Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 2.1.3 , Vṛndāvana , 1974-03-18

Pradyumna: Translation = "The lifetime of such envious householders is passed at night either in sleeping or in sex indulgence, and in the daytime either in making money or maintaining family members."

Prabhupāda: Hmm. So somebody of you can lecture on this verse. Who will do that? Anyone? Hmm?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa:

nidrayā hriyate naktaṁ
vyavāyena ca vā vayaḥ
divā cārthehayā rājan
kuṭumba-bharaṇena vā

Prabhupāda: [aside:] So somebody's there? The door is closed? There is somebody?

Satsvarūpa: They're sweeping.

Prabhupāda: Oh, that's all...

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: So it's described that such is the life of such envious householders. So in previous verses householders were described = gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām [SB 2.1.2]. So these gṛhamedhis, they're described as being envious. And so this enviousness means that they do not accept that Kṛṣṇa is the supreme enjoyer. And because they do not accept this, they falsely think themselves to be the enjoyer. But this is not actually the position of the tiny living entities. Tiny living entities are described in Bhagavad-gītā as being parā-prakṛti, prakṛti-viddhi me param [Bg. 7.5]. We are not puruṣa, or the enjoyer, but we are actually prakṛti. We are meant to be enjoyed by Kṛṣṇa. So this is a relationship which exists eternally. But in the material world, bcause we falsely identify ourselves as being separate from Kṛṣṇa, as being this material body, then we try to lord over material nature in so many ways, but simply we are becoming more and more frustrated.

So the activities of people who are envious, they are simply trying to enjoy. Nidrayā: sleeping. Hriyate naktaṁ vyavāyena ca vā vayaḥ [SB 2.1.3]. Also, they are having sex life at night. Or during the daytime, divā cārthehayā rājan, they are also trying to accumulate wealth in order to maintain their family members. This also important, because in the material world, actually no one is maintaining anyone else, but actually it is Kṛṣṇa; He is maintaining everybody. Janma jyasta tāhā[?]. He is maintaining everyone and everything. But because we are envious that Kṛṣṇa is the supreme proprietor, sarva-loka-maheśvaram [Bg. 5.29], that He is the owner of everything, they also, they try to become owners. Just like I remember before I was going to college, my material parents, they were saying, "Oh, I am giving you so many things." And then, when I finally I became a devotee and I left, they said, "So why are you leaving? We have given you so many things." And it was almost like they were putting stock into me, and they were expecting to get something out. But Kṛṣṇa is not so much like that. Kṛṣṇa, He is giving all living entities, because He is the maintainer of all living entities, and this is His natural position. But we falsely assume a position of being the proprietor or the maintainer, so that we can enjoy.

So this is also a position of an envious householder, an envious person---not necessarily householders, but... The real peace formula as described in Bhagavad-gītā, as Śrīla Prabhupāda has so many times said, that bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasām [Bg. 5.29] = Kṛṣṇa is the supreme object of sacrifice, He is the supreme enjoyer of all sacrifices. Sarva-loka-maheśvaram: and He is the owner of everything. Suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ: and He alone is the supreme friend of everyone. And this is the real platform of jñāna, jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati [Bg. 5.29]. This is the real platform of knowledge. So to act in this consciousness is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and when we forget that Kṛṣṇa is the supreme enjoyer, and He is the supreme benefactor and proprietor of everything, and that He is the supreme friend of everyone, then we make the mistake of becoming the supreme enjoyer, benefactor and friend ourselves, and hence we simply engage in all nonsensical activities, which do no good for anyone.

Prabhupāda: Anyone else? Hmm?

Haṁsadūta[?]: There are two things = there are gṛhamedhi and gṛhasthas. So gṛha means..., gṛhamedhi means those who have made center the household, or, as Prabhupāda was explaining, medhi means center, and gṛha means to go around. So their life turns about the household life, and household life means wife, and wife means sex life. And sex life means the bodily conception of life. So the bodily conception of life is the cause of all our problems, because the living entity is different from the body. The living entity is living within the body, whereas the soul is resident within the body. So gṛhamedhi life means those who are trying to enjoy by maintaining wife and children and friends, society, like that.

Then there are gṛhasthas. Gṛhastha means those who have made the center Kṛṣṇa, or spiritual advancement of life. There is a spiritual order of life, like brahmacārī, sannyāsa, vānaprastha, so gṛhastha. It means a religious life, but at the same time there may be sex life. But that sex life is on the condition of producing children who may be raised in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In the Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa says, "I am that sex life which is not contrary to the religious principles."

So human life is intended for spiritual realization, or for Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and in order to facilitate that there are different orders of life, and one of them is the gṛhastha life, where there is some concession for living with wife and children. But the basic principle is not to just maintain wife and children and friends and society. The basic principle is to advance in spiritual life and ultimately to become freed from all material attachment and to become attached to Kṛṣṇa.

So our Society is teaching the whole world how to live a civilized life, human life, a religious value, apart from..., other than cats' and dogs' life. Prabhupāda always says that the whole world is living like animals, because they have no regulated life to know. No one is following the principles of religious life; everyone is simply doing whatever will please their senses. "I like this woman. We will live together. There will be sex enjoyment, and when the sex enjoyment is frustrated, then I change, get another woman," or "get another man, produce children." There is no idea about the ultimate goal of human life, so the children are running..., or being trained up, they're becoming animals, without any training. [indistinct] future.

Prabhupāda: Anyone else? Hmm? You can speak.

Girirāja: This verse indicates that eating, sleeping, mating and defending, that is a waste of time, that that is not the actual purpose of this human form of life; that is simply taking care of this body, which is not our actual self. Our real interest is in serving the Supreme Self, the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, because we are His part and parcel, pure spirit soul, jīvātmā. So there are four arthas, or four [indistinct] desired objects of attainment that are enunciated throughout the Vedas for those who are living in the mundane world = dharma, kāma, artha, mokṣa. This is execution of pious activities, economic development, sense gratification and, ultimately, liberation. But the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam... [break]

Prabhupāda: So? Anyone else? [indistinct] Or you can speak.

Gurukṛpā: In Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said that in this material world, there is no such thing as love. Actually we are victims of lust. I am working for my own sense-gratification. But in spiritual life everything is done without any motive. It is done... It is called ahaitukī, "without motive," because it is done simply for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa. Because Kṛṣṇa is the supreme enjoyer, every living entity or everyone is meant to please Kṛṣṇa. Hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. This is bhakti-yoga. Kṛṣṇa is the master of all living entities, and one who is in factually in knowledge, after cultivation of many, many lifetimes in doing pious activity, and by the mercy of the guru, guru-kṛṣṇa kṛpāya-pāya bhakti-latā-bīja [Cc. Madhya 19.151], one can get the seed of bhakti. And by the seed of bhakti which is cultivated, just like a creeper it is cultivated, one begins his path back to home, back to Godhead.

So the materialistic man, he does not have any source of knowledge, and therefore his whole life is like a dream. He's simply living in a dream world, trying to enjoy, and suffering sometimes, and feeling different pains and pleasures in this dream. Therefore the spiritual master, he has the potency to wake up the living entity. This is stated in the Upaniṣad, uttiṣṭha jāgrata prāpya varān nibodhata, kṣurasya dhārā niśitā duratyayā durgaṁ pathas tat kavayo vadanti [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.3.14]. If you just wake up from this dreaming of material life and take to the spiritual path... Because this boon of human life is very rare, and if one does not take advantage of it, then he will simply go on in his material saṁsāra. He'll never have a chance to take to the spiritual life.

The spiritual life is very.., it is very precarious platform. It is just like a razor's edge. It has to be dealt with in very..., with great determination, and one has to be very rigid in following the spiritual path in order to achieve success. So this is the injunction of all the Vedic literatures, and this is the teaching of our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, is that all living entities, we are giving them a chance to go back to the original, spiritual nature and partake of the enjoyment of the spiritual pastime. But first one must take up the principles of human life, which is regulation of the senses---sense control, tapasā brahmacaryeṇa, and all these different principles---and then one can ultimately achieve Kṛṣṇa. Because by following the different principles, one comes to realize we are anchored by the body, the body is different from myself, that I am eternal. Therefore by restraining the senses from the sense objects one gets knowledge and detachment from this body and... [break]

Prabhupāda: Hmm. Anyone also speak? Pradyumna Mahārāja?

Pradyumna: Nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya...

Prabhupāda: Hmm. You have to speak. Try to speak.

Pradyumna: This is a continuation of the previous verse. It said that,

śrotavyādīni rājendra
nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ
apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ
gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām

That there are thousands of...., hundreds of thousands of subject matters for hearing among those who are not aware of the spirit soul, that they are spirit soul, and the spiritual values of life, ātma-tattvaṁ, and what..., gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām, they are engaged in their household affairs, in this house where life [indistinct] is my responsibility, my possession.

Prabhupāda: I have a question now. You are maintaining your institution by the grace of the householders. You are begging. So how you can condemn householders? If the householders do not become your Life Members, your institution will be stopped. So how do you condemn the householders?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Isn't it the original Vedic process that the householders would willfully give their charity to the brāhmaṇas?

Prabhupāda: So therefore, for charity householder required. You cannot condemn householders.

Akṣayānanda: We do not condemn the householders, though. All of Lord Caitanya's..., many of His followers were householders, and He encouraged them to progress in devotional life. Kṛṣṇa says, dharmāviruddho bhūteṣu [Bg. 7.11], "I am householder life within the religious principles." In that way, Kṛṣṇa consciousness is for everyone. It is not restricted to sannyāsīs or brahmacārīs or persons who are celibate, but to all persons who follow the principles that are set down in Bhagavad-gītā and the śāstras.

Prabhupāda: My point is that śrotavyādīni rājendra nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ, apaśyatām ātma-tattvam [SB 2.1.2]. Householder is not bad. That is not condemned. Real thing condemned = apaśyatām ātma-tattvam. That is condemned. Because they do not know what is the aim of life. That is missing. All these people... Ask anybody that "What is the aim of your life?" Nobody... Nobody will be able to say. Any householder, any businessman, ask. They will simply say that "It is my duty to earn money. It is my duty to maintain my children, to give them education, to give them good opportunity for prospective life. And if I have got little more money, then I can give in charity to the poor man, daridra-nārāyaṇa. And..." These are their program. But nobody knows the necessity of, I mean to say, liberating the soul which is conditioned by this material covering. Nobody knows. That you will find. Nobody knows. Big, big professors, big, big... They simply say that "Yes..." If you ask, "Why you are constructing some big, big scheme?" "Oh, for the future generation. That's all," they will reply. Nobody will reply... Nobody knows about the necessity of the soul. That is the important point. Apaśyatām ātma-tattvam. Nobody knows. Nobody has any vision of the ātma-tattva. Simply they are talking superfluously. This is the defect.

So "I am not this body," that is the whole scheme of Vedic knowledge. Apaśya... This is the important point, apaśyatām ātma-tattvam. Because they do not know what is the necessity of life, therefore they have created so many news. Just like big, big newspaper, bunch of papers, full of rubbish news only, advertisement, cinema. But you won't find anything talking about the necessity of the... [break] So to become a gṛhastha is not bad. But to become unaware of the necessity of the soul, oh, that is bad. The Māyāvādī sannyāsīs, they are sannyāsī; they have also renounced gṛhastha life. But they have no idea what is the goal of life. They are simply thinking in negative way = "This life is very troublesome." That they have realized, that even in highest stage of life of the material relation, your country, President Nixon, he's the president of the most rich country, but there is no happiness. He is now embarrassed. So many attacks are upon him, and he does not know how to defend him, how to keep his position. He's embarrassed. So in this way, everyone is missing the point. Nobody sees that "Why I am embarrassed? I have become now President of USA, and still I am embarrassed. And when I was a, a nonsignificant man, ordinary man or ordinary lawyer, nobody cared for me. That time I was also embarrassed. I was trying to improve my position. And now I have come to the highest point of success in the material world, still I am embarrassed." Is it not a question?

These rascals, they cannot see. Apaśyatām ātma-tattvam. That is the defect. Nobody thinks that, that "I was embarrassed from the very beginning of my life. I was embarrassed even within the womb of my mother. I was packed-up. And when I came out from the womb of my mother, there also I was embarrassed. I could not express my pains and pleasure. I was crying. Some ant was biting me, but I was crying, and my mother gave me more milk, [laughter] although I was fully fed." This is embarrassment. I wanted something; my mother gave me something else. Because mother cannot understand that what is the pain and..., neither he can express what is the pains and pleasure. So the embarrassment was at the beginning. Otherwise, why the child cries? He's feeling some pains, but mother does not know how to relieve. But he's crying. This is going on. Then childhood. I do not like to go to school. My parents force me to go to school. So embarrassment. Then all right, I became married, or I enjoyed sex life, then children. Then embarrassment. Embarrassment. Contraceptive, that is also embarrassment. So this embarrassment is going on. And then again death. Then again go to the womb of the mother and be killed within the womb of the mother, abortion. So the whole life is full of embarrassment. Why? That "why" question does not arise, that "Why I am embarrassed?"

So therefore the Māyāvādīs, they think that "Make me zero, void. Then there will be no pains and pleasure, no embarrassment." Their philosophy is like that. Impersonal, that is also the same thing. Or void. Voidism, the same thing = "Make it zero." Just like the foolish man, when one is embarrassed, he commits suicide. He commits suicide. He thinks, "If I end this body, then my embarrassment will be finished." So these are the circumstances. Why? Now, apaśyatām ātma-tattvam [SB 2.1.2] . He does not know, "What is the necessity of me, soul? How to get me relieved from that." That he does not know. So therefore this word is used = apaśyatām ātma-tattvam. He does not see that "I am spirit soul. My necessity is different from the bodily necessity." [break] "Then I'll be comfortable." Even one knows that "I am not this body," but the body is home... Or I know that "I am not this room," but I am engaged always how to keep this room very neat and clean. That is my business. I do not know that there is another business. Apaśyatām ātma-tattvam. That is the defect.

Therefore it is the duty of every human being---animals cannot do---to understand about the ātma-tattvam. Ātma-tattvam, necessity of the soul. That was presented by Sanātana Gosvāmī when he went to Caitanya Mahāprabhu, that "I was minister, quite comfortable. People called me learned scholar. That is also, some way or other, it is right. But I did not know why I am suffering in spite of becoming the minister or king or this or that. And people say that I am a learned man, but I do not know how to get out of the suffering." This should be the question. They are trying to get out of the suffering, but they do not know the ways how to get out of it. That is ātma-tattvam. He does not know what is the nature of ātmā, what the ātmā wants, and how the ātmā will be comfortable. That he does not know. That information is given by Kṛṣṇa, by Caitanya Mahāprabhu = jīvera svarūpa haya nitya-kṛṣṇa-dāsa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]. The..., every living entity is eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore unless he comes to the platform of serving Kṛṣṇa, there is no question of happiness. There is no question of happiness. And Kṛṣṇa also says the same thing = duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam [Bg. 8.15], "This place is simply full of miseries, and if you come to Me," yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama [Bg. 15.6].

So whole world is missing the point that he is not this body, the body is the encagement, and we are accepting sometimes golden encagement and sometimes iron encagement and sometimes silver encagement and wooden encagement. He's thinking by changing the encagement he will be happy. But he does not know this is encagement...

Devotee: Cages.

Prabhupāda: Ah, cages. So either you are put in the golden cage or iron cage or wooden cage or any cage---cage is cage. And so... So long you are not free... Just like the bird is kept into the cage. He's unhappy. He's unhappy. It may be golden cage; it doesn't matter. Similarly, we cannot be happy with this encagement. We must be free from the encagement. Freedom. That is called liberty, mukti. That is required. So the Māyāvādī philosophers, they do no know that "Suppose, even I get free, so where shall I go?" He thinks, "I shall be free in the sky." Just like impersonalism. Sky is impersonalism. So if suppose a bird is given freedom, but he flies in the sky, will he be happy? No. That also he'll not be happy. Then he'll again think of that "It was better to remain in the cage. Now what is the value of my this freedom? I'm not happy," and again go back to the cage. You will see in India. There is a bird, titil. Titil. The man who keeps that bird in the cage, sometimes he takes it to the open field, and he opens the door, opens the door, and the bird walks, sometimes flies. He is given freedom. Then again the man, [makes coaxing sound:] tsk-tsk-tsk-tsk. He says like that, and the bird comes again within the cage. You'll see. If you have seen, those who are Indian. But he thinks that "I have been given freedom now. But where shall I go? Where shall I go? I have to eat." So he again comes back = "Better to live within this cage. Better to live within this cage."

So Māyāvādī's position is like that. Māyāvādī, they have got a... Because we are sure that we are going to Kṛṣṇa. But they have no Kṛṣṇa. Aiye. They have no Kṛṣṇa. Therefore they again come to this material world. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adhaḥ [SB 10.2.32]. Patanty adhaḥ anādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅ... Because they have no shelter, therefore they'll come back again within this material world. Because in the impersonal feature they cannot remain many days. You get freedom from the cage, but if you do not get to eat something, how long you'll live? Therefore they prefer again to come to the cage. That titil. Because they have no other way. Therefore this Māyāvāda philosophy, voidism, impersonal philosophy, is not very good. You cannot remain impersonal or in void, because your position is..., because you are living entity, because you are part and parcel of the supreme living entity, Kṛṣṇa... Kṛṣṇa is ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt [Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12]. He is always full of jubilation. So you also, being part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, you also want jubilation. But how you can get jubilation, how you can be jubilant in the sky, in the zero? This is the difference between Māyāvāda philosophy. Therefore you cannot be happy even by getting free from this encagement, material world, and if you place yourself in impersonalism and voidism, that will not help you. Try to understand it. That will not help you.

So therefore you have to go back to home, back to Kṛṣṇa, where there is everything variety, spiritual varieties. You can play with Kṛṣṇa. You can dance with Kṛṣṇa. You can talk with Kṛṣṇa. You can fight with Kṛṣṇa. That is also... Cowherd boys, they fight. They enjoy. That is also enjoyment. Everything enjoyment. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to give information to the rascals who are mentioned as apaśyatām ātma-tattvam, one who does not know what is the nature of ātmā, what does he want, how he'll be happy. That is... They are called apaśyatām ātma-tattvam. They have no information. Therefore gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām. They are trying to be happy here within the cage. That's all. That is not possible. So without knowing this Kṛṣṇa conscious philosophy, within the cage and without the cage, they are unhappy. Is it clear? Their imagination of liberty without the cage, that is also unhappiness. Because he does not know where to go. Therefore after remaining for some time in that impersonal stage, again he comes back to the cage. So this kind of going and coming will not help him. Tyāga and bhoga.

So ātma-tattvam means to know what is the nature of ātmā and how He reveals... That is all explained by Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā. If we take advantage of this lessons and instruction, that is our success of life.

That's all.

Devotees: Jaya... [break] [end]