Prabhupāda: The one excuse is that every one of us, we are indebted to devarṣi, devatā, the demigods. The demigods. Just like Indra. He supplies us water. Just like we are obliged to pay tax to the water department, to the fire department, to the education department, so many departments government. Or once we pay our income tax, that is distributed to so many departments. So actually why we pay? Because we are indebted. Now, the sunshine, we are getting advantage of sunshine. So we are indebted to the sun-god. Similarly, we are indebted to the moon-god. We are receiving so much advantages. Varuṇa. Deva. So we are indebted to so many demigods. Similarly, we are indebted to the ṛṣis. Just like Vyāsadeva. He has given us this Vedic literature. We are taking advantage of it. So we must feel indebted. Deva ṛṣi, ṛṣi. First of all, we are indebted to the devatās, and then to the ṛṣis, then the bhūtas, ordinary living entities. Just like we are taking milk from the cow. We are indebted. "No, we are killing them." They are committing simply sinful life and they want to be happy and peaceful. Just see. We are indebted. I am obliged to you for your service. So instead of feeling obligation, if I cut your throat, how gentleman I am, just see, imagine. So we are indebted. Devarṣi-bhūtāpta-nṛṇāṁ pitṟṇām (SB 11.5.41). And pitṟṇām, these pitṛ, kula-kṣaya, forefathers. I have got this body... From my grandfather, my father has got this body; from my father, I have got this body. I am also indebted. Because this body, human body, is a chance for understanding, for my position. I can get out of the clutches of this māyā of transmigrating from one body to another. So this opportunity I have got by the grace of my forefathers. These are feelings of obligation. And there is duty. Therefore Arjuna is considering so many things because he is devotee. Kula-kṣaya-kṛtaṁ doṣaṁ mitra-drohe ca pātakam (BG 1.37). "These rascals, they have become lost of their intelligence on account of greediness for acquiring the empire. But so far I am concerned," Arjuna said, kathaṁ na jñeyam asmābhiḥ (BG 1.38). Plural number: "By us." "Us" means including Kṛṣṇa. He is saying not "I" or "by me." He is including Kṛṣṇa: "You are in this side; so because You are on my side, You are my charioteer, if I do not consider all these things, what people will say? That 'Arjuna is such a great devotee of Kṛṣṇa. And Kṛṣṇa is there. He is committing such sinful activities.' " Therefore he says, kathaṁ na jñeyam asmābhiḥ. He is dragging Kṛṣṇa also. That is right, yes. A saintly person, a devotee, should consider all these things, before acting, "Whether I am doing it property or improperly?" This is Arjuna. The other party, lobha-upahata-cetasaḥ. Upahata-cetasaḥ. They have lost their sense. But we cannot. A devotee must be very responsible. He must act in such a way that nobody can blame him. Otherwise everyone say, "What kind of devotee he is?" So this is the duty. They should be very cautious. A sannyāsī, they should be very cautious. Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, sannyāsīra alpa-chidre bahu kari' mane. An ordinary gṛhastha, or... Gṛhastha only, If he talks with woman nobody will blame. He is gṛhastha. But if a sannyāsī talks with woman very intimately, oh, immediately people will take note of it. Sannyāsīra alpa-chidre bahu kari' mane. That is the practice. He should be very cautious. So a devotee, a sannyāsī, they have got very, very great responsibility. People will very easily criticize them. So Arjuna is considering all these points. Kathaṁ na jñeyam asmābhiḥ pāpād asmān nivartitum (BG 1.38). They may indulge in these sinful activities, how we can indulge? What people will say? Kula-kṣaya-kṛtaṁ doṣaṁ prapaśyadbhir janārdana. "He Janārdana, You are maintainer of the people. So if the people become sinful, so it is very difficult to maintain them." These things are being considered. Kula-kṣaya. So we cannot destroy family. But on one condition we can become free from all this obligation. What is that? Gataḥ śarabyaṁ parihṛtya kartum (SB 11.5.41). Śaraṇyam. Mukunda-caraṇam. One who has dedicated his life simply to serve Mukunda, Kṛṣṇa, Mukunda. Muk means mukti, liberation. And ānanda. Kṛṣṇa gives liberation, His name is Govinda, Mukunda. Hundreds and thousands of names Kṛṣṇa has got. So if one has taken, fully surrendering unto the lotus feet of Mukunda, he has no more any obligation, either these pitṛ, devarṣi, deva, devatā, demigod, ṛṣi, bhūta. He is immune because he is transcendental. But so long one is not a devotee, one who is not fully surrendered to the lotus feet of Mukunda, he must have to follow all these regulative principles and duties. He cannot be released. Everything, account is kept. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ (BG 3.27). Everything is noted down. Karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa (SB 3.31.1). According to his karma, he is going to get another body. These are the subtle laws. Therefore kula-kṣaya-doṣam. You cannot destroy your family. Materially, you cannot destroy your family. So Arjuna is speaking, kula-kṣayaṁ kṛtaṁ doṣaṁ prapaśyadbhir janārdana (BG 1.38). "We can see. These rascals, they have lost their intelligence, but when we see, how we can destroy the family?" So further explanation will be given next.
Pradyumna (leads chanting, etc.):
- kula-kṣaye praṇaśyanti
- kula-dharmāḥ sanātanāḥ
- dharme nāste kulaṁ kṛtsnam
- adharmo 'bhibhavaty uta
- (BG 1.39)
Translation: "With the destruction of dynasty, the eternal family tradition is vanquished, and thus the rest of the family becomes involved in irreligious practice."
Prabhupāda: So, so much responsibility is there, killing the family. Because they have no responsibility at the present moment, everyone irreligious. Two things are there: religion and irreligion. Kṛṣṇa also says, yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati abhyutthānam adharmasya (BG 4.7). If we cannot keep on religious principles, then... We have to do something. Then we have to enhance our irreligious principle. So this family tradition, according to Vedic civilization, was very strictly observed so that the family may be kept in order in religious principles. Why? Now, because the human life is meant for reviving his eternal position, sanātana. This word is used here. Kula-dharmāḥ sanātanāḥ. The real purpose of life, especially human life, is meant for reviving our sanātana-dharma, sanātana occupation, eternal occupation. By observing the rules and regulations of varṇāśrama-dharma, four varṇas and four āśramas..., that is called kula-dharma. Brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa. Each one of them must strictly observe the rules and regulations of that particular āśrama. Why it should be observed so strictly? Because by observing the regulative principle of each stages of life, one will be able to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
- puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān
- viṣṇur ārādhyate (panthā)
- nānyat tat-toṣa-kāraṇam
- (CC Madhya 8.58)
If we observe strictly the rules and regulations of kula-dharma... Kula-dharma means if you are a brāhmaṇa, you must observe the regulative principles, the qualitative principles of a brāhmaṇa. If you are in, a kṣatriya, then you must also observe the kṣatriya principles.