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720524 - Lecture SB 02.03.02-7 - Los Angeles

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

7720524SB-LOS ANGELES - May 24, 1972 - 33:18 Minutes

Prabhupāda: Translation?

Pradyumna: Read all up to where we are?

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Pradyumna: "One who desires to be absorbed in the impersonal brahmajyoti effulgence should worship the master of the Vedas (Lord Brahmā or Bṛhaspati, the learned priest), one who desires powerful sex should worship the heavenly King, Indra, and one who desires good progeny should worship the great progenitors called the Prajāpatis. One who desires good fortune should worship Durgādevī, or the superintendent of the material world. One desiring to be very powerful should worship fire, and one who aspires after money only should worship the Vasus. One should worship the Rudra incarnation of Lord Śiva if he wants to be a great hero. One who wants a large stock of grain should worship Aditi. One who desires a worldly kingdom should worship Viśvadeva, and one who wants to be popular with the general mass of population should worship the Sādhya demigod." (SB 2.3.2-7)

Prabhupāda: So these are the problems. (chuckles) We have to . . . six. Exactly like that. Just like government departments: If you want to have this, you have to go to a particular department—building department, water department, so many, electric department. Many departments. Tax department, income tax department, support tax department.

vyavasāyātmikā buddhir
ekeha kuru-nandana
bahu-śākhā hy anantāś ca
buddhayo 'vyavasāyinām
(BG 2.41)

So there are many statements in the Bhagavad-gītā that . . . in Indian villages still, there are different wells. One well is meant for washing dishes. Another well is meant for taking bath. Another well is meant for washing cloth. Another well is meant for drinking water. So Kṛṣṇa says: "There are different wells for different purposes, but when you go to the river, all the purposes will be served." You can wash your dishes, you can wash your cloth, you can take bath, and then you take drinking water.

Similarly, all these desires . . . of course, a devotee has no material desire. Unless one is free from all these material desires . . . these are all material desires. Somebody wants to be powerful, somebody wants to possess wealth, somebody wants to have beautiful wife, somebody wants to possess grains and worldly kingdom . . . there is no limit of our desires. And there are different department also. You can fulfill your desires. Yānti deva-vratā devān pitṟn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ (BG 9.25).

So this is kindness, mercy, of Kṛṣṇa, that He has given you facility if you want to fulfill your desire. But all of them are kāma. In each, every line the word is used, kāma. We have marked it. Here, just like annādya-kāmas tu aditi. Annādya. Anna means grains. There are different types of grains. That is also wanted. Annādya-kāmas tu. Kāma. But you won't find here a meat-eater. No. That is not at all. That is aboriginal. That is not for a human being. Anna. You can desire anna, grains. You can desire to become king. You can desire to have nice wife. These are natural. But there is not a single sentence here you will find they are desiring to eat meat, egg, flesh. No. That is beyond human jurisdiction. They are not meant for human being.

So these are the different departments if you want to take facility of quickly getting some benefit . . . yajanta iha devatāḥ. Kāṅkṣantaḥ karmaṇāṁ siddhi . . . karmaṇāṁ siddhi yajanta iha devatāḥ (BG 4.12). For particular type of fulfillment of your desire, you can worship the particular type of demigod. This is recommended in the śāstra for the less intelligent class of men. Still, it may be questioned that, "Why Vedas have—if the ultimate goal is to reach the Supreme Personality of Godhead—why the Vedas have prescribed different demigod worship?" Yes, that is replied in the Bhagavad-gītā: tad bhavaty alpa-medhasām (BG 7.23). Those who are less intelligent, for them, not for the first-class intelligent.

Those who are Kṛṣṇa conscious, they are first-class intelligent. They don't want anything beyond Kṛṣṇa. That's all. They don't want to know anything except Kṛṣṇa. The advantage is, if you can know Kṛṣṇa, then you know everything. And if you get Kṛṣṇa, you get everything. Therefore this conclusion cannot be perceived by less intelligent class of men. Exactly like that. If one is intelligent, he goes to the river from the village, and he takes there bath. River water is never contaminated, because constantly the wave is flowing. Suppose you contaminate a certain portion but it does not stand, it flows down immediately. Immediately, moment after moment, you are getting pure water. And especially in India.

In India there are so many nice rivers—Ganges, Yamunā, Godāvarī, Kāverī, Kṛṣṇā, Sindh. There are many rivers, all very nice water. In the Western countries I have seen only one river very nice, in Montreal. What is that river?

Devotee: St. Lawrence.

Prabhupāda: St. Lawrence, yes. All other rivers I have seen, they are very unclean, especially in Moscow, Hamburg. Oh, it is so dirty. So in India the rivers are very clean, and people take pleasure in taking bath in rivers. If there is river, nobody will take bath at home. They will go all to the river. And it is very refreshing. That you know. So this example is very nice, that if you go to the river, then your all purposes are served. But in the village, there are restricted, that "This well is for this purpose, this well is this purpose." It may be crowded. You have to wait for the opportunity. But the river is open. You can go there and have your business done very nicely. That will be summarized in the last verse:

akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā
mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ
tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena
yajeta paramaṁ puruṣa
(SB 2.3.10)

That will be the conclusion. Here, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is recommending different demigods for different purposes, because there are all classes of men. So to take immediate effect, they worship demigods. Kṣipram, "very soon." Generally, people do not go to worship Kṛṣṇa and Viṣṇu, because you cannot ask from Kṛṣṇa anything which is not good for you. Suppose you pray to Kṛṣṇa on the seaside, "Kṛṣṇa, give me a good fish. I want to catch," Kṛṣṇa will never fulfill your desire. That is Kṛṣṇa's mercies. Because Kṛṣṇa will not give you facility for possessing anything which will ultimately cause your harden(?). Kṛṣṇa knows that "If he catches a fish, then he will have to become a fish again, to be caught by the same fish." So why shall He give the facility? You see? So therefore our policy is not to ask anything from Kṛṣṇa. He knows what is good for me; simply I have to surrender unto Him. That's all. Why shall I bother Him, "Give me this, give me that, give me that"? No. Na dhanaṁ na janam . . . (CC Antya 20.29, Śikṣāṣṭaka 4).

Here, strī-kāma, beautiful wife, kāma, one who wants, devīm, he should worship Goddess Durgā. This is recommended here. But it is kāma. But those who are devotees, they have no kāma. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam (Brs. 1.1.11). Anya. Anya means other than Kṛṣṇa's service. They have made all, everything zero. We don't want all these things. We simply want to serve Kṛṣṇa. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam (CC Madhya 19.167)—jñāna means knowledge; karma means fruitive activities—uncovered by or untouched by fruitive activities and jñāna. Just like in Vṛndāvana, all the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, they never tried to know Kṛṣṇa, whether He is God.

That was not their business, jñānam. The jñānīs, they want to know. Just like Brahmā wanted to test whether Kṛṣṇa is God or not. Indra wanted to test whether . . . the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, they never did it. They think, "Kṛṣṇa is our very intimate friend, my beloved son, my lover, my master." Everyone's concentrated love for Kṛṣṇa in different mellows. That's all. Even when Kṛṣṇa played wonderful thing, so they simply thought, "Oh, He might be a demigod." You see? So they never tried to analyze Kṛṣṇa, but their love for Kṛṣṇa, there is no comparison.

So that is wanted. Jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam (CC Madhya 19.167). "Whether Kṛṣṇa is God or not, let me test . . ." You can test. But pure love means, "Whatever Kṛṣṇa may be, He is my lovable object," mat-prāṇa-nāthas tu sa eva nāparaḥ. We have no other business than to love Kṛṣṇa, whatever He may be. He may be God or He may be whatever He may be. That is called anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam (Brs. 1.1.11). Then what is the business? If everything is śūnyam . . . śūnyam means zero. No, we are not zero. We are positive. What is that? Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam (CC Madhya 19.167). Simply cultivate Kṛṣṇa consciousness favorably, "How I can become a lover of Kṛṣṇa?" That is wanted. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā. This is first-class devotion service.

Of course, we should know Kṛṣṇa; otherwise, it may be we may neglect Him. Just like we are trying to explain what is Deity. But if one has got unflinching love for the Deity, he doesn't require to understand the Deity through the śāstra. Spontaneous love. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu showed, as soon as He entered the Deity room, fainted, "Here is My Lord." That is first-class position of a devotee—without any other consideration. Enhance your love for Kṛṣṇa without any condition. That is required.

So these worship of different demigods are recommended in the scripture not to mislead him, but to lead him gradually to the higher stage. To lead him to the higher stage. Because the demigods are considered different limbs of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

ye 'py anya-devatā-bhaktā
yajante śraddhayānvitāḥ
te 'pi mām eva kaunteya
yajanty avidhi-pūrvakam
(BG 9.23)

Yajanty avidhi-pūrvakam. Just like if you want to serve me . . . there is a routine work how to serve superior. Now if you touch my hair, you are touching me, but that is not the service. You see? Service means there is routine work: you should touch my feet. Similarly, anywhere go, it is Kṛṣṇa, because without Kṛṣṇa there is no other existence.

So to worship the demigod, indirectly worshiping Kṛṣṇa, but avidhi-pūrvakam, without regulative principles. Yajanty avidhi-pūrvakam. The same example: if you want to touch me, so the regulative principle is that you have to touch the lotus feet of your spiritual master, not that you touch his head and do like that. You can say, "I am touching you." Oh, that's not the way. You have to touch according to the regulative principle. Similarly, those who are nonsense: "All right, you touch the hair of your spiritual master. If you cannot touch the lotus feet, then you touch . . ." giving a chance to come in touch. So this demigod worship, it is an example given.

Demigod worship is recommended in the Vedas. At least, they should gradually understand, "Who is this demigod? Why we are worshiping him? Wherefrom he has got this power?" Then, when one can understand that this Indra, Candra and Sūrya and Diti, Aditi, and fire, Lord Śiva, they are all different departmental heads of Kṛṣṇa's government; the real king is Kṛṣṇa—to understand that. Not that . . . then one could derive all the benefits from one department. No. The different departments are recommended: "If you want this, you approach this. If you want this, you approach this." In the conclusion it will be said that "Whatever you want, you go to Kṛṣṇa. Your all desires will be fulfilled." Yasmin vijñāte sarvam idaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.3). Akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ (SB 2.3.10). So? What is the time now? Kīrtana?

Devotee: It's 8:30.

Prabhupāda: So next, another verse you can read. (break) Āyuṣ-kāmo (devotees repeat words), aśviniṁ devan. So, you can . . .

Pradyumna: (leads chanting of verse)

. . . puṣṭi-kāma ilāṁ yajet
pratiṣṭhā-kāmaḥ puruṣo
rodasī loka-mātarau
(SB 2.3.5)

Prabhupāda: Next for two verse, finish. Rūpa-kāma. Rūpābhikāmo gandharvān.

Pradyumna: (leads chanting of verses; Prabhupāda corrects pronunciation)

. . . strī-kāmo 'psara urvaśīm
ādhipatya-kāmaḥ sarveṣāṁ
yajeta parameṣṭhinam
yajñaṁ yajed yaśas-kāmaḥ
kośa-kāmaḥ pracetasam
vidyā-kāmas tu giriśaṁ
dāmpatyārtha umāṁ satīm
(SB 2.3.6-7)

Prabhupāda: Hmm. Now you read the purport.

Pradyumna: Purport: "There are different modes of worship for different persons desiring success in particular subjects. The conditioned soul living within the purview of the material world cannot be an expert in every type of materially enjoyable asset, but one can have considerable influence over a particular matter by worshiping a particular demigod, as mentioned above. Rāvaṇa was made a very powerful man by worshiping Lord Śiva, and he used to offer severed heads to please Lord Śiva. He became so powerful by the grace of Lord Śiva that all the demigods were afraid of him, until he at last challenged the Personality of Godhead Śrī Rāmacandra and thus ruined himself."

"In other words, all such persons who aspire after gaining some or all of the material objects of enjoyment, or the gross materialistic persons, are on the whole less intelligent, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 7.20). It is said there that those who are bereft of all good sense, or those whose intelligence is withdrawn by the deluding energy of māyā, aspire after all sorts of material enjoyment in life by pleasing the respective demigods or by advancing in material civilization under the heading of scientific progress."

"The real problem of life in the material world is to solve the question of birth, death, old age and disease. No one wants to change his birthright, no one wants to meet death, no one wants to be old or invalid and no one wants diseases. But these problems are solved neither by the grace of any demigod nor by the so-called advancement of material science."

"In the Bhagavad-gītā, as well as in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, such less intelligent persons have been described as devoid of all good sense. Śukadeva Gosvāmī said that out of the 8,400,000 species of living entities, the human form of life is rare and valuable, and out of those rare human beings who are conscious of the material problem, none of those rare human beings . . . those who are conscious of the material problems are rarer still, and the still more rare persons are those who are conscious of the value of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, because it contains the messages of the Lord and His pure devotees."

"Death is inevitable for everyone, intelligent and foolish. But Parīkṣit Mahārāja has been addressed by the Gosvāmī as the manīṣī, or the man of highly developed mind, because at the time of death he left all material enjoyment and completely surrendered unto the lotus feet of the Lord by hearing His messages from the right person, Śukadeva Gosvāmī. But aspiration for material enjoyment by endeavoring persons is condemned. Such aspirations are something like the intoxication of the degraded human society. Intelligent persons should try to avoid it and seek instead the permanent life by returning home, back to Godhead."

Prabhupāda: You can read the śloka number 8 also. Dharmārtha uttama-ślokaṁ tantuḥ tanvan pitṟn yajet.

Pradyumna: (leads chanting of verse)

dharmārtha uttama-ślokaṁ
tantuḥ tanvan pitṟn yajet
rakṣā-kāmaḥ puṇya-janān
ojas-kāmo marud-gaṇān
(SB 2.3.8)

Prabhupāda: Read. Dharmārtha. (devotees chant verse) That's all right. Now . . . (another devotee chants)

Devotee: All glories to Śrī Guru . . .

Prabhupāda: Now have kīrtana.

Devotees: Jaya. All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. (devotees offer obeisances)

Prabhupāda: Vibration of this mantra will purify. This . . . even if we do not understand the meaning, try to vibrate the mantra. Hmm. (end)