Bhagavad-gītā 9.18–19 , New York , 1966-12-05
nivāsaḥ śaraṇaṁ suhṛt
prabhavaḥ pralayaḥ sthānaṁ
nidhānaṁ bījam avyayam
[I am the goal, the sustainer, the master, the witness, the abode, the refuge and the most dear friend. I am the creation and the annihilation, the basis of everything, the resting place and the eternal seed.]
The Lord is gati. Gati means the destination. We do not know what is our destination. Due to our ignorance, due to our becoming overwhelmed by the illusory energy, we do not know what is our destination of life. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum [SB 7.5.31].
[Persons who are strongly entrapped by the consciousness of enjoying material life, and who have therefore accepted as their leader or guru a similar blind man attached to external sense objects, cannot understand that the goal of life is to return home, back to Godhead, and engage in the service of Lord Viṣṇu. As blind men guided by another blind man miss the right path and fall into a ditch, materially attached men led by another materially attached man are bound by the ropes of fruitive labor, which are made of very strong cords, and they continue again and again in materialistic life, suffering the threefold miseries.]
People do not know what is their destination of life. The destination of life is to reestablish his lost relationship with the Supreme Lord. That is his destination.
Unfortunately, people do not know what is the destination. They are simply thinking, destination of life, to have the greatest amounts of sense gratification. This is illusion. Because we are materially absorbed, and materially concept of life means these senses—we have no other information—so we are trying to squeeze out all kinds of pleasure from sense. This is called illusion. They have no other information. They are earning, working very hard, and the ultimate goal is sense gratification. This is illusion.
The ultimate goal is Kṛṣṇa, or the Supreme Lord, gati. Gati means destination. Where you are going? Which way you are making your progress? "Oh, that we cannot say. We make progress on sense gratification. The greatest amount of pleasure which we can derive out of the senses, that is our destination." No, the destination is God, Viṣṇu, the Supreme Lord, of whom we are the parts and parcels. By forgotting..., forgetting our relationship, we are struggling.
[The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.]
Prakṛti-sthāni, in this material nature, the fragmental portion of the Supreme Lord, living entities, the senses and the mind, entrapped by the senses, they are struggling. But this is not the destination. The Lord says, the Bhagavad-gītā says, that He is the destination. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ durāśayā, durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ [SB 7.5.31]. Bahir-artha-māninaḥ means... This material nature is the external nature of the Supreme Lord.
Because we have been entrapped in this material nature, therefore we are thinking that to make material advancement of life, that is the perfection. Durāśayā. This is called durāśayā. Durāśayā means... Duḥ means very distant, or duḥ means very difficult, and āśayā means hope. This hope is never to be fulfilled. This is a hope which will never be fulfilled. This is called illusion. We are making progress to make perfect life by this material advancement. This is our undue hope. It will never be fulfilled. Durāśayā, bahir-artha-māninaḥ.
And what is the activity? Adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisram. Adānta-gobhiḥ. Go means the senses. Adānta means unbridled, uncontrolled. Uncontrolled senses. Just like uncontrolled horse. You are on the carriage, and your horse is uncontrolled, unbridled, and he is taking you with full force and putting in the Atlantic Ocean. You cannot control. You see? So similarly, adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisram. Viśatām means he is entering to the darkest part of ignorance by these uncontrolled, unbridled senses.
[Prahlāda Mahārāja replied: Because of their uncontrolled senses, persons too addicted to materialistic life make progress toward hellish conditions and repeatedly chew that which has already been chewed. Their inclinations toward Kṛṣṇa are never aroused, either by the instructions of others, by their own efforts, or by a combination of both.]
These people who do not know the destination, they are trying to make experiment which is already experimented. It is already experimented. Just take for example... I'll give you one practical example. One of our students, his father comes and instructs him, "Oh, I don't like this association. I have no meaning for marriage. You chase after woman. You eat and drink and enjoy. I will give you car." You see? What is the fault of that poor student? That he is trying to give up all intoxication; he is not eating meat; he is living purely on vegetable; he is controlling; no illicit sex relationship; attending class morning and the evening. Oh, he thinks it is dangerous.
So punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām. He has already experienced. He is married. He was married. His wife divorced, and his wife divorced him three times, and so many things. He has bad, very bad experience of his life, but he is inducing his son to do the same thing. He has no other idea. This is called punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām, "chewing the chewed." Just like we take a sugarcane and we chew it, take out all the extra juice. I throw it in the street, and again somebody comes and chewing it. What is there? Already all the juice that contained, I have taken it.
So this material life experience—chasing after woman and drinking and sense gratification and so many things, spending like anything—we have seen it, but we have not experienced any actual happiness. Still, I am trying to induce my son, my dependent, into that way.
The foolish people do not think that "I have already experimented all these things. What benefit, what happiness, I have got?" This is called punaḥ punaś car..., repeatedly chewing the chewed. Repeatedly. This is going on. Nobody thinks that "I have already experimented all these things. What benefit I have got? What happiness I have got? I am frustrated in my life. So why shall I induce my son? If I at all love my son, why shall I induce my son into that? Let him experiment this, Kṛṣṇa consciousness." No. Because adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisram.
Just like there is a very nice story. A monkey... Monkey, they are very busy. Do you know? But their business is to simply destroy. You will find monkey always busy, very active. So in the village there was a carpenter who was bifurcating one big beam by saw. So at the end of his work, half of the beam was cut into two, so he put one block between the two pieces and he went away. And then one monkey came, and he pulled out the block, and his tail was captured in that, between the two, and it was cut. So he went to his society, and he said that "This is the fashion. This is the fashion." Laṅguli-hīna śṛgala. He advertised, "To cut one's tail, this is the latest fashion."
Similarly, I saw one cinema in my childhood, a similar story. One Mr. Maxlin [Max Linder] or something like that, he played that. He was sitting in a park, and some naughty boy nailed his tail, that tail coat, when ball dancing. So when he got up, that half part of that tail was taken away. So when he was dancing in the ball, everyone is looking to his back side: "What is this? His tail is cut." So he saw in the mirror that "My tail is cut." So he began to dance more nicely, and everyone asking, "What is...?" "Oh, this is the latest fashion." "This is the latest fashion." So everyone began to cut his tail. You see? [chuckles]
So this is... Life is going on. "I have become befooled, so I don't want that my son will be intelligent. Let him become befooled. Let him become befooled." This is called punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām, repeatedly chewing the chewed. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ durāśayā. But from the Bhagavad-gītā we understand that our ultimate goal of life is to reach Kṛṣṇa, or the Supreme Lord. Gatiḥ. And bhartā. Bhartā means maintainer. Maintainer. He is maintaining everyone. That's a fact.
There are 8,400,000's of species of life, and, out of which, human society, human beings, are a very small number, say, about 200,000 species of life. Balance eight hundred [sic], two hundred thousand species of life, they are animal and aquatics, birds, beasts, uncivilized men, so many species of life. They have no economic problem. They have no economic problem. There is no question of starvation. They are eating, they are sleeping, they are having their mating, opposite sex, and they are defending also in their own way. So they have no problem. Only the civilized men, they have got problem. Only that small number of civilized men, so-called civilized men, they have got.
They do not believe that God protects everyone. By advancement of civilization they have learned this art, to refuse God. They want to make their economic problem solved by themselves. God is giving them sufficient grain, sufficient fruit, sufficient vegetable, sufficient milk. No, they want to make solution of their problems by killing other poor animals. But they do not believe in God. They do not believe in God, that "I am killing poor animals. They are also sons of God as much I am..., as we are sons of God. God is maintaining that poor animal. God is maintaining me. Why should I encroach upon others' life?" You see? They have no such sense, because they don't believe in God. They have no such faith. This is going on.
But in the Bhagavad-gītā says, "No, I am the Supreme." The Lord says, "I am the prabhava. From every... Everything, whatever you see, that is emanating from Me." So we have no practical economic problem. God is maintaining everyone. The production which is being made all over the world, that is sufficient to provide all the population of the world. That is God's arrangement. There is no scarcity. But because we have made our own rules and regulation, although we have got enough grains produced, we can produce much more than what is needed by us, and I can throw in the ocean the excess. Still, if some poor country or poor brother comes, I refuse. This is called... Because we do not know that our destination is God, therefore the violation of the rules of nature, violation of the laws of God, we are making, and we are becoming entrapped by this material nature. This is a fact.
Gatir bhartā prabhuḥ. Prabhu, prabhu means the master. And sākṣī. Sākṣī means witness. God is sitting within your heart. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg 18.61].
[The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.]
Īśvara, means Supreme Lord, is sitting in everyone's heart. So He is witness. Whatever you are doing, He is witness. He is giving you facility to do whatever you like, but at the same time you may forget. Suppose I wanted to do something in this life, this is not fulfilled. And next life, when I get another body, that God reminds me, "Well, you wanted to do this. Why not experiment?"
That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ: "I am seated in everyone's heart." Mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca [Bg 15.15]:
[I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas am I to be known; indeed I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.]
"From Me there is remembrance," smṛti, "there is knowledge, and there is forgetfulness also." So what is that, God making one person forgetful and another person encouraging? Why? Because I wanted like that. Because I don't want to revive my relationship with the Supreme Lord. Whenever I speak of God, oh, some person becomes, "Oh, what is God? Swāmījī, what you are speaking, God?" They don't want God.
So God gives him that "Forget Me. Yes, you forget and suffer." And one who wants God... Just like some poor students are trying to reestablish his relationship with Kṛṣṇa, oh, Kṛṣṇa gives him too: "Yes." So therefore His business is to make you forgetful because you want to forget. And when you are advanced, if you want know... If you want to establish, reestablish your relation, He will encourage you.
So therefore two things are there witness. He gives you full independence. Whatever you like, you do, but He gives you instruction at the same time that "These things will not satisfy you, My dear boy." Sarva-dharmān pari... "You give up all this nonsense. Come to Me. I shall give you all protection." But we don't want to take protection. What God will do? Poor God, what can He...? He can do everything, but He doesn't interfere with your affair. If you want to forget, He will give you so many facilities by this illusory energy that you'll forget, forget, forget. Adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisram.
Now you have got this beautiful body of human, civilized human being. Or you can get the body of more and more developed body, just like Brahmā, just like the sun, moon, and so many there are. And if you forget, you go down to the cats and dogs and ants and germs and so many things, become a worm of the stool. He will give you all facilities. This is called karma-cakra, cycle of work. As you desire, so God gives you facility.
Therefore our desire should be revived: "What kind of desire we should at all make?" Therefore this Bhagavad-gītā is there; the scriptures are there. You have forgotten. We have forgotten all these things. Therefore the books and the scriptures are there. That is also another mercy of God.
Just like you consult some book, doing something, just like we do every day. What is the postal rate? I do not know. This is a parcel I have to send. So at once I consult book. The direction is there, postal guide is there, and I do the right thing. Similarly, when we forget our acti..., what is the destination of life, then we shall have to consult. This is the direction.
The Lord says, gatir bhartā prabhuḥ sākṣī: "I am the destination. I am your maintainer. I am your Lord. I am witnessing what you are doing." Nivāsa: "And you are living in Me. You are not independent." You are living. Where you are living? I am living on the earth, underneath the sky. And what is the sky, and what is this earth? This is the energy, energy of the Supreme Lord. So nivāsaḥ śaraṇam. "You are trying to live. Every moment you are flattering somebody who is greater than you, but why don't you come to Me? You cannot live without flattering your boss. That is your position." Śaraṇam. Śaraṇam means to take shelter of somebody.
Especially in these days, however educated I may be, with an application I take shelter of a big man: "Please give me some employment." However great I may be... I may be very intelligent man to become the ruler of this country. Oh, I will have to, I mean to say, place placards on the street: "Please vote for me. Please vote for me. Please reelect me." So I am taking śaraṇam. I am flattering. I am taking shelter in every moment. Why not God? Oh, when I say, "Oh, what do you say? Why do you say, Swāmījī, about God?" So they will take shelter of dog but not God. You see? This is going on.
Śaraṇaṁ suhṛt. Suhṛt means well-wisher. Who can become more well-wisher than God? Suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām [Bg 5.29].
[The sages, knowing Me as the ultimate purpose of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attain peace from the pangs of material miseries.]
Suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām. He is... I can be friend, well-wisher, to a limited circle, but God is friend and well-wisher of all living entities. I can take care of my family members, how they are happy, how they are eating, but God is taking care of innumerable living entities. You see? I don't take care of the ants in my room, what they are eating; I do not take care of the bugs in my bed, but God is taking care also of them. He is taking care. He is suhṛt. He wants that "You live. You are given freedom, whatever you like. But if you want to be happy, then give up all this nonsense. Come to Me. Take shelter, Me. I will give you all protection." Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg 18.66].
[Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.]
So suhṛt prabhavaḥ, development. You are trying to make economic development, but how we can develop economic development provided there is no material supplied by God? Can you manufacture, can you build, construct, a big skyscraper building without the materials being supplied by God? Can you manufacture wood? Can you manufacture stone? Can you manufacture lime? You cannot manufacture. Can you manufacture iron? You can work, labor. The materials supplied by God, by your labor, by intelligence, you can transform from one thing to another. Economic experts, they say like that, that man cannot manufacture anything. He can transform one thing to another.
You cannot manufacture iron. You can transform the iron ores to a big iron factory. That you can do and waste your time, valuable time. That energy you have got. But you cannot produce iron. You can manufacture glass and live in a very comfortably, all side, but where is the glass? Glass is, means, a stone is melted with some chemicals, and it becomes glass. So where is the stone? The stone is supplied by God, the chemicals supplied by God. The intelligence with which you are working, that is supplied by God. Your body is supplied by God. You are God's. So everything becomes God's. Prabhavaḥ: "I am the source of supply of everything."
Prabhavaḥ and pralayaḥ. Pralayaḥ. If God wants, in a second your New York City will be pushed into the Atlantic Ocean. In a second. So pralayaḥ sthānam. He is the shelter. Nidhānaṁ bījam. Bījam. Bījam means the seed. Avyayam. Now, what these living entities are doing? What are these living entities? They are also parts and parcel of the Supreme Lord. We are living entities. We are endeavoring our energy, applying our energy, to build up all these things, but these materials have no value if I am not there. Just like this America, this land, was lying vacant so long these civilized person from Europe, they did not come here.
So by their energy, living entities, the matter has developed. Matter is not prominent. Don't give more importance to the matter. The important is the living entity. And what is this living entity? The living entity is the part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. Therefore He is..., He is the cause of the seeds of living entity. Mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ jīva-loke sanātanaḥ [Bg 15.7].
[The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.]
Tapāmy aham. Now, what is this sun? Tapāmi. He is giving heat? Who is heating? The Lord is heating. You cannot manufacture a sun. Tapāmy aham ahaṁ varṣam. And the rain. You cannot regulate rain. That is in God's hand, or God's management. If there is no rain, you cannot make rain, or if there is over-rain, you cannot stop. Tapāmy aham ahaṁ varṣaṁ nigṛhṇāmy utsṛjāmi: "And if I want, I can give trouble to the whole population of the world." Nigṛhṇāmy utsṛjāmi. He can... "If I want to annihilate them, in a moment I can do that."
Amṛtaṁ caiva mṛtyuś ca sad asac ca aham arjuna. Amṛtam: "If I like, I can give you eternal life." If we approach God, eternal life there is guaranteed. And if we don't like, then go on, the cycle of birth and death. Mṛtyuṁ cāmṛtaṁ ca sad asac ca aham arjuna. Sat. Sat means the spiritual energy, and asat means this material energy. "Because both energies are God energies, therefore these energies are also God, Arjuna." This description is given by Lord Kṛṣṇa to Arjuna about His personal position, God's position.
So we have to learn from Bhagavad-gītā directly spoken by the Supreme Lord and accept it and do accordingly. That is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We think of Kṛṣṇa: He is everything, or God is everything. So let us become submissive and prosecute this, the process of devotional service. That is the way of happiness. That is the way of perfection.
Thank you very much. Any question? [end]