Srila Prabhupada in Mauritius

The illusions of Enjoyment

A lecture by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, given in Mauritius on October 2, 1975.

sri prahlada uvacha
matir na krishne paratah svato va
mitho ‘bhipadyeta griha-vratanam
adanta-gobhir vishatam tamishram
punah punah charvita-charvananam.
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.30)

We are trying to spread this Krishna consciousness movement, but it is very difficult because people are so much addicted to material enjoyment. Reviving our Krishna consciousness is the ultimate goal of human life. Krishna is God. This is the verdict of the Vedic literature: Krishnas tu bhagavan svayam. Most people, at the present moment in this Kali-yuga, are not interested in God. Why not? Lord Krishna explains why in the Bhagavad-gita, (7.15) na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah, mayayapahrta-jnana asurim-bhavam ashritah. People could be utilizing their intelligence for making their lives perfect, but instead of doing that, they engage in sinful activities. Sinful activities means being addicted to sense gratification. The symptoms of such addiction are very prominent in this age. Everyone is working very hard simply for sense gratification. As soon as you become addicted to simply gratifying your senses, you are sure to commit sinful activities. For example, throughout the whole world there are so many breweries manufacturing liquor. Especially in the Western countries you will find so many advertisements for liquor, whiskey, cigarettes etc. Not to speak of the hundreds and thousands of slaughterhouses all over the world, where innocent animals are being unnecessarily killed. People can live nicely on food grains. In the Bhagavad-gita (3.14), Krishna says Simply by growing food grains, both men and animals can live very happily. You can grow food grains very easily. I have seen in the Western countries how they grow food grains to feed animals, and the animals are eaten by man. To feed one cow for being eaten by man, they use 17 times more land that could be used for feeding humans. We can be very happy eating food grains, which we must produce either for ourselves or for the animals. Without producing food grains you cannot even eat the meat.Because animals need food grains and vegetables, you have to produce. But because we have uncontrolled senses, instead of eating the grains, we are eating the animals.

By God-made laws, any living being you kill, you will get the same punishment. We do not know that by killing innocent animals we are going to the darkest region of hellish life. You are not allowed to kill even an ant. W e do not consider that The life which I am killing for my subsistence is eating grains, and I can also eat grains to live. So why shall I commit this sin of killing another living being? We are now implicated in so much sinful life, and we are reaping the result, which is to suffer repeated birth and death. Yet we are not going to die (Bg. 2.20). The atheists think like that — When this body is finished, everything is finished. That is not the fact. We are simply changing the dress, this body. But as souls, we are eternal. On account of our uncontrolled, unbridled senses, we are changing different types of bodies. Suppose I am now a human being, I am enjoying life very nicely, but if in my next life, I become a street dog, how miserable a life that is. Or even I become a very powerful animal, a tiger or lion, still, it is a miserable life. So long we shall be in the material world, changing different bodies, it is miserable. Any type of body we may take, it is painful and miserable. So I see that on this island of Mauritius you have enough land to produce all your food grains. But I understand that instead of growing food grains, you are growing sugar cane for export. Why? You are dependent on food grains - on rice, wheat and dhal. You should first of all grow your own eatables. If your population has sufficient food grains, then you can try to grow other fruits and vegetables for export. The first necessity is that you should be self-sufficient. That is God’s arrangement. Not only in your country but everywhere there is sufficient land to produce food grains. I have traveled all over the world, Africa, Australia and America also, where I have seen so much vacant land, that if used to produce food grains, we could feed ten times as much population as at present. There is no question of scarcity. The whole creation is so made by Krishna where everything is purnam, complete. Purnam idam purnam adah purnat purnam udacyate, the Supreme Lord is complete, as is His creation (Sri-Upanishad 1.1).

So, Krishna has made a complete arrangement for everyone to live peacefully and happily, but if you don’t produce enough food grains, you will unnecessarily put men into scarcity, and that is sinful. Every instruction in the Vedic scriptures is intended to teach us how to advance in Krishna consciousness and make our lives happy and perfect. Unfortunately, we do not know what perfect life is. Therefore it is said in the above verse, punah punah charvita charvananam: chewing the chewed. W e have now got this human form of life, and suppose by our pious activities we may be elevated to the higher planetary system, Svargaloka, the heavenly planets. But what we shall gain there? A higher standard of sense gratification, that’s all. Just like the cats and dogs enjoy sense gratification, same as do the human-beings or the demigods. The sensual pleasures are not different. It is the same pleasure. So, in this material world, we are changing our body (tatha dehantara praptih, Bg.2.13), and enjoying similar sense gratification. When we become disgusted with this business, that is called advanced knowledge. Such knowledge leads to renunciation, or detachment, and this can only be achieved by Krishna consciousness. In the Bhagavad-Gita (4.9), Lord Krishna clearly states, janma karma ca me divyam.

If we simply understand Krishna in truth, then, tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti , the result will be that after giving up this present body we will not have to accept another material body, but we will go to Krishna in the spiritual world. To accept another material body is called punah punah charvita-charvananam. Either I get this human form of body, or the body of a dog or demigod, the business is the same, ahara-nidrabhaya- maithunam ca: eating, sleeping, defense and sex life. By sense enjoyment our life is being spoiled, and it can only be stopped by Krishna consciousness. Krishna consciousness cannot be achieved by grha-vratanam, which means that those who are only interested in family life for sense gratification. For them it is very difficult. The above verse was spoken between father and son. The son is Prahlada, who is a devotee, and the father, Hiranyakashipu, is a materialistic person. His only interest is money and women. This is the difference between a devotee and non-devotee. So the father was challenging his son, Where did you get this Krishna consciousness? The son replied matir na krishne paratah svato va: My dear father, this Krishna consciousness cannot be achieved by speculation or by hearing from others. Why? By grhavratanam, if one is addicted to this material way of life, he cannot understand, or be convinced about Krishna consciousness. In the Bhagavad-Gita, (2.44) it is said, bhogaisvarya-prasaktanam tayapahrta-cetasam, vyavasayatmika buddhih samadhau na vidhiyate. Those who are too attached to a materialistic way of life, or sense gratification, cannot become fixed in Krishna consciousness. See these boys, from Europe and America, who have adopted this spiritual life by having stopped the process of sense gratification – no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no gambling and no intoxication, which is the basis of a materialistic way of life. Otherwise where is the difference between spiritual life and materialistic life?

So if we stick to the materialistic way of life, it will be very, very difficult to understand this Krishna consciousness movement. Why? Adanta-gobhih. Adanta means uncontrolled, and gobih, senses. Our senses are uncontrolled. The so-called modern civilization means to allow the senses to enjoy as much as possible. This is now considered advanced civilization. Yet we do not know the subtle laws of nature and of God - how things are happening - how things are going on. And without knowing these facts, our human life is spoiled. This morning, while I was walking on the beach, we found so many things, the capsules of soft-drinks, cigarette butts and so many other things. So what is the necessity of these things? You don’t find all these things in our ISKCON society. We don’t drink commercial soft drinks. We don’t smoke. So many things which are selling in the market in huge quantity by advertisement, by victimizing the poor customer these are called unnecessary things. There is no need of such things. But adanta-gobhih, because the senses cannot be controlled, big business is going on. So we have to control the senses. If we really want spiritual life, if we really want to be free from these material clutches, then we have to learn how to control the senses. That is wanted. That is the purpose of human life. Human life is not meant for imitating the life of cats, dogs and hogs. Today a press representative came to take some information.

Our first information is that we are trying to bring people to the standard of human being from the standard of cats and dogs life. This is Krishna consciousness. Cats and dogs life means adanta-go, uncontrolled senses. That is cats and dogs life. Just like one female dog becomes surrounded by one dozen male dogs. Why? Adanta gobhih - they cannot control their senses. They are having sex on the street. Human life means sense-control. That is human life. If you remain like cats and dogs, adantagobhih, without controlling the senses, then where is the difference between a dog and you? There is no difference. The Krishna consciousness movement is trying to convince and educate people of the higher values of life. We have not manufactured all this. It is received from the Vedas. Vedas means the books of knowledge. So human life is meant for acquiring knowledge. The Srimad Bhagavatam (5.5.4) says, nunam pramattah kurute vikarma yad indriya-pritaya aprnoti, na sadhu manye yata atmano ’yam asann api klesada asa dehah. People have become mad, pramattah, and are doing all sorts of sinful activities. Vikarma means sinful activities. Why they are doing so? Yad indriya-pritaya aprnoti: Simply for sense gratification. There is no higher aim, only sense gratification. The shastra says, na sadhu manye, This is not good. Why? Because on account of our sinful activities we have already got this painful, miserable, conditioned life, which is this body. If we still go on like that, then again we shall get such a body and suffer. This is jnana, knowledge. Every one of us, we are trying to be happy without any suffering. That is the aim of life. Anandamayo ’bhyasat.

We are living beings, part and parcel of Krishna. Our nature is to become happy, pleased, joyful. But sense enjoyment is not the way of becoming happy or joyful. This is not the way. The real way is different - it is Krishna consciousness. So everyone should be very serious to accept this process of Krishna consciousness, not only personally, but to teach others also, state-wise, family-wise and community-wise. We should be liberal. So give them the proper chance to understand Krishna consciousness so that they can make their life happy and attain the stage of eternity. We are eternal. Simply we are changing bodies. It is a great science. But unfortunately there is no such teaching in the schools, colleges or university. Simply we are in darkness. If we keep people in darkness and advertise that we are advancing, it is another type of cheating. So people should understand the value of life, the science of life, that we are changing this body. And it is simply miserable. Everything is clear in the Bhagavad-Gita. If you take to Krishna consciousness, study Bhagavad-Gita, and thereafter study Srimad Bhagavatam, then your life will successful.

So every father, every statesman, every guardian, every guru, every relative - everyone – should educate his dependants in Krishna consciousness, to give them a chance to be liberated from this bondage of miserable conditions of material life. Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.

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