Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.5.11 , London , 1973-09-12
Pradyumna: Chants sloka.
yasmin prati-ślokam abaddhavaty api
nāmāny anantasya yaśo 'ṅkitāni yat
śṛṇvanti gāyanti gṛṇanti sādhavaḥ
Translation = "On the other hand, that literature which is full of descriptions of the transcendental glories of the name, fame, forms, pastimes, etc., of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a different creation,
...full of transcendental words directed toward bringing about a revolution in the impious lives of this world's misdirected civilization. Such transcendental literatures, even though imperfectly composed, are heard, sung and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest." [SB 1.5.11]
Purport = "It is a qualification of great thinkers to pick up the best even from the worst. It is said that the intelligent man should pick up nectar even from a stock of poison, should accept gold even from a filthy place, should accept a good and qualified wife even from an obscure family and should accept a good lesson even from a man or from a teacher who comes from the untouchables. These are some of the ethical instructions for everyone in every place, without exception. But a saint is far above the level of an ordinary man. He is always absorbed in glorifying the Supreme Lord, because by broadcasting the holy name and fame of the Supreme Lord, the polluted atmosphere of the world will change, and as a result of propagating the transcendental literatures like Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, people will become sane in their transactions.
"While preparing this commentation on this particular stanza of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam we have a crisis before us. Our neighboring friend China has attacked the border of India with a militaristic spirit. We have practically no business in the political field, yet we see that previously there were both China and India, and they both lived peacefully for centuries without ill feeling. The reason is that they lived in those days in an atmosphere of God consciousness, and every country, over the surface of the world, was God-fearing, pure-hearted and simple, and there was no question of political diplomacy. There is no cause of quarrel between the two countries China and India over land which is not very suitable for habitation, and certainly there is no cause for fighting on this issue. But due to the age of quarrel, Kali, which we have discussed, there is always a chance of quarrel on slight provocation. This is due not to the issue in question, but to the polluted atmosphere of this age = systematically there is propaganda by a section of people to stop the glorification of the name and fame of the Supreme Lord.
"Therefore, there is a great need for disseminating the message of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam all over the world. It is the duty of every responsible Indian to broadcast the transcendental message of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam throughout the world to do all the supermost good, as well as to bring about the desired peace in the world. Because India has failed in her duty by neglecting this responsible work, there is so much quarrel and trouble all over the world. We are confident that if the transcendental message of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is received only by the leading men of the world, certainly there will be a change of heart, and naturally the people in general will follow them. The mass of people in general are tools in the hands of the modern politicians and leaders of the people. If there is a change of heart of the leaders only, certainly there will be a radical change in the atmosphere of the world.
"We know that our honest attempt to present this great literature conveying the transcendental messages for reviving the God consciousness of the people in general and respiritualizing the world atmosphere is fraught with many difficulties. Our presenting this matter in adequate language, especially a foreign language, will certainly fail, and there will be so many literary discrepancies despite our honest attempts to present it in the proper way. But we are sure that with all our faults in this connection the seriousness of the subject matter will be taken into consideration, and the leaders of society will still accept this, due to its being an honest attempt to glorify the Almighty God.
When there is fire in a house, the inmates of the house go out to get help from the neighbors, who may be foreigners, and yet without knowing the language the victims of the fire express themselves, and the neighbors understand the need, even though not expressed in the same language. The same spirit of cooperation is needed to broadcast this transcendental message of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam throughout the polluted atmosphere of the world. After all, it is a technical science of spiritual values, and thus we are concerned with the techniques and not with the languages. If the techniques of this great literature are understood by the people of the world, there will be success.
"When there are too many materialistic activities by the people in general all over the world, there is no wonder that a person or a nation attacks another person or nation on slight provocation. That is the rule of this age of Kali, or quarrel. The atmosphere is already polluted with corruption of all description, and everyone knows it well. There are so many unwanted literatures full of materialistic ideas of sense gratification. The people in general want to read, and that is their natural instinct. But because their minds are polluted, they want such literatures. Under the circumstances, transcendental literature like Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam will not only diminish the activities of the corrupt mind of the people in general, but also it will supply food for their hankering after reading some interesting literature.
In the beginning they may not like it, because one suffering from jaundice is reluctant to take sugar candy, but we should know that sugar candy is the only remedy for the jaundice. Similarly, let there be systematic propaganda for popularizing reading of the Bhagavad-gītā and the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which will act like sugar candy for the jaundicelike condition of sense gratification. When men have a taste for this literature, the other literatures, which are catering poison to society, will then automatically cease.
"We are sure, therefore, that everyone in human society will welcome Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, even though it is now presented with so many faults, for it is recommended by Śrī Nārada, who has very kindly appeared in this chapter."
Prabhupāda: In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, there is a description of the age of Kali. Age of..., this is age of Kali. According to Vedic understanding, there are four ages = Satya-yuga, Dvāpara-yuga, Tretā-yuga and Kali-yuga. This age is called Kali-yuga. It has begun about five thousand years ago, after the Battle of Kurukṣetra. The duration of this Kali-yuga is estimated four hundred thousand..., four hundred and twenty-seven thousands of years. Out of that, we have passed only five thousand years.
So the symptom of the human being in this age is that prāyeṇālpāyuṣa: people will become very short duration of life. It is said that time, at the end of Kali-yuga, if somebody lives for twenty to thirty years, he will be considered as very old man. So gradually the food grains like rice, wheat, milk and sugar will disappear. In this way, in the Kali-yuga, prāyeṇālpāyuṣaḥ kalāv asmin yuge janāḥ. In this age, people will be of short duration of life; manda, very slow; sumanda-matayo, accepting some rubbish theology. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyāḥ [SB 1.1.10] = almost all of them are unfortunate. Manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ: over and above that, they will be disturbed, especially by lack of rain, lack of..., scarcity of food grains, and overtaxed by the government, so much so that people will give up their hearth and home and go to the forest and hills in disappointment and confusion. So these are the symptoms of Kali-yuga, gradually degrading.
So this is also recommended, prāyeṇa... In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, in another chapter, Twelfth Canto, it is said, kaler doṣa-nidhe rājan [SB 12.3.51]. These instructions were given by Śukadeva Gosvāmī to Mahārāja Parīkṣit. So he addressed the king, "My dear King, in this age the faults are like the ocean," kaler doṣa-nidhe rājan. Doṣa-nidhe. Nidhi means ocean. "There are so many faults in this age that it can be accepted as the ocean of faults." Kaler doṣa-nidhe rājan asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ. "There is one great opportunity. Although it is full of faulty things, still there is one hope.
That hope is," kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet [SB 12.3.51], "if one simply chants the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, then gradually he becomes purified from the contamination of this age." Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ: "He becomes free from the contamination of this age." It is just like vaccine. In contagious disease there is vaccine, cholera. So this mantra, mahā-mantra, this is not ordinary sound. This is spiritual. So by chanting this mantra---Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare---one becomes free from the contamination of this age. And not only he becomes free from the contamination of this age, but paraṁ vrajet, he goes back to the spiritual world.
We have no information in this age, at the present time, what is that spiritual world, but they are all stated in the Bhagavad-gītā = paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo 'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ [Bg. 8.20]. Everything is there in the Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā is the preliminary study of spiritual life, A-B-C-D of spiritual life. The people cannot understand even the A-B-C-D of Bhagavad-gītā, and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the graduate study. So everything is there. Unfortunately it was not distributed. So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement has started to distribute this literature, especially Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. We have already translated about twenty books. They are present before you, and our aim is to present to the human society sixty books. Still translation is going on. So our request to the publishers and booksellers, that "Let this literature be distributed properly. People will be benefited."
Because, after all, each and every human being is a spiritual being. He is not this body. That is the mistake of the present civilization. Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke [SB 10.84.13]. Ātma-buddhi, "self." People, everyone thinks that this body, "I am this body." If I ask any gentleman, "What you are?" He'll say, "I am Mr. Such-and-such. I am born in this country." "I am American," "I am Englishman," "I am Indian." These are all bodily description. But basically I am not this body. This is called illusion. You have got practical experience. When one man's father or son or any relative dies, he cries, "Oh, my son has gone away," "My father has gone away." Then, "Your father is lying there on the bed. How do you say that 'My father has gone away'? " That means the actual father, he has never seen. He has seen the body only. And on this bodily conception of life, everything is being manipulated. This is called illusion.
Therefore, in the Vedic literature it is stated,
sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ
yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ
A person who is in the bodily concept of life, and thinking a bodily designation as everything, nationalism, or... Bhauma ijya-dhīḥ. Bhauma, "on the land," ijya-dhīḥ... The whole world is going on, worshiping the land in which he is born. But he does not know that he took birth in many lands. Not only in this land, in other planet also. But he does not know which land is his own land. This is called illusion, yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhā..., sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ.
So the world is going on under misconception of self, that "I am this body." In the Bhagavad-gītā you'll find, the first instruction given by Kṛṣṇa:
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
dhīras tatra na muhyati
Asmin dehe, in this body, there is the proprietor of the body, dehī, who possesses this body. But there is no information. Nobody knows. There is no education on this point = what is that proprietor of this body. They are simply going on, like cats and dogs. Cats and... If you try to instruct a cat or dog, "My dear dog, you are not these bodies," he'll not understand. He is so grossly in ignorance, it is very difficult for him to understand that he is not this body. But human being, although at the present moment they are grossly ignorant for want of spiritual education, still, because he is human being, he can be educated. He can be revived to his original consciousness, which is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So we are trying our bit, almost single-handed, although the important literatures are there, Vedic literatures, four Vedas, Vedānta-sūtra, eighteen Purāṇas, 108 Upaniṣads, then Rāmāyaṇa, Mahābhārata, so many, full of knowledge, transcendental knowledge. They can be distributed all over the world. But there was no organized attempt. We are just begun from 1966, this movement, Hare Kṛṣṇa movement, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, distributing this literature. Through literature, of course, we are very hopeful.
Our literatures are selling. In London also, they sell at least $200, er, pounds, in the street. Similarly, in New York, in Los Angeles, every city we are selling about thirty to forty thousand rupees' worth books daily, and people are appreciating. But if the publishers and the booksellers also help us in this movement, then people will be very much benefited. That is our request. We have come to this, I mean to say, bookseller's office to request... Of course, we have no means to advertise very much, but our advertisement is the saṅkīrtana movement. We go from city to city, street to street, to invoke, invoke the spiritual consciousness of that. There is already there. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said,
śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte karaye udaya
[Cc. Madhya 22.107]
It is simply awakened. This spiritual consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is already there in everybody. Otherwise, how this European, American and other foreign country boys and girls, they are taking? It is already there. Simply it has to be awakened by this transcendental vibration.
That transcendental vibration... Just like we are chanting, this is one vibration. And these books are bigger vibration. This is... This, when we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, a few yards, people can hear, "Here is Hare Kṛṣṇa." But this..., my Guru Mahārāja used to say that "This is bṛhad-mṛdaṅga." Mṛdaṅga, that drum, you have seen, that is small mṛdaṅga. If I beat on this drum, maybe a few yards, people can heard from few yards. But this is... The books are distributed, it can go from country to country, from continent to continent. Actually it is so happening. So our only appeal is that all booksellers, all publishers, may come forward and cooperate with us and distribute the transcendental literature in this unique form. They will find something sublime, and we'll be benefited.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Haṁsadūta: If any of you. Ladies and gentlemen you have some questions please feel free to ask His Divine Grace he will be very glad to answer them.
Rebatinandana: If there are any questions you are welcome to ask His Divine Grace now. Any questions you might have... to speak about.
Prabhupāda: There is no question.
Haṁsadūta: Then in the rear of the room there is nice prasadam for everyone [indistinct] very nice food stuffs prepared and offered to Kṛṣṇa so please feel free to take as much as you like. And there are devotees, you can speak with them if you have any questions. And you can see our books. Please look at our books here on the counter and also outside I believe there is a counter with books. Is that correct? Have another kirtan? [kirtana starts] [end]