760615 - Lecture SB 06.01.49 - Detroit

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

760615SB-DETROIT - June 15, 1976 -27.46 Minutes

Pradyumna: ...te vāsudevāya. 6.1.49. (leads chanting, etc.)

yathājñas tamasā yukta
upāste vyaktam eva hi
na veda pūrvam aparaṁ
naṣṭa-janma-smṛtis tathā
(SB 6.1.49)

Translation: (01:54) "As a sleeping person acts according to the body manifested in his dreams and accepts it to be himself, so one identifies with his present body, which he acquired because of his past religious or irreligious actions, and is unable to know his past or future lives." (break)


yathājñas tamasā yukta
upāste vyaktam eva hi
na veda pūrvam aparaṁ
naṣṭa-janma-smṛtis tathā
(SB 6.1.49)

So ignorance, a very good example is given here, that in dream we forget everything, that "I am Mr. Such-and-such, I am inhabitant of such and such place"—everything forgotten. And again when we are awakened, we forget about the dream. This is our daily experience. But in my awakening stage or dreaming stage, I am seeing both the activities. In the dream, I am the seer, and so-called awake, I am the seer. So I, the spirit soul, experiencing, I remain the same, but circumstances change. Similarly, in our previous birth, what I was, what you were, we cannot remember. Similarly, you do not know what you are going to become next. But it is a fact that I am, as spirit soul, I am eternal, present. I was present in the past, I am present in the present time, and I'll continue to be present in future.

That is explained in Bhagavad-gītā, that "Arjuna, yourself, Myself, and all these persons who have assembled in this battlefield, all of us, we were existing before, we are existing now, and we shall continue to exist." Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). This is the first, preliminary knowledge of understanding spiritual life, that "I am eternal." Na jāyate na mriyate vā kadācin. As spirit soul, I do not take birth, neither I do die. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre. I am not finished with the destruction of this material body. That is going on already. My childhood body is destroyed now. You cannot find out where is that body. My youthhood body, that is destroyed. We cannot find out anymore. So in this way, this body will be also destroyed, and we shall get another body. Tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati (BG 2.13). In this way we are changing body, one after another. So why there are different types of body? That means the living entity, spirit soul, he is contacting different types of material modes of nature. And according to that, we are developing a gross body. The transmigration of the soul means the gross body is lost. Because anything material, it will be finished. That is the nature of material, anything material: it will be finished. But the spirit soul is not finished.

So we have got this body according to our past work. Karmaṇā daivā-netreṇa jantra jantor deha upapatti (SB 3.31.1). How one gets a particular type of body? Because according to his past karma. Nature will automatically act. Just like if you contact some contaminous disease, nature will act. You will have to undergo the process of disease or develop that disease. So nature's law is working so nicely. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ (BG 3.27). Everything is being done by the laws of nature. So human body, when we are civilized, we should know that "Why I am suffering?" although under the spell of māyā we take suffering as enjoyment. That is called māyā. Māyā means what is not. We are thinking we are enjoying, but actually we are suffering. In this material body we have to suffer. Mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ (BG 2.14). This example is given by Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā, that suffering means on account of this body. There is pinching cold, scorching heat. We feel these things on account of this body. At a certain circumstances, we feel pain; at a certain circumstance we feel happy. But actually, this so-called happiness and distress is due to the body.

mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
āgamāpāyino 'nityās
tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata
(BG 2.14)

Kṛṣṇa has advised that this material happiness and distress, they are on account of this body. They come and go. They do not stay. So long we are in this material world, this happiness and distress will come and go. Just like seasonal changes: it does not stay. It comes and again goes away. So we should not be disturbed. (aside:) If you want to stand, you can stand. It comes and goes. We should not be disturbed. Our real business is to realize ourself, self-realization. That must go on. It must not stop. That is human life. Suffering and... So-called suffering, distress, that will go on so long we have got this body. But we must come to the knowledge that "I am..., I have got this body due to my past activities." That is knowledge. Karmaṇā daivā-netreṇa (SB 3.31.1).

So a sensible man should consider: "Is it not possible to stop this material body? Because I am spirit soul, it is simply covering." Here, that is human life: how to stop this contamination of this material body. So, so long we shall work irresponsibly,

nūnaṁ pramattaḥ kurute vikarma
yad indriya-prītaya āpṛnoti
na sādhu manye yata ātmano 'yam
asann api kleśada asa dehaḥ
(SB 5.5.4)

We do not understand that this deha, this body, is always kleśada. Kleśada means giving pains. For the time being, we may feel some pleasure, but actually it is a reservoir of pain, not pleasure. The example is given in this connection... Formerly, this was done by the government servants to criminal, to take a man in the middle of the river and drown him, and catching his hair, and when he's almost suffocating, then they again draw from the water, and he takes little rest, and again put him into the water. So that was the system of punishment. Similarly, whatever little pleasure we are feeling, that is exactly similarly the man, when he's taken from the water, that's all. Again he's to be drowned. This material world is like that.

Therefore Sanātana Gosvāmī, he was minister of the then Muhammadan government. So he presented himself to Caitanya Mahāprabhu that ke āmi, kene āmāya jāre tāpa-traya (CC Madhya 20.102). This is the intelligence, that "I am undergoing constantly some sort of distresses due to this body, due to this mind, due to distresses inflicted by other living entities, and due to natural disturbances. A combination of distresses. But I don't want all these distresses." Everyone is aware. He doesn't want distresses, but it is enforced. This should be the question, to... When one accepts the spiritual master... Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Sanātana Gosvāmī, he is by his practical example, he said that one should go and enquire from the spiritual master that "Why I am in this condition of life, always suffering?" Tri-tāpa yātanā.

But we have become so dull, like the animals. The animals, they cannot question. They are suffering. Everyone knows animal life is full of suffering, but they cannot realize. But a human being can realize. And when the question comes, when he becomes intelligent enough that "Why I am suffering?" then his human life begins. Otherwise, he is animal. The animal cannot inquire. An animal is being taken to the slaughterhouse, but he cannot question or inquire that "Why I am taken by force in this slaughterhouse?" That is animal. But if you take one human being to be killed, if he understands, he'll make a great noise, that "This man is going, taking me. Why I am being...," so on, so on. Yes. That is human life. That is the distinction between human life and animal life, that one can understand that "Why I am put into this condition of suffering?" This is called brahma-jijñāsā. That is the beginning of Vedānta philosophy: athāto brahma jijñāsā. Then we understand, one after another.

So we should take advantage. Not that we shall live like animal, without any inquiry, without finding out the remedy, how to stop this miserable condition of life. We are actually trying. Everyone is working so hard, struggle for existence. He is trying. Why one is trying to get money? Because he thinks that "If I get money, then the distressed condition in which I am suffering, it can be mitigated." So the struggle for existence is going on. Everyone is trying to become happy. But that is not in the material way. Material way, we are trying to get happiness, that means sense gratification. That is not happiness. Happiness means spiritual happiness. That is happiness. This material happiness is temporary. That is not happiness, but perverted happiness. It is exemplified just like we are trying to find out water in the desert. Actually in the desert there is no water, but an animal, he sees that there is water in the desert, as we also see. But we are human being. We know in the desert there is no water, it is a reflection of the sunshine. But animal does not know. He's thirsty, he looks after the water in the desert. So this is the distinction between animal and human life.

So by understanding knowledge, real life, from sādhu-śāstra-guru-vākya, by approaching saintly persons, sādhu... Śāstra means authorized scriptures. Sādhu, śāstra and guru, and spiritual master, this is the source of knowledge. And the Vedic injunction is tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). In order to learn that higher, transcendental platform of knowledge, one should approach a guru, bona fide guru, who knows.

tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ
(BG 4.34)

This is the process.


yathājñas tamasā yukta
upāste vyaktam eva hi
na veda pūrvam aparaṁ
naṣṭa-janma-smṛtis tathā
(SB 6.1.49)

Naṣṭa-janma-smṛti. We are changing the circumstances, naṣṭa-janma-smṛti. As soon as one form of body is finished... Death means forgetfulness. Death means forgetfulness. Everyone is continuing life, but when one forgets the activities of this life and accepts another body, that is called death. Otherwise, a spirit soul has no death. So therefore we should be careful, that I have already got this body which is meant for suffering—more or less, it doesn't matter; there is suffering. A cat or dog is suffering more than a human being, but it does not mean that the human being is without suffering. That is not possible. Everyone is suffering. So in the human form of life we can inquire, "Why I am suffering." That is human being.

So śāstra says that you are already suffering, in any form of body. Either you are President Nixon or a man in the street, you are already suffering. That's a fact. Now you are suffering on account of this body. Nūnaṁ pramattaḥ kurute vikarma (SB 5.5.4). And still you are doing something which will cause to accept another material body. Nūnaṁ pramattaḥ kurute vikarma. And you are suffering because you indulged in your past life sense gratification, and you have got this body according to karma, and again, if you are engaged in sense gratification, do not try to elevate yourself from this platform of sense gratification, then you'll again suffer. You'll get, by nature's way, you'll get another body according to the desire. According to the mentality you create at the time of death, nature will supply you another body. And as soon as you get another body, your suffering begins. Your suffering immediately begins, even from the womb of the mother. As soon as the body is developed, the suffering is there. To remain in that compact bag and for so many months, hands and legs all tied up, cannot move, and nowadays there is risk of being killed also. There is so much suffering from the beginning of my body in the mother's womb. And then I come out, again suffering, again suffering. So one should have the sense that so long we shall go on accepting this material body, the sufferings will go on. We simply forget.

So this awakening of consciousness is possible simply by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. It is so simple thing. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12). If you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, then you'll understand. Ceto-darpaṇa. Suffering means there are so many dirty things within our heart. That is the cause of suffering. Just like a criminal: he has got the dirty things within the mind, that "If I get such and such things, I'll be happy." And he takes the risk of criminality at the risk of life. A burglar, a thief goes, he knows that "If I am captured, I'll be killed, I'll be punished, I'll be handed over to the police," and so on, so on, and still he goes and steals. Why? That is śāstra: nūnaṁ pramattaḥ, he has become mad after sense gratification. Nūnaṁ pramattaḥ. Pramattaḥ means mad. Why he's taking so much risk? Nūnaṁ pramattaḥ kurute vikarma yad indriya-prītayā (SB 5.5.4), simply for sense gratification. That's all. Simply for sense gratification.

So Ṛṣabhadeva said, "For only sense gratification, why you are accepting so much suffering, life after life? Now you have got this human form of life, you just try to rectify, that no more material body. This is human life." Tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyed sattvam (SB 5.5.1). "You purify your existence, tapa, by tapasya, by austerity, penances." Therefore in the human life you'll find so many tapasvīs undergoing tapasya. Voluntarily not accepting the so-called material pleasures, that is called tapasya. Tapo divyam. So tapo means undergo some austerities, penances, for divyam, for awakening your spiritual existence. Then your struggle for existence will stop. Tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyed sattvam (SB 5.5.1). Just like one man is infected with some disease. That is aśuddha, impure condition. So we try to make it purified by injection, by medicine. And similarly, we are getting repeatedly different types of body. Now we should purify this bodily existence. And that purification in this age, it is very, very simple: chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That's all. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's contribution. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam (CC Antya 20.12). If you chant this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, paraṁ vijāyate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam.

So very simple thing. There is no question of cast, creed, nationality, color, richness. No. Everyone has got the tongue, by the grace of God. Everyone can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. So just continue and be happy.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya. (end)