Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 20.104

New York, July 10, 1976
Prabhupada: There is no signboard? Why? All right, go on.
Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.) "Translation: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, 'Lord Krsna has bestowed His full mercy upon you so that all these things are known to you. For you, the threefold miseries certainly do not exist.' "
So Sanatana Gosvami's first question was, ke ami, kene amaya jare tapa-traya apani kaha prabhu kisera hita haya. Tapa-traya, we have explained several times that there are three kinds of miserable conditions: pertaining to the body; pertaining to the mind; on account of harassment by other living entities and by natural disturbances. There are three kinds of miserable conditions within this material world. But when one takes shelter of spiritual master and seriously engages himself in devotional service, he has no more any miserable condition. The miserable condition means... It is a question of understanding. The beginning of spiritual life is to understand that "I am not this body." That is the beginning. So if I am properly trained up to understand that "I am not this body," then where is my tapa-traya, miserable condition? Because miserable condition is due to this body. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said that matra-sparsas tu kaunteya sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah [Bg. 2.14]. We feel sometimes cold, sometimes warm. What is the reason? The reason is on account of the body. Matra-sparsas. The water is the same, but according to the seasonal changes the water is sometimes very pleasing and sometimes it is not pleasing. So according to the seasonal changes...The water does not change its chemical compound, but these seasonal changes, my body becomes susceptible to the condition. And therefore the same water sometimes gives me pleasure and sometimes gives me distress.
So when one understands that "I am not this body," he is not very much affected. Narottama dasa Thakura says, deha-smrti nahi yara, samsara-bandhana kahan tara. Deha-smrti: it is simply to understand. Just like I have given several times this example: you are in a very nice car, Cadillac, and you are very proud of it, and if by chance the car is by accident broken then your heart breaks. Why? You are not the car. But because your thoughts are absorbed in the car, that "This is my car," therefore your heart becomes broken. Actually you have nothing to do with the car. Even the car is broken into pieces, you are not affected. But because I have got affection for the car, therefore I am... So this affection can be withdrawn by cultivation of knowledge. That I am not this car, it is a fact, but on account of my ignorance and attachment I am thinking, "Now I am finished because my car is broken." It is simple truth. Similarly those who are too much absorbed in the thought that "I am this body," their sufferings are more on account of this misconception that "I am this body."
Therefore in the Bhagavad-gita the first lesson is, Krsna began the lessons of Bhagavad-gita that asocyan anvasocas tvam prajna-vadams ca bhasase: [Bg. 2.11] "My dear Arjuna, you are talking like a very learned man, but you are lamenting on a subject matter which has nothing to do with you." Asocyan anvasocas tvam prajna-vadams ca bhasase. Here in this material world we are advanced in so-called civilization, but we are very much attached to this body. This is misconception. This is called illusion. This is, the dog is also thinking like that: "I am this body." So where is the difference? If the dog thinks, "I am this body," "I am Indian..." I think, "I am Indian"; Americans thinks he is... So where is the difference between the dog and me? There is no difference. Simply by dressing nicely... If you dress a dog very nicely, does it mean that he becomes a human being? A dressed dog, that's all. Dog dancing. So sastra says that if one is still in the bodily concepts of life, then he's no better than animal. Yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke [SB 10.84.13]. Tri-dhatuke. This body is made of, according to Ayurvedic knowledge, it is body development of three dhatus: kapha, pitta, vayu. The vayu is there, air. It is very scientific. Whatever we are eating, it is becoming secretion. Then by vayu... When there is less ventilation, in old age, the vayu becomes slow, and therefore so many diseases overcome. This massaging means just to help the air within the body to ventilate. So it is actually made of vayu-kapha, pitta, vayu. The vayu is making the secretion dried up and so on, so on.
So we are not this kapha pitta vayu. We are not this skin, bone, blood or whatever it may be. You analyze it. I am not this. But life is not there. They are claiming that life is chemical composition, but try each and every part of this body and chemical composition. First of all take this breathing. What is this breathing? Breathing is air. So air, that is also chemical composition: hydrogen, oxygen, ether. (?) So that is chemical composition, or air. So there is no question of chemical combining. Air you can sufficiently have. You are making airtight so many things. So just put some air within the body and by artificial way let it be blowing like the bellows. The bellow also breathes like that. And will life come? No. It is not possible. Similarly, take every one item, take the breathing, take the muscles, take the blood, take the urine, take the stool, take the bone, and analyze it very carefully, part to part, and combine them all together. You have got scientist: bring life. No. That is not possible. That is not possible.
So therefore it is misconception that life is chemical composition. No. Chemical composition is this body, not the soul. But they do not know; they are speculating in darkness. Therefore Krsna comes to give you knowledge that "You rascal, you are thinking of this body, yourself. No, it is not that." Asmin dehe. Dehino 'smin yatha dehe kaumaram... [Bg. 2.13]. You are living within this body. Under certain conditions according to your karma, you have been allowed to live in this body, and if your karma improves, then you'll be allowed to live in a better body, in the demigod. Or if your karma is abominable, then you'll be degraded to the lower body. Just like you pay... According to your payment you'll get a certain type of apartment. Everyone cannot live in a first-class apartment, because he cannot pay. Similarly, this body is also like apartment. According to your capacity of paying the rent or the price you get a certain type of... Karanam guna-sango 'sya sad-asad-yoni-janmasu [Bg. 13.22]. This is going on. We are not this apartment, we are the occupier of the apartment. That is real knowledge. There are two persons: one is the occupier and one is the proprietor. We have got practical knowledge.
So Krsna says clearly that,
In the Bhagavad-gita you'll find this knowledge, ksetra-ksetrajnah. Krsna says that "This body is called ksetra." Arjuna inquired from Krsna "What is ksetra, what is ksetrajnah, what is jnana, and what is subject matter of jnana?" So Krsna answered that ksetra means this body, and ksetrajnah means one who knows that "This is my body." He is ksetrajnah. You study your own body. You study your finger, you'll never say "I finger." "My finger." Nobody says. Even a small child, you ask him, "What is this?" He'll say, "My finger." He'll never say, "I finger." I am not finger. I'm not this. So one who knows that this body is mine, that is ksetra, ah, ksetrajnah. And the body is ksetra. Ksetra means the field of activities. We have got this body, field of activities. We are very much proud of civilized... But subject matter is the same. The dog is thinking, "I am this body." He is jumping with four legs, and you are jumping with four wheels, that's all. Because the knowledge is the same, that "I am this body." There is no improvement. So we are thinking that "Dog is running on the street without any car, and we have got a nice car we are running, so therefore we are civilized." No. This is not civilization. This is the same civilization as the dog and cat has got. Sa eva go-kharah [SB 10.84.13].
Real civilization is athato brahma jijnasa. That is, Sanatana Gosvami, he is asking this question, ke ami kene amaya, jare tapa-traya. This is real question: "What I am?" So Sanatana Gosvami's question is being answered by Caitanya Mahaprabhu, that "Because you have this inquiry, this is the beginning of human life." So if one is little inquisitive to know what I am, then his real life begins. And if he is kept in the darkness and he remains in the darkness, that "I am this body," there is no value of so-called civilization, education, nothing. It is a very important question, ke ami kene amaya. One must be inquisitive. Athato brahma jijnasa. He must be conscious that "I do not want all these things, miserable condition of life, and they are enforced upon me. I cannot check them; they are coming. No, there must be somebody superior who's law is being forced." That is the factor. That is religion. Religion means to find out the supreme controller who is forcing everything. That is religion. That is stated in the dictionary. Religion is not some sentiment, some ritualistic ceremony. No. This inquiry about the supreme controller, that's a fact. We see in every step there is a supreme controller, and we are foolishly declaring that we are independent. This is called foolishness. So real religion means to come out from this foolish conception of life, that "There is no controller. We are everything. Whatever we like, you can do. There is no life after death, and there is no life in other planets..." These are all ignorance. Simply fool's paradise. It has no meaning.
So Krsna consciousness movement means to give people right knowledge. Don't think that it is a sentimental so-called religious movement. But you come to the right conclusion to the spiritual platform by this easiest method introduced by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Chant the holy name of the Lord and your... Because misunderstanding means because we have so many dirty things accumulated on the heart for many, many lives. Beginning from aquatics, then plant life, the trees' life, the insect life, in this way, now we have come a life of enlightenment. Athato brahma jijnasa. Now we should inquire. That is, Sanatana Gosvami is teaching us that go to the proper spiritual master. He has come. He is not ordinary man, he is minister, so he cannot go to a cheater, to a bluffer. He has selected the right person, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
So we have to go to a person who is as good as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. As good... How one can become Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu? He is God. How another man can become as good as Caitanya Mahaprabhu? Then he is also God? No. He doesn't require to be God, and neither he can ever become God. That is false. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's equal person means one who speaks the exactly what Caitanya Mahaprabhu speaks. That makes him equal. He doesn't manufacture. If you simply repeat what Krsna says or Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, then you become equal to me. Equal to me? That is guru. Guru means who is equal. Saksad dharitvena samasta-sastrair uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih **. Why guru is accepted as God Himself? Does it mean Mayavada philosophy? No. This is not Mayavada. Because he is most confidential servant of God—kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasyatherefore he's as good as God. He is very, very dear to God. Why? Because he does not speak anything nonsense what his master does not speak, that's all. That is the qualification. Still, "No, I see that his son addresses him 'father.' He is the father, considering him as ordinary man. And still he's as good as God?" Yes. Still he's as good as God. Why? Because he does not speak anything nonsense except what he has heard from God. That is the qualification. In this way, if we study Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, and... Of course, Caitanya-caritamrta is the higher study. Still we have got all these books, very exalted, authorized books, Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Caitanya-caritamrta, Nectar of Devotion. So we request, especially... Of course, I am pleased that these countrymen of this American country, they are taking our books, reading. So gradually they will understand. But take real knowledge. Don't be misled by bluffers who have no authority to speak. And to cheat you... Because you are wanting, hankering after something, so so many bluffers, cheaters, they come and cheat you. Don't be cheated. Here is authorized literature.
Read them, be enlightened, and make your life successful.
Thank you very much. (end)

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