740410 - Lecture BG 04.21 - Bombay
(Redirected from Lecture on BG 4.21 -- Bombay, April 10, 1974)
Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. (Prabhupāda and devotees repeat) (leads chanting of verse)
- nirāśīr yata-cittātmā
- śārīraṁ kevalaṁ karma
- kurvan nāpnoti kilbiṣam
- (BG 4.21)
Translation: "Such a man of understanding acts with mind and intelligence perfectly controlled, gives up all sense of proprietorship over his possessions and acts only for the bare necessities of life. Thus working, he is not affected by sinful reactions."
- nirāśīr yata-cittātmā
- śārīraṁ kevalaṁ karma
- kurvan nāpnoti kilbiṣam
- (BG 4.21)
This is required in human life. It is not forbidden that, "You starve." No. That is not stated in the śāstra. Yāvad artha-vinirṇayam. To keep your health and body, and the body and the soul together, you must live very nicely so that you may not be diseased. Because this human form of life is meant for making progress so that the, all the problems of life may be solved. It is required. Yukta. Yuktāhāra-vihārasya, in another place. Yuktāhāra-vihārasya yogo bhavati siddhi-hā (BG 6.17). When one becomes yogī . . . our real purpose of life is to become yogī.
Yogī means to reestablish our connection, our lost connection, with God. At the present moment, in our material condition, we have forgotten our relationship, our eternal relationship with Kṛṣṇa, or God.
- nitya-siddha kṛṣṇa-bhakti sādhya kabhu naya
- śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte karaye udaya
The kṛṣṇa-bhakti, our love for Kṛṣṇa, is there eternally. But on account of our contamination with this material world, we have forgotten our relationship. Just like a madman, he forgets his relationship with the family. He loiters in the street. He eats anywhere and everywhere, and all rubbish thing. Although he may have very rich father, well-to-do family, but forgetting . . . madness means forgetfulness of his real life.
So we are now forgetful of our real life. This has been also exemplified by a Vaiṣṇava poet:
- piśācī pāile yena mati-cchanna haya
- māyār grasta jīvera haya se dāsa udaya
Piśācī. When a man is haunted by ghosts, as he speaks all nonsense, he cannot recognize his father, mother or relative . . . sometimes he calls them by ill names, on account of being ghostly haunted. Piśācī pāile. Similarly, in the conditioned state, under the influence of māyā, we are also talking so many nonsense things, "I belong to this family," "I belong to this nation," "I belong to this community," "My business is this," simply forgetting Kṛṣṇa consciousness. All other business he will remember, but when he is requested to become Kṛṣṇa conscious, to understand Kṛṣṇa, he doesn't like it. Except Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he will take all responsibility and work hard for that purpose. This is called māyā-grasta jīva.
So nirāśīḥ, now to go to our original position, that is called tapasya. Tapasya means to revive our original, normal life of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is called tapasya. This tapasya is not possible by the cats and dogs or animals. Tapasya is meant for the human being. Therefore the human life is called durlabha-janma. Durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma tad apy arthadam adhruvam. Prahlāda Mahārāja said:
- kaumāra ācaret prājño
- dharmān bhāgavatān iha
- durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma
- tad apy adhruvam arthadam
- (SB 7.6.1)
He advised his class friends, "My dear friends, from childhood we shall learn the science of Bhāgavata-dharma." Bhāgavata-dharma means to reestablish our lost relationship with Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And this can be solved in this human form. Therefore education of Kṛṣṇa consciousness should be given from the very childhood, kaumāra. Kaumāra means from the age of fifth year up to the tenth year. This is called kaumāra age.
So we have opened our school in Texas. We are training very nicely all these children, and they are very learned. Children, as you teach them, they learn. They are innocent. Unfortunately, we do not give them training about Kṛṣṇa consciousness; we give them education for sense gratification, how you can earn money, economic development. Economic development means to get more money and to satisfy senses more and more. This is the modern theory. But Kṛṣṇa says that to achieve the perfection of life, one should be nirāśīḥ. Nirāśīḥ means unnecessarily desiring for sense gratification. Unnecessarily. Everyone has got right to live and live nicely. For that purpose there is sufficient arrangement by the Lord. Eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). There is sufficient arrangement. No living being will starve. There is such arrangement. But when we forget more and more Kṛṣṇa and God, nature will punish. There will be restriction of supply of foodstuff. That is nature's law.
- daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī
- mama māyā duratyayā
- mām eva ye prapadyante
- māyām etāṁ . . .
- (BG 7.14)
So present crisis, food crisis . . . everything is described in the Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā does not say that, "You live by breathing air." No. Bhagavad-gītā says, annād bhavanti bhūtāni (BG 3.14). Anna. Anna means food grains. There is necessity of food grain. Annād bhavanti bhūtāni. Bhagavad-gītā never says that, "You don't require to eat. You simply breathe air and practice yoga." No. But we must eat neither more nor less. That is recommended. Yuktāhāra-vihārasya. We should not eat more nor less. And nirāśīḥ. Nirāśīḥ means desireless of extravagance. Now we are desiring for sense gratification more and more. That is not wanted.
If you want perfection of life . . . this is called tapasya. One has got the desire, but he should not desire unnecessarily. Everyone has got the right to eat, even the animals. Everyone has got the right. But because we are desiring to enjoy more, therefore we do not give the chance to the animals to live properly, rather we are trying to eat the animals. This is not required. This is called nirāśīḥ. Why you should eat animals? That is uncivilized life. When there is no food, when they are aborigines, they may eat animals, because they do not know how to grow food. But when the human society becomes civilized, he can grow so many nice foods, he can keep the cows; instead of eating the cows, he can get milk, sufficient milk. We can make so many preparation from milk and grains. So we should not desire unnecessarily to enjoy more.
Then it is said here, kurvan nāpnoti kilbiṣam. Kilbiṣam means resultant action of sinful life. Kilbiṣam. So if we don't desire more than our necessary, then we are not implicated, involved, in sinful activity, kurvan api, even though he is engaged in working. While you are working, knowingly or unknowingly you have to commit something which is not pious, even sinful—but if you simply desire for living properly, then kurvan napi . . . nāpnoti na kilbiṣam. Kurvan nāpnoti kilbiṣam. Our life should be without any sinful reaction. Otherwise we will have to suffer. But they do not believe, although they are seeing so many abominable lives. Wherefrom they are coming, 8,400,000 species of life? There are so many lives living very abominable condition. Of course, the animal or the living creature does not know, but we human being, we should know why this is . . . this abominable life. It is māyā's illusion.
Even one is . . . just like a pig is living in a very filthy condition, eating stool, and still, he is thinking very happy, and therefore he is getting fat. When one feels happy, "I am very happy," he becomes fatty. So you will find these pigs, they are very much fatty, but what they eat? They eat stool and live in a filthy place. But they think that, "We are very happy." So that is māyā's illusion. Anyone who is living in a very abominable condition of life, māyā, by illusion, he is thinking that he is all right, he is living very perfectly. But a person who is on the higher stage, he sees that he is living in a very abominable condition.
So this illusion is there, but by knowledge, by good association, by taking instruction from the śāstra, from guru, from saintly person, one should understand what is the value of life and live like that. So this is instructed by Kṛṣṇa, that nirāśīḥ, one should not be unnecessarily desireful, more than his necessities of life. This is called nirāśīḥ. Nirāśīḥ another meaning is that not very much fond of material enjoyment. And that is possible when he is in full knowledge that, "I am not this body. I am spirit soul. My necessity is how to advance in spiritual knowledge." Then he can become nirāśīḥ. These are the items for tapasya, austerity, penance.
People have forgotten now. They do not know what is the austerities. But the human life is meant for that purpose. Tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyet sattvaṁ yena brahma-saukhyam anantam (SB 5.5.1). These are the instruction of the śāstra. The human life is meant for tapasya. And tapasya . . . therefore in the Vedic way of life the beginning of life is tapasya, brahmacārī. Brahmacārī. A student is sent to gurukula for practicing brahmacarya. This is tapasya, not comfortable life. Lying down on the floor, going door-to-door for begging alms for guru. But they are not tired. Because they are children, if they are trained these austerities, they become to practice. They call all woman "Mother," "Mother, give me some alms." And they come back to guru's place. Everything belongs to guru. This brahmacārī life, this is tapasya. Tapo divyam (SB 5.5.1). That is Vedic civilization, that children should be from the very beginning of life trained up in tapasya, brahmacarya, celibacy. A brahmacārī cannot see any young woman. Even the guru's wife is young, he cannot go to the guru's wife. These are the restriction. Now where is that brahmacarya? No brahmacārī. This is Kali-yuga. No tapasya.
But the according to Vedic civilization, varṇāśrama-dharma. Vedic civilization means four varṇas and four āśramas: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. We have begin . . . we have began our lecture on the basis, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). So this is civilization. Unless one comes to this standard of civilization, varṇāśrama-dharma, that is animal civilization. So we prefer animal civilization. Therefore we living like animal also, fighting like cats and dog and suffering like cats and dogs also. This is the position. Nirāśīr yata-cittātmā. Control. I shall accept as much as I require, not more than that, not less than that. Controlling the citta, intelligence, and ātmā, mind or self, self-control. Nirāśīr yata-cittātmā tyakta-sarva-parigrahaḥ. Parigrahaḥ means unnecessarily collecting something, atyāhāraḥ. Atyāhāraḥ prayāsaḥ. Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī has given definition how bhakti is killed:
- atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca
- prajalpo niyamāgrahaḥ
- laulyaṁ jana-saṅgaś ca
- ṣaḍbhir bhaktir pranaśyati
- (NOI 2)
If you want to advance in spiritual life, bhakti-yoga, then you should avoid all these things, six kinds of. Ṣaḍbhiḥ, six kind. Bhaktir pranaśyati. What is that? Atyāhāraḥ, eating more than you require. Actually, we should not eat unless we are very hungry. That is good eating. In . . . when you are hungry, you can eat any ordinary things; still, you feel very satisfactory. So not routine eating. Routine eating must be there. We should not eat more than that. But the best principle is that if we do not feel hungry, we should not eat. But if there is no hunger and at the same time no appetite and we eat, that brings indigestion, dysentery, indigestion. So why should we accept that? Therefore it is forbidden, atyāhāraḥ. Āhāra means eating, eating more than required, or āhāra means collecting also. Collecting more than necessity.
Atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś. Prayāsaḥ means things which are done with great endeavor. No, we shall accept things which is very easily done, not to waste our energy unnecessarily. Atyāhāraḥ prayāsaḥ, prajalpaḥ, talking all nonsense, sitting together and on the newspaper, "Oh, such politician said like this, and social worker . . ." All nonsense. Practically you try to avoid all this newspaper reading or talking of nonsense subject matter. That is called prajalpa. Atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca prajalpo niyamāgrahaḥ (NOI 2). Niyamāgrahaḥ means niyama, schedule for rules and regulation, not to accept. Niyama āgraha or niyama agraha. Āgraha means unnecessarily āgraha, but without any result. That is called niyamāgrahaḥ. You must follow the rules, regulation so that you are benefitted. But if you are not benefitted simply by following the rules and regulation, that is āgraha, only for the rules and regulation, not for the result. We must see that there is result. Niyamāgrahaḥ. Jana-saṅgaś ca, to associate with unwanted people. You must associate with devotees, not others. They are called . . . laulya, jana-saṅgaś ca. And laulyam, greediness, ṣaḍbhir bhaktir pranaśyati. If you are a student of devotional service, you must avoid all these things and just the opposite number:
- utsāhān dhairyāt niścayād
- sato vṛtteḥ saṅga-tyāgāt
- ṣaḍbhir bhaktiḥ prasidhyati
- (Upadeśāmṛta 3)
Prasidhyati means you increase. What is that? Utsāha, endeavor, "In this life I must fulfill my mission of Kṛṣṇa consciousness." That is called utsāha. Dhairya. Don't be agitated because it is not giving result immediately. Just patiently go on working. Utsāhād dhairyān niścayāt. Niścayāt means to have full faith in the words of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati (BG 9.31). This is called full faith that, "Kṛṣṇa has said that if I am in devotional service, I will never be lost. Kṛṣṇa will give me protection." Kṛṣṇa says. Ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi (BG 18.66). To have faith, this is called surrender. Not that, "Oh, Kṛṣṇa says, but may not be able to protect me." No. Kṛṣṇa is able. He is all-powerful, omnipotent. He can give you protection. When He says that ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi, that is a fact. This is called niścayāt, "Certainly Kṛṣṇa will give me protection." Not that, "Because I do not see Kṛṣṇa, I do not know whether Kṛṣṇa will give me protection." No. That word is sufficient. This is called niścayāt. Utsāhād dhairyān niścayād tat-tat-karma-pravartanāt.
But you must follow the rules and regulation, as it is enjoined in the śāstra. Not that, "Kṛṣṇa will give me protection, and I may do whatever I like. I can eat anything I like, I can do anything I like." Just some rascal advises that, "There is no such thing, restriction, in the self-realization. You can eat anything, you can do anything." People like that program. And as soon as there is restriction, they do not like. Because we put so many restriction, I am called, in the Western world, "Swāmījī, you are very conservative." So we have to become conservative, follow the rule. Not that we give liberty that, "Whatever you like, you do, and at the same time you make progress, spiritual life." That is not possible.
Because spiritual life means tapasya. Formerly great, great saintly persons, they underwent very, very severe tapasya for thousands of years, hundreds of years. Then they attained success. In the Kali-yuga it is not possible to undergo such severe tapasya. There is concession. The concession is that you live a pure life and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. This will make sufficient. A pure life: no illicit sex, no intoxication, no meat-eating, no gambling. This is pure life. These boys and girls who have joined this movement, they have given up. They are not dying. Nobody will die if he lives a pure life. Anyone will make progress. Tapasā brahmacaryeṇa (SB 6.1.13). These are the injunction of the śāstra. If you want to be happy, this is the . . . tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyet sattvam (SB 5.5.1). Sattva means my existence. At the present moment my existence is not śuddha, purified. Just like if your health is contaminated, then you get some disease. So for the soul, the living entity, this disease, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam (BG 13.9), this is a kind of disease.
Now, it is a fact because the soul is eternal, nityaḥ śāśvato 'yaṁ na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). The soul is eternal. It does not die. It does not annihilate after destruction of the body, but there is change of body, mṛtyu. Janma-mṛtyu means change of body. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ (BG 2.13). So people should be intelligent to know, "Why I shall undergo this tribulation of repetition of birth and death?" But they do not know it. There is life without birth and death. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti (BG 4.9). After giving up this body, no more taking birth again with this material body. There is a life like that. We get this information. Why should we not fulfill this mission of life in this human form of life? Why unnecessarily desire so many sense gratification? This is called tapasya. If one life we have enjoyed the sense gratification . . . sense gratification, āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca: eating, sleeping, sex life and protection from fearfulness. Now this has been done in so many lives. Why not in this life make a perfect process so that no more death, no more birth, no more disease, no more old age?
They think it is all utopian. But we don't think. We believe in the words of Kṛṣṇa, words of the śāstra. And we are trying to accept it, practice it and preach it. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Tapo divyaṁ yena śuddhyet sattvam (SB 5.5.1). Then why we should be interested to purify our existence? Yena brahma-saukhyam anantam. You are after happiness. So this happiness, the temporary happiness, sense gratification, this is not happiness. Sukham ātyantikaṁ yat tad atīndriya-grāhyam (BG 6.21). Real happiness—beyond this material sense gratification. That is real happiness. So we should search after that happiness.
- ramante yogino 'nante
- satyānande cid-ātmani
- iti rāma-padenāsau
- paraṁ brahmābhidhīyate
- (CC Madhya 9.29)
Real happiness is to enjoy with Rāma, enjoy with Kṛṣṇa. What is that enjoyment? Kṛṣṇa is the master. He orders, and you perform the order. That is enjoyment. Master and servant. Not as master, as servant. That is our enjoyment. Just like a faithful servant and a rich master, the reciprocation is service. The master is also satisfied by the service of the servant, and the servant is also satisfied, giving service to the master. This is our relation. Jīvera svarūpa haya—nitya-kṛṣṇa-dāsa (CC Madhya 20.108-109). Unfortunately, we are trying to become master. Instead of submitting ourself to become the eternal . . . we are eternal servant. We cannot be master. If we do not become servant of Kṛṣṇa, then we have to become the servant of our senses. That's all. Servant we must have. As you become servant of Kṛṣṇa, then automatically you become master of your senses, because senses cannot allure you for satisfaction of the senses, because senses are engaged.
- tat-paratvena nirmalam
- hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-
- sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate
- (CC Madhya 19.170)
Hṛṣīkeśa. Kṛṣṇa's another name is Hṛṣīkeśa.
So Hṛṣīkeśa, when . . . hṛṣīka means senses. When we engage our senses in the service of the master of the senses, that is called bhakti. And as soon as we engage our senses with upādhi, sarvopādhi . . . we have got so many upādhis, "I am this," "I am that," "I am human being," "I am cat," "I am dog," "I am brāhmaṇa," "I am śūdra," "I am American," "I am Indian." These are all upādhis. So sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam. When one becomes free from all these upādhi, he understands that "I am spirit soul," ahaṁ brahmāsmi, "therefore my business is to reciprocate transaction with the Supreme Brahman, Para-brahman."
Māyāvādī philosophers, they do not know that there is relationship that the Para-brahman and Brahman can be engaged in loving transaction. That they do not understand. They think that Brahman, when merges into the existence of Para-brahman, then business is finished. No. Business is not finished, because we are individual. It is not possible to remain without any activity. That is theory, that without any activity we shall remain. That is not possible. And if we have no information of the spiritual activity, then we have to come back again to this material activity. That is practical example. There are many sannyāsīs, they so-called merging into Brahman, but they come back in material activities, in politics, in sociology and so on.
So therefore these instruction are very valuable. Nirāśīr yata-cittātmā tyakta-sarva-parigrahaḥ śārīraṁ kevalaṁ karma. Śārīra, just to maintain your body. Be satisfied. Whatever is supplied by Kṛṣṇa, be satisfied. Don't aspire more and more. Save time for . . .
(break) . . . so that you can, with great enthusiasm, you can make progress in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Śārīraṁ kevalam. Not for sense gratification. You have to eat. These things are eatable: food grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, sugar. That's all. Why should we eat nonsense things? This will keep your health very nice. Sāttvikāhāra. And you can prepare so many nice preparation within this jurisdiction. Why should you go and kill animal for the satisfaction of the tongue? That is not allowed. Then you will be again entangled. Otherwise, to keep your body in nice condition, you eat all these things which is meant for the human being. Then you will keep fit and save time for advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And if you become always engaged for sense gratification—go on working, working, working, then go to the restaurant, eat, drink and make your body agitated, then find out liquor and woman—what is this life? This is not life. This is animal life.
Real life is that you keep your health nicely, save time, take ordinary very nutritious food within the jurisdiction of kṛṣṇa-prasāda. Kṛṣṇa says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26). So Kṛṣṇa eats all these things. Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam: vegetable, liquid things, water, milk, and so many other things, grains. So you offer to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is here. Kṛṣṇa, although He is very virāṭa, universal form, but Kṛṣṇa has accepted arcā-vigraha so that you can serve, you can see, you can touch, and your life becomes successful. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
Thank you very much. (end)