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720326 - Lecture BG 07.09 - Bombay

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

720326BG-BOMBAY - March 26, 1972 - 40:22 Minutes


. . . jīvanaṁ sarva-bhūtānām
jīvanaṁ sarva-bhūteṣu
tapaś cāsmi tapasviṣu
(BG 7.9)

So if we want to realize God, it is very simple; there is no difficulty. But unfortunately we do not want. That is our disease. Somebody has objection to go to the temple: "Why shall I go to the temple?" That's all right, you do not go to the temple, but what is the harm to think of Kṛṣṇa, or God, when you drink water?

What is the loss? Suppose while you are drinking water, and as it is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, raso 'ham apsu kaunteya (BG 7.8), that taste, that nice taste of water, is God. So if we remember, smaraṇaṁ . . . smaraṇaṁ is one of the process of devotional service.

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
sakhyam ātma-nivedanam
(SB 7.5.23)

So we can adopt either of all these processes—one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. Even one is sufficient. If you cannot execute the nine different processes, one is also sufficient. It is so easy.

Just like Parīkṣit Mahārāja, he was warned that within seven days he will meet with death. He was cursed by so-called brāhmin boy. He was cursed. Parīkṣit Mahārāja accepted that, and he was preparing himself for death. That is our Vedic process: until the next death comes, we have to prepare ourself for the next birth. Not that we shall die like cats and dogs. No. There is a chain of progressive march, from aquatics to plant life, trees' life, then insect life, then birds' life, then beasts' life, then human form of life.

Then you can promote further yourself to the higher planetary system: Tapaloka, Janaloka, Svargaloka, Maharloka, there are human beings. They are also human being, but with great intellect, the standard of happiness better, far, far better, thousand times better. As you go more and more on the upper planetary system, you get more and more standard of living, higher, up to Brahmaloka. But nowhere you can get immortality. That is not possible. If you want immortality, then you will have to go to the Vaikuṇṭhaloka, far, far away from this material world.

paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo
'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ
(BG 8.20)

That is sanātanaḥ dharma. So anywhere you like, you can go, but you have to prepare yourself. They are trying to go to the moon planet, but it is not so easy. Moon planet, so far we get information from the Vedic literature, that is also one of the heavenly planets. There the inhabitants live for ten thousands of years. These descriptions are there. Now, how you can enter moon planet without being qualified for it? Suppose if you want to go to America, they have got their immigration department, and they very scrutinizingly, they examine whether you can be admitted as an immigrant or citizen, or even as visitor.

So if so much restrictions are there within this planet, how do you expect there is no restriction and you can enter the higher planetary system by your whim? It is not possible. Why do you think like that, that there is no human being or intelligence? These are false assumption. Śāstra-cakṣurvat: you have to see through the śāstras. What I am speaking, not that I have gone to the higher planetary system, but I am speaking from my knowledge received from the Vedic literature, that's all. Śāstra-cakṣurvat. Therefore the injunction is that you should see through the śāstras. Otherwise it is not possible.

So in the Bhagavad-gītā it is also said, yānti deva-vratā devān (BG 9.25). Devān, Devaloka. This is called Bhuloka. Above this, the planetary system is called Bhuvarloka, then Svargaloka, then Janaloka, then Maharloka. In this way there are different status of higher planetary system, and lower also—Tala, Atala, Vitala, Talātala, Pātāla, Rasātala, like that. These are descriptions.

So who goes to the upper planetary system and who goes to the lower planetary system, or lower grades of life, that is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthā (BG 14.18). Sattva-sthā: those who are situated in the modes of goodness, they are promoted to the higher planetary system. Ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthā, madhye tiṣṭhanti rājasāḥ: those who are under the modes of passion, they remain here. And those that are under the modes of ignorance, they go to the lower planetary system or to the animal kingdom. So we understand from Vedic literature these things are there. In another place it is said:

yānti deva-vratā devān
pitṟn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ
bhūtejyā yānti bhūtāni
mad-yājino 'pi yānti mām
(BG 9.25)

Now if you want to go to the planetary system where Kṛṣṇa, Nārāyaṇa, are residing, Vaikuṇṭha planet, then you have to prepare like that. You have to become a devotee. Without devotion you cannot understand where the Vaikuṇṭha planetary systems are. That is also described in the Bhagavad-gītā: bhaktyā mām abhijānāti (BG 18.55). Kṛṣṇa says: "Only by devotional service one can understand Me." Kṛṣṇa says. The karmīs, jñānīs, yogīs, they can be elevated to the higher planetary system. Karmīs can go up to the Svargaloka; the jñānīs can go to the Janaloka, Maharloka; and the bhaktas, they can go to the Vaikuṇṭha planets or Kṛṣṇaloka. These are the description.

yānti deva-vratā devān
pitṟn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ
bhūtejyā yānti bhūtāni
mad-yājino 'pi yānti mām
(BG 9.25)

So there are many so-called svāmīs, they say that whichever form of God you worship, you are elevated to the same place. The demigods, the forms of the demigods, generally they worship, just like Lord Śiva, Lord Brahmā, Goddess Durgā, Kālī, Gaṇeśa, they have also got their different planetary system. But Bhagavad-gītā says, yānti deva-vratā devān. Deva-vratā, those who are worshiping demigods, they will be promoted to the respective planetary system. Mad-yājino 'pi mām. It is not that if you worship goddess Kālī or Durgā you go to Vaikuṇṭha.

That is not possible. We don't find these things in the Vedic literature. It is very practical to understand. If you purchase a ticket for going to Delhi, how you can go to Calcutta? Similarly, if you are preparing yourself for going to the moon planet, how you can go to the sun planet? Or if you are preparing to go to the sun planet, how you can go to the Satyaloka, Brahmaloka, like that, the highest?

So Kṛṣṇa says, jīvanaṁ sarva-bhūteṣu tapaś cāsmi tapasviṣu (BG 7.9). So all these planetary systems are attainable by tapasya—not very easily. Tapasya. You have to prepare yourself. Without being prepared, you will not be allowed. The same example: if you want to go to some nice country even within this planet, you have to prepare yourself for passport, visa and other, bank balance, P-form. So many things. So the tapasya is performed for being promoted to the higher planetary system. But the best tapasya is to be promoted to the Vaikuṇṭhaloka. Tapo divyaṁ (SB 5.5.1).

Ṛṣabhadeva says that if you are undergoing tapasya, then you perform it for going back to home, back to Godhead. Tapasya means . . .tapa means voluntarily accepting some uncomfortable position. There are description, you know, that sometimes tapasya is performed in summer season in the midst of fire. In the summer season already the temperature is very great, and still some tapasi, they sit down within the blazing fire, an all-round fire. And similarly, in winter season they dip up to the neck in the water and chant Gāyatrī mantra and other mantras.

So there are different processes of tapasya, which is called kṛtya-sādhana, very difficult execution of spiritual life. But in this age these things are like stories; it is not possible. Sometimes they say, "We shall go to Himalaya and execute tapasya there," but it is very, very difficult. It is not possible. And Kṛṣṇa knows that in this age, when people are of very short duration of life, prāyeṇālpāyuṣaḥ . . . (SB 1.1.10).

At the present moment our duration of life is not very long. Nobody lives hundred years. Formerly people . . . I have seen my grandmother died at the age of ninety-six. So my father died at the age of eighty-four. But gradually it is reducing. Perhaps we may not go so far. Maybe. It is all depends on Kṛṣṇa also, will. But generally the duration of life is reducing; memory is reducing; strength is reducing; compassion, kindness, reducing. At the present moment, if on the high road we see somebody is being killed, nobody takes sympathy. "What is the use of taking botheration?" At least this is going on in the Western countries. They don't care.

So sympathy, compassion, mercifulness, duration of life, strength of the body, memory—all these things are now reduced. Gradually they are reducing. This is the age of Kali. Besides that, we are very slow. Human life is meant for God-realization, but we are not very serious about it. Mandāḥ. Mandāḥ means very slow. And sumanda-matayo: and even one is not slow, he will accept something bogus. If somebody says bogus thing, that is very easily accepted, and if sometimes something is said authorizedly, from Vedic literature, people are not very much interested. If somebody says that, "I will give you a special mantra. Within six months you will become God," oh, that is very welcome. And as soon as one is directed to undergo tapasya, tapasya, eh . . . tapasya, here it is said, tapaś cāsmi tapasviṣu. If one is advised to become a tapasi, that is not possible. At the same time, nobody can become tapasi in this age, due to so many disadvantages.

Therefore in this Kali-yuga śāstra has given us concession that in this age, simply if you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra without any offense—or with offense, never mind; you will gradually becoming offenseless by chanting and chanting—then gradually you develop all your spiritual consciousness without any difficulty. This is the only recommendation for the people in this age. There is no difficulty, there is no cost. And if there is any gain, why don't you try for it, by chanting this mantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare?

harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā
(CC Adi 17.21)

Three times—it is in the Bṛhan-nāradīya Purāṇa—three times it has been stressed: there is no other alternative, no other alternative, no other alternative.

"No other alternative" means karma, jñāna, yoga. You cannot achieve success by the path of karma-kāṇḍīya-vicāra. In the Vedas there are three kinds of processes: karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa, upāsanā-kāṇḍa. Therefore Vedas are sometimes known as trayī: three different. So here it is said, nāsty eva, nāsty eva, nāsty eva gatir anyathā.

If you think by karma-kāṇḍa process you will make your life successful, it is said no: nāsty eva. If you think that by jñāna-kāṇḍa process you will make your life successful, then again, nāsty eva. If you think by upāsanā-kāṇḍa you will make your life successful, that is also nāsty eva. That is not possible. Karma-kāṇḍa means sacrificing big, big . . . performing big, big sacrifices, yajña. Yajña dāna-tapasya: either by performing big sacrifices or by giving in charity, yajña dāna-tapasya, or by undergoing severe austerities. Those that have got money, they can give in charity to the proper person—not charity for the sake of name or without any knowledge.

There are three kinds of charities also. If you give in charity to the proper place, dātavyam (BG 17.20), then you are spiritually elevated. If you give charity with a motive that, "I shall get good name" or "I shall get some benefit," that is in the modes of passion. And charity given without any consideration . . . suppose you give in charity to a rascal, thief, that means you encourage him to commit sinful activities by stealing. So you shall be responsible. But if you give in charity to a nice brāhmin or Vaiṣṇava . . . because actual qualified brāhmin or Vaiṣṇava, they are engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service. They have no other occupation. Therefore whatever charity you give, your money will be engaged in the service of Kṛṣṇa, so you get the benefit. That is called dātavyam—that hear, you should, you must. That is sāttvika.

So these are all described in the Bhagavad-gītā. If we read carefully we can understand all the processes of self-realization, and we may make our choice. But here Kṛṣṇa says, tapaś cāsmi tapasviṣu. That means that, "I am the ultimate goal. I am the ultimate goal for the tapasi." If you are undergoing different types of austerities and penance, it is to be understood that you are searching after Kṛṣṇa. And ultimately, by your successful execution of penances, you will meet Kṛṣṇa. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, tapaś cāsmi tapasviṣu.

So tapasya we should accept for searching out Kṛṣṇa—not tapasya for sense gratification. Just like a tapasi is undergoing severe austerities, similarly an ordinary man is going to work in the factory from six to evening six, or more than that. This is also a type of tapasya, because tapasya means voluntarily accepting some unfavorable condition, not very comfortable position. That is called tapasya. So one has to work very hard in the factory, day and night, that is also tapasya.

That tapasya for sense gratification, that is not recommended. The recommendation is tapo divyaṁ: undergo penances and austerities for divyaṁ. Divyaṁ means for spiritual realization. Then what will be the result? The result will be tapo divyaṁ yena śuddhyet sattvam. If you undergo severe austerities for self-realization or God-realization, then your existence will be purified, yena śuddhyet sattvam existence. Now my existence, your existence is depending on this body, but this body is not pure. Therefore we have to give up this body and we have to accept another body. But if you purify your existence, the next birth you will get such a body, you will never be envious.

yad gatvā na nivartante
tad dhāma paramaṁ mama
(BG 15.6)

These are . . . these things are there. Therefore tapo divyaṁ. If we at all undergo severe austerities, not for manufacturing lethal weapon but for self-realization, and that will make my existence purified. And what is the result of being purified? Now, yasmād brahma-saukhyaṁ tv anantam (SB 5.5.1). Brahmā-saukhyaṁ.

We are all hankering after happiness, but any happiness within this material world, that is temporary. But if you attain brahma-saukhyaṁ, brahma happiness, then that is anantam: it will never end, it will be ramante yogino ’nante (CC Madhya 9.29). That is eternal, perpetual happiness, blissful life.

So human form of life is meant for this realization, mānuṣyam artha-dam (SB 11.9.29). This mānuṣyam, this human form of life, is meant for giving you something substantial, artha-dam. Not artha-dam means to get some hundreds of millions of dollars. Artha-dam means that you get eternal life, eternal blissful life. That is artha-dam. That can be achieved within the duration of this human form of life simply by executing the different processes of devotional service.

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
sakhyam ātma-nivedanam
(SB 7.5.23)

Simply by hearing. Just like we are discussing here Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā. If you kindly come here and if you continue to hear, then all perfection you will get. You don't require to be a Sanskrit scholar or very educated or scholar or rich—nothing. Ahaituky apratihatā (SB 1.2.6). All these material conditions, neither they can help you, nor they can stop you from your spiritual progress of life, it is so nice.

Simply that is recommended by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, that because in this age people are very much embarrassed, they cannot adopt any prescribed method of self-realization. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu has recommended that you remain in your position. It does not matter what you are—you may be a very great scholar, or you may be illiterate, you may be medical man or engineer or ordinary man—it doesn't matter. Sthāne sthitāḥśruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhiḥ (SB 10.14.3). You remain in your position; there is no need of change. San-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām (SB 10.14.3): we have to simply hear from the right source the message of Kṛṣṇa. That will be sufficient, simply by hearing.

Parīkṣit Mahārāja, as I told you, Parīkṣit Mahārāja, for seven days he simply heard from Śukadeva Gosvāmī. He did not execute any other form of devotional service, he simply give aural reception to the words received from Śukadeva Gosvāmī. That is called śravaṇam. And similarly, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, he simply chanted Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. He got a nice audience, nice student like Parīkṣit Mahārāja, and he went on speaking or chanting Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So both of them, the hearer and the chanter, got perfection.

So Parīkṣit Mahārāja got perfection simply by hearing, and Śukadeva Gosvāmī got perfection simply by chanting. So śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ: about Lord Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa. And then smaraṇaṁ. Smaraṇaṁ: Prahlāda Mahārāja. His father tortured him like anything, and he was simply remembering Nārāyaṇa: "All right, let my father torture me." So he simply remembered. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ, smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam. Pāda-sevanam . . . Goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, she attained perfection simply by massaging the lotus feet of Viṣṇu. You have seen the picture: she is engaged in giving service to the lotus feet of Viṣṇu. This is called pāda-sevanam. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam.

Arcanaṁ: Pṛthu Mahārāja. Just like this is called arcana, Deity worship. So if you engage yourself in Deity worship, you get perfection. And if you engage in Deity worship, in hearing, in chanting, in remember—what to speak of—then you are sure. Either of them or all of them, all facilities are there. Arjuna: sakhyam. Arjuna made friendship with Kṛṣṇa, and he got the highest perfection. Kṛṣṇa certified: bhakto 'si, priyo 'si. This friendship, sometimes between friends there are some loose words, so sometimes fight, sometimes insulting—that is not insult; that is love.

So Arjuna had all these affairs with Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa . . . Arjuna wanted to marry Kṛṣṇa's sister. Arjuna could understand . . . Kṛṣṇa could understand that, "My friend is attached with My sister," but His elder brother, Balarāma, was not agreeable. So Kṛṣṇa arranged, advised Arjuna to kidnap His sister. Just see how much Kṛṣṇa is affectionate to His devotee. In any way.

You try to worship Kṛṣṇa in either of these nine ways, you get Kṛṣṇa within your hand. Vedeṣu durlabham adurlabham ātma-bhaktau (Bs. 5.33): you cannot understand Kṛṣṇa by studying Vedas. It is very difficult. Of course, the aim of Vedas is to know Kṛṣṇa, but simply by studying Vedas you cannot understand Kṛṣṇa. Vedeṣu durlabham adurlabham ātma-bhaktau.

But if you become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, He is just like within your hand. Just as the gopīs: they had no education, they were not nice society girls of city and town. They were village girls, and born of third-grade family. But they were so great devotees that Kṛṣṇa was within their clutches. This is the process of devotional service. If we actually get the opportunity to become a devotee, then God-realization is not very difficult thing.

bhaktyā mām abhijānāti
yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ
(BG 18.55)

Simply by devotional service you can understand God as He is, without any bogus humbug. You will understand. Kṛṣṇa says, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti. He doesn't says that by jñāna, by yoga, by karma one can understand. He specifically mentions this very word bhaktyā: bhaktyā mām abhijānāti, yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ. And not to understand Kṛṣṇa very vaguely. Tattvataḥ, in truth.

tato māṁ tattvato jñātvā
viśate tad-anantaram
(BG 18.55)

And when one understands Kṛṣṇa in truth, he is allowed to enter in His kingdom.

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (end)