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721107 - Lecture NOD - Vrndavana

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

721107ND-VRNDAVAN - November 07, 1972 - 29:12 Minutes

Pradyumna: (reading) "By performing Vedic ritualistic activities, by giving money in charity and by undergoing austerity, one can temporarily become free from the reactions of sinful activities, but at the next moment he must again become engaged in sinful activities. For example, a person suffering from venereal disease on account of excessive indulgence in sex life has to undergo some severe pain in medical treatment, and he is then cured for the time being.

But because he has not been able to remove the sex desire from his heart, he must again indulge in the same thing and become a victim of the same disease. So medical treatment may give temporary relief from the distress of such venereal disease, but unless one is trained to understand that sex life is abominable, it is impossible to be saved from such repeated distress.

"Similarly, the ritualistic performances, charity and austerity which are recommended in the Vedas may temporarily stop one from acting in sinful ways, but as long as the heart is not clear, one will have to repeat sinful activities again and again."

Prabhupāda: Hm. So, according to Vedic ritualistic ceremony, there is recommendation of prāyaścitta, condon . . . what is called?

Pradyumna: Atonement?

Prabhupāda: Atonement. Yes. Atonement. So the example is given, just like a thief, he knows that stealing is not good. He has got experience that in the past he committed stealing, committed criminal offense by stealing, and he was arrested, then he was punished. Still, he's stealing again. A man knows that stealing is not good. By ordinary law, stealing is punished, and in the scriptures also, stealing is prohibited because it is sinful. And one has seen that a person who is a thief was arrested and was punished. Everything he knows, but still, he commits stealing. Why?

Therefore Bhāgavata says through Śukadeva Gosvāmī that prāyaścittaṁ vimarśanam (SB 6.1.11). Simply official prāyaścitta will not help a man ceasing from sinful activities. Official. In Christian religion also, they accept, confess their sinful activities, and again they commit the same sinful activities. So Śukadeva Gosvāmī recommends that prāyaścittaṁ vimarśanam. Unless one understands his constitutional position, unless he's convinced that why should he commit sinful activities simply for this body, which does not belong to him . . . it is a foreign. Actually, he has no connection with the body. Vimarśanam means cultivation of knowledge. So one has to cultivate knowledge. Then he can be stopped from sinful activities.

People, generally, they identify this body as self, and for bodily interest he commits so many sinful activities, simply for satisfaction of the senses. But if he's cultured, if he's given proper knowledge that "Bodily concept of life is not your interest. You are spirit soul," ahaṁ brahmāsmi, in this way, if he cultivates knowledge . . . that is very easily possible simply by engaging oneself in the service of the Lord. Kevalayā bhaktyā (SB 6.1.15). Simply by devotional service one can raise himself to the position of perfect knowledge, and thus he can renounce all sinful activities.

vāsudeve bhagavati
bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ
jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam
(SB 1.2.7)

In ignorance—means in bodily concept of life—we commit sinful activities, but if we actually come to the platform of knowledge, jñāna, then naturally there is vairāgya, renunciation. Renunciation means renunciation of sinful activities. Renunciation does not mean renunciation of devotional service. Renunciation means that unwanted things, anartha-nivṛttiḥ. That is renunciation.

Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅga atho bhajana-kriyā, tato anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt (Brs. 1.4.15-16, CC Madhya 23.14-15). If one is actually advanced in spiritual life, execution of regular spiritual life, then automatically anartha-nivṛttiḥ, things which are not required, that becomes automatically stopped. Anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt. So that anartha-nivṛttiḥ is possible by śraddhā, sādhu-saṅgaḥ, bhajana-kriyā, then anartha-nivṛttiḥ, then niṣṭhā, ruci, asakti, bhāva. In this way, we develop our Kṛṣṇa consciousness, love of Godhead.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "Another example is given in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam of the elephant who enters into a lake and takes a bath very seriously, cleansing his body thoroughly (SB 6.1.10). Then, as soon as he comes out onto shore, he again takes some dust from the earth and throws it over his body. Similarly, a person who is not trained in Kṛṣṇa consciousness cannot become completely free from the desire for sinful activities. Neither the yoga process, nor philosophical speculations, nor fruitive activities can save one from the seeds of sinful desires. Only by being engaged in devotional service can this be done."

Prabhupāda: The elephant . . . hasti-snāna. Hasti-snāna, this is very practical example. The elephant takes bath in the lake, very profusely throw water on his body and becomes cleansed, and as soon as he comes on the shore, he takes again dust and spreads over his body. So these are natural examples. Similarly, there are different processes for getting out of the reaction of sinful activities, but you . . . we take it. But if we again commit those sinful activities, then what is the use of such penance, or prāyaścitta? Hasti-snāna. The example is given as hasti-snāna.

Take, for example, it is said by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra one is released from all sinful activities immediately. Eka hari nāma yata pāpa kare, pāpī haya tato pāpa kari bare nare. It is a fact. Just like Ajāmila: his whole life was full of sinful activities, but at the time of death, because he uttered the holy name of Nārāyaṇa, he became immediately released. That's a fact. But if we commit again sinful activities, then what is the use of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra?

Nāmno balād yasya hi pāpa-buddhiḥ (Padma Purāṇa, Brahma-khaṇḍa 25.16). This is one of the ten offenses. If anyone thinks that "I am chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. It is reacting all the effects of my sinful life. Then again I can commit and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. It is a very good business . . ." No. That is great offense. Nāmno balād yasya hi pāpa-buddhiḥ. One should not indulge in such a way.

Jagāi-Mādhāi was accepted by Lord Caitanya only on the promise that they would not commit any more any sinful activities. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mercy is there for everyone. He can accept everyone. One who is sinful, that is not disqualification. Because in this age, Kali-yuga, more or less everyone is sinful. Then nobody can be claimed to be liberated by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.

Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra will give you . . . give you relief from all sinful activities, provided you don't commit it again. Otherwise, it will be like hasti-snāna, the example of the elephant, and it will be a great offense. If on the strength of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra we continue to commit sinful activities, that is great offense. We should not do that. The idea is by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, we become free from the reaction of sinful life. But that does not mean we shall again indulge in sinful life and counteract it by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. No. Not like that. Once you take to Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, you should make rapid progress, without committing any sinful activity and retard the progress. Don't do that.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "There is another evidence in the Fourth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Twenty-second Chapter, thirty-seventh verse (SB 4.22.37), wherein Sanat-kumāra says: 'My dear King, the false ego of a human being is so strong that it keeps him in material existence as if tied up by a strong rope. Only the devotees can cut off the knot of this strong rope very easily, by engaging themselves in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Others, who are not in Kṛṣṇa consciousness but are trying to become great mystics or great ritual performers, cannot advance like the devotees. Therefore it is the duty of everyone to engage himself in the activities of Kṛṣṇa consciousness in order to be freed from the tight knot of false ego and engagement in material activities.' "

Prabhupāda: Bhaja vāsudevam (SB 4.22.39). There is a verse like that, that as by taking shelter at the lotus feet of Vāsudeva, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one can get release from all kinds of material tribulations, such kind of immunation is not possible by practicing yoga, tapasya, jñāna. This is the statement in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

In all ways, it is recommended that we have to . . . we should take shelter:

samāśritā ye pada-pallava-plavaṁ
mahat-padaṁ puṇya-yaśo murāreḥ
bhavāmbudhir vatsa-padaṁ paraṁ padaṁ
padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ na teṣām
(SB 10.14.58)

If one takes shelter of mahat-padaṁ puṇya-yaśo murāreḥ . . . Murāri is Kṛṣṇa's another name. So puṇya-yaśo, His name is famous as piety. Puṇya-yaśo murāri. If anyone takes shelter of His lotus feet, then the great ocean of nescience becomes a small pit, and one can jump over it very easily.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "This tight knot of false ego is due to ignorance. As long as one is ignorant about his identification, he is sure to act wrongly and thereby become entangled in material contamination. This ignorance of factual knowledge can also be dissipated by Kṛṣṇa consciousness, as it is confirmed in the Padma Purāṇa as follows: 'Pure devotional service in Kṛṣṇa consciousness . . .' "

Prabhupāda: Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī is giving evidences from different Vedic literatures to support his statement. Here is a statement from Padma Purāṇa. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, in his Tattva-sandarbha, has proved it, without any doubt, that the Purāṇas are supplementary to Vedas. They are . . . just like Upaniṣad is part and parcel of the Vedas, similarly, Purāṇas are also part and parcel of the Vedic literature.

There are philosophers, the Māyāvādī philosophers, they do not accept Purāṇas as Vedic literature, but Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has proved in his Tattva-sandarbha, in the beginning, that Purāṇas, Mahābhārata, itihāsa-purāṇa, they are part and parcel of the Vedic literature. Supplementary. Purāṇa means that which supplements.

So evidences from Purāṇa is as good as the evidence from the Vedic quotation. That is the verdict of Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī is not prepared to accept any statement which does not refer to the Vedic literatures: Vedas, Purāṇas, Upaniṣads, Mahābhārata, Rāmāyaṇa, like that. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī also says in another place, śruti-smṛti-purāṇādi-pāñcarātriki-vidhiṁ vinā (Brs. 1.2.101). So he has taken Purāṇas also as evidences, Vedic evidences.

So śruti, the Vedas; smṛti, the Purāṇas and other literatures, dharma-śāstra, smṛti-śāstra and Purāṇa, pañcarāti-vidhi—without reference to all these authentic literature, any kind of devotional activities are not accepted by the Gosvāmīs. They say: "Without the reference to these all Vedic literatures, any kind of devotional service is simply disturbance." Pañcarātri-vidhiṁ vinā aikāntikī harer bhaktir upātāyaiva kalpate. Utpāt, disturbance.

Go on.

Pradyumna: " 'Pure devotional service in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the highest enlightenment, and when such enlightenment is there, it is just like a blazing forest fire, killing all the inauspicious snakes of desire.' The example is being given in this connection that when there is a forest fire, the extensive blazing automatically kills all the snakes in the forest. There are many, many snakes on the ground of the forest, and when a fire takes place, it burns the dried foliage and the snakes are immediately attacked. Animals who have four legs can flee from the fire or can at least try to flee, but the snakes are immediately killed. Similarly, the blazing fire of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so strong that the snakes of ignorance are immediately killed."

Prabhupāda: Go on.

Pradyumna: " 'Kṛṣṇa Consciousness is All-Auspicious.' Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has given a definition of auspiciousness."

Prabhupāda: The snakes, kāla-sarpa, indriya. Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī has explained about these kāla-sarpas, snake . . . our senses are compared with the snakes. Just like a snake, as soon as it touches somebody, it kills. It is very dangerous, touching by the lip of the snake. Similarly, a, a slight sense gratification is so dangerous, kāla-sarpa indriya-paṭalī, especially in the sex matter. So one . . . yogīs, they are training the senses how to restrain them from sense gratification, but a devotee, on account of their senses being engaged in the service of the Lord, there is no poisonous effect of the senses.

Hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate (CC Madhya 19.170). Kṛṣṇa's another name is Hṛṣīkeśa. Rathaṁ sthāpaya acyuta. Hṛṣīkeśa. In the Bhagavad-gītā, this word is used, hṛṣīkeśa. So hṛṣīkeśa means "the master of the senses." Actually, our senses are given by Kṛṣṇa. We wanted a type of instrument to enjoy certain type of material enjoyment, and Kṛṣṇa has given us senses. Actually, the proprietor of the senses is Kṛṣṇa; therefore His name is Hṛṣīkeśa, "Master of the senses."

So if we actually use the senses for the service of the proprietor of the senses, that is bhakti. Do not . . . we do not want to stop the activities of the senses, but it is . . . they are used for the purpose of the sense proprietor, Hṛṣīkeśa. That is called bhakti. Hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate. Bhakti means don't use the senses for sense gratification. Apply the senses for the satisfaction of the proprietor of the senses. Hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate (CC Madhya 19.170).

Hmm. Go on.

Pradyumna: "Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has given a definition of auspiciousness. He says that actual auspiciousness means welfare activities for all the people of the world."

Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement: it is welfare activities for all the people of the world. It is not a sectarian movement; not only for the human being, but also for the animals, birds, beasts, trees, everyone. This discussion was made by Haridāsa Ṭhākura with Lord Caitanya. In that statement, Haridāsa Ṭhākura affirmed it that by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra loudly, the trees, the birds, the beasts—everyone—will be benefited. This is the statement of Namācārya Haridāsa Ṭhākura. So when we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra loudly, it is beneficial for everyone.

This statement was put forward in Melbourne in the court. The, the court inquired that "Why do you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra loudly in the street?" The reply we gave that, "Just to benefit all the people." Actually, it is the fact. Of course, now there is no prosecution by the state. We are chanting very freely on the streets. That is the benefit. If we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, it benefits everyone, not only human being. My Guru Mahārāja used to say if somebody complained that, "We go and chant, but nobody attends our meeting," so Guru Mahārāja would reply that, "Why? The four walls will hear you. That is sufficient. Don't be disappointed. Go on chanting. If there are four walls, they will hear. That's all." So chanting is so effective that it benefits even the animals, beasts, birds, insects, everyone.

Hm. Go on.

This is the best welfare activity. In the human society there are welfare activities for some society or nation or community or human being. But this welfare activity is beneficial not only to the human society but to the birds, beasts, tree, animal, everyone. This is the best, supermost welfare activity in the world, spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Hm. Go on.

Pradyumna: "At the present moment, groups of people are engaged in welfare activities in terms of society, community or nation. There is even an attempt in the form of the United Nations for world-help activity. But due to the shortcomings of limited national activities, such a general mass welfare program for the whole world is not practically possible. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, however, is so nice that it can render the highest benefit to the entire human race. Everyone can be attracted by this movement, and everyone can feel the result. Therefore Rūpa Gosvāmī and other learned scholars agree that a broad propaganda program for the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement of devotional service all over the world is the highest humanitarian welfare activity."

Prabhupāda: Hm. Go on.

Pradyumna: "How the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement can attract the attention of the whole world and how each and every man can feel pleasure in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness is stated in the Padma Purāṇa as follows: 'A person who is engaged in devotional service in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness is to be understood to be doing the best service to the whole world and to be pleasing everyone in the world. In addition to human society, he is pleasing even the trees and animals, because they also become attracted by such a movement.'

"A practical example of this was shown by Lord Caitanya when He was traveling through the forest of Jhārikhaṇḍa in central India for spreading His saṅkīrtana movement. The tigers, the elephants, the deer and all other wild animals joined Him and were participating in their own ways, by dancing and chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa."

Prabhupāda: Yes. When Caitanya Mahāprabhu was passing through the forest of Jhārikhaṇḍa, in central India, the all the animals joined with Him. Of course, He's Kṛṣṇa Himself. But if one becomes purified, there is no question that . . . all animals, living entities, would join in saṅkīrtana movement. There is evidence. But one must be very sincere and powerful preacher. If we cannot preach in the . . . in the society of the animals, we can preach at least in the human societies who are supposed to be uncivilized or very lower status of life. Actually, it is so happening.

In Africa also, our men are going interior in the village. They are almost naked, these Africans—we have got pictures—with big, big earring. So they are also, their children, and they also dance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, in the Hare Kṛṣṇa chanting. This is the wonderful movement, that anyone can take part. We see the children take part, the dogs take part, the so-called uncivilized men, they also take part. This is the universality of Caitanya Mahāprabhu's movement.

pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi-grāma
sarvatra pracāra haibe more nāma
(CB Antya-khaṇḍa 4.126)

So it is Lord's prediction, and that is fact. Simply we have to serve the Lord and execute His mission. That will make our life successful.

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotee: Haribol . . . (break) (end)