760510 - Lecture SB 06.01.09 - Honolulu

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

760510SB-HONOLULU - May 10, 1976 - 18.52 Minutes

Prabhupāda: Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Sixth Canto, Chapter One, text number nine. (leads devotees in chanting)


dṛṣṭa-śrutābhyāṁ yat pāpaṁ
jānann apy ātmano 'hitam
karoti bhūyo vivaśaḥ
prāyaścittam atho katham
(SB 6.1.9)


Śrī-rājovāca, the king, Parīkṣit Mahārāja, said. Parīkṣit Mahārāja is the disciple and Śukadeva Gosvāmī is the spiritual master. So the spiritual master is speaking and the disciple is hearing, but in the meantime making some question. That is the way of understanding.

tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti tad jñānam
jñāninas tattva darśinaḥ
(BG 4.34)

The injunction is that tad viddhi, if you want to understand transcendental subject matter—not material; spiritual. Spiritual is completely unknown to us because we do not know what is spiritual. We are identifying with this body. You do not know even that "I am spirit soul." So where is the possibility of spiritual understanding? One cannot see himself, what he is. He is thinking, "I am this body," exactly like the dog. The dog is thinking, "I am dog." So if I think, "I am American," "I am Indian," where is the difference? There is no difference. Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke (SB 10.84.13). If one thinks that "I am this body," then he's no better than sa eva go-kharaḥ. The animals, they also think like that, "I am this body."

So when one understands that "I am not this body. I'm extra..." That can be understood very easily if we analyze ourselves. I have several times said, beginning from your breathing, you analyze. Take breathing. They say breathing is the life. As soon as the breathing is stopped, no more life. So does it mean that breathing is life? No. Analyze. What is this breathing? It is air. So you can get so much air and put it into a machine, just like, what is called, bellow, and pump it through the nose. Is it possible to get life? No. In this way, item by item, you analyze this body. Now you are advanced in laboratory analyzing. Take this breathing, take this blood, take this skin, take this bone. So many things are there, ingredients. Analyze each one of them. Would you find life? Common sense, that this is not life. Life is beyond this, beyond this material.

So so-called rascals, they think that this is body, this is life, combination. There are many theories. One of the theories is the combination of this matter—these bones, this blood, this skin, the veins, the stool, the urine, so many things—that combination makes the life. And why don't you put... All these things are available. Why don't you put together and bring life? "That we shall do in future." Just see. What is the proposal? Therefore we are so fools and rascals that we do not know what is spirit, life, spirit. Still, we are passing as big scientist and philosopher, all rascals. Anyone who is thinking, "I am this body," he's a rascal. He's an animal. Sa eva go-kharaḥ. Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma-ijya-dhīḥ (SB 10.84.13). This is Bhāgavata, practical analysis.

So here the Bhāgavata-kathā, that is transcendental knowledge. So Parīkṣit Mahārāja has approached the right person, Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Why? Because he is the disciple and son of Vyāsadeva. So this is paramparā. One should learn from the right person. That is perfect knowledge. We are sticking to Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement because to receive perfect knowledge. If we change, if we become so rascal that "What is spoken in the Vedic literature, there is beyond, something," then we are rascal. There is no beyond. This is perfect knowledge.

So how to take perfect knowledge? Tad viddhi. First of all you try to learn. Tad viddhi. How to learn? Where to learn? Praṇipātena, fully surrendered. If you find somebody that he is somebody important where you can surrender fully, from him. Tad viddhi praṇipāta... This is. Our process of Vedic knowledge is how to surrender, not that I hear and I reject it. That is not the way. That is another rascaldom. First of all find out the person where you can surrender.

Surrender means you first of all be convinced that "Here is a person who can give me actual knowledge." Therefore before selecting guru one has to convince himself that "The person whom I am going to accept as guru, whether he actually can give me the knowledge?" That is wanted. Therefore before making guru, the system is, for one year the prospective disciple should hear from the person and then decide. And similarly, the guru also see a person who is actually submissive or not. That is Vaiṣṇava injunction, Hari-bhakti-vilāsa, not that to make a guru as a fashion. No. Not guru. Don't keep a guru, order-supplying guru. No. Just like if somebody keeps a dog, and the master orders him, "Do this," and he does, fashion. No. It is not fashion. You must approach guru who..., where you can surrender. Otherwise don't make guru. And the guru also should not accept such rascal as guru. First of all, the thing is surrender. Tad viddhi praṇipātena (BG 4.34). The first necessity is that you surrender. So here you have seen, Parīkṣit Mahārāja, although the emperor of the world, he is taking lesson from Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Śukadeva Gosvāmī is seated on the throne, and he is seated on the ground, submissive.

So does it mean that "I shall become submissive, and whatever my guru will say, I will have to accept?" No. Paripraśnena. Tad viddhi. Here is the paripraśna. Śrī-rāja uvāca. Ask him. That is intelligent. Intelligently serve. First of all we must... It is not that he is checking the guru, "How my guru is learned?" No. The submission is there. But when the guru says something, he may not understand; that concession is given, paripraśna, you inquire.

So Śukadeva Gosvāmī said that "You have to atone for your sinful activities before your death; otherwise you will suffer in the next life." So rājovāca. Rājovāca, rāja, the king, he was little doubtful about this atonement. Atonement. So his inquiry,

dṛṣṭa-śrutābhyāṁ yat pāpaṁ
jānann apy ātmano 'hitam
karoti bhūyo vivaśaḥ
prāyaścittam atho katham
(SB 6.1.9)

"Sir, you have spoken about atonement, but they are doing atonement. Every moment they are suffering, but still, again he is committing the sinful activities. So what is the use of this atonement?" Just like in the Christian church they go to confess every weekly, "Sir, I have done it." "All right, give some fine." And again, next week, again, the same thing going on. So this is very intelligent question. The atonement is there in every religion. In the Vedic process there is atonement, but what is the use of this atonement if he does not cease committing the same sinful activity? Just like practically we see a thief. So he knows that "I am committing theft. I shall be punished if I am arrested." He knows it; otherwise why he goes silently at night and break? (laughter) He knows it well that "If I am arrested I will be punished."

So śrutābhyām. Śruta means... Just like we are hearing the śāstra, so he has heard it from the law books that if one commits theft he'll be punished. And he has seen also that a person who has committed theft, he is arrested by the police, so he was being taken to the prison house.

So knowledge is acquired from two sources: by direct perception and by hearing. Just like we are hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. This is knowledge also. And when you see there are three kinds of receiving knowledge... One is śruti. Śruti means hearing. So our Vedic process is that we hear the Vedic information, and we become perfect, śruti. And somebody challenges that "Why shall I believe in the Vedas? I must see." But everything is not possible to see. For example, somebody..., the mother said to the son, "Here is your father." So you have to believe your mother; otherwise how you can see your father? It is not possible. If you want to see to take the proof, "Whether this gentleman is my father," that is not possible. Because he became your father before your birth, how you can see? This is the way. You have to accept authority. So things which are beyond our perception we have to accept authority. Therefore the Vedic process is, if the world perfect order is there in the Vedas—not if; anything which is in the Vedas, that is perfect—we have to accept. Accept. This is the way, Vedic, śruti.

So dṛṣṭa-śrutābhyām. Śruta means hearing, knowledge. One of the... The same thing: the person, the thief, he has seen and he has heard. Dṛṣṭa-śrutābhyām yat pāpam (SB 6.1.9). He knows what is sinful activities. Jānann apy. He knows this is. Jānann apy ātmano 'hitam. "This kind of activity is injurious to my person." Karoti bhūyo vivaśaḥ: "Again he commits the same thing." He knows. Karoti vivaśaḥ prāyaścittam atho katham (SB 6.1.9): "Then what is the value of that? If he cannot stop his sinful activity, then what is the meaning of this prāyaścittam?" So a professional thief, he has gone to the prison several times. He has been punished. Still, he commits the same thing, again goes to the jail. A patient, he has suffered from the disease on account of certain bad habits and he has gone to the doctor. He has paid much money and suffered injection, operation, and still he is doing that. Therefore Parīkṣit Mahārāja says, "What is the value of this prāyaścitta?" Prāyaścitta, kind of punishment.

So this is very important question. The world, whole world nowadays... I say sometimes that in the airport it is proved that... (break) ...so many times punishment, the practice of committing criminal activities is going on. This is very intelligent question, and Parīkṣit Mahārāja will reply..., Śukadeva Gosvāmī will reply. But this is student. Just see how intelligent question that is put. The Śukadeva Gosvāmī said that for any sinful action one has to atone. So immediately catches the word, this is intelligent disciple, that "What is the value of this atonement? If he cannot correct himself to commit the sinful activity, then what is the value of atonement?" This is very nice question. We shall discuss tomorrow.

Thank you very... (end)