SB 7.6.9-17 — March 31, 1969, San Francisco

Prabhupāda: [chants maṅgalācaraṇa prayers] 

It is not working? 

Devotee: The extension cord. [pause] 


ko gṛheṣu pumān saktam
ātmānam ajitendriyaḥ
sneha-pāśair dṛḍhair baddham
utsaheta vimocitum
[SB 7.6.9]

Now, Prahlāda Mahārāja is describing how Kṛṣṇa consciousness can be practiced. His proposition is to his friends, young friends, that Kṛṣṇa conscious should be practiced from very childhood. And he has explained very nicely that as we grow, most of our time is wasted in so many ways. First of all he has analyzed that although we may have one hundred years of age duration of life, fifty years immediately gone because we sleep at night. And twenty years for playing, and twenty years for disease and other things. So twenty, twenty, plus fifty so out of hundred years, ninety years gone, wasted. Ten years. That ten years means great attachment. The more we become entangled in this materialistic attraction… 

The materialistic attraction means, the first attraction is sex. This whole world, not only human society, in animal society also… There are 8,400,000’s of different kinds of societies according to different kinds of species of life. “Birds of the same feather flock together.” As it is said, that a species, a particular type of species of life… Not only that, we human beings, we have flocked together. Birds of the same feather. This is not very important thing. If you combine together as American or Indian or Chinese or many other names, oh, same thing in there in the lower animals also. Therefore this saying is very nice, that “Birds of the same feather flock together.” So this propensity of combination of society, community, amongst the human being, is not very important improvement. So in this way, our attachment increases. So when we are old enough, Prahlāda Mahārāja says that ko gṛheṣu pumān saktam. The older we are, our attachment for home—home, society, society, friendship, love—increases. 

The beginning of attachment is sex. That is described in the Bhāgavata. Puṁsaḥ striyā mithunī etat. The whole world is attached with one another on the basis of sex. So the sex attraction increases as we increase our products of sex. Gṛha-kṣetra-sutāpta-vittaiḥ [SB 5.5.8]. The products of sex… The first combination is with wife, and then we want some apartment or place to live together; then produce children; then we want society; then we want money, wealth. In this way, go on increasing, the real purpose of life is forgotten. The real purpose of life is, especially for the human being, is how to get away from this material bondage. So in the old age, Prahlāda Mahārāja says, when the attachment is too much grown Ko gṛheṣu pumān saktam. The attachment for home, society, friendship, is natural. But when that attachment is very solid and grown strong, at that time he says, sneha-pāśair dṛḍhair baddham. When the affection with one another is very firmly settled, how one can leave? [aside:] I am feeling warm. Wretched[?]. I want to take off, yes. [sound of Prabhupāda removing sweater] It is inconveniently turned. [pause] Sneha-pāśair dṛḍhair baddham utsaheta. When our attachment becomes too much strong, it is not possible to give up this material society, friendship, love, and attachment. 

So therefore the whole stress is given, Prahlāda Mahārāja giving, that if we want to begin Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then we have to begin immediately because the more we grow older, our attachment for material things becomes more and more strong, and at that time it is very difficult. Therefore according to Vedic civilization, as I was explaining the other day, at a certain point one has to, by, I mean to say, voluntarily, one has to give up the so-called society, friendship and love, and engage fully for cultivation of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Now, in this meeting I shall request those who are not very much attached to this materialistic way of life… They are seeking after something tangible, for, I mean to say, spiritual consciousness or spiritual life. So for them I present with submission that this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is the only solace for the human society if they are actually hankering after something spiritual. So let them understand this science and seriously consider. Do not be misled. If you are actually hankering after something sublime, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the, the thing. So we submit for your consideration and take it very seriously. So Prahlāda Mahārāja said, 

ko nv artha tṛṣṇāṁ visṛjet
prāṇebhyo ‘pi ya īpsitaḥ
yaṁ krīṇāty asubhiḥ preṣṭhais
taskaraḥ sevako vaṇik

Now, when one is grown up, the attraction for money, attraction of, I mean to say, paraphernalia, attraction for bank balance, everything increases, and, Prahlāda Mahārāja says, at that time it is very difficult to give up all this attraction voluntarily. So better begin Kṛṣṇa consciousness immediately. He is giving very nicely a nice example that “Money is very dear to the mercantile people, money is very dear to the thieves, rogues, money is dear to everyone. And sometimes they risk life for money. Money is so pleasant and so dear that sometimes we risk our life for getting money. So how we can give up the monetary attraction when we are too much, I mean to say, attracted to this materialistic way of life?” Then again he says, kathaṁ priyāyā anukampitāyāḥ saṅgaṁ rahasyaṁ rucirāṁś ca mantrān. Then he said that “In old age the affection between husband and wife is revived.” First of all, in young age, they enjoy life, and in old age they remember, “Oh, how we enjoyed in our young age. How we talked together, how we would walk together.” These things, by contemplation, they enjoy. Suhṛtsu tat-sneha-sitaḥ śiśūnāṁ kalākṣarāṇām anurakta-cittaḥ. In this way, children, the children, they talking very nicely, laughing very nicely, and they are thinking, contemplating. In this way, attachment increasing, daily, attachment increasing. This description, of course, very common, but we should know that these are the shackles of māyā. 

What we call māyā… Māyā means means “not,” and means “this.” What you are accepting as fact, it is not a fact. This is called māyā. Ma-ya. Māyā means “Don’t accept it as truth.” It is simply flickering flash only. Just like in the dream we see so many things, and in the morning we forget everything. This is subtle dream. And this existence, this bodily existence and relationship to this body, society, friendship, and love and so many things, they are also gross dream. It will finish. It will stay Just like dream stays for a few minutes or few hours when you are asleep, similarly, this gross dream also will remain, say, for few years. That’s all. It is also dream. But actually we are concerned with the person who is dreaming or who is acting. So we have to take him out from this dream, gross and subtle. That is the proposition. So that can be done very easily by this process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and that is being explained by Prahlāda Mahārāja. 

putrān smaraṁs tā duhitṝr hṛdayyā
bhrātṝn svasṝr vā pitarau ca dīnau
gṛhān manojñoru paricchadāṁś ca
vṛttīś ca kulyāḥ paśu-bhṛtya-vargān

We, about our home, we think, nice decorated home, and the furnitures, the dress, and the animals, the servants, and the brother, the sister, the old father, and so many, I think. So we always think. These are all our bondage. “Out of sight, out of mind.” So long we are attached, we are, I mean to say, within the association of these things, we have got very good attachment, but if we go out of this sight, or this association, then “Out of sight, out of mind.” To make these things out of sight, out of mind, one is recommended that after fiftieth year one must retire from this family life, and when he is still more advanced, he should take sannyāsa and completely, cent percent, devote his life for cultivating Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So he’s giving very nice example. 

tyajeta kośas-kṛd ivehamānaḥ
karmāṇi lobhād avitṛpta-kāmaḥ
aupasthya-jaihvaṁ bahu-manyamānaḥ
kathaṁ virajyeta duranta-mohaḥ

Now, you know the silkworm, the silkworm entangles itself in cobweb, and it cannot get out. Perhaps most of you know. And those who are industrialists in silk industry, they collect those cobwebs of silkworms and boil in the water, and the worm dies, and then silk comes out. So similarly, we are manufacturing the cobweb of silk in this so-called society, family, and being attracted in it. It is very good example. And the attraction is aupasthya-jaihvaṁ bahu-manyamānaḥ. Aupasthya means sex, sex, the organ for progenating. That is called aupasthya. And the other important sense is this tongue. So we are attached to this paraphernalia on account of this tongue and on account of that sex genital. That’s all. 

Aupasthya-jaihvaṁ bahu-manyamānaḥ, kathaṁ virajyeta duranta-mohaḥ. Duranta means formidable. It is very difficult. So according to Vaiṣṇava philosophy or Vaiṣṇava activities, because this tongue is very strong to be conquered, to be win over, the tongue is given Kṛṣṇa prasādam. First thing is tongue is controlled, that “You should not eat such and such things, you should not drink such and such things, you should simply take Kṛṣṇa prasādam.” That means that is the process of controlling the tongue. And if you can control the tongue and draw a straight line, then you control your belly and control your sex also. That is the formula. Because these three things are making us too much attracted to the society, friendship and love. Kuṭumba-poṣāya viyan nijāyur na budhyate ‘rthaṁ vihataṁ pramattaḥ. In this way, for maintaining the family members—kuṭumba, kuṭumba means family members—he is in madness. Pramattaḥ. The very word is used here, pramattaḥ. In madness, he is forgetting his real business and he’s simply wasting time in this way for maintaining family or society and friendship. 

Now, that does not mean that Prahlāda Mahārāja is recommending to neglect the, this family life or society and… No. He was family man. Prahlāda Mahārāja was a great king. He was ruling over. So it is not the question of neglect. But we must know that if we become more and more entangled in these affairs, then our real business will be lost. Our real business is how to get out of this entanglement, not to be more and more, I mean to say, implicated in this entanglement. That should be the point of view: to make the best use of a bad bargain. That should be the philosophy of life. We are put into this material existential condition, and we have to get out. But at the same time, so far, so long this material body is there, we have to maintain it also. Just like… The example is very nice. We can cite that you have to go to some place, and you have got a car. You have to take care of the car so far it can carry you to your destination, not that you simply take care of your car and you forget your destination and your own body. This is not your business. Similarly, we have to carry on our business. We have to… Because with this body… 

Suppose we are cultivating Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness… So this body has to be maintained. Suppose my body is sick. I must go to the doctor, take help, and keep it very nicely. And I must take foodstuff so that the body is maintained nicely. That care should be taken. But not that we forget our real business. The same example: If we forget that I have to use this car and go to such and such destination and simply take care of the car, that is our foolishness. So society, friendship, love, and everything should be so adjusted that it may not disturb our real purpose of life. Not that we forget our real purpose of life and we become more and more entangled in the so-called society, friendship and love. That is the instruction of Prahlāda Mahārāja. 

Kuṭumba-poṣāya viyan nijāyur na budhyate ‘rthaṁ vihataṁ pramattaḥ. Pramattaḥ. The so-called materialistic advanced people, they are described herein as pramattaḥ, crazy. Sometimes we are designated by them that “These people, Kṛṣṇa conscious people, they are crazy.” And we think that they are crazy. So we do not know who is crazy. Therefore we have written a small pamphlet, “Who is Crazy?” Actually, one who has forgotten his real destination of life, he is crazy. He is wasting his life. He is spoiling his life. This is the only opportunity. But due to ignorance, they do not care for it. They think that “Life is going on like this. We are enjoying life.” No. We should be very responsible and cautious. Otherwise, Prahlāda Mahārāja says, na budhyate arthaṁ vihatam. Artham. They cannot understand, they are sacrificing their greatest wealth. Greatest wealth. This human form of life is the only opportunity to get out of the cycle of birth and death. If we again put into the cycle of lower animals, oh, it will take millions of years again to come again to this human form of life. 

So they do not know. Therefore they are described here as pramattaḥ. Pramattaḥ. Sarvatra tāpa-traya-duḥkhitātmā nirvidyate na sva-kuṭumba-rāmaḥ. Actually, they are experiencing every step miserable. It is not that by improving economic condition of life one has become very peaceful. Otherwise why there is war? Why there is struggle? This is… These things cannot be stopped. However you may improve materially, however you may improve your economic condition, the disturbance of the world, at least, birth, death, disease, and old age, cannot be checked. So if we do not understand these things very seriously and simply engage ourself in these material activities, although we are experiencing sarvatra tāpa-traya-duḥkhitātmā… 

Tāpa-traya means three kinds of miseries: miseries inflicted by other persons or other living entities… That is, we have practical experience. We create so many friends also, so many enemies also. We do not go into the jungle because we know there are jungle animals who may attack us. So… Even at home there are bugs, there are mosquitoes; they also give us trouble. So there is a kind of trouble or misery inflicted by other living entities. That is called adhibhautika. Three kinds of miseries. Miseries offered by other living entities. We also offer, I mean to say, miseries to the other animals. Just like we have created our slaughterhouse. We send so many cows and animals for being slaughtered. Similarly, we are also attacked by other animals. So this is the law of nature. I am killing you, you are killing me. This is called adhibhautika. This is one class of misery. The other class of misery is due to this body and mind. Sometimes the body is sick; we don’t feel very nice. Sometimes the mind is disturbed. That is also…, it may be due to other friend or other relative; so mind is not in order. This is called adhyātmika. So adhibhautika, adhyātmika. And other disturbance created by adhidaivaika. Daiva means on which we have no control. Just like earthquake, flood, or similar nature’s disturbance on which we have no control. 

So here it is said, tāpa-traya-duḥkhitātmā. Duḥkhi. That is our ignorance. We are always unhappy due to these three kinds of miseries inflicted by the laws of nature, but still, we think that we are very nice. But actually we are duḥkhitātmā, we are always sorry. Nirvidyate na kuṭumba-rāmaḥ. But there is no satiation because the only solace is that he is within the so-called friendship, love and society. That’s all. Kuṭumba-rāmaḥ. Vitteṣu nityābhiniviṣṭa-cetā vidvāṁś ca doṣaṁ para-vitta-hartuḥ. And being too much attached to money matters, even learned persons, even very, I mean to say, advanced intellectually, they also try to steal others money. Para-vitta. Although it is a fault. Although it is fault. Vitteṣu nityābhiniviṣṭa-cetā. Nitya, perpetually too much attached to money. Nityābhiniviṣṭa. Niviṣṭa means profoundly attached. Profoundly attached to money. Vidvāṁś ca doṣaṁ para-vitta-hartuḥ. Although to take other money or to steal others’ money is a fault It is a fault not only to the law of the state, but it is a fault to the law of the Supreme God also. You can avoid the state law by stealing, but you cannot avoid the law of the Supreme Person. You see, He can see everywhere. You can steal very stealthily so that police constables or police force cannot see. You are think that “I am doing very nicely. Nobody can see me.” But you cannot avoid the eyes of the Supreme. So doṣa, it is fault. Either in this world or in the next world, it is faulty. But we are so accustomed, we are so, I mean to say, profoundly attached to money that we take illegally others’ money. Para-vitta-hartuḥ. Pretyeha vāthāpy ajitendriyas. Although we know that in this world it is faulty and also next world it is faulty, but because we have our senses uncontrolled, we cannot change. Aśānta kāmo harate kuṭumbī. And the main attraction is all these nonsense things are done simply being attached to the so-called society, friendship, and love. That’s all. 

vidvān apītthaṁ danujāḥ kuṭumbaṁ
puṣṇan sva-lokāya na kalpate vai
yaḥ svīya-pārakya-vibhinna-bhāvas
tamaḥ prapadyeta yathā vimūḍhaḥ

These actions are, I mean to say, performed even by so-called learned man. Actually, one who is not spiritually learned, one who is not spiritually conversant, he is not a learned man. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said, harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā: [SB 5.18.12] “One who is not in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he cannot have any good qualifications.” Why? There are so many doctors, PhDs, and MAC, BAC, and very, very big man, and because they are not in Kṛṣṇa consciousness they have no good qualification? One may question like that. But the answer is that they may be very learned man in the estimation of common man, but manorathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ, if a man is educated materially, without any spiritual understanding, without any Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then his field of activities is the mind. He cannot surpass the field of activities beyond the mind. Those who are grossly materialistic, they are working on the field of this gross body, senses. And those who are a little more advanced, the so-called philosophers, mental speculators, scientists, or many others, they are working on the mental plane. So unless you promote yourself to the platform of spiritual understanding, there cannot be any good qualification. Therefore harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā [SB 5.18.12]. One who is not in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he cannot have any good qualification because his field of activity is on the mental plane. As it is stated in the previous verse, being situated on the mental plane, even a learned man, I mean to say, transgresses the limits of law. There are so many. 

Of course, in India I have personal experience that many… Why in India? I have seen here also. In New York our boys wanted to purchase one house, and they had a few thousand dollars, and a group of lawyers, I mean to say, they made a plan to take out this ten thousand dollars from these boys, and… I know it personally. They are educated lawyers, but because they’re acting on the mental plane, they are thinking that “By somehow or other, if we can grab this money and we shall divide amongst lawyers…” This is going on. The so-called educated persons, for want of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they can act less than even an animal. You see? So vidvān apītthaṁ danujāḥ kuṭumbaṁ puṣṇan sva-lokāya na kalpate vai. So they do not care for what is going in the next life. Tamaḥ prapadyeta yathā vimūḍhaḥ. They also fall into the darkness, the darkest region, or ordinary illiterate or ignorant persons also fall. 

yato na kaścit kva ca kutracid vā
dīnaḥ svam ātmānam alaṁ samarthaḥ
vimocituṁ kāma-dṛśāṁ vihāra-
krīḍā-mṛgo yan-nigaḍo visargaḥ

And in this way they are becoming more and more entangled in this materialistic life. So he is concluding, he is asking his friends, tato vidūrāt parihṛtya daityā: “So therefore before you become entangled in this materialistic way of life, my dear friends born of demonic families…” Daityeṣu saṅgaṁ viṣayātmakeṣu: “Please give up the company of the demons.” This is very essential, to have good society. A man may be very innocent, and if he is given chance for good society, he becomes a godly man. And if he’s given inferior society, then he becomes a demon. So first thing is proposed by Prahlāda amongst his friends, that daityeṣu saṅgaṁ viṣayātmakeṣu: “Please give up the company of the demons.” What demons? Now, viṣayātmakeṣu. Those who are too much attached for sense gratification. They are called demons. They have no other idea. Simply they are concerned with sense gratification and they do not know what is life, what is God, what is next life. They have no information. They are called demons. 

And another explanation of the demons and the demigods are there in the Śrīmad-Bhagavad-gītā. Viṣṇu-bhaktaḥ bhaved daiva āsuras tad-viparyayaḥ. Those who are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they are called demigods. Demigods, you don’t think that simply the citizens or the residents of higher planet, they are called demigods. No. Even in this planet, those who are devotees of the Lord, those who accept the supremacy of God and those who are devotee, they are called demigods. And those who do not accept that, those who defy the existence of God, they are called demons. So Prahlāda Mahārāja recommends that tato vidūrāt parihṛtya daityā. Dūrāt: “From distance, from long distance, please give up the association of the demons.” Upetya nārāyaṇam ādi-devaṁ sa mukta-saṅgair iṣito ‘pavargaḥ: “And take the company of, accept the society of devotees.” Then it will be very easy. Saṅgāt sañjāyate kāmaḥ. Your desires and your propensities will be according to your society. Just like in English language it is said, “A man is known by his company.” So we have to change our company. 

This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is another chance for changing the company, the society. Here in the temple, those who are coming and associating with us, now, we chant, we talk about God, we hear authoritative scriptures like Śrīmad-Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and we distribute prasādam, and we chant, we dance, we restrict ourself, we restrain ourself. We do not allow illicit sex. We do not, I mean to say, take any intoxicants. We do not indulge in gambling. We do not indulge in meat-eating. Similarly, we are trying to form character and God consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So therefore it is not that this society is opened for exploiting others. This society is for giving good association to the, I mean to say, misguided people, this society, so that by association they will gradually develop godly qualities. The godly qualities are already within you. It is dormant. Not that Kṛṣṇa consciousness is being injected in you. Oh, that is not possible. You are more advanced in every way, you Americans. And because I have come from India with some poor knowledge, I am injecting something in your brain? No. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness is already there. I am simply helping you to revive it. That’s all. 

Just like a boy or a girl, when they are grown up, it is not that anybody has instructed them how to enjoy sex life. It is already there, but it was not, I mean to say, experienced when they were children. But with the grown up age the propensities automatically become manifest. Nobody has to learn these things. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not a thing to be learned. It is to be revived. Just like the matches. There is already fire. If you simply rub the stick, the fire will come. It is not that ordinary stick, if you rub, there will be fire. The fire is already there. Similarly, Prahlāda Mahārāja recommends that you have to change your association: “My dear daityas, boys of the demons, please change your asso… Give up the association of the demonic people, and please take the association of nārāyaṇa-parā, those who are Kṛṣṇa conscious, or God conscious.” Upetya nārāyaṇam ādi-devaṁ sa mukta-saṅgair iṣito ‘pavargaḥ: “If you take up that association, then gradually you will be advanced to the highest goal of achievement or spiritual life.” So in this way please try to understand us. Don’t misunderstand us. And we shall try to serve you with our greatest service motive. And in the meantime, if you have got any question, you can ask. [devotees offer obeisances] Any question? Yes? 

Umāpati: Swamijī, is there degrees of Kṛṣṇa consciousness? I thought of an example of walking through a dark tunnel and it’s getting lighter and lighter and all of a sudden you’re out in light. Is there degrees of this? 

Prabhupāda: Degrees of Kṛṣṇa consciousness? 

Umāpati: Yes. Do you work up to it and then all of a sudden achieve it or is it blackness up to light? 

Prabhupāda: Yes. There are degrees according to the degrees of understanding. If Kṛṣṇa consciousness is accepted immediately, there is no question of degrees. But that acceptance is not possible in a second or in a minute. But if it is accepted, that “This is the nicest thing,” then there is no question of degrees; it is immediately realized also. Just like there is an example that one king, he joined with the demigods to fight with the demons. He helped. And the demigods were very pleased with that king, and the demigods liked to give him some benediction, material benediction, that “You have helped us so much; so we want to give you something. What do you want?” So he first of all asked that “How long my duration of life is there?” So they replied, “Oh, your life is not very long. It is for so many hours now.” So he immediately took the opportunity and took to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is a very nice example. That means within very short time he realized Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, this was heard by Mahārāja Parīkṣit. Mahārāja Parīkṣit was cursed by a brāhmaṇa that he would die within seven days. So he simply heard this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam for seven days very seriously, and he was fully conscious of Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, he described also the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to Mahārāja Parīkṣit for seven days only. He also became fully Kṛṣṇa conscious. So it is a thing which is not material. In material calculation one has to wait. But here, as it is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhagavad-gītā, ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham [Bg. 4.11]. According to the degree of surrender, Kṛṣṇa consciousness becomes revealed. The degree is in my hand. If I surrender fully, immediately, then Kṛṣṇa consciousness is aroused immediately. If the degree of surrender… [end] 

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