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690113 - Lecture BG 04.26-30 - Los Angeles

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

690113BG-LOS ANGELES - January 13, 1969 - 51:38 Minutes

(prema-dhvani) (break)

Prabhupāda: Page? Go on.

Madhudviṣa: (reading) Chapter Four, "Transcendental Knowledge." Verse twenty-six. "Some of them sacrifice the hearing process and the senses in the fire of the controlled mind, and others sacrifice the objects of the senses, such as sound, in the fire of sacrifice."

Purport: "The four divisions of human life, namely the brahmacārī, the gṛhastha, the vānaprastha and the sannyāsī, are all meant to help men to become perfect yogīs, or transcendentalists. Since human life is not meant for our enjoying sense gratification like the animals, the four orders of human life are fixed so that one may become perfect in spiritual life."

"The brahmacārīs, or students under the care of a bona fide spiritual master, control the mind by abstaining from sense gratification. Furthermore, a brahmacārī hears only words concerning Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Hearing is the basic principle for understanding, and therefore the pure brahmacārī engages fully in chanting and hearing the glories of the Lord . . ."

Prabhupāda: Brahmacārī . . . brahmacārī means brahmacārati iti brahmacārī. Brahma means the Supreme Absolute Personality of Godhead, and cārati, "executes." Cārati, brahmacārati, brahmacārī. In Sanskrit, every word has got root meaning. Brahma means the Supreme Absolute Truth, and cāra means one who executes, cārati. So one who's life is completely devoted simply to execute the function of the Supreme Absolute Truth, he is called brahmacārī.

Gṛhastha, gṛhastha means . . . gṛha means home; home means wife. Na gṛhaṁ gṛham ity ucate (CC Adi 15.27).

What is the difference between sannyāsī—we are sannyāsī—and gṛhastha? Gṛha means home. Home means wife. One who lives with his wife to execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he is called gṛhastha. Āśrama, they are called āśrama: brahmacārī-āśrama, gṛhastha-āśrama, vānaprastha-āśrama, sannyāsa-āśrama. Āśrama means . . . this "āśrama" word is now very popular in your country also. Āśrama means where there is some spiritual connection. That is āśrama. So all these four divisions are called āśrama, different āśrama. Either you remain as brahmacārī or gṛhastha or vānaprastha or sannyāsa, your main business is to cultivate Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is called āśrama.

And gṛha . . . Caitanya Mahāprabhu, when He was about seventeen years old, He was married, and when He was twenty years old His first wife died. Then He married for the second time, and in twenty-fourth year He took sannyāsa. So after the death, or disappearance, of His first wife . . . He was not at home at that time—He was out of His country, because a brāhmin's business is to preach. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu was born in a very respectable family, a brāhmin, so when He came back home He saw His wife is no more. So mother requested, "My dear boy, please accept another wife." Caitanya Mahāprabhu said: "Yes. I’ll accept, because home . . . I have come home. Home means wife."

Actually gṛhiṇī, gṛhiṇī, "the mistress of the home." Without wife there is no meaning of home, according to Vedic culture. Home means wife, gṛhiṇī gṛham ucyate. Na gṛhaṁ gṛhaṁ ity ähur grhini grham ucyate (CC Adi 15.27). Home . . . if we mean home means an apartment—so we are also living in an apartment: four walls, one ceiling, one floor. But why you are called gṛhastha? The only difference is that gṛhastha is with wife and sannyāsī is without wife. Without wife means voluntarily giving up the connection with wife.

So these four divisions are very scientific. Another four divisions—brahmacārī, gṛhastha—four divisions of the order of working: brahmin, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. This combined eight system in the human society is called perfect human society. Where these four . . . eight divisions of spiritual and material advancement of life is not there existing, that means that is not human society. They are required.

So here it is explained that either you be brahmacārī or gṛhastha or vānaprastha or sannyāsa, everyone's business is Kṛṣṇa, cultivate Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Or either you become a brahmin or a kṣatriya or a vaiśya or the . . . brahmin intelligent class of men; kṣatriya means politicians, administrative class of men; vaiśya means mercantile class of men; and śūdra means general worker. So either you are brahmin or a kṣatriya—whatever you may be—it doesn't matter.

Just like my different parts, limbs, of the body are situated in different parts to function differently. Hand's function is different from the leg's function. The mouth's function is different from the genitals' function. Although they are situated for executing different function, the whole aim is targeted to maintenance of this body. Similarly, whatever you may be, you do not require to change your position. You remain a brahmacārī, gṛhastha, worker, laborer, brahmin —whatever you may be, that doesn't matter—you just engage yourself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is your duty.

The hand's function is different from the leg's function, but both the hands and the legs are engaged for serving the whole body. Similarly, you may become an engineer or a medical practitioner, a businessman or worker, this or that—that doesn't matter. Please engage yourself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and your life will be success. This is the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. It doesn't matter, it is not required that you have to become from engineer to a brahmin. No. You remain an engineer, you remain anything, but take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Hmm. Go on.

Madhudviṣa: "He restricts himself from the vibrations of material sounds, and his hearing is engaged in the transcendental sound vibration Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, the householders, who have some license for sense gratification, perform such acts with great restraint. Sex life, intoxication and meat-eating are general tendencies of human society, but a regulated householder does not indulge in unrestricted sex life and other sense gratification. Marriage on principles of religious life is therefore current in all civilized human society because that is the way for restricted sex life."

Prabhupāda: Yes. The animal . . . in the animal society there is no marriage. In any country, either in your country or in Arabian country or India, if they are human being there is some system of marriage. But in the cats' and dogs' society, they are also mating, but there is no marriage. So people can say so that marriage is legalized prostitution. But actually it is not that. Marriage means restricted: restriction.

Just like you have got your wife, so if you have your sex life with any other women or man, that is adulteration. You can say, "Why? The same thing is there. Why it is adulteration?" No. The law says. That means restriction. Restriction is human life, and no restriction means animal life. All the laws are meant for the human being. "Keep to the right," it is not meant for the dog. If the dog goes to the left, there is no law for it, because it is dog. But if you do, you'll be liable to punishment.

So all books of knowledge, literature, art, religion, philosophy, science, they are meant for human beings; they are not meant for the animals. Therefore the aim of human life is to elevate himself by knowledge. That is human life. Not to keep him in darkness—that is not human life. Human life, we have got the opportunity to rise up to the highest platform of knowledge. And what is that highest platform of knowledge? That highest platform of knowledge is to go back to home, back to Godhead, go back to Kṛṣṇa. That is perfection.

Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante. This knowledge is acquired after many, many births. It is not ordinary thing, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Ei rupe brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva (CC Madhya 19.151).

It is meant for the fortunate man, what to speak of the animals; they cannot understand. But only the fortunate man, they are able to understand what is the purpose of this Bhagavad-gītā, and if fortunately he can understand, his life becomes successful.

But it is open to all; there is no restriction. Simply you have to understand it and make practical application in your life, then your life is successful. It is not difficult. But the thing is that we want to remain in animal life. That is our disease. We like animalistic life. "Man is rational animal." So we want to sacrifice our rationality and remain in animalism. That is our disease. We prefer to remain in animalistic life, because there is immediate sense gratification, immediate some so-called pleasure.

Śreya, preya. Just like a child playing all day. Father says, "My dear child, you read." He says, "Oh, I don't like to read." That is called preya. It is very dear to play, but to take to education is not so liking to the children, because he is foolish; he does not know that without education his future life will be in the darkness. Similarly, any person who is simply indulging in animalistic way of life without acquiring knowledge for highest perfection, he is simply making suicide, he is killing himself, sa ātmahā the śāstra says.

He is killing, just like you can take one razor and you cut your throat. That is . . . you are at liberty to do that, but that is not a very good business, you see. (chuckles) Similarly, though so many books of knowledge are there if you don't take to this knowledge and simply indulge in our sense gratification, that means we are making the same thing, cutting our own throat.

Yes, go on.

Madhudviṣa: "This restricted unattached sex life is also a kind of yajña, because the restricted householder sacrifices his general tendency . . ."

Prabhupāda: This is also yajña, sacrifice. I want unrestricted sex life, but I obey the order of the śāstras, or the law, that "No, I shall not have sex life with anyone else without my married wife or husband." That is sacrifice. You sacrifice your propensity, unrestricted propensity. This is required. A brahmacārī, a brahmacārī is supposed to have no connection with women; a vānaprastha is supposed to have no connection with women, even his wife is present; and what to speak of sannyāsi. He has no connection with any women, even with his own wife.

So the restriction of sex life is from the beginning. Brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa. Only gṛhastha, the householders, are allowed restricted sex life. The whole idea is that this material existence is due to sex life. That's all. If you increase your sex life, then increase your duration of material existence. If you decrease your sex life, then you advance towards the path of absolute realization, yad icchanto brahmacaryaṁ caranti (BG 8.11) In the Bhagavad-gītā you will find that one who is desiring to go back to Godhead, back to home, then he should practice life of celibacy. That is very important thing.


Madhudviṣa: "The restricted householder sacrifices his general tendency toward sense gratification for higher, transcendental life." Twenty-seven.

Prabhupāda: Hmm. Go on.

Madhudviṣa: "And some offered the work of the senses and the work of the life-force, controlling them in yoga to obtain knowledge of the self." Twenty-eight.

Prabhupāda: This is yoga practice. What is the yoga practice? Yoga practice, whole yoga practice is meant for controlling senses. It is not that you simply make a show of meditating fifteen minutes and do all nonsense twenty-four hours. That is not yoga practice. Yoga, whole practice, the yoga practice is yoga indriya-saṁyamaḥ. Yoga means to control the senses. That is the real meaning of yoga. Not that you attend yoga class and immediately . . .

Immediately . . . while practicing yoga I see so many persons, they are smoking and doing all sorts of things. You see? This is simply bogus. Yoga means to control senses, practice controlled senses. It is not meant for keeping your health good so that you can enjoy senses more, I mean to say, strengthfully. No. Yoga practice means controlling the senses.

Go on.

Madhudviṣa: "There are others who, enlightened by sacrificing their material possessions in severe austerities, take strict vows and practice the yoga of eightfold mysticism, and others study the Vedas for advancement of transcendental knowledge."

Twenty-nine. "And there are even others, who are inclined to the process of breath restraint to remain in trance, and they practice stopping the movement of the outgoing breath into the incoming."

Prabhupāda: The breathing exercise, yoga practice, means increasing the duration of your life, if anyone can practice this breathing exercise actually. We have got limited number of breathing. The heart is palpilating like this. So it has got limited number of palpilation. Just like if you have got a bank balance, so if you go on drawing it daily, so very quickly it is finished. But if you don't draw it, keep it, balance, then you can continue for several years, several months, as you like.

Similarly yoga practice, perfection of yoga practice, means increasing the duration of your life. If we eat more, if we have sense enjoyment more, if you labor more, then our duration of life decreases. But if you can restrain yourself, if you can sit down in one place without eating more, without any work, then you can increase your duration of life.

So yoga practice means the yogīs, those who are perfect yogī, they practice in such a way that unless they are prepared fully to transfer himself, oneself, to any planet he likes, he continues to practice yoga. There are many yogīs still in India, they are seven hundred years old, three hundred years old; still they look like young boy. That is yoga practice.

The bogus yoga practice going on in your country is simply cheating people. Yoga practice is different. That is very difficult, and not possible in this age. Nobody can follow all the rules and regulation of yoga. That we will find in this Bhagavad-gītā in the Sixth Chapter, we'll come.

So yoga practice means that is another kind of sacrifice. Sacrifice means to stop your unrestricted . . . or why, restricted even, sense gratification. That is yoga practice.

Go on.

Madhudviṣa: "Some of them, curtailing the eating process, offer the outgoing breath into itself, as a sacrifice."

Thirty. "All these performers who know the meaning of sacrifice become cleansed of sinful reaction and, having tasted the nectar of the remnants of such sacrifice, they go to the supreme eternal atmosphere."

Prabhupāda: Yes. The whole aim is to purify yourself and go back to Godhead, back to home. That is the whole aim, either you practice this yoga or that yoga. There are jñāna-yoga . . . the Bhagavad-gītā deals in three types of yoga, means karma-yoga, jñāna-yoga, dhyāna-yoga and ultimately bhakti-yoga.

So any transcendental practice is called yoga. So either you do it as karma-yoga . . . yoga means linking yourself with the Supreme by your work, linking yourself by cultivation of knowledge, linking yourself by meditation or linking yourself by engaging yourself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

So any yoga system you take, that will give you perfection. But the thing is, in this age no other yoga practice is possible except this practice, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or bhakti-yoga practice. Simply you have to chant, and you get all the good results. That is very easy. It can be practiced by anyone. It doesn't require any preliminary qualifications. Kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā (CC Adi 17.21).

There is no . . . (break)

Madhudviṣa: (reading end of 4.30 purport) ". . . but also at the end, he enters into the eternal kingdom of God, either merging into the impersonal Brahman or associating with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa."

Prabhupāda: That's all. (devotees offer obeisances)

Hare Kṛṣṇa. Any question?

Bīrabhadra: You said that yoga, by yoga you can go to any planet. Does that mean you can go to Kṛṣṇaloka?

Prabhupāda: Yes. If you practice Kṛṣṇa consciousness and at the time of death if you remain in full consciousness of Kṛṣṇa, you immediately go. That's all. This is the practice. Ante nārāyaṇa-smṛti (SB 2.1.6).

At the end if we can remember Kṛṣṇa, that is perfection of life. That's all. Ante means at the end of life.

So that is the test, examination, what happens at the end. So if you practice sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ (BG 8.6). If you twenty-four hours practice how to think of Kṛṣṇa, naturally Kṛṣṇa will give you chance to think of Kṛṣṇa at that time, last moment. Yes.

Therefore there is one verse by Kulaśekhara, he says:

kṛṣṇa tvadīya-padapaṅkaja-pañjarāntam
adyaiva me viśatu mānasa-rāja-haṁsaḥ
(MM 33)

"My dear Kṛṣṇa, Your lotus feet is lotus flower, and there is stem, and my mind is just like swan. So let me (be) entrapped by the stem immediately." You have seen in the lakes the swans take pleasure in being entrapped with the stems of lotus flowers or lily flowers. That is their sporting. Perhaps you have marked? You marked in that lake in Seattle? Yes. He was . . . the swan was pushing its head to the stem. That is their pleasure.

So the King Kulaśekhara, he is praying that "My dear Kṛṣṇa, Your feet is lotus flower, so there is stem, so let me push my head immediately and (be) entrapped by the stem." Why immediately? He says, prāṇa-prayāṇa-samaye, at the time of death, kapha-vāta-pittaiḥ kaṇṭhāvarodhana-vidhau smaraṇaṁ kutas te: "At the time of death this mucus and bile and air, they will be congested, and my voice will be choked up. Where is the opportunity of chanting Your name at that time? Therefore I am now in good health and good consciousness, let me die immediately thinking of Your lotus feet." These are the prayers, you see.

So this is Kṛṣṇa consciousness practice, that you practice. Anything you practice . . . just like you practice something, and in the examination hall you write very nicely immediately. But if you have no practice, then how you can write? Similarly, if you practice chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, then even in sleeping also you will chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. There are three stages: awakening stage—sleeping stage, dreaming stage; and unconscious stage. Unconsciousness. The consciousness . . . we are just pushing Kṛṣṇa in the consciousness. So even in unconsciousness stage also you will have Kṛṣṇa.

So if you are fortunately able to come to that perfectional state, then this life is the end of your material existence. You enter into the spiritual world and have your eternal life, blissful life, and dance with Kṛṣṇa. That's all.

Devotee (3): Śrīla Prabhupāda, what is the yoga of eightfold mysticism?

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Devotee (3): Śrīla Prabhupāda, what is the yoga of eightfold mysticism?

Prabhupāda: Ah. Eightfold mysticism means this yoga practice, aṣṭāṅga-yoga. Aṣṭāṅga-yoga beginning is eightfold. Aṣṭā means eight. What is that? Yaṁ niyaṁ . . . yaṁ means controlling; niyaṁ means following the rules and regulation; āsana—sitting posture, practicing the sitting posture. That will help you. Yaṁ niyaṁ asana prāṇāyāma—breathing exercise.

Yaṁ niyaṁ asana prāṇāyāma dhyāna—meditation; dhāraṇā—concentration; then samādhi—absorption. These are eight different practices of yoga. But who is going to do that? They simply practice a little more sitting posture and they think they are perfecting yoga, that's all. It is not possible to perform all the processes of yoga. Nobody can. You see? Kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇu.

So don't be mislead. Take the instruction:

kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ
tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ
dvāpare paricaryāyāṁ
kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt
(SB 12.3.52)

There are divisions of four ages. In the kṛte, in the satya-yuga, the good age or golden age, when people used to live for one hundred thousands of years, at that time this dhyāna meditation was possible. Kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ.

Next age by performances of sacrifices; next age by temple worship; and this age, kalau—this age is called Kali, the age of quarrel and dissention—in this age, all these practices will not be possible to follow, only hari-kīrtanāt, chanting the name of Hari. That's all. These are the direction of the śāstra.

So if you want to be really happy, you have to take direction of the authority and follow it. So this is the . . . and actually we are experiencing, our students who have taken to this chanting process of yoga—oh, bring any other yogīs and just compare with them. You see?

No. They can not be compared. They are far advanced. Yes. But the simple process: chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. That's all. This is the process recommended in this age.


Devotee (4): Prabhupāda, when we first got to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, a way to concentrate is to just concentrate on the vibration. Should we try to strive for . . .

Prabhupāda: No concentrate on the vibration. Simply hear. It is very easy. If I say: "Hare," you can hear, even without concentration. It is so easy.

Devotee (4): But . . .

Prabhupāda: But if you hear attentively, that is required.

Devotee (4): Should we try to progress from that stage, or should we just . . .

Prabhupāda: The progress is that you have to avoid the ten kinds of offenses. That is progress. And that ten kinds of offenses can be avoided if you chant and hear also at the same time. That is yoga. That means your mind and your all senses are concentrated, and that is samādhi.

You chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and hear also Hare Kṛṣṇa. This is the process. Not that you are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mechanically but you are hearing something else. That is inattention, That is offense. It will take some time. If you chant offensively, then it will take some time.

That means by chanting, chanting, you will come to the stage of offenseless platform. But why don't you try from the very beginning? Because we want quickly to be perfect. So these are the processes. Simply chant and hear, that's all, and every perfection will come gradually, without any doubt.

So any other question?

(pause) All right, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. (devotees offer obeisances) (kīrtana) (prema-dhvani) All glories to the assembled devotees. All glories to the assembled devotees. Thank you very much. (end)