Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.7.36-37 , Vṛndāvana , 1976-09-29

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [Prabhupāda and devotees repeat] [chants verse]

Pradyumna: [leads chanting]

mattaṁ pramattam unmattaṁ
suptaṁ bālaṁ striyaṁ jaḍam
prapannaṁ virathaṁ bhītaṁ
na ripuṁ hanti dharma-vit


Translation = "A person who knows the principles of religion does not kill an enemy who is careless, intoxicated, insane, asleep, afraid, or devoid of his chariot. Nor does he kill a boy, a woman, a foolish creature or a surrendered soul."

sva-prāṇān yaḥ para-prāṇaiḥ
prapuṣṇāty aghṛṇaḥ khalaḥ
tad-vadhas tasya hi śreyo
yad-doṣād yāty adhaḥ pumān


Translation = "A cruel and wretched person who maintains his existence at the cost of others' lives deserves to be killed for his own well-being; otherwise he will go down by his own actions."


mattaṁ pramattam unmattaṁ
suptaṁ bālaṁ striyaṁ jaḍam
prapannaṁ virathaṁ bhītaṁ
na ripuṁ hanti dharma-vit

So kṣatriya's fight, it is not ordinary fight like cats and dogs. The cats and dogs also fight, and the kṣatriyas in the battlefield of Kurukṣetra, under the guidance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they are not the same. Sometimes in the foreign countries, they do not know. They simply know fight means cats' and dogs' fight. No. Therefore they question that why Kṛṣṇa induced Arjuna to fight? Certainly they do not know there is fight on the principle of religion. That is real fight. Otherwise, fight whimsically, that is animals' fight, cats' and dogs' fight.

So when there is fight on religious principles, there are different rules and regulation. One has to observe these rules and regulations. Just like striking the enemy, it should not come down the waist. You can strike the enemy from head to the waist, not below that. That is illegal. Similarly, when the enemy is like this, matta, pramatta, unmatta, one after another... Matta means careless, inattentive. So if by chance, by inattentiveness, one does something wrong, he should not be considered as enemy. He's careless. He should be chastised, but not... Even if he's enemy, he's not subjected to being killed. No. Similarly, pramatta. Pramatta means constitutionally he's not mad, but by some external influence one has become madlike. He's called pramatta. Just like in this material world almost everyone, 99.9 percent, they are all pramattas.

For example, pramattaḥ tasya nidhanaṁ paśyann api na paśyati [SB 2.1.4]. In the Bhāgavata it is said that we are depending, we are thinking, "I am sure." Why? "Now I have got very good wife. I am sure to live very peacefully, or happily," or "I shall not die because I have got very good wife, faithful wife." Similarly, "I have got very good husband or very good friend," or "I am born in a very big nation," so on, so on. Security. Because security is a problem. Everyone in this material world, they have got four problems = how to eat, how to sleep, how to have sex and how to become secure. Security. The animal is also working very hard for these four principles, and the man is also working very hard. That is common. But that is not security. "Because I have got very good means of living, very good means of sleeping, nice house, and very good wife and very good bank balance and good government, therefore I am secure." That is nonsense. Pramatta. That is called pramatta, when he does not know that at any moment Yamarāja can come and kick him out from this position. At any moment. Mṛtyuḥ sarva-haraś ca aham [Bg. 10.34]. Yamarāja is the representative of Kṛṣṇa, a servant of Kṛṣṇa. He is Vaiṣṇava. Yamarāja..., we are very much afraid of Yamarāja, but he is Vaiṣṇava. Not only Vaiṣṇava, but he's one of the mahājanas. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. He's mahājana in this sense = all the sinful living entities are brought before him, and according to the gravity of criminality, sinful action, he punishes. Just like magistrate. Magistrate, before the magistrate all criminals are brought in, and he considers the gravity of the case, and according to the case, somebody is hanged, somebody is put into the jail for three years, somebody for six years, somebody for six months. That is Yamarāja's duty. So that is... He's also dharma-vit. His name is Dharmarāja. Not that because he is punishing... Simply his only business is to punish. But still he's Dharmarāja, dharma-vit. He knows how to punish a person on religious principles.

So we are, in this material world, we are pramatta. We are thinking, "These material conditions will save me." That is pramatta---half-mad, crazy. Pramatta. We are thinking, dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣu [SB 2.1.4]. I am thinking "I am very strong body..." [break] ...cannot achieve self-realization. Now some of our big sannyāsīs, he took it that unless you become very strong and stout by eating meat and exercise, gymnastics, you cannot understand spiritual life. This is their interpretation. But that is not the fact. Bala, bala means Balarāma. Do you think that because you are very strong and stout, a big wrestler with muscles, you'll live? No. For Yamarāja there is no consideration that "Here is a weak person, lean and thin, and here is a very strong person; therefore the strong person should be left over and the lean and thin will be taken to Yamarāja." No. When the time will come, the lean and thin may be spared, but the strong man may be immediately taken. So this rascaldom, that by exercise... People are very much attached to the body. We have seen everywhere, especially in European, they are very much attached to make the body stout and strong. And in the morning you'll find... Here also you'll find. They're running to make the body str..., as if the strong body will save him from death. This is rascaldom. Therefore pramatta. Crazy. We do not say that you remain very weak and lean and thin. No. You should maintain this body properly, but not that that is my only business, how to maintain this body. That is pramatta. These are some of the examples of pramatta. He does not know. Pramatta.

Dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣu [SB 2.1.4]. Deha, body. One is feeling secure, "I have got very strong body. I shall live forever." Rascal. Pramatta. That is not possible. Deha and apatya. Apatya means sons. "Oh, I have got so many nice sons, very earning, very obedient; therefore Yamarāja will not touch me." No, no. That is not possible. There is a very joking story in Bengal, gaye gum akale jam care na[?]. Gu means stool. So one intelligent person, he thought, "I shall be freed from the touch of Yamarāja by one tactics." What is that? "Stool is very obnoxious. Nobody comes to stool. So let me smear my body, whole body, with stool so that Yamarāja will not come and touch me." Gaya muk gum akale jam care na[?]. This is another pramatta. [chuckles] That crazy fellow, that he is thinking, "By keeping myself dirty and obnoxious, Yamarāja is gentleman, he'll not come and touch me," this is another pramatta.

So deha apatya kalatra. Kalatra means wife. "Oh, I have got such a nice wife, and she'll pray to Yamarāja, 'Please excuse my husband.' " Just like Nala-Damayantī. Not... What is that? Sāvitrī-Satyavān. The Sāvitrī saved her husband from the hands of Yamarāja. That's a long story. It will take much time. So therefore, "I have got such a nice chaste wife, she will save me from the Yamarāja hands." Then I can speak shortly that Sāvitrī-Satyavān... Satyavān was to die on the marriage day. But Sāvitrī was attached to Satyavān, so her father, mother said that "You don't marry this boy. He'll die on the very day of his marriage." So love is blind. She said, "Still I shall marry him." So she married, and the husband died. So Yamarāja came. So she pleased the Yamarāja, and Yamarāja, being pleased, said, "My dear girl, you'll have a very good son"---because every girl expects some son. So Yamarāja gave him [her] the benediction that "You will have very nice son." Then the husband was dead, and... No, she prayed for a good son, yes. And Yamarāja gave him [her] benediction, "Yes, you'll have good son." First of all she pleased Yamarāja by prayers, and then Yamarāja asked, "What do you want?" "A very good son." "All right, you'll have a good son." So then the Yamarāja was taking her husband, and she was going behind. Then Yamarāja said, "Your husband cannot be returned. He is dead. And it is my duty, I am taking. Why you are coming, following me?" Now, "You said that I will have a son. So if you are taking my husband, how he will have son?" So Yamarāja came to his senses, [laughter] that "I have done a mistake." Then "All right, take your husband."

So these are rare instances. But don't think that because you are very clever and..., you'll be untouched by Yamarāja. No, no, no. Dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣu asatsu [SB 2.1.4]. Asat. Nobody will stay. Asat. This material world is like that. Asat means temporary, everything. This body is temporary. Your body is temporary, this life is temporary. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ [Bg. 2.13], Kṛṣṇa says. You'll have to change this body. It may be for fifty years, sixty years, utmost hundred years, but still, you have to change this body. Therefore asat. Asato mā sad gama. This is Vedic instruction. Don't be attached to this asat, temporary things. That is called vairāgya. Vairāgya-vidyā-nija-bhakti-yogam [Cc. Madhya 6.254]. If one wants to learn how to become vairāgī, no attachment for this material..., then he must take to devotional service. Vairāgya-vidyā-nija-bhakti-yogam. That is, bhakti-yoga means vairāgya, no attachment for this material world. One who is actually attached to Kṛṣṇa, he must be no attachment for this material world. That is the sign. Automatically. The jñānīs, the yogīs or the karmīs, they do not want this no attachment. They want more and more attachment. The jñānīs, they want brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā---detachment. But bhakta, without any endeavor, because he develops attachment for Kṛṣṇa, he automatically gives up attachment for this material world. Bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir anyatra syāt [SB 11.2.42]. This is the symptom how one has become attached with this material world. If I am trying under the, I mean to say, cover of becoming bhakta and trying to gather some material profit, that is not bhakti. That is very dangerous.

So in this way there are so many things in the material world, we take it for acceptance that these things will save me. He's a pramatta. Pramatta means crazy, half-mad. And full mad is unmatta, full mad. He becomes naked. That is one of the symptoms of unmatta---he'll remain naked. So these men, matta, pramatta, unmatta... Just see how the rules and regulation are there. So this pramatta = dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣv asatsv api teṣāṁ nidhanaṁ paśyann api na paśyati [SB 2.1.4]. Pramatta, that word is used. Pramattaḥ tasya nidhanaṁ paśyann api na paśyati. He is seeing every day that "This gentleman had very good wife, this gentleman had very nice son, very good family---but they are dying." So who will protect him? He's thinking that "My children, my wife, my friends will save me," but they have died. So how he will be protected?

So nobody can protect anyone. That is not possible. Everyone has to take care of himself. This world is like that. Don't depend. Only Kṛṣṇa can protect you---nobody else. If you know this, then you are not pramatta. And if you do not know this, if you are a rascal, then you are pramatta. Only Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa therefore said, He gives assurance, that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. Suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām [Bg. 5.29] = "I am the friend of everyone. I can give you protection." Ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi. So you have to take shelter of Kṛṣṇa; otherwise you are a pramatta, rascal, mūḍha. Kṛṣṇa is giving advice that "Do this." But we are rascals, pramatta. We think that "My son will give me protection, my wife will give protection, my friend will give me protection, my government will give protection." All these are nonsense, pramatta. This is the meaning of pramatta. Just try to understand. Pramattaḥ tasya nidhanaṁ paśyann api.

Another pramatta is that those who are mad after sense gratification. Nūnaṁ pramattaḥ kurute vikarma [SB 5.5.4]. There is another verse, nūnaṁ pramattaḥ. Those who are pramatta, those who have no responsibility of life, sometimes unnecessarily stealing and doing some..., so many wrong things... Vikarma. Why? Now pramatta, he is also crazy. Nūnaṁ pramattaḥ kurute vikarma [SB 5.5.4]. And why he is taking risk of being punished? Suppose one man is stealing. He'll be punished. Either by the laws of the state or by the laws of nature, or God, he'll be punished. He can escape the laws of the state, but he cannot escape the laws of nature, or God. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi [Bg. 3.27]. It is not possible. Just like the laws of nature = If you infect some disease, so you'll have to be punished. You'll suffer from that disease. That is punishment. You cannot escape. Similarly, anything you do, kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo 'sya [Bg. 13.22]. If you live like a cat and dog, that is infection, guṇa, the modes of ignorance. Then your next life you become a dog. You must be punished. This is law of nature.

So therefore one who does not know all these laws, he commits so many sinful activities, vikarma. Karma, vikarma, akarma. Karma means what is prescribed. Guṇa-karma. Guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ [Bg. 4.13]. Karma means, as it is said in the śāstra, as you have developed a certain type of modes of nature, your karma is according to that = brāhmaṇa-karma, kṣatriya-karma, vaiśya-karma. So if you follow... That is the duty of the spiritual master and śāstra, to designate, when he's brahmacārī, that "You work like this." "You work like a brāhmaṇa," "You work like a kṣatriya," "You work like a vaiśya," and others, "Śūdra." So this division is made by the spiritual master. How? Yasya yal lakṣaṇaṁ proktaṁ varṇābhivyañjakam [SB 7.11.35]. The spiritual master will say that "You work like this." So that should be determined. That is karma, guṇa-karma. Spiritual master sees that he has these qualities. That is natural. Just like in the school, college, somebody is being trained up as a scientist, somebody is trained up as an engineer, as a medical man, as a lawyer. According to the tendency, practical psychology of the student, he is advised that "You take this line." Similarly, these four divisions of the society, it is very scientific. So by the instruction of the guru, when he's in the gurukula, he will be specified a particular type of duty, and if he does it faithfully... Sva-karmaṇā tam abhyarcya [Bg. 18.46]. The real purpose is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And according to his guṇa and karma he's engaged in a particular occupational duty.

Nothing is bad provided it is meant for Kṛṣṇa's satisfaction. Ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ [SB 1.2.13]. The varṇāśrama-vibhāga must be there. But what is the aim of varṇāśrama? Simply by becoming a brāhmaṇa he's successful? No. Nobody can become successful unless he satisfies Kṛṣṇa. That is real success. Just like Arjuna did. By the military art, he satisfied Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, by your vaiśya-vṛtti, kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyam [Bg. 18.44], you can satisfy Kṛṣṇa. By your brāhmaṇa-vṛtti you can satisfy Kṛṣṇa. Even by your śūdra-vṛtti you can satisfy Kṛṣṇa. That possibility is here, that Kṛṣṇa says, sva-karmaṇā tam abhyarcya. The aim should be how to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. Doesn't matter whether you are a brāhmaṇa or a kṣatriya. Kṛṣṇa confirms it = api cet su-durācāraḥ..., no, māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ [Bg. 9.32]. Pāpa-yoni means below the vaiśyas, the śūdra, they are pāpa-yonis. Vaiśyas also. Striyo śūdrās tathā vaiśyās te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim. So there is no impediment to approach Kṛṣṇa because you are a śūdra or caṇḍāla or woman or vaiśya. No. Everyone can. That facility is there. Therefore our duty should be, "Never mind in whichever position I am posted. Let me satisfy Kṛṣṇa." It is not that... Suppose we are worshiping Deity---that is the duty of brāhmaṇa---but somebody is called that "You cleanse this floor." So he should not think that "I am cleansing the floor; therefore I am lower than the person who is directly worshiping the Deity." No. Kṛṣṇa's pleasure wanted. If Kṛṣṇa sees that by washing the floor you are doing very nicely, Kṛṣṇa is pleased = "Oh, you are nice." Similarly, one man is decorating Kṛṣṇa with garland and... If Kṛṣṇa is pleased, that is the main point. Not that because you are on the Deity room you are very elevated, and the other man who is cleansing the door, he is not elevated. No. Śrī-vigrahārādhana-nitya-nānā-śṛṅgāra-tan-mandira-mārjanādau. They are all equal. In whichever position you are, simply your endeavor should be how to please Kṛṣṇa. That is wanted. Sva-karmaṇā tam abhyarcya [Bg. 18.46].

Also it is said, ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ. Because generally we take divisions, varṇa and āśrama. So Sūta Gosvāmī says in the meeting of Naimiṣāraṇya, ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhāḥ. They are all big, big, very learned scholars and brāhmaṇas, so they are addressing, dvija-śreṣṭhāḥ. Dvija means brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya. One who has got the right to take the sacred thread, they are called dvijas. But out of the three, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, the brāhmaṇa is called dvija-śreṣṭha. Therefore he addressed,

ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā
svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya
saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam

Saṁsiddhi. Never mind what you are. Either you may be sannyāsī or may be gṛhastha or may be brahmacārī or a brāhmaṇa, a kṣatriya or vaiśya, śūdra. Never mind. Try to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. Try to please Kṛṣṇa. Then your life is successful. Otherwise, you are pramatta, mad. Nūnaṁ pramattaḥ kurute vikarma [SB 5.5.4]. So long you shall remain a pramatta, you shall act just opposite function, and you'll be entangled. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, yajñārthe karmaṇaḥ anyatra karma-bandhanaḥ. If you do not work for pleasing Kṛṣṇa, then that work will entangle you in the cycle of birth and death.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya Prabhupāda. [end]