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740611 - Lecture SB 02.01.02 - Paris

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

740611SB-PARIS - June 11, 1974 - 27:08 Minutes

Nitāi: "Those persons who are materially engrossed, being blind to knowledge of the Ultimate Truth, have many things as subject matter for hearing in the human society, O Emperor."


śrotavyādīni rājendra
nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ
apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ
gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām
(SB 2.1.2)

Now, subject matter of hearing long, long, very . . . not long, long; say about sixty, seventy years ago, one big politician of India, Madanmohan Marabhya, he came to see my Guru Mahārāja. So he was inquiring about our activities. So he was informed, amongst other activities, my Guru Mahārāja was publishing papers monthly in English, in Bengali, in Hindi, in Oriya, in Assamese, and one Bengali daily, Nadiya Prakash. So this politician was surprised that, "Oh, you are publishing daily a Bengali paper?" "Yes. Why you are surprised?" He was surprised. He was politician. He was thinking that "What one may speak of God, or Kṛṣṇa, daily in a paper?" He was surprised. Because they think that "Sometimes we go to the temple, 'O God, give us our daily bread,'" finished God's business. And my Guru Mahārāja replied that "Why you are surprised? This Calcutta city is most insignificant part of this universe."

Now, Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā that, "The whole material world is situated in one part of My energy." Ekāṁśena sthito jagat. When Arjuna asked about the opulence of Kṛṣṇa, He was describing. And He summarized:

athavā bahunaitena
kiṁ jñātena tavārjuna
viṣṭabhyāham idaṁ kṛtsnam
ekāṁśena sthito jagat
(BG 10.42)

"How much I shall go on speaking to you? Just try to understand about My potency, that this whole material world is sustained in one part of My energy." The spiritual world is the three-fourth part. Suppose Kṛṣṇa's energy is acting, one unit. So out of that, one-fourth unit is exhibited this material world. And the material world is . . . what is that material world? Now,

yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi
koṭiṣu vasudādhi-vibhūti-bhinnam
tad brahma niṣkalam anantam aśeṣa-bhūtaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
(Bs. 5.40)

The . . . the Brahman effulgence being spread, in some corner of this Brahman effulgence there is mahat-tattva, material energy. And that material energy means . . . that is described in another place:

yasyaika-niśvasita-kālam athāvalambya
jīvanti loma-vilajā jagad-aṇḍa-nāthāḥ
viṣṇur mahān sa iha yasya kalā-viśeṣo
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
(Bs. 5.48)

The material world means innumerable universes are coming out through the breathing of Mahā-Viṣṇu. Innumerable universes. We cannot account for one universe in which we are. There are innumerable planets. Everyone has experience in stars and planets. This is one universe. And such universes are coming out, millions, through the breathing period of Mahā-Viṣṇu. When He exhales, they come out. When He inhales, they go within. That is the creation and not creation. Yasyaika-niśvasita-kālam athāvalambya jīvanti loma-vilajā . . . (Bs. 5.48)

So the purpose was that this material world is only a manifestation, exhibition, of one-fourth energy of Kṛṣṇa. And within this material world, there are so many universes. And each and every universe, there are so many planets. So this is one of the planets, in which we are living. And in this planet, there are so many cities—Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Delhi, Paris, London, and so many, hundreds and thousands. And each and every city, there are newspapers. And each newspaper is publishing three, four editions daily. So this is the most insignificant planet, still, there are so many news to hear. Therefore it is said here, śrotavyādīni rājendra nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ (SB 2.1.2): "Millions and millions subject matter for hearing." This is a fact. Every paper is publishing three, four editions daily, especially in the Western countries. So if they have got so much news in the material world in this insignificant planet, just imagine how much news are there in the three-fourth manifestation of His energy. So my Guru Mahārāja said that "You are surprised, Mr. Marabhya, that we are publishing a paper daily. So we can publish every minute a paper. Unfortunately, there is no customer." They have customer for news in this newspaper, but our news, we have to canvass, "Will you kindly take this? Will you kindly take this?" They are not interested. They're interested in this material news—radio, paper, magazine, edition after edition. Therefore it is said . . . this is the meaning of śrotavyādīni rājendra nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ (SB 2.1.2).

So they have no time to read a little news we are giving about God in the Back to Godhead. They have no . . . why? Now, apaśyatām ātma-tattvam (SB 2.1.2). They do not know what is ātmā, what is the active principle of all these activities. They do not know. The superficially . . . Bahir-art . . . na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ durāśayā ye. Durāśayā . . . what is that? Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ (SB 7.5.31). Durāśayā, they have got so many news to hear with a hope—means useless hope—that they will be able to exist here and be happy. Just like your arch, this Napoleon arch. Napoleon was conquering all over Europe, and he thought that he would be able to enjoy this. But where is Napoleon? The arch is there, that's all. This is the position. But he worked so hard. Not only he; everyone is working. The arch will remain, because a stone, but he's finished. He's finished. This is called apaśyatām ātma-tattvam (SB 2.1.2). Because these people, they do not know what is really reality. Real reality. They are simply after so-called reality. It is very important point. Try to understand. Ātma-tattvam, one who does not know what is ātmā, what is soul, the nature of soul . . . therefore, in the Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa first of all begins the constitution of the ātmā, or spirit soul. He begins.

When He began to teach Arjuna Bhagavad-gītā, the A-B-C-D lesson was to make him convinced about the soul within the body. That is called ātma-tattvam. And nobody knows. Therefore, bahir-artha-māninaḥ: they are accepting this external feature. Just like we have got external feature. We can understand very easily that this body, this body is external feature. Real "I" am within. As soon as I go away from this body, this external feature, as good as the garbage in the street. That they do not understand. They are busy piling garbage: "Bring more garbage, more garbage." And this is the working capacity. Bahir-artha-māninaḥ. They think, "This garbage will save me." Very important question. Apaśyatām ātma-tattvam (SB 2.1.2). The ātma-tattvam means "I am now within this garbage for the present. And after leaving this, in this garbage, I pile up so many other garbages. And in this way, working uselessly the whole life, then I transmigrate from this body to another garbage body." That I do not know. This is called apaśyatām ātma-tattvam. Apaśyatām means "not seeing." A means "not," and paśyatām means "seeing," "one who sees." He's seeing, "This is garbage is everything." He does not see ātma-tattvam.

Apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ gṛheṣu (SB 2.1.2). Gṛheṣu means . . . gṛha means home. So you can take this body as home. Because I am . . . you are all living within this body. So this is also home. And then again, expanded, I am living in this planet. So this is also home. And again living within this universe. That is also home. Or I have got a little home, apartment, ten feet square, that's all. That is also home. So we have got attachment for this home, ten feet by ten feet or millions of feet on millions . . . this is home, within the compact. We living entities, we are within this home. Take this whole universe, apart from other universe, this universe. This is also home because we're living here. And we are changing, from this place to that place. Suppose I have come from India. From Bombay, I have come to Paris. This is all within the home, within the universe, or within this planet. So we see people are very busy. Seventy miles' speed, they're driving car, but within the Paris. Within the Paris. They may go seventy miles, eighty mile, but they cannot go beyond. That, our one countryman, Rabindranath Tagore . . . so perhaps you heard his name. He was a big poet. So when he was in London, so he saw that people are very, walking very fast. So he remarked that, "These people are walking very fast. But there is a very small country. They'll fall down on the sea." You see?

So this is going on. (laughs) A dog in the park is jumping very fast, walking. But as soon as the master, "Come one. Come one," immediately, "Yes, sir." "Give me your neck." "Yes, sir." Chain. Chain. He's thinking that he's very free, but as soon as the master calls, immediately he has to submit. This is our position. We are very busy, but the master is the material nature. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duraty . . . (BG 7.14). The fact is that we are under the stringent laws of material nature. We have no freedom. That we do not know. We are struggling so much. War has been waged in . . . all over the world, especially in Europe, for freedom. You have got that freedom statue. And in America also, there is freedom. But where is freedom, sir? That they do not know. Why? Apaśyatām ātma-tattvam (SB 2.1.2). They do not know what is freedom and whose freedom. That they do not know. Therefore they have created so many newspapers for freedom, the so-called freedom. But there is no freedom. Even big, big leaders, they have no freedom. What we are?

Therefore Kṛṣṇa points out in the Bhagavad-gītā that real freedom is when you get freedom from four different problems. What is that?

(BG 13.9)

If you get freedom from these four things—no more death, no more birth, no more eld age, old age, and no more disease—that is freedom. But where is that freedom? The so-called scientists, big, big scientists, they have very scientifically advanced, but they had no freedom from death. They had to die on a fixed-up date. Professor Einstein or any other big, big scientist, they could not manufacture any scientific instrument and keep it in the custody of his student, that "As soon as I die, you just apply this machine. I shall come alive again." Where is that freedom? So this so-called scientific improvement, advancement in civilization, it is just like jumping like the dog, that's all. It has no value. Real value is to understand ātma-tattvam, "What I am? Why death is imposed upon me? I do not wish to die. Why old age is imposed upon me? I do not wish to become old man or old woman. I wish to remain a beautiful young . . ." "No, sir, that is not possible." Then where is your freedom? What for you are jumping so much? As soon as the master will call, "Yes, sir. Bind me." So you are completely under the nature's control.

daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī
mama māyā duratyayā . . .
(BG 7.14)
prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate
(BG 3.27)

Prakṛteḥ, prakṛti, nature, is pulling by the ear, "Come here." "Yes, sir." "Come here." "Yes, sir." And he's freedom. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ. He is completely under the control of the modes of material nature. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi, ahaṅkāra-vimūḍhātmā. This is called false egotism: "I am something." "I am Napoleon Bonaparte," "I am Mussolini," "I am Hitler." This is ahaṅkāra-vimūḍhātmā. Fool, rascal. They are thinking like that. "No freedom, sir. No freedom."

prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate

Being puffed up with false prestige, he's thinking, "I am something. I can do something, I am . . ." This is the disease.

So for them, these newspapers are very useful. But one who is fixed up in ātma-tattvam, Bhāgavata, "I am Brahman. I am not anything of this material world," for them, there is no need of this so-called news of newspaper. There is no need. Simply they should try to understand Kṛṣṇa. That is the only business. There is no other business. And as soon as you understand Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa assures, janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ (BG 4.9). If you simply try to under . . . "Here is Kṛṣṇa." If you simply try to understand Kṛṣṇa . . . and how you'll understand? By service. By service. Kṛṣṇa has agreed that, "I'll accept your service." Therefore He has come. You cannot serve Kṛṣṇa in His universal form. Now Kṛṣṇa has agreed, as you have got limited potency, you can touch Kṛṣṇa. You can touch His lotus feet. You can make dress for Kṛṣṇa with devotion. You can put the dress on Kṛṣṇa. You can prepare, according to your capacity, foodstuff. You can offer to Kṛṣṇa, so Kṛṣṇa will eat. He says:

patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ
yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad aham aśnāmi
(BG 9.26).

So Kṛṣṇa is so kind that He, although He is all-pervading, universal, He has agreed to accept your service just to give you liberation from this misunderstanding, no ātma-tattvam. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, that Kṛṣṇa, God, is great. How great He is, you cannot imagine. But still, He has agreed to accept your service, becoming small. That is greatness. In the material world, if something is big, very big, he cannot become, or it cannot become small. Just like, say, for . . . elephant is very big animal. You ask the elephant, "Please become like an ant." "Oh, that is not possible, sir. That is not possible." Bu t God is so great that although He's universal, He can enter into the atom. That is . . . aṇor aṇīyān mahato mahīyān: "Greater than the greatest, smaller than the smallest." That is God. Aṇor aṇīyān mahato . . . aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu . . . in the Brahma-saṁhitā it is said,

eko 'py asau racayituṁ jagad-aṇḍa-koṭiṁ
yac-chaktir asti jagad-aṇḍa-cayā yad-antaḥ
(Bs. 5.35)

Eko 'py asau. One portion of Kṛṣṇa, Paramātmā. Just to create this material world, He has entered in the mahat-tattva as Mahā-Viṣṇu, and He has entered within the universe as Garbhodakaśāyī-Viṣṇu, He has entered everyone's heart as Supersoul, Kṣīrodakaśāyī-Viṣṇu, and He has entered into the atom—although He is so great. So it is Kṛṣṇa's mercy that He can become smaller than the smallest and the greater than the greatest.

So we cannot capture the greater than the greatest. That is not possible. Therefore it is His kindness that He has become just to be handled by you. This is called arcā-mūrti, arcā-vigraha. The Deity worship means arcā-vigraha. Because the devotional service, one of the item of devotional service: arcanam.

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
sakhyam ātma-nivedanam
(SB 7.5.23)

So you hear about Kṛṣṇa, you chant about Kṛṣṇa, you memorize or remember about Kṛṣṇa. You worship Kṛṣṇa, this Deity, arcanam. You offer prayers to Kṛṣṇa. There are nine different ways. So you just try to understand Kṛṣṇa in nine processes or either of, some of the processes, or one process only, Kṛṣṇa will agree. Kṛṣṇa is so kind. And as soon as you understand Kṛṣṇa, His nature, then actually you become liberated. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya (BG 4.9). This is the process. Real problem is how to get out of this material existence. If we remain attached to this material existence, either in this body or in the society or in the nationalism or in the greater, greater, greater—you make greater—but that is your bondage.

So one should be careful to understand the position of the soul, and how he can go back to home, back to Godhead, again meet the Supersoul, Kṛṣṇa, and live there permanently with blissful life and full of knowledge. This is wanted.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya Prabhupāda. (end)