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760605 - Lecture SB 06.01.39 - Los Angeles

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

760605SB-LOS ANGELES - June 05, 1976 - 29.42 Minutes

Pradyumna: (leads devotees in chanting)

kathaṁ svid dhriyate daṇḍaḥ
kiṁ vāsya sthānam īpsitam
daṇḍyaḥ kiṁ kāriṇaḥ sarve
aho svit katicin nṛṇām
(SB 6.1.39)

Translation: (01:10) "What is the process of punishing others? Who are the actual candidates for punishment? Are all karmīs engaged in fruitive activities punishable, or only some of them?"


kathaṁ svid dhriyate daṇḍaḥ
kiṁ vāsya sthānam īpsitam
daṇḍyaḥ kiṁ kāriṇaḥ sarve
aho svit katicin nṛṇām
(SB 6.1.39)

So challenge was replied that "You are representing Dharmarāja. So you have come here to take away this person, and we are prohibiting. So you have challenged us. So first of all explain your position, whether you know what is dharma and what is adharma, who is punishable, under what circumstance one is punished, and one who is punished, where does he go?" Actually, all these descriptions are there in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, different types of hellish life, what kind of sinful activities are punished by what kind of hellish condition. Everything is there. In the Fifth Canto, everything is there. There are different planets where Yamarāja is there, how a dead man or the soul is taken there, the path—everything is in detail there. If you say it is mythology . . . why you should say mythology? You have not seen the whole universe, how it is situated. You are simply imagining from this place. So your imagination, imaginology, and we have our mythology. So we have got some evidence, but you have no evidence. At least we have got some support of the books. But what you have got? You are simply imagining, "I think," "I believe." What is this nonsense? What is your proof? Everyone is saying "I believe." Hundreds and thousands . . . and what is correct? Everyone . . . at least, we have got something correct. We don't say "I believe." This is not our process of knowledge. We, Kṛṣṇa conscious person, we never say "I believe." No. We immediately quote from the śāstra, that "Here is the statement," śruti-pramāṇam.

According to Vedic civilization, evidence is śruti, Vedas. If you say something and if you give evidence, proof from the Vedic literature, then it is perfect. No such nonsense things: "I believe," "We believe," "Perhaps," "Maybe." No. Such foolish things are not accepted. Then everyone will say something. There are thousands and millions of people, everyone will imagine something and say something. Then where is the correct thing? This is not good. Veda-pramāṇam. That will be described in the next verse: veda-praṇihito dharmo (SB 6.1.40). Veda-praṇihito. What is explained in the Veda, that is dharma. Not . . . you cannot manufacture dharma. If it is mentioned in the Vedas what is dharma, what is adharma, then it is acceptable. I have several times explained that you cannot make law in your comfortable home. No. Law is made by the government. And you have to accept it. You cannot say that "I believe this will be law." Who will care for your law? You may believe. You believe at your home. That will not be accepted. The law given by the government, "Keep to the right," that you must have. You cannot say, "I believe left thing" or . . . no. That is not. Similarly, dharmaś ca, it will be explained further.

So what is dharma, religion? In the dictionary, English dictionary, it is explained: "a kind of faith." But we do not take in that way. Faith, you have got different faith, I have got different faith, how it will be dharma? The same example: if you have different faith that you do not accept this government law, that will not do. You may have faith or no faith, but you have to accept. That is dharma. That is dharma. So they very particularly analyzed dharma. Dharma means, I have given translation in many places, "occupational duty." Everyone is fit for a certain occupation. And the duty ascertained for such occupation, that is dharma. Natural. Or, in one word, it can be explained as characteristic. So just like a chemical, it has got some characteristic in the chemical analytical book, that . . . take soda bicarb. The characteristic—it tastes like this, the color is like this, the . . . like this, so many things. Hmm. (aside) That child is coughing. So dharma means characteristic. So what is the dharma of the living entity? We are all living entities. What is the dharma? What is the characteristic? Common. Not that because I am Hindu, my characteristic is different from your characteristic. As living being, our characteristic is the same. Either you are Hindu or Muslim or Christian or white or black, never mind. What is that characteristic? That characteristic—to serve. The inferior must serve to the superior. That's all. This is characteristic. Find out all over the universe, the service.

That is explained by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu: jīvera svarūpa haya nitya kṛṣṇa dāsa (CC Madhya 20.108). That is his real charactertistic. He is eternal servant of God, or Kṛṣṇa. This is characteristic. So if you don't serve God, then you have to serve dog. But you have to serve. You see practically: so many godless persons, they have no family, no affection, no position, no home, nothing, but still he keeps a dog to serve. This is the characteristic. Because he has nothing to serve, he has no wife, no children, no, nothing, so he must have somebody—keep a dog. Just see practically. He cannot avoid service. That is your characteristic. If you don't serve God, then you have to serve dog. Now make your choice, whether you shall spoil your life by serving dog and become next life a dog, or by serving God, you, next life you become a god. Make your choice. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. If you want to become a dog next life, that is . . . must, yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ tyajaty ante kalevaram (BG 8.6). At the time of death, if you are affectionate to the dog, naturally you'll think of dog, and your soul will be transferred in the womb of a dog. This is nature's way. And similarly, if you practice to love God in this life, at the time of death naturally you'll think of God. Then next life, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya (BG 4.9). It is explained in the . . . tyaktvā deham, everyone has to give up this body, but if, at the time of quitting this body, you think of Kṛṣṇa, immediately you go back to home, back to Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. This is opportunity. If you ask, of course, anyone who is desirous of going back to home, back to Godhead, he knows everything about Kṛṣṇa. Otherwise, why he should be eager?

So Kṛṣṇa is always joyful. Kṛṣṇa is always joyful. Just like, see before you: Kṛṣṇa is joyfully accepting to be bound up by His mother. He is Supreme Lord; nobody can chastise Him, but He is taking pleasure: "How My mother chastises Me." This is also another pleasure. Just like a very rich man, he always eats very nice foodstuff. So sometimes he wants, "Can you give me little puffed rice?" Puffed rice is not very valuable food, but he likes. This is change of variety of enjoyment. So everyone worships God: "My Lord, my Lord, my Lord." So therefore God sometimes wants that "Who will chastise Me?" He selects one of His devotee, first-class devotee: "You become My father, you become My mother, and you chastise Me." This is God's pleasure. Ānanda-mayo 'bhyāsāt. Then that is God. Ānanda, that is ānanda. Here, Mother Yaśodā is going to bind Kṛṣṇa. It is not His displeasure; He is not unhappy. He is feeling happy. That is Kṛṣṇa.

So in this way we have to understand Kṛṣṇa thoroughly. And if you simply understand thoroughly Kṛṣṇa, you are liberated. You are liberated. Janma karma ca me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ (BG 4.9). One may question that . . . they may neglect, that "If Kṛṣṇa is God, why Mother Yaśodā is binding Him?" But he does not know that is a pleasure. That is a pleasure. There are many instances. I'll cite one instance that there was a big prime minister in England, Gladstone. Perhaps you have heard the name, Queen Victoria's prime minister. So somebody came to see him, and the servant informed him that "The prime minister is little busy. You wait." So he was waiting. One hour passed, and still no message. Then he opened the door. He wanted to see what the prime minister is doing. He saw the prime minister has become a horse, and his grandchildren driving him. (laughter). That is enjoyment. He is the prime minister, but he has become a horse of his grandchild. (laughter).

So this is the position. There are different types of position. When there is battlefield, Kṛṣṇa said that "I'll not fight. Arjuna, although I shall be on your side, but don't expect that I shall fight. Because it is between your brothers, both of you are My relatives, I will not fight." So Arjuna accepted, "Yes, You don't fight. So You, any way You like, You can help me." So He said, "All right, I shall become your chariot . . . I shall drive your chariot." So "That's all right; whatever You like." This was the agreement. So Duryodhana complained to Bhīṣmadeva that "Arjuna is your pet grandchild. You are not fighting wholeheartedly." So he began to criticize him. He was also grandchild. So when Bhīṣmadeva saw that "Duryodhana is thinking that I am inclined to Arjuna, I am not fighting properly," so he said, "All right, tomorrow I shall finish Arjuna. Tomorrow I shall fight in such a way, either Arjuna has to die or his friend who has promised not to fight, He has to fight. Otherwise there is no escape of Arjuna." So Duryodhana became very satisfied. And Bhīṣma was a great hero. He was not ordinary hero. So he fought in such a way that Arjuna's chariot became broken and he became fainted and so on, so on. Then Kṛṣṇa saw that "My friend is going to die." So He became very angry. And He was coming with the chariot wheel to kill Bhīṣmadeva, and Bhīṣmadeva was piercing His body with arrows like anything. So Kṛṣṇa was feeling very satisfaction, because Bhīṣma is also great devotee. So when Kṛṣṇa came before Bhīṣmadeva, that "Now I shall kill you. You are doing too much," so he immediately left, means "That was my promise, that either You have to fight or Your friend will be killed."

So these are the transactions between devotee and God. Generally, people cannot understand. But if one understands, he becomes liberated. If some way or other . . . it is not very difficult; simply we have to associate with devotees and discuss this literature. Then we'll understand Kṛṣṇa very easily. And Kṛṣṇa is explaining in the Bhagavad-gītā about Himself. In the Seventh Chapter Kṛṣṇa says,

mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha
yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ
asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ
yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu
(BG 7.1)

Kṛṣṇa is offering that samagram, sama, "In fullness, completely, as you can understand Me, I am speaking to you." Asaṁśayam—without any doubt. Doubt there may be, because God is great, we are very small; how we can understand God? There is always some doubt, whether He's personal, impersonal, all-pervading. There are so many different conception of God. But therefore God Himself says asaṁśayam, "without any doubt." And samagram, "completely." Asaṁśayam samagraṁ māṁ yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu (BG 7.1). Just like to study a subject matter, it takes some time, takes little endeavor to associate with person who knows the thing rightly. In this way we can understand God also. Just like we understand so many science, so many arts, by patience. Then that is Rūpa Gosvāmī's advice: niścayād dhairyāt. Niścayād dhairyāt. Dhairyāt means patience. You have to learn patiently. Niścayād dhairyāt tat-tat-karma-pravartanāt sato vṛtteḥ saṅga-tyāgāt ṣaḍbhir bhaktiḥ prasidhyati (Upadeśāmṛta 3).

So if we follow the instruction, tat-tat-karma-pravartanāt, as it is prescribed in the śāstras, as it instructed by the spiritual master . . . we have to learn everything through the spiritual master. You cannot understand directly. That is not possible. Just like if you purchase one medical book and read at home, you cannot become doctor, medical man. You have to go through the medical college and professor. Similarly, the śāstra says, tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). If you want to learn that transcendental science, you must go through the bona fide guru. And Kṛṣṇa also says in the . . . this is Vedic injunction. Kṛṣṇa also says in the Bhagavad-gītā,

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

One has to approach a person who has seen God, tattva-darśinaḥ. How God can be seen? Tattva-darśinaḥ. Tattva-darśinaḥ means one who knows the truth. Truth means how to see. Paśyanti jñāna-cakṣuṣa (BG 15.9): by the eyes of knowledge. Paśyanti jñāna-cakṣuṣa. Śāstra-cakṣuṣāt. Not that if somebody challenges that "Have you seen God?" "Yes, I have seen." "How?" "Through śāstra, through śāstra." God reveals. You cannot see, even God comes before you . . . just like Kṛṣṇa was present. Here is God before you. But you cannot understand. Unless we are advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we'll think, "What is this, a statue of stone? He is God?" Yes, He is God. Otherwise, why we are spending so much money, wasting time? No, here is God. But how you can see God? Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena (BS 5.38). You have to make the eyes to see God. Otherwise, God is everywhere. So they may ask that "If God is everywhere, why you are worshiping an idol?" He's not idol, He is God, but he is seeing idol. Unless he has developed love for God, he cannot see. But it is. God is there. But because our eyes cannot see the spirit, at the present moment, our dull material eyes . . . just like you are spirit soul, I am spirit soul, your father is spirit soul, your mother is spirit soul—but are you seeing the spirit soul? When the spirit soul goes away, you're crying, "My father is gone, my father is gone." Why father is gone? He's lying on the bed. You have seen the coat, pants, hands, legs; that is there. Why you say gone? "No, he's gone." So we cannot see the spirit soul even of our father and mother; how can you see God, the Supreme Spirit? Therefore God comes before you just like stone, which you can see. It is to favor you. God is everything. So in this way we have to understand God, Kṛṣṇa. And if anyone understands, then he becomes immediately fit for going back to home, back to Godhead. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya. Janma karma ca me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ (BG 4.9).

So therefore we require good association. Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgo 'tha bhajana-kriyā tato 'nartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt tato niṣṭhā tataḥ rucis tato bhāvas sadhakānām ayaṁ premnaḥ prādurbhāve . . . (CC Madhya 23.14-15). You cannot develop love of Godhead in one second. You can, provided you are so sincere and God is very much pleased upon you. He can give you. He can give you immediately. That is possible. But that may be some rare cases. Ordinarily, this is the process: Āādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgo. Just like you have come here in this temple. You have got some faith, all of us. That is called śraddhā, ādau śraddhā. There are many hundred thousand in this quarter. Why they are not coming? This is the beginning. You have got some faith, śraddhā. You have come. Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgo. And if you continue . . . what we are doing? We are making the association to take lessons from these Vedic literatures. This is called sādhu-saṅga. In the drinking shop we make one kind of association, in the restaurant we make one association, in the clubs we make some association, different places. So here is a place, here is also association. It is called sādhu-saṅga, association with devotees. Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgo (CC Madhya 23.14-15). And if one is mature, then he wants to execute devotional service, bhajana-kriyā. And as soon as there is bhajana-kriyā, the unnecessary nonsense things will disappear. No more illicit sex, no more intoxication, no more drinking, no more gambling. Finished. When anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt, all these rascal habits are gone, then niṣṭhā, then firm faith, not to be agitated. Tato niṣṭhā tataḥ rucis. Then taste. You cannot live outside this camp. Taste has changed. Tato niṣṭhā tataḥ rucis, tathāśaktis, then attraction. Then bhāva. Bhāva means ecstasy: "Oh, Kṛṣṇa." Then there is love. There are different stage.

So this . . . real religion is love, how to love God. That is real religion. Dharma . . . what is that? Yato bhaktir . . . sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo (SB 1.2.6). There are different kinds of dharma, or religious system. But real religious system means how we have learned to love God. That's all. Nothing more. No ritualistic ceremony, no formula, nothing. If your heart is always crying for God, that is perfect religion. That is perfect religion. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, śūnyāyitaṁ jagat sarvam: "Oh, without Kṛṣṇa, I am feeling the whole world is vacant." Vacant, yes. So we have to come to that stage. Of course, it is not possible for all of us, but Caitanya Mahāprabhu showed us how to become highest religious person. That is to feel always, "Oh, without Kṛṣṇa, everything is vacant." Śūnyāyitaṁ jagat sarvaṁ govinda viraheṇa me. That is dharma, that is dharma. So the Viṣṇudūta is testing these Yamadūtas, whether he understands what is the meaning of dharma. Dharma, we cannot create. Dharma is neither Hindu dharma, Muslim dharma, Christian dharma, this dharma, that dharma. They may be some sectarian understanding, but real dharma means how we have learned to love God.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya Prabhupāda. (end)