Summary: As class begins, Srila Prabhupada is commenting on the desired efficacy of electronic equipment to achieve a big task, yet so often it doesn't work. "Arambha, beginning is very gorgeous. But end is nothing." In the lecture itself, Srila Prabhupada is pointing out the fact that principle of stealing is stealing, whether the object of theft is a peach or a diamond. Both are punishable. Similarly, the big scientist or intellectual who does not know the nature of the soul nor the purpose of life, as well as the materialist who makes a big arrangement for gratifying the senses---both persons are respected in the estimation of others who are equally fools; but Srimad Bhagavatam considers those who carry such fundamental misconceptions of the soul, despite their ability to speak big words and display gaudy arrangements of the material energy, to be nothing but fools and rascals.
A 'purva-paksa' or a counter-argument can be presented: "Why are you speaking so strongly against these noble persons? They are revered in our society for their unique achievements!" The 'hIrA and kSIrA' example supplies the response: "As a thief is a thief, a fool is to be considered a fool based upon fundamental conceptions of life which they carry, and their consequent actions issuing from these misconceptions. Covering their foolishness with an array of bombastic words and with gorgeous material arrangements springing from a materialistic conception of life, in concert, in fact create a corrupt civilization. Such attainments of material mastery do not change the fundamental foolishness and rascal nature of such persons." Sophistication is not advancement, rather it is the display of a cheating and rascal mentality, if devoid of fundamental self-knowledge.
1) In BHAGAVAD-GITA 7.15 purport, Srila Prabhupada writes- "The next class of duskriti is called mayayapahrta-jnanah, or those persons whose erudite knowledge has been nullified by the influence of illusory material energy. They are mostly very learned fellows "great philosophers, poets, literati, scientists, etc." but the illusory energy misguides them, and therefore they disobey the Supreme Lord. ...the mayayapahrta-jnanah deride the personality of the Supreme Lord and considers Him merely another human being. They do not know that the blessed form of human life is designed after the eternal and transcendental feature of the Supreme Lord." Briefly explain the connection between the message expressed in BHAGAVAD-GITA 7.15 and this week's reading assignment, ie. Srimad Bhagavatam lecture from 5.5.3.
2) In your own words, state the main point being made in the Reading Assignment. Next, express how you personally can adjust your way of thinking about 'successful materialists' so that your views conform to Srila Prabhupada's teachings.
3) What is the destination of the 'advanced rascals', namely those who are devoid of self-knowledge, yet pose themselves to be advanced in knowledge and civilization? What is the destination of those who revere such 'advanced rascals'? (Cf Sri Isopanisad Text 9)
Reading Assignment a) Srimad Bhagavatam 5.5.3. Lecture exerpts, Stockholm, September 9, 1973.
a) Srimad Bhagavatam 5.5.3.
Lecture exerpts Srimad Bhagavatam CLASS BEGINS:
Prabhupada: So it has been recommended... (aside:) It is not working?
Hamsaduta: It's not working?
Prabhupada: What is the use of keeping big, big paraphernalia? Bahvarambhe laghu kriya. Arambha, arrangement is very big, but work is no, no work. What is the use of keeping useless machine? So that is going on. In the material world, everything is bahvarambhe laghu kriya. That has been spoken by Canakya Pandita. Aja yuddhe muni sraddhe. Aja yuddhe. Ajah means goats. You have seen goat fighting? As if, though, two big, big heroes are fighting. But as soon as somebody comes: "Hut!" they'll go away. Have you seen, experienced? Goats and lambs, they'll fight: (makes sound:) "Onh, onnh." Like this. But, but as soon somebody comes: "Hut!" So this is one of the example of bahvarambhe laghu kriya. Arambha, as if something very serious going to happen. But actually it is nonsignificant. Aja yuddhe muni sraddhe. Muni, in the jungle, in the forest, there are munis. So they are arranging for some festivals to offer oblations to the forefathers, sraddha. So what they have got? They have got some fruits and leaves. That's all. So the arrangement may be that "Tomorrow, we are going to have this festival." But the festival means some leaves and some water. That's all. No utensils, no gold, no jewels, nothing of the sort. So this is another bahvarambhe laghu kriya. Arrangement is very big, but fact is nothing. And dampatya kalahe caiva. And fight between or quarrel between husband and wife. In India, there is no question of divorce. So nobody takes very serious care when there is fight between husband and wife. So there also: "I'm going to immediately leave you, going to kill you..." and so many things. But after an hour, everything is finished. No more quarrel. Dampatya kalahe caiva prabhate megha-garjane. And in the morning, if you see big cloud assembly and thundering sound, but you rest assured. There will be no rain in the morning. So these things are bahvarambhe laghu kriya. Arambha, beginning is very gorgeous. But end is nothing. So that is not good, bahvarambhe laghu kriya. *******
So this life is, human life is the sum total of developed consciousness. That is to be understood. But we are not utilizing it. How this developed consciousness should be utilized, that education is lacking. The modern civilization, especially in this age, they are simply busy... Advancement of civilization means advancement of the process of eating, advancement of the process of sleeping, advancement of process of sex life, advancement of defense. That's all. But that will not help us. Just like there are thieves. There were some thieves. They have got very organized system of stealing. Very educated man, scientist, they can enter into the bank safety room. With scientific method, they can open the chest, treasury, and take, at a time, millions of dollars away. And there is another kind of thief, they simply pickpocket or burglar when they get opportunity, take away some goods from your house. In Hindi, it is called hira and ksira. Somebody is stealing ksira. Ksira means cucumber. Just like we saw on the street. In so many houses, there are so many fruits, apples. If we like, we can take it. But if we take it beyond the fence of that private house, it is criminal. It is criminal. If you take one apple, it, it has no cost here practically. And somebody's stealing from your box hira. Hira means diamond. But if these two classes of thieves are arrested, according to law, they are punishable for six months imprisonment. The man cannot say, who has stolen one apple, "Oh, what is the price of this apple, sir? I have taken one apple. Why you are putting me into jail?" But law is there. Even it is apple, it has no value, because you have stolen, it is the property of a private person, so, as you have stolen, therefore you are punished. And similarly, another thief, who has stolen a diamond worth ten millions dollars, he's also punished. Because, both of them are thieves. You cannot say that "I am thief, certainly, but I have taken which is practically has no worth." No. Similarly, if you become an advanced, civilized man simply to make a gorgeous scheme, bahvarambhe, of this eating, sleeping, mating, and defending, you remain animal. These, these things they cannot understand. This rascal civilization, they think this is advancement of civilization. They cannot think that with this advancement of civilization of industry, big, big cities, electric light, big, big road, motorcars and... But what is the basic principle? The basic principle is eating, sleeping, mating and defending. Just like the basic principle being stealing, you are thieves. Either you are expert thief for stealing diamonds or you are not expert, but you can steal one apple or one peach, both of you are thieves. So you are punishable. You are punished. The gorgeous thief, scientifically stealing from the bank millions of dollars, he cannot say that "I am advanced thief. I am very civilized way, take. I take, at a time, millions of dollars. Therefore, my stealing is advancement of civilization." These rascals, they cannot understand this. Therefore we call all of them rascals. They may say that "We are so much advanced. You are crazy." Yes, but just see. The law is either you are advanced thief, or you are a crude thief, you are thief, and as soon as you are thief, you are punishable. This is the process. That is the defect of modern civilization. They are going to hell, and they're thinking they're advanced. This is the defect. Adanta-gobhir visatam tamisram punah punas carvita-carvananam [Srimad Bhagavatam 7.5.30]. Punah punas carvita-carvana... Carvita-carvana means chewing the chewed. Actually, we see. The advanced thieves, rascals...