Srila Prabhupada on Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.7-9,
Part Three


May 22, 2011 — CANADA (SUN) —

Today we complete our discussion of Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.7 through 1.1.9, and Srila Prabhupada's lecture on SB 1.1.9 from Auckland, New Zealand on February 20, 1973. Following is the translation to SB 1.1.9 and beneath that, a breakdown of the statements contained therein. Under each statement, we have included references to the related points Srila Prabhupada made in his lectures on the sloka, as paraphrased in the previous segment.

Of course, each one of Srila Prabhupada's statements contains so much information, they could rightly be applied to more than one statement from the sloka. We have simply divided them into obvious categories in order to point out the comprehensiveness of Srila Prabhupada's instructions on this single verse.

    SB 1.1.9 Translation:

    "Please, therefore, being blessed with many years, explain to us, in an easily understandable way, what you have ascertained to be the absolute and ultimate good for the people in general."

Please, therefore, being blessed with many years,

    They are blessing, "Be blessed with long span of life." Although he was young, still they're asking, great, great learned brahmanas and sages, "What you have decided to be the easiest process to achieve the highest goal of life?"

explain to us, in an easily understandable way,

    In this age, execution of spiritual life, austerities, penance is very difficult, not possible. People are so fallen they cannot accept any severe type of austerity. Therefore the yoga system is not at all possible in this age.

    Even the greatest learned man. In the sastra therefore, it is ordered, matra svasra duhitra va (SB 9.19.17).

    "Never sit down in a lonely place even with your mother, even with your sister, or even with your daughter." balavan indriya-gramah (SB 9.19.17), the indriya-gramah, all the senses, especially the sex, is so strong that vidvamsam api karsati (SB 9.19.17), even one is very learned, very well educated, still he is attracted.

    Material world means to get this material body, and material body means subjected to the tribulations of material nature. This is called conditioned life. As soon as you get a material body, you have to undergo the pains of pleasures. No pleasures, all pains. You have to undergo.

    Krsna advised Arjuna, 'Don't be subjected to the seasonal changes, agamapayino 'nitya (Bg 2.14), they come and go. Whenever there is some reverse condition of life, don't be disturbed because they will come and go.' Our real business is Krsna consciousness.

    How can this Krsna consciousness be developed by the easiest method? tatra tatranjasayusman bhavata yad viniscitam (SB 1.1.9)

    Here the question is that pumsam ekantatah sreyas tan nah samsitum arhasi (SB 1.1.9). "Now we are very much eager to hear from you, to listen from you, kindly let us know what is the easiest method to achieve the highest goal of life."

    The condemned state at the present moment, how the whole world, whole atmosphere, is condemned is described in the next verse -- prayenalpayusah sabhya kalav asmin yuge janah (SB 1.1.10).

    Prayenalpayusah. The first qualification is short span of life. The more Kali-yuga advances, the vitality, span of life will be reduced. At the end, almost end, people will live not more than thirty years.

    The next, mandah, lazy. ill-educated. They do not know what is the aim of life. Mandah or slow. Sumanda-matayo, and if one is superficially so-called spiritually they will capture some baba, some god, some yogi, some bluffer, and they will follow them. Sumanda-matayo.

    Christian religion, Mohammedan religion, Buddhist religion, Jain religion, this religion, that religion, this ism, that ism, they are all history. Limited, within the limit of time. But this Vedic religion has no beginning or end.

    Whatever your religion may be, the real purpose of religion is to understand God. How far you have understood God?" That is practically nil.

    Almost everyone is unfortunate. They haven't got even means to accommodate the bare necessities of life--eating, sleeping, mating. They're also deficient. mandah sumanda-matayo manda-bhagya hy upadrutah (SB 1.1.10).

    There is always disturbance. Sometimes war, sometimes famine, sometimes earthquake, sometimes this, overflood. In this way we are so much complicated.

    In this condition of life how you can take up very serious type of self-realization, that is not possible.

what you have ascertained to be

    Suta Gosvami was selected because he received the knowledge from Vyasadeva and other sages very perfectly on account of his becoming submissive and serious. This is the first qualification.

    They are asking, "What you have thought, the best way of achievement, the highest goal of life. Anjasa, just make it easy."

    tad vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet (Mundaka Upanishad 1.2.12). Here is a guru because he has learned sufficiently from Vyasadeva and other sages, therefore they are asking from him.

    The great sages are asking, pumsam ekantatah sreyas (SB 1.1.9). Tan nah samsitum arhasi, "Kindly describe what we should accept."

    Everyone should be inquisitive for the ultimate benefit of life. The ultimate benefit of life is to stop this repetition of birth and death, old age and disease.

    Our acaryas, sad-gosvami, they left their big service, ministership, and by the order of Caitanya Mahaprabhu they went to Vrndavana. But what for, going to Vrndavana and sleeping and eating? No, no, not for that purpose.

    At the present moment when a man becomes old, he requires more rest. But according to Vedic civilization, no more rest, more work, more work.

    This Vrndavana now it is nice city, but during the time of Caitanya Mahaprabhu it was a big field only, nothing was there. Krsna's lilas were not visible. Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw one small hole, little water and He indicated -- Radha-kunda was discovered.

    Gosvamis were working very hard nana-sastra-vicaranaika-nipunau (Sri Sad-Gosvamyastakam), they were very expert in scrutinizingly studying all the Vedic literatures.

    Rupa Gosvami has quoted so many verses, the biography is stated there in compiling Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, which we've translated, Nectar of Devotion. So this Nectar of Devotion, because formerly whatever is given under Vedic evidence it will be accepted always correct. Therefore nana-sastra-vicaranaika.

    They used to collect all the Vedic references and put into Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu to establish that bhagavad-bhakti, devotional service to the Lord, is the ultimate goal of life. nana-sastra-vicaranaika-nipunau sad-dharma-samsthapakau (Sri Sad-Gosvamyastakam).

    Acarya does not write any book of sex psychology, Freud's philosophy. That is not acarya, that is rascal. Acarya gives direction how one can make advance in spiritual consciousness.

    Acarya means, just like Gosvamis, they would read all the scriptures and take the essence of it and give it to his disciples. He knows what to give, how to manipulate, so that his ekantatah sreyas will be achieved. Ultimate goal. The acarya knows how to adjust things, at the same time keep pace with the spiritual interest.

    It depends on the acarya how to adjust things. The acarya knows how to adjust things. The real purpose is how one will take to spiritual consciousness, or Krsna consciousness. Keeping one's aim to that point some concession may be given. As far as possible, keeping pace with the time, circumstances.

the absolute and ultimate good for the people in general.

    pumsam ekantatah sreyas (SB 1.1.9). Ekantatah, absolute. Sreyas means benefit. There are two kinds of benefit: one is preyas and one is sreyas. Preyas means immediately very pleasing, sense satisfaction. Sreyas means ultimate goal.

    The human form of life should be used for sreyas. pumsam ekantatah sreyas (SB 1.1.9). We should not be attracted by the preyas. But modern education is so nasty that they encourage preyas.

    Immature sex life spoils the brain, spoils strength. Everything is spoiled. In student life, brahmacari system is very nice. If he keeps brahmacari without any sex life, then his brain becomes very potent. Memory becomes very sharp, bodily sense becomes very solid. His life becomes very solid for future sreyas.

    Karmis they are engaged in asad-dharma not sad-dharma.

    This body is antavat, it is to be perishable, therefore asat. Asato ma sad gama. The Vedic injunction is, don't be addicted to this asat, this bodily comforts of life. Sad-gama, try to revive your eternal life.

    Bhagavata says, yasyatma-buddhih kunape tridhatuke sa eva go-kharah (SB 10.84.13). Anyone who is accepting this body as self, he is no better than animal. Go-kharah. Go means cow and kharah means ass.

    How to get the spirit soul who is now entangled or encaged in this material body. That is sad-dharma, that is sanatana-dharma. Sad means sanatana, which exists. Sanatana means eternal. What is sat, that is eternal. What is asat, that is temporary.

    The lamentable position of present civilization is that people are becoming entangled. And there is risk. I do not know whether I shall be able to accept a human body. There are 8,400,000 bodies, I have to accept any body as given by nature. prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani (Bg 3.27).

    I am associating in different qualities and prakrti is recording all, automatically it is being recorded what type of body you'll have next life. prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah (Bg 3.27).

    karanam guna-sango 'sya sad-asad-yoni-janmasu (Bg 13.22). Why one is born in high family, rich family, why other is poor family or one is born in lower animals, one is born as demigods? The reason is karanam guna-sango 'sya. He has associated with a particular type of the material qualities, therefore he has to accept a particular type of body.

    We are instructing our students, Associate with the good qualities. The best qualities of association is devotional service, a devotee, because they're transcendental, above goodness.

    If you live in the forest that is association with goodness, because there is no material contamination, simple life in the forest. If you live in the city, that is association with passion the brothel, the liquor shop, gambling, that is association with ignorance. But if you live in the temple, that is transcendence, that is Vaikuntha. In this way we have to detach ourselves from the association of the three gunas.

    traigunya-visaya veda nistraigunyo bhavarjuna (Bg 2.45). "My dear Arjuna, just become transcendental to the three gunas."

    In this material world goodness is supposed to be very nice quality, but here the goodness also is temporary. There is chance of being affected, infected with the other qualities, sattva-rajas-tamo guna.

    At least we have to transcend the rajas-tamo guna. tada rajas-tamo-bhavah kama-lobhadayas ca ye (SB 1.2.19). Rajas-tamo, the quality of passion and ignorance, mean the symptoms of these qualities is kama and lobha, lust and greediness.

    When there is prominence of goodness then we can understand what is what, what is God, what I am, what is this world. That is knowledge. And above this, transcendental, not only knowledge but practical application of knowledge in life. That is called suddha-sattva.

    If the society becomes Krsna conscious or spiritually advanced, the so-called material advancement will automatically be there. There is no scarcity.

    We are simply engaged in Krsna consciousness business. So far our material necessities are concerned we are not badly situated. We are living in a nice house, we are eating nice foodstuff, we have got nice dress and the devotees look very nice, bright faces. What is the wrong there? They are not busy earning money, they are depending on Krsna and Krsna is supplying them.

    yoga-ksemam vahamy aham tesam nityabhiyuktanam (Bg 9.22). If anyone is completely engaged in spiritual advancement of life then yoga-ksemam vahamy aham. I take charge of yoga-ksemam.

    Whatever you are eating you cannot manufacture in the factory. It is supplied by Krsna. eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman (Bg 2.12). In the animal life the necessities are eating, sleeping, mating and defending. Everything is there.

    Intelligence is there even in the lowest animals, even in the ant -- how to make this body comfortable, that is not advancement of civilization. That kind of civilization is there even in the cats and dogs. They know. Nobody has to go to the university to learn how to eat, how to sleep, how to have sex life, how to defend.

    Don't spoil this human form of life only for satisfying the animal propensities. You try to advance in spiritual consciousness. That is ekantatah sreyas.

Sastric Citations

As a last step in considering Srila Prabhupada's preaching on Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.9, we will summarize the references he made to other sastric verses during his lecture in the essential points we've covered. They include the following:


      Bg 2.12
      Bg 2.14
      Bg 2.45
      Bg 3.27
      Bg 9.22
      Bg 13.22

    Srimad Bhagavatam:

      SB 1.1.9
      SB 1.1.10
      SB 1.2.19
      SB 9.19.17
      SB 10.84.13

    Mundaka Upanishad:


    Sri Sad-Gosvamyastakam, Srinivasa Acarya:

      Song and purport

Out of the sastric references listed above that Srila Prabhupada made in his lecture on SB 1.1.9, there are four verses that he emphasized (other than references to SB 1.1.9 itself). They are:

    Bhagavad-gita 3.27: prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah

    Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.10: mandah sumanda-matayo manda-bhagya hy upadrutah and prayenalpayusah sabhya kalav asmin yuge janah

    Srimad Bhagavatam 9.9.17: balavan indriya-gramah , matra svasra duhitra va, and vidvamsam api karsati

    Sri Sad-Gosvamyastakam by Srinivasa Acarya: nana-sastra-vicaranaika-nipunau

These verses are presented below, in full:

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 3.27:

    prakrteh kriyamanani
    gunaih karmani sarvasah
    kartaham iti manyate

    prakrteh -- of material nature; kriyamanani -- being done; gunaih -- by the modes; karmani -- activities; sarvasah -- all kinds of; ahankara-vimudha -- bewildered by false ego; atma -- the spirit soul; karta -- doer; aham -- I; iti -- thus; manyate -- he thinks.


    "The spirit soul bewildered by the influence of false ego thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by the three modes of material nature.


    Two persons, one in Krsna consciousness and the other in material consciousness, working on the same level, may appear to be working on the same platform, but there is a wide gulf of difference in their respective positions. The person in material consciousness is convinced by false ego that he is the doer of everything. He does not know that the mechanism of the body is produced by material nature, which works under the supervision of the Supreme Lord. The materialistic person has no knowledge that ultimately he is under the control of Krsna. The person in false ego takes all credit for doing everything independently, and that is the symptom of his nescience. He does not know that this gross and subtle body is the creation of material nature, under the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and as such his bodily and mental activities should be engaged in the service of Krsna, in Krsna consciousness. The ignorant man forgets that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is known as Hrsikesa, or the master of the senses of the material body, for due to his long misuse of the senses in sense gratification, he is factually bewildered by the false ego, which makes him forget his eternal relationship with Krsna."

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.10:

    prayenalpayusah sabhya
    kalav asmin yuge janah
    mandah sumanda-matayo
    manda-bhagya hy upadrutah

    prayena -- almost always; alpa -- meager; ayusah -- duration of life; sabhya -- member of a learned society; kalau -- in this age of Kali (quarrel); asmin -- herein; yuge -- age; janah -- the public; mandah -- lazy; sumanda-matayah -- misguided; manda-bhagyah -- unlucky; hi -- and above all; upadrutah -- disturbed.


    "O learned one, in this iron age of Kali men have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed.


    The devotees of the Lord are always anxious for the spiritual improvement of the general public. When the sages of Naimisaranya analyzed the state of affairs of the people in this age of Kali, they foresaw that men would live short lives. In Kali-yuga, the duration of life is shortened not so much because of insufficient food but because of irregular habits. By keeping regular habits and eating simple food, any man can maintain his health. Overeating, over-sense gratification, overdependence on another's mercy, and artificial standards of living sap the very vitality of human energy. Therefore the duration of life is shortened.

    The people of this age are also very lazy, not only materially but in the matter of self-realization. The human life is especially meant for self-realization. That is to say, man should come to know what he is, what the world is, and what the supreme truth is. Human life is a means by which the living entity can end all the miseries of the hard struggle for life in material existence and by which he can return to Godhead, his eternal home. But, due to a bad system of education, men have no desire for self-realization. Even if they come to know about it, they unfortunately become victims of misguided teachers.

    In this age, men are victims not only of different political creeds and parties, but also of many different types of sense-gratificatory diversions, such as cinemas, sports, gambling, clubs, mundane libraries, bad association, smoking, drinking, cheating, pilfering, bickerings, and so on. Their minds are always disturbed and full of anxieties due to so many different engagements. In this age, many unscrupulous men manufacture their own religious faiths which are not based on any revealed scriptures, and very often people who are addicted to sense gratification are attracted by such institutions. Consequently, in the name of religion so many sinful acts are being carried on that the people in general have neither peace of mind nor health of body. The student (brahmacari) communities are no longer being maintained, and householders do not observe the rules and regulations of the grhastha-asrama. Consequently, the so-called vanaprasthas and sannyasis who come out of such grhastha-asramas are easily deviated from the rigid path. In the Kali-yuga the whole atmosphere is surcharged with faithlessness. Men are no longer interested in spiritual values. Material sense gratification is now the standard of civilization. For the maintenance of such material civilizations, man has formed complex nations and communities, and there is a constant strain of hot and cold wars between these different groups. It has become very difficult, therefore, to raise the spiritual standard due to the present distorted values of human society. The sages of Naimisaranya are anxious to disentangle all fallen souls, and here they are seeking the remedy from Srila Suta Gosvami."

Srimad Bhagavatam 9.9.17:

    sruto bhagirathaj jajne
    tasya nabho 'paro 'bhavat
    sindhudvipas tatas tasmad
    ayutayus tato 'bhavat
    rtuparno nala-sakho
    yo 'sva-vidyam ayan nalat
    dattvaksa-hrdayam casmai
    sarvakamas tu tat-sutam

    srutah -- a son named Sruta; bhagirathat -- from Bhagiratha; jajne -- was born; tasya -- of Sruta; nabhah -- by the name Nabha; aparah -- different from the Nabha previously described; abhavat -- was born; sindhudvipah -- by the name Sindhudvipa; tatah -- from Nabha; tasmat -- from Sindhudvipa; ayutayuh -- a son named Ayutayu; tatah -- thereafter; abhavat -- was born; rtuparnah -- a son named Rtuparna; nala-sakhah -- who was a friend of Nala; yah -- one who; asva-vidyam -- the art of controlling horses; ayat -- achieved; nalat -- from Nala; dattva -- after giving in exchange; aksa-hrdayam -- the secrets of the art of gambling; ca -- and; asmai -- unto Nala; sarvakamah -- by the name Sarvakama; tu -- indeed; tat-sutam -- his son (the son of Rtuparna).


    "Bhagiratha had a son named Sruta, whose son was Nabha. This son was different from the Nabha previously described. Nabha had a son named Sindhudvipa, from Sindhudvipa came Ayutayu, and from Ayutayu came Rtuparna, who became a friend of Nalaraja. Rtuparna taught Nalaraja the art of gambling, and Nalaraja gave Rtuparna lessons in controlling and maintaining horses. The son of Rtuparna was Sarvakama.


    Gambling is also an art. Ksatriyas are allowed to exhibit talent in this art of gambling. By the grace of Krsna, the Pandavas lost everything by gambling and were deprived of their kingdom, wife, family and home because they were not expert in the gambling art. In other words, a devotee may not be expert in materialistic activities. It is therefore advised in the sastra that materialistic activities are not at all suitable for the living entities, especially the devotees. A devotee should therefore be satisfied to eat whatever is sent as prasada by the Supreme Lord. A devotee remains pure because he does not take to sinful activities such as gambling, intoxication, meat-eating and illicit sex."

    Bhaktivedanta Book Trust

Sri Sad-Gosvamyastakam (Eight Prayers to the Six Goswamis) by Srinivasa Acarya:

Verse 2

nana-sastra-vicaranaika-nipunau sad-dharma-samsthapakau
lokanam hita-karinau tri-bhuvane manyau saranyakarau
radha-krsna-padaravinda-bhajananandena mattalikau
vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau

    I offer my respectful obeisances unto the six Gosvamis, namely Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, and Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, who are very expert in scrutinizingly studying all the revealed scriptures with the aim of establishing eternal religious principles for the benefit of all human beings. Thus they are honored all over the three worlds and they are worth taking shelter of because they are absorbed in the mood of the gopis and are engaged in the transcendental loving service of Radha and Krsna.


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