Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 2.1.1–2 , New York , 1973-04-06
Prabhupāda: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [devotees repeat] [leads chanting of verse]
kṛto loka-hitaṁ nṛpa
śrotavyādiṣu yaḥ paraḥ
nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ
So Parīkṣit Mahārāja questioned to Śukadeva Gosvāmī, "What is my duty? Now I am going to die within seven days, what is my duty?" So he inquired about Kṛṣṇa, because Parīkṣit Mahārāja, born in a Vaiṣṇava family, Arjuna's grandson... Pāṇḍavas, they are Vaiṣṇavas and devotee of Kṛṣṇa, so from the childhood he had the opportunity to worship Kṛṣṇa. He was playing with Kṛṣṇa Deities, so naturally he was inclined to hear about Kṛṣṇa. So he inquired, "What is my duty? Shall I simply hear about Kṛṣṇa, or something else?" So on hearing this question, Śukadeva Gosvāmī is congratulating him, varīyān eṣa te praśnaḥ [SB 2.1.1] = "Oh, your question is very wonderful, very welcome," varīyān. Varīyān means "very welcome."
[aside:] What I have given, varīyān?
"Glorious," yes. "Glorious praśnaḥ, because you have inquired about Kṛṣṇa."
So varīyān eṣa te praśnaḥ kṛto loka-hitaṁ nṛpa [SB 2.1.1] = "My dear king, this question is all-auspicious for all the people of the world." If we simply inquire about Kṛṣṇa or hear about Kṛṣṇa, even though we do not understand, but that vibration of "Kṛṣṇa"... Just like we are chanting "Hare Kṛṣṇa." We may not understand what is meaning of Hare Kṛṣṇa, but still, because it is transcendental sound, it is auspicious. Wherever you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, they may hear or they may not hear, it is auspicious for them.
So we are sending our men for street saṅkīrtana. It doesn't matter whether people are eager to hear it or not, but it is auspicious. It will create an atmosphere which is very, very congenial to the human society. That should be our principle. Not that because we are chanting, nobody is taking care, we shall not be disappointed. Our this saṅkīrtana movement is so nice that simply by chanting, the vibration will create an auspicious atmosphere, varīyān eṣa te praśnaḥ [SB 2.1.1].
Now you can practically see, those who are old members... So I began in this New York in that storefront simply by chanting. So I did not bribe you American boys and girls to come after me. This is the only asset was chanting. That Tompkinson, this Brahmānanda Swami, he first came to dance with my chanting. [laughter] He and Acyutānanda, that was the first dancing of our Kṛṣṇa conscious movement. [laughter] Yes. And I had no mṛdaṅgas. That was a..., what is that?
Devotee: [indistinct] drum.
Prabhupāda: Drum, little drum. So I was chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa for..., from two to five, three hours, and so many boys and girls were coming and joining, and there was first photograph in the Times, New York Times, they appreciated, and people also appreciated. So this chanting, the beginning was only chanting. There was no..., nothing more. At that time there was no program of prasāda distribution. That, later on it came.
So we should always be confident that this chanting is not a vibration of this material world. This is not vibration of material world. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says, golokera prema-dhana hari-nāma-saṅkīrtana [Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura]. It is imported from the spiritual world. It is completely spiritual. Otherwise how it is possible? Sometimes the so-called yogīs, they say that chanting...
In Bombay there is a so-called rascal, he says, "The chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and chanting of Coca-Cola is the same." He is such a rascal. He does not know that this is not a vibration of this material world. But one who has no knowledge, they think that "What is the meaning of this chant, 'Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa'?" But they can practically see that we can go on chanting day and night, still we shall not become tired, but any other material name you take, after chanting three times you will feel tired. That is the proof. You can go on chanting day and night, you will never feel tired. So these people, poor people, they have [no] brain to understand.
Anyway, the chanting is so auspicious, Caitanya Mahāprabhu has given His benediction, ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. We are suffering in this material world because we are not cleansed of our understanding or of our heart. The heart is not cleansed. So this chanting will help us to cleanse the heart.
hṛdy antaḥ stho abhadrāṇi
vidhunoti suhṛt satām
Chanting is so nice that as soon as you take to chanting, or hear about Kṛṣṇa---the chanting is also hearing about Kṛṣṇa---so immediately the cleansing process begins, ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ [Cc. Antya 20.12]. And as soon as our heart is cleansed, bhava-mahā-davāgni-nirvāpaṇam, then we become freed from the blazing fire of this material existence.
So chanting is so auspicious, therefore Parīkṣit Mahārāja here, Śukadeva Gosvāmī says, varīyān eṣa te praśnaḥ kṛto loka-hitaṁ nṛpa [SB 2.1.1]. In another place also, Śukadeva Gosvā..., Sūta, Sūta Gosvāmī said, yat kṛtaḥ kṛṣṇa-sampraśno yayātmā suprasīdati [SB 1.2.5]. When the great saintly persons in the Naimiṣāraṇya inquired about Kṛṣṇa, he replied like that. Yat kṛtaḥ kṛṣṇa-sampraśnaḥ: "Because you have inquired about Kṛṣṇa, it will cleanse your heart, yenātmā samprasīdati. You will feel a very transcendental bliss, comfort, within your heart."
So varīyān eṣa te praśnaḥ kṛto loka-hitam [SB 2.1.1]. Loka-hitam. Actually, our this movement is the prime welfare activities to the human society, loka-hitam. It is not a business. Business means my hitam, my benefit only. It is not. It is Kṛṣṇa's business. Kṛṣṇa's business means Kṛṣṇa is for everyone; therefore Kṛṣṇa's business is meant for everyone. We therefore welcome everyone. There is no distinction. "Come here and chant," loka-hitam. And a sādhu, a saintly person, should always think of loka-hitam.
That is the difference between sādhu and ordinary man. Ordinary man, he thinks only of himself, or expanded himself, for family, for community, for society, for nation. These are all expanded selfishness. Expanded. When I am alone, I am thinking of my benefit only. When I am little grown up, I think of my brothers and sisters. And when I am little advanced, I think of my family. Little advanced, I think of my community. Little advanced, I think of my country, my nation. Or I can think of the whole human society, internationally. But Kṛṣṇa is so big that Kṛṣṇa includes everyone. Not only human society, animal society, bird society, beast society, tree society---everything. Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā [Bg. 14.4] = "I am the seed-giving father of all these forms." There are 8,400,000 different kinds of forms. Kṛṣṇa claims, "They, all of them, are My part and parcel living entities, but they are now covered by different dress only. But they are living entities." This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness vision.
Therefore one who is actually Kṛṣṇa conscious, paṇḍita, paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ... [Bg. 5.18]. Paṇḍitāḥ, he does not see the outward dress; he sees the living entity encased in this particular type of body. So he has no concern with the body. Therefore a sādhu always think of everyone's benefit. Just like Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī. Of the Gosvāmīs it is said, lokānāṁ hita-kāriṇau tri-bhuvane mānyau [Śrī Ṣaḍ Gosvāmy Aṣṭaka 2]. Because they were benefactor for all kinds of living entities, therefore they were honored tri-bhuvane, in three worlds. Tri-bhuvane. Lokānāṁ hita-kāriṇau. Nānā-śāstra-vicāraṇaika-nipuṇau.
A sādhu's business is for the benefit of all living entities. A sādhu does not like to cut even a tree, because he knows, "Here is a living entity. He is standing here for many years by his karma, and he has to continue this for many years more. So he cannot avoid this, because it is nature's law." Just like if you are put into prison for six months, nobody can save you, nobody can make you less..., one day less than six months.
So we get our particular type of body, we have to remain in that body for a certain period by the laws of nature. So by cutting the body, the living entity does not die; but because we check the continuation of his period, therefore we become sinful. You cannot cut even a tree without Kṛṣṇa's purpose. Without Kṛṣṇa's purpose we cannot kill even an ant, we cannot cut even a tree, then we shall be liable to punishment. So a sādhu sees that "Here is also a living entity." Paṇḍitāḥ sama-dar...
brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
Paṇḍita does not make any discrimination that "Here is an animal, here is a man." No, he sees, "The animal is also part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. He has got a different body. And the man also, he is also a part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, he has got a different body. Karmaṇā, according to one's karma, he is put into different type." So loka-hitam.
Now, this kṛṣṇa-sampraśnaḥ, this question and answer about Kṛṣṇa, if we simply hear, that is recommendation of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhir [SB 10.14.3]. You remain your position, but you try to hear about Kṛṣṇa. That is recommended. Simply you come in this temple and try to hear about Kṛṣṇa, sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ... That will purify. Kṛṣṇa-kīrtana, Kṛṣṇa's name, is so powerful, simply if you hear "Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa," you become purified. You become purified.
Therefore it is said, varīyān eṣa te praśnaḥ kṛto loka-hitaṁ nṛpa, ātmavit-sammataḥ [SB 2.1.1]. Ātmavit. It is not that I am only eulogizing. Ātmavit-sammataḥ. All great personalities who is self-realized, ātmavit. Ātmavit means one who knows ātmā. General people, they do not know ātmā. But ātmavit means one who knows ātmā, ahaṁ brahmāsmi, "I am spirit soul. I am not this body," and one who is well acquainted about this ātma-tattva.
So unless one becomes aware of this ātma-tattva, whatever he is doing, he is being defeated. They are seeing... Generally people, they are thinking that "I am now constructing this big skyscraper building. I am successful. I have become Rothschild, I have become Paul." That is not ātma-vit. Ātma-vit... Because he is materially opulent, that does not mean ātma-vit. That subject matter will be discussed in the next verse, apaśyatām ātma-tattvam [SB 2.1.2]. One who cannot see his ātma = gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām. They are compact in this materialistic way of life, gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām. Their condition is very...
Actually, this is the position of the whole world. They are not ātma-vit. They do not inquire ātma-tattvam; therefore they are less intelligent. Therefore I say that we..., our propaganda is to make people more intelligent. They might not have taken it very nicely. They thought that "This poor svāmī has come to make us intelligent." But actually that is the fact. That is the fact. This is not intelligence, that bodily concept of life, "I spoil my whole life for bodily comforts, and then after giving up this body, I become a cat and dog." Then what is that intelligence? Is that very good intelligence?
Actually it has happened. I do not wish to discuss. Our Godbrother, Śrīdhara Mahārāja, says... He was speaking from a paper that one of our great politician, very..., in India, he has now become a dog in Sweden. It is published. There were inquiries about some prominent men in India, and he has answered, and one of the answer is, "Such-and-such politician, he is now one of the two dogs of a gentleman in Sweden." You see?
So this time, in this life I may become very big man, or big politician, big diplomat, big businessman, but next life, after your death, it is your big..., your greatness of this material will not help you. That will depend on your work. And nature will offer you a certain type of body, you'll have to accept. Of course you will forget. That is the concession given by nature. Just like we do not remember what we had been in our past life. If I remember that... Suppose I was a king in my past life, now I have become a dog, then how much suffering it will be. Therefore by nature's law one forgets. And death means this forgetfulness. Death means this forgetfulness.
So this is a great science. People do not know it. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is very scientific, authorized, so our business is to enlighten people as far as possible, and at the same time we must remain enlightened. We may not be again covered by the darkness of māyā. That we should be... That you can keep yourself very fit not to be covered by the māyā. Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te [Bg. 7.14]. If you very strictly adhere to the principle of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then māyā will not be able to touch you. That is the only remedy. Otherwise māyā is always looking after the opportunity, loophole, how she can capture you again. But if you remain strictly in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, māyā will not be able to do anything. Mām eva ye prapadyante.
Daivī hy eṣa guṇa-mayī mama māyā duratyayā. It is very difficult to get out of the clutches of māyā. It is very difficult. But Kṛṣṇa says, mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te [Bg. 7.14] = if one is strictly adherent to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa always... Therefore our this program is twenty-four hours thinking of Kṛṣṇa. Satatam. Satataṁ cintayo kṛṣṇa. Kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ [Cc. Ādi 17.31]. These are the recommended. So if we simply think of Kṛṣṇa... If you cannot do anything, simply think of Him. That is the highest meditational perfection.
So always chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, be in touch with Kṛṣṇa in so many ways, then you are secure. Māyā will not be able to touch you. And if we can some way or other pass our days, and at the time of death we remember Kṛṣṇa, then the whole life is successful.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. [end]