730130 - Lecture at Bharata Chamber of Commerce - Calcutta

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



730130LE-CALCUTTA - January 30, 1973 - 52:25 Minutes



Prabhupāda:

oṁ ajñāna timirāndhasya
jñānāñjana śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ
(Śrī guru-praṇāma)

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you very much for your kindly inviting me. And serve you to my capacity. Today's subject matter is "Culture and Business."

So business, we mean . . . business means the occupational duty. According to our Vedic culture, there are different types of businesses. As it is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgasaḥ (BG 4.13)—the four divisions of social system, namely the brāhmin, the kṣatriya, the vaiśya and the śūdra. Before doing business, there must be a division who can do what kind of business. There are different businesses. Now we have taken that everyone should take everyone's business. That is not very scientifical division. Therefore there is cultural division.

Just like the whole body. The whole body's one unit, but there are different departments also—just like the head department, the arms department, the belly department and the leg department. This is scientific. The head department is called the brāhmin, in the society. And the arms department is called the kṣatriyas, and the belly department is called the vaiśyas, and the leg department is called the śūdras. This is scientific division of business.

Although the head department is most important department, because without head, other departments—the arms departments, the belly department and the leg department—will be finished . . . if the arms department is lacking, still business can go on. If the leg department is lacking, the business may go on. But if the head department is not there, if the . . . your head is cut off from the body, then in spite of having all these arms, legs and bellies, they all become useless.

So the head department is meant for culture. Without culture . . . just like without head, the arms department, the belly department, the leg department all useless. Similarly, without culture, all these businesses, they creates confusion and chaos. That is the position at the present moment, because there is intermingling of different businesses. There must be one section of people head department, who should give advice to the other departments. The brāhmins, they're intelligent. They are qualified. Satya śama dama titikṣa ārjava jñānaṁ vijñānam astikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.42).

So culture means that one should know what is the aim of life. Without understanding the aim of life, a man without a aim is ship like . . . a ship without a rudder. That is an English proverb. So at the present moment, we are missing the goal of life because there is no head department. The whole human society is lacking now real brāhmins who can give advice to the other department. Just like Arjuna was fighting. He was a military man. His business was to fight. He was engaged in his business, but he was taking at the same time advice of . . . the advice of the brāhmin-deva, Kṛṣṇa.

namo brahmaṇya-devāya
go-brāhmana-hitāya ca
jagad-dhitāya kṛṣṇāya
govindāya namo namaḥ
(Viṣṇu Purāṇa 1.19.65)

So the brāhmin department, or the adviser department, is described in this verse: namo brahmaṇya-devāya go-brāhmin-hitāya ca. The first thing is taken into consideration, go-brāhmin. Why these two things are stressed upon? Because in a society where there is no brahminical culture and where there is no cow protection, it is not human society.

So in a chaotic condition, any business you do, it will never be perfect. But in a systematized, systematic, cultural society you do business, that is perfect. That is the instruction of Śrīmad-Bhāgavata, Bhāgavatam. In a meeting in Naimiṣāraṇya, where many learned scholars and brahmins assembled, and Śrīla Sūta Gosvāmī was giving instruction, he said: ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ (SB 1.2.13).

The varṇāśrama is stressed. The Vedic culture means four varṇas and four āśramas: brāhmin, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra; brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa. Unless we take to this institution of varṇāśrama dharma, the whole society will be in chaotic condition. And the purpose of varṇāśrama dharma is to satisfy the Supreme Lord. As it is stated in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa:

varṇāśramācāravatā
puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān
viṣṇur ārādhyate puṁsāṁ
nānyat tat-toṣa-kāraṇam
(CC Madhya 8.58)

Just like in a state, you have to satisfy your government; then you are good citizen. Similarly in the cosmic state, taking all together this whole material creation, if you do not satisfy the Supreme Lord, the proprietor of everything, then it will be chaotic condition. Our Vedic culture means whatever you do, it doesn't matter; you must satisfy the Supreme Lord. That is culture. Sva-karmaṇā tam abhyarcya samsiddhiṁ labhate naraḥ (BG 18.46). You can do any business. "Any business" means the brāhmins business, the kṣatriya's business, the vaiśya's business and the śūdra's business. That is business. Otherwise you can do any business. But business means there are different classes of business.

So Bhagavad-gītā it is said that one should satisfy by his own business the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yena sarvam idaṁ tatam. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also it is said, culture means . . . ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ. The, there are different businesses according to different division of human society. But their aim should be svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya. Business means dharma. Another . . . dharma means occupational duty. So svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya saṁsiddhir. One must find out the perfection of his business. That is culture.

Culture and business means you may do whatever business you are doing, according to your division, or according to your capacity or according to your qualification. You may be a, a merchant, you may be a professional man, you may be legal adviser, medical man. Whatever you may be, it doesn't matter. But if you want perfection in your business, then you must try to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is culture.

Otherwise you are simply wasting your time. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, yajñārthe karma. Yajña. Yajña means Viṣṇu, the Supreme Lord. For Him you have to work. Yajñārthe karma. Anyatra karma-bandhana (BG 3.9). Otherwise you become bound up by the acts, by the reaction of your activities. Karma-bandhana. And so long you are in the bondage of karma, you have to transmigrate from one body to another.

Unfortunately, at the present moment people do not know that there is soul and the soul transmigrates from one body to another. As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, tathā dehāntaraṁ prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati (BG 2.13). Big, big professors . . . I've talked with big, big scientists, professors, but they do not know that there is life after death. They do not know. But according to our Vedic information, we know.

And we can ex . . . experience in this present life. It is very common thing. Just like a baby has got a body of a boy. The boy has got a body again of a youth, young man. The young man has got a body again of a old man. So similarly, old man, after annihilation of this body, he'll get another body. It is very . . . quite natural, logical. And we change our body. Although this gross body's destroyed, we change our body by the subtle body.

The subtle body is made of mind, intelligence and ego. Just like we forget about this body at night, and the subtle body works. We dream. We are taken away from our home, from our bed, to some other place, and completely forget this body. And when the sleep is over, we forget about the dream and we become attached to this gross body. This is going on, in our daily experience. So I am the observer. I am sometimes in this gross body and sometimes in the subtle body. But it is changing. But I am the observer. Therefore the inquiry should be that, "What is my position? At night I forget my gross body, and during daytime I forget my subtle body. Then what is my real body?" These are the questions.

So this is culture. You may do your business. Just like Arjuna: Arjuna was doing his business. He was a fighter, kṣatriya, but he did not forget his culture, hearing Gītā from the master. That is culture. If you simply do business and do not cultivate your spiritual life, then it is useless waste of time. Śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8), the śāstra says. Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam (SB 1.2.13). Ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ.

So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is being spread up that, "Do not forget your cultural life." We do not say that you stop your business and become a sannyāsī like me and give up everything. We do not say, neither Kṛṣṇa said that. Kṛṣṇa never said Arjuna that, "You give up your business." "You are kṣatriya. You are declining fighting. Oh, it is very abominable. You should not say like that. You must fight." That was Kṛṣṇa's instruction. So similarly, we Kṛṣṇa conscious people, we are also advising everyone that, "You do not give up your business."

Caitanya Mahāprabhu said also: sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhiḥ (SB 10.14.3). Caitanya Mahāprabhu never said that "You give up your position." Position giving up is not very difficult. But to cultivate spiritual knowledge, that is required. Tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovidaḥ na labhyate yad bhramatam upary adhaḥ (SB 1.5.18).

Now the animal life, there is no cultivation of spiritual life. That is not possible. The animal cannot cultivate this knowledge. The human being, if they do not cultivate spiritual knowledge, they're exactly like animals. Dharmeṇa hīna paśubhiḥ samānāḥ. So we should be very conscious about our eternal existence. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). Nityaḥ śāśvato 'yam. We, spirit soul, we are eternal. We are not going to die after the annihilation of this body. This is the cultivation of knowledge. This is called brahma-jijñāsā: to know about one's self.

Caitanya Mahāprabhu's first disciple, Sanātana Gosvāmī, he was minister, finance minister in the government of Nawab Hussain Shah, and he retired and approached Caitanya Mahāprabhu. And he humbly inquired that "These people call me paṇḍita." Because he was brahmin by caste. Naturally we call a brahmin "paṇḍita." So Sanātana Gosvāmī placed this: "My dear Lord, these people call me paṇḍita, but I am such a paṇḍita that I do not know who I . . . what I am." So that is the position of everyone.

We may be businessman. We may be in other profession. But if we do not know what I am, wherefrom I have come, why I am under the tribulation of these material laws of nature and where I am going, what is my next life—if we do not know this, then whatever we are doing, śrama eva hi kevalam. Viṣvaksena-kathāsu notpādayed ratiṁ yadi, viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8).

So our request to everyone: that you can be engaged in whatever business, in whatever position Kṛṣṇa has posted you. Do your duty nicely. But do not forget to cultivate Kṛṣṇa knowledge. Kṛṣṇa knowledge means God consciousness. God consciousness means we must know that we are part and parcel. Mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ (BG 15.7). We are eternal part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, or God, but we are struggling here, manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhāni indriyānī prakṛti-sthāni karṣati.

Why this struggle for existence? We must know . . . we have got eternal life. This temporary life . . . suppose in this temporary life I become Birla or some big businessman for, say, twenty years or fifty years, utmost hundred years. Next life there is no guarantee that I'm going to be Birla or this man, Tata. No. There is no such guarantee.

That we do not take care. We are taking care of the small span of life, but we are not taking care of our life eternal. That is mistake. Suppose in this life I am a very great businessman. Next life, by my karma, if I become something else . . . there are 8,400,000 species of life, forms of life. Jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati (Padma Purāṇa). Nine lakhs of forms of life in the water. Then there are insects. Sthāvarā lakṣa . . . there are trees, plants, two millions forms of trees and plants. Kṛmayo rudra-saṅkhyakāḥ.

Eleven lakhs' species of insects, reptiles. Then birds. Pakṣiṇāṁ daśa-lakṣaṇam. In this way, we fulfill eight millions of different forms of life. Then we come to the form of human life. Therefore Prahlāda Mahārāja said that kaumāra ācaret prājño dharmān bhāgavatān iha, durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma (SB 7.6.1). This mānuṣaṁ janma is very, very rare. We should not be satisfied only becoming a very big businessman. We must know what is next life, what I am going to be.

So there are different kinds of men. Some of them are called the karmīs, and some of them are called the jñānīs, and some of them are called the yogīs and some of them are called the bhaktas. The karmī, they are after material happiness. In this life also, they want the highest, the best comfort of material life, and after death also they want to be elevated to the heavenly planets. Similarly jñānīs, they also want. They, being fed up of this material way of life, they want to . . . they want to merge into the existence of Brahman. That is jñānī. The yogīs, they also want mystic power. And the bhaktas, they want simply service of the Lord.

So unless one understands what is Lord, how he can render service to the Lord? This culture is the highest culture. The karmīs' culture, the jñānīs culture, the yogīs culture and the bhaktas culture—there are different cultures. So all of them are called yogīs if they are doing sincerely their duty—karma-yogī, jñāna-yogī, dhyāna-yogī, bhakta-yogī. But Kṛṣṇa says:

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
mad-gata āntarātmanā
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ
(BG 6.47)

He's first-class yogī. Who is that man? Now, yoginām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gata āntarātmanā: "Who is always thinking of Me." That means Kṛṣṇa conscious. Kṛṣṇa says, "Who is always thinking of Me." Yoginām api sarveṣāṁ. There are different yogīs—karma-yogī, jñāna-yogī, dhyāna-yogī. But the best yogī is he who's always thinking of Kṛṣṇa within himself. Yoginām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gatena-antarātmanā śraddhāvān bhajate yo mām. Śraddhāvān. With faith and love, one who is giving, rendering service to the Lord, he's first-class yogī.

There are other verses in the Bhagavad-gītā.

(break) . . . of cousin-brothers, the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas. They met there for fighting. That's a historical fact, Mahābhārata, Greater India. Mahabhārata means Greater . . . history of Greater India. So everything is there. But we do not take advantage of this great book of knowledge. So we request that everyone should cultivate . . . should try to know what he is, what is Kṛṣṇa, what is their relationship with Kṛṣṇa and what is their real life, what is the goal of life. Unless we do cultivate all this knowledge, then it is simply we are wasting our time, this valuable life of human form.

It is very, very valuable. Durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma tad api adhruvam arthadam. Although everybody will die, that's a fact, but one who dies after knowing all these things, he is benefited. His life is successful. Just like Kṛṣṇa says, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya (BG 4.9). This is wanted. Everyone . . . the cat will die, dogs will die, everyone will die. That's a fact. But one who dies knowing Kṛṣṇa, oh, that is successful death. Because Kṛṣṇa says:

janma karma me divyaṁ
yo jānāti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti kaunteya
(BG 4.9)

This is success.

So our only request is, wherever we go all over the world, we request only that, "You try to understand Kṛṣṇa. Then your life is successful." It doesn't matter what you do. We have to do something. Kṛṣṇa says, śarīra-yātrāpi ca te prasiddhyed akarmaṇaḥ (BG 3.8). If you stop working, your living condition will be hampered. That is not the question. Everyone has to do his duty. Arjuna also did his duty. He was kṣatriya. His business was to acquire kingdom. Because the kṣatriyas, they cannot beg. They must have some land. Their business is to levy tax. That is enjoined in the śāstra. brāhmin, they should live by paṭhana pāṭhana yajana yājana. Kṣatriyas should live by giving protection to the people. Vaiśyas should live by trade, agriculture, protection of cows. And the śūdras should live under the protection of brāhmin, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūd . . . er, three higher castes. This is the injunction.

So one has to do something for his livelihood, but, at the same time, he has to cultivate knowledge for his perfection of life. So this is perfection of life, simple thing. Simple thing we are prescribing all over the world: you try to understand Kṛṣṇa. Simple. And it is not very difficult. You read Bhagavad-gītā as it is. You understand Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is explaining everything. If the neophytes, one who cannot, cannot understand Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa is prescribing like this: raso 'ham apsu kaunteya, prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ (BG 7.8): "My dear Kaunteya, I am the taste of the water." So there is no need of saying that "I cannot see God. I have not seen God." Here is God. The taste of water is God. Everyone is drinking water. And who is not tasting it? He's seeing God. Why do you say that, "I do not see God"? You see, as it is directed by God. Then gradually you'll see Him.

If you simply remember this instruction, this one instruction of Bhagavad-gītā, raso 'ham apsu kaunteya prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ, "I am the taste of water. I am the shining illumination of sun and moon . . ." Who has not seen the sunlight? Who has not seen the moonlight? Who has not tasted water? Then why do you say: "I have not seen God"? If you simply practice this bhakti-yoga, as soon as you drink water and taste and be satisfied, "Oh, here is Kṛṣṇa," so immediately you remember Kṛṣṇa.

As soon as you see sunshine, you remember, "Oh, here is Kṛṣṇa." As soon as you see moonshine, you remember, "Eh, here is . . ." As soon as you see something wonderful, pauruṣaṁ nṛṣu śabdaḥ khe, as soon as you hear in the sky some sound, so if you remember, "Here is Kṛṣṇa," that means you are remembering Kṛṣṇa in every step of your life. And if you're remembering Kṛṣṇa in every step of life, then you become the topmost yogī.

Because Kṛṣṇa says:

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
mad-gata āntarātmanā
śraddhāvān bhajate . . .
(BG 6.47)

Mad-gata āntarātmanā. If you feel Kṛṣṇa in every step of life . . . it is not very difficult. And, above that, if you practice the chanting—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare . . . there is no tax. Your . . . there is no loss of your business. You are all businessmen. But if you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, if you remember Kṛṣṇa while drinking water, what is your loss? Why don't you try it? This is cultivation of knowledge. If you cultivate this knowledge, at the same time go on doing your business, your life will be successful.

Thank you very much. (applause) (break)

Guest (1): Come over the ego?

Prabhupāda: You cannot come over. Now you are in false ego. You have to come to the real ego. Now you are thinking, "I am Indian. I am Hindu. I am businessman." These are all false ego. When you come to your real ego that, "I am part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa," that is your real . . . ego, you cannot give up. But this is your false ego. You have to give up your false ego, come to the real ego. That's required. Purify your ego. That is required.

(break) . . . dhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam (CC Madhya 19.170). Upādhi. At the present moment, I am thinking like that. "I am Indian," "I am American," "I am brāhmin," "I am śūdra," "I am black," "I am white." These are the egoism of this body. But I'm not this body. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi. So when you come to that stage . . . brahmā-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā (BG 18.54). When you come to your real ego, then you'll become happy. And because you are in false ego, you are unhappy.

So ego cannot be changed. Because you are eternal, how you can be . . . ego can be changed? Just like people say: "Give up desires." How can you desire . . . give up desires? I'm a living entity. That is not possible. But I have to purify my desires. That is wanted. Just like if you have got some disease. So if you, some, the physician—they say, "Pluck out your eyes," that is not good treatment. But you treat the eyes nicely and the sight may be good. That is wanted.

So this bhakti-mārga means sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam. That is bhakti-mārga, that you have to give up your false ego. Sarva upādhi. This is upādhi: "I am this, I am that, and . . ." This upādhi has created trouble in the world. So we have to come to the real ego. Jīvera svarūpa haya nitya kṛṣṇa dāsa (CC Madhya 20.108-109). That is mukti. Mukti hitvā anyathā rūpaṁ svarūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ (SB 2.10.6). Now, hitvā anyathā rūpam. My ego is going on in a different way. Unnecessarily I am spoiling my life with these designation. But we have to come to the point of our real identity.

So nothing can be given up. As living entity, I must be egoistic. Law of identity. How can I say that, "I am not"? I am. I am existing. But now I am existing with designation. If I give up my designation, if I become purified, that is my real ego. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam (CC Madhya 19.170). One has to become nirmala. And when you become nirmala—hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate. That is bhakti.

So your senses are there. Now with my senses I am thinking that "I am the head of this . . . family man," "I am head of this community," or "I am . . . I have to serve. I have to engage my hand in this way, my eyes in this way, my nose in this way." Senses are engaged in a upādhi, designated. But when this is . . . designation is taken away, when you become nirmala, the senses remain, the dress of the senses taken away, at that time your senses are engaged in the service of the Lord, and that is called bhakti.

Bhavānanda: Are there any other questions?

(break)

Prabhupāda: . . . service to the humanity. Now you are thinking service to the humanity means a section of humanity. And why should you stick your service to the humanity? When one is serving his own countrymen, Indian, he does not care for the Englishman. So don't speak of humanity. Nobody can serve the whole humanity in the present way. But if you spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that is the best service to the humanity.

Just like we are doing. We have no discrimination that, "These are Indians. These are Americans. They are Hindus. They are Muslims. They are Christians." No. Or "They're cats" or "dogs." That oneness you can see only when you are Brahman-realized. Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu. Why humanity? Why not the cats and dogs and cows? You are very much anxious to give service to the humanity, but you are sending animals to the slaughterhouse. Why? The lack of knowledge. You do not know.

But every living entity is part and parcel of God. You cannot select this part and . . . therefore the śāstra says, yathā taror mūla-niṣecanena tṛpyanti tat-skandha-bhujopaśākhāḥ (SB 4.31.14). Just like by watering the root, you can water automatically the branches, the trunks, the twigs, the flowers, the fruits, the leaves—everything is watered. Sarvārhaṇam acyutejyā. Or by supplying foodstuff to the stomach, you serve all the senses of the body perfectly. Similarly, when you begin to serve Kṛṣṇa, then not only to the human society—to the animal society, to the tree society. Every society will be served. That is perfect service. And if you simply limit your service, that is . . . may be good, but that is not good, according to śāstra. Just like you simply water the leaves, the leaves will not live; they'll dry. But if you supply water to the root, everything will be protected.

So actual service will begin when you are Kṛṣṇa conscious. Brahmā-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati, samaḥ sarve . . . (BG 18.54). That is samaḥ sarveṣu. And so long you limit, that is limited service. That is not perfect service.

Indian man (1): . . . there's just a small question.

(break)

Prabhupāda: . . . modern generation means godlessness. It is said in the śāstra, yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ (SB 5.18.12). If you have unflinching faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then all the good qualities of demigods will develop unto you. It is not story. It is fact. Just like these European and American students. They, in their previous life, before becoming Kṛṣṇa consciousness, according to our standard, they were all immoral. Our . . . in India, illicit sex life still—it is admitted, if it is not followed—to have sex relation with other's wife or other's woman except one's wife, that is called immoral or sinful.

So the Western countries these things are not immoral or sinful. It is very daily affair. But now, because they have come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they have given up all these things. No illicit sex life. Unless one is married, he must remain brahmacārī or vānaprastha or sannyāsī. Only gṛhastha, duly married wife, he can have sex. This is morality. And you should not kill the animals unnecessarily. That is immoral. You are already intoxicated by the influence of māyā. You should not be more intoxicated. This is immoral. You should not indulge in gambling. These are immoral.

So as soon as you become Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then all these immoralities vanish immediately. That is the only. Yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā, sarvaiḥ guṇaiḥ tatra samāsate su . . . harāv abhaktsya kuto mahad-guṇā. One who is not Kṛṣṇa conscious, he cannot have any good quality or any morality. That is the decision of the śāstra. So if you want to revive the morality of the society, you must take up this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then everything will come.

Indian man (1): Sir, this . . . why did we not have a world with universal brotherhood, universal love?

Prabhupāda: Because you don't want it. Because you don't want it. You do not want. That, that, that is explained in the previous verse, that Kṛṣṇa says:

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi . . .
(BG 18.66)

These miserable conditions are there because we are all sinful. So Kṛṣṇa gives protection that, "You surrender unto Me, and I give you protection from the reaction of all sinful life." So who wants Kṛṣṇa? You do not want. Kṛṣṇa says, canvassing, but who is accepting? Then how you can get, I mean to say, liberty or liberation from these sinful activities?

Ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo. People suffer on account of sinful activities. There are two things, pāpa and puṇya. So if you follow the path of pāpa, then you must suffer. Just like state laws. If you become criminal, you must suffer. You must go to the prison house. You, you cannot argue that "Why government has created the prison house? Why?" Can you argue like that? Yes, there is necessity. The government knows that there will be some rascals who will commit criminal activities; therefore there must be prison house.

So this material world is prison house. Every one of us, we are member of the prison house—first class, second class, third class, just like in the prison house there are different classes. Duḥkhalayam aśāśvatam (BG 8.15). You cannot expect treatment in the prison house just like son-in-law. No. That is not possible. You must suffer. Otherwise, what is the meaning of prison house? Similarly, Kṛṣṇa says, although Kṛṣṇa has created this world, He says this is duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam, this is the place of misery. And aśāśvatam. You cannot make any arrangement, "All right, Sir, let it be duḥkhālayam. Let me remain here." No. That also you cannot remain. You'll be kicked out. This is the place like that.

But Kṛṣṇa gives you the idea how you can be happy, how you can get out of this. He says, mām upetya kaunteya duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam nāpnuvanti (BG 8.15).

janma karma me divyaṁ
yo jānāti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti . . .
(BG 4.9)

Kṛṣṇa is canvassing you that, "You try to understand Me. Come back." But you do not want it. So how Kṛṣṇa can save you? You have got the independence. Kṛṣṇa said to Arjuna, "Now I explained to you everything. Yathecchasi tathā kuru (BG 18.63). Now, whatever you like, you do."

So we have got that little independence because we are part and parcel of God. God has got supreme independence, and we, being part and parcel . . . just like you are all big businessmen. You have got supreme independence in his business. Similarly, your sons, they have got also some independence, although subjected. Similarly, we, being part and parcel of God, sons of God, we have got little independence. If we misuse that independence, then we become subjected to all these tribulation. But if we do not misuse . . . as Kṛṣṇa says, mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te (BG 7.14).

So it is up to you. If you want to remain in this world of duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam (BG 8.15), you can do so. But if you want to get out of it, you can do so. That is up to you. It is not Kṛṣṇa's fault. Kṛṣṇa has given you liberty, little independence, whatever. Yathecchasi tathā kuru (BG 18.63). He's given you chance. You want to do this—"All right, do it." You want to do this? "Do this." He's giving you chance. There is a verse, sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca (BG 15.15). He's situated in everyone's heart. He's understanding what you want, and He's giving you all chance: "All right, have it. Enjoy it." But His instruction is that "This will not make you happy." Sarva-dharmān parityaja mam ekam. You do not do it. You must suffer. That is not Kṛṣṇa's fault. That is your fault.

Indian man (1): A small thing. Will Your Reverence have . . . (break)

Prabhupāda: So you have no right to do so.

Indian man (1): Say instead of Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, we say visva ramane rahim, or something like that, will you have any objection to that?

Prabhupāda: No objection.

Indian man (1): And will you say . . .

Prabhupāda: But that is no objection.

Indian man (1): . . . that efficacy will be the same?

Prabhupāda: Yes. If bismillah means Hare Kṛṣṇa . . . it is a question of language. So if bismillah's meaning the same thing, Hare Kṛṣṇa . . . Hare Kṛṣṇa means we are addressing the Supreme Lord and His energy. Hara means the energy of the Supreme Lord, and Kṛṣṇa means the Supreme Lord. So we are addressing, "My dear Lord, my dear the energy of Lord . . ." Because Lord and His energy, they are . . . they are always existing. Just like sun and the sunshine, they're always existing. Sunshine is the energy, but sun is the energetic. Similarly, the Lord is there and His energy's also there.

So we are praying both to the energy and to the Lord: "Please engage me in Your service. I am serving māyā. I am not happy. Therefore, please engage me in Your . . ." My, my constitutional position is to serve. Just like you are all sitting here. Every one of you are servant. If you consider that you are master, that is a mistake. That is māyā. Every one of you are servant. So "I am serving, but now I am serving māyā. I'm not happy. Let me serve You." This is the meaning of Hare Kṛṣṇa.

So if bismillah means that, there is no objection. It is the question of language. It does not . . . of course, Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis tatrārpitā niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ (Śikṣāṣṭaka 2). Caitanya Mahāprabhu says the . . . the person whose name we chant, holy name, in each, in each holy name, there is the same potency as in the person. So if bismillah, Allah, or something like that, that is not objected if it is actually meaning the Supreme.

If it is meaning something else, that is another thing. This question . . . just like water, or jala. It is the same thing. It is simply a different name. If I ask water, you'll give me the water actually, and if I say jala, you'll give me the same. So if the meaning is all right, then there is no objection. If the meaning is different, then there is objection. We are not fighting with the language. We are not concerned with the language.

Indian man (3): Why God created sinful activities?

Prabhupāda: You have created. God has not created. (laughter) You have created. Yes.

Indian man (3): In what respect?

Prabhupāda: You have created.

Indian man (3): In what respect I have created?

Prabhupāda: You want to kill animals. God does not say that, "You kill animals." So you have created sinful activities.

Indian man (3): I am a part and parcel of the almighty God.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Indian man (3): So when animals are butchered, why the butcher does not get pain?

Prabhupāda: Butcher does not get pain? Do you know that? (laughter) There is a Sanskrit verse that vyādha . . . mā jīva, mā mara: "My dear butcher, you don't live, don't die." Do you think this butcher, that butchering work is very palatable work? Can you see it, before you, a man is killed, an animal is killed? So he has become accustomed. It pains him. But that work is so abominable that he should not live for executing that work. But what is the benefit of dying? Because after death, he will be butchered. Therefore the śāstra says, mā jīva mā mara: "Don't live, don't die." Yes.

Indian man (4): There is some difference. When we do some good, we consider it as God-inspired, but when we do something bad, then we can't say that it is also God-inspired after we have done it?

Prabhupāda: I do not follow what he says.

Indian man (2): He says then the inspiration comes from the God for the all works.

Prabhupāda: God inspiration comes for every work. That's a fact. But we deny . . . just like . . . you take this simple exam . . . example. Just like a thief. From within, he's forbidden: "Don't commit theft." But he does it. He does it. You have got all experience about these things. God says from within, "Don't do it," but we do it. That is the defect of without being Kṛṣṇa conscious. Just like a thief: He knows that for his criminal activities he'll be punished. He has seen it, that a thief is arrested and he's taken to the prison house.

And he has heard from the śāstra and from law books that committing theft is not good. Why does he commit it? He knows, and he has seen it. Why does he do it? Can you answer? He knows that it is not good, and he has heard it from śāstra and from learned lawyers. But why does he do it?

This is the influence of nature. As he associated with the nature, ignorance, dark ignorance, he cannot check it. Therefore the best service to humanity is to give him knowledge. Because everyone is in ignorance. Parābhavas tāvad abodha-jāta yāvan na jijñāsata ātma-tattvam (SB 5.5.5). Everyone is being defeated out of this ignorance. Therefore one should come to the platform of inquiring about the self. That is the best service, athāto brahma jijñāsā, to revive, invoke people to inquire about Brahman, and that will solve all the questions.

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (end)