Bhagavad-gītā 2.27-38 , Los Angeles , 1968-12-11
Prabhupāda: Tamāla? Where is a Tamāla?
Devotee: [indistinct] He's taking [indistinct].
Prabhupāda: Oh, I see. And what happened to the case?
Viṣṇujana: Their bondsman? The case?
Woman devotee: Jaya-gopāla.
Jaya-gopāla: I was allowed to preach in court.
Jaya-gopāla: I preached to the whole court. And I had a lady judge, she liked it. So she suspended my sentencing.
Jaya-gopāla: She suspended the sentence and took the bail[?] and [indistinct] very soon.
Prabhupāda: Oh. So suspended.
Prabhupāda: Oh. All right. Where is that book, Bhagavad-gītā? Oh, you must have the book in your hand, everyone. [laughter]
Sudāmā: Our copies came today.
Prabhupāda: Which copy? Ah...
Sudāmā: Each of us will have a copy now.
Prabhupāda: Back to Godhead?
Prabhupāda: Ah, Bhagavad-gītā. That's all right. So everyone, you must possess a copy.
[aside:] So, read it, where you stopped last time, Second Chapter.
Devotee: "For one who has taken his birth, death is certain, and for one who is dead, birth is certain. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should not lament." [Bg. 2.27] Purport.
[For one who has taken his birth, death is certain; and for one who is dead, birth is certain. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should not lament.]
Prabhupāda: Purport. Read on.
Devotee: "According to logicians, one has to take birth according to one's activities of life. After finishing one term of activities, one has to die to take birth for the next. In this way the cycle of birth and death is revolving, one after the other, without liberation. This cycle of birth and death does not, however, support murder, slaughter and war unnecessarily. But at the same time, violence and war are inevitable factors in human society for keeping law and order.
"The Battle of Kurukṣetra, being the will of the Supreme, was an inevitable event, and to fight for the right cause is the duty of a kṣatriya. Why should he be afraid of or aggrieved at the death of his relatives, since he was discharging his proper duty? He did not deserve to break the law, thereby becoming subjected to the reactions of sinful acts, of which he was so afraid.
"By ceasing from the discharge of his proper duty, he would not be able to stop the death of his relatives, and he would be degraded on account of his selection of the wrong path of action."
Twenty-eight: "All created beings are unmanifest in their beginnings, manifest in their interim state and unmanifest again when they are annihilated. So what need is there for lamentation?"
Prabhupāda: This another theory, that voidism, that before our this manifested life there was void, and after this manifestation is over, still there will be void. Because according to voidism, everything is manifested originally void.
So Kṛṣṇa puts forward this argument that before this manifested form of life there was void, and after this manifested life, there will be void, according to the void philosophy. Then where is the cause of lamentation? There is no cause of lamentation. It was void, and it is going to be void. So where is the cause of lamentation?
But actually, that is... Originally, it was not void. That is a Bhagavad-gītā and Vaiṣṇava theory. Just like Kṛṣṇa said that "There was no such time when we did not exist." That means not there was... There was no void. There was life. And in future also, there will be life. But accepting the theory of voidism, this manifested body is combination of matter.
Originally, void means the matters, elementary matters, were not combined. Just like here is a open land. Now, if you combine some bricks and stones and wood, it will appear a big skyscraper building. And if you dismantle, then again it becomes a vacant land. Similarly, in the beginning it was vacant land, and after finishing this body it will be vacant land. So where is the cause of lamentation? For argument's sake, Kṛṣṇa is putting this reason.
Yes. Go on.
Devotee: "Some look on the soul as amazing, some describe him as amazing and some hear of him as amazing, while others, even after hearing about him, do not understand him at all." [Bg. 2.29]
[Some look on the soul as amazing, some describe him as amazing, and some hear of him as amazing, while others, even after hearing about him, cannot understand him at all.]
Prabhupāda: Hear about the soul, [for] the general people, it is amazing. Still, in the modern society, which is so proud of scientific advancement, so far soul is concerned, it is amazement. Nobody understands, still. And those who are hearing about the existence of soul, some of us also in amazement. It is a mysterious thing.
And even after hearing... Just like some student. There are many students, they are reading Bhagavad-gītā, which confirms from the very beginning the existence of soul, but still, Bhagavad-gītā they are reading daily, they cannot understand what is soul. Amazement.
So about the soul and about God, the Supreme Soul, this is the problem of the material world. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavata says, naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghriṁ spṛśaty anarthāpagamo yad-arthaḥ [SB 7.5.32], niṣkiñcanānām...
[Unless they smear upon their bodies the dust of the lotus feet of a Vaiṣṇava completely freed from material contamination, persons very much inclined toward materialistic life cannot be attached to the lotus feet of the Lord, who is glorified for His uncommon activities. Only by becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious and taking shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord in this way can one be freed from material contamination.]
Niṣkiñcanānām... What is that? Mahīyasāṁ pāda-rajo-'bhiṣekaṁ niṣkiñcanānāṁ na vṛṇīta yāvat. This is very important verse. It says that urukramāṅghrim. Urukramāṅghrim is the name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Uru, uru means big, and krama means activity: one whose activities are very great; he is..., whose activities are very great. Just try to understand.
Now see, the big planet, biggest planets in the universe, the sun globe, is floating in the corner of the sky. So whose activities these are? Who has caused this floating? This is called urukrama, big activity. Not that because you have some way or other balanced some millions of dollars in the bank and you have become Rockefeller or Ford, that does not mean you are very big worker. Here is the big worker. Millions of planets are floating in the air by His arrangement. He is called Urukrama, big worker.
So Bhāgavata says, naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghrim [SB 7.5.32]. If anyone understands urukramāṅghri, or the Supreme Lord, for him, to understand the existence of soul is not very difficult. Just like one who has seen the sun globe, for him to understand what is sunshine is not very difficult. But one who is perpetually in the darkness, neither has seen the sunshine nor has seen the sun globe, for him, what is light, what is sun, it is very difficult to understand.
So urukramāṅghrim, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, cannot be understood. And if it is understood, spṛśaty anarthāpagamo yad-arthaḥ. If one understands what is urukramāṅghrim, God the great, then immediately all his ignorance, illusion, is over. Anartha-upaśama [SB 1.7.6].
[The material miseries of the living entity, which are superfluous to him, can be directly mitigated by the linking process of devotional service. But the mass of people do not know this, and therefore the learned Vyāsadeva compiled this Vedic literature, which is in relation to the Supreme Truth.]
Anartha means just like we are unnecessarily entangled in these material affairs. So if one understands the urukramāṅghrim, God, then immediately his entanglement in these unnecessary activities of the material world becomes stopped.
But how it is possible? Mahīyasāṁ pāda-rajo-'bhiṣekaṁ niṣkiñcanānāṁ na vṛṇīta yāvat. Mahīyasāṁ niṣkiñcanānām. Niṣkiñcana means a great personality who has become completely freed from all material consciousness. He is called mahīyasām. He is also great, the great soul.
So unless one takes shelter of the lotus feet or the dust of the lotus feet of a great personality who has no material affection, nobody can understand what is God. Naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghriṁ spṛśaty anarthāpagamo yad-arthaḥ [SB 7.5.32].
[Unless they smear upon their bodies the dust of the lotus feet of a Vaiṣṇava completely freed from material contamination, persons very much inclined toward materialistic life cannot be attached to the lotus feet of the Lord, who is glorified for His uncommon activities. Only by becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious and taking shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord in this way can one be freed from material contamination.]
As soon as one understands the spirit soul and the Supreme Soul... That can be understood only when one is taken shelter of a great personality freed from material contamination. This is the version of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Otherwise, it is amazement. To understand about soul is amazement. To understand about God is amazement.
So Vedic injunction is therefore that if you are at all serious to understand tad vijñānam, that science, transcendental science... Tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet [MU 1.2.12].
[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.]
The Veda says, "Then you must find out a bona fide spiritual master," tad vijñānārtham, "if you are seriously interested."
Devotee: Thirty: "O descendant of Bharata, he who dwells in the body is eternal and can never be slain. Therefore you need not grieve for any creature."
Prabhupāda: Now, after putting forward all definitions and arguments from different angles of vision, of different philosophers, thesis, now Kṛṣṇa concludes, "My dear Arjuna, take it for certain that the soul within is eternal."
So because we are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, even if we do not understand what is the constitutional position of the soul, here, because Kṛṣṇa says, we should accept it. This is called paramparā. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam [Bg. 4.2], disciplic succession.
[This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost.]
What does He say? Yes. The same verse repeat.
Devotee: "O descendant of Bharata, he who dwells in the body..."
Prabhupāda: "He who dwells in the body." He began this instruction that deha, dehī—the body and the proprietor of the body, or the resident of the body. Just like this hall, and we are a resident of this hall. We are different. We are not this hall. This lecture room, we are within this lecture room, but that does not mean that we are or I am or you are this lecture room.
Similarly, the soul dwells in this body. The body is changing but the soul is not changing. That was the beginning of conversation with Arjuna after his surrendering unto Kṛṣṇa as disciple. And again He concludes in that way, that the soul... "Take it from Me, because you have accepted Me as your spiritual master."
This is the significance. If you accept somebody as spiritual master, you have to accept whatever he says. Otherwise there is no need. But if you cannot understand, you can inquire sincerely. That is not barred. But you have to accept.
So Kṛṣṇa says, conclusion, what is that? That "Within this body..." What is that?
Devotee: "He who dwells in the body is eternal..."
Prabhupāda: "He who dwells within this body is eternal." Then?
Devotee: "...and can never be slain."
Prabhupāda: "And can never be slain." Because it is already described that soul cannot be burned, soul cannot be moistened, soul cannot be dried up, soul cannot be killed, soul cannot be cut into pieces. So many things. Just opposite of matter. Any material thing you take, even stone, iron, it can be burned, it can be cut into pieces, it can dry up and so many things, all applicable to the matter. But so far the spirit soul is concerned, it is just the opposite.
Therefore the conclusion is there, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20].
[For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.]
Even after this body is annihilated, the soul remains eternal. Just like if somebody comes and drives us out of this room, that does not mean that I am finished. I shall go and take shelter of another room. Similarly, when the soul, when the body is killed or annihilated by nature or by force, the soul takes shelter of another body. That is the conclusion.
Devotee: Thirty-one: "Considering your specific duty as a kṣatriya you should know that there is no better engagement for you than fighting on religious principles, and so there is no need for hesitation."
Prabhupāda: So here fighting is a matter of duty. That is the kṣatriya spirit. Fighting is not killing. Because people have no idea what is the soul, therefore they think that stopping war will help us in peaceful condition of the society. There are so many troubles so long this body is there. War is one of the item. Even war is stopped, there is no question that people will live forever. No. That is not the law of nature. Duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam [Bg. 8.15].
[After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogīs in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection.]
This life, the problem is how to stop our contact with this material body That is the problem. Not that these general people, they are thinking, "If war..., there is no war, then we shall be very happy." How you'll stop your war with māyā? Māyā has declared war with you, or you have declared war with māyā. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā [Bg. 7.14].
[This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.]
The māyā, the material nature, is enforcing, "Why you are closing this door?" "Oh, because it is very cold outside." Who is forcing? Immediately there will be cold, immediately there will be fog, immediately there will be excessive heat, immediately there may be earthquake. How you can stop it? So they simply think... Just like innocent child, they are concerned with the immediate problem. But a sane man is concerned with the ultimate problem.
So our ultimate problem is not this war. The ultimate problem is repetition of birth and death. That is ultimate problem, how to stop this. That is the problem. So Kṛṣṇa says that "This is useless lamentation, that you do not wish to fight. It is a concluded fact that even your grandfather or relatives die, they will continue as soul. You have to execute your duty. You cannot deviate from your duty."
Devotee: Thirty-two: "O Pārtha, happy are the kṣatriyas to whom such fighting opportunities come unsought, opening for them the doors of the heavenly planets."
Prabhupāda: Now why the kṣatriyas... It is said in the śāstra if a kṣatriya dies in the fight, then he is promoted to the heavenly kingdom to take birth, because he is fighting for the right cause so he is promoted. As in this world also, if you fight for some right cause, you are rewarded. Even after your death, your memory is commemorated. Just like in your country so many brave soldiers, leaders, they have died, but you have honored them by keeping their statues because they fought and died for right cause, whatever we think, right or wrong.
So the kṣatriyas—this is the Vedic injunction—who dies for the right cause, he is promoted to the heavenly planet. Now Kṛṣṇa says, "Now it is a great opportunity for you. Suppose either you or your grandfather, the opposite party, die in this fight, so your promotion to heavenly planet is sure. And if you gain, then you get the kingdom. Both ways it is profitable for you."
Devotee: Thirty-three: "If, however, you do not fight this religious war, then you will certainly incur sin for neglecting your duties and thus lose your reputation as a fighter."
Prabhupāda: "And on the other hand, if you don't fight, then... You are known as a great warrior, a great soldier. If you go away, people will say against your reputation: 'Oh, Arjuna has become a coward. He has fled away from the fighting.' So it is better to die than to have bad reputation." That is another argument. Yes.
Devotee: Thirty-four: "People will always speak of your infamy, and for one who has been honored, dishonor is worse than death."
Prabhupāda: "Now, you are so much honored as Arjuna the great fighter, Dhanañjaya, and if you leave, you go away from this fighting and leave, and people will say, 'Oh, Arjuna has become coward. He did not fight,' then what is the use of your living in such a way? Better die. Fight and die. That is good for you." Yes.
Devotee: Thirty-five: "The great generals who have highly esteemed your name and fame will think that you have left the battlefield out of fear only, and thus they will consider you a coward."
Thirty-six: "Your enemies will..."
Prabhupāda: A kṣatriya... It is the custom of the kṣatriya that if they are wounded on the back side, he is considered a coward, but if he is wounded on the chest, he is accepted as real kṣatriya. That means he has fought face to face. That is the injunction of military art in Vedic injunction.
Devotee: "Your enemies will describe you in many unkind words and scorn your ability. What could be more painful for you?"
Thirty-seven: "O son of Kuntī, either you will be killed on the battlefield and attain the heavenly planets or you will conquer and enjoy the earthly kingdom. Therefore get up and fight with determination."
Thirty-eight: "Do thou fight for the sake of fighting, without considering happiness or distress, loss or gain."
Prabhupāda: This is duty. One has to execute duty without any consideration of loss and gain. That is duty, observing duty. Just see. "You are kṣatriya. There is necessity of this fighting. So you should not consider whether you are gaining or losing. It is your duty to fight."
Devotee: "And by so doing you shall never incur sin." Purport...
Prabhupāda: Yes. If you execute your duty nicely, there is no question of sin. To execute duty is piety. Yes.
Devotee: Purport: "Lord Kṛṣṇa now directly says that Arjuna should fight for the sake of fighting, because Kṛṣṇa desires the battle. There is no consideration of happiness or distress, profit or gain."
Prabhupāda: This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa says... Actually this happened. This is the Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One should not think of personal loss or gain. "Kṛṣṇa desires it, so I have to do it," that's all. There is no personal consideration. That is real Kṛṣṇa consciousness. "Kṛṣṇa, You are asking me to do this. I do not like to do this. You give me some other work," that is not Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
There is no, I mean to say, yes or no. As Kṛṣṇa says. What Kṛṣṇa says? Kṛṣṇa says the essence of Bhagavad-gītā that "A person who preaches this sublime message of Bhagavad-gītā, he is My dearmost friend in the human society." This is the open order of Kṛṣṇa.
Lord Caitanya says,
yāre dekha tāre kaha 'kṛṣṇa'-upadeśa
[Cc. Madhya 7.128]
[”Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa as they are given in the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In this way become a spiritual master and try to liberate everyone in this land.”]
"Take My order and you become a spiritual master." How? "Simply speak Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that's all. Simply speak on Kṛṣṇa's message, kṛṣṇa-kathā." There are two kinds of kṛṣṇa-kathās. One is the Bhagavad-gītā, and the other is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
So this is the propagation of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We have to abide by the superior orders without consideration of our personal gain or loss. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. There is no question of personal gain or loss.
Go on reading.
Devotee: "...victory or defeat in the activities of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That everything should be performed for the sake of Kṛṣṇa is transcendental consciousness, so there is no reaction from material activities."
Prabhupāda: And if you do that, then there is no reaction. Yajñārthāt karmaṇo 'nyatra loko yam [Bg. 3.9].
[Work done as a sacrifice for Viṣṇu has to be performed; otherwise work causes bondage in this material world. Therefore, O son of Kuntī, perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you will always remain free from bondage.]
And if you do on your account, there will be reaction. Either you do good work or bad work, there will be reaction. If you do good work, you'll get good result, and if you do bad work, you will get bad result. That's all right. But within this material world... Suppose if you do pious activities. So what is the result of pious activities?
According to śāstra, the effect of pious activity is that you can get birth in a very respectable, aristocratic family; you can get very nice wealthy position; you can become very beautiful; and you can become very learned. These are the four principles of pious activities, according to śāstra. And if you do just the opposite, you take your birth in abominable family or in lower, degraded animal species of life, no education, no beauty, no knowledge. There are so many things. So if you have to believe śāstra, these are the effects of bad and good works.
Now for a person who is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he is not concerned with aristocratic family or abominable family. He wants to stop birth. So suppose one gets birth in aristocratic family or very nice family, what is the gain there? You have to live ten months within the womb of your mother in suffocated condition, either you take your birth in aristocratic family or in abominable family, either in human mother's womb or animal mother's womb. That does not make any difference.
So Kṛṣṇa conscious person is neither interested in pious activities or impious activities, but one who is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, all activities are pious, transcendental, automatically. He hasn't got to try separately. Yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā [SB 5.18.12].
[All the demigods and their exalted qualities, such as religion, knowledge and renunciation, become manifest in the body of one who has developed unalloyed devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva. On the other hand, a person devoid of devotional service and engaged in material activities has no good qualities. Even if he is adept at the practice of mystic yoga or the honest endeavor of maintaining his family and relatives, he must be driven by his own mental speculations and must engage in the service of the Lord's external energy. How can there be any good qualities in such a man?]
Anyone. Take for example nonviolence. Nonviolence is good quality. Now here, you see Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna. Arjuna is a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Automatically he's trying to be nonviolent. "Why should I fight?" This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Because he is devotee of Kṛṣṇa, nonviolence is already his quality. People are starting vegetarian society to become vegetarian, a very, I mean to say, uplifted society.
But the persons who are in Kṛṣṇa conscious, they are already vegetarian. That means the people in the ordinary status, they are trying to acquire some good qualities, but in Kṛṣṇa conscious person you will find all the good qualities automatically. That is the difference.
So Kṛṣṇa consciousness..., Kṛṣṇa conscious person is not interested that this is good work or this is bad work. He is interested with Kṛṣṇa—because his activities in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is all transcendental, better than good, śuddha-sattva, pure goodness.
In the material world, the goodness, the quality of goodness is sometimes tinged with passion and ignorance. But in pure goodness, which is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there is no tinge of passion or ignorance. Automatically everything is good. Yes.
Devotee: "Anyone who acts for his sense gratification, either in goodness or in passion, is liable to the reaction, good or bad."
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is explained. Yes.
Devotee: "Anyone who has completely surrendered himself to the activities of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is no longer obliged to anyone, nor is he a debtor to anyone, as we are in the ordinary course of activities. It is said, 'Anyone who has completely surrendered unto Kṛṣṇa, Mukunda, giving up all other duties, is no longer a debtor, nor is he obliged to anyone, not the demigods, nor the sages, nor the people in general, nor kinsmen, nor humanity, nor forefathers.' That is the indirect hint given by Kṛṣṇa to Arjuna in this verse, and the matter will be more clearly explained in the following verses."
Prabhupāda: That's all. So? There is a verse in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, devarṣi-bhūtāpta-nṛṇāṁ pitṝṇāṁ...
na nāyam ṛṇī kiṅkaro ca rājan
sarvātmanā yaḥ śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ
gato mukundaṁ parihṛtya kartam
[O King, one who has given up all material duties and has taken full shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, who offers shelter to all, is not indebted to the demigods, great sages, ordinary living beings, relatives, friends, mankind or even one's forefathers who have passed away. Since all such classes of living entities are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, one who has surrendered to the Lord's service has no need to serve such persons separately.]
The meaning of this verse is that anyone who is born in the human society, civilized society, he is indebted immediately. Just like child is born in a family, so according to Vedic injunction, he immediately becomes indebted to so many items. What is that? He becomes indebted immediately to the different demigods—sun, moon, Indra, Candra, so many.
Because we are receiving light from the sun, from the moon, so we are indebted. People do not care for it, because they have no knowledge. Therefore in the Vedas, the sacrifice is recommended, to perform respective duties to become discharged from the indebtedness.
So you are indebted to the demigods, indebted to the sages, just like Vyāsadeva. Vyāsadeva, he has given us so many Vedic literatures. So we are taking advantage. So deva, ṛṣi, bhūta, ordinary living entities, even cats and dogs. But we, instead of being indebted, we do something else. Just like we are drinking milk, so we are indebted to the cows.
So instead of repaying the indebtedness, we are killing them. So in this way we are complicated in so many ways. Devarṣi-bhūtāpta-nṛṇāṁ pitṝṇām [SB 11.5.41]. Pitṝṇām means in the family in which you are born. You are indebted because you are inheriting property, you are inheriting the mother's affection, father's affection. So you are indebted. People should consider. That is civilization.
So... But anyone who has taken shelter of Mukunda—Mukunda is Kṛṣṇa—he has no more any indebtedness. He becomes free. All indebtedness, charge is taken by Kṛṣṇa, and He will square up the account. There is no doubt about it. He says that ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi [Bg. 18.66].
[Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.]
All right. So any question? Yes?
Śīlavatī: I understand that it is an offense to wear red or blue in the Kṛṣṇa temple. Why is this true?
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Devotee: She says that it is an offense to wear red or blue in the temple.
Devotee: Red or blue. She wants to know why this is.
Prabhupāda: I do not follow.
Devotee (2): Why is it an offense to wear red or blue clothing in the Kṛṣṇa temple? That's what she thinks.
Prabhupāda: Oh. [laughs] Hmm. Because it is red and blue. Is that all right?
Śīlavatī: Because the temple is red and blue?
Prabhupāda: You see, you have to accept the Vedic injunction as it is. There is some meaning which may not be explained immediately, but because it is so enjoined, we have to accept it. Just like the conchshell. The conchshell is the bone of an animal. Now, in the Vedas it is said that if you touch the bone of an animal or human being, you have to take bath immediately to purify yourself.
Now, this conchshell is also a bone of an animal. Now, it is kept in the Deities' room. Now if you say, "Oh, the bone of an animal is impure. How it is that it is kept in the Deities' room?" So actually it is being done. Why it is being done? Because it is injunction of the Vedas.
Similarly, all such injunctions we have to accept. But there is meaning. There is meaning, and that may not be understood immediately. That doesn't matter. So if, instead of red garment, if you take this saffron, what is harm to you? So you should accept the injunction.
Nara-nārāyaṇa: I am yet not so clear to understand why it is so important to Arjuna, or that Kṛṣṇa should say to Arjuna that it is so important, the reputation. Because in Arjuna's own heart he knows that he is being kind, or that he is in confusion because of his kindness. Does this make a difference, the opinion that one's fellow kṣatriya would have of him?
Prabhupāda: Arjuna was reputed as a great warrior. So he should remain a great warrior. A warrior's business is not to stop fighting on the plea of becoming kind. If you have gone to the war field and if you practice nonviolence there, this is useless. Why should you go?
There is a Bengali proverb that naste bose guṇṭhanam[?], that... In India, the girls, they cover their head. That is the system of married girl's shyness. So it is said that one girl is on the stage for dancing. Now while she is to dance, she's covering the head. What is the use of covering the head? You have come to dance, you dance. Similarly, in the war field, you have gone there to fight. Where is the question of becoming nonviolent?
So things should be done according to the time and atmosphere. In the war field, there is no question of nonviolence. That is, the war is arranged for committing violence. Where is the question of preaching there nonviolence?
Devotee (3): I don't know how exactly to word this. It seems like... I didn't quite understand the explanation, but it seems that although the battlefield was arranged for this war, there was almost a test for his principles and for him to renounce his place in the kṣatriya class. This is where I get confused in the Gītā. It seems like this is a very noble thing for him to renounce his place in the caste. I'm not clear here.
Prabhupāda: Renounce what?
Devotee (3): To renounce his place as a warrior and to go off into the woods and be a mendicant or whatever he wanted to do.
Prabhupāda: Who said?
Devotee (3): Arjuna.
Prabhupāda: So that is his cowardice. That is being condemned by Kṛṣṇa, that "It is not your business to give up fighting and go away from the war field and go to the forest for meditation. It is not your business."
Devotee (3): How did that war differ from other wars?
Prabhupāda: It is... Sometimes knife is pierced in your body by a surgeon, and in another occasion, another man pierces a knife to stab you. Do you think both knife piercing is the same?
Devotee (3): No.
Devotee (3): But a man who charges at you on a horse with a lance or something in a war, this...
Prabhupāda: No, first of all try to understand this, that piercing the knife in the body is not always bad. Similarly, war or fighting is not always bad, provided it is done for right cause. That should be understood. So when the director is Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, is directing, so there is no cause of stopping. He has His plan, He knows. We cannot judge. So He's the Supreme. So that war is necessary because it is desired by the Supreme Lord.
To maintain the laws of the world, as to maintain the laws and order of a state, there is violence department, the police department, the military department. Why? The government can stop it: "Oh, this is unnecessary expenditure." No. That is necessity for maintenance of the state. Similarly, war is sometimes necessary for maintenance of the order of the world.
But people have misused. That is a different thing. But here, in this battlefield of Kurukṣetra, there is no question of misuse. Because it is under the direction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there is no such question of misusing. War is necessary, but that does not mean it should be misused.
There are so many instances. Just like sex life is necessary for generating, for progeny. But that is being misused for sense gratification. That is another thing. In Bhagavad-gītā it is said that "sex life in religious principle." Religious principle means, according to Vedic injunction, putra te kriyate bhāryā, putra piṇḍa prayojanam. There is necessity of a bona fide son in the family, and to beget a bona fide son, there is necessity of accepting wife.
So acceptance of such wife and sex life in that connection is not abominable. But to keep some friend and enjoy sex life for sense gratification, that is abominable. But the function is the same. Somebody may say, "Oh, this is also sex life, that is also sex life."
But there is much difference. Similarly, apparently a thing may appear to be the same, but it has got great significance. That is to be judged by higher authorities. That higher authority, supreme authority, is there, Kṛṣṇa Himself.
Jaya-gopāla: There are six things, such as anger, lust, false pride, envy. What are the other two? I've heard...
Prabhupāda: Illusion and enviousness.
Prabhupāda: Kāma, krodha; lust, lust, anger. Lust is also. Kāma krodha lobha moha mātsarya and mada. Mada means illusion. Mātsarya. First thing is kāma—lust; second krodha—anger; third—greediness. Kāma krodha lobha moha—illusion; mada—madness. Kāma, krodha, lobha, moha, mada..., mātsarya—enviousness. These are six.
Hmm. So, anything more?
Jaya-gopāla: What is meant by madness?
Prabhupāda: Just as don't you see all these people of the world, they are mad? What they are doing? They whole day the cars going this side, that side. What is the aim of life? They're mad. Simply wasting petroleum, that's all. What they're doing? Huh? Suppose a cat and dog goes this side and that side, "yow, yow, yow, yow, yow," and he goes some motorcars. What is the difference? There is no difference, because the aim of the life is the same. Therefore they are mad.
That is explained: nūnaṁ pramattaḥ kurute vikarma yad indriya-prītaya āpṛṇoti [SB 5.5.4].
[When a person considers sense gratification the aim of life, he certainly becomes mad after materialistic living and engages in all kinds of sinful activity. He does not know that due to his past misdeeds he has already received a body which, although temporary, is the cause of his misery. Actually the living entity should not have taken on a material body, but he has been awarded the material body for sense gratification. Therefore I think it not befitting an intelligent man to involve himself again in the activities of sense gratification by which he perpetually gets material bodies one after another.]
Nūnaṁ pramattaḥ. Pramattaḥ means mad. Prakṛṣṭa rūpeṇa mata, sufficiently mad. And why? Kurute vikarma. They're acting which they should not act. They're acting in a way in which they should not have done. So what is the aim of their acting? Indriya-prītaya, simply for sense gratification. That's all.
So Ṛṣabhadeva says, na sādhu manye, "This is not good." Na sādhu manye yato ātmano 'yam asann api kleśada āsa dehaḥ [SB 5.5.4]. These madmen do not know that this is the cause of getting this miserable material body. The sufferings of humanity is due to this material body, and the cause is vikarma, acting for sense gratification.
So this life is meant for acting for liberation, but they are acting for sense gratification. Therefore they are mad. They do not know the aim of life. Life after life, they are working. The cat's life, the dog's life, the horse life, the man's life or even demigod's life, simply for sense gratification. And so long he will continue these activities of sense gratification, he will have to accept some sort of material body in the 8,400,000's of species, either as demigod or as dog. So this is going on.
So Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, ei rūpe brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva [Cc. Madhya 19.151].
[”According to their karma, all living entities are wandering throughout the entire universe. Some of them are being elevated to the upper planetary systems, and some are going down into the lower planetary systems. Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. By the mercy of both Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service.]
They are encircling, or circumambulating, in this cycle of birth and death. Out of many, many millions of such persons, if one is fortunate, he comes in contact with Kṛṣṇa's representative, and by which he becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, and his life becomes sublime. So this is madness. Simply for sense gratification. They have no other business. This is madness. What do you think? This is not madness?
Devotee (2): We see it every day.
Prabhupāda: Yes. There is no difficulty to find out a madman. Any man you find out, he's a madman. And that is medical version also. That is medical version. In India, there was a case. A man was murdered, and the criminal lawyer pleaded that he was in madness. So the expert..., the medical practitioner was invited, and he was asked to examine whether this man is in madness.
So he said that "So far my experience goes, I have studied, every man is a madman, more or less." Just see. So every man in the material concept of life is a madman, because he does not know his identification. Therefore he's a madman.
Piśācī pāile yena mati-cchana haya [Prema-vivarta].
[When a living entity is conditioned by material nature, he is exactly like a person haunted by a ghost.]
Just like a ghostly-haunted man. A father is standing before him and he's calling the father by ill names, because he's ghostly-haunted. Similarly, a living entity who is entrapped by this material energy, illusion, he's a madman. And the whole treatment is to get out of this disease of madness, misidentification, misconception of life. So it is not difficult to find out a madman. Any man is a madman.
Devotee (2): Prabhupāda? What is the position of Lord Śiva?
Prabhupāda: Lord Śiva is a demigod, but he is higher than all other demigods. He's higher than Lord Brahmā also. But he's not the Supreme Lord. Just like there are different gradations. That is not difficult to understand. In society also, there are different gradations.
Similarly, the living entities, there are different gradations. So all the living entities, they are..., some of them are situated in higher planets, some of them are situated in lower planets, some of them are situated in high-grade life, in low-grade life.
So the demigods are also, they are living entities, but they are enjoying better standard of life due to their acts of piety. But Lord Śiva is not amongst the living entities. He's above the living entities, but he is counted as one of the demigods. But his position is better than Lord Brahmā even. Brahmā is to be the highest living entity within the universe, and Lord Śiva's position is higher than Lord Brahmā.
Devotee (4): Does Lord Śiva also have a consort, like, a potency?
Devotee (4): Does Lord Śiva have a wife, like, a consort?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Pārvatī.
Devotee (4): Pārvatī?
Prabhupāda: Satī. Everyone has got wife. Yes. Śakti.
Dayānanda: Is Lord Śiva a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Everyone is devotee. Only the madmen, they are not devotees.
Dayānanda: I've heard it said that...
Prabhupāda: Any sane man is devotee of... Sanity means become devotee. That is sanity. And one who is not devotee is insane, insanity. So how you can expect that Lord Śiva is not devotee? He's not insane. We are..., the material, the ordinary living entities, in the lower grades of life, they are all insane. What is that? Yes?
Dayānanda: Lord Śiva's relationship with Durgā—does he have a relationship with Durgā?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Durgā is the material energy. So Lord Śiva is directly connected with the material energy. Therefore he's less than Lord Viṣṇu. Viṣṇu is not directly related with the material energy. The example is given in the Brahma-saṁhitā, just like milk, as soon as in touch with something sour, it becomes yogurt.
The yogurt is nothing but milk, but in connection with some sour material, it is yogurt. So yogurt is milk, but it is not milk also. Your child requires milk. You cannot give yogurt. Nobody can argue, "Oh, yogurt is milk preparation, why not give?" No. It will be not beneficial for him.
So similarly, if you want release from this material world, you have to take to Viṣṇu, no other demigod. If you want strength, then you have to drink milk, not yogurt. Yogurt, at times you can eat for some taste or some particular purpose. The milk is general drinking. Just take the statistics, how many bottles of milk are sold in the store and how many bottles of yogurt is sold.
The yogurt and milk is the same thing. Why they'll demand milk and not the yogurt? Is that right? Yes. But nobody can put argument, "Oh, why do you take milk? Take the yogurt." No.
Revatīnandana: Is it all right that Lord Śiva's picture is in the new calendar that's come out?
Prabhupāda: Lord Śiva is devotee. Why not? Hare Kṛṣṇa. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. [devotees offer obeisances]
[pause] [Prabhupāda chants japa as devotees prepare for kīrtana]
So your case is dismissed?
Jaya-gopāla: Yes. I have [indistinct].
Prabhupāda: [chuckles] Ah, that money is returned?
Jaya-gopāla: It will be at the end of the month. [kīrtana] [end]