yathaiva narakān nara
tan me vyākhyātum arhasi
There was topics of the different hellish conditions of life according to different sinful activities. There is description in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Fifth Canto, the different planetary systems of this universe, how each and every planet is different from the other by its atmosphere, by its inhabitants, dealings.
Just like modern scientists, they are finding difference between this planet and the moon planet. They say that there is no living entity. That is not fact. They... Even though they have reached the moon planet, it is not a fact that there is no living entity. Accepting they reached the moon planet, they might have gone to the part where it is desert or barren land, because in each and every planet there is such possibility.
In our this planet also, when I was passing through the Suez Canal, it is horrible desert. So if somebody drops in that Arabian desert and concludes that there is no living entity in this planet, it is simply foolish. Similarly, these people are going..., maybe going. First of all, I don't believe they have gone, frankly speaking. Even they have gone, they are landing in some part of the moon planet where there is no inhabitation.
But there are different kinds of planets. That we get from Vedic literatures. Vibhūti-bhinnam. Bhinnam means different, and vibhūti means opulence. Every planet has got special opulence. Just like the moon planet: it is shining. It has got a special opulence—it is shining. The sun planet is so hot and so brilliant. Similarly, each and every planet, either small or big, they have got a particular type of opulence. That is stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā:
yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi-
koṭiṣv aśeṣa-vasudhādi vibhūti-bhinnam
In this planet also, different places have got different opulence. Just like in India you will find throughout the whole year brilliant sunshine, and in the Western countries, in London, hellish—always moist, raining and cloudy. You cannot distinguish whether it is night or day. In our... Now I was in London. When I was, I think, last year, in this time, December, the morning was at ten o'clock, and the evening was at three o'clock. So how many hours from ten to three?
Prabhupāda: Five hours day. And nineteen hours night. So of course, I was rising, as usual, early in the morning. So I wanted to go out. So I couldn't go out before half-past nine to the Regent Park. And it was full of snow and ice, and it is very difficult to walk.
So just like in this planet there are different places of different conditions, so it is natural to accept it that different planets have got different atmosphere, different opulences, different kinds of population, living entities. Keśava tuyā jagat vicitra. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has sung that "My dear Kṛṣṇa, Your creation is variegated." There are different types. Similarly, there are planets where hellish conditions perpetually continue. Just like you can compare the northern pole. It is a hellish condition within this earth. And similarly, there are planets, so, and they are suffering.
So Parīkṣit Mahārāja inquired that,
yathaiva narakān nara
tan me vyākhyātum arhasi
"You have described, 'For this kind of sinful activities one has to take his birth in this kind of planet or this kind of place.' Now please let me know how these suffering living entities can be delivered from this suffering condition, different varieties of suffering condition." Ugra. Ugra means very acute. "If there is any means to deliver them?" So that answer is given:
na ced ihaivāpacitiṁ yathāmhasaḥ
kṛtasya kuryān mana-ukta-pāṇibhiḥ
dhruvaṁ sa vai pretya narakān upaiti
ye kīrtitā me bhavatas tigma-yātanāḥ
So, "My dear king, one has to suffer. This is the law of karma. According to the volume of sinful activity, one has to accept the reaction. There is no other alternative." Tasmāt, "Therefore,"
puraivaṣv iha pāpa-niṣkṛtau
yateta mṛtyor avipadyatātmanā
doṣasya dṛṣṭvā guru-lāghavaṁ yathā
bhiṣak cikitseta rujāṁ nidānavit
Just like you are suffering from some disease. So according to the nature of the disease, you have to pay for its medicine. One who is suffering from malarial disease, tuberculosis disease, asthmatic tendency, these disease are considered very severe type of disease. Coughing or having some little fever, they are not very severe. But there are many severe diseases. So as you pay to the specialist doctor or you pay for the medicine according to the severity of disease, similarly—yasmād evaṁ tasmād pāpasya niṣkṛtau prayaścitte yateta—you have to make treatment. And according to the symptoms of the disease, you have to undergo treatment. That is called prāyaścitta.
Just like if a man who has committed murder... His prāyaścitta is that he should be hanged. This is prāyaścitta: life for life. That is Manu-saṁhitā. This hanging a condemned person, a murderer, is a mercy to him. That is stated in the Manu-saṁhitā. So people are becoming now sympathetic, that "Whatever is done is done. Let this man be saved." This kind of sympathy is no good. So people are taking sympathy...
A man suffering from certain disease or certain miserable condition, they want to ameliorate it. This kind of sympathy is not sanctioned. He should suffer so that the reaction of his sinful activities in the past life should be diminished. If he does not suffer, then he will have to suffer more, continue, because he is condemned to suffer so much. If you minimize it now, that does not mean he will not suffer. He will suffer next life.
Just like a man is imprisoned, and... If your friend or relative is imprisoned, by somehow or other you get him released by hook and crook, so when you are again captured you are again severely punished, both the men. Is it not the law? So how can you give relief to the suffering person who is condemned? If in your state law a man is suffering in the prison and if you feel sympathy or you may try to give him release and get him out by some hook and crook means, then both of you will be punished. Is it not? So how can you avoid the punishment by God's law?
So this kind of sympathy, just like this Ramakrishna Mission, daridra-nārāyaṇa sevā, under the plea of accepting this suffering humanity as Nārāyaṇa and appealing to the compassion of the people... Although they cannot do anything. Actually they are not doing anything. But this philosophy is a rubbish philosophy. You cannot do. If you can do anything good to the people, then you can simply awaken them to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the best service. Other service you cannot do. Te 'pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni-baddhāḥ [SB 7.5.31]. Just like by any means you cannot get released a man who is condemned in the prison. Against law. However sympathetic you may be to your friend, but you cannot release him. That is against law.
Similarly, people are suffering, undoubtedly, but they have to undergo the prāyaścitta process. In the śāstras there are prāyaścitta process. Formerly, even our childhood days, we have seen in Calcutta there is a special quarter of the bhaṭṭācārya brāhmaṇas. The bhaṭṭācārya brāhmaṇas' business is that if you have committed some sinful act, you should immediately go and consult the bhattācārya: "What is the process of prāyaścitta?" Just like you go in case of disease, consult a physician, and take his prescription and diagnosis, similarly, that was the Vedic system.
You have read in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta that one Buddhimanta Khan, he was formerly... He was very rich man, and Nawab Hussain Shah was the servant when he was not Nawab. So he was menial servant. So he stole some money, as servants are generally habituated. So he whipped him with his cane. So that whipping stripe was on his back side. When he was Nawab, so his wife saw it and inquired, "What is this scar?" So he replied the whole story, that "I was formerly a menial servant to this Buddhimanta Khan and I did something wrong. So as my father, he punished me. That's all. He was treating me as my son." So he admitted that he was so kind.
But his wife said, "Oh, this scar is a defamation. If somebody sees and you explain, then it will be known that you were a menial servant previously." So the Nawab did not mind. He: "What is that? I may be... Now what I am, that's all." So his wife requested that "This man should be killed so that he may not disclose the secret of your life, that you were a menial servant in his house." And "No, no, no. This is... This cannot be. He is just like my father. How can I kill him? This is not possible." And just see. Then she advised, "At least make him Muhammadan. Convert him to be a Muhammadan."
In those days it was not very difficult. If somebody, a Muhammadan, takes water from his water pot and simply sprinkle in somebody's body, he becomes Muhammadan. The Hindu society was so rascal. Still they are. Simply by sprinkling water from the pot of a Muhammadan he becomes Muhammadan.
So this Nawab said, "All right, I shall sprinkle water. Let him do what he likes," [chuckles] to satisfy his wife. So he did it. When he did it—then the society was so strong—he went to the bhaṭṭācārya to consult: "Oh, sir, I have been sprinkled water by a Muhammadan. So what prāyaścitta?" What is called? What is the English of prāyaścitta? Compensation?
Revatīnandana: Some penance.
Prabhupāda: No, no. Atonement. "So what kind of atonement I have to do?" So the bhaṭṭācārya advised him that "You take one kilo of lead and melt it and drink it, and that is your atonement." You see? So he said, "How it is possible?" "This is the atonement for such sinful activity. Yes."
Just see. For the last five hundred, six hundred years... Why...? For thousands of years the Hindu society is so fallen. Therefore so many Muhammadans have increased here. They are not imported. In this way the Hindu population, they have been forced to accept Mohammadan religion, you see, by the Muhammadans. Just like Aurangzeb. He imposed one tax for the Hindus. So all the poor men class, to avoid the tax they become Muhammadans. And there was so much punishment by the Hindus. And so he became a Muhammadan, so-called Muhammadan, by the diagnosis of the bhaṭṭācārya.
So this kind of prāyaścitta was current during the [indistinct] days of the Vedic society. But in the śāstras there are... In every scripture... Just like in Christian, their prāyaścitta is to confess, similarly, there are different types of prāyaścitta. So here Parīkṣit Mahārāja is advised, yathā puraiva. Yathā evaṁ tasmāt pāpasya niṣkṛtau prāyaścitta yateta kadā mṛtyu puraiva.
So prāyaścitta. If you want to be free from the reaction of the sinful activities in this life—exactly in the same way as Christian Bible advises that you have to make some atonement, go to the church and confess your sinful activities and pay some fine—exactly in the same way in Vedic scriptures also, that "Before death you must make some atonement; otherwise you will continue in your next life." Tasmāt puraivaṣv iha pāpa-niṣkṛtau yateta mṛtyor avipadyatātmanā [SB 6.1.8]. "Before you meet your death, that you should take."
Doṣasya dṛṣṭvā guru-lāghavaṁ yathā: and you have to make atonement according to the gravity of your sinful activities. Yathā bhiṣak cikitseta rujāṁ nidānavit. Just like nidānavit. Nidāna means a expert physician. He prescribes medicine and advises treatment according to the gravity of the disease. Similarly, you have to undergo atonement for the sinful activities according to its gravity. That is the system.
Then... The king is very intelligent. He is not only king but he's a great devotee of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa conscious. So he replied, "What is the use of this kind of atonement?"
dṛṣṭa-śrutābhyāṁ yat pāpaṁ
jānann apy ātmano 'hitam
karoti bhūyo vivaśaḥ
prāyaścittam atho katham
"Sir, what is the value of this atonement? If people continue to act sinfully, then what is the use of this kind of prāyaścitta?" This is a very intelligent question. If... Suppose a man suffering from venereal disease goes to a doctor and he prescribes some medicine and gives him some diagnosis that "You should live in this way, in that way," but after the disease is cured, immediately if he commits the same sinful act, then what is the value of the treatment?
The same thing, just like nāmnād balād yasya hi pāpa-buddhiḥ. In every society this is going on. In our Kṛṣṇa conscious Society, or those who are Vaiṣṇava, they are, some of them are thinking like that, that "I am chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, so if I commit some sinful act, then I shall again chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and it will be adjusted." And Christians also think like that, that "I may commit sins throughout the whole week, and on Sunday I shall go to the church and confess it. It will be counteracted." So this defective conclusion of the human society is interrupted here by the question of Mahārāja Parīkṣit, that,
dṛṣṭa-śrutābhyāṁ yat pāpaṁ
jānann apy ātmano 'hitam
karoti bhūyo vivaśaḥ
prāyaścittam atho katham
So people, they know that "There is resultant action of this kind of sinful activity." He knows. Even if he does not know, he sees. Just like a man who has stolen, committed theft. One sees that he is arrested or he is punished, he is put into the prison, and still, he commits stealing. He knows. So similarly, we are hearing from the śāstra that "If you commit this sin..." Just like māṁsa. Māṁsa, this very thing, means māṁ sa khadati. Therefore flesh is called māṁsa. "The animal which I am killing, he will have the right to kill me and eat me." That is going on, repetition: "I kill you this life. Next life you kill me. In this life you have become a cow or goat. Next time I'll become a cow or goat. You have the right to kill me." This is called karma-bandhana.
So we hear from the śāstras. You may not believe, but we can see practically that a man who has committed murder, he is also hanged. There is no doubt about it. "Life for life." So how these foolish persons very, I mean to say, boldly killing animals? If it is a fact even in your state law that "life for life," how I can dare to commit murder or kill another animal? You see? And this is conclusion. The śāstra says that you have to pay that particular individual soul by your life. That is the meaning of māṁsa, the Sanskrit word māṁsa. Māṁsa khadati.
I am taking the risk. When I kill one animal for eating, I am taking the risk that "This animal sometimes will kill me." Exactly in the same way, life for life, murder, murderer is hanged—that is the law of the state—so why not that law in the state of the Supreme? Is that very unreasonable? But they do not see. Parīkṣit Mahārāja says that dṛṣṭa-śruta. In the scriptures or in the religious law books I have heard it that this kind of sin will be reacted in this way. And dṛṣṭa, and I have seen also that a man committing murder is hanged. So dṛṣṭa-śruta yat pāpam.
So this kind of sinful activities, janānn apy, everyone knows. Yesterday we were speaking of seeing and hearing. These experiences gathered by seeing and hearing is very important. This is tangible. So these two words have been used, dṛṣṭa-śruta: "by hearing and by seeing." Everyone knows that there is sinful reaction. Janānn apy. What is that? Ātmano ahitam. Ātmanā: it is disastrous for his self. He has to undergo so much punishment. Still, karoti bhūyo vivaśaḥ. Vivaśaḥ means automatically. He has been habituated. Automatically he commits the same sin, vivaśa.
Prāyaścittam atho katham. Then, if he remains always a victim to the sinful reaction and if he is habituated to do that, so artificially this kind of confession in the church or giving some bribe to the bhaṭṭācārya, what is the meaning of this? It is practical question. If the man is habituated to commit sinful activities throughout the whole week, what is the use of his going to the church and confessing and give some bribe or... You take in any..., any field.
So it is very intelligent question. There is practically no use. If you remain a thief always, so for your theft you are put into the prison, and as soon as you get out of the prison again you commit theft. He knows that "I shall be again put into the prison"; still, he commits the same thing. Actually there are many thieves. At least in India I have seen. Their business is stealing, and they are put into the jail, and as soon as he comes out, again commits the same thing and put into the jail for many days.
Himāvatī: Swāmī, many people also think that "If you're sinful, how can church help you? What is the use of going to church and confessing [indistinct]?"
Prabhupāda: Yes. If you... That will be discussed. This is the point. This is being discussed. It is not the... It is not the question of atheism. Your point is, "What is the use of going to the church?" But the use is that if he goes to the church, if he actually hears about, I mean to say, glorious life, to become devotee, to understand God, then the utilization of going to the church is all right. But if he goes with that spirit that "I shall go to the church and my sinful activities will be counteracted by giving some bribe and going to the church, then it is [not?] very good..." But his motive is different. Churchgoing is not for that purpose. That is a facility.
Just like we are preaching, "You chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and," ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12], "your sinful activities will be counteracted. Kṛṣṇa says that 'You just surrender unto Me and I shall give you protection from the sinful acts.' " So if I think, "It is very good. Then I shall go to Kṛṣṇa. I shall take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and He will protect me from sinful reaction. So it is a great opportunity. You become Kṛṣṇa conscious and commit all sinful activities, Kṛṣṇa will give me protection." That will create certainly atheism: "What is this bogus thing?"
But that does not mean... So you surrender to Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa takes charge of your past sinful activities. But that does not mean that "I shall remain Kṛṣṇa conscious, at the same time I shall go on committing sin." This..., for this facility, if anyone takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that is most sinful, that "I shall take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness because whatever sinful activities I shall do, it will be counteracted by Kṛṣṇa." So that will create certainly atheism, that "What is this bogus talk?" Do you follow? Yes. But that is not meant for.
Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Caitanya Mahāprabhu accepted Jagāi-Mādhāi on the condition that they will not commit any more sinful activities. So whatever they have committed, that is excused. Just like I am also accepting. Not that on the condition that you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and whatever you do, it will be counteracted. We are not making that condition. We are making condition that you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness; whatever sinful activities you have done, that will be squared up. But you don't do any more. Don't have illicit sex, don't drink, don't do this, don't do this.
So you must take it in that [indistinct]. Whatever you have done, that is no disqualification. That will be squared up. But not that on the strength of your Kṛṣṇa consciousness you'll do again. So these people are misunderstanding that "Church is giving me some facility that 'All right, whatever you have committed, that you confess. It is excused.' " But if the Church and the people make a business that "All right, throughout the whole week let me commit all kinds of sins, and on Sunday it will be all counteracted..." Yes?
Revatīnandana: There's one example I just remembered from the Christian Gospel. Jesus was accustomed to heal diseased people. And one time they brought a leper or somebody with a very bad disease before him. Or he was blind or something. And they asked him, "Can you heal this man?" And instead of saying, "Be free from leprosy," he said, "Your sins are forgiven." And they said, "Oh, what is this? No, we don't want you to forgive his sins. We want you to cure his disease." Jesus said, "What is the difference? Your sins are forgiven you." And when he said that, the man's disease was healed, and then he said, "Now go away and sin no more."
Revatīnandana: That was a reference about karma. Those who do not understand... It was a lesson on karma. They don't understand that.
Prabhupāda: So there is no value of this question of the atheist. They do not know what is the meaning of going to the church or going to the temple or church or spiritual master. That is a foolish question. The church does not allow. But if the church does not disclose this fact, that "Oh, I see every week you come. What is this, nonsense?" But the priest, they get some money and they want to continue their church business to get some money. So this is going on, cheating and cheated. Therefore the society has become the full of cheaters and cheated.
So the cheating cheaters are not encouraged. If in the church or if anywhere, in the court, they are all full of cheaters and cheated, then what can be done? But either the court or the church is not meant for that purpose, that they will excuse the sinners every week without questioning and without giving him full, nice instruction that "You cannot do this." But if they say like that, then no more..., nobody will come. Their income will be lost. So therefore they are cheated, and those people who are thinking that "I have gone to church and my priest has excused me. I have confessed," this is cheating. That's all. Actually the purpose is different.
Revatīnandana: The priests are all driving Lincoln Continentals [indistinct]. All the priests drive very expensive automobiles. They're all dressed very nicely, and they have very big cars, Catholic priests. They get so much money for forgiving sins.
Prabhupāda: They get money?
Revatīnandana: Yes, in Europe they used to sell indulgences. For a certain amount of money you get a certain indulgence and your...
Prabhupāda: Here also. The priests allow. The guru allow. The professional guru... His disciple will come: "Sir, doctor has advised me to take fish. Without taking fish my eyesight will be lost. He has advised. So what to do? You have asked me not to take fish. You said." "Oh, all right, I give you permission." He gives his permission. This is going on. "I give you per..." Because the guru sees that "If I say no, this rich disciple will be lost. So better let him do whatever he likes. I get my fees. That's all." This is going on.
That statement of my Guru Mahārāja, "the society of the cheaters and the cheated," is a fact everywhere. In a law court also, you bribe; you get justice. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Anardhena nyāya-rahitam[?]: "If you have got no money, then you cannot get justice in this age. You cannot get justice." It is clearly stated here. That is the symptom of this age. In the law court you have to bribe. In the judges... I know so many cases. The judges are bribed and they give favorable judgment. You bribe any judge, then he accepts.
One big judge and a big man's brother, P. R. Das, he was a very famous judge in high court and, in Patna high court, and he is the brother of a great pleader, C. R. Das. So he was taking bribe. He was taking bribe. And this was known to the other judges and the chief justice also. Complaint was there by other judges, that "He takes bribe." So in one case... Because there are rivals in everywhere. You see?
So in one case he was to just deliver the judgment, and everyone knew that he has taken already bribe, some thousands of rupees. So chief justice called him in his room, that "Mr. Das, I have heard that you do this business, and you have done this also today. All reports are with me. You immediately resign and go. Otherwise I shall take action. You immediately resign and go away. Otherwise I'll take action. I have got all evidence."
So when he saw that "There is now no way out," so he resigned that "On consideration of health. I am feeling very weak. My heart is palpitating." In this way wrote and resigned, and immediately he left high court, and the judgment was saved, and it was announced, "Mr. Das is very ill, sick, so today's court is closed. It will return tomorrow."
So that means that was the last day of his sitting in the court, and he retired. I think that man is still living, or dead? He was taking. And when he was asked by his friends that "Why did you take bribe?" So, "I get only four thousand rupees. I have got expenditure ten thousand. What can I do?" You see? A big judge, he was doing that business. That is within our experience.
Mālatī: That [indistinct] Das in Calcutta was a [indistinct].
Prabhupāda: Huh? Which [indistinct]?
Mālatī: That Mr. [indistinct].
Prabhupāda: No, no, no. That is different. This is a different Das. So, so many cases I know, and the judges take bribe. They take bribe. Therefore it is called Kali-yuga. The whole atmosphere is surcharged with vicious condition, anywhere. You go to the court, you go to the church, you go to the priest, you go to the so-called spiritual master... The time is so vicious. You see? The only rescue is to become sincere to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then one is safe. Otherwise, the whole atmosphere is very dangerous. That's all. Hare Kṛṣṇa. [devotees offer obeisances] [end]