Published on August 15th, 2022 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada | Full size image11
Faith–You Can Find It In Everyday Life
I cited the other day, just like we go to a barber shop, and we spread our neck, and the barber has got a sharp razor in his hand. If he likes, he can at once cut my throat. He has got the weapon ready. But because I have got faith he’ll not do it- he’ll simply shave my beard or mustaches… So this faith is required in every activity. Without faith we cannot step forward even in our daily life.
Bhagavad-gita 4.39-5.3 — New York, August 24, 1966
Prabhupada: Just like the roaring of a lion drives away the big elephants from the forest- whenever there is roaring of a lion, even the big animals like elephants, they go away- similarly, this vibration of transcendental sound will cleanse the elephants of dirtiness in the mind. We have accumulated dirtiness in our mind after many, many births, and that is a huge garbage. So this transcendental sound is just like the roaring of lion, and it will clear all the garbages accumulated.
sraddhaval labhate jnanam
jnanam labdhva param santim
Now Lord Krsna says that faithful, those who are faithful, they can acquire transcendental knowledge. This subject matter we have discussed in the last meeting, that without faith we cannot make any progress. In any field of activities we must have faith. For example, I cited the other day, just like we go to a barber shop, and we spread our neck, and the barber has got a sharp razor in his hand. If he likes, he can at once cut my throat. He has got the weapon ready. But because I have got faith he’ll not do it- he’ll simply shave my beard or mustaches… So this faith is required in every activity. Without faith we cannot step forward even in our daily life. So if we have got so, so faith in ordinary dealings, don’t you think that we must have very good faith when we are making progress in spiritual line?
But faith should not be blind. Blind faith is useless. Now we have already discussed that one should go to the spiritual master with surrender and question and service- three things. First of all, for acquiring knowledge we have to find out the suitable personality, and if we are fortunate enough to find out such suitable personality, then first thing is to surrender. And that, after that surrender, there are questions. One must be very intelligent to put questions to the spiritual master. Without questions you cannot make progress. So blind faith is never required, neither questions should be in a mood of challenge. That should not. Questions or answers should be just to understand. And that should be accompanied with service. This is the mood. Whole Vedic process… Nobody can deny in the Vedic process that there is no need of spiritual master. There is. So sraddhavan. Therefore the faithful, the faithful can acquire knowledge.
And tat-parah. Tat-parah means we have to follow the faith favorably, not unfavorably. Just like the physician gives us some prescription, and he says that “You do this, and do not do,” so we have to follow the do-not’s and the do’s. In every field of action there are certain don’t’s and certain do’s. So we have to follow. Tat-parah samyatendriyah. And result of knowledge is that one should be restrained in the matter of sense gratification. You cannot become progressive in spiritual life if you indulge in unrestricted sense gratification because sense gratification is the cause of our bondage in this material world. And the whole treatment, progressive in spiritual life, is regulated. Of course, we have got senses, and the senses require some satisfaction. That is all right. There is no question of stopping the senses. It is not possible. If you want to stop the work of the senses, that is not possible. Simply we have to purify the senses.
Just like when you are diseased, your senses are under certain symptoms of the disease. Just like I am feeling the tongue. Whatever I am eating, the tongue is tasting bitter. Bitter. That is the symptom of my disease. So we haven’t got to cut the tongue altogether, but we have to make treatment so that we can taste properly. There is practical example. One who is suffering from jaundice, if you give him something sweet, sugar candy, he’ll taste it bitter. Although sugar candy is not bitter, but due to his illness, due to his jaundice disease… You’ll… You can make a practical test of it. But at the same time, that sugar candy is the medicine for jaundice. If a man is suffering from jaundice, if you simply give him water and sugar candy… You just moisten sugar candy at night, and just early in the morning you get a glass of sweet sugar candy water. Oh, within very short time you’ll be cured from jaundice disease.
Similarly, this restriction, do-not… When we make spiritual life progressive, there are certain restriction, and they may seem at the present stage very bitter. Very bitter. But that is the way. We have to accept. Therefore it is called samyatendriyah. And if we can make progress in that way, restrained sense gratification and following the rules and regulations, then we are sure to acquire the knowledge.
Labdhva jnanam param santim. And when you… When you are situated in that perfectional stage of knowledge, then you get param santi, perfect peacefulness, perfect peacefulness of mind. Param santim adhigacchati. Now, these are the prescriptions laid down by Krsna, Lord Krsna.
So we must have faith in Krsna. Krsna is not ordinary man like me. I am speaking not from my account. I am speaking on account of Krsna. So Krsna is accepted as the supreme authority by great stalwarts, great philosophers, religionists, and if you have any respect for Indian spiritual culture, you may know it that in India, whatever sect they may be… There are many sects, but every one, each and every one, all, all sects, including the Mohammedans, they have got great respect for Krsna.
Now, the Krsna Janmastami is just approaching on the 8th, September, the birthday of Krsna we observe in India, and probably we may also make a program for observing the birthday ceremony here. So you’ll find that just like in your country in Christmas day you all observe the birthday of Lord Christ, similarly, Krsna, the birthday of Krsna, will be observed in India, cent percent people.
So Krsna is a great authority, undoubtedly. That is accepted. So here Krsna gives us a prescription, and if we try to follow, then surely we shall achieve the stage of perfect knowledge and the result will be that we shall be perfectly peaceful in life. Bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram [Bg. 5.29]. That is the perfect knowledge when we understand that the Supreme Lord, He is the supreme enjoyer- bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram- He is the supreme proprietor. And if we think very, I mean to say, scrutinizingly with cool head, then we can understand that everything, whatever there is in our presence, the actual proprietor is God, or Krsna. We are not proprietor. We have got the right to use them, the things which are given by God to us. We shall have the right to use them, but we are not proprietor. So that is real knowledge.
ajnas casraddadhanas ca
nayam loko ‘sti na paro
na sukham samsayatmanah
So this faith is very essential, and one who hasn’t got such faith, for him, it is stated here that vinasyati. Vinasyati means he is put into the wilderness of this material world. Now, what is that wilderness? Oh, there are 8,400,000 different species of life. Now, if we miss this opportunity, this human form of life… It is the developed, conscious life, and if we miss the opportunity, then we shall be again thrown into the cycle of birth of death in that eight million four-hundred-thousand’s of species of life. So there is comparative[?]. Vinasyati. Vinasyati means where you shall be put up, oh, there is no certainty. So you must make proper utilization.
So one who hasn’t got faith, for him it is stated, nayam loko ‘sti na paro na sukham samsayatmanah: “Anyone who has not faith, for him there is no profit even during this life and what to speak of the next life?”
atmavantam na karmani
Now, Lord Krsna says, “O Dhananjaya, Arjuna, anyone who is working in the Krsna consciousness, or yoga…” Yoga means God conscious, or Krsna conscious. Everything, anything, any attempt, which we perform, which we do for spiritual realization is called yoga. Yoga. So there are many different kinds of yoga, but they have been divided into three: the jnana-yoga, karma-yoga, and bhakti-yoga. Jnana-yoga means realization of self by culture of philosophical discussion. That is called jnana-yoga. And dhyana-yoga… Oh. And karma-yoga… Karma-yoga means that the ordinary persons who are engaged in working…
That we have got experience, that these people in New York City, they are working day and night. And karma means work and get some profit. That is called karma. Karma… Nobody is going to work without any remuneration. Everyone is working for getting some profit. That is called karma. But that ordinary karma and karma-yoga is different. You can engage yourself in ordinary work, but, at the same time, you can become a yogi. How that is possible? When your consciousness is changed. Your consciousness… Now I am thinking that I am working for my maintenance or for my family maintenance or for my society’s maintenance or for my country’s maintenance. You can go on, widening. Even if you work for international maintenization, maintenance, still, it is not perfect. Even if you work for the whole planetary system, that is imperfect. But when you work for Krsna, Krsna consciousness, that is the most perfect work. So we have to work with Krsna consciousness. That is the perfection of life.
Just like several times I have discussed this point, that a big tree, if you have to pour water, then you have to pour water on the root. The tree has millions and billions of leaves, and if you go on pouring water in each and every leaf, neither you’ll be able to pour water to all the leaves, neither it is possible to maintain the tree by pouring water on the leaves. You have to pour water on the root. Similarly, our work, our endeavor, whatever we may do, good work or bad work, if it is not done on account of Krsna, then that will remain always imperfect. Always imperfect. Therefore it is advised, yoga-sannyasta-karmanam: “You just give up your work or place your working capacity, energy…” We have got some energy. We’ll work or we’ll do anything with our energy. So spiritual self-realization means that energy should be transferred for Krsna, or God. That’s all. Energy. We have got some stock of energy. That energy should be transferred. You can transfer that energy in so many ways. In whatever way you can do it, it doesn’t matter. You have to transfer your energy for Krsna.
Just like Arjuna. Arjuna was military man. He had his energy- to fight. So he fought for Krsna. That means he engaged his energy for Krsna. He did not change his military position. So we haven’t got to change our position. Simply we have to transfer the energy for Krsna. That is called yoga-sannyasta-karmanam.
Not that we cease to work. Work you must. Without work, nothing can be done. But if you spare your energy in that way, for Krsna’s work, then yoga-sannyasta-karmanam jnana-sanchinna-samsayam. And in that position… Why I shall engage my energy to Krsna? That requires knowledge. That is real knowledge, that “Why? Why I shall…?” Because you are a part and parcel of Krsna, therefore you are meant for. Your energy is for Krsna, nothing else.
Several times we have discussed this point, that this hand, this work of my hand, is a kind of energy of my body. Now, this hand is meant for working for this body. Similarly, mamaivamso jiva-bhutah jiva-loke sanatanah [Bg. 15.7]. The living entities, they are all parts and parcels of the Supreme, and therefore the energy… That is … That energy also part and parcel. That energy also part of Krsna. Krsna has got unlimited energy, and our energy is just a part of energy. That’s all, part of energy. Therefore our energy should be spent for Krsna. Jnana-sanchinna-samsayam. And that, I mean to say, utilizing the energy for Krsna should be based on pure knowledge, pure knowledge that how… What is that pure knowledge? That “I am meant for Krsna” or I am meant for God, so I should utilize my energy for that purpose.” Atmavantam na karmani nibadhnanti dhananjaya. So anyone who is working in this way, then he hasn’t got to suffer the consequence, good or bad, for any work. He is free from the reaction of this work.
chittvainam samsayam yogam
So Arjuna was declining to fight. Now Krsna is advising him that “Now you can pick up your fight for fighting,” that tasmad ajnana-sambhutam samsthana… “Because I have spoken to you the mode of working. Your energy… You’re fighting not for your family, but you are fighting on My account, or… Therefore you have nothing to doubt. You can break out and just surrender[?].” Then Arjuna says,
sannyasam karmanam krsna
punar yogam ca samsasi
yac chreya etayor ekam
tan me bruhi suniscitam
Krsna says, er, Arjuna says, “My dear Krsna,” that “You have now spoken about the sannyasam.” Sannyasam means to give up the reaction of our work. “Then again, You are asking me to work.” Sannyasam karmanam krsna: “Then You are speaking of the yoga, karma-yoga.”
So that is quite possible. When the spiritual master instructs to the disciple on different subject matters, sometimes the disciple becomes puzzled which of them has to be accepted and which has to be carried and which has to be rejected. In the beginning, such, I means to say, puzzling things appear. So it is appearing to Krsna, er, to Arjuna that Krsna has spoken to him on various subjects, about sannyasa… Sannyasa means renounced order.
Just like we are in sannyasa. This is called renounced order of life, and in the Vedic system there are four divisions of social order: brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha, and sannyasa. Brahmacari means from the beginning or from five years to twenty-five years one has to live in the house of the spiritual master for being trained up. That is called brahmacari.
And after one has full training, then he comes home and he gets himself married. That is called grhastha, householder life.
Then, after the age of fifty years, he leaves. He gives up the family, not exactly gives up family connection, just tries to remain aloof from the family. So the husband and wife, they, entrusting the whole thing to the grown-up boys, they go out of home and travel in so many holy places and, after traveling, say, for six months, again comes home for, remains for one month, and then again goes away. That is the… That stage is called vanaprastha.
Then, when the man is completely detached from family affection, he takes sannyasa. This is called sannyasa. We have no connection with family. So sannyasam karmanam krsna punar yogam ca samsasi.
So these things have been discussed in the previous chapters, so Arjuna says that “You have spoken so many subject matters, so there are so many doubts arising in my mind, so kindly…” Yac chreya etayor ekam: “So out of so many things, whichever is the best process…” Yac chreya etayor ekam tan me bruhi suniscitam: “Kindly speak to me that one with certainty.” This is called pariprasna.
Now, the spiritual master is speaking, and the disciple is hearing, so as soon as there are some doubts and puzzling, so you should at once place the matter before the spiritual master to get it cleared. So this is the process which Arjuna is following. So he has heard and, up to Fourth Chapter so many things. Now he has got some doubt. He is placing before Krsna and asking Him, “Out of so many things, please let me know which is exactly I have to follow.”
Now, sri-bhagavan uvaca. Bhagavan uvaca. Krsna, Bhagavan. Bhagavan means… There are definition. There is definition of Bhagavan. Bhagavan means the Personality of Godhead. And who is Godhead? That is described in the Vedic literature.
viryasya yasasah sriyah
sannam bhaga itingana
Now, aisvarya is an opulence. Aisvaryasya samagrasya. Entire opulence. Aisvaryasya samagrasya viryasya. Viryasya means strength, entire strength. And yasah. Yasah means fame. So entire fame. Yasasah sriyah. Sriyah means… Sri means beauty, entire beauty. And jnana. And jnana means knowledge, entire knowledge. And vairagya, entire renunciation. These things, whenever you find, wherever you find in complete, He is God. He is God. These six items: entire opulence, entire strength, entire fame, entire beauty, entire knowledge, and entire renunciation, six. Sannam bhaga itingana.
So if you are searching after God, so here is the definition of God. You just apply this definition, and when you find that here is the perfect application of these six things, then He is God. So entire opulence… There are many rich men in New York City, but nobody can say that “I am the proprietor, entire. I have got the… I am the proprietor of the entire bank balance.” No. Nobody can say. Similarly, entire strength, entire fame, entire knowledge.
Now, so far this Bhagavad-gita is concerned, you’ll find the entire knowledge in it. If you study Bhagavad-gita… Of course, so far entire knowledge, entire strength, when Krsna was present, He showed it. So that is stated in the history and the Mahabharata, in the Srimad-Bhagavatam and many other Vedic literatures. They are stated.
So suppose you do not believe, that “Oh, they have been written, so many things for Krsna, just to make Him very great.” You may not believe that. But at least you have got in your presence one thing- this Bhagavad-gita. This is spoken by Krsna. And you’ll find here entire knowledge. Entire knowledge. Any knowledge of the world, and knowledge- even material, spiritual, social, political, scientific, philosophical- any knowledge you’ll find entirely in this Bhagavad-gita. So at least this is the proof that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead because there is no other parallel book like this Bhagavad-gita. Therefore the Bhagavad-gita is accepted and adored by all classes of men and all over the world.
Why not? Because Krsna claims that bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram [Bg. 5.29]. Although Krsna appeared in India, He does not say that “I am Indian.” He says, sarva-loka-mahesvaram: “I am the proprietor of the entire planetary system.” Then again, one place you’ll find, sarva-yonisu: “The entire living species of life, not only humankind,” He says, aham bija-pradah pita, “I am the father, the entire living entities.” So Krsna claims because He is God. So He has to claim like that. He is not any particular country’s man or particular society’s man. Krsna means all-attractive. He is for anyone. Therefore He is Bhagavan.
So here it is stated, bhagavan uvaca: “The Personality of Godhead said, answered.” What He answered? That
sannyasah karma-yogas ca
tayos tu karma-sannyasat
Now, Krsna says that “Either you renounce this world, either be you in the renounced order of life”- just like we are in renounced order of life- “or you are in ordinary working capacity,” that “they are equally beneficial.” But… Tayos tu. But if we examine on neutral position, then Krsna recommends that better than this sannyasa is to work, is better. Tayos tu karma-sannyasat karma-yogo visisyate.
This is very nice point. Try to understand. The sannyasi… Just like we are sannyasi. According to our Vedic system, we are allowed to beg alms from the householders. The social system, the varnasrama institution, is so made that the brahmacari, vanaprastha, and the sannyasi, and the grhastha… Grhastha means the householder. Now, the brahmacari will beg from the householder, the vanaprastha will beg from the householder, and the sannyasi also beg from the householder. So householder is the only earning member who will feed all these three different status of social orders. But in the Kali-yuga, in this age, some unscrupulous persons, they are taking advantage of this dress because this dress is not very costly. Any kind of cotton cloth, you take, two paisa worth from, or two cent worth, and color, and you get it orange-colored and put on. Because in this age nobody is inquiring whether he is actually a sannyasi or not, simply by dress… Of course, the dress is the badge.
Now, people are taking advantage of this and they misusing the position. Therefore Krsna, I mean to say, foresaw that this will happen in future because He was speaking this Bhagavad-gita five thousand years before. So, as He is full knowledge, entire knowledge, because He is God, He knows what will happen in the future. Therefore he gave preference to working order than this sannyasa order. Lord Caitanya also, He also said that in this age sannyasa is not recommended.
And if you question me that “Swamiji, why you have taken sannyasa?” You may ask that question. Yes. So I may tell you frankly that I had no desire to accept this sannyasa. I never dreamt in my householder… I was a householder. I never dreamt. But circumstantially I was forced to accept the sannyasa dress just to become a preacher. You see? That is a long history. Sannyasa, (chuckles) but I was forced some way or other to accept the sannyasa. Of course, as far as possible, I am following the rules and regulations of a sannyasi, as far as possible.
So here Krsna says that tayos tu karma… Everything can be utilized for the ultimate business. Everything can be utilized. Krsna says. So there is no difference. Why there is no difference? If your ultimate goal, aim, is Krsna conscious, then either you become Krsna conscious in a dress of sannyasi or as an ordinary man, oh, there is no difference. There is no difference because your aim is the same.
Just like… I’ll give you one example, very nice example. In India there are different dresses of woman according to his [her] different position. There is in kama-sastra, in Manu-samhita, they are mentioned. Of course, nowadays nobody is following. Just like by dress you can understand “Here is a woman who has got his [her] husband, her husband at home. Oh, here is a woman who has lost her husband. And here is an woman whose husband is out of home. Oh, here is a woman. Oh, she is prostitute.” Simply by dress one can understand. Because to address woman is difficult job, so the society sanctioned different dresses. So according to that Vedic literature, when the husband is at home a woman is recommended to dress herself very nicely, very beautifully, just to enliven the husband. The husband, if he sees the wife nicely dressed and nicely, beautifully looking, then he takes some encouragement. And similarly, a woman, when her husband is away from home, she should dress very niggardly, very niggardly. Now, you find that the dress… At one time the woman is dressing niggardly, and at one time the woman is dressing very beautifully and nicely. But what is the purpose? The purpose is the husband.
Similarly, if our purpose is Krsna consciousness, either I dress myself in this orange color or either you dress in coat, pant, and shirt, oh, there is no question; there is no difference. There is no difference. So the… Because the aim is the same. Everyone combinedly, we have formed a society to work combinedly. Oh, there is no restriction that “Only these orange-colored sannyasis will be allowed in the sannyasi and not the white dress, a man in coat-pants,” no. That is not purpose. If the purpose is that we have to become Krsna conscious- we have to work combinedly in Krsna consciousness- there is no question of changing the dress, neither you haven’t got to renounce your present position.
There is another instance in a Bengali poetry, grhe va vanete thake, sada gauranga bole dake, that “A man may be situated as a householder or a man may be situated as a renounced order in life. That doesn’t matter. If he is attached with Krsna consciousness, he is the perfect man.” So here is the indication. “So Arjuna, you are asking what is the difference between the karma-yoga and sannyasa. Oh. So there is no such difference. Better if you become a karma-yogi.” Karma-yoga, meaning “You simply work for Krsna.” “Then you are better than a sannyasa.” Because a sannyasi is living at the expense of the society, but a man who is fully alert that “Whatever I am earning and whatever I am doing, oh, it is all meant for Krsna,” oh, he is the practical man. He’s a practical man.
Just like Arjuna. Arjuna was not a sannyasi. He, after hearing Bhagavad-gita, he did not take up the renounced order of life and dressed himself in orange-colored dress and went away from the battlefield, no. He remained the same man, the same military man, but he became the most perfect Krsna conscious man. So same principle was there. Therefore here Lord Krsna says, sannyasah karma-yogas ca nihsreyasa-karav ubhau: “Either you take sannyasa or you remain in your position, that doesn’t matter. You can attain the highest perfection from any position, provided you are Krsna conscious.” That’s all. Jneyah sa nitya-sannyasi yo na dvesti na kanksati. Hear how nicely Krsna says. Jneyah sa nitya-sannyasi. Just try to understand. That person is always a sannyasi- not by dress but by his actual activities. What? Na dvesti na kanksati. “He does not, I mean to say, hate anything, and he does not desire anything.” These two qualifications. He does not hate anything, and he does not desire anything.
Suppose I am working. So suppose I am washing dishes. Oh, so that doesn’t matter. I do not hate. Of course, in your country it is very laudable that you can accept any kind of work. It is very good. The same thing is confirmed. There is no question of hating any work. Dignity of labor is always nice. So na dvesti na kanksati. But after working, the result he does not take. Suppose by doing some lower class of work I get some profit. If that is engaged in Krsna consciousness, then I am sannyasi- because I don’t hate, but I offer the result to Krsna. Oh.
Just you take the example of Arjuna always. In the beginning he was hating fighting. He was hating: “Oh, I cannot fight. This fighting with my kinsmen, it is not possible. I am not…” He was hating. But when he understood Bhagavad-gita, he took up that fighting; he gave up his hating. But the result? Na kanksati: he never desired the result. Krsna ordered to fight. He fought. That’s all.
This is real sannyasa, that he does not act for his own account, for his sense gratification, but he works… Never mind. He does not hate an work. “Any sort of work I am prepared to do, and the result I’ll have to offer to Krsna”- this is called real sannyasa. So Krsna gives the… Jneyah sa nitya-sannyasi. Nitya means eternally, not for the time being, eternally. Nitya-sann…, yo na dvesti. He does not hate any kind of work, but na kanksati: he does not desire for his own, se…, visaya, enjoying the result. Nirdvandvo hi maha-baho sukham bandhat pramucyate: Oh, “That sort of sannyasi is always happy, and he is a liberated person.” He’s a liberated person.
I think, next we shall talk on, next meeting. If you have got any question, you can ask. [break]
…summary is that if you work Krsna consciousness without any hate and only for Krsna’s service, that is the highest perfectional stage of life. That is highest perfectional stage of life. (end)