kaumāra ācaret prājño
dharmān bhāgavatān iha
durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma
tad apy adhruvam arthadam
dharmān bhāgavatān iha
durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma
tad apy adhruvam arthadam
Prahlāda Mahārāja, advising his classfriends, "My dear friend, if you want success in your life..." People do not know what is the success of life. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum [SB 7.5.31]. Everyone is supposed to be interested in his self, what is called self-interested. Everyone, beginning from the animal up to the highest living entity, Brahmā, everyone is interested for his self-satisfaction. But Prahlāda Mahārāja says, not exactly here, in other place, he has said, na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum [SB 7.5.31]. When he was talking with his father, father was instructing him that "You foolish boy. You are simply chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. You do not know your self-interest. You should be politician. You should be technician. You should be bluffer. [laughter] So so many things are there. Unless you become quite alert in this world, how you can live?" The child said, "My dear father, perhaps you do not know what is your self-interest." Yes. He was always challenging his father. Five years old boy, and his father, the most powerful atheist king, and he was talking very freely. At last, when the boys was challenging always the father, the father inquired, "You rascal, under whose strength you talk with me so freely?" The boy replied, "My dear father, by whose power you are talking so freely, I am also talking by His power." [laughter] So that is the difference between atheist and theist. The child knew, "My dear father, you are so proud of your strength, of your material assets, but you do not know by whose grace you have got all these things. But I know. I know. Therefore by whose power you are so puffed up, by His power I am so humble." That is the difference. That is the difference. "The power is acting equally within you and within me, but you want to be puffed up, so He is helping you how you become more and more puffed up and go to hell." [laughter]
Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham: [Bg. 4.11] "Anyone who worships Me in a particular way, I give him chance to be successful in that particular way." If you want to be a first-class atheist, Kṛṣṇa will give you chance to become a first-class atheist. He will give you intelligence. He will give you ways and means how you can become a first-class atheist. And if you want to become a first-class devotee, Kṛṣṇa will give you intelligence how you can become a first-class devotee. Therefore He says, ye yathā māṁ prapadyante. If you think that Kṛṣṇa here = "Here is a statue of Kṛṣṇa. He is an idol. And these foolish people are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa with an idol," so Kṛṣṇa will remain to such person an idol forever. And one who knows, "Oh, these people are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead," for him, Kṛṣṇa will reveal, "Yes. I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead." This is the difference.
In the Bhagavad-gītā you'll find, sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo [Bg. 15.15]. Kṛṣṇa says that "I am living in everyone's heart." Sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca: "And through Me one is forgetting and one is remembering." So why Kṛṣṇa is doing like that? He is helping somebody to forget, and He is helping somebody to remember. Why? The same answer = ye yathā māṁ prapadyante. If you want to forget Kṛṣṇa or God, He will give you intelligence in such a way that you will forget forever. There will be no chance to come to the precincts of God. But it is the devotees of Kṛṣṇa. They are very compassionate. Kṛṣṇa is very strict. If anyone wants to forget Him, He will give him so many chances that he will never be able to understand what is Kṛṣṇa. But Kṛṣṇa's devotee are more compassionate than Kṛṣṇa. Therefore they preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness or God consciousness to the poor people. Gṛhiṇāṁ dīna-cetasām. Mahad-vicalanaṁ nṛṇāṁ gṛhiṇāṁ dīna-cetasām. When Nārada approached Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, he welcomed him that "My dear sir, you are free. You can travel anywhere you like. You are so great and so free. Then why do you come to me? You have no business to come here. I am ordinary king, and what business you have got with me? But still, you come to my house. You talk with me. Why?" Gṛhiṇāṁ
dīna-cetasām. Our mind is very poor. We simply... We are very much busy in the matter of maintaining family, and we have taken it = "This is the sum and substance or success of life."
In this way, as the other day I was speaking, not here, in San Francisco, that in this age especially, a man will think himself very successful if he simply can maintain one wife and a few children. That's all. He will think himself very successful. And actually, it is a problem for present day people to maintain even an wife, which is... An animal, an animal is also maintaining a wife. There is no difficulty for him. A dog has a wife and children, so he has no economic problem. A bird has wife and children, but he has no economic problem. But man has gone so down that he is thinking to keep wife and children is an economic problem, to avoid it. To avoid it use contraceptive method, no children, simply indulge in sex life. So man has become so down and down, especially in this age. But it is not a problem. Bhāgavata says that this is not a problem. You are thinking of maintaining your wife and children. Oh, that is already arranged. As this is arranged for the animals, for the birds, for the beasts, to have a wife and enjoy sex life and beget some children, then why not for you? You are advanced human being. Then Bhāgavata says that tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovidaḥ. One who is intelligent, one who knows things as they are, he is called kovidaḥ. Kovidaḥ means very expert. So Bhāgavata advising the most intelligent man that tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovidaḥ: "If you are intelligent, then you should try for advancing your Kṛṣṇa consciousness." Why? Na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ: [1.5.18] "Because this Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so valuable and rare that if you travel all over the space by your sputnik or something else, you cannot get this Kṛṣṇa consciousness anywhere." Na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ. "Oh, Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so very valuable that I shall simply devote my life only for attaining or achieving this end of life? Then what about my economic problem?" The Bhāgavata says, tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukhaṁ kālena sarvatra gabhīra-raṁhasā: "My dear friend, because you are a part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, so your economic problem is already solved." You will get something to eat, you will have some opposite sex to satisfy your senses, and you will be able to defend yourself according to your capacity, and āhāra-nidrā, and you will be allowed a place to sleep nicely. That is already arranged.
There is a very nice story. I have several times perhaps recited that one morning... In the western countries also fair takes place, some in county, some village place. So in India there are weekly bazaar which is called haṭṭa. So at that time the salesmen with their goods, commodities, they assemble and many purchase are..., just like in market place. So there was a market, weekly market, and thousands of people assembled there. So one old lady of that village, she began to cry. Then her elderly son inquired, "Mother, why you are crying?" "No, where shall I accommodate all these people to lie down in the, at night? There are so many people in this village, and how I shall accommodate?" The son began to laugh. "My dear mother, you don't bother. It will be all arranged." "No, my dear son, I am very much perplexed." So she began to cry. So in the evening the son called the mother, "Mother, now you see in the marketplace." She saw, "Oh, where are all those people gone? Huh?" So there is arrangement. All those thousands of people assembled in the market, they have got their sleeping place. They have got their eating place. So by arrangement. There is arrangement. Similarly, there may be millions and millions of living entities; God has arrangement. If you calculate the human population and other living entities, the human population, especially the civilized human beings, are nothing in comparison to other living entities. There are millions and billions of living entities even in this store. If you find out a small hole, you will find millions of ants coming. They are also living entities. And who is arranging for their food? You are not very much busy to... Although it is your duty. That is also Bhāgavata communism. Bhāgavata communism says that even if you have got a lizard in your room, you must give him something to eat. If you have got a serpent in your room, you must give it something to eat. Nobody in your house should starve. You see? This is Bhāgavata communism, not that "Only my brother and sister will not starve, and other animals should be killed." This is not communism. Here is communism. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness communism, that a Kṛṣṇa conscious person is thinking even for the ant, even for the lizard, even for the serpent. That is real communism.
Devotee: Yes, Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: Not that, "Oh, my brother is good and I am good, and my father is good or my countrymen is good, my society, and all are bad." This is not communism. So the arrangement is there by God's grace. There is ample food. There is no economic problem. We have created our economic problem by so-called social arrangement. So Bhāgavata says that there is no economic problem. Tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukham. "How do you say that there is no economic problem?" The Bhāgavata gives... Bhāgavata means... Any authoritative literature, they must give evidence. So here Bhāgavata gives evidence that tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukham. Now, you never try to invite calamities, but sometimes calamities come upon you unexpected. There is some great loss. There is some calamity, distress, but you do not want it. How do they come? Similarly, even if you do not endeavor for your happiness, whatever happiness is destined to you, it will come. Don't bother about it. Simply bother for how you can make advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is being instructed by Prahlāda Mahārāja, that kaumāra ācaret prājñaḥ. From the beginning of life.
From the beginning of life means... Actually, our life begins at the age of five years. According to Cāṇakya Paṇḍita's nīti, it is said that the boys, the children, should be given complete freedom to do anything he likes up to five years, not more than that. Lālayet pañca-varṣāṇi: "Up to five years a child should be given all freedom." Never mind however miscreant he may be. But from five years to fifteen years---that means a period of ten years---tāḍayet. Lālayet pañca-varṣāṇi tāḍayet daśa-varṣāṇi: "You should give all freedom to your child for five years, and then, next ten years, you should be very strict, very strict, so that the child may be very much afraid. And as soon as he attains sixteen years of age, then you should treat him like friend, not, I mean to say, so strictly." These are the moral instruction by Cāṇakya Paṇḍita.
So Prahlāda Mahārāja advises the bhāgavata-dharma. Bhāgavata. What is the bhāgavata-dharma? Bhāgavatān dharmān ācared yata arthadam etaj janma devādi-janmani mahā-viṣaya āviśat. Now, why this life is given so much importance, this human life? There are many other lives, lower and higher. In the higher planets there are demigods. They are far more improved, they are more intelligent, they are more happy than this planet. You must know that the higher planets, the comforts of life is thousand times more. As you go in the higher planetary system, the standard of life, the conveniences, are thousand times greater than in this planet. Therefore the commentator, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī is that "Why not bhāgavata-dharma, cultivate Kṛṣṇa consciousness, in the life of demigods? Why in this human form of life?" So the answer is that devādi-janma, devādi-janmani mahā-viṣaya āviśat. Devādi-janmani. In the lives of demigod, they are puffed up with so much material enjoyments that there is very little chance to become Kṛṣṇa conscious.
Just like in India still, in this fallen condition of India, whenever there is Bhāgavata recitation, thousands of people still will assemble because the benefit is that they are little poverty-stricken than the western people. So Jīva Gosvāmī says that a person who is too much puffed up with material facilities, it is very difficult for him to come into Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In the Bhāgavata it is stated, Kṛṣṇa..., I mean to say, question and answer between Mahārāja Parīkṣit and Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Mahārāja Parīkṣit inquired his spiritual master Śukadeva Gosvāmī that "Generally we find that those who are Vaiṣṇava, or Kṛṣṇa conscious persons, they are poorer, whereas we see those who are worshiper of Lord Śiva, they are very rich." This question was put by Mahārāja Parīkṣit to Śukadeva Gosvāmī, and he narrated that "Lord Śiva is so poor that he hasn't got even one house to live. He is living underneath tree. He cannot provide even a shelter to his wife, who is coming, who is the princess of a very great king, Mahārāja Dakṣa. So why this difference? And whereas persons who are devoted to Viṣṇu, who is the master of everything, goddess of fortune..." Lakṣmī-sahasra-śata-sambhrama-sevyamānam [Bs. 5.29]. Not only one goddess of fortune, but many hundreds and thousands of goddess of fortune is serving Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu in the spiritual planet. "So the devotee of Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu, they appear to be poorer than the devotees of Lord Śiva, who is less than a poor man. Why this contradiction?"
So the contradiction was answered by Śukadeva Gosvāmī, not personally. He took authority. What is that authority? He said immediately, "My dear king, this answer I shall not give you, but a similar answer was put forward by your grandfather, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, to your other grandfather, Kṛṣṇa." Kṛṣṇa also happened to be grandfather of Mahārāja Parīkṣit. Because Kṛṣṇa's sister was married to Arjuna and Mahārāja Parīkṣit is the grandson of Subhadrā, Arjuna's wife. Therefore Kṛṣṇa also happens to be grandfather of Mahārāja Parīkṣit, and Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira also happens to be grandfather, being the eldest brother of his grandfather. So Kṛṣṇa is the authority. Therefore Śukadeva Gosvāmī is giving authoritative answer as it was spoken by Kṛṣṇa. This is the way of speaking. One should cite authority. Śukadeva Gosvāmī was not less authority. As I described the other day that there are twelve authorities. Out of them, Śukadeva Gosvāmī himself is one of the authorities. But still, he is citing the authority of Kṛṣṇa. That is the way of presenting things. That is called Vedic knowledge, that you must giving... Whatever you say, it must be supported by the authority. Just like a good lawyer. He gives good evidence from other courts' judgement, authority. So Śukadeva Gosvāmī said that "This very question was inquired by your grandfather, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, to Kṛṣṇa because they were put into so many calamities, the Pāṇḍavas. Kṛṣṇa was their personal friend. Still, they were put into so many calamities for which they had to fight forcibly." So Kṛṣṇa answered. When Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira inquired "Why this contradiction? The Vaiṣṇava, who is worshiper of the most opulent personality, Viṣṇu, they appear to be poorer, whereas the worshiper of Lord Śiva, who appears to be poorer than ordinary man, they become very richer. Why?"
Kṛṣṇa answered that yasyāham anugṛhnāmi hariṣye tad-dhanam śanaiḥ: [SB 10.88.8] "My dear brother, Yudhiṣṭhira, My first evidence of mercy to My devotee is to plunder all his wealth, whatever he has got. You see? Whatever he has got, I take it away. Then he tries again to accumulate some money. Again I take it away. In this way, he tries; I take away. When he becomes confused and baffled, he fully surrenders unto Me." Hā hā prabhu nanda-suta. Just like Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura is praying Kṛṣṇa, hā hā prabhu nanda-suta: "Oh my dear Lord Kṛṣṇa, the son of Nanda Mahārāja," vṛṣabhānu-sutā-juta, "oḥ, You are standing before me accompanied by Rādhārāṇī, the daughter of Mahārāja Vṛṣabhānu." Koruṇā karoho ei-bāro: "Now this is the time to show me mercy." Narottama-dāsa kahe: "Narottama dāsa is appealing to You." Nā ṭheliho rāṅgā pāy: "Don't push me away." Tomā bine ke āche āmāra: "I have no other personality than Yourself. I have lost everything." This is surrender. So one should think like that. That is the perfection of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that "I have nothing more except Kṛṣṇa." So that has to be practiced, and not that if one thinks like that, that he has nothing except Kṛṣṇa. One who has Kṛṣṇa, he has everything. He has everything. The Bhagavad-gītā supports, yaṁ labdhvā cāparaṁ lābhaṁ manyate nādhikaṁ tataḥ. If you can gain Kṛṣṇa, then there is no more necessity of any other profit. All profit is there.
yam labdhvā cāparaṁ lābhaṁ
manyate nādhikaṁ tataḥ
yasmin sthite guruṇāpi
duḥkhena na vicālyate
manyate nādhikaṁ tataḥ
yasmin sthite guruṇāpi
duḥkhena na vicālyate
"If one is fixed up in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, however heaviest calamity may come upon me, come upon one, he will remain steady without any disturbance." This is such a thing. And Kṛṣṇa said, kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati [Bg. 9.31]. The evidence is Arjuna himself. They were put to so much trouble by their cousin brothers, but ultimately, they came out victorious. So if we accept Kṛṣṇa as everything, so there is no poverty, there is no economic problem. Everything is all right. Thank you very much. [break]
Prabhupāda: ...Bhāgavatam is... You have read that Siddhartha's book?
Woman (1): Siddhartha.
Prabhupāda: That's all right. Have you read that book? What is the ultimate destination? Yes, I know the story of Buddha.
Woman (1): [indistinct]
Prabhupāda: Yes, I know. Not from that book, but from Bhāgavata I have read Lord Buddha's life. So we know Lord Buddha. It is not that we do not know him, but we know from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In Bhāgavatam there is description of Lord Buddha. The reason is that when a doctor says a patient that "You must starve," what is the reason? Sometimes doctors says to his patient that "You cannot eat. You must starve." Why?
Woman (1): To help heal.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Therefore when, by nature's way, one is starving, you should know that he is getting better. You should not be bothered about that thing. Suppose doctor advises some patient that he should starve. And if you become very compassionate and give him some bread, you will be doing harm to him. Your business is how to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. You should not be disturbed by nature's process. But if you want to help anyone, just try to help him in relationship with Kṛṣṇa. That will be real benefit.
People are very much attracted by humanitarian work, but there are so many institutions that improvement the world's, I mean to say, condition has not improved. Just like from India I was thinking that every American is rich man, but actually, when I come to America, there is economic problem. There is poverty problem here also, although not in comparison to India. But proportion is there, five thousand upon five and five hundred upon..., like that. Proportion is the same. So karma, the karma, the law of karma is there. Everyone is subjected to law of karma, and he has to enjoy or suffer according to law of karma. So we cannot interfere. We can simply teach everybody that sometimes you are becoming in the point of starvation, and sometimes you are becoming extravagant in opulence. But this is changing. Your life, this material existence, is always changing. Sometimes I am very rich man. Sometimes I am very poor man. Sometimes I am human being. Sometimes I am cats and dogs. We shall stop this business of changing. Bhagavad-gītā says, mad-dhāma gatvā punar janma na vidyate. If we try this life to go back to Godhead, go back to home, that is our success. We should not bother about the condition of life. Whatever condition of life we are put in, we may be satisfied.
So we should endeavor for improving Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then our life will be successful. Sometimes you will find mother is supplying very nice foodstuff to one child, and other child the mother is supplying only little barley water. Do you mean to say mother is unkind to one child and not unkind to other? Because mother knows better than anyone that this child cannot digest. There is some trouble in his stomach. He should be given light food. And the other child is all right. Similarly, mother nature is the guidance. So if somebody is starving, it should be noted like that, that he is put into that circumstances to get better. That's all. So any other question? [break] Everyone, I shall request you to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. We have enjoyed so many lives in the past, or suffered. Now, this life, at least one life may be devoted for chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa and see the result. That is our request. [end]