720816 - Lecture SB 01.02.13 - Los Angeles

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



720816SB.LA - August 16, 1972

(no audio available)


Prabhupāda:

ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā
varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ
svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya
saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam
(SB 1.2.13)

So ataḥ, therefore, in the previous verse it was decided who is qualified to see God. God is there within yourself. He is not far away. Not that you have to go many miles away to see God. Paśyanty ātmani cātmānaṁ bhaktyā śruta-gṛhītayā (SB 1.2.12). Just like you are searching out something, you do not know what the thing is like, you are harassed. But if somebody knows what the thing is like, "Why you are harassing yourself? Here is the thing. Take it," you can get it immediately. Similarly, God is not far away; God is very near to him, side by side, jīvātmā and Paramātmā. You are sitting with God, you simply do not know how to see. But that qualification, we have explained yesterday, is the eagerness, "Yes, I want to see."

When you want to see... Just like Dhruva Mahārāja. Dhruva Mahārāja was a young boy, he was insulted by his stepmother. Son of a kṣatriya, they were very proud family, even a five-year-old boy could not tolerate the insult. A kṣatriya cannot tolerate insult, immediately sword. Not that nonviolence. Nonviolence is not for kṣatriya. Therefore it is said, varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ. You cannot stop violence. There must be violence, but kṣatriyas, they know how to use violence. That is different thing. So he was insulted and he went to his mother, "Stepmother has insulted me like this." He began to cry in front of his mother. She said, "How can I help you, my dear boy? Your father does not care for me, even like the maidservants."

So he was determined to retaliate. So his mother advised that "If you can meet Kṛṣṇa, or God, He can help you." "Where is God?" "Yes, I have heard that people go to the forest to search out God." This is eagerness. And Nārada Muni, because Kṛṣṇa is within, He is seeing that this boy is very eager. Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja (CC Madhya 19.151). Kṛṣṇa, as soon as He sees that you are serious, He will send you the help of a spiritual master.

So Nārada came to him, "My dear boy, you are child. Why you are affected by the insult? What is insult to you? You are a child. You play." Actually, if you insult a child, they do not take it, actually. A small boy if you insult, what does he care for it? Insult or honor, a child has no knowledge of it. So "Why you are so much affected? You are king's son, so much delicate body. It is very difficult to search out God here in this forest. It requires great austerity. Better go home now, and when you are mature, old age, you can come."

"Sir, I am sorry. I am born of a kṣatriya father, so I cannot accept your instruction. This is very good instruction, but I am born in such a family. I am sorry, I cannot take your instruction," he frankly said. "If you can give me anything, any clue how I can find God, please tell me. Otherwise, please excuse me. Don't tell me, don't give me instructions." This is eagerness, a five-year-old boy. "I must see God. If you can give me some clue how I find out God, then talk. Otherwise, excuse." This is seriousness. Then this mantra was given to Dhruva Mahārāja: oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. So he, by that eagerness, within six months he saw Kṛṣṇa.

So it is possible. One has to accept the proper person who can let him know what is God. And if he is determined, then it is not difficult. But when you see God, what is your next business? Suppose you see God, what you will do? The business is to ask God, "Kṛṣṇa, please engage me in Your service." That is wanted. When Nṛsiṁha-deva was seen by Prahlāda Mahārāja, He wanted to give him. Actually his father was dead, he was to be king, so Prahlāda Mahārāja was offered, "Anything you want. You have suffered for Me so much. Now you take what you want." Prahlāda Mahārāja said, "Sir, what shall I require from You? I have seen all these material opulences. My father was so strong that even the demigods would not dare to challenge him. He was so powerful, and all this power and strength You have finished in a second. So what is the use of these powers? Please do not allure me by this material power. All this material power can be finished immediately, within a second, if You like."

That is a fact. You may have material possessions, power, and everything very good situation, and simply by little motor accident, finished immediately, within a second. In your country, President Kennedy was so powerful, opulent and so on, and within a second it was finished. So these rascals, they do not see that "What I shall gain by this so-called material opulence and power?" It can be finished at any moment by the direction, and Kṛṣṇa says also in the Bhagavad-gītā, mṛtyuḥ sarva-haraś cāham (BG 10.34). Just like Hiraṇyakaśipu, he was thinking, "I am so powerful." And when Nṛsiṁha-deva appeared as his death, finished everything.

So that they do not see. They are claiming to become God, but how they will control this death? That will come. "As sure as death." God means controller. Can you control death? Can you control disease? Can you control old age? No. Then how do you become God? Rascal, you are claiming to have become God. If I give you a kick on your face, you cannot control, yet you claim to have become God. You see, this is going on.

So when you meet God... You can meet God at any moment if you follow the instructions. Then what is your business? In that meeting, fully learned scholars were present; therefore it is called dvija-śreṣṭhāḥ, best of the brāhmaṇas. Best of the brāhmaṇas means these devotees. To become brāhmaṇa means the best of the learned scholars. Brahmā jānāti iti brāhmaṇa. Everyone is born śūdra—janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ. Śūdra means the fourth-class man. Saṁskārād bhaved dvijaḥ. By reformation, by cultivation of knowledge and culture, one becomes second class, third class and first class. So brāhmaṇa means the first class, means one who knows—brāhmaṇa. And śreṣṭhāḥ, the best of the brāhmaṇas, means that he knows not only what is Brahman, but he knows what is Bhagavān. Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate (SB 1.2.11). Three stages. Simply knowing Brahman is not perfect knowledge; you must know what is Paramātmā, you must know what is the Personality of Godhead. Therefore it is addressed here, dvija-śreṣṭhāḥ.

There are many in that meeting at Naimiṣāraṇya. The human society should be divided into four classes of men, not that everything is a drunkard, that's all. This is not civilization; this is animal life. There must be first-class men. There is already, just like you are, you are all first class, but they will not admit. They will admit drunkard first class. That is a different thing. But you are all first class, devotees of Kṛṣṇa. So there must be first class, second class, third class, fourth class, because this material world is conducted under the influence of three qualities—goodness, passion and ignorance. How you can avoid it? So those who are on the platform of goodness, they are first-class men. Those who are on the platform of passion, they are second-class men. Those who are mixed up, they are third-class men, and those who are in ignorance, they are fourth-class men; and less than that, they are animals. They may have two hands, two legs, but they are simply animals, that's all, no better than animals.

So actually human civilization begins when there is varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ (SB 1.2.13), four varṇas and four āśramas. Here is brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, sannyāsa. Unless human society is scientifically divided in this varṇāśrama system, it is animal society. It is not man's society. Therefore he is stressing varṇāśrama. Not others who are not within the category of varṇāśrama; they are animals. So when the human society comes to the system of varṇāśrama-dharma, then they can think about God. Otherwise it is not possible. Animal, how they can think about God? Because you are all first-class boys and girls, therefore you have come to hear about God. Now if you call first-class dogs, they will not come; that is not possible. So unless the human society is organized in the varṇāśrama-dharma, it remains animal society. And in animal society you cannot expect any intelligence or any sense of goodness or any idea of God. This is not possible.

So when you come to the system of varṇāśrama, this is by nature. It is creation of God, just like in your body there are four divisions—the brain, arms, belly and legs divisions. So how can you avoid? This is natural. Unless you have got brain, if your head is cut off from the body, then what is the value? It is dead body. Similarly, at the present moment there is no brahminical culture. There may be very strong arm department, there may be very well-equipped economic department or labor department, but because the head is not there, it is a dead body. Therefore the whole society is suffering; there is no brāhmaṇa, or the head. We are creating brāhmaṇas so that the society may be saved. We are not creating rascals; we are creating brāhmaṇas. So if you all are responsible, if you know your duty, try to save the society, especially in your country, America. By God's grace you have enough of everything. And you have got intelligence also; otherwise how you are coming? Unless you are born of intelligent father and mother, how you are taking this?

So we are creating first-class nationalists in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement who can save your country. We are not creating cats and dogs and bluffing the society. We are actually creating real nationalists of your country, real scholars. We don't decry material civilization. No. We don't say that. Yesterday on the beach I was talking with Karandhara, "Why your country does not allow to marry more than one wife?" He said they think it is immoral. I do not know what is the ethics or psychology behind it, but giving opportunity for the girls to become prostitute is not immoral? To marry more than one wife is immoral? You see your leaders. This is the leaders. Why? Because there is no varṇāśrama-dharma, they do not know. The brāhmaṇas, the kṣatriyas, especially, they are allowed to marry more than one wife. At least every woman will get a chance to have a husband.

So it is very scientific system, but they are killing. In India it was there, and still the rascal leaders, they are trying to kill it. Classless society—how you can make classless society? They are dogs, cats..., how you can make classless society? It can be made in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, because when you accept Kṛṣṇa as the supreme master, the supreme proprietor, bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram (BG 5.29), then you become classless. Just like in this body there is brain. Brain is very important, and leg is not so important. But it is important, because if the leg does not help you to move, simply brain, how it will help? So there is cooperation. Although the brain is the most important part of the body, still leg is required, hand is required, the belly is also required, everything is required. We do not avoid anything. We do not say, "Stop this." No. Everything is required. Just like we have discovered this microphone. Yes, it is required; we are taking advantage of it and speaking nicely about Kṛṣṇa.

So our point is not to disregard anything, but everything use for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa. That is called saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam (SB 1.2.13). Means satisfying Kṛṣṇa. You have manufactured, you have discovered something, but you will get perfection by manufacturing this. Anything you do, if you can satisfy Kṛṣṇa by your art and intelligence and education, by your work, then your life is perfect. We don't decry, "Don't do this." Do everything, but do it for Kṛṣṇa, then it is perfect. Otherwise, go to hell. Śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8). "Oh, I am a brāhmaṇa, I am doing my duty." "But do you know Kṛṣṇa? Do you serve Kṛṣṇa?" "Yes, I know Kṛṣṇa. I am Kṛṣṇa." This will not help you. Suppose a big man, a president, if you say, "I am president," what the government will think of you? "He is a crazy fellow." Similarly, these rascals, when they say, "I am God," then we take it, "That is a crazy fellow."

Therefore you have to satisfy the Supreme. Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā never said that you claim yourself to have become Kṛṣṇa. No. He claimed, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66): "You come under My shelter." He does not say that "You become equal with Me." That is nonsense. So Kṛṣṇa will be satisfied, because your business is how to satisfy Hari, and Hari says, Kṛṣṇa says, that you surrender. That will satisfy Kṛṣṇa, not that you falsely claim that "I am Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is now dead, and now I have come." These rascals will not satisfy Kṛṣṇa.

So this is our proposition. Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam (SB 1.2.13). It does not matter, varṇāśrama-dharma, eight categories, four social and four spiritual or four material and four spiritual, but when the material activities are enacted for spiritual advancement, then it is no more material; it is spiritual. Actually there is nothing material. Material means forgetfulness of Kṛṣṇa, that's all. Otherwise there is nothing material. It is called buddhi-bheda, means those who are not Kṛṣṇa conscious thoroughly, they have got distinction, "This is spiritual; this is material." But when you are fully, ekatvam anupaśyataḥ (ISO 7). That is stated in the Īśopaniṣad. That means everything is related to Kṛṣṇa, that is ekatvam. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme, and everything is emanation from Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa's energy is variety. The example just like the sun. From sun, two energies are emanating—heat and light. And the whole material creation is based on heat and light. As soon as there is no light or as soon as there is not heat, immediately the trees become skeletons. Or a few days after, it will be vanished.

So anyone can understand, heat and light is the basic principle of this material creation. And wherefrom the heat and light is coming? From the sun. So if you take service of the heat and light, you cannot avoid the sun. Similarly, two energies of Kṛṣṇa, they are acting. Heat and light—the material energy and the spiritual energy. The material energy means the earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence, ego, and spiritual energy is this living entity. Jīva-bhūtāṁ mahā-bāho yayedaṁ dhāryate jagat (BG 7.5). That is spiritual energy. Just like you mix up two things, and there is chemical action. Similarly, the whole world is going on. Here there is material and spiritual distinction because here there is forgetfulness of Kṛṣṇa. Here, ninety-nine and nine tenths percent have forgotten God; therefore it is material. And as soon as you are Kṛṣṇa conscious, there is no more material; everything is spiritual.

īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvaṁ
yat kiñca jagatyāṁ jagat
tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā
mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam
(ISO 1)

It requires only advancement of spiritual knowledge. Then you will find that everything is spiritual.

Just like in Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said,

sthāvara-jaṅgama dekhe, nā dekhe tāra mūrti
sarvatra haya nija iṣṭa-deva-sphūrti
(CC Madhya 8.274)

"A materialistic person, because he does not know what is God, what is Kṛṣṇa, he sees matter. But a spiritually advanced, Kṛṣṇa conscious person, he does not see matter." Just like an atheist will come, they will see this Deity, stone, a stone statue. But a spiritually advanced, he will see that Kṛṣṇa is here personally. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu, as soon as He saw Jagannātha, immediately fainted, "Here is My Kṛṣṇa."

So the material vision means forgetfulness of Kṛṣṇa. That's all. Otherwise there is no material, because everything is coming from Kṛṣṇa, either material energy or spiritual energy. They are coming from the same source, so in the higher spiritual understanding, the spiritual platform, there is nothing material. Everything is spiritual. Sarvaṁ khalv idaṁ brahma. So don't imitate, but there is possibility. So long we are on the material platform, on the platform of forgetfulness, our business should be how to satisfy the Supreme. How to satisfy(?), you do whatever you like—not whatever you like; within the institution. Varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ, it must be organized. If your aim is simply to satisfy Kṛṣṇa, then your life is perfect.

Thank you very much. (end)