Śrī Īśopaniṣad, Mantra 9-10 — May 14, 1970, Los Angeles

Prabhupāda: [chuckles] Hare Kṛṣṇa. Chant. Oṁ pūrṇam adaḥ. [chants with devotees] Loudly. [chants Mantras 1–10] “The wise have explained to us that one result is derived from the culture of knowledge, and it is said that a different result is obtained from the culture of nescience.”

So yesterday we have explained to some extent what is the culture of nescience and what is the culture of knowledge. Culture of knowledge means spiritual knowledge. That is real knowledge. And advancement of knowledge for comforts or to protect this material body, that is the culture of nescience. Because however you may try to protect this body, its natural course will take place. What is that? Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi [Bg. 13.9]. You cannot relieve this body from repeated birth and death, and while manifested, disease and old age. So people are very much busy for culturing knowledge of this body, although they are seeing every moment that this body is decaying. The death of the body was registered when it was born. That’s a fact. So you cannot stop the natural course of this body. You must meet the process of the body, namely, birth, death, old age, and disease.

So Bhāgavata says, therefore, yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke [SB 10.84.13]. This body is made of three primary elements: mucus, bile, and air. That is the Vedic version and Āyurvedic treatment. This body is a bag of mucus, bile, and air. In old age the air circulation becomes disturbed; therefore old man becomes rheumatic, so many bodily ailments. So Bhāgavata says, “One who has accepted this combination of bile, mucus, and air as self, he is an ass.” Yes. Actually, this is the fact. If we accept this combination of bile, mucus, and air as myself… So intelligent person, a very great philosopher, very great scientist, does it mean that he’s a combination of bile, mucus and air? No. This is the mistake. He’s different from this bile or mucus or air. He’s soul. And according to his karma, he’s exhibiting, manifesting his talent. So they do not understand this karma, the law of karma. Why we find so many different personalities? If it is a combination of bile, mucus, and air, why they are not similar? So they do not cultivate this knowledge. Why there are dissimilarities? One man is born millionaires; another man is born, he cannot even have full meals twice a day, although he’s struggling very hard. Why this discrimination? Why one is put into such favorable condition? Why the other is not? So there is law of karma, the individuality.

So this is knowledge. Therefore the Īśopaniṣad says that anyad evāhur vidyayā anyad āhur avidyayā. Those who are in ignorance, they are cultivating a different type of advancement of knowledge, and those who are actually in knowledge, they are cultivating in a different way. Ordinary people, they do not like our activities, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They are surprised. Gargamuni was telling me yesterday evening that people ask, “Where do you get so much money? You are purchasing so many cars and big church property and maintaining fifty, sixty men daily and enjoying. What is this?” [laughter] So they are surprised. And we are surprised why these rascals are working so hard simply for filling the belly. So Bhagavad-gītā says, yā niśā sarva-bhūtānāṁ tasyāṁ jāgrati saṁyamī. We are seeing that these people are sleeping, and they are seeing we are wasting our time. This is opposite view. Why? Because their line of action is different, our line of action are different. Now, it is to be decided by an intelligent man whose actions are actually right.

These things are very nicely discussed in Vedic literature. There is another… Just like this is Īśopaniṣad. Similarly, there is another Upaniṣad, Garga Upaniṣad. So that is the talk between husband and wife, very learned. The husband is teaching the wife. Etad viditvā yaḥ prayāti sa eva brāhmaṇa gargi. Etad aviditvā yaḥ prayāti sa eva kṛpanā. This real culture of knowledge, one who… Everyone takes birth and everyone will die. There is no difference of opinion about it. We shall die and they shall die. They can say that “You are thinking of birth, death, old age and disease. So do you mean to say that because you are cultivating Kṛṣṇa consciousness knowledge, you will be free from these four principles of nature’s onslaught?” No. That is not the fact. The fact is, the Garga Upaniṣad says, etad viditvā yaḥ prayāti. One who quits this body after knowing what he is, sa eva brāhmaṇa, he is brāhmaṇa. Brāhmaṇa… We are offering you the sacred thread. Why? Just you try to understand what is the mystery of life. That is brāhmaṇa. Vijānataḥ. We have read in this verse, vijānataḥ. One who quits this body after knowing things as they are, he is brāhmaṇa. And etad aviditvā yaḥ prayāti… And one who quits this body without knowing the mystery of life, he’s a kṛpaṇā. Kṛpaṇā means miser. Just like if you get one million dollars and you could not utilize it, simply you see that “Oh, I have got this bank balance,” you are happy simply by seeing it, then you are kṛpaṇā. You do not know how to utilize. And one who has got one million dollars and utilizing it and making millions and millions dollars, he is intelligent. Similarly, this body is invaluable. One who is utilizing it for culture of spiritual knowledge, he is brāhmaṇa. That is the difference between brāhmaṇa and kṛpaṇā. And one who is utilizing this body like cats and dogs for sense gratification, he is miser. He does not know how to utilize one million dollars. Everyone does not know. But it is the duty of the father, duty of the state, duty of the teachers to educate from the very beginning. Bhāgavata says that one should not become a father, one should not become a mother, one should not become a teacher, one should not become a king unless they are able to elevate their dependents to this spiritual knowledge, which can save him from repeated birth and death.

Thank you. [end]

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