Collaborate with us to invoke and fully manifest Srila Prabhupada's Vani-presence.
750608 - Lecture SB 06.01.06-7 - Honolulu
Prabhupāda: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. (chants with devotees responding) (chants verse, word for word, with devotees responding)
- adhuneha mahā-bhāga
- yathaiva narakān naraḥ
- nānogra-yātanān neyāt
- tan me vyākhyātum arhasi
- (SB 6.1.6)
So Śukadeva Gosvāmī... The whole Bhāgavata is talking between the spiritual master and the disciple. Śukadeva Gosvāmī is the spiritual master, and Mahārāja Parīkṣit, king, is the disciple. At the time of his death he had only seven days remaining. He was aware...., he was aware that only seven days remaining. So Mahārāja Parīkṣit left his kingdom and sat down on the bank of the Ganges, and fortunately his spiritual master also came. So there was discussion on the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam for seven days.
This seven days' discussion is imitated by the professional Bhāgavata reciters in India. But that is not required. We have to hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam daily. Parīkṣit Mahārāja had only seven days left in his life; therefore he hurriedly finished the reading of Bhāgavatam. But, of course, he had seven days assured. We haven't got seven minute assured. We can die at any moment. Anyway, the recommendation is nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā. We should read Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam daily. Simply you go on reading. Nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā. Naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā (SB 1.2.18). We have no taste for reading and hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, but the taste will be created if we even by force sit down and attend Bhāgavata class. The taste will be created. How it will be created? Just like a person suffering from jaundice, if you give him sugar candy, it will be tasted by him as bitter. This is very practical example. He will say, the patient suffering from jaundice, he will say it is bitter. But sugar candy is not bitter. And at the same time, for jaundice-diseased man the sugar candy is the only medicine. If you give him sugar candy, water, sugarcane, then it will..., he will be cured very soon. And papaya. These things are recommended for jaundice patient. Similarly, the discussion on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam may not be liked by me in the beginning, but if we hear... Just like child does not want to go to school, but if you force him to go, gradually he will go automatically. This is the process.
So Śukadeva Gosvāmī is speaking Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and his disciple, Mahārāja Parīkṣit, was hearing. So at the end... This is the sixth chapter of... Sixth Canto. There are twelve Cantos of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and this is Sixth Canto. So at the end of the Fifth Canto the Parīkṣit Mahārāja was informed about the hellish planets. This universe, there are different types of planets. Yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi. Yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi-koṭiṣu aśeṣa-vasudhādi vibhūti-bhinnam (Bs. 5.40). This universe is one of the universes. There are millions of universes. We do not know. We do not know even one universe. We cannot study even one universe. They are... They were—not are—trying to go to the moon planet, but that has become a failure. From śāstra we understand that the moon planet is situated 1,600,000 miles away from the sun, and the sun is situated in the middle of the universe. And the total diameter from one circumference to the other of the universe, it is four billions of miles. So the sun is situated at the point of two billions of miles from the circumference of the universe, and above the sun planet, 1,600,000, there is the moon. And above that there is Venus, there is Jupiter, there is Mars—all difference of 1,600,000s of miles. So it is not possible to go to the moon planet, because first of all the sun is a little... According to the modern scientists' calculation it is 93,000,0000. Taking it, accepted, as 93,000,000's from this earthly planet, then again add 1,600,000, that means 94,600,000 miles away from the earth there is the moon planet. It is not possible. Therefore they are now silent. They cannot go there; neither ever they went there. This is the conclusion.
So that is a controversial point, controversial, but we have to see the result. According to Vedic culture, one has to judge by the result. Not by if you simply talk nonsense, one has to accept. What is the result? Suppose if one says that "I have done very good business. I have earned so much money I have got in the bank balance..." You can say all these thing. But one sees that a prosperous businessman has got a nice house, nice motorcar, his standard of living is very nice. But if he is loitering in the street, has no good dress, and if he advertises himself that "I am a very big businessman. I have got so much money," who will believe him? Similarly, this moon planet expedition is, up to this date, it is a failure. So how can I believe that they have gone there?
So this universe is fully described in the Fifth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. You will see it, where, which planet, where it is situated, what is the dimension, what kind of people live there. Everything is there. Similarly, there are description of the hellish planet, downwards. So that description of those planets, when Parīkṣit Mahārāja heard it that "These sinful men, they are suffering there; some of them being fried in boiling oil..." This description is there. Some of them put into the river which is full of germs and mosquitoes, and some of them are forced to embrace a iron, hot iron man, a hot iron woman. In this way there are many description. And Śukadeva Gosvāmī concluded, "Mahārāja, I have described a few of them. There are many thousands and thousand kinds of suffering." Parīkṣit Mahārāja is a Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇava means devotee. So he did not appreciate the suffering of the human being in such a way. That is a Vaiṣṇava's nature. Vaiṣṇava himself is very happy because he is in direct connection with Kṛṣṇa. He personally has no complaint, because a Vaiṣṇava is satisfied simply by serving Kṛṣṇa. That's all. He doesn't want anything.
Caitanya Mahāprabhu, at least, teaches us. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ kavitāṁ vā jagad-īśa kāmaye (CC Antya 20.29, Śikṣāṣṭaka 4). Dhanam means wealth, and janam means many followers or family members, big family, big factory. There are many businessmen, they are running on big factories, and thousands of men are working at his direction. This is also opulence. And to have great amount of money, that is also opulence. Dhanaṁ janam. And another a opulence, to have a very nice wife, beautiful, obedient, very pleasing. So these are material necessities. People generally aspire for these three things: wealth, many followers, and a good wife at home. But Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, na dhanam: "I don't want money." Just the opposite. Everyone wants money. He says, "No, I don't want money." Na dhanaṁ na janam: "I don't want many men to, as My followers." Just see opposite. Everyone wants. The politicians, the yogīs, the svāmīs, everyone wants, "There may be hundreds and thousands of my followers." But Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, "No, I don't want." Na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ kavitāṁ vā jagad-īśa kāmaye (CC Antya 20.29, Śikṣāṣṭaka 4). "Neither I want very nice, beautiful, obedient wife." Then what You want? Mama janmani janmanīśvare bhavatād bhaktir ahaitukī: "Life after life, let me remain a faithful servant of Your Lordship."
This is Vaiṣṇava. He doesn't want anything. Why he will want? If he becomes servant of Kṛṣṇa, then what does he want? Suppose if you become servant of a very, very big man, then what is the question of your want? This is intelligence. Any servant of any big man, he is bigger than his master, because he is given... Master is given so many varieties of food. Master takes little, and the balance the servants eat. (laughs) So where is his want? There is no question of want. Just try to become servant of God, and all your necessities will be sufficiently fulfilled. This is intelligence. Just like a rich man's child, does he want anything from father? No, he simply wants father, mother. The father, mother knows what does he want, how he will be happy. That is the duty of the father and mother. Similarly, this is very good intelligence: just to try to become the sincere servant of Kṛṣṇa. All your necessities of life will be sufficiently supplied. There is no question of asking.
Therefore intelligent devotee, they do not ask like the unintelligent devotee go to the church and pray to God, "Give us our daily bread." He's God's servant, and He will not get your bread? You have to ask from God? No. God is giving bread to the eight million other living entities. Birds, beast, tigers, elephants, they are not going to the church for asking bread. But they are getting it. So if God is supplying everyone food, why He shall not supply you? He is supplying. So we should not go to God for begging some material benefit. That is not actual devotion. We shall go to God for begging how one can be engaged in His service. That should be the begging: "Hare Kṛṣṇa," means... Hare means "O the energy of God, and Kṛṣṇa, O Kṛṣṇa, Lord Kṛṣṇa, please engage me in Your service." This is Hare Kṛṣṇa.
- Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare
- Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
It is simply praying, "O my Lord Kṛṣṇa, O Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, Kṛṣṇa's energy, kindly engage me in Your service." That's all. Finished all business. This is Vaiṣṇava. So Vaiṣṇava has no necessity. He knows that "I have no necessity. My only business is to serve Kṛṣṇa." So he's happy in all condition.
So Parīkṣit Mahārāja is a Vaiṣṇava. From his childhood he is a Vaiṣṇava. So he has no unhappiness. But when he heard that so many sinful persons are going to the hell and they are suffering in this way, he became very sorry. That is Vaiṣṇava. Para-duḥkha-duḥkhī. He is unhappy by seeing others unhappy. He has personally no unhappiness, but he is para-duḥkha-duḥkhī. Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja. All the Vaiṣṇavas, you will see. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Caitanya Mahāprabhu,
- tyaktvā su-dustyaja-surepsita-rājya-lakṣmīṁ
- dharmiṣṭha ārya-vacasā yad agād araṇyam
- māyā-mṛgaṁ dayitayepsitam anvadhāvad
- vande mahā-puruṣa te caraṇāravindam
- (SB 11.5.34)
Caitanya Mahāprabhu was born in a very highly respectable brāhmaṇa family. He was personally very, very beautiful. His name is Gaurasundara. And very learned scholar. At the age of sixteen years He defeated a very learned scholar from Kashmir. So He was very influential. When He was twenty years old the Kazi broke the mṛdaṅga in saṅkīrtana. Kazi means the Mussulman magistrate. And He started the civil disobedience movement, and He called for one lakh of men, 100,000 men, to join the saṅkīrtana and go to the Kazi's house. Immediately it was done. Just see how much influential He was. So, so far material condition, He had His very affectionate mother. He was the only son of His mother; all brothers and sister died. And His wife was very... Lakṣmī-priya. Lakṣmī-priya died first, then He married, second time, Viṣṇu-priya. So very happy life. But He left. Tyaktvā... Surepsita-rājya-lakṣmīm (SB 11.5.34). He was so happy in His family life that even the demigods cannot expect such happiness. Surepsita. Sura means demigods. They had no so much happiness. Tyaktvā, but He gave up. Why? Māyā-mṛgaṁ dayitayepsitam anvadhāvat. He took this mission just to show mercy to the fallen conditioned souls who are suffering in this material world. That was His...
Similarly, the Gosvāmīs. Just like Rūpa Gosvāmī, he was prime minister in the government. And about him it is said that tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīṁ sadā tuccha-vat. He gave up such exalted post as minister of the government, chief minister in the government. And tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīm. As a minister, his association was with very big, big men, maṇḍala-pati. Maṇḍala-pati means very, very big leaders. Actually big merchant, big businessman, big industrialist, big politician, they used to visit him. So he gave up this company. Sadā tuccha-vat: "Eh, what is this nonsense? What is the use of meeting all these men?" Tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīṁ sadā succha-vat. And what they became? Bhūtvā dīna-gaṇeśakau karuṇayā kaupīna-kanthāśritau. Here is the Gosvāmīs' photo. You can see how they have become mendicant: a small loincloth, one waterpot only, that's all, finished, no possession. So, why? Bhūtvā dīna-gaṇeśadau karuṇayā. They wanted to show their mercy to the suffering humanity. So in this way they adopted change of life. That is Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇava personally has no demand for life, no unhappiness. He is completely satisfied with Kṛṣṇa. But he is unhappy by seeing other conditioned souls suffering. This is Vaiṣṇava. There are many example. Prahlāda Mahārāja also said the same thing.
So here also, Parīkṣit Mahārāja, he heard so many things, but he is very much perplexed that "How these suffering men who are put into this hellish condition of life, not all, some of them?" So he is asking, "My dear sir, you have explained so many things. They are very nice." Adhunā, "just now"; iha, "in this connection"; mahā-bhāga, "O the great fortunate"; mahā-bhāga yathaiva narakān naraḥ. Yathā eva, "and as"; "from this hellish condition," narakāt, "from the hell"; nara, the human being, nāna-ugra-yātanān... They are put into the hell means they are suffering very severe type of pains. Nāna-ugra-yātanān neyāt: "they become free." Tan me vyākhyātum arhasi: "Now, leaving aside all other topics, kindly let me know how these men can be delivered from this hellish condition of life." This is his praśna.
So we may declare very foolishly that we are independent. That is the foolishness of the modern civilization. They are not independent, nobody. Everyone is dependent. But because they are dependent and there are so many sufferings awaiting them for their so-called independent life, they do not believe in the next life. This is the, I mean to say, special feature of the modern civilization. They say, big, big professor, big, big leader, "No, there is no life after death. This is once we get, and finished." That is also another foolishness. Just like a child. A child, he knows that his body will be changed. Nobody will remain a baby. Nobody will remain a child. Nobody will remain a boy. Next life is awaiting. It is very simple philosophy. And then after this body, another body is waiting. That's a fact. And not only fact. If you cannot understand it—there is no difficulty in understanding—but the authority says, Kṛṣṇa says, tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ (BG 2.13). As we are changing from this body to that body, this body to that body, this body to that body, every moment... According to medical science, every moment we are changing body. That's a fact. But the changing is going so swiftly that we do not see how it is being changed. But if you come after some years... Just like we are seeing so many children, and if you come some years after, his father says, "This is the same child," oh, you will be sur... "Oh!" Because he has changed body. You will say, "Oh, you have become so big."
So it is a fact that we are changing body, and Kṛṣṇa says this example, that as we are changing even in this life the body, similarly we shall have to change this body. The authority says, and we are practical example is there. Why we should not believe in the next life? Even a child can understand. But they are trying to avoid next life. That is their philosophy. If there are next life, and next life one is going to put into the hell and suffering is there, to dismiss this problem they do not believe in next life. This is the real fact. But actually this is the fact. If you live irresponsibly, then you have to suffer. So not that all living entities are going to the hell, but some of them. Some of them. Because most of the living entities, they are less than the human being—8,400,000. So 8,000,000's they are below the human standard of life, human being. They are animals. Jalajā nava-lakṣāni sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati (Padma Purāṇa). Nine lakhs, hundred thousand in the water, different types of forms, body. Then insect... Then plants, trees, then insect, then birds, then beast, then human being. This is the evolution. So these 8,000,000 different forms of body below the human being, they are not punishable because they are animals. They have no intelligence. Then again, amongst the human being, those who are intelligent, those who are acting according to the Vedic instruction, they will not be also suffering. Those who are avoiding the instruction of the Vedas, they will be put into that hellish condition of life.
So this question was raised by Parīkṣit Mahārāja, that "You have already described." He did not disbelieve. He believed. Because he is Vaiṣṇava, he knows. And he is disciple of Śukadeva Gosvāmī, so he has thorough knowledge. Now he is anxious. This is the symptom of Vaiṣṇava, that he cannot see others are suffering. Therefore he takes. Just like Lord Jesus Christ, Vaiṣṇava. For others' suffering he agreed to be crucified. But the followers are so unfaithful, they have settled up that "Let Christ suffer for us, and let us go on committing sin." Very good conclusion. They love Christ so, that "My dear Christ, you suffer for our sinful activities and let us go on with our sinful activities." Christ says, "Thou shall not kill." They decided, "Let us kill on and on, and open scientific slaughterhouse. And if there is any sin, then Christ will suffer. That's all. He has taken the agency on suffering." Very good conclusion. No. The Vaiṣṇava can take the sufferings for you, but you should be sane, that "Why I shall put such and such Vaiṣṇava into suffering for my sinful activity? Let me stop this sinful activity." That is intelligent. Not that "I give the suffering portion to Christ, and let me go on committing all sinful activities." That is not... But that will not be. That is not a fact. Suppose one is very pet son of his father, and he commits murder, and if he thinks, "If there is any punishment my father will suffer," will it be done? Will it be done? When he is arrested, if he says, "No, you can release me. You can arrest my father, because I am very pet son of my father," so will the government will do that, that you have committed murder and your father will be arrested? No. This is quite unreasonable. You have committed murder, you must be hanged—nor your father nor your son nor your brother. This is the law. So that is the law. If you commit sinful life, then you must suffer, not anyone else. But we are thinking like that, that "Let me go on doing all nonsense, and somebody for me will suffer." No, that is not the law.
So here Parīkṣit Mahārāja does not raise such foolish question that "Who is suffering for..." He is suffering. One who has committed sinful life, he must suffer. That is the law. So the answer is, Śukadeva Gosvāmī,
- na ced ihaivāpacitiṁ yathāṁhasaḥ
- kṛtasya kuryāt mana-ukta-pāṇibhiḥ
- dhruvaṁ sa vai pretya narakān upaiti
- ye kīrtitā me bhavatas tigma-yātanāḥ
- (SB 6.1.7)
So Śukadeva Gosvāmī replied, "My dear king, the sinful activities must be atoned." There are three processes: karma, jñāna, bhakti. So yoga is within the jñāna. To improve our condition there are different processes. One is called karma. Just like generally people are trying to elevate his position, economic condition, working day and night very hard. Similarly, we can also work very hard for our future happiness. We can promote ourself in the heavenly planets and we can degrade ourself to the hellish planets also—both ways. Because as soon as we are engaged in karma, unknowingly or knowingly we commit some sinful activities. This is the position. Just like even if I do not like to kill any animal, still, while walking we are killing many animals, many ants on the street, unwillingly. So that is also taken into account. You cannot kill even an ant. So the karma, karma-kāṇḍa, is not very safe. Even if we want to act very piously, the danger is not over. There are many instances. There was one king. He was very charitable and he was giving cows, many cows to the brāhmaṇas, and... You will find this story in the Kṛṣṇa book. So there was some mistake. One brāhmaṇa was taking another brāhmaṇa's cows, and both of them fought and they persisted. The owner wanted, "I want this cow returned back." And the king offered that "Instead of this cow you take ten cows from me. You settle up." No, he would not do that. In this way there was some misunderstanding, and the brāhmaṇa cursed him, as a result of which he had to become an... What is called?
Prabhupāda: Lizard. Just see this karma-kāṇḍa. He had to become a lizard, that Kṛṣṇa delivered him. So this is karma-kāṇḍa. If there is little discrepancy, then there is great risk. Then jñāna-kāṇḍa. Jñāna-kāṇḍa means to understand things very properly. So jñāna-kāṇḍa is simply speculation, because there is no knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So that is also risky. So only bhakti-mārga is not risky. Bhakti-mārga means devotion, the path of devotional service. Because this material life means contamination of the three modes of material nature. Either you are on the goodness or in the passion or in ignorance, there is chance of falling down from one platform to another, so long you are on the material platform. But if you remain on the spiritual platform... Just like we are trying to keep you on the spiritual platform. That is bhakti-yoga—always engaged in devotional service. Then you are above all these material qualities. That is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā:
- māṁ ca vyabhicāriṇi
- bhakti-yogena yaḥ sevate
- sa guṇān samatītyaitān
- brahma-bhūyāya kalpate
- (BG 14.26)
Anyone who is fully, constantly, twenty-four hours engaged, avyabhicāriṇi... Avyabhicāriṇi, without any stoppage. Therefore I want that in our temple there should be program that we are always engaged in devotional service, twenty-four hours. But because we have got this material body we require a little rest, the minimum rest, as minimum as possible. Because the sleeping means waste of time. We are supposed to be engaged twenty-four hours in the service of the Lord, but as it is not possible, we have to sleep, take little rest, so that should be the minimum. Because the whole period sleeping means waste. So all these Gosvāmīs, they used to sleep not more than two hours. That was also not possible in some day; they were so busy in writing books and other...
So this should be minimized, and we should be engaged twenty-four hours. If we remain engaged in that way... We have got so many engagement. We are daily singing—I do not know whether you understand the meaning—śrī-vigrahārādhana-nitya-nānā-śṛṅgāra-tan-mandira mārjanādau, yuktasya bhaktāṁś ca niyuñjato 'pi vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam. We have got śrī-vigraha. The śrī-vigraha-sevā—all rising early in the morning, arrange for maṅgala āratrik, then dressing, then offering food, then āratrik, so many hours. The whole day can be used in that way. Then reading books, class, taking care of the temple. Tan-mandira-mārjanādau. Don't think that if one is engaged in the Deity worship and if one is engaged in the gardening work there is distinction. No. The one who is working as a gardener, he is as good as the one who is dressing the Deity, because it is absolute plane. There is no difference between... Just like in the material world, if one is working as manager and the other is working as menial servant there is difference of pay or difference of service. No. In the spiritual world there is no such thing. In the spiritual world even a small ant who is serving Kṛṣṇa by chance... Suppose if there is an ant and the flower is thrown into the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa and the ant kisses the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, he is as good as the pūjārī. This is spiritual world.
So we should give everyone chance how to serve Kṛṣṇa. Then he will remain on the upper platform. Samatītya. Atītya mean transcending. Etan guṇān. Etan guṇān means because the material world is complicated with the modes of material nature, so this is called guṇa. So anyone who is engaged constantly in devotional service, sa guṇān samatītyaitān (BG 14.26), he immediately transcends the influence of the material qualities. Sa guṇān samatītya etān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate.
So these things will be discussed, that "Such person is not meant for going to the hell." No. They are not meant. It is stated that such devotees, they will not in dream also see what is hellish condition of life, they are so, mean, guaranteed. So this hellish condition of life is meant for the persons who are rotting in these material modes of nature, and if you remain above the influence of material nature, always being engaged in devotional service... We have got varieties of service, and we have got such program. So if, some way or other, if we remain engaged always in devotional service, then there is no question of downfall or going to the hellish condition of life.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: Jaya Prabhupāda. (end)