Bhagavad-gita 1.40
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
London, July 28, 1973

Pradyumna (leads chanting, etc.):

adharmabhibhavat krsna pradusyanti kula-striyah strisu dustasu varsneya jayate varna-sankarah.

”When irreligion is prominent in the family, O Krsna, the women of the family become corrupt, and from the degradation of womanhood, O descendant of Vrsni, comes unwanted progeny.”

Prabhupada: This is very important point. For good population. Without good population in the society, gentlemen, cultured, educated, following the rules and regulations of religious principles, how you can expect peace and prosperity? That is not possible. So the whole Vedic system was meant for having very good population. Not such kind of population who are addicted to killing and drinking and so many other sinful activities. No. Then you cannot check. If such population is there, then everything will be polluted. Especially nowadays, because there is want of good population, and they go in the government, and how you can expect good government, good administration? The whole population is polluted. Therefore even such a great state, U.S.A., the president is being tried and he’s being criticized.

So there must be good population. So to have good population, the women should be very chaste. That is the basic principle of Vedic civilization. And to keep the women chaste, it was the function of the responsible father, or, in the absence of father, the elder brother… So he must get the woman, the girl, married. It is compulsory. There was no compulsory for man to marry. Because a man may remain brahmacari. By training, he can abstain from sex. But if woman is not protected very strictly, it is very difficult. It is very difficult. We are discussing sastra. Don’t think otherwise. Canakya Pandita says: visvasam naiva kartavyam strisu raja-kulesu ca. Visvasam naiva kartavyam. “Don’t trust women.” Visvasam naiva kartavyam strisu. Strisu means women. Raja-kula… And politicians. Yes. Visvasam naiva kartavyam strisu raja-kulesu ca. Never the trust the politician and woman. Of course, when woman comes to Krsna consciousness, that position is different. We are speaking of ordinary woman. Because Krsna says, in another place, striyo vaisyas tatha sudrah. They are considered, women, vaisya, the mercantile community, and sudra, and the worker class, they are less intelligent. Papa-yoni. When the progeny is defective, then they become less intelligent. So Krsna says:

mam hi partha vyapasritya ye ’pi syuh papa-yonayah striyo vaisyas tatha sudras te ’pi yanti param gatih [Bg. 9.32]

Even papa-yoni, degraded birth, even women, sudra and vaisya, they also can become fully Krsna conscious by training. And they can also go back to home, back to Godhead, without any check.

So when we study things from material point of view, these things are to be taken care. But when a man or woman becomes Krsna conscious, he or she takes care of herself or himself. So it is spoken… Arjuna is speaking of ordinary woman. Strisu dustasu. Just like adharma-abhibhava. Adharma. If the woman is trained, a girl is trained from the very beginning that: “You should remain chaste,” that is dharma. It is called Satita dharma. Sati means chastity. There are many stories of Sati, chaste woman. Nala-damayanti. His husband became so poverty-stricken. He was king, but he became later on so poverty-stricken that he had no sufficient cloth. The husband and wife was putting on the same cloth, half and half. So still, still there was no divorce. You see. Still the woman did not consider… She was also king’s daughter. But the husband has fallen down to so much poverty-stricken condition. “So why shall I live with him?” These are some of the extreme examples of chastity. Not to speak of olden days, I have seen in Bombay, in 1935 or ’34, on the roadside, there was a beggar. The beggar, the face was defaced. Might be some accident. His eyes and everything became defaced. He could not see, everything became useless. So he, he was sitting on the roadside, and his wife also, also sitting. But I saw that beggar was neat and clean. The wife was also neat and clean. The wife’s business was that to keep the husband always neat and clean and fresh and bring him there and again take him at home. Young woman. So I could understand that the wife is so chaste. She has not left such ugly husband. Because his face was defaced. And helping him. Because they require some money. So we have seen.

There are many stories of chaste woman. Many stories. There was one disciple of Ramanujacarya, a very poor. So Ramanujacarya came in that poor disciple’s house and he saw there was no one in the house. So he thought: “What is this? This is my disciple’s house. He’s family man. Why there is none?” That means he could understand that the door is not locked. Door was closed only. Then he could understand that within the door his wife is there. Therefore he knocked the door, and there was response also, knocking, but she could not come out. That means she, she was so poor that she had no garment. She was keeping herself within the room, naked. So Ramanujacarya could understand that “There is his wife. Maybe she has no sufficient clothing.” So immediately, his own cloth he gave her, within the room, and the woman came out, putting on that… And then offered obeisances. So he could understand the position. They were very, very poor. Even no clothing. So after putting on the cloth, she went to the grocer’s shop. Because Ramanujacarya is there. She must receive. Grocer shop. The grocer knew that this woman is very woman, uh, very poor, so his business was to entice her. But she never agreed, although she was young. Now this woman went to the grocer’s shop that: “You know that I am very poor. I require immediately some grains, ghee, and other things. My Guru Maharaja has come at home. I must receive. So tonight I agree with your proposal. Please give me. Even at the sacrifice of my chastity I want this.” So the grocer was very glad. “Oh, this woman, I have canvassed her, I have tried to induce her. She never agreed. And now she’s agreeing.” So: “All right, you take, whatever you like. Take.” So she was given all kinds of food grains, as much as she wanted. And she cooked and gave to the spiritual master and his associates, his servants. Everything was very nice. In the meantime, the husband came, working whole day. And he saw that everything was nicely done. “Guru Maharaja is fed, and his associates, they’re fed.” So he asked his wife: “How did you get all these things?” Then she narrated the whole story. Then husband also said: “Yes, you have promised. All right. Take some prasadam and go to him. Because you have promised to meet him this evening. So go.” Then the grocer heard the whole story and his mind became changed. “Oh, such a chaste woman. Such a faithful… You are my mother. You take more ingredients, grains, as much as you like, you shall…”

So there are still. That is not very long ago. So this was the training. And the psychology is that woman, the first man she meets and if she is kept carefully, she becomes staunch lover. This is psychology. There is good psychology in maintaining the society. Therefore a woman, especially in India, especially in Bengal, before attaining puberty, she was married. Not to meet the husband unless she attains puberty. But she remained at father’s house, but she must know that: “I am married. I have got husband.” This psychology. Then she becomes very chaste. Because she thinks of her husband, and becomes more and more devoted. So this arrangement that woman must be married before puberty… Or even after puberty, she must get a husband. So if this dharma… It is called kanya-daya, kanya-daya. Kanya-daya means it is very obligatory that the father must get the daughter married. This is dharma. So if this dharma, or this religious principle is violated, that is… Arjuna is marking: adharma-abhi, abhi-bhava. When people become neglectful of the family tradition and religious principles, adharma abhibhavat krsna pradusyanti kula-striyah. Kula-striyah. Kula-striyah means… Kula means family, and striyah means woman. So woman must be belonging to a respectable family. Therefore it is said: kula-striyah. Not society-girls. Kula-striyah. Of the family. We have got experience in our school, college days. I was sitting in a friend’s house and one sweeper woman, sweeper, with broomstick and with, what is called, covering?

Devotee: Shawl.

Prabhupada: She was standing, say, about twenty yards distant from our sitting place. So I asked my friend that: “Your, this sweeper woman wants to come in. She’s waiting because we are sitting. She is ashamed to come. So let us come here.” So we stood separately. That means although she was a sweeper woman, still we had to honor her to enter. We stood up separately. She was feeling that; “How can I go between two men?” This we have seen in our… So this is Vedic culture. Woman should not be allowed to mix with man. Not allowed. In Japan also, the same system. Before marriage, they can mix. But after marriage they cannot mix. In Japan also I have seen. But in India still the system is there. Woman, without husband, cannot talk with any man. That is also psychological. In the Bhagavata it is stated that man is like ghee, butterpot, and woman is like fire. Therefore, as they, as soon as there is fire and butter pot, the butter pot must melt. Therefore they should be kept aside. These are the statements. And the sastra says that in a solitary place you should not remain even with your daughter, even with your sister, even with your mother.

matr-svasra-duhitravan na viviktah sanevaset balavan indriya-gramo vidvams api karsati

Either your mother or sister, or daughter. No, nobody becomes lusty with mother or sister or daughter. But sastra says: “Even your mother or sister or daughter, you should not live in a solitary place.” Then one may question that “How it is possible?” No. The sastra says: balavan indriya-gramah. The senses are so strong that it becomes polluted. “Now it may be, some rascal fools may be polluted like that.” No. Sastra… Vidvams api karsati. Even the most learned, he can be polluted. So sometimes in India, I am criticized that I keep women and men in the same temple. In India, that is not allowed. No women can live at night. They can come and go. But I defend myself that this is the system of the country, the women and men, they intermingle. How can I check it? Then the women, shall I not give them any chance for chanting Hare Krsna? No, I shall do this chance, I shall give this chance to woman even at the risk. That is my reply.

So therefore chastity is very, very important thing for producing good population, nice population. So unless the population is good… If the population becomes hippies, then how there can be any peace and prosperity? Therefore, to produce children, there is samskara. First samskara is Garbhadhana samskara. This is called kula-dharma. Garbhadhana samskara means when, especially the high caste, brahmana, ksatriya especially…Not sudra. Sudra has no samskara. Only the higher class, brahmana, ksatriya and vaisya. Vaisya also sometimes no samskara. But brahmana, ksatriya must have samskara. Dasa-vidha samskarah. Ten kinds of samskara. One of the samskara… Samskara means purificatory method. One of the samskara is also marriage. One must get married. So, before the child is given birth, there is a samskara, what is called? Garbhadhana samskara. It is not that the husband and wife mix without any restriction and have sex life at any time. No. You know that, that mother of Hiranyakasipu, Kasyapa Muni, I think, father. So she, the woman became very much sexually excited and the husband replied that: “This is not time. This is very bad time, evening. Why you are insisting?” But she was too much lusty, and because the husband was obliged, Hiranyakasipu was born, a demon was born. Therefore there is Garbhadhana samskara, to find out when the husband and wife should mix and give birth to a child. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gita you’ll see that sex life which is according to the principle of religious ideas, that is “I am.” So sex life is not bad, provided it is executed according to the religious principles. So Garbhadhana samskara… Just, what is the idea? The idea is the child born must be first class. He’ll be able to become Krsna conscious. He’ll be able to understand the sastras, the Vedas. He must have the good brain. These were the ideas. But if they are not born in that way, like cats and dog, that is called varna-sankara. Varna-sankara. You cannot specify whether he’s a brahmana or a ksatriya and vaisya and sudra. That is called varna-sankara. So varna-sankara population is not good. Varna-sankara. No caste. No designation, no definition to which class this man belongs.

So at the present moment, because these purificatory processes are not accepted, even in India… Accepted, they’re unable. Everything has topsy-turvied. Therefore the sastra says that: “Accept everyone as sudra.” Kalau sudrah sambhava. There is no more brahmana, ksatriya or vaisya. All sudras. We have to accept. Because no Vedic culture, no Garbhadhana samskara. They are born like cats and dogs. So where is this division? There cannot be. Therefore, accept them as sudra. Varna-sankara is less than sudra. So at least, sudra they should be. So there is no Vaidic diksa. For sudra, there is no diksa, there is no initiation. Initiation is meant for the persons who are born in brahmana family, ksatriya family, or vaisya family. The sudra has no initiation. So in India there are professional gurus. They initiate sudras, but do not eat foodstuff touched by the disciple. So there are so many things, that if he’s initiated, how he can remain sudra? But they keep him sudra; at the same time, they become guru. Sanatana Gosvami gives direction in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa that: tatha diksa-vidhanena dvijatvam jayate nrnam. If properly initiated, he becomes immediately brahmana. Dvijatvam. Dvija means second birth. Yatha kancanatam yati kamsyam rasa-vidhanatah. There is a chemical process that kamsya, bell metal, can be turned into gold by mixing with proportionately mercury. Now here is a hint of chemistry. If anyone can prepare gold… But it is very difficult to mix mercury. As soon as there is little heat, immediately the mercury’s finished. So there is a process. Everything has process. Many yogis know how to make gold from copper. Actually, chemically, copper, tin and mercury, if you mix proportionately, it will be gold. So Sanatana Gosvami gives this example. As the copper and tin, these two metals, mixed with mercury, there can be production of gold, similarly, by proper initiation, by the proper spiritual master, one sudra, even though he’s a sudra, less than sudra, varna-sankara, or candala, he can become dvija, brahmana. So our process is to make dvija. Pancaratriki vidhi. Pancaratriki vidhi. That is recommended.

sruti-smrti-puranadi-pancaratriki vidhim vina aikantiki harer bhaktir utpatayaiva kalpate [BRS 1.2.101]

Rupa Gosvami gives this direction that the initiation must be done according to sruti, smrti or pancaratriki vidhi. There is nyaya-prasthana, sruti-prasthana and smrti-prasthana. To make spiritual progress in three ways: by the Vedanta philosophy, or Vedic ways, or according to Smrti. Smrti means authorized books written in accordance to the Sruti. Sruti smrti. Just like Bhagavad-gita. Bhagavad-gita is not directly Vedas, but the all the stanzas of Bhagavad-gita, they’re strictly according to the Nyaya-prasthana and Sruti-prasthana. So any book which is strictly written according to the Vedas and Vedantas, that is also accepted as Vedic literature. So Pancaratriki vidhi means that it doesn’t matter whether man is sudra or candala… Candala means less than sudra. Pancama The fifth grade. First class, brahmana; second class, ksatriya; third class, vasya; fourth class, sudra; and below this fourth class, they’re all candalas. Candalas means pancama. Untouchable. They are called untouchable. So even the untouchables… Because Krsna has said: Mam hi partha vyapasritya ye ’pi syuh papa-yonayah [Bg. 9.32]. The papa-yoni, candala means papa-yoni, born of low-grade family… The Bhagavata says, Sukadeva Gosvami says, that: Kirata-hunandhra-pulinda-pulkasa abhira-sumbha yavana khasadayah. Yavana, mlecca yavana. They, they are called… They are also counted amongst the candalas. Ye ’nye ca papah, even lower than that. Ye ’nye ca papah suddhyanti. They becomes purified. How? Prabhavisnave namah. When they are initiated to become Krsna conscious. So if a, one may argue, “How it is possible to make a candala a Vaisnava?” No, that is possible. Prabhavisnave namah. Visnu is so powerful, omnipotent. He can do that. So only by Visnu mantra, by becoming a Vaisnava, one can transcend all this restriction, sociology. They can be. That is confirmed by Krsna: mam cavyabhicarini bhakti-yogena yah sevate sa gunan brahmatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate. Immediately he transcends. He’s in the Brahman platform. One who has taken very seriously this devotional service, he’s no more on this material platform. So long we are in the material platform, these distinction, brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, varna-sankara, they are considered. But when one is transcendentally situated, simply in pure, unalloyed service of the Lord, he’s no more in the material platform. He’s in the spiritual platform. Brahma-bhuyaya kalpate. He’s already in the Brahman platform. Brahman platform means sa gunan samatitya etan. This material platform means three modes of material nature. Sattva-guna, rajo-guna, tamo-guna. Here, even one is brahmana… Sattva-guna means the brahminical qualification. He’s also contaminated. He’s conditioned by the material nature. And what to speak of sudra and varna-sankara? Everyone is conditioned by the material nature. Daivi hy esa gunamayi [Bg. 7.14]. Brahmana means to be situated, a first-class prisoner. A first-class prisoner is also prisoner. You cannot say that he’s free. No, free is different from a first-class prisoner. Sometimes, any respectable gentleman, some political offense, he’s put into jail. Just like Gandhi also went to jail. And so many others. But they were given the place, first-class prisoners. They got servant. They got separate bungalow and books, library, all facilities. But they cannot go out of the prison house. They are called first-class prisoners. So to become a brahmana means to becomes a first-class prisoner. That’s all.

So our, our point of view is not to become a first-class prisoner. To get out of the prison. That is Vaisnava vision. You’ll find… Last night I have given comments that Madhavendra Puri, he was performing the Annakuta ceremony and installing the Deity. So everything was being brahmana, done by brahmana, qualified brahmana, but Madhavendra Puri initiated them again to become Vaisnava. Then he gave them in charge of the Deity worship. So the Vaisnava functions cannot be done evey by a brahmana. Even one is qualified brahmana, he is unfit to propagate Vaisnava philosophy. That is stated in the sastras.

sat-karma-nipuno vipro mantra-tantra-visaradah avaisnavo gurur na syad vaisnavah sva-paco guruh

Sva-paco means candala, who was eating dog. That is considered the lowest. There are different kinds of meat-eaters. But in India, the cow-flesh-eaters, they were none. Some of them were eating hogs, even dogs. No government will not allow to eat the cow flesh. No, that is not allowed. If you want to eat flesh, you can eat hogs and dogs, and other, goats also. But you cannot touch a cow. This is restriction. First of all, they should not be meat-eater. But if you are staunch meat-eaters, then you cannot touch cow. You can eat some other animal. So sva-pacah. Sva-pacah means the dog-eaters. In Korea, and some parts of there, they eat dogs. They, they sell dog flesh publicly. So in India also there is a class. In Asamsaye, they eat also dog. So the dog-eaters, they are considered lowest of the mankind. Sva-pacah. Sva means dog and pacah means who cooks. Sva-pacah means candala. If a man from the sva-pacah family, or the candala family, he becomes a Vaisnava, strictly according to the orders, then he can become guru, but not a brahmana if he’s not a Vaisnava. This is the stricture. Even one is born in the family of a brahmana, and he’s not only born, he’s qualified, sat-karma-nipuno… Nipuno means qualified. Brahmana has got six kinds of occupation. He must be learned himself, he must be able to teach others Vedic literatures. That is called pathana pathana. Then he must worship… Worship means demigods. Or they consider that any demigod or God, the same, some impersonalists. So yajana, yajana. There are other also, religious ritual functions. They perform. That is called yajana. Yajana yajana. And dana pratigrha. A brahmana takes contribution. A brahmana is never engaged in service like sudra. That is sudra’s business.

So these are called dharmas. There are so many departmental dharmas. So Arjuna is referring to this, that: adharma-abhibhavat krsna. When these principles are sacrificed and there is awakening of adharma, irreligious principles, then the result will be… Adharma abhibhavat krsna pradusyanti kula-striyah. Then the stricture will be withdrawn and the family women, women, they’ll be polluted. And as soon as the women is polluted, strisu dustasu, the woman is polluted, varsneya, “My dear Krsna,” jayate varna-sankara, “then the whole population will be varna-sankara.” And the next verse will explain how varna sankara population makes this world exactly like hell. That is stated.

sankaro narakayaiva kula-ghnanam kulasya ca patanti pitaro hy esam lupta-pinda-udaka kriyah

This will be explained next…

So five thousand years. You just try to understand how the society was going on strictly on the Vedic principles. So now there is no such thing. Nobody is observing Vedic principles. And because the Vedic principles were strictly being followed, the whole world was one unit, controlled by these Pandavas. Even the grandson of Pandava, Maharaja Pariksit,… This is on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra. Then when the battle was over, the next king was Maharaja Pariksit, grandson of Arjuna. Up to that time, everything was in order, Vedic principles. All over the world. There was no question of eating meat. The same principles were followed. No meat-eating, no illicit sex, no gambling, no intoxication. Because the king was very strong. Maharaja Pariksit, when he saw that a black man was going to kill one cow, immediately he took his sword: “Who are you? I shall kill you immediately.” That was king’s stricture. So the Kali was ordered to get out of his kingdom. He begged of his life: “Sir, you are going to kill me. But it is my time. I have now come, and it is my business, cow-killing. So what can I do? This is my business.” So Maharaja Pariksit understood that now the Kali-yuga is coming. So it is his business. So “I am as king. How can I stop his business?” That is also another problem. One must be occupied, one must be engaged in his business. Therefore, he asked him to go to these places. Where? In the slaughterhouse, in the brothel for illicit sex, and slaughterhouse and in the drunkard den for intoxication, gambling place. So Kali was in difficulty to find out a place like that in that time. He could not find. Therefore there was conspiracy to kill the king so that Kali can enter.

So these are the principles. This is called human society. Varnasramacaravata purusena parah puman. In human society, visnur aradhyate, the Lord is worshiped. But ne te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnuh. At the present moment, these rascals, they do not know. Andha yathandair upaniyamanah. And the so-called leaders, they are blind, themselves, and they are trying to lead other blind men. This is the social position. Therefore there is no more hope of reviving the Vedic culture. But by the grace of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, ceto darpanam marjanam… The Vedic culture means to cleanse the heart and make him perfect. Brahma-bhutah, perfectly spiritualized. That is Vedic culture. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah [Bg. 15.15] To know the Supreme Lord. That is Vedic culture. Now everything is topsy-turvied. Therefore, by the grace of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He has simply recommended: harer nama harer nama harer nama eva kevalam [Adi 17.21]. Only chant. Then the result will be: ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. The same result as the Vedic culture introduced will purify the heart to understand one’s position. By the chanting of Hare Krsna mantra, the same position will come. Kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet. Therefore there is no question of being depressed that: “We do not belong to this, do not belong to that.” Never mind. Whatever it is. Simply chant and you’ll become purified. That is Krsna consciousness movement.

Thank you very much. (end)