Prabhupāda: [chants maṅgalācaraṇa prayers] So we have been discussing the talks between Śukadeva Gosvāmī and Mahārāja Parīkṣit. The question is how one can be delivered from the miserable condition of hellish life. The nature’s illusory methods are two kinds: one is covering energy, and another is throwing energy. Nature is acting upon us in two ways. Just like somebody may think that “Here is a nice movement, Kṛṣṇa conscious movement. Let me take part in this.” And nature dictates, “Why shall you go there? Don’t go there. Better enjoy like this.” This is throwing energy. Throws him from the path. And another is covering energy. Covering energy means a person or a living entity may remain in the most abominable condition, still, he thinks he’s happy. He’s happy. Just like you have seen many friends in the diseased condition on the bed. And if you go to see him, “How you are feeling?” and he’ll say, “Yes, I am all right.” He’s on the diseased condition. What is the meaning of this “all right”? This is also covering energy. So anyone, in a…, however… A dog, in such abominable condition, still, he’s joyful. He thinks, “I am very happy.” A hog, any animal… We are human beings; we are given better facilities of life. The animals are not given so much facilities by nature, but still, they feel happy. If we say, of course, straight, somebody may be sorry, but this is nature’s law. So however abominable condition it may be, one feels that he’s happy.
So these two kinds of things are going on, parallel. But actually, everyone who is encaged in this material body, he’s unhappy. That is the sum and substance of the whole material existence. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said, dvaite bhadrābhadra sakale samān. In the dual world or in this material world, what we have manufactured that “This is very nice and this is not nice”—this bad or good conception—he says that it is simply mental concoction. Actually, there is nothing good here. One should be very much pessimistic. Otherwise, he’ll have to remain in the darkness of ignorance of this material nature. One should thoroughly understand that we are in a very precarious condition of this material… Because they have no information that there is happy life, there is eternal life, there is blissful life. They have no information. They think, “This is the life. So let us adjust things as far as possible.” This is the covering energy of material energy.
So Mahārāja Parīkṣit asks,
yathaiva narakān naraḥ
tan me vyākhyātum arhasi
“Please explain to me how one can become free from this hellish condition of life.” We are not only living very unhappy while we are in life; after death there are so many miserable conditions, hellish conditions, transmigration of the soul from one body to another. That is also very miserable condition. And to remain in the body of a dog or hog, that sort of degradation is also there. And again to come even in the human body, in the womb of the mother, that is also very miserable condition. Now this child, the small child, he’s protesting that “I’m not in comfortable condition. Mother, take me in this way.” So mother is trying to satisfy him. So always, always. That thing has to be understood, that so long we are in this material world, the miseries will continue. So a very intelligent question, that “How one can get out of this miserable life?”
So he answered,
na ced ihaivāpacitiṁ yathāmhasaḥ
kṛtasya kuryān mana-ukta-pāṇibhiḥ
dhruvaṁ sa vai pretya narakān upaiti
ye kīrtitā me bhavatas tigma-yātanāḥ
Śukadeva Gosvāmī, he said that “I have already described the different kinds of hellish conditions. So unless one atones his sinful life, one has to suffer such hellish conditional life.” Tasmāt puraivāśv iha pāpa-niṣkṛtau yateta mṛtyor avipadyatātmanā. Therefore it is everyone’s duty that before you meet death, you atone your sinful activities. And what is that example he’s giving? Doṣasya dṛṣṭvā guru-lāghavaṁ yathā bhiṣak cikitseta rujāṁ nidānavit . Just like when one is diseased, if he does not make proper treatment immediately, that disease may increase and cause fatal. Everyone knows that, that when he’s diseased… So diseased condition means sinful condition. Diseased condition means suffering, and suffering means sinful, reaction of sinful activities. So the prescription is that as one goes to the physician, similarly, for treatment of his disease—otherwise it may prove fatal—similarly, one should atone the sinful activities as they are prescribed in different scriptures. That is the prescription.
It is said in the Cāṇakya Paṇḍita śloka that three things you should not neglect. What is that? Fire and debts and disease. Suppose you are sitting here, and there is small fire in the corner, some cigarette butts or something like that. You should not neglect it. Never think, “Oh, it is small fire. It will extinguish automatically.” No. It may take a very, I mean to say, blazing shape at any moment. So one should not neglect fire. Similarly, debts also. If somebody thinks, “Oh, I have got this hundred, thousand dollars I am indebted. All right I shall see to it.” After some years it may increase to five thousand dollars. So similarly, disease also. Suppose you are thinking that “Oh, this is nothing. It will cure out of itself.” No. That is the instruction. So we should not neglect. And in the Manu-saṁhitā it is enjoined that when a man is a murderer, that we have got practical experience, the king condemns him to death. And the Manu-saṁhitā supports that it is good. It is good for him. In every country and every law that “life for life” is good. Because if he’s hanged in this life, then next life he hasn’t got to suffer. His all sinful reaction is finished, being hanged. Therefore in every state, and especially in the Manu-saṁhitā, it is said that it is king’s mercy when a person is hanged for his murdering sinful activities; it is to be thought that king’s mercy. So because we have to suffer for any… Just like if we take more food, then we have to suffer—indigestion or something else. This is nature’s law. Either you be careful, or if there is some sinful reaction, be, I mean to say, alarmed, and take care of it. Otherwise, the suffering will increase. So Śukadeva Gosvāmī advises that as… In India still, the practice is if somebody commits some sinful activity he goes to a learned paṇḍita, brāhmaṇa, “Sir, this thing has been done by me. So what is the atonement?” He prescribes something. Of course, in this way some business is also going on. [chuckling] But actually one should atone. That is the statement of Śukadeva Gosvāmī.
Now the king is very intelligent. He’s putting next question,
dṛṣṭa-śrutābhyāṁ yat pāpaṁ
janānn apy ātmano ‘hitam
karoti bhūyo vivaśaḥ
prāyaścittam atho katham
kvacin nivartate ‘bhadrāt
kvacic carati tat punaḥ
prāyaścittam atho ‘pārtham
Very intelligent question. “My dear sir, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, I can understand that one should take care of his sinful reaction and atone for it as prescribed in the śāstras. But my question is that,” dṛṣṭa-śrutābhyāṁ yat pāpam, “one sees that due to this sinful activity one is suffering.” Dṛṣṭa. Dṛṣṭa means actually personal experience, face to face. How is that? A man has killed somebody, murder, and he’s going to be hanged. Everyone sees it. Then why does he commit the same thing? He has seen it that “My friend committed a murder.” Or forget murdering…, committed something else which is against the law of the state, and he’s punished. Dṛṣṭa-śruta. Dṛṣṭa means by seeing, and sruta means by hearing. Just like you are hearing. We are all hearing from authoritative scripture. This is called śruta, śruti, hearing. Not this scripture. Everyone has heard that if you commit theft, then you’ll go to prison for six months. I may not have practical experience; I have heard it, and I see it also, that this man has committed theft and he’s going to prisonhouse. He’s arrested by the police and he’s going. So dṛṣṭa-śruta. One hears, also practically sees. So dṛṣṭa-śrutābhyāṁ yat pāpam , that if one commits some sinful activities, and other sees it, and he also sees it, and he has heard it from scripture, still, janānn apy ātmano ‘hitam. Ātmano, he knows that “This is not good for me.” Ātmanā, ātmanā means for the soul. The soul is suffering, and he sees practically that “This is not good for me.” “Me” means I am as soul. Because I have to travel or transmigrate in so many species of life, he knows. So he has heard it from the scripture, he’s seeing that there is suffering. But karoti bhūyo vivaśaḥ: still, he commits the same sin, vivaśaḥ. Vivaśaḥ means just like somebody is forcing him to do it. Something forced. A thief has committed theft and he has gone to a prisonhouse. He’s suffering, and he’s thinking that “Next time I shall not do like this. This is very troublesome.” But as soon as he comes out, again he commits the same thing.
There is a very nice proverb. It is said in Bengali that a woman, when she is in pain of labor, delivering child, she thinks that “Next time I shall never be pregnant.” But after that [chuckling] again she becomes pregnant. You see? She knows the trouble of giving delivery to a child, and she promises that “Next time I shall…” Of course, nowadays there are so many contraceptive methods. But this is a proverb. So a diseased man, he has gone to the physician. He’s suffering from a chronic disease. He knows the cause. Doctor says that “You have done this; therefore you are suffering.” But after cure he again does the same thing. Why? This is the real problem. Why does he do so? He has seen, he has experienced. Therefore Parīkṣit Mahārāja says, kvacin nivartate ‘bhadrāt. By such experience, by hearing and seeing, sometimes he refrains that “No, I shall not do these things. It is very troublesome. Last time I had so much trouble.” And kvacic carati tat punaḥ: and sometimes he again commits the same mistake. Prāyaścittam atho ‘pārthaṁ manye kuñjara-śaucavat . “Therefore, my dear sir, I think this so-called atonement is useless.” Useless. Because the prescribed atonement he performs, suppose he becomes free from the sin, but why again he commits? Therefore he says, manye kuñjara-śaucavat.
He’s giving very nice example—kuñjara-śaucavat. Kuñjara means elephant. In your country you don’t see elephant. We are… In India, we have seen. Not nowadays. Still, there are some, but fifty years before there were many elephants. Especially the zamindars, the landlords and the native princes, they used to keep so many elephants. They used to spend for it… To keep elephant means it is very expensive job. So elephant, there is a particular type of lake where elephants are allowed to take their bath. So if anyone has not seen it, the elephant will take bath very nicely, wash the body very nicely. And as soon as he come over the land, he takes some dust from the land and throws over the body again. Immediately. In that wet body he will cover the whole body with dust. So Parīkṣit Mahārāja is giving very nice example, kuñjara-śaucavat: just like cleansing the body of an elephant. It cleanses very nicely, that’s all right, but as soon as come out of the water… We have to study all these things from nature. The elephant is so big, and it is supposed to be the biggest animal. And he has got great strength, but how fool he is, just see. Just after taking bath it will cover the whole body with dust.
Bādarāyaṇir uvāca—now he’s answering. Rujāṁ rogānāṁ nidānavid yathā vaidyas tad anurūpaṁ cikitseta [?]. Atra codayati dvābhyām. Hm. This is already finished. Yathā kuñjara-snāna rajobhir ātmānaṁ malīni karoti tathā pāpasya punar durṇivāratvena naraka-pātasya avaśyaṁ prāyaścittaṁ vyārtham iti So if there is possibility of gliding down to the hellish condition of life by committing sinful activities, now supposing one makes atonement for such activities and again he commits, then what is the use of it? Simply… Just like you kindle fire and pour water on it. Then what is the use of kindling fire? So,
na hy ātyantika iṣyate
Now Śukadeva Gosvāmī is answering the question, that so long one is in ignorance, so long one is in the…, one’s heart is full with dirty things, so he may commit sinful activities or he may counteract it by atonement. But so long the dirty thing is within the heart, it is all useless. Therefore our process, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, as it is said by Caitanya Mahāprabhu that ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam, one has to cleanse the dirty things from the heart. That is real atonement. If the dirty things are there as it is, simply… Just like one man is diseased. The dirty things are within his body, and he cleanses outwardly with soap and water very nicely, that does not mean that he is freed from the diseased condition. The cause of the disease must be removed. Then he’ll be healthy. Simply by superfluous washing the body, one does not become free from diseased condition. So avidvad-adhikāritvāt. So long… Avidvad means ignorance. So ignorance, what is the ignorance? The ignorance we have explained many times, that “I am this body.” And everyone is acting on this bodily concept of life. This is called avidyā. Avidyā means ignorance. So avidvad-adhikāritvāt prāyaścittaṁ vimarśanam. So there is no utility for atonement if that ignorance, the dirty things, exist in the heart.
nāśnataḥ pathyam evānnaṁ
vyādhayo ‘bhibhavanti hi
evaṁ niyamakṛd rājan
śanaiḥ kṣemāyā kalpate
[reads Śrīdhāra Swami’s commentary:] Avidvan adhikārī yasmin tasya bhāvas tattvaṁ tathā, avidyā naśāthavād naṣṭe ‘pi tasmin pāpe tat saṁskāraṇa pāpāntarasya punaḥ punaḥ prāroho bhavati. Tat tu nimitta-pramattaḥ śanair labhate nānya iti sadṛṣṭāntam āha. Pathyam eva annam aśnataḥ puruṣān yathā vyādhayo na bādhante tathā niyamādi kārtā kṣemāya tattva-jñānāya samartho bhavati. Very nice. He says just like a person who is following the rules and regulation prescribed by the physician. A man may be diseased. Every one of us is, some way or other, we are diseased. This material body means we are in diseased condition. So he is giving very nice example, that,
nāśnataḥ pathyam evānnaṁ
vyādhayo ‘bhibhavanti hi
evaṁ niyamakṛd rājan
śanaiḥ kṣemāyā kalpate
Just like in diseased condition of life there are some restraints. Doctor says that “You are suffering from diabetes. You should not take sugar. You should not take sugar, you should not eat this thing, that thing,” so many restriction. So Śukadeva Gosvāmī says that niyama-kṛd, if you follow the regulation and rules of life, then śanaiḥ ksemāya kalpate, then very soon that dirty things of the heart can be cured. Just like we prescribe. Not prescribe—it is already there in the śāstras. Our students, those who are initiated specially, we say that “Don’t have illicit sex life, don’t take part in gambling, don’t take foodstuff except vegetables, and don’t take intoxicants.” Four rules. So if these four rules are followed, gradually, gradually, one becomes free from the dirty things of the heart.
So one has to follow. Simply I am diseased and I take some immediate medicine, it may give me some temporary benefit, but that is not cure. If you have to cure yourself, then you have to follow the rules and regulation prescribed by the physician. And what are the rules and regulation? He says,
śamena ca damena ca
yamena niyamena vā
Tapasā. Tapasā means austerity. Austerity. Suppose if you are habituated to some bad habits. Suppose you smoke, and the prescription is, “Don’t take intoxicants.” Smoking is intoxication. Now if you have to follow the rules, you cannot smoke, it will be troublesome for you. Because you are habituated to smoke, and I say “You don’t smoke,” it will be very difficult for you. You are habituated to unrestricted sex life, and if I say that “Don’t have illicit sex life,” it will be troublesome for you. Similarly, so many things are there, we are habituated, and if they are restricted there will be some trouble. So voluntarily accepting some trouble is called tapasya, or austerity. Just like a patient, if he wants to be cured, he has to follow the restriction imposed by the physician. And he follows it. Just like doctor says it, “Oh, you cannot get up. You must lie down twenty-four hours.” He doesn’t like it, but he has to do it. This is called tapasya, austerity. Penance. Austerity. Just like we say that on the ekādaśī day you should fast. So fasting is not very, I mean to say, pleasant, but one has to do. This is called tapasya. Brahmacaryeṇa. Brahmacaryeṇa means celibacy. The more you restrain your sex life, the more you become strong for spiritual life. Brahmacaryeṇa. Brahma…, brahmacarya means to restrain, control sex life. Therefore somebody asked me, “Swamiji, why you are stressing so much on married life?” I have given this answer to many gentleman in the television, that because we have got a demand for sex life. But if we are restricted with married life, then there is no, I mean to say, illicit sex life. At least we refrain from that.
So it is stated here. These are the rules. Tapasā brahmacaryeṇa. Brahmacarya means celibacy, and śamena, control the mind. Damena, control the senses. If you can control your mind, then you can control your senses. In the mind is the center of sense activities. If you can control the mind, then easily you can control the senses. And the easiest process of controlling the mind is to fix up your mind in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If Kṛṣṇa… Kṛṣṇa is all-powerful. If He is seated on your mind, there will be no chance for anything nonsense coming into your mind. Śamena ca damena ca, and tyāgena. Tyāgena means by renunciation. These things are to be practiced. It is not that you can go on doing all nonsense and you become [chuckling] spiritually advanced. If somebody says like that, he is simply cheating. He’s cheating. Just like a nonsense doctor may say that “You simply pay my fees, and you can do all kinds of nonsense and you’ll be cured.” You see. This sort of doctor nobody consults. You see. He says that “You come and pay me my fees, and I shall give you a mantra. You’ll be cured, and you can do all kinds of nonsense.” Will anybody go to that doctor? Any sane man? Similarly, if somebody says that “You can do whatever you like. You take this mantra and pay me my fees, and you’ll be highly advanced in spiritual consciousness,” these things we do not find in the authorized books, or Vedic literature. They’re all manufactured just to flatter and just to earn some money.
But actually, if you are serious, then as it is stated, that you have to follow the regulation, austerity, celibacy, controlling the mind, controlling the senses, by renunciation, by truthfulness, by cleanliness, and by following the rules and regulations. This is stated.
kṣipanty aghaṁ mahad api
Now he is giving very nice example. Veṇu-gulmam ivānalaḥ. Just like in the dry season there are so many dry grasses from the field, and if you have to clear the field, you simply set fire on the field and everything automatically becomes cleansed. Similarly, deha-vāg-buddhijaṁ dhīrā dharmajñāḥ śraddhayānvitāḥ. Those who are intelligent enough, dharmajñāḥ, one who knows what is real religious principle, and śraddhayānvitāḥ, and who is faithful, he can get out of all kinds of sinful activities by an intelligent method. What is that intelligent method?
kecit kevalaya bhaktyā
aghaṁ dhunvanti kārtsnyena
nīhāram iva bhāskaraḥ
That he says that simply by Kṛṣṇa consciousness or devotional service, pure devotional service, vāsudeva-parāyaṇāḥ… Vāsudeva means Kṛṣṇa. One who is devoted to Kṛṣṇa, simply by that devotional process, and always being in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, agham dhunvanti kārtsnyena. one can get out of all sinful reactions. How? Nīhāram iva bhāskaraḥ. Nīhāram means dews. You have seen in this season, so many dews are on the grass, on the tree. As soon as there is sunrise, everything finished. Everything finished. It is very nice example. So if you bring forth the sun of Kṛṣṇa… These are all products… These sinful activities is due to ignorance. Ignorance is darkness, māyā, and Kṛṣṇa or Kṛṣṇa consciousness is just like the sun. Now this is night; everything is dark. If some way or other there is sunrise, then immediately the darkness is finished. So Śukadeva Gosvāmī says that kecit. Kecit. Kecit means it is not possible for all, but some fortunate men do like this instead of going to so many details how to get out of this sinful reaction, simply by Kṛṣṇa consciousness and devotional service, vāsudeva-parāyaṇāḥ, those who are devotees of Lord Kṛṣṇa, agham… Agham means all kinds of sinful reaction. Dhunvanti kārtsnyena. Wholesale. Kārtsnyena means wholesale. Kārtsnyena nihāram. Nihāram means just like dews, bhāskaraḥ means sun. As the sun disseminates immediately, dissipates immediately the dews without any effort, similarly, as soon as there is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you become free from all sinful reaction.
Another thing, this is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā also, that the Lord says that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja:“You give up all kinds of bodily religious principles of life.” What is that? Kṛṣṇa is asking sarva-dharmān. Dharma means religious principles. Now in one place He says that dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya, “I have come to reestablish the religious principle,” and at the end He says sarva-dharmān parityajya . Sarva-dharmān. This sarva-dharmān, all kinds of religious principles pertaining to the bodily concept of life. We present ourselves that “I am Hindu” or “I am Christian,” “I am Muhammadan…” [break] [kīrtana] [end]