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Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.38-39

Vrndavana, September 30, 1976
Pradyumna: "Furthermore, I have personally heard you promise Draupadi that you would bring forth the head of the killer of her sons. This man is an assassin and murderer of your own family members. Not only that, but he has also dissatisfied his master. He is but the burnt remnants of his family. Kill him immediately."
So Krsna is encouraging Arjuna to kill Asvatthama on so many grounds. First of all, he has killed the boys who were sleeping at night. And another very important point is that atatayi. Atatayi means the enemy aggressor. Unnecessarily one who attacks, he is called atatayi. One who sets fire in your house, one who kidnaps your wife or somebody in the family, and one who gives poison, and they are so many, a list of ascertaining an atatayi. So He described, Krsna described the Asvatthama as atatayi. He's not a brave soldier, so he should be killed. So many faults Krsna found in his behavior. And bhartus ca vipriyam vira. He could not satisfy his master also. Sometimes the servants do something abominable for pleasing the master. But he could not please even the master. He wanted to please Duryodhana, his master, promising him that he would kill all the five brothers, the Pandavas. But instead of killing the Pandavas, he killed their sons. Duryodhana did not like that, because he knew that the whole Kuru family practically was killed. Only the five brothers. And Maharaja Pariksit was in the womb of his mother. They survived. So Duryodhana did not like. Duryodhana, whatever he may be, he was a ksatriya and he fought bravely. So he did not like the Kuru dynasty should be finished. He did not like it. But when he understood that the five sons of Pandavas were also killed, he became very much disappointed because the Kuru dynasty is finished. So he could not satisfy his master. Bhartus ca vipriyam. So whatever he had done, all abominable. Not to the rules and regulations-neither as a brahmana or as a ksatriya. Nor even a brave soldier. "He has done things like a sudra, or less than a sudra, without any religious principle. So he should be killed. There is no excuse. And it is for his good."
In the sastra it is said that one who is a criminal, he should be killed. Therefore in every country, up to date, a murderer is killed, is hanged. That is good for him. If a murderer is killed in this life, punished by the state, government, then his sinful activities and the resultant action is also finished. He's giving his own life. Otherwise, if he escapes, in next life he'll suffer so many troubles. That is, I think they have described in the previous verse. Tad-vadhas tasya hi sreyah. In the verse number 37 it is explained by Krsna that to kill this person, it is for his good. Because he has done so many criminal activities, so by killing him he'll be saved from serious types of sufferings in the next life. Sreya. Tad-vadhas tasya hi sreyo yad-dosad yaty adhah puman. Prayascitta, it is called prayascitta. Prayascitta, in the sastras prayascitta is described. In every religion there is prayascitta, atonement. In Christian religion the prayascitta is also advised. The sinner has to admit that he has committed sin, then he is excused by Christ or God. But not that "Purposefully I'll go on committing sins, and then I shall admit, and I'll go on with this business and I'll be excused." No. That is not. It is quite natural that if you have done something criminal by mistake, then you can be excused by the authorities. But not that because by your admission you were once excused, and you'll go on committing all kinds of sinful activities, and you'll be excused simply by admission. No. That is not possible. The Christians they do like that. On Sunday they go to the church, and they admit their sinful activities of the week, and pay something fine to the priest, and they become free from the sinful activities, reactions. And from Monday, again he begins. And then again on Sunday, he admits.
There was a movement, Moral Re-armament Movement, MRM. So just like we say that by sankirtana one is freed from all sinful reaction, this moral re-armament movement also preached that by your admission you become free from all sinful reaction. But this should not be... Either hari-nama or the Christian method of atonement should not be taken as profession. This is once or twice you can be excused, but not that you take it as a profession. That is great sinful. We have got also nama-aparadha. Dasa-vidha-nama-aparadha-ten kinds of offenses. If you chant Hare Krsna mantra with offenses, then it will not be effective. You must avoid the offenses. You know ten kinds of offenses-guror avajna sruti-sastra-nindanam. There are so many offenses, and one of the offenses is namno balad yasya hi papa-buddhih. He is greatest offender, one who thinks that "By chanting Hare Krsna mantra, I become free from reaction of sinful life. So the whole day I shall go on committing all kinds of sinful activities, and at night or sometime I shall chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna—everything will be finished," this is the greatest sin. Namno balad yasya hi papa-buddhih. He's never excused. He is condemned. Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepts a sinful man like Jagai and Madhai on the condition that he does not commit any more any sinful activities. On this condition. Not that "I have become a Vaisnava. I'm chanting Hare Krsna, so I can go on committing all kinds of sinful activities. There will be no reaction." This kind of conviction is the greatest offense. You should remember. Not like that, the Christian atonement.
So we should be very careful about this, namno balad yasya hi papa-buddhih. Factually, we should not take hari-nama as a matter of atonement or subha-kriya. Subha-kriya. Just like there are many subha-kriya, auspicious activities. We should not take chanting of Hare Krsna mantra as some auspicious activity. It is certainly auspicious, but generally people perform some auspicious activities, subha-kriya, to counteract their impious activities. This should not be done. This is also another offense. You cannot utilize hari-nama for any material purposes. Material purpose is... Just like generally, people go to a guru for benefit of some material purpose. "Sir, I have got some cholic pain within my abdomen. Kindly give me your blessing." The materialistic persons, they are after blessing for some material benefit. They are not after Krsna. That is another offense. Therefore to go to guru or to accept a guru, there should not be any material purpose. Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. One should go to a guru for spiritual advancement of life, not as a fashion. People go to a guru as a fashion. My Guru Maharaja used to say that "Don't make a guru just like you keep a dog, as a fashion." Nowadays it has become a fashion to keep a dog. In the European, American countries it is a compulsory fashion to have a dog. Everyone keeps a dog. And they love dog very much, more than anything. (laughter) So now we are also imitating, because India is imitator. Since the Britishers came here, we have become first-class imitator. When the 1914, the war was going on. So it is understood that in high-court, Calcutta high-court, there is leisure hour, tiffin hour. So all the judges were sitting. So one English judge, he asked Sir Asutosh Mukherji, "Mr. Mukherji, now the Germans are coming, and if so, what you are going to do?" Mr. Mukherji, Sir Asutosh Mukherji, he replied, "Yes, as soon as the Germans will come, we shall offer our respect in this way, 'Come on sir.' " "So you'll not counteract? Why?" "You have taught us to make like this, so we shall do that. Because you have simply taught us this, how to obey your orders. So anyone who will come, we shall do this." The idea is the slave mentality... The Englishmen, in an organized way, they taught the Indians how to become servant of the Englishmen. We have seen. It is Gandhi's movement that he dismantled this idea of white prestige. Otherwise, we were taught like that. So this imitation of Englishmen... Formerly, in our childhood, it was the advancement of civilization if one could imitate the English fashion. That was. So we should not make that a fashion. Guru is not a fashion.
In the Srimad-Bhagavatam, in Bhagavad-gita, in all Vedic literature... Who requires a guru? That is described. Tasmad gurum prapadyeta jijnasuh sreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21]. He requires a guru. Jijnasuh. Athato brahma jijnasa. That is human life. One who is interested in inquiring about Brahman, he requires a guru. One who has no business for understanding Brahman, simply to make a fashion that "I have a guru," this is useless. It has no value. One must be very much inquisitive to understand the spiritual science. He requires a guru. Tasmad gurum prapadyeta jijnasuh [SB 11.3.21]. Jijnasuh means inquisitive.
catur-vidha bhajante mam
janah sukrtino 'rjuna
arto jijnasur artharthi
jnani ca bharatarsabha
[Bg. 7.16]
Jnani jijnasur artah artharthi. The grhasthas, they are arta, distressed. So if he's pious, so in his distressed condition he approaches the Supreme Personality of Godhead, "My Lord, I am very much distressed. Kindly give me Your favor." "Give me." There is "give me." And jijnasuh, jnani, they do not want anything "Give me," but jijnasuh: "Actually, what is God? What is the Absolute Truth?" That is the difference. One is going to God for asking something, and jijnasuh, jnani, is eulogized because they do not ask anything. To ask anything from God is not higher standard of bhakti. Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, na dhanam na janam na sundarim kavitam va jagadisa kamaye [Cc. Antya 20.29, Siksastaka 4]. This is pure devotion. People generally go to Krsna, God, "O God, give us our daily bread." This is not bhakti, but it is piety because he goes to God. Therefore sukrtina. He's not the sinful man. He's pious man. At least, he has approached God. And those who are sinful, they do not approach even. They do not go even in the temple to ask something. They say, "What is this nonsense? We don't require. We shall work hard." Nowadays it is going on. "Why you go to temple? Why you give credit to God for your success? You work hard..." There is a philosophy, karma-mimamsa. It is like that. "You work hard and you get the profit. Why you should give credit to God?" This is going on. They are duskrtina. They do not know that without God's mercy you cannot get anything. Otherwise, simply by working hard, anyone could become a big man? No. That is not possible. Without Krsna's desire, without sanction, it cannot be done. Prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah [Bg. 3.27]. Everyone is under the obligation of nature and karma. One cannot surpass. There are many instances in the sastras.
So we are discussing the point, "Who requires a guru?" If you are actually serious about understanding the spiritual subject matter, brahma-jijnasa... Not this market value. If you are interested about brahma-jijnasa... Just like the merchant association, they inquire, "What is the value of this share? What is the value of this commodity? What is the val...?" No. Not that kind of inquiries. But sreya-uttamam. Jijnasuh sreya-uttamam. There are two kinds of objective: sreya and preya. Preya means immediately sense gratification. Just like a child. Child wants to play because it gives him immediately some sense gratification, satisfaction. He does not like to go to a school or to study or to take lesson. He does not like. That is actually preya (sreya). Preya... That is sreya, future benefit. So the parents, the guardians, engage him for future benefit. "You must take education. Otherwise, in future you'll suffer without education." So this is called sreya. Similarly, our human life is meant for sreya, not for preya. The modern civilization, they are interested in preya: immediate some sense gratification. That is not wanted. Therefore sastra said sreya, not preya. The modern civilization is that "Eat, drink, be merry and enjoy. Do not care for what is future life." That is condemned civilization. We should know that there is future life, there is birth after death, and we must be prepared. As it is advised in the Bhagavad-gita,
So you can achieve this success of life, mad-yajino 'pi yanti mam. There are many kinds of future benefit. Yanti deva-vrata devan. You can be elevated to the higher planetary system. In the heavenly planets you get long duration of life, higher standard of life, that you can get. But that also is not sreya. That is preya. The same material happiness in higher standard. Sreya is mad-yajino 'pi yanti mam. If you practice yajinah, worshiping Krsna as Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji, mad-yajinah [Bg. 18.65], the same thing. If you practice, that is your sreya. Otherwise, anything you do, considering it is very nice, you are being entangled. Yajnarthat karmano 'nyatra loko 'yam karma-bandhanah [Bg. 3.9]. Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat. If you try to advance in devotional service even a little bit, it can save you from the greatest danger. And if you do not do that, if you are entangled, if you are enamored by immediate sense satisfaction, you become karma-bandhana.
Therefore guru is required who can save you from the karma-bandhana process. Karma-mukta. Karma-mukta. That is required. Not karma-bandhana. Karma-mukta. Sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate. If you are trained up to devotional service,
mam ca yo 'vyabhicarena
bhakti-yogena sevate
sa gunan samatityaitan
brahma-bhuyaya kalpate
[Bg. 14.26]
That is sa gunan samatityaitan, that is mukti. Baddha, conditioned, means we are under the three modes of material nature. That is conditioned. And mukti means you are not under the obligation of the three modes of material nature. That is karma-mukta. So Krsna can make you immediately mukta. Aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami. That is Krsna's power. Prabhavisnave namah. He can make the lowest class of men... Kirata-hunandhra-pulinda-pulkasa abhira-sumbha yavanah khasadayah ye 'nye ca papah [SB 2.4.18]. They are considered as the most sinful, less than the sudras, candalas. Kirata-hunandhra-pulinda-pulkasa... Or more sinful, sudhyanti. They can be purified by the mercy, by the power, prabhavisnave namah. Visnu has got so much power. So that power you can have the benefit if you surrender to Visnu. Therefore Krsna personally comes and requests you,
So here is Krsna's direction. You take always Krsna's direction, then that is bhakti, and you remain brahma-bhuyaya kalpate. [Bg. 14.26] You are always immune from the sinful reactions of this material world. It does not mean... You cannot manufacture. Actually you have to follow the orders of Krsna. Just like Arjuna is being advised. You simply follow Krsna. Not that whimsically he was going to punish Asvatthama. Under direction of Krsna. Similarly, in every step of your life, if you take Krsna's direction or His representative's direction, then you are safe.
Thank you very much. (end)

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