ERROR: Your browser does not support scripts.

ANNOUNCER: The following is a
class on the Bhagavad-gītā As It
Is, 16th chapter, text number 7,
given by His Divine Grace A. C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupāda, recorded on the
27th of January, 1975 in Tokyo,

NITĀI: “…that the demons do not
know the scriptural rules, not do
they have any inclination to
follow them.

PRABHUPĀDA: So the human

pravṛttiṁ ca nivṛttiṁ ca janā na
vidur āsurāḥ na śaucaṁ nāpi
cācāro na satyaṁ teṣu vidyate

In the human form of life there
are two classes of men. First of all
living being. Amongst the living
being there are some living being
which can move or can walk from
one place to another. And there
are certain other living beings
which cannot move, just like the
trees, plants. They are also living
being, but they are standing in
one place for many thousands of
years. They have no
independence to move. Now, in
the moving living beings there
are so many. The flies, the insects,
the reptiles, the birds, the beast.
In this way, by evolutionary
process, one after another, one
comes to the form of human
being. This human being is
therefore very, very rare. After
going through 8,400,000 species
of life, one comes to this human
form of life.

So here is the chance of getting
freedom from this evolutionary
process. Bahūnāṁ janmanām
ante [Bg. 7.19]. After many, many
births, we have got. Why? Now,
to become civilized. What is
civilization? Civilization… The
Aryans are called civilized. Why?
Aryan means going forward. And
what is the destination of going
forward? The destination is to
understand the original cause of
creation, God. Janmādy asya
yataḥ [Bhāg. 1.1.1]. That is the
Vedānta philosophy. Janmādy
asya yataḥ. The original cause
from where everything is coming
into being, by whose
management everything is
maintained, and after
annihilation everything will enter
into Him—that is the original
person. So human form of life is
meant for understanding the
original cause of all causes. That
is human form of life.
Inquisitiveness. And others, less
than human being, just like lower
animals, cats and dogs, not to
speak of the trees and plants…
They are standing in one place,
and other living beings, even the
insects, birds, beasts, they haven’t
got sufficient intelligence. (aside:)
No, this water, drinking. Sufficient
intelligence to understand “What
I am? Why I am suffering?”
Everyone is suffering. That’s a
fact. The whole struggle for
existence is going on.

Just like just now two big
directors of this Dai Nippon
Company came to see me. We
have got business with them. So
they are meeting so many
problems for printing work. They
are maintaining about 200,000
people to carry on their business,
huge establishment, huge
responsibility. But there are
problems also. So this material
world is full of problem. One who
understands, he is called sura, or
civilized man. And one who does
not understand, he is called
asura. Asura, not sura. Aryan,
non-Aryan. So amongst the
suras, those who can understand
the problems of life, there is a
system which is called religion.
And what is the purpose of
religion? Religion is to
understand what is God. That is
religion. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād
bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19].

So all over the world the civilized
man has got some religion. It
may be professing the Vedic
religion, somebody the Buddhic
scriptures. Just in your country,
most of you, you are Buddhists.
There are similarly Mohammedan
scriptures, Christian scriptures.
But in each and every scripture
there is rules and regulation to
follow to become more and more
aware of the topmost principle,
the original cause of all causes.
That is, means, religion. So one
who does not care to understand
this philosophy, they are called
asura. And one who understands
this philosophy of life, they are
called sura or devatā, god,
demigods, they are called.

Dvau bhūta-sargau loke daiva
āsura eva ca. There are two kinds
of men throughout the whole
universe. There are men in other
planets also, they are very highly
elevated. They are therefore
called devas, or demigods. The
moon planet, the sun planet…
There are many other heavenly
planets. There is sun-god. In the
Bhagavad-gītā you will find the
name of the sun-god, or the
predominating deity of the sun
planet, Vivasvān. His name is
Vivasvān. Everything you will find
in the śāstra. So there are two
divisions: asura and sura, or asura
or deva. Devāsura. Deva means
those who are conscious of the
responsibility of life. They are
called deva. So for the devas,
Kṛṣṇa has explained so many
things. Now He is explaining
about the asuras. What are the
symptoms of asura? He says first
of all, pravṛttiṁ ca nivṛttiṁ ca
janā na vidur āsurāḥ. Pravṛttiṁ

Now, as soon as we have got this
human form of life, we have got
different desires or we accept
something as very nice. We reject
something as not very good. This
discriminating power is there.
Even in animals there is this
discriminating power. Just like a
pig. A pig, if you give him halavā
and if you give him stool, he
would like to eat stool than the
halavā. You will find it, natural.
He has got natural inclination to
eat stool. And a human being will
be naturally inclined to take
halavā. So this is called pravṛtti
and nivṛtti. So the member of the
Kṛṣṇa consciousness society, if
you offer him tea, he will not take
it. And others, if you offer tea, he
will very gladly accept it. This is
called pravṛtti and nivṛtti. So the
pravṛtti and nivṛtti… Why a
person is not accepting tea or
smoking or something else, and
why other person accepting the
same thing? Amongst the animal
also, you give something to
animal. He will reject and another
thing he will accept. These two
things are there in every living
being: accepting something and
rejecting something. This is called
pravṛtti and nivṛtti. So far the
human form of life is concerned,
there must be some pravṛtti and
nivṛtti. There is that inclination,
pravṛtti and nivṛtti, but they
should be synchronized,
systematized, what things we
should accept and what things
we should reject. That we must
learn. Therefore we have got so
many books, literature,
education, what things we should
accept and which things we
should reject. But what is the
basic principle? Why I shall
accept something and reject

The basic principle is to go
forward in our spiritual
understanding. That is the basic
principle. We are suffering in this
material world. We may say that
“We have no suffering. It is very
pleasing,” but actually, in every
step we are suffering. Just like
this is winter season. To take bath
in the winter season is suffering.
And in the summer season, to
take bath in the summer season,
it is very pleasing. So either we
are suffering or we are enjoying
according to different season and
circumstances, but actually we
are suffering. Because… Take this
winter season. We do not want
chilly cold. Therefore we are
covering. The cause is we are
suffering. Therefore we are
covering. And after covering, we
are feeling some pleasure. This
pleasure is, for the time being,
absence of suffering. That’s all.
Actually, we are suffering, but by
some arrangement, when we
stop that suffering for the time
being and feel, enjoying, that is
material enjoyment. Actually
there is no enjoyment. Because in
the winter season by covering the
body we are feeling pleased but
in the summer season by
covering the body we feel not
pleased. So this is going on. So
rejecting and… Why the same
dress, warm dress, does not give
us pleasure in the summer
season? And the same dress, in
the winter season it gives us
pleasure. So we do not know
whether dress is pleasing or
suffering. Means sometimes it is
pleasing and sometime it is

Similarly water. We do not know
whether water is pleasing or
displeasing. Sometimes it is
pleasing; sometimes it is not
pleasing. Everything. Mātrā-
sparśās tu kaunteya śītoṣṇa-
sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ. So in this
material world, actually we are
suffering either in summer
season or winter season, or any
other season, with dress or
without dress, with water, not
water. The cause is going on,
suffering only, but we are trying
to cover this cause of suffering,
and by temporary stopping the
cause of suffering, we are
thinking that we are enjoying. But
actually there is no enjoying in
this material world because you
will find in the Bhagavad-gītā this
material world has been
described as duḥkhālayam
aśāśvatam [Bg. 8.15]. It is for
suffering. Even if you do not take
very seriously about this winter
season or summer season,
suffering or enjoying, at the end,
either you accept these
temporary sufferings and
enjoying… Ultimately we are
suffering. Ultimately we are
suffering. How? Because we will
have to die. Who wants death?
Does anyone want death
voluntarily? No. As soon as there
is any cause of death, immediate
death, we become very much
sorry. Suppose you are sitting in
a airplane and you understand,
“Now it is going to be crashed,”
are you…, will you be happy? No.
Why? Because you are going to

Suppose you are on the sea and
it is going to sink in the water.
Will you be happy? No. That time
we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Sukhe…
Duḥkhe saba hari bhaje, sukhe
bhaje kaya.(?) When we are in
danger… In Japan you have got
many times the experience of
earthquake, earthquake. What do
you do at that time? Huh? You all
Japanese boys and girls, what do
you do? Have you experienced
earthquake? You have? What do
you do at that time? (pauses
waiting for an answer) When
there is earthquake, what do you
do? Hmm? But I have seen in
America. They all, everyone, they
scream. (laughter) And perhaps
they remember about God.
Naturally they will remember,
“God save us. God save us.” What
is your…? That means that we do
not wish to die. That’s a fact. You
cannot say that death is very
good thing. Nobody will say.
Death… But we have to die. There
is no excuse, that “I shall not die.”
Death is “as sure as death,” they
say. But you don’t want death.
This is suffering.

Not only death, even in lifetime…
Just like we are old man. Who
wants to become old man?
Everyone wants to remain
youthful. This is undesirable. This
is suffering, actually suffering,
because we are old man. We
suffering so many diseases, so
many inconveniences. If I am not
helped by three, four men, then I
cannot move even. So this is
suffering. Old age is suffering.
And diseased condition. Apart
from death and old age, the
diseased condition. Suppose you
are suffering from some disease,
some fever. So this is inevitable.
You cannot avoid disease, you
cannot avoid old age, you cannot
avoid death, and you cannot
avoid birth. So suffering… The
whole material world is full of
suffering. Duḥkhālayam
aśāśvatam [Bg. 8.15]. And even if
you make it… Suppose at any
place you are living it is not very
comfortable, but if you are
assured that you will not die, you
will not be diseased, you will not
become old, you will not take
birth again—if there is no death,
there is no question of birth—so
even if you are assured of…it is
called? Immunity from these
sufferings, still, there are many
other sufferings.

Suppose you are not thinking
very well. Today my mind is very
disturbed. That is called
adhyātmika. I have got some
pain in my body. That is also
adhyātmika. Some friend or some
animal has done some mischief
to me. That is also suffering,
adhibhautika. And adhidaivika.
The earthquake. Nobody wants
earthquake, but there is
earthquake. This is adhidaivika.
There is famine. There is
pestilence. There is so many
thing. So even if we are assured
that we are not going to die, still,
there are other sufferings. And, of
course, there is no question of
not dying. Everyone will have to
die. Even you accept this place of
suffering and if you are assured
that you will live here
permanently, still, you become
happy, “All right, I will not die.”
But that is also not possible.
Therefore aśāśvatam. Even if you
make your arrangement very
nicely that you will not suffer, but
you will not be allowed to stay.
Now just like in Tokyo city we are
making very big, big buildings,
everywhere, all over the world, to
live very comfortably. But that
comfortable life is also not
assured because you will have to
die. You will have to die.
Therefore it is called aśāśvatam,
not permanent. Even if you are
under the impression that “I am
very happy,” that happiness also
will not be allowed you for
eternal time, it will be finished.

So there is no question of happy
life within this material world.
This is to be understood first.
Very pessimistic. Those who are
intelligent, they are very
pessimistic. Even materially they
are pessimistic. They are living
some standard of life. “This is not
good.” There are many houses
very low and cottage, so people
think that “This is not very good
life. Let us have very nice
building.” So this struggle is
going on. That is human nature,
that unless, until he approaches
the final post or platform of
happiness, he is not happy. That
is called struggle for existence
and survival of the fittest. So sura
and devatā means those who are
trying to reach the ultimate goal
of life where happiness is
guaranteed, one who is trying for
that, he is called sura, devatā.
And one who is satisfied with this
temporary so-called happiness,
he is called asura. That is the

Now, if you want to reach to the
ultimate goal of life, where only
blissful life, sac-cid-ānanda-
vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1], eternal body of
knowledge and bliss, then you
have to become sura. It is not
that the asuras will remain asura.
It doesn’t matter. Even born in
the asura family one can become
sura. Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja.
His father was asura, but he was
perfect sura. That is possible. It is
not prohibited to anyone. If he
wants to become sura… Just like
in ordinary life also. If you are
determined to become medical
man, you can become. There is
no impediment. If you are
persistent, you can become
medical man, engineer, or
anything. People are trying,
education. Similarly, if you want
to become sura, there is no
impediment, and there is no
obstacle. You can become.
Simply you have to know what
sort of life we should accept,
pravṛtti—this is called pravṛtti—
and what sort of life we should
reject. This is required. This is the
distinction between sura and

Just like these European,
American, boys. before coming
to my shelter, they were doing
everything. We prohibit illicit sex.
We prohibit intoxication. We
prohibit meat-eating. We
prohibit gambling. So these boys
and girls were accustomed to all
these habits, pravṛtti. But they
have now changed their pravṛtti
because they want to become
sura. They want to achieve the
ultimate goal of life. One may not
know what mode of life we
should accept. One may not
know what mode of life we
should reject, but in the śāstra, in
the teachings of great men,
learned scholars, things are there.
We have to accept. We may not
know, but we should accept. The
Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement
is for this purpose, to change the
pravṛtti nivṛtti. Just like there is
pravṛtti for meat-eating. We are
advising, “Please do not eat
meat.” This is nivṛtti. Before that,
they do not know what is the
difference between meat-eating
and not meat-eating. But now
they are understanding.
Therefore they are becoming
sura. One who adopts the
methods… And why one should
eat meat at all?

Just like in our… You have taken.
Some of you might have taken
prasādam here. So how nicely
they have made. Our Bhānu is
expert in making nice prasādam.
These boys, these American boys
and European boys and some
Japanese boys, they have
adopted this means. They are
happy. So everyone can become
sura. There is no… Kṛṣṇa says… It
is not it is hackneyed. If
somebody says, “Oh, he is born
in the asura family. He shall
remain as asura,” no, no, that is
not shastric injunction. He can be
improved. He can become a sura.
That is stated in the Bhagavad-
gītā, You will find. Māṁ hi pārtha
vyapāśritya ye ’pi syuḥ pāpa-
yonayaḥ. Pāpa-yonayaḥ. The
asuras are called pāpa-yoni.
Pāpa-yoni means born in low-
grade family. But Kṛṣṇa says,

māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye ’pi
syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ striyo vaiśyās
tathā śūdrās te ’pi yānti parāṁ
gatim [Bg. 9.32]

So there is no question of pāpa-
yoni or asura. If one wants to
become asura and devatā he can
become. Otherwise, why Kṛṣṇa
says, māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya
ye ’pi syuḥ? They…

In India they sometimes come to
fight with me that I am making
these pāpa-yoni, namely, the
Europeans and Americans… They
are considered by the rigid
Hindus as a pāpa-yoni. “They
cannot become.” But why Kṛṣṇa
says, māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya
ye ’pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ? Te ’pi
yānti parāṁ gatim. So everyone
has got the chance. Even he is
born in a pāpa-yoni, everyone…
Otherwise, why Kṛṣṇa will say, te
’pi yānti parāṁ gatim? Simply the
condition is: māṁ hi pārtha
vyapāśritya: [Bg. 9.32] “One
should take to Kṛṣṇa
consciousness fully. Never mind
wherever he is born. He can be
also transferred to the spiritual

So this is our movement, Kṛṣṇa
consciousness movement is like
that. It doesn’t matter whether
one is sura or asura. Sura… Kṛṣṇa
also says,

kiṁ punar brāhmaṇāḥ puṇyā
bhaktā rājarṣayas tathā (anityam)
asukhaṁ lokam imaṁ prāpya
bhajasva mām [Bg. 9.33]

Simply if we take to Kṛṣṇa
consciousness, it does not matter
whether we are born in pāpa-
yoni or puṇya-yoni. Puṇya-yoni,
those who are born in puṇya-
yoni, in nice family, for them it is
very easy and natural. But even
those who are born in asura
family… Just like Prahlāda
Mahārāja became a great
devotee. He is one of the
authorities of devotees. But his
father was asura. Asura does not
mean one community is simply
asura, and other community is
simply sura. No, that is not. Any
community, any person, if he
follows the principle of sura, he
becomes sura. If he follow the
principles of asura, even if he was
born in sura family, then he is
asura. These are the injunction of
the śāstra.

People do not know it. So we
Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement,
we are simply trying to make the
asuras as sura. This is our
movement. Anyone who is not
devotee, he is asura. It doesn’t
matter whether he is born in
some country or some family. It
doesn’t matter. If he is not a
devotee of Kṛṣṇa, then he is
asura. When we speak of Kṛṣṇa,
Kṛṣṇa means God. Anyone who is
nondevotee of God, who is not
God conscious, he is asura. That
is the injunction. Viṣṇu-bhakto
bhaved daiva asuras tad-
viparyayaḥ. This is the distinction.
Devatā means viṣṇu-bhakta,
great devotee of the Supreme
Lord. Viṣṇu means the Supreme
Lord, all-pervading. Viṣṇu-bhakto
bhaved daiva asuras tad… And
those who are not devotees,
Godless, without any God
consciousness, they are all asuras.
So this movement is to make
asuras as suras.

Then what is the advantage of
becoming sura and asura? If you
become a sura, then you become
fit for entering into the kingdom
of God, back to home, back to
Godhead. But if you remain
asura, then you have to remain in
this material world, which is
duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam [Bg.
8.15], full of miseries and
temporary. So we don’t say
anyone asura and sura, but, we
understand from the śāstra
anyone who takes to Kṛṣṇa
consciousness, whatever he may
be, he becomes a sura. Even if he
is born in asura family, it doesn’t
matter. Just like Prahlāda
Mahārāja. His father was a asura,
but still, he became the first-class
sura. Similarly, everyone can
become first-class sura. They
have to be trained. The asuras,
they… Therefore it is said that
pravṛttiṁ ca nivṛttiṁ ca janā na
vidur āsurāḥ. Asuras, the fault is,
asuras, they do not know how to
live a very happy and clean life.
They do not know. Ācāra. Na
śaucaṁ nāpi cācāraḥ. They have
not cleanliness and good

So therefore we are teaching
cleanliness. “You rise early in the
morning. Take your bath.” He
must be clean immediately. He
rises early in the morning,
evacuating. He takes his bath.
Immediately becomes cleansed,
śaucam. Sattvaṁ śaucaṁ śamo
damas titikṣā. These are the
qualification of brāhmaṇa or the
suras. But they do not know it.
Therefore we are training, “Rise
early in the morning. Chant Hare
Kṛṣṇa. Have maṅgala-ārati.” This
is ācāra. This is ācāra. By
practicing this, you can see the
distinction between ordinary men
or our men. Anyone, practically
you will see. In America they are
surprised. Although they are
Americans, they inquire, “Are you
Americans?” Because there, in
America, there is no such thing.
Any inquisitive person inquires.
The priest said that “These boys,
they are our boys, and they never
came to church to inquire about
what is God. Now they are mad
after God. What is this?” Because
they have become suras by
training. By training. So asuras
can be turned into suras. There is
no difficulty. Provided they abide
by the rules and regulation,
orders of the spiritual master,
they can be suras. Because they
do not know… Na śaucaṁ nāpi
cācāro na satyaṁ teṣu vidyate.
They do not know what is
satyam. Satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi.
Therefore we are teaching them
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, satyaṁ
paraṁ dhīmahi, the ultimate
truth. They do not know what is
satyam. This is the movement, to
give them education to
understand what is the Absolute
Truth, satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi, to
teach them how to behave in life,
how to become purified in life.
This is very scientific movement.
If anyone wants actually to
become sura, the perfect man,
they must join this Kṛṣṇa
consciousness movement. Then
his life will be successful. Thank
you very much.