Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 5.5.1–2

Type:
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
Date:
September 7
Year:
1973
Place:
Stockholm

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [leads chanting of verse, etc.] [Prabhupāda and devotees repeat]

ṛṣabha uvāca
nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛ-loke
kaṣṭān kāmān arhate viḍ-bhujāṁ ye
tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena sattvaṁ
śuddhyed yasmād brahma-saukhyaṁ tv anantam
[SB 5.5.1]
mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes
tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam
mahāntas te sama-cittāḥ praśāntā
vimanyavaḥ suhṛdaḥ sādhavo ye
[SB 5.5.2]

[break]

[01:50]

Prabhupāda: So, uktam evāha ṛṣabhām iti. We are discussing about the instruction of Lord Ṛṣabhadeva to His sons. Tad uktam upayinona bhāgavata upāsanam upadeśa upadekṣamana vairāgyaṁ vinā upadeṣṭo ‘pi bhakti-yoga na samyak pratitiṣṭhati tad utpadaye kāmān nindati nāyam etad dvayam. This is a note given by Bhiraghavācārya. He belongs to the Rāmānuja-sampradāya. We have got four disciplic succession: Madhvācārya’s sampradāya, or succession, Rāmānujācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī and…, what is the other?

Pradyumna: Nimbārka.

Prabhupāda: So Bhiraghavācārya belongs to the Rāmānuja disciplic succession. He was a very famous man, ācārya. So he says that bhāgavata upāsanam upadekṣyamāna vairāgyaṁ vinā upadiṣṭo ‘pi bhakti-yoga na samyak pratitiṣṭhati. We may give instruction for many years, but unless one practices vairāgya, renunciation, vairāgya vinā… This bhakti-yoga, another name is vairāgya-yoga. That is pointed out by Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya. When he offered his prayer to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu he said,

vairāgya-vidyā-nija-bhakti-yogam-
śikṣārtham ekaḥ puruṣaḥ purāṇaḥ
sri-kṛṣṇa-caitanya-śarīra-dhārī
kṛpāmbudhir yas tam ahaṁ prapadye
[Cc. Madhya 6.254]

He said that this Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the same Lord Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa advised, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. This sarva-dharmān includes all our material activities. So, but people could not understand. The instruction is still standing. Kṛṣṇa said, sarva-dharmān parityajya, “Just simply surrender unto Me.” But nobody is doing that. God says that “You surrender unto Me; I shall give you all protection.” There is assurance. But we are so unfortunate that we cannot believe or cannot be assured on the words of God also. We do not believe. “Oh, God cannot give us protection. Let me try my own technology. I shall protect myself.” This is the world[?]. That means he’s not detached with these material activities.

Kṛṣṇa says also that “You give up.” Just like we are also saying. There are so many proposals. They come, philanthropists: “People are starving. We have to see first of all.” The Communists say, “Then we can discuss about spiritual… There are so many people starving,” as if they have taken contract for feeding them. But these are only simply big, big words. They cannot do anything, neither they are willing. They are simply after their own sense gratification. Otherwise, why so many people all over the world, there is voluntary starving? Just like the hippies. Why they are lying down on the street, on the park, no fixed-up program for eating, sleeping? They are not poor men’s sons.

So nature’s way will work. You cannot stop them. But because they cannot give up attachment for these material activities, they put some manifesto, that “We are working for this. After finishing this task, then we shall take to the consideration of spiritual life.” So this is called will o’ the wisp. What is that, will o’ the wisp? There is a fire, and the fire goes ahead, and the man follows. It is something like that. They cannot do anything. Actually, they have got attachment for these material activities, and they put forward different types of manifesto. But if one is serious about going back to home, back to Godhead… First of all, they have no such information that there is a place where God lives. They think it is all fictitious. So why it is fictitious? If you accept there is God, why, what is the objection to accept a place for Him? We have got our place, we have got our residential quarter, and God has provided us all, all these facilities, and He has no facility? He is impersonal? He has no place? Just see.

So these things cannot be understood by the materialistic person. Therefore, one has to practice vairāgya, renunciation. That is pointed out here. Bhāgavata upāsanam upadekṣyamāna vairāgyaṁ vinā upadiṣṭo ‘pi bhakti-yoga na samyag pratitiṣṭhati iti. You see. Side by side we have to practice, voluntarily, to be detached from material activities. Then we can make progress in devotional service. Tad utpataya kāmān nindati. This is our voluntary work. If we want to be detached… Because Kṛṣṇa is so kind, if you have got even a little pinch of attachment for this material world, you are not allowed to enter into the kingdom of God. You must be completely free. Therefore, bhakti-yoga is enunciated by Rūpa Goswami: anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. Śūnyam means zero. All kinds of material desires should be made into zero. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy anāvṛtam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. Jñāna, speculative method for understanding the Absolute Truth, as the Māyāvādīs, they are speculating, “This is not, this is not, this is not.” Neti neti. This is jñāna.

And karma means they are struggling hard to enjoy the fruitive result, as we see generally everywhere, they are working so hard. Big, big buildings, big, big factories, big, big roads, cities, so many things. They are trying to be happy by such advancement of material opulence. They are called karmī. Some of them are trying to be happy within this material…, within this world or within this life, and there are others also, they are also performing big, big yajñas, charities, so that next life they may also take birth in very nice family or may be elevated to the higher planetary system where the standard of life is thousand times better than here.

There is all arrangement. So they are trying for that—not only to become very bodily happy in this life, but also next life. But as there is difficulty… Suppose if you want to be happy materially, then… You see how they are working very hard. They have no time. In the morning, at half past five, we go for morning walk, we see, workers are going to attend[?]. At night… You Europeans, you know better than me how they are working very, very hard. What is the idea? To become happy. To satisfy the senses. Similarly, there are others who know that there is life after death. So they are also preparing how “Next life also we’ll be happy, we may take birth in very rich family, in higher planet, in heavenly planet.”

So this hard labor is going on. So Ṛṣabhadeva says that this hard labor should be stopped. There is no need of so much hard labor. Why you should work so hard? This such kind of hard labor is seen amongst the animals. There are animals, just like we saw one jackal was passing on the street. So they come out in the night, some of the animals, especially ferocious animals. They come out at night for their food. Everyone is working hard; they also come. So animals also, they are also working very hard. That is given example, the hogs and dogs.

That is restricted. If you go on working for better standard of life, then you’ll be attached to this work, and your mind will be absorbed in such work. And if the mind continues to be absorbed in working so hard, then after giving up this body, you’ll have to accept another body to fulfill such desires within the mind. Kṛṣṇa will give you full facility. Therefore it is said, deha-bhṛtān madhye ya nṛ-loka manuṣyaḥ tasmin sattvāyaṁ manuṣyaḥ deha kaṣṭān kṛcchran sampādyamānam ata duḥkha-rūpaṁ kāmān yajñādini. Yajñādini prati na hati. Kāmān anubhāvituṁ nārhati ity artha.

Ṛṣabhadeva says that simply for sense gratification, don’t work so much. Actually, we haven’t got to work. Everything is there. We have repeatedly discussed. Just like in the morning the birds get up, they do not work very hard. They know that “We shall go in some…, upon some tree, and there is food, there is some fruit, and we shall eat.” There is no, no good prob…, very great problem. The animals also, they are assured, everyone is assured. And even human being, just like sannyāsī, they are also assured. Just like when I came to your country, there was no friend, there was no relative, but assurance was there that “I am going for Kṛṣṇa’s business. So there is some provision, never mind where it is.” That much faith we must have. Actually, for…, even one is not Kṛṣṇa conscious, one is not devotee of Kṛṣṇa, he has also provision. That provision is there. Why should we work so hard? Our business is to save time how to become advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But people cannot understand this.

Now, how to become detached from this habit of hard working, that is suggested here. It is said, mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes. Mahat-sevā, saintly persons, if you associate with them, if you serve them, try to serve them… That practice is still in India. If a sannyāsī… You’ll find from Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is going from village to village, but any village he goes… Generally, the sannyāsī goes to a temple, because temple is meant for the traveling sannyāsī. And as soon as one sannyāsī… Still this custom is prevalent in India, as soon as somebody sees a sannyāsī has come in a temple, somebody from the village…, not somebody, but many will come, “Sir, you can take your lunch at my place.” So there is no scarcity. Many people will come to invite you, still. Therefore many pseudo or phony svāmīs, they have taken this profession, because there is no difficulty getting food.

So mahat-sevā. The… What is the idea? The idea is the gṛhasthas, they know that “We are simply engaged in the matter of sense gratification. If we invite some saintly person at home, if he eats at my place, then, we commit so many sinful activities, we’ll be saved.” This is the process. Therefore, a sannyāsī is advised to accept prasādam in the house of a brāhmaṇa, because a brāhmaṇa is supposed very, to be…, become very pious. If you take foodstuff from impious men, then that means you are taking share of his impious activities. But a saintly person, they can digest, but if cannot digest, then you have to suffer. This is the process. Then he has to suffer. Therefore the safety principle is to accept luncheon in a pious family, where there is Vaiṣṇava family or brāhmaṇa family. Not that anywhere we can accept cooked food. Sometimes we have to do it, but that is against principle. We should not accept food anywhere and everywhere, unless he is pious. The brāhmaṇas are supposed to be pious; therefore a sannyāsī is advised to accept food, luncheon, in the brāhmaṇa family. And brāhmaṇa family, still—not all, a few families still in India—they worship regularly Nārāyaṇa-śilā, śalagrāma-śilā.

Therefore one should be anxious to give some service to the saintly persons. Mahat-sevā dvāram. If you engage yourself how to serve a saintly person, then your door for going back to Godhead will gradually become open. Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes. This human body is a junction. You can go this way or you can go that way. This way means mahat-sevā, liberation. But people do not understand what is liberation. They are so dull. They have been… Their education system is so rubbish that they do not know what is liberation. Just like cats and dogs, they do not know what is liberation. Liberation means to get out of this false conditional life. I’m thinking I’m this body, which I’m not, and therefore I’m acting on the bodily concept of life and becoming entangled more and more, so that I have to accept another body, another body, another body. This is my conditional state of life. And there is so much risk to accept another body. As it is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, tathā dehāntara-prāptir: you have to accept another body. And what kind of body I’m going to get, that I do not know.

Now suppose if I get another body in the plant life, a tree. A tree can stand for thousands of years. And if we get that sort of life, how much risky it is to accept another body. It is also possible… Those who are performing big, big yajñas, charity, they can expect to be transferred to the heavenly planet. But those who are not doing anything, living like cats and dog, oh, their life is very risky. Very risky. But they do not know. There is no such education. But here it is recommended that mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur. If you associate with saintly persons, then there is possibility of your door being opened for liberation. Dvāram āhur vimuktes.

So we are opening many centers all over the world. Why? To give people chance for having this association of a Vaiṣṇava, mahat, mahātmā. Therefore those who are in charge of such centers, they must be ideal mahātmās. Mahātmā means devotees. Mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ bhajanty ananya-manaso [Bg. 9.13]. Mahātmā means whose ātmā, whose soul, is engaged in the service of the Supreme Lord. He’s mahātmā. Otherwise kṣūdrātmā. God is all-pervading. So whose ātmā has become attached to the all-pervading Supersoul, he’s called mahātmā. Otherwise, kṣūdrātmā. If we are…, our heart is attached to limited circle of my friends, wife, children, home, country, then I am kṣūdrātmā, because that is limited. Kṣūdrātmā or durātmā. The opposite is mahātmā. Mahan, great. So we have to associate with mahātmā. Mahat-sevā. How associate?

Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā [Bg. 4.34], to associate. Therefore, it is the custom whenever one goes to see one saintly person, he gives something for service, either fruits or something presentation. That is necessary. Mahat-sevā, it is said. Sevā means service. Mahat-sevā. Not that I go to see one mahātmā, saintly person, and talk with him with all rascal proposal, and waste his time and his own time also. That is not association of the mahātmā. Mahat-sevā. You must approach a saintly person to give him some service. This is the beginning. Spiritual advancement of life means you have to give some service. That service begins when we serve the representative of Kṛṣṇa, mahātmā. He’s spiritual master or saintly person. So mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes.

And just the opposite number is, mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam. Yoṣit. Yoṣit means enjoyable, female, or prakṛti. The nature has made in such a way that the male form or female form that attracts, that is called yosit. There are so many things for our attraction, not that simply woman is attractive. No. Woman is a form. Rūpa, rasa, śabda, gandha, sparśa, this is called the tāṇ-mātra, enjoying… We have got senses, so there must be object of enjoyment of the senses.

The eyes, they have got also the object of sense gratification. The eyes want to see very beautiful forms, eyes, rūpa. Rūpa means form. And the tongue, it wants to enjoy very good taste, tasty food. So that is also enjoyment. Not that simply woman is for enjoyment. Any palatable foodstuff which attracts my tongue, that is also. Mahat-sevāṁ tamo-dvāram yoṣitā… These are yoṣit. A nice beautiful woman or man which attracts, a nice foodstuff which attracts my tongue, rūpa, rasa, śabda, nice singing which attracts my ear… Rūpa, rasa, śabda, gandha, smelling, which attracts my nostril. Rūpa, rasa, gandha, śabda, sparśa, touching. So these are all subject matter for my enjoyment, objectives.

So tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam. Those who are attached only, the general public, they are attached to all these things. They are going to cinema, they are drinking wine, they are going to restaurant for satisfaction of the tongue, clubs, and talking, so many things. So those who are attached to all these things for sense gratification, if we associate with such person, then our door for going to hell is open. Two doors. You have to make selection. Whether this door for becoming liberated from this entanglement of repetition of birth and death and go back to home, back to Godhead, this is one door. Another door: for sense gratification. Adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisram [SB 7.5.30]. The more we indulge in sense gratification, then more, more, more… Just like a drunkard. From the very beginning he’s not a big drunkard. He takes little, then big, big bottles, big, big bottles. That is… It is simply… Smoking, when the child learns from bad association to smoke, then he become a chain smoker, one after another, one after another, one after another.

So if we indulge in sense gratification, then it will increase. It will increase. And more we increase the process of sense gratification, we go down deeper, deeper into the hellish condition of life. Just like the other day I was talking with Mr. Berman, he’s a mining engineer. So I talked with him that “You have spent so much time being educated as mining engineer…” It is very good technology he has learned. “But do you ever consider that what is your position? After taking so much education, learning technology, your place is in the dark mine, your place. Whole day you have to work within this darkness. And you are considered to be very expert, and you are getting good salary, but your place is in the dark mine.

Why don’t you…?” Similarly, his wife, she’s a qualified gynecologist. So what is her business? Her business is how to kill the child within the womb—abortion. Just see. Both are experts. One expert is engaged in the hellish condition of the mine, in darkness; another expert is engaged in killing small babies within the womb. You see? Therefore the result will be that they are going to hell. Adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisram punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām [SB 7.5.30]. Again doing the same thing, again going to the hellish condition of life. This is called tamo-dvāram, ignorance. Tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam.

Therefore, to make advancement in spiritual life one must be serious to practice vairāgya. Tapasya. That is tapasya. If you practice vairāgya, deny, “No, I shall not eat these things. I shall not drink these things. I shall not do like this,” abnegation—that we have to practice. That we have to practice. But although it is very difficult, so far we are concerned, we have made the things very concise. Simply just observe the four regulative principle—no illicit sex, no gambling, no meat-eating and no intoxication. This much we have to practice if we are actually serious to go…, advance in spiritual life. This is vairāgya, voluntarily. Now, what is the difficulty? You want sex life, why don’t you live, husband and wife, married? Sex life is not denied, but not outside the marriage. That is denied.

A little vairāgya. But we have made such a civilization that no responsibility for marriage. Let the girls become prostitutes and enjoy and go away. Horrible civilization. They are going towards hell, punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām [SB 7.5.30]. But they do not know. Neither do they care. It is very serious situation of the present civilization. If we think… One who does not know, he’s in darkness, that is a different thing. But especially in the Western countries I see that poor girls are being advertised for prostitution. What is that? Topless? Yes. Topless, bottomless and so many things. You see. Purposefully, poor girls are being utilized for sense gratification. So horrible condition. And when there is pregnancy, then abortion, then further entanglement, further entanglement.

So this is the way to go to the darkest region of hellish condition of life—sense gratification. So one has to avoid this. Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes, and tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam. Not only you directly make all these things then you are condemned to go to the hellish condition; if you associate with such person, then also you’ll be liable. If you associate. Just like some rascals, they say, “Yes, we are eating meat, but we are not directly killing. We purchase.” They think that “Let me enjoy meat-eating. Those who are killing in the slaughterhouse, they will be responsible. I am free.” No. Because you are associating with such person, according to Manu-saṁhitā when an animal is killed, eight persons become condemned with murdering charges. Eight persons. One who kills, one who orders, one who purchases, one who cooks, one who eats—so many. That is the law.

Just like one man is murdered. That murdering is committed by one man, but if has got many associates who has induced him, who has supplied him the weapon, or giving—so many assisted—all of them are arrested. This is the law. As we have got law here, here we can escape man-made laws, but you cannot escape God-made laws. That is not possible. Man-made laws sometimes we escape because everything made by man, that is insufficient, imperfect. So you can escape sometimes. That is not escaping. But you cannot escape God’s law. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe ‘rjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg. 18.61]. God is situated within your heart. He’s seeing everything, and recording, anumantā upadraṣṭā. You cannot escape.

So these things are very important thing if we’re actually serious about becoming disentangled with this material world and go back to home, back to…, then this instruction of Ṛṣabhadeva is very important. We shall discuss again.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. [end]

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