Srila Prabhupada explains that our perfection lies in doing everything only for the satisfaction of Lord Krishna.
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Lecture given in London on August 27, 1973
Just as the Vedic literature predicted, the most essential qualities of human beings are diminishing day by day.
“Once, in a holy place in the forest of Naimisharanya, great sages headed by the sage Saunaka assembled to perform a great thousand-year sacrifice for the satisfaction of the Lord and His devotees.” – Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.4
[Srila Prabhupada asks his Sanskrit editor, Pradyumna Dasa, to read the word-by-word translation of the Sanskrit verse.]
Pradyumna Dasa: “naimishe – in the forest known as Naimisharanya.”
Prabhupada: When you go to India you can see this Naimisaranya still. It is a very nice place. Just like Vrindavan, Prayag, Haridwar – there are hundreds of nice places for spiritual advancement. This Naimisaranya is still there. The railway station is now called Nimsar. It is about a hundred miles from Lucknow, and people go there. It is a very excellent place for spiritual advancement. Go on.
Pradyumna: “animisha-kshetre – the spot which is especially a favorite of Vishnu, who does not close His eyelids.”
Prabhupada: Our eyelids close, covering our eyes, but Vishnu’s eyelids never close. Therefore He is called animisha. The gopis, Krishna’s cowherd girlfriends, condemned Brahma: “Why have you awarded us these nonsense eyelids? They sometimes cover our eyes, and we cannot see Krishna.” This is the gopis’ desire. They want to see Krishna always, without being disturbed by the eyelids. This is Krishna consciousness. The moment the eyes are being closed by the eyelids is intolerable by them. This is perfection of Krishna consciousness.
They are condemning, “Oh, Brahma did not know how to create. Why has he created these eyelids?” This is Krishna consciousness.
Because we are conditioned in this material world, our eyelids are made like that. They must close for a moment, again, again, again. Not for a moment – for hours. [Laughs.] We want to close our eyes for hours. That is our disease. But in the spiritual world there is no closing of the eyes. Go on.
Pradyumna: “rishaya? – the sages; shaunaka-adaya? – headed by the sage Saunaka; satram – sacrifice; svargaya – the Lord who is glorified in heaven; lokaya – and for the devotees who are always in touch with the Lord; sahasra – one thousand; samam – years; asata – performed.”
Prabhupada: Samam asata – they were performing a sacrifice for one thousand years. How were they able to do that? In the Satya-yuga people used to live for one hundred thousand years; in Treta-yuga, ten thousand years; in Dvapara-yuga, one thousand years; and now, in this Kali-yuga, one hundred years. That also is not complete. Nobody can complete one hundred years, and the life span is reducing. Our forefathers or grandfathers might have lived for a hundred years, but we are not living so long.
And gradually our children, our grandchildren, will reduce their span of life so much so that at the end of Kali-yuga if a man lives for twenty to thirty years he’ll be considered a grand old man. Yes. We are reducing. But formerly they were living so many years.
In this Kali-yuga the duration of life, the span of life, will be gradually reduced. Memory will be reduced. Strength will be reduced. Mercifulness will be reduced. It is an age of reduction, not increasing.
And manda. Manda means all faulty or slow. Actually people are manda, so many faults. And slow means slow in spiritual realization. The human form of life is meant for spiritual realization. That is the distinction between the human form of life and the animal form of life. The animals are not interested, or they do not know what is spiritual life. But the human form of life with developed consciousness is meant for understanding our identification. Athato brahma-jijnasa: This human form of life is meant for inquiring about our spiritual identity. That is our real business. But in that line of thought we are manda, very slow.
“All right, I shall take it later on. Now I have got strength, so let me enjoy my senses. Then I shall see later on.”
That is called manda. Not serious.
But spiritual life is essential. It is a very serious subject matter. I am covered by this material body, and I am changing one body after another. I do not know what the next change is going to be, either cat or dog or tree. We are not at all interested. There is no such education in the university about the transmigration of the soul, the eternity of the soul, what is the aim of life. Therefore people are sumanda-mati. Their philosophy is very bad. They are simply thinking from the bodily concept of life. This is asses’ philosophy, dogs’ philosophy, frogs’ philosophy. This is going on. And they are passing as philosophers.
Frog philosophy we have discussed in our Back to Godhead.
A frog is informed, “There is an Atlantic Ocean.”
“Oh, what is that?”
“A very big span of water.”
So he is calculating how big. He is in a three-foot-wide well.
He thinks, “Maybe four feet.”
“No, very big.”
Go on – four, five, six, seven, millions. How can he estimate? Similarly these speculators are thinking, “God? I am God. He may be like me. He and me. All right.”
“No, you are not God.”
“All right. God may be a little more than me, a little more intelligent.”
This is frog philosophy. And when they hear from the Vedic scriptures that all the universes are coming out in the breathing period of Maha-Vishnu and Maha-Vishnu is a partial representation of Krishna, they say, “These are all stories.” Even when they are informed of the capacity of God, they take it as a story. This is the position. Therefore sumanda-mati.
By their philosophy, their opinion, they are all condemned. Manda-bhagya?. They are mostly unfortunate. They cannot get even the primary necessities of life – eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. Even in your country, the British Empire, the Empress Queen, oh, so many people are lying on the street. Manda-bhagya?. Unfortunate. They can get all the facilities of life, but because they are unfortunate, they are lying on the street. In America, such a big nation, with everything complete, no scarcity, still there are so many hippies. Manda-bhagya?. Unfortunate.
If one is unfortunate, you cannot make him correct. He is condemned. You cannot check one’s misfortune. If one’s unfortunate position can be changed, that is only by Krishna consciousness. There is no other way. You cannot make any philanthropic work and change the fortune of any person. No. That is not possible. It is not that because a child has got his father and mother he is happy or he should be happy. No. In spite of having a rich father and mother, if he is unfortunate he must be unhappy, just like these hippies. In spite of having rich parents and grandparents, they are lying on the street. I have seen it. Torn clothes. Why? Condemned. Condemned by God.
So simply having a rich father and mother does not mean that he’ll be happy. No. If he is unfortunate, in spite of having a rich father and mother he’ll be unhappy.
Similarly, if one is suffering from disease, it is not that because he is given the help of a good physician and first-class medicine he’ll be cured. No. There is no guarantee. We have seen this. First-class medicine and a first-class physician are employed for curing someone, but still he dies.
We have manufactured so many counteracting measures. The scientists are very much proud. “We are now manufacturing counteracting medicine.” But where is your counteracting medicine for stopping death and disease? Disease is happening. Manufacture any medicine that by taking one tablet I shall never be diseased or I shall never die. That is not possible. You are manufacturing some medicine for some disease. All right, that disease is cured, but another disease is there. In India there is malaria or some other disease, and in your country there is cancer, the so-called rich-man’s disease. You are rich men. Your disease is also very rich. India, where people are poverty-stricken, they suffer only a little malaria, that’s all.
“Oh, you are rich. Oh, you have got cancer. There is no cure. That’s all. Finished.”
This is actually to be studied. Why is this happening? You may manufacture, you may invent so many nice things, counteracting all this suffering, but if you are neglected by Krishna, no counteraction will save you. If one is neglected by God, he cannot be saved. That is not possible. Go on.
Do Everything for Krishna
Pradyumna [reads the verse translation]: “Once in a holy place in the forest of Naimisharanya, great sages headed by the sage Saunaka assembled to perform a great thousand-year sacrifice for the satisfaction of the Lord and His devotees.”
Prabhupada: Yes. Yajna, sacrifice, means Lord Vishnu. Whatever we do, it must be done for Krishna. That is perfection. Do whatever you like, but do it for Krishna. Then there is perfection. Arjuna was a fighter, expert in killing. So he was considering, “Why shall I kill my own family members? Better to stop.” But Krishna encouraged him, “You must kill.” That is yajna. Under the instructions of Krishna, Arjuna was engaged in the killing art, but that is yajna because it is for Krishna, not for himself. For himself he was denying to fight. But when he agreed to fight and kill on account of Krishna, it is called yajna.
People do not know this secret. They think that killing is very bad. Killing is very bad, that’s all right. But why only killing? Even if you give charity, if you become munificent, merciful, that is also not good unless you do it for Krishna.
Therefore Krishna is canvassing,
“Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform – do that, O son of Kunti, as an offering to Me.” (Gita 9.27) Everyone is engaged in some work. Everyone is engaged in performing sacrifices. Everyone likes to give in charity. He has got some money; he wants to give some charity. Everyone is eating. Krishna says, “Do all of this as an offering to me.”
When we offer food to Krishna, He eats with His eyes and leaves everything for us. That is Krishna. If you give me a plate, thinking, “Guru Maharaja will leave some prasadam for us,” I eat everything. [Laughter.] That’s all. No prasadam. You see? You are cheated. But Krishna will not cheat. Krishna will eat everything, and you still keep everything. So where is your loss? Why don’t you offer food to Krishna? And why only in the temple? Everyone can do it at home. Everyone is eating. Why not offer the food to Krishna? That is Krishna consciousness. Is it very difficult?
But the difficulty is that Krishna does not eat all nonsense things and people want to eat all nonsense. So therefore they are afraid of becoming Krishna conscious. Yes. Because they’ll be forbidden to eat what they want. Krishna says, patram pushpam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati: “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.” (Gita 9.26) Krishna is limiting what He will accept, even though He can eat everything. In Vrindavan He swallowed a forest fire.
So for Krishna even to eat meat is not a very difficult job, because He is Krishna, all-powerful. But He has prescribed, “Give Me this foodstuff.” If you call me to your house, you’ll ask me, “What can I offer you?” So similarly, we have called Krishna. “Krishna, please come and stay with us in this temple.” So therefore we must give Him food that He wants. Not whimsically. And it is clearly stated. Krishna says, “All right. Give Me patram pushpam phalam toyam.” Patram, vegetables; phalam, fruits; toyam, milk, water. In this way Krishna says, “Give Me this.” So you give it to Him. And Krishna says, “If it is offered with faith and love, I eat it.”
Is Krishna lying when He says He eats – because we see that the food is still there? No. He eats. But we do not know how He is eating. That is a spiritual process.
That is answered in the Brahma-samhita (5.32): angani yasya sakalendriya-vritti-manti. Because He is omnipotent, every part of His body has got all the potencies of the other parts of the body. Therefore if you offer food with faith and love to Krishna, He can eat simply by seeing. We can see with our eyes; we cannot eat with our eyes. But Krishna can eat with His eyes, and He can see with His tongue, He can hear with His hair. That is Krishna. Omnipotent. Every part of His body has got the potency of the other parts. That is Krishna. Why? Ananda-cinmaya-sad-ujjvala-vigrahasya. Because His body is not like this body, this material body. Ananda-cinmaya. His body is an eternal spiritual body of consciousness and bliss.
Krishna Is Personally Present
Therefore when seeing the deity in the temple don’t think, “Here is Krishna, stone.” No, because stone is also part of His body.
This is the philosophy of Krishna. One has to learn it. This is not stone worship. Krishna is personally present. We should worship Krishna as He is personally present. If you think He is stone, then that is an aparadha, an offense. To think of the worshipable deity as stone and wood, to think of the spiritual master as an ordinary human being – these are not allowed. One who thinks that way is not making progress.
So the sages at Naimisaranya were performing a great yajna, or sacrifice. That is our only business, to perform yajna. This Krishna consciousness movement, because everything is being done for Krishna, is simply yajna. Nothing else. It is not karma. When you perform karma, you are bound up by the results of karma. But if you perform yajna, you are not bound up. Those who are engaged in devotional service have no more karma.
Karma means that if you do something, then it will have a reaction, either good or bad. But here, because everything is done for Krishna, I haven’t got to enjoy or suffer the resultant action. This is the philosophy.
Thank you very much.