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Bhagavad-gita 17.1-3

Honolulu, July 4, 1974
Devotee: Srimad-Bhagavad-gita or...?
Prabhupada: Whichever you like.
Devotee: Caitanya-caritamrta... [break]
Prabhupada: (three times:) Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya. (recites verses with devotees).
sattvanurupa sarvasya
sraddha bhavati bharata
sraddhamayo 'yam puruso
yo yac chraddhah sa eva sah
So arjuna uvaca means Arjuna inquired from Krsna. Krsna is teacher, and Arjuna is student. So this is the process of spiritual advancement. As it is indicated in the Vedas, tad-vijnanartham. Tad-vijnanartham means "To understand that transcendental science," gurum eva abhigacchet "one must take shelter of guru." It cannot be manufactured. Those who manufacture the method of understanding transcendental science, they are not bona fide. So we have already discussed many times that sastra-vidhi. Guru means one who teaches the regulative principle from sastra, from authorized scripture. That is guru. Guru cannot be anyone. Acarya. Acarya means one who knows the regulative principle or direction in the sastra. He practically behaves in terms of the sastra regulative principle and teaches his student also in the same way. He is called acarya. Acainoti yah sastrani.(?) He knows the purport of sastra, he behaves himself according to the terms of the sastra and he teaches his disciple in the same term. Evam parampara-praptam [Bg. 4.2]. This is the process.
So Arjuna is asking, "So there are many who actually do not follow the principles of sastra, but they have got some faith. Then what is the result of such mentality?" Ye sastra-vidhim utsrjya: "Not following the sastra-vidhi, the regulative principle mentioned in the sastra," yajante sraddhayanvitah, "they also make one guru or incarnation or this or that. There are so many going on. So what is the result of such activities?" This is very important question because there are so many pseudo so-called gurus. They do not know what is sastra, neither they follow the principle. Still, they gather some people, and the world is full with such not bona fide gathering. So but they have faith in their—so-called guru that some way or other, so-called meditation... These things are going on.
So what is the result of this? It is very important question. Ye sastra-vidhim utsrjya yajante sraddhayanvitah. But they have got faith. Faith is there but misguided. Tesam nistha tu ka krsna: "Krsna, that, then faith, that blind faith, how it is to be defined? Why? What will be the result?" Tesam nistha tu ka krsna. Now, "Whether it is faith in sattva-guna or faith in rajo-guna or faith in tamo-guna?" Because without coming to the platform of sattva-guna, nobody can advance in spiritual life. That is a fact. Just like nobody is allowed to enter the law college unless he is graduate. This restriction is there. What he will understand, law? He must be a graduate. So similarly, first of all, one has to come to the platform of sattva-guna. Then spiritual knowledge begins. Because spiritual knowledge is above sattva-guna. Above sattva-guna. So sattva-guna is the best quality, when one brain is clear and he can see things as they are, no hazy understanding but clear understanding. So sattva-guna is the qualification of brahmana.
There are three gunas. We should always remember. The material nature is working under three gunas, three divisions. Just like... The example is that the fire, smoke and the wood, Wood... there is fire. Everyone knows that from wood, fire will come out. And when you ignite wood, there is smoke first of all. And then the blazing or the flame of the comes out. So one may say... They are saying like that, that "After all, from... It is wood. So there is fire, there is smoke and there is no smoke—it is wood. It is all one." No. Although it is one. Still, you require the flame, not the smoke, neither the wood. If you want work, then... "Now I have got the wood. My work is finished." No From the wood, when you get fire flame, then you can work. You can cook; you can get heat; you can get light, so many things. So that is required, not that "Because I have got the wood, I have got everything." This is rascaldom. You have to ignite fire, blazing fire, flame, And that is sattva-guna.
Therefore, in our society we first of all try to reform the fallen soul or most infected materially person to reform, to come to the stage of flame, because without there being flame you cannot work. It is not possible. It is very practical example. We want flame. Just like yajna. Yajna... We perform fire sacrifice, but we want to see there is flame, not smoke, although the same thing. You cannot be satisfied: "Now there is smoke. It is all right. There is fire." Without there being fire, there cannot be smoke. Parvato mandiman dhumat(?). When there is smoke one can understand there is fire, even it is far away. When there is forest fire, people understand, when the smoke is coming from the forest, then can immediately understand there is forest fire. So smoke is, although indication of the fire, but it is not fire. So similarly, so-called meditation, so-called spiritualism, concocted idea, there is some touch of spiritual life, but that is not spiritual life. One should understand. That is not spiritual life. It is called abhasa. Abhasa means just like day, sunlight, full sunlight. But early in the morning, you cannot see the sun, but there is light. There is no darkness.
So similarly, Arjuna's inquiry is very nice that "One who is not following the sastra-vidhi, the direction of the sastra, but has got some faith, some vague idea, then what will be considered? They will be taken as sattva-guna or rajo-guna or tamo-guna?" It is... So Krsna... Now, this is very important question, and Krsna... It not said, "Krsna said." It is said, it is mentioned here, sri bhagavan uvaca. Krsna may be taken by low-grade person as ordinary human being as it is done sometimes. Big, big scholars, big, big philosophers, they also become bewildered. Just like in India, there is a party called Arya-samaj. They accept Krsna as a very big person but not God, not God. There is some mistake some time. Avajananti mam mudhah: [Bg. 9.11] "Those who are rascals, they sometimes take Me as ordinary human being." That is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita. He is Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, when there is an authoritative judgement is required, you'll find in the Bhagavad-gita, it is said, sri bhagavan uvaca. That means you cannot defy this judgement. Bhagavan. Because the Supreme Personality of Godhead is speaking, that is final. No argument. No commentation. This is the meaning of sri bhagavan uvaca. Similarly, after this inquiry, sri bhagavan uvaca. Who has this, marked rules in the scriptures?
Satsvarupa: The book belongs to Karnamrta.
Prabhupada: So he does not want these rules and scriptures? He has marked this? Hm. Yes. But Krsna, er, personally, Vyasadeva has purposefully written here, sri bhagavan uvaca: "Bhagavan the Supreme Person, the ultimate..." Bhagavan means the ultimate. Just like in some country there is supreme court. So when the judgement is given by the Supreme Court, that is final. And when it was monarchy, the order given by the king, that is final—no more questioning. Similarly, when it is mentioned, sri bhagavan uvaca, that means it is final. No more argument, no more logic Logic is there argument is there but it is final. No waste of time anymore. What Bhagavan says, that is called parampara. The first utterances, order, or statement, or judgement, is given by the Supreme Lord, and if that is followed through the disciplic chain, that is real understanding, real knowledge.
You... We are... First of all we are very minute part and parcel of Bhagavan. Mamaivamsah. So, according to our position, we have got our knowledge, we have got our understanding, proportionately. Just like fire, big fire and a small spot fire. Both of them are fire, but you cannot compare the small fragment of fire with the big fire. That is not possible. The big ocean and a small drop of water from the ocean. Because the taste of the small drop of ocean is the same, the Mayavadi philosophers, they conclude that "I am the same." But they have no common sense that the small drop of water, although the quality is the same, it is very small. So our knowledge is therefore imperfect. Although we are qualitatively one with God, still, being very small quantity, our power, our knowledge, our understanding—everything is proportionately small. You must first of all understand that, that we are simultaneously one and different. One means qualitatively one. A small particle of gold, you can call it gold, but it is not the gold mine, This is called dvaita-vada, advaita-vada. The rascals they think "Because I am gold, I am as good as the gold mine." No, That is not. Gold mine is very big, powerful, immense value. So we should not forget this.
Therefore it is said... Now, tri-vidha bhavati sraddha: "This sraddha, this faith," Krsna says, "there are three kinds." Tri-vidha bhavati sraddha. Tri-vidha bhavati sraddha dehinam sa svabhava-ja. Dehinam. Always remember, dehinam means the possessor, the owner of this body. Therefore the owner is different from the body. Those who are under the conception that there is no owner, and the body is everything, they are less than tamo-guna. Actually animals. They have been described as being animal. Those who are thinking like the dog that "I am this body..." The dog is also thinking, "I am this body," and a man is also thinking, "I am this body." Then where is the difference between the dog and the man? When man comes to the understanding that "I am not this body; I am soul," then knowledge begins. Before that, he is ignorant like animal. Yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke [SB 10.84.13].
Now, to come to the real knowledge, real platform of knowledge, the cultivation is required. So cultivation is required. Suppose somebody has said, the same example, that there is fire in the wood. So if you simply remain satisfied with the wood—"There is fire"—that is called tamo-guna, not developed. Again, when there is smoke, that is another platform. But when one appreciates the flames of (the fire), that is sattva-guna. Therefore Krsna says here, tri-vidha bhavati sraddha dehinam sa svabhava-ja. If one is cultivating his life like hogs and cats and dogs—the behavior is also like that and remaining in that position—so his faith and one who is advanced, who is worshiping Deity, and having three times bath, and chanting mantras, Hare Krsna, they are not equal. That is not possible because one is situated in the sattva-guna and the other is situated in tamo-guna, although the tamo-gunas, the persons who are in the darkness of knowledge, they have got their faith. It is not that they have no faith. They have got faith. But that faith is in the lowest status of life. That faith will not help him for spiritual realization. Therefore Krsna said, tri-vidha bhavati sraddha dehinam sa svabhava-ja. Svabhava-ja means natural. Because his body is not yet purified, therefore he remains in the status of tamo-guna or ignorance. Tri-vidha bhavati sraddha dehinam sa svabhava-ja.
Therefore we have to change. Just like a man diseased, he can be changed into a healthy person provided he follows the medical rules and regulation, takes medicine, diet and... That is possible. So if one does not follow the regulation, rules and regulation, he remains there, diseased. It is not that, that "We have become now free. We can talk nonsensically and we can behave like nonsense. Still, we are advanced," That is not possible. Sattviki rajasi caiva tamasi ceti tam srnu. How? What are the symptoms to know that one is situated in the sattva-guna or one is situated in the rajo-guna or one is situated in tamo-guna? By the symptoms. The symptoms are also mentioned. The sattva-guna means brahmana. Sattva-guna in brahmana, their symptoms are mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita. Everything is there, characteristic. You have to test it. Just like in the chemistry there is analytical study, whether it is pure or not. So every chemical has got characteristics, Its color, its formation, its taste, so many things. Those who are chemists, they know how to test. So when the characteristic and the test of the chemical is found as "Yes, it is according to the standard," then it is accepted as a pure chemical, and it can be used for the purpose. And if it is adulterated... Everything... We are cooking food. If the ghee is pure, then taste is different. If the ghee is impure, the taste is different. And if it is not ghee at all. oil, the taste is different. It is like that.
So people are being controlled by the three kinds of material nature, and if they do not follow the shastric injunction, then he will concoct, he will create something according to his position, either in the tamo-guna or rajo-guna or sattva-guna. But those, means superficially doing something in the tamo-guna, he will not be successful. He will not be successful. Yah sastra-vidhim utsrjya vartate kama... [Bg. 16.23]. He is going on, conducting himself under the influence of the same modes of nature, material nature, which he has naturally adopted from his birth. There are... We have discussed all these, this verse, that sad-asad-janma, yoni-janmasu. Karanam guna-sango 'sya [Bg. 13.22]. Everyone is getting a particular type of body. So one may say, "This body is very nice, this body is not so nice and this body is very good." So why it is so? Because according to the association of the material nature. After all, the living entity falls down from the spiritual world. Just like Jaya-Vijaya. There is possibility, if you do not stick to the spiritual principle, even if you are in Vaikuntha, you will fall down, what to speak of this material world? Because in the Vaikuntha or in the spiritual world, no contaminated soul can stay there. He will fall down.
Now, when the spirit soul falls down? Just like Jaya-Vijaya. Jaya and Vijaya became asuras. They fell down from Vaikuntha. But they became asuras under the circumstances. That is mentioned we were reading Bhagavata the Kasyapa Rsi, his wife... Diti? What is the name of? Anyway, she was very lusty during the sandhya, just at the point of evening, the day's passing. So she wanted sex with her husband. He said, "No, this is not the time. This is not the time." But she was so lusty she obliged the husband to have sex life with her, and the result was two asuras were born. We have to take so much care. You see? According to the time, according to circumstances... Therefore the Vedic principle has got garbhadhana-samskara. To beget a child, it requires also reformation-time, mentality, situation. So... Not like cats and dogs. So, creating the background very nicely, sattva-guna, they will beget a child. That child will come, some great man, some great devotee. So everything has got the material relationship, how to do it. That is sastra. So you do it, but follow the shastric injunction. So the shastric injunction, so far is concerned, as it is said here, that is sattviki, rajasi, tamasi.
The example is: just like the same fire spark is falling down from the blazing fire... You have seen the sparks. There are sparks, fire sparks, with the blazing fire. Now, the sparks sometimes fall down outside the fire. So take the fire as spiritual world, and the spark is in the spiritual world, within the fire, but sometimes it falls down. Now, when it falls down it comes in the material world and... Now what kind of falldown it is? Now, the spark may fall down in dry grass. As soon as it falls down in dry grass, there is chance of igniting fire in the dry grass—sattva-guna. That is sattva-guna. And if the fire spark falls down on the ground, then for some time it looks like fiery, but again it becomes extinguished. That is rajo-guna. And if the fire sparks falls down in water—immediately finished, no more fire. So that is the distinction, the tamo-guna, rajo-guna and sattva-guna. So those who are in the tamo-guna, they are hopeless. They can do something, waste time, but being in the tamo-guna, just like the spark being in the water... Water and fire, they are two opposite. So if one remains in tamo-guna, he has no chance of coming out to become fire again. There is no chance.
So therefore the process is to bring from the tamo-guna to rajo-guna, and from rajo-guna to sattva-guna, and then surpass sattva-guna. That is spiritual platform. This is the way. So if you stick to the tamo-guna principle, then there is no hope of spiritual realization. There is only hope of becoming hogs and dogs and like that. Their life is finished. So those who are trying to come to the platform of spiritual realization, God realization, they must stick to the sattva-guna principle. Otherwise it is hopeless. it is not hopeless. Nothing is hopeless. It will take very, very long time. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gita you will find the statement, bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate: [Bg. 7.19] "After many, many births, when one is actually wise..." Wise means in the sattva-guna platform. "Then he surrenders to Krsna." Then the beginning of spiritual life is there, and he may finish this course of spiritual understanding even in this life, simply by understanding Krsna.
Janma karma me divyam yo janati tattvatah, tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kau... [Bg. 4.9]. Everything is there, described. So try to understand Bhagavad-gita very nicely, and even in this life you can finish your job of spiritual self-realization and may go back to home back to Godhead. Thank you very much. [break]
...purified simply by chanting. Ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. That is the definition given by Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Everything, purity, impurity, everything is in the heart. If one, in impure condition he is thinking that "I have now become pure," that is rascaldom. But in the purity platform, even there is no Deity worship... Premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva [Bs. 5.38]. He sees Krsna everywhere. Then Haridasa... But we should not imitate that. We are in the lower stage. Therefore Deity worship required. Mean, if there is no temple, you can keep a small Deity in a small box and open it. After taking bath, sitting down, you can offer Him little patram puspam phalam toyam [Bg. 9.26]. Little you can offer, little water. Where is the difficulty? Deity worship. You can worship Deity anywhere also. In a small box you can keep the Deity. And after taking bath you offer something. If you have nothing to offer, offer a little tulasi leaf. Or any leaf. That Krsna says, patram puspam phalam toyam yo me. The real thing is whether you are lover and devotee. Then Krsna will accept anything you offer. It is not you have to cook very sumptuously, very rich food. Then Krsna you'll offer. Krsna is not after your food. Krsna is after your devotion and faith. That can be created anywhere if you are actually sincere.
Sudama: There also is the position of or some question is raised as to how to actually follow the authority. What is the authority between...?
Prabhupada: Authority is your spiritual master. You do not know who is authority? Why this question is there? If one is initiated, then he accepted the authority. And if he does not follow the instruction of spiritual master, he is a rascal. He is defying the authority. That's all.
Sudama: The question also is there: the authority is the spiritual master, but the via media to the spiritual master... The difference between, like we were discussing in the automobile of siksa and diksa-guru.
Prabhupada: Then so siksa and diksa-guru... A siksa-guru who instructs against the instruction of spiritual, he is not a siksa guru. He is a demon. Siksa-guru, diksa-guru means... Sometimes a diksa-guru is not present always. Therefore one can take learning, instruction, from an advanced devotee. That is called the siksa-guru. Siksa-guru does not mean he is speaking something against the teachings of the diksa-guru. He is not a siksa-guru. He is a rascal.
Woman Devotee: People are instructing with these sessions?
Prabhupada: (Ignoring question) Because that is offense. Guror avajna. First offense is guror avajna, defying the authority of guru. This is the first offense. So one who is offensive, how he can make advance in chanting? He cannot make. Then everything is finished in the beginning. Guror avajna. Everything is there. If one is disobeying the spiritual master, he cannot remain in the pure status of life. He cannot be siksa-guru or anything else. He is finished, immediately. Guror avajna sruti-sastra-nindanam, namno balad yasya hi... You do not study all these things. You become initiated. There are ten kinds of offenses. Do you have any regard for these things or not? You must avoid these ten kinds of offenses. The first offense is to disobey the orders of guru. That is first offense. So if you are offensive, how you can become advanced by chanting? That is also not possible.
Woman Devotee: Can we just have the chanting without instructions?
Prabhupada: What is that?
Sudama: She wants to know actually that should they just have the chanting without reading your books or without instruction or following the program.
Prabhupada: But that chanting must be pure. Your guru is writing books. If you think, "There is no necessity of reading books," that is guror avajna. Do you means to say I am writing these books whole night for selling and making money? What do you think like that?
Woman Devotee: So there should just be chanting and reading of the books.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Woman Devotee: But how much comment?
Prabhupada: Huh?
Sudama: She says that how much comment should there be for reading the books. In other... Actually the situation is that to be proper siksa, means that one must give instruction as the spiritual master. He has to follow your program, rising early...
Prabhupada: we have already sung. Ara na kariha mane asa. Guru-mukha-padma **. What is that? Read.
Bhadra-vardhana: Ara na kariha mane asa **.
Prabhupada: Ah. Mean do not think otherwise. Whatever guru has said accept it, finally. Ara na kariha mane asa **. Don't divert from this. This is the instruction. How you can divert from the instruction of guru?
Woman Devotee: So just read it, not comment.
Prabhupada: Yes. You read it or not read it, but you have to realize. Suppose one is illiterate. It cannot read. But he can follow... (end)

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