Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.35
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Mayapura, October 15, 1974

Nitai: “And yet others say that You appeared to rejuvenate the devotional service of hearing, remembering, worshiping and so on, in order that the conditioned souls suffering from material pangs might take advantage and gain liberation.”


bhave ’smin klisyamananam avidya-kama-karmabhih sravana-smaranarhani karisyann iti kecana

This is a very important verse. Bhave asmin. Asmin means “this,” and bhave, “the material world.” Bhava means to grow, means… Grow means which has taken birth. That requires grow. In the material world, there are six kinds of changes: first of all birth, then grow, then stay for some time, then producing some by-product, then diminishing, dwindling, and then vanish. These are the six kinds of changes. Just like this body. It has taken birth at a certain date, and it has grown, that the child is growing. And growing, it will stay, not immediately vanish. It will stay. And while staying, it will create some by-product. From this body, so many sons and daughters will come, by-product. Even tree, they produce also, everyone. Then it becomes old, no more strength, and when it is very old, finish. These are called sad-vikara. That is on account of this body.

So after finishing this body, then I am not finished; I am there. I am, this gross body, finished, but I am within this subtle body—mind, intelligence and ego. The subtle body carries me to another gross body. These so-called scientists, medical men, they cannot see the subtle body, although one has to accept. Just like I have got mind, you have got mind—but I cannot see your mind; you cannot see my mind. I have got intelligence; you have got intelligence. Everyone knows. But you cannot see my intelligence; I cannot see your intelligence. They are very subtle. So, and beyond that, the spirit soul is still subtle, so minute quantity. So what these material scientists will see? They cannot see the mind, intelligence, ego, and what to speak of the soul? Therefore they say, “This body is everything, and there is nothing more.” But actually that is not the fact. The fact is that the spirit soul is very, very small. Kesagra-sata-bhagasya satadha kalpitasya ca [Cc. Madya 19.140]. Kesagra, the tip of the hair, agra-bhaga, front portion, front portion, sata-bhagasya, you divide into… Can you do it? Take one hair and divide into hundred parts? No, that is not possible. But if… The direction is there. If you can, you can do it. Sata-bhagasya. Then again take one part of that sata-bhaga, one hundredth part, again make it hundred parts.

So it is not possible, impossible by the so-called scientists. But how to learn? Then you have to learn from the authority, “It is like this,” that much. It is not under your experimental knowledge. That is not possible. Because your knowledge is so imperfect, you cannot deal with these things. But these rascals, they think… Because they cannot deal with these things, they think that the matter is the cause of life. That’s all—matter, material. But that is… They have not been able to do so. Take matter in the laboratory, chemicals, and produce a small with hands and legs and eyes. We see every night, a small, very, very small, but still, it has got hands, legs and everything, eyes. Otherwise how they are coming to the light? Very small.

So… So we are getting bhava, bhava from that small insect up to the Brahma. Abrahma-bhuvana-stambha,(?) abrahma stambha. Everyone. That is called bhava. There are 8,400,000 different forms of life, and we are finishing one body, entering another body. Tatha dehantara-praptih. Krsna says. Either you have to reject Krsna’s word or you have to reject all this so-called scientific research. But we have… We are pledged to Krsna consciousness. We cannot reject Krsna’s word. So it is accepted that tatha dehantara-praptih. Now, Krsna says that you have to accept another body. Everyone has to accept. Now, He does not say that “After this body, the next change will be this body.” He does not say. He does not say. So… Because that will depend, as it is said here, avidya-kama-karmabhih. Avidya. The… Every living entity is within this material world under avidya. Avidya-karma-samjnanya trtiya saktir isyate.

There are many potencies of God, Krsna. Parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate. Many millions. So they have been summarized into three. What is that? The external potency, internal potency, two, and third, marginal potency. The marginal potency and internal potency, they are of the same quality. There are same quality. And there is another potency. That is called external potency. What is that external potency? Now, avidya-karma-samjnanya trtiya saktir isyate. Visnu-saktih para prokta ksetrajnakhya tatha para [Cc. Madhya 6.154]. Visnu-sakti, the Lord’s potency, is para. That is spiritual. Visnu-saktih para. And… Visnu-saktih para… Visnu-sakti. And ksetrajnakhya tatha para. And ksetrajnah, the living entities… The ksetrajna is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, idam sariram ksetram ity abhidhiyate. And one who knows this ksetra… Ksetrajna ity abhidhiyate. These are stated in the Bhagavad-gita. So the living entity is ksetrajna. So ksetrajna is also para. But besides these two sakti, there is another, trtiya sakti, which is avidya, everything in ignorance.

Here in this material world everyone is in ignorance—everyone, even Brahma. Brahma, he was ignorant, but he was given knowledge by Krsna. Tene brahma hrda adi-kavaye. Adi-kavi means Brahma. So the Vedic knowledge, tene brahma… Brahma means this Vedic knowledge, sabda-brahman. So there was one creature, Brahma only, but he was educated. How he was educated? Hrda. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese arjuna tisthati [Bg. 18.61]. Because, at that time, there was no other way but to transfer the knowledge from within. Buddhi-yogam dadami tam yena mam upayanti te. That is caitya-guru, Krsna, Paramatma. So Brahma was also educated. That means beginning from Brahma down to the small insect, they are all in ignorance, all fools and rascals. That is the constitutional position. Nobody should be proud of his knowledge. Everyone is a rascal, everyone. Here it is said, klisyamananam avidya-kama-karmabhih. So Brahma is desiring that “If I can get the opportunity, the post of Brahma, and I can create a big universe…” He was also thinking like that. And the small insects, it is also thinking like that—“If I can create a small hole within the room, then I can live very peacefully and eat.” The same propensity. As Brahma is thinking to create an universe, you are thinking to create an skyscraper building, the ant is thinking to create a hole within the room—the quality of the work is the same.

But because we are fools, that these things are material… It will not stay. On account of ignorance, we are thinking that “This will be very nice. This will be very nice. This will be very nice. This will be…” Kama-karmabhih, creating some kama, desire, and working in that way. Therefore klisyanti. To become Brahma, that is not very easy thing. Brahma is such a big post, very qualified, highly advanced in austerities, penance. He is given… He’s also a living entity. Just like in your America, you are also a citizen, and President Nixon or Ford, he’s also citizen. But by dint of his ardent labor and diplomacy, this way, tha…, he has captured that post. But he’s an ordinary citizen. Just like President Nixon. Now he’s dragged down. He’s no more president. Ordinary citizen. Similarly, if you like you can also become Brahma. Kama-karmabhih.

Therefore Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, brahma-janme nahi mora asa, kita-janma hao yatha tuwa dasa. This is Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s song, that “Let me become one insect where there is Your devotee, because if I fall down on the dust of the devotee, my life will be successful.” Therefore Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, kita-janma hao yatha tuwa dasa, bahir-mukha brahma… Brahma-janma is not easy. It is very difficult. But if Brahma is bahir-mukha—bahir-mukha means not devotee of Krsna—it is possible. Because we are in ignorance, maya, at any time we can forget Krsna. Therefore we have to always be engaged in Krsna consciousness so that we may not forget Krsna. And that is stated here, sravana-smarana-arhana. Sravana means hearing, And smarana means memorizing, and arhana means worshiping the Deity. If you engage yourself always in this business… Our, all these centers are being opened only for this business—chanting, dancing, worshiping—so that we may not forget Krsna. So sada tad-bhava-bhavitah [Bg. 8.6]. If we are always engaged in thinking of Krsna, then there is chance at the end of life—ante narayana-smrtih. Then there is chance. Everything has to be practiced. Just like if you want to dance in the stage, so you have to perform many rehearsal, how to dance, how to dance, how to dance. Then, if you become expert dancer, then when you dance on the stage, you get acclaim: “Ah.” (makes sound of applause:) “Phut, phut, phut, phut.” “Very good dancer.” But that “very good dancer,” you cannot say, “I go immediately to the stage, and I become a good dancer.” That is not possible. If one says, “No, no, no, I don’t… I shall not attend the rehearsal. You give me the stage. I shall…” No, no. No director will allow him. He’s a rascal. He’s a rascal. You cannot become all of a…, a nice dancer without practicing it.

So real purpose of life is ante narayana-smrtih. Yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajaty ante… [Bg. 8.6]. If at the time of death you can remember, you can memorize Krsna, then your life is successful. Smarana. So it has to be practiced. (aside:) Where…? You have got that? You could not? Kirata-hunandhra-pulinda-pulkasa. Kirata…

Devotee: It’s in the Second Canto, Fourth Chapter.

Prabhupada: Ah, he knows. Second Canto, Fourth Chapter. So asmin bhave. This is the problem. These rascals, they do not care to understand. They are so absorbed in ignorance. Just like some of the, what is called, smugglers. Smugglers, they go on with their work. They do not know… Some of them know also that “We’ll be punished. We’ll be arrested.” Still, they go on. That is the difficulty. A thief knows that “If I am arrested for these criminal acts, I’ll be punished.” He knows it. And perhaps he has been punished several times. But still, he commits the same thing. Still, he steals. Punah punas carvita-carvananam [SB 7.5.30].

So why? Ignorance. Ignorance. So therefore this very word is used, avidya. He never thinks… He is so much absorbed in ignorance that he has no time to think that “Repeatedly I am stealing, and repeatedly I am arrested, and I am punished. I sent to jail. Why I am doing this?” Result is not very good. Just like a person too much sexually inclined. He suffers in so many venereal diseases, undergoes operation, and still, he goes to prostitute, again does the same thing. This is avaidha-stri-sanga, illegitimate. And legitimate also. After sex, the woman is pregnant, and she has to suffer for ten months. And at the time of delivery it is very dangerous sometimes. And the man also, after he gets the child, he has to take care of the child. He has to work hard to give education. This is proper, proper sex. The proper sex there are so many difficulties. And what is the…, what to speak of the improper sex? You kill the child. You take contraceptive. You make this; you make that. Therefore sastra says, bahu-duhkha-bhajah. After sex life, oh, there are so many troubles, bahu-duhkha-bhajah, simply trouble, either legitimate or illegitimate, simply trouble. Trpyanti neha krpana. But because he is a rascal, ignorant, he’s not satisfied, again does the same thing. Punah punas carvita-carvananam [SB 7.5.30]. Again. This is called bhava-roga. Yan maithunadi-grhamedhi-sukham hi tuccham, kanduyanena karayor iva duhkha-duhkham [SB 7.9.45]. Iva duhkha-duhkham. Simply trouble. Therefore Vedic civilization is to train these small boys to remain brahmacari, not to take trouble. But if one is unable, he’s allowed. So on being trained up in the beginning as brahmacari, he does not stay for many years in the family life. He retires very soon and becomes vanaprastha, then sannyasa. That is the training.

So here it is said, klisyamananam. They are… Everyone is suffering— birds, beasts, animals and trees, plants, and even Brahma, even Indra. Indra is also not safe. He is always anxious: “Nobody, competitor, may come.” So here in this material world everyone is klisyamana, suffering, at least with anxiety. Sada samudvigna, asad-grahat. Tat sadhu manye ’sura-varya dehinam sada samudvigna-dhiyam asad-grahat. Everyone in this material world—always anxiety. Klisyamananam. Therefore it is called… Asmin bhave klisyamananam. Why klisyamananam? Why they are always suffering in anxiety? Avidya-kama-karmabhih. Because they are rascals. Therefore Krsna is giving so much stress: “You rascal, give up all this business. You surrender unto Me,” because everyone is rascal. That is Krsna’s very good mercy. He’s the supreme father. Therefore directly He says that sarva-guhyatama: “This is the most confidential knowledge I am giving you: rascal, you give up everything and simply surrender unto Me.” Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. Yes. That is required.

So Kunti says that “You have come to teach rascals like this and engage them in this business: sravana, smarana, arhana.” Sravana. Because this is bhakti. Sravanam kirtanam visnoh [SB 7.5.23]. But they are so rascals, as soon as they, the Vaisnavas begin, sravanam kirtanam visnoh, the rascal swami will say, “No, any name, sravana, will do. Any name. Why Visnu? Oh, Kali.” You know. In Bengal there is a party, kali-kirtana. What is this nonsense, kali-kirtana? In the sastra there is no such thing as kali-kirtana. Kirtana means sravanam kirtanam visnoh, Visnu-kirtana. But these rascals have discovered because they are very fertile brain and they can discover so many things. Yata mata tata patha: “I have discovered this.” What is this? Kali-kirtana, durga-kirtana. So… But sastra does not say. Caitanya Mahaprabhu does not say. Sastra says, harer nama: the holy name of Hari, Krsna, not any other name. Not any other name.

So sravanam kirtanam visnoh [SB 7.5.23]. When there is question of sravanam, arhanam and…, these things are of Visnu. Where is that verse? Yat sravanam yat kirtanam…? So this… Yes. So this sravanam kirtanam has been described by Sukadeva Gosvami in Canto, Second, Chapter Four, very nicely. He says,

yat-kirtanam yat-smaranam yad-iksanam yad-vandanam yac-chravanam yad-arhanam lokasya sadyo vidhunoti kalmasam tasmai subhadra-sravase namo namah

Very nicely explained. Sukadeva Gosvami, before speaking Srimad-Bhagavatam, he’s offering his obeisances to Krsna. What is that? “I offer my obeisances,” tasmai, “unto Him.” Subhadra-sravase: “Simply hearing of Him is subhadra.” Not abhadra; subhadra. Subhadra-sravase namo namah. So Sukadeva Gosvami—yat-kirtanam yat-smaranam. Either you glorify Krsna There are so many glorifications. The whole Bhagavata is glorification. So you have got… This is… This is the glorification by Sukadeva Gosvami: yat-kirtanam yat-smaranam. Either you glorify or simply you meditate upon Him… Yat-smaranam. Yad-iksanam. Simply if you sit down in front of the Deity and go on seeing, bas, do nothing, simply see: “How nicely dressed is Krsna. How nicely dressed is Radharani,” simply if you see, it is said, yad-iksanam, yad-iksanam. Sravanam kirtanam. If you have no capacity to chant or if you have no such fixed-up mind—your mind is so disturbing that you cannot fix up your mind in Krsna—then the chance is given: “Here is Deity. You simply see. Simply see.” And if you are engaged in the service, there is good chance of seeing always, twenty-four hours. While you are cleansing the floor of the temple or the room, you are seeing. You are dressing—you are seeing. You are bathing—you are seeing. You are offering food—you are seeing. This is the process.

So people are so rascal, they do not come even to see. They are so fallen down. They do not come. “Oh, what is this, Deity worship? Idol worship. Idol worship.” They will worship Gandhi’s statue and this statue, that statue, but when they are asked that “Come here and see the Deity worship nicely,” “No, this is idol worship.” We… I have seen in Calcutta that Sir Asutosh Mukherjee’s statue there is in the Chowrangi square. So in the morning, these ordinary sweepers, they’ll cleanse the statue with their brush, because the whole year, the crows have passed stool on the face. So it has become a very solid stool, fixed up. So… I have seen it, brushing like this. This is their arcanam. This is allowed. And if you worship the Deity, bathe the Deity, this is idol worship. And that municipal brush, sweeping brush, and on the face of Sir Asutosh Mukharjee, brushing, that is very good. Just see how much rascal they are! In the morning this business is done. And in the evening all big, big men will come and flower him, garland him, full of garlands. And after evening, they’ll go away, and again, next morning, the crows will pass stool. That kind of worship is accepted. And if we install Deity of Krsna and worship Him nicely—“These are for the fools and rascals, less intelligent.” And he’s very intelligent. This is going on all over the world. They are worshiping Napoleon. They are worshiping… I have seen in Paris, Napoleon’s statue. “France and Napoleon, one.” I asked them, “Where is your Napoleon? France is there, but where is your Napoleon?”

So these things are going on all over the world. Why? Now, avidya. The disease is avidya-kama-karmabhih. So people are so much embarrassed with this avidya-kama-karmabhih. And to educate them, to rescue them from these clutches of avidya-kama-karmabhih, is this sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam [SB 7.5.23]. That is the sum and substance. So that is explained in this verse also by Sukadeva Gosvami, yat-kirtanam yat-smaranam yad-iksanam. Kirtanam smaranam, and if you are unable to do that… Just like these children. They cannot meditate, but simply they sit down and see Krsna: “Here is Krsna. Here is Radharani.” That is also… A small child, he also gets the benefit. An animal gets the benefit—simply by seeing. Yad-vandanam. And if you are still more intelligent, then offer prayer. Either of these: yad-vandanam yac-chravanam yad-arhanam. The similar parallels(?), the arhanam. If you are expert, trained by your spiritual master how to worship, that is arhanam. And sravanam, the same thing. Yad-vandanam, offering prayers. Some way or other…

Therefore I say that the Christians, they’re also Vaisnavas; the Muslims, they’re also Vaisnava, very, mean, lower stage, because they’re offering prayer. Yad-vandanam. They offer prayer: “O God, give us our daily bread.” They do not know very much, but the beginning is there. Beginning is there because they have approached… Catur-vidha bhajanti mam sukrtino ’rjuna. That going to the church or going to the mosque, that is also pious activities. One day they’ll come out pure Vaisnava, one day. But that beginning is good. But atheism—“Don’t go to church. Don’t go to temple. Don’t go to mosque”—this propaganda is very, very dangerous to the human society. Something do… Try to understand. That education, that a child is sent to school. Let him learn simply A,B,C,D. It doesn’t matter. So one day, if he’s interested, he may become very good scholar. But to give up religion altogether, secular, simply open factory, bolts and nuts, and work hard and drink and take meat… What is this civilization? What is this civilization? Therefore we are suffering. Again bhava.

Here it is said that avidya-kama-karmabhih. By ignorance, they are thinking by opening factories they will be happy. That is avidya. He does not know that this is ignorance. Why you should open factory? That is… This is called ugra-karma. There is no need of opening factory. You have got land. Here are so many lands. You produce your food grains. Annad bhavanti bhutani. You eat sumptuously food grain, milk, and that will be available without any factory. The factory cannot produce milk or food grain. The present scarcity of foodstuff means everybody is engaged in the city, producing bolts and nuts. Who is producing food grain? This is the solution of economic problem. Annad bhavanti bhutani. Therefore we are trying to engage our men to produce their own food. Be self-sufficient so that these rascals may see that how one can live very peacefully, eating the food grains and milk, and chant Hare Krsna. This is our mission. We don’t deny this food. They are after daridra-narayana-seva, but why daridra-narayana? Why not chief Narayana, or the rich Narayana? Everyone should be engaged—Bhagavat-prasadam. We don’t make any distinction, daridra-narayana or rich Narayana, dhani-narayana. Everyone, you come on. Take prasadam.

So this process of Krsna consciousness should be very vigorously propagated all over the world. Simply by seeing the Deity, simply by joining Hare Krsna mantra chanting, sravanam kirtanam… Here it is said, yat-kirtanam. The kirtana word is first used. Simply by kirtanam. Yat-kirtanam yat-smaranam. If you perform kirtana, then you’ll be able to think of Krsna, that “I have danced two hours, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna. What is the meaning?” That is smarana, again smarana, “Krsna.” He may think that “Foolishly, I have chanted for two hours, ‘Krsna, Krsna.’ ” That means again smaranam, Krsna caught up. Then yad-iksanam. So just like people are purchasing our Krsna book. Because Krsna movement is going on, so they are purchasing out of curiosity: “What is this Krsna? Let us see.” Yad-iksanam. “Let us see the book.” And immediately he will see the picture, Radha-Krsna. Yad-iksanam. And if they open the book, they’ll see more. Yad-iksanam. Then there is vandanam. There are so many prayers, glorifying Krsna. Then sravanam. Others will hear. Somebody will read. Then if he’s fortunate enough, he’ll become Krsna conscious. Yad-arhanam: he’ll be engaged in the worshiping of Deity.

So lokasya sadyo vidhunoti kalmasam. These processes, sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam van… [SB 7.5.23], so perfect that as soon as you take them…, not all of them, either all of them or some of them or at least one of them, then what happens? Lokasya sadyo vidhunoti kalmasam tasmai subhadra-sravase namo namah: “I am offering worship to that Supreme Personality of Godhead. Simply by remembering Him, simply by glorifying Him, simply by seeing You, so many things happen.” So Sukadeva Gosvami, the authority… He is one of the authorities, Vaiyasaki. Balir vaiyasakih. Out of twelve authorities, Sukadeva Gosvami is authority. Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah. We have to follow the authority. So he says by…, simply by performing these processes, sravanam kirtanam visnoh, then what you are? Lokasya sadyo vidhunoti kalmasam: “This material contamination will be washed off.” Lokasya sadyah. When washed off? Immediately, sir, immediately, no waiting, sadya. This is Krsna consciousness movement.

Thank you very much. (end)