Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 5.5.1–2 , Paris , 1973-08-12
[This lecture was simultaneously translated into French by Jyotirmayī-devī dāsī]
kaṣṭān kāmān arhate viḍ-bhujāṁ ye
tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena sattvaṁ
śuddhyed yasmād brahma-saukhyaṁ tv anantam
This evening I shall explain to you some of the important verses from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the greatest contribution of Vedic literature. In the Vedic literature we find a desire tree. Whatever knowledge you want to derive, there is in the Vedic literature, and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is described as nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalaṁ [SB 1.1.3], the desire tree of Vedic literature. And a tree is eulogized on account of the fruit.
So Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the ripened fruit of that desire tree. Just like God has given our food, nice milk, fruits, food grains, sugar, rice, wheat, so many nice things. So we are not meant for eating stool. But at the present moment we have discovered a civilization that every man is work..., is to work very, very hard day and night, and he is satisfied only in sex intercourse. This is the tendency of this material world. For sense gratification one is advised to work hard day and night, like asses, dogs and hogs.
Therefore Ṛṣabhadeva advises His sons, "My dear sons, do not waste your valuable body, human form of body, like the dogs and hogs." Then what, what is the purpose of human life? If we are not meant for living like the dogs and hogs, then what is the standard of human life? The answer is, tapo divyaṁ putrakā [SB 5.5.1] = "My dear son, this life is meant for tapaḥ." Tapaḥ means austerity. Tapaḥ, another meaning is that temperature. Just like if we go in front of the fire, or if you go in the open sunlight, we get some temperature. That is called tapaḥ, or tāpaḥ, sometimes it is called tāpaḥ, temperature. Yes. So this tāpaḥ means some temperature.
[aside:] Why it is not working?
That means voluntarily we have to accept some tāpaḥ, or little temperature.
So generally the animal, they are meant for sense gratification, but human life has to practice tapasya to control sense gratification. Just like we are prescribing to our disciples = no illicit sex life, no intoxicants, no meat-eating and no gambling. No illicit sex means, just like the dogs and hogs, they have no consideration with whom they're having sex intercourse. The hog especially, pig, he does not discriminate whether sister, mother or anyone, you see. So tapaḥ means... We are accustomed to so many, I mean to say, sinful activities, so we have to restrain from them. So tapasya, accepting voluntarily some painful situation, that is required. Say for [example] I am accustomed to smoke or to drink wine. So I have to give it up. This is meant for human life. I have to give it up. Although I shall feel some pain in the beginning, but still I have to tolerate it. This is called tapasya.
In the Western countries, to give up these habit is little difficult. Because about forty years ago, one of my brother, Godbrother, came to London, and he had a talk with Marquis of Zetland, and the Lord inquired from him whether he can be converted into a brāhmaṇa. He inquired from my Godbrother whether he can be made into a brāhmaṇa. Brāhmaṇa. So our Godbrother said, "Yes, you can be converted into a brāhmaṇa if you give up these habits, namely illicit sex, intoxication, meat-eating and gambling." The gentleman's reply, Lord Zetland = "It is impossible." So that means he was not prepared to accept the tapasya, voluntarily abnegation.
But here Ṛṣabhadeva says that the human life is meant for tapasya, and not for living like pigs, hogs and dogs. Next He says, tapo divyam [SB 5.5.1], because tapasya means to accept voluntarily some painful situation. It is not very much painful, but they consider. But we are undergoing already some painful situation working day and night. To satisfy the senses, that also requires tapasya, hard labor. But here Ṛṣabhadeva says that you accept some painful condition---it is not at all painful, but it appears---tapo divyam, for God realization. [break] ...that everyone is working hard day and night, but that is for sense gratification. Similarly, if you take little trouble, if you accept voluntarily some painful condition for realizing God, divyam, that is the human mission.
Now the question may be raised that both ways, I have to accept some painful situation, so why shall I accept painful situation for realizing God? For material sense gratification, although I am working very hard, I am getting, immediately, some pleasure, sense pleasure. So why shall I work hard or accept some painful situation for realizing God, which is unknown and fictitious to me? So the reply is, tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyed sattvam [SB 5.5.1] = "My dear boys, if you accept a little trouble for realizing God, then your existentional condition will be purified." But what is the use of purifying? There is need. If you purify, purify yourself, existentional condition, then you will be saved from the four kinds of troubles or miseries of life, namely birth, death, old age and disease.
So God realization means spiritual realization. So Ṛṣabhadeva says, tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena sattvaṁ śuddhyed [SB 5.5.1] = by purification of your existentional condition you enjoy brahma-saukhyam. After all, we are searching after happiness, pleasure. So on account of our impure existential condition, our so-called happiness is temporary. Brahma-saukhyam means, here again, yena sattvaṁ śuddhyed, when your existence is purified. Now we have got impure existence, this material body. When we get our spiritual body, that is called purified.
So Ṛṣabhadeva says, sattvaṁ yasmād brahma-saukhyam anantam. As soon as you get your spiritual body, then there is unlimited happiness. We are, after all... In the Vedānta-sūtra it is said that the living entity or God, both of them are for enjoying life, blissful life. Just like when you are diseased, you have got some fever, so you cannot enjoy life. Similarly, in this diseased condition of material existence we, actually, we cannot enjoy life. Therefore, if we purify our existentional condition by tapasya, then we come into our spiritual existence and we can enjoy our life eternally. [break] ...therefore, that when we have got this human form of life, we shall not waste it simply for sense gratification like the dogs and hog. We should practice tapasya, restrain, and then we purify our existence, and we are situated in a position wherein we can enjoy blissful life forever.
Now the process is prescribed how to execute this tapasya life. Ṛṣabhadeva says, mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes: to get liberation, liberated from this entanglement of material life, one has to serve mahat, great saintly person. [break] Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimukteḥ [SB 5.5.2]. Vimukteḥ means for liberation. If you want to get liberation from this material bondage, repetition of birth, death, old age and disease... And not only that; so long we live, there are so many miserable conditions of life. This is called material existence. If we want to get out of this entanglement, then we must take to the service of great saintly personalities. So that is the way for liberation, mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam.
There are two; just like we are in the crossroad, which way we shall go? That can be understood in this human form of life. This human form of life, we have come to this point by evolution. Now we are on the..., just on the crossroad, whether we shall go this way or that way. If we want to be free from the entanglement of material misery, then here it is recommended, mahat-sevām: we must render service to the holy, saintly person. And if you want to go deeper and deeper in the darkest region of existence, then we should turn our face for sense gratification.
So the instruction is very long, so to make it shorter I beg to inform you that this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to save person from going to the way of darkness. [break] ...go farther and farther on the path of darkness, we become more and more entangled. More entanglement means there are 8,400,000 forms of body. So after death we have to accept another body.
[break] ...in the Bhagavad-gītā, tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati [Bg. 2.13] = as we are passing from one body to another in this life... I was a child, you were a child, everyone, but that child body is no more existing. I am existing in a different body, and I have to pass through many different bodies. So this is also dehāntara-prāptiḥ, changing the body. So similarly, after death we shall change the body. Dehāntara-prāptiḥ means to accept another body.
Now as I have already said, there are 8,400,000 forms of bodies. So we have to accept one of them at the time of death on the basis of our mental condition. So if we are accustomed to the beastly mentality like dogs and hog, then naturally we are going to get such body. But if we practice during this life, human form of life, while we are intelligent enough, godly life, then you are going back to home, back to Godhead. It is up to us to decide whether we are going to the dogly life or godly life. That is our choice. According to the instruction of Ṛṣabhadeva, He says that this human form of life is a chance to practice godly life and go back to home, back to Godhead.
[aside:] What is the time now?
Devotee: Should we ask for questions?
Prabhupāda: So we are in the juncture. Now it is up to us to decide whether we are going back again to the cycle of birth and death, from one body to another, or go back to home, back to Godhead, attain eternal body, blissful life.
So the path is described very distinctly, mahat-sevaṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes. If you want to get out of this entanglement, then we must associate with saintly personalities. [break] ...to go back in the cycle of birth and death, then we may associate with person who are addicted to sense gratification. So now there are description, very long description, who is saintly person, who is not saintly persons. So it will take much time. We should request you, we have opened this branch of Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement just to give chance to everyone to come here and associate with the saintly devotees, and make your life very successful.
I shall finish this lecture by reading one line only. The symptoms of saintly person is given = mahāntas te sama-cittāḥ praśāntā vimanyavaḥ suhṛdaḥ sādhavo ye. Who is saintly personality? That is given here = mahāntas te sama-cittāḥ. Sama-cittāḥ means they are equiposed; means they're not agitated by the worldly activities. That means, it is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā [Bg. 18.54]. This, one of the qualification is sama-cittāḥ, "not disturbed by worldly activities." Because in the worldly activities, either you make some profit or make some loss. So our position is when we get some profit we are very jubilant, but when we are losing something, we are very morose, unhappy. But a mahānta is equipoised. He is neither very happy when he makes profit, neither at all sorry when he makes losses. This is the first sign.
Mahat-sevam..., mahāntas te sama-cittāḥ praśāntā. Praśāntā means very peaceful. This is another qualification. Mahāntas te sama-cittāḥ praśāntā, vimanyavaḥ: he is never angry. Suhṛdaḥ: and he's a well-wisher. He's well-wisher not only for the human beings, suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām [Bg. 5.29]---for all living entities. Like this person just, who are very friendly to the human being, but they send the poor animals to the slaughterhouse.
[break] ...saintly person. Saintly person is suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām; for all living entities he's friend. Suhṛdaḥ and sādhavaḥ. Sādhavaḥ means well behaved. Sādhavaḥ sādhu-bhūṣanāḥ, well behaved. The well behavior is described in the śāstra: to become a devotee of the Lord. [break] ...of saintly person is to become devotee of the Lord.
[break] ...finish this now. You can ask if you have got any question.
Jyotirmayī: He's asking what does it mean to serve God?
Prabhupāda: Help what?
Jyotirmayī: What does it mean...
Yogeśvara: Serve God. What it means to serve Him.
Prabhupāda: You do not know the meaning of serving?
Jyotirmayī: So he said, "Yeah I know what it means service. Service means that I must do something good..."
Jyotirmayī: "...to someone. But what does that mean to serve God? If you are not able to do it, what is it exactly? Why do we have to do it?"
Prabhupāda: No, you can do it, as you are serving your country, your family or your friend. You are serving already. It is not that you are not serving. Similarly, you can serve God. Just like, we find from Bhagavad-gītā, Arjuna. Arjuna served God, Kṛṣṇa. He was a military man. So he was engaged in fighting. Kṛṣṇa wanted him to fight for His interest, so he fought. That is service to God. Every position, as you are serving your country, your family, your friend, you can serve God also.
[break] ...show you the example in every center, what we are doing. We are glorifying the Lord. We are preaching God's glory. We are publishing book for understanding God. We are cooking for feeding God. So many, all our activities are meant for serving the Lord. That's all.
Jyotirmayī: So his question is, if we glorify God every day, all the time, then is God going to give us something back, something in return for our service?
Prabhupāda: God is already giving you everything, [laughter] even if you do not serve. He is so kind that even those who are not serving, He is supplying all the necessities. So when you serve God, whatever you want you will get.
Jyotirmayī: He says, so the service that we offer now, are we going to get it back in another life?
Prabhupāda: No, in this life. Just like we, we are serving God. We have no profession, we have no business, we have no income, but Kṛṣṇa is supplying all the necessities of life. We are paying for this house two thousand dollars per month. We have got one hundred such centers. We are spending about one million dollars per month, [laughter] but we have no fixed income. Kṛṣṇa is supplying.
Jyotirmayī: He said, "So I can understand that it's really God helps you."
Prabhupāda: Now you can understand by common sense that if you serve somebody here, in this material world, he pays you some money, salary, and God is all-powerful. If you serve Him, He'll not pay you? [break] ...no problem. God is paying everyone, one who is not serving even. If you serve, He'll pay you sufficiently, don't bother.
Lady guest: [French]
Jyotirmayī: She says she thinks that we are a little exploiting God...
Jyotirmayī: Exploiting God.
Yogeśvara: Exploiting God, she thinks...
Prabhupāda: No, you should not approach for exploiting God. That is not good. But even if you go to God to exploit Him, that is also good. [laughter] [to Jyotirmayī translating] Stop, stop. Because after all, you are approaching God, even with the purpose of exploitation. That is not good, but because you are reaching God, that is very good. Just like in Christian religion we know that the prayer is, "God, give us our daily bread." So God is supplying bread to everyone. It doesn't require to ask Him. But he, because he is going to the church and praying to the God, he is very good.
Lady guest: [French]
Jyotirmayī: She says that to ask like the Christian asking for their daily bread, it is something very difficult, very painful, so it is very tragical.
Prabhupāda: No, these things are done by innocent person, one who does not know that God, without asking, He's supplying. There is no need of asking from God. Simply we have to render our service. The definition of devotional service is given in the Vedic literature, anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ [Brs. 1.1.11], "without any material desire."
[break] ...serve God as a matter of duty. We serve our father as a matter of duty, and the father takes care of the son automatically. [break] ...does not serve father, he gives all necessities of life, and what to speak of that son who is rendering service. [break]
Lady guest (2): ...serve God for our own religion besides chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, besides becoming a devotee?
Prabhupāda: Yes, religion means to serve God. We are preaching that anyone who has learned how to serve God, how to love God, he belongs to first-class religion. [break] ...care what is the name of that religion---Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Muhammadanism. It doesn't matter. We see, we want to see the follower, whether he has learned to serve God and to love God. That's it.
Jyotirmayī: So the question is that there was..., a man was working on a house yesterday, and he was killed doing his work, and he left his wife and two children. And this man was praying God every day. So what is going to happen now to them?
Prabhupāda: His children will not die for want of her [him]. [break] ...maintaining millions and millions of children. Why not her?
Lady guest (3): [French]
Jyotirmayī: She saw that in India the people who are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, they are very poor, now dying of anger..., oh, hunger, but there is those who are very rich, they are not religious at all. They do not chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, but are very rich, and they enjoy very much.
Prabhupāda: Yes, but those who are chanting, they are not dying. [laughter] I am Indian. I am not dying.
Lady guest (3): I am Indian. I am coming from Calcutta, from the [indistinct]. I am seeing every day. This is the first time...
Prabhupāda: But you do not know who are chanting.
Lady guest (3): Yes, I know. I went...
Prabhupāda: No, that's not... That I cannot accept.
Lady guest (3): Yes, yes.
Prabhupāda: Those who are chanting... We have got branch in Calcutta, in Māyāpur, in Bombay, in Vṛndāvana. None of our devotees are dying.
Lady guest (3): But I regret to say that in Māyāpur, in Navadvīpa also I saw there poor people dying.
Prabhupāda: Uh-huh. You...
Lady guest (3): I see myself [indistinct].
Prabhupāda: So you simply inspect all the persons who are dying. You do not see who are living. [break] ...were in India, I asked the people here---we have got so many devotees in Europe---who is dying. Nobody is dying. It is simply propaganda.
Lady guest (3): I know nothing about Europe. This is the first time I'm coming to Europe. I know the problem. I was always in Bengal...
Prabhupāda: But you are wrong informed. You are talking from Europe about India.
Lady guest (3): No, I was in India about one month ago, and...
Prabhupāda: But what is one month's experience, you have simply seen persons who are dying, that's all.
Lady guest (3): I am from Calcutta. I teach in Calcutta. I live in Calcutta. I am always in Bengal.
Prabhupāda: So you have seen that all Calcutta men are dying?
Lady guest (3): Yes, poor people are dying.
Prabhupāda: Ah, this is all lying propaganda. I don't believe it. I am also there. I am born in Calcutta.
Lady guest (3): I am not saying anything to contradict you. Just explain to me...
Prabhupāda: No, there is no contradiction. I am speaking that God is feeding even the animals, even the elephants, even the serpents, and why God will not feed the human kind? This is a wrong impression. Everyone has food fixed by God. Even if he is not serving God, God is supplying all the necessities to the animals; why not to the human being? This is wrong impression. [break] Yes? [break]
Jyotirmayī: [translating for guest] ...that at the beginning one..., the word, and this word was God and this word was with God. So what is this word?
Prabhupāda: God, God and God's word, they're identical. God's, God and God's form, God's quality, God's, I mean to say, entourage---everything is God. That is called absolute. As, when I speak, my speaking is different from me, so that is not the case with God. God's words, the vibration of God, that is also God. [break]
Jyotirmayī: ...name of God, can the name of God be pronounced, uttered?
Prabhupāda: Yes, why not?
Jyotirmayī: God was existing before we could utter, we could pronounce, so how can you...
Prabhupāda: So God, because existing, His name was also existing. Therefore, His name is not material name. Because God was existing, His name was existing. So God was existing before creation; therefore His name, His form, is not material.
Lady guest (4): [French]
Jyotirmayī: ...name of God is not material, how is it possible to pronounce it materially, with our material tongue?
Prabhupāda: Yes, it is possible, when you are purified.
Lady guest (2): Has God put the suffering here for us to experience so that we will want to give up material lives and get closer to Him? Is it punishment?
Jyotirmayī: ...is the God of love, does He punish man?
Prabhupāda: Yes. God has got two business = maintenance and punishment. That is stated in Bhagavad-gītā = paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām [Bg. 4.8]. That the government has got the law to give protection to the obedient citizens and to send the rascals to the prison house.
Lady guest: [French]
Jyotirmayī: She said that these laws, these laws are only laws which exist in the human world, but that God doesn't have these laws.
Prabhupāda: Well, human laws are imitation of God's laws. In the Vedānta-sūtra it is said, janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1] = the Absolute Truth is that from where everything emanates. So this human law has come from God. It is only imitation, imperfectly presented, but the principle is the same. [break]
Guest: Who is Guru Maharaj-ji? [laughter]
Prabhupāda: I do not know him. [laughter] [break]
Jyotirmayī: ...chant Hare Kṛṣṇa with also Hare Rāma. Why are we talking about the Rāma in this mantra?
Prabhupāda: Rāma is also God, another name of God. Rāma means the "who enjoys." Kṛṣṇa means "who attracts." So God is the supreme enjoyer; therefore He is called Rāma. And God is the supreme attractor---He attracts everyone---therefore He is called Kṛṣṇa. So the names are on the quality of God. You have already questioned. Yes.
Devotee: There's a gentleman in the back, over there. Yes? [break]
Jyotirmayī: ...to know, that to explain exactly what is materialistic life, and how is it possible to be in the world of matter and the same time not be entangled by it, he says, separated from it?
Yogeśvara: "What is material life and how can we live in this material..."
Prabhupāda: Material life means no knowledge of God, no service of God. That is material life.
Yogeśvara: He wants to know how can we live in this material world without becoming entangled.
Prabhupāda: That he cannot know God, by living here. You are trying to know so many things; why don't you try to know God? Material life means one who does not know God, one who does not serve God. These are the two things. So if you know God and if you serve God, that is not material life. So if you try to know God, and if you serve God, that is not material life. [break]
Guest: [French] [break]
Jyotirmayī: ...to know the will of God?