Om namoh bhagavate vasudevaya Om namoh bhagavate vasudevaya Om namoh bhagavate vasudevaya Srimad Bhagavatam, Fourth Canto, Chapter 26, King Puranjana Goes To The Forest To Hunt, Text 5 Asurim vrttim asritya Ghoratma niranugrahah Nyahanan nisitair banair Vanesu vana gocaran SYNONYMS asurim-demoniac; vrttim-occupation; asritya-taken shelter of; ghora-horrible; atma-consciousness, heart; niranugrahah-without mercy; nyahanat-killed; nisitaih-by sharp; banaih-arrows; vanesu-in the forests; vana-gocaran-the forest animals.
TRANSLATION At that time King Puranjana was very much influenced by demoniac propensities. Because of this, his heart became very hard and merciless, and with sharp arrows he killed many innocent animals in the forest, taking no consideration.
PURPORT When a man becomes too proud of his material position, he tries to enjoy his senses in an unrestricted way, being influenced by the modes of passion and ignorance. He is thus described as asuric, or demoniac. When people are demoniac in spirit, they are not merciful toward the poor animals. Consequently, they maintain various animal slaughterhouses. This is technically called suna, or himsa, which means the killing of living beings. In Kali-yuga, due to the increase of the modes of passion and ignorance, almost all men are asuric, or demoniac; therefore they are very much fond of eating flesh, and for this end they maintain various kinds of animal slaughterhouses.
In this age of Kali the propensity for mercy is almost nil. Consequently there is always fighting and wars between men and nations. Men do not understand that because they unrestrictedly kill so many animals, they also must be slaughtered like animals in big wars. This is very much evident in the Western countries. In the West, slaughterhouses are maintained without restriction, and therefore every fifth or tenth year there is a big war in which countless people are slaughtered even more cruelly than the animals.
Sometimes during war, soldiers keep their enemies in concentration camps and kill them in very cruel ways. These are reactions brought about by unrestricted animal-killing in the slaughterhouse and by hunters in the forest. Proud, demoniac persons do not know the laws of nature, or the laws of God. Consequently, they unrestrictedly kill poor animals, not caring for them at all. In the Krsna consciousness movement, animal-killing is completely prohibited. One is not accepted as a bona fide student in this movement unless he promises to follow the four regulative principles: no animal-killing, no intoxication, no illicit sex and no gambling. This Krsna consciousness movement is the only means by which the sinful activities of men in this Kali-yuga can be counteracted.
So Narada Muni is telling the story of Puranjana. Puranjana is the living entity, the spirit soul in the material nature. Puranjana has been described as a king. So every living entity thinks himself to be the king. Not only the king or the monarch, every living entity in his own way thinks that he is Krsna. He is the Supreme Personality, the Supreme Proprieter, the Supreme Controller. He is a tiny little spiritual spark, he does not have any means or any ability to do anything, but he thinks that he is the Supreme Controller. In Bhagavad-Gita, Krisna mentions about the living entity’s ability. Prakrter kriyamanani…. In this material nature, prakriti, everything is happening, according to, by the arrangement of guna and karma.
Living entity does not really have any means to do anything, he is simply a puppet in the hands of guna and karma. There are three modes of material nature, mode of goodness, mode of passion and mode of ignorance and a living entity acts due to the influence of these three modes and as a result of that, he gets reactions of his actions. Sometimes he acts in the mode of goodness, when one acts in the mode of goodness, the reaction is accordingly, that is the reaction is good. When one acts in the mode of passion, then the reaction is also according to the mode of passion, that is very severe and when one acts in the mode of ignorance, the reaction is very, very unfortune. How every living entity acts accoding to the influence of the modes. It is all guna and karma situation. Guna and karma. In Bhagavad-Gita you may have noticed, there is a picture how the demigods are controlling the living entity and the living entity is dancing like a puppet. How does a puppeteer controls the puppet? The puppet dancer makes the puppet dance with the thread. So guna and karma are like the threads with which the demigods are controlling all the living entities and the living entities are dancing like puppets. The puppet is dancing, does the puppet dance himself? The puppeteer makes the puppet dance. So similarly the demigods are like the puppeteer. They are making us the puppet dance, through which arrangement? Guna and karma. The living entity is becoming completely bewildered by his false ego and thinks that he is the doer. Puppet is dancing by the arrangement of the puppeteer and he is thinking what a wonderful performance I am giving. The puppet is thinking: Oh the people are clapping. All these claps are my credits. I have danced so, so well. One of the first thing that one intelligent and unintelligent person must learn or understand that he is not the doer, he is simply a puppet. But not just a puppet like that. He has one prerogative, one freedom, one independence, he can decide how he is going to act. If he acts in the mode of goodness, the reaction will be good. If he acts in the mode of passion, then the reaction will be passionate, if one acts in the mode of ignorance, then the reaction will be painful.
Passion and ignorance, both actually cause pain. Like in the mode of passion, a person wants to enjoy, he is powerful, a king is in the mode of passion. And he wants to enjoy, he has lots of facilities for enjoyment due to the arrangement of passion, because he is active in the mode of passion. He became the king. He got a powerful body, he got lot of wonderful arrangement, beautiful queens, not only one queen, many queens, and then concubines and all kinds of things. He has many wonderful arrangements, he lives in a big palace. He has a big army. He is enjoying. But then he goes to the battlefield and dies in a battle. That’s the mode of passion. The reaction of the mode of passion is always distressful. Passion and ignorance cause distress. Somebody is in the mode of ignorance, he drinks alcohol, takes intoxication, gets involved in all kinds of abominable activities and as a result of that he suffers. He drinks and in drinking he thinks now he has become a king but what actually happens to him, he is rolling in the gutter. Becoming drunk, he fell in the gutter and he is just lying there. But just before falling he was thinking that he is Napoleon. In this way, passion and ignorance always cause distress and passion and ignorance always counteract or interact, not counteract, interact.
From passion, one goes to ignorance, then ignorance to passion, ……… Like for example, we get up in the morning and we become engaged in various activities in the mode of passion. Then at night we become tired we fall asleep. We are going in the mode of ignorance. Then in the morning again we wake up and start acting in the mode of passion and then again in evening, at night, we go into the mode of ignorance, sleep. So this is how living entities are just going from passion to ignorance. Mode of goodness actually takes us away from that. Takes us out of passion and ignorance. And as a result of mode of goodness, acting in the mode of goodness one does not get into any distressful situation. He enjoys. Like a person in mode of goodness, he is aloof from all these passionate activities. Like the brahmanas, those who are in the mode of goodness, what they used to do in the past. They used to leave their homes and go to the forest and in the forest in the bank of a river, they make a very beautiful ashrama and they would live there spending their time in thinking about Krsna, meditating on Krsna, serving Krsna, discussing about Krsna. So this is in the mode of goodness. Actually not exactly in the mode of goodness, like those brahmanas they are not really devotees of Krsna. They were involved in activities that would elevate them to the heavenly planet. Karma kanda generally. Beyond the mode of goodness, there is the mode of pure goodness. The pure goodness is Krsna consciousness. The goodness in the material nature is tinged with passion and ignorance. But suddha sattva, pure goodness is Krsna consciousness.
Generally people used to transcend in other ages from ignorance to passion, passion to goodness. Like the kings, they would leave their kingdom and go to the forest. Like Maharaja Bharat, Dhritarastra, so many kings, even Dhruva Maharaj, they left their kingdom and they just went to the forest or went to the Himalayas and there they became absorbed in transcendental activities in the mode of goodness. But in the age of Kali, as Prabhupada said, age of kali is predominantly in the mode of ignorance.
There is little passion. There is not so much passion. The passion means the people in the mode of passion, means like people like lions. Lion like personality. They used to be lion like personality. Like the kings of India used to be like very, very powerful persons. Like one man could fight with thousand people. It may sound like how is it possible? But now look at a lion in the forest. Can a lion fight with thousands of animals? They are so expert those kings. But nowadays, there is no kings. There is only politicians. If kings are compared to the lions then the politicians can be compared to the jackals. They dont really have that strength of the king. A king does not wait for the vote of the people. A king is not elected. King becomes a king. He takes the sword and says I am the king. If anybody wants to stop me from becoming a king, please come. And he fights. And in the fights, if he wins,then he gets the kingdom, if he loses then he goes to the heavenly planets. Either way he is the winner.
In the age of Kali, there is no room for the ksatriyas. A ksatriya in the mode of passion were really noble people and they used to be guided by the brahmanas. The varnashrama is the perfect system for the human being. Brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras. The brahmanas are in the mode of goodness, because they are in the mode of goodness, they are not interrested in material enjoyment. Material enjoyment is in the mode of passion. Enjoyment for the sense gratification is the result of passion. Because they are in the mode of goodness, they are not interrested in these mundane sense gratification. They would go away from all these cities and go into the forest or up in the Himalayan mountains, Badarik ashrama. And there they would spend their time in spiritual activity. So they are the brahmanas, and then the Ksatriyas, those in the mode of passion, because they are in the mode of passion, they are very powerful, and they have an intense desire to enjoy this material nature. So, nature allowed, Krsna allowed, Krsna made this arrangement. Ok, you are in the mode of passion, you want to enjoy, go ahead and enjoy. But when you want to enjoy, then you have the responsibility of giving protection, no just enjoyment and no responsibility. So along with this facility to enjoy comes the responsibility.
You have to take the responsibility of the society, under the guidance of the brahmanas. Then there are another class of people they are in the mixed mode of passion and ignorance. Because they are mixed mode of passion and ignorance, they don’t have the strength of the ksatriyas, but they have the desire to enjoy. Therefore the arrangement has been made. Okay, you supply the needs of the society, take care of the needs of the society and they are the vaisyas, by doing that you made your profit. You make your money and you buy what you want. There is a difference between a ksatriyas and a vaisyas. A ksatriya will not go to the market place and buy anything. Ksatriyas,whatever he wants , he will say, i want this and take it. Whether it is a kingdom or whether it is a princess, that’s his condition. I want this, like Bhisma wanted to get the daughters of Kashiraja, Amba, Ambika and Ambalika, three most beautiful women of that time. He wanted them to marry to his brother Vicitravirya, and at that time the princesses, they were about to select their own husband, swayamvara, the Ksatriyas girls used to have that, they could decide, I would marry him. So they could select their husband. Many kings and princes have assembled there. So Bhisma just went there and he declared who he was: I am the son of King Shantanu and the heir from candravamsa, the dynasty that comes from Moongod, Chandradeva, and I have a younger brother, who is ascending the throne and he needs to get married. So I decided on these princesses, so I am taking them for my brother.
So if anybody wants to stop me, please come forward and saying just that Bhisma took the three princesses on his chariot and he confronted all these kings singlehandedly alone. Similarly Krsna also took Rukmini. It happened with others als, not only with Rukmini, with Mitravinda also. Those oppositions, the kings try to stop, but Krsna fought. Same thing with Subhadra. Arjuna took Subhadra away. So these are the Ksatriyas. Or ksatriyas will go to the king and say that look I want your kingdom. So either you become submissive to me or you fight with me. So the king if he recognises that well, he is a nice man, I can become submissive to him, so he surrenders to him and he will maintain his kingdom under his authority. But sometimes they would challenge and in that battle, one person would die. So that is a ksatriyas, he will take whatever he wants by force and he is so powerful, that no one dares to stop him. But at the same time he gives protection, not only that he is enjoying, but those who come under his jurisdiction, he gives them protection. Okay, you surrender unto me and I will give you all protection. So that is a ksatriyas. A ksatriyas will not make arrangement in exchange of money on those days in vedic times. But the vaisyas, they will make money, profit, out of their business. Business, what is business? Business, according to the vedic understanding, business is the way to catter the demands of the society and by doing that you will make your profit. Need is there in the society so whatever the society needs, you supply, but in the age of Kali, business got another definition. Business is the noble art of cheating people. That’s what they are doing? They are not interrested in the demands of the society, they are creating an artificial demand, created by publicity, they making things which people do not really need. Unless you have it, then your life is useless. You dont have a colour television, your life is meaningless. You are still using black and white, you are still living in satya yuga. Oh, you have a colour t.v, oh you don’t have a plasma television. So this is how they are creating artificial demands, artificial needs,and then they are catering to those demands. And the sudras,they are not able to decide what they want to do? They simply want to work under somebody.You just engage me and just give me the food, take care of me, I will be happy. That’s a sudra. Now consider this age of Kali, are there brahmanas, are there many brahmanas, only in ISKCON, there are some brahmanas. Prabhupada has created some brahmanas. Otherwise they are not brahmanas, they are another species. And in the age of Kali, there are no Ksatriyas, democracy does not allow the ksatriyas. The little resemblance of ksatriyas is found in the mafias.
The mafias are the only ksatriyas who are living in this age. The mafias have the code which is very close to the ksatriyas codes. It’s ksatriyas actually. The mafias have like the Godfather, and you pay him tax and he will give you protection. They will fight and they will even give up their lives sometimes to give protection, because you are paying your tax. So unfortunately, in the age of Kali, there are no brahmanas, no ksatriyas, some vaisyas, and the rest are sudras. In the age of Kali, even the brahmanas will become like sudras. So proud, I am a brahmana, I am Nair or Bhatacharya, Acharya and so forth. What is he doing? He is a software engineer, a microsoft and very proud of his position. I am a software engineer.
In the age of Kali everyone is practically a sudra. Everyone is working for somebody else. There is such elaborate education system. But what is the goal of this education system? To get a job. Job means nawkri, nawkri means nawkar banna, a servant. Servant means a sudra. So this is the state of affairs in this age of Kali. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu therefore came with a very special arrangement and that arrangement is Sankirtan. You want a job. Okay. Take the job of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You are a sudra, become a sudra of Krsna. You want to become a servant, then become the servant of the biggest boss, Krsna. So this is the most wonderful arrangement that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu brought to this age. By being situated in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we actually achieve the ultimate perfection of our existence.