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720420 - Lecture SB 07.06.01 - Hong Kong

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

720420SB-HONG KONG - April 20, 1972 - 27:10 Minutes

Prabhupāda: (indistinct) . . . You all understand English?

Children: Yes!

Prabhupāda: Thank you. Hare Kṛṣṇa. Jaya. Very good. (chuckles) Oh, nice.

(Prabhupāda leads kīrtana with children) (obeisances)

kaumāra ācaret prājño
dharmān bhāgavatān iha
durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma
tad apy adhruvam arthadam
(SB 7.6.1)

This is a verse spoken by Prahlāda Mahārāja, Prahlāda Mahārāja, when he was a five-years-old boy, like all these children. Kaumāra. Kaumāra age is called from five years to ten years. That is called kaumāra. So Prahlāda Mahārāja was born of an atheist father. The father was atheist number one, Hiraṇyakaśipu. He is described as rākṣasa, demon, like that. Daitya. Daitya means demon.

There are two classes of men. One class is called daitya and the other class is called devata. Dvau bhūta-sargau loke daiva āsura eva ca (BG 16.6). There are two classes of men, known as daiva, and another, asura. Viṣṇu bhaktaḥ bhaved daiva āsuras tad viparyayaḥ. Those who are devotees of the Lord, they are called daiva or devata, demigods. And those who are just the opposite number, they are called daitya, or demon.

So Hiraṇyakaśipu was atheist. Fortunately, he was so fortunate that he got a great Vaiṣṇava devotee son, Prahlāda Mahārāja. You have heard his name, Prahlāda Mahārāja. He is one of the mahājanas. There are twelve mahājanas in the śāstras. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ.

tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnā
nāsau munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam
dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ
mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ
(CC Madhya 17.186)

The mystery of religious life is very, very secret. Secret means for ordinary man it is very difficult to understand. Therefore śāstra says tarko 'pratiṣṭhāḥ. If you want to learn what is spiritual life simply by your argument, dry, philosophical speculation, it will never be achieved. Tarko 'pratiṣṭhāḥ śrutayo vibhinnā. If you study the Vedas . . . there are different Vedas, principally Sāma, Yajur, Atharva, Ṛg— but you cannot understand the objective of the Vedas simply by studying yourself. Therefore Vedas says, Kaṭhopaniṣad, tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham samit-pāṇiḥ (MU 1.2.12). Like that. In every śāstra the injunction is if you want to understand the essence of Veda, then you must approach a realized, self-realized person. In the Bhagavad-gītā also the same thing is said. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā (BG 4.34).

So Prahlāda Mahārāja, although he was born of a father who was atheist number one, godless, by the grace of Nārada Muni he became a great devotee. So his father was very careful that nobody comes and instructs his son about Vedic way of life or God consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He was very careful not to allow anyone. He appointed teachers for his son, strictly prohibiting about . . . just like nowadays it has become . . . what is called? State? Secular state. "Don't talk of God." This is the present situation of the world, atheist class. "Don't talk of God."

But they do not know that they have not much improved by "Don't talk of God." The situation is becoming grimmer and grimmer. But they have no eyes to see. They have no eyes to see. This godless civilization will not make them happy. That's a fact. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad guṇa manorathena asato dhāvato bahiḥ (SB 5.18.12). If one is godless, then however qualified he may be from the material point of view, he is useless. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad guṇā. He cannot have any good quality. Why? Manorathena asato dhāvato bahiḥ. Because he is on the mental platform. So by speculation on the mental platform, he will accept which is not spiritual. Asata. Asato māṁ sad gamaḥ. That is the Vedic injunction. Don't keep yourself in the asata, but you try to transcend to the sat platform, oṁ tat sat. That means spiritual platform.

So those who have no spiritual knowledge, they are on the mental platform. There are many platforms of our life. Indriyānī parāṇy āhur indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ manasas tu parā buddhir (BG 3.42). So ordinarily we are bodily, we think, "I am this body." This is called . . . body means my senses. So civilization based on this bodily concept of life are interested only sense gratification. That is their aim of life. Indriya-tarṣaṇāt, sense gratification. And those who are disgusted with sense gratification, they go little higher on the mental platform, mental speculation, just like philosophy, poetry, like that. Gross means they are working very hard day and night for sense gratification, just like hogs and dogs.

That is stated in the śāstra. Nāyaṁ deha deho bhājāṁ nṛloke kaṣṭān kāmān arhate viḍ-bhujāṁ ye (SB 5.5.1). Ṛṣabhādeva says that this human form of life is not meant for working so hard like cats and dogs. That is not recommended. Ayam deha. But the material world, people are so enchanted that working day and night they think, "I am enjoying." This is called māyā. Actually he is working day and night, and he is thinking that, "I am happy. I am making progress." This is called māyā.

So the world situation is very, very downward. Don't think that you are making progress. It is not progress. Śāstra says, parābhavas tāvad abodha-jāto yāvan na jijñāsata ātma-tattvam (SB 5.5.5). So long a human being is not interested in the subject matter of ātma-tattva, "What I am," then whatever he is doing, he is becoming defeated. He is not victorious; he is defeated. Parābhavas tāvad abodha-jāto. Abodha-jāto. He is a rascal, fool. He does not know what is his interest. He does not know that by nature's law:

prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate
(BG 3.27)

By nature's law we have to transmigrate in so many species of life—from aquatics to plants, trees, then insect, then flies, then birds, then beast, then uncivilized human being. Then we have got this civilized form—especially those who are born in India, because in India the varṇāśrama-dharma is here.

India, Hindu . . . "Hindu" is a foreign name given by the Muhammadans. Actually our real position is followers of the varṇāśrama-dharma: four varṇas and four āśramas. This is the stepping stone for civilized life, varṇāśrama: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra; and brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, sannyāsa.

This system of social order, I mean to say, spiritual and material, it is so systematically done that one who follows this system, automatically he becomes at the end Kṛṣṇa conscious. That is his highest objective. Unfortunately, they do not know it. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatim hi viṣṇuṁ durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ (SB 7.5.31). They are enchanted by the glaring materialistic . . . material energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Just like we come from airport to this hotel. This city is very nice. Not only this city, I am traveling all over the world. There are very, very nice cities in Europe, America and other countries also. It is all right. You decorate this city nice, you make your life very comfortable. But if you forget Kṛṣṇa, then you are defeated. Then you are defeated. That is the instruction given by Kṛṣṇa to Arjuna. Yuddhyasva mām anusmara (BG 8.7). Arjuna did not stop his fighting capacity. He was a kṣatriya. And Kṛṣṇa did not encourage him that, "You should stop fighting." Rather, Arjuna was trying to stop fighting, Kṛṣṇa said: "No. You are kṣatriya. You cannot stop fighting."

So don't think that by becoming Kṛṣṇa consciousness . . . Kṛṣṇa conscious, one becomes a vagabond. No. One gentleman talked with me that "Your Vaiṣṇava philosophy has made our country coward." No. You do not know what is Vaiṣṇava. In India there were two great fights: one, the fight between Rāma and Rāvaṇa, and the another great fight was between these two, Kurus and the Pāṇḍavas. In both the fighting the hero was Vaiṣṇava. The hero, Hanumānjī, Vajrāṅgajī, who fought on behalf of Lord Rāmacandra, he is a Vaiṣṇava. And Kṛṣṇa . . . and Arjuna, who also fought on behalf of Kṛṣṇa, he is a kṣatriya. So they do not know what is Vaiṣṇava philosophy.

Vaiṣṇava philosophy means the Vaiṣṇava is ready to do anything for God's sake. That is Vaiṣṇava. It is approved by God, Kṛṣṇa, then they are ready to do anything. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. It is not that by Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement everything, our daily routine work, will be stopped. No. I am very glad to see that these small children are being trained here in such a far distant place from India. I thank our Bhūrijana Prabhu for his this work. But this is the aim for training them in Kṛṣṇa consciousness: brahmacārī. And if one becomes very solid in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then his further progress of life . . .

Just like I was quoting the instance of Prahlāda Mahārāja. Prahlāda Mahārāja was a devotee from the very birth, but he was a great king, he was a great ruler. Dhruva Mahārāja, he was also a devotee from the very beginning of his life, but he was a great ruler, a great king. So do not misunderstand that by accepting Kṛṣṇa consciousness everything will be stopped. No. Nothing will be stopped.

Simply one has to change the consciousness. That's all. Just like Arjuna did. Arjuna was a fighter in the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā. He remained a fighter after hearing Bhagavad-gītā. He did not change his position as a fighter, as a kṣatriya. But in the beginning he was thinking non–Kṛṣṇa conscious. He was thinking of his personal interest, personal sense gratification. But at the end he decided to satisfy Kṛṣṇa.

This is the difference, materialism and spiritualism. If you want to satisfy your senses, that is materialism, and if you want to satisfy Kṛṣṇa's senses, that is spiritual. You have to satisfy. Our position is . . . (end)