Bg 6.40-43 — September 18, 1966, New York

Prabhupāda: …nāmutra vināśas tasya vidyate, na hi kalyāṇa-kṛt kaścid durgatiṁ tāta gacchati. Now, this verse we have been discussing last week, that one who falls down… “Suppose one has entered for spiritual cultivation of life. Some way or other, he is not successful to complete the course. Then what happens to him?” That was the question of Arjuna. This is very nice question, that “Suppose one enters for cultivation of spiritual life. Some way or other…” Sometimes we do not follow the rules and… Sometimes we are entrapped by some feminine attraction. These are impediments. So we may not be able to make complete progress. So Kṛṣṇa says, “My dear Arjuna,” na hi kalyāṇa-kṛt kaścid durgatim: “Anyone who has attempted even one percent sincerely, culture of spiritual realization, he will never fall down. He will never fall down.” That sincerity. Because we are weak, and the material energy is very strong, so to adopt spiritual life is more or less declare war against the material energy. The material, the illusory energy, she is trying to curb this conditioned soul as far as possible. Now, when the conditioned soul tries to get out of her clutches by spiritual advancement of knowledge, oh, she becomes more stringent. Yes. She wants to test, “How much this person is sincere?” So there will be so many allurement offered by the material energy. 

Now, there is a story. There are many stories. One of them I am citing. It is very interesting. Viśvāmitra Muni. Viśvāmitra Muni, he was a great king, kṣatriya, but his priest, Vasiṣṭha Muni, he had great spiritual power. So he renounced his kingdom. He wanted to advance. He was kingly, royal order, but still, he wanted to advance in the spiritual orders. So he adopted yoga process, meditation. That time it was possible for adopting this process, yoga process. So he was meditating in such a way that the Indra, who was the king of heaven, he thought that “This man is trying to occupy my post.” As there is competition… This is also… Heaven means that is also material world. So this competition—no businessman wants an another businessman go ahead. He wants to cut down. Competition of price, quality. Similarly, that Indra, he thought that “This man is so strongly meditating, it may be that I may be deposed and he come to my seat.” Then he arranged one of his society girls, Menakā, to go there and allure this muni. So when Menakā approached that ṛṣi, Viśvāmitra Ṛṣi, he was meditating. And simply by the sound of her bangles, he could understand, “There is some woman.” And as soon as he saw there was heavenly, celestial beauty, he was captivated. Then there was a result, that a great… Śakuntalā. Perhaps some of you may know. There is a book made by Kālidāsa, Śakuntalā. This Śakuntalā is supposed to be the most beautiful girl in the world, and she was born by this combination of Viśvāmitra Muni and Menakā. 

So when this girl was born, then Viśvāmitra thought, “Oh, I was advancing in my spiritual culture, and again I have been entrapped.” So he was going out. At the same time his wife Menakā brought this girl before her, and little child is always attractive. She showed that “Oh, you have got such a nice girl, such beautiful girl, and you are going away? No, no. You should take care.” So there is a picture, very nice. That is a very famous picture. That Menakā is showing Viśvāmitra Muni the girl, and the muni is like that, “No more show me.” Yes. There is a picture. That is… Then he went away. So there are chances of failure. There are chances of failure. Just like a great sage like Viśvāmitra Muni, he also failed, failed for the time being. But Kṛṣṇa says that this failure is not, I mean to say, unsuccessful. As we have sometimes the proverb, that “Failure is the pillar of success,” so especially in the spiritual life, this failure is not discouraging. This failure is not discouraging. 

So Kṛṣṇa says that “Even one fails in completing his spiritual course, still, there is no loss on his part.” Pārtha naiva iha. Iha means in this world. Na amutra. Amutra means next world. Vināśas tasya vidyate: “He will never vanquish.” Vināśas tasya vidyate, na hi kalyāṇa-kṛt: “Anyone who takes this auspicious line of spiritual culture,” kaścid durgatiṁ tāta gacchati, “he’ll never fall down.” Yes. And why? Now, 

prāpya puṇya-kṛtāṁ lokān
uṣitvā śāśvatīḥ samāḥ
śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe
yoga-bhraṣṭo ‘bhijāyate
[Bg. 6.41]

Abhijāyate. He says that this failure yogi… One who is successful, he enters into the kingdom of God. That is a different thing. But one who is a failed student, what happens to him? Now, prāpya puṇya-kṛtāṁ lokān: [Bg. 6.41] “He enters into the planets where pious living entities are allowed to enter.” That means he gets into the higher planets. There are many planets within the universe, and the higher planets, there are more comforts, more duration of life, persons are more pious, religious, godly. As you make progress to the higher planets, these facilities are there, thousand times better than this planet. So Kṛṣṇa says that “Even if he is failure, still, he goes to such planets where pious men are elevated.” Prāpya puṇya-kṛtāṁ lokān, and uṣitvā śāśvatīḥ samāḥ [Bg. 6.41]. And he remains there for a long duration of time. 

Now, in the heavenly kingdom, it is said that our six months is… Six months are equal to their one day. And similarly, they live there for ten thousand years. This description we get from Vedic literatures. Just like in the Bhagavad-gītā you have got the duration of life of Brahmā. That is the highest planet. So Kṛṣṇa says that “After… Even if he is a failure, he gets promotion to the higher planets.” But in the higher planets you cannot remain for all the time. Kṣīṇe puṇye punaḥ martya-lokaṁ viśanti: “When your pious balance is finished, then you are again fallen in this earth.” Kṣīṇe puṇye punaḥ martya-lokaṁ viśanti. Martya-lokam means, this martya-lokam, this earth. Now, even when he comes back here, He says, Lord Kṛṣṇa says, that “He gets his birth…” Śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭo ‘bhijāyate [Bg. 6.41]. He takes his birth in a family, two kinds of families. One family, śrīmatām. Śrīmatām means very rich family, very rich family. 

So one who takes his birth in a very rich family, it should be understood that he was certainly a very pious man in his previous life. By good work, by pious work, we get. In our next life, we get facilities, four kinds of facilities. What are they? Now, janma, aiśvarya, śruta, śrī. Janma, aiśvarya, śruta, śrī. Janma means to get birth in very aristocratic family, royal family, lord family, rich family, janma. Or acquires large extent of wealth, janmaiśvarya-śruta [SB 1.8.26]. Śruta means becomes very learned scholar. So one who is learned scholar, it is to be understood that it is due to his past deeds. One who is rich man, it is to be understood that it is due to his pious acts in his last life. Janmaiśvarya-śruta-śrī. Śrī means beauty. And one who is very beautiful, either male or female, it is to be understood that this is the result of his or her pious work in the past lives. 

So here it is said that śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭo… Śucīnām means pious family. Pious family means brāhmaṇas. They are śuci. Śuci means always pure. Śuci means… A brāhmaṇa, means a cultured brāhmaṇa, they are always pure. Their habits, their behavior—everything is pure. That is called śucīnām. That is a greater facility. And śrīmatām, rich, rich family. So the yoga-bhraṣṭa, after living for many, many days in the higher planets where pious people have entered, then, when he again comes to this earth, he gets birth in a, either in a brāhmaṇa family, śucīnām, or in a great, rich, mercantile family. Śucīnāṁ śrīmatā… Śrīmatām is generally meant: a rich mercantile family. Just like you have got in your country Rockefeller family, Ford family. There are many. In India also there are Birla family, Bamar[?] family. Every country, there are rich families. So either in a purified family, just like brāhmaṇas, or in a rich family… So at least, those who sincerely begin spiritual life, so their next life is guaranteed as human life, human form of life, for many days. 

So those who are rich in this world, or those who have got birth in a very, I mean to say, pious family, brāhmaṇa family, they should understand that “It is God’s grace that I have got my birth with such, so much facilities of life.” Why śucīnām? In a pious family one gets the chance of spiritual advancement. I shall say practically, from my whole life. I was fortunate to get my, I mean to say, birth, in a very pious family. Yes. My father was very pious man, and I wanted to imitate him in my childhood. Of course, our family was not very poor, but we were not very rich men. But my father was very pious man. So he was worshiping Kṛṣṇa. So in my childhood, when I was five or six years old, I requested my father that “Father, give me this Deity. I shall worship.” So father purchased for me little Kṛṣṇa, Rādhā, and he gave me, and I was imitating. Whatever foodstuff I was getting, I was offering to Kṛṣṇa and eating. In this way I got my life developed. And there was a temple in our neighborhood. So I was seeing the Kṛṣṇa Deity. Oh, I was thinking… I still remember. I was standing for hours together. 

So in this way, practically we can understand that these facilities are given by the Lord. The Lord is always prepared to give us facility. Simply He wants to see that we are sincere. That’s all. There is nice verse in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. 

tyaktvā sva-dharmaṁ caraṇāmbujaṁ harer
bhajann apakvo ‘tha patet tato yadi
yatra kva vābhadram abhūd amuṣya kiṁ
ko vārtha āpto ‘bhajatāṁ sva-dharmataḥ
[SB 1.5.17]

Abhajatāṁ sva-dharmataḥ, yes. The purport of this verse is that tyaktvā sva-dharmam. Sva-dharmam means every particular person has got his prescribed duty of life, every particular person. Whatever he may be, in whatever country, or whatever society, everyone has got his some designated duty, that “You have to do this.” Now here it is said that if he gives up his duty, prescribed duty, and by sentiment, by association, or by craziness, or any way, he takes surrender unto Kṛṣṇa, people may say, “Oh, these people are crazy.” All right, even crazy, some way or other, if he takes shelter unto Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead… When I say Kṛṣṇa, that means God. Then what happens? Tyaktvā sva-dharmaṁ caraṇāmbujaṁ hareḥ. By sentiment or by any reason… There may be many reasons if one takes shelter of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord. But bhajana, while he was worshiping or prosecuting spiritual rules and regulations, apakva, he does not become mature, but somehow or other falls down. Tyaktvā sva-dharmaṁ caraṇāmbujaṁ harer bhajann [SB 1.5.17]. Bhajana means worshiping, apakva, immature, and falls down. So Nārada says in this Bhāgavata, tatra ko vā and abhadram abhūd amuṣya kim: “So what is there inauspicious for him there? 

Suppose he has fallen down. There is no inauspicity. But a person who does not approach God, but regularly makes his duties perfectly, what does he get? What does he get, religious? He does not get any benefit of his life. But a person, even he falls down, because he has taken shelter of the Supreme Lord, “Oh, he is better.” So these things are sanctioned by Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā and all Vedic literatures, that there is no harm even one is not able to fulfill his mission properly, half-finished. Still… Why? Why he is not in loss? The next śloka says. Now, again Lord says that “Either in a brāhmaṇa family, very pious family, or in a rich family, athavā, or, yoginām eva kule bhavati dhīmatām [Bg. 6.42], yoginām, in a family where persons have practiced the yoga system…” Yogināṁ dhīmatām. Yoginām. Yoginām means either devotee or meditators or great philosophers—in their families. Yoginām eva kule bhavati dhīmatām [Bg. 6.42]. Dhīmatām means very intelligent. These transcendentalists, either philosopher, or meditators, or great devotees of the Lord, they are considered the, I mean to say, highest top of the human society, dhīmatām. Etad dhi durlabhataraṁ loke janma yad īdṛśam. 

Now, out of the three, either he gets his birth in a brāhmaṇa family or in a rich family or in a family where people are, the members are highly advanced in the yoga, so Kṛṣṇa says the third one, third one, is to be considered more fortunate, third one, who has got his birth in the family of a yogi, because one who has got his birth in a rich family, he may be misled. And naturally it so happens. When a man gets riches, silver spoon in mouth, he thinks, “Oh, I have got so much money, my paternal property. Let me enjoy it.” Oh. So sometimes he becomes a drunkard, a prostitute hunter, a, I mean to say, rogue. He becomes. Similarly, in a brāhmaṇa family also… Just like we have seen in India. There are many persons who are born in a big, I mean to say, very pious family. But because he has taken his birth in a pious family, he thinks, “I am brāhmaṇa. Oh, what I have to do? I am very pious family.” They mistake in that way. So they degrade. 

So in the pious family or in the rich family, there is chance of degradation. But one who takes his birth in a family of yogis, devotees, oh, he has got better chance for cultivating the same spiritual culture from which in his past life he had fallen. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, etad dhi durlabhataram: “This is very rare, that a man gets his birth, a parent, a yogi.” This is very rare. But He recommends, I mean, He eulogizes this sort of family that… What is the facility of this family? Now, Lord says, tatra taṁ buddhi-saṁyogaṁ labhate paurva-dehikam: [Bg. 6.43] “In his previous birth, in his previous body, whatever he cultured, now he begins to remember.” He begins to remember. I may tell you that those who have taken this society, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, very seriously, they are not ordinary persons. They must have had such culture in their previous life. Now they are again trying to revive that thing. 

It is said, according to Bhagavad-gītā, tatra taṁ buddhi-saṁyogaṁ labhate paurva-dehikam [Bg. 6.43]. Because that asset is there. Suppose I make my bank balance ten thousand millions, or something big, very big balance. Now, as soon as my body is finished, oh, the bank balance is also finished because the bank balance is not going with me. That remains in the bank to be enjoyed by somebody else. But the spiritual culture… Suppose if you have got ten thousand or… Even ten percent you have done, that goes with you. So there is no loss. Then again you begin from 11%. From the eleven point, you begin. So we should consider that when you get such chance of spiritual cultivation—may be 10%, 5%, 50%—we should know that “Now we should finish the balance percentage of cultivation. We must finish this life. I shall not take chance of another birth.” That should be our determination. Paurva-dehikam. “When I have come to this point, it must be understood that I had some asset in my previous life. So Kṛṣṇa is giving me chance to make further progress. Now, in my past life I could not finish the job some way or other, but that doesn’t matter. Now this life I shall not allow to miss this opportunity.” That should be our determination as soon as we begin some spiritual culture. Tatra taṁ buddhi-saṁyogaṁ labhate paurva-dehikam [Bg. 6.43]. Paurva-dehikam means according to the past life, he begins, he tries. 

You gentlemen, boys, who come here—that is an urge from within, that you want. This urge is due to your past, previous, spiritual culture. This should be understood if we believe Bhagavad-gītā. So we should not make any more fall down. We should finish this business in this life so that, according to Bhagavad-gītā, as it is said, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya: [Bg. 4.9] “Then, after leaving this body, then he does not take birth again in this material world, where janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi [Bg. 13.9], repeated birth, and death, diseases, are there, but he comes back to Me, Kṛṣṇa.” Samāśritā ye pada-pallava-plavaṁ mahat-padaṁ puṇya-yaśo murāreḥ. Mahat-padaṁ puṇya-yaśo murāreḥ. Murāreḥ. Murāri means Kṛṣṇa. One who takes shelter under the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, then for him, this place, which is padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ na teṣām [SB 10.14.58], a place wherein every step there is danger… This material world is supposed that every step there is danger. Just see. What we are doing? Innocent, culturing some spiritual process, and there are so many complaints. Just see. We are not stealing. We are not, I mean to say, making propaganda for some political purpose, nothing. Innocent thing we are doing. But still, somebody comes forward and puts some dangerous position. You see? So this is such a place. Lord Jesus Christ, his only fault was that he was preaching God’s message. He was crucified. You see? So these things are… This place is like that. Even if you are innocent, still, you’ll be put into danger. Therefore this place should be avoided. Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadām: “Every step there is danger.” 

So one who takes to spiritual culture, for them, this place is unfit. Unfit. My Guru Mahārāja used to say that “This place is not fit for any gentleman’s living.” [chuckles] He was to say like that, “This place is unfit for any gentleman’s living.” So yatate ca tato bhūyaḥ saṁsiddhau kuru-nandana, kuru-nandana: “O My dear Arjuna, when he gets such chance to revive his old spiritual culture, automatically he tries for it sincerely.” Kuru-nandana. Kuru-nandana. Yatate ca tato bhūyaḥ. How? Pūrvābhyāsena tenaiva: “Because he had his practice in his previous life, therefore it appeals to him.” Nothing appeals anything more. He has got a taste from the previous life. So it appeals to him. Pūrvābhyāsena tenaiva hriyate hy avaśo ‘pi saḥ. Just like somebody is forcing, “Oh, you take this. You take this.” Just like one who is sinful, he is also forced to go to the Bowery Street. You see? Similarly, one who is pious in his life and has begun this spiritual…, he is forced to cultivate and make progress because if God is within you… God is within you. And sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. He is seated in everyone’s heart. Mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam. He is… He gives reminders: “Yes. You missed this point from here. Now come on. Begin again. Be perfect. Don’t lose this chance.” He is so kind. Smṛtir jñānam. He is giving knowledge, remembrance. And one who wants to forget God, “Oh, yes, you forget. You come to this here. Here is your place.” He gives us chance in every way. [end] 

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