Bhagavad-gita 2.40
London, September 13, 1973
nehabhikrama-naso 'sti
pratyavayo na vidyate
svalpam apy asya dharmasya
trayate mahato bhayat
[Bg. 2.40]
"In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear."
Prabhupada: So we have explained yesterday, buddhi-yoga. Buddhi-yoga means bhakti-yoga. So, svalpam apy asya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat. Bhakti-yoga, begun, some way or other, it has got great effect. There is story that in the Deity room, a lamp was burning. You know oil lamp has to be watched. Sometimes the wick has to be pushed. So the lamp was almost going to be extinguished. In the meantime a rat came there. He thought that it is something eatable. So he touched with mouth, the wick, and it became pushed. Simply by that action he got salvation. Just try to understand. Because he gave some service to the Deity. So there are many instances. Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat. Krsna consciousness business is so nice that whatever you do sincerely, it will never be lost. Permanent. Either you execute one percent, two percent, fifty percent. If you can finish hundred percent, then next life, sure you are going to Krsna. But even if you are unable to finish the whole course, still, whatever you have done, that is permanent credit. That will never be lost. The similar passage is there in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, while Narada Muni was instructing Vyasadeva for writing Srimad-Bhagavatam. So he said this verse:
tyaktva sva-dharmam caranambujam harer
bhajann apakvo 'tha patet tato yadi
yatra kva vabhadram abhud amusya kim
ko vartha apto 'bhajatam sva-dharmatah
[SB 1.5.17]
Tyaktva sva-dharmam caranambujam hareh. This dharma means according to social and spiritual position. Somebody is brahmacari, somebody is householder, somebody is vanaprastha, somebody is sannyasi, somebody is brahmana, somebody ksatriya, somebody's vaisya, somebody's sudra. This is Vedic division of social and spiritual life. So each position has got different types of occupational duties. These are mentioned in the Bhagavata. Brahmana has got to do: samah damah saucam titiksa. Ksatriya-sauryam viryam yuddhe capalayanam. In this way, there are some prescribed duties. But these are all material considerations. People cannot even follow systematically the material system so that you can live peacefully so long you are in this material world. The modern civilization is so condemned. They do not know even how to live peacefully. If these divisions are there, four divisions: brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, and brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha, it will be very systematic. People will be automatically enlightened. That is real human civilization. If the society, human society, does not at all adopt this system of social life, there cannot be any peace. Still, in India, although it is fallen so much, in the interior village you'll find the social divisions are maintained and they live very peacefully. Very peacefully. Those who have gone into the interior village, they have seen. And everyone can elevate himself to Krsna consciousness. Sva-karmana tam abhyarcya [Bg. 18.46]. It is not that because one is sudra or one is grhastha, vanaprastha, he cannot. No. For Krsna worship, for everyone the door is open. That is explained here. Even if you think that "If I take to Krsna consciousness, join this international movement, I will be deviating from my real duty." So that also you can do. What is your real duty? This is temporary duty. Suppose you are a very nice brahmana or nice ksatriya, nice businessman, nice politician. Your career will be lost if you think, by joining this Krsna consciousness movement, your career will be lost. Don't think like that. It is still profitable. Even if you give up whole career and simply join Krsna consciousness movement, then your life is success. That is being stressed. Svalpam apy asya dharmasya.
So Narada Muni says, tyaktva sva-dharmam. Sva-dharmam means one's prescribed occupational duties. So long we have got this body we have to do something. Without doing something we cannot live. The material world will not allow you, that you cannot do anything and you'll be provided. No. Whatever you may be, you may be President Nixon or ordinary man in the street, everyone has to do something. That is not possible. There is a verse in the Visnu Purana, trtiya-saktir isyate [Cc. Madhya 6.154]. There the situation, material situation, is so stringent, that without working, you cannot live. You'll die. There is an example in the Hitopadesa. Na hi suptasya simhasya pravisanti mukhe mrgah. Suptasya simhasya. Simha means lion. If the lion thinks that "I am so powerful animal, king of the forest. Why shall I work?" Therefore, it is said that if he does not work, then he'll have to starve. Even though he's a lion. Because he may be lion, but if he sleeps, that "I am king. Let me sleep and my food will come automatically in my mouth," that is not possible. This is the example. Very good example. Na hi suptasya simhasya pravisanti mukhe mrgah. A lion is sleeping. If he does not work, he'll also starve. He'll also starve. And what to speak of cats and dogs. So this is not possible. Therefore, there is sva-dharma. Sva-dharma means, you are in brahminical quality, your work is this. You are in martial spirit—one who is intelligent, for him, studying Vedas, understanding the philosophy, preaching for the good of the society, train them, guide them, this is brahmana's business. Brahmana is not going to work in the factory. That is not brahmana's business. But in modern civilization, everyone should go to factory. Never mind whether you are brahmana or sudra or a... This is the mistake. Therefore, if I am not fit for a certain thing and if I am engaged in that business, that will be failure. That will be failure. For a particular type of business, occupation, one must have particular type of brain. So therefore this is division. Not that everyone is of the same type. You cannot find. There is not... Because the world is being conducted by the three modes of nature, you cannot find all men of the same category. There must be intelligent class of men, there must be martial spirit, administrative class of men, there must be business minded men. There must be sudras, they do not know anything, they want to serve only, master. So therefore, scientifically it is divided. Mukha bahu rupadebhyo(?). Just like in your body you find scientifically it is designed by God or Lord Brahma: "This is brain department, this is arms department, this is belly department, this is leg department." All of them required. You cannot avoid any one of them. This is called sva-dharma. One must be fixed up to his own position. That is the real perfect social system.
Now here it is said, tyaktva sva-dharmam. This is material division. The spiritual is different. So far... I am combination of matter and spirit; so far my body is concerned, there is division. But when I come to Krsna consciousness, it is not like that. That is simply for everyone. Either he's externally a brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, American, Indian, black, white, it doesn't matter. That is bodily. When you come to the spiritual platform, that is one. Because spirit is one.
There is..., in the spiritual platform we are one. Then the business is also one—to serve Krsna; that is spiritual.
So when you come to the bhakti platform, that is simply to satisfy Krsna. In the material platform, everyone is to satisfy his own whims. That is a different thing. So if you give up your material activities, tyaktva sva-dharmam caranambujam hareh, and, by sentiment or by canvassing or by seeing that "These people are Krsna conscious people, they are very nice, they are chanting in the street, let me join," somehow or other, if you come in contact, then... (tape is wavy) I think one of our students joined, he was going to business and seeing the chanting, dancing in the street, he immediately joined. Who is that? I think Dhruva?
Devaratha: Devaratha, yes.
Prabhupada: And he joined immediately. So, this is nice. This is nice. Tyaktva sva-dharmamhe was meant for something else, but he joined Krsna consciousness. Tyaktva sva-dharmam caranambujam. All right, you have joined Krsna consciousness movement, that's all right. Execute it nicely, make progress. But not progress—tyaktva sva-dharmam caranambujam harer bhajann apakvo 'tha [SB 1.5.17]. If he could not execute properly, he could not chant sixteen rounds, he could not observe the rules and regulations or for sometimes he could execute and then again, he became slackened. Just like sometimes we see some of our student falls down. So Narada Muni says, bhajann apakvo 'tha. His execution of devotional service could not be completed; somehow or other, it was checked, it was obstructed, and he falls down again in the clutches of maya, falls down. There is possibility. Maya is very strong. Maya is very strong. At any moment we can fall down. Therefore we have to keep ourselves very much vigilant, strong, strong. Strength, the spiritual strength is the chanting Hare Krsna mantra and following the rules and regulations. Then maya cannot. Mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te [Bg. 7.14]. If you keep yourself strictly to the principles of bhakti-yoga, maya's father also will not be able to do anything. No.
So here it is said, bhajann apakvo 'tha patet tato yadi. Yadi, not always. If sometimes one falls down, without... Then, yatra kva va abhadram abhud amusya kim. Then what is the loss there? He's not a loser. Still he's gainer. Because for the time being, whatever he has done sincerely, serving Krsna, that is credited forever, eternally. It will be never lost. Mind that. Do sincerely, and you'll be never lost. Kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati [Bg. 9.31], Krsna says. "My dear Arjuna, you declare it, that none of My devotees will ever be vanquished. I'll give you protection." Aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami [Bg. 18.66]. So do it sincerely. Don't think that "Even if I fall, there is no loss." No, don't think like that. Why I shall fall? I've taken to Krsna's shelter, why shall you give it up? This is my life. But even if you fall down, that is also said, so there is no loss. There is no loss because, suppose if you have executed fifty percent. Fifty percent you could not do. You fall down again. In another place it is also said, yoga-bhrasto 'bhijayate. Sucinam srimatam gehe yoga-bhrasto 'bhijayate [Bg. 6.41]. Yoga-bhrasta: falling down from devotional service, he gets next chance again. He gets birth in very good family, rich family, and pure family, brahmana family, so that again he'll be given chance. "Now, you begin again." These are explained, you'll find. Therefore, Narada Muni says that even if he is, for the time being, failure, then there is no loss. But on the other hand, ko va artha aptah abhajatam sva-dharmatah. Suppose one is very nicely executing his occupational duty, he's a businessman, very routine work, doing business, making profit and everyone appreciates his routine work. Even if he does so, or he is a very nice brahmana, nice ksatriya, so he has done his duty very nicely, but he has not taken to Krsna consciousness. Sastra says, what he has gained? What he has gained? In many places it is confirmed, in Bhagavata, that,
Take to Krsna consciousness means the way how you can please the Supreme Lord. But if by executing your so-called occupational duty of the body, if you do not take care of taking to Krsna consciousness or pleasing the Supreme Lord, then you have no gain. You are simply working for nothing, wasting your time. You are thinking that "I'm doing my duty very nicely. I'm a brahmana, I'm doing my duty." "I am businessman doing my duty," "I'm scientist." "I am..." Actually, you are not doing your duty. Your real duty is to take to Krsna consciousness. That you have forgotten. Therefore Narada Muni says ko va artha aptah abhajatam. One who is not taken to Krsna consciousness, not engaged in devotional—abhajatam. So what does he gain? In another place, the Bhagavata says, srama eva hi kevalam.
Srama eva hi kevalam. One man is doing his duty, his occupational duty as a brahmana, or a ksatriya or a businessman or a student or anyone. He's doing very nicely. But doing all these activities, if he could not awaken his dormant Krsna consciousness, dharmah svanusthitah pumsam visvaksena-kathasu yah. Visvaksena-kathasu yah means just like you have come here to hear about Krsna consciousness. Otherwise, why you have come here? You have come here hearing me or anyone discussing sastra. So this is required. You may do anything as your occupational duty, but the real life is that you have to awaken your dormant Krsna consciousness, become eager to understand about Krsna. That is main business. So therefore, it is said that after doing your duties very nicely, but you have no taste for understanding Krsna, visvaksena... Another name of Krsna is Visvaksa. Kathasu, kathasu means "message." Dharmah svanusthitah pumsam visvaksena-kathasu, notpadayed yadi ratim: [SB 1.2.8] if you do not awaken your attachment for hearing about Krsna, krsna-katha... That is our main business. Caitanya Mahaprabhukrsna-katha. Yare dekha tare kaha 'krsna'-upadesa [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. This is our mission. We have to simply speak about Krsna all over the world. Yare dekha tare kaha 'krsna'-katha, 'krsna'-upadesa. So if one is not interested in krsna-katha, in the topics of Krsna, then sastra says, srama eva hi kevalam. Whatever rightfully or sincerely he's doing on the material bodily concept of life, it is srama eva hi kevalam. Simply he's wasting time. Now it is very difficult to understand this philosophy. If we go to a very nice businessman or politician or scientist, if we say, "Sir, have you got any interest in Krsna consciousness?" "No, why shall I do it? I don't want." Then if I say, "You are wasting your time, sir," will he accept? But this is the position, actually. He's simply wasting his time. Srama eva hi kevalam [SB 1.2.8].
Therefore the conclusion is, try to execute Krsna consciousness somehow or other. Even whatever you have finished, that is your lasting credit. Don't be neglectful. Tyaktva sva-dharmam. Svalpam apy asyathis is the most important line in Krsna consciousness. Svalpam apy asya dharmasya. This occupational duty, Krsna consciousness... There are many examples. Just like Ajamila. Ajamila, it is very nice example in the sastra. Ajamila, the story of Ajamila. He was a son of a brahmana and he was very nicely trained up, brahmacari, and when he was young, he was married also. So he was very faithful to his wife, father, mother, and executing the duties of a brahmana. But one day he went to collect some flowers for worshiping Deity, his father was old, he was helping. So, in the meantime, he saw a sudra woman and man. They were embracing and kissing one another. So he became sexually agitated. There is that possibility. Therefore there is restriction of intermingling of woman and man. Because as soon as one falls a prey to the sex desire, then his whole career may be spoiled. May be spoiled. But if he is strongly in Krsna consciousness, there is no such chance. But this brahmana Ajamila, he saw. Naturally, he was young man, and the woman also played some trick.
So later on he became a victim of that woman. She was a prostitute. And then he forgot his father and mother, his wife, everything, home, everything forgotten. So he became addicted to that prostitute, and to maintain he became a thief, rogue, burglar, drunkard, anything, someway or other bring money, bring money, bring money. You see. So he was doing that. In this way his life was spoiled. And he begot ten children in that prostitute's womb. So the last child... Naturally the last son, the youngest son because very father's pet. So he was taking care of the son. And his name was Narayana. That is the system of Vedic..., children are given..., Narayana dasa. Just like we give name, spiritual name. So when he was old enough, he was going to die out of disease. His so-called prostitute wife neglected. She went away. So the Yamadutas, the servants of the Yamaraja, they came to take him, because he was the greatest sinner, sinful number one. So he has to go to Yamaraja for punishment. So they came and he was very much afraid. He was seeing, one can see vicious, I mean to say, forms of the Yamaraja. So he was crying. So because he was pet to that youngest child Narayana, he thought, "My son, this Narayana can save me." He chanted, "Narayana!" Oh, this "Narayana" immediately gave him consciousness, that "What this Narayana can help me? If Narayana whom in my younger days I worshiped, He can save me." Immediately. Immediately Narayana-sena came here, "Yes." Just see. Svalpam apibecause in the childhood he served Narayana for a few days or few years, he was remembering Narayana, "If that Narayana can save me." So Narayana actually saved him, Narayana. Ante narayana-smrtih [SB 2.1.6]. At the time of death, somehow or other, if you can remember Narayana, Krsna, your life is successful. Therefore, practice, practice, while you are strong, while you are in good life, practice how to remember Narayana, Krsna, always. Therefore Kulasekhara, Maharaja Kulasekhara, he has written his Stotra-mala, very important. In the first stotra he said:
krsna tvadiya-pada-pankaja-panjarantam
adyaiva visatu me manasa-raja-hamsah
prana-prayana-samaye kapha-vata-pittaih
kanthavarodhana-vidhau smaranam kutas te
[MM 33]
He's thinking, "My Lord, Krsna, now I am strong. Kindly give me the chance to die immediately. Give me the chance. Because now I can remember. But if I die in the natural way, when I am too old, it may be that kapha-pitta, because this is the body of tri-dhatuka, kapha, pitta, vayu, so my throat will be choked up by mucus and I may be unconscious, I may not be able to chant at the time of death Your name. So now I am strong, please immediately give me death."
So this is the secret of success. Somehow or other, if you can remember Krsna, ante narayana-smrtih [SB 2.1.6]. Yam yam vapi smaran loke [Bg. 8.6]. This is the way. So there is chance. If we execute Krsna consciousness sincerely, if you execute till it is finished, then it immediately—tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]. If not, even if you have finished certain percentage, still there is chance of perfection, it is such nice thing. Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat.
Thank you very much, Hare Krsna. (end)

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