Real sense pleasure is eternal. Therefore pleasure derived from the material senses is not called real happiness. Although it may appear to be pleasure giving, due to its actual temporary nature, as well as the negative deteriorating after effects of old age and disease, material sense pleasure is in fact, not real pleasure. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada delivered this insightful lecture in New York in 1966.- Josh Hawley
66/08/31 New York, Bhagavad-gita 5.22-29
ye hi samsparsaja bhoga
duhkha-yonaya eva te
na tesu ramate budhah
Happiness which is derived by touch senses, samsparsaja... Samsparsajah means happiness, so-called happiness derived by touch senses. Ye hi samsparsaja bhogah, enjoyment. Duhkha-yonaya eva te. Lord Krsna says that this is not real happiness. Anything, any happiness derived out of touch sensation, that is not real happiness. Rather, that is the gate for various miseries. The whole Vedic scripture describes that happiness derived of sense perception out of the body, that is not real happiness. If we are to enjoy real happiness, then we have to transcend these bodily pleasures. Happiness is there because I am spirit soul. Actually I am full of pleasure, but because my sense of happiness is being manifested through this matter, therefore we are being frustrated in deriving real pleasure. So those who are in the, advanced in spiritual life, they are called yogis. Yoginah. Ramante yoginah anante. Those who are spiritualists, they also enjoy. But they enjoy in the real happiness which has no end. Any happiness which is ended at a certain point, that is not happiness. That is, rather, source of distress. Ady-antavantah kaunteya na tesu ramate budhah. Budhah means who is learned. A learned person does not enjoy such flickering or transient happiness which is derived by sense touching.
saknotihaiva yah sodhum
sa yuktah sa sukhi narah
Saknoti. Saknoti means one who is able to tolerate. Ihaiva. Ihaiva means in this body. And sodhum. Sodhum means to tolerate. Prak. Prak means before. Sarira-vimoksanat. Before leaving this body, if one practices that... What is that practice? Kama-krodhodbhavam vegam. Vegam means urge. Just like sex urge. Everyone has got sex urge. Or so many things, we have got some urge. That Krsna advises, that before quitting this body... The example is that suppose a man is diseased, is suffering from a type of disease. And doctor has asked him not to take solid food. Now, if he is thinking that... Because he is practiced to take solid food, he is thinking, "I must take solid food. I must take solid food..." But if he can tolerate -- "No, doctor has advised not to take solid food" -- if he can tolerate, then he becomes very easily cured. Similarly, sense perception, sense pleasure, is reserved for us in our spiritual life. That is actual sense pleasure. Here we are having sense pleasure artificially through this body. Before leaving this body, if we practice to stop sense pleasure as much as possible... There is training, of course. Without training, nothing can be done.
So according to Vedic civilization, this training was given, student life, complete abstinence from sex life, then vanaprastha life, complete abstinence, and sannyasa life, complete abstinence. The whole training was to abstain, to cure. Because... The same example: In diseased condition we cannot enjoy the foodstuff which we take. When we are healthy, we can enjoy the taste of the foodstuff. So we have to cure. We have to cure. And how to cure? To be situated in the transcendental position of Krsna consciousness. That is the cure. So Krsna advises here anyone who is able to tolerate the urge of sense pleasure. But we have to mold our life in such a way that we should be able to tolerate. Tolerate. That will give us our advancement in spiritual life, and when we are situated in spiritual life, that enjoyment is unending, unlimited. There is no end. Exactly similar verse is there in Srimad-Bhagavatam. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam Rsabhadeva is advising his sons that
nayam deho deha-bhajam nrloke
kastan kaman arhate vid-bhujam ye
tapo divyam putraka yena sattvam
suddhyed yasmad brahma-saukhyam tv anantam
It is very nice verse. He says, "My dear boys, this human form of life..." Na ayam deha. Ayam deha means "this body." Na ayam deho deha-bhajam nrloke. Everyone has got body. The cats, dogs, hogs, and birds, beasts, man, human being demigod -- everyone has got this body, material body. But he's especially advising nrdeha. Nr means human form of life. He says that this human form of life is not meant for working hard for sense pleasure just like the hogs and dogs. Human life. Then what it is meant for? He says, tapo divyam. One should undergo penance for transcendental realization. And what will be the result of such penance? He says that yatah suddhyet sattvam. Your existence will be purified. And when your existence is purified, then you enjoy brahma-saukhyam, the unlimited spiritual happiness.
You are hankering after happiness. Happiness is your prerogative. You must have. That is your life. You cannot stop happiness. But happiness in the diseased condition is not happiness. That we must understand. So we have to cure this diseased condition and then enjoy happiness, then enjoy pleasure that will be unlimited. There will be no end. In the diseased condition... Suppose whatever pleasure we take, it is for fifteen seconds or few minutes or few hours or few days -- it will end. But real happiness, what is real happiness, that is unending. Brahma-saukhyam anantam. Anantam means unending. So we are meant for unending happiness. So Krsna advises here that saknotihaiva yah sodhum prak sarira-vimoksanat. Before quitting this material body, if one practices to tolerate the so-called urges of sense pleasure, then he becomes very happy at the long run. He recommends it. And that is the real purpose of human form of life. That we should not derive. We should not try to derive that false happiness in this diseased condition of material life. This is temporary. That is not happiness. We should understand that out of ignorance we are engaged to derive such kind of happiness, but that is not happiness. Real happiness is in spiritual life.
We have to attain that spiritual life and just a man tolerates so many things for being cured, similarly we have to practice tolerance. Then there will be urges, certainly, because we are practiced to these sense urges for so many births in so many evolutionary process. Now in this human form of life we have to consider that "I am not this body; I am spirit soul." So I have to search out the happiness of the spirit soul, and for that, I have to train myself under superior guidance, as Arjuna has put himself under the guidance of Krsna.
yo 'ntah-sukho 'ntar-aramas
tathantar-jyotir eva yah
sa yogi brahma-nirvanam
One who is aspiring after that transcendental happiness which is called brahma-sukha, brahma-sukha... One who is, yah antah-sukha, that brahma-sukha is within. That brahma-sukha is not without. Yah antah-sukhah antar-aramah. And is happy and satisfied by enjoying within. Antah-sukhah antar-aramas tathantar-jyotir eva yah. And who is trying to find out the brahmajyoti, the effulgence of Brahman within. Sa yogi brahma-nirvanam. That yogi is already situated in Brahman. Nirvanam means ending all this material contamination. Brahma-bhuto 'dhigacchati. And he becomes a realized soul or the brahma-antah.
Now, Krsna says, ksina-kalmasah. Ksina-kalmasah, one who is able to reduce the reaction of all sinful life. We must know it that this material existence, either in any form, they are all reactions of our sinful life. That we must know. So in any condition, it does not matter that a highly advanced person, educated, learned, rich, or beautiful, or anyone -- more or less, according to degree, they are all enjoying or suffering the reaction of their past karma. And, more or less, all the world, they are considered to be sinful. So ksina-kalmasah. Ksina-kalmasah means those who are trying to reduce the reaction of sinful activities. How? By practicing that sense control. Sense control. Practicing sense control. Just like a diseased person. By controlling... By controlling according to the prescription of the doctor, by controlling himself he becomes reduced in the sufferings of the disease. The fever diminishes from 105 degrees to 102, then 100, then 99, then 98 -- he is cured. Similarly, we have to reduce the temperature. We haven't got to increase the temperature. We are just like in the matter of increasing our temperature. We are thinking that by increasing the temperature we shall be happy. We do not know that by increasing temperature we shall never be happy. We have to decrease the temperature. There is a very nice story. Perhaps I have many times told you, that there was a householder, a very rich man. His wife was sick and the maidservant was also sick. So the gentleman called for a doctor, and the doctor treated both the patients, and the doctor said that "Your wife has got 98 temperature, nothing serious. But your maidservant, she has got 104 temperature, so she should be taken care of." Now, the housewife, she became angry. She told the doctor, "Oh, I am the head of the family. I have got only 98 temperature? And my maidservant has got 104? So you are not a doctor!" So that is going on. From 104 we want to increase. 104 degrees and death will come. So the modern civilization is increasing the temperature. So we have come to the point of 107 degree -- atom bomb. So we are prepared for killing ourselves. So this degree, this increasing of temperature of material enjoyment will never make us happy. We have to decrease the temperature. We have to come to the point of 97, not to the 107.
So labhante brahma-nirvanam rsayah ksina-kalmasah. Just like by decreasing temperature we come to the path of healthy life, similarly, if we decrease our sensual activities... The material life means sensual activities, nothing more. Whatever advancement of civilization we are creating, that means we are simply creating artificial sense enjoyment. That's all. This is called material civilization, simply sense enjoyment, nothing more. So we have to... Of course, we don't decry the modern civilization, but it has its proper use. Just like we are also using here electric light, the microphone, and the tape recorder. This is the gift of the modern science. So instead of decrying them, let them engage in the matter of understanding Krsna consciousness. Then everything will be properly utilized. We cannot go back. You cannot go back in the matter of advancement of modern civilization, but here we have got a point, Krsna consciousness. Nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe. We can engage everything in the matter of understanding Krsna consciousness. Everything can be utilized properly. Yuktam vairagyam ucyate. We haven't got to give them up. Our Gosvamis, our predecessors, acaryas, they do not recommend that whatever is produced we shall not give them up. "Oh, it is all material. We don't want." No. Even if that is material... Material is everything. My body is also material. So as I am utilizing my material body for spiritual advancement, similarly I can utilize anything material for spiritual advancement. That is possible. So that prescription is given, nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe. You just try to engage everything in Krsna consciousness. Then you'll have... That means everything will be transformed into spiritual. By Krsna consciousness everything will be transformed into spiritual. Just like the iron rod, if you put into the fire it gets warm, warmer, and when it is red-hot, then it is no longer iron rod, it is fire, similarly, if we constantly engage all our energy in Krsna consciousness, then, even though we have increased the temperature to 107 degrees, that will be transformed into 107 degree of spiritual life. Yes. That is the secret of this Krsna consciousness.
As we'll understand when we come to the Ninth Chapter, it is clearly stated that su-sukham kartum avyayam. It is very happy to adopt this principle of Krsna consciousness. So instead of lamenting what has been done -- that is useless. No use lamenting. We have to now go, make progress, advance by Krsna consciousness and utilizing everything for that purpose, Krsna consciousness. Then everything will be all right. Otherwise,
vairagyam phalgu kathyate
Simply thinking, "Oh, it is material. It is not spiritual. Let me give it up," but I do not know how to utilize them in the purpose of Krsna consciousness, then that sort of renunciation is not very much appreciated by our Gosvami sampradaya. We should not decry anything. Whatever is produced now, welcome. But let it be engaged in Krsna consciousness. Then everything will be all right. The same example. Just like Arjuna was a fighter. He was a military man. But he was trying to mix with sense gratification. He was trying... He declined to fight just to make his own sense gratification. What is that sense gratification? He thought that "By killing my kinsmen, my brothers on the other side, I will be unhappy." So my happiness and unhappiness pertaining to this body, that is a kind of sense gratification. So when he was taught Bhagavad-gita he gave up that process of sense gratification. He agreed to fight to satisfy the sense of Krsna. So he remained the same fighting man. He remained the same military man. But only difference was that in the beginning he wanted to satisfy his own senses and at the end of studying Bhagavad-gita, when he became a liberated soul, he engaged the same energy for the sense gratification of Krsna.
So this is Krsna consciousness. We haven't got to decry anything. Simply we have to change the consciousness. Everything we are now doing in the matter of sense gratification, we have to prepare ourself, we have to train ourself for the sense gratification of Krsna. That is Krsna consciousness. So that requires toleration. Now we are practiced to satisfy our own senses since a very, very long time. In every life, either in this human form of life, in other, so many species of life everyone is engaged for sense gratification. Now we have to change the process. Instead to satisfying my senses, we have to agree to satisfy the senses of Krsna. Unfortunately we make the Supreme Lord senseless. "God is impersonal; He has no sense. He has no hands. He has no mouth. He has no legs." Then what it is? So we are creating imaginary God in that way. But here is God present, Krsna. He's with hands and legs and feet and speaking to Arjuna. So God is not senseless. If He is senseless, then there was no use of speaking this Bhagavad-gita and taking it so very important book so that world is reading very carefully. He's not senseless. He is full sense. Otherwise His Bhagavad-gita has no meaning. So He is full sense. Now, the Krsna consciousness means that instead of satisfying my senses, we are to satisfy the sense of Krsna. A simple process. It is not very difficult.
Kama-krodha-vimuktanam. Now, this kama-krodha, lust, anger, it has been advised in the Fourth Chapter that they are our very great enemies, so we have to give it up. Kama-krodha-vimuktanam. Kama-krodha. We have to give up this lust and kama. Kama is lust, and krodha means anger. Now, just see... Kama-krodha-vimuktanam. How kama-krodha-vimukta, how one can be freed from kama-krodha? Kama-krodha, how one can be freed? Just see the same example we see that Arjuna, he was thinking of the welfare of his kinsmen, and Krsna was asking that "You should fight." And he was declining. So this kind of declining is kama, lust, his own sense gratification. As soon as he became to satisfy the senses of Krsna, then he is freed from his own kama, own lust. There is no more his own lust. His own lust was that he was desiring not to fight. But as soon as he agreed to the instruction of Krsna, he gave up his own lust; he becomes free from kama-krodha. So kama-krodha, kama-krodha, this anger and this lust, that can be... Actually we can be free from the anger and lust when we are actually in Krsna consciousness. Kama-krodha-vimuktanam yatinam yata-cetasam. Yatinam. Therefore great sages, one who is able to give up this kama, the lust and anger, they are called great sages. Ksama-rupa-tapasvinam. Tapasvi, one who is, who are sages, their duty is they always forgive any enemy. Just like you have got very nice example, Lord Jesus Christ. He was being crucified, but he forgave all the persons who were engaged in crucifying him. He prayed Lord, "O my Lord, these people do not know what they are doing." So this is, I mean to say, the signs of great sages. They are not, I mean to say angry. Kama-krodha.
So angry, we can give up anger only when we are Krsna conscious. Otherwise it is not possible to give up lust and anger. It is not possible. Simply... When he was... When... Why Lord Jesus Christ was able to forgive them? Because he was engaged in God's service. Therefore he was... So it is such a thing. Sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah. One who is actually Krsna conscious, automatically all the good qualities overtake him without any separate endeavor. So
So one who is always engaged in Krsna consciousness, automatically he becomes freed from lust, anger, and this is the stage of brahma-nirvanam. Brahma-nirvanam means cessation of material conception of life and be engaged in spiritual, transcendental position. That is called brahma-nirvanam.
sparsan krtva bahir bahyams
caksus caivantare bhruvoh
pranapanau samau krtva
This is yoga process. Krsna is advising that yoga process. Yoga process means to come to the point of Krsna consciousness. But one who directly goes to Krsna consciousness, he hasn't got to practice this. But still, the practice is recommended here, sparsan krtva bahir bahyams caksus caivantare bhruvoh. We have to put our eyeballs within the... What is called? Eyebrow, yes. Eyebrow. And pranapanau samau krtva. There are five kinds of air passing within our body: prana, apana, vyana, udana... There are different names of the air. So controlling them, pranapanau samau krtva and nasabhyantara-carinau. They are coming, breathing control. These are the process. Those who are have practiced this yoga process, they can know.
yah sada mukta eva sah
Now, this process is to give up that lust and anger. But if you engage yourself direct in Krsna consciousness the result of this process is achieved very easily. Yatendriya-mano-buddhir munir moksa-parayanah, vigateccha. Iccha-bhaya-krodha. Iccha means we desire so many things. And in material life we shall be always afraid. Afraid. Everyone is afraid. So iccha-bhaya-krodha. Anger is unavoidable because in so many things we are frustrated in our dealing that anger is possible. But if we are engaged in Krsna consciousness, even we are put into such difficulty... I am very glad to inform you that one of our students is put into some difficulty, but he is very happy simply thinking of this Krsna consciousness. Practical. He is... Not very long he is practiced the Krsna consciousness, but within a few days he has learned the art. Just now I received telephone that he said that "I am quite happy." So this is such a thing. Krsna consciousness can get us even in the greatest... Yasmin sthite gurunapi duhkhena na vicalyate. Even one is situated in a very great dangerous point, still, he is not disturbed. This is such a thing, Krsna consciousness. He does not become disturbed.
jnatva mam santim rcchati
Now, here, Krsna summarizes that "If you want peace... Peace, the formula of peace, you must know." What is that formula?
jnatva mam santim rcchati
Now, if anyone understands that Krsna, or the Supreme Lord, He is the enjoyer of all activities... Now, whatever activities are going on in this world, there is some result of any activity. Especially good activities. Here it is called yajna-tapasam. Yajna and tapasya, that is good. They are pious activities. So Krsna says that if anyone can understand that all result of pious activities, the enjoyer is Krsna... Bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram [Bg. 5.29]. And He is the proprietor of all planets. Not only this earth, but there are innumerable planets, innumerable universes, and the Lord is the proprietor of all these universes. Then suhrdam sarva-bhutanam, and He is the only friend of all living entities. Suhrdam sarva-bhutanam jnatva mam santim rcchati. If anyone can understand this secret of life, that nobody is proprietor... Everyone is claiming that "I am proprietor of this house. I am proprietor of this land. I am proprietor of this country." Or "I am proprietor of this planet." You can go on increasing. There are many instances who became proprietor of many other planets also. In the history I have got. Not only this planet, but many other planets. But this is mistake. Actually, the proprietor is the Supreme Lord. We are just guest in His house. We are not proprietor. We must have, we must develop this sense, that Krsna is the proprietor, or the Supreme Lord is the proprietor.
Now, that is actually fact. We come here as guest. Suppose I am Indian, you are American. We have come on this earth as guest for few years, say, for hundred years or fifty years; then we leave this place. So if I am the proprietor, why don't I take this place with me when I am going? No, I am not proprietor. So there is no question of tyaga, renunciation. And there is no question of bhoga or enjoyment. Because you are not proprietor. So you neither you can enjoy it, neither you can renounce it. So renunciation or enjoyment, both are illegal. Renunciation. Suppose we are sitting in this room. This room belongs to the landlord. Suppose I am vacating this room, and while vacating, while I am going from this room if I say to the landlord "Well Mr. such and such, I leave this place for you now." Now, what is this place? That place belonged to him. How we are leaving? So he'll laugh: "Oh, you were my guest, you were my tenant. How you can leave? It is mine." Similarly, if we say, "All right. I am giving up this, renouncing this enjoyment life,"... So either... We cannot either renounce or enjoy. Both are illegal. Simple thing is that we must know that as it is formulated here, that everything belongs to God.
So everything should be engaged for the service of God. That is real knowledge. Just like suppose here is a hundred dollar note somebody left by mistake. Now, what is to be done with that hundred dollar notes? If somebody takes that hundred dollar notes, "Oh, here is a hundred dollar note. Take me. Let me take it and enjoy it," that is illegal. And if that hundred dollar note is neglected, "All right, let it remain there. The owner will find it," that is also not good because if I do not find out the person and hand over that hundred dollar note, that is not my duty because others may take it away. Similarly, to leave that hundred dollar note is also not good, and to enjoy that hundred dollar note is also not good. The best is that find out the proprietor of that hundred dollar note. Ask somebody, "Have you left something, sir? Anybody?" If one: "Yes, I'm missing one hundred dollar..." "Here is..." That is real service. Similarly, if we understand that everything belongs to God, so that sense will lead me: "No, I am not enjoyer." So my sense gratification, my anger, my lust, all finished. All finished at once, at stroke, if I understand that "Nothing belongs to me; everything belongs to God." If I want to enjoy it, that is illegal, and if I neglect it, that is also illegal. If I say, "Oh, let... Jagan mithya, this world is false. I don't want it. Let me go to the Himalaya in the jungle," oh, that is also not good. You must try to utilize the whole thing for the purpose of Krsna because everything belongs to Krsna. That is your duty. That is Krsna consciousness. Because He is the proprietor.
Now, this tape recorder is advancement now of material science. We should think, "Oh, this is the property of Krsna." Let it be utilized in the propaganda work for Krsna's service. That is proper utilization. So everything. Sarva-loka-mahesvaram. Suppose if somebody says that "I am the proprietor everything of this room. So you have no claim." So we have actually no claim. We simply come. And the whole philosophy is... That is spiritual communism. In the Bhagavata you'll find that this anything, all the richness, all the riches that is all over the world, all over the universe, that is created by God. So you are at liberty to make its use. You can take as much as you like. But if you claim proprietorship, then you make fault and you have to suffer. You can use them. There is no harm using. Krsna has given, God has given us enough things. Now, why you are suffering? Why the world is suffering? Because we are trying to occupy it. "Oh, this is my country." He said, "This is my country. Oh, this is my property. You cannot come here. You cannot enjoy it." This is the trouble. But if we think, "Oh, it is all Krsna's property. Let us enjoy it and be Krsna conscious and be happy," then there is no disturbance. Automatically, peace is there.
So we do not know what is peace, what is the formula of peace, but we are trying to make peace. We keep all the, I mean to say, dirty things within our heart, and we are making propaganda that we want peace. How you can have peace? Here is the peace formula. What is that? Bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram [Bg. 5.29]. The Supreme Lord, Krsna, He is the enjoyer, He is the proprietor, and He is the real friend. In the Vedic scripture you'll find, He's such a nice friend that I am transmigrating from one body to another, and Krsna is also transmigrating in the same body. Supersoul. Suppose I am transmigrating to the body of a hog. Oh, Krsna is present there also. He's such a friend. Now, suppose we have got our friends. So when I've got richness, I am very rich, I will have so many friends. Suppose I am poverty-stricken now, no friends come to us. Krsna is not such a friend. Krsna is such a good friend. In whatever condition you may live, He is always with you. He is always with you. In the Vedic literature you find that two birds are sitting on the same tree. One bird is eating the fruit of the tree, and the other bird is witnessing. That witnessing bird is Krsna, and the eating bird is myself. I am eating, I am enjoying the fruits of my work in this material world, and Krsna is simply observing. Just like Arjuna. Arjuna was talking so many things; Krsna was observing. But when Arjuna came to his senses, he surrendered to Krsna: sisyas te 'ham sadhi mam prapannam. Similarly, the bird, the Supersoul bird, is sitting. He's simply waiting for the opportunity when he'll say, "Oh, Krsna I surrender unto You. Now protect me. Give me instruction." He is waiting.
So this is the formula of Krsna consciousness.
jnatva mam santim rcchati
If you really want peace, then this is the formula. You should always know that Krsna is the enjoyer of everything, He is the proprietor of everything, and He is the only sincere friend. Suhrdam sarva-bhutanam jnatva. One who understands this secret, he becomes happy. peace is for him. Thank you very much. Now if there is any question, you can ask. (end)
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Bhagavad-gita 5.22-29 -- New York, August 31, 1966