Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 3, Chapter 24, The Renunciation Of Kardama Muni, Text 41.

Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 3, Chapter 24, The Renunciation Of Kardama Muni, Text 41.


Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

Srimad Bhagavatam, third Canto, chapter twenty four, ‘The Renunciation of Kardama Muni’, text forty one.

maitreya uvaca
evam samuditas tena
kapilena prajapatih
daksini-krtya tam prito
vanam eva jagama ha

maitreyah uvaca — the great sage Maitreya said; evam — thus; samuditah
— addressed; tena — by Him; kapilena — by Kapila; prajapatih — the
progenitor of human society; daks?in?i-krtya — having circumambulated;
tam — Him; pritah? — being pacified; vanam — to the forest; eva —
indeed; jagama — he left; ha — then.

Sri Maitreya said: Thus when Kardama Muni, the progenitor of human
society, was spoken to in fullness by his son, Kapila, he circumambulated Him, and with a good, pacified mind he at once left for the forest.

Going to the forest is compulsory for everyone. It is not a mental
excursion upon which one person goes and another does not. Everyone should go to the forest at least as a vanaprastha. Forest-going means to take one-hundred-percent shelter of the Supreme Lord, as explained by Prahlada Maharaja in his talks with his father. Sada samudvigna-dhiyam (Bhag. 7.5.5). People who have accepted a temporary, material body are always full of anxieties. One should not, therefore, be very much affected by this material body, but should try to be freed. The preliminary process to become freed is to go to the forest or give up family relationships and exclusively engage in Krishna consciousness. That is the purpose of going to the forest.

Otherwise, the forest is only a place of monkeys and wild animals. To go to the forest does not mean to become a monkey or a ferocious animal. It means to accept exclusively the shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and engage oneself in full service. One does not actually have to go to the forest. At the present moment this is not at all advisable for a man who has spent his life all along in big cities. As explained by Prahlada Maharaja (hitvatma-patam gr?ham andha-kupam), one should not remain always engaged in the responsibilities of family life because family life without Krishna consciousness is just like a blind well. Alone in a field, if one falls into a blind well and no one is there to save him, he may cry for years, and no one will see or hear where the crying is coming from. Death is sure. Similarly, those who are forgetful of their eternal relationship with the Supreme Lord are in the blind well of family life; their position is very ominous. Prahlada Maharaja advised that one should give up this well somehow or other and take to Krishna consciousness and thus be freed from
material entanglement, which is full of anxieties.
[End of Purport]

maitreya uvaca
evam samuditas tena
kapilena prajapatih
daksini-krtya tam prito
vanam eva jagama ha

Sri Maitreya said: Thus when Kardama Muni, the progenitor of human society, was spoken to in fullness by his son, Kapila, he circumambulated Him, and with a good, pacified mind he at once left for the forest.

So in the purport Prabhupada mentions two things. One thing, first
Prabhupada is saying that everyone must go to the forest which could have been quite shocking. [laughs] Prabhupada makes it that it’s a compulsory thing. It’s compulsory that everyone should go to the forest. But then Prabhupada is saying that most of the people in this age will not be possible to go to the forest. The purpose of going to the forest, Prabhupada is explaining, is not to just go there and live like an animal. A forest is actually meant for the animals. In the forest there are monkeys. Monkeys are very frivolous so one shouldn’t go to the forest as a frivolous person. Without understanding the purpose and just go to the forest is not going to serve its mission.  And Prabhupada also said in the forest there are wild animals, ferocious animals. What do the ferocious animals do? The ferocious
animals thrive on other animals. They kill other animals.

There is another kind of people those who live in the forest: those who are the hunters. They live in the forest. The people, those who subsist on meat eating, in the Vedic culture they were driven into the forest. That if you want to eat meat, okay, go to the forest, hunt the wild animals and eat their flesh. So these ‘antajas’, those who are unclean in their habits, those who do not fall in the varnashrama, that is those who are below sudras, they were driven out of the human society and they were made to live on the outskirts of the civilized area. That is in the forest, in the outskirts of the forest. The Nishadas, the Shabaras, the Pulindas, Hunas, Kiratas, they all used to live in such area. Why? Because if you have to eat meat and if you have to lead an unclean life, which is like the animal life, then go to the forest. That is the natural way of living. But today’s society, due to the influence of the age of Kali, has become so unnatural that those who are actually by nature like animals, they’re living in big,
big cities. They are living in big cities but their mentality is like that of an animal. They would be better off in the forest. Living in the forest would be better off for them, they would be better off.

Anyway, that is the condition of the age of Kali. In the age of Kali
everything turns upside down. An example has been given in the age of Kali: even the lamp burns with the wicks facing downwards. In a lamp how the wick is? In a lamp, it contains oil or ghee, and the wick sticks out and then it burns. Or in a candle, in the centre is the wick, it is burning upwards. But there is a saying that in the age of Kali the lamp would burn upside down, the wicks pointing downwards.  Now look at that! [laughter]

So that is the condition of the age of Kali. What can be done? Everything turns upside down. In the other ages the brahmanas used to be the head of the society. Now, who has become the head of the society? The sudras have become the head of the society. Actually, everyone has become sudra and among the sudras, who is more sudra like, he becomes the leader. Sudra means uneducated, uncultured, uncivil. In today’s world we are seeing who are becoming the leaders of the society? Those who are the gundas and ruffians. They are the leaders of the society. Bigger of the gunda you are, more chance you have to win the vote. So that is the age of Kali. And the structure, previously varnashrama, brahmana, then kshatriya, then vaishya, then sudra. The lowest is the sudra. But in today’s society what has
happened? That varnashrama structure has been given up and came democracy. What is democracy? Democracy means for the people, by the people, of the people. Who decides in this age? In other ages the brahmanas used to decide and they used to guide but in today’s society everything turned upside down. The sudras have become the head, the working class, communism. Who has the biggest voice? Who is the most powerful? The laborers. In the communist society, it’s a society of working class. And a little better than communism is a democracy. In democracy everyone is equal. Everyone has equal right. Everyone has a vote. And with that vote they can elect a leader, which means that there is no leader as such, the mass is the leader. And whoever they
elect that will be the leader.

And if we also analyze it then we can see the brahmanas, or the intellectuals are being dominated by the political leaders. Intellectuals are controlled by the political leaders. So in one hand the brahmanas, the intellectuals, are manipulated by the so called kshatriyas. Not the kshatriyas but the administrators. The politicians are the administrators. And these politicians are being controlled by the capitalists, by the vaishyas. Those who have money they are manipulating the politicians. Politicians in most cases are just the front. People know that. In countries like America they know that the elected president is just the front.  Behind that there is a mechanism. They decide who will be the leader, with their money and their controlling. And the vaishyas are being controlled by the
laborers, the labor union. Those who are making money they are making
money through their industry, through their business and their business is being dictated by the labor union. So ultimately who is the leader? The labor union. Below the labor union are the rich people, the vaishyas. Then under the vaishyas are the politicians and under the politicians are the brahmanas. Completely upside down.

So that is the state of affairs in the age of Kali. What to be done? From whichever angle of vision you look at it, from whichever point of view you look at it, you’ll find that Kaliyuga is a terrible place. It’s a terrible place. It’s a most difficult time but although Kaliyuga is the most difficult of all ages but asti hy eko mahan gunah. [SB 12.03.51] Kaliyuga has one great advantage. Otherwise it’s a terrible place. It’s a terrible time. Kaliyuga is a terrible time, terrible age but Kaliyuga has one great advantage, asti hy eko mahan gunah. And what is that mahan gunah? Kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet. Kirtanad eva krsnasya, just by chanting the Holy Name one can become free from all his material bondage. So that is the advantage of the age of Kali. Otherwise it is a very, very
degraded age, but it has one great advantage. That is by chanting the Holy Name of the Lord one can very easily become free from all his material difficulties. It’s a difficult age but this is the advantage.

It is actually good to be here in this age, especially at this point in time. This point in time means when Caitanya Mahaprabhu came and gave Krishna consciousness and then Srila Prabhupada came and spread Krishna consciousness all over the world. That’s why we are here. Did we get the opportunity to get this kirtanad eva krsnasya? We got this opportunity. So that is the purpose of Kaliyuga, the most wonderful benefit of the Kaliyuga has been achieved just by being here at this time and having this opportunity to take advantage of Krishna consciousness. Otherwise it’s a very, very difficult…it’s a completely undesirable state of existence in this age. Everyone is so sinful.

We can see that those who are not Krishna conscious what a dangerous life they are leading. Like most of the people are now addicted to the sinful life. Most of the people in this age are meat eaters. Most of the people are indulging in intoxication. We are seeing now it has become a fashion. If you are a vegetarian then you can’t really mix with anybody. You go to somebody’s house, what they’ll serve? Meat. You go to any program, sometimes people, devotees tell me that they can’t actually associate with any of their relatives because the moment they go to the wedding or anything, for the sake of formalities, for social obligations, they have to go to the weddings and all and what they are serving? They are serving meat and alcohol.

And then everywhere there is such propaganda for illicit sex life. Everywhere. And we can see like how people are becoming victimized. Like, recently parents of one of my disciples in America they were in great anxiety. They just expressed their anxiety to me that their teen age son, they found him watching pornography in the internet. And they were completely devastated. The thing is, like what can be done? This young boy has been exposed to that. You have a computer, you open your computer and you just become victimized by all this.

So this is what is happening in the age of Kali. And what to speak of when people go to some other places, like casinos and nightclubs. So this is the situation of the age of Kali. There are cities built with that purpose. In the West the whole world is being dominated or led by the materialistic culture of the West and the result is total degradation: meat eating, intoxication, illicit sex and gambling.  Especially the youth, they’re so badly exposed to that. Like, how can they be saved? The only thing that can save is Krishna consciousness.  That is the asty hy eko mahan gunah. And those who do not take to Krishna consciousness their situation is hopeless. Their situation is absolutely hopeless. At least in Krishna consciousness we understand why things shouldn’t be done. There is a systematic effort to educate everybody, why shouldn’t we eat meat or non vegetarian foodstuff, why shouldn’t we take intoxication.

Like, we remember we also had gone through this, although the situation was not that bad, but the temptations were there. Like when you are with your friends, the condition was that, well, let’s go and have fun. Have fun means let’s go and drink. That was the degree of fun for the youth. I mean, I am sure it is much worse now than during our times. [laughs] I am talking about almost forty five years back. So at that time the condition was still so vulnerable for the youth. And you have your association. The peer pressure is there. You are with your friends. A young boy or girl is naturally going to be affected by their surroundings, their associates, their friends,
otherwise he’ll become completely isolated. They laugh at him. They go to school, they go to college and if they don’t…that’s what used to happen.

Like, I remember, we used to have a Marwari friend who was a staunch
vegetarian. And the friends in school and college also, they were together, they used to laugh at him. “Oh, look he is a vegetarian!” [laughs] And another person, he didn’t drink. They’re coming from good background, a very staunch background, and so much effort used to be made just to make him drink. But he was strong enough to withstand those influences but how many people can actually withstand that?

Especially in today’s world. I hear, so many young boys and girls tell me in the West, that this is what is happening, the friends are putting pressure, what should I do. Unless and until we have our own schools, unless and until we have our own colleges and universities, our children are going to be exposed to all that and they are going to be vulnerable.

That’s why we have to seriously consider how to save our children. Our life practically has, good part of it is spent and we are living a very protected life in the community of devotees. Those who are living in a temple and in the surrounding, and especially in India the influence is not so bad. I don’t know, may be in the big cities it’s sometimes I get to hear that how cities like Bombay, it’s even worse than the cities in America. One couple from Bombay they were telling me, the wife was telling me that her husband has…when they go to Bombay the surrounding is so degrading, he goes into his
association of his friends and they get into a competition who can drink more whiskey. And she was telling me that they polish off one bottle each! [laughs]

So this is how degraded people have become in cities like Bombay. Like, when you imitate, it becomes even worse. What India is doing today, most of the youth in India is imitating the West. So when they imitate they become even worse. In cities like America and Europe that is how they grow up, that is their way of life. That’s understandable. But in India it is too extreme, opposite. Like, Indian culture, children grow up, the youth, they have one kind of environment at home and they have another kind of environment when they fall into their surroundings. Especially the affluent children from affluent societies. They have money, so much money. Some rich people from India are so rich that they do not know how to spend their money. Recently I
was told one very rich Indian person, his daughter was getting married and she studied in Italy so she wanted to have her wedding in Italy. And all the relatives and friends they were transported to Italy. Not only that, he took all kinds of cooks and things from India. Like there is one catering group from London, they have been given in charge of the catering, general catering, but they took chaatwallas, hutchkawallas, and even paanwallas [laughter], the paanwallas from Benares, chaatwallas from Allahabad. They got like three hundred people, they have taken just for preparing, I mean for cooking, this person who was actually catering for them, he is known to us from London, he was actually telling me that he had an entourage of three
hundred people to cater for the wedding. And he is an Indian. This person who is actually anyway, by the way, this is the Mittals, no I am sorry, not Mittals, Gindals. His daughter is getting married. She studied in Florence, so the wedding is in Florence. The boy is Indian, the girl is Indian, but the wedding is in….also, I get to hear that Indians they have their wedding in Indonesia. The rich Indians they have to show how much money they have and the wedding is a time when they can flaund their wealth.

So this is how money is being squandered. Ultimately when they get into these weddings, what do they do? They just indulge in meat eating, intoxication and other sinful activities. So asti hy eko mahan gunah. The only way to save one self in this dangerous age of Kali is chanting the Holy Name of the Lord.

harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha
[CC Adi 17.21]

Hare Krishna!

Does anybody have any question? I am seeing quite a few new faces today. They’re your cousins, yeah? Whose birthday is today? Okay, yes, Hare Krishna! What’s your name? Preeti. Happy birthday to you, and we will cut the cake and the best gift for your birthday is Hare Krishna Maha Mantra. [audience: Haribol!] Right? [laughs] Do you understand what I spoke in the class? Chant the Holy Name of the Lord, okay? Do you chant? Okay, I am sure your cousin’s influence must be very, very prominent. All of you chant Hare Krishna? You all are friends of Preeti? They are friends. Okay, so take care of them and make sure that they chant Hare Krishna. So that is the best gift, not only for Preeti but for all of you. Thank you! After the class we will cut the cake for your birthday. Hare Krishna! Yes, any questions? Yes, Akhiladhara prabhu?

Devotee: Maharaja, you are talking pretty graphically about the situation and rapidly, daily we are experiencing, especially in India, how rapidly this is happening. Even in the villages five year old, seven year old children taking gutka, drinking and…
BCS: Gutka is nimbu pani! [lemon juice] [laughter]

Devotee: And that means the sex, everything.
BCS: Right, because they’re being exposed through the TV and that’s what they are following.

Devotee: But even you said in India it is not so bad, but the Bollywood is more…you can’t do that in Western cinema, direct blasphemy of any religious sect. You can’t do that.
BCS: Hmm, so the West is even better than India in many ways.

Devotee: In some ways, yes. And I personally, when I… one person that I was with from Dulai, I went from Nasik to Dulai, I had to go from Dulai to Indore and made a very deep connection on the bus. And it was one o’ clock in the morning when we got to Indore and there were no buses so he helped me, directly getting me into a jeep where a person distributes newspapers and so different stops to get me to Ujjain. I got here at 4.30 at the bus stand. In addition to the driver four students from affluent families were in the vehicle with me and they were intoxicated and they were very much grossly disrespectful, mocking and very deviating in every way. But I was very… they won’t forget their association with me. But it is such a painful and why they were coming here, they were telling me that this is a very popular place for a young man to bring his girl friend. It’s a place
for people where they can come and just relate with their girl friend.
It’s a popular place, and I am seeing young students who are coming with their rock and roll shirts and everything. And you try to talk to them and they think it is a joke. So I wondered why they come because they are so sinful. They’re coming, somehow they’re getting the mercy, you know this place is magic, but how we can somehow attract them. They’re coming here, they are here, how we can somehow.

BCS: Yeah, we have to think of ways and means and we have to keep on
endeavoring. And ultimately it is a matter of time. Like, for example, say thirty years back very few Indians were receptive to Krishna consciousness, very few. Our temples, thirty five years back…say for example, when I joined, I mean I was one of the very few Indians in our temple, in Mayapura. Even in Mayapura. In Calcutta, Agnidhara and I were the only two Indians. So that was the situation, but today you can see.

Devotee: There is a polarization right now and our movement is becoming…
BCS: Well, the point is, you know, we keep on endeavoring and Krishna
will make arrangements. It will happen. The youth are responding.
Those days hardly any educated, young Indians joined. But today there
are so many college students, I mean university preaching is becoming
very, very effective. Like, for example, Radheshyama prabhu is preaching to the higher, most top universities, I.I.T and I.A. He told me that I.A.M. he is not endeavoring so much now because they are under a lot of stress. But I.I.T.

Devotee: It’s like the medical capital of the world.
BCS: Right, exactly. And they are responding. Like, say for example, in one college, Kharakpura, there are about two hundred boys chanting. Fourteen of them joined Calcutta temple, full time devotees, although they have such a bright future. They have given up and joined. Because I.I.T. as you said, the cream of the Indian intellectuals, and I mean there are hundreds of people, those who are practicing Krishna consciousness. Even in Indore we have a lot of success. Like, Nitai Candra prabhu is preaching there and lots of students are coming to Krishna consciousness.

Devotee: When you are coming from the West, especially you think oh, when you come to India your dream is now…you’re in the land of religion.
BCS: Right, right. No, no, it is very disappointing.

Devotee: It has taken me so many decades to adjust to the way it really is without always being in a state of shock. I am just adjusting. It’s becoming more difficult, actually to see the students now it is hard to keep up with the adjustment because on one side it is going down so quick.
BCS: Yeah, it will be nice if you visit those I.I.T.’s since you are travelling. Why don’t you get in touch with Radheshyama prabhu?

Devotee: Oh I am in touch with him. I spend a year here now, I spend a lot of time. I just finished editing a book. A lot of [unclear] with Rasamandala, Islam and the Vedas, Koran and the Vedas. It has just been published now.
BCS: Yeah, no what I mean is, you can travel also to the I.I.T and other educational institutions.

Devotee: I am doing right now college for pada yatra.
BCS: Pada Yatra doesn’t give you the opening so much. Pada Yatra doesn’t give you the exposure so much.

Devotee: Because we go on the campuses.
BCS: Very good.

Devotee: And we are doing a lot of projects.
BCS: Very good.

Devotee: The devotees are specifically trained.
BCS: Thank you. Maybe one of these days you can give a workshop to the
devotees. Maybe tomorrow Akhiladhara prabhu can give the class, the
Bhagavatam class.

Devotee: When I am on a campus, I only have done it a couple times, because for me I had a break down on the campus. And there is a lot of and for me to adjust like Radhesyama and his approach, I am pretty, you could say, pretty straight.
BCS: So we will discuss later. Like we can take some questions. Yes, you have your hand up.

Devotee: Guru Maharaja, as you were telling about these rich families, so I remembered [inaudible] Why not devotees become entrepreneurs and make a lot of money and spread Krishna consciousness that way. That kind of money can be spent on spreading Krishna consciousness to do something large.
BCS: Yeah, it will happen. It’s a matter of time. And not only ISKCON
devotees have to become entrepreneurs, can you imagine these rich people becoming devotees one day? It will happen but you can’t force it, you see. It’s happening. For example Krishna Candra prabhu Mafatlal, he became a
devotee and Srinathaji prabhu, they are very wealthy people. The Mafatlals are one of the biggest in the industrial families. So it is happening. It is happening. And also many rich people are Chowpatty temple, Radha-Gopinatha temple is the perfect example for that how these high class individuals are becoming Krishna conscious and you can see how they are supporting the movement.


Devotee: Actually, an example of that in Holland with Dhananjaya, Hare
Krishna dasa joined there in ’75. He was vice president and now he is
practically the wealthiest person in Holland. He started two hundred and fifty businesses. Two hundred and thirty five were successful and the temple now, I heard, I haven’t been there, there is a wonderful new temple and Dhananjaya.
BCS: Well, if he is the richest man in Holland then I will say that his contribution to ISKCON is very little. So it is practically nothing. If he is the richest man in Holland.

Devotee: His son is more serious than he is.
BCS: That’s the problem, you know, they make their money and give a little ‘bakshish’ to ISKCON.

Devotee: To gain popularity
BCS: Yeah, right. Yeah. Okay, let’s stick to the questions. Any other questions? Yes.

Devotee: Devotional service of Krishna consciousness, what is the svarupa of the vanaprastha ashrama, of grihasta and brahmacari?
BCS: I actually got carried away and didn’t really get into that part of the thing. Like I said Prabhupada suggested that everybody should go to the forest. But then Prabhupada actually said that it is not going to be possible for everyone or anyone practically to go to the forest. The purpose of going to the forest is to fully surrender to Krishna. So going to the forest means to surrender to Krishna. So they should surrender to Krishna and the opportunity to surrender to Krishna is ISKCON. They should come to ISKCON and surrender themselves completely depending upon Krishna. They depend upon Krishna. The other day I also mentioned one thing, the forest; what kind of forest one actually goes to when one goes to vanaprastha? That ‘vana’, vanaprastha, vana means Vrindavana. So you take vanaprastha and go to Vrindavana. And where is Vrindavana? ISKCON temples are Vrindavana! So
come to the temple, depend upon Krishna and lead your life. When you come to the temple just depend. Krishna is taking care. Like prasada is there, some accommodation is there, that is the standard of vanaprastha life. Depend upon Krishna and lead your life depending upon Krishna. Some day Krishna will give you some food to eat and if some day Krishna doesn’t give you some food to eat, like if you are in the forest not that every day you’ll get something to eat. You’ll be prepared, you have to be prepared that some days you have to starve.

Similarly, depending upon Krishna means if something doesn’t come, well. So that is the meaning of depending upon Krishna or that is the purpose of vanaprastha. That’s what Prabhupada has pointed out, the purpose of vanaprastha is to depend upon Krishna and thus become free from material attachment. The material attachment is making adjustments, making all kinds of adjustments to lead a comfortable life. But vanaprastha life means life of detachment.

Okay, thank you.