Pradyumna: “Furthermore, I have personally heard you promise Draupadī that you would bring forth the head of the killer of her sons. This man is an assassin and murderer of your own family members. Not only that, but he has also dissatisfied his master. He is but the burnt remnants of his family. Kill him immediately.”
pratiśrutaṁ ca bhavatā
pāñcālyai śṛṇvato mama
āhariṣye śiras tasya
yas te mānini putra-hā
tad asau vadhyatāṁ pāpa
bhartuś ca vipriyaṁ vīra
So Kṛṣṇa is encouraging Arjuna to kill Aśvatthāmā on so many grounds. First of all, he has killed the boys who were sleeping at night. And another very important point is that ātatāyī. Ātatāyī means the enemy aggressor. Unnecessarily one who attacks, he is called ātatāyī. One who sets fire in your house, one who kidnaps your wife or somebody in the family, and one who gives poison, and they are so many, a list of ascertaining an ātatāyī. So He described, Kṛṣṇa described the Aśvatthāmā as ātatāyī. He’s not a brave soldier, so he should be killed. So many faults Kṛṣṇa found in his behavior. And bhartuś ca vipriyaṁ vīra. He could not satisfy his master also. Sometimes the servants do something abominable for pleasing the master. But he could not please even the master. He wanted to please Duryodhana, his master, promising him that he would kill all the five brothers, the Pāṇḍavas. But instead of killing the Pāṇḍavas, he killed their sons. Duryodhana did not like that, because he knew that the whole Kuru family practically was killed. Only the five brothers. And Mahārāja Parīkṣit was in the womb of his mother. They survived. So Duryodhana did not like. Duryodhana, whatever he may be, he was a kṣatriya and he fought bravely. So he did not like the Kuru dynasty should be finished. He did not like it. But when he understood that the five sons of Pāṇḍavas were also killed, he became very much disappointed because the Kuru dynasty is finished. So he could not satisfy his master. Bhartuś ca vipriyam. So whatever he had done, all abominable. Not to the rules and regulations-neither as a brāhmaṇa or as a kṣatriya. Nor even a brave soldier. “He has done things like a śūdra, or less than a śūdra, without any religious principle. So he should be killed. There is no excuse. And it is for his good.”
In the śāstra it is said that one who is a criminal, he should be killed. Therefore in every country, up to date, a murderer is killed, is hanged. That is good for him. If a murderer is killed in this life, punished by the state, government, then his sinful activities and the resultant action is also finished. He’s giving his own life. Otherwise, if he escapes, in next life he’ll suffer so many troubles. That is, I think they have described in the previous verse. Tad-vadhas tasya hi śreyaḥ. In the verse number 37 it is explained by Kṛṣṇa that to kill this person, it is for his good. Because he has done so many criminal activities, so by killing him he’ll be saved from serious types of sufferings in the next life. Śreya. Tad-vadhas tasya hi śreyo yad-doṣād yāty adhaḥ pumān. Prāyaścitta, it is called prāyaścitta. Prāyaścitta, in the śāstras prāyaścitta is described. In every religion there is prāyaścitta, atonement. In Christian religion the prāyaścitta is also advised. The sinner has to admit that he has committed sin, then he is excused by Christ or God. But not that “Purposefully I’ll go on committing sins, and then I shall admit, and I’ll go on with this business and I’ll be excused.” No. That is not. It is quite natural that if you have done something criminal by mistake, then you can be excused by the authorities. But not that because by your admission you were once excused, and you’ll go on committing all kinds of sinful activities, and you’ll be excused simply by admission. No. That is not possible. The Christians they do like that. On Sunday they go to the church, and they admit their sinful activities of the week, and pay something fine to the priest, and they become free from the sinful activities, reactions. And from Monday, again he begins. And then again on Sunday, he admits.
There was a movement, Moral Re-armament Movement, MRM. So just like we say that by saṅkīrtana one is freed from all sinful reaction, this moral re-armament movement also preached that by your admission you become free from all sinful reaction. But this should not be… Either hari-nāma or the Christian method of atonement should not be taken as profession. This is once or twice you can be excused, but not that you take it as a profession. That is great sinful. We have got also nāma-aparādha. Daśa-vidha-nāma-aparādha-ten kinds of offenses. If you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra with offenses, then it will not be effective. You must avoid the offenses. You know ten kinds of offenses-guror avajñā śruti-śāstra-nindanam. There are so many offenses, and one of the offenses is nāmno balād yasya hi pāpa-buddhiḥ. He is greatest offender, one who thinks that “By chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, I become free from reaction of sinful life. So the whole day I shall go on committing all kinds of sinful activities, and at night or sometime I shall chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa—everything will be finished,” this is the greatest sin. Nāmno balād yasya hi pāpa-buddhiḥ. He’s never excused. He is condemned. Caitanya Mahāprabhu accepts a sinful man like Jagāi and Mādhāi on the condition that he does not commit any more any sinful activities. On this condition. Not that “I have become a Vaiṣṇava. I’m chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, so I can go on committing all kinds of sinful activities. There will be no reaction.” This kind of conviction is the greatest offense. You should remember. Not like that, the Christian atonement.
So we should be very careful about this, nāmno balād yasya hi pāpa-buddhiḥ. Factually, we should not take hari-nāma as a matter of atonement or śubha-kriyā. Śubha-kriyā. Just like there are many śubha-kriyā, auspicious activities. We should not take chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra as some auspicious activity. It is certainly auspicious, but generally people perform some auspicious activities, śubha-kriyā, to counteract their impious activities. This should not be done. This is also another offense. You cannot utilize hari-nāma for any material purposes. Material purpose is… Just like generally, people go to a guru for benefit of some material purpose. “Sir, I have got some cholic pain within my abdomen. Kindly give me your blessing.” The materialistic persons, they are after blessing for some material benefit. They are not after Kṛṣṇa. That is another offense. Therefore to go to guru or to accept a guru, there should not be any material purpose. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. One should go to a guru for spiritual advancement of life, not as a fashion. People go to a guru as a fashion. My Guru Mahārāja used to say that “Don’t make a guru just like you keep a dog, as a fashion.” Nowadays it has become a fashion to keep a dog. In the European, American countries it is a compulsory fashion to have a dog. Everyone keeps a dog. And they love dog very much, more than anything. (laughter) So now we are also imitating, because India is imitator. Since the Britishers came here, we have become first-class imitator. When the 1914, the war was going on. So it is understood that in high-court, Calcutta high-court, there is leisure hour, tiffin hour. So all the judges were sitting. So one English judge, he asked Sir Asutosh Mukherji, “Mr. Mukherji, now the Germans are coming, and if so, what you are going to do?” Mr. Mukherji, Sir Asutosh Mukherji, he replied, “Yes, as soon as the Germans will come, we shall offer our respect in this way, ‘Come on sir.’ ” “So you’ll not counteract? Why?” “You have taught us to make like this, so we shall do that. Because you have simply taught us this, how to obey your orders. So anyone who will come, we shall do this.” The idea is the slave mentality… The Englishmen, in an organized way, they taught the Indians how to become servant of the Englishmen. We have seen. It is Gandhi’s movement that he dismantled this idea of white prestige. Otherwise, we were taught like that. So this imitation of Englishmen… Formerly, in our childhood, it was the advancement of civilization if one could imitate the English fashion. That was. So we should not make that a fashion. Guru is not a fashion.
In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, in Bhagavad-gītā, in all Vedic literature… Who requires a guru? That is described. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21]. He requires a guru. Jijñāsuḥ. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. That is human life. One who is interested in inquiring about Brahman, he requires a guru. One who has no business for understanding Brahman, simply to make a fashion that “I have a guru,” this is useless. It has no value. One must be very much inquisitive to understand the spiritual science. He requires a guru. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ [SB 11.3.21]. Jijñāsuḥ means inquisitive.
catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ
janāḥ sukṛtino ‘rjuna
ārto jijñāsur arthārthī
jñānī ca bharatarṣabha
Jñānī jijñāsur ārtaḥ arthārthī. The gṛhasthas, they are ārta, distressed. So if he’s pious, so in his distressed condition he approaches the Supreme Personality of Godhead, “My Lord, I am very much distressed. Kindly give me Your favor.” “Give me.” There is “give me.” And jijñāsuḥ, jñānī, they do not want anything “Give me,” but jijñāsuḥ: “Actually, what is God? What is the Absolute Truth?” That is the difference. One is going to God for asking something, and jijñāsuḥ, jñānī, is eulogized because they do not ask anything. To ask anything from God is not higher standard of bhakti. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ kavitāṁ vā jagadīśa kāmaye [Cc. Antya 20.29, Śikṣāṣṭaka 4]. This is pure devotion. People generally go to Kṛṣṇa, God, “O God, give us our daily bread.” This is not bhakti, but it is piety because he goes to God. Therefore sukṛtina. He’s not the sinful man. He’s pious man. At least, he has approached God. And those who are sinful, they do not approach even. They do not go even in the temple to ask something. They say, “What is this nonsense? We don’t require. We shall work hard.” Nowadays it is going on. “Why you go to temple? Why you give credit to God for your success? You work hard…” There is a philosophy, karma-mīmāṁsā. It is like that. “You work hard and you get the profit. Why you should give credit to God?” This is going on. They are duṣkṛtina. They do not know that without God’s mercy you cannot get anything. Otherwise, simply by working hard, anyone could become a big man? No. That is not possible. Without Kṛṣṇa’s desire, without sanction, it cannot be done. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ [Bg. 3.27]. Everyone is under the obligation of nature and karma. One cannot surpass. There are many instances in the śāstras.
So we are discussing the point, “Who requires a guru?” If you are actually serious about understanding the spiritual subject matter, brahma-jijñāsā… Not this market value. If you are interested about brahma-jijñāsā… Just like the merchant association, they inquire, “What is the value of this share? What is the value of this commodity? What is the val…?” No. Not that kind of inquiries. But śreya-uttamam. Jijñāsuḥ śreya-uttamam. There are two kinds of objective: śreya and preya. Preya means immediately sense gratification. Just like a child. Child wants to play because it gives him immediately some sense gratification, satisfaction. He does not like to go to a school or to study or to take lesson. He does not like. That is actually preya (śreya). Preya… That is śreya, future benefit. So the parents, the guardians, engage him for future benefit. “You must take education. Otherwise, in future you’ll suffer without education.” So this is called śreya. Similarly, our human life is meant for śreya, not for preya. The modern civilization, they are interested in preya: immediate some sense gratification. That is not wanted. Therefore śāstra said śreya, not preya. The modern civilization is that “Eat, drink, be merry and enjoy. Do not care for what is future life.” That is condemned civilization. We should know that there is future life, there is birth after death, and we must be prepared. As it is advised in the Bhagavad-gītā,
yānti deva-vratā devān
pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ
bhūtāni yānti bhūtejyā
yānti mad-yājino ‘pi mām
So you can achieve this success of life, mad-yājino ‘pi yānti mam. There are many kinds of future benefit. Yānti deva-vratā devān. You can be elevated to the higher planetary system. In the heavenly planets you get long duration of life, higher standard of life, that you can get. But that also is not śreya. That is preya. The same material happiness in higher standard. Śreya is mad-yājino ‘pi yānti mām. If you practice yājinaḥ, worshiping Kṛṣṇa as Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī, mad-yājinaḥ [Bg. 18.65], the same thing. If you practice, that is your śreya. Otherwise, anything you do, considering it is very nice, you are being entangled. Yajñārthāt karmaṇo ‘nyatra loko ‘yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ [Bg. 3.9]. Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt. If you try to advance in devotional service even a little bit, it can save you from the greatest danger. And if you do not do that, if you are entangled, if you are enamored by immediate sense satisfaction, you become karma-bandhana.
Therefore guru is required who can save you from the karma-bandhana process. Karma-mukta. Karma-mukta. That is required. Not karma-bandhana. Karma-mukta. Sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate. If you are trained up to devotional service,
māṁ ca yo ‘vyabhicāreṇa
sa guṇān samatītyaitān
That is sa guṇān samatītyaitān, that is mukti. Baddha, conditioned, means we are under the three modes of material nature. That is conditioned. And mukti means you are not under the obligation of the three modes of material nature. That is karma-mukta. So Kṛṣṇa can make you immediately mukta. Ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi. That is Kṛṣṇa’s power. Prabhaviṣṇave namaḥ. He can make the lowest class of men… Kirāta-hūṇāndhra-pulinda-pulkaśā ābhīra-śumbhā yavanāḥ khasādayaḥ ye ‘nye ca pāpāḥ [SB 2.4.18]. They are considered as the most sinful, less than the śūdras, caṇḍālas. Kirāta-hūṇāndhra-pulinda-pulkaśā… Or more sinful, śudhyanti. They can be purified by the mercy, by the power, prabhaviṣṇave namaḥ. Viṣṇu has got so much power. So that power you can have the benefit if you surrender to Viṣṇu. Therefore Kṛṣṇa personally comes and requests you,
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
So here is Kṛṣṇa’s direction. You take always Kṛṣṇa’s direction, then that is bhakti, and you remain brahma-bhūyāya kalpate. [Bg. 14.26] You are always immune from the sinful reactions of this material world. It does not mean… You cannot manufacture. Actually you have to follow the orders of Kṛṣṇa. Just like Arjuna is being advised. You simply follow Kṛṣṇa. Not that whimsically he was going to punish Aśvatthāmā. Under direction of Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, in every step of your life, if you take Kṛṣṇa’s direction or His representative’s direction, then you are safe.
Thank you very much. (end)