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Ancient times

From Vaniquotes

Bhagavad-gita As It Is

BG Chapters 1 - 6

All the liberated souls in ancient times acted with the understanding of My transcendental nature.
BG 4.15, Translation and Purport:

All the liberated souls in ancient times acted with this understanding of My transcendental nature. Therefore you should perform your duty, following in their footsteps.

There are two classes of men. Some of them are full of polluted material things within their hearts, and some of them are materially free. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is equally beneficial for both of these persons. Those who are full of dirty things can take to the line of Kṛṣṇa consciousness for a gradual cleansing process, following the regulative principles of devotional service. Those who are already cleansed of the impurities may continue to act in the same Kṛṣṇa consciousness so that others may follow their exemplary activities and thereby be benefited.

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 3

These two demons who appeared in ancient times soon began to exhibit uncommon bodily features; they had steellike frames which began to grow just like two great mountains.
SB 3.17.16, Translation and Purport:

These two demons who appeared in ancient times soon began to exhibit uncommon bodily features; they had steellike frames which began to grow just like two great mountains.

There are two classes of men in the world; one is called the demon, and the other is called the demigod. The demigods concern themselves with the spiritual upliftment of human society, whereas the demons are concerned with physical and material upliftment. The two demons born of Diti began to make their bodies as strong as iron frames, and they were so tall that they seemed to touch outer space. They were decorated with valuable ornaments, and they thought that this was success in life. Originally it was planned that Jaya and Vijaya, the two doorkeepers of Vaikuṇṭha, were to take birth in this material world, where, by the curse of the sages, they were to play the part of always being angry with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As demoniac persons, they became so angry that they were not concerned with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but simply with physical comforts and physical upliftment.

SB Canto 4

The living entity is famous from ancient times.
SB 4.25.10, Purport:

The word bṛhac-chravāḥ is also significant. The word śravaḥ means "fame." The living entity is famous from ancient times, for as stated in Bhagavad-gītā (2.20), na jāyate mriyate vā: "The living entity is never born and never dies." Because he is eternal, his activities are eternal, although they are performed in different types of bodies. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre: (BG 2.20) "He does not die, even after the annihilation of the body." Thus the living entity transmigrates from one body to another and performs various activities. In each body the living entity performs so many acts. Sometimes he becomes a great hero—just like Hiraṇyakaśipu and Kaṁsa or, in the modern age, Napoleon or Hitler. The activities of such men are certainly very great, but as soon as their bodies are finished, everything else is finished. Then they remain in name only. Therefore a living entity may be called bṛhac-chravāḥ; he may have a great reputation for various types of activities. Nonetheless, he has a friend whom he does not know. Materialistic persons do not understand that God is present as the Supersoul, who is situated within the heart of every living entity. Although the Paramātmā sits beside the jīvātmā as a friend, the jīvātmā, or living entity, does not know it.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Madhya-lila

In many cases philosophical speculators have covered the real truth and have boldly set forth false theories. In ancient times philosophers like Kapila, Gautama, Jaimini, Kaṇāda and similar brāhmaṇas propounded useless philosophical theories, and in modern days so-called scientists are setting forth many false theories about the creation, backed up by seemingly logical arguments.
CC Madhya 6.109, Translation and Purport:

""In almost all cases, whatever learned brāhmaṇas speak becomes accepted; nothing is impossible for one who takes shelter of My illusory energy and speaks under her influence.""

In this verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.22.4), the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains that His illusory energy can perform the impossible; such is the power of the illusory energy. In many cases philosophical speculators have covered the real truth and have boldly set forth false theories. In ancient times philosophers like Kapila, Gautama, Jaimini, Kaṇāda and similar brāhmaṇas propounded useless philosophical theories, and in modern days so-called scientists are setting forth many false theories about the creation, backed up by seemingly logical arguments. This is all due to the influence of the Supreme Lord's illusory energy. The illusory energy, therefore, sometimes appears correct because it is emanating from the Supreme Correct. To avoid the very bewildering illusory influence, one must accept the words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as they are. Only then can one escape the influence of the illusory energy.

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead

Naimiṣāraṇya, is still existing in India, and in ancient times it was especially used for the meetings of great sages and saintly persons with the aim of understanding spiritual life and self-realization.
Krsna Book 78:

Once upon a time, Lord Balarāma heard that an arrangement was being made for a fight between the two rival parties in the Kuru dynasty, one headed by Duryodhana and the other by the Pāṇḍavas. He did not like the idea, and He tried to act as mediator to stop the fighting. Finding it impossible, and not wishing to take an active part on behalf of either party, He left Dvārakā on the plea of visiting various holy places of pilgrimage. He first of all visited the place of pilgrimage known as Prabhāsa-kṣetra. He took His bath there, and He pacified the local brāhmaṇas and offered oblations to the demigods, Pitās, great sages and people in general, in accordance with Vedic ritualistic ceremonies. That is the Vedic method of visiting holy places. After this, accompanied by some respectable brāhmaṇas, He decided to visit different places on the bank of the river Sarasvatī. He gradually visited such places as Pṛthūdaka, Bindusara, Tritakūpa, Sudarśana-tīrtha, Viśāla-tīrtha, Brahma-tīrtha and Cakra-tīrtha. Besides these, He also visited all the holy places on the bank of the Sarasvatī River running toward the east. After this He visited all the principal holy places on the bank of the Yamunā and on the bank of the Ganges. Thus He gradually came to the holy place known as Naimiṣāraṇya.

This holy place, Naimiṣāraṇya, is still existing in India, and in ancient times it was especially used for the meetings of great sages and saintly persons with the aim of understanding spiritual life and self-realization. When Lord Balarāma visited that place there was a great sacrifice being performed by a great assembly of transcendentalists. Such meetings were planned to last thousands of years. When Lord Balarāma arrived, all the participants in the meeting—great sages, ascetics, brāhmaṇas and learned scholars—immediately arose from their seats and welcomed Him with great honor and respect. Some offered Him respects by standing up and then paying obeisances, and those who were elderly great sages and brāhmaṇas offered Him blessings after standing up.

Message of Godhead

Everyone who happens to take his birth in India is a potential benefactor of others, because it is on Indian soil alone that the culture of transcendental knowledge has been most elaborately presented, from ancient times to the present.
Message of Godhead 1:

Everyone who happens to take his birth in India is a potential benefactor of others, because it is on Indian soil alone that the culture of transcendental knowledge has been most elaborately presented, from ancient times to the present. The saints and sages of Bhārata-varṣa, as India has long been known, never tried to cultivate or satisfy artificially the needs of the body and the mind exclusively; they always cultured the transcendental spirit soul, which is above the material body and mind. And even now, the saints and sages continue to do so, in spite of all difficulties. But it would be sheer stupidity if Indian people attempted to do good to others without first themselves attaining transcendental knowledge.

In ancient times, there was not so great an expansion of material activities. In those days the mode of living was simple, and yet the thoughts were sublime.
Message of Godhead 2:

In the present age we are witnessing an enormous expansion of material activities, an endlessly variegated multiplicity of material engagements. Mills and factories, as well as hospitals and other institutions, are now in vogue. In ancient times, there was not so great an expansion of material activities. In those days the mode of living was simple, and yet the thoughts were sublime. So now there is a very good field of activities for the karma-yogīs, who can engage all the various modern institutions in the transcendental service of Viṣṇu, for the satisfaction of His transcendental senses.

It is incumbent, therefore, to install a temple of Viṣṇu in all the aforementioned institutions, and in individual homes, for the same purpose—worshiping the Absolute Godhead in the same spirit of work with transcendental results as was maintained by the sages of ancient times. Although the all-pervading Personality of Godhead manifests Himself in His various transcendental, eternal forms as incarnations or plenary portions or various partial portions, the sages recommended the worship of the eternal dual forms of Śrī Śrī Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa, Śrī Śrī Sītā-Rāma, and Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, it is desired most earnestly that the proprietors and managers of big mills, factories, hospitals, universities, hotels, and various other institutions install a temple for worshiping any of these transcendental forms of Viṣṇu. This will transform all the workers in these institutions into karma-yogīs.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

So this is the process that we have to follow the previous ācāryas. That is Vedic system. In the very beginning of this chapter Kṛṣṇa said, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ. We haven't got to make any research, modern understanding. There is no question of modern understanding. We are all following the old, ancient understanding.
Lecture on BG 4.15 -- Bombay, April 4, 1974:

Radyumna: (leads chanting): Translation: All the liberated souls in ancient times acted with this understanding and so attained liberation. Therefore, as the ancients, you should perform your duty in this divine consciousness."

Prabhupāda:

evaṁ jñātvā kṛtaṁ karma
pūrvair api mumukṣubhiḥ
kuru karmaiva tasmāt tvaṁ
pūrvaiḥ pūrvataraṁ kṛtam

Now, in this verse three times, four times, the word has been used, pūrvataram, pūrvatamaiḥ. Kuru karmaiva tasmāt tvaṁ pūrvaiḥ pūrvataraṁ kṛtam. Pūrva, pūrvataram, pūrvatama: comparative, superlative, and positive. So this is the process that we have to follow the previous ācāryas. That is Vedic system.

In the very beginning of this chapter Kṛṣṇa said, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). We haven't got to make any research, modern understanding. There is no question of modern understanding. We are all following the old, ancient understanding. Now, even from ordinary platform, the eating, sleeping, mating, and defending, is that modern? It is not modern. Formerly also, all living entities were eating, they were sleeping, they were having sex intercourse and they were defending. The main business is...

Nothing is modernized. You can say, "modernized," but the principle is the same, old system. Nobody can change. And people are dying also. Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9). That is also the old system. Everyone is taking birth, everyone is growing, everyone is falling diseased, and everyone is dying. Can the modern system stop this? The modern system can say, "Now you do not require to eat, you do not require to sleep," or "You do not require to have sex,"or "You do not require to defend?" No. The same system. "The old wine in a new bottle."

Similarly, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi, five thousand years before, Kṛṣṇa said... This is real problem: janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam. "The same problem is still going on. So it is useless to say that modern time, modern ways, modern things. There is nothing modern. The old thing is going on. So if we follow systematically the previous ācāryas, previous system, as Kṛṣṇa is advising... Kṛṣṇa does not advise, "Modern." Five thousand years ago He instructed Bhagavad-gītā. Still, He was saying pūrva pūrvataraiḥ, pūrvatamaiḥ. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). This is intelligence. We have to accept the real truth and follow it. It does not mean modern age or previous age, past age. That is not Vedic system.

The old system is going on, everything. The sun is also the old. The sun is rising as it was doing in olden times. The moon is also rising. The years and season are changing. Everything is going on. Why we should not accept the system of Vedic knowledge, the oldest of all in the world? There is no history. That is intelligence.

Philosophy Discussions

That is Darwin's philosophy, not my philosophy. No. Suppose just like Jesus Christ instructed his disciples, "Thou shall not kill." Say two thousand years ago in the Western countries, the men were killers, that's all. But we'll see Bhagavad-gītā, five thousand years ago, Kṛṣṇa is arguing that "If our women become widows then they'll be polluted. There will be varṇa-saṅkara, unwanted children, the society will go to hell." How much elevated society. Five thousand years ago.
Philosophy Discussion on Charles Darwin:

Śyāmasundara: In the ancient times, the Neanderthal man, the Cro-Magnon man—they always are saying that these people were killers and hunters; they had to kill to survive.

Prabhupāda: That is Darwin's philosophy, not my philosophy.

Śyāmasundara: But there is no difference between the oldest cavemen and the men today. We're still killing, still hunting, still fighting. Same things.

Prabhupāda: No. Suppose just like Jesus Christ instructed his disciples, "Thou shall not kill." Say two thousand years ago in the Western countries, the men were killers, that's all. But we'll see Bhagavad-gītā, five thousand years ago, Kṛṣṇa is arguing that "If our women become widows then they'll be polluted. There will be varṇa-saṅkara, unwanted children, the society will go to hell." How much elevated society. Five thousand years ago. It is a question of place. It is a question of place. If Darwin says... Here in the Bible it is said that "Thou shall not kill," so that means two thousand years ago they were simply killers. That does not mean five thousand years there were no highly elevated personalities. That is his lack of studying. He is too much localized. He has no broadened knowledge, neither he has studied all the books, contemporary books; therefore he has poor fund of knowledge. He's very poor in his knowledge. Just like, still, there are many Americans... You Americans are completely different from others. You cannot say that all the Americans are drunkards and irresponsible; therefore, they are also. Side by side some moral is still there. You don't drink; you don't take meat; you are all God conscious; side by side there is. So how you can write history that "Such and such, 1971, '72, all Americans were LSD"? How you can conclude like that?

That is no reason. Suppose... Ajanta Caves. Ajanta Caves. Why that is? So artistic. He's unfortunate, he's simply excavated caves...So he's unfortunate. He could not find out Ajanta Cave; he found out some monkey's cave, that's all.
Philosophy Discussion on Charles Darwin:

Karandhara: Just like if five thousand years from now some archeologists came to Los Angeles, which is all covered over, who knows what they may dig up? They may dig up a monkey who lived in a zoo, they may dig up the mayor of Los Angeles, they may dig up anything. What will they conclude from their findings? That all of Los Angeles was made up of monkeys?

Prabhupāda: It is simply poor fund of knowledge. He is going to give us knowledge, but he is very, very poor in his knowledge.

Śyāmasundara: Actually, most of the men that they've dug up from ancient times were dumb hunters who died in some hunting accident anyway. They were a lower nature man. But I am still not clear about why they have never found out any remains of cities or ancient civilizations that were highly...

Prabhupāda: That is no reason. Suppose...

Karandhara: Actually they have. There are a number of archaeologists who have made findings like, particularly one, I can't remember his name, but he did an elaborate investigation on the Egyptian culture. And his thesis was that their culture was far more advanced than ours. They had mathematical techniques, they had...

Prabhupāda: Ajanta Caves. Ajanta Caves. Why that is? So artistic. He's unfortunate, he's simply excavated caves...

Śyāmasundara: I read about the paint in that cave. They don't know how it's still preserved. There's no chemical that they have today that will preserve paint so long.

Prabhupāda: So he's unfortunate. He could not find out Ajanta Cave; he found out some monkey's cave, that's all.

Karandhara: The Egyptians had geometric techniques that they're even..., they don't understand. They discount them...

Śyāmasundara: Prabhupāda said that they took that from the Indians, geometry.

Karandhara: But this one archaeologist wrote a book saying that this community in Egypt three thousand years ago was far superior, and no one accepted. No one believed him.

Śyāmasundara: Even in Mexico there are so many highly advanced...

Prabhupāda: Mexico is Indian civilization. They were showing to (indistinct). The Rāvaṇa had subway to Brazil. It can be seen from here where you can make subway...

Śyāmasundara: Yes, straight through.

Prabhupāda: Straight through. And therefore Rāvaṇa had so much gold; he took it from his brother's kingdom. Partly it was all one kingdom, and one part was being managed by his brother (indistinct) and one by himself. And in the Rāmāyaṇa it is said that Rāma-Lakṣmaṇa was taken to a subway to (indistinct) Rāvaṇa's place; that means Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa was taken to Brazil through subway. So now if you can make subways now—in Russia there is subway for five hundred miles—then why not five thousand miles? What is the difficulty? If it is possible to make subway up to five hundred, why not five thousand? It will require so many things.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

My idea is that all our centers should be self-supported. We do not like that idea that for your support you have to go 100 miles to get your bread. That is a very dangerous drawback. You produce your food locally and then support yourself. The main problem is what to eat, where to sleep. So we get some place and support ourself by producing our own food.
Room Conversation with Professor Durckheim German Spiritual Writer -- June 19, 1974, Germany:

Prof. Pater Porsch: May I please put a question before I forget. I heard from our, or I read in the invitation that this center is not only a center as such but something more. It should also be an āśrama and also a forest university in the tradition of the ancient times.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Pater Porsch: A kind of a university also.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Yes.

Prof. Pater Porsch: Like Indian and allied sciences, Vedic sciences.

Prabhupāda: My idea is that all our centers should be self-supported. We do not like that idea that for your support you have to go 100 miles to get your bread. That is a very dangerous drawback. You produce your food locally and then support yourself. The main problem is what to eat, where to sleep. So we get some place and support ourself by producing our own food. We have already begun in New Vrindaban, New..., West Virginia, Virginia, and similarly in other centers, we are producing our food, grains, vegetables, fruits and milk. That is sufficient. But we don't kill any animals. That we don't do.

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

That is the first education, first instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā. Unless one understands that "There is change of body and I am spirit soul within this body," he remains a cat and dog, and that's all.
Morning Walk -- November 3, 1975, Bombay:

Dr. Patel: No, because I don't drink. I don't know. I have not taken tea even in England during my education because I am not to take tea. I am totally teetotaler of the right way. The society is right from the beginning body conscious, more or less, we. We are not taught even during our age of education that we are not this body and something else. This was being done in the ancient times, our forefathers. When the boys were going to the guru, they were first taught this, that "You are not this body; you are something else." And here you are taught you are body so you have to take exercise.

Prabhupāda: That is the first education, first instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā, beginning of Bhagavad-gītā-dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā, tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ (BG 2.13). Unless one understands that "There is change of body and I am spirit soul within this body," he remains a cat and dog, and that's all. Dehātmā-buddhiḥ. Yasyātmā-buddhiḥ kunape tri-dhātuke sa eva go-kharaḥ (SB 10.84.13). So we are keeping this civilization—animals. How there can be peace? You cannot make several dogs, bring them together as nation, and they will live peacefully. It is not possible that "You all dogs come here and feel nationally and be peaceful." Will the dogs will be able to do that? Because you are dog, it is not possible.

Yes. That is required, gurukula. We are starting, therefore, gurukulas.
Morning Walk -- November 17, 1975, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: The first cultural education is how to teach the small children to become purified, brahmacārī.

Dr. Patel: In ancient times it was done by association in gurukula.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is required, gurukula. We are starting, therefore, gurukulas. And it is becoming...

Dr. Patel: Gurukula. Kula of guru.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Brahmacari gurukule vasan danto guror hitam. This is the beginning. A brahmacārī should live in the aśrama of guru, danta, self-controlled, and only for the benefit of guru, not for anyone's benefit. Brahmacārī guru... They'll go, collect alms, and everything should be delivered to guru.

Dr. Patel: When Kṛṣṇa was sent to collect the wood.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Guror hitam. The brahmacārī life means only for the benefit of guru. Everything is there in Bhāgavatam.

Dr. Patel: That mode of teaching, I mean...

Prabhupāda: That can be introduced.

... more about "Ancient times"
Matea +  and MadhuGopaldas +
October 29, 0009 JL +
November 11, 0009 JL +
BG: 1 +, SB: 2 +, CC: 1 +, OB: 3 +, Lec: 3 +, Conv: 3 +  and Let: 0 +