680709 - Lecture SB 07.09.10 - Montreal

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



680709SB-MONTREAL - July 09, 1968 - 45:18 Minutes



Prabhupāda: (leads singing of Govindam, devotees repeat)

...tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
govindam Adi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
govindam Adi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

Thank you.

So Prahlāda Mahārāja has decided that any material qualification is not, I mean to say, the prerogative or any preferential admission or fee for entering into the kingdom of God. So he is explaining furthermore how it is so. He says,

viprād dvi-ṣaḍ-guṇa-yutād aravinda-nābha-
pādāravinda-vimukhāt śvapacaṁ variṣṭham
manye tad-arpita-mano-vacanehitārtha-
prāṇaṁ punāti sa kulaṁ na tu bhūrimānaḥ
(SB 7.9.10)

Prahlāda Mahārāja says, "I think..." Whatever he thinks is right, because he is a great devotee. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). The Vedic literatures indicate that you have to follow the footprints of great personalities, devotees. Tarko apratiṣṭhaḥ. If you want to understand the Absolute Truth by your argument and logic, oh, it is not possible. Because our argument, logic, may be defeated by another man. Another man's argument may be defeated by another man. Because all of us, we are limited. Whatever qualification we have got, they are all limited, and there is greater and greatest, comparative, superlative degree in every field of activities.

So that is not the way. Tarko apratiṣṭhaḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). If you want to understand the Absolute Truth by your arguments, teeny arguments, it is not possible. Tarko apratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnam. Śrutayo means scriptures. If you want to understand the Absolute Truth by studying different scriptures... Just like the Hindus have got their different scriptures.

They have got four Vedas, eighteen Purāṇas, Mahābhārata, Rāmāyaṇa, Vedānta-sūtra, 108 Upaniṣads, so many, similarly, in other countries also, they have got Bible or Buddhist literature or Muhammadan. They are all scriptures. But you cannot conclude about the Absolute Truth simply by studying scriptures. It is not possible.

Śrutayor vibhinnaḥ. Vibhinnaḥ means there are different... Every scripture is made according to the time, atmosphere, persons—so many things there are, conditional. Therefore we sometimes find difference in one scripture from another. That is due to circumstances. So śrutayor vibhinnā nāsau munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. So far philosophers, great thinkers, muni—muni means great thinker—they have got their different theses. One muni, thinker, or philosopher, is trying to defeat another philosopher. This is going on.

So that is also not the way to understand the Absolute Truth; neither by argument nor by study of scriptures, nor by following different kinds of thinkers and philosophers. Why? Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitam guhāyāṁ (Mahābhārata, Vana-parva 313.117). The essence of spiritual realization is very secret and confidential. Therefore Lord Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā that "I am... Just now I am speaking to you the most confidential part of knowledge." Sarva-guhyatamaṁ. "Why You are speaking to me the most confidential...?" "Because you are My very dear friend." And what is that? Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66), "Give up everything. Simply surrender unto Me."

So the Vedas indicate therefore that mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). If you want to understand the Absolute Truth, then you have to follow great personalities, great devotees. Just like in the Western world, Lord Jesus Christ, you have to follow his principles. That is all right, his Ten Commandments. But we do not follow. We simply fight: "Oh, I am Christian, you are Hindu," "I am Muhammadan," "I am this." Nobody tries to follow. You see? That is not the way. You have to follow. If you believe in certain personality... Of course, not believe, not blind believing; he must be authority.

Therefore in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam they have indicated twelve authorities. According to Vedic version, there are twelve authorities, and one of them is Prahlāda Mahārāja. The twelve authorities are,

svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ
kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ
prahlādo janako bhīṣmo
balir vaiyāsakir vayam
(SB 6.3.20)

This was explained by Yamarāja to his followers, that there are twelve authorities. So if one has to know the secret of spiritual realization, then one has to follow either of these twelve authorities.

So Prahlāda Mahārāja is one of the authority. Therefore I say, when Prahlāda Mahārāja says manye, "I think," it has to be taken as authoritative statement. We have to follow. If we follow the footprints of great personalities, then there is no danger. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Just like in the villages there is a track. One who follows that track, he is not lost. He... Similarly, if we follow the track of mahājana on which great personality has traversed, then we'll not fall.

So Prahlāda Mahārāja, he says, "I think." So whatever he thinks, we have to accept. That is very nice. And what he thinks? He thinks, manye viprād dvi-ṣaḍ-guṇa-yutād aravinda-nābha pādāravinda-vimukhāt, śvapacaṁ variṣṭham (SB 7.9.10). He says that "If a brāhmaṇa..." Brāhmaṇa is considered to be the highest qualified man in the human society. Why? Because he has got twelve qualification. We don't speak brāhmaṇa by birth.

Brāhmaṇa does not become by birth. Brāhmaṇa is a qualification. That is the injunction of Vedic literatures. The most intelligent man is called brāhmaṇa. And how his intelligence is exhibited? There are twelve qualities. If you find those twelve qualities in any person... It doesn't matter whether it is in India or in Czechoslovakia or anywhere. Simply you have to find out whether that man is qualified.

These qualifications are stated in Bhagavad-gītā also, satyam śaucam sama dama titikṣā ārjava,

jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ
brahma-karma svabhāva-jam
(BG 18.42).

If a person is a brāhmaṇa, then his natural qualification will be like this. What is that? Satyam: he is truthful. In any circumstances he will be truthful. Even to an enemy he will disclose the secret, "This is the fact." That is truthfulness, not that I am very truthful, but when my interest is jeopardized, I tell lie. That is not truthfulness. Truthfulness means at any circumstances one will speak the plain truth. That is truthfulness. Satya śama.

Satya śaucam. Śaucam, cleanliness. There are two kinds of cleanliness: external and internal. External cleanliness by taking bath with soap and other cleansing material... Of course, in India, the brāhmaṇas, they take... They cleanse themselves externally at least three times a day: in the morning, early in the morning; at noon before taking lunch; and in the evening before going to the temple. Tri-sandhyā. There are so many rules and regulation for becoming cleansed. This is external cleanliness. And there is internal cleanliness. The internal cleanliness is this chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ (CC Antya 20.12, Śikṣāṣṭaka 1), cleansing the heart. So satya śaucam and śama, equilibrium of the mind, not to become disturbed in any circumstances. That is called śama.

Dama. Dama means controlling the senses. Every one of us, we are all controlled by the senses. But one has to become the controller of the senses. That is brāhmaṇa. That is svāmī. Svāmī or gosvāmī means who is controller of the senses. My tongue wants to eat something, and if I say, "No, you cannot eat this," then... My eyes see something. I say, "No, you cannot see this." My hand wants to touch something.

I say, "No, you cannot do this." My legs want to go somewhere. I say, "No, you cannot do this." When one is in full control of the senses, he is called svāmī. Svāmī is not a title; it is a qualification. It is a qualification, and it is attained by a brāhmaṇa, one who is already advanced in brahminical qualification by cleansing.

Then... And truthfulness. Then this qualification also is there, controller. And when one is completely controller of the senses, or when one is actually svāmī or gosvāmī... There is no difference between these two words. Svāmī, svāmī means controller, and gosvāmī is still clearer. Go means senses, controller of the senses.

So Rūpa Gosvāmī says who can be a spiritual master. So he has given specifically this definition, that one who has got controls over the tongue, over the speech, over the mind, over the belly, and over the genital and over the anger. If anyone has control over these six things, then he can become spiritual master. Pṛthiviṁ sa śiṣyāt (NOI 1), "He is allowed to make disciples all over the world." Otherwise not. These are the qualification of brāhmaṇa. Satyam śaucam śama dama titikṣā (BG 18.42). Titikṣā means tolerance.

Just like in your Western countries, Lord Jesus Christ, he was being crucified. He tolerated. He never cursed even. He, rather, begged from God, "My God, these people do not know what they are doing. Please excuse them." This is toleration. So satyam śaucam sama dama titikṣā. Toleration. Caitanya Mahāprabhu has instructed, tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā (CC Antya 20.21, Śikṣāṣṭaka 3). Tolerance. What kind of tolerance? Tolerance like the straw in the street, like the tree. Amāninā mānadena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ. There are so many instances. Let us finish it briefly.

So śaucam..., satyaṁ śaucaṁ śamaṁ damaṁ titikṣā ārjavam. Simplicity. A brāhmaṇa should be very simple, not gorgeous. He wants to live, so he wants to eat something, not for the taste of the tongue but just to keep the body and soul together. He must eat nice things. There are nice things—grains, fruits, milk. Why should he take meat? If there are, by nature's products, so many nice things, why one should kill another animal? Desires, of course. (indistinct) Titikṣā, ārjavam, and jṣānam (BG 18.42). Not that simply become qualified, but these qualification are stepping stone to jṣānam. Jṣānam means knowledge.

And vijṣānam. Vijṣānam means practical application. Just like in the science class there is theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge. Theoretical knowledge—if you mix hydrogen and oxygen gas, there is water. But we have to experiment it in the laboratory, mix so many parts of hydrogen and so many parts of oxygen, and actually, when we see there is water, then your knowledge is perfect. So not theoretical knowledge but practical application. Jṣānam, vijṣānam and āstikyam. Āstikyam means faith in God, faith in scripture. That is called āstikyam. According to Vedic version, āstikyam means faith in the Vedas. Nobody can refute the Vedas. That is called faith: no argument.

A practical example... This practical example is given by Lord Caitanya. It is very nice. In India the cow dung is accepted as pure, although the Vedic injunction is that if you touch stool of an animal, you have to take bath to purify yourself, cleanse yourself. Of course, we see in New York City that the stool of dog is thrown all over the street, and we are touching, but we have no opportunity to take bath. But it is, according to Vedic injunction, if you touch stool of an animal, then you have to take bath immediately.

Therefore this is a system. When you go to the Deity room, you should change your cloth, because I do not know what things I have touched in the street, so better to change the cloth. And still better to cleanse, to take bath. That is the system. Anyway, to touch the stool of an animal makes one unclean; therefore one has to take bath or purify himself. That is the system. But the Veda says the stool of cow is purified. The stool of cow is purified.

Now, practically, in India they accept it, and it has been found by chemical examination that the cow dung contains all antiseptic property. That is a fact. One Dr. Goshal, he analyzed in his laboratory, "Why this Vedic injunction is the stool of cow, or cow dung, is pure?" So he analyzed, and he found it that the stool of cow, cow dung, is full of antiseptic properties. So this is called faith or theistic, to take the injunction of the scripture as it is, without any reformation. That is called āstikyam.

There is another example. Just like the Buddhism. Buddhism was originated in India. Lord Buddha was a Hindu, and he was a prince, and still, Buddhism was not accepted by the Indians. Why? Because the Buddhism decried the Vedas. Nindasi yajṣa-vidher ahaha śruti-jātaṁ (Śrī Daśāvatāra Stotra 7). Śruti means Veda. So āstikyam means to have full faith in the orders of the scripture. This is also one of the qualification of a brāhmaṇa. Jṣānam vijṣānam āstikyam brahmā-karma svabhāva-jaṁ (BG 18.42). These are the natural qualification of a brāhmaṇa.

So Prahlāda Mahārāja says that viprād dvi-ṣad-guṇa-yutādaravinda-nabha. Even a brāhmaṇa, qualified brāhmaṇa who has all these brahminical qualification, but he is not a devotee of the Lord... There are many good, qualified persons, but they do not accept the subordination of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Materially, one may be very much highly qualified. Academically, one may be very highly qualified. But if one is not a believer, faithful, or is not accepting the existence of God, or God the Supreme, he is called atheist.

And Prahlāda Mahārāja does not say atheist, but he says that "Even one has got all these good qualifications, but if he is not qualified with the faith in God, or not becoming a devotee of God, then he is not qualified. He is rejected." You may take his qualification in consideration, but Prahlāda Mahārāja says he is rejected from Kṛṣṇa consciousness for that one disqualification, that he is not a devotee of God.

Similarly, in other places it is also confirmed that,

yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiṣcanā
sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ
(SB 5.18.12)

"If one is simply unflinching faithful devotee of the Lord, then he develops all the good qualification of demigods." Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā: "If one is not devotee of the Lord, then he has no good qualification." Why? Because manorathenāsato dhāvato bahiḥ: "Because he is hovering on the mental plane." And because he is hovering on the mental plane—the mind's business is to change—so he will change from one platform to another, another platform to another. He has no fixed idea; therefore his qualification has no value.

In several places... In the Bhagavad-gītā Lord Kṛṣṇa says, api cet su-durācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk (BG 9.30), "If a person is found even unclean or not very well behaved but he has got unflinching faith in Me, Kṛṣṇa," sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ, "oh, he is sādhu. He is saintly person." He is saintly because that one qualification, that he has full faith in God, Kṛṣṇa, that one qualification makes him a saintly person. Others may have all the good qualification, but simply for one minor godlessness, he is nonqualified.

So Prahlāda Mahārāja confirms the same statement. Prahlāda Mahārāja is also a sādhu, because he is a devotee. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura has said that if you want to make concrete progress in spiritual life, then you have to corroborate the statement of the scriptures, the statements of saintly person, and statement of the spiritual master—three things. Why three things? Because a spiritual master means he does not place anything which is not in the scriptures.

He does not say that "My theory is like this." That is not a spiritual master. Similarly, sādhu, saintly person, also does not say anything which is not mentioned in the scriptures. He does not manufacture anything by mental concoction. And what is śāstra, scriptures? They are statement of different saintly persons and spiritual masters.

Therefore one has to corroborate these three things: scriptures, and statement of saintly persons, and statement of spiritual master. The spiritual master is via media. The disciple, if he cannot understand the statement of the scriptures or any saintly person, he submits his doubts before the spiritual master and he clears it. In this way we have to make progress.

So Prahlāda Mahārāja says that a person, even if he is a brāhmaṇa with good qualification, if he is not a devotee of the Lord, then he is good for nothing. He says, "He is good for nothing." Viprād dvi-ṣad-guṇa-yutāt. And then who is good? Now, śvapacaṁ variṣṭham. Better than him, even a person is born of a very low family... In India it is considered according to Vedic, that low family is considered one who eats the dog, dog-eaters. Of course, there are many kinds of flesh-eaters, but when a man becomes the eater of dog flesh, he is considered to be very low. So śvapacaṁ variṣṭham.

So there is a class in India, they are called caṇḍāla. Everywhere there is. They eat dog flesh. So Prahlāda Mahārāja says, "It doesn't matter. But if he is a devotee of Lord, he is better than that brāhmaṇa, that brāhmaṇa with good qualifications. And he, although he is born of a low family..." Śvapacaṁ variṣṭham. Why he is variṣṭham? Now, manye tad-arpita-mano: "Because his mind and attention is always engaged in the service of the Lord." That is his qualification. That is making him purified in every moment.

Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ-kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ (SB 1.2.17). Now, this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which is full of the narration and topics of the Lord and His devotees... So devotees mean one who talks about God, and God means His pastime with His devotees. Anyway, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam means the topics of the Lord, God. So Kṛṣṇa is within you. According to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, śṛṇvatām sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇa, those who are hearing about God, or Kṛṣṇa. And what sort of those topics? Now, puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ. One who is narrating and one who is hearing, both of them are being purified. Puṇya. Puṇya means pious, piety.

So at least those who are hearing this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, it is so nice that he is being purified. It is not that all of you are my students, or we are not..., we don't claim that we have become fully purified, but we have accepted the purificatory process, Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

So anyone who hears this chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa and kindly attends this class, he is also purified. Śṛnvatām sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-tanaḥ (SB 1.2.17). Kīrtana. This chanting is so nice that it makes people, one who is hearing, purified. So a person who is always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, always talking of Kṛṣṇa, then just imagine how much purified he is becoming.

So puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ, hṛdy antaḥ stho hy abhadrāṇi vidhunoti suhṛt satyam. The Lord is friend of the devotee, and as soon as He sees—He is within you—that you are engaged in hearing about Him, He helps you. How He helps you? He cleanses your heart. Therefore a person, although he is born of low family, because he is thinking of Kṛṣṇa, or God, always, oh, he is being purified.

Prahlāda Mahārāja gives us evidence that manye tad-arpita-manaḥ. Because he has placed his life, he has placed his endeavor, everything for Kṛṣṇa, by mind, by his body, by activities, therefore prāṇaṁ punāti sa kulaṁ: he is purifying not only himself but his whole family. This is a prerogative. If a boy becomes a devotee, the whole family becomes purified. Sva-kulaṁ. The whole family becomes purified. What best service he can give otherwise than by becoming the devotee of Lord? That is the best service to his father, mother, forefathers, grandfather, everyone. That we will find in this Prahlāda Mahārāja said, sva-kulaṁ.

And na tu bhūrimānaḥ. But a person who is simply proud of his material qualification, bhūrimānaḥ... Bhūrimānaḥ means puffed up, Mr., Dr. Frog, puffed up, "Oh, I am such and such. I am such and such." So he cannot purify himself, what to speak of his family. No. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so nice that if one becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, he purifies himself. Never mind wherever he is born; it doesn't matter. He is more than a brāhmaṇa, viprād dvi-ṣaḍ-guṇa, with all the qualifications. This is certified by Prahlāda Mahārāja. We have to accept it.

Nobody can say that this Kṛṣṇa consciousness... There are many so-called, I mean to say, brāhmaṇas. They may say like that, that "How Kṛṣṇa conscious can be spread up in the Western countries?" No. That is not the fact. That fact, as it is said by Prahlāda Mahārāja: even the lowest of the lowest can be purified. There are many other statements. Kirāta-hūṇāndhra-pulinda-pulkaśā ābhīra-śumbhā (SB 2.4.18). The list has been given. So the Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so nice that anyone who takes to this principle, he becomes greater than the highly qualified brāhmaṇa. That is the statement of Prahlāda Mahārāja.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Hare Kṛṣṇa. (break)

Prabhupāda: ...questions? (break)

Guest: ...Hare Kṛṣṇa, I don't really wish to do it. If you don't believe it, and you do it...

Prabhupāda: Still, he'll be purified. Just like if you catch fire...

Guest: How many minutes do you recommend a day? How many minutes do you chant?

Prabhupāda: Constantly, without any cessation. Is it very difficult? You can chant while you are walking in the street, "Hare Kṛṣṇa." Who checks you? There is no tax, there is no price, and if there is some gain, why don't you try it? If there is any gain by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, oh, it is better to give it a trial. We are not charging anything; the government is not taxing anything. You can chant: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Just see the result. At least for one week you chant. It is very nice thing.

One does not require to be highly educated or very rich or very beautiful or very famous. No. Anyone. Anyone. Simply God has given us this tongue, we can vibrate nicely. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, just see the result. I think one of our students, Śrīman Hayagrīva brahmacārī, he will give you a nice experience, when he first came here in this class and chanted on the way, how did he feel. There are many instances. Yes.

So our only appeal to you, all people of the world, that we are embarrassed with so many problems. So we say this is the only solution. There is no price; there is no tax; there is no, I mean to say, imposition of previous qualification. Simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. This is our propaganda. And see the result. Sixteen words: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare. And...

On the whole, there are three words only: Hare, Kṛṣṇa and Rāma. So these three words, they are nicely set up in sixteen words: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma... So we request everyone to chant this transcendental vibration and see the result. There is no question that you have to change your religion, you have to change your dress, change your occupation. No. Simply go on chanting.

(pause) (break) ...pratyakṣa avagamaṁ dharmyaṁ su-sukhaṁ kartum avyayam (BG 9.2). In the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated that this, this process of devotional service to the Lord, is pratyakṣa avagamaṁ dharmyaṁ. There are many types of religious principles or religiousness, but here is the religion which you can directly perceive. Which you can directly perceive.

Pratyakṣa avagamaṁ dharmyaṁ. And su-sukhaṁ. Su-sukhaṁ means very easy to perform. Very easy. Anyone, even a child, can perform. Su-sukhaṁ kartum avyayam. Avyayam means imperishable. If you chant for a minute, it will never go in vain. Avyayam. It will never go in vain. A great opportunity.

So we should take this opportunity. Pratyakṣa ava... Rāja-vidyā rāja-guhyam (BG 9.2). This is called rāja-vidyā, the knowledge, the king of all knowledge. Rāja-guhyam: the king of all confidential things. Rāja-vidyā rāja-guhyaṁ pavitraṁ paramam idam, and very pure, and sublime.

Pratyakṣa avagamaṁ dharmyaṁ: and it is directly perceived; su-sukham, and very easy to perform; avyayam, never to be destroyed. Whatever you do, that is your asset. If you do one percent, that is your asset. So actually it is so. So our request is that you take up this chanting and be happy.

So, let us chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. (kīrtana) (break) (end)