Bhagavad-gītā 1.41–42 , London , 1973-07-29
Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [Prabhupāda and devotees repeat] [leads chanting of verse]
kula-ghnānāṁ kulasya ca
patanti pitaro hy eṣāṁ
[break] [leads chanting of synonyms]
saṅkaraḥ---such unwanted children; narakāya---for hellish life; eva---certainly; kula-ghnānām---of those who are killers of the family; kulasya---of the family; ca---also; patanti---fall down; pitaraḥ---forefathers; hi---certainly; eṣām---of them; lupta---stopped; piṇḍa---offerings; udaka---water; kriyāḥ---performance.
Translation = "When there is increase of unwanted population, a hellish situation is created both for the family and for those who destroy the family tradition. In such corrupt families, there is no offering of oblations of food and water to the ancestors."
Prabhupāda: Saṅkaro narakāyaiva. When there are unwanted children, then the family tradition, the family obligation, they are all forgotten. At the present moment, nobody knows that after death there is life, and still such life is connected with the family, the forefathers and the descendants. Nothing of this science is known at the present moment.
More or less, exactly like animals. That's all. As animal has no such feelings or connection---simply the number of days he will live, he will eat, sleep, have sex life and die, that's all. This subtle regulation of family connection is unknown at the present moment, and still they are very much proud of advancement of knowledge.
So unwanted children, as we have discussed in the previous... Praduṣyanti kula-striyaḥ [Bg. 1.40]. If the woman, kula-striyaḥ, family... Family woman and prostitute are different. Still in India, the uncontrolled women, or there is a class of prostitutes, they are not family women. But kula-striyaḥ, family women, they have got so many obligations. There is a verse that svargāpta-kāma-mokṣāya dharā samprati hetavā.
Dharā means wife. Wife can help one to be elevated to the heavenly planets, and dharmārtha-kāma, to become helpful in the matter of advancement in religious and spiritual knowledge = dharma; artha, economic development; kāma, satisfying the husband for sense gratification; dharma artha kāma; and mokṣa also, also for salvation.
The wife is so important. If there is chaste wife, she can help the husband in these four principles of life, dharma artha kāma mokṣāya, dharā samprati hetutā [SB 4.8.41, Cc. Ādi 1.90]. If we can train up nice wife, or the society trains the girls to become nice wife, she becomes a great source of energy to the husband. Dharma-artha-kāma-mokṣāya dharā sampra... And if they are polluted, they become source of the saṅkara, varṇa-saṅkara.
The exact example of varṇa-saṅkara is the hippies at the present moment, all over the world, not only in the Western countries but in India also. So the population, hippie population, means saṅkara population. So increase of such population means narakāyaiva, naraka, hellish, hellish condition of life in this life, also in the next life. At that time, to live... Actually we have practically seen in recent year, especially in Calcutta, it has become a hellish life. The population, the younger generation, is so polluted, so contaminated, that you cannot safely walk in the street. Anywhere, the young boys they can encircle you and rob you. You cannot say. The police cannot help, the government cannot help. So these unwanted children, without being trained up in the varṇāśrama system, they become the cause of hellish life in this life, also after death.
After death, according to Vedic regulation, piṇḍa-udaka, piṇḍa, offering Viṣṇu prasādam and water at least once in a year, it is required by the family members. In... According to Vedic culture, there is one month fixed up in a year when all people will offer piṇḍa and udaka to the forefathers. Tarpana. Tarpana. Week or fortnight, for one fortnight. So the idea is that if the forefather in that family has not achieved a proper life... Sometimes, due to sinful activities, too much attachment, a man becomes ghost. Ghost...
There is ghosts = bhūta preta piśāca. Not only this life, demonic life, but after death also there are ghostly life. They do not get this gross body. They remain in the subtle body---mind, intelligence and ego. Due to their gross sinful life, they are punished by not getting a gross life. Because without getting a gross life, we cannot enjoy. With mind, I cannot enjoy rasagullā. I must have the tongue, I must have the hand, fingers, I can pick up, then... In the mind, I may think of eating or collecting rasagullā, but actually I do not get the taste.
So gross body is required, because every living entity in this material world, they have come to enjoy. Kṛṣṇa bhuliyā jīva bhoga vāñchā kare pāśāte māyā tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare [Prema-vivarta 6.2]. This is the beginning of our material life. When we forget to render service to Kṛṣṇa, immediately we get a material body offered by the material nature.
guṇair karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate
So this gross body is required for enjoyment. Spirit, spiritual body is also very subtle, and the astral body, or subtle body, is also very subtle. The gross body required. So on account of one's severe sinful life, he does not get this gross body.
Therefore the lupta-piṇḍodaka-kriyāḥ [Bg. 1.41]. Taking for granted that some of my forefathers have become ghostly life and has not got the gross body, so by this piṇḍodaka... Piṇḍa means offering prasādam of Viṣṇu prasādam. Still in India there is a place, Gayā. There is Viṣṇu temple, and it is a custom, all Hindus... Nowadays, they do not go. They do not believe even. They have given up everything. Due to unwanted children, they don't care for it, what is family, what is piṇḍa-udaka. Simply eat, drink, be merry and enjoy, that's all. But you see five thousand years, Arjuna... Arjuna was not a brāhmaṇa, neither a sannyāsī. A gṛhastha, householder, and a..., in royal order. He's on the battlefield. He's not a Vedāntist. But just see how his knowledge is perfect.
This is Vedic culture. One may not be a brāhmaṇa... Brāhmaṇa is very advanced. Satya śama dama titikṣa [Bg. 18.42]. But even kṣatriyas, they are also so advanced, so advanced we can see that he is hearing Bhagavad-gītā from Kṛṣṇa in the battlefield. How much time you can spare in the battlefield? The talk took place between the two soldiers when he was just going to throw his arrow. Śāstra sampate. Just was going to... He became very compassionate = "Kṛṣṇa, I have to kill my own kinsmen." And he's describing. He's describing, "What kind of sinful activities I am going to do." So just try to understand how much people were advanced. These Bhagavad-gītā talks took place between Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna in the battlefield, just on the verge of his beginning the battle. So how much time he could spare? Utmost, half an hour. Not more than that.
So within half an hour, this Bhagavad-gītā was taught to Kṛṣṇa [Arjuna], and he could understand it, and then agreed to fight = "Yes," naṣṭo mohaḥ smṛtir labdhā, kariṣye vacanaṁ tava [Bg. 18.73]. How much advanced he was in education and learning, just imagine. At the present moment they are reading Bhagavad-gītā years after years, big, big scholars, big, big theologicians and... But they cannot understand. After reading Bhagavad-gītā, they are accusing Kṛṣṇa as immoral.
One professor in Oxford University, he is a student or professor of Bhagavad-gītā, has written book. Now his conclusion is that Kṛṣṇa is immoral. That means he could not understand Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā cannot be understood by any demon or third-class man. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. Kṛṣṇa said to Arjuna that "I am speaking to you the same Bhagavad-gītā, science of God, which I spoke millions of years ago to the sun-god, because the paramparā is lost, and I have picked up you because," bhakto 'si me priyo 'si me [Bg. 4.3], "you are very dear friend and bhakta."
So Bhagavad-gītā is not meant for the demons or the abhaktas. The first condition is that he must be a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Then it will be revealed. Otherwise it is not possible. Nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yoga-māyā-samāvṛitaḥ [Bg. 7.25]. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhā prapadyante narādhamāḥ [Bg. 7.15]. These things are there. So if one is devotee of Kṛṣṇa, he can understand Bhagavad-gītā very easily. Just like Arjuna understood within half an hour. Others, they cannot understand. In one sense, the people at that time were so educated, advanced, that they could talk about the Absolute Truth and understand within half an hour, one hour. There was no need of books in those days. People were so sharp-memoried, once heard from the spiritual master, they'll never forget. With the advancement of Kali, so many things will reduce. One of them is the memory will be reduced. People will be weaker. There will be no more mercy. The brain will not be so powerful or sharp. These things are described. So we cannot even imagine what kind of brain Arjuna possessed.
Another thing, this Bhagavad-gītā is part of Mahābhārata. And the Mahābhārata was written for strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayi na śruti-gocarāḥ [SB 1.4.25]. Strī, woman, strī, śūdra and dvija-bandhu. Dvija-bandhu means a person born in high family, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, at least brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, but he's not qualified brāhmaṇa or kṣatriya. He's called dvija-bandhu, the friend of the twice-born. The brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, they are twice-born. One birth is father and mother; another birth is by the spiritual master, by Vedic knowledge. The Vedic knowledge is mother and the spiritual master is the father. So the second birth. Therefore, they are called dvija, twice-born.
So dvija-bandhūnām, those who are not actually twice-born but born in the family of dvijas. Therefore they are called dvija-bandhu, "not dvija; friends of the dvijas." Dvija-bandhu. One may become a friend of the dvija. One may become a son of a high-court judge, but that does not mean he's also high-court judge. But now they are taking, "Because my father is brāhmaṇa, therefore I am brāhmaṇa." No. That was not accepted. Your father may be brāhmaṇa, but if you are not qualified a brāhmaṇa, you cannot be called a brāhmaṇa. You can be called dvija-bandhu.
So this Mahābhārata was written, strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayi na śruti gocarāḥ [SB 1.4.25]. Woman and dvija-bandhu and the śūdras, it is very difficult for them to understand the Vedic literature direct, because they have no advanced knowledge or education. Therefore the same thing. The Vedic knowledge was described in the Mahābhārata. Because it is history. Everyone is interested to read history. So through history the Vedic knowledge was imparted. Therefore Mahābhārata is called the fifth Vedas. There are four Vedas = Sama, Yajur, Ṛk, Atharva. And Mahābhārata is fifth Veda. They are meant for this stri, śūdra, dvija-bandhu. So Bhagavad-gītā is within the Mahābhārata.
So actually it was meant for the less intelligent class of men. But, at the present moment, the highest intelligent class of men cannot understand. Just see the difference. Formerly, five thousand years, this was meant for the less intelligent class of men, and we have deteriorated so much that the so-called highest intelligent class of men cannot understand this Bhagavad-gītā. And he is posted as the professor in the Oxford University. So this class of men are leading the society. The third-class, fourth-class men, they are leaders. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ [SB 7.5.31]. So now we are talking with so many big, big person, guests, coming daily. But actually, we can see how much the third-class, fourth-class men, practically blind, they are leading the society. That we can understand.
Therefore, the social order is... Just like Arjuna is describing here, saṅkaro narakāyaiva kula-ghnānāṁ kulasya ca [Bg. 1.41]. Who knows this? Who knows this science, that saṅkaro narakāyaiva, if you produce unwanted children, irresponsible children, then the whole world will be in hellish condition? Who is caring for that? The world is in hellish condition, we can perceive, but they are trying in a different way. They want to remain demons; at the same time, they want to become leader. So at the present moment, comparing the social status five thousand years ago... According Darwin's theory, five thousand years ago men were uncivilized. Uncivilized. Now this literature is written by uncivilized men. Just see. So highly intellectual writings, they were uncivilized. Now they have become civilized. That is Darwin's theory. We are not making progress.
So Arjuna said that patanti pitaro hy eṣāṁ lupta-piṇḍodaka-kriyāḥ [Bg. 1.41]. Piṇḍodaka. In Calcutta, there was a big scientist. His name was Sarpisirat[?]. He was speaking in a... He was atheist number one; he was speaking that "This piṇḍodaka, by offering piṇḍa, prasādam and water, if it goes to my forefather, so just give me to eat downstairs, whether I can eat upstairs." This reasoning. But he does not know that how much there are different types of eating. They do not know there is eating in the subtle body also. The ghosts also, they eat, but the method is different. So even a big scientist speak like that, then how the ordinary people...? Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ, lokas tad anuvartate [Bg. 3.21]. If the so-called advanced in education they speak so irresponsibly, naturally, others will follow.
Therefore, at the present moment, the whole generation is covered with ignorance and darkness. No clear knowledge. And without clear knowledge, whatever we do... Just like in darkness, whatever we act, that is simply embezzlement. That's all. It is not very correctly understood. Therefore we have no correct knowledge, no correct activities, and..., and the result is narakayaiva.
[aside:] So you can read next verse.
Pradyumna: [leads chanting of verse]
kula-dharmāś ca śāśvataḥ
[break] [leads chanting of synonyms]
Translation = "Due to the evil deeds of the destroyers of family tradition, all kinds of community projects and family welfare activities are devastated."
Prabhupāda: So jāti-dharma. Jāti, nowadays it has been taken as "national," but here, jāti-dharma means... Just like one is born in brāhmaṇa jāti, kṣatriya jāti, vaiśya jāti, śūdra jāti. So each jāti, they have got different types of responsibilities. So when the unwanted children, irresponsible children, they do not follow any more the tradition, the family tradition, or jāti-dharma, so they create a class of population in the varṇa-saṅkara. So everything becomes topsy-turvy, hellish condition.
And actually it has so happened. Now there is no more jāti-dharma. Everyone is engaged somehow or other to fill up the belly. Formerly, formerly there was stricture. The brāhmaṇa, the kṣatriyas, and the vaiśyas, these three higher castes, there were certain restrictions. The brāhmaṇa would not do this or the brāhmaṇa must do this. So that is called jāti-dharma. A brāhmaṇa cannot accept service from anywhere. I have discussed many times. A kṣatriya also cannot. And vaiśya cannot. Only the śūdras can become servant of other. Paricaryātmakaṁ karma śūdrasyāpi svabhāva-jam [Bg. 18.44].
So at the present moment, nobody can observe the strict rules and regulations, that "I am born in a brāhmaṇa family. I cannot accept anyone's service." Then you will have to starve. Because he has no brahminical capacity... By education, by culture, he's a śūdra, although falsely he's claiming that he is a brāhmaṇa or a kṣatriya. So his jāti-dharma, family tradition, family rituals, everything is lost due to this unwanted children. Unwanted children make everything topsy-turvy.
So Arjuna is visualizing all the future calamities. But there is one remedy. It is a fact that jāti-dharma we have lost. No more we can be called strictly following the jāti-dharma. No more can present himself strictly as a brāhmaṇa or kṣatriya. Everything is lost now, by the influence of Kali-yuga, and varṇa-saṅkara. So there is only one remedy. Only one remedy. That is stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Eleventh Canto:
na kiṅkarā nāyam ṛṇī ca rājan
sarvātmanā yaḥ śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ
gato mukundaṁ parihṛtya kartam
We must admit that we have created hellish condition of society by producing unwanted children and disobeying the jāti-dharma or kula-dharma. That one has to admit, everyone. So what is the remedy? Only remedy is to surrender to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa also says... Kṛṣṇa is canvassing, that "Even you can give up your jāti-dharma, but simply surrender unto Me. I shall give you protection."
There is another verse in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam = tyaktvā sva-dharmān caraṇāmbujaṁ harer [SB 1.5.17]. Sva-dharma. Sva-dharma means jāti-dharma. So I may be born in..., a brāhmaṇa or kṣatriya, so I have got sva-dharma. A kṣatriya or brāhmaṇa has got his own regulative principle. So Bhāgavata, Nārada says, Bhāgavata says and Nārada says that if one has given up his jāti-dharma..., because Kṛṣṇa is asking = sarva-dharmān parityajya [Bg. 18.66]. Sarva-dharma means this sva-dharma, jāti-dharma, or so many other dharmas man created for the nice keep-up of the society, just like we create even in the modern world so many rules and regulation. Take for example that one must keep to the left. Just to keep order in the society, there are so many things.
So jāti-dharma, kula-dharma is also like that. Spiritually, it has no value. It..., it can help one to be elevated on the spiritual platform. But spiritual advancement does not depend on this jāti-dharma or kula-dharma. It does not depend. Even without following the rules and regulations of jāti-dharma and kula-dharma one can become advanced in spiritual life. Ahaitukī apratihatā. If one is serious to become Kṛṣṇa conscious, then all these material impediments cannot check him. Anyone can become. Sat, sat śva-paco... There is a... What is called? Mantra-tantra-viśārada. Mantra-tantra-viśārada, avaiṣṇavo gurur na syāt, vaisnavaḥ śva-paco guruḥ [Padma Purāṇa]. Mantra-tantra-viśārada: one is very expert in jāti-dharma, but if he's not a Vaiṣṇava, if he's not a devotee of Lord Viṣṇu...
Vaiṣṇava means visnur yasya devatā, one who has accepted... There are many demigods, devatā. So sometimes they are advised that "If you want this result, then you worship this demigod." Just like it is said that if you want a beautiful wife, so you worship Umā. Umā, the wife of Lord Śiva, she is very beautiful. So similarly, if you want learning, then you worship such and such demigod. If you want money, then you worship such and such demigod. These are there, I mean to say, orders in the Vedic literature. But if you want to get relief from this material condition of life, then you have to take to shelter of Viṣṇu, Vaiṣṇava. Or the śāstra says even if you have got other desires to fulfill, still you become Vaiṣṇava. That is the last instruction. You don't require to worship other demigods. In the Bhagavad-gītā also it is said, kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ yajanty anya-devatā [Bg. 7.20]. If one is bewildered on account of lusty desires, they go to different demigods for begging some benefit.
So they are hṛta-jñāna. Hṛta-jñāna means lost of intelligence. If Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme, so suppose if you want some material happiness, can He not give you? He can give you also. So why should you bother about other demigods? Therefore it is said, kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñāna. If Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord, so if I have got some desires, material desires... Actual bhakti means minus all material... Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam [Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.11]. One must be free from all material desires. But even if you have got some material desire, still you can take shelter of Kṛṣṇa. You don't require to take shelter of other demigods.
So that is the last instruction in the Vedic literature.
yajeta puruṣaṁ puruṣa
Akāma means devotee. Devotees have no desire. They have got desire just to become devotee of Kṛṣṇa. That is natural desire. If the son desires that "I shall be obedient son of my father," that is natural desire. Or the son desires that "I shall depend on my father, and I shall be happy," that kind of desire is natural desire. Similarly, if one desires that "I shall become a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa," that is natural desire. But when I desire to lord it over the material nature and forget my service to Kṛṣṇa, that is called vāsanā. That is material desire, abhilāṣa. So we have to give up this material desire. Then it is bhakti. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñānaṁ karmādy anāvrtam anukūlyena kṛṣṇa... [Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.11].
So even if we have violated the jāti-dharma and kula-dharma... That is a fact. We have done so. There is no denying this fact. Every one of us, we have done that. Then what is the next duty or remedy? Because we have violated everything. So that, for that purpose, in the Bhāgavata gives you direction. Here is the verse = devarṣi-bhūtāptaṁ nṛṇāṁ pitṝṇām [SB 11.5.41]. Pitṛ, pitṛ piṇḍodaka-kriyāḥ. So we are obliged to offer piṇḍa and water to the pitṛs. But here is an..., what is called, outlet. Devarṣi. We are indebted to the devatās. Ṛṣis, we are indebted to the great sages. Devarṣi, deva rṣi bhūtānām. We are indebted to so many other living entities, bhūtānām; and nṛṇāṁ, we are also indebuted to the human society. Nṛṇāṁ, pitṝṇām. We are indebted to the pitṛs, forefathers. Pitṝṇām.
So na kiṅkarā nāyam ṛṇī ca rājan. One becomes free from the servitude of all these personalities, devarsi-bhūtāpta nṛṇāṁ pitṝṇām [SB 11.5.41]. How he can become? Sarvātmā yaḥ śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyam: one who has fully surrendered unto the lotus feet of the Lord, śaraṇyam. Śaraṇyam means here is the real place where one can surrender fully. Others, if I surrender to a cats and dogs, what he will help me? Therefore they are not śaraṇyam. But, by mistake, if they take shelter of such cats and dog, what benefit they will get? Therefore śaraṇyam, the worthwhile surrender, is to the lotus feet of Mukunda. Therefore it is said, sarvātmā yaḥ śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ gato mukundaṁ parihṛtya kartum [SB 11.5.41]. We have got so many duties, but in this age, we have lost everything. Therefore, our only duty is to surrender unto the lotus feet of Mukunda, Kṛṣṇa. That will save us.
Kṛṣṇa says---it is not story---Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi [Bg. 18.66]. "I know that you have violated your family tradition, your past regulations, everything you have done for which you are to be punished, sinful activities. But I give you an assurance, if you surrender unto Me, then ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi, I shall give you deliverance from the all reaction of sinful activities."
Therefore at the present moment, because we have lost all culture, we have done so many sinful activities, if we want to be saved, it is..., the only remedy is to surrender to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, and thus become saved.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. [end]