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721103 - Lecture SB 01.02.23 - Vrndavana

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

721103SB-VRNDAVAN - November 03, 1972 - 28:59 Minutes

Pradyumna: (leads chanting of verse, etc.) (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: That's all. Word meaning.


sattvam—goodness; rajaḥ—passion; tamaḥ—darkness of ignorance; iti—thus; prakṛteḥ—of the material nature; guṇāḥ—qualities; taiḥ—by them; yuktaḥ—associated with; 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 Lord is indirectly associated with the three modes of material nature, namely passion, goodness and ignorance, and just for the material world's creation, maintenance and destruction He accepts the three qualitative forms of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva. Of these three, all living beings can derive ultimate benefit from Viṣṇu, the form of the quality of goodness."

Prabhupāda: Hmm.

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)

The material creation, mahat-tattva . . . sa īkṣata, as it is said in the Vedic literature, simply by glancing over the material nature and agitating the three modes of material nature, the whole creation comes out. This is an sum . . . sum and substance of material creation. Mahā-Viṣṇu is lying in the Causal Ocean, Kāraṇārṇava, and He is breathing, and from His breathing innumerable universes are coming out. And in each and every universe, Mahā-Viṣṇu, in His further expansion as Garbhodakaśāyī-Viṣṇu, He enters. That Garbhodakaśāyī-Viṣṇu, from His abdomen there is a lotus stem, and in that lotus flower Lord Brahmā is born. In this way, creation is made.

So actually, Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Maheśvara, they are the principal directors of the three guṇas. Therefore Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Maheśvara, they are called guṇāvatāra. Lord Viṣṇu is in charge of sattva-guṇa activities. Therefore brāhmin, the symbol of sattva-guṇa, they are Vaiṣṇavas. Formerly, in each and every home of a brāhmin, there was Viṣṇu worship. A brāhmin cannot worship any other demigods except Viṣṇu, because Viṣṇu is the in-charge of the sattva-guṇa, and brāhmin is also in the sattva-guṇa. So Viṣṇu asya devatā. For this reason brāhmin's another title is Vaiṣṇava. Brāhmin-vaiṣṇava. Or brāhmin-paṇḍita.

So on account of the three guṇas, there are three types of Vedic literature. Not directly śruti, but smṛti, the Purāṇas, they are divided into three divisions: sāttvika-purāṇa, rājasika-purāṇa and tāmasika-purāṇa. Śiva Purāṇa, Devī Purāṇa, they are sāttvika, rājasika. Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa, Viṣṇu Purāṇa, Śrīmad-Bhāgavata Purāṇa, they are sāttvika-purāṇas. The whole scheme is that everyone, every living entity within this material world, they are infected. That we have discussed. The most inferior infection is the rajas-tamas. And the superior rajas, uh, sattva-guṇa, that is also infection, but it is less harmful, whereas the infection of rajo-guṇa and sattva-guṇa is very much embarrassing.

Tadā rajas-tamo-bhāvāḥ kāma-lobhādayaś ca ye (SB 1.2.19). The whole material world is going on, impelled by . . . impelled by rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa. Generally. Sattva-guṇa is very little. Especially in this age, practically there is no sattva-guṇa. Rajo-guṇa also, very little. Tamo-guṇa predominant.

For this reason, śāstra says in this age most people are śūdras because there is scarcity of sattva-guṇa and rajo-guṇa. Brāhmin-kṣatriya. Brāhmins' activities and kṣatriya, practically nil. There is no protector. Kṣatriya means one who protects from injury, kṣata, kṣatriya, trāyate, one who protects people from being injured. Therefore the kṣatriya class, they were royal families, and the brāhmins, they were meant for giving spiritual education. Brahmā jānāti iti brāhmaṇa. And the vaiśyas, they were meant for trading, agriculture and cow protection. As the kṣatriyas were interested, entrusted for protecting the citizens, similarly the vaiśyas were entrusted for protecting the cows. Kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyaṁ vaiśya-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.44).

So now vaiśyas, they have got big, big factories, they can maintain big, big factories, but they cannot maintain a cow. That is the position. Similarly, kṣatriyas, they have taken different occupational duties. Brāhmins also, they have left their occupation. Only everyone has come to the platform of śūdras. Therefore it is very difficult to convince them about spiritual life.

Mostly people are śūdras. Śūdras, less intelligent. They cannot understand. Mūḍha. Less intelligent means mūḍha. The symbol of less intelligence is ass, mūḍha. The ass . . . Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has described the karmīs as mūḍha because they work very hard. Although the necessity of life is very little, still they work very hard, day and night. The ass is the symbol because the ass eats only a morsel of grass, but for the washerman he works so hard. So mūḍha. Because the people are mūḍhas, they cannot understand Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa says:

na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ
prapadyante narādhamāḥ
āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ
(BG 7.15)

So the guṇas, three guṇas, sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa, that is going on since the creation. So here it is said, sthity-ādaye hari-viriñci-hareti saṁjñāḥ. This, the same Lord, Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, has expanded Himself as Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā. We are also expansion. Brahmā is also jīva-tattva. He's also like us, jīva-tattva. Lord Śiva is between viṣṇu-tattva and jīva-tattva. And Lord Viṣṇu is viṣṇu-tattva. Viṣṇu-tattva, via media, and jīva-tattva. So they are all expansions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

So for controlling these three guṇas, they have taken charge. Viṣṇu is in charge of sattva-guṇa, and Brahmā is in charge of rajo-guṇa and Lord Śiva is in charge of tamo-guṇa. So Lord . . . Lord Brahmā creates, Lord Viṣṇu maintains and Lord Śiva destroys. These three things are going on. Sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya. So śreyāṁsi tatra khalu sattva-tanor nṛṇāṁ syuḥ.

Now, for our . . . solving our problems . . . what is our problem? That we do not know. There is a great problem. The problem is repetition of birth, death, old age and disease. This is the problem. Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam (BG 13.9). Those who are intelligent, they will . . . they will see that these are the real problems. But they do not care. Mṛtyu, they think, "All right, it is coming naturally. Let us die." But they do not know, after death, where he's going. "Never mind. I shall forget." People say like that.

In Western countries, when I speak, these questions are raised and they are so callous, they say: "Never mind next time if I become a dog. What is the harm? I'll forget that I was a man." Plainly they say. So many people have gone so much down that they cannot understand that low-grade life is not desirable, high grade life is desirable. They do not make any distinction. In whatever life it may be, if there is sufficient arrangement for eating, sleeping, mating, then they are happy. Viṣayaḥ khalu sarvataḥ syāt (SB 11.9.29).

By God's grace, nature has sufficiently given opportunity for enjoying these things: eating, sleeping, mating and defending. Just like these monkeys, they have got enough facility for eating, sleeping, mating, especially mating they have got very good facility. Beginning from the morning, they are going on in sex matters. And defending also, they have got nails and teeth.

So these things, śāstra says, viṣayaḥ khalu sarvataḥ syāt (SB 11.9.29). These necessities of life, they can be obtained in any form of life. There is no scarcity. But the human form of life, if it is wasted only for these facilities of life—eating, sleeping, mating and defending—then what is the credit of getting a human form of life? The śāstra therefore says, tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovidaḥ. In human form of life one should try to achieve that perfection which was not obtained in previous lives after wandering heaven and hell and all species of life. Bhramatām upary adhaḥ. Upari adhaḥ means upwards and downwards.

And we are wandering: sometimes downwards, sometimes outwards, sometimes poor, sometimes rich, sometimes man, sometimes dog, sometimes tree, sometimes demigod. In this way, we are wandering. Caitanya Mahāprabhu therefore says, ei rūpe brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva (CC Madhya 19.151). We are wandering in this way in different species of life, in different planets, but somehow or other, if one is fortunate, he comes in contact with a devotee by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja.

Here it is, also, it is said, śreyāṁsi tatra khalu sattva-tanor nṛṇāṁ syuḥ. If we want our ultimate goal, ultimate success, then we should accept the sattva-guṇa form of the Lord. The rajo-guṇa form and tamo-guṇa form are there, Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā. But śreyāṁsi, if we want our real benefit of life, then it is better to take shelter of the form of sattva-guṇa.

That will be explained in the next verse: pārthivād dāruṇo dhūmas tasmād agnis trayīmayaḥ (SB 1.2.24). Just like earth: from the earth the tree grows. So tree grows means wood. Now, if you ignite the wood, first of all there is smoke, then there is fire. So my necessity is fire—neither the wood, nor the earth, nor the smoke. Similarly, for getting out of these material clutches one has to take shelter of Viṣṇu—not of Lord Brahmā nor Lord Śiva.

It is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā: kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ yajante anya-devatāḥ (BG 7.20). Anya-devatāḥ means Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā and others. There are many, thirty-three crores of different demigods: Indra, Candra, Varuṇa, so many. So the chief of them is Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva. Lord Śiva is therefore called Mahādeva. He is above all these demigods. And Lord Śi . . . Brahmā is called pitāmaha. Pitāmaha means he's the father of all demigods. He's father of Lord Śiva also.

So in this way, if we really want salvation, free, freedom from these clutches of māyā . . . that is also explained in the Bhagavad-gītā: daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). This māyā is very, very hard to pass over. Duratyayā. Only means is: mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti. This is the version. Here it is also the same thing confirmed: śreyāṁsi. If you want ultimate goal—ultimate goal means to get free from the conditional life, repetition of birth, death, old age—then you have to take shelter of Lord Viṣṇu.

But people do not know that. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (SB 7.5.31). For temporary benefit they go to worship other demigods. But that is not their ultimate goal. Alpavat tu phalaṁ teṣāṁ tad bhavaty alpa-medhasām (BG 7.23). Antavat tu phalam teṣāṁ. If you take any benediction from other demigods, that is antavat. That will be finished. That is temporary. Antavat tu phalam . . . tad bhavaty alpa-medhasām.

Just like Lord Śiva's name is Āśutoṣa. He's very quickly becomes pleased to offer benediction, therefore generally people go to Āśutoṣa, Lord Śiva. He does not consider. If you can please him, you can take any kind of benediction from him. He'll be ready: "All right. You take it." Because he wants to avoid botheration. So when the devotees come, bother him, so to . . . just to get him out, he says: "All right, whatever you like, you take and go away." (chuckles) Therefore his name is Āśutoṣa. And people take the shelter of Āśutoṣa, Lord Śiva, for quick result. But Lord Viṣṇu is not like that. If you want something extraordinary from Lord Viṣṇu, it is not possible. He'll not give. Lord Brahmā also.

So, so here it is indicated: śreyāṁsi. If you want your ultimate goal, then you take shelter of Viṣṇu, the Lord of sattva-guṇa. Then you'll be benefited. Not by others. But we are generally influenced by the rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa, lust and greediness. Therefore kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ (BG 7.20). We, we are lost of intelligence, influenced by lust and greediness, and therefore we take shelter of other demigods. Kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ yajante anya-devatāḥ. Antavat tu phalaṁ teṣāṁ tad bhavaty alpa-medhasām (BG 7.23). Alpa-medhasām. Means people do not know.

Suppose I take some material benefit, temporary benefit . . . every material benefit is temporary. Whatever benefit we have in this life, as soon as this body's finished, all our benefit finished. Then I'll have to take another body, which may not be even human form of body. Sometimes we are being too much attached to our present possession. We remain in the possession, but in a different form. In a different form.

There are many, I mean, Purānic, Paurānic incidences—that is long story—that by karma, we take birth in different forms of life, and if we have got too much attachment . . . sometimes a person, the proprietor of the house, after death, remains in that house as serpent, sometimes as dog, sometimes as tree. Being too much attached to the possession, they cannot get better life. And sometimes we can get the body of hog and monkey in Vṛndāvana also. That is a great science one has to learn: how the transformation of the body takes place, how our attachment acts in that way. Yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran loke (BG 8.6). This is a great science.

Unfortunately, there is no educational system; neither do they know the process of transmigration of the soul. So everyone is in ignorance. Everyone is in ignorance. Neither they're interested to take knowledge from the Vedic scripture. Everything is described there. Just like Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: it is the end of knowledge. Vidyā-bhāgavatāvadhi. If one wants to be educated, he has to come to the limit of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and all the sublime informations are there.

Now if we take instruction of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, as it is indicated, every one of us should take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is clearly said, śreyāṁsi tatra khalu sattva-tanoḥ . . . sattva-tanor nṛṇāṁ syuḥ (SB 1.2.23). Lord Viṣṇu . . . and Viṣṇu, the original Viṣṇu, is Lord Kṛṣṇa. So if we take to Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa's shelter . . . Kṛṣṇa also says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66).

So if we take shelter of Kṛṣṇa, according to the injunction of the śāstras and Vedas . . . vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ (BG 15.15). That is stated in Bhagavad-gītā. The purpose of all Vedic knowledge is to understand Kṛṣṇa, and as soon as we understand Kṛṣṇa, what He is, then tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti (BG 4.9), then hariṁ vinā na mṛtiṁ taranti.

If we want to stop this repetition of birth, death, old age and disease, then we must take shelter of Lord Viṣṇu. And Kṛṣṇa is the origin of all viṣṇu-tattva. That means we must become Kṛṣṇa conscious. That is our highest benefit of life.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Haribol . . . (break) (end)