"Slaughter Victims--Murderers"

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.52
Los Angeles, May 14, 1973

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Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
 

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Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)

yatha pankena pankambhah
suraya va surakrtam
bhuta-hatyam tathaivaikam
na yajnair marstum arhati

Translation: "As it is not possible to filter muddy water through mud, or purify a wine-stained pot with wine, it is not possible to counteract the killing of men by sacrificing animals."

Prabhupada: So here one of the most important points is surakrtam bhuta-hatyam. Surakrtam means things becoming impure simply by touching liquor. Liquor is so impure. Just like you have got a very big pot of milk, but if you put one drop of wine in it, it becomes immediately impure. You can analyze chemically -- immediately impure. That sura, liquor, has become our daily affair. We are so impure. And bhuta-hatya, and killing of animals. The modern civilization means large-scale arrangement for killing animals and large-scale arrangement for distilling liquor, especially in the Western countries. And India is also now following. So this is the position of the world. What is being condemned by Maharaja Yudhisthira, that, those items at the present moment are being encouraged by the government. This is the difference between this government and Maharaja Yudhisthira's government. You can just imagine.

So the example is very nice. Yatha pankena pankambhah. Muddy water, if you bring muddy water, if you want to cleanse it, precipitate, then you cannot add another lump of mud in it. No. You have to add something chemical. Just like alum. In muddy water if you put little alum chemical... Am I right, chemist?

Svarupa Damodara: Yes.

Prabhupada: So immediately there will be precipitation and all the muddy things will be collected, and the water will be clear, original. So we are discussing about the muddy atmosphere. Things are there, sinful, muddy. But there is process also, how to counteract it. The process is also prescribed there. So at the present moment the whole world is muddy, but you cannot clear this muddy situation by adding more mud. They are trying to do that. They are not trying. The, there is Vedic method also, like that, that if you have done something wrong, you do another wrong thing. That is called prayascitta. Prayascitta. But Bhagavata does not accept this kind of prayascitta. Prayascittam vimarsanam. By this kind of reformation... Suppose you have committed theft. This is sinful activities. And you are put into the jail for six months. That does not mean that you become an honest man. That does not mean. So it is something like that. To clear the muddy water, put another lump of mud on it. This will not help. Something effective must be brought in.

That effective thing is kalau nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha, only this chanting of Hare Krsna mantra. The whole world is muddy. It is impure, full of sinful activities. So if you want to clear the situation of the modern world, then this is the only remedy:

harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha
 [Adi 17.21]

There is no other way. And actually, we are seeing practically how by chanting this holy name of the Lord, Hare Krsna mantra, how nasty people are becoming purified, Vaisnava, brahmana. Actually nasty. Now, here it is said that surakrtam, a drop of wine makes the whole thing impure. And liquor drinking is our daily business. So the example is given that suppose here is one drop of wine, and the place has become impure. So if you bring another gallon of wine and just sweep over it, mop it with wine, that is not the process. You have to bring pure water and wash with it. Then it will purify. You cannot say that "Wine is also liquid. Why not cleanse it here by wine?" No.

So the Vedic conception is completely different. The... According to modern science, they put things into alcohol to sterilize. Is it not?

Svarupa Damodara: Put alcohol in things.

Prabhupada: Yes. But it becomes more impure. Anything you put into alcohol, that becomes more impure, according to this. So there are so many things. Our position jiva, is living entity, is pure by nature because it is part and parcel of God, Krsna. So we have accumulated so much, so many material things by which we have become impure. And yajnaih. This bhuta-hatya. Bhuta-hatya is also recognized here as sinful activities. As wine is sinful or impure -- if not sinful, it is impure -- bhuta-hatya, killing of animal, is also sinful activities. So you cannot counteract by performing yajna, because in the yajna there is also another bhuta-hatya.

So even there is no bhuta-hatya... That is called panca-suna-yajna, five kinds of imperceptible sinful activities. Just like when we are walking on the street, there are many ants and germs, they are being killed. I do not know, I do not wish to kill, but they are being killed. When you are igniting fire, in the fireplace, there are so many small ants. So as soon as you ignite, all those small ants -- you cannot see -- they die. Similarly, when you keep water, there are so many microbes and other living entities. So as you press on it, they die. Similarly, pestle and mortar. In India the system, they don't purchase...Those who are rigid family, they do not purchase these powdered spices. No. They bring whole spices and they smash it with mortar and pestle. That is very nice. So doing that smashing work, you kill so many animals. In breathing, you kill so many animals. In drinking water, you kill so many animals. This is bhuta-hatya. You are killing. This is not intentional. You do not know. Therefore in a Vedic system there is prescription, panca-suna-yajna. Panca means five, and suna means bhuta-hatya, or killing animals, suna. Striya-suna-pana-dyuta. Suna. Suna means violence. So we prohibit these four kinds of sinful life: killing of animals and illicit sex... Striya, suna, and... Panca-suna. Yes... Striya-suna-pana. Pana means intoxicants, and dyuta means gambling. So these are four kinds of sinful activities. So out of that, suna is one. That is also divided in many divisions, at least five. Willingly, we are not going to kill anybody, but unwillingly... Therefore there is panca-suna-yajna. You have to perform yajna every day to counteract the sinful reaction of your imperceptible killings of animals. That's it. This is Vedic life.

So Yudhisthira Maharaja says that "It is not possible to counteract." But indirectly, Yudhisthira Maharaja says, that if you... He says simply the negative side, but the positive side is, in this age, simply by chanting Hare Krsna maha-mantra, you become purified. That is the recommendation by Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. There are two kinds of, what is called, atonement. One atonement, by the prescribed method. You have done... Just like I'll give you common example. Just like you have committed theft. One atonement is that you go to the jail and live there for some time. This is atonement. If you have committed a murder, then you also be hanged. These are the laws. When the king orders somebody to be hanged on account of his committing murder, the king is not sinful. King is helpful. King is helping that rascal to atone his murdering activities. Otherwise, if he is not hanged, then next life, next time, he will be put into difficulty. Next time he will have to become animal. He will be slaughtered. These laws they do not know. Why these animals are being slaughtered? There is some nature's law. They were murderer or slaughterer in their past life as human being. Now they have assumed, they have accepted a body to be slaughtered by the laws of nature. When an animal is slaughtered in sacrifice, there is mantra. The mantra is that... The animal slaughter in sacrifice is recommended for the animal-eaters, not for all. Those who are... To restrict.
In the Vedas there is recommendation that animals can be sacrificed in yajna. So that is also another meaning. The verse is loke vyavayamisa-madya-seva nitya hi jantor na hi tatra codana. In this material world every living entity has got natural propensity for sex life, meat-eating and intoxication. There is already propensities. You haven't got to teach. Nobody teaches in the school how to enjoy sex life. Everyone knows. So these things are natural. Then why it has been taken by the Vedas? This should be the question, that "Without marriage, sex life is going on. Why this show of marriage?" People may question this. But there is need. Because Vedas have taken this marriage. Marriage is Vedic. So why Vedas have taken this marriage? No, to restrict it. Without marriage, sex life (is) unrestricted. And as soon as it comes to the Vedic principles, it becomes restricted. So the idea is to restrict. People are accustomed to this habit, and on account of this habit, they gradually become implicated with the laws of material nature. Therefore there is some restriction. Just like anyone can distill liquor at home. It is not very difficult thing. Anyone can do it. In India they do it. It is called dheno-mada. Dheno-mada means... Mada means liquor, and dheno means from rice. Just like we cook rice, so you cook rice and keep it in water for a few days or for a month, it becomes liquor. It becomes liquor. So why government has restricted, "No, you cannot manufacture liquor; you have to purchase from the licensed shop." Why? That is restriction. If the government would have allowed that "You can distill liquor and drink it," then there was no limit. Everyone would have. There is no restriction.

So restriction is required. Why? It is because it is bad. Nobody restricts that "You don't manufacture capati." No. Because it is not bad thing. There is no such law, that "You don't manufacture nice foodstuff." No. That is very good. But when it is bad, then there is restriction. Therefore there is restriction of sex life, there is restriction of drinking wine, there is restriction of meat-eating, and there is restriction of gambling. Because these things are bad. You cannot become good by indulging in bad things. That is not possible. The same thing. Just like you cannot clear muddy water by putting another mud. That is not possible.

So the human life is meant for purification. Sattva-suddhi. In the Bhagavad-gita there is, abhayam... What is that? Can anyone... Abhayam sattva-samsuddhih. Sattva-samsuddhi, it is very important thing. Sattva means my existence. I am eternal. So I am existing, but I am suffering. I am suffering. Just like I have got now cold affection (infection). This is not my natural state, but I have been affected by chilly cold or something like that. Therefore I am suffering. So it is my duty to cure it, to take some medicine, to go to the physician. That is called sattva-samsuddhi, purifying your existence. By nature, by constitutional position, every living entity is as pure as God. But God does not become impure. We become impure. Therefore we are suffering. That is the... So this impurity can be rectified in this life, this human form of life. Therefore human form of life is meant for purification. Therefore so many scriptures are there, so many teachers are there, so many rules and regulations are there. They are not meant for the animals, because they cannot be purified. They must have to come to this position by evolution of human being. Then there is chance of purification.

Therefore in this human life, if we do not purify our existence, then we go on with this impure existence. Impure existence means transmigration of the soul from one body to another, and become subjected to birth, death, old age and disease. This is impurification. So they do not know that "Death is not my obligation. Because I am impure, therefore I am dying. Birth is not my obligation. Because I am impure, therefore I am taking birth." Janma-mrtyu... Four things: janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi. Janma, birth, is due to my impure consciousness. Therefore if we purify our consciousness by advancing, by developing Krsna consciousness, then we become pure. This is the process of Krsna consciousness movement. Ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12], Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, cleansing the heart. And all these purificatory methods, they are based on cleansing the heart. If I think myself that "I am something of this material product..." The scientists, they say that "I am these material things." They do not understand what is spiritual identity. And I do, I act, according to that material conception, that is impurity of my consciousness. First thing is to understand that "I am not this material body."

Therefore, spiritual education begins from this body. As Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, dehino 'smin yatha dehe [Bg. 2.13]. Asmin dehe, in this body there is the spiritual spark who is the proprietor of the body. This is the beginning of spiritual education. What is, the scientists cannot imagine, or they have no idea, from there we begin our education in spiritual life, beyond their jurisdiction, beyond the jurisdiction of the scientists. And how they can understand this movement? It is beyond their jurisdiction. When they will receive one hundred or one thousands of Nobel Prize, at that time they may be able to understand that where Krsna consciousness movement begins. They do not know even where the Krsna consciousness movement begins. Therefore, generally people cannot understand what is this Krsna consciousness movement. They think it is some religious sentiment. Like so many other religions, it is like that. No. It is most the scientific movement, purifying the existence of the living being so that he can eternally, blissfully live, with complete knowledge. That is Krsna consciousness movement. To purify. Yena suddhyet sattvam. And for such... Just like for being cured from your attack of cold and cough, you take so many medicine, go to so many physician, you spend some money. Why? You want to be cured. Similarly, if you understand that "This is my disease, repetition of birth, death, old age and disease," so you'll have to sacrifice. Just like you are sacrificing money for being cured from the diseased condition, similarly, sastra says that this human life is meant for tapasya, tapasya. Tapo divyam yena suddhyet sattvam. This human life is meant for tapasya, not for indulging in sensual gratification like the animals. Tapasya. So in the tapasya method these things are prescribed. So Yudhisthira Maharaja is mentioning them.

So this Krsna consciousness movement means training people how to become tapasvi, tapasvi, who is undergoing tapasya, regulative, so that he may be cured from this permanent disease, birth, death, old age and disease. The Krsna consciousness movement. The whole Vedic process is meant for that purpose, to purify the existence of the living being so that he can be saved from the repetition of birth, death, old age and disease. You read some of the purport.

Pradyumna: Asvamedha-yajnas or gomedha-yajnas, or the sacrifices in which a horse or a bull is sacrificed, were not, of course, for the purpose of killing the animals. Lord Caitanya said that such animals sacrificed on the altar of yajna were rejuvenated and a new life was given to them. It was just to prove the efficacy of the hymns of the Vedas. By recitation of the hymns of the Vedas in the proper way, certainly the performer gets relief from the reactions of sins. But in case of such sacrifices not properly done under expert management, certainly one has to become responsible for animal sacrifice."

Prabhupada: This is a long subject matter. But the sacrifice in yajna, recommended, that is not for killing the animal, but it is a testing, how the Vedic mantras are being properly chanted. Because an old animal put into the fire, by Vedic mantras he would come out again with young life. That is sacrifice of animals in the yajna. Therefore in this age there is no such expert brahmana who can chant the mantras properly or he can behave because the life is very abominable. Therefore, because there is no expert brahmana, so these sacrifices are forbidden in this age. Kalau panca vivarjayet asvamedham gavalambham devarena sutotpattim sannyasam [Cc. Adi 17.164]. These things are forbidden in this age, because there is no proper men to conduct.

So in the Kali-yuga this sacrifice is recommended: yajnaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi sumedhasah [SB 11.5.32]. Sankirtana-yajna. This yajna will help you. Real thing is the heart, the mind. If this yajna, sankirtana-yajna, cleanses your mind and heart, then you come to the platform of knowledge. Then automatically other things become effective. So in this age it is recommended that other yajnas will not be effective, neither it is recommended. But the sankirtana-yajna -- yajnaih sankirtanaih -- that is recommended. Everyone can join it, and he can become purified, he can become situated on spiritual platform, and his life becomes successful.

Thank you very much. (end)
 
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.52 -- Los Angeles, May 14, 1973

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

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