721105 - Lecture NOD - Vrndavana

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



721105ND-VRNDAVAN - November 05, 1972 - 35:10 Minutes



Pradyumna: (reading:) "...committed criminal acts but is not yet arrested for them. Now, as soon as he is detected, arrest is awaiting for him..., is awaiting him. Similarly, for some of our sinful activities we are awaiting distresses in the future, and for others, which are mature, we are suffering at the present moment. In this way..."

Prabhupāda: Yes. This is the chain of accepting different types of bodies, one after another, according to the sinful activity. On the total, without being sinful, nobody accepts this material body. Because in the Bhagavad-gītā we understand, yeṣām anta-gataṁ pāpam: "One who has finished the reaction of his sinful activities," te dvandva-moha-nirmukta... (BG 7.28). Yeṣāṁ anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām...

Puṇya-karma. Puṇya-karma means..., the sublime puṇya-karma is devotional service. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam (SB 7.5.23). This is the topmost puṇya-karma. Because, as it is stated in the Bhāgavata, śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ (SB 1.2.17). Simply if we hear about Kṛṣṇa, that is puṇya. Even you do not understand, do not take it very seriously, if we simply give aural reception to the words of Kṛṣṇa, that activity itself is puṇya. Puṇya-śravaṇa kīrtanaḥ.

So one who has got, I mean, advanced in hearing about Kṛṣṇa, that is the result of multiforms of multivarieties of pious activities. Vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ (SB 1.2.16). Vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ is the resultant action... Kṛta-puṇya-puñjāḥ (SB 10.12.11). These words are used. Just like when the cowherds boys were playing with Kṛṣṇa, Śukadeva Gosvāmī said that "These boys are kṛta-puṇya-puñjāḥ. Heaps of pious activities they have performed; therefore they have got this chance of playing personally with the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

So, so long we are tinged with sinful activities, we have to accept different varieties of body, either the body of Lord Brahmā or the body of an ant, indragopa, a small microbic insect, yas tv indragopam athavendram aho sva-karma (Bs. 5.54). From this indragopa, the microscopic insect which is called indragopa insect, from this indragopa insect to the real Indra, the king of heaven, everyone is suffering or enjoying—actually it is suffering—the resultant action of his karma. It doesn't matter what kind of body a living entity has got, but the body itself is the symptom, is the sign that one is sinful. This is the conclusion of the śāstra. Because as soon as one is free from sinful activities, at that time he goes back to home, back to Godhead. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti (BG 4.9).

So our this material body is achieved due to sinful activities. And sinful activities are performed due to ignorance. Therefore knowledge is essential. Jñāna-vairāgya. These two things are essential in human life: knowledge and renunciation. Renunciation means sinful activities.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "In this way there is a chain of sinful activities and their concomitant distresses, and the conditioned soul is suffering life after life due to these sins. He is suffering in the present life the results of sinful activities from his past life, and he is meanwhile creating further sufferings for his future life. Mature sinful activities are exhibited if one is suffering from some chronic disease, if one is suffering from some legal implication, or if one is born in a low and degraded family or if one is uneducated or very ugly."

Prabhupāda: Hmm. So the soul is within this body, encaged. Dehino 'smin yathā dehe (BG 2.13). Due to ignorance, he is committing... Say, for in our eating process, we are eating so many things out of ignorance which we should not eat, and creating the sinful reaction. Nānā yoni bhraman kare, kadarya bhakṣaṇa kare. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says things which are not eatables, we eat, and we circumambulate various types of body.

Nānā yoni bhraman kare, kadarya bhakṣaṇa kare. Just like the hog is eating stool, kadarya, a very abominable thing, but it is eating. Similarly, many other forms of body. You are eating very abominable things on account of your particular type of body, and this is due to ignorance. And this ignorance is our greatest enemy.

The human form of life is meant for acquiring knowledge, not to keep one in ignorance. Tamasi mā jyotir gamaḥ. That is the Vedic injunction. "Don't keep yourself in darkness, darkness of ignorance," but jyotir gamaḥ: "go to the light." That is the Vedic injunction.

So the best knowledge He's giving, Kṛṣṇa Himself: Bhagavad-gītā. He's coming personally to give knowledge. But we are so unfortunate, we are not accepting the knowledge given by Kṛṣṇa. We are hankering after some other knowledge given by some defective human being. A human being cannot give us any perfect knowledge. Therefore all the scientists' statements, all the philosophers' statements, they are simply theories; they are not fact. Because the knowledge is not perfect.

Perfect knowledge can be had from one who is not defective. Defective means generally a conditioned soul has four defects: he commits mistake, he is illusioned, he has got a cheating propensity and his senses are imperfect. The senses..., we are acquiring knowledge through our senses, and if our senses are imperfect, how we can acquire perfect knowledge? Just like we are trying to see the planetary system through microscope or binocular, telescope, but the telescope machine is manufactured by a person who is..., whose senses are defective. So through the telescope, how you can have perfect knowledge?

Therefore one astronomer is placing some theory. After some years, that is made null and void; another theory is presented. Because everyone's knowledge is imperfect. So we cannot expect perfect knowledge from the imperfect person. So our process of knowledge is different. Our pro..., Vedic process of knowledge is,

tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet
samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham
(MU 1.2.12)

One has to accept a guru, a spiritual master, who has received knowledge from another perfect spiritual master. Just like Kṛṣṇa is the origin, perfect spiritual master, guru. So Kṛṣṇa, what Kṛṣṇa said, was realized by Arjuna directly. Therefore if we receive knowledge from Arjuna or his disciplic succession, then our knowledge is perfect.

Kṛṣṇa..., Arjuna accepted Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Brahman: paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān (BG 10.12). So if we accept the version of Arjuna, that Kṛṣṇa is Paraṁ Brahman, He's the Supreme Person, He's the origin of everything, then our knowledge is perfect. I may be imperfect, but because I receive the knowledge from a perfect person, my knowledge is perfect. This is called paramparā system.

So in order to dissipate our ignorance, we should receive perfect knowledge. Then we can stop our sinful activities. Therefore Bhagavad-gītā, Bhagavān says, Kṛṣṇa says, janma karma me divyam. Kṛṣṇa appears, Kṛṣṇa lives here, He teaches, He acts. If we simply try to understand Kṛṣṇa from the devotee of Kṛṣṇa, then we become perfect, so much so that after giving up this body...

Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti... (BG 4.9). Without being perfect, without being free from all sinful reaction, we have to undergo the tribulation of accepting different types of body. But as soon as we become perfect through the perfect knowledge, then automatically we become uncontaminated from this material world and we become liberated.

Liberated means, as I have several times explained, to be situated in his original position. Just like a, a person gets fever. When his fever is subsided, he's liberated; he's called liberated from the fever. Similarly, when we have perfect knowledge... What is that perfect knowledge? The perfect knowledge: to understand that "I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa." This is perfect knowledge. This is perfect knowledge. Jīvera svarūpa haya nityera kṛṣṇera dāsa (CC Madhya 20.108).

One has to understand this fact, that "I am not Kṛṣṇa. I am not like Kṛṣṇa. I am not equal to Kṛṣṇa. I cannot become Kṛṣṇa. I am Kṛṣṇa's eternal servant." This is taught by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Gopī-bhartur pada-kamalayoḥ dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ (CC Madhya 13.80). He, Caitanya Mahāprabhu, says, "I am not a brāhmaṇa. I am not a śūdra. I am not a brahmacārī. I am not a sannyāsī." In this way... Because we identify with the varṇāśrama-dharma: "I am brāhmaṇa," "I am sannyāsī," "I am brahmacārī," "I am gṛhastha," "I am kṣatriya." These are our designations. But when we become designation-free, then "I am not brāhmaṇa, I am not brahmacārī, I am not this, I am not that. I am simply pure servant of Kṛṣṇa," this is knowledge. Our otherwise, anything we identify, that is ignorance. This is knowledge.

So... And when we come to this knowledge, that "I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa," then I am liberated. Muktir hitvā anyathā rūpaṁ svarūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ (SB 2.10.6). Hitvā anyathā rūpam. I am accepting a different type of body and different type of position, and I am identifying myself with that particular position. That is my ignorance. Although I am acting just like a perfect brāhmaṇa or perfect kṣatriya or perfect vaiśya, still, I am imperfect, because my perfection is not to act as a vaiśya, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, American, Indian, but to act as servant of Kṛṣṇa. That is liberation. That is liberation.

Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam (CC Madhya 19.170). Nirmalam means liberation. That nirmalam means sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam. The Vaiṣṇava process is to become nirmalam, tat-paratvena. A real, pure Vaiṣṇava simply identifies himself as a servant of Kṛṣṇa; therefore he's nirmalam, he's liberated.

He does not identify himself as a kṣatriya, brāhmaṇa, American, Indian. No. That is not his position. But so long I stick to this designation, I am not nirmala; I am samala: "with dirty things." So we have to be relieved from these dirty things and come to the original position of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then our sinful activities and its reaction will be counteracted.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "There are many results of past sinful activities for which we are suffering at the present moment, and we may be suffering in the future due to our present sinful activities. But all of these reactions to sinful deeds can immediately be stopped if we take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness."

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Pradyumna: "As evidence for this..."

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa consciousness, if we take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, automatically we become immune from sinful activities. The devotional service... The mind, being engaged on the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, as Ambarīṣa Mahārāja did: sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane... (SB 9.4.18). Ambarīṣa Mahārāja was very responsible emperor of the world, but he fixed up his mind on the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa and he engaged his words simply: vaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane, simply describing the qualities, the transcendental qualities of Kṛṣṇa.

He used his eyes to see the Deity; he used his legs to go to the temple; he used his hands for cleansing the temple; he used his nose for smelling the flower and tulasī offered to Kṛṣṇa; he used his tongue for tasting kṛṣṇa-prasādam. In this way, he engaged all his senses in the service of the Lord.

So there was no chance of committing sinful activities by his body. It is..., it can be done by everyone. Everyone can install Deity at his home and regularly worship the Deity according to the injunction of the śāstras and spiritual master and eat prasādam and hear Vaik..., Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, chant and speak Hare Kṛṣṇa. This is simple life. And one can become immune from all sinful reaction. The simple thing.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "As evidence for this, Rūpa Gosvāmī quotes from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Eleventh Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, 18th verse (SB 11.14.18). This verse is in connection with Lord Kṛṣṇa's instruction to Uddhava, where He says, 'My dear Uddhava, devotional service unto Me is just like a blazing fire, which can burn into ashes unlimited fuel supplied to it.'

"The purport is that as the blazing fire can burn any amount of fuel to ashes, so devotional service to the Lord in Kṛṣṇa consciousness can burn up all the fuel of sinful activities. For example, in the Gītā, Arjuna thought that fighting was a sinful activity, but Kṛṣṇa engaged him on the battlefield under His order, and so the fighting became devotional service. Therefore, Arjuna was not subjected to any sinful reaction."

Prabhupāda: Yes. So, the example is that the..., in the fire, you go on giving fuel perpetually, it will burn into ashes. Similarly, it doesn't matter. To become sinful... Without Kṛṣṇa consciousness, everyone is sinful. So to become sinful is not disqualification, because everyone is sinful. But if one takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness is just like the fire, and the sinful activities are just like wood. But when the wood is in touch with the fire, so the fire would burn all the woods, fuel, into ashes.

But we should not... Once we take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we should stop the pillars of sinful activities. Whatever we did in our past life, that is excused, but if we take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and if we go on with our sinful activities, that will not help us. Just like the same fire: you take the fuel and add to the fire, it will burn into ashes. But at the same time if you pour some water also, then it will be useless. Similarly, our past sinful activities, that can be burned into ashes provided we don't add any more. Don't take it, "Now it will burn into ashes. So go on, this business and that business." No. That business means pouring water into the fire. It will not burn.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī quotes another verse from the Third Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Thirty-third Chapter, 6th verse (SB 3.33.6), in which Devahūti addresses her son, Kapiladeva, and says, 'My dear Lord, there are nine different kinds of devotional service, beginning from hearing and chanting. Anyone who hears about Your pastimes, who chants about Your glories, who offers You obeisances, who thinks of You, and in this way executes any of the nine kinds of devotional service—even if he is born in a family of dog-eaters (the lowest grade of mankind)—becomes immediately qualified to perform sacrifices.' "

Prabhupāda: Yes. Śvādo 'pi sadyaḥ savanāya kalpate. This is the word. Actually we have seen it. Last time, when I was coming via Philippines, so we have got a center there, and it is very nicely organized within six months by one of our devotees, Siddha-svarūpa, Siddha-svarūpānanda Mahārāja, and his colleague. So it is very nicely organized. And they are actually dog-eaters.

These Philippines, they're dog-eaters. In those parts of the world, the Koreans, the Philippines, even the Chinese, some of the Japanese, they're dog-eaters. But even though they are dog-eaters, they attended the meeting and chanted with us so nicely, better than a so-called Vaiṣṇava in India. Yes. They were so nice. It is practically seen.

So that is also stated in the..., confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā: śvādo 'pi sadyaḥ savanāya kalpate (SB 3.33.6). If one dog-eater, a person born in the family of dog-eaters... Because the dog-eaters are considered lowest of the humankind, caṇḍāla, śva-paca. In many places it is said. Aho bata śvapaco 'pi garīyān yaj-jihvāgre nāma tubhyam (SB 3.33.7). Śva-paca. Śvapaca means dog-eaters. They also become glorious provided they chant offenselessly the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Aho bato śvapaco 'to garīyān yaj-jihvāgre nāma tubhyāṁ.

So Caitanya Mahāprabhu has given us... It is in the śāstra. Caitanya Mahāprabhu has pointed out the ācārya's business... Everything is there in the śāstra. Ācārya does not invent anything. That is not ācārya. Ācārya simply points out, "Here is the thing." Just like in the darkness of night we cannot see anything perfectly or cannot see anything, but the..., when there is sunrise, the sunrise, effect of sunrise is that we can see things as they are.

The things are not manufactured. There is already. The things are al... The houses, the town and the everything is there, but when there is sunrise we can see everything nicely. Similarly, ācārya, or incarnation, they do not create anything. They simply give the light to see things as they are. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu pointed out this verse from Bṛhad-nāradīya Purāṇa. The, the verse was already in the Bṛhad-nāradīya Purāṇa.

harer nāma harer nāma harer nāma iva kevalaṁ
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
(CC Adi 17.21)

This verse was already there in the Bṛhad-nāradīya Purāṇa, the indication of our activities in the age of Kali. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He pointed out. Although He is Kṛṣṇa Himself—He could manufacture so many things—but He did not do so. That is ācārya. Ācārya will not manufacture any new type of religion, a new type of phrase of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. That is not potent. The...

Just like Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, this is in the śāstra. So that is potential. Now if we add and subtract something from these sixteen words, that is my manufacture. That will have not the potency. They do not understand it. They are thinking if they can manufacture some new line, adding with Hare Kṛṣṇa, then he becomes particularly noted. But he spoils the whole thing. That is the... He does not make any new thing. The new thing he does, he spoils the whole thing.

So Caitanya Mahāprabhu never did so, although He's Kṛṣṇa Himself. He stuck to the point of śāstra. Kṛṣṇa, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He also indicates, yaḥ śāstra-vidhim utsṛjya vartate kāma-kārataḥ na siddhiṁ sāvāpnoti (BG 16.23). He indicates that nobody can give up the injunction of the śāstra. Brahmā-sūtra-padaiś caiva hetumadbhir viniścitaiḥ (BG 13.5). Kṛṣṇa says. He can give. Whatever He says, that is śāstra, that is Veda. But still, He gives reference to the śāstra.

So ācārya's duty is to point out the śāstric injunction. They're already there in the Vedas. His duty is... Just like there are so many medicines. If you go to a drug shop, all of them are medicines, but the experienced physician, he gives you a medicine which is particularly suitable for you. You cannot say, "Sir, why you are selecting medicine? You can give any one bottle." That is nonsense. Not any one. The particular body, a particular bottle, and a particular medicine which is suitable for you, the experienced physician gives you. He's ācārya.

So you cannot say that "Everything is medicine; whichever bottle I take, that's all right." No. That's not. This is going on. Yata mata tata patha. Why yata mata tata patha? The particular mata which is suitable for you at a particular time, that should be accepted, not any other mata. So similarly, in this age, in this Kali-yuga, where people are very short-living, duration of life is very short, they are unfortunate, they're very slow, and they take to unauthorized means of religious principles; they're prone to so many disturbances of life... Therefore this particular medicine for this age, as given by Caitanya Mahāprabhu:

harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalaṁ
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
(CC Adi 17.21)

Prabhu kahe, ihā haite sarva-siddhi haibe tomāra.

So we should take the instruction of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who has especially incarnated Himself in this age, Kali-yuga. Kalau saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi su-medhasaḥ. This is the śāstric injunction.

kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tviṣākṛṣṇaṁ
sāṅgopāṅgāstra-pārṣadam
yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair
yajanti hi su-medhasaḥ
(SB 11.5.32)

This is the injunction in the śāstra, that this form of the Lord, who is accompanied by His associates... Sāṅgopāṅgāstra-pārṣadam. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu is always associated with Śrī Advaita Prabhu, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, Śrī Gadādhara Prabhu, Śrī Śrīvāsa Prabhu. Therefore the process of worship is,

śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu-nityānanda
śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda

That is perfect process. Not to cut short. No. As it is indicated. This is indication in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tvisakṛṣṇaṁ sangopangastra... (SB 11.5.32). So when we have to worship Lord Caitanya, we worship with His associates. Śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu-nityānanda śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda. No cut-short method. So that is śāstric injunction.

So in order to get rid of the sinful activities of this age, it is already prescribed in the śāstras and confirmed by the greatest authority, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu: ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam (CC Antya 20.12). So we should all take to this maha-mantra, chant,

Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare
Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotee: Haribol. (end)