19800511 Srimad.Bhagavatam.1.5.21 Sunday Feast - Vedic Culture vs Modern Civilization

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.5.21

tvam ātmanātmānam avehy amogha-dṛk
parasya puṁsaḥ paramātmanaḥ kalām
ajaṁ prajātaṁ jagataḥ śivāya tan
mahānubhāvābhyudayo ’dhigaṇyatām


I have the very same Gāṇḍīva bow, the same arrows, the same chariot drawn by the same horses, and I use them as the same Arjuna to whom all the kings offered their due respects. But in the absence of Lord Kṛṣṇa, all of them, at a moment’s notice, have become null and void. It is exactly like offering clarified butter on ashes, accumulating money with a magic wand or sowing seeds on barren land.

Link to the purport : http://vedabase.com/en/sb/1/15/21

Gurumaharaja's Elaboration

Here we see Arjuna, was the great warrior in Kurukshetra yuddha and he defeated so many maharathis. He was assigned by Lord Sri Krishna to guard the queens but Krishna’s dootha, Vishnudootha came disguised as Gandharva and when they came to take away the queens, Arjuna’s weapons were powerless. Arjuna’s weapons were powerless. In the same way, we should understand that everyone’s power is derived from the Supreme Lord.

Here in the west, we see that there are so many machines, and these machines have made a vast development. But with only machines, is it possible to be happy? Simply by machines is it possible? That simply with machines, one is not possible to be happy. We cannot eats nuts and the bolts.

In this regard, Srila Prabhupad, our Founder Acarya, he used to criticize the western disciples. That you westerners, you are simply attached to machines. You cannot go to sleep without smelling a machine at night. (devotees laugh). That if you have some telephone or some machine, then you can get to sleep, otherwise not. And he told the story about one jila, one fisherman, in India. That in previous times, the grihasthas, they were habituated to asking if anyone was hungry. And so, one grihastha, he went outside and he looked to see if anyone was hungry and he called. He saw one fisherman. He asked him, have you taken your meal? He brought him inside. Then, he said, please leave your basket outside, because the basket is smelling too much. So the fisherman came inside and in the courtyard he gave him some food. He asked the fisherman, do you have any place to sleep tonight? He said, no. He said, all right you sleep here and you leave in the morning. Thank you very much. So that the fisherman went to sleep. About 1 or 2 in the night, the grihastha had to get up for some nature’s call, and when he saw how the guest is doing, he sees he is tossing and turning. He said, how are you sleeping? And he replied that my sleep is very disturbed. I cannot get to sleep. Why is this? What is the difficulty? The fisherman said, the difficulty is I cannot sleep without my basket. I am used to the smell. Without smelling that basket, that fishy smell, I can't get to sleep. So then the grihastha , all right, bring in your basket, so you can go to sleep. Then he went to sleep soundly.

In the same way, everything has to have a machine in the west. If you brush your teeth, it needs a machine. Everything. So, in this way, people have become addicted.

Machines are okay, nothing is wrong with machines, except that if we think that machines are our happiness, then we are foolish. Because, everyday they are inventing a new machine. But these machines aren't what's going to give us the actual happiness we are seeking. If we use the machine in Krishna’s service, or we use the machine in our business and give something in Krishna’s service, that will give us actual spiritual bliss. Otherwise, just a machine, just like Arjuna, he had his Gandiva bow but when he needed them most, their power was finished. We have so many machines. Yesterday, I took a tour of the science museum and there it had a chart, it is 65 years before all oil finished. That is their prediction. Of course, if there is a war then it will be finished much quicker. Then the situation will be very critical, because all the farming is done in the western countries by tractors. And tractor runs on what? On petroleum products.

Of course in India, still they are using the bullocks, in most of the places. So now they are considered backward, but if there is a petroleum shortage, then they will be considered very advanced. In fact, you may be thinking that I am just saying this, but I have proof. Because I was recently in London and the government was advertising in the newspaper that all farmers who had known how to use horses, they should come and become instructors. And those farmers who wanted to learn how to use horses, they will get paid 100 pounds a week, because they are expecting a huge petroleum crisis. Previously they had horses for plowing, for carrying the crops. But everyone forgot horses. They are just laying there unused. So now the government is paying people, please learn how to use the horse. You can never tell when the steamers coming with the oil are going to be bomed. When the oil is going to be finished. I remember reading in the history books that the British would criticize the Indian people that why you are using only bullocks? You should kill them all off and get tractors. And now they are paying 100 pounds on how to use horse! Save petrol, too expensive. It is costing there about 4 dollars a gallon, in the UK.

So actually people may misunderstand that I am trying to say or criticize the technological advancement. Actually, that is not my purpose. But my purpose is actually to show that an over-emphasis has created an imbalance. Actually, we see others’ progression. Originally when the big cities started to build up in all the village people were attracted by the high salaries to come from the gaou (village) to the sheher (city). They came from the village to the city to get the bigger salary. But they soon found that the rent was higher, expenses higher. Then they thought, well, let me go to the west, then I will get a very big salary. So then many of them of course have migrated to the United States, different countries, and many are nicely situated.

So, of course, I heard a story this morning that there was this one Indian tourist who travelled all over the world by bicycle and when he came to Chicago, he had parked his bicycle on the street and he walked into a store to get some food. When he came out he saw his bicycle, everything was stolen. He said why is this, my mother told me that you don’t have to worry about theft in America, everyone there is rich! So they won’t steal! But of course, what happened, everything he had got stolen. Everywhere there is some misery, everywhere there is some happiness. May be in some place, one thinks that I am more miserable and some place one thinks I am more happy, but nobody is only happy and nobody is only miserable. There is always two – shitoshna sukha dukha da, aagama paayino anityaas, tam titikhsva bhaarata. Sometimes happy, sometimes sad. This is known as what? This is this material nature. Daivi hy esha guna maya, mama maaya duratyayaa, maam eva ye prapadyante, maayaam etam taranti te. Krishna says, my maaya is very difficult to conquer, very difficult to get out of. But someone who surrenders to Me, easily one can overcome these stringent laws. So what we are saying is that have everything, actually in this material world nothing is lacking, except one thing. That one thing is Krishna. Krishna must be added otherwise everything is vacuum. Without that one ingredient, nothing is full. Savai pumsaam paro dharma, yatho bhaktir adhoksaje, ahaituki apratihata, yayaatma suprasidati. This is how we get that suprasidati, prasannaatma.

Everyone wants to be sukhi, happy. But the secret is that we have to add Krishna, we have to add Bhagavan to our lives. If you think, you see, I have one devotee who comes to our temple in Calcutta and he tells me, please bless me that in my next birth that I can be born either in America or swarga. This is his idea – either in heaven or in America. He equates the two. So I of course discouraged him and said you should actually desire to go to Krishnaloka, because you see there is no birth, no death there, there is your real life. But he said, no no, I have read a lot in the newspapers, I can understand that between the two places, either America or swarga, these places are the best. So of course you know firsthand that what is the actual situation.

So Srila Prabhupad, he repeatedly said that we should see things, just like India is technologically not so advanced as say, America, the west. But the west they are basically spiritually blind. They have no spiritual vision. So in one case you have a lame man and in another case you have a blind man. Ango pango darshan. The lame man, he will get on top of the blind man and he has good eyes. That actually this western civilization, they have got some capital, but they have no vision, where they are going. They are using simply to invent newer machines, to do more and more useless things or to build bigger bombs. These are the two main uses. I have been living now in India, for ten years. This is my second time which I have left India in ten years. So still I am having culture shock. I am having culture shock coming here. All the big cars and all the big machines, they took me to the big shopping mall, and so many machines, for what? They have machines to brush the teeth, machine to cut, just every kind of machine imaginable. But you look at the people and they are unhappy. There when the 5 o clock bell rang everybody was running to get out. All the employees, because they want to go home. They just recently took a Gallup poll to all the Americans, do you like your job? Do you like the work you do? Are you satisfied? 80% said, no, I don’t, I can’t stand the work I do. I am only doing it for the money. And 20% - of that 10% they did not, they wouldn’t say. And the other 10% either they were liars or they were crazy.(devotees laugh) So this is the situation.

People are doing but they are not satisfied. Why? Because there is no Krishna in their lives. I go in the villages, in U.P., in Bihar, in Tamil Nadu, in Orissa, in Bengal, Assam and there you ask the people… They living a simple life, they don’t have anything, they just have a grass hut, they have a cow, little land. But you ask them if they are happy, you want something? They say, no we are all right. But they their son, he goes to college and is he happy? No, I need a watch, I need a terry cotton shirt, I need this, I need that, he is completely in anxiety. This is the difficulty, they are brainwashed. So actually it doesn’t make any difference whether you have a watch or you don’t have a watch. Whether you Krishna, that is what counts.

Actually, look at Arjuna, he was the ruler of the world. In Hastinapur there was one government for the whole world and he was the king’s brother. Yudhishttira and Arjuna, they had so much opulence, aiswarya purna, but they did not have any difficulty because they had Krishna. So our philosophy is not that one has to give up whatever you have all right, you got that due to your good works. Now use that in Krishna’s service and be happy. This is the secret.

Everyone is asking so many questions. On the radio they are asking questions. In the morning when the birds wake up, pakshi, they are also asking questions. Getting answers. The sports announcer, he is asking questions and he is getting answers. And the businessman, he is asking questions. He is getting his answers. Housewife is asking questions and getting answers. Everyone is asking questions and getting the answers. But why no one is satisfied? That is the mystery. Why no one is satisfied, in spite of all these questions and all the answers? Because they are not asking the right questions. Who am I? Where do I come from? Where am I going? Who is the Supreme Being? What is my relationship with Him? These questions, no one has time to ask. It doesn’t fit within the TV schedule. So this question, people should ask. That is the difference between animal life and human life.

Dharma, religion and animal life added together is equal to human life. So what is human life without Dharma? It is pashu life. That is animalistic life. So people who are intelligent, they get sick and tired of animalistic life. So actually the Indian culture can give these people direction. Actually how they can use opulence. No one knows what to do with their opulence. They are spending it on expensive and more expensive cigarettes and getting lung cancer. This is advancement. No one knows how to be happy. To be happy, one has to be saatvic, has to be in the mode of goodness. If one has his senses controlled, then he has peace and if he has peace, then he can be happy. And how can one control his senses in this Kali yuga? It is not possible except by fixing one’s mind by devotion to Krishna. Then one automatically gets controlled very easily. By chanting Hare Krishna, little bit everyday, few moments, offering some bhoga to Krishna, taking the prasad. There is no reason why every family in every country around the world can’t get together every night and chant Hare Krishna for a short time. There is no reason why not. Of course, there are many bhajans, there are many kirtans that are authorized, we don’t mind. We say Hare Krishna because this is known as the Maha Mantra. In the Kali Santarana Upanishad it says Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare. Ithi sodhakam naam naam, kali kalma naashanam, na tat paratu upaya, sarva vedeshu drishyate. These sixteen words, they are the medicine for all the ills of the Kali yuga. They destroy all the kali kalmasha, all the contaminations of the Kali yuga and they are authorized by all the shaastras, all the scriptures. So this Hare Krishna Maha Mantra is simplified in the Narada Paancha Raatrika. It describes that all the vedic mantras, all the tantras, everything has been combined into one mantra and that is the eight syllables, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare. So this is not a concoction. This is being chanted all over and actually that it has come to the west has been predicted by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu who is the Kali yuga avatar of Krishna. He predicted prithvi the aache jotho nagar aadi graam, sarvasya prachar hoibe mora naam. Which means that in every town and village throughout the world, My name will be spread, My name will be sung. This was predicted 500 years ago and now it is true.

So we would just like to remind you about the little pastime we sing here – Yashodan nandana vraja jana ranjana. That Yashoda mayi, one time Yashoda mayi went to chastise Krishna for eating dirt and Krishna was running away. And finally, after great endeavor, Yashoda mayi caught Krishna, Bala Gopala and she was going to bind Him up by a rope. And when she is going to bind Him up by rope, when she would take the rope around, she would bring it and it would be two fingers short. So what is this? Then she'd call, give me a longer rope. Then they would bring a longer rope, again she would take it and tie around. Again two fingers short. Very unusual. Then again she would get another rope, a different size, again take it around, two fingers short! So she was sweating. So finally she simply prayed to Lord Narayana in her heart that You please let me tie Krishna so that He will learn not to do any nonsense. I don’t want Him to get in trouble. Then finally Krishna, He said all right, He let Himself be tied. So what do those two fingers stand for? What do the two fingers short mean? Any one knows?(GM laughs). Good guess. One finger means that you have to have, the devotee has to be a pure devotee, has to have pure desire simply to please Krishna for His benefit. And the other finger short means that Krishna has to give His permission, He has to give His sweet will. Without the two things, without the devotee’s desire and without Krishna’s desire, it can't succeed. No one can force the hand over Krishna. So Yashoda, when she had the pure desire and Krishna, He said all right, then she could tie Him. Otherwise nobody can tie Krishna. So you can also tie Krishna. Lakshmi is the Goddess of Fortune. Everyone wants Lakshmi. But Lakshmi is chanchala, she is very capricious, very whimsical. She doesn’t stay in one place. But she is always by the side of Narayana. So all good fortune is only there when we have Krishna. And what does that take? We can capture Krishna if we follow the footsteps of great devotees like Hanuman, a devotee of Ramachandra, like Yashoda mayi, the Holy Mother of Lord Sri Krishna. We have to follow – mahajana yena gathas to pantha – great devotees and serve the feet of devotees. Then we can capture Krishna, by His sweet will, when He says, all right, I am satisfied with your service.

So I thank you very much for coming here to this temple of International Society for Krishna consciousness. Actually this is built for your service so that you can come here and engage in devotional service so your lives can be perfect, so you can become the greatest yogis, just like the raja rishis. In previous times, kings were rishis. Now in this Kali yuga, not only rajas but vaishyas, strilok, sudras, everyone, what to speak of the kshatriyas and the brahmanas, everyone, all the people, they are also to become rishis, they are also to become holy by serving in Krishna consciousness.

Grihe thako bone thako, sada Hari bole dhako. Whether one is in the ashram as a brahmachari or whether one is in grihastha ashram, everyone can chant Hare Krishna, everyone can perfect his life.

So we thank everyone for coming here and participating in these functions and we hope that you will, day by day make advancement and become more and more attached to Krishna’s Holy Names and be blessed. Thank you very much!

Are there any questions?

Question: (inaudible)

GM: Yes, it describes that when Yudhishtir assumed the throne in Hastinapur, he performed the Aswamedha yagna, the Rajasuya and Ashwamedha yagnas. And Ashwamedha means that they sent the horse, four horses to four directions and countries where these horses went are described, so far as China, Europe, Africa, the description is given there to correspond with all the continents. At that time, America was considered to be like a garbage pit. It was not considered anything near civilized. But all the other countries these horses went and all the kings of those places, they accepted Yudhisthir as the emperor. This is very clearly stated both in Mahabharata as well as in Srimad Bhagavatam puranam. Not only that but after Yudhisthir, Parikshit maharaj also performed this yagna and he also maintained this vast power, the dating of that is about 5000 years. Even today, there are temples in Indonesia, in Thailand, in Cambodia, very big Vishnu temples. There are temples even in South America of Vishnu, of Kali of Durga. Where did these temples come from, if there was not vedic civilization? It was a very conscious plot by the British to reduce the stature of Indian history and to bring up Greek, Roman, all these things. But they have no explanation how these murtis, how these temples are in different parts of the world. Because if the Indians were too proud of their culture, they could not have been subjugated by the British. So in this way, history has been twisted. But actually the Indian civilization is going back thousands and thousands of years before the Greek and other civilizations. This is also confirmed – Alexander the Great, when he went to India, he found nobody cared for him. And he found a very big civilization. He couldn’t find anyone to fight with. And finally when they fought with him, he was, as you know, driven back!

Question: Inaudible

GM: When they understand Krishna consciousness, then they can actually understand what is the real crisis. That is birth, death, old age and disease. And this crisis, they do not have a clue for. Because they are thinking crisis is how to enjoy more and more. Therefore there is energy shortage, because there is misuse of energy. This misuse of practically everything that Krishna is giving. Therefore there is crisis. Because as we are exploit Mother Nature, then she starts to stop giving. But as we utilize everything in the Lord’s service, then Nature begins to give more and more abundantly.

When Maharaj Prthu came, then he provided the whole world very sumptuously with all the necessities. People are not understanding that ultimately wealth is coming from the food grains and the food grains are coming from rain. And rain is coming from yagna, sacrifice. And nobody is doing any sacrifice to speak of. Therefore so many difficulties are coming. If people become just a little Krishna conscious, just a little bit, little pious, then you can see so many crises go away. But so long as the people are becoming more and more selfish, more and more engrossed in material desire, then they become more and more implicated and crises goes on increasing. The more people eat meat, the more they are forced to fight wars. Because they have to pay for the paap, sin of killing so many innocent animals. If you help us, then it can go quick.

Question: (inaudible)

GM: Because there is a difference – is that one person who doesn’t know anything, if he goes on doing mistakes, say that, someone is committing crime but he doesn’t know that it is a crime, he is just a boka and doesn’t know he is doing it, because he doesn’t know any better. So he gets only one sentence. But if somebody knows better and he goes and does it anyway, if one knowingly drinks poison, that is worse, than if unknowingly one is drinking. So in the western countries they don’t know any better. They don’t know what is life. If you ask them, what is life, they say, I don’t know. He doesn’t know what life is. Eat, drink and be merry. Get a buck. They don’t know what's life. Some religious person says yes, to die and go to heaven. What is heaven? He says, I don’t know. Who lives there? God. What does He look like? I don’t know. They are very shallow in understanding and so they can’t blame them too much. Until they get the opportunity to make it a choice. Then if they refuse it, then it is their misfortune. But in India, everybody knows what is punar janma, what is rebirth. Everybody knows, who is Bhagavan. Basically this is taught. In spite of that they are neglecting. They are being misled by so many leaders who are discouraging them. Instead of build up your economy and maintain your dharma standard, they are saying, dharma, this is sectarian state. We can help no dharma, no tax exemption, no health, nothing. Instead, only the minorities, they are getting help. So therefore because the people know, yet they are being led into adharma, therefore they are forced to suffer more.

In the shaastra it says that of all the dweepas of all the continents, one continent is punya bhumi. Punya bhumi Bharat. That is the place for doing punya. But if people do paap in the punya bhumi then it is worse. In other places, it is meant for sangha bhoga, you can enjoy. So this is the difficulty. Because they know better but they are committing offences to sadhus and so many bogus sadhus are also there, so called sadhus who are not really sadhus. That people can’t say who is the real sadhu and who is the so called sadhu and they get misled. Therefore situation is critical. Also, there has been 1200 years of foreign rule. Of course within the 25 years of independence, it's not improved, because the standard ideology is western. That is the difficulty. So the Indian people, they won’t be happier just with technology. And the western people, they are not happy with just technology. Day by day, they are getting more and more degraded. Now the priest in the church, homosexuals are becoming priests and making marriage between two men and two women. What is that? That's civilization? This thing is unheard of in vedic culture, practically speaking. So that is the difficulty.

Transcribed By

H.G. Jayaraseshwari Devi Dasi

29 March 2014

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