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731219 - Lecture SB 01.15.41 - Los Angeles

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

731219SB-LOS ANGELES - December 19, 1973 - 33:20 Minutes

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

vācaṁ juhāva manasi
tat prāṇa itare ca tam
mṛtyāv apānaṁ sotsargaṁ
taṁ pañcatve hy ajohavīt
(SB 1.15.41)

Prabhupāda: Yes?

Pradyumna: vācam—speeches; juhāva—relinquished; manasi—into the mind; tat prāṇe—mind into breathing; itare ca—other senses also; tam—into that; mṛtyau—into death; apānam—breathing; sa-utsargam—with all dedication; tam—that; pañcatve—into the body made of five elements; hi—certainly; ajohavīt—amalgamated it. (break)

Translation: "Then he amalgamated all the sense organs into the mind, the mind into life, life into breathing, his total existence into the embodiments of the five elements, and his body into death. Then, as pure self, he became free from the material conception of life."

Prabhupāda: Hmm. Read the purport also.

Pradyumna: "Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, like his brother Arjuna, began to concentrate and gradually became freed from all material bondage. First of all he concentrated all the actions of the senses amalgamated in the mind. Or in other words, he turned his mind towards transcendental service of the Lord. He prayed that all material activities were performed by the mind, actions and reactions of the material senses, and since he was going back to Godhead, the mind would wind up its material activities and be turned towards the transcendental service of the Lord. There was no longer need for material activities."

"Actually, the activities of the mind cannot be stopped, because they are the reflection of the eternal soul. But the quality of the activities can be changed from matter to the transcendental service of the Lord. The material color of the mind is changed by washing it from contaminations of life breathing and therefore getting it freed from the contamination of repeated births and deaths and getting it situated in pure spiritual life. All was manifested by the temporary embodiment of the material body, which is a production of mind at the time of death. And if the mind is purified by practice of transcendental loving service of the Lord, and the same is constantly engaged in the service of the lotus feet of the Lord, there is no more chance of the mind's producing another material body after death. It will be freed from the absorption of material contamination. The pure soul will be able to return back home, back to Godhead."

Prabhupāda: So this verse described in the manner of yogic practice. The yogic practice means controlling five kinds of air within the body: prāṇa, apāna, vyāna, like that. That is breathing exercise, yoga practice.

So it appears that Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira knew how to practice the yoga. Not only Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira; practically any high-class man, especially the brāhmaṇas and the kṣatriyas, every one of them knew this practice, yoga practice. So at the time of death they could utilize, how to give up this body. That is perfection of yoga. The yogīs, they can give up the life or give this . . . relinquish this body, according to his own desire, not compelled by the material condition. That is yoga system. Generally, a man dies under the obligation of material laws. But a yogī, he controls in such a way that he leaves the body . . .

Just like Bhīṣmadeva. Bhīṣmadeva especially, his father gave him the benediction that so long he would not himself like to die, he'll never die. Bhīṣmadeva. He got this benediction from his father because his promise was very stern, severe. You know the story, that Bhīṣmadeva's father was captivated by the young girl Satyavatī, and he wanted to marry her. A kṣatriya could do that. But Satyavatī's father disagreed. Although he was king, (s)he could marry anyone (s)he likes. But his (her) father . . . still, with the permission of the parents. So the father denied, "No, no, I cannot give you my daughter to you." "Why?" "Because you have got grown-up son, and he will be the king. Why my daughter shall be married with you just like a maidservant? No."

So Bhīṣmadeva could understand that, "My father desires to marry this young girl, Satyavatī, and there is some hindrances." So he approached that, "Why don't you give my father your daughter?" So he said: "Because you are his eldest son. You will become king." So he immediately promised that, "No, your daughter's son will become king. I will not become king. Give my father, sir." So he said: "No, no, still it is not possible." "Why?" "Because you may not become king, then your son will become king. I don't want that." So in this way Bhīṣmadeva said: "No, then I shall not marry. Is that all right?" Still . . . then he gave his daughter, "Yes." Satyavatī.

So his father, Śantanu Mahārāja, saw that Bhīṣma is so affectionate to his father that for the father's sense gratification he has sacrificed his own. So he gave him this benediction, "My dear son, you are so stern in keeping your promise. So I give you this benediction, that you will never die unless you desire." Therefore Bhīṣmadeva was lying on the bed of arrows, and he left this material world when he desired. So the yogīs can do that. The yogīs, they control the soul. The soul is floating in different airs. So they can control. That is called ṣad-cakraḥ. From the rectum to the abdomen, abdomen to the heart, heart to the collarbone, then collarbone to the palate, and then here. So one who can bring the soul here, they can get out from this hole, it is called brahma-randhra.

So they can go, the yogīs, as they desire. Either he can go directly to the spiritual world, or if he likes, he can transfer himself to the higher planetary system. This is yoga practice. Anywhere he likes, he can go. It appears that Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja knew perfectly well. Similarly, we see from many other kings' life. Or this yoga practice was done by any gentleman. Therefore they were so sober, steady and determined, everyone was a yogī. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is described, rājarṣi. Imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). Ṛṣi. Ṛṣi, saintly person, they know how to practice yoga. So formerly the kings were as good as ṛṣi. They were simply sitting on the throne as a matter of responsibility to the citizens. They were not political opportunists. No. Nowadays people are political opportunists. As soon as they get some opportunity, they capture the power. Formerly . . . just like Bhīṣmadeva. Actually, he would have been the king. But he was not opportunist. To serve his father he gave up everything. This is called rājarṣi.

So vacāṁsi. If you can control your mind, then you can control your words. There are kāya, mana, vākya. Three things are . . . we have got this body, and we have got our mind, and we have got to talk. Talking is very important. You can talk nonsense all day and night, and you can talk about Kṛṣṇa and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, the same thing, vibration. So if you talk nonsense, then you go to hell. And if you talk about Kṛṣṇa and the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, chant, then you go back to home, back to Godhead. Just see how much this talking is important. Simply by talking. Vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane (SB 9.4.18).

So it is a matter of control. This is con . . . yoga means indriya-saṁyama, controlling the senses. That is called yoga, real purpose of yoga. Because our senses are just like venomous serpents. So many people, they fall down on account of these senses. They become victim of the senses. So yoga practice means the controlling the senses. This is the real purpose of yoga. There is certain mechanical process, that is called yoga practice.

Therefore yoga practice is meant for a person who is too much in bodily concept of life. Otherwise, one who is convinced that, "I am not this body," then where is the necessity of exercising the body? But it is meant for a person who is too much absorbed in bodily concept of life. For him, this yoga practice is recommended, that by mechanical practice of the different parts of the body, the air within the body, one can control the senses. And unless the senses are controlled . . . the whole thing is sense. Therefore consciousness, it depends on the senses, purifying the senses. Spirit soul is eternal, so his senses are eternal. You cannot stop the activities of his senses. That is not possible. Just like others, they think that, "If we stop . . ." Just like Viśvāmitra Muni. He was a great yogī. He stopped the senses. He wanted to stop. He closed the eyes, "I'll not see a beautiful woman." But he failed as soon as he heard the tinkling sound of the bangles of the apsarā Menakā.

So our senses are so strong. If you stop this sense, the other sense is prepared to kill you. Because they are called enemies, they are manaḥ ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni karṣati (BG 15.7). We are struggling for existence with the mind and the senses. Otherwise, it is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, "These living entities, they are My part and parcel." That means "They are as good as I am." Why they are rotting in this material world? Because on account of the mind and the senses. So yoga practice means you have to control first of all the mind, and then you have to control the senses. That is perfection of yoga.

So Ambarīṣa Mahārāja, a great devotee, he controlled his mind, senses in this way. The first thing is to . . . sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ (SB 9.4.18). This yoga practice . . . bhakti-yoga means this, not to try artificially to control the mind the senses. That will be failure. In most cases they are failure. In some cases they are perfect or successful, but in most cases they are failure, especially in this age, when people have no training, no . . . simply extravagant, doing everything what he likes, no brahmacārī system. Nothing is taught. Formerly in the Vedic civilization, the boys should be sent to gurukula for practicing brahmacarya. There is no such question now. So the so-called practice of yoga is simply useless waste of time. They cannot do anything. It is not possible.

Therefore bhakti-yoga system is to engage the senses and the mind in Kṛṣṇa's service. If your mind is engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service, then there is very little scope for the mind being diverted from it. It diverts, but if you practice, then Kṛṣṇa will help you.

śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
hṛdy antaḥ-stho abhadrāṇi
vidhunoti suhṛt satām
(SB 1.2.17)

Kṛṣṇa is within yourself, and if you are sincerely trying to purify yourself, your mind, body, words, these three.

So the beginning is to hear about Kṛṣṇa—anything about Kṛṣṇa. But first thing we want to hear . . . if we want to know Kṛṣṇa, naturally we are inclined, "What is Kṛṣṇa? What is Kṛṣṇa?" Just like our Kṛṣṇa Book is now selling. Because the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is there, so people are, I mean to say, eager to know, "What this Kṛṣṇa is?" Naturally they want to purchase some Kṛṣṇa books. Actually, that is the first business. Just like we are speaking about "In God We Trust," this slogan of the American people or American government.

So naturally, people should be inquisitive to know actually what is God, scientifically. We say: "In God we trust," but we do not know what is God. Then where is the question of trust? Suppose if you, if somebody, friends, say that, "You can trust the Bank of America." But if he does not know what is Bank of America, then how he can trust? How he can deposit his money? So that is the difficulty. This is simply slogan. Otherwise, everyone should have been inquisitive, "What this government has made this slogan, 'In God We Trust'? " What is God? Nobody knows. Then where is the question of trust? Therefore it has become everything humbug.

But if you are serious to know about God, there is science, there is teacher. Everything is there. God Himself is there within your heart. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). So actually, if you are serious to know God, so God is within himself. He can understand, "Now this living entity is serious to know about Me." So He will help you, immediately. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:

teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi taṁ
yena mām upayānti te
(BG 10.10)

Teṣām, "such persons," satata-yuktānām, "always very much anxious to know about God." So God can understand. God is omnipotent. He can understand that "This living entity is now serious. He wants to hear about God."

So this inquisitiveness is very good. My Guru Mahārāja accepted me as a disciple because he saw in the beginning I was very inquisitive to hear him. So in the beginning, when many gentleman . . . I was one of them, was introduced to my Guru Mahārāja, that "They are to be initiated. They want to be initiated, to become your disciple." So when my turn came, he immediately said, "Yes, I will accept this boy as disciple because he is very inquisitive to hear." That was my recommendation. And actually, I was very inquisitive. I could not follow what Guru Mahārāja was speaking, but still, I was asking others, that "When Guru Mahārāja will speak? I will hear." I could not follow. He was speaking in a very high philosophical term. So at that time I had no capacity to under . . . still, I wanted to hear him, I understand or not understand.

So this is very good qualification. So those who are coming here to listen about God, they are very fortunate. Kṛṣṇa will help them. Śravaṇam. The beginning of bhakti-yoga is started from the practice of śravaṇam, aural reception, ear. Therefore the mantra is given through the ear, initiation mantra. Then kīrtanam.

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
sakhyam ātma-nivedanam
(SB 7.5.23)

There are nine different processes. The most important process is hearing. And as soon as you want to hear, that means you have to concentrate your mind. So naturally the mind becomes, I mean to say, locked. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam. But if we sleep, that is another thing that, "Let the lectures go on. Let me have some rest." That is another thing. But if you hear, if you are anxious to hear, then mind has to be engaged. Without attention, you cannot hear. If your mind is something doing, you are thinking of marketing something, or sometimes . . . so you can hear, make a show of hearing, but you are not hearing. Therefore mind is the first thing. Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane (SB 9.4.18). If you engage your mind in hearing, then you can describe the things in the Vaikuṇṭha, in the spiritual world. Vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānu . . .

So we have to practice. This is bhakti-yoga. First of all we have to engage the mind. Mind. And as soon as you engage the mind in hearing about Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa will help you in cleansing your mind. That is the opinion given by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12). Because everything . . . we cannot understand about God, or we cannot see God, or we do not know what is God, because there are so many dirty things on the mind. Otherwise, as soon as the mind is clear, devoid of all dirty things, you can see. You can understand what is God; you can see God every moment. Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilo . . . (Bs. 5.38).

So there is no difficulty. God is here, Kṛṣṇa. But one's mind is not clear. He cannot see God; he sees a statue of stone. He sees a statue of stone. And whose mind is clear, like Caitanya Mahāprabhu, as soon as He sees Jagannātha, immediately fainted, "Here is Kṛṣṇa." Actually, that is the fact. Here is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is omnipresent. That is God's one qualification: omnipresent. He is present everywhere. So why not present in the temple? He is present here. But we have no eyes to see, because our mind is not clean.

So we cannot use the senses to see God. That is the defect. Therefore premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena (Bs. 5.38). By the bhakti process, by devotional service, you cleanse your mind, you cleanse your senses. As soon as your mind is cleansed, then senses are also cleansed. That is helped by Kṛṣṇa Himself, as He says in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ. As soon as Kṛṣṇa sees that you are eager to hear about Him . . . śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ (SB 1.2.17). By the first hearing you may not understand about Kṛṣṇa, but if you simply hear with little attention, although you do not understand, still, you will be pious. Because the dirty things means covered with impious activities. So if you hear about Kṛṣṇa, then gradually you will become pious, simply by hearing. Simply . . . just like if there is injection, anti . . . some disease, vaccine. You understand or not understand, it will act. Suppose if you take poison, if you do not understand what is poison, it will act. Similarly, kṛṣṇa-kathā is so powerful that if you simply hear, even if you do not understand, then you will become pious.

And by becoming pious . . . because without becoming pious, nobody can understand Kṛṣṇa. It is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, yeṣām anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām (BG 7.28): "those who are twenty-four hours engaged in pious activities." Therefore we engage our students in this bhakti-yoga practice, twenty-four hours routine work, because it is pious activities. So he will be purified. He will be purified. We have got so many times offering ārati, offering prasādam, cleansing the temple, dressing the Deity, talking about Him. Twenty-four hours must be. Kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ (CC Adi 17.31). Kīrtanīyaḥ, or sevanīyaḥ, sadā hariḥ, twenty-four hours. In this way we become purified. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā . . . (CC Antya 20.12). As soon as your mind is cleansed of all dirty things, then you become fit for going back to home, back to Godhead.

So any yoga practice . . . but other yoga practice—haṭha-yoga practice, dhyāna-yoga practice, karma-yoga practice, jñāna-yoga practice—these are very difficult in this age. But if you take to bhakti-yoga practice . . . it is recommended, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam. Kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt. In this age, Kali-yuga, this hari-kīrtana is bhakti-yoga. Kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ (SB 12.3.52). In different ages, because the people are different, so different methods are prescribed in the śāstra. In the Satya-yuga the meditation method was possible. In other yuga it is not possible. In Tretā-yuga, by sacrificing big, big yajña, performing yajña; in Dvāpara-yuga, by temple worship; and kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt, and in this Kali-yuga, simply by hari-kīrtana, by chanting the holy name of the Lord, you can get the same result. Therefore our process is kīrtana, always. Kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ (CC Adi 17.31).

So by bhakti-yoga practice you become perfect in all yogic practices, and ultimately you realize God very easily and directly. And that will help you to go back to home, back to Godhead. That is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā:

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

Anyone who understands Kṛṣṇa in truth . . . janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ. Tattvataḥ means in truth, not superficially. If you understand Kṛṣṇa in truth, as He is . . . and He is speaking Himself about Himself. There is no difficulty. So if you simply accept Kṛṣṇa, what He says, if you follow, then you become perfect and you become fit for going back to home, back to Godhead.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya. All glories to . . . (cut) (end)