Śrī Īśopaniṣad, Mantra 1 — October 30, 1968, Los Angeles

Śrī Īśopaniṣad, Mantra 1

[incomplete lecture] 

Prabhupāda: Open the page. Read. 

Devotee: Page eighteen. Page eighteen. “The root of sin is deliberate disobedience to the laws of nature through not recognizing the proprietorship of the Lord; disobedience to the laws of nature, or disobedience to the order of the Lord of a human, to the human being. On the other hand, if one is sober and knows the laws of nature, without being influenced by unnecessary attachment or abhorrence, he is sure to be recognized again by the Lord and thus become eligible for going back to Godhead, back to the eternal home.” [Īśo mantra 1] 

Prabhupāda: Hmm. So the natural law, without being influenced by unnecessary attachment, or abhorrence. There is no need of attachment for this material world; neither there is need of abhorrence. That is īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam [Īśo mantra 1]. Suppose we are sitting in this temple. So, of course, for temple we should have attachment. Ordinary home, or ordinary house, temple… We must explain. The temple is transcendental. According to Vedic civilization, to live in the forest is residential quarter in goodness, to live in the forest. Therefore, formerly, great sages and saintly persons, they used to go to the forest and live there. And the government would give them protection. The king’s duty was to supply them food. What sort of food? The king used to give them in charity cows, nice cows. So they would take little milk, and whatever fruits are available in the forest, that was sufficient for them. And the king would sometimes hunt ferocious animals so that they may not disturb. But actually, they do not disturb saintly persons still. So to live in the forest is in the mode of goodness, and to live in the city, or town, is…, is in the mode of passion, and to live in slaughterhouse and brothel and drunkards, these are the residential quarter in ignorance. And to live in the temple is transcendental, above goodness, pure goodness. In the material world goodness is sometimes mixed up with ignorance and passion, but in the spiritual world there is pure goodness—no contamination or tinges of passion and ignorance. Therefore it is called śuddha-sattva. Śuddha-sattva. Śabdam, sattvaṁ viśuddhaṁ vasudeva-śabditam: “That pure goodness is called Vasudeva, and in that pure goodness one can realize God.” Therefore God’s name is Vāsudeva, “produced from Vasudeva.” Vasudeva is the father of Vāsudeva. 

So unless we come to the standard of pure goodness, without any tinge of passion and ignorance, it is not possible, God realization. Therefore bhakti means anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam [Cc. Madhya 19.167], jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam [Brs. 1.1.11]. Jñāna is the platform of goodness, and karma is the platform of passion and ignorance. So bhakti means anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ [Cc. Madhya 19.167], without any material desires, devoid of, freed from all kinds of material desire and uncovered by ignorance, passion and goodness. Goodness also. To become very good man in this world, that does not mean that he is freed from this material contamination. He’s contaminated by the goodness quality. Just like Arjuna. He wanted to be very good man. Kṛṣṇa said, “Now fight.” He said, “Oh, how can I fight? Oh, they are my brothers, they are my grandfathers. No, no, no. Better I shall beg. I don’t want this kingdom.” So this is material goodness. People appreciate very much: “Oh, just see. Arjuna is giving up claim on the kingdom.” But what Kṛṣṇa replied? Kṛṣṇa said, “Wherefrom you got this foolish idea?” Kutas tvā kaśmalam idaṁ viṣame samupasthitam, anārya-juṣṭam: “This is for non-Aryans, not for Aryans.” So this so-called goodness, so-called gentlemanliness, has no value in the spiritual world. Spiritual world—complete love of God, without any attachment for this… So Arjuna, this goodness, means attachment for his family. That’s all. He was becoming a good man. Why? Because there is attachment for his family, for his grandfather, for his brother, nephews. So, so long there is attachment for this material world, either in the form of goodness or passion or ignorance, they’re all the same. In the transcendental platform… Therefore Caitanya-caritāmṛta says that in this material world, the divisions that “This is good, and this is bad,” they are simply mental concoction. The same example: the stool dried up is good, and the wet is not good. Stool is stool. That’s all. For a devotee, this is stool. Either it may be dried up or moist, it doesn’t matter. So those who are in ignorance and passion, they’re little moist, and those who are in goodness, they’re dried up. But after all, it is stool. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. There is no consideration of this goodness or badness. You have to give up all material attachment. And abhorrence. Abhorrence is also another negative attachment. “I don’t like this.” That means I have attachment for this “don’t like.” You see? [break] A devotee is simply attached to the service of the Lord and… [end] 

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