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700421 - Lecture Lord Buddha's Appearance - Los Angeles
Prabhupāda: . . . the incarnation of Godhead in the form of fish, beginning. Then Kūrma avatāra. Kūrma avatāra means the incarnation of God in the form of tortoise. Then Varāha avatāra, the incarnation of Godhead in the form of boar. Then Nṛsiṁha avatāra, incarnation of Godhead, half lion and half man. Then incarnation of Vāmanadeva, dwarf brahmin. Next incarnation is Paraśurāma, and the next incarnation, Lord Rāmacandra.
You have heard the story of Rāmāyaṇa. That is the activities of Lord Rāmacandra. Last, yesterday, we observed the birth ceremony of Lord Rāmacandra. And then incarnation of Balarāma. And the next incarnation is Lord Buddha. And we are awaiting another incarnation at the last stage of this Kali-yuga. This age is called Kali-yuga.
So about Lord Buddha we have got a nice prayer:
- nindasi yajña-vidher ahaha śruti-jātaṁ
- sadaya-hṛdaya darśita-paśu-ghātam
- keśava-dhṛta-buddha-śarīra jaya jagadīśa hare
- (Śrī Daśāvatāra Stotra 9)
This song was sung by a great Vaiṣṇava poet, Jayadeva Gosvāmī. So the purport of this verse, Sanskrit verse, is keśava-dhṛta-buddha-śarīra: "My dear Kṛṣṇa"—keśava means Kṛṣṇa—"You have assumed the form of Lord Buddha. And what is Your function? Nindasi yajña-vidher ahaha śruti-jātam." In the Vedic literature there are numerous prescription of sacrifice. And in some of the sacrifices animal sacrifice is also recommended. So that animal sacrifice does not mean to kill the animal. Animal sacrifice means to prove the strength of Vedic hymns so that one old animal is put into the fire and he's given again a new life, renewed life, just to show the potency of the hymns, Vedic hymns. But in this age, Kali-yuga, those sacrifices are forbidden.
So Lord Buddha, when He saw that people are sacrificing animals in the name of religious rituals without any pity for them, at that time Lord Buddha appeared. Therefore it is stated, sadaya-hṛdaya-darśita-paśu-ghātam: "My dear Lord, You have appeared as Lord Buddha, just being compassionate to the poor animals." Lord Buddha preached ahiṁsā paramo dharmaḥ: "The best religious principle is to become nonviolent." He preached this philosophy, that "If somebody hurts you, you feel pain, then why should you kill other animal and put it into painful condition? So don't be . . . don't do these sinful activities." That was His main principle of philosophy that He preached.
He was Hindu, kṣatriya, Hindu prince, born in a kṣatriya family, and He was prince . . . ah, very luxurious life. So as young man, when He saw an old man and he is traveling, walking with great difficulty, He asked his servant, "What is this? Why this man is walking in this way?" He was explained that "This is old age, and in old age everyone has to become like this." So He at once left home and sat down in Gayapradesh, a province in Bihar in India. And He began to meditate how to make solution of this old age.
So there are four problems. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is mentioned that janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam (BG 13.9). If you are actually intelligent, then you must keep these four problems before you. Do not think that the problems of life are solved by material advancement. Do not think that by building, constructing skyscraper houses, the problems of life are solved. No. The problems of life are these four principles: birth, death, old age and disease. If you cannot solve these problems, then your problems of life remain the same.
The solution of the problems . . . just like our bodily demands, namely eating, sleeping, defending and mating:
- āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca
- samānyam etat paśubhiḥ narāṇām
The problems of eating, problems of sleeping, problems of defending and problems of mating, or sex life, these problems are there in the animal life or amongst the living entities lower than the human beings. But those problems are solved automatically by laws of nature. The birds, beasts, they are also eating. They have no economic problem. They are also sleeping, and they are having their mates and sex life. And they are also defending in their own way. Human form of life, the most developed consciousness, intelligence, if we are also busy in solving these problems of life, namely eating, sleeping, defending and mating, then we are not very much advanced than the animals, because they have got these problems and they are trying to solve them.
So what advancement we have made, we human beings? We claim to be superior, to possess superior consciousness, and how we are utilizing our consciousness and superior intelligence? Simply just like animals. That requires meditation. That requires meditation, what is actually the problem.
So the meditation means, "What I am?" If you think, meditate, that "Am I this body?" then you'll come to understand that "I am not this body." If you think . . . just to see, see your hand, "Am I this hand?" "Am I this finger?" "Am I this leg?" "Am I this body?" "Am I this head?" every point you analyze, you'll say, "It is my hand," "It is my finger," "It is my head," "It is my . . ." Everything "mine." And where is "I"? That you have to find out by meditation, where is "I".
That is answered in the Bhagavad-gītā. How it is answered? It is said that,
- avināśi tu tad viddhi
- yena sarvam idaṁ tatam
- (BG 2.17)
One thing, avināśi; and another, vināśi. Avināśi means eternal, and vināśi means perishable. So this body is perishable, everyone knows. Either it is young body or old body or child's body or boy's body—anyone's body—today, tomorrow or one hundred years after or fifty years after, it is perishable. There is no doubt about it. But what is that thing imperishable? That imperishable is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, yena sarvam idaṁ tatam (BG 2.17): "That thing is imperishable which is spread all over your body." That is very easy to understand. What is that? If you pinch your body, any part of your body, you feel pain. That means your consciousness. Your consciousness is imperishable.
The body is changing. When you took your birth from the mother's womb you were a small child. But perhaps you may remember your childhood activities. The consciousness is the same, but the body has changed. The body has changed. If you have got sharp memory you can remember so many things of your past life, and that means the consciousness is the same but body is changing. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that,
- dehino 'smin yathā dehe
- kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
- tathā dehāntara-prāptir
- dhīras tatra na muhyati
- (BG 2.13)
Asmin dehe, in this body, there is one thing which is the proprietor of the body. And that proprietor of the body, due to the presence of the proprietor of the body, the body is changing from childhood to boyhood, from boyhood to youthhood, from youthhood to old age. And when it is too old, when it is not useful anymore, you have to change another body, that is called death. So dhīras tatra na muhyati. One who is intelligent, one who is in the knowledge, he is not bewildered. He sees that every second, every moment, the body is changing, and the last phase of change is called death.
So these answers are there in the Bhagavad-gītā. The problems of life is that how to stop these changes of body. Because it has been spoken that, that thing which is not changing, unchangeable, that is soul and eternal. Avināśi tu tad viddhi. That is eternal. Now, if there is any possibility of getting eternal body also? Yes, there is possibility. That is answered in the Bhagavad-gītā, how you can get eternal, blissful, all-knowledge body, sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha (Bs. 5.1).
This body is not eternal, neither it is blissful, neither it is full of knowledge. It is full of ignorance, it is temporary and always miserable. And if you say, "Now we are very happily living," that is māyā; that is illusion. Lord Buddha's teaching is that He was prince and there was no want in His life. He was luxuriously living. But He left home for meditation. Therefore He understood that "I am not living comfortably." This understanding, when we can understand that this life, this material life, is not at all comfortable, it is full of misery, that is called buddha life, intelligent. Buddha means intelligent. And if we are thinking that "I am living very comfortably. I am very happy," that is called māyā, illusion.
Actually, we are always in miserable condition. In the Vedic language the miserable conditions have been described in three ways: adhyātmika, adhibhautika and adhidaivika—miseries due to the condition of this body and due to the condition of the mind. Sometimes you feel headache. This is due to the body . . . body, gross body. And sometimes you feel morose. This is due to the mind; the mind is not in quite order. Similarly . . . this is called adhyātmika. Then adhibhautika: misery inflicted by others, other living entities, some of your enemies.
Just like somebody murders somebody. This is misery inflicted by other living entity. The mosquito bite, the bug bite, or the tiger attacks you. So many living entities there are, they're always busy to inflict misery. This is called adhibhautika. And there is another misery, which is called adhidaivika, nature's disturbance. All of a sudden there is earthquake, there is famine, there is pestilence. So many, in which you have to control.
In every misery, there is no control. Ultimately, all the miseries are summarized in four things: the misery of birth . . . we do not . . . we have forgotten how much miserable condition we passed during our stay in the womb of mother, in a suffocated condition. You just imagine. Some of you might have seen the picture how the child remains within the womb of the mother. It is air-tight packed. And there are many germs who are biting the delicate skin of the child. And when the child is little grown up, at seven months, it feels too much pain. Therefore the mother can feel that the child is moving. It wants to come out, and prays . . . One who is fortunate, he can pray to God, "Please give me relief from this condition. This time I shall try my best not to come again in this position of life."
So there is severe pain of birth. Similarly, there is severe pain during death. And for disease and old age, everyone has got experience. When you are diseased, simple, if you have got some headache . . . so these miseries are there always. If we forget and if we think that we are living very comfortably, this is called illusion.
So we have to prepare for eternal life, blissful life, and life full of knowledge. If we do not do that, then our this human form of life is missing, is misused. That is the philosophy not only of Lord Buddha but Lord Caitanya, Śaṅkarācārya or Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone you take, nobody will recommend that you make your plan and live in this material world very happily. Nobody has recommended. Everyone has said that this life is the preparation stage of your next best life. If you do not believe in that, if you think that this life you can make this world happy by arrangement, by scientific advancement, that is not possible.
That is not possible. It is plainly and very straightly said in the Bhagavad-gītā,
- daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī
- mama māyā duratyayā
- mām eva ye prapadyante
- māyām etāṁ taranti te
- (BG 7.14)
It is very difficult to surmount the stringent laws of material nature. It is not possible. If you surrender to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then it is possible. So this Kṛṣṇa conscious movement is very scientific movement. It is based on authentic scriptures and experience and recommended by personalities like Lord Caitanya, Rāmānujācārya and many stalwart scholars and devotees. So we are spreading this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement . . . Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā in practical demonstration of life. So we are requesting you to study this movement. And it is very easy. It is . . . you do not require any very large quality . . . big qualification to understand this movement. Anyone, even a child, can take part in this movement. We have got practical experience. When we chant, even children, they also take, they also chant, they also dance.
So we request you that on this great auspicious day of Lord Buddha's birthday, there should be . . . Lord Buddha laid down the basic principle of meditation, that people should not forget the ultimate goal of life; they should meditate upon what is the mission of my life, what is the end of my life. Not that just like animals we shall spoil our life simply by eating, sleeping or sex life or so-called defending. We may discover so many defending instruments or weapons, but there is no defense from the cruel hands of death. However you may be advanced in manufacturing so many nice things, you cannot manufacture anything which can save you from death or from disease or from old age.
These primary principles of life should be understood, and if there is any possibility to make a solution of these four things, then it is said in the Bhagavad-gītā,
- mām upetya kaunteya
- duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam
- nāpnuvanti mahātmānaḥ
- saṁsiddhiṁ paramāṁ gatāḥ
- (BG 8.15)
The Lord says that "One who comes to Me," mām upetya, "he hasn't got to come back to this condition of miserable life." Duḥkhalayam aśāśvatam and if anyone agrees, "All right, let it be miserable or pleasant, I don't mind. I want to remain here . . ." Just like there are many scholars and many new doctor, it is holder, they say that "We want to remain in this world happy." But who is going to allow you to remain in this world? You'll not be allowed. Even if you agree that "In spite of all miserable conditions, I shall be happy to live in this world," but the nature will not allow you to live. Immediately, as soon as there is call that "You have to leave this place immediately . . . ", "Oh, I have manufactured these things so nicely. I have got this good apartment, dress, and my wife and children. How can I leave?" "Yes, you must leave. There is no time. Immediately you leave." So who is going to allow you to live, even if you think that "I shall live in spite of all miseries"?
Therefore Bhagavad-gītā says, duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam. This place is full of misery; at the same time, it is not allowed to remain here permanently. So the solution is, as Bhagavad-gītā says, mām upetya kaunteya duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam, nāpnuvanti mahātmānaḥ (BG 8.15). Mahātmānaḥ means . . . mahātmā means the person who is broad-minded. Broad-minded means he is . . . his intelligence is not teeny, that he is satisfied with this material world full of misery. He wants to go to the life of eternal. Just like the Vedas say, tamasi mā jyotir gamaḥ. Jyotir gamaḥ: "Don't remain in this darkness. Come out for the light." So one who wants to go out to the light, he is called mahātmā. And in Bhagavad-gītā there are so many instances, so many instructions about this, and the last instruction is,
- sarva-dharmān parityajya
- mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
- ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
- mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
- (BG 18.66)
The Lord says that "If you surrender unto Me, giving up all other things, then I'll take charge of you." Ma śucaḥ. "There is no question of anxiety."
So we are teaching the same principles of Bhagavad-gītā, that "Let us surrender unto Kṛṣṇa." And the process is very easy. You simply chant the name of Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa. It is not a very difficult problem. Anyone, we have seen it practically, although this Hare Kṛṣṇa sound is Sanskrit sound, still, as soon as we chant it . . . Perhaps I am here the only Indian who can pronounce in Sanskrit, but you are all Americans. You also joined with us. And we have practical experience that everywhere we chant, everyone can join this chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa.
So we simply request. Our movement is to request persons that "You please chant this Hare Kṛṣṇa, and if you go on chanting, you will find the solution of your life very easy." There is no expenditure and there is no loss. Suppose if you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa—nobody will object. There is no tax. But if there is some gain, why don't you try to achieve it? Just make an experiment for one week.
Chant as many times as you can: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, and you'll find so many things in . . . new in your life. That is practically experienced, and if you try to chant, you'll also feel. And I shall be very glad if you join with this chanting again when we shall perform again, and you shall join with us: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
Thank you very much. (end)