Bhagavad-gītā 7.3 , Nairobi , 1975-10-29

Harikeśa: Translation = "Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth."


manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ

So to understand Kṛṣṇa is not very easy thing. Kṛṣṇa says that manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu, "Out of many millions of millions' person, one tries to become perfect." Who is going to become perfect, especially in this age? Everyone is working like cats and dogs, that's all. Whole day working for eating, sleeping, sex and defense, that's all. They are not manuṣyas. Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca sāmānyam etat paśubhiḥ narāṇām [Hitopadeśa 25]. Eating... I eat; dog eats. So what is the difference between eating between the dog and me? He is eating according to his taste; I am eating also. The eating business is there in the dog also. Don't think that because you are eating on table, chair, plates, nice preparation... It is eating. People are taking that "Because I am eating on table, chair and nice dish and nice preparation, therefore I am civilized." The śāstra says that it may be different types of taking the eatables, but it is eating. That is even in dog. It does not make any difference. You are not civilized. Similarly sleeping. The dog can sleep on the street without caring for anything. We cannot sleep without nice apartment. So eating, sleeping, mating... Similarly, sex intercourse. Dog has no shame. It can enjoy sex on the street, but we have got some restriction. But the sex is there. Similarly, defense also, bhaya. Bhaya means to take care of fearfulness. That is there in the dog and in you also. It does not make any difference. Because you have got..., discovered atomic bomb for defense, it does not mean that you are better than a dog. This is śāstric injunction. Because he has to defend himself according to his intelligence and you are defending yourself according to your intelligence.

So this business, four business---eating, sleeping, mating and defending---these are common. Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ sāmānyam etat. This is common. Then what is the special advantage of human life? The special advantage is athāto brahma jijñāsā. Jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā [SB 1.2.10]. You should be inquisitive to know the value of life, the Absolute Truth. That is... The dog cannot do it. That is the distinction between dog and human being. The human being... In the human form of life there should be inquiry about Brahman, Para-brahman. That is human life. So after inquiring what is Brahman, Para-brahman, janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1], the original source of everything, when you attain brahma-jñāna, brahma-bhūtaḥ, that is your perfection. Not that to compete with the dog in eating, sleeping, mating and defending. That is not civilization. That is not perfection of life. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum [SB 7.5.31]. These foolish men, animalistic, dogs and cats, two-legged animals, they do not know what is the aim of life.

Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum. The aim of life is to understand Viṣṇu, the Supreme Lord. Durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ. They are trying to become happy in the bahir-artha, in the external energy of God, material energy. And the so-called leaders, politicians, philosophers, scientists, they're all blind. They do not know what is the aim of life. Still, they are leading the whole society.

na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ
durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ
andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās
te 'pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ

Uru-dāmni baddhāḥ. Uru means very strong, and dāmni means rope. Just like if I tie you with very strong rope, it is very difficult to open it, and you are put into difficulty. Similarly, we are in this material world uru-dāmni baddhāḥ, tied very tight with the laws of material nature. And we are declaring still, "I am free. I am independent. I can do whatever I like." This is called imperfection. So long we are in the bodily concept of life and think ourself that we are free to do anything, whatever we like, we are in ignorance, darkness, tama. Tama means darkness.

So Vedic injunction is, tamasi mā jyotir gama. "Don't remain in darkness." This is darkness. Darkness means "I am this body, and the..., to fulfill the necessities of the body is the highest perfection of my life." Everyone is trying for that, competition. Everyone is trying to have a skyscraper building and three Rolls-Royce cars and so on, so on. They think that this is perfection of life, durāśayā, durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ, this material energy's production. But you do not think that "How many years I shall enjoy this skyscraper building? And what is my main business? My main business is how to become perfect." There are many animals within the skyscraper building. There are human being, there are dogs, there are cats, there are worms, rats, so many things. So to live in the skyscraper building, that facility is there even to the worms, cats, rats, everyone. That... Then what is the difference between these animals and me? The difference is how to become perfect, siddhi, svarūpa-siddhi. "What I am? Am I this body?" This should be the question. Athāto brahma jijñāsā.

So Kṛṣṇa says here that "Ultimate goal is to understand Me," vetti māṁ tattvataḥ, to understand Kṛṣṇa in fact, in truth, not superficially. That is required. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. If you are a great scholar studying all kinds of literature, Vedas, then you must know Kṛṣṇa. If you do not understand Kṛṣṇa and simply you study Vedas, it is useless waste of time.

dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ
viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ
notpādayed ratiṁ yadi
śrama eva hi kevalam

You are executing your occupational duties very nicely, honestly. That is all right. But after executing your duties very honestly and nicely, if you do not awaken your dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then śrama eva hi kevalam. You are simply wasting your time. Useless. When you understand Kṛṣṇa, then it is the highest perfection. Saṁsiddhiṁ paramāṁ gatāḥ [Bg. 8.15]. So nobody is interested. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu [Bg. 7.3] = "Out of many millions of persons, one may be interested." Otherwise, all are in darkness.

So what is that siddhi? Siddhi, to understand one's constitutional position, "What I am." I am trying to lord it over the material nature in so many ways. Is that my position? But I am failure. I am trying to lord it over the material nature as big man, as the minister or as the zamindar, as the big business magnate, and when I am failure, then I want to become God. That is another ambition. That is another ambition. So this is not self-realization. The self-realization is that "I am trying to lord it over the material nature in so many ways, but it is becoming baffled. Why? Why it is becoming baffled? And with great endeavor, by political movements, I become the head of the political institution of the state, but I do not wish to die. Death comes and he takes away everything---my political position, my wealth, my everything, family and anything." Mṛtyuḥ sarva-haraś cāham [Bg. 10.34]. "Who is taking that? That is Kṛṣṇa."

So when we realize that, that "I am trying to accumulate so many things, but Kṛṣṇa is taking away," but why don't you surrender to Kṛṣṇa so that He may not take away your position? That is intel... That is siddhi. That is siddhi, that "I am not independent. I am trying independently, but it is not possible. I am dependent. I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa." That is self-realization. That has been taught by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Jīvera svarūpa haya nitya-kṛṣṇa-dāsa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]. The Brahman realization, ahaṁ brahmāsmi, that is liberation from material conception of life, that "I am not this matter. I am not this body, but I am spirit soul." Ahaṁ brahmāsmi. That is the first step of realization, self-realization. But that is not final. The final realization is that "I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa." That is final realization. So long you do not come to this position, the final constitutional position, that "We are eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa," the knowledge is lacking; there is no perfection of knowledge.

Therefore Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante [Bg. 7.19] = "After many, many births," jñānavān, "when one actually self-realized, in awareness, fully in knowledge, then he understands," vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti, "Vāsudeva is the supreme everything. I am simply part and parcel of Vāsudeva, eternal servant of Vāsudeva." Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ. That kind of perfect person, mahātmā, is very, very rare, to understand that "I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa. My only business is to serve Kṛṣṇa. That is my constitutional position. I am part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa." This finger is part and parcel of my body. His business is to serve the whole body. I ask the finger, "Come here"; immediately... This is the normal, healthy condition of the part and parcel. Just like leg is my part and parcel of the body. As soon as I ask leg, "Please take me there..." That is normal. And if the leg cannot take me there---I have to take some stick---that means this is an..., not normal. It is diseased condition. It has to be treated. Similarly, as soon as we find that we do not abide by the orders of Kṛṣṇa, we must know that you are in ignorance and in abnormal condition, madness. That is my duty. Kṛṣṇa does not require my help, and still He says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. That is my good. If I surrender to Kṛṣṇa, then that is my benefit. Kṛṣṇa does not require my service. He is omnipotent. But we are so rascal, we think, "Why shall I surrender to Kṛṣṇa?" This is imperfection.

So when you come to this point, that you abide by the order of Kṛṣṇa and surrender to Him, that is perfection. But they do not do that.

na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ
prapadyante narādhamāḥ
āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ

Why they do not surrender? Now, because duṣkṛtina, always acting sinful activities, duṣkṛtina, and mūḍha, rascal. He does not know his own interest. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum. Mūḍha, rascal. And then narādhama. Narādhama means lowest of the mankind. "This human body was given to him by material nature to understand Me, to surrender to Me, but he will not do this. Therefore lowest of the mankind." "No, he is so educated." No, this is nonsense. If he does not understand Kṛṣṇa, what is the meaning of education? There is no education. Māyayāpahṛta-jñānāḥ. Why these things are...? Āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ. He's defying Kṛṣṇa, defying God = "What is God? I am God." This is the position.

This is the position always of everyone who is in this material world, and especially in this age, Kali-yuga. Kali-yuga, they are all first-class fools. That is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam = mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā upadrutāḥ, prāyeṇālpāyuṣaḥ sabhya kalāv asmin yuge janāḥ [SB 1.1.10]. The Kali-yuga is very difficult yuga. In ignorance they fight, quarrel; only fight, quarrel. Kali means fight. Therefore it is called Kali-yuga. So in this age especially, the inhabitants, they are manda. Manda means all bad; nobody is good. And sumanda-matayaḥ. Everyone has got his conception of perfection---all bogus. Sumanda-matayaḥ. Why this is? Manda-bhāgyāḥ: because they are unfortunate. Everyone does not know what he shall eat next morning or in the evening. Everyone is in need. Scarcity all over the world. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyāḥ. And still, they are disturbed, so many. Especially with the increase of Kali-yuga, people will be disturbed by two things specially. What is that? Scarcity of food and taxation. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Durbhikṣa-kara-pīḍitāḥ [SB 12.2.9]. Kara means taxation. The people will be embarrassed for want of food, at the same time, every year, increase of taxation. That is stated in the Bhāgavata. Durbhikṣa-kara-pīḍitāḥ. So much disturbed that they will give up their hearth and home and go away in the forest. Durbhikṣa-kara-pīḍitāḥ. Ācchinna-dāra-draviṇā gacchanti giri-kānanam. Dāra-draviṇā, money, wife, children, everything---they will be disgusted = "Now it is impossible to maintain. Let me go away." Yāsyanti giri-kānanam.

So this is the Kali-yuga position. So five thousand years ago, when Kṛṣṇa spoke about Bhagavad-gītā, at that time the position was manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu [Bg. 7.3]. So sahasra. Now, on account of Kali-yuga, manuṣyāṇām million-eṣu, because it has increased. The Kali-yuga has increased. Not sahasreṣu, and the percentage has increased millions and millions. Therefore nobody is interested in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. We are trying to give the highest perfection of life, but they are not interested. They want to remain like cats and dogs and suffer the consequence. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ, ahaṅkāra-vimūḍhātmā [Bg. 3.27]. This is going on.

So Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is very difficult to understand, but by the grace of Kṛṣṇa, it has been made very easy. Easy. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam = kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ [SB 12.3.51]. It was explained by Śukadeva Gosvāmī to Parīkṣit Mahārāja. He described the faults of the Kali-yuga, but he encouraged by one verse. "My dear king, there is one very nice opportunity in this Kali-yuga." Kaler doṣa-nidhe. Doṣa-nidhi: "It is the ocean of faults, but there is one very nice gain in this Kali-yuga." What is that? Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet [SB 12.3.51] = "Simply by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra one can become free from all the troubles of this yuga, Kali-yuga," and mukta-saṅga, "and he becomes liberated, and he goes back to home, back to Godhead." So take it very seriously and make your life perfect.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Haribol. Jaya Prabhupāda. [break]

Devotee: If anyone has any question?

Devotee (1): Śrīla Prabhupāda? How does a person become more humble?

Prabhupāda: That he has to learn, how to become humble. Tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahi... [Cc. Ādi 17.31]. If you preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness, so many people will chastise you. The government will not allow you to go on the public street, and you'll not get visa, you'll be refused to enter. So you have to tolerate all these things. That is humbleness.

Devotee (2): Śrīla Prabhupāda, you states about Africa that the food..., that they do not know what to eat tomorrow, and in fact, like here it's very hard for them to understand Kṛṣṇa consciousness. My question is which..., what can we do which is...?

Prabhupāda: Go and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and give them food. They are hungry. Then it will be successful. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, let them come and dance with you, and give them prasādam. They are hungry. It will be success. It is not difficult at all. That was Caitanya Mahāprabhu's preaching to the mass of people. He would chant for four hours, and after finishing kīrtana, He'll give them sumptuous food to eat. Caitanya Mahāprabhu was doing this. So you can do this. You collect money not for your eating but for distribution of prasādam. That is required. And if you do that, Kṛṣṇa will send you. Yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham [Bg. 9.22]. There will be no need. We have got about 102 centers, and each centers, there are so many people, up to 250, and not less than 50. So Kṛṣṇa is sending their food. There is no scarcity. We do not do any business. We do not go to serve in the office. But Kṛṣṇa is sending. One hundred and two centers, average hundred men---how many? Hundred into hundred? Hmm?

Devotee: Ten thousand.

Prabhupāda: So ten thousand men we are feeding daily, apart from distribution to others. So Kṛṣṇa is sending them. So you can attain. Everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa. He'll give you supply. You have to attempt only. So chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and distribute prasādam, your movement will be success.

Devotee (3): Śrīla Prabhupāda, what about if... Now, we went out for distributing at some place and then we make them to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa at that time. And then, if we leave them, they forget. Did they become purified?

Prabhupāda: Yes. You go constantly. Kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ.

tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror api sahiṣṇunā
amāninā mānadena
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ

[Cc. Ādi 17.31]

The program is that we should chant twenty-four hours Hare Kṛṣṇa. If not, as far as possible.

Devotee (4): Śrīla Prabhupāda, you said that by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra you can go back to home, back to Godhead. So if you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and not follow the regulations, not reading your books, can you go back to Godhead?

Prabhupāda: Begin chanting. Then everything will be all right. Begin chanting, then all other things will be adjusted.

yena tena prakāreṇa
manaḥ kṛṣṇe niveśayet
sarve vidhi-niṣedhāḥ syur
etayor eva kiṅkarāḥ

[Brs. 1.2.4]

There are vidhi-niṣedhā, regulative principle. If you see that you are unable to follow, then chant Hare Kṛṣṇa sincerely. Then you'll be able to follow the regulative principles. Automatically.

Devotee (3): Śrīla Prabhupāda, of course, in fact, we are fallen, and sometimes I would like every time to think about Kṛṣṇa, and...

Prabhupāda: That will save you. If you simply think of Kṛṣṇa and talk of Kṛṣṇa, that... I think we discussed this verse in this morning. If your mind is always absorbed about Kṛṣṇa, then you are going to be perfect. Somehow or other, you think of Kṛṣṇa. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. This is the chance we are giving. Everyone can think of Kṛṣṇa. Here is Kṛṣṇa's form. Everyone can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Everyone can offer obeisances. Everyone can offer some fruits and flowers. This is the opportunity. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru. These four principles. Then gradually develop.

Jñāna: Śrīla Prabhupāda, how may we best approach the rulers and the leaders and the politicians to interest them in this?

Prabhupāda: You simply go and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Jñāna: Just the same.

Prabhupāda: That's all. You flatter them. That other day I you told that our preaching process is this = dante nidhāya tṛṇakaṁ padayor nipatya [Caitanya-candrāmṛta 90]. According to Vedic civilization, if one approaches before you with a straw in his mouth, that means he is fully surrendered. That is the sign. Therefore Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī, he is speaking that "With a straw in my mouth," dante nidhāya tṛṇakam. Dante, "teeth"; padayor nipatya, "I am just falling down at your lotus feet, and I have come before you with this straw very humbly." Dante nidhāya tṛṇakaṁ padayor nipatya kāku-śataṁ kṛtvā ca [Prabodānanda Sarasvatī] = "And I am flattering you hundred times." Then naturally any rogue, any rascal will be pleased = "All right, you can speak something." If you become so humble and meek, there is no man in the world who will say, "No, no, I am not going to hear you." Of course, there are many rascals. They will say so, that "I have no time." [laughter] So anyway, generally people will hear. So when he says, "All right, what do you want to say?" Dante nidhāya tṛṇakaṁ padayor nipatya kāku-śataṁ kṛtvā ca ahaṁ brav..., he sādhavaḥ, again flattering = "O the great sādhu, you are...," although you know he is a great rascal. [laughter] Still, I will have to speak to him.

This is the process of preaching. Is that all right? You tell him, "Oh, you are a great sādhu." Then he will be = "Oh, yes, yes. [laughter] You are right. You are right. What do you want from me? Tell me." [chuckles] Then you can say, he sādhavaḥ sakalam eva vihāya dūrād: "What every rascaldom you have learned, please forget. [laughter] Please forget." "Then what I have to do?" Caitanya-candra-caraṇe kurutānurāgam: "You become adhered to the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya. That is my..." That's all. "So I have brought this Caitanya-caritāmṛta, seventeen volumes. If you kindly take this..." So they will take. They have got money. And if he reads one line, he'll be perfect. This should be your process of preaching.

Devotee (5): Śrīla Prabhupāda, I heard you ask earlier... You say that by... Animals, they have no inferior act. So after death, what kind of birth will they get?

Prabhupāda: According to your karma. That I have repeatedly said. Did you not hear?

Brahmānanda: No, he's asking about the animals. What kind of body will they take in their next birth?

Prabhupāda: They have got evolution by nature's process. They have got evolution by nature's way. Jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati kṛmayo rudra-saṅkhyakāḥ [Padma Purāṇa]. First of all aquatic. Because the whole world was filled with water, so there was animals, aquatics. So as the land became visible, then jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati. Sthāvarāḥ means the living entities which cannot move. That means trees and plants, vegetables. So from aquatics to vegetable life, then worm, reptiles, then birds, and then beast, then human being, then civilized men. There is chance of becoming perfect. So nature brings you up to the point of human form of life. Now you make your choice. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. And if you misuse like cats and dogs, then again go. Again go to the aquatics or cats and dogs, according to your karma. That they do not know. Therefore they are called mūḍhas. They are very much advanced in knowledge and science and money-making, but what they are going to take the body next life, they do not know. Mūḍho nābhijānāti. This is their advancement. Therefore they refuse to believe that there is next life. That is one solace = "Oh, there is no next..." Bhasmī-bhūtasya dehasya kutaḥ punar āgamano bhavet [Cārvāka Muni] = "Oh, this body will be burned into ashes, and who is coming back again?" They don't believe. Because if they believe the śāstra, then it will be horrible affair for them. But therefore they do not believe.

But you believe or not believe, things are going to happen. That's all. That is laws of nature. If you don't believe that you are going to die, it doesn't matter. You have to die. If you don't believe that "I am not going to become an old man," no, you believe or not believe, you must become old man. This is nature's law. So you believe or not believe in the next life, you have to accept it. Kṛṣṇa says, tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati [Bg. 2.13]. So your believe or not believe doesn't matter. Nature's work will go on.

Indian man: Śrīla Prabhupādajī, regarding karma: one does his job every day, and if he spends some time in the evening in chanting Lord Kṛṣṇa, do you approve this?

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Why not? Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt [Bg. 2.40]. If you think of Kṛṣṇa once, that will not go in vain. That is recorded. Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt. Just like Ajāmila. At the last stage of his life he chanted "Nārāyaṇa" and became liberated. So something is, about Kṛṣṇa, is very good. And you'll get chance to increase. If you believe that by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa you'll be liberated, then why fifteen minutes? Why not fifteen hours? What is the loss there? If you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, what is the loss? Is there any loss? Then? Why fifteen minutes? Chant, kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ [Cc. Ādi 17.31], as long as you can. Now chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotees: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. [end]