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681026 - Lecture - Montreal

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

681026LE-MONTREAL - October 26, 1968 - 36:15 Minutes

Prabhupāda: In the last meeting we were discussing why people are forced to commit sinful activities. This point is also discussed in the Bhagavad-gītā. Arjuna inquired from Kṛṣṇa, "What is that thing which forces a man to commit sinful activities?" (BG 3.36). Just like the same example that one man is seeing practically that one who has committed something criminal, he is punished. And he has heard it also from authorities—from lawyers or from respectable gentlemen—that, "If you commit such-and-such sinful activities . . . if you steal, then you will be imprisoned for six months. If you cheat, you'll be imprisoned for such-and-such period. If you commit murder, then you'll be hanged." These things are taught some way or other. Either in religious scripture or by law books or by morality or ethical principle, they are taught to the human, civilized human society. And he sees also practically that "This man has committed this kind of criminality, and he is punished." And again why does he commit? That is the problem.

So kāma eṣa krodha eṣa rajo-guṇa-samudbhavaḥ (BG 3.37). Kāma and krodha. Kāma means desire, lust. Kāma. And when the desire lust is not fulfilled, then there is krodha. Krodha means anger. There are so many cases of criminality, when the lust is not fulfilled, one commits some criminal action and he is punished and so many things happen. So kāma eṣa krodha eṣa rajo-guṇa-samudbhavaḥ.

As we have discussed many times that we are in this material world controlled by the three modes of material nature. Three qualities: goodness, passion and ignorance.

So goodness . . . yes, passion and ignorance is the . . . are the causes of our bondage. And goodness is also cause of bondage, but in that platform one can see things as they are, goodness, prakāśa. Just like at night we cannot see, but in daytime we see. But seeing is not all. Unless I am convinced of something, even seeing . . . just the same example: one man is seeing that a criminal person is punished; still he is committing criminal act.

So Śukadeva Gosvāmī's question is that suppose a man commits some sinful activities and he executes some atonement. In atone . . . this atonement is prescribed in every religion . . .

(aside) This is disturbing. Attention is diverted. Yes.

So just like in the Christian church, they have the atonement process, confession. So suppose if you go weekly in the church and confess your sinful activities and it is excused, but again, next week you again commit the same sinful activities. Then what is the use of that confession and atonement?

If you make it a business that, "The whole week I shall commit sinful activities, and on Sunday I shall go to church and confess it, then everything will be balanced, squared-up account," that is all right. Then again from Monday you begin the sinful activities. So is that very good business?

So Parīkṣit Mahārāja's question is that, that the atonement is there. But if one commits atonement and again commits sinful activities, then what is the use of such atonement? It is just like . . . he gave the example, kuṣjara-snānavat. The elephant takes bath very nicely in the water, and as soon as he comes on the land, he takes dust and throws over, all over the body. So what is the use of taking bath?

Similarly, if I am accustomed to commit sinful activities and for that reason I confess and make some atonement, then what is the use? That is the question of Parīkṣit Mahārāja. He's very intelligent. If I do again and again and again the same thing and make some atonement . . .

So in every religion there are processes of atonement, prāyaścitta. In Hindu religion also there is such thing. Every religion such thing is there. But the purpose of such atonement is to bring the man, criminal man, to consciousness. He should be conscious of his sinful activities. That is the idea.

Just like a child has committed some wrong and he comes to the father. The father sees that he has done something wrong. So the child confesses, "Yes, father, I have done it. Please excuse me." "All right. Excused." The father says: "Don't do it again." Second time, again he commits the same thing. The father or the teacher says: "Oh, again you have committed?" "Yes. Please excuse me. I shall not do it again." "All right. Excused."

But if on the third time again he commits the sin, what the father and the teacher will do? He will slap him. Yes. Just to teach him, "Nonsense, I have warned you twice, thrice, and again you are doing that? No more excuse. Now punishment." This is natural.

So if I go to God, if I go and confess, "Father, God, Supreme Father, I have done these sinful activities. I am confessing," "All right." The father excuses. But if you make it a business, that "I shall do it and confess," then what will be the result? The result will be punishment. That is natural consequence.

So people should come to the understanding that, "These sinful activities I shall not do." But he is forced to do, impelled by the quality of passion and ignorance. That is answered in the Bhagavad-gītā. Why does he so, as if being forced by some agent? That is answered in the Bhagavad-gītā, that rajo-guṇa-samudbhavaḥ. Kāma eṣa krodha eṣa rajo-guṇa-samudbhavaḥ (BG 3.37).

So we have to come to the platform of goodness from the platform of ignorance and passion. Then our life will be successful. Our life, the human form of life, is meant for changing the platform of activities. The animals, they cannot change their platform of activities. A tiger, however you instruct it nicely, it is not to be tamed. It is not . . . because it is animal. It cannot change its, I mean to say, activities. But a human being, if he is trained . . . therefore for human being there is system of the schooling. The children are . . .

(break) They are advised to go to the church, to go to take moral instruction. It is for the human being, not for the animals. Because the human form of life can accept and make his path clear. His present activities, path, is very hazy. He does not know where he is going, what is his destination of life.

That he does not know. Therefore education, training, and all so many things there are in every civilized human form of life so that he may come to the platform of goodness. And not only that goodness. One has to surpass that platform of goodness and come to the platform of pure goodness.

In this material world it is very difficult to stand on the platform of goodness pure. Even a good man sometimes commits some mistake, commits some blunder in this material world. Because you should always remember that there are three modes of material nature—ignorance, passion and goodness.

Even you are on the platform of goodness, the other two qualities may disturb you. Because it is the kingdom of māyā, or material nature, these things are very prominent. Sometimes goodness is prominent, sometimes ignorance is prominent, sometimes passion is prominent. In this way sometimes they are mixed up.

So three into three equal to nine. Nine into nine equal to eighty-one. Therefore you will find manifestation of eighty-one kinds of qualitative living entities. And they are divided into 8,400,000's species of life. These are very scientific studies. Try to understand it. And this human form of life is the chance to get out of this entanglement.

These eighty-one, again if you multiply eighty-one by eighty-one, then it becomes huge quantity. So in this way these qualities are mixed up, colors. Just like three color, blue, red and yellow. You mix and you produce multi-colors. If you are expert in color mixing . . . all these picture, whatever you are seeing, there are only three colors—blue, red and yellow—and you mix, varieties of color. Those who are artists, they know it very well.

Similarly, these three qualities, three color. The yellow is sattva-guṇa, and the blue is the tamo-guṇa and the red is rajo-guṇa. These colors, they are representation of these three modes of material nature. Redness means passion; and blue, black, that means ignorance; and yellow, yellow is goodness. Therefore you see Kṛṣṇa and all others, they're in yellow dress. Of course in the spiritual world there is no such distinction. There is variety, but there is no inebriety. That is spiritual world.

Just like here you see Kṛṣṇa is in love with beautiful young girls. The same thing is here also. We are also accustomed to love beautiful girls, or beautiful girls accustomed to love beautiful boys. So the same thing is going on there in the spiritual world. It is simply reflection.

The real thing is there in the spiritual world. It is simply shadow. The same loving affairs in a shadowy, hazy form is represented here. Originally it is in the spiritual world, in Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is not to be supposed old man. God is never an old man.

In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is stated:

advaitam acyutam anadim ananta-rūpam
ādyaṁ purāṇa-puruṣaṁ nava-yauvanaṁ ca
(Bs. 5.33)

God, Kṛṣṇa, He's the original person, because from the original father, you can take, from whom everyone has come. Therefore He's the oldest. Advaitam acyutam anadim ādyam. Ādyam means the original person. Man is made after God; therefore God is original person. So that person, ādyam, acyutam, anAdim, nava-yauvanaṁ ca.

Nava-yauvanaṁ ca means He is always a young man. Just like you are all young men, attractive. Young life is attractive. So that youthful age is always in the spiritual world. And as the youthful means joyful life, ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt . . . (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12). All young boys and young girls, they are after joyfulness, but they are being frustrated in this material world. That is the inebriety.

The spiritual world means these things are there, but without any inebriety. Here we love. A boy loves a girl; a girl loves . . . but they are frustrated. After few days it is broken. Or if it is married, then again there is divorce. He finds out another husband; she finds out another . . . like that. These things are not there. Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, the love of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa is never broken. Never broken.

That is the significance of the spiritual . . . they are eternally enjoying the loving affairs. And if you qualify yourself, then you leave this material world, this interaction of the modes of material nature, and be implicated in such things and you become free. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is very nice.

Try to understand Kṛṣṇa consciousness. As soon as you become Kṛṣṇa conscious perfectly, you are no longer living in this material world. You are in the spiritual world. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:

samāśritā ye pada-pallava-plavaṁ
mahat-padaṁ puṇya-yaśo-murāreḥ
bhavāmbudhir vatsa-padaṁ paraṁ padaṁ
padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ na teṣām
(SB 10.14.58)

Very nice verse. What is this? It is said, samāśritā ye pada-pallava-plavam. The lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa is compared with a very nice boat. Boat just like lotus flower. His everything is like lotus flower. One who has accepted this boat . . . because this material world is a great ocean of nescience, darkness. This is the nature. Just like at night you see, this space is a great ocean of darkness. That is the nature. Therefore it is called tama.

This world's nature . . . here we require the sunlight, the moonlight, the electricity; otherwise it is dark. By nature it is dark. So you are put into the darkness. There is no light. But there is another nature, which is full of light. Therefore Vedic injunction is tamasi mā jyotir gamaḥ (Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad 1.3.28): "Don't remain in this darkness. Try to come out to the light." That is spiritual world. That is spiritual world. Jyotir gamaḥ tamasi mā. Don't remain in this darkness.

So the whole process is how to get out of this darkness. How to get out of this darkness. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama (BG 15.6). The world of light is the kingdom of God, or Kṛṣṇaloka. Everything. Because just like you find day. What is this day? Day means a planet which is called sun globe appears. That is day. That means when your this planet, world planet, turns and comes in front of the sun, it is day. Actually, it is darkness, but when we come in front of light, it is day.

So there, in the spiritual planet, all planets are illuminating. This is an example, a sample, the sun. Sun is the only planet within this universe which is illuminating. All other planets are reflection of the sun. The moon, the stars, they are simply glittering, reflected by the sun. They are dark, just like this planet is dark. So similarly, in the spiritual sky all the planets are illuminating. None of the planets are dark. Therefore the whole sky is illuminating. There is no darkness. Just get an idea.

Of course, it is not possible to explain what is the spiritual world from the material world, but from the śāstra . . . just like you read geography. If you want to go to India, you get some idea that "India is like this. The shape is like this, the climate is like this, the people are like that." So you simply get an idea. But actual experience you'll get when you go to India.

Similarly, the . . . we have got all these explanation in the śāstras what is that spiritual world, but we cannot conceive at the present moment the spiritual world. But you can conceive it. When you are advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then you'll be able. Because everything will be revealed.

Spiritual knowledge cannot be acquired by these blunt senses. It is not possible. Just like people do not take much interest in our movement because they cannot understand. The senses are so blunt that they are not receptive. Just like a child. A child, it is not receptive; therefore it is in its own business, crying or something want, talking.

Similarly, our senses, our present senses, they are incapable of understanding what is God or what is God's kingdom. They cannot understand. It is not possible. The senses are blunt, ignorance. Ignorance and passion, the covering. But if you come out of this ignorance and passion, you come to the platform of goodness, then you can understand a little. Not fully.

Then again you have to surpass, transcend the platform of goodness, which is called śuddha-sattva, without any tinge of material qualities. That position. Just like we are on the surface of this planet, there is chance of being covered by the cloud. There is clear sky sometimes, sometimes covered. But you go above, little above, say, seven miles, or just you go by plane seven miles above, then there is no chance of cloud.

Everything is sunlight. Everything is sunlight. Similarly, so long you remain in the lower platform of ignorance and passion, it is very difficult to understand what is the science of God. Therefore you have to come to the platform of goodness, and there you'll understand what is sun, what is sunlight, without any interruption.

So for that reason, just like you have to go by some plane, by some machine seven miles up to be completely in pure sunlight, similarly, you have to attempt . . . you have got . . . Kṛṣṇa, or God, has given you the senses, the mind, the intelligence. You have to use them.

If you use them for gratifying your senses, then you go down and down and down to the animal life. And if you use them for understanding God and His kingdom and your life, your relationship, that is also possible. So both way you can use your intelligence, your mind, your senses. Both ways.

So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to engage the mind, the senses, the intelligence always in Kṛṣṇa. Then there is no chance of materially being contaminated. Just like if you keep yourself always in the sunlight there is no chance of coming down into darkness. The darkness cannot penetrate light. Light can penetrate darkness. This is our practical experience. You cannot make sunlight dark, but your darkness can be lighted by sunlight.

Similarly, if you keep yourself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there is no chance of coming māyā and attack you. No. That is not possible. But if you forget Kṛṣṇa, then māyā immediately can catch you. Just like side by side there is darkness and light. If you keep yourself light, there is no darkness, and if you keep yourself in darkness . . .

So you have to use your intelligence. God has given you intelligence, mind, senses, and you have to utilize them. If you utilize, then you become free from these clutches of māyā, or being covered by the three modes of material nature, ignorance, passion, even goodness. Even you become a very good man, moralist, that is also a bondage. That is also your bondage.

You may have good knowledge, you may be a very good philosopher, you can understand, you may be a very learned man to understand what is this world, what is this, how it is working—very great scientist, advanced, educated man. That is goodness. But that is not the cause of your being freed from material contamination. You have to go above goodness.

Goodness is the qualification, is the symbolic representation of becoming a brāhmin. You have heard this name brāhmin. The brāhmin means qualified man in goodness. That is the brāhmin. And kṣatriya means qualified man in passion, and vaiśya means qualified man in ignorance and passion, and śūdra means qualified man in ignorance. These are the natural division of human society.

In the Bhagavad-gītā you'll find it is said, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). By the division, qualitative division and their engagement, there are four caste. You sometimes criticize that India has got caste system. Everywhere the caste system is there—everywhere, throughout the whole universe. Because the three qualities are ruling. So some of them are in goodness, some of them are in passion, some of them are in ignorance, and some of them are in mixed-up qualities. So mixed-up qualities means vaiśya, and pure goodness is brāhmin, and pure passion is kṣatriya, and pure ignorance is śūdra.

So these divisions you'll find everywhere throughout the universe. It is not that . . . but in India also at the present moment this caste system has become a hereditary. No. It is not hereditary. A śūdra can become a brāhmin—if he qualifies himself. Just like a policeman can one day become the learned judge of high court if he qualifies himself. There is chance. There is educational facilities. You educate yourself. You become doctor of law, you also one day. You become one day president. Everyone is open.

Similarly, the chance is open for everyone how to become the supreme man. Supreme man means one who understands God and his relationship. He is supreme man. All others, they are below the supreme man. The supreme man is the first-class man, and the others, who are below God understanding, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they are second class, third class, fourth class, fifth class, like that. This is the classification.

So below the third-class, fourth-class man, śūdras, they are called caṇḍālas. Caṇḍālas. Caṇḍālas means fifth-grade man. The fifth-grade man also can be elevated to the first-grade man. That is the instruction of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

ābhīra-śumbhā yavanāḥ khasādayaḥ
ye 'nye ca pāpā yad-apāśrayāśrayāḥ
śudhyanti prabhaviṣṇave namaḥ
(SB 2.4.18)

God is so powerful. Just like sunlight is so powerful it can sterilize any infected thing. Any infected. Infection . . . we are afraid of being infected. But if you come to the sunlight, no infection. No infection. This is scientific. Similarly, whatever your qualification may be, however you may be impelled by the qualities of this material nature, if you come to the sunlight of Kṛṣṇa consciousness you become immediately purified. There are many instances among my students, how they have become immediately purified.

So we have to take to this process. Then there will be no more force that you commit criminality. No. There will be no chance if you become pure by Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It has to be attained by tapasya. That is said tapasā. Tapasā means voluntarily being regulated. That is tapasā. Brahmacaryeṇa (SB 6.1.13). Brahmacaryeṇa means controlling the sex appetite. That is a brahmacārī. Tapasā brahmacaryeṇa śamena ca damena ca. Śamena means keeping the mind, equilibrium, without being disturbed.

The process of meditation is meant for keeping the mind in equilibrium. That is śama. And dama, dama means controlling the senses. My senses are always dictating me, "Oh, you take this. You enjoy this. You do that. You do that." And I am being driven by. We are all servants of the senses.

So we have become servant of senses. We have to transform into become servant of God. That's all. That is Kṛṣṇa conscious. You are already servant, but you are servant of the senses, and you are being dictated and being frustrated. You become servant of God. You cannot become master. That is not your position. You have to become servant. If you don't become servant of God, then you become servant of your senses.

That is your position. So those who are intelligent, so they will understand that "If I have to remain a servant, why I shall remain servant of the senses? Why not of Kṛṣṇa?" This is intelligence. This is intelligence. And those who are foolishly keeping themself as servant of the senses, they are spoiling their life.

Thank you very much. (devotees offer obeisances) (end)