Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.28.1--Sunday Feast , Honolulu , 1975-06-01
Śrutakīrti: [introducing recording] The following lecture was delivered by His Divine Grace on June 1st, 1975, in the temple room of the Śrī Pañca-tattva Mandir in Honolulu, Hawaii, taken from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Third Canto, Twenty-eighth Chapter, first verse, entitled "Lord Kapila's Instructions in the Execution of Devotional Service." It was delivered to the disciples and guests at our Sunday Feast program.
Prabhupāda: You have got book?
Śrutakīrti: Yes. [break]
Devotee: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [devotees chant responsively] [leads chanting of synonyms] [break]
Prabhupāda: Word meaning.
yogasya lakṣaṇaṁ vakṣye
mano yenaiva vidhinā
prasannaṁ yāti sat-patham
"The Personality of Godhead said = My dear mother, O daughter of the King, now I shall explain to you the system of yoga, the object of which is to concentrate the mind. By practicing this system one can become joyful and progressively advance towards the path of the Absolute Truth."
yogasya lakṣaṇaṁ vakṣye
mano yenaiva vidhinā
prasannaṁ yāti sat-patham
So this word yoga is very popular in the Western countries. Practically everyone knows the word at least, yoga. And many so-called yogīs come here, and I do not want to discuss. But yoga is a very nice process by which you can make your mind very peaceful, and then you can make progress towards spiritual life, sat-pathe. Our..., there are two ways. One is called sat-patha, and one is called asat-patha. Asat-patha means..., asat means which will not exist. That is called asat. And sat means which will exist. The spirit will exist; matter will be finished. Now you have got this body. You have got this body. This body will be finished, everyone knows. But the spirit soul within the body, that will not finish. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. That is spiritual education in the beginning. We should understand what is spirit, sat. Asato mā sad gamaḥ. This is the Vedic instruction. "Don't make much progress on the path of nonpermanent things." This is Vedic injunction. Asato mā sad gamaḥ. Tamasi mā jyotir gamaḥ: "Don't keep yourself in darkness. Make progress towards the light."
So here also the same thing is stated---that yoga process is to keep the mind in peaceful condition, tranquility, and then you can concentrate your mind towards the Supreme Absolute. This is yoga process, not a gymnastic, a gymnastic āsana = yāma, niyama, aṣṭāṅga-yoga. Aṣṭāṅga, eight kinds of practices, āsana. Āsana..., the generally the yogīs come here to show you the āsana, how to sit in different posture. That is mechanical. That is also very nice, how to bring the mind under control. But real business is after your mind is controlled. These processes which generally the yogīs demonstrate, that is the process of controlling the mind. The real meaning of yoga = yoga indriya-saṁyamaḥ. The authorities of yoga practice, they say the yoga practice means to control the senses. That is the yoga practice.
So here Kapiladeva... Kapiladeva is incarnation of Kṛṣṇa, Bhagavān Kapila. There are twelve authorized persons who can give you real knowledge of spiritual life. So out of the twelve persons, Kapiladeva is one. It is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam,
kapila kumār manuḥ
prahlādo janako bhīṣmo
balir vaiyāsakir vayam
It was spoken by Yamarāja to the servants who went to take Ajāmila to hellish condition of life, and he was saved by the Viṣṇudūta. Because at the end of his life he chanted "Nārāyaṇa." Actually, Nārāyaṇa was his youngest son, and he was very much attached to the little boy. So when Yamadūta in ferocious feature came to take him, he became too much afraid, and because he was accustomed to his son, Nārāyaṇa, so out of fear he chanted very loudly, "Nārāyaṇa, please come. Who are these men?" So simply by chanting "Nārāyaṇa," immediately from Vaikuṇṭha the servants of Nārāyaṇa came, and they saved him from the hands of Yamadūta. That will be explained in the Sixth Canto how simply by chanting the name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead at the end of life, ante nārāyaṇa smṛtiḥ [SB 2.1.6], that is the perfection of life. If at the end of life you can remember Nārāyaṇa, then life is successful. You go back to home, back to Godhead.
So the real purpose is that we should give up this asat-patha. [aside:] You sit properly, it is not... Asat-patha and sat-patha. Here it is said sat-patham. Sat-patham means our permanent goal of life. We are now interested with nonpermanent goal of life. People are thinking, "If I get a nice car, a nice apartment, a nice wife, a nice bank balance, then I will be happy." But this is asat, because none of this will stay. The bank balance also will not stay, the wife also will not stay, and good position, that will not stay. As soon as the body is finished, everything is finished. Therefore they are called asat. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura has sung, sat-saṅga chāḍi'kainu asate vilāsa, te-kāraṇe lāgila mor karma-bandha-phāṅsa. Sat-saṅga. Sat-saṅga means persons who are making progress towards the permanent life. They are called sat. Just like this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. This movement means we are training our disciples how to make progress towards permanent life. And the material world means they are making progress towards nonpermanent life. So those who are intelligent, they are not interested in nonpermanent life. And those who are foolish, mūḍha, they are interested in this temporary life, and they do not know what is there after death, neither they have got any knowledge what is spirit, what is matter. Ignorance. In darkness.
Therefore one is recommended to associate with sat. Satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ [SB 3.25.25]. Satāṁ prasaṅgān. In the association of devotees the discussion on the matter of the Absolute Truth becomes very palatable. We have to hear about the Absolute Truth through the association of persons who are endeavoring to make progress towards eternal life, sat-patham. Yogasya lakṣaṇam. What are the symptoms of yoga? Kapiladeva, Kapiladeva is son of Devahūti. Devahūti is the mother of Kapiladeva. The mother is taking instruction from son. So it doesn't matter. One should not think, "Oh, he is my son. What instruction I shall take from him? I know better than him." No. Son or anyone, anyone, if he knows the science of Kṛṣṇa, he becomes guru. This is the Vedic system. It doesn't matter. Caitanya Mahāprabhu approved this. Caitanya Mahāprabhu was born in a very respectable brāhmaṇa family. He was very advanced learned scholar, and after all He took sannyāsa. So when He was discussing with Rāmānanda Rāya... Rāmānanda Rāya was a gṛhastha, householder, and governor of Madras, means politician. A householder, politician, and he was born not in brāhmaṇa family; in kāraṇa, kāyastha family. They are considered as śūdras. So he had no position to instruct Caitanya Mahāprabhu. But Caitanya Mahāprabhu gave him the place of instructor, and He took the position of a listener. Just see Caitanya Mahāprabhu's pastimes. He gave him the position of instructor, and He took the position of student, listener.
So Rāmānanda Rāya was feeling a little agitation, that "How is that? I am a gṛhastha, householder, not even born in high family, brāhmaṇa family. And I am engaged in politics, I am governor, and He is a sannyāsī, renounced order of life. How is that that He is asking question and I am replying? The question is enquired by the student, and the answer is given by the spiritual master. So how is that?" He was feeling little agitation. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu immediately encouraged him, "Don't hesitate." This is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's example. He is teaching everything by His personal example. His purpose was that in this Kali-yuga the distinction between brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra will be almost finished. Then who will instruct? Because the instructor's position is brāhmaṇa. One must be brāhmaṇa. Brāhmaṇa's business is paṭhan pāṭhan yajan yājan dāna pratigraha. A brāhmaṇa should be personally very highly learned scholar. Therefore brāhmaṇa is called paṇḍita. Even in India, still a brāhmaṇa is addressed "Paṇḍitji." He may be a fool number one, but he is addressed like that, "Paṇḍitji." So because without becoming a learned scholar nobody can become a brāhmaṇa... We are also giving our student position as brāhmaṇa, but if he remains a fool number one, then we are misusing our attempt. He should be very learned scholar. That should be the aim. And there is no difficulty to become a learned scholar, because we have got so many books. You simply read and digest what we are speaking. Not that we are simply meant for selling books. We are reading. We must read. Then our position as brāhmaṇa will be fulfilled. Because brāhmaṇas are teacher. Anyone who can teach, he is brāhmaṇa. So unless you read thoroughly what you are going to speak to the world, how you can become a brāhmaṇa and paṇḍita? You should carefully note this.
Anyway, Rāmānanda Rāya, he was very learned, although he was not born in a brāhmaṇa family. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu was taking lessons from him. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, kibā vipra, kibā śūdra, nyāsī kene naya, yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā, sei 'guru' haya [Cc. Madhya 8.128]. Yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā: "Anyone who knows the science of Kṛṣṇa, he becomes a guru." So every one of you can become guru, provided you understand the science of Kṛṣṇa. The science of Kṛṣṇa... [aside:] Who is spreading leg like that? He can sit back side. This is not the way. Science of Kṛṣṇa..., first of all one must know what is Kṛṣṇa. That is being explained by Kṛṣṇa Himself in the Bhagavad-gītā, and when he understands what is Kṛṣṇa, then he can hear further about Kṛṣṇa. The books are there, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Nectar of Devotion, Teachings of Lord Caitanya---all we are teaching the science of Kṛṣṇa. So here also Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā, sei 'guru' haya [Cc. Madhya 8.128] = "Anyone who knows the science of Kṛṣṇa, he can become guru." That is our mission. That is not my mission; that is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mission. So it doesn't matter you Europeans, Americans, although not born in brāhmaṇa family. It doesn't matter. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's approval. If you try to understand the science of Kṛṣṇa, then, and if you behave properly, you can teach about Kṛṣṇa all over your country, all over the world. That is my mission. And that is approved by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Try to understand the science of Kṛṣṇa. Then you will be able to preach nicely, and people will be benefited.
So here Devahūti, [s]he is taking lesson from his [her] son. The son is given birth by the mother. She may think that "I have given birth to you. What you will teach me?" No. Because he knows the science of Kṛṣṇa. Or He is Kṛṣṇa Himself. Therefore she is taking lesson from her son, exalted son. She is very fortunate lady, Devahūti. She is addressed here, nṛpātmaje. Nṛpa means king; ātma-ja means offspring. So she was the daughter of the emperor of the higher planetary system, Manu, Vaivasvata Manu. The Vaivasvata Manu's name you have heard in the Bhagavad-gītā = imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam, vivasvān manave prāhuḥ [Bg. 4.1]. This Manu, Vaivasvata Manu, vivasvān manave prāhuḥ. The sun-god, whose name is Vivasvān, he spoke to his son, Manu. This Manu is the father of Devahūti. She is not ordinary girl. So how fortunate she was. She was the daughter of Vaivasvata Manu. She... Vaivasvata Manu was the emperor of the heavenly planet. And the wife of Kardama Muni.
Kardama Muni was a great yogī. So while practicing yoga, he thought of marrying. That, it is natural among young men. So this Devahūti's father... The Devahūti proposed to her father, "My dear father, I wish to marry the Kardama Muni. He is practicing yoga in such and such place. If you will take me there, then I shall be very pleased." So Manu, the king, he thought that "My daughter wants to marry this yogī. All right, let me take her there." And she was brought by the king, and Kardama Muni was said that "I have brought my daughter, and you marry him [her]." And he thought that "I wanted to marry, so Kṛṣṇa has sent such a beautiful, exalted girl, daughter of the emperor of the..." So he accepted. And he left the daughter with Kardama Muni and he went away.
So this princess, means daughter of Manu, she began to serve Kardama Muni. And in the yoga āśrama, it was a cottage, and there was no good food, no maidservant, nothing of the sort. So became gradually very lean and thin, and she was very beautiful, king's daughter. So Kardama Muni thought that "Her father gave me, and she is becoming deteriorated in her health, in her beauty. So as husband, I have got to do something for her." So by yoga power he constructed a big city aeroplane. That is yogic power. Not 747. [laughter] A such a big city, there was lake, there was garden, there was maidservant, big, big palaces, and the whole thing was floating in the sky, and he made her see all the different planets. In this way... That is stated in the Fourth Chapter, you can read it.
So as a yogī he satisfied her in every respect. And then she wanted children. So Kardama Muni begot in her nine daughters and one son, with the promise that "As soon as you get your children, then I will go away. I am not going to live forever with you." So she agreed. So after getting the children, out of which this Kapiladeva was one, the son, and when He was grown up He also said, "My dear mother, My father has left home. I will also leave home. If you want to take some instruction from Me, you can take. Then I shall go away." So before going away He is giving instruction to His mother.
Now, this Devahūti's position is a perfect woman. She got good father, she got good husband, and she got excellent son. So woman has got three stages in life. Man has got ten stages. These three stages mean that when she is younger, she must live under the protection of father. Just like Devahūti, when she was grown up, young, she proposed her father that "I want to marry that gentleman, that yogī." And the father also offered. So, so long she was not married she remained under the protection of the father. And when she was married, she remained with the yogī husband. And she was troubled in so many ways because she was princess, daughter of king, and this yogī, he was in a cottage, no food, no shelter, nothing of the sort. So she had to suffer. She never said that "I am king's daughter. I was raised in so opulent condition of life. Now I have got a husband who cannot give me a nice apartment, nice food. Divorce him." No. That was never done. That is not the position. "Any way my husband may be, whatever he may be, because I have accepted some gentleman as my husband I must look to his comforts, and whatever his position, it doesn't matter." This is the duty of the woman. But that is Vedic instruction. Nowadays, as soon as there is little discrepancy, disagreement, and divorce = find out another husband. No. She remained. And then she got the nicest child, Personality of Godhead, Kapila. So this is the three stages. Woman should aspire... First of all, by his [her] karma one is given the place under a suitable father, and then under suitable husband, and then produce a nice child like Kapiladeva.
So Kapiladeva is addressing His mother, nṛpātmaje: "My dear princess, the daughter of King..." He is not addressing her [His] mother as the wife of Kardama Muni, because she would be little puffed up that "I am the daughter of king." So..., and Kapiladeva knew how to flatter woman. [chuckles] So He addressed her [His] mother, nṛpātmaje, "My dear daughter of king." She felt very much proud, "Yes, I am daughter of king." So "I will speak to you about the symptoms of yoga system," yogasya lakṣaṇaṁ vakṣye sabījasya, "with authorized statement." He is Bhagavān, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Whatever He speaks, that is authorized. You cannot argue, because for the..., for us, we are conditioned soul. We have got four defects---means we commit mistake, we become illusioned or bewildered, our senses are imperfect, and, because everything is imperfect, still we want to become teacher, that is cheating. I am imperfect. How can I teach? That is going on. A imperfect person is teaching about transcendental knowledge. Therefore people are being cheated. Our process is to take lesson from the perfect person and distribute it, just we are doing. Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means we are preaching what Kṛṣṇa has said, that's all. Not that we have manufactured something new. No. That is not our business. How I can manufacture? I am imperfect. How can I manufacture? But the spiritual master who follows the perfect teacher, he is perfect. He is perfect because whatever he is speaking, that is the statement of the perfect person.
I have several times explained to you. One may be imperfect, just like a child, he is imperfect. But he has learned, he has asked his father, "My dear father, what is this?" The father has explained, "My dear child, this is microphone." So if he..., if the child says, "This is microphone," then that is perfect, because he has learned it from his father, "This is microphone." So even though he is child, he is repeating the words of the father. He is fixed up, that "My father has told me this thing. It is perfect." He is convinced. So he says, "This is microphone." So who will protest it? Or how you can say, "How this child can say like..." Yes. He can say, provided he has taken the lesson from the father. This is the way.
So our teaching, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is perfect because we have taken the lesson from Kṛṣṇa. Just try to understand how perfect we are. We don't say anything as "I think," "maybe," "perhaps." No. We never say so. We say definite. Definitive information. Just like we..., they are speculating Darwin's theory of evolution. We have got perfect knowledge from the śāstras = jalajā nava-lakṣāni sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati [Padma Purāṇa]. Now, we say there are 900,000 forms of life within the water. We have not gone within the water; neither as biologist we have studied. We have taken the perfect information from the perfect source. We say not one million; 900,000. This is called Vedic knowledge. This is perfect. Jalajā nava-lakṣāni sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati.
This evolution theory is already mentioned. Darwin has taken this from this Vedic knowledge, and he has placed the whole thing in his imaginative way. Otherwise the evolutionary process is mentioned in the Vedic scripture. First of all aquatics, then plants and trees, then insect, then birds, then beasts, then human being. Now, in the human being form, because by gradual process of evolution we have got advance consciousness, the, I mean to say, subject matter is given to us. Now make your choice now again. Nature has given this opportunity whether you want to go the sat-patha or asat-patha; whether you are again wish to go to the cycle of evolution or if you want to make further progress. Further progress means this human form of life you can go to the higher planetary system. Ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthāḥ [Bg. 14.18]. Yānti deva-vratā devān [Bg. 9.25]. Now you can make your choice. You are now civilized, very advanced intelligence. Now whether you want to go to the cycle of evolution again or whether you want to stop this and go to your original position.
These two things are there = sat-patha and asat-patha. If you make further progress this asat-patha, asat, patha asat... Asat means it will not stay. So if you remain engaged in this bodily business, that is asat. Just try to understand what is asat. Asat means which will not stay. So everyone knows that this body will not stay. It will be ended today, tomorrow, or after years it will be finished. Therefore if you are simply engaged in the bodily concept of life, as people are generally engaged... People are thinking, "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am brāhmaṇa," "I am kṣatriya," "I am cat," "I am dog." Every living entity is simply thinking in bodily. That is asat-patha. If we remain on the bodily concept of life, then we are no better than the dogs and cats. But unfortunately, modern civilization is going on on this bodily concept of life. That is asat-patha. But here the yoga system is being taught by Kapiladeva to His mother for... [break] The purpose is prasannaṁ yāti sat-patham. By the yoga practice you have to make your mind very transparent, clean, and then you can go towards sat-patham, eternal life. That is being taught. So He will go on teaching.
Next verse is:
vidharmāc ca nivartanam
daivāt labdhena santoṣa
The first step is given there, that sva-dharmācaraṇam. Sva-dharmācaraṇaṁ śaktyā. As far as possible, be situated in your natural life. Natural life means there are three modes of material nature. So somebody is affected, or infected by some modes of material nature---sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa. So the śāstra has made the path so clear anyway that in either of these infection, either sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa, you can make progress spiritual life. Because we must be in either of these. Just like a train is going on = there is first class, second class, third class. So because the train is going, either you place yourself in the first-class compartment or second class, you will go. You will go. It is not that because you are situated in the third-class compartment the..., your train is not going. No, you can go. Similarly, Bhagavad-gītā has taught that one can go back to home, back to Godhead, in any position, provided he knows how to tackle the situation.
Sva-dharma. Sva-dharma will be explained, and it is explained in the Bhagavad... Sva-dharma means one may be in goodness, one may be in passion, one may be in darkness, and one may be in mixture. So that is divided into four classes of men = the brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra. So Bhagavad-gītā teaches us that anyone, if he worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead by sva-dharma, by his occupational duty, he also becomes perfect. For example, just like Arjuna. He was a military man, and his sva-dharma, his occupational duty, was to fight. So that fighting capacity he engaged himself in the service of Kṛṣṇa, and he became a devotee. Kṛṣṇa certified, bhakto 'si. What did he do? He did not chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Of course, he was chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra constantly because he was thinking of Kṛṣṇa. He had no other business than to think of Kṛṣṇa. But by formality he did not become a Vaiṣṇava or chanting. But he was always thinking of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore he is certified as the foremost yogi. Yoginām api sarveṣām [Bg. 6.47].
So that is the trick---how we shall always think of Kṛṣṇa even we are engaged in our occupation duty. That will make us perfect. Actually, real sva-dharma is to be attached to Kṛṣṇa. Because we are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, but because we have got this material body, we have got this bodily concept of life. Therefore the Vedic injunction is divided that one class should be brāhmaṇa, one class should be kṣatriya, one class should be vaiśya, another should be śūdra. In this way they should cooperate for the ultimate benefit of life, just like in our body there is the head, there is the arm, there is the belly and there is the leg. So we are all cooperating for upkeep of the body. Similarly, if either as a brāhmaṇa or as a kṣatriya or as a śūdra we keep up in mind that we have to serve Kṛṣṇa, then in either position we can become perfect. That is confirmed in many places.
In whichever position you may be, if you try to satisfy Kṛṣṇa according to your capacity, sva-dharmācaraṇa śaktyā, here it is said. Sva-dharmācaraṇaṁ śaktyā vidharmāc ca nivartanam. Vidharma...., vidharma means anti, anti-occupational duty. Ultimately our occupational duty is to serve Kṛṣṇa. Anything which does not help me in serving Kṛṣṇa, if we give it up, and anything which helps me to serve Kṛṣṇa, if we accept, in that way if we live, then gradually we become situated in our original constitutional position, eternal servant of God. And that is the perfection of life. It will be taught gradually.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: Jaya Prabhupāda. [end]