Published on September 18th, 2023 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


Getting out of the mode of Ignorance (MP3 Audio)

In the beginning, in that Second Avenue, 26, when our morning prayer was going on, at seven, not very early, and so many other tenants, half-naked… Mr. Judah was our landlord. Mr. Judah, what is this going on? What is going on? Stop it. Stop it. Stop. So Mr. Judah used to say, No, no, they’ll not stop. I cannot say. You go to the police. So sometimes police were coming

Harikesa: “Every human being’s duration of life is maximum one hundred years. Out of these one hundred years, persons who cannot control the senses misuse half of them. Therefore such persons’ duration of life is fifty years. The other balance, fifty years, is completely lost because at night he sleeps eight to twelve hours.”


pumso varsa-satam hy ayus
tad-ardham cajitatmanah
nisphalam yad asau ratryam
sete ‘ndham prapitas tamah

Now, ayur-vyayah. Prahlada Maharaja has already explained how these foolish persons are simply wasting time for economic development: “I shall get money, and with money, dharma, artha, kama, I shall satisfy my senses.” This is going on, dharmartha-kama. Nobody is trying for moksa. Dharma-artha… They come to the temple just to become a dharmi, but the real purpose is: “My dear Lord, I am very poor man. Please give me some money.” Dharma, artha. And what he will do with money? Kama: “I shall satisfy my senses.” This is going on.

So Krishna gives them. Ye yatha mam prapadyante. It is not that Krsna does not give… Krsna satisfies always. For this reason, it is recommended that even if you have got some lusty desires to fulfill, still, you go to Krsna and He will satisfy it. Don’t go to other demigods. Kamais tais tair hrta-jnana yajanty anya-devatah. Generally people go to other demigod for fulfilling their lusty desires: “Mother, Goddess Kali, I am very great devotee of you. Kindly allow me to eat meat.” That’s all. Mother says, “All right, bring one black goat and offer me and then take prasadam.” This is meant for the meat-eaters. The purpose is to restrain him. Instead of purchasing meat from the slaughterhouse, the sastra says, “All right, you meat eat in this way.” This is restriction. This is not indulgence. Loke vyavaya-amisa-madya-seva nityastu jantuh nahi tatra codanah. To eat meat, to have sex life, amisa-madya-seva, and to drink intoxication, these things are naturally there, so why sastra should encourage them? “Yes, you can eat meat by offering puja, worship to Goddess Kali.” “Yes, you may have sex life by marrying.” In this way, they’re sastras. They are mentioned. But this is not encouraging. This is restraining, that if he is not married, he will enjoy sex life like cats and dogs. Therefore sastra says, “All right, don’t become cats and dog. Become a human being and get married and have your sex life under restrain.” Similarly, “If you are raksasa–you want to eat meat–don’t eat like raksasa. Better offer a goat to be sacrificed before Goddess Kali.” This is sastra. Because the goat will be benefited. Because it is offering his life before Goddess Kali, he will immediately get the body of human being, immediately promotion. He is benefited, and he has the right to kill this man. These are the injunction in the sastras.

So sastra never encouraging this, but those who are in the tamo-guna, in the darkness, just to raise them gradually to the sattva-guna, some concession is given. Just like government. Government opens liquor shop. The liquor shop is opened not to encourage. Nowadays, of course, the situation is different. But the fact is that if the government does not open liquor shop, these rascals will distill liquor every home. Therefore government gives some concession. These are concession. These are not required at all. For human being they are not required. Therefore we restrict, “No intoxication, no meat-eating…” It is not required. Simply we are habituated to indulge in these sinful activities. They are not required. To speak frankly, there is no necessity even for marrying. There is no necessity. If one can remain a brahmacari all through, that is a great benefit. Great benefit. Yan-maithunadi-grhamedhi-sukham hi tuccham. What is the benefit? It is increasing botheration. But they are trying to get out of botheration. Just like we see advertisement, “One, two, three–bas–no more children.” And other… “What I shall do?” “Now, kill, that’s all. Kill them by contraceptive method or directly. Don’t allow more than one, two, three children.” They understand that “This is botheration.” And the sastra also says, “Botheration.”

yan-maithunadi-grhamedhi-sukham hi tuccham
kanduyanena karayor iva duhkha-duhkham
trpyanti neha krpana bahu-duhkha-bhajah
kandutivan manasijam visaheta dhirah

“All right, I have begotten one child. I have to take care of, so much care always.” But, “All right, you have trouble, taken so much trouble. Stop here. No more.” “No, again.” Trpyanti neha krpana bahu-duhkha-bhajah. There’s so many botherations, but still, we do it practically. Why? It is said that ajitatmanah, cannot control the senses, become victimized, victims of sense enjoyment, ajitatmanah.

So Prahlada Maharaja is speaking of these ajitatmanah, those rascals who cannot control the senses. First their business is sleep as much as possible–twelve hours, fourteen hours. In the Western countries sometimes sixteen hours or twenty-four hours. In the beginning, in that Second Avenue, 26, when our morning prayer was going on, at seven, not very early, and so many other tenants, half-naked… Mr. Judah was our landlord. “Mr. Judah, what is this going on? What is going on? Stop it. Stop it. Stop.” So Mr. Judah used to say, “No, no, they’ll not stop. I cannot say. You go to the police.” So sometimes police were coming to stop us, but we did not stop. (laughter) So ajitatmanah. Ajitatmanah. Jitatmanah… The human life is meant for gaining victory over the senses. “No, better be victimized by the senses”–this is modern civilization. Modern civilization means the more you become victimized by senses, you are advanced. So here, the ajitatmanah, their first business is to eat voraciously and to sleep unlimitedly. This is ajitatmanah.

So this ajitatmanah in another place, Bhagavata, it is said, pasyatam atma-tattvam grhesu grha-medhinam. Nidraya hriyate naktam.

nidraya hryate naktam
vyavayena ca va vayah
apasyatam atma-tattvam
grhesu grha-medhinam

This family life, grhesu, grha-medhinam, who are very much attached, this is maya. Prahlada Maharaja, from the age of five years he condemned, hitvatma-patam grham andha-kupam: “The grha, this so-called family life, is a dark well.” We are thinking we are very happily living with nice wife and children and working very hard, getting money. But sastra says, “You are fallen in the dark well.” Grham andha-kupam. And “All right, let me remain here.” “No.” Atma-patam. If you remain in this way, then you will kill your soul. Atma-patam. Therefore in the Vedic civilization there is compulsory: “Get out.” Pancasordhvam vanam vrajet. “Now you are fifty years old past. Immediately get out.” “No, I have got so many duties. I have got this.” “No, no.” Vrajet, “compulsory.” This verb is used, vidhilin, where there is no argument; you must. Just like when natures calls you, you must do it, similarly… This is Vedic civilization. Not that unless you are killed or being shot down by somebody else, you are not leaving the grham andha-kupam. This is not Vedic civilization. Vedic civilization is that brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha, sannyasa. You must be prepared, especially the higher castes, especially the brahmanas. The brahmanas must observe the four adhyatmika principle: brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha… Brahmana, they do not go even to the grhastha life. Remain brahmacari. But even he goes, only for twenty-five years. It is said, pumso varsa-satam hy ayuh. So divide this varsa-satam, hundred years: twenty-five years, brahmacari; twenty-five years, grhastha; twenty-five years, vanaprastha; and last twenty-five years, sannyasa. That is real civilization, not that no brahmacari, no vanaprastha, no sannyasa, simply grhastha. They are not grhastha. They are called grhamedhi. Apasyatam atma-tattvam grhesu grha-medhinam. There are two words, grhamedhi and grhastha. Grhastha means that is only for twenty-five years, not more than that. That is grhastha. And those who are grhastha up to the point of death, or unless he is killed, that is grhamedhi. Grhamedhi means he has made his center the wife and family. Just like one cow is, I mean, tied with the rope and with a fixed up wood, and he is going round this way, and he is thinking that he is going round the world. Yes. So grhamedhi means he has fixed up his center, the wife and children, and going round throughout the whole life, no ending. They are called grhamedhi. And grhastha means grhastha-asrama. Grhamedhi-asrama nei. Grhamedhi, only grhamedhi. And grhastha-asrama. Grhastha-asrama means it is as good as other asrama, sannyasa-asrama, grhastha-asrama. If he lives according to the regulative principle, that is asrama. That is also not for all the time, only for twenty-five years.

So those who do not observe these rules and regulations, they are called ajitatmanah, uncontrolled victims of senses, victimized by the senses, ajitatmanah. So their business is to sleep as much as possible. They are never practiced to get up early in the morning. Unless they are bound or knot(?), they cannot take to this practice.

These are ajitatmanah. So nisphalam. These ajitatmanah means they are passing their days without any benefit, nisphalam, without any result. Human life is meant for good result.

Arthadam adhruvam. Durlabham manusam janma tad apy adhruvam arthadam. That is the Prahlada Maharaja’s description. That is the fact. The human life is so valuable, and I shall waste it simply by sleeping? Therefore the Gosvamis, our predecessor gurus, they have shown. Nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau. They conquered over these things, nidra, sleeping… Nidra is very dangerous according to Vedic civilization. It is simply waste of time. If one is not serious about the value of this human form of life he may waste his time by sleeping. But no. The… If we follow our predecessors, our Gosvamis, who were all ministers… But they came to Vrndavana to practice… What? Nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau, to conquer over sleeping, eating and mating. And coming to Vrndavana, if we indulge in that way, then what is the use of coming to Vrndavana? Go to hell and live there. So Vrndavana life is that. You have to practice nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau. That is wanted.

So those who are ajitatmanah, although they have got one hundred years’ age, still, fifty years they are wasting at least because they will sleep at night twelve hours. So fifty years wasted. And the other fifty years? That will be described in the next verse: twenty years by sporting, because a man, a boy, up to… It is natural, every country. They are students. Instead of becoming brahmacari… Brahmacari guru-grhe vasan dantah. Instead of becoming santa, danta, very peaceful, they are indulging in sporting. This is introduced in India also.

I have seen in Calcutta many young men. At twelve o’clock, no, they are playing football. Why? There is no engagement. What he’ll do? Unemployment. There is no employment. Because education means to become servant, to write one application and go office to office: “Sir, give me some service.” “No, no, no. No vacancy. Get out.” This is education. After taking the M.A., B.A. degrees, they have no employment. So what they’ll do? They’ll form party of anarchist and Naxalite and play football, because they must have some engagement. Oh, this is advancement of civilization. Instead of utilizing the valuable form of human life, there is always wasting. And at night they are sleeping, and at noon they are playing football, you see, wasting in this time. So this will be explained next verse, mugdhasya balye kaisore kridato yati vimsatih: “By so-called sporting life, twenty years passed, fifty years by sleeping, and twenty years by football.” Then seventy years passed. And jaraya grasta-dehasya yaty akalpasya vimsatih. And when he is old man: “Here is pain. Here is rheumatism. Here is…,” what is called, “diabetes and so on, so on.” So by treatment, by blood examination, by this…, vimsati, another twenty years. So twenty years sporting, twenty years diabetes and fifty years sleeping–then what is left? Where is the opportunity for Krsna consciousness? This is modern civilization.

So we are trying to save people from this modern civilization. This is… Modern means in this age it is, excessively has increased, but this process was existent. This is the way of material life. So in the Satya-yuga it was less, in the Treta-yuga it was more, and the Dvapara-yuga, it is still more, and Kali-yuga, it is full. This is the difference of ages. Therefore kalau, in this age, nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha. Harer nama harer nama harer nama eva kevalam. Kalau sankirtanaih prayaih yajanti hi sumedhasah. There is no hope for liberation from this material bondage except chanting this Hare Krsna mantra. Other things, it is not possible. If you want to revive the old Vedic civilization, brahmacari and grhastha, vanaprastha, and brahmana, ksatriya… These are all spoiled. Everything is spoiled. Then what is the position? Kalau sudra samabhavah. In this age simply they are sudras. “So how the sudras will be delivered? By your Krsna conscious…” Yes. They’ll be. Not only sudras, those who are less than sudras. Kirata-hunandhra-pulinda-pulkasa abhira-sumbha yavanah khasadayah ye ‘nye ca papa. Not only sudras, the less than the pancamas, the fifth-grade, sixth-grade, seventh-grade, tenth-grade, all rascals and all sinful men, they will be all delivered simply by Krsna consciousness. Papi tapi yata chilo hari-name uddharilo. Take this chanting of Hare Krsna and your life will be saved.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya! Haribol! (end)

751208SB.VRN Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.6.6 Vrndavana, December 8, 1975

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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About the Author

Founded the Hare Krishna Movement in 1966 in New York. In only 11 years he spread the movement all over the world. He wrote more than 80 books including Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Sri Isopanisad. Prabhupada's books constitute a complete library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature and culture.

7 Responses to Getting out of the mode of Ignorance (MP3 Audio)

  1. Aman Pandey says:

    Ignorance means darkness and hellish life. Hearing Prabhupada and chanting Hare Krishna brings one out of the mode of ignorance. Haribol!

  2. ashish says:

    hare krishna
    dear sir,
    please post your article videos audio and other on you tube it will become more easy to connect with you..
    hare krishna

  3. Mages says:

    changed my life style
    Thank you

  4. Mages says:

    benefits me a lot

  5. Ananta Kumar Kha says:

    many like me are wishing that you open a school for teaching sanskrit in skcon Centre, Dhaka. Becouse, in this rezion, that is in bangladesh, there is no school for learning sanskrit. If you open a sanskrit school, i think your Gita teaching course will get a dimentional turn.

    Todays literate society, specially young generation is wishing to enter into Gita or like wise text through learning Sanskrit, to upgrade themselves, to upgrade their coming generation and to participate Harakrishna movement, and this may assist you to strengthen your mission started by Sri-la- proovu pad.

  6. Ananta Kumar Kha says:

    I think audio version on the full Srimadbhagbata should be published. Many are now wishing to learn reciting Srimad Bhagbatam. You have already published the Audio of Gita, many like me, have been benefited.
    Its our earnest request to you open a school in Dhaka for teaching Sanskrit.

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