Kali-yuga -- Disagree with Guru

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.16.36 [Tokyo, January 30, 1974]

by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Listen to audio lecture [.mp3 9.3 MBs]

Prabhupada: So there are others coming? Eh? Where is Sanjaya? Class, not always everyone attends?

Devotee (1): It's usually everyone.

Prabhupada: Eh?

Devotee (1): Everyone.

Devotee (2): Gopala Swami is the only one.

Prabhupada: Eh?

Devotee (2): Just Gopala Swami is not here.

Prabhupada: Not here? Why? Where he is?

Devotee (2): He's straightening your room.

Prabhupada: Eh?

Devotee (2): He's cleaning your room.

Prabhupada: And our panditaji swami? Where is he?

Devotee (3): Probably with him.

Prabhupada: Eh?

Devotee (3): I don't know where he is.

Prabhupada: Call him.

Devotee (3): You were on verse 36, Chapter Sixteen.

Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)

tayor evam kathayatoh
prthivi-dharmayos tada
pariksin nama rajarsih
praptah pracim sarasvatim

Translation: "While the earth and the personality of religion were thus engaged in conversation, the saintly king Maharaja Pariksit reached the shore of the Sarasvati River, which flowed towards the east."

Prabhupada: So we are discussing the conversation between mother earth and Dharmaraja. The subject matter was that the earthly planet was very much morose on account of arrival of Kali-yuga. (baby fussing) (aside:) It will be disturbing.

Devotee (4): Disturbance? (mother and baby leave)

Prabhupada: So we have discussed the symptoms of Kali-yuga, this age called Kali-yuga. As there are seasonal changes, similarly, in the duration of this material existence, there are seasonal changes. That everyone has got experience. There is summer, there is winter, there is fall, there is spring. So generally the seasonal changes are accepted as Satya-yuga, Treta-yuga, Dvapara-yuga and Kali-yuga. Just like in each year we have got different seasons, changes, similarly, each millennium there are so many changes of Kali-yuga, Dvapara-yuga, Satya-yuga.

So Satya-yuga means the age of truthfulness. Satya means truthfulness. And Kali-yuga means the age of disagreement, the age of disagreement. So at the present moment we are in the Kali-yuga. Everyone disagrees with the other. Even the so-called disciple also disagrees with the spiritual master. This is the influence of Kali-yuga. One becomes disciple of a spiritual master, then he whimsically disagrees. So why, if you disagree, why should you accept somebody as spiritual master? That is not very good. That is the way of not being successful. We are chanting every day that yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah . By satisfying the spiritual master, one can satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yasya prasadat, "by the satisfaction of the spiritual master." Samsara-davanala-lidha-loka-tranaya karunya-ghanaghanatvam . One of the symptom is this, that spiritual master is so bona fide. Before accepting somebody as spiritual master you must know about his bona fides. That time is allowed. It is said in the sastra that if you like to accept somebody as spiritual master, you should associate with him at least for one year, see how things are going. If you follow of course others, that is also good. But personally, it is advised that you just remain with the proposed spiritual master for at least one year, so that the spiritual master is also given chance to study you, whether you are acceptable. This is the process.

But when one leaves a spiritual master, the spiritual master, there may be some reason. That reason is also given in the sastra, gurur api avaliptasya karyakaryam ajanatah(?). Karya akarya. If the spiritual master does not know what is actually to be done, what is actually not to be done, and he acts against the rules and regulations of the sastra, then such spiritual master may be given up. But so long you do not find the spiritual master is doing against the principles of sastra or guru, then if you give up the company of spiritual master, that is not good for you. That is your downfall. First of all, you must take sufficient time to study the movements of a spiritual master. Spiritual master is one -- the spiritual master. Because there may be many spiritual master, but if their business is one -- to satisfy Krsna -- although they're many, they're one. Although they're many, they are still one. The principle is one: to satisfy Krsna. Such is the position of spiritual master, that yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah: if you try to please your spiritual master, then God, Krsna, becomes pleased. That is natural.

So in the Kali-yuga why there should be... In Kali-yuga even with the spiritual master there is disagreement. That is due to influence of Kali. That is my point. So this influence of Kali-yuga has been discussed in so many pages in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Last it was discussed that the good qualification of Kali, of human being... Human being, I am speaking, because amongst the living entities, human being is considered to be the highest. So the mother earth was lamenting that people have lost their good qualification. They cannot be lost, but it is, by the influence of Kali-yuga, it is now covered. Satyam, saucam, daya, that twenty-six nice qualifications. We have discussed all these things. Here (reads):

satyam saucam daya ksantis
tyagah santosa arjavam
samo damas tapah samyam
titiksoparatih srutam

jnanam viraktir aisvaryam
sauryam tejo balam smrtih
svatantryam kausalam kantir
dhairyam mardavam eva ca

So, on account of this Kali-yuga, the good qualification of human society will be lost. Thinking this future of the present age, Mother Earth was lamenting and talking with Dharmaraja. At that time Maharaja Yudhisthira, er, Maharaja Pariksit arrived on that spot. This is the verse.

Tayor evam kathayatoh: while the Dharmaraja and the earthly planet was talking between themselves, prthivi... Prthivi. Tayor evam kathayatoh, prthivi, the earthly planet and dharmayos tada. Tada: "that time," pariksin nama rajarsih. Pariksin nama rajarsih. There were many rajarsis. Rajarsi means although they're occupying the royal position... Raja. Raja and praja. Raja means king or the ruler. Here is also regulative principle. Why a king is accepted? Why a governor is accepted? Why a president is...? Even in this day of democracy -- we have abolished the system of monarchy -- but still, they select somebody to become a monarch, a king, or to occupy the post of the king. That is called president. Why? Because unless there is one head, or on the head of the government, who can actually control... Control means whether citizens are following, executing the rules and regulation, the law of the state. Therefore a certain man, qualified man, who is, who enjoys the confidence of the people, he is accepted as the king. This is the position. So such president, king, or the executive head, must be a saintly person. Therefore here it is said, pariksin nama rajarsih. Rajarsi means those who are on the top of the government, he must be rsi, saintly person. Just like this, our Krsna consciousness movement, the head of the institution must be a saintly person. Otherwise how he can become a controller? Controller there must be. That what is the qualification of the controller? He must be a saintly person. He must know what is the principle of life, what is the value of life, why one should be controlled by somebody else. These things are required to become qualified.

So Maharaja Pariksit, pariksin nama rajarsih. In those days all the kings were like saintly person. They are not ordinary person. Why saintly person required? Because saintly person means he knows what is actually good and what is not good. The actually good of human life is that he's engaged in developing devotional service. That is actually good. In another place of this Srimad-Bhagavatam it is stated, sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje [SB 1.2.6]. Paro dharmah. Para means superior, transcendental, or which is para and apara. Para and apara. These words are used. Para means greater and apara means lower, and para means superior and apara means inferior. Here it is spoken, "There are many types of religious systems, but they are apara, not very good, inferior, inferior type." Religion cannot be inferior, but it is sometimes made into inferiority because without such kind inferior type of religion, the inferior class of men will not accept it, will not accept it.

Just like in religious system, in any religious system, the killing of animal there is. In every religious system, there is. But why there is this killing of a living entity? It is not good. But why in the religious system there is permission for killing animal? So that is explained. The explanation is, that a person who is a staunch meat-eater, he cannot give up meat-eating, so... At the same time he wants to be religious. This is the position. For such person it is enjoined, just like in Vedic system, "All right, if you want to eat meat, at the same time you want to become religious, then you worship Goddess Kali. You cannot worship Visnu." Because he's a meat-eater he cannot approach pavitram paramam bhavan. The Supreme Personality is the supreme pure. So this meat-eater is impure. He cannot approach the pure. That is not possible. Therefore he is advised to approach some agent of the pure, some sakti, or just like Goddess Kali. Goddess Kali is the sakti or the agent, potency. She has got also business: to cut the heads of the demons. You have seen the Goddess Kali's picture, munda-mala. She's garlanded with the heads of the demons. Have you seen? Any one of you?

Devotee (3): I have seen kali-puja.

Prabhupada: Yes. But her business is to cut off the heads of the demons. She is carrying one head in this hand, and in this hand she's carrying a chopper, and her business is to cut the heads of the demons. But she's also the agent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. How she's agent? Because God has got two business: paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam [Bg. 4.8]. Duskrtino mudhah, naradhamah, mayayapahrta-jnana asuram bhavam asritah. For them the goddess Kali is engaged to cut their heads, kill them. That is also Krsna's agent. Vinasaya ca duskrtam, they have to be finished. But, by finishing them, they are also elevated. Finishing means finishing their sinful activities, finishing their sinful activ... Just like... It is very easy to understand. Just like a person who has committed murder, the state law is, "Finish him, otherwise he will commit another murder." If he's encouraged... Therefore, by finishing him, there are two purposes. One purpose is served that because he has done something very grievous sinful activity, by sacrificing his own life, he becomes relieved from the sinful reaction. That is the law in the Manu-samhita. I have not manufactured. The murderer is condemned to death just to save him from many following resultant actions of sinful activities. If in this life, he gives his life, "Life for life," then he's safe. In the next life, he takes his birth clean, not suffering any more on account of the sinful activities. This is the statement in Manu-samhita. Another instruction is that if this murderer is killed, then he will be saved from committing again murder.

So the vinasaya ca duskrtam, when a demon is killed then he's saved, the people are saved, and everything is good. But people cannot understand that "Why God is killing the demons and giving protection to the devotees?" God is equal to everyone. Krsna says, samo 'ham sarva-bhutesu na me dvesyo 'sti na priyah. Krsna says that "I am equal to everyone." If God is not equal to everyone, then how He can be God? He is God who is equal. Na me dvesyo 'sti na priyah. So when God is killing somebody, and God is patting something, somebody, that does not mean He has got two equal behavior for two persons. No. His behavior is the same: affection. But to kill this demon means to stop him from further sinful activities and get him..., give him release from the sinful activities he has done. Therefore it is His mercy. But one has to study very carefully. Because God is absolute, there is no difference between His activities with the demon and giving protection to a devotee. He is giving protection to the demon also, by killing him. But one cannot understand.

So in this Kali-yuga, rajarsi, this rajarsi... Rajarsi, he's saintly person. Now, we'll find this Pariksit Maharaja, as soon as he'll find this one demon is trying to kill another cow, he immediately took his sword. If he's a rsi, one may inquire that "If he's a saintly person, how is that he's going to kill another person?" So killing is not always bad. But it is not to be judged by you. It is to be judged by the same saintly person: when killing is required, when not killing is required. So that is the qualification of the ksatriya. Ksatriya means one who gives protection. Just like when there is attack in a country, the king or the president gives protection to the citizens by killing the enemies. So his business is to give protection to the citizens. So it may be sometimes by killing others, he gives protection. We have discussed many times the violence and nonviolence. Non... These are contradictory terms, but when these two contradictory things are found in saintly persons, we must know they are all the same, absolute. And what to speak of when these actions are found in Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the absolute nature. Absolute, to understand the absolute nature means two plus two equal two, one plus one equal to one, and one minus one equal to one. This is absolute understanding. Purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavasisyate. Purnasya purnam adaya. One is complete number, purnam. Purnasya purnam adaya. And if you take away complete one, still it is one. This is absolute understanding. It is not that one has been taken away from one; therefore it has become zero. No. That is material. That is relative.

So pariksin nama rajarsih praptah pracim sarasvatim. In India, all the rivers, they're coming from the Himalaya, western side, and flowing toward the eastern side, going to the Bay of Bengal. So pracim, flowing to the eastern side, Sarasvati... This is also one of the famous rivers. There are many rivers in India. Especially there is sacred rivers -- Ganges, Yamuna, Sarasvati, Godavari, Kaveri, Krsna, Narmada, like that. Each river is considered very sacred. So it is understood that Pariksit Maharaja met the Dharmaraja and the earthly planet, talking together on the bank of the river Sarasvati.

That's all right. Thank you very much. (devotees pay obeisances) Any questions?

Devotee (1): Is Dharmaraja King Yudhisthira?

Prabhupada: That King Yudhisthira is the son of Dharmaraja. He is the son. Maharaja Yudhisthira was begotten by Dharmaraja.

Devotee (1): Vidura was also the...

Prabhupada: No, Vidura was begotten by Vyasadeva.

Devotee (1): He was also Dharmaraja?

Prabhupada: No, he was not Dharmaraja. Oh, yes, yes, you are right. He was Dharmaraja.

Devotee (1): Yamaraja.

Prabhupada: Yamaraja, yes. By the cursing of some great rsi, he became a sudra. Yes. I thought that you were asking whether Vidura was begotten by Dharmaraja. No. He's Dharmaraja. Any question? What is the name of that boy?

Devotee (1): Sanjaya.

Prabhupada: Dhananjaya?

Devotee (1): Sanjaya.

Prabhupada: Sanjaya?

Devotee (1): Yes.

Prabhupada: Who has given you this name?

Sanjaya: You have, Srila Prabhupada.

Prabhupada: Sanjaya uvaca. (laughter) Sanjaya...

Sanjaya: Having heard your wondrous dialogue, Srila Prabhupada, my hair is standing on end.

Prabhupada: What is that?

Sanjaya: Having heard your holy dialogue, Srila Prabhupada, my hair is standing on end, like Sanjaya says in the Gita.

Prabhupada: What is that special...? Which portion?

Sanjaya: This is the last slokas of Bhagavad-gita, when the...

Devotee (1): He's relating the conversation to Dhrtarastra, the final conclusion of Bhagavad-gita, saying, "After hearing this holy dialogue, my hair is standing on end."

Prabhupada: Oh.

Devotee (1): In Bhagavad-gita.

Prabhupada: Ha, ha. You want to know about something, about that verse?

Sanjaya: No, I just stated that...

Prabhupada: Oh.

Sanjaya: ...after hearing your lecture, Srila Prabhupada.

Prabhupada: Every instruction is like that. We should follow the instruction, and if you cannot understand, then consult the spiritual master. Not to give up this association of the spiritual master and interpret in your own way. That is rascaldom. Don't do that. It is said in the Bhagavad-gita,

tad viddhi pranipatena
pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam
jnaninas tattva-darsinah

[Bg. 4.34]
If there is any doubt in understanding the Vedic literature, then you try to understand from the person who knows it, tattva-darsi, who has seen actually the truth. Upadeksyanti te jnanam jnaninas tattva-darsinah. One who has actually seen the truth. And, how to approach him? Tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena. By surrendering, by giving service, and questioning. Question must be preceded and followed by..., preceded by surrender, and followed by service. In the middle, there may be question. Therefore, yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah , we have to please the spiritual master by service and surrender, and then it will be very nice position. If the spiritual master sees that the disciple is a surrendered soul, and he's rendering service to his best capacity, then the answer will be very liberal and convincing, and he will be very glad to answer the question, if it is supported by these two things: surrender, and pariprasnena, and sevaya. Tad viddhi pranipatena [Bg. 4.34]. The first beginning is pranipata. And what is this, that I give up the company of my spiritual master and I invent my own ways of life and own interpretation? That will not help. That will not...

Devotee (3): The war on the battlefield of Kuruksetra, that lasted for a period of eighteen days?

Prabhupada: Yes.

Devotee (3): And that happened five thousand years ago when Krsna was on earth. Is that happening now in some other material universe, the same battle?

Prabhupada: Yes.

Devotee (3): Can we enter into that, or see that?

Prabhupada: Yes, if you go there.

Devotee (3): We have to... We leave the universe. But then we are associating directly with Krsna and Arjuna?

Prabhupada: Yes. You can associate with Krsna and Arjuna every twenty-four hours, by reading Bhagavad-gita. Why you require to go there? It is already here. You see. You read the Bhagavad-gita, and you are immediately in the battlefield of Kuruksetra. His is instructing. That was the instruction. Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted. You know that story? Illiterate brahmana was reading Bhagavad-gita. So he did not know; he was not literary. But because his spiritual master..., he has so staunch faith in the spiritual master... Just see. His spiritual master said that "You read, daily, eighteen chapters of Bhagavad-gita." Spiritual master knew that he was illiterate, but still he asked him, "You read, eighteen chapters, there will be..." So what can he do? The spiritual master has ordered. So he was simply making a show of reading, "uh-uh-uh," like this. So this other friends were criticizing, "Oh, Mr. Such-and-such, how you are reading Bhagavad-gita?" He knows that this man... His friend is criticizing him, so he did not answer. But when Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked him, "My dear brahmana, what you are reading?" He knew that this gentleman, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, was really inquisitive, so he explained the whole thing, that "I am trying to read Bhagavad-gita, but I am illiterate. My Guru Maharaja ordered me to read; therefore I am reading. But actually I cannot read." So frankly he admits. This is staunch faith in spiritual master. He knew, his spiritual master knew that he is illiterate, and he knew also that "I cannot read Bhagavad-gita." But still he was trying to read because his spiritual master has said. This is called staunch. Yasya prasadat. "He has said. I have to satisfy him. I am incompetent -- I cannot read -- but he has said, therefore I must do it." This is called yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah .

So practical example... Just like this Krsna consciousness movement, and I have simply be (indistinct) human being, "What can I do?" But I tried my best, because my spiritual master said that "You go and try to preach in English." So I tried my best, that's all. I have no qualification. So this is very nice point, yasya prasadat. We have to try our best to... I may not be able to do that, but that endeavor will be appreciated by Krsna and the spiritual master. That is required. I may be most incompetent. Everyone is incompetent. Who can satisfy Krsna, this unlimited? But simply what Krsna says, if we do, that will satisfy Him. Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. The guidance is, the spiritual master, he orders that man-manah, "Always think of Me," bhava mad-bhaktah, "just become My devotee, worship Me, and offer your obeisances unto Me." And here is the Deity. So that is our business. Think of always, "Here is Radha and Krsna, here is Jagannatha, here is Lord Caitanya." What is the difficulty? In the temple we get direct contact, and if I go out from the temple and lie down on the station, is that very good, do you think? (laughter) Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah. So will it help me to think of Him twenty-four hours by going to the railway station or in the temple? This is common sense. Any sensible man can understand that "Here is Krsna, here is Radharani, worship is going on, the devotees are offering prasadam, always they are constantly engaged -- that is man-mana bhaktah." Or "I give up the association of the devotees and temple and go to hell, that will help me?" This is common sense thing. I manufacture my own way by the advice of some, another rascal. This will not be good. This, this is very good, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. "Always think of Me." Here is the chance. As soon as I see... As I advance in my spiritual life, I'll see, "Here is Krsna." It is not the doll Krsna. Doll Krsna is for the kanistha-adhikari. But one who is advanced, he sees Krsna. Just like you have read the story of, in Caitanya-caritamrta, two brahmanas went to Vrndavana. So the devotee is seeing, "Here is Krsna." When the older brahmana said that "I promise," the younger said, "Sir, you are talking before Krsna. If you regret from this promise, it will be great offense." Because he was seeing Krsna. And when he was asked, "Who was your witness?" he said, "Krsna is witness." And his eldest son took the opportunity, "All right, if your Krsna comes and gives witness, then my sister will be married with you." Because he is atheist. He was thinking, "Krsna is not coming. Krsna is not coming. It is made of marble statue, how Krsna will come?" So he thought that "I have given him some chance which he will never be fulfilled." But to fulfill the words of the devotee, Krsna came. Therefore He is called Saksi-Gopala, witness Gopala. So we must have faith. We must have faith and discharge duties according to the sastra, guru, sadhu, then our spiritual life is guaranteed. If we manufacture something out of whims, that will not help us. This is the point.

Devotee (3): Srila Prabhupada, in Srimad-Bhagavatam it's stated that the Supersoul is measured from the end of the thumb to the end of the ring finger, how does this change take place in the different sizes of species of living entities in this material creation?

Prabhupada: He can become the smaller than the smallest, the higher than..., the bigger than the biggest. That is Krsna's power. (devotees pay obeisances) So, you can go?