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720720 - Lecture SB 01.01.10 - London

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

720720SB-LONDON - July 20, 1972 - 42:25 Minutes

Prabhupāda: (leads singing of Jaya Rādhā-Mādhava) (prema-dhvani) Thank you very much.

Devotees: All glories to Śrī Guru and Gauranga. (devotees offer obeisances)

Prabhupāda: Chant.

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. (leads chanting of verse) (Prabhupāda and devotees repeat)

prāyeṇālpāyuṣaḥ sabhya
kalāv asmin yuge janāḥ
mandāḥ sumanda-matayo
manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ
(SB 1.1.10)

Prabhupāda: Next? Anyone?

(corrects pronunciation) Prāyeṇālpāyuṣaḥ sabhya. The spelling is there. Prāyeṇālpāyuṣaḥ sabhya. Next.

Prāyeṇālpāyuṣaḥ sabhya. Anyone? That's all right. Hmm.


prāyeṇa—almost always; alpa—meager; āyuṣaḥ—duration of life; sabhya—member of a learned society; kalau—in this age of Kali (quarrel); asmin—herein; yuge—age; janāḥ—the public; mandāḥ—lazy; sumanda-matayaḥ—misguided; manda-bhāgyāḥ—unlucky; hi—and above all; upadrutāḥ—disturbed.

Translation: "O learned one, in this iron age of Kali men have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed."

Prabhupāda: So these are the good qualifications of this age. This is predicted five thousand years ago, and we are thinking that we have made so much advance. According to Darwin's evolutionary theory, they say that we have begun our life from the most insignificant stone or something like that. What is the beginning of Darwin, hmm?

Devotees: Amoeba.

Prabhupāda: Amoeba. And here it is said that they are thinking advanced, and here they say this Kali-yuga, they are qualified with this nonsense. What is this? Quarrelsome. Yes. First quality, quarrelsome. If we speak to them the right truth, they will, "No. We have got this opinion. You have got this opinion," and others, "I have got another opinion." Just like the other day, the gentleman was talking. He brought some mānava-dharma.

When I asked: "Where is that mānava-dharma stated in some Vedic literature?" They are very much forward to say that they believe in Vedas, where was the word mānava-dharma in the Veda? At that time he said that, "It is at home. I will show you." So in Bengali there is a proverb, para-hasta tataṁ dhanaṁ puti-gata-vidyā. A man, just like somebody promised us a huge amount, but next he says that "My money is in another's hand. I shall try to get it as soon as possible."

So this kind of money has no value. I am calculating . . .

(aside) Hmm. Thank you. Very good.

You can think that the whole Midland Bank belongs to you. You can think like that, but that is not position of value. Real version means what it is within your control, within your hand. Otherwise, if you think that "So many people have promised me millions of dollars, so I am proprietor of millions of . . ." that is bogus. Similarly, education, knowledge, I have got knowledge, but I can speak to you when I open the book. That is not knowledge. Knowledge you must assimilate. Or possession, you must actually possess the wealth, then it is in control. But in this age without knowledge, without possessing wealth they are proud and they will fight, quarrelsome.

And next qualification is lazy. This . . . every morning we are going to park, but this park has not been utilized by the Londoner. They are sleeping. We have come from India. We are taking advantage of the morning walk. So in this age, according to Vedic system, everyone should rise early in the morning, at least one and a half hours before the sunrise. That is called brāhma-muhūrta.

During that time, if you read, say, one hour, this one hour is equal to five hours in the daytime, it is so convenient. But people are lazy. They think, "If I can sleep up to ten o'clock that is a great work." Not only lazy in their daily behavior, but lazy in every respect, "All right, I shall see later on." Everything, even business transaction. You write some letter some government department, it will be replied after three years.

So this is a position of the present generation. They are quarrelsome, lazy in their daily affairs and lazy also in the real activity, which should be for self-realization. This life is so important that not a single moment we shall lose without profit. Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says, āyuṣaḥ kṣaṇa eko 'pi na labhya svarṇa-koṭibhiḥ (Cāṇakya-śloka 34). A moment of your life cannot be returned back even if you pay many millions of pounds. Today, 20th July, now the six o'clock passed.

Now if you offer millions of pounds, "Please return back this six o'clock, 20th July, 1972," it will never come back. It is gone. So Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says time is so valuable that even a moment is passed without any utility, then how much loss you have suffered just imagine, because it cannot be returned back even if you pay millions of dollars and pounds. That is a fact.

But we are wasting so much time talking nonsense. This life, this valuable life, is very, very important, this human form of life. Why is it important? You can get out of all miserable condition of material life. We should try to understand, the material life means simply miseries. But they are illusioned by māyā. They are accepting this miserable life as very comfortable. This is called māyā.

So our life, this human form of life, is for understanding our constitutional position that, "I am not this body; I am spirit soul. So long in the lower grades of life, animal life, I have simply wasted my time considering myself as the body. Now in the human form of life I am intelligent enough, my consciousness is developed, so I should understand that I am not this body; I am spirit soul."

So life after life I worked hard for comfort of this body, which I am not. Now I am understanding that, "I am not this body; I am spirit soul," so what is my activity? Actually our life, span of life, should be utilized by spiritual activities, tapo divyaṁ. Spiritual activities mean you have to stand on the spiritual platform by austerity. If you give away your life by the waves of this material life—eating, sleeping, mating and defending—and do not take care of your spirit soul, then the sastras says, vipala tan na jati: then you are wasting your life.

So there are so many information about our life, how to utilize life properly, but you are lazy. You don't care for it. Just like here in this temple, we are always giving instruction how one can utilize his life properly, but nobody is interested. A few fortunate boys and girls are interested, but others are not very interested. If there is some club, if there is some dancing or some political meeting or some bogus humbug meeting, thousands of people will gather there. But when there is real knowledge from the Vedas, people are very much lazy; they do not come. You have to canvass door to door, "Please come here. Please come. Take little prasāda." Still they are not coming.

So our task is very . . . to make the lazy fellow awaken. Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mission is like that. Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, jīva jāgo, jīva jāgo, gorācaṅda bole (Aruṇodaya-kīrtana II). Gauracandra means Lord Caitanya. He is saying: "O the living entity, please get up. Please get up." That is not Caitanya Mahāprabhu's version; it is a Vedic version. The Vedic version is uttiṣṭhataḥ jāgrataḥ prāpta-varaṁ nibodhata (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.3.14).

Veda says: "Now, you get up now." "Well, I am very active." No, that is not activity. Real activity is spiritual activity. Present activity you were engaged in, that is bodily activity. So sometimes people, those who are engaged in bodily activity just like the monkeys, they think that, "These fellows are lazy." We are thinking they are lazy, they are thinking we are lazy. This is opposite side. We are thinking they are in the darkness; they are thinking we are in the darkness. Yes. That is stated:

yā niśā sarva-bhūtānāṁ
tasyāṁ jāgarti saṁyamī
(BG 2.69)

What is niśā, means night for these karmīs, in that night, the transcendentalist, he is awake.

So lazy, quarrelsome . . . quarrelsome, lazy and misguided. Misguided. So many so-called religious and philosophical nonsense societies are there, simply misguiding. They do not know actually what is spiritual life, but people want to be misguided. You can do all nonsense, you can eat anything you like, there is no connection with religion, and they are satisfied, "Oh, it is very nice." And when it comes to Bhaktivedanta Swami, "He prescribes so many things. He is so conservative." (laughter) You see? Alan Ginsberg, he said: "Swāmījī, you are very conservative." (laughter) I said, "I am very liberal. You do not know what is conservativeness means."

In India . . . you have no experience, but a tapasvī, just like a sannyāsī, a sannyāsī cannot come in touch with a woman. A woman must stand at least ten yards away from the sannyāsī. That is the regulation. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, when he was sannyāsī, no woman would come near to him, offering obeisances. They should offer obeisances at least ten yards away. So now I am moving amongst the women. But what can be done? This is a different country. If I say that, "You women, you go away. You cannot come here," then where is my preaching? If I say that "You cannot mix with us," then where is my preaching? The woman and man, they are equally important in the respect of spiritual realization, because Kṛṣṇa says:

māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya
ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
striyo śūdrās tathā vaiśyās
te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim
(BG 9.32)

Kṛṣṇa does not discriminate. Anyone, any pāpa-yoni, lowborn, or the less-intelligent, striyaḥ, woman, Śūdra, Vaiśya, they are less intelligent. Kṛṣṇa says "Anyone; it does not matter. If one takes shelter of Me properly, then he or she is promoted to the spiritual world." That is Kṛṣṇa's version. And in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also it is said:

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

By taking to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, not to speak of the civilized man or woman— even the kirāta. Kirāta means generally the black man in the jungle, they are called kirāta. Hūṇa, hūṇas are there in north of Russia. They are all recorded in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, kirāta-hūṇāndhra-pulinda-pulkaśā (SB 2.4.18). There are so many names. They are less than the Śūdras. They are called pāpa-yoni.

So Bhāgavata accept everyone. Not only the persons who are mentioned, described, ye 'nye ca pāpā; even less than these, śudhyanti prabhaviṣṇave namaḥ, how they can . . . others may ask that: "How they can be purified? They are so much uncivilized, misbehaved. How they can be purified to become a Vaiṣṇava?" So śāstra says: "Yes, they can be purified," śudhyanti. How it is possible? Prabhaviṣṇave namaḥ. That is the omnipotency of the Lord Viṣṇu. Man cannot do that. Man cannot make a civilized lowborn man uplifted to the most exalted position. No. That is not possible. It is humanly impossible. But Viṣṇu, Lord Viṣṇu, He can do.

So Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is so nice that anyone, from any lowest position, can be elevated to the highest position of Vaiṣṇava, transcendental position, paramahaṁsa position, provided he agrees to the principle, vyapāśritya, māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya, visesana atītya, by the particular ways and means. So actually we are seeing, we are prescribing very simple thing: chant sixteen rounds, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare. It is very easy.

If you spare only two hour . . . if you become accustomed, it takes one and a half hour. So you have got at your disposal twenty-four hours. So you sleep eight hours and do your work eight hour in the office or business—sixteen hour. And four hours for your taking bath or eating. So twenty hour. Still you have got four hour. Can you not spare two hours for chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa?

But they are lazy and unfortunate. You see? That is it. Quarrelsome: they will quarrel, they will fight. "Why shall I chant Hare Kṛṣṇa?" This is quarrelsome. And lazy. They cannot spare. They will go to the cinema, they will go to rascal club, these are the . . . but chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa they have no time. Lazy. Lazy and misguided. They do not take to this because they are misguided. They have got some so-called guide, guru. They will not take this simple . . . misguided, and why, in spite of this opportunity that simply by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra one comes to the transcendental platform? So simple thing, but still they do not take to it. Why? Unlucky. Just like unlucky man, if you offer him something, "Take this millions of dollar," somehow or other he will refuse it. Unlucky and, above all, always disturbed.

So this is the condition of the present age. The people are embarrassed, practically. So many. Yesterday I was reading that book, written by one, what is his name, the gentleman came?

Devotee: . . . (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: He has admitted in there that people are so much embarrassed in spite of so-called economic development and fancy living, but they are embarrassed. This is the position, unlucky and embarrassed, disturbed. Therefore, at the same time this human life is meant for self-realization, so . . . and in this embarrassed condition you cannot take to any serious method of self-realization—karma, jñāna, yoga.

There are different methods, karma, jñāna, yoga, bhakti. So out of all these processes, bhakti is transcendental. Generally karma, jñāna, yoga, that is the processes to elevate oneself from these material conditions. So śāstra says that you cannot perform the karma-kāṇḍīya activities, sacrificing great yajñas. That is not possible. You cannot meditate peacefully. That is also not possible. Karma, jñāna, and you cannot simply speculate, because your brain is so dull that higher thoughts, you cannot accommodate.

So the only means of self-realization recommended in the śāstra: harer nāma harer nāma harer nāma (CC Adi 17.21), three times. Three times means if somebody presents that "I shall elevate myself by the karma-kāṇḍīya function," so the śāstra says, "No! Harer nāma." If you say that "I shall make myself perfect by empiric . . . advancement of empiric knowledge," śāstra says, "No! Harer nāma, three times."

If you say: "I shall make myself perfect by mystic yoga practice," śāstra says, "No!" because these things we'll not be able. Your qualification is that you are lazy, quarrelsome, unlucky, disturbed, so these things will not be possible. Therefore three times harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva, eva, only, kevalam. There is no other alternative. Then next line, kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā. Because this age is so polluted there is no other, alternative method. Nāsty eva. Nāsty means that there is nothing like this, nothing like this.

So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is scientific, authorized according to the Vedic sanction. So this process in this age should be accepted by the intelligent men. Then?

Pradyumna: Purport: "The devotees of the Lord are always anxious for the spiritual improvement of the general public. When the sages of Naimiṣāraṇya analyzed the state of affairs of the people in this age of Kali, they foresaw that men would live short lives. In Kali-yuga, the duration of life is shortened not so much because of insufficient food, but because of irregular habits. By keeping regular habits and eating simple food, any man can maintain his health. Overeating, over–sense-gratification, overdependence on another's mercy, and artificial standards of living sap the very vitality of human energy. Therefore the duration of life is shortened."

Prabhupāda: Yes. Our vitality . . . the present mode of living is reducing the vitality. Actually we can see your father, your forefathers, grandfather, as they were tall, as they were stout. You might have seen their picture. Your stature is not like that. Everyone. This is, when the vitality is reduced, the status of the body, strength of the body, is also reduced. So because we are accustomed to so many malpractices, so vitality is reducing. The span of life is reducing. That you do not know. Go on.

Pradyumna: "The people of this age are also very lazy, not only materially but in the matter of self-realization. The human life is especially meant for self-realization. That is to say, man should come to know what he is, what the world is and what the supreme truth is. Human life is a means by which the living entity can end all miseries of material existence which arise in the hard struggle for existence, and by which he can return to Godhead, his eternal home. But, due to a bad system of education, men have no desire for self-realization. Even if they come to know about it, they unfortunately become victims of misguided leaders."

“In this age, men are not only victims of different political creeds and parties, but also of many different types of sense-gratificatory diversions, namely cinemas, sports, gambling, clubs, mundane libraries, bad association, smoking, drinking, cheating, pilfering, bickerings and so on. Their minds are always disturbed and full of anxieties due to so many different engagements. In this age, many unscrupulous men manufacture their own religious faiths, which are not based on any revealed scriptures, and very often people who are addicted to sense gratification are attracted by such institutions. Consequently, in the name of religion, so many sinful acts are being carried on, and the people in general have neither peace of mind nor health of body."

"The student (brahmacārī) communities are no longer being maintained, and householders do not observe the rules and regulations of the gṛhastha-āśrama. Consequently, the so-called vānaprasthas and sannyāsīs who come out of such gṛhastha-āśramas are easily deviated from the rigid path. In the Kali-yuga the whole atmosphere is surcharged with faithlessness. Men are no longer interested in spiritual values. Material sense gratification is now the standard of civilization. For the maintenance of such material civilizations, man has formed complex nations and communities, and there is a constant strain of hot and cold wars between these different groups."

"It has become very difficult, therefore, to raise the spiritual standard due to the present distorted values of human society. The sages of Naimiṣāraṇya are anxious to disentangle all fallen souls, and here they are seeking the remedy from Śrīla Sūta Gosvāmī."

Prabhupāda: So that is the business of saintly persons. They are simply trying how to deliver this entangled human society. That is their business.

Hare Kṛṣṇa. Thank you. (devotees offer obeisances) (end)