Pradyumna: “Śaunaka Ṛṣi inquired: Why did Mahārāja Parīkṣit simply punish him, since he was the lowest of the śūdras, having dressed as a king and having struck a cow with his leg? Please describe all these incidences as they relate to the topics of Lord Kṛṣṇa.” [SB 1.16.5]
Prabhupāda: So here is…, the basic principle is yadi kṛṣṇa-kathāśrayam. Devotees are interested to discuss something if it is helping us how we can become more and more attached to Kṛṣṇa. That is the… Otherwise, we are not interested in the matter of general principles of morality, social culture, ethics. They are required, but because this material world means it is a contaminated world, infected world. So, here in this material world so-called morality or immorality is the same because it is infected. Just try to understand. If there is an epidemic, infection, so in that condition, first of all what is the necessity? First thing is to disinfect the epidemic. In the infected area you cannot derive any benefit by discussing morality or immorality. The man is dying out of infection. So to a immediately dying person, who is sure to die due to infection, what is the use of giving him instruction of morality or immorality? He’s going to die.
Similarly, in this world they have invented so many things—philanthropism, altruism, nationalism, this “ism,” that “ism,” but without Kṛṣṇa. It is the same position. Without Kṛṣṇa consciousness he’s going to hell, however moral he may be, however pious he may be, so-called. If he does not know Kṛṣṇa, it has no meaning. Therefore, the first condition was that we are interested to hear about Mahārāja Parīkṣit’s punishing the Kali provided it helps us to advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Otherwise we have no interest. This should be the principle of devotees. We can take part in everything—politics, sociology or philanthropism, altruism, there are so many things they have discovered—provided by taking part in that department of activities we advance our Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Otherwise reject. Don’t take part. You’ll be implicated. There, that, that philosophy, technique: dhari’ mācha nā choṅya (?) pāni, that we should fish, but don’t touch the water. If on the plea of fishing, you become fall down in the water and you are gone, washed away, then what is this?
So sometimes we say that you take part in politics. Our business is not to take part in politics for acquiring big post like president or secretary or attorney general. What you will do that? We have no meaning for this post. Because for a devotee what are these posts? Even the post of Lord Brahmā or Indra, the heavenly king, it has no meaning. Vidhi-mahendrādiś ca kīṭāyate. That is stated by Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī. He says that kaivalyaṁ narakāyate. Kaivalyam, the monism, to merge into the effulgence, the Absolute Truth, to become one, that is called kaivalyam, only spirit, that’s all. So for a devotee this kaivalya perfection, monism, is as good as hellish condition of life. Kaivalyaṁ narakāyate. And tridaśa-pūr ākāśa-puṣpāyate. Tri-daśa-pūr means the higher heavenly planets where big, big demigods live. Just like people are trying to go to this planet, that planet. So tri-daśa-pūr. Tri-daśa means thirty, three daśa, ten times…aḥ, three times ten. So there are thirty millions of demigods. And they have got different planets also. So they are promised, “If you come to this demigod’s planet, yānti deva-vratā devān [Bg. 9.25], you will get so much happiness, you will live for so many years, you will have better standard of life, thousand times more than in the… These are… They are described in the Vedas. But a devotee says that this tri-daśa-pūr, this heavenly planet, is as good as phantasmagoria. They have no value for these things.
So the…, this is the aspiration of the karmīs, to elevate life to higher standard of life. As the world is going on… The struggle is going on for having a higher standard of life. But they are becoming implicated. Now, there was bull-drawn cart or horse-drawn carriages. Now they have got nice cars also, but the problem is petrol. So the karmī world is like that. You create one kind of happiness, but side by side you create another kind of unhappiness. This is called karmī-yoga. Just like if you want to raise one big skyscraper building, then you have to dig somewhere to get the earth to make the bricks and the iron. You cannot manufacture without taking help of the nature. So if you raise here, you must dig here. This is karmī-yoga. If you want to enjoy something extraordinarily, you must create another unhappiness extraordinarily. This is called karmī. Therefore they are mūḍhas. Mūḍhas means rascals, asses. They do not know that “By increasing every year new motorcars, I am creating another problem. If there is no petrol, then the whole business will be spoiled.” That they do not know. And because they do not know, they are called asses, mūḍha. The effect they do not know. So the tri-daśa-pūr, going to the heavenly planet… Just like they are going to the moon planet, but problems after problem, contemplating how to make a platform in the sky to get petrol. The problem is there, not that very easily going. The problematic… Things are problematic.
So these kinds of plans… Just like Rāvaṇa. He said, “What is the use of becoming devotee? Oh, if you want to go to the heavenly planet, I shall make a solid staircase, reinforced concrete, and you can go there. There is no need of endeavoring for austerities, penances, no.” So these people are trying like Rāvaṇa, that “We shall take you to the moon planet, Venus planet, this planet, and give us money. Now we spend. You go on spending… In future, in future.” So these karmīs are just like phantasmagoria, will o’ the wisp. And jñānī, they are also merging into the effulgence of Brahman. That is also another foolishness, because actually nobody can remain in that. Just like we are feeling happy here because we have got so many friends here, ladies and gentleman, and you are talking. Now, if it was vacant, nobody is here. Sometimes in our temple, That’s not very good. Nobody likes to sit. Is it a fact? Every day, because we are so many, it is very pleasing to sit down.
So by nature a living entity wants society. “Society, friendship and love, divinely bestowed upon man.” That is required. And if you live in a forlorn place, nobody’s there, no society, no friends, then how long can stay there? You cannot stay. Just like if you go on the sky by airplane, after four, five, six hours you, you become disturbed: “When the plane will get down? When the plane will get down?” This is natural. Why…? Why the plane…? You are flying very nicely, huh? There is no turmoil, no noise in the sky. Go nicely. No. Similarly, in the ship also, you travel for many days. So it will be disturbing. People are searching after when we shall land in some place. So living entity by nature, he wants association. Artificially he wants to… Just like some of, some of the devotees, they like that “Now we shall go in a solitary place and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.” That is a different position. It is not possible for the ordinary man. So going to the Brahman effulgence, simply realizing that “I am a spirit soul, I have nothing to do,” that will not be beneficial. You will again come down. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adho ‘nādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ [SB 10.2.32]. If you do not get shelter, simply to remain in the impersonal Brahman effulgence will not make you happy. Artificially, you can stay there for some time; otherwise, you will again fall down in this material world for varieties of enjoyment.
Because that impersonalist, impersonal person, those who are attached to impersonal philosophy, they do not care to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They say, “It is māyā. To become impersonal is perfection.” So they cannot remain imper…, in the impersonal feature for very long time because nature… We are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. The only fault is that we have tried to imitate Kṛṣṇa here in this material world. Otherwise, that instinct is there. Just like Kṛṣṇa is enjoying with gopīs and Rādhārāṇī. Now, because I am part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, that instinct must be in me also, in minute quantity. But that must be in me. Therefore we also want to enjoy with so-called lover or beloved or girls or boys, but we are trying to enjoy in a false platform—this material world. Therefore we are becoming baffled. The same enjoyment is, Kṛṣṇa is offering, by His descendance, that “If you want to enjoy like this in the society of beautiful young boys and girls, come to Me. Here it is, reality.” But that they will not. That they will make impersonal. Being frustrated in this material platform, they want to make it zero, śūnyavādi, śūnyavādi, being disgusted… Because you cannot be happy in this material enjoyment. So at time it will be disgusting. That is jñāna-bhumika.(?) “So we have tried our best. What is the use of this enjoyment? Brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā. This is all false. Now let us become Brahman, become one with Brahman.” But that is also false. That idea, to become one with the Brahman, that is also false.
So real reality is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore these sages, big, big great sages, they are hearing Sūta Gosvāmī. So they ask the reason “Why the king Mahārāja Parīkṣit punished that Kali in the dress of a king? ‘So if you…, if possible, kindly describe the reason. And provided it will help our Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” This is the condition. Yadi kṛṣṇa-kathāśrayam: “If there is connection with Kṛṣṇa.” Just like the Bhagavad-gītā. It is a topics on the battlefield. Senayor ubhayor madhye rathaṁ sthāpaya me ‘cyuta [Bg. 1.21]. Arjuna is asking Kṛṣṇa, “Please keep my chariot between the two phalanxes of armies.” This is completely military proposal. But why we are interested to hear about Bhagavad-gītā? Because kṛṣṇa-kathāśrayam, because there is kṛṣṇa-kathā, there is instruction of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore we are interested. Otherwise, what is the use of hearing, “Somebody is fighting with somebody, and he’s asking his chariot driver, ‘Place my chariot in this position. Let me see who, whom I shall have to fight’?” So what is the use of? There is no use. People are interested in reading, but they are reading all so-called literature, poetry. But we are not interested in such, such kind of literature, because there is no kṛṣṇa-kathā. We are interested in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā. Why? Because it is kṛṣṇa-kathā. The same propensity. Everyone wants to read something. So we also want to read something. But we read Bhagavad-gītā, Bhāgavatam, Caitanya-caritāmṛta, because there is kṛṣṇa-kathā. We are not interested with any other rubbish literature, however nicely it is prepared.
yasmin prati-ślokam abaddhavaty api
nāmāny anantasya yaśo ‘ṅkitāni yat
śṛṇvanti gāyanti gṛṇanti sādhavaḥ
That kind of literature, where nāmāny anantasya, the holy name of the ananta, the Supreme Unlimited, nāmāny anantasya yaśo ‘ṅkitāni, His glories are described, such kind of literature, śṛṇvanti gāyanti gṛṇanti sādhavaḥ, that is interested, interesting to the sādhavaḥ. They hear, they chant, śṛṇvanti gāyanti gṛṇanti, and accept the philosophy. Tad-vāg-visargo janatāgha-viplavo yasmin prati-ślokam… [SB 1.5.11]. Even those verses are not very nicely composed from literary point of view, still, a sādhu, who is saintly person, he’ll take interest of that kind of literature. And other literatures: tad vāyasaṁ tīrtham. Other literature, because there is no description of the Supreme Absolute, that is the pleasure place for the crows. Tad vāyasaṁ tīrtham.
So we are not interested with such kind of literature; however from literary point of view, from poetic point of view, they are very nicely written. If there is no kṛṣṇa-kathā, there is no description of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, no devotee should be interested. Even though… Even we do not touch the daily newspaper. Why? Because there no is kṛṣṇa-kathā. One and the same thing, punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām [SB 7.5.30]. Repeating the same… “This man was stolen of his property. This politician has said like this. That politician has replied like this. There was disaster. There was fire. There was this…” These news are full with newspaper, so many bunch of papers. So who cares for it? Tad vāyasaṁ tīrtham, crowlike men. Not the swans, white swans. White swans, they go to the very clear water where there is nice garden, nice birds are chirping, nice fruits are there. You will find the white swans will go there, in the park. And the crows will go… Where everything garbage, nasty things are thrown away, they’ll enjoy there. Even in the animals, the birds, you’ll find this distinction. Why the crow does not go to the nice garden? And why the swan does not go to the crow society?
So there are different classes of men, crow society and swan society. The swan society is different from the crow society. How you can make equal? The people are making, try to make classless society. It is not possible to make classless society because every living entity is being controlled by a different quality. So the qualitative distinction must be there. You cannot make them classless. It is all imagination. The crow class, the swan class, the pigeon class, the dog class, even in the animals, even in the birds, even in the plants… There is a plant, rose tree, and there are other plants, useless, no fruit, no flower. It is simply meant for becoming fuel. So by nature there are so many distinctions. You cannot make equal everything. This is called variety. But everything is required, provided one knows how to utilize it, and that is possible by Kṛṣṇa conscious person, not by ordinary person. To accept all varieties of creation and engage them in Kṛṣṇa’s service, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So the first condition is yadi, “if,” kṛṣṇa-kathāśrayam. That should be the principle of devotees. Anything which has no connection with Kṛṣṇa, we have no interest. Let it go. We are simply interested if it is related with Kṛṣṇa. Nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yuktaṁ vairāgyam ucyate. Our principle is to follow the Gosvāmīs. They have given two formulas, Rūpa Gosvāmī.
vairāgyaṁ phalgu kathyate
Where there is connection of Kṛṣṇa, if you can utilize it for Kṛṣṇa… Just like we are utilizing everything. This building we are utilizing, the chandelier(?) we are utilizing. We are using this microphone and using paper and press. We are using everything. But why? For Kṛṣṇa. We are not engaged here for singing cinema songs or like that. No. We can utilize these instruments for singing the glory of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore we have taken advantage. Otherwise… But people…, there are so-called tyāgīs: “Oh, these people are using material things. This man is taking material advantage; at the same time, he’s condemning material advancement.” We don’t condemn. We simply teach people that utilize for Kṛṣṇa. Nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe. We don’t condemn. We don’t say that don’t manufacture this microphone. Yes. Microphone-use. But use it for declaring glories of the Lord. Then it is fully utilized. That is our process, Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So we are not these so-called Māyāvādī sannyāsīs, brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā. Why jagan mithyā? Mithyā means false. They say that jagan mithyā, this whole material world is false. We don’t say false. We say it is temporary, and so long it is in use, you utilize it for Kṛṣṇa. That even this material world will be utilized for Kṛṣṇa consciousness, this is our proposal. We don’t reject anything. Therefore Rūpa Gosvāmī: prāpañcikatayā buddhyā hari-sambandhi-vastunaḥ. A thing which can be used for the service of Hari, Kṛṣṇa, if it is given up as material, that vairāgya, that renunciation, is not very good. That renunciation… “I have renounced everything…” Just like amongst the Jains, they will not ride on car, they’ll walk. So our principle is not like that. “No, we shall not take advantage of the motorcar or the airplanes. These are all material. I shall walk.” Why shall I walk? If I would not have taken the advantage of the airplanes, how I could preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness all over the world so swiftly? We must take all advantage, but for Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We shall encourage people, but the thing is that we may not forget. If by material opulence we forget Kṛṣṇa, then that is suicidal. That is sui… Therefore we have to be little careful. We may drive the Rolls Royce car, but may not identify with the car: “Oh, now I’ve become Rolls Royce. You are Chevrolet. I’m Rolls Royce.” (laughter) Don’t become nonsense like that. Rolls Royce car is different from you, and Chevrolet car is also different from you. You can take advantage of them. Don’t identify. They are identifying with the matter. That is the defect. That is called māyā. He’s not identifying with Kṛṣṇa, that “I am part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. I am not part and parcel of these Rolls Royce cars.” If one keeps himself, I mean to say, awakened in this way, so in any condition of life, he is liberated, any condition.
That is also given by Rūpa Gosvāmī, that,
īhā yasya harer dāsye
karmaṇā manasā girā
nikhilāsv apy avasthāsu
jīvan-muktaḥ sa ucyate
Īhā. Īhā means “desire.” Yasya, anybody’s desire. He’s always thinking how to serve Kṛṣṇa. How to serve Kṛṣṇa with whole world paraphernalia, he’s planning, such person. Īhā yasya harer dāsye. His main aim is how to serve Kṛṣṇa. Karmaṇā manasā girā. One can serve Kṛṣṇa by his activities, karmaṇā, by mind, by thinking, by planning how to do it nicely. Mind is also required. Karmaṇā manasā vācā. And by words. How? Preaching. Such person, nikhilasv apy avasthāsu, in any condition of life he may be… He may be in Vṛndāvana or he may be in hell. He has nothing to do with, with anything else, except with Kṛṣṇa. Jīvan-muktaḥ sa ucyate: He’s always liberated. That is required. Therefore it is said, yadi kṛṣṇa-kathāśrayam. “If this description which (we) are asking you, what is the reason that Parīkṣit Mahārāja was going on his tour, royal tour, what business he had to punish one man who dressed like a king and trying to kill cows… So why he was interested? Is it for Kṛṣṇa or for his personal interest? If it is for Kṛṣṇa, then please…” Kathyatāṁ mahā-bhāga. “You are most fortunate. Please describe this.”
And another point is nṛdeva-cihna-dhṛk. Nṛdeva. Nṛ means “human being,” and deva means “God.” So the king is considered as God in the human society. Just see what should be the position of the king. And how much qualified he must be. Because a king is supposed to be the representative of God to develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness of the people. That is king’s duty. Therefore he’s called nṛdeva. Anyone who is trying for Kṛṣṇa, to make people Kṛṣṇa conscious, he is a representative of Kṛṣṇa, real representative. Therefore guru is offered the respect exactly like Kṛṣṇa. Sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair uktas tathā bhāvyata **. Because he is kintu prabhor yaḥ priya eva tasya, he’s the…, doing the most confidential service, Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa wants everyone to surrender to Him, and the spiritual master is doing the same: “Please surrender to Kṛṣṇa.” Therefore he’s the most confidential servant of Kṛṣṇa. He should be honored as Kṛṣṇa. That is the duty of the king also. Everyone should come forward. The father, the mother, the king, the spiritual master. Upon whom the instruction of the disciples, of the subordinate wards, is depending, they should be all Kṛṣṇa conscious. Therefore it is said nṛdeva…, nṛdeva-cihna-dhṛk. And he was punished because, although he dressed himself like a king, but he had no responsibility. Therefore nṛdeva-cihna-dhṛk śūdrakaḥ. He was actually śūdra, and he was taking the place of a king. Therefore he should be punished. This is the duty of the government. Nobody can cheat. If you dress like such and such person, you must deal also honestly. Otherwise you will be punished.
Thank you very much. Take this. Chant. (end)