Bhagavata Dharma Discourses

Srila Prabhupada at New Vrindavan West Virginia

Srila Prabhupada at New Vrindavan West Virginia

Continuning with our “Bhagavata Dharma Discourses” series given at New Vrindavan, 1972.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Lecture
Given by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto One, Chapter 2, Text 8
New Vrindaban, September 6, 1972

Devotee: (leads chanting, etc., with Śrīla Prabhupāda responding with devotees)

dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ
viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ
notpādayed yadi ratiṁ
śrama eva hi kevalam
[SB 1.2.8]

Prabhupāda: That’s all. So dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsām. In the human society, there is always some kinds of religious institution. That is called dharma, faith. Real dharma means—that I have already explained—occupational duty. Constitutional duty, that is called dharma, functional duty. So real dharma, real religion is to become servant of God, or to render service to God. That is real religion. But we have manufactured so many religions. Different societies, different circumstances, different country. Therefore it is advised herewith that you may execute any kind of religious faith or [break] …principle, but the result should be [break] …perfect. You can say, “I am very perfectly executing the ritualistic ceremonies, and the tenets described in my scripture, Bible or Veda or Koran.” That’s very good. But what is the result? The result is that you must develop or increase your tendency to hear about God. But if your ultimate truth is impersonal Mostly they consider God has no form. Then if God has no form then what he’ll hear about Him. Simply formless, formless, formless. How can you, how long you can go thinking like this, “God is formless”? If God is formless, then your idea of hearing about Him is finished, because formless, there is nothing, activities.

But actually God is not formless. Several times I have explained. God has got His form. (aside:) What is that sound? He is person. He has got His activities. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, janma karma, ajo ‘pi sann avyayātmā bhūtānām īśvaro ‘pi san. Although He is aja, nobody has to die, aja. Aja means birth. Nobody takes birth. Either the living entity or God, na jāyate na mriyate. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that the living entities, we are all living entities, na jāyate, they do not take birth, neither they do die. Na jāyate na mriyate vā kadācit, at any time. Then what is this death and birth? The death and birth is simply change of the body. The subtle body and the gross body.

Just like every night we die. The gross body remains inactive on the bed, and the subtle body takes me away. I dream, I go in the dreamland. I have gone to some friend, I am talking with somebody, I am working in a different way. That is our daily experience. This means that we have got two kinds of body. One body is this gross body, and the other body is subtle body, made of mind, intelligence, and ego. So foolish person, they do not see the subtle body, but the subtle body is there. Everyone will accept. I am working with my mind, intelligence and ego. Everyone knows. So although we cannot see the subtle body, it is there. So death means this gross body, this overcoat is left, and I am carried away by the subtle body, and I enter into another overcoat, or gross body. So practically this is called death. Because we have no vision of the subtle body, how the soul is being transferred or transmigrating from one gross body to another gross body, keeping the subtle body intact. And the subtle body is given up when one is liberated. And at that time he goes, when he is liberated, freed from this subtle body also, at that time he is promoted to the spiritual kingdom in spiritual body. Therefore while living in this gross body, we have to educate our subtle body in such a way that it becomes spiritualized completely.
The subtle body is mind, intelligence and ego. So if we think of Kṛṣṇa in the mind, always, and if we work intelligently for Kṛṣṇa, that is mind and intelligence. And if we change our false ego, ego means, “I am.” So I am at the present moment thinking, “I am American,” “I am Indian,” “I am white,” “I am black,” like that. “I am human being,” “I am animal,” “I am cat or dog,” so many things, “I am.” This “I am” has to be changed. I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa. In this way, if you educate or transfer the activities of the subtle body, mind, intelligence, and ego, then, at the time of death, you give up this subtle body, material subtle body, mind, intelligence, and ego, and by your spiritual body you go back to home, back to Godhead. This is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Gross body, automatically we give up. Now, we should practice to give up the subtle body. To give up this subtle body, one has to develop love for God, prema. And the process is, how to give up the subtle body.

Ādau śraddhā, first of all śraddhā. Śraddhā means a faith or some respect. Actually it means respect. Just like you have come here out of faith and respect. So here they’re talking about God. There is temple of God, let us go there. This is faith and respect. Ādau śraddhā. This is the beginning. Now, after coming here, when you hear about God, because we, our only business is, we don’t talk here politics or sociology or anything. That comes automatically as subordinate things, but our business is to talk about God. So those who talks about God, they are called saintly person. There are two kinds of men within this world. Materialistic person and transcendentalist, or man interested in spiritualism. So those who are interested in spiritual life, they talk of self-realization. And those who are materialistic person, they also talk. They talk about this body, how to keep this body nicely. There are politics, sociology, welfare activities, so many things, all concerning to the body. So there are many talks, just like in the newspaper. In your country especially, bunch of newspaper. So many talks, advertisement, fashion, this news, that news, full up. So the materialistic person, they read the newspaper, but we read Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. That is the difference. We are also reading. They are also reading. So nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ, śrotavyādīni rājendra nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ [SB 2.1.2]. Śukadeva Gosvāmī said to Parīkṣit Mahārāja, “My dear king, there are many hundreds and thousands of topics for the materialistic person.” Sahasraśaḥ. Sahasraśaḥ means thousands, and that is a fact. So many novels, so many fiction, so many so-called philosophy, newspaper, cinema paper, this paper, that paper, so many. Sahasraśaḥ.

śrotavyādīni rājendra
nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ
apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ
gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām
[SB 2.1.2]

Apaśyatām ātma-tattvam. Because they do not know, they have no information of the soul, they are talking about this body. Or sometimes about this mind. Philosophical speculation, concoction. One philosophy is theorizing something, another philosopher is theorizing something. Lots of literature. All nonsense, because it is mental speculation. I speculate in one way, you speculate in another way. You refute me, I refute you. So therefore, these talks of the body and talks of the mind, there are varieties. Nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ apaśyatām ātma-tattvam [SB 2.1.2]. Why they are engaged in so many talks? Because they do not know, apaśyatām. They have no vision of the soul, ātma-tattva. Gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām. Gṛhamedhī, those interested simply to maintain this body, they are called gṛhamedhī.

Generally, atheist class, they have no interest in God. The atheist class long, long ago, thousands of years ago, there was atheist also. Because there are two classes of men always within this world, atheist and theist, asura and deva, devatā. So not that atheist class men have developed at the present moment. It may be the number has increased, but atheist class of men were long, long ago also. There was Carvaka Muni, he was also called muni. Muni means mental speculator, or thoughtful. So this Carvaka Muni, he also presented his philosophy, atheism, that ṛṇāṁ kṛtvā ghṛtaṁ yāvaj jīvet sukhaṁ jīvet. So long you live, you live very joyfully by enjoying your senses. This is atheistic principle. And in India the sense enjoyment principle is based on ghee, clarified butter, because if they get butter, they prepare so many nice preparations. You have also learned how to do it. (laughter) In India there are varieties. If you sometimes go to India… In Delhi there are shops, many varieties of foodstuffs, all from grains and fruits, that’s all. Grain, fruits, ghee, sugar, and salt. Varieties, hundreds. So eating, sleeping, the basic principle is eating, sleeping, mating. So Carvaka Muni says that “Live very joyfully, and eat very nicely, enjoy your senses, finish your life. That is atheism. Apaśyatām ātma-tattvam [SB 2.1.2]. They have no vision that there is soul.

The soul is migrating, transmigrating. There are 8,400,000 species of bodies; and you are transmigrating from one to another, another, another, in this way. They don’t care for it. Even if you are Hindu… [break] …he is informed, that if you are acting like this you are going to be a tree next life, “Oh, it doesn’t matter, let me enjoy.” You see. They say frankly, “If I become tree what is the harm? I shall forget.” The people have become so rubbish that they have lost their self-interest. Just like if you say to a child that “You are always playing, you are not going to school, you are not becoming educated, you will suffer in your future life, you will have no position in the society.” But if he says, “I do not care…” He may say that, but the risk is there. Similarly the modern human being, you inform him about the transmigration of the soul, and by his activities he is supposed to become next life very low grade animal, or aquatics, or reptiles. So if they are informed, if they do not care, that is not very good intelligence. This is a fact.

Just like, in my, this life, I can experience. In each stage of my life, I have my past, present and future. You are all young boys. You had your past, as a child, as a boy. Now you are young, and your future is also there as old, as I have become old. So in any stage of life, there is past, present, and future. So why not, I am old man, so when I shall die, why there is no future? There must be future. I had my past, I am at present, and there must be future also. The future is that I must get another body. That body may be of animal or trees or demigod or God. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, yānti deva-vratā devān pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ [Bg. 9.25]. You can prepare yourself for your next body. So ultimate goal is to get a body in the kingdom of God. That is—saṁsiddhiṁ paramaṁ gataḥ—that is highest perfection. You can get a body next in, as a human being in the rich man’s family, or as a king, or as a leader, or as a cat, as a dog, as a tree. That will depend on your work. Similarly you can get your next body as associates of God, Kṛṣṇa. That is stated, that you can have, mad-yājino ‘pi yānti mām [Bg. 9.25]. “Those who are My devotees, they come to Me,” Kṛṣṇa says.

And what is the benefit of going to Kṛṣṇa? Mām upetya kaunteya duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam nāpnuvanti [Bg. 8.15]. “If someone comes to Me, then he does not get any more this material body to come to this material world.” What is the harm if I come to the material world? That duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam [Bg. 8.15]. This material world is full of miseries, and that also temporary. Even if you accept that I shall adjust my miserable condition of life, but still nature will not allow you to live there. You may think that “We are Americans, we have got enough money, vast land, resources, I shall live as American.” But you can live as American, say for fifty years. You’ll not be allowed to live as American or as Indian or this or that. Even as Brahmā you will be not allowed. Brahmā has got his one day millions of years. He will also not be allowed. The ant will not be allowed, a cat will not be allowed, an elephant will not be allowed, a man will not be allowed, a demigod will not be allowed—to live forever. Hiraṇyakaśipu tried to live forever. He underwent severe penances to become immortal. It was not possible. That is not. Of course, the lunatic scientist says that “By scientific advancement we shall become immortal.” They are lunatic. It is not possible. Because in the past there is no such incident, so in the present there is no such incident, how you can expect in the future such incident? That is not possible.

Therefore, intelligent persons, they should try to get the ultimate transmigration. Ultimate transmigration means go back to home, back to Godhead. That should be the actual aim of life. That is first class intelligent. But they do not know. Therefore we are trying to render our humble service to the human society, to give this information, that “You are trying for so many things for becoming happy, but instead of being happy, you are becoming hippie. So please take this Kṛṣṇa consciousness and actually you will be happy.” That is our mission. That is our mission. Therefore the Bhāgavata says to this hu…, civilized human being, those who have got some religious principle, church, religious institution, that “You are executing your religious principles very nicely, that’s all right. But if you do not develop the propensity for hearing about God…”

Just like we have got this temple. We are worshiping Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Deity. That’s all right. But side by side we must develop to hear about Kṛṣṇa. Otherwise it will be finished after a few days. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam [SB 7.5.23]. As soon as there will be no interest for hearing about God, all these churches and temples and mosques will be finished. In the Christian world that is happening, not only Christian, in other also. They are selling churches. Nobody is going to church, because simply officially going on Sunday without any enlightenment, without any understanding about God, how long it will be prolonged? It cannot be prolonged. People will be disinterested, and they will not go. Actually it is happening. There are so many churches, nobody is going. In London, I have seen. In your country also, there are so many churches vacant. We have purchased so many churches. In Los Angeles we have purchased that church. When it was running as a church, it was a deserted (indistinct). Since we have taken that, every night, every day, hundreds of people are gathering like this, because there is words of Kṛṣṇa. And people are hearing about Kṛṣṇa. Viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ. So you can have your churches, temple or mosque, but if you do not develop your tendency to hear about God, then it will not be successful, śrama eva hi kevalam. Śrama eva hi kevalam.

Dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ. Dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ notpādayed yadi ratim [SB 1.2.8], by going daily to the temple, or to the church, or to the mosque, or anywhere, any religious building or institution, if you do not develop your propensity to hear about God, then you have wasted your time. Śrama eva hi kevalam. Going and coming, it is simply labor, that’s all. So that is the test. Therefore either in temple, or in church, in mosque there must be regular recitation on the talks of God. Otherwise people will lose interest, and the churches and temples have to be closed.

So that talks of God is here in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, because our God is not impersonal, void. No. He is the Supreme Person, Kṛṣṇa. You can see personally how He’s standing, how He’s enjoying with His eternal consort, lover, Śrīmate Rādhārāṇī. Here is God, actually God is not engaged in punishing somebody, original God. God is engaged in enjoying with His eternal consort, Śrīmate Rādhārāṇī. This Śrīmate Rādhārāṇī is enchanting Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa is enchanting Rādhārāṇī. This is the business of God. Duhe (indistinct) lage hari (?). In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said that when Kṛṣṇa comes before Rādhārāṇī, She becomes so much engladdened by seeing the beauty of Kṛṣṇa that She becomes more beautiful, and as soon as Rādhārāṇī becomes beautiful, Kṛṣṇa becomes engladdened and He becomes more beautiful. So unlimitedly there is competition of becoming more beautiful, duhe lage hurai (?). That is the state. Competition. Because in the spiritual world everything is unlimited. So unlimitedly both of them becoming beautiful and both of them enjoying unlimitedly.

So similarly, if we develop our propensity to hear about God and His activities, with His cowherd boys friend, with His girlfriends, gopīs, with His mother, with His father, with His teacher, so many! Everything is imitation, perverted reflection here also you have got those relationship. Relationship between father and the son, relationship between conjugal lover, the boy and the girl, relationship between friend and friend, relationship between master and servant. Everything is here also, but because they are material, they do not stand. I am servant of somebody. If he does not pay me salary, I give up his service. I am friend of (indistinct). If my intention is not fulfilled, then I give up that friendship. My love with a boy or with a girl is there, but as soon as there is some discrepancy there is divorce. So here everything is perverted and with so many faulty ideas, but this, this very thing is there in the Kingdom of God. In relationship with God, Kṛṣṇa. And there everything is eternal. By becoming servant of God, you’ll eternally enjoy, same as master. By becoming a friend of God, you enjoy eternal friendship. By becoming father or mother of God, you enjoy the parental affection between father and son. And by becoming lover of God, you become eternally happy.

So unless you hear about these things, then how you can be intensified to go to God. Just like when I hear about some country. That this country is like this, and there is such and such happiness and such and such enjoyment, then we think of making a tourist list to go there. Therefore to go back to home, back to Godhead, unless we hear about Him, how we can be inclined. Therefore God comes, Kṛṣṇa comes. He manifests His pastimes in Vṛndāvana. How He’s dealing with friends, how dealing with servant, mother, father, lover, so that we may be inclined to go back to home, back to Godhead. This is God’s mercy. Therefore executing religious principle means the result must be to develop our propensity to hear about God. Notpādayed yadi ratim. This rati, tati means just like rati is called sexual appetite.

The Gosvāmīs, they have described rati, how rati is explained. (indistinct). Just like young boy and young girl, they meet together. Immediately their sex impulse become agitated. It hasn’t got to be taught them. Naturally. Naturally. He wants to talk or she wants to talk. So this is called rati. Spontaneous attraction. This is called, it has not to be taught, spontaneous. So as soon as there is spontaneous attraction to hear all about God, that will mean that we are attaining perfection in religion. So if you are going on as a happening program to the church, to the temple, or to the mosque, but there is no spontaneous attraction for hearing about God, then it is simply labor, simply waste of time, that’s all. That is explained here.

dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ
viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ
notpādayed yadi ratiṁ
śrama eva hi kevalam
[SB 1.2.8]

So to come to this platform of spontaneous attraction, you have to execute some other formulas. What is that? As you are coming here with some faith, śraddhā, respect. Here is a temple so you should come. You should come regularly. Why? Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅga [Cc. Madhya 22.83]. If you come regularly, then these boys and girls who are engaged in the worship of Kṛṣṇa, or who are developing the life of devotee, practicing under the direction of their spiritual master, they are called sādhu. Sādhu means those who are acting very pious. So those who are acting for Kṛṣṇa, they’re automatically pious, because God is pure, and those who are acting for God, they’re pious. Each and every activities in this temple are pious activities. Therefore they are pious. Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅga [Cc. Madhya 23.14-15]. And as soon as you associate with the pious devotees, naturally there will be inclination to act like them. Why not act like them? Actually that is happening. They are dressing like this or they’re keeping their body like this. They’re chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra in the bag. They’re worshiping. They’re reading. Why not become like that?
So ādau śraddhā, first with respectful tendency to come in this center, then to make association with them. And then next stage is to become like them. Then he approaches the spiritual master, “Kindly initiate me,” bhajana-kriyā. And as soon as you take to this bhajana-kriyā, to devotional service, anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt. Anartha, some unwanted things which you have practiced. What is that? Illicit sex. Or if you want sex, why don’t you marry and live respectfully, husband and wife. Why illicit sex? This is unwanted, but we are practiced. But if you become devotee, you can give up this nonsense practice. Illicit sex, meat-eating. Why meat-eating? We have got so many nice preparation Sundays, rasagullā, halavā, purī, luci. Why shall I eat this nasty thing, rotten. It is slaughtered and kept for 3,000 years in the refrigerator (laughter), and this rotten thing is taken and eaten. So why should we take that. Why smoking? This nonsense. It is stated in every cigarette box it is injurious to health or something like, what is that?

Devotee: Warning.

Prabhupāda: Warning. But still they’re eating that poison, they’re drinking. So these are anarthas, unwanted things. By bad association we are habituated to this nonsense practice, but if you become a devotee and render service to Kṛṣṇa under the direction of your spiritual master, these things will automatically vanquish. Anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt tato niṣṭhā, then your faith becomes firm. Tato niṣṭhā tato ruci athāsaktis. Asakti, it is spontaneous attraction. So religious principle means you have to execute the preliminary formulas, but the ultimate end will be you’ll have spontaneous attraction for hearing about God or Kṛṣṇa. That is wanted. If that thing is not done, then you are simply wasting time by going to church or temple or mosque or any nonsense. Notpādayed yadi ratiṁ śrama eva hi kevalam [SB 1.2.8]. Simply waste of time. So don’t become a showbottle of religious life. Actually try to understand what is religion, what is God, and make your life successful. (end)

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