His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(founder of the Hare Krsna movement)
His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(founder of the Hare Krsna movement)
by Purujit Dasa
Because of the conditioned soul’s identification with matter, he suffers from a loss of discriminatory power which is called ignorance. Whether it’s the inability to see the difference between a genuine leader and a cheating politician, the difference between the self and the body, monkey and man, faith and science etc. in all cases, the loss of discriminatory power distorts how he perceives world around him and it affects how he is trying to solve different problems in our society. As long as people remain ignorant, there will always be problems and no law can prevent it. The public knows that the laws are there and they are being subjected by them but they do not really know why they should follow these laws and that is why they will always be tempted to break them. Therefore education is necessary.
Simply enforcing laws and ordinances cannot make the citizens obedient and lawful. That is impossible. Throughout the entire world there are so many states, legislative assemblies and parliaments, but still the citizens are rogues and thieves. Good citizenship, therefore, cannot be enforced; the citizens must be trained. As there are schools and colleges to train students to become chemical engineers, lawyers or specialists in many other departments of knowledge, there must be schools and colleges to train students to become brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas, śūdras, brahmacārīs, gṛhasthas, vānaprasthas and sannyāsīs. This will provide the preliminary condition for good citizenship (varṇāśrama-guṇān-vitāḥ).
Sb original 9.10.50
Syamasundara dasa: Does this mean that when people are enlightened
with proper knowledge, they will automatically become good?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. It is stated in Bhagavad-gita:
yathaidhamsi samiddho 'gnir
bhasmasat kurute 'rjuna
bhasmasat kurute tatha
"As the blazing fire turns firewood to ashes, 0 Arjuna, so does the fire
of knowledge burn to ashes all reactions to material activities." (Bg.
4.37) The fire of knowledge consumes all sinful activities. To this end,
there is need for education. People are born ignorant, and education is
needed to remove their ignorance. Since they are born illusioned by the
bodily conception, people act like animals. They therefore have to be
educated to understand that they are different from the material body.
Syamasundara dasa: Why is it that some people who receive this knowledge
later reject it?
Srila Prabhupada: Then it is not perfect knowledge. When one actually
receives perfect knowledge, he becomes good. This is a fact. If one is
not good, it is because he has not received perfect knowledge.
Syarnasundara dasa: Is there not a class of men that is always evil?
Srila Prabhupada: No.
Syamasundara dasa: Can any man be made good?
Srila Prabhupada: Certainly, because the soul is by nature good. The
living entity is covered by the inferior modes of material nature, by passion
and ignorance. When he is cleansed of this covering, his goodness
will emerge. The soul is originally good because it is part and parcel of
God, and God is all good. That which is part and parcel of gold is also
gold. Although the soul is covered by matter, the soul is all good. When
a sharpened knife is covered by rust, it loses its sharpness. If we remove
the rust, the knife will once again be sharp.
Discussion on Socrates
An atheist however cannot understand the concept of eternity, because his mind is constantly oscillating between two dualities: desire and hate. He wants to be God(enjoyer of this world) and hates when he finds out that he is not. It is a never ending chain of trail and error life after life. Furthermore, the educational system, the government and the so-called culture of a modern man, are all pushing him to become nothing, but a helpless puppet who dances to the repetitive tune of the atheistic doctrine. Watching him blabbering about evolution theory, how the world can be a peaceful place by the use of atomic warfare and how we can solve the crime while letting our animal instincts run loose, one has to simply tolerate and let him pass by. His free will and individuality is for the time being completely taken over by the dictates of the cult of animals. Unless he himself makes a conscious choice to study the Vedic literature in order to get out of his diseased conditioned, it is not possible for him to revive his original freedom.
Brhad Naradya Purana however says:
harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha
(Brhan-naradiya Purana 38.126)
"In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, the only means of deliverance is chanting of the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way."
The Vedic literatures give us an exact account of what is going to happen in the future. Although written 5000 years ago they for example predict the appearance of Lord Buddha, who appeared only 2600 years ago. The present times are described in the Vedas as the age of Kali, the age of quarrel and hypocrisy and just as in the previous ages, there’s a process of self-realization given which is especially potent now. If the modern man simply hears the maha-mantra: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, this vibration penetrates all the layers of atheistic brain dirt and penetrates right into the self and awakens it. Although he might be under the hypnosis of the atheistic faith, the transcendental sound has such a power that it interacts with the soul directly and no material barrier can check such purification. By hearing the Hare Krsna mantra and later on by chanting the same, one awakens his desire to get out of the material entanglement and engage in his real activity –devotional service to Krsna.
nitya-siddha krsna-prema 'sadhya' kabhu naya
sravanadi-suddha-citte karaye udaya
"Pure love for Krsna is eternally established in the hearts of living entities. It is not something to be gained from another source. When the heart is purified by hearing and chanting, the living entity naturally awakens.
Just like when a man remains unconscious under some intoxication or snake bite, there are some herbs. If it is put before the nostril and if the patient smells, immediately he gets consciousness. Similarly, Caitanya Mahaprabhu said that "I have brought also one medicine." Enechi ausadhi maya nasibaro lagi': "This medicine can dissipate your this forgetfulness under the spell of maya." Enechi ausadhi maya nasibaro. What is that? Hari-nama maha-mantra lao tumi: "This is this chanting Hare Krsna mantra. You please take it." The idea is that if one simply chants Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, his unconscious stage, or sleeping stage under the spell of illusory maya, will gradually vanish.
Purport to Jiv Jago -- Columbus, May 20, 1969
Lord Caitanya, who preached Krsna consciousness in the modern world, gave great stress to hearing because if the common man simply hears from authoritative sources, he can progress, especially, according to Lord Caitanya, if he hears the transcendental vibration Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. It is stated, therefore, that all men should take advantage of hearing from realized souls and gradually become able to understand everything.
The duality created by the conditioned soul’s rebellion against the Supreme Lord manifests as the two functions of the mind –sankalpa vikalpa. We always accept something for our illusory enjoyment and then we reject it when the illusion is over. In this way we struggle day by day with the mind. Mantra means to deliver us from the mind. (man- the mind; trayete –deliver). Material sound cannot deliver the soul because anything material is dualistic, ever-changing and therefore unsteady. But the Hare Krsna mantra is not a sound of this material world. It is actually non-different from Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead coming from the spiritual world and the proof is that a devotee of Krsna is able to chant this Hare Krsna mantra 24 hours a day and not feel tired, whereas with a mundane vibration one gets tired very fast.
So we should always be confident that this chanting is not a vibration of this material world. This is not vibration of material world. Narottama dasa Thakura says, golokera prema-dhana hari-nama-sankirtana. It is imported from the spiritual world. It is completely spiritual. Otherwise how it is possible? Sometimes the so-called yogis, they say that chanting... In Bombay there is a so-called rascal, he says, "The chanting of Hare Krsna mantra and chanting of Coca-cola is the same." He is such a rascal. He does not know that this is not a vibration of this material world. But one who has no knowledge, they think that "What is the meaning of this chant, 'Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna'?" But they can practically see that we can go on chanting day and night, still we shall not become tired, but any other material name you take, after chanting three times you will feel tired. That is the proof. You can go on chanting day and night, you will never feel tired. So these people, poor people, they have (no) brain to understand.
Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.1.1-2 -- New York, April 19, 1973
Sinful public cannot understand the value of a sinless leader, therefore democratic system cannot bring any desired change, nor is punishing the aggressors by violence an ultimate solution. But by the means of hearing the transcendental science from a pure devotee of the Lord and engaging in the service of Krsna under his guidance, our lust rather than being killed can be nicely channeled or spiritualized.
The embodied soul may be restricted from sense enjoyment, though the taste for sense objects remains. But, ceasing such engagements by experiencing a higher taste, he is fixed in consciousness.
Lust is only the perverted reflection of the love of God which is natural for every living entity. But if one is educated in Krsna consciousness from the very beginning, that natural love of God cannot deteriorate into lust. When love of God deteriorates into lust, it is very difficult to return to the normal condition. Nonetheless, Krsna consciousness is so powerful that even a late beginner can become a lover of God by following the regulative principles of devotional service. So, from any stage of life, or from the time of understanding its urgency, one can begin regulating the senses in Krsna consciousness, devotional service of the Lord, and turn the lust into love of Godhead—the highest perfectional stage of human life.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: As you well know, many thieves are arrested numerous times and put into jail. Although they know that if they commit theft they will go to jail, still they are forced to steal, because of their unclean hearts. Therefore without cleansing the heart of the criminal, you cannot stop crime simply by more stringent law enforcement. The thief and the murderer already know the law, yet they still commit violent crimes, due to their unclean hearts. So our process is to cleanse the heart. Then all the troubles of this material world will be solved.
Lieutenant Mozee: That's a very difficult task, sir.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: It is not difficult. Simply invite everyone: "Come, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, dance, and take sumptuous prasādam." What is the difficulty? We are doing this at our centers, and people are coming. But because we have very little money, we can hold saṅkīrtana only on a small scale. We invite everyone, and gradually people are coming to our centers and becoming devotees. If the government would give us a large facility, however, we could expand unlimitedly. And the problem is big; otherwise why are there national news articles asking what to do? No civil state wants this criminality. That's a fact. But the leaders do not know how to stop it. If they listen to us, however, we can give them the answer. Why crime? Because people are godless. And what to do? Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and take prasādam. If you like, you can adopt this process of saṅkīrtana. Otherwise, we will continue conducting it on a small scale. We are just like a poor medical man with a small private practice who could open a big hospital if he were given the facility. The government is the executor. If they take our advice and adopt the process of saṅkīrtana, then the problem of crime will be solved.
SSR 6a: Crime: Why and What to Do?
In this way our almost eternal hate for God can turn into love and we can thus return to our original home back to Godhead.
(the end of the series)
by Purujit Dasa
When the scientific background for religion is missing, people become hypocrites. They use religion simply as a sentiment or social decoration without following any rules and regulations and thus deviate from the bona fide teachings of God.
Prabhupada: Secular means government's duty is that "You call yourself a Hindu. Whether you are acting as Hindu? You call yourself as Muslim. Whether you are acting as Muslim?" This is government's duty. Govern ment does not say or prefer that "You are Christian. It is not good. You become Hindu." No, that is not government's... You remain your Christian, but government's duty is that whether he is acting as Christian. This is government's duty. Not that you are acting like a something else, and you are calling yourself Christian. You are acting like a sudra, and you are advertising yourself as a brahmana. So just like a, what is called, quack. If he writes, "Dr. something," that is punishable.
Vrndavana, April 20, 1975
Conversation With Governor
But although people in general are fond of criticizing the religious fanaticism, they still do not realize that godless secularism is as equally limited and narrow minded.
aharit sarvasya prabhavo
mattal], sarvarit pravartate
"I am the origin of everything. Everything is emanating from Me." (Bg.
10. 8) The Vedanta-sutra also states: janmadyasya yatah,. "The Supreme
Being is He from whom everything is emanating." It is a fact that there
must be a source of everything, and it is the business of philosophy to
find that original source. It is neither scientific nor philosophic to try to
obscure or ignore the original source.
Discussion on Bacon
The contribution of His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder and spiritual master of the Hare Krsna movement to the modern world is therefore immense. On the authority of the Vedas, he is connecting our concept of science and our concept of religion explaining them not as separate processes working against each other, but as simultaneously helping in understanding the true universal knowledge- the Absolute Truth, Krsna, or God who connects us all on all possible platforms.
Science must be based on logic and philosophy. Science means that. And religion means sometimes sentiments. So religion without philosophy is sentiment, and philosophy without religion is mental speculation. Both must be combined. Then it is perfect. You cannot have religion without philosophy. That is sentiment, fanaticism. And if you simply take philosophy without religion, without sense of God, this is mental speculation. So religion must be on the basis of science and logic. That is first-class religion.
Bhagavad-gita 7.1-3 -- Stockholm, September 10, 1973
Because there is God, the supreme leader in the spiritual world, there must be a political leader in the material world. Janmadya yasya yatha. God is the original cause, and all the different varieties are coming from Him. Someone is stronger, someone weaker. To put everyone on an equal level is simply a denial of God’s variegated and therefore blissful nature. To want a situation without a leader is yet another form of atheistic hallucination.
So in that Vedic literature this is, this verse is there, nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam (Katha Upanisad 2.2.13). A leader, the supreme leader of all living entities—God, or whatever you say, the Absolute Truth, the Absolute Person. Generally, we say God. God is also a person like you and me. Just like whenever you find out some leader, he must be a person. Impersonal cannot be leader. Is there any instance... In the modern history they have abolished monarchy, personal government. They have got democratic government or republican government. But still, they have to find out a president. Why? Why not without president? No. That cannot be done. There must be one leader. Any movement, any organization, there must be. And he must be a person.
Lecture -- Seattle, October 11, 1968
The proposition, that the society can work without a head or that any part of the body can do the head’s work is very unnatural. Such nonsense ideas are the very source of all conflicts.
Syamasundaia dasa: He states that values must obey the will of God as
expressed in natural law, the laws upon which men agree, such as social
contracts, and the established traditions, customs, and opinions of mankind.
He states that our laws must be obeyed in such a way that we will
exist in harmony.
Srila Prabhupada: And what is that harmony? Perfect harmony is in
knowing that we are part and parcel of God. In this body, there are
different parts, and each part has a particular function. When each part
performs its function, the body is harmonious. The hand is meant for
touching, lifting, and grasping, but if the hand says, "I shall walk," there
is disharmony. Being part and parcel of God, we have a particular function.
If we fulfill that function, there is harmony. If we do not, there is
disharmony. The law of nature means working in harmony with the desire
''This material nature is working under My direction, 0 son of KuntT,
and it is producing all moving and unmoving beings. By its rule this
manifestation is created and annihilated again and again." (Bg. 9.10)
Under Krsna's superintendence, everything is functioning in harmony.
Events do not happen blindly. In any organization, there is a supreme
authority under whose orders everything moves in harmony. Harmony
means that there must be some supreme superintendent. It is generally
said that obedience is the first law of discipline. There cannot be harmony
Discussion on Locke
Just as the active soul is controlling the inactive body, similarly the intelligent men control the rest of the society through knowledge. If therefore the intelligent men of present society are victims of lust, the whole society suffers. In order to avoid this, there’s a scientific social system given by Krsna which helps to transform material lust into love of God.
According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me. And, although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the non-doer, being unchangeable.
In the material world, we have different material propensities. Someone is a teacher, someone a mechanic, someone an artist and instead of denying these propensities and suppressing them for the sake of imaginary equality, Krsna clearly indicates that these propensities should be fully engaged in devotional service.
sreyan sva-dharmo vigunah
sva-dharme nidhanam sreyah
It is far better to discharge one's prescribed duties, even though they may be faulty, than another's duties. Destruction in the course of performing one's own duty is better than engaging in another's duties, for to follow another's path is dangerous.
The four classes of men, namely the intelligentsia (brahmanas), the rulers(ksatryias), the mercantile community (vaisyas) and the regular workers(sudras) are already present in every society. These castes are not created artificially, as it is seen in the deviant Hindu tradition, but they are existing by nature. In every society, there are those who are inclined towards intellectual work just like big philosophers, scientists, priests, teachers. There are also those who have an inclination towards leadership like politicians and administrators. Also we see there are men who are inclined to do business and those who like to to work in some menial job. Not everyone has the same propensity. People are different.
The problem is that although the propensities are there, people are not educated how to dovetail these propensities in the performance of yajna (sacrifice) so their energy is used to please Krsna, or God, so everyone can benefit. Instead we see that due to misguided philosophy of life one selfish animal through different cheating tactics is leading other less-powerful animals. And because the cheating animal is simply led by his lust, naturally he is simply exploiting his power by protecting the interest of a certain group only. When the other groups find out, they drag him down. In this way, there’s a constant change of different animals who take turn in exploiting the mass without any substantial program on how to benefit everyone equally.
In modern civilization, the so-called social, national and government leaders mislead people more and more, under the bodily conception of life, with the result that all the leaders, with their followers, are gliding down to hellish conditions birth after birth. An example is given in Srimad-Bhagavatam. Andha yathandhair upaniyamanah: [SB 7.5.31] when a blind man leads several other blind men, the result is that all of them fall down in a ditch. This is actually happening. There are many leaders to lead the ignorant public, but because every one of them is bewildered by the bodily conception of life, there is no peace and prosperity in human society.
Without yajna, all their programs are based on lies and it cannot last. Therefore, there’s a need for change of the cheating on regular basis. In capitalism it’s called democracy, in communism it’s called revolution. Or as the saying goes in capitalism men control men, in communism it’s the other way around. One animal is followed by another one. Sometimes, the public becomes so disgusted that they prefer to have no leader at all and they take up anarchy or terrorism. This however cannot solve their problem either. Unless we come out of animal platform, there’s no question of peace.
Disciple: Last night in your lecture you made the analogy that if people don't follow God's laws, they'll be punished by God, just as they're punished for disobeying the state laws. So the young people thought you must be a fascist.
Srila Prabhupada: But this is actually happening all over the world. How can they deny it9 Government today means, "Might makes right." Somehow you take power, and then you are right. It is a question of which group gets the power.
Disciple: But they want to give the power to the people.
Srila Prabhupada: How will it be possible? There are so many people and so many different opinions—you have your people, and someone else has his people. As soon as you want to give the power to your people, the others will oppose. This is human nature; you cannot change it. They're thinking that the power should be given to the people, but there are many other people who will disagree. This is the nature of the material world: everyone is envious of everyone else. But these rascals don't have the intelligence to understand this. In India there was Gandhi—a gentleman, a very nice politician—but he was killed. So you cannot stop this. It is the nature of the material world—everyone is envious of others. You'll never be able to find a group of materialistic men who are perfect. So why do they say, "Give the power to the people"? They are simply rascals. Therefore, the Srimad-Bhagavatam says, paramo nirmatsaranam satam: Krsna consciousness is for the perfect, nonenvious person. Those who are not Krsna conscious must be envious. Everywhere you'll find competition, Krsna had enemies. Jesus Christ had enemies, or else why was he crucified? He had no fault, he was preaching God consciousness. Yet he was crucified. This is the material world. Even though one is perfect, still he'll have enemies. How can you stop it? They say, "Give the power to the people," but as soon as there is one good group of people governing, another group will stand against it. They will say, "Give the power to us." So where is your perfection? This is not perfection. Therefore, we have to give up all connection with this material world—that is perfection.
Disciple: But how can you avoid anarchy and have good government if you give up all connection with this world?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, this is the point—you have to follow the perfect authority.
Disciple: And this was their contention—you advocate following a superior authority,
Srila Prabhupada: If you want a perfect society, you must follow the perfect authority. You cannot Find perfection through mundane politics. You have to follow the real, recognized authorities—the perfect, liberated souls. This was the system in the Vedic culture. The authority was Lord Krsna and the Vedic literature, and society was directed by Manu [the forefather and lawgiver of mankind] and the Manu-samhita. Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah: to attain perfection, we must follow the mahajanas—perfect, self-realized authorities.
Disciple: But these young people said even spiritual authorities are imperfect.
Srila Prabhupada: They may say that, but why should we accept their opinion—the opinion of imperfect rascals? Their only idea of authority is, "Might makes right." For instance, that group yesterday was advocating "Power to the people." So they have got some might, and they are pressuring, "You must accept this idea." And this is going on all over the world—"Might makes right." All the rascals are fighting with one another, and the one who is a little mightier becomes prominent. Thai's all.
Disciple: They say this is always the case—with any authority, it's just some leader who's pushed himself forward. So they've rejected all authorities.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, because all their so-called authorities have been imperfect. But there is a perfect authority also: Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And any authority who follows and teaches according to the instructions of Krsna is also perfect. That is authority. We Krsna conscious devotees are exactly following the authority of Krsna. In presenting Krsna consciousness, we are simply presenting the words of Krsna and trying to convince people, "Here is the real authority; if you follow you'll be happy." Krsna says, "You surrender unto Me." And we are saying, "Surrender to Krsna." We know that Krsna is perfect and that to surrender unto Him is perfection. And whenever we speak, we always Quote Krsna and Krsna's representatives.
Disciple: But in order for someone to surrender, doesn't he have to have faith in whoever is asking him to surrender?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, faith must be there. Therefore, in the Bhagavad-gita Krsna first of all proves that He is the Absolute Truth; then He asks for you to surrender. But you need to have the intelligence to understand—"This is Krsna"—then you surrender. In Bhagavad-gita Krsna does not say in the beginning, "You must surrender." First He explains everything—the body, the soul, all forms of yoga, all different kinds of knowledge. Then He gives the most confidential knowledge: "Give up everything else, and just surrender unto Me."
Everyone in this material world is imperfect. Without voluntary submission to a perfect person, everyone is imperfect. But one who has completely surrendered to Krsna or His representative-he is perfect. But if you do not surrender to the perfect authority, then you remain an imperfect rascal. You may be Napoleon, or you may be a small ant, but we want to see whether you have surrendered to Krsna or not. If not, then you're a rascal, that's all.
Conversation On “Might Makes Right”
to be continued...
by Purujit Dasa
But the idea of Carvaka Muni is actually not completely condemned because that is what spiritual life truly is–pleasure without work. Enjoy and don’t worry about the consequences is exactly how a servant of Krsna lives, because Krsna takes care of Him. When a soldier kills in war on the order of the government he gets a gold medal. However, when he comes back from war field and kills someone on the street he is arrested. Similarly, while an atheist so-called enjoys the interaction between his senses and the objects of the senses and suffers the reactions, a servant of Krsna is going on about his service to the Lord and because he surrenders the results of his service to Krsna, he is not subjected to the reaction to his action. He’s basically enjoying but there are no consequences. Krsna says:
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah
Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.
Visakha: Srila Prabhupada, they will accuse us of being parasites.
Prabhupada: No, I am not parasite. Your master. How do you say parasite? I am not going to beg from you. Parasites?
Brahmananda: Parasite lives off another.
Prabhupada: No, parasites means if I take others' property, others'. If I enjoy others'..., that is parasite. But we are not enjoying others' property. We are enjoying our father's property. Isavasyam idam sarvam [Iso mantra 1]. Krsna is the proprietor. Why do you say parasite? And we are good children of Krsna. Krsna says, "Don't work, I shall give you everything." (laughter) Actually, Krsna says that, that "Why you are working so hard?" Sarva-dharman parityajya mam...: [Bg. 18.66] "You just under Me, I shall give you protection, whatever you want." And we are getting everything. Why parasite?
Morning Walk -- June 29, 1975, Denver
Atheism is based on seeking pleasure without responsibility, but the seeking of pleasure itself is ironically also God consciousness, because God is the reservoir of all pleasure (Krsna), we just don’t see it. While the true theist understands the source of pleasure being God and serves Him, the atheist is simply trying to be God and gets illusion in return. Lover of God however understands very well that serving God is itself the pleasure. This can be understood in the following way.
In the relative world, there is a difference between name and substance. For example the word “water” relates to the substance water. In the absolute world however the name and substance are non-different. The name Krsna is therefore not a representation of Krsna, but it is Krsna Himself. Similarly, in the transcendental sphere the master and servant are non-different. Service in the transcendental world is therefore non-different from pleasure derived from it.
One should not think that his service in the material world and his service in the spiritual atmosphere are the same. We may shudder to think, "Oh, after liberation will I still be a servant?" This is because we have experience that being a servant in the material world is not very enjoyable, but transcendental service is not like this. In the spiritual world there is no difference between the servant and the master. Here, of course, there is distinction, but in the absolute world everything is one. For instance, in Bhagavad-gita we can see that Krsna has taken the position of servant as the chariot driver of Arjuna. In his constitutional position, Arjuna is the servant of Krsna, but in behavior we can see that sometimes the Lord becomes the servant of the servant [Cc. Madhya 13.80]. So we should be careful not to carry materialistic ideas into the spiritual realm. Whatever we have materially experienced is but a perverted reflection of things in spiritual life.
OWK 2: The Way of Chanting and Knowing Krsna
Ultimately lust and love is the same energy manifested differently according to the desire of the individual.
When a living entity comes in contact with the material creation, his eternal love for Krsna is transformed into lust, in association with the mode of passion. Or, in other words, the sense of love of God becomes transformed into lust, as milk in contact with sour tamarind is transformed into yogurt.
Therefore it is only after the atheist becomes truly sincere about his ideal- pleasure without service and refuses to serve even the illusory “self”, which pushes him to the atheistic dogma, when his true knowledge begins. It is a conscious realization: I have been trying to enjoy the so-called “myself” for so many lives, still I am not happy. How come?
The Supreme Personality of Godhead expanded Himself into many for His ever-increasing spiritual bliss, and the living entities are parts and parcels of this spiritual bliss. They also have partial independence, but by misuse of their independence, when the service attitude is transformed into the propensity for sense enjoyment, they come under the sway of lust. This material creation is created by the Lord to give a facility to the conditioned souls to fulfill these lustful propensities, and when they are completely baffled by prolonged lustful activities, the living entities begin to inquire about their real position.
As opposed to material adaptive so-called education, which is indoctrinated, the science of self-realization therefore necessitates that one by his own free will makes the choice to try to understand the subject matter. It’s called surrender.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Is it possible to reform a person against their will?
Prabhupāda: No, not possible. [break]
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: ...sign, Śrīla Prabhupāda, that someone is actually having change in heart?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: What is the sign that someone is actually having change in heart?
Prabhupāda: By his action. [break] ...kasipu tried to make Prahlāda atheist. He failed. And Prahlāda tried to make his father theist. He failed. Don't you see?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes.
Prabhupāda: So unless one agrees you cannot turn him. It is not possible. Five-years'-old boy, staunch devotee, and the powerful Hiraṇyakaśipu, father, who is threatening with his life and so many ways he tried that "You become atheist, godless. Otherwise I shall kill you." He did not agree. And similarly, the son also solicited the father that "You have got so much power by the grace of God. Why you are becoming atheist?" Both of them could not turn to their side. Prahlāda remained Prahlāda, and Hiraṇyakaśipu remained Hiraṇyakaśipu. [break] ...can expect that without agreeing, conceding, one can be reformed. No, that is not possible. Impossible.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Not simply by rubber stamp.
Prabhupāda: No, that is not possible. He must agree, "Yes." Therefore guru is required. Guru means, accept guru means, "Whatever you say, I will accept." That is guru. Otherwise friendly talk. Friendly talk will not do. To accept guru means "Now I accept you, guru, my instructor, without any argument," and that is acceptance. "Whatever you say, I shall do." That is agreement. Then he can be reformed. Śiṣyas te 'ha śādhi mā prapannam: "I surrender unto you. I become your disciple. Now you train me." Then he can be reformed. Otherwise not possible.
Devotee: When we were at school we accept a teacher and he teaches us mathematics or something like this, but when it comes to spiritual life and we accept a guru, people criticize by saying, "Oh, you're not thinking for yourself anymore."
Prabhupāda: Yes, you have surrendered. You say, "Yes, we have surrendered. That is the way." Tad viddhi praṇipātena [Bg. 4.34]. The first term is "surrender," praṇipāta. Otherwise it is not possible. If one does not surrender, there is no question of reformation. He must voluntarily surrender: "Yes. Whatever you say, I shall do." Then things can be advanced. Otherwise not possible.
Morning Walk -- October 17, 1975, Johannesburg
Because the atheists want to keep their illusory independence so they can try to satisfy themselves by themselves, they cannot understand anything about the confidential knowledge of self-realization. The reason for this is that without understanding our own mortality, or in other words that me and my body are different, I am an animal. My consciousness is so much engrossed in the illusion of bodily pleasure that I do not even bother to protect myself from death.
Prabhupada: ...animals. The animals... You keep the animals here, and take one of them, slaughter—they will think, "I am safe." This is animal. All of them will think, "Oh, I am safe. He is being taken. That's all." This is their dull brain, the modern animals.
Morning Walk -- June 7, 1975, Honolulu
yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke
sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ
yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
janeṣv abhijseṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ
"A human being who identifies this body made of three elements with his self, who considers the by-products of the body to be his kinsmen, who considers the land of birth as worshipable, and who goes to the place of pilgrimage simply to take a bath rather than meet men of transcendental knowledge there, is to be considered as an ass or a cow."
Prabhupāda: The context is that if you cannot separate the living force, or the soul, from the body, then you are on the same position as the dog is thinking, "I am the body. I am a big dog. I can bark very loudly." And he's showing his capacity. And if we are talking big, big assembly, and in the same conception of life, that "I am this body," then where is difference?
Mike Barron: I cannot argue against that.
Prabhupāda: That is the point. That is the point. We have to understand this point. If we want to become more than the dog, you must find out in which sense we are more than the dog. That sense is understanding.... That is.... In Sanskrit word it is said, ahaṁ brahmāsmi: "I am Brahman. I am not this matter." That is knowledge.
Room Conversation -- April 20, 1976, Melbourne
Indian man (3): What is the harm if I become an animal also?
Prabhupada: You are already animal. There is no question of becoming animal. You are already animal. (laughter)
Indian man (3): So what is the difference between animal and a man?
Prabhupada: Because you do not know, therefore you are animal. Therefore you are animal. You do not know what is the difference between man and animal; therefore you are animal.
Morning Walk -- November 16, 1975, Bombay
It is for this reason Lord Krsna instructs us at the end of the Bhagavad-gita:
This confidential knowledge may not be explained to those who are not austere, or devoted, or engaged in devotional service, nor to one who is envious of Me.
People in bodily conception of life are checked from understanding the spiritual science by Krsna’s material energy. Maya dhaksena praktri, which is not so easy to overcome.
srotram caksuh sparsanam ca
rasanam ghranam eva ca
adhisthaya manas cayam
The living entity, thus taking another gross body, obtains a certain type of ear, tongue, and nose and sense of touch, which are grouped about the mind. He thus enjoys a particular set of sense objects.
For each of our 5 senses, namely smell, touch, sight, taste, sense of hearing Krsna has created 5 corresponding material elements: earth, water, fire, air, sound. We smell the earth, we see the fire, we feel the air, we hear the sound and we taste the water. While we think we are “satisfying ourselves” we’re simply identifying with the interaction which goes on between the senses and the material elements by a powerful force described in the following section of the Bhagavadgita:
Arjuna said: O descendant of Vrsni, by what is one impelled to sinful acts, even unwillingly, as if engaged by force?
The Blessed Lord said: It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material modes of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring, sinful enemy of this world.
As fire is covered by smoke, as a mirror is covered by dust, or as the embryo is covered by the womb, similarly, the living entity is covered by different degrees of this lust.
Thus, a man's pure consciousness is covered by his eternal enemy in the form of lust, which is never satisfied and which burns like fire.
In India there is the story of a man who did not know what sugarcane was and was told that it was very sweet to chew. "Oh, what does it look like?" he asked. "It looks just like a bamboo rod," someone said. So the foolish man began to chew all kinds of bamboo rods. How can he begin to experience the sweetness of sugarcane? Similarly, we are trying to get happiness and pleasure, but we are trying for them by chewing this material body; therefore there is no happiness and no pleasure. For the time being there may be some little feeling of pleasure, but that is not actual pleasure, for it is temporary.
OWK 1: Throughway to Happiness
An atheistic man who is trying all kinds of “bamboo rods” in the form of cinemas, intoxication, illicit sex, etc is doing so because he is being impelled by lust, which kills the urge for self-realization. Just like throwing oil in the fire cannot decrease the fire, the more we serve lust, the more unsatisfied we are. Artificial needs cannot satisfy anyone. And no satisfaction ultimately leads to wrath.
While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises.
So there is no intelligent class of man. That is the difficulty. Who is trying to control his mind, control his senses? This is the first condition to become a first-class man. As soon as a man sees a beautiful woman, immediately his mind is agitated. Where is the control? And as soon as the mind is agitated, the senses are agitated. And this is the first condition of the first-class man, that he should not be agitated in his mind, and agitated by senses. This is the first condition. So where is that school who is training to, how to control the mind, how to control the senses, how to become truthful, how to become cleansed, internally, externally. These are the signs of first-class men. So we are trying our little bit to make some men as first class. This is our teeny effort. We are not patronized by any interested person, neither by the government. By our own effort we are trying. So far big, big man, leaders, they are thinking, "This is all useless." And because they have taken these things are useless, now they are facing problems, "Crime. Why? What to do?"
Room Conversation with writer, Sandy Nixon -- July 13, 1975, Philadelphia
Therefore when atheism comes to extreme it turns into aggression. Just like a tiger does not hesitate to attack in order to eat his flesh and will not hear any pleading for mercy, aggressors do not like to exactly have peaceful philosophical discourses on the aim of life. They don’t care. The senses are pushing them to act and to act fast. The government’s duty is therefore to protect the citizens from such unreasonable aggressors and not to artificially equalize the so-called knowledge of the aggressor, which serves as merely a justification device for their atrocities with the real science as described in the Vedic literature.
The animal cannot understand reasoning, so you have to take the stick. Then the animal will agree. If a dog entering room, you don't want him in, so you say, "Dog, don't enter." He'll not hear. And if you show a stick, it will go away. So for the dogs, for the animals, stick is required. That is war. And there is logic. You know this, argumentum vaculum. In logic there is. So when logic fails, you have to take to war. Not whimsically. You try to avoid war. And when the other party does not agree to logic, then there must be fight. So that is also necessary because all men are not abiding by logic. So everything is necessary if it used for good purpose. Just like surgical operation. The patient is crying, "Don't operate me, surgical." So it is necessary. Otherwise he'll not be cured. So war is not always bad. War is meant for good purpose. But if you use it.... Everything you can use for bad purpose. That is another thing, another side. But don't think that war is itself always bad, no.
Room Conversation -- April 22, 1976, Melbourne
The ksatriyas [administrators]should always be very strong to be able to give protection to the weak. They should not pose themselves as nonviolent. If violence is required, they must exhibit it.
Bg 16.1, Bg 16.2, Bg 16.3, Bg 16.1-3
A king should also be strict in chastising the atheists. In other words, an atheistic or godless government should never be supported by a king or governmental chief. That is the test of good government. In the name of secular government, the king or governmental head remains neutral and allows people to engage in all sorts of irreligious activities. In such a state, people cannot be happy, despite all economic development.
Those who will not hear logic and reason must be educated by punishment.
Experience is gathered by hearing and seeing. One who is less intelligent gathers experience by seeing, and one who is more intelligent gathers experience by hearing. When an intelligent person hears from the lawbooks and sastras, or scriptures, that stealing is not good and hears that a thief is punished when arrested, he refrains from theft. A less intelligent person may first have to be arrested and punished for stealing to learn to stop stealing.
NoI: verse 1
Those who violate the rules of the sãstras must be punished by the laws of nature.
Attaining repeated birth amongst the species of demoniac life, such persons can never approach Me. Gradually they sink down to the most abominable type of existence.
It is known that God is all-merciful, but here we find that God is never merciful to the demoniac. It is clearly stated that the demoniac people, life after life, are put into the wombs of similar demons, and, not achieving the mercy of the Supreme Lord, they go down and down, so that at last they achieve bodies like those of cats, dogs and hogs. It is clearly stated that such demons have practically no chance of receiving the mercy of God at any stage of later life. In the Vedas also it is stated that such persons gradually sink to become dogs and hogs. It may be then argued in this connection that God should not be advertised as all-merciful if He is not merciful to such demons. In answer to this question, in the Vedanta-sutra we find that the Supreme Lord has no hatred for anyone. The placing of the asuras, the demons, in the lowest status of life is simply another feature of His mercy.
Punishment by a righteous government is therefore actually an act of compassion. If the criminal is punished by the government he does not have to undergo a more severe punishment by the laws of karma and is thus saved from degrading into lower species of life.
Everything has its proper utility, and a man who is situated in complete knowledge knows how and where to apply a thing for its proper utility. Similarly, violence also has its utility, and how to apply violence rests with the person in knowledge. Although the justice of the peace awards capital punishment to a person condemned for murder, the justice of the peace cannot be blamed because he orders violence to another person according to the codes of justice. In Manu-samhita, the lawbook for mankind, it is supported that a murderer should be condemned to death so that in his next life he will not have to suffer for the great sin he has committed. Therefore, the king's punishment of hanging a murderer is actually beneficial.
Unfortunately, in the modern days those who are supposed to be protectors are actually the aggressors themselves. Rogues and thieves take government posts and plunder the citizens of their hard earned money and spend for their sense gratification. When the resources run out and there’s a danger of rebellion from the citizens, the modern politicians declare war and they steal from other nations.
One does not have to be qualified with knowledge to be a leader, simply to show his strength is enough. Everyone is therefore gathering weapons and bombs, just to show off like dogs barking at each other and showing teeth. When bombs are made, someone has to be attacked though, so the money is not wasted. Therefore the program of the politicanos is based on finding an enemy. Without an enemy politicano has no meaning. Finding an enemy is a life-force for a clever strategy of how to establish oneself as the illusory “saver” from the enemy. Unable to resolve the problems created by the nonsensical propagation of the unscientific religion of branch watering, this is the only thing a rascal politicano can do right- create conflicts. Because he does not recognize God’s existence, he cannot see other living beings as His parts and parcels. He sees them only as possible threats to his false godhood.
idam adya maya labdham
imam prapsye manoratham
idam astidam api me
bhavisyati punar dhanam
asau maya hatah satrur
hanisye caparan api
isvaro 'ham aham bhogi
siddho 'ham balavan sukhi
adhyo 'bhijanavan asmi
ko 'nyo 'sti sadrso maya
yaksye dasyami modisya
The demoniac person thinks: "So much wealth do I have today, and I will gain more according to my schemes. So much is mine now, and it will increase in the future, more and more. He is my enemy, and I have killed him; and my other enemy will also be killed. I am the lord of everything, I am the enjoyer, I am perfect, powerful and happy. I am the richest man, surrounded by aristocratic relatives. There is none so powerful and happy as I am. I shall perform sacrifices, I shall give some charity, and thus I shall rejoice." In this way, such persons are deluded by ignorance.
Bg 16.13, Bg 16.14, Bg 16.15, Bg 16.13-15
The theory of the survival of the fittest and the theory of overpopulation therefore come in handy. We have a right to attack a small nation, because it’s smaller. Those who are fit survive, those who aren’t die off. It’s just nature, sorry guys. And we do have a right to kill the innocent, because it’s overpopulation anyway. So why not? This is the logic of a demonic brain.
Vietnam, send all the men to fight and kill them. As soon as there is overpopulation, they declare war so that people may be killed.
Morning Walk -- February 12, 1976, Mayapura
There is no question of overpopulation. This is a false theory. If God can create, He can maintain also. And actually, this is the fact. I am travelling all over the world. There are so much vacant places upon the surface of the globe that, that ten times more than the present population can be easily maintained. But we, we, we do not know how to use it. In Africa, in Australia, in your America, enough land still lying. But because we have encroached upon the land of Krsna, the difficulty's there. China is overpopulated. India is overpopulated. But we, if we take to Krsna consciousness, these difficulties will be over within a second.
Krsna consciousness means to take everything Krsna's. I am also Krsna's. That is Krsna consciousness. Actually, that is the fact. Everything... Krsna means God. Everything belongs to God. I also belong to God. Isavasyam idam sarvam [Iso mantra 1]. Everything belongs to God. That's a fact. But we do not not accept the fact. We take something illusory. Therefore, it is called maya.
Just like the Americans. They are claiming this land is for the American group. Similarly, other nations, they're... but the land actually belongs to God. The land, the sky, the water, and the products in the land, in the sky, in the water, everything belongs to God. And we are children of God. We have got the right to live at the expense of father. Just like we live, small children. They live at the cost of father. Similarly, we also live by the arrangement of God. Why should we claim that this is our property?
Bhagavad-gita 4.13 -- New York, April 8, 1973
To figure out who is the enemy is not that difficult. It can be anyone as long as he can be defeated easily. Powerful dictators such as Hitler were able to channel the frustration felt by the unsatisfied citizens into the persecution of the made up enemy, a scapegoat, namely Jews and thus justify tremendous horrors. By blaming the made-up enemy for the misery of a nation, the politicanos cleverly hide the fact that they themselves besides plundering the people’s money through taxes have no program at all.
This is the civilization, cheating, bluffing. That's all. They don't care for the citizens. And as soon as there is some agitation, they declare war, so that they can be engaged, attention is diverted. This is going on.
Rome, May 25, 1974
Morning Walk At Villa Borghese
to be continued...
by Purujit Dasa
sadrsam cestate svasyah
prakrter jnanavan api
prakrtim yanti bhutani
nigrahah kim karisyati
Even a man of knowledge acts according to his own nature, for everyone follows his nature. What can repression accomplish?
People will hanker after knowledge as long as they have a need for pleasure. Who would be interested to acquire mundane education without a diploma and a promise of a nice job promising sense gratification? Unfortunately, in a secular society, instead of deriving unlimited pleasure from Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the reservoir of all pleasure, we become diverted to hallucinatory pleasure supplied by exploiters.
Just as a religious leader used the concept of hellfire to invoke more commitment towards the church in the past, the business brains of this age create the atmosphere of incompleteness in order to make the citizens devote their lives to the illusory pleasures of the body. Just think of the last time you saw the evening news, or read the morning news papers-murders, catastrophes, rapes, tornadoes, economical doomsday predictions, etc. Intelligent person asks: Why do I need to know all this? What is the use of this information? What is the benefit? Why are we being flooded by so much information about the horrors of this world?
The answer is that the TV News broadcast is how we now understand the “reality of the world”. The tube took the place of a scripture and portraying the world as “doomed” is actually an indirect blasphemy of God. Look at the monster God has created! He must be less intelligent! Look, it’s all mess and cut, now commercial break and all of a sudden you see an ideal life- man on a super duper nice car, with elegant clothes on and with a beautiful woman on his side, everything super awesome. If you put black and white next to each other, the contrast is stronger. Similarly, juxtaposition of “horrifying reality” and the ideals pushed by the shiny “commercials” makes the “reality” look worse and commercials better. They are the hellfire and heaven of the commercial gurus.
Because every living entity oscillates towards pleasure not suffering, after a while people naturally start to think of the commercials and movies as reality worthy of shedding tears about and the sufferings of others seen on the “news” as a fantasy we should not get too much emphatic about. They don’t know that the two are intimately connected. The advertised irresponsible life of sense gratification is the very cause of the suffering we see on the evening news.
Hayagriva: Mill concludes that the existence of evil in the universe, or what he considers to be evil, pain and death, excludes the existence of an omnipotent God. He sees man in a position to aid the intentions of providence by surmounting his evil instincts. So God is not all-powerful, infinite in His power. If He were, there would be no evil, according to Mill.
Prabhupada: No. God, evil is created by God undoubtedly, but the, it was necessary on account of the human being as, misuse of his free will. God gives him good direction but when he is disobedient, then naturally the evil power is there to punish him. Therefore the evil is not created by God but still it is created. It is necessary. Just like the government constructs the prison house. So this prison house creation is not the government's intention. Government wants that university is sufficient, people may be educated and highly enlightened, but because some, not all, misuses the independence, little independence, he creates evil circumstances, and he is compulsorily put into the prison house. Similarly, we suffer on account of our own evil activities but God, being Supreme, He punishes us for our evil activities. For God there isn't... When we are under the protection of God, there is nothing evil, only good thing. There is no evil. So God does not create evil but man's evil activities obliges God to create an evil situation.
Discussion on John Stuart Mill
One can only imagine that if cannibalism was made legal, people would probably not even protest, instead they would support it as long as it’s nicely advertised. So the media and modern entertainment is another way how the citizens are made to be dull-headed and if people are dull-headed, enslaving them in mindless jobs or even world wars is just a piece of cake.
to be continued...
by Purujit Dasa
Krsna begins His explanation of true freedom, when He presents logical explanation about how we are not the bodily dress, but an eternal spirit soul:
dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
dhiras tatra na muhyati
As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.
This is not a dogma, nor blind faith. It is something very obvious which we can observe on daily basis with our very eyes. In the past I had a tiny body of a toddler, but all the material elements of that body are already gone. I am still here though. Although at the present moment I have a grown up body, my consciousness remains. From that we can understand that my consciousness is not affected by the death of the body.
nainam chindanti sastrani
nainam dahati pavakah
na cainam kledayanty apo
na sosayati marutah
acchedyo 'yam adahyo 'yam
akledyo 'sosya eva ca
nityah sarva-gatah sthanur
acalo 'yam sanatanah
The soul can never be cut into pieces by any weapon, nor can he be burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind. This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting, all-pervading, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same.
The soul is eternal and not even atom bombs can destroy it. If we understand this, no one will be able to enslave us. “Us” is the soul. The purpose of materialistic education is therefore to teach people that they have no soul. In order to see this more clearly, let us start from the very definition of what intelligence actually is. The modern psychologists for define “intelligence” as “the ability to adapt to change“. According to this definition, those who are “intelligent” should not question their perception of reality. Whatever I perceive is the truth and I should adapt to it as effectively as possible like a chameleon instead of trying to figure out whether it’s true or not. But, if I am constantly adjusting my angle of vision according to things which I’m seeing, it is impossible for me to objectively observe anything for what it truly is. Quite the opposite, adapting to things I perceive is a distraction from actually perceiving them. Just like a thief who wants to distract our attention in order to steal something from our pocket will say: look, look, over here. No here, over here look here, no here, no here! look look! No here! No here!, while he pickpockets our golden watch. The development of such a school-imposed many- branched intelligence is distracting the student from self-realization and thus robs him of his own self.
The bona fide acaryas teach that perception of things around us comes from the soul. If the soul was also changing along with the objects of his observation, how could we observe? The fact, that we can observe change means that we, the spirit soul, or consciousness are not changing. If the aim of modern education is to develop “intelligence” then whatever knowledge we gather by such intelligence serves more like an intoxicant. After drinking alcohol people loose discrimination and sometimes instead of walking into a door walk into a wall. The materialistic so-called education similarly intoxicates one with the ever-changing “facts” and makes the student a slave who is constantly entering all kinds of doors of different departments of so-called knowledge so he can forget who he is in order to become who he is not.
The ludicrous concept of “adaptation to change” has its firm base in the theory of evolution. The popular theory claims that the different species of life on earth evolve one from the other through the above mentioned adaptation process. In this way, step by step starting from primitive forms such as bacteria the species develop throughout the ages into a complex human being. Those species which can adapt to change survive and develop more sophisticated body, those who can’t, die off. Although the word evolution implies two points in time, namely the non-evolved state and the evolved state, the evolutionists provide no explanation as to what exactly is the beginning of the evolutionary cycle, nor do we get to know from them what the different species are ultimately evolving towards to, which makes it incomplete.The original and perfect science of evolution as it is however, is coming from the 5000 years old Vedas.
asitim caturas caiva laksams tan jiva-jatisu
bhramadbhih purusaih prapyam manusyam janma-paryayat
tad apy abhalatam jatah tesam atmabhimaninam
varakanam anasritya govinda-carana-dvayam
"One attains the human form of life after transmigrating through 8,400,000 species of life by the process of gradual evolution. That human form of life is spoiled for those conceited fools who do not take shelter of the lotus feet of Govinda [Krsna].''1
jalaja nava-laksani sthavara laksa-vimsati
krmayo rudra-sankhyakah paksinam dasa-laksanam
trimsal-laksani pasavah catur-laksani manusah
"There are 900,000 species of aquatic life; 2,000,000 species of plants and trees; 1,100,000 species of insects; 1,000,000 species of bird life; 3,000,000 species of beasts, and 400,000 species of human life."
Besides, these references from the Puranas, the Vedic literatures give us elaborate information about the origin of the universe and how the universe will be destroyed in the distant future.
avyaktad vyaktayah sarvah
When Brahma's day is manifest, this multitude of living entities comes into being, and at the arrival of Brahma's night they are all annihilated.
The less intelligent living entities try to remain within this material world and are accordingly elevated or degraded in the various planetary systems. During the daytime of Brahma they exhibit their activities, and at the coming of Brahma's night they are annihilated. In the day they receive various bodies for material activities, and at night these bodies perish. The individual souls remain compact in the body of Visnu and are manifest again and again at the arrival of Brahma's day. When Brahma's life is finally finished, they are all annihilated and remain unmanifest for millions and millions of years. Finally, when Brahma is born again in another millennium, they are again manifest. The activities of the different species of living entities are begun from the very moment of the creation. It is not that all is evolved. The different species of life are created immediately along with the creation. Men, animals, beasts, birds-everything is simultaneously created, because whatever desires the living entities had at the last annihilation are again manifested. We are therefore changing the different forms of bodies according to how we evolve our consciousness. It is the consciousness which evolves, not the bodies.
We say that there are different types of bodies always, just like different types of apartment. But the living entity, the soul, is transferring from one apartment to another just like we change. We are in this room, we may go to another room—but that room is already ready. But I am entering a certain type of apartment according to my means. If I can pay more rent, I can get very nice apartment. If I do not pay, I cannot pay, then that is not possible. Similarly, according to our karma, nature is offering us different apartments, and these apartments are already there, fixed up, 8,400,000 species of life. So as you make yourself fit, you enter accordingly. It is not fixed up that because you are now in a very nice apartment you cannot go down or go up. If you are fit for entering into better apartment, that is also ready. And if you are unfit for entering a better, then lower class of apartment, that is also ready. So these things are already there.
Discussion on Bertrand Russell
Darwin says that the species evolve from lower to higher and by natural selection the weaker species are extinct, but we can challenge: if it is so, why are the lower species still here?
Syamasundara: Well, according to these men like Russell, the evolution of bodies, the changes from one body to another, those are simply physical.
Prabhupada: That is nonsense. That is nonsense. That we have already discussed, that if evolution of bodies, then just like this Darwin says that some monkeys, eh? So where is the direct proof that a monkey body is changing to a human body?
Discussion on Bertrand Russell
Let’s just use common sense, monkey might resemble human, but does it mean monkey is a human? A son might resemble father, but still son is son and father is father. They have separate identities. So we have to conclude that this is most certainly a lack of discriminative powers on the side of the Evolutionist. Because the theory of evolution is so widely indoctrinated, it is of no wonder that people have difficulty understanding the science of transmigration when Krsna explains it in the Bhagavad-gita (dehino smin yatha dehe). Due to the influence of this irrational concoction of bodily evolution, instead of realizing that the soul is changing different bodies from childhood, to youthhood, to old age, in general less intelligent class of men tend to think that it is the same body, which only evolves, which by itself is a complete contradiction.
With reference to your statement that you are concerned with this life alone, I could not follow what you mean by this. In this life also, you take care of educating your children. So if the child is not educated for the next stage of life, then how do you account for the child's youth-hood age. Life is a continuation. The baby grows to become a child, the child grows to become a boy, the boy grows to become a young man, the young man becomes a middle-aged man, and the middle-aged man becomes an old man. So with which stage of life are you concerned? I shall be glad to know in which stage of life you are interested.
9 May, 1976
The lack of discrimination can be seen also in the way of how the materialistic civilization evaluates knowledge. In the modern days one who can quote from as many sources as possible, or in other words has a roundabout view is considered more intelligent than someone who might quote only from the Bhagavad-gita. Because a modern word juggler can change his conclusion swiftly from one to the other, he’s recognized as an expert, no attention however is given to what actually he is saying.
Amogha: Usually in modern education they have the idea called "well-rounded point of view." They want to take some from here, from there, from that one and that one, that one, and then think about them all, and come up with a conclusion. So he is thinking it doesn't fit with their pattern of reasoning, how we take from one source and get the proper conclusion. They think they have to get from many sources and compare.
Prabhupada: How... I can reply that if you want to know who is your father, then you will have to take the knowledge from many sources, by votes, that who is your father?
Dr. Copeland: (laughing) It's not the same thing.
Prabhupada: Now he says, "not the same." You cannot offer reason. You have to take from one source, from the mother. That's all. You cannot take votes, "Can you say who is my father?" He will say this... He'll say, "He is your father." No, it is not the way. The way is to take the information from the right source, not take the votes of rascals and fools. That is not the way. One source. Even from scientific point of view, mathematics, "two plus two equal to four," you have to take from one source. Any mathematician will say like that. Nobody will say, "No, two plus two equal to five." "No, two plus two equal to three." Nobody will say. "Two plus two equal to four," everyone will say. This is not the way of securing knowledge, from here, there... Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not approve. And our Krsna, He said, imam rajarsayo viduh, evam parampara-praptam [Bg. 4.2]. That is the recommendation. And because that source is now missing, therefore it is lost. This process of knowledge, that we take knowledge from anyone and everyone, his opinion, what is that?
Not that everyone is in knowledge, but everyone can give his opinion. That is a different thing.
Dr. Copeland: That was my point, only that. Everybody should have an opinion.
Prabhupada: Everyone has got his opinion, that is different thing. But not that everyone has got the knowledge.
Dr. Copeland: Well, that's why we come to you, for knowledge.
Prabhupada: Yes, yes.
Dr. Copeland: But I come to you for knowledge, and then I go to other people for knowledge too.
Prabhupada: That you go, but if you want real, right knowledge, then you must approach the man who knows right, not that you find out anyone and everyone and find out.
Room Conversation with Dr. Copeland, Professor of Modern Indian History -- May 20, 1975, Melbourne
In fact, no one can really explain the difference between knowledge and a belief. In this way, any fool can come, present his fanatical beliefs and if he’s a little skilful and is able to use sophisticated words, his belief will be accepted as “science”.
Prabhupada: But these rascals, they are simply placing some bogus theory without any authorized statement: "All of a sudden monkey once gave birth." And where is that authority?
Prabhupada: "Monkey gave birth to man, all of a sudden, millions of years..." Now, what is the support of your statement? Then anyone can say anything and it becomes science. You have no support. You are the first man. You are saying like this, nonsense. Where is your support? You are support of your statement? Then everyone will say, "I have got some statement, and I support. I am the support."
Room Conversation -- October 14, 1975, Johannesburg
Because our perception is always limited by the laws of material nature, it is not a specialty of a certain religious group to have a belief because everyone has some kind of belief. So far he’s not omniscient, even an atheist must believe there is no God. What distinguishes intelligence from foolishness is to discriminate between those beliefs which are nonsense and those that make a little sense. There are many different beliefs, but ultimately because I am an individual I want to make a decision which belief suits me the best and which does not. This is called freedom. This is what distinguishes me from an animal.
Prabhupada: Education means to do the right thing, not the wrong thing. That is education. Education means enlightenment, to know what is right, what is wrong. That is education…..
On the street there is sign board, "Keep to the left," or "Keep to the right." This is education. This is education. One must know how to run the car which side. Education means enlightenment. If you foolishly do something, immediately you become criminal. So education means to enlighten them to know what is right, what is wrong. That is education. But people do not know that.
Morning Walk -- January 6, 1976, Nellore
So although the theory of evolution has been elaborately supported by many scientists and there are tons of researches in this connection available, we should not be blind to the conclusion of such a theory. It is not sufficient to say that because they have done lots of study on the subject matter, it makes their conclusion automatically correct. If the conclusion is nonsense, than their research is also nonsense.
Because the Darwin’s concocted version of evolution, we have been conditioned to think that ultimately we are doomed to either be an animal, follow if we want to survive and if we don’t have a suitable body we cannot do anything about it. Materialistic knowledge therefore condemns people by indoctrinating them with the idea that thinking too deep is a waste of time.
They are gadha and they are creating gadhas. That is the song of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Jada-vidya jato mayara... It is expansion of maya's illusory energy. The so-called scientific advancement is simply expanding the influence of maya's illusory energy. They're already rascals and fools, and still they are being made rascals and fools. So they're forgetting their real purpose of life and the whole human life is spoiled. This is the result of so-called scientific advancement.
Brahmananda: Bhaktivinoda Thakura also says that the modern education makes men just like an ass.
Prabhupada: That is, I am explaining. (pause) Just like this, what is called, anthropology?
Svarupa Damodara: Astrology?
Svarupa Damodara: Dar, Darwin? Oh, naturalists.
Prabhupada: No, No. There are...
Svarupa Damodara: Oh, archaeologists?
Prabhupada: No, no. Anthropology. There's a department...
Svarupa Damodara: Anthropologists study with the skulls and...
Prabhupada: Oh, oh. This is...
Svarupa Damodara: Yes.
Prabhupada: Anthropology. It is a false theory, and upon this so many universities are spending money, professors. Thousands. Rascal theory. You see. In this way, they're wasting money. Srama eva hi kevalam [SB 1.2.8]. Avisuddha-buddhayah [SB 10.2.32].
Morning Walk -- April 20, 1973, Los Angeles
Pusta Krsna: Actually our theory, even taken as a theory, that the soul is there and enters the body, and when the soul leaves, the body is finished, it's very palatable, very palatable. Very few people argue with it. It's simply that they've been miseducated. Therefore they are cheated. They accept.
Prabhupada: Yes. That is the difficulty, that, wholesale people have been miseducated. That is our protest. And this miseducated is ruling the whole world, all rascals
Room Conversation -- October 14, 1975, Johannesburg
to be continued...
by Purujit Dasa
When we neglect to water the root of a tree, all the branches dry up. Similarly, when satisfaction of Krsna is neglected, the whole world suffers due to calamities. Politicians at this point want to blame all the natural disasters on nature or God, but we should understand that God has nothing to do with it.
oḿ pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaḿ
pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate
pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya
The complete whole Personality of Godhead is perfectly complete. And because He is completely perfect, all emanations from His energy, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped as a complete whole. Whatever is produced of the complete whole is also complete by itself. And because He is the complete whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance.
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains in the purport to this verse: “The complete whole Personality of Godhead has immense potencies, and all of them are as complete as He is. Therefore this phenomenal or material world, in which we are now placed, is also complete by itself. The twenty-four elements of which this material universe is a temporary manifestation are completely adjusted to produce complete things necessary for the mainte-nance and subsistence of this universe. No extraneous effort by any other unit is required for this maintenance.” (Iso Inv. Purport)
Krsna has created this world complete and any sort of incompleteness is only due to our incomplete understanding of how to manage it properly. For example, the world as it is now has so much free land that according to scientific calculations it could feed the whole world’s population 12 times. What we need is simply to grow grains. Instead people are working on unnecessary jobs such as advertisement, tele-marketing, entertainment, media, which are nothing, but a propaganda tool for the atheistic ideal of senseless sense gratification. Srila Prabhupada states:
Why you produce so much razor and scissor? And then find out market, and when there is competition, there is anger, there is enviousness, there is fight, one after another, one after another. Where is peace? Why do you produce so many unnecessarily? Why do you produce so many cars, when there is scarcity of power, and fight with Arabians? Anartha. Therefore it is called anartha, unnecessary. Anarthopasamam saksad bhakti-yogam adhoksaje [SB 1.7.6]. As soon as people will be devotee, they will not require unnecessary things. They will be satisfied, simply bare necessities of life. That is peaceful condition. You create unnecessary needs of life, and then there is competition, there is hellish life, the factory, and then the factory man requires wine to forget his hard labor, so on, so on. Then he become thieves. He become rogues. This is your society. How you can expect peace?
Morning Walk -- October 16, 1975, Johannesburg
Krsna has given enough food for everyone and the proof is that in some nations there is so much surplus grain that extra foodstuff is thrown into the sea, and sometimes the government even forbids further production of grain or the distribution of grain is restricted due to trade regulations and a desire for profit. Consequently in some places there is scarcity of grain and in others profuse production. In other words, instead of distributing the grains to the poor, they throw it into the sea in order to keep the price of the grains intact. This is the actual problem –not lack of resources, but lack of brain. Not overpopulation, but over-consumption.
The aim of Vedic civilization is to connect everyone with Krsna, who is the reservoir of all pleasure and who is supplying us all the necessities of life without any charge. In other words, the Vedic system is the exact opposite of the modern cult-like states, where the citizens are being slowly cut off from godly and natural way of free living in order to serve various editions of false gods in the form of bosses, politicians, businessmen, or pseudo-religionists who are all expert in selling them the stolen property of God. A good example of this cheating are the Communists. The Communists say: "You are poor, so why you are going to the church? Beg the bread from us." And when the poor men beg, they give them lots of bread. In this way the poor men become atheists. They think: "Well, we are getting bread from the Communist leaders. Why shall I go to church?" Because they are poor in knowledge, they do not know that the bread is not coming from the Communist factory. It is coming from God. The wheat is not manufactured in the factory. But they have no intelligence. They think that their Communist friend is giving them the bread.
Krsna and His various servants, sons and associates therefore come here into this world on regular basis to update the innocent masses on this valuable instruction of individual freedom and try to liberate them from the rascal self-interested politicians. The last advent of Lord Krsna on this earth some 5000 years ago for example, was summoned upon, when due to the burden of unnecessary defense force of different kings, who were actually demons, but were posing themselves as the royal order, the predominating deity of Earth came to ask Lord Brahma for relief. Krsna promises:
yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
tadatmanam srjamy aham
Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion-at that time I descend Myself.
This is the whole purpose of religion. It is the instruction of the creator on how to utilize His creation effectively for self-realization without getting implicated by exploitative personalities, or shortly demons, who suck out the vital force from a human being engaging him to fulfill their hallucinatory visions. For the politicanos, an idea of serving God directly is a threat, because in this way, their power would completely diminish. Sometimes less intelligent persons ask: if everyone was chanting Hare Krsna, how would the society go on? They do not realize that the society they live in is nothing but an unnecessary tumor of various voluntary slavery programs. Just like experimental rats, the innocent are induced to work on mind-less jobs which serve no purpose while their children are being constantly injected with a propaganda aimed to completely turn them away from the ideals of spiritual culture. If the people were educated about the real aim of life, namely to satisfy the Supreme Lord yajna-purusa, this whole voluntary slavery system would fall apart. Developing love of Krsna is the method for satisfying the source of all happiness, but the demon wants to uproot this source. If the root, God, were to be checked, the activities of the Lord and the devotees would automatically stop. The demon would be very much satisfied by such a situation in society and is always anxious to have a godless society for his sense gratification.
Demoniac leader therefore supports the production of artificial necessities such as lipsticks, cigarettes, tires, I-pods and tripods etc. which are not at all required for survival of the body. The human energy is thus spoiled and diverted from its real purpose –liberation from the laws of material nature and revival of our original loving relationship with Krsna. The question is not how will the society go on if everyone is engaged in glorifying Krsna, but how can we go on in such a foolish society devoid of Krsna any longer?
The reason why the common man remains in ignorance is because the politicanos, in order to justify their existence of illusory protectors from harm create the atmosphere of incompleteness. They say: There’s no God, no one is there to look after you, if you don’t work on a job, you will die of starvation. Krsna will not take care of you. Krsna will not supply. Don’t count on Krsna. Krsna is dead, everything is going on by accident, therefore you have to now take charge of every single aspect of the creation and save the world! You are a superman! You are God! Just work hard like an ass and work yourself up to be the master of the whole creation.
One is engaged in the material activities when he's not enlightened by knowledge. Therefore they are called mudhas. The karmis who are working for sense gratification day and night, they have been called as mudhas. Mudhas means asses. The ass works very hard, the washerman's cloth loaded on the back of the ass to the greatest extent so that he cannot move. But what does he get in exchange? A morsel of grass. That's all. He knows it, that in exchange of... "None of the cloth belongs to me; still, I am carrying so much burden, and in exchange I'll get a few pieces of grass," which is available anywhere. But he's thinking that "This washerman will supply me grass." This is ass, ass-mentality. Therefore they are called mudha.
Bhagavad-gita 4.19 -- Bombay, April 8, 1974
to be continued...
by Purujit Dasa
Why should we satisfy Krsna? Because Krsna is the proprietor of all that we are trying to enjoy. Whatever is in the state has a proprietor –the house we live in, the land upon which the house is built on, cars parked on the street, etc. The natural conclusion is therefore that the very material elements which create everything above mentioned also must belong to someone. If they do not belong to anyone, then things which we build from them also should not belong to anyone. From the Bhagavad-gita we learn that these are all Krsna’s energies:
bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh
kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankara itiyam me
bhinna prakrtir astadha
Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego-altogether these eight comprise My separated material energies.
Because these energies belong to Krsna, they should be used for Krsna’s purpose. It is not a crime if a servant enjoys the property of his master with the master’s permission, but if we use these energies unauthorized, we become thieves. For example Americans say: “This is America, my land.” But is it their land? Have their forefathers created this land? They have stolen the land from another party, namely the Red Indians and they claim it is their land now. That means they are nothing but thieves and because they have ultimately stolen he property from Krsna, they must consequently steal from each other. A thief can never give up his bad habit. For this reason we are facing so many conflicts, wars, disturbance and crimes. The disease continues despite our futile attempts to establish just, honest and peaceful society. In this connection we may mention a story, which illustrates the point. A gang of thieves, after plundering booties from some gentleman's house, came outside the village, and they wanted to divide the stolen property, when one of the thieves said, "Sir, let us divide the booty honestly." The basic principle of this gang was dishonesty, and still they wanted to divide honestly. Similarly all the rascal politicians are dishonest, and they are trying to adjust things honestly. But according to the verdict of the scriptures, there cannot be honesty in this way. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-gunah. Anyone who is not a devotee of the Lord, he cannot possess any good qualities. He must be dishonest.
The true religion is not a dry ritual. It is a practical activity which benefits the citizens materially autoimatically. Krsna explains:
annad bhavanti bhutani
yajnad bhavati parjanyo
All living bodies subsist on food grains, which are produced from rain. Rains are produced by performance of yajna [sacrifice], and yajna is born of prescribed duties.
According to the Vedas, to satisfy God, everyone’s work in the society should be aimed towards the performance of yajna, because by yajna, rain is produced. Without rain, there’s no grain and without grain there’s no food. We might be very much satisfied with our secular arrangement, but without food we will die.
Once there was a meeting of all the bodily senses, who complained, "We are working, and the stomach is sitting idly, and he is simply eating. So let us get into strike. We shall not work." So, all the hands and legs and all parts of the body decided that they will no longer work for the stomach. Gradually the hand became weak, the eye could not see, the ear could not hear. So naturally they inquired: "What is going on? We are becoming weaker and weaker." Then they understood, "It was a mistake not to supply foodstuff to the stomach. It was good for us."
Similarly, by establishing a godless civilization we cannot be happy. We want to be happy just the different bodily parts who decided to stop supplying foodstuff to the stomach, but that cannot be. If the parts of the body want to become happy, then they have to supply foodstuff to the stomach. Similarly, if you want to be happy in this world, there is no alternative without performing sacrifices. Yajna is a polite “Thank you, Krsna” for all the gifts You are giving us for free. Sun, water, foodgrains, fruits, vegetables –none of these can be manufactured by man. All these are given to us by Krsna. If someone gives us only a small gift, how much it is pleasing to us? Immediately, we feel obliged and want to reciprocate the gesture, therefore one who is giving us everything should also be given everything. Instead, the secular state gives Krsna nothing and expects everything, but everything is in chaos. For example, in several provinces in India, especially Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and other adjoining states, there is sometimes a great scarcity of foodstuffs due to lack of rainfall. So-called scientists and economists cannot do anything about this. Therefore, to solve all problems, one must seek the good will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead by becoming Krsna conscious and worshiping Him regularly in devotional service.
to be continued...
by Purujit Dasa
When we speak of state laws, they are meant to facilitate smooth running of the society and sometimes they are re-evaluated in the face of new changing circumstances. What might have been legal 100 years ago, might not be legal today and what was illegal 100 years ago, might be quite legal in present times. Times change by the law of nature and our mundane laws change accordingly. The principle of being subjected to the law of the government however remains. Similarly, the law of nature as it is designed by God remains the same in all circumstances and if we follow the laws of nature, nature will become our friend and supply all necessities. A logical conclusion is that the two, namely the state law given by the government and the law of nature given by Krsna (God) should therefore work in symbiosis for the benefit of everyone. For this reason we can find that in the by-gone ages, the Vedic scriptures besides being the source of spiritual knowledge served also as law books. Even up today, the laws of inheritance and other legalities are derived from the Manu-samhita. The brãhmanas, or in other words the intellectual class of men would study the Vedas in order to clearly understand how the natural laws of God work and the ksatriyas, the administrators would then organize the society according to their advice. In this way a perfectly natural society would function. At present times however people no longer believe that religion and state law should cross their paths and there is a great inclination to make religion a mere hobby. And it is of no wonder. There have been many false preachers in the past who in the name of religion cheated the masses and enjoyed at their expense by preaching: “Now you renounce for God’s sake and you shall be rewarded after you die.” People at present times no longer want to follow such a cheating type, time-serving religion. Instead of believing in the future happiness, they want to enjoy now even at the expanse of completely violating the established order of peaceful co-existence with other living beings. The Vedas, however, define religion (sanatana-dharma) differently and we should pay attention to this point in order to avoid misunderstanding about the purpose of the Krsna consciousness movement. Generally, the word religion conveys the idea of faith, but faith can change. One may have faith in some particular process, but he might change this faith and adopt another one. The sanatana-dharma however refers to that activity, which cannot be changed under any circumstances. For example, no one can take away the quality of liquidity from water, nor can heat be taken from fire. And similarly no one can take away the eternal function of the living entity as it exists eternally integral with the living entity. Therefore, when we speak of religion in the Vedic conception, it is applicable to everyone never mind what faith they profess.
The sanatana-dharma, or the eternal characteristic of every living being in the universe is that he wants satisfaction. This is not an imposition, it is natural. We all want to be satisfied. All we do in life is trying to satisfy ourselves and for this reason we work, construct big cities, study at universities, earn money, set up families, do charity and even help others.
The question we should ask ourselves though is that if the aim of life is to find satisfaction for myself, how can I satisfy myself if the “I” am “myself”? If “I” and “myself” is one and the same person, how can the satisfier be the satisfied as well? If I’m satisfying myself, who is it that is satisfying myself? “I” or “myself”? Isn’t this schizophrenia?
The Srimad Bhagavatam gives a more practical suggestion:
yatha hi skandha-sakhanam
evam aradhanam visnoh
sarvesam atmanas ca hi
When one pours water on the root of a tree, the trunk and branches of the tree are automatically pleased. Similarly, when one becomes a devotee of Lord Visnu, everyone is served, for the Lord is the Supersoul of everyone.
By watering the root of a tree, the whole tree is nourished without separate endeavor. Similarly by serving Krsna, everyone is satisfied including myself, who is His part and parcel. But if one pours water on the branches and leaves directly, the water stays on the outside and does not actually nourish the leaves. Similarly, our endeavor to satisfy ourselves by ourselves does not give satisfaction to our self nor others but ends up wasted on the outside to produce an illusory pleasure of the material body. We can never satisfy ourselves, because we ARE ourselves, so trying for satisfaction of the self by my self is just like one hand trying to clap itself–complete absurdity. For satisfaction we need help from other conscious being.
to be continued...
by Purujit Dasa
Krsna describes the demoniac mentality as follows:
They believe that to gratify the senses unto the end of life is the prime necessity of human civilization. Thus there is no end to their anxiety. Being bound by hundreds and thousands of desires, by lust and anger, they secure money by illegal means for sense gratification.
To some, Carvaka Muni’s suggestion that in order to enjoy sense gratification, we should even steal and not worry about consequences because we are going to die anyway might seem appealing. The problem however is that although seemingly logical in theory, such a concept is a little difficult to practice while living in a society with other people. The reason for this is that if I steal as he proposes I will be interfering with the sense gratification of someone else and most likely will get arrested too, which is exactly the opposite of what Carvaka Muni is aiming for (enjoying life). And as most of us are not yet “zen” enough to be ecstatic over being confined to the bright future in prison, the staunchly faithful atheist, who takes Carvaka Muni’s suggestions seriously, is still hard to find. There are some who find such a belief attractive though, want to experiment with it, commit crimes, go to prison and suffer. They’re the most unfortunate.
So we should not get confused by such whimsical propositions. State law is actually a mere reflection of the law of nature and this can be obvious when we try to observe the world a little bit more carefully, because everything around us has some kind of an order. The sun is rising in the morning every day, the flowers are growing each from corresponding flower seeds, parents have children, and every animal has food of his liking. So far we have no experience that the sun would, all of a sudden, arise in the evening, or that a cherry seed would produce a human being, neither do we see a tiger munching on fruits and milk. In the Vedānta-sūtra it is said, janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. The absolute truth is that from where everything emanates. The human law has therefore come from God. It might be an imitation, but the principle is the same. Just as a criminal is given prison uniform when he violates the state law, the living entity is getting a material body to suffer birth, death, old age and disease, when he violates the law of God. Being in conflict with the state law is therefore a tiny replica of our position in the large scale conflict with the law of God.
to be continued...
by Purujit Dasa
Krsna compares the soul’s situation in the material body to a person wearing a dress.
As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, similarly, the soul accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.
We might change different dresses, but we, the person, remain the same. Similarly, our body might change from childhood, to youthhood, to old age, but the soul remains unchanged. If we take a big cloth, it does not have any specific shape and therefore we can call it impersonal, but when we cut it into a coat, it reminds us of a person. Similarly, this whole material world is impersonal. But because we have taken a portion of it and utilize it as our body, it looks like a person. In reality the body has no personality; it only appears personal on account of the soul “wearing” it.
In the Bhagavad-gita, it is also mentioned that just as we may cover ourselves with a shirt and coat, the pure soul is covered by the "shirt and coat" of the subtle and gross bodies. Our bones, blood, flesh, and our different senses (like our eyes, ears, and skin) make up our gross body; and our mind, intelligence, and false ego make up our subtle body. False ego means the misconception that I am matter, that I am a product of this material world and those who do not accept the existence of the soul are victimized by such a misconception. Although a person may claim his very consciousness to be nothing but an interaction of various chemical elements, he maintains a sense of pride and takes credit for whatever he is doing. For example, if any of the modern scientists today succeeded in making life from matter and thus proved once and for all that chemicals, not God, are the source of everything, they would still hesitate to give the Nobel Prize to the chemical elements acting in the brain of a scientist responsible for such an invention. Rather the scientist would take the Prize. The position of such foolish people is described in the following verse of the Bhagavad-gita:
gunaih karmani sarvasah
kartaham iti manyate
The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried out by nature.
And yet, we can say it’s true. We are in one sense nothing but products of our material conditioning. Your decision to read this article at this very moment did not arise out of its own accord. A friend might have told you about it, or you might have bumped into it while googleing on the internet. The decision to read it did not come unconditionally out of nowhere. It is a consequence of many previous events and a result of various circumstances. While being in a bodily conception of life we are obliged by the call of nature to follow her commands, whether we like it or not and our illusory feeling of freedom, which arises due the influence of the false ego is actually the very cause of our bondage. In this way, the feeling of freedom which, as we have mentioned earlier, is the intrinsic characteristic of the spirit soul is sought on the platform of the non-eternal material body and this is symptomized by the desire to live forever in the material body. The non-believers in the soul’s existence may appear very skeptical, uncommitted, and free-thinking, but this is only a shaky fasade. Due to their strong attachment to matter, they firmly subscribe to the most irrational faith, namely they believe in the “immortality of the body.” Srila Prabhupada comments:
The definition of the mode of ignorance is stated in the Vedic literature: under the spell of ignorance, one cannot understand the thing as it is. For example, everyone can see that his grandfather has died, and therefore he will also die; man is mortal. The children that he conceives will also die. So death is sure. Still, people are madly accumulating money and working very hard all day and night, not caring for the eternal spirit. This is madness.
A great example of such a person is a demon Hiranyakasipu, who by mystic powers became the most powerful person in the whole universe. He became so proud of his powers that he even dared to challenge the authority of God Himself. But God, in His form as Lord Narashingha finished the demon in one shot, despite the demon's great strength.
As Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (10.34), mrtyuh sarva-haras caham: "I am all-devouring death." The Lord is just like death to the atheists, for He takes away everything they accumulate in the material world. Hiranyakasipu, the father of Prahlada, always denied the existence of the Lord, and he tried to kill his five-year-old boy due to the boy's unflinching faith in God. However, in due course of time the Lord appeared as Nrsimhadeva and killed Hiranyakasipu in the presence of his son. As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.13.47), this killing process is natural. Jivo jivasya jivanam: "one animal is food for another animal." A frog is eaten by a snake, a snake is eaten by a mongoose, and the mongoose is eaten by another animal. In this way the process of destruction goes on by the supreme will of the Lord. Although we do not see the hand of the Supreme Lord directly, we can feel the presence of that hand through the Lord's process of destruction. We can see the clouds scattered by the wind, although we cannot see how this is being done because it is not possible to see the wind. Similarly, although we do not directly see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we can see that He controls the process of destruction. The destructive process is going on fiercely under the control of the Lord, but the atheists cannot see it.
The process of dying starts at birth. Just like with clothing, the spirit soul utilizes a particular body and when the body wears off, the soul leaves. Life of an atheist is therefore nothing but a complete contradiction. He wants to cheat himself that death is not a problem and tries to cover all his reasoning powers with sense gratification. He’s like an ostrich which puts its head in the sand at times of danger. His sense gratification is a chloroform by which he hopes to erase the pain of death reality coming up soon. The law of nature however will not excuse him. We have to change our body whether we like it or not.
dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
dhiras tatra na muhyati
As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.
Dehinam means one who has accepted this material body. "Accepted" means we have done something by which we have been forced to accept it. Just like in the prison house, the prisoners have to wear prisoner’s dress. If you are put in jail, you have to keep your household dress aside and put on the ugly dress of a prisoner. If you protest, "No, I cannot accept this dress. I am a gentleman. I have a fancy dress. I will put on my fancy dress," you will be forced.
A good example of a chloroform philosophy of death denial is Carvaka Muni, a philosopher who preached atheism in the ancient India. He urged people to completely abandon any sort of consideration for future consequences of their actions and simply enjoy their senses to the fullest extent. The modern scientists say that after finishing this body, we don’t exist anymore and everything is finished. But this is not new. Carvaka Muni, also said lthat: bhasmi-bhutasya dehasya kutah punar agamano bhavet. Why you are worrying about next life? As soon as this body is burned into ashes, everything is finished.
Since everyone wants to enjoy nice food, Cārvāka Muni advised that one eat as much ghee as possible. One may say, "I have no money. How shall I purchase ghee?" Cārvāka Muni, however, says, "If you have no money, then beg borrow or steal, but in some way secure ghee and enjoy life." For one who further objects that he will be held accountable for such unauthorized activities as begging, borrowing and stealing, Cārvāka Muni replies, "You will not be held responsible. As soon as your body is burned to ashes after death, everything is finished."
Krsna Himself uses the example of atheistic logic in the Bhagavad-gita:
tatra ka paridevana
All created beings are unmanifest in their beginning, manifest in their interim state, and unmanifest again when they are annihilated. So what need is there for lamentation?
Here, the Lord is conveniently taking advantage of the materialistic argument in order to provoke Arjuna’s questioning abilities. If we, He argues, at least theoretically, accepted the atheistic theory of non-existence of the soul, there should be no lamentation over dying. I:n the purport to this verse, Srila Prabhupada explains:
Take, for example, a big skyscraper manifested from the earth. When it is dismantled, the manifestation becomes again unmanifested and remains as atoms in the ultimate stage. The law of conservation of energy remains, but in course of time things are manifested and unmanifested—that is the difference. Then what cause is there for lamentation either in the stage of manifestation or unmanifestation? Somehow or other, even in the unmanifested stage, things are not lost. Both at the beginning and at the end, all elements remain unmanifested, and only in the middle are they manifested, and this does not make any real material difference.
After death, the material elements which form our body during our lifetime are simply going to transform, but none of them will be lost. For example, all the water in our body will be evaporated and then through the process of nature will again turn into water, the earthly portion of the body goes to earth, the airy portion goes to air, etc. The form might change, but the energy remains. And if everything is matter and I am also matter, what will change after I die? According to the atheistic theory, nothing. Why is death a problem then?
Death is certainly a problem, because it checks the atheist’s unlawful sense gratification. For this reason, the atheists constantly try to convince themselves that death and everything else is nothing but illusion. Their attempts however remain fruitless endeavor.
The demoniac conclude that the world is phantasmagoria. There is no cause, no effect, no controller, no purpose: everything is unreal. They say that this cosmic manifestation arises due to chance material actions and reactions. They do not think that the world was created by God for a certain purpose. They have their own theory: that the world has come about in its own way and that there is no reason to believe that there is a God behind it. For them there is no difference between spirit and matter, and they do not accept the Supreme Spirit. Everything is matter only, and the whole cosmos is supposed to be a mass of ignorance. According to them, everything is void, and whatever manifestation exists is due to our ignorance in perception. They take it for granted that all manifestation of diversity is a display of ignorance. Just as in a dream we may create so many things, which actually have no existence, so when we are awake we shall see that everything is simply a dream. But factually, although the demons say that life is a dream, they are very expert in enjoying this dream. And so, instead of acquiring knowledge, they become more and more implicated in their dreamland.
to be continued...
by Purujit Dasa
Matter, although being an inferior energy acts as though being superior to the living entity and covers his consciousness on the order of Krsna. Maya daksena parakrtih su yate sa caram caram. Srila Prabhupada explains:
No one can trace out the history of his becoming conditioned at a certain date in material history. Consequently, his release from the clutches of material nature is very difficult, even though that material nature is an inferior energy, because material energy is ultimately conducted by the supreme will, which the living entity cannot overcome.
Under the influence of the inferior material energy, the interest of the soul and the Supreme Lord is divided and the soul becomes subjected to dualities.
O scion of Bharata [Arjuna], O conquerer of the foe, all living entities are born into delusion, overcome by the dualities of desire and hate.
Because the Supreme Lord is absolute and all-pervading, there can be no separate existence besides Him. Everything manifested is meant to satisfy Krsna’s transcendental senses and this is the purpose of creation. If the minute soul wants to do anything other that this, he sees duality.
The dualities of the material world such as good/bad, happiness/suffering, etc. therefore stem from this original split of interests between the minute soul and the Lord. Consequently, things which support the rebellious soul’s illusion of being the Lord or purusha (enjoyer) he calls “good” and things which interfere with this illusion he calls “bad”.
The minute soul’s desire to become God reminds us of a foolish child asking his father to give him a car to drive. After persistent nagging from the child, the father gives him a toy car so he can enjoy the illusion of being a "driver". The child can never have a full pleasure of driving a real car by playing with a toy car. However, due to strong desire to be just like his father he goes on with the play nevertheless and is satisfied. Similarly, the stubborn conditioned soul, although unable to enjoy matter, foolishly goes on with the attempt life after life and thus travels through many different bodies, which the Lord creates according to the minute soul’s various desires. This is called cycle of birth and death or samsara.
hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati
The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.
to be continued...
by Purujit Dasa
Bewildered by false ego, strength, pride, lust and anger, the demon becomes envious of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is situated in his own body and in the bodies of others, and blasphemes against the real religion.
This verse describes our original fall down. The rebellious living entity is envious of the Lord, and because he tries to become the Lord he simultaneously desires to extinguish his own self, which is an eternal part and parcel of God and which eternally reminds him of his subordinate position. In the Bhagavad-gita, however Lord Krsna explains that this is not possible. We cannot change the soul’s constitution under any circumstance. If we changed the soul’s constitution it would loose its eternity, or stability. He says:
This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting, all-pervading, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same.
But although the individual minute soul is not able to merge with Krsna, who is ever-full in Himself, directly, Krsna makes it possible for him to merge with Him indirectly, namely He allows the living entity to merge with His inferior energy- matter. Despite the false propaganda of the Mayavadi philosophers, the living entity however never looses his original individuality completely. This can be explained in the following way. At death, the body is transformed into earth. The body while being alive already contains earth, so in that sense it is already earth, yet the body appears distinct from the mass of earth on account of the presence of the soul, who on account of his various individual desires creates varieties of bodily forms by his karma. The soul never mixes with the earth or any other material element. And if the soul does not even merge with anything in the material sense, why would it merge in the spiritual sense at the time of liberation as suggested by the Mayavadis? So when we say it merges, it is just like a green bird entering a green tree. After the bird enters the tree, we might not see separate existence of the bird, but that does not mean that the bird’s existence is finished. He exists separately from the tree although merged in the sense of the color.
to be continued...
by Purujit Dasa
In the Bhagavad-gita, Lord Sri Krsna says:
The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.
Because they are eternal, the parts and parcels of Krsna can never become Krsna, neither can Krsna become His part and parcel. This is a fundamental understanding. Such relationship continues eternally:
na tv evaham jatu nasam
na tvam neme janadhipah
na caiva na bhavisyamah
sarve vayam atah param
Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.
Both the Supreme Soul Krsna and the minute soul, the living entity have the unique ability to transcend matter and this is called freedom. In the transcendental atmosphere of the spiritual abode material limitations as we experience in this conditioned world are conspicuous by their absence. As opposed to the material world where at every moment we are being checked by miseries imposed on us by the mind, nature and other living entities, everything in the spiritual world floats on freedom. For this reason, it is always possible for the minute spiritual living entity to leave the spiritual world and thus come under the influence of Krsna’s lower material energy. Besides transcending matter, freedom also means a choice to loose it and for this reason, there is no barrier to check us from choosing the binding miserable existence in the material world.
The idea of leaving arises, when the minute soul becomes dissatisfied with the eternal reality of his constitutional position of being the minute part of the Supreme Lord and when he naively tries to overtake Krsna’s eternally supreme position. As opposed to the material world, where the living entities are always in need of remuneration for the pseudo-love they offer to others, our original relationship with the Lord is purely unconditional and therefore devoid of any kind of expectation of reward in exchange for our service to Him. A pure devotee, due to his perfect self-realization is fully satisfied within himself and thus being a complete part of all-blissful Krsna his only pleasure is to serve the Lord. Similarly, the Lord being the reservoir of all-pleasure is also not in need of anything and therefore feels more pleasure by serving His devotee rather than actually receiving service from the devotee. When the living entity foolishly desires to cut such eternal and harmonious relationship and wants to become Krsna Himself, the Lord, who is always ready to satisfy His devotee, fulfills such a wish in the most genius way by giving him illusion, or maya (that which is not), which makes the living entity believe that he has indeed become the Lord. Krsna does this in order to preserve the principle of freedom reigning in the spiritual world. In this connection His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada remarks in his commentary on the 7th Chapter, 21st verse of the Bhagavad-gita:
Some may ask why the all-powerful God gives facilities to the living entities for enjoying this material world and so lets them fall into the trap of the illusory energy. The answer is that if the Supreme Lord as Supersoul does not give such facilities, then there is no meaning to independence.
Bg 7.21 purport
The various misconceptions of the “self” that are known in today’s society form various manifestations of the illusion Lord Krsna has expertly manufactured for our whimsical satisfaction.
to be continued...
by His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
A living entity too much absorbed in material activity becomes very much attracted to the material body. Even at the point of death, he thinks of his present body and the relatives connected to it. Thus he remains fully absorbed in the bodily conception of life, so much so that even at the point of death he abhors leaving his present body. Sometimes it is found that a person on the verge of death remains in a coma for many days before giving up the body. This is common among so-called leaders and politicians who think that without their presence the entire country and all society will be in chaos. This is called maya. Political leaders do not like to leave their political posts, and they either have to be shot by an enemy or obliged to leave by the arrival of death. By superior arrangement a living entity is offered another body, but because of his attraction to the present body, he does not like to transfer himself to another body. Thus he is forced to accept another body by the laws of nature.
gunaih karmani sarvasah
kartaham iti manyate
"The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by nature." (Bg. 3.27)
Material nature is very strong, and the material modes force one to accept another body. This force is visible when the living entity transmigrates from a superior body to an inferior one. One who acts like a dog or hog in the present body will certainly be forced to accept the body of a dog or hog in the next life. A person may be enjoying the body of a prime minister or a president, but when he understands that he will be forced to accept the body of a dog or hog, he chooses not to leave the present body. Therefore he lies in a coma many days before death. This has been experienced by many politicians at the time of death. The conclusion is that the next body is already determined by superior control. The living entity immediately gives up the present body and enters another. Sometimes in the present body the living entity feels that many of his desires and imaginations are not fulfilled. Those who are overly attracted to their life situation are forced to remain in a ghostly body and are not allowed to accept another gross body. Even in the body of a ghost, they create disturbances for neighbors and relatives. The mind is the prime cause of such a situation. According to one's mind, different types of bodies are generated, and one is forced to accept them. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (8.6):
yam yam vapi smaran bhavam
tyajaty ante kalevaram
tam tam evaiti kaunteya
"Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail." Within one's body and mind, one can think as either a dog or a god, and the next life is offered to him accordingly. This is explained in Bhagavad-gita (13.22):
purusah prakrti-stho hi
bhunkte prakrtijan gunan
karanam guna-sango 'sya
"The living entity in material nature thus follows the ways of life, enjoying the three modes of nature. This is due to his association with that material nature. Thus he meets with good and evil among various species." The living entity may transmigrate to either a superior or inferior body according to his association with the modes of material nature. If he associates with the mode of ignorance, he gets the body of an animal or an inferior man, but if he associates with the mode of goodness or passion, he gets a body accordingly. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (14.18):
urdhvam gacchanti sattva-stha
madhye tisthanti rajasah
adho gacchanti tamasah
"Those situated in the mode of goodness gradually go upward to the higher planets; those in the mode of passion live on the earthly planets; and those in the mode of ignorance go down to the hellish worlds."
The root cause of one's association is the mind. This great Krsna consciousness movement is the greatest boon to human society because it is teaching everyone to think always of Krsna by executing devotional service. In this way, at the end of life, one may be transferred to the association of Krsna. This is technically called nitya-lila-pravista, entering into the planet Goloka Vrndavana. Bhagavad-gita (18.55) explains:
bhaktya mam abhijanati
yavan yas casmi tattvatah
tato mam tattvato jnatva
"One can understand the Supreme Personality as He is only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of the Supreme Lord by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God." After the mind is completely absorbed in Krsna consciousness, one can enter the planet known as Goloka Vrndavana. To enter the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one has to understand Krsna. The process of understanding Krsna is devotional service.
After understanding Krsna as He is, one can become eligible to enter Krsnaloka and associate with Him. The mind is the cause of such an exalted position. The mind can also get one a body like those of dogs and hogs. To absorb the mind always in Krsna consciousness is therefore the greatest perfection of human life.
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Let us begin tracing the evolutionary process from the point of devastation (pralaya), when the whole universe is filled with water. At that time there are many fishes and other aquatics, and from these aquatics evolve creepers, trees, etc. From these, insects and reptiles evolve, and from them birds, beasts and then human beings and finally civilized human beings. Now, the civilized human being is at a junction where he can make further evolutionary progress in spiritual life. Here it is stated (sva-dharma-nisthah) that when a living entity comes to a civilized form of life, there must be sva-dharma, social divisions according to one's work and qualifications. This is indicated in Bhagavad-gita (4.13):
catur-varnyam maya srstam
"According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me."
In civilized human society there must be the divisions of brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya and sudra, and everyone must properly execute his occupational duty in accordance with his division. Here it is described (svadharma-nisthah) that it does not matter whether one is a brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya or sudra. If one sticks to his position and properly executes his particular duty, he is considered a civilized human being. Otherwise he is no better than an animal. It is also mentioned herein that whoever executes his occupational duty (sva-dharma) for one hundred births (for instance, if a brahmana continues to act as a brahmana) becomes eligible for promotion to Brahmaloka, the planet where Lord Brahma lives. There is also a planet called Sivaloka, or Sadasivaloka, which is situated in a marginal position between the spiritual and material worlds. If, after being situated in Brahmaloka, one becomes more qualified, he is promoted to Sadasivaloka. Similarly, when one becomes even more qualified, he can attain the Vaikunthalokas. The Vaikunthalokas are targets for everyone, even the demigods, and they can be attained by a devotee who has no desire for material benefit. As indicated in Bhagavad-gita (8.16), one does not escape material miseries even if he is elevated to Brahmaloka (abrahma-bhuvanal lokah punar avartino 'rjuna). Similarly, one is not very safe even if he is promoted to Sivaloka, because the planet of Sivaloka is marginal. However, if one attains Vaikunthaloka, he attains the highest perfection of life and the end of the evolutionary process (mam upetya tu kaunteya punar janma na vidyate). In other words, it is confirmed herein that a person in human society who has developed consciousness must take to Krsna consciousness in order to be promoted to Vaikunthaloka or Krsnaloka immediately after leaving the body. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so 'rjuna (Bg. 4.9). A devotee who is fully in Krsna consciousness, who is not attracted by any other loka, or planet, including Brahmaloka and Sivaloka, is immediately transferred to Krsnaloka (mam eti). That is the highest perfection of life and the perfection of the evolutionary process.
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
When one becomes an invalid, his senses and organs are weakened. In other words, they are no longer under one's control. The senses and sense objects then begin to oppose him. When a person is in a distressed condition, even his family members -- his sons, grandsons and wife -- become disrespectful. They no longer are under the command of the master of the house. Just as we wish to use our senses for sense gratification, the senses also require strength from the body in reciprocation. A man keeps a family for enjoyment, and similarly family members demand enjoyment from the head of the family. When they do not receive sufficient money from him, they grow disinterested and ignore his commands or desires. This is all due to one's being a krpana (miser). This word krpana, used in the sixth verse, is in opposition to the word brahmana. In the human form of life one should become a brahmana, which means that one should understand the constitutional position of the Absolute Truth, Brahman, and then engage in His service as a Vaisnava. We get this facility in the human form of life, but if we do not properly utilize this opportunity, we become a krpana, miser. A miser is one who gets money but does not spend it properly. This human form of life is especially meant for understanding Brahman, for becoming a brahmana, and if we do not utilize it properly, we remain a krpana. We can actually see that when one has money but does not spend it, he remains a miser and is never happy. Similarly, when one's intelligence is spoiled due to sense gratification, he remains a miser throughout his life.
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
This movement is giving human society information about the kingdom of God. There is God, there is Krsna, and everyone can return to God and live eternally in bliss and knowledge. A Krsna conscious person is not afraid of giving up the body because his position is always eternal. A Krsna conscious person engages in the transcendental loving service of the Lord eternally; therefore as long as he lives within the body, he is happy to engage in the loving service of the Lord, and when he gives up the body, he is also permanently situated in the service of the Lord. The saintly devotees are always free and liberated, whereas the karmis, who have no knowledge of spiritual life or the transcendental loving service of the Lord, are very much afraid of giving up the rotten material body.
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
For human society, constantly thinking of how to earn money and apply it for sense gratification brings about the destruction of everyone's interests. When one becomes devoid of knowledge and devotional service, he enters into species of life like those of trees and stones.
Jnana, or knowledge, means to understand one's constitutional position, and vijnana refers to practical application of that knowledge in life. In the human form of life, one should come to the position of jnana and vijnana, but despite this great opportunity if one does not develop knowledge and practical application of knowledge through the help of a spiritual master and the sastras -- in other words, if one misuses this opportunity -- then in the next life he is sure to be born in a species of nonmoving living entities. Nonmoving living entities include hills, mountains, trees, plants, etc. This stage of life is called punyatam or mukhyatam, namely, making all activities zero. Philosophers who support stopping all activities are called sunyavadi. By nature's own way, our activities are to be gradually diverted to devotional service. But there are philosophers who, instead of purifying their activities, try to make everything zero, or void of all activities. This lack of activity is represented by the trees and the hills. This is a kind of punishment inflicted by the laws of nature. If we do not properly execute our mission of life in self-realization, nature's punishment will render us inactive by putting us in the form of trees and hills. Therefore activities directed toward sense gratification are condemned herein. One who is constantly thinking of activities to earn money and gratify the senses is following a path which is suicidal. Factually all human society is following this path. Some way or other, people are determined to earn money or get money by begging, borrowing or stealing and applying that for sense gratification. Such a civilization is the greatest obstacle in the path of self-realization.
Hayagriva: The belief in the creation of the soul. The soul is created, and that the body is a gift. And he also rejects, on the basis of this, he rejects reincarnation. He writes, "Let these Platonists..." Because Plato believed in it, reincarnation. "Let these Platonists stop threatening us with reincarnation as a punishment for our souls. Reincarnation is ridiculous. There is no such thing as a return to this life for the punishment of souls. If our creation, even as mortals, is due to God..."
Prabhupada: Punishment of the soul? What is that return?
Hayagriva: He says, "There is no such thing as a return to this life for the punishment of souls." And the reason he gives, he says, "If our..."
Prabhupada: Soul is life. What does it mean, "returning to the life"?
Hayagriva: He believes there is no reincarnation as punishment. Reincarnation is envisioned as a kind of a punishment. To have to take birth again is a type of punishment, and Augustine rejects this, saying that how can the return to bodies, which are gifts of God, be punishment? He doesn't see how that this is a form of...
Prabhupada: But does he think that the body of a hog and the body of similar lower creatures eating stool and living in filthy place, is it not punishment? Does he think like that? Why one gets the body of King Indra or Lord Brahma and why one gets the body of a pig and hog, and living in filthy place and eating stool? Is it not punishment and reward?
Hayagriva: Well, he would say that, um...
Prabhupada: How he explains the body of a pig eating stool?
Hayagriva: I've been putting this off. He wouldn't agree that man could be reincarnated as an animal.
Prabhupada: Why, why he will not agree? If a body is a gift by God, then body can be a punishment also by God.
Prabhupada: This is reasonable. When he is punished, he gets the body of a pig. When he is rewarded, he gets the body of King Indra. So that is punishment and reward.
Hayagriva: What about the body of a man? Is that punishment or gift?
Prabhupada: Man, man, there are many men who are very well situated and there are many men who are suffering. So two things are there according, suffering and enjoyment, according to the body. So this has been explained in the Bhagavad-gita, matra-sparsas tu kaunteya sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah [Bg. 2.14]. According to the body the heat and, what is called, cold? Heat or cold?
Prabhupada: Sita usna. That is perceived. An old man perceives very much cold, and a young child, he does not perceive -- according to the body. An animal, naked body, he can walk on the street in severe cold, but a man cannot. So this body is the source of suffering and enjoying. So why not take it as punishment and reward?
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Anyone who knows that this material body, made of the five gross elements, the sense organs, the working senses and the mind, is simply supervised by the fixed soul is eligible to be liberated from material bondage.
This verse describes how one can become liberated from material bondage. The first point is that one must know that the soul is different from his body. The soul is called dehi, or one who possesses the body, and the material body is called deha, or the embodiment of the soul. The body is changing at every moment, but the soul is fixed; therefore the soul is called kuta-stham. The change of body is enacted by the reactions of the three modes of nature. One who has understood the fixed position of the soul should not be disturbed by the incoming and outgoing interactions of the modes of material nature in the form of happiness and distress. In Bhagavad-gita also, Lord Krsna recommends that since happiness and distress come and go due to the interaction of the modes of nature on the body, one should not be disturbed by such external movements. Even though one is sometimes absorbed in such external movements, he has to learn to tolerate them. The living entity should be always indifferent to the action and reaction of the external body.
Lord Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita that the body, made of the gross physical elements (earth, water, fire, air and sky) and the subtle elements (mind, intelligence and ego), is completely different from the soul proper. One should therefore not be disturbed by the action and reaction of these eight gross and subtle material elements. The practical process to attain this stage of indifference is to execute devotional service. Only one who constantly engages in devotional service twenty-four hours a day can be indifferent to the action and reaction of the external body. When a man is absorbed in a particular thought, he does not hear or see any external activities, even though they are enacted in his presence. Similarly, those who are fully absorbed in devotional service do not care what is going on with the external body. That status is called samadhi. One who is actually situated in samadhi is understood to be a first-class yogi.
The question may be raised that if the living entity has to act as the superintendent of the activities of the bodily combination, then how can he be indifferent to the activities of the body? The answer is given here: these activities are completely different from the activities of the spirit soul of the living entity. A crude example can be given in this connection. A businessman riding in a motorcar sits in the car, supervises its running and advises the driver. He knows how much gasoline is used up, and he knows everything about the car, but still he is apart from the car and is more concerned with his business. Even while riding in the car, he thinks of his business and his office. He has no connection with the car, although he is sitting there. As the businessman is always absorbed in thoughts of his business, so the living entity can be absorbed in thoughts of rendering loving service to the Lord. Then it will be possible to remain separate from the activities of the material body. This position of neutrality can be possible only for a devotee.
The word baddha-sauhrdah -- "bound in friendship" -- is particularly used here. Karmis, jnanis and yogis cannot be bound in devotional service. Karmis fully engage in the activities of the body. Their aim of life is to give comfort to the body only. Jnanis try to get out of entanglement by philosophical speculation, but they have no standing in the liberated position. Because they do not take shelter under the lotus feet of the Lord, they fall down from the exalted position of Brahman realization. Yogis also have a bodily concept of life -- they think that they can achieve something spiritual by exercising the body through dharana, asana, pranayama, etc. A devotee's position is always transcendental because of his intimate relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, to remain always aloof from the actions and reactions of the body and engage in one's real occupation, namely rendering service to the Lord, can be possible only for devotees.
One has to execute the order of Lord Visnu, whether receiving it directly from Him or from His bona fide representative, the spiritual master. Arjuna fought the Battle of Kuruksetra under the direct order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. Similarly, here Prthu Maharaja is also being given orders by Lord Visnu regarding the execution of his duty. We have to stick to the principles stated in the Bhagavad-gita. Vyavasayatmika buddhih: every man's duty is to receive orders from Lord Krsna or from His bona fide representative and take these orders as his life and soul, without personal considerations. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura states that one should not care very much whether he is going to be liberated or not, but he should simply execute the direct order received from the spiritual master. If one sticks to the principle of abiding by the order of the spiritual master, he will always remain in a liberated position. A common man must execute the rules and regulations of varnasrama-dharma by working in his prescribed duty according to the caste system (brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya and sudra) and the spiritual-order system (brahmacarya, grhastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa). If one simply executes regularly and strictly the injunctions given for the different divisions of life, then one satisfies Lord Visnu.
As a king, Prthu Maharaja was ordered by Lord Visnu to keep himself always aloof from the activities of the bodily situation and to engage always in the service of the Lord and thus keep himself in the liberated stage. The word baddha-sauhrdah in the previous verse is explained herewith. One can fully remain in intimate connection with the Supreme Lord directly or receive orders from His bona fide representative the spiritual master and execute the orders sincerely when one keeps aloof from the activities of the body. The Lord helps us by giving us directions how to act in devotional service and thus advance on the path back home, back to Godhead. He instructs us outwardly in the form of the spiritual master. Therefore, one should not accept the spiritual master as an ordinary human being. The Lord says, acaryam mam vijaniyan nava-manyeta karhicit: one should not treat the spiritual master as an ordinary human being, for he is the substitute for the Supreme Personality of Godhead (SB 11.17.27). One should treat the spiritual master as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and never be envious of him or consider him to be an ordinary human being. If we follow the instruction of the spiritual master and execute devotional service to the Lord, we will remain always free from the contamination of bodily and material activities, and our life will be successful.