"A Thorn-Chewing Civilization"

26 May 72 , 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: Similarly, a person who wants to enjoy family life or the worldly life of so-called enjoyment is compared with the camel. Materialistic life is full of thorns, so one should live only by the prescribed method of Vedic regulations, just to make the best use of a bad bargain."

Prabhupada: Hm. Just like if you are passing through thorns, you must be very careful. Otherwise the thorns will be stuck up with your garment, and you will be inconvenienced. It is said in the Vedas, ksurasya dhara nisita duratyaya. Just like we shave with razor. Razor is very sharp. So if we can carefully handle the razor, we get our cheeks very cleansed, that business is done. But little inattention, immediately cut and there will be blood. Little inattention. That example is given. Ksurasya dhara nisita duratyaya durgam pathas tat kavayo vadanti. The path of salvation is very difficult. Just like we are trying to go back to home, back to Godhead, Krsna. The path is very difficult. Ksurasya dhara nisita duratyaya durgam. Durgam means very difficult to pass over. But little attention will save you. Little attention, that "I am passing through a very dangerous way, so I must be very careful." So our attention should always be how we are executing our spiritual life.

That is very simple. We observe strictly the regulative principles and chant sixteen rounds minimum. That will save us. But if we become inattentive to these principles, then there is chance of being pricked by the thorns. There are so many thorns all over. Or the same example. Ksurasya dhara. You shave, make your face very cleansed, but little inattention, immediately produce blood. We should be very careful. Go on.

Pradyumna: "Life in the material world is maintained by sucking one's own blood. The central point of attraction for material enjoyment is sex life. To enjoy sex life is to suck one's own blood, and there is not much more to be explained in this connection. The camel also sucks his own blood while chewing the thorny twigs. The thorns that the camel eats cuts the tongue of the camel. And so blood begins to flow within the camel's mouth. The thorns mixed with fresh blood create a taste for the foolish camel, and so he enjoys the thorn-eating business with false pleasure. Similarly, the great business magnates, industrialists who work very hard to earn money by different ways and questionable means, eat the thorny result of their action mixed up with their own blood. Therefore the Bhagavatam has situated these diseased souls along with the camels."

Prabhupada: They take risk, so much risk, for earning money and sense enjoyment. The thief, the burglars, they risk their life. They go to steal to a man's house, and it is known that as soon as he is known, "He has come," the man, the proprietor of the house, may immediately shoot him. That risk he takes. So not only the burglar and thieves, every one of us. It is stated padam padam yad vipadam [SB 10.14.58]. In every step there is danger. Every step. We are running our motorcars very fast, seventy miles, one hundred miles speed, but any moment there can be great danger. So actually there cannot be any peace in material life. That is not possible. Samasrita ye pada-pallava-plavam. We have to take therefore shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord. If we want to be happy, if we want to be peaceful, then this is the only way. And the... Sva-vid-varahostra-khara... And in the previous verse, kim grame pasavo 'pare, na khadanti na mehanti. This eating, sleeping, mating, so it is criticized: "Do the cats and dogs and the camels, they do not eat?"

They also eat. They enjoy. As the camel is enjoying thorny twigs. His enjoyment, that is his enjoyment. Na khadanti na mehanti. Now, another enjoyment. Sex life, discharge. Na mehanti. Again it is described. These are very terse criticism. You see. A fact. Sex enjoyment means you discharge your semina. Your thing, not others. And it is said by medical science, some pounds of blood makes one drop of semina. That means, suppose you allow, if you allow somebody to take your blood, pounds of blood, would you like to do that? Unless it is... Nowadays, blood bank, there is going on. But anyone, if he wants to take your blood, you will protest. But our enjoyment is by giving our own blood. Tul... There is a Hindi poet, din ka dakini, rat ka baghini, palak palak rahe cuse duniya sab bhora hoye, ghara ghara baghini puje (?). It is actual for the materialistic person, that there is an animal, din ka dakini, at, during daytime she is witch, and at night she is tigress.

So din ka dakini, rat ka baghini, palak palak rahe cuse. The witches, they also, by their black art, they suck the blood of children. Do you know that? There are witches. You know? I am asking Svarupa Damodara. The kamekha (?) witches, from the black art. The Putana was like that. They suck the blood of children by some mantra. So din ka dakini, rat ka baghini. It is pointing out to one's wife. During daytime she is dakini, witches, and at night she is tigress. So Tulasi dasa says that. . . Tulasi dasa's life is very interesting. Therefore he had very bad experience of his wife. Everyone. So baghini. Nobody keeps a tigress to suck one's blood, but Tulasi dasa says, duniya sab bhora hoye. The whole world, being mad, they keep one tigress. Palak palak rahe cuse. In every moment, sucking blood. This criticism is for the materialistic person. Those who are spiritually advancing, this criticism does not apply. For materialistic person, this agent of sucking blood is their happiness, is their happiness.

That is the real fact. Therefore the Vedic system of civilization is seventy-five percent life of celibacy. In the brahmacari system there is no connection with woman. Student life. Student life, if one remains brahmacari, he becomes determined. His brain becomes very receptive. Therefore, in the brahmacari system, complete celibacy, no connection with woman. So up to twenty-five years, if he does not discharge semen, he becomes very stout, strong, and his health is built up for whole life, and he becomes so intelligent that anything he will hear, he will remember immediately. Then after brahmacari system, if one cannot remain brahmacari, naisthika-brahmacari, then the spiritual master allows him to marry. That is grhastha-asrama. So when one is complete, fit for sex life, he begets children, male children, and after twenty-five years, the child becomes grown up, so he retires. In this way, brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha, and sannyasa. The whole aim is Visnu, how to go back to home, back to Godhead.

Not like, living like this, animals. Sva-vid-varahostra-khara. Not to live. That is not human life. Sva means dependent. "Unless somebody gives me food, I cannot live." That is the life of a dog. A street dog is never happy. One dog who has got master, he is happy. That is sva. Vid-varaha means eating everything, anything nonsense eatable. Varaha, vid-varaha. Sva-vid-varaha-ustra. Ustra means chewing or drinking his own blood, and he thinks it is very tasteful. And similarly ass. Ass is working hard for the washerman, not for himself, and still, he thinks he is happy. Therefore these four nice animals has been exemplified. That is our life. The karmis are compared with the ass. Big, big businessmen, day and night working hard, earning money, not for himself. What he will eat? Two capatis, that's all. Or little milk or little... Not that he has earned 1000 dollars every day and he will eat it. No. He will eat, out of that 1000 dollars, he will eat fifty cents, and balance will be eaten by others.

You see. But still, he is working hard. And the example is ass. The ass takes a morsel of grass. It is worth nothing. The ass can get anywhere the morsel of grass. But still, he thinks that the washerman is feeding me. So he remains there. And in Mexico you found some asses, carrying loads. So they are carrying loads, very heavy loads, tons, for that morsel of grass, which he can get anywhere. But he thinks, "Oh, I will die. If my master does not give me a morsel of grass, I will die. So let me remain here and carry all the big loads." You see. Similarly, the karmis, they remain at home. They think that "My wife, my children, my family -- without them, I shall die. So I have to work to maintain them like an ass." That's all. The karmis, they are working, accumulating bank balance, more, more, more, more, more, more. But forgetting the real mission of life. Therefore ass. Ass means fool. Whenever one man is called, "You are ass," that means he's a fool. So this human form of life, so valuable...

To realize Krsna and go back to Him, that should be our main business. But these karmis, they do not know what is the mission of this human form of life. They are busy working hard, day and night, for a morsel of grass. That's all. Yan maithunadi-grha... There are many other verses. Yan maithunadi-grhamedhi-sukham hi tuccham [SB 7.9.45]. So sastra, intelligence, knowledge, means one should study everything very critically, "What is my position? What is my duty?" We should not be like the animals. Sva-vid-varahostra-khara. Now we have got our great personalities, leaders. They are praised, eulogized, our, these political leaders. "Our Hitler," "Our Gandhi," "Our Churchill," "Our Nixon." But sastra says these leaders, those who are not spiritual leaders, those who cannot give our life, they are worshiped by these classes of animals, animals. These so-called leaders, politicians, they are eulogized very much by whom? By these class of men: dogs, camels, asses and...

What is the other one?

Devotees: Hogs.

Prabhupada: Hog. So this is the verdict of... That means one who does not know whom to eulogize, whom to give honor, they give votes to these classes of men, without any knowledge of Krsna. They are becoming the great philosophers, leaders, scientists. They have no knowledge of Krsna, no knowledge of God. Still, they are leading the society. And who praise them? This class of men-dogs, hogs, camels, and asses. This is the verdict. Now you can challenge. You can talk, if it is right or wrong. This is the challenge given by Bhagavatam, that "Persons who have no knowledge of Krsna consciousness, they are praised by these dogs, hogs, camels, and asses." This is the challenge. Now how can you refute it? Can you refute it? This is a great challenge. We are not only... We are accepting some rascal as God, as incarnation of God. So who accept this so-called God? These classes of men. These classes of men: camel, hogs, dogs. So by the vote of camels, dogs, hogs, one cannot become God.

That is not possible. God is a different thing. So we should not be misled. If some incarnation come, "God," who is accepting? These camels, dogs, and hogs and asses. So what is the value? What is the value of their vote? No. Formerly, the votes were taken by highly saintly persons, brahmanas. Just like Prthu Maharaja's father Vena Maharaja. He was disapproved by the brahmanas and the saintly persons, and immediately he was dethroned and killed. Not the public vote. Not vox populi. Vote should be taken from the highly elevated persons, not from the lower-class dogs and asses. What is the value of their vote? What they can select? Vote should be taken... Just like Krsna. Krsna wanted that Maharaja Yudhisthira should be on the throne. That is vote. So nowadays, a vote is franchised. Any common man, any rascal can vote. So how he can elect nice man? That is not possible. Therefore, if you want real government who can lead you back to home, back to Godhead...

That is perfect government. That is the duty of the government. To see the citizens happy in this life. They have no grievance for their living condition. They are happy. At the same time, they are preparing for going back to home, back to Godhead. That is good government. And the government who simply levies taxes somehow or other... Every year, the budget is increasing tax. "You give us tax, and you go to hell. It doesn't matter. You give us tax." And the tax is divided amongst themselves. That is government. Whatever... We know in India, the tax collected, eighty percent is spent among the government servants. That's all.

So this is the position of Kali-yuga. Mleccha rajanya-rupino bhaksayisyanti prajas te. That is predicted in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, that in Kali-yuga the mlecchas, means the rejected from human society, such persons, rogues and fools and rascals, they will take the post of king. Rajanya-rupinah. They are unworthy to be kicked, but they will take the post of government.

Rajanya-rupinah. And what will be their business? Bhaksayisyanti prajas te. They will eat the citizens. That's all. Vital force. Vital force, blood-sucking, tax. Durbhiksa-kara-piditah [SB 12.2.9]. In one side, there will be scarcity of supply. In other side, they will be perplexed with taxes. These are going to be happened. Kara-piditah gacchanti giri-kananam. And they will give up their homely life and will go to the forest, to the hills. Just like every year you hear. Now it is going on. Just like in Vietnam. The poor people, they are sometimes evacuating this place and evacuating... vacating this place, vacating that place. They are troubled. The politicians, they are making their own plan, and the poor people ... We have seen. When partition was made in India, all poor Hindus and Muslims, they were in trouble. And the leaders, they were in happy mood in their apartment, ordering and eating very nicely, butter and bread. That's all. This is going on. Therefore the only opportunity of becoming happy is that you preach this Krsna consciousness movement amongst the people, so if the people become educated in Krsna consciousness, and if they decide that "We shall vote for Krsna conscious leader," then there will be happiness.

Just like Prthu Maharaja, the king. We were discussing. So the Krsna consciousness movement comprehends all sides of life. It is not that a stereotype "churchianity," weekly going to the church and come back and do all. No. It is embracing all sides of our life. But the only aim is how to go back to home, back to Godhead. So we have to educate these classes of men, sva-vid-varaha-ustra-khara, these class of men: dogs, hogs, camels, and the asses. The world is full of these classes of men, and you have to educate them. Your responsibility is very great. You have to make an ass a devotee, a camel a devotee, a dog a devotee, a hog a devotee. This is your mission. Next.

Pradyumna: "The ass is another animal who is celebrated as the greatest fool, even amongst the animals. The ass works very hard and carries burdens of the maximum weight without making profit for itself. Footnote: Human life is meant for earning values. This life is called arthadam, or that which can deliver values. And what is the greatest value of life? It is returning home, back to Godhead, as indicated in the Bhagavad-gita (8.15). One's selfishness must be aimed at the point of going back to Godhead. The ass does not know its self-interest, and it works very hard for others only. Similarly, a person who works very hard for others only, forgetting his personal interest available in the human form of life, is compared to the ass. In the Brahma-vaivarta Purana it is said:

asitim caturas caiva laksams tan jiva-jatisu
bhramadbhih purusaih prapyam manusyam janma-paryayat
tad apy abhalatam jatah tesam atmabhimaninam
varakanam anasritya govinda-carana-dvayam

Prabhupada: Hm. This is very important verse. You can repeat this. One may take it by heart.

asitim caturas caiva laksams tan jiva-jatisu
bhramadbhih purusaih prapyam manusyam janma-paryayat
tad apy abhalatam jatah tesam atmabhimaninam
varakanam anasritya govinda-carana-dvayam

Repeat it. (Devotees say the verse.) So asitim means eighty. Asitim caturah. Caturah means four. So eighty-four. Eighty plus four means eighty-four. Laksams. Laksams means hundreds of thousand. So eighty-four hundreds of thousands. Asitim caturas caiva laksams tan jiva-jatisu. Jiva-jati. This is different species of living entities. Jiva-jati. The hog species, the ass species, the dog species, just like they have got species. Jiva-jatisu. So in different species of living entities, they are counted, eighty-four hundreds of thousands, or 8,400,000. Bhramadbhih. Bhramadbhih means transmigrating, wandering one after another. Jalaja nava-laksani sthavara laksa-vimsati. There are 900,000 species within the water.

Then trees, plants. In this way, passing through different species of life, the living entity... Jiva-jatisu. Jiva-jatisu, in different species of life, he is transmigrating, one after another, one after another. Bhramadbhih purusaih. Purusa. Purusa means the living entity. The living entity is described here "purusa" because he wants to enjoy. Purusa is the enjoyer. Actually enjoyer is Krsna, but we are imitating Krsna. We want to become God. That is the Mayavada philosophy. That is our trouble. I am trying to imitate something which I cannot. Suppose if I want to be God, is it possible to become God? But they are trying to be. Bhramadbhih purusaih. So in this way, for this misunderstanding, he is falsely trying to have happiness through so many species of life. "Let me enter this life, let me enter that life, that life, that life, that ..." In this way he falls down. He is fallen already from Vaikuntha planet. He is fallen in this material world, and he is again trying to make progress.

Prapyam manusyam. In this way, after many, many births, he gets this human form of life. Prapyam manusyam janma-paryayat. By the graduation, gradual evolution process. This is real evolution. Not the body is changing. Body is already there. Jiva-jatisu. The jiva-jati, species, are already there. There is a defect of Darwin's theory. He does not want, he does not know that the living entity is passing through different types of body. Not that the body is changing. Bodies are already there. Bhramadbhih purusaih prapyam manusyam janma-paryayat. Paryayat means chronological. What is called, one after another?

Karandhara: Sequential?

Prabhupada: Sequential, yes. That's all right. Tad api. Tad api means that human form of life. Abhalatam, becomes spoiled. Tad api. Once missed, again come down. Circle. Circle. Just like merry-go-round. So you are sometimes very high and immediately low down. So this circle of birth and death in different species of life is going on, and this human form of life is a chance to get out of this cycle of birth and death. Is a chance. It is by nature's arrangement, by Krsna's arrangement, that these living entities, who have come here in this material world for false happiness, material happiness, and they are entrapped in this birth and death problem, transmigrating from one type of life to another type of life... Here is a chance for the human being. And Krsna comes to the human being, and He... "Here is a chance, Bhagavad-gita." Krsna gives them. So if, after reading Bhagavad-gita, anasritya govinda-carana-dvayam, who is neglecting... He is neglecting means that tesam atmabhimaninam varakanam.

Varaka means fools or childish. We are thinking that "I am this body." Such fools cannot understand how to surrender to Krsna. Therefore, tad apy abhalatam jatah tesam atmabhimaninam, varakanam anasritya, without taking shelter, govinda-carana-dvayam, the lotus feet of Govinda. So bahunam janmanam ante [Bg. 7.19]. We get this chance, and if we are not educated by our teachers, by our fathers, by our leaders, by our government men, by our gurus, by our relatives, how to accept the lotus feet of Krsna, who is canvassing... Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: [Bg. 18.66] "Give up all this nonsense engagement, trying to become Krsna, or God. Give up this. Surrender unto Me." This is education. This is education. The father should give education at home. The leaders should give education in institution. The politicians should give education in their assemblies, congress. The guru should give education how to surrender to Krsna. The father should educate, the mother should educate.

Therefore Bhagavata says, na mocayed yah samupeta... gurur na sa syaj janani na sa syat pita na sa syat. There are some negative definitions, that there are so-called gurus, so-called swamis, but Bhagavata says that "You should not become a swami or guru. Kindly don't become if you cannot save your disciple from the imminent danger of birth and death." Gurur na sa syat. This is the injunction. "No rascal should become a guru unless he can save his disciple from the cycle of birth and death." Or, in other words, anyone who wants to become guru, if he cannot teach his disciples how to surrender, govinda-carana-dvayam, anasritya, how to take shelter of the lotus feet of Govinda, he should not become guru. That is cheating. That is cheating. Similarly, one should not become father. The father and mother should have determination that "The child I produce, I give birth, if I cannot teach him Krsna conscious, surrender to Krsna, I shall not beget any child."

This is real contraceptive method. Not to beget child like cats and dogs. Sva-vid-varahostra-khara. So Bhagavata says, "One should not become father, one should not become mother, one should not become relative, one should not become king, one should not become guru, if they cannot save their dependants from this cycle of birth and death." This is the meaning of this verse. Anasritya govinda-carana-dvayam, varakanam atmabhimaninam. So after wandering through these so many species of life and so dangerous... There are two million species of plant life, tree's life. Just see. You have to stand for so many years. A great opportunity, this human form of life. Don't waste. Don't become dogs and hogs and asses and camels. Become devotee. Just surrender to Krsna. Make your life successful. Thank you. (end)
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.19 -- Los Angeles, June 15, 1972

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

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