690310 - Lecture SB 07.09.08-10 - Hawaii
Prabhupāda: When previously we discussed about this Prahlāda Mahārāja's prayers . . . perhaps you may all remember. Anyway, Prahlāda Mahārāja, when Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva was appeared . . . appearing very much angry, so nobody could go forward before Him to pacify Him. Therefore Lord Brahmā requested Prahlāda Mahārāja that, "You go forward and pacify the Lord."
So because he was born of an āsura, demon, family, he thought that, "When all these demigods could not pacify the Lord, what I can do? I am born of a father who is completely demon, in the modes of darkness." Demons are . . . there are three modes of material nature. Those who are demigods, they are in the modes of goodness, and those who are demons, they are partly in the modes of passion and partly in the modes of ignorance.
So Prahlāda Mahārāja said that ugra-jāteḥ (SB 7.9.8):
"I am born of a father who was too much passionate. So my body is made up of the modes of passion. When the persons whose bodies are in the modes of goodness could not pacify the Lord, then what can I do? My body is made of passion." So in other words, it is to be understood so long one is in the modes of passion and ignorance, he cannot understand about the Absolute Truth.
Therefore it is necessary to bring one on the platform of goodness. Therefore there are so many restriction just to bring one from the lowest platform to the upper platform—at least to the material world—goodness. Of course, those who are Vaiṣṇavas, they are above all these platforms. Their platform is sattvaṁ viśuddhaṁ vasudeva-śabditaṁ (SB 4.3.23).
Their platform is vasudeva. Vasudeva means the transcendental platform.
So he was thinking like that, but actually his position was transcendental, because he was devotee of the Lord. That is the significance here. Though even Lord Brahmā, who is considered to be the most exalted person in the modes of goodness, he could not pacify, and he requested Prahlāda Mahārāja, although he was a five-years-old boy and born of a demon family. So he was requested that, "You can pacify."
This is very significant. So Prahlāda Mahārāja could understand it that, "Lord Brahmā is requesting me to pacify the Lord not because materially I am elevated than Lord Brahmā, but some way or other, because I have come to the spiritual platform in the devotional service, therefore Lord Brahmā is giving me preference."
This is the point to be understood. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is being pushed in the Western countries, where the modes of passion and ignorance is very prominent. But this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement does not depend on these material modes of nature. It is above. It is without any impediment, without any stumbling block offered by the material causes. Ahaituky apratihatā (SB 1.2.6).
This movement cannot be checked by the material modes of nature. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā also. Lord says, Kṛṣṇa:
- māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya
- ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
- (BG 9.32)
Pāpa-yoni. Pāpa-yoni means sinful species of life, or born in the family which is not very pious, pāpa-yoni. Or pāpa-yoni means lower species of life. So the demonic life is pāpa-yoni. Demonic life is obtained due to sinful activities.
(aside) Come on.
That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gītā:
- tān ahaṁ dviṣataḥ krūrān
- kṣipāmy ajasram eva yoniṣu
- (BG 16.19)
Lord Kṛṣṇa says: "Those who are envious of Me, I put them into the āsurī yoni."
So on the whole it is to be understood that those who are devotees, they, even born of pāpa-yoni, impious family, still bhagavad-bhakti, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is not impossible for them. That is being described herein by Prahlāda Mahārāja. He is himself . . .
(aside) Not like that. Here. Here.
. . . he himself giving evidence that, "Because Brahmā is pushing forward me to pacify the Lord, then the meaning is different. Because from material point of view I cannot pacify the Lord. I am born of demon father, and Brahmā is on the highest platform of material goodness. So why he is pushing me?" He could understand that "The only qualification I can see, that I have got implicit faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Therefore he says:
- manye dhanābhijana-rūpa-tapaḥ-śrutaujas-
- nārādhanāya hi bhavanti parasya puṁso
- bhaktyā tutoṣa bhagavān gaja-yūtha-pāya
- (SB 7.9.9)
So material wealth, dhana . . . dhana means wealth, and jana, jana means manpower. So manye dhanājana, these are material acquisition: wealth, manpower; manye dhanābhijana-rūpa, beauty; tapaḥ . . . these are third-class acquisition—dhana, jana, tapa, er, rūpa, means wealth, manpower and beauty. But first-class acquisition is tapa, tapasya.
Tapa means by austerity getting power. Whatever they say that will happen, that is called tapasya. That does not depend . . . a wealthy man cannot say anything which will surely happen, but a person who is rich in tapasya, austerity, if he says something, it will . . . it is to be happen.
Just like Mahārāja Parīkṣit, he was king, he was very pious king, and he was cursed by a brahmin boy, "You have insulted my father, so within seven days you will meet your death." So that was powerful tapa. The brāhmaṇas were so powerful in their tapasya, austerity, that whatever they would say . . . he was not even a complete brahmin, he was born of a brahmin father, although he was initiated.
Still, just see how much powerful was the brahmins that even a boy of ten or twelve years old, he cursed a great king. And who was that king? Who was protected by Kṛṣṇa Himself. He was a great devotee also; so still he was cursed, and he had to meet his death within seven days. This is called tapasya.
(aside) Oh, don't allow to touch.
Manye dhana, jana, tapaḥ and śrutauja. Śrutauja. Śruta means education; especially śruta means Vedic education, to be very learned in Vedānta, in Upaniṣad and Vedic ritualistic performances, so many things. So by dint of all these things, if you have got money, you can do something wonderful. If you have got manpower, you can do something wonderful.
If you have got beauty, you can do something wonderful. Sometimes in the history of the world we see that a great hero was conquered by beauty. That in the history, you know, what is that? Cleopatra? Caesar and Cleopatra. So? Beauty has got so power that the greatest conqueror was conquered by a beautiful woman.
So these are . . . as one has got power of money, one has got power of manpower, similarly beauty has also got power. He is analyzing, manye dhanābhijana-rūpa. And similarly austerity, tapasya. Just like that boy, that brahmin boy, he was powerful by tapasya, by austerity.
His father was engaged in austerity, and because he born of such powerful father, he had also the power, austerity, and śrutaujas. Śrutauja means "by education." If one man is educated, highly educated, talented scholar, he has got power.
So by all this power . . . what is the meaning of this power? The power means that you can get . . . Tejaḥ-prabhāva-bala-pauruṣa-buddhi-yogāḥ (SB 7.9.9). If you have got power . . . suppose if you have got money, you can purchase high intelligence. Suppose if you want to start some business or some industry, it doesn't require . . . you do not require to become yourself very talented technologist to start some industry. You pay somebody.
There are many technologists, they will come and help you. So by the power of money you can purchase strength and prabhāva, influence. And pauruṣa—pauruṣa means name, good name. Just like in your country Mr. Henry Ford is known as a very powerful businessman. That is called pauruṣa. So one side, to get such thing as wealth, manpower, beauty, austerity, education, and out of that you get strength, name, fame—everything. But these are all material acquisition.
So Prahlāda Mahārāja is saying that Brahmā has got all these qualifications in one person. He has got everything. Therefore as he could not pacify the Lord, as such, all these material qualification is useless for pacifying or for pleasing the Lord. We must remember this, that Kṛṣṇa, or the Supreme Lord, cannot be satisfied by all these acquisitions. This is Prahlāda Mahārāja. He is considered one of the authorities in this line. So he says that these acquisition are not the causes for satisfying the Lord.
We want to satisfy the Lord. That is our . . . Kṛṣṇa conscious movement means our life is dedicated how to please the Lord. So Prahlāda Mahārāja says that material acquisition cannot please the Lord. Simply devotional service. "Because I have been engaged to please the Lord, that means I have no material acquisition." That too will also be explained. Material acquisition his father had, but that was finished within a second. So material acquisition has no value for spiritual profit. That is being explained by Prahlāda Mahārāja.
Bhaktyā tutoṣa bhagavān gaja-yūtha-pāya (SB 7.9.9). So gaja-yūtha-pāya. There was one elephant, he was in danger. He was not even a demigod or brahmin or learned, but still, he could satisfy the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu by his devotional service, and he was saved. That example is given. Then he says:
- viprād dvi-ṣaḍ-guṇa-yutād aravinda-nābha-
- pādāravinda-vimukhāt śvapacaṁ variṣṭham
- manye tad-arpita-mano-vacanehitārtha-
- prāṇaṁ punāti sa kulaṁ na tu bhūrimānaḥ
- (SB 7.9.10)
Therefore for devotional service nobody should be anxious to get some material power. Rather, we should be always anxious to acquire how we can advance our anxiety, our eagerness, to serve the Lord. Just the other day I explained the Rūpa Gosvāmī śloka, verse, that the . . . to purchase these feelings of devotional service, the attitude of devotional service, is to become too much eager how I shall be able to serve the Lord. That is the only price; not this material acquisition.
Prahlāda Mahārāja further explains that viprād dvi-ṣaḍ-guṇa-yutād (SB 7.9.10). Vipra, vipra means those who are advancing to be brahmin. The intermediate stage before becoming a brahmin is called a vipra. Just like before becoming a graduate one is called undergraduate. One who has passed the school leaving examination but has not got the degree, but passed another examination, in India that is called I.A., Intermediate Art. Is such examination in this country, in between the graduate and school leaving?
Prabhupāda: So in India there is such examination. We had to pass first matriculation, then I.A., then B.A., so . . . then M.A. So intermediate stage . . . to be brahmin means spiritually graduate, and vipra means spiritually intermediate, and initiation means spiritually he is school leaving certificate, and to become a Vaiṣṇava means to pass M.A. examination in spiritual science. These are the different stages.
So here it is stated, viprād dvi-ṣaḍ yutād, how one can become a vipra. The first stage is śūdra. Śūdra means almost animal life—no cleanliness, no hygienic principle, simply working for living. No other ambition, no spiritual education, but some way or other filling our life. Just like animals, they become dependent on somebody. Whatever he likes, he can do on that animal.
Śūdra is not so dependent, but actually they were dependent. Just like in you country the Negroes were slaves, but fortunately they have been made free. Actually, they were being treated just like animals. So śūdra life means completely dependent on the other three higher class.
So everyone is born śūdra. Just like this child. This child is dependent completely. Just like animal is dependent, the child is also dependent. So they say, Vedic learned scholars, they say janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ. (Prema-vivarta)
Everyone is born a śūdra, completely dependent. Saṁskārād bhaved dvijaḥ: but when he is initiated by purificatory processes, he is called twice-born. This initiation process means he surpasses the ordinary birth.
Ordinary birth is made by the father and the mother. That father and mother is there even in animal life. So to take birth from father and mother is not very important. Anyone, janame janame sabe pitā mātā pāya, in any birth, it doesn't matter human being, even in animal life or any life, there must be one father and mother.
So that birth is not very important. Janmanā jāyate. Therefore by birth by the father and mother, everyone is śūdra. But if he is purified, if he gets association of a spiritual master, if he approaches . . . for second birth one has to approach the spiritual master, the bona fide spiritual master. That was the system. The one . . . that is the injunction:
- tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta
- jijñāsuḥśreya uttamam
- (SB 11.3.21)
One . . . everyone is born śūdra, in the lowest status of life, but some way or the other if he becomes inquisitive, that "I want to know what is spiritual life, what is God, what is my relation with Him," if one becomes jijñāsuḥ—jijñāsuḥ means śreya, I, er . . . "inquirer." What kind of inquirer? Śreya uttama—the highest perfection of life. If he is inquisitive, that "What is the value of life?" then the Vedic literatures asking, tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.2.12): then you must search out a bona fide spiritual master.
That is his business. If you want to . . . if anyone wants to satisfy his enquiries about higher transcendental subject matter, then this cannot be automatically achieved or performed. He must find out a spiritual master. That is the way.
So janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ saṁskārād hi bhaved dvijaḥ. Saṁskārād, by purificatory process. Just like you are going . . . we are pointing out, "Don't do this, do this," "Don't do this, do this." These are all purificatory processes. Without being pure, you cannot approach the supreme pure. Kṛṣṇa is supreme pure. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:
- paraṁ brahmā paraṁ dhāma
- pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān
- (BG 10.12)
Pavitraṁ means purest. So if we want to approach Kṛṣṇa, then we must observe the purificatory process. Being impure, we cannot touch even Kṛṣṇa. That is not possible. If we want . . . therefore Lord Caitanya has made it easy. Because it is very difficult for persons in this age to follow the . . . strictly, the purificatory process, He has given this chanting process that will make automatically pure, purificatory. Otherwise there are two ways of spiritual advancement: one is called pāñcarātriki viddhi, another is called bhāgavata-viddhi.
You have seen that cakra of our Gauḍīya Mission? You remember, Rāmadāsa? So one side is called . . . Caitanya Mahāprabhu is in the middle, and one side is bhāgavata side, another side is pāñcarātriki side. So pāñcarātriki side is Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa sitting on the throne, and bhāgavata side is Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.
So bhāgavata side is very difficult. Unless one is purified from the pāñcarātriki side, it is very difficult to go to the bhāgavata side. But Caitanya Mahāprabhu has given this simple process: chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, kīrtana, and hearing the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And pursuant to these two principles one can install Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Deity and serving.
Five things: vaiṣṇava-sevā, to serve the Vaiṣṇava pure devotee; and to hear; chanting; and to worship the Deity; and to hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, chanting. Chanting is kīrtana, and hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Hearing and chanting and serving and worshiping, and if possible to live in a sacred place like Vṛndāvana and Mathurā. These five things are recommended by Lord Caitanya for quick advancement of spiritual life, very quick.
So the vipra stage . . . we are talking of how to come to the vipra stage. The first stage, everyone is on the śūdra platform. Then by purificatory process, by understanding of this Vedic knowledge, janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ saṁskārād bhaved dvijaḥ, that by initiation he is twice-born . . . first born father and mother, and next birth is the father is the spiritual master and mother is the scripture. That means the . . . as the . . . materially the father agitates the mother and the body is formed, similarly, spiritually, the spiritual master agitates the mother of Vedic knowledge, and the spiritual body is formed. This is called dvijaḥ.
And the sacred thread means that one, he . . . one who has attained the second birth, saṁskārād bhava dvija. And after becoming dvijaḥ, initiation, it does not mean that you are perfect. Perfection is not . . . that means you are accepted. Now you have to make yourself advanced by understanding Vedic . . . veda-pāṭhād bhaved vipraḥ, vedaiś ca sarvair.
Veda-pāṭhād means to understand Kṛṣṇa. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo (BG 15.15).
Because Vedic knowledge means to understand Kṛṣṇa. The more you understand Kṛṣṇa, then you will become vipra. And when you become vipra, then there are twelve qualifications. That is being stated here—viprād dvi-ṣaḍ-guṇa-yutād aravinda-nābha (SB 7.9.10).
Twelve items, just like controlling the senses, subduing the mind, subduing the tongue—sāma, dama, titikṣā—to be tolerant, then simplicity, then full faith in the scriptures, knowledge, understanding Kṛṣṇa. In this way there are twelve qualification.
So Mahārāja Prahlāda, Prahlāda Mahārāja says that even one is qualified with these twelve qualification and has attained the stage of vipra, still, if he has not attained devotional service, then it is useless. Simply becoming learned, simply becoming very purified is not all. The summit is that one should become the devotee of the Lord.
So Prahlāda Mahārāja says, viprād dvi-ṣaḍ-guṇa-yutād aravinda-nābha. Aravinda-nābha. Aravinda-nābha, aravinda means lotus, and nābha means this navel. That means Viṣṇu. Lord Viṣṇu is aravinda-nābha. From His lotus flower grown out of His abdomen, navel, Brahmā is born. Therefore His another name is aravinda-nābha.
If one becomes avaiṣṇava, not devotee of the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu, but he has all these qualifications, aravinda-nābha-pādāravinda-vimukhāt (SB 7.9.10). Pādāravinda means . . . Aravinda-nābha, Kṛṣṇa is aravinda, mukhāravinda. Mukhāravinda means that His face is like lotus flower. His eyes are like lotus flower. From the navel a lotus flower has grown. His feet is called lotus feet. So here aravinda-nābha and pādāravinda. Pādāravinda means lotus feet.
So one who is detached from the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, from whose abdomen a lotus is grown for begetting Brahmā, if one is bereft of attachment to the Supreme Lord, then his qualification of vipra is not accepted, or not very fruitful. Rather, a person who has not become vipra, born of a very low family, caṇḍāla, śvapacaṁ variṣṭham—śvapacaṁ, śvapacaṁ means . . . śva means dog, a dog-eater's family, lowest family—if he is qualified in devotional service, he is better than a person who is a vipra. Why?
- manye tad-arpita-mano-vacanehitārtha-
- prāṇaṁ punāti sa kulaṁ na tu bhūrimānaḥ
- (SB 7.9.10)
Because if a person has dedicated his life and body and everything to the service of the Lord, he can deliver his family more than such vipra, that brahmin who is simply proud of his qualification but has no, actually, devotional service. This is the statement of Prahlāda Mahārāja.
In the Mahābhārata, the twelve qualification are described as follows. What is that?
- dharmaś ca satyaṁ ca damas tapaś ca
- amātsaryaṁ hrīs titikṣānasūyā
- yajñaś ca dānaṁ ca dhṛtiḥśrutaṁ ca
- vratāni vai dvādaśa brāhmaṇasya
One who is vipra, these twelve qualification: that he must be very religious; he must be truthful; he must be controlling his mind; he must have austerities; he must be very intelligent; he must be tolerant; he must not be envious; he must have performed various kinds of yajñas, sacrifice; he must have given in charity, dhṛti; he is fixed up in his vows; and śrutaṁ ca, has got sufficient knowledge in the Vedas; vratāni, and he has followed all kinds of vratā.
Just like we sometimes observe—no, regularly observe—the Ekādaśī; it is called vratā. Vratā means fasting with a vow. Janmāṣṭamī . . . just like we fast on the birthday of Lord Kṛṣṇa or Lord Caitanya. These are called vratā. So brahmin is supposed to follow. These are all brāhmaṇa's qualification. Dvādaśa brāhmaṇasya yadva . . .
- śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṁ
- kṣānty-ārjava-virakta yaḥ
- satyāstikye dviṣaḍ guṇāḥ
Another department of twelve qualifications is that śama; śama means equilibrium of the mind. Dama, dama means controlling the senses; tapaḥ—austerity; and śaucaṁ—cleanliness; śaucaṁ . . . kṣānti—tolerance; ārjavam, ārjavam means simplicity; viraktata, renouncement, no more attachment for material things; mauna—gravity, vijñāna—knowledge in perfection; santoṣāḥ—santoṣāḥ means very much satisfied, in whatever condition, he is not agitated. These are the qualification. Santoṣāḥ, and satyā—satyā means truthful; āstikya—āstikya means to have staunch faith in the scriptural injunction. That is called āstikya. Dviṣaḍ guṇāḥ.
Kataṁ va viprās aravinda-nābhasy-pādāravinda-vimukhāt kataṁ va . . . (indistinct) . . . na tasmin āravinda nābhe arpita-mano-ādayah yena tam. What is the distinction? The so much qualified brahmin is rejected because if he is found to be out of devotional service, and a person born in the lowest family who are dog-eaters, he is accepted, why? Now, one . . . because he has dedicated his life and soul for Kṛṣṇa.
So we should remember that in the Western part of this world, where we are pushing on this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we should not be dejected that because you are not born in high family or not so much trained in the Vedic knowledge. It doesn't matter. If simply your life, your everything—life, body—three things especially: kāya-mano-vākye . . . kāya means body, and manaḥ means mind, and vacaḥ means words.
We accepted the tridaṇḍi—you will have seen in my name "tridaṇḍi." Tri means three. Three. What is that three? What that three? The mind, the body and the words. So if we simply dedicate our mind always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, if we dedicate our body—the body shall work simply for Kṛṣṇa—and words, and we shall talk only for Kṛṣṇa—if we take simply these three things as our life and soul, then you are perfect. Kāya manaḥ vacaḥ.
So a person born in the family of dog-eaters, he is accepted more qualified than the brahmin . . . a person born in the brahmin family with twelve kinds of other qualification. Why? The only qualification is that if he has dedicated his body, mind and words for Kṛṣṇa, then he is preferred.
This is the recommendation of Prahlāda Mahārāja. And he is placing himself that, "I am born of a low father, but because I have dedicated my mind, words and body for Kṛṣṇa, therefore Lord Brahmā has preferred me to pacify the Lord. So let me try to pacify the Lord."
That's all. We shall discuss next . . . (indistinct)
Hare Kṛṣṇa. (devotees offer obeisances)
What is the qualification? This qualification, if we simply dedicate these three things: always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, that is very nicely possible. If we chant and hear, then we must be thinking of Kṛṣṇa. Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare.
This means my mind is engaged in Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, if you work for Kṛṣṇa, the body is engaged. There are so many works and preaching. These three things you can do, then we are perfectly eligible for becoming one of the devotees of the Lord. It is not very difficult. Is it difficult? Huh?
Tridaṇḍi-sannyāsi means . . . everyone can become a tridaṇḍi sannyāsi if he dedicates these three things for Kṛṣṇa's service, then he's tridaṇḍi sannyāsi. Of course officially, tridaṇḍi-sannyāsi, one has to take three rods joined together. That's a symbolic.
But actually the fact is that one has to dedicate these three things to Kṛṣṇa; then he becomes more than the viprā or the brahmin with twelve qualifications. That is the subject matter of today's discussion.
Do you want to ask any questions?
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