"You Must First Be Gentle"

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.13
September 18, 1972, Los Angeles

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada<br>Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

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Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)

astame merudevyam tu
nabher jata urukramah
darsayan vartma dhiranam

Translation: "The eighth incarnation was King Rsabha, son of King Nabhi and his wife Merudevi. In this incarnation the Lord showed the path of perfection, which is followed by those who have fully controlled their senses and who are honored by all orders of life."

Prabhupada: So there are some important words in this verse. The first thing is dhiranam. Dhiranam mean sober, gentle. There are two ways, because there are two kinds of people in this world. One is called dhira, and the other is called adhira. Adhira means almost animal. They cannot control their senses. The dhira, one who can control sense. He is called dhira. In the Rupa Gosvami's obeisances we find, krsnotkirtana-gana-nartana-parau premamrtambho-nidhi dhiradhira-jana-priyau priya-karau. Krsnotkirtana, the Krsna consciousness movement is appreciable by the both classes, dhira and adhira. Those who are advanced by austerities, controlling the senses, and those who are not so, very fallen, both of them, Dhiradhira-jana-priyau priya-karau nirmatsarau.

Another example of dhira is there in Kumara Sambhava. Kumara Sambhava is a Sanskrit book, which I think we read in our college I.A. class, by Kalidasa, poet Kalidasa. So this theme of that book is that the demigods, they wanted to fight with the demons, and it was necessary that a son should be begotten by Lord Siva. So Lord Siva at that time lost his wife in the daksa-yajna. She gave up his (her) life. There was some misunderstanding between Maharaja Daksa, father of Parvati, or Durga. So she gave up her life because her father was against Lord Siva. He was repudiating Lord Siva, and she could not tolerate that "My father, you are so proud that you are blaspheming Lord Siva because you think I am your daughter and your son-in-law is subordinate. So I am returning this body to you." So (s)he immediately gave up her body. So Lord Siva, having lost his wife, he was on the Himalayas executing severe tapasya. So the demigods, they planned to break the tapasya meditation of Lord Siva by sending Parvati, daughter of Himalaya. Lord Siva's wife then took birth as daughter of Himalaya. So when she was young, grown-up, sixteen years old, so she was engaged to break the meditation of Lord Siva. So Lord Siva was in meditation, naked, and Parvati was induced to worship Lord Siva and touch the genital. But Lord Siva still was undisturbed. So at that time, Kalidasa Kavi, that "Here is the example of dhira. He is so much absorbed in meditation that a young girl, touching the genital, still, he is undisturbed. He is so self-controlled."

So this is dhira. Dhira means even there is cause of disturbance he will not be disturbed. That is dhira. And one who is disturbed by the slight agitation, he is not dhira. He is adhira. So mostly, people are adhira. They are agitated by a slight disturbance, because they have not been trained in such a way. Otherwise... Just like Krsna. When Krsna was being elected as president in the rajasuya-yajna assembly of Maharaja Yudhisthira, so somebody remarked that "This man..." Because those who were blind, they would see Krsna as ordinary man... So "He is woman-hunter from the very beginning. So how He can be elected?" So at that time Bhisma, the most celebrated brahmacari... He never accepted any wife or he had no connection with any woman. He immediately stood up. He said that "I am celebrated throughout the whole world as brahmacari, but if I would have been in the position of Krsna... He was dancing with young girls, but He was not agitated. But I would have been agitated. I admit. Therefore He is dhira. He should be elected."

You'll find rasa-lila, Krsna was dancing with so many young girls, but you won't find there was any sex relation. There was nothing like that. So that is dhira. They were devotees, gopis. They used to come to Krsna. But there is no such thing written, as pregnancy and abortion. No, nothing of the sort. That is called dhira, that in spite of presence of the cause of disturbance... The gopis came to Krsna because He was very beautiful young boy. Actually they were attracted by His beauty. That is stated, kamat. They came as a lust. But when they came to Krsna, they became purified. That is dhira. Krsna was kind enough. The gopis, they wanted Krsna, to associate with Him. So Krsna gave them chance, "Yes, come on." The gopis wanted Krsna as husband. They made tapasya, austerity, to have Krsna as husband. But at that time Krsna was... The gopis and Krsna were of the same age. Just like boys and girls play together. But girls become at the age of twelve, thirteen years, their sex desires become strong. But boys, they do not become sex desire so strong, unless they are badly associated. So neither it was possible that Krsna would marry so many girlfriends. But they wanted Krsna as husband, all of them. Therefore Krsna fulfilled their desire in the vastra-harana. Because a woman can become naked only before husband. That is Vedic. So Krsna somehow or other made them naked so that... He declared that "You wanted Me as husband. So much, that's all." So people misunderstand Krsna. Unless understood through authoritative sources, Krsna is misunderstood. But He is the dhira. He is not adhira. He is not like ordinary man. Dhira.

So here it is said that urukramah. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is described here as urukrama. Urukrama means one who acts very wonderful things which is not possible for ordinary human being. So He wanted to show the real path of life. Maharaja Rsabhadeva, He was king, emperor of the world. So His instruction are there in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. (tapping sound) He instructed... (aside:) What is this sound? He instructed His sons, "My dear boys, this human form of life is not meant for sense enjoyment, which is available in the life of dogs and hogs." It was His instruction. He instructed that human society should be dhira, self-controlled. That is ideal human society. That is Vedic civilization.

Here it is also stated, sarvasrama-namaskrtam. Asrama. Sarva-asrama. Asrama. I have several times described that the brahmacari-asrama, grhastha-asrama, vanaprastha-asrama, sannyasa-asrama. Sarvasrama, all orders of life. Varnasrama. The Vedic civilization is based on four varnas: brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra; and four asramas: brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha, and sannyasa. So Lord Rsabhadeva planned in such a way to teach His sons -- He had one hundred sons -- that it will be honored by all the asramas. Out of His one hundred sons, nine became sannyasi. Nava Yogendra, very highly elevated spiritually, nine sons. And eighty-one sons... Out of hundred, nine gone, ninety-one sons? So out of them, eleven became ksatriyas, and others became brahmanas, like that. So this proves that not that by birth one becomes brahmana or ksatriya or vaisya or sudra, but it is by different qualification. Otherwise how Rsabhadeva's son... He was ksatriya, supposed to be ksatriya. So His sons are also ksatriya. How they became brahmana? No. That was the Vedic culture. Janmana jayate sudrah. As soon as one is born, he is accepted as sudra. Neither brahmana nor ksatriya nor... Raw. By training, either he becomes a brahmana or a ksatriya.

Just like a man has got several sons, but all of them, in the beginning, they are illiterate. Now, in their grown-up age, by accepting different departmental knowledge, one becomes a medical practitioner, one becomes engineer, one becomes lawyer, or one becomes vagabond. So not by birth, one becomes engineer or medical man or this or... No. Everything by culture, by education. Similarly, the Vedic culture means everyone is given the chance to become first-class brahmana. That is called brahminical culture. Everyone is given. Because without becoming a brahmana, nobody can understand what is God. And the human life is meant for understanding God. That is the only business of human form of life. Not like cats and dogs -- how to eat, how to sleep, how to have sexual intercourse, and how to defend. These the animals know. The birds, bees, they know how to do it.

This Rsabhadeva, He taught that "My dear boys, this life, human form of life, is not to be wasted like hogs and dogs." Sense enjoyment is there amongst the hogs -- better facility. No restriction. No restriction. In human society at least there is official some restriction. Matra svasra duhitra. All sastra says, "There is no..." But there are societies -- we do not want to discuss -- who have sex relationship even with mother, sister, and daughter. Still. But it was formerly also. Not like that, very common. But sastra says, matra svasra duhitra va naviviktasano bhavet. "You do not sit down in a secluded place even with your mother, with your sister, with your daughter." So people may say, "One becomes agitated by association of mother, sister, and daughter, many fools or most degraded." No. Sastra says balavan indriya-gramo vidvamsam api karsati. "The senses are so strong that even one is very learned, he becomes agitated." He becomes agitated, even in the presence of mother, sister, and daughter.

So senses are so strong. Balavan indriya-gramah. It is prohibited. What to speak of others. Therefore, the common moral teachings and the Vedic civilization is to accept any woman except his own wife as mother. Matrvat para-daresu. Para-daresu. Everyone is supposed to be married. Dara means wife. Para-daresu, other's wife. It doesn't matter if she is younger or older, but she should be treated as mother. Therefore it is the system in Vedic culture, as soon as one sees another woman, she (he) addresses her, "mother," Mataji. Immediately, "mother." That makes the relationship. The woman treats the unknown man as son, and the unknown man treats the unknown woman as mother. This is Vedic civilization. So we should be very careful. In our society, you are all Godbrothers, Godsisters. Or those who are married, they are like mothers. So you should be very careful. Then you will remain dhira, sober. That is brahminical qualification, brahminical culture. Not that "Because I have got facilities to intermingle with nice girls, so I shall take advantage and exploit them." Or the girls should take... No. Therefore our restriction: no illicit sex.

One has to become dhira. Then the question of God consciousness. Animals cannot have God consciousness. Therefore it is specially mentioned dhiranam. Vartma. The path which He showed, that is meant for the dhira, not for the adhira. Dhiranam. And it is so nice that sarvasrama-namaskrtam. All asramas will appreciate and offer obeisances. All asrama means brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha, and sannyasa. So dealing with woman... Especially instruction are given to men. All literatures, all Vedic literatures, they are especially meant for instruction to the men. Woman is to follow the husband. That's all. The husband will give instruction to the wife. There is no such thing as the girl should go to school to take brahmacari-asrama or go to spiritual master to take instruction. That is not Vedic system. Vedic system is a man is fully instructed, and woman, girl, must be married to a man. Even the man may have many wives, polygamy, still, every woman should be married. And she would get instruction from the husband. This is Vedic system. Woman is not allowed to go to school, college, or to the spiritual master. But husband and wife, they can be initiated. That is Vedic system.

So dhiranam vartma. Because people must be first of all gentle. Then talk of Krsna and God consciousness. If he is animal, what he can understand? This is Vedic system. Dhiranam. Dhira means must be gentle, perfectly gentle. Must address all woman as "mother." Matrvat para-daresu para-dravyesu lostravat. This is the training, that one should consider other's wife as mother, and others' money as like garbage in the street. Nobody cares for it. Similarly, one's other's money should not be touched. Even it is somebody has forgotten his purse, moneybag on the street, nobody will touch it. Let the man come back and take it. That is civilization. Para-dravyesu lostravat, atmavat sarva-bhutesu. And treating all other living entities as oneself. If somebody pinches me, I feel pain. Why shall I pinch other? If somebody cuts my throat, I become so sorry or so aggrieved. Why shall I cut the throat of other animals? This is civilization. This is Vedic civilization. And not that go on killing animals like anything and hunt upon the woman, topless woman, make business. This is not civilization. This is not human civilization.

Therefore it is called dhiranam. Those who are sober, for them. Those who are rascals, not for them. The brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha sarvasrama, asrama, this is meant for the gentle class, not for the rascals. First of all, training period as brahmacari. This brahmacari, he is taught. He is taught to address all women as "mother." The brahmacari goes to collect alms from door to door. Small boys. So how do they address? "Mother, kindly give us some alms." So immediately the household wife should come and give them. They will collect like that, for spiritual master. So if a boy is taught... Just like our these children are being taught chanting Hare Krsna. They are chanting. They cannot forget throughout life. Similarly, if a brahmacari is taught from childhood, from boyhood address all woman as "mother," he cannot see otherwise. "S(he) is my mother." I remember, it is an example. Long ago, say, in 1925, long ago, so we were in a cinema house. So my eldest son, as soon as he would see one woman in the picture, "Here is another mother! Here is another mother!" (laughter) he would cry. Because a small child, he does not know any woman except mother. He knows everyone as "my mother." So if we train from the childhood that "You should treat all woman as mother," then where is the question of anomalies? No. There is no question.

So one should be trained from the very beginning how to become gentle. From the very beginning if one is taught to become ungentle, uncontrolled of senses, how at the end he can become gentle? And if the people are not gentle, how you can expect peace and prosperity? Therefore we see in your country, every house: "Beware of dog. Don't come here." Because... What is that? Because they cannot trust anybody. Anybody.

So this is not advancement of civilization. If you want to know what is civilization, you have to learn here: dhiranam. In the Bhagavata the description is there. So actually, Vedic civilization is meant for the most gentle, highly advanced, not for the cats and dogs.

Thank you very much. (end)
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.13 -- Los Angeles, September 18, 1972

© 2001 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International. Used with permission.

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