HARD STRUGGLE FOR EXISTANCE
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Those persons who are materially engrossed, being blind to the knowledge of ultimate truth, have many subject matters for hearing in human society, O Emperor.
In the revealed scriptures there are two nomenclatures for the householder's life. One is grhastha, and the other is grhamedhi. The grhasthas are those who live together with wife and children but live transcendentally for realizing the ultimate truth. The grhamedhis, however, are those who live only for the benefit of the family members, extended or centralized, and thus are envious of others. The word medhi indicates jealousy of others. The grhamedhis, being interested in family affairs only, are certainly envious of others. Therefore, one grhamedhi is not on good terms with another grhamedhi, and in the extended form, one community, society or nation is not on good terms with another counterpart of selfish interest. In the age of Kali, all the householders
are jealous of one another because they are blind to the knowledge of ultimate truth. They have many subject matters for hearing--political, scientific, social, economic and so on--but due to a poor fund of knowledge, they set aside the question of the ultimate miseries of life, namely miseries of birth, death, old age and disease. Factually, the human life is meant for making an ultimate solution to birth, death, old age and disease, but the grhamedhis, being illusioned by the material nature, forget everything about self-realization. The ultimate solution to the problems of life is to go back home, back to Godhead, and thus, as stated in the Bhagavad-gita (8.16), the miseries of material existence-- birth, death, old age and disease--are removed.
The process of going back home, back to Godhead, is to hear about the Supreme Lord and His name, form, attributes, pastimes, paraphernalia and variegatedness. Foolish people do not know this. They want to hear
something about the name, form, etc., of everything temporary, and they do not know how to utilize this propensity of hearing for the ultimate good. Misguided as they are, they also create some false literatures
about the name, form, attributes, etc., of the ultimate truth. One should not, therefore, become a grhamedhi simply to exist for envying others; one should become a real householder in terms of the scriptural injunctions.
The lifetime of such an envious householder is passed at night either in sleeping or in sex indulgence, and in the daytime either in making money or maintaining family members.
The present human civilization is primarily based on the principles of sleeping and sex indulgence at night and earning money in the day and spending the same for family maintenance. Such a form of human civilization is condemned by the Bhagavata school. Because human life is a combination of matter and spirit soul, the
whole process of Vedic knowledge is directed at liberating the spirit soul from the contamination of matter. The knowledge concerning this is called atma-tattva. Those men who are too materialistic are unaware of
this knowledge and are more inclined to economic development for material enjoyment. Such materialistic men are called karmis, or fruitive laborers, and they are allowed regulated economic development or association of woman for sex indulgence. Those who are above the karmis, that is, the jnanis, yogis and devotees, are strictly prohibited from sex indulgence. The karmis are more or less devoid of atma-tattva knowledge, and as such, their life is spent without spiritual profit. The human life is not meant for hard labor for economic development, nor is it meant for sex indulgence like that of the dogs and hogs. It is specially meant for making a solution to the problems of material life and the miseries thereof. So the karmis waste their valuable human life by sleeping and sex indulgence at night, and by laboring hard in the daytime to accumulate wealth, and after doing so, they try to improve the standard of materialistic life. The materialistic way of life is described herein in a nutshell, and how foolishly men waste the boon of human life is described as follows.
Persons devoid of atma-tattva do not inquire into the problems of life, being too attached to the fallible soldiers like the body, children and wife. Although sufficiently experienced, they still do not see their inevitable destruction.
This material world is called the world of death. Every living being, beginning from Brahma, whose duration of life is some thousands of millions of years, down to the germs who live for a few seconds only, is
struggling for existence. Therefore, this life is a sort of fight with material nature, which imposes death upon all. In the human form of life, a living being is competent enough to come to an understanding of this
great struggle for existence, but being too attached to family members, society, country, etc., he wants to win over the invincible material nature by the aid of bodily strength, children, wife, relatives, etc. Although he is sufficiently experienced in the matter by dint of past experience and previous examples of his deceased predecessors, he does not see that the so-called fighting soldiers like the children, relatives, society members and countrymen are all fallible in the great struggle. One should examine the fact that his father or his father's
father has already died, and that he himself is therefore also sure to die, and similarly, his children, who are the would be fathers of their children, will also die in due course. No one will survive in this struggle with material nature. The history of human society definitely proves it, yet the foolish people still suggest that in the future they will be able to live perpetually, with the help of material science. This poor fund of knowledge exhibited by human society is certainly misleading, and it is all due to ignoring the constitution of the living
soul. This material world exists only as a dream, due to our attachment to it. Otherwise, the living soul is always different from the material nature. The great ocean of material nature is tossing with the waves of
time, and the so-called living conditions are something like foaming bubbles, which appear before us as bodily self, wife, children, society, countrymen, etc. Due to a lack of knowledge of self, we become victimized
by the force of ignorance and thus spoil the valuable energy of human life in a vain search after permanent living conditions, which are impossible in this material world. Our friends, relatives and so-called wives and children are not only fallible, but also bewildered by the outward glamor of material existence. As such, they cannot save us. Still we think that we are safe within the orbit of family, society or country. The whole materialistic advancement of human civilization is like the decoration of a dead body. Everyone is a dead body flapping only for a few days, and yet all the energy of human life is being wasted in the decoration of this dead body. Sukadeva Gosvami is pointing out the duty of the human being after showing the actual position of bewildered human activities. Persons who are devoid of the knowledge of atma-tattva are misguided, but those who are devotees of the Lord and have perfect realization of transcendental knowledge are not bewildered.
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