New York, April 16, 1969
Prabhupada: Srimad-Bhagavatam, Second Canto. Second Canto is not yet published. First Canto is published, our English translation. So, the Maharaja King Pariksit, he was cursed by a brahmana to die within a week. That was the problem. So because he was emperor and... He was assured that he was going to die within a week, so he prepared himself. That is the duty of every human being, to prepare oneself before death. That is the defect of modern civilization. They do not know what is life. They take it very easily, this life, just like animals. "If I can eat nicely, if I can sleep nicely, if I can have sex life nicely, and if I can defend my country or my home nicely, then my business is finished." This is the modern way of civilization. They take account of the small portion of our life. Just like in the cinema film spool, there are hundreds and thousands of pictures, and that makes one complete picture. Similarly, we are passing through the different phases of life. So out of many thousands of pictures within the film spool, if I simply take care of one picture, that is not very intelligent. That is foolishness. If we take, "Oh, this picture is very nice," that's all—no. So we are passing through many phases of life, different dresses. Vasamsi. Bhagavad-gita says, vasamsi jirnani yatha vihaya [Bg. 2.22]. Just like I am putting on this dress. If it is dirty or if it is very old, then I change; I accept another dress. Similarly, this body is also like that. When it is dirty or when it is old enough, not to be used, then we change to another body, and this body we leave. This is the whole instruction of all Vedic literature.
Therefore the activities of this body is not all. And as there are different types of body, as we have come to this body, this status of body, passing through many, many types of abominable body—aquatics, beasts, trees, plants, microbes, reptiles, so many... Repeatedly we have said, 8,400,000's of bodies. So this is an opportunity. This life, this human form of life, is an opportunity to make further progress. It is not that after this human body is finished, then there is no life. This misconception, this misleading philosophy, that after death there is nothing, void, is killing the human civilization. Is killing practically. They do not know "What is my next life?" The next life is there. As there are, you can see so many varieties of planets, so there are lives also, different grades of lives, different standard of life. Take for example the moon planet. What do they know about moon? They are trying to reach there by some mechanical means. That is not possible. Anyway, even if it is possible, one should know what is the standard of life there. That you can get from Vedic literature. There is very vivid description. They are not ordinary human being like us. The scientist says that the temperature is 200 degree less than zero. Even here, in your Western countries, although sometimes the temperature goes down below zero, if it is below ten degree or twenty degrees, you become suffocated. So how you can go there and live in a place where the temperature is below zero degree, 200 degree below the zero? So it is not possible. Even if you go, it is not possible to live there. If you have to live, then you have to dress yourself nicely. Just like when men like us from tropical countries come to your country, we dress... In India, practically there is no dress. You see these pictures, they are without any dress because there is no need of dress. It is tropical country. But in your country you require dress. You cannot go out without dress. You have to take precaution. Similarly, in other planets the atmosphere is different, the standard of living is different, the duration of life is different. There are varieties. Yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr-vratah [Bg. 9.25]. In the Bhagavad-gita you'll find that if you want to go to the higher planets, there is ways and means. So we have discussed this point in our small book Easy Journey to Other Planets. So there is life in other planet, there is standard of living.
Now, in the moon planet we understand the duration of life is ten thousands of years according to our calculation. Scientifically, everything is relative. Just like nowadays, formerly, to come to your country it would take two months from India on the surface. And now the airplane is there, we come within one day, within fifteen hours or twenty hours. So everything is relative. Just like the sputnik. The sputnik surrounded, circumambulated the earth in one hour, twenty-five minutes, three times. That means by the sputnik speed, the three days... To circumambulate the earth three times means three day and night. That means according to our calculation, seventy-two hours. That seventy-two hours was finished in one hour and twenty-five minutes. How? Because the thing is relative. If you accelerate your speed, the whole thing becomes relative. So what is seventy-two hours on this planet, just above this planet, say about a few thousand miles up it becomes one hour twenty-five minutes. Similarly, when we speak of that in other planet the life is ten thousand years, that ten thousand years is in our calculation on this planet. But on their calculation, the same hundred years. Similarly, in the Bhagavad-gita you'll learn, sahasra-yuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmano viduh [Bg. 8.17]. Krsna is instructing Arjuna that our one thousand yugas... One yuga, one aggregate of yuga, according to our, this planet's calculation, it is forty-three hundred thousands of years. So that multiplied by one thousand becomes twelve hours of that planet. So there are different calculation according to different planet, different situation. But there is life. Don't think that this planet is finished, that "Oh, this life is finished." It is simply ignorance. We have to take information from higher authoritative scripture.
So there is life, and we are preparing for the next life. That is real knowledge. So we should not waste our, this valuable life whimsically. That is the instruction of all Vedic literatures. Don't spoil it. Even an ordinary moral instruction by one Canakya Pandita, he says, ayusah ksana eko 'pi na labhyah svarna-kotibhih. Your one moment of your life cannot be returned back even if you are prepared to pay millions of dollars. Today is 16th April, 1969. Now it is about 8 o'clock. The 7 p.m. of 16th April, 1969, is gone. If you want to take it back again and if you are prepared to pay millions of dollars, that 7 p.m., 16th April, 1969, will never come back. That's a fact. That 7 p.m., 16th April, 1969, if you have spoiled, then just imagine how much money you have spoiled, because you cannot get it even in exchange of millions of dollars. Therefore if you have spoiled that point of time without any utility, then you have spent at least many millions of dollars for nothing. That should be our calculation. Ayusah ksana eko 'pi na labhyah svarna-kotibhih sa cen nirarthakam nitih. If that valuable time is spoiled without any benefit, then just imagine how much you are losing every moment. So we should be very careful about our time. Don't spoil time. That is our request. Don't spoil time like animals. They have no responsibility because there is gradation. After this life, they get another life. After this life, they get another life. From aquatics they are promoted to the plant life. From plant life they are promoted to the insect life. From insect life they are promoted to the birds' life. Gradual evolution. They are coming by nature's way. Nature is helping. And nature has helped you to come to this life, to civilized form of life, where you can have education, where you can have nice compartment, apartment, nice food, nice association, nice car, nice city. Because... What is the difference between this nice and, I mean to say, not nice? Because you have got nice intelligence. In this land of America, when the Europeans did not come here to colonize, the Red Indians were there. They could not develop this American land so nicely, nice cities, because they were less intelligent. Now you are intelligent, you have developed it. That means if you have got nice intelligence, you can live nicely. Now what is the limit of that nice intelligence? That limit of nice intelligence is described in the Bhagavad-gita. What is that? Bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate [Bg. 7.19]. After developing, going through many species of life, many intelligent human forms of life by cultivating knowledge, education, when one comes to the limit of education and knowledge, he understands what is God. What is God. That is the limit of. And to understand that knowledge, vidya bhagavatavadhih. The most learned scholars, they have agreed that if you want to achieve knowledge, then you should study Srimad-Bhagavatam. Vidya bhagavatavadhih. Limit of knowledge, limit of education, highest limit of education can be found in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. So this Srimad-Bhagavatam was narrated by Sukadeva Gosvami and it was heard by Maharaja Pariksit. At that time he was the emperor of the world. He was very big emperor. Formerly, at least five thousand years ago, there were not many flags. There was only one flag. Now, with the advancement of civilization and in the name of United Nation, we are simply increasing flags. You see? So we are not increasing our civilization; we are decreasing. Disunited. In the name of United Nation, we are becoming disunited. You see? So this is not actually advancement of civilization. Actually, we have to study, phalena pariciyate. We have to study things by the result, not by propaganda. By false propaganda, if you study something, that is not studied. You have to see the result. Phalena pariciyate.
So the thing is that we should be very careful to utilize our life. This duration of life, it should not be squandered away for nothing, without any profit. Of course, the Western people they are very busy making profit, undoubtedly. Economic development, that's very nice. But economic development is not actual advancement of civilization. Economic development means the material comforts: a better standard of eating, better standard of sleeping, better standard of sex life, and better standard of defending. But we have got another. We are not this body. Better standard of living, sleeping, mating, is meant for this body. But I am not this body. That is my first proposition, that I am not body. I am not this room, apartment. If I simply decorate this room with all my energies, forgetting about myself, then that is not very good intelligence. You decorate your body, decorate your room, decorate your dress—that's all right—but take information of your soul also. Lord Jesus Christ said that if after achieving everything one loses his self, then what does he gain? The same thing is also in the Bhagavata. There is no difference between the instruction of Lord Jesus Christ and Bhagavata, but Bhagavata is very elaborately described. And Lord Jesus Christ gave you in nutshell. Just like he gave you the information of the kingdom of God. Now, what is that kingdom of God, how it is being conducted, what is the situation, that you will find here. That is the difference. So this civilization, this civilized form of life, we should be careful. Just like Maharaja Pariksit is the instance, that he was cursed by a brahmana that he would die within seven days, and he was preparing. He was preparing himself, because "I have to meet death." But we are so forward that we do not think of our death. But death is in... "As sure as death." Everyone has to meet death. And we have to consider what we are preparing for our life after death. That is intelligence. That is intelligence. Not that to be absorbed in simply only this small duration of life, say fifty years, sixty years or hundred years. You are not hundred years or sixty years, fifty years. You are soul. You are eternal. So what is your eternal life? How you can become eternally happy? How you can have eternal life? That is your problem. That is your problem.
So Pariksit Maharaja, therefore, when he was preparing... Because he was emperor, many great sages, saintly persons, many great kings and emperors assembled there, because everyone knew that "He is going to die within seven days." So he had some notice that "My dear sir, you'll die within seven days." But we can die any moment because there is no notice. Even if I stepping down on the street I may die. There may be some accident. Even if we are sitting here, there may be some accident; we may immediately die. So we have no notice. So we should be more careful and cautious than Pariksit Maharaja, who had seven days notice at least, that at least he was not going to die within seven days. So he was preparing. At that time he was asking all saintly persons there that "What is my duty? Now I am going to die. What is my duty?" So in that way... Because he was from the very beginning Krsna conscious and devotee of Krsna, so he also questioned, "Whether I shall simply remember Krsna?"
yac chrotavyam atho japyam
yat kartavyam nrbhih prabho
smartavyam bhajaniyam va
bruhi yad va viparyayam
He said, yac chrotavyam: "Now my time is limited. So what is my duty to hear?" Because our life is sravanam kirtanam. We hear something, we chant something. Maybe our business chanting and hearing or maybe some educational chanting hearing or something else, the whole life is chanting and hearing. Therefore he asking question from Sukadeva Gosvami, yac chrotavyam: "What is to be heard just now, now I'm going to meet death?" Yac chrotavyam japyam: "What shall I meditate upon?" Japyam yat kartavyam, "Or what shall I do now?" Smartavyam, "Or what shall I remember or what shall I worship?" So many things he said. Bruhi yad va viparyayam: "Or you can explain what is my duty." That was his...
So because he inquired about Krsna, therefore the speaker, Sukadeva Gosvami, who was inquired from Pariksit Maharaja, he's first replying,
"My dear king, your question is very superexcellent. Superexcellent." (reads Sanskrit commentary) "You have inquired whether I shall now simply absorb my mind simply for hearing and chanting of Krsna." That was his question. So Sukadeva Gosvami affirms that "This is a very nice inquiry, and your selection is also very nice." Srotavyadisu yah parah. We have got to hear so many things. As soon as we get out of this Krsna temple, many, many friends will ask me so many things, and I'll talk with him so many things about politics, economics, social affairs, this country's position, this, that. Because without chanting and hearing, we cannot live for a moment. Either we shall talk nonsense or we shall talk about business or we talk of sex or talk some this or that, talking and chanting. You talk I hear, and I talk, you hear. That is the business going on everywhere. Now here Sukadeva Gosvami says that "You wanted to hear about Krsna. That is your superexcellent proposal." Variyan esa te prasnah krto loka-hitam nrpa [SB 2.1.1]. "And because you have inquired and I'll have to say something about Krsna, so it is the most beautiful and superexcellent welfare activities for the all people of the world." Loka-hitam. And atmavit-sammatah. And this sort of question and answer is confirmed by persons who are self-realized, atmavit. Atmavit. Atma means soul, or self, and vit means one who knows. So "Your, this proposal, this inquiry, is approved by persons who are self-realized." Atmavit-sammatah pumsam srotavyadisu yah parah. Parah means transcendental. There are many things, many subject matter for hearing, but this subject matter, Krsna, is transcendental.
Then he said,
There are very important words here. Grhesu. Grhesu means at home, and grha-medhinam, grha-medhinam means persons who are simply attached to home life. There are many persons, different grades of persons. Generally, people are very much attached. Why men? Even animals, they are also. Even a tiger, he has got a wife and few cubs. So he's happy there. Grha-medhinam. A serpent, he has got also wife, a few children. Or any animal, dog, cat—the husband and wife and few children. That is everywhere. It is not only in the human society. But the human society, even they are with wife, home, and children, they can talk about Krsna. That is the facility. Otherwise, srotavyadini rajendra nrnam santi sahasrasah [SB 2.1.2]. There are thousands and thousands of subject matter for talking. Just like you take a newspaper in the morning. In your country, a bunch of paper. You see. Although you cannot read, you must get one newspaper. You'll read only one column or one page, but there are thousands of pages. You see? You cannot finish even in one month such reading. (laughter) But what are those containing? The same thing—talkings about eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. That's all. In different pictures, in different set up, but the subject matter is eating, sleeping, mating and defending. That's all. So those who are simply attached to this materialistic way of life, their subject matter of hearing and chanting are many, many thousands forms. There is no limit. Why? Why they do it? They have no attraction for these things, but still, they engage themselves in such topics. Just like the same example. Actually, that newspaper tidings, whatever is brought before you, you are not interested, but you purchase one newspaper. Thousands of newspapers are selling. I see when I travel in the street the people are all engaged in reading newspapers. So this is a fact, that every man is engaged in thousands of topics of hearing and chanting in different ways. Apasyatam atma-tattvam [SB 2.1.2]. But they are blind about their own self. They are spending so much time in different topics, but they are blind about their self realization. Apasyatam atma-tattvam grhesu grha-medhinam [SB 2.1.2]. Grha-medhinam, because they have made their life only to engage in these four things, eating, sleeping, mating and defending. In another place also, Prahlada Maharaja says, matir na krsne paratah svato va mitho 'bhipadyeta grha-vratanam. The same grha-vratanam, who has made their life, the aim of their life, simply for these things, eating, sleeping, mating and defending, for them, matir na krsne, they cannot come to Krsna consciousness. Matir na krsne paratah svato va. Parato means even after hearing instruction from some saintly person or from books, they cannot take to Krsna consciousness. Matir na krsne paratah... Paratah means by instruction of others, and svato means personally cultivating knowledge. Paratah svato va. Mitho va. Mitho va means assembly, just like we are talking about this in assembly. So Prahlada Maharaja says that matir na krsne paratah svato va mitho 'bhipadyeta grha-vratanam. Grha-vratanam, those who have fixed up their aim of life simply to enjoy these four things, eating, sleeping, mating and defending, they cannot be attracted by this Krsna consciousness movement. And Sukadeva Gosvami also confirms here that apasyatam atma-tattvam: [SB 2.1.2] because they do not know what is the goal of his soul. That they do not know. Apasyatam atma-tattvam. And because they have not engaged themselves in the spiritual culture or cultivation of self-realization or advancement of the self, their business is simply on these four principles of life, eating, sleeping, mating, and defending.
So how they are spending, spoiling their life? That is stated by Sukadeva Gosvami: nidraya hriyate naktam. We have got at our disposal twenty-four hours, say, twelve hours night and twelve hours day. So how these twenty-four hours is being spoiled by persons who are simply interested in sleeping, eating, mating and defending? So Sukadeva Gosvami says, nidraya hriyate naktam. At night they sleep. Nidraya. Nidraya means by sleeping; hriyate, spoiling. Spoiling the time of night by sleeping. Nidraya hriyate naktam vyavayena ca va [SB 2.1.3]. Or by sex life. Two businesses. One has no opportunity... One who has no sex opportunity, he's sleeping. Or enjoying sex life. Then what about day? Diva carthehaya rajan. And the whole day is being spoiled, "Where is money? Where is money? Where is money?" All right, you take money. Here is money. He gets, say, one thousand dollar, earns the whole day. Then? Diva carthehaya rajan kutumba-bharanena va [SB 2.1.3]. Then shopping. As soon as you get money there are nice shops, all advertising, "Come here. Take this garment. Take this. Take that. Take that car." Always advertisement. Anyone who has got his money in the pocket, he's immediately spending. So for earning money and to spend them or to sleep at night or to enjoy sex life at night. So this is the engagement of a materialistic man throughout the whole day and night. So dehapatya-kalatradisv atma-sainyesv asatsv api [SB 2.1.4]. But they are so fool that dehapatya. This body and these children and this wife, this home, dehapatya-kala..., atma-sainyesu. Just like one feels very confident when he has got a great number of soldiers. Suppose we are fighting somewhere. If I have got a nice arrangement for defensive measure, then I feel confident. Similarly, we are thinking that "This home, this wife, this children, this society, this friendship, this love, this nation, that will give me protection." Tesam pramatto nidhanam pasyann api na pasyati. But they are so mad that although they are seeing that others' children are dying, others' wife is dying, one, another friend is dying, other nation is being defeated, other social custom or social friendship or any attachment, they are being spoiled, they are attached to all these things only. Dehapatya-kalatradisu [SB 2.1.4]. They have no other information.
But you are not like that. You are, from the beginning of your life, you are given advantage by your parents, by your family, to develop Krsna consciousness. Because Maharaja Pariksit, when he was in the womb of his mother the other side of the Kuru dynasty, they released atom bomb to kill him, and Krsna saved him. And after his birth, the boy was playing with Krsna statue. So he is from the very beginning Krsna conscious. So Sukadeva Gosvami is advising, "My dear king, you are not this type of man, because as soon as you have heard you are sure that you are going to die, immediately you have come out from your home and all attachment of your kingdom, wife and children. So your business is," he advises, tasmad bharata sarvatma bhagavan isvaro harih. "Therefore you have asked me what is your duty. Now I give you to understand that this is your duty." What is that? "Bharata..." He's addressing Maharaja Pariksit as Bharata. Bharata means he belongs to the dynasty of Maharaja Bharata, under whose name this planet was known as Bharatavarsa. So he's also descendant of that dynasty. He's addressed as Bharata. Tasmad. Tasmad means "therefore." "My dear king, you are descendant of Bharata Maharaja." Sarvatma bhagavan isvaro harih. "The Lord, Hari, or Krsna, Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead," srotavyah, "you simply hear about Him," srotavyah kirtitavyas ca, "and also chant about Him," srotavyah kirtitavyas ca and smartavyas, "and remember always."
So here is the beginning of Krsna consciousness movement, simply to hear and chant about Krsna and remember Him always. Then you are safe. You have nothing to be disturbed. Your life is safe. Your next life is assured, very good life. And it is very simple. Simply chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Thank you very much. (devotees offer obeisances) All right, chant, or you want to ask me any question about this? Yes.
Devotee: Prabhupada, Maharaja Pariksit was a great devotee of Krsna from his birth. So is he actually in need of these talks by Sukadeva, or is this for the benefit of others?
Prabhupada: Yes. You never think that you have become very stalwart, you do not need any spiritual master's instruction. Don't think that way. Then you are spoiled. You should always think that you are nothing. Even you are very much advanced. Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu said that "My spiritual master saw Me a great fool [Cc. Adi 7.71]." You see? So we should remain always a fool. We should never think that we have advanced. Then we can advance. Then we can advance. And as soon as we think, "Oh, I have advanced now. Nobody has to instruct me. Now I shall..." That's not good.
Devotee: Wasn't that the case with Arjuna?
Prabhupada: Everyone. We should always be prepared to take instruction from the authorities. We should never think that we have become perfect. Although you are perfect. Trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna. One should be very humble, meek, and always think that "I am nothing." Just like the author of Caitanya-caritamrta, such a great, stalwart man, such a great devotee. Nobody has produced such literature as Caitanya-caritamrta. He is presenting himself that "I am lighter than the worm in the stool." Purisera kita haite muni se laghistha [Cc. Adi 5.205]. Puris means stool and kita means worm. So "I am lower than the worm in the stool. Anyone who takes my name, all his pious activities immediately becomes lost." In this way he is presenting himself. That does not mean that he's actually so, but that is the attitude of a devotee. He's always very meek and humble. And the opposite side is, "I am God. Now finish all business." You see? So this maya is very strong. He's (She's) always enticing me, "Oh, you are so great, so big, so... You have nothing to learn. Finish all..." This is maya's instruction. But we should always be very humble, meek, and we should know always that "What I know? I do not know anything." The knowledge is unlimited. God is unlimited. And my position is very minute, fractional, infinitesimal. What I can accommodate? I shall go on. I shall go on. Remain. Gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah [Cc. Madhya 13.80]. We shall always try to remain servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of the... Hundred times servant. Then it will be all right. The more you become humble, meek, the more you advance. That is real advancement.
Jayadvaita: If we're so much puffed up by our previous practice, how can we develop...
Prabhupada: That is material life. We are falsely puffed up. Don't you see? Every... Majority of the persons, they'll say, "Oh, what is God? What is God?" The scientists, as soon as you say... Any foundation you approach, "Sir, can you give us some money for spreading this Krsna...?" "No. What is this?" You see? They have practically forgotten what is God. So anyway, we don't want many men. If there is one man to understand about this science of God, Krsna consciousness, that is sufficient. He can deliver many men. You see. Chant always Hare Krsna, remain humble, meek, pray to Krsna, "Please save me," then it is very nice. You should always remain. (child crying) [break] (fire sacrifice?) Yes, everyone, take, those who are to be... Chant, always chant Hare Krsna. (devotees chant japa) That's all right. Now wash. Wash your hand. You should see how I've done it. Yes. You should be intelligent. That's all right. Once wash your hand.
Birbhadra: Like this.
Jayadvaita: Once more?
Prabhupada: Yes. You have not seen it. You should be intelligent enough. Just see everyone. One, two, three. (sips) Now again. That's all. Finish. Hare Krsna. (japa) That's it. Do everyone like that. Do. (kirtana) (Prabhupada several times says, "Chant loudly. Loudly.") (kirtana) [break] Prabhu kahe tomara dui-bhai prayage rupa anurag vrndavana (?). So Lord Caitanya informed Sanatana Gosvami that "Your two other brothers, I met them at Prayaga, and they have started for Vrndavana." Lord Caitanya deputed this Sanatana Gosvami... (end)
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