Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.19
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Los Angeles, August 22, 1972

Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)

tada rajas-tamo-bhavah kama-lobhadayas ca ye ceta etair anaviddham sthitam sattve prasidati [SB 1.2.19]

Translation: “At the time loving service is established in the heart, the modes of passion, rajas, and ignorance, tamas, and lust and desire, kama, disappear from the heart. Then the devotee is established in goodness, and he becomes happy.”

Prabhupada: So rajas-tamo-bhavah. There are three stages, you know: sattva, rajas, tamas. The material world is conducted by three modes—the modes of goodness, modes of passion, and modes of ignorance. Therefore we find varieties of men. So one has to come to the platform of the modes of goodness. Just like illiterate, uncultured, animal-like man is trained up to come, to become civilized. By training, it is possible. Just like, by training, even cats and dogs and tigers, they are also become obedient. That is our practical experience. The tiger in the circus, they play obediently to the orders of the master. So by training, it can be possible. But there are two kinds of training process. One process is scheduled: tapasa brahmacaryena samena ca damena ca [SB 6.1.13] Undergoing tapasya, austerity, brahmacaryena… Brahmacaryena means controlling sex indulgence or sex impulse. Brahmacarya means practically no sex life. Tapasa brahmacaryena samena, damena [SB 6.1.13], by controlling the senses, by controlling the mind. Tyagena, by giving up in charity. So there are gradual process, but there is another process. Another process means this Krsna consciousness. Either you practice in this way… Just like if you want to go up, there are two vehicles or process. You go step by step, one step after another. Suppose you have to go one hundred steps. So you have to go step by step. Tapasa brahmacaryena samena damena [SB 6.1.13], practicing. The another process is… (someone making tapping sound) (aside:) Why you are making this sound? Stop it. Another process is the lift. You go by step by step or take the process of lift. Within a second, you come up.

So the bhakti-yoga process is like that. Bhakti-yoga process means if you take to this process, then immediately, very quickly, within a second, you come to the top floor. Otherwise, you have to go by step by step, one step, two step. Although both the process leading to the target, to the topmost floor, the one is very slow and the other is very quick, immediate. Just like another example: if there is fog. You have got experience in your country, sometimes there is fog. You cannot see even a person one yard off from you. So there are so many processes to take precaution in the fog. But somehow or other, if the sun is little strong, immediately, the fog is over. So similarly, to purify ourself… This is the purification process, austerity, penance, controlling sex life, controlling the mind, controlling the senses, giving in charity whatever you possess, everything regulated. This is one process. And the other process is this bhakti-yoga.

srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah hrdy antah stho hy abhadrani vidhunoti suhrt satam [Bhag. 1.2.17]

Simply by this process, sravanam kirtanam, hearing about Krsna. This is, we were discussing. Nasta-prayesv abhadresu, simply by hearing. Abhadresu, nasta-prayesu, all the dirty things within heart, being almost cleansed, you come to the stage of goodness. There are three stages, three platforms—ignorance, passion and goodness. So simply by hearing about Krsna, you are promoted immediately to the platform of goodness. And as soon as you come to the platform of goodness, then, tada, at that time, rajas-tamo-bhavah. Because there are three platforms: ignorance, passion and goodness. So you have come to the point, to the platform of goodness, means that you have passed over the other lower stages. If you have come to the college, that means you have passed your school stages. It is to be understood. Therefore we offer sacred thread. The idea is one who has become Krsna conscious, he has already passed the stage of becoming a brahmana. Brahmana means to come to the stage of goodness. That is brahmana. Ksatriya means to remain on the stage of passion. Vaisya means to remain on the stage of mixture, passion and ignorance. And sudra means to remain on the stage of ignorance. There are four divisions of the three modes. So when we come to the stage of becoming a devotee, that means we have already passed all these lower stages. Tada rajas-tamo-bhavah [SB 1.2.19]

So what are the symptoms of goodness? Kama-lobhadayas ca ye. Lusty. Lust and greediness. The whole world is moving by lust and greediness. This is the stage of ignorance and passion. Those who are embarrassed with the lower qualities of material nature, they are embarrassed with two things: lust, not satisfied; and greedy, and lobha. “Give me more, give me more, give me more.” “Give me…” Anything, he’s not satisfied. The whole world, you see… They, sometimes they think that “If I get my income, say, one thousand dollars, I will be satisfied.” But as soon as he gets one thousand, he wants one hundred thousand. If he gets one… Just like in your… Everywhere, all over the world, the worker class, they are given increment, but again they undergo strike, “More, more wages, more wages, more wages.” So… But as soon as they get more money… Not only… Here in these Western countries, then they’ll utilize it for lust. Lust and greediness. That’s all. They do not know how to utilize money. That a millionaire is so lusty that… I have seen in Paris. They are going to some clubs. What is the business in that club? Old men, they are going. So lusty that they enter the club by paying fifty dollars, and then there is young women and wine, and that is their pleasure. Lust, kama-lobhadayas ca ye. One thing, one side, they are not satisfied, even they have got millions of dollars, “Still I want, still I want, still I want.” This is one side, greediness, lobha, and the other side is lust. This is called kama-lobhadayas ca ye.

So to become Krsna conscious means immediately—that is the test— immediately he will become free from lust and greediness. If he’s not free from lust and greediness, he is making a show; he’s not Krsna conscious. This is the test. If one is actually advanced in Krsna consciousness, then these two symptoms will be visible in his character: no more lusty, no more greediness. He should be satisfied with one wife or one husband. Why hankering after others? That is lusty. That means it is not on the stage of Krsna consciousness; it is in the material platform. These are the test. Therefore we advise our students, “Voluntarily, you try or you become free from these things: illicit sex, intoxication, meat-eating, and gambling.” Because indulging in these four things, you’ll remain in darkness.

So voluntarily you have to try to give up these bad habits, and at the same time, to maintain yourself on the platform, you have to chant sixteen rounds: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. This is the process. Tada rajas-tamo-bhavah kama-lobhadayas ca ye [SB 1.2.19]. Then the result will be this: ceta etair anaviddham. Because they are, maya is attacking you with these… Daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya [Bg. 7.14]. Gunamayi. Guna means these qualities, the three modes of nature. The material nature is gunamayi. Gunamayi means involved or full of these three modes of material nature, gunamayi. Maya means… Just like golden. It is smeared with gold or it is gold, you can…, you can say golden. Golden means it is made of gold or it is covered with gold glittering. Similarly, this maya, this material nature, is made of these three modes of nature, sattva, rajas, tamas. Therefore it is called gunamayi.

Gunamayi… Another meaning of guna is rope. Just like you have seen rope. There are three layers, they are twisted very strong, and such rope becomes strong. So similarly, these three gunas, these three modes of nature, are twisted like rope, and we are bound up. You cannot get out. Daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya [Bg. 7.14] If your hands and legs are tied with such rope, then it is very difficult. Similarly, we are all bound up. We are declaring freedom, and so many things, nonsense, we are speaking, but we have forgotten that we are under the grip of this maya. Immediately, you can be overcome by maya. Maya is so strong.

So therefore by this process,

srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah hrdy antah stho hy abhadrani vidhunoti suhrt satam [Bhag. 1.2.17]

nasta-prayesv abhadresu nityam bhagavata-sevaya… [SB 1.2.18]

This is the process. Nityam, daily. Or twenty-four hours. By studying Srimad-Bhagavatam or associating with devotees, bhagavata-sevaya… Bhakti, bhagavaty uttama-sloke bhaktir bhavati naisthiki. Then the Supreme Personality of Godhead, bhagavaty uttama-sloke, bhaktir bhavati naisthiki, devotional service becomes strong and fixed up. Simply by this process, hearing. There is no necessity of education or Ph.D. degree. Simply God has given you these ears and you hear, srnvatam. Hear about Krsna from realized soul. This process will make you to be situated on the platform of goodness, and as soon as you are promoted to the platform of goodness, that means you have already surpassed the other two platforms—means ignorance—and the symptom will be… That is clear here. The symptom is that the two things, lust and greediness, will not disturb you. You haven’t got to take certificate from anyone, “Just give me certificate that I have become a Krsna conscious.” You take your certificate yourself, see yourself, whether you are free from lust and greediness. That’s the certificate. If you are confident that “I am free from lust and greediness,” then I am making progress. Otherwise, (chuckles) I am again in the same, no progress. This is test.

This is test. If we want to cheat others, that is a different thing, that “I have become very advanced in Krsna consciousness.” That is another thing, cheating. But you test yourself by this process, whether you are free from lust and greediness. This is the test. Tada rajas-tamo-bhavah [SB 1.2.19] And when you become free from these two things, lust and greediness, tada, ceta etair anaviddham sthitam sattve prasidati. Ceta, consciousness, not being attacked by these two nonsense things, ignorance and passion… Ceta etair anaviddham. Viddham means piercing. They are always piercing, pinching, pinching. “Come on, come on.” They are always pinching. But if you are actually situated in Krsna consciousness, these things will not pinch you. Tada, ceta etaih… Because everything is in the heart. Whole thing is cleansing the heart.

So heart is being pinched. “Here is… I am beautiful boy,” “I am beautiful girl. Why not come?” So this is pinching. So if you are actually situated on the platform of Krsna consciousness, not fully, a little advanced, then these things will be visible. Tada ceta etair anaviddham. And when you stop, when you are able to stop this pinching in your heart by these two modes of material nature, passion and greediness—tada ceta etair anaviddham sthitam sattve prasidati—prasidati, then you become joyful. That is the stage of joyfulness.

brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati samah sarvesu bhutesu mad-bhaktim labhate param [Bg. 18.54]

That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. When you have come to this status, joyful, no more pinching by these two modes of material nature, joyful, that is called brahma-bhuta stage, the platform of liberation.

So the next stage is brahma-bhuta. So brahma-bhuta stage means na socati na kanksati. No more hankering, no more demanding. Na socati na kanksati. Because here the business is we hanker after something which we do not possess, and if we lose something which we possessed, then we lament. This is our business. Some… First of all, we possess. Then, by nature, we lose it. When it is lost, then we cry. So these two things are material position, na socati… But when you come to the brahma-bhuta stage, spiritual platform, then these two things will be absent. Na socati na kanksati samah sarvesu bhutesu. Then you will be able to see everyone on the spiritual platform. Panditah sama-darsinah [Bg. 5.18] Then you are learned. You are seeing the cats and dogs and a human being, a learned man, because you don’t see the dress, outward covering, tabernacle, but you see, “Here is a spirit soul, part and parcel of Krsna.” That is universal brotherhood. Not by passing resolution with the United Nations and fighting. That is not possible. You have to come to the stage of spiritual platform; then there is question of love, brotherhood, equality, fraternity, otherwise, all bogus propaganda. It’s not possible. Samah sarvesu bhutesu mad-bhaktim labhate param [Bg. 18.54]. Then real, pure devotional service begins. Then we become completely fit to serve Krsna. Krsna accepts your service at that time.

This is the process, but if we follow the rules and regulations given by spiritual master, sastra, then gradually, gradually… Therefore we should be very careful. We should be very cautious that maya may not attack us. Because she is always ready to attack. Rajas-tamo-bhavah. Even in goodness also, maya, there is maya. Therefore in the material platform, even goodness is not pure. Therefore there is another stage, which is called suddha-sattva. Goodness is sattva, sattva-guna. There is another stage, transcendental stage, which is called suddha-sattva. Sattvam visuddham vasudeva-sabditam. That is called vasudeva stage, and in the vasudeva stage, Vasudeva, Krsna, appears. You can see Krsna. Not that a rascal inviting everyone, “Come on. I shall show you God, I shall show you God,” and some rascals are going there to see God. God is not so cheap. One has to qualify himself to see God. These are the processes.

Read the purport.

Pradyumna: “A living being in his normal constitutional position is fully satisfied in spiritual bliss. This state of existence is called brahma-bhuta or atmanandi, or the state of self-satisfaction. This self-satisfaction is not like the satisfaction of the inactive fool. The inactive fool is in the state of foolish ignorance…”

Prabhupada: Yes, just like a cat and dog are sitting silently, very good men. That kind of inactivity is useless. Rather, one who is devotee, he is very active to serve Krsna: “How shall I serve Krsna more and more? How shall I advance this Krsna consciousness movement?” That activity, you see; not sitting idly, “I have become Krsna conscious.” Go on.

Pradyumna: “The inactive fool is in the state of foolish ignorance, whereas the self-satisfied atmanandi is transcendental to the material state of existence. This stage of perfection is attained as soon as one is fixed up in irrevocable devotional service. Devotional service is not inactivity, but the unalloyed activity of the soul.”

Prabhupada: Soul. This is, this is the activity of the soul. You stop the activity of the body, of the mind; then you must be engaged in the activity of the soul. Actually, the soul is active, not this body and mind. As soon as the soul is out of this body, there is no activity. So the real source of activity is coming from the soul. So how it is that after one becomes liberated, he becomes inactive? That is the theory of the Mayavadis. Real activity begins there. Here we are active. We have got so many impediments offered by the mind and the body; and when we actually come to the platform of soul, that is liberated position. The activity should be very nice and very polished, very advanced. Then?

Pradyumna: “The soul’s activity becomes adulterated in contact with matter, and as such the diseased activities are expressed in the form of lust, desire, hankering, inactivity, foolishness and sleep. The effect of devotional service becomes manifest by complete elimination…”

Prabhupada: Sleep and inactivity is a sign of ignorance. The more we are inactive and sleepy, that means we are in the modes of ignorance. And passion means activity for sense enjoyment. And goodness means free from the inactivity of ignorance and the activity of passion, but to see things as they are: “Oh, I am eternal servant of God. So my actions should be to serve God.” That is goodness. These are the stages. When one is inactive, lazy, sleeping, that means ignorance. When one is very active for sense enjoyment, it is passion; and when one is neither active like the sense gratifiers nor sitting idly like the ignorant, but he is trying to engage himself in Krsna consciousness, service, that is goodness. And one who is actually serving Krsna, that is transcendental platform, liberated platform. Then?

Pradyumna: “The effect of devotional service becomes manifest by complete elimination of these effects of passion and ignorance. The devotee is fixed at once in the mode of goodness, and he makes further progress to rise up to the position of vasudeva, or the state of unmixed sattva, or suddha-sattva state. In this suddha-sattva state only can one always see Krsna state, eye to eye, by dint of pure affection for the Lord. A devotee is always in the mode of unalloyed goodness; therefore he harms no one. But the nondevotee, however educated he may be, is always harmful. A devotee is neither foolish nor passionate. The harmful, foolish, and passionate cannot be devotees of…”

Prabhupada: The… It is said, manina bhusitah sarpah kim asau na bhayankarah. Snake. Some snakes are decorated with jewel on the hood. So this materialist, however qualified he may be, just like jewel on the head. The sastra says, “Do you think that a snake coming to you with a jewel on head is not dangerous or ferocious?” He’s as dangerous, as ferocious, as the serpent without jewel. Similarly, any materialistic person, however educated he may be, so-called educated, he is simply a snake, dangerous. That’s all. He has no qualification. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-gunah. One cannot have good qualities unless one is advanced in Krsna consciousness. Read.

Pradyumna: “The harmful, foolish and passionate cannot be devotees of the Lord, however they may advertise themselves as devotees by outward dress. A devotee is always qualified with all the good qualities of God. Quantitatively, such qualifications may be different, but qualitatively, both of them are one and the same.”

Prabhupada: Chant Hare Krsna. (end)