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690428 - Lecture SB 05.05.02 - Boston

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

690428SB-BOSTON - April 28, 1969



mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes
tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam
mahāntas te sama-cittāḥ praśāntā
vimanyavaḥ suhṛdaḥ sādhavo ye
(SB 5.5.2)

Now, in the last meeting we have discussed that this life is meant for self-realization. This human form of life especially . . . we must always remember that many, many years ago—not thousands; millions of years ago . . . in the modern civilization they have no history more than three thousand years. Some of the rascals, they say that ten thousand years before, there was no human being. So this is going on, mental speculation. But we have got Vedic history, millions and millions years. There are different species of life always. It is not that . . . that only one species of life was existent, and then gradually they have come to . . . this theory is not reasonable, neither acceptable. That is a long story.

All different forms of species of life, as they are existing at the present moment—you'll have aquatic animals, you'll have plant life, microbes, insects, birds, beasts, human beings, uncivilized human beings, civilized human beings—as they are presently existing, they existed even from the very beginning of creation. Not that in the creation there was no human being. From Vedic history we understand that in the creation, when everything was all water, at that time, a lotus flower grew out of the abdomen of Viṣṇu and there was creation of Brahmā.

So Brahmā is supposed to be the most intellectual personality within this universe. My point is that in the beginning the creation was the most intelligent personality, not that in the creation there was lower animals. No. Lower animals were there. The . . . just like at the present moment, all kinds of living entities are there. If there is dissolution of this universe, everything will be destroyed, but again, when there will be creation, all the species of life, they'll take birth in the same way if they have not fulfilled their mission.

The mission is that living entities are given chance to develop consciousness. They develop consciousness from the lowest form of life up to the brightest and the most intellectual form of life, like Brahmā, and above that also, transcendental. That is called spiritual consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

So this chance is given to the living entities who are aspirant for material enjoyment. You should always remember that all living entities, 8,400,000 species of life, every one of them after material enjoyment. So they are given a chance. Vedic knowledge means that you have desire for material enjoyment, so therefore you can . . . you are given the chance here for material enjoyment.

Material enjoyment means eating, sleeping, mating and defending. You can make these four principles in different varieties or different grades, but these are the principles of material enjoyment. A dog is eating; you are also eating. So your eating and dog's eating, difference is that a dog can eat even stool, but you cannot. But you cannot. You have to arrange for palatable dishes just befitting human consumption. So there . . . there are different kinds of eating, but the eating principle is there, that's all. One is satisfied with stool-eating, and one is satisfied by eating kṛṣṇa-prasādam. That is the difference. And between the stool and kṛṣṇa-prasādam, there are many varieties and grades, according to different kinds of . . .

Similarly, sleeping. Sleeping also, the dog is also sleeping on the side of a street without any difficulty, and the king is sleeping on the palace, very nice apartment. And a Kṛṣṇa conscious person, he's also sleeping. But there are different grades. The Kṛṣṇa conscious person is sleeping, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. This can be done. If you practice this Hare Kṛṣṇa, even in sleeping you'll chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Everything depends on practice. Abhyāsa-yoga-yuktena cetasā nānya-gāminā (BG 8.8). Everything we acquire by spiritual practice. Now, this dancing, this dancing . . . there is another kind of dancing also in the hotels. The same boys and girls are dancing. Here the boys and girls are dancing. But that two different kinds of dancing, there is much difference.

So activities of the living entity within this material world, there are different kinds, not that one kind of activity, one kind of eating, one kind of sleeping. No. According to the different kinds of consciousness, there are different kinds of activities: eating, sleeping, mating and defending. The last meeting we discussed that we have all these demands because we have got this body, but the demands must be very nicely adjusted, not that, because I have got demand of this body, therefore I'll have to imitate like cats and dogs and hogs. No. That is not civilization. The dog has also got body, and dog has got also bodily demands. Similarly, a Kṛṣṇa conscious person, he has got this body and he has got also bodily demands, but the, I mean to say, standard is different. That standard you have to change.

That is the instruction of Lord Ṛṣabhadeva to His sons. He says: "My dear sons, you cannot imitate your standard of demands of the body like cats and dogs and hogs. Oh, that is . . . then you'll waste your time. You have got better opportunity." Just like there is very nice example: In this land of America, the Red Indians were living. Still they are living. But their standard of living, their standard of the same demands of the body, is different from the civilized nations who have come from Europe to this country. Therefore it is, America, is now so rich, because their standard of living and their standard of living is different. They could also develop this country very nicely, but their civilization, their standard of living, their consciousness, was different. So it is on the basis of different standard of consciousness the standard of living and existence is dependent.

So our process is to come to the standard of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. There is no denial; the demands of the body are to be supplied, because without supply of the demands of the body, how can I live? That is not to be neglected. But Ṛṣabhadeva advised, "My dear sons, your demands of the body should not be like the demands of the body of the hog and cats and dogs. That is not . . ."

So . . . now what is the aim of the demands of the body? The demands of the body, the ultimate aim is pleasure. I want to be happy. But if we make our demands of the body flickering, temporary, changing, then we shall waste our time, because pleasure is the ultimate goal of life. So Ṛṣabhadeva advised that, "If you want eternal pleasure, eternal happiness, then you do not try to misuse your this valuable body simply for meeting the demands like cats and dogs."

Just like we can give nice example that a diseased man and a healthy man. The diseased man, although doctor advises that, "You don't take this kind of food," but within himself he has got the desire. He has got the desire. The desire is there, but by the restriction of the physician, he does not eat. Just like for a diabetic patient, the doctor says, "You can eat so much quantity of food, not more than that," although he desires to eat more. So the desire is there, but because he wants to come to the healthy standard of life, he follows the restriction of the physician.

The demand is there. A patient lying in the hospital, he wants whatever is very palatable for me . . . for him, he wants to eat that. But the medical practitioner has advised, "Oh, you cannot take it. You cannot take." So he's following, "All right, just to become . . ." But when he's healthy, there is no such restriction. The doctor does not restrict the diet of a healthy person. The restriction is for the person who is suffering from certain type of disease.

So we do not understand that our materialistic way of life, our this material existence, every one of us is diseased condition of life. It is not healthy condition of life. That we do not understand. We are thinking, "Oh, I am eating, sleeping and dancing, and then nice, so what is the disease? It is nice." But that your very body is a disease, this very body, because it is subjected to so many tribulations, so many sufferings.

So we should try to understand that what is the cause of our suffering. The cause of our suffering is this body. The root cause of our . . . either this body is American body, Indian body, cat's body, dog's body or prince body or demigod's body, because the body is material, therefore you have to undergo certain types of tribulation. At least, you'll have to die, you'll have to take birth, you'll have to suffer from diseases, you have to undergo the tribulation of old age. It does not mean that because I have got a princely body, therefore there will be no disease. No. The disease will be there. And the death will be there. And the sufferings of old age . . . just like I am old man. I have got sometimes sufferings, backache, this ache . . . old man, you see, rheumatic. So these things are to be suffered.

Therefore all our sufferings are due to this body. And this human body is the junction, the crossing point, whether I want to cure myself completely from this disease of birth, death, old age and disease or I want to continue. That we must make a decision. If we think, "Oh, it is very nice. Let us have this body. Never mind sometimes we suffer from disease, suffer from old age or birth, death. Never mind." But that is the general impression of the general public, "Oh, we don't care what is going to happen." That is irresponsible life.

But if a human being is responsible, if he actually wants healthy life . . . healthy life means without birth, death, old age and disease. That is healthy life. Our conception of healthy life is not to become too much fatty, or robust body. Robust body or fatty body or any body, this body, everything will finish. Our proposition is that how to conquer death, birth, old age and disease. That is our proposition.

So if one is serious to conquer over these four principles of life and desiring eternal nonstoppage happiness and pleasure—the same thing, pleasure means there is . . . the same . . . just like the pleasure in a hotel dancing, that is also pleasure, and here also, Hare Kṛṣṇa dancing, there is also pleasure. But the standard of pleasure is different. Standard of pleasure is different.

So this whole Kṛṣṇa conscious movement is nothing to stop, but to change the standard of pleasure from the standard of temporary, flickering pleasure to the permanent, eternal pleasure. That is the program of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So anyone who's interested to be . . . to accept the standard of pleasure which is eternal and continual, for them this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is very nice. And those who are interested, "Never mind, we have got a temporary life, temporary pleasure. We enjoy this materialistic way of life. No," so for them Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement has no meaning.

But those who are interested to attain that standard of pleasure which is eternal, for them this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is essential. That is . . . that we have discussed in the last meeting that, "My dear . . ." Ṛṣabhadeva addressed His sons, sons, "My dear boys," that "if you want perpetual, eternal happiness, nonbreaking happiness, then you try to purify your existence, and for that, you try to accept some austerity."

The same example: just like the patient is accepting voluntarily some austerity. He has got the desire to take some kind of food. But because he wants to go the healthy condition of life, he's following the instruction of the physician that he cannot take. Just try to understand. If you think that this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is restricting so many things . . . not so many things. That is very simple. Just like we don't allow illicit sex life. We don't allow intoxication. We don't allow meat-eating. We don't allow gambling. Of course, these four things don't . . . mean very severe things for the present population. But if anyone is serious about attaining eternal happiness . . . just like this patient in the hospital is following the physician's instruction—he has to follow it, voluntarily. This is called austerity.

Austerity means just like if I say: "Please don't smoke," but you are veteran smoker, and if you want to follow my instruction, "Don't smoke," you'll feel some difficulty in the beginning. That is called austerity. Austerity means accepting voluntarily some difficulties for higher development. The same principle—just like a patient is accepting the physician direction under certain difficulty, but he is, because his aim . . . aiming at healthy condition of life, he voluntarily accepts.

So tapaḥ. Tapaḥ means just like sometimes we don't want scorching heat, but under certain conditions, we tolerate scorching heat for better purpose. Or very severe cold. Sometimes we do not like, but for some higher purpose we sometimes suffer. So these voluntary sufferings under the direction of superior authority is called tapasya. Tapasya. Tapasya means accepting voluntarily some suffering.

That is the way of spiritual realization. That is not actually suffering. That is nectarean. But in the beginning it appears like suffering. So that is called austerity. Tapaḥ divyam. So Ṛṣabhadeva says: "My dear sons, you just voluntarily accept some austerities, divyam." Why? For transcendental realization. Tapo divyam (SB 5.5.1). "If you accept this principle, then your existence will be purified."

Just remember that the whole different grades of evolution of life means purifying the existence. The aquatic animal, when they are developed into plant life, that is little purified. Then from plant life, microbes, insects, that is still more purified. And from microbes, insects, birds' life, different grades of birds' life, that is still more purified. And from birds' life to beasts' life, that is still more purified. And from beast life to human form of life, that is still more purified. And from uncivilized human form of life to civilized human form of life, that is still more purified. In this way this purification process is still going on.

From this human form of life there are other life, in upper planetary system. They are called demigods. Just like you are trying to go to the moon planet. You cannot go, because your body is not purified to stay there. Just like in your American country you do not allow everyone—there is check by the immigration department what class of men you shall admit—similarly, you cannot enter in the moon planet by force unless you are purified. Or the temperature, the atmosphere, is so severe there, it is un . . . it is the statement of the scientists who are trying to go there that the temperature is below two hundred degrees zero. So how you can live there? Here, in your America, Canada, if the temperature is ten degrees below zero, you suffer so much. How you can live there?

So you have to purify yourself before entering moon planet. Similarly, you have, if you want to enter into the sun planet, you have to purify in a different way. Similarly, there are different heavenly planets. What do they know? There are millions and millions of high-grade planets, and they are . . . there is Siddhaloka, perfectional, according to this material conception. They are called Siddhaloka.

Siddhaloka means the residents of that planet can fly in the space without any mechanical or any support, aeroplane or anything like that. They can, automatically, can travel in the space. Just like Nārada Muni, he can travel in the space. There are different grades of purificatory processes and purified life. And the highest purified life is Kṛṣṇaloka. So these are not imagination. We get all this knowledge from Vedic, I . . . literature.

So the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means, as we have read from the Bhagavad-gītā, that tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya (BG 4.9): "My dear Arjuna, Kaunteya . . ." Arjuna's another name is Kaunteya, because he is, happens to be, the son of Kuntī. His mother was named Kuntī. So from Kuntī, he was Kaunteya. Kaunteya means "son of Kuntī." So Kṛṣṇa says to Arjuna, tyaktvā deham. Tyaktvā means quitting this body. Mind that always, that we are changing different types of body just like different types of dress. I am the spirit soul. So, so long you are not completely purified, you have to accept this kind of body, that kind of body, this body, that body, that body. That is going on.

But one who comes to the perfectional stage of purification, for him, Kṛṣṇa says, tyaktvā deham, by quitting this body, punar janma naiti . . . punar janma means rebirth, reincarnation, within this material . . . no more. Finished. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punaḥ, mām eti: "He comes to My planet, or unto Me." Who? Janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ (BG 4.9): "The person who can understand the science of Kṛṣṇa. That person."

This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Simply by understanding what is Kṛṣṇa, how He appears on this planet, how He disappears, what does He do, what does He instruct, what is the purpose, so many things . . . they are classified in two headings, janma karma: birth and activities. Kṛṣṇa has got activities. When Kṛṣṇa was present, He was full with activities. Simply by knowing this, janma karma, one, after quitting this body, does not accept any more this material body, but he's immediately transferred to the Kṛṣṇaloka.

So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is a training system, training system how to acquire, how to be transferred to that Kṛṣṇaloka, how to attain that most purified body, where there is no more death, no more birth. There is another version in the Bhagavad-gītā. Here it is said, mām eti: "He comes to Me." So in another verse it is stated . . . if somebody inquires that, "What happens by going to Kṛṣṇa?" that is also answered: mām upetya kaunteya. This very same word is there, kaunteya: "My dear Kaunteya," mām upetya, "anyone who comes to Me . . ." Upetya. Upetya means "approaching Me." Mām upetya kaunteya duḥkhālayam aśāśvataṁ nāpnuvanti (BG 8.15): "He does not any more regain this place, this material world, which is full of misery and temporary."

The qualification of this material world are two. So long you live, it is always full of miseries. And if you try to make compromise—"All right, I shall live here. Never mind it is miserable"—that is also temporary. You cannot live also. You cannot . . . suppose you think that, "All right, I have got this American body, American country. Never mind there are some sufferings due to this body. I shall live here." Oh, you cannot live. You cannot. You'll not be allowed to live also. How long? Therefore the qualification of this material world are two: it is full of miseries and it is temporary.

But our demand is full of pleasure and eternal life. Just opposite. But the foolish persons, they do not understand. They think, "Oh, we are very much happy." Oh. How we are happy? Supposing you are feeling happy. How long you'll be happy? Any moment you'll have to give up this place. Take example, your President Kennedy. He approached to the most happiest position, president, young man, good wife, children. Within a second, everything finished. Within a second. He was going on car very nicely, protected, thinking protection, but just in a moment—finished.

So that possibility is for everyone. Even the president of America, Mr. Kennedy, he could not save himself, in spite of so much power and opulence. And what of us? We have to think, you see, very with cool head, that every arrangement here in this world, however nice you may think, however you may be free, they are all temporary, all temporary, backed up by full of misery. Unless one is not conversant with this principle of life, he cannot actually seriously take up what is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, athāto brahma jijñāsā.

Those who are very intelligent persons, those who can understand what is the situation of our life, "What I am . . ." These things are very intelligent questions. Unfortunately, in the educational system anywhere in the world there is no system for infusing a student to inquire about this. Simply they are being carried away by temporary so-called happiness, concocted happiness. That is not very . . . that is the main principle of this instruction, that Ṛṣabhadeva says: "Now if you be carried away by this unscientific way of life, then your human form of life is spoiled, simply spoiled."

Don't try to spoil your life. You have got the oppo . . . this is intelligence. Just like if you are posted in a nice position, you try to utilize that position very intelligently. Just like if you have, anyone, although any post here is temporary, but anyone tries. Similarly, we should try to utilize this human form of life very intelligently.

There is another verse, in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa: labdhvā su-durlabham idaṁ bahu-sambhavānte (SB 11.9.29). That is the way of Vedic instruction. Everywhere you'll find. Labdhvā su-durlabham idaṁ bahu-sambhavānte. After many, many births . . . unfortunately, they do not believe in the next birth or past birth—always in ignorance. But that is a fact, and we are repeatedly exemplified that, "I am living. Although I am changing my body, I am living. Therefore, when I change this body, I shall continue to live." This is the bare truth. Why you do not understand? Life is continually. Simply you are changing body. Now how I am preparing for the next nice body which is eternal? That is the problem of human life, not that to be carried away by cats and dogs and eat and drink and . . . (indistinct) . . . no.

This is the main theme of this instruction, that tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena, yena śuddhyet sattvam. Tapo divyaṁ putra . . . putrakā yena sattvaṁ śuddhyet. Just try to purify your existence. Just like I gave you the list of purification from lowest stage of life to the highest, so, I mean to say, as the change of body, just like change of dress, you like a nice dress, giving up the old dress, similarly, change of body is going on. You accept the first-class body next life, first-class body next life which is eternal, which is not subjected to the tribulations of this body. That should be the aim of human civilization, not that simply getting money and spending for sense gratification. That is cats' and dogs' civilization. That is not human civilization. One should utilize the opportunity.

So next point is, how you can do this? How you can purify your existence? That instruction is that mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimukteḥ (SB 5.5.2). If you associate and serve mahatmahat means the great, great personality—mahat-sevāṁ dvāram, then your door for purification will be open. Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes tamo-dvāram . . . and the opposite is, if you want to enter into the darkest region of ignorance, then you associate with persons who are simply meant for sense gratification. That's all. Two ways: this way or that way.

If you want to approach to the perfectional point of purificatory birth, then you associate with mahat-sevā. Sevā means service. Service. Our whole process is service. This spiritual life can be attained simply by service, not by any other qualification. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā the last instruction is surrender. You cannot render service to a person unless you surrender. That is the first condition, mahat-sevā.

Now, that surrender begins from mahat-sevā, surrendering unto a great personality. And who is great personality? That will be also explained. Generally, mahat means the great. Now, how a man can become great? When he is in contact with the great, supreme great. God is great. God is great, and if you contact God, then you become great. That is the definition given in the Bhagavad-gītā. There is no use of rubber-stamp great. That is not greatness.

Greatness, that is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. Oh, mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ (BG 9.13). Who are great? Mahātmās, great souls. Mahātmā, this title, cannot be given to any ordinary man. No. Mahātmā means . . . that is described very nicely, mahātmā. First . . . first verse is, in the Bhagavad-gītā, that bahūnāṁ janmanām. Mahātmā, to become mahātmā, is not very easy thing. That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante (BG 7.19). After purifying the body, after many, many births, many, many births, bahūnām. Bahūnām means many. Many, many births purifying, trying to purify, trying to purify . . .

So bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān. Purification means full knowledge. What is the difference between dog and me? How I am purified? Because my knowledge is different than the dog. So purification means knowledge. Therefore the very word is used, jñānavān. Jñānavān, one who has advanced in knowledge, he is purified. Just like an ordinary man, he does not know how to keep hygienic principles; ignorant. But a person who knows the hygienic laws, how to keep the body, his body is purified due to knowledge.

A man who does not know that, "By eating this such-and-such kind of food I'll be diseased," he has no knowledge. Why so much . . . so much disease in the society? Due to ignorance. Due to ignorance, a do . . . he goes to a man, a physician, who knows, who has the knowledge. Why do you go to the physician? Because you know that he has knowledge. He can give you direction how to keep body healthy.

So nonpurification, impure body, means want of knowledge. Want of knowledge. So Bhagavad-gītā says, mahātmānas tu. Mahātmā. How one can become mahātmā? When he has got full knowledge. Then he has got purified body. Mahātmānas tu . . . this very word is used, mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ (BG 9.13). One who has developed purified knowledge, purified body, he's no more under the control of this material world.

(noise in background) (aside) What is matter?

So mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha (BG 9.13), those who have become great, the great souls, they are not under this material nature; they are in the spiritual nature. To become mahātmā means one should be under spiritual nature. After many, many births, when he has attained perfect knowledge, that is the sign of mahātmā. Mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ (BG 9.13). Who are great? Mahātmās, great souls. Mahātmā, this title, cannot be given to any ordinary man. No. Mahātmā And what is the test that he has attained purified knowledge and purified body? The test is bhajanti . . . uh, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti (BG 7.19). No. Bahūnāṁ janmanām a . . . after many, many births, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān (BG 7.19). Who? One who has attained perfect knowledge. Jñānavān means perfect knowledge. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate: "He surrenders unto Me."

That is the ultimate standard of knowledge, when one has fully surrendered unto Kṛṣṇa, or God. That means he has attained perfect knowledge. You have got very good instance like Lord Jesus Christ. He fully surrendered unto God. Therefore he is so much worshiped. He is great. God is great. He is also great because he has fully surrendered. So this greatness means when you fully surrender unto the . . . (break)

. . . from austerity. What is that austerity? The physician says: "My dear such and such, you are suffering from fever. You should not take this food, that food, that food," or "You should not do like this; you should not go to such and such . . ." So many restrictions. Something do and something do not. So this austerity means do not. That is meant for human society. The animals, they follow also "do not," but by their natural intuition. But we have got developed consciousness. We have got also natural intuition, but because we have got developed consciousness, we sometimes misuse our opportunity and therefore we suffer.

Just like . . . I'll give you another example. We require little salt with our food, but if you take more salt, the food becomes . . . (indistinct) . . . and if there is no salt, you cannot take it. Salt must be there, but to the point. Similarly, so far our sense gratification, we have got our senses. We have got our mouth, we have got our stomach. We require to eat. So we do not stop your eating, but we regulate your eating, that if you eat like this, kṛṣṇa-prasādam, then your life becomes full of austerity.

If you have sex life in regulated married life, fixed-up husband and wife, then it is austerity. If you don't . . . smoking or intoxicating, we never learned it from our childhood, from our birth. From childhood, we require milk to drink and live. But we have learned by bad association or good association. Similarly, we can give up also these habits by bad association or good association.

So tapo divyam. Tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena sattvaṁ śuddhyet (SB 5.5.1). "My dear boys," Ṛṣabhadeva says, "if you accept this austerity, the principles of austerity, then your existence will be purified." The same example, just a man is suffering from fever. If his fever is cured, then he gets healthy life. And when he's in healthy life, he's free to eat, move, and everything of his business. But so long he's not in healthy life, he's restricted by the physician. Similarly, our present existence, conditional life, is due to this material body.

I'll not expand my lecture, how we are suffering from this material body, but several times I have explained that this body is subjected to so many conditions. Just like adhyātmika: we have got some bodily pains, mental inequilibrium and so many things. That is called adhyātmika, pertaining to the body and the mind, suffering. Similarly, there are suffering imposed by other living entities. Similarly, there are suffering imposed by natural phenomena. So because we have got this body, we are subjected to threefold miseries of life. And we are hankering after eternal life, blissful life, life of knowledge.

If you want to attain that perfectional stage of life, which is called brahma-saukhyam—Brahman, Brahman means the greatest—then you have to follow some regulative principles of austerity so that your existence will be purified and, Ṛṣabhadeva says, then you'll be eligible to enjoy eternal life. Brahma-saukhyam anantam (SB 5.5.1). Anantam means unlimited.

We are hankering after happiness, but due to our material condition, the happiness is not eternal, neither blissful. But there is life where happiness is eternal, never disturbed. Unlimited. There is life of full knowledge, there is life of full bliss, and there is life of eternal. So our whole Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is targeting to that eternal brahma-saukhya, or the unlimited, great happiness. And for that, we have to prepare in this life by following a simple method, a regulative method of austerities.

So this lecture I began in Buffalo, and I am continuing that. So my request is that . . . we have got many centers. This is also center, one of the centers. We are not meant for giving you any bluff, that "You give me some fee," or "I shall give you some mantra, and whatever you like you can do, and if you meditate or do that, then you'll become one with God." These things are not our business. We are following strictly the principles of Vedas, the principles laid down by great authorities, and if we accept them, then we'll get the required perfection of life. And they are not very difficult. They are not very difficult. Just like our process is simply to chant. Simply by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, gradually you'll develop your spiritual life, without any pain.

So Ṛṣabhadeva says: "My dear boys," mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimukteḥ (SB 5.5.2). "If you at all . . . if you are at all desirous or eager to attain that perfectional stage of life, then the path is mahat-sevā. You associate or you serve great personality who are devotees of the Lord." Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimukteḥ. Mahat means great soul. Who is great soul? A great soul is a great devotee of the Lord. That is great soul. Who has captured the Supreme Soul, he's great soul.

We are . . . we are very small. Our identity, magnitude, as stated in the Vedic literature, it is one ten-thousandth part of the tip of the hair. It is very small. You cannot even imagine. So we are very small, but we can become the greatest, almost as good as God, if we engage ourself in the transcendental loving service of the Lord.

You have got best example. Just like Lord Jesus Christ: he . . . he's worshiped as good as God because he dedicated everything for God. Similarly, if you also dedicate your life, your intelligence, your money . . . prāṇair arthair dhiyā vācā. By four things you can attain greatness, almost greatness like God. How? By engaging your life, your wealth, prāṇair arthair dhiyā, your intelligence . . . if you have no money, then you can apply your intelligence. If you have no intelligence, you can simply carry the words of God. In that way you can achieve the greatest perfection of life.

If somebody has money, all right, he can spend for spreading this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. If he has no money, he can give his intelligence, how we can push on this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. If he has no intelligence, simply carry this word and speak to the people, "My dear friend, you simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa." You see? So any way you can engage yourself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that is called mahat-sevā, service of the Supreme, or service of the Supersoul. Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram. If you accept this way of life, then your spiritual life will be open. Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimukteḥ.

Vimukteḥ means . . . Vimukti. Mukti means liberation, and, adding the word vi . . . vi means specifically liberation. There are five kinds of liberation. One liberation is to merge into the Supreme. Another liberation is to live with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the same planet. Another liberation is to achieve the status quo of life as good as God. Sārūpya, sāyujya, sālokya, sāmīpya. You can associate yourself with God. That is another liberation. In this way, there are five kinds of liberation.

Generally the Māyāvādī philosophers, they want to merge into the existence of God. That also, one of the recommended process of liberation. But so far we are concerned, we don't want even to merge into the existence of God, but we want to become associate with God in friendship, in love, in servitude, in so many ways. We want to keep our existence, individual existence, and associate with God. That is the Vaiṣṇava philosophy.

So mahat-sevāṁ dvāram, if you associate with great souls . . . our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to produce some great souls. If people get opportunity to associate with great souls, then automatically his path for liberation will be open. Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimukteḥ (SB 5.5.2). And tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam. And if you associate with persons who are simply interested in sense gratification, then you must know that your door for going into the darkest region of ignorance is open. Two doors: one door to the path of liberation, and one door to the path of darkest region of ignorance. That means material existence.

You know, in the material existence . . . just like we are also living entities, and the cockroaches are also living entities. Do you know where they are living? Within the commode. There are many germs, many worms, they are also living entities. They're . . . stool. There are worms in the stool. They're also living entities. So we can fall down up to that point even. Don't think that because we have got this beautiful body, nice situation, this is guarantee of any falldown. No. We can fall down any moment, in any species of life—there are 8,400,000 species of life, you should know it—and utilize this opportunity for opening the door of liberation. Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimukteḥ.

And in order to reach to that door of liberation, you have to associate with persons who are devotees of Lord, mahat-sevā.

mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes
tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam
(SB 5.5.2)

Yoṣitām. If I simply avoid, myself, the process of sense gratification, but if I associate with persons who are addicted to sense gratification, then that is also very dangerous. That is also very dangerous, because saṅgāt sañjāyate kāmaḥ—my desires and my propensities will develop according to the association I make. A man is known by his company.

So this Kṛṣṇa conscious movement, this opening of different centers, is meant for giving association to the people in general for opening the door of liberation. That is a fact. You try to understand by all your arguments, reason and logic and inquiry. That is a fact, because we are presenting authorized thing.

So my request is that you take advantage. You have got good opportunity. You take this advantage of opening the door of liberation, and don't misuse your life simply for sense gratification like cats and dogs. Then the people of your country, of your society or your family, they'll be all benefited, and because other nations, they are also imitating your procedure, they will be benefited.

And at least if one percent of the whole population becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, the whole world will be a different world. There will be . . . uh . . . the world itself will become kingdom of God. Of course, we cannot expect that everyone will accept this philosophy, but we are trying. If some percentage of the population takes this movement seriously, the face of the world will be changed.

Thank you very much. (devotees offer obeisances) Any question? No question? Then I understand that you accept my proposition without any difference of opinion. (laughs) That's nice. Unanimously accepted. That's nice. But if you have got any difficulty to understand, you can make questions. I shall try to convince you. Yes?

Student: What is the role of . . . (indistinct) . . . austerity? Is it . . . (indistinct) . . . or is it . . . (indistinct) . . . to religion?

Prabhupāda: Of course, according to circumstances, there is variation. That concession is always there. But the main principle is there. Just like we are getting our boys and girls married. So according to Vedic rites, the marriage is very big program. But we are finishing, according to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, simply by acceptance. Svīkāra eva ca udvāhe. In this age it is recommended that if a girl accepts somebody as husband or if a man accepts somebody as wife, that is final. That's all. They may not change it. There is no need of making a very gorgeous ceremony of marriage. There is no need of making . . . that is, of course, social function.

Actually, thing is that one boy should accept one girl as his permanent friend in life. And one girl should accept one boy as permanent friend in her life. The girl should be agreed to serve the boy for her comforts, and the boy should agree to accept the girl to maintain her throughout life. That's all. Finished. Simply we must have that good will. Then this process of opening the path of liberation will be very, I mean to say, favorable.

You can open your path of liberation even without marriage, remaining brahmacārī, but for girls brahmacārī system is not recommended. Therefore girls are advised to get a husband. Or the parents take the responsibility, according to Vedic rites and according . . . still, in India, the father . . . not the, I mean to say, modernized, educated Indians. In villages they are not very much educated. Oh, they must get their girl, I mean to say, daughter, married before fifteen years. Otherwise, it will be a social scandal. The father is responsible for that.

So of course, we cannot introduce that system in your country. It is not possible. But it is up to you that if you want to utilize your this very favorable situation of life, get yourself married, live peacefully and execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness. What is the difficulty there? There is no difficulty. There are so many boys and girls who are married and living very peacefully and executing Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (pause)

So far intoxication is concerned, oh, you can give up with the association of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They are not smoking even. So you learn it, as you have learned from childhood, from your . . . from your birth. You never learned how to smoke. But you have learned it later on. Similarly, you can forget it also by good association. Everything is possible. Simply you have to agree to accept. Then . . . and, if you prosecute this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, it is very easy, simply chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa and follow the rules and regulation, your life is sublime. But at least come here and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa with these boys. Then later on, gradually, you'll also understand the value of this austerity, austerity life.

Student: I have a question.

Prabhupāda: Hmm? What is that?

Student: (indistinct) . . . whether austerity is a . . . (indistinct) . . .?

Prabhupāda: Not austerity. Austerity . . . path of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, preliminary, begins simply by chanting. There is no restriction for chanting. Anyone can come and join in this chanting. But if one is serious to prosecute the Kṛṣṇa consciousness life, then he has to follow strictly these regulative principles. And they are not very difficult, because others are following. They are enjoying life.

Student: . . . (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Student: . . . (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Student: If austerity in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is . . . (indistinct) . . .?

Prabhupāda: Do you know what is consciousness?

Student: Yes.

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Student: Yes . . . (indistinct) . . . an awareness of reality, reality, an awareness . . .

Prabhupāda: No. What is the general concept? You are conscious of something. Is it not?

Student: An awareness.

Prabhupāda: Oh. It may be different. Similarly, you become conscious of Kṛṣṇa. That's all. Is that clear?

Student: No.

Prabhupāda: Not yet?

Student: No.

Prabhupāda: Why? Why? Consciousness, you understand. If you have got some occupation . . . consciousness there must be. You are conscious, but your conscious is absorbed in some thought, particular type of thought. Is it not?

Student: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Similarly, when your consciousness will be absorbed in the thought of Kṛṣṇa, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Student: (indistinct) . . . come to Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: That you have to learn. Yes. That you have to learn, how they are becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious, what is the process, how they're executing. But Kṛṣṇa consciousness means, as generally the consciousness is absorbed in a particular type of thought, similarly, when your consciousness will be absorbed in Kṛṣṇa's thought, that is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And that is your perfect consciousness. Yes?

Student: How do you . . .? Why do you have to reduce to the animal if the animal is . . . I mean, you made reference to the absorption that comes in sleep.

Prabhupāda: Yes . . .

Student: . . . and that we should try to transcend it. But can we really transcend it by repression? I mean, wouldn't it be better to transcend, perhaps, by . . .

Prabhupāda: There is no question of repression.

Student: . . . by having your fill of sense gratification first and then seeing that sense gratification is . . . (indistinct) . . . try to find a fuller . . . (indistinct) . . . and then work beyond it, but not trying to repress your sense gratification before you have it?

Prabhupāda: There is no question of repression. We don't stop sense gratification, but we regulate. That is human life. Regulative principle is human life. What is the difference between animal and you? Because a man can follow the regulative principle. Just like in your street there is regulative principle that "Keep to the right." That is not meant for the animals. They cannot keep it. But if you do not keep, then you are criminal. Why this? Because you are human being. You are expected. If a dog goes to the left, he's not prosecuted. But you will be prosecuted. Why? Why this law for you?

Student: (indistinct) . . . artificial laws for mankind . . .

Prabhupāda: All right, artificial laws, but there is some meaning. You cannot violate. Similarly, all the laws, all the books, all the scriptures, all knowledge, everything is meant for the human being, not for the animal. That is the difference between animal and man. Man follows restriction; animal cannot. Because man has got developed consciousness. He should know what is the aim of life. Therefore he should not live just like animals. He should be just like human being. That is the crossing stage of devel . . .

In the ordinary way, we have evolved our life from lower animals, lower species of animals, to this human form of life. Now here another junction to promote yourself still higher, higher, higher life, unto the liberation life. But if you don't follow the restriction, then you again glide down to lower animals' life. If you like, you can do that. Here is a chance. You haven't got to work so hard like the animals. God has given you so many facilities. You can live very nicely, better than animals. Therefore you must be better habits, I say, better habits than the animals.

So anyway, all the scriptures, restrictions, laws and everything, they are meant for human beings, not for the animals. Therefore the human being must follow them for perfection. You cannot imitate the animals. The animals . . . the dog has sex life in the street. Can you do that? You'll be immediately criminal. Why? You can say, "Oh, I am free. I can do this." Why this restriction? That means restriction is meant for human life, and follow the restriction is the human life. That is the difference between animal life and human life. The animals are loitering in the street, naked. Can you loiter in the street, naked?

Student: No, but if we break down the artificial institutions . . .

Prabhupāda: No, that is not artificial. That is rebellion to the established law. That is not, I mean to say, that is not freedom. There are so many things. Therefore you have to understand what is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. You see? Not to . . . not in an hour or in a minute you can understand. We are . . . we have got so many literatures, books, and you can study them. You can try to understand, if you are serious. But we . . . actually, Kṛṣṇa consciousness means, as our thoughts are always absorbed in some type of consciousness, we are absorbed in some type of thought, similarly, when our consciousness will be absorbed in Kṛṣṇa thought, that is the perfection of life. (pause) Yes?

Woman student: How can one inquire of you how to know Kṛṣṇa? What is the process? How does one inquire of the spiritual master when he is . . . (indistinct) . . .?

Prabhupāda: When you feel that urge. When you feel that urge. And that urge is created by association. Just like a man, he was never drunkard, but if he associates with drunkards, he'll feel the urge of drinking. Similarly, the same process. Nobody is Kṛṣṇa conscious, but if he associates with the person Kṛṣṇa conscious, he'll feel the urge of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and that is your qualification. Then he'll urge, oh, then he'll inquire, "Oh, what is Kṛṣṇa? What is Kṛṣṇa consciousness? How to have it? How to prosecute it? How to execute . . .?" So many things will come.

Ādau śraddhā. The process I have explained many, many times. Ādau śraddhā. Śraddhā means . . . actually, what is called śraddhā? Exact meaning? Some faith. Or some attraction. Not attraction; some faith. Just like people come here that they have little faith what is Kṛṣṇa, about Kṛṣṇa. Ādau śraddhā, that . . . If that faith is increased little more, then the association is also needed, sādhu-saṅga (CC Madhya 22.83), those who are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

This is second stage. Then he becomes initiated, follows the rules and regulation. Then all misgivings, misunderstandings, are over. Then attraction, then firm faith, then love, and that is perfection of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. There are stages.

So first stage is faith. Without faith, nobody can make progress. Just like you are going from here to New York, you are purchasing some travel ticket by aeroplane. So you must have faith that "This company will carry me to New York." Otherwise, there is no progress. If in the very beginning you have no faith—"Oh, I shall purchase ticket. What is guarantee that this plane will carry me to New York?"—it may not carry you to New York, but you have to pinch your faith in the beginning. Then you can go.

Similarly, first of all faith is required. Without faith, therefore, faithlessness is no, I mean to say, position of making further progress. Little faith must be there. That faith must be increased by further advancement. In the beginning is the faith, and then the faith becomes firm faith. Then you should make progress further, further, further—you come to the perfectional stage. (pause)

So, any other question? Hare Kṛṣṇa. Then chant Hare Kṛṣṇa—with faith. (devotees offer obeisances) (kīrtana) (end)