This is in continuation of the transcription of the lecture delivered on 15th March 1992 in Singapore, by our beloved spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj, very very lovingly explaining the reason why the scriptures have been written and the way to get attracted to the scriptures. Maharaj was referring to the verse 1.7.6 of Srimad Bhagavatam
anarthopashamam saakshaad / bhakti-yogam adhokshaje
lokasyaajaanato vidvaams / cakre saatvata-samhitaam
“The material miseries of the living entity, which are superfluous to him, can be directly mitigated by the linking process of devotional service. But the mass of people do not know this, and therefore the learned Vyasadeva compiled this Vedic literature, which is in relation to the Supreme Truth.”
With your work you can very well perform bhakti activities and they are very easy. Shravanam, kirtanam and smaranam. You just hear, you talk and you remember Krishna. But we do not want to remember Krishna. What is the advantage in it? Better to remember the wife. ( Maharaj laughs). Then you remember wife and get kicks. It so happens. The girl or the boy wants to marry. So girl starts talking first, “I am beautiful for you, and I am this and that and educated, we will do this and do that”. Brahmacari feels very happy that somebody is attracted. Then what happens? They engage themselves after few talking and once they are engaged, the girl stops talking because she realizes now what idiot she has to live with. So she then stops talking and the boy starts talking. “I am like this, I will earn money for you and give you the car, Mercedez.” But actually speaking he can’t buy even a rickshaw. But he promises all things. The girl knows what it is, but she carries on. Then what happens they get married and after one or two children they both start talking and the neighbours hear them.(Maharaj laughs).
So this is the fact of our life without Krishna. If our center of existence is Krishna, shravanam of Krishna, kirtanam of Krishna and smaranam of Krishna, these things will not enter into our lives. Our Indian families, they are very nicely attached and peacefully they live for the whole of life. Marriage for us is not for few months or few weeks or few years. It is meant for whole of lifetime and that is why our children are very nicely educated. At least we do one thing to our children and that is, we give them the real mother and father. Please remember this. This is very difficult in western countries. Children do not get the real father and mother, what to talk of anything else? God alone knows. Somewhere there is step father or step mother or mother and father is split. Again mother is married to somebody. And the children are left like a limbo. This is our western civilization and Srila Prabhupada wanted to be very strong with this and that is why he went to America and gave these people very nice siksha, education that, “You fools! You don’t have to behave like dogs. Dogs behave like this. Dogs don’t know marriage. Dogs want to enjoy. This is the only thing they want to do and this is a dog life“. He said – We must become human beings and the human beings come to bhakti yoga and because they are attracted to bhakti yoga, they have completely forgotten this divorce, separation, everything. Our attention fully is diverted to Bhakti yoga and because of this we are completely protected. Don’t run after the western civilization. We have tendency to run after the western civilization. Please young boys, hear with your ears open. Are your ears open? So this is the fact.
They will be completely destroyed if they don’t follow the vedic culture. For the young ones, the elder ones have to be very serious. We cannot shirk our responsibility. First we have to come to this point and then the young ones will be happy. This is the responsibility on us and we have to remember that bhakti yoga saves us from all miseries. Vyasadeva says in Srimad Bhagavatam ‘lokasya ajaanato vidvaams cakre saatvata samhitaam’.
Loka means all living entities. Ajaanato means we do not know this. What we do not know?
We do not know that the remedy for our miseries is bhakti yoga. We do not know this fact that the real remedy for our miseries is bhakti yoga. – coming to Krishna. That we do not know and because we do not know, Vidvams cakre saatvata samhitaam. Vidvan means the learned Vyasadeva and ‘cakre’ means compiled . He has compiled saatvata samhitaam. These scriptures about the Supreme Lord. This is the reason why these scriptures are in the written form in front of us and before 5000 years these scriptures are put into written form for our good. This is the reason the books are with us since last so many centuries and now Srila Prabhupada was very merciful to translate it very nicely, to explain each verse very nicely. So we are completely saved. Otherwise all the living entities have basically four defects.
Maharaj was explaining the four defects of all the living entities.
The first defect is known as ‘bhrama.’ Second defect in Sanskrit is known as ‘pramada’ and the third defect is known as ‘vipralipsa’ and the fourth defect is known as ‘karanapatava’.
1.bhrama - Committing mistakes Bhrama means we commit mistakes. That is certain. We do commit mistakes. Being in a material body we cannot avoid the mistakes and so many mistakes we commit in our daily life and it is known as ‘bhrama’. The greatest mistake is we do not recognize the reality. We are in this world. We are here for a very temporary time. May be 50,60,70,80 years or may be few living entities more than 80. But we do not know that. We have seen so many living entities dying. Those from our society, from our own family, from your family and everywhere the persons are dying. But those who are left they think they are going to be here permanently.
Yamaraja once asked Maharaja Yudhishtira, “What is the most wonderful thing within this world?” Maharaja Yudhishtira replied (Mahabharata, Vana-parva 313.116):
ahany ahani bhutaani / gacchantiha yamaalayam
seshaah sthaavaram icchanti / kim aascaryam atah param
“Hundreds and thousands of living entities meet death at every moment, but a foolish living being nonetheless thinks himself deathless and does not prepare for death. This is the most wonderful thing in this world.“
We do not know from our own end and that is the greatest mistake and once this mistake we commit, we commit the series of mistakes because our basis is wrong. If there is an arithmetic problem to be solved then in the beginning, there are simple calculations 2+2=4. If you take it as four, the whole calculation will be right. But the basis of our behavior is completely wrong. We do not know that we are here temporary and we think we are here permanent. This is our basis and this is completely wrong. So whatever you do on this basis is going to be completely wrong and this is how we commit series of mistakes. It is not one mistake, but every day we commit so many mistakes and that is our position.
Then with the mistakes we are completely illusioned because we completely take the wrong basis. We have taken this place as a permanent residence. We go to some places and stay in a hotel, in nice 100th floor. In Singapore there are nice hotels. So we go and stay in a skyscraper, very nice hotel , very nice bed, very nice table, television and what not , everything is there and you are there for two days and you have to pay money for that. That we know. But then if you start loving your bed or attracted to the table, then is it not a madness? Because you are there only for two days. What is the use of table and bed and phone and everything? It is very nice. You can use them but you cannot take them anyway and if you try to take, then police will be after you. In this way, if we take our things to be permanent with us, these houses, our possessions, if we take as a permanent thing, then we commit mistakes and because we commit mistakes we are punished and this is the first defect of living entities.
2.Pramada – illusioned Because we commit mistakes, there is another defect and that is ‘pramada’. Always illusioned. We do not know what the real thing is and if we do not know the real thing, we behave in illusion and illusion destroys us completely. I will give you the example of illusion.
There was one man. He knew that in order to get married, he must have money. So by hook or by crook, he wanted to make money. He had only ten rupees and from ten rupees he was dreaming to start factory. So how to do? He was dreaming. He was completely in illusion thinking how to make ten rupees to grow so that I can have my own factory. Unless he is rich, he will not be able to marry. Then the thinking went on in his mind and he thought that I will go to the whole sale market and I will buy some glassware and then go to the weekly market and sell the glassware. If I buy for ten rupees, I will make in the market 15 rupees. Then again I will go to the wholesale market and I will again buy glassware for Rs. 15 and then again I will sell for Rs.25 and this way, he calculated that every now and then I will go to the wholesale market and I will be a big business man and once I have big glassware business, I will start my own factory and this way he went to the wholesale market and he bought the glassware for Rs.10 and he put the whole nice glassware into a basket and carried the basket o his head and started to go to the weekly market. There were no cars at that time and he had to walk. It was mid day and it was very hot. So he was very tired while going to the market. So there was nice shade of a tree. So he took rest under the tree and put the basket near his legs and he was snoring. Then again he started to dream. Now he thought he is a very big business man and now he has opened the glassware factory. And he is very busy. So many workers were working under him and all this was dream. He was thinking that because I am the owner of the factory let me marry and he was married in dream. He was very pleased. One day there was a bit of struggle between the wife and the husband and he was very angry with the wife. “If you do not do this, I will kick you” and he kicked his leg and hit the basket and the glassware was completely destroyed. This is the result of illusion. We think the things which are not there and we act accordingly. The fellow did not have even ten rupees glassware. He was just going to the market for the first time. Don’t know really whether he makes money or not. But he had dream or illusion that he was the owner of the factory and marriage and this and that and everything and in the end, he kicked his leg and the whole thing was completely destroyed. This is how we commit mistakes and because we commit mistakes, in order to hide our mistake we have to be illusioned.
Maharaj went on to explain the other two defects of the living entities and the way out of it and the same shall be posted in the next mail, Krishna willing.
Thank you very much.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayanti mala devi dasi,