Talk About Varṇāśrama, S.B. 2.1.1-5 , Vṛndāvana , 1977-06-28

Prabhupāda: [Bengali] [break] ...whether I have a family.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah.

Prabhupāda: These Englishmen were very much eager to know the man who is working, whether he's family man, because a family man will never become irresponsible. And this is very, very much visible fact in India. A very poor man, if he's family man, he'll work. It is the family affection. And in economics we have read Marshall's economics. He gives, "The economic development takes place by family affection."

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Very good observation.

Prabhupāda: Hmm. Therefore in India the father-mother takes the responsibility of the son, to make him a family man. Then leave, marry.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Not a bogus sādhu.

Prabhupāda: Then he... Father-mother knows that he'll take care of his life automatically. And the boy and the girl are not allowed to mix with second girl, second boy. They are kept strictly. And when they're grown up, they're allowed to mix and the affection becomes firm. These are psychology. It is the psychology of woman that before puberty, if she has got a boy, she loves forever. She'll never be unchaste. So these marriage things are done very psychologically, scientifically, so that they may become happy, and then, in peaceful mind, combine together, good cooperation, they make progress, spiritual. This is the plan, varṇāśrama-dharma. Very scientific. And Kṛṣṇa says, "I am that." Whatever Kṛṣṇa shall give---perfect. Nobody cares. They are suffering.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Now you are introducing again to the world. There is good hope. Young girls in our society, they should be promised to some boy just in the same way, by their parents.

Prabhupāda: And if required, one man can take care of more than one wife, because woman population is greater.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Right. And some boys want to remain brahmacārī. So naturally there's fewer men for women.

Prabhupāda: And those who are able, you can keep more than one wife. Just see Kṛṣṇa---sixteen thousand wives. God. That is God. Come on, if there is anyone to compete. Sixteen thousand palaces, sixteen thousands wives; each wife, ten sons. That is God.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No one is equal to or greater than Him.

Prabhupāda: All queens are happy. Whatever she desires from husband... Satyabhāmā... And Kṛṣṇa went to the heaven and brought the pārijāta flower to satisfy. This is husband. Wife has asked for something = "All right."

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: He even had to fight.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. That is husband's duty. She has dedicated her everything to the husband, and husband must see that she is comfortable. This is husband. She must have children, she must have good house, good eating, good clothing, good ornament. Then she is satisfied. They want these things. A woman does not mind very much, "My husband has got more than one wife." If she gets all the comforts of her wishes, some children and some comforts, then she is... She does not grudge, because woman knows man's psychology. A man is not satisfied with one woman. So he must be given that. But she must be chaste. She cannot have more than... Then their relation is all right. If the woman allows husband---"He likes. Let him have more than one woman, but I must be chaste"---this... Our civilization is [indistinct], Vedic culture.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: In the villages in India, is this still going on sometimes? We see in the cities it's not, but in the villages, do they still have more than one wife?

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Not poor man. Kṣatriyas.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh, not these...

Prabhupāda: No.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Not these workers.

Prabhupāda: They cannot maintain.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah, that's right. They don't have the land to maintain. You have to have land.

Prabhupāda: You can have more than one wife, but maintain them just like wife. She may not have any complaints that "My husband cannot maintain me."

Śatadhanya: [entering] All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: Close that door. How are you?

Śatadhanya: Feeling much better. [break]

Prabhupāda: ...man and woman happy, and in happiness, in peace of mind, make progress, spiritual life. That is the Vedic civilization. The guide is there, brāhmaṇa. The protection is there, kṣatriya. The food is there, vaiśya. And labor is there, śūdra. Combine together, live very happily, peacefully, in the society. You'll find still. The aim is how to realize God. Village to village, you'll find temples.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I saw even when going to the bank yesterday. We passed through the bhaṅgī colony, but there was a temple there. They have their temple, even the bhaṅgīs.

Prabhupāda: In our childhood we have seen. The bhaṅgīs, they carry stool, walk in the morning with stool, so neat and clean. And if you go to the house, you cannot understand that this is a bhaṅgī's house. So neat and clean. And bathing, their utensils, their sitting place. After taking thorough bath, sometimes they are worshiping Deity.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Wow!

Prabhupāda: Still you'll find.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Really?

Prabhupāda: Bhaṅgī. And business is carrying stool.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: When they say "untouchables," do they mean those bhaṅgīs?

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: When they use the word sometimes "untouchables..."

Prabhupāda: They have introduced this word, "untouchable."

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: But is that the community that they're talking about?

Prabhupāda: Hmm, hmm.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: And still they worship Deity.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. There are many devotees, Vaiṣṇava. Hui[?] dāsa, a great Vaiṣṇava.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Who?

Prabhupāda: A famous Vaiṣṇava, Hui[?] dāsa, he's coming from the bhaṅgīs. Everyone is given chance. Socially there may be distinction. Spiritually everyone is given equal chance. Kṛṣṇa says, māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ [Bg. 9.32]. Pāpa-yonayaḥ means these bhaṅgīs, cāmāras. And they are not upstart = "Now I have become Vaiṣṇava. Therefore I shall become equal with the brāhmaṇa." No. He is satisfied with his own... They are cooking. Oh, you'll like to cook, er, eat. I have seen it.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They cook nicely.

Prabhupāda: Everything equal. Taking bath, cleansing and worshiping, chanting...

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They don't eat meat?

Prabhupāda: Most of them, they eat, but there are... They do not eat... Not meat. Fish. Meat-eating was introduced by the...

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: British.

Prabhupāda: ...Britishers. Otherwise, nonvegetarian in India means up to fish. [pause] In Gujarat still you'll find. One young girl... You see here that all young girls are carrying water, collecting. In the morning collecting water, cleansing the house, utensils, clothes, taking bath, then cooking, those girls. Their first business. Man's business is to earn money, go to the market, the necessities. Woman's business is take care of household affairs, children, and they have got engagement. And in the presence of father or elder brother or husband, a woman has to earn livelihood, that's a great insult.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Disgrace. That's disgraceful.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That means the husband is irresponsible. That means the man is irresponsible, to let his wife do that. And they let their unmarried daughters do.

Prabhupāda: And woman left alone means prostitution.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That's what's going on now in Bombay, Calcutta. The men send their unmarried daughters to become secretary. She must be... And even before that, they go to college, freely mixing with the men. And they are not chaste.

Prabhupāda: As soon as they allow young girl to mix with young boys---finished.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: This coeducation is very bad.

Prabhupāda: And in the Western countries it is openly allowed, dating = "Please learn this art." [pause] And if you keep woman chaste, then nice children will come, no hippies.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah, just like that boy, Dapni[?], Dapni's grandson. Nice boy.

Prabhupāda: That's it. And if nice children are there in the society, they will become responsible men. Then there will be no disturbance in the society. Everything will go on smoothly. Brāhmaṇa is acting as brāhmaṇa; kṣatriya is acting as... They are both... No quarrel. No animosity. Everyone is cooperating with one another. The whole society becomes peaceful. Family becomes peaceful. The man personally becomes peaceful. Then he will be able to make progress. Kutaḥ śānti ayuktasya. If you are not peaceful, how you can attain? Or if you are not a devotee, you cannot be peaceful. Or if you are not peaceful, you cannot become devotee. But if you can become devotee, you become peaceful. So I have studied practically. Vedic way of simple life is the best. And unless you adopt Vedic way of simple life, you'll be implicated, material desires. There is no end. The Western civilization, they are after sense gratification, but there is no limit where it will end. The psychology is that everything new. They are changing---"change, change, change." And there is no limit. Where the sense gratification will be satisfied, this much? Kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyaṁ vaiśya-karma. Kāmasya na indriya-prītir lābho jīveta yāvatā [Bg. 18.44]. Na indriya-prītiḥ. We require sense gratification---we have got senses---but not for the matter of sense. Just to live. Just like sleeping---we require bedding. And why shall I be dissatisfied if there is no good bedstead and no silk, silver and, or, and this, that, so...? Within my means, whatever comforts are available, I make satisfaction. Why shall I make competition?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That's not the purpose of life. It's missing.

Prabhupāda: Therefore the Bhāgavata says, kāmasya na indriya-prītir lābhaḥ, kāmasya lābho jīveta yāvatā. So why they are restless? They do not know the end of life. So what is the end of life? Jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā na yaś ceha karmabhiḥ. The real business is that "What is Brahman?" If your mind is diverted to brahma-jijñāsā, then naturally these nonsense things, they will be... Therefore Bhāgavata begins, athāto brahma jijñāsā, janmādy asya yataḥ, paraṁ satyaṁ dhīmahi [SB 1.1.1]. The knowledge is there. The process is there. Everything has to be dovetailed. What is that? Dovetailing?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Dovetailing.

Prabhupāda: So the great sages, brāhmaṇas, they were holding meeting in Naimiṣāraṇya, discussion how people will be happy.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That's the duty of the sages.

Prabhupāda: Munayaḥ sādhu pṛṣṭo 'haṁ yat kṛtaḥ kṛṣṇa-sampraśnaḥ [SB 1.2.5] = "Oh, you have raised the kṛṣṇa-sampraśna? Very, very..." Loka-hitam. Is not the beginning? The rascals has given meaning, munayaḥ... The whole scheme is how people will be happy.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Sages are living for that purpose.

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Sages and munis, brāhmaṇas...

Prabhupāda: Everyone. [Bengali conversation with Bhakti-caru] [break] The civilization is... They are also trying loka-hita-kāraṇa, how people will be happy, but in a wrong way.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Who is that who is trying also? Who did you say was also trying?

Prabhupāda: The materialists. They are trying in the society, but in a wrong way. In a wrong way they have taken the hobby of sense gratification. And that will never be satisfied.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: 'Cause they think that the body is the identity, not the soul.

Prabhupāda: Soul, they do not know what is. There is soul, and there is activity of the soul. Soul is the fundamental basis---these rascals, they do not know. Apaśyatām ātma-tattvam [SB 2.1.2]. They do not know ātma-tattvam. Gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām. Śrotavyādīni rājendra nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ. They are increasing thousands and thousands of demands. Why? Apaśyatām ātma-tattvam. They do not see. They do not know what is happiness. Therefore their center is gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Where are these verses from, Śrīla Prabhupāda?

Prabhupāda: Bhāgavata. You do not read?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh, Prahlāda, teachings...

Prabhupāda: [laughs] Not Prahlāda. You are... You do not care? Parīkṣit Mahārāja. Find out Second Canto. You should read and write in so many...

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: It's hard to remember the Sanskrit.

Prabhupāda: Beginning of the Second Canto. Can you read?

Upendra: What was the verse?

Prabhupāda: First of all find out Second Canto. Second Canto, first chapter.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Second Canto, first chapter.

Upendra: Second Canto, first chapter?

Prabhupāda: Can you read?

Upendra: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya: "O my Lord, the all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You." Next śloka?

śrī-śuka uvāca
varīyān eṣa te praśnaḥ
kṛto loka-hitaṁ nṛpa
ātmavit-sammataḥ puṁsāṁ
śrotavyādiṣu yaḥ paraḥ

"Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said, My dear king, your question is glorious because it is very beneficial to all kinds of people. To hear the answer to this question is the prime subject matter of hearing, and it is approved by all transcendentalists."

śrotavyādīni rājendra
nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ
apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ
gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām

"Those persons who are materially engrossed, being blind to the knowledge of ultimate truth, have many things as subject matter for hearing in the human society, O emperor."

Prabhupāda: Just like our men. Little advanced, they have no more interest with hearing newspaper, ordinary sex novel. This is for the rascals. Apaśyatām ātma-tattvam [SB 2.1.2]. We are interested in Bhāgavata, that's all. You can read. Go on.


nidrayā hriyate naktaṁ
vyavāyena ca vā vayaḥ
divā cārthehayā rājan
kuṭumba-bharaṇena vā

"The life span of such envious householders is passed at night either in sleeping or in sex indulgence, and in the daytime either in making money or in maintaining family members."

Prabhupāda: So this business.

Śatadhanya: They waste all the time.

Prabhupāda: Then?


ātma-sainyeṣv asatsv api
teṣāṁ pramatto nidhanaṁ
paśyann api na paśyati

"Persons devoid of ātma-tattva do not inquire into the problems of life, being too attached to the fallible soldiers like the body, children, wife, etc. Although sufficiently experienced, still they do not see their inevitable destruction."

Prabhupāda: What is the purport?

Upendra: Purport = "This material world is called the world of death. Every living being, beginning from Brahmā, whose duration of life is some thousands of millions of years, down to the microbial germs who live for a few seconds only, is struggling for existence. Therefore, this life is a sort of fight with material nature, which imposes death upon all. In the human form of life, a living being is competent enough to come to an understanding of this great struggle for existence, but being too attached to family members, society, country, etc., he wants to win over the invincible material nature by the aid of bodily strength, children, wife, relatives, etc. Although he is sufficiently experienced in the matter by dint of past experience and previous examples of his deceased predecessors, he does not see that the so-called fighting soldiers like the children, relatives, society members and countrymen are all fallible in the great struggle. One should examine the fact that his father or his father's father has already died, and therefore he himself is therefore also sure to die, and similarly, his children, who are the would-be fathers of their children, will also die in due course. No one will survive in this struggle with material nature. The history of human society definitely proves it, yet the foolish people still suggest that in the future they will be able to live perpetually, with the help of material science. This poor fund of knowledge exhibited by human society is certainly misleading, and it is all due to ignoring the constitution of the living soul. This material world exists only as a dream, due to our attachment to it. Otherwise, the living soul is always different from the material nature. The great ocean of material nature is tossing with the waves of time, and so so-called living conditions are something like foaming bubbles, which appear before us as bodily self, wife, children, society, countrymen, etc. Due to a lack of knowledge of self, we become victimized by the force of ignorance and thus spoil the valuable energy of human life in a vain search after permanent living conditions, which are impossible in this material world.

"Our friends, relatives and so-called wives and children are not only fallible, but also bewildered by the outward glamor of material existence. As such, they cannot save us. Still we think that we are safe within the orbit of the family, society or country.

"The whole materialistic advancement of human civilization is like the decoration of a dead body. Everyone is a dead body flapping only for a few days, and yet all the energy of human life is being wasted in the decoration of this dead body. Śukadeva Gosvāmī is pointing out the duty of the human being after showing the actual position of bewildered human activities. Persons who are devoid of the knowledge of ātma-tattva are misguided, but those who are devotees of the Lord and have perfect realization of transcendental knowledge are not bewildered."

Prabhupāda: Sometimes I become surprised how I have written this. Although I am the writer, still sometimes I am surprised how these things have come. Such vivid description. Where is such literature throughout the whole world? It is all Kṛṣṇa's mercy. Every line is perfect.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: The purports are as nice as the ślokas.

Prabhupāda: It is explained in this way.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Śrīla Prabhupāda, it's 7:30 now. [break] [end]