Collaborate with us to invoke and fully manifest Srila Prabhupada's Vani-presence.
680504 - Lecture SB 05.05.01-3 - Boston
Prabhupāda: (kīrtana) Softly. (prema-dhvani) Thank you very much. (devotees offer obeisances)
(break) Please come forward. (pause)
Please come forward, all.
First of all I have to thank Jadurāṇī for the nice pictures. She is giving us light about spiritual understanding. So Kṛṣṇa will bless her with greater energy for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Thank you.
So this picture, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, with His associates just joined into the picture...
- rādhā-kṛṣṇa-praṇaya-vikṛtir hlAdinī śaktir asmād
- ekātmānāv api bhuvi purā deha-bhedaṁ gatau tau
- (CC Adi 1.5)
It is a very great science. The Absolute is one, but in order to enjoy transcendental bliss... there is a pleasure potency in the Absolute Truth, Personality of Godhead, which He expands as Rādhārāṇī, and She also expands in Her associates, Lalitā, Viśākhā—all these damsels.
So in this material world the reflection, perverted reflection, of the pleasure potency is there. A deficiency is there. Here we cannot have any pleasure on a permanent basis. Real pleasure is eternal: ramante yogino ’nante satyānande cid-ātmani (CC Madhya 9.29). Therefore yogīs, they try to enter into that eternal blissful life. Just like diseased person who is actually serious about healthy life has to undergo certain restriction by the physician in order to quickly get out of the diseased condition. Similarly, if we want eternal bliss… We are hankering after bliss, but we do not know how to enjoy eternal bliss. That prescription is here, instructed by Mahārāja Ṛṣabha to his sons, that tapo divyaṁ putrakā (SB 5.5.1): "My dear sons, this life, this human form of life, is not to waste for seeking material pleasures after so much hard struggles for life, because such temporary material pleasure is also enjoyed by the dogs and hogs."
So human life is not for wasting the valuable asset simply in the manner of dogs and hogs. We have got responsibility. The soul is transmigrating from one form to another body, and this human form of body is just suitable to prepare yourself how you can enter into that transcendental platform of bliss of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. You are seeking pleasure, but you do not know how to achieve that pleasure. For achieving that pleasure, the prescription is here: tapo divyaṁ. "You have to undergo certain principles of austerity, my dear sons," divyaṁ, "for achieving the transcendental pleasure in association with the Absolute Truth."
And by practice of austerity your existence will be purified. And when your existence will be purified, just like when you get your healthy life… In diseased condition, if you want to enjoy something very pleasing, you cannot. Just like in jaundice, a man suffering from jaundice, if you give him sweet candy he’ll taste it bitter.
So we are trying to imitate that enjoyment, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, but you are suffering the bitterness. If there is not bitterness, then here, why do we find so much arrangement for counteracting the result of sex life? We have discovered so many pills, so many scientific methods, that "We shall enjoy sex life but we shall not taste the bitterness of it."
That means here there is pleasure that is imitation, but we are tasting the bitterness of it. So if we want real pleasure without any bitterness, without any inebriety, then we have to prepare ourselves exactly as a patient silently follows the rules and restriction of the physician to come to the healthy life and then enjoy. In diseased condition neither we can exactly enjoy life.
So this material condition of life is diseased condition. That we do not know. And we are trying to enjoy in this diseased condition. That means we are aggravating the disease—we have to continue. We are not curing the disease. Just like the physician gives some restriction, "Ah, my dear patient, you do not eat like this. You do not drink like this. You take this pill." So there are some restriction and rules and regulations—that is called tapasya. But if the patient thinks that "Why shall I follow all these restrictions? I shall eat whatever I like. I shall do whatever I like. I am free," then he’ll not be cured. He’ll not be cured.
So voluntarily accepting the principles, the restriction, as laid down in the scriptures will gradually cure my material disease. Tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyed sattvaṁ. Sattvaṁ means my existence. This is now not purified. Therefore we cannot enjoy. What we are enjoying forcibly, we are tasting the bitterness of. If we want real enjoyment, then tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena sattvaṁśuddhyed (SB 5.5.1).
Śuddhyed means become completely purified, your existence. And what will be the result? The result will be śuddhyed yasmād brahma-saukhyaṁ. When you attain that purified stage of life, you’ll enjoy eternal, endless enjoyment. Brahma-saukhyaṁ. Brahma means bṛhatya bṛhanatyād. Brahma means which has no limit and which is always increasing. It has no limit; still it is increasing. That is brahma. Bṛhatya bṛhanatyād iti brahma.
Just like in the Śikṣāṣṭaka given by Lord Caitanya, it is said, ānandāmbudhi-vardhanaṁ prati-padaṁ pūrṇāmṛtāsvādanaṁ (CC Antya 20.12). So by… He’s describing that by chanting this holy name of God, your heart will be cleansed of all dirty material contamination. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇaṁ. And then you will be free from all blazing anxieties of this material existence. There is always anxiety, blazing anxiety. People do not care of it. They are thinking, "Let us go on like this. There is no solution of this blazing anxiety." But there is. And unfortunately we do not take care of it. There is prescription, there is medicine, but we don’t care to take it. Nobody cares for it. But there is.
- (CC Antya 20.12, Śikṣāṣṭaka 1)
So Ṛṣabhadeva says, tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena sattvaṁśuddhyed (SB 5.5.1): "Just, just engage your life for tapasya, for austerity." Austerity means voluntarily accepting some so-called inconvenience. There is no inconvenience. Just like according to our principle, Vedic principle, we say, "Do not…" I mean to say, "Do not indulge in illicit sex life." There is no, I mean to say, complete stoppage of sex life, because in this world the last word for material happiness is sex life.
Therefore so long we have got this material body, as we require to eat, as we require to sleep, as we require to defend, similarly we require sex life also. So that is not forbidden. Tapasya does not mean that you completely forget sex life. If... That… If that is possible, that is very good. But if it is not, then restricted, regulated. That is called tapasya. Tapasya means to accept these four principles of life, āhāra-nidra-bhaya-maithuna ca (Hitopadeśa): eating, sleeping, defending and mating, under certain restriction and practice. Whenever you practice, it will be easier. There is a nice Bengali verse: śarīre na mahāśaya ya sahabe taya saya. Now this body is so made that if you practice something, you’ll feel no inconvenience. Just like in India—of course it is tropical country—ah, there are many saintly persons, still, they’re sitting in open place, even in winter season.
I have seen it. Simply they have got one little blazing fire before them, and they’re very happy. There is no necessity of gorgeous dress or woolen coats. Nothing. It is question of practice. If you practice, abhyāsa-yoga-yuktena cetasā nānya-gāminā (BG 8.8). The Bhagavad-gītā says that by practice, abhyāsa-yoga—practice means abhyāsa-yoga—one can paramaṁ puruṣaṁ upeti, one can go back to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
So Ṛṣabhadeva recommends,
- tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena sattvaṁ
- śuddhyed yasmād brahma-saukhyaṁ sanātanam
- (SB 5.5.1)
Tu ananta. Brahma-saukhya means unlimited. We want actually unlimited life, unlimited pleasure, unlimited knowledge—but that is not possible in this conditional life. So this liberation from material condition is recommended.
(aside: Ask her to sit down.)
So the first prescription, how to get out of this material clutches, is recommended here: mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes (SB 5.5.2). If you want to get free from this material conditional life, then you should approach a mahat, mahātmā. Mahat. Mahat means whose heart is expanded, whose mind is expanded, or his life is expanded. Mahat-seva. Seva means to serve him. In the Bhagavad-gītā also it is recommended, tad-vijñānārthaṁ…, viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā (BG 4.34). The very word seva. Seva means "service." You have to approach a person who knows this science, how to get out this material conditional life. And then praṇipātena. Praṇipāt means just surrendering unto him. Pra means "fully." Prakṛṣṭa-rūpeṇa nipāta—fully surrendering. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena.
Surrender does not mean that you are not allowed to question or inquire. The questioning and inquiring must be there. Otherwise it is nothing like imposing something, that "You have to act like this." No. In the Vedic literature there is no such thing, that something is forced upon you dogmatically. No. In the Bhagavad-gītā you will find that Kṛṣṇa, after instructing Bhagavad-gītā to Arjuna, He says, "My dear Arjuna, I have now explained to you the most secret thing of the secrets. Now you just fully consider and do whatever you like."
He does not force, that "You have to do it." The spiritual master, the representative of Kṛṣṇa, or Kṛṣṇa, does not force anything. And that will not act, even in ordinary dealing. Even to a child, if you force something, he will protest. Therefore the force cannot be employed. One has to understand with intelligence, with cool head, this spiritual science; but you have to approach to a person who is actually in the knowledge of spiritual science, or science of God.
Therefore Bhagavad-gītā gives this direction, tad viddhi praṇipātena, that where you have to learn this spiritual science, you must have to find out such a person where you can surrender yourself. Without surrender, without serving him, there is no meaning of enquiry. Enquiry should not be made to a person whom you do not believe to be authority. Otherwise it will be simply waste of time. If you want to inquire from the authority, first of all you have to find out whether you have approached a person who is really authority or not.
If you think that "This man, this person, is really authority," then you surrender there. Otherwise there is no meaning of imitating, that "Oh, so many persons have accepted this person as spiritual master or authority. Oh, let me also accept." No. Bhagavad-gītā does not say like that. Bhagavad-gītā says that "You try to understand the whole spiritual science very nicely. And if you think the man who is instructing you is actually the authority, then surrender." Then accept him as spiritual master. Not blindly or dogmatically. Try to understand.
Similarly, in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta also it is said, caitanya-dayā kathā karaha vicāra (CC Adi 8.15). The contribution offered by Lord Caitanya, you just put it into scrutinizing test. Just try to understand it by your scrutinizing, reasoning power. But if you try to understand with all your reason and argument, you will feel something sublime. Not that you accept it dogmatically. Caitanya-dayā kathā karaha vicāra, vicāra karite citte pābe camatkāra (CC Adi 8.15). But if you are intelligent enough, if you have got power to judge something, then you will find that it is sublime. It is sublime.
So the first prescription offered by Ṛṣabhadeva…
(aside: This gentleman I do not know. You can come here.)
Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes (SB 5.5.2): for getting liberation from this conditional life of material existence, one has to serve a great soul, mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes. Tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam (SB 5.5.2). And if you want to remain in this darkness of material existence, then you can associate yourself with yosit.
Yosit means, I mean, ah, anything enjoyable. Generally yosit means women. Yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam. That means those who are very much fond after women, womanly association. If you associate with such persons then you will continue your material existence. And, mahat-sevā: and if you associate with yourself with great soul, then your path of liberation will be open.
Now by this line, by this statement, we can understand that a mahat, or a great soul, is completely free from association of women. He is mahat. Therefore generally a spiritual master is selected amongst the renounced order of life, sannyāsī. Sannyāsī means who has renounced his family life; who is no more in touch with women. Just like we have accepted the sannyāsī. I have got my wife still existing in India; I have got my son; I have got my grandson, daughter, granddaughter—everything—but I have no connection with them.
This is the order of Vedic life. First of all brahmacārī, a student life; then householder life. After student life finishing, twenty-five years, then if he thinks that he should become a householder, with the permission of his spiritual master he goes home, he marries a nice girl and become a pacified householder, gentleman, and lives for twenty-five years with wife. And when there is a grown-up child, he prepares himself for sannyāsa life. That is called vānaprastha. Brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha. Vānaprastha means that one should leave home, but the wife can go with him, just an assistant, without any sex life.
Then when that man is completely prepared, he sends back the wife to home to be taken care of by the grown-up children, and he takes sannyāsa. So this sannyāsa life means that he has completely given up sex life. Of course, association means sex life. We are also here, as sannyāsī, we have got so many girls and ladies who are coming here—we are associating. But the renounced order of life means, actually means, no more sex life.
So mahat-sevā: to become a great soul is to completely forget sex life. Because if one has still a sex life, connection with sex life, he cannot be mahat. In other words, that if you had to select… Because it is said, mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes: "If you want to get liberation from this conditional life, then you have to serve one great soul. But if you want to continue your conditional life of material existence, then you can associate with persons who are addicted to sex life." This is clearly said.
One who is addicted to the sex life, he will continue his material existence—may be born in human society or born in animal society or born in demigod society in other planet. So long one will have the propensity of sex life, he will have different kinds of body in this material world. So because in this material world the ultimate happiness is sex life—either in dog’s life or hog’s life or man’s life, the ultimate pleasure is—so one has to train himself how to get out of this sex life.
So mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes. So therefore in order to get ourselves freed from sex life completely, we have to associate with a person who is actually freed from sex life. That is called mahat-sevā, great soul. Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes, tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam (SB 5.5.2). Because material existence means that attraction for sex life. Therefore this training—brahmacārī training, gṛhastha training, vānaprastha training—that is called tapasya.
In the student life, according to the Vedic life, in the student life there is no…, very, very good restriction for mixing with women. But because your country is free—not only here, everywhere; now that freedom is expanded all over the world—so boys and girls mix together. That is not very, I mean, efficacious for advancement of spiritual life. That should be restricted.
- mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes
- tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam
- mahāntas te sama-cittāḥ
- praśāntāvimanyavaḥ suhṛdaḥ sādhavo ye
- (SB 5.5.2)
These are different qualities of a great soul. What is that? The first thing is sama-cittāḥ. Sama-cittāḥ means equally disposed to every living entity. Sama-cittāḥ. Whatever he says, he says for everyone. A mahātmā does not say, ah… Just like Lord Jesus Christ: he does not say anything which is applicable only to a particular community or country. Just like he says that "There is kingdom of God." So this kingdom of God there is, so one has to understand. It is not that only the Christians will understand or the Hindus will understand, the Muhammadans will understand.
Similarly, mahātmā, those who are great souls, they are sama-cittāḥ. Whatever instruction they give, that is applicable to everyone—everyone. Just like this instruction given by Ṛṣabhadeva. He’s of the greatest of the great souls. He says that tapo divyaṁ: if you want to cure yourself material disease, then you have to undergo voluntary restraint. That is called tapasya, voluntary restraint. Yes.
So, mahāntas te sama-cittāḥ. Sama-cittāḥ means equally disposed. He is not such a person that he will say that "Serve the human society and kill the animals." No. He will say that "Serve the human society; serve the poor animals also." So there is a means, how to serve both animals, man, beast, trees, aquatics, reptiles. There are 8,400,000s of living entities, different bodies. So what about… A mahātmā, or a great soul, will say that is applicable for everyone, every living entity. That is called sama-cittāḥ. And praśāntā. Praśāntā means peaceful. Peaceful means one’s senses does not…, sense does not disturb the person.
He’s called praśāntā. Praśāntā means peaceful. When peaceful? When a man is peaceful? A man is peaceful when his mind is controlled, his senses are controlled. Then he’s peaceful. Otherwise one cannot be peaceful. Peace does not come out, outside. Peace within yourself. If you practice the yoga system, the meditation system is simply how to control the senses and the mind. The different postures, the different gymnastics system is so that helps the bodily construction to control the air passing within the body in such a way that your mind becomes equilibrium, and your senses becomes controlled. That is called praśāntā.
Sama-cittāḥ praśāntā vimanyavaḥ (SB 5.5.2). Vimanyavaḥ means he never gets angry. Never gets angry. Because he is to teach. Just like we see very excellent example: Lord Jesus Christ is being crucified, but he is so kind that he is saying, "O Lord, forgive them. They do not know what they’re doing." It is very nice example. Vimanyavaḥ: without any anger. He does not curse, "Oh, you are crucifying me. Go to hell. Go to…" No: "All right." Because he knows that these rascals, they do not know. "If I still put them into difficulty, there is no salvation."
So these are the qualifications of mahatma: vimanyavaḥ…, praśāntā, vimanyavaḥ, suhṛdaḥ. Suhṛdaḥ means well-wisher. Mahātmā…
(break) Just like in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam there are description of great..., twelve great souls. Twelve great souls. They are just like svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ (SB 6.3.20).
Svayambhū means Brahmā. But he was also family man. And Nārada, he was renounced; he was brahmacārī. So there are twelve different description of mahātmās. Out of that, about seven personalities were all householders, but still they are accepted as great soul. Just like Bali Mahārāja and Prahlāda Mahārāja and Svayambhū, Brahmā.
So out of this list of twelve persons, seven persons are gṛhasthas, householders. It does not mean that one, because he is householder, he cannot become a mahātmā, great soul. Just like here we see the five pictures, associates of Lord Caitanya. They were all householders. Even Lord Caitanya, He was householder, and His first wife died.
He married for the second time. Nityānanda Prabhu, He was also householder. Advaita Prabhu was also householder. Similarly Śrīvāsa, he was also householder. So it does not mean that householders cannot be mahātmā. That is not restricted.
So how householder can be a mahātmā, that is also described here.
- ye vā mayīśe kṛta-sauhṛdārthā
- janeṣu dehambhara-vārtikeṣu
- gṛheṣu jāyātmaja-rātimatsu
- na prīti-yuktā yāvad-arthāś ca loke
- (SB 5.5.3)
The gṛhastha householder mahātmā are that their aim of life is to revive their relationship with God. That is the first qualification. Ye vā mayi īśe, their aim of life. They are living with... All mahātmā means their idea is how to attain spiritual perfection. How to attain spiritual perfection. That is mahātmā.
So a householder, a gentleman or a person living with family, wife and children, his real aim is how to achieve the relationship, lost relationship, with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Ye vā mayīśe kṛta-sauhṛdārthāḥ. His only aim is how to achieve that perfection. And for that, janeṣu dehambhara-vārtikeṣu na prīti-yuktāḥ. Ye vā mayīśe kṛta-sauhṛdārthā janeṣu dehambhara... Therefore he's not attached at all to persons who are simply interested in material advancement of life.
There are two classes of person. One is interested for developing material standard of life, and one is interested for spiritual development of life. So a householder, he can also become a mahātmā, provided he has got this tendency that he wants to develop his spiritual life. Then he is mahātmā. And not interested to increase economic development, or persons who are too much attached for enjoyment: ye vā mayīśe kṛta-sauhṛdārthā janeṣu dehambhara-vārtikeṣu (SB 5.5.3). Dehambhara-vārtikeṣu means persons here in the ordinary men, they are simply interested how to satisfy the bodily needs. That's all. They are called dehambhara-vārtikeṣu.
The materialistic civilization means how to keep this body very comfortably. Not only in this life. From their thinking also they accept works of piety, just like charity, religion. How? So next life they may be elevated to the heavenly planet and they can enjoy very long duration of life, association of very beautiful girls, and drink so many beverages. Their only aim is like that, how to provide this material body with all comforts. They are called dehambhara-vārtikeṣu. Deha means this body, and bhara, just to maintain this body.
So a mahātmā, a gṛhastha, a householder who is interested to reestablish his lost relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is not interested with the association of such persons who are simply, I mean to say, interested in bodily comforts. Dehambhara-vārtikeṣu. And then what about his own family? He says gṛheṣu. Gṛheṣu means at his home. Jāyā.
Jāyā means wife. Ātmaja means children. Jāyātmaja... Rāti means wealth or money. Na prīti-yuktāḥ. They're not very much, I mean to say, addicted. Just like ordinary man, he's very much fond of house, very much fond of wife, very much fond of children, very much fond of wealth. He is not like that. Yāvad arthaḥ prayojanam. They are fond of or they are interested with their relationship as much as is required.
Therefore in the Vedic languages there are two kinds of householders. One is called gṛhamedhi, and the other is called gṛhastha. Gṛhastha means one who lives with family but his interest is realization of self and realization of God. And gṛhamedhi means he has no more interest... He has no interest what is spiritual life, what is God, but he's simply interested in developing the family standard of life.
So there are two classes of men. But one who is simply interested with spiritual life, they can also be claimed as mahātmā even in the household life. But his interest is only for God realization, and his symptom is described that his only aim is God, and he's not attached with material comfort or he's not attached with persons who are simply engaged for the improvement of bodily happiness.
Yes. It is now quarter past eight.
Now, if you have got any question, you can put before me. I shall try to answer.
Guest (1): Can you tell us what the program is for Hindu priest or Hindu holy man? Is the correct term svāmī?
Prabhupāda: It is not the question of Hindu. I say the description of great soul. Either he may be Hindu or Christian; it doesn't matter. Great soul, the description or the symptom of great souls are given here. It does not say one has to become Hindu or one has to become Muhammadan one has to become Christian. Just like if I say that "You speak truth. Don't speak lie," it is not that it is applicable to the Hindus or to the Christian. It is applicable to everyone.
Guest (1): But in the Hindu religion do they have a certain title for the holy man? Do they call the holy man svāmī?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. Svāmī means, I have described, that who has conquered over the demands of the senses. That is svāmī. Svāmī means who has attained the perfection of not being dictated by the senses. He is called svāmī.
Guest (1): Would that be the equivalent of a Hindu priest?
Prabhupāda: Not Hindu priest. Hindu priest... There are many so-called priests, they are dictated by so many sense gratification. And there are many others also in other parts of the world who are restrained. So as you inquire what is svāmī, svāmī means master. And master, what does it mean? Master of the senses. Generally people are driven by the dictation of the senses. So if you can control your senses, then you become a svāmī.
Guest (1): Do they have a period of training or a program for the training of the svāmīs?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Certainly.
Guest (1): Can you tell me how long the program takes?
Prabhupāda: That depends on the student. Yes. If you can quickly can control... There are processes. Just like we are training here. They're American boys, but we are training them in that process. We don't allow our student to have illicit sex life. We don't allow our student to indulge in nonvegetarian diets.
We don't allow our student for intoxication. And we don't allow our student for gambling. So these four principles they are practicing, they are chanting, and they are restraining. In this way, when one is trained as brahmacārī, then he can become a svāmī later on. Yes. The training is there.
Guest (1): Is there a process of training to become svāmī, a process of study?
Prabhupāda: Yes. The real aim is spiritual realization. But for realizing perfect spiritual life one has to undergo some training. Just like if one is serious of being cured of a certain type of disease, he has to undergo certain type of training or regulation as prescribed by the physician. Then he gets cured. Similarly, we are all materially diseased at the present time. So spiritual life means completely freed from material disease.
The material diseases are birth, death, old age and bodily diseases. They are material diseases. Because I am spirit soul, I am eternal. I have no death. I have no birth. But because I am contaminated with this material body, therefore with the birth and death of this body I am thinking that I am taking birth and dying. That is my material conditional life. Actually I am not subjected to birth and death. These things are very nicely described in the Bhagavad-gītā. Na jāyate na mriyate vā kadācin na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20).
So the immortality of the soul, transmigration of the soul, everything is described there. So there are books of authority. If we learn, if we'll be trained, then our spiritual liberation is open. Therefore it is recommended here that one should associate with great soul. Without associating with great soul we don't get all this information.
Guest (1): Does the svāmī, once he has been installed in office, does he ever wear a white long coat with a white hat?
Prabhupāda: Of course, the real meaning of svāmī is that one who has got control over his senses. It does not mean that by wearing a different colored garments one becomes master of senses. Neither it does mean that one..., a man in gentleman's dress with hat and coat, he cannot control his senses. Dress has nothing to do. But according to the Vedic system...
Just like there is a particular uniform that this class of men, who have renounced this world, his robe or garment should be like this. That is simply... Just like policeman has got a particular type of uniform, but that does not mean that... That may be imitated even by a thief. So that is not very important thing, to dress. You can become a svāmī even with your this hats and coats. That doesn't matter.
Guest (2): Swāmī, I'm going to work to formulate this question. I don't know if I can speak it clearly. Now it's true that a soul must evolve through perhaps many lifetimes in order to reach the point at which he is ready to attempt renunciation. Right?
Prabhupāda: No. Renunciation, that depends on your understanding. If you understand that "This thing is not good," you can renounce it immediately.
Guest (2): Then in order to reach the level at which you can understand that...
Prabhupāda: No, no. There is no question. It is no question of understanding. If you understand in a minute... That depends on the student to understand. Something, "This is bad; this is good," now if you understand it properly, that "This is not good; bad," so you can renounce it immediately. Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate (BG 2.59).
So that depends on your capacity to understand what is good, what is bad. If you think that this material existence, repeated birth and death and changing this body, is not good, then you can immediately renounce and you can prepare yourself for spiritual life. But if you think that "Oh, it doesn't matter I am repeating my birth and death. It is good," then you cannot renounce.
Guest (2): Well, let's take the situation of an individual who is very deeply addicted to the senses, such as sexual...
Prabhupāda: That is only practice. There are processes by which you can give up too much addiction to sex life. There are processes.
Guest (2): Processes which would not fall into the category of what a psychiatrist would call repression? Something that would cripple the mind in some other way?
Prabhupāda: No. Why? Therefore I say if you think it is good... First of all you have to decide whether sex life is good or bad. First of all you have to understand this. If you think that sex life is very nice, then how can you give it up? It is not possible.
Guest (2): You have to approach it with jñāna.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Jñāna. That is called knowledge. But it is a fact that sex life is not good, because there are so many inebrieties. Just like modern civilization, they prescribe contraceptive method. Why? Why? Unless there is some bad results of sex life, why they are prescribing this medicine?
Why? If it is good, then why the medicine counteractive? Therefore it is to be accepted it is not good. By reason. Why there are contraceptive method? Let everyone enjoy sex life and let the result be there. Why contraceptive method? Therefore it is not good.
Guest (3): But doesn't the reproduction of human species...
Prabhupāda: That means that is not good. You think that is not good therefore. Therefore this process is not good. If the result is not good, then process is not good.
Guest (3): Well, the result would be so many children you wouldn't be able to feed them all.
Prabhupāda: That you can voluntarily do. That is brahmacārī. That is restraint. That is mahātmā. That is recommended in Vedic life, that you can have sex life only for children, that's all. Therefore sex life without any desire of children is not good.
Guest (2): Now, what of the situation of an individual who is double-minded and split, who is perhaps convinced, okay, intellectually, but nonetheless is torn by very deep emotions and attractions, is very deeply sunk in māyā. Are there ways of dealing with his kind of problem? Do we have to force it, or is there some...
Prabhupāda: First of all you have to understand that this material life... Material life means birth, death, old age and disease. Just try to understand. Do you like repeated birth, repeated death? Do you like?
Guest (2): I can see where we're going, yeah.
Prabhupāda: Do you like? First of all answer. Do you like it?
Guest (2): No.
Prabhupāda: Do you like old age?
Guest (2): No.
Prabhupāda: Do you like disease?
Guest (1): Oh, no.
Prabhupāda: This is materialistic life. As soon as you get this body, there is birth, there is death, there is old age and there is disease. Therefore if you want real happiness, then you have to get free from all these four miserable life. That is spiritual life. You have to become free from birth, you have to become free from death, you have to become free from old age and you have to become free from diseases.
That is real life. "I don't like this" means this is not real life. The real life is different. So if that real life you want, then you have to follow the process. That is being discussed here. Tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyet (SB 5.5.1).
Guest (4): Will the Swāmī give another service in the Arlington Street Church at any time in the future?
Jadurāṇī: Are you going to be there again, he wants to know.
Prabhupāda: Arlington Church? Yes, I was there.
Guest (4): Will you be there again some time in the future?
Prabhupāda: That, if you arrange, I can go. I am at your service. I have dedicated my life for this. Whenever you call me, whenever you invite me, I can go anywhere. Why Arlington Church? I can go to any place. Because it is my duty to give you, to deliver you this message of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā. That is my duty.
Guest (5): Swāmī, what is oṁ?
Prabhupāda: Oṁ is the concentrated name of God.
Guest (5): Can one say oṁ instead of "Kṛṣṇa" and gain the same benefit?
Prabhupāda: Yes. But why instead of Kṛṣṇa? If one Kṛṣṇa is the same, why not Kṛṣṇa? Why stick to oṁ? Oṁ.... Oṁ is formless, but Kṛṣṇa has got beautiful form, enjoying. And we are addicted to beautiful form. Why something (chuckling) which is not beautiful? Kṛṣṇa... Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, akṣarāṇām akāro 'smi (BG 10.33): "Amongst the alphabets I am oṁkāra."
So Kṛṣṇa says that "I am oṁkāra." So in one sense oṁkāra and Kṛṣṇa the same. But I can see Kṛṣṇa very beautiful and so many things, but I do not see in oṁkāra that thing. Therefore my preference should be to Kṛṣṇa. Why shall I stick to oṁ?
Guest (5): Thank you, Swāmī.
Guest (6): Swāmījī, how... What kind of a capacity is knowledge?
Prabhupāda: Capacity of knowledge?
Guest (6): Yes. Is that determined by the previous body of the soul?
Prabhupāda: No. You can earn the capacity in this life also. You forget whatever was in your previous life. It doesn't matter. The śāstra is there and the spiritual master is there. The saintly persons are there. If you try to understand from right sources, then your knowledge is there. It is not that because in previous life you had been something, therefore you cannot understand. It is not like that. You, as human being, you have got the capacity to understand.
Just like I am explaining that "Do you like death? Do you like birth? Do you like disease? Do you like old age?" Everybody will say, "No, I don't like." Then the next point is that if you want to avoid it, if there is any process, do you like it? Certainly you'll say, "Yes. I like it." So this is commonsense affair. It doesn't require any great achievement or pre-education. These are commonsense things.
Guest (4): What I... I want to ask the Swāmī if the sacred cow was a symbol symbolizing compassion for all living creatures.
Prabhupāda: Not only cow. Any animal, they should be object of our compassion. If we want to eat something and live, so if you have got sufficient foodstuff in other kingdom... We have got vegetables, we have got grains, we have got milk. So many things. Fruit, flower. So many things. Just like we are living on these things. We don't feel any inconvenience. And they are...
According to medical science also, they are very rich in vitamins, food value. So why should we kill? Especially if we are human being, the cow is supplying us milk, the most important foodstuff. So instead of giving protection to the cow, if we kill, do you think that is very sensible thing? No. I am supplying something very nice, and if you kill me, is that very good gratitude?
So at least in human life, these senses should be there. Cow protection is recommended in the Vedic literature because it is giving the most valuable foodstuff, milk. Apart from other sentiments, it is supplying, and in exchange of nothing. She simply eats some grasses from the ground. That's all. You don't have to provide cows with foodstuff. The things which you refuse, you take the grains and you supply the skin.
You take the fruit pulp, you supply the skin. You take the, I mean to say, from paddy. You take the rice. You supply the straw, and she delivers you a very nice foodstuff. And I have discussed all these point in my Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, that human economic problem can be solved simply by having some land and some cows. That's all.
Guest (4): Cows would increase and multiply.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Every living entity will multiply. That is another thing. I mean to say from cow you get milk. From milk you get butter and so many milk products. And from the field you get sufficient grains and fruits. So your economic question is solved immediately.
If you have got some land, the land is..., immense land is still lying vacant all over the world. Yes. But they have diverted their energy in a different way. That is the miscalculation of the present civilization. They have forgotten that the aim of human life is to advance oneself in spiritual realization.
So time should be saved as much as possible, and that time should be utilized for spiritual realization. But we have encumbered our civilization in such a way that we have lost all simple living thing. We have manufactured in so many ways encumbered ways of life. Therefore we have neglected spiritual life.
And because we have neglected spiritual life, there is no peace. If you want really peaceful life, then you have to make your material necessities simplified and engage your time for spiritual cultivation. Then you will have peace. And that is the best type of civilization. Plain living, high thinking.
Now, in the modern days, the high living and plain thinking. Eating, sleeping, mating. This is plain thinking. This thinking also in the animals. They are also thinking what to eat, where to live, how to defend, how to have..., have semen or sex life. These are problems in animal life also.
So if we keep that animal life problem, at the same time we claim that we are civilized, is it very nice? Civilization means how to get out of this material miseries—birth, death, disease and old age. That is real advancement of civilization. If there is any way and means to get out of this problems, then we must adopt in this human form of life. And that is possible in this human form of life. In no other life.
Guest (7): Swāmījī, are the Hindus essentially vegetarian in the sense of the Seventh Day Adventist...
Prabhupāda: Not necessarily all Hindus are vegetarian. Not necessarily. There are many Hindus who are worse than others. So it is not that because one is Hindu or one is Indian, he's vegetarian. No. But generally Hindu culture is based on this Vedic civilization. So those who are strictly following, they're following the rules and regulation. (pause)
So any other question? Yes, you can ask. We are very glad to discuss all this. This should be discussed.
Guest (2): Well, I don't feel that the issue I brought up before was entirely clarified, at least in terms of... (noise)
Prabhupāda: They have no training, you see.
Guest (2): Excuse me?
Prabhupāda: These children, no training. So it is risky civilization. We don't train our children, and they are going to be future... Child is the father of man, or what is called?
Guest (4): Child is the father of the man.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So if from the beginning there is no training, so how we can expect good father and good children?
Guest (4): They're the divine folk.
Prabhupāda: Divine folk? They don't require any training?
Guest (4): They're born divine; they have their own divine religion.
Prabhupāda: They don't require any training?
Guest (4): They have the religion. They have the one and only religion.
Prabhupāda: That's all right, but religion does not mean that one should be not trained up. Does it mean?
Guest (4): They're supposed to be divine.
Prabhupāda: They're supposed. That's all right. Yes?
Guest (2): Let me try to delineate that a little more precisely. I have known people who have said, "Well, yes, you know, I don't like birth, and I don't like death, and I don't like old age. But I have this tremendous driving need, and I don't know how to deal with it. You see, I must have sex, or I must have this. And I'm tormented. I'm stuck in the trap. I'm ensnared." You see? That is the individual I'm...
Now if you can already reach the person through jñāna and convince him, and he can act on the decision of his will, then he's obviously already in a high state. But what do you do with the sort of person who is split, who is torn by his instinctual physical needs, and they drive him? You see? And yet he wants to do something. How can you deal with such a person without forcing him to contain himself in such a way that he will resent it? Or must he be allowed to expend his energies until he is convinced by experience?
Prabhupāda: No. Just like amongst our students there are many married couples also, and there are brahmacārīs also. That I have already explained, that one who has got sex desire, he is not barred from this. Yes. He is not barred. Nobody is barred. Simply following some regulation, that will gradually train him.
And the main principle is that as you go on hearing about this transcendental message, then you gradually become attached to these transcendental things. And the more you become attached to these transcendental things, the more you forget these material things.
Guest (2): So it's an evolutionary process, and one need not force.
Prabhupāda: No. There is no question of force. There is no question of force. We don't force. There is no question of force. Force cannot act. If I force you, then it will not act. You have to evolve yourself from this platform to this platform. That is possible for everyone.
Guest (2): So if someone feels he has an overwhelming need, he shouldn't try to hold back to the point at which he suffers pain, but he should also chant or do something that will elevate him. And gradually he will...
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes, yes. First thing is... Suppose a man is too much sexually addicted. If he hears that "This is impediment to my spiritual advancement," if he hears repeatedly, then he thinks of his weakness, that "This should not have been done, but I am so weak." So with this knowledge he can advance. You see? At least, he must know that "This is not good for my spiritual advancement." Then it will be... Then Kṛṣṇa, or God, will help him. There is an English proverb, "One who helps himself, God helps." Yes. God's help will come.
So there is no question of despair. Anyone can begin, and the simple beginning is chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. So all our students, they were also addicted to such things, but by following this process they are also now free. So it is not impossible. There is no such program which is impossible to be performed. No. Practically this program is the simplest and the easiest process, and it can be adopted by anyone in any condition of life. That is the beauty of this process.
Guest (5): And in contrast, yoga...?
Prabhupāda: Oh, that is not possible for us. Because yoga practice, if you really aim to the perfection of yoga, that is not possible in this age. If you are satisfied simply by some sitting posture and paying the fees, that is your business; you can do that. But it will never get you to the perfectional stage, because you are completely unable to perform all the regulation and rules of yoga system. That is not possible. That I have described in many... Yes.
So yoga system is very difficult for this age. But if you think that this fractional practice of yoga, a hundredth, or one percent... That is not possible to reach to the perfectional stage. The perfectional stage is that if one is perfect in the yoga practice, he shall die at his will. Material laws cannot act upon him.
He'll be practiced to control the inside air in such a way that whenever he thinks fit, that "Now I shall leave my body for such-and-such planet. I shall go to such-and-such planet," the yoga system will help him—if he is perfect. But who is such perfect man in the yoga system? It is not possible.
Guest (2): But there have been yogīs in India who have reached that...
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes, yes. But they do not come out.
Guest (2): But they are very few...
Prabhupāda: Because the yoga system is to practice in a secluded place, alone. It is not a business that you have to open some yoga class and practice it. No. It is... First principle is that he must be alone and in a secluded place, in a sacred place. You see that they are described in the standard yoga śāstra. So they do not come, those who are really achieving perfection. They do not come out to the human society.
Guest (2): How about... Do you know about Paramahaṁsa Yogānanda? Have you heard of Paramahaṁsa...?
Prabhupāda: Yes, I have heard about him. But I say the real yogīs, they do not come out. Because that will fail. It is clearly stated that he must live in a secluded place, alone. Then yoga practice perfection is possible.
Guest (2): In other words, he has no public ministry of any kind.
Prabhupāda: No. It is not like that. He must be alone and in a secluded place and a sacred place, and the process is to sit...
(aside) Thank you very much.
You should sit like this, you should eat like this, you should sleep like this. There are so many... They, they gave up... There were many yogīs in the history. Just like Viśvāmitra. He was a great king. He gave up everything for practicing yoga. Why? He was king. He could practice yoga.
Now, this yoga practice was recommended to Arjuna. He said, "Oh, it is not possible for me." So it is not possible... Even five thousand years ago, a person like Arjuna, he refused: "Oh, it is not possible for me." How ordinary man, who has not practiced even controlling the senses and other things? No. It is not possible. The yoga practice is accepted as a standard way of self-realization. That is all right, provided it is cent per cent properly executed. That is...
Guest (2): Pardon?
Prabhupāda: Cent per cent properly executed. Yes. But that is not possible in this age. Nobody can do that.
Guest (1): Can the Bhagavad-gītā be sung?
Prabhupāda: Bhagavad-gītā? Yes.
Guest (4): It is song of light?
(pause) All right. Now have saṅkīrtana. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu nityānanda. Oh, yes. Chant.
(kīrtana) (prema-dhvani) Thank you very much. (devotees offer obeisances)
(aside) Distribute prasādam.
The whole process is that we are aiming at the highest perfection of life. If there is little inconvenience by following the rules and regulation, we should accept it, because aim is very high.
Guest (4): One of the big ideas is the idea of "All life is divine, and divine compassion for all life."
Guest (4): It's one of these big ideas, that all life is divine, and therefore we should have divine compassion for all forms of life.
Prabhupāda: First of all you know what is divine life, then you will have...
Guest (4): Oh. But when we find out the divine origin...
Prabhupāda: If you do not know what is divine life, then how you can distribute divine life to everyone? First of all you have to understand what is divine life.
Guest (4): The life which is of divine origin, and therefore...
Prabhupāda: But what do you mean by divine?
Guest (4): A creator. A God creator. And therefore, since we are included, we are created by God and should have divine compassion.
Prabhupāda: There are so many creations, but which creation you have to accept? God is creator of so many things.
Guest (4): Well, He created us also.
Prabhupāda: That's all right. He is creator, but He is creator of everything. But why divide everything "bad" and "good"? Now, why do you distinguish, "This is good" and "bad"? If everything is created by God, but that does not mean that everything is divine. Do you follow? Yes. You have to learn what is divine. Not that because God... God is creator of everything.
Guest (4): But we should have divine love for life...
Prabhupāda: Therefore I say what is divine love?
Guest (4): What is divine love?
Guest (4): Compassion.
Prabhupāda: That we have to know. Without knowing how to become compassionate... Just like I'll give you a practical example. This is my personal experience. One boy was suffering from some typhoid disease, and he asked his younger brother, "Please give me some biscuit." He is forbidden to take biscuit, because he was suffering from...
And he thought, "Oh, my brother is suffering for want of biscuit," so he supplied some biscuit. And the mother, when she learned that this young boy has supplied this diseased boy biscuit, she began to beat him like anything.
So he thought that "I'm doing very divine service to my suffering brother." But the result was beating by the mother. Therefore one should know what is service; otherwise he will suffer. Without knowing what is divine service, one cannot be divinely compassionate. First of all one should make his own life divine; then he can make divine compassion.
Guest (4): Isn't it a simple idea to love life?
Prabhupāda: The same thing. If you do not know how to love, then your love may produce bad result. Just like the same example. The boy, the younger boy, thought that "I am loving my elder brother," and he supplied some biscuit, which was forbidden by the physician. And as soon as the mother heard that he has supplied him biscuit, he (she) began to beat her (him) like anything.
Punishment. He thought, "It is very good service. He's in want of..., in need of biscuit. So I am supplying him, stealing from the store. Mother will not know. So I am doing very good service." But the result was beating. Similarly, we may think something that it is divine, but who is judging that this is divine or not divine?
Therefore you have to learn how to serve divinely; then you can serve. Without knowing, you cannot. That will be disastrous. Everything requires expert knowledge; otherwise it will be disastrous.
Guest (4): But isn't the general idea...
Prabhupāda: General idea is very good, but the one who is going to bestow divine service, he must know what is divine service and how to become divine. Lord Caitanya says, āpani ācari prabhu jīvera śikhāya. One has to first of all exhibit himself that he is divine, then he can, I mean to say, serve others divinely. "Physician heal thyself." If a physician is diseased, a patient does not like to go to him: "Well, he is himself diseased."
So divine love is very good, but one should understand what is divine love. One should not misunderstand what is divine love. Just like in the material world, lust is accepted as love. A boy is loving a girl, a girl is loving... But it is lust. That is not love. But it is going on in the name of love. The boy wants to enjoy the girl, the girl wants to enjoy the boy, and that is going on in love.
Love is not like that. Love means, "I enjoy or not enjoy, I love you." That is love. Just like Cowper said, "England, with all thy fault, I love you." That is love. There is no return. Just like Rādhārāṇī's love to Kṛṣṇa. She does not require any return. You see? Kṛṣṇa left Vṛndāvana, Rādhārāṇī, and their whole life remained simply crying for Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa never returned. But still, they loved Kṛṣṇa. That is love. That love is being shown by Caitanya Mahāprabhu: "Where is Kṛṣṇa? Where is Kṛṣṇa?" That's Rādhārāṇī's separation, love in separation.
So love means without any return, without any sense gratification, without any consideration. That is love. Āśliṣya. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's... Āśliṣya vā pāda-ratāṁ pinaṣṭu mām marma-hatāṁ karotu vā adarśanā (CC Antya 20.47).
The lover is saying to the beloved, "Either You embrace me with love or You kick me, trample me down under Your feet. And if You make me brokenhearted without meeting me, so whatever You like, You can do. Still I love You." That is love. That is only possible to love Kṛṣṇa. That is not materially possible. Here the so-called love means he or she wants some return for sense gratification. So here the so-called love is lust. It is going in the market in the name of love. There is no love.
Guest (4): Is this Kṛṣṇa in this painting here? Right here. No, no, the next one.
Prabhupāda: He is Kṛṣṇa. Yes. He is loving the calf.
Guest (4): It is a calf?
Prabhupāda: Yes. The calf has come to Kṛṣṇa like this, and He is embracing: "Yes, come on." You... Just see. The calf has no education, no knowledge... (break) (end)