Paṇḍāl Lecture , Delhi , 1971-11-14
Indian man: [Hindi, addressing audience]
Prabhupāda: [indistinct aside]
Indian man: [Hindi, addressing audience]
Audience: [applauding at a couple of points] Haribol!
Indian man: [Hindi, addressing audience]
Devotee: [aside to Prabhupāda] Karatāls?
Prabhupāda: If somebody will play, four.
Devotee: Do you want karatāls?
Audience: [speech finishes] Haribol!
Devotee: Do you want me to hold your glasses?
Indian man: [introduces Prabhupāda in Hindi]
Prabhupāda: [leads singing of Jaya Rādhā-Mādhava] [prema-dhvani]
[break] ...for your kindly participating in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Just now our guest, today's guest, was speaking about pāpa and puṇya. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is transcendental of pāpa and puṇya. Pāpa means sinful activities and puṇya means pious activities. Both activities are causes for bondage. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:
loko 'yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ
Yajñārthe. Yajñā means Viṣṇu, yajña-puruṣa. Simply for Viṣṇu or Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord of viṣṇu-tattva. There are different tattvas: viṣṇu-tattva, sakti-tattva. So we have to understand tattva.
So Viṣṇu, Viṣṇu is the Supreme Lord, tad viṣṇoḥ paramaṁ padaṁ sadā paśyanti sūrayaḥ [Ṛg Veda 1.22.20]. That is the Ṛg Veda mantra. Those who are sūrayaḥ, they are looking forward to the lotus feet of Lord Viṣṇu. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam says, na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ [SB 7.5.31]. People in general, they do not know what is their ultimate goal of life. They do not know. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ.
Everyone is self-interested. That is not bad. As a living entity, as a living being, everyone should be self-interested. That is natural, because I am individual being, you are individual being. You have got your interest, self-interest; I have got my self-interest. But unless the self-interest both of you and me are targeted towards Viṣṇu, then we shall fight.
durāśayā ye bahir-artha-mānina
Persons who are very much interested simply on the external energy... This material world is creation of the external energy of Kṛṣṇa. You have read it in the Bhagavad-gītā:
khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca...
bhinnā prakṛtir aṣṭadhā
The material world, which is creation of the five elements gross and three subtle elements: mind, intelligence and ego, Kṛṣṇa claims that prakṛti me aṣṭadhā: "My. They are My property." Actually, we try to understand whether you can create bhūmi, earth. You cannot create. The bhūmi, either you say India or Pakistan or America, that is not created by the human being. You cannot create. Even a small particle of sand you cannot create in your laboratory, what to speak of this whole world. That is claimed by Kṛṣṇa, me, "That is Mine," and prakṛti, prakṛti means generally woman, as woman is predominated and the man is predominator.
In our general life we understand it very easily. Husband and wife, the wife is predominated, naturally, and the wife remaining predominated by the husband, the predominator, she is happy. That is the injunction of our Manu-saṁhitā: na striyaṁ svatantratām arhati. Women should not be given independence; they should be given protection. In childhood she should be protected by the father, in youthhood she should be protected by the husband, and in old age she should be protected by the elderly sons. That is our law, Vedic law.
But this prakṛti means that enjoyed. This prakṛti is enjoyed. Similarly, there is another prakṛti. Kṛṣṇa says, apareyam itas tv viddhi me prakṛtiṁ parā [Bg. 7.5]. This is material prakṛti. And there is another prakṛti, which is called jīva-bhūtāṁ mahā.
yayedaṁ dhāryate jagat
Dhāryate, sustainer, and the dhārya, or sustainer, the living entity... Just like your body, my body, it is sustained by the spirit soul. As soon as the spirit soul is gone out of this body, it is simply a lump of matter only. It has no value. Therefore that small particle, spiritual spark, is important more than this matter. Apareyam itas tv viddhi me prakṛtiṁ parā [Bg. 7.5].
So the jīva-bhūtāṁ mahā-bāho, the living entities, they are also calculated as prakṛti, women, and this matter, that is also calculated as prakṛti. So a prakṛti, a woman, cannot enjoy another woman. If she wants to enjoy another woman, that is artificial. Similarly we, although superior prakṛti, are Kṛṣṇa's. We are unnecessarily trying to enjoy this material prakṛti. That is our fault. That is called illusion, "which is never possible." Which is never possible.
But it is going on, beginning from Brahmā down to the small, insignificant ant. Everyone is trying to enjoy this world. Therefore sometimes the living entity is sometimes described as puruṣa. Puruṣa means enjoyer. So this is illusion, because unnecessarily we are trying to enjoy this material world on our personal account. That is the cause of all dissatisfaction all over the world.
This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is started to convince people in general that they are not enjoyer; they are enjoyed. Therefore they should come to their original consciousness, which is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Now we have forgotten. Consciousness is pure, but when it is contaminated by the material modes of nature, sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa, tri-guṇa-mayaḥ, then it becomes polluted. Just like the water, when it falls down from the sky, from the clouds, it is crystal clear, but as soon as it contacts the earth it becomes muddy. Similarly, our consciousness, originally it is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
There is another world, which is called spiritual world. That is also mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā:
'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ
In that world there are also living entities, there are also planets, they are called Vaikuṇṭha planets, and there living entities, they are all liberated. They are called nitya-mukta, eternally liberated. They never come here in this material world. And those who have come here in this material world, they are called nitya-baddha, eternally encaged.
So our this human form of life is meant for getting out of this encagement. That is called mukti, or liberation. And what is that liberation? Liberation means to be situated in his own original position. That is the description given in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:
That is called mukti. When we give up our artificial endeavor and we become situated in our original consciousness, that is called mukti, or brahma-bhūta, brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā.
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is very important, because it is trying to deliver people in general—not only in India, but all over the world—how they can be situated in their original consciousness, which is called mukti,
Svarūpa means, as Lord Caitanya, when He was asked by Sanātana Gosvāmī, "What I am?" He said that "Your real constitutional position is that you are eternal servant of God," jīvera 'svarūpa' haya—nitya kṛṣṇera dāsa. That is our eternal position. But when we do not try to serve Kṛṣṇa, we have to serve; we are obliged to serve māyā. Our service position is there. That is our constitutional position. We cannot be master; that is not possible. We are servants.
Now, we are meeting so many friends here, thousands. Now can anyone say that you are not servant? Every one of us is servant. Every one of us servant, because that is our constitutional position. But if we try to artificially to become master, that is illusion. We cannot become the master. Jīvera 'svarūpa' haya—nitya-kṛṣṇera dāsa. But the struggle is, here in this material world, they are trying to become master. Somebody is trying to become master of his family, somebody is trying to become the master of his community, somebody is trying to become master of his nationality, and somebody is trying to become master of the internationality, and at last somebody is trying to become the Supreme God.
That means everyone is trying artificially to become the master, and that is illusion. We have to become servant—that is our mukti—not master. That is artificial. The same thing I have already explained: this matter and the living entity, both of them are prakṛti, they are womanly nature, or predominated nature. So we cannot be master.
The Vedās also confirm,
eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān
[Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]
The Lord, Supreme Lord, He is also eternal, we are also eternal, because qualitatively we are one with the Lord, mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ. Jīva, the living entities, they are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. So if Kṛṣṇa is gold, then we are also gold. Kṛṣṇa is sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ; therefore we are also sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ. But because we are very minute particle, sometimes this quality of sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ becomes colored by the illusory external nature.
Just like a small spark of the fire when it falls down on the ground, it almost it becomes extinguished or it becomes extinguished, that is our position. Because we have fallen down from the original fire, Kṛṣṇa, therefore our spiritual life or enlightenment is now covered, and as soon as again we ignite that spiritual consciousness, that is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So Sūta Gosvāmī, from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam he is giving us a very nice program how we can invoke our spiritual consciousness. That is stated in Caitanya-caritāmṛta, that,
śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte karaye udaya
[Cc. Madhya 22.107]
Udaya means it becomes awakened. Śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte. This process, just you are kindly hearing about Kṛṣṇa...
[break] we are employing so many devotees all over the world simply to canvas people to surrender unto Kṛṣṇa. That is our business. So this process of hearing is recommended in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam,
Kṛṣṇa, these words or message about Kṛṣṇa, is puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ. Puṇya, one who is hearing and one who is chanting. Just like I am speaking and you are hearing: both of us being benefited. Both of us being benefited because the subject matter is Kṛṣṇa. Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mission is that, that "Anywhere you go, you become a spiritual master on My order."
And what is your business? Yāre dekha, tāre kaha ‘kṛṣṇa’-upadeśa. Whomever you meet, you simply speak the message of Kṛṣṇa, nothing else. Yāre dekha, tāre kaha ‘kṛṣṇa’-upadeśa. So Bhagavad-gītā is spoken by Kṛṣṇa personally, that is also kṛṣṇa-upadeśa, and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, that is also kṛṣṇa-upadeśa, both of them.
So our preaching point is to make people to understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam as it is. That is our business. Because the more you hear, you become pious, your heart becomes cleansed of material dirty things.
Anyone who is simply hearing, even if you do not understand a single word of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, but if you simply give your aural reception to hear the words, the transcendental vibration will cleanse your heart. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam, it will cleanse your heart. That is stated in the Śrīmad- Bhāgavatam. Caitanya Mahāprabhu also says:
ānandāmbudhi-vardhanaṁ prati-padaṁ pūrṇāmṛtāsvādanaṁ
[sarvātma-snapanaṁ] paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam
[Cc. Antya 20.12]
So this saṅkīrtana movement is so nice that even if you do not understand a word, you will acheive the result of pious activities, puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ. But we are not interested. Kṛṣṇa-bhakta is not interested for pious activities also. They are not interested for sinful activities, but they are also not interested in pious activities. They are simply interested in the service of the Lord. That is. That service of the...
Just like Arjuna. Arjuna, in the beginning, he was thinking that this fighting is impious activities, sinful activities: "Kṛṣṇa, don't ask me to fight. It is very much sinful. I will not fight." But after learning Bhagavad-gītā he agreed to fight. So how this impious activity, fighting, became pious activity? That is to be understood. Because Kṛṣṇa advised Arjuna to fight. In the beginning he declined, but at the end he agreed. He said, kariṣye vacanaṁ tava [Bg. 18.73], "Yes."
Kṛṣṇa inquired, "Now what is your decision? I have spoken to you everything. I have explained. Now what is your decision?" Arjuna replied, kariṣye vacanaṁ tava. Kariṣye vacanaṁ tava, and he fought. He killed his grandfather Bhisma, which he was hesitating, that "How shall I kill my grandfather? He is so pious and so generous, he is so kind. And my ācārya Droṇācārya?" But later on, after understanding Bhagavad-gītā, he fought and killed them.
Now, try to understand, the same thing which was considered before as impious, how it became pious? Because Kṛṣṇa certified Arjuna, bhakto 'si me, priyo 'si me: "You are My very nice devotee and very dear devotee." So a person who is very dear as devotee of Kṛṣṇa, is he impious? No. He is not impious. He cannot be impious. Therefore this pious or vicious activities, they can be considered in terms of our relationship with Kṛṣṇa. What Kṛṣṇa says, that is pious, what Kṛṣṇa does not say, what Kṛṣṇa forbids, that is impious, not in our standard.
Therefore in the śāstra it is said that dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītaṁ [SB 6.3.19]. Dharmaṁ. What is dharma? Dharma means you have to execute the orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is dharma. And Kṛṣṇa also advises the same thing: sarva-dharmān parityaja mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja.
So how we can achieve that status of life when we can directly speak with Kṛṣṇa and carry His order? That means purification of heart, ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ. That is recommended here:
hṛdy antaḥ stho hy abhadrāṇi
vidhunoti suhṛt satām
Hṛdy antaḥ stho hy abhadrāṇi. Kṛṣṇa is sitting in your heart. So as soon as you are eager to understand Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa also becomes interested in you. Kṛṣṇa says,
na me dveṣyo 'sti na priyaḥ
Because He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He must be equal to everyone. He says that samo 'haṁ, "I am equal to everyone," sarva-bhūteṣu, "not only human being; animals also. I am equal to everyone." Na me dveṣyo 'sti na priyaḥ: "Nobody is subject of envy for Me, neither anybody is very dear to Me." Because they are working in their own way. Ye tu bhajanti māṁ bhaktyā teṣu te mayi [Bg. 9.29]: "But one who has taken to the devotional service, I am there particularly taking attention."
And He has many times declared, kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati [Bg. 9.31]. So we have to take shelter of Kṛṣṇa. Unless we come to that position, all our knowledge, all our religion, they are simply śrama eva hi kevalam, simply waste of time, labor, only. So that is also stated in this verse, in this chapter, that,
notpādayed ratiṁ yadi
śrama eva hi kevalam
You can execute your religion—it doesn't matter—very nicely, dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ, but if you do not, I mean to say, awaken your Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then in the śāstra it is said that is simply waste of time, simply labor, śrama eva hi kevalam.
Therefore this Society, Kṛṣṇa consciousness Society, is establishing all over the world, in every village and every town, a center to give chance [to] people to hear about Kṛṣṇa. Therefore this Society's name is International Society for Krishna Consciousness. That Kṛṣṇa consciousness is there in everyone's heart; otherwise how these American boys and European boys and girls [are] taking to Kṛṣṇa consciousness? It is not foreign. Many svāmīs and yogīs went there to preach Hindu culture, but they did not take. Why? They have got their Christian culture; why they shall accept Hindu culture? Why they are interested in Kṛṣṇa culture? Because the same thing, as it is stated,
hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati
Kṛṣṇa is staying in everyone's heart. So by the process we have to awaken that consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Otherwise it is not Kṛṣṇa consciousness, not Indian cult or Hindu cult. But in India, because they cultivated this Kṛṣṇa consciousness very highly, all our sages, this land, this land of Bhārata-varṣa, is the land for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But by force we have covered that Kṛṣṇa consciousness; therefore we are suffering.
We have to revive also. Not only that the foreigners should simply revive and we shall neglect. No. This is originally the land of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, so if you revive Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then the dirty things within your heart will be cleaned.
hṛdy antaḥ stho hy abhadrāṇi...
Abhadrāṇi means that dirty things that "I don't like you," "You don't like me." Because unless one is Kṛṣṇa conscious, he cannot be called a learned. As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā,
brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
One who is actually Kṛṣṇa conscious, he does not make any distinction that he is American or Indian or human being or animal. A devotee will never agree to kill an animal, not even an ant. That is, yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā [SB 5.18.12]. Factually, if you become Kṛṣṇa conscious, if your faith and love for Kṛṣṇa is unflinching, then you will be equally disposed, samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu [Bg. 18.54]. Simply by passing resolution you cannot establish universal brotherhood, unless you come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the first principle. Brahma-bhūta: you have to get release from this material concept of life; you have to come to the platform of transcendental realization.
And that is very easily done, as it is explained here, śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ. Simply try to hear the messages of Kṛṣṇa. The Bhagavad-gītā is the message and the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the message. You read first of all, hear, but don't try to malinterpret Bhagavad-gītā. Try as it is. Try to read Bhagavad-gītā as it is. Don't manufacture your ideas, that Kṛṣṇa means this or Kuruk-ṣetra means this, the Pāṇḍava means this. No. Pāṇḍava means Pāṇḍava. They are historical person. Kuruk-ṣetra means Kurukṣetra. Kṛṣṇa means Kṛṣṇa. If you study Bhagavad-gītā in that way, then there will be effect. Don't try to adulterate.
Therefore it is recommended,
Kṛṣṇa..., to hear about Kṛṣṇa, to chant about Kṛṣṇa. Even if you don't read books, if you simply chant this mantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare... That is also śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ. Hearing of Kṛṣṇa's name is the same as hearing of Bhagavad-gītā or hearing of Bhāgavatam. If one has no time, neither has got the capacity to read Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, he can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare. That is as good as the Bhagavad-gītā, because Kṛṣṇa being absolute, there is no difference between Bhagavad-gītā and this chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa. They are all the same.
That will be realized gradually. That is stated here. As soon as our heart is cleansed of all dirty things, then we shall realize what is Kṛṣṇa, what is Kṛṣṇa's name, what is Kṛṣṇa's form, what is Kṛṣṇa's activity, what is Kṛṣṇa's devotee or any other thing in relationship with Kṛṣṇa.
hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi
vidhunoti suhṛt satām
Kṛṣṇa is suhṛt, but He is especially suhṛt to His devotees, satām. The devotees are called satām, and those who are non-devotees, they are asatām, because after finishing this body they will get another body. But satām means the devotee, after finishing this body, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti, he immediately develops a spiritual body. A devotee, after giving up this body, he is no more coming back to take birth in the womb of a material body. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā.
So if we want to cleanse our heart of all dirty things that is accumulated by our association with the external energy of Kṛṣṇa, māyā, then you have to hear about Kṛṣṇa. Simple method. If you hear the Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, that is well and good. Otherwise, you simply hear Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare. You chant, and... It can be executed anywhere, in any part of the world, without any botheration, without any loss, but the gain is very much. That is our proposal. So it is very simple, at the same time sublime. You can accept it both ways. So,
hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi
vidhunoti suhṛt satām
Then Sūta Gosvāmī says, naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu...
The Bhāgavata should be heard nityaṁ, daily, regularly. Not that Bhāgavata-saptāha. This is another formality. So far Bhāgavata-saptāha is concerned, I have studied so many commentaries, at least eight principal commentators like Śrīdhara Svāmī, Jīva Gosvāmī, Visvanātha Cakravāti, Bir Rāghava Ācārya, Subodhinī. There are many ṭīkās, [indistinct], on the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, but nowhere I find the Bhāgavata-saptāha. Why Bhāgavata should be heard for saptāha? Nityaṁ bhāgavata. Because in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is stated, nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā: you have to hear Bhāgavata daily. If it is possible twenty-four hours, then your dirty things will be cleansed.
It is not a formula, that I hear for seven days and I stop it for good. No. Here is is recommended, naṣṭa-prāyeṣu abhadreṣu. It is not that completely clean. Naṣṭa-prāyeṣu, "almost clean." Even in that state, naṣṭa-prāyeṣu abhadreṣu nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā, that can be possible. Bhāgavata, Kṛṣṇa says, sva-kathāḥ śṛṇvatāṁ kṛṣṇaḥ, That sva-kathāḥ means Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
So here again it is stressed that nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā, that when one becomes almost cleansed of his heart, naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu nityaṁ bhāgavata... That is also, that cleansing process is possible simply by hearing Śrīmad- Bhāgavatam or kṛṣṇa-kathā. Then what happens?
bhaktir bhavati naiṣṭhik
If you hear about Kṛṣṇa regularly, then gradually you shall develop the love of Kṛṣṇa. Bhagavaty uttama-śloke. Bhagavān, Kṛṣṇa, is described here as uttama-śloka. Kṛṣṇa is described by his finest poetry. Śloka means poetry or statement; uttama means transcendental. Ud-gata tama yasmād. Tama is this material. So Kṛṣṇa's description is not material description. Just like we have description of Kṛṣṇa in the Brahma-saṁhitā,
lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhīr abhipālayantam
Kṛṣṇa is attached. Why? Tending cows, surabhīr abhipālayantam.
These are all transcendental description. Kṛṣṇa is not an imagination. It is not that we have to imagine the form of Kṛṣṇa. It is not the question of imagination. It is practical fact, as it is stated in the śāstras.
So that... [break] …naiṣṭhikī. If you continue to hear about Kṛṣṇa, then you will have firm faith in Kṛṣṇa, as these boys and girls, they are Europeans, Americans, but still you cannot deviate them from kṛṣṇa-bhakti. That is not possible. If you bribe them, or if you give the empire of the whole world that "You forget Kṛṣṇa consciousness," they will never forget. Bhaktir bhavati naiṣṭikī.
So this is the formula. So India, this calamitous position of India, you try to hear Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, you try to hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, your all problems will be solved.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. [audience claps]
[break] Yes, come here. [invites man from audience onto stage] [break]
Guest (American man): Oh, I have a bad memory. Sir, could you tell me, have you realized yourself within? Start with..., I mean the self within the spine of the heart, the ātma. I mean the ego, not the self little, but the big one, the self within. Have you realized that?
Guest: You have?
Guest: All right. Thank you. Now when was the Gītā written, sir?
Prabhupāda: Five thousand years ago.
Guest: Five thousand years ago? Well, most of the schools generally place it between the fifth and the second centuries before Christ.
Prabhupāda: That is nonsense.
Guest: According to Swami Prabhavananda, who was the foremost disciple of Swami Suryananda, who was regarded by his master Sri Ramakrishna as a perfect embodiment of that renunciation called [indistinct]... And also, according to...
Prabhupāda: Do you know how to understand Gītā?
Prabhupāda: Do you know how to understand Gītā?
Guest: I don't say that. I...
Prabhupāda: No. Do you know how to understand Gītā?
Guest: I don't say that. I'm not an enlightened being. I am not...
Prabhupāda: Then you become first of all a student of Gītā.
Guest: I just asked for a few questions. Now all right...
Prabhupāda: No, you cannot question, because you do not know what is the process of understanding Gītā.
Guest: I have... I know.
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Guest: I read the book, and I may not have...
Prabhupāda: What you have read?
Guest: I have intuition...
Prabhupāda: No, no. What is that, you say first of all. What is that process?
Guest: What process?
Prabhupāda: To understand Bhagavad-gītā, what is the process?
Guest: To understand Bhagavad-gītā?
Prabhupāda: Yes. What is the process?
Guest: I just want to ask you a few questions.
Prabhupāda: Then you do not know.
Guest: I want to have a [indistinct], because I do not know much about the Bhagavad-gītā. Now you could ask me...
Prabhupāda: But you learn it first of all. Yes. I will tell you. Now you sit down tight.
Guest: Now when was...
Prabhupāda: First of all you hear. Don't talk nonsense. First of all hear. First of all you state what is the process of understanding Bhagavad-gītā.
Guest: I understand it a bit.
Guest: I understand it.
Prabhupāda: What is the process? I am asking you what is the process.
Guest: I asked you a few questions. I have come here to ask you a few questions.
Prabhupāda: Then you learn from me. Don't ask me questions which you do not understand.
Guest: I am a simple man. I have no diplomas, no university...
Prabhupāda: Then you try to understand from me.
Guest: Now when was Lord Kṛṣṇa's birthday this year?
Prabhupāda: Ah. First of all let me know. You are questioning me so many ways, you answer my one question: What is the process of understanding Bhagavad-gītā?
Guest: I don't know, because... I don't know. I'm not an enlightened being.
Prabhupāda: Then you stop please. Then don't talk. You do not know..., understand how to understand Bhagavad-gītā.
Guest: I am asking you a few questions. Why don't you answer me?
Prabhupāda: I cannot answer because you do not know how to understand the process.
Guest: We live in a democracy. I am not an enlightened person.
Prabhupāda: No, no, we are not under democracy; we have got a process.
Guest: I am not an enlightened being. I am in studying.
Prabhupāda: Then you study first of all what is the process.
Guest: No. Please answer my questions.
Prabhupāda: No. I cannot answer, because you do not know the process.
Guest: I want to know more about this.
Prabhupāda: No. I cannot.
Guest: We live in a democracy...
Prabhupāda: I am not your servant, that I have to answer.
Guest: Even in the Pakistan parliament...
Prabhupāda: First of all you have come to question.
Guest: …the people are allowed to ask questions. [shouting:] Now we live the largest democracy of the world.
Devotee: Take him off.
Prabhupāda: Nonsense, I cannot answer. It is nonsense.
Guest: Richard Nixon said it...
Guest (2) (Indian man): I will answer you. I will answer you. It is not Prabhupāda. Just come down, I will answer you. Your questions have no bearing. I will answer you.
Guest: You will answer me?
Guest (2): I will answer you, one by one.
Guest: Who are you?
Guest (2): I am just one of them who has come. I will tell you.
Guest (3): There are many more who will answer you...
Guest (2): [loudly] I will answer you, one by one. Not Prabhupāda.
[some devotees start chanting govinda jaya jaya gopāla jaya jaya] [break]
Prabhupāda: …understanding Bhagavad-gītā. I have been requested to state the process. Just like you take a bottle of medicine given by your physician. On the bottle there is a label, and the instruction is given there, how to take the medicine. Just like there is a mixture, and the physician gives direction that "This medicine to be taken thrice daily with such-and-such vehicle."
You cannot change that dose and the instruction of the physician; then the medicine will not be properly taken and it will not act. If you whimsically make your own process to take the medicine, then you will never get relief from..., by taking that medicine.
Similarly, if you want to understand Bhagavad-gītā you have to take the direction given by Kṛṣṇa Himself. You cannot invent your own way of understanding Bhagavad-gītā. That is nonsense. You have to strictly follow what Kṛṣṇa says. In the Fourth Chapter you will find,
proktavān aham avyayam
vivasvān manave prāha
manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt
imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ
Kṛṣṇa says that "This Bhagavad-gītā yoga system was spoken by Me first some millions of years ago to the sun-god, Vivasvān," imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam. He spoke. Now, if you don't accept this proposition of Bhagavad-gītā, then what is the use of bothering yourself understanding Bhagavad-gītā? You have to accept that Kṛṣṇa spoke Bhagavad-gītā forty millions of years ago to the sun-god. It is possible, because He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
This question was raised by Arjuna also, just to satisfy common people like us. Arjuna said that "Kṛṣṇa, You are my contemporary, You are my cousin-brother, You are my friend. So practically we are born together. How I can believe that forty millions of years ago You spoke this Bhagavad-gītā to Vivasvān, the sun-god?" Kṛṣṇa answered that "Yes, both you and Me, we took many, many births, but you have forgotten; I remember." That is the difference between Kṛṣṇa and ordinary man. If you take Kṛṣṇa as ordinary man then you will never understand Bhagavad-gītā. That is the folly.
mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam
Because Kṛṣṇa comes with the human form of body, rascals think that He is ordinary man. He is not ordinary man.
kiñcid asti dhanañjaya
He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore Kṛṣṇa said that yoga system is now lost:
yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa
Because that paramparā system is lost, so if you understand..., if you want to understand Bhagavad-gītā, you have to understand through the paramparā system, not whimsically. Exactly like that: if you want to take benefit of the medicine, you must take it according to the direction of the physician. If you don't follow this principle, then you will never understand Bhagavad-gītā.
You'll never understand Bhagavad-gītā. Kṛṣṇa will be covered by yoga-māyā, and you will hover in the darkness. So this is the process. We have to understand Kṛṣṇa from the paramparā system.
Now what is that paramparā system? Kṛṣṇa spoke to Arjuna. Why? Kṛṣṇa could have selected a great Vedāntist to speak this Bhagavad-gītā. Why He selected Arjuna? He was an ordinary gṛhastha, he was a statesman, he was a fighter. You cannot expect a fighter, a king or gṛhastha to understand very much about Vedānta.
He was completely qualified, but still for our understanding we may take like that; but his one qualification was that he was a devotee. Bhakto 'si priyo 'si me, rahasyaṁ hy etad uttamam [Bg. 4.3]: "I am speaking to you Bhagavad-gītā—I do not speak [to] any Vedāntist—because you are My devotee, you are My very dear friend." So before understanding Bhagavad-gītā one has to become a dear friend and devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Otherwise useless attempt. That is the statement of Bhagavad-gītā. This is the process of Bhagavad-gītā. Understand it.
Prabhupāda: Unless you understand what is Kṛṣṇa, you cannot become devotee, and unless you become devotee, you cannot understand Bhagavad-gītā. That is the statement in the Bhagavad-gītā.
Thank you very much.
Audience: [applauds] Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda! [break]
Guest (3): …more than sensual pleasures. The reason is like the staff of living tree, it penetrates [indistinct] our whole life is striving for true religion [indistinct] the heart of and the [indistinct]. [break]
Prabhupāda: …religion. So we may speak something about religion this evening. This is... According to our Vedic system, there are two kinds of religion. First of all try to understand what is religion. Religion means constitutional position, characteristics. The exact word is characteristics. In English dictionary the religion is described as a kind of faith.
Faith you can change, but according to our dictionary, religion you cannot change, religion or dharma. Dharma you cannot change, but the English translation, faith, you can change. Today you are Hindu; tomorrow you can become a Muhammadan. Or today you are Christian, and tomorrow you can become a Hindu. This is the change of faith.
But so far the word dharma is concerned, that cannot be changed. We should understand it. Therefore the word dharma and the word religion is little different. Our conception of dharma is characteristic. Just like sugar: sugar must be sweet. If sugar is not sweet, then it is not sugar. Similarly chili, it must be hot. If chili is not hot, then it is not chili. So fire... Fire, there must be heat and light, otherwise it is not fire.
Water, it must be liquid. If the water is not liquid... Sometimes water has become solid, but that solidity is under certain condition; that is not natural. The natural religion of water is liquidity. The natural religion of stone is solidity. Similarly, you analyze anything, any physical element, you will find some particular characteristic. That characteristic is religion, not in English word, but dharma.
So we take it, then, dharma, and in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Sixth Canto, it is stated, dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītaṁ [SB 6.3.19]. Dharma, this word, is the law given by the Lord, Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of God. And actually we find in the Bhagavad-gītā that dharma as dictated by Lord Kṛṣṇa:
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
So in the beginning of the Bhagavad-gītā the Lord says,
sambhavāmi yuge yuge
Now at the end He said,
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
So the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared on this planet for establishing dharma. He said, dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya. Then why does He say sarva-dharmān parityajya? This is to be understood. That means that except for surrendering unto the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, anything which is going on under the name of dharma, that is not dharma. That is the verdict. Therefore in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, it is said in the beginning of the First Canto, second śloka, dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra. Atra is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, dharma kaitava, dharma which is going on as a cheating proposition, that is thrown away. Dharmaḥ kaitava. Śrīdhara Svāmī, the great commentator on the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, accepted by all the ācāryas; and you know when Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is presented, Śrīdhara Svāmī's commentary comes first, then all others. Śrīdhara Svāmī is so respected by all the ācāryas.
When Caitanya Mahāprabhu was at Puri, Vallabha Ācārya, he presented his Subodhinī-ṭīkā on the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and he was very proud that he wrote a commentary which was better than Śrīdhara Svāmī's. So Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu did not like that idea, that "You cannot excel the previous ācārya," He replied. He did not hear the Subodhinī-ṭīkā of Vallabha Ācārya; He simply replied, svāmī jīva nahi mane beśyāra bhitare[?]. In a very sarcastic way He replied that "Anyone who does not care for the svāmī, she must be considered as a beśa."
So Śrīdhara Svāmī... I am just trying to point out Śrīdhara Svāmī's position. Śrīdhara Svāmī, when commenting on this line, dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra, he said, artha mokṣavāṁś ca api nirastham. Dharma, artha, kāma, mokṣa. There are four things. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam says generally, people, they become religious for economic development, artha. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam says that dharma is not meant for economic development.
One should not take to religion for material benefit. That is the verdict. Generally people go to the temple, "Lord, give us our daily bread." Just like the Christians go in the church for economic solution: "Give us daily bread." This is also accepted in the Bhagavad-gītā as good, because one has gone to God for begging something. But that is not pure devotion. Pure devotion means,
śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā
[Cc. Madhya 19.167]
Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ. One should not have any ulterior motive to approach God. One should approach only God out of love, just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu teaches:
marma-hatāṁ karotu vā adarśanāt
yathā tathā vā vidadhātu lampaṭo
mat-prāṇa-nāthas tu sa eva nāparaḥ
[Cc Antya 20.47, Śikṣāṣṭaka 8]
A pure devotee even, he does not want anything from God. He says, āśliṣya vā pāda-ratāṁ pinaṣṭu mām: "Either You embrace me or You trample me down under Your feet. You make me brokenhearted without being present before me forever, but still You are my worshipable Lord." No condition. If "God, you give me this, then I become Your devotee, otherwise I shall reject You," that is, Prahlāda Mahārāja says, this is mercantile proposition, vaṇik vrit. Just like merchants, they give something, they take something. But a pure devotee does not do so. A pure devotee, anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam.
Jñānīs, they also want something, liberation, to merge into the Supreme. There is want. They undergo austerities, penances, āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ [SB 10.2.32]. They are severe, but there is a desire: "I shall become one with God." The yogīs, they also undergo severe penances in the mystic yoga system, but there is desire, aṣṭa-siddhi. The karmis, they also have desire, they are full of desires: dhanaṁ dehi rūpaṁ dehi rupavati bharyam dehi dehi dehi.
So everyone has demands—jñānī, karmī, yogī. But for the bhakta, Caitanya Mahāprabhu says,
kavitāṁ vā jagad-īśa kāmaye
There is no demand. Na danaṁ, everyone is after money. The devotee says, "I don't want money." "Then you take good followers. Become a leader. Thousands of people will follow you." Na janaṁ, "I don't want." Na danaṁ na janaṁ. "Then take good wife, beautiful wife." Na sundarīṁ kavitāṁ vā jagad, "No, I don't want." "Then what for you are laboring so much?" Hare Kṛṣṇa, or,
kavitāṁ vā jagad-īśa kāmaye
mama janmani janmanīśvare
bhavatād bhaktir ahaitukī tvayi
He does not want even liberation; otherwise why does he say janmani janmani? Liberation means no more janma.
Just see, this is the position of bhakta.
kavitāṁ vā jagad-īśa kāmaye
mama janmani janmanīśvare
bhavatād bhaktir ahaitukī tvayi
Ahaitukī. Ahaitukī means without any cause. Not that "I am going to God, or Kṛṣṇa, for some purpose." No. Therefore the devotees are called akama. Akama means no desires for any material benefit. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta there is a verse which says like this:
kṛṣṇa-bhakta—niṣkāma, ataeva 'śānta
[Cc. Madhya 19.149]
Bhukti means karmī. They want enjoyment, sense enjoyment in this world, as well as in the heaven—to become just like king of heaven, Indra, or Candra. There are so many planets over earth: Bhūr, Bhuvar, Svar, Mahar, Jana, Satya, Siddha, Brahma. So many planetary systems. And in each planetary system the sense enjoyment program is thousand times better than the other planetary system. Just like in this planet also, the European standard of living is far greater than our Indian standard. Similarly, in other planets the standard of living is far greater: ten thousands of years' duration of life, and their one day equal to our six months. Just like Brahmā's duration of life is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā,
ahar yad brahmaṇo viduḥ
So in the higher planetary systems there is greater comfort, better duration of life, everything better: better wife, better home, better atmosphere. These things are there. But Kṛṣṇa says,
punar āvartino 'rjuna
Kṛṣṇa says that even if you go to the highest planet, Brahmaloka, then you will have to come back again. "But if you come back to Me, you come back to Godhead, home, then you don't come again in this material world."
naiti mām eti kaunteya
saṁsiddhiṁ paramāṁ gatāḥ
So therefore Kṛṣṇa says that this is dharma. What is that dharma? Mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. And Bhāgavata confirms it, dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satāṁ [SB 1.1.2]. Paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ. The Bhāgavata dharma, or this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is meant for the paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ.
Śrīdhara Svāmī explains, matsaratā parā utkarṣaṇam asahanam. One who cannot tolerate other's elevation... That is the rule of this material world. Even if one is your brother, if he advances materially, then I shall be envious: "Oh, he has become so great. I am fallen." That is the nature, enviousness. Therefore this Kṛṣṇa conscious movement, or Kṛṣṇa conscious dharma, as it is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ: for all paramahaṁsa, or the paramahaṁsas, who are not envious of anyone.
The bhaktas, they are para-duhkha-dukhi. They are simply... Prahlāda Mahārāja says. Prahlāda Mahārāja says to Nṛsiṁhadeva, "My dear Lord, I am not afraid of this material existence. Not at all."
naivodvije para vaitaraṇyās
"I am not afraid of this material world." Why? Na tvad-vīrya-gāyana-mahāmṛta-magna-cittaḥ: "Because I have now learned how to be happy," tvad-vīrya-gāyana-mahāmṛta. "By glorifying You, I find the nectar of ocean, and I am dipped into that, so I have no..., I have no fear."
"Then what do you want?"
māyā-sukhāya bharam udvahato vimūḍhā
"I am simply thinking of these rascals," vimūḍhān—it is not my coined word—vimūḍhān, "who are simply laboring hard day and night for a pleasure which is māyā, useless. I am simply thinking for them, how to get them delivered from these clutches of māyā, that they are working so hard day and night simply for a flimsy pleasure, yan maithunādi-gṛhamedhi-sukhaṁ hi tucchaṁ. So I am thinking only."
So this dharma, as Kṛṣṇa prescribes,
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
That will give the greatest pleasure, the highest relief from this material world. In another place, when Prahlāda Mahārāja was inquired by Nṛsiṁhadeva, "Are you afraid of My these ferocious features?" he said, "No, Sir, not at all. I am simply afraid of this material existence. I am not afraid of Your this fearceful feature, although I am a child. Although Brahmā and others, they have become afraid; Lakṣmījī also, who is always Your consort, she is also afraid.
But I am not afraid." The position of the devotee is like that. Nārāyaṇa-parāḥ sarve na kutaścana bibhyati [SB 6.17.28]. They are not afraid of this material world, they are not after this liberation, mukti, anywhere, svargāpavarga-narakeṣv api tulyārtha-darśinaḥ [Śrī Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta 1.3.58]. They simply want that "Wherever I may be, let me chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa." That is their aim.
So this dharma, as taught by Śrī Kṛṣṇa, satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ [Bg. 9.14], the same dharma is taught by Lord Caitanya:
taror api sahiṣṇuna
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hari
[Cc. Ādi 17.31]
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is the sublime dharma. It is not our creation; it is the verdict of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
That is first-class religion, paro dharmo. There are aparo dharma... Just like two natures there are: material nature and spiritual nature. Similarly, there are two kinds of dharma: material dharma and spiritual dharma. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is for developing spiritual dharma, not material dharma. Material dharma is dharma artha kāma mokṣa, and spiritual dharma, jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā, athāto brahma jijñāsā, na artha yaś ceha karmabhiḥ [SB 1.2.10].
So this dharma is eternal dharma, because Kṛṣṇa is eternal, we are also eternal. Eternal means sanātana. Kṛṣṇa is sanātana. In the Eleventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa is described as sanātana, and in the Fifteenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā the jīva is also described as sanātana, and perhaps in the Eighth Chapter the spiritual world is also described as sanātana. So when these three sanātanas combine together, that is called sanātana-dharma.
Sanātana-dharma does not mean that dressing in a particular way or keeping a tuft. Sanātana-dharma means to be engaged eternally in the service of the Supreme Eternal. Nityo nityanānām cetanaś cetanānām, the supreme nitya, the supreme cetana, living entity, the Supreme Lord and the supreme..., the eternal servant. When this relationship is again revived... We have now lost, because our eternal nature is to serve. But we are trying to be master. That is illusion. Not only master, but at the end we are trying to be one with the Supreme also.
This desire is the disease wherefrom we are suffering in this material existence. Therefore Kṛṣṇa said,
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
"Take assurance from Me." You take this system. This is the system. Caitanya Mahāprabhu begins His teaching from this point. If one understands perfectly well the Bhagavad-gītā and the last teaching of Lord Kṛṣṇa,
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ...
That is called śaraṇāgati, "I surrender," and that is the ultimate goal. But those who are engaged in mental speculation or empiric knowledge, philosophical speculation, they will take long, long time to come to this point.
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ
So that kind of mahātmā,
daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ
That kind of mahātmā we try to create by this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement: unflinching faith in Kṛṣṇa.
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is authorized, scientific, confirmed by great persons, ācāryas, not in the past—Vyāsadeva, Nārada, Devala, Asita—but within say two thousand years: Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Nimbārka, Viṣṇu Svāmī and, latest, within five hundred years, by Lord Caitanya, and five thousand years Lord Kṛṣṇa.
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
So the question was raised, dharma. So from the angle of vision of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness Society we accept this ultimate dharma to surrender to Kṛṣṇa, and Bhāgavata confirms,
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ
jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam
It is not that this surrendering process is meant for the less intelligent class. It is the highest intelligent class, because Kṛṣṇa says, "After many, many births, one who is executing the philosophical speculation, after many, many births he will surrender unto Me." Vāsudeve... "That time, when he surrenders unto Me he will understand that vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti." [Bg. 7.19]
prabhavaḥ pralayas tathā
When he will understand, then he will surrender. But the intelligent man, he will see, "If this is the ultimate goal of life, why not surrender immediately?" That is intelligence. That is real knowledge. Surrender immediately. Why you should wait for many, many births? No necessity. You immediately surrender and become liberated. What is that liberation? Sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate.
bhakti-yogena ya sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān
So this is the process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, and we request all of you to try to understand it very seriously and take to it, and you will become happy.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. [end]