Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 6.1.13-14 , Los Angeles , 1975-06-26
Santoṣa: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [devotees repeat] [leads chanting of verse, etc.]
śamena ca damena ca
yamena niyamena vā
kṣipanty aghaṁ mahad api
Translation = "To concentrate the mind, one must observe a life of celibacy and never fall down. Such a life of celibacy, or brahmacarya, is perfect. One should voluntarily give up sense enjoyment. One should control the mind and senses, give charity, speak truthfully, be clean and nonviolent. He should follow regulative principles and chant the holy name of the Lord. These practices certainly bring temporary purification. Thus they are like fire, for although fire clears away the dry creepers beneath the bamboo plant, the creepers grow back again at the first opportunity."
śamena ca damena ca
yamena niyamena vā
kṣipanty aghaṁ mahad api
So this is first-class human life. This should be the ideal of first-class human life. The first thing is tapasya, austerity, not extravagance. That is not human life. Tapasya. Tapasā means, generally, voluntarily accepting some inconvenience. And then brahmacarya. Brahmacarya means no sex life. According to Vedic civilization, the students, they are called brahmacārī. In student life there is no sex life. Then his brain will be finished. That is happening nowadays. From the student life they indulge in sex life. Therefore not very big men are coming now, because their brain substance is finished. So a brahmacārī is supposed to raise the semina to the brain, ūrdhvam-anti,[?] not discharge, but keep it on the brain. Then their memory becomes very sharp. Once heard from anyone, he will exactly produce, without any forget. Where is that science now? There is no such thing.
So to fulfill the human life, aim of human life, we have to become first-class human being. The first-class human being, ideal human being, is the brāhmaṇa. And the second class, the kṣatriya; the third class, vaiśya; and fourth class, śūdra. So at the present moment, Kali-yuga, kalau śūdrā-sambhavāḥ. In Kali-yuga there is no first class, second class or even third class. All fourth-class men, śūdrā-sambhavāḥ. So therefore they are unable to perform all these tapasya or brahmacarya. Then what is their hope for progress? That has been enunciated in the śāstra, Brahma-vaivarta Purāṇa, and Caitanya Mahāprabhu has given us the formula that,
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
[Cc. Ādi 17.21]
To make one's life successful, to reach to the goal of life, it is very difficult. [break] ...that one can observe all these principles, tapasā, brahmacarya. Śamo damaḥ titikṣa satyam. Satyam means truthfulness. One should be so truthful that if a rogue comes to him and if he asks, "What money you have got?" he will say, "I have got so much money." This is called satyam. He will not conceal even to the enemies. That is called truthfulness. Everything should be plainly and truthfully presented. These are satyam. And śaucābhyām, cleanliness. Cleanliness means if you go to the latrine, the injunction is that you will have to wash your hands, legs, so many times. Not with water, but with earth. Nowadays it is soap. So if we cannot wash our hands and legs for many times, at least we should wash once or twice with soap. This is called śaucam. A brahminical qualification is he is very neat and clean, three times taking bath, and keeping the body very neat---cloth, everything. Where he lives, his bedding, his place---all must be cleansed. And yamena niyamena vā: sex control, mind control and senses control by regulative principles.
So we have to observe all these regulative principles if we want to become first-class man. And without becoming first-class man, nobody can understand what is God. That is not possible. Fourth-class man cannot understand. It is not possible. Brahma jānātīti brāhmaṇaḥ. A brāhmaṇa, or the first-class man, is he because he knows Brahman. He knows Brahman, what is God---even not perfectly well, but Brahman, the impersonal conception of the Supreme. This impersonal conception of the Supreme Absolute Truth is also brahma-jñāna, but that is partial. God is sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1]. His form, His person... Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā that "My dear Arjuna, you, Me and all these men who have come here, we existed like this in the past." That means we are all individuals, because when Kṛṣṇa was speaking in the battlefield, He is person, and He was teaching Arjuna---he is also person. And the soldiers and other kings, they are also all persons. So Kṛṣṇa says that "It is not that we are imperson in the past or we shall become imperson in the future." No. Just like, take another example, that before our birth, accepting this body, I was a person, you were a person. And according to our personal different activities, pious or impious, we have got this body. So I was person before the beginning of my this body, and after my death I shall remain a person, and I shall accept another body. Dhīras tatra na muhyati. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ [Bg. 2.13]. So when I become imperson? Past, present, future---there are three different phases of time. So in the past I was a person, at present I am a person, and in future I shall remain a person. So where is the question of imperson?
This is spoken by Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā in the Second Chapter, that "My dear Arjuna, it is not that we did not exist in the past. We existed in this way, and we are existing now in the same way, and we shall exist..." That means our personality is never lost. And therefore we see so many varieties of men; each one is a person. You cannot find anyone exactly similar to the other, because everyone has got his personal propensities. And according to the personal propensities and desires, Kṛṣṇa is giving us different opportunities, and that is different body. Karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa [SB 3.31.1]. Just like in the court, the..., everyone is judged as person, not wholesale. The judge not says that "Now all you have come here"---some of them are complainants and some of them are respondents---"so you stand together. I give this judgment." No. Everyone is personally judged. And everyone is given reward or punishment personally. So where is the question of imperson?
And in the Vedas it is said, nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām, eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]. God means He is also nitya, eternal, amongst the eternals. There are many... We living entities, we are many, plural number, nityānām. Nityānām means plural number, and nitya, singular number. So God is singular number person, and we are plural number. We are many. God is one, but living entities are many. Not that God also is many. No. God may have many expansion---that is another thing---but God is singular number. God is not plural number. Nityo nityānām. So what kind of singular number? That He is chief singular number. Just like leader. There are many followers. Take any example = in the classroom or here, a teacher is one, but the audience, they are many. Similarly, God is one, but the living entities are many. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām. And what kind of living entity? Now, living entity means living entity, he is also living force. He is not dead. Just like just now we were talking that "God is dead." No. Nitya, cetana. Cetana means conscious, and nitya, eternal. We are also conscious and eternal. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. It is not that after we have..., our body is destroyed, we become destroyed. No. Na jāyate na mriyate vā. These things we have learned from Bhagavad-gītā. This is the position. We are many, and God is one.
So if we accept one God, then where is the chance of different religious system? God is one. God is neither Christian nor Hindu or Muslim or... No. God is God. Just like gold. Gold is gold. Either in the Hindu community or Muslim community, gold is gold. Because gold is there in some Hindu community, nobody says "Hindu gold." Does anybody say, "It is Hindu gold" or "It is Christian gold"? No. Gold is gold. Similarly, God is one. There is no "Hindu God" or "Muslim God" or "Christian God." This is mistake. "We believe God in this way," that is nonsense. No. God is one, and you have to see what is the characteristic of God. Just like when it is gold, everyone wants to see whether it is actually gold or imitation gold. That we have to see. There cannot be Hindu gold, Muslim gold, Christian gold. No. Simply you have to see whether it is actually gold, acceptable. That should be the subject matter of theology, to know actually what is God and to understand what is our relationship with God.
So that is stated in the Vedas, that God is also a living entity like us, as we are living entities, nityo nityānām. We are plural number; He is singular number. Then why He is singular number? Why not plural number? And what is the difference between singular number or plural number? That is also... Eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān: "That eko, that singular number, is supplying all the necessities of life of all this plural number. That is God." He is maintainer, maintainer. Eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhā... We have got different types of demands on account of our different types of body. And who is supplying these necessities? That is God. That is God. Very simple definition = eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān. Find out somebody who can supply the necessities of everyone---He is God. Is it very difficult to find out who is God? This is simple formula = eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān. We become charitable persons, but have we got any means that "Anyone who comes, I can give charity"? No. That is not possible. Therefore God's definition is given by the Parāśara Muni. What is that?
vīryasya yaśasaḥ śriyaḥ
sad iti bhāgamgaṇa
[Viṣṇu Purāṇa 6.5.47]
This is definition. What is that? Aiśvarya means wealth, riches. Everyone has got riches, some money, either at home or in the bank. So you may have two millions dollars; I may have ten dollars; you may have hundred dollars. Everyone has got some riches. That is admitted. But nobody can say that "I have got all the riches." That is not possible. If somebody can say that "I have got all the riches," he is God. That is spoken by Kṛṣṇa. Nobody has said in the history of the world. Kṛṣṇa said, bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram [Bg. 5.29] = "I am the enjoyer of everything, and I am the proprietor of all the universe." Who can say that? That is God. Aiśvaryasya samāgrasya. Samāgra means total, not that partial, that "I have got so much. Now I have distributed." I do not wish to mention by name---one artificial God, he was teaching his disciple, and the disciple was feeling electrical shocks. So unfortunately, I cannot give you electrical shocks. [laughter] You see? Electrical shocks, and he became fainted by electrical shock. And these are written publicly, and fools are accepting. Why teachers should give electrical shock? Where is that mentioned in the śāstra? [laughter] But these things are..., bogus things are stated. Electrical shock. And when he fainted, then the God was sitting, and when he got his senses, then the disciple asked God, "Sir, why you are crying?" "Now, I have finished everything. I have given you everything." Just see. Does a teacher finishes everything by teaching his disciple? These things are going on. So Kṛṣṇa is not that kind of God, that "I have finished everything." Pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate [Īśo Invocation]. This is definition of God. God is so perfect and full that even if you take all His opulences, still, He is full. That is God. Not that "I have finished my stock."
So intelligent man should learn what is God from the Vedic information. Don't manufacture God. Manufacture..., how we can manufacture God? That is not possible. So that is called mana-dharma. By mental concoction, mental speculation, we cannot create God. Here is the definition of God, that īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvaṁ yat kiñcid jagatyāṁ jagat [Īśo mantra 1]. Idaṁ sarvam. Sarvam means whatever you see. You see the big Pacific Ocean. That is created by God. It is not that He has created one Pacific Ocean, therefore His all chemicals, hydrogen and oxygen, finished. No. There are millions and trillions of Pacific Ocean floating in the sky. That is God's creation. There are millions and trillions of planets floating in the sky, and there are millions and trillions of living entities, seas and mountains and everything, but there is no scarcity. Not only this universe; there are millions and trillions of universes. We get this information from the Vedic...
koṭiṣv aśeṣa-vasudhādi vibhūti-bhinnaṁ
tad brahma niṣkalam anantam aśeṣa-bhūtaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam aham...
Try to understand the opulence of God. Just like yasya prabhā prabhavato. Now, you can see. This is... Material science also accept that everything in this material world, they are generated by the heat and light of the sun. So as you have got experience on account of the sunlight the whole universe is going on---you have seen that machine, when that is heated, it is running---so similarly, the real shine is brahma-jyotir, brahma-jyotir, that impersonal Brahman. And in the impersonal Brahman there are... Yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi. There are millions of universes. As you have seen... You are daily seeing, on the sunshine there are millions and trillions of planets floating, on account of the sunshine. They are rotating, everything. Similarly, the original sunshine is brahma-jyotir. What is that brahma-jyotir? Yasya prabhā [Bs. 5.40]. It is the rays from the body of Kṛṣṇa, Govinda, just like the sunshine is the rays of the body of the sun-god. That we can see. If you do not see sun-god, at least you see the sun planet. So similarly, Kṛṣṇa is there, and there is a Kṛṣṇaloka planet. And the Kṛṣṇaloka planet is, I mean to say, distributing the shining. You see the sky is bluish because the rays of the body of Kṛṣṇa is also bluish. And that is reflected in each universe. Therefore we see the sky bluish, Kṛṣṇa's color.
So in this way we have to understand what is God. God is not a petty thing, that He dies, or one is manufactured by meditation, he become God. This kind of God has no value. God is always God. Kṛṣṇa, when He was a child, He had no opportunity to meditate. He was a child playing on the lap of His mother. And when Pūtanā came and wanted to kill the child, the small child God, He killed Pūtanā, a big demon. So even He was at that time three months old, still... And not only Pūtanā, many other demons. And then, when He was six- or seven-years-old boy, so at that time there was crisis in Vṛndāvana, and He lifted the Govardhana Hill with His finger. This is God. Aiśvaryasya samāgrasya vīryasya yaśasaḥ śriyaḥ [Viṣṇu Purāṇa 6.5.47]. God has got unlimited strength. You have seen in Kṛṣṇa picture = Kṛṣṇa is killing so many demons. That horse demon? Keśī, Keśī. Kṛṣṇa simply pushed His hand in the mouth of the horse. Because to control a horse means he control his mouth; then you can control the whole big animal. So immediately the horse came before Him, He pushed His hand within the mouth of the horse, and the horse began to feel it is red-hot iron. So this is God. Aiśvaryasya samāgrasya vīryasya yaśasaḥ śriyaḥ.
So apart from we are not seeing personally, but we have heard it, but personally, at least, we can see one thing = how Kṛṣṇa is great. Because aiśvaryasya samāgrasya vīryasya yaśasaḥ śriyaḥ, jñāna. Śrīya, beautiful. No more... Nobody can be more beautiful than Kṛṣṇa. Śrīya, śriya means beauty. You see here Kṛṣṇa, how He is beautiful. So He does not become old. Nava-yauvanaṁ ca. Advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam ādyaṁ purāṇa-puruṣaṁ nava-yauvanaṁ ca [Bs. 5.33]. He is the oldest person because He has created everything, but He will never look old. You will never see Kṛṣṇa's picture as old man. These are the definition of God. God, nobody can be richer than Him, nobody can be stronger than Him, nobody can be more beautiful than Him, and nobody wiser than Him even. That proof we can see = Bhagavad-gītā was spoken five thousand years ago, and still Bhagavad-gītā is worshiped as the best book of knowledge. This is the proof. So God does not depend on anyone's proof. But if you want to prove whether He is God, you can get. That you can get. Therefore we should accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme God. It is stated in all śāstras, and Arjuna also, who listened Bhagavad-gītā from Kṛṣṇa, he also accepted. After hearing Bhagavad-gītā, he said, paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān, puruṣaṁ śāśvatam ādyam [Bg. 10.12].
So our process is to follow the predecessor. The Arjuna, he accepted. Not only Arjuna--"Arjuna may be His friend. He might have accepted his friend as God." No. Kṛṣṇa is accepted by the greatest learned scholar, Vyāsadeva, and greatest saintly person, Nārada. That is... Vyāsadeva writes in his Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that "I have given description of different incarnation of God." He has given so many incarnation. At last, he concludes that "Although Kṛṣṇa came as incarnation, but He is not incarnation. He is the incarnate. From Him, all incarnations come." Ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam [SB 1.3.28]. As soon as you say "incarnation," the next question will be, "Whose incarnation?" That Vyāsadeva explains, that Kṛṣṇa's incarnation. Kṛṣṇa is not incarnation. Kṛṣṇa is personally the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the statement of Vyāsadeva, the most learned. He is accepted the most, actually. Who can be more learned than Vyāsadeva in this material world? Nobody. You can see his writing, Bhāgavatam, how exalted, scholarly. Nobody can write such verses at the present moment. It is not possible. Each and every word is full of meaning and so nicely set up. Therefore it is said, vidvān cakre sātvata-saṁhitām: "The vidvān, the most learned Vyāsadeva, has given us the sātvata-saṁhitā."
So if we want to know, everything is there; but to understand, that will require a separate brain. That is recommended here. You create your brain, tapasā, first of all austerity. You cannot create your brain by doing nonsense things. That is not possible. You have to control = śamena damena, tapasā brahmacaryeṇa [SB 6.1.13]. These are the process to create a brain to understand God. Otherwise it is useless. Śrama eva hi kevalam [SB 1.2.8]. It is simply laboring for nothing. So this is the recommended, that treatment. That is also not sufficient. In the last, Śukadeva gives an hint that "This kind of purification, by tapasā brahmacaryeṇa], is like veṇu-gulmam ivānalaḥ [SB 6.1.14]." Veṇu-gulma, veṇu-gulma means the dried creepers and grass. You can set fire. In India, or here also---I have seen in London---they set fire, and all the dried creepers and grass become... But what is the purpose of saying veṇu-gulman ivānalaḥ? Veṇu-gulmam ivānalaḥ means that superficially we see that now it is burnt into ashes, but the root remains there. As soon as there will be rain, waterfall, they will come out again. So the whole process is how to become detached from this material world. So this, even if you practice this tapasya, it is not completely able to finish these attachments. Therefore it is said, veṇu-gulmam ivānalaḥ.
So we can finish this material attachment only by worshiping Kṛṣṇa. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ
jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam
The practical example is here in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, that our students, simply by executing devotional service to Vāsudeva, they have become free from so many sinful activities. That is the particular. So this should be introduced, this system, so that people at the present moment, they may become purified and make their advance in progress to the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is back to home, back to Godhead. That is wanted. So na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum [SB 7.5.31]. They do not know what is their self-interest, ultimate goal of... Durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ. They are thinking by adjusting the external, material things, they will be happy. No, that is not possible. Durāśayā. It is called durāśayā, hopeless hope. It is not possible. Dur means it will be very difficult to fulfill the āśayā, the hope, that "We shall be very happy in this world and enjoy senses without any interruption. Now let us make some United Nation program and we will be happy." It will never be happy. Be sure.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda. [end]