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741128 - Lecture SB 03.25.28 - Bombay

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

741128SB-BOMBAY - November 28, 1974 - 41:20 Minutes

Nitāi: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. (devotees repeat) (leads chanting of verse, etc.)

devahūtir uvāca
kācit tvayy ucitā bhaktiḥ
kīdṛśī mama gocarā
yayā padaṁ te nirvāṇam
añjasānvāśnavā aham
(SB 3.25.28)


"On hearing the statement of the Lord, Devahūti inquired: What kind of devotional service is worth developing and practicing to help me easily and immediately attain to the service of Your lotus feet?"


kācit tvayy ucitā bhaktiḥ
kīdṛśī mama gocarā
yayā padaṁ te nirvāṇam
añjasānvāśnavā aham
(SB 3.25.28)

So it is the duty of the disciple—disciple means everyone, human, human body, one who has got human body—athāto brahma jijñāsā. This is the Vedānta-sūtra advice. Atha, ataḥ, brahma-jijñāsa. This life, human life, is meant for enquiry. What is that enquiry? Brahman enquiry, about the Absolute Truth. So the Vedic injunction is that if you are inquisitive about self-realization, Brahman realization, then you should approach a guru. Therefore here Devahūti is accepting his (her) son, exalted son, incarnation of God, Kapiladeva, enquiring from Him. That is the Vaiṣṇava process.

Vaiṣṇava process is not to speculate oneself. If one is actually inquisitive to know about the Absolute Truth, he must approach a bona fide spiritual master. Ādau gurv-āśrayam. First business is to find out guru. Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja (CC Madhya 19.151), Caitanya Mahāprabhu says. At the present moment this is a mentality. Of course they have got some bad experience, but the process is that you must go to a guru. That is Vedic injunction. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta (SB 11.3.21). Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). Abhigacchet means "must", there is no other alternative. In the Bhagavad-gītā also it is said:

tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti tad jñānaṁ
jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ
(BG 4.34)

If we actually are very serious to get out of the clutches of māyā, this repetition of death, old age and disease, and get back our original, spiritual life, eternal life, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20), there is . . . that is our real identification. We do not die after the annihilation of this body. But we are so dull by the influence of māyā, we think that death is inevitable. No. Why death is inevitable? Death can be avoided, birth can be avoided, disease can be avoided, but you do not know, you have become so dull.

We do not know how to overcome. We are busy temporary inconveniences. The whole world is struggling some temporary. The real business is ātyantika-duḥkha-nivṛtti. Everyone is trying to minimize the miserable condition, but they are busy for temporary miserable condition. But the Vedic knowledge is how to mitigate the topmost miserable condition. That topmost miserable condition is the repetition of birth, death and old age. Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam (BG 13.9). Anu-darśanam. We should not be very much afflicted with these temporary things. We must have the sense how to solve the ultimate miserable condition of life. That, tad-vijñānārtham, in order to know that science, sa gurum evābhigacchet.

If one is interested to know that science, then it is necessary to approach. Just like Arjuna was busy, perturbed, that he has to fight with his relative, the other side, and they will be killed. And he was presenting so many problems that "If I kill my brothers, my sister-in-laws will become widow and they will be polluted, and there will be varṇa-saṅkara generation, then the whole world will be hell." In this way he was thinking, the immediate material problems. But when, after arguing with Kṛṣṇa, he could not find out any solution, then Arjuna submitted to Kṛṣṇa, śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam (BG 2.7). "My dear Kṛṣṇa, now I don't want to talk with You as friend, because friendly talk, the talking will be very much, but there will be no benefit." Generally we do so. We talk with some person, some friend, without any utility, just to waste time. That is not the way. If you go and talk with some person, then you must derive some benefit. The aim should be there; otherwise simply waste of time. And it is the injunction of the śāstra that, unless one is submissive, the superior man should not talk. Tad viddhi praṇipātena (BG 4.34). Unless one is submissive he will not be able to accept the sublime instruction.

So one has to become submissive. That submissiveness Kṛṣṇa . . . Arjuna is teaching us, śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam. "I am now submitting myself to You, not that equal position with You, friend and friend equal position. That I am giving up. I am becoming Your disciple, submissive," śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam (BG 2.7). Prapannam means submissive. And that is the way. You cannot speculate. Your speculation has no value. Athāpi te deva ciraṁ vicinvan (SB 10.14.29). Ciraṁ vicinvan, you can go on speculating for many births, many years, still you will not be able to understand the ultimate goal of your life. It is not possible. Therefore all the śāstras, they advise that you go to a guru. Guru means weighty, one who has got more weight, one who can teach you. Because everyone thinks that "I am learned. I am all-learned. Who can teach me?" No. Nobody is like that. Everyone requires instruction, therefore the Vedic system is adau gurvasrayam: to make one's life fruitful, one must approach guru.

Therefore our system is, Vedic system is, from the very beginning a child, a boy, is sent to gurukula to learn. Not that automatically one learns. One must go to gurukula, brahmacārī. Brahmacārī goes to guru, and he works like a menial servant. He may be a son of a big brāhmin or big king; it doesn't matter. The one who goes to gurukula, he immediately becomes the menial servant of guru. This is the system. That means guru can order him to act any, I mean to say, low-class service, still he is prepared to do it. This is the business of brahmacārī. And he takes all trouble, and childhood, he doesn't mind. Even Kṛṣṇa, He went to gurukula, to teach us. Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, what is the use of His going to gurukula? No, He is teaching, āpani ācari' prabhu jīveri śikhāya. Caitanya Mahāprabhu also accepted guru, teacher, guru more mūrkha dekhi' karila śāsana (CC Adi 7.71).

When Caitanya Mahāprabhu was talking with Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī was very learned scholar and he knew that Caitanya Mahāprabhu was also very great scholar. So he was criticizing Him that, "This sannyāsī from Bengal who has come to Benares, He is simply chanting and dancing and does not give attention in the reading of Vedānta, so He is not a bona fide sannyāsī. He is sentimental." He was thinking like that, but one brāhmin, Maharashtria brāhmin, he arranged a meeting with Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī and Lord Caitanya. There was discussion. So Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī inquired from Him that "You are a sannyāsī. Instead of giving Your attention in the matter of reading Vedānta-sūtra, Sāṅkhya philosophy, what is this that You are chanting and dancing?" So Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied that, "My guru found Me I am a fool number one, guru more mūrkha dekhi, I am not very much learned. So he said, My guru said that, 'You cannot read Vedānta-sūtra.' " Actually Vedānta-sūtra, Vedānta philosophy, is not meant for ordinary learned person. It requires great knowledge in Sanskrit language and philosophy. So He, Caitanya Mahāprabhu, took the part of ordinary person at the present moment that guru more mūrkha dekhi' karila śāsana. Generally, people are not so learned that they can understand Vedānta-sūtra. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu, taking the part of the mūrkha society, the illiterate, ignorant society, He said that "I cannot read Vedānta-sūtra. It is not possible. He advised Me to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, and I am doing that. And I am getting the result."

So at the present moment, especially in Kali-yuga, they are not very much educated. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhā . . . (SB 1.1.10). They are simply busy how to earn some money and fill up the belly, that's all. They are not no more interested in Vedānta-sutra. Mandāḥ. Mandāḥ means very slow, or very bad. They are so badly infected with the influence of māyā, they do not care to understand that there is life after death, and that life may be anything of these 8,400,000 forms of life. And if I become one of them—if I become tree, if I become cat, if I become dog or insect or even human being—then, if I am in a very inconvenient condition, that they do not care to know. Sometimes they say: "Never mind if I become a dog. What is the wrong there? I will forget everything." People say, in Western countries, even the university student, they say they don't . . . so ignorance. Therefore they have been described as mandāḥ.

Formerly, especially in India, the cātur-varṇyaṁ, the brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, so at least the most intelligent class of men, the brāhmaṇas, they were interested to understand brahma-jijñāsa. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. But at the present moment they are all śūdras. They are not interested about brahma-jijñāsā. They are interested how to get more money, where is the cinema, where . . . what picture is going . . . they are interested in that, not about brahma-jijñāsā. But the human life is meant for that purpose only. Therefore we learn from Bhagavad-gītā. Arjuna is personally teaching us. He is accepting Kṛṣṇa as guru, śiṣyas te 'ham (BG 2.7), "Kṛṣṇa, now I become Your disciple, not that I remain as Your friend. Friend-to-friend talk is not very serious. Now I want to talk with serious. You become my spiritual master, You teach me, and I will take Your lesson." This should be the . . . it is not meant for only Arjuna. It is meant for everyone, that if you . . . you must find out a guru. The first guru is Kṛṣṇa, and anyone who is Kṛṣṇa's representative, he is guru. Guru is Kṛṣṇa, the original guru, and if Kṛṣṇa representative is found, is available, then he is also guru.

Just like you are a businessman, and anybody goes to canvass for business, to get some order for your business, he is your representative. It is not very difficult to understand. If he is your representative and talks something nonsense, then he is not your representative; he is cheating you. He is taking your money and doing something else. No. Real representative is he who canvassing for Kṛṣṇa; he is not canvassing for himself that, "I have become Kṛṣṇa." No, he is not guru; he is cheater. The representative is he who canvasses business for Kṛṣṇa. That is guru. Kṛṣṇa wants this business. What is that? "You rascal, give up everything and surrender unto Me," sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). Kṛṣṇa wants this business. And Kṛṣṇa's representative also says that you give up everything, simply surrender to Kṛṣṇa. This is Kṛṣṇa's representative. Sometimes we are very much eulogized, "I have done a wonderful thing," but I have done as representative of Kṛṣṇa. Same thing. I have told all these boys and girls nothing magic. I never showed any gold-making magic. I simply said to them that "Here is Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You surrender unto Him." That's all. Ask anything. I never said anything. So that is actually representative.

Anyone can become Kṛṣṇa's representative, everyone, especially Indians. They should become Kṛṣṇa's representative. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mission.

bhārata-bhūmite manuṣya-janma haila yāra
janma sārthaka kari' kara para-upakāra
(CC Adi 9.41)

Para-upakāra means the whole world does not know about the message of Kṛṣṇa, therefore it is the greatest welfare activities to carry this message and inform them. This is the work of Kṛṣṇa's representative, and any Indian can do it. But they'll not do it. They will take Bhagavad-gītā and speak their hodgepodge, that's all. That is not Kṛṣṇa's representative. Therefore it has not been successful. For the last two hundred years so many svāmīs and yogīs went to foreign countries, but nobody spoke about Kṛṣṇa. Simply hodgepodge. Therefore there was not a single person accepted this cult, Vedic culture. That is practical.

So as Arjuna . . . we are reading Bhagavad-gītā; you can understand that Arjuna is a friend. Why he's accepting Kṛṣṇa as guru? Why? He's a friend. He's talking equally, sitting equally, friend and friend, sometimes talking nonsense. Kṛṣṇa . . . in the Eleventh Chapter he was begging Kṛṣṇa, "Forgive me. As a friend I have misbehaved with You." Friend has got right that. Kṛṣṇa did not mind for that. But he knew that, "Kṛṣṇa, although He is my friend, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, He is the proper person to become my guru." And he says also that, "The perplexity which I have been put into now in this battlefield, this cannot be solved by anyone else except Yourself." That he said also.

So this is instruction we get from Bhagavad-gītā—everyone reads Bhagavad-gītā—that we have to accept Kṛṣṇa as the guru, or Kṛṣṇa's representative as guru. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā (BG 4.34). And we have to give service to such guru and we have to surrender ourself. Not that I accept you guru just to know how much you are learned, how much you can talk with me. Not with that spirit. Surrender that, "I surrender to you, sir." Śiṣyas te 'ham, "I have become śiṣya." Śiṣya means voluntarily accepting his ruling. Whatever guru will say, he will accept. That is called śiṣya. Śiṣya means ruling, who accept disciple, means disciplinary measure. Whatever guru says, one who accepts, he becomes disciple. He . . . "I don't care for my guru's order, and still I am disciple," that is not accepting guru. Of course, it has become a fashion like that, to have a guru but don't care for guru. That is not . . . that will not help. Śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam (BG 2.7).

And immediately Kṛṣṇa, as we . . . as soon as He accepted to become guru of Arjuna, He immediately chastised him:

aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ
prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase
gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca
nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ
(BG 2.11)

"My dear Arjuna, you are not talking like a learned man. You are thinking that you are very learned man, that you are talking with Me, that 'What will happen to this, to that, if I fight?' You have wasted so much time. But actually I find that you are a fool number one. You do not know anything," aśocyān anvaśocas tvam, "because you are lamenting for things for which one should not lament. What is that? This body. You are thinking of this body of your relative, and because they will be in the war, they will be killed. You are thinking like that. But actually this is not the subject matter of pondering. The real subject matter is how to save the soul." Therefore He began instructing that, "We are not this body; we are soul." Dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā, tathā dehāntara-prāpti (BG 2.13). In this way He gave first instruction that we are not this body.

So here also, Devahūti is woman. Everyone is less intelligent before his guru, especially woman. Striyo śūdra tathā vaiśya te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim. But God, or Kṛṣṇa, is open for everyone. It is not that Kṛṣṇa is open for the brāhmaṇas, the learned scholars or the Hindus or the Muslim or Christian. No, Kṛṣṇa is open for everyone. Striyo śūdra tathā vaiśyās te 'pi yānti param, māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ (BG 9.32), even pāpa-yonayaḥ. Pāpa-yoni means low class. Just like in our country we have got low-class people, the cobbler, muci, the caṇḍālas, the dog-eaters. They are considered as low class. So Kṛṣṇa is open even for the low class.

This is universal movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, because it is concerned with the soul, consciousness. Therefore you have named the word "consciousness." Consciousness belongs to the soul. That is the symptom of presence of soul. At the present moment, because the soul is in the body, if I pinch your body then you feel—consciousness—feel pains or pleasure. But as soon as the soul is gone out of the body, if I chop off your body with a dagger, you will not protest. The consciousness is gone. Yena sarvam idaṁ tatam. Avināśi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idaṁ tatam (BG 2.17), Kṛṣṇa says. Sarvam idam, this body. This body, wherever you pinch, you feel pain. Why? Because the consciousness is there. So Kṛṣṇa advises that consciousness is eternal, not this body. Avināśi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idaṁ tatam. So the consciousness eternal. Therefore we have to purify our consciousness, then our life is successful.

Consciousness will go with us. At the time of death, the consciousness carries me to another body. Sūkṣma, the fine, or the subtle body, the mind, intelligence and ego. But we do not see that mind, intelligence, and ego and the soul, it is still finer. Mind is . . . we know you have got mind, you know I have got mind, but you do not see. I know you have got intelligence, you know I have got intelligence, but you can not see. But how the mind, intelligence carry the soul to another body, how you can see? We see that this gross body is stopped, we say it is everything finished, because we have got gross intelligence, we have no sūkṣma in . . . therefore we have to approach guru, just like Arjuna approached guru. And Arjuna, Kṛṣṇa teaching that "You are thinking of this body like a rascal." Nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ. He said in a very gentlemanly language, "No learned man thinks like that." That means "You are a fool." Nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ, that, "You are not a paṇḍita, you are a fool." Just try to understand that real life is for the soul; therefore you should take care of the soul. The whole Vedic language, Vedic education, means to take care of the soul. The soul is entangled, embodied, engaged in this material affair, and he is suffering, and to rescue him, to get him out of this material clutches, that is called education. That is called education, and for that education one has to approach a proper guru like Kapiladeva. Kapiladeva is incarnation of Kṛṣṇa.

So guru is there, Kṛṣṇa, and His instruction is there in the Bhagavad-gītā. Why you are not taking advantage? You have become so foolish. The instruction is there. Guru is there. Somebody says that "Arjuna had the opportunity, good opportunity, to talk with Kṛṣṇa face to face, but we haven't got that." But what is that talk? The talk is already there. You hear it from His representative, the same instruction. Where is the difficulty? But they will not do that. They will take Bhagavad-gītā and misinterpret in a foolish way, a rascaldom, and spoil his career and others' career. That's all. Otherwise everything is there. Where is the difficulty? Kṛṣṇa says that there is the owner of the body within the body, and He has explained in so many ways—acchedyo 'yam adāhyo 'yam (BG 2.24), distinguishing the quality that the soul is never to be cut into pieces, acchedyo 'yam. It cannot be burned into the fire. It cannot be moistened by water. That means everything matter, there is interruption. Any matter will be interrupted by another matter, but the soul is not anything of this material world. In the material world, any hard thing—the iron, the stone—can be cut into pieces if you have got the instrument. But Kṛṣṇa says the soul is acchedyo 'yam, it cannot be cut into pieces. So it is above all material action and reaction. Adāhyo 'yam. In material, even the iron can be melted, even a stone can be melted nowadays. But adāhyo 'yam, aśoṣyaḥ 'yam, in so many ways. That means it is different from this material thing, the soul. Therefore, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre.

This instruction, the common sense is that if my position is like that, acchedyo 'yam adāhyo 'yam, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20), then what is that life? How I can attain that life? That is brahma-jijñāsā. One should be inquisitive. If we remain fools and rascals like cats and dogs to maintain this body only, then what is the benefit of this human life? Human life is meant for understanding this science that, "I am not this body, but I am busy with this bodily comfort. I am soul within the body. What I am doing for that which is Brahman?" This is required. Therefore tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). If you want to learn about that, then you must find out a guru. What kind of guru? Just like Kapiladeva, Kṛṣṇa, or His representative. Not a bogus guru. Then you will be cheated. Andhā yathāndair upanīyamānāḥ (SB 7.5.31). The so-called rascal guru, he does not know also what is the aim of life, and if he makes some disciples, then śāstra says, andhā yathāndair upanīyamānāḥ: one blind man is trying to guide many other blind men. So what is the benefit? There is no benefit.

So if you want to be guided by somebody, he must have opened eyes. Tattva-darśinaḥ. Upadekṣyanti tad jñānaṁ tad jñānīnas tattva-darśinaḥ (BG 4.34). Darśi. Darśi means who has got eyes to see what is the Absolute Truth. Don't go to a blind man, who has no knowledge about the Absolute Truth. The Absolute Truth is there, Kṛṣṇa. The sun is there, everyone can see. Sun is not hiding, but I am hiding. I am closing my door—how can I see sun? Come to the field, open to the sun, and you will see sun. There is sun, there is light. Similarly, God is there: Kṛṣṇa. You come to Kṛṣṇa, take His lesson from Bhagavad-gītā, you will learn what is God.

But the rascals will not do that. They will manufacture some meaning. This meaning this, this meaning that, this meaning that. They will not accept Kṛṣṇa. That is the difficulty. Otherwise, there is no difficulty. Even there is difficulty, one can say that, "Yes, it is all right. Kṛṣṇa's instruction is there, Kṛṣṇa's Deity is there, but still, how can I see? How can I understand?" This is obstinacy. That Kṛṣṇa is so kind, "All right, you see Me in the water. Come on. Raso 'ham apsu kaunteya prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ (BG 7.8). Why don't you see Me? You are seeing water, and why you take water? For satisfying your thirst. And that quality of satisfying your thirst, I am," Kṛṣṇa says. So if you think of Kṛṣṇa when you become satisfied by drinking water, if you think of Kṛṣṇa, you will become one step advanced, immediately. Is that very difficult? Nothing difficult, but we are obstinate; we will not do that. We will not try to understand Kṛṣṇa, we'll not take Kṛṣṇa's instruction.

Why it is so? Māyā. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). That is very, very strong. As soon as I'll try to accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Lord, māyā will whisper in my ear, "No, no, no. There are many Gods. Why you are accepting Kṛṣṇa?" Immediately. "There are many Gods. Why you are accepting Kṛṣṇa?" But śāstra says, kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28), īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ (Bs. 5.1). That we will not hear. I'll not take lesson from the śāstra, from the ācāryas. At least in India we have got big, big ācāryas—Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī, even Śaṅkarācārya, even Guru Nanak—they have accepted, all, Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Why should we not? Why I shall bring another competitor to Kṛṣṇa? This is our misfortune. Therefore Bhagavān says, na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ (BG 7.15). Because we are sinful, because we are rascals, we do not accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You are searching after Kṛṣṇa, making speculation, philosophical. Don't do that. Accept Kṛṣṇa and be in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and be happy.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Haribol . . . (end)