Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.8
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Bombay, November 8, 1974

Prabhupada: …tvad-anugrahat. So sac-caksur, to see oneself and to see God, it is not very easy. Janmanam ante. Bahunam janmanam ante [Bg. 7.19]. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, jnanavan. The so-called learned scholars, Vedantists, so-called Vedantists… One who is actual Vedant…, knower of Vedanta, he understands the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. Because veda means knowledge, and anta, “the late phase.” Knowledge, there are different types of knowledge. Ordinary knowledge, as we are now interested for economic benefit, that is not actual knowledge. That is art of livelihood. That is not knowledge. Suppose you are a very big engineer, and another man is ordinary electric mistri. The qualification is the same: earning livelihood by some art. If there is some wrong in the electric line, I cannot repair it. I call one mistri. He knows the art. He immediately revives the electric current. So this sort of knowledge is called silpa, silpa-jnana, “artistic knowledge.” That is not knowledge. Real knowledge is Vedic knowledge, Vedanta knowledge, to know oneself, “What I am, what is God, Bhagavan, what is my relation with Him, and what is my duty, and what is the ultimate goal of life.” This is knowledge. Etaj jnanam tad ajnanam anyatha. Krsna says, “This is jnanam.” Ksetra-ksetra-jna-jnanam. If one can understand oneself and the Supreme Self and what is this material world, why we have come here, what is my relation with God, what is my relation with this world, this is knowledge. They are called jnanavan. Jnanavan, they are searching after knowledge. Ke ami kene amaya jare tapa-traya.

This knowledge begins, inquisitiveness, athato brahma jijnasa. Just like Sanatana Gosvami went to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He was minister, very big minister of Bengal, Nawab Hussein Shah’s government. He left everything. He resigned from the post and became follower of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So when he met Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at Varanasi, at that time, he placed this question that ke ami kene amaya jare tapa-traya. This is the inquisitiveness, knowledge. Tapa-traya. Tapa-traya means three kinds of miserable condition: adhyatmika, adhibhautika, adhidaivika. We are suffering always. Atma means body and mind— even soul. But soul is aloof from body and mind, but he is absorbed. On account of material contamination, the soul feels the pains and pleasure of mind and body on account of contact. So this is called adhyatmika. And adhibhautika, pains given by other living entities. Even if you sit down silently, without any, mean, cares, still, the mosquito will come and bite you. Or the bugs will come and bite you at night. And there are other, dogs and cats and envious persons, serpents. So many enemies. Even if you want to remain peaceful, the other living entities will not allow you to remain peaceful. This is material existence. You have got this body. From the body you’ll have to suffer. At least, you have to suffer sitosna. When it is scorching heat, you’ll have to suffer. Why you are running on this fan? Because you are feeling heat, extraordinary. Therefore you invented this fan. Or mosquito curtain. Just struggle. This is called adhibhautika.

Then adhidaivika. If there is no rain, there will be no food production, and the rice will go eight rupees per kilo. And you have to suffer. Durbhiksa. Even people are not willing to give you bhiksa. “Because the rice is so costly, how can I give?” That is called durbhiksa. Durbhiksa means when you do not get even bhiksa. This is the most lowest profession. It is highest also. The sannyasis, they go door to door, bhiksa. Brahmacari go to door to door. Our Vedic civilization is that in the society there are four divisions: the brahmacari, the grhastha, the vanaprastha, and the sannyasi. Suppose there are hundred men in a village or in a place. The society is divided into four asramas: brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha… So… This is material calculation. Suppose if there are hundred men, seventy-five men are to be considered brahmacari, vanaprastha and sannyasi. So these seventy-five men will live at the cost of the twenty-five men, grhastha. Grhastha has to give alms to the brahmacari, to the vanaprastha, and to the sannyasa. Just see how nice communism. The one twenty-five-percent group, they are earning, and they are maintaining seventy-five men. So they are living by bhiksa. Brahmacari will go door to door, “Mother, give me alms,” and they’ll give. The sannyasi will go. So when this bhiksa will not be available, that is called durbhiksa, famine. This is adhibhautika. Adhibhautika, er adhidaivika. You have no control.

That is coming gradually. The more people are becoming godless, the more there will be scarcity of food. Because nature is the servant of Krsna. Krsna says, mama maya. The nature is the maidservant. Nature is mother, goddess Durga, material nature. But she is not independent. In the Brahma-samhita it is stated, srsti-sthiti-pralaya-sadhana-saktir eka chayeva yasya bhuvanani bibharti durga [Bs. 5.44] Durga, Mother Durga is so powerful that she can make, create… Srsti-sthiti. She can maintain. Maintenance also in her power. So because she is the maidservant of Krsna… Chayeva yasya bhuvanani bibharti durga. Durga bibharti, maintains. But it works like chaya. Icchanurupam api yasya ca cestate sa govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami. She is not independent. She works under the direction of Govinda. And Govinda says also in the Bhagavad-gita, mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram: [Bg. 9.10] “Under My order.” So prakrti will be unkind. As we have seen, the Mother Durga is chastising the asura on the chest; the trident, trisula, is piercing. Why? Because he’s asura. Asura means nondevotee. The asura. Sura and asura. There are two kinds of men: daiva asura eva ca. Dvau bhuta-sargau loke ’smin daiva asura eva ca. There are two kinds of men in the world. One is called daiva, devata, demigods, and the other is called asura. You have heard about the devata and asura, there is always fight. Daivasura. So who is asura, who is deva? Visnu-bhaktah smrto daivah. Those who are devotees of the Supreme Lord, Visnu, they are devata. Asuras tad-viparyayah. And those who are not devotee of Visnu, but other demigods, even if he’s devotee of Lord Brahma or Lord Siva, he’s to be considered as asura.

Just like Ravana. Ravana was a great devotee of Lord Siva, but he’s considered as asura, raksasa. Nobody gives him credit. You have got, seen the rama-lila. Ravana is insulted. But he was a great devotee of Lord Siva. You know that. Why he’s insulted? Because he was not a Vaisnava. He was against Ramacandra. Therefore he’s asura. When he was in danger, when Ramacandra was in his front to kill him, so he began to offer his prayer, Ravana, “Please come and protect me.” He knew that “I cannot be saved from the arrow of Lord Ramacandra.” That he knew very well. Therefore he was praying to Lord Siva, “Please come and save me.” But Lord Siva could not come and save. Parvati was requesting him, that “Your, such a great devotee, he’s in danger, and he’s praying to, for protection, and you are not going?” Lord Siva said, “What shall I do? I cannot give him protection.” Therefore the simple word is rakhe krsna mare ke and mare krsna rakhe ke. If Krsna wants to kill somebody, nobody can give protection. It is not possible. And if Krsna wants to protect somebody, nobody can kill him. This is the…

So asura and deva, there are two kinds of men. Visnu-bhaktah smrto daiva asuras tad… It is Vedic injunction. Om tad visnoh… Rg-veda mantra. Om tad visnoh paramam padam sada pasyanti surayah. This is the Vedic mantra. Surayah, those who are learned, advanced people, they look forward for the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Visnu. So this visnu-bhakta… Here it is said, tasya tvam tamasah and andhasya dusparasyadya paragam. If you want to get relief from this dusparasya andhasya… We have already tried to understand that this material world is andha, andhakara. It is simply darkness. Just see, now it is dark. Because the sun is not visible, it is just on the opposite side of the sun, therefore we are in darkness. Actually, the position of this material world is darkness. Just like here is now electric light. If the, some way or other, the current is off, it will be dark. Everyone knows it. We require artificial light because it is darkness. So Krsna has given this artificial light both day and night. In the day there is sunshine, and there is moonshine at night. Because without light you cannot work. Without… You are very much proud of your eyes: “Can you show me God?” So the answer will be, “Have you got the eyes to see God? You rascal, you want to see God. Have you got the eyes to see God?” “No, sir.” “Then why you want to see God?” God can be seen in a different way. God can be seen… Premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena [Bs. 5.38]. When you will be devotee, lover of God, then, by that ointment, your eyes will be cleared and you will be seeing God. Now, here is God. Krsna. Here is God. Why the people in Bombay, those (who are) challenging, “Can you show me God?” they do not come here? Because they have no love. A few devotees here, they understand that here is God. They can see here is God. But the rascals, they cannot see God. So even though he has got eyes, he cannot see God. Naham prakasah sarvasya yogamaya-samavrtah [Bg. 7.25].

So to see God you have to make your eyes cleansed. Just like with cataractic eyes you cannot see anything. Everything is dark. But if you have operation, the cataract is taken away, then you can see. Similarly, with these eyes, these material eyes, you cannot see God. Not only you see God, you cannot understand Him although His name is there. Atah sri-krsna-namadi. Namadi. To understand God means to understand first of all His name, namadi. Therefore… From the beginning with nama. Therefore Hare Krsna mantra. Hare Krsna mantra means the name of God. God is not different from His name, absolute. “Krsna” and the Krsna person is the same. I have already explained that absolute means Krsna, Krsna’s name, Krsna’s form, Krsna’s place, Krsna’s dress, Krsna’s throne, Krsna’s prasadam, everything Krsna, they are not different. Advaya-jnana. So Krsna is there in the name, in the form, but because we have no love for Him, we cannot see. Premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti [Bs. 5.38]. Those who have developed God consciousness, Krsna consciousness, love for God… Unless they have got love for God, why they have sacrificed their life for Krsna? They could earn. They know how to earn money in America, and there is money also. Here if, even if I know how to earn money, there is no money. But America is not like that. You can earn money like anything. Like anything.

I went to America. I had forty rupees. Now I have got more than forty lakhs. (laughter) Yes. It is fact. Our American property, it is not forty lakhs—forty crores. So it is not joke. If you want to earn money and if you have got little brain, you can earn money in America like anything. That’s a fact. Because the bank is canvassing, “You want money?” Here, if I want some money in business, I have to flatter so many men: “Please give me money. Please give me money.” But in America the bank is canvassing: “For this business purpose you want money? Take money.” That facility is there. Therefore anyone who wants money to do something, the money is immediately supplied. If you want to purchase one house, one lakh worth… In America you cannot get any house with one lakh. At least, four lakhs, five lakhs, ten lakhs. So if you have got ten thousand rupees in your pocket, you can purchase that one-lakh-worth house immediately. You give ten thousand rupees downpayment, and the bank will pay ninety thousand. And gradually, you take it. So there is so much facility that you can earn money. So the country’s so like that. There is no economic problem. There is no poverty. Nobody is poverty-stricken. So these people, these boys and girls, American, they have not joined me… Their belly’s filled up. Not only that. They can send money for filling up your belly. They are sending money actually. Just today I have got, received information from the American Express. Whatever we are spending, lakhs and lakhs of rupees here, in Bombay, in Mayapura, in other places, I am getting contribution from there. This is a fact.

So still, it is darkness. It is darkness, that this world… Unless you get information, this money will not save you unless you get information of Krsna. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gita it is said, bahunam janmanam ante [Bg. 7.19]. Here it is also said like that: tasya tvam tamasah andhasya dusparasyadya paragam, sac-caksur janmanam ante. Janmanam ante. Janmanam. Janma is singular number, and janmanam is plural number. Many, many janma, many, many births we are spoiling in this darkness. We do not know that. The university education is blind, andha. They cannot give you this information that we are going to the university, we are spoiling our time simply. Spoiling, actually spoiling. What university education? They give some technical education, that silpa-vidya, to earn money and eat and sleep and have sex life and die. This is the education. This education is described here that dusparasya, andhasya dusparasya. This kind of education will not help us because our sufferings are different. Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanudarsanam.

So this Sanatana Gosvami, I was speaking to you. He was minister. He had enough money. When he retired, he came to home bringing money with him, one big boat full with golden coins. Just imagine. Big, big coins in those days. Aseraphee.(?) It is… At that time it was eighty rupees worth. Now there is no gold. Where is aseraphee.(?) It is paper only. One-rupee note. So, so Sanatana Gosvami, in those days… Even we have seen in our childhood in India, there was gold coins available, any number you want. People used to purchase this guinea gold for making ornament. We have seen it. There was no… Now you cannot get this guinea gold. So that is all finished. So Sanatana Gosvami was very rich man. Still, he’s asking Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu that gramya-vyavahare pandita tai satya mani: “These foolish villagers, or my neighbor men, they call me ‘Panditaji.’ ” He was brahmana. Actually he was panditaji. You know, in India, the brahmana is addressed as “pandita.” Because a brahmana is expected to become very learned. A foolish man cannot be a brahmana. Learned means Vedic knowledge. Veda-pathad bhaved viprah. How one becomes brahmana? By studying thoroughly the Vedic literature, when one can understand Brahman, he realizes himself, hrdayananda, then he becomes brahmana. Therefore a brahmana means naturally pandita. But nowadays simply by birth. That is another thing.

But Sanatana Gosvami was a great learned scholar in Urdu, Farsi, Sanskrit. And he was a very rich man, minister. Everything honorable. Coming of a very respectable, aristocratic family, Sarasvata brahmana. But still, he says to Caitanya Mahaprabhu that gramya-vyavahare pandita tai satya mani. “These, my neighborhood men, they call me ‘Panditaji’,and I am very much satisfied that I am pandita.” “Why you are dissatisfied?” Now, he says, apanara hitahita kichui na jani: “I am such a pandita that I do not know what is the goal of my life and what is real benefit for me. I am such a pandita.” That means, “I am murkha. I do not know my own self-interest. I am simply being carried away by the sense gratificatory means.” Therefore he came to Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He did not come to Caitanya Mahaprabhu to get some gold or some medicine for curing some disease. As people go, Bhagavan: “Bhagavan will give me some gold. Bhagavan will…” If you want to have gold, you can have. You can get a gold mine and get, as much as you like. Why you should go to a Bhagavan? So… But…, but they do not know. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s disciple, this Sanatana Gosvami, he had enough gold. But he was not satisfied. He went to Caitanya Mahaprabhu to take from Him that apanara hitahita kichui na jani: “I do not know actually what is my self-interest. You please tell me.” This is the real approach of guru. “So I have got you after many, many births. I have got your contact. Kindly enlighten me because I am thinking I am very learned, I am very rich, but actually I do not know my self- interest. I have therefore come to you.”

So here also, Devahuti, the same principle. She says, tasya tvam tamaso ’ndhasya dusparasyadya paragam, sac-caksur janmanam ante: “My dear Kapila, You have come as my son. But You are my guru. You are guru because You can give me information how I can cross over the nescience of darkness, of this material life.” So one who is feeling the necessity of going across the dark nescience of material existence, he requires a guru. Not for curing some disease or getting a little portion of gold. That, that does not require that one should go to guru. Guru is required for whom? Just like Devahuti or Sanatana Gosvami. Those who are inqui… athato brahma jijnasa. Those who are interested in the matter of Brahman. Tasmad gurum prapadyeta jijnasuh sreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21]. If one is interested to understand things which is beyond this darkness, he requires a guru. To keep guru is not a fashion. Just like you keep a dog or a cat as a fashion. So things should not be done like that, that “I have got a guru. I don’t care for him. That’s all. I give him some money; therefore he must be my servant.” That kind of keeping guru is not use. Tasmad gurum prapadyeta jijnasuh sreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21]. Uttamam. Here is called tamah. Here is called tamah. Tamasah, tamaso ’ndhasya. Tamah and uttama. Udgata tamam. If you can transcend this tamah, this darkness, that is called uttama. We use this word, uttama… Uttama means very good. Generally, we take. How it is very good? When it is transcendental, above this darkness, that is called uttama.

So one who is inquisitive to inquire about that portion of God’s creation which is beyond this darkness—na tad bhasayate suryah. There is description in the Upanisads and the Bhagavad-gita. Uttama means there is another world, another nature. Paras tasmat tu bhavah anyah [Bg. 8.20].

na tad bhasayate suryo na sasanko na pavakah yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama [Bg. 15.6]

There is another world, but what the scientists have got information? They have no information, sufficient information of this material world. But there is another world, another nature. This nature, we can, although we cannot reach, there are millions and trillions of stars glittering in the evening. We can see simply. Simply we can see. We cannot go even to the moon star. Moon is also a star, nearest star. That’s all. Similarly, all these stars, they are like moon. Naksatranam aham sasi. Krsna says, naksatranam. They are naksatra. The naksatra, the modern science, they say they are all suns. No. They are like moon, glittering. If we have to believe our sastra. Naksatranam aham sasi. So we cannot even go to the nearest planet, nearest star, and what to speak of going beyond? Paras tasmat tu bhavah anyah [Bg. 8.20] The spiritual, there is spiritual sky, paravyoma. That is called paravyoma. This is called material vyoma, and… The vyoma means akasa.

So dusparasya… Dusparasya, this material world is dusparasya, very, very difficult to cross over it. Therefore unless one understands what is God, what is Krsna, what is His position, where does He live, why our relation should be revived, then he’s in darkness. He’s darkness. But one can be enlightened by the mercy of God. Because Krsna comes Himself to inform. He sends His devotee door to door. He leaves behind Him Bhagavad-gita, but we are so foolish, we do not take advantage of it. We do not take advantage of Bhagavad-gita. We do not take advantage of His devotees who are hankering after giving this knowledge, sacrificing everything. But we are so stubborn, dogs’ obstinacy, that we’ll not take advantage of them. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu said,

ei rupe brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva guru-krsna-krpaya paya bhakti-lata-bija [Cc. Madhya 19.151]

The bhakti-lata-bija, the seed of devotional service, is gotten by the most fortunate person. So those who are cultivating bhakti in this institution, they are the most fortunate persons in the world. That is the statement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

ei rupe brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva guru-krsna-krpaya paya bhakti-lata-bija [Cc. Madhya 19.151]

Bhramite. Therefore it is said, sac-caksur janmanam ante. This knowledge, this clue of bhakti-lata, is not so easily available. How it is available? It is… Labdham me tvad-anugrahat: “By Your mercy.” By Krsna’s mercy, you can get the bhakti-lata-bija. Not ordinarily.

yesam tv anta-gatam papam jananam punya-karmanam te dvandva-moha-nirmukta bhajante mam drdha-vratah [Bg. 7.28]

Unless you are free from the reaction of all sinful life, you cannot understand what is bhakti, what is Bhagavan. Therefore punya-karmanam. Jananam punya-karmanam. We should act piously. Piously means we must first of all give up impious activities: illicit sex life, meat-eating, drinking and gambling. Then you can lead pious life. Then you can understand what is God. Mean… These things are… Krsna consciousness movement means training people to become pious to understand Krsna and make his life successful.

Thank you very much. (end)