Bhagavad-gita 13.8-12

Bombay, October 3, 1973
So, Krsna, the supreme authority, Supreme Personality of Godhead, He's speaking the process of acquiring knowledge. Jnanam. So, the first beginning of knowledge is humility. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has taught,
Anyone this humbleness and humility is taught everywhere. Without being gentle, humble, how one can be a man of knowledge? But at the present moment the humility is forgotten. Everyone is proud unnecessarily. Although he's nothing, he's proud. So much so that sometimes a rascal says that "I am God." This is the modern civilization. He's so puffed-up, so proud, that one claims to become God, what to speak of other things. No. The first thing is that one must be very humble.
This is the process of Vedic civilization. Vidya-vinaya-sampanne brahmane. One has to become brahmana. Brahmana means vidya-vinaya-sampanna. He must be learned and humble. That is brahmana. Vidya-vinaya-sampanne brahmane gavi hastini. That is the first-class life. Vidya-vinaya-sampanne brahmana. Why brahmana is honored in the society? Because brahmana means vidya-vinaya-sampanne and very humble. Vidya-vinaya-sampanne [Bg. 5.18]. Vidya means. vidya dadati namrata. Vidya means he must be very gentle, namra. That is vidya. Education does not mean unnecessarily to become proud.
Just like we hear that even a great scientist, Sir Isaac Newton, he used to say, "What knowledge I have got? I have simply collected a few grains sand from the big beach." Yes. That is humbleness. So Krsna says that in the process of acquiring knowledge, one must be very humble and meek. This is the first qualification.
This is sattva-guna. but those who are situated in the rajo-guna and tamo-guna, they cannot become humble. That is not possible. Passion and ignorance. So one has to... Knowledge means one has to come to the platform of goodness, sattva-guna, the brahminical qualification. Samo damas titiksa arjavam jnanam vijnanam astikyam brahma-karma svabhava-jam [Bg. 18.42]. Everything is there in the Bhagavad-gita. The qualification. These are the qualification of brahmana. These are the qualification of ksatriya. These are the qualification of vaisyas, these are the qualification of sudras. Sudra has one qualification. What is that? Paricaryatmakam sudra-karma svabhava-jam [Bg. 18.44]. A sudra means he'll be satisfied if he gets one good master, that's all. No other qualification.
So at the present moment a person may be a great technologist, highly educated, but he does not get, if he does not get a good master, good employer, he's nothing. He has no value. He has no independence, he has to accept some service. But a brahmana will never accept anyone's service. No. It is stated that in the sastras, that if there is bad time for a brahmana, he may accept the profession of a ksatriya or even up to vaisya, but never the profession of a sudra, which is dog's business. These are the statements in the sastras.
So this platform of knowledge vidya-vinaya-sampanne, brahmana, one has to become brahmana. Then one becomes humble, meek, and other qualification follows. The material conception of life makes us very eager to receive honor from others. That is material education, rajas tamas. Rajas tamo-guna. What are the symptoms of different modes of material nature, sattva-guna, rajo-guna, tamo-guna. Sattva-guna, goodness. One is satisfied and eager to advance in spiritual knowledge. that is sattva-guna, brahmana's quality. Sattva samo damas titiksa. Titiksa. one has to learn titiksa. Just like here the, even they are foreigners, how much tribulation they have to suffer on account of this temple. These foreigners, they have come here to become devotees and the authorities are prepared to demolish their temple. So one has to tolerate. What can be done?
Even Prahlada Maharaja, he was the son of Hiranyakasipu. The relationship was father and son, but because the son was a devotee, the father was prepared to kill him. This is the system all over the world. Jesus Christ, because he was preaching God consciousness, he was crucified. Although Jesus Christ preached, "Thou shall not kill," unfortunately he was preaching in such a society that he was killed. So these things are there always. The demons, they are always after the devotees, how to harass him, how to give him trouble. Therefore one has to learn humility, otherwise one cannot make progress in Krsna consciousness.
Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu has advised,
If you want to make progress in the matter of chanting the holy name of the Lord, then you have to learn also toleration. So many people will criticize. So many people will be prepared to unnecessarily put hindrances in your path. So one has to learn if one is serious to make progress in knowledge. Actual knowledge is to understand God, that is actual knowledge. Therefore it is called Vedanta. Vedanta. Veda means knowledge and anta means the ultimate. The ultimate knowledge is to know Krsna. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah [Bg. 15.15].
Everyone, there is a class of men, they say that we only believe in the Vedas. What you believe? Do you know Krsna? "No sir. We accept Krsna as a big man, that's all, not as God." That means he does not understand what is Krsna. So what is the use of Vedanta? There are so-called Vedantists, they avoid Krsna. They'll write comments on Bhagavad-gita, avoid Krsna. This is going on. This is going on.
But actual knowledge means to come to the point of knowledge one has to acquire these qualifications. But if one at once takes to Krsna consciousness as it is stated, mam ca vyabhicarini. What is that? Mayi ca ananya-yogena bhaktir avyabhicarini. Bhakti-avyabhicarini. vyabhicarini means mixed with other things. There is karma, jnana, yoga, and bhakti. So there are, everything must be with bhakti; otherwise there is no success. Even if you are a karmi, you must add bhakti. Then you'll be successful. Yat karosi yat juhosi yad asnasi kurusva mad arpanam [Bg. 9.27]. This is karma-yoga. You may be a businessman, you may be engineer, you may be whatever you may be, it doesn't matter. But bhakti must be there. Then you are successful. If you are devoid of bhakti, then it is useless, waste of time. That is the verdict of the sastra.
Sastra says atha pumbhir dvija-srestha. This was spoken by Sri Suta Gosvami in the assembly of great brahmanas and saintly persons who were meeting big congress for one thousand years. Now we hold meeting for eight days or at most fifteen days. Not more than that. But formerly they used to hold meetings, spiritual meetings for one thousand years. Naimisaranya. That Naimisaranya is still existing near Lucknow. Most of you may know. So there was a meeting to be continued for one thousand years. And in that meeting Suta Gosvami was presiding and he said, he addressed all the brahmanas, because spiritual meetings were generally attended by highly educated brahmanas and saintly persons. Some of the ksatriyas also. The vaisyas and sudras, they were not interested. So therefore Suta Gosvami especially addressed the learned brahmanas, atah pumbhir dvija-sresthah. "O, the best of the brahmanas who are present here." Atah pumbhir dvija-sresthah varnasrama-vibhagasah.
The society was in those days varna and asrama. Varna means the four divisions of the society, brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya and sudra. Catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. Similarly, brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa. This is Vedic culture. Varnasrama-vibhagasah.
So Suta Gosvami said that everyone has got his particular duty, varna and asrama. Atha pumbhir dvija-sresthah varnasrama-vibhagasah svanusthitasya dharmasya. Everyone has got duty, but samsiddhir hari-tosanam [SB 1.2.13]. Nobody is concerned whether I am doing something, I am engaged in certain occupation, whether I am getting perfection. Because human life is meant for attaining perfection. And what is that perfection? That also we do not know. The perfection is to get out of this repetition of birth, death, old age and disease. That is perfection. Nobody is serious. They are dying like cats and dogs, never mind. Nobody thinks that my perfection of life the cats and dogs are dying, I'll also die. Why shall I die like cats and dogs? I must know why death is there. I do not want death, why death is, that is humanity. Who wants to die? Nobody wants to die. And actually in modern science they are trying to combat all the material obstacles, but here is the main obstacle. That nobody wants to die but there is death.
So where is the scientific solution of death? Who can say, where is the scientist who can say that no more there will be death, no more there will be disease, no more there will be old age. Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi. That is stated here. This is knowledge. Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanudarsanam. One should...
Everyone is trying his best to mitigate distressed condition of life. Duhkha-nivrtti. Everyone is trying. I am in miserable condition. If I get so much money my miserable condition will be mitigated. So everyone is after money. But that mitigation is temporary. Suppose if you get some money, you get a nice apartment, nice bank balance. Does it mean you have ended your main problems of life, janma-mrtyu, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita? Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanudarsanam [Bg. 13.9]. So they have become so foolish, so degraded, that they do not know what is the meaning of life, what is the problem of life, how to make solution of the problem. Nobody is interested. Simply cats and dogs, that's all. As the cat and dog is working very hard simply for eating, sleeping, and mating, that's all.
The human life is not meant for that purpose. This is the defect of modern civilization. Nayam deho deha-bhajam nrloke kastan kaman arhate vid-bhujam ye [SB 5.5.1]. Vid-bhujam, the hog who eats stool, he's also struggling for the same thing. What is that? Eating, sleeping, mating, and defending, that's all. So is that human life is also simply meant for this purpose? No. Human life is meant for tapo divyam yena suddhyed sattvam [SB 5.5.1]. You have to purify your existence. My existence is now impure. In the Bhagavad-gita we learn, na jayate na mriyate. The living entity, the soul, never takes birth, never dies, but I am subject to birth and death. So this problem does not come. They are simply making adjustment, a temporary problem. That is not human civilization. Vedic civilization means to solve the major problems of life. That is Vedic civilization. Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanudarsanam [Bg. 13.9]. They don't care for these troubles.
Formerly people were very happy so far material conditions were concerned. They had no complaint. Everyone was happy, everyone was getting ample food. And why they shall not get? If the birds, beaststhey are getting their ample food, even up to death. There is no complaint amongst the birds and beast unless one is in the human society. Otherwise in the jungle there are major portion of the animals and birds. They have no complaint. They do not come in the city, that we have this complaint. They are happy, they are getting ample food, life is very happy. They have got their eating, they have got their sleeping, they have got their mates for sex life and they know how to defend. Everything is there. There is no problem. Only in the human society they have created problem because they have no knowledge. The so-called knowledge is useless not unless you can solve the problems [?] what is the meaning of this knowledge? Therefore Krsna says knowledge means one must know this is my real acute miserable condition of life, janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanudarsanam [Bg. 13.9]. This is knowledge.
So to begin with knowledge, Krsna recommends amanitvam, humility. Because the real disease of material life is that he is not humble. He is always proud. Little possession. Svalpa-matrena. Just like the big fish in the ocean. They are deep within the water and if you find out a small lake, little water, you'll find small fishes (makes sound) they're doing there. So there is no depth of knowledge. Simply they're perplexed. Therefore this education should be given, how to become humble. Sisyas te 'ham sadhi mam tvam prapannam [Bg. 2.7]. Tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya [Bg. 4.34]. Pariprasnena sevaya. One has to learn by service, by pranipata, pranipata means surrender. There is no surrender. Nobody is prepared to surrender. "Oh, why shall I surrender? I know everything." Puffed-up unnecessarily. Therefore Krsna says the material disease is that rajas-tamo-bhavah. Tada rajas-tamo-bhavah kama-lobhadayas (ca ye) [SB 1.2.19]. Rajas-tamo-bhavah means, rajo-guna, kama and lobha. Ignorance.
Everyone is thinking if I become greedy, I shall get more. That is not possible. You cannot get a farthing more than what you are destined. But it is ignorance. He's thinking by simply struggling hard I'll get more. The sastra says, "No, don't do it. So far your material condition is concerned, it is already destined with your body. You have got a certain type of body and according to that body you'll get certain amount of pleasure and pains, that is already destined." This is called adrsta, daiva. Your main business is if you want to make success, your life, then save time for advancing in Krsna consciousness. That is proper utilization of life. That does not depend on destiny. That you can do. That you can do. So far other things are.
Therefore sastra says tasyaiva hetoh prayeteta kovido na labhyate yad bhramatam upary adhah [1.5.18]. You have traveled, sometimes up, sometimes down. Up means upper planetary system, down means lower planetary system. Urdhvam gacchanti sattva-sthah [Bg. 14.18]. If you develop sattva-guna then you are promoted to the higher planetary system. Madhye tisthanti rajasah. If you remain in the passion modes of nature then you may remain within this world or few others. And jaghanya-guna-vrtti-stha adho gacchanti tamasah. If you habituate jaghanya-guna-vrtti.
Just like nowadays people are being taught drink wine, eat meat, and do whatever you like. Jaghanya-guna-vrtti-sthah [Bg. 14.18]. So they will go down, animal life. So they have no knowledge. And the leaders, andha yathandhair upaniyamanah [SB 7.5.31]. The leaders are blind and they are leading other blind men. So it is a very dangerous civilization. In spite of being born in India, in spite of having the privilege of studying Bhagavad-gita, they are not taking advantage of it, and they are being misled like cats and dogs. Very regrettable condition.
So the Krsna consciousness movement is the only challenge to this devilish life of the human society. So I request everyone to study this philosophy very carefully and take advantage of it. Thank you very much. (end)

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