Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Prabhupada: Sa amrtatvaya kalpate [Bg. 2.15]. Amrtatva. Here, in this material world, we are put into mrtatva, subject to birth, death, old age and disease. But there is another position where there is no birth, death, old age and disease. So which position we should like — birth, death, old age and disease, or no birth, no death, no old age, no disease? Which one we should like?

Hmm? I think we should like no birth, no death, no old age, no disease. So that is called amrtatva. So amrtatvaya kalpate. Every living being is amrta. That will be explained. Amrta… As we are, in our own original, constitutional position, we are not subjected to birth, death, old age and disease. Just like Krsna is sac-cid-ananda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1], eternal, blissful, knowledgeable, similarly, we, being part and parcel of Krsna, we are also of the same quality. The… We have accepted this position of birth, death, old age and disease on account of our association with this material world. Now, everyone is trying not to die, everyone is trying not to become old, everyone is trying not to be dead, meet death. This is natural. Because, by nature, we are not subjected to these things, therefore our endeavor, our activity, is struggling, how to become deathless, birth less, disease less. That is struggle for existence.

Lord Krishna explains to Arjuna

So here, in the Bhagavad-gita, gives you a nice formula. Yam hi na vyathayanty ete purusam purusarsabha. This transmigration of the soul, one which is not afflicted by this, dhiras tatra na muhyati [Bg. 2.13], one who understands… Suppose my father dies, if I have got clear understanding that "My father has not died. He has changed the body. He has accepted another body." That is the fact. Just like in our sleeping state, dreaming state, my body is lying on the bed, but in dream I create another body and go, say, thousand miles away in a different place. As you have got daily experience, similarly, the gross body being stopped, I, as spirit soul, I do not stop. I work. My mind carries me. My mind is active, my intelligence is active. People do not know that there is another subtle body made of mind, intelligence and ego. That carries me to another gross body. That is called transmigration of the soul.
Gita by Srila Prabhupada

Gita by Srila Prabhupada

Therefore one who knows that the spirit soul is eternal, deathless, birth less, ever-new, nityah sasvato 'yam puranah. Nityah sasvatah ayam puranah. Purana means very old. We do not know how old we are because we are transmigrating from one body to another. We do not know when we have begun this. Therefore, actually we are very old, but, at the same time, nityah sasvato 'yam puranah. Although very old,… Just like Krsna is adi-purusa, the original person. Still, you'll find Krsna always a young man of sixteen to twenty years' age. You'll never find Krsna's picture as old. Nava-yauvana. Krsna is always nava-yauvana. Advaitam acyutam anadim ananta-rupam adyam purana-purusam nava-yauvanam [Bs. 5.33]. Adyam, the original person, and the oldest; at the same time, He is always in youthful life. Adyam purana-purusam nava-yauvanam. So anyone who knows that how the soul is transmigrating from one body to another, dhiras tatra na muhyati, those who are sober, learned, he is not disturbed.

The purpose of Krsna, to teach all these things to Arjuna… Because he was very much perplexed how he would live, killing all his kinsmen, brothers. So Krsna wanted to point out that "Your brothers, your grandfather, they'll not die. They'll simply transfer the body. Vasamsi jirnani yatha vihaya [Bg. 2.22]. As we change our dress, similarly we change our bodies also like that. There is nothing to be lamented." In another place, Bhagavad-gita, therefore, it is said, brahma-bhuta [SB 4.30.20]. "One who has understood Brahman," prasannatma, "he's always joyful. He's not disturbed by these material conditions." That is here stated: yam hi na vyathayanty ete. These different transformation, different changes of nature, body, and everything, one should not be disturbed by all these things. These are external. We are spirit soul. It is external body, or external dress. That is changing. So if we understand nicely, na vyathayanti, and you are not disturbed by these changes, then sah amrtatvaya kalpate, then he's making progress, spiritual progress. That means, spiritual progress means, he's making progress towards eternal life. Spiritual life means eternal, blissful life of knowledge. That is spiritual life.

So here is the recommendation. Try to become Krsna conscious. And then you'll not be disturbed with all these external, ephemeral changes of the material world. Not only of this body, practically…, practically one who is advanced in spiritual life, he's not agitated by the so-called political upheavals or social disturbances. No. He knows these are simply external. Just like in the dream. It is also a dream. The… Our present existence, it is also dream, Exactly like we dream at night. In dreaming, we create so many things. So this material world is also a gross dreaming. Gross dreaming. That is subtle dreaming. And this is gross dreaming. That is the action of the mind, body, intelligence, dreaming. And here, the action of five material elements: earth, water, air, fire… But all of them, these eight, they are simply material. So we are thinking that "I have now built a very nice house, skyscraper building." It is nothing but dream. Nothing but dream. Dream in this sense, that as soon as I give up this body, all my skyscraper building, business, factory — finished. Exactly the same dream. Dream is for few minutes, or few hours. And it is for few years. That's all. It is dream.

So one should not be disturbed by this dreaming condition. That is spiritual life. One should not be disturbed. Just like we are not disturbed. Suppose, in dream, I was put on the throne, and I was working like a king, and after the dream is over, I am not sorry. Similarly, in dream I was seeing that tiger has attacked me. I was actually crying "Here is tiger! Here is tiger! Save me." And the person who is lying behind me or beside me, he says, "Oh, why you are crying? Where is tiger?" So when he's awakened, he sees there is no tiger. So everything is like that. But this dream, these gross and subtle dreams, are simply reflections. Just like what is dream? The whole day, what I think, the dreaming is a reflection, reflection. My father was doing cloth business. So sometimes he, in dreaming he was quoting price: "This is the price." So similarly it is all dreaming. This material existence, made of these five gross elements and three subtle elements, they're exactly like dream. Smara nityam aniyatam.(?) Therefore Canakya Pandita says, smara nityam aniyatam. This anitya, temporary… Dreaming is always temporary.

So we must know that whatever we possess, whatever we are seeing, these are all dream, temporary. Therefore if we become engrossed with the temporary things, so-called socialism, nationalism, family-ism or this-ism, that-ism, and waste our time, without cultivating Krsna consciousness, then that is called srama eva hi kevalam, simply wasting our time, creating another body. Our own business is that we should know that "I am not this dream. I am fact, spiritual fact. So I have got a different business." That is called spiritual life. That is spiritual life, when we understand that "I am Brahman. I am not this matter."
Brahma-bhutah prasannatma [Bg. 18.54]. That time we shall be joyful. Because we are afflicted with so many changes of the material features, and we are sorry and happy, being afflicted by all these external activities, but when we understand rightly that "I am not concerned with all these things," then we become joyful. "Oh, I have no responsibility. Nothing, I have nothing to do with all these things." Brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati [Bg. 18.54]. At that time, you can feel that every living entity is exactly like you. It doesn't matter whether he is a learned brahmana, whether he's a dog, whether he is a candala, whether he's an elephant.

brahmane gavi hastini
suni caiva sva-pake ca
panditah sama-darsinah
 [Bg. 5.18]

That is required. That is spiritual vision. Panditah sama-darsinah. Therefore a devotee is first-class pandita. A devotee. Because he's sama-darsinah. Sama-darsinah means he's feeling for others. A Vaisnava… Para-duhkha-duhkhi, krpambudhir yah. Vaisnava is very kind-hearted, merciful, because he feels for others. He feels for others in this sense that he knows what he is. He sees every living entity as part and parcel of God: "Now, here is a part and parcel of God. He would have gone back to home, back to Godhead, and danced with Him, and lived very nicely, eternally, blissfully. Now he's rotting here as a hog, or as a human being, or as a king. The same thing. It is for few years only." So a devotee therefore tries to take him out of this illusion. Therefore, he's called para-duhkha-duhkhi. He's actually feeling others' distressed condition. Not these political leaders or social… What they can do? They make their own fortune. That's all. Or what is that fortune? That is also misfortune. If somebody thinks "I have got some money. I am very fortunate." It is, actually it is not fortune. Real fortunate is he who is advanced in Krsna consciousness. He is fortunate. Otherwise, all are unfortunate. All are unfortunate.

So in this way, one should come to the spiritual understanding, and the symptom is he's not disturbed by the material upheavals. Yam hi na vyathayanty ete purusam purusarsabha, sama-duhkha-sukham. The symptom is sama-duhkha… Because he knows this is dreaming. Suppose you are dreaming. So either you suffer in the presence of a tiger, or you become a king in dream, what is the value? It is the same thing. There is no difference. After all, it is dreaming. Therefore sama-sukha-duhkha. If I become very happy because I have become a king or some big man, that is also dream. And if I think that "I am so poor, Oh, I am suffering, I am diseased," that is also the same thing. Therefore Krsna has in the previous verses said: tams titiksasva bharata. "Just little practice to tolerate. Do your own business, Krsna consciousness." Yudhyasva mam anusmara [Bg. 8.7]. The, our real business is, as Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. "Always think of Me." So this practice should go on. Never mind I am so-called distressed or happy. Here… In the Caitanya-caritamrta it is said, ‘dvaite' bhadrabhadra-jnana saba ‘manodharma', ‘ei bhala ei manda' ei saba ‘bhrama'. Dvaite, in this dual, the world of duality, here, in this material world, the, "This thing is very good, this thing is very bad," it is simply mental concoction. Everything here is bad. Nothing good. So this is our mental creation only. "This is good, this is bad." We are doing that. Just like in political field. "This party is nice. This party's bad." But any party goes in the power, your condition is the same. The commodities price are increasing. It has no decreasing, either you change this party or that party. So these are all concoctions. If you want really happy, happiness, if you want real goodness, then you try to become Krsna conscious. That will make you real happy. Otherwise, if you are simply disturbed by this material condition, that is not a very good position.

nasato vidyate bhavo
nabhavo vidyate satah
ubhayor api drsto 'ntas
tv anayos tattva-darsibhih

Tattva-darsibhih, those who are, who have seen the Absolute Truth, or those who have realized the Absolute Truth, they have concluded that the matter has no permanent existence and spirit soul has no annihilation. These two things would be understood. Asatah. Asatah means material. Nasato vidyate bhavah. Asatah, anything asat… Anything in the material world, that is asat. Asat means will not exist, temporary. So you cannot expect permanent happiness in temporary world. That is not possible. But they are trying to become happy. So many plan-making commissions, utopian. But actually there is no happiness. So many commissions. But there is… Tattva-darsi, they know… Tattva-darsi, one has seen or has realized the Absolute Truth, he knows that in the material world there cannot be any happiness. This conclusion should be made. This is simply phantasmagoria, if you want to become happy in this material world.

But people have become so foolish, especially at the present days, they're simply making plan on this material world, how they will become happy. We have practically seen. What is in our country? It is far, far behind material civilization. In America, there are so many motorcars. Every third man, or second man has got a car. We are poor man, we are sannyasis, brahmacari. Still, in each temple we have got at least four, five cars. In each temple. Very nice car. Such car even ministers in India cannot imagine. (laughter) You see? Nice, nice cars. So they have got so many cars. But the problem is that always they're engaged in making roads, flyways, one after another, one after another, one after… It has come to this stage, four, five. Four-, five-storied roads. (laughter) So how you can become happy? Therefore tattva-darsibhih na asatah. You cannot become permanently happy in this material world. That is not possible. So don't waste your time to become happy here. In another place, it is said, padam padam yad vipadam na tesam. The same example can be given. In America, so many millions of people die in motor accidents. How many? What is the statistic? You don't remember?

Syamasundara: Sixty thousand, I think it's…

Prabhupada: Sixty thousand? No, no. More than that sixty… So many people die of motor accidents. So some of our students, a few months ago, they died of motor accident. The motor accident dying in America is not very astonishment. Because the motors are, I mean to say, running at the speed of seventy miles, eighty miles, ninety miles, and not only one motorcar, one after another, hundreds. And if one is little slow, immediately: (imitates crashing sound) tarak taka tak. (laughter)

So you cannot become happy. These boys and these girls, American, American, European, they have tasted all this motorcar civilization. They have tasted very nicely. Motorcar, nightclub and drinking, they have tasted very nicely. There is no happiness. Therefore they have come to Krsna consciousness. Therefore nasato vidyate bhavo nabhavo vidyate satah. Abhavah, and the satah. So we are unhappy on account of our accepting asat, which will not exist. That is the description given by Prahlada Maharaja: tan ma…, sada samudvigna-dhiyam asad-grahat. Sada samudvigna-dhiyam. We are always anxious, full of anxieties. That's a fact. Everyone of us, full of anxieties. Why? Asad-grahat. Because we have accepted this material body. Asad-grahat. Tat sadhu manye 'sura-varya dehinam sada samudvigna-dhiyam. Dehinam. Dehinam means… Deha and dehi, we have already discussed. Dehi means the proprietor of the body. So everyone is dehi, either animal or human being or tree or anyone. Every living entity has accepted a material body. Therefore they are called dehi. So dehinam, every dehi, because he has accepted this material body, he's always full of anxiety.

So we cannot be anxiety-free unless we come to Krsna consciousness. That is not possible. You have to become Krsna conscious, brahma-bhutah prasannatma [Bg. 18.54]; immediately you become anxiety-free. If you don't come to the platform of Krsna consciousness, you'll always be full of anxieties. Sada samudvigna-dhiyam asad-grahat, hitvatma, hitvatma-patam grham andha-kupam vanam gato, vanam gato yad dharim asrayeta [SB 7.5.5]. That is the Prahlada Maharaja giving us direction that if you want to get relief from this status of anxiety, sada samudvigna-dhiyam, then hitvatma-patam, hitvatma-patam grham andha-kupam… Grham andha-kupam. Grha means… There are so many meanings. Especially it is meant: home. Home. Homesick. Our Vedic civilization is that drive away from home. Go away from home. To take sannyasa, to take vanaprastha. Not to remain up to the last point of death as family member, grandfather or great-grandfather. That is not our Vedic civilization. As soon as one is little grown up, pancasordhvam vanam vrajet, he must get out from this grham andha-kupam. Grham andha-kupam, if we discuss threadbare, it may be very unpalatable. But we have to discuss from sastra what is grha. Grha, it is… Another word, it is called anganasrayam. Angana. Angana means woman. To live under the protection of wife. Anganasraya. So sastra recommends that you give up this anganasrayam to go to the paramahamsa-asrayam. Then your life will be saved. Otherwise, as Prahlada Maharaja says, grham andha-kupam, "If you keep yourself always in this dark well of so-called family life, then you'll never be happy." Atma-patam. Atma-patam means you'll never be able to understand spiritual life. Of course, not always, but generally. Generally, who are too much attached to family life or extended family life… Extended… Family life, then society life, then community life, then national life, then international life. They're all grham andha-kupam. All grham andha-kupam.

So the Prahlada Maharaja advising that "You give up all this nonsense conceptions" Vanam gato yad dharim asrayeta [SB 7.5.5]. Just vanam gatah, means just become free from this conception, grham andha-kupam conception of life. Take the broader life of Krsna consciousness. Then you'll be happy. Hitvatma-patam grham andha-kupam vanam gato yad dharim asrayeta [SB 7.5.5]. Harim asrayeta. The real business is harim asrayeta. Vanam gatah. Vanam gatah means go to the forest. Formerly, after grhastha life, vanaprastha life, sannyasa life, they used to live in the forest. But going to the forest is not the main purpose of life. Because in the forest there are many animals. Does it mean they are advanced in spiritual life? That is called markata-vairagya. Markata-vairagya means "monkey renunciation." Monkey is naked. Naga-baba. Naked. And eats fruit, monkey, and lives underneath a tree or on the tree. But he has got at least three dozen wives. So this markata-vairagya, this kind of renunciation, has no value. Real renunciation. Real renunciation means you have to give up the andha-kupa life and take shelter of Krsna, harim asrayeta. If you take shelter of Krsna, then you can give up this, all this "ism" life. Otherwise, it is not possible; you'll be entrapped by this "ism" life. So hitvatma-patam grham andha-kupam vanam gato yad dharim asrayeta [SB 7.5.5]. Not to give up… If you give up something, you must take up something. Otherwise, it will be disturbed. Take up. That is recommendation: param drstva nivartate. You can give up your family life, social life, political life, this life, that life when you take Krsna conscious life. Otherwise, it is not possible. Otherwise, you must have to take some of this life. There is no question of your freedom. There is no question of freedom from anxieties. This is the way.

So here the same thing, that tattva-darsibhih, those who are actually seer of the Absolute Truth… athato brahma jijnasa, as it is said in the Vedanta-sutra… Just yesterday, one boy was asking me: "What is the Vedanta? Vedanta, what is the meaning of Vedanta?" It is very nice, it is very easy. Veda means knowledge, and anta means ultimate. So Vedanta means ultimate knowledge. So ultimate knowledge is Krsna. Krsna says, vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo vedanta-krd veda-vid ca aham. He is the maker of Vedanta and He is the knower of Vedanta. Unless He is knower of Vedanta, how He can write Vedanta? Actually, Vedanta philosophy is written by Vyasadeva, incarnation of Krsna. So He's vedanta-krt. And He's vedanta-vit also. So the question was whether Vedanta means advaita-vada or dvaita-vada. So it is very easy to understand. The first aphorism of Vedanta: athato brahma jijnasa, to inquire about Brahman, the Absolute Truth. Now the, to inquire where? If you want to inquire, you must go to somebody who knows the thing. Therefore, immediately, in the very beginning of the Vedanta-sutra, there is duality, that one must inquire, and one must answer. Athato brahma jijnasa. So in Vedanta-sutra, how you can it is advaita-vada? It is dvaita-vada, from the very beginning. Athato brahma jijnasa. One must inquire what is Brahman, and one must reply, or the spiritual master, or the disciple, that it is dual. How you can say it is advaita-vada? So we have to study in this way. Here it is said, tattva-darsibhih. Tattva-darsibhih means vedanta-vit, one who knows Vedanta. Janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1]. One who knows the Absolute Truth, from where everything begins. Janmady asya yatah. That is the beginning of Srimad-Bhagavatam.

So the natural commentary of Vedanta-sutra is Srimad-Bhagavatam. Jivasya tattva-jijnasa na, jivasya tattva-jijnasa. This is our life. Jivasya, of every living being. Every living being means especially human beings. Because cats and dogs, they cannot inquire about Brahman, or the Absolute Truth. Therefore the conclusion is that the human form of life, one should not be engaged simply in the animal propensities of life. That is simply waste of time. He must inquire of the Absolute Truth. Athato brahma jijnasa. And he must try to understand. Tad viddhi, tattva-darsibhih. From the tattva-darsi. Jnaninah, tattva-darsinah, these are the words. So in the human form of life therefore, in every society, the system is that the children are sent to school, colleges, to understand things. Similarly, for spiritual understanding, tad-vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. Abhigacchet means one must. There is no alternative. One cannot say "I'll…, I may not go." No, if you do not go, then you are cheated. That is our Vaisnava system. Adau gurvasrayam. The first thing is to take shelter of the bona fide spiritual master. Adau gurvasrayam sad-dharma-prccha. Not that I'll, as it has become a system: "I'll make a guru. Now my business is finished. I've got a guru." No. Tattva-jijnasa. Jivasya tattva-jijnasa. Guru means, to accept guru means to inquire from him about the Absolute Truth. Jijnasuh sreya uttamam. These are the Vedic injunctions. One who is jijnasu, means inquisitive. Jijnasuh sreya uttamam. Sreyah. Sreyah means beneficial. So uttamam, the prime benefit. One who is inquisitive to know about the prime benefit of life, for him there is need of accepting a guru.

tasmad gurum prapadyeta
jijnasuh sreya uttamam
sabde pare ca nisnatam
brahmany upasamasrayam
 [SB 11.3.21]

Therefore any person who seriously desires real happiness must seek a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of the bona fide guru is that he has realized the conclusions of the scriptures by deliberation and is able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, should be understood to be bona fide spiritual masters.

So this is our Krsna consciousness movement. We are trying to educate people to understand the value of life, the value of spiritual life especially, Bhagavata. Dharman bhagavatan iha. So, by understanding spiritual life, by understanding one's actual constitutional position, he may be enlightened, what is the aim of life, what is the duty of life, what is the purpose of life. That is Krsna consciousness movement.

Thank you very much. Hare Krsna. (end)
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Bhagavad-gita 2.15 — Hyderabad, November 21, 1972





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