I think I have told you one story about Shah Jahan, the emperor of India. A, one great drama writer, Mr. P.L. Raya, he wrote one book by the name, title, Shah Jahan. But the activities of the whole book was the nefarious actions of Aurangzeb. He was killing his brothers, arresting father and so many. So one friend of Mr. Raya asked him that "Your book Shah Jahan, in the activities, the actual hero is Aurangzeb. Why you have named Shah Jahan?" So he replied that although Shah Jahan is silent, but the effect is going to him. When Aurangzeb killed his elder brother, Dara, then the effect was suffered by Shah Jahan. So all the activities, nefarious activities of Aurangzeb, was suffered by Shah Jahan. Therefore he said, "He's the hero." Similarly, here is the same instance, that "If I kill Aśvatthāmā—it is right, I should kill him—but the effect would go to his mother. His mother, she is innocent, and in the absence of her husband, our guru, it is our duty to look after her comforts. Now, if I kill Aśvatthāmā, then she will suffer in old age." Therefore na aicchad dhantuṁ guru-sutam. He did not... Although Kṛṣṇa advised him "You kill him," he did not like it. Guru-sutam. This is consciousness. Even there is duty, we have to see what will be the effect of the duty. Not everything should be done very blindly. Arjuna... This is devotee. Devotee means he's not blind. Yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ (SB 5.18.12). Bhagavad-bhakta means he will act in such a way that all qualified, nobody can criticize him. That is bhagavad-bhakta. Sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Light of the Bhagavata
A rich man displays his opulence in various colorful ways. He has a good residential bungalow with sufficient property and a well-trimmed garden. The bungalow is decorated with up-to-date furniture and carpets. There are motorcars with dazzling polish, and a radio set receiving and broadcasting colorful news and melodious songs. All these captivate their proprietor as though he were in a dreamland of his own creation.
When the same man was as dry as fallow land and had none of these opulences, he was plain in behavior, but since obtaining all these material means of enjoyment he has forgotten the principle that everything in the world comes and goes away like the changing seasons. The beautiful Red Fort and the Taj Mahal were built by Shah Jahan, who left the place long ago, and many others have also come and gone in the same place, like seasonal flowers. Material assets are like seasonal flowers only. Either the flowers wither, or the gardener himself leaves. This is the law of nature. Therefore, if we want permanent life, knowledge, and bliss, we must seek them somewhere else, not in the changeable, temporary rainy season, which is flooded with so many varieties of pleasing sights that vanish when the season ends.
Try the history of the whole world. There have been so many big, big empires: the Roman Empire, the British Empire, the Mogul Empire. But where are those empires, and where are those emperors? When I go to Agra, I pass through the fort, and they show, "Here the emperor Shah Jahan lived. Here the emperor..." Where is that Shah Jahan now? The place is there. Similarly, in France, in a park there is Napoleon's statue: "Napoleon and France, the identity." And I asked them that "Your France is here, but where is your Napoleon?" (laughter)
So this is going on, foolishness, so many foolish persons, full of... And they are controlling this material world. Therefore it is very precarious condition. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās te 'pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ (SB 7.5.31). Īśa-tantryām. Just like if your hands and legs are tied very fast with some rope, and if you say, "I am independent," what is the meaning of it? If your hands and legs are tied up by a strong rope and still you think that you are independent, has it got any meaning? Similarly, we are tied up by the stringent rules and regulation of the material nature so fast, and still if we think that we are independent, is that very sanity conjecture? No. Even in your eating process, you are so much tied up by the rules and regulation that if you eat little more than you can digest, then there will be some disease immediately. Immediately there will be indigestion, diarrhea. You will have to suffer. If you enjoy when you are youthful too much sex life, then after a few days you will be impotent, no more sex life. In this way we are simply tied up by the rules and regulation of the material nature, and still, we are defying the authority and thinking, "I am independent."
Kaumāra ācaret prājño, dharmān bhāgavatān iha, durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma, tad apy adhruvam arthadam. (SB 7.6.1). This verse we have been discussing in our last meeting. The purport is: "From very childhood, very childhood, the boys, the children, should be taught about this God consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness." The mistake of modern civilization is that we are, I mean to say, bringing up spoiled children. So when they are grown up, if they become hippies or communists, it is not their fault. It is the fault of the guardians. It is the fault of the guardians. When the people become just something against the social convention, it is not the fault of the youngsters, but it is the fault of the education system, it is the fault of the parents, it is fault of the teachers. Because they are not teaching. Prahlāda Mahārāja says that from the very childhood one should be taught. I have seen in India. The Muhammadans, they are very much particular about it. The small children, within ten years, they are... From the very beginning they are taught Koran in the mosques. I have seen. In my Delhi headquarter, it is just behind the Jama Musjid. You have heard the name of Jama Musjid. That is the greatest mosque in the world. Many foreigners go to see it. It was constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan, say, about three hundred years or little more than that. So the Muhammadans, they are very particular to teach the Koran from the very beginning.
Vedānta-sūtra was compiled by Vyāsadeva. He is incarnation of Kṛṣṇa, Dvaipāyana Vyāsa. So therefore, it is compiled by His incarnation, so it is compiled by Him. Because His incarnation, He is the same. So vedanta-kṛt means Veda..., compiler of the Vedānta, and the compiler of the compiler of the Vedānta is vedanta-vit, one who knows Vedānta. Because I have written some book, so I know what is the purpose of writing my book. You cannot know. My purpose you cannot know.
There is a small instructive story in this—not story, fact—in this connection. In Calcutta there was a great dramatist. He was very well known, government officer. He wrote one book, Shah Jahan. That is very famous book for theatrical play. So in that Shah Jahan, means the king emperor Shah Jahan, the... Practically, the name which is given on the book, the hero title, he's the hero. So one of the friends of Mr. D. L. Raya, he inquired from Mr. Raya that "In your book Shah Jahan, the actual hero is Aurangzeb. Why you have given the title Shah Jahan?" He could not understand it. So I'm just trying to explain that the purpose of the book must be known to the author, not others. So the author replied, "My dear friend, the actual hero is Shah Jahan, not Aurangzeb." Although the Shah Jahan book is full of the activities of Aurangzeb, the fact is that Shah Jahan was the emperor. He had many, four or five sons, and his wife died, Mumtaz, at an early age. You have seen, those who have gone to India, you have seen the Taj Mahal building. That building was constructed in the memory of that Mumtaz by Shah Jahan. He spent all his money for constructing that building. So it is one of the seven wonders of the world. So that Shah Jahan lost his wife at an early age. She (he) was very fond of his wife. And because, affectionate father, he did not very much chastise his sons, and he spent all his money in constructing the memory of his wife, so when the sons grew up, the third son, Aurangzeb, came out very crooked. And he made a plan how to usurp the empire. He killed his elder brother and other brothers. He arrested his father, Shah Jahan. So this is the book subject matter, Shah Jahan. So whole activities. But the author says that "Aurangzeb is not the hero; hero is Shah Jahan." Then he explained why. "Now, because Shah Jahan was living, sitting in the Agra Fort as a prisoner, and all the reactions of Aurangzeb's activities, killing of his other sons, usurping the empire, that was beating on his heart; therefore he was suffering. He is the hero."
So this is an example. The author of a book knows very well what is the purpose of that book. That is my statement. Similarly, this Vedānta-sūtra was compiled by Vyāsadeva, or Kṛṣṇa's incarnation, or Kṛṣṇa Himself. So He knows what is Vedānta-sūtra. So if you want to understand Vedānta-sūtra, then you must understand Kṛṣṇa.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1977 Conversations and Morning Walks
Gurudāsa: You told me they wanted to be paid in gold by the Home Bill just to deplete the economy.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. Home Bill. Because I was student of economics. So Home Bill. Home Bill means all the Englishmen were engaged in India, either government, railway, industry, factory, and so on, so on, so on. Whatever... They have got some charges. So all the bills were sent to London, and they made a Home Bill. Their home is in England, so they won't take payment here. They'll take payment at home. And the government there, they'll present the whole bill to India and debit India's account in gold. That means, other words, all the payments which were to be made to the Englishmen in India, they were paid at home in gold.
Gurudāsa: So that means they would spend at home instead of India for the benefit of themselves.
Prabhupāda: Yes. No Englishmens were allowed to domicile in India. No. Strictly. But if... As soon as they make home, it will be America. The Americans made their home in America, so a war of independence was... They have experienced that, so did not allow the Englishmen to make India home. "You come here, work and take your payment. Can't come down."(?) This was the policy, Home Bill. And India's gold was kept in London. So gradually all the gold finished. Very, very crooked policy they followed. They... They... In Muhammadan period there was no such peaceful exploitation. These Muhammadans, they wanted to become lumma, kukum(?). Bas. That's all. They were satisfied. But their princely expenditure was done in India. When Shah Jahan constructed the Taj Mahal, heavy expenditure, but the payment was received by the Indians. And here a railway, very smart railway bridge is constructed that... The payment was paid in England. This was the policy. Every even screw, iron screw, was imported from England.