Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.12.4

April 15

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [devotees repeat] [chants verse; chants synonyms; devotees respond] 

bibhṛyād upavītaṁ ca
darbha-pāṇir yathoditam
[SB 7.12.4]


Translation: “The brahmacārī should carry in the hand pure kuśa grass, dressing himself regularly with a belt of straw, a deerskin garment, a bunch of hair, a staff and waterpot, as well as the sacred thread.” 


bibhṛyād upavītaṁ ca
darbha-pāṇir yathoditam
[SB 7.12.4]

So description of brahmacārī is going on here, the dress. The dress should be as simple as possible. So the ajina means the deerskin. That is very essential, because formerly the brahmacārīs used to go to guru-gṛha. In those days the guru-gṛha was not palatial building. Now if you haven’t got palatial building, nobody will come. The different stage. But actually brahmacārī, the guru also, they were living in the forest, and brahmacārī used to go that guru-gṛha. So the deerskin in the forest is very essential. Just like we take some blankets, we can spread anywhere and sit down. Deerskin, it is said that if you have got deerskin, you can sleep in the jungle; the snake will not touch you. That is the dravya-guṇa, the special effect of deerskin. Either tigerskin or deerskin, if you sit down, if you sleep, the snakes will not come. This is also very scientific. Therefore, because the brahmacārīs used to live in the jungle, it was essential. But on the whole the [indistinct] recommended, not that gorgeous dress, very nice bedstead or… As far as possible, yāvad-artha, whatever is absolutely necessary… That is Vedic civilization. Vedic civilization does not recommend that artificially you increase your necessities, life, and there is so much trouble. Just like nowadays in your country the machine is there in every respect. Even for shaving your cheek you require a machine. So this increasing the artificial necessities of life is possible when there is no higher thought. After all, we are thoughtful. We have got better consciousness in the human form of life than the animals. Our consciousness is developed. But because in this age, material world, we have no spiritual idea, so whatever power we have got in thinking, we are trying to increase artificially material way of life. “The idle brain is a devil’s workshop.” 

So this is called anartha. Anartha means things which are not wanted. This is the distinction between East and West. If I can lie down… The Eastern civilization is that “If I can lie down on the floor, where is the necessity of a bedstead or a cot? There is no. If I can lie down, keeping, resting my head on the arms, why there is necessity of pillow? If I can, say, drink water with my palms like this, what is the use of any waterpot?” Minimize. Minimize. Spiritual life does not mean artificially increasing the necessities of life. Nidrāhāra-vihāraka. Even the most important necessities of life, āhāra… Everyone has to eat something. Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca [Hitopadeśa]. These are bodily necessities: eating, sleeping, sex and taking precaution from danger. These are bodily necessities. But spiritual advancement means, as Rūpa Gosvāmī and other Gosvāmīs showed us example, they conquered over this, nidrāhāra-vihārakādi-vijitau—to conquer over sleeping, to conquer over eating, to conquer over sex and to conquer over fearing. 

Fearing, we have got… We are afraid because we are thinking, “I am this body.” Bhayaṁ dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ syāt [SB 11.2.37]. The question of fear comes… Just like this body. If there is some danger, why we are fearful? Because I am thinking, “I am this body.” Dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ. I am soul. Every one of us spirit soul. Kṛṣṇa is spirit soul. So even after the destruction of body, I do not die. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. But this realization we are lacking. Therefore, when there is some danger about my body, I become fearful. This is dvitīya… But that does not mean unnecessarily we expose to danger. No. But we must have this consciousness, that “This body is temporary. Even it is destroyed, I am not going to die. But if Kṛṣṇa likes to be destroyed, let it be done so. Where is the question of fear?” But that does not mean I’ll not take any precaution. I must take precaution. But I shall not be overwhelmed. Yasyātma-buddhiḥ. If I think… Just like in car, there was some little accident the other day. So although there was accident, we did not care. We began to walk. Because we know that “Because there is some accident, then we are lost”—no. So the more we become spiritually advanced, these things come in. Nidrāhāra vihārakādi. Those who are accustomed to material habit, at the time of drinking tea, if he does not get a cup of tea he becomes mad after it, because too much materially inclined. But you have given up. You know that “Without drinking tea, I am not going to die. Why shall I be…, unnecessarily take all these things?” This is spiritual life. Spiritual life does not mean go on increasing your material necessity and you become spiritual. No. Minimize. Minimize. Yāvad artha-prayojana. As much as required. We shall talk very measured thing. That is spiritual life. So brahmacārī is taught. From the very beginning he is taught to shortcut the necessities of life. Shortcut. Yes. 

Mekhalājina-vāsāṁsi jatā-daṇḍa-kamaṇḍalūn. Jaṭā. Jaṭā means the bunch of hair. Means you should not take care of the hair. Then automatically it will become jaṭā. If you apply very nice coconut oil and with comb you dress very nicely, then there will be no jaṭā. The jaṭā means don’t care of your hair. If you want to keep hair at all… First of all is, there is no question of caretaking if you become clean-shaved. There are two processes: a brahmacārī, either he is clean-shaved, or he keeps his hair without any taking care. That is two processes. Jaṭā-kamaṇḍalūn. Not that “I shall keep my hair.” Now in the Kali-yuga the hair is very valuable thing, life and soul. I have seen some of our disciples. As soon as he’s out of this camp, immediately hair. Immediately. I have seen so many. When he was within the camp, very advanced supposed, but as soon as he is one day after, he keeps hair. Immediately. The so tendency is there. Because in this age it is understood that if you can keep hair, bunch of hair, not very nice, but simply hair will make him beautiful. Lāvaṇyaṁ keśa-dhāraṇam [SB 12.2.6]. Although he has no lāvaṇya—he has no beauty—still, he thinks, “I have become very beautiful by keeping hair.” So this should be avoided. In this age, of course, this is jaṭā is not possible. If you keep jaṭā, then when you go on the street for begging alms for guru, then perhaps you’ll be chased by so many animals here. So it is better to remain clean-shaved. It has no botheration, no taking care of the hair, no iron required. 

So jaṭā-kamaṇḍalūn bibhṛyāt. Bibhṛyād upavītam. But the sacred thread must be there, sacred thread. That is the sign that, that “This person has approached guru.” The sacred thread is the indication that he is twice-born. First of all he was born by the father and mother; now he has approached guru, and guru gives him initiation and sacred thread. That means he is under the care of guru. That is required. Ācāryavān puruṣo veda [Chāndogya Upaniṣad 6.14.2]. Unless one takes shelter of ācārya, he is careless. But not careless; he is not taken care of. He is vagabond. If one does not take shelter of ācārya, then he is a vagabond. Therefore in India we see so many vagabonds: no employment, no caretaker, loitering in the street, playing at noontime, no engagement. This is the defect, because we have lost our own culture. Although this culture—brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, sannyāsī—is Indian culture, unfortunately we have given up. Varnāśrama-dharma, varṇa, four varṇas and four āśramas, they’re simply giving up. No more brāhmaṇa, no more kṣatriya, no more vaiśyas, no more śūdra. They are less than śūdras. Pañcama. Less then śūdra means caṇḍāla. Kirāta-hūṇāndhra-pulinda-pulkaśā [SB 2.4.18]. There are so many divisions of caṇḍāla. Pañcama. They are called pañcama. So the whole thing is topsy-turvied. We have given up our own culture, and imitating the foreigners and the Western country. That also we cannot do very properly because we are meant for different purpose in India. In India, one who has taken birth in India, it is understood that in his previous birth he tried to cultivate spiritual culture; therefore he has been given the opportunity to take birth in India. India is so fortunate. But as soon as he takes birth, the rascal leader spoils him, the rascal father spoils him, the rascal teacher spoils him. So what can they do, the poor younger generation? They are being taught that “The spiritual culture is useless. Because we are so much spiritually inclined, the foreigners came and they ruled over us. Now give up all this nonsense. Become technologist.” This is going on. 

So this will not make us happy. This is a fact, that punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām [SB 7.5.30]. There is no meaning of giving up spiritual cultivation and taking to or imitating something. This is called anartha. Anartha means unnecessarily you are inclined. So this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is meant for guiding us. Anartha-upaśamaṁ sākṣād bhakti-yogam adhokṣaje. These rascals, they have forgotten their own culture. They have accepted so many anarthas, unwanted things. Take for example drinking wine. Is it very necessary thing? But drinking tea, is it very necessary? Drinking… Smoking bīḍīs These are all foolishness. At the cost of bīḍī-smokers, many millionaires are there in India and in your country also, at the cost of the smokers, many million. At the cost of the meat-eaters, there are many, many rich men. 

So the society is creating unnecessarily entanglement, anartha. So this, the Bhāgavata culture, Bhāgavata-dharma, which we are trying to spread, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, it is the only remedy for curbing down this unnecessary so-called civilization. Anartha upaśamaṁ sākṣād bhakti-yogam adhokṣaje. This thing… Practically everyone can see that you Western boys and girls, so many anarthas you practice, but as soon as you come to bhakti-yoga, everything finished. So this is a fact. Anartha-upaśamaṁ sākṣād bhakti-yogam adhokṣaje [SB 1.7.6]. If you take to bhakti-yoga, immediately anarthas, unwanted things, will be finished. Lokasya ajānata. They are trying to minimize the anarthas. In your country, you know, the government spending millions of dollars to stop this LSD habit. The government has admitted that “We are spending so much money, but when these boys come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, immediately they stop.” Anartha-upaśamaṁ sākṣāt. It is a practical. The government has failed to stop this intoxication habit, LSD, spending million of dollars. But by the grace of Kṛṣṇa the same hippie, the same LSD man, as soon as he comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he becomes completely clean. Upaśamaṁ sākṣād bhakti-yogam adhokṣaje. 

So if you want to be peaceful, happy, you have to again bring in the Vedic culture—simple life and high thinking. That is wanted. If you introduce more and more anarthas only, unwanted things, how you can be happy? We have to minimize even whatever we absolutely require. Absolutely we require āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca. It has to be curtailed. That is civilization, not that increasing. This is a misguiding civilization. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ [SB 7.5.31]. This is a civilization where a blind man is guiding a few others or many other blind men. So what is this civilization? The leader, he is a rascal. He does not know what is the aim of life, and he has become leader. So many talking. When I was talking with Professor Kotovsky, so I asked him this question, that “After all, you are required…, you are in need of a leader. So you are being led by your Lenin philosophy and we are being led by Kṛṣṇa philosophy. So where is the difference in the procedure? You require a leader; we require a leader. That is wanted. Without leader we cannot go. But if you select a bad leader, blind leader, then you remain blind.” That our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is that you have to accept one leader. That you cannot avoid. Either you become communist or capitalist or this or that, you have to accept one leader. So take the best, first-class, perfect leader: Kṛṣṇa. Then you’ll be happy. Otherwise it is not possible. 

Anarthopaśamaṁ sākṣād bhakti-yogam adhokṣaje, lokasya ajānataḥ [SB 1.7.6]. These rascals, they do not know how to accept leader. And vidvāṁś cakre sātvata-saṁhitā. Therefore Vyāsadeva is the most learned person, vidvān. He has prepared the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam amalaṁ purāṇam [SB 12.13.18]. So if we read, nityaṁ bhāgavata sevayā [SB 1.2.18], daily… So we are making so much effort. We are building nice building. So you come and hear Bhāgavatam, discuss Bhāgavatam. Then you’ll be happy. Otherwise, if you want to go to hell… Tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam [SB 5.5.2]. If you simply associate with the debauchers, yoṣitāṁ saṇgam… Yoṣitām saṅgi-saṅgam. Those who are too much fond of woman, they are called yoṣit-saṅgī. They are called yoṣita-saṅg… So not only to become… It is condemned, too much being attached to woman. If one is too much attached to woman, if you make association with him, then you are also condemned. Tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam. Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimukteḥ [SB 5.5.2]. If you want to be relieved from these anarthas, unwanted things, to become clean, sattva, yes… Sattva-śuddhi. It is called sattva-śuddhi. Tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyed sattva [SB 5.5.1]. We do not understand that we are in aśuddha-sattva, our existence is impure. Therefore, although I am eternal, although I am living entity, nityo śāśvato ‘yam, still I have to suffer this consequence: birth, death, old age and disease. They have no brain even. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. After annihilation of this body the soul is never destroyed. Then why you are suffering this destruction, death? The whole problem is there, but they do not care. They have become so rascals and fools, they do not know what is the problem. The real problem is stop your repetition of birth, death, old age and disease. They don’t care, just like animals. The animals, they do not care. But the human form, if they do not care like that, they are animals. 

So this is civilization, how one should be conscious about his self, why he is put into this tribulation. 'Ke āmi’ ‘kene āmāya jape tāpa-traya[Cc. Madhya 20.102]. These questions should be there. Then answers are there. Then our life is successful. That is perfection of civilization, not this nonsense civilization—keep everyone in darkness and eat, drink, be merry and enjoy, and go to hell like cats and dogs. This is not civilization. 

Thank you very much. 

Devotees: Jaya! [end]