730514 - Lecture SB 01.08.52 - Los Angeles

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

730514SB-LOS ANGELES - May 14, 1973 - 34:54 Minutes

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. (leads chanting of verse) (Prabhupāda and devotees repeat)

yathā paṅkena paṅkāmbhaḥ
surayā vā surākṛtam
bhūta-hatyāṁ tathaivaikāṁ
na yajñair mārṣṭum arhati
(SB 1.8.52)


yathā—as much as; paṅkena—by the mud; paṅka-ambhaḥ—water mixed with mud; surayā—by wine; vā—either; surākṛtam—impurity caused by the slight touch of wine; bhūta-hatyām—killing of animals; tathā—like that; eva—certainly; ekām—one; na—never; yajñaiḥ—by the prescribed sacrifices; mārṣṭum—to counteract; arhati—is worthwhile.


Translation: "As it is not possible to filter muddy water through mud, nor purify a wine-stained pot with wine, it is not possible to counteract the killing of men by sacrificing animals."

Prabhupāda: Now, here one of the most important points is surākṛtaṁ bhūta-hatyām. Surākṛtam means things becoming impure simply by touching liquor. Liquor is so impure. Just like you have got a very big pot of milk, but if you put one drop of wine in it, it becomes immediately impure. You can analyze chemically—immediately impure. That surā, liquor, has become our daily affair. We are so impure.

And bhūta-hatyā, and killing of animals. The modern civilization means large-scale arrangement for killing animals and large-scale arrangement for distilling liquor, especially in the Western countries. And India is also now following. So this is the position of the world. What is being condemned by Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, that, those items at the present moment are being encouraged by the government. This is the difference between this government and Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira's government. You can just imagine.

So the example is very nice. Yathā paṅkena paṅkāmbhaḥ. Muddy water, if you bring muddy water, if you want to cleanse it, precipitate, then you cannot add another lump of mud in it. No. You have to add something chemical, just like alum. In muddy water if you put little alum chemical... Am I right, chemist?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes.

Prabhupāda: So immediately there will be precipitation, and the all the muddy things will be collected, and the water will be clear, original. So we are discussing about the muddy atmosphere. Things are there, sinful, muddy. But there is process also, how to counteract it. The process is also prescribed there. So at the present moment the whole world is muddy, but you cannot clear this muddy situation by adding more mud. They are trying to do that. They are not trying.

The, there is Vedic method also, like that, that if you have done something wrong, you do another wrong thing. That is called prāyaścitta. Prāyaścitta. But Bhāgavata does not accept this kind of prāyaścitta. Prāyaścittaṁ vimarśanam (SB 6.1.11). By this kind of reformation... Suppose you have commit theft. This is sinful activities. And you are put into the jail for six months. That does not mean that you become an honest man. That does not mean. So it is something like that: to clear the muddy water, put another lump of mud on it. This will not help. Something effective must be brought in.

That effective thing is, kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā: only this chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. The whole world is muddy. It is impure, full of sinful activities. So if you want to clear the situation of the modern world, then this is the only remedy:

harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
(CC Adi 17.21)

There is no other way. And actually, we are seeing practically how by chanting this holy name of the Lord, Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, how nasty people are becoming purified, Vaiṣṇava, brāhmaṇa. Actually nasty. Now, here it is said that surākṛtam, a drop of wine makes the whole thing impure. And liquor drinking is our daily business. So the example is given that suppose here is one drop of wine, and the place has become impure. So if you bring another gallon of wine and just sweep over it, mop it with wine, that is not the process. You have to bring pure water and wash with it. Then it will be purified. You cannot say that "Wine is also liquid. Why not cleanse it here by wine?" No.

So the Vedic conception is completely different. The... According to modern science, they put things into alcohol to sterilize. Is it not?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Put alcohol in things.

Prabhupāda: Yes. But it becomes more impure. Anything you put into alcohol, that becomes more impure, according to this. So there are so many things. Our position, jīva, is living entity, is pure by nature because it is part and parcel of God, Kṛṣṇa. So we have accumulated so much, so many material things by which we have become impure. And yajñaiḥ. This bhūta-hatyā. Bhūta-hatyā is also recognized here as sinful activities. As wine is sinful or impure—if not sinful, it is impure—bhūta-hatyā, killing of animal, is also sinful activities. So you cannot counteract by performing yajña, because in the yajña there is also another bhūta-hatyā.

So even there is no bhūta-hatyā... That is called pañca-sūnā-yajña, five kind of imperceptible sinful activities. Just like when we are walking on the street, there are many ants and germs, they are being killed. I do not know, I do not wish to kill, but they are being killed. When you are igniting fire, in the fireplace there are so many small ants. So as soon as you ignite, all those small ants—you cannot see—they die. Similarly, when you keep water, there are so many microbes and other living entities. So as you press on it, they die. Similarly, pestle and mortar. In India, the system, they don't purchase...Those who are rigid family, they do not purchase these powdered spices. No. They bring whole spices and they smash it with mortar and pestle. That is very nice.

So doing that smashing work, you kill so many animals. In breathing, you kill so many animals. In drinking water, you kill so many animals. This is bhūta-hatyā. You are killing. This is intentional..., not intentional. You do not know. Therefore in the Vedic system there is prescription, pañca-sūnā-yajña. Pañca means five, and sūnā means bhūta-hatyā, or killing animals, sūnā. Striya-sūnā-pāna-dyūta (SB 1.17.38). Sūnā.

Sūnā means violence. So we prohibit these four kinds of sinful life: killing of animals and illicit sex... Striya, sūnā and... Pañca-sūnā. Yes... Striya-sūnā-pāna. Pāna means intoxicants, and dyūta means gambling. So these are four kinds of sinful activities. So out of that, sūnā is one. That is also divided in many divisions, at least five. Willingly, we are not going to kill anybody, but unwillingly... Therefore there is pañca-sūnā-yajña. You have to perform yajña every day to counteract the sinful reaction of your imperceptible killings of animals. Just see. This is Vedic life.

So Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja says that "It is not possible to counteract." But indirectly, Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja says that if you... He says simply the negative side, but the positive side is, in this age, simply by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra you become purified. That is the recommendation by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12). There are two kinds of, what is called, atonement. One atonement: by the prescribed method. You have done... Just like I'll give you common example. Just like you have committed theft. One atonement is that you go to the jail and live there for some times. This is atonement. If you have committed a murder, then you also be hanged. These are the laws.

When the king orders somebody to be hanged on account of his committing murder, the king is not sinful. King is helpful. King is helping that rascal to atone his murdering activities. Otherwise, if he is not hanged, then next life, next time, he will be put into difficulty. Next time he will have to become animal. He will be slaughtered. These laws they do not know. Why these animals are being slaughtered? There is some nature's law. They were murderer or slaughterer in their past life as human being. Now they have assumed, they have accepted a body to be slaughtered by the laws of nature.

When an animal is slaughtered in sacrifice, there is mantra. The mantra is that... The animal slaughter in sacrifice is recommended for the animal-eaters, not for all. Those who are... To restrict. In the Vedas there is recommendation that animals can be sacrificed in yajña. So that is also another meaning. The verse is loke vyavāyāmiṣa-madya-sevā nityā hi jantor na hi tatra codanā (SB 11.5.11). In this material world every living entity has got natural propensity for sex life, meat-eating and intoxication. There is already propensities. You haven't got to teach. Nobody teaches in the school how to enjoy sex life. Everyone knows. So these things are natural.

Then why it has been taken by the Vedas? This should be the question, that "Without marriage, sex life is going on. Why this show of marriage?" People may question this. But there is need. Because Vedas have taken this marriage. Marriage is Vedic. So why Vedas have taken this marriage? No, to restrict it. Without marriage, sex life's unrestricted. And as soon as it comes to the Vedic principles, it becomes restricted. So the idea is to restrict. People are accustomed to this habit, and on account of this habit, they gradually become implicated with the laws of material nature. Therefore there is some restriction.

Just like anyone can distill liquor at home. It is not very difficult thing. Anyone can do it. In India they do it. It is called dheno-mada. Dheno-mada means... Mada means liquor, and dheno means from rice. Just like we cook rice, so you cook rice and keep it in water for a few days or for a month, it becomes liquor. It becomes liquor. So why government has restricted, "No, you cannot manufacture liquor; you have to purchase from the licensed shop"? Why? That is restriction. If the government would have allowed that "You can distill liquor and drink it," then there was no limit. Everyone would have. There is no restriction.

So restriction is required. Why? It is because it is bad. Nobody restricts that "You don't manufacture cāpāṭi." No. Because it is not bad thing. There is no such law, that "You don't manufacture nice foodstuff." No. That is very good. But when it is bad, then there is restriction. Therefore there is restriction of sex life, there is restriction of drinking wine, there is restriction of meat-eating and there is restriction of gambling. Because these things are bad. You cannot become good by indulging in bad things. That is not possible. The same thing: just like you cannot clear muddy water by putting another mud. That is not possible.

So the human life is meant for purification. Sattva-śuddhi. In the Bhagavad-gītā there is abhayam... What is that? Can anyone... Abhayaṁ sattva-saṁśuddhiḥ (BG 16.1). Sattva-saṁśuddhi, it is very important thing. Sattva means my existence. I am eternal. So I am existing, but I am suffering. I am suffering. Just like I have got now cold affection. This is not my natural state, but I have been affected by chilly cold or something like that; therefore I am suffering. So it is my duty to cure it, to take some medicine, to go to the physician. That is called sattva-saṁśuddhi, purify your existence.

By nature, by constitutional position, every living entity is as pure as God. But God does not become impure. We become impure. Therefore we are suffering. That is the... So this impurity can be rectified in this life, this human form of life. Therefore human form of life is meant for purification. Therefore so many scriptures are there, so many teachers are there, so many rules and regulations are there. They are not meant for the animals, because they cannot be purified. They must have to come to this position by evolution of human being. Then there is chance of purification.

Therefore in this human life, if we do not purify our existence, then we go on with this impure existence. Impure existence means transmigration of the soul from one body to another, and become subjected to birth, death, old age and disease. This is impurification. So they do not know that "Death is not my obligation. Because I am impure, therefore I am dying. Birth is not my obligation. Because I am impure, therefore I am taking birth." Janma-mṛtyu... Four things: janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9). Janma, birth, is due to my impure consciousness.

Therefore if we purify our consciousness by advancing, by developing Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then we become pure. This is the process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12), Caitanya Mahāprabhu says. Cleansing the heart. And all these purificatory methods, they are based on cleansing the heart. If I think myself that "I am something of this material product..." The scientists, they say that "I am these material thing." They do not understand what is spiritual identity. And I do, I act, according to that material conception; that is impurity of my consciousness. First thing is to understand that "I am not this material body."

Therefore, spiritual education begins from this body. As Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, dehino 'smin yathā dehe (BG 2.13). Asmin dehe, in this body there is the spiritual spark who is the proprietor of the body. This is the beginning of spiritual education. What is the scientists cannot imagine, or they have no idea, from there we begin our education in spiritual life—beyond their jurisdiction, beyond the jurisdiction of the scientists. And how they can understand this movement? It is beyond their jurisdiction. When they will receive one hundred or one thousands of Nobel Prize, at that time they may be able to understand that where Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement begins. They do not know even where the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement begins.

Therefore, generally people cannot understand what is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. They think it is some religious sentiment, like so many other religion—it is like that. No. It is most the scientific movement, purifying the existence of the living being so that he can eternally, blissfully live, with complete knowledge. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. To purify. Yena śuddhyet sattvam (SB 5.5.1).

And for such... Just like for being cured from your attack of cold and cough, you take so many medicines, go to so many physician, you spend some money. Why? You want to be cured. Similarly, if you understand that "This is my disease, repetition of birth, death, old age and disease," so you'll have to sacrifice. Just like you are sacrificing money for being cured from the diseased condition, similarly, śāstra says that this human life is meant for tapasya, tapasya. Tapo divyaṁ yena śuddhyet sattvam (SB 5.5.1). This human life is meant for tapasya, not for indulging in sensual gratification like the animals. Tapasya. So in the tapasya method these things are prescribed. So Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja is mentioning them.

So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means training people how to become tapasvī. Tapasvī means undergoing tapasya, regulative, so that he may be cured from this permanent disease—birth, death, old age and disease. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement... The whole Vedic process is meant for that purpose, to purify the existence of the living being so that he can be saved from the repetition of birth, death, old age and disease.

(aside:) You read some of the purport.

Pradyumna: "Aśvamedha-yajñas or gomedha-yajñas, or the sacrifices in which a horse or a bull is sacrificed, were not, of course, for the purpose of killing the animals. Lord Caitanya said that such animals sacrificed on the altar of yajña were rejuvenated, and a new life was given to them. It was just to prove the efficacy of the hymns of the Vedas. By recitation of the hymns of the Vedas in the proper way, certainly the performer gets relief from the reactions of sins. But in case of such sacrifices not properly done under expert management, certainly one has to become responsible for animal sacrifice."

Prabhupāda: This is a long subject matter, that the sacrifice in yajña, recommended, that is not for killing the animal, but it is a testing how the Vedic mantras are being properly chanted. Because an old animal put into the fire, by Vedic mantras he would come out again with young life. That is sacrifice of animal in the yajña. Therefore in this age there is no such expert brāhmaṇa who can chant the mantras properly and the..., or he can behave, because the life is very abominable. Therefore, because there is no expert brāhmaṇa, so these sacrifices are forbidden in this age. Kalau pañca vivarjayet aśvamedhaṁ gavālambhaṁ devareṇa sutotpattiṁ sannyāsam (CC Adi 17.164). These things are forbidden in this age, because there is no proper men to conduct.

So in the Kali-yuga this sacrifice is recommended: yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi sumedhasaḥ (SB 11.5.32). Saṅkīrtana-yajña. This yajña will help you. Real thing is the heart, the mind. If this yajña, saṅkīrtana-yajña, cleanses your mind and heart, then you come to the platform of knowledge. Then automatically other things become effective.

So in this age it is recommended that other yajñas will not be effective, neither it is recommended. But the saṅkīrtana-yajña—yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtanaiḥ—that is recommended. Everyone can join it, and he can become purified, he can become situated on spiritual platform, and his life becomes successful.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya. All glories to you, Śrīla Prabhupāda. (end)