London, August 21, 1973
yaṁ hi na vyathayanty ete
so 'mṛtatvāya kalpate
"O best among men [Arjuna], the person who is not disturbed by happiness and distress and is steady in both is certainly eligible for liberation."
Prabhupāda: So Kṛṣṇa is addressing Arjuna, puruṣarṣabha, the best of the men. "O the best of the men." Certainly, Arjuna is the best of the mankind. Because he is directly friend of Kṛṣṇa, who can be better man than him? The best of the men. So the best of the men, why he's distressed in executing his duty? Therefore, this very word is used, that "You are the best of the men." Actually, the best of the men should not be disturbed by any material condition. He should discharge his duties. And what is the duty? Duty is to become immortal. This is the duty. The lowest of the men does not know how to become immortal, amṛta. Mṛta means death and amṛta means no death. The modern rascal civilization cannot understand that there is possibility of becoming immortal. They have taken it, accepted it; "Well, who can stop?" They are simply scientifically calculating that "Some day will come, by science, we shall be immortal, there will be no death." The formula is given here by Kṛṣṇa how to become immortal. That means you should be callous of this so-called happiness and distress of this material world. That is the first qualification. One who doesn't care what is the distress and happiness of this body, he must execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the qualification. "Oh, I cannot execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness because there are so many inconveniences," he's not fit for becoming immortal.
People do not know that there can, we can become immortal. Immortal we are, but we have been embodied in this material body. Therefore we have to accept mortality, birth and death. These things stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, this is the beginning of spiritual life. Spiritual life means how to become immortal. They come to ask me, "Sir, do you know some spiritual magic? Kuṇḍalinī, yoga? This? That?" All for material benefit. Spiritualist means something magic so that you can get some material benefit. If by stretching your hand you can get some little quantity of gold, then you are spiritualist: "Oh, here is a man, wonderful spiritualist. He can create gold. He can cure disease by simply..." What is called? Fooing.(?) Like that. They want to see magic only for material benefit. What is called? Miracles. That is spiritualist. (aside:) Not in that way; let him sit backside this. Spiritual life means how to become immortal. Amṛtatvāya. So 'mṛtatvāya kalpate. Kṛṣṇa has explained,
mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata
Tāṁs titikṣasva. Don't be disturbed by the sensuous disturbance of the body. Become dhīra. Dhīras tatra na muhyati [Bg. 2.13]. Become dhīra.
So one who has practiced to become dhīra, not to become disturbed by the sensuous or bodily sensations, he's supposed to be kalpate, he's supposed to be, to become immortal at the end. And the Bhāgavata says also that you do not become a spiritual master, you do not become a father, you do not become a mother, you do not become a friend, a relative, in this way, if you cannot make your subordinate immortal. Pitā na sa syāt, gurur na sa syāt, gurur na sa syāt, jananī na sā syāt pitā na sa syāt. In this way, there is a list. You become father of hundreds of children. That's all right. No restriction. You beget children. But you must make your children immortal. That is the injunction. You have become guru. That's all right, Guruji Mahārāja. That's all right. But make your disciples immortal. Otherwise, don't, don't cheat others. Cheaters. Illicit father, illicit mother. As we say, illicit sex. Similarly illicit father, illicit mother. Who is illicit father, illicit mother? Who cannot make his children immortal. That is the aim of human life. How to become immortal. How... Not to become, we are immortal. Just like a person, he's diseased, attacked by fever. Fever is not his natural condition, but somehow or other, he has got fever. Similarly, we are immortal. That will be explained. Na jāyate na mriyate vā. The living entity never takes birth, never dies. Therefore immortal. Immortal means no birth, no death. That is immortal. Whenever there is birth, there is death. If there is no birth, there is no death. That is immortality.
So the whole scheme is Vedic scheme, not otherwise: how to become immortal. You find in Bhagavad-gītā, yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama [Bg. 15.6]. In many places, the śāstra only aims at. In another place, in Bhāratī-kāvya (Bhakti-kāvya) (?), when Viśvāmitra Muni came to see Mahārāja Daśaratha to ask his son, Rāmacandra and Lakṣmaṇa, to take them, they were boys at that time, and there was a demon disturbing in the forest. So Viśvāmitra... (aside:) Not back side ... Viśvāmitra Muni came to Mahārāja Daśaratha for help. Viśvāmitra Muni could kill that demon immediately, but that is not the business of the brāhmaṇa. Killing business is for the kṣatriya. Just see how... He was quite powerful. He could kill that demon simply by saying that "You die." He was so powerful, Viśvāmitra Muni. But still, he came to the king for help.
So when Viśvāmitra Muni came to Mahārāja Daśaratha, as we ask, "How are you?" so Daśaratha, Mahārāja Daśaratha inquired from Viśvāmitra Muni, aihistam yad punar janmajaya: (?)"My dear sir, if there is anything disturbance in your occupation? Because you are trying to conquer over death." All the great ṛṣis and saintly persons, all spiritual realization means to conquer over death. So this was the question. ihistam yad tam punar janmajaya.(?) Punar janma, you are trying to own over repetition of birth. The modern civilization, they do not know that it is possible. It is possible to become immortal, to have eternal blissful life of knowledge. That is called immortality. Sac-cid-ānanda. Sat means eternity and cit means knowledge and ānanda means pleasure, bliss. We are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is sac-cid-ānanda vigraha [Bs. 5.1]. His transcendental body is eternal, blissful and complete knowledge, His body. Therefore He's speaking Bhagavad-gītā. If He's an ordinary man, what is the use of hearing Him? Ordinary man will commit mistake, will cheat, will be illusioned. His senses are imperfect; how he can give complete knowledge? That is not possible. Therefore we are not concerned to hear any rascal. We want to hear Kṛṣṇa. We are not prepared to hear any rascal, so-called scientists and so-called philosopher, so-called God. No. We are not prepared. Because everyone is rascal. Everyone is full of mistakes, everyone is trying to cheat others, everyone is illusioned, and everyone's senses are imperfect. How he can give knowledge perfect? That is not possible.
Therefore, we have to select guru. Guru means Kṛṣṇa. As Arjuna has selected guru, śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ tvāṁ prapannam: [Bg. 2.7] "I am, I become Your śiṣya, disciple, and I surrender unto You." So to get perfect knowledge, we have to find out Kṛṣṇa or Kṛṣṇa's bona fide representative. Then there is perfect knowledge. Then we can become immortal. Unless we get perfect knowledge. So Kṛṣṇa is sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1], immortal. Kṛṣṇa is full of bliss, full of knowledge, and we are also part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. So we have also the same quality, sac-cid-ānanda, the spiritual body. But because we have contacted this material nature, our blissfulness, our eternity, our knowledge, everything is now disturbed. Everything is now disturbed. We cannot be completely blissful. Anything you take, any pleasurable thing you take, it cannot give you always pleasure. It is not possible. This is not possible in this material world. However you may try scientifically to prolong your duration of life, live forever, it is not possible. And however you may pose yourself, cheat others, that you are the best man in knowledge, philosopher, scientist, you are a fool. That is not possible. Sac-cid-ānanda vigrahaḥ is Kṛṣṇa only [Bs. 5.1]. So we can also become like Kṛṣṇa along with Kṛṣṇa. Not outside. We can be living force along with Kṛṣṇa. So Kṛṣṇa is also very much anxious to take us back to Him. Therefore He comes. Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata abhyutthānaṁ sṛjāmy aham [Bg. 4.7]. When these rascals forget that unless he goes back to home, goes back to Kṛṣṇa he'll never be happy, that is the discrepancy of occupational duty. They have come here, kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha hañā bhoga vāñchā kare (Prema-vivarta), he has come here to enjoy, to lord it over the material nature, and has become entangled. So Kṛṣṇa comes, descends, to save us, to give us shelter at His lotus feet so that we may also become immortal like Kṛṣṇa, full of bliss and full of knowledge. That is called amṛtatva.
So unless we have got our aim, target of life, then what is the value of life? This is amṛtatvāya. Is there any institution, is there educational institution or university or college where this teaching is given, that how you can become immortal? Is there any institution in the world? Throughout the whole world? No. They are simply teaching that you live like animal and die like animal. That's all. You live like cats and dog and you die like cats and dogs and again become cats and dogs. Punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām [SB 7.5.30]. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ [SB 7.5.31]. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās te 'pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ.
matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā
mitho 'bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām
adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ
punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām
naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghriṁ
spṛśaty anarthāpagamo yad-arthaḥ
niṣkiñcanānāṁ na vṛṇīta yāvat
This is Prahlāda Mahārāja's instruction, that the... He was instructing his father, materialist, first-class materialist. So, when he inquired that "What is your purpose that you have become Kṛṣṇa conscious? How you have become Kṛṣṇa conscious?" So he answered. He did not ask him, addressed him, as "My father." He addressed him, asura-varya, the first-class demon. He never addressed him, "My dear father." "My dear first-class demon." This little boy, five years old, because he's Kṛṣṇa conscious, and the father is threatening always to kill, still he's not afraid. When he says that "Wherefrom you have got this courage, Prahlāda?" "My dear father," or "My dear demon, I have got this courage wherefrom you have got this courage. But you are forgetting. That is the difference. You have got so much power that you can defeat anyone, even the demigods. You should know that you have got this power from the powerful. But you are not obedient to the powerful." That is demon. Demons, when they get power, they think that "I have got it, I have earned it. It is my thing. Who can challenge me?" But he forgets that everything can be withdrawn within a second by the powerful. That is demoniac. And Vaiṣṇava, devotee means although he is very, very powerful, he never thinks that "I am powerful." He thinks that "I am acting simply by the order of the powerful." This is the difference.
So Prahlāda Mahārāja said "People do not know the aim of life." The aim of life is here, amṛtatva, as good as Kṛṣṇa, as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Blissful, full of knowledge and eternal. That is the aim of life. But people do not know. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum [SB 7.5.31]. Viṣṇu means the Supreme Lord who is eternal, full of bliss and full of knowledge. So our aim should be how to approach Viṣṇu. Then we get the same power, same eternity, same blissfulness. Just like a motorcar is running at the speed of sixty miles, and if a cyclist someway or other catches the motorcar, he can also go at the speed of sixty miles. Sometimes boys do that. Similarly, you approach Kṛṣṇa. You approach Viṣṇu. You get all the powers because you become under protection. Protection of the... That... Tulasī dāsa has said that in the ocean, the waves of the ocean, if you put one elephant very powerful, very strong, the elephant will be washed away by the waves. But a small fish, a teeny fish, it is swimming against the waves. They take pleasure. The fish, when the waves are coming this way, the fish go in that way. Now see. You put against the waves an elephant. It will be washed away. Why elephant? Any strong thing you give. Even big, big ships, oh, it will be washed away. But a small fish, it doesn't care the waves; it goes against the waves. Why? It has taken the shelter. It has taken the shelter of the ocean. Similarly, all power belongs to Kṛṣṇa. Yatra yogeśvaraḥ hariḥ. But if anyone takes shelter of Kṛṣṇa, he becomes as powerful as Kṛṣṇa. This is the process.
So, but we do not know. We want to become powerful here by so-called science, so-called yoga, kuṇḍalinī and what other nonsense they are think... They are trying to be immortal, powerful. No, sir, that is not possible. It is not possible. Therefore, people do not know. Na te viduḥ. They do not know. Svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum. Our aim should be how to approach Viṣṇu. How to go back to home, back to Godhead. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ durāśayā [SB 7.5.31]. They're hoping, very durāśayā, means very badly, wrongly, that they want to be happy by adjustment of this material world. The yogic process is also another material gymnastic. We have not heard any yogi has become successful to get immortality. No, that is not possible. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ [SB 7.5.31]. Those who are trying to adjust this material world by science or yoga, without caring for Viṣṇu, what they are? Andha. They are blind. Andha. And their leaders? They are also blind. Andhā yathā upanīyamānāḥ andhena. One blind man is trying to lead another blind man. So what is the wrong there? Te 'pīśa-tantryāṁ baddhāḥ: They are bound up by the laws of nature, hand and legs tight. How they can become free and happy by such endeavor? That is not possible. So, so simply by taking Kṛṣṇa consciousness it will be nice? Yes.
So how to take Kṛṣṇa consciousness? That is also answered by Prahlāda Mahārāja. Matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā mitho 'bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām. Kṛṣṇa consciousness cannot be awakened for a person who wants to stay in this material world and become happy. He cannot become Kṛṣṇa conscious. Gṛha-vratānām. Gṛha means home, and vratānām means one who has taken the house or home or this body as everything. Vrata. Vrata means... Just like you are observing this today, a Janmāṣṭamī-vrata, under vow. We shall fast, an austerity. The aim is different from the gṛha-vrata. Gṛha-vrata's aim is how to decorate the home, how to become happy in this home, in this world, in this material world. That is their... So they cannot become Kṛṣṇa conscious. One who has become callous of this material happiness, he can become Kṛṣṇa conscious. Therefore it is said here, yaṁ hi na vyathayanty ete. These material things, seasonal changes, so-called happiness, so-called distress, if one is not disturbed... There is no cause of disturbance. This is another foolishness. Why one should be disturbed? Because the so-called happiness or happiness or distress, whatever you are destined to receive, you must get it. You try or do not try, it doesn't matter. Whatever portion of happiness you are destined to get, you'll get it. And whatever portion of... Because this material life is mixture. You cannot get unadulterated happiness or unadulterated distress. No. That is not. You'll get distress and happiness both.
Therefore Kṛṣṇa has explained in the previous verse, here also: yaṁ hi na vyathayanty ete. Mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha [Bg. 2.14]. Here in this material world there is winter and the counterpart summer also. In the winter we aspire, "If it would have been warmer." That means you want summer. And again summer you'll require, you aspire had it been, I mean to say, cooler. You apply cooling machine. So this is our struggle. In the summer, we apply cooling machine, and in the winter, we apply heating machine. So undisturbed happiness, either in coolness or warmth, you cannot have. This is not possible. Therefore we have to become callous. But the materialist persons, they are disturbed. A little winter, little chilliness, immediately, "Bring electric heater, immediately." Or if there is too much hot, "Bring fan, bring cooler." So they are busy how to adjust these material disturbances. But they do not think that "Why these material disturbances are disturbing me? I do not want them." That question do not come... They simply struggle how to counteract it. Struggling like fool. But here is the solution. Here is the solution. The solution is that don't be disturbed with this cooling and heating machine. Be pleased in whatever condition Kṛṣṇa has placed you. Of course, there is no harm if you can put yourself in a comfortable... But simply for putting yourself in comfortable situation, don't forget Kṛṣṇa. That is our aim. Simply for making adjustment of this material condition of life, if you forget Kṛṣṇa, then you'll lose everything. That in the Bible also, what is, there is a... (devotee speaks) Yes. Repeat it.
Haṁsadūta: "What profiteth a man who gains the whole world but he loses his eternal soul?"
Prabhupāda: That's it. That should be the aim. That we are eternal soul. We must be again replaced in our eternal life. But if you forget this mission of life and simply become engaged how to become happy in this material world, how to avoid distress and how to get happiness... People are engaged in that way. Simply trying to get happiness and avoid distress, and forgetting that he has got a mission of life, to realize his self and go back to home, back to Godhead. This is the defect of the modern civilization.
So... bahir-artha-māninaḥ. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi... matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā mitho 'bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām. So their conferences, their United Nation, their scientific advancement, their educational system, philosophy, and so on, so on, everything is meant for how to become happy in this material world. Gṛha-vratānām. The aim is how to become happy here. And that is not possible. These rascals they cannot understand. If you want to become happy, then you must come to Kṛṣṇa. Mām upetya tu kaunteya duḥkhālayam aśāśvataṁ nāpnuvanti [Bg. 8.15]. Kṛṣṇa says, "If somebody comes to Me, then he does not again get this place which is full of miseries," duḥkhālayam. This material world is explained by Kṛṣṇa as duḥkhālayam. Ālayam means place, and duḥkha means distress. Everything is distressful here, but fools being illusioned, covered by the illusory māyā, that distress he accepts as happiness. That is māyā. It is not at all happiness. A man is working whole day and night, and because he's getting some paper where it is written, "We trust in God. Take this paper, hundred dollars. I cheat you." Is it not? "We trust in God. I promise to pay you. Take this paper now. Not even one cent worth. It is written there hundred dollars." So I am thinking I am very happy: "Now I have got this paper." That's all. Cheaters and cheated. This is going on.
So we should not be disturbed by the happiness and distress of this material world. That should be our aim. Our aim should be how to execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness. How to execute. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu has given very simple formula:
harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
[Cc. Ādi 17.21]
In this age, Kali, you cannot execute any severe austerity or penances. Simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That also we are not able to do. Just see. How unfortunate we are. So this is the position of the Kali-yuga. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā upadrutāḥ [SB 1.1.10]. They are very rascals, manda. Manda means very bad, manda. And sumanda-matayaḥ. And if they want to improve something, they will accept some rascal Guruji Mahārāja. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayaḥ. And some party which has no bona fide contribution, they will accept that: "Oh it is very nice." So first of all they're all bad, and if they accept something, that will also be very bad. Why? Unfortunate. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyāḥ [SB 1.1.10]. Manda-bhāgyāḥ means unfortunate. And above that, upadrutāḥ. Always disturbed by taxes, no rains, no sufficient food. So many things. This is the position of Kali-yuga. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu said... Caitanya Mahāprabhu not. It is in the Vedic literature, that you cannot do the yoga practice, meditation or offering big, big sacrifices or construct big, big temples for worshiping the Deity. It is very, very difficult nowadays. Simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, and gradually you'll realize how to become immortal.
Thank you very much. (end)