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"What To Ask From God" BY SRILA PRABHUPADA

Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)dharmasya hy apavargyasyanartho 'rthayopakalpatenarthasya dharmaikantasyakamo labhaya hi smrtahTranslation: "All occupational engagements, or dharmas, are certainly meant for ultimate liberation. They should never be performed for material gain. Furthermore, one who is engaged in the ultimate occupational service, or dharma should never use material gain to cultivate sense gratification."Prabhupada: So dharma we have described. Dharma means occupational duty. Just like according to Vedic culture, we are supposed to follow the varnasrama-dharma. It has become very ambiguous at the present moment, Hindu dharma. There is no such thing as Hindu dharma mentioned in the Vedic literature. We don't find either in the Bhagavad-gita or Srimad-Bhagavatam or any authorized Vedic literature Hindu dharma. Unfortunately, in India it has become very prominent, Hindu dharma, something hodgepodge. Real, our real Vedic dharma is varnasrama-dharma. That is mentioned in every Vedic literature -- in Puranas, in Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita, in Ramayana, Mahabharata.So... Just like in the Bhagavad-gita it is said, catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. Krsna says, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that "These four principles, catur-varnya, four varnas: brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya and sudra, maya srstam, it is created by Me." But people are not interested in God's creation. But without this division of human society... A class of men should be brahmana, simply interested in knowledge. Actually, that is going on. Some class of men in the human society, they are engaged in broadcasting knowledge, scientific knowledge. They are supposed to be on the brahminical qualification because to distribute knowledge mean must have good brain, must have good learning, education. Then there is question of distributing knowledge. A fool, rascal cannot distribute. Then next class, the politicians, administrative class, they are under the guidance of the intelligent class. They administer to keep the society in peaceful condition, in order. The next class, vaisya, the productive class. There must be business, trade, production, agriculture; otherwise how man will live? And the sudra class, general class, worker class, they have neither brain nor administrative power, nor can produce anything, but they can work under the direction of some higher authority. Paricaryatmakam karma sudra-karma svabhava-jam. Sudras.So here we have discussed that everyone can cultivate his particular type of occupational duty with the aim for attaining ultimate salvation. Because the human life is meant for salvation, to get free from the bondage of repetition of birth, death... But the modern civilized men or the so-called intelligent, intellectual class of men, they have no such information. Therefore they have been described in the Bhagavad-gita as mudhah, mayayapahrta-jnanah.na mam duskrtino mudhahprapadyante naradhamahmayayapahrta-jnanaasuram bhavam asritah[Bg. 7.15]Asuri-bhava, asuri-bhava means simply sense gratification. That is asuri-bhava. There is no other ambition. So practically, modern society is going on on the asuri-bhava. They have rejected God consciousness, and they're simply interested in sense gratification. Asuri-bhavam asritah. Therefore, in spite of all educational advancement... They're very much proud of having big, big degrees, but Bhagavad-gita says, mayayapahrta-jnanah. Maya has taken their knowledge, taken away. They have been stolen, because they have no real knowledge. Real knowledge is how to get freedom from repetition of birth and death. They do not believe in the next life. They think simply... Big, big professors, I have talked, especially in Russia. They think that "So long this body is there, you enjoy sense gratification to the utmost," the Carvaka theory. This was also cultured long ago in India.rnam krtva ghrtam pibet yavaj jivet sukham jivetbhasmi-bhutasya dehasya kutah punar agamano bhavet"Why you are thinking of next birth? When this body is burnt into ashes, everything is finished." That is Carvaka theory, atheistic. That is going on still. The Carvaka class of men are always there.So I have talked with so many big professors in Russia, and their theory is that "After finishing this body, everything is finished." But (if) everything is finished, then why you are working so hard, if everything will be finished? They... Their, their theory is different. That is asuric theory, asuric theory. They do not believe in the self, they do not believe in God, they do not believe in the next birth, although these are facts. Simply a sober brain with cool head, one can understand. But these are facts. They're taking risk only. Now, by ordinary common sense knowledge, if I say, "There is no next birth," that is not authoritative. Because authoritative knowledge is... Suppose from Bhagavad-gita, next life is accepted. Tatha dehantara-praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati [Bg. 2.13]. The beginning of Bhagavad-gita is to teach that soul is eternal, it is migrating from one body to another, so there is next life. That is also authoritative knowledge. But if somebody says that "There is no birth," that is not authoritative. That is a layman's statement.So a layman can put up his own theory in so many ways. Then what shall be the conclusion? The conclusion should be to take authoritative knowledge from authorities -- one who is beyond the four defects of common man; one who does not make any mistake. One who is not illusioned, one who does not cheat, and one whose senses are perfect. We are devoid of all these qualifications. We commit mistakes; we are illusioned; we cheat; and at the same time, our senses are imperfect. So how we can give by speculation perfect knowledge? That is not possible. Therefore, our principle, Vedic principle, is to receive knowledge from the perfect. So-called scientists, so-called philosophers... Because basically they're imperfect, how they can give you perfect? They can speak something, "Perhaps it it like that," "Maybe like that," "Perhaps it was like that." All their theories are like that. But actual fact is different. Actual fact we get from the Supreme Person, Krsna, that dehantara-praptih, tatha dehantara-praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati [Bg. 2.13].Dhirah, one who is sober. There are two classes of men: dhira and adhira. Dhira means sober, and adhira means mad after sense gratification. That is called adhira. So our Krsna consciousness movement is so nice, dhiradhira. What is that? Krsnotkirtana-gana-nartana-parau premamrtambho-nidhi dhiradhira-jana-priyau. It is pleasing both to the dhira and the adhira. Those who are sober, they will understand how great this movement is. And even those who are adhira, they will also appreciate because our program is very nice. "Come here, chant Hare Krsna, dance and take prasadam." Who will not accept this? And actually, everyone is liking, "All right, let us go to this society, chant for some time, dance, and take prasadam." And gradually, he becomes spiritualized, then appreciates, then he becomes a member. So it is pleasing for the adhira also.So here, whatever is spoken in this Bhagavata statement by Suta Gosvami, dharmasya hy apavargyasya... Everyone is trying to become engaged in particular type of occupational duty. Suppose one man is professor or one man is engineer or one man is medical man, anyone. Everyone has to do work for livelihood. That's a fact. You cannot live in this material world without working. In the Bhagavad-gita Krsna advised Arjuna that "You have to work. Without working, you cannot," I mean to say, "keep yourself, your life and soul and body together. You have to work." Sarira-yatrapi na prasiddhyet. Sarira-yatra. So you have to work. Krsna never said... Krsna is... Arjuna is a great devotee of Krsna. Just imagine, he's talking personally with Krsna, and Krsna is personally helping him. How much exalted he is! But still, Krsna is advising to work. Krsna never said, "Oh, Arjuna, you need not fight. You sit down silently. I shall..." Actually, He was doing everything. At last He said, nimitta-matram bhava savyasacin: "You are simply instrumental, and I am doing everything." So Krsna does for the devotee everything, but it does not mean that he will sit down. It is not. This is not our Krsna consciousness movement that idle, creating some idlement. You must work for Krsna's sake. That is the program. Not for sense gratification. That is called dharma.Here it is said, dharmasya hy apavargyasya. Hy apavargyasya, apavarga. This pavarga I have explained several times. In Sanskrit grammar there are vargas, ka-varga, ca-varga, ta-varga, ta-varga, pa-varga -- five vargas. So pa-varga means pa pha ba bha ma, five letters. Pa means parisrama, hard labor. And pha means foaming. Because when you work very hard, from your mouth some foam comes out. Sometimes we see in the body of the horse, or any animal. Pa, pha, ba. Ba means vyarthata, frustration. Instead of, in spite of working very hard, there is frustration in this material world. Pa, pha, ba, bha. Bha means bhaya, fearfulness. Although I am working very hard, still, I am fearful what will happen. I am not sure that things will be done properly, in spite of my working very hard. Pa, pha, ba, bha, and ma. Ma means mrtyu, death. Working so hard, day and night, and still, there is death. Working so hard... The scientific world is working so hard, but the scientist is dying himself. He cannot stop death. He can create some atom bomb to kill, but he cannot create anything which will stop death. That is not possible. Therefore, this pa, pha, ba, bha, ma, these five letters represent five kinds of our activities in this material world.So apavarga, dharmasya hy apavargyasya. To make it nullified. No more hard labor, no more frustration, no more fearfulness, no more death. That is real problem. So to become religious, dharmic, means how to nullify these five principles of material existence. In the material world, you have to work very, very hard. You cannot think that "Oh, I am so great man. I'll not work." Na hi suptasya simhasya pravisanti mukhe mrgah. Suppose the lion... Lion is supposed to be the king of the forest. Still, he has to work. It is not that a lion will sleep, and some animal will come, "My dear lion, please open your mouth. I shall enter." (laughter) That is not possible. Even he is most powerful, even if he is... Just like your President. He is most powerful man, but he's working hard, more than asses and hogs, to get the post of presidency. So parisrama...So nobody can say that "Without working hard, I shall achieve something." That is not possible. But our tendency is that we do not wish to work; therefore, at the end of the week, we take some, I mean to say, leisure, go out of the city, and try to forget all our hard labor throughout the week. But on Monday, again we have to come back. This is going on. Nobody actually... Because a living entity by nature, being part and parcel of God, he wants also enjoy life without work. That is his tendency. Just like Krsna. Krsna is enjoying with gopis, with Radharani. But He's not working. He hasn't got to work. We don't hear from Bhagavatam, any Vedic literature, that Krsna has a great factory, and He has to go office at ten o'clock, and then bring money, and then enjoy with Radharani. No. (laughter) We don't want that such kind of rascal God. (laughter) We want God who hasn't got to work anything. That is God. Na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate. That is the Vedic information. God has nothing to do.Then what kind of God He is? He is simply for enjoyment. One European gentleman went to Calcutta. He saw many temples, and when he came to our temple, he saw the Radha-Krsna. He went to other temples also, Kali's. So he remarked, "Here is God." His remark was that "I saw in other temples, they are working. The Goddess Kali is working. But here, He's enjoying." So God, that description is there in the Vedanta-sutra, anandamayo 'bhyasat. Sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah.isvarah paramah krsnahsac-cid-ananda-vigrahahanadir adir govindahsarva-karana-karanam[Bs. 5.1]Although He's cause of everything, but he hasn't got to work. Na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate. That is Vedic information. In the Upanisad you'll find, He has nothing to do.na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyatena tat-samas cabhyadhikas ca drsyateWe do not find anyone equal to Him or greater than Him. That is God. God is great. "Great" means nobody should be greater than Him. And God says in the Bhagavad-gita, mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya: [Bg. 7.7] "There is no other superior authority than Me." Aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate [Bg. 10.8]: "I am the origin of everything." So other demigods like Lord Siva, Lord Brahma, even Lord Visnu, mattah sarvam pravartate -- everyone emanates from Him. And from them emanate so many things. Just like Brahma, so many creatures have come out. But the original, adyam, anadi... Govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami **. Govinda is the original person.So He hasn't got to do anything. Na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate. He has no duty. He hasn't got to go to office, fifty miles off, with a motorcar, running at seventy miles speed, and there is some accident, finished. He hasn't got to do like that, although He runs quicker than anyone. Just like in the Bhagavad-gita it is said that,patram puspam phalam toyamyo me bhaktya prayacchatitad aham bhakty-upahrtamasnami prayatatmanahSo Krsna is situated in the spiritual world, goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhutah [Bs. 5.37]. But we are trying to offer Him some foodstuff, as far as possible with devotion and faith; Krsna is eating, although He's far away. So this is God's position. At least, He hasn't got to work, He hasn't got to take the trouble to come. He's already here, although goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhutah, although He's in the Goloka. It is not that Krsna has gone somewhere, taken incarnation, therefore Goloka is vacant. No. In Goloka also, He's there, and He's everywhere. Andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham. So this is God.So as God hasn't got to do anything, we, being Krsna's part and parcel, we have got that tendency that we don't want to do anything, but we want to enjoy. Because you are part and parcel, the same quality is there. But we have fallen under certain conditions that we have to work. This is our position. We have to work very hard, so that foam will come out of the mouth, and still, we are not assured success; always fearful. And after all, working hard like this, we die. This is our position. So dharma means... To accept any kind of religion or faith means to nullify these five kinds of vargas. Hard work, foaming, fearfulness, frustration, and ultimately, death. That is the purpose of dharma. Dharmasya hy apavargyasya. (aside:) Why you are making cut-cut? What is this sound? Who is doing that? Don't do it. Dharmasya hy apavargyasya. To become religious means how to counteract these five principles. That is dharma. Dharmasya hy apavargyasya. Na arthaya hi upakalpate. Not that by executing dharma, "I shall go to temple..."Everywhere, the Christians go to church to get their bread. "O God, Father, give us our daily bread." What is this demand? God is supplying bread to the cats and dogs and birds and bees and everyone. Why He shall not give me? That means they do not know what to pray. Dharmasya hy apavargyasya. "God, give me relief from these four kinds of tribulations." That should be prayed. Bread? What is this? Suppose if you go to a king and he says, "All right, you can ask anything from me," and if you say, "Give me bread, a piece of bread," (laughter) is that very intelligent? If you have approached a king, you should ask, "My dear lord, my dear your majesty, may give me something so that I may get free from all kinds of trouble." That should be the prayer. What is this prayer? "Give me a little bread"? Of course, it is better than the rascals who are atheists. They do not approach God. They say, "Oh, what is God? I am God. I shall, by economic development, I shall create so many breads. Why shall I go to church?"So anyone who is going to church and asking God for bread, he's thousand times better than that rascal, who is not going to church, because he's, after all, approaching God. Maybe he does not know what to pray from God, but he's approaching God. Therefore, he's thousand times better than the rascal who is atheist, who does not care for church or temple. That is stated. Sukrtinah, he's pious, he's accepting God, that "God gives us bread." That principle he is accepting; therefore he is pious, he has been accepted as pious. Catur-vidha bhajante mam sukrtino 'rjuna. "Those who are pious, they come to Me." Arto artharthi jnani.So jijnasu. There are four kinds of men who come to God. They are all pious. The first is arta. A common man, if he's pious, if he's in distress, he prays to God, "My dear Lord, kindly rescue me from this difficulty." But he's to be considered as pious, because he's approaching God for relief. Artharthi, those who are poor, they are going to temple or church for some money, praying to God. They are also pious. And jijnasu. And one is philosopher, inquiring "What is God? Let us study." Jnani, those who are learned scholars. So those who are searching after God, trying to understand God, who are approaching God for some difficulty, approaching for some relief, all these persons who are approaching God some way or other, they are pious. And one who is denying the existence of God, trying to make solution by his own knowledge, they are all called asuras. Duskrtinah, miscreants, naradhamah, lowest of the mankind, mudhah, rascals.na mam duskrtino mudhahprapadyante naradhamahmayayapahrta-jnanaasuram bhavam asritah[Bg. 7.15]One can say, "There are so many big, big philosophers, scientists, they do not recognize existence of God. Then what about their knowledge?" They... Krsna says, mayayapahrta-jnanah, "Their knowledge has no value. Actual essence of knowledge has been taken away by the maya."So therefore dharma means one should be very serious to get out of this material conditional life. That is real dharma. Narthaya upakalpate. Not that simply we go to temple or church and ask God for some material benefit. Arthaya, dharma, artha, kama, moksa. These are called catur-varga. That is... In the Vedic civilization a human body, or human being, is recognized when he's interested in these four things: dharma, artha, kama, moksa. First of all, dharma. Without religious life, animal. What is the value of? Dharmena hinah pasubhih samanah. Anyone who has no religion... It doesn't matter what religion he's following, he must follow some religion. It doesn't matter whether Christian religion, Hindu religion, or Buddha religion, and this religion. It doesn't matter. He must have some religion. Then he is human being. And religion means... Generally, they understand that "If I become religious, pious, then my life will be nice. I'll get my subsistence." Actually, that's fact. Dharma artha. And why do we want artha, money? Kama, for sense gratification. We require money for sense gratification. And when we are baffled in sense gratification, then we want moksa. When one cannot get sufficiently by trying dharma, artha, kama, economic development and sense gratification, still we are dissatisfied, then sometimes we give up this world: brahma satyam jagan mithya, "This world is mithya, false." That is not actually giving up the, renouncement, giving..., or renunciation. Renunciation means you should give up your process of sense gratification and apply yourself very seriously in the service of the Lord. That is called renunciation.That is explained in the Eighteenth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita. Karma-phalam tyagam sannyasam. Sannyasa means karma-phalam tyagam. Everyone is working in this material world to get some result. The result must be there. Either you work piously or impiously, there must be result. So those who are not devotees, they will enjoy the result. So they're entangled. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gita: yajnarthat karmano 'nyatra loko 'yam karma-bandhanah [Bg. 3.9]. "If you do not work for Yajna, Visnu, then whatever you are doing, you are being bound up by the reaction of such work." Suppose you have done pious work. Now you are elevated to the higher planetary system or you become rich man's sons. Because by pious activities we get four things: janmaisvarya-sruta-sri. Janma, to get birth in nice family, rich family, aisvarya, janma aisvarya. Nice family means opulent, rich, riches, aisvarya. Janma aisvarya sruta, and learning, education also. This is also... Not that everyone is becoming very learned. But one who was pious in his past life or in this life, they can be benefited, nice education also. And sri, and beauty. These are the results of pious activities. And just the opposite is due to impious activities: no riches, no beauty, no knowledge, no good family.So pious and impious activities, this is going on. Generally, people understand dharma by these. But here Bhagavata says, "No. Dharma, religious principles, should be executed to nullify..." Hy apavargyasya. Dharmasya hy apavargyasya na arthaya upakalpate. "Not for material benefit." Material benefit... Either you become poor or rich, you have to undergo the tribulations of this material existence. Because you are rich man, you cannot avoid death. Because you are rich man, you cannot avoid hard working. Because you are rich man, you cannot avoid fearfulness. So the same thing is for the poor man. He's also working hard. It may be that he's not getting more money; you are getting more money. But getting more money, you have to work like ass and dog. So you cannot get out of these principles, either you become rich or poor. Generally, they understand that "By becoming religious, I shall be rich." That is fact; you can become. But what is the benefit? Suppose you are rich. Do you think that you will not die? Do you think that you will not be attacked by any disease? Do you think that you will not become old? So what is the benefit? But real religion means to nullify these principles. Dharmasya hy apavargyasya nartho 'rthayopakalpate. Not that becoming religious I become richer, I become, I get so many material benefits. No. That is not. But you can say that "We require some money for existence." Yes, that's a fact, that's a fact.Therefore, our principle is yavad artham. You can earn honestly as far, as much as you require for maintaining your body and soul together. Don't earn..., don't work hard simply money, money, money, money, sweeter than honey. That is not life. That is cats and dogs life. They're simply working hard, just like ass, mudha. Mudha means ass. This mudha, this word is applicable to the worker, to the karmis, because they are working very hard. But actually, what he's enjoying? When he lies down, he requires that six feet bedstead. That's all. Although he has got land, what you were saying? One person means they have owned the whole...?Syamasundara: Twenty-five percent.Prabhupada: Twenty-five percent of the land. Suppose we owned the twenty-five percent of the whole world, but at the time of occupying the land I require only six feet? That's all. So they..., is he not ass? He knows that "I want only six feet land to lie down. Why I am trying to acquire the whole world? And working so hard?" That is ass. Similarly, I'm so working hard. What I am eating? Perhaps I am not eating. When I come home, I piece of bread and a cup of tea, bas, finished. But he does not think "Why am I working hard? I am not eating more. I am not occupying more place. I cannot enjoy fully sense gra..." Simply an idea: "More money, more money, more money." Therefore he's ass. Ass does not enjoy life, but works very hard. We have got... Several times explained. In India, the washermen keep an ass, and the ass bears ten tons of loads on the backside and goes to the ghata, for washing ghata. And he is let loose there, and a morsel of grass, a little, few pieces of grass. And he's eating there, standing, for again returning with ten tons of load. He is given freedom. He does not think that "Why shall I work so hard? This grass is available everywhere. I can go. Why I am working for this washerman?" But he has no sense. Therefore he is called ass. Similarly, all these karmis, they are working so hard, but they are eating, say, two pieces of bread and a cup of tea or milk. That's all. Or something else. They have been collared.But we must utilize our time, save our time, how to get out of these four, five principles of materialistic life. That is called dharma. And we should earn so much to keep the body and soul together. That's all. "Now, if I get more money?" If you get more money, then employ it for Krsna. If you get more money, then engage it for Krsna. Don't try to... Therefore it is said, dharmasya, narthasya dharmaikantasya. Na arthasya, neither money, arthasya, dharmaikantasya, one who is actually religious, dharma, kamo labhaya hi smrtah. The money you get, it is not for your sense gratification. Narthasya dharmaikantasya. Actually, if you are dharmic, if you are religious, then suppose you have got money... You can get money because you are dharmic. So you can get money. But don't employ it kamo labhaya, for your sense gratification. Therefore in any country, in the past, I mean to say, millenniums of years, in the days gone by, any rich man, if he has got some money, he would construct some church or some temple or some mosque. That was the system throughout the whole world. Because they knew that "I have got this extra money, I must employ it for God consciousness." But at the present moment, the churches are being transformed into factories, because they have lost religion. And because they have lost religion, they are animals. And how you can get peace and prosperity in the society of animals?So dharmasya hi, arthasya, narthasya dharmaikantasya. One who is actually religious, he does not earn money for sense gratification. Na kamo labhaya hi smrtah. But at the present moment, the more we earn money, more we make prescription or program how to enjoy senses. Narthasya dharmaikantasya kamo labhaya hi smrtah. Kamasya nendriya-pritih "But we have got some desires, fulfill the sense desires." Yes that also you fulfill. Kamasya nendriya-pritih. But not for sense gratification. You apply your senses... Just like sex life, there is no forbidding. But you can enjoy sex life for begetting nice children, that's all; not for sense gratification. This verse should be discussed later on.So here, as it is described by Suta Gosvami that, first thing is that dharma... First-class dharma means to become a devotee.sa vai pumsam paro dharmoyato bhaktir adhoksajeahaituky apratihatayayatma suprasidati[SB 1.2.6]If you want peace of mind, if you want full satisfaction, then you dharmic life, your religious life, should be how to advance yourself in devotional service of the Lord. Then yayatma suprasidati. Then you will feel satisfaction. Then it is said that dharmah svanusthitah pumsam visvaksena-kathasu yah [SB 1.2.8], "By executing your religious principles, if you do not develop your consciousness about God, then it is simply waste of time and labor." Then it is said,vasudeve bhagavatibhakti-yogah prayojitahjanayaty asu vairagyamjnanam ca yad ahaitukam[SB 1.2.7]Then he says that "If you devote yourself in the service of Vasudeva, then you will get perfect knowledge and renunciation without any doubt." And the next verse it is said,dharmasya hy apavargyasyanartho 'rthayopakalpatenarthasya dharmaikantasyakamo labhaya hi smrtahSo this Bhagavata discourse is meant for giving enlightenment to the people of the world. It is not a sectarian religion; it is meant for all human beings. They should take advantage of the instruction of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, and make their life perfect. That is our Krsna consciousness movement.Thank you very much.Pusta Krsna: ...questions? Questions from the guests?Prabhupada: Yes.Pusta Krsna: Are there any questions? You might have some questions about Srila Prabhupada's lecture. (pause)Prabhupada: Chant. (end)Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.9 -- New Vrindaban, September 7, 1972

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