Bhagavad-gītā 1.37–39 , London , 1973-07-27

Pradyumna: [leads chanting of verse] [Prabhupāda and devotees repeat].

yady apy ete na paśyanti
kula-kṣaya-kṛtaṁ doṣaṁ
mitra-drohe ca pātakam
kathaṁ na jñeyam asmābhiḥ
pāpād asmān nivartitum
kula-kṣaya-kṛtaṁ doṣaṁ
prapaśyadbhir janārdana

[Bg. 1.37-38]



Translation = "O Janārdana, although these men, overtaken by greed, see no fault in killing one's family or quarreling with friends, why should we, with knowledge of the sin, engage in these acts?"

Prabhupāda: So other party, Duryodhana's party, they were not considering all these pious or impious, sinful or vicious activities. Because lobha-upahata-cetasaḥ: "They have lost their sense on account of greediness for acquiring the empire." When one becomes lusty or overpowered by greediness, then he loses all intelligence. There are many places stated that. Kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ yajanti anya-devatāḥ [Bg. 7.20].

Kṛṣṇa says that "Those who are worshipers of other demigods..." Actually worshipful is the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa. Others, they should be shown respect. But worship means for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is worshipful. Śaraṇyam. He is to be taken shelter of; He is to be worshiped. That is being taught. That is religion. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. Always thinking of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, worshiping Him, offering Him obeisances, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. The Deity room, offering obeisances, worshiping, chanting, dancing, always be engaged to offer respect and submission to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the duty of everyone.

Because all living entities are by constitution eternal servant. That is their healthy position. So long they remain servant of the Supreme, that is healthy. Same example I have given many times, that my part and parcel of the body, this finger, so long it is fit to give service to the body, it is healthy. If it cannot give service, then it is diseased. Similarly, all living entities who are not giving..., rendering any service to the Lord, they are simply working for sense gratification, that is diseased condition. And in the diseased condition, nobody can be happy. That is not possible. If you have got some disease, you cannot be happy.

So that is the position. They cannot understand that by serving Kṛṣṇa, we become healthy, or in our normal position. This is called ignorance. Somebody is trying to forget Him; somebody is trying to become equal with Him. This business is going on. And nobody is submitting that "My Lord, I forgot my service. From this day, I become again Your servant. Please give me protection." Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām... [Bg. 18.66]. This is the teaching of all śāstra, all Vedas.

But these people, the other party, they have become blind. They have become blind. Why? Lobha-upahata-cetasaḥ. They have lost their sense. Kula-kṣaya-kṛtaṁ doṣam. There is a great fault by destroying dynasty. Nowadays people are destroying from the womb, abortion, contraception, destroying. They do not know. Kula-kṣaya. Actually putra. Putra means..., put means puṁ-nāma-narakam. There is a hell which is called puṁ-nāma-naraka. And tra means trāyate, deliver. So putra means puṁ-nāma-narakāt trāyate iti putra. The Sanskrit word for son, putra, means that the son is expected to deliver the forefathers from the hellish condition of life. Sometimes due to our sinful activities, we become ghost. That is very hellish condition. So when śraddhā is offered by the putra---Who will offer? The putra will offer; that is the duty---then he gets again material body. These are the subtle laws.

People do not know; neither they are eager to know. But these are the information we get from Vedic literature. Putra has got a duty to save the forefathers. Therefore one has to..., it is his duty to keep a putra. At least one son he must leave. But people are not very much anxious to have putra. Rather to kill putra. They are so sinful. Kāma-lobha-hata-cetasaḥ. Simply sense enjoyment. That's all. Why bhāryā? Why one should marry? Putrārthe kriyate bhāryā. Bhāryā means wife. One accepts a wife. Why? For a putra. For a son. Why son is required? Putraḥ piṇḍaṁ prayojanam: offering oblations by the putra to deliver the forefathers. That is prayojanam. That is absolutely necessary. Each and every one should leave a putra before his death. He has got so many duties. This is Vedic civilization. But nobody now cares for that. Neither it is possible.

Therefore the only remedy is to surrender. Śaraṇyam.

devarṣi-bhūtāptā-nṛṇāṁ pitṝṇāṁ
nāyam ṛṇī na kiṅkara rājan
sarvātmanā ye śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ
gato mukundaṁ parihṛtya kartum

The one excuse is that every one of us, we are indebted to devarṣi, devatā, the demigods. The demigods, just like Indra = he supplies us water. Just like we are obliged to pay tax to the water department, to the fire department, to the education department, so many department government. Or once we pay our income tax, that is distributed to so many department. So actually why we pay? Because we are indebted. Now, the sunshine, we are getting advantage of sunshine, so we are indebted to the sun-god. Similarly, we are indebted to the moon-god. We are receiving so much advantages. Varuṇa. Deva. So we are indebted to so many demigods. Similarly, we are indebted to the ṛṣis. Just like Vyāsadeva = he has given us this Vedic literature. We are taking advantage of it. So we must feel indebted. Devaṛṣi, ṛṣi.

First of all we are indebted to the devatās, and then to the ṛṣis, then the bhūta, ordinary living entities. Just like we are taking milk from the cows. We are indebted. Now we are killing them. They are committing simply sinful life, and they want to be happy and peaceful. Just see. We are indebted. I am obliged to you for your service. So instead of feeling obligation, if I cut your throat, how gentleman I am, just see, imagine.

So we are indebted. Devarṣi-bhūtāpta-nṛṇāṁ pitṝṇām [SB 11.5.41]. And pitṝṇām, these pitṛ, kula-kṣaya, forefathers, I have got this body... From my grandfather, my father has got this body; from my father, I have got this body. I am also indebted. Because this body, human body, is a chance for understanding, for my position. I can get out of the clutches of this māyā of transmigrating from one body to another. So this opportunity I have got by the grace of my forefathers. These are feelings of obligation. And there is duty. Therefore Arjuna is considering so many things, because he is devotee.

Kula-kṣaya-kṛtaṁ doṣaṁ mitra-drohe ca pātakam [Bg. 1.37]. "These rascals, they have become lost of their intelligence on account of greediness for acquiring the empire. But so far I am concerned," Arjuna said, kathaṁ na jñeyam asmābhiḥ [Bg. 1.38]. Plural number = "by us." "Us" means including Kṛṣṇa. He is saying not "I" or "by me." He is including Kṛṣṇa = "You are in this side; so because You are on my side, You are my charioteer, if I do not consider all these things, what people will say? That 'Arjuna is such a great devotee of Kṛṣṇa. And Kṛṣṇa is there. He is committing such sinful activities.' " Therefore he says, kathaṁ na jñeyam asmābhiḥ. He is dragging Kṛṣṇa also. That is right, yes. A saintly person, a devotee, should consider all these things before acting, "Whether I am doing it property or improperly?" This is Arjuna. The other party, lobha-upahata-cetasaḥ. Upahata-cetasaḥ: they have lost their sense. But we cannot. A devotee must be very responsible. He must act in such a way that nobody can blame him. Otherwise everyone say, "What kind of devotee he is?"

So this is the duty. They should be very cautious. A sannyāsī, they should be very cautious. Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, sannyāsīra alpa-chidre bahu kari' mane. A ordinary gṛhastha, or... Gṛhastha only. If he talks with woman, nobody will blame. He is gṛhastha. But if a sannyāsī talks with woman very intimately, oh, immediately people will take note of it. Sannyāsīra alpa-chidre bahu kari' mane. That is the practice. He should be very cautious. So a devotee, a sannyāsī, they have got very, very great responsibility. People will very easily criticize them. So Arjuna is considering all these point.

Kathaṁ na jñeyam asmābhiḥ pāpād asmān nivartitum [Bg. 1.38] = "They may indulge in these sinful activities. How we can indulge? What people will say?" Kula-kṣaya-kṛtaṁ doṣaṁ prapaśyadbhir janārdana: "He Janārdana, You are maintainer of the people. So if the people become sinful, so it is very difficult to maintain them." These things are being considered. Kula-kṣaya. So we cannot destroy family. But on one condition we can become free from all this obligation. What is that? Gataḥ śarabyaṁ parihṛtya kartum [SB 11.5.41]. Śaraṇyam. Mukunda-caraṇam: one who has dedicated his life simply to serve Mukunda, Kṛṣṇa, Mukunda. Muk means mukti, liberation. And ānanda. Kṛṣṇa gives liberation. His name is Govinda, Mukunda. Hundreds and thousands of names Kṛṣṇa has got. So if one has taken..., fully surrendering unto the lotus feet of Mukunda, he has no more any obligation, either these pitṛ, devarṣi, deva, devatā, demigod, ṛṣi, bhūta. He is immune, because he is transcendental.

But so long one is not a devotee, one who is not fully surrendered to the lotus feet of Mukunda, he must have to follow all these regulative principles and duties. He cannot be released. Everything, account is kept. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ [Bg. 3.27]. Everything is noted down. Karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa [SB 3.31.1]. According to his karma, he is going to get another body. These are the subtle laws. Therefore kula-kṣaya-doṣam. You cannot destroy your family. Materially, you cannot destroy your family. So Arjuna is speaking, kula-kṣayaṁ kṛtaṁ doṣaṁ prapaśyadbhir janārdana [Bg. 1.38]. "We can see. These rascals, they have lost their intelligence, but when we see, how we can destroy the family?"

So further explanation will be given next. [break]

Pradyumna: Translation = "With the destruction of dynasty, the eternal family tradition is vanquished, and thus the rest of the family becomes involved in irreligious practice." [Bg. 1.39]

Prabhupāda: So, so much responsibility is there, killing the family. Because they have no responsibility at the present moment, everyone irreligious. Two things are there = religion and irreligion. Kṛṣṇa also says, yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati abhyutthānam adharmasya [Bg. 4.7]. If we cannot keep on religious principles, then---we have to do something---then we have to enhance our irreligious principle. So this family tradition, according to Vedic civilization, was very strictly observed so that the family may be kept in order in religious principle. Why? Now, because the human life is meant for reviving his eternal position, sanātana. This word is used here, kula-dharmāḥ sanātanāḥ.

The real purpose of life, especially human life, is meant for reviving our sanātana-dharma, sanātana occupation, eternal occupation. By observing the rules and regulation of varṇāśrama-dharma, four varṇas and four āśramas..., that is called kula-dharma. Brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa. Each one of them must strictly observe the rules and regulation of that particular āśrama. Why it should be observed so strictly? Because by observing the regulative principle of each stages of life, one will be able to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān
viṣṇur ārādhyate...
nānyat tat-toṣa-kāraṇam

[Cc. Madhya 8.58]

If we observe strictly the rules and regulation of kula-dharma... Kula-dharma means if you are a brāhmaṇa, you must observe the regulative principles, the qualitative principles of a brāhmaṇa. If you are in..., a kṣatriya, then you must also observe the kṣatriya principles. All these are described in the Bhagavad-gītā, who is brāhmaṇa, who is kṣatriya, by symptoms. By symptoms we have to accept whether one is brāhmaṇa or kṣatriya or vaiśya, not by birth. That is the injunction of the śāstra.

So this has to be observed. If we want actually deliverance from this material entanglement, so these rules and regulations of kula-dharma we must observe. If we do not observe, then immediately we become irreligious. Dharme naṣṭe kṛtaṁ kṛtsnam adharmam abhibhavati iti uta. Uta, Arjuna said, "It is said." He has learned from higher authorities. Uta. "It is said" means "said by authorities." So "If adharma, irreligious life, is propagated on account of loss of kula-dharma, then everything is lost, my dear Kṛṣṇa. So why shall I kill?" Other things also will be described later on, that the..., when the male members are killed, the female members become widow, and they, their character becomes polluted. So many things Kṛṣṇa will speak about this family life.

So at the present moment, there is no such family life, no consideration of religion, no consideration of irreligious life. Everything just like animals. Kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ. If not animals, they are all śūdras; nobody brāhmaṇa, nobody kṣatriya, nobody vaiśya. So it is a chaotic condition of the human society. Therefore it cannot be revived to the original position of systematic institutional position. It is not possible. Everything is lost. Therefore by the Caitanya Mahāprabhu's grace, one thing:

harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva ... gatir anyatha.

[Cc. Ādi 17.21]

Everything is lost. Now, simply by chanting harer nāma, the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa, you become again situated in the original position. Everything is adjusted, because it is transcendental. So there is no other way.

Caitanya Mahāprabhu is so merciful that from the śāstras he has selected this process of saṅkīrtana movement = ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. The human life is meant for extinguishing the blazing fire of material existence. But we are not in regulative principles. We have lost everything---our sanātana-kula-dharma, everything. Under the circumstances, Caitanya Mahāprabhu gives us the greatest facility according to śāstra. That is the boon of this age = kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet [SB 12.3.51]. Simply by chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, everyone becomes free from all contamination of this age, mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet. And he becomes so purified that he becomes fit to go back to home, back to Godhead.

So this opportunity, chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, we should not miss. We should... We must. Where is the difficulty, Hare Kṛṣṇa chanting? Kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ. Tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā [Cc. Ādi 17.31]. This is the only savior for the human society of this age.

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotees: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. [end]