Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.12
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Los Angeles, June 25, 1975

Santosa: “My dear King, the pure uncontaminated food prescribed by a physician is suitable for a diseased person. If the patient continues eating such food, the infection of disease cannot touch him, for although diseased, he gradually advances on the path toward cure. Similarly, if one follows the regulative principles of preliminary knowledge, he gradually progresses toward liberation from material contamination.”


nasnatah pathyam evannam vyadhayo ’bhibhavanti hi evam niyamakrd rajan sanaih ksemaya kalpate [SB 6.1.12]

So Pariksit Maharaja, he, prayascittam atho ’partham [SB 6.1.10], he rejected this prayascitta policy, “I do something wrong and…” Just like in your country it is very… You make little mistake in driving car and you get a ticket. You go to the police and give some fine. But you should be careful no again ticket, again ticket. So this is condemned by Pariksit Maharaja, that we can do mistake once or twice, but what is this? I go on committing mistake, and the police ticket is there, and again give, pay fine, and again do the same mistake again, again and again? Punah punas carvita-carvananam [SB 7.5.30] Better be careful.

That is being prescribed, that asnatah pathyam eva annam. Pathyam means just suitable for your health. Such kind of foodstuff, you should eat. If you don’t eat, then you’ll fall sick. You cannot avoid eating. That is essential for maintaining the body. But if you eat everything, whatever you like, then you cannot keep good health. The example is given that if we do not carefully live, we shall be liable to punishment. But people do not care for punishment. “Oh, we shall see later on. Now let me enjoy.” This is going on. The modern civilization means they do not care for next life or hellish condition of life. They do not care. They do not believe. It is great relief: “If I think that there is next life and I will have to suffer for my sinful activities, then life becomes very difficult, extravagance. Better don’t accept this ‘There is no life,’ and then go on doing whatever we like.” This is modern civilization. But that is very irresponsible life, because from the sastra we understand—by practical experience also—just if the boy does not go to school and he is not educated, then his future life is very dark. And a boy has to become a young man. A boy who says, “No, no, I am not going to be young man. I will remain a boy and go on playing whole day. I don’t go to school, don’t take education…,”that is not the fact. The fact is tatha dehantara-praptih. Krsna says, and we practically experience.

So we must be very careful for the next life. That is human life. Cats and dogs, they cannot think of next life. They can do. They also do not do, because they are protected by nature. But when a man comes, becoming human being, the living entity, he must be responsible, “What I am doing?” Actually, we are reponsible. So for the next life we must be responsible. Yanti deva-vrata devan [Bg. 9.25]. This is the life junction. If you like, you can go to the higher planetary system, you can go to the pitr-lokas, or lower down in the hellish lokas, or you can go to Krsna also. That information we have got from the sastra. So the human life means responsible life, not extravagance, “Whatever I like, I do like cats and dogs.” That is not good. And in another place Rsabhadeva has said also…, several times we have repeated, na sadhu manye yata atmano ’yam, klesada asa dehah. This world is going on not now. So long the material world is there, the living entities are after sense enjoyment like a madman. This is the position. Nunam pramattah kurute vikarma [Bhag. 5.5.4] They are acting very irresponsibly, and all kinds of sinful activities they are committing like a madman, without any responsibility of life. Nunam pramattah kurute vikarma [Bhag. 5.5.4]. And what for they are doing? Yad indriya-pritaye, simply for sense gratification, that’s all. So Rsabhadeva says, na sadhu manye: “This is not good.” “Why it is not good? I am enjoying life.” No, you are not enjoying. Because you have got this material body, there is no question of enjoyment. It is simply suffering. And you are thinking it is enjoyment. That is illusion. That is maya. You are accepting something which is not.

So everyone should be careful, that “I have got this material body. This is disease. Why I shall get material body?” That they do not know. From Bhagavad-gita we understand, na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. We are not finished after the body is annihilated, no, or destroyed, no. So we are eternal. That is called brahma-jnana. Unless one has the brahma-jnana, that “I am not this body,” aham brahmasmi, aham, “I am brahman, spirit soul,” so people will go on doing all irresponsible things. Because he does not know. So we human being should come to the understanding—that is knowledge—that so long we get this material body, this is my disease. And disease means suffering. Nobody can say that “By being diseased, I am very happy.” Nobody will say that. Disease means suffering. “So the sastra says—and I am practically experiencing—that I am eternal. I am changing body every moment. So I am eternal. Why I am put into this condition, repetition of birth and death?” This is intelligence. Unless one comes to this intelligence, he is not human being. Yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke [SB 10.84.13].

So this wrong thing is going on. So here the example is given that if you live in regulative principle, then you will not suffer from this disease. This disease means this material world. Bhutva bhutva praliyate. We take one kind of…, we accept one kind of body and struggle for existence, suffer so much, again we get another body, and new chapter of suffering begins. This knowledge is lacking in modern education. And they are very much proud of becoming advanced in knowledge. What is the advancement of knowledge? You have to cure your disease. The whole Vedic civilization is how to cure this disease of repetition of birth and death. That they do not know. All tapasya, all austerities, penances… This will be explained next verse. Why needed? Now, just to cure this disease, repetition of birth and death. They have no knowledge.

So it is recommended that adhayo vyadhayah. There are three kinds of miserable condition—everyone, not for a particular person— adhyatmika, adhibhautika, adhidaivika. And as soon as you get this material body, you will have to suffer. So if you want to stop this suffering, then you must live regulative life. Regulative life is recommended in the next verse,

tapasa brahmacaryena samena ca damena ca tyagena satya-saucabhyam yamena niyamena va [SB 6.1.13]

These are prescribed duties of human being. What are the prescribed duties? The first prescribed duty is tapasa, they must execute austerities. This is human life. That is everywhere recommended. Rsabhadeva also recommended, tapo divyam putraka yena suddhyed sattva: “My dear boys, don’t live like cats and dogs and hogs.” He advised. Nayam deho deha-bhajam nrloke kastan kaman arhate vid-bhujam ye [Bhag. 5.5.1] “If I don’t work hard, how shall I satisfy my senses? At night I must have this intoxication, this woman, this club, this If I don’t work hard how shall I get this enjoyment?” So Rsabhadeva says, “This kind of enjoyment is available to the hogs. It is not very good type of enjoyment, sense gratification.” Nayam deho deha-bhajam nrloke kastan kaman arhate vid-bhujam ye [Bhag. 5.5.1]. Vid-bhujam means the stool- eater. So they are also enjoying by eating stool and having sex without any discrimination, don’t care for mother, sister So this kind of sense gratification civilization is there amongst the dogs and hogs, but human life is not meant for that. Human life is meant for tapasya, austerity, so that human life you can stop your repetition of birth and death and come to your eternal life and enjoy blissful eternal life of knowledge. That is the aim of life. Not that “Never mind.” The education is that a university student, and if he is said, if he is informed that “If you live irresponsibly, then you may become dog next life,” so they say, “What is the wrong if I become a dog?” (laughter) This is the result of education. He doesn’t care. He is thinking, “If I get the life of a dog, I will have no restriction of my sex life on the street.” That’s it. He is thinking that is advancement. “If now there is restriction, now unrestrictedly if I get sex life on the street…” And they are coming gradually, that advancement.

So this is the position. So they do not believe in the next life, and what to speak of cats’ and dogs’ life. “Never mind.” Everything is very dark. Therefore, unless we take to Krsna consciousness movement, the human civilization is doomed. It is not human civilization. Human civilization is responsible life. Actually, we are being educated, we go to school, to college, to become responsible man. So this responsibility should be “How to stop this repetition of birth.” In many places this is advised. And that is the only aim of human life. Punar-janma-jayaya. I have told you many times that when Visvamitra Muni went to Dasaratha Maharaja to take Ramacandra and Laksmana to kill one demon in the forest… Visvamitra Muni is brahmana. He was so powerful, he could himself kill that demon, but because he is brahmana, he is not allowed to kill. A brahmana must be nonviolent. So therefore he went to the ksatriya, Maharaja Dasaratha. This is ksatriya’s business. Ksatriya means…, ksat means injury, and tra means delivered. The ksatriya’s duty is… There is somebody is creating disturbance, injury to others—it is the government’s duty, ksatriya’s duty, to punish him immediately, or, if required, to kill him, immediately. That is ksatriya’s duty. So one demon was very much disturbing the rsis in the jungle. So they came to Dasaratha Maharaja to get some relief. Ksatram dvijatvam ca parasparartham. He said, “My dear King Dasaratha, I have come to you for some help. The disturbance is going on.” Just like we go to the government for police help if there is some disturbance, this is the duty of the government, ksatriya. So “We are having sacrifices, penances for the whole humanity. Now we are disturbed. You save us.” Ksatram dvijatvam ca parasparartham. This is required.

Parasparartham means mutual help. The brahmanas should give advice to the ksatriyas, to the government, and the government, according to the nice good advice, should maintain the state. In this way there will be peaceful condition of the society. Therefore there is the institution of varnasrama. Catur-varnyam maya… Krsna says, “I have made this varnasrama for the benefit of the whole human society, although I don’t belong to any varna, asrama.” Krsna has nothing to do, but to maintain the human society very peaceful, advancing in spiritual knowledge, this varnasrama is required. Therefore sometimes I become very eager to start a varnasrama college. We have nothing to do with varnasrama, we Krsna…, But we want to see that the whole human society is peaceful. That is our mission. Sarve sukhino bhavantu. This is the desire of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and those who are servants of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they should also desire how to do good to the whole human society. A Vaisnava is not only interested for his own benefit. His own benefit is already done as soon as he has taken shelter of Krsna’s lotus feet. He has nothing else desire over. Everything is finished, protected by Krsna. Kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranas… But they work in the human society on behalf of Krsna so that they may be happy, peaceful, and make progress in spiritual life. That is Vaisnava’s duty. Otherwise Vaisnava has nothing to ask. Krsna knows how to help him, how to give him all protection. So he has no anxiety. His only anxiety is soce tato vimukha-cetasa maya-sukhaya bharam udvahato vimudhan [SB 7.9.43]. Vaisnava is anxious to see that these rascals who has forgotten completely his relationship with God, Krsna, and making gorgeous arrangement for living fifty years only, although he is eternal He is not making any eternal arrangement. “I shall live here for fifty years or sixty years as an American or as an Indian. Make me gorgeous arrangement, defense and so on, so on, so on.” If you defend, then You are going to live for fifty, sixty, or utmost hundred years, but you are eternal. What you are doing for your eternal life? That is the mistake of the civilization. You may remain as American or Indian for, say, utmost, hundred years. But you are not for hundred years. You are eternal. What you are doing for your eternal life? This is our question. But they do not believe in eternal life. “We don’t believe in the next life.” But that is You believe or not believe If some young man says, “I will not become old man,” so he may believe or not, he must become old man. If somebody says, “I am not going to die. I don’t believe in death,” you believe or not believe, you must die. This is law of nature. How can we avoid it?

So this is intelligence. Therefore we should live very regulative life. And as I was going to say, the Vedic civilization… Just like the Visvamitra when he went to Maharaja Dasaratha, ksatriya, to get help, Maharaja Dasaratha inquired that… Just like if we go to a friend, so what is our inquiry? “You are happy with your family, with your children?” Because they have a family. But here is a saintly man. So what should we inquire? Inquire, the inquiry is aihistham yat tam punar-janme-jayaya: “My dear Visvamitra Muni, brahmana, I know that you are all trying to get release from repetition of birth and death.” Why he has gone to the forest? He has gone to the forest for executing austerity, so that next life may be not material but spiritual life. This is the aim of life. The whole human effort, civilization, should be conducted with the aim how to stop this repetition of birth and death. This is science. Aihistham yat tam punar-janma-jayaya. He inquired—he was a brahmana, great sage— that “You have taken so much trouble that you are living in the forest, you are undergoing meditation and other regulative principles—why?” Punar-janma-jayaya: “To stop next birth.” Punar-janma-jayaya, the Buddhist philosophy, punar-janma-jayaya means they take it that no more birth, but finish this business in the different way. They do not believe that there is next life, but dismantle this material condition of life. That is their nirvana theory. Because Buddha philosophy was taught not amongst very intelligent person, atheist class of men. So that is punar… They are also trying for punar-janma-jayaya. The Christians, the Lord Christ, he also said that “Come to kingdom of God,” not repetition of birth here again and again. That is the principle of all religious system. Punar-janma-jayaya. So it is not for the Hindus, Muslim, or Christian. Every human being should try his best, how to avoid to get another material body. This is the basic principle of civilization. But this can be attained only when you agree to live a regulative life. Just like we see one…, what is called? “Repent sinners.” What is that? (laughter) Every day we go, see that. So one must be repentant for his sinful activities. One must know what are sinful activities. Apart from any other scripture, in Christian scripture it is said, “Thou shall not kill. Thou shall not covet. Thou shall not do this.” These are sinful activities. Otherwise why it is forbidden, “Thou shall not”?

So people are neglecting. Any religious system—it doesn’t matter— forbids, “Don’t commit sinful life, you will suffer.” So people have made a civilization that “There is no life, and you can go on irresponsibly, as you like, enjoy life, and never mind if I become a dog. What is the wrong there?” That’s all. This kind of civilization must be stopped if we want to remain a human being. And if we don’t want, if we want to remain as cats and dogs, that is a different thing. But if you want to remain as human being, you must live regulative principle. And that we are teaching. Our Krsna consciousness movement is teaching regulative life for next spiritual life, back to home, back to Godhead. This is our mission. So regulative life means… Sinful life, if we become sinful, irresponsible, then another material body. That is the advice. Na sadhu manye yata atmano ’yam asann api klesada. As soon as you get another material body, it is suffering. So try to realize these things. Therefore, punar-janma-jayaya. The whole aim should be how to conquer over again material… This is intelligence. This is intelligence.

So he is recommending, Sukadeva Gosvami, that this regulative life should be conducted: first of all tapasya. Tapasya means… Tapa. Tapa means voluntary suffering. That is called tapasya. The voluntary suffering means what is our enjoyment? First of all let us see. The enjoyment is if we can eat voraciously, eating, and if we can sleep thirty hours, and if we have got sex life without any discrimination, and don’t care for defense. That’s all. This is enjoyment life, material enjoyment means. Now, tapasya means denying all these things, denying. Eating as much as I require to maintain my body—this is tapasya, not that voraciously eating. Tapasya means practically not eating. That is tapasya: not eating. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, he was a very rich man’s son. So he showed us the example, what is tapasya. He gradually reduced his eating, every alternate days a little butter. That’s all. Ragunatha dasa Gosvami. And still, he was taking three times bath and hundred times… Sankhya-purvaka-nama-gana-natibhih. He was offering obeisances flat hundred times and taking bath three times. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, those who have gone to Radha-Kunda, you have seen, the extreme tapasya. He was very rich man’s son. In those days his father’s income was twelve lakhs of rupees. He left his happy home and joined Caitanya Mahaprabhu and exemplified tapasya. He showed.

So tapasya generally means that first thing is that we should reduce our eating, sleeping, mating and defense. This is called tapasya, voluntarily accept. Suppose I am accustomed to eat very voraciously, and if I have to execute tapasya, that means I will have to reduce my eating to the point of no eating. But that is not possible. But that will create some trouble. But I will accept this trouble, this is called tapasya. I am habituated to sleep so many hours; I will have to reduce it. Yuktahara viharas ca. We don’t say, “Don’t sleep,” but we say, “Reduce sleep as much as possible. Reduce your eating as much as possible.” So this is called tapasya. And brahmacaryena. Brahmacaryena means completely cessation of sex life. So that is not possible to completely give up eating or completely sex life, but make it regulated. That is tapasya: eating, sleeping, mating, and defense as much as it is required. The aim should be to make it nil. That is called tapasya. Tapasa brahmacaryena [SB 6.1.13]. Brahmacarya means, strictly. Brahmacarya means that one should not look upon woman, “Oh, here is a very beautiful girl.” That is also sex, subtle sex. And to talk, “Fsh, fsh, fsh, fsh,” that is also subtle sex. So these things are to be avoided. There are eight kinds of subtle sex life. This is called brahmacarya. So according to Vedic sastra, if one lives with one woman, one man, they are also brahmacari. Not many. This is… If one cannot give up sex life, let him be satisfied with one man and one woman. That is also tapasya, that is also brahmacari. But not that jumping from here, there, there, there, there, no, like monkey, no. (laughter) This is training. This is training.

Now, by nature, according to Vedic civilization, that… Vedic civilization is natural life. It is not something artificial or irresponsible life. That is Vedic civilization. Vedic means full of knowledge, life with full of knowledge. That is called Vedic civilization. It is not a particular type of… With full of knowledge. So in the Vedic civilization a woman, if she has no child or son or daughter, she can marry for the second time. Otherwise, she will be enemy of the child. This is practical. If a woman has got child and again she marries, that means voluntarily she becomes enemy of his child. Therefore Canakya Pandita says, mata satru dvi carini.

rna-karta pita satrur mata satrur dvicarini rupavati bharya satruh putrah satrur apanditah

His moral instruction. Satruh means enemy. Now, who are enemies within our family? Outside enemies, that is not very… That is natural. Everyone is enemy of the other man. But within the family, if we live with enemies, that is very difficult. So how enemies, who are enemies? That he has described: rna-karta pita satruh. If the father is a great debtor, then he is enemy. Because people will criticize, “Oh, your father has taken so much money, so much credit. Why he is not paying? Why don’t you…?” So he is enemy. Rna-karta pita satrur. And according to Manu-samhita law, if he does not inherit even a farthing from his father, and if his father dies debtor, then the son has to pay it. Because son inherits the property of the father, so he is responsible for the father’s debt. Never mind he has got anything from the father or not. Therefore it is said, rna-karta pita satruh: “A father who dies a debtor, then he is enemy.” And mata satrur dhicarini: “Mother, if in the presence of his son marries again, she is enemy. She is enemy.” Rna-karta pita satrur mata satrur dhicarini. Dhicarini means in the presence of children—one or two, it doesn’t matter—she becomes enemy. Rna-karta pita satrur mata…rupavati bharya satruh: “If you have got very beautiful wife, she is also enemy.” (laughter) Because many man will try to kidnap, and you will have to remain always anxiety. (laughter) So rupavati bharya satruh. And putrah satrur apanditah… (end)