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741230 - Lecture SB 03.26.21 - Bombay

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

741230SB-BOMBAY - December 30, 1974 - 42:08 Minutes

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

yat tat sattva-guṇaṁ svacchaṁ
śāntaṁ bhagavataḥ padam
yad āhur vāsudevākhyaṁ
cittaṁ tan mahad-ātmakam
(SB 3.26.21)


"The mode of goodness, which is the clear, sober status of understanding the Personality of Godhead and which is generally called vāsudeva, or consciousness, becomes manifest in the mahat-tattva."


yat tat sattva-guṇaṁ svacchaṁ
śāntaṁ bhagavataḥ padam
yad āhur vāsudevākhyaṁ
cittaṁ tan mahad-ātmakam
(SB 3.26.21)
bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam itam
sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ
(BG 7.19)

This state, vāsudevākhyam, or cittam, always filled up with Vāsudeva consciousness . . . Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa . . . oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya (SB 1.1.1). So our present position of consciousness is polluted by the three modes of material nature: sattva-guṇa, tamo-guṇa and rajo-guṇa. Here sattva-guṇa, the mode of goodness, the brahminical qualification—satyaṁ śamo damaḥ śaucam ārjavam, jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.42)—still it has to be purified. That is called svaccham. Svaccham means completely crystallike clear. Just like we have got experience: if you go into the mid-ocean, you can see within the water very deep, twenty feet, thirty feet, very clear. Those who have gone through a sea, they have experienced. Very clear. So the citta, consciousness, must be clear. Vāsudevākhyam: when one can clearly see Vāsudeva, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is possible. Simply we have to purify the citta.

That is the process given by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, how to cleanse the citta, consciousness. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12, Śikṣāṣṭaka 1). Mārjanam means cleansing, polishing. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam. And as soon as the citta, or consciousness, you perfectly cleanse, then bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam. This bhava-mahā-dāvāgni: the material existence is compared with blazing forest fire. This is the right comparison, because in the forest nobody goes to set fire, but it takes place. You cannot stop it. And when the forest fire is there, you cannot stop the fire also by your so many counteracting method, namely getting the fire brigade or buckets of water. That is also not possible. Therefore Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has compared this material life as blazing forest fire, saṁsāra-dāvānala-līḍha-loka.

This material world is blazing fire. Blazing fire means the forest fire. The forest fire . . . the example is very typical, because nobody goes to set fire in the forest, neither it is possible to extinguish the fire in the forest by your so many counteractive methods. This is very appropriate example. Similarly, in the material existence nobody wants any trouble, but automatically the trouble comes. Everyone has got experience: everyone is trying for happiness—nobody wants for distress—but distress comes here. You cannot stop it. Therefore those who are advanced in knowledge, they take it for granted that, "I do not want distress. So the distress cannot be checked, it comes upon me. Then why shall I try for happiness? It will also come." This is very right conclusion. If without my endeavor distress comes upon me, so there are two things, distress and happiness, two counterparts. So if distress can come upon me without any endeavor, so the happiness also will come without any endeavor because this is another counterpart. So why shall I waste my time for this material distress and happiness?

That is the injunction of the śāstra:

tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovido
na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ
tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukhaṁ
kālena sarvatra gabhīra-raṁhasā
(SB 1.5.18)

Tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukham. Just like distress comes upon me without endeavor, similarly, according to my destiny . . . destiny means to some extent we suffer, and to some extent we enjoy. Actually, there is no enjoyment, but we take it for enjoyment. The struggle for existence, the struggle for mitigating suffering, we take it as happiness. Actually there is no happiness in this material world. So anyway, even there is happiness and distress, two relative terms, the one can come without any endeavor; the other also will come without any endeavor. That is a fact.

Everyone is trying to become happy according to his own mental concoction or endeavor, but there cannot be any unalloyed happiness. That is the nature of this material world. The conclusion should be, therefore, "We are destined to suffer a certain extent of so-called happiness and certain extent of so-called distress." The distress is also so-called, and the happiness is also so-called. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, āgamāpāyinaḥ anityāḥ tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata (BG 2.14): "The happiness and distress which comes and goes, they are anityaḥ. They will not stay."

The example is given, śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ. The winter season and the summer season, they come and go. To somebody, winter season is very nice, and to somebody, summer season is very nice. In the Western countries they like summer season very much, and in this tropical country they like winter season very much. So actually, summer and winter, they are neither distress nor happiness. It is due to the touch of the skin. Mātrā-sparśās tu. Mātrā-sparśāḥ means it is due to the touching of the skin we feel like that, distress and happiness. Actually this material world, as certified by Kṛṣṇa, it is place of distress. There is no happiness. Duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam (BG 8.15). It has been described in the Bhagavad-gītā, "This place is place for miserable condition." Duḥkha ālayam. Ālayam. So long you are not annihilated, this place is duḥkhālayam. It is miserable condition. We have several times explained.

So we have to purify the consciousness. Then we shall be without any touch of this so-called distress and happiness. That is prescribed here, yat tat sattva-guṇaṁ svaccham. Here there is little happiness in the sattva-guṇa. But still, that sattva-guṇa can be contaminated by rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa. Rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa—directly distress. And sattva-guṇa, there is little taste of happiness, but that is not complete happiness. The complete happiness is that sattva-guṇa without any touch of rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa. That is transcendental.

So here it is described that yat tat sattva-guṇam . . . sattva-guṇam does . . . not this sattva-guṇam: rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa, sattva-guṇa, but svaccham. Svaccham means cleansed, completely cleansed, without any tinge of material quality. Yat tat sattva-guṇaṁ svacchaṁ śāntam. Śāntam. Everyone is seeking peace of mind. People come to spiritual societies or some other way, everyone is searching after some peace, śāntam. Śānti. The śānti can be attained when this sattva-guṇaṁ svaccham, when the sattva-guṇa, your status will be on the sattva-guṇa and completely cleansed. Then you can get śānti. Completely cleansed means . . . that is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, na śocati na kāṅkṣati: "There is no lamentation and there is no hankering." Then it is śānti. As soon as there is some hankering, you cannot have śānti. That is not possible. And as soon as there is some possession, you cannot be without lamentation. The two things, material, they are ruling over us. We are hankering after something which we do not possess, and what we possess, if it is lost, then we are lamenting. So śānti means no hankering, no lamenting. That is called śānti.

So generally, whatever we may possess, but the hankering is there. That is rajo-guṇa. That is rajo-guṇa: always hankering, even up to the stage of so-called perfection. Just like the karmīs. Karmīs, they think that perfection of life is very, very high standard of life, very happy, comfortable. Just like in the Western countries, they think that to have nice roads, nice motorcar and very high skyscraper building, and facilities, modern comforts . . . what is called? So that is the standard of happiness. So . . . and we Eastern people, we are also imitating them. But actually, ask them, who possesses all them, that "Whether you have attained the position of no hankering?" No, that is not. The hankering is there. What to think of possessing these material facilities, even one goes to the heavenly planet, that is also included within the happiness of the karmīs. They want happiness in this world as well as after this world. After death also, they want to go to the heavenly planet, Svargaloka, where the duration of life is many, many thousands of years, and the standard of happiness is very, very high. There the place is very beautiful, the women are very beautiful, the gardens there are . . . these descriptions are there. Nandana-kānana and apsarās there are. So this is also another higher standard of life, duration of life. That is the position of the karmīs.

And the jñānīs, they are hankering after to become one with the Supreme. They have experienced that even the standard of material happiness available in the heavenly planets, that also did not give them complete satisfaction. So they aspire to become one with the Supreme that, "That will give me happiness. I become one with . . ." Monist. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi: "I am one with Brahman." So that is also hankering. Mukti. Mukti means liberation from this material unhappiness and come to the spiritual happiness, "I am Brahman. I am the same Supreme," thinking, concoction, like that. So there is also hankering. And siddhi, yogīs, they want many perfection: aṇimā, laghimā, mahimā, prāpti-siddhi, prākāmya, īśitā, vaśitā. There are eight kinds of yogic siddhi. You can become smaller than the smallest, you can become bigger than the biggest, you can become lighter than the lightest, you can get anything you like, immediately. These are some of the yoga-siddhis. But this is also hankering. This is also hankering, not śānta. Either karmī . . . what to speak of ordinary being? They are simply hankering. Even the so-called perfect karmīs, jñānīs, yogīs, they are also not śānta. They are hankering.

Therefore Caitanya-caritāmṛta kar says, :bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kāmī-sakali 'aśānta'(CC Madhya 19.149). Kāmī. Kāmī means one who desires. So either you desire comforts of this material body in different standard of life, either in this planet or other planet . . . just like they are trying to go to the moon planet for getting higher standard of life. Unfortunately, they are not allowed to stay there. They come back. So you cannot go in the higher planets in that way. You must be fit for going there. I have several times discussed this matter. Just like American standard of life is better than our Indian standard of life, but you cannot enter America or the Americans cannot enter India without required visa permission; similarly, it is not that by your whims you can enter into the higher planetary system. That is not possible.

Anyway, these are the field of activities of the karmīs, those who want to become happy by their active execution. "I shall be happy in this way. I shall be happy in this way, and make my plan like that." These are karmīs. They are making simply plans to become happy, but they forget that this is duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam (BG 8.15). This material world is the place for suffering. They forget that. The scientists, the physists, they are all trying to make this life very comfortable. They are called durāśayā. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum . . . what is that? Durāśayā. They are thinking that "By material adjustment, we can be happy." Durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ. These karmīs, they have got a hope which will never be fulfilled. That is called durāśā. Āśāyā means hope, and durāśāyā means which will never be successful.

So these materialistic persons, the karmīs, they are trying to be happy by material adjustment. That has been described in the Bhāgavata, durāśayā: "This kind of hope is never to be fulfilled. It will never be successful." But the karmīs, they think they will be successful. They are struggling very hard. So durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ. How? Now, bahir-artha. Bahiḥ, bahiḥ prajñā, or external energy, or the material energy. The material energy is called external energy. So that is called bahiḥ. Bahiḥ means external.

na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ
durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ
andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās
te 'pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ
(SB 7.5.31)

Because they are thinking so, tied up by the rules and regulation of the stringent laws of material nature. But they are thinking . . . they are called karmīs.

So they cannot be śānta. By material activities you cannot be happy or peaceful. That is not possible. That is being explained here, that yat tat sattva-guṇaṁ svacchaṁ śāntam. Sattva-guṇa. You have to come to the platform of the mode of goodness, and still it is to be purified. That is called vasudeva platform, or transcendental platform. As it is explained in the Bhagava . . . vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti (BG 7.19). That time, when you come to that platform, you will see everything godly. Vāsudevaḥ sarvam. Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam (ISO 1). Everything God conscious. That is the platform of śānti. Beyond that . . . or before that, you cannot have. Either you become karmī or you become jñānī or you become yogī, there is no question of śānti. That is not possible. Therefore Caitanya-caritāmṛta kar says that kṛṣṇa-bhakta—niṣkāma, ataeva 'śānta' (CC Madhya 19.149). "A kṛṣṇa-bhakta, a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa, a person who is fully Kṛṣṇa conscious, he has no such desire." He has no such desire.

Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu says in His prayer, na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ kavitāṁ vā jagadīśa kāmaye (CC Antya 20.29, Śikṣāṣṭaka 4). This is the position of devotee. Generally karmīs, they want something from God. They go to temple, they go to church, for begging something, "I am distressed. I have no money. Kindly give me some money." "I am hungry, give me my daily bread." "Give me," something "Give me." So this so long we are on the platform of "Give me," you will never be happy. You will get it. If you go to God and ask Him, "God, give me my daily bread," so it is not very difficult for God to give you bread. He is giving bread to everyone. Why not to you? He is giving bread to the elephants, He is giving bread to the ants, and what you can eat? That is not very difficult thing. But you should go to God not for begging something but for giving something. That is vasudeva stage. Then you will get śānti, when you will go to God not for begging material happiness or material liberation, mukti, bhukti-mukti, and not for any jugglery, magic things, just like yogīs show some magic.

So if you want all these things, then you will never get happiness. You will be troubled. Therefore a devotee . . . the Caitanya Mahāprabhu's standard of devotion: nothing to possess. Na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ kavitāṁ vā jagadīśa kāmaye. Nothing to possess.

na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ
kavitāṁ vā jagadīśa kāmaye
mama janmani janmanīśvare
bhavatād bhaktir ahaitukī tvayi
(CC Antya 20.29, Śikṣāṣṭaka 4)

Bhakti. Bhakti means . . . our relationship with God is bhakti, giving service. God is great, and we are most insignificant servant of God. Our business is to give service to God. When you come to this stage, then there will be śānti. Otherwise there is no possibility of śānti.

bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kāmī-sakali 'aśānta'
kṛṣṇa-bhakta—niṣkāma, ataeva 'śānta'
(CC Madhya 19.149)

Kṛṣṇa-bhakta has no desire. Why he shall desire? He knows, "Kṛṣṇa is there. Whatever I need, He will supply." And Kṛṣṇa said, yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham, teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānām (BG 9.22): "Those who are constantly engaged in My service, I take care how to supply their necessities of life." Then why shall I disbelieve Kṛṣṇa if I am Kṛṣṇa conscious? Let me do my duty as servant of Kṛṣṇa, and whatever necessities are required, He will arrange for them. If you become confident about this thing and completely engage yourself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that is the stage of śānta. That is the stage of śānta. Completely dependent. Avaśya rakhibe kṛṣṇa viśvāsa pālana: "I surrender to Kṛṣṇa." Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇam (BG 18.66), so I give up everything. Even my livelihood I give up. Kṛṣṇa says sarva-dharmān.

So if I give up everything, that I may be doubtful, "Then how things will go on? How I shall live if I give it . . .?" No, you shall live if you believe in Kṛṣṇa. Rakṣiṣyati iti viśvāsa pālanam. If Kṛṣṇa says that, "I shall give you protection," so why shall I not believe it? This is called surrender, full surrender, that Kṛṣṇa . . . "Let me engage myself in Kṛṣṇa's service as Kṛṣṇa orders."

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

If we take this, I mean to say, assurance from Kṛṣṇa, then there is śānti. Otherwise there is no śānti. That is called sattva-guṇaṁ svaccham. "So I am taking to this worship of Deity, but at the same time let me have something privately so that in case of my distress, if Kṛṣṇa fails to help me, this money will help me." That is not svaccham. Svaccham means clear. That is not . . . therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu advises:

niṣkiñcanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukhasya
pāraṁ paraṁ jigamiṣor bhava-sāgarasya
viṣayiṇām sandarśanaṁ atha yoṣitāṁ ca
hā hanta hā hanta viṣa-bhakṣaṇato 'py asādhu
(CC Madhya 11.8)

So we, of course, we are not so advanced, but we have got many examples of advanced devotees. Still there are in India; you will find in Vṛndāvana and other places. Actually, they have no means—simply depending. They take their bath in the Yamunā and sit down and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. There are still such devotees. But everything is going on. So that is śānta, completely depending on God. That is the highest stage of devotional life. Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ (BG 7.19). There are many stories and many incidences. And that's a fact, that, as it is said by Bhagavān:

bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ
suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām . . .
(BG 5.29)

Suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām. He is well-wisher, friend, of everyone. Suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati. If we actually believe in Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa that, "He is friend of everyone. And why He is not my friend?" "Everyone" means I am included also. So this kind of faith, when there is this faith, then bhagavad-bhakti begins. When we take up this instruction of Kṛṣṇa very seriously, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66), vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ (BG 7.19) . . . this is the beginning of mahātmā. Sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ.

So mahātmā's business is: ananyāś cintayanto māṁ ye janāḥ paryupāsate (BG 9.22). A mahātmā has no other business than devotional service, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ, always hearing about the Supreme Lord, always glorifying the Supreme Lord, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ. Viṣṇu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But that we do not know. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (SB 7.5.31). That we do not know. And because people, they do not know it, therefore this mission, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is there, just to make people enlightened: "Know it now. Know it now. In the other, previous lives, cats, dogs, trees, and fishes and insects and all so many other—there are eight million, four hundred . . . you could not know it. Now you have got this human form of body, take advantage of this knowledge. Take advantage of the information given in the Vedic literature." Uttiṣṭhata jāgrata prāpya varān nibodhata (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.3.14). "You have got so much advantages. Now learn them. And you have got developed consciousness, human being. Try to understand them. And then your life will be successful."

That . . . to come to that state, here it is stated that you have to purify your citta, consciousness, svaccham, crystallike. Crystallike, transparent, svaccham. And that śāntaṁ bhagavataḥ padam, that is the stage of understanding Bhagavān. Evaṁ prasanna-manaso bhagavad-bhakti-yogataḥ (SB 1.2.20). This stage can be attained by bhagavad-bhakti, by devotional service. This devotional service begins simply by hearing and chanting. We have got all these books. Anyone can take advantage of these books. Now it is translated into English. Of course, we are getting very, very good, encouraging report from Western countries. Our books are selling very nicely, beyond our capacity of supply, all over Europe, America especially. Especially in America, all libraries, colleges, professors, educationist, they are very, with great respect, receiving these books.

So these books are there to remind us: ataeva kṛṣṇa veda-purāṇa paḍilā. Because we have forgotten Kṛṣṇa, because we have forgotten God on account of restless mind, so we have to make it śānta, calm and peaceful. Without becoming calm and peaceful, you cannot understand what is God. Ceta etair anāviddhaṁ sthitaṁ sattve prasīdati. When our heart will be no more attacked by the sattva-guṇa and rajo-guṇa, we come into the platform . . . er, rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa . . . naṣṭa-prāyeṣu abhadreṣu nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā (SB 1.2.18). This class is held for understanding Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Why? Just to cleanse the heart. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam. Nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā. Not that we are almost free from all the contamination, but even little washed away . . . it begins immediately. As soon as you begin hearing and chanting of these literatures, Vedic literatures, or chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, immediately the cleansing method begins. And naṣṭa-prāyeṣu abhadreṣu: almost cleansed, not that properly, cent percent clean. Naṣṭa-prāyeṣu abhadreṣu nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā. Daily. Not this Bhāgavata-saptāha, official. No. Nityam. There is no such thing as Bhāgavata-saptāha in any Vedic literature. This is another manufacture, concoction. The Bhāgavata says, nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā: "You have to twenty-four hours engaged in bhāgavata, in the service of bhāgavata, the person bhāgavata or the book Bhāgavata." Bhāgavata, there are two kinds of bhāgavata. Person bhāgavata is the spiritual master, and the book Bhāgavata. So there is no difference, because the person bhāgavata advises you read Bhāgavata. And by reading Bhāgavata, you understand what is Bhagavān, what is spiritual master.

So in this way:

naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu
nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā
bhagavaty uttama-śloke
bhaktir bhavati naiṣṭhikī
(SB 1.2.18)

This is the process to make the heart cleansed and gradually attain the perfection of complete peacefulness. And that complete peacefulness is the stage for understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Haribol . . . (end)