“The material miseries of the living entity, which are superfluous to him, can be directly mitigated by the linking process of devotional service. But the mass of people do not know this, and therefore the learned Vyāsadeva compiled this Vedic literature, which is in relation to the Supreme Truth.”
Prabhupāda: We were discussing this verse yesterday. Anartha. This anartha means this material civilization. There is no need, and still we have accepted it. That is called anartha, meaningless. So there are hundreds and thousands of anarthas, as it is stated that śrotavyādīni rājendra nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ [SB 2.1.2]. Sahasraśaḥ means thousands and thousands. Because we have created anartha, unnecessary necessities of life, therefore we have to know, we have to learn, we have to teach so many unwanted… Just like there is a problem now, especially in the Western countries, unwanted population. They do not want, but it is increasing. Similarly, unwanted necessities. This is called anartha. Simple thing. Just like we require some food. That is essential. We cannot live without taking food. That is not possible. So Kṛṣṇa is giving very simple formula, that annād bhavanti bhūtāni. If there is sufficient quantity of anna, or eatables, then people become very nice, well-satisfied, either animal or man. If he can eat sufficiently, he’s satisfied. So annād bhavanti bhūtāni. Bhavanti means flourish. He becomes healthy, he becomes strong, and he can think nicely, he can work nicely. So anna is required. But simple method is given how anna is produced. That is also given, annād bhavanti bhūtāni parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ. If there is sufficient rain, then you can easily produce food grain. Just like this year, the rain is sufficient; everywhere we go it is green. Green means sufficient food for the animals. And if the field is very soft, you can till it and you can get easily, very nicely, foodstuff. Therefore parjanya, water, rain, is required. Parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ. And yajñād bhavati parjanyaḥ [Bg. 3.14]. And by performing yajña there will be cloud and rain.
That was the… Yajña is required. In this age, Kali-yuga, it is very difficult to perform the Vedic ritualistic yajñas. It requires tons of ghee and food grains. And people have nothing to eat even. But śāstra has made it very easy. Yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi su-medhasaḥ [SB 11.5.32]. If you perform the saṅkīrtana-yajña, then it is as good any other yajña. Yajña means to satisfy the yajña-puruṣa, Viṣṇu, Lord Viṣṇu. So in the Kali-yuga, simply by performing yajñas you can satisfy the Supreme Lord. Yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi su-medhasaḥ. We have seen in many places by performing yajña, the saṅkīrtana-yajña, where it was very dry, rain has fallen. This is practical. So things are very easy. But instead of producing food grains, we are producing Goodyear tires. So how we can eat? Now when there is scarcity of foodstuff you cannot eat the Goodyear tires. But people’s attention has been diverted in the industrial activities. They are given allurement, “Come here. I shall give you twenty rupees per day. You give up your agricultural activities. You come in the factory. Produce tire tube, iron stool,” and so on so on. So we are violating the orders of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says that produce foodgrain. But we are producing unnecessary things. And therefore you are suffering. Kṛṣṇa is giving very good advice: annād bhavanti bhūtāni. You produce sufficient foodgrain, all over, not only here. Another anartha is this nationalism. Nationalism: “This is America,” “This is India,” “This is Africa,” “This is Australia.” Why? Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam [Īśo mantra 1]. Simple thing. Everything belongs to God. Īśāvāsya. There will be no scarcity. I have studied very thoroughly that there are sufficient land still without any cultivation. In Africa I have seen sufficient land. But they are utilizing it for producing coffee and tea. No food grains. So these are the anarthas. Anartha. Unnecessary. People will not die without coffee and tea. But they have made the whole world self-dependent on coffee and tea, mercantile policy. There is anartha.
So anartha, if you want happy life, peaceful life, progressive life, then you have to curtail these anarthas. Anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt. Without curtailing these anarthas, unwanted things, you cannot become happy. So that is recommended here. Anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt sākṣād bhaktim adhokṣaje. As soon as you become a devotee, all anarthas become immediately vanquished. Just like here, these Europeans and Americans, they are accustomed to anarthas from the very beginning of their life. And the latest anartha was their intoxication, LSD. But by bhakti-yoga, because they have taken to bhakti-yoga, very easily they have given all these habits. Even government is surprised. In Europe, and especially in America, their government is spending millions of dollars to stop this LSD habit. They cannot do it. They praise our movement in this connection. And as soon as one comes to this movement, he immediately gives up. Immediately, without any hesitation. I make this first condition, that you have to give up all kinds of intoxication. Not only LSD, but even drinking tea, coffee, smoking, everything you have to give up. Chewing pān, everything. And they agree. We do not make any compromise that “You can do any nonsense and still you become initiated. Give me some money.” No. We don’t make such compromise. You must first of all agree to give up all these sinful activities. Then I can accept you. I can initiate you. This is our process.
So compulsory, the government is trying to make compulsory, but that cannot. You cannot make a person honest simply by legislation. He must be vimarśanam. Prāyaścittaṁ vimarśanam. One must be fully conscious, “Now what I am doing, it is wrong.” Then anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt. Just like a person who is a thief, he knows that “I am stealing, and if I am arrested, I’ll be punished.” He knows that. And he has seen that one thief is arrested. So we get two kinds of experiences. One kind of experience by hearing: “If you do this, then the result will be this.” That is hearing. And one kind of experience by directly seeing. So the thief has both. He has seen that a thief has been punished, and he knows by hearing from the lawbooks or from religious books that stealing is not good. But still he commits repeatedly, again and again stealing. Why? Because he has no knowledge. Therefore knowledge is essential. That knowledge can be revived. This is kṛṣṇa-kīrtana. Caitanya Mahāprabhu has recommended, ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇaṁ śreyaḥ-kairava-candrikā-vitaraṇaṁ vidyā-vadhū-jīvanam, ānandāmbudhi-vardhanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. You want ānanda, ānandamayo ‘bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12). Everyone is seeking after ānanda. So pūrṇānanda. Paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam. This is Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s recommendation.
So bhakti-yoga means chanting. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ [SB 7.5.23]. This is the beginning. Hear about Viṣṇu, chant about Viṣṇu. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ. No, not any other. Śāstra says Viṣṇu. But there are many rascals, they say you can chant any name. Why? Why the śāstra says śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ, chanting and hearing about Viṣṇu, not for any other god? That is not recommended. But they make. Because they are impersonalists, they have no God, they have made “God means imagination.” But God is not imagination. God—here is Kṛṣṇa. He’s not imagination. He says aham ādir hi devānām [Bg 10.2], “I am the origin of everyone.”
ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ
So because you do not know what is God, so our life is void. But here Kṛṣṇa is personally coming, yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata [Bg. 4.7]. What is that glāni? Dharmasya glāniḥ. That you are very dharmika, so-called dharmika, but you have no understanding what is God—that is nonsense. That is not dharma. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19]. Dharma means the order of God. That if you do not know God, if you manufacture your God, “God has no head, no mouth, no nose, no nothing, no, no, no, ultimately zero…” Ultimately zero. So there are two kinds of dangerous person. One person is atheist, agnostic. And another person is Māyāvādī, impersonalist. Nirviśeṣa-śūnyavādī. Therefore these two things are mentioned: Māyāvādī, “God means has no head, no leg,” and śūnyavādī, “There is no God.” So the person who says “There is no God,” he’s gentleman, because he does not believe. But the person who takes the shelter of Vedas and professes that “I am vaidika, I am vedāntī,” and refuses the form of God, he’s more dangerous.
It is the statement of Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
veda nā māniyā bauddha haya ta’ nāstika
vedāśraya nāstikya-vāda bauddhake adhika
The nāstika, the Buddhists, they are called nāstika according to our śāstra, because Lord Buddha denied the existence, the authority of the Vedas.
nindasi yajña-vidher ahaha śruti-jātaṁ
keśava dhṛta-buddha-śarīra jaya jagadīśa hare
Keśava dhṛta-buddha-śarīra. Keśava, Kṛṣṇa has come, taking the form of Lord Buddha. We Vaiṣṇava, we worship Lord Buddha as the incarnation of Keśava, Kṛṣṇa, but we don’t accept his philosophy. So there is a great history. We have mentioned many times. So these Buddhists, they say that “We do not recognize your Vedas.” So veda nā māniyā bauddha haya ta’ nāstika. Therefore we call them agnostic. They do not… Because why we do not accept them authority? Because if you do not accept the authority of the Vedas, then you become godless immediately. Because Kṛṣṇa said vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. If you do not understand Vedic knowledge, if you do not understand Vedānta, if you do not understand Upaniṣad—without understanding this Vedic knowledge, understanding of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is vague. It is no clear idea. Therefore Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has said,
aikāntikī harer bhaktir
If one is not in awareness of the conclusion of Vedas, conclusion of the smṛti, conclusion of the Purāṇas, and pañcarātra-vidhi. Nārada-pañcarātra, aikāntikī harer bhaktiḥ, without reference to this Vedic literature, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has said utpāta, simply disturbance. Simply a disturbance. Manufacturing. They’ll manufacture some ways. There are so many anarthas. If we come to detail it will take long, long time.
Anyway, if we want to, I mean to say, abolish all kinds of anarthas, unwanted things, then we must take to bhakti-yoga. Then everything will be clear. Everything will be clear, very clear. Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ. This śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ, just like you are so kind enough to come here to hear about Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, by this process. This has been recommended by Caitanya Mahāprabhu: sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhiḥ. You remain in your place. You don’t require to become a sannyāsī, mendicant, or brahmacārī, or change your place. No. When Rāmānanda Rāya quoted this verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to Caitanya Mahāprabhu… He was discussing about the aim of life and the process of reaching the aim of life. He mentioned so many things—karma, jñāna, yoga, etc., so many things. Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, eho bāhya, āge kaha āra: “Yes, this statement is not very important. If you know still further more, you can say.” So in this way, step by step… When Rāmānanda Rāya came to this conclusion, that
jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva
jīvanti san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām
sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhir
ye prāyaśo ‘jita jito ‘py asi tais tri-lokyām
This is the statement, that remain in your place, but hear from the authorities about Kṛṣṇa, then everything will be clear. Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ [SB 1.2.17]. Even if you do not understand a word, but if you hear from the realized soul about Kṛṣṇa, then, hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi vidhunoti suhṛt satām. Kṛṣṇa is situated in everyone’s heart, īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe ‘rjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg. 18.61]. If we become sincere to hear about Kṛṣṇa, then Kṛṣṇa will help us. Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam, dadāmi buddhi-yogam [Bg. 10.10]. He’ll give intelligence. This is the process. Teṣām evānukampārtham aham ajñāna-jaṁ tamaḥ nāśayāmi [Bg. 10.11]. These things are there.
Therefore if we want to abolish all unwanted things of life, simply we come to the spiritual platform. Because that is our aim. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. This human life is meant for spiritual understanding, not for any other purpose. Tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovidaḥ, śāstra recommends. Only for spiritual understanding engage your activities. And what will be other things, about my family life, worldly life? That is said that tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukham. Just like you don’t aspire or don’t wish for distressed condition. It comes upon you. Similarly, whatever happy condition in your life is expected, that will also come. You don’t require… There are many places. So our endeavor, the human energy should be fully engaged in understanding Kṛṣṇa. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Nothing else. Other things we should minimize. Yāvad artha-prayojanam. Just to maintain the body and soul together you should live very nicely. You should not become weak by health; otherwise, we cannot execute. But don’t eat more, don’t eat unnecessary things. Atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca prajalpo niyamāgrahaḥ. Atyāhāra, to eat more or to collect more than is required, that is forbidden by Rūpa Gosvāmī.
atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca
jana-saṅgaś ca laulyaṁ ca
ṣaḍbhir bhaktir vinaśyati
So anartha-nivṛtti, that is required because we are surrounded by so many anarthas, unwanted things. They are all impediments, stumbling blocks on our progressive journey to Kṛṣṇa realization. Here it is said anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt bhakti-yogam adhokṣaje lokasyājānataḥ. People do not know it. Therefore vidvān, Vedavyāsa, he has compiled this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Sātvata-saṁhitā. It is Vedic version, and directly to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead and become free from all contamination of the material nature. Because we are now under the contamination of material nature.
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate
We are thinking we are very independent, we can do any nonsense, whatever we like. Who cares for…? But that is not good, because we are not independent. We are completely under the grip of material nature. Simply as a crazy man we declare independence. That is not a very good idea. We must know what are the anarthas and how we shall get out of it.
Thank you very much. (end)