Śrī Īśopaniṣad, Mantra 1 , Los Angeles , 1970-05-04

Gargamuni: "In the Bhagavad-gītā the Lord directly states that He accepts the vegetable foodstuffs from the hands of a pure devotee. Therefore, a human being should not only become a strict vegetarian, but he should also become a devotee of the Lord and offer to the Lord all his food, and only then partake of the prasādam, or mercy of God. Such a devotee can properly discharge the duty of human life. Those who do not do so are eating only sins and thus will be subjected to the different types of distress which are the result of the various sins."

Prabhupāda: Yes. This is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, Fourth Chapter: yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ [Bg. 3.13]. Our this conditioned life is so situated that in every step we are committing some sins. In every step, without knowing, ignorance, because we, we are born ignorant. Therefore Bhāgavata says, parābhavas tāvad abhodha-jātaḥ [SB 5.5.5]. Abodha-jātaḥ. Abodha-jāta means every living entity is born fools. Therefore there are so many educational institution. If the man born... May be in very high family or in high nation, but he is a fool. Otherwise, what is the necessity of so many educational institution? It is a fact.

So that foolishness, when it is come to light... That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: parābhavas tāvad abodha-jāto yāvan na jijñāsata ātma-tattvam [SB 5.5.5]. This foolishness will continue so long as he does not come to the platform of understanding self-realization. Otherwise, all these universities and institution for imparting knowledge, they are continuation of that same ignorance and foolishness. Unless one comes to the point of understanding, "What I am? What is God? What is this world? What is my relationship...?" Unless these questions come into one's heart, and there is no proper answer, he continues to be foolish like animal, and he is subjected to different species of life, transmigration from one body to another. This is ignorance.

So this is a very risky civilization. I may feel very comfortable, that "I am a spiritual master," or you may think very comfortable, "I am born of a very rich nation, America," but this status of my life is temporary. I will have to change. I'll have to change. So if I do not change for the better, then my life is very risky. Suppose a healthy man, if he is in the society of contamination, is it not his life is very risky? He may be contaminated and infected by disease any moment.

So this ignorance should be dissipated. Here it is said that such a devotee can properly discharge his duty of human life. Those who do not do so are eating only sins. Bhuñjate te tv aghaṁ pāpaṁ ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt [Bg. 3.13]. Anyone who is cooking for himself... The difference between..., of cooking here in this temple and in ordinary house is that in ordinary house they're cooking sins. The cooking, it appears that the same, "These people are also cooking," but this cooking and that cooking is different. Here there is no sin, because it is being cooked for Kṛṣṇa. Yajñārthe. Yajñārthe karmaṇo 'nyatra [Bg. 3.9].

Beyond this field of activities, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, everything you are doing, pious or impious, you are become implicated with the laws of nature. Generally, you are being implicated in sinful activities. Generally. And those who are little more cautious, they avoid sinful activities; they act pious activities. But even there is pious activities, he is implicated.

This I have explained several times, that if a man is pious, he has to take his birth in rich family, janmaiśvarya-śruta [SB 1.8.26], in a very aristocratic family, rich family. He may become next life very learned scholar, very beautiful. These are the results of pious activities. But pious or impious, you have to enter into the womb of some mother. That tribulation is very severe. That we have forgotten. That we have forgotten. Either you take birth in a very rich family, aristocratic family, or you take birth in the animal womb, so the pangs of birth, death, disease and old age will continue.

So Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means to make a solution of these four things: birth, death, old age and disease. So if we act sinfully and if we eat sinfully, then this life of birth, death, old age will continue. Otherwise, you can make a solution, and as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]: "After leaving this body," tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti, "he does not take birth again in this material world." Then where does he go? He's finished? Just like voidist? No. Mām eti: "He comes to Me." Mām eti. "He comes to Me." "And what is the benefit of going there, to You?"

mām upetya kaunteya
duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam
nāpnuvanti mahātmānaḥ
saṁsiddhiṁ paramāṁ gatāḥ

"To come back to Me, that is the highest perfection of life. He does not come to this miserable world."

So we should be careful not to eat anything which is not offered to Kṛṣṇa, prasādam. That should be determination. We cannot purchase things from the market and eat. No. That is not possible. We cannot eat. We can simply eat such things which are offered to the Deity, Kṛṣṇa. That is yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ [Bg. 3.13]. Even if we have committed some sin, by eating this prasādam we counteract it. Mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ. Yajña-śiṣṭa... Aśiṣṭa means the remnants of foodstuff after offering yajña. If one eats, then mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ. Because our life is sinful, so we become, I mean to say, freed from the sinful activities. How it is? That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, that ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi [Bg. 18.66]: "If you surrender unto Me, then I'll give you protection from all sinful reaction."

So if you make it a vow that "I shall not eat anything which is not offered to Kṛṣṇa," that means it is a surrender. You surrender to Kṛṣṇa, that "My dear Lord, I shall not eat anything which is not offered to You." That's vow. That vow is surrender. And because there is surrender, you are protected from the sinful reaction.

All right. All right. Now you can... Hare Kṛṣṇa. [end]