To avoid the defeat of our life plans, we must learn the spiritual science from a genuine guru.

parabhavas tavad abodha-jato
yavan na jijnasata atma-tattvam
yavat kriyas tavad idam mano vai
karmatmakam yena sharira-bandhah


“As long as one does not inquire about the spiritual values of life, one is defeated and subjected to miseries arising from ignorance. Be it sinful or pious, karma has its resultant actions. If a person is engaged in any kind of karma, his mind is called karmatmaka, colored with fruitive activity. As long as the mind is impure, consciousness is unclear, and as long as one is absorbed in fruitive activity, he has to accept a material body.”
Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.5

It is quite natural that whatever you do, your mind will be absorbed in that business. That is called karmatmakam. Therefore our mind should be engaged always in Krishna. Then we can be relieved from sharira-bandhah, the bondage of the material body. Unfortunately, there is no education to tell us that the material body is a great impediment to our progress in life. In the Vedic civilization, the material body is condemned everywhere. People do not understand this point.

In the state of bondage, whatever you do for so-called material progress is not progress. It is parabhavah, defeat. People are so busily engaged throughout the day and night. They are making material progress, but it is not progress. It is regress. But they do not know that. Why? Abodha-jatah: born in ignorance.

Yavan na jijnasata atma-tattvam means “as long as one does not inquire into the nature of the self and God.” Where is such inquiry today? Nobody inquires because they have no information. Even big, big professors think we have a body by chance and as soon as the body is finished, everything is finished. That means they do not know atma-tattvam. On the basis of this misconception of life they are inventing so many “isms.”

This morning we were talking about the attempt to find a cure for leprosy. That is good, but why should there be leprosy? That they do not know. Why is one man suffering from leprosy and another man not suffering? Is there no arrangement behind it? Who is making this arrangement? So unless there is some arrangement, how is it happening?

People do not inquire about such things. They are dull, just like trees. A tree cannot inquire, “Why are you cutting me?” Modern human civilization is like that. Therefore whatever plans people make become baffled, become useless after some time—parabhavah—because they do not know what plan they should make. Like children they are thinking, “If I play like this, it will be very nice.” So they engage in one type of playing, and then change to another type of playing, because they do not know what kind of plan should be made.

Buddha’s Inspiration

From abodha, ignorance, one has to be brought to the platform of bodha, enlightenment.

Lord Krishna uses the phrase bodhayantam parasparam in the Bhagavad-gita (10.9):

mach-chitta mad-gata-prana
bodhayantah parasparam
kathayantash cha mam nityam
tushyanti cha ramanti cha

“The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me.” This verse describes the mahatmas. Bodhayantam parasparam: “enlightening one another.” That is called sat-sanga. People should always be inquiring about progress in spiritual life. That is advancement. Bodhayantah parasparam. There should be constant discussion of spiritual topics. Everything is there in our books.