710820 - Lecture SB 01.01.03 - London

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



710820SB-LONDON - August 20, 1971 - 33:30 Minutes



Pradyumna: (leading chanting of verse)

...pibata bhāgavataṁ rasam ālayaṁ
muhur aho rasikā bhuvi bhāvukāḥ
(SB 1.1.3)

Prabhupāda: Purport first.

Pradyumna: Purport: "In the two previous ślokas it has been definitely proved that the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the sublime literature which surpasses all other Vedic scriptures due to its transcendental qualities. It is transcendental to all mundane activities and mundane knowledge.

In this śloka it is stated that Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is not only a superior literature but that it is the ripened fruit of all Vedic literature. In other words, it is the cream of all Vedic knowledge. Considering all this, patient...

(break) ...one should receive the message and lessons imparted by the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

The Vedas are compared to the desire tree because they contain all things knowable by man. They deal with mundane necessities as well as spiritual realization."

Prabhupāda: Yes. In the Vedas you will find both the knowledge. Because the living entity, anyone who has come to this material world, the cause is that he wanted to enjoy, imitating Kṛṣṇa. Just like it is practical experience: if we are associated with some big man and he is very opulent, naturally a desires come, "If I could become an important man like him." So that is possible.

So as soon as a living entity thinks like that, that he can also enjoy like Kṛṣṇa, then he falls down and he's given the chance of lording it over this material nature. But to help him, the Vedic knowledge is there. The Vedic knowledge gives him the chance of enjoying this material world under some principles, so that some day he may again come back to home, back to Godhead. This is the Vedic literature. The chance is given because he wanted to enjoy.

Just like, for example, one wants to enjoy sex life. "Yes," Vedic knowledge, Vedic scripture, says, "Yes, just enjoy in married life, not like cats and dogs." This is the difference. So without Vedic injunction, if one wants to enjoy by his whims, then he'll be more and more entangled. But if he follows the Vedic injunction... Just like what is the difference between sex life as married man and woman and without? So far sex life is concerned, there is no difference. But the restriction and the rules and regulation will not make him mad after sex life. That is the...

Just like if anyone wants to eat meat. These are natural tendencies. So Veda says, "Yes, you can eat meat, but by offering sacrifice, or just offer a sacrifice before the goddess of..., Goddess Kālī." In this way... Actually, it wants to restrict, but one who is obstinate, he wants to enjoy, he's given some Vedic direction, "You enjoy like this."

For example... Another example can be given: just like the drunkard. The drunkards are given concession: there are liquor shops. The government gives some license to a person that "You can sell liquor to the drunkards." But this liquor is not available in every shop. There is a particular shop.

One has to purchase liquor from that particular shop. That means government is discouraging, but one who is obstinate, to give him some facility, this particular shop is established. Similarly, when there is allowance for sex life or drinking or meat-eating or even gambling, that is not encouraging; that is minimizing the tendency under discipline.

But so far we are concerned, we are above this discipline. A Vaiṣṇava is transcendental. He hasn't got to train under this discipline. Because he takes shelter of Kṛṣṇa directly, he's given immediately all protection. Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi (BG 18.66): "I shall give you all protection from sinful life."

Therefore, it is practical experience in USA the government is spending millions of dollars for stopping this intoxication habit amongst the younger generation. But the wonderful thing is they inquire also from us that as soon as they come to our movement, immediately gives up. Why?

That is the special prerogative of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ (SB 5.18.12). If one becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, then all the good qualities of the demigods will automatically manifest in Him. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā manorathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ (SB 5.18.12). On the contrary, those who are not Kṛṣṇa conscious, they have no good qualification. Harāv abhaktasya. They are simply hovering on the mental platform, and therefore they fall down.

Yes, go on.

Pradyumna: "The Vedas contain regulated principles of knowledge covering social, political, religious, economic, military, medicinal, chemical, physical and metaphysical subject matter and all that may be necessary to keep the body and soul together."

Prabhupāda: Just like in the Vedas there is direction how to prepare by chemical process gold. That is also there. Gold, there is a suggestion that you mix three metals, namely nickel, copper and mercury, you'll get gold. This direction is there. And many persons, saintly persons, yogīs, they know how to prepare it, and they do it. So in that way they meet their expenditure. They prepare gold. The chemical knowledge.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "Above and beyond all this are specific directions for spiritual realization. Regulated knowledge involves a gradual raising of the living entity to the spiritual platform, and the highest spiritual realization is to know that the Personality of Godhead is the reservoir of all spiritual tastes, or rasas."

Prabhupāda: So this is called pravṛtti and nivṛtti. Pravṛtti means the living entity has come here to enjoy this material world. This is called pravṛtti. And the other side is nivṛtti. Nivṛtti means become detached to material life. So long he'll be attached to the materialistic way of life, there is no question of liberation. He will be more and more entangled. According to his mind, he will get a particular type of body, material body. And there are 8,400,000 species of body.

So as soon as one gets the body, he becomes under the laws of the material nature, and the material nature means under the laws, stringent laws, threefold miserable condition, that will continue. Therefore the Vedic literature, they gives us opportunity to gradually renounce. Pravṛttir eṣā bhūtānāṁ nivṛttis tu mahā-phalām. That is a pravṛtti, inclination. But a Vedic student is trained up in such a way that ultimately he becomes renounced or detached from this material entanglement.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "Every living entity, beginning from Brahmā, the first-born living being within the material world, down to the insignificant ant, desires to relish some sort of taste derived from sense perceptions. These sensual pleasures are technically called rasas."

Prabhupāda: The ants, perhaps you know it, they love very much intoxicants, and therefore they are after sugar. Sugar has got properties intoxication. Wine is made from sugar, from molasses. So the ants, they want to be very much intoxicated.

So this intoxication is not only in the human society—in the animal society, in bird society, in beast society. Loke vyavāyāmiṣa-madya-sevā nityā hi jantor na hi tatra codanā (SB 11.5.11). Vyava..., vyavāya, sex intercourse, vyavāya; āmiṣa, meat-eating; madya-sevā, intoxication—they are there everywhere, not only in human society. This is the pravṛtti.

Now the actual knowledge, actual education, means to detach them, not to increase that. But at the present moment the civilization is they are increasing this desire. Everyone has got this desire. But... That is called civilization: "Eat, drink, be merry and enjoy." No. The human life is meant for being trained up to be detached.

Just like we are training our students. They are not... If not cent percent, major portion, major percentage, they're detached. That is perfection. Gradually detached. Just like if you have got fever, 105 degree, you should not increase it; you should decrease it. If you increase, "Oh, fever is very nice thing. Let us increase it," then death. As soon as it is 107 degree, then death.

So this material civilization is like fever. We should not increase it. Neither we should decrease it to such an extent that we shall die. Just like fever. Fever, 105, 107 degree, 106 degree, -five degree, reduce it. Reduce, reduce, reduce. But it must stay at hundred; not hundred, 98 degree. If you reduce 98 degree, 97, that is also not good.

Similarly, our program is not to increase to the death point, neither to decrease it to the death point. Yuktāhāra-vihārasya. We don't say, "Don't eat." Eat, but don't eat more or don't eat less. That is our program. We don't say don't eat. We don't prohibit anything. We don't say, "No sex life." Yes. We don't say no. Yes, sex life, married sex life, regulated sex life.

So everything should be regulated. That is described, that is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā. Yuktāhāra-vihārasya yogo bhavati siddhi-hā (BG 6.17). We are executing yoga. So yuktāhāra. And Rūpa Gosvāmī also says,

anāsaktasya viṣayān
yathārham upayuñjataḥ
nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe
yuktaṁ vairāgyam ucyate
(Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.255)

Anāsaktasya viṣaya. This is called viṣaya, material enjoyment. Eating, sleeping, mating and defending, this is called viṣaya. So one has to give up this viṣaya. Narottama (Locana) dāsa Ṭhākura says, viṣaya chāṛiyā, se rase majiyā, mukhe bolo hari hari (from Dhāmāli). Unless you are detached from the viṣaya... Viṣaya is there even in birds' life, beasts' life. Viṣayaḥ sarvataḥ syāt. So in the beginning we cannot give up this viṣaya all of a sudden.

But we should be trained up not to be attached to the viṣaya. Anāsaktasya viṣayā yathārham—as much. We must eat. We must eat to the point that we may not die of starvation, not that "There is nice food, oh, let me eat." Then I cannot digest, and I go three times to the W.C. (laughter) Not like that. That anāsaktasya. One should be unattached, that "I have to eat something for maintaining the body and soul together." Not that to the excess.

Anāsaktasya viṣayān yathārham upayuñjataḥ. If one makes his life in that regulated way, then he is as good as a... Anāsaktasya viṣayān yathārham upayuñjataḥ, nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa... And the viṣaya enjoyment should be in connection with Kṛṣṇa. Just like we eat and others also eat, but we eat in relationship with Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa has eaten, and we take the prasādam. In this way we have to make progress in spiritual life.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "Such rasas are of different varieties. In the revealed scriptures the following twelve varieties of rasas are enumerated: 1) raudra, anger; 2) adbhuta, wonder; 3) śṛṅgāra, conjugal love; 4) hāsya, comedy; 5) vīra, chivalry; 6) dayā, mercy; 7) dāsya, servitorship; 8) sakhya, fraternity; 9) bhayānaka, horror; 10) bībhatsa, shock; 11) śānta, neutrality; 12) vātsalya; parenthood. The sum total of all these rasas is called affection, or love.

"Primarily, such signs of love are manifested in adoration, service, friendship, eternal (sic) affection and conjugal love. And when these five are absent, love is present indirectly in anger, wonder, comedy, chivalry, fear, shock and so on. For example, when a man is in love with a woman, the rasa is called conjugal love. But when such love affairs are disturbed, there may be wonder, anger, shock or even horror.

"Sometimes love affairs between two persons culminate in ghastly murder scenes. Such rasas are displayed between man and man and between animal and animal. There is no possibility of an exchange of rasa between a man and an animal or between a man and any other species of living beings within the material world. The rasas are exchanged between members of the same species. But as far as the spirit souls are concerned..."

Prabhupāda: You have seen sometimes the pigeons fighting. But a pigeon and crow does not fight; a pigeon and pigeon fights. So this is also another indirect way of love. You'll see the pigeons, they will fight and again sit down in the assembly of the pigeons, not that the pigeon is going to the assembly of crows.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "The rasas are exchanged between members of the same species. But as far as the spirit souls are concerned, they are one qualitatively with the Supreme Lord. Therefore, the rasas were originally exchanged between the spiritual living being and the spiritual whole, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The spiritual exchange, or rasa, is fully exhibited in spiritual existence between the living beings and the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is therefore described in the śruti-mantras, Vedic hymns, as 'the fountainhead of all rasas.' "

Prabhupāda: Raso vai saḥ.

Pradyumna: "When one associates with the Supreme Lord and exchanges one's constitutional rasa with the Lord, then the living being is actually happy. These śruti-mantras indicate that every living being has its constitutional position, which is endowed with a particular type of rasa which is to be exchanged with the Personality of Godhead. In the liberated condition only, this primary rasa is experienced in full. In the material existence, the rasa is experienced in the perverted form, which is temporary. And thus the rasas of the material world are exhibited in the material form of raudra (anger) and so on.

"Therefore, one who attains full knowledge of these different rasas, which are the basic principles of activities, can understand the false representations of the original rasas which are reflected in the material world. The learned scholar seeks to relish the real rasa in the spiritual form. In the beginning he desires to become one with the Supreme. Thus, less intelligent transcendentalists cannot go beyond this conception of becoming one with the spirit whole without knowing of the different rasas.

"In this śloka, it is definitely stated that spiritual rasa, which is relished even in the liberated stage, can be experienced in the literature of the..."

Prabhupāda: Rasāmalayam.

Pradyumna: "...can be experienced in the literature of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam due to its being the ripened fruit of all Vedic knowledge. By submissively hearing this transcendental literature, one can attain the full pleasure of the heart's desire. But one must be very careful to hear the message from the right source.

"Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is exactly received from the right source. It was brought by Nārada Muni from the spiritual world and given to his disciple Śrī Vyāsadeva. The latter in turn delivered the message to his son, Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī, and Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī delivered the message to Mahārāja Parīkṣit..."

Prabhupāda: (aside to devotee:) Don't close your eyes.

Pradyumna: "...just seven days before the King's death. Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī was a liberated soul from his very birth. He was liberated even in the womb of his mother, and he did not undergo any sort of spiritual training after his birth.

"At birth no one is qualified, neither in the mundane nor the spiritual sense. But Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī, due to his being a perfectly liberated soul, did not have to undergo an evolutionary process for spiritual realization. Yet despite his being a completely liberated person situated in the transcendental position above the three material modes, he was attracted to this transcendental rasa of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is adored by liberated souls who sing Vedic hymns.

"The Supreme Lord's pastimes are more attractive to liberated souls than to mundane people. He is of necessity not impersonal, because it is only possible to carry on transcendental rasa with a person. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam the transcendental pastimes of the Lord are narrated, and the narration is systematically depicted by Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Thus the subject matter is appealing to all classes of persons, including those who seek liberation and those who seek to become one with the Supreme Whole.

"In Sanskrit the parrot is also known as śuka. When a ripened fruit is cut by the red beaks of such birds, its sweet flavor is enhanced. The Vedic fruit which is mature and ripe in knowledge is spoken through the lips of Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who is compared to the parrot not for his ability to recite the Bhāgavatam exactly as he heard it from his learned father, but for his ability to present the work in a manner that would appeal to all classes of men.

"The subject matter is so presented through the lips of Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī that any sincere listener that hears submissively can at once relish transcendental tastes, which are distinct from the perverted tastes of the material world.

"The ripened fruit is not dropped all of a sudden from the highest planet of Kṛṣṇaloka. Rather, it has come down carefully through the chain of disciplic succession without change or disturbance. Foolish people who are not in the transcendental disciplic succession commit great blunders by trying to understand the highest transcendental rasa, known as the rāsa dance, without following in the footsteps of Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who presents this fruit very carefully by stages of transcendental realization.

"One should be intelligent to know the position of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by considering personalities like Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who deals with the subject so carefully. This process of disciplic succession of the Bhāgavata school suggests that in the future also Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam has to be understood from a person who is factually a representative of Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī.

"A professional man who makes a business out of reciting the Bhāgavatam illegally is certainly not a representative of Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Such a man's business is only to earn his livelihood. Therefore one should refrain from hearing the lectures of such professional men. Such men usually go to the most confidential part of the literature, without undergoing the gradual process of understanding this grave subject."

Prabhupāda: In India there is a class, they are professional Bhāgavata reciters. They make contract that he shall recite Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, finish within a week, and he should be rewarded. These things are not recommended in the authoritative scripture. We should follow the footsteps of Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī. He's explaining Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from the very beginning, janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1).

Try to understand the philosophy of Bhāgavata. Then gradually, when you are accustomed to understand what is Kṛṣṇa, then go to the Tenth Canto, wherein Kṛṣṇa's rāsa dance is described. Without reading in the beginning what is Kṛṣṇa, if we all of a sudden jump over to understand the rāsa dance... That is a very natural tendency. No, we should not go like that. First of all, try to understand what is Kṛṣṇa.

To understand Kṛṣṇa is very difficult subject matter. But by the grace of Lord Caitanya we can understand little about Kṛṣṇa. And then gradually... Of course, the ultimate goal is to enter into the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa. But not by speculation or by material misconception. Gradually, samaih-samaih. Prādurbhāve bhavet kramaḥ (Brs. 1.4.16).

There is a chronological way, or gradual process. Ādau śraddhā. First of all, śraddhā, faith: "Oh, Kṛṣṇa consciousness is very good." This is faith. Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgaḥ (CC Madhya 23.14-15). Then, to increase that faith, we should mix with persons who are actually developing or cultivating Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is called sādhu-saṅga (CC Madhya 22.83).

Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sā..,. atha bhajana-kriyā. Then, after mixing, after associating with the devotees, naturally one becomes, I mean to say, eager to be initiated how to execute devotional service. That is called initiation. Bhajana-kriyā. And if he is properly initiated and if he executes the order of the spiritual master, regulative principles, then anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt: then things which are not wanted in our life, that becomes vanquished.

Just like nobody will die without sex life. Nobody will die without meat-eating. Nobody will die without intoxication. Nobody will die without playing gambling. These are learned by association only. By bad association we learn how to drink, how to smoke. Similarly, by good association we can give up drinking and smoking.

So this is called anartha. Anartha means which there is no gain, simply loss. Practically we can see. So a man who has learned to smoke, he's spending one pound or like that daily for smoking. At least we save that money. We don't smoke. So anartha. There is no necessity; still we have learned.

So anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt. If one is actually initiated and follows the rules and regulations, he'll no more be attached with these unwanted things. Then anartha... Tato niṣṭhā. Then firm faith. By these four processes the faith becomes firm. Tato niṣṭhā tato ruciḥ.

Ruci means taste. Just like you are sitting here. Unless you have got some taste to understand Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you could not sit down. Tato ruciḥ. Tato niṣṭhā rucis tataḥ, athāsaktiḥ: then attachment. Instead of being attached to this material enjoyment, one becomes attached to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In this way, tato bhāvaḥ: then ecstasy. Then love of Kṛṣṇa.

So when you come to the platform of love of Kṛṣṇa by this process, at that time if we try to understand Kṛṣṇa's rāsa dance, that will be very relishable. Before that, if we try to understand, the effect will be we shall consider Kṛṣṇa as a young boy of this material world and the gopīs are young girls, and they're enjoying. "So let me imitate also, and I become Kṛṣṇa, you become gopīs." That will be the effect. Don't do that. First of all try to understand Kṛṣṇa. Then go to read rāsa dance.

Finish it.

Pradyumna: "They usually plunge into the subject matter of the rāsa dance, which is misunderstood by the..."

Prabhupāda: These professional readers, they won't read. Just like we are reading the philosophical side here. They won't go. People are not interested the philosophical. They immediately jump over the rāsa dance, and they think, "Oh, Kṛṣṇa is enjoying with the gopīs." Just like we read some novel: one boy is enjoying with another girl.

They take it like that. You see? So that is degradation. Avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇaṁ pūtaṁ hari-kathāmṛtam, śravaṇaṁ na kartavyam (Padma Purāṇa). Therefore Sanātana Gosvāmī has warned that one who is not actually Vaiṣṇava, a realized soul of this Vaiṣṇava philosophy, one should not hear from him. Avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇaṁ pūtaṁ hari-kathāmṛtam, śravaṇaṁ na kartavya... Don't hear.

So actually, this Bhāgavata-saptāha is going on in India in village to village, but we see the effect is that they are not Kṛṣṇa conscious. They are not as good Kṛṣṇa conscious as you are becoming. Because they take it as..., as a matter of some refreshment. No. It should be taken very seriously and should be heard from the right source. Then you will get the result.

Pradyumna: "Some of them take this to be immoral, while others try to cover it up by their own stupid interpretations."

Prabhupāda: Yes, sometimes they say, "Oh, Kṛṣṇa is so immoral." Yes, that will be the effect. "Kṛṣṇa is enjoying with others' wives and others' sisters," like that. They'll take it like that. They do it. We have to sometimes explain. They question. Even Parīkṣit Mahārāja questioned. Parīkṣit Mahārāja questioned... Not that he was ignorant. He questioned this fact from Śukadeva Gosvāmī, and it was answered so that others may understand that Kṛṣṇa's pastime is not immoral. That is the highest, sublime spiritual pastime.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "They have no desire to follow in the footsteps of Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī. One should conclude, therefore, that the serious student of the rasa should receive the message of Bhāgavatam in the chain of disciplic succession from Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who describes the Bhāgavatam from its very beginning, and not whimsically to satisfy the mundaner, who has very little knowledge in transcendental science.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is so carefully presented that a sincere and serious person can at once enjoy the ripened fruit of Vedic knowledge simply by drinking the nectarean juice through the mouth of Śukadeva Gosvāmī or his bona fide representative."

Prabhupāda: That's all. Now have kīrtana.

Devotees: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda. (devotees offer obeisances) (end)