Devotee: [introducing tape] Mombasa, evening, September 16th, 1971, Pandiya House. Meeting with community leaders.
Prabhupāda: ...recite some verses from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam which are instruction of Ṛṣabhadeva, Mahārāja Ṛṣabhadeva. Ṛṣabhadeva appeared… He is incarnation of God, and He ruled over some time on this planet, and He was the father of Mahārāja Bharata, who ruled over this planet after him some many thousands of years ago. Because Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam was written five thousand years ago, and long, long before.
So Ṛṣabhadeva’s son was Bharata Mahārāja, and after his name this planet is called Bhārata-varṣa. Bhārata-varṣa does not mean the small piece of land which are now occupied in India. Bhārata-varṣa means this whole planet. And before that, this planet was known as Ilāvṛta-varṣa.
So this Vedic culture was ruling all over the world. Because the…, gradually people became degraded, the Vedic culture remained in a broken state in India only. Otherwise, from Mahābhārata and other historical references we can understand that these Europeans, Americans, they belong to the kṣatriya stock. Mahārāja Yayāti gave to his two sons this Greek and Rome, and from their generation these European stock and the American stock has expanded. And the Arabians also, Indo-Āryan stock. This is historical reference.
[aside to Indian guest:] Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.
So Vedic culture was spread all over the world; there is historical reference. Just like, for example, that our India, twenty years ago, that India and present India is different because it is now divided Pakistan. Some portion of India was taken away by other elements who did not agree. Similarly, the whole world was India, or Bhārata-varṣa. Gradually, as the Vedic culture degraded, others separated.
In India also, still we have got so many sects differing from original Vedic culture. Just like Lord Buddha, he is Indian. He was Hindu, he was kṣatriya, but he differed from the Vedas. He started his own religious system, Buddhism. Although in India there is practically no Buddhism—it is outside India—but Buddhism also originated from India. Similarly, there is Jainism, Sikhism and so many other isms, but the original culture is Vedic culture. Every culture you'll find there is a history. But Vedic culture has no history. Nobody knows when it began and when it will end. It will never end.
So on this cultural unity the whole world was one. There was only one plan[?]. Even after the time of Mahārāja Parīkṣit there was only one king in Hastināpura. The Battle of Kurukṣetra was fought, all the people of the world. Some of them, because it was a family fight between two cousin-brothers, so some of them joined this side, some of them joined that side. But the whole world. It was the greatest world war.
So this Vedic culture is very old. That is a fact. And this Ṛṣabhadeva is speaking to His sons before retiring. It is understood that when He was in Burma, He was speaking to His sons. He had one hundred sons. Nowadays people say that population has increased, but I do not know how the population has increased. Nobody can breed even more than ten sons, and in those days people were breeding hundred sons. Even the Kurus, they were a hundred brothers. Anyway, Ṛṣabhadeva had one hundred sons. Out of them, nine became sannyāsī and others remained kṣatriya.
So this is another instruction, that persons born in kṣatriya family became brāhmaṇa by quality. And in the Bhagavad-gītā it is also said,
cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ
That was the whole system. And Nārada Muni says,
yasya hi lakṣaṇaṁ sa
yad anyatrāpi dṛśyeta
tat tenaiva vinirdiśet
Just like these hundred sons born of kṣatriya father, but these nine sons were in the symptoms of brahminical culture. So they were accepted as brāhmaṇas, as instructed by Nārada Muni, yad anyatrāpi dṛśyeta. The brahminical symptoms were visible in the nine sons of a kṣatriya; therefore they were accepted as brāhmaṇas.
This is Vedic culture. Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa also says, guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ [Bg. 4.13]. Guṇa: quality. If a boy, if a child is born of a brāhmaṇa father... Now, according to Vedic system, by birth everyone is śūdra—janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ saṁskārād bhaved dvijaḥ. Then he is to undergo different reformatory process, and during that period if he is seen that he has got the symptoms of a kṣatriya or a vaiśya, then he will be designated immediately that "This child has to become a kṣatriya" or vaiśya. There are many instances.
So saṁskārād bhaved dvijaḥ. Of course, the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and the vaiśyas all are dvijas, because they are offered sacred thread by the spiritual master. Only śūdras are not dvija. They have got one birth—by the father and mother. Then again... These are varṇāśrama. In the Viṣṇu Purāṇa it is said, varṇāśramācāravatā: the human civilization must be conducted under the institution of this varṇāśrama-dharma. Why? Now, by practicing this system one can gradually understand what is Viṣṇu.
puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān
[Cc. Madhya 8.58,
Viṣṇu Purāṇa 3.8.8]
Viṣṇu. The ultimate aim is worship Viṣṇu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And it is the king's duty to see that citizens are executing this varṇāśrama-dharma very nicely. That was king's duty. It is stated in the Bhāgavata that unless a king or government can give protection to the citizens from exploitation by dishonest ministers and thieves and rogues, then he cannot collect tax. He is unworthy of taking tax from the citizen. The primary duty is that the citizen must be protected from the dishonest ministers. Asādhu-amātya [SB 4.14.17], this very word is used. Amātya means "ministers," and corādibhyaḥ, "thieves and rogues." This is one of the duties.
And then again, he should see that people are executing the system of varṇāśrama-dharma: that the brāhmaṇa is doing his duty, the kṣatriya is doing his duty and the vaiśya is doing his duty and the śūdra is doing his duty. And the symptoms and duties and occupation is also mentioned in the śāstras. Just like in Bhagavad-gītā, the brahminical duties are mentioned there: satya, śama, dama, titikṣā ārjava,
jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ
Similarly, kṣatriya's duty,
śauryaṁ tejo dākṣyaṁ
yuddhe cāpy apalāyanam
A kṣatriya challenge cannot refuse. If somebody comes forward, that "I want to fight with you," he cannot say, "No, I don't want to fight." No, he will have to fight.
yuddhe cāpy apalāyanam
dānam īśvara-bhāvaś ca
Kṣatriyas would give in charity; gṛhastas would give in charity. Brahmacārī, vānaprastha, they would perform austerities—yajña dāna tapaḥ kriyā. The human society should accept yajña, dāna, tapasya. That is human society: yajña dāna tapaḥ kriyā. One has to elevate himself to the highest platform by tapasā brahmacaryeṇa, śamena, damena, tyāgena, śaucena [SB 6.1.13]. These are the śāstric injunctions.
But…, and Ṛṣabhadeva says the very same thing, because this is Vedic culture. So He is instructing His one hundred sons, "My dear sons,"
nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛloke
kaṣṭān kāmān arhate viḍ-bhujāṁ ye
"My dear sons, this particular body, human body," nāyaṁ deho nṛloke, "in the human society, is not meant for kaṣṭān kāmān." In order to sense-gratify, one has to accept very, very hard work. Na arhate: "This is not human civilization." Kaṣṭān kāmān. Kāmān...., kāmān means we have got to satisfy our senses, but not by kaṣṭān, taking too much trouble.
Because the human life is very, very important. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante: after many, many evolutionary process, jala-jā nava-lakṣāṇi sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati [Padma Purāṇa]... You have to pass through nine lakhs of species in the water. You know this is the water; there are so many aquatics. Then gradually they become plants, trees; then gradually insect, reptiles, then birds, pakṣiṇāṁ daśa-lakṣaṇam. There are ten lakhs species of birds. Paśavaḥ triṁśal-lakṣāṇi: then beast., thirty lakhs of beast. In Africa there are so many beasts. So this is the information we understand from Vedic literature.
Long, long ago, when I was householder, one Jewish doctor—I was doing medical business—so he asked me that "Mr. Such-and-such, how is that so particularly it is mentioned that there are nine lakhs species of aquatics, twenty lakhs species of the trees and plants? How it is ascertained?" This is very intelligent question, and that is Vedic knowledge. Therefore we take it, Vedas, as authority. Those who are followers of Vedas, they do not argue. They take Vedic injunction as final: śruti-pramāṇa. If it is written in the Vedas, the evidence is there, then it is accepted: śruti-pramāṇa.
According to our Vedic culture, the learned scholars would accept śruti-pramāṇa. Just like the law book. If it is mentioned in the law book and one can give evidence from the law book under such and such and such, it is accepted by the judge. There is no need of inquiry further; that is authority. So we accept authority of the Vedas in such a way that whatever is mentioned there, it should be accepted. Otherwise what is the meaning of authority? If you inquire, if you bring to examination to your defective knowledge, then what is the meaning of authority?
Every conditioned soul is defective in four ways. What is that? He is sure to commit mistake… He is sure to commit mistake, he is sure to be illusioned, he has a propensity for cheating, and his senses are imperfect. These are the four defects of conditioned sous, every one of us. Therefore our knowledge by speculation, because my senses are imperfect…
Just like I have got my eyes, but it is conditioned. Unless there is a light suitable for my seeing, I cannot see. So what is the use of these eyes? My eyes cannot be authority, that whatever I say, it is all right. No. I have to see. Therefore Vedic injunction is śāstra-cakṣusā: your eyes should be through the vision of the śāstras, not that by your personal experience. No.
For example we can give you, those who are followers of Vedic injunction, just like Vedas say that the bone of an animal is impure. If you touch the bone of an animal, you have to take bath. So we actually follow. Those who are Hindus, followers of Vedic culture, if they, by chance, touches one hāḍi, then he will go home and change his clothes and take bath. Similarly, when we pass stool, evacuate, even my own stool, still I take bath to become pure.
But the Veda says the stool of cow, cow dung, is pure, and we accept that. When there is impure place, we'll bring cow dung and smear over it. Now you can say, "It is contradictory. You say stool is impure, and again you say cow dung, that is also another animal's stool, you say it is pure. Oh, it is contradictory." But no. Because it is authority, even there is contradiction, we follow.
Similarly, the conchshell. The conchshell is the bone of an animal, but the injunction is that if you touch the bone of a dead animal you become impure. But conchshell is kept in the Deity room, it is so pure. So even if you find so many contradictions, they are not contradictions; they are actually fact.
One medical man in Calcutta, he analyzed this cow dung and he found all the antiseptic properties are there. So Vedic injunction is so authoritative word, because whatever it says, it is fact. If you take the knowledge from the Vedas, then you save so much time for researching. If you challenge, then you can go on researching, but you come to the same conclusion, but later on.
So our this, I mean to say, varṇāśrama-dharma culture is based on the injunction of the Vedas. Apparently we may take it as contradictory, but we still we, for practical purposes, we take it into use. So the Bhagavad-gītā or any śāstra, Vedic literature, is in that position, in authoritative position. We cannot argue in our own way or we cannot interpret in my own way. We have to take it as it is. Therefore we are publishing Bhagavad-gītā as it is, not interpreting in our own way. Just like Bhagavad-gītā, Bhagavān says,
imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ
proktavān aham avyayam
"I spoke this philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā formerly to the sun-god,"
vivasvān manave prāha
manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt
"And the sun-god explained this to his son, Manu, Vaivasvata Manu," whose age is going on at the present moment, and Manu explained this philosophy to his son Ikṣvāku, Mahārāja Ikṣvāku. Mahārāja Ikṣvāku was the original forefather of the dynasty in which Lord Rāmacandra took His birth, Ikṣvāku-vaṁśa or Raghu-vaṁśa.
And Kṛṣṇa says,
imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ
Formerly, the kings were as good as great sages. They were trained up in such a way. They were guided by high-class brāhmaṇas and sages. And if the king would prove useless, they will dethrone him. That was the monarchical system. Therefore they were called rājarṣi. And people are very happy.
The rājarṣi, the king, should see that exactly the varṇāśrama-dharma is being executed by the subjects, and the citizens are protected from the hands of dishonest ministers and thieves and rogues. That is good government. Not only that; the purpose of human life was being executed under the guidance of the government: to elevate everyone to the platform of understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu.
viṣṇur ārādhyate puṁsāṁ
[Cc. Madhya 8.58]
So this is Vedic culture. This is Vedic culture means that the aim of human civilization should be to understand the original proprietor of everything. We read in the Īśopaniṣad, īśāvāsyam idam sarvaṁ [Īśo mantra 1]. Everything is owned by the Supreme Personality of God, īśa. Kṛṣṇa, the supreme īśa, He also says that sarva-loka-maheśvaram:
jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati
There is no śānti, peace, in the world. Everyone… That is, of course, the nature of this material world: everyone is full of anxiety. But especially because they do not know who is the original proprietor of this cosmic manifestation, on account of this they are in ignorance, and they are unhappy.
The Kṛṣṇa says jñātvā māṁ: "When one understands Me, that I am the proprietor of all planetary systems,"
"I am the real friend of everyone." When understand these facts...,when one understands these facts, śāntim ṛcchati: he can be happy. Otherwise it is not possible.
So therefore human civilization means to understand the supreme proprietor of everything and offer his obeisances unto Him. Just like we offer our respects and obeisances to the state ruler, or the state president—nowadays it is president. Suppose we are sitting here. If the president comes here, immediately we must show respect by standing up and giving a good reception. That is our duty. So if you are obliged to offer respect and obeisances to the state head, how much are you obliged to the supreme proprietor, the supreme president?
But that we have forgotten. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ [SB 7.5.31]. They have forgotten. Durāśayā. Their ambition has been that "We shall become happy by speculating, by making adjustment of this opposing element." Therefore it is called durāśayā. It will never be fulfilled. It will never occur if you go on in this way. You have to understand the supreme proprietor, the supreme originator of everything.
So we are…, our this movement is teaching people, educating people to know the supreme proprietor. Supreme proprietor... As Kṛṣṇa says, "I am the supreme proprietor." We are teaching that Kṛṣṇa is the supreme proprietor. There is no difficulty for us. We don't manufacture something; everything is there. Why should we make research who is the supreme proprietor? Here is Kṛṣṇa. He says, "I am the supreme proprietor," we accept it. But Kṛṣṇa says,
man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
"You always think of Me, and you become My devotee," man-manā bhava mad-bhakto, mad-yājī, "you worship Me," māṁ namaskuru, "you offer your obeisances unto Me." So what is the difficulty? Kṛṣṇa says, the supreme proprietor says, like that, and we are teaching people that "You just become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa."
And how to become a devotee? That is also stated in the śāstra:
śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
Just hear about Viṣṇu, not of others. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ. So just hear about Kṛṣṇa. What is the subject matter of hearing? There is a vast subject. What is that? Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Similarly, you hear Bhagavad-gītā, it is śravaṇaṁ. Kīrtanaṁ: you hear and chant the glories of Kṛṣṇa,
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma
rāma rāma hare hare
That is recommended in the śāstra.
Here Ṛṣabhadeva says that,
tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena sattvaṁ
śuddhyed yasmād brahma-saukhyaṁ anantam
Tapa. Human life is meant for tapasya. To come to our original platform there must be tapasya. India is still, is more or less tapo-bhūmi, not industrial-bhūmi. Tapo-bhūmi, Bhārata-varṣa. Lord Caitanya says,
bhārata-bhūmite manuṣya-janma haila yāra
janma sārthaka kari' kara para-upakāra
[Cc. Ādi 9.41]
He says that anyone who has taken his birth as a human being in India, Bhārata-varṣa, his business is that he must fulfill the mission of his life and then distribute it, para-upakāra, by doing good work. That is Bhārata-varṣa's mission.
Bhārata-varṣa's mission is not that to exploit others, but to give something, para-upakāra. Upakāra. And what is that upakāra? That upakāra is to raise everyone to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the gift of Bhārata-varṣa. Everyone. Everyone should come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa says. Kṛṣṇa does not say that "I am Indian," "I am Hindu." Kṛṣṇa says,
sambhavanti mūrtayaḥ yāḥ
tāsāṁ brahma mahad yonir
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā
"I am the seed-giving father." So Kṛṣṇa is the father of all living entities, never mind in whatever form he is. Sarva-yoniṣu. There are 8,400,000 of species of life, different. That means Kṛṣṇa is not only for the human society; He is for the birds, beasts, everyone. He does not say that "I am only for the Hindus" or "for the Indians" or "for the brāhmaṇas," or like that. Of course, Kṛṣṇa is worshiped,
govindāya namo namaḥ
[Viṣṇu Purāṇa 1.19.65]
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, please try to understand that it is India's best gift to the whole world. This is a fact. And there is no difficulty. Why there is difficulty? Caitanya Mahāprabhu said… Because He, first of all, started this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement in Bengal. Perhaps you heard His name, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. We sing,
Five hundred years ago He said these very words: bhārata-bhūmite manuṣya-janma haila yāra [Cc. Ādi 9.41]. He said. And He also said that pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi grāma [Caitanya-bhāgavata, Antya 4.126]: "As many towns and villages are there on the surface of the globe, everyone, My name will be known." How His name will be known? By distributing this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
So that is now begun. But unfortunately, or some way or other, whatever has been done by one person, that has been done by one person's exertion. But Caitanya Mahāprabhu said that each and every one who is born in India should take this mission. That is my appeal to you. You are all Indians, Hindus. You take this mission very seriously; make your life successful. Because Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā that "Anyone who is engaged in preaching these principles of Bhagavad-gītā, he is very, very dear to Me."
So you can very easily become very dear to Kṛṣṇa. To become Kṛṣṇa's devotee, or bhakta, means, just like Kṛṣṇa said to Arjuna, bhakto 'si priyo 'si me [Bg. 4.3]: "You are My devotee, and you are very dear to Me." So that should be our aim: how we shall become bhakta of Kṛṣṇa and how we shall become dear to Kṛṣṇa. Then it will be very easy to understand what Kṛṣṇa wants, and if we expand that mission, our life will be successful.
So I request all gentlemen, ladies present here to understand this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Of course, the human life is meant for, as instructed by Ṛṣabhadeva, that this life is not meant for working very hard simply for sense gratification. The… Of course, I have traveled very extensively in the Western countries. I have seen all cities in Europe, America, also Australia, Japan—the same principle is going on: seventy-miles-speed motorcars going on this way and that way, everyone is busy. But what is the aim? Why they are working so hard? Sense gratification, that's all. Having sex enjoyment, drinking. That's all.
Ṛṣabhadeva, millions of years ago, said, "This is not human life." Kaṣṭān kāmān. This kind of life is available in hogs' life also. The hogs are working day and night, "Where is stool? Where is stool?" And as soon as he gets food, he'll make immediately in sex indulgence, never mind mother or sister. This philosophy is going on, [indistinct]'s philosophy: how to enjoy sex life. So people are in so much miserable condition. So those who are born in India should take sympathy upon them to spread this Kṛṣṇa consciousness very seriously, and the world will be happy.
Thank you very much.
Devotee: All glories to His Divine Grace! [applause] [break]
Śyāmasundara: …tonight's lecture, please ask at this time. Just raise your hands.
Indian guest (1): Why is it so that a lot of Indians are still suffering all over the world?
Prabhupāda: Because they don't take it. Have you taken this philosophy? Have you taken this philosophy?
Indian guest (1): Well, I have…
Prabhupāda: Then talk. After take, then talk. [pause] Test them and ask them. Four years ago they did not know about Kṛṣṇa, and how they are happy. Just ask them. They are Europeans; they are not Indians. There are many thousands like that. They had enough money, enough industry, enough women, enough meat, enough drink. Why they have taken to this?
So Indians, if they refuse to take it, what can be done? Anyone who will take it will feel happy. But if you don't take it, how you will feel happy? And Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is not only for the Indians; it is for the whole world. So whoever takes, we thank him. That's all. Never mind whether you are Indian or European. It is meant for human being. The animals cannot take it. The human being can take it or reject it.
Śyāmasundara: Are there any further questions? Man at the back.
Indian guest (2): Swāmījī, there are those [indistinct] in the African countries at the moment, and the people are always anxious. They are in fear. Now what is your practical suggestion to bring mutual understanding with the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness? For people here, for there to be peace, and fear may be ended?
Prabhupāda: Yes, you give the Kṛṣṇa consciousness to the Africans, that will settle up. Then they will know that you are not foreigners. By Kṛṣṇa consciousness everywhere they will know if they accept Kṛṣṇa. Just like in our camp, in this movement, there are many Africans, black men. If you give a place to propagate, we'll bring so many black men also.
We have got Muhammadans, and there are Christians, Jews, there are many. We have got Jews, we have got Christians, we have got Muhammadans, we have got Africans, we have got Hindus, Parsees. This is the platform where everyone can become satisfied: jñātvā māṁśāntim ṛcchati [Bg. 5.29]. This is spoken by Kṛṣṇa, that simply if you make people understand what is Kṛṣṇa, he will be happy. That's all. And very simple method.
So you make the attempt how everyone can understand Kṛṣṇa. You understand first of all. If you do not understand yourself, how you will make others to understand? That is not possible. But because you are Indian, it is a specific order of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu that it is your duty to spread this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. If you do not do it, then you will be failing as Indians to discharge your duty.
bhārata-bhūmite manuṣya-janma haila yāra
janma sārthaka kari' kara para-upakāra
[Cc. Ādi 9.41]
First of all you try to understand what is Kṛṣṇa consciousness and distribute it for the welfare of the…, throughout the whole world. They will accept it. It is already proved. It is already proved, anywhere we go. I was simply waiting a few minutes, Athens, in the airport. Some young men came, "Hare Kṛṣṇa!" You see?
So this movement is spreading, and it will spread if it is done by sincere person seriously, because it is the foretelling of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. It cannot be false. But if it is spread by the Europeans and Americans, then only the Indians do not take part in it, I don't think it will be very honorable business for you. But it is spreading. It will spread. [indistinct] [end]