Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 6.1.8 , Los Angeles , 1975-06-21
Prabhupāda: Oṁ namo bhagavat...
Santoṣa: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [devotees repeat] [leads chanting of verse and synonyms]
yateta mṛtyor avipadyatātmanā
doṣasya dṛṣṭvā guru-lāghavaṁ yathā
bhiṣak cikitseta rujāṁ nidānavit
yateta mṛtyor avipadyatātmanā
doṣasya dṛṣṭvā guru-lāghavaṁ yathā
bhiṣak cikitseta rujāṁ nidānavit
So the discussion is going on between Parīkṣit Mahārāja and Śukadeva Gosvāmī. In the last portion of the Fifth Chapter, Fifth Canto, Śukadeva Gosvāmī has given description of different hellish planets down this universe. There are many hellish planets. As there are heavenly planets, similarly there are hellish planets. Those who are pious, in the modes of goodness, they are promoted to the higher planetary system, and those who are very much abominable, condemned, they are degraded to the lower planetary system. There are different planets, and our modern scientists, they say that "Except this earthly planet, there is no life." This is their knowledge. But actually that is not the fact. Everywhere there is life---but the life of different grades. Just like here also we see, in this planet some of them are very well situated, and some of them are very much degraded in every respect---by birth, janma aiṣvarya, by opulence, and by education, by beauty. So there is such arrangement by nature's law that you are promoted or degraded. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ [Bg. 3.27]. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that prakṛti, we are under the guidance or rulings of material nature. That is... It is not a fact that "We are independent," "There is no life after death." These are all foolish man's theory. We are eternal, there is life after death, and that life also has got different gradation. So this has been described, and this is the fact.
Now, Parīkṣit Mahārāja, being Vaiṣṇava, he became very much sympathetic with the persons who are degraded in the hellish planet. So his question was, "My dear sir," Śukadeva Gosvāmī his spiritual master, that "how these people could be saved from this hellish condition of life?" This is Vaiṣṇava's concern. Vaiṣṇava is not a pickpocket, that he will exploit others for his benefit. No. Para-duḥkha-duḥkhī. [Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 6]. Vaiṣṇava's business is = he is very unhappy by seeing others unhappy. Prahlāda Mahārāja said like that:
śoce tato vimukha-cetasa māyā-sukhāya
bharam udvahato vimūḍhān
Prahlāda Mahārāja, he said to Nṛsiṁha-deva, "My Lord," na udvije, "I am not at all in anxiety." Na udvije. Para: "You are transcendental." Naivodvije para duratyaya-vaitaraṇyā. Duratyaya means "very difficult to cross over." Vaitaraṇyā, vaitaraṇi, the nescience, ocean of nescience. "Why you are not afraid of?" Tvad-vīrya-gāyana-mahāmṛta-magna cittaḥ: "Because I am now Kṛṣṇa conscious, and as soon as I hear the glories of Your wonderful activities, I become merged in it. So I have no problem." "Then you appear to be little unhappy. Why?" "No," śoce, "I am very much aggrieved." "Why?" Tato vimukha-cetasa: "For these rascals who do not take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. I am thinking of them. Instead of taking to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they are busy in māyā-sukhāya, māyā, this temporary, little temporary happiness. They are making big, big program. He will live for fifty years, but he is making program for five millions of years. So I am...," śoce, "I am actually lamenting for them." This is Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇava is not very anxious or unhappy for his personal affairs. He knows that "Everywhere I will be protected by Kṛṣṇa," so he has no problem. Therefore real Vaiṣṇava, he wants to deliver all these fallen souls from this miserable condition of life. So Parīkṣit Mahārāja is Vaiṣṇava. His first attention was drawn to the persons in the hellish planet. They are suffering. He questioned, "How they can be saved?" That is his concern. This is Vaiṣṇava.
So Śukadeva Gosvāmī is answering. The spiritual master and disciple... First of all he wanted to test where is standing Parīkṣit Mahārāja. So there are three kinds of processes for becoming free from these material clutches. One is karma, the other is jñāna, or yoga, and the other is bhakti. So first of all Parīkṣit Mahārāja was tested by Śukadeva Gosvāmī whether he is satisfied by the karma-kāṇḍa, or fruitive activities. Fruitive activities means that "I have done something wrong. So I go to the church and make some atonement and finished; then again I do." This is karma-kāṇḍīya.
Just like somebody has done something criminal. He says, "All right, never mind. I shall go to the court and pay some fine. That's all." So this is karma-kāṇḍīya-vicāra. And nowadays, even karma-kāṇḍīya vicāra, they are also not accepted. People have become so foolish. This karma-kāṇḍīya vicāra, means action and reaction of the fruitive activities, they also do not believe that. This is the lowest grade. So here it is answered that "If you want to be saved from the sinful reaction of your life and put into the hellish condition, then you have to do like this." Tasmāt purā eva āśu iha pāpa-niṣkṛtau. Tasmāt, "Therefore, in order to become freed from the reaction of your sinful activities," pāpa-niṣkṛtau, puraiva, purā eva āśu, "before your death, as soon as possible, you should atone. You should counteract. Otherwise you will suffer very much."
Just like a disease. A little disease, if you treat immediately, it may not increase to be a very problem, big problem disease. Cāṇakya Paṇḍita has instructed that three things we should be very careful = disease, fire and debts. If there is disease, if you think, "Oh, this is little ailment. There is no need of going to the doctor," no, you must immediately take steps. It may increase to be a very big problem. Disease increases. Similarly fire. If there is fire, you have extinguished everything and little fire there is, if you think that "Oh, little fire, it will automatically...," no, that also you must extinguish. Otherwise it may take into big fire again. Similarly debts. If you don't clear your debts, if you think, "All right, there is some debts. It will...," no, interest, compound interest. So similarly, the disease. We are already in the material disease, this birth, death, old age and disease. This is our material miserable condition. And again if we act sinfully, then it will increase. Therefore Śukadeva Gosvāmī is advising that "Before your death, you should atone for the sinful activities, what you have done." Just like in the Manu-saṁhitā, if a man has committed some murder, it is advised that King should order him to be hanged. Otherwise next life he will have to suffer so much. So this order of hanging a murderer is a kind of kindness to the criminal.
So here it is advised that doṣasya dṛṣṭvā guru-lāghavaṁ yathā [SB 6.1.8]. There are different kinds of sinful activities, and there are different kinds of suffering also. A little infection of bronchitis, the suffering is not so acute, but infection of smallpox is fatal. We should always remember that. We are infecting. On account of this material world, we are infecting different modes of material nature. I have explained several times. There are three modes of material nature, and when you mix up, then it becomes three into three equal to nine, and again mix up, nine into nine, eighty-one, and again mix up... Every minute particles, there is account. You cannot avoid. Material nature's punishment you cannot avoid. Even little, whatever you have done, it will be punished. Automatically the rules and regulations are there. Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-sangaḥ asya sad-asad-janma-yoniṣu [Bg. 13.22]. Why there are so different varieties of life if there is no some judgment behind it? There must be. Otherwise everyone should have been of the same bodily feature, same standard of life, same opulence. No. So many degraded..., I mean grades, because the modes of material nature are different, different mixture.
So here it is said that doṣasya dṛṣṭvā guru-lāghavaṁ yathā [SB 6.1.8]. Doṣa. Still people in India, they go to a bhaṭṭācārya, that "Sir, I have done this sinful activity. What is my atonement?" Amongst the Christian also, they go to the church. So guru-lāghavaṁ dṛṣṭvā. Guru means heavy. We use this word guru. Guru means heavy. So according to the criminal activities... Just like a man has stolen some fruit from a fruit shop, his criminality is not equal to the man who has committed murder---one he has killed one man. This is guru-lāghavam. So there is punishment according to the heaviness and lightness of criminal activities. The example is given here = bhiṣak cikitseta rujāṁ nidānavit. Just like you go to a physician for treatment of your disease, he gives different types of medicine. Not that one medicine for everyone. No. If one has got little headache, he gives one that tablet...
Prabhupāda: ...aspirin tablet, but if it is pneumonia, then the treatment is different. That is being advised, that "One has to see what kind of sinful activity he has done and what is the atonement for that purpose." This is advised. Parīkṣit Mahārāja was advised that "These people, they are suffering in different grades of suffering on account of different grades of sinful activities. So best thing is = before death, if they seek atonement for different grades of sinful activities, then it is good for him so that after death he may not suffer very severely." But people do not accept even that there is life after death, we are eternal, and the infection which you are committing, that will react. There is no such knowledge. The modern civilization is so foolish. Simply like cats and dogs, they are eating and sleeping and sex life and little defense, that's all. They have no knowledge.
So therefore we are preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Lokasya ajānataḥ, they do not know what kind of risky life they are conducting. So the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to make them awakened to the consciousness. That is the duty of a sane man or a gentleman. That is the instruction of the Vedas, to awaken people. Uttiṣṭhata jāgrata prāpya varān nibodhata [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.3.14]. This Vedic instruction is, to the human society, uttiṣṭhata: "Get up." Jāgrata: "Don't sleep. Be awakened." Uttiṣṭhata jāgrata prāpya varān nibodhata. "You have got a boon. Try to understand it." Nibodhata. Prāpya varān. Varān means benediction. What is that benediction? The benediction is this human form of life. You should understand that you are not cat and dog, simply you shall spoil your life by eating, sleeping and sex and defense. No. This is very valuable life. Labdhvā su-durlabham idaṁ bahu-sambhavānte [SB 11.9.29]. This is the instruction of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. "No, don't spoil it. You have got this boon, this human form of life, after many, many births' evolutionary process. Don't you see so many different varieties of life? And you had to undergo through all these life. Now you have come to human form of life, so you should utilize it."
So that full utilization is how to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. That we shall come, one after another. This karma-kāṇḍīya vicāra, this will not help us. That will be discussed in the next verse. Neither the mental speculation will help us. Unless we come to the platform of bhakti and fully surrender to Kṛṣṇa and take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness business, it is very, very difficult. We will have to continue. In many places, śāstra, it is said.
yad indriya-prītaya āpṛṇoti
na sādhu manye yata ātmano 'yam
asann api kleśada āsa dehaḥ
Nūnaṁ pramattaḥ: "The people have become mad." And why? Kurute vikarma. "They are acting obversely, against the principle of life." Vikarma. Karma, vikarma. Karma means to act according to the injunction of the śāstra, and vikarma means to act against. Then you suffer. So vikarma. Nūnaṁ pramattaḥ kurute vikarma [SB 5.5.4]. Now, why they are doing? Because they are mad, pramattaḥ. What for mad? Yad indriya-prītaya: "Simply for sense gratification." There is no other profit. A temporary sense gratification. They are acting so sinfully. So Ṛṣabhadeva says, na sādhu manye: "This is not good." Why? Yata ātmano 'yam: "Because you have got already this material body, this temporary body." So, "That's all right. I have got this temporary body. It will be finished." No. Asann api kleśada: "Although it is temporary, so long you will possess this material body, you will have to suffer so many suffering, threefold miseries." So they don't care for it because illiterate. Not illiterate---ignorant. Literary knowledge is not sufficient. There must be real knowledge. The real knowledge you will get from the Vedas. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. Real knowledge you will get from guru, from Kṛṣṇa. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam [Bg. 4.2]. That is real knowledge. Otherwise, anything has got some knowledge, that knowledge is not sufficient.
So the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is full of knowledge. It is specially compiled by Vyāsadeva to help the foolish human society and save him from all kinds of miserable condition of life.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda. [end]