Collaborate with us to invoke and fully manifest Srila Prabhupada's Vani-presence.
730217 - Lecture SB 06.01.06 - Sydney
Prabhupāda: This is a verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Sixth Canto, First Chapter, verse number 6. (SB 6.1.6) In the course of conversation... Not conversation. Mahārāja Parīkṣit was hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from Śukadeva Gosvāmī. This Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the summit of all knowledge. Vidyā bhāgavatāvadhiḥ. Amongst the Vedic scholars, the topmost knowledge means to understand Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Everything is there.
(aside:) This noise has to be stopped.
So in all subject matter—physics, chemistry, astronomy, religion, politics, sociology—everything has been fully described, and above all, the science of God is also described. Therefore it is called Bhāgavatam. Bhāgavatam, the word is derived from bhagavān, bhāgavatam. Bhagavān is the first nominative case from the word bhāgavata, and from bhāgavata, Bhāgavatam. Bhāgavatam means in relationship with God and in relationship with the devotees of God. So śrīmad-bhāgavataṁ amalaṁ purāṇam (SB 12.13.18).
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means we are preaching the cult of Bhāgavatam. It is a scientific method. So there were many discussions, and in the Fifth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam there is a chronological description of people suffering due to different kinds of sinful activities. Unfortunately, at the present moment people are unaware. They are kept in darkness. Therefore each and every sinful activity, there is punishment. They do not believe in the next life, but they can see practically in this life that if you violate a little laws of nature, you'll be punished immediately. Immediately punished.
Just like I have got some pain in this finger, I scratch some nail that I should not have done, but immediately there is reaction, I'm suffering. Every... You cannot do anything whimsically. As soon as you do it, immediately there is reaction. Take for example just like salt. Salt is necessary. Unless you put little salt in the foodstuff, you cannot eat it. So salt is necessary, but if you put little more, immediately you cannot eat. It will not..., not eatable.
Because God has given you salt, the seas and oceans of salt, you cannot make it use more than is necessary. If you think that "There is so much salt, let me eat it," no, you cannot do. Any, any action. Just like in this material world, sex enjoyment is very pleasing, but if you enjoy it more, then you become impotent, the reaction will be there. If you can eat, say, four ounce, and if you eat five ounce, immediately there is indigestion; two days you will have to starve.
So why don't you see? People have become so rascal that they do not think of sinful activities. By nature's law it is so strict that you have to follow the laws given by God. If you don't follow, then you'll be punished. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). Dharma means the laws given by God. That is the simple description of dharma. If you do not know what are the laws of God, then that does not mean you'll not be punished. Innocence of law is no cause for excuse. If you go...
Suppose if you have done something criminal without your knowledge, and if in the court you say, "My lord, I did not know this law, that committing something criminal like this I would have been punished." So that is no excuse. Ignorance of law is no excuse. Nature's law is so strict. Just like a small child, if the child puts his finger on the fire, the fire will not excuse the child: "Oh, he is an innocent child. He does not know." No. It must burn, never mind it is child.
So there is description of different types of punishment in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam for different kinds of sinful activities. Therefore, after hearing the description... Parīkṣit Mahārāja is a Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇava is very sympathetic. If actually there is any welfare worker, that is Vaiṣṇava. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is going on. The Vaiṣṇavas are taking so much, I mean to say, trouble. Just like in Melbourne our these preachers are being punished regularly. They are taken to the jail, and still they are doing their duty. Still they are going for saṅkīrtana. Just like one side they are violating the so-called laws of the state, they are being punished, similarly, important laws of God, if one violates, how you cannot be punished? This is an instance. Must be punished.
So Vaiṣṇava is always thinking how people will be happy. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is going on just to make people happy. They do not know so many things and for which they are suffering in this material world in so many stages of life, in so many forms of life. Huh? They are transmigrating from one life to another. There are 8,400,000 species of life. Huh? In this way, actually their existence is being spoiled. Therefore Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to give them right knowledge, so that they may become happy.
So this question was raised by Parīkṣit Mahārāja, that,
- adhuneha mahā-bhāga
- yathaiva narakān naraḥ
- nānogra-yātanān neyāt
- tan me vyākhyātum arhasi
- (SB 6.1.6)
"I heard that people suffer such-and-such kind of punishment for such-and-such kind of sinful activities. So how to get them released from this suffering?" Just like a friend, suppose another friend for criminal activity is put into jail, but the friend is thinking, "Anyway, my friend is now put into jail, suffering. How to get him released?" That is friend's action—father, mother or friend. Similarly, Vaiṣṇava, Vaiṣṇava is patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ (Praṇāma Prayers). We offer our respectful obeisances to Vaiṣṇava because Vaiṣṇava is meant for delivering the fallen souls. That is Vaiṣṇava's business. They are taking so much trouble just to deliver the fallen soul from the sinful activities, and those who are being punished, to save them, this is Vaiṣṇava's business.
So Parīkṣit Mahārāja, not for himself, but for others, he inquired this question: "My dear Śukadeva Goswāmī, I understand that these people are suffering so many types of punishment. But how to rescue, rescue them? Is there any method to rescue them? If there is, kindly describe. Kindly describe." Adhuneha mahā-bhāga yathaiva narakān naraḥ. Adhuna—now; iha—in this world; mahā-bhāga. Mahā-bhāga, the Śukadeva Goswāmī is described, mahā-bhāga, the most fortunate. A Vaiṣṇava is most fortunate. Vaiṣṇava is most fortunate because he has got the shelter of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says,
- sarva-dharmān parityajya
- mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
- ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
- (BG 18.66)
If one takes shelter of Kṛṣṇa, he's immediately released from these resultant action of sinful activities. So mahā-bhāga means those who have no sufferings, they're always possessed of all good fortune, he is called mahā-bhāga. Bhagavān. The Sanskrit word is used, bhagavān, "fortunate."
So Parīkṣit Mahārāja addressed Śukadeva Goswāmī as mahā-bhāga, the most fortunate. Because he's perfect Vaiṣṇava, therefore he addresses, "My dear the most fortunate," mahā-bhāga. Adhunā, "Now," yathaiva narakān naraḥ, "these people are suffering in the hellish condition of life. How they can be rescued?" Nānā ugra-yātanān: very severe punishment they are undergoing. People cannot see. They have no eyes to see, you see. They suffer in great calamities, and still they cannot see that "I am suffering."
Just like when you pass through the streets of Australia—we go daily, morning walk—big, big skyscraper buildings have been constructed, and people are making plans, designs, working very, very hard, lifting so many heavy things. These are very heavy tasks, but they are thinking, "It is very happiness." (laughter) They are thinking, "We are making progress. We are making progress. We are bringing stones and irons on head and putting together, and it is progress. We are very happy." (laughter) This is going on.
This is called bahir-artha-māninaḥ (SB 7.5.31). They are enamored by the external energy of the Personality of Godhead. These material things are products of the external energy of the Lord. Bhūmir āpo 'nalo vayuḥ khaṁ buddhir mano eva (BG 7.4). Bhūmi, the earth—the iron, stone, wood, they are nothing but transformation of earth. Similarly, apo, water. So whatever we are manufacturing here, they are simply combination of earth, water, air, fire, that's all. Nothing but. Tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ vinimayam (SB 1.1.1). Vinimaya, exchange of teja, fire. Teja means fire, vāri means water, and mṛd means earth. Just like the bricks. What is this brick? You take earth, you take earth and mix it with water and put it in the fire, it becomes brick. So whole thing, either earth, stone or iron, anything, they are simply mixture of these five elements.
So I am spirit soul. I have been engaged in mixing these five things and big, big lumps, and gathering them just like children play in the sea beach, gathering so much sand and making like this, big house, and then it is fallen down. So we are engaged in these material activities, but we forget at the same time that there is, ready, atom bomb. As soon as there will be declared war, these things will be finished, immediately.
These people are not declaring war. America is not declaring war against Asia, Russia or China. They are thinking, because they know they have got the deadly weapons, atom, and that is the now diplomacy. When there will be war, the first dropping of atom bomb will be victorious. "Aah, victorious."
So this is called material civilization, that we do not know that these things will be finished today or tomorrow or hundred years after. It will be finished. And I am living soul, I am eternal, and I have been engaged in these material activities without knowing my progress of life, or without knowing my transmigration from... Suppose I spent all my energy in this piling of stone and wood in this life, and next life if I become a rat or cat in this house, then what is the profit? (laughter)
And there is possibility. There is possibility, because after death you cannot say that "I am going to be like this." That is under the hands of nature.
- prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni
- guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
- kartāham iti manyate
- (BG 3.27)
Prakṛti will take charge of you immediately. As soon as you give up this body, immediately prakṛti will take charge. Take charge means the prakṛti will test what is the mentality at the time of your death, and he will give you a body like that, automatically. The nature's law is working so nicely, so perfectly, that everything is becoming manifest automatically. Just like fire..., ah, flower. You see how beautiful flower, rose flower, is coming into existence automatically. Don't think there is no brain.
There is brain, but the brain is so perfect and instant that you are seeing that it is becoming automatically grown. No. There is brain. Just like electric, electrons. Just like here is a machine working, and pushing some button it is recording, and pushing some button it is stopped. A child may think that it is being done automatically. No. There is a big brain behind this machine. Big brain. But a foolish man sees that it is being automatically.
Similarly, nature's law is, parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate svābhāvikī jñāna-bala-kriyā ca (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.8, CC Madhya 13.65, purport). Na tasya kāryam... These are the Vedic versions. Na tasya kāryaṁ kāraṇam ca vidyate. Just like if we have to construct a skyscraper building, then we have to work so hard to collect the materials, and piling them and making them secure(?), and so many things. So..., but this material creation, this universe, was created not like that. Just like it is said in the Bible, " 'Let there be creation,' and there was creation." Similarly, actually it is so.
The parāsya śaktir..., God's potencies are so subtle and perfect, as soon as He desires, immediately thing is ready. This is called yoga system, yoga system. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is known as Yogeśvara. Of all the yogīs, He is the supreme yogī. Yathā yogeśvara kṛ... So there is work, but do not think that "There was no work; automatically it comes." No. There was work, but it is so subtle and perfect. The same thing: the working, so many things are working, going on within the machine, that simply I push it on and it acts. Similarly, work is there for creation. The work is there, but it is actuated by the perfect potency of Kṛṣṇa.
That is real understanding. Don't think that it has come like mantra. No. The mantra is like that, but we cannot see how subtle work is going on. If we cannot see even in our body... Suppose there is some injury in your finger or any part of the body. You do not know how subtle work is going on to cure it. Medicine is not cure; medicine is only helping. But there is automatic way of curing it. Even your energy—this is your energy. My bodily pains and pleasures, so many things are going on. Just like so many, you cannot count even how many hairs are there on your head. You cannot count.
But it is your hair, and it is produced by your energy. You have got so much energy that as soon as you cut your hair, immediately next moment it begins to grow. Thousands and millions automatically growing. As soon as the body is dead, then no more growing, because energy is gone. So similarly, as in your body so much subtle energies are working, just imagine this universal body of Kṛṣṇa, virāṭ-rūpa, how much subtle energies are working and there. So that we do not know. That is our ignorance.
So any slight deviation from the law, then we are put into undesirable condition. That is a fact. Just like here, according to Vedic principle, the laws are given by Manu. Manu. From Manu, the word manuṣya has come, or "man." And there is Manu-saṁhitā. In the Manu-saṁhitā it is stated that if a man commits murder, then he should be hanged. He should be hanged. That is followed by every human society. Why? But that means the sinful activities which he has enacted, if he is punished in this life, then he'll not so suffer against in the next life. His punishment will be finished. So that is a favor. If a murderer is hanged, then that is a favor shown by the government, because the next life you'll not have to suffer.
So when Parīkṣit Mahārāja inquired,
- adhuneha mahā-bhāga
- yathaiva narakān naraḥ
- nānogra-yātanān neyāt
- tan me vyākhyātum arhasi
- (SB 6.1.6)
"Kindly describe how these sinful men who are suffering, how they can be rescued from this sinful reaction," so Śukadeva Goswāmī replied,
- na ced ihaivāpacitiṁ yathāmhasaḥ
- kṛtasya kuryān mana-ukta-pāṇibhiḥ
- dhruvaṁ sa vai pretya narakān upaiti
- ye kīrtitā me bhavatas tigma-yātanāḥ
- (SB 6.1.7)
He says, "My dear King, that unless he makes atonement for the sinful activities in this life, then next life he'll have to suffer." This is the answer. Ihaivāpacitim yathāmhasaḥ. Aṁhasaḥ means sinful activities, as he has done. How he has done? Kuryān manah-ukta-pāṇibhiḥ. Just see. We are committing sinful activities even by thinking. Even by thinking. If I think that "I shall kill that man," this is mental activity. Still it is sinful. Manaḥ uktiḥ. If I unnecessarily chastise you by words, "You rascal this and that," so many..., that is also a kind of sinful activity. And if I commit by action, ah, that is sure. Therefore it is said, kṛtasya kuryān mana-ukta-pāṇibhiḥ. Pāṇibhiḥ with hands, or by mind or...
The concession for this age: when we think of any sinful activities it does not affect us, but when we actually... Suppose I'm thinking of killing you. This thinking of killing you is also sinful, but unless I kill you, the sin is not, I mean to say, prominent. In this age that is concession. But we are actually thinking, feeling and willing and acting so many sinful activities that we do not know. That is the ignorance. So dhruvaṁ sa vai pretya narakān upaiti. If he does not atone in this life...
Just like if I take some money from you, if I do not pay you, then I will have to pay four times next life. That you do not know. Four times, many times, with interest. Just like bank gives you interest, you have to pay. But we cheat so many people. We are thinking that we are very clever: "I can cheat so many persons and take money and enjoy." That is atheistic. Ṛṇaṁ kṛtvā ghṛtaṁ pibet yāvaj jīvet sukhaṁ jīvet (Cārvāka Muni). The atheistic philosopher... Everything there are in Indian Vedic culture. Everything is discussed—atheistic, theistic, scientific, everything is there.
So this Cārvāka Muni was an atheistic philosopher. His philosophy was that so long you... Now that philosophy is being followed at the present moment, that "You don't care for sinful activities. There is no life, and after finishing this body, everything is finished. Enjoy life as you like." This is going on. That is Cārvāka's philosophy. Ṛṇaṁ kṛtvā ghṛtaṁ pibet. He said that "You enjoy life by eating as much as quantity as you can provide, ghee." Because Indian philosophy means if you can eat...
Just like in Western countries, if you can eat meat you think that "I am very much fortunate." Similarly, in India still, in villages also, they think that "If we can eat more ghee, we are very fortunate." (laughter) So ṛṇaṁ kṛtvā ghṛtaṁ pibet yāvaj jīvet sukhaṁ jīvet. So "Beg, borrow, steal—eat ghee." Eat ghee, because so long you live, you'll live very sumptuously eating ghee and become fatty. That's all. (laughter)
So ṛṇaṁ kṛtvā ghṛtaṁ pibet yāvaj jīvet sukhaṁ jīvet. Live very happily. And then if you say that "I have no money. If I borrow from friends ghee, then I'll have to pay him." Because these are the injunctions in the śāstras. But he is atheistic. He says, bhasmī-bhūtasya dehasya kutaḥ punar āgamano bhavet. According to Vedic culture, the body is burned into ashes. So when the body is burned into ashes, who is coming again and paying him back? (laughter) "Don't think about it. Everything is finished."
This is the atheistic knowledge. But actually it is not. If you take real knowledge from Bhagavad-gītā, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). That is real knowledge. After destruction of this body, don't think you are finished. You will remain. Tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati, dehino 'smin yathā dehe (BG 2.13). This is the first instruction. If you want to enter into spiritual life, you must know that you, spirit soul, you are eternal. You don't die; you are not finished. That after the destruction of this body, you accept another body, tathā dehāntara prāptir. These are the versions in the Bhagavad-gītā, authoritative. And dehāntara means another body. There is no guarantee what kind of body you will get. That will depend on your work. You may get the body of a king or you may get the body of a hog, as you have done work in this life. This life is a preparation for the next life.
So here Śukadeva Goswāmī says that if one does not atone these sinful activities... That is prāyaścitta vidhi, according to Vedic culture. In Christian also they have got prāyaścitta: confession. Confession, the Christians are supposed to go into the church and confess the sinful activities and pay some fine, and then he becomes free. But that free, that excuse can be done once, twice, thrice, not perpetually. It is not possible. Suppose if you have done something wrong, and if you go to the court and say, "Sir, excuse me. I did not know," the court may excuse you one time, second time, but not for the third time. Third time you will be severely punished.
So these people who are thinking, "By going to the church, by confession, I become free from all sinful activities, and then let me go again, commit the same thing for the whole week, come again and confess," this is not very good business. (laughter) This is not very good business. Similarly, if you think also—you are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra—Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra means you become free from all sinful reaction of life. But if you think that "I have got an instrument, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, so let me commit all sinful activities, and I shall chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, it will be nullified," no. That is the greatest offense. That is the greatest offense. Out of ten kinds of offenses, this is the greatest offense. Nāmno balād yasya hi pāpa-buddhiḥ (Padma Purāṇa, Brahma-khaṇḍa).
So God can excuse you once, twice, thrice, not more than that. Then you will be punished. Because you are knowingly criminal, your punishment will be very severe. So those who think that "This atonement, confession, or chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa is the counteraction of our sinful activities," they're greatest sinners. They're greatest sinners. They'll be severely punished. Just like a police, a policeman, a constable, if he commits theft, he's severely punished. He's to detect criminality, but he becomes himself criminal, then he's very highly punished. That is the law.
So here Śukadeva Goswāmī says that unless one atones his sinful activities done in this life, then he has to accept severe punishment in the next life. There is no excuse. This is the conclusion. Dhruvaṁ sa vai pretya narakān upaiti. Dhruvam. Dhruvam means sure. Surely he must suffer the hellish condition of life next life if he does not atone in this life. That is called prāyaścitta, confession, so many things. Ye kīrtitā me: "And I've already described them in the Fifth Chapter, that if you commit this kind of sin, you suffer like this; if you commit this kind of sin, you suffer like this." And he's giving a nice example:
- tasmāt puraivāśv iha pāpa-niṣkṛtau
- yate ta mṛtyor avipadyatātmanā
- doṣasya dṛṣṭvā guru-lāghavaṁ yathā
- bhiṣak cikitseta rujāṁ nidāna-vit
- (SB 6.1.8)
"Therefore, my dear King, according to the gravity of sinful activities, one has to atone similarly." The example is, according to the gravity of the disease, the physician prescribes different types of medicine. If your disease is very severe, then the physician says that "You have to take this medicine. This is very costly. You have to live like this, or like..." You know, you know, everyone. Ordinary disease, that can be cured by giving some tablet, but if the disease is very severe, then you have to undergo severe medical treatment and suffering and so on. This very example. This is practical. This is practical. There is no question of doubting.
The example is given that in this life, if you have some severe type of disease, you have to pay the doctor's bill, also severe. That you cannot avoid. So why not for sinful activities? And what is disease? Disease, infection, means that is also violating the laws of nature. That is disease. Just I gave you the example: a little scratching of nail again means three, four days so much suffering. So you cannot violate. That is, that is breaking the laws of nature, breaking the laws of God. That is sinful. Either you take it as disease or sinful activities or whatever you call. This is... So you have to atone.
So Parīkṣit Mahārāja is answering—he's very intelligent—dṛṣṭa-śrutābhyaṁ yat pāpam.
(aside:) You sit down properly if you are feeling sleepy.
- dṛṣṭa-śrutābhyaṁ yat pāpaṁ
- jānann apy ātmano 'hitaṁ
- karoti bhūyo vivaśaḥ
- prāyaścittam atho katham
- (SB 6.1.9)
So Parīkṣit Mahārāja says that "I accept that unless one atones, then he'll be punished, but what is the value of this atonement?" Just like a man falls diseased. He's habituated to some certain habits, and he falls diseased on account of that. He knows that "I committed this mistake in respect of my healthy condition, so I'm now punished by this disease." He knows, and he has suffered, but why he commits again? This is the question. Why he commits again?
So Parīkṣit Mahārāja says that dṛṣṭa-śrutābhyaṁ yat pāpaṁ jānann apy ātmano 'hitaṁ (SB 6.1.9). A person knows that this is not good for him. For example, a thief. A thief knows that stealing is not good. It is against law, and against our revealed scriptures also. No religious book or scriptures will say that "You go on stealing." No. Neither the state laws also allow stealing. A man knows.
And suppose he's stolen in the past, and he was punished, or he sees that one who has stolen property, he is arrested by the police and he's being taken into the custody. He has seen it, he has heard it. We experience. We gather our knowledge by seeing and by hearing. So both things he has done, but still he is stealing. Why? This is the question.
So suppose if I knowingly do something and I make atonement and again I do it... Or a disease. I know that if I attack this infection I'll suffer, still I, ah, become infected, and again I suffer. Again I go to the physician, he gives me medicine, again I'm cured, again disease. This is going on. Why this is? He has got experience, and still he has experienced, he has seen, he has heard, he has full knowledge that "This kind of sinful activity will be fruitful in this way, and I'll have to suffer." Why does he do it?
Therefore, he says,
- kvacin nivartate 'bhadrāt
- kvacic carati tat punaḥ
- prāyaścittam atho 'pārtham
- manye kuñjara-śaucavat
- (SB 6.1.10)
"My dear Śukadeva Goswāmī..." If a man knows it, by knowing he may refrain for some time from sinful activities, but again he does it. Again he does it. He's forced. He's forced: "Let me do it. All right, I shall suffer. Doesn't matter." But again he suffers, and when he suffers he says, "Oh, I'll not do it again. I'll not do it again. I'll not..." But when he's again cured, again he does it. Therefore, Parīkṣit Mahārāja... The same, confession, or anything you take, atonement. So Parīkṣit Mahārāja is comparing it, kuñjara-śaucavat. It is just like the elephant's taking bath.
The elephant... This is natural, one can see, that elephant takes bath very thoroughly. He washes the body in the water, in the tank, very thoroughly for long time, becomes very cleansed. And as soon as he come on the shore he takes some dust and throws it. (laughter) That is nature, you have seen. So Parīkṣit Mahārāja... This is just like cleaning the body of an elephant like. The elephant cleanses the body very nicely, but as soon as comes to the land, he takes dust and throws over it. So what is the use of such atonement if I have to commit again? I do it again and again. Again I commit sinful activities, and again I atone. So what is the benefit of this atonement? This is a strong criticism of so-called confession and atonement.
Then because, as Śukadeva Goswāmī is the most intelligent instructor of Bhāgavata principles, the audience, Parīkṣit Mahārāja, he is also very important, very intelligent audience, and he has put this, that "What is the use of this atonement? I don't find any benefit of. If I have to commit the same sinful activities, what is the use of atonement? It is just like the bath taken by the elephant, kuñjara-śaucavat." Therefore he replied,
- bādarāyaṇir uvāca
- karmaṇā karma-nirhāro
- na hy ātyantika iṣyate
- prāyaścittaṁ vimarśanam
- (SB 6.1.11)
"Yes, my dear King, you are right. Your question is very intelligent. Actually, by committing something wrong and reacting it by something else, that is not very beneficial. The real prāyaścitta is knowledge." Real prāyaścitta is knowledge. A thief is committing theft and going to the prison, suffers for six months, again he comes out, and again he commits theft, and within four days again he is put into the prison. We have seen many such cases. He..., the thief comes out of the jail, and exactly after four days he's again put into the jail. So this action and reaction—one has committed theft, and the reaction is that he is put into the jail—this is not actually beneficial. Real is that thief must be given knowledge. Knowledge.
For want of knowledge, the whole world is suffering for want of knowledge. Therefore Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is giving actual knowledge of the living entity, vimarśanam. Vimarśana means that think over the matter, that "Why I am doing this?" This is called brahma-jijñāsā. This is called brahma-jijñāsā. Means when a person becomes inquisitive about this "Why?" "Why I am suffering?" then he becomes intelligent. Then he comes to the standard of human life. And there is Upaniṣad, Kena Upaniṣad. Kena means "why."
Just like Sanātana Gosvāmī, when he approached Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he placed this question, "Why? Why I am suffering?" Ke āmi', 'kene āmāya jāre tāpa-traya' (CC Madhya 20.102). "I do not want to die. Why there is death? I do not want to suffer from disease. Why there is disease? I do not want to take birth. Why I am put into the womb of mother again and again? Janma-mṛtyu jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9). And I do not want to become old. Why I am forced to become old?" When a person comes to this standard, to inquire, "Why these things are there?" this is real intelligence.
Intelligence does not mean you gather, like asses, all the stones and iron and put them together and be satisfied that "Oh, I am very happy." That is asses' business. Ass is very expert to overload his body with heavy tons of... You know that? Maybe you do not know, but in India there is washerman, he puts tons of cloth over the back of the ass, and it carries. It cannot move; still it carries it. And it goes to the washing ghāṭa, washing place, and it stands there whole day eating little morsel of grass. He's thinking that "Unless I overload my back with this cloth, I cannot get this grass." Although he sees there are so many thousands and thousands of grasses all over, still he'll serve that washerman. Therefore it is called ass. (laughter) You see? Ass. (laughter) No intelligence; simply working for others, and eating a morsel of...
I've seen in New York, one very big publisher, he's very busy, but he's eating a few slice of bread and cup of tea and nothing more, that's all. You see? There are so many big, big men, they cannot eat much, but they work more than us, all day and night. Therefore they are called asses. Karmīs, they are called asses. Not for his personal benefit, but he does not know for whose benefit he is working so hard, but still he is working, without benefit. Therefore sa eva go-kharaḥ. Those who are under the impression, the bodily concept of life, sa eva... Yasyātmā buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke sva-dhīḥ kalatrādīṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ (SB 10.84.13). So when the asses will come to this standard, "Why I am working so hard?" then he's human being; otherwise he's no better than the cows and the asses.
Therefore Parīkṣit Mahārāja here, Śukadeva Goswāmī, "Yes. Real prāyaścitta is to inquire, to become inquisitive." This is the Vedānta-sūtra, beginning of Vedānta-sūtra philosophy. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. Vimarśanam. And,
- nāśnataḥ pathyam evānnaṁ
- vyādhayo abhibhavanti hi
- evaṁ niyamakṛd rājan
- śanaiḥ kṣemāya kalpate
- (SB 6.1.12)
He's prescribing first thing. Just like if you live regular eating, if you take foodstuff not more than what you require, if you take nice foodstuff, healthy foodstuff, if you follow the hygienic principles, then you will never be attacked with disease. Very reasonable (indistinct). Similarly, we have to live very regulative life; then we shall not be affected or infected by the sinful activities. That is the description. This is required. If we do not live regulative life, if we do not follow the regulative principles as they are given in the śāstra, then in spite of being put into jail, in spite of my suffering, as soon as I come back, I again commit the same thing and again go to jail. This will happen.
The example is given very nicely here, that if anyone does not know how to live hygienically, healthfully, he must fall diseased. That's a fact. Similarly, one must have knowledge what is the value of this life, how I shall live, then he will be not subjected to the sinful activities. This is the conclusion. And if he lives like ass and cow, without any knowledge, without knowing the values of human life, then he must be subjected to the sinful activities and will be punished one after another, accepting different types of body.
The different types of body means that is our punishment. We may think it as happiness, but as soon as you accept a material body, you are subjected to the four principles of material distresses. What is that? Janma, mṛtyu, jarā, vyādhi. You may think that you are very scientifically advanced—"There is no more distress in my life"—but Kṛṣṇa says, "No. If you are intelligent, then you should think of these four principle as distresses." What is that? Birth, death, old age and disease. But the modern so-called scientist, they cannot make any solution for birth, death, old age and disease; therefore they have left them aside: "Oh, don't care for them." That is ignorance.
Our real problem is not this temporary problem that we are in such-and-such distressed condition. That is temporary. But real problem is, as Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam (BG 13.9). If anyone is intelligent enough, he should always keep before him that there are..., these are my distresses: janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi. I don't want to die, so what I have done for stopping my death? What have I done to stop my birth? Huh? Because as soon as I die, again I enter into the womb of a particular type of mother. Again I have to live there, packed up. That is the... Everyone knows. I cannot move even. No independence.
The insects biting my delicate body, I cannot protest. I am simply suffering. So many things. After coming out of the womb, still there is suffering. Suffering, suffering, suffering—the whole life is suffering—but I do not know how to compensate the suffering. That I do not know. That is ignorance. Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam. Just like the ass cannot understand that he's suffering, loading so much cloth upon his back. That is ass, one who cannot understand the suffering. And we are taking it, "This is now pleasure. This is not suffering, this is pleasure. I am working so hard."
I remember long ago, about forty years ago, one of my servant, he left my service and he was pulling on ṭhelā. You know ṭhelā, a hand-pulled cart? So after that he came to see me. I asked him, "How you are doing now?" So he was very pleased, that "I am working, pulling on this ṭhelā and eating sumptuously, and by evening it becomes all digested and again I'll eat." That is the (indistinct). He's eating sumptuously, and by working, by pulling on the ṭhelā, hard labor, whole thing is digested, and again goes in the evening he eats very sumptuously, he is very pleased. That is his success of life. So people are doing like that. They are eating in the morning and working very hard whole day, and in the evening again he becomes hungry and eats more sumptuously. That is his happiness. That is his happiness. But he does not think that these distresses are there: janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam (BG 13.9).
So there is no solution for them made. The so-called scientist, philosopher, they do not..., "Oh, death is natural. What is this? I'll have to..., I'll die." But when there is warning, "Now death," there is... I have seen, everyone has seen that as soon as there is earthquake, they began to scream: "Oh, now I'm going to die, going to die." As soon as there is any shaking in the aeroplane, they began to scream. (laughter) He's afraid of death, but he says, "Oh, that is not a problem." You see? He has got his experience that at the time of death it is very severe punishment. Therefore Bhagavad-gītā says, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam: "You may be satisfied with your foolish idea that you are very happy, but if you are intelligent, then you must always keep yourself..."
The Cānakya Paṇḍita also said that those who advancing in spiritual life, they should place before him that "Here is death," just before him. And those who are karmīs, like ass, they'll always think that "I'll never die." The spiritualist always thinks that "I am dying, dying, going to die next moment." And the karmīs, he should think that "I'll live forever." Otherwise he cannot work. He cannot. Unless he is put into this ignorance that he'll never die, he cannot work.
So at the modern age the people are simply kept into ignorance so that they can work like ass and cow and be satisfied. This is the present civilization. And this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is a fight against this civilization, this wrong civilization. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness... The people are being denied their privilege. The human life is meant for getting out of this ignorance of life. But people are put into ignorance, and their human life is being spoiled. So therefore this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is the greatest welfare activities to the human society. Those who are intelligent enough, they should try to understand it and help it as much as possible. Otherwise it is very risky civilization. People are kept into ignorance. He does not know what is the value of life. He does not know what he is. He does not know what is God. He does not know what is life. He does not know what he is going to become next life. He's completely in darkness.
Therefore Bhāgavata says, parābhavas tāvad abodha-jāto yāvan na jijñāsata ātma-tattvam (SB 5.5.5). So long he does not inquire that "What I am? What is my necessity? Why I am suffering?"—unless one comes to this position of inquisitiveness, whatever he is doing, it is all defeat for him. It is all defeat for him because he does not know what is his position. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is just to giving him the chance to understand himself, and it is very easy. It is very easy. As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā,
- janma karma me divyam
- yo jānāti tattvataḥ
- tyaktva dehaṁ punar janma
- naiti mām eti...
- (BG 4.9)
If you simply try to understand Kṛṣṇa—why Kṛṣṇa advents Himself, why does He come, why does He disappear, what are His activities, what is His philosophy—this is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If you simply try to understand Kṛṣṇa, then the result will be tyaktva deham: after giving up this body, no more accepting. That is, you stop your janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9). This is the science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (end)