Material vs Spiritual Culture.
68/12/13 Los Angeles, Bhagavad-gita 2.40-45.
Prabhupada: Yes, somebody read.
Devotee: "Thus far I have declared to you the analytical knowledge of sankhya philosophy. Now listen to the knowledge of yoga, whereby one works without fruitive result."
Prabhupada: Which one this is reading? Second Chapter?
Devotee: Yes. Text 39.
Devotee: "O son of Prtha, when you act by such intelligence you can free yourself from the bondage of works [Bg. 2.39]." Verse 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 [Bg. 2.40]." Purport: "Activity in Krsna consciousness, or acting for the benefit of Krsna without expectation of sense gratification is the highest transcendental quality of work. Even a small beginning of such activity finds no impediment, nor can that small beginning be lost at any stage. Any work begun..."
Prabhupada: Is the purport going on?
Devotee: Yes. "Any work begun on the material plane has to be done nicely till the end, otherwise the whole attempt becomes a failure. But any work begun in Krsna consciousness has a permanent effect, even though not finished. The performer of such work is therefore not at a loss even if his work in Krsna consciousness is incomplete. One percent done in Krsna consciousness bears permanent results, so that the next beginning is from the point of two percent, whereas in material activity, without one-hundred-percent success there is no profit. There is a nice verse in this connection in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. It says if someone gives up his occupational duty and works in Krsna consciousness and then again falls down on account of not being complete in such activities, still what loss is there on his part? And what can one gain if one performs his material activities very perfectly? Or, as the Christians say, ‘What profiteth a man if he gain the whole world yet suffers the loss of his eternal soul?' Material activities and the results of such actions will end with the body, but work in Krsna consciousness will carry a person again to Krsna consciousness, even after the loss of this body. At least one is sure to have a chance in the next life of being born into human society, either in the family of a great cultured brahmana or else a rich aristocratic family that will give the man a further chance for elevation. That is the unique quality of work done in Krsna consciousness."
Prabhupada: So the reference of Srimad-Bhagavatam... Attention diverted. (aside:) Yes. Yes. Keep it open. Let them come. Yes. There is a verse in Srimad-Bhagavatam in connection with instruction of Narada Muni to Vyasadeva. And Vyasadeva was disciple of Narada Muni, and Vyasadeva compiled so many Vedic literatures, Mahabharata, Puranas, Vedanta-sutra, Upanisads, various types of... Not types. Practically the same Vedas, divided into departmental knowledge for understanding of the common people. Just like Mahabharata. Mahabharata is the history of India. Maha means great, and bharata means India. And you see, Mahabharata is the history of two royal families fighting in the Battle of Kuruksetra and politics and diplomacy. This is the subject matter of Mahabharata. Of course, there are many nice instructions. So this Mahabharata was especially made for the less intelligent class of men. Stri-sudra-dvija-bandhunam trayi na sruti-gocara. Stri means woman, and sudra means ordinary, labor class of men. Stri, sudra, and dvija-bandhu. Dvija-bandhu means, dvija means higher class, twice-born. Sudra means once-born and dvija means twice-born. That means first birth by the father and mother, and the second birth by the Vedic knowledge mother, and spiritual master father. This is called second birth, according to Vedic reformatory procedures. So dvija, dvija-bandhu means a person born in the higher family who are by tradition very cultured, but a son born in that family is not cultured. He is just like sudra, once-born. He has no cultural birth. So they are called dvija-bandhu. (tapping sound -- child playing) (aside:) You have to take him. Dvija-bandhu means born in high family, but has no quality, higher qualities. They are called dvija-bandhu.
So for these classes of men, Mahabharata was composed by Vyasadeva. In this way he compiled so many literatures, but he was not happy. So Narada Muni, his spiritual master, advised him to describe the activities of the Lord. That is Srimad-Bhagavatam. In that connection he says that some way or other, if somebody becomes in connection with Krsna consciousness, or God consciousness, and acts in that spirit, that is never lost. The action of Krsna conscious activities will never be lost. That is the purport of this verse. Just like I am doing very large-scale business in my present body. I am earning... Just like Rockefeller, Ford, in your country. In our country also, Birla. There are many big industrialists earning money like anything, hoarding money. But this money, this acquisition or educational qualification... Suppose in this life you become a great scientist, a great scholar, M.A., Ph.D, D.A.C., LL.D., so many titles, and very good opulence, or very good beautiful body, so many material... These are material acquisitions, to get birth in high family, to become highly educated, highly educated, to become very rich, these are material acquisitions. But Srimad-Bhagavata says that all these acquisitions will be finished as soon as the body is finished. The people, they do not know it. They are thinking that "Whatever I am acquiring in this body, that will go with me, or I shall be happy with these acquisitions." That is called illusion, maya. Because they have no knowledge that "I am spirit soul. I am changing this position of different bodies." Vasamsi jirnani yatha vihaya [Bg. 2.22]. Just like we change our dresses. This knowledge is lacking in the present civilization. They want to make permanent settlement here, but forget that "Any moment, I shall be kicked out of this situation. I shall have to accept another situation." That is the lack of education in the modern civilization. They are accepting something temporary as permanent settlement. This is called illusion.
So in this verse Krsna advises Arjuna, "My dear Arjuna, these Krsna consciousness activities, even if you achieve one percent result... What is that result? Bhakti. Bhaktih paresanubhavo viraktir anyatra syat [SB 11.2.42]. This Krsna consciousness, or bhakti, devotional service, means to develop attachment for Krsna and in the same proportion develop detachment for material sense gratification. Two things cannot go on. Just like here is a glass containing water. If you want to put milk in this glass, then you have to throw away the water. If you think that "I shall keep half water, half milk," that can be done, but both of them becomes diluted or polluted. If you want to keep milk, then you have to throw out the water, and if you want to keep water, then you cannot keep milk. Similarly, bhakti paresanubhavah. This is the test. If you become Krsna conscious, if you are improving in spiritual life, proportionately you'll be detached from materialistic way of life. That is the test. Simply thinking that "I am meditating so much, I am making very good advance," is not. You have to test. The test is that your... Improvement of spiritual life means that you become detached to the materialistic way of life. Bhaktih paresanubhavo viraktir anyatra syat [SB 11.2.42]. The example is... This is one example. Another example is just like if you are hungry. Actually, every man is hungry for spiritual happiness. Therefore they are not satisfied. They are trying to gratify their senses in so many ways, but still they are not satisfied, because actually he is hungry. Just like this child crying. Mother is offering something, but he's still crying. That means he is asking something which the mother cannot understand. Similarly, the dissatisfaction of the modern world means that actually everyone is hankering after spiritual happiness. But nobody is offering. And even if it is offered, they cannot understand. They do not take it. This is the position.
So here in this verse, Krsna says that some way or other if you begin your activities in Krsna consciousness, even one percent, not cent percent, it will never be destroyed. All other things, whatever you acquire in this present life, with the end of this body everything is finished. Your education, your degree, your opulence, your skyscraper building, your bank balance -- everything will remain where you kept and you have to go, even leaving this body also. You have to go alone and to accept another body. But if you cultivate spiritual consciousness or Krsna consciousness, that will go with you. And if you have finished in this life, say, ten percent, then next life you begin eleven percent. The best thing is that why not finish cent percent in this life? Why should we indulge in materialistic way of life, sense gratification? That we have tried in many lives. This is human form of life, and there were many other lives also. We have been in the water, aquatics; we have been in the vegetable kingdom; we have been animals; we have been worms. So many. This is the highest boon. Labdhva su-durlabham idam bahu-sambhavante. After many, many births, millions of births, here is another form of body, human form of body, and especially in the civilized society, in well-to-do society. So just try to utilize it. How to utilize it to... The consciousness, the present consciousness, polluted consciousness should be rectified to Krsna consciousness. Tat-paratvena nirmalam. Nirmalam means purified. If you can purify your consciousness in touch with Krsna or God, that is your success. And if you can execute even certain percentage, that is your permanent asset. It will go with you. Next life also you'll get chance. This is also explained in the Bhagavad-gita. So every sane man, every intelligent man should take advantage of this Krsna consciousness movement, and whatever percentage he can achieve, he should try for it. Yes.
Devotee: Verse 41. "Those who are on this path are resolute in purpose and their aim is one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many-branched. Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas which recommend various fruitive activities for elevation to the heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power and so forth. Being desirous of sense gratification and opulent life, they say that there is nothing wrong in this [Bg. 2.41-3]."
Prabhupada: In the Vedas there are many allurements for elevating oneself to higher standard of life. Just like in this life also the father says, "My dear boy, if you become highly educated, then you'll get a very nice job, you'll get good salary, and you'll have nice apartment, and nice wife, children." Just like these are allurements for enticing one in this materialistic way of life, similarly there are many allurements in the Vedic literatures. People are also, I mean to say, allured to execute such thing, that if you make such and such pious activities, then you get elevated to such and such higher planets and you get such and such high standard of life. These are explained there. But Krsna says that don't be misled by these allurements. He will explain also later on. Abrahma-bhuvanal lokah. Just like people are trying to go to the moon planet. They are trying to go to the moon planet by some airplane or sputnik. Similarly, in the Vedic literature the travel to moon planet is also stated, that if you act in this way, then you get promotion to get your life in the moon planet. There you shall live for ten thousands of years, and you will have soma-rasa beverages, and you'll... So many promises. But Krsna says that "Don't be allured." They are fact. They are not false statement. Actually they are facts, that if you act in such and such way, you can enter in higher planetary system and you have higher standard of life. But this Bhagavad-gita proposition is that don't try to live within this material world anywhere. Anywhere.
There is Vedic instruction also. Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya. Don't remain within this darkness. This material world is darkness. Therefore there is need of sunlight, need of moonlight. Just like just now, night. What is this night? Night means this is the real appearance of this material world. It is dark. And when the sunlight will be visible, we shall think that it is daytime. But actually it is dark. But there is another nature. That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gita. Paras tasmat tu bhavo 'nyah [Bg. 8.20]. Another spiritual nature where there is always illumination. Jyoti. Jyoti means illumination. So Vedic injunction is that don't stay within this dark material world. Just come to the illuminated world. Jyotir gamaya. The same thing Krsna also advises, that don't be allured to stay in any nice planet of this universe. Come out of it. Yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama [Bg. 15.6]. "That is My eternal abode, or the best abode, where going you'll never come back again." So what is that? Go on.
Devotee: Verse 44: "In the minds of those who are too attached to sense enjoyment and material opulence and who are bewildered by such things, the resolute determination for devotional service to the Lord does not take place."
Prabhupada: Yes. Here is very important thing. The exact Sanskrit word is,
samadhau na vidhiyate
In the beginning it has been said that you make your determination that "In this life I shall execute Krsna consciousness in such a way that after leaving this body I enter into the spiritual world and go directly to Goloka Vrndavana, Krsnaloka." This is called vyavasayatmika buddhih. Niscayatmika means determination. But He says that persons who are attached, bhoga, material enjoyment, aisvarya, material opulence: bhogaisvarya-prasaktanam [Bg. 2.44]. Those who are too much attached to material enjoyment and material sense gratification, material opulence, tayapahrta-cetasam, and those who have become bewildered or mad after it, tayapahrta-cetasam, vyavasayatmika buddhih, they cannot have such determination. They will fail to have such determination. Therefore, according to Vedic civilization, there is voluntary renunciation. Just like Maharaja Bharata, he was the emperor of the world, and at the age of twenty-four years he gave up everything. Maharaja Bharata is a very... Long, long ago he appeared. But Lord Buddha, he was also princely order, and he was young man. He also gave up everything, his father's kingdom, everything. That you know because Lord Buddha is known at the present moment.
So this renunciation is recommended. If we simply remain in material opulence and enjoyment, that will be our disqualification for entering into the kingdom of God. Too much attachment, too much increasing of material civilization means that next life is very much dark. Bhogaisvarya. God. Too much attachment, too much increasing of material civilization means that next life is very much dark. Bhogaisvarya-prasaktanam [Bg. 2.44]. Just like the other day I was explaining, raja-putra ciram jiva. "Oh, the son of royal order, you live forever. Because you do not know, next life is very dark for you. Because you do not cultivate any Krsna consciousness. You have got money, and you are enjoying sense enjoyment, and as soon as this body will be finished, no more your control. Then you are completely under the control of material nature, and you'll have to accept a body as you have done in this life, because this life is preparation for the next life." You have got very concrete example. Just like President Kennedy. He was young man, very rich man, and he got the president post with great endeavor, spending so much money. He had his wife and children. But in one moment everything finished. Everything finished.
So we do not know that we are standing on a tottering platform. So however nice arrangement we may make, this will be finished in one moment. That is, we are missing. We are simply sticking to a false platform that "This will save me, this will save me." No. Therefore Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that jada-bidya jato mayara vaibhava. This material advancement of civilization, very nice, very dazzling. Just like when we pass on the street or road of your American cities, it looks so nice. So many lights and so many night-illuminating signboards. But we should always remember that this nice situation is not permanent settlement. Any moment I'll have to give up everything. Everything. So therefore, if one becomes attached to this false platform, illuminating, so-called illuminating, false platform, then his determination to go back to Godhead will not be very much intense. That is being explained. So bhogaisvarya-prasaktanam. What is the English translation? Yes.
Devotee: "In the minds of those who are too attached to sense enjoyment..."
Prabhupada: Yes. Minds of those who are too much attached to the sense enjoyment. And?
Devotee: "...and who are bewildered by such things, the resolute determination for devotional service to the Lord does not take place."
Prabhupada: Yes. They cannot take. Therefore we have to voluntarily accept simple life. Simple life. Just like we are sitting here on the floor. According to your American standard of life, this is not good. Therefore no very rich class of men or high class of men, they do not come to this because we have no sitting place. But actually, what is the difference? If you sit down on the floor or if you sit on a very nice comfortable couch, after all, you are sitting. But to secure a very nice couch, you have to waste your time so much. Your valuable time which you could use for cultivating Krsna consciousness, you'll have to waste for securing a comfortable seat of couch. This is called material civilization. That's all. You are extending the comforts of life, but you do not know that this life is temporary. How long you shall live in this comfort? Your real thing is spirit soul which is eternal. That is also the instruction of Lord Jesus, that after gaining everything, if you lose your own soul, what is the gain? Bhogaisvarya-prasaktanam [Bg. 2.44]. Therefore this is another kind of disqualification for advancing in spiritual consciousness, if one becomes too much attached to these material comforts of life. Therefore according to Vedic civilization, a boy is trained to become brahmacari. Brahmacari. Brahmacari means complete celibacy. No sex life, no amusement. Because just to train him not to be attracted by this material sense enjoyment. Then he'll be able to grasp what is spiritual life. Therefore restriction. But if from the very childhood, in the school, college, the boys and girls are allowed to enjoy sex life, then it is very difficult to understand or to enter into spiritual life. Bhogaisvarya-prasaktanam. If we teach our children simply for sense enjoyment, how they can be spiritually advanced? The result will be confusion. Therefore in your country the hippies are there -- confusion. They have been brought up in material sense enjoyment very nicely, but still, there is confusion, frustration, because he's hankering after something better. So that is spiritual happiness. That is Krsna consciousness. So one has to understand this point and voluntarily he has to accept this Krsna consciousness movement, and then he'll find happiness. This is sure. Those who have taken to it, just ask them, just argue with them, and see actually. This is happiness. Yes.
Devotee: Purport: "Samadhi means fixed mind. The Vedic dictionary, the Nirukti, says ‘When the mind is fixed for understanding the self, this is called samadhi.' Samadhi is never possible for persons interested in material sense enjoyment, nor for those who are bewildered by such..."
Prabhupada: Samadhi. The yoga process is to achieve the stage of samadhi. That means the mind being fixed upon the Supreme. But if our mind is... Nature of mind is always agitated, and if we artificially give impetus to the mind to be more agitated, then where is the question of samadhi? There is no question of samadhi. They'll never be able to concentrate the mind. That is not possible. So in this age no process will be successful. Simply this process, this chanting Hare Krsna. Anyone, it doesn't matter, in whatever condition he is, as soon as he'll hear Hare Krsna, he'll immediately join. His mind will be attracted immediately. Simplest process. Vibration. There is no question of time to practice some breathing exercise, some sitting posture, because these things are not possible in this age. Simply we invite you to come here and simply join this chanting Hare Krsna, and very quickly you'll be spiritually advanced. This is a fact. Otherwise there is no second alternative. Go on.
Devotee: "Samadhi is never possible for persons interested in material sense enjoyment nor for those who are bewildered by such temporary things. They are more or less condemned by the process of material energy." Verse 45: "The Vedas mainly deal with the subject of the three modes of material nature. Rise above these modes, O Arjuna."
Prabhupada: Yes. Traigunya-visaya veda nistraigunyo bhavarjuna [Bg. 2.45]. The exact verse is like that. The whole material world is working under three modes of material nature. The modes of goodness, modes of passion, and modes of ignorance. Those who are acting in the modes of goodness, they are being elevated to higher standard of life. Those who are acting in the modes of passion, they'll remain in the same position as they are now, and those acting in the modes of ignorance, darkness, without any knowledge, they are being degraded in lower grades of life. This is material world. But Krsna is advising Arjuna that either goodness or passion or ignorance, after all, they are activities of this material world. You have to come above, transcend this position of goodness also. So goodness is not qualification for spiritual advancement, but it is helping. If a man is very good man, then it is helping to spiritual life. But that is not the cause. Here the Krsna consciousness movement, this chanting, is directly offering spiritual life. Even one is not in goodness, even one is in the darkest part of the quality of ignorance, still, he can be immediately elevated to the spiritual platform, which is recommended by Krsna, that you have come to the platform above the modes of goodness. So this Krsna consciousness movement is directly offering the spiritual platform which is above the mode of goodness. The quality of goodness will (be) automatically there. Any person who is in Krsna consciousness, his quality of goodness, namely, he does not indulge in illicit sex life, he does not smoke even or take tea or coffee even, he does not eat any forbidden foodstuff, neither he takes part in unnecessary gambling. So good character is immediately there. That is the test. How one is spiritually advanced will be tested how he has acquired all the good qualities. Not that a yogi talking with a cigarette in hand. There is a picture. (laughs) In our Back to Godhead somebody was talking with our representative. He cannot give up smoking even for a moment, chain smoker, and claiming, "I am God, I am spiritually advanced," (laughs) and so many nonsense thing. You see. He's being kicked up by material energy in so many ways, and still he's claiming, "Oh, everyone is God, I am God." God is so cheap thing, you see. And they are satisfied. "I am God." That's all. So this bluffing, these cheating things are going on. And because we are unable to cheat and bluff, nobody cooperates with us. They want to be cheated and bluffed. That is the business. Yes. Go on.
Devotee: "Rise above these modes, O Arjuna. Be transcendental to all of them. Be free from all dualities and from all anxieties for gain and safety, and be established in the self."
Prabhupada: To establish yourself. "Yourself" means you are part and parcel of the Supreme. So just like my hand. Some way or other, if my hand becomes paralyzed, it is not working. And as soon as it is established with this body, then it will work. The nerves and veins will at once work. Similarly, established in self. Because I am part and parcel of the Supreme Self, so my establishment with the Supreme Self means I will be active for Krsna. This is the simple philosophy. As soon as I am active in Krsna consciousness, that means I am established in the self. The same example. This finger, when it is diseased... Just like I am moving my finger very nicely. Because it is established with the whole body. But when it is detached or someway or other diseased, "Oh, I am feeling pain. I am not well." That is the diseased condition. So any person, any living entity, who is not engaged in Krsna consciousness activities, he's detached. So one has to (be) reestablished. That is Krsna consciousness movement. That is also explained in Srimad-Bhagavatam. Muktir hitva anyatha rupam sva-rupena vyavasthitih. Mukti means liberation. What is the liberation? Liberation means, Bhagavata explains, hitva anyatha rupam. Anyatha rupam means a different identification. When one gives up the different identification and is established in his own real identity, that is called mukti. Now our identification is that "I am matter; therefore I am this body; therefore I belong to this country; therefore I am American; therefore I am this, I am that, I am that." You see? This is our diseased condition. So mukti means one has to be released from this wrong identification. And after giving up wrong identification, what is my real identification? Oh, I am, aham brahmasmi, I am the part and parcel of the Supreme. That's it. So if anyone is reestablished in his original constitutional position as part and parcel of the Supreme and engages his energy in that way, he is liberated. This is the definition of liberation. So it is also advised here?
Devotee: Verse 46.
Prabhupada: No, 45.
Devotee: "The Vedas mainly deal with the subject of the three modes of material nature. Rise above these modes, O Arjuna. Be transcendental to all of them. Be free from all dualities and from all anxieties for gain and safety."
Prabhupada: Yes. As soon as we are... This world is of duality. Duality means you cannot understand one thing without understanding the other. Just like light. You have no conception of light without the conception of darkness. This is called duality. Good -- unless you have experienced bad, you cannot understand good. Father -- unless there is a son, there is no meaning of father. Husband -- unless there is wife, there is no meaning of husband. This is called duality. This world is duality. So we have to rise above this dual world and enter into the absolute world. Then there will be happiness. That's all right. Thank you. So any questions?
Guest: Uh, I heard it said that you have perfect enlightenment. If this is true, I'd like to know what does that mean?
Prabhupada: That is Krsna consciousness.
Guest: Well, is everybody who is a devotee of Krsna, initiated, do they all have perfect enlightenment?
Prabhupada: Yes. That I just now explained. That is liberation. I am identified just now with this matter. "I am this body, I belong to this country, I belong to this world." This is illusion. And as soon as I can understand that I belong to none of these, I belong to Krsna, that is enlightenment. Simply changing the understanding. It is not very difficult. But it is difficult one who cannot understand. That is another thing. But if one can understand this fact, then he's immediately enlightened. Just like this light, it is now enlightened. There is illumination. And as soon as the switch is off, immediately darkness. And switch is on, immediately light. So it is not very difficult to understand what is enlightenment. Enlightened means aham brahmasmi. I do not belong to this material world. I belong to the Supreme Spirit. That conviction makes you enlightened. So anyone who has got this conviction, he's enlightened. This is not very difficult.
Guest: Although all of the initiates, everybody who has been initiated into Krsna consciousness...
Prabhupada: So initiation means the beginning. The very word initiation means if you are engaged in some work, just in the beginning, that is called initiation. Initiation is not the end. Initiation means you agree to enter into the world of enlightenment. And if you make progress, then more you make progress, more you become enlightened. Initiation means the beginning. This is the dictionary word meaning, initiation. What is that meaning, Hayagriva? Is that...?
Hayagriva: Yes. Beginning.
Prabhupada: Beginning. If you begin, agree to execute Krsna consciousness, that is called initiation.
Guest: How many other people are there on this planet who have made as much spiritual progress as you have?
Prabhupada: Many. But not many, but there are many also. There is no statistics in my possession. But... The formula is that what is the use of taking statistics how many there are? Why don't you become one of them? (laughter) Why you are wasting time in that way? These are not very intellectual questions. You just try to become enlightened. What is use of who is enlightened or not. You try to be enlightened. That's all. You are going somewhere, purchasing the plane ticket. Do you ask, "How many tickets you have sold?" Huh? What is the use of? You just purchase your ticket and get on the airplane and go. (laughter) Don't waste your valuable time in that way. If you are serious, just purchase ticket and get on the airplane and pass on. That's all. (pause) All right. Chant Hare Krsna. (devotees offer obeisances) Syama dasi, tomorrow morning, while Govinda dasi will come, you will come in my apartment. Yes, chant. (Prabhupada leads kirtana) (end)
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Bhagavad-gita 2.40-45 -- Los Angeles, December 13, 1968