Talks Between Narada and King Pracinabarhi
bhagavams te vaco 'smabhir
na samyag avagamyate
kavayas tad vijananti
na vayam karma-mohitah
pracinabarhih uvaca--King Pracinabarhi said; bhagavan--O my lord; te--your; vacah--words; asmabhih--by us; na--never; samyak--perfectly; avagamyate--are understood; kavayah--those who are expert; tat--that; vijananti--can understand; na--never; vayam--we; karma--by fruitive activities; mohitah--enchanted.
King Pracinabarhi replied: My dear lord, we could not appreciate completely the purport of your allegorical story of King Puranjana. Actually, those who are perfect in spiritual knowledge can understand, but for us, who are overly attached to fruitive activities, to realize the purpose of your story is very difficult.
In Bhagavad-gita (7.13) Lord Krsna says:
tribhir gunamayair bhavair
ebhih sarvam idam jagat
mam ebhyah param avyayam
"Deluded by the three modes [goodness, passion and ignorance], the whole world does not know Me, who am above the modes and inexhaustible." Generally people are enchanted by the three modes of material nature and therefore practically unable to understand that behind all materialistic activities in the cosmic manifestation is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. Generally when people are engaged in sinful or pious activities, they are not perfect in knowledge of devotional service. The allegorical story narrated by Narada Muni to King Barhisman is especially meant to engage conditioned souls in devotional service. The entire story, narrated allegorically, is easily understood by a person in devotional service, but those who are engaged not in devotional service but in sense gratification cannot perfectly understand it. That is admitted by King Barhisman.
This Twenty-ninth Chapter describes that by too much attachment for women one becomes a woman in the next life, but a person who associates with the Supreme Personality of Godhead or His representative becomes free from all material attachments and is thus liberated.
purusam puranjanam vidyad
yad vyanakty atmanah puram
naradah uvaca--Narada said; purusam--the living entity, the enjoyer; puranjanam--King Puranjana; vidyat--one should know; yat--inasmuch as; vyanakti--he produces; atmanah--of himself; puram--dwelling place; eka--one; dvi--two; tri--three; catuh-padam--with four legs; bahu-padam--with many legs; apadakam--without legs.
The great sage Narada Muni continued: You must understand that Puranjana, the living entity, transmigrates according to his own work into different types of bodies, which may be one-legged, two-legged, three-legged, four-legged, many-legged or simply legless. Transmigrating into these various types of bodies, the living entity, as the so-called enjoyer, is known as Puranjana.
How the spirit soul transmigrates from one type of body to another is nicely described here. The word eka-pada, "one-legged," refers to ghosts, for it is said that ghosts walk on one leg. The word dvi-pada, meaning "biped," refers to human beings. When he is old and invalid, the human being is supposed to be a triped, or three-legged, because he walks with the help of a stick or some kind of cane. Of course, the word catus-pada refers to quadrupeds, or animals. The word bahu-pada refers to those creatures who have more than four legs. There are many insects, such as the centipede, and also many aquatic animals that have many legs. The word apadaka, meaning "without legs," refers to serpents. The name Puranjana indicates one who enjoys possessing different types of bodies. His mentality for enjoyment in the material world is accommodated by different types of bodies.
yo 'vijnatahrtas tasya
yan na vijnayate pumbhir
namabhir va kriya-gunaih
yah--he who; avijnata--unknown; ahrtah--described; tasya--of him; purusasya--of the living entity; sakha--the eternal friend; isvarah--the master; yat--because; na--never; vijnayate--is understood; pumbhih--by the living entities; namabhih--by names; va--or; kriya-gunaih--by activities or qualities.
The person I have described as unknown is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master and eternal friend of the living entity. Since the living entities cannot realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead by material names, activities or qualities, He remains everlastingly unknown to the conditioned soul.
Because the Supreme Personality of Godhead is unknown to the conditioned soul, He is sometimes described in Vedic literatures as nirakara, avijnata or avan-manasa-gocara. Actually it is a fact that the Supreme Personality of Godhead cannot be perceived by material senses as far as His form, name, quality, pastimes or paraphernalia are concerned. However, when one is spiritually advanced, one can understand the name, form, qualities, pastimes and paraphernalia of the Supreme Lord. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (18.55). Bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah: one can understand in truth the Supreme Personality of Godhead only when one is engaged in devotional service. Ordinary persons engaged in pious and impious activities cannot understand the form, name and activities of the Lord. The devotee, however, can know the Personality of Godhead in many respects. He can understand that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that His address is Goloka Vrndavana and that His activities are all spiritual. Because the Lord's form and activities cannot be understood by materialistic people, He is described by the sastras as nirakara, that is, one whose form cannot be ascertained by a materialistic person. This does not mean that the Supreme Personality of Godhead has no form; it means that it is not understood by the karmis, or fruitive actors. His form is described in Brahma-samhita as sac-cid-ananda-vigraha. As confirmed by the Padma Purana:
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
svayam eva sphuraty adah
"No one can understand Krsna as He is by utilizing the blunt material senses. However, the Lord reveals Himself to His devotees, being pleased with them because of their transcendental loving service rendered unto Him."
Since the name, form, qualities and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, cannot be understood by the material senses, He is also called adhoksaja, meaning "beyond sense perception." When the senses are purified by devotional activity, the devotee understands everything about the Lord by the Lord's grace. In this verse the words pumbhir namabhir va kriya-gunaih are especially significant because God, Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, has many names, activities and qualities, although none of them are material. Despite the fact that all these names, activities and pastimes are mentioned in the sastras and understood by the devotees, the karmis (fruitive laborers) cannot understand them. Nor can the jnanis (mental speculators) understand them. Although there are thousands of names of Lord Visnu, the karmis and jnanis intermingle the names of the Supreme Godhead with the names of demigods and human beings. Because they cannot understand the actual name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they take for granted that any name can be accepted. They believe that since the Absolute Truth is impersonal, they can call Him by any name. Otherwise, they maintain, He has no name. This is not a fact. Here it is clearly stated: namabhir va kriya-gunaih. The Lord has specific names such as Rama, Krsna, Govinda, Narayana, Visnu and Adhoksaja. There are indeed many names, but the conditioned soul cannot understand them.
yada jighrksan purusah
kartsnyena prakrter gunan
tatramanuta sadhv iti
yada--when; jighrksan--desiring to enjoy; purusah--the living entity; kartsnyena--in total; prakrteh--of material nature; gunan--the modes; nava-dvaram--having nine gates; dvi--two; hasta--hands; anghri--legs; tatra--there; amanuta--he thought; sadhu--very good; iti--thus.
When the living entity wants to enjoy the modes of material nature in their totality, he prefers, out of many bodily forms, to accept that body which has nine gates, two hands and two legs. Thus he prefers to become a human being or a demigod.
This is a very nice explanation of how the spiritual being, the part and parcel of Krsna, God, accepts a material body by virtue of his own desires. Accepting two hands, two legs, and so on, the living entity fully enjoys the modes of material nature. Lord Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (7.27):
sarge yanti parantapa
"O scion of Bharata [Arjuna], O conqueror of the foe, all living entities are born into delusion, overcome by the dualities of desire and hate."
Originally the living entity is a spiritual being, but when he actually desires to enjoy this material world, he comes down. From this verse we can understand that the living entity first accepts a body that is human in form, but gradually, due to his degraded activities, he falls into lower forms of life--into the animal, plant and aquatic forms. By the gradual process of evolution, the living entity again attains the body of a human being and is given another chance to get out of the process of transmigration. If he again misses his chance in the human form to understand his position, he is again placed in the cycle of birth and death in various types of bodies.
The desire of the living entity to come into the material world is not very difficult to understand. Although one may be born in a family of Aryans, where there are restrictions against meat-eating, intoxication, gambling and illicit sex, still one may want to enjoy these forbidden things. There is always someone who wants to go to a prostitute for illicit sex or to a hotel to eat meat and drink wine. There is always someone who wants to gamble at nightclubs or enjoy so-called sports. All these propensities are already within the hearts of the living entities, but some living entities stop to enjoy these abominable activities and consequently fall down to a degraded platform. The more one desires a degraded life within his heart, the more he falls down to occupy different forms of abominable existence. This is the process of transmigration and evolution. A particular type of animal may have a strong tendency to enjoy one kind of sense enjoyment, but in the human form one can enjoy all the senses. The human form has the facility to utilize all the senses for gratification. Unless one is properly trained, he becomes a victim of the modes of material nature, as confirmed by Bhagavad-gita (3.27):
gunaih karmani sarvasah
kartaham iti manyate
"The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by nature." As soon as one desires to enjoy his senses, he puts himself under the control of material energy and automatically, or mechanically, is placed into the cycle of birth and death in various life-forms.
buddhim tu pramadam vidyan
mamaham iti yat-krtam
yam adhisthaya dehe 'smin
puman bhunkte 'ksabhir gunan
buddhim--intelligence; tu--then; pramadam--the young woman (Puranjani); vidyat--one should know; mama--my; aham--I; iti--thus; yat-krtam--done by intelligence; yam--which intelligence; adhisthaya--taking shelter of; dehe--in the body; asmin--this; puman--the living entity; bhunkte--suffers and enjoys; aksabhih--by the senses; gunan--the modes of material nature.
The great sage Narada continued: The word pramada mentioned in this regard refers to material intelligence, or ignorance. It is to be understood as such. When one takes shelter of this kind of intelligence, he identifies himself with the material body. Influenced by the material consciousness of "I" and "mine," he begins to enjoy and suffer through his senses. Thus the living entity is entrapped.
In material existence so-called intelligence is actually ignorance. When intelligence is cleared up, it is called buddhi-yoga. In other words, when intelligence is dovetailed with the desires of Krsna, it is called buddhi-yoga or bhakti-yoga. Therefore in Bhagavad-gita (10.10) Krsna says:
dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te
"To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me."
Real intelligence means linking with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When this is done, the Supreme Personality of Godhead from within gives one the real intelligence by which one can return home, back to Godhead. Intelligence in the material world is described in this verse as pramada because in material existence the living entity falsely claims things to be his. He thinks, "I am the monarch of all I survey." This is ignorance. Actually, nothing belongs to him. Even the body and the senses do not belong to him, for they are given to him by the grace of the Lord to satisfy his different propensities through the material energy. Nothing actually belongs to the living entity, but he becomes mad after everything, claiming, "This is mine. This is mine. This is mine." Janasya moho 'yam aham mameti. This is called illusion. Nothing belongs to the living entity, but he claims that everything belongs to him. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu recommends that this false intelligence be purified (ceto-darpana-marjanam). When the mirror of intelligence is polished, the real activities of the living entity begin. This means that when a person comes to the platform of Krsna consciousness, his real intelligence acts. At that time he knows that everything belongs to Krsna and nothing belongs to him. As long as one thinks that everything belongs to him, he is in material consciousness, and when he knows perfectly that everything belongs to Krsna, he is in Krsna consciousness.
jnanam karma ca yat-krtam
sakhyas tad-vrttayah pranah
sakhayah--the male friends; indriya-ganah--the senses; jnanam--knowledge; karma--activity; ca--also; yat-krtam--done by the senses; sakhyah--female friends; tat--of the senses; vrttayah--engagements; pranah--life air; panca-vrttih--having five processes; yatha--like; uragah--the serpent.
The five working senses and the five senses that acquire knowledge are all male friends of Puranjani. The living entity is assisted by these senses in acquiring knowledge and engaging in activity. The engagements of the senses are known as girl friends, and the serpent, which was described as having five heads, is the life air acting within the five circulatory processes.
krsna-bahirmukha hana bhoga-vancha kare
nikata-stha maya tare japatiya dhare
Because of his desire to enjoy the material world, the living entity is dressed with the material gross and subtle bodies. Thus he is given a chance to enjoy the senses. The senses are therefore the instruments for enjoying the material world; consequently the senses have been described as friends. Sometimes, because of too much sinful activity, the living entity does not get a material gross body, but hovers on the subtle platform. This is called ghostly life. Because of his not possessing a gross body, he creates a great deal of trouble in his subtle body. Thus the presence of a ghost is horrible for those who are living in the gross body. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (15.10):
utkramantam sthitam vapi
bhunjanam va gunanvitam
"The foolish cannot understand how a living entity can quit his body, nor can they understand what sort of body he enjoys under the spell of the modes of nature. But one whose eyes are trained in knowledge can see all this."
The living entities are merged into the air of life, which acts in different ways for circulation. There is prana, apana, udana, vyana and samana, and because the life air functions in this fivefold way, it is compared to the five-hooded serpent. The soul passes through the kundalini-cakra like a serpent crawling on the ground. The life air is compared to uraga, the serpent. Panca-vrtti is the desire to satisfy the senses, attracted by five sense objects--namely form, taste, sound, smell and touch.
brhad-balam mano vidyad
pancalah panca visaya
yan-madhye nava-kham puram
brhat-balam--very powerful; manah--the mind; vidyat--one should know; ubhaya-indriya--of both groups of senses; nayakam--the leader; pancalah--the kingdom named Pancala; panca--five; visayah--sense objects; yat--of which; madhye--in the midst; nava-kham--having nine apertures; puram--the city.
The eleventh attendant, who is the commander of the others, is known as the mind. He is the leader of the senses both in the acquisition of knowledge and in the performance of work. The Pancala kingdom is that atmosphere in which the five sense objects are enjoyed. Within that Pancala kingdom is the city of the body, which has nine gates.
The mind is the center of all activities and is described here as brhad-bala, very powerful. To get out of the clutches of maya, material existence, one has to control his mind. According to training, the mind is the friend and the enemy of the living entity. If one gets a good manager, his estate is very nicely managed, but if the manager is a thief, his estate is spoiled. Similarly, in his material, conditional existence, the living entity gives power of attorney to his mind. As such, he is liable to be misdirected by his mind into enjoying sense objects. Srila Ambarisa Maharaja therefore first engaged his mind upon the lotus feet of the Lord. Sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayoh. When the mind is engaged in meditation on the lotus feet of the Lord, the senses are controlled. This system of control is called yama, and this means "subduing the senses." One who can subdue the senses is called a gosvami, but one who cannot control the mind is called go-dasa. The mind directs the activities of the senses, which are expressed through different outlets, as described in the next verse.
aksini nasike karnau
mukham sisna-gudav iti
dve dve dvarau bahir yati
aksini--two eyes; nasike--two nostrils; karnau--two ears; mukham--mouth; sisna--genitals; gudau--and rectum; iti--thus; dve--two; dve--two; dvarau--gates; bahih--outside; yati--goes; yah--one who; tat--through the gates; indriya--by the senses; samyutah--accompanied.
The eyes, nostrils and ears are pairs of gates situated in one place. The mouth, genital and rectum are also different gates. Being placed into a body having these nine gates, the living entity acts externally in the material world and enjoys sense objects like form and taste.
Not being aware of his spiritual position, the living entity, directed by the mind, goes out through the nine gates to enjoy material objects. Because of long association with material objects, he forgets his real spiritual activities and is thus misled. The entire world is going on being misled by so-called leaders like scientists and philosophers, who have no knowledge of the spirit soul. Thus the conditioned soul becomes more and more entangled.
aksini nasike asyam
iti panca purah krtah
daksina daksinah karna
uttara cottarah smrtah
pascime ity adho dvarau
gudam sisnam ihocyate
aksini--two eyes; nasike--two nostrils; asyam--the mouth; iti--thus; panca--five; purah--on the front; krtah--made; daksina--southern gate; daksinah--right; karnah--ear; uttara--northern gate; ca--also; uttarah--left ear; smrtah--understood; pascime--on the west; iti--thus; adhah--downward; dvarau--two gates; gudam--rectum; sisnam--genital; iha--here; ucyate--is said.
Two eyes, two nostrils and a mouth--all together five--are situated in the front. The right ear is accepted as the southern gate, and the left ear is the northern gate. The two holes, or gates, situated in the west are known as the rectum and genital.
Of all sides, the eastern is considered most important, primarily because the sun rises from that direction. The gates on the eastern side--the eyes, nose and mouth--are thus very important gates in the body.
netre ekatra nirmite
rupam vibhrajitam tabhyam
khadyota--named Khadyota; avirmukhi--named Avirmukhi; ca--also; atra--here; netre--the two eyes; ekatra--in one place; nirmite--created; rupam--form; vibhrajitam--named Vibhrajita (brilliant); tabhyam--through the eyes; vicaste--perceive; caksusa--with the sense of sight; isvarah--the master.
The two gates named Khadyota and Avirmukhi, which have been spoken of, are the two eyes side by side in one place. The town named Vibhrajita should be understood as form. In this way the two eyes are always engaged in seeing different kinds of forms.
The two eyes are attracted by brilliant things like light. Sometimes we find that little insects are attracted by the brightness of fire and thus enter into it. Similarly, the two eyes of the living entity are attracted by bright and beautiful forms. They are entangled in these forms, exactly as the insect becomes attracted to fire.
nalini nalini nase
gandhah saurabha ucyate
ghrano 'vadhuto mukhyasyam
vipano vag rasavid rasah
nalini--named Nalini; nalini--named Nalini; nase--the two nostrils; gandhah--aroma; saurabhah--Saurabha (fragrance); ucyate--is called; ghranah--the sense of smell; avadhutah--called Avadhuta; mukhya--called Mukhya (principal); asyam--the mouth; vipanah--named Vipana; vak--the faculty of speech; rasa-vit--named Rasajna (expert in tasting); rasah--the sense of taste.
The two doors named Nalini and Nalini should be known as the two nostrils, and the city named Saurabha represents aroma. The companion spoken of as Avadhuta is the sense of smell. The door called Mukhya is the mouth, and Vipana is the faculty of speech. Rasajna is the sense of taste.
The word avadhuta means "most free." A person is not under the rules and regulations of any injunction when he has attained the stage of avadhuta. In other words, he can act as he likes. This avadhuta stage is exactly like air, which does not care for any obstruction. In Bhagavad-gita (6.34) it is said:
cancalam hi manah krsna
pramathi balavad drdham
tasyaham nigraham manye
vayor iva suduskaram
"The mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, O Krsna, and to subdue it is, it seems to me, more difficult than controlling the wind."
Just as the air or wind cannot be checked by anyone, the two nostrils, situated in one place, enjoy the sense of smell without impediment. When the tongue is present, the mouth continually tastes all kinds of relishable foodstuffs.
apano vyavaharo 'tra
citram andho bahudanam
pitrhur daksinah karna
uttaro devahuh smrtah
apanah--named Apana; vyavaharah--business of the tongue; atra--here; citram--of all varieties; andhah--eatables; bahudanam--named Bahudana; pitr-huh--named Pitrhu; daksinah--right; karnah--ear; uttarah--left; deva-huh--Devahu; smrtah--is called.
The city called Apana represents engagement of the tongue in speech, and Bahudana is the variety of foodstuffs. The right ear is called the gate of Pitrhu, and the left ear is called the gate of Devahu.
pravrttam ca nivrttam ca
srotrac chruta-dharad vrajet
pravrttam--the process of sense enjoyment; ca--also; nivrttam--the process of detachment; ca--also; sastram--scripture; pancala--Pancala; samjnitam--is described as; pitr-yanam--going to Pitrloka; deva-yanam--going to Devaloka; srotrat--by hearing; sruta-dharat--by the companion named Srutadhara; vrajet--one can be elevated.
Narada Muni continued: The city spoken of as Daksina-pancala represents the scriptures meant for directing pravrtti, the process of sense enjoyment in fruitive activities. The other city, named Uttara-pancala, represents the scriptures meant for decreasing fruitive activities and increasing knowledge. The living entity receives different kinds of knowledge by means of two ears, and some living entities are promoted to Pitrloka and some to Devaloka. All this is made possible by the two ears.
The Vedas are known as sruti, and the knowledge received from them through aural reception is called sruta-dhara. As stated in Bhagavad-gita, one can be promoted to the planets of the demigods or to the planets of the Pitas (forefathers), or even to the Vaikuntha planets, simply through the process of hearing. These things have already been explained in previous chapters.
asuri medhram arvag-dvar
vyavayo graminam ratih
upastho durmadah prokto
nirrtir guda ucyate
asuri--called Asuri; medhram--the genital; arvak--of the fools and rascals; dvah--gate; vyavayah--performing sexual affairs; graminam--of common men; ratih--attraction; upasthah--the faculty of procreation; durmadah--Durmada; proktah--is called; nirrtih--Nirrti; gudah--rectum; ucyate--is called.
The city called Gramaka, which is approached through the lower gate of Asuri [the genital], is meant for sex, which is very pleasing to common men who are simply fools and rascals. The faculty of procreation is called Durmada, and the rectum is called Nirrti.
When the world becomes degraded, civilization becomes demoniac, and for the common man the rectum and the genital are taken very seriously as the centers of all activity. Even in such a sacred place as Vrndavana, India, unintelligent men pass off this rectal and genital business as spiritual activity. Such people are called sahajiya. According to their philosophy, through sexual indulgence one can elevate oneself to the spiritual platform. From these verses of Srimad-Bhagavatam, however, we understand that the desires for sexual satisfaction are meant for the arvak, the lowest among men. To rectify these rascals and fools is very difficult. After all, the sex desires of the common man are condemned in these verses. The word durmada means "wrongly directed," and nirrti means "sinful activity." Although this clearly indicates that sex indulgence is abominable and misdirected even from the ordinary point of view, the sahajiyas nonetheless pass themselves off as devotees conducting spiritual activities. For this reason, Vrndavana is no longer visited by intelligent men. Sometimes we are often asked why we have made our center in Vrndavana. From the external point of view, it can be concluded that Vrndavana has become degenerate due to these sahajiya activities, yet from the spiritual point of view, Vrndavana is the only place where all these sinful persons can be rectified by means of taking birth in the forms of dogs, hogs and monkeys. By living in Vrndavana as a dog, hog or monkey, the living entity can be elevated to the spiritual platform in the next life.
vaisasam narakam payur
lubdhako 'ndhau tu me srnu
hasta-padau pumams tabhyam
yukto yati karoti ca
vaisasam--named Vaisasa; narakam--hell; payuh--the working sense in the rectum; lubdhakah--named Lubdhaka (very greedy); andhau--blind; tu--then; me--to me; srnu--listen; hasta-padau--hands and legs; puman--the living entity; tabhyam--with them; yuktah--being engaged; yati--goes; karoti--works; ca--and.
When it is said that Puranjana goes to Vaisasa, it is meant that he goes to hell. He is accompanied by Lubdhaka, which is the working sense in the rectum. Formerly I have also spoken of two blind associates. These associates should be understood to be the hands and legs. Being helped by the hands and legs, the living entity performs all kinds of work and moves hither and thither.
antah-puram ca hrdayam
visucir mana ucyate
tatra moham prasadam va
harsam prapnoti tad-gunaih
antah-puram--private residence; ca--and; hrdayam--the heart; visucih--the servant named Visucina; manah--the mind; ucyate--is said; tatra--there; moham--illusion; prasadam--satisfaction; va--or; harsam--jubilation; prapnoti--obtains; tat--of the mind; gunaih--by the modes of nature.
The word antah-pura refers to the heart. The word visucina, meaning "going everywhere," indicates the mind. Within the mind the living entity enjoys the effects of the modes of material nature. These effects sometimes cause illusion, sometimes satisfaction and sometimes jubilation.
The mind and intelligence of the living entity in material existence are affected by the modes of material nature, and according to the association of the material modes, the mind is habituated to go here and there. The heart feels satisfaction, jubilation or illusion according to the effects of the modes of material nature. Actually the living entity in his material condition remains inert. It is the modes of material nature that act on the mind and heart. The results are enjoyed or suffered by the living entity. This is clearly stated in Bhagavad-gita (3.27):
gunaih karmani sarvasah
kartaham iti manyate
"The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by nature."
yatha yatha vikriyate
gunakto vikaroti va
yatha yatha--just as; vikriyate--is agitated; guna-aktah--associated with the modes of nature; vikaroti--as it does; va--or; tatha tatha--similarly; upadrasta--observer; atma--the soul; tat--of the intelligence; vrttih--occupations; anukaryate--imitates.
Formerly it was explained that the Queen is one's intelligence. While one is awake or asleep, that intelligence creates different situations. Being influenced by contaminated intelligence, the living entity envisions something and simply imitates the actions and reactions of his intelligence.
The queen of Puranjana is described herein as intelligence itself. Intelligence acts both in the dream state and in the waking state, but it is contaminated by the three modes of material nature. Since the intelligence is contaminated, the living entity is also contaminated. In the conditioned state, the living entity acts according to his contaminated intelligence. Although he simply remains an observer, he nonetheless acts, being forced by a contaminated intelligence, which in reality is a passive agent.
deho rathas tv indriyasvah
akutir vikramo bahyo
dehah--body; rathah--chariot; tu--but; indriya--the knowledge-acquiring senses; asvah--the horses; samvatsara--total years; rayah--duration of life; agatih--without advancing; dvi--two; karma--activities; cakrah--wheels; tri--three; guna--modes of nature; dhvajah--flags; panca--five; asu--life airs; bandhurah--bondage; manah--the mind; rasmih--rope; buddhi--intelligence; sutah--chariot driver; hrt--heart; nidah--sitting place; dvandva--duality; kubarah--the posts for the harness; panca--five; indriya-artha--sense objects; praksepah--weapons; sapta--seven; dhatu--elements; varuthakah--coverings; akutih--attempts of the five working senses; vikramah--prowess or processes; bahyah--external; mrga-trsnam--false aspiration; pradhavati--runs after; ekadasa--eleven; indriya--senses; camuh--soldiers; panca--five; suna--envy; vinoda--pleasure; krt--doing.
Narada Muni continued: What I referred to as the chariot was in actuality the body. The senses are the horses that pull that chariot. As time passes, year after year, these horses run without obstruction, but in fact they make no progress. Pious and impious activities are the two wheels of the chariot. The three modes of material nature are the chariot's flags. The five types of life air constitute the living entity's bondage, and the mind is considered to be the rope. Intelligence is the chariot driver. The heart is the sitting place in the chariot, and the dualities of life, such as pleasure and pain, are the knotting place. The seven elements are the coverings of the chariot, and the working senses are the five external processes. The eleven senses are the soldiers. Being engrossed in sense enjoyment, the living entity, seated on the chariot, hankers after fulfillment of his false desires and runs after sense enjoyment life after life.
The entanglement of the living entity in sense enjoyment is very nicely explained in these verses. The word samvatsara, meaning "the progress of time," is significant. Day after day, week after week, fortnight after fortnight, month after month, year after year, the living entity becomes entangled in the chariot's progress. The chariot rests on two wheels, which are pious and impious activities. The living entity attains a certain position in life in a particular type of body according to his pious and impious activities, but his transmigration into different bodies should not be taken as progress. Real progress is explained in Bhagavad-gita (4.9). Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti: one makes real progress when he does not have to take on another material body. As stated in Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 19.138):
eita brahmanda bhari' ananta jiva-gana
caurasi-laksa yonite karaye bhramana
The living entity is wandering throughout the entire universe and taking birth in different species on different planets. Thus he moves up and down, but that is not real progress. Real progress is getting out of this material world altogether. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (8.16):
punar avartino 'rjuna
mam upetya tu kaunteya
punar janma na vidyate
"From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again." Even if one is promoted to Brahmaloka, the highest planet in the universe, he has to come down again to the lower planetary systems. Thus he is wandering up and down perpetually, under the influence of the three modes of material nature. Being illusioned, he thinks he is making progress. He is like an airplane encircling the earth day and night, incapable of leaving the earth's gravitational field. Factually there is no progress because the airplane is conditioned by the earth's gravity.
Just as a king is seated on a chariot, the living entity is seated in the body. The sitting place is the heart, and the living entity sits there and engages in the struggle for existence, which goes on without progress perpetually. In the words of Narottama dasa Thakura:
karma-kanda, jnana-kanda, kevala visera bhanda,
amrta baliya yeba khaya
nana yoni sada phire, kadarya bhaksana kare,
tara janma adhah-pate yaya
The living entity struggles very hard due to the influence of fruitive activity and mental speculation and simply gets a different type of body life after life. He eats all kinds of nonsense and is condemned by his activities of sense enjoyment, If one really wants to progress in life, he must give up the ways of karma-kanda and jnana-kanda, fruitive activities and mental speculation. Being fixed in Krsna consciousness, one can become free from the entanglement of birth and death and the vain struggle for existence. In these verses the words mrga-trsnam pradhavati are very significant because the living entity is influenced by a thirst for sense enjoyment. He is like a deer that goes to the desert to search out water. In a desert an animal simply searches in vain for water. Of course there is no water in the desert, and the animal simply sacrifices his life in an attempt to find it. Everyone is planning for future happiness, thinking that somehow or other, if he can reach a certain point, he will be happy. In actuality, however, when he comes to that point, he sees that there is no happiness. He then plans to go further and further to another point. This is called mrga-trsna, and its basis is sense enjoyment in this material world.
gandharvyo ratrayah smrtah
haranty ayuh parikrantya
samvatsarah--year; canda-vegah--called Candavega; kalah--time; yena--by which; upalaksitah--symbolized; tasya--of the duration of life; ahani--days; iha--in this life; gandharvah--Gandharvas; gandharvyah--Gandharvis; ratrayah--nights; smrtah--are understood; haranti--they take away; ayuh--duration of life; parikrantya--by traveling; sasti--sixty; uttara--above; sata--hundred; trayam--three.
What was previously explained as Candavega, powerful time, is covered by days and nights, named Gandharvas and Gandharvis. The body's life-span is gradually reduced by the passage of days and nights, which number 360.
The word parikrantya means "by traveling." The living entity travels on his chariot day and night during a year consisting of 360 (or more) days and nights. Life's progress is taken for the unnecessary labor required to cover these 360 days and nights of life.
kala-kanya jara saksal
lokas tam nabhinandati
svasaram jagrhe mrtyuh
kala-kanya--the daughter of Time; jara--old age; saksat--directly; lokah--all living entities; tam--her; na--never; abhinandati--welcome; svasaram--as his sister; jagrhe--accepted; mrtyuh--death; ksayaya--for destruction; yavana-isvarah--the King of the Yavanas.
What was described as Kalakanya should be understood as old age. No one wants to accept old age, but Yavanesvara [Yavana-raja], who is death, accepts Jara [old age] as his sister.
Encaged within the body, the living being accepts Kalakanya, old age, just before death. Yavanesvara is the emblem of death, Yamaraja. Before going to the place of Yamaraja, the living entity accepts Jara, old age, the sister of Yamaraja. One is subjected to the influence of Yavana-raja and his sister due to impious activity. Those who are in Krsna consciousness and are engaged in devotional service under the instructions of Narada Muni are not subjected to the influence of Yamaraja and his sister Jara. If one is Krsna conscious, he conquers death. After leaving the material body, he does not accept another body that is material but returns home, back to Godhead. This is verified by Bhagavad-gita (4.9).
adhayo vyadhayas tasya
sainika yavanas carah
prajvaro dvi-vidho jvarah
evam bahu-vidhair duhkhair
klisyamanah satam varsam
dehe dehi tamo-vrtah
atmany adhyasya nirgunah
sete kama-lavan dhyayan
mamaham iti karma-krt
adhayah--disturbances of the mind; vyadhayah--disturbances of the body, or diseases; tasya--of Yavanesvara; sainikah--soldiers; yavanah--Yavanas; carah--followers; bhuta--of living entities; upasarga--at the time of distress; asu--very soon; rayah--very powerful; prajvarah--named Prajvara; dvi-vidhah--two kinds; jvarah--fever; evam--thus; bahu-vidhaih--of different varieties; duhkhaih--by tribulations; daiva--by providence; bhuta--by other living entities; atma--by the body and mind; sambhavaih--produced; klisyamanah--subjected to sufferings; satam--hundred; varsam--years; dehe--in the body; dehi--the living entity; tamah-vrtah--covered by material existence; prana--of life; indriya--of the senses; manah--of the mind; dharman--characteristics; atmani--unto the soul; adhyasya--wrongly attributing; nirgunah--although transcendental; sete--lies down; kama--of sense enjoyment; lavan--on fragments; dhyayan--meditating; mama--mine; aham--I; iti--thus; karma-krt--the actor.
The followers of Yavanesvara [Yamaraja] are called the soldiers of death, and they are known as the various types of disturbances that pertain to the body and mind. Prajvara represents the two types of fever: extreme heat and extreme cold--typhoid and pneumonia. The living entity lying down within the body is disturbed by many tribulations pertaining to providence, to other living entities and to his own body and mind. Despite all kinds of tribulations, the living entity, subjected to the necessities of the body, mind and senses and suffering from various types of disease, is carried away by many plans due to his lust to enjoy the world. Although transcendental to this material existence, the living entity, out of ignorance, accepts all these material miseries under the pretext of false egoism ("I" and "mine"). In this way he lives for a hundred years within this body.
In the Vedas it is stated: asango'yam purusah. The living entity is actually separate from material existence, for the soul is not material. In Bhagavad-gita it is also said that the living entity is the superior energy, and the material elements--earth, water, fire, air and so on--are the inferior energy. The material elements are also described as bhinna, or separated energy. When the internal or superior energy comes in contact with the external energy, it is subjected to so many tribulations. In Bhagavad-gita (2.14) the Lord also says, matra-sparsas tu kaunteya sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah: because of the material body, the living entity is subjected to many tribulations brought about by air, water, fire, extreme heat, extreme cold, sunshine, excessive eating, unhealthy food, maladjustments of the three elements of the body (kapha, pitta and vayu), and so on. The intestines, the throat, the brain and the other parts of the body are affected by all kinds of diseases that are so powerful that they become sources of extreme suffering for the living entity. The living entity, however, is different from all these material elements. The two types of fever described in this verse can be explained in contemporary language as pneumonia and typhoid. When there is an extreme fever in the body, there is typhoid and pneumonia, and they are described as Prajvara. There are also other miseries created by other living entities. The state exacts taxes, and there are also many thieves, rogues and cheaters. Miseries brought about by other living entities are called adhibhautika. There are also miseries in the form of famine, pestilence, scarcity, war, earthquakes and so on. These are caused by the demigods or other sources beyond our control. Actually there are many enemies of the living entities, and these are all described to point out how miserable this material existence is.
Knowing the basic misery of material existence, one should be induced to get out of the material clutches and return home, back to Godhead. Actually the living entity is not at all happy in this material body. Because of the body, he suffers thirst and hunger and is influenced by the mind, by words, by anger, by the belly, by the genitals, by the rectum, and so on. Manifold miseries encircle the transcendental living entity simply because he desires to satisfy his senses in this material world. If he simply withdraws from activities of sense gratification and applies his senses in the service of the Lord, all the problems of material existence will immediately diminish, and with the advancement of Krsna consciousness, he will be freed from all tribulation and, after giving up the body, will return home, back to Godhead.
bhagavantam param gurum
purusas tu visajjeta
gunesu prakrteh sva-drk
gunabhimani sa tada
karmani kurute 'vasah
suklam krsnam lohitam va
yada--when; atmanam--the Supreme Soul; avijnaya--forgetting; bhagavantam--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; param--supreme; gurum--the instructor; purusah--the living entity; tu--then; visajjeta--gives himself up; gunesu--to the modes; prakrteh--of material nature; sva-drk--one who can see his own welfare; guna-abhimani--identified with the modes of nature; sah--he; tada--at that time; karmani--fruitive activities; kurute--performs; avasah--spontaneously; suklam--white; krsnam--black; lohitam--red; va--or; yatha--according to; karma--work; abhijayate--takes birth.
The living entity by nature has minute independence to choose his own good or bad fortune, but when he forgets his supreme master, the Personality of Godhead, he gives himself up unto the modes of material nature. Being influenced by the modes of material nature, he identifies himself with the body and, for the interest of the body, becomes attached to various activities. Sometimes he is under the influence of the mode of ignorance, sometimes the mode of passion and sometimes the mode of goodness. The living entity thus gets different types of bodies under the modes of material nature.
These different types of bodies are explained in Bhagavad-gita (13.22):
purusah prakrti-stho hi
bhunkte prakrti-jan gunan
karanam guna-sango 'sya
"The living entity in material nature follows the ways of life, enjoying the three modes of nature. This is due to his association with that material nature. Thus he meets with good and evil among various species.
Because of associating with the modes of nature, the living entity gets a variety of bodies from the 8,400,000 forms. It is clearly explained herein that the living entity has a little independence, indicated by the word sva-drk, meaning "one who can see his own welfare." The living entity's constitutional position is very minute, and he can be misled in his choice. He may choose to imitate the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A servant may desire to start his own business and imitate his master, and when he chooses to do so, he may leave the protection of his master. Sometimes he is a failure, and sometimes he is successful. Similarly, the living entity, part and parcel of Krsna, starts his own business to compete with the Lord. There are many competitors out to attain the Lord's position, but to become like the Lord is not at all possible. Thus there is a great struggle for existence with the material world as different parties try to imitate the Lord. Material bondage is caused by deviation from the service of the Lord and attempts to imitate Him. The Lord is imitated by Mayavadi philosophers who try to become one with the Lord in an artificial way. When the Mayavadi philosophers think of themselves as liberated, they are under the delusion of mental concoction. No one can become one with or equal to God. To imagine this is to continue one's bondage in material existence.
lokan apnoti karhicit
suklat--by goodness; prakasa--by illumination; bhuyisthan--characterized; lokan--planets; apnoti--achieves; karhicit--sometimes; duhkha--distress; udarkan--having as the end result; kriya-ayasan--full of laborious activities; tamah--darkness; soka--in lamentation; utkatan--abounding; kvacit--sometimes.
Those who are situated in the mode of goodness act piously according to Vedic injunctions. Thus they are elevated to the higher planetary systems where the demigods live. Those who are influenced by the mode of passion engage in various types of productive activities in the planetary systems where human beings live. Similarly, those influenced by the mode of darkness are subjected to various types of misery and live in the animal kingdom.
There are three planetary systems--upper, middle and lower. Those influenced by the mode of goodness are given places in the upper planetary systems--Brahmaloka (Satyaloka), Tapoloka, Janaloka and Maharloka. Those influenced by the mode of passion are given places in the Bhurloka and Bhuvarloka. Those influenced by the mode of ignorance are given places in Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Talatala, Mahatala, Rasatala, Patala or the animal kingdom. Qualitatively the living entity is the same as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but because of his forgetfulness he gets different bodies in different planetary systems. At the present moment human society is overly influenced by the mode of passion, and consequently people are engaged in working in big factories. They forget how distressful it is to live in such places. In Bhagavad-gita such activities are described as ugra-karma, that is, distressful activities. Those who utilize the energies of the worker are called capitalists, and those who actually perform the work are called laborers. In actuality they are both capitalists, and the workers are in the modes of passion and ignorance. The result is that there is always a distressful situation. In contrast to these men are those influenced by the mode of goodness--the karmis and jnanis. The karmis, under the direction of Vedic instructions, try to elevate themselves to higher planetary systems. The jnanis try to merge into the existence of Brahman, the impersonal feature of the Lord. In this way all classes of living entities in various species of life are existing within this material world. This explains superior and inferior life-forms within the material world.
kvacit puman kvacic ca stri
kvacin nobhayam andha-dhih
devo manusyas tiryag va
kvacit--sometimes; puman--male; kvacit--sometimes; ca--also; stri--female; kvacit--sometimes; na--not; ubhayam--both; andha--blind; dhih--he whose intelligence; devah--demigod; manusyah--human being; tiryak--animal, bird, beast; va--or; yatha--according to; karma--of activities; gunam--the qualities; bhavah--birth.
Covered by the mode of ignorance in material nature, the living entity is sometimes a male, sometimes a female, sometimes a eunuch, sometimes a human being, sometimes a demigod, sometimes a bird, an animal, and so on. In this way he is wandering within the material world. His acceptance of different types of bodies is brought about by his activities under the influence of the modes of nature.
Actually the living entity is part and parcel of the Lord; therefore he is spiritual in quality. The living entity is never material, and his material conception is simply a mistake due to forgetfulness. He is as brilliant as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Both the sun and the sunshine are very brilliant. The Lord is like the full shining sun, and the living entities are like the small particles of that sun which constitute the all-pervasive sunshine. When these small particles are covered by the cloud of maya, they lose their shining capacity. When the cloud of maya is gone, the particles again become brilliant and shining. As soon as the living entity is covered by the ignorance of maya, or darkness, he cannot understand his relationship with the Supreme God. Somehow or other, if he comes before the Lord, he can see himself as shining as the Supreme Lord, although he is not as extensive as the Lord. Because the living entity desires to imitate the Supreme Lord, he is covered by maya. We cannot imitate the Lord, nor can we become the supreme enjoyer. This is not possible, and when we think it is, we become conditioned by maya. Thus the encagement of the living entity under the clutches of maya is brought about by forgetfulness of his relationship with the Supreme Lord.
Under the influence of maya, the living entity becomes exactly like a person haunted by a ghost. Such a person speaks all kinds of nonsense. When the living entity is covered by the influence of maya, he becomes a so-called scientist, philosopher, politician or socialist, and at every moment presents different plans for the benefit of human society. All these plans are ultimately failures because they are illusory. In this way the living entity forgets his position as an eternal servant of the Lord. He instead becomes a servant of maya. In any case he remains a servant. It is his misfortune that by forgetting his real contact with the Supreme Lord, he becomes a servant of maya. As servant of maya, he sometimes becomes a king, sometimes an ordinary citizen, sometimes a brahmana, a sudra, and so on. Sometimes he is a happy man, sometimes a prosperous man, sometimes a small insect. Sometimes he is in heaven and sometimes in hell. Sometimes he is a demigod, and sometimes he is a demon. Sometimes he is a servant, and sometimes he is a master. In this way the living entity wanders all over the universe. Only when he comes in contact with the bona fide spiritual master can he understand his real constitutional position. He then becomes disgusted with material existence. At that time, in full Krsna consciousness, he regrets his past experiences in material existence. This regret is very beneficial because it purifies the living entity of material, conditional life. He then prays to the Lord to engage in His service, and at that time, Krsna grants liberation from the clutches of maya. Lord Krsna explains this in Bhagavad-gita (7.14):
daivi hy esa guna-mayi
mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante
mayam etam taranti te
"This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it."
Only by the grace of Krsna can one get out of the clutches of maya. It is not possible to get out by mental speculation or other activities. When the living entity understands his real position by the grace of Krsna, he keeps himself always fit in Krsna consciousness and acts accordingly. Thus he gradually becomes completely free from the clutches of maya. When he is strong in Krsna consciousness, maya cannot touch him. In this way, in the association of Krsna conscious devotees, the living entity can get free from the contamination of material existence. In this connection, Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami says:
tate krsna bhaje, kare gurura sevana
maya-jala chute, paya krsnera carana
"In the Krsna conscious state, the living entity engages in devotional service under the direction of the spiritual master. In this way he gets out of the clutches of maya and takes shelter under the lotus feet of Lord Krsna." (Cc. Madhya 22.25)
ksut-parito yatha dinah
sarameyo grham grham
caran vindati yad-distam
dandam odanam eva va
tatha kamasayo jiva
upary adho va madhye va
yati distam priyapriyam
ksut-paritah--overcome by hunger; yatha--as; dinah--poor; sarameyah--a dog; grham--from one house; grham--to another house; caran--wandering; vindati--receives; yat--whose; distam--according to destiny; dandam--punishment; odanam--food; eva--certainly; va--or; tatha--similarly; kama-asayah--pursuing different types of desires; jivah--the living entity; ucca--high; avaca--low; patha--on a path; bhraman--wandering; upari--high; adhah--low; va--or; madhye--in the middle; va--or; yati--goes toward; distam--according to destiny; priya--pleasing; apriyam--not pleasing.
The living entity is exactly like a dog, who, overcome with hunger, goes from door to door for some food. According to his destiny, he sometimes receives punishment and is driven out and at other times receives a little food to eat. Similarly, the living entity, being influenced by so many desires, wanders in different species of life according to destiny. Sometimes he is high, and sometimes he is low. Sometimes he goes to the heavenly planets, sometimes to hell, sometimes to the middle planets, and so on.
The living entity's position is herein likened to a dog's. By chance a dog may have a very rich owner, and by chance he may become a street dog. As the dog of a rich man, he will live very opulently. Sometimes in Western countries we hear of a master leaving millions of dollars to a dog in his will. Of course, there are many dogs loitering in the street without food. Therefore, to liken the conditional existence of the living entity to that of a dog is very appropriate. An intelligent human being, however, can understand that if he has to live the life of a dog, he had best become Krsna's dog. In the material world a dog is sometimes elevated and is sometimes on the street, but in the spiritual world, Krsna's dog is perpetually, eternally happy. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has therefore sung: vaisnava thakura tomara kukura baliya janaha more. In this way Bhaktivinoda Thakura offers to become a Vaisnava's dog. A dog always keeps himself at his master's door and does not allow any person unfavorable to the master to enter. Similarly, one should engage in the service of a Vaisnava and try to please him in every respect. Unless one does so, he does not make spiritual advancement. Apart from spiritual advancement, in the material world if one does not develop his qualities in goodness, he cannot be promoted to the higher planetary system. As confirmed by Bhagavad-gita (14.18):
urdhvam gacchanti sattva-stha
madhye tisthanti rajasah
adho gacchanti tamasah
"Those situated in the mode of goodness gradually go upward to the higher planets; those in the mode of passion live on the earthly planets; and those in the mode of ignorance go down to the hellish worlds."
There are many varieties of life in the different planetary systems, and these come about due to the living entity's developing his qualities in goodness, passion and ignorance. If one is in goodness, he is promoted to the higher systems; if in passion, he remains in the middle systems; and if in ignorance, he is pushed down to the lower species of life.
jivasya na vyavacchedah
syac cet tat-tat-pratikriya
duhkhesu--in the matter of distresses; ekatarena--from one kind; api--even; daiva--providence; bhuta--other living entities; atma--the body and mind; hetusu--on account of; jivasya--of the living entity; na--never; vyavacchedah--stopping; syat--is possible; cet--although; tat-tat--of those miseries; pratikriya--counteraction.
The living entities are trying to counteract different miserable conditions pertaining to providence, other living entities or the body and mind. Still, they must remain conditioned by the laws of nature, despite all attempts to counter these laws.
Just as a dog wanders here and there for a piece of bread or punishment, the living entity perpetually wanders about trying to be happy and planning in so many ways to counteract material misery. This is called the struggle for existence. We can actually see in our daily lives how we are forced to make plans to drive away miserable conditions. To get rid of one miserable condition, we have to put ourselves in another kind of miserable condition. A poor man suffers for want of money, but if he wants to become rich, he has to struggle in so many ways. Actually that is not a valid counteracting process but a snare of the illusory energy. If one does not endeavor to counteract his situation but is satisfied with his position, knowing that he has obtained his position through past activities, he can instead engage his energy to develop Krsna consciousness. This is recommended in all Vedic literature.
tasyaiva hetoh prayateta kovido
na labhyate yad bhramatam upary adhah
tal labhyate duhkhavad anyatah sukham
kalena sarvatra gabhira-ramhasa
"Persons who are actually intelligent and philosophically inclined should endeavor only for that purposeful end which is not obtainable even by wandering from the topmost planet [Brahmaloka] down to the lowest planet [Patala]. As far as happiness derived from sense enjoyment is concerned, it can be obtained automatically in course of time, just as in course of time we obtain miseries even though we do not desire them." (Bhag. 1.5.18) One should simply try to develop his Krsna consciousness and not waste his time trying to improve his material condition. Actually the material condition cannot be improved. The process of improvement means accepting another miserable condition. However, if we endeavor to improve our Krsna consciousness, the distresses of material life will disappear without extraneous endeavor. Krsna therefore promises, kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati: "O son of Kunti, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes." (Bg. 9.31) One who takes to the path of devotional service will never be vanquished, despite all miseries of the body and mind and despite all misery brought about by other living entities and providence, miseries which are beyond our control.
yatha hi puruso bharam
sirasa gurum udvahan
tam skandhena sa adhatte
tatha sarvah pratikriyah
yatha--as; hi--certainly; purusah--a man; bharam--a burden; sirasa--on the head; gurum--heavy; udvahan--carrying; tam--that; skandhena--on the shoulder; sah--he; adhatte--puts; tatha--similarly; sarvah--all; pratikriyah--counteractions.
A man may carry a burden on his head, and when he feels it to be too heavy, he sometimes gives relief to his head by putting the burden on his shoulder. In this way he tries to relieve himself of the burden. However, whatever process he devises to counteract the burden does nothing more than Put the same burden from one place to another.
This is a good description of an attempt to transfer a burden from one place to another. When one gets tired of keeping a burden on his head, he will place it on his shoulder. This does not mean that he has become freed from the strains of carrying the burden. Similarly, human society in the name of civilization is creating one kind of trouble to avoid another kind of trouble. In contemporary civilization we see that there are many automobiles manufactured to carry us swiftly from one place to another, but at the same time we have created other problems. We have to construct so many roads, and yet these roads are insufficient to cope with automobile congestion and traffic jams. There are also the problems of air pollution and fuel shortage. The conclusion is that the processes we manufacture to counteract or minimize our distresses do not actually put an end to our pains. It is all simply illusion. We simply place the burden from the head to the shoulder. The only real way we can minimize our problems is to surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead and give ourselves up to His protection. The Lord, being all-powerful, can make arrangements to mitigate our painful life in material existence.
karmanam karma kevalam
dvayam hy avidyopasrtam
svapne svapna ivanagha
na--never; ekantatah--ultimately; pratikarah--counteraction; karmanam--of different activities; karma--another activity; kevalam--only; dvayam--both; hi--because; avidya--due to illusion; upasrtam--accepted; svapne--in a dream; svapnah--a dream; iva--like; anagha--O you who are free from sinful activities.
Narada continued: O you who are free from all sinful activity! No one can counteract the effects of fruitive activity simply by manufacturing a different activity devoid of Krsna consciousness. All such activity is due to our ignorance. When we have a troublesome dream, we cannot relieve it with a troublesome hallucination. One can counteract a dream only by awaking. Similarly, our material existence is due to our ignorance and illusion. Unless we awaken to Krsna consciousness, we cannot be relieved of such dreams. For the ultimate solution to all problems, we must awaken to Krsna consciousness.
There are two kinds of fruitive activity. We can place the burden on the head, or we can place it on the shoulder. Actually, keeping the burden in either place is the same. The transferal, however, is taking place under the name of counteraction. In this connection Prahlada Maharaja said that fools and rascals in the material world plan so gorgeously for bodily comfort without knowing that such arrangements, even if successful, are only maya. People are working hard day and night for the illusory happiness of the body. This is not a way to achieve happiness. One has to get out of this material entanglement and return home, back to Godhead. That is real happiness. The Vedas therefore enjoin: "Don't remain in the darkness of this material world. Go to the light of the spiritual world." To counteract the distress of this material body, one has to take on another distressed condition. Both situations are only illusion. There is no gain in taking on one trouble to counteract another trouble. The conclusion is that one cannot be perpetually happy as long as one exists in this material world. The only remedy is to get out of this material world altogether and return home, back to Godhead.
arthe hy avidyamane 'pi
samsrtir na nivartate
svapne vicarato yatha
arthe--factual cause; hi--certainly; avidyamane--not existing; api--although; samsrtih--material existence; na--not; nivartate--ceases; manasa--by the mind; linga-rupena--by subtle form; svapne--in a dream; vicaratah--acting; yatha--as.
Sometimes we suffer because we see a tiger in a dream or a snake in a vision, but actually there is neither a tiger nor a snake. Thus we create some situation in a subtle form and suffer the consequences. These sufferings cannot be mitigated unless we are awakened from our dream.
As stated in the Vedas, the living entity is always separate from two kinds of material bodies--the subtle and the gross. All our sufferings are due to these material bodies. This is explained in Bhagavad-gita (2.14):
matra-sparsas tu kaunteya
tams titiksasva bharata
"O son of Kunti, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed." Lord Krsna thus informed Arjuna that all the distresses brought about by the body come and go. One has to learn how to tolerate them. Material existence is the cause of all our sufferings, for we do not suffer once we are out of the material condition. The Vedas therefore enjoin that one should factually understand that he is not material but is actually Brahman (aham brahmasmi). This understanding cannot be fully realized unless one is engaged in Brahman activities, namely devotional service. To get free from the material conditions, one has to take to Krsna consciousness. That is the only remedy.
bhaktya paramaya gurau
jnanam ca janayisyati
atha--therefore; atmanah--of the living entity; artha-bhutasya--having his real interest; yatah--from which; anartha--of all unwanted things; param-para--a series one after another; samsrtih--material existence; tat--of that; vyavacchedah--stopping; bhaktya--by devotional service; paramaya--unalloyed; gurau--unto the Supreme Lord or His representative; vasudeve--Vasudeva; bhagavati--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; bhakti-yogah--devotional service; samahitah--applied; sadhricinena--completely; vairagyam--detachment; jnanam--full knowledge; ca--and; janayisyati--will cause to become manifest.
The real interest of the living entity is to get out of the nescience that causes him to endure repeated birth and death. The only remedy is to surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead through His representative. Unless one renders devotional service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva, one cannot possibly become completely detached from this material world, nor can he possibly manifest real knowledge.
This is the way to become detached from the artificial material condition. The only remedy is to take to Krsna consciousness and constantly engage in the devotional service of Lord Vasudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Everyone is trying to be happy, and the process adopted to achieve that happiness is called self-interest. Unfortunately, the conditioned soul hovering within this material world does not know that his ultimate goal of self-interest is Vasudeva. Samsrti, or material existence, begins with the illusioned bodily conception of life, and on the basis of this conception there ensues a series of unwanted things (anarthas). These unwanted things are actually mental desires for various types of sense gratification. In this way one accepts different types of bodies within this material world. One first has to control the mind so that the desires of the mind can be purified. This process is described in the Narada-pancaratra as sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tatparatvena nirmalam. Unless one purifies his mind, there is no question of getting free from the material condition. As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.7.6):
"The material miseries of the living entity, which are superfluous to him, can be directly mitigated by the linking process of devotional service. But the mass of people do not know this, and therefore the learned Vyasadeva compiled this Vedic literature, which is in relation to the Supreme Truth." Anarthas, unwanted things, come down from one bodily life to another. To get out of this entanglement, one has to take to the devotional service of Lord Vasudeva, Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The word guru is significant in this connection. The word guru may be translated as "heavy," or "the supreme." In other words, the guru is the spiritual master. Srila Rsabhadeva advised His sons, gurur na sa syat. .. na mocayed yah samupeta-mrtyum: "One should not take up the post of spiritual master unless he is able to lead his disciple from the cycle of birth and death." (Bhag. 5.5.18) Material existence is actually a chain of action and reaction brought about by different types of fruitive activities. This is the cause of birth and death. One can stop this process only by engaging oneself in the service of Vasudeva.
Bhakti refers to those activities performed in the service of Lord Vasudeva. Because Lord Vasudeva is the Supreme, one should engage oneself in His service, not in the service of the demigods. Devotional service begins from the neophyte stage--the stage of observing the rules and regulations--and extends to the point of spontaneous loving service to the Lord. The purpose of all stages is to satisfy Lord Vasudeva. When one is perfectly advanced in the devotional service of Vasudeva, one becomes completely detached from the service of the body, that is, his designated position in material existence. After becoming so detached, one becomes actually perfect in knowledge and engages perfectly in the service of Lord Vasudeva. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, jivera 'svarupa' haya--krsnera 'nitya-dasa': "Every living entity is by constitutional position an eternal servant of Krsna." As soon as one engages in the service of Lord Vasudeva, he attains his normal constitutional position. This position is called the liberated stage. Muktir hitvanyatha-rupam svarupena vyavasthitih: in the liberated stage, one is situated in his original Krsna conscious position. He gives up all engagements in the service of matter, engagements concocted under the names of social service, national service, community service, dog service, automobile service and so many other services conducted under the illusion of "I" and mine.
As explained in the Second Chapter of the First Canto:
janayaty asu vairagyam
jnanam ca yad ahaitukam
"By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world." (Bhag. 1.2.7) Thus one must engage in the service of Vasudeva without material desire, mental speculation or fruitive activity.
so 'cirad eva rajarse
nityada syad adhiyatah
sah--that; acirat--very soon; eva--certainly; raja-rse--O best of kings; syat--becomes; acyuta--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; katha--narrations; asrayah--depending on; srnvatah--of one who is hearing; sraddadhanasya--faithful; nityada--always; syat--becomes; adhiyatah--by cultivation.
O best of kings, one who is faithful, who is always hearing the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is always engaged in the culture of Krsna consciousness and in hearing of the Lord's activities, very soon becomes eligible to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face.
Constant engagement in the transcendental loving service of Vasudeva means constantly hearing the glories of the Lord. The principles of bhakti-yoga--sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam. arcanam vandanam dasyam sakhyam atma-nivedanam--are the only means by which perfection can be attained. Simply by hearing of the glories of the Lord, one is elevated to the transcendental position.
yatra bhagavata rajan
tasmin mahan-mukharita madhubhic-caritra-
piyusa-sesa-saritah paritah sravanti
ta ye pibanty avitrso nrpa gadha-karnais
tan na sprsanty asana-trd-bhaya-soka-mohah
yatra--where; bhagavatah--great devotees; rajan--O King; sadhavah--saintly persons; visada-asayah--broad-minded; bhagavat--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; guna--the qualities; anukathana--to regularly recite; sravana--to hear; vyagra--eager; cetasah--whose consciousness; tasmin--there; mahat--of great saintly persons; mukharitah--emanating from the mouths; madhu-bhit--of the killer of the Madhu demon; caritra--the activities or the character; piyusa--of nectar; sesa--surplus; saritah--rivers; paritah--all around; sravanti--flow; tah--all of them; ye--they who; pibanti--drink; avitrsah--without being satisfied; nrpa--O King; gadha--attentive; karnaih--with their ears; tan--them; na--never; sprsanti--touch; asana--hunger; trt--thirst; bhaya--fear; soka--lamentation; mohah--illusion.
My dear King, in the place where pure devotees live, following the rules and regulations and thus purely conscious and engaged with great eagerness in hearing and chanting the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in that place if one gets a chance to hear their constant flow of nectar, which is exactly like the waves of a river, one will forget the necessities of life--namely hunger and thirst--and become immune to all kinds of fear, lamentation and illusion.
The cultivation of Krsna consciousness is possible where great devotees live together and constantly engage in hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord. In a holy place like Vrndavana, there are many devotees constantly engaged in chanting and hearing the glories of the Lord. If one gets the chance to hear from pure devotees in such a place, allowing the constant flow of the river of nectar to come from the mouths of pure devotees, then the cultivation of Krsna consciousness becomes very easy. When one is engaged in constantly hearing the glories of the Lord, he certainly rises above the bodily conception. When one is in the bodily conception, he feels the pangs of hunger and thirst, fear, lamentation and illusion. But when one is engaged in hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord, he transcends the bodily conception.
The word bhagavad-gunanukathana-sravana-vyagra-cetasah, meaning "always eager to find the place where the glories of the Lord are being heard and chanted," is significant in this verse. A businessman is always very eager to go to a place where business is transacted. Similarly, a devotee is very eager to hear from the lips of liberated devotees. As soon as one hears the glories of the Lord from the liberated devotees, he immediately becomes impregnated with Krsna consciousness. This is also confirmed in another verse:
satam prasangan mama virya-samvido
bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah
taj-josanad asv apavarga-vartmani
sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati
"In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and to the heart. By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin." (Bhag. 3.25.25) In the association of pure devotees, one becomes attached to hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord. In this way one can cultivate Krsna consciousness, and as soon as this cultivation is advanced, one can become faithful to the Lord, devoted to the Lord and attached to the Lord, and thus one can very quickly attain full Krsna consciousness. The secret of success in the cultivation of Krsna consciousness is hearing from the right person. A Krsna conscious person is never disturbed by the bodily necessities--namely eating, sleeping, mating and defending.
etair upadruto nityam
na karoti harer nunam
etaih--by these; upadrutah--disturbed; nityam--always; jiva-lokah--the conditioned soul in the material world; sva-bhava-jaih--natural; na karoti--does not do; hareh--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; nunam--certainly; katha--of the words; amrta--of nectar; nidhau--in the ocean; ratim--attachment.
Because the conditioned soul is always disturbed by the bodily necessities such as hunger and thirst, he has very little time to cultivate attachment to hearing the nectarean words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Unless one is associated with devotees, he cannot cultivate Krsna consciousness. Nirjana-bhajana--cultivating Krsna consciousness in a solitary place--is not possible for the neophyte, for he will be disturbed by the bodily necessities (eating, sleeping, mating and defending). Being so disturbed, one cannot cultivate Krsna consciousness. We therefore see that devotees known as sahajiya, who make everything very easy, do not associate with advanced devotees. Such persons, in the name of devotional activities, are addicted to all kinds of sinful acts--illicit sex, intoxication, gambling and meat-eating. There are many so-called devotees passing themselves off as devotees while engaging in these sinful activities. In other words, one who is influenced by sinful activity cannot be accepted as a person in Krsna consciousness. A person addicted to sinful life cannot develop Krsna consciousness, as indicated in this verse.
bhagavan giriso manuh
pulastyah pulahah kratuh
bhrgur vasistha ity ete
pasyanto 'pi na pasyanti
prajapati-patih--Brahma, the father of all progenitors; saksat--directly; bhagavan--the most powerful; girisah--Lord Siva; manuh--Manu; daksa-adayah--headed by King Daksa; praja-adhyaksah--the rulers of humankind; naisthikah--the strong brahmacaris; sanaka-adayah--headed by Sanaka; maricih--Marici; atri-angirasau--Atri and Angira; pulastyah--Pulastya; pulahah--Pulaha; kratuh--Kratu; bhrguh--Bhrgu; vasisthah--Vasistha; iti--thus; ete--all of them; mat-antah--ending with me; brahma-vadinah--brahmanas, speakers on Vedic literature; adya api--up to date; vacah-patayah--masters of speaking; tapah--austerities; vidya--knowledge; samadhibhih--and by meditation; pasyantah--observing; api--although; na pasyanti--do not observe; pasyantam--the one who sees; parama-isvaram--the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The most powerful Lord Brahma, the father of all progenitors; Lord Siva; Manu, Daksa and the other rulers of humankind; the four saintly first-class brahmacaris headed by Sanaka and Sanatana; the great sages Marici, Atri, Angira, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Bhrgu and Vasistha; and my humble self [Narada] are all stalwart brahmanas who can speak authoritatively on Vedic literature. We are very powerful because of austerities, meditation and education. Nonetheless, even after inquiring about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whom we always see, we do not know perfectly about Him.
According to the foolish Darwinian theory of the anthropologists, it is said that forty thousand years ago Homo sapiens had not appeared on this planet because the process of evolution had not reached that point. However, the Vedic histories--the puranas and Mahabharata--relate human histories that extend millions and millions of years into the past. In the beginning of creation there was a very intelligent personality, Lord Brahma, and from him emanated all the Manus, and the brahmacaris like Sanaka and Sanatana, as well as Lord Siva, the great sages and Narada. All these personalities underwent great austerities and penances and thus became authorities in Vedic knowledge. Perfect knowledge for human beings, as well as all living entities, is contained in the Vedas. All the above-mentioned great personalities are not only powerful--being cognizant of past, present and future--but are also devotees. Still, in spite of their great education in knowledge, and despite their meeting the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Visnu, they cannot actually understand the perfection of the living entity's relationship with Lord Visnu. This means that these personalities are still limited as far as their knowledge of the unlimited is concerned. The conclusion is that simply by advancing one's knowledge, one cannot be accepted as an expert in understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Personality of Godhead can be understood not by advanced knowledge, but by pure devotional service, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (18.55). Bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah: unless one takes to pure, transcendental devotional service, he cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead in truth. Everyone has some imperfect ideas about the Lord. So-called scientists and philosophical speculators are unable to understand the Supreme Lord by virtue of their knowledge. Knowledge is not perfect unless one comes to the platform of devotional service. This is confirmed by the Vedic version:
athapi te deva padambuja-dvaya-
prasada-lesanugrhita eva hi
janati tattvam bhagavan-mahimno
na canya eko 'pi ciram vicinvan
The speculators, the jnanis, go on speculating about the Supreme Personality of Godhead for many, many hundreds of thousands of years, but unless one is favored by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one cannot understand His supreme glories. All the great sages mentioned in this verse have their planets near Brahmaloka, the planet where Lord Brahma resides along with four great sages--Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana and Sanat-kumara. These sages reside in different stars known as the southern stars, which circle the polestar. The polestar, called Dhruvaloka, is the pivot of this universe, and all planets move around this polestar. All the stars are planets, as far as we can see, within this one universe. According to Western theory, all the stars are different suns, but according to Vedic information, there is only one sun within this universe. All the so-called stars are but different planets. Besides this universe, there are many millions of other universes, and each of them contains similar innumerable stars and planets.
bhajanto na viduh param
sabda-brahmani--in the Vedic literature; duspare--unlimited; carantah--being engaged; uru--greatly; vistare--expansive; mantra--of Vedic hymns; lingaih--by the symptoms; vyavacchinnam--partially powerful (the demigods); bhajantah--worshiping; na viduh--they do not know; param--the Supreme.
Despite the cultivation of Vedic knowledge, which is unlimited, and the worship of different demigods by the symptoms of Vedic mantras, demigod worship does not help one to understand the supreme powerful Personality of Godhead.
As stated in Bhagavad-gita (7.20):
kamais tais tair hrta-jnanah
tam tam niyamam asthaya
prakrtya niyatah svaya
"Those whose minds are distorted by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures." Most people are interested in worshiping demigods to acquire powers. Each demigod has a particular power. For instance, the demigod Indra, the King of heaven, has power to shower rain on the surface of the globe to give sufficient vegetation to the earth. This demigod is described in the Vedas: vajra-hastah purandarah. Indra rules the water supply with a thunderbolt in his hand. The thunderbolt itself is controlled by Indra. Similarly, other demigods--Agni, Varuna, Candra, Surya--have particular powers. All these demigods are worshiped in the Vedic hymns through a symbolic weapon. Therefore it is said here: mantra-lingair vyavacchinnam. By such worship, karmis may obtain the benediction of material opulence in the form of animals, riches, beautiful wives, many followers, and so on. By such material opulence, however, one cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
sa jahati matim loke
vede ca parinisthitam
yada--when; yasya--whom; anugrhnati--favors by causeless mercy; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; atma-bhavitah--realized by a devotee; sah--such a devotee; jahati--gives up; matim--consciousness; loke--in the material world; vede--in the Vedic functions; ca--also; parinisthitam--fixed.
When a person is fully engaged in devotional service, he is favored by the Lord, who bestows His causeless mercy. At such a time, the awakened devotee gives up all material activities and ritualistic performances mentioned in the Vedas.
In the previous verse, those who are in knowledge have been described as unable to appreciate the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Similarly, this verse indicates that those who are followers of the Vedic rituals, as well as those who are followers of fruitive activities, are unable to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In these two verses both the karmis and jnanis are described as unfit to understand Him. As described by Srila Rupa Gosvami, only when one is completely free from mental speculation and fruitive activity (anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam) can one engage in pure devotional service without being polluted by material desires. The significant word atma-bhavitah indicates that the Lord is awakened in one's mind if one constantly thinks of Him. A pure devotee is always thinking of the lotus feet of the Lord (sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayoh). A pure devotee cannot remain a moment without being absorbed in thoughts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This constant thinking of the Lord is described in Bhagavad-gita as satata-yuktanam, always engaging in the Lord's service. Bhajatam priti-purvakam: this is devotional service in love and affection. Because the Supreme Personality of Godhead dictates to the pure devotee from within, the devotee is saved from all material activities. Even the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies are considered material activities because by such activities one is simply elevated to other planetary systems, the residential abodes of the demigods. Lord Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (9.25):
yanti deva-vrata devan
pitrn yanti pitr-vratah
bhutani yanti bhutejya
yanti mad-yajino 'pi mam
"Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors; and those who worship Me will live with Me."
The word atma-bhavitah also indicates that a devotee is always engaged in preaching to deliver conditioned souls. It is said of the six Gosvamis: nana-sastra-vicaranaika-nipunau sad-dharma-samsthapakau lokanam hita-karinau. A pure devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is always thinking of how fallen, conditioned souls can be delivered. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, influenced by the merciful devotees' attempt to deliver fallen souls, enlightens the people in general from within by His causeless mercy. If a devotee is blessed by another devotee, he becomes free from karma-kanda and jnana-kanda activities. As confirmed in Brahma-samhita, vedesu durlabham: the Supreme Personality of Godhead cannot be realized through karma-kanda and jnana-kanda. Adurlabham atma-bhaktau: the Lord is realized only by a sincere devotee.
This material world, the cosmic manifestation, is created by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the living entities have come here to enjoy themselves. The Vedic instructions guide them according to different regulative principles, and intelligent people take advantage of these instructions. They thus enjoy material life without being disturbed. This is actually illusion, and to get out of this illusion by one's own endeavor is very difficult. The general populace is engaged in material activities, and when people are a little advanced, they become attracted by the ritualistic ceremonies mentioned in the Vedas. However, when one is frustrated in the performance of these ritualistic ceremonies, he again comes to material activities. In this way both the followers of the Vedic rituals and the followers of material activities are entangled in conditional life. These people get the seed of devotional service only by the good will of the guru and Krsna. This is confirmed in Caitanya-caritamrta: guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija.
When one is engaged in devotional service, he is no longer attracted to material activities. When a man is covered by different designations, he cannot engage in devotional service. One has to become freed from such designative activities (sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam) and become pure in order to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead through purified senses. Hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate: the service of the Lord through purified senses is called bhakti-yoga, or devotional service. The sincere devotee is always helped by the Supersoul, who resides within the heart of every living entity, as Lord Krsna confirms in Bhagavad-gita (10.10):
dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te
"To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me."
This is the stage of becoming free from the contamination of the material world. At such a time a devotee makes friends with another devotee, and his engagement in material activities ceases completely. At that time, he attains the favor of the Lord and loses his faith in material civilization, which begins with varnasrama-dharma. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu speaks clearly of one's becoming liberated from the varnasrama-dharma, the most exalted system of human civilization. At such a time one feels himself to be perpetually the servant of Lord Krsna, a position taken by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself.
naham vipro na ca nara-patir napi vaisyo na sudro
naham varni na ca grha-patir no vana-stho yatir va
kintu prodyan nikhila-paramananda-purnamrtabdher
gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah
"I am not a brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya or sudra. I am not a brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha or sannyasi. What am I? I am the eternal servant of the servant of the servant of Lord Krsna." Through the disciplic succession, one can attain this conclusion, which is perfect elevation to the transcendental platform.
tasmat karmasu barhismann
martha-drstim krthah srotra-
tasmat--therefore; karmasu--in fruitive activities; barhisman--O King Pracinabarhisat; ajnanat--out of ignorance; artha-kasisu--in the glittering fruitive result; ma--never; artha-drstim--considering to be the aim of life; krthah--do; srotra-sparsisu--pleasing to the ear; asprsta--without touching; vastusu--real interest.
My dear King Barhisman, you should never out of ignorance take to the Vedic rituals or to fruitive activity, which may be pleasing to hear about or which may appear to be the goal of self-interest. You should never take these to be the ultimate goal of life.
In Bhagavad-gita (2.42-43) it is said:
yam imam puspitam vacam
nanyad astiti vadinah
"Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas, which recommend various fruitive activities for elevation to heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power, and so forth. Being desirous of sense gratification and opulent life, they say that there is nothing more than this."
Generally people are very much attracted to the fruitive activities sanctioned in the Vedic rituals. One may be very much attracted to becoming elevated to heavenly planets by performing great sacrifices, like those of King Barhisman. Sri Narada Muni wanted to stop King Barhisman from engaging in such fruitive activities. Therefore he is now directly telling him, "Don't be interested in such temporary benefits." In modern civilization people are very much interested in exploiting the resources of material nature through the methods of science. Indeed, this is considered advancement. This is not actually advancement, however, but is simply pleasing to hear. Although we are advancing according to such concocted methods, we are forgetting our real purpose. Bhaktivinoda Thakura therefore says, jada-vidya yata mayara vaibhava tomara bhajane badha: "Materialistic studies are the glare of maya only, for they are an obstacle to spiritual progress."
The temporary comforts of life experienced either on this planet or on other planets are all to be taken as illusory because they do not touch the real purpose of life. The real purpose of life is to go back home, back to Godhead. Ignorant of the real purpose of life, people take to either gross materialistic activities or ritualistic activities. King Barhisman is herein requested not to be attached to such activities. In the Vedas it is stated that the performance of sacrifice is the actual purpose of life. A section of the Indian population known as the Arya-samajists lay too much stress on the sacrificial portion of the Vedas. This verse indicates, however, that such sacrifices are to be taken as illusory. Actually the aim of human life should be God realization, or Krsna consciousness. The Vedic performances are, of course, very glittering and pleasing to hear about, but they do not serve the real purpose of life.
svam lokam na vidus te vai
yatra devo janardanah
ahur dhumra-dhiyo vedam
svam--own; lokam--abode; na--never; viduh--know; te--such persons; vai--certainly; yatra--where; devah--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; janardanah--Krsna, or Visnu; ahuh--speak; dhumra-dhiyah--the less intelligent class of men; vedam--the four Vedas; sa-karmakam--full of ritualistic ceremonies; a-tat-vidah--persons who are not in knowledge.
Those who are less intelligent accept the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies as all in all. They do not know that the purpose of the Vedas is to understand one's own home, where the Supreme Personality of Godhead lives. Not being interested in their real home, they are illusioned and search after other homes.
Generally people are not aware of their interest in life--to return home, back to Godhead. People do not know about their real home in the spiritual world. In the spiritual world there are many Vaikuntha planets, and the topmost planet is Krsnaloka, Goloka Vrndavana. Despite the so-called advancement of civilization, there is no information of the Vaikunthalokas, the spiritual planets. At the present moment so-called advanced civilized men are trying to go to other planets, but they do not know that even if they go to the highest planetary system, Brahmaloka, they have to come back again to this planet. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (8.16):
punar avartino 'rjuna
mam upetya tu kaunteya
punar janma na vidyate
"From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again."
If one goes to the highest planetary system within this universe he still has to return after the effects of pious activities are finished. Space vehicles may go very high in the sky, but as soon as their fuel is finished, they have to return to this earthly planet. All these activities are performed in illusion. The real attempt should now be to return home, back to Godhead. The process is mentioned in Bhagavad-gita. Yanti mad-yajino 'pi mam: those who engage in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead return home, back to Godhead. Human life is very valuable, and one should not waste it in vain exploration of other planets. One should be intelligent enough to return to Godhead. One should be interested in information about the spiritual Vaikuntha planets, and in particular the planet known as Goloka Vrndavana, and should learn the art of going there by the simple method of devotional service, beginning with hearing (sravanam kirtanam visnoh). This is also confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam (12.3.51):
kaler dosa-nidhe rajann
asti hy eko mahan gunah
kirtanad eva krsnasya
mukta-sangah param vrajet
One can go to the supreme planet (param vrajet) simply by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra. This is especially meant for the people of this age (kaler dosa-nidhe). It is the special advantage of this age that simply by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra one can become purified of all material contamination and return home, back to Godhead. There is no doubt about this.
astirya darbhaih prag-agraih
stabdho brhad-vadhan mani
karma navaisi yat param
tat karma hari-tosam yat
sa vidya tan-matir yaya
astirya--having covered; darbhaih--by kusa grass; prak-agraih--with the points facing east; kartsnyena--altogether; ksiti-mandalam--the surface of the world; stabdhah--proud upstart; brhat--great; vadhat--by killing; mani--thinking yourself very important; karma--activity; na avaisi--you do not know; yat--which; param--supreme; tat--that; karma--activity; hari-tosam--satisfying the Supreme Lord; yat--which; sa--that; vidya--education; tat--unto the Lord; matih--consciousness; yaya--by which.
My dear King, the entire world is covered with the sharp points of kusa grass, and on the strength of this you have become proud because you have killed various types of animals in sacrifices. Because of your foolishness, you do not know that devotional service is the only way one can please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You cannot understand this fact. Your only activities should be those that can please the Personality of Godhead. Our education should be such that we can become elevated to Krsna consciousness.
In this verse the great sage Narada Muni directly insults the King because he was engaged in performing sacrifices that entail the killing of a great number of animals. The King was thinking that he was great for having performed so many sacrifices, but the great sage Narada directly chastises him, informing him that his animal-killing only leads to his being puffed up with false prestige. Actually, anything that is done which does not lead to Krsna consciousness is a sinful activity, and any education that does not lead one to understand Krsna is false education. If Krsna consciousness is missing, one is simply engaged in false activities and false educational pursuits.
harir deha-bhrtam atma
svayam prakrtir isvarah
yatah ksemo nrnam iha
harih--Sri Hari; deha-bhrtam--of living entities who have accepted material bodies; atma--the Supersoul; svayam--Himself; prakrtih--material nature; isvarah--the controller; tat--His; pada-mulam--feet; saranam--shelter; yatah--from which; ksemah--good fortune; nrnam--of men; iha--in this world.
Sri Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the Supersoul and guide of all living entities who have accepted material bodies within this world. He is the supreme controller of all material activities in material nature. He is also our best friend, and everyone should take shelter at His lotus feet. In doing so, one's life will be auspicious.
In Bhagavad-gita (18.61) it is said, isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati: "The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna." The living entity is within the body, and the Supersoul, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is also there. He is called antaryami and caitya-guru. As Lord Krsna states in Bhagavad-gita (15.15), He is controlling everything.
sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto
matah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca
"I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness."
Everything is being directed by the Supersoul within the body; therefore the better part of valor is to take His direction and be happy. To take His directions, one needs to be a devotee, and this is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (10.10):
dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te
"To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me."
Although the Supersoul is in everyone's heart (isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati), He talks only to the pure devotees who constantly engage in His service. In Caitanya-bhagavata (Antya 3.45) it is said:
tahare se bali vidya, mantra, adhyayana
krsna-pada-padme ye karaye sthira mana
"One who has fixed his mind on the lotus feet of Krsna is to be understood as having the best education and as having studied all the Vedas." There are also other appropriate quotes in Caitanya-bhagavata:
sei se vidyara phala janiha niscaya
krsna-pada-padme yadi citta-vrtti raya
"The perfect result of an education is the fixing of one's mind on the lotus feet of Krsna." (Adi 13.178)
'dig-vijaya kariba,'----vidyara karya nahe
isvare bhajile, sei vidya 'satya' kahe
"Conquering the world by means of material education is not desirable. If one engages himself in devotional service, his education is perfected." (Adi 13.173)
pade kene loka----krsna-bhakti janibare
se yadi nahila, tabe vidyaya ki kare
"The purpose of education is to understand Krsna and His devotional service. If one does not do so, then education is false." (Adi 12.49)
tahare se bali dharma, karma sadacara
isvare se priti janme sammata sabara
"Being cultured, educated, very active and religious means developing natural love for Krsna." (Antya 3.44) Everyone has dormant love for Krsna, and by culture and education that has to be awakened. That is the purpose of this Krsna consciousness movement. Once Lord Caitanya asked Sri Ramananda Raya what the best part of education was, and Ramananda Raya replied that the best part of education is advancement in Krsna consciousness.
sa vai priyatamas catma
yato na bhayam anv api
iti veda sa vai vidvan
yo vidvan sa gurur harih
sah--He; vai--certainly; priya-tamah--the most dear; ca--also; atma--Supersoul; yatah--from whom; na--never; bhayam--fear; anu--little; api--even; iti--thus; veda--(one who) knows; sah--he; vai--certainly; vidvan--educated; yah--he who; vidvan--educated; sah--he; guruh--spiritual master; harih--not different from the Lord.
One who is engaged in devotional service has not the least fear in material existence. This is because the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the Supersoul and friend of everyone. One who knows this secret is actually educated, and one thus educated can become the spiritual master of the world. One who is an actually bona fide spiritual master, representative of Krsna, is not different from Krsna.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says: saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih. The spiritual master is described in every scripture as the representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The spiritual master is accepted as identical with the Supreme Personality of Godhead because he is the most confidential servant of the Lord (kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya). The purport is that both the Supersoul and the individual soul are very dear to everyone. Everyone loves himself, and when he becomes more advanced, he loves the Supersoul also. A person who is self-realized does not recommend the worship of anyone but the Supersoul. He knows that to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead is easier than to worship various demigods under the influence of lust and the desire for material enjoyment. The devotee is therefore always engaged in the loving devotional service of the Lord. Such a person is a true guru. In padma purana it is said:
avaisnavo gurur na syad
vaisnavah sva-paco guruh
"Even if a brahmana is very learned in Vedic scriptures and knows the six occupational duties of a brahmana, he cannot become a guru, or spiritual master, unless he is a devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. However, if one is born in a family of dog-eaters but is a pure devotee of the Lord, he can become a spiritual master." The conclusion is that one cannot become a spiritual master unless he is a pure devotee of the Lord. One who is a spiritual master in accordance with the above descriptions of devotional service is to be understood as the Supreme Personality of Godhead personally present. According to the words mentioned here (gurur harih), consulting a bona fide spiritual master means consulting the Supreme Personality of Godhead personally. One should therefore take shelter of such a bona fide spiritual master. Success in life means accepting a spiritual master who knows Krsna as the only supreme beloved personality. One should worship such a confidential devotee of the Lord.
prasna evam hi sanchinno
atra me vadato guhyam
naradah uvaca--Narada said; prasnah--question; evam--thus; hi--certainly; sanchinnah--answered; bhavatah--your; purusa-rsabha--O great personality; atra--here; me vadatah--as I am speaking; guhyam--confidential; nisamaya--hear; su-niscitam--perfectly ascertained.
The great saint Narada continued: O great personality, I have replied properly about all that you have asked me. Now hear another narration that is accepted by saintly persons and is very confidential.
Sri Narada Muni is personally acting as the spiritual master of King Barhisman. It was Narada Muni's intention that through his instructions the King would immediately give up all engagement in fruitive activity and take to devotional service. However, although the King understood everything, he was still not prepared to give up his engagements. As the following verses will show, the King was contemplating sending for his sons, who were away from home executing austerities and penances. After their return, he would entrust his kingdom to them and then leave home. This is the position of most people. They accept a bona fide spiritual master and listen to him, but when the spiritual master indicates that they should leave home and fully engage in devotional service, they hesitate. The duty of the spiritual master is to instruct the disciple as long as he does not come to the understanding that this materialistic way of life, fruitive activity, is not at all beneficial. Actually, one should take to devotional service from the beginning of life, as Prahlada Maharaja advised: kaumara acaret prajno dharman bhagavatan iha (Bhag. 7.6.1). According to all the instructions of the Vedas, we can understand that unless one takes to Krsna consciousness and devotional service, he is simply wasting his time engaging in the fruitive activities of material existence. Narada Muni therefore decided to relate another allegory to the King so that he might be induced to give up family life within material existence.
ksudram caram sumanasam sarane mithitva
raktam sadanghri-gana-samasu lubdha-karnam
agre vrkan asu-trpo 'viganayya yantam
prsthe mrgam mrgaya lubdhaka-bana-bhinnam
ksudram--on grass; caram--grazing; sumanasam--of a beautiful flower garden; sarane--under the protection; mithitva--being united with a woman; raktam--attached; sat-anghri--of bumblebees; gana--of groups; samasu--to the singing; lubdha-karnam--whose ear is attracted; agre--in front; vrkan--tigers; asu-trpah--who live at the cost of another's life; aviganayya--neglecting; yantam--moving; prsthe--behind; mrgam--the deer; mrgaya--search out; lubdhaka--of a hunter; bana--by the arrows; bhinnam--liable to be pierced.
My dear King, please search out that deer who is engaged in eating grass in a very nice flower garden along with his wife. That deer is very much attached to his business, and he is enjoying the sweet singing of the bumblebees in his garden. Just try to understand his position. He is unaware that before him is a tiger, which is accustomed to living at the cost of another's flesh. Behind the deer is a hunter, who is threatening to pierce him with sharp arrows. Thus the deer's death is imminent.
Here is an allegory in which the King is advised to find a deer that is always in a dangerous position. Although threatened from all sides, the deer simply eats grass in a nice flower garden, unaware of the danger all around him. All living entities, especially human beings, think themselves very happy in the midst of families. As if living in a flower garden and hearing the sweet humming of bumblebees, everyone is centered around his wife, who is the beauty of family life. The bumblebees' humming may be compared to the talk of children. The human being, just like the deer, enjoys his family without knowing that before him is the factor of time, which is represented by the tiger. The fruitive activities of a living entity simply create another dangerous position and oblige him to accept different types of bodies. For a deer to run after a mirage of water in the desert is not unusual. The deer is also very fond of sex. The conclusion is that one who lives like a deer will be killed in due course of time. Vedic literatures therefore advise that we should understand our constitutional position and take to devotional service before death comes. According to the Bhagavatam (11.9.29):
labdhva sudurlabham idam bahu-sambhavante
manusyam arthadam anityam apiha dhirah
turnam yateta na pated anumrtyu yavan
nihsreyasaya visayah khalu sarvatah syat
After many births we have attained this human form; therefore before death comes, we should engage ourselves in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. That is the fulfillment of human life.
sumanah-sama-dharmanam strinam sarana asrame puspa-madhu-gandhavat ksudratamam kamya-karma-vipakajam kama-sukha-lavam jaihvyaupasthyadi vicinvantam mithuni-bhuya tad-abhinivesita-manasam sadanghri-gana-sama-gitavad atimanohara-vanitadi-janalapesv atitaram atipralobhita-karnam agre vrka-yuthavad atmana ayur harato 'ho-ratran tan kala-lava-visesan aviganayya grhesu viharantam prsthata eva paroksam anupravrtto lubdhakah krtanto 'ntah sarena yam iha paravidhyati tam imam atmanam aho rajan bhinna-hrdayam drastum arhasiti.
sumanah--flowers; sama-dharmanam--exactly like; strinam--of women; sarane--in the shelter; asrame--household life; puspa--in flowers; madhu--of honey; gandha--the aroma; vat--like; ksudra-tamam--most insignificant; kamya--desired; karma--of activities; vipaka-jam--obtained as a result; kama-sukha--of sense gratification; lavam--a fragment; jaihvya--enjoyment of the tongue; aupasthya--sex enjoyment; adi--beginning with; vicinvantam--always thinking of; mithuni-bhuya--engaging in sex life; tat--in his wife; abhinivesita--always absorbed; manasam--whose mind; sat-anghri--of bumblebees; gana--of crowds; sama--gentle; gita--the chanting; vat--like; ati--very; manohara--attractive; vanita-adi--beginning with the wife; jana--of people; alapesu--to the talks; atitaram--excessively; ati--very much; pralobhita--attracted; karnam--whose ears; agre--in front; vrka-yutha--a group of tigers; vat--like; atmanah--of one's self; ayuh--span of life; haratah--taking away; ahah-ratran--days and nights; tan--all of them; kala-lava-visesan--the moments of time; aviganayya--without considering; grhesu--in household life; viharantam--enjoying; prsthatah--from the back; eva--certainly; paroksam--without being seen; anupravrttah--following behind; lubdhakah--the hunter; krta-antah--the superintendent of death; antah--in the heart; sarena--by an arrow; yam--whom; iha--in this world; paravidhyati--pierces; tam--that; imam--this; atmanam--yourself; aho rajan--O King; bhinna-hrdayam--whose heart is pierced; drastum--to see; arhasi--you ought; iti--thus.
My dear King, woman, who is very attractive in the beginning but in the end very disturbing, is exactly like the flower, which is attractive in the beginning and detestable at the end. With woman, the living entity is entangled with lusty desires, and he enjoys sex, just as one enjoys the aroma of a flower. He thus enjoys a life of sense gratification--from his tongue to his genitals--and in this way the living entity considers himself very happy in family life. United with his wife, he always remains absorbed in such thoughts. He feels great pleasure in hearing the talks of his wife and children, which are like the sweet humming of bumblebees that collect honey from flower to flower. He forgets that before him is time, which is taking away his life-span with the passing of day and night. He does not see the gradual diminishing of his life, nor does he care about the superintendent of death, who is trying to kill him from behind. Just try to understand this. You are in a precarious position and are threatened from all sides.
Materialistic life means forgetting one's constitutional position as the eternal servant of Krsna, and this forgetfulness is especially enhanced in the grhastha-asrama. In the grhastha-asrama a young man accepts a young wife who is very beautiful in the beginning, but in due course of time, after giving birth to many children and becoming older and older, she demands many things from the husband to maintain the entire family. At such a time the wife becomes detestable to the very man who accepted her in her younger days. One becomes attached to the grhastha-asrama for two reasons only--the wife cooks palatable dishes for the satisfaction of her husband's tongue, and she gives him sexual pleasure at night. A person attached to the grhastha-asrama is always thinking of these two things--palatable food and sex enjoyment. The talks of the wife, which are enjoyed as a family recreation, and the talks of the children both attract the living entity. He thus forgets that he has to die someday and has to prepare for the next life if he wants to be put into a congenial body.
The deer in the flower garden is an allegory used by the great sage Narada to point out to the King that the King himself is similarly entrapped by such surroundings. Actually everyone is surrounded by such a family life, which misleads one. The living entity thus forgets that he has to return home, back to Godhead. He simply becomes entangled in family life. Prahlada Maharaja has therefore hinted: hitvatma-patam grham andha-kupam vanam gato yad dharim asrayeta. Family life is considered a blind well (andha-kupam) into which a person falls and dies without help. Prahlada Maharaja recommends that while one's senses are there and one is strong enough, he should abandon the grhastha-asrama and take shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord, going to the forest of Vrndavana. According to Vedic civilization, one has to give up family life at a certain age (the age of fifty), take vanaprastha and eventually remain alone as a sannyasi. That is the prescribed method of Vedic civilization known as varnasrama-dharma. When one takes sannyasa after enjoying family life, he pleases the Supreme Lord Visnu.
One has to understand one's position in family or worldly life. That is called intelligence. One should not remain always trapped in family life to satisfy his tongue and genitals in association with a wife. In such a way, one simply spoils his life. According to Vedic civilization, it is imperative to give up the family at a certain stage, by force if necessary. Unfortunately, so-called followers of Vedic life do not give up their family even at the end of life, unless they are forced by death. There should be a thorough overhauling of the social system, and society should revert to the Vedic principles, that is, the four varnas and the four asramas.
sa tvam vicaksya mrga-cestitam atmano 'ntas
cittam niyaccha hrdi karna-dhunim ca citte
jahy anganasramam asattama-yutha-gatham
prinihi hamsa-saranam virama kramena
sah--that very person; tvam--you; vicaksya--considering; mrga-cestitam--the activities of the deer; atmanah--of the self; antah--within; cittam--consciousness; niyaccha--fix; hrdi--in the heart; karna-dhunim--aural reception; ca--and; citte--unto the consciousness; jahi--give up; angana-asramam--household life; asat-tama--most abominable; yutha-gatham--full of stories of man and woman; prinihi--just accept; hamsa-saranam--the shelter of the liberated souls; virama--become detached; kramena--gradually.
My dear King, just try to understand the allegorical position of the deer. Be fully conscious of yourself, and give up the pleasure of hearing about promotion to heavenly planets by fruitive activity. Give up household life, which is full of sex, as well as stories about such things, and take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead through the mercy of the liberated souls. In this way, please give up your attraction for material existence.
In one of his songs, Srila Narottama dasa Thakura writes:
karma-kanda, jnana-kanda, kevala visera bhanda,
amrta baliya yeba khaya
nana yoni sada phire, kadarya bhaksana kare,
tara janma adhah-pate yaya
"Fruitive activities and mental speculation are simply cups of poison. Whoever drinks of them, thinking them to be nectar, must struggle very hard, life after life, in different types of bodies. Such a person eats all kinds of nonsense and becomes condemned by his activities of so-called sense enjoyment."
People are generally enamored of the fruitive results of worldly activity and mental speculation. They generally desire to be promoted to heavenly planets, merge into the existence of Brahman, or keep themselves in the midst of family life, enchanted by the pleasures of the tongue and genitals. The great sage Narada clearly instructs King Barhisman not to remain his entire life in the grhastha-asrama. Being in the grhastha-asrama means being under the control of one's wife. One has to give up all this and put himself into the asrama of the paramahamsa, that is, put himself under the control of the spiritual master. The paramahamsa-asrama is the asrama of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, under whom the spiritual master has taken shelter. The symptoms of the bona fide spiritual master are stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.3.21):
tasmad gurum prapadyeta
jijnasuh sreya uttamam
sabde pare ca nisnatam
"Any person who is seriously desirous of achieving real happiness must seek out a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of a spiritual master is that he must have realized the conclusion of the scriptures by deliberation and arguments and thus be able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken complete shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, are to be understood as bona fide spiritual masters."
A paramahamsa is one who has taken shelter of the Parabrahman, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If one takes shelter of the paramahamsa spiritual master, gradually, through training and instruction, he will become detached from worldly life and ultimately return home, back to Godhead. The particular mention of anganasramam asattama-yutha-gatham is very interesting. The whole world is in the clutches of maya, being controlled by woman. Not only is one controlled by the woman who is one's wife, but one is also controlled by so many sex literatures. That is the cause of one's being entangled in the material world. One cannot give up this abominable association through one's own effort, but if one takes shelter of a bona fide spiritual master who is a paramahamsa, he will gradually be elevated to the platform of spiritual life.
The pleasing words of the Vedas that inspire one to elevate oneself to the heavenly planets or merge into the existence of the Supreme are for the less intelligent who are described in Bhagavad-gita as mayayapahrta jnanah (those whose knowledge is taken away by the illusory energy). Real knowledge means understanding the miserable condition of material life. One should take shelter of a bona fide liberated soul, the spiritual master, and gradually elevate himself to the spiritual platform and thus become detached from the material world. According to Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, hamsa-saranam refers to the cottage in which saintly persons live. Generally a saintly person lives in a remote place in the forest or in a humble cottage. However, we should note that the times have changed. It may be beneficial for a saintly person's own interest to go to the forest and live in a cottage, but if one becomes a preacher, especially in Western countries, he has to invite many classes of men who are accustomed to living in comfortable apartments. Therefore in this age a saintly person has to make proper arrangements to receive people and attract them to the message of Krsna consciousness. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, perhaps for the first time, introduced motorcars and palatial buildings for the residence of saintly persons just to attract the general public in big cities. The main fact is that one has to associate with a saintly person. In this age people are not going to search out a saint in the forest, so the saints and sages have to come to the big cities to make arrangements to receive the people in general, who are accustomed to the modern amenities of material life. Gradually such persons will learn that palatial buildings or comfortable apartments are not at all necessary. The real necessity is to become free from material bondage in whatever way possible. According to the orders of Srila Rupa Gosvami:
yuktam vairagyam ucyate
"When one is not attached to anything, but at the same time accepts everything in relation to Krsna, one is rightly situated above possessiveness." (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.255)
One should not be attached to material opulence, but material opulence may be accepted in the Krsna consciousness movement to facilitate the propagation of the movement. In other words, material opulence may be accepted as yukta-vairagya, that is, for renunciation.
srutam anviksitam brahman
bhagavan yad abhasata
naitaj jananty upadhyayah
kim na bruyur vidur yadi
raja uvaca--the King said; srutam--was heard; anviksitam--was considered; brahman--O brahmana; bhagavan--the most powerful; yat--which; abhasata--you have spoken; na--not; etat--this; jananti--do know; upadhyayah--the teachers of fruitive activities; kim--why; na bruyuh--they did not instruct; viduh--they understood; yadi--if.
The King replied: My dear brahmana, whatever you have said I have heard with great attention and, considering all of it, have come to the conclusion that the acaryas [teachers] who engaged me in fruitive activity did not know this confidential knowledge. If they were aware of it, why did they not explain it to me?
Actually the so-called teachers or leaders of material society do not really know the goal of life. They are described in Bhagavad-gita as mayayapahrta jnanah. They appear to be very learned scholars, but actually the influence of the illusory energy has taken away their knowledge. Real knowledge means searching out Krsna. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah. All Vedic knowledge is meant for searching out Krsna because Krsna is the origin of everything. Janmady asya yatah. In Bhagavad-gita (10.2) Krsna says, aham adir hi devanam: "I am the source of the demigods." Thus Krsna is the origin and beginning of all demigods, including Lord Brahma, Lord Siva and all others. The Vedic ritualistic ceremonies are concerned with satisfying different demigods, but unless one is very advanced, he cannot understand that the original personality is Sri Krsna. Govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami. After hearing the instructions of Narada, King Barhisman came to his senses. The real goal of life is to attain devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The King therefore decided to reject the so-called priestly orders that simply engage their followers in the ritualistic ceremonies without giving effective instructions about the goal of life. At the present moment the churches, temples and mosques all over the world are not attracting people because foolish priests cannot elevate their followers to the platform of knowledge. Not being aware of the real goal of life, they simply keep their congregations in ignorance. Consequently, those who are well educated have become uninterested in the ritualistic ceremonies. At the same time, they are not benefited with real knowledge. This Krsna consciousness movement is therefore very important for the enlightenment of all classes. Following in the footsteps of Maharaja Barhisman, everyone should take advantage of this Krsna consciousness movement and abandon the stereotyped ritualistic ceremonies that go under the garb of so many religions. The Gosvamis from the very beginning differed from the priestly class that was engaged in ritualistic ceremonies. Indeed, Srila Sanatana Gosvami compiled his Hari-bhakti-vilasa for the guidance of the Vaisnavas. The Vaisnavas, not caring for the lifeless activities of the priestly classes, take to full Krsna consciousness and become perfect in this very life. That is described in the previous verse as paramahamsa-saranam, taking shelter of the paramahamsa, the liberated soul, and becoming successful in this life.
samsayo 'tra tu me vipra
sanchinnas tat-krto mahan
rsayo 'pi hi muhyanti
samsayah--doubt; atra--here; tu--but; me--my; vipra--O brahmana; sanchinnah--cleared; tat-krtah--done by that; mahan--very great; rsayah--the great sages; api--even; hi--certainly; muhyanti--are bewildered; yatra--where; na--not; indriya--of the senses; vrttayah--activities.
My dear brahmana, there are contradictions between your instructions and those of my spiritual teachers who engaged me in fruitive activities. I now can understand the distinction between devotional service, knowledge and renunciation. I had some doubts about them, but you have now very kindly dissipated all these doubts. I can now understand how even the great sages are bewildered by the real purpose of life. Of course, there is no question of sense gratification.
King Barhisman was engaged in different types of sacrifice for elevation to the heavenly planets. People generally are attracted by these activities, and very rarely is a person attracted to devotional service, as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu confirms. Unless one is very, very fortunate, he does not take to devotional service. Even the so-called learned Vedic scholars are bewildered by devotional service. They are generally attracted to the rituals for sense gratification. In devotional service there is no sense gratification, but only transcendental loving service to the Lord. Consequently, the so-called priests engaged in sense gratification do not very much like devotional service. The brahmanas, the priests, have been against this Krsna consciousness movement since it began with Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu started this movement, the priestly class lodged complaints to the Kazi, the magistrate of the Muhammadan government. Caitanya Mahaprabhu had to lead a civil disobedience movement against the propaganda of the so-called followers of Vedic principles. These people are described as karma jada-smartas, which indicates that they are priests engaged in ritualistic ceremonies. It is here stated that such people become bewildered (rsayo 'pi hi muhyanti). To save oneself from the hands of these karma jada-smartas, one should strictly follow the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah
"Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear." (Bg. 18.66)
karmany arabhate yena
puman iha vihaya tam
justani sa yad asnute
karmani--fruitive activities; arabhate--begins to perform; yena--by which; puman--a living entity; iha--in this life; vihaya--giving up; tam--that; amutra--in the next life; anyena--another; dehena--by a body; justani--the results; sah--he; yat--that; asnute--enjoys.
The results of whatever a living entity does in this life are enjoyed in the next life.
A person generally does not know how one body is linked with another body. How is it possible that one suffers or enjoys the results of activities in this body in yet another body in the next life. This is a question the King wants Narada Muni to answer. How may one have a human body in this life and not have a human body in the next? Even great philosophers and scientists cannot account for the transferal of karma from one body to another. As we experience, every individual soul has an individual body, and one person's activities or one body's activities are not enjoyed or suffered by another body or another person. The question is how the activities of one body are suffered or enjoyed in the next.
iti veda-vidam vadah
sruyate tatra tatra ha
karma yat kriyate proktam
paroksam na prakasate
iti--thus; veda-vidam--of persons who know the Vedic conclusions; vadah--the thesis; sruyate--is heard; tatra tatra--here and there; ha--certainly; karma--the activity; yat--what; kriyate--is performed; proktam--as it was said; paroksam--unknown; na prakasate--is not directly manifested.
The expert knowers of the Vedic conclusions say that one enjoys or suffers the results of his past activities. But practically it is seen that the body that performed the work in the last birth is already lost. So how is it possible to enjoy or suffer the reactions of that work in a different body?
Atheists want evidence for the resultant actions of past activities. Therefore they ask, "Where is the proof that I am suffering and enjoying the resultant actions of past karma?" They have no idea how the subtle body carries the results of the present body's actions down to the next gross body. The present body may be finished grossly, but the subtle body is not finished; it carries the soul to the next body. Actually the gross body is dependent on the subtle body. Therefore the next gross body must suffer and enjoy according to the subtle body. The soul is carried by the subtle body continuously until liberated from gross material bondage.
tenaivamutra tat puman
bhunkte hy avyavadhanena
lingena manasa svayam
naradah uvaca--Narada said; yena--by which; eva--certainly; arabhate--begins; karma--fruitive activities; tena--by that body; eva--certainly; amutra--in the next life; tat--that; puman--the living entity; bhunkte--enjoys; hi--because; avyavadhanena--without any change; lingena--by the subtle body; manasa--by the mind; svayam--personally.
The great sage Narada continued: The living entity acts in a gross body in this life. This body is forced to act by the subtle body, composed of mind, intelligence and ego. After the gross body is lost, the subtle body is still there to enjoy or suffer. Thus there is no change.
The living entity has two kinds of body--the subtle body and the gross body. Actually he enjoys through the subtle body, which is composed of mind, intelligence and ego. The gross body is the instrumental outer covering. When the gross body is lost, or when it dies, the root of the gross body--the mind, intelligence and ego--continues and brings about another gross body. Although the gross bodies apparently change, the real root of the gross body--the subtle body of mind, intelligence and ego--is always there. The subtle body's activities--be they pious or impious--create another situation for the living entity to enjoy or suffer in the next gross body. Thus the subtle body continues whereas the gross bodies change one after another.
Since modern scientists and philosophers are too materialistic, and since their knowledge is taken away by the illusory energy, they cannot explain how the gross body is changing. The materialistic philosopher Darwin has tried to study the changes of the gross body, but because he had no knowledge of either the subtle body or the soul, he could not clearly explain how the evolutionary process is going on. One may change the gross body, but he works in the subtle body. People cannot understand the activities of the subtle body, and consequently they are bewildered as to how the actions of one gross body affect another gross body. The activities of the subtle body are also guided by the Supersoul, as explained in Bhagavad-gita (15.15):
sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto
mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca
"I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness."
Because the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Supersoul is always guiding the individual soul, the individual soul always knows how to act according to the reactions of his past karma. In other words, the Supersoul reminds him to act in such a way. Therefore although there is apparently a change in the gross body, there is a continuation between the lives of an individual soul.
sayanam imam utsrjya
svasantam puruso yatha
karmatmany ahitam bhunkte
sayanam--lying down on a bed; imam--this body; utsrjya--after giving up; svasantam--breathing; purusah--the living entity; yatha--as; karma--activity; atmani--in the mind; ahitam--executed; bhunkte--enjoys; tadrsena--by a similar body; itarena--by a different body; va--or.
The living entity, while dreaming, gives up the actual living body. Through the activities of his mind and intelligence, he acts in another body, either as a god or a dog. After giving up this gross body, the living entity enters either an animal body or a demigod's body on this planet or on another planet. He thus enjoys the results of the actions of his past life.
Although the root of distress and happiness is the mind, intelligence and ego, a gross body is still required as an instrument for enjoyment. The gross body may change, but the subtle body continues to act. Unless the living entity gets another gross body, he will have to continue in a subtle body, or a ghostly body. One becomes a ghost when the subtle body acts without the help of the instrumental gross body. As stated in this verse, sayanam imam utsrjya svasantam. The gross body may lie on a bed and rest, and even though the machinery of the gross body is working, the living entity may leave, go into a dream, and return to the gross body. When he returns to the body, he forgets his dream. Similarly, when the living entity takes on another gross body, he forgets the present gross body. The conclusion is that the subtle body--mind, intelligence and ego--creates an atmosphere with desires and ambitions that the living entity enjoys in the subtle body. Actually the living entity is in the subtle body, even though the gross body apparently changes and even though he inhabits the gross body on various planets. All the activities performed by the living entity in the subtle body are called illusory because they are not permanent. Liberation means getting out of the clutches of the subtle body. Liberation from the gross body simply involves the transmigration of the soul from one gross body to another. When the mind is educated in Krsna consciousness, or higher consciousness in the mode of goodness, one is transferred either to the upper, heavenly planets or to the spiritual world, the Vaikuntha planets. One therefore has to change his consciousness by cultivating knowledge received from Vedic instructions from the Supreme Personality of Godhead through the disciplic succession. If we train the subtle body in this life by always thinking about Krsna, we will transfer to Krsnaloka after leaving the gross body. This is confirmed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
janma karma ca me divyam
evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma
naiti mam eti so 'rjuna
"One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna." (Bg. 4.9)
Thus the change of the gross body is not very important, but the change of the subtle body is important. The Krsna consciousness movement is educating people to enlighten the subtle body. The perfect example in this regard is Ambarisa Maharaja, who always engaged his mind on the lotus feet of Lord Krsna. Sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayoh. Similarly, in this life we should always fix our mind on the lotus feet of Krsna, who is present in His arca-vigraha, the incarnation of the Deity in the temple. We should also always engage in His worship. If we engage our speech in describing the activities of the Lord and our ears in hearing about His pastimes, and if we follow the regulative principles to keep the mind intact for advancing in Krsna consciousness, we shall certainly be elevated to the spiritual platform. Then at the time of death the mind, intelligence and ego will no longer be materially contaminated. The living entity is present, and the mind, intelligence and ego are also present. When the mind, intelligence and ego are purified, all the active senses of the living entity become spiritual. Thus the living entity attains his sac-cid-ananda form. The Supreme Lord is always in His sac-cid-ananda form, but the living entity, although part and parcel of the Lord, becomes materially contaminated when he desires to come to the material world for material enjoyment. The prescription for returning home, back to Godhead, is given by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gita (9.34):
man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi yuktvaivam
"Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me."
mamaite manasa yad yad
asav aham iti bruvan
grhniyat tat puman raddham
karma yena punar bhavah
mama--mind; ete--all these; manasa--by the mind; yat yat--whatever; asau--that; aham--I (am); iti--thus; bruvan--accepting; grhniyat--takes with him; tat--that; puman--the living entity; raddham--perfected; karma--work; yena--by which; punah--again; bhavah--material existence.
The living entity labors under the bodily conception of "I am this, I am that. My duty is this, and therefore I shall do it." These are all mental impressions, and all these activities are temporary; nonetheless, by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the living entity gets a chance to execute all his mental concoctions. Thus he gets another body.
As long as one is absorbed in the bodily conception, his activities are performed on that platform. This is not very difficult to understand. In the world, we see that every nation is trying to supersede every other nation and that every man is trying to advance beyond his fellow man. All these activities are going on under the name of advancement of civilization. There are many plans for making the body comfortable, and these plans are carried in the subtle body after the destruction of the gross body. It is not a fact that after the gross body is destroyed the living entity is finished. Although many great philosophers and teachers in this world are under the impression that after the body is finished everything is finished, this is not a fact. Narada Muni says in this verse that at death one takes his plans with him (grhniyat), and to execute these plans he gets another body. This is called punar bhavah. When the gross body is finished, the plans of the living entity are taken by the mind, and by the grace of the Lord, the living entity gets a chance to give these plans shape in the next life. This is known as the law of karma. As long as the mind is absorbed in the laws of karma, a certain type of body must be accepted in the next life.
Karma is the aggregate of fruitive activities conducted to make this body comfortable or uncomfortable. We have actually seen that when one man was about to die he requested his physician to give him a chance to live four more years so that he could finish his plans. This means that while dying he was thinking of his plans. After his body was destroyed, he doubtlessly carried his plans with him by means of the subtle body, composed of mind, intelligence and ego. Thus he would get another chance by the grace of the Supreme Lord, the Supersoul, who is always within the heart.
sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto
mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca
In the next birth, one acquires remembrance from the Supersoul and begins to execute the plans begun in the previous life. This is also explained in Bhagavad-gita in another verse:
hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati
"The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy." (Bg. 18.61) Situated on the vehicle given by material nature and reminded by the Supersoul within the heart, the living entity struggles all over the universe to fulfill his plans, thinking, "I am a brahmana," "I am a ksatriya," "I am an American," "I am an Indian," and so on. All these designations are of the same essence. There is no point in becoming a brahmana in preference to an American or becoming an American in preference to a Negro. After all, these are all bodily conceptions under the modes of material nature.
evam prag-dehajam karma
yatha--as; anumiyate--can be imagined; cittam--one's consciousness or mental condition; ubhayaih--both; indriya--of the senses; ihitaih--by the activities; evam--similarly; prak--previous; dehajam--performed by the body; karma--activities; laksyate--can be perceived; citta--of consciousness; vrttibhih--by the occupations.
One can understand the mental or conscious position of a living entity by the activities of two kinds of senses--the knowledge-acquiring senses and the executive senses. Similarly, by the mental condition or consciousness of a person, one can understand his position in the previous life.
There is an English proverb that says, "The face is the index of the mind." If one is angry, his anger is immediately expressed in his face. Similarly, other mental states are reflected by the actions of the gross body. In other words, the activities of the gross body are reactions of the mental condition. The mind's activities are thinking, feeling and willing. The willing portion of the mind is manifest by the activities of the body. The conclusion is that by the activities of the body and senses, we can understand the condition of the mind. The condition of the mind is affected by past activities in the past body. When the mind is joined with a particular sense, it immediately becomes manifest in a certain way. For instance, when there is anger in the mind, the tongue vibrates so many maledictions. Similarly, when the mind's anger is expressed through the hand, there is fighting. When it is expressed through the leg, there is kicking. There are so many ways in which the subtle activities of the mind are expressed through the various senses. The mind of a person in Krsna consciousness also acts in a similar way. The tongue chants Hare Krsna, the maha-mantra, the hands are raised in ecstasy, and the legs dance in Krsna consciousness. These symptoms are technically called asta-sattvika-vikara. Sattvika-vikara is transformation of the mental condition in goodness or sometimes transcendental ecstasy.
nanubhutam kva canena
yad rupam yadrg atmani
na--never; anubhutam--experienced; kva--at any time; ca--also; anena dehena--by this body; adrstam--never seen; asrutam--never heard; kadacit--sometimes; upalabhyeta--may be experienced; yat--which; rupam--form; yadrk--whatever kind; atmani--in the mind.
Sometimes we suddenly experience something that was never experienced in the present body by sight or hearing. Sometimes we see such things suddenly in dreams.
In dreams we sometimes see things that we have never experienced in the present body. Sometimes in dreams we think that we are flying in the sky, although we have no experience of flying. This means that once in a previous life, either as a demigod or astronaut, we flew in the sky. The impression is there in the stockpile of the mind, and it suddenly expresses itself. It is like fermentation taking place in the depths of water, which sometimes manifests itself in bubbles on the water's surface. Sometimes we dream of coming to a place we have never known or experienced in this lifetime, but this is proof that in a past life we experienced this. The impression is kept within the mind and sometimes becomes manifest either in dream or in thought. The conclusion is that the mind is the storehouse of various thoughts and experiences undergone during our past lives. Thus there is a chain of continuation from one life to another, from previous lives to this life, and from this life to future lives. This is also sometimes proved by saying that a man is a born poet, a born scientist or a born devotee. If, like Maharaja Ambarisa, we think of Krsna constantly in this life (sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayoh), we will certainly be transferred to the kingdom of God at the time of death. Even if our attempt to be Krsna conscious is not complete, our Krsna consciousness will continue in the next life. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (6.41):
prapya punya-krtam lokan
usitva sasvatih samah
sucinam srimatam gehe
"The unsuccessful yogi, after many, many years of enjoyment on the planets of the pious living entities, is born into a family of righteous people, or into a family of rich aristocracy."
If we rigidly follow the principles of meditation on Krsna, there is no doubt that in our next life we will be transferred to Krsnaloka, Goloka Vrndavana.
tenasya tadrsam rajal
na manah sprastum arhati
tena--therefore; asya--of the living entity; tadrsam--like that; rajan--O King; linginah--who has a subtle mental covering; deha-sambhavam--produced in the previous body; sraddhatsva--accept it as fact; ananubhutah--not perceived; arthah--a thing; na--never; manah--in the mind; sprastum--to manifest; arhati--is able.
Therefore, my dear King, the living entity, who has a subtle mental covering, develops all kinds of thoughts and images because of his previous body. Take this from me as certain. There is no possibility of concocting anything mentally without having perceived it in the previous body.
krsna-bahirmukha hana bhoga-vancha kare
nikata-stha maya tare japatiya dhare
Actually the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, is the supreme enjoyer. When a living entity wants to imitate Him, he is given a chance to satisfy his false desire to lord it over material nature. That is the beginning of his downfall. As long as he is within this material atmosphere, he has a subtle vehicle in the form of the mind, which is the stockpile of all kinds of material desires. Such desires become manifest in different bodily forms. Srila Narada Muni requests the King to accept this fact from him because Narada is an authority. The conclusion is that the mind is the storehouse of our past desires, and we have this present body due to our past desires. Similarly, whatever we desire in this present body will be expressed in a future body. Thus the mind is the source of different kinds of bodies.
If the mind is purified by Krsna consciousness, one will naturally in the future get a body that is spiritual and full of Krsna consciousness. Such a body is our original form, as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu confirms, jivera 'svarupa' haya--krsnera 'nitya-dasa': "Every living entity is constitutionally an eternal servant of Krsna." If a person is engaged in the devotional service of the Lord, he is to be considered a liberated soul even in this life. This is confirmed by Srila Rupa Gosvami:
iha yasya harer dasye
karmana manasa gira
nikhilasv apy avasthasu
jivan-muktah sa ucyate
"One who engages in the transcendental service of the Lord in body, mind and words is to be considered liberated in all conditions of material existence." (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.187) The Krsna consciousness movement is based on this principle. We must teach people to absorb themselves always in the service of the Lord because that position is their natural position. One who is always serving the Lord is to be considered already liberated. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (14.26):
mam ca yo 'vyabhicarena
sa gunan samatityaitan
"One who always engages in the spiritual activities of unalloyed devotional service at once transcends the modes of material nature and is elevated to the spiritual platform." The devotee is therefore above the three modes of material nature and is even transcendental to the brahmana platform. A brahmana may be infected by the two baser modes--namely rajo-guna and tamo-guna. A pure devotee, who is free from all material desires experienced on the mental platform and who is also free from empiric philosophical speculation or fruitive activity, is always above material conditioning and is always liberated.
mana eva manusyasya
bhavisyatas ca bhadram te
tathaiva na bhavisyatah
manah--the mind; eva--certainly; manusyasya--of a man; purva--past; rupani--forms; samsati--indicates; bhavisyatah--of one who will take birth; ca--also; bhadram--good fortune; te--unto you; tatha--thus; eva--certainly; na--not; bhavisyatah--of one who will take birth.
O King, all good fortune unto you! The mind is the cause of the living entity's attaining a certain type of body in accordance with his association with material nature. According to one's mental composition, one can understand what the living entity was in his past life as well as what kind of body he will have in the future. Thus the mind indicates the past and future bodies.
The mind is the index of information about one's past and future lives. If a man is a devotee of the Lord, he cultivated devotional service in his previous life. Similarly, if one's mind is criminal, he was criminal in his last life. In the same way, according to the mind, we can understand what will happen in a future life. In Bhagavad-gita (14.18) it is said:
urdhvam gacchanti sattva-stha
madhye tisthanti rajasah
adho gacchanti tamasah
"Those situated in the mode of goodness gradually go upward to the higher planets; those in the mode of passion live on the earthly planets; and those in the mode of ignorance go down to the hellish worlds."
If a person is in the mode of goodness, his mental activities will promote him to a higher planetary system. Similarly, if he has a low mentality, his future life will be most abominable. The lives of the living entity, in both the past and the future, are indicated by the mental condition. Narada Muni is herein offering the King blessings of all good fortune so that the King will not desire anything or make plans for sense gratification. The King was engaged in fruitive ritualistic ceremonies because he hoped to get a better life in the future. Narada Muni desired him to give up all mental concoctions. As explained before, all bodies in heavenly planets and hellish planets arise from mental concoctions, and the sufferings and enjoyments of material life are simply on the mental platform. They take place on the chariot of the mind (mano-ratha). It is therefore said:
yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akincana
sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah
harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna
mano-rathenasati dhavato bahih
"One who has unflinching devotion for the Personality of Godhead has all the good qualities of the demigods. But one who is not a devotee of the Lord has only material qualifications, that are of little value. This is because he is hovering on the mental plane and is certain to be attracted by the glaring material energy." (Bhag. 5.18.12)
Unless one becomes a devotee of the Lord, or becomes fully Krsna conscious, he will certainly hover on the mental platform and be promoted and degraded in different types of bodies. All qualities that are considered good according to the material estimation actually have no value because these so-called good qualities will not save a person from the cycle of birth and death. The conclusion is that one should be without mental desire. Anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam: one should be fully free from material desires, philosophical speculation and fruitive activity. The best course for a human being is to favorably accept the transcendental devotional service of the Lord. That is the highest perfection of human life.
adrstam asrutam catra
kvacin manasi drsyate
adrstam--never experienced; asrutam--never heard; ca--and; atra--in this life; kvacit--at some time; manasi--in the mind; drsyate--is visible; yatha--as; tatha--accordingly; anumantavyam--to be understood; desa--place; kala--time; kriya--activity; asrayam--depending on.
Sometimes in a dream we see something never experienced or heard of in this life, but all these incidents have been experienced at different times, in different places and in different conditions.
In the previous verse it was explained that in dreams we see that which was experienced during the day. But why is it that we sometimes in our dreams see what we have never heard of or seen at any time during this life? Here it is stated that even though such events may not be experienced in this life, they were experienced in previous lives. According to time and circumstance, they combine so that in dreams we see something wonderful that we have never experienced. For instance, we may see an ocean on the peak of a mountain. Or we may see that the ocean has dried up. These are simply combinations of different experiences in time and space. Sometimes we may see a golden mountain, and this is due to our having experienced gold and mountains separately. In the dream, under illusion, we combine these separate factors. In this way we are able to see golden mountains, or stars during the day. The conclusion is that these are all mental concoctions, although they have actually been experienced in different circumstances. They have simply combined together in a dream. This fact is further explained in the following verse.
ayanti bahuso yanti
sarve samanaso janah
sarve--all; krama-anurodhena--in order of chronology; manasi--in the mind; indriya--by the senses; gocarah--experienced; ayanti--come; bahusah--in many ways; yanti--go away; sarve--all; samanasah--with a mind; janah--living entities.
The mind of the living entity continues to exist in various gross bodies, and according to one's desires for sense gratification, the mind records different thoughts. In the mind these appear together in different combinations; therefore these images sometimes appear as things never seen or never heard before.
The activities of the living entity in the body of a dog may be experienced in the mind of a different body; therefore those activities appear never to have been heard or seen. The mind continues, although the body changes. Even in this life-span we can sometimes experience dreams of our childhood. Although such incidents now appear strange, it is to be understood that they are recorded in the mind. Because of this, they become visible in dreams. The transmigration of the soul is caused by the subtle body, which is the storehouse of all kinds of material desires. Unless one is fully absorbed in Krsna consciousness, material desires will come and go. That is the nature of the mind--thinking, feeling and willing. As long as the mind is not engaged in meditation on the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, the mind will desire so many material enjoyments. Sensual images are recorded in the mind in chronological order, and they become manifest one after another; therefore the living entity has to accept one body after another. The mind plans material enjoyment, and the gross body serves as the instrument to realize such desires and plans. The mind is the platform onto which all desires come and go. Srila Narottama dasa Thakura therefore sings:
guru-mukha-padma-vakya, cittete kariya aikya,
ara na kariha mane asa
Narottama dasa Thakura advises everyone to stick to the principle of carrying out the orders of the spiritual master. One should not desire anything else. If the regulative principles ordered by the spiritual master are followed rigidly, the mind will gradually be trained to desire nothing but the service of Krsna. Such training is the perfection of life.
sattva-eka-nisthe--in full Krsna consciousness; manasi--in a mind; bhagavat--with the Supreme Personality of Godhead; parsva-vartini--being constantly associated; tamah--the dark planet; candramasi--in the moon; iva--like; idam--this cosmic manifestation; uparajya--being connected; avabhasate--becomes manifest.
Krsna consciousness means constantly associating with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in such a mental state that the devotee can observe the cosmic manifestation exactly as the Supreme Personality of Godhead does. Such observation is not always possible, but it becomes manifest exactly like the dark planet known as Rahu, which is observed in the presence of the full moon.
It has been explained in the previous verse that all desires on the mental platform become visible one after another. Sometimes, however, by the supreme will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the whole stockpile can be visible all at one time. In Brahma-samhita (5.54) it is said, karmani nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhajam. When a person is fully absorbed in Krsna consciousness, his stockpile of material desires is minimized. Indeed, the desires no longer fructify in the form of gross bodies. Instead, the stockpile of desires becomes visible on the mental platform by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
In this connection, the darkness occurring before the full moon, the lunar eclipse, can be explained as being another planet, known as Rahu. According to Vedic astronomy, the Rahu planet, which is not visible, is accepted. Sometimes the Rahu planet is visible in the presence of full moonlight. It then appears that this Rahu planet exists somewhere near the orbit of the moon. The failure of modern moon excursionists may be due to the Rahu planet. In other words, those who are supposed to be going to the moon may actually be going to this invisible planet Rahu. Actually, they are not going to the moon but to the planet Rahu, and after reaching this planet, they come back. Apart from this discussion, the point is that a living entity has immense and unlimited desires for material enjoyment, and he has to transmigrate from one gross body to another until these desires are exhausted.
No living entity is free from the cycle of birth and death unless he takes to Krsna consciousness; therefore in this verse it is clearly stated (sattvaika-nisthe) that when one is fully absorbed in Krsna consciousness, in one stroke he is freed of past and future mental desires. Then, by the grace of the Supreme Lord, everything becomes simultaneously manifest within the mind. In this regard, Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura cites the example of mother Yasoda's seeing the whole cosmic manifestation within the mouth of Lord Krsna. By the grace of Lord Krsna, mother Yasoda saw all the universes and planets within the mouth of Krsna. Similarly, by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, a Krsna conscious person can see all his dormant desires at one time and finish all his future transmigrations. This facility is especially given to the devotee to make his path clear for returning home, back to Godhead.
Why we see things not experienced in this life is explained herein. That which we see is the future expression of a gross body or is already stocked in our mental stockpile. Because a Krsna conscious person does not have to accept a future gross body, his recorded desires are fulfilled in a dream. We therefore sometimes find things in a dream never experienced in our present life.
naham mameti bhavo 'yam
guna-vyuho hy anadiman
na--not; aham--I; mama--mine; iti--thus; bhavah--consciousness; ayam--this; puruse--in the living entity; vyavadhiyate--is separated; yavat--so long; buddhi--intelligence; manah--mind; aksa--senses; artha--sense objects; guna--of the material qualities; vyuhah--a manifestation; hi--certainly; anadi-man--the subtle body (existing since time immemorial).
As long as there exists the subtle material body composed of intelligence, mind, senses, sense objects, and the reactions of the material qualities, the consciousness of false identification and its relative objective, the gross body, exist as well.
The desires in the subtle body of mind, intelligence and ego cannot be fulfilled without a gross body composed of the material elements earth, water, air, fire and ether. When the gross material body is not manifest, the living entity cannot factually act in the modes of material nature. In this verse it is clearly explained that the subtle activities of the mind and intelligence continue due to the sufferings and enjoyments of the living entity's subtle body. The consciousness of material identification (such as "I" and "mine") still continues because such consciousness has been extant from time immemorial. However, when one transfers to the spiritual world by virtue of understanding Krsna consciousness, the actions and reactions of both gross and subtle bodies no longer bother the spirit soul.
nehate 'ham iti jnanam
supti--in deep sleep; murccha--fainting; upatapesu--or in great shock; prana-ayana--of the movement of the life air; vighatatah--from prevention; na--not; ihate--thinks of; aham--I; iti--thus; jnanam--knowledge; mrtyu--while dying; prajvarayoh--or during high fever; api--also.
When the living entity is in deep sleep, when he faints, when there is some great shock on account of severe loss, at the time of death, or when the body temperature is very high, the movement of the life air is arrested. At that time the living entity loses knowledge of identifying the body with the self.
Foolish people deny the existence of the soul, but it is a fact that when we sleep we forget the identity of the material body and when we awake we forget the identity of the subtle body. In other words, while sleeping we forget the activities of the gross body, and when active in the gross body we forget the activities of sleeping. Actually both states--sleeping and waking--are creations of the illusory energy. The living entity actually has no connection with either the activities of sleep or the activities of the so-called wakened state. When a person is in deep sleep or when he has fainted, he forgets his gross body. Similarly, under chloroform or some other anesthetic, the living entity forgets his gross body and does not feel pain or pleasure during a surgical operation. Similarly, when a man is suddenly shocked by some great loss, he forgets his identification with the gross body. At the time of death, when the temperature of the body rises to 107 degrees, the living entity falls into a coma and is unable to identify his gross body. In such cases, the life air that moves within the body is choked up, and the living entity forgets his identification with the gross body. Because of our ignorance of the spiritual body, of which we have no experience, we do not know of the activities of the spiritual body, and in ignorance we jump from one false platform to another. We act sometimes in relation to the gross body and sometimes in relation to the subtle body. If, by Krsna's grace, we act in our spiritual body, we can transcend both the gross and subtle bodies. In other words, we can gradually train ourselves to act in terms of the spiritual body. As stated in the Narada-pancaratra, hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate: devotional service means engaging the spiritual body and spiritual senses in the service of the Lord. When we are engaged in such activities, the actions and reactions of the gross and subtle bodies cease.
garbhe balye 'py apauskalyad
lingam na drsyate yunah
kuhvam candramaso yatha
garbhe--in the womb; balye--in boyhood; api--also; apauskalyat--because of immaturity; ekadasa--the ten senses and the mind; vidham--in the form of; tada--at that time; lingam--the subtle body or false ego; na--not; drsyate--is visible; yunah--of a youth; kuhvam--during the dark-moon night; candramasah--the moon; yatha--as.
When one is a youth, all the ten senses and the mind are completely visible. However, in the mother's womb or in the boyhood state, the sense organs and the mind remain covered, just as the full moon is covered by the darkness of the dark-moon night.
When a living entity is within the womb, his gross body, the ten sense organs and the mind are not fully developed. At such a time the objects of the senses do not disturb him. In a dream a young man may experience the presence of a young woman because at that time the senses are active. Because of undeveloped senses, a child or boy will not see a young woman in his dreams. The senses are active in youth even when one dreams, and although there may be no young woman present, the senses may act and there may be a seminal discharge (nocturnal emission). The activities of the subtle and gross bodies depend on how developed conditions are. The example of the moon is very appropriate. On a dark-moon night, the full shining moon is still present, but it appears not to be present due to conditions. Similarly, the senses of the living entity are there, but they only become active when the gross body and the subtle body are developed. Unless the senses of the gross body are developed, they will not act on the subtle body. Similarly, because of the absence of desires in the subtle body, there may be no development in the gross body.
arthe hy avidyamane 'pi
samsrtir na nivartate
dhyayato visayan asya
svapne 'narthagamo yatha
arthe--sense objects; hi--certainly; avidyamane--not being present; api--although; samsrtih--material existence; na--never; nivartate--ceases; dhyayatah--meditating; visayan--on sense objects; asya--of the living being; svapne--in dream; anartha--of unwanted things; agamah--appearance; yatha--as.
When the living entity dreams, the sense objects are not actually present. However, because one has associated with the sense objects, they become manifest. Similarly, the living entity with undeveloped senses does not cease to exist materially, even though he may not be exactly in contact with the sense objects.
It is sometimes said that because a child is innocent he is completely pure. Actually this is not the fact. The effects of fruitive activities reserved in the subtle body appear in three concurrent stages. One is called bija (the root), another is called kuta-stha (the desire), and another is called phalonmukha (about to fructify). The manifest stage is called prarabdha (already in action). In a conscious or unconscious state, the actions of the subtle or gross bodies may not be manifest, but such states cannot be called the liberated state. A child may be innocent, but this does not mean that he is a liberated soul. Everything is held in reservation, and everything will become manifest in due course of time. Even in the absence of certain manifestations in the subtle body, the objects of sense enjoyment may act. The example has been given of a nocturnal emission, in which the physical senses act even when the physical objects are not manifest. The three modes of material nature may not be manifest in the subtle body, but the contamination of the three modes remains conserved, and in due course of time, it becomes manifest. Even if the reactions of the subtle and gross bodies are not manifest, one does not become free from the material conditions. Therefore it is wrong to say that a child is as good as a liberated soul.
evam panca-vidham lingam
tri-vrt sodasa vistrtam
esa cetanaya yukto
jiva ity abhidhiyate
evam--thus; panca-vidham--the five sense objects; lingam--the subtle body; tri-vrt--influenced by the three modes; sodasa--sixteen; vistrtam--expanded; esah--this; cetanaya--with the living entity; yuktah--combined; jivah--the conditioned soul; iti--thus; abhidhiyate--is understood.
The five sense objects, the five sense organs, the five knowledge-acquiring senses and the mind are the sixteen material expansions. These combine with the living entity and are influenced by the three modes of material nature. Thus the existence of the conditioned soul is understood.
Lord Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (15.7):
"The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind."
Here it is also explained that the living entity comes in contact with the sixteen material elements and is influenced by the three modes of material nature. The living entity and this combination of elements combine to form what is called jiva-bhuta, the conditioned soul that struggles hard within material nature. The total material existence is first agitated by the three modes of material nature, and these become the living conditions of the living entity. Thus the subtle and gross bodies develop, and the ingredients are earth, water, fire, air, sky, and so on. According to Sri Madhvacarya, when consciousness, the living force in the heart, is agitated by the three modes of material nature, then the subtle body of the living entity, consisting of the mind, the sense objects, the five senses that acquire knowledge and the five senses for acting in the material condition, becomes possible.
anena puruso dehan
harsam sokam bhayam duhkham
sukham canena vindati
anena--by this process; purusah--the living entity; dehan--gross bodies; upadatte--achieves; vimuncati--gives up; harsam--enjoyment; sokam--lamentation; bhayam--fear; duhkham--unhappiness; sukham--happiness; ca--also; anena--by the gross body; vindati--enjoys.
By virtue of the processes of the subtle body, the living entity develops and gives up gross bodies. This is known as the transmigration of the soul. Thus the soul becomes subjected to different types of so-called enjoyment, lamentation, fear, happiness and unhappiness.
According to this explanation, one can clearly understand that originally the living entity was as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead in his pure, spiritual existence. However, when the mind becomes polluted by desires for sense gratification in the material world, the living entity drops into the material conditions, as explained in this verse. Thus he begins his material existence, which means that he transmigrates from one body to another and becomes more and more entangled in material existence. The process of Krsna consciousness, by which one always thinks of Krsna, is the transcendental process by which one can revert to his original, spiritual existence. Devotional service means always thinking of Krsna.
man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te
pratijane priyo 'si me
"Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend." (Bg. 18.65)
One should always engage in the Lord's devotional service. As recommended in the arcana-marga, one should worship the Deity in the temple and constantly offer obeisances to the spiritual master and the Deity. These processes are recommended to one who actually wants to become free from material entanglement. Modern psychologists can study the actions of the mind--thinking, feeling and willing--but they are unable to go deep into the matter. This is due to their lack of knowledge and to their not being associated with a liberated acarya.
As stated in Bhagavad-gita (4.2):
imam rajarsayo viduh
sa kaleneha mahata
yogo nastah parantapa
"This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost." Guided by so-called psychologists and philosophers, people in the modern age do not know of the activities of the subtle body and thus cannot understand what is meant by the transmigration of the soul. In these matters we have to take the authorized statements of Bhagavad-gita (2.13):
dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
dhiras tatra na muhyati
"As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change." Unless all human society understands this important verse in Bhagavad-gita, civilization will advance in ignorance, not in knowledge.
napayaty apayati ca
na tyajen mriyamano 'pi
yavad anyam na vindeta
mana eva manusyendra
yatha--as; trna-jaluka--caterpillar; iyam--this; na apayati --does not go; apayati--goes; ca--also; na--not; tyajet--gives up; mriyamanah--at the point of death; api--even; prak--former; deha--with the body; abhimatim--identification; janah--a person; yavat--so long as; anyam--another; na--not; vindeta--obtains; vyavadhanena--by the termination; karmanam--of fruitive activities; manah--the mind; eva--certainly; manusya-indra--O ruler of men; bhutanam--of all living entities; bhava--of material existence; bhavanam--the cause.
The caterpillar transports itself from one leaf to another by capturing one leaf before giving up the other. Similarly, according to his previous work, the living entity must capture another body before giving up the one he has. This is because the mind is the reservoir of all kinds of desires.
A living entity too much absorbed in material activity becomes very much attracted to the material body. Even at the point of death, he thinks of his present body and the relatives connected to it. Thus he remains fully absorbed in the bodily conception of life, so much so that even at the point of death he abhors leaving his present body. Sometimes it is found that a person on the verge of death remains in a coma for many days before giving up the body. This is common among so-called leaders and politicians who think that without their presence the entire country and all society will be in chaos. This is called maya. Political leaders do not like to leave their political posts, and they either have to be shot by an enemy or obliged to leave by the arrival of death. By superior arrangement a living entity is offered another body, but because of his attraction to the present body, he does not like to transfer himself to another body. Thus he is forced to accept another body by the laws of nature.
gunaih karmani sarvasah
kartaham iti manyate
"The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by nature." (Bg. 3.27)
Material nature is very strong, and the material modes force one to accept another body. This force is visible when the living entity transmigrates from a superior body to an inferior one. One who acts like a dog or hog in the present body will certainly be forced to accept the body of a dog or hog in the next life. A person may be enjoying the body of a prime minister or a president, but when he understands that he will be forced to accept the body of a dog or hog, he chooses not to leave the present body. Therefore he lies in a coma many days before death. This has been experienced by many politicians at the time of death. The conclusion is that the next body is already determined by superior control. The living entity immediately gives up the present body and enters another. Sometimes in the present body the living entity feels that many of his desires and imaginations are not fulfilled. Those who are overly attracted to their life situation are forced to remain in a ghostly body and are not allowed to accept another gross body. Even in the body of a ghost, they create disturbances for neighbors and relatives. The mind is the prime cause of such a situation. According to one's mind, different types of bodies are generated, and one is forced to accept them. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (8.6):
yam yam vapi smaran bhavam
tyajaty ante kalevaram
tam tam evaiti kaunteya
"Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail." Within one's body and mind, one can think as either a dog or a god, and the next life is offered to him accordingly. This is explained in Bhagavad-gita (13.22):
purusah prakrti-stho hi
bhunkte prakrtijan gunan
karanam guna-sango 'sya
"The living entity in material nature thus follows the ways of life, enjoying the three modes of nature. This is due to his association with that material nature. Thus he meets with good and evil among various species." The living entity may transmigrate to either a superior or inferior body according to his association with the modes of material nature. If he associates with the mode of ignorance, he gets the body of an animal or an inferior man, but if he associates with the mode of goodness or passion, he gets a body accordingly. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (14.18):
urdhvam gacchanti sattva-stha
madhye tisthanti rajasah
adho gacchanti tamasah
"Those situated in the mode of goodness gradually go upward to the higher planets; those in the mode of passion live on the earthly planets; and those in the mode of ignorance go down to the hellish worlds."
The root cause of one's association is the mind. This great Krsna consciousness movement is the greatest boon to human society because it is teaching everyone to think always of Krsna by executing devotional service. In this way, at the end of life, one may be transferred to the association of Krsna. This is technically called nitya-lila-pravista, entering into the planet Goloka Vrndavana. Bhagavad-gita (18.55) explains:
bhaktya mam abhijanati
yavan yas casmi tattvatah
tato mam tattvato jnatva
"One can understand the Supreme Personality as He is only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of the Supreme Lord by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God." After the mind is completely absorbed in Krsna consciousness, one can enter the planet known as Goloka Vrndavana. To enter the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one has to understand Krsna. The process of understanding Krsna is devotional service.
After understanding Krsna as He is, one can become eligible to enter Krsnaloka and associate with Him. The mind is the cause of such an exalted position. The mind can also get one a body like those of dogs and hogs. To absorb the mind always in Krsna consciousness is therefore the greatest perfection of human life.
yadaksais caritan dhyayan
karmany acinute 'sakrt
sati karmany avidyayam
bandhah karmany anatmanah
yada--when; aksaih--by the senses; caritan--pleasures enjoyed; dhyayan--thinking of; karmani--activities; acinute--performs; asakrt--always; sati karmani--when material affairs continue; avidyayam--under illusion; bandhah--bondage; karmani--in activity; anatmanah--of the material body.
As long as we desire to enjoy sense gratification, we create material activities. When the living entity acts in the material field, he enjoys the senses, and while enjoying the senses, he creates another series of material activities. In this way the living entity becomes entrapped as a conditioned soul.
While in the subtle body, we create many plans to enjoy sense gratification. These plans are recorded in the spool of one's mind as bija, the root of fruitive activities. In conditional life the living entity creates a series of bodies one after another, and this is called karma-bandhana. As explained in Bhagavad-gita (3.9), yajnarthat karmano 'nyatra loko 'yam-karma-bandhanah: if we act only for the satisfaction of Visnu, there is no bondage due to material activity, but if we act otherwise, we become entrapped by one material activity after another. Under these circumstances, it is to be supposed that by thinking, feeling and willing, we are creating a series of future material bodies. In the words of Bhaktivinoda Thakura, anadi karama-phale, padi' bhavarnava jale. The living entity falls into the ocean of karma-bandhana as a result of past material activities. Instead of plunging oneself into the ocean of material activity, one should accept material activity only to maintain body and soul together. The rest of one's time should be devoted to engaging in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. In this way one can attain relief from the reactions of material activity.
atas tad apavadartham
bhaja sarvatmana harim
pasyams tad-atmakam visvam
atah--therefore; tat--that; apavada-artham--to counteract; bhaja--engage in devotional service; sarva-atmana--with all your senses; harim--unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; pasyan--seeing; tat--of the Lord; atmakam--under the control; visvam--the cosmic manifestation; sthiti--maintenance; utpatti--creation; apyayah--and annihilation; yatah--from whom.
You should always know that this cosmic manifestation is created, maintained and annihilated by the will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Consequently, everything within this cosmic manifestation is under the control of the Lord. To be enlightened by this perfect knowledge, one should always engage himself in the devotional service of the Lord.
Self-realization, understanding oneself as Brahman, or spirit soul, is very difficult in the material condition. However, if we accept the devotional service of the Lord, the Lord will gradually reveal Himself. In this way the progressive devotee will gradually realize his spiritual position. We cannot see anything in the darkness of night, not even our own selves, but when there is sunshine we can see not only the sun but everything within the world as well. Lord Krsna explains in the Seventh Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita (7.1):
mayy asakta-manah partha
yogam yunjan mad-asrayah
asamsayam samagram mam
yatha jnasyasi tac chrnu
"Now hear, O son of Prtha [Arjuna], how by practicing yoga in full consciousness of Me, with mind attached to Me, you can know Me in full, free from doubt."
When we engage ourselves in the devotional service of the Lord to become Krsna conscious, we understand not only Krsna but everything related to Krsna. In other words, through Krsna consciousness we can understand not only Krsna and the cosmic manifestation but also our constitutional position. In Krsna consciousness we can understand that the entire material creation is created by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, maintained by Him, annihilated by Him and absorbed in Him. We are also part and parcel of the Lord. Everything is under the control of the Lord, and therefore our only duty is to surrender unto the Supreme and engage in His transcendental loving service.
narado hamsayor gatim
pradarsya hy amum amantrya
siddha-lokam tato 'gamat
maitreyah uvaca--Maitreya said; bhagavata--of the devotees; mukhyah--the chief; bhagavan--the most powerful; naradah--Narada Muni; hamsayoh--of the living entity and the Lord; gatim--constitutional position; pradarsya--having shown; hi--certainly; amum--him (the King); amantrya--after inviting; siddha-lokam--to Siddhaloka; tatah--thereafter; agamat--departed.
The great sage Maitreya continued: The supreme devotee, the great saint Narada, thus explained to King Pracinabarhi the constitutional position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the living entity. After giving an invitation to the King, Narada Muni left to return to Siddhaloka.
Siddhaloka and Brahmaloka are both within the same planetary system. Brahmaloka is understood to be the highest planet within this universe. Siddhaloka is considered to be one of the satellites of Brahmaloka. The inhabitants of Siddhaloka have all the powers of yogic mysticism. From this verse it appears that the great sage Narada is an inhabitant of Siddhaloka, although he travels to all the planetary systems. All the residents of Siddhaloka are spacemen, and they can travel in space without mechanical help. The residents of Siddhaloka can go from one planet to another individually by virtue of their yogic perfection. After giving instructions to the great King Pracinabarhi, Narada Muni departed and also invited him to Siddhaloka.
adisya putran agamat
pracinabarhih--King Pracinabarhi; raja-rsih--the saintly King; praja-sarga--the mass of citizens; abhiraksane--to protect; adisya--after ordering; putran--his sons; agamat--departed; tapase--for undergoing austerities; kapila-asramam--to the holy place known as Kapilasrama.
In the presence of his ministers, the saintly King Pracinabarhi left orders for his sons to protect the citizens. He then left home and went off to undergo austerities in a holy place known as Kapilasrama.
The word praja-sarga is very important in this verse. When the saintly King Pracinabarhi was induced by the great sage Narada to leave home and take to the devotional service of the Lord, his sons had not yet returned from their austerities in the water. However, he did not wait for their return but simply left messages to the effect that his sons were to protect the mass of citizens. According to Viraraghava Acarya, such protection means organizing the citizens into the specific divisions of the four varnas and four asramas. It was the responsibility of the royal order to see that the citizens were following the regulative principles of the four varnas (namely brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya and sudra) and the asramas (namely brahmacarya, grhastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa). It is very difficult to rule citizens in a kingdom without organizing this varnasrama-dharma. To rule the mass of citizens in a state and keep them in a complete progressive order is not possible simply by passing laws every year in a legislative assembly. The varnasrama-dharma is essential in a good government. One class of men (the brahmanas) must be intelligent and brahminically qualified, another class must be trained in administrative work (ksatriya), another in mercantile business (vaisya) and another simply in labor (sudra). These four classes of men are already there according to nature, but it is the government's duty to see that all four of these classes follow the principles of their varnas methodically. This is called abhiraksana, or protection.
It is significant that when Maharaja Pracinabarhi was convinced of the goal of life through the instructions of Narada, he did not wait even a moment to see his sons return, but left immediately. There were many things to be done upon the return of his sons, but he simply left them a message. He knew what his prime duty was. He simply left instructions for his sons and went off for the purpose of spiritual advancement. This is the system of Vedic civilization.
Sridhara Svami informs us that Kapilasrama is located at the confluence of the Ganges and the Bay of Bengal, a place known now as Ganga-sagara. This place is still famous as a place of pilgrimage, and many millions of people gather there every year on the day of Makara-sankranti and take bath. It is called Kapilasrama because of Lord Kapila's living there to perform His austerities and penances. Lord Kapila propounded the Sankhya system of philosophy.
bhaktya tat-samyatam agat
tatra--there; eka-agra-manah--with full attention; dhirah--sober; govinda--of Krsna; carana-ambujam--unto the lotus feet; vimukta--freed from; sangah--material association; anubhajan--continuously engaging in devotional service; bhaktya--by pure devotion; tat--with the Lord; samyatam--qualitative equality; agat--achieved.
Having undergone austerities and penances at Kapilasrama, King Pracinabarhi attained full liberation from all material designations. He constantly engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord and attained a spiritual position qualitatively equal to that of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
There is special significance in the words tat-samyatam agat. The King attained the position of possessing the same status or the same form as that of the Lord. This definitely proves that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is always a person. In His impersonal feature, He is the rays of His transcendental body. When a living entity attains spiritual perfection, he also attains the same type of body, known as sac-cid-ananda-vigraha. This spiritual body never mixes with the material elements. Although in conditional life the living entity is surrounded by material elements (earth, water, fire, air, sky, mind, intelligence and ego), he remains always aloof from them. In other words, the living entity can be liberated from the material condition at any moment, provided that he wishes to do so. The material environment is called maya. According to Krsna:
daivi hy esa guna-mayi
mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante
mayam etam taranti te
"This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it." (Bg. 7.14)
As soon as the living entity engages in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, he immediately attains freedom from all material conditions (sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate). In the material state the living entity is on the jiva-bhuta platform, but when he renders devotional service to the Lord, he is elevated to the brahma-bhuta platform. On the brahma-bhuta platform the living entity is liberated from material bondage, and he engages in the service of the Lord. In this verse the word dhira is sometimes read as vira. Actually there is not very much difference. The word dhira means "sober," and vira means "hero." One who is struggling against maya is a hero, and one who is sober enough to understand his position is a dhira. Without becoming sober or heroic, one cannot attain spiritual salvation.
yah sravayed yah srnuyat
sa lingena vimucyate
etat--this; adhyatma--spiritual; paroksyam--authorized description; gitam--narrated; deva-rsina--by the great sage Narada; anagha--O spotless Vidura; yah--anyone who; sravayet--may describe; yah--anyone who; srnuyat--may hear; sah--he; lingena--from the bodily concept of life; vimucyate--becomes delivered.
My dear Vidura, one who hears this narration concerning the understanding of the living entity's spiritual existence, as described by the great sage Narada, or who relates it to others, will be liberated from the bodily conception of life.
This material creation is the spirit soul's dream. Actually all existence in the material world is a dream of Maha-Visnu, as the Brahma-samhita describes:
yah karanarnava-jale bhajati sma yoga-
This material world is created by the dreaming of Maha-Visnu. The real, factual platform is the spiritual world, but when the spirit soul wants to imitate the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is put into this dreamland of material creation. After being in contact with the material modes of nature, the living entity develops the subtle and gross bodies. When the living entity is fortunate enough to associate with Sri Narada Mahamuni or his servants, he is liberated from this dreamland of material creation and the bodily conception of life.
etan mukunda-yasasa bhuvanam punanam
yah kirtyamanam adhigacchati paramesthyam
nasmin bhave bhramati mukta-samasta-bandhah
etat--this narration; mukunda-yasasa--with the fame of Lord Krsna; bhuvanam--this material world; punanam--sanctifying; deva-rsi--of the great sages; varya--of the chief; mukha--from the mouth; nihsrtam--uttered; atma-saucam--purifying the heart; yah--anyone who; kirtyamanam--being chanted; adhigacchati--goes back; paramesthyam--to the spiritual world; na--never; asmin--in this; bhave--material world; bhramati--wanders; mukta--being liberated; samasta--from all; bandhah--bondage.
This narration spoken by the great sage Narada is full of the transcendental fame of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Consequently this narration, when described, certainly sanctifies this material world. It purifies the heart of the living entity and helps him attain his spiritual identity. One who relates this transcendental narration will be liberated from all material bondage and will no longer have to wander within this material world.
As indicated in verse 79, Narada Muni advised King Pracinabarhi to take to devotional service rather than waste time performing ritualistic ceremonies and fruitive activities. The vivid descriptions of the subtle and gross bodies in this chapter are most scientific, and because they are given by the great sage Narada, they are authoritative. Because these narrations are full of the glory of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they constitute the most effective process for the purification of the mind. As Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu confirmed: ceto-darpana-marjanam. The more we talk of Krsna, think of Krsna and preach for Krsna, the more we become purified. This means we no longer have to accept a hallucinatory gross and subtle body, but instead attain our spiritual identity. One who tries to understand this instructive spiritual knowledge is delivered from this ocean of nescience. The word paramesthyam is very significant in this connection. Paramesthyam is also called Brahmaloka; it is the planet on which Lord Brahma lives. The inhabitants of Brahmaloka always discuss such narrations so that after the annihilation of the material world, they can be directly transferred to the spiritual world. One who is transferred to the spiritual world does not have to go up and down within this material world. Sometimes spiritual activities are also called paramesthyam.
evam striyasramah pumsas
chinno 'mutra ca samsayah
adhyatma--spiritual; paroksyam--described by authority; idam--this; maya--by me; adhigatam--heard; adbhutam--wonderful; evam--thus; striya--with a wife; asramah--shelter; pumsah--of the living entity; chinnah--finished; amutra--about life after death; ca--also; samsayah--doubt.
The allegory of King Puranjana, described herein according to authority, was heard by me from my spiritual master, and it is full of spiritual knowledge. If one can understand the purpose of this allegory, he will certainly be relieved from the bodily conception and will clearly understand life after death. Although one may not understand what transmigration of the soul actually is, one can fully understand it by studying this narration.
The word striya, meaning "along with the wife," is significant. The male and female living together constitute the sum and substance of material existence. The attraction between male and female in this material world is very strong. In all species of life the attraction between male and female is the basic principle of existence. The same principle of intermingling is also in human society, but is in a regulative form. Material existence means living together as male and female and being attracted by one another. However, when one fully understands spiritual life, his attraction for the opposite sex is completely vanquished. By such attraction, one becomes overly attached to this material world. It is a hard knot within the heart.
pumsah striya mithuni-bhavam etam
tayor mitho hrdaya-granthim ahuh
janasya moho 'yam aham mameti
Everyone comes to this material world attracted to sense gratification, and the hard knot of sense gratification is the attraction between male and female. By this attraction, one becomes overly attached to the material world in terms of grha-ksetra-suta-apta-vitta--that is, home, land, children, friends, money and so forth. Thus one becomes entangled in the bodily conception of "I" and "mine." However, if one understands the story of King Puranjana and understands how, by sexual attraction, Puranjana became a female in his next life, one will also understand the process of transmigration.
SPECIAL NOTE: According to Vijayadhvaja Tirtha, who belongs to the Madhvacarya-sampradaya, the first two of the following verses appear after verse 45 of this chapter, and the remaining two verses appear after verse 79.
sarvesam eva jantunam
asti prajna samayatta
ko visesas tada nrnam
jivatma sa visisyate
sarvesam--all; eva--certainly; jantunam--of animals; satatam--always; deha-posane--to maintain the body; asti--there is; prajna--intelligence; samayatta--resting on; kah--what; visesah--difference; tada--then; nrnam--of the human beings; labdhva--having attained; iha--here; ante--at the end of many births; manusyatvam--a human life; hitva--after giving up; deha-adi--in the gross and subtle body; asat-graham--an incorrect conception of life; atma--of spiritual knowledge; srtya--by the path; vihaya--having abandoned; idam--this body; jiva-atma--the individual spirit soul; sah--that; visisyate--becomes prominent.
A desire to maintain body, wife and children is also observed in animal society. The animals have full intelligence to manage such affairs. If a human being is simply advanced in this respect, what is the difference between him and an animal? One should be very careful to understand that this human life is attained after many, many births in the evolutionary process. A learned man who gives up the bodily conception of life, both gross and subtle, will, by the enlightenment of spiritual knowledge, become a prominent individual spirit soul, as the Supreme Lord is also.
It is said that man is a rational animal, but from this verse we can also understand that rationality exists even in animal life. Unless there is rationality, how can an animal maintain its body by working so hard? That the animals are not rational is untrue; their rationality, however, is not very advanced. In any case, we cannot deny them rationality. The point is that one should use one's reason to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for that is the perfection of human life.
bhaktih krsne daya jivesv
yadi syad atmano bhuyad
apavargas tu samsrteh
bhaktih--devotional service; krsne--unto Krsna; daya--mercy; jivesu--unto other living entities; akuntha-jnanam--perfect knowledge; atmani--of the self; yadi--if; syat--it becomes; atmanah--of one's self; bhuyat--there must be; apavargah--liberation; tu--then; samsrteh--from the bondage of material life.
If a living entity is developed in Krsna consciousness and is merciful to others, and if his spiritual knowledge of self-realization is perfect, he will immediately attain liberation from the bondage of material existence.
In this verse the words daya jivesu, meaning "mercy to other living entities," indicate that a living entity must be merciful to other living entities if he wishes to make progress in self-realization. This means he must preach this knowledge after perfecting himself and understanding his own position as an eternal servant of Krsna. Preaching this is showing real mercy to living entities. Other types of humanitarian work may be temporarily beneficial for the body, but because a living entity is spirit soul, ultimately one can show him real mercy only by revealing knowledge of his spiritual existence. As Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, jivera 'svarupa' haya--krsnera 'nitya-dasa': "Every living entity is constitutionally a servant of Krsna." One should know this fact perfectly and should preach it to the mass of people. If one realizes that he is an eternal servant of Krsna but does not preach it, his realization is imperfect. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura therefore sings, dusta mana, tumi kisera vaisnava? pratisthara tare, nirjanera ghare, tava hari-nama kevala kaitava: "My dear mind, what kind of Vaisnava are you? Simply for false prestige and a material reputation you are chanting the Hare Krsna mantra in a solitary place." In this way people who do not preach are criticized. There are many Vaisnavas in Vrndavana who do not like preaching; they chiefly try to imitate Haridasa Thakura. The actual result of their so-called chanting in a secluded place, however, is that they sleep and think of women and money. Similarly, one who simply engages in temple worship but does not see to the interests of the mass of people or cannot recognize devotees is called a kanistha-adhikari:
arcayam eva haraye
pujam yah sraddhayehate
na tad-bhaktesu canyesu
sa bhaktah prakrtah smrtah
adrstam drstavan nanksed
bhutam svapnavad anyatha
bhutam bhavad bhavisyac ca
adrstam--future happiness; drsta-vat--like direct experience; nankset--becomes vanquished; bhutam--the material existence; svapnavat--like a dream; anyatha--otherwise; bhutam--which happened in the past; bhavat--present; bhavisyat--future; ca--also; suptam--a dream; sarva--of all; rahah-rahah--the secret conclusion.
Everything happening within time, which consists of past, present and future, is merely a dream. That is the secret understanding in all Vedic literature.
Factually all of material existence is only a dream. Thus there is no question of past, present or future. Persons who are addicted to karma-kanda-vicara, which means "working for future happiness through fruitive activities," are also dreaming. Similarly, past happiness and present happiness are merely dreams. The actual reality is Krsna and service to Krsna, which can save us from the clutches of maya, for the Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (7.14), mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te: "Those who surrender unto Me can easily cross beyond My illusory energy."
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Fourth Canto, Twenty-ninth Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "Talks Between Narada and King Pracinabarhi."