Govardhana Puja 2021
Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Govardhana Puja, November 14, 1966, New York
Prabhupāda: Today Govardhanadhārī, Giridhārī, Lord Kṛṣṇa, today lifted the mountain. Demigods like Indra, Chandra, according to Vedic literature there are.
According to Vedic literature there are different demigods. Sometimes we will find in Greek mythology the gods of the water, gods of the thunderbolt. These are not imagination. Actually they are facts. But due to our insufficient knowledge we do not know how the material nature is being controlled.
So when Kṛṣṇa was on this planet and He was playing the part of a cowherd boy, and it was known to all over the universe that, “God has come, taken incarnation, and He is on the earth planet, and He is at Vṛndāvana playing the part of a cowherd boy . . .” So as if somebody, if there is incarnation of God, somebody believes and somebody does not believe, when Kṛṣṇa was actually present on this earth, it is not that everybody understood that Kṛṣṇa was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, not even up to date.
Only few persons, the five brothers of the Pāṇḍavas and the damsels of Vṛndāvana, only in the fingers’ count, say, out of the whole population, say, hundred or two hundred men knew Him that He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Otherwise, everyone thought that “He is an ordinary man just like one of us, but most powerful. That’s all.”
Similarly, the demigods in other planets, they also thought, “Oh, he’s a foolish person. They are thinking of a cowherd boy as God,” sophisticated, like that. And especially Indra, the heavenly kingdom . . . king of heaven. He was . . . he’s very powerful, so he thought, “What god he has come? My God, He cannot come.” This was some speculation. Even Brahmā also speculated. But Kṛṣṇa wanted to show Indra that “Yes, actually I have come.” So that incidence is today, Govardhana-pūjā. So:
- bhagavān api tatraiva
- apaśyan nivasan gopan
- (SB 10.24.1)
Indra-yāga-kṛtodyamān. According to Vedic system, there are different types of sacrifices to offer respect and obediences to the demigods. Just like the sun is supplying light, the moon is supplying moonshine. Similarly, Indra is supplying the cloud. Similarly, there are different demigods. And in the Bhagavad-gītā, devan ya yajayantī deva-bhavan—these things are described. In the Vedic literature it is prescribed that “You should satisfy these demigods by sacrifice, deva-yajan.”
So in the village of that Vṛndāvana, the father of Kṛṣṇa, foster father of Kṛṣṇa, Nanda Mahārāja and his associates, they were yearly performing the Indra-yajña. Because they were agriculturist, they depended on rain, sufficient rains. And he had many cows. Nanda Mahārāja was a farm man. He is agriculture and cows. The mercantile people, the vaiśya community, they are recommended three things—kṛṣi-go-raksya-vāṇijyam (BG 18.44). Kṛṣi means agriculture, and go-rakṣya means cow protection, and vāṇijyam means trade.
So Nanda Mahārāja belonged to the vaiśya community. So he was well-to-do man, very rich man, and he had 900,000’s of cows—900,000’s of cows he was protecting. Formerly, according to Vedic civilization, a man was considered to be rich man in proportion of his stock of grains and livestock, cows. That’s all. Dhānyena dhanavān.
A man was to be con . . . was considered to be rich man if he has sufficient quantity of grains at his possession, in his possession. Similarly, if one has sufficient number of cows in his possession, he was considered rich man. Not that bank balance. There was no such bank, neither this paper money. They actually possessing the foodstuff and milk.
And actually this is economic solution. If you have got sufficient milk, then you can make so many nice nutritious, full of vitamin values preparation and grains. There is no question of economic starvation if you have got simply grains and cows. So that was the standard of economic solution in days yore.
So they were preparing just to satisfy the demigod Indra, because he was supposed to sup . . . not supposed; actually he supplies rains sufficiently. Without rains you cannot have successful agriculture. So they were preparing that sacrifice. So this preparation was being observed by Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma.
Kṛṣṇa is the youngest, and Balarāma is the eldest. Balarāma is son of Rohiṇī, and Kṛṣṇa is son of Devakī. Both these ladies, Rohiṇī and Devakī, they were wives of Vasudeva, Kṛṣṇa’s father. So Balarāma was born of Rohiṇī, and Kṛṣṇa was born of Devakī. Devakī-nandana-gopāla. So Devakī-nandana.
So They were not very . . . there was not much difference of Their age, say one year or two years, like that. So Balarāma was eldest brother. They were playing together, and this is an incidence when Balarāma was about eight years old and Kṛṣṇa was about seven years old. So, bhagavān tatraiva baladevena saṁyutaḥ. Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, along with Baladeva, His elder brother, apaśyan, “saw.” What is that “saw”? Nivasan gopa indra-yāga-kṛtodyamān (SB 10.24.1): “All the cowherds men, including His father, they were preparing for sacrifice of Indra-yajña.” Indra-yajña.
- tad-abhijño ‘pi bhagavān
- sarvātmā sarva-darśanaḥ
- praśrāyavanato ‘pṛcchad
- vṛddhān nanda-puro-gamān
- (SB 10.24.2)
He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He knew everything what they were doing and what was the purpose. Because He is present in everyone’s heart, so He knows everything. But because He was playing just like a boy, cowherd boy, so as if He did not know anything, He asked, inquired from the . . . from His father, and the elderly persons who were assisting His father for preparing the sacrifice.
Tad abhijño ‘pi. This very word is used here, that “He knew everything,” Bhagavān. Because Bhagavān means He must know everything—past, present, future. There is no lack of knowledge. I have several times described before you, bhagavān means He is full of all opulences, and there are six opulences: riches, strength, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation. So Bhagavān cannot be in lack of knowledge. He must know everything. That is Bhagavān. So therefore it is said that “What is the use of asking His father what they were going to do? He knew everything.”
But it is specifically mentioned, atad abhijño’pi. Although He knew it, because He was playing the part of a boy, and the father knew that “Kṛṣṇa is my son . . .” They did not recognize Him that He is Personality of Godhead. They knew, “Oh, He is my . . . my ordinary son.” Tad abhijño’pi bhagavān sarvātmā. Sarvātmā means one who is situated in everyone’s heart. Sarvātmā sarva-darśanaḥ. Sarva-darśanaḥ means one who can see everything, past, present and future. Still, praśrāyavantaḥ, “Just like an obedient son, submissive son,” apṛcchad vṛddhān nanda-puro-gamān, “The elderly persons of His father’s friends and associates, with very humbleness, He inquired.” He inquired. And what is that enquiry?
- kathyatāṁ me pitaḥ ko ‘yaṁ
- sambhramo vā upāgataḥ
- kiṁ phalaṁ kasya coddeśaḥ
- kena vā sādhyate makhaḥ
- (SB 10.24.3)
etad brūhi mahān kāmo mahyaṁ śuśruṣave pitaḥ (SB 10.24.4)
“My dear father, I very respectfully and humbly I am inquiring what is this arrangement. Why you are busy in some making some sacrificial ceremony, and what is the reason and what is the result?” Kiṁ phalaṁ: “What is the result of doing this?” Kiṁ phalaṁ kasya ca uddeśaḥ: “By whom . . . whom you are trying to satisfy?” Kena vā sādhyate: “And what is the purpose of the sacrifice? So I, I cannot understand. Will you kindly explain to Me?” Etad brūhi mahān kāmo: “I am very much anxious. Kindly explain to Me.” Etad mahān kāmo mahyaṁ śuśruṣave pitaḥ: “Oh, I am your most obedient son, so you kindly explain to Me.” This question was posed.
- na hi gopyaṁ hi sādhūnāṁ
- kṛtyaṁ sarvātmanām iha
- amitro-dāsastad viṣām
- (SB 10.24.4)
“Now, if you think that it is very confidential, it cannot be disclosed, then I think for a person like you who is doing publicly such sacrifice, you should not explain to Me.” Na hi gopyaṁ hi sādhūnām: “Sādhu . . . sādhu, those who are saintly person, for them there is no secret.” There is no secret. There is no privacy. A sādhu, sādhu has no privacy.
Just now in our ordinary social affairs, there is difference between private life and his public life. Now, somebody is teacher . . . now, he is very good teacher. He can very good . . . he can explain very nicely a subject matter, but his private life is not very good—then he is not a teacher; he is not a sādhu. That is Vedic conception. One must be a teacher according to his own behavior in life. There is no secrecy or privacy. Now, we think that, “Oh, we don’t mind what is private character. We don’t mind. We are concerned with his teaching.” No. That sort of teaching will not have any effect.
Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, āpani ācārī prabhu jīverī śikṣāya: a teacher must demonstrate in his practical life what he is teaching. That is the meaning of ācārya. Ācārya means the teacher must demonstrate things by applying the same thing in his own life. That is called ācārya. Therefore Kṛṣṇa said that “You cannot . . . you cannot disclose anything. You cannot keep anything private. Please disclose.” Udāsīno ‘rivad varyam, ātmavat suhṛd ucyate (SB 10.24.5): “And even if it is very confidential, I am your son. You can explain to Him (Me). I am your well-wisher.”
- jñātvājñātvā ca karmāṇi
- jano ‘yam anutiṣṭhanti
- viduṣaḥ karma-siddhiḥ syāt
- tathā na viduṣo bhavet
- (SB 10.24.6)
“Whether this is a superstition?” Just see how Kṛṣṇa is speaking. “Whether it is a superstition or it has got some actual effect?” You should not do anything, religious rituals, under superstition. That is the recommendation of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa does not like that people should perform anything under superstition. Suppose if you are sacrificing, if you are doing some ceremony, you must have thorough knowledge that there must be the result.
There must be the result. Just like there are many sacrifices recommended in the Vedic literature, putreṣṭī-yajña. Putreṣṭī. Suppose a man has no son, and if he performs that sacrifice, he will have a son. That is a fact. Similarly, so many things there are.
So any rituals, religious rituals . . . now, according to Kṛṣṇa . . . how practical He is. He says that, “No religious ritual should be performed without practical effect.” Without practical effect. People have become atheist because in the modern age there are so many rituals in all religions, not only Hindu religion, but Christian religion. But, they say, simply formality; there is no effect. There is no effect. So such sort of rituals, religious ceremony, is not recommended by Kṛṣṇa. You must actually the effect.
Just like in Purāṇas there was a talk between Lord Caitanya and Kazi, Chand Kazi. Chand Kazi was a Muhammadan magistrate, and Lord Caitanya, when He started this saṅkīrtana movement, there was many complaints. Just like we are receiving daily reports that our saṅkīrtana movement is disturbing some tenants here, similarly, when Lord Caitanya, He started His this saṅkīrtana, some of the brahmiṇs . . . because Lord Caitanya said that, “This is the only religion. In this age, this chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare / Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, this is the only religious principle, and everyone will have all his desires fulfilled by chanting this.”
So the brahmiṇs, those who are priestly class, they thought that, “If people take to this only chanting, then what about our churches and mosque and temples? They will not come.” So they lodged a complaint to the magistrate that “This is not Hindu religion. He has discovered something in His own fertile brain, so we do not recognize it.” So this complaint was lodged before the magistrate, and the magistrate took step, first of all warned Him that, “Don’t chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.” Then, when He did not care, then sent some constables, and the drums were broken. Then Caitanya Mahāprabhu started civil disobedience movement.
So He did not care for the magistrate. He started saṅkīrtana throughout the whole city of Nabadwip. Then they approached the magistrate’s house. Just the other day there was a procession in your city. So this civil disobedience movement was started first by Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Now, there was some compromising talk with the magistrate, and in that talk the Caitanya Mahāprabhu first questioned . . . because he was Muhammadan, Caitanya Mahāprabhu said that, “In your religion there is killing of father and mother. What sort of religion this is?” The Kazi replied, “How do you say that we are killing our father and . . .?” “Yes. You are killing your mother. Cow gives you milk, delivers milk. You will drink the milk, and you kill the cow. Therefore you are killing your mother.”
So the Kazi replied that, “In your Vedi . . . Vedic literature also, I have seen, there is cow sacrifice.” So Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied, “That is not cow sacrifice. That is rejuvenation of cow. Old cows were sacrificed in the fire, and again a new life was given by the Vedic mantra. But because there is lack of such expert brahmiṇs to chant that mantra, therefore cow sacrifice in this age is forbidden.”
So when the things are not practical, that is . . . that becomes a forbidden. If you actually get the result by some spiritual or religious rituals, performance, then it is very good. Otherwise it is simply superstition. Lord Caitanya’s opinion is that because all these Vedic injunctions, sacrifices, they are not possible to be performed in this age . . . they are very difficult. There is no expert leader to perform all these ceremonies and rituals. Therefore, take to this Hare Kṛṣṇa. Take to this. There is no need of rituals. There is no need of expenses. Simply God has given you tongue, and God has given you ear. Just go on chanting: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare / Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, and it will fulfill your spiritual advancement.
Similarly, Kṛṣṇa says, jñātvā ajñātvā ca karmāṇi jano ‘yam anutiṣṭhanti: “Generally, mass of people, they are ignorant. They perform some religious rituals, knowingly or unknowingly, as a matter of superstition or custom.” So, viduṣa karma-siddhiḥ syāt. But one who is intelligent, he should know that “By this sacrifice, I must get the result.” Viduṣo karma-siddhiḥ syāt tathā na viduṣo bhavet: “And those who are fools, they, simply by superstition, they do it.”
So Kṛṣṇa did not recommend that you should do something under superstition. No. You must do it for practical result. This dogmatism, fanaticism—”Oh, why I shall chant Hare Kṛṣṇa? I am Christian,” “I am Jews”—this is fanaticism. If you find actually ecstasy by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, why should you not? Why should you not? “No. I am Jew,” “I am Christian,” “I am Muhammadan.” Well, it is transcendental vibration from the spiritual platform. Your Muhammadism, Christianism, Hinduisim, Buddhism, this is skin disease. This is . . .
Because you have got some particular body at particular circumstances, therefore you claim like that. But actually we are all spirit soul, and this sound vibration is from the spirit soul. It will appeal to everyone. See the effect. Then don’t be fanatist. Don’t be, I mean to say, sectarian. So Kṛṣṇa wants that, simply by custom, one should not follow the rituals. One should see the effect.
- tatra tāvāt kriyā-yogo
- bhavatāṁ kiṁ vicāritaḥ
- athavā laukikas tan me
- pṛcchata sādhu (bhaṇyatām)
- (SB 10.24.7)
“So, whether you are confident of the result of this sacrifice?” He is asking His father. Just see. Kṛṣṇa was a boy, and He is asking His father, “Whether you are confident of the result of this sacrifice? You are going to satisfy the demigods, sacrifice. Or,” athavā laukikaḥ, “or it is simply a custom, village custom, that you are doing it?” Laukikas tan me pṛcchata sādhu bhaṇyatām: “Now I am very much inquisitive to learn from you. Please explain.” Now His father is explaining:
- parjanyo bhagavān indro
- meghās tasyātma-mūrtayaḥ
- te ‘bhivarṣanti bhūtānāṁ
- prīṇanaṁ jīvanaṁ payaḥ
- (SB 10.24.8)
He says: “My dear boy, water is very essential, because without rains we cannot have any produce. Therefore . . . this rain is controlled by Bhagavān Indra. The heavenly king Indra, he controls the megha.” Megha means cloud. “He is the master of the cloud. He can send cloud, and he can stop cloud. He is representative of God, so he has got the power.” Te ‘bhivarṣanti bhūtānāṁ prīṇanam: “So when he allows this raining, people become satisfied. They get their produce.”
- taṁ tāta vayam anye ca
- cārmucāṁ patim īśvaram
- dravyais tad-retasā siddhyair
- yajante kratubhir narāḥ
- (SB 10.24.9)
“Therefore it is our duty. Because he supplies us water, so it is our duty to show him respect by this sacrifice.” This is a Vedic injunction. Just like we pay departmental tax. We pay to the Con Edison bills for the supply of electricity and gas. Similarly, we pay the bills of the telephone. But we have no program to pay the bills of the sun, who is supplying us so much light.
(aside) What is that?
Devotee: That needle doesn’t seem to be working.
Prabhupāda: So it is our duty to sacrifice, and according to Vedic rituals, these are recommended, that we should satisfy. So Nanda Mahārāja explained:
- tac cheṣeṇopajīvanti
- puṁsāṁ puruṣa-kāraṇāṁ
- parjanyaḥ phala-bhāvanaḥ
- (SB 10.24.10)
“Now, this water is so important that it will produce grains, and we shall live. And for perfection of our life we must first live. So this is very important thing. So we have to satisfy Indra.”
- ya evaṁ visṛjed dharmaṁ
- pāraṁ paryāgataṁ naraḥ
- kāmā lobhād bhayād dveṣāt
- sa vai nāpnoti śobhanam
- (SB 10.24.11)
He says: “My dear boy, we should not give up this paramparā.” Parampara means coming from disciplic succession or from generation. My father did it, my father’s fathers did it. So every religious ceremony, and according to Vedic rituals, they are from paramparā, family or society-wise or community-wise. In every country there is.
So he says that “This paramparā, this successive generation we have been doing this, and we should not give it up.” He understood Kṛṣṇa’s purpose that, “He is asking. He is very intelligent boy, so He is asking me all these questions just to forbid me.” That He’s just . . . “Like father like son.” The father was also intelligent.
So, ya evaṁ visṛjed dharmam. Dharmam means one must execute. That is dharma. That is . . . just like to become hungry, it is my religion. This is called religion. We should know what is the meaning of religion. Religion means which we cannot separate from myself. The religion which you can change, that is not religion. Suppose I am Hindu; I become Christian. So neither this Hinduism is religion or Christianism religion. It is a dictionary, English dictionary, word. But dharma, according to Sanskrit word, dharma does not mean that which you can change. I have several times explained this fact. Dharma cannot be changed.
Therefore we must find out what is our dharma, what is our religion. Which we are professing, that “Christianity is my religion,” “Hinduism, my religion,” that is not religion. That is faith. Religion is different. Religion you cannot change. You cannot change. That is the meaning of religion. Here it is said that ya evaṁ visṛjed dharmam. Dharmam means you cannot change.
So, pāraṁ paryāgataṁ naraḥ, kāmāt . . . kāmāt lobhāt. Now, religion sometimes, when it is taken as faith, they are changed. How they have changed? Kāmāt: for some gain. Just like in India formerly Christian religion was preached, giving some facilities. And generally, we see that Christian priests who go to foreign countries—I have seen—they offer some hospital facilities, some economic facilities.
The poor men, they supply clothing and education. So those who are poor, they become captivated, and they . . . they have practically no religion. Anyway, they are facing the economic problems. So kāmāt. Kāmāt means for some gain. For some gain, kāmāt, and lobhāt . . . lobhāt means by some greediness. And bhayāt. Bhayāt means out of fear. And dveṣāt. Dveṣāt means out of enviousness. For all these things one should not give up his faith or religion. So that, that was the explanation of Nanda Mahārāja, the father of Kṛṣṇa.
Now Kṛṣṇa, replying, śrī bhagavān uvāca. The reason of that sacrifice, as explained by Nanda Mahārāja is that, “Indra, the heavenly king, he supplies us water. Therefore we must perform the sacrifice to satisfy him.” Now Kṛṣṇa is giving reason just like an atheist. Just like an atheist, karma-mimāṁsā. There are six philosophers.
Out of that, one is karma-mimāṁsā. Karma-mimāṁsā means one who takes work and the result of work and nothing, no God, nothing of . . . “You work like this; you get the result.” Just like modern theory. So Kṛṣṇa is putting up that karma-mimāṁsā. What is that? He says, karmāṇa jāyate jantuḥ karmaṇaiva pralīyate (SB 10.24.13): “Everyone is born here out of . . . as the effect of his past deeds,” and karmaṇaiva pralīyate, “and he is going to have his next birth according to the work as he is doing here.” This is called karma-mimāṁsā.
The karma-mimāṁsā philosophers, they do not believe that “Oh, our liberation from this material world and entrance in the spiritual kingdom to be associated with God, that will make us happy.” Their belief is that “You simply do good work. Then you gradually get your promotion.”
That is also a fact. That is not means misconception. If you do good work, then you get good birth. Janmaiśvarya-śruta-śrī (SB 1.8.26).
Four things: good birth, mean a good family or good nationality, and janma . . . birth means . . . janma means birth, good birth. Janma aiśvarya, and to become rich, and śruta, to become very learned; and śrī, and to become very beautiful—these are results of past good work.
So here Kṛṣṇa says that, “People are concerned with his work. A man is concerned with his work.” Karmaṇā jāyate jantuḥ karmaṇaiva pralīyate; “He gets his facilities of life according to the past good work, bad work, and he is preparing his life, next, by that work.” Sukhaṁ duḥkhaṁ bhayaṁ kṣemaṁ karmaṇaivābhipadyate: “So therefore, either happiness or distress or fearfulness or poverty or economic question, everything depends on this karma, on this work.”
- asti ced īśvaraḥ kaścit
- phala-rūpy anya-karmaṇāṁ
- kartāraṁ bhajate so ‘pi
- na hy akartuḥ prabhur hi saḥ
- (SB 10.24.14)
“Now, supposing there is somebody.” Because these atheists, they do not believe in God; now they are giving arguments. “Now, suppose there is somebody as God or some supervisor or something like that. But still, he is obliged to give Me the effect. Therefore I am not going to ask mercy from that superior personality, God or something else. I have to work.” And this is also fact. Suppose you are going to appear in some examination. Now, the university is giving you some designation. Now, that designation practically depends on your passing the examination. What is the use of flattering that examiner? That is the argument. There is no . . .
His argument is that, “You are after the sacrifice of satisfying the Indra.” So indirectly He says that, “Indra is appointed by the Lord, and he has to supply water. He is the officer. So what is the use of flattering him?” Just like there are many officers in the New York City. One is in charge of the waterwork department. So there is no question of flattering that waterworks department officer. You pay your tax, you work nicely, and water will be supplied to you. But if you don’t pay your tax, however you flatter that officer, your connection will be cut off. So it depends on your work. It depends on your work.
So, asti ced īśvaraḥ kaścit: “Supposing there is some God . . .” “There is some God.” Just see. A God is preaching atheism. He is God Himself, and He says,”Supposing if there is some God.” (laughs) You see? “Supposing if there is some God,” kaścit phala-rūpy anya-karmaṇām, “and He gives the result of your work.” The karma-mimāṁsā philosophers, they accept God in this way. “Suppose there is God and He is to give us the result. So He is obliged. If we do nice work, He is obliged. So what is the use of flattering God? Let us do our duty nicely. Then He will be obliged.”
So Kṛṣṇa is forwarding that argument. Asti ced īśvaraḥ kaścit phala-rūpa anya . . . phala-rūpy anya-karmaṇām, kartāraṁ bhajate so ‘pi: “He also worships the worker. The worker has not to worship God. Because God gives you good result out of your . . . out of your good work; therefore, because you are doing good work, therefore God is worshiping you.” Just see the argument. He says, kartāraṁ bhajate so ‘pi na hy akartuḥ prabhur: “And one who does not do good work, even God does not like him. So there is no necessity of this worshiping this heavenly god or any god, so let us have our duty done nicely. That will fetch us the desired result.”
- kim indreṇeha bhūtānāṁ
- anīsenānyathā kartuṁ
- svabhāva-vihitaṁ nṛṇām
- (SB 10.24.15)
“So, therefore, there is no . . . father, there is no necessity of satisfying this Indra. You are simply wasting your time. You are simply wasting your time.” Oh:
- svabhāva-tantro hi janaḥ
- svabhāvam anuvartate
- svabhāva-stham idaṁ sarvaṁ
- (SB 10.24.16)
“Everyone is acting according to the modes of nature he has acquired, so whatever nature we have acquired . . .” His purpose is that “By nature we are mercantile people.” Because His father was maintaining cows, so he is considered a mercantile man. Vaiśya-karma svabhāva-jam. Kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyaṁ vaiśya-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.44).
So He is giving stress that, “Let us perform our duty as mercantile men honestly, and that will bring us result. Why should we go to worship these demigods?” Now, here is a point, that Kṛṣṇa does not approve the worship of demigods. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñāna yajanty anya-devataḥ (BG 7.20): “Those who are out of intelligence, they simply worship the demigods.” In the Bhagavad-gītā or in the Bhāgavata, anywhere, worship of demigods is not very much recommended.
So here also the same thing, that svabhāva-tantro hi janaḥ: “Everyone is carried by the modes of nature.” Svabhāvam anuvartate: “And he cannot surpass the spell of the modes of nature.” Svabhāvam anuvartante, svabhāvas tam idaṁ sarvam: “Everyone is under the control of the nature he has acquired.” And sa-devāsura mānusaḥ. Sa-devā. “Always, either he is man or superman or animal, everyone is being controlled by the modes of nature.”
- dehān uccāvacāñ jantuḥ
- prāpyotsṛjati karmaṇā
- śatrur mitram udāsīnaḥ
- karmaiva gurur īśvaraḥ
- (SB 10.24.17)
He is giving so much stress on karma. There is no question of bhakti here. So dehān uccāvācāñ. There are difference of, I mean, high-grade body and low-grade body. There are different kinds of body. Somebody has got very high-grade body—very intelligent, very rich, very beautiful, very wealthy—and somebody has low-grade body. So dehān uccāvacāñ jantuḥ prāpyotsṛjati karmaṇā: “Now, these high-grade and low-grade bodies are obtained according to the work he has done.”
Śatrur mitram udāsīnaḥ karmaiva gurur īśvaraḥ: “And one is the leader or one is a teacher or one is enemy or one is friend—everything is judged by this karma, by work.” Just see how much He . . . He is giving stress on work. Karmaiva. Karmaiva gurur īśvaraḥ.
- tasmāt sampūjayet karma
- svabhāva-sthaḥ sva-karma-kṛt
- añjasā yena varteta
- tad evāsya hi daivatam
- (SB 10.24.18)
“Therefore you don’t bother yourself about worshiping this god or that god, demigod. You just be faithful to your work, and then that will give you good result.” Añjasā yena varteta tad evāsya hi daivatam.
- ājīvaikataraṁ bhāvaṁ
- yas tv anyam upajīvati
- na tasmād vindate kṣemaṁ
- jārān nāry asatī yathā
- (SB 10.24.19)
He is condemning, that one, one’s profession . . . He has . . . Lord Kṛṣṇa has in the Bhagavad gītā also said like that, sva-karmaṇā tam abhyarcya (BG 18.46). One should not give up his own profession, never mind even it is faulty. You have heard it from me. Just like He has given the example that fire, fire is so pure, still there is fault: there is smoke. So in spite of all fault one should not give up his own work, but he should do it faithfully and nicely, and the result will come. Ājīvaikataraṁ bhāvaṁ yas tu. And He says here that, “Anyone who gives up his own natural profession, natural aptitude, profession, so . . .” Na tasmād vindate kṣemaṁ jārān nāry asatī yathā.
Jārān nāry asatī yathā. Now, this is a very important question. Nāry asatī. Asatī. Asatī means not chaste, not chaste woman. Just like . . . in India, of course, it is very strict, that the woman is not to give up her husband and acquaint herself with any other man. This example is given that “As an unchaste woman gives up her own husband and makes friendship with others, similarly, one who gives up his own profession and takes other profession, he is also similarly unchaste.”
Unchaste. Nāry asatī yathā. Varteta brāhmaṇo vipra rājanya rakṣayā bhuvaḥ (SB 10.24.20): “Therefore one should not deviate from his professional duties, just like the brahmins . . .” Brahman . . . varteta brāhmaṇo vipraḥ: “Those who are brahmin, they should stick to their principle of life, simply spiritual culture.” Rājanya rakṣayā bhuvaḥ: “And those who are kṣatriyas, they should stick to their protecting the citizen.” The kingly order, royal order, their duty is to give protection to the . . . they should not simply collect tax.
The kṣatriyas, this king is allowed to collect tax because he is supposed to give all protection to the people. So therefore it is said, rājanya rakṣayā bhuvaḥ. Rājanya means the royal order stick to his principle, how to give protection to the people.
Similarly, vaiśyas tu vārtayā jīvet śūdras tu dvīja-sevayā: “Similarly, these mercantile, they should live on their trade, and those who are śūdra, those who are laborer class, they should serve all these three classes.” That is the rules. Now:
- kusīdaṁ tūryam ucyate
- vārtā catur-vidhā tatra
- vayaṁ go-vṛttayo ‘niśam
- (SB 10.24.21)
“Now, according to scripture, we are vaiśya, and we should live not in the brahminical way or kṣatriya’s way or śūdra’s way, but we should live just like vaiśyas. And we are actually agriculturist, and we are actually protecting cows; therefore we are vaiśyas. Our duty is to stick to our . . . faithfully stick to our business, stick to our work. What is the use of worshiping this god or that god?”
- sattvaṁ rajas tama iti
- rajasotpadyate viśvam
- anyonyaṁ vividhaṁ jagat
- (SB 10.24.22)
Now He is forwarding the atheistic theory of Kapila, sāṅkhya philosophy. Sāṅkhya philosophy. Sāṅkhya philosophy theory is that there is no controller, there is no God, but it is . . . the world is moving under nature’s interaction. Just the modern scientist also say like that. The world . . . every action of this material world is being acted . . . just like sāṅkhya philosophy is based on this philosophy, that a man and woman is attracted and they have sex life, and the son is produced, and there is no other . . . no other reason for population. Simply a man wants a woman and a woman wants a man. That natural tendency is there, and when they combine together there is a birth of a child.
So this is a natural sequence. Sāṅkhya philosophy is based on this principle. They do not believe that above this, there is God. Nirīśa. Above this, there is God. There is God’s control. Actually there is God. Sexual intercourse is not the cause of a child. According to Bhāgavata, that a living entity, before his death he is, by superior judgment, it is thought that “Where this living entity, where this particular man or dog or anything, he is dying, where it will be placed?”
So when that place is, I mean to say, sanctioned, the place is selected that, “This particular man should go in such-and-such body,” then he is at once transferred to the semina. That small particle, spiritual particle, is transferred to the semina of the father, and the father injects the semina into the mother’s womb, and it gets a particular type of body according to his karma. That is Bhāgavata’s version. But the sāṅkhya philosophy, they say, because they have no idea that there is spiritual spark, they think simply that, simply the father and mother’s or man and woman’s sex life produces life.
So here practically the same thing is advocated by Kṛṣṇa, that sattvaṁ rajas tama iti sthity-utpatty-anta-hetavaḥ. Now, the creation of this material world is the three modes of material nature. There is no other cause. There is no other cause. Rajasā coditā meghā varṣanty ambūni sarvataḥ (SB 10.24.23): “So when there is too much heat by,” I mean to say “aggravation of the modes of passion, there is evaporation of water, and that becomes cloud, and that is the cause of . . . the cloud is the cause of rain. Why do you go to this Indra and Candra and all these things?” Just see Kṛṣṇa, how He is speaking atheistically.
So, prajās tair eva sidhyanti mahendraḥ kiṁ kariṣyati: “Therefore that rain constitutes agriculture. So why do you bother about this Mahendra?” Just like modern scientists say that “We shall artificially make raining so that where there is scarcity of rain we shall fertilize the land, we shall get production,” so similarly, the sāṅkhya philosophy, according to sāṅkhya philosophy, that rain is caused by the heat, and by the heat there is cloud in the sky, and the cloud is the cause of the rain. There is no question of Mahendra, the controller of the cloud, or anything else. Prajās tair eva sidhyanti, mahendraḥ kiṁ kariṣyati (SB 10.24.23).
- na naḥ puro jana-padā
- na grāmā na gṛhā vayam
- vanaukasas tāta nityaṁ
- (SB 10.24.24)
“So therefore we are not going to the city. We are inhabitants of this village. So it is better to worship this land, this land, this land, Govardhana.” Because Kṛṣṇa was herding His cows on the Govardhana Hill, so indirectly He hinted that “We should worship this Govardhana Hill, and that is our duty.”
So it is a long story, three, four chapters. Of course, it will take some time. I don’t think you can give us so much time. The net . . . the result is that when Kṛṣṇa talked like this, then His father agreed not to perform the sacrifice. Because all the inhabitants of Vraja, Vṛndāvana, they are so much fond of Kṛṣṇa, whatever Kṛṣṇa will say, they will accept. So although Kṛṣṇa was a boy, so He implored His father and other elderly gentlemen present there that “There is no need of performing this sacrifice.” So they stopped sacrifice.
As a result of this stopping, Indra became very much angry, and there was torrents of rain, incessant rain, and very, I mean, very vehemently. So the whole village and whole tract of land comprising the Vrajabhūmi, they became overflooded. And the cows and the animals and the people became too much afflicted. So they had no other source. They approached Kṛṣṇa, “Protect us. Kṛṣṇa, protect us.” So at that time Kṛṣṇa said: “Yes, I will give you protection.” So He was, although a boy of six or seven years old, He lifted that hill.
That is that is . . . we are . . . if any time you go to India you will see the hill. It is not less than at least five, six miles’ area, very big hill. That hill was lifted by Him, and He kept that hill in His hand for seven days. And then everything was cleared. Then Indra prayed Him. So there are many things after this.
But, today Kṛṣṇa lifted this hill; therefore His name is Giridhārī. Giridhārī means who held the hill. Giri means the hill, and dhārī means one who holds up. So today is that, is the annual ceremony of today, this Govardhana-pūjā. So we follow that principle. Because we are devotees of Kṛṣṇa, we are trying to follow His instruction.
So at noontime we shall perform this pūjā, and you are invited to take prasādam. I think prasādam will be ready by eleven o’clock, and you will kindly participate in taking prasādam.