Tuesday, November 4, 2008
The Oxford pocket dictionary defines miscreant as one who behaves badly or in a way that breaks the law or rule. From the Absolute spiritual standpoint, unfortunately, almost every person breaks the natural laws or rules and hence falls into the category of a "miscreant".
Lord Sri Krishna declares this to Arjuna
na māḿ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ
āsuraḿ bhāvam āśritāḥ
“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.” BG 7.15
Here, we can get a glimpse of our peers in the current world situation. Maya is very strong, it can actually deceive one by making one seem religious but completely living a life of an atheist or hard core karmi. In other words, being religious is not another label we can slap on ourselves like other labels such as manager, doctor, engineer and now I can call myself a Christian, Muslim or Hindu. So really…from the Absolute standpoint, no matter which category we belong, if we do not submit to the will of God by cultivating saintly qualities then our efforts to improve the quality of life is just another false-ego trip.
Srila Prabhupada clearly enlightens us through his purport on the different classifications
(1) The mūḍhas 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 yajña (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 mūḍhas, material gains, which are destructible, are life's all in all — despite the fact that the mūḍhas 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.
Mudhas, then typically, fit people who are gross materialists. Those students we see in Universities and colleges who work so hard to become rich. Those career/professional people we see who spend one-third of their lives driving and half their lives in cubicles in front of computers and the remaining in sleeping, eating and sex. When they retire, the same mudhas just do the eating, sleeping and sex in a fulltime manner.
2) Another class of duṣkṛtī, or miscreant, is called the narādhama, 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 narādhamas. 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 Gītā 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 Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is all-powerful. Whoever loses this chance is classified as a narādhama. 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 māyā, the illusory energy.
Srila Prabhupada also says “no process is strictly followed now in any part of the world, and therefore 99.9 percent of the population is narādhama.”
Here, everyone save and except devotees of God are considered naradhamas. That means this includes people from all religions, corporate culture, universities, philanthropists, social reformers, government, scientific community, demigod worshippers etc. This is a powerful statement because one may think this is extreme. But actually this is not extreme because when every ounce of our life is conducted by the sanction and will of God, then not recognizing His supremacy is a sure sign of insanity. Therefore only insane people can be naradhamas not the sober sane ones. No matter which religion one comes from, but if one surrenders to the Almighty in a humble and menial way and live a simple saintly life without causing undue pain and anxiety to all living entities, then he or she is not a naradhama but rather a sadhu (saintly person).
(3) The next class of duṣkṛtī is called māyayāpahṛta-jñānāḥ, 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 is a great number of māyayāpahṛta-jñānāḥ at the present moment, even amongst the scholars of the Bhagavad-gītā. In the Gītā, in plain and simple language, it is stated that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is none equal to or greater than Him. He is mentioned as the father of Brahmā, the original father of all human beings. In fact, Śrī Kṛṣṇa is said to be not only the father of Brahmā but also the father of all species of life. He is the root of the impersonal Brahman and Paramātmā; 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 māyayāpahṛta-jñānāḥ derides the personality of the Supreme Lord and considers 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 Gītā by the class of māyayāpahṛta-jñānāḥ, outside the purview of the paramparā system, are so many stumbling blocks on the path of spiritual understanding. The deluded interpreters do not surrender unto the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, nor do they teach others to follow this principle.
Here, Srila Prabhupada again brings out the different types of people that fit this category. These categories of people who belong to the erudite; elitist and knowledgeable group are also considered miscreants. These are the people who are generally considered the brain of society from where high administrative officials make decisions on where to spend the tax-payers money. All are fools according to Krishna. In other words, while 99.9% of the world population glorifies people in this group, true devotees of the Lord feel sorry for them as they are deeply in Maya. So true glories are only to the devotees of the Lord and nobody else.
(4) The last class of duṣkṛtī is called āsuraḿ bhāvam āśritāḥ, 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 Gītā. 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 Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
These are outright fools who proudly claim to be an atheist. There are people who claim to be an atheist and live atheistic lives and there is another group much more dangerous. They claim to believe in God but completely live atheistic lives. Both of them are atheists because their consciousness is filled with atheistic thoughts.
It is sad that 99.9% of the world human population does not surrender to God. If we learn anything from this, we should strive harder than ever before to submit our mind, intelligence and ego at the Lotus feet of the Lord and save ourselves and also try to help others. While this is not easy…we have to try hard!