Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.16.20 , Los Angeles , 1974-07-10

Prabhupāda: [leads singing of Jaya Rādhā-Mādhava] [prema-dhvani]

[break] [05:21]

Read that verse. Where is book? One copy?

Nitāi: [leads chanting of verse, etc.]

pādair nyūnaṁ śocasi maika-pādam
ātmānaṁ vā vṛṣalair bhokṣyamāṇam
āho surādīn hṛta-yajña-bhāgān
prajā uta svin maghavaty avarṣati

[a few devotees recite, then Nitāi begins synonyms]

Prabhupāda: Others will recite. Others will recite. Practice. [recitation restarts]

Nitāi: [leads synonyms] [break]


"I have lost my three legs and am now standing on one leg only. Are you lamenting for my state of existence? Or are you in great anxiety because henceforward the unlawful meat-eaters will exploit you? Or are you in sorry plight because the demigods are now bereft of their share of sacrificial offerings because no sacrifices are being performed at present? Or are you grieving for the living beings because of their sufferings due to famine and drought?"

Prabhupāda: These are the symptoms of this Kali-yuga. The first thing is that "I have lost my three legs, now standing on one leg only." At the present moment in the Kali-yuga, practically there is no religion. So the bull is the representative of religious ceremony, so he is saying that "Now I have lost my three legs. I am standing, only one leg."

So in the Satya-yuga people were very religious, full, four parts full. In the Dvāpara-yuga, then one part was missing, only three parts. Then Tretā-yuga. Satya, Tretā, then Dvāpara. But in the Kali-yuga, the one part of religiosity, that is also diminishing. This is one of the symptom. And another symptom = "Or are you in great anxiety because henceforward the unlawful meat-eaters will exploit you?" The unlawful meat-eaters, they will eat cows and bulls. This is predicted in this verse. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam was written five thousand years ago. So at that time the prediction is there that in the Kali-yuga the meat-eaters will be unlawful and they will especially eat cows and bulls.

So what is the unlawful and lawful? Lawful means so those who eat meat under the religious regulation. Just like lawful sex. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, dharma aviruddhaḥ kāmo 'smi [Bg. 7.11]. Sex life which is not illicit, according to the regulative principle of Vedic literature, that kind of sex life, Kṛṣṇa says, "I am that." That means that is pious, that is not sinful. Illicit sex life is sinful, but, I mean to say, marriage, that is also one of the function of religiosity. Just like we perform marriage ceremony under fire sacrifice, mantra. So that is legalized. Similarly, meat-eating also... First of all, the first-class men, second-class men and third-class men means the brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya and vaiśya, they were not interested in meat-eating. Only the fourth-class men and fifth-class men, they were allowed, or they were eating meat. Nobody is allowed. But the first-class, second-class men, they have got sense. They voluntarily give up. But the third-class..., fourth-class, fifth-class men, they do not. Up to fourth class, they also abide. From the fifth-class men---they are called pañcama---they are very irregular. They don't care for any rules and regulation or any śāstra, scripture. They do whatever they like, fifth class. So what is legal meat-eating? Legal meat-eating is that you sacrifice one animal before the goddess, deity Kālī, Goddess Kālī, and there are so many rules and regulation. Under regulative principle one was allowed to eat meat. Not that maintain big, big slaughterhouse and purchase from the butcher shop and eat meat. This is illegal.

Now, sometimes in..., the Christians, they say the Lord Jesus Christ sometimes ate fish. Is not that? But... Might have done so. One thing is, Christ is powerful. Under certain circumstances, even if he had eaten some fish, that is not fault for him. Tejīyasāṁ na doṣāya [SB 10.33.29]. In the śāstra says those who are very powerful, if they sometimes do something which is prohibited for common man, that is special case. But even if you accept that "Christ ate fish, therefore we shall eat meat and maintain big, big slaughterhouse," although in the Bible it is clearly said, "Thou shall not kill," this is not Christianity. This is against, violating the rules and regulation of Christianity. Factually, one should not kill. But under some pressure or under certain condition, if it is needed, that is another thing. But generally, one should not kill.

So here it is mentioned that "Or are you in great anxiety because henceforward..." Henceforward means from that time the Kali-yuga has begun. Since these four principles of unlawful activities---illicit sex, meat-eating, gambling and intoxication---is freely allowed, that is Kali-yuga. So in this age, in this Kali-yuga, it is very, very difficult for persons who are interested in self-realization to remain free from sinful activities. It is very, very difficult. Māyā, or the influence of nature, in this age especially, it is very, very strong, and majority of people are therefore addicted to this sinful life = illicit sex, meat-eating, gambling and intoxication. But those who are interested in the matter of self-realization, they should voluntarily give up these sinful activities.

Then, "Their sacrifices will be stopped. Demigods, they will not get their share." This is another... Formerly, people used to offer big, big sacrifices. Tons of grains, tons of ghee was being offered in the fire sacrifice, and there was no want. There was no want. If you perform rituals according to the Vedic system, there will be no want. Just like taxpayer, if they avoid tax-paying, then the---this is a crude example---then the government will have no money to manage the state very nicely. One should not avoid tax-paying. Similarly, as it is enjoined in the Vedic literature, yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ [Bg. 3.13]. Yajñārthe karmaṇo 'nyatra loko 'yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ [Bg. 3.9]. Everyone is working very hard. That is called karma-jīvana, karmīs. Karmīs, jñānīs, yogīs and bhaktas. There are four classes of men. Karmīs means those who are working day and night very hard for getting some material benefit so that he can enjoy sense pleasure. These are called karmīs. The karmīs also, not only they want to enjoy in this life; next life also they want to go to the heavenly planet.

Just like this morning we were talking, that dead body in Egypt and some other places. They keep the body so their body will go to the heavenly planet and he will enjoy. But clearly it is the bodily concept of life. The sane man will see that "The body is lying there. Well, when he has gone to the heavenly planet?" If he accepts that the body is there, then something has gone to the heavenly planet. Then you will have to accept soul. Otherwise, how you can say that he has gone to heaven or some...? No. If you mean "he" means this body, the body is in the coffin, so how it has gone to heaven? Then you have to accept that the living entity who was within the body, he has gone to heaven. That is reasonable. So that means you have to accept next birth. So if you think that he has gone to heaven, then he may go to hell also. Because if the soul is departed from the body, now according to his karma... That is right philosophy. That is Vedic philosophy. Kṛṣṇa says, dehāntara-prāptiḥ. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ [Bg. 2.13]. You have to change this body. As you have changed already several times, similarly, after death you will also get another body. So this is a fact, that soul is there, and soul is changing the body, and therefore the question of hell and heaven or something else may come. This is sane. Not that the body is going to the heaven. No, no. This is foolishness. Anyone can, any man with common sense, can understand, "Where the body has gone? It is rotting here."

So yajña is required. Human life is meant for performing yajña. Karma, yajñaḥ karma-samudbhavaḥ [Bg. 3.14]. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is clearly said. Karma... Karma means activity. There must be activity. It is not that because we are interested in self-realization, in the elevation of the soul to the spiritual world, that does not mean we shall be idle and lazy. No. You cannot be idle and lazy, because if you become idle and lazy, you cannot even maintain your body. That is advised in Bhagavad-gītā. You have to become busy and active. That is required. Even if you want to go to heaven, then also you have to become busy and active. If you want to go back to home, back to Godhead, that also will require your busyness and activity. And if you want to remain here in this material world, that also required. Activity you cannot stop, but we have to consider the quality of activity. Quality of activity is bhakti. You have to work. You cannot remain inactive or lazy. You have to work.

So Kṛṣṇa advises in the Bhagavad-gītā that "Work for Me." That is intelligence. Yat karoṣi yaj juhoṣi yad aśnāsi yat tapasyasi kuruṣva tad mad-arpaṇam [Bg. 9.27]. This is life. Yat karoṣi, "whatever you do." Everyone has to do something. Kṛṣṇa says, "Yes, you have to work. But work for Me." Just like Arjuna was advised. He is a military man. He used to fight. His occupation is, when there there is danger he must fight. A kṣatriya, kṣatriya's business is that. So Arjuna was advised that "You fight for Me, not for your sense gratification." That kind of fight and war is not allowed. Only for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord you can fight.

So any field of activities, if we act for Kṛṣṇa, that is called yajña. Yajña means to act for the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or the supreme authority. Just like a good citizen. A good citizen means who is acting exactly to the regulative laws. He is good citizen. Even in ordinary driving car, if you exactly follow the rules and regulation of traffic transaction, if you stop when there is red light, if you start when there is green light, you don't go to the left, if you follow these rules and regulation, then there is no question of your being a criminal. But as soon as you do not follow, immediately you are criminal; you will get a ticket. Therefore the regulative life means... That is religious life, when you execute your occupational duty just according to the law. There are state laws and there are divine laws also. So actually, we should perform the divine laws. State law is subordinate. That is legal. Otherwise illegal. But unfortunately, the whole state at the present moment, they are also illegal. Therefore what about the citizen? They are also illegal. And because both of them illegal, these illegal, illicit, mean, acts are being done, so many slaughterhouses are maintained, and people are eating meat illegally and becoming subjected to the sinful life. That is warned here. [aside:] So read the purport.

Nitāi: "With the progress of the age of Kali, four things particularly, namely, the duration of life, mercy, the power of recollection, and moral or religious principles, will gradually diminish."

Prabhupāda: This is the symptom of Kali-yuga. We have got our practical experience. When I first came in New York, one boy, Nelson, he told me that "Here, even in your front, somebody is being killed, nobody will take care." I was surprised, "How is that?" Is that a fact? You say yes?

Devotees: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Ah, just see. So that is predicted, that the moral or religious principle will gradually diminish. With the progress of this age Kali, four things particularly, namely duration of life... Duration of life, everyone knows. The actually standard of duration of life in this age is hundred years. But no. Who is living hundred years? Gradually decreasing. And it will decrease so much, as I have several times said, that when at the end of Kali-yuga or in the middle of Kali-yuga, the duration of life will be twenty to thirty years. Now it is sixty, seventy or fifty or... It is going on. But gradually, it will diminish. That is stated here.

And the memory, memory also reduced. Formerly, people were so sharp in memory that once heard from the spiritual master, he will remember. He will not forget. There was no need of books. Book is required because our memory is now..., the power of recollection is very poor. Just like one who cannot memorize, he has to take note down. Formerly, five thousand years ago, there was no need of books. The students will go to the spiritual master or teacher and... Therefore it is called śruti. The Vedic language is called śruti. Śruti means hearing. It is not reading. Simply, pious students will hear from the right source. Evaṁ paramparā prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. Simply by hearing, they will understand everything. They will never forget. But in the Kali-yuga it is not possible. Therefore Vyāsadeva, the whole Vedic understanding, knowledge, he recorded into books. Otherwise, before that there was no need of books. The power of recollection will diminish. And mercy. Mercy will reduce. Even in your..., in somebody's, in our front somebody is killed, nobody will try to help him, what to speak of others, when there is difficulty. Or there are so many. People should cooperate.

There was a very good example of our Kṛṣṇa conscious men in Melbourne. That was published. There was a fire in one building, and they were, I mean to say, stranded. They were crying. So our girls went there and saved them. Nobody came. Therefore it is said, yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ [SB 5.18.12]. If one is God conscious, Kṛṣṇa conscious, then other material good qualities will automatically develop. These girls in our Melbourne temple, they were not asked by me or their president, "You go and save them," but out of their good will they went and saved them, and some of the girls jumped from three story and they captured in this, what is called, canopy. So it was published and very much appreciated by the public.

So the idea is that one cannot be merciful unless he is a devotee. The so-called mercifulness showed by the philanthropists, humanitarians, that is all false. They are humanitarian, but they maintain slaughterhouse. What is this humanitarian? It does not appeal to you that animals are being killed? So the real fact is that without becoming a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, or God, nobody can be qualified with good attributes. It is not possible. Therefore śāstra says that "Make people devotee." Then automatically, all the good qualities will come in. Next.

Nitāi: "Since dharma, or the principles of religion, will be lost in the proportion of three out of four, the symbolic bull was standing on one leg only. When three-fourths of the population of the whole world become irreligious, the situation is converted into hell for the animals. In the age of Kali godless civilizations will create so many so-called religious societies in which the Personality of Godhead will be directly or indirectly defied. And thus faithless societies of men will make the world uninhabitable for the saner section of people.

"There are gradations of human beings in terms of the proportionate faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The first-class faithful men are the Vaiṣṇavas and the brāhmaṇas, then the kṣatriyas, then the vaiśyas, then the śūdras, then the mlecchas, the yavanas and at last the caṇḍālas. The degradation of human instincts begins from the mlecchas, and the caṇḍāla state of life is the last word in the human degradation. All the above terms mentioned in the Vedic literatures are never meant for any particular community or birth. They are different qualifications of human beings in general. There is no question of birthright or community. One can acquire the respective qualifications by one's own efforts, and thus the son of a Vaiṣṇava can become a mleccha or the son of a caṇḍāla can become more than a brāhmaṇa, all in terms of their association and intimate relation with the Supreme Lord."

Prabhupāda: That's it. So if we qualify ourself as Vaiṣṇava and devotee, then all other good qualities will automatically manifest in the body. That is the purpose of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, that you accept this movement... For example... There are many examples. This is also one practical example. In your state the government has spent millions and millions of dollars to stop the intoxication habit, but it was failure. But as soon as the same person comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness camp, he immediately gives up. This is practical. And there cannot be any comparison of the qualities of our students with any religious institution or any school, college. You cannot have. Because they are devotee. As soon as you become devotee, all good qualities. Therefore if the government takes this movement seriously, they make everyone a devotee, then everything will be solved. There will be no need of criminal court or jail or... Everything will be finished. Or, what is called, liquor house and slaughterhouse and manufacturing cigarette and advertising them two sides of the road. Although [chuckles] it is written there it is dangerous, still it is highly advertised and people smoke. These contradiction things are going on on account of godlessness.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya Prabhupāda. Haribol. [end]