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680110 - Lecture SB 01.05.02 - Los Angeles

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

680110SB-LOS ANGELES - January 10, 1968 - 41:42 Minutes


pārāśarya mahā-bhāga
bhavataḥ kaccid ātmanā
parituṣyati śārīra
ātmā mānasa eva vā
(SB 1.5.2)

I am just quoting Sanskrit mantras before you. You may not understand the language, but the vibration of the sound, the Sanskrit mantra, hymns, it has got special value. Mantra, sound vibration. Śabdād anāvṛttiḥ (Vedānta-sūtra). Now, the whole material world is produced from sound. That is scientific fact. Scientists are researching the importance of sound, physical science. Sound, light, and transmission of sound and light, there are so many things, electronics. So this sound vibration, this is material sound. They have got so much wonderful power. And just try to understand what is the power of the spiritual sound.

Real sound is coming from the spiritual world. It is simply just like gramophone. The sound is coming originally from the person; the gramophone is reproducing. That is not the original source of the sound. Similarly, whatever sound is there in this material world, the original sound is produced by God. Just like in your Bible it is said: "Let there be creation." It is . . . simply it was sound and there was creation. So spiritual sound is so powerful. And we are trying to catch you directly from that sound vibration, Hare Kṛṣṇa, and I am sure it is acting. Simply, śabdād anāvṛttiḥ (Vedānta-sūtra).

Our question by Nārada Muni to Vyāsadeva asking that, "My dear Vyāsadeva, the author of all Vedic literature, you are such a learned scholar. You have produced such vastly, scholarly, and philosophical theses, books, and still you are not happy. So did you try to find out what is the cause?" The similar position is of the present world. There is so much advancement of scientific research, result, economic. Of course, in India there may be poverty-stricken, but in your country, you have got ample, everything ample. But still, a section is confused and frustrated. Why?

The same position as Vyāsadeva, who was not satisfied even after producing so many variety of literatures in material science and philosophy and religion and . . . everything was complete. So therefore Nārada Muni is asking: "My dear Vyāsadeva, you are great personality, but do you think as long as one is situated in the bodily plane or in the mental plane, does he derive any pleasure?" This is the question.

We should try to understand how we are constituted. The Bhagavad-gītā explains our constitutional position very nicely: indriyāṇi parāṇy āhuḥ (BG 3.42). Indriyāṇi. Indriyāṇi means senses. Just like what is my material existence? I am in this world. What for? For my sense gratification. That's all. This is the first constitutional position. Every animal, every living entity, is busy for eating, sleeping and defending and mating. That means the bodily necessities, senses. First of all, the prominent factor of our existence is the senses. Therefore Bhagavad-gītā says, indriyāṇi parāṇy āhuḥ. My material existence means the sense enjoyment. That's all.

And therefore in the material civilization the highest pleasure is being derived by eschewing sex life, because that is the last word. That is the last word of material enjoyment. One who has no knowledge of spiritual life, they cannot go further than sex life. One who goes still further than the platform of sense enjoyment, he comes to the mental speculation, as there are many philosophers, speculating. The meditation is also another type of mental speculation.

So indriyāṇi parāṇy āhuḥ. Bhagavad-gītā says the first prominent factor are the senses, and the next stage is the mind, mental speculation, because the senses are controlled by the mind. Mind is the central point of sensual activities. If my mind is not in order, in spite of my eyes, I cannot see—in spite of my hand, I cannot touch. Therefore next important stage is mind. Indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ (BG 3.42).

Manaḥ means mind. Manasas tu parā buddhiḥ. And mind is also controlled by intelligence. Manasas tu parā buddhiḥ. And the factor which is controlling intelligence, that is soul. Therefore behind all manifestations, all activities, the soul is there. That is in dormant stage. Not dormant stage; actually, the soul is agitating the intelligence, the intelligence is agitating the mind, and the mind is controlling the senses, and the sense enjoyment is our material life.

But we want happiness. Therefore Vyāsadeva's question to Nārada . . . uh, Nārada's question to Vyāsadeva is very intelligent that, "My dear Vyāsadeva, you are . . . you appear to be very . . . not very jolly even after producing so much literatures. But may I ask you, do you think that on the mental plane or on the bodily plane, if you think there is satisfaction, is it possible?" This is the question.

The people of the modern age should think over this question of Nārada to Vyāsadeva very seriously, whether on the bodily platform or on the mental platform we can be happy. No. That is not possible. That is not possible. We should clearly understand that people are busy only on the bodily platform and mental platform. They have no spiritual understanding. That is the defect of the modern civilization. Unless . . .

Just like you belong to certain atmosphere. Just like we are Indians. I am speaking from bodily consideration, that I am, in here, in your country, I am very comfortably situated. The boys are taking care of me very seriously. But still, sometimes I think that, "I am . . . I was happy in Vṛndāvana." Similarly, if you are transferred to some other foreign country, however comfortably you may be situated, you'll think of your own country. This is natural.

Therefore we are seeking after spiritual happiness actually. Just like the child. Child is crying. The child is crying, and the mother is trying to pacify the child in so many ways, but the child is still crying because it wants something else. The child wants mother's milk. So unless the mother is supplying that thing, it is not satisfied. Similarly, our demand is spiritual happiness. Our demand is spiritual happiness.

Just this morning or yesterday morning I was walking on the street. So many books were thrown in the street. Very nice book. Gaurasundara, you remember. Yes. Because the fact is all these nonsense books could not give him solace. He has thrown it on the street. Very nice book. Not nice book; very binding nice. It must have been very costly book. Big, big book thrown away. Why? There was no peace. There was no peace.

Therefore . . . just like in your country I see bunch of newspaper. Just after one second, turning this page, that page, thrown away. Why? There is no pleasure. There is no pleasure. Simply the old story. Punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām (SB 7.5.30). Chewing the chewed. In your country we don't find such things. In our country, India, the sugarcane is chewed, the juice is sucked, and it is thrown in the street. Now, if somebody goes and chews the chewed sugarcane, what relish, what taste he will get it? Similarly, because we have no information of spiritual life, we are simply chewing the chewed. That's all. In a different way. This way or that way, this way or that way. And that is sex life. That's all.

So that will not give us happiness. This is the purport of the question of Nārada Muni. Pārāśarya mahā-bhāga bhavataḥ kaccid ātmanā (SB 1.5.2). "Do you think that the soul can be pacified, the soul can be in peace by identifying himself with the body and the mind?" No. That cannot be. "And you are the first-class example." Why?

jijñāsitaṁ susampannam
api te mahad-adbhutam
kṛtavān bhārataṁ yas tvaṁ
(SB 1.5.3)

"You are not ordinary scholar. You have produced Mahābhārata." Mahābhārata. The other day I explained what is Mahābhārata. Mahābhārata is the . . . the real meaning of Mahābhārata is "History of India." History of . . . mahā, mahā means great, and great history of India. Bhārata means India.

India's real name is Bhārata-varṣa. Perhaps you know. Bhārata-varṣa. This whole planet was known in the beginning as Ilāvṛta-varṣa. Then there was a king, Mahārāja Bharata. So according to his name the whole planet became Bhārata-varṣa. This whole planet is called Bhārata-varṣa according to Vedic literature. But now it is now divided.

There is a long history, how the human society was distributed all over this planet. So far Mahābhārata is concerned, you Americans or Europeans, you also originally belonged to India, according to Mahābhārata. Turkish civilization and Greece civilization was originally from India. Two sons of Mahārāja Yayāti, they were given kingdom of Turkey and Greece, and from Turkey and Greece the European civilization or population has increased, and from Europe, the Americans, they have come here. Of course, that is historical point.

So here it is said: "My dear Vyāsadeva, you have compiled a great literature, Mahābhārata. And in that Mahābhārata you have introduced everything that is knowable for understanding." Mahābhārata was originally written for the woman class and strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnām (SB 1.4.25). Because the Vedic literature is very stiff. Not only because it is written by old Sanskrit . . . written in old Sanskrit language, but the meaning is very deep. Vedic literature . . . because at that time people were very intelligent, so simple one hint gives them lots of meaning. Just like Vedānta-sūtra. Vedānta-sūtra, you'll find simply some clues. Janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1): "The source of all emanation." Now we can think over, "the source of all emanation."

So Vedic literature requires explanation, authoritative explanation. So the original Veda . . .

(break) they . . . it was not possible for understanding for ordinary class of men. And who are ordinary class of men? Now, strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhu. Strī, woman class, are taken as less intelligent. It is not partiality, it is stated in the śāstra, and practically it is so. So woman class, strī, and Śūdra. Śūdra means laborer class. Strī, śūdra and dvija-bandhu. Dvija-bandhu means born of a high family. The Brāhmin, Kṣatriya and the Vaiśyas, they are considered as in the higher status of social life, and the Śūdra . . .

It is everywhere. It is not that . . . the other day in the television somebody was questioning me that, "Why there is caste system in India?" So I answered, "The caste system is everywhere. Why in India?" And what is that caste system? The caste system is that there is a class of men who are intelligent, very intelligent—educationist, philosopher, scientist.

They are called Brāhmin. That's all. The intelligent class of the society . . . just like my head is the most important part of my body. Why? Because from the head all intelligence is coming. If you cut my hand, I will exist. If you cut my leg, I will exist. But if you cut my head, oh, there is no existence.

Therefore, as there is the important part of this body, the head, similarly, those who are giving intelligence to the society, they are called Brāhmins. That's all. Brāhmiṇ is not a thing which is born by, I mean to say, familywise. No. That is not . . . in the Bhagavad-gītā you'll find, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13).

There is no question of birthright. Anyone. Anyone. Just like in our ordinary life, anyone can become your president. It is not that a particular family has to become. One who is intelligent enough, if people like, he will be voted, he'll be elected. Similarly, according to the quality and work, the section of the society is imagined. Not imagined; practically designated.

So this Mahābhārata . . . just try to understand that Mahābhārata was originally designed for the less-intelligent class of men. Less intelligent . . . who are less-intelligent class of men? The woman class or the laborer class, and those who are born in high family but their qualities are not so improved.

Suppose a boy is born in a Brāhmin family, but his quality is just like Śūdra or laborer class. The people will not accept. Just like if I am born of a Brāhmin family, so they will ask my qualification, how I am qualified. So those who are born in high family but not qualified according to the family tradition, they are called dvija-bandhu. Dvija.

Dvija means twice-born. Dvi means two, and ja means birth. The Śudras have one birth, one birth by the father and mother. But those who are higher caste . . . just like a man may be born in a low family or poor family, but by his intelligence he gets another birth. He becomes very rich man or very learned man, very intelligent man, very philosophic . . . that life is from the university. Similarly, dvija means first birth is from the father-mother, and the next birth is accepting a spiritual master. The next birth is . . . father is the spiritual master, and the Vedas are the mother.

So those who accept the spiritual master as father and the Vedic knowledge as mother, they are called dvija, twice-born. Twice-born. That means cultured. Cultured family. So those who are born in cultured family, but . . . a son is born in a cultured family, but his cultural knowledge is very poor, he is called dvija-bandhu. So woman class, laborer class and those who are born in higher family but intelligence is very poor, they are called dvija-bandhu. And for these classes of men the Mahābhārata was compiled. That means Vedic knowledge explained in simple historical facts.

The Mahābhārata, the basic principle of Mahābhārata is the fighting between the two groups of royal family, and on that politics, sociology, religion . . . but those who have read Mahābhārata, they will be surprised how elevated knowledge are there in Mahābhārata. But they were meant for Śūdras and, I mean to say, less-intelligent class of men.

So you can imagine how intelligent at that time people were that Mahābhārata was . . . Mahābhārata is . . . even at the present moment they cannot understand rightly Mahābhārata. Say, for Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā is part of Mahābhārata. But the philosophy is not understood properly even by the greatest philosophers. They commit mistake.

So that means as the days are going, we are becoming less, less intelligent. Less, less intelligent. Therefore in this age of less-intelligence class of men, this, the yoga system as it is . . . not bluff yoga; real yoga. Yoga indriya saṁyama. Oh, that is not possible, real yoga system. Controlling the senses, sit in a solitary place, and alone, with celibate life, no sense enjoyment—there are so many rules and regulations. Not that . . . if I say that, "Whatever you like, you can do. You just meditate," what meditation you'll do? That is not possible in this age.

Next stage of elevation is sacrifice. These are statement of the Vedic literature. In the Vedic literature . . .

(break) . . . kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇum (SB 12.3.52). Meditation means meditating on Viṣṇu, on the Supreme Lord, this Viṣṇu form, as you have got in my front. Meditation. That is called yoga. By meditating on Viṣṇu, one realizes everything and gets some power, wonderful power. So Bhāgavata says that kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇum. The perfection of life (is) attained in the Satya-yuga, or golden age, by meditating on Viṣṇu. That is meditation.

Tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ. The next stage, Tretā-yuga, by offering sacrifice. That is in the second age. And dvāpare paricaryāyām. In the next age, Dvāpara age, by temple worship, church worship. So Lord Caitanya says that kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva (CC Adi 17.21). Three times. Three times "no." That means meditation is not possible, sacrifice not possible, temple worship or church worship not possible. Then what is possible? Kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt. In this age, simply by chanting the glories of the Lord, Hare Kṛṣṇa. These are prescribed.

Therefore Lord Caitanya, you see, He is preaching this cult, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa . . . there is no distinction whether you are in church or temple or mosque. You simply vibrate Hare Kṛṣṇa wherever you are, at home or in temple or anywhere. Or in the street or in the bed or in hospital or in office, you can chant: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa. So kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ, dvāpare paricaryāyāṁ kalau . . . (SB 12.3.52). Kalau means this age, in the age of Kali. Hari-kīrtanāt: simply by chanting. Hari means God.

So here, Nārada is asking Vyāsadeva, jijñāsitam. "You are a very perfect scholar." Now the first word is used here, jijñāsitam. A scholar is he who has perfectly inquired from his spiritual master. Inquiry. Just like in the Vedānta-sūtra, the first aphorism is athāto brahma jijñāsā. One must be very inquisitive. That . . .

I have explained already several times, that first inquisitiveness should be "What I am? Am I this body? Oh, the bodily comforts are so many. I have got my car, I have got good apartment, I have got good wife, and . . . why I am not happy? Why I am not happy? Everything is there. So am I this body?" No. Vyāsadeva here is asked this question, jijñāsitam. So jijñāsitam adhītaṁ ca. Jijñāsitaṁ susampannam api (SB 1.5.3), "And after inquiry, you have very nicely written all kinds of literature, authoritative literature."

If one is perfect in his inquiry from the authorized spiritual master, he can write things. Otherwise, what is the use of writing nonsense? Those books will be thrown away. After reading . . . just like the newspaper is thrown away and the other books are thrown away. But Bhagavad-gītā or Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam you cannot throw away. You cannot throw away.

I'll give you one practical example in my life. In Calcutta . . . my birthplace is in Calcutta. So my friend, he had one European gentleman tenant. I am speaking of, say, about thirty years before story. So that gentleman, he was a very respectable man, manager of a big firm, and he was tenant of my friend. So he was going to take possession of the house. He was vacating it. So I also went with him. That European gentleman . . . I forgot his name now; it is . . . there was a Bhagavad-gītā in his almirah.

So my friend, Mr. Mullik, he, out of inquisitiveness, he was touching that book. He thought that "He is European, Christian. Why he has kept this Bhagavad-gītā?" So he was seeing that Bhagavad-gītā. And that European gentleman, he thought that, "I'm going, and this landlord may ask this book, because the Bhagavad-gītā belongs to the Hindus."

He immediately said: "Dear Mr. Mullik, I can give any book you like, but I cannot give that Bhagavad-gītā. This is my life." Just see. I heard it in my own ear. So he replied: "No, Mr. Such-and-such, I don't want your book. I was just seeing that how . . . why you have kept Bhagavad-gītā in your almirah." "Oh, Bhagavad-gītā is my life."

So it is the . . . śāstra means that you cannot throw it away. Nobody has thrown Bhagavad-gītā at any time, anywhere, because it is perfect. Nobody has thrown Bible—because they are perfect in knowledge. Jijñāsitam adhītaṁ ca. Jijñāsitaṁ susampannam api te mahad-adbhutam (SB 1.5.3): "You have done wonderful work."

And kṛtavān bhārataṁ yas tvaṁ sarvārtha-paribṛṁhitam: "And you have created the great literature Mahābhārata, in which everything is there." Eh? Jijñāsitam adhītaṁ ca. "And not only simply you have inquired, but you have studied fully." There are many inquisitive persons, inquire so many things, but do not study. Reciprocation. There must be study and inquiry. Just like a nice scholar in the college, he inquires from the professor, at the same time studies. So the process of acquiring knowledge is to study and to inquire.

So here it is said, jijñāsitam adhītaṁ ca brahma. Brahman means the Supreme Absolute Truth. "You have inquired sufficiently . . ." Because he was spiritual master, Nārada, he knows how he was inquisitive. So, "You have inquired about the Supreme Absolute Truth." Jijñāsitam adhītaṁ ca yat tat sanātanam. Absolute Truth, sanātana means eternal. Absolute Truth is not relative.

Here in this world everything we see relative. This world, material world, is called relative world. And therefore it is not sanātanam. Sanātanam means eternal. As soon as we are in the relative world, there is no eternal life. Relative world means that one thing has to be understood by another thing.

Just like what is the meaning of "son"? The son is the son of a father. So unless there is father, there is no question of son. Unless there is husband, there is no question of wife. Unless there is black, there is no question of white. Similarly, whatever you try to understand, there must be the opposite number. That is called duality, or dvaita-jagat, or the duality.

But in the absolute world there is no such distinction. One. The same father and the same son. Therefore, if I do not mistake, sometimes Jesus Christ is accepted as the father and sometimes as son. Because in the material world there is such distinction, master and servant, father and son, lower or higher. But in the spiritual world, although there are varieties, but there is no distinction. There is no distinction.

The Māyāvādī philosopher, they cannot understand the spiritual varieties. As soon as they think of varieties, they think of material things. But actually, that is not. There is variety in the spiritual . . . unless there is variety . . . because Vedānta-sūtra says, janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1).

Unless there are varieties, how in the shadow the varieties are there? Just like in a cinematographic picture, unless in the original photograph or the subject matter from which photograph is taken, unless there were varieties, how the picture can be variety?

So in the material world the varieties are reflection of the spiritual world. Here is also father, but this is imitation father. But there is also father, but that is not father, that is real father. It is imitation father. A friend is imitation friend. Real friend is Kṛṣṇa. Real father is Kṛṣṇa. Here husband, imitation husband. Real husband is Kṛṣṇa. Master, imitation master. Real master is Kṛṣṇa.

So in this way, if we establish our relationship with Kṛṣṇa as . . . either as husband or lover or master or friend or son or father, it is perfect. It is perfect. We have to go to that stage. We have to give up this imitation, brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā.

Śaṅkarācārya placed this theory before the all the world, but that is not explained properly because people at that time could not understand more than that. Brahma satyam: "The Absolute is truth." And jagan mithyā, "And this world, the manifested world, is false." How it is false? That is not explained by Śaṅkarācārya.

That is explained by Caitanya Mahāprabhu, that reality, real father . . . if you accept Kṛṣṇa as your father, oh, He'll give you all protection. If you accept Kṛṣṇa as your husband, oh, there is no question of divorce. If you accept Kṛṣṇa as your friend, oh, Kṛṣṇa will give you everything.

So, so many relationships. All these relationships in the relative world, they are all shadow, or temporary. But the same thing is there in the spiritual world. And if we come to that platform, then there will be happiness.

Thank you very much. Any questions?

(pause) No questions? All right.

You have question? No. Of course, I am trying to explain as far as possible understandable by you. But still, if there is any doubt, you can question. You can put. (break) (end)