Lecture BG 04.07 - Montreal
In last night we have discussed that how the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He descends, what is the reason of His descending on this material platform. That we have partially discussed last night, that although He is the supreme authority of all energies, although He is unborn, although He is the Lord of all planets or all creation, material creation and spiritual creation, He comes.
ajo 'pi sann avyayātmā
bhūtānām īśvaro 'pi san
prakṛtiṁ svām adhiṣṭhāya
He comes not being forced by the laws of material nature, but He comes out of His own energy. This point we have discussed last night.
Now the next point is why does He come? That is explained in the next verse, that yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati BG 4.7 . As soon as there is discrepancy in the matter of discharging occupational duty. I purposely translate the word dharma as occupational duty. Everyone has got occupational duty. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also confirms it,
ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ, svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya.
The same word, dharma. Svanuṣṭhitasya, prescribed duty. Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya saṁsiddhiḥ, the perfection. How you are perfected by discharging your occupational duty, how it is tested. That test is svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya saṁsiddhiḥ. Your occupational duty will be perfect when? Saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam BG 4.7 . When you satisfy the Supreme Lord by your occupational duties. That is dharma.
Now let us consider what is our occupational duty. I purposely do not translate this word dharma as religion. Religion is imperfect conception of the word dharma. In the dictionary we find religion means a particular type of faith. But dharma does not mean that. Dharma means natural occupation. That is called dharma. I have several times explained this word dharma in this class. Just like heat of the fire. Without heat, a fire has no meaning. Wherever there is fire, there is heat and light. Therefore heat and light is the dharma or religion of fire. That means fire cannot change its dharma. As this dharma, as we generally understand by the word faith, that we can change. Today I am Hindu. I can become tomorrow a Christian. You are Christian today. You can become, I mean to say, Hindu or Muslim tomorrow. So this faith can be changed, but this dharma, as I explain, that natural sequence, natural occupation or natural intimately connection...
Just like the fire, heat and light. This cannot be changed. Either the fire is in America or the fire is in India or a fire is in Russia, the heat and light is there. That is actually the dharma.
Now here Kṛṣṇa says that yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata BG 4.7 . As soon as there is discrepancy in the discharge of that natural, I mean to say, sequence of the living entity... Abhyutthānam adharmasya. Abhyutthānam means uprising of unnatural activities or unnatural occupation, which is not for him. Abhyutthānam adharmasya tadā, at that time, ātmānam, self, sṛjāmy aham. Sṛjāmy aham means "I descend or appear." Now, this sequence of dharma is explained in the last paragraph, I mean to say, not last, in the last chapter, sixty-seventh verse of the Eighteenth Chapter. The Lord says that sarva-dharmān parityajya BG 4.7 . "You just give up all kinds of occupational duty or religiosity." We have created all kinds of religious formula. So Kṛṣṇa says that "You give up all kinds of religious formula." But what is to be done? Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja BG 4.7 . "You just surrender unto Me."
That means that surrendering unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the real religion of the living entity. Not that I like a particular type of faith, that is my religion. Religion means when one is trained how to surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is called religion. And the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also gives enunciation of the word dharma, that sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmaḥ. That is the best system of religion, sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmaḥ. Yato bhaktir adhokṣaje SB 1.2.6 . By which one is trained to surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is best.
Now you can select your own religion. Either you be a Hindu or Muslim or Mohammedan or Buddhist, whatever you like, Śrīmad-Bhāgavata does not stop you, but it gives you hint what is the purpose of religion. The purpose of religion is to develop your love of Godhead. That is real religion. So here Kṛṣṇa says that yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati BG 4.7 . As soon as there is decadence of people's love of Godhead... That means when people become forgetful, almost forgetful. Because at least some people remember that there is God. But generally, in this age, they are forgetful. That is dharmasya glāniḥ. And by forgetting God the people cannot be happy. That is also another cause. People are thinking that "God is dead. We have no obligation to God. There is no God." This sort of thinking will never make the people happy. And actually, it is happening. They have become atheistic. The modern civilization is Godless, but people are not happy. Therefore God or His representative comes when people forget his relationship with God.
So real religion is to understand what is our relationship with God. And then the relationship is, as it is found in the Bhagavad-gītā and confirmed by great ācāryas like Lord Caitanya.
Lord Caitanya immediately enunciates the constitutional position of the living entity. Sanātana Gosvāmī inquired from Him that, "Who am I? Why I am always in miserable condition, three kinds of miserable condition?" So in answer to this question, "Who am I?" or "Who are all these living entities?" Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu immediately answered that jīvera svarūpa haya nitya-kṛṣṇa-dāsa CC Madhya 20.108-109 . The real identity of the living entity is that he is eternally servant of God. We should not understand this word servant in the meaning of materialistic servant. To become servant of God is a great position. That is not ordinary position. Just like people try to get some government servitorship. Government service. That is also servant, to become servant. Why? Or people try to get some service in some established firm, well-reputed business firm. Why? That service is comfortable, there is great profit in such kind of service. So if people are satisfied by getting a government service or service in some good establishment, then just think over if you become servant of God then what is your position? Because God is the government of all government. So to become servant of God... We are servant of God constitutionally. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, jīvera svarūpa haya nitya-kṛṣṇa-dāsa CC Madhya 20.108-109 .
But at the present moment, I am thinking that I am master, I'm not servant. This is called māyā. Actually I am servant, but I am thinking master. Everyone is trying to lord it over the material nature according to his capacity. Controller, master, he's trying to be, but actually his position is servant. So when he forgets his servitorship, that is called dharmasya glānir, discrepancy of his natural position. Dharmasya.
Now another point of dharma is, as Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa is describing here, is dharmasya vedoktasya glānir vināśa. Now this is ordinary sense of religion. Just like everyone has got some scripture. The Hindus, they have got Vedic scripture. The Muslims, they have got Koran. The Christians, they have got Bible, Old Testament, New Testament. Similarly, there are many other religious sects, they have got their own scripture. So Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa says that vedoktasya dharmasya. Dharma means the rules and regulations as they are prescribed in the scriptures.
Just like state laws. State laws, there are some rules and regulation in the lawbook, in the statute book of the particular state. Similarly, dharma, another meaning of dharma is, it is the law of God. Maybe differently described in different countries according to different climatic condition or situation. But in every religious scripture the obedience to God is instructed. That is a fact. No scripture says that there is no God and you are independent. Either it is Bible or Koran or Vedas or even Buddhist literature, Buddhist scripture.
Generally, according to Buddha philosophy, there is no soul, no God. But they have to obey Lord Buddha. So there is also God because Lord Buddha is accepted by the Vedic literature. Just in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam there is a great list of incarnations, and Buddha, Lord Buddha, is accepted as one of the incarnations who would appear. It is in future tense. Kīkaṭeṣu bhaviṣyati. Buddho nāmnā añjana-sutaḥ kīkaṭeṣu bhaviṣyati. Now bhaviṣyati means "He will appear in future." Because Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam was compiled by Vyāsadeva five thousand years ago, and Lord Buddha appeared about two-thousand-six-hundred years ago. Therefore before the appearance of Lord Buddha the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam was written. This is called śāstra. Because there is accurate date and accurate calculation. Everything is there. Buddho nāmnā añjana-sutaḥ kīkaṭeṣu bhaviṣyati. The mother's name also given there, añjana-suta. And kīkaṭeṣu means Gayāpradesh. In India there is a province called Bihar. In that province there is a district Gayā. In that district Lord Buddha appeared. Lord appeared in Bihar province. He was kṣatriya, He was Hindu, and He propagated this religion of nonviolence, Buddhism.
His specific propaganda was to stop animal killing. So animal killing is recommended in the Vedic literature. Therefore people wanted to give him Vedic evidences that "In the Vedic literature animal sacrifice is recommended under certain condition. So how do you preach? You are Hindu and you are followers of Vedas. Why you are preaching nonviolence?" Therefore he had to give up Hindu religion. He said that "I do not care for your Vedas. It is my propaganda to stop animal killing. So if you follow me, then you must stop animal killing." Ahiṁsā paramo dharmaḥ. So later on, of course, Lord Buddha was patronized by a great emperor, Aśoka, and therefore practically all Indian population turned to be Buddhist, with few exceptions.
Then Śaṅkarācārya came and he preached this almost Buddhism. The Buddha, Lord Buddha preached that there is no God, there is no soul. This body is combination of matter and if we dissolve this material combination then there is no more perception of misery or happiness. That is nirvāṇa. That is his philosophy. But later on, Lord, I mean to say, Ācārya Śaṅkara, he appeared and he preached that brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā. This bodily combination is temporary, or mithyā. He said flatly that it is false. False means... Of course, Vaiṣṇava philosophy, they say temporary. Temporary or false you can take on the same category. But Śaṅkarācārya said that brahma satyam. That spirit soul, Brahman, that is reality, and this external feature of the Brahman, or the body, that is false.
So anyway, here the point is that in any religion there is a conception of worshiping God or symbol of God. Even in Jain philosophy they also worship Mahāvīra. In Buddha philosophy they worship Lord Buddha. In India there is Jainism. That is almost like Buddhism. They have got also exactly the same process of worship. Temples they have got. Big, nice, costly temples they have got. And they come to see, visit the temple, offer their worshipful offerings, flowers, fruits, everything. Same thing.
Similarly, in the temple of Guru-dvāras, Sikhs... [break] ...like the Hindus. And they also offer flower, fruits, and sweetmeat, but they read their Granthasahib. As we are reading Bhagavad-gītā they read Granthasahib enunciated by Guru Nanak. So this temple worship or accepting some authority, either you accept Kṛṣṇa or you accept Lord Jesus Christ or Jehovah or Lord Buddha or Guru Nanak, that is a different, I mean to say, kinds of faith, but this acceptance of authority is there in everywhere. Now who is the highest authority, that we have to see by understanding Vedic literature, by our arguments, by our sense, by our understanding. But this acceptance of authority is there.
So dharmasya glāniḥ means when we defy authority. That is called discrepancy in the discharge of religiosity or occupational duty. Even in your office, even in the government, if you do not accept authority there is chaos, there is revolution. So this sort of mentality is very dangerous. When one does not accept any authority, that is his chaotic condition. So Lord Kṛṣṇa says that dharmasya... yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati BG 4.7 .
So dharmasya glānir bhavati means one sense, that I have explained, occupational duty. Now we have got, our present position is in three status. What is that? In the gross status of our understanding, we take this gross body as my self. At that time my dharma or occupational duty is different. When I accept mind as myself, then my occupational duty becomes different. But when I understand that I am spirit soul, then my occupational duty is different.
Here Kṛṣṇa, because He is Supreme Soul, Supreme Personality of Godhead, He means that dharma, or occupational duty on the spiritual platform. He does not mean dharma or occupational duty on the gross bodily platform or subtle mental platform. He means dharma, the occupational duty on the spiritual platform. And that is confirmed by Lord Caitanya. Jīvera svarūpa haya nitya-kṛṣṇa-dāsa CC Madhya 20.108-109 . That real constitutional position of the living entity, especially of the human being, is to accept servitorship of Kṛṣṇa. So in other word, when there is discrepancy in the matter of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, at that time Kṛṣṇa comes. Kṛṣṇa descends. Kṛṣṇa descends.
Kṛṣṇa descends means sometimes He personally descends, sometimes He descends by His incarnation, sometimes He descends as a sound vibration, sometimes He descends as devotee. There are many different categories of His descendance. And at the present moment this Kṛṣṇa has descended in His holy name. You should understand that. Kṛṣṇa kali-kāle nāma-rūpe kṛṣṇa-avatāra. This is the statement of Lord Caitanya, that in this age of Kali, Kṛṣṇa has descended in the sound vibration form. Sound is also one of the form. Just like oṁkāra is the form of Kṛṣṇa. Akṣarāṇām oṁkāro 'smi. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa, now, at the present moment, has descended in the form of His holy name. His name and He, there is no difference. So why? Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata BG 4.7 . People are now forgetting his relationship with God. Now this incarnation of Kṛṣṇa in the form of His holy name, this chanting of Kṛṣṇa will deliver all people of the world from this forgetfulness.
This is contributed by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He says that kali-kāle nāma-rūpe kṛṣṇa-avatāra, ihā haite sarva-siddhi haibe tomāra. If you chant or if you associate with the chanting of holy name of Kṛṣṇa, then you will get the highest perfectional stage of life, and we should accept that Kṛṣṇa has descended at the present moment in the form of His holy name. Thank you very much. Any question?
Janārdana: (break?) ...like Satya-yuga for example. Was the chanting of the name of Kṛṣṇa effective as it is in this age or is there another method prescribed as being more effective?
Prabhupāda: According to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam there are different processes in different ages. But each process is as good as in any age. It is not that the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa is in this age very effective and it was not effective in the Satya-yuga. It is not like that. The real process is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam,
kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ
tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ
kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt
Kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt. It is not that people were not chanting in the Satya-yuga, in Satya-yuga this holy name of Kṛṣṇa. It is not that. But in this age the process adopted in the Satya-yuga, dhyāyataḥ, meditation, that is not possible. In the Satya-yuga, kṛte yad... Because people were living at that time one-hundred-thousands of years. And it is said that Mahāmuni Vālmīki, he meditated for sixty-thousands of years.
So unless you have got sufficient life, the meaning is that meditation process is difficult and you must have sufficient time to practice it and then come to the standard point of meditation. But in this age such kind of perfection in meditation is not possible. Therefore in this age especially recommended that you sit down together and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. It is very easy. Anyone and everyone can take part in it. There is no necessity of education, of pre-qualification. And because in this age people are very slow, very unfortunate, badly associated, so many [dis]qualification they have got at the present moment.
Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu has introduced according to śāstra, according to the indication of the śāstras, just like in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and in other Purāṇas, and other Vedic scriptures this is recommended. In Kali-santaraṇa Upaniṣad, in Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa, in Vāyu Purāṇa, this chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare, Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare is recommended. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu simply introduced it as a great propaganda. That is. Otherwise, this is recommended in every age. There are many devotees, they were chanting. But the process of meditation is not possible. Therefore simply on the basis of this process one can attain the highest perfectional stage.
Janārdana: I understand that the revelation given by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the fullest revelation of spiritual knowledge. Is the fullest revelation of spiritual knowledge.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes.
Janārdana: How come that if in this age of Kali people in general are less intelligent, in this particular age they've received the fullest revelation of knowledge? Why not in the Satya-yuga?
Prabhupāda: The fullest revelation of knowledge in Satya-yuga there was automatically. People were so advanced. Just like gradually we are declining our memory, duration of age, so many facilities we have declined. So in Satya-yuga people were by nature fortunate to have many facilities. So for this age, when we are in very fallen condition, this facility is offered so that we can take the same advantage as people in the Satya-yuga had by other processes. [break] They are not attending.
Pradyumna: I just want to clarify the meaning of dharma. Dharma always means, it always says the meaning, "That which cannot be changed."
Prabhupāda: That is real dharma. Just like the spirit soul is eternal, similarly, the spirit soul's natural occupation is also eternal. That cannot be changed. But when the spirit soul identifies himself with this body and the mind, that is changed. Just like at the present moment you have got American body. So your dharma or your occupational duty is different from another body. And the next life, if you change this body, you become say other animal or human being, then your occupational duty changes. But if you stick up to the spiritual platform, then that service mood to the Supreme Personality of Godhead will never change, either in this body or next body. [break]
Pradyumna: ...the Bhagavad-gītā if they weren't in the disciplic succession... Dharma isn't mentioned at all. Because "dharma" is used twice there. Once when Kṛṣṇa comes because of discrepancy of dharma and then in the end, "Give up dharma." And they'd never understand that.
Prabhupāda: Well, dharma, of course, as enunciated by Lord Caitanya, the dharma is that your perfec... [break] ...but those who have got money, they'll purchase it.
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ
Lord Kṛṣṇa said that out of many, many thousands of people, one becomes interested in perfection of life. And out of many, many thousands of persons who have attained perfection, they can understand Kṛṣṇa. So Kṛṣṇa understanding is also very difficult. Kṛṣṇa is personally explaining Himself, His devotees are presenting Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, and right manner. But people are unfortunate. It will take some... But it is our duty to canvass. That is our business. Either they may accept or not accept, it is our duty. Just like in the university sometimes some particular class is maintained even at a loss. So there is no question of loss and gain. It is our duty to serve Kṛṣṇa; therefore we shall go on trying, trying for it, to distribute Kṛṣṇa consciousness.