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740601 - Lecture SB 01.13.10 - Geneva

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

740601SB-GENEVA - June 01, 1974 - 27:39 Minutes

Nitāi: (leads chanting, etc.) (devotee repeat)

bhavad-vidhā bhāgavatās
tīrtha-bhūtāḥ svayaṁ vibho
tīrthī-kurvanti tīrthāni
svāntaḥ-sthena gadābhṛtā
(SB 1.13.10)

bhavad—your good self; vidhāḥ—like; bhāgavatās—devotees; tīrtha—the holy places of pilgrimage; bhūtāḥ—converted into; svayaṁ—personally; vibho—O powerful one; tīrthī-kurvanti—make into a holy place of pilgrimage; tīrthāni—the holy places; svāntaḥ-sthena—having been situated in the heart; gadābhṛtā—the Personality of Godhead


Translation: "My lord, devotees like your good self are verily holy places personified. Because you carry the Supreme Personality of Godhead within your heart, you turn all places into places of pilgrimage."


bhavad-vidhā bhāgavatās
tīrtha-bhūtāḥ svayaṁ vibho
tīrthī-kurvanti tīrthāni
svāntaḥ-sthena gadābhṛtā
(SB 1.13.10)

So tīrthī, tīrtha. Tīrtha means holy place of pilgrimage. In every religion there is the system that the followers, they go to the holy place of pilgrimage. Just like in India, there are many holy places: Gayā, Prayāga, Mathurā, Vṛndāvana, Haridwar, Rāmeśvaram, Jagannātha Purī, Navadvīpa. Many. Some of them are very prominent, and still there are many nonprominent. Similarly, the Muhammadans, they go Mecca, Medina. The Christians, they go Jordan . . . what is that?

Bhagavān: Jerusalem.

Prabhupāda: Jerusalem. So human society, there must be some religious process; otherwise, it is animal society. And in every religion there is recommendation to go to the place, holy places of pilgrimage. This is one set-up. Another set-up is that bhāgavatās tīrtha-bhūtāḥ. Those who are devotees, they are themselves mahā-bhāgavata. They are first-class devotee. They themselves are the holy place. Not only they are themselves holy place, but wherever they go, they make that place holy place, pilgrimage. This is the idea.

It was spoken by Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira when Vidura came back home . . . Vidura left home. Although he belonged to the royal family, his nephew Duryodhana behaved with him not very nicely, so he left home. Before the beginning of the Battle of Kurukṣetra, he was very fond of his eldest brother, Dhṛtarāṣṭra. So he was always giving him good counsel, "My dear elder brother, why you are intriguing against the Pāṇḍavas?" But he would not hear the younger brother's advice. So his son, Dhṛtarāṣṭra's son, Duryodhana, he understood it that, "This my uncle is always instigating my father not to take part in the matter of vanquishing the Pāṇḍavas." So he used very harsh word, harsh word, because Vidura, although he was the son of king, but he was not born of the queen. He was born of a maidservant. Formerly, the queens had many maidservants, and they also sometimes begot children by the king. So they were called dāsī-putra. By legal significance, they were not inheritor. So Vidura was born like that. He was not born of the queen, but of the maidservant. But his elder brother, Dhṛtarāṣṭra, liked him very much. He got him raised—he was younger—very nicely. He got him married and gave him sufficient property. He was very kind upon him. And therefore Vidura was also very much obliged to his eldest brother, and he was always giving him good advice, and a great devotee.

So on this account of family dissension, he left home. And after the battle of Kurukṣetra, when everything was finished, so still, he had affection for his eldest brother, "My dear brother, now everything is finished, your all sons, for whom you intrigued so much. And you are still living, I mean, shamelessly. Because you treated Pāṇḍavas, your nephews, very badly—you wanted to kill them in so many ways—you fell. Then there was battle. So your sons and grandsons all finished. And still, you are shamelessly living in the house of your nephew, with whom you treated so badly. You have no shame." So in this way he very strongly criticized his brother, and then he surrendered, "My dear brother, what do you want me to do?" So he said that, "You immediately come with me. Don't remain here." So immediately he left home, and then he underwent tapasya, and there he got salvation.

So here when Vidura came, returned back, so Yudhiṣṭhira is receiving the uncle. He was also . . . he knew that, "Our uncle Vidura was always in our side and tried to protect us." So he was very pleased. So Vidura, during the time of war between the two section, he was traveling in the holy places of pilgrimage and talking with his spiritual master, Maitreya. So therefore, because he was traveling in holy place, Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja wanted to inform him that, "My dear uncle, you are so exalted devotee, you do not require even to travel in the holy places of pilgrimage, because wherever you stay, that will turn into a pilgrimage." Therefore Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says in his song, tīrtha-yātrā pariśrama, kevala manera bhrama. He says: "To go to the holy places of pilgrimage, it is also a mental satisfaction." Actually, if one is fully surrendered to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, he is so exalted that wherever he lives, that is a holy place of pilgrimage. That was Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura's . . . and actually, that is the fact. The pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa, he is always thinking of Kṛṣṇa. Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti (Bs. 5.38). They cannot forget Kṛṣṇa even for a second. Carrying Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, because Kṛṣṇa is with the devotee, such devotee, wherever he goes, that becomes a place of pilgrimage.

It is also said that ordinary persons, they go to the holy places of pilgrimage, and they leave their sinful activities there in the holy place. That is the purpose of going to the holy place that, "During the whole life, whatever sinful activities I have done, now I leave it here, and I become purified." That's a fact. One becomes purified. But the ordinary man, he does not know how to keep purified life. Therefore again comes back home and again commits the sinful activities. And sometimes again he may go . . . just like in your, the Christian church, they go to the church weekly, and they, what is called, atone, atonement. So this kind of business is not very good. Once purified, you remain purified. So when the holy places of pilgrimage become piled up with all the sinful reaction of common man, a saintly person when he goes there, he makes the holy place clean. The holy place becomes unclean due to the common men coming there and leaving their sinful reaction. So holy place becomes overburdened with the sinful results of other people. But in that holy place, when a devotee goes, then again the holy place becomes cleansed. This is the idea. Bhavad-vidhā bhāgavatāḥ.

So bhāgavatāḥ. Bhāgavata means one who has his relation with Bhagavān. From Bhagavān . . . Bhagavān comes from the word bhāgavata, and anything in relationship with Bhagavān, the Personality of Godhead, is called bhāgavata. Just like this book is called bhāgavata because it has nothing to do with any other thing except the activities of the Supreme Personality of . . . so Bhāgavata. So there are two kinds of bhāgavata, the book Bhāgavata and the person bhāgavata. So both of them are so pure that wherever Bhāgavata reading is going on . . . and Bhāgavata reading should be performed by the bhāgavata, person bhāgavata. Then it is very nice. Bhāgavatās tīrtha-bhūtaḥ (SB 1.13.10). They are already purified, holy place of pilgrimage. Mahad-vicalanaṁ nṟṇāṁ gṛhiṇāṁ dīna-cetasām (SB 10.8.4). Therefore, the bhāgavatas, they travel all over the world to purify the ordinary human being because they are dīna-cetasa. Dīna-cetasa. Dīna means poor. They are thinking . . . materialistic persons, they think, "It is my duty to live comfortably, to give all facilities to the family or to the society or to the nation, earn your livelihood and spend for sense gratification." This is their philosophy. They do not know anything more than that. Especially in the Western countries, they are very expert how to adjust materially for sense gratification. Just like we had been immediately to the park, very nice park. They know how to live comfortably in the material world, but there is no spiritual information. Missing point. That is the defect of the Western civilization. They have got some vague idea of God—practically no idea. But human life is not meant for that purpose, simply living very comfortably in material life. The other necessity is that they should know Bhagavān, become bhāgavata. That is another necessity.

So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, it is the desire of Kṛṣṇa that these people who have no information practically about Bhagavān, so they should learn something from this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. And therefore we have published so many nice books. It is the desire of Kṛṣṇa they should read these book and try to understand the Kṛṣṇa philosophy, the science of Kṛṣṇa, the science of God. Then their life will be perfect. Otherwise, this one-sided civilization, material comforts, that will not help them. Because however you may create your city, home, very nice, clean, materially comfortable, you will not be allowed to stay. That defect they do not understand. And after you leave this body, there is no certainty what kind of body you are going to have. There is certainty according to the material laws. There is certainty, but they do not know it. That body will be manufactured according to the association of the material modes of nature.

There are three material modes of nature. If you keep yourself in touch with the material modes of nature of goodness, then you will be promoted to the higher standard of life. Ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthāḥ (BG 14.18). Therefore at least you may enjoy material life, but you should keep yourself to the standard of brahminical culture. Then there is guarantee that you don't degrade yourself; you get higher status of life in the higher planetary system: Janaloka, Maharloka, Tapoloka, Satyaloka. Then you will get. But if you keep yourself as it is, then you will remain in this planetary system. This is called Bhūrloka. Bhūrloka. Oṁ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ tat-savituḥ. You have gāyatrī-mantra. This is called Bhūrloka. Bhuvarloka . . . then, above this, there is Bhuvarloka; then, above this, the heavenly planets. There is system. And if you keep yourself in the association of the modes of ignorance, or foolishness, then you go down. Jaghanya-guṇa-vṛtti-sthā adho gacchanti tāmasāḥ (BG 14.18). Jaghanya-guṇa. Tāmasika means abominable character. The abominable character means these four things: illicit sex, intoxication, meat-eating and gambling. This is tamo-guṇa, exhibition of tamo-guṇa. So if you continue to keep yourself in the association of the modes of ignorance, then you are going to become adhaḥ. Adhaḥ means down. Down means there are many other planetary system. Just like upper there are Bhūr, Bhuvar, Svar, Jana, Mahar, like that, and down also: Tala, Atala, Vitala, Talātala, Pātāla, like that. There is system.

So our only request is that . . . we don't criticize you because you try to live comfortably in the material . . . do that. But don't associate with the modes of ignorance. That is very risky. That is very risky. So at least, either you remain in the householder life or brahmacārī life or, I mean to . . . sannyāsa life, you keep yourself always in goodness. Then your position is all right. Otherwise, it is very risky. But these people, the Western people, they do not do that. They keep themselves in the modes of ignorance. That is very risky civilization. So at least you Europeans and Americans, you should know it, and you distribute this knowledge. It is your duty to save them. But these . . . they do not know it. As soon as there is talk of this goodness and sinful activity, immediately they go away. Immediately. Yesterday that gentleman came, and just when I began to talk about pious activities and impious activities, he immediately left: "I have got another meeting."

So this is the position. Mūrkhāṇāṁ upadeśo hi prakopāya na śāntaye. If one is a foolish person, if you give him good instruction, he will be angry. He will not take it. Mūrkhāṇāṁ upadeśo hi prakopāya na śāntaye payaḥ-pānaṁ bhujaṅgānāṁ kevalaṁ viṣa-vardhanam (Cāṇakya Paṇḍita). A snake, if you kindly give him foodstuff, there is no . . . snake is very fond of drinking milk. They are very much fond. So sometimes a snake charmer, they mix milk with banana and give them to eat for their satisfaction. But the result? What is the result? Result is as soon as he becomes strong by eating, the poison teeth becomes filled with poison. Just like with our healthy body, our different nerves and parts of the body becomes healthy, similarly, the snake's most important part of the body . . . they have got a teeth. They keep . . . within the pocket of the teeth there is venomonous poison. So when they bite, from the hole of that teeth, the poison is emitted, and the man dies or the animal dies. But this is a fact: if you infect some disease, you will have to suffer from that disease. This is a fact. It is scientific. Similarly, if you are infected with the particular type of the modes of nature, then you will have to suffer like that. If you remain in ignorance, then you will get the body of animal. This is the . . .

Therefore every one of you should become pure devotee, first-class devotee. First-class devotee is that . . . in this age it has been made very easy. Simply keep yourself cleansed, not to indulge in the four principles, prohibition, and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, then you will be all first-class devotees. And wherever you will go, you will be able to purify there. Wherever you go. Wherever you speak, wherever you'll sit. So keep this spiritual strength intact. Tīrthī-bhūtāḥ. Tīrthī-kurvanti tīrthāni sva antaḥ-sthena. The Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra chanting means keeping Kṛṣṇa always within your heart. This is not . . . it is not expensive at all. You haven't got to make a very exalted throne for Kṛṣṇa. You can imagine that, "In my heart I have placed now a very diamond throne, and Kṛṣṇa is sitting." That is accepted. It is . . . actually it becomes. Even within the mind you think that, "I have kept one diamond throne, very costly throne, because Kṛṣṇa is coming. He will sit down here," that is not false. That is a fact. So you create such situation within your heart. "Now Kṛṣṇa has seated. Let me wash His feet with the Ganges water, Yamunā water. Now I change His dress to a first-class costly garments. Then I decorate with ornaments. Then I give Him for eating." You can simply think of this. This is meditation. Svāntaḥ-sthena gadābhṛtā. It is so nice thing. Anywhere you can sit down and think that Kṛṣṇa is sitting in your heart and you are receiving in so nice way. They are not false. They are also fact. It is so easy.

So here is the . . . if you simply carry Kṛṣṇa within your heart always in a very devotional service, exalted devotional service, and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and think of Kṛṣṇa, wherever you will go, you will purify the whole place. Svāntaḥ-sthena gadābhṛtā. It is fact. It is confirmed in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Try to remain in your position as devotee, and as far as possible teach these rascals who are simply attracted by the glaring material stones and woods, and let them have some knowledge and do benefit to your countrymen, to your society, to your family.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. (end)