Lecture [partially recorded] , Los Angeles , 1969-01-13

Prabhupāda: We are all in ignorance, in the darkness of ignorance. Ajñāna-timirāndhasya. So the disciple is praying that "I am... I was in the darkness of ignorance," but jñānāñjana-śalākayā, "but you have opened my eyes by the torture of knowledge..." Not... What is called? "Torch," "torch of knowledge." Ajñāna-timirāndhasya jñānāñjana-śalākayā, cakṣur-unmīlitaṁ yena [Gautamīya-tantra]:

["I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, who with the torchlight of knowledge has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance."]

"One who has opened my eyes in that way," tasmai śrī gurave namaḥ, "I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master."

So in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also it is stated that parābhavas tāvad abodha-jātaḥ [SB 5.5.5].

[As long as one does not inquire about the spiritual values of life, one is defeated and subjected to miseries arising from ignorance. Be it sinful or pious, karma has its resultant actions. If a person is engaged in any kind of karma, his mind is called karmātmaka, colored with fruitive activity. As long as the mind is impure, consciousness is unclear, and as long as one is absorbed in fruitive activity, he has to accept a material body.]

We are all born ignorant. Either in human society or in animal society, we are born all ignorant. Therefore, in the human society the system is that children are given education. Why? Because it is supposed that the child is born ignorant. Similarly, as we give material education to the children, it is the duty of the parents to enlighten them with spiritual education.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavata says that "Nobody should desire to become a father, nobody should desire to become a mother, unless one is able to save the child from the impending death." So that is also the duty of spiritual master. One should not become a spiritual master unless one is able to save the disciple from impending death.

So what is that impending death? Impending death means... Because we are spirit soul, we have no death. But impending death means of this body. So it is the duty of spiritual master, it is the duty of the parents, it is the duty of the state, it is the duty of kinsmen, friends, everyone, to save people from this impending birth and death.

So how to save? That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Lord Kṛṣṇa says,

mām upetya kaunteya
duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam
nāpnuvanti mahātmānaḥ
saṁsiddhiṁ paramāṁ gatāḥ

[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.]

"Anyone who comes to Me, he has no more to go back to the miserable material existence." Therefore it is the duty of the spiritual master, it is the duty of the parents that they should enlighten their dependents to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If one becomes fully Kṛṣṇa conscious, the simple factor, then he is saved from this material existence, or accepting repeated birth and death.

Bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate [Bg. 8.19].

[Again and again the day comes, and this host of beings is active; and again the night falls, O Pārtha, and they are helplessly dissolved.]

Here, everything in the material world, everything is born, it remains for some time, it grows, then dwindles, then vanishes. So this is not very desirable. But unfortunately, the modern civilization, they do not know. They are very much proud of advancement of knowledge, but they do not know that the cause of suffering is this body. They do not know. And they do not know how to make a solution of this material existence. Therefore parābhava. Bhāgavata says all their so-called, nonsense advancement of civilization is defeat. Defeat.

Lord Jesus Christ also said like that, that "If one gains everything and then loses his own soul, what does he gain?" Similarly, parābhavas tāvad abodha-jāto yāvan na jijñāsata ātma-tattvam. A man's life is defeat only. However he may be very expert in driving motorcar day and night, this way and that way, very busy man, but if he does not inquire about his self—"What I am? Wherefrom I have come? Where I have to go? Why I am suffering? Why I am put to this disadvantageous position?"—when one does not inquire for all these things, then his activities are defeat, only defeat. Therefore this Kṛṣṇa consciousness will save not only humanity but the living entities from this disastrous position of repeated birth and death.

The Bhagavad-gītā, therefore, they stress on this point. Lord Kṛṣṇa stresses that janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam [Bg. 13.9]:

[Humility, pridelessness, nonviolence, tolerance, simplicity, approaching a bona fide spiritual master, cleanliness, steadiness and self-control; renunciation of the objects of sense gratification, absence of false ego, the perception of the evil of birth, death, old age and disease; nonattachment to children, wife, home and the rest, and evenmindedness amid pleasant and unpleasant events; constant and unalloyed devotion to Me, resorting to solitary places, detachment from the general mass of people; accepting the importance of self-realization, and philosophical search for the Absolute Truth—all these I thus declare to be knowledge, and what is contrary to these is ignorance.]

"You are very much proud of your knowledge, but if you want to be at all a man of knowledge, a man of wisdom, then you should first of all keep before you the problems of birth, death, old age and disease, because your so-called advancement of knowledge cannot make a solution of this birth, death, old age and disease."

So we have spoken many times in various meetings in this hall about these things. Whole Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is meant for this, to get out of this material stage-playing. We are playing in a stage under different bodies. Just like in a stage we play—somebody is playing the part of a king, somebody is playing the part of a queen, and so many things—similarly, we are, on the material stage, playing different parts, but we are all living entities, pure soul. Antavanta ime dehā [Bg. 2.18]:

[Only the material body of the indestructible, immeasurable and eternal living entity is subject to destruction; therefore, fight, O descendant of Bharata.]

"This body is perishable." Nityasyoktāḥ śarīriṇaḥ: "But the proprietor of the body, that is eternal."

[break] ...vāṇī and vapu, and vapu means the physical body, and vāṇī means the vibration. So we are not concerned about the physical body. "Not concerned" means... We are concerned, of course, because the spiritual master, those who are ācāryas, their body is not considered as material. Arcye śilā-dhīr guruṣu nara-matir [Padma Purāṇa].

["One who considers the arca-mūrti or worshipable Deity of Lord Viṣṇu to be stone, the spiritual master to be an ordinary human being, and a Vaiṣṇava to belong to a particular caste or creed, is possessed of hellish intelligence and is doomed."]

Just like the statue of Kṛṣṇa, to consider that "This is a stone..." Similarly, arcye śilā-dhīr guruṣu na... Guruṣu means those who are ācāryas, to accept their body as ordinary man's body, this is denied in the śāstras. So although a physical body is not present, the vibration should be accepted as the presence of the spiritual master, vibration. What we have heard from the spiritual master, that is living.

You'll see these pictures. This movement was started by Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, and then it was entrusted to Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. Then we are trying to serve his word, and many of my Godbrothers, they are also... [break] [end]