Bhagavad-gita 1.41-42
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
London, July 29, 1973

Pradyumna (leads chanting, etc.):

sankaro narakayaiva kula-ghnanam kulasya ca patanti pitaro hy esam lupta-pindodaka-kriyah

Translation: “When there is increase of unwanted population, a hellish situation is created both for the family and for those who destroy the family tradition. In such corrupt families, there is no offering of oblations of food and water to the ancestors.”

Prabhupada: Sankaro narakayaiva. When there are unwanted children, then the family tradition, the family obligation, they are all forgotten. At the present moment, nobody knows that after death there is life, and still such life is connected with the family, the forefathers and the descendants. Nothing of this science is known at the present moment. More or less, exactly like animals. That’s all. An animal has no such feelings of connections. Simply the number of days he will eat. He will eat, sleep, have sex life and die, that’s all. This subtle regulation of family connection is unknown at the present moment, and still they are very proud of advancement of knowledge. So unwanted children, as we have discussed in the previous… Pradusyanti kula-striyah. If the woman, kula-striyah, family… Family woman and prostitute are different. Still in India, the uncontrolled woman, or there is a class of prostitutes. They are not family women. But kula-striyah, family women, they have got so many obligations. There is a verse that svargapta-kama-moksaya dhara samprati hetuta. Dhara means wife. Wife can help one to be elevated to the heavenly planets, and dharmartha-kama, to become helpful in the matter of advancement in religious and spiritual knowledge: dharma; artha, economic development; kama, satisfying the husband for sense gratification; dharma artha kama; and moksa also, also for salvation. The wife is so important. If there is chaste wife, she can help the husband in these four principles of life, dharma artha kama moksa, dhara samprati hetuta. If we can train up nice wife, or the society trains the girls to become nice wife, she becomes a great source of energy to the husband. Dharma-artha-kama-moksah dhara sampra…. And if they are polluted, they become source of the sankara, varna-sankara.

The exact example of varna-sankara is the hippies at the present moment. All over the world, not only in the Western countries but in India also. So the population, hippie population means sankara population. So increase of such population means narakayaiva, naraka, hellish, hellish condition of life in this life, also in the next life. At that time, to live, actually we have practically seen in recent years, especially in Calcutta, it has become a hellish life. The population, the younger generation, is so polluted, so contaminated, that you cannot safely walk in the street. Anywhere, the young boys they can encircle you and rob you. You cannot say on. The police cannot help, the government cannot help. So these unwanted children, without being trained up in the varnasrama system, they become the cause of hellish life in this life also after death. After death according to Vedic regulations, pinda-udaka, pinda, offering Visnu prasada and water at least once in a year it is required by the family members. And according to Vedic culture, there is one month fixed up in a year when all people will offer pinda and udaka to the forefathers. Tarpana, tarpana. Week or fortnight, for one fortnight. So the idea is that if the forefather in the family has not achieved a proper life… Sometimes due to sinful activities, too much attachment, a man becomes ghost. Ghost, there is ghosts. Bhuta preta pisaca. Not only this life, demonic life, but after death also, there are ghostly lives. They do not get this gross body. They remain in the subtle body, mind, intelligence, and ego. Due to their gross sinful life, they are punished by not getting a gross life. Because without getting a gross life, we cannot enjoy. With mind, I cannot enjoy rasagulla. I must have the tongue, I must have the hand, fingers, I can pick up, then… In the mind, I may think of eating or collecting rasagulla, but actually I do not get the taste. So gross body is required, because every living entity in this material world, they have come to enjoy. Krsna bhuliya jiva bhoga vancha kare pasate maya tare japatiya dhare. This is the beginning of our material life. When we forget to render service to Krsna, immediately we get a material body offered by the material nature.

prakrteh kriyamanani gunair karmani sarvasah ahankara-vimudhatma kartaham iti manyate [Bg. 3.27]

So this gross body is required for enjoyment. Spirit, spiritual body is also very subtle, and the astral body, or subtle body, is also very subtle. The gross body required. So on account of one’s severe sinful life, he does not get this gross body. Therefore the lupta-pindodaka-kriya. Taking for granted that some of my forefathers have become ghostly life and has not got the gross body, so by this pindodaka… Pinda means offering prasada of Visnu prasada. Still in India there is a place Gaya. There is Visnu temple, and it is a custom all Hindus… Nowadays, they do not go. They do not believe even. They have given up everything. Due to unwanted children, they don’t care for it, what is family, what is pinda-udaka. Simply eat, drink, be merry, and enjoy, that’s all. But you see 5000 years, Arjuna… Arjuna was not a brahmana, neither a sannyasi. A grhastha, householder, and a, in royal order. He’s on the battlefield. He’s not a Vedantist. But just see how his knowledge is perfect. This is Vedic culture. One may not be a brahmana. Brahmana is very advanced. Satya sama dama titiksa. But even ksatriyas, they are also so advanced, so advanced we can see that he is hearing Bhagavad-gita from Krsna in the battlefield. How much time you can spare in the battlefield? The talk took place between the two soldiers when he was just going to throw his arrow. Sastra sampate. Just we going to… He became very compassionate: “Krsna, I have to kill my own kinsmen.” And he’s describing. He’s describing, “What kind of sinful activities I am going to do.” So just try to understand how much people were advanced. These Bhagavad-gita talks took place between Krsna and Arjuna in the battlefield just on the verge of his beginning the battle. So how much time he could spare? Utmost, half an hour. Not more than that. So within half an hour, this Bhagavad-gita was taught to Arjuna, and he could understand it, and then he agreed to fight. Yes, nasto mohah smrtir labdha, karisye vacanam tava. [Bg. 18.73] How much advanced he was in education and learning, just imagine. At the present moment they are reading Bhagavad-gita years after years, big, big scholars, big, big theologians and… But they cannot understand. After reading Bhagavad-gita, they are accusing Krsna as immoral. One professor in Oxford University, he is a student or professor of Bhagavad-gita, has written book. Now his conclusion is that Krsna is immoral. That means he could not understand Bhagavad-gita. Bhagavad-gita cannot be understood by any demon or third-class man. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gita. Krsna said to Arjuna that: “I am speaking to you the same Bhagavad-gita, science of God, which I spoke millions of years ago to the sun-god, because the parampara is lost and I have picked up you because bhakto ’si me priyo ’si, you are very dear friend and bhakta.”

So Bhagavad-gita is not meant for the demons or the abhaktas. The first condition is that he must be a devotee of Krsna. Then it will be revealed. Otherwise it is not possible. Naham prakasah sarvasya yoga-maya-samavritah [Bg. 7.25]. Na mam duskrtino mudha prapadyante naradhamah. These things are there. So if one is devotee of Krsna, he can understand Bhagavad-gita very easily. Just like Arjuna understood within half an hour. Others, they cannot understand. In one sense, the people at that time were so educated, advanced, that they could talk about the Absolute Truth and understand within half an hour, one hour. There was no need of books in those days. People were so sharp memoried. Once heard from the spiritual master they’ll never forget. With the advancement of Kali, so many things will reduce. One of them is the memory will be reduced. People will be weaker. There will be no more mercy. The brain will not be so powerful or sharp. These things are described. So we cannot even imagine what kind of brain Arjuna possessed. Another thing, this Bhagavad-gita is part of Mahabharata. And the Mahabharata was written for stri-sudra-dvija-bandhunam trayi na sruti-gocarah. Stri, woman, stri, sudra and dvija-bandhu. Dvija-bandhu means a person born in high family, brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, at least brahmana, ksatriya, but he’s not qualified brahmana or ksatriya. He’s called dvija-bandhu, the friend of the twice-born. The brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, they are twice-born. One birth is father and mother; another birth is by the spiritual master, by Vedic knowledge. The Vedic knowledge is mother and the spiritual master is the father. So the second birth. Therefore, they are called dvija, twice born. So dvija-bandhunam, those who are not actually twice born but born in the family of dvijas. Therefore they are called dvija-bandhu, “not dvija, friends of the dvijas.” Dvija-bandhu. One may become a friend of the dvija. One may become a son of a high- court judge, but that does not mean he’s also high court judge. But now they are taking: “Because my father is brahmana, therefore I am brahmana.” No. That was not accepted. Your father may be brahmana, but if you are not qualified brahmana, you cannot be called a brahmana. You can be called dvija-bandhu. So this Mahabharata was written: stri-sudra-dvija-bandhunam trayi na sruti gocarah. Woman and dvija-bandhu and the sudras, it is very difficult for them to understand the Vedic literatures directly, because they have no advanced knowledge or education. Therefore the same thing. The Vedic knowledge was described in the Mahabharata. Because it is history. Everyone is interested to read history. So through history, the Vedic knowledge was imparted. Therefore, Mahabharata is called the fifth Vedas. There are four Vedas, Sama, Yajur, Rk, Atharva. And Mahabharata is fifth Veda. They are meant for this stri, sudra, dvija-bandhu. So Bhagavad-gita is within the Mahabharata. So actually it was meant for the less intelligent class of men. But, at the present moment, the highest intelligent class of men cannot understand. Just see the difference. Formerly, 5000 years, this was meant for the less intelligent class of men, and we have deteriorated so much that the so-called highest intelligent class of men cannot understand this Bhagavad-gita. And he is posted as the professor in the Oxford University.

So this class of men are leading the society. The third-class, fourth- class men, they are leaders. Andha yathandhair upaniyamanah. So now we are talking with so many big, big persons, guests, coming daily. But actually, we can see how much the third-class, fourth- class men, practically blind, they are leading the society. That we can understand. Therefore, the social order is… Just like Arjuna is describing here, sankaro narakayaiva kula-ghnanam kulasya ca. Who knows this? Who knows this science, that sankaro narakayaiva, if you produce unwanted hellish condition? Who is caring for that? The world is in hellish condition, we can perceive, but they are trying in a different way. They want to remain demons; at the same time, they want to become leaders. So at the present moment, comparing the social status 5000 years ago… According to Darwin’s theory, 5000 years ago, men were uncivilized, uncivilized. Now this literature is written by uncivilized men. Just see. So highly intellectual writings, they were uncivilized. Now they have become civilized. That is Darwin’s theory. We are now making progress. So Arjuna said that patanti pitaro hy esam lupta-pindodaka-kriyah. Pindodaka. In Calcutta, there was a big scientist. His name was Sarpisirat. He was speaking in a, he was atheist number one, he was speaking that: “This pindodaka, by offering pinda, prasada and water, it will go to my forefather. So just give me to eat downstairs whether I can eat upstairs?” This reasoning. But he does not know that how much there are different types of eating. They do not know there is eating in the subtle body also. The ghosts also, they eat. But the method is different. So even a big scientist speak like that, then how the ordinary people…? Yad yad acarati sresthah, lokas tad anuvartate. If the so-called advanced in education they speak so irresponsibly, naturally, others will follow. Therefore, at the present moment, the whole generation is covered with ignorance and darkness. No clear knowledge. And without clear knowledge, whatever we do… Just like in darkness, whatever we act, that is simply embezzlement. That’s all. It is not very correctly understood. Therefore we have no correct knowledge, no correct activities, and, and the result is narakayaiva. So you can read next verse.


dosair etaih kula-ghnanam varna-sankara-karakaih utsadyante jati-dharmah kula-dharmas ca sasvatah

Translation: “Due to the evil deeds of the destroyers of family tradition, all kinds of community projects and family welfare activities are devastated.”

Prabhupada: So jati-dharma. Jati, nowadays it has been taken as “national.” But here, jati-dharma means…Just like one is born in brahmana jati, ksatriya jati, vaisya jati, sudra jati. So each jati, they have got different types of responsibilities. So when the unwanted children, irresponsible children, they do not follow any more the tradition, the family tradition, or jati-dharma, so they create a class of population in the varna-sankara. So everything becomes topsy- turvy, hellish condition. And actually it has so happened. Now there is no more jati-dharma. Everyone is engaged somehow or other to fill up the belly. Formerly, formerly there was stricture. The brahmanas, the ksatriyas, and the vaisyas, these three higher castes, there were certain restrictions. The brahmana would not do this or the brahmana must do this. So that is called jati-dharma. A brahmana cannot accept service from anywhere. I have discussed many times. A ksatriya also cannot. And vaisya cannot. Only the sudra can become servant of others. Paricaryatmakam karma sudrasyapi svabhava-jam. So, at the present moment, nobody can observe the strict rules and regulations, that “I am born in a brahmana family. I cannot accept anyone’s service.” Then you will have to starve. Because he has no brahminical capacity… By education, by culture, he’s a sudra, although falsely he’s claiming that he is a brahmana or ksatriya. So his jati-dharma, family tradition, family rituals, everything is lost due to this unwanted children. Unwanted children make everything topsy-turvy. So Arjuna is visualizing all the future calamities. But there is one remedy. It is a fact that jati-dharma we have lost. No more we can be called strictly following the jati-dharma. No more can one present himself strictly as a brahmana or ksatriya. Everything is lost now, by the influence of Kali-yuga. And varna-sankara. So there is only one remedy, only one remedy. That is stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam, Eleventh Canto:

devarsi-bhutapta-nrnam pitrnam na kinkara nayam rni ca rajan sarvatmana yah saranam saranyam gato mukundam parihrtya kartam [SB 11.5.41]

We must admit that we have created hellish condition of society by producing unwanted children, and disobeying the jati-dharma or kula-dharma. That one has to admit, everyone. So what is the remedy? Only remedy is to surrender to Krsna. Krsna is canvassing that: “Even you can give up your jati-dharma, but simply surrender unto Me. I shall give you protection.”

There is another verse in the Srimad-Bhagavatam: tyaktva sva-dharman caranambujam harer. Sva-dharma. Sva-dharma means jati-dharma. So I may be born in a brahmana or ksatriya, so I have got sva-dharma. A ksatriya or brahmana has got his own regulative principles. So Bhagavata, Narada says, Bhagavata says and Narada says that if one has given up his jati-dharma…, because Krsna is asking: sarva-dharman parityajya [Bg. 18.66]. Sarva-dharma means this sva-dharma, jati-dharma, or so many other dharmas man created for the nice keep-up of the society. Just like we create even in the modern world so many rules and regulations. Take for example that one must keep to the left. Just to keep order in the society. There are so many things. So jati-dharma, kula-dharma is also like that. Spiritually, it has no value. It, it can help one to be elevated on the spiritual platform. But spiritual advancement does not depend on this jati-dharma or kula-dharma. It does not depend. Even without following the rules and regulations of jati-dharma and kula-dharma one can become advanced in spiritual life. Ahaituki apratihata. If one is serious to become Krsna conscious, then all these material impediments cannot check him. Anyone can become. Sat, sat sva-paco… There is a… What is called? Mantra-tantra-visarada, avaisnavo gurur na syat vaisnavah sva-paco guruh. One is very expert in jati-dharma, but if he’s not a Vaisnava, if he’s not a devotee of Lord Visnu… Vaisnava means visnur yasya devata one who has accepted… There are many demigods, devatas. So sometimes they are advised that: “If you want this result, then you worship this demigod.” Just like it is said that if you want a beautiful wife, so you worship Uma. Uma, the wife of Lord Siva, she is very beautiful. So similarly, if you want learning then you worship such and such demigod. If you want money, then you worship such and such demigod. These are there, I mean to say orders in the Vedic literature. But if you want to get relief from this material condition of life, then you have to take the shelter of Visnu, Vaisnava. Or the sastra says even if you have got other desires to fulfill, still you become Vaisnava. That is the last instruction. You don’t require to worship other demigods. In the Bhagavad-gita also it is said kamais tais tair hrta-jnanah yajanty anya-devata [Bg. 7.20] If one is bewildered on account of lusty desires, they go to different demigods for begging some benefit. So they are hrta-jnana. Hrta-jnana means lost of intelligence. If Krsna is the Supreme, so suppose if you want some material happiness, can He not give you? He can give you also. So why should you bother about other demigods? Therefore, it is said kamais tais tair hrta-jnana. If Krsna is the Supreme Lord, so if I have got some desires, material desires… Actual bhakti means minus all material… Anyabhilasita-sunyam [Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.11] One must be freed from all material desires. But even if you have got some material desire, still you can take shelter of Krsna. You don’t require to take shelter of other demigods. So that is the last instruction in the Vedic literature.

akamah sarva-kamo va moksa-kama udaradhi tivrena bhakti-yogena yajeta purusam param [Bhag. 2.3.10]

Akama means devotee. Devotees have no desire. They have got desire just to become devotee of Krsna. That is natural desire. If the son desires that: “I shall be obedient son of my father,” that is natural desire. Or the son desires that: “I shall depend on my father, and I shall be happy,” that kind of desire is natural desire. Similarly, if one desires that: “I shall become a devotee of Lord Krsna,” that is natural desire. But when I desire to lord it over the material nature and forget my service to Krsna, that is called vasana. That is material desire, abhilasa. So we have to give up these material desires. Then it is bhakti. Anyabhilasita-sunyam jnanam karmady anavrtam anukulyena krsna… [Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.11]

So even if we have violated the jati-dharma and kula-dharma… That is a fact. We have done so. There is no denying this fact. Every one of us, we have done that. Then what is the next duty or remedy? Because we have violated everything. So that, for that purpose, in the Bhagavata gives you direction. Here is the verse: devarsi-bhutaptam nrnam pitrnam. Pitr, pitr pindodaka-kriyah. So we are obliged to offer pinda and water to the pitrs. But here is an, what is called, an outlet. Devarsi, we are indebted to the devatas. Rsis, we are indebted to the great sages. Devarsi, devarsi bhutanam. We are indebted to so many other living entities, bhutanam, and nrnam. We are also indebuted to the human society. Nrnam, pitrnam. We are indebted to the pitrs, forefather. Pitrnam. So na kinkara nayam rni ca rajan. One becomes freed from the servitude of all these personalities, devarsi-bhutapta nrnam pitrnam [SB 11.5.41]. How he can become? Sarvatma yah saranam saranyam. One who has fully surrendered unto the lotus feet of the Lord, saranyam. Saranyam means here is the real place where one can surrender fully. Others, if I surrender to a cats and dogs, what he will help me? Therefore they are not saranyam. But, by mistake, if they take shelter of such cats and dogs, what benefit they will get? Therefore saranyam, the worthwhile surrender is to the lotus feet of Mukunda. Therefore it is said, sarvatma yah saranam saranyam gato mukundam parihrtya kartum. We have got so many duties, but in this age, we have lost everything. Therefore, our only duty is to surrender unto the lotus feet of Mukunda, Krsna. That will save us. Krsna says—it is not story—Krsna says aham tvam sarva papebhyo moksayisyami. “I know that you have violated your family tradition, your past regulations, everything you have done for which you are to be punished, sinful activities, but I give you assurance, if you surrender unto Me, then aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami. I shall give you deliverance from all the reactions of sinful activities.” Therefore at the present moment, because we have lost all culture, we have done so many sinful activities, if we want to be saved, it is, the only remedy is to surrender to the lotus feet of Krsna, and thus become saved.

Thank you very much. (end)