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720818 - Lecture SB 01.02.15 - Los Angeles

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

720818SB-LOS ANGELES - August 18, 1972 - 54:16 Minutes

(Govindam prayers playing; Prabhupāda singing along)

Prabhupāda: (sings Jaya Rādhā-Mādhava) (prema-dhvani) Thank you very much.

Devotees: All glories to Śrī Guru and Gauranga. (devotees offer obeisances)

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Text number 15.

Prabhupāda: Hm-mm.

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

yad anudhyāsinā yuktāḥ
chindanti kovidās tasya
ko na kuryāt kathā-ratim
(SB 1.2.15)

Prabhupāda: Ladies. (lady chants) Any other lady? (man chants)

In London, they used to put a blackboard and write the verse so everyone could see and chant. You may arrange like that. In big letters, so that they will hear the sound and see. It is practical. All right, word meaning.


yat—which; anudhyā—remembrance; asinā—sword; yuktāḥ—being equipped with persons; karma—reactionary work; granthi—knot; nibandhanam—interknit; chindanti—cut; kovidāḥ—intelligent; tasya—His; kaḥ—who; na—not; kuryāt—shall not do; kathā—messages; ratim—attention.

Translation: "With sword in hand, intelligent men cut through the labyrinthine knots of reactionary work, or karma, by remembering the Lord. Therefore, who will not pay attention to His message?"

Prabhupāda: Hm. So knot, we have experience . . .

(aside) Do it nicely.

Karma-granthi. Granthi means knot. So just like a man, if it is tied very strongly with ropes, hand and legs, he cannot move independently, similarly, we are tied up by the laws of material nature. Material nature. Just like we, when we become criminal, we become . . . we are always bound up by the laws of the state; either criminal or civil, it doesn't matter. But criminal is more strong. When we are under criminal laws, then it becomes very painful. We cannot violate the state laws, either criminal or civil; it doesn't matter. But if we violate the civil law, there is no such strong punishment, but if we violate the criminal laws, then it is very strong.

Similarly, we living entities, those who are conditioned by this body . . . this body itself is a punishment. That, these rascal people, they do not know. They are trying to enjoy this body. The body, there are senses. So they are satisfied. The same thing, just like hog. He has forgotten that he has got a body of hog so that he is bound to eat stool and live in a filthy place, but because he has got the facility of sense gratification with other female hogs—never mind whether sister, mother or daughter—he is happy.

This hog's life. The hog is satisfied. He doesn't matter. We are seeing that what is the abominable condition, in a filthy place, he is eating stool. We are conscious that what is the condition of his life, but he is very happy: "Oh," you see, "what a very nice, happy, very life. I am eating very nicely the first-class food and having sex without any restriction. This is life."

So this is called māyā. Prakṣepātmikā-śakti, covering. Āvaraṇātmikā-śakti, prakṣepātmikā-śakti. There are two kinds of energy of material . . . māyā. One is āvaraṇātmi . . . ignorance. One is living very condemned life; still, he's thinking, "I am very happy," or "We are all right."

So that is called āvaraṇātmikā, covered. Real knowledge is covered. And another śakti is prakṣepātmikā. Prakṣepātmikā means if anyone tries to get out of this . . . suppose our students are coming to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, somebody is coming to us, māyā will dictate, "Oh, why you are coming here? There are so many restrictions and so rules and regulation. Better give it up." "Why, yes, what is this nonsense? Give it up."

This is called prakṣepātmikā. Māyā is dragging. Because the more one is sinful, the more one is miscreant, the more one is the lowest of the mankind, he, māyā will not allow: "Oh, why this rascal is here? He must suffer under me for more . . . some times more, then he may be allowed." That is māyā's business. Thankless business. Just like police.

Police is nobody's enemy, but when criminal, they punish like that, put him in the jail and beats him with a rod. That is the business of māyā, thankless. Nobody will thank police. When police beats, nobody will, "Thank you very much." No. Nobody is happy. Similarly, māyā's business is very thankless task, but she is engaged by the supreme authority to punish.

So, so long one is not conscious that, "What is the position of my life? What I am doing?" that is called knot, tied up very tightly. So here is the medicine. What is that? Yad anudhyāsinā yuktāḥ. Just like if there is very hard knot, you take a sharp knife and you can cut it, then the knot will open, immediately. Similarly, this knot, this materialistic way of life, is very strong. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). And this knot is . . . the beginning of the knot is sex life. Beginning of this knot. We are tied up by this sex life. The lowest is the hog. There is also the sex life.

So knot begins . . . puṁsaḥ striyā mithunī-bhāvam etam (SB 5.5.8). The world, we are bound up within this material law of nature—why? Because we have got strong desire for sex. Not only human society, in animal society also, the central point is sex. Yan maithunādi . . .

These people are working so hard because they have got the aim, "I will enjoy sex life." Just like in your country, the hippies. They have given up everything, but sex is there. They cannot give it up. They have renounced everything—their father's property, their happy life, everything—but the sex is there. They cannot leave it. That is the central point of knot. "Where you shall go, sir? Here is your knot."

Therefore, this knot is very difficult to cut, but here is suggested, "If you take this sword . . ." What is that sword? Yad anudhyāsinā. Always chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Take this sword. This sword is only remedy. Yad anudhyāsinā yuktāḥ. If you take this sword, then karma-granthi-nibandhanam, this hard knot of karma . . .

Karma means fruitive activities. I am doing something now, so I am creating another body. If I am acting like a dog, then I am creating another body, dog's body, hog's body, tree's body, or even demigod's body. If you act piously, then you create demigod's body. Janmaiśvarya-śruta-śrī (SB 1.8.26). But that is also knot; that is not freedom. Just like you are American boys and girls. You are supposed to be born of rich nation, rich father, than us Indians. We are born of poor father. So . . . but that does not mean that you are free from this knot. That is there.

To become . . . people are trying that "We shall be happy by becoming materially advanced." That is called durāśayā. That is hope against hope. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (SB 7.5.31). They do not know that destination of life is to attain Kṛṣṇa consciousness. No. They do not know. They think, "By increasing motorcars, we shall be happy." This is called māyā. That will not help. This motorcar civilization will be finished within another hundred years. It has begun, say, for the last hundred years, and after a hundred years, when . . . the scientists say the petroleum will be finished within fifty years or like that, so, say hundred years, this motorcar will be finished.

So anything we manufacture, the so-called empire, so-called material civilization; it is finished, it will be finished. That is another knot only, that we become captivated. So, "What is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement? We must have three dozen motorcar and three dozen wine bottles and this . . ." This is their civilization. So this is karma-bandhana. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura sings therefore:

sat-saṅga chāḍi' kainu asate vilāsa
te-kāraṇe lāgila ye karma-bandha-phāṅsa

This knot, karma-bandha-phāṅsa. Sat-saṅga, this is sat-saṅga. This is sat-saṅga. You are hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in the front of Kṛṣṇa and practicing how to become pure. This is called sat-saṅga. And asat-saṅga means this intoxication, illicit sex and drinking, so many things, asat-saṅga. The advertisement, "Come on, here is cigarette, 'Kool,' make your brain cool." (laughter) "By smoking." (laughter) Rascal.

They think that "I am smoking . . ." How it can be cool? But they purchase Kool. This is called māyā. (chuckles) He's smoking fire, and he's becoming cool. (laughter) And the advertisement is going on, and the rascals are captivated by these advertisement, and they smoke, become cool. Yes.

So this is called knot. In so many ways, they are tied up. So actually, if anyone is kovida . . . kovida, here it is used. What is the meaning of kovida?

Devotee: Intelligent.

Prabhupāda: "Intelligent." Kovida means intelligent. So intelligent persons should see to it. Just like it is a little . . . little intelligent. Just like we can see when the advertisement, we can immediately understand, "What is this nonsense advertisement? He's smoking, and it is cool?" So contradiction. You'll find contradiction everywhere. Because they are not intelligent, they are thinking intelligent. But anyone who is intelligent, they can understand what is the trick.

So when actually one becomes intelligent, then the enquiry is, "Why? Why I am put into this miserable condition of life? I do not want this, and it is forced upon me. I do not want to die; death is there. I do not want disease; the disease is there. I do not want this, it is forced upon me. I don't want war, but they, the draft board drags me to the war. Why these are?" This "why" question must be there. That is intelligence. That is Kenopaniṣad, Kena.

There is Upaniṣad, Kena. And Sanātana Gosvāmī, when he approached Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he also inquired this "Why?" Ke āmi, kene āmāya jāre tāpa-traya (CC Madhya 20.102). "Who am I? Why I am put into this miserable condition of life?" That is intelligence. He was minister. He could understand that, "I am minister. People adore me as very learned man."

He said that to Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Grāmya-vyavahāre paṇḍita, satya kari māni: "My dear Lord, these common people, my neighbors, because I am minister and I'm supposed to be educated, I know little Sanskrit, I know little Arabian language, they call me paṇḍita, learned man, very scholar and versed. I, to tell You frankly, I do not know what I am. So what is the value of my education? I do not know." Ke āmi, kene āmāya jāre tāpa-traya. "What I am."

So this is called intelligence. And cats and dogs, they are suffering; they don't mind. "Oh, I . . ." They forget. You have got experience. A cat is coming to eat some milk here; you chastise, you . . . but again it comes, again it comes. Because it is animal. And the difference between animal and man is . . . suppose there is very palatable dish. So man, unless he is offered, although he is greedy, although he is hankering after that food, but he's awaiting the invitation, "Yes, you can take." But cats and dogs, without invitation, catches. That is the difference between the man and animal. Animal cannot control; man can control. Although he is hungry, he can control, out of civility, "How can I taste without invitation?"

So that is the difference. Therefore, the conclusion is, man's life is meant for control. Not like animal, "I want to eat; immediately catch it." A cat and dog or a cow or a bull—rape. As soon as there is a female, immediately rapes. So there is no punishment. But if you do that on the street, raping, immediately you will be criminal. So that is the difference. The inclination is there, both in the animal and both . . . and in the human being. But a human being supposed to be controlled. That is human life. The more you control, you become perfect. And though, the more you become loose, you are animal. That is the difference.

So they do not know. They want freedom. In the freedom, in the name of freedom, they are becoming animals. That's all. This is the civilization. But here it is said, kovida, intelligent. Intelligent man should take up this sword to cut the knot of our attachment for this material enjoyment. What is that? Anudhyāsinā. Anu means always. Another anu means following. Anu means always, and anu means following. Following means spiritual master, or ācārya. Ācāryopāsanam. "How ācārya, how spiritual master dealing, let me follow that." Or, anu, as soon as he becomes accustomed, then anu, anukṣaṇa, always chanting. Anudhyāsinā. Asinā, asinā means by sword. Anudhyāsinā yuktāḥ, karma-bandha-nibandhana. We have to cut up this knot of karma-bandhana.

By the karma-bandhana, we are transmigrating from one soul, one body to another. This is not Darwin's theory. I am the soul. I am changing, I am selecting my body, in this life. Not that by nature there is a, I mean to say, gradual evolution. Not evolution; it is already there. This living entity simply enters a particular type of body. Actually, it enters, because . . . suppose I am doing something, my next life has to become a dog, that is my punishment. Then I'll have to enter into the womb of a dog mother, and she will give me the body of dog. Then I come out and enjoy like dog. This is the law. This is the law. Not that my body is turning.

So you can become dog; you can become God also. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: yānti deva-vratā devān pitṟn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ (BG 9.25). So you create your body at the present moment. You have got the facility, the human form of body. Now you can make your choice, whether you are going to be dog or whether you are going to be god. Both. Mad-yājino 'pi yānti mām: "Those who are devotees engaged in My devotional service, they come to Me." And when you go to God, you must have a body like God. Just like if you want to enter into the water, then you must have a body like a fish. Otherwise you cannot enter into the water. Similarly, when you enter the spiritual world, then you have a body like God. And if you don't want—if you want to enjoy unrestricted sense—then you take the body of a hog.

So nature is open to everyone. You can select your own. Not that you are forced. You can have your . . . therefore it is said kovida: one must be intelligent to select, "What is my next life? How I can get out of?" That is the whole instruction of the Vedas, how we can get out of these clutches of karma-bandhana, the knot of karma, one after another.

So the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, personally says that janma karma me divyam evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ (BG 4.9). Simply one who understands what is God, or Kṛṣṇa, simply . . . not that, "Here is a God." No, he must . . . tattvataḥ, he must know what is God. Just like the rascal is advertising, "No book. I am God. You accept me." Then how can I accept you God without book?

But the people are so rascal, they're accepting, "Yes," and going after him. They have become so cats and dogs that anyone says that, "There is no need of understanding through book, through book of knowledge. I say. You accept me," the rascal will do that. Everything in the scientific world, there is book. In any science you take. Suppose in botany, they are mentioned, "This tree, this is the characteristic. A mango tree, the leaf is like this, the fruit is like this, the taste is like . . ."

Chemical. Take any chemical, there is characteristics. Just like, what is called, that potassium cyanide. There is no taste, and the chemical characteristic, there is no mention of taste, because potassium cyanide is not yet tasted by anyone, because the tasting means immediate death. Potassium cyanide. So chemical, there is "The color is like this, the taste is like this, the reaction is like this."

So everything has got a test. But these rascals, without testing, accepting another rascal as God. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, when He was asked that how to accept one God, He said: "Well, there is in the śāstra mention, the characteristic. According to the characteristic, if it is corroborating, then He is God." This rascal is saying, "No, there is no need of God . . . ah, book. Simply I say; you accept it." The people are accepting. How foolish rascals they are. Just see. There must be a test. We are accepting Kṛṣṇa as God not blindly, but by tasting. By tasting. His character is mentioned in the books.

Therefore, we accept God not by blind faith, but by tasting. Although we cannot test, but śāstra gives us the chance of tasting. We accept spiritual master by tasting, not by blind faith. No. According to the Vedic instruction, tad-vijñānārtham.

tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta
jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam
śābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ . . .
(SB 11.3.21)

These are the qualifications, symptoms of guru. Śābde pare ca niṣṇātam. He has got full knowledge in the transcendental science. And without book, how he has got knowledge? Or without hearing from another authority?

So . . . so one must be intelligent. Then he can become free from this knot, hard knot of material life, by cutting it with the weapon, yad anudhyāsinā. And what is that? Chindanti ko . . . chindanti, cuts; kovidāḥ, intelligent. Tasya ko na kuryāt kathā-ratim (SB 1.2.15). Kathā-ratim. One should be intelligent enough to understand or to hear kathā of Kṛṣṇa. Simply you have to do this.

Just like you are all sitting here—it doesn't require that you have to pass M.A. examination, Ph.D. examination. God has given you the ear. Simply you sit down and hear from a realized person. The words are there, the message are there. Just like Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā, especially. Everything is there to understand about God. Simply you have to increase your attachment for hearing. That is, that qualification required. Not that first of all you pass M.A. examination, then you come here and you can understand. No. Simply by hearing, hearing, hearing, you will become expert. Kovida. Simply.

That . . . this process has been approved by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhiḥ (SB 10.14.3). You can remain in your position, but try to hear the transcendental message from realized soul. Then gradually you will be enlightened and you will be free from this knot, this material bondage. Thank you very much.

Devotees: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. (break)

(kīrtana) (Prabhupāda plays gong)

Prabhupāda: (prema-dvani) Thank you very much.

Devotees: All glories to Śrī Guru and Gauranga. All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. (end)