720915 - Lecture SB 01.03.09 - Los Angeles

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



720915SB.LA - September 15, 1972


Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Canto One, Chapter 3, text 9. (leads chanting of verse) (devotees repeat)

turye dharma-kalā-sarge
nara-nārāyaṇāv ṛṣī
bhūtvātmopaśamopetam
akarod duścaraṁ tapaḥ
(SB 1.3.9)

(break) ...dharma-kalā—wife of Dharmarāja; sarge—being born of; nara-nārāyaṇau—named Nara and Nārāyaṇa; ṛṣī—sages; bhūtvā—becoming; ātma-upaśama—controlling the senses; upetam—for achievement of; akarot—undertook; duścaram—very strenuous; tapaḥ—penance.

Translation: In the fourth incarnation, the Lord became Nara and Nārāyaṇa, the twin sons of the wife of King Dharma. Thus He undertook severe and exemplary penances to control the senses.

Prabhupāda: So the Lord sometimes appears as... Whenever the Lord takes the incarnation, He appears to be like ordinary human being. So in this incarnation, Nara-nārāyaṇa, They undertook severe penances to teach us. So what was the purpose of such severe penance? For sense controlling. The modern civilization is to give freedom to sense satisfaction, because they cannot control. Just like you are riding on a horse, but the horse is not under your control, then you say, "Let it go to hell, never mind." This is the position. Because they cannot control the senses, they have taken this philosophy that liberating sense gratification is the ultimate goal of life. And the result is that they are going to hell.

Adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām (SB 7.5.30). The problem is they cannot control the senses. Therefore their philosophical idea is that sense gratification is the ultimate goal of life. They are thinking, which will never be successful, that by advancement of material comforts they will be happy. Therefore the śāstra says impossible or very difficult or by a kind of hope which will never to be fulfilled. It was never successful in the past, it is not successful in the present, therefore in the future also it will never be successful. But they have taken up this philosophy of sense gratification materially.

Because we have got this propensity that we shall be able to become happy by sense gratification, therefore God comes to teach them. Just like Bhagavad-gītā, Lord Kṛṣṇa says,

yadā yadā hi dharmasya
glānir bhavati bhārata
abhyutthānam adharmasya
tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham
(BG 4.7)

"As soon as people are misled in their occupational duty, I will take My incarnation." So Nara-nārāyaṇa, They are incarnation of God, but They underwent severe penances. The Nara-nārāyaṇa temple is there in Badarikāśrama in the Himalayas. People still go there to show their respects to Nara-nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi. So God or His representative comes always to help us, to deliver us from the wrong path of sense gratification. They executed very difficult...

Just like Dhruva Mahārāja, a five-year-old boy. He also executed very severe types of penances. For the first six months, he was eating only the dry foliage that had fallen on the ground, then water... No. Altogether he underwent penances for six months, so the first month, second, third, like that. So first he used to eat the leaves of the tree, then dried leaves, then simply water, then simply air, then no eating at all. Within six months he was successful to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, face to face.

So penance required. This human life is not meant for enjoying senses like the dogs and hogs. That is not life. We have got advanced sense, consciousness. We can understand what is good, what is bad. At least that talent we have got, even though we are misguided. So we should take guidance from a perfect source of knowledge, and utilize it for making our life perfect. That is wanted; not that because "I want sense gratification, so let me have complete freedom for sense gratification. That is the idea now, life." No, that is not ideal.

As I have several times explained to you that law is meant for human beings. What is law? Law means restrictions. You cannot have sense gratification unrestricted; that is law. Otherwise, what is the meaning of law? Just like when we are driving car, the law is red light, we have to stop. That is law. Because if you unrestrictedly drive your car, there will be accident. Either you will die or somebody will die. Therefore law is required. How can you say that "Unrestrictedly I will enjoy my senses"? That is chaotic condition of life. The so-called civilization, so-called unrestricted sense gratification allowed in the name of freedom, that is disastrous. One must learn how to control. Controlling the senses, this is civilization. To become cats and dogs, that is not civilization. Dog civilization, cat civilization, hog civilization, camel civilization, this is going on.

So cats and dogs, they're voting. So what they will vote, cats and dogs? They will vote another big cat, big dog, that's all. So what the big dog, big cat can do? That is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śva-viḍ-varāhoṣṭra-kharaiḥ saṁstutaḥ puruṣaḥ paśuḥ (SB 2.3.19). A leader means voted by some hogs, by some dogs, by some camels and by some asses. This is the position of the society. Suppose there are many dogs in this Los Angeles city... Of course, camels you haven't got, but there are many asses also. At least in Indian cities we find there are many hogs, many dogs, many camels, many asses. So if they are called for votes, "Now we are taking vote for this, for this," what is the value of that election? Is there any value?

So actually we are collecting votes from dogs, hogs, camels and asses. How? The dog means very obedient servant of his master. That is a good qualification, but after all, he is a dog. But to execute the service of his master, he is offending so many people. We have got experience. We have nothing to do with the dog's master's house, but still from the house, we are passing from the street, unnecessarily offending. Sometimes they come nearer. This is dog's business. He has no sense that "This man, they are not thieves or rogues, they are not coming here." But they will do their business because the master has trained him.

So similarly, people at the present moment, those who are serving under some master, capitalist, the master says that you have to vote for that person. They will vote, they have no personal discrimination. The master says, "I will give you some money," they will vote. Or in other words, kalau śūdra sambhava. Śūdra means servant. The dog is faithful servant; that is his only qualification. And hogs means no discrimination of food. So actually at the present moment people have no discrimination of food. Anything they will eat. Actually people are supposed to eat that which is beneficial for him. Not that anything and everything I shall eat. No. So therefore the hog has no discrimination of food. So if people become like that—no discrimination of sex, no discrimination of food—he is hog; he is not a human being.

So to become obedient servant and to have no discrimination of sex and food, that means dogs, and they are not human beings. And camel, although he is a big animal, he takes pleasure in eating his own blood. How is that? You will find the camels are very fond of eating thorns. So the thorns they eat, and the thorns cut the tongue, and the blood comes out. It makes a taste, and he is thinking that the thorns are very tasteful. That is camel. Similarly, we are everyone camel because we are enjoying sex. What is this sex? I am spoiling my blood. One drop of semina is created by sixty drops of blood. That is scientific. So when one discharges this semina, he thinks he is enjoying. He does not know that he is spoiling his blood. That is camel. He thinks he is enjoying. He does not think that "I am spoiling my blood. And if I spoil my blood more, then I shall be attacked with so many diseases, I will lose my resistance power." He does not know. But he thinks that sex enjoyment is very nice. It is not nice at all.

So therefore dog, hog, camel and ass. What is that ass I have several times given you. The ass means he is working for others, for the washerman. So all these businessmen, very busy, but he is working for others, not for himself. He will eat, I suppose, a few slices of bread and a cup of tea or milk; that will satisfy him. But he wants daily one million dollars, and he has to work very hard, because a million dollars is not so easy to get. The ass loads on the back tons of clothes of the washerman, and he carries it to the place where they wash, and again carries back. But he is satisfied with a little grass. The ass does not know that "I can get this little grass—there are thousands and thousands of tons of grass on the outer field. Why I am engaged in the service of this washerman and doing this?" He has no sense. He thinks that carrying the tons of clothes for the washerman he has responsibility in business, so many things.

So actually the modern men, without being properly civilized, without being properly educated, they are exactly like dogs, hogs, camels and asses. We take it like that, they are no better than. So what is the votes of them? What will they choose? They will choose another big camel or big cat or big dog, that's all, because he doesn't know. If you are human being, you know who is another human being. But if you are dog, camel and ass, how can you understand who is a human being? Therefore people sometimes misunderstand us, just like the dog comes: bow, wow, wow, wow.

Similarly, the society of dogs, they also come, making their chase upon these Kṛṣṇa conscious people. They take away from the street. They do not know that they are the best persons in the world. They are disseminating the message of God, making people men of character. No illicit sex, no gambling, that is character. They are becoming saintly person, always chanting. But they have no respect. Because they are dogs, hogs, how they can respect? So because they have no discrimination, these animals, then how they will choose to make the president a first-class man? He has no choice.

So to become actual human being, one has to undergo tapasya. Tapasā brahmacaryeṇa, jñānena, śamena, damena (SB 6.1.13). This is the prescription, that if you want to become actually a human being, then you have to undergo tapasya, brahmacarya, śama, dama, titikṣā (BG 18.42). These things have to be practiced. Not that because I want sense gratification, therefore let me under the name of independence, let me become naked and have sex life on the street. That day is coming. It already has come to some extent. They are taking this as freedom.

This freedom is not very good. This freedom means that as soon as you become so free that to have sex life on the street like cats and dogs and hogs, you will get your next life. Nature will give you very good chance, that "All right, you have got this human form of life to understand God, but you have misused it. Now you want to become hog? Please become hog." How you can check it? Is there any science to check? Because after this death, all this science and philosophy is finished after this body is finished. Then you are under the control of nature. What will you do? The nature will force you to enter the womb of a hog or a dog. How you can check it?

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

You are not independent; you are part and parcel of God. God wants you to come back home and live peacefully. If you do not do that, then you will have to undergo the severe punishments of transmigrating from one body to another. And there are 8,400,000 bodies in which you will have to suffer. And you can see that they are suffering. So don't misuse this human form of life; don't give way to the sense gratification. Have a little tapasya. Not severe tapasya, not like Nara-nārāyaṇa. They went to the Himalayas and underwent severe, very severe, just like Dhruva Mahārāja.

In this age it is not possible; therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu has given you a concession. You take these sixteen words: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Chant these sixteen rounds. If you can increase, all right, or these sixteen rounds. And observe these four principles—no illicit sex, no gambling, no meat-eating, no intoxication. Is it very difficult?

But we are not even prepared to undergo such a little tapasya, penance. What is that difficulty? We don't eat meat, and instead we get nice other food. So what is the difficulty? If we don't become hogs and enjoy senses like hogs without discrimination of mother, sister and daughter, if we become attached to one wife and enjoy life, what is the difficulty? No. Although I have got my wife, I am implicated with others' wives; I have got husband, I am implicated with others' husbands. No tapasya. They are not prepared for any kind of tapasya. They want cats' and dogs' lives. Therefore their next life is waiting, cats and dogs.

So this is the position. Nara-nārāyaṇa, They underwent severe penances just like Dhruva Mahārāja. But in this age it is not possible. But at least observe these short penances, little penances, and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, and make your life successful. What is the difficulty? But we are not still prepared. And still we do not take it very seriously. Because our past life is so sinful that even coming to Kṛṣṇa consciousness we are being disturbed. Our sinful activities are so strong that even coming to the point of Kṛṣṇa consciousness we are falling down, again falling down. So be careful, be cautious, and execute your duty as Kṛṣṇa conscious people. You will be happy.

Thank you very much. (end)