"This Body Belongs To Others"

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.48
Los Angeles, May 10, 1973

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Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)

aho me pasyatajnanam
hrdi rudham duratmanah
parakyasyaiva dehasya
bahvyo me 'ksauhinir hatah

Translation: "King Yudhisthira said: O my Lord, I am the most sinful man. Just see my heart, which is full of ignorance. This body, which is ultimately meant for others, has killed many, many phalanxes of men."

Prabhupada: So anyone explaining. You can explain.

Pradyumna: This King Yudhisthira is lamenting that the body, this material body, does not actually belong to us. We can even see relatively that the material body belongs, while we are inside this material body, it belongs to the family. We have debts to pay to so many living entities -- to our forefathers, our family. It belongs to our country. Our country takes it and says, "You take your body and you fight in Vietnam," or "You do this kind of work" or "You don't do this." It is subject to the religion we are born in. It is subject to so many rules and regulations beyond ourselves. This body, even while we are in it, does not belong to us, and before we came into this body, it was matter, belonging to someone else, and after we leave this body, as it says in the purport, "While there is life in the body it is meant for the service of others, and when it is dead it is meant to be eaten by dogs and jackals or maggots." So after death the body is disposed of in different ways. Some people bury the body; in that case the worms take the body. Some people burn the body; in that case it is consumed by fire and becomes ashes.

Prabhupada: This one word, parakyasya is very important. If you work... Somebody is working very hard, nobody is interested to work very hard for others. That is not the material philosophy. Everyone wants his own satisfaction, means sense gratification. So those who are in the bodily concept of life, they are working for their bodily sense gratification. But if we consider philosophically, we'll see that even this body does not belong to me. Therefore it is a very important word, parakyasya. From the very beginning. The body was given by father and mother. So if anyone creates something, so that thing belongs to the creator. If the father and mother has created this body, then from the very beginning the body belongs to the father and mother. And actually, in the childhood, as the father and mother says, "Sit down here, eat this, don't go there," everything is controlled by the father and mother, and originally given by the father and mother. So how we can claim, "This is my body"? From the very beginning. Then somebody maintains you. Suppose you are working in office, in a factory. So actually that body belongs to him, the maintainer. Just like a dog. The master maintains it, and the dog's body is meant for the service of that master. As soon as the master indicates, "You do this," immediately he does it. A dog has no independence, practical. So in this way the body belongs to the master. In the beginning, body belongs to the father and mother. Then, if you grow up, then body belongs to your country. In this way, go up to the death point, and after death also, the body belongs to others.

There are three stages, three different kinds of transformation of this body after death: stool, ashes and worms, uh, earth or dirt. According to the Vedic civilization, the body is burnt into ashes. So the body becomes ashes. And somebody throws the body to be eaten up by some animal. The Parsee community in India, they throw the body to be eaten by the vultures. That is their system. So after eating, the vultures, they pass stool; so body becomes stool. Is there any scientist to take the stool of vulture and make again a body? The body has turned to be stool, the body has turned to be ashes. Why not take little ashes and turn it to again body? Scientific method. Is it possible?

So this is called ajnanam. If you work for your own thing, there is some sense. But if you are working for others only, you have no claim, and day and night, hard work, then what is that intelligence? That is ass's intelligence. Ass. Ass just like works very hard, not for himself. He works for the washerman, for carrying tons of cloth on his back and for a morsel of grass. So in the actual sense also, if you go to see a gentleman, busy gentleman, businessman, ask him that "We want to talk with you something about Krsna consciousness." "Oh, I have no time. I have no time, sir." "Why?" "I am very busy." "Why you are busy?" "For business." "What is this business for?" "For maintaining my family." So in this way, ultimately, he is thinking he is working for himself, but he is working for others.

So our intelligence is, if we have to work for others and sacrifice this body for others, why not for Krsna? That is our philosophy. If I am whole time, whole duration of life, I am working for others... Others means, ultimately, my senses. The senses are others. Kamadinam kati na katidha palita durnidesah. My senses dictating, "You stick to this woman and go to hell." "Yes, I am ready. Yes." Kama, lust. So I am servant of the lust. Neither I am servant of the woman or servant of this man or that man. I am servant of my lust. And the lust is dictating that "You do this nonsense." "Yes, I'll do. Yes, I'll do." So in this way, we are actually servant of our senses and the dictation of the senses. This is our position. Kamadinam kati na katidha palita durnidesah. Durnidesa means... Nirdesa means direction, and durnidesa means bad direction. Just like people, they are doing so many sinful activities for maintaining this body. But at the ultimate analysis the body belongs to somebody else. So we are fool, that I am doing so much sinful activities for others. This is sense. But one... Everyone is under this ignorance. Although he is working for others, he is thinking "I am working for myself, for my interest." Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum [SB 7.5.31]. These rascals, they do not know what is actually his self-interest. He is working for other's interest, but he is thinking that "I am working for my interest." This is ajnana.

So therefore Yudhisthira Maharaja says, aho me pasyata ajnanam: "Just see how much foolish I am. I am foolish, I am." This body... I may be king, but this body, although I am king, if I do not discharge my duties nicely, president or king or very big man, immediately votes will be against me. So I am working for others. I have to keep... Just like recently in your country, the democratic party and... What is the other party? Republic party. So many things are going on, ajnana. This is ajnana. Philosophy means to see intelligently, darsana. The translation of philosophy means darsana. Darsana means seeing. Philosophy means to see the actual fact. That is called philosophy. So if we philosophically take all these things, we are working for others out of ignorance, and I am thinking that "It is my interest. It is my self-interest..." Actually, you have to work for others. That is your business. And that other is Krsna, not this material world. I have to work for others. Because I am servant originally. Jivera svarupa haya nitya-krsna-dasa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]. That is the constitutional position of every living entity, a servant. He cannot be master. If you don't become servant of Krsna, then you have to become a servant of maya. You cannot be master of maya. That is not possible. Master of maya is Krsna. Mama maya. Daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya [Bg. 7.14]. A master can control maya, but we are not master. We are servant. How we can control maya? It is impossible. But if you become servant of Krsna, maya will not touch you. That's all. Mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te [Bg. 7.14]. You cannot control maya. That is not possible, because you are servant. If you don't become servant of Krsna, you must become servant of maya.

So we are falsely trying to enjoy maya. Enjoy means master. That is not possible. Tribhir gunamayair bhavaih. This is the influence of the three modes of material nature. We are falsely thinking that... The so-called scientific advancement, they are also trying to control over maya, nature. That cannot be. It is not possible. But they will go on trying for it. The maya, there is a nice example I have seen in somewhere, in India. There was a mirror and a bird, a sparrow, was coming. And as soon as he comes before the mirror, there is another sparrow on the other side. So he'll strike the mirror, that "There is another bird." And he would also strike. In this way he was struggling. That shadow sparrow was striking and he was trying. He was trying. He thought that "I shall defeat the other sparrow." But that is not possible. That is not possible. I have seen it practically. This is foolishness. The bird is thinking that "There is another sparrow. Strike it." And he is also striking. That perpetual striking is going on. That is called struggle for existence. He has no sense.

So, so long we are nonsense, we have to go, struggle for existence. Struggle for existence in this life. Suppose I am struggling, I am thinking, "If I could have possessed the strength of an elephant or a tiger, I would have been successful." Then next life he gets the body of lion, tiger, or elephant. Nature will give. Ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamy aham [Bg. 4.11]. Krsna is very kind. Whatever you want, He will give you, up to mukti. The Mayavadi philosophers... Mukti means to merge into the existence of Brahman. Krsna will give you very easily. But He is very strict to give you bhakti. That is His special... Because to the bhaktas, Krsna, although the Supreme, He becomes within the grip of the bhaktas. Vedesu durlabham adurlabham atma-bhaktau [Bs. 5.33]. Adurlabha. For bhakta He becomes, He becomes controlled by the bhakta. The topmost bhakta is Radharani. So although Krsna is the isvarah paramah, the supreme controller, He is controlled by Radharani, because She is bhakta. Nobody can excel Her devotion, Her service. In sixty-four ways... These are described in the Bhakti-rasa..., Nectar of Devotion, how Srimati Radharani excels in Her devotional service, everyone, everyone. There are stages, different. Just like the Pandavas, they are also bhaktas. But the gopis excel them. And the gopis are also bhaktas, but Radharani excels all of them. So there are stages of bhaktas. Therefore Krsna is very cautious to endow one with this devotional service. He can give mukti very easily. Mukti, to achieve mukti, liberation, that is not very difficult job. But if one becomes a bhakta, devotee, mukti will stand before him with folded hands. Muktih mukulitanjali sevate asman.

For a devotee, mukti is not very important. Kaivalyam narakayate. Prabodhananda Sarasvati says that mukti, kaivalyam, one with the supreme, kaivalyam, kevalam, narakayate: "What is this? It is as good as the hell." That is the opinion of the bhakta. They don't want mukti. Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, mama janmani janmanisvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi. Na dhanam na janam na sundarim kavitam va jagadisa kamaye. Caitanya Mahaprabhu said that "I don't want any material wealth," dhanam. Na janam. "I don't want to be leader of hundreds and thousand of people, president or this or that. No." These are material desires. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu is nullifying everything: "No, I don't want this." Na dhanam na janam na sundarim kavitam. "I don't want any beautiful wife also." These are material desires. Everyone wants. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu rejects. Then you want mukti? Because after all, mukti... Dharma artha kama moksa. Moksa means mukti. People are addicted to these four principles. So ultimately, You want mukti? "No. That is also not." Why? Mama janmani janmani. Janma, if one takes birth again, then there is no mukti. Mukti means no more taking birth in this material world. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, "I don't want this, don't want this, don't want this." And janmani janmani means "I don't want mukti also." Janmani... If one is mukta, he is liberated, he cannot take birth again. So He says, mama janmani janmani: "Let there be birth after birth, birth after birth. It doesn't matter." Then what You want actually? No. Mama janmani janmanisvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi: "Simply I want to serve You. That's all. It doesn't matter. What shall I do with mukti? I may go to hell; it doesn't matter. But I want to serve You there also."

So for a devotee there is no such distinction: "Here is hell" or "Here is heaven," "Here is Vrndavana" or "Here is Los Angeles," "Here is..." No. Because Krsna is everywhere. Wherever He gets the opportunity of serving Krsna, that he wants. That's all. Nothing more. Mama janmani janmanisvare. Janmani janmani, it doesn't matter. What kind of janma will be... Of course, from the sastras we can understand that sucinam srimatam gehe yoga-bhrasto 'bhijayate. To take birth by a devotee is different little than another's. Because one who has dedicated to Krsna, He is under Krsna's control, direct. Aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami. So that bhakti means he is sinless, spotless. So therefore there is no possibility of his taking birth in lower animal group. That is not. He will get birth; that is assured -- sucinam srimatam gehe -- either in a very rich family or in a pure brahmana's family. Because he will get another chance of developing his devotional service in a pure brahmana family or pure Vaisnava family. Vaisnava is greater than a brahmana. That is a great opportunity. Because the father, mother, they are engaged in devotional service. Just like these children who were born amongst our devotees, they are not ordinary children. Because from the very beginning they are getting chance of devotional service: dancing, chanting, seeing the Deity, offering a flower, offering obeisances to the spiritual master. These things will not go in vain. Don't think. Every account is kept. Every account. Therefore the Deity worship is recommended -- why? If somebody comes, consciously or unconsciously, and offers obeisances, he gets immediately credit certi..., credit note, yes. Immediately. In this way, when the credit notes are so much, oh, it is a big amount. It is a big amount. Then he can purchase Krsna. This is bhakti. Even... Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat. Even little of it can save you from the greatest danger. Bhakti is so nice. Svalpam api. Just like Ajamila. Ajamila, he was the greatest sinful person. But at the time of death, he uttered "Narayana," and he was protected by Krsna. Immediately Narayana's soldiers came and protected him from the Yamaraja's soldiers. Ajamila uddhara.

So Yudhisthira Maharaja is very advanced devotee. He says that pasyata ajnanam: "Just see my ignorance. I have killed so many soldiers simply for this body." Pasyata ajnanam me hrdi rudham duratmanah: "And this ignorance is deeply rooted in my heart." People are... Every step, they are being baffled; still, they will do the same thing. Punah punas carvita-carvananam [SB 7.5.30]. No sense is coming. No sense is coming. Duratmanah. Not mahatmanah. Mahatmanah means he is no more interested in this kind of business. That is called mahatmanah. Those who are repeatedly engaged in this kind of business, they are called duratmanah. Only for the body's sake working very hard. So if you analyze, the whole world is doing that. Duratmanah.

Parakyasyaiva dehasya bahvyo me aksauhinih. Now the aksauhini is mentioned here. One, what is the exact word, one group of soldiers?

Devotees: Phalanx.

Prabhupada: Phalanx, another name?

Devotees: Regiment?

Prabhupada: Regiment or something like..., composing. Just like in your country you have got. The Seventh Fleet or something like that was sent to India. They have got a group, so many ships, so many soldiers, so many... But formerly there was no ship, no aeroplane. They used to fight with horses, soldiers, elephants. So the estimation is there. You read the estimation.

Pradyumna: "A solid phalanx of 21,870 chariots, 21,870 elephants, 109,650 infantry and 65,000 cavalry is called an aksauhini. And many aksauhinis were killed on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra."

Prabhupada: So that's all right. Let us have kirtana. (end)
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.48 -- Los Angeles, May 10, 1973

© 2001 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International. Used with permission.

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