Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 6.1.44 , Los Angeles , 1976-06-10

Pradyumna: [leads devotees in chanting] Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [Devotees repeat] [break] ...hi---indeed; akarma-kṛt---without performing action.


Translation = "O inhabitants of Vaikuṇṭha, you are sinless, but those within this material world are all karmīs, whether acting piously or impiously. Both kinds of action are possible for them because they are contaminated by the three modes of nature and must act accordingly. One who has accepted a material body cannot be inactive, and sinful action is inevitable for one acting under the modes of material nature. Therefore all the living entities within this material world are punishable."


sambhavanti hi bhadrāṇi
viparītāni cānaghāḥ
kāriṇāṁ guṇa-saṅgo 'sti
dehavān na hy akarma-kṛt

This material world is karma-kṛt---you have to do something. Kṛṣṇa has explained that "Without acting, you cannot even maintain your body and soul together." Śarīra-yātrāpi te na prasiddhyed akarmaṇaḥ. If you become idle, then you cannot even maintain your body. That is the difference between civilized man and uncivilized man or developed country... [child cries] [aside:] Stop that. ...developed country and undeveloped country. Just like America. This land was inhabited by the Red Indians. They could not do anything, but the Europeans, when they migrated, they made it so beautiful country. So karma-kṛt, one has to work. This material world is so made. Tṛtīyā karma-saṅgā anyā śaktir īṣyate.

In the Padma Purāṇa, Viṣṇu Purāṇa = parasya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate [Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport]. God's energy are varieties. All those varieties are grouped into three divisions. Out of that... Three divisions means taṭasthā-śakti, antarāṅga-śakti, cit-śakti. Taṭasthā-śakti and this external, or this karma-śakti. The... Tṛtīyā śaktiḥ karma-saṅgā anyā. It is mentioned that the spiritual world is just manifestation of cit-śakti, and this material world is creation of material energy or karma-saṅgā, where everyone has to work. Without work, it is said, na hi suptasya siṁhasya praviśanti mukhe mṛgāḥ [Hitopadeśa]. That is very nice example. In the forest the lion is supposed to be the mightiest animal, and he is sometimes called the king of the animals, paśu-rāja. So in one place it is said that even the lion, who is the king of the forest, if he sleeps and he thinks that animals will come and enter in his mouth, that is not possible. He has to also find out how to eat. Na hi suptasya siṁhasya praviśanti mukhe mṛgāḥ. The lion is so powerful, but he cannot also dictate.

So there is another story,

buddhir yasya balaṁ tasya
nirbuddhes tu kuto balam
paśya siṁho madonmataḥ
śaśakena nipātitaḥ

There is a story that a lion was killed by a rabbit. Śaśakena nipātitaḥ. Why? Now, buddhir yasya balaṁ tasya: "One who has got intelligence, he has got power." A lion is very mighty, ferocious animal, and a śaśaka, a ordinary rabbit, he killed a lion. How? Now, the lion was disturbing all animals, so all the animals held a meeting and called the lion = "Sir, you do not try to kill us all, hunting after everyone. We shall go voluntarily every day, one of us. So you don't create disturbance. Let us become peaceful." So lion agreed, "All right, if you voluntarily come, I will sleep, and if you enter in my mouth..." So this was the agreement. Then there was the turn of one rabbit. So he planned something. So he went to the lion a little late. So lion was very angry, that "Why you have come late? I am hungry, and you did not come." [laughter] So the rabbit said, "Sir, there was a danger in the way." "What is that?" "There is another lion, and he wanted to kill me and eat, so I protested, 'No, sir, you cannot kill me. [laughter] I am destined to be killed by such and such lion, so you cannot do it.' " So he was very much pleased = "Where is that lion?" "Yes. Please come. I will show you." So he took him near one well. So he... The rabbit said, "He is living within this." [laughter] The lion immediately... "Come on. Make a [making roaring noise] how!' " So there was vibration, still higher sound, and he saw his photo, yes, shadow. So he thought it, "Yes, there is a lion." Immediately jumped over him. [devotees laugh] Finished. [laughs] So how the lion was killed by the rabbit? Now, buddhir yasya balaṁ tasya: "One who has got intelligence, he has got power." The foolish... So everywhere you will find.

So how one is intelligent, how one is dull, how one is via media---that is due to these three guṇas = sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa. If one is intelligent, that is one of the qualification of sattva-guṇa. Jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyam. The brahminical qualification = satyaḥ śamo damo titikṣa arjavam eva ca, jñānam vijñānam āstikyam brahma-karma svabhāva-jam [Bg. 18.42]. In the society, human society, there must be a class of brāhmaṇa, intelligent class. So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to create a section of the human society---real brāhmaṇa, intelligence. And the intelligence means Veda. Veda means knowledge. Knowledge... One who has got sufficient knowledge, he is intelligence, not the fool, rascal. So therefore the... There is Vedas, and there are Vedānta, Vedānta. Veda, Vedānta, source of knowledge. So Vedas means knowledge, and Veda-anta... Anta means the last word. So that anta knowledge, or the last word in knowledge, is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Vidyā bhāgavatāvadhiḥ, they say. Knowledge, expansion of knowledge, the last word is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So it is the explanation of Vedānta. Bhāṣyaṁ brahma-sūtrāṇām. Vedānta's another name is Brahma-sūtra. In India there are Māyāvādī sannyāsīs, they advertise themselves as the Vedāntists, "one who knows Vedānta." But actually they do not know Vedānta. Real Vedānta is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, because this is commentary. Bhāṣya ayaṁ brahma-sūtrāṇām [Garuḍa Purāṇa]. Brahma-sūtra is Vedānta.

So Vedānta, what is that Vedānta? That is explained by Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā, vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam [Bg. 15.15] = "Vedas means to understand Me." That is Veda. If one does not understand Kṛṣṇa, his so-called Vedic knowledge or Vedānta knowledge is useless, śrama eva hi kevalam, simply labor.

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

Everyone is engaged in executing a particular type of faith or religious system, ritualistic. That's all right. Dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ. You are Hindu; you are doing your Hindu ritualistic ceremony or religious rules and regulations. Or a Christian is doing nicely, or a Muhammadan is doing... That's all right. But we are interested---those who are followers of real Vedānta---to see the result. Phalena paricīyate. Phalena means "by the result." So what is the result? The result is by executing one's particular type of religious system, he must develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness or God consciousness. That is the test. If you are unaware of what is God, what do you mean by God, and you are very, very religious, that is useless. One must know God. So therefore, those who are in the lowest grade of human life, they cannot understand. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ [Bg. 7.15]. Narādhama... Nara means human being, and adhamāḥ means the lowest. So one who is in the lowest grade of human society, they are called the śvapaca. Śvapaca. Śvapaca means those who are dog-eaters.

So in this way there is description. There are others also. So here the same thing is...

sambhavanti hi bhadrāṇi
viparītāni cānaghāḥ
kāriṇāṁ guṇa-saṅgo 'sti...

This guṇa-saṅga... Why one is in the lowest grade, and why... There are three grades generally, and if you mix it, it becomes eighty-one. Three into three equal to nine; nine into nine, eighty-one. Therefore we have got so many species of life, 8,400,000. So how it is possible? Now, guṇa-saṅgo 'sti. In the Bhagavad-gītā also it is... Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo 'sya sad-asad-janma-yoniṣu [Bg. 13.22]. Why there are different varieties of life, so many, 8,400,000? Now, what is the reason? Kāraṇam---kāraṇam means reason, the cause---guṇa-saṅga. Guṇa-saṅga. Now here is temple, and a few yards after this temple there may be a brothel, there may be a liquor house. So somebody is coming here, and somebody is going there. So what is the reason? Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṇgo 'sti. One is attached to sattva-guṇa; one is attached to rajo-guṇa; one is attached... But everyone is working, and that working must be under the influence of one of these three qualities = sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa.

So if one associates with the sattva-guṇa, then he is promoted gradually to the higher planetary system. Higher planetary system. Ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthāḥ [Bg. 14.18]. Everything explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. Those who are developing the good qualities of this material world, three qualities, so ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthāḥ. The upper planetary system, heavenly planetary system... Therefore we say that you cannot go to the moon planet, from the śāstra. Because the moon planet, who will go? Ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthāḥ. Unless one is in the modes of goodness, they cannot enter there. It is not possible. By force, if you say, "Yes, we have gone; we are going," you may say, but we are followers of the śāstra. Śāstra-cakṣuṣaḥ. We see through the śāstra. We understand that these men, they are not even in rajo-guṇa, or maybe in rajas-tamo-guṇa. But where is sattva-guṇa? Sattva-guṇa.

So through the śāstra we can understand that who is who, through śāstra. Therefore in my poetry, on the strength of śāstra, I said that rajas tamo guṇe erā sabāi ācchanna, vāsudeva-kathā ruci nahe se prasanna [Mārkine Bhāgavata-dharma]. "Most of the population here is covered by the material modes of ignorance and passion. Absorbed in material life, they think themselves very happy and satisfied; therefore they have no taste for the transcendental message of Vāsudeva. So I do not know how they will be able to understand it." Actually that is the fact. Everyone, so many svāmīs and yogīs, come in this country. So they advertise in India that they went to America for preaching Vedānta. But being influenced, what Vedānta they learned? When they returned to India, they have learned how to entice women and how to eat meat. This is their Vedānta. Because kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo 'sya. If you are not strong enough, then association will induce or influence. If you are not a Vaiṣṇava, then if you go in a brothel or a liquor house, then you will be influenced by the drunkards and prostitute-hunters. But if you are strong enough, then you will... The effect, you will give your effect of association; they will be Vaiṣṇavas. That is the difference.

There is a scientific story that one doctor friend, perhaps you know, the Dr. Ghosh who came. When he was student, he read in a medical magazine that one girl..., her name was Mary. So there was a Mary contamination. What is that? Typhoid, yes. Wherever she used to go, there was typhoid fever, so many people suffering, but she was not suffering. So by analysis of the blood, it was found that this girl, the blood was full of typhoid germs, but she was so strong that she could resist. She was not suffering, but wherever she used to go, everyone was infected with typhoid. So that is the explained. Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo 'sya [Bg. 13.22]. If you are strong enough, then the lower qualities will not affect you. And if you are not strong, if you are weak yourself, then where you are going to convert, they will induce their infectious quality, and you will be victimized. So kāraṇaṁ guṇa saṇgo 'sya.

So in the Western countries, everywhere, all over the world at the present moment, Kali-yuga, the guṇa, the rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa, is very prominent. The rajo-guṇa... How it is understood that the rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa is prominent? Now, the rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa, the symptom, rajas-tamo bhāvāḥ kāma-lobhadayaś ca ye... Tada rajas-tamo-bhāvāḥ kāma-lobhadayaś ca ye [SB 1.2.19]. When one is infected with tamo-guṇa and rajo-guṇa, the symptoms will be that he is very greedy and lusty. This is the symptom. If one is very greedy and lusty, then you should know that he is infected with rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa. And if one is not greedy and lusty---satisfied in every circumstances, and is Kṛṣṇa conscious or trying to become Kṛṣṇa conscious---then it is sattva-guṇa. He is turned.

So by the culture of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one comes to the sattva-guṇa, the immediate effect, sattva-guṇa. Just like our students = little association with this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, they immediately come to the sattva-guṇa, at least officially. Although rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa was there, but it overlaps. So how it overlaps? What is this process?

śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
hṛdy antaḥ-stho abhadrāṇi
vidhunoti su-hṛt-satām

Kṛṣṇa is within everyone. If we simply hear the words and the instruction of Kṛṣṇa, śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ... So this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā---full of Kṛṣṇa's pastimes, Kṛṣṇa's instruction. So if we hear this, especially these two books, Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ, then you become pious. Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ. There is no need of separate attempt. If we simply hear every morning or as many times as possible, then we become purified. Puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ. One who is speaking, he is also becoming pious, and one who is hearing, he is also becoming pious. Puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ.

So, pious? What is the meaning of pious? Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ, hṛdy antaḥ-stho abhadrāṇi. The... Everything is causing effects within the heart, within the heart. The civilization or not civilization means the change of heart. A man is civilized because he has changed his heart. A man is uncivilized? He has not changed. Just like you know the story of Sik... What is that? Sikāri? The name, I forgot.

Candanācārya: Mṛgārī?

Prabhupāda: Mṛgārī, yes. So Mṛgārī was in the lowest status of tamo-guṇa. He was killing animals half-dead, and he was enjoying. But when he became Kṛṣṇa conscious, elevated, he was not prepared to kill even one ant. You know this story. That is the change, change of heart. The same man, same man who was killing animals in the jungle half-dead... And when Nārada Muni asked him that "Why you are killing half? Kill them complete. They are suffering. You will be more sinful," he said, "My father taught me that this is pleasure."

So this is going on, tamo-guṇa, rajo-guṇa. But if we simply hear this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā... Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ. How it is possible? Naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā [SB 1.2.18]. This abhadra---inauspicious, nasty things within our heart, most uncivilized way of life, killing of animals---this will be stopped. Naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā. By hearing the message of God, bhāgavataṁ bhaktiḥ uttama-śloke bhavati naiṣṭhikī, gradually you become devotee. This is the process, how to transcend the material qualities. That is explained.

So this, my song... I was thinking on board the ship that rajas tamo gune erā sabāi ācchanna, vāsudeva-kathā ruci nahe se prasanna. Nobody is interested. At the present moment, everyone is covered by the rajas-tamaḥ, the base qualities, ignorance and passion, so they have no interest in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is not possible. One has to purify himself. Tadā rajas-tamo-bhāvāḥ kāma-lobhadayaś... [SB 1.2.19]. When we kill the rajas-tamo-bhāvāḥ, ceta etair anāviddham... When our heart is no more contaminated by the rajas-tamo-bhāvāḥ, ceta etair anāviddhaṁ sthitaṁ sattve prasīdati. There are three guṇas. If you make minus these two guṇas, rajas-tamo-guṇa, then the remaining---only sattva-guṇa. So these rajas-tamo-guṇa can be counteracted simply by hearing about Kṛṣṇa. Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ. So therefore I wrote, tabe jadi tava kṛpā hay ahaitukī, sakala sambhava hay tumi se kautikī [Mārkine Bhāgavata-dharma], that "God is all-powerful, Kṛṣṇa is all-powerful. He can do everything impossible, possible." So whatever is being done in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, don't think that it is my influence of my... It is Kṛṣṇa's. Kṛṣṇa can do everything. He can change sattva-guṇa into tamo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa into rajo-guṇa, rajo-guṇa into sattva-guṇa. That is as He likes. Just like a expert electrician = he can turn the heater into cooler and cooler into heater. The electric energy is the same. Similarly, parasya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate [Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport]. He has His energy. If He likes... My point is that this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement has come to your country by the will of Kṛṣṇa. So there is favorable situation because the will of Kṛṣṇa is there, that "Now the Westerners, especially the Americans, they should become Kṛṣṇa conscious." That is His will. So you take the opportunity, cooperate with Kṛṣṇa, and you will be successful.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya Prabhupāda. [end]