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Srimad Bhagavatam




Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

24 February 2024

00:00 / 01:04

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Canto 4, Chapter 25, Text 42.

Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya

Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya

Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya

Kasyā manas te bhuvi bhogi-bhogayoḥ

Striyā na sajjed bhujayor mahā-bhuja

Yo ’nātha-vargādhim alaṁ ghṛṇoddhata-

Smitāvalokena caraty apohitum

Kasyāḥ— whose; manaḥ — mind; te — your; bhuvi — in this world; bhogi-bhogayoḥ — like the body of a serpent; striyāḥ — of a woman; na — not; sajjet — becomes attracted; bhujayoḥ — by the arms; mahā-bhuja — O mighty-armed; yaḥ — one who; anātha-vargā — of poor women like me; adhim — distresses of the mind; alam — able; ghṛṇā-uddhata — by aggressive mercy; smita-avalokena — by attractive smiling; carati — travels; apohitum — to dissipate.

Translation and purport by His Divine Grace Śrīla Prabhupāda


O mighty-armed, who in this world will not be attracted by your arms, which are just like the bodies of serpents? Actually you relieve the distress of husbandless women like us by your attractive smile and your aggressive mercy. We think that you are traveling on the surface of the earth just to benefit us only.


When a husbandless woman is attacked by an aggressive man, she takes his action to be mercy. A woman is generally very much attracted by a man’s long arms. A serpent’s body is round, and it becomes narrower and thinner at the end. The beautiful arms of a man appear to a woman just like serpents, and she very much desires to be embraced by such arms.

The word anātha-vargā is very significant in this verse. Nātha means “husband,” and a means “without.” A young woman who has no husband is called anātha, meaning “one who is not protected.” As soon as a woman attains the age of puberty, she immediately becomes very much agitated by sexual desire. It is therefore the duty of the father to get his daughter married before she attains puberty. Otherwise she will be very much mortified by not having a husband. Anyone who satisfies her desire for sex at that age becomes a great object of satisfaction. It is a psychological fact that when a woman at the age of puberty meets a man and the man satisfies her sexually, she will love that man for the rest of her life, regardless who he is. Thus so-called love within this material world is nothing but sexual satisfaction.

vande ’haṁ śrī-guroḥ śrī-yuta-pada-
kamalaṁ śrī-gurūn vaiṣṇavāṁś ca
śrī-rūpaṁ sāgrajātaṁ saha-gaṇa-
raghunāthānvitaṁ taṁ sa-jīvam
sādvaitaṁ sāvadhūtaṁ parijana-
sahitaṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanya-devaṁ
śrī-rādhā-kṛṣṇa-pādān saha-gaṇa-
lalitā-śrī-viśākhānvitāṁś ca

nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine
namas te sārasvate deve gaura-vāṇī-pracāriṇe nirviśeṣa-śūnyavādi-pāścātya-deśa-tāriṇe

So, Prabhupāda explains here, a woman without a husband is attacked by an aggressive man, she takes this to be mercy. In the previous purport, Prabhupāda called this rape. This has been quite a controversy. People say Prabhupāda is saying women like to be raped. But Prabhupāda is saying rape or aggressive mercy not in the sense of the modern day civilization. He is speaking in terms of the Vedic culture. In other words, in the Vedic culture, if you seduce a woman, by your techniques, that is considered aggression, because in the Vedic culture, that things are forbidden. In the Vedic culture, sex is only for procreation. Not for fun. It's for procreation not for recreation.

Sometime, in ISKCON there is the idea, that if you're married, you can have sex for fun whenever you want to have sex. But Srila Prabhupāda very clearly explains in many places, the proper standard for having sex life in married life, is number one - You get the blessings of your spiritual master to try to have a child. First thing, Guru Maharaj's blessing. The second thing as you wait once a month, 4 to 6 days after the woman's menstrual cycle, when she is most likely to get pregnant, the husband and wife both chant at least 50 rounds of japa, 50, not 15 but 50 rounds of japa. This is Srila Prabhupāda's equivalent of what's called Garbhādhāna saṃskāras. Some devotees argue that, well, Prabhupāda said “No illicit sex” means sex outside of marriage. Many times He said “No illicit sex” means no sex life outside of marriage.

It’s okay to have sex in marriage as much as you want. Although they like to say Prabhupāda said no meat eating, many times he says no meat eating. That's all he says, no meat eating, period. Only rarely does he says no fish and no eggs. He usually says no meat eating. “So fish and eggs are okay.” The point is we should very carefully understand what are the instructions of the spiritual master. We should not interpret them in such a way to justify sense gratification.

Sense gratification is very much our enemy. Krishna very clearly states in Bhagavad-gītā,

dhyāyato viṣayān puṁsaḥ
saṅgas teṣūpajāyate

saṅgāt sañjāyate kāmaḥ

kāmāt krodho ’bhijāyate (B.G. 2.62)

krodhād bhavati sammohaḥ

sammohāt smṛti-vibhramaḥ

smṛti-bhraṁśād buddhi-nāśo

buddhi-nāśāt praṇaśyati (B.G. 2.63)

While contemplating objects of the senses, one becomes attracted to them. And from such attraction lust develops. From lust comes anger. From anger comes bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost. And when intelligence is lost, bloop, one falls down again to the material pool. So, we have to not contemplate the object of the senses. A husband should not be lusting after his wife's body. Nor should the wife be lusting after the husband's body. These things described here are the positions of the materialist.

We are cultivating spiritual life. Not that we use household life as a facility for sense enjoyment. Prabhupāda calls it Gṛhastha Brahmachari. Because he uses sex only for procreation. He has sex for fun, he is not a grihastha. He is Gṛhamedhi, materialistic householder. In Vedic culture we have Brahmachari, Grihastha, Vanaprastha, Sanyāsa. In every order one is meant to give up sex life. Grihastha has some concession for sex pleasure, but only for begetting children. And after having children, no more sex. So, Gṛhasthas are necessary. Gṛhastha s are necessary.

Sex is actually necessary. If there is no sex, then human species will go extinct. When the old people die, there will be nobody to take their place. So, sex is necessary. We should not misuse the concession for sex. Actually, if we take this process properly, by cultivating Krishna consciousness, then we develop a taste better than sex pleasure.

Viṣayā vinivartante

Nirāhārasya dehinaḥ

Rasa-varjaṁ raso ’py asya

Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate (B.G. 2.59)

The embodied soul may be restricted in sense enjoyment. Though the taste for sense object remains, but ceasing such engagements by experiencing a higher taste, one is fixed in consciousness. Just like we have that cookbook, Higher Taste. Now the Mayavadis, they say taste is false. “You must negate all taste - Nehi, nehi, nehi, nehi, nehi”. We say do “nehi, nehi” on your nehi, nehi. You must negate your negation. Make something positive, you see.

So, the point is chanting Hare Krishna, if you do it properly, is better than sex. This is confirmed by our Acharyas. Rupa Goswami says, I do not know how much nectar these two syllables “Krish-na” has produced. Because when I chant Krishna's name, there's so much nectar, my mouth can't hold it all. I need to have many many mouths. And when that name Krishna enters the holes of my ears, what these two little ears can hold. I need to have millions of ears. And when Krishna, you see, Krishna and His name are the same. It's not just some sound vibration. Krishna's name is Shabda Brahma. Krishna Himself is coming. The same Krishna who lifted Govardhana Hill 5000 years ago, He comes to you, and He blesses you with His sangha. What could be more enlivening than that? What could be more enlivening than that Krishna's association? And then when Krishna dances in the courtyard of my heart, my senses are completely subdued. My mind becomes a nerd. My mind is no longer dancing here and there, where is some enjoyment, can I get enjoyment here, can I get enjoyment, where can I get the enjoyment? I don't need sex. I don't need money. I don't need to become famous. Because I have something better than all of these material things. I have Krishna. When you give yourself to Krishna, Krishna gives Himself to you.

Krishna is the owner of everything. And you give yourself to Krishna, He becomes your personal property. Can you imagine if you owned Krishna? When you give yourself to Krishna now you become the owner of Krishna. And there is nothing like that anywhere in the material world. You may be a king with thousands of palace maidens to enjoy sex life. Or you may have millions and billions of dollars like Bezos. Or become famous like Trump. But that's nothing. Absolutely nothing, when you have Krishna. So, we have a special process for attaining Krishna. What is that process called? Krishna Consciousness. And we have a movement. What is that movement called? The International Society for Krishna Consciousness. So, when you become a member of this ISKCON, we will train you how to become the owner of Krishna. And you become the most famous, powerful, happy person in all of existence. Because now you own Krishna. A whole mountain on His little finger, now you own Him.

So, my dear ladies and gentlemen, my dear Prabhus and Matajis and kids, please don't cheat yourself, by running after sense gratification. There's plenty of monkeys in Vrindavan. In it’s sense gratification, it became a monkey. Running here, running there, you see, monkeys. The human life is not meant to become like a monkey or a dog. Human life, Athāto brahma-jijñāsā - Now you have a human life, this is meant for Self-realization.

So, do not deprive yourself of the ultimate perfection of existence. Do you know how many lifetimes you've gone through to get this human body? There are 8,400,000 species of life. And you've gone through all of them. You've been an amoeba. You were Indra-gopa germ. You were a dog, a monkey, a tree, a cactus plant, a fish, a bird. You've been through all these species. After millions and millions of lifetimes. And now you've gotten this human birth. But not only you've gotten a human birth, you, my dear listeners, have gotten a human birth in the holy land, India.

Do you know there are demigods in the heavenly planets? They are envious of you. They are waiting for their opportunity when they can take birth in the holy land of India. So please don't use your Indian birth to become High-Tech. Use your Indian birth to follow in the footsteps of the great sages, the great Acharyas, Ramanujacharya, Vishnuswami, Madhvacharya, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself, the Six Goswamis, Rupa Sanatana Bhattaranganath, Jiva Goswami Bhattaranganath, Gopal Bhattaranganath. Take advantage of your human birth to take shelter of the bona fide spiritual master, become initiated by the bona fide spiritual master and give your whole life to serve as every order taking them as your very life and soul.

Because if you do that, you will not be living in this material world. You will be living in the spiritual world. You will be situated beyond this material existence. Because the whole spiritual world is right there within your heart. All you have to do is tune in, turn on and bliss out. Come to this platform, become Krishna's pure devotee. Don't waste your time running around your sense gratification. Become one of the most happy, most peaceful, knowledgeable persons in all of existence. All you have to do is take the instructions of the Bhagavad-gītā and the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam as your very life and soul. How much does it cost? Lord Nityananda is distributing this in his Namahat marketplace of the Holy Name. Marketplace means you have to pay something, right? What do you have to pay in this marketplace? Only one thing you have to pay. Shraddha. You have faith.

If you have your faith you can bargain with Lord Nityananda. He will give you the mercy. He will bargain with you and He will give you this mercy. So take advantage of the mercy my dear Prabhus, Matajis and kids. Don't remain embodied in the cycle of birth and death. Guru Mataji and I have come all the way from America to share this knowledge with you. Don't take it cheaply. Don't take it in from one and out the other side. Take it in both ears and deep, deep, deep within your heart.

And if you do so, your lives will be unlimitedly sublime. I absolutely guarantee it. Absolutely guarantee it. So, Guru Mataji, would you like to add some points? Do you all have any questions? Anybody has any questions? Now is your chance. I’m going away in a few minutes. Now is your chance. Ask questions.

Tarun Krishna Dasa: Gurudev, in many scriptures it is told and Srila Prabhupāda also said we have to chant 24 hours a day. But when we are talking or when we conversing with other person, how can we chant ?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari: When you converse with other people, you have to see how you can bring Krishna into that conversation. Just like we got off the air, we flew from Delhi here to Trivandrum. We got off the airplane and the representative of Air India was standing on the doorway. So, I said, “Hare Krishna”. And he repeated, “Hare Krishna”. So, wherever you go, bring Krishna. When I went to a dentist in Austin, Texas. I said “Hare Krishna”. He gave me a hundred and 48 dollars for Bhagavad-gītā. That's a lot of rupees, a hundred and forty-eight dollars. That's a lot of rupees. He gave a hundred and forty-eight dollars for a Bhagavad-gītā. Simply because I said Hare Krishna to him. So, there's great power. Wherever you go, say “Hare Krishna”. In America they say hello, goodbye. So instead of saying hello and goodbye say “Hare Krishna”. Because Krishna is personally present in his name. Bring Krishna wherever you go. You will be amazed. What can happen? There are mystical potency in Hare Krishna. So, bring it into all of your conversations wherever you go. If you be amazed at what can happen. Try it, you'll like it.

Any other questions? Or we go now. Yeah.

Devotee: I used to send good morning messages. Now I have converted that as “Hare Krishna morning.”

Sankarshan Das Adhikari: Very good.

Devotee: Is this correct, Maharaj?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari: Absolutely. Is that a good morning? Why not good eternity? “Hare Krishna” means good eternity. Why only good morning? Have good eternity by chanting

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

Anything else or we can leave now?  What about from the local people here? You don’t want to ask questions. I want the local people to ask questions. (Pointing to a devotee) I'll get you. Don't worry.

Devotee: We have both negative influence and positive influence. How can we replace negative influence with positive influence?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari: We have to go beyond negative and positive.

mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
āgamāpāyino ’nityās
tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata (B.G. 2.14)

The non-permanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course like the appearance and disappearance of the winter and summer seasons, one must learn to tolerate them, O Scion of Bharata, one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed. So, we're constantly facing these dualities. Happiness, distress, healthy, sick, wealthy, poor, youth, old age, birth, death, honor, dishonor. These things are always going on. Therefore, you have to learn to tolerate them. Here is the insider's secret.

Krishna's loving mercy is coming at every minute. Go beyond the good and bad. Connect with the mercy of Krishna at every minute. You realize that in every minute Krishna is giving you unlimited mercy. And reciprocate His mercy by giving your love to Him. So we are not interested in good and bad. We are interested in reciprocating with Krishna, He’s loving mercy. That’s what we are interested in. That's the point. Is that understood?

Okay, Now I will take this devotee.

Devotee: Shall we fully engage in one particular service, or we go for searching different, different services?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari: Do whatever your spiritual master instructs you to do. He asks you to do a million different things, you have to do a million different things. He says you do one thing, you do that. Whatever he instructs you, that's what you do. Prabhupāda told us to do so many things - Worship of deities, make devotees, Harinaam-sankirathan, book distribution, farm communities, temple in Mayapur, temple in Vrindavan, temple in every town and village, he gives us many, many, many instructions. So, whatever your spiritual master is asking you to do, that's what you do.

What about the local devotees here? One from the internet?

Hare Krishna Dasa: One local devotee has sent this.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari: Okay, from the internet.

Devotee: “Success of one's life is measured by one's material happiness in this life and liberation in the next. Such successes can be achieved only by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead” - Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Purport.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari: Okay, I'll give you an explanation of that. Okay. We go beyond these success in material life. But even material success comes by the mercy of the Lord. Just like my Godbrother Ambarish, his karmic name is Alfred Ford. He comes in the Ford family that started the Ford Motor Company. That wealth came to him by the mercy of the Lord. Now he is using that to build a beautiful, in so many ways to help our temple in Mayapur. The example is the famous Beatle, George Harrison. He used his wealth to buy the Bhaktivedanta Manor outside of London. So whatever material success you have, take it as the mercy of the Lord. Use it in the Lord's service. That’s the perfection of material success. So, we have no objection to material success. But use it in the service of Krishna. Then you can have material success. You can go back to Godhead. But if you use the material success for sense gratification, you go down to the animal kingdom in your next birth. So, it's a matter of using things properly in the service of the Lord.

Any other question? What about the ladies? You have good brains? Don't you have good brains, don't you? The ladies have good brains, don't they? They can ask questions. Good brain? No? Gurumataji can add a point.

Gurumataji (repeated by Hare Krishna Das): In Bhāgavatam description of Vedic culture is given, but where is the Vedic culture now?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari: Where is the Vedic culture now? It's hidden. It's in the pages of Bhāgavatam right now. Those who are strictly following the instructions given by Srila Prabhupāda, those persons are living in the Vedic culture. Those who are mixing material sense gratification with Prabhupāda's teachings, they are not in the Vedic culture.

Gurumataji (repeated by Hare Krishna Das): It is not the woman only running after men. Men are also running after women.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari: Yeah, I made that point earlier. We have women, we have women going aggressively going after men and men are actually going after women on both sides. You see that? So, we should take that aggression to the opposite sex. We should be aggressive to develop pure bhakti. And aggressive to make the world Krishna conscious.

bahir nrisimho hridaye nrisimho (Nrisimha Purana)

which means Krishna consciousness without and Krishna consciousness within. Instead of being aggressive for sex, be aggressive to awaken pure bhakti and make the whole world Krishna conscious. Take your aggression that way.

Gurumataji (repeated by Hare Krishna Das): If two persons are practicing Krishna consciousness, if one person doesn't want Krishna consciousness then automatically divorce happens. Divorce. How to see that?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari: Divorce is not Vedic culture. There is no such thing as divorce in vedic culture. Somebody says “there’s so many divorces in ISKCON.” I tell him that is not ISKCON, that is MISKCON. So, if you are married, you have to tolerate it. That's all I can say. If there's some difficulty, you have to tolerate it. If you can't stand your wife or you can't stand your husband, you have to tolerate it. Because Lord Chaitanya said you should think yourself lower than the straw on the street. Ready to offer all respect to others. Not expecting any respect from yourself. In that state You can go on chanting. 24 hours a day.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

Actually if you can't stand your wife, you can’t stand your husband, that's a special blessing. It's only a temporary relationship. And your real relation, your eternal relation is with Guru and Krishna. As a representative of Guru and Krishna, you should give loving service to your husband and your wife.

Any other questions?

Gurumataji (repeated by Hare Krishna Das): Most of the time devotees advise that if husband wants sex you go for it or…

Sankarshan Das Adhikari: The husband wants sex. Even though I don't want sex my husband wants it and I have to go for it or vice versa? Prabhupāda said one has to have the blessings of spiritual master before having sex. So, it is the spiritual master who decide whether you have sex or not. Now, his word only you can have sex. That's Prabhupāda's instruction.I don't know any of our households are doing that. That's Prabhupāda’s instruction. You have to have the spiritual master's blessing before having sex. Husband and wife, they both surrender to the spiritual master, there won't be any problems. If they take sex satisfaction more important than satisfying the spiritual master, there's always going to be problem. Krishna consciousness means we're not interested in satisfying our genitals. We're interested in satisfying Guru and Krishna. You have that vision and that realization, there'll be no problem. And the problem is we could satisfy our genitals is more important than satisfying Guru and Krishna, that's the problem. Sex impulses, they're in everyone. But we have to use it only in the service of Krishna and not for our enjoyment.

Anything else ? Here we go.

Lila Manjari Devi Dasi: Hare Krishna Maharaj. It is said that lust is a perverted reflection of love of Godhead. So, lust is considered to be a strong bondage because one has strong sense of love for Krishna. Like the soul has a strong sense of love and that is why in material world lust is considered as a strong bondage ?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari: Is lust a perverted reflection of love? Love. Yes, lust is a perverted reflection of love. That's right. You think love and you turn it upside down, it's lust. That's right.

Hare Krishna Dasa(repeating previous question): Is that, is this the reason why lust is very powerful?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari: Yes. We have to make the right side up again, bring it back to love. Lust means gratifying myself. And love means gratifying Krishna. The tendency of gratifying is natural. So, we have to gratify Krishna. Just like the old example we heard many times, when you water the root of the tree, all the leaves and branches are nourished. But if you water the branch all by itself, the whole tree dies. So, lust means I just want to water the branch. And love means I want to water the root. In either case you're doing watering. You’ve to water in the right place. Anything else? Okay? Yes.

Prabhupāda Dasa: Srila Gurudeva. Your Grace has very kindly mentioned that to control our sexual urges, we need to follow Srila Prabhupāda’s instruction of at least 50 rounds of chanting and menstrual cycle. On a gross level, it is easy. I mean, it is easier as compared to the sexual thoughts that come in the mind. How to control those thoughts?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari: Yeah, how to get sex thoughts out of the mind. Krishna's pastimes are a great trick. Krishna mentions this about contemplating the objects of the senses. We have a tendency to meditate on sex. So, we have to find something that will diverge our mind away from that. You can't just turn off your mind. You have to find some other engagement for your mind. Reading, chanting, offering service, loving relations between devotees, find nice ways to engage your mind outside of sex pleasure. Just like that bhajan we did the other night is so attractive, you can forget about sex. That's better than sex.

boro sukher khabor gāi
surabhi-kuñjete nāmer hāṭ khule’che (khoda nitāi)

(Song by Bhaktivinoda Thakura)

You’ve to define something that attracts your mind more than sex and absorb yourself in it. Some sloka that you really love a particular verse or some bhajan you really love. Find something that really turns you on spiritually. Absorb yourself in that. Just like the Brahma Samhita prayers are really nice.

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ
sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam (Brahma-saṁhitā 5.1)

It's better than sex. So, find things that attract your mind. And absorb yourself in them as much as possible. Then you forget about sex. Just like Yamunacharya(Alavandar). He's been doing so much sex pleasure as as a king. Now he has become a sadhu.

yad-avadhi mama cetaḥ kṛṣṇa-pādāravinde
nava-nava-rasa-dhāmany udyataṁ rantum āsīt
tad-avadhi bata nārī-saṅgame smaryamāne
bhavati mukha-vikāraḥ suṣṭhu niṣṭhīvanaṁ ca

Ever since I have been engaged in the service of Krishna, tasting nava-nava-rasa in that service, I'm tasting so much nectar from devotional service. And even if the thought of sexual intercourse comes to my brain, I let go of this taste and I spit at the thought. So, he was tasting nava-nava rasa in bhakti. So, find those things that give you so much pleasure that you just spit at the thought. You can pray for his mercy, Yamunacharya(Alavandar). You can pray for his mercy. You can develop his mood. Anything else? Yes.

Devotee: What happens to those who are not regularly hearing from their Guru but busy with service?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari: The spiritual master has ordered you to be absorbed in service. So, by serving you are connected with him. By full absorption in devotional service, spiritual master’s lotus feets are always on your head.

So, we can stop here now and head back on our preaching, go back and go out on our preaching activity. So, thank you all for tuning in. I can add also, if you'd like to get a copy of my memoir, “How I Became Krishna Conscious, all you have to do is go to You can get a copy of my memoir, Divine 108.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari: Thank you very much, Hare Krishna.

Hare Krishna Dasa: His Grace Sankarshan Das Adhikari Gurudev ki Jai !

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