Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 7: The Science of God: Chapter 6: Prahlada instructs his demoniac friends: Text 2
( LECTURE by HH BHAKTI CHARU SWAMI )
yathā hi puruṣasyeha
yad eṣa sarva-bhūtānāṁ
priya ātmeśvaraḥ suhṛt
Translation: The human form of life affords one a chance to return home, back to Godhead. Therefore, every living entity, especially in the human form of life, must engage in devotional service to the lotus feet of Lord Viṣṇu. This devotional service is natural because Lord Viṣṇu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the most beloved, the master of the soul, and the well-wisher of all other living beings.
The major points covered in this verse are as follows
- The importance of practicing devotional service at the very young age.
- What is the purpose of Human life?
- What is right education according to scriptures.
- How important is to follow regulative principles.
In the past time of Prahlada instructs his demoniac friends, Prahlada Maharaja says one should use the human form of body from the very beginning of life preferably at the tender age of 5 onwards to practice devotional service, giving up all the engagements because the human body is rarely achieved, and although it is temporary like other bodies, it is meaningful because in this human life if one sincerely practice a slight amount of devotional service, one can attain complete perfection. So, the human form of life affords one a chance to return home, back to Godhead.
How Can one practice devotional service at the tender age?
There is a need for proper education. The first responsibility is with the parents. According to the Vedic culture even before the child is conceived, there is Garbhadhana Samskara where the father and mother prepares themselves. The preparation is to be in Krishna consciousness. If the father is Krishna conscious, then he will able to invite a Krishna conscious soul to take birth in the womb of the mother. Even if the mother is Krishna conscious the child in the womb is also Krishna conscious, and is tuned to mother’s consciousness. The mother’s have the responsibility to educate their children when they are in the womb. So, we can see how scientific the Vedic culture is. Children should not be conceived like cats and dogs, by union between a male and female or should be conceived accidently without any preparation. Vedic culture is preparing the human society to become a perfect human being. The preparation is so extensive even before the child is conceived the parents prepare themselves to invite an appropriate soul.
The soul does not decide which womb he has to enter, it is decided by mother nature according to one’s mentality. The mentality is in the subtle body. When someone acts like an animal the subtle body takes the shape of an animal. When someone acts like an angel the subtle body take the shape of an angel. Subtle body does not die at the time of death. At the time of death, the soul leaves the body and it is the subtle body that carries the soul to the next destination which is decided by the mother nature. If you are an angelic entity, you have an angelic subtle body then you will be placed in an angelic womb out of angelic parentage. If you are an animal mentality then you go down to lower species. This is how everything is happening by the divine arrangement of the Supreme Personality of God head even in this material nature. So, nothing happens by chance. We create our own destiny through our own actions. As you sow , so shall you reap. We develop our subtle body actually based on how we act. That is the result of karmic reactions.
Every single action leaves an imprint in the subtle body. It is like if we do something good how do you feel internally. You will feel elated. Even if we do something bad that imprint is also in the subtle body. All our actions are shaping our subtle body. And accordingly, we get our gross body. That is the arrangement of the material nature. The wonderful thing why this human form of life is so special because human beings have the faculties of “Intelligence” and “Will”. They can decide what they want to do. INTELLIGENCE make them decide and WILL directs to act in that way. For example, Intelligence decides if I put my hand in the fire the hand will get burned, so the intelligence say don’t do that. And the will immediately withdraws the hand. INTELLIGENCE says he is my enemy and the WILL say kill him. This is how we have the purgative of deciding ourselves what we want to do. Animals don’t have these faculties; they have some intelligence also. But that intelligence is nothing compared to human intelligence.
The progress in the human society is an indication of the intelligence. For example, Summer is so hot, you will make arrangements to avoid the unpleasant conditions of the heat. So, the man invented fan, before that it was hand held fan. Then they opted for more advanced version, the ceiling fan, the table fan, A/C. These are the results of intelligence. Human beings have the intelligence to do these things, but unfortunately the intelligence is directed to the wrong direction. Bodily comfort, bodily enjoyment, but we are not realizing that the body is not our actual identity, our real self. Our real self is the soul. Srila Prabupada gives an example of a bird in a cage. The owner is polishing the cage, nicely and the bird is not getting any food to eat. So, what will be the condition of the bird. The cage is so for the bird and polishing the cage and making all kinds of arrangements for the cage will be lost if the bird’s life is at stake. Analogy here is body is the cage. You are giving all the comforts, all the pleasure , dressing, ornamentation to the body but what about the soul. We are not concerned about the soul. Only human beings can probe in to these kinds of thoughts or consideration. When we get the proper direction, intelligence will properly act according to it. We did not have any information about these things before, because nobody educated us. Even though we would have read scriptures like Bhagavad Gita, before coming to ISCKON we could not understand many things based on our previous readings. We did not get the right knowledge that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of God Head and surrendering to Krishna is the main purpose of Bhagavad Gita. But when we read Srila Prabupad’s Bhagavad Gita and other books we get the right understanding. When we have the proper understanding, we know the proper way to apply or move forward in Krishna consciousness and practice it.
Srila Prabupada is making another point you are realizing that you are suffering from some disease and there is a need to go to the Hospital to cure the disease. But, does going to the hospital enough to cure disease. No, you have to take the treatment. So, here we realize that we are suffering from the disease, realize that ISKCON is the Hospital, but just coming in ISKCON and taking initiation and so forth is not going to solve the purpose. You have to take the treatment. If you don’t take the treatment the whole purpose is lost. And that is happening right now so many devotees join ISKCON, take initiation but do not practice the process. Then what is the point in coming to the hospital. Our responsibility is to practice the process sincerely. The medicine here is simple Chant Hare Krishna Maha Mantra 16 rounds daily Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, follow the 4 regulative principles, read Srila Prabupad’s books constantly, attend Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam classes and seminars, hear Srila Prabupad’s lectures, listen to his tapes. These are like an impetus, the reminder what we need to do. Reading Srila Prabupad’s books or listening to his tapes is the most important. If we do that, we naturally make spiritually progress. Just joining ISKCON is not good enough. We need to take the treatment. So, this kind of reminders are so essential. This human form of life is a wonderful opportunity to go back to God head. If we don’t remember that, then we will forget and will drift away. Taking the treatment will cure the disease, but again you go back and do the nonsense then how will you be cured. No, so sincerely accept the process and practice it sincerely that is the key. Also get up early morning before 5 am. Morning hours are very important in the practice of Krishna consciousness like chanting, hearing lectures, reading , because it is in the mode of goodness, serene and peaceful. You are also peaceful after good night rest. And whatever you do will have such powerful affect. So, we have come to the Hospital for the treatment, here treatment is guaranteed because the Doctor is Srila Prabupada and the medicine is given by Lord Caitnaya Mahaprabhu. So, we have got the best medicine, best Doctor and the Doctor has created a wonderful Hospital so we should not worry, just practice the process and you will see, meet everyone in the spiritual world, back to God head.