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720826 - Lecture SB 01.02.23 - Los Angeles

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

720826SB-LOS ANGELES - August 26, 1972 - 40:55 Minutes

Prabhupāda: (sings Jaya Rādhā-Mādhava) (prema-dhvani) Thank you very much.

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

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Canto number one, Chapter Two, text 23. (leads chanting of verse) (Prabhupāda and devotees repeat)

sattvaṁ rajas tama iti prakṛter guṇās tair
yuktaḥ paraḥ puruṣa eka ihāsya dhatte
sthity-ādaye hari-viriñci-hareti saṁjñāḥ
śreyāṁsi tatra khalu sattva-tanor nṛṇāṁ syuḥ
(SB 1.2.23)

(Prabhupāda corrects some pronunciation)

Prabhupāda: Ladies. Ladies. (interrupting as Svarūpa Dāmodara begins chanting) Ācchā. Go on, go on. No, you can go on. (Svarūpa Dāmodara chants) Now ladies. Ladies. (lady chants) That's all. Now word meaning.


sattvam—goodness; rajaḥ—passion; tamaḥ—darkness of ignorance; iti—thus; prakṛteḥ—of the material nature; guṇāḥ—qualities; taiḥ—by them; yuktaḥ—associated by; paraḥ—transcendental; puruṣaḥ—the personality; ekaḥ—one; iha asya—of this material world; dhatte—accepts; sthiti-ādaye—for the matter of creation, maintenance and destruction, etc.; hari—Viṣṇu, the Personality of Godhead; viriñci—Brahmā; hara—Lord Śiva; iti—thus; saṁjñāḥ—different features; śreyāṁsi—ultimate benefit; tatra—therein; khalu—of course; sattva—goodness; tanoḥ—form; nṛṇām—of the human being; syuḥ—derived.

Translation: "The transcendental Personality of Godhead is indirectly associated with the three modes of material nature, namely goodness, passion, ignorance, and just for the material world's creation, maintenance and destruction, He accepts the three qualitative forms of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and the Maheśvara trio. Out of them, the form of the quality of goodness, Viṣṇu, is just suitable for deriving the ultimate benefit for all human beings."

Prabhupāda: So the material world means the three qualities. Material world is going on under three energetic . . . energies—sattva, raja, tama. We have explained several times, we see varieties of living entities, varieties of trees, varieties of everything. Anywhere you go, you simply find varieties. Some of them you like, some of them you do not like. So these varieties are due to these three material modes of nature, sattva, raja, tama.

So when creation has taken place, the things should be managed properly. So Kṛṣṇa Himself, He expands into three forms for management. One form is Lord Viṣṇu, one form is Lord Śiva and the other form is Lord Brahmā. Brahmā creates, Lord Viṣṇu maintains and Lord Śiva destroys. Because in the material nature, you cannot have anything permanent. That is material nature. It is just like the flashlight. When you pass through roads and avenue, there are three lights—red, blue and yellow. They're passing through, always. Not that the blue is always existing, or red is always existing, or the yellow is always. Passing, simply. That is the nature, material nature.

Here, everything is born. That is called sṛṣṭi, creation. Everything is creation. That is our experience. Everything is created, and it is maintained for some time. Just like my body, your body, is created, and it will be maintained for some times. But at the end, when the body is old, it will be destroyed. This is material nature. Some of the philosophers, they say there is no such thing, creation or destruction; everything is existing always. That we also accept. That everything is existing always means Kṛṣṇa. And Kṛṣṇa . . . the creation is going through three stages. The creation taking place, it is being maintained for some time, and again it is destroyed. These things are going on.

The same example: the lights, flashlights. They are coming and going. But the puller of the lights, behind the light, he is existing. Similarly, the creator is existing, but not the creation. Creation is coming into existence, is sustained, and again . . . (indistinct) . . . but the creator is there. Aham evāsam agre. Lord Kṛṣṇa says that, "Before creation I was there." Otherwise who will create? "Before creation I was there. While creation is maintained, I am there. And when it is destroyed, still I am there."

So in three stages, Kṛṣṇa is there: in the past, present and future. Therefore He knows everything. If, under my direction, something is going, going on, I have created something, is maintained, and it is destroyed, I am seeing, or I am ordering, then I am always existing. I know when it is created, when it is maintained and when it is destroyed.

So Kṛṣṇa knows past, present and future. Kṛṣṇa does not mean alone. Kṛṣṇa means there is another kingdom. Just like when we speak of a king, it means the king is not alone. There is queen, there is palace, there is bodyguard, there is secretary, there is commander in chief, so many things. Just like in England, there is Queen Elizabeth. It does not mean that Queen Elizabeth is alone. She has got so many paraphernalia. Similarly, when we speak of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa means His name, His form, His quality, His activities, His pastimes, His friends, His mother, His father, His cowherd . . . cows, His Vṛndāvana . . . so many things. That is another variety. And here this material world, this variety, this variety is imitation of that variety. And that variety is eternal; this variety is created, maintained and destroyed. But in the middle, the point, Kṛṣṇa, He is ever-existing.

Therefore, in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, ūrdhva-mūlam adhah-śākham (BG 15.1). You have . . . you know. Just like a tree, standing on the shore of a reservoir of water, you'll find the reflection of the tree downwards. Everything is topsy-turvied. The trunk, the root is on the up, and the foliage, which is on the up, that has come down. Similarly, this material world is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, Fifteenth Chapter: ūrdhva-mūlam adhah-śākham. Generally, we see tree downwards, root, but in the reflection you will find the roots upward. Therefore ūrdhva-mūlam adhah-śākham means these material varieties are simply an imitation of the original variety.

Just like I'll give you very nice example. Just there will be a great fair, just like we had in this Allahabad, Māgha-melā. So because government knew that many people will come to take bath in the Ganges, confluence of Ganges and Yamunā, all of a sudden a great city, practically, was developed. Those who have seen—so many houses, camps, electric light, post office, everything. Temporary, created. But as soon as . . . it is maintained also so long the melā, the fair, is going on.

And as soon as the duration of melā is finished, all people go away and the temporary township is also demolished. That we have seen. Similarly, this material world means it is a kind of fair, assembly of so many men. What is the purpose? The purpose is to give them chance, just the Māgha-melā is a chance to become purified, to become pious. They take bath in the Ganges. They become . . . get an opportunity, an auspicious moment to take bath.

So it is like that. There are living entities who are eternally conditioned and there are living entities eternally liberated. The eternally liberated souls, living entities, they are with Kṛṣṇa, they're dancing with Kṛṣṇa, because they have no other desire than to satisfy Kṛṣṇa.

That is the difference between eternally conditioned and eternally liberated. Eternally liberated means they have no other desire. All these gopīs, all the cowherds boys, all the cows, all the trees, all the water, all the father, mother, friends, they're simply trying to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. That is Vṛndāvana. They have no other business. That is Vṛndāvana. The central point is Kṛṣṇa.

And here, in this material world, everyone is trying to satisfy himself. His center is he himself. Therefore he's exploiting others, he's cheating others, he's making so many things, bluffing, because he wants to enjoy himself. That's all. This is the difference between spiritual world and material world. If you want to satisfy yourself, your senses, that is material. And if you want to satisfy Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa's senses, then it is spiritual. This is the difference. So either do it here or go to Vaikuṇṭha, Goloka, do there—the business is the same.

So this is a chance, these conditioned souls who have come to this material world to enjoy senses, they are giving chance, they are given chance, "All right, you enjoy. You want to enjoy as human being. All right, take a body of human being. If you want to enjoy like a tiger, all right, take a body. If you want to enjoy as demigod, all right, take a body." Kṛṣṇa is so liberal, "Take, and enjoy as you like. But you'll never be happy." That is the crucial point. "If you want to (be) happy, then surrender unto Me." This is the point. You cannot manufacture your happiness. That is not possible. Therefore this is . . . this creation is there. Try to understand.

Why there is creation? This creation is a chance given to the conditioned soul how to come to his senses, that living entity, that he is eternally servant of Kṛṣṇa, part and parcel. His only business is to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. So here is a chance. If we don't take this chance, then again the creation will be wound up, it will be destroyed. Again there will be creation, again another chance will be given. This is going on. Bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate (BG 8.19). In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate. It is manifested sometimes and maintained for some time and again destroyed.

Now the original person is Kṛṣṇa. Now, to maintain this creation, He expands Himself into three: hari, viriñci, hara. Hari means Viṣṇu, viriñci means Brahmā and hara means Lord Śiva. Hari-viriñci-hareti saṁjñāḥ. But, just like the Māyāvādī philosopher said that, "Then, if Kṛṣṇa has become Hari, Viriñci and Hara, three, so I can worship anyone." No. That is hinted here: śreyāṁsi tatra khalu sattva-tanor nṛṇāṁ syuḥ.

But if you want your ultimate goal, then you take shelter of Viṣṇu—sattva-tanoḥ—not Śiva, not Brahmā. Here, clearly says. If you want. Because your conditioned life is due to your disobedience to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So unless you surrender unto Him, you again become obedient, there is no question of your goodness or your good or fortune. That is not possible. That is explained here.

Śreyāṁsi, if you want . . . śreyāṁsi means if you want really ultimate benefit of your life, then sattva-tanoḥ. Sattva-tanoḥ means Viṣṇu. You have to take shelter of the form of the Lord who is representing sattva-guṇa, goodness. Not the rajo-guṇa, not the tamo-guṇa. If you take to rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa, then tadā rajas-tamo-bhāvāḥ kāma-lobhādayaś ca ye (SB 1.2.19), then you will be influenced by two qualities, namely greediness and lust. That's all. You'll never come to your senses. You'll be carried away by these two modes of material nature.

Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura therefore said, māyār bośe, jāccho bhese' khāccho hābuḍubu bhāi. "My dear brother, you are being carried away by the waves of this material nature, two modes of material nature, and you are being harassed. Sometimes you are drowned, sometimes you are up." So, jīv kṛṣṇa-dās, e biśvās, korle to' ār duḥkho nāi. If you simply believe that you are eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, then there is no more carrying out, no more carried away by these two things, lusty . . . lust and greediness. Therefore it is advised here that tatra . . . śreyāṁsi tatra khalu sattva-tanor nṛṇāṁ syuḥ. Our ultimate benefit rests when you take shelter of the sattva-tanoḥ.


Pradyumna: "Why Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa with his plenary parts shall be rendered devotional service as it is explained above is confirmed by this statement. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa and all His plenary parts are viṣṇu-tattva, or the Lordship of Godhead. From Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the next manifestation is Baladeva. From Baladeva is Saṅkarṣaṇa; from Saṅkarṣaṇa is Nārāyaṇa; again from Nārāyaṇa there is the second Saṅkarṣaṇa; and from this Saṅkarṣaṇa the Viṣṇu puruṣa-avatāras."

"The Viṣṇu, or the Deity of the quality of goodness, in the material world is the puruṣa-avatāra known as Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, or Paramātmā. Brahmā is the deity of rajas, or passion, and Śiva for ignorance. They are three departmental heads of the three qualities of this material world. Creation is made possible by the quality of passion and endeavor; it is maintained by the goodness of Viṣṇu; and when it is required to be destroyed, Lord Śiva does it by tāṇḍava-nṛtya."

"The materialists and the foolish human beings do worship Brahmā and Śiva respectively, but the pure transcendentalists do worship the form of goodness, Viṣṇu, in His various forms. Viṣṇu is manifested by His millions and billions of integrated forms and separated forms. The integrated forms are called Godhead, and the separated forms are called the living entities, or the jīvas. But either the jīvas or Godhead, both of them have their original, spiritual forms. The jīvas are sometimes subjected under the control of the material energy, but the Viṣṇu forms are always controller of the material energy. When . . ."

Prabhupāda: There is a difference between ordinary form and Viṣṇu form. Ordinary forms, they are controlled by Viṣṇu. Go on . . . nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). That is the Vedic injunction.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "When Viṣṇu, or the Personality of Godhead, appears in the material world, He comes to deliver the conditioned living beings who are under the material energy. Such living being appears in the material world with intention of lording it over falsely, and thus becomes entrapped by the three modes of nature. As such, the living entities have to change the material coverings for undergoing different terms of imprisonment."

"The prison house of the material world is created by Brahmā under instruction of the Personality of Godhead, and at the conclusion of a kalpa, the whole thing is destroyed by Śiva. But so far maintenance of the prison house is concerned, it is done by Viṣṇu, as much as the state prison house is maintained by the state. Anyone, therefore, who may wish to get out of this prison house of material existence, which is full of miseries like repetition of birth, death, diseases and old age, must please Lord Viṣṇu for such liberation."

“Lord Viṣṇu is worshiped by devotional service only, and if anyone has to continue the prison life in the material world, he may ask for relative facilities from the different demigods like Śiva, Brahmā, Indra, Varuṇa, etc., for temporary relief. No such demigods can, however, release the imprisoned living being from the conditioned life of material existence except Viṣṇu. As such, the ultimate benefit may be derived from Viṣṇu, the Personality of Godhead."

Prabhupāda: Just like one is a prisoner. So if he pleases the superintendent of prison, he can get some little facilities. Now I have seen, practically, that one young boy, he was imprisoned for some criminal act. So he was typing in the office of the jail superintendent. So that means he was educated, but he was put into ordinary prison term. He was breaking some stone. But he satisfied the jail superintendent that, "I am not accustomed to this. However, I can serve you in some other way." So he saw that, "He is educated. He knows. All right. You come to my office. Just help me in typing."

So this facility one can have. But not released from the prison house. That is not in the power of the superintendent. Similarly, all the demigods, they can give you a temporary facility, but they cannot give you relief from this prison. Ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino 'rjuna (BG 8.16). People are going to heavenly planets and our planets . . . just like they are going to the moon planet. But they are again coming down. Again coming down. Either by machine or by fruitive activities, you can be transferred to higher planetary system, but again you have to come back.

Kṣīṇe puṇye punaḥ martya-lokaṁ viśanti. You cannot get release. If you want to get release, then you have to come to Viṣṇu. Then you will get release. Śudhyanti prabhaviṣṇave namaḥ (SB 2.4.18). Viṣṇu can do. Hariṁ vinā na mṛtiṁ taranti. This Hari. If you do not surrender to Hari, then you cannot get release from these four principles of material life, namely birth, death, old age and disease. You cannot get.

Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated: kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ yajante anya-devatāḥ (BG 7.20). Hṛta-jñānāḥ, hṛta-jñānāḥ, those who have lost their intelligence, they are influenced by their lust and greediness. They worship different demigods to get some material temporary benefit. Therefore they are called naṣṭa-buddhi. His real problem is how to get out of this entanglement of repetition of birth and death. But he doesn't care that. He thinks, "Oh, now I am living in this way. If I live in a palatial building, then my problem is solved." That is not your problem solved, solution of the problem. That is not solution. But people are very much enamored by this temporary material element.

Therefore they are called by Kṛṣṇa as naṣṭa-buddhayaḥ, hṛta-jñānāḥ. Their actual knowledge is lost. Real thing is . . . just like in the jail. The same example, the boy was given a little relief. Instead of breaking stone, he was allowed to type in the office. That does not mean his problem is solved. His problem is solved when he's out of the prison. That is.

But that the superintendent of police cannot give. That will be given by the government. Similarly, if we want to get relief from this prison house of material existence, we must take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. No other method will relieve us.

Thank you very much.

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