Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.1-8
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Stockholm, September 8, 1973

Prabhupada: So this instruction of Rsabhadeva is very, very important. Try to understand. Our this Krsna consciousness movement is a protest to the modern way of civilization. The leaders of the modern society, they want that people should be engaged in working like dogs and hogs and asses. They should not understand what is the value of life, what is the object of life. Let them always remain intoxicated, and sense gratification, and produce more product for sense enjoyment. This is modern civilization. All these factories… I understand that in this country the farmers are taxed so heavily that they are forced to work in the factory. This is a policy of the government leaders to engage people. If anyone wants to live peacefully, save time for developing Krsna consciousness, then the leaders of the society or the government will not allow him to do so. This is the position.

So you are all fortunate, or you are so kind that you have joined this movement despite all these obstacles in this country. Not in this, all over the world. So don’t be disappointed. Go on preaching this philosophy of Krsna consciousness. There are many innocent people; they do not know what to do. There are four… For a preacher, there must be vigilance. A preacher will see four things: God, a devotee of God, innocent person, and envious, jealous persons. So a preacher should deal with these four items differently. So far God is concerned, we shall try to increase our love for God. This is one business. How? That is the arcana-vidhi, to always be cautious, to offer foodstuff, early to rise, offer mangala-aratrika, keep the temple very cleansed, yourself also. Without being cleansed, without being brahmana, saucam—samo damah saucam… We should always remember. When you come to the temple, don’t think that “Here is a picture of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu or Radha- Krsna.” They are not picture. You should know that personally they are present. You’ll realize the personal presence by the quality of your devotional service. If your devotional service quality is not first class, then it will take time to realize that here is personally Krsna or Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu or the acaryas are present here. It is a question of realization. The more you strictly follow the regulative principles, chant sixteen rounds regularly, the more you’ll realize.

Because God, Krsna, is omnipotent. He can accept your service. He can bless you even from the picture. That is God’s potency. If you think that this is just like ordinary picture… Ye yatha mam prapadyante. You know the story of Saksi-gopala in the Caitanya-caritamrta. The…, a atheist is thinking that “Here is a stone statue.” And the devotee is thinking that “Here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” It is a question of quality of advancement. The story, I may recite, that two brahmanas, one young and one old, went to Vrndavana. So the younger brahmana, young man, he served this old man on the way. It is the duty, still in India, if there is any old man… It is not decreasing. And if there is young man, the young man is always ready to help the old man. So at Vrndavana, after reaching, the young man and the old man, the old man felt very much obliged… (aside:) Why this sound? Huh? Felt obliged to the young man, and he said, “My dear boy, you have served me so nicely; without your help, I could not come. So I have got some obligation to you. I want to reward you.” (aside:) Stop that sound. So (the) young man said, “Sir, why you are thinking like that? It is my duty. You are just like my father; whatever service possible, I have given you. There is no question of rewarding me.” Actually, that is not service. If we serve somebody and with expectation of some reward, that is not service, that is business.

So the old man said, “No, I feel myself.” So he said that “My youngest daughter I’ll give you.” So he said, “Sir, don’t say like that, because you are rich man. I am poor man.” Because in India, still, the father, parents, they arrange for marriage. So they want equal status. If the father of the girl is rich man, then he must find out a son-in-law who is coming also from rich family. If he’s educated, he wants a son-in-law who must be educated. So this young man was neither very much educated, nor at all rich. But this old man was aristocrat, rich man, and educated, complete different. The young man said that “Why you are promising like this? You do not know you are talking before the Deity. You should not talk like that. Because it will not be possible. Even though you agree, your sons, your wife will not agree. So it will be failure and you are talking before the Deity, you should be careful.” So the old insisted, “No, maybe they protest, but it is my daughter, I shall give you. Who can protest? I promise.” So the young man said, “Now, it is up to you, but you are promising before the Deity. Mind that.”

So in this way, when they returned home, one day the old man, before his wife and son, said, “My dear son, my dear wife, this girl should be offered to that young man.” He was same village. “What is this? How this daughter can be offered to such poor man? He’s not very educated.” The old man: “No, it doesn’t matter. I have promised.” The boy, his eldest son, said, “No, no, it cannot be.” And the wife said that “If you give my daughter to that boy, then I shall commit suicide.” He was perplexed. Now what to do? So he was thinking and praying to Krsna, “Sir, I have promised before You. You kindly help me so that they may not commit suicide and I may also offer my daughter to that boy. You have to arrange for that.” And Krsna has got such contradictory duties. He has to protect the thief, as well as the man where theft is being done. You see. Because everyone is praying, “Sir, my things may not be stolen.” And the thief is also praying, “Please give me some opportunity so that I can steal.” And Krsna has to satisfy both.

So in this way, the young man, he saw that this old man promised before Lord Krsna, Gopalaji, and he’s now silent. So one day he came, and the son of the old man, he was very politician, atheist class. So when the father said, “I have promised. How can I deny?” “No, when there will be some talk about this you simply say, ‘I don’t remember what I said,’ that’s all. Then I shall manage. I shall manage.” So what can be done? Although he did not like to say like that, but he has to see both sides. So one day the young man came, “Sir, you promised, now you are silent, you do not do anything. What is in your mind?” So when he was talking with the old man like that, his son came out, “You rascal, you want to marry my sister? Are you fit for that?” So all ill names. And he brought a stick: “Get out; otherwise I shall beat you like that.”

Then other neighborhood men said, “What is the trouble?” So he said that “This man, this young man, went with my father to Vrndavana. He took all his money by giving him intoxication. And now he’s talking that my father has promised to give my sister to him. Do you think it is possible?” So all the neighborhood men said, “Yes, he’s very rich man, How this poor man can be…? Maybe he has taken his money.” So the young man said, “No, sir! He has promised before… I am not very much anxious to marry his daughter. But I’m simply anxious that he promised before the Deity. So how is that he can withdraw the promise? It is a great offense.” He’s thinking in that way. So in the meantime his son came out, “All right, if the Deity has become witness, if you can bring the Deity here and He gives witness: ‘Yes, my father promised,’ then I also promise that my sister will be married with you.” Because he’s atheist, he’s thinking that “Deity is not going to come here. How He can come and from such a long distant place? This is impossible. This crazy man may say that Deity has become witness, but it is not possible.” So he said, “All right, I’m going to Vrndavana to bring the witness.”

So he went there again and… He knows that He is Supreme Personality of Godhead personally. He does not know that He is Deity. He’s Deity, but He’s Supreme Personality of Godhead. “Sir, if Your devotee… I know that old man is Your devotee, but he is now perplexed on account of his son and wife. So You have to go with me and say yes, this promise was made before You, to become witness.” So Gopalaji said, “How I can go? Do you think a marble Deity can go anywhere?” So he was devotee, he said, “Yes, marble Deity, if He can speak, He can go also.” Then He could not say anything. By logic, Krsna was defeated. Yes. “Sir, if You can speak You can go also. So You have to go.” “All right. So I’ll go with you, but don’t see back. I’ll go, rest assured. And you’ll hear the tinkling sound of My ankle bell, so you’ll know I am coming. Daily you offer Me one kilo rice on the way. I shall go.”

So when the Deity reached almost, say, one mile away from the village, the ankle bell, tinkling of the ankle bell was not heard. So he was very much anxious, whether He has not come. He saw backside, he saw Deity is there. So he said, “Sir…” Now the Deity said, “Now I shall not go. Because I told you that don’t see back side. So you have seen now backside. I am here, of course. But I cannot go any further.” So he informed in the village that “My Gopalaji witness has come. You come here.” So all the village people immediately came there and saw the big Deity, Gopalaji’s there. So they could understand that it is not possible to carry this Deity from such a long distance. He has brought it. It was hundreds of, at least thousand miles. So they accepted: “Yes, Deity has come.” And the marriage was performed. Then a temple was constructed by the king of that country. So again the maharaja, king of Jagannatha Puri, conquered that country, and he was a devotee. He took away the Deity. The Deity is still there near Jagannatha Puri. He is know as Saksi-gopala, the witness Gopala. Still people go and see.

So the atheist class man will always think that Deity is a doll: “These people, crazy fellow, they are worshiping doll.” But not for a devotee. For a devotee, the Deity is prepared to talk, and offer His blessings. So therefore, we should consider either the picture or the Deity not as such, but… This is very reasonable, because in the Bhagavad-gita we see Krsna says that,

bhumir apo ’nalo vayuh kham mano buddhir eva ca ahankara itiyam me bhinna prakrtir astadha

“It is My energy, it is My energy. The earth, water, air, fire, sky, mind, intelligence, they are My separated energy.” So it is emanation from Krsna. Either you take the earth, water, fire, air, anything. It has come from Krsna. So they are not different. The energy and energetic are not different: identical. And Krsna, being omnipotent, He can do anything by His energy. That is the meaning of omnipotent. Even in ordinary things also. Just like a man has got enough money. That money is energy of the man, we can understand. So with that money he can do so many things. Although the money is in the bank and he’s at home, by his order, so many things can be done. He can start a big factory, business, everything, although he’s in the home. It is very easy to understand—because the energy is there. Similarly, Krsna may be far away from us, even we think… Krsna is not far away. Krsna is within our heart. But even if we think that Krsna is living in Goloka Vrndavana, which is unlimitedly far away from here…

Because this universe, you cannot estimate. You can see the border of the universe, the round sky, but nobody can reach there. There is no such means. The scientists calculate it will take forty thousands of years to reach there by the light year. So they are so much proud of material science. They see the sun, the moon. They cannot go there. Cannot go there. There are so many planets; we see at night. They are actually planets like this planet. But who can go there? You are limited. So how you can go to the planet where Krsna lives, Goloka Vrndavana? You cannot go even to reach these material planets, what to speak of the spiritual planets. The spiritual planets means crossing this wall, the sky, seven layers of wall. Earth, water, again. And each layer is ten times bigger than the other layer. This is the construction of the universe. So you have to penetrate through these layers. Then you come to the spiritual sky. And the spiritual sky, there are millions of planets, Vaikuntha planets. And the topmost is Goloka Vrndavana. So just imagine how far it is, Krsna’s abode.

Therefore, in the Brahma-samhita it is stated:

panthas tu koti-sata-vatsara-sampragamyo vayor athapi manaso muni-pungavanam so ’pyasti yat prapada-simny avicintya-tattve govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami [Bs 5.34]

You have got now airplane. That’s nice. But you cannot reach even the material planets. So if you want to go to the spiritual planet, then you can make an airplane which has speed of the mind. Or the speed of the air. Those who are physicists, they know what is the speed of air, what is the speed of light. So above this speed, the speed of mind. Those who are physicists, they know how speedy is air and light. The mind is still more speedy. You have got experience. Now you are sitting here. Immediate, within a second, you can go to America, USA, India, immediately. You can go to your home. You can see things—with mind, of course; the mind speed. So the Brahma-samhita says that even if you can manufacture one airplane which has the speed of the mind, which has the speed of the air—panthas tu koti-sata-vatsara-sampragamyah—and with that speed you go on for many millions of years, still you will not find where is Goloka Vrndavana. Still, you’ll not find. Panthas tu koti-sata-vatsara-sampragamyo vayor athapi manaso muni-pungavanam [Bs 5.34] It is not that the previous acaryas and others, they did not know what is airplane, what is speed, how to run. Don’t think foolishly, as if they have manufactured. It is nothing, not even third- , not even fourth-class, tenth-class. There were so nice airplanes. Now here is the suggestion that you can manufacture an airplane which can run on the speed of mind. Now here is a suggestion—do it. You can manufacture an airplane which may run at the speed of the air. They are thinking that at the speed of the light, if we can manufacture one airplane, still, it will take forty thousands of years to reach the topmost planet. They’re thinking, if it is possible.

But so far we can see, those who are busy with bolts and nuts, how this dull brain, they can manufacture such things? That is not possible. Actually, human life is meant for that purpose to understand God and His potencies and to revive our old (own) relationship with Him. That is the main business. But unfortunately, they are being engaged in factories, in other work, to work like hogs and dogs, and their whole energy is being spoiled. Not only spoiled, but their characters, they are working so hard, so after working so hard they must drink intoxication. Then after drinking, they must eat meat. After this combination, they require sex. So in this way, they’re kept in the darkness. And here, these verses of Rsabhadeva, he says warning. He’s warning, He’s speaking to his sons, but we can take the lesson. That he says: nayam deho deha-bhajam nrloke kastan kaman arhate vid-bhujam ye [Bhag. 5.5.1]. Kaman means the necessities of life. You can get your necessities of life very easily. By tilling the field, you get grains. And if there is cow, you get milk. That’s all. That is sufficient. But the leaders are making plan, that if they are satisfied with their farming work, little grains and milk, then who will work in the factory? Therefore they are taxing so that you cannot live even simple life—this is the position—even if you desire. The modern leaders will not allow you. They force you to work like dogs and hogs and asses. This is the position.

But still, we have to refrain from such unnecessary hard labor. It may be that government may take action against me because I’m speaking something revolutionary. Yes. But that is the fact. Why you should work? God has made provision for the birds, beasts, animals, ants, and if I’m devotee of God, He’ll not give me food? What I’ve done wrong? So don’t be agitated in that point. You will have all your necessities of life, but you remain fixed up in your determination in Krsna consciousness. Don’t be agitated by this nonsense belief.

Thank you very much. (end)