Prabhupāda: They are working so hard, just like animals, simply for sense gratification. That is the beginning of His speech. But the human form of life is meant for saving time for spiritual cultivation. We should be satisfied with the bare necessities of life, and the time should be saved to cultivate self-realization. That is the basic principle of Vedic civilization. Therefore in Vedic civilization a certain period is devoted for accepting renounced order of life, sannyāsa. Compulsory. This sannyāsa order, as we have accepted, it is compulsory regulative principle of Vedic way of life. The first twenty-five years brahmacārī, strict life of celibacy, student life, without any sex indulgence completely, up to twenty-five years. Then gṛhastha. That is not for also all. If somebody is unable to remain a brahmacārī all through, then the spiritual master gives him permission to marry a suitable girl and become a householder. This is called gṛhastha life. Then, up to fifty years, he can indulge in householder life. Householder life, according to Vedic civilization, is a sort of license for sense gratification. But not for all the time. The injunction is pañcaśordhvaṁ vanaṁ vrajet. Just after your fiftieth year you must give up, retire from householder. That is called vānaprastha. Vānaprastha means you can take your wife with you and travel all over the world in places of holy pilgrimage just to give up your attachment for family life. In this way, when one is completely detached from family affection, then he sends back his wife to the elderly children to take care of her and he takes sannyāsa, renounced order of life. This renounced order of life means dedicate completely for the service of the Lord. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated, ¶
kāryaṁ karma karoti yaḥ
sa sannyāsī ca yogī ca
na niragnir na cākriyaḥ
Lord Kṛṣṇa said that one who acts for the sake of duty, not for enjoying the fruit, when it is possible… Now, if you are family man you have to work for maintaining your family; therefore you have to enjoy the fruits of your work. So this is possible only for a person who had completely dedicated for service of the Lord. ¶
So Ṛṣabhadeva recommends that human form of life is specifically meant for austerity, regulative principles, not to do anything according to whims. Very regulative life, that is human life. We require, so long we have got this body, we require four things for maintenance of the body: āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca. We require to eat something, every one of us. We require to sleep; therefore we must have an apartment or sleeping place. That may be very nice or… But we must have some place to sleep, shelter. So eating, sleeping. Then some protection, defense, and sense gratification. We have got our senses; they want some satisfaction. So these are, these principles are bodily needs. These are not the needs of the spirit soul. So long we have got this body, we have to satisfy it, but not, I mean to say, unrestricted. That is not human life. That is the difference between human life and animal life. But at the present moment human life has become more than animal life. The animals have restricted periods of sense gratification, but the human life has no restricted… So Ṛṣabhadeva is instructing, “This should not be done.” If you want to purify your existence, then you have to live under restriction. Just like a patient, a diseased fellow. If he wants to be cured, he must live restricted life under the direction of the physician; otherwise, he is sure to die, or he is sure to suffer, prolonging the disease. He must. So Ṛṣabhadeva advised His sons, “My dear boys, if you want to purify your existence, then you have to live a restricted life.” Tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyed sattvaṁ yasmād brahma-saukhyam anantam ¶.
And what is the benefit of purifying my existence? That is also stated, that if you purify your existence, then you’ll be situated on the Brahman platform. You’ll understand that you are Brahman, you are spirit soul, you are not this body. Just like the animals, they cannot understand what he is. He identifies himself with this body. But a human being should not identify himself with this body. That is ignorance. Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke [SB 10.84.13]. If anyone identifies himself with this body, then he is said, according to the Vedic version, he’s an ass. Sa eva go-kharaḥ. Khara means ass, animal. Animal, he does not know what he is. The human form of life, there should be inquiry, “What I am? Am I this body?” This is called meditation. Think over, “Whether I am this body or I am something else?” The whole self-realization process depends on this question, “What I am?” But that understanding cannot be achieved unless you purify your existence. Therefore you accept any process of self-realization… There are in the beginning the karma process, fruitive activities, offering sacrifices, performing great sacrifices. And then, out of many thousands of such karmīs, one jñānī, a person, wise man, who understands that “I am not this body. My interest is something… I am spirit soul,” he is called jñānī, or wise man. Then, out of many thousands of jñānīs, one becomes mukta. Simply to understand that “I am not this body; I am Brahman,” this is not sufficient. You must be situated in actual platform of Brahman. That is described in the Bhagavad-gītā: ¶
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
After self-realization, there are activities. What are those activities? Mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām. That is devotional service. ¶
So devotional service begins from the stage of liberation, when one is freed from the concept of bodily life, from this wrong concept that “I am this body.” That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā. Teachings of Bhagavad-gītā begins from that. Kṛṣṇa wanted to teach Arjuna in the beginning, first of all, that “You are not this body.” He was talking with Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa was asking him to fight, and he was placing so many pleas that “If I fight, my family will die and the women will be widows. They will be polluted.” So many arguments he placed. That means Arjuna was identifying himself with this body. And Kṛṣṇa, when Arjuna submitted to Kṛṣṇa that “I am now puzzled, bewildered. I cannot understand what is my duty at the present moment; therefore I am submitting unto You,” śiṣyas te ‘ham: ¶“I become Your disciple.” Śādhi māṁ prapannam: “I am surrendered unto You. You please instruct me.” So because they were talking like friends in the beginning, so argument like friends, talking, that cannot give any conclusion. Here is the Vedic process. Just like Arjuna said that śādhi māṁ prapannam, śiṣyas te ‘ham: “I become your śiṣya.” Śiṣya means disciple. That means “Whatever disciplinary action You will ask me to follow, I shall do it.” This is called śiṣya. The word śiṣya comes from the word, Sanskrit word, sas-dhātu, means to rule over, sas-dhātu. So ruling by instruction, ruling by laws, and ruling by force, weapon. There are three kinds of ruling. If instruction fails, then evidences from lawbooks. And when that also fails, then force. That is the whole arrangement everywhere. The instruction is that you should not kill. But if you violate, then according to law you are arrested. If you still violate, then you are punished in so many ways by force. As this is going on in our ordinary life, the same thing is going on by God’s will also. The kingdom of God… Here is also kingdom of God, and there is another, spiritual sky. That is also kingdom of God.
So here all living entities, we are condemned. We are under force. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ ¶. We have disobeyed the laws of God; therefore we have been put into this material world to abide by the laws of God by force, by force. You have to. Nobody wants to die, but you have to die. You cannot avoid it. Nobody wants to be diseased. Oh, you have to become diseased. Nobody wants to be old. Oh, you have to become old. Force! This is going on. But the fools’ paradise, we are thinking, “We are happy. We are making progress.” What progress you have made? Have you surpassed the laws of birth, death, old age and disease? “No, sir.” Then what progress you have made? So this is their progress. But if you want really relief from these four principles of material way of life, then you have to purify your existence. You purify yourself; then you will be allowed to enter into the purified spiritual sky, and you’ll get a place in one of the planets there. Yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama. These things are explained in the Bhagavad-gītā.
na tad bhāsayate sūryo
na śaśāṅko na pāvakaḥ
yad gatvā na nivartante
tad dhāma paramaṁ mama
The hint is given there that in the sky of freedom, in the spiritual sky, there is no need of sunshine. That is the distinction. Try to understand. This is also confirmed in the Upaniṣads. In the spiritual sky there is no need of sunshine, there is no need of moonshine, there is no need of electricity, because everything is shining there, all Brahman effulgence. And as we have got one huge planet here, the sun planet, which is efful…, effulgent, dazzling, bright, in the spiritual sky all the planets are like that. So therefore, there is no question of darkness. Darkness is here. So you try to understand that there is a spiritual sky. That is not like this sky where we experience darkness. Now we are experiencing at night… Night means we are experiencing darkness; therefore we require this electricity or moonlight or sunlight. But the Vedas say, tamasi mā: “Don’t remain in this darkness.” Jyotir gamaḥ: “Go, just try to reach that system, that planetary system, where everything is dazzling, bright.” That is the human form of life. That is required, how to enter into that spiritual kingdom or spiritual sky. These things are very nicely explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. ¶
So here also, Ṛṣabhadeva says that live restricted life, tapa. And tapa, restricted austerity, why? What for? Tapo divyam ¶. Divyam means for getting transcendental blissful life. Tapo divyaṁ yena śuddhyet sattvam. Your existence will be purified. And you are hankering after happiness. This happiness can be had only when your existential form, you have become purified. Your existence becomes purified. Brahma-saukhyam anantam. Then… Brahman means the greatest, unlimited; sukham, happiness; ananta, unlimited. You are enjoying so-called happiness, or real happiness, but for moment. That is not ananta, unlimited. Not unlimited. But there is unlimited happiness. You should know it. There is unlimited happiness. Therefore Vedic literature says, ramante yoginaḥ anante . The yogis, they are also after happiness for satisfaction. Not only the materialists, but the yogis, the bhaktas, the jñānīs, they are also for happiness, brahma-saukhyam. But they want unlimited, unrestricted happiness, not this flickering happiness. That is their aim. Rāmante yoginaḥ anante. Those who are yogis, bhakta-yogī, jñāna-yogī or haṭha-yogī, everyone is trying to reach that platform. So why? For unlimited happiness. Ramante yogino ‘nante satyānande. And that is real happiness. Happiness means unlimited, unrestricted happiness, without any condition. That is real happiness. If there is restriction, if there is condition… Just like here, if I go to a restaurant, the condition is you first of all pay, then you enjoy something. So similarly, if I have to enjoy a nice apartment, a nice house, first of all pay so many dollars, so many pounds, and then enjoy. There is condition. But in the brahma-saukhyam, there is no such condition. If you simply, if you can approach that platform, then… That is the meaning, rāma. Iti rāma-padenāsau paraṁ brahma ity abhidhīyate. Rāma. Rāma means rāman. Rāma. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Rāma. If you associate with Him, Rāma or Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu, Nārāyaṇa… Nārāyaṇa parā avyaktāt. He is transcendental. So some way or other, if you make association with Him, if you are elevated to that position, then you get ananta, unlimited happiness. That is required.
Because we are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1]. The Lord is eternal, blissful, and full of knowledge. Similarly, we are also part and parcel; we are also eternal, blissful, and full of knowledge. But because we are part and parcel, very small particle, therefore sometimes our knowledge becomes disturbed. Just like little boy and elderly man. The elderly man hardly commits mistake, but little boy commits so many mistakes because he has got little knowledge. So because we, the living entities… We have got knowledge, but because our knowledge is limited, therefore sometimes our knowledge is covered by māyā. But the knowledge of the Supreme is never covered by māyā. Just like the cloud. Cloud covers the sky. If an insignificant portion of the sky is covered by cloud, the cloud cannot cover the whole sky. You’ll never hear that “A cloud is on London; therefore the cloud is all over the world.” No. Similarly, the knowledge is covered of the small particle Brahman, not of the Supreme Brahman. There are many instances. So some way or other, our knowledge is now covered in this material existence, so we have to get out of this ignorance. For that purpose we require tapasya, tapo divyam ¶. Tapasya means voluntarily accepting some inconveniences. Voluntarily… Just like a man is very happy in his family life… He has good house, good wife, good children, and good bank balance, enjoying life, but śāstra says, “No. You are fifty years old; you must get out.” So he has to get out. He cannot say that “I am so happy in my family life. My wife is so nice. My children are so obedient. I have got nice money, income. Why shall I go out?” But śāstra says, “No. Vanaṁ vrajet.” Vrajet means must. You must go to the forest. But if you disobey, then you will be in trouble. Just like you disobey the laws, you will be in trouble. So this is called tapasya. I do not like to go out of my home, very comfortable home, happy home, but śāstra says, “You must.” So I have to accept inconveniences. If I leave my home, comfortable home, I do not know where to live, how to eat, where to stay. These are experienced. When we took sannyāsa, in the beginning, we thought like that, but by the grace of God, Kṛṣṇa, we are not uncomfortable. We have got… We left only three or four children; now we have got hundreds of children, without any botheration of wife. [laughter] And they are so obedient and so beautiful, so nice, that I could not expect even the children which I begot at home. So by Kṛṣṇa’s grace, by God’s grace, everything is there, provided you depend on Him. There is no fear. Nārāyaṇa-parāḥ sarve na kutaścana bibhyati . If you want to become dependent on God, you’ll never be afraid—svargāpavarga-narakeṣv api tulyārtha-darśinaḥ—either you are put into the heaven or hell or anywhere.
So this is tapasya. If you perform tapasya for transcendental understanding, then the result will be that your next life you will be promoted to the spiritual sky. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya ¶. After leaving this body, one does not come again to this material existence, miserable existence. But unfortunately, we do not accept that we are living in miserable condition. That is called māyā; that is called ignorance. We are actually in a miserable condition. We are trying to adjust things. But that cannot be adjusted. We have to suffer. The only way is that you realize yourself, what you are, and act accordingly. So your position is you are eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa. You just practice how to serve Kṛṣṇa; then your life will be successful. So that is our movement. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is training people how to become unalloyed servant of Kṛṣṇa. Śuddha-bhakta, unalloyed, without any adulteration. What is that adulteration?
śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā
No other desire. Not that “By worshiping Kṛṣṇa or acting devotional service I shall get this opportunity, this facility,” material or spiritual. A real devotee, he does not aspire even for liberation. He doesn’t want. He simply wants, “My Lord Kṛṣṇa, wherever I may be, it doesn’t matter. Please keep me always engaged in Your consciousness.” That’s all. A devotee never aspires that he’ll be elevated to the spiritual sky or Vaikuṇṭha or… Never mind. “For thousands and thousands of births I may rot into the hell, but simply I want my Lord, that wherever I may be situated, I may not forget You.” Mama janmani janmanīśvare bhavatād bhaktir ahaitukī ¶. Lord Caitanya teaches this. Janmani janmani. Where there is janmani janmani, that means that is not liberation. As soon as you’re liberated, you are not supposed to take birth again. But Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, janmani janmani. He doesn’t aspire about liberation. “Birth after birth, please keep Me engaged in Your devotional service.” That is pure devotion. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā .
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is meant for purifying the existence of the living entity and engage him constantly in the service of the Lord, and thus he achieves all success of life. That is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā, ¶
māṁ ca ‘vyabhicāreṇa
bhakti-yogena yaḥ sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān
“Anyone who is engaged in unalloyed devotional service of Me, he is already transcendental to all the three modes of material nature.” Sa guṇan samatītya etān. All these. There are three modes of material nature, sattva-raja-tamaḥ. So a devotee surpasses very easily. Bhavāmbudhir vatsa-padaṁ paraṁ padam. Bhavāmbudhiḥ, the great ocean of nescience, becomes just like the water pit made by the hoof of a calf. You see. Bhavāmbudhir vatsa-padaṁ paraṁ padaṁ padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ na teṣām [SB 10.14.58]. For the devotee, this place is not for them. This… Which place? This material world. What is that material world? Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadām. In every step there is danger. Every step. But they are meant for the paraṁ padam. Paraṁ padam, the supreme post, or the supreme abode. That is also confirmed in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śukadeva Gosvāmī says, kalau doṣa-nidhe rājann asti eko mahān guṇaḥ. In this age of Kali it is a great ocean of faults. But still, there is one sublime gain. What is that? Now, kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya [SB 12.3.51]. Simply by kṛṣṇa-kīrtana, kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ, he becomes liberated. And paraṁ vrajet, and he goes to the supreme kingdom. Simply. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu also says, paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam: “All glories to the śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana.” So chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and go back to Kṛṣṇa. ¶
Devotees: Haribol. ¶
Prabhupāda: Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. [devotees offer obeisances] [end] ¶