Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.1-2
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Stockholm, September 7, 1973


rsabha uvaca nayam deho deha-bhajam nr-loke kastan kaman arhate vid-bhujam ye tapo divyam putraka yena sattvam suddhyed yasmad brahma-saukhyam tv anantam

mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimuktes tamo-dvaram yositam sangi-sangam mahantas te sama-cittah prasanta vimanyavah suhrdah sadhavo ye

So uktam evaha rsabham iti. We are discussing about the instruction of Lord Rsabhadeva to His sons. Tad uktam upayinona bhagavata upasanam upadesa upadeksamana vairagyam vina upadesto ’pi bhakti-yoga na samyak pratitisthati tad utpadaye kaman nindati nayam etad dvayam. This is a note given by Bhiraghavacarya. He belongs to the Ramanuja sampradaya. We have got four disciplic succession: Madhvacarya’s sampradaya or succession, Ramanujacarya, Visnu Swami, and…, what is the other? Nimbarka. So Bhiraghavacarya belongs to the Ramanuja disciplic succession. He was a very famous man, acarya. So he says that bhagavata upasanam upadeksyamana vairagyam vina upadisto ’pi bhakti-yoga na samyak pratitisthati. We may give instruction for many years, but unless one practices vairagya, renunciation, vairagya vina…

This bhakti-yoga, another name is vairagya-yoga. That is pointed out by Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. When he offered his prayer to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu he said,

vairagya-vidya-nija-bhakti-yoga-siksartham ekah purusah puranah sri-krsna-caitanya-sarira-dhari krpambudhir yas tam aham prapadye [Cc. Madya 6.254]

He said that this Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the same Lord Krsna. Krsna advised, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66] This sarva-dharman includes all our material activities. So, but people could not understand. The instruction is still standing, Krsna said, sarva-dharman parityajya, “Just simply surrender unto Me.” But nobody is doing that. God says that, “You surrender unto Me; I shall give you all protection.” There is assurance. But we are so unfortunate that we cannot believe or cannot be assured on the words of God also. We do not believe. “Oh, God cannot give us protection. Let me try my own technology. I shall protect myself.” This is the world(?). That means he’s not detached with these material activities. Krsna says also that “You give up…” Just like we are also saying. There are so many proposals. They come, philanthropists: “People are starving. We have to see first of all.” The Communists say, “Then we can discuss about spiritual… There are so many people starving,” as if they have taken contract for feeding them. But these are only simply big, big words. They cannot do anything. Neither they are willing. They are simply after their own sense gratification. Otherwise, why so many people all over the world, there is voluntary starving? Just like the hippies. Why they are lying down on the street, on the park, no fixed-up program for eating, sleeping? They are not poor men’s sons.

So, nature’s way will work. You cannot stop them. But because they cannot give up attachment for these material activities, they put some manifesto, that “We are not working for this. After finishing this task, then we shall take to the consideration of spiritual life.” So this is called will o’ the wisp. What is that, will o’ the wisp? There is a fire, and the fire goes ahead, and the man follows. It is something like that. They cannot do anything. Actually, they have got attachment for these material activities, and they put forward different types of manifesto. But if one is serious about going back to home, back to Godhead… First of all, they have no such information that there is a place where God lives. They think it is all fictitious. (So) why it is fictitious? If you accept there is God, why, what is the objection to accept a place for Him? We have got our place, we have got our residential quarter, and God has provided us all these facilities, and He has no facility? He is impersonal? He has no place? Just see.

So, these things cannot be understood by the materialistic person. Therefore, one has to practice vairagya, renunciation. That is pointed out here. Bhagavata upasanam upadeksyamana vairagyam vina upadisto ’pi bhakti-yoga na samyag pratitisthati iti. Side by side we have to practice, voluntarily, to be detached from material activities. Then we can make progress in devotional service. Tad utpataya kaman mindati. This is our voluntary work. If we want to be detached… Because Krsna is so kind, if you have got even a little pinch of attachment for this material world, you are not allowed to enter into the kingdom of God. You must be completely free. Therefore, bhakti-yoga is enunciated by Rupa Goswami: anyabhilasita-sunyam. Anyabhilasita-sunyam [BRS 1.1.11]. Sunyam means zero. All kinds of material desires should be made into zero. Anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady anavrtam [Madhya 19.167]. Jnana, speculative method for understanding the Absolute Truth, as the Mayavadis, they are speculating, “This is not, this is not, this is not.” Neti neti. This is jnana.

And karma means they are not struggling hard to enjoy the fruitive result, as we see generally everywhere, they are working so hard. Big, big buildings, big, big factories, big, big roads, cities, so many things. They are trying to be happy by such advancement of material opulence. They are called karmi. Some of them are trying to be happy within this material, within this world or within this life, and there are others also, they are also performing big, big yajnas, charities, so that next life they may also take birth in very nice family or may be elevated to the higher planetary system where the standard of life is thousand times better than here. There is all arrangement. So they are trying for that. Not only to become very bodily happy in this life, but also next life. But as there is difficulty… Suppose if you want to be happy materially, then… You see how they are working very hard. They have no time. In the morning, at half past five, we go for morning walk, we see, workers are going. At night… You Europeans, you know better than me how they are working very, very hard. What is the idea? To become happy. To satisfy the senses. Similarly, there are others who know that there is life after death. So they are also preparing how “Next life also we’ll be happy, we may take birth in very rich family, in higher planet, in heavenly planet.”

So this hard labor is going on. So Rsabhadeva says that this hard labor should be stopped. There is no need of so much hard labor. Why you should work so hard? This such kind of hard labor is seen amongst the animals. There are animals, just like we saw one jackal was passing on the street. So they come out in the night, some of the animals, especially ferocious animals. They come out at night for their food. Everyone is working hard; they also come. So animals also, they (are) also working very hard. That is given example, the hogs and dogs. That is restricted. If you go on working for better standard of life, then you’ll be attached to this work and your mind will be absorbed in such work. And if the mind continues to be absorbed in working so hard, then after giving up this body, you’ll have to accept another body to fulfill such desires within the mind. Krsna will give you full facility. Therefore it is said, deha-bhrtan madhye (ja) nr-loka manusyah tasmin sattvayam manusyah deha kastan krcchran sampadyamanam ata duhkha-rupam kaman yajnadini. Yajnadini prati na hati. Kaman anubhavitum narhati ity artha.

Rsabhadeva says that simply for sense gratification, don’t work so much. Actually, we haven’t got to work. Everything is there. We have repeatedly discussed. Just like in the morning the birds get up, they do not work very hard. They know that “We shall go in some, upon some tree, and there is food, there is some fruit, and we shall eat.” There is no, no good prob…, very great problem. The animals also, they are assured, everyone is assured. And even human being, just like sannyasis, they are also assured. Just like when I came to your country, there was no friend, there was no relative, but assurance was there that “I am going for Krsna’s business. So there is some provision, never mind where it is.” That much faith we must have. Actually, for even one is not Krsna conscious, one is not devotee of Krsna, he has also provision. That provision is there. Why should we work so hard? Our business is to save time how to become advanced in Krsna consciousness. But people cannot understand this.

Now, how to become detached from this habit of hard working, that is suggested here. It is said, mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimuktes. Mahat-seva, saintly persons, if you associate with them, if you serve them, try to serve them, that practice is still in India. If a sannyasi, you’ll find from Caitanya-caritamrta, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is going from village to village, but any village he goes… Generally, the sannyasi goes to a temple because temple is meant for the traveling sannyasi. And as soon as one sannyasi… Still this custom is prevalent in India, as soon as somebody sees a sannyasi has come in a temple, somebody from the village, not somebody, but many will come, “Sir, you can take your lunch at my place.” So there is no scarcity. Many people will come to invite you still. Therefore many pseudo or phony swamis, they have taken this profession because there is no difficulty getting food. So, mahat-seva. The… What is the idea? The idea is the grhasthas, they know that “We are simply engaged in the matter of sense gratification. If we invite some saintly person at home, if he eats at my place, then, we commit so many sinful activities, we’ll be saved.” This is the process. Therefore, a sannyasi is advised to accept prasadam in the house of a brahmana, because a brahmana is supposed to be, become very pious. If you take foodstuff from impious men, then that means you are taking share of his impious activities. But a saintly person, they can digest, but if (they) cannot digest, then you have to suffer. This is the process. Then he has to suffer. Therefore the safety principle is to accept luncheon in a pious family, where there is Vaisnava family or brahmana family. Not that anywhere we can accept cooked food. Sometimes we have to do it, but that is against principle. We should not accept food anywhere and everywhere, unless he is pious. The brahmanas are supposed to be pious; therefore, a sannyasi is advised to accept food, luncheon in the brahmana family. And brahmana family, still, not all, a few families still in India, they worship regularly Narayana-sila, salagrama-sila.

Therefore one should be anxious to give some service to the saintly persons. Mahat-seva dvaram. If you engage yourself how to serve a saintly person, then your door for going back to Godhead will gradually become open. Mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimuktes. This human body is a junction. You can go this way or you can go that way. This way means mahat-seva, liberation. But people do not understand what is liberation. They are so dull. They have been… Their education system is so rubbish that they do not know what is liberation. Just like cats and dogs, they do not know what is liberation. Liberation means to get out of this false conditional life. I’m thinking I’m this body, which I’m not, and therefore I’m acting on the bodily concept of life and becoming entangled more and more so that I have to accept another body, another body, another body. This is my conditional state of life, and there is so much risk to accept another body. As it is said in the Bhagavad-gita, tatha dehantara-praptir. You have to accept another body. And what kind of body I’m going to get, that I do not know. Now suppose if I get another body in the plant life, a tree. A tree can stand for thousands of years. And if we get that sort of life, how much risky it is to accept another body. It is also possible. Those who are performing big, big yajnas, charity, they can expect to be transferred to the heavenly planet. But those who are not doing anything, living like cats and dogs, oh, their life is very risky. Very risky. But they do not know. There is no such education. But here it is recommended, that, mahat-sevam dvaram ahur. If you associate with saintly persons then there is possibility of your door being opened for liberation. Dvaram ahur vimuktes.

(So) we are opening many centers all over the world. Why? To give people chance of having this association of a Vaisnava, mahat, mahatma. Therefore those who are in charge of such centers, they must be ideal mahatmas. Mahatma means devotees. Mahatmanas tu mam partha daivim prakrtim asritah bhajanty ananya-manaso [Bg. 9.13]. Mahatma means whose atma, whose soul is enaged in the service of the Supreme Lord. He’s mahatma. Otherwise ksudratma. God is all-pervading. So whose atma has become attached to the all-pervading Supersoul, he’s called mahatma. Otherwise, ksudratma. If we are, our heart is attached to limited circle of my friends, wife, children, home, country, then I am ksudratma, because that is limited. Ksudratma or duratma. The opposite is mahatma. Mahan, great. So we have to associate with mahatma. Mahat-seva. How associate? Tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya [Bg. 4.34], to associate. Therefore, it is the custom whenever one goes to see one saintly person, he gives something for service, either fruits or something presentation. That is necessary. Mahat-seva it is said. Seva means service. Maha-seva. Not that I go to see one mahatma, saintly person, and talk with him with all rascal proposal, and waste his time and his own time also. That is not association of the mahatma. Mahat seva. You must approach a saintly person to give him some service. This is the beginning. Spiritual advancement of life means you have to give some service. That service begins when we serve the representative of Krsna, mahatma. He’s spiritual master or saintly person.

So mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimuktes. And just the opposite number is, mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimuktes tamo-dvaram yositam sangi-sangam. Yosit. Yosit means enjoyable, female, or prakrti. The nature has made in such a way that the male form, or female form, that attracts, that is called yosit. There are so many things for our attraction, not that simply woman is attractive. No. Woman is a form. Rupa, rasa, sabda, gandha, sparsa, this is called the tan-matra, enjoying… We have got senses, so there must be object of enjoyment of the senses. The eyes, they have got also the object of sense gratification. The eyes want to see very beautiful forms. Eyes, rupa. Rupa means form. And the tongue, it wants to enjoy very good taste, tasty food. So that is also enjoyment. Not that simply woman is for enjoyment. Any palatable foodstuff which attracts my tongue, that is also enjoyment.(?) Mahat-sevam tamo-dvaram yosita… These are yosit. A nice beautiful woman or man which attracts, a nice foodstuff which attracts my tongue, rupa, rasa, sabda, nice singing which attracts my ear… Rupa, rasa, sabda, gandha, smelling, which attracts my nostril. Rupa, rasa, gandha, sabda, sparsa, touching. So these are all subject matter for my enjoyment, objectives. So tamo-dvaram yositam sangi-sangam. Those who are attached only, the general public, they are attached to all these things. They are going to cinema, they are drinking wine, they are going to restaurant for satisfaction of the tongue, clubs, and talking, so many things. So those who are attached to all these things for sense gratification, if we associate with such persons, then our door for going to hell is open. Two doors. You have to make selection. Whether this door for becoming liberated from this entanglement of repetition of birth and death and go back to home, back to Godhead, this is one door. Another door, for sense gratification. Adanta-gobhir visatam tamisram. The more we indulge in sense gratification, then more, more, more… Just like a drunkard. From the very beginning he’s not a big drunkard. He takes little, then big, big bottles, big, big bottles. It is simply… Smoking, when the child learns from bad association to smoke, then he become a chain smoker, one after another, one after another, one after another.

So if we indulge in sense gratification, then it will increase, it will increase. And more we increase the process of sense gratification, we go down, deeper, deeper, into the hellish condition of life. Just like the other day I was talking with Mr. Berman, he’s a mining engineer. So I talked with him that “You have spent so much time being educated as mining engineer…” It is very good technology he has learned. “But do you ever consider that what is your position? After taking so much education, learning technology, your place is in the dark mines, your place. Whole day you have to work within this darkness. And you are considered to be very expert, and you are getting good salary, but your place is in the dark mine. Why don’t you…?” Similarly, his wife, she’s a qualified gynecologist. So what is her business? Her business is how to kill the child within the womb—abortion. Just see. Both are experts. One expert is engaged in the hellish condition of the mine, in darkness; another expert is engaged in killing small babies within the womb. You see? Therefore the result will be that they are going to hell. Adanta-gobhir visatam tamisram. Punah punas carvita-carvananam [SB 7.5.30]. Again doing the same thing, again going to the hellish condition of life. This is called tamo-dvaram, ignorance. Tamo-dvaram yositam sangi-sangam.

Therefore, to make advancement in spiritual life one must be serious to practice vairagya. Tapasya, that is tapasya. If you practice vairagya, deny, “No, I shall not eat these things, I shall not drink these things, I shall not do like this,” abnegation—that we have to practice. That we have to practice. But although it is very difficult, so far we are concerned, we have made the things very concise. Simply, just observe the four regulative principles—no illicit sex, no gambling, no meat-eating, and no intoxication. This much we have to practice if we are actually serious to go…, advance in spiritual life. This is vairagya, voluntarily. What is the difficulty? You want sex life, why don’t you live, husband and wife, married? Sex life is not denied, but not outside the marriage. That is denied. A little vairagya. But we have made such a civilization that no responsibility for marriage. Let the girls become prostitutes and enjoy and go away. Horrible civilization. They are going towards hell, punah punas carvita-carvananam [SB 7.5.30]. But they do not know. Neither do they care. It is very serious situation of the present civilization. If we think… One who does not know, he’s in darkness, that is a different thing. But especially in the Western countries I see that poor girls are being advertised for prostitution. What is that? Topless? Yes. Topless, bottomless and so many things. You see. Purposefully, poor girls are being utilized for sense gratification. So horrible condition. And when there is pregnancy, then abortion, then further entanglement, further…

So this is the way to go to the darkest region of hellish condition of life. Sense gratification. So one has to avoid this. Mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimuktes, and the tamo-dvaram yositam sangi-sangam. Not only you directly make all these thing then you are condemned to go to the hellish condition; if you associate with such person, then also you’ll be liable. If you associate. Just like some rascals they say, “Yes, we are eating meat, but we are not directly killing. We purchase.” They think that “Let me enjoy meat-eating. Those who are killing in the slaughterhouse, they will be responsible. I am free.” No. Because you are associating with such persons, according to Manu-samhita when an animal is killed, eight persons become condemned with murdering charges. Eight persons. One who kills, one who orders, one who purchases, one who cooks, one who eats—so many. That is the law. Just like one man is murdered. That murdering is committed by one man, but if has got many associates who has induced him, who has supplied him the weapon, or giving, so many assisted—all of them are arrested. This is the law. As we have got law here, here we can escape man-made laws, but you cannot escape God-made laws. That is not possible. Man-made laws sometimes we escape because everything made by man, that is insufficient, imperfect. So you can escape sometimes. That is not escaping. But you cannot escape God’s law. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese ’rjuna tisthati [Bg. 18.61]. God is situated within your heart. He’s seeing everything and recording. Anumanta upadrasta, you cannot escape.

So these things are very important thing if we’re actually serious about becoming disentangled with this material world and go back to home, back to…, then this instruction of Rsabhadeva is very important. We shall discuss again.

Thank you very much. (end)