Pradyumna: “I have the very same Gāṇḍīva bow, the same arrows, the same chariot drawn by the same horses, and I use them as the same Arjuna to whom all the kings offered their due respects. But in the absence of Lord Kṛṣṇa, all of them, at a moment’s notice, have become null and void. It is exactly like offering clarified butter on ashes, accumulating money with a magic wand or sowing seeds on barren land.” [SB 1.15.21]
Prabhupāda: Very important verse, hm? Tad abhūd asad īśa-riktam. Everything will be null and void when there is no God. That’s all. The modern civilization has got everything, but without God consciousness, any moment it will be finished. And there are symptoms… Any moment. At the present moment, this godless civilization, as soon as there is declaration of war, the America is prepared to drop atom bomb, Russia is… The first nation who will drop the atom bomb, he will be victorious. Nobody will be victorious, because both of them are ready to drop. The America will be finished and Russia will be finished. That is the position. So you may make advancement of civilization, scientific improvement, economic development, but if it is godless, at any moment it will be finished. At any moment.
Just like Rāvaṇa. Rāvaṇa, Hiraṇyakaśipu, they were demons, godless demons. Rāvaṇa was very learned scholar in Vedic knowledge and very powerful materially. He converted his capital with gold, all the buildings and everything. It is supposed that Rāvaṇa’s brother was a king of…, on the other side of the globe. So it is my suggestion… I do not say it is very scientific proof. So other side of the globe… Rāvaṇa was in Ceylon, and the other side of the globe, if you go by subway, it comes to Brazil. And Brazil is supposed to have gold mines. And it is said in the Rāmāyaṇa that Rāvaṇa’s brother was living on the other side of the globe, and Rāmacandra was taken through the subway. So taking this into consideration, we can suppose that Rāvaṇa imported large quantity of gold from Brazil, and he converted them into big, big houses. So Rāvaṇa was so powerful that he made his capital Svarṇa-laṅkā, “capital made of gold.” Just like if a man comes from undeveloped country to your country, New York or any city, when they see the big, big skyscraper, they become astonished. Although skyscraper buildings are everywhere nowadays, formerly it was very wonderful.
So we can create everything very wonderful, but we can take the example of Rāvaṇa. Rāvaṇa was very advanced materially, and he had Vedic knowledge sufficiently. He was son of a brāhmaṇa. Everything was there. But the only fault was that he did not care for Rāma. That is the only fault. “Oh, what is Rāma? I don’t care for Him. There is no need of performing yajñas and ritualistic ceremony to be promoted to the heavenly kingdom.” Rāvaṇa said, “I shall construct a staircase to go to the moon planet. Why you are trying in this way or that way? I will do that.” Svargesari.(?) So these people are trying like Rāvaṇa, but they should take lesson from Rāvaṇa that his godlessness made him doomed. Everything he lost.
So this instruction by Arjuna… He said that so ‘haṁ dhanus ta iṣavaḥ. He was defeated by the cowherdsmen. He could not protect the queens of Kṛṣṇa, and they were taken away by these cowherdsmen. So he is lamenting that “I have got this bow and arrow with which I fought in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, and I became victorious because Kṛṣṇa was sitting on my chariot. That is the only reason. Now I have got these bows and arrows, the same bows and arrows with which I fought in the Battle of Kurukṣetra, but at the present moment there is no Kṛṣṇa. Therefore it is useless.” Īśa-rikta, asad abhūt. Asat means which does not act; it does not exist. “So my bows and arrows are the same, but it is now useless.”
So we should take this lesson that without God, without spirit, this material, I mean to say, gorgeousness has no value. Just like we were talking with the scientist in our walking. I was giving this example. Now, there was big, big scientist, just like Professor Einstein was a well-known scientist, but when that small spark of soul was gone from the body, the scientist was lying down, but useless. Nothing coming. Nothing coming. Now, the scientist himself also could not discover any implement or medicine or something like that and teach his disciples, “My dear disciples, when I will be on the death point, please give, inject this medicine in my body and then again I shall come out a scientist.” No. That is not… He could not discover that. At least, as a big scientist, it was expected that “Do something wonderful.” They might have discovered so many wonderful. The real problem—birth, death, old age and disease—there is no discovery. That I was talking, that discover something by which there will be no disease. You are discovering very nice medicine. The drug shop is full with various types of up-to-date medicine, but none of the medicine is sufficient to make a man not to die. That is not possible. Or not to become diseased. That is not possible.
So this advancement of civilization, material civilization, without God, is like that. That is stated in the Vedic literature, that,
jātiḥ śāstraṁ japas tapaḥ
Jāti, big nation, big achievement, japas tapaḥ kriyā, big activities… Just like you American people, you are big nation. Your activities are very big, considered in other parts of the world. And your tapasya is there. You have earned this, you have made this America so nice by tapasya, by austerity. It has not come out automatically. You have labored hard. That is called tapasya. So this big nationality, jāti, japas, tapaḥ, these hard work, scientific discoveries, they are very nice, but what kind of popularity it is? Bhagavad-bhakti-hīnasya jātiḥ śāstraṁ japas tapaḥ. All these are simply decoration of the dead body. I do not know whether in your country it is a fashion. In India there is a custom that low-class men… Just like cobbler. Cobbler is taken as the low…, those who prepare, expert in skin. So they are generally very poor man. Now they have advanced, because now the Kali-yuga is the age of the śūdras. So they decorate the dead body. If a cobbler’s father dies, he brings, he spends money. He brings nice covering cloth, and with flower and everything… So śāstra says that,
jātiḥ śāstraṁ japas tapaḥ
If you decorate a dead body, it may be very fanciful to the people, that “This dead body is decorated with costly garments and flowers and all things.” So, but the dead body is dead. It is not enjoying. You can be complacent that “My father, the body of my father or my relative, is decorated so nicely.” But factually, if you study scrutinizingly, what is the benefit out of this? What is the benefit? Dead body decoration? But people do that. They are accustomed to do that.
So similarly, this body is dead. That’s a fact. It is dead from the very beginning. Because it is matter. Matter is always dead. So this body made of matter, bhūmir āpo ‘nalo vāyuḥ [Bg. 7.4]—earth, water, fire, air. This external body is dead, but it is living on account of that small spark of spirit. That is the real meant. That we understand from Bhagavad…, dehino ‘smin yathā dehe [Bg. 2.13]. Dehinaḥ, the small spark, spiritual spark, he is within this body. This is the first understanding of spiritual knowledge. You must know. This is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā. When Bhagavad-gītā was taught to Arjuna, Arjuna was lamenting for this body. So Kṛṣṇa, when He was accepted Arjuna’s spiritual master, śiṣyas te ‘haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam [Bg. 2.7], then He advised him that “You are talking like a very learned scholar.” Aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase [Bg. 2.11]. “You are talking just like you know…” Just like our so-called scientists, they speak as if they know everything, but real thing they do not know. That is zero. What is spirit, they do not know. They are thinking this body. And according to Vedic knowledge, if one is misguided on the bodily identification of ourself, he is animal. He is animal. He may be Ph.D., D.H.C. or something, but he is animal. Sa eva go-kharaḥ [SB 10.84.13]. Because he does not know how the body is moving. And neither they can discover anything. When the body is dead… It is dead from the very beginning, but it was moving. Just like so long petrol is there, the motorcar moves. But as soon as there is… Now there is crisis. So how their motorcars will move? They are concerned. So why their crisis? Because the petrol is the life of the movement of the motorcar. Similarly, that spiritual spark, or spirit soul, is the petrol of this body.
So without knowledge of this, sa eva go-kharaḥ [SB 10.84.13], just like cats and dogs, they cannot understand how he is moving. That he does not know. If a human being also does not understand that how this body is moving, neither they can discover what it is, then what is this? It may be very so-called decoration of the body. A decoration of the dead body, what is the profit thereof? If you do not know what is the real living force within this body, then if you simply decorate the body, dead body, loka-rañjanam, you may get some applause from ordinary men, but it has no value. It has no value.
So you can expand in so many ways. Īśa-rikta. Īśa-rikta means without God, without God, īśa-rikta. So we living entities, we are also part and parcel of God, and because we living entity, part and parcel of God, is within this body, therefore the body is so beautiful, so big scientist, so philosophers or politician and… You can say anything. But without that soul, this body is useless, dead body, and you can give all titles, Ph.D, D.H.C., they are all useless. Suppose a man is dead and from Oxford University somebody comes, “Now I give you Ph.D. title,” what is the use? Suppose a beautiful woman attracted so many people. Now, when she is dead, if she is offered, “Now you can take this body. You can use it as you…,” nobody will like. Why? The same beautiful lying on the… Why don’t you take it now? You were after her so many… “No. It is no, (laughing) no more useful. No more useful.” Everyone knows it.
There is a story that one beautiful woman was hunted by another man. So he was wooing, canvassing, but she was chaste lady. But… She did not agree. But that man was after her. So one day she said, “All right, you come to me three days after. I will accept you.” So on the third day he (she) took purgative, a very strong purgative, and passed stools whole day and night, and he (she) kept those all those stools, stools and vomit and everything, kept in a very good preserver. Then third day, when the man came, she was sitting, and he was asking, “Where is that woman?” “No, I am the same woman. You don’t recognize me?” “No, no, you are… She… She was so beautiful, and you, you are ugly.” (laughter) “No, no, I am the same. You do not know.” “Then how you look so ugly?” “Because I have separated my beauty.” “You have separated your beauty?” “Yes, I will show you. Come here. Come here. The stool and the vomit are all stocked for you to show you.” But actually, it is very knowledge, very good knowledge. Śaṅkarācārya says, etāṁ raktaṁ māṁsa-vikāram. (?) He is teaching renouncement, that “Why you are attracted with this beautiful? What is this beauty? It is a combination of stool, urine and flesh and bone. That’s all.” So he saw, “Here is my beauty. Now you add it with me. Then again I shall be beautiful.”
So these are actually knowledge. People are after something false. That is called māyā. Māyā means which is not actually fact, but we are after that. Similarly, this so-called advancement of civilization is māyā. It will be finished at any second, but they do not know. They do not know. It will be finished at any second. Even though we accept it, all right, Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, mṛtyuḥ sarva-haraś cāham: [Bg. 10.34] “I am the death, and I take away everything at the time of death.” Either you take as a philosopher, scientist or rich man, capitalist, as soon as there is death… Just like you see, Hiraṇyakaśipu, he was very powerful, and as soon as Nṛsiṁhadeva appeared, everything finished. Now he is dying. You see? So people do not understand it, that without Kṛṣṇa, without God, without Kṛṣṇa consciousness, simply we are wasting our time, that’s all, after false things. Everything will be useless. Today or tomorrow or day after. It will be useless, all useless. Real spirit soul-na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]—that we do not take care. After finishing this false body, which will exist, the spirit soul, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20], which is never vanquished even after the annihilation of this body, we are not taking care of that, wherefrom it has come. People are ignorant, so foolish. They do not know. This is the ignorant, civilization of ignorance. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ [Bg. 7.15]. They do not know therefore. In ignorance they are committing so many sinful life. For the satisfaction of the tongue, they are killing so many animals. Why? There are so many nice foodstuffs. Why you are committing these sinful activities? They do not know what is sinful activities or pious activities. They do not know.
That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, na vidur āsurā janāḥ, pravṛttiṁ ca nivṛttiṁ ca janā na vidur āsurāḥ [Bg. 16.7]. Pravṛtti means we have got some inclination to accept something and we have disinclination to reject something. Everyone knows it. But the asuric jana, those who are asuras, demons, they do not know in which way we shall accept and in which way we shall reject. That they do not know. That is called āsura-jana. Just like we are advising our students, “Reject this: no illicit sex, no intoxication, no gambling, no meat-eating. Reject. And accept; chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.” The demons, they do not know. They do not know it. They do not know why they are rejecting this and why they are accepting this, janā na vidur āsurāḥ. Because they are asuras. If we accept this path, then we are going to be liberated. What is that liberation? Liberation means to get out of this material bondage of body, dehino ‘smin. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti [Bg. 4.9]. This knowledge is wanting. There are so many universities, educational institution, big, big professors, scientists, all rascals. All rascals, we declare. Let them come and argue with us. All rascals. So therefore it is said, harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ.
Here is practical example, Arjuna is giving, that “I have got the same arrow, I have got the same bow. I have got the same chariot, my same horses, but everything is… I am the same Arjuna who was being honored by so many kings, ‘Oh, Arjuna is such a great warrior!’ Now nobody cares for me.” This is example. Here is said, so ‘haṁ rathī nṛpatayo yata ānamanti: “I am the same Arjuna, great fighter. People were offering their obeisances to me, ‘O Arjuna, you are great friend of Kṛṣṇa. You are great warrior.’ Now nobody cares.” How it has vanquished? The example is here, “Just like to pour butter in the ashes.” This example is… Because in sacrifice the butter is poured into the fire. If it is poured into the fire, then the butter increases the strength of the fire. But if it is put into the ashes, where there is no fire, it is useless waste. And similarly, if you sow the seed in the Arabian desert to get some nice rose flower… The seed is all right, rose seed, but you have to sow it in the proper place, not in the Arabian desert.
Therefore your knowledge, university advancement of civilization, will be perfect when it is properly carried with God consciousness. Otherwise it is all useless. It is all useless, no use. You try to understand it and spread this knowledge. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Don’t be misled by the so-called leaders.
na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ
durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ
andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās
te ‘pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ
The modern civilization, they are so rascals, they are expecting something utopian, that by material advancement of civilization they will be happy. Now, one gentleman, that doctor, what is his name, Ifrenzia,(?) yes, he said that in Sweden they are the richest men, but the largest number of suicide cases are there. So this kind of material richness will not help you. That will not help. Actually, practically, we are experiencing. Why their every nation is dissatisfied? Although they have materially advanced so much, but dissatis… In your country also, why this section of people have become hippies? From university student, they have become hippies. Why? Frustration. They know that “What is this life? If I am become educated, then what is my future?” There is no future. Frustrated.
So this kind of civilization will not help. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad… So therefore they do not know what is the actual aim of life. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum [SB 7.5.31]. These rascals, they do not know what should be the aim of life. The aim of life is God realization, God realization, that “There is God, His name is Kṛṣṇa, His address is Vaikuṇṭha, His number is this, He has got so many friends, He has got so many lovers.” Everything we are giving. But still, the rascal will not take. We are giving the name, address, activities, everything. “You come, go there.” But no, they will not do that. This is called misfortune. He is coming Himself, canvassing, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām [Bg. 18.66], but still they are researching God. God is canvassing, and they are researching God. Somebody’s failure, “There is no God.” Somebody says, “God is dead. He is finished. Now we are God.” These things are going on.
So why? Because na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ durāśayā [SB 7.5.31]. Their real fault is that they are trying to become happy in this material existence. That is their fault. In Delhi, when I presented in some library my book Easy Journey to Other Planets, so one gentleman met, “You have got, written some book, Easy Journey to Other Planets?” “Yes.” “Then we shall go and come back?” “No, why you shall come back?” “No, no, then I don’t want.” (laughter) The rascal wants to go to other planet and come back. They are doing actually. They are going to the so-called moon planet and coming back. The first aeronautics from Russia, when he was far, far away, he was just looking after, “Where is my Moscow? Where is my Moscow?” You see. This is our intelligence. You may go far away. There is an example. Just like the vulture, they have got a very good eyesight, very good eyesight. You… Seven miles away from the surface, they can see where there is a dead corpse. So they have got good eyesight, but they are searching after dead corpse only. That is their business. These so-called scientists, philosophers, they are very much advanced, but their only business is how to become happy in this planet. That’s all. That is their… Not mahātmā. Durātmā. Their mind is not very broad. What is called? Ah? What is the English word? Crippled. Mind is very crippled. Durāśayā. Therefore they are hoping against hope. They will not live here. Still, they are decorating, decorating the dead body. “This is my apartment, this is my house, this is my country, this is my skyscraper building.” Painting. And one day, mṛtyuḥ sarva… Just like Hiraṇyakaśipu. He’s challenging, challenging, “Where is your God?” “Ah, here is God! Come on! Finished. Finished. Here is God.”
So God will appear. Don’t forget that you will be godless. You will see God, and death, at that time, after seeing, you will be finished, no more understanding. That is… Kṛṣṇa says, mṛtyuḥ sarva-haraḥ… When you will be taken away, everything, all your possession, all your scientific knowledge, bank balance, skyscraper, everything will be taken away, then you will understand what is God, like Hiraṇyakaśipu. So why don’t you try to understand before that moment comes? Live so very nicely, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and see Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Deity, and eat nicely, live nicely. “No, that is not possible. We shall see at the time of death when everything will be finished. All intelligence, all good food, everything will be finished.” So therefore in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said, kṛṣṇa yei bhaje se baḍa catura. Unless one is first-class intelligent, he cannot take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The last class fools and rogues, they cannot take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So by the grace of Kṛṣṇa, you have first-class intelligence, those who have taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Now try to continue it. Don’t give it up. Don’t be foolish, mūḍha. Continue. Then you will be happy, and all problems of life will be solved.
Thank you very much. (end)