Original Introduction to Bhagavad-Gita As It Is by none other than His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.

ORIGINAL.

INTRODUCTION TO GEETOPANISHAD

By

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

All rights reserved BBT International

Faithfully and expertly digitized by HG Vrajananda Das

 

The Bhagavad-Gita is also known as Geetopanishad. It is the essence of Vedic knowledge and one of the most important Upanishads in Vedic literature.

 

There are many commentaries on the Bhagavad-Gita in English, and the necessity for another English edition should be explained on the following basis: an American lady asked me to recommend an English edition of the Bhagavad-Gita which she could read. I was unable to do so in good conscience. Of course, there are many English editions of the Bhagavad-Gita, but of those I have seen– not only in America, but also in India-none can be said to he authoritative, because in almost every one of them, the author has expressed his personal opinion through the commentaries without touching the spirit of Bhagavad-Gita as it is.

The spirit of Bhagavad-Gita is mentioned in the Bhagavad-Gita itself. It is like this: if we want to take a particular medicine, then we have to follow the directions written on the label of the bottle. We cannot take the medicine according to our own directions, or the directions of a friend not in knowledge of this medicine. We must follow the directions on the label or the directions of our physician. The Bhagavad-Gita also should be accepted as it is directed by the speaker Himself. The speaker is Lord Sri Krishna. He is mentioned on every page as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or Bhagavan.

Bhagavan sometimes means any powerful person or demi-god, but here it means Krishna. This is confirmed by all the great acharyas, including Shankara and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

In India there are many authorities on Vedic knowledge, and they have Virtually all accepted Sri Krishna as the-Supreme personality of Godhead. The Lord, Himself, also says in Bhagavad-Gita, that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

We should therefore accept Bhagavad-Gita as it is directed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Himself.

 

Now, in the Fourth Chapter, the Lord tells Arjuna that this yoga system of the Bhagavad-Gita was first spoken to the Sun God.

 

“Imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyam

Vivasvan manave praha manuriksakave vravit.

Evam parampara praptam imam rajassaya viduh

Sakalena mahata yoga nastah paramptapa.” (IV, I-2)

The Lord said, “My dear Arjuna, formerly I spoke this devotional service of Bhakti yoga to the Sun God. The Sun God told it to Manu and Manu told it to King Iksvaku. Thus all the saintly kings learnt this process of transcendental science of linking with the Supreme by such disciplic succession called Parampara, but at the present moment this chain of disciplic succession or teaching the science from authority to authority appears to be missing or lost.”

 

The clear direction is that the Bhagavad-Gita has to be understood through the chain of disciplic succession and not by personal interpretation as it has been in this modern age° Sri Krishna is here to re-establish this line of disciplic succession. Arjuna was chosen because, “You are my devotee and My friend; therefore, only you can understand.” Therefore the Bhagavad~Gita is especially meant for the devotee of the Lord.

 

“Sa eve ayam amya te adya yoga proktah purstanah

Bhaktahasi me sakha ca iti rahasyam hi etad uttamam.”

(BG IV 3)

“That oldest form of yoga system which was spoken to the Sun God some millions of years before is now Spoken to you again because you are My devotee and friend. Therefore you can understand the great mystery of this science of Bhakti yoga.”

 

Arjuna was neither a great scholar nor a Vedantist, but a great soldier. A soldier is not supposed to be scholarly, and yet Arjuna was selected to understand the Bhagavad-Gita because of one qualification only: he was a devotee of the Lord. This indicates that the Bhagavad-Gita is especially meant for the devotee of the Lord.

 

There are three kinds of transcendentalists: the yogi, the impersonalist, and the bhakta, or devotee. Krishna says to Arjuna, “I am making you the first man of the disciplic succession. The old succession is broken. I wish to re-establish the line of teaching which was passed down from the Sun God. So you become the authority of the Bhagavad-Gita” The Bhagavad-Gita is directed to the devotee of the Lord, who is directly in touch with the Lord as a friend. To learn the Bhagavad-Gita one should be like Arjuna: a devotee having a direct relationship with the Lord.

 

A devotee can be in relationship with the Lord in five different ways:

 

  1. He may have a passive relationship;

 

  1. He may have an active relationship;

 

  1. He may be in friendship;

 

  1. He may have the relationship of a parent;

 

  1. He may have the relationship of a conjugal lover of the Lord.

 

Arjuna was a devotee in relationship with the Lord as a friend. This friendship is different from friendship in the mundane world. This kind of friendship is transcendental. Everyone has some relationship with the Lord. Unfortunately in our present status, we have forgotten our eternal relationship with the Lord. Yet, each of the millions upon millions of living beings has a particular relationship with Him. By the process of service one can revive one‘s original relationship with the Lord.

 

Now, Arjuna was a devotee and he was in touch with the Supreme Lord in Friendship. “Thus, the Bhagavad-Gita was explained to him. How he accepted it should be noted. This is mentioned in the Tenth Chapter. After hearing the Bhagavad-Gita from the Lord, Arjuna accepted Krishna as the Supreme Brahman. Every living being is Brahman, but the Supreme Living Being is the Supreme Brahman. Arjuna accepted Krishna as pure– free from all material contamination; as the Supreme Enjoyer, as the foremost Person; the Supreme Personality of Godhead; never born; and greatest. How, one may say that, because Krishna and Arjuna were friends, Arjuna was only saying these things to his friend. Therefore, Arjuna mentions that Krishna is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, not only by himself, but by Narada, Vyasa, and numerous other great persons.

 

Therefore, Arjuna says, “Whatever You have spoken to me, I accept as perfect. Your personality is very difficult to understand. You cannot be known even by the demi-gods.” This means that even persons greater than human beings cannot know Krishna. How then, can a human being know Krishna, unless he is a devotee?

 

In studying Bhagavad-Gita, one should not think that he is the equal of Krishna. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One who wants to understand Bhagavad-Gita should accept Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Otherwise it is very hard to understand, and it becomes a great mystery.

 

This Bhagavad-Gita is meant for delivering persons from the nescience of this material entanglement. Everyone is in difficulty, just as Arjuna was on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Not only Arjuna, but each of us is full of anxieties because of this material entanglement. Our existence is eternal, but somehow we are put into this position which is asat. Asat means unreal.

 

Unless one is inquiring as to why he is suffering, he is not a perfect human being. Humanity begins when this inquiry is awakened in the mind. Every activity of the human being is said to be a failure unless this inquiry is present in the mind. One should ask, “Where am I from? Where am I going? Why am I here?” When these inquiries are awakened in the mind of a sane human being, then he can understand Bhagavad-Gita. He must also have respect for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krishna comes here just to establish the real work of life, which man forgets. Out of many, many human beings who awaken, the Bhagavad-Gita is directed to the one who seeks to understand his position. The Lord has great mercy for human beings. Therefore, He spoke the Bhagavad-Gita to Arjuna to enlighten him. Arjuna was actually above all such ignorance, but he was put into ignorance on the battlefield of Kurukshetra just to ask what life was all about, so that our mission of human life can be perfected.

 

It is the preliminary study of the Science of God which is explained here. The first question is; What is the cause? Next what is the constitutional position of the living entities, or Jiva, in respect to the controller, or Iswara.Living entities are not Iswara.If I say, “I am not controlled, I am free,” I do not speak well for my sanity. In this conditioned state of life, at any rate, we are all controlled. Next we may consider prakriti, or nature. Then time– the duration of the existence or manifestation of this created universe. Then karma, or activity. The living beings are all engaged in different activities. All cosmic manifestation is engaged in activity. So, we have to learn from Bhagavad-Gita what God is. What is the nature of Jiva, living entities? Their relationship with Iswara, the Supreme Controller? What is prakriti, the cosmic manifestation? What is the control of Time, and what are the activities of the living entities?

 

In the Bhagavad-Gita it is established that the Supreme Godhead, or Krishna, or Brahman or whatever you like– the Supreme Controller– is greatest of all. The living beings are controlled. The Lord has control over universal affairs — the material nature. Material nature is not independent. It is working under the direction of the Supreme Lord. When we see wonderful things happening, we should know that behind these manifestations, there is a Controller. Matter belongs to the inferior prakriti; and the living entities are explained as superior prakriti. Prakriti means “who is controlled.”Prakriti is female. Like a husband controls the activities of his wife, prakriti is also subordinate, predominated. The Lord– the Supreme Personality of Godhead-is the predominator, and prakriti– the living entities and material nature-— is predominated. So, according to the Bhagavad-Gita the living entities, although they are part and parcel of the Supreme, are taken as prakriti. It is clearly mentioned in the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-Gita that this material nature is prakriti and that the living entities are also prakriti. The constitution of the material, or inferior prakriti, is divided into three modes: the mode of goodness, the mode of passion, and the mode of ignorance. Above these modes is eternal Time. By the combinations of these modes and the control of eternal Time, the activities, called karma, come into being. These activities have been going on from time immemorial, and we are suffering from, or enjoying the fruits of these activities, just as in the present life we enjoy the fruits of our activities. It is as though I am a business man who has worked very hard and intelligently and have amassed a large bank balance. I am the enjoyer of the fruits of my activities. Again, if I open a business with a large amount of money and lose it all, I am the sufferer. Similarly, in the field of life, we enjoy the different fruits of our work, Now, these things– Iswara, the Supreme Lord, jiva the living entities, prakriti or nature, Time, and karma are explained in the Bhagavad-Gita .

 

Of these five, the Lord, Time, and the living entity are permanent and eternal. The manifestations of Prakriti are temporary, but not false, as some philosophers say. According to the philosophy of the Vaishnavas, the manifestations are quite real, but temporary. They are like the clouds which appear during the rainy season, but disappear during the dry season. These manifestations occur at certain intervals and then they disappear and the vegetation dries up. Nevertheless, this process of Nature is working eternally.

 

Material nature is separated energy of the Supreme Lord. The living entities are also the energy of the Lord, but they are not separated. They are eternally related with the Lord. So, the Lord, Nature, the entity and Time are all eternal. Karma is not eternal. The effects of karma may be old, and we may be suffering from the results of activity performed from time immemorial, but we are able to change our activities. We simply do not know which activities will give us release from these material entanglements, but this is explained in the Bhagavad-Gita.

 

The position of Iswara is that of Supreme Consciousness. The entities, being part and parcels, are also consciousness. The entity is explained as prakriti, or Nature, and so also is material energy. But the living entities are conscious, and matter is not. Therefore, the jiva is called the higher energy. But the jiva is never supremely conscious at any stage. The Supreme Consciousness, explained in the Bhagavad-Gita as the Lord, is conscious, and the living beings are conscious. The jiva is conscious of his limited body, but the Lord is infinitely conscious. The Lord lives in the heart of every being. Therefore, he has the consciousness of all living entities.

 

The paramatma is living in each heart as the controller. He is giving directions to act as He desires. The living entity, however, forgets what to do. He determines to act in one way, then becomes entangled in his own actions and reactions and achieves only frustration. When he gives up one body for another, as one changes a dress, the reactions of his past activities remain with him, determining his next birth. Actions can be changed when a living being is in goodness, and, in that state of sanity, he chooses to end his entanglement.

 

So, of the five items, all are eternal, except karma. Now, the entity’s consciousness and the Lord’s consciousness are both transcendental. They are not generated by association with matter. The theory that some material combination can generate consciousness is  reflected in Bhagavad-Gita. Just as a light may be reflected according to the colour of the glass, consciousness is reflected in the material world. But it does not depend upon matter for its existence.

 

The Supreme Consciousness, Iswara, is different from consciousness of the living entity in this way:the. Supreme Lord says that when He descends into the material world, His consciousness is not materially affected. If He had been contaminated by contact with matter, He could not have spoken Bhagavad-Gita. However, we living entities are contaminated by the material world. The Bhagavad—Gita teaches that we must purify our activities in order to draw our consciousness back from material entanglement. This purification of activity is called bhakti. Bhakti means that, although one’s activities appear to be ordinary, they are actually purified. One may appear to work like an ordinary man, but the activities of a devotee of the Lord are not contaminated by the three gunas, or modes.

 

When our consciousness is contaminated by matter, this is called our conditioned state. The false ego is the belief that one is the product of this matter. One who is absorbed in this bodily conception, as Arjuna was, must get free from it. This is a preliminary for one who wants liberation. Freedom from this material consciousness is called mukti. In Srimad Bhagavatam,also, mukti is used to mean liberation from this material concept and to return to pure consciousness. The whole aim of Bhagavad-Gita is to teach us to reach this state of pure consciousness. On the last page of Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna asks Arjuna if he is now in purified consciousness.

This implies action in accordance with the directions of the Lord.

 

So, consciousness is there, but because we are only parts, I we tend to be affected by the modes of Nature. That is the difference between the individual living entities and the Supreme Lord. In contamination, consciousness says, “I am the Lord. I am the enjoyer.” Every material being thinks this. Consciousness has two psychic divisions. One says, “I am the Creator,” and the other says, “I am the Enjoyer.” Actually, the Lord is the Creator and the Enjoyer. The entity co-operates like a part in a machine. In the body, for example, there are hands, legs, eyes, etc. . But these parts are not the enjoyers. The stomach is the enjoyer. All the parts of the body are engaged in satisfying the stomach. Everything should be given to the stomach. You can become healthy throughout your entire body when the parts of the body co-operate with the stomach. Similarly, the Lord is the enjoyer and we living beings have only to co-operate with Him. If the fingers try to enjoy the food, they are unable. They must give the food to the stomach in order to receive the benefit of it.

 

The central figure in existence is the Supreme Lord. The entities, by cooperation, can enjoy. If a master is satisfied, his servants are also satisfied, of course. The entities have this tendency to create and enjoy because the Lord has it, and the entities are His parts and parcels.

 

We find, in Bhagavad-Gita, that the Lord, the entities, manifestation, Time and action are completely explained. Taken together, this complete whole is called the Absolute Truth, Sri Krishna. The Impersonal Brahman is also subordinate to the Complete Person. It is explicitly explained in the Brahma Sutra as being like the rays of the sun emanating from the sun disc. Brahman realization of the Absolute Truth is therefore incomplete. The Supreme Personality is above Brahman. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is called Sat-Chit-Ananda.

 

Brahman realization is realization of His Sat, or eternity feature. Paramatman realization is realization of His Sat-Chit aspect– eternity and knowledge. But, realization of the Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, is realization of all feature — Sat-Chit-Ananda– in full vigraha, or form. The Lord has Form. He is a transcendental person. This is confirmed in all Vedic literature. Just as we are persons,  so is the Ultimate Truth. Realization of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is realization of all the features of the Absolute Truth. The complete whole Personality must have all that we see and all that we do not see.

 

This phenomenal world is also complete by itself. The twenty-four elements of which this manifestation is comprised are complete in this universe. No further outside energy is needed. When the time is complete, the universe will be annihilated by the complete arrangement of the Complete. Small completes exist in the whole Complete. Incomplete knowledge results from misunderstanding of the complete Absolute Truth.

 

Bhagavad-Gita is complete. The Vedic knowledge is infallible. Here is an example of how the Hindus accept Vedic knowledge as complete. Cow dung is sacred according to Vedic scripture. If one touches the dung of an animal, he must bathe his whole body, and yet cow dung can purify an impure place or person, according to Vedic scripture. This seems contradictory, but because it is a Vedic injunction, we accept it, and, by that acceptance, we make no mistake. It has been found by modern chemists that cow dung is a composition of all antiseptic properties.

 

Vedic knowledge is complete, as it is above all doubts or errors. And Bhagavad-Gita is the essence of all Vedic knowledge. Vedic knowledge comes down from higher sources. It is not like our material research work, which is imperfect. We must receive this knowledge from the spiritual master, through the disciplic succession, which began with the Lord Himself.

 

Just as Arjuna accepted Bhagavad-Gita without any alteration, so we too must accept Bhagavad-Gita without aux/cutting, interpretation, or whimsy. “6 should accept it as perfect knowledge, spoken by the Lord Himself. Only the Lord could have given this infallible knowledge. A living entity would not be able to.

 

A living being in the mundane world has four defects:

 

  1. He is sure to commit mistakes.

 

  1. He is sure to be illusioned.

 

  1. He has a tendency to cheat.

 

  1. His senses are imperfect.

 

With these four defects, one cannot offer perfect information. Vedic knowledge was imparted by God in the heart of Brahma, the first living being in our universe, who passed it down through his sons.

 

Except for the Lord, no one is the proprietor of anything. The Lord is the original Creator. He is the creator of Brahma, the original being in our universe. Therefore, we should accept things given to us by the Lord as our allotment. Arjuna had decided not to fight. He told the Lord that he could not enjoy the kingdom if he killed his relatives to obtain it. This was due to his bodily concept of himself, and thus his relationship with uncles, brothers, nephews, and so forth, all these relationships pertain to the body. But finally, Arjuna agreed to work for the Lord’s enjoyment. He should not act like ordinary animals. Human life is meant for something else. Vedic literature is meant for human beings, not for animals. An animal can kill without sin because he is bound by the modes of his nature. But, if a man kills, he is responsible. He has a choice in his actions.

 

In Bhagavad-Gita, activities are explained as determined by the three modes of nature. Thus, there are actions performed in ignorance, in passion, and in goodness. There are also three kinds of eatables: food eaten in ignorance, in passion, and in goodness. These are all clearly described.

 

Therefore, if we properly follow the instructions in Bhagavad-Gita, our lives will be purified and we will reach our ultimate destination. This destination is also explained in Bhagavad-Gita.

 

Beyond this material sky there is a spiritual sky. This material sky is temporary, and at the end of this universe it will be annihilated. That is the law of material nature. But, there is another nature which is eternal. The jiva is eternal just as the Lord is eternal. We have an intimate relationship with the Lord, and we are qualitatively equal to the Lord. The transcendental abode is also eternal. The association of the Lord and the living entities in the transcendental abode is the ultimate aim of human life.

 

The Lord is so kind to the living entities because the living entities all have a claim to being sons of the Lord. The Lord says that, of every type of living entity, whatever its kind, He is the Father. The Lord wishes to reclaim all these living souls, to have them back in the eternal sky. The entities can be restored to the eternal sky, once they are free of illusion. So, he comes Himself, in different incarnations, or else he sends His confidential servants as sons or as acharyas, to reclaim the conditioned souls. This reclaiming is no sectarian religious process. It is the eternal function of the eternal living entities in relationship with the Eternal Lord.

 

Sanatan Dharma means the eternal religion. This word is explained as something without a beginning and without any end. We must accept: the word like this. The word religion is somewhat different from Sanatan Dharma. It means faith and faith may change from one object to another. But Sanatan Dharma means that which cannot be changed . Liquidity cannot be taken from water. Heat cannot be taken from fire. Similarly Sanatan Dharma cannot be taken from the living entities. We must find out the eternal function of the eternal living entities, in order to know what Sanatan Dharma is. Ramanacharya says this has no beginning and no end. Some may feel that this is some what sectarian concept, but if we look deeper, we will see that Sanatan Dharma is the business of all the people of the world– nay, of all the living entities in the universe.

 

Now a particular religious faith may have some beginning in the history of human society, but Sanatan Dharma lies outside of history, as it belongs to the living entities who have no birth and who never die. They continue to live after the destruction of the material body, just as they lived before its formation.

 

Let us try to understand this eternal religion from the Sanskrit root word for dharma. This word root, dhrmeans to sustain. Therefore, dharma is that quality which remains always and which cannot be taken away. When we speak of fire, it is concluded that light and heat will be there. Otherwise we cannot call it fire. In a similar way, we must find the constant companion of the living being. That eternal part of quality is his religion.

 

When Sanatan Goswami asked Lord Chaitanya about swarup, or the real constitution of the living being, the Lord replied that the real constitution of the entity is to render service to the Lord. Extending this, we see that one being serves another living being in some capacity, and thus enjoys its life. An animal serves a man, a friend serves his friend, mother serves child, husband serves wife, Mr. A. serves Mr. B. Mr.B. serves Mr. C, and so on. There is no exception to service in the society of living beings. The politician convinces the voter of his capacity for service and thus gets his job. The artisan serves the merchant; the store owner serves his customer. In fact, no living being is exempted from rendering service to others. Service then, is a thing which is the constant companion of the living being, and it can be concluded that rendering service is the eternal religion of the eternal living being.

 

When a man claims allegiance to some designated faith or sect, such as Hindu, Buddhist, Moslem, or Christian, this is non-Sanatan. Such faiths can be changed. The Moslem may become a Christian, or the Christian may become a Hindu. Such changeable faiths, therefore, is not religion. However if one be Hindu, Moslem or Christian, one is always a servant. So the particular faith is not the religion, but the service is the religion.

 

We are in a relationship of service to the Supreme Lord.

He is the Enjoyer and we are His servants. We are created for His enjoyment, and if we accept that position, it makes us happy. Going back to our earlier example, fingers cannot be independently happy without the cooperation of the stomach. Similarly, the living entity cannot be happy without rendering service to the Supreme Lord.

 

Worship of demigods is not approved in Bhagavad-Gita because, in the seventh chapter, twenty-eighth verse, the Lord says, “Only those who are adrift by lust worship the demi-gods and not the Lord.”

 

Now, when we speak of Krishna, we should remember that this is not a sectarian name. Krishna means all pleasure.

 

Krsi bhu vacka savdo nas ca nirvrti vacaka

Tayor aikyam param brahma Krsna iti abhidhiyate.

 

Krs + bhu = the substance which attracts, nas = the highest transcendental pleasure. Therefore Krs + na = the Supreme Brahman Personality of Godhead.

 

Krishna, the Supreme Lord, is the reservoir of pleasure. Our consciousness seeks happiness because we are part and parcel of the Lord. 5The Lord is always happy, and if we dovetail our activities with His, we will partake of His happiness.

 

The Lord incarnates in order to show us His joyous nature, and pastimes. When Krishna was at Vrindaban, His activities with his friends, the cowherd boys, his girl friends, and all His other pastimes were full of happiness. The whole population of Vrindaban was mad after Him. At this time, He even restricted his father from worshiping the demigods, to show us that no one need worship any god but Him.

 

The purpose of human life is to return to the abode of’ the Lord. This is described in Bhagavad-Gita, the description of the eternal sky. This is in Chapter 8, verses I9 and 20:

 

Bhutagramah sa eva vam

Bhuta-bhuta praIivate

Ratryagame casah partha

Prabhavaty aharagame.

Paras tasmat tu bhavo nyo

Vyakto vyaktat sanatanah

Yah sa sarvesu bhutesu

Nasyatsu na vinasyati

We have a material concept of the sky, with the sun, stars, moon, etc. But the Lord says that in the eternal sky there is no need of sun or moon, nor of fire or electricity, because the spiritual sky is already illuminated by the Brahmajyoti, the rays of the Supreme Lord; Brahmajyoti is in the Spiritual sky and it is named Goloka. The Lord resides eternally in His supreme abode, but He can be approached from here also.

 

The Lord comes to manifest His real form, Sat-Chit Ananda vigraha, so that we don’t have to imagine what He is like. However, although the Lord comes among us and plays with us like a human being, we should not think that He is one of us. It is because of his omnipotence that He can come among us and show us His pastimes.

 

There are innumerable planets in the Brahmajyoti, Just as there are in the material sky, but all these planets are spiritual, not material. The Lord says that anyone who can approach that Spiritual sky needs not return to this material sky. In the material sky, even if we live on the highest planet, which is called Brahmaloka, we must still suffer the miseries of material existence. These miseries are four: birth, death, disease, and old age; no material being is free of them.

 

The Lord says that the living entities are travelling from one planet to another. We need not rely upon mechanical arrangements to go to other planets. For anyone who wants to go to another planet, such as the moon, the Bhagavad-Gita instructs that there is a simple formula– even to go to the highest planet. If we practice the process of worshipping the particular demi-god of the particular planet, we can go to that planet.

 

yanti devavrata devan

pitrn yanti pitrvratah

bhutani yanti bhute jya

yanti madyajino ‘pi mam

Persons who worship demi-gods, mistaking them for God, can approach such planets where the demi-gods like Indra and Chandra are. They are authorized representatives of God, entrusted with administration of material affairs. Such persons do not know what God actually is. Those who worship their ancestors reach the planets that their ancestors have reached. Those who worship material things remain in the realm of matter, and those who worship Me (Krishna), they approach My abode.

 

In this way, we can go to the sun, the moon or any other planets However, Bhagavad-Gita advises us not to go to any of these material planets. Not even the Brahmaloka, which can only be reached by mechanical means in forty thousand years. In the spiritual sky there are innumerable planets which are never annihilated, but there is one called Krishnaloka Vrindaban, the Supreme Planet.

 

Bhagavad-Gita gives us the opportunity to leave this material world and to go to that eternal existence in the eternal. And, as long as we want to lord it over material nature, there is no chance of going back to the spiritual Kingdom of God. That eternal Kingdom, which is not destructible like this material world, can be approached only by one who is not bewildered or attracted by this material nature. One who is attracted by devotional service to the Lord can go to that eternal Kingdom.

 

Our senses are so imperfect that we cannot even see all the planets that exist in the material sky Vedic literature gives us information of many worlds that exist here. But one should hanker after the spiritual sky and the Supreme Kingdom. When one reaches the Supreme Kingdom, he doesn’t have to return to the material world.

 

Now, a question may be raised: how do we approach the abode of the Supreme Lord? In Chapter 8, verses 5-8, the means for approaching the Lord’s Supreme Abode are given: at the time of death, if one thinks of Krishna and remembers the form of Krishna, and then quits the present body, then he surely approaches the Spiritual Kingdom. Just as the transcendental nature of the Lord is Sat-Chit-Ananda vigraha, so the Lord has His Form, but this Form is eternal. This present body of ours is not Sat-Chit-Ananda. This body is asat, or perishable, full of ignorance, and niranda– not happy.

 

The Lord says that when one quits this material body remembering the Form of Sri Krishna, he at once achieves his Sat-Chit Ananda vigraha– the spiritual existence. This also applies to rebirth in this world. A man dies when his next birth has been decided by higher authorities. The acts of this life are a preparation ground for the next life. We are preparing for the next life by the activities of this life. So, if we make preparations to go to the abode of the Lord, we get a spiritual body, or spiritual nature, like the Lord has.

 

Now, there are different kinds of transcendentalists, as we have already explained. There is the Brahman-Vadi, the Paramatman-Vadi, and the devotee. In the spiritual sky, or Brahmajyoti, there are innumerable spiritual planets. The number of these planets is far greater than all the universes of the material world. The spiritual world represents three fourths of the Creation. One fourth of the Creation consists of innumerable universes like this one. Each universe has millions and millions of planets, but all of these universes together comprise only one fourth of the whole creation.

 

Now, one who wishes to go to the Spiritual Abode, and wishes to enjoy the association of the Supreme Lord, enters into a planet of the spiritual sky. There are many names for these planets. Any transcendentalist who, at the time of death, thinks of the Brahmajyoti, or paramatman, or Sri Krishna, enters the spiritual sky, but only the devotees may go to the Lord. The Lord further says that there is no doubt of this. One should not disbelieve. When the Lord speaks, we should not reject any part of what He says. Arjuna, whom we should emulate, says, “I believe everything that You have said.” The Lord says that at the time of death, whoever thinks of Him will certainly enter into the spiritual sky. There should be no doubt of this.

 

Bhagavad-Gita also describes how one should act in order to enter into the spiritual Kingdom. Material nature is a display of one of the energies of the Supreme Lord. In the Vishnu Purana, the energies of the Supreme Lord have been summarized. The Lord has diverse, innumerable energies, of which we cannot conceive. But great learned souls have summarized all of these energies into three categories. The first is that all these energies are different potencies of the Lord. Vishnu. That energy is transcendental. Next is the marginal energy, which lies between the spiritual and the material. All the living entities belong to the eternal superior energy. Material energy is in the mode of ignorance. Material energy is also from Bhagavan. We can, at death, either leave this material world or remain here.

 

We are accustomed to think in terms of material energy. How can we transfer our thinking of material energy into thinking of spiritual energy? There is so much literature of the material world, like novels, newspapers, etc. We must transfer our reading from these to the spiritual Vedic literature. The learned sages wrote a great deal of literature, like the Puranas. In Chaitanya Charitamrita there is a verse which reads; “The conditioned souls have forgotten their eternal relationship with the Lord, and are engrossed in thinking of material things. They should just transfer their thinking to the Lord. He has created so many Vedas for this purpose.”

 

At first, there were four Vedas. Then, He explained them by the Puranas. Then, for those incapable of understanding these, He gave the Mahabharata, in which there is the Bhagavad-Gita. Then the Vedanta Sutra, which summarizes all Vedic knowledge. At last, the Vedanta Sutra was explained in Srimad Bhagwatam.

 

Just as the materialist is always engaged in reading materialist literature, the devotee centers his reading capacity onto this literature, so kindly presented by Vyasadeva, so that at the time of death the devotee may think of the Lord and go to Him.

 

Krishna advises Arjuna not simply to go on remembering Him and give up his material duty. The Lord never suggests anything impractical. To maintain the material body, one has to work. The working world is divided into four parts: Brahmin, Shatriya, Vaisya, and Sudra. Each one works in a different way, as learned man, administrator, mercantiler, or laborer. The Lord advises us not to give up work, but to remember Him always, along with the struggle for existence. This is Krishna Consciousness. Unless one does this, it is not possible to go to the Lord.

 

Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu practiced kirtanor chanting. One should always chant the Name of the Lord, because the Name of the Lord and the Lord are not different. Lord Chaitanya’s instructions to always chant the Name of Krishna, and Krishna’s injunction to remember Him always, are not different. The Lord and His Name are not different from each other. In the absolute status, there is no difference between one thing and another. Since the Lord is absolute, there is no difference between His Name and Himself: He is omnipresent. We should know Him always, twenty-four hours a day. How is this possible?

 

A very crude example is given by the acharyas; it is like a married woman who is in love with another man. Such an attachment is necessarily very strong. Now, the woman always wants to show her husband that she is busy in family affairs so that he won’t suspect her having a lover. However, she is always thinking of her lover, although she carries on her household duties well– in fact, with greater care than she might if she had no lover.  In the same way, we must establish our love for the Lord, and carry out our duties well.

 

Krishna did not advise Arjuna to go off to the Himalayas to practice yoga. When the Lord described the system of yoga to him, Arjuna declined, saying that it was too difficult for him. But then the Lord said that one who thinks always of Him is the greatest yogi, the supermost jnani, and the best devotee. The Lord said, “As a Shatriya, you cannot give up your fighting; but devote all your actions to He.” He also says that if one is completely surrendered to Him, there is no doubting.

 

One has to learn this process of Krishna Consciousness. To do so, one should approach a person who is fixed firmly in this consciousness. The mind is always flying from this thing to that, serving no real benefit. One must learn to fix the mind always on the Supreme Lord. The mind is very restless, and difficult to manage, but one can concentrate the ear on the sound of Krishna. The Supreme Personality of Godhead can be approached by one who is constantly thinking of Him in this way.

 

These processes are given in Bhagavad-Gita. No one is barred from them. Hearing of Lord Krishna is possible for everyone, even a human being in the lowest status of life. Laborer, tradesmen, or woman– these are counted in the category of less fully developed intelligence-— the Lord says that even those lower than this– anyone, in fact, who accepts this principle of bhakti yoga and accepts the Supreme Lord as the highest goal of life, can approach the perfection of human life. This is the one permanent solution of life. This is the sum and substance of Bhagavad-Gita.

 

The conclusion is that Bhagavad-Gita is a transcendental literature that should be read very carefully. If one follows the instructions, he can be freed of all fears and sufferings in this life and attain a spiritual birth in the next life.

 

Another result is that if one reads Bhagavad-Gita seriously and reverently, then the reactions of his past deeds will no longer effect him. The Lord says, in the end, that He Himself takes the responsibility to indemnify all the reactions of sins for one who comes to Him. One cleanses himself daily by bathing in water, but for one who once bathes in the sacred Ganges water of Bhagavad-Gita, the dirt of past sins is washed away for all time. If one reads Bhagavad-Gita regularly and attentively, no other literature is needed.

 

In the present age, people are engaged by so many things that they have no time to devote their energy to other topics. However, one who simply reads Bhagavad-Gita need not read any other Vedic literature. Bhagavad-Gita is the essence of all Vedic knowledge. It is said that one who drinks the water of the Ganges will be freed from sin. Similarly, one who studies Bhagavad-Gita has no need of any other literature whatever. Lord Krishna is the original Vishnu, the ultimate end of I all knowledge and of all seeking after knowledge.

 

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Srila Prabhupada Quote

First Class, Second Class and third rate KNOWLEDGE. (c) BBTI

710903BA.Lon

So our this Krishna consciousness movement is very bona fide because we say the same thing as Krishna says. We don’t make any addition, alteration. Not like big scholars, like “It is not to Krishna…” Krishna says, man-manaa bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaaji maam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65], and the scholar interprets, “It is not to Krishna.” Just see [the] foolishness. Krishna directly says, “unto Me.” He says, “Not to Krishna.” Misleading. Such misleading guru will not help you.

So therefore to find out a bona fide guru means that he does not change the words of Krishna. That is his position. He places everything as it is, and he has understood thoroughly the science. Jijnaasuh shreya uttamam. Guru…, what is the symptom of guru? Tasmaad guruh prapadyeta jijnaasuh shreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21].

Those who are inquisitive to understand higher scientific knowledge, uttamam. Uttama means higher. Uttama, madhyama, adhama. There are three words: first class, second class, third class. So spiritual knowledge is uttamam. Anyone who is inquisitive to understand first-class knowledge, he requires to go to a guru. Those who are interested in third-class knowledge, they do not require any guru.

Third-class knowledge means animal knowledge: how to eat, how to sleep. How to make arrangement for eating, how to make arrangement for sleeping, that is third-class knowledge. Because the animal also try for this kind of knowledge, how to eat, how to sleep. Therefore this kind of knowledge is third-class knowledge.

And second-class knowledge is “What I am?” Athaato brahma jijnaasaa. The Vedaanta. That is second-class knowledge. And first-class knowledge, when he actually understands what he is—he is eternal servant of Krishna—and engages himself in the service of the Lord, that is first-class knowledge. And therefore, as soon as he comes to the first-class knowledge platform, he becomes happy.

brahma-bhuutah prasannaatmaa
na shocati na kaankshati
samah sarveshu bhuuteshu
mad-bhaktim labhate paraam
[Bg. 18.54]

So after being liberated from the material concept of life by the blessings of Krishna and guru, one comes to the platform of first-class knowledge, where he engages himself directly in the service of the Lord, that is first-class knowledge. First-class knowledge means beyond liberation. Second-class knowledge is trying for liberation. Third-class knowledge means in bondage, like animal. The animal, they are bound up by the particular type of body and has no, I mean to say, possibility of becoming liberated. That is animal life.

But human life is better than animal life because he, if he likes, he can make himself liberated from this bondage of material body. That is the facility. He can understand himself what he is. He can understand what is God. He can understand the relationship between God and himself. He can understand what is this material world. Because there are thousands of books of knowledge. Take it for Bhagavad-giitaa; everything is there. And it is meant for human being, not for the cats and dogs. Cats and dogs cannot understand, but a human being can understand.

So our this Krishna consciousness movement is to enlighten people to utilize his very nice life, human form of life, utilize it properly. To utilize it properly means to revive his dormant Krishna consciousness. The Krishna consciousness, or God consciousness, is there already. It is developed in human form of life. But it is now covered because due to our association with this material world for unlimited years background.
We are coming through different species of life. Millions and millions of years passed away. Suppose I was a tree sometimes. I was standing up for ten thousand years in one place. We have passed through. That’s a fact. That is evolution. Now we have got the opportunity of light. If you don’t use this opportune moment and again go back to the cycle of evolutionary process, jalajaa nava-lakshani sthaavaraa…
So these are great science. 

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BHAGAVAD-GITA AS IT IS (BGAII) version One AND version Two. Please find the editors’ ULTIMATE EXPRESSION OF SEXISM and RUDENESS.

 

 

The ultimate expression of sexism, as well as rudeness and thoughtlessness, would have to be to disrespect the Goddess of Fortune in person by denying capital letters, which Srila Prabhupada personally and very carefully added in the Original Transcript (OT), as in BGAII OT 1.36, (word for word, translation and twice in purport), BGAII OT 1.15, purport and BGAII OT 1.20, purport, to give three examples only. Generally, everyone is actively seeking the favour of the Goddess of Fortune, Lakshmii. But disrespect will certainly produce an opposite and adverse result.

 

The other half of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as an ordinary person, with small letters, lower case. What a mayavadi affront and insult!!!                                                  Neither will Sri Madhava, the husband of the Goddess of Fortune, look very kindly upon such misguided policy.

This is called “niyamaagrahah” in the Nectar of Instruction, verse 2, or following the rules and regulations for the sake of it or blindly or fanatically, and indeed missing the real point– the rule in this particular case being: minimizing the use of capital letters as per Srila Prabhupada’s wishes and instructions. Cairns, FNQld, Australia.

 

 

 

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“PUFFED UP” EDITORS. BGAII 2.56

Please note how the “puffed up” editors have changed BGAII 2.56.

 

BGAII OT:

“One who is not disturbed in mind even though there are threefold miseries and is not puffed up when there is happiness and thus is free from attachment, fear (and) anger-is called a sage fixed in mind.”

BGAII V1:

“One who is not disturbed in spite of the threefold miseries, who is not elated when there is happiness, and who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady mind.”

BGAII V2:

“One who is not disturbed in mind even amidst the threefold miseries or elated when there is happiness, and who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady mind.”

BGAII V3= BGAII OT

“One who is not disturbed in mind even though there are threefold miseries and is not puffed up when there is happiness and is thus free from attachment, fear and anger-is called a sage fixed in mind.”

The need for such unwanted changes is typically dictated by and felt due to a surrender to our modern non-sense, atheistic civilization of diplomacy, money-orientation-vaishya-domination and sexualization. This reminds me of only one word and person: Sriman Hiranyakasipu, the epitome of demoniac life, or as our qualified Krishna conscious children rightly and sarcastically point out “Hiranyakasipooooooh.” Sri Krishna is the original source of justice and “law and order” and the more atheistic, the more the parliaments of the world will have to legislate to regulate atheistic citizens. In that sense the word “atheist” is simply a synonym for “outlaw”.

Hare Krishna!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Some rules and duties for the Governing Body Commissioners of ISKCON, as enunciated by Srila Prabhupada Himself in His 5000 plus letters.

Here are some rules and duties for the Governing Body Commissioners of ISKCON, as enunciated by Srila Prabhupada Himself in His 5000 plus letters. These and more can be found here in my “Prabhupada Glossary and Info” under “GBC” entry https://krishnaculture.org/srila-prabhupada-glossary-and-information-a-vast-storehouse-of-transcendental-information-february-2018/

 

The first few quotes mostly stress that a Governing Body Commissioner must be an ideal Vaishnava, strictly following all rules and regulations of devotional life as defined by Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acarya of Iskcon. Srila Prabhupada expresses his confidence that if these conditions are fulfilled then “everything will be all right”.

 

The GBC should personally observe strictly all the rules and regulations and they should become the practical example to others. Then everything will be all right. Then there will be no fear of being victimized by maya.740905Let.BaliMardan

 

and

 

GBC means that one must be ideal Vaisnava. That means there must be strict observance in following all the rules and regulations. This is your main responsibility, and then to see that all others are following strictly. Then everything will be all right.740906Let.Jagadisha

 

and

 

 

As GBC your first responsibility is to keep yourself spiritually fit and see that all the devotees in your zone of management are chanting 16 rounds, rising early and strictly avoiding the sinful activities. If they are doing this, then management will be at your finger’s end.740604let.Hrdayananda

 

and

 

There are so many devotees there in your zone. So, you must see that every one of them is chanting at least 16 rounds daily and observing our rules and regulations strictly. Keep everything nicely in this way. This is the duty of GBC, to see that all of our members are becoming fixed in Krishna’s service. 750112Let.Jagadisha

 

Srila Prabhupada expects the GBC to act at the least as a siksa guru. Today some GBCs are also diksha gurus:

 

This is the function of the GBC, to see that one may not be taken away by maya. The GBC should all be the instructor gurus. I am in the initiator guru, and you should be the instructor guru by teaching what I am teaching and doing what I am doing. This is not a title, but you must actually come to this platform. This I want. 750804Let.Madhudvisa

 

and

 

Regarding your four questions, I am replying them one by one. But these things should not be asked until you have first of all asked them to the GBC men. Whatever they say you should accept, but if they cannot satisfy you, then you may ask. 721214Let.Vishvambhara

 

Therefore they must be very competent in the Krishna consciousness philosophy by hearing Srila Prabhupada regularly:

 

Yes, as a Sannyasi and GBC your first duty is to read my books. Otherwise how will you preach? In order to remain steadily fixed in Krishna consciousness there must be a sound philosophical understanding. Otherwise it will become only sentiment. Whenever you find time please read my books. 760105Let.Satsvarupa

 

and

 

All of the leaders should study my books very carefully, since now everyone will have to appear for the examination. 760122Let.Jayatirtha

 

 

 

As far as practical management is concerned, Srila Prabhupada expects the GBC to know everything going on in his zone, just as a business owner is aware of all things happening in every nook and corner of his business.

 

You mention that you are no longer much occupied with seeing that the rent and mortgage is paid and that the incense is sold, but GBC means to be occupied with everything in the zone. It is not that now we are preachers we can neglect all other points. No, the GBC member is supposed to know everything and anything about the condition and situation of all matters within his jurisdiction. That is the meaning of secretary. So because we are engaged in many fields of activity I am especially relying upon that knowledge of my GBC assistants and secretaries to manage everything properly. But if we do not take time to understand how the financial matters are going on, then at any moment we may experience some calamity due to our inattention to these matters. Therefore, you should try to keep yourself always informed how the financial matters are improving and keep your watchful eye on every feature of our Krishna Consciousness activity. That is also part of preaching work. I am also preaching daily. But I am at the same time managing everything, seeing the statements of accounts, going to the bank, giving advice on every topic, like that. Just now I have purchased one apartment house with seven apartments just adjacent to the L.A. temple and very soon we shall invest in similar properties. So practically there is no question of my neglecting the financial matters of the society, and similarly, you shall do as I am doing. That is your real business. 720701Let.Satsvarupa

for that purpose the GBC must visit periodically the different temples in his jurisdiction:

 

Our GBC members should always visit the different temples to see that everything goes on well, and to see that the management is being done very nicely. 741218Let.Rupanuga

 

 

He also expects him to make broad program “for implementing Krishna consciousness” and be the best Laksmi collector:

 

As GBC member it is your duty to carefully make broad program for implementing Krishna consciousness in every sphere of life, in this way we will become respected as the most important members of human society. 730506Let.Hansaduta

 

 

Yes! Hrsikesananda Maharaja may collect money for Vrindaban, that will be nice. But I notice that you are to collect one Lakh only, how is that? You are GBC so you should collect more than the others, you should collect the highest amount. 730808let.TamalKrishna

 

But no politics please:

 

he is the GBC man in that zone, and he is the best man to come there immediately and see what is the situation and do the needful. Of course I do not know what are the facts, but I have seen that you have done very nicely there, so far I know. And no one has made complaint to me. So maybe there is a little fighting amongst yourselves, that is natural, but you are advanced disciple, don’t be disturbed by these things. Actually I want that householders shall manage in the temples, because they have got propensity to manage things and they want to take responsibility and they will not go away. Brahmacari, householder, it doesn’t matter, but householders are doing nicely all over the world, why the others shall resent householders in your temple? That is not reason. This attitude of changing this, changing that, if there is some small thing to make it something very great, changing the leaders three every week—these things are going on, I know. This is not at all good attitude, that if by adjustment, this and that, changing everything, I may create the perfect combination and everything will be all right. I am more impressed if someone has opened one centre and that he has stayed there tightly and developed nicely, not going away whimsically. So you have been leader at New Orleans temple for long time, you are the pioneer there, so why you should be whimsically discharged? Only the GBC man shall be able to make these changes, not any so-called secret meeting of devotees. Why they have misunderstood these things? If they have objection they must lodge it with their GBC, and differences must be discussed openly amongst ourselves, not secret meetings. We are Vaisnava devotees, not politicians. So these things must be stopped, plotting. Your merit stands far above theirs, you have done some tangible work to please me by spreading this Krishna Consciousness message in New Orleans, that is the test. Let them do something first, then we shall see what is their criticism. Simply criticizing and no work, that is the business of inferior men. So do not be disturbed by them, go on with your work, increasing more and more. Never mind the jackals howl. 721125Let.Nityananda

in this letter extract we also note that Srila Prabhupada condemns as “inferior men” those who criticize for the sake of it and do not contribute significantly to the preaching mission:

 

Your merit stands far above theirs, you have done some tangible work to please me by spreading this Krishna Consciousness message in New Orleans, that is the test. Let them do something first, then we shall see what is their criticism. Simply criticizing and no work, that is the business of inferior men. So do not be disturbed by them, go on with your work, increasing more and more. Never mind the jackals howl. 721125Let.Nityananda

 

 

As far as the principle of obedience to the GBC, Srila Prabhupada is unequivocally clear. I suppose the same principle applies in all concerns:

 

The point is that in any society there must be a leader, there must be directors, and there must be workers, but everyone should be so satisfied that they forget the difference. Journey of self-discovery 7.2. Shortcomings of Marxism

 

So far your question, how far should the orders of my duly appointed officers like GBC, etc., be obeyed and followed, the answer is that they must always be followed exactly as he says. Have you not heard me on this point? Why these questions are repeated again and again? This individual begging must be stopped. So many questions, it’s not good at all. This question-begging is going on, even some of the important men are doing like that, that I know. So how I can say your question from here? I do not know what you are trying to do by such question. Of course, my authorities and so-called officers, they sometimes also order in such a way that everything becomes topsy-turvy. So you may write to me your grievance—what can I do?—but meanwhile you must follow him exactly whatever he says. If there is complaint, I can make adjustment later. But first of all you must without hesitation obey. It is something like the appealing to the higher court if one is not satisfied by decision of the lower court. 721213Let.Jayadharma

 

and

 

Please accept my blessings. Yesterday my secretary received a telephone call from you indicating that everything was mended between yourself and Gurukrpa Maharaja, and then today he received a call from Gurukrpa Maharaja saying that the both of you were not cooperating. So what am I to do? I have appointed Gurukrpa Swami the GBC for Japan and for now at least it will be necessary to comply with him. He has suggested that you leave Japan while waiting for the reply from the S. Korean embassy there, so you can please comply with his request. He suggested one island called Okinawa where you could go for the time being, and if that is not possible then you should come here to me in Hawaii. In any case, for whatever reasons Gurukrpa Maharaja has requested like this and he is delegated GBC by me, so follow this course of action for the time being so that things can go on peacefully in Japan, as you know it is a very touchy situation with the government, and being GBC, Gurukrpa Swami is given sanction by me to develop the program along guidelines which he can choose. 760516Let.Trivikrama

 

And finally here is a nice statement about the accountability of the GBC members:

So Vidura was Yamaräja. Not only he was Yamaräja, ordinary, but he is one of the great authorities. There are twelve authorities mentioned in the shästra. One of them is Yamaräja. Balir vaiyäsakir vayam. This is stated in the Srimad-Bhägavatam. Yamaräja is one of the GBC of Krishna. Yes. As we have got twelve GBCs, similarly Krishna has got twelve GBCs. Now,

svayambhür näradaù çambhuù
kapilo kumäraù manuù
prahlädo janako bhéñmo
balir vaiyäsakir vayam
[SB 6.3.20]

That twelve men are authorized to preach Krishna consciousness. So we have to follow. Mahäjano yena gataù sa panthäù [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. There we have created these GBCs. So they should be very responsible men; otherwise, they will be punished. They will be punished to become a südra. Although Yamaräja is a GBC, but he made a little mistake, he was punished to become a südra. So those who are GBC, they should be very, very careful to administer the business of ISKCON. Otherwise they will be punished. As the post is very great, similarly, the punishment is also very great. That is the difficulty. You can see from this example, Vidura. He was immediately punished. He did little mistake at Mandüka… Because the rsis, the munis, they will curse. Dealing is very… Even Yamaräja is not taking.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada, the shelter of the world!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FURTHER CONSIDERATIONS ON “BHAGAVAD-GITA AS IT IS” DEVIATIONS. Part two.

BHAGAVAD-GITA AS IS IT 2.9. A BRASH AFFRONT TO SRILA PRABHUPADA!

 

As I compared BGAII OT 2.9 and BGAII 2.9 V1 & V2, –V1 and V2 are basically similar–, I realized that the editors have introduced “and fell silent”, which is conspicuous by its absence in BGAII OT by Srila Prabhupada Himself.

 

In the word for word, Srila Prabhupada indeed gives:

Tusni=silent

and

Babhuva=became

It may therefore be said that “tusnim babhuva” is Sanskrit antecedent for “fell silent.” Now if this is the case, the question is: In the translation itself, did Srila Prabhupada overlook or ignore this detail about Arjuna’s subsequent silence?

 

But then on the other hand, I realized that in their haste to show their small mastery of Sanskrit and AUDACITY to correct Srila Prabhupada, our glorious and superlatively qualified Spiritual Master, the original editors unceremoniously dropped not less than three (3) important and essential, informative conceptual elements of translation mentioned by Srila Prabhupada in BGAII OT as follows:

 

1) Arjuna as “master of controlling ignorance.” (gudaakeshah)

 

2) Krishna as “the master of the senses”, i. e. master of all senses of all living entities, in Sanskrit “Hrsikesam.”

 

3) Krishna as Govinda or “the pleasure of all senses”, as Srila Prabhupada puts it so elegantly.

 

At best such behavior is childish and irresponsible. We may call it mischievous as well. However because of the stakes involved, it must be considered very serious matter. When children disturb one’s activities, one may ask them to go home and play at home.

 

These considerations answer my question as well.

Srila Prabhupada decided not to mention the unimportant “fell silent” and concentrate on the essentials. It will be best for all parties to follow in His Lotus Footprints. We all know that Arjuna fell silent at that point of time.  Srila Prabhupada clearly defines the nature and use of silence in Nectar of Instruction, Text 1, purport: “Silence may appear helpful for some time, but ultimately it proves a failure.” And what can be learned from a silent teacher? Nonsense editors should definitely remain silent and away from editing! Let them chant Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra 24 hours a days. That will save them.

 

BGAII V3 suggested reading will be as follows:

 

Sanjaya said: “Thereafter Arjuna, the chastiser of enemies and master of controlling ignorance, informed Krsna, the master of the senses, as follows: “Oh Govinda, the pleasure of all senses, I shall not fight.”

Or even closer to Srila Prabhupada’s own rendition as follows:

Sanjaya said, “Thereafter Arjuna the chastiser of enemies and master of controlling ignorance, informed Krsna, the master of the senses, saying like this: Oh Govinda, the pleasure of all senses, I shall not fight.”

What is wrong with the Srila Prabhupada’s expression: “saying like this”?

For my esteemed reader’s convenience, BGAII OT reads as follows:

Samjaya said, “Thereafter Arjuna the chastiser of enemies and master of controlling ignorance informed Krsna the master of the senses saying like this: Oh Govinda, the pleasure of all senses, I shall not fight.”                                                                                        The “m” is Sanjaya is not a typographical error, neither mine, nor Srila Prabhupada’s.

 

Same reasoning would have to apply to BGAII 2.14, were the editors with their super intelligence and super audacity again correct our Srila Prabhupada by adding “O scion of Bharata”. Srila Prabhupada perhaps forgot to mention it due to his old age. (Sarcastic mode). But He certainly didn’t forget to comment on it in the purport. We expect this nonsense to be repeated.

 

Let us always remember and never forget that insulting or displeasing Srila Prabhupada in any way –or in a broader sense, insulting or displeasing Guru–brings us undoubtedly one step closer to sure spiritual failure. In Shastra we find many illustration of these adverse personal spiritual dynamics.

“Don’t jump over God, crossing the spiritual master. Then it will be failure. You must go through. We are observing Vyaasa-puujaa ceremony, the birth anniversary of our Guru Mahaaraaja. Why? We cannot understand Krishna without spiritual master. That is bogus. If anyone wants to understand Krishna, jumping over the spiritual master, then immediately he becomes a bogus. Therefore Caitanya Mahaaprabhu says, guru-krishna-kripaaya paaya bhakti-lataa-bija [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. That is Vedic injunction. Tad viddhi pranipaatena pariprashnena sevayaa [Bg. 4.34]. Nobody can understand Krishna without going through His most confidential servant. This is the meaning of this Vyaasa-puujaa. You cannot surpass. If you think that you have become very learned and very advanced, now you can avoid the spiritual master and you understand Krishna, that is the bogus. That is the meaning of this Vyaasa-puujaa ceremony. We should always pray, yasya prasaadaad bhagavat-prasaadah. Yasya prasaadaad: only by the grace of spiritual master we can achieve the grace or mercy of Krishna. This is the meaning of this Vyaasa-puujaa, offering obeisances by paramparaa system.” 750302BA.Atl

 

At last in BGAII OT 2.2, we also get Srila Prabhupada’s verdict on “values of life”, in favor of V1 presentation” values of life.” Should it have been “values of life” as in BGAII V1 or “value of life” as in BGAII V2? This has been my brainteaser for many, many years and while examining the Vedabase, one may argue for either one. Both expressions have got a different meaning though. They are not at all interchangeable. But under the circumstances, to change it from a plural to a singular would denote a pretty peculiar character, to put it politely.

This particular move actually represents the ultimate materially diseased expression of wanting to lord it over. The relevant editor is thinking “How can I influence and steer this most powerful man, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami? Oh what a challenge! Now that will be an achievement for MY EGO!” THIS MENTALITY is totally WHIMSICAL, CALLOUS, WITH NO CARE FOR OTHER’S WELFARE, LOW CLASS and ABSOLUTELY EGOTISTICAL. It is meant to confuse and waste time. It is therefore a nasty mentality. It is Maya or illusion. It is spiritually suicidal and it is deemed to be a failure. It is to be rejected by all means.

 

If that’s the type of Bhagavad Gita you want, that’s fine. After all the great Mahatma Gandhi himself saw  the Bhagavad Gita as a treatise on non-violence, until his assassination clearly proved him wrong.  We already have about 650 renditions of Bhagavad-gita and you can have any type of Bhagavad Gita you wish indeed. With preliminary license from BBT International, you can fabricate any additional Bhagavad Gita you want and call it accordingly.

But please don’t try to cheat and mislead the entire world and call it “Bhagavad-gita As It Is” because it is not!

It is too far removed from the original intentions of the two authors, Sri Krishna and His appointed representative Srila Prabhupada!

It may be noted that the main editor of BGAII version one  was NOT AT ALL free from drug addiction as late as 1973, whereas “The first principle of Vedic civilization is the avoidance of meat-eating and intoxication.” CC M 1.197 P. Here is the evidence:

“I am sorry to inform you that your co-founder Hayagriva Prabhu is little disturbed. Sometimes before you told about him participating in intoxication. Then I did not take it seriously, but the same thing is again revived and I am little perturbed. So is it possible to save him from this dangerous position? His is important man in our Society and we cannot allow him to deviate from our principles. Please try to save him.” 730306Let.Kirtanananda

and what can be expected under the circumstances??? 

Currently in USA, the scourge of drug abuse is killing 116 citizens every day, says the White House. And when I showed some enthusiasm for HH BB Govinda’s Maharaja Bhagavatamrta class, he jokingly replied; ”Have you taken some drugs or something?” I just laughed it off. But I should have asked him instead:” Maharaja, are you trying to export an American problem?” BTW and for the record, I am lucky enough to be able to state that I have never taken drugs in my whole life. Maharaja’s question is also symptomatic of the serious drug problem in USA. But for those judicious individuals who seriously take to Krishna consciousness, all problems will be solved in due course, including drug dependency if applicable.

Sri Caitanya Caritaamrita, 9.49 says:     

TEXT 49

mahaa-maadaka prema-phala peta bhari’ khaaya
maatila sakala loka—haase, naace, gaaya

SYNONYMS
mahaa-maadaka—great intoxicant; prema-phala—this fruit of love of God; peta—belly; bhari’—filling; khaaya—let them eat; maatila—became mad; sakala loka—all the people in general; haase—laugh; naace—dance; gaaya—chant.

TRANSLATION
The fruit of love of Godhead distributed by Caitanya Mahaaprabhu is such a great intoxicant that anyone who eats it, filling his belly, immediately becomes maddened by it, and automatically he chants, dances, laughs and enjoys.

In all cases, let us take enthusiastically to this particular “fruit of love of Godhead distributed by Caitanya MahaaPrabhu” redemptive type of intoxication!!! 

 

In the light of such and similar numerous other misrepresentations, of which I have pointed out just a few, I have come to reject both presentations of BGAII as not totally genuine and authentic. They are not totally “Bhagavad-Gita As It Should Be”, as per Srila Prabhupada’s wishes. They are not fully “Bhagavad Gita As It Is.” We may call them:  

Bhagavad-Gita That Needs Substantial Improvements or BGTNSI

In some quarters I can immediately hear the protests that: ”But Srila Pabhupada personally accepted version one of BGAII. Totally true, how could we deny this fact? He did point out however that passages such as “cattle raising”, to name only one, must be corrected. (And fortunately they have now been corrected). That means to me by inference, that ALL deficiencies of BGAII presentations must be corrected. Neither did Srila Prabhupada have an opportunity to micro examine His Bhagavad-Gita As It Is. Subsequently the Governing Body Commision of ISKCON, which is supposed to be the expression of Srila Prabhupada’s will, endorsed BGAII V2. Does it mean that Srila Prabhupada contradicted Himself? Let us not look at it that way.

 

The quest for better quality is a natural one and Srila Prabhupada’s broad order is:”Do the needful.” Srila Pabhupada writes as well: “When a person wants something done, He / she has to do it him/herself!” My simple ambition is to offer Srila Prabhupada the most faithful Bhagavad-gita As It Is. It will be called Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Third Edition. In that regard the help of a first class Krishna conscious typist and graphic designer will be highly appreciated at some stage. It will speed up things as well. A qualified Sanskrit scholar may also be required. Location is Queensland, the Sunshine state, Australia. No one can stop me in this project. It is my constitutional and disciple’s right to endeavor in this way. Whether Srila Prabhupada will accept it, that we shall see in due course of time. In the meantime this enterprise has already begun. I am simply begging for the benediction and blessings of the assembled Vaishnavas for the grand success of this wonderful and transcendental service adventure. Thank you very much.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada and His distinguished family!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FURTHER CONSIDERATIONS ON “BHAGAVAD-GITA AS IT IS” DEVIATIONS. Part one.

I know for a fact that this picture was taken at Frankfurt am Main Airport, Germany. Srila Prabhupada is always in transcendental Krishna conscious ecstasy and here, while meeting His dear disciples and other followers, He manifests it externally by lifting His arms, as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would do Himself. He also sports a very nice, friendly and attractive Vaikuntha smile. This picture of Srila Prabhupada and all others pictures of Srila Prabhupada are NOT different from Srila Prabhupada. Pictures of Guru are NOT different from Guru. Please handle accordingly and with care!                                                             Please beware: For the spiritually awake, Srila Prabhupada’s smile and happiness are very much contagious. 🙂 🙂 🙂  All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I shall never get tired of calling out very, very loudly, with the most powerful megaphones, again and again:

 

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!!!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!!!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!!!

Srila Prabhupada, You are asamordhva!

No human being is superior to You.

No human being is even equal to You.

Editors, don’t even try!

Srila Prabhupada you are superhuman!!!

 

The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche coined the term “the superhuman” (Uber Mensch), situated on the platform beyond good and evil. At the end of his philosophical journey, he became very fond of Vedic culture and glorified it.

Srila Prabhupada with His Bhagavad-gita As It Is shows us the clearly delineated path to the superhuman status, situated beyond the three modes of material nature or the three gunas. BGAII 14.26

maam ca yo ‘vyabhicaarena
bhakti-yogena sevate
sa gunaan samatiityaitaan
brahma-bhuuyaaya kalpate

TRANSLATION

One who engages in full devotional service, unfailing in all circumstances, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman.

I would also like to take this opportunity to repeat the following:

 

Because Guru, the Spiritual Master, and especially our Founder-Acarya of ISKCON, Institutor of the BBT, Initiator of BTG magazine in 1944 on the appearance day of His own Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhaanta Sarasvatii Mahararaja  and Translator and Commentator of BGAII, SB  and CC, Srila Pabhupada, is on the same footing as God, Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, it will behoove the editors to give Him capital letters, along with  possessives and pronouns relating to Him, just as it behooves them to give capital letters to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. Unfortunately so far they are not even paying full and proper respects to the Supreme Personality of Godhead in this literary undertaking! Some pronouns such as “who” relating to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna are still written with a small letter. As a result of such display of ignorance, we find such ridiculous and offensive BGAII 2.2 purport, passages such as “The Supreme Personality, who possesses all riches, all strength, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation is called Bhagavaan.” which, as Srila Prabhupada Himself often confirms, should really be “The Supreme Personality, Who possesses all riches, all strength, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation is called Bhagavaan.” Even an elementary grade grammar student will spot and correct such a  mistake.

What is even worse is that in some cases, even the “He” pronoun relating to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is spelled with small letter such as in BGAII 3.35, purport:” whereas Parashuraama was a braahmana but later on he acted as a ksatriya.” What a disgraceful and offensive mess!  In the BGAII OT 3.35, purport, Srila Prabhupada clearly wrote:”whereas Parashuraama was a braahmana but later on He acted as a ksatriya.” Why was the important detail missed? Does anyone care at all ???

 

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna also called Allah, Jehovah, Buddha and a thousand other varied names as well, is a billion times more powerful than the most powerful person on this planet earth , the president of the United States of America, if that impresses your imagination. Would it not pay to get the literary protocol right? Would it not? Whether authorised or not, there used to be a saying in the ISKCON world that devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, is like a razor’s edge. One wrong move and there is blood.

God, Sri Krishna, Allah, Jehovah or Buddha is sevya Bhagavaan and

Guru is sevaka Bhagavaan

 

Krishna, Allah, Jehovah or Buddha is the ONE worshipable God. Details may naturally vary.

And Guru is the worshiper God, which includes Lord Jesus Christ and Hazrat Muhammad.

That is the difference between Guru and Krishna.

At last I understand the Christian theological postulate that Lord Jesus Christ is God. He is indeed the worshiper God, just as His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedant Swami Prabhupada is the worshiper God as well.  But rather than blindly accepting dogma, without the help of the scientific Krishna conscious theology, also called “Krishnian theology”, this understanding of mine would however not have been possible. No Christian priest / exponent could ever explain to me correctly this most important theological point.

 

“The example of Lord Krishna’s being the Supreme Personality of Godhead is appropriate in regard to understanding the Spiritual Master. The Spiritual Master is called sevaka-bhagavaan, the servitor Personality of Godhead, and Krishna is called sevya-bhagavaan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead who is to be worshiped. The Spiritual Master is the worshiper God, whereas the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, is the worshipable God. This is the difference between the Spiritual Master and the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” SB 7.15.27 purport.

 

There is also Gurvastaka, stanza seven indeed:

 

saaksaad-dharitvena samasta-shaastrair

uktas tathaa bhaavyata eva sadbhih

kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya

vande guroh shri-caranaaravindam

“The Spiritual Master is honoured as much as the Supreme Lord because he is the most confidential servitor of the Lord. This is acknowledged in all revealed scriptures and is followed by all authorities. Therefore I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my Spiritual Master, who is a bona fide representative of Sri Hari.”

 

If I were an honest and sincere editor- he is got to be alive as well, as some of the editors in question have already left us- responsible for this very poor state of transcendental affairs, I would, out of embarrassment, become totally red faced and would make sure this international farcical situation is remedied too ASAP. That is not a small job.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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