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731222 - Lecture SB 01.15.44 - Los Angeles

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

731222SB-LOS ANGELES - December 22, 1973 - 38:48 Minutes

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

udīcīṁ praviveśāśāṁ
gata-pūrvāṁ mahātmabhiḥ
hṛdi brahma paraṁ dhyāyan
nāvarteta yato gataḥ
(SB 1.15.44)


udīcīm—the northern side; praviveśa-āśām—those who wanted to enter there; gata-pūrvām—the path accepted by his forefathers; mahā-ātmabhiḥ—by the broad-minded; hṛdi—within the heart; brahma—the Supreme; param—Godhead; dhyāyan—constantly thinking of; na āvarteta—passed his days; yataḥ—wherever; gataḥ—went.

Translation: "He then started towards the north, treading the path which was accepted by his forefathers and great men, to devote himself completely to the thought of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And he lived in that way wherever he went."

Prabhupāda: Udīcīṁ praviveśa. So one who goes to the northern side, it is to be understood he never comes back. Northern side means the Arctic zone, covered with snow. So this was known in Bhāgavata age. Not only in Bhāgavata age; some, about thousand years ago also, there is Kālidāsa's book, Kumāra-sambhava. Kumāra-sambhava, "The Birth of Kārttikeya." So in that book, the beginning is, asty uttarasyaṁ diśi himālayo nāma nagadhirājaḥ. Uttarasyaṁ diśi, in the northern side, there is mountain which is covered with snow, Himalaya. Hima means ice. Hima.

Asty uttarasyaṁ diśi himālayo nāma nagadhirājaḥ: "In the northern side, there is a hill, or a mountain, which is always covered by snow." Although the . . . at the present moment, Himalaya, there is one mountain that is also called Himalaya, Mount Everest, but I think this Arctic zone was referred. Because it is said there that, "Touching both sides water." Asty uttarasyaṁ diśi himālayo nāma nagadhirājaḥ, toya-nidhi avagāhya. Toya-nidhi. Toya-nidhi means oceans, both side ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. Avagāhya, touching. So the Arctic zone was referred in many books, Vedic literature. It is not that it was unknown. Everything was known. The modern historians, they say like that. They say the Bhāgavata was written about 1,500 years ago. No. Five thousand years ago. They bring everything within the Christian era. Before that, there was no history, according to them. But that is not the fact.

Anyway, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira went to the northern side. Gata-pūrvāṁ mahātmabhiḥ. His forefathers, they were also mahātmās. Formerly the kings were not, I mean to say, licentious drunkards. They were all ṛṣi, as good as great saintly person, rājarṣi. Therefore Bhagavad-gītā was taught to the saintly kings. The modern people, they say that, "Why not this movement amongst the poorer class men?" They do not know who is poor. Anyone who is poor in spiritual understanding, he is poor. By material opulence, one does not become rich. He is animal. By material opulence, one may be polished animal, but he is an animal. One who is spiritually advanced, he is actually in knowledge. Because basic principle is spirit. Without spiritual knowledge, anything, any so-called knowledge, advancement of knowledge, is simply mistake, mistake. Just like if you, in calculating one mathematical sum, if you commit mistake anywhere, the whole thing is spoiled. Whole thing is spoiled. You go on, you are making progress, but real mistake was there; it will never carry. The balance, it will not come into being.

So the real mistake they are committing: dehātma-buddhi, this body as self. That is the basic mistake of all education. Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke (SB 10.84.13). Anyone who has accepted this body as self, yasya ātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke . . . this is a bag of three elements: kapha, pitta, vāyu. And on this basis, sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu . . . sva-dhīḥ. Sva-dhīḥ means thinking, "My own men." Kalatrādiṣu. Kalatra means wife, and through wife, children, then other relationship. Sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ. And the land in which one is born, that is worshipable. Nowadays nationalism. Nationalism means the land. In so many ways the whole basic principle of education is wrong. Therefore such persons who are making so-called progress on the basic principle of mistake, so parābhavas tāvat, they are simply being defeated, because the basic principle is wrong. Parābhavas tāvad abodha-jāto yāvan na jijñāsata ātma-tattvam. Ātma-tattvam, spirit, spiritual knowledge, one who hasn't got, so whatever they are doing in the name of progress, they are all being defeated. That's all. It will never be successful. They will never be happy. There will be no peace and prosperity in the world, because the basic principle is wrong.

So here it is said, mahātmā, gata-pūrvāṁ mahātmabhiḥ. We have to follow great personalities for advancement of knowledge. Actually we do. We accept authority, go to school, college, to learn something from the teacher, professor. But unfortunately, the teachers, professors, they are all rascals. Therefore we do not get proper education. Wrongly directed. They are changing. Changing is not knowledge. That is not knowledge. Just yesterday we were talking some theosophist: he is changing his view. Formerly it was right; now it is wrong. That is not knowledge. Knowledge means what you accept as right, it must be accepted perpetually right. That is knowledge. That is knowledge.

Just like our principle. Kṛṣṇa says that, "I am the Supreme," five thousand years ago. So Arjuna, who heard from Kṛṣṇa, he also said, paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān (BG 10.12). He accepted. I am speaking of five thousand years. Otherwise perpetually. Imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam (BG 4.1). Long, long ago, before speaking to Arjuna, this Bhagavad-gītā was spoken to the sun-god, forty millions of years ago. The same principle, in the Bhagavad-gītā, "I am speaking to you the same principle." Not that, "Forty millions of years have passed, so things have changed." No. Nothing has changed. The sun forty millions of years ago used to rise from the eastern side. Forty or trillions of years. Still it is rising from the east. Can you make any new thing, "Let it be . . . let the sun rise from the west?" No. That is not possible.

So knowledge means without any mistake. Anything without any mistake, that is perpetually right. And anything based on mistaken idea, that will change. You have to correct the mistake. The so-called modern scientist, they are simply correcting their mistake. Therefore they have no real knowledge. Nobody can have real knowledge, because we are imperfect. Our senses are imperfect. That is our defect in the conditioned life. We have got four defects: we commit mistake, we become illusioned, our senses are imperfect and we cheat. Because our knowledge is imperfect, still, we take the position of teacher; therefore we are cheater—not teacher, but cheater. So the teacher society nowadays is the cheater society. And this modern world is a society of the cheater and the cheated. That's all. Somebody is cheating and somebody is being cheated. This is going on.

So how we can be not cheated? That is mahātmabhiḥ. You have to follow the previous great ācāryas, mahātmabhiḥ. Just like Kṛṣṇa is accepted. Kṛṣṇa says He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Arjuna accepted, "Yes, paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma (BG 10.12)," after hearing from Him. Paraṁ brahma. And then, after Arjuna, disciplic succession. Lord Caitanya accepted. All the ācāryas, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, accepted Kṛṣṇa the Supreme Personality. Śāstra says, kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28). So we have to follow these mahājana. Otherwise we cannot get the right knowledge. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We have to follow great authorities. So who are authorities? They are mentioned in the śāstras:

svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ
kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ
prahlādo janako bhīṣmo
balir vaiyāsakir vayam
(SB 6.3.20)

Everything is there, śāstra. So Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja followed the principles as it was done by the previous mahātmabhiḥ, great personalities, not only in his family but also otherwise. Because knowledge is . . . right knowledge is not different. "Two plus two equal to four," it is right in Europe, in America, in Asia, in white, in black—everywhere. It is truth, "Two plus two . . ." You cannot make "Two plus two equal to five." That is not possible. That is truth.

So hṛdi brahma paraṁ dhyāyan. This is the principle. If you want to stop repetition of birth and death . . . this is our real problem. But people are so poor in knowledge, they do not know what is the problem. They are tackling some temporary problem, "There is no petrol, there is no this, there is no that." Well, even petrol is there, but what about yourself? Are you going to live here forever? "That is not problem. I am making arrangement for my sense gratification very nicely—skyscraper building, and very nice car, very nice bank balance, everything." That's all right. But are you going to live permanently? What is the answer, my dear scientist? No answer. Just see. You construct a house with a hope that you shall live here, but if you are informed, "Oh, you are going to die tomorrow," will you take that responsibility, constructing, spending millions of dollars? "Oh, I am going to die?" That is natural. That is natural.

So before making nice arrangement for our living condition, first of all make this condition sure, that you are going to live actually, you will live comfortably. Is that guaranteed? No, that is not guaranteed. At any moment he will be kicked out. Any moment. So that is real problem. First of all make yourself assured that you will not be kicked out. Just like even we enter an apartment, we make so many agreement with the landlord—this condition, that condition. What is the idea? That I may not be kicked out. I may not be kicked out tomorrow. The landlord may say: "Get out." This is the agreement you make. So what is the agreement for your living condition?

Therefore real problem is that, that we are coming, we are accepting one type of body, either in human society or animal society or tree society or dog society, accepting some body, karmaṇā daiva, according to our karma. There are so many varieties of life. Why so many varieties of . . .? What is the explanation? Just like there are so many varieties of apartment. So what is this means? You enter some apartment according to the payment you can provide. Therefore there are so many varieties of apartment. It is commonsense affair. Otherwise all apartment should have been the same, of the same size, same quality, same . . . no.

There are different tenants, they pay differently; therefore there are different kinds of apartment. Similarly, this is also apartment. Dehino 'smin yathā dehe (BG 2.13). The spirit soul is within this apartment body. So according to karma, according to payment, one has got American body, one has got African body, one has got Indian body, one has got this body, that body, dog's body, cat's body, tree's body. This is karma. This is karma. This is our real problem. And this human life is especially meant for solving this problem, not the problem of petrol. But they have forgotten this. They are so rascals, the real problem they have forgotten.

Therefore here it is said, dhyāyan na āvarteta yato gataḥ. We are trying to go to the moon planet. But is it sure that you will not die there? "No, no, before going there I shall die. That is happy. Still we shall go." This is their proposal. Either you go to the moon planet or sun planet or any other . . . Venus planet, this planet, anywhere within this material world . . . ā-brahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ (BG 8.16). That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. There are so many planets. The topmost planet is Brahmaloka, Brahmā planet, where Lord Brahmā lives. And you know the duration of life of Brahmā. You cannot calculate his one twelve-hours day. Sahasra-yuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmaṇo viduḥ (BG 8.17). This is the Brahmā's twelve hours. That is Brahmaloka. You cannot calculate what is the duration of life there. But even if you go there, the problem, death, will be there. The problem death will go.

Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam (BG 13.9). The problem which is here . . . just like the birth-death problem is within the ant society; birth-death problem is there within the animal society; birth-death problem is there in the human society; similarly, birth-death problem is in the moon society or sun society or Brahmaloka society—anywhere in this material world. That is real problem.

But what is my position? My position is that there is no death, no birth. Na jāyate na mriyate vā kadācit, in the Bhagavad-gītā, teaching. Kṛṣṇa teaching that, "Soul never takes birth, neither dies." Then what is this death? This is not death. This is changing of body. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre. Even if you take it is annihilation, yes, but the soul remains. Nityaḥ śāśvato 'yaṁ na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). People have no brain, that "What is my problem? I am eternal. I have no business to accept so-called birth and death and disease and old age, but I am put under this condition. I have to die. I have to take birth. I have to become old. I have to accept disease." This is our real problem. But they have no information. They neglect this, because they cannot make any solution. They think, "It is usual. We have to suffer." Just like an animal. An animal is going . . . is taken to the slaughterhouse. He knows that, "I have no means. I have to suffer," I mean to say: "Be slaughtered." He has no means.

But for human society this kind of ignorance is not good, to submit to the laws of nature against my principles. I do not die. The laws of nature is forcing me to die. I do not wish to be old man. The laws of nature forcing me to become old man. So this can be avoided. And for avoiding this problem, this human form of life is there. But they do not care. They are thinking "advancing." What advancing? Advancing means this body . . . now you have got nice, beautiful American body, but by your work, if you are going to accept next life dog's life, then what is the benefit of your activities?

Because there is no guarantee that you will again get the American body. Even if you get the American body again, but there is no guarantee that you will be allowed to live. If you get the American body of a cow, you will be slaughtered, even though you are American. So this is ignorance. Therefore Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja has accepted, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186), to follow the footprints of great personality. That is advancement. Otherwise degradation. Degradation.

Now the real solution is . . . here it is stated, dhyāyan na āvarteta yato gataḥ. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā also, yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama (BG 15.6). Tad dhāma paramaṁ mama. Dhāma means place. Kṛṣṇa is the proprietor. Sarva-loka-maheśvaram (BG 5.29). He is the proprietor of all planets. So every place belongs to Him. Sarva-loka-maheśvaram. But He has a supreme place, tad dhāma paramaṁ mama, where, if you go, you will never return. Yad gatvā na nivartante. That is Kṛṣṇa-loka, Goloka Vṛndāvana. If you go there, then you do not come back again. There are many confirmation in the Bhagavad-gītā.

Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya (BG 4.9): "My dear Kaunteya, Arjuna," janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ, "if anyone knows what I am, what I am, Kṛṣṇa, My birth, or janma . . ." Kṛṣṇa's janma, ajo 'pi sann avyayātmā (BG 4.6). He has no birth, but still, He appears like taken birth. You can understand very easily. Just like every morning the sun is rising. It is not that a new sun is coming. The same sun of yesterday. It is not that it was finished yesterday. The sun was existing there in the sky, but on different position of this planet, I saw the sun is now set. Similarly, we are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. If we have no birth and death, how Kṛṣṇa has birth and death? That is not the . . .

Therefore it is said, ajo 'pi sann avyayātmā bhūtānām īśvaro 'pi san. Although He has no birth and death, still, He appears just like He has taken birth from Devakī's womb. It is just like the sun is rising from the eastern side. It does not mean that the eastern side has given birth to the sun. No. Sun is very big than the eastern side. But it appears like that. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, janma karma me divyam. Because there are many theologists, they say, "Why God shall take birth?" That is their argument. So our answer is, "Why God shall not take birth? If He is omnipotent, so why you are minimizing His power that He cannot take birth? He must take birth if He likes."

And īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānām hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). Īśvara, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is staying within the heart of everyone. So within the heart from everyone if He can come out, oh what is the difficulty for Him, from the . . . within the womb of somebody He comes out? Where is the difference between heart and womb? And Kṛṣṇa entered within the womb of Mahārāja Parīkṣit's mother to save Mahārāja Parīkṣit. So Kṛṣṇa can do anything. Therefore Kuntī said that antar bahiḥ: "Kṛṣṇa is within and without. Still, we cannot see." Kṛṣṇa is within and without, both ways, but we cannot see either within or without. This is called māyā. This is called māyā.

So this is the problem. But that is not the problem for Kṛṣṇa. But that is problem for us. Because we are very minute spark of Kṛṣṇa, as the spark has the chance of being extinguished out of the fire, similarly, being separated from Kṛṣṇa, being entangled in this material energy, we have forgotten. Our spiritual quality, burning quality, just like fire, that is now extinguished. It is not exactly extinguished; almost extinguished. We have forgotten. But it can be again brought into the original position by fanning. Just like there is small fire in the charcoal. You fan it, and it will gradually become a big fire. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is fanning that spiritual spark to come into full consciousness. Go on fanning like that. That is the rules and regulation—attending this class, hearing this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā. Twenty-four hours be engaged. That is real business. Dhyāyan, always, constantly, hṛdi brahma paraṁ dhyāyan. Dhyāyan means medi . . . this is meditation. And who is Para-brahman? Kṛṣṇa. Paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān (BG 10.12).

So this is the process. You simply think of Kṛṣṇa twenty-four hours, dhyāyan. That is the process. We are engaged in the Deity worship of Kṛṣṇa. We are engaged in chanting Kṛṣṇa's name. We are engaged in Kṛṣṇa's business or Kṛṣṇa's propaganda. In this way, if you simply think of Kṛṣṇa twenty-four . . . if you, I mean to say, made your life . . . make your life with that spirit, Kṛṣṇa . . . this is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, twenty-four hours, satataṁ smartavyo viṣṇuḥ, the process is only thinking of Kṛṣṇa in different engagements. The process, real process, is to think of Kṛṣṇa. Then hṛdi, "Within the heart," hṛdi brahma paraṁ dhyāyan nāvarteta yato gataḥ, then you will be transferred to the Kṛṣṇaloka, because you are thinking of Kṛṣṇa always. So tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti (BG 4.9): after giving up this body, you will not have any more material body. Yad gatvā na nivartante (BG 15.6). You will reach immediately. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punaḥ, mām eti, immediately.

The . . . as there are different forces, material forces, then subtler than the matter, mind, mind's force, similarly, there is spiritual force. Mind force, you know. You are sitting here; immediately, within a second, you can go thousands of miles away. Immediately. That is mind's force. And the spiritual force is still more greater than the mind's force. So tyaktvā deham, as soon as you give up this body, immediately, within the second, you reach Kṛṣṇaloka. That is perfection. That perfection is suggested here. Paraṁ brahma dhyāyan . . . paraṁ brahma dhyāyan nāvarteta. The real . . . you don't come back again to accept material body. You are spiritual spark. Again you are with the supreme spirit, sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha.

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ
(Bs. 5.1)

Kṛṣṇa is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha. Eternal, sat; cit. Cit means full of knowledge, and ānanda, bliss. That is required.

So why should we waste our time otherwise, for solving these so-called problem? So-called problem, they will come. Just like now it is winter season. This is also problem. Just little cover it. Then it will . . . again there will be summer season; this covering will not be required. Not be required. So manage somehow if there is little problem, but don't forget your real problem. That is life. That is life, "Because now it is very chilly, so I shall not take bath." No. You have to do your duty. Even there it is very cold, severe cold, you have to do duty, "Because it is very hot, warm, we shall not cook, we shall not go to the kitchen." No. You have to go. Similarly, real problem is how to solve this birth, death, old age and disease. And that can be done by Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In all circumstances, we have to pull on our Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ (BG 9.14). That business do not forget. Then you are missing the point. Satatam, always, yudhyasva mām anusmara (BG 8.7). That is the instruction. This world is full of struggle. That's a fact, everyone knows. But just like Arjuna was advised that yudhyasva, "You fight; at the same time, remember Me." Yudhyasva mām anusmara. Similarly, in different fields of activities you have to fight. This is a world of fighting. But do not forget Kṛṣṇa.

Hare Kṛṣṇa. Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya . . . (cut) (end)