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Lecture to International Student Society

Boston, December 28, 1969
Prabhupada: ...for your participating with us in this Krsna consciousness movement. I understand that your, this society is known as International Student Society? Yes. There are many other international societies. There are international United Nations also. The idea is very nice, but we should try to understand—internationally or universally—what is the central idea. Just like if you throw a stone in the middle of water, it expands. It becomes, the circle expands, and the circle goes to the limit of the bank of the water. That is the way. The vibration, sound vibration also, radio message also. Similarly, the circle increases and you capture the waves and you understand. Similarly, international feeling can be extended also. In the beginning of our life, just like a child, anna-brahman: everything he wants to eat. A small child, whatever he captures he wants to eat. Personal interest. Then, when the child grows, he tries to participate with his other brothers and sisters: "All right. You also take little." This is increasing the feeling of fellowship. Then he grows again, he feels for his father, parents, society, then community, country, and at last, international. Expansion. But in such feelings, unless the center is right, that expansion of feeling, universally or internationally or nationally even, that is not perfect. That is not perfect. Take, for example, internationally. In your country, what is the meaning of national? National means one who has taken birth in that particular country. Is that all right? National? You feel for another American because he is born in this country. Or any other country, Indian. That national feeling, that is called national feeling. You feel for your countrymen. You sacrifice your life for your country. But there is defect. What is that defect? If this is the definition—that a living entity or a person born in that country, he is a national—then why not the animals? They are also born in that country. But we are not expanding our feelings beyond this human society. We don't think animals are national assets. Animals are sent to the slaughterhouse. So this is because the center of national feeling or international feeling is losing. The center is not fixed up. If the center is right, then you can make circle from that center, any number of circles, they'll never overlap. They'll be growing, growing, growing. They'll not interact with one another if the center is all right.
So everyone is feeling nationally or internationally, but the center is missing. Therefore your feeling, your international feeling, my international feeling, your national feeling, my national feeling, they are overlapping. So we have to find out the center. Then you expand your circle, it will not, I mean to say, overlap or counteract. It will go on. That center is Krsna. Our society, International Society for Krsna Consciousness, is teaching to the people of all countries that the center is Krsna. You try to think from the central point of Krsna. That Krsna philosophy is the Bhagavad-gita. I take it for granted that many of you have studied Bhagavad-gita. In the Seventh Chapter there is a nice verse that,
You have heard the word mahatma. That is a Sanskrit word, or Indian word, which is applied to a person whose mind is expanded, whose feelings, the circle of his feelings, is very expanded. He is called mahatma. Maha means big or great, and atma, atma means soul. Who has expanded his soul very wide, he is called mahatma. So this Bhagavad-gita gives the definition of the person who has expanded his feeling very wide. Who is that? It is said there, bahunam janmanam ante [Bg. 7.19]. We are trying to expand our feeling socially, communally or nationally or internationally or universally or some way or other. This is going on. We try to do it. That is our natural function, especially in the human form of life—expanded consciousness, broader consciousness. We try, we try to do some service to the whole humanity, to society, to the country. That is expanded consciousness. But Bhagavad-gita says that bahunam janmanam ante. Bahu means many, and janma means birth. Bahunam janmanam ante: at the end of. At the end of many, many births. Perhaps you know that we believe the theory—not theory, the fact—of transmigration of soul. We are changing bodies one after another. There are 8,400,000's of different species of life, and we are evolving. And at last we come to this form, human form of life. This is also called bahunam janmanam ante [Bg. 7.19]. After many, many births. Labdhva su-durlabham idam bahu-sambhavante.
In the Bhagavata there is a verse. It is said there, labdhva su-durlabham idam. Idam. Idam means "this." This body, labdhva, you have got it. Labdhva su-durlabham idam. Su-durlabham means it is very rare. This is not very cheap. The body of cats and dogs or animals, they are cheap, but this is not very cheap. Su-durlabhah. Bahunam janman... Labdhva su-durlabham idam bahu-sambha-vante. After many, many births, at least, 8,000,000 births of different species of life, we get this human form of life. It is stated in the Bhagavata, and similarly, all Vedic literatures, they corroborate one another. It is... The person who can understand, he doesn't find any contradiction. The same statement is there in the Bhagavad-gita: bahunam janmanam ante [Bg. 7.19]. So this human form of life is obtained after many, many births of lower animal or other than human form of life. But even in this human form of life also, if one is cultivating that knowledge to find out the central point, what is the central point, then that also requires he gets many, many births in human form of life also. But he has to find out that central point. That central point is there, Krsna is saying, that bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan [Bg. 7.19]. Jnanavan means who has actually acquired knowledge. Jnanavan. Jnana means knowledge, and van means one who possesses. One who possesses actual knowledge, after... We are cultivating knowledge. If we are actually cultivating knowledge, spiritual knowledge, not in one life but many many lives, then when we actually become on the highest platform of knowledge, bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan, then Krsna says, mam prapadyate: "He comes and surrenders unto Me, Krsna," or God. When I speak "Krsna," "Krsna" means the Supreme Lord, the all-attractive Supreme Personality of Godhead. So bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate [Bg. 7.19]. Surrenders. Why? Vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma su-durlabhah. This word mahatma is there, because after cultivating knowledge many, many births, he has expanded himself to be very great. God is great, and His devotee who expands up to the point of God, he is also called great. His atma is also great. Mahatma. But He says, sa mahatma su-durlabhah. That sort of mahatma, or great soul, is very rare to be seen. Su-durlabhah. Su-durlabhah. Su means very, and durlabhah means rare. Very rare.
So this is the definition we get from Bhagavad-gita, that we are expanding our feelings of love, different types of love—love of the country, love of the nation, love of the society, love of the community, love of the family, or love of the cats and dogs. Love is there. Love is there, but we are expanding it according to our expansion of perfect knowledge. That perfect knowledge comes to exist when we come to the point of loving Krsna. That is perfection. Sa mahatma su-durlabhah. But it is very difficult to find out such person who has developed love of Krsna. But that is the aim of life. That is the aim of all activities. Similarly, in the Bhagavata, there is another verse. It is said that,
It is said that you are doing your duty according to your position. Everyone is doing. Svanusthitah dharmah. Dharma means occupational duties. Everyone has got duty. A student has a duty, or a householder has got some duty, a sannyasi has got some duty, a brahmacari has got duty. So there are different types of duties according to different occupation or profession. But Bhagavata says that you can perform your duties very nicely, very accurately, but if by performing your duties you do not come to the understanding of Krsna, or God, then whatever you have done very nicely, srama eva hi kevalam: it is simply laboring. Simply laboring. But if you want to perfection, come to the point of perfection, then that is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, as I said, that bahunam janmanam, after discharging duties very nicely, very accurately, very faithfully, if one comes to the point that vasudevah sarvam iti [Bg. 7.19], then you should understand that your feelings of love or international feeling or national feeling has actually expanded. That is expanded.(?) That is real national feeling.
And what is the symptom? A man says, "Yes, I have expanded very widely my feelings of love." No. There are some symptoms how you are feeling, how you are... That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita, that panditah sama-darsinah. Pandita means learned. Sama-darsinah.
A pandita, if one has actually elevated to that stage of perfect wisdom, then he is sama-darsinah, that actually sama... How sama-darsinah? Vidya-vinaya-sampanne brahmane. A brahmana, according to Vedic culture, a brahmana is considered... Brahmana means vidya-vinaya-sampanne. He is very gentle and very learned. That is the first qualification of brahmana. Not by birth but by qualification. Gentle and learned. Vidya-vinaya-sampanne brahmane gavi, brahmane gavi hastini, panditah sama-darsinah [Bg. 5.18]. Because his vision is no more on the platform of this body. Sama-darsinah. He sees a learned brahmana is also a spirit soul, and a dog is also a spirit soul, an elephant is also a spirit soul, or a low-born man, he is also spirit soul. Beginning from the high-born brahmana up to the candala, there are social stages in the human society. But if a man is really learned, he sees everyone, every living entity, on the same level. That is the stage of learning.
Sva-pak means the dog-eaters. In India there are many types of flesh eaters. Not higher caste, amongst the lower grade. But anyone who eats the flesh of dog, he is called candala, lowest of the mankind. But here Bhagavad-gita says even if he is candala, the panditah, he sees equally like the brahmana because he sees the spirit soul.
So our point is that if we actually want to expand this international feeling, then we must find out the real center. That center is Krsna. Krsna, or God, I have already explained. Krsna said in the Bhagavad-gita... You'll please always remember that this Krsna consciousness movement means placing Bhagavad-gita as it is. Whatever I am speaking, it is there in the Bhagavad-gita. Unfortunately, Bhagavad-gita has been misinterpreted by so many commentators that people have misunderstood the Bhagavad-gita. Actually, Bhagavad-gita means to develop Krsna consciousness, and we are trying to do that. So in that Bhagavad-gita, as Krsna has given the definition of mahatma, broadminded... So what is that broadminded? He says next verse, mahatmanas tu mam partha daivim prakrtim asritah [Bg. 9.13]. Mahatma, who is actually wise and broadminded, he is no more within the spell of this material energy. He is under the shelter or protection of spiritual energy. Everything, just try to understand. Whatever we are seeing, they are different energies of God. Parasya brahmana saktir..., akhilam jagat. Whatever we are experiencing, they are all different energies of the Supreme Lord, parasya saktir. In the Vedic literature, Upanisad, it is said, parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate. The Supreme Absolute Truth has many varieties of energies. Parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate, svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca [Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport]. And the energies are acting so nicely that it appears that it is being automatically, nicely done. Just like a flower is (blooming). The energy of God is acting there, but we are seeing that it has automatically become so beautiful and blooming. No. That is energy. That is the vision how we can see God. How we can see Krsna? In the Fourth Chapter you'll find, raso 'ham apsu kaunteya: [Bg. 7.8] "My dear Kaunteya, Arjuna, you, if you try to understand Me, if you want to make your soul broader to understand Me, try to understand Me—raso 'ham apsu kaunteya—I am the taste, the sweet taste in the water." So every day we are drinking water. There is nobody here who does not drink water. So when you drink water and you feel satisfaction, that satisfaction is Krsna. Raso 'ham apsu kaunteya prabhasmi sasi-suryayoh. Nobody can escape seeing the light of the sun, of the moon. Sasi, sasi means moon. Surya means sun. So Krsna says, "That illumination is I am."
So there is so many list of understanding that God consciousness, Krsna consciousness. So when one is fully cognizant of the energies of the Lord, how they are acting... And we have to practice. We take lesson from Bhagavad-gita and we practice. You will be able to understand. Then after bahunam janmanam ante [Bg. 7.19], when you become mature, vasudevah sarvam iti, "Oh, Vasudeva is everything," then you surrender. Sa mahatma sudurlabhah. That person, who has widened his soul in that way, he is very rare to be seen. And what are the functions of such mahatma? Mahatmanas tu mam partha daivim prakrtim asritah [Bg. 9.13]. Mahatma, one who is so broadminded, he is not crooked to be under the spell of this material energy. He is under the protection of the spiritual energy, daivi prakrti. Prakrti means nature. This nature is called the material energy. And there is another, spiritual energy. These things are all explained in the Bhagavad-gita. Apareyam. These are apara. Apara means inferior energies, material energy. Itas tu viddhi me prakrtim para. Beyond this inferior energy, there is another, spiritual energy. There are so many verses you'll find in the Bhagavad-gita.
So our propagation is to present Bhagavad-gita as it is, without any nonsensical commentation. There is no need of nonsensical commentation. Bhagavad-gita is as clear as the sunlight. As you do not require to see the sun with another lamp, similarly, you do not (chuckling) require to study Bhagavad-gita with another commentation of a common man who has no knowledge. Bhagavad-gita as it is, you should study. Then you will get all this knowledge. Bahunam janmanam ante: [Bg. 7.19] you become wise and you can understand Krsna. Then you surrender. Then you become mahatma. And what is the function of mahatma? Mahatma is under the protection of spiritual energy. And what is the symptom of that protection of spiritual energy? That is also stated,
mahatmanas tu mam partha
daivim prakrtim asritah
bhajanty ananya-manaso...
[Bg. 9.13]
He is always engaged in devotional service of Krsna. That is the only symptom. That is mahatma.
mahatmanas tu mam partha
daivim prakrtim asritah
bhajanty ananya-manaso
jnatva bhutadim avyayam
[Bg. 9.13]
Does he follow this devotional service blindly? No. Jnatva. Jnatva means "knowing perfectly that I am the source of everything." Aham sarvasya prabhavah: [Bg. 10.8] "I am the source of everything." So these things are there in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. It is not possible to explain all the verses. But our request is that this Krsna consciousness movement is to spread the knowledge depicted in the Bhagavad-gita as it is, without any nonsensical commentation. Then the human society will profit by it. They are actually not in sound condition of living atmosphere, but if they understand Bhagavad-gita and if they actually expand their broader outlook, then these questions of social, national, international, all will be automatically solved. There will be no difficulty. And without finding out the center, if we manufacture our own ways... Not to speak of any individual persons, the different nations of the whole world, they are trying to be united. And in your country there is United Nations organization. Unfortunately, instead of becoming one, the flags are increasing. Daily you pass, you'll see another flag is there. Just like in our India, there was one Hindustan. Now (chuckling) there has become another, Pakistan. And sometimes there will be Sikhistan and there will be some-stan. So instead of becoming united, we are being disunited because we are missing the center.
So my request is that you are all international students, you try to find out the center of any international movement. That international movement does not mean that "My brother is international and I am international. All others, they are nothing." Not like that. Actually, you try to feel internationally. That international feeling will be possible when you find out the center, Krsna, as it is in the Bhagavad-gita. Bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate [Bg. 7.19]. When you actually understand Krsna, the Krsna philosophy, that will be perfect. And Krsna says, in the Thirteenth Chapter, you'll find,
He is claiming that "I am the father of all forms of life." Sarva-yonisu, "all species of life." "The material nature is the mother, and I am the seed-giving father." Just like without father and mother nobody can appear, similarly, in this material world, whoever has come, every one of us, beginning from Brahma down to the ant, everyone, the mother is the material nature. The mother supplies this body. So our, this body is material; therefore it is the gift of the material mother, material nature. But I, the spirit soul, that I am part and parcel of the Supreme Lord Krsna. Mamaivamso jiva-bhutah [Bg. 15.7]. "All these living entities, they are My part and parcel." So if you try to wide your feelings of internationality, please try to understand Bhagavad-gita. You'll be getting enlightenment, you'll understand what is international feeling. Sarva-yonisu. Sarva-yonisu means then you will feel international even for the cats and dogs and animals and reptiles. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam... These people are manufacturing communism, but in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Seventh Canto, we'll find a statement given by Narada Muni that if in your house there is a snake even, you should give him something to eat. Just see how the feeling. Even there is a snake, what to speak of other animals.
So these feelings will be enlightened. We cannot be enlightened unless we come to the real point of God, or Krsna. So we are preaching this Krsna consciousness or God consciousness. It is not a new movement, because as I told you that this is based on the principles of Bhagavad-gita, and Bhagavad-gita is not new. At least from historical point of view, it is five thousand years old. And beyond history, pre—history, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita in the Fourth Chapter, it is said, Krsna said,
That means "I first of all spoke to the sun-god." Now if you take that duration, it will be some millions of years before it was spoken. These things are stated in the Bhagavad-gita. So apart from that statement, from historical point of view, since the days of Mahabharata, yes, Battle of Kuruksetra... Bhagavad-gita was spoken in the Battle of Kuruksetra. From historical point of view, it is five thousand years old. So this Bhagavad-gita teaching is coming from, at least, from five thousand, since five thousand years. So it is older than any other scripture in the world. So you try to understand as it is, without any unnecessary commentary. You do not... There is no use of commentary. The words are sufficient to give you enlightenment, but unfortunately, people take advantage of the popularity of Bhagavad-gita, and they try to impress under the shelter of Bhagavad-gita their own philosophy or own idea. That is useless. You try to understand Bhagavad-gita as it is; then you will get this entitlement, enlightenment, that Krsna is the center of all activities. And if you become Krsna conscious, then everything will be perfect, all problems will be solved. Ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. These things are there, and actually, they are happening. Our students are feeling, they are actually doing that. So we shall request you to read this Bhagavad-gita As It Is, so your feelings of international spirit will be perfect and you'll be happy, and wherever you preach this cult, they will be also happy. And that will be very nice thing.
Thank you very much. [break] If there you have any question you can ask. Yes?
Guest: Could you discuss the various levels on the way to bliss consciousness? What happens to the body and the mind as one approaches bliss consciousness?
Prabhupada: What is that question?
Satsvarupa: What are the different levels that you go through on the way to getting bliss consciousness. What happens to the body? What happens to the mind?
Prabhupada: We are acting not singly, simply with mind or simply... Pranair arthair dhiya vaca. Kaya-mana-vakya. Whatever we do, we do with our body, mind and words. But this consciousness means if you put your mind in Krsna, then your words and body also become Krsnized. Sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayor [SB 9.4.18]. There was a nice king, Maharaja Ambarisa. He was great king. He had to administer a great kingdom, whole world. But he was a great devotee also, although he was very busy. Because it is said, sa vai manah. Manah means mind. Sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayor. He always kept his mind in the lotus feet of Krsna. Vacamsi vaikuntha-gunanuvarnane. And therefore his mind was always dedicated to the lotus feet of Krsna. He could not speak anything but Krsna consciousness. Vacamsi vaikuntha-guna. So the whole process of Krsna consciousness is transferring the business from matter to spirit, or Krsna. There is a nice definition how to execute Krsna consciousness in the Narada-pancaratra. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. If we become freed from all these designations... "I am American," this is a designation. "I am Indian," this is a designation. I am not Indian, you are not American. We are all parts and parcel of the Supreme. This is only dress. It does not mean because I am in this saffron colored dress and you are in black coat or green coat, there is difference between you and me. We are all human beings. Similarly, we have to understand that this body is our dress only. Because we have got a different dress, a black dress or white dress or Indian dress or American dress, that does not mean we are different. When we can feel in that way, when we are trained in that way, that is called sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. He is freed from all designations. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam. That time he becomes purified, nirmalam. So long I have got identification that "I am this," "I am that," "I am that..." Simply when I shall understand that "I am part and parcel of God," that means, that status of mind is called nirmalam, without any contamination. And when you are in that status of life... That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gita. This is called brahma-bhutah prasannatma [Bg. 18.54]. Brahma-bhutah means self-realization. And the symptom will be prasannatma, joyfulness, without any anxiety.
So there are stages. One has to learn this from authoritative sources. Then it is possible to become... But our movement, this chanting Hare Krsna mantra, is so nice that what was possible after many, many births, you can get it within a few weeks. That is a fact. If you chant Hare Krsna mantra as we are doing, then you'll understand. Very quickly your self-realization, your freedom from designation, your mental concoction, everything will be cleared off, and there will be no more anxiety. So we request everyone. We are not charging anything. We are not saying that "I shall give you some mantra. You pay me fifty dollars and it is private." No. It is open, without any charge. Anyone can. These boys, American boys and girls, they are chanting. Similarly, you can also chant. There is none Indian, but they are nicely chanting Hare Krsna. You can also chant. There is no fee. You just make an experiment on how you become free from this designation. So our request is that everything will be complete if you take to this chanting: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. And there is no very strict rules, regulation. You can chant anywhere, either in this room or outside the room or on the road, street, bus. Wherever you find opportunity, you chant simply Hare Krsna and see the result.
So this is a process of purification. When we actually purify our, this material contamination and designation, we, I mean to say, raised, we are promoted to the actual spiritual life. And then, at that time, we shall feel happy and our consciousness will be broader, and everything will be all right.
Indian man: I don't know the equivalent verse in Sanskrit from the Gita, but somewhere it says that..., Krsna says, "All roads lead to Me. No matter what one does, no matter what one thinks, no matter what one is involved with, eventually he's evolving towards Me," this Krsna.
Prabhupada: Yes, that's nice, but...
Indian man: In this evolution, is it a natural evolution that you can teach people, you can guide people, you can show them the path, but the actual progress that one would make towards the supreme knowledge, is that a natural evolution or is it...? Can that be influenced by external teaching?
Prabhupada: No. There is natural, of course...
Indian man: But no one person having no control on it. One may get there sooner than the other, but in reality there may not be any control that one really has on this...
Prabhupada: No, it requires, it requires. Otherwise why Krsna is teaching? Why Krsna's teaching is required?
Indian man: Krsna, in the Gita it says the student comes to the teacher.
Prabhupada: If it is natural, then why it was needed that Krsna would teach Arjuna? It is not natural. You have to select by getting knowledge from superior person. Otherwise there is no meaning of teaching, Krsna's to Arjuna. Arjuna was perplexed. He could not understand whether he should fight or not. So that is the position of everyone. Everyone is perplexed. He requires a guidance like Krsna. Then you can find out the... It is not natural. Natural means up to the animal life it is natural. Then come to the human form of life. Then it is discretion. As you like, you make your choice. If you like Krsna, you can go to Krsna. If you like something else, you can go there. That is your discretion. Everyone has got independence, little independence. Krsna says at the end of Bhagavad-gita, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: [Bg. 18.66] "Just you surrender unto Me, giving up everything." If it is natural, then why He should say, "You should do this"? It is not natural. One has to learn it. Therefore he requires a spiritual master like Krsna or His representative. But he has got the potency to accept it. And because he has got little independence, he can reject it. So it is not natural evolution. You have to accept the principle as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. Why it is said, yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata [Bg. 4.7]? If it is actually evolutionary, then why there is dharmasya glanir? Tadatmanam srjamy aham: "As soon as there is discrepancies in the discharge of real duties, I appear." So it is natural. If we keep ourself in natural life, it is natural. But because we are developed consciousness, we do not keep in natural life. We accept so many unnatural things. Therefore our knowledge becomes covered by unnatural material nature. So that has to be cleared by superior instruction. Ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. Therefore we have to take; voluntarily we have to accept. Just like a man who lives naturally, he never gets disease. But one who lives... Just like you don't find any disease amongst the animals. But amongst the human beings, oh, there are so many medical science, so many things. Why? They live unnaturally. So if you live naturally there is natural evolution, but if you block the natural course, then how you can do it? If you lit fire and let it go, it will grow. But if you pour water in it, how it will grow? So in the human form of life we do not go according to natural intuition. Just like amongst the animals, amongst the birds you'll see. Take the pigeons. You give them some peas—they will eat. But if you give them some particles of meat, they'll not eat because they are living natural life. A tiger, he will not accept. You give him nice foodstuff, prepare your vegetables, he'll not accept. So natural life evolves up to the animal life. But when you come to the human form of life you have got developed consciousness, and instead of using your intelligence and consciousness for further develop naturally, you put unnatural impediments; therefore you are covered. That is called yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati, tadatmanam [Bg. 4.7]. Therefore you require instruction of Krsna.
Guest: One of the major criticisms today of most religions are their irrelevance to tackling the social problems or immediate external problems. You talked about things beyond the self. In the Bhagavad-gita I think you have references such as Arjuna being told not to become attached to the fruit of his actions, but act. Can you give us some idea of, more specific idea, of the principles which would guide one's action while trying to develop Krsna consciousness?
Prabhupada: That principle is stated as the ultimate instruction of Bhagavad-gita, that sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. We have got two kinds of religion. One is called, what is called, pravrtti. Pravrtti means we are inclined, because we have got this material body, we are inclined to material activities. That is called pravrtti-marga. Indriyani parany ahur [Bg. 3.42]. This body means senses. So because so long we are absorbed in this bodily concept of life, then we try to give comforts to the senses, sense gratification. This is one stage. So dharma means occupation. People are engaged in various types of occupational duties for sense gratification. Sometimes in religion they say you'll go to heaven. What is that heaven? That is also sense gratification. You'll live so long years, you'll have so many beautiful wives and so many things, so many things. All flowery language. What is the basic? Sense gratification. That's all. This is one way. Another way is nivrtti-marga. When one has seen perfectly that "This process of sense gratification cannot give me actual happiness," then they began to give it up. Just like the Mayavadi philosophy. They say brahma-satyam jagan mithya: "This world is false." Just like in your country, a section of youngsters, they're disgusted with this materialistic way of life. They have taken to the hippies' path. Why? It does not give satisfaction, but they do not know the right way. They have taken a wrong way, hippies. So this is called accepting and rejecting. So Krsna says, "You have to give up all this nonsense accepting and rejecting. You have to take to Me, then you'll be happy." Sarva-dharman. Sarva-dharman means some religious occupation is for sense gratification and some religious occupation is rejection of this material world. So we have to give up both these, the acceptance and rejection. We have to accept the Krsna's path, Krsna consciousness. "Surrender unto Me." Then we'll be happy.
Guest: I'd like to just digress on that. Arjuna had a very difficult problem with whether to go into combat or not. Today...
Prabhupada: Yes. He accepted Krsna's, Krsna's path, surrender. Krsna wanted that "You must fight." So in the beginning he did not like to fight, but when he surrendered... Krsna asked him, "My dear Arjuna, I have spoken to you everything. Now what you are going to do?" Now here also Krsna is giving independence to Arjuna: "What you are going to do?" Yathecchasi tatha kuru [Bg. 18.63]. "Now whatever you like, you do." He never interferes. And what Arjuna said? Karisye vacanam tava: [Bg. 18.73] "Oh, I shall do what You are saying. Yes." (laughter) This is Krsna consciousness. Karisye vacanam tava. Yes. He changed his decision and he wanted to do as Krsna desired. This is Krsna conscious. He remained the same military man, but he changed his consciousness. He perfected. Arjuna, after learning Krsna consciousness or teachings of Bhagavad-gita, he did not go away from the battlefield, but he sternly fought the fight because he knew that "Krsna wants it. All right." Karisye vacanam. This is Krsna consciousness. So when we take to this conclusion, karisye vacanam tava [Bg. 18.73], "Krsna whatever You want, I shall do," that is perfection.
Guest: Under what conditions would Krsna sanction violence?
Prabhupada: What is that?
Satsvarupa: Under what conditions would Krsna sanction violence?
Prabhupada: Violence? Krsna does not sanction violence, but if there is absolute necessity, then violence is required. Yes. Krsna wanted to mitigate the misunderstanding of two groups of cousin-brothers. So Krsna personally induced, "All right, they are, your brothers are ksatriyas. Ksatriyas, they cannot do any business or take the profession of a brahmana. So you give them five villages. They will be satisfied." And they replied, "Oh, what do You call five villages? I cannot spare even that land which can hold the tip of this needle." Then Krsna says, "You must fight." So Krsna or Krsna's devotees, they are not after fight, but if there is absolute necessity of fight, then they can fight also. Because they are prepared to do anything. Just like in Ramayana also, the same subject matter. Hanuman. Hanuman is a devotee of Lord Ramacandra. So he fought with Ravana not for his personal self, but Rama wanted, that "He has kidnapped the queen of Rama. She must be delivered." And there was fighting. That is the principle. When one does not agree to the religious principle or to the moral principle or any instruction, he is adamant, then there must be fight.
Guest: What are the specific principles that you would use in trying to determine whether it is absolutely necessary to fight? That sounds sort of like "Whenever in doubt, do the right thing." That's a very vague directive. You know that perhaps if somebody comes into your house and threatens your family, then you have to repel them with a certain amount of force, but how would you...
Prabhupada: These instructions, these directions are there in the Vedic literatures. If somebody, it is said if somebody kidnaps your wife, if somebody sets fire in your house, somebody comes to kill you, then he is understood as aggressor and you can kill him immediately. There is no question of nonviolence. These are sastric instructions. All right. So I think we can chant again. You can join. (end)

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