All the students who used to come to England for higher studies, naturally he'd carry one white elephant. They used to say - it is not my coined words - they used to say, "Oh, to maintain European wife, it is like maintaining white elephant"

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"Oh, to maintain European wife, it is like maintaining white elephant" |"all the students who used to come to England for higher studies, naturally he'd carry one white elephant. They used to say" |"they used to say"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

So all the students who used to come to England for higher studies, naturally he'd carry one white elephant. (laughter) They used to say—it is not my coined words—they used to say, "Oh, to maintain European wife, it is like maintaining white elephant." So anyway, you have got so many white elephants.

Lecture on SB 6.1.26 -- Honolulu, May 26, 1976:

Prabhupāda: When I first came, I met one elderly lady. She had a son. So, as Indian I asked, "Oh, why don't you get your son married?" She replied, "Oh, I have no objection. If he can maintain a wife I have no objection." That means to maintain a wife is a very big job in your country. I've seen it. (laughter) Of course, when we talk we must talk freely. (laughter) That is a fact. (laughter) But formerly, in our father's age, they used to come to foreign countries and they thought it, it is a great laugh to possess one white wife. Yes, they are thinking like that. So all the students who used to come to England for higher studies, naturally he'd carry one white elephant. (laughter) They used to say—it is not my coined words—they used to say, "Oh, to maintain European wife, it is like maintaining white elephant." So anyway, you have got so many white elephants. (laughter)

So this is the way, ato gṛha-kṣetra-suta-āpta, friends. Arjuna was lamenting, "My dear Kṛṣṇa, You are asking me to fight with my relatives. Then suppose I become victorious and they're killed. Then whom I shall show the kingdom?" That was his objection. (laughter) "If everyone is killed on the other side, my friends and relatives, and suppose I become victorious, then whom I shall show my prosperity?" So āpta, suta, ato gṛha-kṣetra-suta-āpta and vitta and money. It is one after another. First wife, then apartment, then field for agriculture, then friends, then children, then money, bank balance. In this way he does not know he's becoming entangled more and more. Ato gṛha-kṣetra-suta-āpta-vittaiḥ, janasya moho 'yam. He's thinking that "Now everything is settled up; I am very happy." And next day death comes and kicks him out: "Get out!" That he does not understand. That he does not understand, that "Any moment death can come and kick me out of all this arrangement." That is ignorance. That is foolishness.

So here, bhojayan pāyayan mūḍho na veda āgatam antakam. He was eighty-eight years old. So he was busy in maintaining the family, children, everything. But he never thought that "Death will come all of a sudden without waiting for my settle everything." That is the eighth wonder. This question was asked by Dharmarāja to Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja: "What are the wonders, the most wonderful wonders? What is that?" So he said, "This is the most wonderful thing." "What is that?" Ahany ahani gacchanti lokāni yama-mandiram. Every moment we see that someone is going to the court of Yamaraja—that means death. That is our experience, everything. Ahany ahani lokāni gacchanti yama-mandiraṁ śeṣāḥ sthitam icchanti. Śeṣāḥ, who is not yet dead, he's still alive, he thinks, "I will never die. My dear friend is dying. That's all right. But I'll... Your father is dead. No, still I will be..." Śeṣāḥ sthitam icchanti kim aścaryam ataḥ param. This is the most wonderful thing that we have experience, that "My father is dead, my father's father is dead, so I shall also be die, my sons will die." Well, who will stay? Well, what is the struggle for existence, survival of the fittest? He never thinks of it. This is the eighth wonder.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya!