Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.49
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
New Orleans Farm, August 1, 1975

Harikesa (leads chanting, etc.) Translation: “As a person in a dream while sleeping acts according to the body manifested in his dream, or accepts the body as himself, similarly, he identifies the present body as himself, which was acquired on account of past religious or irreligious life, and is not able to know of his past or future life.”


yathajnas tamasa (yukta) upaste vyaktam eva hi na veda purvam aparam nasta-janma-smrtis tatha

This is our position. This is our advancement of science, that we do not know “What I was before this life and what I shall become after this life?” Life is continuation. That is spiritual knowledge. But they do not know also even that life is continuation. They think, “By chance, I have got this life, and it will be finished after death. There is no question of past, present or future. Let us enjoy.” This is called ignorance, tamasa, irresponsible life.

So ajnah. Ajnah means one who has no knowledge. And who has no knowledge? Now, tamasa. Those who are in the modes of ignorance. There are three kinds of material nature, modes: sattva, raja, tamas. Sattva-guna means everything is clear, prakasa. Just like now the sky is covered with cloud; the sunshine is not clear. But above the cloud there is sunshine, everything clear. And within the cloud there is not clear. Similarly, those who are in the sattva-guna, for them everything is clear, and those who are in the tamo-guna, everything is ignorance, and those who are mixed up, neither rajo-guna, neither tamo-guna, via media, they are called rajo-guna. Three gunas. Tamasa. So they are simply interested in the present body, does not care what is going to happen, and has no knowledge what he was before. There is another place it is described: nunam pramattah kurute vikarma [Bhag. 5.5.4]. Pramattah, just like madman. He does not know why he has become mad. He forgets. And by his activities, what is going to happen next, he does not know. Madman.

So this civilization, modern civilization, is just like madman civilization. They have no knowledge of past life, neither they are interested in the future life. Nunam pramattah kurute vikarma [Bhag. 5.5.4]. And fully engaged in sinful activities because they have no knowledge of the past life. Just like a dog. Why he has become dog, that he does not know and what he is going to have next? So a dog might have been in his past life the prime minister, but when he gets the dog’s life, he forgets. That is also another influence of maya. Praksepatmika-sakti, avaranatmika-sakti. Maya has got two potencies. If somebody for his past sinful activities has become a dog, and if he remembers that “I was prime minister; now I have become dog,” it will be impossible for him to live. Therefore maya covers his knowledge. Mrtyu. Mrtyu means forgetting everything. That is called mrtyu. So that we have got experience every day and night. When at night we dream in a separate atmosphere, separate life, we forget about this body, that “I am lying down. My body is lying down in a very nice apartment, very nice bedding.” No. Suppose he is loitering on the street or he is on the hill. So he is taking, in dream, he is taking… Everyone, we take interest of that body. We forget the past body. So this is ignorance. So ignorance, the more we become elevated from ignorance to knowledge, that is success of life. And if we keep ourself in ignorance, that is no success. That is spoiling the life.

So our Krsna consciousness movement is to raise a person from ignorance to knowledge. That is the whole scheme of Vedic literature: to deliver a person. Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita about the devotees—not for all—tesam aham samuddharta mrtyu-samsara-sagarat. Another:

tesam evanukampartham aham ajnana-jam tamah nasayamy atma-bhavastho jnana-dipena bhasvata [Bg. 10.11]

For special, for the devotees… He is situated in everyone’s heart, but a devotee who is trying to understand Krsna He helps. He helps. To the nondevotees, they have no concern with the… They are just like animal—eating, sleeping, sex life and defense. They do not care for anything, to understand God or his relationship with God. For them, they think there is no God, and Krsna also says, “Yes, there is no God. You sleep.” That’s all. Therefore sat-sanga required. This sat-sanga, satam prasangat. By the association of devotee we awaken our inquisitiveness about God. Therefore the centers are required. It is not unnecessarily we are opening so many centers. No. It is for the benefit of the human society. (aside:) You can… This fly…

Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission is that paropakara, benefit of the human society. All living entities within this material world, they are in ignorance, all 8,400,000 different forms of life. (aside:) This nearby come, the… Come near. Yes. This is specially meant for driving away the flies. (laughter) Yes. This camara is meant for that. Even it is touching body, there is no harm. So all living entities, they are ajnah; they have forgotten what is the value of life. So in the human form of life, where there is chance of getting the real light, if they spoil in this way like cats and dogs, the whole world, what is the position of the world? Very precarious condition. So paropakara. Therefore those who have got enlightenment, they should try to raise these rascals who are in ignorance. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission. Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore says, bharata-bhumite manusya janma haila jara: “Anyone who has taken birth in Bharata-varsa, India, as human being, not cats and dogs,” janma sarthaka kari, “first of all make your life successful,” then paropakara, “then distribute the knowledge.” This is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission. How? Why He is stressing on Indian? Now, because it is in India you will find these sastras, the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam and many others, not in other places. The four Vedas; then the explanation of the Vedas, Upanisad; summarization of the Vedas, Vedanta-sutra; then historically explanation, Puranas; then actual history, Mahabharata, Ramayana— so these things are available in India. And one should take advantage of this sastra and make his life successful and then preach all over the world.

So in this parampara system, this knowledge has come to your country, America. You are intelligent. You are prosperous. So take this knowledge seriously and at least distribute this knowledge properly for the benefit of your people. Otherwise the world is in very, very precarious condition, and although the human form of life is obtained for the success of life, they are being kept purposefully all ignorantly in darkness. So, na veda purvam aparam nasta-janma-smrtis tatha. Just like Bharata Maharaja, he was a great devotee, but somehow or other, he was very much attached to one, a small deer. He had to accept the body of a deer. But he did not forget about his last birth. That is special prerogative for advanced devotees. Nature’s law is that at the time of death, what you think, you get the body. That is nature’s law. Yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajaty ante kalevaram [Bg. 8.6], Krsna says. So we have to train up our bhava, our thoughts. If we keep always in Krsna thoughts, then naturally at the time of death we may remember Krsna. That is success. Then immediately tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti [Bg. 4.9] Immediately you are transferred to the Krsnaloka, and according to your desire, you become amongst the gopis or the cowherds boys or the cows and the calves. They are all equal. There is no… That is spiritual world. Here there is difference between the man, woman, cows, or trees, or flowers. No. In the spiritual world there is no such difference. The flower is also devotee, living. The flower wants to serve Krsna as flower. The calf wants to serve Krsna as calf. The gopis want to serve Krsna as gopi. They are all the same, but according to the varieties—yesterday I was speaking of the variety—varieties of desires to serve Krsna… So that is spiritual world. And material world? The same varieties are there, imitation, but everyone wants to satisfy sense gratification. There is no desire for serving Krsna. That is the difference between material world and the spiritual world. In the spiritual world all the varieties are there, and they are all spirit. There is no touch of matter. They are all conscious. When the flower is there in the hand of Krsna, in the lotus hand, he is conscious. He is enjoying that “I wanted to serve Krsna as flower; now I am enjoying.” That is spiritual. They are all conscious. So in this way we shall keep ourself always Krsna conscious. Then, even though we fall down just like Bharata Maharaja fell down, became… He lost one birth. He became too much attached to that animal. He forgot his daily routine work. And the description is there in the, I think, which canto? What?

Devotee: Fifth Canto.

Prabhupada: Fifth Canto. He became always attached to that. Therefore the nature’s punishment was that he had to accept the body of a deer. But he was conscious, not that nasta-janma-smrtih. He did not forget what he was. He understood that “I was engaged in advancing in spiritual consciousness. Unnecessarily I became attached to this animal. Now I have got this animal body.” So he was keeping himself always with the devotees. That was his advantage. Then the next life he again took birth in a brahmana family, and he remained just like a dull. He was very much afraid to mix with the society so that he may not be misled. Therefore his name was Jada Bharata. Jada means dull. People used to think him as the dull- headed fool. But he was conscious of his position. He kept himself like that. Then Rahugana, the King Rahugana, understood that “He is keeping himself as dull, but he is most intelligent, advanced in spiritual consciousness,” and there was talk. And so, in next birth Bharata Maharaja, Jada Bharata, got his salvation.

So we shall be very much cautious so that we do not forget our responsibility. Nasta-janma-smrtih, it is not good. Nasta-janma. We must be responsible that “We have got this birth,” labdhva su-durlabham bahu-sambhavante, “after many, many births, after much suffering in so many species of life, one after another, one after an…” And unfortunately, the people are so dull-headed, they do not care for it. But this is the most important subject matter of life. So those who are devotees of Krsna, they should take charge, that “These rascals are suffering. Let them have some idea about Krsna.” That is wanted. This is Krsna consciousness movement. So I am very glad that you are seriously interested, and Krsna is pleased upon you. And that you are sincerely trying, I can understand from these tulasi plants. Yes. This is the practical demonstration. Unless there is bhakti, this tulasi plant will not grow. We must be very much thankful to our Govinda dasi. She first of all cultivated the tulasi plant in Hawaii. And now our tulasi plants are distributed. So she has done a great service. I think I gave her the seeds, and she very nicely done it. Now everywhere we see tulasi plant. It is very pleasing. So the same thing—Deity worship and watering the tulasi plants, chanting sixteen rounds at least, and observing the rules and regulation, regulative principle… Then your life is successful. Don’t neglect. Very seriously continue. And in this one life you are going back to home, back to Godhead. It is sure. I am not flattering you. Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru, mam evaisyasi asamsayah [Bg. 18.65]. Asamsayah, “Without any doubt, simply following these rules and regulation,” mam evaisyasi, “you come back to Me.”

So take these words of Krsna, guru-Krsna. The guru will also…, the same thing, what Krsna has said. And follow the principles. Your life is successful. Now, this place I see, although I have not seen all, is a nice place. And the grhasthas may come here, have some small cottage, and grow your own food grains, vegetables, and have your cow’s milk. Get nice foodstuff, save time. Why should you go in the city, hundred miles in car and again hundred miles come back and take unnecessary trouble? Stick to this spot and grow your own food, your own cloth, and live peacefully, save time, chant Hare Krsna. Very nice program. This is actual life. What is this nonsense life, big, big cities and always people busy? If he wants to see one friend, he has to go thirty miles. If he has to see a physician, he has to go fifty miles. If he has to go to work, another hundred miles. So what is this life? This is not life. Be satisfied. The devotee’s life should be yavad artha-prayojanam. We require material necessities as much as it is required, no artificial life. That is spiritual life. Simply increasing artificial life, even for shaving, a big machine is required. What is this? Simply wasting time. Devil’s workshop. Make life very simple. And simple living, high thinking, and always conscious to go back to home, back to Krsna. That is life. Not this life, that simply machine, machine, machine, machine. So if you show practical example that how you are living simple life and how you are advanced in Krsna consciousness, then people will learn from you. You American people, if you show example, people will try to follow you, and they will be happy. So I am very glad to see this farm. Develop it nicely, live peacefully, and chant Hare Krsna.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya Srila Prabhupada. (end)