Nitāi: “Engaged constantly in chanting and hearing about Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the sādhus do not suffer from material miseries because they are always filled with thoughts of My pastimes and activities.”
mad-āśrayāḥ kathā mṛṣṭāḥ
śṛṇvanti kathayanti ca
tapanti vividhās tāpā
Na etān. Generally, people, they are suffering. There is nobody in the world, those who are materially engaged, can say boldly that “I am not suffering.” Is there anybody? I challenge anyone. Can anyone say that “I am not suffering”? So everyone must be suffering. Now, why these Anacin tablets are advertised, “pain-killer”? Because they are suffering. And not in this country, but in the Western countries, America, one takes at least one dozen tablet daily for mitigating suffering—tranquilizer, this, that, so many. They are advertised, and they take. At last, for sleeping. Because they are more advanced. We are less advanced; therefore we are satisfied only one tablet, Anacin. (laughter) But they are not satisfied with one tablet. They have dozens of tablet. I have seen it. It is advertised in the subway trains. So many tablets are advertised. Suffering must be there. Anyone who has got this material body has accepted suffering. That’s a fact. But foolish people, they cannot understand. He thinks, “I am got very fatty and beautiful body.” He is satisfied. The dog is also satisfied. He does not know that this dog’s body is greater suffering than human body. The hog’s body is greater suffering than the human body. But everyone is thinking, “I am happy.” This is called māyā, illusion. You go to a hospital, a man is lying down on the bed, and if you ask, “How are you?” “Yes, I am well today.” What is “well”?
So there cannot be anyone without suffering. That is not possible. There are three kinds of suffering: adhyātmika, adhibhautika, adhidaivika. Adhyātmika means pertaining to the body and mind. “I have got headache today. I have got some pain here in the back. My mind is not very much settled up today. I cannot talk with you.” These kind of sufferings are called adhyātmika, pertaining to the body and the mind. And there are sufferings adhibhautika. Just like at night, unnecessarily, the dogs bark, and we cannot sleep. This is called adhibhautika, suffering imposed by other living entities—the mosquitos, the bugs. Then enemies. Suffering. Just like some of our enemies, they are hindering sanctioning this temple. So this is called adhibhautika. And besides that, big, big sufferings there are. Then adhidaivika, accident, which you have no control over. No sufferings you have control. That is not possible. There is famine; there is pestilence; there is no rain; there is excessive heat, excessive cold. They are called adhidaivika. Earthquake…, so many. So this is the reminder, that “You rascal, you are thinking you are very happy in this material world. What you have done about these sufferings?” Mūḍha. They think, “Oh, this is all right. It doesn’t matter.” Besides that, there is very grave sufferings. That is birth, death, old age, and disease. So where is your happiness? But because we are under the spell of māyā, we are thinking, “This position is very nice. Let us enjoy life.” This is their enjoyment.
So one has to… Tapanti vividhās tāpāḥ. Vividhāḥ, multi. Vividhāḥ means many. Tapanti vividhās tāpā na etān mad-gata-cetasaḥ. Those who are Kṛṣṇa conscious, they… We cannot say that they are not suffering. They are suffering, but no so acutely. They know. Therefore we have begun this sādhu’s symptoms, titikṣavaḥ, tolerant. Everyone is tolerant. One has to tolerate. But a sādhu’s toleration and ordinary man’s toleration is different. Sādhu’s toleration is not so acute because a sādhu knows that he is not this body. There is a Bengali Vaiṣṇava song, deha-smṛti nāhi yāra, saṁsāra-bandhana kāhāṅ tāra. If we understand properly that “I am not this body,” then, although there is suffering, you will not feel very much, although we are now absorbed with this body, bodily sufferings are there. Just like the example that you have got a car, and there is some accident. So one who is too much absorbed with the thought that “This is my car” or “I am car,” he suffers more. But if one knows that “I am not this car. All right, there is some accident. It can be repaired or it can be… That doesn’t matter.” It is a question of absorption of the thought. The materialistic person, because they are like animal, he suffers more. And for the devotees, as it is advised in the Bhagavad-gītā,
mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata
Kṛṣṇa says to Arjuna that “These material sufferings are just like the sufferings of season, seasonal suffering.” In summer season also, you suffer, and in winter season also, we suffer. Śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ. And the same thing, this fire, in summer season it is suffering. The heat is suffering. And in the winter season is suffering, but in the summer season it is pleasing. The same water, the same fire—sometimes it is suffering; sometimes it is pleasing. But the matter is the same. Why? Mātrā-sparśāḥ: it is due to the touch of the skin. Because we have got this skin disease, “I am this body,” therefore you are suffering, because you have become so nonsense rascal that “I am this body.” Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke [SB 10.84.13]. Tri-dhātuke: This is the bag of three elements: kapha, pitta, vāyu. Kapha, pitta, vāyu. According to Ayurvedic system, they are called tri-dhātu. So this body is made of material elements: kapha, pitta, vāyu. So,
yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke
sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ
yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ
So the more we are in bodily concept of life, the suffering is more. Nowadays new things have developed: nationalism, communism, communalism, so many things. Sufferings are more. We have seen in 1947 in Calcutta Hindu-Muslim riot—more suffering because one is thinking, “I am Hindu,” one is thinking, “I am Muslim.” But if one is advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then they will not suffer. They will not unnecessarily fight, “Because I am Hindi or because you are Muslim, therefore we have to fight.” No. Because if both of them know that “I am not this body. Therefore I am neither Hindu nor Muslim. I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa,” then where is the suffering of Hindu-Muslim riot? The understanding is missing. Because people are being educated to become more bodily conscious, therefore their sufferings are increasing. Sufferings are increasing. And if you reduce this bodily concept of life, then suffering also will be reduced.
So those who are Kṛṣṇa conscious, Kṛṣṇa conscious means, here it is said, mad-gata-cetasaḥ. Naitān mad-gata-cetasaḥ. Mad-gata. Bhagavān says, “Those who are always thinking of, in the mind, within the heart,” mad-gata-cetasaḥ, “they are not suffering.” They are not suffering in this way because they know that “Even if I am suffering, it is Kṛṣṇa’s desire.” So they welcome. Just like Kuntī. Queen Kuntī, when Kṛṣṇa was departing, taking farewell from Kuntī, so Kuntī said, “My dear Kṛṣṇa, when we are in full of danger, at that time You are always present as our friend, as our advisor. Now we are well situated. We have got our kingdom. We are well established. So You are going away to Dvārakā? No, no, no, this is not good. Better we may again go to that suffering so that we can remember You always.” So the devotee sometimes welcomes suffering because that is an opportunity of remembering Kṛṣṇa very constantly. Tat te ‘nukampāṁ su-samīkṣamāṇo bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam [SB 10.14.8]. So when a devotee suffers, he thinks that “It is due to my past misdeeds. So I am suffering not very much, a very little, on account of Kṛṣṇa’s grace. So it doesn’t matter.” So after all, it is, everything, in the mind, suffering and enjoying. So a devotee’s mind is trained up in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore he does not care for suffering. That is the difference between a devotee and nondevotee.
Therefore it is said that tapanti vividhās tāpā na etān mad-gata-cetasaḥ. Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja. So how much suffering he had to undergo, the five-years-old boy, and his father was putting in dangers, sometimes under the feet, leg of the elephant, sometimes throwing from the mountain, sometimes on burning oil, sometimes amongst the snakes, so many ways. But he was silent. Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Haridāsa Ṭhākura was a Muhammadan by birth. So he became a very good devotee and always chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. That was his fault. So the Muslim Kazi called him, that “You are Muhammadan. You born in a such great family, Muhammadan family, and you are chanting Hindu’s Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra? What is this?” So he mildly replied, “My dear sir, there are many Hindus, they also have become Muhammadan. So suppose I have become Hindu. So what is the wrong? What is the wrong there?” So Kazi became very angry, that “You are talking before me? All right.” So he was punished to be caned in twenty-two bazaar, in front of twenty-two bazaar. That means he was to be killed by caning. So it is understood, when he was beaten by the cane, Caitanya Mahāprabhu was on his back. So he did not feel any suffering. So there are many instances. A devotee had to suffer many sufferings, but they did not take it very much severely. They tolerated. And a devotee is educated to tolerate.
Therefore, in the sādhu’s symptoms, beginning, that titikṣavaḥ kāruṇikāḥ [SB 3.25.21], they, a devotee, suffers; at the same time, he is very kind to these conditioned soul, how to elevate them, how to make them Kṛṣṇa conscious. This is kāruṇikāḥ. These are the very primary features of a devotee’s life. People put him into suffering in so many ways, but he does not give up his job. His job is to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness so that others may become happy. Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja said, “My Lord, I have no suffering. I have no suffering because I know the art, how to become happy.” Tvad-vīrya-gāyana-mahāmṛta-magna-cittaḥ [SB 7.9.43]. The same thing is described here: śṛṇvanti kathayanti. So Prahlāda Mahārāja said that “I know how to become happy.” How to become happy? “Now, simply hearing about You and chanting about You, that’s all.” Śṛṇvanti kathayanti. Just like here two business is going on: you are hearing, and I am speaking. Bodhayantaḥ parasparam. Mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ, bhajanti [Bg. 9.13]. This bhajana means śṛṇvanti kathayanti. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ [SB 7.5.23]—this is bhajana. You simply hear about the Lord, you talk about the Lord. That is bhajana. Śravaṇam means you can further make progress. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam is going on all over the world. Some is hearing about some politician, other is speaking about some politician or some other man, some important man in the society. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam is going on. But they are suffering. But when the śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam is pertaining to Viṣṇu, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ, then you will not be suffering. This is the… It requires experience. It requires advancement.
Then… Prahlāda Mahārāja, as he says, that tvad-vīrya-gāyana-mahāmṛta-magna-cittaḥ: “Because my mind is always absorbed in talking about You and hearing about You, therefore I am not unhappy. I do not… I know how to become happy.” “But you seem to be very unhappy.” So he says, “Yes, I am unhappy because I see these…” Tato vimukha-cetasa indriyārtha-māyā-sukhāya bharam udvahato vimūḍhān: [SB 7.9.43] “These foolish people, simply for temporary so-called happiness, they are engaged in material activities. I am thinking of them only. That is my unhappiness. Otherwise I have no unhappiness.”
So this devotional service, this line of action, is so nice that if we practice, if we make advance, then even in this material world, staying, there will be no more suffering. That is called jīvan mukta. Jīvan mukta means although he is in this body, but he is not suffering the bodily miserable condition. It is a question of absorption of thought. I have read in some paper that Mr. Stalin, the communist leader, he had to undergo a surgical operation of operating on the belly. But doctor wanted to, what is called, chloroform, but he said, “No, there is no need. You can go on with your operation.” So even in ordinary life it is possible. Because the mind is absorbed in a different way, even a surgical operation does not disturb a man. Similarly, what to speak of spiritual life, if your mind is always absorbed in Kṛṣṇa thought, Kṛṣṇa consciousness… That is stated mad-gata-cetasaḥ, always thinking of Kṛṣṇa. And Kṛṣṇa advises also. What is His advice? Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru: [Bg. 18.65] “You always think of Me.”
There are many instances. If we believe, that is another… If you don’t believe, that is another… But there is practical also, that these boys, European, American boys, from their childhood, from their birth, they are accustomed to so many bad habits. But for want of those bad habit, they think it is impossible to live. Not only ordinary man. I will tell you the story of one very big man, the Marquis of Zetland. The Marquis of Zetland was talking with one of my Godbrother. The Lord—they are called Lord—he asked, “Can you make me brāhmaṇa?” So the my Godbrother said, “Yes, it is not very difficult. If you give up these bad habits—intoxication, illicit sex life, meat-eating, and gambling—you can become a brāhmaṇa.” So he said, “It is impossible.” Yes. A very big man, he said, “It is impossible. This is our life.” Actually, we have got experience in the Western countries, this is their life. Even very, very old men, they cannot give up this. For want of this, it is a great suffering. But here you see practically. These young boys, young girls, they have given up. There is no suffering. Take practical example. And an old man, a very respectable gentleman, he was requested to give up these four habits; he replied, “It is impossible.” How it is becoming possible for these boys? If they would have suffered for want of this illicit sex, intoxication, the boys or girls, then how they could remain with me? I am not a very rich man. I cannot give them nice shelter. I cannot give them nice food. But why? Because they are not feeling… They have no furniture. They are lying down on the floor, no bedding, no proper cloth. Because they are not suffering actually. Otherwise they could not remain with me. This is a fact. If they would have suffered, then, like Lord Zetland, they would have also said, “It is impossible to remain with Prabhupāda.” But they are not saying that. There is suffering from disease also; still, they are not leaving. They are not leaving.
So Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so nice. Mad-gata. They do not feel any suffering. It is practical. Others, they feel suffering. Therefore it is said, tapanti vividhās tāpā na etān mad-gata-cetasaḥ. Na etān. Therefore we should accept this. What is that? Mad-āśrayāḥ kathāḥ. Kathā, kṛṣṇa-kathā. There are so many literatures, especially Bhagavad-gītā. That is open to everyone. Everyone knows Bhagavad-gītā. So if we simply hear Bhagavad-gītā, we can attain this stage of perfection, no more suffering. That is a fact. So just like Ambarīṣa Mahārāja. He made his life… Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane [SB 9.4.18]. He was a very responsible king, emperor of this world, and he was administering his kingdom. At the same time, he was a great devotee. These are the examples in this country. There were many kings like that; they are called rājarṣi. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said,
imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ
proktavān aham avyayam
vivasvān manave prāha
manur ikṣvākave ‘bravīt
Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. Rājarṣi. The kings were… Although they were king, rāja, still, they were as good as the great saintly person, ṛṣi. So Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, he was also a rājarṣi. He gave example: although he was busy in his administration work, still, he was talking only of Kṛṣṇa, only. Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane [SB 9.4.18]. Whenever he would talk, he will talk about Kṛṣṇa. This required practice. Caitanya Mahāprabhu advised all His devotees, grāmya-kathā nā kahibe. This requires… This is called advancement. Don’t talk nonsense of these material talks. What is the use? What you will gain? Just like you open the newspaper. What do you find? The same thing. The same plane crash, the same politician condemn another politician, and something lost, something gained, something… It is punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām [SB 7.5.30]. The same thing are being repeated in different way. So what is the use of talking such thing? Better, if you want to talk, talk on Kṛṣṇa, talk on Bhagavad-gītā, talk on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and enjoy life. That is required.
That is recommended here: mad-āśrayāḥ kathā mṛṣṭāḥ śṛṇvanti kathayanti ca. If you simply talk about Kṛṣṇa and hear about Kṛṣṇa, then that stage will come when there will be no more suffering always. Ānandamayo ‘bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12). This is called ānandamaya in the Vedānta-sūtra. A living entity or Kṛṣṇa, they are ānandamaya. Prācurye maya-pratyaya. Simply ānanda. When you are in pleasure, transcendental bliss, there will be no more possibility of this material suffering. That is instructed here:
mad-āśrayāḥ kathā mṛṣṭāḥ
śṛṇvanti kathayanti ca
tapanti vividhās tāpā
There is also another statement in the Bhagavad-gītā: yoginām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā [Bg. 6.47]. There are many yogis, but that yogi who is thinking of Kṛṣṇa always, man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ, mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā, sa me yuktatamaḥ: “In My opinion that is… He is the first-class yogi.” Not to show any magic. Magic, that is magic, that if he does not suffer from any suffering, that is the greatest magic. But that will be done by a devotee. And Kṛṣṇa also recommends.
So our life should be… This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is being spread only for this purpose. What is this? Śṛṇvanti kathayanti ca. Mad-āśrayāḥ kathā mṛṣṭāḥ. When we shall feel pleasure by hearing about Kṛṣṇa or talking about Kṛṣṇa, we must know that we are making progress on the path of perfection. And at that time any kind of this material suffering will not be felt. This is the practical effect of executing devotional service.
Thank you very much. (end)