na mam duskrtino mudhah
asuram bhavam asritah
Word for word:
na — not; mam — unto Me; duskrtinah — miscreants; mudhah — foolish; prapadyante — surrender; nara-adhamah — lowest among mankind; mayaya — by the illusory energy; apahrta — stolen; jnanah — whose knowledge; asuram — demonic; bhavam — nature; asritah — accepting.
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, who are lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons do not surrender unto Me.
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
It is said in Bhagavad-gita that simply by surrendering oneself unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality Krishna one can surmount the stringent laws of material nature. At this point a question arises: How is it that educated philosophers, scientists, businessmen, administrators and all the leaders of ordinary men do not surrender to the lotus feet of Sri Krishna, the all-powerful Personality of Godhead? Mukti, or liberation from the laws of material nature, is sought by the leaders of mankind in different ways and with great plans and perseverance for a great many years and births. But if that liberation is possible by simply surrendering unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then why don’t these intelligent and hard-working leaders adopt this simple method?
The Gita answers this question very frankly. Those really learned leaders of society like Brahma, Siva, Kapila, the Kumaras, Manu, Vyasa, Devala, Asita, Janaka, Prahlada, Bali, and later on Madhvacarya, Ramanujacarya, Sri Caitanya and many others – who are faithful philosophers, politicians, educators, scientists, etc. – surrender to the lotus feet of the Supreme Person, the all-powerful authority. Those who are not actually philosophers, scientists, educators, administrators, etc., but who pose themselves as such for material gain, do not accept the plan or path of the Supreme Lord. They have no idea of God; they simply manufacture their own worldly plans and consequently complicate the problems of material existence in their vain attempts to solve them. Because material energy (nature) is so powerful, it can resist the unauthorized plans of the atheists and bafﬂe the knowledge of “planning commissions.”
The atheistic planmakers are described herein by the word duskrtinah, or “miscreants.” Krti means one who has performed meritorious work. The atheist planmaker is sometimes very intelligent and meritorious also, because any gigantic plan, good or bad, must take intelligence to execute. But because the atheist’s brain is improperly utilized in opposing the plan of the Supreme Lord, the atheistic planmaker is called duskrti, which indicates that his intelligence and efforts are misdirected.
In the Gita it is clearly mentioned that material energy works fully under the direction of the Supreme Lord. It has no independent authority. It works as the shadow moves, in accordance with the movements of the object. But still material energy is very powerful, and the atheist, due to his godless temperament, cannot know how it works; nor can he know the plan of the Supreme Lord. Under illusion and the modes of passion and ignorance, all his plans are bafﬂed, as in the case of Hiranyakasipu and Ravana, whose plans were smashed to dust although they were both materially learned as scientists, philosophers, administrators and educators. These duskrtinas, or miscreants, are of four different patterns, as outlined below.
(1) The mudhas are those who are grossly foolish, like hardworking beasts of burden. They want to enjoy the fruits of their labor by themselves, and so do not want to part with them for the Supreme. The typical example of the beast of burden is the ass. This humble beast is made to work very hard by his master. The ass does not really know for whom he works so hard day and night. He remains satisﬁed by ﬁlling his stomach with a bundle of grass, sleeping for a while under fear of being beaten by his master, and satisfying his sex appetite at the risk of being repeatedly kicked by the opposite party. The ass sings poetry and philosophy sometimes, but this braying sound only disturbs others. This is the position of the foolish fruitive worker who does not know for whom he should work. He does not know that karma (action) is meant for yajna (sacriﬁce).
Most often, those who work very hard day and night to clear the burden of self-created duties say that they have no time to hear of the immortality of the living being. To such mudhas, material gains, which are destructible, are life’s all in all – despite the fact that the mudhas enjoy only a very small fraction of the fruit of labor. Sometimes they spend sleepless days and nights for fruitive gain, and although they may have ulcers or indigestion, they are satisﬁed with practically no food; they are simply absorbed in working hard day and night for the beneﬁt of illusory masters. Ignorant of their real master, the foolish workers waste their valuable time serving mammon. Unfortunately, they never surrender to the supreme master of all masters, nor do they take time to hear of Him from the proper sources. The swine who eat the night soil do not care to accept sweetmeats made of sugar and ghee. Similarly, the foolish worker will untiringly continue to hear of the sense-enjoyable tidings of the ﬂickering mundane world, but will have very little time to hear about the eternal living force that moves the material world.
(2) Another class of duskrti, or miscreant, is called the naradhama, or the lowest of mankind. Nara means human being, and adhama means the lowest. Out of the 8,400,000 different species of living beings, there are 400,000 human species. Out of these there are numerous lower forms of human life that are mostly uncivilized. The civilized human beings are those who have regulative principles of social, political and religious life. Those who are socially and politically developed but who have no religious principles must be considered naradhamas. Nor is religion without God religion, because the purpose of following religious principles is to know the Supreme Truth and man’s relation with Him. In the Gita the Personality of Godhead clearly states that there is no authority above Him and that He is the Supreme Truth. The civilized form of human life is meant for man’s reviving the lost consciousness of his eternal relation with the Supreme Truth, the Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna, who is all-powerful. Whoever loses this chance is classiﬁed as a naradhama. We get information from revealed scriptures that when the baby is in the mother’s womb (an extremely uncomfortable situation) he prays to God for deliverance and promises to worship Him alone as soon as he gets out. To pray to God when he is in difﬁculty is a natural instinct in every living being because he is eternally related with God. But after his deliverance, the child forgets the difﬁculties of birth and forgets his deliverer also, being inﬂuenced by maya, the illusory energy.
It is the duty of the guardians of children to revive the divine consciousness dormant in them. The ten processes of reformatory ceremonies, as enjoined in the Manu-smrti, which is the guide to religious principles, are meant for reviving God consciousness in the system of varnasrama. However, no process is strictly followed now in any part of the world, and therefore 99.9 percent of the population is naradhama.
When the whole population becomes naradhama, naturally all their so-called education is made null and void by the all-powerful energy of physical nature. According to the standard of the Gita, a learned man is he who sees on equal terms the learned brahmana, the dog, the cow, the elephant and the dog-eater. That is the vision of a true devotee. Sri Nityananda Prabhu, who is the incarnation of Godhead as divine master, delivered the typical naradhamas, the brothers Jagai and Madhai, and showed how the mercy of a real devotee is bestowed upon the lowest of mankind. So the naradhama who is condemned by the Personality of Godhead can again revive his spiritual consciousness only by the mercy of a devotee.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in propagating the bhagavata-dharma, or activities of the devotees, has recommended that people submissively hear the message of the Personality of Godhead. The essence of this message is Bhagavad-gita. The lowest amongst human beings can be delivered by this submissive hearing process only, but unfortunately they even refuse to give an aural reception to these messages, and what to speak of surrendering to the will of the Supreme Lord? Naradhamas, or the lowest of mankind, willfully neglect the prime duty of the human being.
(3) The next class of duskrti 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.
There are a great number of mayayapahrta-jnanah at the present moment, even amongst the scholars of the Bhagavad-gita. In the Gita, in plain and simple language, it is stated that Sri Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is none equal to or greater than Him. He is mentioned as the father of Brahma, the original father of all human beings. In fact, Sri Krishna is said to be not only the father of Brahma but also the father of all species of life. He is the root of the impersonal Brahman and Paramatma; the Supersoul in every entity is His plenary portion. He is the fountainhead of everything, and everyone is advised to surrender unto His lotus feet. Despite all these clear statements, the mayayapahrta-jnanah deride the personality of the Supreme Lord and consider 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.
All the unauthorized interpretations of the Gita by the class of mayayapahrta-jnanah, outside the purview of the parampara system, are so many stumbling blocks on the path of spiritual understanding. The deluded interpreters do not surrender unto the lotus feet of Sri Krishna, nor do they teach others to follow this principle.
(4) The last class of duskrti is called asuram bhavam asritah, or those of demonic principles. This class is openly atheistic. Some of them argue that the Supreme Lord can never descend upon this material world, but they are unable to give any tangible reasons as to why not. There are others who make Him subordinate to the impersonal feature, although the opposite is declared in the Gita. Envious of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the atheist will present a number of illicit incarnations manufactured in the factory of his brain. Such persons, whose very principle of life is to decry the Personality of Godhead, cannot surrender unto the lotus feet of Sri Krishna.
Sri Yamunacarya Alabandaru of South India said, “O my Lord! You are unknowable to persons involved with atheistic principles, despite Your uncommon qualities, features and activities, despite Your personality’s being conﬁrmed by all the revealed scriptures in the quality of goodness, and despite Your being acknowledged by the famous authorities renowned for their depth of knowledge in the transcendental science and situated in the godly qualities.”
Therefore, (1) grossly foolish persons, (2) the lowest of mankind, (3) the deluded speculators and (4) the professed atheists, as above mentioned, never surrender unto the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead in spite of all scriptural and authoritative advice.