Prabhupāda: So we have been discussing for the last few days about the process of knowledge. So we have discussed already amānitvam, humbleness. Amānitvam adambhitvam ahiṁsā [Bg. 13.8]. Ahiṁsā, non-violence. So ahiṁsā kṣāntiḥ, tolerance, ārjavam, simplicity. These things we have already discussed.
Now another important thing is ācāryopāsanam. If you want to make progress, then you have to approach ācārya. Just like if you want to be educated, you go to school, you go to college, you go to university, similarly, if you want to be advanced in knowledge… knowledge means not this material knowledge. Actual knowledge is to advance in spiritual knowledge.
Just in this Bhagavad-gītā the beginning of knowledge was instructed by Kṛṣṇa that “I am not this body.” Dehino ‘smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā [Bg. 2.13].” I am encaged in this body. I am not this body. Unfortunately at the present moment, this is accepted knowledge, bodily concept. “I am.” “I am Indian,” “I am American,” “I am brāhmaṇa,” “I am kṣatriya.” This is going on. Actually the knowledge begins when one understands I am not American, “I am not Indian,” I am not brāhmaṇa,” “I am not kṣatriya.” Then what you are? Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānu-dāsa: “I am the servant of the servant of the servant of Kṛṣṇa, the provider of the gopīs,” Gopī-bhartuḥ. That is my real identification. Not this body [Cc. Madhya 13.80].
So to understand this knowledge one has to approach ācārya. Ācārya means one who knows the purpose of Vedic literature, śāstra. Āśṛṇoti yaḥ śāstram. And practices and teaches his disciple. He knows. Ācārya means knows. One who knows the purpose of Vedic literature, he practices in his life, and he teaches his disciple. He is called ācārya. So ācārya upāsanam. Before worshiping the Lord… Just like here Kṛṣṇa said in the beginning, ācāryopāsanam, and in the middle he says, mayi cānanya-yogena bhaktir avyabhicāriṇī. So before engaging yourself in devotional service to the Lord, you must first of all worship ācārya, ācāryopāsanam. One cannot become a devotee personally. Just like some rascals say, “What is the use of accepting guru?” Of course, they have got very bad experience.
But who is ācārya? Ācārya means one who has received the Vedic knowledge through the paramparā system. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. He is ācārya. Ācārya cannot be manufactured, self-made. No. He must come down from the disciplic succession. He is ācārya. You have to approach such ācārya who is coming in disciplic succession. ācāryavan puruṣo veda. One who is under the shelter of ācārya, he knows things. So Kṛṣṇa recommends also here that if you actually want to become in knowledge, if you want to have real knowledge, then you must worship ācārya. Ācāryopāsanam. This is Vedic system. Tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet [MU 1.2.12].
It is not that “If I like, I can go to a guru; if I don’t like I can learn the books at home and learn everything.” No, that is not possible. Practically… Just like if you purchase some medical book and study at home and if you begin to practice, you will be called a quack. You will not be recognized by the government. You will not get the practitioner’s registration. You will not. Unless you have passed through the medical college, your medical examination, you will not be accepted, even if you say that “I have read all the books.” Similarly, if you simply think that “I have read… As we see generally, “Oh, I have read Bhagavad-gītā hundred times.” But you ask him what is Kṛṣṇa, he cannot say. Because he has not approached the ācārya. This is the difficulty. He might have read Bhagavad-gītā a thousand times, but he will not understand a single word because he has not approached.
Therefore Vedic literature says tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. Abhigacchet.” This word is used when the sense is “You must.” This is vidhi-lin form of verb, gacchet, abhigacchet. You must. There is no excuse. You cannot learn. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21]. If you want to know uttamam subject matter… Ut, ut means udgatam, transcending. Tamaḥ means this material world. This material world is tama, darkness. But if you are interested in the matter which is transcendental to this material world, that means spiritual world, then tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta, you must surrender to a guru.
Jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam. Not ordinary jijñāsuḥ. Just like we go to the market, “What is the rate of this share? What is the rate of rice? What is the rate of dahl?” Not that kind of jij… Brahma jijñāsuḥ. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. This human life is meant for inquiring about Brahman, not this rice, dahl, share market. No.
So jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam, what is the highest perfection of life, he requires to approach a guru. It is not a fashion. It is not a fashion that “I have made my guru, such and such Swami.” But what you have learned? You cannot learn because you are not at all jijñāsuḥ. You do not know how to inquire, neither the guru you have met, he does know how to reply. Such kind of guru and disciple will not help. The disciple must be also serious to understand about the spiritual subject matter. That is knowledge, brahma-jijñāsā. One who is inquisitive to know about the Absolute Truth, he requires to approach a guru. That is jñāna. Jnana means brahma-jñāna. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi. This is jñāna. And if I am American, that is not jñāna. That is ajñāna. “I am Indian,” “I am brāhmaṇa,” “I am this,” “I am that,” “I am black,” “I am white,” “I am fat,” “I am thin.” These are all ajñāna, ignorance. You are neither fat nor thin nor black nor white nor American, but you are spirit soul. You have to know that. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi: “I am spirit soul. I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa.” That is knowledge. And for this knowledge you must approach, ācāryopāsanam.
Śaucam, cleanliness. That is very essential. This morning I was talking with Tamal Kṛṣṇa Gosvāmī. Cleanliness is… As soon as you give up cleanliness, you become mleccha and yavana. Mleccha, yavana, these two names have come into Vedic śāstras, one who is unclean.” Why there was always misunderstanding between the Hindus and the Muslims? I am talking of practical life. Because the Muslims were very unclean and the Hindus are supposed… now Hindus are less than Muslim, less than Muslim. And still, they are claiming… Śaucam. They are most unclean at the present moment, so deteriorated. Publicly it is being advertised, “Here is beef shop. Come on. Equality. Equality by eating beef, drinking wine.” Now this is coming. Śaucam. Śaucam. Cleanliness. Cleanliness is next to godliness. You must take twice bath at least. It is required. And in tropical countries like India, there is no difficulty taking bath three times. Of course, if your body does not permit… But that is Śaucam, to clean. Śaucam. Śaucaṁ bāhyābhyantaram.
apavitraḥ pavitro vā
sarvāvasthāṁ gato ‘pi vā
yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ
sa bāhyābhyantaraṁ śuciḥ
The brāhmaṇa is called therefore śuci. He is always clean, taking three times bath, cloth washed, mouth, hands, legs, all clean, with tilaka. That is brāhmaṇa. Śaucam. This is externally. And internally you have to become also śaucam. Bāhyābhyantaram. Bahya mean externally you have to cleanse yourself with water, soap or earth. And internally you have to be cleansed by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. Because if you remain unclean within the heart, simply by washing your external body and cleansing your cloth, that is not complete cleanliness. That may be called hygienic. But real cleanliness is internally and externally. Yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ sa bāhyābhyantaraṁ śuciḥ. So you have to cleansed yourself externally and internally.
By remembering, yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣam, the lotus-eyed Kṛṣṇa, if you always think, that is śuci. And in Bengali there is a word, poetry, muci haya śuci haya yadi kṛṣṇa bhaje. If one is Kṛṣṇa conscious, even if he is born in a cobbler’s family, muci… In India there are two things, muci and śuci. Śuci means perfect brāhmaṇa, and muci means cobbler, the shoemaker. So muci haya śuci haya yadi kṛṣṇa bhaje. If one becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, even if he is born in the family of a muci, camāra, he can become a brāhmaṇa. And śuci haya muci haya yadi kṛṣṇa tyaje. And if he gives up Kṛṣṇa, even if he’s born in a brāhmaṇa family, he becomes a muci.
Muci means the skin expert. If he is simply busy, “I am this skin, brāhmaṇa skin…” Your behavior? “No, that doesn’t matter. So that means skin expert. Just like muci knows how to distinguish whether it is cow’s skin or goat’s skin or this skin.
No. One must be Kṛṣṇa conscious. Then he is cleansed. Sa bāhyābhyantaraṁ śuciḥ. Yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣam. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. One who is always thinking of Kṛṣṇa—Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare, Hare Rāma Hare Rāma—he is śuci. He is no more muci. Muci haya śuci haya yadi kṛṣṇa bhaje. Sthairyam ātma-vinigrahaḥ.
Controlling the senses, ātma-vinigrahaḥ. That is called swami, gosvāmī. If you can control your senses… Vāco-vegaṁ krodha-vegam. If you can control your force of talking nonsense… Because generally we talk nonsense. So if you can control your talking of nonsense things, then you will become controller of talking. Vāco-vegaṁ krodha-vegam. Naturally because we are generally affected with rajas-tamo-guṇa, raja-guṇa especially and tamo-guṇa, we become angry all of a sudden. So we have to control that. Vāco-vegaṁ krodha-vegaṁ manaso-vegam. Mind is very restless. So you have to control the mind. You cannot allow the mind to do anything and everything, but it must be controlled. Sthairyam ātma-vinigrahaḥ. Indriyārtheṣu vairāgyam. Indriyārtheṣu.
For the matter of sense gratification you have to practice vairāgya. Indriya. Our all the indriyas—eyes, tongue, nose—they are very much, I mean to say, affected or attracted. Eyes, always attracted by beauty. “I want to see very beautiful thing.” But you can control the eyes when you practice to see the beautiful feature of Lord Kṛṣṇa and Rādhārāṇī. Therefore the Deity should be very nicely decorated so layman like us may be attracted by the beauty of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Gradually, he will forget to see any other beauty. This is the practice of indriyārtheṣu. Indriyārtheṣu vairāgyam.
Actually the whole life is meant for understanding vairāgya, renouncement. Human life is not meant for becoming more and more attached to the material enjoyment. Human life is meant for tapasya, vairāgya. Here it is said, vairāgyam, anahaṅkāra, and false prestige, false identification. “Oh, am this. I must do this.” That is… In the beginning it is taught, amānitvam, anahaṅkāram. And then janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam. We are very much busy to make solution of the problems of life. Political problems, economical problems, social problems. They are also problems. But real problem is janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi, that you have to take birth, you have to die, and when you are in life, you have to suffer from diseases, jarā-vyadhi, and you have to become old. Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha. These are really problems. But who knows that these are the real problems? They have taken it, accepted it.
Kṛṣṇa says, “This is knowledge.” If you are scientifically advanced how to stop death, how to stop birth, how to stop old age, how to stop disease, then you should know that you have advanced in science. Otherwise what is this? If you have made a horseless carriage motorcar, that is not advancement. It is advancement, but it is not the solution of the problem. The solution of problem is, human life, is to how to stop death.
Therefore śāstra says that nobody should become guru, nobody should become father, nobody should become husband—in this way there is a list—na mocayed yaḥ samupetya mṛtyum, if one cannot help his student or his son or his subordinate to stop death. Actually this is the problem Na mocayed yaḥ samupetya mṛtyum. We are under the clutches of death. “It is as sure as death.” So this human life is meant for stopping this death. But if you don’t see that this is the problem, that is ajñāna. That is ignorance. If you don’t accept this is the problem, if you simply think “My problem is how to eat, how to sleep, how to have sex life, how to defend… These problems are already solved, even by the birds and the beasts. These are not the problems. They are already set up. Real problem is here: janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam [Bg. 13.9].
Another problem is asaktiḥ. We are very much attached to our so-called home, so-called wife, children. And here is, jñāna means that asaktir anabhiṣvaṅgaḥ, āsaktir. You should, therefore, at a certain age, according to Vedic civilization, one is forced to give up this attachment. Naturally, one is attached to wife, children, home. But Vedic civilization says, that is all right from… Up to fifty years, you can remain attached. But pañcāṣordhvaṁ vanaṁ vrajet. After your fiftieth year, you must give up your family life. Vanaṁ vrajet. Go to the forest for tapasya. That was the system. Here at the present moment, everywhere, all over the world, when he is going to die, still he is attached to his political life, social life, family life. That is not knowledge. That is ignorance. You must be detached. Vairāgyam. Anabhiṣvaṅgaḥ. Putra-dārā-gṛhādiṣu. Family life. Putra means children. Dārā means wife. Gṛha means home. Putra-dārā-gṛhādiṣu. Asaktir anabhiṣvaṅgaḥ. Nityaṁ ca sama-cittatvam iṣṭāniṣṭopapattiṣu.
In this way you have to be situated on the devotional service. Devotional service is not sentiment. Just like Kṛṣṇa, after describing so many stages of advancement of knowledge, then he says, mayi ca ananya-yogena bhaktir avyabhicāriṇī. Ananya-yogena. Always… Yoga means linking up. Always linking up with Kṛṣṇa. Mayi. Kṛṣṇa says mayi, “Unto Me, Kṛṣṇa.” Mayi ca ananya-yogena bhakti-yogena. So you can become attached with Kṛṣṇa if you are dovetailed in the service of Kṛṣṇa, not casually, but constantly. Mayi ca ananya-yogena bhakti-yogena avyabhicāriṇī. Acyabhicāriṇī means without break, always, constantly. Satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ yatantaś ca dṛdha-vratāḥ [Bg. 9.14].
In another place Kṛṣṇa says, satataṁ kīrtayanto mām, “always glorifying Me.” This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Always we have to glorify Kṛṣṇa. We should go, meet people, preach, and glorify Kṛṣṇa. We beg for Kṛṣṇa. We print books for Kṛṣṇa. We distribute book for Kṛṣṇa. We type for Kṛṣṇa. We eat for Kṛṣṇa. We sleep for Kṛṣṇa. So everything should be dovetailed with Kṛṣṇa. That is called ananya-yogena, without any break, constantly, twenty-four hours in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Avyabhicāriṇī.
Vivikta-deśa-sevitvam aratir jana-saṁsadi [Bg. 13.11]. Aratir jana-saṁsadi, not very much attached with general public, because they are not Kṛṣṇa conscious. We can meet them as far as possible, as far as required. Not that we have to sit down and talk all nonsense with these general people. No. Aratir jana-samsadi, and vivikta-deśa-sevitvam [Bg. 13.11]. Naturally, we shall be inclined to avoid such company. But preaching work, we have to go. Not to associate with him, but to give your association to him. That should be the principle. Because you have learned something about devotional service, you should give your experience to such person, but not to accept their behavior. If you keep this in view, then you will be preacher. And if you become victimized by his association, then you are doomed. You should give him the opportunity of your association, whatever you know, whatever you have learned about bhakti-yoga. When you go to meet a person, you should try to inform him, “This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You also take to it.” As Caitanya Mahāprabhu… Yāre dekha, tāre kaha ‘kṛṣṇa-upadeśa’ [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. Yāre dekha, tāre kaha ‘kṛṣṇa-upadeśa’.
This is real business. Adhyātma-jñāna-nityatvam. Spiritual knowledge. That is eternal knowledge. It will not break. If you learn spiritual knowledge, a little of it in this life, svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt, then you will be saved from the greatest danger. Tattva-jñānārtha-darśanam. If you want to become philosopher, then you philosophize for understanding the tattva-jñāna. And what is tattva-jñāna?
vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
bhagavān iti śabdyate
That is tattva-jñāna. Truth. What is that truth? Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti. To understand about Brahman, to understand about Paramātmā, to understand about the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is tattva-jñāna.
So if you want to become philosopher, then philosophically you try to understand what is brahma-tattva, what is Paramātmā-tattva, what is Bhagavān-tattva. Etaj jñānam, this is jñāna. Not these degrees, MA, Phd. These are all decoration of the dead body. If you do not understand what is the value of life, you do not understand what is tattva, what is Brahman, what is Paramātmā, what is God, if you do not become cleansed, if you do not become a devotee, as they are stated, if you have no ācārya, you have no guru, then you are in darkness. Kṛṣṇa concludes here. Etaj jñānam, “All these items described, this is jñānam.” Iti proktam. It is accepted, prokta. Ajñānam yad ato ‘nyathā: “And just any other thing besides these things, they are ajñānam.”
So you compare. You call any educated person. Just like I told you several times, that that Professor Kotovsky, big man in Russia, he said “That there is no life. After finishing this body, everything is finished.” Just see how much ajñānam. He does not know. So the whole world is going on under ajñānam. If they accept this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, there is chance of having jñānam. Otherwise they remain in ajñānam. Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (end)