Where there is danger in every step, but we are thinking we are very happy, we are advancing in material civilization, and, as far as we can imagine, that we are very prosperous and everything. This is called maya.
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© 2004 - Hansadutta das
[Posted May 5, 2007]

Endangered Species

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami



Srila Prabhupada
kayak outing
A pleasant kayak outing captured on video...



At any moment...
excerpt from Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 7.3, Montreal, June 3, 1968

Watch for Falling Rocks

It's All Vanity Hansadutta das

Shankaracharya compares this life to a drop of water on a lotus petal. If we go to a pond and see lilies or lotuses, we see a very pretty drop of water reflecting the sunlight on a fresh, green leaf. But with a slight ripple, the drop of water rolls off, falls into the water, and is finished. Shankaracharya compares this life to that position: a slight disturbance, and our whole life may be ended. more

Bhavambudhih means this material nescience, ocean of nescience. It is a ocean of ignorance, nescience. This is called bhavambudhih. But one has to cross over this nescience, ocean of nescience. And how to cross over? Now, samashritam pada-pallavam. One who has taken shelter of the lotus feet as the boat for crossing over this ocean of nescience, for him, bhavambudhih, this great ocean, becomes vatsa-padam. Vatsa-padam means ... You have no such experience. In India, in village, during rainy season the cows and the calf pass on the roads, and there is impression, and there is some water. That is called vatsa-padam, water in the puddle or in the hole impressed by the hoof of the cow and calves. That water, anyone, such hundreds of water spot one can cross very easily. Similarly, if anyone takes shelter of the boat, the lotus feet of Krishna, for him this great ocean of nescience becomes just like vatsa-padam. That means very easily one can cross. And this place... Padam padam yad vipadam [Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.58]. "This material world, where in every step there is danger, this place is not for them." For whom? "One who has taken shelter of the lotus feet of Krishna."

But unfortunately we take this ocean of nescience as very pleasant place. This is the spell of maya [illusion]. Where there is danger in every step, but we are thinking we are very happy, we are advancing in material civilization, and, as far as we can imagine, that we are very prosperous and everything. This is called maya. He cannot appreciate that in every step there is danger in this material world. Take, for example, just like I am coming from Boston here by aeroplane. It is very nice discovery. But as soon as you get on the aeroplane, every second there is danger—because there is no guarantee. There is no guarantee. So similarly, we may crossing over the street... Oh, there is danger. Recently in Delhi one of our Godnephew, oh, he was crushed by motor accident, completely crushed. He fell down, and the motor car passed over him, and all the bones were crushed. I have received that letter. So we should know that this place is not at all safe. At any moment there is danger. Padam padam yad vipadam. Therefore in the Chanakya Pandita's version it is said that "If you want to have spiritual realization, then you should always think that 'Death is coming, and danger is coming immediately.'" That should be our attitude.

And in the Bhagavad-gita it is also said that those who are intelligent persons, those who are making progress to become wiser, for them four things should be kept always in view. What is that? Janma-mrityu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha- dosanudarshanam [Bg. 13.9]. We may think very..., that we are very safe and we are making good advancement in economic development, but there is no solution for these four problems, as enunciated by Bhagavad-gita, janma, mrityu, jara, vyadhi. Oh, there is no solution for birth. There is so much attempt for birth control all over the world, but still, in every minute or in every second some percentage of population is increasing. Janma, mrityu. Similarly, there are so many attempts to discover scientific measures to stop death, but it is not possible. Death is taking place. Rather, in the present age, death is taking place earlier than in years before. Formerly people were living, say, hundred years, eighty years, ninety years, and nowadays a man is living, utmost, seventy years, sixty years. If a man lives for eighty years, then he is considered to be very... But time will come, as we get information from Srimad-Bhagavatam, that at the end of this age, Kali-yuga, if a man lives for twenty to thirty years he'll be considered as the grand old man. So practically we are not making any progress. And materially it is not possible to make progress. It is... That is called maya, illusion. We are actually not making any progress, but we are thinking that we are making progress. This is called spell of maya.

But the real problem is that we should understand that this place is full of danger, and in the Bhagavad-gita it is certified, this place, that duhkhalayam ashashvatam [Bg. 8.15]. This place is full of miseries and ashashvatam. Even if you accept, "Oh, let it be miserable. I don't mind. I shall remain here..." People say frankly that "We don't want any other world. We don't want, don't believe in it, heaven" or "We don't believe in Vaikuntha. We want to make ourself happy in this world." They say. But from authorities like Krishna or Bhagavad-gita, we understand that this place is meant for suffering. This is called duhkhalayam ashashvatam [Bg. 8.15]. Even if we agree to live in this miserable place... Because everyone, we want to live. Nobody wants to die. Nobody wants to die. Suppose we are sitting here, and if there is some death signal, oh, we shall at once flee away from this place, if there is fire, because we do not want to die. That is a fact.

So... But this place is certified by Krishna as duhkhalayam ashashvatam: [Bg. 8.15] "It is place of miseries; at the same time, it is temporary." Temporary. As today we, I entered in your country, Canada, for the first time, and the time limit was given there by the immigration that "You cannot live here or stay here more than this time," similarly... Even if I think, "Oh, Canada is very nice place. Montreal is very nice place. Let me stay here," oh, the immigration department will not allow me to stay. Similarly, if you think that "This material world is very nice. Let me stay here," oh, the higher authorities... There are higher authorities... Just like there are authorities in the immigration department, similarly there are higher authorities in the management of these worldly affairs. Yamaraja, oh, he'll not allow you to stay. You have to change your body.

Actually a living entity is eternal, but the problem is that he is changing body. Just like either I may live at Canada or USA or India, I shall live somewhere, but nobody will allow me to stay. Except in my own country, nobody will allow me to stay for long time. Similarly, this is not your place. This material world is foreign country for you, this material world. We belong to the spiritual world. We belong to the world where life is eternal, where life is blissful, and where there is no ignorance. Just like Krishna's body is described in the Brahma-samhita and other Vedic literatures that ishvarah paramah krishnah sach-chid-ananda-vigrahah [Bs. 5.1]. Sach-chid-ananda-vigrahah means His body is made of spiritual eternity, sat, and cit, full of knowledge, and ananda, and full of bliss. In the Vedanta-sutra also, it is stated about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or the Absolute Truth, as anandamayo 'bhyasat: "By nature He is full of bliss, the Absolute Truth, Absolute Person." You see the Krishna's picture: ananda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhavitabhih [Bs. 5.37]. He's enjoying in blissfulness. This Radha and Krishna, this is enjoyment, but this enjoyment is not like here, the young boys and girls, they enjoy. It is not like that because here the ananda is temporary, it is not eternal, but that ananda, radha-Krishna-pranaya-vikritih, is eternal blissful. So Krishna is canvassing everyone that "You come to Me. Here also you will have this eternal ananda, eternal blissfulness."


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