Los Angeles, May 14, 1973
yathā paṅkena paṅkāmbhaḥ
surayā vā surākṛtam
na yajñair mārṣṭum arhati
Translation: "As it is not possible to filter muddy water through mud, nor purify a wine-stained pot with wine, it is not possible to counteract the killing of men by sacrificing animals."
Prabhupāda: So here one of the most important points is surākṛtaṁ bhūta-hatyām. Surākṛtam means things becoming impure simply by touching liquor. Liquor is so impure. Just like you have got a very big pot of milk, but if you put one drop of wine in it, it becomes immediately impure. You can analyze chemically—immediately impure. That surā, liquor, has become our daily affair. We are so impure. And bhūta-hatyā, and killing of animals. The modern civilization means large-scale arrangement for killing animals and large-scale arrangement for distilling liquor, especially in the Western countries. And India is also now following. So this is the position of the world. What is being condemned by Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, that, those items at the present moment are being encouraged by the government. This is the difference between this government and Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira's government. You can just imagine.
So the example is very nice. Yathā paṅkena paṅkāmbhaḥ. Muddy water, if you bring muddy water, if you want to cleanse it, precipitate, then you cannot add another lump of mud in it. No. You have to add something chemical. Just like alum. In muddy water if you put little alum chemical... Am I right, chemist?
Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes.
Prabhupāda: So immediately there will be precipitation and all the muddy things will be collected, and the water will be clear, original. So we are discussing about the muddy atmosphere. Things are there, sinful, muddy. But there is process also, how to counteract it. The process is also prescribed there. So at the present moment the whole world is muddy, but you cannot clear this muddy situation by adding more mud. They are trying to do that. They are not trying. The, there is Vedic method also, like that, that if you have done something wrong, you do another wrong thing. That is called prāyaścitta. Prāyaścitta. But Bhāgavata does not accept this kind of prāyaścitta. Prāyaścittaṁ vimarśanam. By this kind of reformation... Suppose you have committed theft. This is sinful activities. And you are put into the jail for six months. That does not mean that you become an honest man. That does not mean. So it is something like that. To clear the muddy water, put another lump of mud on it. This will not help. Something effective must be brought in.
That effective thing is kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā, only this chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. The whole world is muddy. It is impure, full of sinful activities. So if you want to clear the situation of the modern world, then this is the only remedy:
harer nāma harer nāma harer
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
[Cc. Ādi 17.21]
There is no other way. And actually, we are seeing practically how by chanting this holy name of the Lord, Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, how nasty people are becoming purified, Vaiṣṇava, brāhmaṇa. Actually nasty. Now, here it is said that surākṛtam, a drop of wine makes the whole thing impure. And liquor drinking is our daily business. So the example is given that suppose here is one drop of wine, and the place has become impure. So if you bring another gallon of wine and just sweep over it, mop it with wine, that is not the process. You have to bring pure water and wash with it. Then it will purify. You cannot say that "Wine is also liquid. Why not cleanse it here by wine?" No.
So the Vedic conception is completely different. The... According to modern science, they put things into alcohol to sterilize. Is it not?
Svarūpa Dāmodara: Put alcohol in things.
Prabhupāda: Yes. But it becomes more impure. Anything you put into alcohol, that becomes more impure, according to this. So there are so many things. Our position jīva, is living entity, is pure by nature because it is part and parcel of God, Kṛṣṇa. So we have accumulated so much, so many material things by which we have become impure. And yajñaiḥ. This bhūta-hatyā. Bhūta-hatyā is also recognized here as sinful activities. As wine is sinful or impure—if not sinful, it is impure—bhūta-hatyā, killing of animal, is also sinful activities. So you cannot counteract by performing yajña, because in the yajña there is also another bhūta-hatyā.