June 2nd, 2020
We acknowledge the contribution of HG Madhudvisa Prabhu, who made the Original Transcript (OT) available to the public by establishing the bookchanges.com website.
First of all, if those original editors would have had any decency and professionalism, they wouldn’t have scribbled all over Srila Prabhupada’s typing, thus making some of the passages completely unreadable. Judging by the thoroughness and great determination they crossed them out, leaving just one black mark on the white paper, it would appear that those editors were extremely concerned and determined that some of Srila Prabhupada’s words would never be readable again.
Bhagavad Gita As It Is is really divided into three parts because the original transcript (OT) is constituted of three distinct parts as follows:
The introduction plus the first five chapters have been typed by the author or translator, Srila Prabhupada Himself. We shall, therefore, concentrate on the introduction and these initial five chapters first.
Chapters six to eleven have been typed by another party or parties from Srila Prabhupada’s tape dictation. “Neal, the typist,” is one of them.
Chapters twelve to eighteen have not only been typed by another party or parties from Srila Prabhupada’s tape dictation, as were chapters six to eleven, but have also undergone a first process of editing by HG Hayagriva Prabhu, who is mostly responsible for version one of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is.
In other words, there is here a progression of five, six and seven chapters, which form the complete Bhagavad-gita of eighteen chapters.
The most astounding feature is that the original audio is not at all available. In His transcendental pastimes, Srila Prabhupada carefully erased the tapes in order to reuse them again and again. Jay Srila Prabhupada!
This information has been provided by HG Dravida Prabhu of ISKCON San Diego, USA, and is considered reliable.
In other words, in the first part, introduction and chapters 1 to 5, we are dealing with Srila Prabhupada Himself directly. For the second part, chapters 6 to 11, we are one brain away from Srila Prabhupada and in the third part, chapters 12 to 18, we are two brains away from Srila Prabhupada. The more brains away from Srila Prabhupada, the more chances for deviation and (mis) interpretations. The main ambition of the editor of this edition three is to stay as close as possible to Srila Prabhupada’s original text and intentions, as far as the rendition of Bhagavad-gita is concerned. OT changes for edition three have only been made where absolutely required, otherwise, no changes have been effected. In particular, we have respected Srila Prabhupada’s simplicity of expression, which was lost in both editions one and two. Simplicity, called “arjavam” in the Sanskrit language, is a brahminical qualification, as confirmed in BGAII 18.42, where the word “arjavam” is translated as honesty. In BGAII 13.8, “arjavam” is clearly translated as “simplicity.” In 730902BG.Lon as well. It is not to be confused with stupidity, or as per my Mac dictionary, definition 4 “of very low intelligence”, as some imply.
There is much merit in the simplicity of execution or structure, as we note that modern contraptions, by the willful design of tricky and overthinking engineers become more and more complicated and become simultaneously more and more a headache and a waste of time, money and energy. In the case of the Boeing 737 Max, they become straight out deadly at the rate of hundreds of human lives. The creators’ mentality remains the same- to create maximum and costly dependence on him. Another God imposter!
Mr. President Trump tweeted on March 13 2019
Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly. Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT. I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better. Split second decisions are….needed, and the complexity creates danger….. new developments come at great cost, for little gain
INTRODUCTION TO GEETOPANISHAD
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
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;
2. He may have an active relationship;
3. He may be in friendship;
4. He may have the relationship of a parent;
5. 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. 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.
2. He is sure to be illusioned.
3. He has a tendency to cheat.
4. 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, dhr means 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
Ratryagame casah partha
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 kirtan or 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.
Contents of the Gita summarized.
Text 2. 1
Sanjaya said: Seeing Arjuna full of compassion, his mind depressed, his eyes full of tears, Madhusudana, Krishna, said the following words.
Material compassion, lamentation and tears in the eyes are all signs of ignorance without any knowledge of the real self. Compassion for the eternal soul is self-realization. The word “Madhusudana” is significant in this connection. Lord Krsna killed the demon Madhu and now Arjuna wanted Krishna to kill the demon of misunderstanding that overtook him in the discharge of his duty. Nobody knows where compassion should be applied. Compassion for the dress of a drowning man is false. A man fallen in the ocean of nescience cannot be saved simply by rescuing his outward dress-the shirt and the coat. One who does not know this and laments for the outward dress is called a shudra or one who laments unnecessarily. Arjuna was a kshatriya and such lamentation was not expected from him. Lord Krsna was entrusted to dissipate such lamentation of the ignorant man and thus the Bhagavad-gita was sung by Him. This chapter is meant for self-realization by analytical study of the material world and the spirit soul as explained by the supreme authority, Lord Sri Krsna. This realization is possible by working without fuitive results and being situated in the fixed up conception of the real self.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Arjuna wherefrom have these dirty things come upon you? They are not at all befitting men who know the values of life. They do not lead to higher planets but to infamy.
Krsna and the Supreme Personality of Godhead are identical. Therefore Krsna is directly depicted herein as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Bhagavan is the last word in the import of the Absolute Truth. The Absolute Truth is realized in three phases of understanding, namely Brahman or impersonal spirit whole, Paramatma or localized aspect of the Supreme within the heart of all living entities, and Bhagavan or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krsna. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam this conception of the Absolute Truth is explained as follows:
Vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvam yaj jnanam advayam
bhagavan iti shabdyate
“The Absolute Truth is realized in three phases of understanding by the knower of the Absolute Truth and all of them are identical. Such phases of the Absolute Truth are expressed as Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan” (SB 1.2.11)
Such three phases of understanding by different persons can be explained by the example of the sun. The sun also is experienced in three different phases namely the sunshine, the sun disk and the sun planet. One who studies the sunshine only is the preliminary student. One who understands the sun’s disk is still further advanced and who can enter into the sun planet is the highest. Ordinary students who are satisfied simply by understanding the sunshine – its universal expansion and glaring effulgence of impersonal nature – may be compared with persons who can realize only the Brahman feature of the Absolute Truth. The students who are further advanced in the matter can know the sun disk and such students are compared with persons who have realized the Paramatma feature of the Absolute Truth. Similarly, the student who can enter into the heart of the sun planet is compared with the person who has realized the personal feature of the Supreme Absolute Truth. Therefore the bhaktas, or the transcendentalists who have realized the Bhagavan feature of the Absolute Truth are the topmost transcendentalists although all students who are engaged in the studies of the sun or the Absolute Truth are engaged in the same subject matter. The sunshine, the sun disk and the inner affairs of the sun planet cannot be separated from one another. Similarly, neither of the three different phases of the Absolute Truth can be separated as different from one another and yet the students of the three different phases are not in the same category.
The word Bhagavan is explained by the great authority Parasara Muni, the father of Vyasadeva. The Supreme Personality Who possesses all riches, all strength, all reputation, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation is called Bhagavan. There are many persons who may be very rich, very powerful, very beautiful, very famous, very learned and very much detached, but none of them can claim that he is possessor of all riches, all strength, etc., entirely. Such claim is applicable to Krsna only and as such He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No living entity, including Lord Brahma can possess such opulence, neither can Lord Shiva. And not even does Lord Narayana possess such fullness of opulence as Lord Krishna. And by analytical study of the possession of such opulence, it is concluded in the Brahma Samhita by Lord Brahma himself that Lord Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No body is equal to or above Him. He is the primeval Lord or Bhagavan, known as Govinda and is the supreme cause of all causes. It is stated as follows:
Ishvarah parama krsna sat-cid-ananda-vigrahah
anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam
“There are many personalities possessing the qualities of Bhagavan, but Krsna is the Supreme of them all because nobody can excel Him. He is the Supreme Person and His body is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss. He is the Primeval Lord Govinda and the cause of all causes.” Brahma-samhita 5.1
In the Bhagavatam also there is a list of many incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but Krsna is described there as the Original Personality of Godhead, from Whom many, many incarnations and Personalities of Godhead expand. Here is a relevant statement:
Ete camsha-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam
indrari-vyakulam lokam mridayanti yuge yuge
“All the lists of the incarnations of Godhead submitted herewith are either plenary or parts of the plenary expansions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead but Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.”
Therefore Krsna is the Original Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, source of both Paramatma and the impersonal Brahman.
In the presence of such Supreme Personality of Godhead, Arjuna’s lamentation for his kinsmen is certainly a dirty thing and therefore Krsna expressed His surprise with the word kutas, “wherefrom.” Such dirty thing was never expected from a person belonging to the civilized class of men known as Aryans. The word Aryan is applicable to persons who know the value of life and thus they have a civilization based on spiritual realization. Persons who are led by the material conception of life do not know that the aim of life is realization of the Absolute Truth, Vishnu or Bhagavan. Such persons are captivated by the external features of the material world and therefore they do not know what is liberation. Persons who have no knowledge of liberation from material bondage are called non-Aryans. Although a kshatriya, Arjuna was trying to deviate from his prescribed duties. He was declining to fight. This act of cowardice is described herein as befitting the non-Aryans. Such deviation from duty does not help anyone in the progressive life, nor does it afford the opportunity of becoming famous in the world. Lord Krsna did not approve Arjuna’s so-called compassion for his kinsmen.
Oh son of Kunti (or Pritha), do not yield to this degrading impotence. This does not befit you. Please give up this poor weakness of heart and arise, Oh chastiser of the enemies.
Arjuna was addressed as the son of Pritha, who happened to be the sister of Krsna’s father Vasudeva. Therefore Arjuna had a blood relationship with Krsna. If the son of a ksatriya declines to fight, he is called the friend of a ksatriya and not the son of a ksatriya. Such friends of ksatriyas or friends of brahmins are unworthy sons of their fathers and thus Krsna did not like the idea that Arjuna would be called an unworthy son of a ksatriya. Arjuna was the most intimate friend of Krsna and Krsna was directly guiding him on the chariot; and in spite of all these credits, to leave the battlefield, would represent Arjuna’s most infamous act in the company of Krishna. Krishna, therefore, told him plainly that such an attitude of Arjuna did not fit his personality. Arjuna might argue that he would give up the battle on the ground of his magnanimous attitude for the most respectable Bhisma and his relatives. But Krsna liked to say that sort of magnanimity was only a weakness of his heart. That was false magnanimity not approved by any authority. Therefore such kind of magnanimity or so-called non-violence should be given up by persons like Arjuna under the direct guidance of Krsna.
Arjuna said: Oh killer of the enemies, Madhu and others, how should I counter attack worshipable personalities like Bhisma and Drona in the fight?
Respectable superiors like Bhisma the grandfather and Dronacarya the teacher are always worshipable. Even they attack they should not be cpunter-attacked. It is general etiquette that superiors are not (to) be offered even fighting by talk. Even they are sometimes harsh in behavior they should not be so harshly treated. Then how it is possible for me to counter attack them? Did you ever attack your grand father Ugrasena and teacher Sandipani Muni. These were some of the arguments offered by Arjuna to Krsna.
It is better to live by begging than to live at the cost of the lives of great souls who are superiors also. Even they are desiring some profit, still they are superiors and if killed then our enjoyable things will be tainted with blood.
According to scriptural codes, a teacher who is engaged in something abominable and has lost his sense of discrimination is fit to be abandoned. Bhisma and Drona were obliged to take side with Duryodhana on account of his financial assistance. They should not have accepted such position simply on financial consideration. Under the circumstances, they have lost the respect of a teacher. But despite these facts, Arjuna thinks that still they are to remain his teachers and superiors and as such to enjoy material profits after killing them means to enjoy things tainted with blood.
Neither do we know which is better for us- conquering them or being conquered by them. If we killed the sons of Dhrtarastra, we should not care to live any longer. Yet they are now standing before us on this battlefield.
Although fighting is the duty of the ksatriyas, Arjuna became perplexed whether he should execute the fighting, thus risking unnecessary violence. Or should he rather prefer to live by begging, because if he were defeated by the enemy, begging would be their only means of subsistence. There was no certainty of victory either because the victory might have been on either side. But even being victorious by fighting on the right side and for the right cause, still the death of the sons of Dhrtarastra in the battle would make it very difficult for them to live in their absence. Under the circumstances that would be another kind of defeat for them. All these considerations by Arjuna prove definitely that he was not only a great devotee of the Lord, but he was enlightened and had complete control over his mind and senses. The desire to live by begging, although he was born in the royal household, is another sign of his detachment. He was fully situated in the quality of forbearance and all these qualities combined with his faith in the words or instructions of Sri Krsna, his spiritual master, prove it very well. It is therefore concluded that Arjuna was quite fit for liberation. Without control of the senses there is no chance of being elevated unto the platform of knowledge, and without knowledge and devotion there is no chance of liberation. Arjuna was competent with all these attributes over and above his enormous attributes in material relationships.
Now I am bewildered in my sense of duty and have lost all composure on account of my miserly weakness. In such condition, I am asking You to tell me for certain what is best for me. Now I am your disciple and a soul surrendered unto you. Please instruct me.
By nature’s own way the complete system of material activities is a source of perplexity for everyone. At every step there is perplexity and therefore it behooves one to approach the bona fide spiritual master to give one proper guidance for executing the purpose of life. All Vedic literature advise us to approach a bona fide spiritual master to get free from the perplexities of life which happen without our desiring them. They appear like the forest fire which takes place without being set by anyone. Similarly the world situation is such that perplexities of life automatically appear without our attempt for such confusion. Nobody wants fire and yet it takes place and we are perplexed. The Vedic wisdom therefore advises that in order to solve the perplexities of life and to understand the science for the solution, one must approach a spiritual master who is in disciplic succession, with a view of accepting initiation. A person who has a bona fide spiritual master is supposed to know everything. The purport of this verse therefore is that one should not remain in miserly perplexities but that one must approach a spiritual master.
Who is the man in miserly perplexities? It is he who does not understand the problems of life. In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (3.8.10) we find the following passage:
yo va etad aksaram gargy aviditvasamal lokat praiti sa kripanah
“He is a miserly man who does not make a solution of the problems of life in the human form of life and thus quits this world like the cats and dogs without understanding the science of self-realization. He is called a miserly man.” This human form of life is a most valuable asset for the living entity to utilize it for solving the problems of life. And one who does not utilize this opportunity properly is a miser. And the opposite number is called the Brahmana or the Brahmin, who is intelligent enough to utilize this body for making a solution of all problems of life. “Etad viditva yo prayati sa Brahmanah”
The kripanas, or the miserly persons, waste their time in the matter of being to much affectionate for family , society, country etc in the material conception of life. One is attached to family life, namely to wife, children and other members on the basis of skin disease. The kripana thinks that he will be able to protect his family members from death; or the kripana thinks that his family or society can save him from the verge of death. Such family attachment can be found even in the lower animals, who also take care of children. So Arjuna could understand that his excessive affection for his family members and his attempt to protect them from death were the cause of his perplexities. And such weakness transformed him into a miserly man. Actually he could understand that his duty to fight was awaiting him. But still on account of his miserly weakness, he could not discharge his duties. He is therefore asking Lord Krsna, the Supreme Spiritual Master to produce a final solution. He offers himself to Krsna as disciple and he wants to stop friendly talks. Talks between the master and the disciple are serious and now Arjuna wants to talk very seriously before the recognized Spiritual Master. Krsna is therefore the original Spiritual Master in the matter of the science of the Bhagavad-gita and Arjuna is the original disciple for understanding the Bhagavad-gita. How Arjuna understands the Bhagavad-gita is stated in the Bhagavad-gita itself. And yet the foolish mundane scholar explains that there is no requirement to submit to Krsna as a person but to the unborn within Krsna. There is no difference between Krsna’s within and without. And one who has no sense of this understanding is the greatest fool in his understanding of Bhagavad-gita. And one who makes an attempt to comment on the Bhagavad-gita without knowing this science is the greatest pretender.
I do not find any means to counteract this lamentation which is drying up my senses. I shall not be able to dispel it even if I win an unrivaled kingdom on the earth, with supremacy like the demigods in heaven.
Although Arjuna was putting forward so many arguments on the basis of his knowledge of the principles of religiosity, moral codes and economic problems, it appears that he was unable to solve his real problem without the help of the Spiritual Master, Lord Sri Krishna. He could understand that his so-called knowledge was useless to drive away the causes of his lamentation, which was drying up his whole existence. It was impossible for him to solve such perplexities without the help of a Spiritual Master like Lord Krishna. Our academic knowledge, scholarship and high position, etc… all are useless in the matter of solving the problems of life without being helped by a Spiritual Master like Krsna. Therefore the conclusion is that a Spiritual Master who is cent per cent Krsna conscious is the bona fide Spiritual Master and he can solve the problems of life. Lord Caitanya said that, never mind his position otherwise, one who is master in the science of Krsna consciousness, is the real Spiritual Master.
kiba vipra kiba nyasi shudra kene naya
yei krsna-tattva-vetta sei guru haya (CC M 8.128)
“It does not matter whether a person is a vipra (learned scholar in Vedic wisdom), or a person born in a lower family, or a person in the renounced order of life, if he is master in the science of Krsna, he is the perfect and bona fide Spiritual Master.” So without becoming a master in the science of Krsna consciousness, nobody is a bona fide Spiritual Master. It is also said in the Vedic literatures:
Sat-karma-nipuno vipro mantra-tantra-visarada
avaisnavo gurur na syad vaisnavah shva-paco guruh.
“A scholar Brahmin, expert is all subjects of Vedic knowledge is unfit to become a Spiritual Master without being a Vaisnava or expert in the science of Krsna consciousness. But a person born in the family of a lower caste can become a spiritual master if he is a Vaishnava or Krsna conscious.” Padma Purana.
Lamentation in the matter of our material existence cannot be counteracted by accumulations of wealth and economic development. In many parts of the world, there are many states which are full with all facilities of life, full of wealth and economic development, but yet the lamentation of material existence is present there. They are seeking peace in different ways and they can achieve real happiness if they choose to consult Krsna or the Bhagavad-gita or Srimad-Bhagavatam, which present the science of Krsna, through the bona fide representative of Krsna or the man in Krsna consciousness.
If economic development and material comforts could drive away the lamentations for family, social, national or international inebrieties, then Arjuna would not have said that even an unrivaled kingdom on earth or supremacy like that of the demigods in the heavenly planets would be unable to drive away his lamentations. He, therefore, sought refuge in Krsna consciousness and that is the right path for peace and harmony. Economic development or supremacy ove the world can be finished at any moment by the freaks of material nature. Even elevation to a higher planetary situation, as men are now seeking on the moon planet can also be finished by one stroke. The Bhagavad-gita confirms this as: ksine punye martya-lokam vishanti. When the results of pious activities are finished, one falls down again from the peak of happiness to the lowest status of life. Many politicians of the world have fallen down in that way. Such downfalls are still more causes for lamentation. Therefore if we want to curb down lamentation for good, then we have to take shelter of Krsna as Arjuna is seeking to do. So Arjuna asked Krsna to solve his problem definitely and that is the way of Krsna consciousness.
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.”
Dhrtarastra might have been very much glad to understand that Arjuna was not going to fight, but was instead leaving the battlefield for the begging profession. But Sanjaya depressed him again in relating that Arjuna was competent to kill his enemies (paramtapah). And therefore, as a disciple, he surrendered unto Krsna, the supreme Spiritual Master, although for the time being, he was overwhelmed with false grief on account of family affection,. This indicated that he would become free from such false lamentation due to family affection and would be enlightened with perfect knowledge of self-realization or Krsna consciousness. At that time he would surely fight and thus Dhrtarastra’s joy would be foiled. After Arjuna’s further enlightenment by Krsna, he would surely fight to the end.
Oh Dhrtarastra, descendant of Bharata, at that time Hrsikesa, in the midst of the armies of both parties, said the following words to the lamenting Arjuna.
The talks were going on between intimate friends, namely Hrsikesa and Gudakesha. As friends, both of them were on the same level, but one of them voluntarily came to the level of becoming a student of the other. The other, Lord Krsna, smiled because a friend had accepted to become a disciple. As Lord of all, He is always in the superior position of becoming the Master of everyone and yet the Lord accepts to be a friend, a son, a lover of the devotee who wants Him in such caliber. But when He was accepted as the Master, He at once assumed Himself as such and talked with the disciple like the Master- with gravity, as it is required. It appears that the talks between the Master and the disciple were openly exchanged in the presence of both armies so that all of them were benefited. So the talks of Bhagavad-gita are not for a particular person, society, or community, but they are for all, either friends or enemies are equally entitled to hear them.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: While speaking learned talk you are lamenting for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are learned lament neither for the living nor the dead bodies.
The Lord at once took the position of the teacher and chastised the student, calling him indirectly a fool. The Lord said that you are talking like a learned person, but you do not know that one who is learned– one who knows what is the body and what is the soul–does not lament for any stage of the body, neither in the living or dead condition. As it will be explained in later chapters, it will be clear that knowledge means to know matter and spirit and the controller of both. Arjuna argued that religious principles should be given more importance than politics or sociology, but he did not know knowledge of matter, the soul and the Supreme is more important than religious formularies. And because he was lacking in that knowledge, he should not have posed himself as a very learned man. As he did not happen to be a very learned man, he was therefore lamenting for something which is unworthy of lamentation. The body is born and is destined to be vanquished today or tomorrow. Therefore the body is not as important as the soul. One who knows this is actually learned and for him there is no cause for lamentation for any stage of the material body.
In the Vedas, both in the Katha Upanishad, as well as in the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, it is said that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the maintainer of innumerable living entities, in terms of their different situations according to individual work and reaction of work. By His plenary portions, that Supreme Personality of Godhead is also alive in the heart of every living entity. Saintly persons who can see the same Supreme Personality of Godhead, within and without, can actually attain perfect peace eternally and nobody else.
It is said:
Nityo nityanam cetanash cetananam
eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman
tam atma-stham ye’ nupashyanti dhiras
tesham shantih shashvati netaresham
Katha Upanishad 2.2.13
The same Vedic truth is enunciated herein and given to Arjuna and in that connection, given to all persons in the world, who superficially pose themselves as very learned but factually have but a poor fund of knowledge. The Lord says clearly that He Himself, Arjuna and all the kings who assembled in the battlefield are all eternally individual beings and the Lord is eternally the maintainer of the individual living entities both in their conditioned as well as in their liberated situation. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the Supreme Individual Person and Arjuna, the Lord’s eternal associate, and all the kings assembled there are all individual eternal persons. It is not that they did not exist as individuals in the past and it is not that in the future also they would not remain as such eternal persons. Their individuality existed in the past and their individuality will continue in the future without any stoppage. Therefore there is no cause for lamentation for any of the individual living entities.
The Mayavadi theory that after liberation the individual soul, separated by the covering of Maya or illusion, will merge into the impersonal Brahman without any individual existence is not supported herein by Lord Krsna, the Supreme Authority. Their theory that in the conditioned state only we think of individuality is not supported herein. Because Krsna clearly says herein that in the future also the individuality of the Lord and others will continue eternally, as it is confirmed in the Upanishads. This statement of Krsna is authoritative because Krsna cannot be in illusion and thus think of individuality. If individuality were not a fact, then Krsna would not have stressed it so much, even for the future. The Mayavadis may argue that the individuality spoken of by Krsna is not spiritual but is material. Even accepting the argument that the individuality is material, then how can one distinguish Krsna’s individuality? Krsna affirms His individuality in the past and confirms His individuality in the future also. He has confirmed His individuality in so many ways and impersonal Brahman has been declared as subordinate to Him. Krsna has maintained spiritual individuality all along and if He is accepted as an ordinary conditioned soul in individual consciousness, then His Bhagavad-gita has no value for teaching as authoritative scripture. A common man with all the four defects of human frailties is unable to teach that which is worth hearing. Bhagavad-gita is above such literature. No other book compares with Bhagwad-gita and thus the Bhagavad-gita loses its whole importance if we accept Krishna as an ordinary man. The Mayavadi argues that the plurality mentioned in this verse is conventional. The Mayavadi argues that the plurality refers to the body. But previous to this verse such bodily conception is already condemned. After condemning the bodily conception of the living entities, how was it possible for Krsna to place a conventional proposition on the body again? Therefore the plurality is on the spiritual ground as it is confirmed by great acharyas like Sri Ramanuja and others. As it will appear in later chapters of the Bhagavad gita, it is clearly mentioned in many places of the Bhagavad-gita that it is understood by those who are devotees of the Lord. Those who are envious of Krsna, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, have no bona fide access to this great literature. Non-devotee’s approach to the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita is something like bee’s licking on the bottle of honey. One cannot have any taste of honey unless one can taste the content of the bottle. Similarly, the mysticism of the Bhagavad-gita can be understood only by the devotees and nobody else as it is explained in the fourth chapter of the book. Neither can the Bhagavad-gita be touched by such persons who envy the very existence of the Lord. Therefore, the Mayavadi explanation of the Bagavad-gita is the most misleading presentation of the whole truth. Lord Caitanya has forbidden to read any commentaries made by the Mayavadis and opines that one who takes to such an understanding of the Mayavadi philosophy loses all potency to understand the real mystery of the Bhagavad-gita. If individuality has any reference to the empirical universe then there was no need for teaching by the Lord. The plurality of the individual soul and that of the Lord is an eternal fact and it is confirmed by the Vedas as above mentioned.
As the embodied soul changes his body every moment from boyhood to youth and then to old age, similarly when there is a final change from one body to another, the sober person does not become deluded by such a change.
Thus every living entity being an individual soul changes his body every moment, manifesting sometimes in childhood, sometimes in youthhood and sometimes as old man, although the same spirit soul is always present without any change. This individual soul finally changes body by transmigrating from one body to another. As it is sure to have another body in the next birth–either material or spiritual– there was no cause for lamentation by Arjuna on account of the death of either Bhisma or Drona for whom he was so much concerned. Rather he should rejoice in the matter of their changing bodies from old to new ones and thus rejuvenate their energies. Such changes of body are meant for varieties of enjoyment or suffering of the living entity according to one’s work in life. So Bhisma and Drona, being noble souls, surely were going to have either spiritual bodies in the next life or at least life in heavenly bodies for superior enjoyment of material existence. So, in either case, there was no cause of lamentation.
Any man who has perfect knowledge in the matter of the constitution of the individual soul, the Supersoul, and nature–both material and spiritual–is called a “dhira” or the best sober man. Such a sober man is never deluded by the change of body undergone by the living entities.
The Mayavadi theory of oneness of the spirit soul cannot be entertained on the ground that the spirit soul cannot be cut into pieces as a fragmental portion. Such cutting into different individual souls would make the Supreme cleavable and changeable against the principle of the Supreme Soul being unchangeable. As confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita, such fragmental portions exist eternally (sanatana) and such fragmental portions are called “ksara” or having a tendency of falling down into the material nature. These fragmental portions are eternally so and even after liberation they remain the same fragmental portions but are now to live an eternal life in bliss and knowledge with the Personality of Godhead. The theory of reflection can be applied to the Supersoul, who is present in each and every individual body of the living entity. He is known as the Paramatma, different from the individual living entity. When the sky is reflected in the water, the reflections represent both the sun or the moon and the stars also. The stars are compared with the living entities and the sun or the moon is compared with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The individual fragmental spirit soul is represented by Arjuna and the Supreme Soul is the Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna. They are not on the same level as it will be apparent at the beginning of the fourth chapter. If Arjuna is on the same level as Krsna and Krsna is as good as Arjuna, then such a relationship of instructor and being instructed becomes futile. If both of them are deluded by the illusory energy (maya), then there is no need of one becoming the instructor and the other becoming the instructed. Such instructions are also useless because in the clutches of Maya nobody can be an instructor by pretension. Under the circumstances, it is admitted that Lord Krsna is the Supreme Lord, superior in position to the living entity, Arjuna, who is apt to be a forgotten soul under the illusion of Maya.
Oh son of Kunti, the non permanent appearance of happiness and distresses and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons and one has to learn to tolerate them without being agitated.
In the matter of proper discharge of duty, one has to learn to tolerate nonpermanent appearance and disappearance of happiness and distress. According to Vedic injunctions, one has to take his bath early in the morning during the month Magha (January- February). It is very cold at that time, but in spite of that, a man who abides by the religious principles does not hesitate to take his bath. Similarly, a woman does not hesitate to cook in the kitchen in the months of May and June, the hottest part of the summer season. One has to execute his duty in spite of climatic inconveniences. Similarly, to fight is the religious principle of the kshatriyas and because one has to fight with some friend and relative one should not deviate from his prescribed duty. One has to follow the prescribed rules and regulations of religious principles in order to rise up to the platform of knowledge because by knowledge and devotion only one can liberate himself from the clutches of Maya (illusion). The two different types of addresses for Arjuna are also significant. To address him as Kaunteya signifies his great blood relations from his mother’s side. And to address him as Bharata signifies his greatness from the father’s side. From both sides, he is supposed to be in great heritage. Great heritage brings responsibility in the matter of proper discharge of duties, and as such he cannot avoid fighting in the matter of proper discharge of duty.
Oh best amongst men (Arjuna) the person who is not disturbed by such happinesses and distresses and is steady both in happiness and distress is certainly eligible for being liberated.
Anyone who is steady in his determination for the advanced stage of spiritual realization and can equally tolerate the onslaughts of distresses and hapinesses is certainly the person eligible for liberation. In the institution of varnasram system, the fourth stage of life, namely the renounced order of life, is a much painstaking situation. But one who is serious about making life perfect surely adopts the sannyasa order of life in spite of all difficulties. The difficulties do not arise from his living conditions. But the difficulties are to cut off family relationship, to give up the connection of wife and children. But if any one is able to tolerate such difficulties surely his path to spiritual realization is complete. Therefore in the discharge of duties by Arjuna as a ksatriya, he is advised to tolerate even there is some difficulty in the matter of fighting with his family members or similarly affectionate persons. Lord Caitanya took sannyasa at the age of twenty four and His dependents, young wife as well as old mother, had no body else to look after them. Yet for a higher cause, He took sannyass and was steady in the discharge of higher duties. That is the way of achieving liberation from material bondage.
By thoroughly studying the nature of both, persons who are seers of the truth have concluded that there is no endurance of the nonexistent (material body) and that there is no change of the eternal soul.
There is no endurance of the changing body. That the body is changing every moment by actions and reactions of different corpuscles is admitted by modern medical science and thus growth and old age of the body are taking place. But the spirit soul is permanently existing, identical to itself in all changing circumstances of the body or the mind. That is the difference between matter and spirit. By nature, the body is ever-changing and the soul is eternal. This conclusion is established by all classes of seers of the truth, either the impersonalist or the personalist. In the Visnu Purana also, 2.12.38, this truth has been established. It is stated there that Visnu and His abodes are all self-illuminated spiritual existence. “Jyotimsi visnur bhavanani / bhuvanani visnuh” The words existent and non-existent do refer to the spirit and matter always. That is the version of all seers of truth.
This is the beginning of the instruction by the Lord to the living entities, who are bewildered by the influence of ignorance. Removal of this ignorance means re-establishment of the eternal relationship between the worshiper and the worshipable or the difference between the part and parcel living entities and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One can understand the nature of the Supreme by a thorough study of oneself and the difference is understood as the difference between the part and the whole. In the Vedanta Sutras as well as in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the Supreme has been accepted as the origin of all emanations. Such emanations are experienced by superior and inferior natural sequences. The living entities belong to the superior nature, as it will be revealed in the seventh chapter. Although there is no difference between the energy and energetic, the energetic is accepted as the supreme and nature is accepted as the subordinate. The relationship of the living entities, therefore, is always subordinate to the Supreme Lord, as the master and the servant or the teacher and the taught. Such clear knowledge is impossible to understand under the spell of ignorance and to drive away such ignorance of the living entity, the Lord instructs the Bhagavad-gita for the enlightenment of all living entities for all time.
What is spread all over the body is to be known as indestructible. As such nobody is able to destroy that indestructible soul.
This verse is explaining more clearly the real nature of the soul, which is spread all over the body. Anyone can understand what is spread all over the body: it is consciousness. Everyone is conscious of the pains and pleasure of the body in part or as a whole. This spreading of consciousness is limited within one’s own body. The pains and pleasures of one body are unknown to another. Therefore, each and everybody is the embodiment of the individual soul and the symptoms of the soul’s presence is perceived by individual consciousness. This soul is described as one ten-thousandth part of the upper portion of the hair point. The Shvetasvatara Upanisad, 5.9, confirms this as follows:
balagra-sata-bhagasysa shatadha kalpitasya ca
bagho jivah sa vijneyah sa canantyaya kalpate
“When the upper point of a hair is divided into one hundred parts and again each such part is divided into further one hundred parts, such one part is the measurement of the dimension of the spirit soul.” Similarly in the Bhagavatam also the same version is stated as follows:
kesagra-sata-bhagasya shatamshah sadrishatmakah
jivah sukshma-svarupo’yam sankhyatito hi cit-kanah
“There are innumerable particles of spiritual atoms, which are measured as one ten-thousandth part of the upper portion of hair.”
Therefore the individual particle of spirit soul is a spiritual atom smaller than the material atoms and such atoms are counted as innumerable. This small or very small spiritual spark is the basic principle of the material body and the influence of such spiritual spark is spread all over the body as the influence of the active principle of some medicine does spread all over the body. This current of the spirit soul is felt all over the body as consciousness and that is the proof of the presence of the soul. Any layman can understand that the material body minus consciousness is a dead body. And this consciousness of the body cannot be returned by any means of material administration. Therefore consciousness is not due to any amount of material combination but it is due to the spirit soul.
In the Mundaka Upanisad, 3.1.9, this measurement of the atomic spirit soul is further explained as follows:
Eso’ nur atma cetasa veditavyo
yasmin pranah pancadha samvivesha
pranaish cittam sarvam otam prajanam
yasmin vishuddhe vibhavaty esa atma
“The soul is atomically small and this can be perceived by perfect intelligence. This atomic soul is floating in the five kinds of air (prana, apana, vyana, samana and udana) and is placed within the heart, spreading its influence all over the body of the embodied living entities. When such soul is purified from such contamination of five kinds of material airs, at that time the spiritual influence of the soul is exhibited.”
The hatha yoga system is meant for controlling the five kinds of air encircling the pure soul by different kinds of sitting postures – not for any material profit– but for the liberation of the minute soul from the entanglement of the material atmosphere.
So the constitution of the atomic soul is admitted in all Vedic literatures and it is actually felt also by the practical experience of any sane man. Only the insane man can think of the atomic soul as all-pervading Vishnu Tattva. The influence of the atomic soul can be spread all over the particular body. According to Mundaka Upanisad, this atomic soul is situated in the heart of every living entity, and because the measurement of the atomic soul is beyond the power of appreciation of the material scientist some of them assert very foolishly that there is no soul or something like that. The individual atomic soul is definitely there in the heart as well as the Supersoul, and thus all energies of the bodily movement are emanating from this part of the body. The corpuscles which carry the oxygen from the lungs are the energy of the soul and when the soul passes away from the position there is no more any blood generation fusion activity. Medical science accepts the importance of the red corpuscles but it cannot ascertain the soul as the source of the energy. Medical science however admits that the heart is the seat of all energies of bodily physiology.
Such atomic particles of the spirit whole are compared to the sunshine molecules. In the sunshine, there are innumerable radiant molecules and similarly, the fragmental parts of the Supreme Lord are atomic sparks of the rays of the Supreme Lord called by the name “prabha” or superior energy. So either by Vedic knowledge or by modern science nobody can deny the existence of the spirit soul in the body and the science of such spiritual existence is directly described in the Bhagavad-gita by the Personality of Godhead Himself.
The material body of the indestructible, immeasurable and eternal living entity is sure to come to an end. Therefore fight, oh descendant of Bharata.
The material body is perishable by nature. It may perish immediately or may do so after a hundred years. It is a question of time only. There is no chance to keep it indefinitely. But the living entity is so minute that it cannot even be seen by the enemy, to say nothing of being killed. As mentioned in the previous verse, it is so small that nobody can have any idea how to measure its dimension. So from both sides, there is no cause of lamentation because neither can the living entity, as he is, be killed nor can the material body, which cannot be saved for any length of time, be permanently protected. The small minute particle of the whole spirit acquires this material body according to his work and thus it is observance of religious principles that can be utilized only. In the Vedanta-sutras the living entity is qualified as light because he is part and parcel of the Supreme Light. As the sunlight maintains the entire universe similarly the light of the soul maintains this material body. As soon as the spirit soul is out of this material body, the body begins to decompose and thus it is the spirit soul that maintains this body. The body is therefore immaterial and Arjuna was thus advised to fight without sacrificing the cause of religiosity for the sake of material, bodily considerations.
Anyone who thinks that the living entity kills somebody or a living entity is being killed by others, does not know anything. One who is in knowledge, knows that nobody kills nobody and nobody is killed by nobody.
When an embodied living entity is hurt by fatal weapons, it is to be known that the living entity within the body is not killed. Because the spirit soul is so small, it is impossible to kill him by any material weapon, as it will be evident from the following verses. Neither is the living entity killable on account of his spiritual constitution. What is killed or supposed to be killed is the body only. This, however, does not at all encourage killing of the body. The Vedic injunction is” mahimsyat sarva bhutani”: never commit violence to anybody. To understand that a living entity is not killed does not mean encouraging animal slaughter. Even killing of the body of anyone without authority is abominable and punishable by the law of the state, as well as by the law of the Lord. Arjuna however is being engaged in the matter of killing on principle of religiosity and not whimsically.
For the soul there is neither birth nor death at any time. Neither does he come into being, will come into being or has come into being. He is unborn, eternal, ever existing and never dies even after the annihilation of body.
Qualitatively the small atomic fragmental part of the Supreme Spirit is one with the Supreme. He has no changes like the body. Sometimes the soul is called the steady, or kutastha. The body has six kinds of transformations. It takes its birth from the womb of the mother’s body, remains for some time, takes its growth, produces some effects, gradually dwindles and at last vanishes into oblivion. The soul however, does not go through such changes of the body. The soul is not born but because he takes shelter of the material body, the body takes its birth on account of the soul. The soul does not take birth. The soul does not die. Anything which has birth has also death. And because the soul has no birth, therefore he has no past, present or future. He is eternal and ever existing. Although the oldest, there is no trace in history of his coming into being. Under the impression of the body, we seek the history of birth etc.. of the soul. Denial of his future means the soul does not at any time become old, as the body is deemed to become. The so-called old man feels in the same spirit as he felt in his childhood or youth. The changes of the body do not affect the soul. Neither has the soul any deterioration like the tree or anything material. The soul has no by-products either. The by-products of the body namely the children are also different individual souls and they appear as children of a particular man on account of the body. The body develops on account of the soul’s presence, but the soul has neither offshoots nor any change. Therefore the soul is free from the six kinds of changes of the body.
In the Katha Upanisad, 1.2.18, we find also a similar passage, which reads as follows:
Na jayate mriyate va vipashcin
nayam kutashcin na babhuva kashcit
ajo nityah shasvato’yam purano
na hanyate hanyamane sharire
The meaning and purport of this verse is the same as in the Bhagavad-gita. But here in this verse there is one special word, “vipashcit”, which means learned or with knowledge.
The soul is full of knowledge or always full with consciousness. Therefore consciousness is the symptom of the soul. Even if one does not find the soul within the heart, where he is situated, we can still understand the presence of the soul simply by the presence of consciousness. As the light of the sun is present, we are convinced that it is now day time. As soon as there is a little light in the sky early in the morning. we can understand the presence of the sun in the sky. Similarly as there is a little consciousness in any sort of body, never mind man or animals, we can understand the presence of the soul. This consciousness of the soul is however different from the consciousness of the Supreme, because the supreme consciousness is all knowledge, past, present and future. Consciousness of the individual soul is prone to be forgetful. When he is forgetful of his real nature, he obtains education and enlightenment by superior lessons of Krsna. But Krsna is not like the forgetful soul, otherwise Krsna’s teaching of Bhagavad-gita becomes useless. Therefore there are two kinds of souls- namely the minute particle soul (anu-atma) and the Super Soul (the vibhu-atma). This is also confirmed in the Katha Upanihsad, 1.2.20, in the following manner:
Anor aniyan mahato mahiyan
atmasya jantor nihito guhayam
tam akratuh pasyati vita-shoko
dhatuh prasadam mahimanam atmanah
“Both the Supersoul (paramatma) and the atomic soul (jivatma) are situated on the same tree of the body, within the same heart of the living being and one who has become free from all material desires as well as lamentations, only he, by the grace of the Supreme, can understand the glories of the soul.”
Therefore Krsna is the fountainhead of the Supersoul also, as it will be disclosed in the following chapters. Arjuna is the atomic soul forgetful of his real nature. Thus he requires to be enlightened by Krsna or by His bonafide representative (the spiritual master) for enlightenment of the atomic soul.
Oh Partha, how can a person who knows that the soul is indestructible, eternal, unborn and immutable kill anyone or cause anyone to kill?
Everything has its proper utility, and a man who is situated in complete knowledge knows how and where to apply a thing for its proper utility. Similarly, violence has also its utility and how to apply violence depends on the person in knowledge. Although the justice of the peace awards capital punishment to a person condemned for murder, the justice of the peace cannot be blamed because he orders violence to another person according to the codes of justice. In Manu-samhita, the law book for mankind, it is supported that a murderer should be condemned to death so that in his next life he will not have to suffer for the great sin he has committed. Therefore the king’s punishment to hang a murderer is beneficial for him and does not represent violence to him. Similarly when Krsna orders fighting, it must be concluded that such violence is for supreme justice and as such Arjuna should follow the instruction knowing it well that such violence committed in the act of fighting for justice is not violence at all because, at any rate, the man or the soul is not going to be killed. But for the administration of justice, so-called violence is permitted. A surgical operation is not meant to kill the patient, but it is meant for his cure. Therefore the instigation of fighting to be executed by Arjuna in terms of the instruction of Krsna, is with full knowledge and there is no possibility of sinful reaction for Krsna or Arjuna in such activities.
As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, similarly the soul accepts other new material bodies giving up the present old and useless bodies.
Change of body by the atomic individual soul is an accepted fact. Even the modern scientists who do not believe in the existence of the soul, but at the same time cannot explain the source of energy from the heart, have to accept continuous changes of body which appear as body change from childhood to boyhood and from boyhood to youth and again from youth to old age. And from old age the change is transferred to another body. This is already explained in a previous verse. (2.13)
Transference of the atomic individual soul to another body is also made possible by the grace of the Supersoul. The Supersoul fulfils the desire of the atomic soul as one friend fulfils the desire of another. The Vedas like the Mundaka Upanishad, as well as the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, confirm the existence of two kinds of souls by comparing them as two friendly birds sitting on the same tree. One of the bird (the individual atomic soul) is eating the fruits of the tree and the other bird is simply watching His friend. These two birds are one in quality as birds, but still one bird is captivated by the fruits of the material tree, whereas the other is simply a witness of the activities of His friend. Krsna is the witnessing bird and Arjuna is the eating bird. Although they are friends still one is the master and the other is the servant. Forgetfulness of this relationship causes the atomic soul to change his position from one tree to another or from one body to another. The jiva soul struggles very hard on the tree of the material body. But as soon as the subordinate bird agrees to accept the other bird as the Supreme Spiritual Master,-as Arjuna has agreed by voluntary surrender unto Krsna for instruction- then at once the subordinate bird becomes free from all lamentations. Both the Katha Upanishad and Shvetashvatara Upanisad confirm this statement as follows:
Samane vrikse puruso nimagno
‘nishaya shocati muhyamanah
justam yada pashyati anyam isham
asya mahimanam iti vita-shokah
“Although the two birds are on the same tree, the eating bird is fully engrossed with anxiety and moroseness as the enjoyer of the fruits of the tree. But if some way or other he turns his face towards his friend Who is the Lord and knows His glories, at once the suffering bird become free from all anxieties.”
Arjuna has now turned his face towards his eternal friend Krsna and is understanding the Bhagavad-gita from him. And thus hearing from Krsna, he would understand the supreme glories of the Lord and would be free from lamentation.
Arjuna is advised herewith by the Lord not to lament for the bodily change of his old grandfather and teacher. He should rather be happy to kill them in the righteous fight so that at once they may be cleansed of all reactions of different bodily actions. A living entity who lays down his life on the sacrificial altar or on the proper battlefield is at once cleansed of his bodily actions and promoted to a higher status of life. So for Arjuna, there was no cause of lamentation.
The soul can never be cut into pieces by any kind of weapon, neither burnt by fire, nor moistened by water nor dried up by the wind.
All kinds of weapons namely the swords, flames of fire weapon, raining weapon, tornado weapons etc… all of them are unable to kill the spirit soul. It appears that there were many kinds of weapons made of earth, water, fire, air, ether etc.. as against the modern weapons of fire only. Even the nuclear weapons of the modern age belong to the fire group weapons. But formerly there were other weapons made of all different types of material elements. The fire arms were counteracted by water weapons, which are unknown to modern science. Neither do they have knowledge of the tornado weapons. Anyway, the soul is never to be cut into pieces nor annihilated by any number of weapons, regardless of their nature. The Mayavadi however cannot answer how the individual soul came into existence simply by ignorance and thus became covered by the illusory energy. It was never possible to cut the individual souls from the original Supreme Soul, but they are eternally separated parts and parcels of the Supreme Soul. And because they are atomic individual souls always and eternally (sanatana), they are prone to be covered by the illusory energy. Thus they become separated from the association of the Supreme Lord, as the sparks of the fire, although one in quality with the fire, are still prone to be extinguished out of the fire. In the Varaha Purana the living entites are described as separated parts and parcels of the Supreme. They are eternally so, even according to the Bhagavad-gita. So even after being liberated from illusion, the living entity remains a separate identity as is evident from the teachings of the Lord to Arjuna. Arjuna became liberated by the knowledge received from Krsna, but he never became one with Krsna, as it is contemplated by persons with a poor fund of knowledge.
This individual soul is unbreakable, cannot be burnt, insoluble, cannot be dried up, everlasting, present everywhere, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same.
All these qualifications of the atomic soul definitely prove that the individual soul is eternally the atomic particle of the spirit whole and he remains the same atomic size eternally, without change. The theory of monism is very difficult to apply in this case, because the individual soul is never expected to become one homogeneously. After liberation from material contamination, such atomic soul may prefer to remain as a spiritual spark in the effulgent rays of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But the intelligent class of souls does enter into the spiritual planets to associate with the Personality of Godhead.
The word “sarvagatah” is significant because there is no doubt that living entities are all over God’s creation. There are living entities on the land, in the water, in the air, within the earth and there are living entities even within the fire also. The belief that living entities are sterilized in the fire is not acceptable because it is clearly stated here that the soul cannot be burned by fire. Therefore there is no doubt that there are living entities also in the sun planet with suitable bodies to live there. If the sun globe is without any living entities, then the statement sarvagatah or living everywhere becomes a falsity.
It is said that the soul is invisible, inconceivable, immutable and knowing this as such, you should now give up this lamentation for the body.
As described hereinbefore, the magnitude of the soul is so small to our material calculation that he cannot even be seen by the most powerful microscope and as such he is invisible. So far his existence is concerned, no one can establish his experimental reality beyond the proof of shruti or Vedic wisdom. We have to accept the truth, because there is no other source of understanding the existence of the soul, although it is a fact by perception. There are so many things we have to accept solely on the grounds of superior authority. Nobody can deny the existence of his father on the authority of his mother. There is no other source of understanding the existence of the father except the mother. Similarly, there is no other source of understanding the soul except the Vedas. In other words, he is inconceivable by human experimental knowledge. The soul is consciousness and conscious also. That is the statement of the Vedas and we have to accept that. Unlike the bodily changes, there is no change in the soul. As eternally unchangeable, he remains atomic always in comparison to the infinite Supreme Soul. The Supreme Soul is infinite and the atomic soul is infinitesimal. Because the infinitesimal soul is unchangeable, he can never become equal to the infinite soul or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such things are repeatedly stated in different ways just to confirm the stability of the conception of the soul. Repetition of something is necessary to understand the matter nicely, without error.
If however you think that the life symptoms or the soul are always born and die for good, still you have no reason to lament, oh mighty-armed.
There is always a class of philosophers, almost akin to the Buddhists, who do not believe in the separate existence of the soul beyond the body. When Lord Krsna spoke the Bhagavad-gita, it appears that such philosophers were existing and they were known as the Lokayatikas and Vaibhasikas. Such philosophers say that life symptoms take place at a certain mature condition of material combination. Material scientists also think almost like that. According to them, the body is a combination of physical elements and at a certain stage, the life symptoms develop by the interaction of the physical and chemical combinations. The science of anthropology is based on this philosophy.(…)
If Arjuna did not believe in the existence of the soul – as in the Vaibhasika philosophy -even then there was no cause for lamentation. Nobody laments the loss of a certain bulk of chemicals and stops discharging one’s prescribed duties. On the other hand, in modern science and scientific warfare, so many tons of chemicals are wasted for achieving victory over the enemy. According to the Vaibhasika philosophy, the so-called soul or atma also vanishes along with the deterioration of the body. So in either case, whether Arjuna accepted the Vedic conclusion that there is an atomic soul or he did not believe in such existence of the soul, he had no reason to lament. According to this theory, there are so many living entities generating out of matter every moment and so many of them are being vanquished every moment and there is no need of being aggrieved by such incidences. On the contrary in the absence of rebirth of the soul, Arjuna had no reason to be afraid of being affected with sinful activities on account of killing his grandfather and teacher. But at the same time, Krsna sarcastically addressed Arjuna as maha-bahu, because He did not, at the least, believe in the theory of the Vaibhasikas, leaving aside the Vedic wisdom. As a kshatriya, Arjuna belonged to the Vedic culture and it behooved him to continue to follow its principles.
One who has taken his birth is sure to die and after death, one is sure to take his birth again. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of duty, you do not deserve to lament.
According to logicians, one has to take his birth according to one’s activities of life. And after finishing one term of activities, one has to die to take birth for the next. In this way, the cycle of birth and death is going on, one after another, without any liberation. This cycle of birth and death does not, however, unnecessarily support murder, slaughter and war. But at the same time, violence and war are inevitable factors in human society for keeping up law and order. The battle of Kuruksetra was an inevitable factor and to fight for the right cause is the duty of a ksatriya. And why should Arjuna be afraid of or aggrieved at the death of his relatives in the matter of his discharge of proper duty? He did not deserve to break the law and thus become subjected to the reaction of sinful acts of which he was so much afraid. By renouncing the discharge of his proper duty, he would not be able to stop the death of his relatives, but he would be degraded on account of selecting the wrong path of action.
All created beings were non-manifested in the beginning; and only in the interim stage are they manifested. And when vanquished, they become non-manifested again. So what need is there for lamentation?
Accepting that there are two classes of philosophers- one believing in the existence of the soul and the other not believing in the existence of the soul, there is no cause for lamentation in either case. Although non-believers in the existence of the soul are called atheists by the followers of Vedic wisdom, yet if we accept the theory even for argument’s sake, there is still no cause for lamentation. Apart from the separate existence of the soul, the material elements remain non-manifested before creation. From the subtle state of non-manifestation comes manifestation, just as from ether, air is generated; from air, fire is generated and from fire, water is generated. And from water, earth becomes manifested. And from the earth so many varieties of manifestations take place. Take for example a big skyscraper manifested from earth. When it is dismantled the earthly manifestation again becomes non-manifested and remains as atoms in the ultimate stage. The law of conservation of energy remains, but in course of time things are manifested and non-manifested-that is the difference. Then what cause is there for lamentation either in the stage of manifestation or non-manifestation? Somehow or other, even in the non-manifested stage, things are not lost. Both in the beginning and at the end all elements remain non-manifested, but only in the middle are they manifested-which does not make any material difference.
And if we accept the Vedic conclusion as stated in the Bhagavad-gita that these material bodies are perishable in due course of time (antavanta ime dehah), but that the soul is eternal (nityasyoktah sharirinah), then we must remember always that the body is like a dress. And why lament the changing of a dress? The material body has no factual existence in relation to the eternal soul. It is something like a dream in ignorance. In a dream, we may think of flying in the sky or be seated on a chariot as a king, but when we wake up, we can see that we are neither in the sky nor seated on a chariot. The Vedic wisdom offers further realisation of the self on the basis of the non-existence of the material body. Therefore in either case, whether one believes in the existence of the soul or one does not believe in the existence of the soul, there is no cause for lamentation for the loss of the body.
Somebody sees the soul as amazing, somebody describes him as amazing and somebody hears about him as amazing, while others, even after hearing about him so much, cannot understand him at all.
Gitopanishad being fully based on the principles of the Upanishads, it is not at all surprising that in the Katha Upanishad an exactly parallel passage appears as follows:
Shravanayapi bahubhir yo na labhyah
Srinvanto’pi bahavo yam na vidhyuh
ashcaryo vakta kusalo’sya labdha
ashcaryo’sya jnata kusalanushishtah
This sense of realization of the atomic soul present within the body of a gigantic animal, as well as in the body of a gigantic banyan tree and the same small atomic soul being also present in the microbic germs of which millions and billions in number can be accommodated in an inch of space, is certainly very much amazing for the common man. Men with a poor fund of knowledge, in the absence of sufficient penance and austerity, cannot understand this amazing story of the individual soul, atomic spark of spirit, even though it is explained by the greatest authority of knowledge who imparted knowledge even to Brahma the first living being in the universe. In the gross material conception of things, one cannot imagine how such a small particle can become so great and so small and they look at the soul proper as wonderful either by constitution or by description. Illusioned by the material energy, people are so much engrossed with subject matters for sense gratification that they have very little time to understand the question of self-understanding. Although it is a fact that without this self-understanding all activities are meant for one’s defeat in the struggle for existence. Perhaps they have no idea that one has to think of the soul and thus one has to make a solution to all material miseries.
Some of them are inclined to hear about the soul and may be attending lectures in some good association, but due to poor fund of knowledge, they are sometimes misguided by acceptance of the Supersoul and the atomic soul as one without any distinction of magnitude. Therefore it is very difficult to find out a man who understands perfectly the position of the soul proper: the Supersoul, the atomic soul, their respective functions and relationship and all other major and minor details. And it is still more difficult to find out a man who had actually derived the full benefit of the knowledge of the soul and thus is able to describe such position of the soul in different aspects. But if somehow or other somebody is able to understand the subject matter of the soul, then everything in his life is successful.
The easiest process of understanding the subject matter of the self, however, is to accept the statements of the Bhagavad-gita by the greatest authority, Lord Krishna, without being deviated by so many other theories on the subject matter. But that also requires a great deal of penance and sacrifices, either in this life or in the previous lives and thus one is able to accept Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krsna can however be known as such by the causeless mercy of the pure devotee of Krsna and by no other way.
Oh descendant of Bharata, the owner of the body is always unfit for being in all bodies and as such you need not lament for any living entity.
The Lord now concludes the chapter of instruction on the immutable spirit soul. Beginning from “ashocyan anvashocas tvam” up to “dehi nityam avadhyo”, He has described the immortal soul in various ways. And at every step He has tried to establish that the soul is immortal, but that the body is temporary. Therefore Arjuna as a ksatriya should not have deviated from his duty out of fear that his grandfather or teacher like Bhima and Drona would die in the battle. On the authority of Sri Krsna one has to believe therefore that there is a soul different from the material body and one should not believe that there is no such thing as soul, but that the living symptoms develop at a certain stage of material maturity as interaction of chemicals. The fact that the soul is immortal, does not encourage violence. But at the same time war is not discouraged when there is an actual need for it. That need must be justified in terms of the sanction of the Lord and not capriciously.
Considering your specific duty as a ksatriya, you should know that there is no better engagement for you than fighting on religious principles. And as such there is no cause for hesitation.
Out of the four orders of social administration, for the matter of good administration, the second order is called the ksatriya order. Ksat means hurt. One who gives protection from hurt is called ksatriya (trayate= to give protection). The ksatriyas are trained to kill in the forest. A ksatriya would go into the forest, challenge a tiger face to face and fight with the tiger hand to hand with sword and when the tiger is killed it would be offered the royal order of cremation. This system was being followed even up to the present day by the ksatriya kings of the Jaipur state. The ksatriyas are specially trained for such challenge and killing art, because religious violence is a necessary factor for the upkeep of the society. Therefore ksatriyas are never meant for accepting directly the order of sannyasa or renunciation. Non-violence in politics may be a diplomacy, but is never a factor or principle. In the religious law books it is stated as follows:
ahavesu mitho ‘nyonyam jighamsanto mahi-ksitah
yuddhamanah param shaktya svargam yanty aparan-mukhah
yajneshu pashavo brahman hanyante satatam dvijaih
samskritah kila mantraish ca te ‘pi svargam avapnuvan
“In the battlefield, a king or ksatriya, while fighting another king envious of him, is eligible for achieving the heavenly planets after death. Just as the Brahmins also attain the heavenly planets by sacrificing animals in the sacrificial fire.” Therefore killing on the battlefield on religious principles or killing animals in the sacrificial fire are not at all violence, because every one of them are benefitted by such religious principles. The animal sacrificed immediately gets a human life without undergoing the gradual evolutionary process from one form to another. And the ksatriyas killed on the battlefield also attains the heavenly planets, as much as the Brahmins attain the heavenly planets by offering sacrifice. There are two kinds of sva-dharmas or specific duties. As long as one is not liberated, one has to perform the specific duties of his particular body in terms of religious principles, just to achieve the status of liberation. When one is liberated one’s sva-dharma–specific duty–becomes spiritual and is not in the material bodily conception. In the bodily conception of life, there are specific duties for the brahmins and ksatriyas respectively and such duties are unavoidable. Such sva-dharma is ordained by the Lord, as it will be clear in the fourth chapter. Such sva-dharma or religious principles on the plane of the body are called the varnasram-dharma or the stepping stone for the human being towards spiritual understanding. Human civilization begins from the stage of varnashram-dharma or specific duties in terms of specific mode of nature of the body obtained. To discharge one’s specific duty in any field of action and as ordered by higher authority is the opportunity for being elevated to a higher status of life.
Oh Partha, ksatriyas who attain such fighting opportunities of their own accord are very happy indeed, because for them the doors of the heavenly planets become wide open.
As supreme teacher of the world, Lord Krsna condemns the attitude of Arjuna, when he said: “I do not find any good in this fighting. It will cause perpetual habitation in hell.” Such statements of Arjuna were due to his ignorance only. He wanted to become nonviolent in the discharge of his specific duty. To be on the battlefield and to become non violent is the philosophy of fools. In the Parasara-smrti or religious codes made by Parasara, the great sage and father of Vyasadeva it is stated:
Ksatriya hi praja raksan shastra-panih pradandayan
nirjitya para-sainyadi ksitim dharmena palayet
“A ksatriya’s duty is to protect the citizens from all kinds of difficulties and for that reason he has to apply violence in suitable cases in the matter of law and order. As such, he has to conquer over the soldiers of the inimical kings and thus by following religious principles, he should rule over the world.”
So from all points of view, Arjuna had no reason to refrain from fighting. If he should conquer the enemies, he would enjoy the kingdom; and if he would die in the battle he would be elevated to the heavenly planets of which the doors were wide open for him. So in either way, the fighting option was for his benefit.
If therefore, you do not undergo this religious performance of ksatriya fighting, then certainly you will incur sinful reactions for neglecting your duties and thus lose all your reputation as a fighter.
Arjuna was a famous fighter and he obtained certificates by fighting with many great demigods including even Lord Shiva. After fighting and defeating Lord Shiva in the dress of hunter, Arjuna pleased the Lord and received a reward from him in the form of a weapon called pasupata astra. Everyone knew that he was a great warrior. Even Dronacarya gave him benedictions and awarded him the special weapon by which he could kill even his teacher. So he was credited with so many military certificates from many authorities, including his adopted father Indra, the heavenly king. If therefore he were to give up the battle, he would not only neglect his specific duty as a ksatriya, but he would lose all his fame and good name and thus prepare his royal road to hell. In other words, he would go to hell not by fighting, but by withdrawing from battle.
People in general will always advertise your infamy and for a respectable person ill fame is worse than death.
Both as friend and philosopher to Arjuna, Lord Krsna now gives His final judgement in the matter of Arjuna’s declining to fight. The Lord says: “Arjuna, if you leave the battlefield all people in general will call you a coward for fleeing the battlefield before the battle was even initiated. And if you think that people may call you by bad names but you will save your life by fleeing the battlefield, then my advice is that you better die in the battle. Because for a respectable man like you, ill fame is worse than death. So you may not flee for fear of your life. Better die in the battle! That will save you from the ill fame of misusing my friendship and your prestige in society.”
So the final judgement of the Lord on Arjuna was to die in the battle and not go away.
The great generals who have had very great estimation for your name and fame will consider that have left the battlefield out of fear only and thus they will not care a fig about you.
Lord Krsna continued to deliver His verdict on Arjuna: “Do not think that the great generals like Duryodhana, Karna, and other contemporaries will think that you have left the battlefield out of compassion for your brothers and grandfather. They will think that have gone away out of fear for your life. And thus the high estimation of your personality will go to hell.”
While vilifying your ability, your enemies will describe you in so many uncanny words. And what could be the cause of a more painful situation for you?
In the beginning, Lord Krishna was astonished on Arjuna’s uncalled-for compassion. And He described his compassion as befitting the non-Aryans. Now by so many words, He proved His statements against Arjuna’s so-called compassion.
Oh son of Kunti, either you will be killed on the battlefield and achieve the heavenly planets, or you will conquer and enjoy the earthly kingdom. Therefore, please get up with determination and fight.
Even though there was no certainty of victory on the side of Arjuna, still he had to fight and thus be elevated into the heavenly planet, if killed.
Do thou fight for the sake of fighting without any consideration of happinesss or distress, loss or gain, victory or defeat and by doing so, you shall never be entangled in sinful reaction.
Lord Krsna now directly says that Arjuna should fight for the sake of fighting because Krsna desires the fighting. There is no consideration of happiness or distress, profit or gain, and victory or defeat in the activities of Krsna consciousness. That everything should be performed for the sake of Krsna is transcendental consciousness and there is no reaction of material activities. Anyone who acts for his sense gratification, either in goodness or in passion, is liable for the reaction-good or bad. Any one who has completely surrendered himself in the activities of Krsna consciousness is no longer obliged to anyone, neither he is a debtor to anyone, as one is in the ordinary course of activities. It is said like this:
na kinkaro nayam rini ca rajan
sarvatmana yah sharanam sharanyam
gato mukundam parihritya kartam
“Anyone who has completely surrendered unto Krsna, Mukunda, giving up all other duties, is no longer a debtor or obliged to any one, either the demigods, the sages, people in general, kinsmen, humanity or the forefathers.” That is the indirect hint given by Krsna to Arjuna in the verse and the matter will be more clearly explained in the following verses.
So far I have described this knowledge to you through analytical study. Now listen as I explain the same in terms of working without fruitive results. Oh son of Pritha, when you work with such understanding, without fruitive results, then you can get yourself released from the reaction of work.
According to the Niruktih or Vedic dictionary, sankhya means that which describes things in detail. And yoga means controlling the senses. Arjuna’s proposal not to fight was based on sense gratification. Forgetting his prime duty, he wanted to refrain from fighting on account of his sense gratification. He thought that by not killing his relatives and kinsmen, he would be happier than by conquering his cousin brothers, the sons of Dhrtarastra and enjoying the kingdom. In both ways the basic principles were sense gratification. Happiness derived from conquering them and happiness derived by seeing his kinsmen alive are both on the basis of personal sense gratification, even at the sacrifice of wisdom and duty. Krsna, therefore, wanted to explain before Arjuna that by killing the body of his grandfather he would not be killing the soul proper. He further tried to explain that all individual persons, including the Lord Himself, all are eternal individuals. They were such individuals in the past, they are individuals in the present and they will continue to remain individuals in the future, because all of us are individual souls eternally and we simply change our dress of the body in different manners. But actually, we keep our individuality even after liberation from the bondage of the material dress. Such an analytical study of the soul and the body has been very descriptively explained by Lord Krsna to Arjuna. And this descriptive knowledge about the soul and the body from different angles of vision has been described here as Sankhya in terms of the Nirukti dictionary. This Sankhya has nothing to do with the Sankhya philosophy of the atheist Kapila. Long before the imitation of Kapila’s Sankhya, such Sankhya philosophy was explained by Lord Kapila, the incarnation of Lord Krsna. Lord Kapila explained His Sankya philosophy to His mother Devahuti, in which it is clearly explained that the Purusah or the Supreme Lord is active by looking over the prakriti, which is accepted both in the Vedas as well as in the Bhagavad-gita. This activity of the Lord is described in the Vedas as follows: the Lord glanced over prakriti and thus prakrit became impregnated with the atomic individual souls, all of whom are working in the material world for sense gratification only. And under the spell of the material energy each and every one of them is thinking of becoming the enjoyer. Such enjoying spirit is dragged to the last point of liberation as well, when the living entity wants to become one with the Lord. This mentality of becoming one with the Supreme is the last snare of Maya or sense gratificatory illusion. And after many, many births of such sense gratificatory activities, a great soul surrenders unto Vasudeva, Lord Krsna, and thus one’s search for the ultimate truth is fulfilled.
Arjuna has already accepted Krsna as his spiritual master by surrendering himself unto Him: ”Sisyas te ‘ham shadhi mam tvam prapannam.” As such, Krsna will now tell him about the working process in buddhi-yoga, or karma-yoga, or in other words in devotional service only for the sense gratification of the Lord. This buddhi-yoga is clearly explained in chapter ten, verse ten. This buddhi-yoga is direct communion with the Lord, Who is sitting as Paramatma in everyone’s heart. But such communion does not take place without being conducted through devotional service. One who is therefore situated in devotional or transcendental loving service of the Lord, or in other words in Krsna consciousness, attains to such stage of buddhi-yoga by the special grace of the Lord. The Lord says therefore that those who are always engaged in devotional service out of transcendental love, to them only the Lord awards pure knowledge of devotion in love, and in that way the devotee can reach Him easily in the spiritual, ever blissful, kingdom of God.
Thus the word “buddhi yoga” mentioned here in this verse is devotional service of the Lord and the word sankhya mentioned herein, has nothing to do with the atheistic sankhya yoga, enunciated by the imitation Kapila. One should not therefore misunderstand that the sankhya-yoga mentioned herein has any reference with the atheistic sankhya. Neither did this philosophy have any influence during that time, nor did Krsna have any business to mention such godless philosophical speculations. Real sankhya philosophy is described by Lord Kapila in the Srimad Bhagavatam, but even that sankhya has nothing to do with the current topics. Here sankhya means analytical description of the body and the soul. Lord Krsna made an analytical study of the constitution of the soul just to bring Arjuna to the point of bhuddhi yoga or bhakti-yoga. Therefore, Lord Krsna’s sankhya or Lord Kapila’s samkhya, as described in the Bhagavatam are one and the same. They are all bhakti-yoga. He said therefore that only the less intelligent class of men make a distinction between sankhya-yoga and bhakti-yoga. “sankhya-yogau prithag balah pravadanti na panditah.” Of course, atheistic sankhya-yoga has nothing to do with bhakti-yoga. Yet the less intelligent class of men claim that the atheistic sankhya-yoga is referred to in the Bhagavad-gita. The atheistic sankhya has nothing to do with Bhagavad-gita.
One should, therefore, understand that buddhi-yoga means to work in Krsna consciousness in full bliss and knowledge of devotional service. One who works for the satisfaction of the Lord only, however difficult such work may be, is working under the principles of buddhi-yoga and finds himself always in transcendental bliss. By such transcendental engagement one achieves all transcendental understanding (???) automatically by the grace of the Lord, and thus his liberation is complete in itself without any extraneous endeavours for acquiring knowledge. There is much difference between work in Krsna consciousness and work for fruitive results in the matter of sense gratification for achieving results in terms of family or material happiness. Buddhi-yoga is therefore the transcendental quality of the work that we may perform.
In such endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement in this path can protect one from a dangerous type of fearfulness.
Activities in Krsna consciousness, or acting for the benefit of Krsna without any expectation of sense gratification is the highest transcendental quality of work. Even a small beginning of such activity has no impediments, neither will that small beginning be lost at any stage. Any work begun in the material plane has to be done nicely till the end, otherwise the whole attempt becomes a failure. But any work begun in Krsna consciousness shall have a permanent effect, even though not finished. The performer of such work in Krsna consciousness is therefore not at a loss even if his work in Krsna consciousness is not complete. One percent done in Krsna represents a permanent result, so that next beginning is from the point of two percent, whereas in material activity without a cent per cent success there is no profit. Ajamila performed his duty in some percentage of Krsna consciousness, but by the grace of the Lord, the result he enjoyed at last was cent per cent. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam, 1.5.17, there is a nice verse in this connection, as follows:
tyaktva sva-dharmam caranambujam harer
bhajann apakvo ’tha patet tato yadi
yatra kva vabhadram abhud amusya kim
ko vartha apto ‘bhajatam sva-dharmatah
“If somebody gives up his occupational duties and work in terms of Krsna consciousness and then again falls down on account of not being complete in such activities, still there is no loss on his part. But what is the gain if one performs his material activities very perfectly?” (…)
Material activities and the result of such actions will finish along with the body. But work in Krsna consciousness will carry the person again to Krsna consciousness even after loss of the present body. In the next life, at least one is sure to have a chance of birth in the human society, either in the family of great cultured brahmin or in rich aristocratic family giving the same soul further chance for elevation. That is the unique quality of work done in Krsna consciousness.
Persons who are in Krsna consciousness are resolute in their purpose and their aim is one. Oh beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are not in Krsna consciousness is many-branched.
A strong faith in Krishna consciousness that one will thereby be elevated to the highest perfection of life is called vyavasayatmika intelligence. There is a nice verse in the Caitanya Caritamrita (Madhya 22.62) in which it is stated:
sraddha-shabde– vishvasa kahe sudridha nishcaya
krishne bhakti kaile sarva-karma haya
Faith means unflinching trust in something sublime. When one is engaged in duties of Krsna consciousness, he need no longer act in relationship with any obligation of the material world, such as family traditions, humanity, or nationality. Fruitive activites are the engagement of one’s reactions of past good or bad deeds. When one is awake in Krsna consciousness, he need no longer endeavor for good results of his activities. Being situated in Krsna consciousness, all his activities are on the absolute plane and cease to be on the platform of duality of good and bad. The highest perfection of such Krsna consciousness is renunciation of the material conception of life and this state of life is automatically achieved by progressive Krsna consciousness.
The resolute purpose of a person in Krsna consciousness is based on knowledge:” Vasudevahsarvam iti sa mahatma su-durlabhah”. A person in Krsna consciousness is the rare good soul who knows perfectly that Vasudeva or Krsna is the root of all manifested causes. As watering the root of the tree automatically affects the leaves and branches of the tree, similarly by acting in Krsna consciousness one can render the highest service to everyone, namely oneself, family, society, country, humanity, etc. If Krsna is satisfied by one’s actions, then every one will be satisfied without any separate effort.
Service in Krsna consciousness is however practiced under the able guidance of the spiritual master, who is the bona fide representative of Krsna. The bona fide spiritual master knows the nature of the student and thus he can guide the student how to act in Krsna consciousness. As such to be well-versed in Krsna consciousness one has to act firmly under the obedience of the representative of Krsna and one should accept the instruction of the spiritual as one’s mission of life. Srila Viswanath Chakravarty Thakur instructs us in his famous prayers for the spiritual master as follows:
yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado
yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto ‘pi
dhyayan stuvams tasya yasas tri-sandhyam
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam
“By satisfaction of the spiritual master the Supreme Personality of Godhead becomes satisfied. And by not satisfying the spiritual master there is no chance of being promoted to the plane of Krsna consciousness. I should therefore, meditate and pray for his mercy three times a day and let me offer my respectful obeisances unto him, my spiritual master.”
The whole thing, however, depends on perfect knowledge of the soul beyond the conception of the body- not theoretically but practically, when there is no longer a chance of sense gratification manifested in fruitive activities. One who is not fixed in mind is diverted by various branches of fruitive activities.
Text 2.42 & 43
Men with a poor fund of knowledge are very attached to the flowery words of the Vedas, which recommend various fruitive activities for elevation to the heavenly planets, and resultant good birth etc… Being desirous of sense gratification, they say that there is nothing more than this.
People in general are not very intelligent, and due to their poor fund of knowledge they are more attached to the fruitive activities recommended in the karma-kanda portions of the Vedas. They do not want anything more than sense gratificatory proposals for enjoying life in heaven, where wine and women are available and material opulence is very common. In the Vedas many sacrifices are recommended for elevation to the heavenly planets, especially the “Jyotistoma” sacrifices. It is stated that anyone desiring to be elevated to heavenly planets must perform these sacrifices and such men with a poor fund of knowledge think that is the whole purpose of Vedic wisdom. It is very difficult for such inexperienced persons to be situated in the determined action of Krsna consciousness. As fools are attached to the flowers of poisonous trees without knowing the result of such attractions, similarly men with poor fund of knowledge are attracted by such heavenly opulence and the sense enjoyment thereof.
In the karma-kanda section of the Vedas it is said: ”apama somam amrita abhuma aksayyam ha vai caturmasya-yajinah sukritam bhavati” Those who perform the four month penances become eligible to drink the soma-rasa beverages to become immortal and happy for ever. Even on this earth some are very much eager to have soma-rasa to become strong and fit to enjoy sense gratifications. Such persons have no faith in the matter of liberation from the material bondage and they are very much attached to the pompous ceremonies of Vedic sacrifices of different nature. They are generally sensuous and they do not like anything butthe heavenly pleasures of life. It is understood that there are very good gardens called Nandana-kanana and good opportunity for associating with angel-like, beautiful women and profuse supply of soma-rasa wine. Such happiness of the body are certainly sensuous and thus they are purely attached to material temporary happiness as lords of the material world.
In the minds of those who are too much attached to sense enjoyment and material opulence and are bewildered by such things, the resolute determination for devotional service to the Lord does not take place
Samadhi means “fixed mind.” The Vedic dictionary Nirukti says “Samyag adhiyate ‘sminnatma-tattva-yathatmyam” When the mind is fixed for understanding the self, the process is called samadhi. Such samadhi is never possible for such persons interested in the material sense enjoyment and bewildered by such temporary things. They are more or less condemned by the process of the material energy.
The Vedas deal mostly with the subject matter of the three modes of material nature. Oh Arjuna, become transcendental to these three modes of material nature. Be free from all dualities as well as from all anxieties for gain and protection and be established in the self.
All material activities are composed of actions and reactions of the three modes of material nature. They are meant for fruitive results, which cause bondage in the material world. The Vedas deal mostly with such fruitive activities just to gradually raise people in general from the field of sense gratification to a position on the transcendental plane. Arjuna, as a student and friend of Lord Krsna, is advised to raise himself to the transcendental position of Vedanta philosophy, where in the beginning, there is brahma-jijnasa, or questions on the Supreme Transcendence. All living entities in the material world are struggling very hard for existence. For them, the Lord after the creation of the material world, gave the Vedic wisdom advising how to live and get rid of the material entanglement. When the activities for sense gratification, namely the karma-kanda chapters, are finished, then the chance for spiritual realisation is offered in the shape of the Upanisads, which are parts of different Vedas, as the Bhagavad-gita is the part of the fifth Veda namely the Maha-bharata. The Upanisads are thebeginning of transcendental life. But as long as the material body exists,
there are actions and reactions of the material modes and as such one has to learn tolerance in the face of such dualities of happiness and distress or cold and warmth. And by such tolerance of dual actions, one can become free from anxieties regarding gain and loss. This transcendental position is achieved by full Krsna consciousness, fully dependent on the good will of Krsna.
All purposes served by a small well can at once be served by great reservoirs of water. Similarly, all the purposes of the Vedas can be served to the student of the Vedas, who simply knows the purpose behind them.
The rituals and sacrifices mentioned in the karma-kanda division of the Vedic literatures aremeant for gradual development of the sense of self-realisation. The purpose of the study of the Vedas is self-realization. This is clearly disclosed in the fifteenth chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, where it is also clearly stated that the purpose of studying Vedas is to know Lord Krsna, the primeval cause of everything. Therefore self-realization means understanding Krsna and one’s eternal relationship with Krsna. In the fifteenth chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, the relationship of the living entities with Krsna is mentioned as well: that the living entities are parts and parcels of Krsna and therefore revival of Krsna consciousness by the individual living entity is the highest perfectional stage of Vedic knowledge. This is confirmed in the Srimad Bhagavatam, 3.33.8, as follows:
Aho bata shva-paco ‘to gariyan
yaj-jihvagre vartate nama tubhyam
tepus tapas te juhuvuh sasnur arya
brahmanucur nama grnanta ye te
“Oh my Lord, a person who is chanting Your Holy Name, although born in a low family like that of a candala, is situated on the highest platform of self-realisation. Such a person must have performed all kinds of penances and sacrifices as per Vedic rituals and must have studied the Vedic literatures many many times, after taking bath in all the holy places of pilgrimage. Thus such a person is considered to be the best of the Aryan family.”
So one must be intelligent enough to understand the purpose of the Vedas without being attracted to the rituals only, or desiring to be elevated to the heavenly kingdoms for a better quality of sense gratification. Neither is it possible for the common man in this age to follow all the rules and regulations of the Vedic rituals, nor is it possible to study thoroughly all the Vedanta or Upanisads. It requires sufficient time, energy, knowledge and resources for executing the above purposes of the Vedas. The best purpose of Vedic culture is therefore served by chanting the Holy Name of the Lord, as introduced by Lord Caitanya, the deliverer of all fallen souls. When Lord Caitanya was asked by a great Vedic scholar, Prakasananda Sarasvati, why He, the Lord, was chanting the Holy Name of the Lord like a sentimentalist instead of studying the Vedanta philosophy, the Lord replied that His Spiritual Master found Him to be a great fool and thus he asked Him to chant the Holy Name of Lord Krsna. This is what He did and as a direct result He become ecstatic like a madman. The idea is that in this age of Kali the population is mostly foolish, without sufficient education for studying the Vedanta philosophy. Therefore the best purpose of Vedanta philosophy is served by chanting the Holy Name of Lord without any offense. Vedanta is the last word in the Vedic wisdom and the author and knower of the Vedanta philosophy is Lord Krsna. And the highest Vedantist is the great soul who takes pleasure in chanting the holy name of the Lord. This is the summary purpose of all Vedic mysticism.
OT. You have proprietory right in the matter of doing your prescribed duty, but never be thou proprietor of the result. Neither be tou the cause of the result of activities, neither be shy (?) attachment for not doing your duties.
V3. You have a proprietary right in the matter of performing your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the result of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duties.
Here there are three considerations: prescribed duties, capricious work and inaction. Prescribed duties means activities in terms of one’s acquired modes of material nature. Capricious work means actions without the sanction of authority, and inaction means not performing one’s prescribed duties. The Lord advised Arjuna not to be inactive, but that he be active by performing his prescribed duty, without being attached to the result. One who is attached to the result of his work is also the cause of action and thus he is enjoyer or sufferer of the result of such actions.
So far prescribed duties are concerned they can be divided in three subdivisions namely routine work, emergency work and desired activities. Routine work performed as an obligation in terms of the scriptural injunctions, without any desires for results, is action in the mode of goodness. Work with attachment to the results becomes the cause of bondage, and thus such work is not auspicious. Therefore every one has his proprietory right in the matter of prescribed duties, without any desire for the results, and thus such disinterested obligatory duties lead one to the path of liberation without any doubt.
Arjuna was therefore advised by the Lord to fight as a matter of duty without attachment to the results. His nonparticipation in the battle was another side of attachment and therefore such attachment would never lead him to the path of salvation. Any attachment, positive or negative, all are causes for bondage. Inaction is sinful. Therefore fighting as a matter of duty was his only auspicious path for salvation and nothing else.
OT. Do your prescribed duty in equipoised condition. Do (?) such duty without being attached to success or faiure and to remain just in equiposed condition is called Yoga.
V3. Perform your prescribed duty with an equipoised mind. Abandon all attachment to success or failure. Such equanimity is called yoga.
Krsna advises Arjuna to act on the platform of yoga. And what is that yoga? Yoga means to concentrate the mind upon the Supreme by controlling the ever-disturbing senses. And who is the Supreme? The Supreme is the Lord and He himself directs Arjuna to fight. Therefore Arjuna’s personal account has nothing to do with the results of the fight. Gain or victory, that’s Krsna’s concern and Arjuna is advised to act according to the dictation of Krsna. The following of Krsna’s dictation is real yoga and that is the essence of Krsna consciousness. By Krsna consciousness only can one give up the sense of proprietorship. One has to become the servant of Krsna or the servant of the servant of Krsna and that is the right way of discharging duty in Krsna consciousness which alone can help one to act in yoga.
Arjuna is a ksatriya or part of the varnasram-dharma institution. It is said in the Visnu Purana that the whole aim of the varnasram-dharma institution is to satisfy Vishnu. No body has to satisfy himself, as is the rule of the material world. One has to satisfy Krsna. So, without satisfying Krsna no body can observe correctly the principles of varnasram-dharmaa. Indirectly, Arjuna was advised to act as Krsna directed to him.
OT. Oh Dhananjaya, keep all abominable activities to (?) far distant place by dint of devotional service and in such consciousness try to surrender unto Him. Those who want to enjoy fruits of work are misers.
V 3. Oh Dhananjaya, keep all abominable activities far distant by dint of devotional service and in such consciousness try to surrender unto Him. Those who want to enjoy the fruits of work are misers.
One who has actually come to the understanding of one’s constitutional position as eternal servitor of the Lord does give up all other engagements, save and except working in Krsna consciousness. As already explained, buddhi-yoga means transcendental loving service of the Lord. Such devotional service is the right course of action of the living entity. Only misers desire to enjoy the fruits of their own work, just to be entangled in material bondage. Except work in Krsna consciousness, all other activities are abominable because they continually bind the worker to the cycle of birth and death. One should therefore never desire to be the cause of work, but everything should be done in Krsna consciousness or for the satisfaction of Krsna. Misers do not know how to utilize the assets of riches which they may have acquired by good fortune or hard labor. One should spend all energies in the matter of Krsna consciousness and that will make one’s life successful. Like misers, unfortunate persons do not employ their human energy in the service of the Lord.
OT. To act in Krsna consciousness is the serenity (?) of all work and therefore be thou engaged in such devotional service getting rid of all effects of good or bad action.
V 3. To act in Krsna consciousness is the art of all work and therefore be engaged in such devotional service getting rid of all effects of good or bad actions.
Since time immemorial the living entity accumulated various reactions of his good and bad work and as such he is continuously in ignorance and enable to understand his real constitutional position. This ignorance can be removed by the instruction of the Bhagavad-gita, which teaches to surrender unto the Lord Sri Krsna in all respects and thus be liberated from the chained victimization of action and reaction, birth after birth. Arjuna is thus advised to act in such Krsna consciousness, the purifying process of resultant actions.
OT. Thus by being engaged in devotional service of the Lord great sages or devotees are able to get free from the resultant actions of work in the material world and thus become (free) from the cycle of birth and death and go back to Godhead where there is no more any miseries.
V3. By being thus engaged in devotional service of the Lord, great sages or devotees are able to become free from the resultant actions of work in the material world and simultaneouslybecome free from the cycle of birth and death and go back to Godhead, where there are no more miseries.
The place where there are no material miseries is the dwelling place of the liberated living entities. The Bhagavatam, 10.14.58, says:
Samashrita ye pada-pallava-plavam
mahat-padam punya-yaso murareh
bhavambudhir vatsa-padam param padam
padam padam yad vipadam na tesam
“One who has accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, Who is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation and is famous as Mukunda or the giver of mukti, for him the ocean of the material world is supposed to be the size of the water contained in a calf’s hoof print; and param padam or the place where there are no material miseries, also called Vaikuntha, is for them and not the place where there is danger in every step of life.”
By ignorance only, one does not know that this material world is a miserable place where there are dangers at very step. Out of ignorance only, less intelligent persons do try to adjust the situation by fruitive activities, thinking that the resultant action will make them happy. They do not know that any kind of material body, anywhere within the universe cannot give life without any miseries. The miseries of life, namely birth, death, old age and diseases, are present in every place within the material world. But one who understands his real constitutional position as eternal servitor of the Lord and thus knows the position of the Personality of Gohead, certainly engages himself in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Such person subsequently becomes qualified to enter into the Vaikuntha planets, where there is no material miserable life or influence of time and the planets. To know one’s constitutional position means also to know the sublime position of the Lord. One who wrongly thinks that the living entity’s position and the Lord’s position are on the same level is to be understood still in darkness and consequently such person cannot engage himself in the devotional service of the Lord. He becomes lord himself and thus clears the way for the repetition of birth and death. But one who understands that his position is to serve and if he transfers himself to the service of the Lord, at once becomes eligible for Vaikunthaloka. Service for the cause of the Lord is called karma-yoga or buddhi-yoga or in plain words, devotional service to the Lord.
When your intelligence has passed out of the dense forest of delusion, you shall become callous to all that has been heard and all that is to be heard.
There are many good examples in the lives of great devotees of the Lord of how they became callous to the rituals of the Vedas simply by devotional service to the Lord. When a person factually understands Krsna and one’s relationship with Krsna, naturally one becomes completely callous to the rituals of fruitive activities. It is said that an experienced Brahmin becomes callous to the rituals of fruitive activities. Sri Madhavendra Puri, a great devotee and Acharya in the line of the devotees says:
sandhya-vandana bhadram astu bhavato bhoh snana tubhyam namo
bho deva pitarash ca tarpana-vidhau nadham ksamah ksamyatam
yatra kvapi nisadya yadava-kulottamsasya kamsa-dvishah
smaram smaram agham harami tad alam manye kim anyena me
“Oh my prayers three times a day, all glories to you! Oh bathing, I offer my obeisances unto you! Oh demigods, Oh forefathers, please excuse me for my inability to offer you my respects! At any place where I may sit, I am now able to remember the great descendant of the Yadu dynasty, Krsna, the enemy of Kamsa and thus I can free myself from all sinful bondage. I think this is sufficient for me.”
The Vedic rites and rituals are imperative for the neophyte, comprehending all kinds of prayers three times a day, taking bath early in the morning, offering respects to the forefathers, etc. But when one is fully in Krsna consciousness and is engaged in His transcendental loving service, one becomes callous to all these regulative principles because he has already reached the perfection of life. If one can reach the platform of understanding and serving the Supreme Lord Krsna, he no longer has any obligation to execute different types of penances and sacrifices recommended in the revealed scriptures. Such persons in Krsna consciousness transcend the limit of Sabdabrahma or the range of the Vedas and Upanisads. Correlatively, if one has not understood that the purpose of the Vedas is to reach Krsna and simply engages in the rituals, etc., then he is uselessly wasting time in such engagements.
When your mind will no longer be disturbed by the flowery language of the Vedas, then you shall be situated in the trance of self-realization in unflinching Krishna consciousness.
Samadhi means all-inclusive Krishna consciousness. That is to say that one who is situated in full samadhi, has realized Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavan. The highest perfection of self-realization is to understand that one is eternally the servitor of Krishna and that one’s only business is to discharge one’s duties in Krishna consciousness. Such a Krishna conscious person or unflinching devotee of the Lord may not be disturbed by the flowery language of the Vedas regarding fruitive activities for promotion to the heavenly kingdoms. In such Krishna consciousness, one comes directly into communion with Krishna, and thus all directions from Krishna may be understood by him in that transcendental state. There is no question of achieving the result of such activities of conclusive knowledge. One has only to carry out the orders of Krishna or His representative, the Spiritual Master.
Arjuna inquired: Oh Keshava, what are the symptoms of one whose consciousness is thus fixed in transcendence? How does he speak, and what is his language? How does he remain, and how does he walk?
As there are symptoms for each and every man in terms of his particular situation, similarly one who is Krishna conscious has his particular nature—talking, walking, thinking, feeling, etc… As a rich man has his symptoms by which he is known as a rich man, as a diseased man has his symptoms by which he is known as diseased, or as a learned man has his symptoms for his becoming a learned man, similarly a man in transcendental consciousness of Krishna has specific symptoms in various dealings. One should know these specific symptoms of a man in Krishna consciousness from the Bhagavad-gita. The most important thing is how the man in Krishna consciousness speaks. Speaking is the most important symptom of any man. It is said that a fool is undiscovered as long as he does not speak. And certainly, a well-dressed fool cannot be identified unless he speaks. As soon as he speaks, he is at once known as a fool or as an intelligent person. Similarly, the immediate symptom of a Krishna conscious man is that he speaks only of Krishna and of matters relating to Him. Other symptoms then automatically follow, as stated below.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Oh Partha, when a living entity gives up all varieties of sense desires, which arise from mental concoction, and with a purified mind becomes self-satisfied, at that time he is said to be in pure consciousness.
The Bhagavatam affirms that any person who is fully in Krsna consciousness, or in devotional service of the Lord, has all the good qualities of great sages. Whereas a person who is not so transcendentally conscious has no good qualification because he is sure to be abiding by mental concoctions. Therefore it is rightly said herein that one has to give up all kinds of sense desires manufactured by mental concoction. Artificially, such sense desires cannot be stopped. But if one is engaged in Krsna consciousness, then automatically the sense desires subside without any extraneous effort. Therefore one has to engage himself in the matter of Krsna consciousness without hesitation, and simultaneously, this devotional service will help one attain the transcendental platform. That highly developed soul always remains satisfied in himself by realizing himself as the eternal servitor of the Supreme Lord. Such a transcendentally situated person has no sense desires resulting from petty materialism. But he remains always happy in his natural position of an eternal servitor of the Supreme Lord.
One who is not disturbed in mind even amidst the threefold miseries or puffed up when there is happiness, and who is thus free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage fixed in mind.
The word “muni” means one who can agitate his mind in various ways for mental speculations, without any factual conclusion. It is said that every muni has a different angle of vision and unless a muni is not different in view with another muni, he cannot be called a muni in the strict sense of the term. ”Nasau munir yasya matam na bhinnam”(Mahabharata, Vana-parva 313.117.) But a sthita-dhir muni, as mentioned herein by the Lord, is different from an ordinary muni. The sthita-dhir muni is always in Krishna consciousness, after having finished all speculative business of creating speculation. He is called prasanta-nihshesa-mano-rathantaram (Stotra-ratna 43), or one who has surpassed the stage of mental speculations and has come to the conclusion that Lord Sri Krishna or Vasudeva is everything (vasudevah sarvam it sa mahatma su-durlabhah). He is called a muni fixed in mind. Such a fully Krishna conscious person is not at all disturbed by the onslaughts of the threefold miseries. Such a muni accepts all miseries as mercy of the Lord, thinking himself only worthy of more trouble on account of his past misdeeds, but that by the grace of the Lord his miseries have been minimized to the lowest. Similarly, when he is situated in happiness, he gives the credit to the Lord, thinking himself unworthy of the happiness. He considers that due to the Lord’s grace only, he is situated in such a comfortable condition to render better service to the Lord. And for the service of the Lord, he is always daring and active without being influenced by any attachment or detachment. Attachment means to accept things for one’s own sense gratification and detachment is the absence of such sensual attachment. But one fixed in mind in Krishna consciousness has no such attachment or detachment because his life is dedicated to the service of the Lord. And because he has no such sensual attachment and detachment, he is not at all angry even when he appears to be unsuccessful in his attempts. Success or not success, a Krishna conscious person is always steady in his determination.
One who is without any affection for either the good or for the evil of this material world, neither praising nor despising such things, such person is fixed in consciousness.
There is always some upheaval in the material world which may be good or evil. One who is not agitated by such upheavals of the material world, without any affection for the good or evil is to be understood fixed up in Krsna consciousness. As long as one is in the material world there is always the possibility of good and evil because this world is full of duality. But one who is fixed in Krsna consciousness is not affected by such good and evil because he is simply concerned with Krishna, Who is all good Absolute. Such consciousness in Krsna situates one in perfect transcendental position, technically called samadhi.
One who is able to withdraw his senses from the sense objects, as the tortoise withdraws its limbs within the shell, is to be understood fixed up in his consciousness.
The test of a yogi, devotee, or self-realized soul is that he must be able to control the senses according to his plan and not be servant of the senses and thus be directed by the dictation of the senses. That is the answer to the question as to how the yogi is situated. The senses are compared to venomous serpents and want to act very loosely, without any restriction. The yogi or the devotee, like a snake charmer, must be very strong to control the serpents. The senses should never be allowed to act independently. There are many injunctions of the revealed scriptures and some of them are don’ts and some of them are dos. Unless one is able to follow the dos and the don’ts, restricting oneself from sense enjoyment, it is not possible for one to fix one’s mind in Krsna consciousness. The best example set herein is the tortoise. The tortoise can at any moment wind up the business of the senses and at any time it can exhibit the senses for particular purposes. Similarly, the senses of the Krsna conscious persons are used only for some particular purpose in the service of the Lord. Arjuna is being taught herewith to use his senses for the service of the Lord and not use his senses for his own satisfaction. To keep the senses always in the service of the Lord is the example set by the analogy of the tortoise, which keeps the senses within..
The embodied soul is restricted from sense enjoyment by regulations and that forced restriction does not mean that one has lost the taste for sense objects. But a person who ceases from such engagements by experiencing a higher taste is fixed in consciousness.
Unless one is transcendentally situated, it is not possible to cease from sense enjoyment. The process of restricting one from sense enjoyment by rules and regulations is something like restricting the diseased person from certain types of eatables. The patient, however, neither likes such restrictions nor loses his taste for eatables. Similarly, sense restriction by some spiritual process like astanga yoga in the matter of yam, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana etc., is recommended for less intelligent persons who have no better taste. But one who has tasted the beauty of the Supreme Lord Krsna, in the course of his advancement of Krsna consciousness, no longer has a taste for dead material things. Therefore restrictions are there for the less intelligent neophytes in the spiritual advancement of life, but such restrictions are only good until one actually has a taste for Krsna consciousness. When one is actually Krsna conscious, he automatically loses his taste for pale things.
The senses are so strong and impetuous, oh Arjuna, that they forcibly carry away the minds even of men with full discriminating knowledge, who are endeavoring to control them.
There are many learned sages, philosophers and transcendentalists trying to conquer the senses for the purpose of self-realization, but I spite of their endeavors, it is sometimes found that even the greatest of them fall victim to material sense enjoyment on account of the agitating mind. Even Visvamitra, a great sage and perfect yogi, was misled by Menaka in the matter of sex enjoyment, although the yogi was endeavoring for sense control with severe types of penance and yoga practice. In the history of the world, there are so many instances of such fall downs. Therefore it is very difficult to control the mind and the senses without being fully Krsna conscious. Without engaging the mind in Krsna, nobody has ceased from such material engagement. A practical example of such perfection is described by Sri Yamunacarya, a great saint and devotee. He says as follows:
yad-avadhi mama cetah krishna-padaravinde
nava-nava-rasa-dhamany udyatam rantum asit
tad-avadhi bata nari-sangame
bhavati mukha-vikarah susthu nishthivanam
“Since my mind has been engaged in the service of the lotus feet of Lord Krsna and since I am enjoying newer and newer mellows of transcendental humor, whenever I think of sex life with a woman my face at once becomes averse to it and I spit at the thought.”
Krsna consciousness is so transcendentally nice thing that automatically one becomes distastefully averse towards material enjoyment. It is as if a hungry man had satisfied his hunger by a sufficient quantity of nutritious eatables. Maharaja Ambarisa also conquered a great yogi Durvasa Muni, simply because his mind was engaged in Krsna consciousness (sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayor vacamsi vaikuntha gunanuvarnane).
One who restrains his senses, keeping them under full control, and fixes his consciousness upon Me, is known as a man of steady intelligence.
That the highest conception of yoga perfection is Krsna consciousness is clearly explained here in this verse. And without being Krsna conscious it is not at all possible to control the senses. As cited above, the great sage Durvasa Muni picked a quarrel with MaharajaAmbarisa, wherein the great sage Durvasa unnecessarily became angry out of false prestige and thus could not check his senses in the matter of sense gratification. On the other hand, the King, although not as powerful a yogi as the sage and yet a devotee of the Lord, silently tolerated all injustice of the sage and thus came out victorious in the turmoil created by him. The King was able to control his senses on account of the following qualifications as mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam 9.4.18-20:
Sa vai manah krsna padaravindayor
karau harer mandira-marjanadisu
ghrnam ca tat-pada-saroja-saurabhe
srimat tulasia rasanam tad-arpite
padau hareh kshetra padanusarpane
kamam ca dasye na tu kama-kamyaya
King Ambarisa fixed his mind on the lotus feet of Lord Krsna, engaged his words in the description of the abode of the Lord, his hands in the cleaning work of the temple of the Lord, his ears in the matter of hearing of the pastimes of the Lord, his eyes in the matter of seeing the form of the Lord, his body in the matter of touching the body of the devotee, his nostrils in smelling the flavor of the flowers offered to the lotus feet of Lord, his tongue in tasting the Tulsi leaves offered to him, his legs in traveling to the holy place where His temple is situated, his head in offering obeisances unto the Lord, his desires in the matter of fulfilling the desires of the Lord. And all these qualifications made him fit to become a mat-para devotee of the Lord”
This word mat-para is most significant in this connection. And how to become mat-para is described in the life of Maharaja Ambarisa. Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana. a great scholar and acharya in the line of the mat-para remarks in this connection as follows: mad-bhakti-prabhavena sarvendriya-vijaya-purvika svatma-drishtih su-labheti bhavah.” The senses can be controlled fully only by the strength of devotional service in Krsna consciousness. The example of the fire is sometimes given as follows. “As the small flames burn everything within the room, similarly Lord Vishnu situated in the heart of the yogi burns all kinds of dirty things. The Yoga-sutra also prescribes meditation on Vishnu and not in the void. The so-called yogis, in a vain search after phantasmagoria, simply waste time in meditating on something which is not a Vishnu form. We have to be Krsna conscious, devoted to the Personality of Godhead, Who is the aim of the real yogi as it is stated: klesa karma vipakasair aparamristah purusavisesh ishvarah.
While contemplating the object of senses, a person develops attachment for such sense objects and by such attachment lust develops and from lust anger is manifested.
One who is not Krsna conscious is subjected to material desires while contemplating the object of senses. The senses require real engagements and if they are not engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, certainly they will seek engagement in the service of material pursuits. In the material world everyone, including Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma -and what to speak of other demigods in the heavenly planets- all of us are subjected to the influence of sense objects and the only method to get out of this puzzle of material existence is to become Krsna conscious. Lord Shiva was deep in meditation but when Parvati agitated Him for sense pleasure, he agreed to the proposal and as a result, Kartikeya was born. But Haridas Thakur, a young devotee of the Lord, was similarly allured by the incarnation of Maya Devi but Thakur Haridas easily surpassed the test on account of his unalloyed devotion to Lord Krsna. As stated in the above-mentioned verse of Sri Yamunacarya, an unalloyed devotee of the Lord learns to hate any sort of material sense enjoyment on account of his higher taste for spiritual enjoyment in the association of the Lord. That is the secret of success. One who is not therefore in Krsna consciousness, however powerful he may be in the matter of controlling the senses by artificial chocking up is sure to be a failure and without fail his slight thinking of sense pleasure will agitate him for sense gratification and subsequent consequences.
From anger perfect illusion takes place and from illusion bewilderment of memory is manifested. From bewilderment of memory loss of intelligence takes place; and when intelligence is lost, one falls down again into the material pool.
In this connection, Srila Rupa Goswami has given us direction as follows:
Prapancikataya buddhya hari-sambanda-vastunah
mumukshubhih parityago vairagyam phalgu kathyate
By development of Krsna consciousness, one can know that everything has its use in the service of the Lord. Anyone who is not in Krsna consciousness artificially tries to avoid material objects without any knowledge of their use in Krsna consciousness. As a result of that, such persons desiring liberation from material bondage do not attain the perfect stage of renunciation. Their so-called renunciation is called phalgu or less important. On the other hand, a person in Krsna consciousness knows how to use everything in the service of the Lord and thus he does not become a victim of material consciousness. An impersonalist has no sense as to how the Lord eats. According to him the Lord or the Absolute being impersonal cannot eat. Whereas the impersonalist tries to avoid all kinds of good eatables, a devotee knows that Krsna is the supreme enjoyer, and he (the devotee, not the Lord) eats all that is offered to Him in devotion. So after offering good eatables to the Lord, the devotee takes the remnants. The devotee takes prasadam in Krsna consciousness, while the non-devotee rejects it as material. The impersonalist, therefore, cannot enjoy life because of artificial renunciation and because of this misunderstanding a slight agitation of the mind pulls him down again into the pool of material existence. It is said that such a liberated soul, even though rising up to the point of liberation by mental concoction, falls down again on account of lack of devotional standing.
But a person freed from all attachment and aversion and able to control his senses through regulative principles of freedom can obtain the complete mercy of the Lord.
It is already explained that one may externally control the senses by some artificial process, but unless the senses are engaged in the transcendental service of the Lord there is every chance of a fall. The person in full Krsna consciousness may apparently be on the sensual plane, but on account of his becoming Krsna conscious, he has no attachment or aversion for such activities. The Krsna conscious person is only concerned about the satisfaction of Krsna and nothing more. Therefore he is transcendental to all kinds of attachment and aversion. If Krsna wants, he can do anything which he would not have done and if Krsna does not want he is not prepared to do anything which he would have done ordinarily for his own satisfaction. Therefore to do or not to do a thing is within his control because he acts only under the dictation of Krsna. And this consciousness of a devotee is the causeless mercy of the Lord, which the devotee can achieve in spite of his acting on the sensual platform.
When one is thus satisfied in Krsna consciousness, the threefold miseries of material existence exist no longer and is such satisfied consciousness one’s intelligence is accepted as well established.
One who is not in Krsna consciousness can have neither a fixed mind nor a transcendental intelligence without which there is no possibility of peace. And without peace of mind how can there be any happiness?
Unless one is in Krsna consciousness, there is no possibility of peace. This is confirmed in the 5th chapter, 29th verse: when one understands that Krsna is the only enjoyer of all kinds of good results of sacrifice and penances, that He is the proprietor of all universal manifestations and the real friend of all living entities, then one can achieve real peace. Therefore, if one is not in such Krsna consciousness, there cannot be a final goal for the mind. Disturbance of the mind is due to want of an ultimate goal and when one is fully convinced that Krsna is the enjoyer, proprietor and friend of everyone and everything then one can with a fixed mind bring about peace. Therefore anyone who is fixed in any other occupation without any relationship with Krsna is certainly always in distress, without any peace, however much he may make a show of peace and spiritual advancement of life. Krsna consciousness is a self-manifested peaceful condition that can be achieved only in relationship with Krsna.
As the boat on the water is swept away by an unfavorable wind, similarly, even one of the senses on which the mind focuses can carry away a person’s intelligence.
Unless all senses are engaged in the service of the Lord, even one of them engaged in the matter of sense gratification can deviate the devotee from the path of transcendental advancement. As mentioned in the life of Maharaj Ambarisa, all senses must be engaged in Krsna consciousness and that is the correct technique for controlling the mind.
Therefore, oh mighty-armed, one whose senses are curbed by means of Krsna consciousness is certainly of fixed up intelligence.
One can curb the forces of sense gratification only by means of Krsna consciousness, or engaging all the senses in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. As enemies are curbed by superior force, similarly the senses can be curbed not by any human endeavor but by keeping them engaged in the service of the Lord. One who has understood this point of exclusive Krishna conscious shelter is really established in fixed intelligence. One who practices this art of Krsna consciousness under the guidance of a bonafide spiritual master is called a sadhaka or suitable candidate for liberation.
What is night for all living entities is the time of awakening for the self-controlled, and what is the time of awakening for the living entities is the night for the introspective sage.
There are two classes of intelligent men. One is intelligent in the matter of material activities for sense gratification and the other is introspective in the matter of self-realization. The student of self-realization is introspective and he is required to be awake while cultivating such activities of self-realization. Such self-realisation activities of the introspective sage or thoughtful man is just the night for persons materially absorbed. Materialistic persons remain asleep in such night, on account of ignorance in the matter of self-realization. The introspective sage, however, remains alert in that night of the materialistic men. Such sages feel transcendental pleasure in the gradual advancement of spiritual culture. While the man in materialistic activities, being asleep in the matter of self-realization, dreams of varieties of sense pleasure, feeling sometimes happy and sometimes distressed in his sleeping condition. The introspective man is always indifferent to such materialistic happiness and distresses. But he goes on with his self-culture activities without any material reactions.
A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desires, that enter like rivers into the ocean, which is ever being filled but is always undisturbed, can alone achieve peace and not the man who wants to satisfy such desires.
The vast ocean is always filled with sufficient water and still, especially during the rainy season, it is being filled with much more water incessantly. but the ocean remains the same-steady, without being agitated and crossing the limits of its brink. That is the analogy for a person who is fixed in Krsna consciousness. As long as one has the material body, the demands of the body for sense gratification will continue, although the devotee does not like to satisfy such desires on account of his fullness in everything. A Krsna conscious man is not in want of anything, because the Lord fulfills all his material necessities. Therefore he is like the ocean-always full in himself. Desires may come to him like the waters of the rivers that flow into the ocean, still the Krsna conscious man is steady in his activities, without being even slightly disturbed by such incoming desires for sense gratification. That is the proof of a Krsna conscious man, who has lost all inclinations for material sense gratification, although the desires are present. Because the Krsna conscious man remains satisfied in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, he can remain steady like the ocean. He, therefore, enjoys full peace. While others who want to fulfill desires even up to the limit of liberation and what to speak of material success, do never attain peace. The fruitive workers, the salvationists, as well as the yogis who are after mystic powers all are unhappy on account of desires to be fulfilled. But the person in Krsna consciousness is happy in the service of the Lord. He has no desire to be fulfilled. He does not even desire liberation from so-called material bondage. The devotees in Krsna consciousness have no material desires and therefore they are in perfect peace.
A person who has given up all desires for sense gratification, who has become desireless, free from all sense of proprietorship and devoid of false ego, he alone can attain real peace and nobody else.
To become desireless means not to desire anything for sense gratification. In other words, the desire for becoming Krsna conscious is actually desireless. To understand one’s factual position as the eternal servitor of Krsna, without falsely claiming this material body to be oneself and without claiming falsely proprietorship over anything in the world is the perfect stage of Krsna consciousness. Such a perfect man knows that Krsna is the proprietor of everything and therefore everything must be used for the satisfaction of Krsna. Arjuna did not like to fight for his own sense gratification, but when he became fully Krsna conscious he fought because Krsna wanted it. For himself, there was no desire to fight but for Krsna, the same Arjuna fought to the best capacity. Such desire for the satisfaction of Krsna is really desirelessness and not artificially trying for becoming desireless. The living entity cannot be desireless or senseless, but he has to change the quality of the desires from personal to Krsnawise. Such materially desireless person certainly knows that everything belongs to Krsna: Isavasyam idam sarvam and therefore he does not falsely claim any proprietorship over anything in the world. And such transcendental knowledge is based on self-realization: namely when one knows perfectly well that every living entity is eternal part and parcel of Krsna in spiritual identity and therefore the eternal position of the living entity is never to be on the level of Krsna or greater than Him. Such an understanding of Krsna consciousness is the basic principle of real peace and not otherwise.
That is the way of the spiritual situation of Godly life, upon attaining which nobody becomes bewildered. If, even at the end of life, one is situated in such status of life, one can enter into the kingdom of God.
One can attain Krsna consciousness or divine life at once, within a second-or one may not attain such a state of life even after millions of births. It is only a question of understanding and acceptance of the fact. Khatvanga Maharaj attained this state of life just a few minutes before his death by surrendering unto Krsna or by becoming Krsna conscious. Nirvana means ending the process of materialistic life. According to Buddhist philosophy, there is only void after this material life but Bhagavad-gita does not say that. Actual life begins after ending this materialistic life. For the gross materialist, it is sufficient to know that one has to end this materialistic way of life. But for persons who are spiritually advanced, there is life after ending this materialistic life. Therefore, if somebody, fortunately, becomes Krsna conscious before ending this life, he certainly attains at once the stage of Brahma-nirvana. There is no difference between the kingdom of God and devotional service of the Lord. Both of them are on the absolute plane. Therefore to be engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord means attainment of the spiritual kingdom because in the material world there are activities of sense gratification, whereas in the spiritual world there are activities of Krsna consciousness. Therefore attainment of Krsna consciousness, even during this life, is attainment of Brahman immediately and one who is situated in Krsna consciousness certainly has already entered the kingdom of God.
Brahman is just the opposite of matter. Therefore brahmi sthiti means “not on the platform of material activities”. In the Bhagavad-gita devotional service of the Lord is accepted as the liberated stage: “sa gunan samtitya etan brahmabhuyaya kalpate”. Therefore brahmi sthiti is liberation from material bondage.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur has summarized this second chapter of the Bhagavad-gita as the contents of the whole text. In Bhagavad-gita, the subject matters are karma-yoga, jnana-yoga and bhakti-yoga. In the second chapter karma-yoga and jnana-yoga have been clearly discussed; and a glimpse of bhakti-yoga has also been discussed, as contents of the whole text.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports of the second chapter of the Bhagavad-gita in the matter of its contents in Krsna consciousness.
2.24 Srila Prabhupada enumerates all qualifications of the soul in Sanskrit order.
In 2.20, it is clear that the personal pronoun is to be used for the soul.
2.54, 2.60 names unresolved
2.67 2.72 V1 & V2 both sexist; 2.11 P, sexist, “person” becomes “man”;
2.55, 2.68, 2.14 Prabhupada confirms “oh”4
2.72 “SrIla Bhaktivinoda Thäkura has summarized this Second Chapter of the Bhagavad-gitä as being the contents for the whole text”. We note the use of capitals for “second chapter”. What nonsense!!!
other capitals by SP
1) “Supreme Authority” 2.1 P
2) Yogi, Yoga and in all its combined forms. 2.72
3) 2.51, 2.57, as early as 470713let.raja mohendra pratap, Lord, Who…
Here in 4.5 we find the first “Who” by SP Himself.
his friend Who is the Lord 2.22 but Lord, who in 2.39
4) the Sun 2.2 P !!!
5) the Bhaktas 2.2 P
6) Supreme Cause of all Causes OT BGAII 2.2 P. BUT a few lines later SP writes “cause of all causes with small letters which will be sufficient reason to keep small letters in both expressions. In such cases, we need to study very carefully the movements of Srila Prabhupada’s mind in order to come to the right conclusion.
7 ) BGAII 4.5 p.
“I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead Govinda (Krsna), Who is the Original Person—Absolute, Infallible, without any beginning , although expanded in unlimited Forms still the same Original, the oldest and Person always apeering as a fresh youth. Such eternal, blissful, all knowledge Forms of the Lord are usually understood by the best Vedic scholars but they are manifest to pure unalloyed devotees.”