Bg 3.17-20 — May 27, 1966, New York

Prabhupāda: All glories to the assembled devotees. All glories to the assembled devotees. Thank you very much. 

yas tv ātma-ratir eva syād
ātma-tṛptaś ca mānavaḥ
ātmany eva ca santuṣṭas
tasya kāryaṁ na vidyate
[Bg. 3.17]

Now, so far yajña, offering sacrifice for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord, as we were discussing for the last few days, now here, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa says that for a person who is already situated in the spiritual platform and is satisfied with his own self, he hasn’t got to do anything. He has surpassed that stages of offering sacrifice, worship, prayers, everything—one who is situated in self-satisfied state. 

Just like Śukadeva Gosvāmī. He was, as the other day we were narrating the story of Śukadeva Gosvāmī, he was passing on naked, sixteen-years-old boy, young boy, and very nice feature of the body, peaceful. And he was passing naked, and the girls who were taking bath, naked on the river, they saw that innocent person, so they did not cover their body. But when the father was passing, such a learned sage, old man, Vyāsadeva, who is the author of all Vedic literatures—he is not an ordinary man. But because he was a worldly man, a householder, the girls, after seeing him, covered their body. That story the other day we have narrated before you. So the stage of Śukadeva Gosvāmī is ātma-rati, self-satisfied, doesn’t care for anything of the world. He is aloof from the world. We should not imitate Śukadeva Gosvāmī and become naked. [chuckles] 

Simply by… There are many so-called mendicants in India. They, I mean to say, loiter in the street naked, and sometimes they are arrested by the police, like that. Imitation is not required. Imitation is not required. But there is a stage like that. Just like a madman. Sometimes a madman, he also, I mean to say, wanders the street naked. So he is also compact in some thought, but he is a madman. But similarly, a person who is completely compact in Kṛṣṇa thought, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he is also a madman according to the calculation of this world. 

I think there is a line in Shakespeare’s literature, “The lunatic, mad, and the poet” or something like that, “all compact in thought.” [The actual reference is A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act V, Scene I: “The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact.”]. So a madman and a ātma-rati person, self-satisfied man, outwardly, you will find there is no difference, but inwardly, oh, there is vast difference. 

There is a story of Jaḍa Bharata. Jaḍa Bharata, a brāhmaṇa boy whose name was Jaḍa Bharata. He was formerly the emperor of this world. His name was Mahārāja Bharata. And by his name now India is called Bhāratavarṣa. Formerly this whole planet was named as Bhāratavarṣa. Before that, this planet was named as Ilāvṛtavarṣa, long, long years, millions of years before. But Jaḍa Bharata, he also lived ātma-rati, self-satisfied. In the beginning of his spiritual life he left this world, a very young age. When he was only twenty-four years old he left his wife, children, and kingdom. It is not joke. An emperor with beautiful young wife, small children, and palace—he left everything. There are many instances like that. 

Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, about whom we pray daily, vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau, this Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, he was also a young man and very rich man’s son. At that time, five hundred years before, his father’s income was, I mean to say, ten millions of rupees. So there are many instances in India we have got. But this Jaḍa Bharata, he left his kingdom and family and everything, and went for spiritual realization, self-realization. Unfortunately, he was again in affection with a cub of deer and he got next life… I think I have already narrated this story. While he died, he was thinking of that deer cub and he became a deer. Yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran loke tyajaty ante kalevaram [Bg. 8.6]

That is this… I mean, the technique of death. At the time of death, whatever you are thinking, that means you are preparing your next life like that. Therefore the whole life shall be so processed but at the same time, at the end of our life we can at least think of Kṛṣṇa. Then sure and certain you go back to Kṛṣṇa. This practice has to be done. Because unless we practice while we are strong and stout and our consciousness is right thinking. So instead of wasting time in so many things for sense gratification, if we go on concentrating on Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that means we are making a solution of all the miseries of our material existence. That is the process, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, always thinking of Kṛṣṇa. 

Therefore Kṛṣṇa comes and He presents Himself just like ordinary man acting. Why? Just like here in the Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa is present in the battlefield of Kurukṣetra. Oh, He had no necessity of presenting Himself in the battlefield of Kurukṣetra. But it is for us because we are very much anxious to know where battle is going on, where fighting is going on, where detective is working, where murder is committed. All these literatures attract us very much. Stories and literatures, all these things, they attract very much. In a bookshop you go, if you ask them, “Supply me one copy of Bhagavad-gītā,” he will have to find out. But if you ask a bookseller, “Give me some novels,” oh, he will present so many things. Because our inclination is like that. We are always anxious to learn these mundane affairs. We have no taste for spiritual upliftment. That taste we have lost. 

That is the stage of our present existence—forgetfulness. We do not know how our taste should be created, how our taste should be converted from material to spiritual. That we do not know. Therefore Lord is so kind, Kṛṣṇa, that He creates a battlefield for you so that you may be anxious to know, “Who is fighting with whom? Who is fighting with whom.” Because we are always very much anxious to learn stories, so all these Purāṇas… 

Just this morning we were discussing that all these… Strī-śūdra-dvijabandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocarā [SB 1.4.25]. Vyāsadeva is so kind that he could understand that the next generation before, I mean to say, five thousands years before, when he was thinking… We should always know that great thinkers, great, I mean to say, sages, ṛṣis, they are sitting in the secluded place, in a forest, not idly. They are always thinking how people should be benefited, how people should be benefited. Lokānāṁ hita-kāriṇau. Just like we sing daily about the Gosvāmīs. 

nānā-śāstra-vicāraṇaika-nipuṇau sad-dharma-saṁsthāpakau
lokānāṁ hita-kāriṇau tri-bhuvane mānyau śaraṇyākarau
rādhā-kṛṣṇa-padāravinda-bhajanānandena mattālikau
vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau

Now, just see. These gentlemen, they are… Some of them were big zamindar, some of them were learned scholars, some of them were ministers in the government service, but they left everything. And at Vṛndāvana they sat down? Nānā-śāstra-vicāraṇaika-nipuṇau. No, they were find out, making research by researching all kinds of Vedic literature how things should be presented to the people of this age so that they can take up the matter very seriously and easily and they can make progress. That was their business, not that they left home, become easy going, and take prasādam and go on sleeping. Oh. No, no, no, no. They had no time to sleep. They were always thinking, lokānāṁ hita-kāriṇau, how people should be benefited. As much as the Lord is very much anxious for our benefit, similarly, the devotees of the Lord, they are equally anxious for the benefit of the public. 

So Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, He created. Now, this Mahābhārata… Mahābhārata… You have heard the name of Mahābhārata. It is a history of the fighting between two parties, Kuru-Pāṇḍava. So this Mahābhārata was especially made, I mean the story… Just like expert writer, they will pick up some historical facts and put it into fiction, so, to create more interest. In Bengal there is a famous writer who is compared with [Sir Walter] Scott of England. So Bankim Chandra Chatterjee. Oh, all his novels are picked up from some historical facts, historical facts. That makes the fiction very interesting. Similarly, Mahābhārata, this is a history of fighting between two parties, and that was written especially, strī-śūdra-dvijabandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocarā [SB 1.4.25]

We were just discussing this śloka this morning, that strī-śūdra-dvijabandhūnām. Strī means woman class. Woman and śūdra and dvija-bandhu… Śūdra means ordinary people, not intelligent class, ordinary people. And dvija-bandhu? Dvija-bandhu means born in higher caste family, but their qualification is nil, such persons. 

Formerly, according to varṇāśrama-dharma, it is not that “Because I am a brāhmaṇa’s son, therefore I am a brāhmaṇa,” just as the practice is going on now in India, caste system. Oh, that was not the system. The system was different. So this Mahābhārata was written for such persons who are claiming to be a brāhmaṇa because he is born in the brāhmaṇa family. But according to śāstra, scripture, such persons are not called brāhmaṇas. They are called dvija-bandhu, “a friend of a brāhmaṇa.” So just like “I am,” “I am the son of a high-court judge.” That does not mean I am also high-court judge. I must be qualified to become a high-court judge. But if I go on, that “Because my father is high-court judge, therefore I am also high-court judge…” So these things are going on now in India. Because his forefather was a brāhmaṇa, or his father was a brāhmaṇa—and although he has no qualification of a brāhmaṇa, he also claims to be a brāhmaṇa. But the scripture, the Vedic scripture, that does not allow. They will call, “No, you are not a brāhmaṇa. You are brāhmaṇa’s son. That’s all. We can admit so far. There is no harm admitting you, that you are the son of a brāhmaṇa, but we cannot admit you a brāhmaṇa.” That is quite reasonable. So the Mahābhārata was written for such persons who are son of a brāhmaṇa, but actually, by qualification, he is less than śūdra. So Mahābhārata was written for them. 

And in the middle of Mahābhārata, Bhīṣma-parva, this Bhagavad-gītā is inserted. Not inserted. Practically, in the battlefield of Mahābhārata this Bhagavad-gītā was spoken. And it is… You will be surprised. In those days television was in the heart, television. This, I mean to say, Battlefield of Kurukṣetra was television in the heart of Sañjaya. Dhṛtarāṣṭra, the father of one party, Duryodhana, and his secretary, Sañjaya, were sitting in the room, and they were discussing what happened after this. Just like you get television or radio message in the football ground what is going on by sound and picture, so the same thing was being reflected in his heart and he was in the room. He was explaining the activities of the battlefield. This is the story, like that. Sañjaya uvāca. Dhṛtarāṣṭra uvāca. The beginning is 

dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre
samavetā yuyutsavaḥ
māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva
kim akurvata sañjaya
[Bg. 1.1]

Now, the old king and his secretary were sitting in a room, and the first question was, “Well, Sañjaya, what happened again, this, this and that?” And he was speaking like that. That was a television. 

So anyway, now this Bhagavad-gītā was written, was spoken to a family man, Arjuna, military man, and the whole Mahābhārata is meant for strī-śūdra-dvijabandhu, less qualified men. Just see. In those days less qualified men were meant for understanding Bhagavad-gītā in half an hour. Just imagine what class of less intelligent persons were at that time. The same Bhagavad-gītā, now scholars like Dr. Radhakrishnan, and others, so many big big scholars, they are scrutinizingly studying; still they cannot understand. But this Bhagavad-gītā was meant for the less intelligent class of men of that time. Just you can imagine what class of less intelligent class and women were there. It is specially written, you will see, strī-śūdra-dvijabandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocarā [SB 1.4.25]. Because woman class and less intelligent class, and these unworthy sons of the brāhmaṇas and kṣatriyas, they will not be able to understand the original Vedic literature, therefore it has been presented in a story form with historical facts so that they can understand. That was the origin of Mahābhārata. 

So Bhagavad-gītā is not very high class Vedic literature. It is just the entrance, ABCD of Vedic literature. ABCD, entrance. Just like matriculation examination, school-leaving examination, then you enter into college, and then get your graduate, become a graduate, and then post-graduate, so the Bhagavad-gītā is just entrance for, entrance examination for spiritual education. It is not very… It is written for the common men, common men, common men, householders, less intelligent men, woman class, like that. 

And originally the Veda is one, Yajur Veda. And because it was very difficult to understand… Veda was spoken by Lord Himself to Brahmā. So seeing, foreseeing the condition of the present age, Vyāsadeva divided four Vedas, one Veda into four. The original Veda is Yajur Veda. Then he divided into Sāma, Yajur, Ṛk, Atharva. Then again the Vedic literatures were explained in Purāṇas, eighteen Purāṇas. Then Mahābhārata. Then again he summarized all the Vedic knowledge into Vedānta-sūtra, Vedānta-sūtra, summarized. Then again the Vedānta-sūtra is explained by Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. These are the all Vedic literature. When you read this book, in the preliminary, those who have got books, you will find all this description. 

So Kṛṣṇa, for understanding of the common people, the highest truth of Vedic literature, the highest truth of Vedic literature is Kṛṣṇa, and nothing else. You will find in the Bhagavad-gītā the Lord says, vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. The whole purpose of Veda is to understand Me. That’s all. If one has understood Kṛṣṇa, then he has understood all Vedic literature. He has nothing to understand anymore. He has passed all examination. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham. 

And the Lord says that “I am the writer of Vedānta,” because Vyāsadeva is an incarnation of Kṛṣṇa for writing this literature. His name is Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Vyāsa. Therefore, as incarnation of Vyāsa, Kṛṣṇa wrote all this Vedic literature. 

So vedānta-kṛt and veda-vid eva cāham: “And if anyone understands Veda, then it is I only who understands Veda.” Therefore if we understand Kṛṣṇa, then we understand everything. We understand Veda. Yasmin vijñāte sarvam idaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati. If anyone understands one… Just like in arithmetic, if you understand one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, then you understand everything because in arithmetic or mathematics there is nothing than these nine figures. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven—you make it a multiplication or subtraction or division, or whatever process you may. There is nothing but one, two, three, four, five, six, eight, nine. That’s all. Similarly, if you understand Kṛṣṇa, then you understand the whole Vedas. 

And for understanding Kṛṣṇa, here is the nutshell spoken by Kṛṣṇa Himself about Himself. If I, what I am… You can go on thinking that Swamiji is… Like the other day Paul was speaking that somebody has informed that I have got fifteen children. Now, I do not know how one can understand that I have got fifteen children. I never told in this meeting, but he told me that somebody told him I have got fifteen children. This is misunderstanding. If I say… He asked me, “Swamiji, how many children you have got?” I told him I have got at home three boys and two girls. And he told me that “I understood that you have got fifteen children.” So that means, anyway, if you want to know about me, then you must know from me. That is authentic. That is authentic. Or from a confidential person who is confidence of me. Similarly, if you want to know Kṛṣṇa, then here is Bhagavad-gītā, spoken by Kṛṣṇa Himself. You just try to understand and you learn Kṛṣṇa. Or you learn confirmation. Suppose if you cannot understand Kṛṣṇa by reading Bhagavad-gītā, or by hearing Bhagavad-gītā, then you know that Bhagavad-gītā was spoken to Arjuna, and Arjuna has admitted about his understanding in the Tenth Chapter. So just try to understand Arjuna. How he understands? Either you understand Kṛṣṇa directly, or you understand through the authority who was spoken directly by the Lord. 

So there is no difficulty to understand Kṛṣṇa. And if you understand Kṛṣṇa, your life is perfectly, I mean to say, all right. Then you get your life, complete perfection of your life. That is the whole literature. So here the Lord says, yas tu ātma-ratir eva syāt. Ātma-rati, one whose focus of life is simply for self-understanding… Ātma-ratiḥ, syād ātma-tṛptaś ca mānavaḥ. He is simply satisfied with his self-understanding, that “I am pure consciousness. My relation with Kṛṣṇa is such and such. My relation with this world is temporary. My real relation with Kṛṣṇa because Kṛṣṇa is permanent and I am permanent. I am His part and parcel,” these simple things. So one who has understood these things nicely and he is satisfied in himself… 

Just like Śukadeva Gosvāmī. He didn’t care for anything, who is naked dancing, or naked bathing. No. He has no care. He is going on in the street. Yas tu ātma-ratir eva syād ātma-tṛptaś ca mānavaḥ ātmany eva ca santuṣṭaḥ. He is satisfied in himself and with Kṛṣṇa. Tasya kāryaṁ na vidyate: “He has nothing to do.” Bas. He is free. Now, if you are not in that stage, then you have to perform sacrifice, as recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā. Yajñārthe karmaṇo ‘nyatra loko ‘yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ [Bg. 3.9]. You have to work in such a way that your work will be purified gradually and you will come to this stage of ātma-rati. But if you, from the very beginning, you are satisfied with your self-understanding, then you have nothing to do. You have nothing to do. 

Just like ārādhito yadi haris tapasā tataḥ kiṁ nārādhito yadi haris tapasā tataḥ kim antar bahir yadi haris tapasā tataḥ kiṁ nāntar bahir yadi haris tapasā tataḥ kim. Tapasā tataḥ kim: [Nārada Pañcarātra] “What is the use of this nonsense penance and meditation? What is the use?” There is no more use. For whom? Now, ārādhito yadi hariḥ. Hari means the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If His relationship is completely understood and one is engaged in Him, then for him all these penances, meditation, and jñāna, yoga, all is nonsense. Nonsense means he has no requisition for all these things. He has come to the highest stage. Ārādhito yadi hariḥ. 

And nārādhito yadi hariḥ. And after performing all these penances, and jñāna, yoga, meditation, ultimately end there is no understanding of Kṛṣṇa, then whole thing is spoiled. Tapasā tataḥ kim: “What is the use of all this nonsense if you have not understood the real thing?” If you understood the real thing, then also these things are nonsense. And if you have not understood the real thing, then these things are also nonsense. 

So there are two stages. But that is the ultimate, but one has to come to that very point, understanding of Kṛṣṇa, ātma-rati, because he is Paramātmā. He is the Supreme Soul, and I am ātmā. I am individual soul. I am part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. That relationship is there, eternal. And that is congenial, and that is my real happiness. We have forgotten that. 

We have, by chance, fallen into this material contamination and we have made our relationship with so many material things, so that we have forgotten Kṛṣṇa. Now, the whole process is to revive our consciousness to Kṛṣṇa. For that purpose, Kṛṣṇa comes Himself or Kṛṣṇa keeps this Bhagavad-gītā for you or Kṛṣṇa sends His confidential devotees to you, to canvass you, “Come to the point and be happy.” That is the whole process. So ātma-rati, ātma-rati, self-satisfaction. 

You will find at Vṛndāvana, oh, so many great devotees. Just like these Gosvāmīs, about whom we pray daily. Now, about them it is stated, tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīṁ sadā tuccha-vat. Now, these people were very aristocratic. Maṇḍala-pati. Maṇḍala-pati means leaders of great society. So they gave up. When they joined Lord Caitanya’s movement they gave up everything. They resigned from ministership. The Nawab Shah was very much sorry. He was interned, that “You cannot resign from this post. Then whole thing will be, whole, my plan, whole, my kingdom will be lost. I cannot allow you to resign.” But they decided that, “No. No more.” Then the Nawab Shah told him, “Then I put you into, under internment.” So they were put into jail. So anyway, they came out. So this fact is narrated. Tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīṁ sadā tuccha-vat. Tuccha means insignificant. Such high post and position, they left everything. Left everything. Why? Bhūtvā dīna-gaṇeśakau karuṇayā kaupīna-kanthāśritau. And for doing good to the poor conditioned souls they came to Vṛndāvana and became just like niggardly, poor beggars. Their appearance… Their appearance became… The description is that living underneath a tree, one night underneath one tree, and next night another tree, and taking, I mean to say, dried, rejected breads given by the neighbors. In this way they were living. 

But what was their happiness? The happiness was gopī-bhāva-rasāmṛtābdhi-laharī-kallola-magnau muhur vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau. They were always absorbed in thoughts of Kṛṣṇa, how Kṛṣṇa is, I mean to say, having His pastimes, His activities, by thinking, by thinking, thinking. So they could be… They could forget their material prosperity in exchange of thinking Kṛṣṇa. 

So here it is said that yas tu ātma-ratir eva syāt. So they haven’t got to do anything, sacrifice or this or that, because they are absorbed in Kṛṣṇa thought, absorbed in Kṛṣṇa thought. So here Kṛṣṇa says that “Anyone who is absorbed in such thought of his self-realization, then he hasn’t got to perform these rituals, this and that and that.” 

Now that ātma-rati is this, Lord Caitanya’s introduction: 

Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

Just like we give glories, “Ṭhākura Haridāsa ki jaya.” Ṭhākura Haridāsa, he was a Mohammedan during this movement. He was a Mohammedan, old man. His photograph is also there. So his name was Abraham[?] and he liked to chant this 

Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

He took his only business of chanting this. He was chanting daily three lakhs. Three lakhs means three hundred thousands times. Three hundred thousands times he was chanting, Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa. This 

Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

This is sixteen. By one stretch you can chant sixteen. Now you can make your arrangement if you want to increase. So that Ṭhākura Haridāsa, he used to chant three hundred thousand times daily, three hundred thousand times daily. Ātma-ratir eva. Bas. He had no other business. He had no other business. 

People become envious. One brāhmaṇa zamindar in the village, oh, he became very envious: “Oh, this man is Mohammedan and he is getting so much respect? Oh, I am a brāhmaṇa, I am a zamindar and nobody cares for me? Oh, he should be given some lesson.” So he called a beautiful prostitute. “I shall give you such and such sum of rupees if you can, I mean to say, make a fall down of this man, this young man.” He was young man. Ṭhākura Haridāsa was at that time about twenty-five years old, young man. So that prostitute, there was agreement. “Oh, it is easy thing for me. Sir, you give me such and such money. I shall get him. All right.” 

So one day that prostitute, very nicely dressed, and at midnight and when he was chanting, 

Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

And the prostitute sat down before him, and the Ṭhākura said, “Why you have come?” She disclosed her intention, that “You are such a nice young man, so I have come to embrace you.” “Oh, very good. Very good. You sit down. You sit down and let me finish. Let me finish my chanting, Hare Kṛṣṇa, because I have got a vow for chanting so many. So it is now almost finished. But as soon as finished, we shall enjoy. Very good. You sit down.” So by chanting, chanting, chanting, it became morning. Now, that prostitute became restless. “I am very sorry. Because I could not finish my chanting, therefore we could not enjoy life. All right. You come this evening, this night. We shall enjoy.” So next also night she came in the same way and the same business, chanting. And he said, “Let me finish. Then I shall do.” 

Then in the three days, after three days the prostitute became wonderful and she fell down on his feet. “Sir, this is my intention. I was instructed by this man. So please excuse me and please save me from this nonsense business.” Then Ṭhākura Haridāsa replied, “Yes, I could understand your intention and who has sent you. I knew everything. But because you have come to my shelter, I stayed here for three days just to convert you. Otherwise I would have gone the very same night from this place. So anyway, you have come to your senses. Now give up this nonsense business. Sit down here and you also chant Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare. I am going from this place.” So that prostitute became a great devotee. She also. This is the touchstone. Touchstone. This is called ātma-rati. Ātma-rati. 

If this movement is spread, then people will be self-satisfied. He’ll be no more hankering for any artificial thing. As soon as he goes on realizing the transcendental nature of 

Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

Oh, he will feel himself fully satisfied. Nothing can enchant him, nothing can drag him from this platform. And for him there is nothing to do. So that is the stage. That is a stage described by Lord Kṛṣṇa, that if somebody comes to this stage of life, he hasn’t got to do anything of religious rituals, this or that, meditation or reading or nothing. 

naiva tasya kṛtenārtho
nākṛteneha kaścana
na cāsya sarva-bhūteṣu
kaścid artha-vyapāśrayaḥ
[Bg. 3.18]

“If somebody comes to that stage of life, ātmānandi, self-satisfaction, then his activities have also no reaction.” 

Reaction. Just like this Ṭhākura Haridāsa. Ṭhākura Haridāsa was a man in renounced order of life. Now for him, it is, there is injunction that those who are in renounced order of life, they should not sit down in a secluded place with woman. Why a renounced order of man? It is… The śāstra injunction is that, so far Vedic literatures are concerned, they are very much strict about association, free association of man and woman. They are very much strict. They have compared woman as fire and man as the pot of butter. So, according to strict Vedic principle, except one’s own wife, nobody sit down in a private place with woman, even she happens to be a mother, even she happens to be a daughter, even she happens to be a sister. So much restriction is there. Mātrā svasrā duhitrā vā nāviviktāsano bhavet: [SB 9.19.17] “Either she is your mother, either she is your daughter, either she is your sister, don’t sit down in a secluded place alone with woman.” So such a stricture is there. 

Now, Haridāsa Ṭhākura, at dead of night a woman came before him and she was sitting. She [he] was chanting. So according to this restriction or injunction, she [he] has committed wrong. No. She [He] has not committed wrong because he was trying for her benefit. He was sitting there not with the purpose of sense gratification. He was sitting with that woman with the purpose of converting him [her] for self-realization. He had no other intention. His only intention was: “Well, this poor creature has come to me. Never mind whatever her intention is. And if I am elevated, if I have anything, anything relationship with my Supreme Lord, I must do something good to this poor creature so that her life also may become successful. That was his intention. He had no other intention. Therefore, naiva tasya kṛtena arthaḥ. Therefore for him there is no restriction. 

And nākṛtena iha kaścana: And neither he has got any obligation that he has to do this or that. Neither by doing he has got any reaction, or neither by not doing he has to pay something, default, something like that. Na cāsya sarva-bhūteṣu kaścid artha-vyapāśrayaḥ. And he has no relation with anybody to take anything from them. 

But so far this self-satisfaction stage is concerned, Śukadeva Gosvāmī is the ideal person. He was living naked, and in the early in the morning he would stand up in any householder’s door. Because in India still, I think here also the system is there, those who have got private cows, they milk the cow early in the morning. Early in the morning if the cow is milked, it gives the proper quantity of milk. That is the system, before sunrise. So Śukadeva Gosvāmī and… The whole day’s business was that he would go to a householder. Because in India still the system is a householder keeps at least, in the village, at least ten to twelve cows. But he hasn’t got to pay anything for keeping these. The cows go to the pasturing ground and in the evening comes back. And some grass, dry grass which is by-product of the grains, that is offered to her, and instead of, in place she offers milk. So milk in the village, still it is available very easily, without any expenses. 

Now Śukadeva Gosvāmī, because his whole day’s business was just to stand before a householder’s door because every householder milking. And people know that this swamiji or this sage has come to take some milk. “Oh Bābā, whatever you want you take.” So what? Say one pound or less than one pound drinks and goes away. The whole day was finished business. So Śukadeva Gosvāmī was doing like that. He wouldn’t go anywhere, and simply, early in the morning he would stand before a householder’s door and take little milk and the whole day he would travel naked. 

He has recommended that “Why you are anxious?” You, I mean to say, those who are in the renounced order of life, those who have left the world simply for self, spiritual realization… So Śukadeva Gosvāmī advises that “You, if you have actually left home for spiritual realization, then you haven’t got any problem for maintaining your life. You have no problem.” So he recommends, cīrāṇi kiṁ pathi na santi. “Well, I am naked.” Of course, you do not wish to run on as naked. You require some cloth. All right, find out some cloth in the street. There are so many cloth thrown in the street. So you can pick up one of them. So your cloth problem is there solved. Cīrāṇi kiṁ pathi na santi diśanti bhikṣāṁ naivāṅghripāḥ. Aṅghripāḥ means these trees. They have got fruits. So you can ask a tree, apple tree, to give you some apple to eat. So your clothing and eating problem is solved. All right, then your shelter… Ruddhā guhāḥ kim. Oh, you find out some cave. There is nice place. So the house problem is solved. Then water? There are many rivers. There is no water problem. So he has recommended like that. 

And actually, in India, still there are persons who do not care for anything of the world. They are ātma-rati, ātma-rati. They are self-satisfied, doesn’t care, doesn’t care for anything. So for such person there is no need of doing any yajña or purifying their activities or so many things as recommended in the rituals. The Lord says that “They have nothing to do.” 

tasmād asaktaḥ satataṁ
kāryaṁ karma samācara
asakto hy ācaran karma
param āpnoti puruṣaḥ
[Bg. 3.19]

Now, what is this meaning of this ātma-rati? The meaning of ātma-rati is that one has to be situated in full spiritual consciousness and aloof from material engagement. That is the sum and substance. So the same thing can be practiced by us also. Of course, we may find difficulty, we may think, “How it is possible to become like Śukadeva Gosvāmī?” No, it is not possible. The real fact which Kṛṣṇa is explaining here, that don’t be attached to your result of the activities. Just become free. 

Now, for maintenance of your body you have to do something. That’s all right. But you don’t be attached to that work. You are simply to… Because you have got this body, you have to maintain it so that the body and soul can be maintained and you have to perform this spiritual realization just to keep the body nicely, not neglecting the body. But become detached from the bodily attachment. You just try to… Yuktāhāra. Yuktāhāra means to take food is not forbidden, but you have to take food only just to maintain your body, not for, I mean to say, taste of your palate or tongue. That should be practiced. You should live… You should eat to live. You should not live to eat. That should be your life principle. 

Tasmād asaktaḥ, tasmād asaktaḥ satatam. Asakta: “Don’t be attached.” Kāryaṁ karma samācara: “Do your duty, as duty, as you are duty bound. But don’t be attached to that work. Because you should always know that your real work is self-realization.” Asakto hy ācaran karma param āpnoti puruṣaḥ: “And if you practice like that, then the same perfection of life you will attain.” Don’t be attached to your work. Don’t be attached, unattached. Nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yuktaṁ vairāgyam ucyate. Anāsaktasya viṣayān yathārham upayuñjataḥ. The same advice is given in several places, that “Work, but do not work with attachment. Just to make the best use of a bad bargain, that’s all. You go on working like that.” 

tasmād asaktaḥ satataṁ
kāryaṁ karma samācara
asakto hy ācaran karma
param āpnoti puruṣaḥ
[Bg. 3.19]

And if you continue your work unattached like that, then the result will be that you will also reach that perfectional stage of life, as Śukadeva Gosvāmī. 

karmaṇaiva hi saṁsiddhim
āsthitā janakādayaḥ
loka-saṅgraham evāpi
sampaśyan kartum arhasi
[Bg. 3.20]

So you haven’t got to give up your work, your duty. Go on doing your duty, but make your point that “My life’s main business is self-realization.” You give more importance to that point of life. Not to the point of, that “I shall earn more and enjoy life.” No. That should be given up. That is called nonattachment. So if we go on working in non-attachment and culture our self-realization, then gradually we shall come to the perfectional point. Thank you very much. Now if there is any question… [end] 

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