19810906 Srimad-Bhagavatam.1.16.4 @ Caitanya College

The following is a class given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaja on September 6th, 1981. The class begins with a reading from the Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 1, Chapter 16, Text 4.

Jayapataka Swami:

oṁ ajñāna-timirāndhasya


cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena

tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ


sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale

svayaṁ rūpaḥ kadā mahyaṁ

dadāti sva-padāntikam

nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale

śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine

namas te sārasvate deve gaura-vāṇī-pracāriṇe


namo mahā-vadānyāya

kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te

kṛṣṇāya kṛṣṇa-caitanya-

nāmne gaura-tviṣe namaḥ

pañca-tattvātmakaṁ kṛṣṇaṁ


bhaktāvatāraṁ bhaktākhyaṁ

namāmi bhakta-śaktikam

he kṛṣṇa karuṇā-sindho

dīna-bandho jagat-pate

gopeśa gopikā-kānta

rādhā-kānta namo 'stu te


rādhe vṛndāvaneśvari

vṛṣabhānu-sute devi

praṇamāmi hari-priye

Jāya śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya


jāyadvaita gadādhara


hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa

kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare

hare rāma hare rāma

rāma rāma hare hare

om namo bhagavate vasudevaya

Devotees : om namo bhagavate vasudevaya

Jayapataka Swami:om namo bhagavate vasudevaya

Devotees : om namo bhagavate vasudevaya

Jayapataka Swami:om namo bhagavate vasudevaya

Devotees : om namo bhagavate vasudevaya

Jayapataka Swami:

nārāyaṇaḿ namaskṛtya

naraḿ caiva narottamam

devīḿ sarasvatīḿ vyāsaḿ

tato jayam udīrayet

mūkaṁ karoti vācālaṁ

paṅguṁ laṅghayate girim

yat-kṛpā tam ahaṁ vande

śrī-guruṁ dīna-tāraṇam

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam Canto 1, Chapter 16, Text 4.

nijagrāhaujasā vīraḥ

kaliṁ digvijaye kvacit

nṛpa-lińga-dharaḿ śūdraḿ

ghnantaḿ go-mithunaḿ padā


Translation by His Divine Grace, Srila Prabhupada:

Once, when Mahārāja Parīkṣit was on his way to conquer the world, he saw the master of Kali-yuga, who was lower than a śūdra, disguised as a king and hurting the legs of a cow and bull. The King at once caught hold of him to deal sufficient punishment.

Translation with repetition

Once, when Mahārāja Parīkṣit

Devotees: Once, when Mahārāja Parīkṣit

Jayapataka Swami: was on his way

Devotees: was on his way

Jayapataka Swami: to conquer the world

Devotees: to conquer the world

Jayapataka Swami: he saw the master of Kali-yuga

Devotees: he saw the master of Kali-yuga

Jayapataka Swami: who was lower than a śūdra

Devotees: who was lower than a śūdra

Jayapataka Swami: disguised as a king

Devotees: disguised as a king

Jayapataka Swami: and hurting the legs

Devotees: and hurting the legs

Jayapataka Swami: of a cow and bull

Devotees: of a cow and bull

Jayapataka Swami: The King at once caught hold

Devotees: The King at once caught hold

Jayapataka Swami: of him

Devotees: of him

Jayapataka Swami: to deal sufficient punishment.

Devotees: to deal sufficient punishment.

Jayapataka Swami: Purport by Srila Prabhupada

The purpose of a king's going out to conquer the world is not for self-aggrandizement. Mahārāja Parīkṣit went out to conquer the world after his ascendance on the throne, but this was not for the purpose of aggression on other states. He was the Emperor of the world, and all small states were already under his regime. His purpose in going out was to see how things were going on in terms of the godly state. The king, being the representative of the Lord, has to execute the will of the Lord duly. There is no question of self-aggrandizement. Thus as soon as Mahārāja Parīkṣit saw that a lower-class man in the dress of a king was hurting the legs of a cow and a bull, at once he arrested and punished him. The king cannot tolerate insults to the most important animal, the cow, nor can he tolerate disrespect for the most important man, the brāhmaṇa. Human civilization means to advance the cause of brahminical culture, and to maintain it, cow protection is essential. There is a miracle in milk, for it contains all the necessary vitamins to sustain human physiological conditions for higher achievements. Brahminical culture can advance only when man is educated to develop the quality of goodness, and for this there is a prime necessity of food prepared with milk, fruits and grains. Mahārāja Parīkṣit was astonished to see that a black śūdra, dressed like a ruler, was mistreating a cow, the most important animal in human society.

The age of Kali means mismanagement and quarrel. And the root cause of all mismanagement and quarrel is that worthless men with the modes of lower-class men, who have no higher ambition in life, come to the helm of the state management. Such men at the post of a king are sure to first hurt the cow and the brahminical culture, thereby pushing all society towards hell. Mahārāja Parīkṣit, trained as he was, got the scent of this root cause of all quarrel in the world. Thus he wanted to stop it in the very beginning.

Thus end the purport by Srila Prabhupada on how Maharaja Pariksit received the age of Kali.

Maharaj Parikshit didn't waste any time. As soon as he saw that a cow was being tortured, immediately [break] arrested Kali.

Actually he was immediately prepared to kill Kali for his offence. To kill a cow to torture a cow, that was enough to cause a death sentence, without any hesitation. Of course we know that Kali surrendered to Pariksit; therefore he was able to get a pardon from immediate death.

Even today in Nepal, the only Hindu kingdom in the world, if someone kills a cow the penalty is life imprisonment. There's not even any question about it. Immediately one gets life imprisonment. So the Vedic culture is so perfect because it puts the spiritual goal, the spiritual direction on the top, because the cows and the brahmanas are essential for spiritual development, therefore they are protected by the king. Actually, the cow simply doing service for the whole human society. Everything, even the urine and stool of the cow is used in the service of human being. In India, they prepare liver medicine to cure liver and kidney diseases from cow urine and it is used in various religious ceremonies, and cow dung is so widely used as a ready-made floor-and-wall plaster. In the simple houses that people make are mud houses. Mud house, someone may think, is very primitive but I personally have met even some millionaires in Bangladesh who have built whole compounds of mud house because it's much more comfortable than a brick house.

A brick house is very cold and, in the summer if it gets very hot, the brick house also radiates the heat, especially the concrete roof. But a mud house, they build about twenty inch walls, two storeys high with a grass roof. In the summer it's very cool, just like air conditioning and in the winter, when it is cold out of course it's not so cold but then it gets chilly for the local people then those earthen houses are very warm. So they put over the earth cow dung and mud-mix and that plaster of cow dung and mud mixture, that is very smooth and very refreshing to see. It's just hard and very clean and its special property that wherever they put that cow dung and mud mix no fly will land. Keeps away the flies. Automatic fly repellent… while concrete does not have that quality.

And because of the cost being nothing, so they… even in the front yard, they have a certain area; they also smooth out the front yard. And every day they put down fresh. In south India, over the cow dung, they put also some rice flour and make some designs. Different svastikas and different colorful designs in front of the house. In this way, when one sees that in front of the house the road is very clean, cow dung is put down, it's so refreshing, it's so much in the mode of goodness.

Srila Prabhupada was sitting in his grass hut in Mayapur and he said that this grass house you see with the cow dung and the mud and the grass and the bamboo this is in the mode of goodness… didn’t require any great industrialization, any great endeavor; was very simply done and is very pure and refreshing. This is in the mode of goodness. This is perfect for advancing in spiritual life. For our own advancement in Krishna consciousness, this is enough; we don't need anything else. We can live in a little house like this on the side of the Yamuna or the Ganges, chant Hare Krishna, and become Krishna conscious develop our love for Krishna and go back to Godhead.” But then he said that, at that time we are building our 4 story bulding and he said that that four-storey building with its brick and concrete and steel, and cement, that building is in the mode of passion, rajo guna. So many cement mixtures, vibrators "bbrrreeeh” going on, just to make a house. People climbing up on the 4th floor… one person fell off, one person got electrocuted, but survived so much passionate endeavor to build a house. Why someone would go through such… and here I saw while driving to Switzerland. Four hundred feet high it must have been, with the big scaffolding and cranes… building a road right through… digging a tunnel through the Alps, way up in the top of the mountain and then going through the ravine, all huge bridges and then going like that. In one building in New York how many dozens of people lost their lives, falling off those scaffoldings? These big bridges and dams? This is in the mode of passion.

Prabhupad said, "We are building also this building is in the mode of passion. But we are constructing it not because it's for own bhajan, but because we require this type of facility to bring the people here. If we live in a little hut, under the tree, who will come in this kali-yuga? Therefore we’ve constructed the big building, big project and big temple, so people will come and sit down and chant hare Krishna and hear Krishna-katha. Hear the discourses on Krishna's qualities and pastimes and become purified and stay here and perform devotional service; but for own personal bhajan, this is enough. The only reason we are doing all these big construction and big buildings is for preaching Krishna consciousness."

So the cow is so nice that for simple living and high thinking, it is giving all necessary products, for… even for a house building. For house-building, for health, for intelligence the milk so many nice products are coming from the cow. Even after the cow dies, we can make mridanga drums, shoes from the cowhide. Why kill the cow?

And you know when they kill cows the hide goes bad; so they have to put salt in the skin. All the shoes that are made from cowhide have salt in it. But that’s… the one thing is, we cannot make a mridanga drum from a salted hide. You can't make it. It won't work. It loses its quality. You have to make a mridanga drum only from an unsalted skin.

And so tha… An unsalted skin means as soon as the cow dies, then the skin has to be taken out and cured in the sun and so on and so forth. It can't just be salted and stored, which is what all the slaughterhouses do. And then they take their time at curing them later. So we can see that also the mridanga drum requires a non-violent cow… All right, cow, once is dead, the soul has left, then you can use the hide. No harm. Use it for mridanga drum. That will even be a greater benefit. The cow is given its skin for serving Krishna.

Nowadays, just like in our hospital, when we opened up a hospital, official inauguration in Mayapur, one Jatin Chakroborty who was worker of the communist party, Marxist Leninist group, he was one of the people who was very much against our movement. And he started a criminal case against Bhavananda Goswami and so many other nonsense things, but when he saw that we are opening up a hospital for the people, then in the middle of the meeting, he stood forward and said that… he wrote up in a piece of paper "I am officially contributing my eyes to your hospital. When I die, you can have my eyes for your eye bank. I don’t know if we're going to have an eye bank here. Anyway, he was very favorable. He said, "Any service you like. Actually now I see now that all these politics and communism and this and that is not the solution. The the real solution you people are doing. Serving the people spiritually, materially in every way, I can see."

Of course, he had his own vision, but he was very favorable. So even the human beings, they have this idea, “All right, I'll donate my eye, I'll donate my blood, I'll donate my eyes, I'll donate my heart, my brain, whatever.” They donate these things. So we can see everything is coming from the Vedas. Because the cows, they are donating their skin for the mridanga. They have given permission. Everything. What the cow is not giving? Why kill the cow? Cow is doing so much service, giving all these wonderful things, you see.

In fact… it's a fact that if you breed a cow, the cow even in old age will go on giving calves and giving milk right up to about the end. When it stops, it has only another a year or so to live. So it's not that many cows are simply a burden. At that time you just let them out to pasture. They just eat some grass and go on. It's not that they're a big maintenance cost involved in maintaining cows that are not producing.

Srila Prabhupada requested that "If you are going to eat meat, don’t eat cow. Don't eat cow! Cow is like your mother. Here we're taking the milk, we're taking all the service. Then when the… we say that, "All right, now it's finished. Mother is no longer useful. Kill the Mother! She's old. No longer giving. Kill her off. Eat her." This is worse than cannibalistic.

Even the Buddhist who are not the practicing monks, or who are not strictly following the principle of vegetarianism, they won’t eat a cow or a horse because they understand that cows are higher on the level of reincarnation. If they are going to at all eat meat, they will eat some pig, goat, or some sheep, something else lower in the level, you see. They won’t eat a cow or a horse or a monkey. They won't. It's forbidden. So it's not something very extraordinary.

If we understand, and … nowadays people will say, "Yes, we accept reincarnation." Any modern person you bring up, "Oh yes, I believe. I think I believe.” Some don’t, you know. It’s a very popular topic. So many people believe in reincarnation. It's in the fad. It's the modern thing to do.

Or even if they're atheists, don't believe in God… Buddhists don’t believe in any supreme God, but they don’t kill the cow, because they understand that for everything we do, we will get a reaction. Therefore, if we will kill a cow who is a higher type of animal, they are going to get worse reaction. If you are going to eat something, eat something that doesn't matter very much to the social system, to the… something that’s not very high on the level of reincarnation. And to counteract that offense, do some punya. In the name of religion, they are doing so many irreligion.

Philosophically Christians are very advanced; they believe in personality of God, they believe in His representative, He is also sacred and… there are so many nice concepts. But somewhere along the line, how do they get into so many bad habits? That’s the question. They have nice… much nicer concepts than the Buddhists. But the Buddhists practices are generally much better in terms of their actual performance. So there's definitely a need for a new renaissance of spiritual understanding.

Now science has found so many…. parapsychology and different scientists have found so many proofs about reincarnation. Bhakti-svarupa Damodara Swami told me that in the Rome conference which they had on theology and science, representatives of 76 nations came. And in there, there was one doctor Dr. Smith or something from Texas, who had been researching in hypnosis. You've probably heard this already. And they take the people back in Hypnosis:

"Now you are 30 years old, you're 25,20 ,15,10,5 4,3,2,1, you are in the womb! In the womb also, they have recollection.

Now you are in your previous life! How old are you now?”

“I am 76,74.” Then so they took one woman… The whole thing was videotaped, you see. They took her back, because she was always having night mares, every time with her husband. For no reason, she would create so many problems and distrust and he was perfectly loyal and faithful husband, but she was always having some types of psychological quirks about her behavior with him. So she went to the psychologist and he took her back in hypnosis to her previous life: there found out that in previous life, she was also a woman and she has been deserted by her husband. She had been deserted by her husband, so… she was from Scotland. Then where in Scotland, what city, what was the house looking like, what was the street, who were the next door neighbors: all these things she could remember... what church she was married at.

So then after taking all these things on video, then they had 500 research workers that were working under them. They sent them with their videos to Scotland and then they photographed the records of marriage, matrimonial from 18… it was 1800 at that time, or 1912 or 1800 and something like that. And the house, and everything she had described was the exactly as she said it, because in Scotland, still the same house are standing for 100 years even, you can see. So in this way, they presented this to the whole scientific assembly in Rome, you see. This is not a superstition, this is not some kind of… simply a fairy tale or old wives' tale, but this is an actual scientific recorded evidence. What more evidence you want on reincarnation?

And every scientist, they accept it. Other scientists in England and France, they have different types of… The Russians had taken photographs with this chiron photography 100 million volts or something they take through. And produce some special type of ultra… ultra light that radiation, they take photographs with that. And as a person was dying, for that, they can photograph a person's aura: how far the aura is extending from his body, what’s the quality of that.

So this aura they would photograph the person as he was dying, and just as the person from his body came out, a visible form, and “fft”, It hovered for a few seconds and went off. So in so many different ways, they have accumulated so many different types of proofs that any very conscious person, he must say, "So then there must be reincarnation." So then we should take it a step further that there must be a system.

Everything in the world we see, there is a system. There is system of changing of seasons, there is a system that when we eat something, it is automatically digested taken through the whole intestinal tract and shoved down, you see it's no longer got much useful products left in it; all the filth inside the body the blood and all the dead cells are going out, so many sys… everything we find is a system. Why should we think "All right when we finally come to the conclusion that there must be reincarnation, so many proofs are there.” we can't just dogmatically say that because after Constantinople’s meeting, where they tore the Bible's pages out, and re-wrote the whole thing, because the present day Bible does not give any conclusive scientific description of the matter, therefore religiously we can't accept; neither we can say that because we haven't personally seen with our bare eyes. We haven’t seen atoms with our bare eyes either! What more scientific proof that the scientists want?

The Vedas, the Buddhists, all the ancient religious institutions that didn't have description rewritten by whimsical priests and kings. They all very clearly describe that there is reincarnation: Jains, Buddhists, Hindus. All the ancient cultures, they all describe. So then why… We should also understand that there must be a system not, just by accident then we hover around and then the first vacant you see womb, we somehow go in there. There must also be a system since everything else has a system.

That system is described. The system, when they had the meeting, everyone accepted that, "Yes there must be reincarnation." But then when the point came up that there must be a system for judging what birth one should get for progression, that they were a little bit hesitant, but more or less somehow accepted. But then when they brought up, "Therefore, if one misbehaves, or if one doesn’t develop his consciousness, but rather his consciousness becomes more base or more gross; he can be sent back to the animal kingdom.” Whoa, was there a hue and a cry!

“No! No! Achtung!”

So many people, you know, were very upset, to go back to the animal kingdom.

dehino ’smin yathā dehe

kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā

tathā dehāntara-prāptir

dhīras tatra na muhyati

We can somehow again go back. Wow. Because they were very… they wanted to do everything. But just be getting. "All right, at least I am a human being next life, you know it's alright.” But the prospect of having to be a dog or a cat or something else, that the scientist didn't want, because they knew that being human being, you have some… you see, especially after all the animals they've eaten, to be an animal, that meant for sure, they'd be on somebody's dinner table. So, this was a great shock!

But they should be scien… They should under… that Krishna consciousness is scientific.


Jaya Jagannath subhadra Balrama! Jay Panca-tattva ki!

Devotees : Jaya!

Jayapataka Swami:

Krishna consciousness is very scientific. It answers these questions very nicely, and if they follow that very scientific understanding, then they'll understand that killing animals like cows, even goats, I mean even these horses, elephants, these are not beneficial to the human society.

Anyway when they die, they have to die soon or later, if someone is that addicted, he can eat them you see. Might be a little... they are worrying about the taste. They want to kill when they’re nice and fresh. This is all very barbaric. So as a result, they have to suffer from the laws of karma.

So this Krishna conscious movement is meant to actually save people from their distress to save them from their miseries. Maharaja Pariksit, he went around. He saw that this was going to create a whole string of distress in society. So he immediately stopped Kali… ready to kill him for disturbing.

Because if one person starts to torture the cow, then it creates a whole chain of bad karma in the country, in the world. If everybody acts properly, following the Vedic principles, then the karma which it produces is also good; if one person has bad karma, then his suffering also causes sufferings of others, creates a chain reaction. One person is performing transcendental activity, that creates good fortune for hundreds and thousands of unlimited living entities, sarva-mangalam good fortune for everyone.

So when we serve Krishna, what that does to all of our activities is it purifies them, you see. The activities in this world are either goodness, passion or ignorance. King Kali was doing something in ignorance. Parikshit Maharaja was protecting. It was goodness. The difference, you can say that royal decoration had a touch of passion in them. In this way everything in this material world is a mixture of goodness passion and ignorance, but if you add Krishna… Krishna is the secret or the special ingredient which, when added, makes everything perfect purifies it. So by adding Krishna, then everything becomes perfect.

Without adding… Maharaja parakshit is going to conquer the nations… actually he is already he is the emperor of the world, so it's not like he is going on some new aggression. He is already the emperor. But he is going from place to place to see how everything is going on according to the systems of God consciousness of Krishna consciousness. If there is some transgression, then immediately, then he will have his aggression, then he will have his violence to knock down any type of disturbance to society; but if he was going simply for his own sovereignty without any connection, then what is the use of hearing about his activities?

There are so many great historical Kings; Napoleon Bonaparte, or this one or that one, who went and tried to conquer and conquered other nations. Hitler, what spiritual hearing is there for all those people, you see? Because they are trying to create their own dominion, expand their political power, you see. It wasn't so much a crusade to establish a higher order of God consciousness in a real sense, or it was a self-styled crusade. It wasn't an authorized crusade, which was really going to increase the God consciousness amongst the people.

But Maharaja Parikshit was an authorized crusade, therefore we can hear about it and we can benefit; we can gain spiritual instruction. The activity, even if it seems material of some devotee, externally may appear material, but it's also devotional ser...

iha yasya harer dāsye

karmaṇā manasā girā

nikhilāsv apy avasthāsu

jīvan-muktaḥ sa ucyate

That devotees are already on the liberated platform. So here the cow is being glorified. People wonder why the Indians don’t kill their cows. They can get so much food. First of all, anyone saw an Indian cow, they’d know there wasn’t much food on it. But the actual thing is the cow is doing so much service. Now because Indian government hasn't laid the line down about cow and bull killing, the price of bullocks has increased ten times in India; and bullocks only 4, 5 percent maximum if that much… only one or two, or a few percent can afford tractors.

Now with the petrol prices going up, in India petrol and in England petrol is the same price. But look at the difference in economy. Sometimes the big foreign… these foreign-aid institutions come with all the big machines, donate to the farmers all that, then you come back 5 years later all the machines lying there, unused. They said, “They’re broken and we had to spend, you know, so many thousand rupees to get the spare parts, you know… We cannot afford this. Too much trouble.”

So many de… One devotee in Argentina was driving the tractor and he died. Who has ever died when plowing the field with a bull? At the worst, if you get, if you are real envious, the bull can maybe knock you down, but here the devotee, he was driving and the tractor fell. So many… I mean. at least I've heard 4, 5 devotees in our movement alone have died in tractor accident. In Hyderbad or in Ahmedbad, there was one devotee; the tractor was going on the side and fell right over on it, died.

So, they give these big machines to… the people to maintain, it's not economical. If they calculate how much they're spending on the depreciation, the cost of the machines… lach of rupees for a tractor $12,000, 6000, 7000 pounds, you see. So for… In the previous time, you could get a cow for… a pair of bulls you could get for 700 rupees even ten years ago. Now it's costing 4,000 for a good pair, 6,000 for a good pair, you see. But even at 6,000 rupees, so a tractor can do ten times or five times as much as a pair of good bullocks.

A good bullock can say, cultivate without… with just simple primitive equipment one acre a day. So, a tractor, How many acres? Unless it’s a very big tractor… the kind of small tractors they use in India, they can only do about ten or twelve acres in a day anyway, but for that, you are spending so much more. So it simply creates unemployment. Then there is a little shortage. Sometimes you see in India, you want to buy some gasoline or petrol, the people are lined up down half a kilometer with their cans waiting for the diesel. The shortage… they can't supply. Trucks broke down, this that. So, so many artificial programs; rather than try to develop… they don’t think that, “All right, this is a very big advancement.” But in the end, so many people will be put out of jobs. Then you have more unemployment, more difficulties.

There should be an overall understanding. What is the real necessities of life? And if people are spiritually orientated, then they don't mind living in a simple house. Actually living in a… as we mentioned before, in a grass hut with a nice mud wall and cow dung is very aesthetic, its very nice. Rich people… I had it advertised a three storey… he built a mud house, that way the bottom two floors is very cool and very warm, very insulated. Very, very nice. Even he could have built a brick house. What’s the need?

Only the places they build the brick house in a country is when they are afraid of thieves because the mud house they can go through the walls at night and steal some thing; the brick house, you can't get through the wall. So if people are spiritually oriented, culturally oriented, then they don’t mind; they like it. Even if they had a choice, they prefer it. It was only the kings who built big fortresses and palaces out of bricks; otherwise the brahmanas, the common people were very satisfied in the Vedic time, living in the grass house.

What is the need of working so hard? You find people work their whole life to build a house out of brick and everything, nice house. In London nowadays to buy a house, how many hundreds of thousands of pounds it costs? But they are only getting 3 bedrooms, not getting like a very big space. It’s still crowded. I saw there is one person. He had a compound of twelve houses: one for this one, on for that one. Every son had his own little house in the compound. One special goshala, like a whole little village, just one family. Plenty of rooms, fresh air, and the whole thing, you could build it for about 1,000 to 2,000 pounds.

So, what they used to build out of bricks the temples and the king's houses. So today, we find the palaces ruined, and you'll find the temples standing from ancient India. And you don’t find the other, because people lived in simple houses.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu, his birthplace, when I came there, it had a grass hut, which… at the very place, His birthplace. And then, a few leaders later, some sudden innovation, they tore it down and made a grass hut out of concrete. Prabhupada said, "This is very bad. That was like a historical thing. That was so…. you could see that the house that was standing was hundreds of years old. They just kept improving it.

Now they took it down and made it all… you know, made the wood, for the uh… they made the grass roof out of concrete. All… you know, just made just an imitation with the wood that was holding it up, they made that out of concrete with the knots on it. They thought it was very nice. Prabhupada was very disgusted that they tore it down, aesthetic historical thing, you know, and made this imitation concrete replica, which lost some of the historical and aesthetic mood.

Srila Prabhupada, he appreciated the Vedic culture very much, even he would tell us a few of those Gopal Bhar jokes. Why would he say the different types of jokes? Because he knew, even the jokes he would say, he would laugh and we would stare without really understanding, because they were filled with so much instruction. They were filled with so much Vedic culture.

Just like one of the stories how uh, Krishna Chandra, this king, he was actually the king of Navadvipa. Navadvipa was within his kingdom, but his capital was in Krishnanagar.


…minister, you can say, who was like court jester. In other words, Prabhupada explained that in the kingdom, in the emperor's or the king's palaces, it was so heavy all the time. People were coming in with their complaints they wanted immediate justice. The king would see the thing and he give death sentence or arrest someone. So many different politics and things going on that it was very heavy. So, they would have one person who was very, very intelligent and he would have the, he would be the only person… he could spoof on the king. In this way it would be like sometimes a little bit of a relief; otherwise, it it's just all heavy, then how can you go on? There needs to be a little bit of light relief. But because he was so intelligent, he would also advise the king in different ways. Sometimes by his own pragmatic practical humor and intelligence, he’d be able to save the situation of all the big military and political brains, they would be stumped, under certain situations.

But anyway, just as an example, I mean like Prabhupada gave the example. He would come. Sometimes the king you know, he would… he would also… he had to keep the gravity of his other ministers, but this particular person, he could also spoof on, and everyone just took it as you know, “This was allowed.” But if you would spoof on his general or someone else, then their, their own prestige would be hampered. They couldn't perform their duties to the king.

Like Gopal, he came in and one day the king said, "Gopal, you are an ass.” He said, "I'm an ass? I'm not an ass. There is a difference between me and an ass, your lord.” The king said, "No, you are an ass!”

“I beg to differ, but there is a difference between me and an ass.” “Oh, what is that difference between you and an ass?”

He said, “Well, sir…” He measured off the distance between him and the king and said, "About six feet, sir!” So he could do that, but if anyone else did it, then he'd have his head cut off.

"You're very clever, Gopal."

So one time, the king, he was touring also his kingdom. Even 300, 250 years ago, and there he saw, there was a brahmana carrying a salagram sila around his neck in a silken cloth, which is a system if you move the salagram you're supposed to wear it around your neck. He saw that the brahmana, suddenly looked around and then didn't see the king and then on the side of the road, he passed, answered his nature's call, actually you know, passed stool. So the king was shocked. “Here's is a brahmana carrying a salagram sila. How could he do such a thing? Just evacuate like that!”

So he was just completely disgu… He came back and immediately told his granadier and his aide de camp, "You find out this brahmana and bring him to me."

They brought the brahmana. He was shaking, you know.

He said, "You were carrying the salagram sila today?"

He said, “Yes my lord."

Then he said, "Well, you were evacuating while carrying the salagram sila, Narayana Murti? For this, you call yourself a brahmana? You are going against the brahminical culture; it is my judgment that at sunset you'll have your head off. With brahmanas like you in the kingdom, the whole culture would be ruined. People will be led into irreligion. Off with his head! At sunset."

The brahmana was just shaking. I mean what could he say? But then Gopal… So Gopal came to his rescue.

Said, "Your Majesty, but he was only the carrier of the Salagram sila."

“What is that he was the carrier? He was… He He was just passing stool, while he was carrying the salagram sila!” “But lord, he was only the carrier.”

"What do you mean, the carrier?”

"Well, lord, today you were riding on your horse. The horse was your carrier?”

"Yes. What of it?"

"So, when the horse, just passed its dung, then did you go and take a bath and washed your hands and do all the purificatory rights as if you had personally honored your nature call?

"Gopal, you are very clever. All right. Free the brahmana.”

So, this is considered to be… like the humor in Bengal. People reading this like it very much. So it is a very simple story, you see. Ultimately, whether the brahmana was right or wrong, but all right, he made a mistake. But that he learnt a lesson, he'll definitely never, you see, the king was thinking "Put the Salagram sila on a tree or something why carry it and go on with the business you are doing. But anyway Gopal by his pragmatic common sense, somehow another saved the brahmana, who definitely never did something like that again.

The point is that even the humor… Look at it. The duty… Just like today, reading, Pariksit Maharaja is protecting the Vedic culture. Even the humor there… The king, he is protecting brahminical culture. If a brahmana would do something unbrahminical, he would be chucked off.

The king was respectful to all the brahmanas, but if some brahmana, did something, he was more severely punished.

He was considered more responsible, if he did something directly against Brahminical culture. But if he committed other little type of small social thing, then of course, sometime he would be forgiven. Other people, they couldn’t take any action. It would have to be taken only by the king, or someone very high, and even then they were very reluctant. Only if it was something very obvious.

But their thing was, they are protecting… So here, what is the role of the king? What is the responsibility of a brahmana? So many things are involved in a simple humorous story. So many instructions are there. Otherwise, why Prahbupada would go on telling different things like that to us? So Vedic culture is so perfect. Everything has got spiritual purpose and a spiritual perspective. So similarly, in our Krishna consciousness, we want to bring the people up to their spiritual awareness by drama, by movie, by lectures, by different programs.

Now the people, their consciousness is practically simply eating, sleeping, mating, defending, nothing else. No consideration within all that of any spiritual objective. They don't eat for any spiritual objective; they eat just to feed their face. They are not sleeping for any spiri… They are not… even having their children, there’s no spiritual objective, having there different affairs. Everything is Krishna consciousness is completely opposite, counter-culture. Everything has a spiritual objective.

So Caitanya Mahaprabhu, by His mercy, even those people who have got no access to spiritual understanding, no access to spiritual objective, no access to any kind of God conscious; he gives them the special mercy if they simply chant Hare Krishna, take Krishna prasadam, dance in ecstasy, they will become purified. They can also get pure love for Krishna in this very life, which takes millions and millions of years for even the demigods. They can't even hope to attain that elevated status.

The demigods see that pure devotees of Krishna, you see, with divine forms with four hands with different defined forms. We may not be able to see because our vision is just made of skin and flesh and mucus membranes. Therefore we can't see. But someone who is fully dedicates to Caitanya Mahaprabhu's movement, he becomes transcendentally situated. That is Lord Caitanya's special mercy.

No matter what his previous material situation was due to so many karmas, reincarnation, it's all transcended. The Caitanya caran… describes that one cannot commit enough sinful activities that even one Harinam cannot destroy. So Lord Caitanya does not lack any potency to purify us. Simply now we have to take this mercy that's being given.

It's not that because we are the most fallen that we are in some very good position. We are in the worst position, materially. Going simply into hell. But we can make the best use of the bad bargain by becoming devotees of the Panca-Tattva. Krishna has expanded Himself in these five forms. As devotee, expansion of devotees, avatar of devotee, energy of devotee and pure devotee, simply to give us His mercy? So why don't we take it? What is sixty, seventy, fifty years? How long do people live nowadays? In that short time, if we just stick to chanting Hare Krishna, taking Krishna prasadam, avoiding all type of nonsense, which is of no use to us, we don't lose in anything and we gain everything.

Jāya śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya


sri advaita gadādhara


hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa

kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare

hare rāma hare rāma

rāma rāma hare hare

Transcribed by

H.G. Pranasakhi Lasika Devi dasi

Revised by

H.G. Jagannatha dasa Brahmacari

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