Prabhupāda: All glories to the assembled devotees. All glories to the assembled devotees. Now, spiritual consciousness, and to continue it… Simple theoretical knowledge that “I am consciousness; I am not this body,” anything, simple theoretical knowledge, cannot help us. [aside:] You can put on this light. Unless… Just like a person. He studied medical science or law, anything, any technical science. He gets all theoretical knowledge. But if he does not practice, then that knowledge will gradually subside. You see? Similarly, that “I am not this body, but I am that pure consciousness,” that is already analyzed in various ways. Now, we are in practical life. Now, if we say that “I am not this body,” so what is the use of working for this body? The whole world is moving under the bodily conception of life. Because I am born in this land, my body is born out of this land, American land, therefore I am thinking “American.” Because I am born in India, therefore I am thinking “Indian.” Because I am born of a certain family, therefore I am identifying myself with that family. Because my father has given me some name, so I am identifying with that name. So my position is that I am all around surrounded by this bodily conception of life.
Now, from studying Bhagavad-gītā or deeply thinking over the matter, I come to understand that I am not this body. That is settled. That’s all right. But actually I am working on bodily plane. This adjustment is required, that yes, you, for the present moment, because you are entangled or enwrapped within this, encaged within this body, so you cannot say that “I will work without this body.” But you can work in such a way that even without this body, even with this body you can work in your spiritual platform. Although I am in this bodily conception of life, still, I can work from the spiritual platform. That technical knowledge is instructed by Lord Kṛṣṇa to Arjuna, that “You are not this body, but you have to work at the same time.” Then how? Now, here is the formula: yoga-sthaḥ kuru karmāṇi. Yoga-sthaḥ. Yoga-sthaḥ means that you remain in spiritual consciousness, but at the same time, you go on with your usual work. You remain in spiritual consciousness and go on with your work. It is very difficult? I am working with bodily conception of life. How I can be situated in spiritual conception of life? So, this techniques is… saṅgaṁ tyaktvā dhanañjaya. Saṅgaṁ tyaktvā dhanañjaya. Without being touched with bodily conception. And how it can be done? Siddhy-asiddhyoḥ samo bhūtvā samatvaṁ yoga ucyate. That neutrality will be that…
In the former verse it has been already explained that “You have right to work but not for the result. Don’t be cause of the effect of your result. Then you will be bound up.” We are being bound up by reaction of every work. It is just like this world is so situated… Just you know that a sound vibration… Practically, nowadays everyone knows it, that any sound vibrated, it, within a second it takes round all over the world seven times. It is so… The arrangement is so. Just like in a pond if you drop a stone, the circle, the circle begins to enlarge, enlarge, enlarge, enlarge, enlarge, and so similarly, we catch the radio vibration. You know there is numbers. Under such and such vibration, you can catch the sound. So the whole arrangement is like that. Now, if we work even in that arrangement, yoga-sthaḥ, being situated in my spiritual plane, then that will reach to the spiritual sky by enlargement of the circle, enlargement of the circle. I can do work here. You will find in the Bhagavad-gītā that the Lord says that patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati:“Anyone who offers in devotion patraṁ puṣpam, a little flower, a little, small leaf, a little water, I accept them. Because it is offered to Me in devotion, therefore I accept them. I take them in My hand.” But people may ask question that “Where is the hand? Where is the hand of God?” He says that “I take.” “I take” means “I take it in my hand.” Without hand there is no question of taking. Therefore Vedic hymn says that apāṇi-pādo javano grahītā: “The Lord has no legs, no hands, but still, He can walk more than the speed of the air, more than the speed of the mind, and He can accept whatever we offer. But He has no hand; He has no leg.” So this means that He has no hand, He has no leg, like our limited measured hand or leg. He can stretch His hand anywhere. And similarly, He can stretch, He can hear, from anywhere. That is the prerogative of the Supreme Lord.
I have given you several times the example that the sun is far, far away from us. Still, he can distribute his heat and light to us. So if we work with God consciousness, although we are here in this platform, material platform, that work is admitted by the Supreme Lord. That is called yoga-sthaḥ. Yoga-sthaḥ… Yoga means keeping touch with the Supreme. That is called yoga. There are different kinds of yoga mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā, especially jñāna-yoga, karma-yoga, and bhakti-yoga. And within jñāna-yoga there are many other yogas—dhyāna-yoga, haṭha-yoga, so many things. Now, here it is said that yoga-sthaḥ kuru karmāṇi: “You be situated in your yoga or in meditation.” Generally yoga is understood as meditation. But yoga, real meaning of yoga—to keep in touch with the Supreme—that is called yoga, to keep in touch. So you have to work for, er, from the platform of spiritual consciousness. At the same time you have to work. The Lord never says that “You stop work,” never says. Arjuna… Arjuna’s friend was Lord Kṛṣṇa, but Kṛṣṇa never said… He is God Himself. He is the Supreme Personality of God Himself. He never said Arjuna that “I am your friend. I shall supply all your necessities. You don’t require to work. You stop.” No, He never said that. Rather, Arjuna was declining to fight, but Kṛṣṇa is inducing him to fight. So in spiritual platform there is no question of stopping work, no question of stopping work. But work for the Supreme. That’s all, īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam, with God consciousness.
Now, there are three processes of yoga: jñāna-yoga, and karma-yoga, and bhakti-yoga. Now, jñāna-yoga, take for example jñāna-yoga. Jñāna-yoga means to keep in touch with the Supreme by speculation of higher knowledge, that discriminating what is spirit and what is matter. So there are philosophers, they are discriminating that “This is matter…” Neti neti: “This is matter, and this is spirit.” Now, that requires study, and that requires knowledge also. Now, suppose a man is neither educated, neither he has got sufficient knowledge, philosophical knowledge. Then what happens to him? He will not be able to perform yoga-sthaḥ kuru karmāṇi? No. He is also a bona fide person. He can also perform the work. Because he has no knowledge and because he is uneducated, that doesn’t mean that he cannot do the…, or he cannot work from the spiritual platform. He can also do. That, how he can do, that is the technique. This technique is explained herewith, the siddhy-asiddhyoḥ samo bhūtvā, siddhy-asiddhyoḥ samo bhūtvā, that “You do not be anxious for the success and failure of the attempt you are making.” Success and failure. A common example can be cited in this connection. Suppose you are working for your master. You are working in a firm for selling something. The master says that “You go and find out some customers for this particular thing.” You go out. You go out. Now, you sincerely work for it. Suppose you get business worth 100,000 dollars or something like that. And suppose one day you don’t get any business. Now, the day in which you got some business and on the day in which you did not get any business, it doesn’t matter. Your connection with the master is there, so you get your salary. When the profit is 100,000’s of dollars, you don’t expect any profit out of it. And when there is no business, there is no loss on your part. Siddhy-asiddhyoḥ. Similarly, if you act on behalf of the Supreme Lord, you can do any work you are situated. That doesn’t matter. But if you act on behalf of the Supreme Lord… Just like Arjuna is being requested indirectly that Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa says that “This fighting is My plan. So if you work for it, so you have nothing to enjoy or suffer out of the reaction because you shall work under My instruction.” That is the… If we work on behalf of the Supreme Lord, then that is called yoga-sthaḥ. So our work is also not stopped, and at the same time I am situated in the spiritual platform. That technique is taught by Lord Kṛṣṇa. Yoga-sthaḥ kuru karmāṇi tyaktvā saṅgaṁ dhanañjaya: “You do not be attached with the profit and loss of anything, but you simply do your duty. You don’t care for the success or failure. And if you are, I mean to say, steady either in success of failure, that is called yoga. That is called yoga.” Don’t mind for the success or failure. Do act on behalf of the Supreme Lord. And if you are steady in that position, then your working in spiritual platform is successful. Saṅgaṁ tyaktvā. Saṅgaṁ tyaktvā means “Don’t be associated with the result of the work. Let the result come, whatever it may be, but you have to do your duty nicely and for the sake of God.” Saṅgaṁ tyaktvā. Kartṛtvā abhiniveṣam ca tyaktvā yoga-sthas taṁ karmāṇi kuru yuddhadi.[?] Kartṛtvā. Kartṛtvā means that you are the doer. “Forget this. You are not the doer. You are being ordered to do it.” Just like there is an example that you take a rod and kill a snake. Now, the rod is practically killing the snake, but actually the rod is not responsible because the man who has taken the rod, who is killing the snake, he is responsible for killing the snake, not the rod. So we have to become the rod in the hand of the Supreme. Then all the reaction of our work will be… I will not be responsible for the reaction. The Lord will be responsible for that. That is the system. Yoga-sthaḥ kuru karmāṇi saṅgaṁ tyaktvā dhanañjaya.
Now, for a householder, according to our Vedic system… I have already described to you the four divisions of social system and four division of spiritual orders. Now, all the social system and orders, they are so designed that everyone is working for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord. In a higher section of the social order, just like the brāhmaṇas and the kṣatriyas and the vaiśyas, the system is that in every household they establish the Deity, I mean to…, the form of the Supreme Lord. Either in picture or in idol, they establish that. Now, what is the function in your household affairs? You have got wife, you have got children, and you require some money. And the activities in householder affair is that you have to get some store from the market, and they are brought in your house, and they are stocked, and in due time they are cooked, and you take your foodstuff and then go to your work. This is generally the whole system of household work.
Now here, the yoga-sthaḥ kuru karmāṇi. In India there are many families still. At least in my family, when I was family man, I was also doing this, that the Deity, Lord Kṛṣṇa, the mūrti… Mūrti means Deity or the idol of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, established in a room. That is called the God’s room. The God’s room. So our duty is to rise early in the morning and open the door of the God’s room, offer Him some prayers and some kīrtana, and then cleanse the room and then begin our daily duty, take our breakfast and… The whole idea is that “The proprietor of this house is the Supreme Lord, and we are all workers.” The whole idea is “The proprietor is the Supreme Lord, and we are all workers.” Now, I am going to my office, to my work, to earn some money, because without money my household affairs cannot be run. So I am thinking that “This money is required; otherwise God’s service will be stopped.” So in earning that money in my office or in my workshop, my God consciousness is there. Therefore, even in earning, whatever may be the process, you are yoga-sthaḥ; you are situated in yoga. Now, you get your money. Then you go to the market. You are thinking, “Oh, this is a very nice thing. Oh, it can be offered to Lord Kṛṣṇa. It can be offered to Lord Kṛṣṇa.” Just like sometimes you bring some fruits for me, thinking, out of your love, “Oh, Swamiji will take this and he will like it.” So the consciousness is love. Out of love, you think of Swamiji. Similarly, Swamiji is thought because he is in relation with God. So similarly, we can think of also God. God or anything, relation with God, that is God consciousness. Just like electric charge. Anything connected with the powerhouse and anything later on connected with that powerhouse link—everything is surcharged with electricity.
So our life should be so formed that in our every activity there will be God consciousness. That is the technique of yoga-sthaḥ. You haven’t got to separately being seated in meditation as yoga, generally as we understand. Now, how much you can devote your time to meditation? Suppose one hour in the morning or one hour in the evening you can devote. But if you mold your life in such a way that always, twenty-four hours, you are in meditation, that is the platform of yoga-sthaḥ kuru karmāṇi. I am earning for the Supreme Lord. Then, when I earn, I bring things for cooking, I am thinking, “Oh, this thing will be cooked for Lord.” Now, your wife cooks, and she is also very clean because it is being cooked for Lord Kṛṣṇa. You see? Now, as far as I am concerned here, I also cook myself my food and offer to Kṛṣṇa, and therefore I ask my friends that unless it is offered to Kṛṣṇa, you please do not take it. You see? Sometimes I see that in your country, while cooking, they taste. They taste. But I request them that don’t taste before the cooking is finished. After cooking is finished and when it is offered to the Deity, then you take as much as you like, as much as you like. So that means there is God consciousness, that “This thing is being cooked for the Lord.” The cooking will go on. If you don’t think of God, you require cooking because you want to eat. The cooking is there in the program. But if you think that this cooking is done for God, then your God consciousness is there. The cooking you cannot avoid. As a householder you have to cook for yourself, you have to cook for your children, you have to cook for somebody else or for your own self. Just like I am cooking. I have no here family or children, but I am cooking for myself. So cooking you cannot stop. But if you cook with the understanding that “This foodstuff is being cooked for the Lord. The Lord may be offered first; then we shall take,” this is God consciousness. This is God consciousness. But is it very difficult thing? Anyone can accept this. Anyone can do it. It is not… Because your cooking business is not stopped. Simply the mode of thinking has to be changed. That’s all. A small technique, that “I am earning for God. I am cooking for God. I am eating also for God. I am eating also for God.” How is that eating you are…? “Now, because my body is dedicated to the service of the Lord, if I don’t eat sufficiently to keep my body fit, then how can I work?” So your eating is also God consciousness. Your sleeping is also God consciousness. So that is the way. We have to mold our life’s activities. Now, when I think that “I have to keep this body fit for working for God,” so then that is not, I mean to… That is not bodily conception of life. Just like when you think that “My car has to be kept very nicely so that I can take nice work for it,” then you are not identified with your car; you simply want to take some service of the car. Similarly, if you think that “This body is required for acting, for working on behalf of the Supreme Lord; therefore I must keep the body fit to work,” so that is not your identification with the body. But if I use this body for sense gratification and therefore I make my body stout and strong to enjoy sense enjoyment, that is the cause of my bondage.
So it is a simple technique, and we have to understand it and we have to act it on the program as they have been made by experienced devotees, experienced devotees. Now, another thing. Take this… See the advantage of God consciousness. Now, if you have got determination that “I shall not take anything which is not offered to God,” because your life is meant for God’s service… You earn for God; you cook for God; you eat for God. Therefore the whole life is like that. Now, if you are cooking for God, if you are purchasing stores for God, then you have to know what sort of things can be offered to God because… Always remember that you are going to the store not for your own purpose. You will find in later chapters that pacanti te aghaṁ pāpāḥ… Er, no. The idea is that anyone who is doing everything for the sake of the Lord, he is freed from the reaction, but anyone who is doing anything on his own account, he is being entangled in that action and reaction. So that is the technique of becoming yoga-sthaḥ. Yoga-sthaḥ kuru karmāṇi.
In the next śloka, in next śloka, it is very clearly explained that
dūreṇa hy avaraṁ karma
buddhau śaraṇam anviccha
Kṛpaṇāḥ phala-hetavaḥ. Now, here is… The word kṛpaṇa is very significant. Kṛpaṇa. There are two classes of men. The kṛpaṇa means miser, kṛpaṇa, miser. And just the opposite word of kṛpaṇa is brāhmaṇa. I have already explained to you sometimes that brāhmaṇa… Brāhmaṇa means who knows that “I am not this body; I am the… I am the… I am in spirit, conscious. I am soul, spirit, consciousness,” one who knows perfectly well this understanding and the science also, that “I am qualitatively one with the Supreme Lord,” ahaṁ brahmāsmi. The Vedic mantra says, ahaṁ brahmāsmi. That means “I am Brahman. I am not this matter. I am Brahman.” So one who knows this science, he is called brāhmaṇa. And that doesn’t matter who is he and where he is born. That doesn’t matter. Simply knowing this science… Now, the opposite word is kṛpaṇa. Kṛpaṇa means miser. Whom you call miser? The miser is a man who has got enough money but does not spend it. He is called miser. Miser means who has got enough assets, but he does not spend. He simply sees his money and satisfied. He does not spend it, properly utilize it. He is called kṛpaṇa. Is it right, the miser explanation? So kṛpaṇa, who is kṛpaṇa, and who is brāhmaṇa? Brāhmaṇa means who has known that “I am spiritual identity. I am qualitatively one with the Supreme Lord. I am the part and parcel of the Lord.” This knowledge, one who has developed highly and perfectly, he is called brāhmaṇa. And kṛpaṇa means who has not utilized this human form of body to understand that he is spiritual identity, Brahman, but he simply knows that “I am this body, and because this body is born in a certain place, so I am identified to that country or to that society or to that family.” They are called kṛpaṇa. Kṛpaṇa means that he has not properly utilized the developed consciousness he has got in his asset. A human being has got the developed consciousness than other sub-human or the animal society. So he has to utilize. Just like you have got 100,000’s of dollars. Now, if you properly utilize, it can be increased. It can be increased to millions of dollars by your intelligence if you utilize it. And if you do not utilize it, if you keep it as it is, that is also very good, but sometimes we lost the whole thing. They are called kṛpaṇa. Foolishness. Foolishness.
So we must utilize this human form of body properly to understand that “I am not this body; I am pure consciousness. And this pure consciousness I have to practice in such a way that in next life I get my pure conscious or into pure spiritual body, not again this material body.” This material body, we must always know, this is a foreign thing. We have already explained to you that this is just like dress. Dress. Dress is a foreign thing to my body. Similarly, this gross and subtle body—gross body of this material five elements and the subtle body of mind, ego, intelligence—they are my foreign things. So I am now encaged in foreign things. My whole life mission is to get out of these foreign things. I want to be situated in my real spiritual body. That can be done if you practice. If you practice during this life to…, always to be spiritually situated, then your next life, after leaving… Even within this body, when you get clear conception that “I am not this body,” and you are clearly working from the spiritual platform, as Lord Kṛṣṇa prescribes here that yoga-sthaḥ kuru karmāṇi, “Be situated in yoga and act in your daily duties,” then similarly, if we practice this to work in such a way that we have to work from the spiritual platform, then your next life will be free from this material bondage and you get your freedom life.
Spiritual body means your freedom life. We do not know; we have no conception that in our spiritual body how much we can be powerful. We do not know that. There is calculation. There is calculation that suppose God is cent percent perfect. So when you get your spiritual body, you may not be as powerful as God, but almost near to God. You get seventy-eight percent. You get seventy-eight percent of the whole power. That is a calculation by the great sages. They have calculated that a living entity can attain to the perfection of seventy-eight percent. Now, in our present material condition we have no spiritual power at all. We are always encumbered and conditioned by material forces. You see? So therefore one who does not utilize this body for perfection, for liberation, he is called kṛpaṇa. Kṛpaṇa. This is stated here. Kṛpaṇāḥ phala-hetavaḥ. Kṛpaṇāḥ phala-hetavaḥ. That kṛpaṇa, that means miserly person who does not utilize this human form of life for better profit. Then he wants that “Oh, I have done so much. I must get the profit. I must get it.” What profit you get? For the bodily enjoyment? For sense enjoyment? Oh, sacrifice it. Sacrifice it. You know that there is a word, yajña, sacrifice. Sacrifice means—it is a common word—that you dedicate, you dedicate your life for the service of the Lord, this life. You’ll not be sufferer. What is there, suffering? Now just the prescription or the formula I have just cited before you that your householder life… Now, you are doing everything. You are earning money; you are getting from the store; you are cooking. Everything… Nothing is stopped. Simply change your mentality, that everything is being done for God. It is not at all difficult. Simply we have to adopt it. We have to adopt it. So kṛpaṇāḥ phala-hetavaḥ. Now, if you think, “Oh, why…? I am earning for my palatable dishes. Why shall I offer it to God? This is there are so many, I mean to say, encumbrances. I am not going to do,” then you become kṛpaṇa, miser. But if you be a brāhmaṇa… Brāhmaṇa means udāra, liberated, liberal, not liberated, liberal. The opposite word of kṛpaṇa is liberal. “I offer this body for the service of the Supreme.” I become so liberal. Not for my sense enjoyment.
So one who engages this body for sense enjoyment, he is called kṛpaṇa, miser. And one who engages this body for the service of the Supreme Lord, he is called brāhmaṇa. So Lord says that “You don’t be kṛpaṇa. You don’t be miser.” Miser want… Now, here, suppose there are so many rich men in your country and so many foundations also. And I tell you my practical experience. I wrote some letters to some good foundation that “I want to start here in America an institution for God consciousness, international institution for God consciousness. You kindly help me.” Now, they have flatly refused that “Our pledge is not anything for religion or God.” Just see. That means, according to Bhagavad-gītā, they are all misers. Although they have got very good foundation, they are making actually some charities, but they are miserly. They do not know where to make charity, where to make charity. The karma-yoga, karma-yoga… It will be clearly stated by Lord in later chapter, yat karoṣi yaj juhoṣi yad aśnāsi dadāsi yat kuruṣva tad mad-arpaṇam. The karma-yoga process is that “Whatever you do, whatever you take trouble for, whatever you eat, and everything, offer to Me. Offer to Me.” That is called karma-yoga, or yoga-sthaḥ. But the people have developed such a consciousness at the present moment that whenever they hear of God or whenever they hear of some religion, they at once become adverse to it. In my country also the same position…
Now, this book, my Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, it is recognized by the government. The Ministry of Central Government, they have recognized this book, and they are purchasing hundred copies of each part. They recognize. But when I told that “For this publication of the whole thing, I require 500,000’s of dollars. The government can take up this work,” “No, our government is secular. Secular.” So I could not get any help from my government. You see? And here also I approached some foundation that “Here is my program, that I want to start one institution for God consciousness. Please, your… The institution will be established in your country. Your people will be benefited. I don’t take any money. I don’t make any profit. I want to simply give my service.” And I have got their letter, on the Rockefeller Foundation. They have flatly refused: “No, we are not going to contribute anything for religious purpose or for God consciousness. It is not possible.”
So people have become so averse to the sense of God. How they can be happy? At least from the Bhagavad-gītā we find it clearly they cannot be happy. However they make progress in material advancement of science and economy and everything, oh, they cannot be happy. They cannot be happy. The whole thing is the wrong process. Here is the process recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā, that yoga-sthaḥ kuru karmāṇi. Yoga-sthaḥ kuru karmāṇi. Unless you work. No work is condemned. Whatever you do, that doesn’t matter. But if that work is done on behalf of the Supreme Lord, that makes you purified. That makes you happy. But that science is lacking altogether all over the world, not only here or there. The whole thing… In Russia they are preaching godless civilization: “There is no God.” Here also there are even some churches. I know they are preaching that God is dead. You see? They are preaching like that. So the condition is very precarious at the present moment. And we are preaching Bhagavad-gītā and the formula, but the formula is practically very difficult to apply in the present circumstances. You see? Yoga-sthaḥ kuru karmāṇi. People have gone so much ahead in material, I mean to say… Material civilization means only sense gratification. That’s all. It has nothing more than this. And actually we are seeing that as much as we are making economic progress, as much money we are getting, the next program is how to spend it for sense gratification, how to spend it for sense gratification. They have no other program, no other program. You see? Everywhere. But here the formula is that nothing for your sense gratification; everything for God. The work is not condemned. Work you can do. Whatever in situation, position you are by God’s will you are put in, that doesn’t matter. Your work is not bad, provided you work for the Supreme Lord. That’s all. That is the technique.
So dūreṇa hy avaraṁ karma. Here it is emphatically emphasized that dūreṇa hy avaraṁ karma buddhi-yogād dhanañjaya: “By application of this God consciousness, you throw away all other work. Any work which you cannot do with God consciousness, don’t do it.” Now, here is the injunction in Bhagavad-gītā that “Anything which you cannot do with God consciousness, stop doing.” But the whole world is engaged, doing things in which there is no God consciousness. There is no God consciousness. And here it is enjoined that buddhau śaraṇam anviccha kṛpaṇāḥ phala-hetavaḥ: “Only those who are kṛpaṇa, those who are not self-realized, they are hankering after sense gratification. They want to enjoy the fruits of their labor. But you don’t be. Arjuna, you don’t be. If you want to be spiritually situated, if you want to work from the spiritual platform, then you don’t do it. You work on the spiritual platform and don’t do anything which you cannot do in God consciousness.” This is clearly stated here. Now, it is, of course… It depends on us whether to accept it or not accept it, because God has given us independence. You’ll find also in the Bhagavad-gītā at the end that after the instruction is given, the Lord inquires from Arjuna that “I have given you all instruction necessary. Now whatever you like, you do.” So this is the position. The Lord never interferes with the little independence that has been offered to us. We have got little independence because we are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. Oh, so under certain percentage we have got independence. Not full independence, but under certain percentage we have got independence. And that independence we can use properly or misuse it also. When we misuse, then we become kṛpaṇa, the miser. And when we use it properly, then we become brāhmaṇa. So dūreṇa hy avaraṁ karma buddhi-yogād dhanañjaya buddhau śaraṇam anviccha, śaraṇam anviccha kṛpaṇāḥ phala-hetavaḥ. Buddhi. By intelligence, by intelligence you take shelter of the Supreme Lord. Don’t be miser and be hankering after the result of your work and enjoy for yourself. No, sacrifice. Sacrifice means you sacrifice your energy. God is not hankering after your money or whatever you have got. He is full in Himself. He is full in Himself. He doesn’t require.
Now in India there is a system of worshiping the Ganges water. Ganges water. Ganges water. There are five sacred rivers which the Hindus, they worship. They are Gaṅgā, Yamunā, Kāverī, Godāvarī, Narmadā. Just like you have got your Hudson River here, similarly there are many rivers, and one of them… These five rivers, they are accepted as the sacred river and people take their bath and offer their respect. Now, what is the process of respect? The process of respect is just like worshiping the Ganges water. Now, after taking your bath, you stand on the water and take little water from the river, just like this. The river is flowing. You take little water like this, and chant your mantra and offer it. Now, this offering, offering of water, wherefrom the water is come? Oh, you have taken the water from the Ganges. You have not brought even the water from your house. You are taking the water from the Ganges, and you are again offering the same to the Ganges with some mantra. So similarly, the Ganges has got immense water. If you take one palmful of water out of it, the Ganges is not in loss. And again, if you offer a palmful of water on the Ganges, the Ganges does not gain anything. But utilizing the Ganges water and offering to the Ganges, you become a devotee of Ganges. Similarly, the offering to Lord… What you have got? Your body, it is also given by God. Your intelligence, it is given by God. The facility of work, it is given by God. Everything is given by God. Now, what do we work? Now, suppose I am writing books. All right. In which you are writing? On paper. All right, who has given you paper? Now, you make philosophical study. “Well, paper I purchased from the market.” Market, how does it supply paper? “It is manufactured in mills.” Oh, it is manufactured in mills. Where they get the raw materials? “Oh, from the wood.” How the wood is produced? Oh, then you come to the God. You cannot produce the wood. You simply bring wood from the forest and get it to chemically purified and make a plaster, and the paper is made. So no raw material you can manufacture. Raw material has to be taken from God’s stock. Now, if the raw material is taken from God’s stock, then how the paper becomes yours? This is God consciousness. Everything we’ll find that nothing is our. We simply… The economists also say that we cannot manufacture anything; we can simply transform from one form to another. That’s all. We can give our labor only. And that labor also, given the strength… Now, suppose I work with my hand. Now, I am claiming, “This is my hand,” but if God withdraws the power of your hand, paralyzed, oh, your pride is at once vanished. Not your hand. You see? So in everything, nothing is yours. I am also… As spirit soul, I am also part and parcel of God. And we are thinking independently that “I have no connection with God.” This is very horrible condition. The whole world is suffering because this misconception of life, misconception of life, that he has forgotten his eternal relationship with God. So we have to revive it. We have to revive it, this process. The Bhagavad-gītā has prescribed,
dūreṇa hy avaraṁ karma
buddhau śaraṇam anviccha
Kṛpaṇāḥ means those who are anxious for enjoying sense gratification, by the fruits of their labor. They are called kṛpaṇa. And those who have sacrificed the whole body, whole intelligence… Sacrifice… You always remember: what we can sacrifice? Just like we take Ganges water from Ganges and offering Ganges, so everything is obtained from God, and now, if we offer the same thing to God, then we become liberated. Actually I am not proprietor in anything. Myself is also not… I am also the part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. These are the conception. Without this conception, without this God conception, there is no spiritual realization and there is no happiness, either personally, or impersonally, or socially, or economically or politically. There cannot be.
Of course, today there is no time. Otherwise I would have recited. Those who have got my books, you will see that how much profusely the earth was producing during the time of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, because the executive head of the state was a pious, so how nature was helping. Nature was helping. Now India there is scarcity, scarcity of foodstuff. But the same India was producing so much grains, even during British time, that many thousands and thousand tons of rice were being exported from India to other countries. You see? That I have seen. I have seen. My maternal uncle was very rich man by simply exporting rice to the foreign countries. Yes. Spices… And old history you will find that India, they had got their own ships for exporting spices to Greece and other countries of Europe. The history is there. And they were supplying muslin cloth, even just before the British period, Muslim period. So India’s export, export, I mean to say, status was far greater than other countries. And these spices and other export attracted persons from Europe, that Vasco de Gama, and the Columbus also wanted to go, but he fortunately came to America. You see? All these Europeans and the Britishers went and established their supremacy. So India was so rich. But now how that India has become so poor? The same land is there. Why? Because they have lost that old culture, God consciousness. You see? And at least my calculation is that, that a state, a secular state… Secular state means he has no… Here in America you have got state religion. You have got state religion. But in India there is no state religion. Every country has state religion. Even Pakistan, it has divided. It is now a part of India. But they have also their state religion. But unfortunately India has no state religion. That means deliberately they are trying to disconnect with God relation, godly relation. But in the same India… You just read the history, five thousand years before, how much profusely the nature was supplying. In the morning we are studying that portion. Mr. Paul was reading that portion, that how much nature was giving. So nature can give you anything. After all, it is the nature that supplies your necessities, not the industry. Industry simply transformed in a different way, and a certain class make profit out of it. Industry does not mean really economic improvement. Real economic improvement means what you produce from the land. That requires God help. Without raw materials, even your industry cannot go on. Just like I have cited the example of paper. Nowadays paper is made from wood. Now, if there is no sufficient… Now you have got in your America sufficient wood, so you can make, produce paper in large quantity. But suppose the woods are finished. Then industry will be finished.
Anyway, we should always be in conscious that everything that we have in our possession, even our body, even our mind, even our energy, everything, that is God-gifted. One who has got this conception of life, he is brāhmaṇa. He is the one who knows Brahman. One who does not know this and simply lives for sense gratification, he is called the miser. So we shall not be miser. We shall be the brāhmaṇa. That should be our… And there is no restriction. Don’t think that because you are born in America, you cannot become a brāhmaṇa. No, you can become a brāhmaṇa. There is no restriction. Brahma jānātīti brāhmaṇaḥ. The formula is that janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ saṁskārād bhaved dvijaḥ. Janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ. Everyone who is born, first born by the father and mother… Then he is called a śūdra. Even he is born in a brāhmaṇa family, he is called a śūdra. Then saṁskārād bhaved dvijaḥ. Then, by culture… The cultural birth is called the second birth, dvija. The higher caste in India, they are called dvija. Dvija means the first birth by father and mother, that is… Animal birth and man birth is the same because the process is the same. But unless one takes his birth by higher culture, he cannot be called dvija.
Sometimes the birds are also called dvija. Dvija means twice-born. Twice-born. Just like the birds… The sea bird lays the egg first, and then it is fomented. And from the, I mean to, the egg, the cub comes out, the offspring comes out—the second birth. Therefore birds are also sometimes called dvija. Similarly human and higher status of life, they must have twice-born. Therefore the brāhmaṇas, the kṣatriyas, and the vaiśyas, this thread, this thread is the sign that “My second birth has been done.” This is the emblem. This upavīta, upanayanam, this is the sign. In India higher caste you will find this sacred thread. Sacred thread means when he is accepted, when he is given the second birth, this thread ceremony, there is a thread ceremony. So second birth means saṁskāra, saṁskāra, reformation, reformation. It doesn’t matter where and how he is born. It doesn’t matter.
The other day I cited the example of Jābāli Upaniṣad. He could not say even his father’s name. But because he was so sincere that he declared before Gautama Muni that “Either my mother or myself, I do not know who is my father,” Gautama Muni ac…, “Oh, you are brāhmaṇa. You are truthful. You are truthful.” So these are the qualifications, saṁskāra, cultural birth. Cultural birth makes the twice-born. Saṁskārād bhaved dvijaḥ. Janmanā jāyate. By birth everyone is śūdra. And when he is reformed, when he is culturally rebirth, taken rebirth, then he is dvija, twice-born. And after being dvija, veda-paṭhād bhaved vipraḥ. Veda-paṭhāt means this knowledge, scriptural knowledge, Vedic wisdom. By studying this Vedic wisdom he becomes a vipra. And after studying, when he knows, “Oh, I am spiritual. I am not this matter,” and he knows the constitution of himself, constitution of the Supreme Lord, then he is brāhmaṇa. Therefore the whole mission of human society should be how to prepare brāhmaṇa. Then peace and prosperity will be there. If you keep them just like cats and dogs in the platform of śūdra, how can you expect? Do you mean to say there is any peace in the dog society? No. That is not possible. Peace can be had only, really—human society.
So this is the culture. The Vedic, whole Vedic culture is to make a man a brāhmaṇa, not to keep him in the śūdra stage, not to. Every father has to take care. The state has to take care, the teacher has to take care—how to make the children, the poor children, the innocent children, to…, a perfect brāhmaṇa. The whole culture is like that. You see? so Bhagavad-gītā teaches that. And don’t become… Don’t remain in the śūdra stage and a miser, but just try to become a brāhmaṇa by culture. Then your life will be successful.
Thank you very much. Now, any question? Yes?
Paul: Of the four orders, a śūdra? A śūdra…
Prabhupāda: [aside:] You can stop that. [end]