Prabhupāda: ...this Sāṅkhya philosophy is very much well known, especially in the Western world. The propounder of Sāṅkhya philosophy, Kapiladeva, son of Devahūti, is the incarnation of Kṛṣṇa. He says that yoga ādhyātmikaḥ puṁsāṁ mato niḥśreyasāya me [SB 3.25.13].
[The Personality of Godhead answered: The yoga system which relates to the Lord and the individual soul, which is meant for the ultimate benefit of the living entity, and which causes detachment from all happiness and distress in the material world, is the highest yoga system.]
Niḥśreyasāya: ultimate benediction.
Śreyaḥ and preyaḥ; there are two things. One is called preyaḥ. Preyaḥ means immediately pleasing. And śreyaḥ means ultimately benefit, benediction. Generally, conditioned souls, they are attracted with immediate pleasing things. Just like children: they are attracted by playthings more than education. They do not like to go to school. They like to play the whole day.
In my childhood also, I was very naughty boy, and I was not going to school. And my mother kept a special man to drag me to the school. At that time, there was no system like in your country, school buses. One had to go to school on foot. So my father was very lenient. I was not going to school. Preyaḥ, pleasing. Children like to play. Similarly, there are two paths, śreyaḥ and preyaḥ.
So śreyaḥ means... Preyaḥ means sense gratification. We have got our senses, material senses, and we want to satisfy them without any consideration the sequence, the bad results of sense gratification. In the Bhāgavatam there is one passage in which it is stated that yan maithunādi-gṛhamedhi-sukhaṁ hi tuccham [SB 7.9.45].
[Sex life is compared to the rubbing of two hands to relieve an itch. Gṛhamedhis, so-called gṛhasthas who have no spiritual knowledge, think that this itching is the greatest platform of happiness, although actually it is a source of distress. The kṛpaṇas, the fools who are just the opposite of brāhmaṇas, are not satisfied by repeated sensuous enjoyment. Those who are dhīra, however, who are sober and who tolerate this itching, are not subjected to the sufferings of fools and rascals.]
Persons who are conditioned in the society, friendship and love, this is the attraction for material life. "Society, friendship and love," they think, "divinely bestowed upon man." But that, it is not divinely bestowed upon man. From spiritual point of view, it is the gift of māyā.
Society, friendship and love is the gift of māyā, illusion. Actually, the society with which we associate, and friendship which we make here, and so-called love, how long? Now, supposing I am now in human society. How long I shall remain in human society? I am preparing for my next life, or the next society. I may be transferred to dog society. And I may transfer..., I may be transferred to god society. That will depend on my work.
So we like society, friendship. Oh, I do not know how many intimate friendship I had, but those are now just like dream, everything finished. Now I am making new friendships with your countrymen, with you younger boys of this country, and I have forgotten the friendship which I made the whole life in India. So this friendship, this love, this society, this country—everything illusion, just like dream. At night we dream, "Oh, I have been made a king," and in the morning I see everything finished.
So we should not be attached to these temporary attractions. We admit these are temporary attractions, but we are still... Just like children. They are attracted to the..., but the parents, they're guiding, "Oh, you must go to school." Niḥśreyasāya. That is śreyaḥ. The boy, the child, does not like it, but the parents, they are anxious, "Oh, my child is not going to school; he is being spoiled." So dragging him.
Similarly, the scriptures, the sages, the saintly persons, the devotees, the representative of Kṛṣṇa, God, they're very much anxious to take us back to Godhead, back to home. That is niḥśreyasāya. That is the ultimate benediction. To be [indistinct], enamored by the temporary society, friendship and love.
And it has become a thankless task for the saintly persons, devotees of God, to drag them: "Oh, please come here. Please chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Please be Kṛṣṇa conscious. Please be God conscious." Nobody likes it. They think it botheration, "Why Swāmījī comes here and bothers us?" But it has become the business.
Therefore the qualification of a saintly person is titikṣava, very tolerant. Very tolerant. Just like Lord Jesus Christ, he was crucified. Still, he was so tolerant he, at the time of crucification, he's praying to God, "My Lord, these people do not know what they are doing. Please forgive them." Just see how much tolerant. Titikṣava.
This is the first qualification of saintly person or God's servant or God's son. Very tolerant. They have to push on their Kṛṣṇa conscious movement, or God conscious movement, through so many odds. Through so many odds. Because they are just like the child; he's attracted with playthings.
So yoga means, here it is stated, yoga ādhyātmikaḥ puṁsāṁ mato niḥśreyasāya. Yoga system means to lead one to the ultimate benediction. And ādhyātmikaḥ. Ādhyātmikaḥ means "pertaining to the soul." Yoga, practice of yoga, does not mean to gain some material profit. Actually, those who have attained to perfection to some extent in the yoga process...
The yoga process which is very much advertised in your country, that is more or less bodily exercise. Yoga process is very difficult for the modern age. I have several times discussed this point.
The preliminary process—yama, niyama, āsana, prāṇāyāma, dhyāna, dhāraṇā, samādhi—the eight processes, to control the senses, to control the mind, to practice sitting postures... Under certain physical posture the mind become concentrated. So there are different āsanas.
Then meditation, then contemplation, then absorption. These things are preliminary process. But actually, the yoga means to attain ultimate benediction, niḥśreyasāya. What is that niḥśreyasāya? Now, spiritual realization. That is niḥśreyasāya.
Spiritual realization..., there are different stages of spiritual realization. First spiritual realization is to understand oneself that "I am not matter; I am spirit." This is the first stage of spiritual realization—when one, firmly convinced... How? By knowledge. By knowledge. Just we are conscious, "I am Indian."
You are conscious that you are American. One is conscious, "I am Hindu." One is conscious, "I am Christian." So similarly, when one is fully conscious that "I am spirit. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi, I am Brahman," that is the first spiritual realization, that knowledge. Knowledge means consciousness.
So this consciousness has also... A development of consciousness. There are different stages. And when one comes to the ultimate stages, niḥśreyasāya, that is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or God consciousness. And how that consciousness acts? That "I am a servant of God. I am servant of Kṛṣṇa." When this consciousness is firmly fixed up, this is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu: He presented Himself, nāhaṁ vipro na ca nara-patiḥ, no vanastho yatir vā [Cc. Madhya 13.80].
[“’I am not a brāhmaṇa, I am not a kṣatriya, I am not a vaiśya or a śūdra. Nor am I a brahmacārī, a householder, a vānaprastha or a sannyāsī. I identify Myself only as the servant of the servant of the servant of the lotus feet of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the maintainer of the gopīs. He is like an ocean of nectar, and He is the cause of universal transcendental bliss. He is always existing with brilliance.’”]
He presented Himself... Because He was Hindu and Vedic, followers of Vedic... But actually, He was not Hindu, because He's describing Himself nāham. Nāham means "I am not" "I am not." He's declining. What He's declining? "I am not brāhmaṇa, I am not kṣatriya, I am not vaiśya, I am not śūdra, I am not brahmacārī, I am not gṛhastha, I am not vānaprastha, I am not sannyāsī."
The Vedic system of human life is divided into eight departmental activities, and that is going on under the name of Hinduism. It is now broken and degraded and so many things have happened. But actually, what is called Vedic system, that Vedic system is not meant for a particular class of men, but it is meant for the human society. Actually, human activities actually begins when they observe these eight principles of social divisions. More or less, they observe in any human society.
What is that? Brāhmaṇa. Brāhmaṇa means the most intelligent class of men of the society. Philosophers, scientists, astronomers, so many, intelligent class. So in every society there is a class of men who are very intelligent than ordinary men. Then kṣatriya. Kṣatriya means... Kṣat means harm. One who protects others from being harmed.
Suppose I am trying to harm you. And the person who protects you, he's kṣatriya. And who protects you? The king or the government. Therefore, those who are engaged in governmental affairs or takes the administrative charge, they are called kṣatriyas. So the kṣatriyas, they are in every human society, the administrator class, politicians, diplomats.
Next vaiśya, mercantile class. That is not to be explained. In your country there are so many mercantile class. And śūdras. Śūdra means neither intelligent nor administrator nor merchant. General laborer. Give them something, they'll work. They have no intelligence. So they are called śūdras. So these four divisions there are.
And... This is... So far our material necessities are concerned, there is need of intelligent class of men to guide, there is need of administrators or martial class of men, there is need of mercantile class of men, and there is need of laborer class of men. So these four divisions...
And next, culture. Culture means brahmacārī. First, student life. He's educated in the value of life. They are called brahmacārī. They're not allowed to mix with women. Just like nowadays, the schools and colleges, the boys and girls freely mix. The brahmacārī is not allowed to mix with girls and boys. That is restriction, brahmacārī.
Only gṛhasthas, householders, they are allowed to mix freely with woman, married. So brahmacārī is not allowed. That is spiritual training. In this way there are four department of spiritual training, namely brahmacārī; gṛhastha, or householder; vānaprastha, retired man; and sannyas... [end]