Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.6.1 , Montreal , 1968-06-12
śrī-rādhā-kṛṣṇa-pādān saha-gaṇa-lalitā-śrī-viśākhānvitāṁś ca
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare
[My dear Lord, and the spiritual energy of the Lord, kindly engage me in Your service. I am now embarrassed with this material service. Please engage me in Your service.]
dharmān bhāgavatān iha
durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma
tad apy adhruvam arthadam
[Prahlāda Mahārāja said: One who is sufficiently intelligent should use the human form of body from the very beginning of life—in other words, from the tender age of childhood—to practice the activities of devotional service, giving up all other engagements. The human body is most rarely achieved, and although temporary like other bodies, it is meaningful because in human life one can perform devotional service. Even a slight amount of sincere devotional service can give one complete perfection.]
This verse we have been discussing in our last meeting. The purport is: "From very childhood, very childhood, the boys, the children, should be taught about this God consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness." The mistake of modern civilization is that we are, I mean to say, bringing up spoiled children. So when they are grown up, if they become hippies or Communists, it is not their fault; it is the fault of the guardians. It is the fault of the guardians. When the people become just something against the social convention, it is not the fault of the youngsters, but it is the fault of the education system, it is the fault of the parents, it is fault of the teachers. Because they are not teaching.
Prahlāda Mahārāja says that from the very childhood one should be taught. I have seen in India, the Muhammadans, they are very much particular about it. The small children, within ten years, they are... From the very beginning they are taught Koran in the mosques. I have seen. In my Delhi headquarter, it is just behind the Jama Masjid. You have heard the name of Jama Masjid. That is the greatest mosque in the world. Many foreigners go to see it. It was constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan, say, about three hundred years or little more than that.
So the Muhammadans, they are very particular to teach the Koran from the very beginning. That's a very nice system. Either you teach Koran or you..., Koran, Bible, or you teach Bhagavad-gītā, it doesn't matter—one should have the idea of God consciousness. Then he can develop. So this opportunity should be offered to the children. If not, they are not real guardians, real parent or real teachers.
Why? Durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma. This Prahlāda Mahārāja teaching is not this Bhāgavatam. Just mark it. Prahlāda Mahārāja says, dharmān bhāgavatān, "the religion of God consciousness." He does not say Hindu religion or Muhammadan religion or Christian religion. Dharmān bhāgavatān.
As I explained already last days, Bhāgavata means pertaining to God. So whatever your idea of God may be, that must be impressed from the childhood, that "There is God." Actually there is God. To deny God or "God is dead" is simply rascaldom. So whatever religion or sect you may profess, the Prahlāda Mahārāja says that one should have the idea of God consciousness. We don't say, neither Prahlāda Mahārāja says, that Kṛṣṇa conscious. Of course, Kṛṣṇa means God.
But if somebody has got objection, "Kṛṣṇa" because this name is Indian name or Sanskrit name or Kṛṣṇa appeared Himself in India, it doesn't matter. We are concerned with the philosophy, with the teachings. Just like Buddha. He was also Indian. He was Hindu, kṣatriya. And why Buddhism is accepted by so many people of the world—whole Japan, whole China, Burma, and...? Why? The philosophy is concerned. Just like Christian, Christian religion. Christian... Lord Jesus Christ, he appeared in Jordan. But... Jordan or Jerusalem?
Hayagrīva: He appeared in Palestine.
Prabhupāda: Palestine. Near about that place, yes. So anyway, he was not European or American or Indian or Chinese, but there are many Chinese Christians, there are many Indian Christian, European Christian, American Christian. So if some idea of religion is developed in a particular country, we should not take it that it is meant for that particular country. No. That is mistake. God is one. Just like the sun. The sun is one. It does not mean if the sun appears in America, he becomes American sun. No. Sun is sun. He is neither American nor Indian. But he rotates. He rotates. He sometimes appears on the American land, sometimes on the Indian land, sometimes on the Chinese land.
There is a very nice verse in Cāṇakya-śloka that... He gives the example, I mean to say, broadmindedness. Na hi harate jyotsnā chandraś caṇḍāla-veśmani. Caṇḍāla. Caṇḍāla, according to Vedic conception, a caṇḍāla, a class who are dog-eaters, and they are meant for very low class duty. So they are out of the caste system. Caṇḍāla means fifth dimension. Brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra—these four classes are accepted. And beyond that, they are called caṇḍāla. So Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says that "Even one is caṇḍāla, that does not mean that moonshine will not be delivered there." The moon is so liberal that it doesn't matter whether it is the house of brāhmaṇa or it is the house of a caṇḍāla. It doesn't matter.
Just like when rain falls... You have seen, experienced: there is no necessity of rain on the sea. The vast mass of water there is, but rain is falling there also. Why? It is liberal, meant for everyone. Rain is not only meant for land; it is meant for the sea also. Similarly, any God consciousness movement, it does not mean that it is meant for that particular country or for that particular section. No. Bhagavad-gītā or Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, don't consider it that it is meant for the Hindus or for the Indians. It is meant for everyone. Just see. Dharmān bhāgavatān.
Prahlāda Mahārāja said that "From the childhood, one should be taught the science of God." Dharmān bhāgavatān means the science of God. Just try to understand the word dharma. Dharma is generally translated into English as "religion." But dharma does not mean a particular type of faith. That is not the Sanskrit import. Dharma means the natural quality. That is. Everything has some natural quality, characteristic. Everything.
So natural characteristic for every living entity is to serve. That is the natural characteristic. Every one of us who are sitting in this meeting, nobody can say that "I am not servant." Every one of us is a servant. You go up to the highest man, your prime minister, or USA, the president, everyone is servant. Nobody can claim that "I am not servant." So therefore, either you are a Christian or either you are a Hindu, either you are a Muhammadan, but you have to serve. It is not that because one is Christian or Hindu, he hasn't got to serve. Just like so many Indians, they have come here. What is the profession? They are serving. They are serving here some company or some institution or some university. So serving was there in India; service is also here. So this is religion.
Religion means the characteristic. Characteristic... You cannot change your characteristic. In whatever circumstances you may be, the characteristic will continue. That is the meaning of religion. Dharmān bhāgavatān. And bhāgavatān means pertaining to God. And what is that, that characteristic of relationship between God and myself? That is called religion. Religion means that, oh, characteristics of God, characteristics of the living entity, and to dovetail them.
The characteristic of God is God is great. That is the characteristic. And we are small, little. This is our characteristic. If we are not small, then why we are serving the great? Serving means there must be somebody greater than me. At least, the money is greater than me. If I don't serve the man, but the man, my master who supplies me the money, that is greater.
So actually in this material world, there is no genuine service. Everyone is serving the intention of sense enjoyment. Just like from tomorrow there will be postal strike. What is that? They are not serving the government or the public; they are serving their salary. Is it not? As soon as there is some less salary, they strike. Therefore I have got my service spirit, and I have to serve somebody. That is my natural characteristic. You cannot deny it. Now you have to find out where your service should be engaged so that you may not be frustrated. That is required.
There is one verse in Bhāgavatam. One devotee, he has taken sannyāsa. Sannyāsa means the renounced order of life. Just like as you see me by my dress, this is called sannyāsa. Sannyāsa means... This is Sanskrit word, sat-nyāsa. This is sannyāsa. Sat means the Supreme, the Absolute Truth, and nyāsa means renounced. One who has renounced everything for the service of the Supreme, he is called a sannyāsa. Sannyāsa does not mean a particular type of dress or particular type of beard. Sannyāsa means you can become a sannyāsī even with you this coat-pant—it doesn't matter—provided you have dedicated your life for the service of God. That is called sannyāsa.
[The Blessed Lord said: One who is unattached to the fruits of his work and who works as he is obligated is in the renounced order of life, and he is the true mystic: not he who lights no fire and performs no work.]
The meaning of this verse is that anāśritaḥ karma-phalaṁ. Everyone is working in this material world for some salary or for some remuneration, but if one works not for salary or for remuneration but as a matter of duty... Anāśritaḥ karma-phalaṁ kāryam. Kāryam means "It must be done." Karma karoti yaḥ: "In such a way if somebody acts, then sa sannyāsī, he is sannyāsī."
Just try to understand. Anāśritaḥ karma-phalaṁ. You are doing some work. Why you are doing some work? Either for some salary or for some profit or for some gain. Otherwise nobody is working uselessly. He must have some gain. But one who does not utilize that gain for his sense gratification but works as a matter of duty, kāryaṁ karma karoti—sa sannyāsī sa yogi ca, such person is actually a sannyāsī and yogī
You have heard the name of yogī. Yogī means that he has no other business. The sannyāsī and yogī is the same, because yogī has no other business. He is simply trying to concentrate his mind on the Viṣṇu. Dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ [SB 12.13.1].
[Sūta Gosvāmī said: Unto that personality whom Brahmā, Varuṇa, Indra, Rudra and the Maruts praise by chanting transcendental hymns and reciting the Vedas with all their corollaries, pada-kramas and Upaniṣads, to whom the chanters of the Sāma Veda always sing, whom the perfected yogīs see within their minds after fixing themselves in trance and becoming fully absorbed in thoughts of Him, and whose limit can never be found by any demigod or demon—unto that Supreme Personality of Godhead I offer my humble obeisances.]
Yoginaḥ. Not these black yogīs; the real yogī. Real yogī means he is always in meditation, dhyānāvasthita. Dhyāna means meditation. Dhyānāvasthita manasā. Where meditation is performed? In the mind. That means concentrating the mind. Dhyānāvasthita manasā.
Then what is that concentration? Dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ [SB 12.13.1]. Yam, whom. That means the Supreme Viṣṇu. One who sees the Supreme Viṣṇu always within his mind by concentration, he is called yogī. Yogī does not mean to show some magical or gymnastic feats. These are... This practice of āsana or breathing exercise, that will help you for concentrating, pratyāhāra. There is a term, pratyāhāra. Pratyāhāra means you draw your engagement of the senses from matter, and you engage them in the Viṣṇu. That is yogī.
So bhakta-yogi, which we are teaching in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they are the topmost yogīs, because they are being trained to draw the engagement of the senses from anything outside Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They are trying to draw the senses from everything and applying it in Kṛṣṇa. Just like we are trying to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. When we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, that means we withdraw our mind from all other engagement and try to engage my mind and ear on the sound vibration of Kṛṣṇa.
This Kṛṣṇa, being Absolute Truth, there is no difference between the person Kṛṣṇa and the name Kṛṣṇa. In the absolute world there is no relativity. Therefore, when you concentrate your mind on the sound vibration of Kṛṣṇa, that means you are concentrating on the Absolute Truth, and that is the process of yogī. Yogīs... Somebody may think, "Here there is no bodily exercise, no breathing exercise. How they become yogīs?"
Real yogīs means to concentrate the mind in Viṣṇu. Dhyānāvasthita. So the original form of Viṣṇu is Kṛṣṇa, and therefore concentrating the mind on Kṛṣṇa, even by vibration, because there is no difference of identity between the vibration of the name of Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa, therefore this is the highest form of yoga practice.
And life dedicated for Kṛṣṇa's service. All the students, all the disciples, they are engaged how to broadcast the message of Kṛṣṇa. They are trying to find out the opportunity in so many ways. They are making arrangement for distribution of prasādam so that one may be attracted, or at least he may hear the word Kṛṣṇa for once when he comes to take kṛṣṇa-prasādam, or he may hear the vibration of "Kṛṣṇa," or he may hear something, teachings of Kṛṣṇa. So this is the movement of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And it is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā that yoginām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gatenāntarātmanā [Bg. 6.47]:
[And of all yogīs, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.]
"He is the first-class yogī." Who? "Who always thinking of Kṛṣṇa within himself." That is yoga practice.
So the bhāgavata-dharma and bhakti-yoga or yoga practice—everything synonymous. There is no difference. But this is the easiest process. Here you will find the students, although they are not exercising the bodily āsana, praṇāyāma, it is automatically being done, because the mind is the center of all activity. So mind is always engaged in Kṛṣṇa. That is bhāgavata-dharma.
So as we have explained several times in these classes, that this concentration is required. And that should be taught from the very beginning of life, kaumāra. Kaumāra means from five years to fifteen years. From sixteenth year, one becomes..., one's youthfulness begins, say, up to forty years. Then middle age up to sixty years. Then after sixty years, one is old. This is the definition of different ages. So kaumāra ācaret prājñaḥ. If one is intelligent, if one is wise... Prājña means wise. If he's a fool, rascal, it is not for them.
Caitanya-caritāmṛta therefore says, kṛṣṇa yei bhaje sei baḍa caturā.
[One who takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness seriously and perfectly, he must be very, very intelligent.]
Caturā means very intelligent. Unless one is very intelligent, he cannot understand the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And if you try to find out intelligent class of men, naturally the number will be very small. If you want that in this street find out some boys who have passed their M.A. examination and Ph.D. examination, hardly you will find one or two. But if you try to find out the illiterate or without any education, you will find many. So we should not judge by the number; we should judge by the quality, what is the quality.
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, even though you may not find many students, but any one student who has understood this philosophy, he is very intelligent. He is very intelligent. If you like, you can talk with them and you can try to understand what they have understood about the science of God, and you will be pleased.
Even a neophyte student, he will answer very satisfactorily. Because as soon as you become Kṛṣṇa conscious and you follow the rules and regulation under the direction of your bona fide spiritual master, at that time you become yourself bona fide. And as soon as you become bona fide, the response from within will come, because Kṛṣṇa is within you.
Kṛṣṇa is everywhere. "Kṛṣṇa" does not mean... Just like the sunshine, the sunlight, is everywhere; similarly, Kṛṣṇa is everywhere. As we understand from the Brahma-saṁhitā,
[He is an undifferentiated entity as there is no distinction between potency and the possessor thereof. In His work of creation of millions of worlds, His potency remains inseparable. All the universes exist in Him and He is present in His fullness in every one of the atoms that are scattered throughout the universe, at one and the same time. Such is the primeval Lord whom I adore.]
"Kṛṣṇa, or God, is within this universe and within this room, within your heart, even within the atom."
Aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham. So Kṛṣṇa is within you. As soon as you become sincere, Kṛṣṇa responds from within. If you want Kṛṣṇa, or God, sincerely, then the help will come two ways: from without, from within. From without, by these books of knowledge, by the instruction of spiritual master, you will get help from without. And as soon as you are serious to follow, then you will get instruction from within also. Within.
It is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam [Bg. 10.10]:
[To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.]
"One who is seriously engaged in My service with faith and devotion." Prīti-pūrvakam. Prīti means love, not that official: as soon as there is less salary, oh, there is strike. Not that kind of love. They are considered that government servant, and very faithful to the country's service, but as soon as a country or government does not pay, everything is rejected. So Kṛṣṇa service does not mean like that, that as soon as Kṛṣṇa...
Practically, Kṛṣṇa gives everything. One who knows, one who is intelligent, he knows that Kṛṣṇa is supplying him everything. Actually, Kṛṣṇa is supplying, either you give service or not service. Kṛṣṇa is so kind. Even those who are not serving Kṛṣṇa directly... Everyone is serving Kṛṣṇa, but not directly. What is the difference between ordinary man and this Kṛṣṇa consciousness man? The difference is that Kṛṣṇa consciousness man knows that "I am eternal servant of God. Therefore let me willingly serve Kṛṣṇa." And others, they are also serving Kṛṣṇa, but by force, by māyā, by the qualities of nature.
Just like a citizen of a state who has violated the laws, he is also obeying the laws in the prison house, forced: "If you don't obey, then you will be punished." That is called prison life. And if you become obedient to the laws, then you are not outlaws; you are free, out of the walls of the prison house. So either you obey or not obey, you have to serve the laws of the state. Similarly, either you be Kṛṣṇa conscious or not Kṛṣṇa conscious, you have to serve. But in non–Kṛṣṇa consciousness condition, you have to serve your senses. And in Kṛṣṇa consciousness condition you serve Kṛṣṇa directly. That is the difference.
Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170].
[”’Bhakti, or devotional service, means engaging all our senses in the service of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all the senses. When the spirit soul renders service unto the Supreme, there are two side effects. One is freed from all material designations, and one’s senses are purified simply by being employed in the service of the Lord.’]
And you serve Kṛṣṇa, then you become purified, your senses are purified. Exactly like the same example, that when a citizen is free and willingly obeying the laws of the state, he is free from contamination. And as soon as he is disobedient, he is contaminated; therefore he is put into the jail. Similarly, our material existence means that we have revolted against the will of Kṛṣṇa, or God; therefore we are dragging the struggle for existence. And as soon as we become again obedient to Kṛṣṇa, we shall always remember that our characteristic is to serve. So by natural way, if we serve God, then we are happy, and by unnatural way, if we serve our senses, then we are unhappy. This is the difference. Service you have to give.
So intelligent man, he thinks that "Throughout my whole life I have given service to the lust, anger and desire and so many things." We are serving. Always remember that whenever we serve somebody, we do not serve that person, but we serve our lust. Because the person will pay me something, and out of that payment I shall be able to gratify my senses, therefore I am not serving anyone, but I am serving my senses. That is the sum and substance. That is the sum and substance. Similarly, if you serve Kṛṣṇa, the same service is there. Only difference is that it is not service to the sense grati..., senses, but it is the service to the sense proprietor, Hṛṣīkeśa.
Kṛṣṇa's another name is Hṛṣīkeśa. Hṛṣīka means senses, and īśa means the Lord. Kṛṣṇa is the Lord of the senses. Therefore His another name is Govinda. So instead of serving the senses, if you serve the Lord of the senses, then you are in natural condition, and that is called bhāgavata-dharma. So bhāgavata-dharma is nothing unnatural, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness is nothing unnatural. It is very natural. Simply you have to change from one platform to another. Instead of serving your senses, you have to serve the senses of God, or Kṛṣṇa. That is called bhāgavata-dharma.
Thank you very much. [break]
Devotee (1): ...in which way one can engage oneself to the best service of Kṛṣṇa, or best use one's time for [indistinct] Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: Therefore you have to be guided by your spiritual master. Otherwise, how can you know? It is not possible. Any school you go, you have to be guided by the schoolteacher. Otherwise, you don't have any education. So this is also a kind of education, Kṛṣṇa education. So you have to find out a bona fide school, you have to find out a bona fide teacher, and then you learn. That's all. If, for Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you go to somebody who is engineer, then you cannot have Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But if you go to engineer how to become engineer, you can become engineer.
Unfortunately, we have got departments of knowledge in our educational system, but actually there is no department of knowledge where Kṛṣṇa consciousness is taught scientifically. That is a great necessity of the present day. But if you are sincere to learn, tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet [MU 1.2.12], it is indicated by the direction of the Vedas,
[To understand these things properly, one must humbly approach, with firewood in hand, a spiritual master who is learned in the Vedas and firmly devoted to the Absolute Truth.]
"Then you have to approach a bona fide person who can teach you Kṛṣṇa consciousness." Then you will learn it.
Lady devotee (1): Even if you don't pronounce the Sanskrit prayers that are in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, if you don't pronounce them properly or...
Prabhupāda: Why not? You can pronounce them properly. Everything you can learn. Just like I am speaking in English. English is not my mother language, but I have tried to learn it, and I am doing my business. That's all. Similarly, you can learn any language. You can learn Sanskrit. You can pronounce very nicely. It requires learning. That's all.
Lady devotee (1): Would there be any effect if they're not pronounced properly?
Prabhupāda: Well, the pronouncement may be little different. That doesn't matter. Just like I am speaking English. It may not be just like American or Canadian English, but I am doing my business. That's all. That does not make any difference. Nobody is asking me that "Swāmījī, you are not pronouncing like an Englishman." [chuckles] They are concerned with the subject matter. That's all. [break]
Devotee (2): How do you teach Kṛṣṇa consciousness to a five year old who is only a children? What it means to be a teacher? What teaching...?
Prabhupāda: How you are learning? You are also young. Anyone who is completely, I mean to say, unaware of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he is to be taken as child. Doesn't matter one who has got age. It doesn't depend on the age; it depends on the knowledge. So not only young children, but anyone who is unaware of the science, he is also a child. And anyone who knows this science, he is old. Vṛddhatvaṁ vāyasā vinā. There is a Sanskrit word that "One man has become old even without age." This is contradictory.
How one can become old without age? Suppose a man, a boy, is sixteen years old... Just like Śukadeva Gosvāmī. He was teaching Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam when he was only sixteen years old, but he was so learned that when he entered the assembly, all the great sages, including his father, stood up to receive him. So he was oldest. So he was older than his father even. Why? Because he was so learned.
So our childishness or experience, old age, means according to the acquirement of knowledge. If one is advanced in knowledge, he is to be understood older. And if one is not advanced in knowledge, he is a child. That's all. So child does not mean that a five-years-old boy. Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja, he was only five years old, and just see how nicely he is teaching. So he is older than any other man. At least, he is older than his atheistic father.
So you should always remember that any man who is not aware of a particular subject matter, he is a child in that subject matter. And one who is fully aware in his particular subject—it doesn't matter what is his age—he is to be considered as elderly. [end]