Published on December 9th, 2023 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada1
America Is Now A Tiger–But It May Become A Mouse In the Future…
So you American people, you have become tiger now, by the grace of God, Krsna, you have become such a powerful nation–rich, beautiful, educated. But if you forget Krsna, then you are again going to become a mouse. Remember that. Nobody will care for you. Just like Englishmen. Englishmen, they established the British Empire, great, powerful, most powerful nation in the world. Now they are not so.
Translation: “O Emperor, now I am separated from my friend and dearmost well-wisher, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore my heart appears to be void of everything. In His absence I have been defeated by a number of infidel cowherd men while I was guarding the bodies of all the wives of Krishna.”
Prabhupada: So after departure of Krsna, Krsna’s all the wives, 16,108, they were being taken care of by Arjuna. But some cowherdsmen, they plundered all the queens, and Arjuna could not protect them.
So this is the instance, that we may be very powerful so long Krsna keeps us powerful. We are not independently powerful, even in the case of Arjuna. We are very much proud of our janmaisvarya-sruta-srih. The material world, everyone is very much proud of his birth, riches, education and beauty. Beauty. These four things are obtained as result of pious activities. And as a result of impious activities, the opposite number. Not birth in a very nice family or nation, no wealth, poverty, no education and no beauty. But one should know that these assets, material assets… Just like you American people. You have got nice assets. You are born of a very respectful nation–American nations are still honored all over the world. So that’s a good opportunity for you, janma. You are born in… Every American is… In comparison to India, every American is rich man, because any ordinary man earns here at least four thousand, five thousand rupees. And in India, even the high court judge, he cannot earn so. Utmost four thousand. So you should be conscious that by the grace of Krsna, you have got all these things. There is no poverty, there is no scarcity, there is good chance of education, and you are wealthy, beautiful, everything. Janmaisvarya-sruta-srih. But if you do not become Krsna conscious, if you misuse these assets, then again punar musiko bhava.
You know the story, punar musiko bhava? Anyone knows? Punar musiko bhava means “Again you become a mouse.” (laughter) A mouse came to a saintly person: “Sir, I am very much troubled.” “What is that?” People generally go to saintly persons for some material profit. That is the nature, animalistic nature. Why you should go to a saintly person for some material benefit? No. You go there to learn what is God. That is real business. Anyway, saintly persons sometimes receive. “So what do you want?” Just like Lord Siva, his devotees are all like that mouse, want something. “Sir, this cat troubles me very much.” “So what you want?” “Let me become a cat.” “All right, you become a cat.” So he became a cat. Then after few days, he came back. “Sir, still I am in trouble.” “What is that?” “The dogs, (laughter) they trouble us very much.” “So what you want?” “Now I want to become a dog.” “All right, you become.” Then after few days… One after…, there is nature’s arrangement. One is weak, one is strong. That is nature’s arrangement. So after all, he wanted to become a tiger. So by the grace of the saintly person, he became a tiger. And when he became a tiger, he was staring on the saintly person like, oh. (Prabhupada makes a face–devotees laugh) So the saintly person asked him, “You want to eat me?” “Yes.” “Oh, then you may again become a mouse. (laughter) If by my grace, by my favor, you have become tiger, so I will again condemn you to become a mouse.”
So you American people, you have become tiger now, Nixon tiger. But if you don’t behave obligely, if you don’t feel obliged, if the tiger feels obliged that “By the grace of the saintly person, I have come to the stage of becoming a tiger, I must be very much obliged to him…” But instead of becoming obliged, if you want to eat, then again become a mouse. If the saintly person has got the power to make you from mouse to tiger, then he can convert you again from tiger to mouse. You must always remember this. So by the grace of God, Krsna, you have become so powerful nation, rich, beautiful, educated. By grace of Krsna you have become, but if you forget Krsna, then you are again going to be mouse. Remember that. Nobody will care for you. Just like Englishmen. Englishmen, they established the British Empire, great, powerful, most powerful nation in the world. Now they are not so. Because they misused their power. So you get power, opulence, by the grace of Lord, Krsna. And if you misuse it, then you become again… That is happening. That is the nature’s law. Nature’s law.
So here, Arjuna, by his personal behavior, he is showing that “Without Krsna… I was so great fighter that I took charge of the sixteen thousand wives of Krsna to take them safely. Because Krsna passed away, so they must be given protection.” He was Krsna’s friend, but he could not do so. All the queens were plundered by cowherdsmen. Therefore he says that gopair asadbhih. Cowherdsmen, they are not very powerful. They are ordinary men, cowherdsmen. But Arjuna was ksatriya, so powerful. So he was defeated by them. Therefore he is regretting that asadbhih: “If I would have been defeated by another powerful person, that would have been glory, but I have been defeated by the cowherdsmen.” Just see. Asadbhih. They are not counted amongst gentlemen. Asadbhir abaleva.
Abaleva. Abala, another name of the woman. Just like if somebody attacks woman… Any young man, when he has got sixteen years old, he can attack any woman. But a woman, even though she is sixteen years or eighteen years or twenty years, she becomes immediately victim. So abaleva. Even the woman is higher in age, still, she cannot protect. Therefore woman requires protection. Woman requires protection. According to Vedic culture, woman has no independence, because they cannot keep their independence. It is not possible. A sixteen-year-old boy can go safely all over the world, but a sixteen-year girl cannot.
That is not possible. By nature, they are weak. So they require protection. And until she reaches youthhood, she is protected by the father. As soon as she reaches youthhood, she is given to a young man, her husband, to give protection. And in old age, she is protected by the elderly sons.
This is the Vedic culture. They have three phases of life: childhood, youthhood, and old age. So… Because they are weak. In the Western countries, the women are given freedom like man, but that is unnatural. Unnatural. Therefore these poor souls are being exploited by the other section. It is a great deficiency of the Western sociology.
But the Vedic culture is different from this. Woman is not given independence. And generally one man marries more than one wife. That is Vedic culture. Just like see Krsna. Krsna has 16,108. That is allowed. Krsna was Personality of Godhead. He could maintain… Why sixteen? Sixteen millions wife. That is not difficult for Him. But even ordinary man, ksatriyas especially, they used to marry more than one wife. Still. Not only wife, but one wife, one princess is married, and along with her, hundred, two hundred maidservants, they will go with the king. Just like when Vasudeva was married to Devaki, some hundreds of maidservant was given with. So women… The conclusion is that women are weak. They should be given protection. They should not be ill-treated. Just like a father gives protection to the children.
It does not mean it is ill-treatment. There is no question of. But protection. Otherwise, abaleva, they can be victimized by any man, powerful, because man is powerful.
So so ‘ham nrpendra rahitah purusottamena. We also require. Don’t be proud, “Because I am man, I don’t require protection.” Here it is said, Krsna said, er Arjuna said, purusottamena so ‘ham rahitah: “Now I have no protection.” Arjuna was so great hero. Still, he required protection. Purusottamena. Purusa, purusa means enjoyer. The supreme enjoyer is Krsna. If He does not give protection, you cannot enjoy your life. That is not possible. Therefore Krsna says… Krsna is giving protection, but not as much as He wants to give you protection, because you deny to accept it. Because you deny to accept His protection, therefore He is giving protection to you as much as you want. And if you want full protection, then the condition is sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: “Give up your own manufactured, concocted means of protection. You just surrender unto Me, and I will give you protection.” Protection for what? “Protection from sinful activities.” We are victimized by our sinful activities due to ignorance. We do not know what to do, what not to do. Out of ignorance we do something, and we become victimized by the laws of nature. But if you surrender to Krsna, He will give you protection. You will never be victimized. You will never be victimized. Because Krsna says,
dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te
Krsna will guide you. Krsna is within yourself, and He can speak to you. You can hear Him also, provided you are fully surrendered.
So it does not mean that Arjuna was not fully surrendered. Arjuna was fully surrendered, and Arjuna was fully protected by Krsna. Neither these queens, sixteen thousand queens could be plundered away by some cowherdsmen. But the… It is an instance, that even a person like Arjuna, he will be helpless without Krsna. He will be helpless, what to speak of ourselves? He will be helpless. That is his… He is showing that example. Krsna was… So so ‘ham nrpendra rahitah purusottamena: “Now I am bereft of the association of my dearest friend, Krsna.” Sakhya, sakha means friend. Sakhya priyena. Not only friend, very dear friend, priyena. Suhrda. Suhrda means… Suhrt. There are different kinds of friends. But suhrt is a friend who always thinks of his friend, how he will be happy. That is called suhrt. That is… This description is given about the devotees also. Suhrdam sarva-bhutanam. A devotee is always thinking how whole world will be happy. Suhrdam sarva… Not only human being, but animals, birds, trees, beasts, everyone. A devotee does not like to see even a grass is unreasonably cut. That is devotee vision. That is the…
Therefore Vaisnava… What is that? Vaisnavanam? Vaisnava is happy. Just like, take Prahlada Maharaja. Prahlada Maharaja said… Prahlada Maharaja was praying Lord Nrsimhadeva to pacify Him. So the commentator says that Prahlada Maharaja might have been very much afraid of this ferocious feature of the Lord, Nrsimhadeva. So he assured Nrsimhadeva, “My dear Lord, don’t think that I am afraid of Your this feature. No, no.” Naivodvije. “Neither I am afraid of this materialistic existence.” Naivodvije para duratyaya-vaitaranyas tvad-virya-gayana-mahamrta-magna-cittah. “I am quite confident that I have no fear.” And he has practically seen that his father teased him in so many ways, but at last he was protected. So why he should not believe? He knows that “I am (have) dedicated my life to Krsna, and Krsna is not so ungrateful that He will not give me protection. How it is possible?” But one who does not believe in Krsna, he thinks that he will protect himself. Apasyatam atma-tattvam grhesu grha-medhinam. Those who are not God-realized, they think that they will be protected by their society, friendship, love, country, nation, like that. But that is not possible. Just like you are flying in the sky, so many aeroplanes at a time. Sometimes in a bunch, a group they fly. But if one of the aeroplane is in danger, no other aeroplane can help him. He’ll finish. So similarly, we are also flying as aeroplane in the open sky. The protection… You don’t expect protection from your so-called society, friendship and love, materially. When there is question of danger, you have to protect with your own strength.
Therefore if we want actually protection, we should take protection of the Supreme, Krsna, or His devotee. Krsna is suhrdam sarva-bhutanam. Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram, suhrdam sarva-bhutanam: “I am the friend of everyone.” He can become friend. He is living within our heart as friend. But we refuse the guidance of such a nice friend. That is our misfortune. Krsna is so kind, so friendly, that you are… Just like one bird is flying from one tree to another, and another bird is following him. So similarly we are flying from one body to another. Tatha dehantara-praptih. But Krsna does not leave us. He’s also going with you just to give you guidance. But we won’t give Him. Just like father… It is very natural. Father naturally wants to guide the son without any motive. That is father’s nature. Similarly, Krsna, or God, the supreme father, is naturally inclined to give us protection, naturally. Therefore He comes, Krsna comes. Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati. Paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam. Krsna’s two business. First of all, preaching, these rascals who have forgotten Krsna, that “We are very intimately related. I am the father of all living entities. So you come to Me, come to home. You will be happy. I am not poor. I can provide you with all necessities.” Eko yo bahunam vidadhati kaman. That one can provide everyone with necessities of life, actually He is doing. What government is doing for the cats and dogs and the ants and the trees? They are not doing anything. Rather, they are cutting. When there is jungle, for their paper mill, they are cutting all the trees. No protection for the trees. They are all cutting all the throats of the cows and animals for eating. So the government cannot give protection. Nobody can give protection. Only Krsna can give you protection. Therefore we should always seek the protection of Krsna. That is our security, not any other thing.
So suhrt means… Krsna is suhrt, suhrt means who always, I mean to say, trying for our welfare. He comes Himself. And even though we do not accept… Krsna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru. He gives plain advice that “You always think of Me, become My devotee, offer your respectful obeisances unto Me. That will make your life perfect.” But we shall not do that. We shall not do that. We shall think of so many other things, but we will never accept thinking of Krsna. We shall become devotees of so many rascals, even of a dog also, but we shall never become devotee of Krsna. This is the position. We are devotee or master to our wife, to our children, to our country, to our society, but as soon as you say that “You become devotee of Krsna,” oh, he is enraged immediately: “What nonsense you are speaking? I have got so many work to do. Why shall I become devotee of Krsna?” This is the disease. This is the disease. Therefore Krsna ultimately says that “You give up all this nonsense, and if you surrender unto Me, then I shall give you protection.”
Naturally… Just like we are preaching Krsna consciousness. We are not devotee to the people in general. Then why we are preaching? We are devotee. We are actually devotee, without any motive. Any so-called political leader, he has got some motive. When he becomes devotee of the nation, he has got some motive. But we have no such motive. We simply say plainly that “You become happy by becoming devotee of Krsna. You are now devotee of your lust, anger, and illusion. You have become devotee of so many things, rascaldom. You simply become devotee of Krsna. Then your problems will be solved.” Kamadinam kati na katidha palita durnidesah. We are devotee, somebody. But we are not devotee of somebody. We are… We have got some motive. Just like now it is coming to exposure. So many leaders, they got election, pretending themselves devotee of the nation. In everywhere, not only in your country. But actually, they were not devotee of the nation. They were devotee of their own lusty desires. That’s all. That “If I occupy this post, then I shall be able to fulfill my lusty desires.” Nobody is devotee. Devotion is only applicable to Krsna. If somebody is proclaiming himself that “I am devotee, servant of my nation, of my society, of my wife, of my children”–all false. Here nobody is devotee. Everyone has got some motive. Even the intimate relationship between husband and wife, there is some motive. The husband has got some motive and the wife has got… As soon as the motive is not fulfilled, divorce: “Ah, no more now. Take another chapter.”
So this is going on. You see? This is going on, and therefore in the name of devotion, in the name of love, in the name of faith, they are trying to satisfy their own senses. This is called illusion. And he will never be happy so long he will try to satisfy his senses. And that is the truth. They will never be happy. Because… I have given this example. The parts and parcel of your body. If separately the part and parcel of the body wants to satisfy itself, it will never be satisfied. The only means of satisfaction is that the part and parcel conjointly work and satisfy the stomach, and then it will be satisfied. Similarly, we are part and parcel of Krsna. If we want to satisfy ourself, our senses, independently, we shall never be satisfied. This is the fact. You have to satisfy Krsna. Then you will be satisfied. This is the process. Hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate.
Because actually the owner is Krsna. I am claiming, “This is my hand.” It is not my hand. It is Krsna’s hand. He has given us to use it. So if I don’t use it for Krsna, then it will be criminal. It will be criminal. Yajnarthe karmano ‘nyatra loko ‘yam karma-bandhanah. Simply for Krsna you have to work. And if you work for your sense gratification, then you will be entangled. This is called karma-bandhana. You will be entangled more and more. Yavan mano vai karmane saktam tavat na muncante deha-bandhat(?). So long we will be, I mean to say, sense-gratifying minded… Because everyone’s mind is absorbed in the thought of gratifying his own senses. So so long we shall be absorbed in this type of thoughts, then we have to accept a body, either human body or other body. There are 8,400,000 different types of forms and body. So we have got different types of desires also, because we are prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah. We are under the modes of material nature, and the material nature has got the modes, different modes: goodness, passion and ignorance. You mix up these three; three into three, it becomes nine. Nine into nine, it becomes eighty-one. Eighty-one into eight…, it increases. It increases. Therefore we see so many varieties of life, according to the mentality.
So if we work on our, according to the dictation of the mind, then we become entangled. And if we work under the dictation of Krsna, then we become free. This is the process of Krsna consciousness.
Thank you very much. (end)
731130SB.LA Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.15.20 Los Angeles, November 30, 1973
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada