kaumāra ācaret prājño
dharmān bhāgavatān iha
durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma
tad apy adhruvam arthadam
dharmān bhāgavatān iha
durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma
tad apy adhruvam arthadam
yathā hi puruṣasyeha
yad eṣa sarva-bhūtānāṁ
priya ātmeśvaraḥ suhṛt
yad eṣa sarva-bhūtānāṁ
priya ātmeśvaraḥ suhṛt
I am reciting some verses from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the essence of Vedic literature. It is said, nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalam idam [SB 1.1.3]. Just like a big tree. What is the essential thing in the big tree? That is the fruit. Suppose a mango tree, big mango tree. But what we want from the mango tree? The mango. And if the mango is ripened, still, it is very nice. So it is compared, nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalam [SB 1.1.3]. Nigama means Vedic literature.
Veda, Veda means knowledge. Vetti veda vidoḥ jñāne vinte vid vicaraṇe. So vid-dhātu, those who are Sanskrit scholars here, they'll understand. Vid means to know, knowledge. So Vedic literature means to receive knowledge, authoritative knowledge. Not false knowledge. False knowledge... There is difference between false knowledge and authoritative knowledge. So far we are concerned at the present moment, whatever knowledge we are giving or accepting, they are more or less false knowledge. Not authoritative knowledge.
Just like we are studying the outer space, so many scientists are studying. But still they cannot give any perfect information of all the planets. Although we see, actually, we are seeing daily. Take for example the sun planet. We see every morning the sun is there. But actually we do not know what is the sun planet. There are..., may be so many theories, but actually, we do not know what is the sun planet. But we can understand from the Vedic literature, the sun planet is as good as this planet. There are also cities, towns, houses and population, and it is very big.
This information we get from the Vedic knowledge. Just like in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, Kṛṣṇa says that imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1] = "This knowledge of Bhagavad-gītā, I spoke first to the sun-god. His name is Vivasvān." Vivasvān manave prāha: "And that Vivasvān explained this knowledge to his son Manu." Manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt: "And Manu also explained the same knowledge to his son, Mahārāja Ikṣvāku, King Ikṣvāku." He's the forefather of the kṣatriya dynasty in which Lord Rāmacandra appeared.
So we get this knowledge from the Vedas, perfectly. There are so many things, just like the forms of life, how many form of life are there. That is stated in the Vedic knowledge = 8,400,000 species. Jalajā nava-lakṣāni. In the water there are 900,000 forms of life. It does not say one million or eleven hundred or..., no, exactly. Nine hundred. Jalajā nava-lakṣāni sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati [Padma Purāṇa]. Sthāvarā means the living entities which cannot move. Just like the trees, plants, they are also living entities, but they cannot move. They are called sthāvarā. Two millions. Now where is the botanist who can give exact information how many plants and trees are there? But you get fully, full information. Sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati kṛmayo rudra-saṅkhyakāḥ.
This is the evolutionary process, from aquatics to the plant life, then insect life, kṛmaya. Rudra-saṅkhyakāḥ. Rudra-saṅkhyakāḥ means eleven hundred thousands. Pakṣiṇāṁ daśa-lakṣaṇam. The birds... After insects, the next evolution is to the bird species. So they are one million different species of birds. Pakśiṇāṁ daśa-lakṣaṇam. Paśavaḥ triṁśal-lakṣāni. Then beast, four-legged beast, animals. They are three millions. And mānuṣāḥ catur-lakṣāṇi: And then we come to the form of the human being; there are also 400,000 species. In this way, altogether there are 8,400,000 species, forms of life.
Now modern botanists and medical men, and there are so many people, they are scholars, interested to understand, biologists. But here we get the correct information from the Vedas. Similarly, not only of this information---all departmental knowledge, namely this science, geography, then philosophy, religion, sociology, politics---whatever you want, you can learn from the Vedic information. There is perfect information. So it is compared with a tree. So that tree, and the ripened fruit is this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Nigama kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalam idam [SB 1.1.3]. Galitaṁ phalam idam.
A fruit, if you take from the tree, if it is not ripened, you can keep in a store and it gets, by temperature... That ripened fruit and the fruit actually ripened in the tree, there is difference of taste. So this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is compared as the ripened fruit. Nigama-kalpa taror galitaṁ phalam. So we have translated this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam---this is one part here, you can see---in sixty parts. In the Bhāgavatam there are eighteen thousand verses, and we are trying to place before you in English translation, and gradually, in other language also. It is being translated in German language, in French language and Spanish. Gradually. Some of our books are being published by Macmillan Company, and they are being distributed...
[aside:] What is the name of that?
Haṁsadūta: Brockridge, Keenan and Hall.
Prabhupāda: Brockridge, Keenan... So we are selling our books very nicely, and our whole institution is practically financed by this selling of books. Even in Indian parliament, we are supposed to be very, very rich community. So, in India there are persons who are very suspicious of this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement, and they are surprised how we are maintaining more than one hundred branches all over the world. "Where you get financial help?" So, they think that America has got a, what is, CID department?
Prabhupāda: CIA department. So they are financing us, America. Just see the foolishness = the CIA department has taken this saṅkīrtana movement. [laughter] But these rascals are thinking like that, that it is a branch of the CIA movement. So, being suspicious, some of the rascals raised the question in Parliament in India, that "This community are fabulously rich. So it is understood that they belong to the CIA department of America. Is it a fact?" It was raised in the Parliament, and the question was put before the Home Member. "So if they are CIA department---they are pushing on this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement under the garb---then what is government's information? This is first question. If not, where they are getting so much money spending?"
In this way two, three questions were raised. Fortunately, the Home Member was aware of our movement, and he replied that "They do not belong to the CIA department. We do not have any such information, and there is no need of any action. And so far their finance is concerned, we understand that they are selling their literatures and public contribution." That is the fact, actually. We are selling our books about, three, more, not less than three thousand dollars daily, and that is giving us our financial help. We have no other means of income, although we have got expenditure not less than one hundred thousands of dollars per month throughout the whole world.
So anyway, it is our attempt to give you the ripened fruit of Vedic knowledge. This is our attempt. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is just distributing the ripened fruit of Vedic knowledge. So Vedic knowledge, the ultimate goal of Vedic knowledge is to know God. Not only Vedic; any scripture, any book of knowledge. So the ultimate goal of knowledge is to know God. If you do not... Because this human form of life is meant for that purpose. That is explained here by Prahlāda Mahārāja = kaumāra ācaret prājño dharmān bhāgavatān iha [SB 7.6.1]. This Prahlāda Mahārāja, he was a small boy, five years old. Somehow or other, he was enlightened in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and at the age of five years old he was going to school, and he was trying to preach this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement in the school.
I'm especially reading these verses because it is university, a school for teaching to the student. So Prahlāda Mahārāja says that this teaching, or this learning of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, should begin from very childhood. Kaumāram. Kaumāra means the age between ten years and fifteen years. That is called kaumāra. Kaumāra ācaret prājño. Prājño means one who is intelligent. So from just one child is ten years old, from the age of ten years up to the fifteen years, this period must be used especially for understanding Bhāgavata-dharma, for understanding what is God. That is Bhāgavata-dharma.
Dharma means... It is translated into English as "religion." And religion means a kind of faith. But so far the Sanskrit word dharma is there, it does not mean a kind of faith. It is a fact. It is a fact. Faith, you can believe for some time and again you can reject. That is faith. But what is fact, that cannot be changed. Just like water. Water is liquid. That is a fact. It is not a kind of faith, it is a fact. You cannot make water solid. As soon as you talk of water, you have got immediate knowledge that it is a liquid thing.
Similarly, if you take stone, the quality of stone, it is hard, it is not liquid. If somebody says, "I have brought some liquid stone," is it possible? No, what is this nonsense? So dharma means that quality which cannot be changed. As soon as you take water, it must be liquid. If... You can say that water sometimes becomes ice, very hard. But that is not the unnatural, uh, natural stage. Ice is there, but it is trying to come to the natural stage to become again liquid. Again liquid. Because liquidity is the natural stage of water. It cannot be changed. Similarly dharma means, the exact word, Sanskrit---those who are Sanskrit scholars here, they will understand---dharma means you cannot change. That is not possible. In any circumstances, you cannot change.
So here it is said, kaumāram ācaret prājño dharmān. Dharmān bhāgavata. So dharma, which is generally translated into English, that is one for everyone. It is not that we are Hindus, somebody else Christians, somebody else Buddhists, "We have got different faith," "We have got different faith." What is depending on faith, that is not dharma, that is not religion. The quality which you cannot change, that is religion. Therefore the definition of dharma is given in the Vedic literature = dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19]. Dharma means the codes or the law which is given by God. This is the simple definition of dharma. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam. Just like law.
What is that law? Law means the codes or the order given by the state. That is law. You cannot manufacture law at home, that "I have manufactured something." So at the present moment the so-called religion is going on in the name that it is religion, but it is manufactured by some concoction, and it is being supported by persons that "You can manufacture your own religion." No, that you cannot. You cannot manufacture your own religion. Religion means the codes given by God, just like law means the order given by the state. Just like the law is "Keep to the right." That is given, the order is given by the state. You cannot say that "Now I have made a law, 'Keep to the left.' " That is not possible. Nobody will be pleased or nobody will accept that. So dharma you cannot change.
So Prahlāda Mahārāja says that kaumāra ācaret prājño dharmān bhāgavatān iha [SB 7.6.1] = "My dear friends, from the beginning of your kaumāra age, as soon as you are on the age of ten years..." Of course, he was preaching when he was five years old. Actually, education begins, that is the Indian system, from five years. Up to five years, the children are not bothered with any kind of education. They play and become free. But as soon as he is five years old, he's sent to the school. And actual education begins from tenth year. So Prahlāda Mahārāja says, "My dear friends," that "you try to be educated in religion, especially in the Bhāgavata religion." Bhāgavata religion means the science of God, to understand what is God.
So why it is so urgent? That is replied here = durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma. This human form of life is very rarely obtained. As I have explained, that there are 8,400,000 species of life. But unfortunately, there is no proper education how the living entity..., what is that living entity and how it is transmigrating from one body to another. Tathā dehāntara-prāptir. In the Bhagavad-gītā you'll find, dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā tathā dehāntara-prāptir [Bg. 2.13]. Kṛṣṇa says, the authoritative knowledge, that as the soul, dehi, the proprietor of the body. We do not know whether I am this body or I am the proprietor of this body. That knowledge is also lacking. Big, big professors, they do not know. I was talking in Moscow, one big professor, Professor Kotovsky, he said = "Swāmījī, after this body's finished, everything is finished." This is their knowledge. Blunt knowledge. No, it is not finished. We get from the Vedic literature, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. Nityo śāśvato yaṁ na jāyate na mriyate vā kadācit. The soul is eternal. Soul is eternal and soul does not take birth. The body, we get a new body, that is called birth. And when this body is annihilated, that is called death. So birth and death is in reference with the body, not with the soul.
I don't think in any university throughout the whole world there is such educational department where this science is handled, the soul. Whether I am this body or I'm not the body? I am not this body; that is the fact. The example is given. What is that? Dehino asmin dehe, in this body, there is the proprietor, the soul. Dehino 'smin yathā dehe. Within this body there is proprietor. And he's changing body. Just like the same soul in a childhood body, in a boyhood body, in a youthhood body. Then again in a body like me, an old body. So all the previous bodies, they are now finished. Although I know I am soul, I know that I possessed a childhood body, I possessed a boyhood body, I possessed a youthhood body, that those bodies are not existing. They are finished. But I am existing. I know. Therefore this is very simple formula Kṛṣṇa gives. Dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā [Bg. 2.13]. This body is changing, but the soul is eternal, nityo śāśvato yaṁ purāṇo, although it is very, very old. Because soul is the part and parcel of God. As God is existing eternally, similarly, the soul is also existing eternally. This is a great science.
Therefore Prahlāda Mahārāja is requesting, "My dear friends, you try to learn this science," dharmān bhāgavatān iha, "from this very childhood life." Because this human form of life, he says that durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma. Mānuṣaṁ janma. This form of body we have got by evolutionary process. It is a chance given by the nature to understand what is God. This is the main business of this body. Not that economic development. That is not the business of human body. Sense gratification... Sense gratification is there in the animals.
That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam = nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛloke kaṣṭān kāmān arhate viḍ-bhujāṁ ye [SB 5.5.1]. The human form of life is not meant for to live like the dogs and the hogs. They are busy always for maintaining the body. They are busy. They have no other business. They cannot understand. If I bring some dog in this meeting and try to make him understand, "Please note that you are not this body," it is not possible for them to understand. But a human being, he may be educated like dogs and hog, but if he's given reasonably the..., as Kṛṣṇa is giving, that the soul is the proprietor of this body and he is, as he's changing in this body... He's a child---child means he has got a child's body. Baby means he has got a baby's body. Young man means he has a youth's body. So this body has been changed. Similarly, when this body is useless, no more can be used, then he transmigrates to another body. Tathā dehāntara-prāptir.
Now what kind of body he's going to get? Because I have already explained, there are 8,400,000 different forms of body. So the answer is he can get any of these forms. There is no guarantee that he will again get the American body or Englishmen body or Swiss body---not like that. That will depend on nature. That is not in your hand. As soon as you change your body, the next change will be offered by nature according to your desire. So in this life we are creating different types of desires. Therefore we find different types of bodies. This is nature's work. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ [Bg. 3.27]. Don't think that you are independent. None of us are independent.
We may think independently that "There is no God. There is no nature's work. We are everything." That crazy statements may be there, but there is good management, beyond our conception. As you see there is good management in the natures'---exactly in due course of time the sun is rising, the moon is rising, the seasons are being changed, the water is there in the ocean, it is not transgressing the limit, the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean. There is full control of the material nature. And behind this material nature, there is God. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni [Bg. 3.27]. Prakṛti, nature, is working, but nature is working under the direction of God.
That we get information from this Vedic literature:
Don't think nature is blind. Nature is matter, material energy. It cannot work independently. Just like machine = machine, it is made of matter, but if there is no driver, however efficient machine it may be, it is useless, a lump of matter. There must be driver. Similarly, whatever wonderful activities you find within this material nature, that is not being done independently. That is being done under the driver. Just like the big car or this airship is running very nicely so long the pilot is there, so long the driver is there. Without pilot, even the arrangement is very nice, good machinery assembly, but it cannot work. Similarly, this nature, although we find very wonderfully working, but behind this nature there is the living entity, supreme living entity, God.
So to understand that God, how He is working, what we are, what is our relationship with God, why we are here, why we are transmigrating from one body to another---all these are called bhāgavata-dharma. This is called bhāgavata-dharma. Bhāgavata means in relationship with God. So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is bhāgavata-dharma. Bhāgavata-dharma means we are presenting God. People are searching out whether there is God, God is dead or alive. But we are giving, "Here is God. Here is His name, here is His address, here is His activities." Everything we are giving distinctly, not blindly; but there is philosophy, there is reason, there is logic, and these are all stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, sixty volumes.
So Prahlāda Mahārāja says that everyone, from the very childhood, that means when education begins, this bhāgavata-dharma. Otherwise we are missing the point. We are missing the opportunity of this human form of life. We are simply living like cats and dogs and dying like cats and dog. And if we maintain that mentality like cats and dog, then next life... Because we are given the opportunity by nature to utilize our consciousness, to utilize our intelligence, to understand God. But if we do not utilize, if we live like cats and dog, then next life we have to accept, by nature's law, the body of cats and dogs. This is bhāgavata-dharma. This is an opportunity. Here is the opportunity to make your choice whether again you are going to be cats and dogs or whether you are going to be elevated to the highest position, back to home, back to Godhead. That is highest perfection.
Na te vidhuḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum. Practically, the so-called civilized men at the present moment, they do not know what is the actual goal of life. The Prahlāda Mahārāja advising, although he's a child, but he has heard from authority, from Nārada Muni; therefore he's instructing his class friend. Because his father was a great atheist, Hiraṇyakaśipu. He was very angry. When Prahlāda Mahārāja used to talk of God consciousness, he was very much disturbed, he used to chastise him = "Wherefrom this nonsense boy has learned this 'God, God, God'?" He was very much disturbed. So he was very afraid of his father at home. But in the school, as soon as the teachers were away, tiffin hour, he would take the opportunity and preach something about God. That is the statement here. So he says, durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ: "My dear friends, this human form of life is very rarely obtained." Durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma tad apy adhruvam [SB 7.6.1]. Adhruvam means it will also not stay. "Because I have got this human form of body, therefore, I'll live forever," no. I'll have to die like cats and dog. But because I have got this human form of life, I can understand what is the truth. That is my opportunity. Durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma tad apy... Durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma tad apy adhruvam. It will not stay.
But arthadam. Arthadam means you can realize your self. That is the greatest achievement, if you can realize your self, whether you are this body or you are soul. That is called self-realization. And as soon as you realize your self... There are many statements in the Vedic literature, that is the distinction between a brāhmaṇa and a kṛpaṇa. These two words are used in Vedic literature. Brāhmaṇa means in full knowledge, and kṛpaṇa means who could not utilize the facility of the human form of life. He's called a kṛpaṇa. Kṛpaṇa, the exact word meaning is "miser." Miser means if you get some hundred thousands of dollars, if you do not utilize it properly, simply see your money, "I have got this so much money," and be satisfied, then you are a miser. You could not utilize the money. And brāhmaṇa means one who utilizes this opportunity of human form of life to the fullest extent and can understand what is God, what is my relationship with Him, how I have come here, why I am subjected to birth, death, old age and disease. So many things have to be learned.
So the human form of life is meant for that purpose, but there is no facility in the educational institution. Many universities there may be, but not very perfectly well situated. But we are trying our bit, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, to give education about this bhāgavata-dharma, and we are trying to present in so many languages. So we wish that you should cooperate, try to understand this philosophy. We have got books, we have got talks. Any way we can convince you about this philosophy of God consciousness, I hope you'll take advantage of it. Not only that; it is very easy. It is not very difficult. Just like you see all our students, they come from Europe, America. Four or five years ago they did not know what is this bhāgavata-dharma, what is this Kṛṣṇa. Now you can see the result, that all over the world, not only in Europe, but in America, in Australia, in Japan, in Canada, everywhere, we have got this type of devotees, and they are understanding what is God, what is our relationship with God. It doesn't matter, God is neither Hindu, Muslim or Christian---God is God. So it is the duty of everyone. It is not that only Christians should understand God and the Hindus should understand nobody. No. Any human being. Any living entity in the human form of life must understand. Otherwise, he's missing the opportunity.
So we have got to say many things about this thing. In short time, we cannot speak so many things, but we invite you to take advantage of this movement, try to understand the science of God and be benefited.
Thank you very much. [break]
Girl: ...you cannot change dharma. But love can change dharma.
Haṁsadūta: You can clarify for me?
Girl: He said that [indistinct], but love can change everything [indistinct].
Haṁsadūta: She said that love can change dharma. You say that dharma cannot be changed...
Prabhupāda: First of all, you have to understand what is dharma. Dharma, as I have already explained = the order given by God. That is dharma. And what is the order of God? God says that "You surrender unto Me." Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. God says that "You always think of Me," and man-manā bhava mad-bhakto, "you just become My devotee," and man-manā bhava, mad-yājī, "you worship Me, and you offer your obeisances." These things we are doing. We are thinking of somebody.
Because without thinking, you cannot remain. But God says, "You think of Me." You cannot avoid thinking of somebody. Just like a girl is thinking of his lover, a boy, a boy is thinking of his lover. So we must be thinking of somebody. Or in grown-up stage I am thinking something else---my child, my home. So Kṛṣṇa says, God says, that "You think of Me." So you have to change your thinking process. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto. And we are already devotees. We are devotee of the country, of the society, of the person, of the president, of the king, so many. God says that "You become My devotee." Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto.
Mad-yājī: We are worshiping our leader. So God is the supreme leader. Therefore, this question I put to Professor Kotovsky, that "Your philosophy, Communist philosophy, and our philosophy, where is the philosophically different? Because you have selected a leader, Lenin, and you are worshiping him. And we have selected a leader, Kṛṣṇa, we are also worshiping Him. So where is the change? How we have advanced? You have selected another leader, that's all. You have to select. So the worship must go on, either you become Communist or not Communist."
So God says that "Instead of worshiping so many others, you worship Me." So..., and man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. And "You offer My respect to Me." So these things... You may accept any type of religion; that doesn't matter. But think of God, worshiping God, offering obeisances God. That cannot be changed. Either you become Christian or Hindu or Muslim, it does not matter. These four things cannot be changed. Therefore, the principles of religion---thinking of God, worshiping God, offering obeisances to Him, and to become devotee of God---that cannot be changed. That is real religion.
Haṁsadūta: Anybody? Anyone?
Guest [man]: But this part of the world, Mahāprabhu [addressing Prabhupāda], is very materialistic, as you know. In Europe we always talk about science and technology. The part of the world that you come from, spiritualism has the highest place. I would like to ask you is there any possible way of a balanced combination between spiritualism and materialism.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Actually, there is nothing as materialism. Materialism means forgetfulness of God, that's all. Just like in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca, aparā..., prakṛtir me bhinnā aṣṭadhā [Bg. 7.4]. Materialism means that you are dealing with earth, water, fire, air, or the ether, or mind, intelligence, so far. These are the subject matters of studying materialism. But God says, "They are My separated energies." These matters... You have not produced this earth, water, air, fire. That's a fact. That is produced by the energy of God. So while dealing with material things, if you remember that this material thing is produced by God, then you are perfect.
And if you theorize that it has dropped from the sky, then you are materialist. That is the difference between materialist and spiritualist. A spiritualist knows that wherefrom this earth has come, wherefrom the water has come, wherefrom this fire has come. Then he is spiritualist, God conscious. And one does not know, he's ignorant. Actually, that is the fact. But one who is ignorant of the fact, he's materialist. And one who knows the source of this material elements, he is spiritualist. That is the difference. Therefore the conclusion is one who does not know God, he is materialist, and one knows God, he is spiritualist.
Haṁsadūta: Anyone else, question?
Prabhupāda: All right, have kīrtana.
Haṁsadūta: If there are no more questions, we can all..., please join us in chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. You can see the mantra: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma... [end]