Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.20-21
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Vrndavana, September 17, 1976


athopasprsya salilam sandadhe tat samahitah ajanann api samharam prana-krcchra upasthite

“Since his life was in danger, he touched water in sanctity and concentrated upon the chanting of the hymns for throwing nuclear weapons, although he did not know how to withdraw such weapons.”

tatah praduskrtam tejah pracandam sarvato disam pranapadam abhipreksya visnum jisnur uvaca ha

“Therefore a glaring light spread in all directions. It was so fierce that Arjuna thought his own life in danger, and so he began to address Lord Sri Krsna.”


athopasprsya salilam sandadhe tat samahitah ajanann api samharam prana-krcchra upasthite

tatah praduskrtam tejah pracandam sarvato disam pranapadam abhipreksya visnum jisnur uvaca ha

So necessity has no law. This brahma-bandhu, he knew how to create this brahmastra. He learned it. But he knew it also that this weapon is not to be used generally. In very, very rare cases this should be used. As I explained, that atomic bomb, the nuclear weapon, is not used when there is fight between two dogs. It is not so insignificant. When the fight is very severe, just like your country used this nuclear bomb. When the Japanese people dared to attack your Pearl Harbor, at that time, your President was Mr. Truman. So it was not to be used, but he took little more precaution. Anyway, such weapon, deadly weapon, should not be used ordinarily. Therefore here it is said that prana-krcchra upasthite. He knew that Arjuna was after him, and there is no escape. He would be killed. So whatever last resort he knew, he used that knowledge to throw brahmastra so that the other party may be killed altogether. But ajanann api samharam. He was not willing, but he did not know how to withdraw that. Formerly they used to know it. They could throw one brahmastra, and if he likes he can withdraw. Or the other party he, can nullify it. This is warfare. But he did not know that. How to counteract it, he did not know that.

Another point is here. Athopasprsya salilam: this mantra weapon is so strong that it can be manufactured simply by touching water with mantra. Just like we take mantra, apavitrah pavitro va sarvavastham gato ’pi va yah smaret pundarikaksam sa bahya. The same process. Do not think that it is some ritualistic external. No. It has got meaning. If you can chant the mantra properly, if you follow the rules and… You must be expert in chanting mantra. Hare Krsna mantra we are chanting, and Haridasa Thakura is also chanting. So Haridasa Thakura, how advanced he was just imagine. He was a young man, and a very nice, beautiful prostitute came there at dead of night, wanted to enjoy his company, and he said simply, “Very good idea. Please sit down. Let me finish my Hare Krsna mantra.” Is it possible for ordinary man? No. It is not possible. That means he was expert, he was advanced. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has advised, iha haite sarva-siddhi haibe tomara. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said, “Simply by chanting you’ll get all success of life.” Sarva-siddhi. It is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s blessing. Iha haite sarva-siddhi haibe tomara. By simply chanting one gets the highest perfection. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s blessing and gift. So we should be very careful and follow the regulative principles. Then automatically you’ll be perfect. There is no doubt about it. Mantra… Just like sometimes the snake-charming mantra can be purchased in the market. But if you do not make yourself perfect about chanting the mantra, it will not be effective.

I’ll give you one practical instance. It is not a story; it is a fact. It was spoken… Perhaps some of you know that my friend who came here, Dr. Ghosh. He told me when they were students, there was a case. In Lucknow University they were students. So there is a big building, and two, three snake-biting case happened. So some snake charmer was invited to find out the snake and take him. So he came. He came and took it away, the snake. Then this Dr. Gosh and his class friends, they were medical students. Naturally, the so-called modern scientist, they do not believe in all these things. So they became very inquisitive. All of them went to that snake charmer—he was a Muhammadan gentleman. So he knew that “These students, medical students, they have come to see the fun how the snakes are charmed.” So he (they) inquired, “What is the matter? What is the magic that you can catch up snake and the snake cannot do any harm to you?” So he said it is possible by mantra. By mantra it can be done. So they challenged, “Oh, your snakes, I think they are poisonless and they cannot bite. There is no poison. The poison teeth, the fang, is taken away.” “No, no. They have got everything.” So he took one and showed that “Here is…” So to make a fun… He had many snakes. He let them all come out from the box. And immediately all over the courtyard, just like courtyard, they began to run over, and all these medical students, they became afraid. They were fleeing this side, that side, that side. So the charmer said, “Don’t be afraid. So long I am here they’ll not bite you.”

So this was spoken by Dr. Ghosh, a personal experience. The mantra has got so much power. But not that you purchase the mantra and chant. That will not. You have to make it perfect. There is process, how to become perfect in chanting the mantra. Similarly… It is an ordinary, material mantra. This spiritual mantra… I have already explained. This Hare Krsna mantra is spiritual mantra. It is not material. Therefore I’ve already explained, golokera prema-dhana hari-nama-sankirtana. It is not ordinary sound vibration, material sound vibration, radio. No. Spiritual. Golokera prema-dhana. So if we actually chant this Hare Krsna mantra properly, without any offense, then once chanting is sufficient to make you free from the reaction of all sinful life. Once chanted. There is no question of chanting thousand times. It is said, eka hari-name jato papa hare, papi haya tato papa karibare nare(?). Once chanting of Hare Krsna mantra can vanquish so many, so much accumulated reaction of sinful life that a first-class papi or a very expert papi, he cannot commit so many papa. You see. It is so powerful. So if we chant it properly, this chanting, dasa-vidha, ten offenses, without offenses… Nama-aparadha-sunyam. Without any nama-aparadha, if we chant according to the principle, then the mantra will act. Mantra will act in so nicely that the mantra will keep you always in touch with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the power of mantra. Don’t think it is a hobby or it is something superfluous. No. Actually, this mantra, Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Himself.

So if you are allowed to keep yourself constantly in company with Krsna, then just imagine what is your position. If you keep yourself always near the fire, certainly you shall remain warm; there will be no attack of cold or anything like that. So if we constantly chant Hare Krsna mantra, then we are not in this material world. But if we purposely again come to the material world… That independence we have got. But if we chant Hare Krsna mantra according to the instructions… Sankhya-purvaka-nama-gana-natibhih. We have to practice. Because Gosvamis, they kept a number, a numerical strength. Haridasa Thakura kept the biggest. Others, they also kept, but not so big. But according… Because, just like Rupa Gosvami, he had to write so many books, so he was not keeping such a big number as three lakhs. But there was some numerical… Similarly, we must have some numerical strength. And we have minimized. I know that you are coming from a different source, so according to time, according to circumstances… Even there, there is no limit. You can chant more than sixteen—sixteen hundred times. There is no… But practically we see that even chanting sixteen rounds becomes difficult. So don’t try to imitate, but do it properly, what is advised by your spiritual master, without any offense. That mantra will save you from the dangers of maya. That’s a fact.

You see he manufactured this deadly weapon. It is material. Still, it is so deadly weapon, brahmastra. He was not working in a laboratory, finding out so many chemicals to make an atomic nuclear weapon. Simply water. You see. Here it is said, atha upasprsya salilam. Just like we do, om apavitrah pavitro va sarvavastham gato ’pi. Then if we do it properly, then it has got immense potency. Immense potency. Don’t think it is childish, it is formality. No. Just see here. Atha upasprsya salilam sandadhe tat samahitah. This is wanted. Samahita, completely in trance. This is the process. So these things are required, how to become samahita, samadhi-stha, in trance. If we take it as childish play, formality, then it will act, but it will take long time. But if you do it properly, you’ll be quickly successful. In one life you’ll be successful. You don’t require to wait. My Guru Maharaja used to say that although this process is guaranteed, but don’t wait for another life. Finish this business in this life. It is said in the Bhagavad-gita even though one falls immaturely, then yoga-bhrasto…, sucinam srimatam gehe yoga-bhrasto ’bhijayate. One who has not been successful, one is fallen from this bhakti-yoga, for him also there is guarantee nice. That guarantee, Krsna says that sucinam srimatam gehe yoga-bhrasto ’bhijayate. Sucinam. Then he’s given the chance of taking birth in a very pious brahmana’s family. Not ordinary: sucinam. Suci means brahmana, and srimata, sri means fortune, and mat means one possesses fortune—that means very rich man. Srimatam gehe yoga-bhrasto ’bhijayate. Even…

Therefore Narada Muni has said in the Srimad-Bhagavatam,

tyaktva sva-dharmam caranambujam harer bhajann apakvo ’tha patet tato yadi yatra kva vabhadram abhud amusya kim ko vartha apto ’bhajatam sva-dharmatah [Bhag. 1.5.17]

This verse is very important. He says that if one takes sentimentally this Krsna consciousness movement, tyaktva sva-dharmam… Just like in our Krsna consciousness movement, you young men, young boys and girls, are coming. You had some engagement previously, undoubtedly. You may be you were a student, you may be businessman or so on, so on. Everyone has got… At least you had some business for LSD. So you have given up all this. Tyaktva sva-dharmam. Somehow or other you were all engaged in some business. That is called sva-dharma. Sva-dharma means one has selected some business. That is his sva-dharma. Generally, if it is systematic, then sva-dharma means brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha, sannyasa. This is systematic, sva-dharma. Otherwise, everyone must have some engagement. Suppose a thief, he has taken the occupation or profession of stealing. That is also sva-dharma. But that is not systematic; that is whimsical. So anyone must have some engagement. That engagement is called sva-dharma, his own business occupation. Sva-karma or sva-dharma.

So if by chance somebody becomes attracted by this Krsna consciousness movement and gives up his profession, good profession or bad profession… There is no good profession in this material world. Everything is bad. That is… Here we have divided, “This is good, this is bad.” This is mental concoction. It has no value, because material world is bad. I have given this example many times. Just like stool, the upside and downside. Downside is moist and upside is dry. If somebody says, “This side is very nice,” what is this nonsense? It is stool. Why do you forget that the dry side is good and moist side is bad, but it is stool, this side or that side? Similarly, Caitanya-caritamrta karaca, Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has said,

‘dvaite’ bhadrabhadra-jnana, saba——‘manodharma’ ‘ei bhala, ei manda’——ei saba ‘bhrama’

Dvaite… In the material world, dvaite bhadrabhadra, “This is good, this is bad,” it is all mental concoction. After all, it is material world. Either you become very expert in handling these material affairs, very big businessman, Mr. Ford, Mr. this and that, or so many things… [break] …successful, what is the meaning of this “Successful, unsuccessful”? You have to die. You have to suffer from disease. Just like nowadays the flu is going on. Does it mean that a big man or a rich man will not suffer? When the disease is there, either you are big man or rich man or poor man or small man, everyone has to suffer. So long you will be in the material world, if you do not rectify yourself, suddha-sattva… Tapo divyam yena suddhyet sattvam. If you don’t rectify your existence, then this janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi will go on. Then what is the good? Actually, there is no good. ‘Ei bhala, ei manda’——ei saba ‘bhrama’… It is simply mental concoction. So in the material world, even you become very expert to deal with your business very nicely, it is all useless. Ko vartha apto ’bhajatam sva-dharmatah. If one does not become Krsna conscious, his so-called success in this material world or failure, they have no value. Rather, if by sentiment somebody comes to Krsna consciousness and if for a few days he chants Hare Krsna mantra, their success, in future at least, guaranteed.

So it is so nice thing. If you neglectfully chant, still there is success, but it will take some time. And if you chant very carefully, following the rules and regulations, then your success in this life is guaranteed. So we can make our choice, because always Krsna gives us the chance to make our choice. Yathecchasi tatha kuru: “Whatever you like, you can do.” So my request… It is my duty because you have accepted me as your spiritual master. So I am repeating my spiritual master’s order that “Don’t wait for another life.” That is a very risky, another life. Maybe I am given the chance of taking my birth in a good brahmana family or a rich family, but there is chance of again being spoiled. As we see, there are so many rich men’s sons. They have got all the opportunity of chanting Hare Krsna. They have no economic problem. Father’s property, immense property he has got. So he can, he has no anxiety for economic problems. That is a chance. To take birth in a rich family means he has no economic problem. Because for economic problem we see nowadays people are pulling on thela, a rickshaw, for two breads.(?) Because he is condemned to take such life, to work like an ass, like an animal. We see, practically. So one who is born in rich family, he should think that Krsna… But he has no knowledge, he has no good advisor, he has no guru. So he is, he thinks that “I have got this money for nothing. Let me enjoy wine and women. Let me…” He becomes spoiled. So although he was given the chance, sucinam srimatam gehe, janmaisvarya-sruta-sri. Although he was given the chance by nature’s law, he spoils himself. Just like in America—I always say that you are born in a rich nation’s family, your country is not poor, there is no scarcity, but you should take advantage of it. Don’t spoil your life because you have got so much money for nothing or every enjoyable thing. You should always think, “It is all Krsna’s mercy that we have got this opportunity. We are honored as Americans.” Now because the Americans, they have misused their opportunity, now they are degrading. To save your country, take this Krsna consciousness movement and enlighten them. Enlighten them. That is your service, actually service of the country. Push this Krsna consciousness movement. They have got good opportunity. And it will be very successful, materially and spiritually.

Thank you very much. (end)