720613 - Lecture SB 02.03.18-19 - Los Angeles

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

720613SB-LOS ANGELES - June 13, 1972 - 53:03 Minutes

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Page 150, text 18. (leads chanting of verse) (Prabhupāda and devotees repeat)

taravaḥ kiṁ na jīvanti
bhastrāḥ kiṁ na śvasanty uta
na khādanti na mehanti
kiṁ grāme paśavo 'pare
(SB 2.3.18)

Prabhupāda: That's nice. Go on. Anyone else? That's nice. Now, word meaning.


taravaḥ—the trees; kim—whether; na—do not; jīvanti—live; bhastrāḥ—bellows; kim—whether; na—do not; śvasanti—breathe; uta—also; na—do not; khādanti—eat; na—do not; mehanti—discharge semen; kim—whether; grāme—in the locality; paśavaḥ—beastly living being; apare—others.

Translation: "Do . . ."

Prabhupāda: Now "beastly," "animals." Paśavaḥ means animal, and beastly living being also. Then?

Pradyumna: Translation: "Do the trees not live? Do the bellows of the blacksmith not breathe? All around us, do the beasts not eat and discharge semen?"

Purport: "The materialistic man of the modern age will argue that life, or part of it, is never meant for discussion of theosophical or theological arguments. Life is meant for the maximum duration of existence for eating, drinking, sexual intercourse, making merry and enjoying life. The modern man wants to live forever by the advancement of material science, and there are many foolish theories for prolonging life to the maximum duration."

"But the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam affirms that life is not meant for so-called economic development or advancement of materialistic science for the hedonistic philosophy of eating, mating, drinking and merry-making. Life is solely meant for tapasya, for purifying existence, so that one may enter into eternal life just after the end of the human form of life."

"The materialists want to prolong life as much as possible because they have no information of the next life. Therefore they want to get the maximum comforts of life only in this present life, thinking conclusively that there is no life after death. This ignorance about the eternity of the living being and the change of covering in the material world has played havoc in the structure of the modern human society."

"Consequently there are many problems multiplied by various plans of modernized man. The plans for solving the problems of society have only aggravated the troubles. Even if it is possible to prolong life more than one hundred years, advancement of human civilization does not necessarily follow."

"The Bhāgavatam says that certain trees live for hundreds and thousands of years. At Vṛndāvana there is a tamarind tree. The place is known as Imlitala, which is said to be existing since the time of Lord Kṛṣṇa. In the Calcutta Botanical Garden there is a banyan tree said to be older than five hundred years, and there are many such trees all over the world."

"Svāmī Śaṅkarācārya lived only thirty-two years, and Lord Caitanya lived forty-eight years. Does it mean that the prolonged lives of the above-mentioned trees are more important than Śaṅkara or Caitanya? Prolonged life without spiritual value is not very important."

"One may doubt that trees have life because they do not breathe, but modern scientists like Bose have already proved that there is life in plants, so breathing is no sign of actual life. The Bhāgavatam says that the bellows of the blacksmith breathe very soundly, but that does not mean that the bellows has life. The materialist will argue that life in the tree and life in the man cannot be compared, because the tree cannot enjoy life by eating palatable dishes or by enjoying sexual intercourse. In reply to this, the Bhāgavatam asks whether other animals like the dogs and hogs living in the same village with human beings do not eat and enjoy sexual life."

"The specific utterance of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in this connection regarding other animals means that persons who are simply engaged in the matter of planning a better type of animal life consisting of eating, breathing and mating are also animals in the shape of human beings. A society of such polished animals cannot benefit suffering humanity, for an animal can easily harm another animal, but rarely do good."

Prabhupāda: So this is the situation. We have discussed in the previous verse that we are decreasing the span of life. The scientists will say: "No, we are making arrangement so that by science we shall make man immortal." Vikatate. When a man becomes mad, he speaks so many nonsense. Like a child: a child also speaks so many nonsense things, and the parents enjoy it. Similarly, the so-called scientist, when he says that, "By scientific method, we shall stop death," so there is no evidence in the history of the human society that a man has not died.

That cannot be. Hiraṇyakaśipu, he was also atheist and materialistic. He also tried to become immortal. And he made a plan, negative plan, to cheat Lord Brahmā that, "I shall not die in this way, in this way, in that way, in this way, that way." But still he was killed. Mṛtyuḥ sarva-haraś cāham (BG 10.34). Kṛṣṇa says that, "I am death, and at the time of death I take away everything." Sarva-haraś ca.

So we cannot cheat God or His law. That is not possible. We may be very intelligent to cheat here the police or the government or the laws, but it is not possible to cheat the supreme laws. That is not possible. Therefore, in order to avoid the superintendence of the Supreme Lord . . . because there is superintendence; as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, you have read, mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram (BG 9.10): "Under My superintendence the law of nature is working."

So we are under the laws of nature. The nature is very vigilant, strong agent of Kṛṣṇa. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). So we cannot avoid. Even if we deny, "There is no God, there is no systematic government or stringent laws," just to avoid our responsibility, but that will not save us.

Now, the argument is, in the previous verse, it is said that we are decreasing our duration of life. The scientists will say: "No, we shall stop it." Taking this argument, Bhāgavata says: "Suppose you stop death . . ." It cannot be. Suppose you increase the duration, span of life, to a very extensive way. In reply to that, it is said that "What is the use of living for so many years?" If the life is not properly utilized . . .

Now, they living for many, many years, so the trees are also living, standing in one place, living for many years. In San Francisco we saw. They say that one tree, red tree, very tall, very stout and strong, and they said that this tree is standing there for seven thousands of years. So what is the benefit?

So we can argue that, "You cannot compare with tree and us. Because we have got so many facilities." What facilities? "That facility . . . the tree's life . . . that is life, admitting, but it cannot breathe." So immediately the answer is, bhastrāḥ kiṁ na śvasanty uta. Bhastrāḥ, bellow. You have seen big, big bellows in blacksmith shop—that is also made of skin.

Just like our body is made of skin, that bellow is also made of skin, and it has got a big nose, and breathing is coming, "bhas-ghans, ghans-bhas." So these are the tangible examples. So if you want to increase your life, there are many living entities, they are living many, many years more than you. So what excel? What is excellence in your part? And if you say that, "I am breathing. The tree cannot breathe," oh, there is the bhastrāḥ, the bellows. It can breathe better than you.

Then he says: "No, they have no enjoyment of eating and mating." Then the Bhāgavata replies, kiṁ . . . na khādanti na mehanti kiṁ grāme paśavo 'pare. Wherever we live, there are many other lower animals, just like dogs, cats, hogs, asses, animals, camels. Of course, in city we do not find these, but in villages these are domestic animals—dogs, asses, hogs, camel, monkey and so many others.

Therefore he says grāme, "In your vicinity, in your neighborhood, there are many animals. They have got the facility of eating and sexual intercourse. So how do we excel them?" The modern civilization is such a foolish civilization that they think they are advanced. In which way you are advanced? The animals, the trees, they are far advanced than you in this matter. So far bodily necessities are concerned, you cannot compete with them.

You are flying. So we can fly by airplane. Oh, the vulture can fly more than you. It is a vulture, and it flies many miles above, and it has got very sharp eyesight. The vulture is so up. The business is where there is a dead body, that's all. He is trying to find out, "Where is a dead body?" You see? It goes high, but the business is to find out a dead body. That's all.

Similarly, our this advancement of science, increasing the duration of life, increasing the sex power, especially in these days . . . as soon as there is lack of sex power, there is divorce suit. Yes. But you have seen the dogs and cats, how much sex power they have got. So begetting children, the hog can beget children at least three dozen a year. What we can do? In three years it is hardly we can produce one child. And the hog will produce in three years at least thirty-six children.

So you cannot compete. Simply by competing with these things, animal life, that is not excellence of your life. Real excellence is that these animals, they cannot become Kṛṣṇa conscious. That is the difference only. You can excel with all these lower animals, trees, birds, beasts and others, so many, only by awakening your Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the only business. And if you lack in that matter Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then the other animals, lower animals, they are far, far advanced. They are far, far advanced.

So as human being, we should consider all these points. The Bhāgavata is pointing out each and every step of our life and helping us how to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. When Nārada Muni advised Vyāsadeva that, "You have written so many books, but actually they are not very much beneficial to the human society. You write such a book that they will come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness," so this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is especially written to bring these rascals and animals to come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

The so-called advanced civilization going to hell, they do not know. Adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām (SB 7.5.30). Chewing the chewed. So many advertisement, only for drinking and sex. We go, when we go to the beach, two sides, the advertisement full of drinking and sex. That's all. So animal civilization. Don't be proud of this rascal civilization. There is no meaning of this civilization. And big professor, he says: "Swāmījī, there is no life after death."

Just see. And he is a professor. He's teacher. This is the position. Fools, rascals, they are leaders, professors and scientists and philosophers, and pushing us towards hell. That's all. Because they do not know what is the value of life. They do not know that there is life after death. Otherwise, why there are so many varieties of life? They concoct their own conclusion. They do not refer to the authorities, what is the actual position. They make . . . they manufacture their own way of life.

It is very dangerous civilization, because . . . dangerous in this sense, that this life, human form of life, is especially meant for God realization, but in that subject matter they are blind. There is no education system, there is no university, nothing of the sort. Simply animalistic way of life: "How we can increase our eating capacity, our sexual capacity, and this . . ." This is going on. So Bhāgavata is pointing out, "My dear sir, by these things you cannot be very much proud."

Then? One more verse, yes.

Pradyumna: (leads chanting of verse) (Prabhupāda and devotees chant verse)

saṁstutaḥ puruṣaḥ paśuḥ
na yat-karṇa-pathopeto
jātu nāma gadāgrajaḥ
(SB 2.3.19)

Prabhupāda: That's all. So śva, śva means dog; and viḍ, viḍ-varāha. There are two kinds of hogs. One is that we see generally in towns and villages. That is varāha. Varāha means hogs. And they eat stool, viḍ-varāha. Another, jungle varāha, they have got a big, what is called?

Devotees: Tusk.

Prabhupāda: Tusk, yes. That is more dangerous. They live in the jungle. And viḍ-varāha means they live in the forest, finding out "Where is stool? Where is stool? Where is stool?" Śva-viḍ-varāha uṣṭra. Uṣṭra means camel, and khara means ass. So here it is a very terse remark, that "Anyone who has never heard the glories of Gadāgraja, the Supreme Personality of Godhead—in other words, one who is not Kṛṣṇa conscious, does not know anything about Kṛṣṇa, or God—they are no better than these animals, especially: dog, hog, ass, camel."

Why these four kinds of animals have been selected to compare? That is explained. Śva means dog. A dog, however powerful it may be, very strong, stout, but it, unless it has got a master, its life is very precarious. Dog. Just see our education at the present moment, very advanced education. Many Indian students come here also to take advanced education. But actually, if we consider, this education creating dogs. Why? Now, because however technologist you may be, if you don't get a suitable service, all your education is finished.

Therefore, after education you'll have to write application, "My dear sir, I am such-and-such qualified dog. (laughter) If you'll kindly give me some service." And the tail is like this. (laughter) You see? Just imagine. If by education he becomes independent . . . just like Vedic culture. The Brāhmins, the Kṣatriya, the Vaiśyas, they are independent. The Śūdras are compared with the dogs, because they cannot live without a master. Brāhmin, he will not accept anyone's service. That is real Brāhmin. A Kṣatriya will never accept anyone's service.

Why the Battle of Kurukṣetra was there? The Kurus, they took away the whole kingdom of the Pāṇḍavas. But they were Kṣatriyas; how they will live? Therefore the fight was necessity. The Kṣatriyas must be . . . must have some land to collect taxes. That is the Kṣatriyas source of income. The Brāhmins source of income, paṭhana pāṭhana yajana yājana . . . they must be learned scholar, they must teach others, they must be devotee and teach others how to become devotee. They must take contribution and must spend for Kṛṣṇa. This is Brāhmin. No service.

Formerly, no Brāhmin . . . Sanātana Gosvāmī, Rūpa Gosvāmī, they were born in high-class Brāhmin family, Sārasvata Brāhmin, but because they accepted the service of Nawab Hussain Shah, immediately they were rejected from Brāhmin society. It is by the grace of Caitanya Mahāprabhu that they again became Gosvāmīs. Otherwise, they were rejected. No Brāhmin could take service, and especially service of a low-class man. That is . . . in Bhāgavata you will see especially that if a Brāhmin is in difficulty, he may accept the profession of a Kṣatriya or utmost of a Vaiśya, but never take the profession of a Śūdra.

What is the profession of Śūdra? Śūdra means paricaryātmakaṁ kāryaṁ śūdra-karma śvabhāva-jam (BG 18.44). One who is hankering after service, he is Śūdra. He has no capacity to live independently. The Brāhmin, real Brāhmin, he will starve; he will die out of starvation, he will never accept anyone's service. That is Brāhmin. Uñcha-vṛtti. If he has no income, he will go on the field, and when the grains are taken away, some grains fall down. They will pick up all those grains and live on that. Still, they will not go to anyone that "I am hungry. Give me something." No. Uñcha-vṛtti.

So our education . . . and why we were so independent? Because the education was very high, Vedic education, satisfied with Brahman realization, brahmā-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā (BG 18.54). Not very long ago, say about three hundred years ago, there was a Brāhmin, a very rigid Brāhmin, in Kṛṣṇa-nagara, near our Māyāpur. And Brāhmin's business, he was teaching. So the king of that place, means a big zamindar, Rājā Kṛṣṇa-candra—by his name, that place is Kṛṣṇa-nagara—so he heard about the Brāhmin, very learned Brāhmin, but very poor. So he one day came to him and asked him, "Brāhmin, can I help you any way?"

So he said: "No, I don't require any help from you." "No, I see you are so poverty-stricken. You have no sufficient means." "No, I am not poverty-stricken. My students, they get some alms of rice. So my wife boils the rice, and here is a tamarind tree, so I take some leaves and boil it, and that's sufficient. Why I am poverty-stricken?" He's satisfied, whatever is coming automatically. That's all. He doesn't require any higher standard of life, any botheration. He is satisfied, little rice and tamarind juice. That's all. So in each and every home, formerly, this independence was very much valued.

So at the modern education this independence is being killed. People are becoming unemployed, machine. Machine . . . high technologist means he must find out a job where technological machines are there. Otherwise he will starve, and he will have to go round, factory to factory: "Will you give me some service?" "No vacancy." Yes.

So we shall discuss further next, tomorrow.

Devotees: Jaya. All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. (devotees offer obeisances) (break) Hare Kṛṣṇa. Śva-viḍ-varāhoṣṭra-kharaiḥ, saṁstutaḥ puruṣaḥ paśuḥ (SB 2.3.19).

(kīrtana) (Prabhupāda plays gong) (break) (end)