760511 - Lecture - Honolulu

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

760511LE-HONOLULU - May 11, 1976 - 61.50 Minutes

Prabhupāda: . . . can be rendered in nine different ways. Śravaṇam—hearing. Somebody is speaking, and somebody is hearing. So both speaking and hearing, both of them are in the process of devotional service. But that talking or speaking and hearing, not about newspaper, Nixon news—Viṣṇu. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ (SB 7.5.23). There are so many things people are interested in newspaper, hearing and speaking. Radio talks, they are also speaking, and so many millions of people are hearing. Television, that is also speaking, hearing. News column . . . There are so many speaking and hearing. The whole world is full of speaking and hearing. But the distinction between ordinary speaking and hearing and this speaking and hearing about the glorification of the Lord is different.

So we cannot remain without speaking or hearing. That is a practical fact. But when that speaking and hearing is engaged in the matter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that is called devotional service. We cannot avoid speaking and hearing. That is not possible. If you don’t speak here or hear here, then I will have to find out some television or some radio or some meeting, conference, or in some bioscope or cinema. I cannot remain free from these processes of speaking and hearing. That is not possible. When that speaking and hearing is engaged in the matter of the glorification of the Lord, that is called devotional service.

So Parīkṣit Mahārāj was on the point of death, and because he was emperor of the whole world . . . So people generally, if something happens to Mr. Nixon, and everyone hears about it within few minutes. Similarly, when it was decided that Parīkṣit Mahārāja would die within seven days, so he prepared himself. He went to the bank of the Ganges to spend the remaining seven days of his life, and many saintly persons—sages, kings and demigods—came to see him. That is natural, a very, very great emperor. So in that great meeting the king asked—there were many saintly persons—"What is my duty now? I am going to die after seven days." So there are different opinions, different scriptures, different philosophers. Somebody said that "You do this," somebody said, "You do this." But all the saintly persons, they regarded Śukadeva Goswāmī– although he was the youngest at that time, only sixteen years old—they agreed that what Śukadeva Goswāmī would prescribe, that is nice; that will be very nice.

So Śukadeva Goswāmī said, "My dear King,"

śrotavyādīni rājendra
nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ
(SB 2.1.2)

Nṛṇāṁ: "of the human society." There have got many subject matter for hearing. Śrotavyādīni rājendra, many subject matters. According to the interest, somebody is hearing about business, somebody is hearing about cinema, somebody is hearing about politics, somebody is hearing about something—art, music, gambling, drinking. So many things they have got. Therefore he is saying, "So for hearing, there are many hundreds and thousands items,"śrotavyādīni rājendra. Śrotavyā means "subject matter for hearing."Rājendra—"my dear king."Śrotavyādīni rājendra, nṛṇāṁ—"of the human beings."Santi—"there are."Sahasraśaḥ—"thousands." Thousands of items.

śrotavyādīni rājendra
nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ
apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ
gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām
(SB 2.1.2)

They have got subject matters, many thousands subject matter, for hearing and chanting. Why? Why they are not concentrating in one subject matter? They are human beings. Apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ—because they have no vision about ātma-tattvaṁ, self-realization; because they have no idea or information or education that this human life is meant for self-realization. They think just like the animals. The animals . . ., dog has got a different engagement, cat has got a different engagement, tiger has got a different engagement, a bird has got a different engagement—because they are unable to know what is the purpose of life, ātma-tattvaṁ. Apaśyatām—they cannot see. So who cannot see? Gṛheṣu: those who are compact in household affairs, gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām.

These Sanskrit words, each and every word is full of meaning. They are very selected words. As soon as a Sanskrit poetry is written, it is not written by inexperienced man haphazardously, but with great brain, with great written and regulation. In Sanskrit poetry you cannot write one line in one way, another line in one way. There is regular system, that the first portion of the line should contain so many letters, the second portion of the line should contain so many letters, and they should be like . . . There is a big book, which is called Sāhitya-darpaṇa, "Mirror of Literary Career." It is not that whimsically I write three lines, one line, and a short line next, it becomes a poetry. It is not like that. So these words,

gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām
śrotavyādīni rājendra
nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ
(SB 2.1.2)

Who has got many subject matter for hearing? Now, apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ: those who are blind, those who cannot see what is the purpose of life. For them. For them.

So generally people are like this. They do not know what is the purpose of life. As I have told you many times, there are big, big professors, they think that there is no life after death. Even Christian religion also thinks like that, that there is no life after death. What is that? Hmm? No. There is life. There is life after death. Therefore it is said, apaśyatām, "one who cannot see."Ātma-tattvaṁ. One who can see, he can very easily see, if he has got a little brain, that there is . . ."Just, I have got my life one after another. I had childish life; I had boyhood life. In childhood my consciousness was not developed. I was talking so many nonsense things. My parents and superiors, they were laughing and enjoying. Why I was talking nonsense in that life, and why I am talking now meaningful at the present moment?" Because the body has changed. It is very easy to understand. I am the same man in my childhood body, I am the same man in my boyhood body, I am the same man in my youth body, and I am the same man in my old age. But in my childhood I was walking naked; I didn’t care for the society. Now, I cannot go naked. So it is the question of development of consciousness according to the body. This is the conclusion.

So as I am changing body, similarly this body changing. When I shall change this body, I will get another body. This is natural conclusion. But they cannot take it. They have no brain to take up this natural conclusion. You have to conclude, perceive reason. Man has been endowed with reason. This is reason, that if I had a childhood body, I had a babyhood body, youth-hood body, and so many bodies, why not next body? That is a fact—fact in this sense: even though we cannot understand, we have to accept the words of the authority. Just like I cannot understand how big is the sun globe. It is not possible for ordinary man to understand how much great is the sun globe. But when you go to the authority, he will say the sun globe is fourteen hundred times bigger than the sun. So you have to accept it; otherwise what is your knowledge? You cannot experience. Even now the people are going to the moon planet. I do not go with them, but when it is published by some authorities, we accept it. So not that everything I have to experience personally for each knowledge. I have to accept the authority; that is perfect knowledge. As I give you several times the example, that nobody knows who is his father, but his mother introduces, "Here is your father." So mother is authority; otherwise I cannot know who is my father. That is not possible. There are so many things not that by our direct experience we can know, we can see. Therefore according to Vedic principle, knowledge means, perfect knowledge means, to receive it from the perfect person, perfect source. That is knowledge. Otherwise it is not knowledge. Imperfect person cannot give you perfect knowledge; therefore our source of knowledge . . .

Now this point, whether there is life after death or not, we can put our reasons in this way, that “I am living. My childhood body is gone; my boyhood body is gone. That is not existing. My youth-hood body is gone, and still I am existing. So this is reasonable, that even if I lose this body, that I’ll not . . . Not that I will not exist.” In the Bhagavad-gītā it is plainly said, all these things, that “Don’t think that we did not exist in the past.” We are existing at present, and we shall go on, we shall continue to exist in the future. Not that after this body is gone, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). This is ātma-tattvaṁ. This is spiritual knowledge, basic principle of spiritual knowledge. Therefore Śukadeva Goswāmī said, apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ: those who are incapable of understanding this science of soul, ātma-tattvaṁ, how the soul is eternal: na jāyate mriyate vā kadācin (BG 2.20). Na jāyate, "never takes birth." Soul does not take birth. It is existing eternally with God.

As God is existing eternally, so we are also existing eternally. Just like the sun is existing, the sunshine is also existing. There is no difficulty to understand. So we are just like shining particles. That is the difference. God is just like the sun, and we living entities are just like the sunshine. We can experience sunshine, sunlight. But scientifically, what is the sunshine? Sunshine is combination of several atomic particles, shining particles, that's all. That is sunshine. Even this light shine, they are called molecular particles, combination. Similarly, the living entity is the molecular particle of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You have seen the aura, just like in all pictures that aura is shining. Particles are coming out incessantly. Incessantly. And that is called brahmajyoti. It is not very difficult. The rays, the energy, is coming. Every one of us has some energy, but the energy of the Supreme Lord is manifested. Through the energy, so many things are coming. Just like with sunshine, so many varieties of foods are coming. In the sunshine all these planets are existing, and each and every planet there are varieties of trees, mountains, rivers, oceans and different types of living entities, different standard of living. In every, each and every planet there are. Just like you find here on this planet varieties of things, similarly in each and every planet—there are millions and trillions of planets—there are varieties. There are varieties.

This knowledge . . . How we get this knowledge? You can say that "You have not gone. We are trying to go to the moon planet; we cannot go. And how you can give information of all these planets?" Now, through the authoritative source, Vedic knowledge, śruti-pramāṇa. According to Vedic culture, the evidence is śruti. Śruti means Vedas. The Vedas are divided into so many divisions. They first divided Artharva Veda, Sāma Veda, Yajur Veda, Ṛg Veda. Then the Vedic language, very steep. They are explained in the Upaniṣads, then they are summarized in Vedānta, then they are further explained for ordinary men in Purāṇas, in Mahābhārata. In this way, the knowledge is Vedic knowledge.

So Śukadeva Goswāmī says that for ordinary man who is gṛhamedhī, gṛheṣu gṛha-medhi . . . Gṛheṣu, they remain at home, nice apartment. That is gṛheṣu. Or gṛha means this body also, because I am not this body; this is also an apartment that I am living within. So, apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ gṛheṣu (SB 2.1.2): in the home, within the apartment. Gṛha-medhinām. Gṛhe, just like we are also living within the room, apartment. I may be a preacher, but I also live within the room, and others also living within the room. Then what is the difference? No. There is difference. Gṛha-medhinām means one who has made it his life that apartment only. That's all. Anything within this apartment, that's all. He does not know anything more. "This is my world. This my wife, my children, my nice decorated apartment, little bank balance, a car—finished. My life." This is all. They are called gṛhamedhī. Gṛhamedhī, when he has no other idea than that apartment. Within that apartment everything is finished. That's all.

But there is gṛhastha . There are two words. Gṛhastha means one who remains within the apartment, but he is not compact; he is not bound up within the boundaries of the apartment. He has got other business. What is that business? That is ātma-tattvaṁ. Just like we are sitting here in this room, apartment. Others are sitting. We are trying to cultivate ātma-tattvaṁ, self-realization, and little chanting; but others, they cannot tolerate, because they are gṛhamedhī. They are compact within the boundaries of their apartment, and they think, "These people are creating disturbance." So therefore the Bhāgavata says, apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ. They have no idea. They have no respect, that "These people are cultivating spiritual knowledge, ātma-tattvaṁ. We should go and join with them and learn from them." No: "Stop it. Stop it." That is the difference between gṛhastha and gṛhamedhī.

Two words are there. Gṛhamedhī . . . The idea is coming. I do not know whether in your country you have got experience that a bull is blinded, and his, I mean to say, with the rope he is bound on the center of a bamboo, and he is made him to walking around the bamboo. Whole day and night he is, by traveling over some paddies or walking on the grinding mill of oil. So he is blind. He is thinking that he is going miles and miles away, but he is within the room or within the place and simply going round and round. That is called gṛhamedhī. They are thinking that they are making progress. But they are not making progress, because their ideas are compact within this room. They are called gṛhamedhīs. And gṛhastha , gṛhastha is an āśrama. Āśrama. Āśrama means where spiritual culture is made. That is called āśrama.

So according to Vedic civilization there are four varṇas and four āśramas— social order and spiritual order. Social order, as I was explaining last night, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra; and spiritual order, brahmacarya, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa. So these eight principles of orderly life is human civilization. Unless the human civilization is within this institution of varṇa and āśrama, it is animal society. It is not perfectly human society. It is not that because we eat very nicely in a nice hotel or nice home in nice place that makes us advanced in civilization. No. That is not advancement of civilization. Because we sleep in nice apartment, that is not advancement of civilization. That because we have sexual intercourse in a very scientific way, contraceptive way, therefore we are civilized. No. Or we have discovered many weapons to defend ourselves; therefore we are civilized. No. This eating, sleeping, sex life and defending, they are in the animal life. So that is not progress from the animal life. Progress from animal life is when we are interested in this ātma-tattvaṁ. When we are interested with ātma-tattvaṁ.

So Parīkṣit Mahārāj says that

gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām.
apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ
gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām
(SB 2.1.2)

Then what is their business? What is the symptoms between gṛhamedhīs and gṛhastha s? The gṛhamedhī, they are,

nidrayā hriyate naktaṁ
vyavāyena ca vā vayaḥ
divā cārthehayā rājan
kuṭumba-bharaṇena vā
(SB 2.1.3)

This gṛhamedhīs business is at night, they waste nighttime. Because we have got a limited duration of life. If we don’t fully utilize this short duration of life for cultivating ātma-tattvaṁ, to understand what I am, so whatever you are doing is simply wasting time. Whatever you are doing. So how you are wasting time? Those who are apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ, who cannot see, who cannot understand, who cannot vision what is ātma-tattvaṁ, what is their business? How they are wasting time? Śukadeva Goswāmī says nidrayā, by sleeping. By sleeping. They think that sleeping is an enjoyment. "If twenty-four hours I can sleep, that is very nice." You see? Nidrayā. Especially you may not sleep at daytime, but at night you have to sleep, give rest to the body.

So at night, everyone sleeps. That's a fact. Therefore the gṛhamedhī, nidrayā hriyate naktaṁ (SB 2.1.3): they pass the night either by sleeping or by sex indulgence. Nidrayā hriyate naktaṁ, vyavāyena ca vā vayaḥ. Vayaḥ means duration of life. They are wasting time in two ways at night: either by sleeping or by sex indulgence, going to the club, going to dancing, going to this or going to that or sleeping. This is the business at night. Nidrayā hriyate naktaṁ vyavāyena ca vā vayaḥ. And daytime? Divā, divā means "daytime." Cārthehayā: simply searching after money: "Where is money? Where is money? Where is money? "Divā cārthehayā kuṭumba-bharaṇena vā. Or in maintaining the family, children, purchasing for them, doing something.

So daytime's engagement and night's engagement is finished, then where is the engagement for ātma-tattvaṁ? Where is the engagement for understanding self-realization? This is the difference between gṛhamedhī and gṛhastha . A gṛhastha means he may live, just like here we see Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, Śrī Advaita Prabhu and Gadādhara Prabhu and Śrīvāsa Prabhu, they are all gṛhastha s, family men, but their business was different—to cultivate self-realization. Not that divā cārthehayā rājan kuṭumba-bharaṇena vā. So the difference between gṛhastha s and gṛhamedhīs is like this. A gṛhastha is living a regulative life on principles to understand self-realization, and a gṛhamedhī, who has no vision, no idea of the aim of life . . . (break)

. . . that the gṛhamedhīs, they are sleeping. So for their good, He took sannyāsa, renounced order of life. This brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, the brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, they are for mutual cooperation. They are different department, but they are for mutual cooperation. As I have already explained several times, just like in my body there are different departments—these eight departments—the arm department, the belly department and the leg department. Similarly, the human society also be divided into departments. The brain department means the brāhmaṇa and the sannyāsa, the brain department. And the arms department means the kṣatriya and the gṛhasthas. And the belly department is the vaiśyas and vānaprastha;, and the leg department, the śūdras and the brahmacārīs, two legs. This is the scientific division of human society.

But unfortunately, at the present moment, they are not interested. They do not know how to divide the human society in four material order and four spiritual order. Of course there is some order, division. Just like still there is a class of men who are very intelligent—philosophers, scientists, or poets, or writers and thinkers, thoughtful. There is a class of men still. And there is a class of men who are interested taking part in politics, in administration, in diplomacy. And there is a class of men, they are interested in business, industry, trade. And there is a class of men, means less intelligent; they cannot take part in any these. They can serve somewhere and get some bread, that's all. So there are these four classes of divisions, but not in an organized way—topsy-turvy way. Therefore we find so many discrepancies in spite of economic development, education advancement.

So the ātma-tattvaṁ, those who are blind to self-realization, they are thinking,

ātma-sainyeṣv asatsv api
teṣāṁ nidhanaṁ
paśyann api na paśyati
(SB 2.1.4)
teṣāṁ nidhanaṁ pramatto
paśyann api na paśyati

They are thinking, those who have no vision for self-realization, they are thinking, deha apatya-kalatra adi. Deha means "this body," and apatya means "children."Kalatra means "wife."Ādi, because we begin our lives with these things. My body . . ., in the beginning when I am child, boy, I think of my body only, and when I grow up, I get my wife. Then I think of two bodies. Then from the two bodies, when there are many other bodies, children, we think of. This is our sphere of activities, dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣu. And we think that these paraphernalia will give me all protection. Or little further—community, society, nation or human society, like that. So our whole program is on this basis, dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣu: body, children, friends and wife and all paraphernalia. We are thinking. Just like a man is fighting; he has got his soldiers. He thinks himself quite protected by his soldiers; therefore he is fighting. Similarly we are also fighting in this world, struggle for existence, and we are thinking they are our soldiers, dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣv ātma-sainyeṣv. We are thinking my nation, my community, my country, my society, my friend, my children, my wife, my body, they will give me protection.

But śāstra says that,

teṣāṁ pramatto nidhanaṁ
paśyann api na paśyati
(SB 2.1.4)

This person, he is so mad that he is thinking that these things will give him protection. He does not see that everything will be finished, annihilated. Teṣāṁ nidhanaṁ. Nidhanaṁ means "annihilation." Paśyann api na paśyati. He is seeing actually that "So many friends—my father, my uncle, my mother, my teachers—they are all died, and they will also die." So these people, everyone will die. How they will give me protection? Because he is thinking of protection of this body, but he has no knowledge of the soul. How to give protection to the soul, he does not know. He is thinking giving protection to the body, however, and, "Others may give me protection." It will be destroyed. Teṣāṁ nidhanaṁ.

So where is the protection? Even if there is nice state, even if there is nice family, even if there is nice, good wife and children, everything, but they cannot give me protection. When I shall die, nobody can give protection. Just like dozens of airplanes flying in the sky. Sometimes military planes, they fly all together, almost—not together; almost in a bunch. But if there is danger, the other plane cannot give me protection. When there is danger in one of the planes—there are, say, dozens of planes around—none of them can give protection. You have to fly on your own strength. Similarly, in this material world I have to protect myself. Nobody can give me protection. Therefore how I can take protection? That is ātma-tattvaṁ. That is understanding Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Kṛṣṇa is suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ (BG 5.29). He is friend of all living entities. So if I want to protect myself from the onslaught of the stringent laws of material nature, then I will have to take protection from the supreme friend, God, Kṛṣṇa. Otherwise these things will not give me protection.

apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ
gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām
(SB 2.1.2)

Therefore our duty is,

tasmād bhārata sarvātmā
bhagavān īśvaro hariḥ
(SB 2.1.5)

Śukadeva Goswami is giving advice to Parīkṣit Mahārāja, because he was on the verge of death. He said tasmād, "therefore." Tasmād means "therefore." Tasmād bhārata. Parīkṣit Mahārāja belonged to the family of Bhārata Mahārāja; therefore he is addressed as Bhārata. This India . . . Not India; this planet was known as Bhāratvarṣa, and the king of this planet was called Bhārata.

tasmād bhārata sarvātmā
bhagavān hariḥīśvaro
(SB 2.1.5)

He finalizes his conclusion. Śrotavyaḥ means "You have to hear, because hearing there is, but you have to, especially you, because you are on the verge of death." So who is not on the verge of death? Everyone. We cannot say that my life is guaranteed. It is not possible. At least Parīkṣit Mahārāj, his life was guaranteed for seven days, because a brāhmaṇa boy cursed him that "You shall die within seven days." So these seven days there was life, there was some assurance that at least seven days he would live. But for us, we do not know whether we shall live another seven minutes or seven seconds. Any moment the heart can fail. Any moment I go on the street, there may be some accident. Huh? So there is no guarantee of life. So how much we should be interested in hearing about the Supreme Lord!

The point is, Parīkṣit Mahārāja advised, he was on the verge of death, and he was advised that for the persons who have no vision of self-realization, they have got multi subject matter for hearing. But those who are actually interested in self-realization, for them, śro . . .,

tasmād bhārata sarvātmā
bhagavān hariḥīśvaro
(SB 2.1.5)

He should be heard. Who? Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Who is He? Sarvātmā: who is living in everyone's heart. Tasmād sarvātmā bhagavān, Supreme Personality of Godhead, bhagavān. Bhagavān means "with all opulences." Īśvaraḥ—"controller"; hariḥ—"who can give us relief from all miserable condition of life. "Śrotavyaḥ—"He should be heard." That is the difference between gṛhamedhī and gṛhastha. They are interested of hearing in so many subject matter, because they have no idea of self-realization. But those who are actually interested to understand his position in this world, then he should hear about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme controller living in everyone's heart, sarvātmā hariḥīśvaro. Śrotavyaḥ, smartavyaś: not only hearing, but remembering also. What you hear in this meeting, you should again remember. That will be very nice. That will fix up the idea: śrotavyaḥ, smartavyaś, pūjyaś ca nityadā.

So if we engage ourself in hearing about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme controller, the supreme master, the all-pervading . . . There are so many subject matter about hearing, about the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Bhagavad-gītā is the Supreme Personality of Godhead speaking personally; you can hear. Bhāgavata is spoken about the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Caitanya-caritāmṛta. So you do not forget this business of śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ (SB 7.5.23). Viṣṇu is of the . . . We should always engage ourselves in hearing and talking. Talking is also chanting. Therefore I began with this, śrī-viṣṇoḥśravaṇe parīkṣid abhavad vaiyāsakiḥ kīrtane (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.265). So kīrtana does not mean always that we have to chant loudly with drums and kartālas or musical instruments. Kīrtana, this kind of talking about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, this kind of talking about our self-realization, that is also kīrtana. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ (SB 7.5.23).

There are nine methods—the hearing, the chanting . . . That this is also chant, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ. If it is about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then it is kīrtana. Otherwise it is useless, nonsense talk, waste of time. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ. Smaraṇaṁ: and remembering what we hear. If you remember, that is very, very beneficial. Satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido (SB 3.25.25). In good association we hear about the Supreme Lord, Supreme Person, and it becomes very pleasing to the heart, to the ear. Taj-joṣaṇād: and if we again remember them, then the benefit is there.

satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido
bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ
(SB 3.25.25)

If we again cultivate by remembering, that "Swamījī was speaking about this thing . . ." You have to apply you reason. Try to understand. If you cannot understand, then ask some superior student or somebody else to clear. In this way, taj-joṣaṇād āśu. Then if we make progress like this, hearing and chanting and thinking, and applying our knowledge, and try to understand, then the result will be āśu—"very soon." Apavarga-vartmani—on the path of liberation we shall increase our faith, śraddhā, our devotion, bhakti, anukramiṣyati. It will come gradually, and our life will be successful and we shall be able to go back to home, back to Godhead.

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (devotees offer obeisances) Hmm. So any question? Hmm. Only one. Yes?

Devotee: How does one hear nicely? How should one hear?

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Devotee (2): How does one hear nicely?

Prabhupāda: That you do not know? How to hear? You do not know?

Devotee: Not how to hear nicely.

(recordings speeds up)

Prabhupāda: Then how can I explain? (laughs) With attention; don’t divert your mind. That is hearing. If your mind goes away, then you bring it back again. Just like in the class, the teacher teaches. He says, "Attention!" So attention. With attention. Mind shall not go otherwise. This can be practiced.

cetasā nānya-gāminā
(BG 8.8)

Those who have practiced . . . One who has practiced how to control the mind, not to go outside but hear, that is attentive. So our mind is very restless, so mind tries to go. Suppose I am speaking and you are hearing, and mind is somewhere. This is . . . Ordinarily there is such difficulty, but we have to bring back the mind again. Suppose I am sitting here for hearing, but my mind has gone to the store. So we have to bring back the mind from the store again to this apartment. This has to be practiced. The mind will create disturbance like that (makes noise). That is called meditation. That is called yoga, to control the mind from all other subject matters and concentrate it on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is called yoga. Yoga means linking. The mind goes away—bring it back again. Just like your child goes away, you bring him at home. Similarly, the mind is restless. So by practicing, when we feel interest.

Therefore there is a process. Just like those who are attending this meeting, they have got a little faith: "All right, let us go to this meeting. They are talking about something about God. Let us hear." This is called faith, little faith. So you have to increase this faith. That is required. So for increasing this faith, you have to mix with these persons who are cultivating Kṛṣṇa consciousness little intimate. Therefore better to live with us for some time. We give this chance, everyone, "Come and live with us." So anyone can come and live with us. That is called association. Faith, association. Then by association somebody becomes interested to become initiated: "So I shall also become bona fide initiated disciple." Then as soon as he takes initiation and properly discharges the duties, then all unwanted things disappear. Unwanted things means we proscribe four unwanted things: no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no intoxication, no gambling. These are not wanted. It is not that without these things a man cannot live. It is a practice only. One becomes drunkard by association. From childhood he is not a drunkard. Smoker, he becomes a smoker by association. It is not that a child is born smoking. No. He is born searching after milk. The milk is essential; the smoking is not essential. But we are practicing by bad association, so we can give it up also by good association. It is a question of association.

So these are called unwanted things. Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgo (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.4.15). By faith we make association with the devotees, and by association with devotees we become inclined to be initiated. And after actual discharging the duties of initiation, one becomes freed from things which are not wanted. We don’t say it is bad, but it is not wanted. It is not that we are not eating meat, it is not that we are dying. So it is not wanted. If I can live by eating fruit and grains and milk - there are so many nice things - why shall I cause the killing of another animal? This is God consciousness; this is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.4.15). So in this way, when we are freed from the bad elements of life, then we become fixed up in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Niṣṭhā. Then rucis—taste. Niṣṭhā, rucis, then asaktis—attachment; then bhāva—ecstasy. Then the next stage is love of Godhead.

So we have to practice this regularly, one after another, if we are serious. But everyone should be serious, because this human life is meant for this business what we are doing, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Not for eating, sleeping, mating. That is done by the animals. We also do. And if there is good arrangement for the animals and birds, there is good arrangement for me also. Why God should make arrangement for the animals and the birds and not for the human being? A human being also has got arrangement, but because we don’t believe in God, therefore we think that "I have to do this. I have to do that. I have to make this improvement, or otherwise I will die; I will not be able to have my meals." We have created this situation. Actually there is no problem. For eating, sleeping, mating and defending, there is no problem. It is already there.

So many people are saying that "Swamījī, we have to give food to the poor, starving." That's all right. You give, if you think. But according to our philosophy, nobody is starving. Nobody is starving. You show me one instance that one man is dying here out of starvation. Where is that man? But they are making big propaganda. Just like especially in India, it is advertised in your country they are dying of starvation. But you have been in India—how many are dying, that they are dying of starvation? Have you seen, anybody? But propaganda is going on, and somebody is stealing money, that's all: "Ah, we shall send to India." I know in New York there are so many bogus institutions. They are taking money from all the foundations; they are taking and using for their own purpose. Making some propagandas of pictures, and there is some arrangement with the foundation man, they are taking money. But actually this is not problem. We have created such problem, but actually there is no such problem. The only problem is scarcity of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the only problem. That has to be taken very seriously, that people may become Kṛṣṇa conscious, or God conscious. Otherwise there is no problem. And even there is problem, if you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, all these problems will be solved. That is a fact.

(aside:) So we shall go now, or have little soft kīrtana? (prema-dvani) (devotees and Prabhupāda offer obeisances) (kīrtana) (end).