Garden Conversation

June 15, 1976, Detroit
(rain falls throughout)
Prabhupada: Just rub your finger. You'll find so many (indistinct). Nobody can get in the (indistinct), huh? (japa) (pause) (peacocks calling) [break] ...far away the peacock?
Hari-sauri: On the other side.
Prabhupada: Within our area? No.
Hari-sauri: He said they stopped. This is Chapter Two, Bhagavad-gita. (reads from Chapter Two, text 1 through 6) You want to go in, Srila Prabhupada?
Prabhupada: Let the rain fall. (laughter)
Hari-sauri: (continues reading; Prabhupada says something and devotees laugh) [break]
na caitad vidmah kataran no gariyo
yad va jayema yadi va no jayeyuh
yan eva hatva na jijivisamas
te 'vasthitah pramukhe dhartarastrah
[Bg. 2.6]
"Nor do we know which is better-conquering them or being conquered by them. The sons of Dhrtarastra, whom if we killed we should not care to live..."
Prabhupada: Disturbing? (laughs) They can come here, that side.
Dhrstadyumna: They were going to guard you, Srila Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: Guard me? Why?
Dhrstadyumna (children come in): From the rain.
Prabhupada: No. It is all right. You sit down. It is fine, you can sit. No, no.
Hari-sauri: Sit over this side.
Jayadvaita: "The sons of Dhrtarastra, whom if we killed we should not care to live, are now standing before us on this battlefield." Arjuna did not know whether he should fight and risk unnecessary violence, although fighting is the duty of the ksatriyas, or whether he should refrain and live by begging. If he did not conquer the enemy, begging would be his only means of subsistence. Nor was there certainty of victory, because either side might emerge victorious. Even if victory awaited them (and their cause was justified), still, if the sons of Dhrtarastra died in battle, it would be very difficult to live in their absence. Under the circumstances, that would be another kind of defeat for them. All these considerations by Arjuna definitely prove that he was not only a great devotee of the Lord but that he was also highly enlightened and had complete control over his mind and senses. His desire to live by begging, although he was born in the royal household, is another sign of detachment. He was truly virtuous, as these qualities, combined with his faith in the words of instruction of Sri Krsna (his spiritual master), indicate. It is concluded that Arjuna was quite fit for liberation. Unless the senses are controlled, there is no chance of elevation to the platform of knowledge, and without knowledge and devotion there is no chance of liberation. Arjuna was competent in all these attributes, over and above his enormous attributes in his material relationships.
Translation: Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of weakness. In this condition I am asking You to tell me clearly what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me.
"By nature's own way the complete system of material activities is a source of perplexity for everyone. In every step there is perplexity, and therefore it behooves one to approach a bona fide spiritual master who can give one proper guidance for executing the purpose of life. All Vedic literatures advise us to approach a bona fide spiritual master to get free from the perplexities of life, which happen without our desire."
Prabhupada: Now you can discuss among yourselves whether you have approached such spiritual master. What is that? This purport?
Jayadvaita: Read again. "Therefore it behooves one to approach a bona fide spiritual master who can give one proper guidance for executing the purpose of life. All Vedic literatures advise us to approach a bona fide spiritual master to get free from the perplexities of life, which happen without our desire."
Prabhupada: So, whether you have approached such spiritual master, that you can discuss. This is the necessity of approaching a spiritual master.
Jayadvaita: Necessity.
Prabhupada: Hmm. It must. Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet [MU 1.2.12].
Jayadvaita: Srotriyam brahma-nistham.
Prabhupada: Hmm. So, whether you have got such spiritual master who can guide you, proper guidance, what is stated there?
Jayadvaita: What is stated next?
Prabhupada: No.
Jayadvaita: Oh, whether we've got such a spiritual master?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Jayadvaita: Oh, yes, because...
Prabhupada: That you have to discuss.
Dhrstadyumna: It says the qualification is that he frees one from all the perplexities of life. So we are practically experiencing that, that by following the instructions of our spiritual master all our perplexities are vanished.
Hari-sauri: Samsara-davanala-lidha-loka **. There's one tape, you describe the very first thing when one follows the instructions of a spiritual master is that he's freed from all different kinds of material difficulties. He immediately feels some relief from material existence. First sign of a bona fide spiritual master.
Prabhupada: Go on reading.
Jayadvaita.: "Material perplexities are like a forest fire that somehow blazes without being set by anyone. Similarly, the world situation is such that perplexities of life automatically appear, without our wanting such confusion. No one wants fire, and yet it takes place and we become perplexed. The Vedic wisdom therefore advises that in order to solve the perplexities of life and to understand the science of the solution, one must approach a bona fide spiritual master who is in the disciplic succession. A person with a bona fide spiritual master is supposed to know everything. One should not therefore remain in material perplexities but should approach a spiritual master. This is the purport of this verse. Who is the man in material perplexities? It is he who does not understand the problems of life. In the Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad the perplexed man is described as follows: yo va etad aksaram gargy aviditvasmal lokat praiti sa krpanah."
Prabhupada: Yad viditva yah prayati sa brahmana, etad avidyat yah prayati sa eva krpanah. Read.
Jayadvaita: " 'He is a miserly man who does not solve the problems of life as a human and who thus quits this world like the cats and dogs, without understanding the science of self-realization.' This human form of life is a most valuable asset for the living entity, who can utilize it for solving the problems of life; therefore, one who does not utilize this opportunity properly is a miser. On the other hand, there is the brahmana..."
Prabhupada: They do not know even what are the problems of life. People are so uneducated, they do not know even what are the problems of life. They do not know. What generally people think the problems of life?
Hari-sauri: How to get more money, how to get more sense gratification. That's the main problem.
Prabhupada: (laughs) Your America has got so much money. Has it solved all the problems? Our Ambarisa Maharaja will answer.
Ambarisa: What is the question, Srila Prabhupada?
Prabhupada: Question is that your forefathers and fathers have got so much money, whether it has solved the problems of life?
Ambarisa: No, it hasn't solved any of their problems. It has multiplied them. (laughter)
Prabhupada: He is the best.... He could have personally owned this palace and lived very luxuriously. He has got the means. But he did not like that. He gave it to the Vaisnavas. So money cannot solve the problems. That is not possible.
Devotee (1): This is a very logical argument of preaching. When you tell them that the standard of happiness is not material opulence, people are willing to accept, because they see they are not becoming more happy.
Prabhupada: They think like that, but that is not the solution of problems. So you discuss on this point.
Dhrstadyumna: They think like that because of false propaganda. So if we counterattack with the right propaganda, people will hear it.
Prabhupada: So why you cannot write propaganda? You should. You are preaching. You must meet them and must convince them that simply getting money is not the solution of the problem. (microphone rattling) That you have to convince.
Jayadvaita: Sometimes they say that it's not to have more and more money, but we have to go to school so that we can get some job, otherwise how will we live? So we tell them that we haven't done anything, for eight years we haven't worked, and we have that, we have (indistinct).
Prabhupada: We are not attending any job.
Jayadvaita: No. (laughs) We're living better than them.
Prabhupada: And still we are living very comfortably.
Dhrstadyumna: Another proof is even when there are austerities, we do not mind to accept it because there is a higher pleasure.
Prabhupada: Yes. We have greater pleasure, that this austerity will please Krsna. So we must do it. Our aim is how to please Krsna. That is our argument. Go on reading.
Jayadvaita: "On the other hand, there is the brahmana, or he who is intelligent enough to utilize this body to solve all the problems of life. The krpanas, or miserly persons, waste their time..."
Prabhupada: The real problem of life is birth, death, old age and disease. They do not understand this. They are so.... Just like animals. Animal does not understand what is birth, death, old age and disease. Real problem is there, but they are so dull-headed that their attention is diverted from the real problem. Temporary problems, they are busy. Just like, one major disease, one is suffering from a major disease. On account of that, he has sometimes headache, sometimes pain here, sometimes so many, minor. So, because we are subjected to meet death, so these minor conditions are there. The real problem is after suffering, suffering, suffering, suffering, when the body is no more able to bear suffering, it dies. Just like one man commits suicide. When he cannot control himself from the suffering, he voluntarily commits suicide. So death is the ultimate suffering. But we do not want suffering. Therefore problem is death. But who is anxious to solve this problem? They are not intelligent even. Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanudarsanam [Bg. 13.9]. They do not know even what are the problems. Hmm?
Jayadvaita: They say that's life. They say that's what life is.
Prabhupada: Life is to die?
Jayadvaita: Yes. They say this is natural.
Prabhupada: So why you are afraid of death?
Dhrstadyumna: Then they say, "I'm not afraid."
Prabhupada: So that's mad. (laughter) Yes, they say like that. Everyone is afraid of death.
Hari-sauri: They say "I don't mind to die. As long as I can just finish up one or two things first, then I don't mind."
Prabhupada: (laughs) Death will wait for your finishing? Death will come, it will not wait. People have become less intelligent, mudha. The general description is given in the Bhagavad-gita: mudha, naradhama. Human intelligence requires to understand these problems, but because they are mudha, and lowest of the human, simply like animals, eat, drink, be merry and enjoy. Naradhama. You do not solve the problems. Simply like animal, dancing. So go on reading.
Jayadvaita: "The krpanas or miserly persons, waste their time in being overly affectionate for family, society, country, etc., in the material conception of life. One is often attached to family life, namely to wife, children and other members, on the basis of 'skin disease.' The krpana thinks that he is able to protect his family members from death; or the krpana thinks that his family or society can save him from the verge of death. Such family attachment can be found even in the lower animals who take care of children also. Being intelligent, Arjuna can understand that his affection for family members and his wish to protect them from death were the causes of his perplexities. Although he could understand that his duty to fight was awaiting him, still, on account of miserly weakness he could not discharge the duties. He is therefore asking Lord Krsna, the supreme spiritual master, to make a definite solution. He offers himself to Krsna as a disciple. He wants to stop friendly talks. Talks between the master and the disciple are serious, and now Arjuna wants to talk very seriously before the recognized spiritual master. Krsna is therefore the original spiritual master of the science of Bhagavad-gita, and Arjuna is the first disciple for understanding the Gita. How Arjuna understands the Bhagavad-gita is stated in the Gita itself. And yet foolish mundane scholars explain that one need not submit to Krsna as a person, but to the unborn within Krsna. There is no difference between Krsna's within and without. And one who has no sense of this understanding is the greatest fool in trying to understand Bhagavad-gita." (continues reading texts purports, 8-12, until the end of the recording.) (end)

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