The people in general are extremely busy in the affairs of the material body and mind. Those who are in the lowest stage of such mundane activities very rarely can understand the activities of the spiritual plane. These people are generally baffled because their various acts of sin and virtue are directed merely toward ameliorating the distress and enhancing the happiness of the temporary body and mind by behavior like eating, sleeping, defending, and gratifying the senses. The material scientists—the modern quasi priests who invoke such material activities—invent many objects to gratify the material senses such as the eye, ear, nose, and tongue and ultimately the mind, and there results a field of unnecessary competition for enhancement of such material happiness, which leads the whole world into the whirlpool of uncalled—for clashes.
- 1 Bhagavad-gita As It Is
- 2 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 3 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 4 Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
- 5 Lectures
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
BG Chapters 1 - 6
In the Īśopaniṣad it is said that everything is related to the Supreme Brahman, or Kṛṣṇa, and thus everything belongs to Him only. One who knows perfectly well that everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa, that He is the proprietor of everything and that, therefore, everything is engaged in the service of the Lord, naturally has nothing to do with the results of his activities, whether virtuous or sinful. Even one's material body, being a gift of the Lord for carrying out a particular type of action, can be engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is then beyond contamination by sinful reactions, exactly as the lotus leaf, though remaining in the water, is not wet. The Lord also says in the Gītā (3.30), mayi sarvāṇi karmāṇi sannyasya: "Resign all works unto Me (Kṛṣṇa)." The conclusion is that a person without Kṛṣṇa consciousness acts according to the concept of the material body and senses, but a person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness acts according to the knowledge that the body is the property of Kṛṣṇa and should therefore be engaged in the service of Kṛṣṇa.
BG Chapters 13 - 18
The twigs of the tree are considered to be the sense objects. By development of the different modes of nature we develop different senses, and by the senses we enjoy different varieties of sense objects. The tips of the branches are the senses—the ears, nose, eyes, etc.—which are attached to the enjoyment of different sense objects. The twigs are sound, form, touch, and so on—the sense objects. The subsidiary roots are attachments and aversions, which are byproducts of different varieties of suffering and sense enjoyment. The tendencies toward piety and impiety are considered to develop from these secondary roots, which spread in all directions. The real root is from Brahmaloka, and the other roots are in the human planetary systems. After one enjoys the results of virtuous activities in the upper planetary systems, he comes down to this earth and renews his karma, or fruitive activities for promotion. This planet of human beings is considered the field of activities.
SB Canto 1
The leaders of the people are very much anxious to live in peace and friendship, but they have no information of the simple method of hearing the glories of the Lord. On the contrary, such leaders are opposed to the propagation of the glories of the Lord. In other words, the foolish leaders want to completely deny the existence of the Lord. In the name of secular state, such leaders are enacting various plans every year. But by the insurmountable intricacies of the material nature of the Lord, all these plans for progress are being constantly frustrated. They have no eyes to see that their attempts at peace and friendship are failing. But here is the hint to get over the hurdle. If we want actual peace, we must open the road to understanding of the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa and glorify Him for His virtuous activities as they are depicted in the pages of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
The heavenly planets are inhabited by demigods like Indra, Candra, Varuṇa and Vāyu and the pious souls reach there after performance of many virtuous acts on earth. Modern scientists agree that the timing arrangement in higher planetary systems is different from that of the earth. Thus it is understood from the revealed scriptures that the duration of life there is ten thousand years (by our calculation). Six months on earth is equal to one day on the heavenly planets. Facilities of enjoyment are also similarly enhanced, and the beauty of the inhabitants is legendary. Common men on the earth are very much fond of reaching the heavenly planets because they have heard that comforts of life are far greater there than on the earth.
SB Canto 2
The materialistic scientist's endeavor to reach other planets by mechanical vehicles is only a futile attempt. One can, however, reach heavenly planets by virtuous activities, but one can never expect to go beyond Svarga or Janaloka by such mechanical or materialistic activities, either gross or subtle. The transcendentalists who have nothing to do with the gross material body can move anywhere within or beyond the material worlds. Within the material worlds they move in the planetary systems of the Mahar-, Janas-, Tapas- and Satya-loka, and beyond the material worlds they can move in the Vaikuṇṭhas as unrestricted spacemen. Nārada Muni is one of the examples of such spacemen, and Durvāsā Muni is one of such mystics.
SB Canto 3
Famine is not due to an increase in population, as less intelligent economists think. When human society is grateful to the Lord for all His gifts for the maintenance of the living entities, then there is certainly no scarcity or want in society. But when men are unaware of the intrinsic value of such gifts from the Lord, surely they are in want. A person who has no God consciousness may live in opulence for the time being due to his past virtuous acts, but if one forgets his relationship with the Lord, certainly he must await the stage of starvation by the law of the powerful material nature. One cannot escape the vigilance of the powerful material nature unless he leads a God conscious or devotional life.
SB Cantos 10.14 to 12 (Translations Only)
O best of the brāhmaṇas, please know that I am the supreme shelter of the yoga system, analytic philosophy, virtuous action, truthful religious principles, power, beauty, fame and self-control.
If he is attracted by servitorship to Kṛṣṇa, he will no longer have to serve the material body in the degraded status of material existence, with the false hope of becoming master in the future. Similarly, one who sees the greatness of Kṛṣṇa in neutrality will certainly never again seek the so-called relief of impersonalist or voidist philosophy. If one is not attracted by the transcendental nature of Kṛṣṇa, one is sure to be attracted to material enjoyment, thus to become implicated in the clinging network of virtuous and sinful activities and to continue material existence by transmigrating from one material body to another. Only in Kṛṣṇa consciousness can one achieve the highest perfection of life.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Message of Godhead
Persons who are a little above such gross materialists believe firmly in life after death and thus try to rise a little above the plane of gross sensory enjoyment of this one life. They try to accumulate something for the next life by acts of virtue, just as a man banks some money for future happiness. But these people do not understand that neither any sinful nor any virtuous act can bring freedom from the bondage of work, as we have explained above. On the contrary, both sinful and virtuous acts will bind the worker up in the wheel of action and reaction.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
Pāpam means sinful activities, and puṇyam is pious. So people should consider in every activity, whether it is pāpam or puṇyam, whether it is virtuous or sinful activities. But the asuras, they do not know. Pravṛttiṁ ca nivṛttiṁ ca na vidur asurā janāḥ (BG 16.7). Those who are asuras, they do not care what is sinful or what is right. "I like it; I must do it." This is asura. There is no reference to the authorities, whether the action which I am going to do, whether it is pious or impious. Because by impious activities I will be degraded. Adho gacchanti tamasaḥ (BG 14.18). Jaghanya-guṇa-vṛtti-sthāḥ. If we become addicted to sinful activities, the result will be we shall be degraded. But they do not know. Even so-called religious priests, they support killing, condone it. Killing is impious, sinful activity, but in the name of religion, killing is also going on.
Somebody is engaged in the activities of sinful activities, but he is not induced by the Lord that he should be engaged in sinful activities. Similarly, somebody is engaged in virtuous activities. So that virtuous activity is according to his own, I mean to say, association with the modes of material nature. Ajñānena āvṛtaṁ jñānaṁ tena muhyanti jantavaḥ (BG 5.16). But in this material world, either in the modes of ignorance or in the modes of passion or in the modes of goodness, they are all... Total, sum total, is ignorance. Sum total... Even a man is in the modes of goodness, that is also considered as ignorance because real knowledge, real knowledge is to know his relationship with the Supreme Lord. That is real knowledge. Unless one is elevated to that position, that what is his relation with the Supreme Lord, then all his so-called knowledge is also understood as ignorance.
So the fruitive activities, suppose pious activities. Pious activities, according to Veda, everywhere, if you are virtuous, if you give some money in charity, it is virtuous activities. If you give some money for opening hospital, if you give some money for opening schools, free education. These are certainly virtuous activities. But they are also meant for sense gratification. Suppose if I give in charity for distributing education. Then in my next life I will be getting good facilities for education, I'll be highly educated or being educated I shall get nice post. At the end, what is the idea? If I get a good post if I get a good position, how do I utilize it? For sense gratification. Nicely, that's all. Because I do not know anything else. That is fruitive activities. If I go to heaven, a better standard of life. Suppose, in your America, a better standard of life than India.
Just like the so-called scientists say that "God has created this universe. The laws are there. So we have to study the laws. What we shall do with the God?" Is it not? "God has created these... The physical laws are there. So let us study these physical laws. What is the use of studying God?" That is their view. The karma-mimāṁsā also, that, they say that "After all, if we act virtuously, then we shall get good result. So what is the use of worshiping God? Let us work virtuously." This is their view. Karmī. And jñānī. Jñānī also, they say. Jñānī, the scientists, they are jñānī, that "What is the use of worshiping God? Let us study the laws of God." So jñānī, karmī... And yogi, they are also of the same view.