fact. Now, if we act on the consciousness platform, then we can overcome the fruitive result of good work or bad work.
It is transcendental stage. It is transcendental stage. It is especially mentioned, buddhi-yukto jahātīha sukṛta-duṣkṛta (BG 2.50). That means you are acting on other's account, on the supreme account. You are not liable for loss or gain. When there is gain, don't be puffed up. You should think that this gain is for Lord. And when there is loss, you, you should know that "This is not my responsibility. It is God's work. He will see." Then you'll be happy.
That practice you have to do, everything on account of the Supreme. That transcendental nature we have to develop. Tasmād yogāya yujyasva yogaḥ karmasu kauśalam (BG 2.50). This is the trick of doing work in this present circumstances. As soon as we work on the platform of bodily consciousness, we become bound up by the reaction of my work. And as soon as I work on spiritual consciousness, I am not bound up either by sukṛti or duṣkṛti, either by pious activities or by, I mean to say, vicious activities. That is the technique.
- karma-jaṁ buddhi-yuktā hi
- phalaṁ tyaktvā manīṣiṇaḥ
- (BG 2.51)
Manīṣiṇaḥ. This word is very significant. Manīṣiṇaḥ means thoughtful, thoughtful. Manīṣā. Manīṣā means thought. Manīṣiṇaḥ, those who are got..., those who are thoughtful, not trifling. Those who are thoughtful. Unless one is thoughtful, one cannot understand that he is not this body. Then how, how you can do work for yourself? What is your position? Now, I am consciousness. But what kind of consciousness? Subordinate consciousness. I am the part of the supreme consciousness. Then what will be your activities? My activities will be under the guidance of the supreme consciousness.
Just like in office, the managing director is the supreme consciousness. Just for example. Now, everyone is working under him, under his direction. So anyone who is working under his direction, they have no responsibility. They have got simply to discharge the duty, either pious or impious, never mind. In the military rank the order of the captain or the commander is there. The soldier has to execute it.
Never mind whether it is pious or impious; it doesn't matter. He has to act simply. Then he becomes a, I mean to say, real soldier. If he acts in that way, he gets remuneration, he gets reward, he gets title, he gets honor. He doesn't care. The commander asks him, "Just go and kill the enemy." He goes and kills. He gets reward. But killing, do you mean to say by killing one gets reward? No. For the duty discharged. For the duty discharged.
Similarly, here the whole position is that Kṛṣṇa is instructing Arjuna. Kṛṣṇa is the supreme consciousness, and Kṛṣṇa (Arjuna) has to discharge only according to the order of the supreme consciousness. So my... Manīṣiṇaḥ. Manīṣiṇaḥ means those who are thoughtful philosopher, those who can take up things by philosophical conclusion, that "I am consciousness. I am the part and parcel of the supreme consciousness. Therefore my duty is to act according to the supreme consciousness."
Just like your hand is the part of your body. Now, it is moving according to my consciousness. The hand is not moving in its own way. As I want, that let the hands be moved, let my legs be moved, let my eye be opened and see, so I am dictating and these parts are working. Similarly, we are all parts and parcel of the supreme consciousness. When we train ourself to move and act in according to that supreme consciousness, then we become transcendental to all these pious or impious activities. That is the technique.
So, karma-jaṁ buddhi-yuktā hi phalaṁ tyaktvā manīṣiṇaḥ. Manīṣiṇaḥ means thoughtful, those who are thoughtful, those who have understood that "I am the part and parcel of the supreme consciousness, and let me act in that way"... Then what will be the result? Just see the fine result: janma-bandha-vinirmuktāḥ padaṁ gacchanty anāmayam, "Then he becomes free from the bondage of birth and death, no more birth and death."
Janma-bandhana. This is a..., this is a very strong shackle. You see? Janma. Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9). The modern scientists, modern philosophers, they do not think about these four things, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi, birth, death, disease and old age. They set it..., set them aside: "Oh, let them be happy. Let us enjoy this life, hogs and dogs." This is not human life. Human life is meant to make a solution of this bondage: life..., I mean, birth, death, disease and old age. If the human civilization has not made a solution of these four things, oh, that is not human civilization. Human civilization is meant for making a complete solution of these things.
So here, in the Bhagavad-gītā, just see how the Lord says that karma-jaṁ buddhi-yuktā hi. Karma-jam. Karma-jam means whenever you act, there will be some reaction. If you act good things, there will be a good reaction. If you act bad things, there will be bad reaction.
But reaction, either good or bad, that is, in higher sense, all suffering. I have already explained to you another, some other day, that suppose by good action I get good birth, good riches and good features of the body, good education—all these thing I get—but that does not mean that I am free from the material pangs.
The material pangs are janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9): birth, death, old age and diseases. Because you are rich man, because you are beautiful man, because you are educated man, because you are born in a aristocratic family, that does not mean that you have avoided death, old age and disease.
So we shall not be concerned with pious activities or impious activities. We shall be concerned with transcendental activities. That will save me from this bondage of birth, death, old age and disease. That should be our aim of life. We should not be hankering after good or bad things. Because everything here, in higher consciousness, everything material...
Now, take for example, suppose you are diseased, suffering from some disease. You are lying on the bed, and you are eating in that stage, you are passing your nature's call in that way, and taking bitter medicines, and always you have to keep by the nurses clean; otherwise, there is some obnoxious smell. In such a condition you are lying, and some friends come to you and ask you, "My dear such-and-such, how are you today feeling?"
"Yes, I am today feeling well." What is this "well"? He's lying on the bed. He's passing his nature's calls in that way. He's eating bitter medicine, and he, he cannot move. All these inconveniences, and he says that "I am well."
Similarly, in our material conception of life, if we think, "I am happy," that is foolishness. That is foolishness. There is no happiness in material life. It is impossible to get happiness. Then we do not know meaning of happiness. Therefore this very word is used, manīṣiṇaḥ. We want to happy..., to become by some extraneous, artificial means.
And how long it will stand? It will not stand. You'll again come back. Suppose by intoxication you feel happy. Oh, that is not your actual happiness. Suppose by chloroform I am unconscious; I don't feel the pains of operation. Oh, that does not mean that I am out of this pains and pleasures. This is artificial.
So real..., real pleasure, real life is here, as recommended in Bhagavad-gītā by Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Just see. Karma-jaṁ buddhi-yuktā hi phalaṁ tyaktvā manīṣiṇaḥ (BG 2.51). Manīṣiṇaḥ means the thoughtful. "They give up the reaction of, of work, being situated in the platform of consciousness. And the result will be that janma-bandha-vinirmuktāḥ, this bondage of birth and death and disease and old age, he becomes free from that."
Then the next life? Padaṁ gacchanty anāmayam. Anāmayam. Anāmayam means where there is no death, no, I mean to say, old age, no birth, no disease. That is possible. That is called Vaikuṇṭha. Vaikuṇṭha. The Sanskrit word is Vaikuṇṭha. Vaikuṇṭha means vigata-kuṇṭha. Kuṇṭha means anxiety. Anxiety.
Here, due to our material contamination, we are always full of kuṇṭha, anxiety. Even a bird, when he's eating, he's seeing like this: this way, this way, this way, "Somebody's coming, or kill me. Oh." Full of anxiety. We are also anxiety, anxious. The politician is anxious. So long we are in contamination of this material body, we must be anxious. We must be anxious.
There is a nice instruction by Prahlāda Mahārāja, a great devotee, boy devotee. And he was, from his boyhood, childhood, from his mother's womb, he became a devotee by the grace of Nārada Muni. That is the history.
Now, he, he was five-years-old boy, and his father was too much materialistic. And he wanted that his son should be great politician, economist, and so on, so on, just like the materialists want. But the boy, he's a devotee. So father did not like the idea.
So one day he called his boy, "My dear boy, come on." He came. A small boy. "Sit down on my lap. All right, my dear boy, will you kindly tell me what you have learned, the best thing, in your school?" "Yes, my dear father, I shall tell you." So he said like this:
- tat sādhu manye 'sura-varya dehināṁ
- sadā samudvigna-dhiyām asad-grahāt
- hitvātma...., hitva ātma-pātaṁ gṛham anda-kūpaṁ
- vanaṁ gato yad-dharim āśrayeta
- (SB 7.5.5)
"My dear father..." He's addressing his father, "O the best amongst the materialists." Now, he's not afraid. His father was very powerful, and there is a story. We shall narrate one day. Now, today is... Very shortly I am giving some instance. So he says, "My dear father, you are the greatest of the materialist, but to my opinion that is the best thing if people should give up this materialistic life and devote himself for searching out God. Then he'll be free from the anxieties which is due to him due to his material connection."
Just..., how, see the nice, that hitvā, tat sādhu manye 'sura-varya dehināṁ sadā samudvigna-dhiyām. Persons who are always full of anxieties. Why? Now, due to their material connection. Asat. Asat means matter. Matter will not stay, however you may chemically try to preserve. Will... It will not stay. Therefore matter's another name is asat. And spirit's another name is sat. Sat means "which exists." Asat means "which does not exist."
Antavanta ime dehā nityasyoktāḥ śarīriṇaḥ (BG 2.18). We have already described that this body, this body is antavat: it has got end. But the consciousness, or the spirit soul, it is not... It is endless. So the endless, I mean to say, ever-existing soul, being contaminated by this body, he's full of anxiety. So Prahlāda Mahārāja thinks that in order to realize his self for self-realization, if he gives up all material engagement and takes to the path of self-realization, that is the best way of his life.
And the father became angry. "What nonsense he's taking? A five-years-old boy, he's taking..., talking of self-realization. I wanted to make him a great politician, economist. Now he's talking of this nonsense and..." Hitvātma-pātaṁ gṛham andha-kūpam. "He's describing that this family life is just like a dark well." If a man is put, dark well...
(break) ...be engaged. Be...
(break) Whatever you are, that doesn't matter. But act it on the platform of consciousness. And that platform, acting on the consciousness, is Lord Caitanya has made very easy. Just like there are some note-makers of school books, "Easy Study." So Lord Caitanya has recommended that "You may be engaged in whatever occupation. That may be good or bad. We don't mind for that. But you must hear the kṛṣṇa-kathā. You must continue to hear this Bhagavad-gītā."
That is... For this, we are trying to organize this institution, that "You come. Whatever you do, that doesn't matter. Everything will be adjusted by and by." Because, as I have described in the beginning, that śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ, hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi (SB 1.2.17). Everything will be adjusted as our mind becomes clear, clear, clear, simply by hearing. Simply by hearing.
So this process, this association of hearing about the kṛṣṇa-kathā, what Kṛṣṇa is speaking and what is spoken about Kṛṣṇa, if we continue about the, about this process and chanting the Kṛṣṇa name, you'll practically see how much your heart is becoming clearer and clearer and how much you are pro..., making progress towards spiritual realization and real, real identity of pure consciousness.
Thank you very much. Any question?
Mukunda: If a good man, who is passed through the states of being ignorant and passionate, and he's really a good man, is walking down the street, let's say, in Delhi or Istanbul or any place, any city, and he sees a very young man beating up on a very old man just for no reason at all. He's just beating up, beating him to death. And the old man is sort of calling out for help, and there's a few people standing around.
And as he approaches, he, he begins to get stirred by this scene. And being a good man, he feels the whip on this other human being's back. Now, as a good man, should he not take sides on the two people quarreling and accept it and just walk on, even though he feels something welling up in him, or should he give way to what would be a passionate desire and try to interrupt and stop this injustice, so to speak?
Prabhupāda: The whole idea is that action, either in ignorance or passion or goodness—we have discussed that point—that doesn't matter. That action should be done from the spiritual consciousness platform. That's all. Then you transcend the reaction. Just like, for example, Arjuna. Arjuna's fighting...
This fighting is on the modes of passion. Passion. Now, when the, that work of passion, if he does... Now, Arjuna was thinking not to fight, not to fight, because he thought that "Fighting with my brothers, with my relatives, is not good."
Prabhupāda: So, from material point of view, it is all right. From material point of view. But the thing is that a material point of view, if you do act good work, you have to enjoy the reaction. That is the point. As I have already explained that by your good work, you get good birth, you get good wealth, you get good education, good features of body.
But that is not the solution of your problem. Here, the whole thing is that how to act. If we act from the material platform, even in the modes of goodness, that is also not solution of my life. But even..., even in the spiritual, from the spiritual platform, if we act which apparently may seem to be acts of passion, that is not reactionary. That is not reactionary.
Just like Arjuna. Arjuna... Now, the Lord says that you become free from the reaction of your activities. That is the proposition. Now, at the same time, He's inducing Arjuna to fight. Now, fighting is on the platform, on the modes of passion.
Does it mean that simultaneously Kṛṣṇa is inducing him to be entangled in the reaction of passion modes? No. That action, even apparently appears to be act..., being acted on the platform of passion, it is transcendental because it is direction of the supreme consciousness.
So whole thing is that we have to... Just like... Same example can be cited, that a soldier is killing his enemy, and the soldier's rewarded, "Oh, you have killed such a big enemy. You are rewarded." Do you mean to say by killing, one is rewarded? But he is not acting on his own platform. He's acting on higher consciousness platform, higher order. So if a commander's order can give him immunity from the reaction of being hanged, why not God's command? That is the thing.
So we have..., we haven't to discriminate whether I am in the modes of ignorance or passion or goodness. No. We have simply to see whether I'm acting under the direction of the supreme consciousness. That is the thing to be seen. Then we are free. Then our life becomes free. That thing you have to learn.
Student: Is there...? Am I my brother's keeper? Am I..., am I responsible for my brother's actions?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Materially, you are responsible. Because materially you are responsible for all acts, good or bad. That I have already explained. So you may think that you have taken the responsibility of maintaining your brother, but at the same time, you are responsible for all the reactions.
Student: For all the...?
Prabhupāda: For all the reactions out of that act. It may be bad or good. That doesn't matter. But our problem is not to be infected with the reaction. If you think that bringing up your brother... It is, actually, it is good thing. You are doing good thing. That's all right. And you'll have the good result of it. But that, having that good result, does not mean that you are free from the reaction.
Now, our problem is that we want to be free from the reaction. So long... Now... The same answer is there, that reaction of my good work, that I get good birth, I get good education, I get sufficient wealth or I get good features of body. These things are goodness of this material world. But that does not make solution of the disease in which...
(break) ...vyādhi: birth, death, old age and disease. The whole problem is that we have to get out of this material existence. So the, from the material point of view, or platform, any act, good or bad, that will have material reaction. And we are..., we want to get out of this material reaction. That is our point of view.
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