BHAGAVAD-GITA AS IT IS, version 3, First draft completed (text & purport only) for Introduction and Chapters 1– 10. In progress: chapter 11.




We acknowledge our debt of gratitude to HG Madhudvisa Prabhu, who made the Original Transcript (OT) available to the world by establishing the website. Openness wins.

Cautionary notes.

The present editorial work is an integral part of the cultivation and development of my own Krishna conscious journey, and I reserve myself the right to make further improvements, as may be required from time to time. On February 18th 1967 Srila Prabhupada wrote to His disciple Brahmananda: “…when a man takes work in his own hand it is sure to be done.”

First of all, if some of those original typists or editors would have had more decency, respect, circumspection and professionalism, they would not have scribbled all over the transcript, 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 typists or editors were extremely concerned and determined that some of Srila Prabhupada’s words would never be readable again and this is what’s happening in some cases. What a cheating affront to Srila Prabhupada and the world!

It is so extremely frustrating and time wasting to see that some uncouth ignoramus(es) has allowed himself to scribble, cross out, obscure, and delete passages of the Original Transcript (especially in chapter 11), whereas it should have been handled with archeological care, precision, and caution. The photocopists also did not exactly expect high standards either. Perhaps the photocopying can be redone with more attention, caution and respect. Perhaps it can be redone.

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 Srila Prabhupada Himself, the translator and commentator. For reviewing purposes, we shall, therefore, concentrate on the introduction to Bhagavad-gita and these initial five chapters at 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. His name is often mentioned in the Bhaktivedanta Vedabase.

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, also called the 1972 Macmillan edition, in my language BGAII V1.

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 dictation is lost. In His transcendental pastimes, Srila Prabhupada carefully erased the tapes in order to reuse them again and again.

This precious information has been provided by HG Dravida Prabhu of ISKCON San Diego, USA, and is considered reliable. We are indebted to him and thank him very much for his courtesy extending over many years.

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 which separate us from Srila Prabhupada, the more chances for deviations and (mis) interpretations to occur.

 In many instances we also feel that Srila Prabhupada’s simplicity of expresion and more systematic and pointed language have been violated in the name of so-called more elaborate or snappy modern day English. Some of Srila Prabhupada’s well placed key-words in the text, such as engineer, logician (2.27) and subversive (6.10) etc, have unceremoniously been censored for no legitimate reason. Simplicity has got its own virtues and sometimes complexity is created irrespectively in order to create a monopoly or mischievously to confuse and discourage people from understanding the subject properly. This is to be avoided. Bhagavad-gita, the universal message of Lord Krishna, is for everyone, from the illiterate to the most learned and everyone in between. When I say illiterate, I am not exagerating. In Lord Caitanya’s times, in India, there was an illiterate brahmin who would feel love for Krishna and cry by simply looking at the pictures of Bhagavad-gita, especially the picture where Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, accepts the subordinate position of charioteer of His friend and devotee Arjuna as per Bhagavad-gita 4.3: “bhakto ‘si me sakha ceti.” He achieved the personal association of Krishna Himself in the form of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Who came to visit him.

It is therefore essential that both the message and the style of writing it is conveyed in, appeals to the widest possible audience, and because out of millions and billions, Srila Prabhupada was especially deputed by Sri Krishna to deliver His message, we postulate that the most universally appealing style of writing for this purpose will be Srila Prabhupada’s own. Srila Prabhupada is a true mover and shaker and what has Jayadvaita Swami accomplished in comparison? Therefore we don’t care for Jayadvaita’s language. We care for Srila Prabhupada’s language. Here is a telling example. In BGAII 8.9, purport, Srila Prabhupada speaks “This is a very troublesome job.” This is a perfect Prabhupada sentence. But Jayadvaita with an offensive mentality felt the need to” better” the expression to “That is very difficult.” Two words only out of six have been conserved! We may therefore say that Jayadvaita’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is NOT has a 33.33  (thirty-three point thirty-three) percent accuracy when a hundred percent or very close can be achieved. In this way, Jayadvaita Swami has the audacity to usurp Srila Prabhupada’s position! We reject him! Srila Prabhupada is a most towering Acharya or teacher in the history of the world. So let us therefore stick to Him. Let us therefore stick to the Prabhupada mood and be successful in our attemps. Om tat sat. 




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 avyayam

Vivasvan manave praha manur iksvakave bravit.

Evam parampara praptam imam rajarsayo viduh

Sa kaleneha mahata yoga nastah parantapa.” (BG 4. 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 evayam maya te ‘dya yoga proktah puratanah

bhakto ‘si me sakha ceiti rahasyam hy etad uttamam.”

(BG 4. 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. Now, 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 demigods.” 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 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 rejected 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, 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 deletion, so we too must accept Bhagavad-gita without deletion, interpretation, or whimsy. We 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. We 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. Ramanucharya says this has no beginning and no end. Some may feel that this is somewhat 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 demigods and not the Lord.”

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

krsir bhu-vacakah sabdo
nas ca nirvrti-vacakah
tayor aikyam param brahma
krsna ity abhidhiyat

This is a verse from the Mahabharata (Udyoga-parva 71.4).
‘The word “krs” is the attractive feature of the Lord’s existence, and “na” means spiritual pleasure. When the verb krs is added to na, it becomes Krsna, which indicates the Supreme Brahman Personality of Godhead, the reservoir of pleasure.” Our consciousness seeks happiness because we are part and parcel of the Lord. The 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:

bhuta-gramah sa evayam bhutva-bhutva praIiyate

ratry-agame ‘vasah partha prabhavaty ahar-agame.

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 demigod of the particular planet, we can go to that planet.

yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr vratah

bhutani yanti bhutejya yanti mad-yajino ‘pi mam

Persons who worship demigods, mistaking them for God, can approach such planets where the demigods 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 nirananda– not happy.

The Lord says that when one quits this material body remembering the form of Sri Krishna, he at once achieves his sat-chi-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 brahma-vadi, the paramatma-vadi, and the devotee. In the spiritual sky, or brahma-jyoti, 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 brahm-jyoti, or paramatma, 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 (6.7.61), 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-shakti 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 (Madhya 20.122) 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, Krshna-dvaipayana Vyasa 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-Bhagavatam.

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, khatriya, vaisya, and sudra. Each one works in a different way, as learned man, administrator, merchant, 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 Khatriya, you cannot give up your fighting; but devote all your actions to Me.” 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 all knowledge and of all seeking after knowledge.

The topics of Dritharashtra and Sanjaya, as described in the Mahabharata are the basic principle of this great philosophy. It is understood that this great philisophy evolved on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, which is a sacred place of pilgrimage from time immemorial of the Vedic age. It was spoken by the Lord when He was present personally on this planet for guidance of mankind. Mankind is now advanced in material science but has failed to find at the present moment oneness of the entire human race on the surface of the earth. Bhagavad-gita will solve this problem and the intelligent class of man will find in this great theistic literature oneness of the entire human society. By thorough study of the Bhagavad-gita there is cent per cent posibility that throughout the whole world there can be only one scripture, namely the Bhagavad-gita, there can be one God only i.e. Lord Sri Krishna the son of Devaki and there can be one hymn for chanting by the human race which is glorification of Lord Krishna’s holy name. Such chanting of the holy name of the Lord was highly recommended by Lord Krishna, and people are having practical effects by chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare  / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. In the western world, (in New York) the chanting of this glorious holy name has been introduced by The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, and gradually it is spreading all over the world so that the human race can have only one religion, one God, one hymn and one engagement in the service of the Lord. That will bring us the so much anxiously desired peace in the world.



Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra.

Text 1.1

Dhritarashtra said: O Sanjaya, after my sons and the sons of Pandu assembled in the place of pilgrimage at Kurukshetra, desiring to fight, what did they do?


Bhagavad-gita, the widely read theistic science, is summarized in the Gita-mahatmya (Glorification of the Gita) that one should read Bhagavad-gita very scrutinizingly with the help of a person who is a devotee of Krishna and try to understand it without any motivated misinterpretations. The clear understanding is there in the Bhagavad-gita itself as it is understood by Arjuna, who heard Bhagavad-gita directly from the Lord. If somebody is fortunate enough to understand Bhagavad-gita in that line of disciplic succession, without any motivated interpretation, then he surpasses all studies of Vedic wisdom and all scriptures of the world. One will find in Bhagavad-gita all that is contained in other scriptures, and the reader will still find more things which are not to be found in other scriptures. That is the specific standard of Bhagavad-gita. Bhagavad-gita is the perfect theistic science because it is directly spoken by the Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna.

The word dharma-ksetra is significant because, on the battlefield of Kurukhestra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead was personally present on the side of Arjuna. Dhritarashtra, the father of the Kurus, was highly doubtful about the ultimate victory of his sons. In his doubt, he enquired from his secretary Sanjaya, “What did they do?” He was confident that both his sons and the sons of his younger brother Pandu were assembled in that field of Kurukshetra for definite determination of engagement of war. Still, his doubtful inquiry is very significant. He did not want any compromise between the cousin brothers and he wanted that the fate of his sons be decided on the battlefield. Because it was arranged to be fought on the place of pilgrimage, Kurukshetra, which is mentioned in the Vedas as a place of worship even for the denizens of heaven, Dritharashtra became very much doubtful about the influence of the place. The influence of the place was however manifested in the person of Arjuna, but there was no influence on the other party. Dhritarashtra knew it very well that it would influence the sons of Pandu because by nature they were all virtuous. Sanjaya was a student of Vyasa and therefore by the mercy of Vyasa, Sanjaya was able to visualize the battlefield of Kurukshetra even while in the room of Dhritarashtra. Dhritarashtra, therefore, asked about the situation on the battlefield. Both the Pandavas and the sons of Dhritarashtra belong to the same family but Dhritarashtra’s mind is disclosed herein because he deliberately claimed only his sons as heirs and he separated the sons of Pandu from the family heritage. One can thus understand the specific position of Dhritarashtra in his relationship with his nephews, the sons of Pandu. As in the paddy field, the unecessary plants are wiped out and real paddy plants are sowed, similarly it is expected from the very beginning of the topics that in the religious field of Kurukshetra, where the father of religion Sri Krishna was present, the unwanted plants like Duryodhana and others would be wiped out and the thoroughly religious persons headed by Yudhishtira would be established by the Lord. This is the significance of the words Dharmakshetra and Kurukshetra, apart from their historical and Vedic importance.

Text 1.2

Sanjaya said: O King, after looking over the military phalanx arranged by the sons of Pandu, King Duryodhana went to his teacher and began to speak the following words.


Dhritarashtra was blind from his very birth. Unfortunately, he was also bereft of spiritual vision. He knew it very well that his sons were equally blind in the matter of religion and he was sure that they could never come to an understanding with the Pandavas, who were all pious by birth. Still he was doubtful about the influence of the place of pilgrimage and Sanjaya could understand the motive of his asking from him about the situation on the battlefield. He wanted therefore to encourage the king in his despondency and thus assured him that his sons were not going to make any sort of compromise under the influence of the holy place. He therefore informed the king that his son, after seeing the military force of the Pandavas at once went to the commander in chief, Dronacharya to inform him of the real position. Although he is mentioned as the king, still he had to go to the commander on account of the seriousness of the condition. He was never quite fit to be a politician and his diplomatic veneer could not cover him and his fearful mind after seeing the military arrangements of the Pandavas.

Text 1.3

O my teacher, please hehold how your disciple, the son of Drupada, very intelligently arranged the military phalanx of the sons of Pandu.


Duryodhana, as a great diplomat, wanted to point out the defects on the part of Dronacharya, the great Brahmin commander in chief. He had some political quarrel with king Drupada, the father of Draupadi. As such, king Drupada performed a great sacrifice in which he got the benediction of having a son who would be able to kill Dronacharya. Dronacharya knew it perfectly well and yet as a liberal Brahmin he did not hesitate to give all the military secrets when the son of Drupada, Dhrishtadyumna was entrusted to him for military education. Now, on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Dhrishtadyumna took the side of the Pandavas and it is he who arranged the military phalanx after learning the art from Dronacharya as student. Duryodhana pointed out this mistake of Dronacharya so that he might be alert in the fighting. By this he wanted also to point out that he might not be similarly lenient in the matter of fighting with the Pandavas, who were also his affectionate students. Especially Arjuna was his most affectionate and brilliant student. He warned also in that way that his leniency in the matter of fighting with the other party would bring havoc to them so that he may remedy to his personal deficiencies.

Text 1.4

Here in this military arrangement are many heroic bowmen equally strong in fight like Bhima and Arjuna. There are also great fighters like Yuyudhana, Virata and Drupada.


Even though Dhristadyumna was not a very important factor in the face of Dronacarya’s very great power in the military art, there were many others who were also a cause for fear. They are mentioned by Duryodhana as most strong stumbling blocks on the path of victory, because each and everyone of them were as much a hard nut to break as Bhima and Arjuna. He knew the strength of Bhima and Arjuna and thus he compared others with them.

Text 1.5

There are also very powerful heroes of human society like Dhrishtaketu, Chekitana, Kashiraja, Purujit, Kuntibhoja and Shaibya.

Text 1.6

There are the mighty Yudhamanyu, the very powerful Uttamauja, the son of Subhadra and the sons of Draupadi. All these warriors are great chariot fighters.

Text 1.7

For your information, O best among the Brahmins, let me speak about the captains who are especially qualified to lead my military force.

Text 1.8

There are personalities like you, Bhisma, Karna, Kripa, Ashvatthama, Vikarna and the son of Somadatta called Bhurishrava, who are always victorious in battle.


Duryodhana mentions herewith the exceptional heroes in the battle.All of them are ever victorious in battles. Vikarna is the brother of Duryodhana, Ashvatthama is the son of Dronacharya, and Saumadatti, or Bhurishrava is the son of the king of the Bahlikas. Karna is the half brother of Arjuna as he was born of Kunti before her marriage to King Pandu. Kripacharya’s twin sister married Dronacharya.

Text 1.9

There are many other heroes also who are prepared to lay down their lives for my sake. All of them are well equipped with different kinds of weapons and all are experienced in the military science.


So far others are concerned like Jayadratha, Kritavarma, Salya etc., all are determined to lay down their lives for Duryodhana’s sake. In other words, it is already concluded that all of them would die in the battle of Kurukshetra only for joining the party of Duryodhana, the sinful. Duryodhana was of course confident of his victory on account of the combined strength of his friends as above mentioned.

Text 1.10

Our strength is immeasurable, and we are perfectly protected by grand-father Bhishma, while the strength of the Pandavas, carefully protected by Bhima, is limited.


Herein an estimation of comparative strength is made by Duryodhana and he thinks that the strength of his armed forces is immeasurable and is specifically protected by the most experienced general, grandfather Bhisma. On the other hand, the forces of the Pandavas are limited and they are protected by the less experienced general Bhima, who is compared to a fig in the presence of Bhisma. Duryodhana was always envious of Bhima because he knew it perfectly well that if he were to die at all, he would be killed by Bhima only. But he was at the same time confident of his victory on account of the presence of Bhisma who was a far superior general than Bhima. His conclusion that he would come out victorious in the battle was well fixed.

Text 1.11

Now all of you may give full support to grandfather Bhisma, as you stand in your respective strategic points of entrance into the phalanx of the army.


Duryodhana, after giving more importance to Bhisma, further considered that others might think that they have been considered less important. So in his usual diplomatic way he tried to adjust the situation in the above words. He emphasized that Bhisma was the greatest hero undoubtedly, but after all he was an old man, so everyone must take special care for his protection from all sides. He might be engaged in the fight and the enemies make take advantage of his full engagement on one side. Therefore it is important that other heroes may not leave their strategic position and allow the enemies to enter into the phalanx from so many points. Because after all the victory of the Kurus depended on the existence of Bhisma. He was confident of the full support of Bhismadeva and Dronacharya in the battle because he knew it very well that they did not speak a word when Draupadi in her helpless condition appealed to them for justice while she was forced to become naked in the presence of all great generals in the assembly. He also knew that these two generals had some sort of affection for the Pandavas and that it may now be completely given up by them, as they had done during the gambling performances.

Text 1.12

Thereafter the great valiant grandsire of the Kuru dynasty, the grandfather of the fighters, blew his conchshell very loudly like the sound of the roar of a lion, just increasing the cheerfulness of Duryodhana.


The grandsire of the Kuru dynasty could however understand the inner meaning of the heart of his grandson Duryodhana and out of his natural compassion for the little grandchild tried to increase his cheerfulness by blowing his conchshell very loudly just befitting his position as a lion. Indirectly he informed his depressed grandson, Duryodhana, that he had no chance of victory in the battle because the Supreme Lord Krishna was on the other side. But still it would be his duty to conduct the fight in his befitting position and no pains would be spared in that connection.

Text 1.13

After that, the conchshells, drums, bugles, trumpets and horns all together vibrated all of a sudden and the combined sound become very tumultuous.

Text 1.14

On the other side, both Lord Krishna and Arjuna, situated on a chariot drawn by white horses, sounded their respective transcendental conchshells.


In contrast with the conchshells blown by Bhishmadeva, the conchshells in the hands of Krishna and Arjuna are described herein as transcendental. Such sounding of transcendental conchshells indicated that there was no hope of victory on the otherside because Krishna was on the side of the Pandavas. Jayas tu pandu-putranam yesam pakse janardanah. Victory is always with persons like the sons of Pandu because Krishna is associated with them. And whenever and wherever the Lord is present the Goddess of Fortune is also present because the Goddess of Fortune never lives alone without her husband. Therefore victory and fortune were awaiting Arjuna and that was the meaning of the transcendental sound produced by the conchshell of Vishnu or Lord Krishna. Besides that the chariot on which both friends were seated was donated by Agni to Arjuna and this indicated that this chariot was meant for conquering all sides wherever it would be drawn. The chariot was meant for conquering over all the three worlds by all means.

Text 1.15

Thereafter Lord Krishna blew His conchshell of the name Pancajanya, Arjuna blew his Devadatta and Bhima, the voracious eater and performer of herculean tasks, blew his terrific conchshell of the name Paundram.


Hrisikesa is the name of Lord Krishna because He is the owner of all senses. The living entities are His parts and parcels, and therefore the senses of the living entities are also the parts and parcels of His senses. The impersonalists cannot account for the senses of the living entities and therefore they are always busy to describe all living entities as senseless or impersonal. Being situated in the hearts of all living entities, the Lord directs the senses of the living entities. But He directs in terms of the surrender of the living entities and in the case of a pure devotee he directs directly the senses of such devotee. Here on the battlefield of Kurukshetra the Lord directly directs the transcendental senses of Arjuna and thus His particular name is that connection is Hrishikesha. The Lord has different names in terms of His activities. Just like His name is Madhusudana because He killed the demon of the name Madhu, His name is Govinda because He gives pleasure to the cows and the senses, His name is Vaasudeva because He appeared as the son of Vasudeva, His name is Devakinandana because He accepted Devaki as His mother. His name is Yasodanandan because He awarded His childhood pastimes to Yasoda in Vrindavan, His name is Patha-sarathi because He worked as charioteer of His friend Arjuna. Similarly His name is Hrishikesha because He gave direction to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.

Dhananjaya is the name of Arjuna because he helped his elder brother in fetching wealth when it was required by the king for expending in different sacrifices. Similarly, Bhima is known as Vrikodara because he could also eat voraciously as much as he could perform many herculean tasks like killing the demon Hidimba. So the particular types of conchshells blown by the different personalities on the side of the Pandavas beginning from the Lord were all very much encouraging for the fighting soldiers. On the other side there were no such credits of activities, neither was there the presence of Lord Krishna, the Supreme Director, nor that of the Goddess of Fortune. So they were predestined to loose the battle and that was the message announced by such sounds of conchshells.

Text 1.16-18

King Yudhisthira, the son of Kunti, blew his conchshell, the Ananta-vijaya, and Nakula and Sahadeva blew the Sughosa and Manipuspaka. The great archer King of Kasi, the great fighter Sikhandi, Dhrstadyumna, Virata, the unconquerable Satyaki, Drupada, the sons of Draupadi, and all others, O King, such as the mighty-armed son of Subhadra, all blew their respective conchshells.


Sanjaya informed King Dhritarastra very tactfully that his unwise policy to deceive the sons of Pandu and endeavor to enthrone his sons on the seat of the kingdom was not very laudable. The signs were already there that the whole Kuru dynasty would be killed in that great battle because beginning from the grandsire Bhisma, down to the grand sons like Abhimanyu and others, including many other kings from many states of the world were all present there to be killed in the battle. The whole catastrophe was due to him only because he encouraged the policy followed by his sons.

Text 1.19

The blowing of all these different conschells became very uproarious and thus vibrating both in the sky and on the surface of the earth, it shattered the hearts of the sons of Dhritarashtra respectively.


When Bhisma and others on the other side of the battlefront blew their respective conchshells, there was no heart-breaking on the part of the Pandavas. Such occurrences are not mentioned. But here in this particular verse, it is mentioned that the hearts of the sons of Dhritarashtra were shattered by the sounds vibrated by the Pandava’s party. This is due to the Pandavas and their confidence in Lord Krishna. One who takes the shelter of the Supreme Lord has nothing to be afraid of, even in the midst of the greatest calamity.

Text 1.20

O King, after looking at the sons of Dhritarashtra drawn in military array, Arjuna, the son of Pandu, at that time seated on the chariot bearing the flag marked with Hanuman, taking up his bow and just about to release his arrows, spoke to Lord Krishna as follows.


The battle was just about to begin and from the above statements it is understood that the hearts of the sons of Dhritarashtra were more or less shattered by the Pandavas’ unexpected arrangement of military force, endowed with the cooperation and direct instruction of Lord Krishna on the battlefied. As mentioned here, the emblem of Hanuman on the flag of Arjuna is another sign of victory because Hanuman cooperated with Lord Rama in the battle between Rama and Ravana and Lord Rama came out victorious. Now both Rama and Hanuman were present on the chariot of Arjuna to help him. Lord Krishna is Rama Himself and wherever Lord Rama is, His eternal servitor Hanuman and His eternal consort Sita, the Goddess of Fortune, are also present. Therefore Arjuna had no cause of fear whatsoever from the enemies. And above all, the Lord of the senses, Lord Krishna,was personally present to give him direction and as such all good counsel was available for him in the matter of executing the battle. In such conditions of auspicious arrangements by the Lord for His eternal devotee lay certainly the signs of his assured victory in the fight.

Text 1.21-22

Arjuna said: O infallible One, please draw my chariot between the two armies so that I may see those who are present here with a desire to fight and with whom I have to contend in this great battle attempt. 


Although Lord Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, still out of His causeless mercy He had been engaged in the service of His friend. He never therefore fails in His affection for His devotees and thus He is addressed herein as the infallible. As charioteer, He had to carry out the orders of Arjuna, and He had no hesitation to do that and as such He is addressed as the infallible. And it is not because He had accepted the position of charioteer of His devotee that His position had been lowered at any rate. In all circumstances He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hrishikesha, the Lord of the total senses. The relationship between the Lord and His servitor is very sweet and transcendental. The servitor is ever-ready to render service to the Lord and similarly the Lord is always seeking an opportunity to render some service to the devotee. He takes more pleasure when His pure devotee takes the advantageous position of ordering Him than He does in being the giver of orders and thus enjoys such orders from the devotee . As master everyone is under His orders. Nobody is above Him to order Him. But when He finds out some pure devotee ordering Him, He enjoys transcendental pleasure, altough He is the infallible master in all circumstances.

As a pure devotee of the Lord, Arjuna had no desire to fight with his cousin-brothers but he was forced to come to the battlefield by the obstinacy of Duryodana, who was never agreeable to any terms of peaceful negotiation. Therefore he was very anxious to see who were the leading persons present on the battlefield. Although there was no question of peacemaking endeavor on the battlefield, still he wanted to see them again to estimate how much they were bent upon calling for an unwanted war.

Text 1.23

Let me see those who have come here to fight for the matter of satisfying the senses of the evil-minded son of Dhritarashtra.


It was an open secret that Duryodana wanted to usurp the kingdom of the Pandavas by evil plans, in collaboration with his father Dhrtarashtra. Therefore all persons who had joined the side of Duryodana must have been birds of the same feather. Arjuna wanted to identify them on the battlefied, before the battle began. But he had no intention to propose a peace negotiation. It was also a fact that he wanted to see them just to make an estimate of the strength which he had to face, although he was quite confident of victory because Krishna was sitting by his side.

Text 1.24

Sanjaya said: O descendant of Bharata, being thus addressed by Arjuna, Lord Krishna drew up the fine chariot in the midst of the armies of both parties.


Gudaka means sleep and one who conquers sleep is called Gudakesa. Sleep also means ignorance. So Arjuna conquered both sleep and ignorance on account of his friendship with Krishna. As a great devotee of Krishna he could not forget Krishna even for a moment because that is the nature of a devotee. Either awake or in sleep, a devotee of the Lord can never be free from thinking of Krishna’s name, form, qualities, pastimes and thus a devotee of Krishna can conquer both sleep and ignorance simply by thinking of Krishna constantly. This is called Krishna consciousness or samadhi. As Hrishikesha or the director of the senses and mind of every living entity, Krishna could understand Arjuna’s purpose in placing the chariot in the midst of the armies. Thus He did so and spoke as follows.

Text 1.25

In the presence of Bhisma, Drona and all other chieftains of the world the Lord said: “O Partha, just behold all the Kurus assembled here.”


As the Supersoul of all living entities, Lord Krishna could understand what was going on in the mind of Arjuna. The purpose of using the word Hrishikesha is this connection is to indicate that He knew everything. And the word Partha, or the son of Kunti, or Pritha is also similarly significant. As a friend, He wanted to inform Arjuna that because Arjuna was the son of Pritha, the sister of His father Vasudeva, therefore He had agreed to accept the charioteership of Arjuna. Now what did Krishna mean by the exhortation” just behold the Kurus.” Did He want Arjuna to stop there and not fight or what did He mean by that? He never expected such things from the son of His aunt Pritha. The mind of Arjuna was thus predicted by the Lord by friendly joking.

Text 1.26

There Arjuna could see within the midst of the armies of both parties, his fathers, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons, friends, as also his fathers-in-law and well-wishers, all present there.


On the battlefield Arjuna could see all grades of relatives. There he could see persons like Bhurishrava, who were his father’s contemporaries, grandfathers like Bhisma, Somadatta, teachers like Dronacharya and Kripacharya, maternal uncles like Salya and Sakuni, brothers like Duryodhana, sons like Laksmana and others, friends like Ashvattama, well wishers like Kritavarma etc, etc. He could also see the armies which contained many of his friends.  

Text 1.27

After seing all different grades of friends and relatives, the son of Kunti, Arjuna, became much overwhelmed with compassion and spoke thus.

Text 1.28

Arjuna said: My dear Krishna, seeing my friends and relatives present before me in such a fighting spirit, I feel the limbs of my body quivering and my mouth is drying up considerably.


Any man who has genuine devotion to the Lord has all the good qualities which are found in the godly persons or in the demigods. Whereas the nondevotee however advanced he may be by material qualification of education and culture, will lack in godly qualities. As such Arjuna, just after seeing his kinsmen, friends and relatives on the battlefield was at once overwhelmed by compassion for them as to how they had so decided to fight amongst themselves. So far his own soldiers were concerned, they had his sympathy from the beginning. But he even became compassionate for the soldiers of the other party, foreseeing their imminent death. And thinking like that the different limbs of his body began to quiver and his mouth became dry. He became more or less astonished to see their fighting spirit. Practically the whole community in relationship with Arjuna came there to fight with him and this was too much for a devotee like Arjuna. Although it is not mentioned herein, still it can be easily imagined that his bodily limbs were not only quivering and his mouth drying up but he might be crying as well out of compassion. Such symptoms in Arjuna were not a sign of weakness, but it was due to his softheartedness on account of becoming a pure devotee of the Lord. It is said therefore:

yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akincana

sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah

harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna

mano-rathenasati dhavato bahih

“One who has inflinching devotion for the Personality of Godhead, has all the good qualities of the demigods. But for one who is not a devotee of the Lord, his material qualifications have no value because he is hovering on the mental plane and thus is sure to be attracted by the glaring material energy.” (Bhagavatam 5.18.12)

Text 1.29

My whole body is trembling and my hair is standing on end, my bow Gandiva is slipping from my hand and my skin is burning.


There are two kinds of trembling of the body and two kinds of standings of the hair on end. Such phenomena occur either in great ecstacy of spiritual sensation and the other is out of great fear under material conditions. There is no fear in transcendental realisation. Therefore, under the circumstances, Arjuna’s trembling of the body and standing of hair on end are out of material fear, namely loss of life. It is evident from other symptoms also, namely that he became impatient so much so that his famous bow Gandiva was slipping from his hands. And because his heart was burning within himself, therefore he was feeling a burning sensation of the outward skin. And all these are due to a material conception of life.

Text 1.30

I am now unable to stand here any longer and I am forgetting myself because my mind is not working. I see only causes of misfortune, O Krishna, killer of the Kesi demon.


Due to his impatience, Arjuna was unable to stay on the battlefield and he was forgetting himself on account of the weakness of his mind. Excessive attachment for material things puts a man in such bewildering condition of existence. Bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah syat, (Bhagavatam 11.2.37): such fearfulness and loss of mental equilibrium take place in persons who are too much affected by material conditions and therefore Arjuna envisioned only painful reverses in the battlefield, namely he was not going to be happy even by gaining victory over the enemy. The words “nimittani viparitani” are significant. When a man sees frustration in some expectation he thinks, “Why I am here?” Everyone’s selfishness is self-centred. No one is interested in the supreme selfishness of Krishna. Arjuna is supposed to show such ignorance of personal selfishness by the will of Krishna. The real selfishness is Vishnu. The conditioned soul forgets it and therefore suffers the symptoms of bodily derelictions. Arjuna thought that his victory in the battle would be cause of lamentation for him.

Text 1.31

 I do not find any goodness in the matter of killing my own kinsmen in the battle, nor can I, my dear Krishna, desire any subsequent victory, kingdom or happiness.


Without knowing that one’s self interest lies in Vishnu, conditioned souls are attractd by bodily relationships, hoping to be happy in such situations. In such blind conception of life, one forgets even the causes of material happiness. Arjuna appears to have forgotten even the moral codes for a ksatriya. It is said that two kinds of men namely the ksatriya who dies directly on the battlefield and the person in the renounced order of life absolutely devoted to spiritual culture are elligible to enter the sun globe, which is so powerful and dazzling. Arjuna is reluctant even to kill his enemies and what to speak of his relatives. He thought that by killing his kinsmen there would be no happiness in his life and therefore he was not willing to fight, as much as a person who does not feel any hunger is also not inclined to cook. He has now decided to go into the forest and live a secluded life in frustration. As a ksatriya, he required a kingdom for his subsistence because the ksatriyas can not engage themselves in any other occupation. But Arjuna has no kingdom. His chance for a kingdom is to fight with his cousin-brothers and reclaim his kingdom inherited from his father, which he does not like to do. Therefore he is fit to go to the forest and live a secluded life of frustration.

Texts 1. 32-35

O Govinda, of what use is a kingdom to us? And of what use are enjoyment and happiness, or even  life itself? Because all those for whom we may desire kingdom and happiness are now arrayed on this battlefield. O Madhusudana, when all of them, such as teachers, fathers, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law and all relatives, everyone of them, are ready to give up their lives and properties and are standing before me, then why shall I wish to kill them, even tough they might otherwise kill me? O maintainer of all living entities, I may inform You that I am not prepared to fight with them even in exchange for the three worlds, let alone this earth.


Arjuna has addressed Lord Krishna as Govinda because Krishna is the object of all pleasures for the cows and the senses. By using this significant word, Arjuna indicates that Krishna should understand what will satisfy his own senses. But Govinda is not meant for satisfying our senses. If however we try to satisfy the senses of Govinda, then automatically our senses are satified. Materially everyone wants to satisfy his senses and he wants God to be the order suplier for the satisfaction of everyone’s senses. The Lord can satisfy the senses of the living entities as much as they may deserve but not to the extent that one may covet. But when one takes the opposite way, namely when one wants to satisfy the senses of Govinda, without desire for satisfying one’s own senses, then by the grace of Govinda all desires of the living entity are satisfied. Arjuna’s deep affecttion for community and family members is exhibited herewith partly due to his natural compassion for them. He is therefore not prepared to fight with them. Everyone wants to show his opulence to friends and relatives, but Arjuna thinks that all his relatives and friends will be killed in the battle and unable to see his opulence after victory. This the calculation of material life. Transcendental life is however different from such calculation. A devotee wants to satisfy the desires of the Lord and as such if the Lord wants it, the devotee can accept all kinds of opulence for the service of the Lord. And if the Lord does not want it, the devotee will not accept a farthing for his personal self-interest or for any extended self-interest. Arjuna did not want to kill his relatives and if there was at all a need for killing them, he desired that Krishna may kill them personally, without knowing that Krishna had already killed them before their coming into the battlefield and Arjuna was to become the direct cause for it. This fact will be disclosed in the following chapters of the Bhagavad-gita.

As a natural devotee of the Lord, Arjuna did not like to retaliate against his miscreant cousin-brothers, but it was the plan of the Lord that they should all be killed. The devotee of the Lord does not take any retaliation against the wrongdoer, but the Lord does not tolerate any mischief done to the devotee by the miscreants.The Lord can excuse a person on His own account, but He excuses no one who has done harm to His devotees. Therefore the Lord determined to kill those miscreants, although Arjuna wanted to excuse them.

Text 1.36

Sin will overcome us by slaying such aggressors.Therefore it is not proper for us to kill the sons of Dhritarshtra along with their friends. What should we gain, O Krishna, husband of the Goddess of Fortune, and how could we be happy by killing our own kinsmen?


According to Vedic injunctions there are six kinds of aggressors as follows: (1) a poison giver, (2) one who sets fire to the house, (3) one who attacks with deadly weaapons, (4) one who plunders riches, (5) one who occupies another’s land and (6) one who kidnaps a wife. Such aggressors are at once to be killed and there is no sin incurred by killing such agressors. Such dealings with aggressors are quite befitting for any ordinary man. But Arjuna was not an ordinary person. He was saintly by character and therefore he wanted to deal with them in saintliness. This kind of saintliness, however, is not for a ksatriya. Although  a responsible man in the administration of a state is required to be saintly, he should not be cowardly. For example, Lord Rama was so saintly that people even now are anxious to live in the kingdom of Lord Rama (rama-rajya), but Lord Rama never showed any cowardice. Ravana was an aggressor against Rama because Ravana kidnapped Lord Rama’s wife Sita. And Lord Rama gave him sufficient lessons, unparalleled in the history of the world. But Arjuna was considering the special type of aggressors he was dealing with, namely his own grandfather, own teacher, friends, sons, grandsons, etc., and therefore he thought that he should not take such severe steps as it is necessary for the ordinary aggressors. Besides that saintly persons are advised to forgive. Such injunctions for the saintly persons are more specific than any political emergency. Arjuna considered that rather than kill his own kinsmen for political reasons, it will be better to forgive them on grounds of religion and saintly behavior. He did not, therefore, consider such killing profitable simply for the matter of temporary bodily happiness. After all kingdom and the pleasures thereof are not permanent and thus why should he risk his life and glide to hell by killing his own kinsmen? In this connection, Arjuna’s addressing Krishna as Madhava, or the husband of the Goddess of Fortune, is also significant. He wanted to point out to Krishna that He, as the husband of the Goddess of Fortune, should not induce him in a way which will ultimately bring about misfortune. Krishna, however, never brings misfortune to anyone, to say nothing of His devotees.

Text 1.37-38

O Janardan, although these men, their hearts overtaken by greed, find not fault in killing the family, quarreling with friends and similar acts, why should we engage ourselves in these acts of sin in spite of our knowledge of the crime that constitute the destruction of the family?


A ksatriya is not supposed to deny a battle or gambling when he is so invited by some rival party. Under such obligation, Arjuna could not deny to fight because he was so invited by the party of  Duryodana. In reply, Arjuna considered that the other party may be blind to the effects of such a fratricidal fight. But since he could see the consequences of such a fight, how could he accept such a false challenge? Obligation is actually binding when the effect is good. But when the effect is otherwise, nobody can be bound by such a false obligation. Considering all these pros and cons of the challenge, Arjuna decided not to fight with them.

Text 1.39

With the destruction of the dynasty, the eternal family tradition becomes vanquished and thus the rest of the family becomes involved in irreligion.


In the system of the varnashrama institution there are many principles of religious traditions to help the members of the family grow nicely in spiritual values. The elder members of the family are responsible for such purificatory processes of the family, beginning from birth to death. Therefore on the death of the elder members such family traditions of purification would stop acting and the remaining younger family members may develop irreligious habits without any chance for spiritual salvation. Therefore, for no purpose should the elder members of the family be slain.

Text 1.40

When irreligion is prominent in the family, O Krishna, the ladies of the family become polluted and from the degradation of womanhood, O descendant of Vrishni, comes unwanted progeny.


Good population in human society is the basic principle for peace, prosperity and peaceful spiritual progress of life. The principles of the Varnashrama religion were so designed that good population may prevail in the society for the all round spiritual progress of the state and community. Such good population of the society depends on the chastity and faithfulness of its womanhood. As children are very easily prone to be mislead, similarly women are also very easily prone to degradation. Therefore both the children and the womanfolk are required to be protected not only by the elder members of the family but also by engaging the womanfolk in various religious practices so that they might not be mislead into adultery. According to Canakya Pandit the women class are (is) not very intelligent and therefore not trustworthy. Therefore different family traditions of religious activities could always engage them and thus their chastity and devotion would give birth to good population eligible for conducting the system of the Varnashrama institution. On the failure of such Varnashram Dharma naturally women become free to act and free to mix with other men and thus adultery is indulged in at the risk of unwanted population. Irresponsible men accentuate adultery in the society and thus the human race is flooded with unwanted children at the risk of war and pestilence.

Text 1.41

An increase of unwanted population certainly causes hellish life both for the family and for those who destroy the family tradition. The forefathers of such ruined families fall down, because the performances for offering them food and water are stopped altogether.


According to the rules and regulations of fruitive activities, there is a need of periodical offerings of  food and water to the past forefathers of the family. The offering of food and water to the diseased forefathers is performed by worship of Vishnu, because eating the remnants of foodstuff offered to Vishnu can deliver one from all kinds of sinful actions. Sometimes the forefathers might be suffering from various types of sinful reactions, and sometimes some of them cannot even acquire a gross material body and in a subtle body they remain as ghosts. And thus when remnants of foodstuff are offered to the forefathers by the descendants, the forefathers are released from such miserable ghostly and other kind of miserable life, whatever their location. This sort of help by the descendants to the forefathers are some of the family traditions and those who are not in devotional life are required to perform such rituals. But one who is devotional life is not under such obligation. Simply by performing devotional service, one can deliver hundreds and thousands of forefathers from all kinds of miserable lives. In Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.41, we find the following statement:

devarshi-bhutapta-nrinam pitrinam

no kinkaro nayam rini ca rajam

sarvatmana yah sharanam sharanyam

gato mukundam parihritya kartam

“Anyone who has taken shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, the giver of liberation, giving up all kinds of obligation and has taken to the path in all seriousness, such person has no duty nor obligation to the demigods, sages, general living entities, family members, human kind or to the forefathers.” Such obligations are automatically fulfilled by performances of devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”       

Text 1.42

By the faults of the destroyers of the family tradition, causing thus an emergence of unwanted children, all kinds of community projects and family welfare activities are devastated.


Community projects of the four orders of human society, combined with family welfare activities as they are designed by the institution of Sanatan Dharma or Varnashrama Dharma, all have a great aim of ultimate salvation of the human being. Therefore, forgetting the aim of life, Vishnu and breaking of the link by irresponsible leaders of society or community bring about chaos in the human society. Such leaders are called blind and persons who are led by such leaders are sure to be in chaos of great magnitude.

Text 1.43

O Krishna, maintainer of the people in general, I have heard it by disciplic succession that persons who destroy the family traditions domicile always in hell.


Arjuna places his argument not on the basis of his own experience of personal research, but he says that he has heard it from the authorities. That is the way of receiving real knowledge. One cannot reach the real point of factual knowledge without the help of the right person who is already in knowledge. In the Varnashrama institution, there is the procedure that, before death, one has to undergo the process of atonement for his sinful activities. A person who is always engaged in uninterrupted sinful activities must take to the process of atonement called “prayascitta.” Failing which, one surely has to be tranferred to the hellish planets to undergo different terms of miserable life as a result of his sinful actiivities.   

Text 1.44

Alas, how ominous it is that we are preparing ourselves to commit greatly sinful acts. Driven by the desire to enjoy royal happiness, we are intend on killing our own kinsmen.


Driven by selfish motives, one may be inclined to such sinful acts as to kill one’s own brother, father or mother. There are many such instances in the history of the world. But Arjuna being a saintly devotee of the Lord, is always conscious of the folly of such activities and therefore takes care to avoid them.

Text 1.45

Rather than to fight with them, I shall consider it better for the sons of Dhrithrastra to kill me unarmed and unresisting on the battlefield.


While fighting is in progress between two ksatriyas and according to ksatriya fighting principles, it is the custom that an unwilling or unarmed enemy cannot be attacked. Arjuna, however, decided that he would not even fight if he is attacked by the enemy is such awkward condition. He did not consider how much the other party was bent upon fighting. All these symptoms are due to his soft-heartedness on account of being a great devotee of the Lord.

Text 1.46

Sanjaya said: Having thus spoken on the battlefield, Arjuna cast aside his bow along with the arrows and sat down again on the chariot, his mind overwhelmed with lamentation.


While observing the situation of the enemy, Arjuna stood up on the chariot, but when he was too much afflicted with lamentation within his mind he sat down again, setting aside his bow and arrows. Such a kind and soft-hearted person in the devotional service of the Lord is fit to receive knowledge of the self.

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports of the first chapter of the Gitopanishad in the matter of Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra.



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, spoke 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 retrieving his outward dress-the shirt and coat of the material body. 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 body and the spirit soul as explained by the supreme authority, Lord Sri Krsna. This realization is possible by working without fuitive results, being situated in the fixed conception of the real self.

Text 2.2

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Arjuna how have these impurities 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 as the Supreme Personality of Godhead throughout the Gita. 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 the 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 (1.2.11) this conception of the Absolute Truth is explained as:

Vadanti tat tattva-vidas

tattvam yaj jnanam advayam

brahmeti paramatmeti

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.”

Such three phases of understanding by different persons can be explained by the example of the sun. The sun is also 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 one 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 have advanced further 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 students who can enter into the heart of the sun planet are compared with persons who have 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 Krishna 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. Not even Lord Narayana can possess such fullness of opulence as Lord Krishna. And by analytical study of the extent of such attributes Lord Brahma himself concludes in the Brahma Samhita that Lord Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Nobody 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 all of them, 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 therein 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 expansions or parts of the plenary expansions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.28)

Therefore Krsna is the Original Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, the 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 one the opportunity of becoming famous in the world. Lord Krsna did not approve Arjuna’s so-called compassion for his kinsmen.

Text 2.3

O son of Kunti or Pritha, do not yield to such degrading impotence. This does not befit you. Please give up this petty weakness of heart and arise, O chastiser of the enemies.


Arjuna was addressed as the son of Pritha, who happened to be the sister of Krishna’s father Vasudeva. Therefore Arjuna had a blood relationship with Krishna. If the son of a ksatriya declines to fight, he is called the friend of a ksatriya (ksatra-bandhu). Such friends of ksatriyas or friends of brahmins (brahma-bandhu) are unworthy sons of their fathers. Krsna did not like the idea that Arjuna would be called an unworthy son of a ksatriya. Arjuna was the most intimate friend of Krishna and Krishna was directly guiding him on the chariot. And in spite of all these credits, to abandon the battle would represent Arjuna’s most infamous act in the company of Krishna. Krishna, therefore, told him that such an attitude did not fit his personality. Arjuna might argue that he would give up the battle on the grounds of his magnanimous attitude for the most respectable Bhisma and his relatives. But Krishna qualified that sort of magnanimity only as a weakness of heart or 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 Krishna.

Text 2.4

Arjuna said: O killer of the enemies Madhu and others, how can I counter-attack in battle worshipable personalities like Bhisma and Drona?


Respectable superiors like Bhisma, the grandfather and Dronacarya, the teacher are always worshipable. Even if they attack they should not be counter-attacked. It is general etiquette that superiors are not to be offered even a verbal fight. Even if they are sometimes harsh in behavior they should not be harshly treated. “Then how it is possible for me, Arjuna, to counter attack them? Did You, Krishna, ever attack Your grandfather Ugrasena or Your teacher Sandipani Muni?” These were some of the arguments offered by Arjuna to Krishna.

Text 2.5

It is better to live by begging than to live at the cost of the lives of great souls who are superiors as well. Even though they are desiring some profit, still they are superiors and if they are killed then our enjoyable things will be tainted with blood.


According to scriptural codes, a teacher who engages in abominable action 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, however, not have accepted such positions simply on financial considerations. Under the circumstances, they have lost the respectability of teachers. 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 smeared with blood.                                                            

Text 2.6

Neither do we know which is better for us — conquering them or being conquered by them. If we kill 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, in this situation, Arjuna became perplexed whether he should execute the fighting, with the risk of commiting unnecessary violence. Or should he rather prefer to live by begging, because if he did not conquer the enemy, begging would be their only means of subsistence. There was no certainty of victory either because either side might emerge victorious. 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. His 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 as all these qualities combined with his faith in the words of instruction of Sri Krsna, his spiritual master, indicate. It is concluded that Arjuna was quite fit for liberation. Without control of the senses there is no chance of being elevated to the platform of knowledge, and without knowledge and devotion there is no chance of liberation. Arjuna was competent in all these attributes over and above his enormous attributes in his material relationships.

Text 2.7

On account of my miserly weakness, I am now bewildered in my sense of duty and have lost my natural calmness of mind. And in such condition, I am asking You to kindly tell me definitely 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 it therefore behooves one to approach a bona fide spiritual master who can give one proper guidance for executing the purpose of life. All Vedic literatures advise us to approach a bona fide spiritual master to become 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 of the solution, one must approach a spiritual master with Samit or ingredients for initiation by the spiritual master, who is in the disciplic succession. A person who has a bona fide spiritual master is supposed to know everything. One should not, therefore, remain in miserly perplexities but must approach a spiritual master. This is the purport of this verse.

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 who, in the human form of life, does not find the solution of the problems of life and thus quits this world like the cats and dogs without understanding the science of self-realization is called a miserly man.” This human form of life is a most valuable asset for the living entity to utilize for solving the problems of life. And one who does not utilize this opportunity properly is a miser. The opposite number is called the Brahmana or the Brahmin, who is intelligent enough to utilize this body to find the solution to all problems of life. “Ya etad aksaram gargi viditvasmal lokat praiti sa brahmanah.”

The kripanas, or miserly persons, waste their time in being overly affectionate to 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 concern to protect them from death were the cause of his perplexities, all due to such weakness of becoming 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 supply a definite 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 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 scholars explain 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. One who has no sense of this understanding is the greatest fool in his understanding of Bhagavad-gita. And one who attempts to comment on the Bhagavad-gita without knowing this science is the greatest pretender.

Text 2.8

I do not find any means to counteract the lamention which is drying up my senses. I will not be able to dispel it even if I win a prosperous, unrivaled kingdom on earth, with sovereignty like the demigods in heaven.


Although Arjuna was putting forward so many arguments based on his knowledge of the principles of religion, 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 were drying up his whole existence and 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 solving the problems of life without the help of a spiritual master like Krsna. Therefore the conclusion is that a spiritual master who is one hundred per cent Krsna conscious is the bona fide spiritual master and he can solve the problems of life. Lord Caitanya said that one who is a master in the science of Krsna consciousness, regardless of his social position, is the real spiritual master.

kiba vipra kiba nyasi shudra kene naya

yei krsna-tattva-vetta sei guru haya 

“It does not matter whether a person is a vipra (learned scholar in Vedic wisdom), or born in a lower family, or is in the renounced order of life, if he is master in the science of Krsna, he is the perfect and bona fide spiritual master.” (Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 8.128) 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 scholarly 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 due to 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 prefer to consult Krsna or the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, which constitute 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 lamentation. He, therefore, sought refuge in Krsna consciousness and that is the right path for peace and harmony. Economic development or supremacy over 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: 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.

Text 2.9

Sanjaya said: Thereafter Arjuna, chastiser of enemies and master at curbing ignorance, informed Krsna, the master of the senses, as follows: O Govinda, pleasure of all senses, I shall not fight,” and fell silent.


Dhrtarastra must have been very glad to understand that Arjuna was not going to fight, but was instead leaving the battlefield for the begging profession. But Sanjaya disappointed him again and indicated with the use of the word “parantapah” that Arjuna was competent to kill his enemies. 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. XXX 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 and would then surely fight. Thus Dhrtarastra’s joy would be foiled when Arjuna would become more enlightened by Krishna and would fight to the end.

Text 2.10

O Dhrtarastra, descendant of Bharata, at that time Hrsikesa, smiling 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 the Hrsikesa and the 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 a role. But when He was accepted as the master, He at once assumed the position 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, and friends or enemies are equally entitled to hear them.

Text  2.11

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: While speaking learned words you are lamenting  for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor for the dead. 


The Lord at once took the position of the teacher and chastised the student, calling him indirectly a fool. The Lord said: “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 stages of the body, neither in the living nor in the dead condition.” As 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 that 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 at any stage of development of the material body.

Text 2.12

Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease te be.


In the Vedas, 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.

The Katha Upanishad 2.2.13 says:

Nityo nityanam cetanash cetananam

eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman

tam atma-stham ye’ nupashyanti dhiras

tesham shantih shashvati netaresham

The same Vedic truth enunciated herein is given to Arjuna and in that respect 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 on the battlefield are all eternally individual beings and that the Lord is eternally the maintainer of the individual living entities both in their conditioned and in their liberated situations. 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 such eternal persons. Their individuality existed in the past and their individuality will continue in the future without any cessation. Therefore there is no cause for lamentation for any one 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. Krsna clearly says herein that in the future also His individuality and that of others will continue eternally, as it is confirmed in the Upanishads. This statement of Krsna is authoritative because Krsna cannot be subject to 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 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 purposes 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 can be compared with the Bhagavad-gita and if we accept Krishna as an ordinary man, the Bhagavad-gita loses its whole importance. The Mayavadi argues that the plurality mentioned in this verse is conventional. The Mayavadi also 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 individuality is maintained on spiritual grounds as it is confirmed by great Acharyas like Sri Ramanuja and others. It is clearly mentioned in many places in the Bhagavad-gita that this spiritual individuality 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. The non-devotee’s approach to the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita is something like a bees 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. Nor 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 commentations 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 of 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.

Text 2.13

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 of body from one to another, the sober person does not become deluded by such a change.


Since every living entity is an individual soul, each is changing his body every moment, manifesting sometimes in childhood, sometimes as a youth and sometimes as an old man, although the same spirit soul is 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. He should rather rejoice for their changing bodies from old to new ones, thereby rejuvenating their energy. Such changes of body are meant for varieties of enjoyment or suffering of the living entity according to one’s work in this 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 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 bodies 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 or 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 to fall down into material nature. These fragmental portions are eternally so and even after liberation they remain the same -fragmental- but 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 entities. He is known as the Paramatma, Who is different from the individual living entity. When the sky is reflected on 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 distinct 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 forgetful soul under the illusion of Maya.

Text 2.14

O son of Kunti, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed. 


In the proper discharge of duty, one has to learn to tolerate nonpermanent appearances and disappearances of happiness and distress. According to Vedic injunctions, one has to take his bath early in the morning even 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 although 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 can one liberate himself from the clutches of Maya (illusion).  

The two different names of address given to 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 have a great heritage. A great heritage brings responsibility in the matter of proper discharge of duties; therefore, he cannot avoid fighting in the proper discharge of his duty.

Text 2.15

O best among men (Arjuna), a person who is not disturbed by such happiness and distress and is steady in both is certainly eligible for liberation.


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 a person eligible for liberation. In the Varnashram institution, the fourth stage of life, namely the renounced order, is a very painstaking situation. But one who is serious about making his life perfect surely adopts the Sannyasa order of life in spite of all difficulties. The difficulties do not arise from his living conditions. The difficulties are to cut off family relationships, to give up the connection of wife and children. But if anyone is able to tolerate such difficulties, surely his path to spiritual realization is complete. Therefore in the discharge of Arjuna’s duties as a ksatriya, he is advised to tolerate, even if there is some difficulty to fight 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 nobody else to look after them. Yet for a higher cause, He took sannyasa and was steady in the discharge of higher duties. That is the way of achieving liberation from material bondage.

Text 2.16

By thoroughly studying the nature of both, persons who are seers of the truth have concluded that there is no endurance of the nonexistent (the 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 the actions and reactions of different corpuscles is admitted by the modern medical science and thus growth and old age of the body are taking place. But the spirit soul exists permanently, remaining the same 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, both impersonalist or personalist. This truth has also been established in the Vishnu Purana, where it is stated that Vishnu and His abodes are all self-illuminated spiritual existence.                                                                                                                                                       Jyotimsi visnur bhuvanani visnuh”, Vishnu Purana 2.12.38. The words “existent” and “non-existent” refer always refer to spirit and matter only. 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 involves the re-establishment of the eternal relationship between the worshiper and the worshipable and the concomitant understanding of the difference between the part and parcel living entities and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One can understand the nature of the Supreme by thorough study of oneself and the difference between the two 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 the 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.

Text 2.17

That which pervades the entire body you should know to be indestructible. No one is able to destroy that imperishable soul.


This verse more clearly explains 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 an individual soul and the symptoms of the soul’s presence is perceived as individual consciousness. This soul is described as one ten-thousandth part of the upper portion of the hair point in size. 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 further divided into one hundred parts, each such part is the measurement of the dimension of the spirit soul.” Similarly in the Caitanya Caritamrita, Madhya 19.140  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 the 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 spreads 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 atomic in size 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 the soul is purified from the contamination of five kinds of material air, 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 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 also felt actually in 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 a particular body. According to the 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.  The individual atomic soul is definitely present in the heart, as well as the Supersoul, and thus all energies of bodily movement are emanating from this part of the body. The corpuscles which carry the oxygen from the lungs gather energy from the soul and when the soul passes away from this position, the activity of the blood, generating fusion, ceasesMedical 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 the atomic sparks of the rays of the Supreme Lord called by the name “prabha” or superior energy. So whether one accept Vedic knowledge or 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.

Text 18

The material body of the indestructible, immeasurable and eternal living entity is sure to come to an end; therefore, fight, O descendant of Bharata.


The material body is perishable by nature. It may perish immediately or may do so after hundred years. It is a question of time only. There is no chance to render it indestructible. But the living entity is so minute that it cannot even be seen by the enemy, what to speak 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 viewpoints there is no cause of lamentation because the living entity as he is cannot be killed nor can the material body be saved for any length of time or be permanently protected. The small, minute particle of the whole spirit acquires this material body according to his work and thus observance of religious principles  can be utilized. 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; therefore it is the spirit soul which maintains this body. The body is therefore immaterial and Arjuna was advised to fight without sacrificing the cause of religion for material, bodily considerations.

Text 2.19

Anyone who thinks that the living entity is killing somebody or that a living entity is being killed by others, does not know a thing. One who is in knowledge knows that nobody kills anybody and that nobody is killed by anybody.   


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. The spirit soul is so small that it is impossible to kill him by any material weapon, as it will be evident from subsequent verses. Nor 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 anyone. To understand that a living entity is not killed does not mean encouraging animal slaughter. Killing 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 killing on the principle of religion and not whimsically.

 Text 2.20

For the soul there is neither birth nor death at any time. He has no come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. He not slain when the body is slain. 


Qualitatively, the small atomic fragmental part of the Supreme Spirit is one with the Supreme. He undergoes no changes like the body. Sometimes the soul is called the steady, or “kutastha.” The body is subject to six kinds of transformations. It takes its birth from the womb of the mother’s body, remains for some time, grows, produces some effects, gradually dwindles and at last vanishes into oblivion. The soul however, does not go through such changes. 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 there and the soul does not die. Anything which has birth has also death. And because the soul has no birth, he therefore 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 that the soul does not at any time become old, as does the body. The so-called old man, therefore, feels in the same spirit as he felt in his childhood or youth. The changes of the body do not affect the soul. The soul does not deteriorate like a 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 change. Therefore the soul is free from the six kinds of changes of the body.

In the Katha Upanisad (1.2.18) also we find 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, “vipascit”, which means learned 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 out the soul within the heart, where he is situated, we can still understand the presence of the soul simply by the presence of consciousness. Sometimes we do not find the sun in the sky due to clouds, or for some other reason. But the light of the sun is always there and 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 that the sun is in the sky. Similarly, as there is a little consciousness in any sort of body – whether man or animal – 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. The consciousness of the individual soul is prone to be forgetful. When he is forgetful of his real nature, he obtains education and enlightenment from the  superior lessons of Krsna. But Krsna is not like the forgetful soul, otherwise Krsna’s teachings of Bhagavad-gita becomes useless. Therefore there are two kinds of souls- namely the minute particle soul (anu-atma) and the Supersoul (the vibhu-atma). The existence of two kinds of souls- anu and vibhu – are also confirmed in the Katha Upanihsad (1.2.20)  as follows:

Anor aniyan mahato mahiyan

atmasya jantor nihito guhayam

tam akratuh pasyati vita-shoko

dhatuh prasadan 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 only one who has become free from all material desires as well as lamentations can, by the grace of the Supreme, understand the glories of the soul.” Therefore Krsna is the fountainhead of the Supersoul also, as it will be disclosed in the following chapters and Arjuna is the atomic soul, forgetful of his real nature, and thus he requires to be enlightened by Krsna or by His bonafide representative, the spiritual master.

Text 2.21

O 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 also has its utility, and how to apply violence rests with 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 whimsical violence. 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 either for Krsna or Arjuna in such activities.

Text 2.22

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 Svetasvatara Upanishad, confirm the existence of two kinds of souls by comparing them to two friendly birds sitting on the same tree. One of the birds (the individual atomic soul) is eating the fruits of the tree and the other bird is simply watching His friend. Of these two birds- although one in quality as birds, 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 is struggling very hard on the tree of the material body, but as soon as he agrees to accept the other bird as the Supreme Spiritual Master -as Arjuna has agreed to do by voluntary surrender unto Krsna for instruction- then at once the subordinate bird becomes free from all lamentations. Both the Katha Upanishad and Svetasvatara 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 his teacher. He should rather be happy to kill them in the righteous fight so that they may be cleansed at once of all reactions from various bodily activities. A living entity who lays down his life on the sacrificial altar or on the proper battlefield, is at once cleansed of his bodily reactions and promoted to a higher status of life. So there was no cause of lamentation for Arjuna.

Text 2.23

The soul can never be cut into pieces by any kind of weapon, nor can he be burnt by fire, nor can he be moistened by water, nor can he be dried up by the wind.


All kinds of weapons, namely swords, flames of fire, rain, tornado 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. Even the nuclear weapons of the modern age belong to the fire group of weapons. But formerly there were other weapons made of all different types of material elements. Fire weapons were counteracted by water weapons, which are unknown to modern science. Nor do modern scientists have knowledge of the tornado weapons. In any case, the soul can never be cut into pieces or annihilated by any number of weapons, regardless of their fabrication.

The Mayavadi however, cannot explain 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 (sanatana ) and eternally, they are prone to be covered by the illusory energy, and thus become separated from the association of the Supreme Lord, just 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.

Text 2.24

This individual soul is unbreakable, he cannot be burned, he is insoluble and cannot be dried. He is 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 atom eternally, without any 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 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. 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 also living entities in the sun planet with suitable bodies to live there. If the sun globe is without any living entities, then the statement “sarvagatah”-  living everywhere- becomes a falsity.

Text 2.25

It is said that the soul is invisible, inconceivable, immutable. Knowing this, you should now give up this lamentation for the body.


As described herein before, 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, nobody can establish his experimental stability beyond the proof of Sruti 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 always remains atomic 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 stated repeatedly 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 any error.

Text 2.26

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, o 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 any 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 to grieve for 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, mighty-armed, because He, at least, did not 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.

Text 2.27

One who has taken his birth is sure to die, and after death one is sure to take birth again. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should not 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 term. In this way, the cycle of birth and death is revolving, one after another, without any liberation. This cycle of birth and death does not, however, support murder, slaughter and war unnecessarily. 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 does not deserve to break the law and thus become subjected to the reaction of sinful acts of which he was so much afraid. By ceasing 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 his selection of the wrong path of action. 

Text 2.28

O descendant of Bharata, all created beings were non-manifested before; they are manifested only in their interim stage, 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 their 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 building 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 unmanifested, 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 (antavanta ime dehahthat these material bodies are perishable in due course of time, 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 one wakes 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.

Text 2.29

Some look on the soul as amazing, some describe him as amazing, and some hear of him as amazing, while others, even after hearing much about him, cannot understand him at all.


Gitopanisad being fully based on the principles of the Upanisads, an exact parallel passage is found in the Katha Upanisad 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’s presence 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.  Lacking sufficient penance and austerity, men with a poor fund of knowledge cannot understand this amazing story of the individual 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 a 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 atomic soul proper, the Supersoul,  their respective functions and relationship and all other major and minor details. And it is still more difficult to find out a man who has actually derived the full benefit of the knowledge of the soul and is thus able to describe the 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 for understanding the subject matter of the self is, however, to accept the statements of the Bhagavad-gita spoken by the greatest authority, Lord Krishna, without being deviated by so many other theories in this respect. 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 Krishna and by no other way.

Text 2.30

O descendant of Bharata, the owner of the body can never be slain, and as such you need not lament for any living entity.


The Lord now concludes the chapter of instruction about the immutable spirit soul. Beginning from “asocyan anvasocas tvam” up to “dehi nityam avadhyo’yam”, 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 as a ksatriya, Arjuna should not have deviated from his duty out of fear that his grandfather or teacher- Bhishma 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 has to disbelieve that the soul does not exist, but that the living symptoms develop at a certain stage of material maturity resulting from the 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 is justified in terms of the sanction of the Lord and not capriciously.

Text 2.31

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, the second order — for the matter of good administration — is called the Ksatriya order. Ksat means to hurt. One who gives protection from hurt is called a Ksatriya (trayate= to give protection). In the forest, the Ksatriyas are trained to kill. A Ksatriya would go to the forest, challenge a tiger face to face and fight with the tiger with his sword. 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

“On 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 acts of violence, because all parties 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 Svadharmas or specific duties. As long as one is not liberated, one has to perform the specific duty of his particular body in terms of religious principles, just to achieve the status of liberation. When one is liberated, one’s Svadharma–or 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 Svadharma is ordained by the Lord, as it will be clarified in the fourth chapter. Such Svadharma or religious principles on the plane of the body are called the Varnasram Dharma or the human being’s stepping stone towards spiritual understanding. Human civilization begins from the stage of Varnashram Dharma or specific duties in terms of the specific modes of nature of the body obtained. To discharge one’s specific duty in any field of action and as ordered by higher authority represents the opportunity for being elevated to a higher status of life.

Text 2.32

O Partha, Ksatriyas who achieve such fighting opportunities out 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.” and “It will cause perpetual habitation in hell.” Such statements by 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 nonviolent 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:

Ksatriyo 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 to maintain law and order. As such, he has to conquer the soldiers of the inimical kings and thus with religious principles, he should rule over the world.”

So from all points of view, Arjuna had no reason to refrain from fighting. If he were to 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 door was wide open for him. So either way fighting would be for his benefit. 

Text 2.33

If therefore, you do not peform this religious duty 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 got 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.

Text 2.34

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 even begins. And if you think that people may call you 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 from losing your prestige in society.”

So the final judgement of the Lord was for Arjuna to die in the battle and not go away.

Text 2.35

The great generals who have very hight estimation for your name and fame will consider that you have left the battlefield out of fear only and thus they will think of you as a fig.


Lord Krsna continued to deliver His verdict to 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.”

Text 2.36

While vilifying your ability, your enemies will describe you in so many unkind words. What could be the cause of a more painful situation for you?


In the beginning, Lord Krishna was astonished at Arjuna’s uncalled-for compassion, and He described his compassion as befitting the non-Aryans. Now in so many words, He has proved His statements against Arjuna’s so-called compassion.

Text 2.37

O 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 if killed, be elevated to the heavenly planet.

Text 2.38

Do thou fight for the sake of fighting, without any consideration of happiness or distress, loss or gain, victory or defeat and by doing so, you shall never become entangled in the complications of sinful reactions.


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 as with material activities. Anyone who acts for his sense gratification, either in goodness or in passion, is liable for the reaction-good or bad. Anyone 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:

devarshi-bhutapta-nrinam pitrinam

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.” Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.41. That is the indirect hint given by Krsna to Arjuna in this verse and the matter will be more clearly explained in the following verses.

Text 2.39

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. O son of Pritha, when you work with such understanding, without fruitive results, you can get yourself released from the reactions of work.


According to the Nirukti or theVedic 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 enjoying the kingdom and conquering his cousin brothers, the sons of Dhrtarastra. 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 of 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 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 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 the Prakriti and thus the Prakrit became impregnated with the atomic individual souls, all of whom are working in the material world exclusively for sense gratification. 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 the practice of 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 to 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 connection with the atheistic Sankhya. Neither did such philosophy have any influence five thousand years ago, 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 Sankhya, 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, the 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.

Text 2.40

In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement in this path can protect one from a dangerous type of fear.


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 on 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 is a permanent result, so that the 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 this connection there is a nice verse in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.5.17):

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. And what does one 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 the loss of this body. At least in the next life one is sure to have a chance of being born in human society, either in the family of grealty cultured Brahmin or in a rich aristocratic family giving the same soul further chance for elevation. That is the unique quality of work done in Krsna consciousness.

Text 2.41

Persons who are in Krsna consciousness are resolute in their purpose and their aim is one. O 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 krita haya

Faith means unflinching trust in something sublime. When one is engaged in the 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: “Vasudevasarvam 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 by watering the root of the tree one automatically distributes water to 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 everyone 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 in obedience of the representative of Krsna and one should accept the instruction of the spiritual master as one’s mission of life. In his famous prayers for the spiritual master, Srila Visvanath Chakravarty Thakur instructs us 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 chance for sense gratification manifested in fruitive activities. One who is not fixed in mind is diverted by various branches of fruitive acts.

Text 2.42 & 43

Men with a poor fund of knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas, in which various fruitive activities for elevation to the heavenly planets are recommended, and resultant good birth etc… Being desirous of sense gratification and opulent life, 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 there that anyone desiring to be elevated to heavenly planets must perform this sacrifice and such men with a poor fund of knowledge think that this 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 a 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 forever. Even on this earth some are very eager to have Soma-rasa to become strong and fit to enjoy sense gratifications. Such persons have no faith in liberation from the material bondage and they are very much attached to the pompous ceremonies of Vedic sacrifices of different natures. They are generally sensuous and they do not like anything more than the 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 is certainly sensuous and thus they are purely attached to material, temporary happiness, as lords of the material world.

Text 2.44

In the minds of those who are too attached to sense enjoyment and material opulence, and who 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 ‘sminatma-tattva-yathatmyam.” When the mind is fixed for understanding the self, the state is called samadhi. Such samadhi is never possible for persons interested in material sense enjoyment and bewildered by such temporary things. They are more or less condemned by the process of the material energy.

Text 2.45

The Vedas deal mainly with the subject of the three modes of material nature. O Arjuna, become transcendental to these three modes. Be free from all dualities and from all anxieties for gain and safety and be established in the self.


All material activities involve 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. After creation of the material world, the Lord gave for them the Vedic wisdom advising how to live and get rid of the material entanglement. When the activities for sense gratification, namely the karma-kanda chapter, are finished, then the chance for spiritual realisation is offered in the form of the Upanisads, which are parts of different Vedas, as the Bhagavad-gita is the part of the fifth Veda, namely the Mahabharata. The Upanisads represent the beginning of transcendental life. But as long as the material body exists, there are actions and reactions of the material modes and one has to learn tolerance in the face of the 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.

Text 2.46

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 by the student of the Vedas who  knows the purpose behind them.


The rituals and sacrifices mentioned in the Karma Kanda division of the Vedic literatures are meant for gradual development of the sense of self-realisation. And this purpose of self-realization by study of the Vedas is clearly disclosed in the fifteenth chapter of the Bhagavad-gita (15.15) in which it is clearly mentioned that the purpose of studying the Vedas, is to know Lord Krsna, the primeval cause of everything. So self-realization means one’s understanding of Krsna and one’s eternal relationship with Krsna. The relationship of the living entities with Krsna is also mentioned in the fifteen chapter of the Bhagavad-gita (15.7). 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 (3.33.7) as follows:

Aho bata shva-paco ‘to gariyan

yaj-jihvagre vartate nama tubhyam

tepus tapas te juhuvuh sasnur arya

brahmanucur nama grnanti ye te

Oh my Lord, a person who is chanting Your holy name, although born of 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. Such a person is considered thus 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 and 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. He did so and become ecstatic like a madman. The idea is that in this age of Kali, most of the population is foolish, without sufficient education to understand the Vedanta philosophy; and 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.

Text 2.47

You have a proprietary right to perform your prescribed duty, but never claim proprietorship over the results of your actions. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duties. XXXXXXX


There are three considerations here: prescribed duties, capricious work and inaction. Prescribed duties means activities enjoined 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 perform 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.

As far as 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 result, 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 result. His nonparticipation in the battle was another side of attachment and therefore such attachment would never lead him to the path of salvation. Any attachments, positive or negative, all are causes for bondage. Inaction is sinful. Therefore to fight as a matter of duty was Arjuna’s only auspicious path for salvation and nothing else.

Text 2.48

Perform your prescribed duty in an equipoised condition, O Arjuna, without being attached to success or failure and to remain is such an equipoised condition is called yoga.


Krsna says to 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. In the Visnu Purana it is said 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 Varnashram                                                                                                                                         Dharma. Indirectly, Arjuna was advised to act as Krsna told him.

Text 2.49

 O 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 understand one’s constitutional position as eternal servitor of the Lord gives 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 for the living entity. Only misers desire to enjoy the fruits of their own work, just to be entangled in material bondage. Except for 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 one may acquire by good fortune or hard labor. One should spend all energies in 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.

Text 2.50

To act in Krsna consciousness is the art of all work and therefore be engaged in such devotional service and rid yourself of all effects of good or bad actions even in this life. 


Since time immemorial the living entity has 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 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.

Text 2.51

By thus engaging in devotional service to the Lord, great sages or devotees are able to free themselves from the resultant actions of work in the material worldand thus1 become free from the cycle of birth and death and go back to Godhead, where there are no more miseries.


The dwelling place of the liberated living entities is just the place where there are no material miseries. 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 like the water contained in a calf’s hoof print; and Param Padam or the place where there are no material miseries, or Vaikuntha, belongs to  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 every 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 Godhead, certainly engages himself in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Consequently he becomes qualified to enter into the Vaikuntha planets, where there is no material, miserable life or the influence of time. 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 situated 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.

Text 2.52

When your intelligence (in Krishna consciousness) will surpass the dense forest of illusion, at that time 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 who 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

O my prayers three times a day, all glories to you! O bathing, I offer my obeisances unto you! O demigods, O 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 get myself freed from all sinful bondage. I think this is sufficient for me.”

The Vedic rites and rituals are imperative for the beginner in human life, comprehending all kinds of prayer 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. And 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. Such persons in Krishna consciouness transcend the limit of Shabdabrahma, ot the range of the Vedas and Upanishads.

Text 2.53

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 – namely realization of the impersonal Brahman and realization of Paramatma. The highest perfection of self-realization, however, is to understand that one is eternally the servitor of Krishna, or Bhagavan, 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 dealing with fruitive activities for promotion to the heavenly kingdoms. In such Krishna consciousness, one comes directly into communion with Krishna, and in that transcendental state all directions from Krishna may be understood by him. There is no question of achieving such state trough empirical research and resultant conclusions. One need only carry out the orders of Krishna or His representative, the spiritual master. 

  Text 2.54

Arjuna inquired: O Keshava, what are the symptoms of one whose consciousness is thus fixed in transcendence? How does he speak, and what is his language? How is he situated, 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. A well-dressed fool cannot be identified unless he speaks. As soon as one speaks, at once ones’s foolishness or intelligence is revealed. Similarly, the immediate symptom of a Krishna conscious man is that he speaks only of Krishna and of matters relating to Him. And other symptoms then automatically follow, as stated below.

Text 2.55

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O Partha, when a living entity gives up all varieties of sense desires, which arise from mental concoction, and with a purified mind finds satisfaction in the self, at that time he is said to be in pure transcendental 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 transcendentally conscious has no good qualifications because he is sure to be abiding by his 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  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.

Text 2.56

One who is not disturbed in mind even amidst the threefold miseries and is not 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 from another Muni, he cannot be called a Muni in the strict sense of the term. ”Nasav rishir 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 creative speculation. He is called prashanta-nihshesha-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 whose mind is fixed 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 no success, a Krishna conscious person is always steady in his determination.      

Text 2.57

(In the material world) one who is without any affection for either good or for evil, neither praising nor despising such things, such person is situated in fixed 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 the all good Absolute. Such consciousness of Krsna situates one in perfect transcendental position, technically called Samadhi.

Text 2.58

One who is able to withdraw his senses from the sense objects, like 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 arcompared to venomous serpents and want to act very loosely, without any restriction. The yogi or the devotee, must be very strong to control the serpents, like a snake charmer. The senses should never be allowed to act independently. There are many injunctions of the revealed scriptures and some of them are do-not’s and some of them are do’s. Unless one is able to follow the do’s and the do-not’s, 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. 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, who keeps the senses within.

Text 2.59

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 such things. 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 any taste for pale things. 

Text 2.60

The senses are so strong, O Arjuna, that they forcibly carry away the minds to sense enjoyment even of men with full discriminating knowledge, endeavoring to control them.


There are many learned sages, philosophers and transcendentalists trying to conquer the senses for 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 a severe type 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 smaryamane

bhavati mukha-vikarah susthu nishthivanam ca

Since my mind has been engaged in the service of the lotus feet of Lord Krsna and since I have been enjoying newer and newer mellow of transcendental humor, whenever I think of sex life with a woman at once my face becomes averse to it and I spit at the thought.”

Krsna consciousness is such a transcendentally nice thing that automatically material enjoyment becomes distasteful. 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 by engaging his mind in Krsna consciousness (sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayor vacamsi vaikuntha gunanuvarnane).

Text 2.61

For one who has therefore brought his senses under full control, being situated in Krishna consciousness, his intelligence is understood to be fixed up. 


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 MaharajAmbarisa, 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

vacamsi vaikuntha-gunanuvarnane

karau harer mandira-marjanadisu

srutim cakaracyuta-sat-kathodaye

munkuda-lingalaya-darsane drisau


ghrnam ca tat-pada-saroja-saurabhe

srimat tulasya rasanam tad-arpite

padau hareh kshetra padanusarpane

shiro hrishikesha-padabhivandane

kamam ca dasye na tu kama-kamyaya

yathottama-shloka-janashraya ratih

“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 the temple of the Lord, his ears in hearing of the pastimes of the Lord, his eyes in seeing the form of the Lord, his body in 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 Matpara devotee of the Lord.”

This word Matpara is most significant in this connection and how to become Matpara is described in the life of Maharaja Ambarisa. Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana. a great scholar and Acharya in the line of the Matpara remarks in this connection as follows: mad-bhakti-prabhavena sarvendriya-vijaya-purvika svatma-drishtih su-labheti bhavah.” The senses can only be fully controlled by the strength of devotional service in Krsna consciousness.” The example of the fire is sometimes set herewith 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 on the void. The so-called yogis, simply waste time in meditating on something which is not the Vishnu form. And therefore their time is wasted in a vain search after some phantasmagoria. We have to be Krsna conscious, devoted to the Personality of Godhead, which is the aim of the real yogi as it is stated in Caitanya Caritamrita, Madhya 6.269, purport: “klesa-karma-vipakasayair aparamristah purusa-visesha ishvarah.”

Text 2.62

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 the material energy. 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. Thakur Haridas easily passed 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 repression, is sure to be a failure, and his slight thinking of sense pleasure will agitate him for sense gratification and subsequent consequences without fail.

Text 2.63

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 (Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.2.258):

Prapancikataya buddhya hari-sambandhi-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, it is not possible for Him to eat. Whereas the impersonalist tries to avoid all kinds of good eatables, a devotee knows that Krsna is the supreme enjoyer, and He 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 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 a lack in devotional standing.

Text 2.64

A person freed from all attachment and detachment and who has control over his senses through the regulated 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. Now on the contrary, 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 detachment 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 detachment. If Krsna wants, he can do anything which he should 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 something 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 becoming attached to the sensual platform.

Text 2.65

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.

Text 2.66

One who is not connected to the Supreme in Krsna consciousness can have neither a transcendental intelligence nor a fixed mind, without which there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace of mind?


Without being in Krsna consciousness, there is no possibility of peace. So it is confirmed in the fifth chapter (5.29): 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 that He is the real friend of all living entities, then one can have real peace. Therefore, if one is not in such Krsna consciousness, there cannot be a fixed conclusion for the mind. Disturbance of the mind is due to want of a fixed conclusion and when one is fully convinced in his mind that Krsna is the enjoyer, proprietor and friend of everything and everyone that fixed mental conviction can only 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 which can be achieved only in relationship with Krsna.

Text 2.67

As an unfavorable wind sweeps away a boat on the water, similarly, even one of the roaming senses on which the mind focuses can take away a person’s intelligence. 


Unless all senses are engaged in the service of the Lord, even one of them engaged in 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 technique for controlling the mind in the right manner.

Text 2.68

Therefore, o 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-that only by Krishna consciousness one’s intelligence becomes fixed and 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.

Text 2.69

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 such sleeping condition. The introspective man is always indifferent to such materialistic happiness and distresses, but goes on with his self-culture activities without any material reactions.

Text 2.70

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 remains 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 example of 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. So he is like the ocean-always full in himself. Desires may come to him like the waters of the rivers flowing 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 there. 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.

Text 2.71

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 eternal servitor of Krsna, without falsely claiming this material body as 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 satisfaction, 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 Krsna. 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 that 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.

Text 2.72

O son of Prtha, 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 a 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 samatityatan brahma-bhuyaya 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 complete text.

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports of the Second Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita in the matter of its contents in Krsna consciousness.



Text 3.1

Arjuna said: O Janardana, O Kesava, why do you want to engage me in this ghastly warfare, if you think that intelligence (in Krishna consciouness) is better than fruitive work?


The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, has very elaborately described the constitution of the soul in the previous chapter, with a view to deliver His intimate friend Arjuna from the ocean of material grief. And the path of realization has been recommended: Buddhi-yoga, or Krishna consciousness. Sometimes this Krishna consciousness is misunderstood to be inertia. And one under such misunderstanding may artificially withdraw to a secluded place to become fully Krishna conscious simply by chanting the holy name of Lord Krishna. Without being trained in the philosophy of Krishna consciousness, it is not possible to live in a secluded place and try to chant the holy name of Krishna, getting cheap adoration from the innocent public. Arjuna thought of Krishna consciousness, or buddhi-yoga or intelligence in spiritual advancement of knowledge as something like retirement from active life and the practice of penance and austerity at a secluded place. In other words, he wanted to skillfully avoid the fighting on the plea of practicing Krishna consciousness in a secluded place. But as a sincere student he placed his misunderstanding before the master and questioned which alternative might be better. In this third chapter and in answer to Arjuna’s question, Lord Krishna will elaborately explain to him Karma-yoga or work in Krishna consciousness.

Text 3.2

My intelligence is bewildered by your equivocal instructions. Therefore please tell me definitely which of them will be suitable for me.


In the previous chapter, as prelude to Bhagavad-gita, many different items have been explained, comprising sankhya-yoga, buddhi-yoga, controlling the senses by intelligence, work without any fruitive desire, the position of the neophyte, etc,. All have been mixed up. A more definite outline of the path would be convenient for action and understanding. Arjuna, therefore, wanted to clear up the apparently confused presentation so that any common man can accept it without any mistake. Although Krishna had no intention to confuse Arjuna

Here there is a gap in the copy of the transcript.

Purport 3.10

The material creation by the Lord of creatures (Vishnu) is a sort of chance offered to the conditioned souls to come back to home, back to Godhead. All living entities within the material creation are conditioned by material nature on account of their forgetful consciouness in the matter of their relationship with Vishnu or Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Vedic principles are meant to understand this eternal relationship as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita: vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah. The Lord says that the purpose of the Vedas is to understand Him. In the Vedic hymns it is said: patim visvasyatmeshvaram. Therefore the Lord of the living entities is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.4.20) also Srila Sukadeva Gosvami describes the Lord as pati in so many ways:

sriyah patir yajna-patih praja-patir

dhiyam patir loka-patir dhara-paih

patir gatis candhaka-vrishni-satvatam

prasidatam me bhagavan satam patih

The praja-pati is Lord Vishnu, and He is the Lord of all living ceatures, all worlds and all beauties and protector of everyone. The Lord created this material world for the conditioned souls to learn how to perform yajnas for the satisfaction of Vishnu, so that while in the material world they can live very comfortably without any anxiety in life, and after finishing the present material body one can enter into the kingdom of God. That is the whole program for the conditioned souls. By performance of Yajnas, the condioned souls gradually become Krishna conscious and become godly in all respects. In this age of Kali, the Sankirtan Yajna is recommended by the vedic scriptures and the transcendental system is introduced by Lord Caitanya for deliverance of all men in this age. Sankirtan Yajna and Krishna consciousness go well together. Lord Krishna in His devotional form as Lord Caitanya is worshiped in the Srimad Bhagavatam 911.5.32) as follows, with special reference to the Sankirtan Yajna:

Krishna varnam tvishakrishnam sangopangastra-parsadam

Yajnaih snakirtana-prayair yajanti hi su-medhasah

“In this age of Kali, people who are endowed with sufficient brain substance do worship the Lord, who is accompanied by His associates, by performance of Sankirtan-Yajna.” As other Yajnas prescribed in the Vedic literature are not easy to be performed in this age of Kali, the Sankirtan-Yajna is the easiest and is sublime for all purposes, as it is recommended in the Bhagavad-gita.

Text 3.11

The demigods thus being pleased on account of performances of Yajna, will also please you, and thus by mutual cooperation between men and the demigods, there will reign a general prosperity for all.


The demigods are empowered administrators of material affairs. The supply of air, light, water and all other benedictions for maintenance of the body and soul together for every living entity is entrusted to the demigods, who are so many assistants in different parts of the body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Their pleasures and displeasures are dependent on the performance of Yajna by the human being. Some of the Yajnas are meant for satisfying particular demigods, but even in so doing, Lord Vishnu is worshiped in all Yajnas as the chief beneficiary. It is stated also in the Bhagavad-gita that Krishna Himself is the beneficiary of all kinds of Yajnas: bhoktaram yajna-tapasam. Therefore, ultimate satisfaction of the Yajna-pati is. the chief purpose of all Yajnas. When these Yajnas are perfectly performed, naturally the demigods in charge of different department of supply are pleased, and there is no scarcity of supply of the natural products.

Performance of Yajnas has many side benefits, ultimately leading to liberation from the material bondage.By performance of Yajnas all activities become purified, as it is stated in the Vedas as follows: ahara-suddhau sattva-suddhih sattva-suddhau dhruva smritih smriti-lambhe sarva-granthinam vipramokshah. As it will be explained in verse 3.13, by performance of Yajna, the eatables become sanctified and by eating sanctified food one’s very existence becomes purified; by purification of one’s existence finer tissues in the memory become sanctified; and memory being sanctified one can think of the path of liberation and all these combined together means Krishna consciousness, the great necessity of the present-day society.

Text 3.12

In charge of different  departments of supply, the demigods being satified by the performance of Yajna, supply all necessities of life. Therefore he who enjoys such things without offering them to the demigods, is certainly a thief.


The demigods are authorised supplying agents on behalf of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu. Therefore they must be satisfied by performances of prescribed Yajnas or sacrifices. In the Vedas there are different kinds of Yajnas for different kinds of demigods, all being ultimately offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.One who cannot understand what is the Personality of Godhead, sacrifice to the demigods is recommended. According to different material qualities of the persons concerned, different types of Yajnas are recommended. Worship of different demigods is also on the same basis, namely according to different qualities. For example the meat-eaters are recommended to worship goddess Kali, the ghastly form of material nature and before the goddess sacrifice of animal is recommended. But those who are in the mode of goodness, for them Vishnu or transcendental worship is recommended. But ultimately all such yajnas  are meant for gradual promotionto the stage of transcendental position. For ordinary men at least five Yajnas, known as Pancamahayajnas are necessary.

One should know however that all the necessities of life that human society requires are supplied by the demigods, agents of the Lord. Nobody can manufacture anything which we need. Say for example all eatables for human society. These eatables are food grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, sugar etc for the persons in the modes of goodness, and also eatables for the non-vegetarians like meat etc., none of them can be manufactured by men. Then again, take for example the heat, light, water, air etc which are necessities of life, none of them can be manufcatured by the human society. On behalf of the Supreme Lord there is profuse sunlight, moonlight, rainfall, breeze etc., without which we cannot live.Therefore our living conditions are dependent on the supplies from the Lord. Even for our manufacturing enterprises, we require so many raw materials like metal, sulphur, mercury, manganese and so many essentials raw materials. All are supplied by the agents of the Lord with the purpose that we should make proper useof them to keep ourselves fit and healthy, for the purpose of self-realization, leading to the ultimate goal of life, namely liberation from the material struggle for existence. This aim of life is attained by performance of Yajnas, according to different time, place and the performer. Under the circumstances, if we forget the purpose of human life and take supply from the agents of the Lord for sense gratification and become more and more entangled in the material existence, which is not the purpose of creation, certainly we become thieves and therefore become punishable by the laws of material nature.The society of thieves can never be happy neither do they have any aim of life. The gross materialistic thieves have no ultimate goal of life. They simply aim at at sense gratification, and do not know how to perform Yajnas. Lord Caitanya, however, inaugurated the easiest performance of yajna, namely the Sankirtan Yajna, which can be performed by any man in the world by accepting the principles of Krishna consciousness.

Text 3.13

The devotees of the Lord ( in Krishna consciousness) get released from all kinds of sins on account of their eating foodstuff which is offered for Yajna. Others, who prepare foodstuff for personal sense enjoyment do eat only wholesale sins.

The devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Vishnu, or the persons who are in Krishna consciousness are called “Santa.” The Santas are always in love with the Lord as it is described in the Brahma Samhita (5.38): premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva hridayesu vilokayanti. The Santas being always in compact of love with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda (the giver of all pleasures) or Mukunda (the giver of liberation), Krishna (the all attractive person) cannot accept any eatables without being offered to the Supreme Person. Therefore such devotees always perform Yajnas in different modes of devotional service like sravanam, kirtanam, smaranam, arcanam etc., and such performance of Yajnas keep them always aloof from all kinds of contamination of sinful association in the material world. While others, who prepare foodstuff for self or sense gratification, are not only thieves, also the eaters of all kinds of sins. How can a person be happy in life if he is both a thief and sinful? It is not possible. Therefore to make people happy in all respects they must be taught to performthe easiest process of Sankirtan Yajna in full Krishna consciousness. Otherwise there can be no peace or happiness in the world.

Text 3.14

All living bodies subsist on food grains, food grains are produced from rains, rains are produced by performance of Yajna and Yajna is born of prescribed duties.


Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana, a great commentator on the Bhagavad-gita writes in this connection as follows: ye indrady-angatayavasthitam yajnam sarvesvaram visnum abhyarcya tac-chesam asnanti tena tad deha-yatram sampadayanti, te santah sarvesvarasya yajna-purusasya bhaktah sarva-kilbisair anadi-kala-vivrddhair atmanubhava-prati bandhakair nikhilaih papair vimucyante. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu, Who is known as the Yajnapurusha or the personal beneficiary of all sacrifices, is the master of all demigods who serve the Lord as the different limbs of the body serve the whole. The demigods like Indra, Candra, Varuna etc., are appointed officers of the Lord to look after the management of the material affairs and the Vedas direct sacrifices to satisfy these demigods so that they may be pleased to supply air, light and water sufficiently to produce food grains. When Lord Vishnu, Who is an expansion of Krishna is worshiped, the demigods who are different limbs of the Lord are also automatically worshipped. So there is no separate need for worshipping the demigods. As such the devotees of the Lord, or persons in Krishna consciousness do offer the atables to Vishnu and then accept them for eating, which nourishes the body spiritually. By such action not only are past sinful reactions of the body vanquished but the body also becomes immune to all contamination of the material nature. When there there is some epidemic disease, some kind of antiseptic vaccine immunizes a person from such attack of epidemic disease. Similarly, foodstuff offered to Lord Vishnu and then taken by us makes us sufficiently resistant to material affection.And one who is accustomed to such practice is called a devotee of the Lord. Therefore a person in Krishna consciousness, who eats only foostuffs offered to Krishna can counteract all reactions of past material infections, which are impediments to the progress of self realization. On the other hand , one who does not so continues to increase the volume of sinful actions and thus prepares his next body like hogs and dogs to suffer the resultant reactions of all sins. The material world is full of contaminations, and one who is immunized by accepting Prasadam of the Lord is saved from the attack, while one who does not so becomes subjected to such contamination.

Foodgrains or vegetables are factually eatables. The human being eats different kinds of food grains, vegetables, fruits etc., and the animals eat the refuse of the foods grains and vegetables, grass, plants etc. Human beings who are accustomed to eat meat and flesh must alos depend on the production of such vegetation for eating of the animals. Therefore, ultimately, we have to depend on the production of the field and not on the production of big factories. The field production is due to sufficient rain from the sky and such rains are controlled by the demigods like Indra, Sun, Moon etc., and they are all servants of the Lord. The Lord can be satisfied by sacrifices and thus one who cannot do so will find oneself in scarcity, that is the law of nature. Performance of Yajna, specifically the Sankirtan Yajna, prescribed for this age must therefore be performed to save us at least from all kinds of scarcity of food supply.

Text 3.15

Regulated activities are prescribed in the Vedas and the Vedas are directly manifested from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Consequently the all-pervading transcendence is eternally situated in the acts of sacrifice.


“Yajnartha karma,” or that one has to work for the satisfaction of Vishnu only, is more expressly stated in this verse. If we have to work for the satisfaction of the Yajna Purusa, Vishnu, then we must find out the direction of work in the Brahma or the transcendental Vedas. The Vedas are, therefore, codes of working directions. Anything performed without the direction of the Vedas is called vikarma, or unauthorized or sinful work. Therefore one should always take direction from the Vedas for being saved from the reaction of work. As one to work in ordinary life by the direction of the state, similarly one has to work by the direction of the supreme state of the Lord. Such directions in the Vedas are directly manifested from the breathing of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is said like this:

asya mahato bhutasya nisvasitam etad yad rg-vedo

yajur-vedah samavedo ‘tharvangirasah.

“All the four Vedas, namely the Rigveda, Yayurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda, are are emanations from the breathing of the great Personality of Godhead” (Brhad-aranyaka Upanishad 4.5.11) The Lord being omnipotent, can speak by His breathing air as it is confirmed in the Brahma-samhita that the Lord has the omnipotence to perform through each of His senses the actions of all other senses. In other words, the Lord can speak through His breathing and can impregnate by His eyes, as it is said that He glanced over the material nature and thus fathered all living entities. So after creating or impregnating the conditioneds souls into the womb of material nature, He gave His direction in the Vedic wisdom how such conditioned souls can come back home, back to Godhead. We should always remember that the conditioned souls in the material nature are all eager for material enjoyment. And the Vedic directions are so made that one can satisfy his perverted desires and alos one can comeback to Godhead after finishing his so-called enjoyment. It is a chance for liberation for the conditioned souls, and thus the conditioned souls must try to follow the process of Yajna by becoming Krishna conscious. Those who have not followed the Vedic injunctions may adopt the principles of Krishna consciousness, and that will be as effective as engaging in the performances of Vedic Yajnas or Karmas,

Text 3.16

My dear Arjuna, anyone who does not follow in the human form of life this prescribed cycle of sacrifice established by the Vedas,  certainly his life is full of sins and such a person lives uselessly only for the satisfaction of the senses.


The mammonist philosophy of “work very hard and enjoy sense gratification” is condemned herewith by the Lord. Therefore for those who want to enjoy this material world, for them the above mentioned cycle of performance of Yajnas is absolutely necessary. One who does not follow such regulations is living a very risky life, being condemned more and more. By nature’s law, this human form of life is specifically meant for self-realization. Those who takes directly to the path of self-realization in either of the three ways, namely karma-yoga, jnana-yoga or bhakti-yoga, for them there there is no necessity of rigidly following the performance of the prescribed Yajnas. Such transcendentalists are above the status of vice and virtue. But those who are engaged in the matter of sense gratification require to be purified by the above mentioned cycle of Yajna performances. There are different kinds of activities. Those who are not Krishna conscious certainly are engaged in the matter of sense consciousness. Therefore they require to execute such pious work. This Yajna system is planned in the way that the sense conscious person may satisfy their desires without being entangled in the reaction of such sense gratificatory work. The prosperity of the world depends not on our own efforts, but on the background arrangement of the Supreme Lord directly carried out by the demigods. Therefore such Yajnas are directly aiming at the particular demigod mentioned in the Vedas. Indirectly it is the practice of Krishna consciousness, because when one becomes advanced in such performance of Yajnas, one is sure to become Krishna conscious. If by such performances of Yajnas, one does not become Krishna conscious, then such principles are counted as moral codes. One should not, however, limit his progress up to the point of moral codes, but transcend them to reach the point of Krishna consciousness.

Text 3.17

One who is however taking pleasure in the self on account of his self-realization of human life and is satisfied in the matter of the self only, fully satiated, for him there is no duty.


A person who is fully Krishna conscious and by his acts in Krishna consciousness is fully satisfied has no more anything as duty to be performed. On account of his becoming Krishna conscious, all his dirty things within are simultaneously cleansed, which is the effect of many, many thousands of Yajna performances and by such clearing of consciousness one becomes fully confident about his eternal position in relationship with the Supreme. His duty thus becomes self-illuminated by the grace of the Lord and therefore he has nothing more to do in terms of Vedic injunctions. Such Krishna conscious person has no longer any interest in the material actvities and not longer takes pleasure in material arrangements like wine, women and similar infatuations.

Text 3.18

A self realized person (in Krishna consciousness) has no purpose to fulfill in discharging the prescribed duties of the Vedas, nor is he attached to not performing them. Neither has he any need to take shelter of any other living being.


A self-realized Krishna conscious man has no longer any obligation to any prescribed duty, save and except the activities in terms of Krishna consciounsess. Such Krishna consciousness is not inactivity as it will be explained in the following verses. A Krishna conscious man does not take shelter of any person, man or demigod. Whatever he does in terms of Krishna consciousness is sufficient in the matter of discharging his obligation.

Text 3.19

Therefore, without being attached to the result of activities, one should act as a matter of duty,  and by acting with such detachment one attains the Supreme (Personality of Godhead.)


This Supreme is the Personality of Godhead for the devotees and liberation for the impersonalist. Therefore a person acting on account of Krishna, or in Krishna consciousness, under the proper guidance and without any attachment for the result of the work, is certainly making progress toward the supreme goal of life. Indirectly, Arjuna is told that he should fight the battle of Kurukhsetra without any attachment, but in the interest of Krishna because wanted him to fight. To be a good man or to become non-violent man is also a personal attachment. But to act on behalf of the desire of the Supreme is to act without any attachment for the result. This is the highest perfectional action recommended by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna.

Vedic rituals like prescribed sacrifices are performed by persons for purification of impious activities which one has to perform in the field of sense gratification. But a person who is acting in Krishna consciousness is transcendental to such actions and reactions of good and evil work. A Krishna conscious person has no attachment for the result but acts on behalf of Krishna alone. He engages in all kinds of activities, but is completely nonattached.

Text 3.20

Kings such as Janaka and others attained the pefectional stage only by peformance of prescribed duties. Therefore for the sake of educating the people in general, you should act like them.


Kings like Janaka and others were all self-realized souls and thus they had nothing to do with the prescibed duties of the Vedas. Still they performed all such activities to set the example to the people in general. Janaka was the father of Sita and father in law of Lord Sri Rama. A great devotee of Lord Rama like King Janaka was transcendentally situated but because he was the king of Mithila ( a subdivision of Bihar province in India) he had to teach his subjects to follow the example. Lord Krishna and Arjuna, His eternal friend, had nothing to do with the battle of Kuruksetra, but still they fought to teach people in general that violence is also necessary in a situation where good arguments fail. Before the battle of Kurukshetra, there was every effort to avoid the war even by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but the other party was determined to fight. So for such a right cause, there is necessity for fighting. Therefore one who is situated in Krishna consciousness may not have any interest in the world, still he works for educating the public how to live and how to act. Experienced persons in Krishna consciousness can act in such a way that others may follow and this is explained in the following verse.

Text 3.21

Whatever action a respectable leader of human society performs, common men follow. And whatever standard he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.


People in general always require a leader who can teach the public by practical behaviour. You cannot teach the public to stop smoking if you yourself smoke. Lord Caitanya said that a teacher should apply his teachings practically in his own life before he begins teaching. One who teaches in that way is called Acharya or the ideal teacher. Therefore a teacher must follow the principles of Shastra to reach the common man. The teacher cannot manufacture rules against the principles of revealed scriptures. The revealed scriptures, Manu-samhita and similar other scriptures are considered the standard books to be followed by the human society. As such the leader’s teaching should be based on the principles of such standard Shastras. Anyone who desires to improve himself must follow the standard rules as they are practised by the great teachers.The Bhagavatam also affirms that one should follow in the footsteps of great devotees and that is the way of progress on the path of spiritual realisation. The king or the executive head of state, the father, the shool teacher- all are considered to be the natural leaders of the innocent people in general. Therefore all such natural leaders have a great responsibility for their dependents and as such they require to be conversant with standard book of moral and spiritual codes.

Text 3.22

O son of Pritha, I (the Supreme Personality of Godhead) have no prescribed duties to discharge within the three planetary systems, neither am I in want of anything, nor have I a need to obtain anything, and yet I am engaged in prescribed duties.


The Supreme Personality of Godhead is described in the Vedic literature (Svetasvatara Upanishad 6. 7-8) as follows:

tam isvaranam paramam mahesvaram
tam devatanam paramam ca daivatam
patim patinam paramam parastad
vidama devam bhuvanesam idyam
na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate
na tat-samas cabhyadhikas ca drsyate
parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate
svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the controller of all controllers and He is the greatest of all kinds of leaders of the planets. In other words, everyone is under His control. Others are delegated with particular power only by the Supreme Lord, but they are not supreme themselves. He is also worshipable by all other demigods, and is the supreme director of all other directors. Therefore, He is transcendental to all kinds of material leaders and controllers and is worshipable by all of them. There is nobody greater than Him and He is the supreme cause of all causes.

“He does not possess a bodily form like that of an ordinary living entity. In other words there is no difference between His body and His soul. He is absolute. All his senses are transcendental. Anyone of his senses can perform  the action of any other sense. Therefore no one is greater or equal to Him. His potencies are mulitfarious and as such His deeds are automatically performed as natural sequences.

Everything being in full opulence in the Personality of Godhead and naturally being full truth, there is no duty for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One who must receive some results of work has some deignated duty, but one who has nothing to achieve within the three planetary system certainly has no duty. And yet Lord Krishna is engaged on the battlefield of Kurukhsetra as the leader of the ksatriyas, because the ksatriyas are duty bound to give protection to the distressed. Although He is above all regulations of the revealed scriptures, yet he did not do anything which is not directed in the revealed scriptures.

Text 3.23

For if I ever failed to engage in carefully performing prescribed duties at any time, O Partha, certainly all men would follow my path.


In order to keep the balance of social tanquility for progress in spiritual life, there are the traditional family usages meant for every civilised man. Although such rules and regulations are meant for the conditioned soul and Lord Krishna is not one of them, yet because He descended to establish the principles of religion, He followed the prescribed rules. Otherwise common men would follow in His footsteps, because He is the greatest authority. From the Srimad Bhagavatam it is understood that Lord Krishna was performing all the religious duties at home and out of home, as is required of a householder.

Text 3.24

If I did not perform the prescribed duties, then all these worlds would be put to ruination and I shall be the cause of creating unwanted population and thus destroy the peace of all living entities.


Varna-sankara is unwanted population which disturbs the peace of the general society.In order to check this disturbance of the social order, there are precsribed rules and regulations, which when followed cause the population automatically to become peaceful and organised for spiritual progress of life. When Lord Krishna descends, naturally He deals with such rules and regulations in order to maintain the prestige and necessity of such important performances. The Lord is said to be the father of all living entities, and if the living entities are misguided indirectly the responsibility goes to the Lord. Therefore whenever there is misconduct of such regulative principles, the Lord Himself descends and corrects the society. We should however note carefully that although we have to follow the footsteps of the Lord, still we have to remember that we cannot imitate Him. Following and imitation are not on the same level. If we want to imitate the Lord in the matter of lifting Govardhana Hill as the Lord had done in His childhood certainly it is impractical for any human being. We have to follow as far as His instructions are concerned. We may not imitate Him at any length. The Srimad Bhagavatam (10.33.30-31) affirms therefore as follows:

naitat samacarej jatu  manasapi hy anisvarah
vi nasyaty acaran maudhyad  yatharudro ‘bdhi-jam visam
isvaranam vacah satyam  tathaivacaritam kvacit
tesam yat sva-vaco-yuktam  buddhimams tat samacaret

“One should simply follow the instructions of the Controllers and should not imitate them in their activities. Their instructions are all good for us and any intelligent person must perform them as instructed. One should guard against imitating their actions as much as one should not imitate drinking the ocean of poison, imitating Lord Shiva.”

We should always remember the position of the Isvaras, or one who can atually control the movements of the sun and moon. Without such power one cannot imitate the Isvaras or the Superpowerful. The example set here is very appropriate. Lord Shiva drank poison to the extend of an ocean, but if any common man wants to drink even a fragment of such ocean of poison, he will be killed. There are many pseudo devotees of Lord Shiva who want to indulge in smokong ganja (marijuana) and similar intoxicating drugs, forgetting that by such imitation of the acts of Lord Shiva such devotees are calling death very near. Similarly there are some pseud devotees of Lord Krishna who prefer to imitate the Lord in the matter of His rasa-lila, or dance of love, forgetting their inability to lift Govardhana Hill. The best thing is, therefore, that one should not imitate the powerful, but follow the instruction of the powerful, nor should anyone anybody try to occupy the post of the powerful without any qualification. There are so many so-called incarnations of God without any power of the Supreme Godhead.

Text 3.25

As the ignorant does perform the prescribed duties with attachment to results, similarly the learned may act without attachment for the sake of leading the people in general.


A person in Krishna consciousness and a person without Krishna consciousness are differentiated by different desires. A Krishna conscious person does not do anything which is not conducive to the development of Krishna consciousness. He acts exactly like the ignorant person, who is too much attached to material activities, but one is engaged in such activities for the satisfaction of his sense gratification, while the other is engaged for the satisfaction of Krishna. Therefore the Krishna conscious person is required to show the people how to act and engage the results for the purpose of Krishna consciousness.

Text 3.26

So as not to disrupt the minds of ignorant men attached to the fruitive results of prescribed duties, a learned man may not induce them to stop work. Rather they should be engaged in all sorts of activities for the gradual development of Krishna consciousness.


“Vedas ca sarvair aham eva vedyah” that is the ultimate goal of all Vedic rituals. All rituals, all performances of sacrifices and everything that is put into the Vedas, including all directions for material activities, all of them are meant for understanding Krishna, Who is the ultimate goal of life. But ignorant people are induced to the study of the Vedas with different purposes of sense gratification, because the conditioned souls do not know anything beyond sense gratification like the animal. So through sense gratification and fruitive activites regulated by the Vedas, one is gradually elevated to the standard of Krishna consciousness. Therefore a realized soul in Krishna consciousness should not disturb them in their understanding, but he should act by exemplifying the results of all work being dedicated to the service of Krishna. The learned Krishna conscious person may act in such a way that the ignorant person, working for sense gratification, may learn from the Krishna conscious man how to act and how to behave. Although the ignorant man is not to be disturbed in his activities, still, a person slightly developed in his Krishna consciousness may directly be engaged in the service of the Lord without waiting for other Vedic formulas. For the fortunate Krishna conscious man there is no need to follow the Vedic rituals, because by direct Krishna consciousness one can have all the results one would otherwise from following one’s prescribed duties.

Text 3.27

The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself the doer of activities, which are actually carried out by nature.


Two persons, one in Krishna consciousness and the other inmaterial consciousness, working on the same level may appear to be working on the same platfom but there is a gulf of difference in their respective positions. The person in material consciousness is conducted by false ego and is convinced that he is the doer of everything, without any reference to the mechanism of the body produced by material nature and material nature is under the supervision of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The materialistic person has no knowledge that ultimately he is under the control of Krishna. The person in false ego takes all credit for doing everything independently and that is the symptom of his nescience. He does not know that this gross and subtle body are the creation of the material nature, under the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and as such his bodily and mental activities should have been engaged in the service of Krishna, or he should have been acting in Krishna consciousness. He does not know that the Supreme Personality is known as Hrishikesha, or the master of the senses of the material body. But on account of his long misuse of the senses in the matter of sense gratification he is factually bewildered by the false ego and that is the cause of his forgetfulness of his eternal relationship with Krishna.

Text 3.28

One who is in the knowledge of the Absolute Truth, O mighty-armed, does not engage himself in the matter of the senses ans sense gratification, knowing well the differences between work in Krishna consciousness and work in material consciousness.


The knower of the Absolute Truth is convinced of his awkward position in material association. He knows that he is part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, and he is not anything of the material creation. He knows his real identity as part and parcel of the Supreme, Who is eternal bliss and knowledge and somehow or other he is now entrapped in the material conception of life. In his pure state of existence he is meant for dovetailing his activities in the matter of devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. He therefore engages himself in the activities of Krishna consciousness and becomes naturally unattached to the activities of the material senses which are all circumstancial and temporary. He knows also that his material condition of life is also under the supreme control of the Lord and thus he is not disturbed by all kinds of material reactions which he considers as mercy of the Lord. according to Srimad Bhagavatam, one who knows the Absolute Truth in three different features, namely Brahma, Paramatma, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is called Tattvavit and thus knows also his own factual position in relationship with the Supreme.

Text 3.29

OT is MISSING, however BGAII V1 and V2 coincide as follows: Bewildered by the modes of material nature, the ignorant fully engage themselves in material in material activities and become attached. But  the wise should not unsettle them, although these duties are inferior due to the performer’s lack of knowledge.


Persons with a poor fund of knowledge falsely identify with gross material consciousness and are full of material designations. This body is a gift of the material nature and one who is too much attached to the bodily consciousness is called “mandan” or lazy person without any understanding of the spirit soul. Such men with a poor fund of knowledge think of the body as the self, bodily connections with others are accepted as kinsmanship, the land in which the body is obtained is the object of worship and accept formalities of religious rituals as ends in themselves. Social work, nationalism and altruism are some of the activities for such materially designated persons. Under the spell of such designations, they are always busy in the material field and for them spiritual realization is a myth and as such they are not interested in such matter. Those who are however enlightened in spiritual life, may not try to agitate such materially engrossed persons. Better prosecute one’s own spiritual activites silently. Such bewildered persons may be engaged in primary moral principles of life as non-violence and similar material benevolent work.

Men with a poor fund of knowledge cannot appreciate the activities in Krishna consciousness and therefore Lord Krishna advises not to disrurb them and simply waste valuable time. But the devotees of the Lord are more kind than the Lord because they understand the purpose of the Lord. As such they undertake all kinds of risks, even approaching men with a poor fund of knowldege and thus try to engage them in the acts of Krishna consciousness, which are absolutely necessary for the human being.

Text 3.30

Therefore, O Arjuna, with full knowledge in Krishna consciousness you give up everything unto me, and without any desire for profit, without any claim of proprietoship over the results and free from lethargy just fight.


This verse clearly indicates the whole purpose of the Bhagavad-gita. The Lord tells that one has to become fully Krishna conscious to discharge duties, as if in military discipline. Such injunction makes things a little difficult; but that is the constitutional position of the living entity. The living entity cannot be happy independently without the cooperation of the Supreme Lord, because eternally the constitutional position of the living entity is to become subordinate to the desires of the Lord. Arjuna was therefore ordered to fight by carrying out the order of Sri Krishna as that from the military commander. One has to sacrifice everything for the goodwill of the Supreme Lord and at the same time discharge his prescribed duties without any claim of proprietoship. Arjuna did not have to consider the order of the Lord, but he had only to execute the order of the Lord. The Supreme Lord is the soul of all souls and therefore one who depends solely and wholy an the Supreme Soul without any personal consideration, or in other words one who is fully Krishna conscious is called adhyatma-cetasa. Nirasi means one has to act on the order of the master, and one should not expect any fruitive results. The cashier may count millions of dollars on account of the master, but he does not claim anything out of that great amount of money. Similarly, one has to take it for granted that nothing in the world belongs to any individual person but everything belongs to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the real purport of  mayi, or unto me. And when one acts in that Krishna consciousness certainly he does claim any proprietorship over anything and this consciousness is called nirmama, or nothing is mine. And is there is any reluctance to execute such a stern order without any consideration of so-called kinsmen in bodily relationship, that should be thrown off; and thus become vigata-jvarah, or without any feverish mentality or lethargy. Everyone according to one’s quality and position has a particular type of work to be discharged and all such duties may be discharged in Krishna consciousness, as described above. That will lead one to the path of liberation.

Text 3.31

Those who executes their prescribed duties in such Krishna consciousness, in direct injunction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, such faithfull human beings, without envying this order, all of them become free from the bondage of fruitive actions.


This injunction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna is the essence of all Vedic wisdom and therefore this is eternally true without any deviation. As the Vedas are eternal, so this truth of Krishna consciousness is also eternal. One should have such firm faith in this injunction without any thought of enviousness. There are may so-called philosophers who write comments on the Bhagavad-gita but have no faith in Krishna. They will never be liberated from the bondage of fuitive action. But an ordinary man with firm faith in such eternal injunction of the Lord, even though unable to execute such order, if he accepts such principle, also becomes liberated from the bondage of the law of karma. In the beginning of Krishna consciousness, one may not fully discharge such injunctions of the Lord, but because one is not envious of this principle and works sincerely without consideration of defeat and hopelessness, surely such devotee will be promoted to the stage of pure Krishna consciousness.

Text 3.32

Those who out of enviousness of the principle of Krishna consciousness, disregard these teachings and do not follow them regularly, are to be considered bereft of all knowledge, befooled, and ruined in their endeavors for perfection.


The flaw of not being Krishna consciousis is clearly stated herein. As there is punishment for disobedience to the order of the supreme executive head, similarly there is certainly punishment for disobedience of the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such envious person, however great he may be, would be befooled in the matter of knowledge about his own aelf , about the Supreme Brahman, Paramatma and the Supreme Personality of Godhead on account of a vacant heart. Thus there is no hope for any perfection of life for him.

Text 3.33

Even a person who is learned acts according to the modes of material nature he has acquired and  everyone follows his own nature. What can artificial represssion accomplish?


Unless one is situated on the transcendental platform of Krishna consciousness, nobody can become free from the influence of the modes of material nature, as it is confirmed by the Lord in the Seventh Chapter, verse 14, ” daivi hy esa guna-mayi mama maya duratyaya.” Therefore even for the most highly educated person on the mundane plane, without Krishna consciousness it will be impossible to get out of the entanglement of maya simply by theoretical knowledge, by separating the soul from the body. There are many so-called spiritualists, who outwardly pose to be advanced in the science, but inwardly or privately they are completely under the particular modes of nature, which they are unable to surpass. Academically, one may be very learned, but on account of his long association with material nature, it is very difficult for him to get out of it without being Krishna conscious. Krishna consciousness helps one in getting out of the entanglement, even though he is engaged in his prescribed duties of material existence. Therefore, without being fully in Krishna consciousness, nobody should give up his occupational duties. Nobody should give up his prescribed duties all of a sudden and become a so-called Yogi or transcendentalist artificially. Better be situated in one’s position and try to attain Krishna consciousness under superior training. Thus one may be freed from the clutches of Krishna’s maya.

Text 3.34

There are principles to regulate attachment and aversion pertaining to the senses and their objects. One should not come under the control of such attachment and aversion, because they are stumbling blocks on the path of selr-realization.


Those who are in Krishna consciousness are naturally reluctant to engage in material sense gratification. But those who are not in such consciousness are to follow the rules and regulations of the revealed scriptures. Unrestricted sense enjoyement is the cause of material encagement. One who follows the rules and regulations of the revealed scriptues does not become entangled in the senses objects. For example sex enjoyment is a necessity for the conditioned soul, and sex enjoyment is allowed under the license of marriage ties. One is restricted to have a sex relationship with any women other than one’s wife. All other women are considered as mother. But despite of such injunctions of the revealed scriptures, men are inclined to have sex relationship with other women. These propensities are to be curbed, otherwise they will be stumbling blocks on the path of self-realization. As long as the material body is there, the necessities of the material body must be allowed under rules and regulations. And yet we should not be under the control of such allowances. One has to follow these rules and regulations, not being attached to them, because practice of sense gratification under regulations may also lead one to go astray, as much as there is always the chance of an accident even on royal roads, although very carefully maintained. Even one the safest roads, nobody can garantee that there will be no danger. The sense enjoyment spirit is current since a very long, long time, on account of the material association. Therefore, in spite of regulated sense enjoyment, there is every chance of fall down and as such all attachment for regulated sense enjoyment must also be avoidd by all means. By attachment to Krishna consciousness or acting always in the loving service to Krishna, very easily makes one able to be detached from all kinds of sense attachment. Therefore nobody should try to be detached from Krishna consciousness at any stage of life. The whole purpose of detachment from all kinds of sense attachment is ultimately to be situated on the platform of Krishna consciousness.

Text 3.35

It is far better to discharge one’s prescribed duties, even though they are faulty, than another’s prescribed duties. Even if one is destroyed in course of discharging one’s duty, that is also better than being engaged in another’s duties.


One should therefore discharge his prescribed duties in full Krishna consciousness, rather than do things prescribed for others. Materially, precribed duties are according to one’s psychophysical condition, under the spell of the modes of material nature. Spiritually such duties are as ordered by the spiritual master. in the matter of transcendental service to Krishna. But both materially and spiritually one should stick to his prescribed duties even up to death, rather than imitate another’s prescribed duties. Duties on the spiritual platform and duties on the material platform may be different, but the principle of following the authorised direction is always good for the performer. Materially when one is under the spell of the modes of material nature, one should follow the prescribed rules of such different situations without imitating others. For example a Brahmin, who is under the modes of goodness, is ordered to follow non-violence, while a Ksatriya, who is in the mode of passion is allowed to be violent. As such for a Ksatriya, it is better to be vanquished by following the rules of violence, than imitate the rules of a Brahmin, who follows the principles of non-violence. Everyone has to cleanse his heart by a gradual process and not abruptly. When one is however transcendental to the modes of material nature and is fully situated in Krishna consciousness one can perform anything and everthing under the direction of the bona fide spiritual master. In that complete state of Krishna consciousness, the Ksatriya may act as Brahmin, or a Brahmin may act as Ksatriya. In the transcendental stage there is no conception of so-called distinctions of the material world. For example Vishvamitra was originally a Ksatriya, but later on acted as Brahmin, while Parasurama was a Brahmin, but later on acted as a Ksatriya, Being transcendentally situated, they could do so; but as long as one is one the material platform, he must perform the duties according to the modes nature. At the same time, he must have a full sense of Krishna consciousness.

Text 3.36

Arjuna said:  Gap in copy of OT

Text 3.39

Thus the wise living entity is covered by his eternal enemy in the form of lust, which is never to be satisfied and burns like fire.


It is said in the Manu-smriti that lust cannot be satisfied by any amount of sense enjoyement as much as fire is never extinguished by a constant supply of fuel………….(unreadable)……………………..Advancement of material civilization on the basis of sense gratification means increasing the duration of material existence of a living entity. Therefore this lust is the symbol of ignorance by which the living entity is kept within the material world, While enjoying sense gratification it may be that there is some feeling of happiness, but actually that so-called feeling of happiness is the ultimate enemy of the sense enjoyer.

Text 3.40

The senses, the mind and the intelligence are the sitting places of this lust, and thus the real knowledge of the living entity is covered and he is bewildered by the same.


The enemy has captured diferent strategic positions in the body of the conditoned souls and Lord Krishna is hereby giving hints of those places so that one who wants to conquer over the enemy may know the places. The mind is the center of all activities of the senses and as such whne we hear about some sense objects generally the mind becomes the reservoir of all such ideas of sense gratifications and as a result of this, the mind and the senses become the strategic position of lust. And the intelligence department becomes the capital of such lust propensities. Intelligence being the immediate next step from the spirit soul. Lusty intelligence influences the spirit soul to acquire the false ego of identifying himself with matter and thus with the mind and senses the spirit soul becomes addicted to enjoy material senses as true happiness. This false identification of the spirit soul is very nicely explained in the Srimad Bhagavatam (10.84.13):

yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke
sva-dhih kalatradisu bhauma ijya-dhih
yat-tirtha-buddhih salile na karhicij
janesv abhijnesu sa eva go-kharah

“A human being who identifies this body made of three elements as his self, and considers the by-product of this body as his kinsmen, as well as accepts the land of birth as worshipable and goes to the place of pilgrimage simply to take bath without meeting there men of transcendental knowledge, is to be considered as an ass or a cow.”

Text 3.41

Therefore, O Arjuna, best amongst the descendants of Bharata, in the very beginning curb the great symbol of sin (lust) by regulating the senses, because it is the detroyer of knowledge and specifically knowledge of the self.


The Lord advised Arjuna to regulate the senses from the very beginning so that one can curb the greatest sinful enemy, lust, which destroys the urge for self-realization and specific knowledge of the self. Jnana means knowledge of the self and non-self matter or in other words to know that the spirit soul is not the body. Vijnana means to know the specific knowledge of the spirit soul, namely his constitutional position and his relationship with the Supreme Soul Personality of Godhead. It is explained in the Srimad Bhagavatam (2.9.31) as follows:

jnanam parama-guhyam me yad vijnana-samanvitam
sa-rahasyam tad-angam ca grhana gaditam maya

“The knowledge of the self and the Supreme Self is very confidential and mysterious, also with different  paraphernalias and such knowledge and specific realization can be understood if they are explained by the Lord Himself. Bhagavad-gita is that knowledge and specific knowledge of the self. The living entities are parts and parcels of the Lord and therefore they are simply meant for serving the Lord. This consciousness is called Krishna consciousness. So from the very beginning of life, one has to learn this Krishna consciousness, and thus one may become fully Krishna conscious and act accordingly. As explained above, lust is only the perverted reflection of love of Godhead, which is natural for every living entity. If therefore one is educated in Krishna consciousness from the very beginning, that natural love of Godhead cannot deteriorate into lust. When love of Godhead becomes deteriorated into lust it is very difficult to get it back to its normal condition. But still, Krishna consciousness is so powerful that even a late beginning can turn one into a lover of Godhead by the regulative principles of devotional service. So from any stage of life, or from the time of understanding its urgency, one can begin regulating the senses in Krishna consciousness devotional service of the Lord, and turn back the lust into love of Godhead, the highest perfectional stage of human life.

Text 3.42

The working senses are superior to dull matter; the mind is superior to the senses; intelligence is superior to the mind and he ( the soul) is still superior to intelligence.


The senses are different outlets for the activities of lust. The lust is reserved within the body, but it is given vent through the senses. Therefore the senses are superior to the body as a whole. This outlets are not in use when there is superior consciousness or Krishna consciousness. Krishna consciousness is direct connection of the soul with the Supreme Personality of Godhead and thus gradual importance of the bodily functions is described here, ultimately ending in the Supreme Soul. Bodily actions means the functions of the senses and stopping the senses means stoppage of all bodily actions. But if the mind is active then even the body is silent, the mind will act, as it does during dream. And above the mind there is the determination of the intelligence, and above the intelligence is the soul proper. If therefore the soul is directly engaged with the Supreme, naturally all other subordinates, namely the intelligence, nind and the senses will automatically be engaged. In the Katha Upanishad there is a similar passage, in which it is said that the objects of sense gratification are superior to the senses and mind is superior to the sense objects. If therefore the mind is directly and constantly engaged in the service of the Lord, which is called Krishna consciousness, there is no chance for the senses to be engaged otherwise. This attitude of the mind is already explained “param dristva nivartate,” Bhagavad-gita 2.59. The mind being engaged in the transcendental service of the Lord there is no chance for being engaged in lower propensities. In that Katha Upanishad, the soul has been described as “mahan”, the great. Therefore the soul is above all, namely the sense objects, the senses, the mind and the intelligence. Therefore directly understanding the constitutional position of the soul is the solution of the whole problem. With intelligence one has to decide the constitutional position of the soul and then engage the mind always in Krishna consciousness. and that makes the solution of the whole problem. A neophyte spiritualist is generally advised to keep aloof from the senses . Apart from that, one has to make the mind stronger by use of intelliegence. If by intelligence one engages his mind in Krishna consciousness, by complete surrender to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then automatically the mind becomes stronger and the senses although very strong like the serpents, still on account of the strength of the mind and intelligence, the senses appear like serpents with broken poison fangs. Even though the soul is the master of intelligence and mind and the senses also, still unless it is made stronger by association with Krishna in Krishna consciousness, there is every chance of fall down due to the agitated mind.

Text 3.43

Thus knowing oneself to be transcendental to material senses, mind and intelligence, O mighty armed Arjuna, one should steadily put himself in Krishna consciousness, and thus being strong enough- by spiritual strength-one should conquer the unsatiatable enemy known as lust.


This third chapter of the Bhagavad-gita is conclusively directing to Krishna consciousness, by knowing oneself as the eternal servitor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, without any impersonal voidness in the ultimate end. In the material existence of life, one is certainly influenced by propensities of lust and desire for domination over the resources of material nature. Such desire for overlording and sense gratification is the greatest enemy of the conditioned soul, and as such by the strength of Krishna consciousness one can conquer the material senses and mind along with intelligence. One may not give up work and prescribed duties all of a sudden; by gradually developing one’s Krishna consciousness, one can be situated in a transcendental position without being influenced by  the material senses and mind- by steady intelligence directed toward one’s pure identity. This is the sum total of this chapter. In the immature stage of material existence, so called philosophical speculations, and artificial attempts for controlling the senses by so-called practice of yogic postures can never help a man to spiritual life, without being trained in Krishna consciousness by higher intelligence.

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports of the Third Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, known as Gitopanishad, in the matter of Karma-yoga, or Discharging one’s prescribed duty in Krishna consciousness.



Text 4.1

The Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, said: I instructed this imperishable science of the relationship with the Supreme to the sun-god of the name Vivasvan and Vivasvan instructed the same to his son Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in his turn instructed the same to his son Iksvaku.


Herein we find the history of the Bhagavad-gita from a remote time, when it was delivered to the royal order of all planets, beginning from the sun planet. The royal order- or the kings of all palnets- are especially meant for the protection of the inhabitants and as such the royal order is also meant for understanding this science of Bhagavad-gita, in order to rule over the citizens, just to protect them from the onslaught of the material bondage of lust. Human life is meant for cultivation of spiritual knowledge in eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the executive heads of all states and all planets are obliged to impart this lesson to all citizens by education culture and devotion. In other words, the executive heads of all states are meant for spreading this science of Krishna consciousness so that the people may take advantage of this great science and prosecute a successful path, utilizing this opportunity of the human form of life.

In this millenium, the sun-god is known as Vivasvan, the King of the sun planet and the origin of all other planets within the universe. In the Brahma-samhitait (5.52) is said as follows:

yac-caksur esa savita sakala-grahanam
raja samasta-sura-murtir asesa-tejah
yasyajnaya bhramati sambhrta-kala-cakro
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

” Let me worship” Lord Brahma said “the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda (Krishna), Who is the original person and under Whose order the sun planet, which is the king of all planets is assuming immense power and heat and is representing the eye of the Lord and rotating in its time orbit by obeying Krishna’s order.)

The sun planet is the king of all planets and the sun-god (at present of the name Vivsavan) is ruling over the sun planet and controlling all other planets by supplying heat and light. He is rotating under the order of Krishna. Lord Krishna originally made the sun-god His first disciple to understand the science of Bhagavad-gita. The Bhagavad-gita is not therefore a speculaitve treatise for the insignificant mundane scholars, but it is a standard book of knowledge coming down from time immemorial.

In the Mahabharata (Santi-parva 348.51-52) we can trace out the history of the Bhagavad-gita  as follows:

treta-yugadau ca tato vivasvan manave dadau
manus ca loka-bhrty-artham sutayeksvakave dadau
iksvakuna ca kathitovyapya lokan avasthitah

“In the beginning of the Treta Yuga millenium this science of the relationship with the Supreme was delivered by Visvasvan to Manu. Manu being the father of mankind, gave it to his son Maharaja Iksvaku- the king of this earth planet and forefather of the Raghu dynasty in which Lord Ramachandra appeared. Therefore Bhagavad-gita existed in the human society from the time of Maharaja Iksvaku.”

Ar the present moment we have just passed through five thousand years of the Kali Yuga, and before this age there was Dvapara Yuga for about eight hundred thousand years, and before that there was Treta Yuga for about twelve hundred thousand years. So 1 200 00 plus 800 00 plus 5000 equals 2 005 000. Thus some 2 005 000 years ago Manu first gave Bhagavad-gita to his disciple and son Maharaja Iksvaku, the king of this planet earth. The age of one Manu is calculated to be 71 times 4 300 000 which equals to 305 000 000 years. And accepting that before the birth of Manu, the Bhagavad-gita was instructed by the Lord to Vivasvan father of the present Manu who has just passed 28 times 4 300 000 equals 120 400 000 years. Before that the Bhagavad-gita was spoken by the Lord to His disciple, the sun-god Vivsavan. Therefore the rough estimate is that the Bhagavad-gita was spoken at least 120 400 000 years ago; and in human societyit has been extant for two million years. It was respoken by the Lord again  about five thousand years ago. That is the rough estimate of the history of the Bhagavad-gita, according to Bhagavad-gita itselfand according to the version of the speaker of the speaker, Lord Sri Krishna, This was spoken to the sun-god Vivasvan because he is also a Ksatriya and is the father of all Ksatriyas called by the name Surya-vamsa Ksatriyas or descendant of the sun-god. And because Bhagavad-gita is as good as the Vedas on account of its being spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, this knowledge is apauruseya or superhuman. The Vedic instructions are accepted as they are, without any mundane interpretation and therefore the Bhagavad-gita has te be accepted without any mundane interpretation. The mundane wranglers may speculate on the Bhagavad-gita in their own way, but this not Bhagavad-gita as it is. Therefore Bhagavad-gita has be accepted as it is from the disciplic succession and it is described herein that the Lord spoke to the sun-god, the sun-god spoke to his son Manu and Manu spoke to his son Iksvaku and so on.

Text 4.2

This science of the relationship with the Supreme was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the disciplic succession was broken and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost.


It is clearly stated that the Bhagavad-gita was especially meant for the saintly kings, because they were to execute its purpose in the matter of ruling over the citizens. Certainly Bhagavd-gita was never meant for the demoniac persons who would dissipate its value for no one’s benefit and would devise all type of interpretationaccording to personal whims. As soon as the purpose was scattered by the motives of the unscrupulous commentators, there was need or re-establishing the disciplic succession. Five thousand year ago it was detected by the Lord himself that the disciplic succession was broken and thus He declared that the purpose of the Bhagavad-gita appeared to be lost. In the same way, at the present moment alos there are so many editions of the Bhagavad-gita (especially in English), but almost all of them are not according to authorised disciplic succession. They are different interpretations of different mundane scholars and almost all of them do not accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna but make good business on the words of Sri Krishna. This spirit is demoniac, because demons do not believe in God but simply enjoy the property of the Supreme. There is great need of an edition of the Bhagavad-gita (in English) as it is received by the parampara system, and an attempt is made herewith to fulfill this great want. Bhagavad-gita – accepted as it is- is a great boon to humanity and the same accepted as a matter of philosophical speculation is simply a waste of time.

Text 4.3

That very ancient science of the relationship with the Supreme is spoken by Me unto you because you are My devotee as well as my friend who can understand the transcendental mystery of this science.


There are two classes of men namely the devotee and the demon. The Lord selected Arjuna for becoming the recipient of this great science on account of his becoming the devotee of the Lord and for the demon it is not possible to understand this great mysterious science.There are a number of editions of this great book of knowledge. Some of them are commented upon  by the devotees and some of them are commented upon by the demons. Commentary by the devotees is real, while the same by the demons is useless. Arjuna is recognised by the Lord as a devotee and therefore one who follows the line of Arjuna in the matter of understanding the Bhagavad-gita will derive benefit out of it. Otherwise one would simply waste his valuable time in reading commentaries on the Bhagavad-gita. Arjuna accepts Sri Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and commentary on the Bhagavad-gita following on the footsteps of Arjuna is real devotional service to the cause of this great science.But the demons do not accept Lord Krishna as He is. The demons imagine something out of their mental concoction about Krishna and mislead the public and general readers from the path of understanding Bhagavad-gita. Here is the warning about such misleading paths. One should try to follow the disciplic succession from Arjuna and thus be benefitted by this great science of Srimad Bhagavad-gita.

Text 4.4

Arjuna said: The sun-god Vivasvan is senior by birth to You and You are his junior. How am I to understand that in the beginning You instructed this science to him?


Arjuna is an accepted devotee of the Lord, and how is it that he could not believe in the words of Krishna, that He had instructed previously the sun-god Vivasvan? It is not for Arjuna himself, but for those who do not believe in the Supreme Personality of Godhead or for the demons who do not like the idea that Krishna should be accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for them only Arjuna enquired on this point as if he were himself not aware of the Personality of Godhead of Krishna. As it will be evident from the tenth chapter of Bhagavad-gita, Arjuna knew perfectly well that Krishna is the Supreme Personality, fountainhead of everything and the last word in transcendence. Krishna appeared as the son of Devaki as a man is born out of the womb of his mother. Still how Krishna remained the same Supreme Personality of Godhead, the eternal, original person is very difficult to understand for an ordinary man. Therefore to clarify this misconception of the common man, Arjuna put this question before Krishna, so that He Himself could speak as authority. That Krishna is the supreme authority is accepted by the whole world, not only at present, but from time immemorial. The demons alone do not believe Him as such. Anyway, since Krishna is the authority accepted by all, Arjuna put this question before Him so that Krishna would describe Himself without being depicted by the demons who always try to distort Him in a different way, understandable by the demons and their followers. It is necessary that everyone for his own interest knows the science of Krishna. As such, when Krishna Himself speaks about Himself, it is all-auspicious for all the worlds. To the demons, such explanations of Krishna about Himself may appear to be uncommon, because the demons would always study Krishna from the point of their own standard. But those who are devotees would heartily welcome the statements of Krishna, when they are spoken by Krishna Himself. The devotees will always worship such authoritative statements of Krishna, because they are always eager to know about Krishna more and more. The demons who consider Krishna as an ordinary man, may know that Krishna is superhuman, that He is “sat-cid-ananda-vigraha” or the eternal form of bliss and knowledge, how He is transcendental and how is is above the domination of the modes of material nature and above the influence of time and space. A devotee of Krishna like Arjuna is undoubtedly above any misunderstanding of the transcendental position of Krishna and yet Arjuna’s putting this question before the Lord is just an attempt by the devotee to defy the atheistic attitude of persons who consider Krishna to be an ordinary human being, subject to the modes of material nature. 

Text 4.5

The Personalty of Godhead said: Many, many births both you and I have passed and I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy.


In the Brahma-samhita (5.33) we have information of many, many incarnations of the Lord. It is stated there as follows:

advaitam acyutam anadim ananta-rupam
adyam purana-purusam nava-yauvanam ca
vedesu durlabham adurlabham atma-bhaktau
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

“I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda (Krishna), Who is the original person- absolute, infallible, without any beginning, although expanded in unlimited forms, still the same original, the oldest and the person always appearing as a fresh youth. Such eternal, blissful, all knowledge forms of the Lord are usually understood by the best Vedic scholars, but they are always manifest to pure, unalloyed devotees.”

It is also stated in the same scripture (Brahma-samhita, 5.39 ) as follows:

ramadi-murtisu kala-niyamena tisthan
nanavataram akarod bhuvanesu kintu
krsnah svayam samabhavat paramah puman yo
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

“I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda (Krishna), Who is always situated in various incarnations like Rama, Nrisingha and many other sub-incarnations as well, but He is the Original Personality of Godhead known as Krishna and incarnates personally also.” 

In the Vedas also it is said that the Lord, although He is one without a second, still He manifests Himself in innumerable forms. He is like the vaidurya stone, which changes to various colors and still remains one, without a second. All those multiforms are understood by the pure, unalloyed devotees and not by simple study of the Vedas, ” vedesu durlabham adurlabham atma-bhaktau.” Devotees like Arjuna are constant companions of the Lord and whenever the Lord incarnates, the associate devotees also incarnate in order to serve the Lord in different capacities. Arjuna is one of such devotees and in this verse it is understood that when Lord Krishna spoke the Bhagavad-gita to the sun-god Vivasvan, Arjuna in a different capacity was also present there, some millions of years before. But the difference between the Lord and Arjuna is that the Lord remembers the incidence, while Arjuna could not remember. That is the difference between the part and parcel living entity and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Arjuna is addressed herein as the mighty hero who could subdue the enemies. At the same time he is unable to recall what had happened in his various past births. Therefore a living entity, however great he may be in the material estimation can never be one hundred percent as good as the Supreme Lord. Anyone who is a constant companion of the Lord is certainly a liberated person and yet he cannot be equal with the Lord one hundred percent. The Lord is described above, in the Brahma-samhita as infallible (acyuta), which means He is never to forget Himself even though He is in the material world. As soon as the living entity is in material contact, he forgets everything of his past life. Therefore the Lord and the living entity can never be equal in all respects, even if the living entity is as liberated as Arjuna. Although Arjuna is a devotee of the Lord, yet he sometimes forgets the nature of the Lord. But by the divine grace, a devotee, at once, can understand the infallible condition of the Lord, while a non-devotee demon cannot understand  the transcendental nature of the Lord. As such these descriptions of the Bhagavad-gita cannot be understood by demoniac brains. Krishna could remember acts which were performed by Him millions of years ago, whereas Arjuna could not, despite the fact that both Krishna and Arjuna are eternal in nature. We may also note herein that the living entity forgets everything on account of his change of body, but the Lord remembers because He does not change His sat-cid-ananda body. He is advaita which means He has no distinction between His body and Himself. Everything in relation to Him is spirit, while the conditioned soul is different from his material body. And because the Lord is identical with His body and Self, therefore His position is always different from the ordinary living entity, even on the material platform. The demons cannot adjust this transcendental nature of the Lord, and as such the Lord explains Himself in the following verse. 

Text 4.6

Although I am unborn and My transcendental body never deteriorates, and although I am the Lord of all living entities, by my internal energy I still appear in every millenium in My own, original transcendental form (of Krishna.)


The Lord has spoken about the peculiarity of His birth. The peculiarity is that although He appears like an ordinary person, He remembers everything of His many, many past births, whereas a common person cannot remember what he has done a few hours before. If somebody is asked what he did exactly at the same time one dau earlier it would be very difficult for a common man to answer immediatlety. He will surely have to dredge his memory to recall what he was doing  exactly at the same time one day before. And still such a man would dare to claim that he is God, or Krishna. One should not be mislead by such meaningless claims. The again He explains about His prakriti, or His form. Prakriti means nature as well as svarupa or form. The Lord says that He appears in His own body. He does not change His body, as the common living entity changes from one body to another. The conditioned soul may have one kind of body in the present birth, but he may have a different body in the next birth. In the material world, the living entity has no fixed body, but he transmigrates from one body to another. But the Lord does not do so. Whenever He appears, He does so in the same original body by His internal potency. In other words, Krishna appears in this material world in His original eternal form of body with two hands holding a flute. He appears exactly in His body of eternal nature, without any contamination of this material world. So althoughHe appears in the same transcendental body, still it appears like He has taken His birth like an ordinary living entity, although He is in fact the Lord of the universe. His body does not deteriorate like the materila body. Still it apppears that lord Krishna has grown up from childhood to boyhood and fromboyhood to youth. But the astonishing fact is that from youth, He never decomes old. When He was present on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, at that time He had many grandchildren at home or in other words, He was sufficiently grown up in the material calculation. But still He looked just like. a youn man of twenty or twenty five years old. We have never seen a picture of Krishna in old age, because He never becomes an old man like us. Although He is the oldest person in the whole creation – past present and future, His body or intelligence never deteriorate or changes. Therefore it is clear herein that in spite of His coming into the material world, He is the same unborn, eternal form of bliss and knowledge without any changes in His transcendental body and intelligence. Factually His appearance and disappearance are like the sun appearing and moving from our eyesight. When the sun is out of our sight we think that the sun has set, and when the sun is before our eyes, we think that the sun is on the horizon. Actually the sun is always there

GAP IN COPY OF OT   resumption of purport 4.7

the direct order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. These principles are clearly indicated in various places of the Bhagavad-gita. The purpose of the Vedas is to establish one under the order of the Supreme Lord, and the Lord directly orders at the end of the Bhagavad-gita that the principle of religion is to surrender unto Him only and nothing more. The Vedic principles are to push one towards that end of complete surrender unto Him. And whenever such principles are disturbed by the demons, the Lord appears. From the Bhagavatam we understand that Lord Buddha is an incarnation of Krishna and He appeared when there was too much materialism on the pretext of the Vedas. Although there are in the Vedas restricted rules and regulations for animal sacrifice for particular purposes, people of demoniac tendency took to animal sacrifice without any reference to the Vedic principles. Lord Buddha appeared to stop this nonsense and establish the Vedic principles on nonviolence. Therefore each and every avatara or incarnation of the Lord has a particular mission and they are all described in the revealed scriptures. Nobody can therefore be accepted as an avatara without reference to such scriptural indications. It is not a fact that the Lord appears only on Indian soil. He can manifest Himself anywhere and everywhere and whenever He desire to appear. In each and every incarnation He speaks on the matter of religion as much as can be understood by particular people under particular circumstances. But the mission is the same – to lead people to be God conscious and obedient to the principles of religion. The principles of the Bhagavad-gita were spoken to Arjuna, and for that matter to other highly elevated persons, because he was highly advanced compared to ordinary persons in other parts of the world. Two plus two equals four is a mathematical principle true both in the infant class and in the master’s degree class, without any change. Still to understand the same principle there are higher and lower mathematics. In all incarnations of the Lord, therefore, the same principles are taught but the appear to be different under varied circumstances. The higher principles of religion begin with the acceptance of the four orders and four statuses of social life, as it will be explained herein later. The whole purpose of the mission of the incarnation is to arouse Krishna consciousness all round and such consciousness is manifest and non-manifest only under different circumstances.

Text 4.8

In order to deliver the pious devotees and to annihilate the miscreant nondevotees, as well as to re-establish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millenium after millenium. 


According to Bhagavad-gita, a sadhu means the man in Krishna consciousness. A person may appear to be irreligious, but if he has the qualification of being in Krishna consciousness wholly and fully, he is to be understood to be a sadhu. And duskritam means who does not care for being Krishna conscious. Such miscreants, or duskritam are described as the foolish and the lowest of mankind, even though decorated with mundane education. Whereas another person who is one hundred percent engaged in Krishna consciousness is accepted as sadhu, even though such person is not learned and not well cultured. So far as duskritinas are concerned, it is not necessary for the Supreme Personality of Godhead to appear as He is and destroy such demons like Ravana and Kamsa. The Lord has many agents who are quite competent to vanquish many such demons. The Lord especially descends to appease His unalloyed devotees, who are always harassed by the demons. The demon harass the devotee even though the latter happen to be his kin. Prahlada Maharaja was the son of Hiranyakasipu and still Prahlad Maharaja was so much persecuted. Devaki, the mother of Krishna, was the sister of Kamsa, and still she and her husband Vasudeva were persecuted only because Krishna was to be born of them. So Lord Krishna appeared more to deliver Devaki than to kill Kamsa. But both things are performed simultaneously, and therefore it is said here that for delivering the devotee and vanquishing the demon miscreant, the Lord appears in different incarnations.

In the Caitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 20.263-264) of Krishna Das Kaviraja, the following verses summarize the principle of incarnation: 

srsti-hetu yei murti prapance avatare
sei isvara-murti ‘avatara’ nama dhare

mayatita paravyome sabara avasthana
visve avatari’ dhare ‘avatara’ nama

“The avatar, or incarnation of Godhead, descends from the kingdom of God for material manifestation. And the particular form of the Personality of Godhead who so descends is called an incarnation, or avatara. Such incarnations are situated in the spiritual world – kingdom of God – and when they come down to the material creation, they assume the name avatara.”

There are various grades of avataras, such as Purushavataras, Gunavataras, Lilavataras, Saktyavesa avataras, Manvantara avataras, Yuga avataras, all appearing on routine schedule all over the universes. But Lord Krishna is the primeval Lord, the fountainhead of all avataras. Lord Sri Krishna descends for some specific purpose of mitigating the anxieties of the pure devotees, who are very anxious to see Him in His original Vrindavan pastimes. Therefore the prime necessity of the Krishna avatara is to satisfy his unalloyed devotees.

The Lord says that He incarnates Himself in every millenium. This indicates that He incarnates also in the Age of Kali. As stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam, the incarnation in the Age of Kali is Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Who spread the worship of Krishna by the sankirtan movement and spread Krishna consciousness all over India. He predicted that this culture of sankirtan would be broadcast all over the world from town to town and village to village. Lord Caitanya as the incarnation of Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, is kept secret in the confidential parts of the revealed scriptures, like the Upanishads, Mahabharata, Bhagavatam etc. But the unalloyed devotees of Lord Krishna are very much attracted by the sankirtan movement of Lord Caitanya. In this avatara of the Lord, there is no function of killing the misceants, but there is deliverance of the miscreants by the causeless mercy of the Lord. 

Text 4.9

One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities, does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.


The Lord’s descent from His transcendental abode is already explained in the 6th verse. One who can understand this truth of appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is already liberated from the material bondage and as such he goes back to the kingdom of God just after quitting this present material body. This liberation of the living entity from material bondage is not at all easy. The impesonalists or the yogis attain liberation after much trouble and many, many births. Such liberation of merging into the impersonal Brahmajyoti of the Lord is only partial and there is risk of coming back again to this material world. But the devotee, simply by understanding the transcendental nature of the body and activities of the Lord, comes to the abode of the Lord just after ending this body, without there being a risk of coming back again to this material world. In the Brahma-samhita (5.33) it is stated that the Lord has many, many forms and incarnations. “Advaitam acyutam anadim ananta-rupam.” Although there are many transcendental forms of the Lord, still they are one and the same Supreme Personality of Godhead. One has to understand this fact convincingly, although it is inconceivable for the mundane scholars and empiric philosophers.It is stated in the Vedas (Purusa-bodhini Upanishad) as follows:

eko devo nitya-lilanurakto
bhakta-vyapi hrdy antar-atma

“The One Supreme Personality of Godhead is eternally engaged in many, many transcendental forms in relationships with His unalloyed devotees.” This Vedic version is confirmed in this verse of the Bhagavad-gita personally by the Lord, Anyone who accepts this truth on the strength of the authorities of the Vedas and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, even though he does not waste time in philosophical speculations, does attain the highest perfectional stage of liberation. Simply by acceptance of this truth on faith, one can get liberation without any doubt. The Vedic version “tat tvam asi” is actually applied in this case. Anyone who understands Lord Krishna as the Supreme, or says unto the Lord “You are the same Supreme Brahman Personality of Godhead” is certainly a liberated person instantly and thus his entrance in the transcendental association of the Lord is garanteed. In other words such a faithful devotee of the Lord attains perfection as it is confirmed in the Vedic assertion as follows:

tam eva viditvati mrtyum eti
nanyah pantha vidyate ‘yanaya

“One can attain the perfect stage of liberation from birth and death simply by knowing the Lord Supreme Personality of Godhead and there is no other way to achieve this perfection. That there is no other alternative means that anyone who does not understand Lord Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead is surely in the modes of ignorance and as such will not attain salvation simply by licking the outer surface of the bottle of honey or by interpreting the texts of the Bhagavad-gita according to one’s so-called mundane scholarship. Such empiric philosophers may assume a very important part in the material world, but that does not mean that they are eligible for liberation. Such puffed up mundane scholars have to wait for the causeless mercy of the devotee of Lord. One should therefore accept the principle of Krishna consciousness with faith and knowledge and thus attain the perfection of life.

Text 4.10

Being freed from attachment, fear and anger, and being situated in full Krishna consciousness, many, many persons. in the past became purified by transcendenatl knowledge about the Lord, and thus all of them became perfect devotees.


As described above, it is very difficult for a person who is too much materially affected to understand the personal nature of the Supreme Absolute Truth. Generally people are attached to the bodily conception of life. They are so much absorbed in the material conception of life that it is almost impossible for them to understand how the Supreme can be a person like him. Such materialists cannot even imagine that there can be a transcendental body, which is non-perishable, full of knowledge and eternally blissful. The materialistic conception of the body is that it is perishable, full of ignorance and completely miserable. Therefore people in general carry the same idea of the body when they are informed of the personal form of the Lord. For such materialistic men, the form of the gigantic material manifestation is supreme and therefore they imagine that the Supreme is impersonal. And because they are too much materially absorbed, therefore the concept of retaining personality after liberation from matter causes great fear to them. When such materialistic men are informed that spiritual life is also individual and personal, they become afraid of becoming a person again and naturally they advocate a kind of merging into the impersonal void. Generally they compare the living entites to bubbles in the ocean, merging back into the ocean. That is the highest perfection of spiritual existence, without any individual personality. This is a kind of fearful stage of life, without any perfect knowledge of spiritual existence. There are many persons also who cannot understand spiritual existence at all. And being embarassed by so many theories and contradictions of various types of philosophical speculations, they become disgusted or angry and foolishly conclude that there is nothing like the Supreme Cause, that everything is void at the ultimate end. All these are diseased conditions of life. Some of them are too materially attached and thus do not give any attention to spiritual life; some of them want merge  into the supreme spiritual cause and some of them disbelieve evertyhting, being angry at all sorts of spiritual speculation out of hopelessness. The last class of men take to some kind of intoxication and the (resultant ?or hearing about the f), effective hallucination is accepted as spiritual existence. One has to get rid of all these three stages of attachment to the material world: neglect of spiritual life, fear of personal identity and voidness under frustration of life. To get free from these three stages in the material concept of life, one has to take complete shelter of the Lord, guided by the bona fide spiritual master under penance of disciplinary and regulative principles of devotional life. The last stage stage of such devotional life is called bhava or transcendental love of Godhead.

According to the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.4.15-16), the science of devotioal service:

adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sango ‘tha bhajana-kriya
tato ‘nartha-nivrttih syat tato nistha rucis tatah
athasaktis tato bhavas tatah premabhyudancati
sadhakanam ayam premnah pradurbhave bhavet kramah

“In the beginning one must have a preliminary desire for self-realization and thus one would try to find association with persons who are spiritually elevated. The next stage is that one becomes initiated by such an elevated spiritul master and under the instruction of the spiritual master the neophyte devotee begins the process of devotional service. By execution of such devotional service under the guidance of the spiritual master, one becomes free from all material attachment and attains steadiness in the matter of self-realization and a taste for hearing about the Absolute Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. This taste leads one further forward to the attachment for Krishna consciousness. This Krishna consciousness is matured in bhava or preliminary stage of transcendental love of Godhead. When the devotee reaches the stage or real love for God it is called prema, the highest perfectional stage of life. In the prema stage there is a constant engagement in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. So by the slow process of devotional service, under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, one can attain the bhava stage, being freed from all material attachment, from the fearfullness of one’s individual personality and the frustration of voidness. And when one is actually free from such lower stages of life, one can attain to the abode of the supreme Personality of Godhead.

Text 4.11

All of them, as they surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pritha. 


Everyone is searching for Krishna in the different aspects of His manifestations. Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is partially realized in His impersonal Brahmajyoti. Krishna is partially realized as the all-pervading Supersoul dwelling within everything, even in the particles of atoms. But Krishna is fully realized by His pure devotees. Therefore Krishna is the object of everyone’s realization and as such anyone and everyone is satisfied according to one’s desire to have Him. In the transcendental stage also, Krishna reciprocates with His pure devotees in transcendental humour, as the devotee wants Him. Some devotee wants Krishna as the supreme master, another as his personal friend, another as his son ans still another as his lover. And Krishna rewards equally all the devotees in their different intense love for Him. In the material world also the same reciprocations of feelings are there and they are equally exchanged by the Lord with different types of worshipers. The pure devotees both here and in the transcendental abode associate with Him in person and are able to render personal service to the Lord, and thus derive transcendenatl bliss in loving service. Those who are impersonalists and want to commit spiritual suicide by annihilating the individual existence of the living entity, Krishna also helps such impersonalists by absorbing them into His effulgence. Such impersonalists do not agree to accept the eternal, blissful Personality of Godhead and thus they cannot relish the bliss of transcendental personal service of the Lord on account of extinguishing their individuality. Some of them who are not fixed even in the impersonal existence come back again to this material field to exhibit their dormant desire for actvities. They are not admitted in the spiritual planets, but they are again given a chance to act on the material planets. For those who are fruitive workers, the Lord awards the desired results of prescribed duties as theYajnesvara. And those who are yogis, seeking mystic powers, are awarded such powers. In other words, everyone is dependent for success on His mercy alone and all kinds of spiritual processes are different degrees of success on the same path. Unless therefore, one comes to the highest perfection of Krishna consciousness, all attempts remain imperfect as it is stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

akamah sarva-kamo va moksa-kama udara-dhih
tivrena bhakti-yogena yajeta purusam param

“Whether one is without any desire ( the devotee), or one is desirous of all fruitive results, or one is after liberation, one should with all efforts, try to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead for complete perfection, culminating in Krishna consciousness”

 Text 4.12 

In this world, the human society is desiring to have succes in their fruitive activities and thus they are worshiping the demigods. Quickly, of course, they get results from such fruitive work. 


There is a great misconception about the gods or demigods of this material world, and men of less intelligence, although passing as great scholars take these demigods as various forms of the Supreme Lord. Actually the demigods are not different forms of God, but they are different parts and parcels of the Lord. God is one and the parts and parcels are many. The Vedas say: “nityo nityanam.” God is one. “Isvarah paramah krishnah” The Supreme God is one – Krishna – andthe demigods are delegated with powers to manage this material world. Such demigods are all living entities (nityanam) with different grades of material powers. Such demigods cannot be equal with the Supreme God, Narayana, Vishnu or Krishna. Anyon who thinks that God and the demigods are on the same level is called an atheist or pasandi. Even the great demigods like Brahma or Shiva cannot be compared as equal with the Supreme Lord, Narayan or Krishna. It is said that the Lord is respected even by such demigods as Brahma and Shiva (shiva-virinci-nutam).The powerful man, even on this earth, is worshiped by ordinary man as God (?). There are so many leaders of human society who are worshiped by foolish men under the misgivings of anthropomorphism or zoomorphism. Iha devatah means the powerful man or demigod of this material world. Narayana, Vishnu or Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead does not belong to this world. He is above or transcendental to the material creation. Even Sripada Sankaracarya, the leader of the impersonalists, does accept that Narayana or Krishna does not belong to this material creation. Therefore foolish people (hrita-jnana) worship the demogods because they want immediate results of such worship. They do get the results, without knowing that the results obtained are temporary and are menat for less intelligent persons. The intelligent person is in Krishna consciousness and has no business to worship the paltry demigods for some immediate temporary benefit. The demigods of the material world as well as the worshiper of such demigods, will vanish with the vanishing  of this material world. Both the material world and its inhabitants, including the demigods and their worshipers, all are bubles in the cosmic ocean. In this world, however, human society is mad after temporary things, like material opulence by posessing land, family and enjoyable paraphernalia. To achieve such temporary things they worship the demigods or big men in human society. If a man gets a ministership in the government by woshiping some political leader, he considers that he has achieved a great boon. All of them are therefore after such so-called leaders or big guns for achieving such temporary boons and they achieve such things indeed. Such foolish men are not interested in Krishna consciousness for permanent solution of material existence.They are all after sense enjoyment and to get a little facility for sense enjoyment, they are attracted to worship such empowered living entities known as demigods. The idea of this verse is that rarely people are interested in Krishna consciousness, mostly they are interested in material enjoyment and thus worship some power living entity.

Text 4.13

In terms of the divisions of the different modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society are created by me. And although I am the engineer of this system, still you may know that I am the non-doer of the same, being unchangeable.


The Lord is the creator of everything. Everything is born of Him, everything is sustained by Him and  after annihilationeverything is resting in Him. He is therefore the creator of the four divisions of the social order namely the intelligent class of men, technically called the brahmins on account of their being situated in the modes of goodness. Next, the administrative class, technically called the Ksatriyas on account of being situated in the modes of passion. The mercantile class of men, called the vaisyas are situated in the mixed qualities of passion and ignorance, and the sudras, ot the laborer class of men, situated in the ignorant modes of material nature. In spite of His creating the four divisions of human society, Lord Krishna does not belong to anyone of such divisions, because He is not one of the conditioned souls, a section of whom form the human society. Human society is as good as animal society, but to elevate them from the animal status, the above mentioned divisions are ceated by the Lord for systematic development of Krishna consciousness. The tendency for work by a particular man is determined by the modes of material nature he has acquired. Such symptoms of life according to different modes of material nature are described in the eighteen chapter of this book. A person in Krishna consciousness is above even the brahmins, because a brahmin by quality is supposed to know about Brahman, the Supreme Absolute Truth. Most of them reach up to the impersonal brahman manifestation of Lord Krishna. But only a qualified brahmin who transcends the limited knowledge of brahman and reaches to the knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna becomes a person in Krishna consciousness or in other words becomes a Vaishnava. This Krishna consciousness includes knowledge of all different plenary expansions of Krishna namely Rama Nrisingha, Varaha etc. As Krishna is transcendental to this system of the four divisions of human society, similarly a person in Krishna consciousness is also transcendental to the mundane divisions of human society either by caste, society, community, nations or species.

Text 4.14

Fruitive reactions of activities do not affect Me, nor do I have any aspiration for fruitive results. One who understands this truth about Me also does not become entangled in the fruitive reactions of work.


As there are constitutional laws in the material world stating that the king can do no wrong, or that the king is not subject to the state laws, similarly the Lord, although He is the creator of this material world, is not affected by the activities of the material world. He creates and remains aloof from the creation, whereas the living entities are entangled in the fruits results of material activities on account of their propensities for lording it over material resources. The proprietor of an establishment is not responsible for the right and wrong activities of the workers, but the workers are themselves responsible for their right and wrong acts. The living entities are engaged in their respective activities of sense gratification and these activities are not ordained by the Lord. For advancement of sense gratification, the living entities are engaged in work in this world, and they aspire for heavenly happiness after death. The Lord being full in Himself, has no attrcation for so-called haevenly happiness. The heavenly demigods are only His engaged servants. The proprietor never desires such low-grade happiness as the worker may desire. He is aloof from the material actions and reactions, like rains in the rainy season. The rains are not responsible for different types of vegetation that grow on the earth, although without such rains there no possibility of vegetative growth. Vedic smritis confirm this fact as follows:

nimitta-matram evasau srjyanam sarga-karmani
pradhana-karani-bhuta yato vai srjya-saktayah

“In the material creations the Lord is only the supreme cause. The material cause is material nature and due to this the cosmic manifestation is visible.” The created being are of many varieties, such as the demigods, human beings and the lower animals, and all of them are subjected to the reactions of their past good or bad activities. The Lord only gives them proper facilities for such activities and regulations of the modes of nature, but He is never responsible for their past and present activities. In the Vedanta-sutra (2.1.34) it is confirmed “vaisamya-nairghrnye na sapeksatvat.” The Lord is never partial to any living entity. The living entity is responsible for his own acts. The Lord only gives them facilities, through the agency of material nature, the external energy. Anyone who is fully conversant with allthe intricacies of the law of karma, or fuitive activities, does not become affected by the results of His activities. In other words, the person who understand this transcendental nature of the Lord is an experienced man in Krishna consciousness, and as such he is never subjected to the laws of karma. One who does not know the transcendental nature of the Lord and applies the same categories of fruitive results to the activities of the Lord, as in the case of ordinary living entities certainly becomes entaangled in the fruitive results. Whereas one who knows the Supreme Truth is a liberated soul fixed in Krishna consciousness. 

Text 4.15

All the liberated souls in past ancient times acted with such understanding of the transcendental nature of the Lord an thus acted in Krishna consciousness and therefore you should also act, following in their footseps.


There are two classes of men. Some of them are full of dirty material things within their hearts and some of them are free from dirty material things. Krishna consciousness is equally beneficial for both persons. Those who are full of dirty things can take to the line of Krishna consciousness for a gradual cleansing process, following the regulative principles of devotional service. Those who are already cleansed of the dirty things may also continue to act in the same Krishna consciousness so that others may follow their examplary activities and thus be benefited. Foolish persons or neophytes in Krishna consciousness often want to retire from activities, without the knowledge of Krishna consciousness. Arjuna’s attitude to retire from activities and not to the fight is not approved by the Lord. One should know how to act. To retire from the activities of Krishna consciousness and be seated privately, making a show of Krishna consciousness, is less important than one who is actually in the field of activities for the matter of Krishna consciousness. Arjuna is advised to act in Krishna consciousness, following in the footsteps of the Lord’s previous disciples like the sun-god, Vivasvan as entioned herein before. The Supreme Lord knows all His past activities, as well those of persons who acted in Krishna consciousness in the past and thus He recommends the acts of the sun-god who learnt this art from the Lord some millions of years before. All such students of Lord Krishna are mentioned here as past liberated persons engaged in the discharge of duties alloted by Krishna.  

Text 4.16

Even the intelligent are bewildered in ascertaining what is action and what is inaction, which I shall explain to you now and knowing which you shall be liberated form all inauspiciousness. 


Action in Krishna consciousness has to be done in pursuance of previous, bonafide devotees. This is recommended in verse fifteen. Why not independently is explained in this verse. To act in Krishna consciousness, one has to follow the leadership of authorised persons. These authorised persons are in disciplic succession. This has already been explained in the beginning of this chapter.The system of Krishna consciousness was first explained to the sun-god, the sun-god explained it to his son Manu. Manu explained it to his son Iksvaku and since then the system is current on this earth from that very remote time. Therefore one to follow in the footsteps of previous authorities in the line of disciplic succession, otherwise even the most intelligent man will be bewildered in the matter of standard action in Krishna consciousness. Therefore the Lord decided to instruct  arjuna in the matter of Krishna consciousness directly. Direct instruction of the Lord to Arjuna means anyone who follows the foosteps of Arjuna is certainly not bewildered.It is said that one cannot ascertain the ways of religion simply by imperfectt experimental knowledge. The principles of religion can actually be laid down by the Lord Himself. “Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam.”(Srimad Bhagavatam 6.3.19) Nobody can manufacture a principle of religion by imperfect speculations. One must follow the footsteps of great authorities like Brahma, Shiva, Narada, Manu, the Kumaras, Kapila, Prahlada, Bhisma, Sukadeva Gosvami, Yamaraja, Janaka etc. By mental speculation one cannot ascertain what is religion or what is self-realization. As such, out of His causeless mercy upon His devotees, the Lord explained the matter directly to Arjuna what is action and what is inaction. Only action in Krishna consciousness can deliver a person from the entanglement of material existence.

Text 4.17 

It is very difficult to enter into the intricacies of work and its different phases. One should therefore try to understand rightly what action is, what forbidden action is and what is inaction.


If one is serious about liberation from material bondage one has to understand the distinction between action, inaction and unauthorised action. One has to understand such analysis of action, reaction and perverted actions because it is very difficult subject matter. To understand Krishna consciousness and action according to its modes, one has to learn one’s relationship witht he Supreme. One who has learnt it perfectly knows it well that every living entity is eternal servitor of the Lord and as such he has to act in Krishna consciousness. The whole theme of the Bhagavad-gita is directed towar this conclusion. Any other conclusion against this consciousness and actions thereof are vikarma or prohibited actions. To understand  all this one has to associate with authorities in Krishna consciousness and learn the secret from them, which is as good as learning from the Lord directly. Otherwise, even the most intelligent person will be bewildered.

Text 4.18

One who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction is intelligent in human society, and he is in the transcendantal position, although engaged in all sorts of activities.


A person acting in Krishna consciousness is naturally free from the resultant action of work. His activities are all done on account of Krishna and thus he does not enjoy or suffer any of the effects of work. He is therefore intelligent in human society, even though he is engaged in all sorts of activities on account of Krishna. Akarma means without any reaction of the work. The impersonalist ceases from fruitive activities out of fear so that the resultant action may not be a stumbling block on the path of self-realization, while the personalist knows rightly his position as eternal servitor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And thus he engages himself in the activities of Krishna consciousness, Everything is done for Krishna and thus he enjoys only transcendental happiness in the discharge of service to Krishna. This process of activities is without any desire for personal sense gratification. The sense of eternal servitorship to Krishna makes one immune to all sorts of reactionary elements of work. 

Text 4.19

One whose all attempts are devoid of the desire for sense gratification is to be understood situated in full knowledge and he is said by the persons who know things to be a worker whose resultant action of work is burnt up by the fire of perfect knowledge.


Only a person in full knowledge can understand the activities of a person in Krishna consciousness. Because the person in Krishna consciousness is devoid of all kinds of sense gratification, it is to be understood that he has burnt up the reactions of his work by perfect knowledge of his constitutional position as eternal servitor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is actually the learned one who has attained such perfection of knowledge. Development of this knowledge of eternal servitorship of the Lord is compared with fire and such kind of fire, once kindled, can burn up all kinds of reactions of work.

Text 4.20

One who is not attached to the results of his activities and is ever satisfied, without being so attached, does not do any fruitive action, although he is engaged in all kinds of undertakings.


This freedom from resultant actions is possible only in Krishna cosciousness, when doing everything on account of Krishna. A Krishna conscious person acts out of pure love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore has no attraction for the results of the action. He is not even mindful of his personal maintenance and everything is left to Krishna, without being anxious to secure things or to protect things already in his possession. He does his duty  to his best ability and leaves everything to Krishna. Such unattached person is always free from the resultant reactions of good and bad,  as though he were not doing anything. This is the sign of akarma, or actions without any fruitive reaction. Any other action, therefore, devoid of Krishna consciousness is binding upon the worker and that is the real aspect of vikarma, as explained herein before.

Text 4.21

Such a Krishna conscious person acts with perfect control over the mind and intelligence, giving up all kinds of sense of proprietorship over his possessions, he acts only for the bare necessities of life and therefore is not affected by sinful reactions, even though he performs all kinds of acts.


A Krishna conscious person has no expectation for good or bad results in his activities. His mind and intelligence are fully controlled. He knows that he is part and parcel of the Supreme, and therefore the part played by him, as part and parcel of the whole, is not his own activity, but it is being done by the Supreme, through his agency only. When the hand moves, it does not move out of its own accord, it moves by the endeavor of the whole body. A Krishna conscious person is always dovetailed with the supreme desire, and has no desire for his personal sense gratification. He moves exactly like the part of a machine, and as the part on the machine also requires oiling and cleaning for maintenance, similarly a Krishna conscious man maintains himself by his work, just to remain fit for action in the transcendental service of the Lord. He is therefore immune to all reactions of such undertakings. He has no sense of proprietorship, even over his body, as much as an animal has no proprietorship over its body. The cruel proprietor of an animal sometimes kills the animal in his possession and the animal does not protest. Nor does it have any real independence. A Krishna conscious person is fully engaged in the matter of self-realization, and as such he has very little time to falsely possess any material object. For maintaining body and soul , he does not require any unfair means to accumulate money. He does not therefore become contaminated by such material sins, and is free from all reactions of his actions.

Text 4.22

A Krishna conscious person is satisfied with gain which is achieved out of its own accord, and is free from duality, surpassing all kinds of enviousness. He is steady both in success and failure and therefore he is never entangled by his multifarious activities.


A Krishna conscious person does not make much endeavor even in the matter of maintaining his body. He is satisfied with gain which is obtained out of its own accord. He does not beg nor borrow, but he labors honestly as far as is in his power and is satisfied by whatever is obtained by his own honest labor. A Krishna conscious person is therefore independent for his livelihood. He does not accept anyone’s service to hamper his own service in Krishna consciousness. But for the service of the Lord he can accept any kind of action without being disturbed by the duality of the material world. The duality of the  material world is felt in the matter of heat and cold or misery and happiness. A Krishna conscious person is above this duality because he doe not hesitate to act in any way for the satisfaction of Krishna. As he does not care for duality, therefore he is steady both in success and in failure. These signs are visible when one is in full transcendental knowledge. 

Text 4.23

Work done in full Krishna consciousness, by a person who is unattached to the modes of material nature and fully situated in transcendental knowledge merges entirely into transcendence.


By becoming fully Krishna conscious, one is freed from all dualities and thus one is free from all contaminations of the material modes. He can become liberated because he knows his constitutional position in relationship with Krishna, and as such his mind cannot be separated from Krishna consciousness. Consequently whatever he does, he does it for Krishna, Who is the Primeval Vishnu. Therefore all works done by a person in Krishna consciousness are technically Sacrifices, because Sacrifice means to satisfy the Supreme Person, Krishna, or Vishnu. The resultant reactions of all work done by a person in Krishna consciousness certainly merges into transcendence, without any material effect.

Text 4.24

A person who is fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness is sure to attain the spiritual kingdom by his full contribution to spiritual activities, wherein the consummation is absolute and the things offered are also of the same spiritual nature.


How activities in Krishna consciousness can lead one ultimately to the goal of spiritual nature is described here. There are various activities in Krishna consciousness and all of them will be described in the following verses. But for the present the principle of Krishna consciousness is described. A conditioned soul entangled in the material contamination is sure to act in the material atmosphere, yet he has to get out of such environment. The process by which the conditioned soul can get out of the material atmosphere is Krishna consciousness. It is like the disease caused by milk. which is treated by another form of milk. A patient who is suffering from disorder of the bowel on account of overeating milk products is cured by another form of milk product, namely curd. Similarly, materially absorbed conditioned souls can be cured by Krishna consciousness as it is prescribed here in the Bhagavad-gita. This process of Krishna consciousness is generally known as Yajna, or activities simply meant for the satisfaction of Vishnu or Krishna. Therefore the more the activities of the material world are performed in Krishna consciousness, or for the matter of Vishnu only, the more the atmosphere becomes spiritualized by complete absorption. Brahma means spiritual. The Lord is spiritual and the rays of His transcendental body are called the spiritual effulgence or Brahma Jyoti. Everything that exists is situated in that Brahma Jyoti and when the Jyoti is covered by an illusion of Maya, or sense gratification it is called material. This material feature can be removed at once by Krishna consciousness, where in the offering (for the cause of Krishna consciousness) the consuming agent of such an offering or contribution, the process of consumption, the contributor and the result of such activities are all combined together. Brahma or the Absolute Truth covered by Maya is called matter. Matter dovetailed for the cause of the Absolute Truth regains its spiritual quality. Krishna consciousness is the process of converting the illusory consciousness into Brahman, or the Supreme. When the mind is fully absorbed in such Krishna consciousness, it is called Samadhi or Transcendence. Anything done in such transcendental consciousness is called Yajna, or sacrifice for the Absolute, and in that condition of spiritual Krishna consciousness, the contributor, the contribution, the consumption, the performer or the leader of the performance and the result or ultimtate gain, everything becomes one in the Absolute or the Supreme Brahman. That is the explanation of Krishna consciousness.

Text 4.25

Others perfectly worship the demigods by offering different sacrifices like this, and some of them offer sacrifice in the fire of the Supreme Brahamn like that.  


As described above, a person engaged in discharging duties in Krishna consciousness is also called a perfect yogi or the first class mystic. But there are others also, who perform similar sacrifices to the demigods, and still others who sacrifice to the Supreme Brahman or impersonal feature of the Supreme Lord. So there are different kinds of sacrifices, in terms of different categories. Such different categories of sacrifices by different types of performers, superficially demark different varieties of sacrifice, although factual sacrifice means to satisfy the Supreme Lord Vishnu, or Yajna. But all the different varieties of sacrifice can be divided primarily into to divisions, namely sacrifice of worldly possessions  and sacrifice in pusuit of transcendental knowledge. Those who are in Krishna consciousness sacrifice everything in material possession for the satisfcation of the Supreme Lord, while others who want some temporary material happiness, sacrifice their material possessions to satisfy the demigods such as Indra, the Sun etc. And others, who are impersonalists, do sacrifice in the matter of merging into the existence of the impersonal Brahman. The demigods are delegated powerful living entities appointed by the Supreme Lord for maintenance and supervision of all material functions like heating, watering and lighting of the universe. Those who are interested in such supplies of material benefits worship the demigods by various sacrifices according to the Vedic rituals. They are called “bahv-isvara-vadi”, or believers in many gods. While others, who stick to the impersonal feature of the Absolute Truth, and regard the forms of the demigods as temporary, sacrifice their individual self in the supreme fire, and thus wind up their individual existence by merging into the existence of the Supreme. Such impersonalists sacrifice their time in philosophical speculation for understanding the transcendental nature of the Supreme. In other words, the fruitive workers sacrifice their material possessions for material enjoyment, while the impersonalist sacrifices his material designation with a view to merge into the existence of the Supreme. For the impersonalist the fire altar of sacrifice is the Supreme Brahman, and the offering is the self, being consumed by the fire of Brahman. The Krishna conscious person, however sacrifices everything for the satisfaction of Krishna, and as such all his material possessions as well as his own self – everything – is sacrificed for Krishna as Arjuna did. And thus the Krishna conscious person is the first class Yogi, without loss of his individual existence.  

Text 4.26

Some of them, like the unadulterated brahmacaris, sacrifice the hearing process and the senses in the fire of the controlled mind, and others, like the regulated householders, sacrifice the objects of sense gratification in the fire of the controlled senses.  


The four divisions of human life, namely the brahmacary, the grihastha, the vanaprastha and the sanyasi are all meant for becoming perfect Yogis, or transcendentalists by practice. Human life is not meant for enjoying sense gratification like the animals. All the four orders of human life are recommended hereby to become perfect in spiritual life. The brahmacaris or the students, under the care of the bonafide spiritual master, control the mind from sense gratification and a brahmacari does not hear anything except words of Krishna consciousness. Hearing is the basic principle for understanding, and therefore the unadulterated brahmacary engages fully in “harernamanukirtanam” – or chanting and hearing the glories of the Lord. He restrains himself from the vibration of material sounds. His hearing is engaged in the transcendental sound vibration Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna and nothing more. Similarly, the householders who have the license for sense gratification, performs such acts with great restraint. Sex life, intoxication and meat eating is the general tendency in humman society, but a regulated householder does not indulge in unrestricted sex life and other sense gratification. Marriage on the principles of religious life is therefore curent in all civilized human societies, because that is the way for restricted sex life. The restricted, unattached sex life is also a kind of a Yajna, because the restricted householder sacrifices his general tendency for sense gratification for higher transcendental life.

Text 4.27

Those who are interested in self-realization in terms of controlling the mind and the senses offer oblations of the senses into the fire of the controlled mind.


The yoga system conceived by Patanjali is mentioned herewith. In the Patanjali system of yoga the soul is called Pratyag Atma and Parag Atma. As long as the soul is attached to sense enjoyment it is called Parag Atma, but as soon as the same soul is turned to become detached from such sense enjoyment it is called Pratyag Atma. The soul is subject to the functions of then kinds of air within the body and ventilation is ultimatel perceived through the breathing system. The Patanjali system of yoga instructs how to control these functions of the air in a technical method so that ultimately all the functions of the air within become favorable for purification of the soul from all material attachment. According to this yoga system, Pratyag Atma is the ultimate goal. This Pratyag Atma is withdrawal from activities in matter. The senses are interacting with the sense objects, like the ear for hearing, eyes for seeing, nose for smelling, tongue for tasting, hand for touching, and all of them are engaged in outside activities. They are called the functions of the Pranavayu. The Apanavayu goes downwards, Vyanavayu acts to shrink and expand, Samanavayu adjusts equilibrium, Udanavayu goes upwards and thus when one is enlightened, one engages all these in seaching for self-realization.


Text 4.28

There are others, who all have accepte strict vows, and who become enlightened by sacrificing their possessions, performing severe austerities, pacticing the yoga of eightfold mysticism, or by studying the Vedas for advancement of transcendental knowledge. 


All these sacrifices may be divided into various divisions. There are persons who are sacrificing their possessions for the benefit of various kind of charities. In India, the rich mercantile community or princely order open various kinds of charitable institutions like dharma-shala, anna-kshetra, atithi-shala, anathalaya and vidya-pitha, etc. Not only in India, but also in other countries, there are many hospitals, old age homes and various other charitable foundations meant for distributing food, education and medical teatment free to the poor. All these charitable actvities are called dravyamaya-yajna. There are others who for higher elevation of life or for being promoted to better planets within the universe, voluntarily accept many kinds of austerities such as chandrayana and catur-masya. These processes entail severe vows for conducting life under certain rigid rules. For example, under the caturmasya vow, the candidate does not shave for four months of the year (July to October), does not eat varieties of foodstuff, does not eat twice in a day and does not leave home. Such sacrifice of the comforts of life is called tapomaya-yajna. There are others who engage themselves in different kinds of mystic yogas like the Patanjali system for merging into the existence of the Absolute, or others engage in hatha-yoga or astanga-yoga for particular perfections. Some of them travel all over to the sanctified places of pilgrimage. All these are called yoga-yajna or sacrifice for certain type of perfection in the material world. There are others who engage themselves in the studies of different Vedic literatures, specifically the Upanishads and Vedanta Sutra or the Sankya philosophy. All of these are called svadhyaya-yajna, or engagement  in the sacrifice of studies. All these yogis are faithfully engaged in different types of sacrifices for a higher status of life. Krishna consciousness is however different from these because it is direct service of the Supreme Lord. Such Krishna consciousness cannot be attained by anyone of the above mentioned different types of sacrifices, but can be attained only by the mercy of the Lord or His bona fide devotee. Therefore, Krishna consciousness is transcendental.  

Text 4.29

Persons who are inclined to the process of breath restraint to remain in trance do practice it by stopping the movement of the outgoing breathing into the incoming and the incoming into the outgoing and thus at last remain in trance stopping all breathing. Some of them curtail the eating process and offer the outgoing breathing into itself as a sacrifice. 


This system of yoga for controlling the breathing process is called pranayam and in the beginning it is practiced in the hatha-yoga system through different sitting postures. All of these processes are recommended for controlling the senses and for higher advancement of spiritual realization. This practices is just to accept or control the airs within the body and to reverse the directions of their passage. The apana air goes downward and the prana air goes up. The pranayam yogi practices just the opposite way until the curents are neutralized into puraka or equilibrium. Smilarly, when the exhaled breathing is offered into the inhaled breathing, it is called recaka. When both airs are completely stopped, it is called kumbhaka-yoga. By practice of kumbhaka-yoga one can increase the duration of life for perfection of spiritual realization. The intelligent yogi is interested to attain perfection in one life, without waiting for the next and by practice of kumbhaka-yoga the yogis increase the duration of life by many, many years. A Krishna conscious person, being always situated in the  transcendental loving service of the Lord becomes automatically the controller of the senses. Being always engaged in the service of Krishna, a Krishna conscious person’s senses have no chance of being otherwise engaged, and at the end of life, naturally he is transferred to the transcendental plane of Lord Krishna, without attempting to increase the duration od life. A Krishna conscious person is at once raised to the platform of liberation as it is said in the Bhagavad-gita (14.26):

mam ca yo ‘vyabhicarena bhakti-yogena sevate
sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate

Therefore, a Krishna conscious person begins from the transcendental stage and he is constantly in that consciousness. Therefore there is no fall down and ultimately he enters into the abode of the Lord without any delay. The practice of reducing eating is done automatically when one does not eat anything which is not Krishna prasadam or which is not offered first to the Lord. The process of reducing eating is very helpful in the matter of sense control. And without sense control there is no possibility of getting out of the material entanglement.

Text 4.30

All the above mentioned different types of performers of sacrifices become cleansed of sinful reactions, and thus having tasted the nectar of the reult of such performances, all of them prepare to go to the supreme eternal atmosphere.


From the above explanations of different types of sacrifices, namely performance of sacrifice of one’s possessions, study of the Vedas or philosophical doctrines, performances of the yoga system, it is found that the greatest common aim of all these performances of sacrifices is to have control over the senses. Sense gratification is the root cause of material existence. Therefore, unless and until one is situated on a platform of no sense gratification, there is no chance of being elevated to the eternal platform of full knowledge, full bliss and full life. This stage of life is called the eternal atmosphere or brahma atmosphere. Any kind of the above mentioned sacrifices  helps one to be cleansed from the sinful reactions of the materila existence, and by such advancement of life one does not only become happy and opulent in this life, but also, at the end, he enters into the eternal kigdom of God, either merging into the impersonal brahman or associating with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna.

Text 4.31

O best of the Kuru dynasty, without performing sacrifices one can never live satisfactorily even on this planet or in this life and what to speak of other planets or a next better life?


In any form of material life, everyone is ignorant of the real background situation of our living conditions. In other words, existence in the material world is due to our multi-reactions to our sinful lives. Ignorance is the cause of sinful life and sinful life is the cause of dragging on material existence. The human form of life is the only loophole by which one can get out of this entanglement. The Vedas therefore give us a chance for relief by pointing out the paths of religion, economic development, regulated sense gratification and at last to get rid of the miserable condition of material existence. The path of religion or the different kinds of sacrifices recommended above, automatically solve our economic problems. By performance of Yajna, we can have enough food, enough milk etc, even if there is a so-called increase of population. When the body is fully supplied, naturally the next stage is the satisfaction of the senses. The Vedas prescribed therefore sacred marriage for regulated sense gratification, and thus one gradually is raised to the platform of release from material encagement. Therefore the ultimate goal of life is to get liberation from material bondage. The highest perfection of liberated life is to become associated with the Supreme Lord. All these different stages of perfection are achieved by performance of Yajna as described above. Now if a person is not inclined to perform Yajna in terms of the Vedic literature, how can he expect any happy life even in this body. And what to speak of another body or on another planet? There are different grades of material conforts in different heavenly planets. And on all of them, or beyond them in the spiritual planets also, there is immense happiness for the persons engaged in different kinds of Yajna. But the highest kind of happiness that a man can achieve is to get promoted to the spiritual planets by practice of Krishna consciousness. A life of Krishna consciousness is therefore the solution to all problems of material existence.

Text 4.32

All these different types of sarifices are approved by the Vedas, and all of them are depending on our different types of work. Knowing them as such, you will become liberated.


Different types of sacrifices as discussed above, are mentioned in the Vedas, to suit different types of worker. Generally men are too much absorbed in the concept of the body and therefore all these sacrifices are so arranged so that one has to work either with the body or the mind or with the intelligence. But all of them are recommended for liberation at the ultimate end. This is confirmed by the Lord herewith from His own mouth.  

Text 4.33

O chastiser of the enemy, the sacrifice in pursuit of knowledge is better than the sacrifice of material possessions. After all, O son of Pritha, sacrifice of actvities culminate in complete transcendental knowledge.


The whole process of different types of sacrifices is to gradually terminate at the status of complete knowledge, the release from material miseries and ultimately in loving transcendental service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead in Krishna consciousness. Still there is a mystery about all these different activities of sacrifice and one should know this mystery. In terms of  the paticular performers, such sacrifices take the form of sacrifice of material possession and sometimes they take the form of sacrifice in pursuit of knwledge, according to the partucular faith of the doer. When faith reaches the stage of sacrifice in pursuit of knowledge, it is far better than the other namely sacrifice of material possessions, because without attainment of knowledge such sacrifices remain on the material platform, without any spiritual benefit, Such knowledge culminates in Krishna consciousness, the highest stage of transcendental knowledge. Without such elevation of knowledge such sacrifics  are simply material activities. When however they are elevated to the level of transcendental knowledge, all such activities become elevated to the spiritual platform. In terms of different consciousness, sometimes such activities are called karma-kanda or fuitive activities and sometimes they are called jnana-kanda, or knowledge in pursuit of truth. It is better when the end is pursuit of knowldege.

Text 4.34

Just try to know the truth about all these by approaching a self-realized spiritual master with all submission, enquiries and render service unto him. Such a learned, self-realized spiritual master will initiate you into knowledge because he has seen the truth.


The path of spiritual realization is undoubtedly difficult. The Lord therefore advices to approach a bona fide spiritual master in the line of disciplic succession from the Lord Himself. Nobody can be a bona fide spiritul master without following this principle of disciplic succession. The Lord is the original spiritual master and a person in the disciplic succession can convey the message as it is to his disciple. Nobody can be spiritually realized by manufacturing his own process as is the fashion of the foolish pretenders. The Bhagavatam (6.3.19) says,  dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam: the path of religion is directly enunciated by the Lord. Therefore, mental speculation or dry arguments cannot lead one to the right path. Nor by independent study of the books of knowlegde can one progress in spiritual life. Therefore one has to approach a bona fide spiritual master to receive the knowledge. Such spiritual master should be accepted in full surrender. One should serve the spiritual master like a menial servant without any false prestige. Satisfaction of the self-realized spiritual master is the secret of advancement in spiritual life. Enquiries and submission constitute the proper combination for spiritual understanding. Unless there is are submission and service, enquiries from the learned spiritual master will not be effective. One must be able to pass the test of the spiritual master. When the spiritual master sees the genuine desire of the disciple, he automatically blesses the disciple with genuine spiritual understanding. In this verse both blind following as well as absurd enquiries are condemned. One should not only hear submissively from the spiritual master. but one must also get a clear understanding from him in submission and with service. A bona fide spiritual master is by nature very kind upon the disciple and when the student is submissive and is always ready to render service the reciprocation of knowledge and enquiries becomes perfect.

Text 4.35

By obtainig real knowledge from a self-realized soul, you will no longer have such illusion, because by that knowledge you will know that all living entities are but parts and parcels of the Supreme, or in other words, that they are Mine. 


The result of receiving knowledge from a self-realized soul or one who knows things as they are, is learning that all living beings are parts and parcels of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. The feeling of separate existence of the living entities from Krishna is called maya ( ma-not, ya-this ). At present, we are thinking that we have nothing to do with Krishna, Krishna is only a great historical personality and the Absolute is the impersonal Brahman. Factually, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, this impersonal Brahman is the personal effulgence of Krishna. But Krishna, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the cause of everything. In the Brahma-samhita, it is clearly stated that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Cause of all Causes. Even the millions of incarnations are His different expansions only. Similarly the living entities are also expansions of Krishna. The Mayavadi philosophers wrongly think that Krishna loses His own separated existence by His so many expansions. This thought is material in nature. In the material world, we have experience that a thing when fragmentally distributed loses its own original identity. The Mayavadi philosophers fail to understand that absolute means one plus one equals one and one minus one equals one. This is the logic of the absolute world.

For want of sufficient knowledge in the science of the absolute, we are now covered with illusion and therefore we think that we are separate from Krishna. Although we are separated parts of Krishna, we are not different from Krishna. The bodily difference of the living entities is Maya or not the actual fact. We are all meant for satisfying Krishna. By Maya only Arjuna thought that the bodily relationship with his kinsmen was more important than his spiritual eternal relationship with Krishna. The whole teaching of the Bhagavad-gita is targeted toward this end, that a living being cannot be separated from Krishna as His eternal servitor and his sense of being a separated identity from the interest of Krishna is called Maya. The living entities, as separate parts and parcels of the Supreme, have a purpose to fulfill. Having forgotten that purpose from time immemorial they are situated in different material bodies, namely men, animals, demigods, etc. Such bodily differences are due to forgetfullness of the transcendental service of the Lord, and when one is engaged in such transcendental service through Krishna consciousness, certainly one becomes at once liberated from the illusion. One can have such pure knowledge only from the bonafide spiritual master, without being deluded that the living entity is on par with Krishna. Perfect knowledge is that the Supreme Soul, Krishna, is the Supreme Shelter for all living entities, and giving up such shelter the living entities are deluded by the material energy to have separate identities and be forgetful of Krishna under diferent standard of material identity. When however, such deluded living entities become situated in Krishna consciousness, it i to be understood that they are on the path of liberation, as it is confirmed in the Bhagavatam (2.10.6): muktir hitvanyatha-rupam svarupena vyavasthitih. Liberation means to be situated in one’s constitutional position as eternal sevitor of Krishna or Krisha consciousness. 

Text 4.36

Even if you are considered the most sinful of all sinners, yet when you are situated on the boat of transcendental knowledge, you will be able to cross over he ocean of miseries.


Proper understanding of one’s constitutional position in relationship to Krishna is so nice that one can at once be lifted up from the struggle for existence, in the ocean of nescience. This material world is sometimes considered as the ocean of nescience and sometimes it is considered as a blazing forest. In the ocean, however expert a swimmer one may be, the struggle for existence is very, very severe. And yet if someone comes forward and lifts the struggling swimmer from the ocean, he isthe greatest savior. The perfect knowledge of the human being, received from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the path of liberation.The boat of Krishna consciousness is very simple, but it is the most sublime at the same time.

Text 4.37

As a blazing fire turns firewood into ashes, O Arjuna, similarly the fire of knowledge also turns into ashes all reactions to material activities.

Perfect knowledge of self and Superself and their relationship is compared herein to fire and such fire does not only turns all interactions of impious activities, but also all interactions of pious activities into ashes. There are many stages of interactions of our activities. Reactions in the stage of making, in the stage of fructifying, in the stage of already achieved and in the stage a priori. But this knowledge of the constitutional position of the living entity turns verythting into ashes. When one is completely conversant with such complete knowledge, all reactions, both a priori and a posteriori, become vanquished. In the Vedas ( Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad 4.4.22) it is stated as follows: ubhe uhaivaisa ete taraty amrtah sadhv-asadhuni: “One overcomes both pious and impious interactions of work.”

Text 4.38

In this world,  there is nothing so sublime and pure as transcendental knowledge. Such knowledge is the mature fruit of all kinds of mysticism. And one who has become accomplished in the practice of devotional service enjoys this knowledge within himself in due course of time.


When we speak of transcendenatl knowledge, we do so in terms of spiritual understanding. As such, there is nothing so sublime and pure as transcendental knowledge. Ignorance is the stage of our bondage and knowledge is the cause of our liberation.This knowledge is the mature fruit of devotional service and when one is situated in such transcendental knowledge, he need not search for peace elsewhere, but enjoys such peace in himself. In other words, this knowledge and peace culminate in Krishna consciousness. That is the last word in the Bhagavad-gita.  

Text 4.39

A faithful man, who is attached to transcendental knowledge and who subdues his senses, is an eligible candidate to achieve it and having achieved such transcendental knowledge he attains spiritual peace very soon.


Such knowledge in Krishna consciousness can be achieved by a faithful person, who believes firmly in Krishna. One who thinks that simply by acting in Krishna consciousness, one can attain the highest perfection is called a faithful man, This faith is attained by discharge  of devotional service and by chanting “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama rama Hare Hare” which cleanses one’s heart of all material dirt, and above this one should also control the senses. In other words, a person who has control over the senses and is faithful to Krishna can easily attain the perfection of knowledge in Krishna consciousness without delay. 

Text 4.40

Foolish and faithless persons who doubt the revealed scriptures fall down from the knowledge of Krishna consciousness. For them there is neither good in this world nor in the next. There is no happiness for them.


Out of many standard and authoritative revealed scriptures, the Bhagavad-gita is the best. Only persons who are almost like animals have no faith in or knowledge of such standard revealed scriptures. Even though some have knowledge or can cite passages of such revealed scriptures, they have actually no faith in such words. And even others have faith in scriptures like Bhagavad-gita, they do not believe in the Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. Such persons cannot have any standing in Krishna consciousness. They fall down. Out of all the above mentioned persons, one who has no faith and is always doubtful cannot make any progress at all. Such doubtful persons find no good even in this world, nor in the next. And for them there is no happiness whatsoever. One should therefore follow the principles of revealed scriptures with faith, and that will raise one to the platform of knowledge. Such knowledge will help one being promoted to the transcendental platform of spiritual understanding. In other words, doubtful persons have no status whatsoever in spiritual emancipation. One should therefore follow in the footsteps of great Acharyas in disciplic succession and thus attain success.  

Text 4.41

Therefore one who acts in Krishna consciousness, renouncing the fruits of his actions, and who is above all doubts on account of transcendental knowledge, is factually situated in the self and thus the reactions of all work do not bind him at all, O Arjuna, conqueror of riches.


One who follows therefore the instruction of the Bhagavad-gita as it is instructed by the Lord, the Personality of Godhead Himself, becomes free from all sorts of doubts on account of transcendental knowledge. He is already fully conversant with self-knowledge, as part and parcel of the Lord in full Krishna consciousness and as such, he is undoubtedly above all reactions of all activities that he may do.

Text 4.42

Therefore, O descendant of Bharata, the doubts which have arisen in your heart out of ignorance should be cut off with the weapon of knowledge and you should stand up for fighting.  


The Yoga system instructed in this chapter is called Sanatan-yoga or eternal activities performed by the living entity. This Yoga has two divisions of actions, called sacrifices. The one is called sacrifices of one’s material possessions , and the other part is called knowledge of the self, which is pure spiritual activity. If sacrifice of one’s material possessions is not dovetailed for spiritual realization, then such sacrifices become material. But one who performs such sacrifices with spiritual objective, or in devotional service, his sarifice is perfect. When we come to the spiritual activities, they are also divided into two: namely  understanding of one’s own self or one’s constitutional position and the other is the truth about the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One who follows the path of Bhagavad-gita as it is can very easily understand these two important divisions of spiritual knowledge. And for him there is no difficulty to have perfect knowledge of the self as part and parcel of the  Lord. Such understanding is beneficial. Such persons can easily understand the transcendental activities of the Lord. In this chapter the transcendental activities of the Lord have been discussed in the beginning. It is spoken by the Lord Himself. One who does not understand such instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is faihless and is considered to be misusing his own fragmental independence awarded to him by the Lord. In spite of such instructions,  one who does not understand the real nature of the Lord as the eternal, blissful and all-knowledge Personality of Godhead is certainly fool number one. This foolishness of the so-called reader of Bhagavad-gita can be removed by gradual acceptance of the principles of Krishna consciousness.  Such Krishna consciousness is awakened by different types of sacrifices mentioned in this chapter. and they have become differently named as sacrifice to the demigods, sacrifice to Brahman, sacrifice in celibacy, in household life, sacrifice in controlling the senses, sacrifice in practicing mystic Yoga, sacrifice in penance, sacrifice of material possessions, sacrifice in studying the Vedas, sacrifice in observing the scientific social institution called Varnashrama Dharma, or the divisions of human status. All of them are shown as sacrifice but all of them are based on regulated action. And within all those activities, the important factor is self-realization. One who seeks that objective is the real student of Bhagavad-gita. But who has any doubt in the authority of Krishna falls back. One is therefore advised to study Bhagavad-gita or any other scripture with a bonafide spiritual master with service and surrender. Such bonafide spiritual master comes in disciplic succesion from time eternal, and there is not the slightest deviation from the instruction of the Personality of Godhead, which was impartde even millions of years ago to the Sungod, from whom the instruction of Bhagavad-gita has come down to the earthly kingdom. One should therefore follow the path of Bhagavad-gita as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, without being misled by interested persons who want to deviate persons from the actual path of Bhagavad-gita for their personal interest. The Lord is defintely the Supreme Person and His activities are transcendental and one who understands this is a liberated person from the very beginning of the study of the Bhagavad-gita.

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports of the Bhagavad-gita as it is to the Fourth Chapter in the matter of Transcendental Knowledge.




Text 5.1

Arjuna said: My dear Krishna, first of all you ask me to renounce work, and then again you recommend work in devotion. So you will kindly let me know definitely which of the two is beneficial.


In this fifth chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, the Lord speaks of work in devotional service as better than dry mental speculation. The former type of activities are easier than the latter, because devotional service being in the transcendental mode, there is no reaction to such activities. In the second chapter, preliminary knowledge about the soul and his entanglement in the material body is explained. How to get out of the material encagement by buddhi-yoga or devotional service, is also explained there. In the third chapter, it is explained that a person who is situated on the platform of knowledge no longer has any duties to perform. And in the fourth chapter, the Lord said to Arjuna that all kinds of sacrificial work culminate in knowledge. At the end of the fourth chapter, the Lord said that Arjuna should wake up and fight, being situated in perfect knowledge. Therefore sometimes stressing work and sometimes stressing cessation of work in knowledge has perplexed Arjuna’s determination. He understands that renunciation in knowledge means to cease all kinds of work or sense activities. And again if one has work in devotional service, where then is the question of ceasing of work? In other words, he thinks that Sannyasa or renunciation in knowledge should be free altogether from all kinds of activities because work and renunciation appear to him contradictory. He appears not to have understood that work in full knowledge has no reaction and therefore such work is as good as no work. He enquires therefore which of these is good- either to cease work all together, or to work in full knowledge.

Text 5.2

The Personality of Godhead replied: Renunciation of work and work in devotion, both of them are good for liberation. But out of the two, work in devotional service is better than to cease fruitive activities.


Fruitive activities for sense gratification are the cause of material bondage. As long as one is engaged in activities for better standard of bodily comfort, one is sure to transmigrate to different types of bodies and thus continue material bondage perpetually. Srimad Bhagavatam (5.5.4-6) confirms this as follows:

nunam pramattah kurute vikarma
yad indriya-pritaya aprnoti
na sadhu manye yata atmano ‘yam
asann api klesa-da asa dehah

parabhavas tavad abodha-jato
yavan na jijnasata atma-tattvam
yavat kriyas tavad idam mano vai
karmatmakam yena sarira-bandhah

evam manah karma-vasam prayunkte
avidyayatmany upadhiyamane
pritir na yavan mayi vasudeve
na mucyate deha-yogena tavat

“People are mad after sense gratification, and they do not know that this present body which is full of miseries is a result of fruitive activities in the past. Although this body is temporary, still it is giving us trouble in many ways. Therefore to act for sense gratification is not good. One is considered defeated in this life, as long as he makes no enquiry about his real identity. As long as he does not know his real identity, he has to work for fruitive results for sense gratification; and as long as one is engrossed in such consciousness of sense gratification, one has to transmigrate from one body to another. Even though the mind is so engrossed in fruitive activities and influenced by ignorance, one has to develop a love for devotional service to Vasudeva, and then only can one have the opportunity to get out of the bondage of material encagement.”

Therefore jnana or knowledge that one is not this material body, but is spirit soul is not sufficient for liberation. One has to act in the status of spirit soul, otherwise there is no escape from the material bondage. This action in Krishna consciousness is not therefore action on the fruitive platform. Such activities in full knowledge are further advancement on the strength of real knowledge, Without Krishna consciouness, renunciation of fruitive activities does not actually purify the heart of a conditioned soul. As long as the heart is not purified, one has to work on the fruitive platform. But action in Krishna consciousness automatically helps one to get relief from the result of fruitive action, without any coming down again onto the material platform of fruitive action. Therefore action in Krishna consciousness is always superior to renunciation, which always entails a risk of falldown. Renunciation without Krishna consciousness is incomplete, as is confirmed by Srila Rupa Gosvami in his Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.2.258):

prapancikataya buddhya hari-sambandhi-vastunah

mumuksubhih parityago vairagyam phalgu kathyate

“Renunciation of things, which are related with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as material by persons eager to achieve liberation is called incomplete renunciation.” Renunciation in complete knowledge that everything that be belongs to the Lord, and nobody should claim proprietorship over anything is complete. One should understand that factually nothing belongs to anyone, and where is the question of renunciation in that case? One who knows that everything is the property of Krishna is always situated in renunciation. As everything belongs to Krishna, so everything should be employed in the service of Krishna. The perfect form of Krishna consciouness and action in such Krishna consciousness is far better than any amount of so-called renunciation of a Sannyasi of the Mayavadi school.

Text 5.3

One who neither hates nor desires the fruits of his activities is known to be always renounced. Such a person, liberated from all dualities, easily overcomes material bondage and is completely liberated, O mighty armed Arjuna.  


One who is fully in Krishna consciousness is always a renouncer because he has neither hatred nor desire for the results of his actions. Such a renouncer, dedicated to the transcendental loving service  of the Lord, is fully qualified in knowledge because he knows well his constitutional position in relationship with Krishna. He knows fully well that Krishna is the whole and he is the part and parcel of Krishna. Such knowledge is perfect because such knowledge is qualitetively and quantitatively correct.To be one with Krishna in all respects is not correct, because the part cannot be equal with the whole. To be one in quality and to be different in quantity is the correct type of transcendental knowledge. With the correct conviction of knowledge one is full in himself, and thus he has nothing to aspire for and nothing to lament about. He has no duality in the mind because whatever he does, he does it for Krishna and being freed from the platform of dualities, he is always a liberated person, even in this material world. 

Text 5.4

Only the non-experienced, ignorant speak of Karma-yoga or devotional service as being different from the analytical study of the material world. Those who are actually learned say that he who applies himself well to one of these paths achieves the results of both.


The aim of the analytical study of the material world is to find out the soul of existence. The soul of the material world is Vishnu, or the Supersoul. And devotional service of the Lord, in Krishna consciousness, is to be engaged in the service of that Soul of the material universe. The one process is to find out the root of the tree, and the other process is watering the root of the tree. Real Sankhya philosophy finds out the root of the material world as being Vishnu, and in perfect knowledge its student  engages himself in the service of the Lord. Therefore in  essence there is no difference between the two because the aim is Vishnu. One who does not know the ultimate end say that the purposes of Sankhya and Karma-yoga are not the same, but one who is learned knows what the aims of such different processes are.  

Text 5.5

One who knows that the position obtained by means of Sankhya can also be attained by devotional service, and therefore sees both Sankhya and Yoga on the same level, does see things rightly.


The real purpose of philosophical research is to find out the ultimate goal of life. The ultimate goal of life being self realization, there is no difference between the conclusions reached by the two processes. By Sankya philosophical research one comes to the conclusion that a living entity is not a part and parcel of the material world, but he is a part and parcel of the Supreme Spirit Whole. As such the spirit soul has nothing to do with the material world. He has to act as part and parcel of the Supreme. (This last sentence is practically unreadable.) When he acts in Krishna consciousness, he is actually in his constitutional position. In the first process, Sankhya, one has to be detached from matter and in the devotional yoga process one has to attach himself in work of Krishna consciousness, but factually both of them are the same although supeficially one process appears to be detachment and the other process appears to be attachment. Detachment from matter and attachment to Krishna are one and the same. One who can see this detachment and attachment as one and the same, really possesses eyes to see things as they are.

Text 5.6

Bare renunciation of all activities, without engagement in the devotional service of the Lord, cannot make one is happy, O mighty armed one. But a thoughtful person in Krishna consciousness and engaged in devotional service of the Lord can achieve the Supreme without delay.


There are two classes of Sannyasis, or persons in the renounced order of life. The Mayavadi Sannyasis are supposed to be engaged in the study of Sankhya philosophy, whereas the Vaishnava Sannyasis are engaged in the study of the Bhagavatam philosophy, which is the right commentary on the Vedanta Sutras. The Mayavadi Sannyasis also study Vedanta Sutras, but they have their own commentary, called Sarirak Bhasya, written by Sankaracharya. The students of the Bhagavata school are engaged in the devotional service of the Lord, according to Pancharatriki regulations, and therefore the Vaishnava sannyasis have multiple engagements in the transcendental service of the Lord. The Vaishnava Sannyasis have nothing to do with material activities and yet have various activities in devotional service of the Lord. But Mayavadi Sannyasis are simply engaged in the studies of Sankhya and Vedanta, always engaged in dry speculations, without any relish of the transcendental service of the Lord. Such engagements become very tedious for the Mayavadi Sannyasis and sometimes they are tired of Brahman speculation and thus take shelter of the Bhagavatam without any proper understanding. Thus  their study of Srimad Bhagavatam becomes troublesome. Dry speculations and impersonal interpretations by artificial means are all very troublesome jobs for the Mayavadis Sannyasis. The Vaishnava Sannyasis who are engaged in devotional service are happy in the discharge of transcendental duties with garantee of ultimate entrance into the Kingdom of God. The Mayavadi Sannyasis sometimes fall down from the path of self-realization and engage again in material activities such as philantropic and altruistic activities, which are nothing but material engagements. Therefore the conclusion is that those who are engaged in Krishna conscious activities are better than the Sannyasis engaged in simple speculation about what is Brahman and what is not Brahman, although they come to Krishna consciousness after many many births. 

Text 5.7

One who works in Krishna consciousness, who is a pure soul, fully controlling his mind and senses, is dear to everyone and everyone is dear to him. Even though always working, such a person in Krishna consciousness does not entangle himself.


One who is on the path of liberation by Krishna consciousness is very dear to every living being, and every living being is dear to him. This is due to his Krishna consciousness. A person in Krishna consciousness cannot think of


Gap in OT copies 


Partial purport 5.9

……he appears to be acting with his body and senses, he is always conscious of his actual position, namely that he is engaged spiritually. His senses are engaged with the sense objects and thus actions and reactions are generated between these two. In the material consciousness, the senses are engaged in sense gratification, while in Krishna consciousness the senses are engaged for the satisfaction of Krishna’s senses. Therefore, the Krishna conscious person is always free, even tough he appears to be engaged in affairs of the senses. Activities such as seeing, hearing, etc. are actions of the of the senses meant for receiving knowledge, while going, speaking, evacuating etc are actions of the senses meant for work. A Krishna conscious person is never affected by such actions of the senses, because he cannot act except for the service of the Lord, as he knows that he is the eternal servitor of the Lord.

Text 5.10

One who performs his occupation, surrendering unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, without attachment for the result, is not affected by any sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water.


Here brahmani means in Krishna consciousness. The material world is the sum total manifestation of the three modes of materiel nature, technically called the Pradhana. The Vedic hymns sarvam hy etad brahma (Mandukya Upanisad 2), tasmad etad brahma nama rupam annam ca jayate (Mundaka Upanisad 1.1.9), and, in the Bhagavad-gita (14.3), mama yonir mahad brahma, indicate that everything in the material world is a manifestation of Brahman and therefore although the effect is differently manifested it is not different from the cause. In the Isopanishad also it is said that everything is related with the Supreme Brahman or Krishna and as such everything belongs to Him only. One who knows it perfectly well that everything belongs to Krishna and that He is the proprietor of everything and therefore everything is engaged in the service of the Lord, naturally has nothing to do with the result of such activities whether virtuous or sinful. Even one’s material body, being a gift of the Lord for particular type of actions can be engaged in Krishna consciousness, without being affected by sinful reactions exactly like the lotus leaf in the water, although being constantly associated, has no connection with the water. It is also said by the Lord (BG 3.30) “mayi sarvani karmani sannyasya” which means surrender all works unto Me (Krishna). The conclusion is that a person without Krishna consciousness acts on the concept of the material body and senses, but a person in Krishna consciousness acts in the concept of the body being the property of Krishna, is engaged in the service of Krishna.  

Text 5.11

Fot the purpose of being purified from the material entanglement, the Krishna conscious persons act with with their body, mind and intelligence and even with their sense also.  


To act in Krishna consciousness for the satisfaction of the senses of Krishna, means any action of the body,  mind, intelligence or even of the senses is purified of material contamination. There are no material  reactions to the activities of a Krishna conscious person. Therefore purified activities which are generally called  sad-acara can be easily perormed by acting in Krishna consciousness. Sri Rupa Gosvami in his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.187) describes this as follows:

iha yasya harer dasye karmana manasa gira
nikhilasv apy avasthasu jivan-muktah sa ucyate

“A person acting in Krishna consciousness or, in other words, in the service of Krishna with his body, mind, intelligence and words is a liberated person even within the material world, although he is engaged in many so-called material activities.” He has no false ego that he is this material body or that the body belongs to him. He himself belongs to Krishna and the body which he possesses also belongs to Krishna.  Therefore, everything produced of the body, mind, intelligence, words, life, wealth etc., whatever he may have in his possession, at once becomes dovetailed with Krishna. He is one with Krishna, without any false ego that identifies him with the body, etc. That is the perfect stage of Krishna consciousness.

Text 5.12

The unflinching Krishna conscious person attains unadulterated peace because he gives up the result of all activities to Krishna, while a person who is not in Krishna consciousness, being greedy for the result of his work becomes entangled in it.


The difference between a person in Krishna consiousness and a person in bodily consciousness is that the former is attached to Krishna, while the latter is attached to the results of his activities. The person who is attached to Krishna and works for Him only is certainly a liberated person and therefore such person has no anxiety for any result. In the Bhagavatam, the cause of anxiety over the result of some activity is explained as being due to the understanding in duality, without any knowledge of the Absolute Truth. Krishna is the Supreme Absolute Truth Personality of Godhead. In Krishna consciousness there is no such duality. Anything that exists must be a product  of Krishna’s energy and Krishna is all good. Therefore activities in Krishna consciousness are on the absolute plane; they are transcendental and have no material effect. One is therefore full of peace in Krishna consciousness. One who is, however, entangled in profit calculation for sense gratification cannot have that peace and that is the secret of Krishna consciousness. Realization of no other existence besides Krishna is the platform of peace and fearlessness.

Text 5.13

The embodied living entity does not do anything, neither does he cause anything to be done when he give up all work in the above mentioned way by his mind and thus he resides happily in the city (of his material body) which has nine gates.  


The embodied soul lives in the city of the nine gates. The activities of the body, or the figurative city of the body are done automatically by the particular modes of nature. The soul, however, puts himself under the conditions of the body. He puts himself under the conditions of the material body, but he also can get out of the conditions, if he so desires. Due to his forgetfullness of his superior nature, he identifies with the material body and therefore suffers. By Krishna consciousness,  he can revive his real position and thus he can come out of the embodiement. Therefore, as soon as one takes to Krishna consciousness, he becomes at once completely aloof from the bodily activities. In such controlled life of Krishna consciousness, which is only a change of deliberation, he lives happily within the city of nine gates. The nine gates are as follows, (Svetasvatara Upanishad 3.18):  

nava-dvare pure dehi hamso lelayate bahih
vasi sarvasya lokasya sthavarasya carasya ca

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Who is living within the body of a living entity is the controller is the controller of all living entities all over the universe. The body of the living entity consists of nine gates, namely two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, one mouth, the anus and the genitals. The living entity in his conditioned stage identifies himself with the body, but when he identifies with the Lord within himself, then he becomes as much free as the Lord is, even within the body.”

Therefore a Krishna conscious person is free from both the outer and the inner activities of the material body.  

Text 5.14

The living entity, although master of the city of his body, does not create activities, neither does he induce other people to act, nor does he create the result of activities. Everythting is enacted by the modes of mterial nature.


The living entity, as it will be explained in the seventh chapter, is one of the natures of the Supreme Lord, distinguished from matter which is also another inferior nature of the Lord. Somehow the superior nature – the living entities – is in contact with material nature from time immemorial and the temporary body or material dwelling obtained by him is the cause of varieties of activities and their resultant actions. The pure living entity now living in such conditional atmosphere suffers the activities of the body by identifying himself with the body in ignorance. Therefore, this ignorance acquired from time immemorial is the cause of his suffering and distresses acquired by the body. As soon as the living entity becomes aloof  from such activities of the body, he becomes free from the reactions as well. So long he is in the city of the body, the living entity appeasr to be the master of it, but actually he cannot have any proprietorship of the body, nor does he control the actions and reactions of the conditional body. It is as if he were in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, struggling for existence and the waves of the ocean are tossing him and he has no control over them. The best thing is for him to be above the water by transcendental Krishna consciousness and that alone will save him from all turmoil. 

Text 5.15

The Supreme Personality of Godhead does not accept anyone’s sinful or pious activities. The living entity is bewildered on account of his ignorance which covers his real knowledge.


“Vibhu” means the Supreme Lord, Who is full with unlimited knowledge, riches, strength, fame, beauty and renunciation and as such He is always satisfied in Himself, without being disturbed by anyone’s sinful or pious activities. He does not create any particular situation for any living entity, but the living entity, being bewildered by ignorance, desires to be put into certain conditions of life and thus his chain of actions and reactions begins. A living entity is by superior nature full of knowledge, but he is prone to be influenced by ignorance due to his limited power. The Lord is omnipotent, but the living entity is not omnipotent. The Lord is “Vibhu” or omniscient, but the living entity is “Anu”, or atomic. Because he is a living soul, he has the capacity to desire by his free will and such desire is only fulfilled by the Omnipotent Lord. As such when the living entity is bewildered by his desires, the Lord allows him to fulfill his desires, but He is never responsible for the actions and reactions of that particular situation desired by the living entity. In bewildered condition, therefore, the living entity identifies himself with the circumstancial material body and becomes subjected to such temporary miseries and happiness of life. The Lord is the constant companion of the living entity as Paramatma or the Supersoul, and therefore He can understand the desires of the living entity, as one can smell the flavor of a flower by being near to it. The desire is the subtle form of condition of the living entity and as such he desires and the Lord fulfills his desire as he deserves. Man proposes and God disposes. The living entity is therefore not omnipotent in fulfilling his desires. When the Lord allows him to satisfy his desire, he can do so and the Lord being neutral to everyone, does not interfere with the kind of desire of the minute independent living entity. When however a living antity desires in Krishna consciousness, the Lord takes special care for him and encourages him to desire in a particular way by which one can gradually attain Him only and be eternally happy. The Vedic hymns therefore declare as follows:

esa u hy eva sadhu karma karayati tam yam ebhyo lokebhya unninisate.

esa u evasadhu karma karayati yam adho ninisate

“The Lord engages the living entity in pious activities so that he can be elevated. The Lord engages him in impious activities so that he can go to hell.”( Kausitaki Upanishad 3.8)  

ajno jantur aniso ‘yam atmanah sukha-duhkhayoh
isvara-prerito gacchet svargam vasv abhram eva ca

“The living entity is completely dependent in the matter of his distress or happiness. By the will of the Supreme he can go to heaven, as a cloud is driven by the air etc,”

Therefore the living entity, by his immemorial desire to avoid Krishna consciousness causes his own bewilderment. As such, although the living entity is constitutionally eternal, blissful and cognizant, due to his littleness of existence, he forgets his constitutional position of service to the Lord, and is thsu entrapped by nescience. And under the spell of ingorance only, the living entity says that the Lord is responsible for his conditional existence. The Vedanta Sutras (2.1.34)  confirm this as follows:  

vaisamya-nairghrnye na sapeksatvat tatha hi darsayati:

“He has nothing to do with hate or liking for anyone, but He appears like that.”

Text 5.16

When however, one is enlightened with knowledge by which his nescience is destroyed, at that time his knowledge discloses everything, as the sun discloses everything in the day.


Those who have forgotten Krishna, certainly therefore, are bewildered, but those who are in Krishna consciousness are not bewildered at all. As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, “sarvam jnana-plavenaiva” (Bg 4.36), “jnanagnih sarva-karmani” (Bg 4.37), “na hi jnanena sadrsam” (Bg 4.38), knowledge is always held in high estimation. And what is that knowldege? Perfect knowledge is achieved when one surrenders unto Krishna, as it is said in the Bhagavad-gita ( 7.19 ) ” bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate.” After undergoing many, many births, when one perfect in knowledge surrenders unto Krishna, or when one becomes situated in Krishna comsciousness, then everything is revealed before him, as the sun reveals everything in day time. The living entity is bewildered in so many ways, and the last snare of nescience is that a living entity thinks himself unceremoniously to be God. If a living entity is God, how can he become bewildered by nescience? Does God become bewildered by nescience? Does it mean nescience or Satan, is greater than God? Therefore real knowledge can be achieved from a person who is in perfect Krishna consciousness. Therefore one has to find out such a bona fide spiritual master – who is perfect in Krishna consciousness – and one has to learn under such a bona fide spiritual master what Krishna consciousness is. Such Krishna consciousness will certainly drive away all kinds of nescience, as the sun drives away all kinds of darkness. Even a person in full knowledge that he is not this body, but transcendental to the body, still cannot discriminate between the soul and the Supersoul, but he can know everything well if he at all cares to take shelter under the perfect, bonafide, Krishna conscious spiritual master. One can only know God and one’s relationship with God, when one actually meets a represenative of God, and not otherwise. A representative of God never claims that he is God, although he commands all the respect of God and has all the knowledge of God. Therefore one has to learn the distinction between God and the living entity. Lord Sri Krishna therefore began in the second chapter (2.12) that every living being is individual and also the Lord is individual. They were all individual in the past, they are individual at present and they continue to be individual in the future, even after liberation. At night we see everything as one darkness, but in the day, when the sun is up, we see everything in its real identity and therefore identity and individuality in spiritual life is real knowledge and not oneness in darkness of night. There is nothing as one in daylight.

Text 5.17

When one’s intelligence, mind, faith, and shelter are all invested in the Supreme, then one becomes completely washed clear off misgivings on account of complete knowledge, and thus one goes straight for liberation.


The Supreme Transcendental Truth is Lord Krishna. The whole Bhagavad-gita is full of this statement about Krishna being the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the version of all Vedic literature. Paratattva means the Supreme Reality, Who is understood by the knowers of the Supreme as Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. Bhagavan, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the last word in the Absolute. There is nothning more than that. The Lord says “mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya.” (Bg 7.7) Impersonal Brahman is also supported by Krishna: “brahmano hi pratisthaham.” (Bg 14.27) Therefore by all means Krishna is the Supreme Reality and one whose mind, intelligence, faith and shelter are always in Krishna – or in other words, one who is fully in Krishna consciousness – is undoubtedly washed clear of all misgivings and is in perfect knowledge of everything concerning transcendence. Such a Krishna conscious person can thoroughly understand that there is duality in Krishna and equipped with such transcendental knowledge one makes steady progress on the path of liberation.  

Text 5.18

On account of his true knowledge and humble nature, one who is thus situated in Krishna consciousness  sees with equal vision a learned and gentle Brahmin, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater (outcaste).              


A Krishna conscious person does not make any distinction between species or castes. The Brahmin and the outcaste may be different from social point of view – or a dog, a cow, an elephant may be different from the species point of view – but these differences of body have no value from the viewpoint of a learned Krishna conscious person in terms of the relationship with the Supreme. The Supreme Lord, by His plenary portion as Paramatma is present in everyone’s heart. This understanding of the Supreme is real knowledge. So far the bodies are concerned in different castes or different species of life, the Lord is equally kind to everyone, because He treats every living being as friend, and keeps Himself as Paramatma in all circumstances of the living entities. The Lord as Paramatma is present both in the outcaste and in the Brahmin, although the body of a Brahmin and that of an outcaste are not the same. The  bodies are material productions of different modes of material nature, but the soul or the Supersoul within the body are of the same spiritual quality. This equality in the quality of the soul and the Supersoul, however, does not make them equal in quality. Because the individual soul is present in that particular body, whereas the Paramatma is present in each and every body. A Krishna conscious person has full knowledge of this and therefore is really learned, with equal vision. The common characteristics of the soul and the Supersoul are that both of them are conscious, eternal and blissful. But the difference is that the individual soul is conscious within his limited jurisdiction of the body. Whereas the Supersoul is conscious of all different bodies. The Supersoul is present in all bodies without any distinction.

Text 5.19

Those whose minds are situated in equanimity have already conquered the conditions of birth and death.They are flawless like Brahman and as such they are already situated in Brahman.


Equanimity of mind, as above mentioned, is the sign of self-realization. Those who have actually attained such a stage should be considered as having conquered the material conditions, specifically birth and death. As long as one identifies with the body, he is considered a conditioned soul; but as soon as he is elevated to the stage of equanimity by realization of the self, he is liberated from conditioned life, or in other words he is no longer going to take birth in the material world. He will enter into the spiritual sky afer his death. The Lord is flawless because He is without any attraction and hatred. Similarly, when a living entity becomes without any attraction or hatred, he also becomes flawless and thus eligible to enter into the spiritual sky. Such flawless persons are to be considered alreday liberated. The symptoms of such flawless persons are described below.

Text 5.20

A person who does not rejoice by achieving something pleasant nor does become agitated by obtaining something unpleasent and who is self-intelligent, free from illusion and knows the science of God, is to be understood as already situated in Transccendence.


The symptoms of the self-realized person are explained herein.The first symptom is that he is not illusioned by false identification of the body with his self. He knows perfectly well that he is not this body, bu the is fragmental portion of the Supreme Personalty of Godhead. He is therefore not joyful by achieving something or laments by losing something in relation with his body. This steadiness of the mind is called Sthirabuddhi, or self-intelligence. He is therefore never bewildered at any time to mistake the body as the soul, or accept the body as permanent and disregard the existence of the soul. This knowledge elevates him to the standard of knowing the complete science of the Absolute Truth, namely Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan and knowing his constitutional position perfectly well, without any false conception of becoming one with the Supreme in all respects. This is called Brahman realization, or self-realization. But steady consciousness is called Krishna consciousness.

Text 5.21

Such a liberated person has no attraction for material sense pleasure, but he is alwasy in trance by enjoyement of pleasure within. As such the self-realized person enjoys unlimited happiness, being concentrated on the Supreme. 


Sri Yamunacharya, a great devotee in Krishna consciousness, said as follows:

yad-avadhi mama cetah krsna-padaravinde
nava-nava-rasa-dhamany udyatam rantum asit
tad-avadhi bata nari-sangame smaryamane
bhavati mukha-vikarah susthu nisthivanam ca

“Since I have been engaged in the transcendental loving service of Krishna, and realising ever-new encouragement in the matter of pleasure derived from self-realization, since then whenever I think of sex pleasure, I spit at the thought and my lips curl with distaste”

A person in Brahma-yoga, or Krishna consciousness is so absorbed in the loving service of the Lord that he loses all taste for material sense pleasure altogether. The highest pleasure in matter is sex pleasure. The whole world is moving under the spell of sex pleasure. A materialist cannot work at all without the facility of sex pleasure. But a person engaged in Krishna consciousness can work with greater vigor without any sex pleasure, which is hated by such self-realized man. That is the test in spiritual realization. Spiritual realization and sex pleasure go ill together. A Krishna conscious person cannot attracted to any kind of sense pleasure, on account of his becoming a liberated soul.

Text 5.22

An intelligent person does not take part in the sources of misery, which are due to contact of the material senses. O son Kunti, such plesures have a beginning and an end and therefore the intelligent does not delight in them.


Material sense pleasures are due to the contact of the material senses, which are all temporary because the body itself is temporary. A liberated soul is not intersted in anything which is temporary and knowing well the nature of material pleasure, how can a liberated soul agree to enjoy such false pleasure? In the Padma Purana it is said:

ramante yogino ‘nante satyanande cid-atmani
iti rama-padenasau param brahmabhidhiyate
(also Cc. Madhya 9.29)

“The mystics derive unlimited transcendental pleasure from the Absolute Truth, and therefore the Supreme Absolute Truth Personality of Godhead is also known as Rama”

In the Srimad Bhagavatam (5.5.1) also, it is said:

nayam deho deha-bhajam nr-loke
kastan kaman arhate vid-bhujam ye
tapo divyam putraka yena sattvam
suddhyed yasmad brahma-saukhyam tv anantam

“My dear sons, there is no need of laboring very hard for sense pleasure in this human form of life, because such pleasures are available on the form of the stool eaters (hogs). You should undergo penances in this form of life, by which your existence will be purified and as a result of that, you will be able to enjoy unlimited transcendental bliss.”

Therefore those who are true yogis or the learned transcendentalists are not attracted by such sense pleasures, which are all sources of continuous material existence. The more one is addicted to material pleasures the more he is entrapped in material miseries.

Text 5.23

Before giving up this present body, if one is able to tolerate the urges of the material senses and check the force of desire and anger, he is considered to be well situated and happy in this world.


The purport is that if anyone wants to make steady progress on the path of self-realization, one must try to control the force of the material senses. There are forces of talk, forces of anger, forces of the mind, forces of the stomach, forces of the genital and forces of the tongue. One who is able to control the forces of all these different senses and mind is Gosvami or Svami. Such Gosvamis live strictly controlled lives and forgo altogether the forces of the senses. Material desires, when unsatiated generate anger, and thus the mind, eyes and the chest become agitated. Therefore, one must practice to have contol over them before one gives up this material body. One who can do this is undertsood to be self-realized, and thus happy in the mode of self-realization. Therefore it is the duty of the transcendentalist to try strenuously to have control over desire and anger.

Text 5.24

One who is engaged in happiness from within, who is active within and whose aim is in that way, he is actually the perfect mystic. He is liberated in the Supreme, and ultimately he attains the Supreme.


Unless one is able to relish happiness from within, how can one retire from external engagements for deriving superficial happiness? A liberated person, therefore, enjoys happiness by factual experience. And he can therefore sit silently at any place and enjoy the activities of life from within. Such a liberated person has no longer any desire for external material happiness and this state is called Brahmabhuta, the situation from which one is assured to go back to Godhead, back to home.  

Text 5.25

Without being in duality of doubtfulness, one whose mind is engaged within and is thus always busy in welfare work for all living entites, is free from all sins and achieves liberation in the Supreme.


Only a person who is fully in Krishna consciousness can be said to be engaged in welfare work for all living entities. When a person is actually in the knowledge that Krishna is the fountainhead of everything, than to act in that spirit is to act for everyone The sufferings of humanity are due to forgetfullness of Krishna as the supreme enjoyer, the supreme proprietor and the supreme friend. Therefore to act to revive this consciousness of the entire human society is the highest welfare work. One cannot be engaged in such topmost welfare work without being liberated in the Supreme. Such Krishna conscious person has no doubt about the supremacy of Krishna, on account of being completely free from all sins. This is the state of Divine Love.

A person engaged in the physical welfare of the human society cannot factually help anyone. Temporary relief of the external body and the mind of the living entity is no good for him. The real cause of his difficulties and hard stuggle for life must be found out in his forgetfullness of his relationship with the Supreme Lord. When a man is fully conscious of his relationship with Krishna, he is actually a liberated soul, although he is in the material tabernacle.

Text 5.26

Those wo are freed from all material desires and anger, who are self-realized and constantly endeavoring for such perfection are assured of their liberation in the Supreme in the very near future.


Of the saintly persons who are constantly engaged in the pursuit of salvation, one who is Krishna conscious is the best of all. The Bhagavatam (4.22.39) confirms this fact as follows:

karmasayam grathitam udgrathayanti santah
tadvan na rikta-matayo yatayo ‘pi ruddha-
sroto-ganas tam aranam bhaja vasudevam

“Just try to worship in devotional service Vasudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, because even great sages are not able to control the forces of the senses as effectively as those who are engaged in transcendental bliss by serving the lotus feet of the Lord , uprooting the deep-grown desire for fuitive activities.”

In the conditioned soul the desire for enjoying the fruitive result of work is so deep-rooted that it is very difficult even for the great sages to control such desires despite great endeavors. But a devotee of the Lord, constantly engaged in devotional service in Krishna consciousness, perfect in self-realization, very soon attains liberation in the Supreme. On account of his complete knowledge in self-realization, he remains always in trance. A crude example is set herein as follows:

darsana-dhyana-samsparsair matsya-kurma-vihangamah
svany apatyani pusnanti tathaham api padma-ja

“By vision, by meditation and by touch only do the fish, the tortoise, and the birds maintain their offsprings. Similarly do I also, O Padmaja!”

The fish brings up its offspring simply by looking at them, The tortoise brings up its offspring simply by meditation. The eggs of the tortoise are laid on land, and the tortoise meditates on the eggs while in the water. Similarly a devotee in Krishna consciousness, altough far away from the Lord’s abode, can elevate himself to that abode simply by thinking of him constantly, by engagment in Krishna consciousness. A Krishna conscious person does not feel the pangs of material miseries. This state of life is called Brahma Nirvana or the absence of material miseries due to being constantly immersed in the Supreme.

Texts 5.27 & 28 

Verses 27 & 28 cannot be deciphered.                    Just considering the sense objects as external, keeping the eyes and vision……. between the two eyebrows , suspending the inward and outward  breathing ..,wihtin the nostrils, and thus having control over the mind and senses and intelligence, the transcendentalist becomes free from desire, fear and anger. One who keeps himself in that state in certainly ……..always.


Being engaged in Krishna consciousness, one can immediately understand one’s spiritual identity and then one can understand the Supreme Lord by means of devotional service. When one is essentially situated in devotional service, one comes to the transcendental position to feel the presence of the Lord in the sphere of one’s activity and this particular position is called liberation in the Supreme.

After explaining the above principles of liberation in the Supreme, the Lord is giving instruction to Arjuna how one can come to that position by practice of mysticism or Yoga known as Astanga Yoga, having an eightfold division of practice called Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. In the sixth chapter, the subject matter of Yoga is explicitely explained and at the end of this chapter the same is preliminarily explained. One has to drive out the sense objects like sound, touch, form, taste and smell by the Pratyahara process in Yoga, and then keep the vision of the eyes between the two eyebrows and see the tip of the nose with half closed eyes.There is no possibility of closing the eyes altogether because there is then chance of falling victim to sleep. Neither is there possibility of opening the eyes completely because there is chance of being attracted by outward sense objects. The breathing movement is restrained wihtin the nostrils by neutralizing the up and down moving air within the body. By practice of such Yoga one is able to have control over the senses, refrain from outward sense objects and thus prepare oneself for liberation in the Supreme. This Yoga process helps one to become free from all kinds of fear and anger, and thus feel the presence of the Supersoul in the transcendental situation. In other words, Krishna consciousness is the easiest process of executing yoga principles. This will be nicely explained in the next chapter. A Krishna conscious person, being always engaged in devotional service  has no chance of engaging his senses otherwise. This is a better way of controlling the senses than by the Astanga Yoga.

Text 5.29

 A person in Krishna consciousness, knows it well that Lord Krishna is the ultimate goal of all kinds of sacrifices and austerities, that He is the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and that He is the benefactor and well-wisher of all living enitites and with that knowledge the person in Krishna consciousness achieves the greatest relief from the pangs of material miseries. 


The conditioned souls within the clutches of the illusory energy are all anxious to attain peace in the material world. But they do not know the formula of such peace and it is explained in this part of the Bhagavad-gita. The peace formula is that Lord Krishna is the benficiary of all activities of the human being. They should offer everything for the transcendental service of the Lord. The reason is that He is the proprietor of all planets and the demigods thereof. Nobody is greater than Him. He is greater than even the greatest of the demigods, namely Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma. In the Vedas (Svetasvatara Upanishad 6.7), the Supreme Lord is described as “tam isvaranam paramam mahesvaram.” Under the spell of illusion, everyone is trying to be the Lord of all he surveys, but actually he is dominated by the material energy of the Lord. The Lord is the Master of material nature, and the conditoned souls are under the stringent rules of material nature. Unless one understands these bare facts, it is not possible to achieve peace in the world, either individually or collectively. This is the sense of Krishna consciousness – that Lord Krishna is the Supreme Predominator and that all living entities including the great demigods are His subordinated. Therefore one can attain perfect peace only in complete Krishna consciousness.

The fifth chapter is a practical explanation of Krishna consciousness, generally known as Karmayoga. The question of mental speculation as to how Karmayoga can give liberation is answered herewith that working in Krishna consciousness is to work in complete knowledge of the Lord as predominator. Work in Krishna consciousness is not different from transcendental knowledge. Krishna consciousness is direct Bhaktiyoga and Jnanayoga is leading to Bhaktiyoga.Things equal to the same thing are equal to one another. Krishna consciousness means to work in full knowledge of one’s relationship with the Supreme Absolute and perfection of such Krishna consciousness is full knowledge of Krishna, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A pure soul soul is eternally servant of God as fragmental part and parcel of the Lord.  He comes into contact with maya (illusion) with the desire to lord it over maya, and that is the cause of his sufferings. As long as he is in contact with matter he has to execute work in terms of material necessities. Krishna consciousness means adjustment to spiritual life even when one is within the jurisdiction of matter. Krishna consciousness means to arouse spiritual existence by such practice in the material world. The more one is advanced in Krishna consciousness, the more he is freed from the clutches of matter. There is no partiality of the Lord to anyone. It all depends on one’s practical performances of duties in Krishna consciousness. Krishna consciousness helps one in every respect in controlling the senses and conquer over the influence of desire and anger. And to remain in Krishna consciousness by controlling the abovementioned desire, anger etc, one remains factually in the transcendental stage or Brahmanirvana. The practice of the eightfold Yoga mysticism is automatically  done in Krishna consciousness, because the ultimate purpose is served. There is a gradual process of elevation in the practice of Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayam, Pratyahara, Dharana,  Dhyana and Samadhi. But these only preface perfection by devotional service, which alone can award peace to the human being. That is the highest perfction of life.       

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the Fifth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita in the matter of Karmayoga, or Acting in Krishna Consciousness.  



Text 6.1

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: One who is unattached to the fruits of his work, but who works just as he is obligated is in the renounced order of life, and he is the true mystic, not he who lights no fire and performs no duty.


In this chapter the Lord explains the process of the eightfold yoga system as the means to control the mind and senses. This is very difficult for people in general to perform, especially in the age of Kali. Although the eightfold yoga system is recommended in this chapter, still the Lord emphasizes that the process of karma-yoga, or acting in Krishna consciousness is better. Everyone acts in this world to maintain his family and their paraphernalia but no one is working without some self-interest, some personal gratification be it concentrated or extended. The criterion of perfection is to act in Krishna consciousness, and not to act with a view to enjoying the fruits of work. To act in Krishna consciousness is the duty or every living entity because we are constitutionally parts and parcels of the Supreme. The parts of the body work for the satisfaction of the whole body. The limbs of the body do not act for self-satisfaction but for the satisfaction of the complete whole. Similarly, the living entity who acts for the satisfaction of the Supreme Whole and not for personal satisfaction is the perfect Sannyasi, or the perfect yogi. 

The Sannyasis sometimes artificially think that they have become liberated from all material duties, and therefore they cease to perform Agnihotra Yajnas (fire sacrifices), but actually they are self-interested because they think of becoming one with the impersonal Brahman. Such a desire is greater than any material desire, but it is not without self-interest. Similarly, the mystic yogi who practices the yoga system with half-open eyes, ceasing all material activities, desires some satisfaction for his personal self. But a person acting in Krishna consciousness works for the satisfaction of the Whole, without any self-interest. A Krishna conscious person has no desire for self-satisfaction. His criterion of succes is the satisfaction of Krishna, and thus he is the perfect Sannyasi, or perfect yogi. Lord Caitanya, the highest perfectional symbol in Krishna consciousness, prays in this way:

na dhanam na janam na sundarim
kavitam va jagad-isa kamaye
mama janmani janmanisvare
bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi
(Cc. Antya 20.29, Siksastaka 4)

” O Almighty Lord, I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor have I any desire to enjoy beautiful women. Nor do I want any number of followers. What I want only is that I may have the causeless mercy of your devotional service in my life, birth after birth.”

Text 6.2

O son of Pandu, what is called renunciation you should know to be the same as yoga, or linking oneself with the Supreme, for without giving up the desire for sense gratification, no one becomes a yogi.


Real Sannyasa-yoga or Bhakti means that one should know his constitutional position as a living entity and act accordingly. The living entity has no separate independent identity. He is the marginal energy of the Supreme. When he is entrapped by the material energy, he is conditioned, and when he is Krishna conscious, or in awareness of the spiritual energy, then he is in his real and natural state of life. When one is in complete knowledge, therefore, one ceases all material senses gratification, or renounces all kinds of sense gratificatory business.This same thing is practiced by the yogis who restrain the senses from material attachment. But a person in Krishna consciousness has no opportunity to engage his senses in anything which is not for the purpose of Krishna. Therefore, a Krishna conscious person is simultaneously a Sannyasi and a yogi. The purpose of knowledge and of restraining the senses, as prescribed in the Jnana and yoga processes, is automatically served in Krishna consciousness. If one is unable to give up the activities of his selfish nature, then there is no meaning either to Jnana or yoga. The real aim is for a living entity to give up all selfish satisfaction and to be prepared to satisfy the Supreme. A Krishna conscious person has no desire for any kind of self-enjoyment. He is always engaged for the enjoyment of the Supreme. One who has no information of the Supreme must therefore be engaged in self-satisfaction, because nobody can stand on the platform of voidness. All these purposes are perfectly served by the practice of Krishna consciousness.  

Text 6.3

For one who is a neophyte in the eighfold yoga system, work is said to be the means; and for one who is already elevated in yoga, cessation of all material activities is said to be the means.


The process of linking oneself with the Supreme is called yoga, which is just like a ladder for attaining the topmost spiritual realization. This ladder begins from the lowest material condition of the living entity, rising up to perfect self-realization in pure spiritual life. According to various elevations, different parts of the ladder are known by different names. But all in all, the complete ladder is called yoga, and is divided into three parts, namely Jnana-yoga, Dhyana-yoga and Bhakti-yoga. When one tries to get on the ladder in the beginning, it is called the Yogaruruksa stage, and when he has attained to the highest rung, it is called Yogarudha.

So far as the eighfold yoga system is concerned, attempts in the beginning to enter into meditation through regulative principles of life and by practicing different sitting postures (which are more less or less bodily exercises) are called work, or fruitive material activities. All such activities are aimed at achieving perfect equilibrium of the mind to control the senses. When one is accomplished in the practice of meditation, he ceases all disturbing mental activities.  

A Krishna conscious person, however, is situated from the beginning on the platform of meditation on account of thinking always of Krishna. And, being constantly engaged in the service of Krishna, he is considered to have ceased all material activities.

Text 6.4

A person is said to be elevated to the top of the ladder of yoga , when–through renunciation of all material desires– he neither acts for sense gratification, nor engages in fruitive activities.


When a person is fully engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, he is pleased in himself, and thus he no longer has any scope for being engaged in sense gratification or in fruitive activites. Those who are not so engaged must be engaged in sense gratificatory business, because one cannot be without any engagment. Without Krishna consciousness, one must be always seeking self-centered or extended selfish activities. But a Krishna conscious person can do anything and everything for the satisfaction of Krishna, and thus he can be perfectly detached from senses gratification. One who has no such realization of Krishna consciousness must try mechanically to be freed from material desires, and then he can be elevated to the top rung of the yoga ladder.

Text 6.5

One must deliver oneself with the help of the mind. One should never put himself into degradation. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and the mind is the enemy of the conditioned soul as well.


Depending upon different circumstances, the word Atma refers to this body,  to the mind, as well as to the soul. In the yoga system, the mind and the conditioned soul are especially of concern. Because the mind is the central point of yoga practice, “Atma” here refers to the mind. The whole yoga system is meant to control the mind and to draw it away from attachment to sense objects. It is stressed herewith that the mind must be so trained that it can deliver the conditioned soul from the mire of nescience. Material existence means the influence of the mind and the senses. Therefore the authorized verdict is that the pure soul is entangled in the material world on account of false ego in the mind, which desires to lord it over material nature. Therefore the mind should be so trained that it may not be attracted by the glitter of material nature, and thus the conditioned soul may be saved. One should not degrade oneself, being attracted by sense objects. The more one is attracted by sense objects, the more one becomes entangled in material existence. The best way to disentangle oneself is to always engage the mind in Krishna consciousness. The word “hi” is used for emphasizing this point, i.e. that one MUST do this. It is also said that:

mana eva manusyanam karanam bandha-moksayoh
bandhaya visayasango muktyai nirvisayam manah

“For man, the mind is the cause of bondage and the mind is the cause of liberation. Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and mind detached from the senses objects is the cause of liberation.” (Amrita-bindu Upanishad 2.) Therefore the mind which is always engaged in Krishna consciousness is the cause of supreme liberation.

Text 6.6

For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy.


The purpose of practicing eightfold yoga is to control the mind in order to make it a friend in discharging the human mission. Unless the mind is controlled, the practice of yoga (for show) is simply a waste of time. One who cannot control his mind lives always with the greatest enemy, and thus his life and its mission are spoiled. The constitutional position of the living entity is to carry out the order of the superior. As long as one’s mind remains an unconquered enemy, one has to serve the dictations of lust, anger, avarice, illusion, etc. But when the mind is conquered, one voluntarily agrees to abide by the dictation of the Personality of Godhead, who is situated within the heart of everyone as Paramatma. Real yoga practice entails meeting the Paramatma within the heart and then following His dictation. For one who takes to Krsna consciousness directly, perfect surrender to the dictation of the Lord follows automatically.

Text 6.7

For one who has conquered the mind, the Supersoul is already reached, for he has attained tranquility. To such a man heat and cold, happiness and distress, honor and dishonor are all the same.


Actually, every living entity is intended to abide by the dictation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Who is seated in everyone’s heart as Paramatma. When the mind is mislead by the external illusory energy, one becomes entangled in material activities. Therefore, as soon as one’s mind becomes controlled through one of yoga systems, he is to be considered as having already reached the destination. One has to abide by superior dictation. Therefore, when one’s mind is fixed on the superior nature, he has no other alternative but to follow the dictation of the Supreme. The mind must have some superior dictation and follow it. The effect of controlling the mind is that one automatically follows the dictation of the Paramatma or Supersoul. This transcendental position is at once achieved by one who is in Krishna consciousness and thus such a devotee of the Lord has no longer any concern with the dualities of material existence, namely distress and happiness, cold and heat etc. This state is practical Samadhi, or absorption in the Supreme.

Text 6.8

A person is said to be competent in self-realization and is called a yogi (or mystic) when he is satisfied by virtue of acquired knowledge as well as realized knowledge. The symptoms of such a person are that he is situated in transcendence, that he is self-controlled and that he sees everything material as equal–whether it be pebbles, stone or gold.


Book knowledge without any realization of the Supreme Truth is useless. It is said as follows (Padmapurana inc. in Bhakti-rasamrita -sindhu 1.2.234):

atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah

“No one can understand the transcendental nature of the name, form, quality and pastimes of Sri Krishna through his materially contaminated senses. When one becomes spiritually saturated by transcendendal service to the Lord, then only do the transcendental name, form, quality and pastimes of the Lord become revealed to him.”

This Bhagavad-gita is the science of Krishna consciousness. Nobody can become Krishna conscious simply by mundane scholarship. One must be fortunate enough to have the opportunity of associating with a person who is in pure consciousness. A Krishna conscious person has realized knowledge, the grace of Krishna, because he is satisfied with pure devotional service. By realized knowledge, one becomes perfect. By such perfect knowledge, one can remain steady in his convictions, whereas by academic knowledge one is easily deluded and confused by apparent contradictions. Such a realized soul is actually self-controlled, because he is surrendered to Krishna. He is transcendental because he has nothing to do with mundane scholarship. For him mundane scholarship  and aimless mental speculation, which may be as good as gold to others is of no greater value than pebbles or stones.

Text 6.9

A person is supposed to be still more advanced when he regards the honest well-wisher, the affectionate benefactor, the neutral, the mediator, the envious, the friend, the pious and the sinner all with an equal mind.

Text 6.10

A transcendentalist should always be in Krishna consciousness with body, mind and self, live alone in a secluded place, always be careful in mind, without being attracted by subversive things like feelings of possessiveness.


Krishna is realized in different degrees as Brahman, Paramatma and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krishna consciousness means concisely, to be always engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. But those who are attached to the impersonal Brahman or the localised Supersoul are also partially Krishna conscious, because the impersonal Brahman is the spiritual ray of Krishna and the Supersoul is the all-pervading partial expansion of Krishna. As such, the impersonalist and the meditator are also indirectly Krishna conscious. A directly Krishna conscious person is the topmost transcendentalist because such a devotee well knows what is meant by Brahman or Paramatma. His knowledge about the Absolute Truth is perfect, whereas the impersonalist and the meditating yogi are imperfectly Krishna conscious.

Nevertheless, all of these are instructed herewith to be constantly engaged in their particular pursuits, so that they may come to the highest perfection sooner or later. The first business of such a transcendentalist is to keep the mind always on Krishna. It is said that one should always think of Vishnu and one should not forget Vishnu (or Krishna) even for a moment. This concentration of the mind on the Supreme is called Samadhi or trance.To have this concentration of mind one should always remain in seclusion, without being disturbed by external objects. He should be vey careful to accept favourable and reject unfavourable conditions in relation to Krishna consciousness. And in perfect determination, he sould not be hankering after unnecessary material things so that he can become free from the feeling of possessiness.

All these perfections and precautions are perfectly executed when one is directly in Krishna consciousness. Because direct Krishna consciousness means self-abnegation, wherein there is very little chance for material possessiveness. Srila Rupa Goswami distinguishes this consciouness from others as follows: 

anasaktasya visayan yatharham upayunjatah
nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe yuktam vairagyam ucyate 

prapancikataya buddhya hari-sambandhi-vastunah
mumuksubhih parityago vairagyam phalgu kathyate

“When one is not attached to anything, but at the same time accepts everything in relation to Krishna, one is rightly situated above possessiveness, On the other hand, one who rejects everything without any knowledge of its relationsip to Krishna is not as complete in his renunciation.”(Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.2.255-256)

A Krishna conscious person well knows that everything belongs to Krishna, and thus he is always free from feelings of personal possession. As such, he has no hankering for anything on his own personal account. He knows how to accept things in favor of Krishna consciousness, and how to reject things unfavorable to Krishna consciousness. He is always aloof from the material platform because he is always transcendental, and he is always alone, having nothing to do with persons not in Krishna consciousness. Therefore a person in Krishna consciousness is the perfect yogi.

Texts 6.11 & 12

One should practice yoga in a secluded place as follows: Place kusa grass on the ground, upon which place deerskin and then a soft cloth. The seat should not be too high nor too low and should be situated in sacred land. (The yogi then sits on it very firmly.) Sitting in such a place, one should practice yoga by controlling the mind and the senses, purifying the heart and fixing the mind on one point.


Sacred land means a place of pilgrimage. In India the yogis, the transcendentalists or the devotees all leave home and reside in sacred places such as Prayag, Mathura, Vrindavan, Hrishikesa, Hardwar, etc., and practice yoga there. A sacred place is where the sacred rivers like the Yamuna and the Ganges flow. Any bank of the rivers Ganges or Yamuna is naturally sacred. One should select a place which is secluded and undisturbed. The so-called yoga societies in big cities may do a nice business in earning material benefit, but they are not at all suitable for the actual practice of yoga. One who is not self-controlled and whose mind is not undisturbed cannot practice meditation. Therefore, in the Brihad-Naradiya Purana it is said that in the Kali-Yuga (the present Yuga, or age), when people in  general are short-lived, slow in spiritual realization and always disturbed by various anxieties, the best means of spiritual realization is to chant the holy name of the Lord.

harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha

“In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is to chant the holy name of the Lord. And there is no other means of success.”

Texts 6.13 & 14

One should practice yoga by holding one’s body, neck and head erect in a straight line and looking upon the tip of the nose. Thus with an unagitated and subdued mind, devoid of fear, completely free from sex-life, one should see Me within the heart and make Me the ultimate goal of life.


The goal of life is to know Krishna, Who is situated within the heart of every living being as Paramatma, or the four-handed Vishnu form. The yoga procces is practiced in order to discover and see this localized form of Vishnu, and not for any other purpose. The localized Vishnu-murti is the plenary representation of Krishna, dwelling within one’s heart. One who has no program to realize this Vishnu -murti is uselessly engaged in mock yoga practice, and is certainly wasting his time, without any aim in life. Krishna is the ultimate goal of life, and the Vishnu-murti situated in one’s heart is the object of yoga practice. To realize this Vishnu-murti within the heart one has to observe complete abstinence from sex life, and therefore one requires to go out of home and live alone in a secluded place, remaining seated as mentioned above. One cannot enjoy sex life daily at home or elsewhere and attend a so-called yoga class and thus become a false yogi. One has to practice controlling the mind, keeping apart from all kinds of sense gratification of which sex life is the chief. In the Yajnavalkya rules of celibacy it is said:

karmana manasa vaca sarvavasthasu sarvada
sarvatra maithuna-tyago brahmacaryam pracaksate

“The vow of Brahmacarya is meant to help one become completely abstinent from sex indulgence in work, words, and mind– at all times, under  all circumstances, and in all places.” No one can perform any kind of yoga practice through sex infulgence. Brahmacarya is taught, therefore, from childhood when one has no knowledge of sex life. Children at the age of five are sent to Gurukula, or the place of the spiritual master, who trains the young boys in the strict discipline of becoming a Brahmacari. Without such practice of Brahmacarya, nobody can make any advancement in any kind of yoga, whether it be Dhyana, Jnana or Bhakti. One who, however, follows the rules and regulations of married life, having no sexual relationship with any woman except his wife ( and that also under regulation) is also called a Brahmacari. Such a restrained householder Brahmacari may be accepted in the Bhakti school, but the Jnana and Dhyana schools do not allow for even a householder Brahmacari. They require complete abstinence without any compromise. In the Bhakti school, a householder Brahmacari is allowed because the cult of Bhakti-yoga is so powerful that one automatically loses any sexual attraction, being engaged in the superior service of the Lord. In the Bhagavad-gita (2.59) it is said:

visaya vinivartante niraharasya dehinah
rasa-varjam raso ‘py asya param drstva nivartate

While others are forced to restrain themselves from sense gratification, a devotee of the Lord automatically refrains from sense gratification on account of a superior taste. Except for the devotee, no one has any information of that superior taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Vigata-bhi. One cannot be fearless unless one is fully in Krishna consciousness. A conditioned soul is fearful on account of his perverted memory, his forgetfulness of his eternal relationship with Krishna. The Bhagavatam ( 11.2.37) says: “bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah syad isad apetasya viparyayo ‘smrtih.” Krishna consciousness is the only basis for being fearless. Therefore, perfect practice is possible for a person who is Krishna conscious. And the ultimate goal of yoga practice being to see the Lord within, a Krishna conscious person is already the best of all yogis. The principles of the yoga system mentioned herein are different from those of the popular so-called yoga societies.

Text 6.15

Thus practicing constant control of the body, mind and activities, the mystic transcendentalist attains the Kingdom of God (or the abode of Krishna), by cessation of material existence.


The ultimate goal in practicing yoga is now clearly explained. Yoga practice is not meant for attaining any kind of material facility. Yoga practice means the cessation of all material existence. One who seeks an improvement in health or aspires after material perfection is not a yogi according to Bhagavad-gita. Cessation of material existence does not mean to enter into an existence of void, which is only a myth. There is nothing like void anywhere within the creation of the Lord . The cessation of material existence means to enter into the spiritual sky, the abode of the Lord. The abode of the Lord is also clearly described in the Bhagavad-gita, as that place where there is no need of sun, no need of moon, nor electricity. All the planets in the spiritual kingdom are self-illuminated like the sun in the material sky. The Kingdom of God is everywhere, but the spiritual sky and the planets thereof are called “param dhama”, or superior abodes.

As is clearly stated herein (mat-cittah, mat-parah, mat-sthanam) by the Lord Himself, a consumate yogi who has reached perfection in understanding Lord Krishna, can attain real peace and can ultimately reach His supreme abode, the Krishnaloka known as Goloka Vrindavan. In the Brahma-samhita (5.37) it is clearly stated, “goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhutha,” that the Lord, although residing always in His abode called Goloka and through His superior spiritual energies is the all-pervading Brahman and localized Paramatma as well. Nobody can reach the spiritual sky or enter into the eternal abode (Vaikuntha Goloka Vrindavan) of the Lord without the proper understanding of Krishna and His plenary expansion Vishnu. Therefore a person working in Krishna consciousness is the perfect yogi, because his mind is always absorbed in Krishna’s activities, “sa vai manah krishna-padaravindayoh.” In the Vedas also (Svetasvaratara Upanishad 3.8) we can learn,”tvam eva viditvati mrityum eti”: One can overcome the path of birth and death only by understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna.” In other words, the perfection of the yoga system is the attainment of freedom from material existence, and not some magical jugglery or gymnstic feats to befool innocent people.

Text 6.16

There is no possibility of one’s becoming a yogi, O Arjuna, if one eats too much or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep as it is required.


Regulation of diet and sleep is recommended herein for the yogis. Too much eating means eating more than one may require to keep the body and soul together. For the human being there is no need of eating animal food , because there is ample food arrangement in the supply of grains, vegetables, fruits and milk. According to the Bhagavad-gita, such simple foodstuff is considered to be in the mode of goodness. Animal food is for persons in the mode of ignorance. Therefore, those who indulge in animal food, drinking, smoking and eating food which not first offered to Krishna, are eating only polluted things, which will involve suffering sinful reactions. “Bhunjate te tv agham papa ye pacanty atma-karanat.” Anyone who eats for the matter of sense pleasure, or cooks for himself but not as an offering to Krishna, eats only sin. One who eats sin and eats more than is alloted to him, cannot execute perfect yoga. It is best that one eat only the remnants of foodstuff offered to Krishna. A person in Krishna consciousness does not eat anything which is not offered to Krishna. Therefore, only the Krishna conscious person can  attain perfection in the yoga practice. Correlatively, one who artificially abstains from eating, manufactturing his own personal process of fasting, cannot practice yoga. The Krishna conscious person observes fasting as it is recommended in the scriptures. He does not fast or eat more than is required, and he is thus competent to practice yoga. One who eats more than required will dream very much while sleeping, and he must consequently sleep more than is required. One should sleep no more than six hours. One who sleeps more than six hours out of twenty four is certainly influenced by the mode of ignorance. A person in the mode of ignorance is lazy and prone to sleep a great deal. Such a person cannot practice yoga.

Text 6.17

Persons who are regulated in their habits of eating, sleeping and recreation, as well as in working for existence, can mitigate all material pains by the practice of the yoga system.


Extravagance in the matter of eating, sleeping, defending and mating– which are demands of the body–can block any advancement in the practice of yoga. As far as eating is concerned, it can be regulated only when one is practiced to take and accept Prasadam, sanctified foodstuff. According the Bhagavad-gita (9.26), Lord Krishna is offered vegetables, flowers, fruits, as well a grains and milk, etc. In this way, a person in Krishna consciousness becomes automatically trained not to accept any food which is not meant for human consumption, or which is not in the category of goodness. As far as sleeping is concerned, a Krishna conscious person is always alert in the discharge of his duties in Krishna consciousness and therefore any unnecessary time spent sleeping is considered a great loss. His program is ” avyartha-kalatvam.” A Krishna conscious person cannot bear to pass a minute of his life without being engaged in the service of the Lord. Therefore, his sleeping is kept to a minimum. The ideal Krishna conscious personality is Srila Rupa Gosvami, who was always engaged in the service of Krishna. He could not sleep more than two hours a day, and sometimes he could not sleep even that much. Thakur Haridas would not even accept Prasadam, and would not even sleep for a moment without finishing his daily routine work of chanting with his beads three hundred thousand names. As far as work is concerned, a Krishna conscious person does not do anything which is not connected with Krishna’s interest, and as such his work is always regulated, without any tinge of sense gratification. As there is no question of sense gratification, there is no material relaxation for a person in Krishna consciousness. And because he is regulated in all his work, speech, sleep, wakefulness and in all bodily activities, there is no material misery for a person in Krishna consciousness.

Text 6.18

When the yogi, by practice of yoga, becomes well disciplined in the activities of the mind, and becomes situated in  transcendence–devoid of all material desires– at that time he is said to be well established. 


The symptoms of the yogi are distinguished from the activities of an ordinary person by his characteristic cessation from all kinds of material desires–of which sex is the centre. A perfect yogi is so well disciplined in the activities of the mind that he can no longer be disturbed by any kind of material desire. This perfectional stage can automatically be attained by persons in Krishna conciousness, as it is stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam (9.4.18-20):

sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayor
vacamsi vaikuntha-gunanuvarnane
karau harer mandira-marjanadisu
srutim cakaracyuta-sat-kathodaye

mukunda-lingalaya-darsane drsau
tad-bhrtya-gatra-sparse ‘nga-sangamam
ghranam ca tat-pada-saroja-saurabhe
srimat-tulasya rasanam tad-arpite

padau hareh ksetra-padanusarpane
siro hrsikesa-padabhivandane
kamam ca dasye na tu kama-kamyaya
yathottama-sloka-janasraya ratih

“King Ambarisa first of all engaged his mind on the lotus feet of Lord Krishna, then, one after another, he engaged his words in describing the transcendental qualities of the Lord, his hands in mopping the temple of the Lord, his ears in hearing of the activities of the Lord, his eyes in seeing the transcendental form of the Lord, his body in touching the body of the devotees, his sense of smell in the fragrance of the lotus flowers offered to the Lord, his tongue in tasting the tulasi leaf offered at the lotus feet of the Lord, his legs in going to places of pilgrimage where the temple of the Lord is situated, his head in offering obeisances unto the Lord, all his desires in executing the mission of the Lord, and all these transcendental activities are quite fitting for becoming a pure devotee.”

OT page 367 is missing.

Purport 6.19

A Krishna conscious person, always absorbed in transcendence, is supposed to be in constant meditation on his worshipable Lord, without any disturbances, as a lamp in a windless place does not waver.

Texts 6.20-23

According to the yoga principle, that state of perfection is called trance, or Samadhi when it is seen that, by practice of yoga, one’s mind is completely restrained from mental activities in connection with matter. This is characterized by one’s ability to see himself by his pure mind and by his satisfaction in himself. In that state, one is situated in transcendental happiness, ascertained through transcendental senses. No one is shaken from this transcendental position. When that state is achieved, no one cares for profit in the material world and being situated in that position, no one is shaken, even in the midst of the greatest difficulty. This is factual freedom from the miseries arising from material contact.


By practice of yoga one becomes gradually detached from material concepts. This is the primary characteristic of the yoga principle. And after this, one becomes situated in trance, or Samadhi. This Samadhi state means that the yogi realises the Supersoul through transcendental mind and intelligence, without any of the misgivings of identifying himself with the Superself. Yoga practice is more or less based on the principles of the Patanjali system. Unauthorised commentators on the system try to identify the individual soul and the Supersoul as one and the same. The monist thinks this to be liberation, without understanding the real purpose of Patanjali. There is an acceptance of transcendental pleasure in the Patanjali system, but the monist do not accept this transcendental pleasure out of fear that the theory of oneness will become jeopardised. Knowledge and knower are not accepted by the nondualist but here in this verse transcendental pleasure– realized through transcendental senses–is accepted and this is corroborated by Patanjali Muni, the famous exponent of the yoga system. The great sage declares in his Yoga-sutras (4.34): purusartha-sunyanam gunanam pratiprasavah kaivalyam svarupa-pratistha va citi-saktir iti.

This citi-shakti, or internal potency, is transcendental. Purusartha means material religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and at the end, to become one with the Supreme. This oneness with the Supreme is called “kaivalyam” by the monist. But according to Patanjali this “kaivalyam” is an internal, or transcendental potency. By this transcendental potency the living entity becomes aware of his constittutional position. In the words of Lord Caitanya, this state of affairs is called “ceta-darpana-marjanam, or clearance of the dirty mirror of the mind. This clearance of the dirty mirror of the mind is actually liberation or “bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam.” The therory of nirvana–also preliminary–corresponds with this principle. In the Bhagavatam (2.10.6) this is called “svarupena vyavasthitih.” In this verse, the Bhagavad-gita also confirms this situation . Therefore, when we think deeply in this connection we can understand that after Nirvana or material cessation, there is the manifestation of spiritual activities, or the devotional service of the Lord, know as Krishna consciousness. This situation–in the words of Bhagavatam “svarupena vyavasthitih”– is the real life of the living entity. Maya or illusion is the condition of spiritual life contaminated by material affection. Liberation from this infection of material disease does not mean destruction of the original, eternal position of the living entity. Patanjali also accepts this by his words “kaivalyam svarupa-pratistha va citi-saktir iti.” This “citi-sakti” or transcendental pleasure, is real life. This is confirmed in the Vedanta-sutras (1.1.12) as “ananda-mayo’bhyasat.” This natural transcendental pleasure is the ultimate goal of yoga, and is easily achieved by execution of devotional service, or Bhakti-yoga. This Bhakti-yoga will be vividly described beginning in the seventh chapter of Bhagavad-gita.

In the yoga system as described in this chapter, there are two kinds of Samadhi, called Samprajnata Samadhi and Asamprajnata Samadhi. When one becomes situated in the transcendental position by various philosophical researches, it is called Samprajnata Samadhi. In the Asamprajnata Samadhi there is no longer any connection with mundane pleasure, one being transcendental to all sorts of happiness derived from the senses. Once the yogi is situated in that transcendental position, he is never shaken from it. Unless one is able to reach this ranscendental position, there is no success in the practice of yoga. Today’s so called yoga practice, while taking pleasure in the senses, is contradictory. A yogi indulging in sex and intoxication is an impossibility. Even those yogis who are attracted by the siddhis (perfections) in the process of yoga are not perfectly situated. If the yogis are attracted by the by-products of yoga, then they cannot attain the stage of perfection, as it is stated in this verse of the Bhagavad-gita. Persons, therefore, indulging in the make-show practice of gymnastics feats or siddhis should know that they have lost sight of the aim of yoga in that way.

The best practice of yoga in this age is, therefore, Krishna consciousness, which is not baffling. A Krishna conscious person is so happy in his occupation that he does not aspire after any other happiness. There are many impediments, especially in this age of hypocrisy, to practicing Hatha-yoga, Dhyana-yoga and Jnana-yoga, but there is no such problem in executing Karma-yoga or Bhakti-yoga.  

As long as the material body exists, one has to meet the demands of the body,  namely eating, sleeping, defending and mating. But a person who is in pure Bhakti-yoga or in Krishna consciousness does not arouse the senses while meeting the demands of the body. A Krishna conscious person accepts the bare necessities of life, making the best use of a bad bargain, and enjoys transcendental happiness in Krishna consciousness. He is callous toward incidental occurences such as accidents, disease, scarcity and even the death of a most dear relative, but he is always alert in the matter of executing his duties in Krishna consciousness or Bhakti-yoga. He never deviates from the duty of Krishna consciousness on account of being agitated by incidental occurences. As stated in the Bhagavad-gita (2.14) “agamapayino ‘nityas tams titiksasva bharata.” He bears all such incidental occurences because he knows that they may come and go, and have nothing to do with discharging his duties in Krishna consciousness. That is the way of achieving the highest perfection in yoga practice.

Text 6.24

One should engage himself in the practice of yoga with determination and faith, without being deviated from the path. One should give up all mental speculation regarding material desires without any exception, and thus regulate the whole set of senses by the mind, controlled from all sides.


The yoga practitioner should be determined and should patiently prosecute the practice without being deviated from the path. One should be sure of success at the end, and pursue this course with great perseverance, not becoming discouraged if there is any delay in the attainment of success. Success is sure for the rigid practitioner. On the  practice of  bhakti-yoga, Srila Rupa Gosvami says as follows:

utsahan niscayad dhairyat tat-tat-karma-pravartanat
sanga-tyagat sato vrtteh sadbhir bhaktih prasidhyati

“The process of bhakti-yoga can be executed successfully with full-hearted enthusiasm, perseverance, determination, by following the prescribed duties in the association of devotees and by engaging completely in activities of goodness.” (Upadesamrta 3)

As for determination, one should follow the example of the sparrow who lost her eggs in the waves of the ocean. A sparrow laid her eggs on the shore of the ocean, but the big ocean carried away the eggs on its waves. The sparrow became very sorry and asked the ocean to return her eggs. The ocean did not care for her appeal. So the sparrow decided to dry up the ocean. She began to pick out the water in her small beak, and everyone laughed at her for her impossible determination. The news of her activity was spread all over, and at last Garuda, the gigantic bird carrier of Lord Vishnu, heard it. He became compassionate toward his small sister bird, so he came to see the sparrow. Garuda was very pleased by the determination of the small sparrow, and he promised to help. Thus Garuda at once asked the ocean to return her eggs lest he himself would take up the work of the sparrow. The ocean became frightened at this and returned the eggs. Thus the sparrow became happy by the grace of Garuda.

Similarly, the practice of yoga, especially Bhakti-yoga in Krishna consciousness, may appear to be a very difficult job. But if anyone follows the principles with great determination, the Lord will surely help such a devotee, for God helps those who help themselves.

Text 6.25 (info missing)

Gradually, step by step, with full conviction, one should become situated in trance by means of intelligence, and the mind should not be engaged otherwise besides being fixed on the self alone.

Purport (info missing)

By proper conviction and intelligence one should gradually cease from sense activities. This is called pratyahara. The mind, being controlled by conviction, meditation, and cessation from the senses, should be situated in trance, or samadhi. At that time there will no longer be any chance to be engaged in the material concept of life. In other words, although one is involved with matter as long as the material body exists, one should not think about sense gratification. One should not thing of pleasure at all, save and except for the pleasure of the Supreme Self. This state of affairs is easily obtained by directly practicing Krishna consciousness.    

Text 6.26

However the mind becomes agitated on account of its flickering and unsteady nature, one certainly has to withdraw it from such engagements and bring it back under the control of the self.


The nature of the mind is flickering and unsteady. But a self-realized yogi has to become the controller of the mind, and not be controlled by the mind. One who is controller of the mind (and therefore controller of the senses as well) is called Goswami, or Swami and one who is controlled by the mind is called go-dasa, or the servant of the senses. A Gosvami knows the standard of sense happiness. Transcendental sense happiness is to engage the senses in the service of Hrisikesa or the supreme owner of the senses, Krishna. Serving Krishna with purified senses is called Krishna consciousness, and that is the way of bringing the senses under full control. What’s more, that is the highest perfection of yoga practice.

Text 6.27

OT missing

Purport 6.27

Brahma-bhuta is the state of being free from material contamination and situated in the transcendental service of the Lord.  “mad-bhaktim labhate param” (Bg 18.54) One cannot remain in the quality of Brahman, the Absolute, until one is fixed by one’s mind ‘s on the lotus feet of the Lord. “Sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayoh.” (SB 9.4.18) To be always engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, or to remain in Krishna consciousness, means factual liberation from all material contamination, including the mode of passion.

Text 6.28

Thus the self-controlled yogi, after becoming freed from all material contamination, achieves  the highest perfectional stage of happiness in Krishna consciousness, and being situated in transcendental loving service enjoys transcendental pleasure. This is the stage of devotional life,


Self-realization means to know one’s constitutional position in relationship to the Supreme. The individual soul is part and parcel of the Supreme, and he is meant for rendering transcendental service to the Lord. This transcendental contact with the Supreme is called Brahma-samsparsha.

Text 6.29

A Krishna conscious yogi observes Krishna in every being, and also every being in Krishna (or the Supreme). Such a Krishna conscious person sees the same Krishna (or the Supreme Personality of Godhead) everywhere.


A Krishna conscious yogi is the perfect seer  because he sees Krishna, the Supreme, situated in everyone’s heart as Supersoul (Paramatma) without any distinction. “Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese ‘rjuna tisthati.” The Lord in His Paramatma feature is situated within both the heart of the dog and that of a Brahmin without any discrimination. He knows that the Lord is transcendental eternally, without being materially affected either in a dog or a Brahmin. That is the supreme neutrality of the Lord. The individual soul is also situated in the same heart, but he is not present in any other’s heart. That is the distinction between the individual soul and the Supersoul. One who is not factually in the practice of yoga cannot see so distincly. A Krishna conscious person can see Krishna in the heart of both the believer and nonbeliever. In the Smriti (Satvata-tantra 3.49) this is confirmed as follows: “atatatvac ca matritvad atma hi paramo harih.”

The Lord, being the source of all beings, is like the mother and the maintainer. As the mother is neutral to all different kinds of children so also is the Supreme Father (or Mother). As such, the Supersoul is always in every living being. Outwardly also, every living being is situated in the energy of the Lord. As will be explained in the seventh chapter, the Lord has primarily two energies, the spiritual (or superior) and the material (or inferior) energies. The living entity, although belonging to the superior energy, is conditioned by the inferior energy. But whether in the superior energy or the inferior energy, the living entity is always in the Lord’s energy. Every living entity is situated in Him in one way or the other. So the yogi sees equally because he sees that all living entities, although in different situations according to the results of fruitive work, in all circumstances remain the servants of God. While in the material energy the living entity is serving the material senses, and while in the spiritual energy he is serving the Supreme Lord directly. In either case the living entity is the servant of God. This vision of equality is perfect in a person in Krishna consciousness.

Text 6.30

For one who sees Me everywhere, and sees everthing in Me, I shall never be lost, nor shall he ever be lost to Me.


A person in Krishna consciousness certainly sees Lord Krishna everywhere and he sees everthing in Krishna. Such a person may appear to see all the different manifestations of the material nature, but in each and every instance he has a consciousness of Krishna, knowing that everything is the manifestation of Krishna’s energy. Nothing can exist without Krishna, and Krishna is the Lord of everything–this is the basic principle of Krishna consciousness. Krishna consciousness is the development of love of Krishna, a position transcendental even to material liberation. This point of Krishna consciousness is the stage after self-realization. At this stage the devotee becomes one with Krishna in the sense that Krishna becomes everything for the devotee, and the devotee becomes full in loving Krishna and an intimate relationship between the Lord and the devotee exists. In that stage, there is no chance of the annihilation of the living entity, neither is the Personality of Godhead ever out of sight of the devotee. To merge in Krishna is spiritual annihilation. A devotee has no such risk. It is stated in the Brahma-samhita (5.38):

santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti
yam syamasundaram acintya-guna-svarupam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

“I worship the primeval Lord, Govinda, Who is always seen by the devotee whose eyes are anointed with the pulp of love, in His eternal form of Syamasundara situated within the heart of the devotee.”

At this stage Lord Krishna never disappears from the sight of the devotee nor does the devotee ever lose sight of the Lord. In the case of a yogi who sees the Lord as Paramatma within the heart, the same applies. Such a yogi turns into a pure devotee and cannot bear to live for a moment without seing the Lord within himself.

Text 6.31

Such a yogi, engaged in the worshipful service of the Supersoul, who knows that I and the Supersoul are one, remains always in Me, despite all situations. 


A yogi who is practising meditation on the Supersoul within himself sees this plenary portion of Krishna as Vishnu–with four hands, holding conchshell, wheel, club and lotus flower. The yogi should know that Vishnu is not different from Krishna. Krishna in the form of the Supersoul is situated in everyone’s heart. Furthermore, there is no difference between all the innumerable Supersouls present in the innumerable hearts of living entities. There is no difference between a Krishna conscious person always engaged in the transcendental loving service of Krishna and a perfect yogi engaged in meditation on the Supersoul. On the other hand, the yogi in Krishna consciousness — even though he may be engaged in various activities while in material existence — remains alway situated in Krishna. This is confirmed in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.187) of Srila Rupa Gosvami:”nikhilasv apy avasthasu jivan-muktah sa ucyate.” A devotee of the Lord, always acting in Krishna consciousness, is automatically liberated. In the Narada Pancharatna this is confirmed as follows: 

dik-kalady-anavacchinne krsne ceto vidhaya ca
tan-mayo bhavati ksipram jivo brahmani yojayet

“By concentrating one’s attention on the transcendental form of Krishna, Who is all pervading and beyond time and space, one becomes absorbed in thinking of Krishna, and then attains the state of the transcendental association of Krishna along with the associated happiness.”

Krishna consciousness is the highest stage of trance in yoga practice. This very understanding — that Krishna is present as Paramatma in everyone’s heart — make the yogi faultless. The Vedas (Gopal-tapani Upanishad 1. 21) confirm this inconceivable potency of the Lord as follows:eko ‘pi san bahudha yo ‘vabhati. “Although the Lord is one, He is present in innumerable hearts as many.” Similarly, in the smriti-shastra (Matsya Purana) it is said: 

eka eva paro visnuh sarva-vyapi na samsayah
aisvaryad rupam ekam ca surya-vat bahudheyate

“Visnu is one, and yet He is certainly all-pervading. By His inconceivable potency, in spite of His one form, He is present everywhere, as the sun appears in many places at once.” 

Text 6.32

He is a perfect yogi who, by comparison to his own self, sees the true equality of all living entities, both in happiness and distress, O Arjuna!


One who is in Krishna consciousness is a perfect yogi, because he knows everyone’s happiness and distress by dint of his own personal experience. The cause of the distress of a living entity is forgetfulness of its relationship with God. And the cause of happiness is to know that Krishna is the Supreme Enjoyer of all activities of the human being, that He is the proprietor of all lands and planets and that He is the sincerest friend of all living entites. The perfect yogi knows that every living being which is conditioned by the modes of material nature is subjected to the threefold material miseries, on account of its forgetfulness of its relationship with Krishna. And because one in Krishna consciousness is happy, he tries to distribute the knowledge of Krishna  everywhere. As he tries to broadcast the importance of becoming Krishna conscious, such a preacher is the best philanthropist in the world and he is the dearest servitor of the Lord. “Na ca tasman manusyesu kascin me priya-krttamah” (Bg. 18.69). In other words, a devotee of the Lord always looks to the welfare of all living entities, and in this way he is factually equal toward everyone. He is the best yogi because he does not desire perfection in yoga for his personal benefit, but tries for others also. He is not envious of any of his fellow living entities. Here is a contrast between a pure devotee of the Lord in Krishna consciousness and a yogi interested in his personal elevation, keeping himself in a secluded place. The yogi who has withdrawn to a secluded place in order to meditate perfectly may not be as perfect as a devotee of the Lord, who is trying his best to turn every person toward Krishna consciousness in various ways.

Text 6.33

Arjuna said: O Madhusudana, the system of yoga which You have summarized appears impractical to me, for the mind is restless and unsteady.


The system of mysticism described by Lord Krishna to Arjuna, beginning with the words “sucau dese” and ending with “yoga parama” is here being rejected by Arjuna out of a feeling of inability. It is not possible for an odinary man to leave home and go to a secluded place in the mountains or jungles to practice yoga in this age Age of Kali. The present age is characterised by a bitter struggle for a life of short duration. People are not serious about self-realization even by simple practical means. What then to speak of this difficult yoga system, which regulates the mode of living, the manner of sitting, selection of place and detachment of the mind from material engagements. As a practical man, Arjuna thought it was impossible to follow this system of yoga, even though he was favourably endowed in many ways. He belonged to the royal family, and was highly elevated in terms of numerous qualities, he was a great warrior, he had great longevity and above all he was the most intimate friend of Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Five thousand years ago, Arjuna had all better facilities of life, and yet he refused to accept this system of yoga, nor do we find any record in history of his practising it at any time. Therefore it must be considered impossible to control the mind by this system of yoga, especially in this Age of Kali. It may be possible for some very few, rare men, but for the people in general it is an impossible proposal. If this was so five thousand years ago then what to speak of the present day? Those who are imitating this yoga system in different so-called schools and societies, although complacent are certainly wasting their time, or more clearly, they are completely in ignorance of the desired goal.  

Text 6.34

O Krishna, the mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, and to subdue it ( by the yoga practice you describe), I think is more difficult that controlling the wind.  


The mind is so strong and obstinate that sometimes it overcomes the intelligence, although the mind is supposed to be subservient to the intelligence. For a man in the practical world who has to fight so many opposing elements, certainly it is very difficult to control the turbulent mind. Artificially, one may establish an equilibrium of the mind toward both friend and enemy, but in the ultimate issue no worldly man can do so, as this is more difficult than controlling the raging wind. In the Vedic literature ( Katha Upanishad 1.3.3-4) it is said:

atmanam rathinam viddhi sariram ratham eva ca
buddhim tu sarathim viddhi manah pragraham eva ca
indriyani hayan ahur visayams tesu gocaran
atmendriya-mano-yuktambhoktety ahur manisinah

“The individual is supposed to be the passenger in the car of the material body, and the intelligence is the driver. The mind is the driving instrument and the senses are the horses. The self is thus the enjoyer or sufferer in the association of the mind and senses. So it is understood by great thinkers.” Intelligence is supposed to direct the mind. But the mind is so strong and obstinate that it surpasses even one’s intelligence, as an acute infection may surpass the efficacy of medicine. Such a strong mind is supposed to be controlled by the practice of yoga. Such practice is therefore never practical for a worldly person like Arjuna. And what can we say of the modern man? The difficulty is neatly expressed here. As one cannot capture the blowing wind, so it is more difficult to capture the turbulent mind. As prescribed, the best way to control the mind is “sa vai manah krishna-padaravindayo.” One has to engage one’s mind fully in Krishna consciousness, and then there will remain no other engagement to agitate the mind. 

Text 6.35

OT gap

end of purport 6.38

….Supreme Lord, Who is manifested as Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. Lord Sri Krishna is the fullest manifestation of the Supreme Absolute Truth, and therefore one who is a surrendered soul to the Supreme Person is the successful transcendentalist. To reach this goal of life through Brahman and Paramatma realization takes many, many births: “bahunam janmanam ante” and therefore the supermost path of transcendental realization is bhakti-yoga or Krishna consciousness, the direct method without any fear of fall down.

Text 6.39

This is my doubt, O Krishna, and I ask You to dispel it completely. Except for Yourself, no one is to be found who can destroy this doubt.


Krishna  is the perfect knower of past, present and future. In the beginning of the Bhagavad-gita the Lord said that all living entities were existing individualy in the past, that they exist now in the present and that they continue to retain such individual identity in the future, even after liberation from the material entanglement. So once already He has cleared up the question of the future of the individual living entity. Now Arjuna wants to know of the future of the unsuccessful transcendentalist. No one is equal to or above Krishna. What to speak of these great sages, those so-called philosophers who are at the mercy of material nature? Therefore the verdict of Krishna is the final and complete answer to any  kind of doubt in the matter, bacause He knows past, present and future perfectly, but nobody knows Him. Krishna and Krishna conscious devotees alone can know what is what.

Text 6.40

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Son of Pritha, a transcendentalist engaged in auspicious activities has no place on the path of destruction, either in this material world or in the spiritual world.


In the Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.5.17) Sri Narada Muni instructs Vyasadeva 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 someone gives up all material prospects and takes complete shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there is no loss or degradation in any respect. On the other hand, a nondevotee, though fully engaged in occupational duties, does not gain anything.” For material prospects there are many activities both scriptural and customary. A transcendentalist is supposed to give up all such material activities for the sake of spiritual advancement in life, or Krishna consciousness. One may argue that by Krishna consciousness one may attain the highest perfection if it is completed, but if one does not attain such a perfectional stage, then he loses both ways, the material and the spiritual as well. It is enjoined in the scriptures that one has to suffer the reaction of not executing prescribed duties; therefore one who fails to discharge transcendental activities properly becomes subjected to these reactions. The Bhagavatam assures such unsuccessful transcendentalists that there need be no such worries. Even though the unsuccessful transcendentalist is subjected to the reaction of not executing prescribed duties, still he not a loser, because auspicious Krishna consciousness will never be forgotten and one engaged in such Krishna consciousness will continue to be so even if he is lowborn in the next life. On the other hand, one who may follow strictly the prescribed duties need not necessarily attain any auspicious result for want of Krishna consciousness.

The purport may be understood as follows. Humankind may be divided into two sections, namely the regulated and the unregulated. Those who are engaged simply in the matter of sense gratification like the animals, without any knowledge of their next life or spirirual salvation, are called the nonregulated section of humankind. And those who follow the principles of prescribed duties in the scriptures are classified amongst the regulated section. The nonregulated section, both civilized and noncivilized, educated and noneducated , strong and weak are classified as full of animal propensities. Such people and their activities are never auspicious, because enjoying the animal propensities of eating, sleeping, defending and mating, they will perpetually remain in material existence, which is always miserable and therefore inauspicious. On the other hand, those who are regulated by the scriptural injunctions and are thus gradually rising to Krishna consciousness are certainly auspicious in the progress of life.

Those who are then following the path of auspiciousness can be divided into three sections, namely 1) the followers of scriptural rules and regulations who are enjoying material prosperity, 2) those who are trying to find out the ultimate liberation from material existence and 3) those who are devotees in Krishna consciousness. Those who are following the rules and regulations of the scriptures for material happiness may be further divided into two classes: 1) those who are fruitive workers and 2) those who desire no fruit for sense gratification. Those who are after fruitive results for sense gratification may be elevated to a higher standard of life, even to the higher planets, but still because they are not free from material existence, they are not following the path of true auspiciousness. The only auspicious activities are those which are meant for material liberation. Any activity which is not aimed at ultimate self-realization or liberation from the material, bodily concept of life, is not at all auspicious. Activity in Krishna consciousness is the only auspicious activity, and for anyone who voluntarily accepts all bodily discomtorts for for the sake of making progress on the path of Krishna consciousness can be called a perfect  transcendentalist under severe austerity. And because the eightfold yoga system is aimed at the ultimate realization of Krishna consciousness, such practice is also auspicious, and nobody who is trying his best in that matter has any fear of degradation. 

Text 6.41

The unsuccessful yogi, after many, many years of enjoyment on the planets of the pious  living entities, is born into a family of righteous people or into a family of some rich aristocracy.


The unsuccessful yogis are divided into two classes: one is fallen after very little progress, and one is fallen after long practice of yoga. Those who are fallen after a short period of practice go to the higher planets, where pious living entities are allowed to enter. After prolonged life there, one is sent back again on this planet, to take birth in the family of  righteous Brahmin Vaishnava or that of aristocratic merchants.

The real purpose of yoga practice is to achieve the highest perfection of Krishna consciousness, as will be explained in the last verse of this chapter. But those who do not go on to such an extend, and fail to do so on account of material allurements, by the grace of the Lord, they are allowed to make full utilization of their material propensities and after that, the chance is offered to have prosperous life in a righteous or aristocratic family. Those who are born in such families may take advantage of the facilities and try to elevate themselves to full Krishna consciousness. That is the perfection of the special opportunity.

Text 6.42

Or, those who have been unsuccessful after prolonged practice of yoga, do take their births in the families of transcendentalists, who are surely great great in wisdom. Such a birth is very rare in this world. 


To get birth in the family of yogis or transcendentalists — those with great wisdom — is eulogized herein, because the child born in such family gets impetus from the very beginning of his life. It is especially meant for the Acharya or Goswami families. Such Goswami or Acharya families are supposed to become very learned and devoted by family tradition and training, and thus become spiritual masters for others. In India there are many such Acharya families, but they have now been degraded for want of sufficient education and training. But that does not mean that there are no such families. By the grace of the Lord, there are families who may not be the traditional Acharyas or spiritual masters, but which are factually transcendentalist generation after genaration, and it is certainly very fortunate to take birth in such families. Fortunately, both our spiritual master, Om Vishnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, and our humble self, had the opportunity to take birth in such families, by the grace of the Lord, and both of us were trained in the devotional service of the Lord from the very beginning of our lives. Later on we met by the order of the transcendental system.

Text 6.43

On taking such a birth, those transcendentalists do again revive the consciousness of their previous lives, and thereupon they try to make further progress in the line, in order to achieve complete success, O son of Kuru.


King Bharata, who took his third birth in the family of a good Brahmin, is a tangible example of this good birth and revival of previous consciousness in the matter of transcendental  realization or yoga perfection. King Bharata was the Emperor of the world, and since his time the earthly planet is known among the demigods as Bharata-varsa. Formerly it was known as Ilavrita-varsa. The Emperor at an early age retired for spiritual perfection, but failed to achieve success. In his next life he took birth in the family of a good Brahmin and was known as Jada Bharata because he always remained secluded and without talking to anyone. And later on he was discovered as the greatest transcendentalist by King Rahugana. From his life it is understood that transcendental endeavor , or the practice of yoga, never goes in vain. By the grace of the Lord such a transcendentalist gets repeated opportunities for complete perfection in Krishna consciousness.

Text 6.44

By revival of the consciousness of his previous birth, such a yogi automatically becomes attracted to the yoga principles, even without seeking them. Such an inquisitive transcendentalist stands always above the ritualistic principles of the scriptures. 


Such advanced yogis are not much attracted to the rituals of the scriptures, but they automatically become attracted to the yoga principles, which can elevate them to complete Krishna consciousness, the highest yoga perfection. In Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.33.7), such reluctance toward the Vedic rituals by the advanced transcendentalists is explained as follows:

aho bata sva-paco ‘to gariyan
yaj-jihvagre vartate nama tubhyam
tepus tapas te juhuvuh sasnur arya
brahmanucur nama grnanti ye te

” O my Lord, persons who chant the Holy Names of Your Lorship are far, far advanced in spiritual life, even if born in a family of dog-eaters. Such chanters are supposed to have performed all kinds of austerities and sacrifices, to have bathed in all sacred places and must have finished all scriptural studies.”

The vivid example of this was presented by Lord Caitanya, who accepted Thakur Haridas as one of His most important disciples, although Thakur Haridas happened to take his birth in a Muslim family. Thakur Haridas was elevated to the post of Namacharya by Lord Caitanya on account of his rigidly attended principle of chanting three hundred thousand Holy Names of the Lord daily. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. And because he chanted the holy name of the Lord so strictly, it is understood that in his previous life he must have passed through all the ritualistic methods of the Vedas, known as “shabda-brahma.” Unless, therefore, one is purified, one cannot take to the principles of Krishna consciousness, and thus become engaged in chanting the holy name of the Lord, Hare Krishna.

Text 6.45

When the yogi thus engages himself with sincere endeavor in making further progress, being washed of all contaminations, then ultimately, after many, many births of practice, he attains the supreme goal.


A person born in a particular righteous, aristocratic or sacred family becomes conscious of the peculiarly favorable condition for executing yoga practice. With determination, therefore, he begins his unfinished task, and thus he becomes further and further cleansed of all material contaminations. When he is finally free from all contamination he attains the supreme perfection–Krishna consciousness. Krishna consciousness is the perfect stage of being freed of all contaminations. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (7.28):

yesam tv anta-gatam papam jananam punya-karmanam
te dvandva-moha-nirmukta bhajante mam drdha-vratah

“After many, many births of executing pious actvities, when one is completely freed from all contaminations, and from all illusory dualities, one then becomes engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord.”

Text 6.46

 A yogi ( or one who is trying to link up with the Supreme) is greater than the ascetic, greater than the empiricist and greater than the fruitive worker. Therefore, O Arjuna, in all circumstances, become a yogi.


When we speak of yoga we mean linking up our consciousness with the Supreme Absolute Truth. Such linking up processes are differently named by different practitioners, in terms of the particular process adopted. When the linking up process is predominently in fruitve activities it is called Karma-yoga, When it is predominently in empiricism it is called Jnana-yoga and when it is predominently in direct relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead it is called Bhakti-yoga. Bhakti-yoga or Krishna consciousness is the ultimate perfection of all yogas, as will be explained in the next verse. The Lord has confirmed herein the excellence of yoga over everything, but He has not mentioned that it is better than Bhakti-yoga. Bhakti-yoga is full spiritual knowledge and as such nothing can excel it. Ascetism without knowledge of the self is imperfect. Empiric knowledge without any surrender to the Supreme Lord is still imperfect. And to be a fruitive worker, without any Krishna consciousness, is a waste of time. Therefore, the most eulogized form of yoga performance mentioned here is Bhakti-yoga, and this is still more clearly explained in the next verse.  

Text 6.47

“Of all yoga practitioners, he who always abides by Me within himself with great faith and renders transcendental loving service unto Me, he is the highest of all yogis.”   


The word “bhajate” is significant here. “Bhajate” has its root in the verb “bhaj”, which is used when there is need of service. The English word “worship” cannot be used in the same sense as “bhaja”. Worship means to adore, or to show respect and honor to the worthy one. But service with love and faith is especially meant for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One can avoid worshipping a respectable man or a demigod, annd may be called discourteous, but one cannot avoid serving the Supreme Lord without being thoroughly condemned. Every living entity is part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and as such every living entity is meant to serve the Supreme Lord by its own constitution. Failing to do this he falls down. The Bhagavatam (11.5.3) confirms this as folows:

ya esam purusam saksad atma-prabhavam isvaram
na bhajanty avajananti sthanad bhrastah patanty adhah

“Anyone who does not render service, and neglects his duty unto the Primeval Lord, Who is the source of all living entities, will certainly fall down from his constitutional position.”

In this verse also the word “bhajanti” is used. Therefore the word “bhajanti” is applicable to the Supreme Lord only, and nobody else. The word worship can be applied to demigods, or to any other common living entity. The word “avajananti” used in this verse of Srimad Bhagavatam is also found in the Bhagavad-gita: “avajananti mam mudhah”, “only the fools and rascals deride the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna.” Such fools take it upon themselves to write commentaries on the Bhagavad-gita without any attitude of service to the Lord. As such, they cannot properly distinguish between the word “bhajanti” and the word “worship.”

So the culmination of all kinds of yoga practices lies in Bhakti-yoga. All other yogas are but means to come to the point of Bhakti in Bhakti-yoga. Yoga actually means Bhakti-yoga. All other yogas are progression toward the destination of Bhakti-yoga. From the beginning of Karma-yoga to the end of Bhakti-yoga is a long way to self-realization. Karma-yoga, without any fruitive results, is the beginning of this path. When such Karma-yoga becomes increased  with knowledge and renunciation, the stage is called Jnana-yoga. When such Jnana-yoga is increased with thinking of the Supersoul by different physical processes, concentrating the mind on Him, it is called astanga-yoga. And when one surpasses the Astanga-yoga and comes to the point of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, it is called Bhakti-yoga, the culmination. Factually, Bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal, but to analyse Bhakti-yoga minutely, one has to understand these other minor yogas. The yogi who is progressive is therefore on the true path of eternal good fortune. One who sticks to a particular point and does not make further progress is called by that particular name: Karma-yogi, Jnana-yogi, or Dhyana-yogi, Raja-yogi, Hatha-yogi. But if one is fortunate enough to come to the point of Bhakti-yoga, it is to be understood that he has surpassed all the different yogas. Therefore, to become Krishna conscious is the highest stage of yoga, just as when we speak of Himalayan, we mean the various types of peaks in the range and the highest peak, Mount Everest, is considered to be the culmination.

If by great fortune one comes to Krishna consciousness on the path of Bhakti-yoga, and is well situated according to the Vedic direction, and concentrates his attention on Krishna, Who is called Syamasundara, beautifully colored as a cloud, His lotuslike face as effulgent as the sun and His brilliant dress, with earings and flower garlanded, illuminating all sides by His gorgeous luster, which is called the brahmajyoti, incarnating in different forms such as Rama, Narasimha, Varaha and Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, descending like a human being as the son of mother Yasoda and known as Krishna, Govinda and Vasudeva, the perfect child, husband, friend, master, full with all opulences and transcendental qualities, if one remains fully conscious of these features of the Lord, he is called the highest yogi.    

This stage of highest perfection in yoga can be attained only by Bhakti-yoga, as is confirmed in all Vedic literature:

yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah prakasante mahatmanah

“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.” (Svetasvatara Upanishad 6.23)

Bhaktir asya bhajanam tad ihamutropadhi-nairasyenamusmin manah-kalpanam, etad eva naiskarmyam. “Bhakti means devotional service to the Lord which is free from desire for material profit, either in this life or in the next. Devoid of such inclinations, one should fully absorb the mind in the Supreme. That is the purpose of naiskarmya.” ( Goplala-tapani Upanishad 1.15)

These are some of the means for performance of Bhakti, or Krishna consciousness, the highest perfectional stage of the yoga system.

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta Purports for the Sixth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita in the matter of Astanga-yoga.  




Text 7.1

The Supreme Personality of Godheah said: O son of Pritha, now hear from me how you can know me in full, without any doubt, by practising yoga in Krishna consciousness.


In this seventh chapter of Bhagavad-gita, the nature of Krishna consciousness is fully described. Krishna is full of all opulences and how He manifests such opulences is described in this chapter. Four kinds of fortunate people who become attached to Krishna, and four kinds of unfortunate people who never take to Krishna consciousness are also described in this chapter.

In the first six chapters of Bhagavad-gita, identification of the living entity as spirit soul and not as matter has been fully described, as well as how the living entity is able to elevate himself to self-realization by different types of yogas. At the end of the sixth chapter, it has been clearly stated that the highest form of yoga is to concentrate the mind always in Krishna, or in other words Krishna consciousness is the highest form of all yoga. By concentrating one’s mind upon Krishna ( or being situated in Krishna consciousness), one is able to know the Absolute Truth completely, but not otherwise. Impersonal brahma-jyoyi, or localized Paramatma relization is not perfect knowledge of the Absolute truth. Such imperfect knowledge is partial and can be and can be a negative contemplation when backed by a poor fund of knowledge. Full and scientific knowledge is Krishna, for everything is revealed to the person in Krishna consciousness. Such doubt-free and complete Krishna consciousness can be described as follows: One should know that Krishna is the ultimate knowledge without any doubt. Different types of yoga practice are only diferent stepping stones on the path of Krishna consciousness, but one who takes directly to Krishna consciousness knows automatically both about brahma-jyoyi and Paramatma in full. By practice of Krishna consciousness yoga, one can know everything in full, namely the Absolute Truth, the living entities, the material nature and their manifestations with paraphernalia.

On should therefore begin yoga practice as indicated in the last verse of t he sixth chapter. This concentration of mind upon Krishna, the Suprene, is made possible by the prescribed devotional service in nine different forms, of which sravanamis the beginning and the most important item. The lord therefore says to Arjuna “tac chrinu” or “hear from me.” Nobody can be a greater authority than Krishna and therefore hearing from Him is the greatest opportunity to become a perfectly Krishna conscious person. One has therefore to learn about Krishna consciousness fom Krishna directly, as this teaching is presented by a pure devotee of Krishna, and not from a nondevotee upstart, puffed up with academic education.

In the Srimad Bhagavatam this process of understanding Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, is described in the third chapter of the first canto as follows:

srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah
hrdy antah-stho hy abhadrani vidhunoti suhrt satam

nasta-prayesv abhadresu nityam bhagavata-sevaya
bhagavaty uttama-sloke bhaktir bhavati naisthiki

tada rajas-tamo-bhavah kama-lobhadayas ca ye
ceta etair anaviddham sthitam sattve prasidati

evam prasanna-manaso bhagavad-bhakti-yogatah
bhagavat-tattva-vijnanam mukta-sangasya jayate

bhidyate hrdaya-granthism chidyante sarva-samsayah
ksiyante casya karmani drsta evatmanisvare

“To hear about Krishna as it is narrated in different Vedic literatures, or to hear from him directly, as described in the Bhagavad-gita, is itself righteous activity. And to one who hears about Krishna, Lord Krishna Who is dwelling in everyone’s heart, acts as the most well-wishing friend. He washes off the dirty desires of such devotee who constantly engages in the hearing process of Krishna tidings. In this way, all dirty desires being cleansed, such a devotee naturally develops the transcendental knowledge dormant in him. He gets more encouragement in the matter of hearing about Krishna in the Bhagavatam or from the devotees and in this manner he beccomes fixed in the devotional service of the Lord. By development of devotional service one becomes freed  from the modes of passion and ignorance and thus his material lusts and greediness become diminished. Such dirty things being dimished, the candidate remains steady in his position of pure goodness. The characteristics of this position are that he becomes enlivened by devotional service and understands the science of God perfectly on account of his becoming free from the influence of passion and ignorance. In this state of affairs the bhakti-yogi gets his hard know of material affection cut into pieces and he at once comes to the stage of “asamsayam samagram,” understanding of the Supreme Absolute Truth Personality of Godhead.

Therefore hearing alone from Krishna or from His devotee in Krishna consciousness, is the only means for understanding the science of Krishna.

Text 7.2

I shall now declare unto you knowledge both phenomenal and numinous, knowing which there is nothing further to be known.  


Complete knowledge means knowledge of the phenomenal world and the spirit behind it. The source of both of them is called transcendental knowledge. The Lord wants to explain to Arjuna about the above mentioned development of knowledge because Arjuna is a confidential devotee and friend of Krishna. In the beginning of the fourth chapter this explanation was given by the Lord and the same is again confirmed here: complete knowledge can be achieved only by the devotee of the Lord directly from the Lord in disciplic succession and not otherwise. Therefore one should be intelligent enough to know the source of all knowledge, Who is the cause of all causes and therefore the only object of meditation in all types of yoga practices. When the cause of all causes becomes known to anybody, then everthing knowable becomes known and nothing knowable remains to be known. The Vedas (Mundaka Upanishad 1.1.3) say “kasmin nu bhagavo vijnate sarvam idam vijnatam bhavatiti.”

Text 7.3

Out of many thousands among humankind, one may endeavor for perfection of life, and of thousands of perfect human beings, someone may know what Krishna is in fact.


There are various grades of the human kind and out of many thousands of them somebody may be interested in the matter of transcendental realization and try to know what is the self, what is the body and what is the Absolute Truth. Generally they are simply engaged in the matter of animal propensities, namely eating, sleeping, defending and mating and hardly any of them are interested in the transcendental knowledge. The first six chapters of the Bhagavad-gita are meant for those who are interested  in transcendental knowledge in the matter of understanding the self, the Superself and the process or realization by jnana-yoga and dhyana-yoga and  discrimination of the self from matter, but none of them can know what is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. Krishan can be known by  persons who are in Krishna consciousness and not otherwise. Other transcendentalists may reach up the impersonal Brahman realization which is easier than understanding Krishna. Krishna is the Supreme Person but at the same time beyond the knowledge of Brahman and Paramatma. The yogis and jnanis are confused in their attempts to understand Krishna, although the greatest of the impersonalists, Sripada Sankaracarya, has admitted in his Gita commentary that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But his so-called followers do not accept Krishna as such and therefore it is very difficult to know Krishna, even though one has transcendental realization of impersonal Brahman.

Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all causes, the Primeval Lord Govinda. Isvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah / anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam. It is very difficult for nondevotees to know Him. The nondevotees declare that the path of bhakti or devotional service is easy. But they cannot practice it. If the path of bhakti is so easy as contemplated by the nondevotees class of men, why do they take up th difficult path? Actually the path of bhakti is not easy. The so-called path of bhakti practiced by unauthorised persons without any knowledge of bhakti may be easy, but when it is to be practiced factually just according to the rules and regulations of bhakti path, the so-called scholars and philosophers also fall away from the path. Srila Rupa Gosvami writes in his Bhati-rasamrita-sindhu (1.2.101):

sruti-smrti-puranadi- pancaratra-vidhim vina
aikantiki harer bhaktir utpatayaiva kalpate

“Pure devotional service of the Lord without any references to the authorized Vedic literatures like the Upanisads, Puranas and Narada Pancaratra etc is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society.”

It is not possible for the Brahman realized impersonalist or the Paramatma realized yogi to understand Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the son of mother Yasodaor the charioteer of Arjuna. Even the great demigods are sometimes confused about Krishna: (muhyanti yat surayah). Mam tu veda na kascana: “No one knows Me as I am,” the Lord says. And if anybody knows Him, then sa mahatma su-durlabhah. “Such a great soul is very rare.” Therefore unless one is Krishna conscious by practicing devotional service to the Lord, nobody can know Krishna as He is (tattvatah), even though one is a great scholar or a great philosopher. Except for the pure devotees, nobody can know how many inconceivable transcendental qualities are to be found in Krishna, in the matter of His being the cause of all causes, in the matter of His omnipotency of opulence, or His wealth, fame, strength, beauty, knowledge and renunciation. They cannot know how much He is inclined to His devotees, how much a well-wisher, friend He is for the devotee. He is the last word in Brahman realization and the devotees alone can realise Him as He is. The Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.2.234) says:

atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah
( quoted in Cc. Madhya 17.136)

“No one can understand Krsna as He is by one’s blunt material senses. But He reveals Himself to the devotees, being pleased with them for their transcendental loving service unto Him.” 

Text 7.4

Earth, water, fire, air sky, mind, intelligenceand false ego, all together these eight constiture My separated material energies.


The science of God means the constitutional position of God and His different opulences manifested by diverse energies. The material nature is called “prakriti”, or energy of  the Lord in His different expansions of “purusa” incarnations as described in the Satvata-tantra:

visnos tu trini rupani purusakhyany atho viduh
ekam tu mahatah srastr dvitiyam tv anda-samsthitam
trtiyam sarva-bhuta-stham tani jnatva vimucyate

“For material creation, Lord Krsna’s plenary expansion assumes three Visnus. The first one, Maha-Visnu, creates the total material energy, known as the mahat-tattva. The second, Garbhodakasayi Visnu, enters into all the universes to create diversities in each of them. The third, Ksirodakasayi Visnu, is diffused as the all-pervading Supersoul in all the universes and is known as Paramatma. He is present even within the atoms. Anyone who knows these three Visnus can be liberated from material entanglement.”

This material world is a temporay manifestation of one of the different energies of the Lord. And the superintendence of the whole activitiesof the material world is directed by the above mentioned three Vishnu expansions of Lord Krishna. These purusas are called incarnations. Generally one who does not know the science of God or the science of Krishna, takes it for granted that this material world is a thing for the enjoyment of the living entities and as such the living entities are the purusas. Material energies are taken as ingredients and the living entities as the cause. Bhagavad gita refutes this atheistic conclusion. From the verse under discussion, it appears that Krishna is the original cause of the material manifestation and Srimad Bhagavatam confirms it. The ingredients of the material manifestation are separated energies of the Lord. Even the brahmajyoti, which is the ultimate goal of the impersonalist is also another spiritual energy manifested in the spiritual sky. Because in the Brahmajyoti there are no spiritual diversities as there are in the Vaikuntha lokas, the impersonalist accepts this brahmajyoti as the opposite number to the temporary material energy. The Paramatma manifestation is also the temporary all pervasiveness of Ksirodakasayi Vishnu. The Paramatma manifestation has no eternity in the spiritual world.Therefore the factual Absolute Truth is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna. He is the complete energetic person and is related with different separated and internal energies. In the material energy the principal manifestations are eight as above mentioned. Out of these, the first five manifestations, namely earth, water, fire, air and sky are called the five gigantic creations or gross creations within which the five sense objects are included. They are the manifestations of physical sound, touch, form, taste and smell. Material science is comprised of these ten items and nothing else. But the other three items namely mind, intelligence and false ego are neglected by the materialists. Philosophers who deal with mental activities are also not perfect because they do not know the ultimate source, Krishna. The false ego “I am” and “It is mine” which are basic principles of material existence include the ten sense organs for material activities. Intelligence is the total material creation called the mahat-tattva. Therefore from the eight separated energies of the Lord are manifested the twenty four elements of the material wolrd which are the subject matter of Sankhya atheistic philosophy; they are originally offshoots from Krishna’s energies, and are separated from Him but men with a poor fund of knowledge do not find Krishna as the cause of all causes in the Sankhya philosophy. The subject matter for discussion in the Sankhya philosophy is the manifestation of the external energy of Krishna as it is described in the Bhagavad-gita.

Text 7.5 

Besides these, O mighty armed Arjuna, there is another energy of Mine, which is superior and comprises the living entities who are engaged in exploiting the resources of the material, inferior nature.  


It is clearly mentioned herewith that the living entities belong to the superior nature or energy of the Supreme Lord as much as the inferior energy is matter manifested by different by different elements, namely earth, water, fire, air, sky and mind, intelligence and false ego. Both forms of material nature namely gross (earth etc,) and subtle (mind etc) are products of the inferior nature but the living entities who are exploiting these inferior energies for different purposes, are superior nature of the Supreme Lord. Energies are always controlled by the energetic and as such the living entities are always contolled by the Lord and they have no independent existence. They are never equally powerful as it is miscalculated by men with a poor fund of knowledge. The distinction between the living entities and the Lord is described in Srimad Bhagavatam ( 10.87.30) very nicely as follows:

aparimita dhruvas tanu-bhrto yadi sarva-gatas
tarhi na sasyateti niyamo dhruva netaratha
ajani ca yan-mayam tad avimucya niyantr bhavet
samam anujanatam yad amatam mata-dustataya

“O Supreme Eternal, if the embodied living entities were eternal and all-pervading like You, then they would not be under Your control. But if the living entities are accepted as minute energies of Your Lordship, then they are at once subject to Your supreme control. Therefore real liberation entails that the living entities may surrender to You for being controlled by you, and that normal condition will make them happy. In that normal condition only can they be controllers. Therefore, those with a poor fund of knowledge who try to advocate the monistic theory that God and the living entities are equal in all respects are actually guided by a bad and polluted opinion.”

Therefore, the Supreme Lord is the only controller and all others are controlled by Him. The living entities are superior because the quality of their existence is one and the same as the Supreme, but in quantity of power they are never equal with the Lord. While exploiting the gross and subtle inferior nature or matter, the superior-energy-living-entity forgets about his real spiritual mind and intelligence. This forgetfullness is the influence of matter upon the living entity. And when the living entity becomes free from this illusion of material existence , actually he becomes free from the material influence, which stage is called “mukti” or liberation. The false ego is under the influence of material illusion that “I am matter and material acquisitions are mine.” This becomes clarified when one is liberated from all material ideas including the conception of becoming one in all respects with God. Therefore the conclusion is that the living entity, as confirmed herewith by the Bhagavad-gita, is only one of the multi-energies of Krishna and when such energy is pue without any material contamination, the entity becomes a fully Krishna conscious, liberated soul.

Text 7.6

All created beings have their source in these two natures. Of all that is material and all that is spiritual in this world, you may know for certain that I am the both the source and the dissolution.


Everything that exists is a product of matterand spirit. Spirit is the basic field of creation and matter is created by spirit. Spirit is not created at a certain stage of material development. This material world is manifested only on the basis of spiritual energy. This material body is developped on account of spirit being present within the matter. A child grows gradually to boyhood and then to manhood on account of that superior-energy-spirit-soul being present within matter. Similarly, the whole cosmic manifestation of the gigantic is developed on account of the  presence of the Supersoul, Vishnu. Therefore, all spirit and matter that are combined together to manifest this gigantic univversal form originate from the two energies of the Lord and as such the Lord is the original cause of everything. A fragmental part and parcel of the Lord namely the living entity may be the cause of a big skyscraper, a big fcatory or even a big cityor big body, but he cannot be the cause of a big universe. The cause of the big universe is the big soul or the Supersoul. And Krishna, the Supreme, is the cause of both the big and snall souls and as such He is the original cause of all causes, as confirmed in the Katha Upanishad (2.2.13). “Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam.”   

Text 7.7

O conqueror of wealth (Arjuna ), there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.


There is a common controversy over whether the Supreme Absolute Truth is a person or is impersonal. As far as the Bagavad-gita is concerned, the Absolute Truth is the Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna, confirmed in every step. In this particular verese it is finally confirmed that the Absolute Truth is a person. This Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Absolute Truth is also confirmed in the Brahma-samhita (5.1): “isvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah” i.e. the Supreme-Absolute-Truth-Personality-of-Godhead is Lord Krishna, Who is the primeval Lord, the reservoir of all pleasures, Govinda, and the eternal form of bliss and knowledge. There is no controversy therefore about the Absolute Truth being the Supreme Person, the cause of all causes.

But the impersonalist will argue on the on the strength of the Vedic version as it is stated in the Svetasvatara Upanishad (3.10): 

tato yad uttarataram tad arupam anamayam ya etad vidur

amrtas te bhavanti athetare duhkham evapiyanti.

“In the material world Brahma, the primeval living entity within the universe, is understood to be the supreme amongst the demigods, human beings and lower animals. But beyond Brahma there is the Transcendence, Who has no material form and is free from all material contaminations. Anyone who can know Him also becomes transcendental, while others who do not know Him suffer the miseries of the material world.”

The impersonalist gives more stress to the word “arupam.” But this “arupam” is not impersonal. It indicates the transcendental form of eternity, bliss and knowledge as described in the Brahma-samhita quoted above. This version of the Svetasvatara Upanishadis a confirmation of two other previous verses (3.8-9) as follows:

vedaham etam purusam mahantam
aditya-varnam tamasah parastat
tam eva viditvati mrtyum eti
nanyah pantha vidyate ‘yanaya

yasmat param naparam asti kincid
yasman naniyo no jyayo ‘sti kincit
vrksa iva stabdho divi tisthaty ekas
tenedam purnam purusena sarvam

“I know that Supreme Personality of Godhead, Who is transcendental to all material conceptions of darkness. Only he who knows Him can transcend the limits of birth and death. There is no other way for liberation than this knowledge of that Supreme Person.
“There is no truth superior to that Supreme Person, because He is the supermost. He is smaller than the smallest, and He is greater than the greatest. He is situated as a silent tree, and He illumines the transcendental sky, and as a tree spreads its roots, He spreads all over through His extensive energies.”

Therefore the conclusion is that the Supreme Absolute Truth is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and He is all-pervading by His multi-energies both material and spiritual as stated in the previous verses.

Text 7.8

O son of Kunti, I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, I am Omkara in the Vedic mantras, the sound in the sky and ability in humankind. 


This verse explains how the Lord is all-pervasive by His diverse material and spiritual energies. The Supreme Lord can be peliminarily perceived by His different energies. This perception of the energies of the Lord is the impersonal conception of the Supreme. As the sun god in the sun planet is a person and is perceived by his all pervading enrgy, the sunshine, similarly the Lord, although in His eternal abode can be perceived by His all-pervading diffusive energies.The taste of water is the active principle of water. Nobody likes to drink salted sea water because its pure taste of covered. Attraction for water depends on the taste and the taste is one of the energies of the Lord. The impersonalist perceives the presence of the Lord in water by its taste and the personalist also glorifies the Lord for His kindly supplying the tasty water to quench out thirst. That is the way or perceiving the Supreme. Practically speaking, there is no controversy between personalism and impersonalism. One who knows the matter well, knows that impersonal conception and personal conception are both simultaneously present in everything and that there is no controversy. Lord Caitanya therefore established His sublime doctrine of “acintya bheda and abheda tattva” or simultaneously one and different philosophical doctrine. The light of the sun and the moon are also originally emanating from the Brahma-jyoti, which is the personal effulgence of the Lord. Similarly pranava or the Omkara transcendental sound in the beginning of every Vedic hymn is also adressing the Supreme Lord. The impersonalists are very much afraid of addressing the Supreme Lord Krishna by His innumerable names and they prefer to vibrate the transcendental sound Omkara, without knowing that Omkara is the sound representation of Krishna. Nobody can go beyond the jurisdiction of Krishna consciousness, but one who knows Krishna consciousness is blessed while others who do not know what is Krishna consciousness are in illusion. Therefore knowledge is liberation, while ignorance is bondage. 

Text 7.9

I am the original flavor of the earth, I am the heat in fire, I am the life of every living entity, and I am the  penance of all ascetics.


“Punya” means that which is not decomposed. “Punya” means original. In everything in the material world there is a flavor, just as we have flavor and fragrance in the flower, similarly even in earth, in water, in fire, in air there is a flavor. The uncontaminated flavor, the original flavor which is invested within everything, is Krishna. Similarly, everything has a particular original taste, which we can change by the mixture of chemicals. So everything original has some taste smell, some fragrance, and similarly it has some taste. “Vibhavasu” means fire. Without fire we cannot do anything, even in the modern civilization. Without fire we cannot have any power, we cannot run our factories, we cannot cook. For so many things we depend on fire and that fire is Krishna. The heat in the fire is Krishna. According to Vedic medicine, indigestion is due to a low temperature within the belly. So even for digestion we require fire, therefore there is fire. In Krishna consciousness we become aware that earth, water, fire, air and every active principle–all chemicals and all material elements– are due to Krishna. The duration of life is due to Krishna. Therefore by the grace of Krishna we can prolong our life or we can diminish our life. So, in every sphere we have Krishna consciousness.

Text 7.10

O son of Pritha, know that I am the original seed of every living entity, that I am the intelligence of the intelligent, and that I am the prowess of all powerful men. 


“Bijam” means seed. Krishna is the seed of everything. There are different kinds of living entities, moving or stationary. Birds, beasts and humans are moving and there are other living creatures like trees and plants which cannot move, they only stand. Every entity is accounted for in the 8 400 000 species of life. Some of them are moving and others are not moving, but the seed of their life is Krishna. As it is stated in the Vedic literature (Taittiriya Upanishad 3.1) “yato va imani bhutani jayante”: Brahman or the Supreme Absolute Truth, is that fom Whom everything is emanating. Krishna is Parabrahman.  Brahman is impersonal and Parabrahman is personal. The impersonal Brahman is situated in the personal Brahman as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita (14.27): brahmano hi pratisthaham. Therefore, originally Krishna is the source of everything. He is the root. As the root of a tree maintains the whole tree, similarly, Krishna, being the original root of all things, is maintaining everthing in this material manifestation. This is also confirmed in the Vedic literature (Katha Upanishad 2.2.13):

nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam
eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman

He is the prime eternal among all eternals. He is the supreme living entity of all living entities, and He alone is maintaining all these living entities. One cannot do anything without intelligence, and Krsna also says that He is the root of all intelligence. Unless a person is intelligent he cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna.

Text 7.11

GAP IN OT copies 

Partial Purport to 7.13

Therefore those who are bewildered by these three modes of material nature cannot understand that transcendental to this material mode of nature, there is the Supreme Lord, Krishna.

Under the influence of material nature every living entity has got a particular type of body and according to that particular type of body he has a particular type of psychological and biological actiiities.There are four classes of men functioning under the influence of the three material modes of nature. Those who are purily in the mode of goodness are called Brahmins. Those who are in the mode of passion are called ksatriyas. Those who are in the mixed modes of passion and ignorance are called vaishyas. And those who are completely in ignorance are called sudras. And those who are less than that are animals or animal life. In this way we all have got a temporary body. I may be a Brahmin, a ksatriya,  a vaishya or whatever, in any case this life is temporary. But although life is temporary, we do not know what we are going to be in our next life. Still under the spell of this illusory energy, we accept ourselves in terms of his bodily conception of life and we think we are American or Indian or Russian or Australian, or Brahmin, Hindu or Muslim. If we become busy with these modes of material nature,  then we are forgetful of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Who is behind all these modes of material nature. So Lord Krishna says that deluded by these three kinds of material modes they do not try to understand that in the background there is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

There are many different kinds of living entities, human beings, demigods, animals and each and everyone of them is under the influence………


Purport 7.14

As we have already discussed, both the material nature and the spiritual nature, being emanations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead both are eternal. The eternal living entity, although superior spiritual nature of the Lord is put into eternal illusion on account of being contaminated by the inferior nature. The conditioned souls are therefore called “nitya-baddha” or eternally conditoned. Nobody can trace out the history of his becoming coditioned at a certain time in thematerial history. As such this rescue from the clutches of the material nature, although inferior, is very difficult. It is difficult because the material nature is ulimately conducted by the supreme will back ground of the material nature. Inferior material nature is defined herein as the divine nature on account of her divine connection and movement by the by the divine will. Being conducted by the divine will the material nature, although inferior acts so wonderfully in the matter of construction and destruction of the cosmic manifestation. The Vedas confirm it as follows: mayam tu prakrtim vidyan mayinam tu mahesvaram. “Although maya or illusion is false or temporary, the background of maya is the Supreme-Magician-Personality-of-Godhead, Who is Mahesvara, the supreme controller.” (Svetasvatara Upanisad 4.10).

Another meaning of “guna” is rope. Therefore it is to be understood that the conditoned soul is tightly knoted by the ropes of illusion. A man tied up by the hands and feet cannot rescue himself from the binding without being helped by another person who is not similarly conditioned. One person similarly tied up by the hands and legs cannot release another friend also tightly tied up by the hands and feet. The helping person must be liberated. Therefore Lord Krishna or His bona fide representative, the spiritual master can only release the condioned soul. Without such superior help nobody can be free from the influence of the material nature. Therefore devotional service or Krishna consciousness can alone help one for such release. Krishna being the Lord of such illusory energy, can order the insurmountable energy to release te condioned soul, out of His causeless mercy upon the surrendered soul, on account of His paternal affection upon the the living entity, who is originally a beloved son of the Lord. Therefore surrender unto the lotus feet of the Lord is the only means for getting freedom from the clutches of the stringent material nature. For a surrendered soul, this ocean of illusion is likened to the hole caused by a cow’s hoof.

The words “man eva” is significant. “mam” means unto Krishna only or Vishnu, and not Brahma or Shiva. Although Brahma and Shiva are greatly elevated, almost on the level of Vishnu, it is not possible for such incarnations of raja-guna and tama-guna to give release to the conditione soul from the clutches of maya. In other words, both Brahma and Shiva are also under the influence of such maya. Only Vishnu is the master of maya and therefore He alone can give release to the conditioned soul. The Vedas ( Svetastara Upanishad 3.8) confirm it as “tam eva viditva” or feedom is possible only by understanding Krishna consciousness. Even Lord Shiva affirms it that liberation can be achieved by the mercy of Vishnu only. Lord Shiva says:”Mukti pradata sarvesam vishnur eva na samsaya” or “There is no doubt that Vishnu is the deliverer of liberation for everyone.”

Text 7.15

Being over taken by their atheistic nature, the miscreant, the grossly foolish, the lowest of mankind and those whose knowledge is nullified, do not surrender unto Me.


It is said in Bhagavad-gita that simply by surrendering oneself unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead one can surmount the stringent laws of material nature. And therefore a question arises here: How is it that educated philosophers, scientists, businessmen, administrators and all such men who are practically the heads and leaders of ordinary men do not surrender to the lotus feet of Sri Krsna, the all-powerful Personality of Godhead? Mukti, or liberation from the laws of material nature, is sought by all of the above mentioned heads of human beings in different ways and with great plans and perseverance for a great many years and births. If that liberation is possible by the simple method of surrendering unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then why don’t the leaders of society who are intelligent and hard-working adopt this simple method of solving all the hardknot problems which are presented before them?

In this statement, the Bhagavad-gita gives a very frank answer to this question. The answer is that those who are really learned leaders of society like Brahma, Shiva, Kapila, the Kumaras, Manu, Narada, Vyasa, Devala, Asita, Janaka, Prahlada, Bali and later on Madhvacarya, Ramanujacarya, Sri Caitanya and many others who are in the line, who are faithful philosophers, politicians, educationists, scientists, etc., do certainly surrender to the lotus feet of the Supreme Person, the all-powerful authority. But those who are not actually so, but pose themselves as such philosophers, scientists, educationists, administrators etc, out of mental concoction, do not accept the plan or path of the Supreme Lord, such false leaders, who have no meaning for God, manufacture their own worldly plans and make the problems of material existence more difficult in the name of making a solution for them. Because the material energy is so powerful, she can resist the unauthorised plans of the atheists and nullify the  knowledge of the plannig commissions into baffled adventures.

Such atheistic plan makers have been described herein by the word “duskritinah” ot the miscreants. “Kriti” means one who has performed meritorious work. The atheist planmaker is certainly very intelligent and meritorious also, because any gigantic plan, good ot bad, must tax the brain for its execution. Because the atheist’s brain is utilized in the wrong direction, against the plan of the Lord, the atheistic planmaker is called “duskritinah” or the one whose merit is applied in the wrong direction. In the Bhagavad-gita it is clearly mentioned that the material energy works fully under the direction of the Supreme Lord. She has no independent authority. She works like the shadow moves in accordance with the movements of the object. But still she is very powerful. As such the atheist due to his godless temperament cannot know how the material nature works. Neither can he know the plan of the Supreme Lord. Under such illusion and modes of passion and ignorance, all his plans become baffled as in the case of Hiranyakasipu and Ravana. All their plans were smashed into dust, athough both of them were materially learned as scientists, philosophers, administrators, and educationists. Such duskritina or miscreants are of four different patterns as mentioned below.

1 ) The mudhas are those who are grossly foolish like the hardworking beasts of burden. They want to enjoy the fruits of their labor by themselves and so do not want to part with them for the Supreme. The typical example of the beast of burden is the ass. This humble beast is made to work very hard by the illusory method of his master, the washerman. The ass does not know for whom he works so hard day and night. He remains satisfied by filling his stomach with a bundle of grass, sleeping for a while under fear under fear of being beaten by his master, and satisfying his sex appetite even at the risk of being repeatedly kicked by the opposite party. The ass sings poetry and philosophy sometimes, creating a rabid disturbance to the whole quarter. That is the position of the foolish fruitive worker who dos not know for whom he shoud work. He does not know that karma is meant for Yajna.

Whenever you meet such foolish workers, working very hard day and night for clearing the burden of self-created duties, yo will find him saying that he has no time to hear anything about the immortal part of the living being. To such mudhas, material gains, wich are destructible, are all in all, although the nudha enjoys a very small fraction of the fruit of his labor, Such foolish fruitive worker will remain satisfied even without sleeping for days and months together, and due to some indigestive disease will remain satisfied practically without food and yet he would like to work hard day and night for the benefit of his created masters at home and abroad. Without the knowledge of his real master, the foolish worker will waste his valuable time for something which is not his real master. That is his illusion and he will never surrender to the Supreme Master of all masters, neither he will have time to hear about his real master in the proper channel. The swine who eats the night soil will not care to accept sweet meats made of sugar and ghee. Such foolish worker will go on hearingg continuously sense enjoyable tidings of the flickering mundane world, but will have little time to hear about the eternal living force that moves the material world. 

2) The next class of duskritinah or miscreants is called the “naradhama” ot the lowest of mankind. Nara means the human being and “adhama” means the lowest. Out of the 8 400 000 different species of living being, there are 400 000 of human species. Out of them there are innumerable low grade human forms of life who are mostly uncivilized and there are only a very few classes of men who are actually civilized. The civilized human beings are those who have regulated principles of social, political and religious life . Those who are socially and politically developed but have no religious principles must be counted among the naradhamas. Religion without God is no religion because the purpose of following religious principles is to know the Supreme Truth and our relationship with Him. In the Bhagavad-gita, the Personality of Godhead has clearly defined that there is nothing above His authority and therefore He is the Supreme Truth. The civilized form of human life is meant for reviving the lost consciousness of one’s eternal relation with the Supreme Truth, the Personality of Godhead who is all-powerful. The civilized human form of life is a chance to go back to godhead and whoever loses this chance is classified as a naradhama. We get information from the revealed scriptures that when the baby remains in the womb of the mother , an extremely difficult position with no moving facility, the living baby prays to God for his deliverance and promises to worship Him alone as soon as he gets out. To pray to God when in difficulty, is the natural instinct of every living being, because he is eternall related with God. But influenced by maya, the illusory energy, the child after his deliverance forgets the difficulty of birth and forgets his deliverer also.

It is the duty of the guardians of children to revive the divine consciousness dormant in them. The ten processes of reformatory ceremonies, as enjoined in the Manu-smriti, which is the guide to religious principles are meant for reviving God consciounsess in the system of Varnashrama. But no process is strictly followed now in any part of the world and therefore ninety nine percent of the population is naradhama.

When the whole population as above mentioned become identified with the naradhama, naturally all their so-called education is made null and void by the all-powerful energy of physical nature. According to the standard of the Bhagavad-gita, a learned fellow is he who sees on equal terms the learned Brahmin, the dog, the cow, the elephant, and the chandala. That is the vision of a devotee. Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Who is the incarnation of Godhead as divine master, delivered the typical naradhamas, the brothers Jagai and Madhai, and showed how the mercy of the real devotee is bestowed upon the lowest of the mankind. So the naradhama who is condemned by the Personality of  Godhead, can again revive his spiritual consciousness only by the mercy of a devotee.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in the mode of propagating the Bhagavad-dharma, or the activities of the devotees, has recommended people to hear submissively the message of the Personality of Godhead. The primary book is this message of Bhagavad-gita. He can deliver the lowest of the human beings by this submissve hearing process only. But unfortunately they deny to give even an aural reception to these messaages and what to speak of surrendering to the will of the Supreme Lord? The Naradhamas, or the lowest of mankind, make a willful negligence of the duty of the human being.

3 ) The nest class of duskritina or miscreant is called mayayapahrita -jnana or the persons whose all erudite knowledge has been nullified by the influence of the illusory material energy. They are mostly very learned fellows in the wrong direction. They are great philosophers, poets, literati, scientists etc, but the illusory energy misguides them into the wrong direction and therefore they have no obedience to the Supreme Lord. There are a great number of mayayapahrita-jnanah at the present moment, even amongst the regular scholars of the Bhagavad-gita. In the Bhagavad-gita, in plain and simple language, it is stated that Sri Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is none equal to or greater than Him. He is mentioned as the father of Brahma, the original father of all human beings. Sri Krishna is said to be not only the father of Brahma, but also the father of all species of life. He is the root of the impersonal Brahman and the Paramatma or the Supersoul in every entity in His plenary portion. He is the fountainhead of everything. Everyone is advised to surrender unto the lotus feet of Sri Krishna. In spite of all these clear statement the mayayapahrita-jnana create their own imaginative way. Such ways of explanations are all unauthorised because they are not received in the real parampara line of disciplic succession. Such mayayaparhrita-jnanah are described as mudhas also because they deride the person of the Supreme Lord for His feature as a human being. They do not know that the blessed human form of life is designed after the eternal and transcendental feature of the Supreme Lord.

All such unauthorised interpretation by the class of mayayapahrita-jnana outside the purview of the parampara, are so many stumbling blocks on the path of spiritual understanding. Such naradhamas do not surrender unto the lotus feet of Sri Krishna, nor do they teach others to follow such principles.

4 ) The last class of duskritina is called asuram bhavam ashrita or the man of demoniac principles. In other words, this class is outright atheistic. Some of them argue that the Supreme Lord can never come down to this material world. But they are to give any tangible reason as to why He is not so enabled by the desire of an atheist. There are others who will make Him subordinate to the impersonal feature, although the Bhagavad-gita says the contrary. Envious of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the atheist will present a number of illicit incarnations manufactured in the factory of his imaginative brain. Such persons whose very principle of life is to decry the Personality of Godhead cannot surrender unto the lotus feet of Sri Krishna.

Sri Yamunacharya Alabandaru of South India said: “O my Lord, You are unknowable to persons taken up by the atheistic principles, inspite of your uncommon qualities, features and activities, inspite of Your personality being strongly confirmed by all the revealed scriptues in the quality of goodness, and in spite of your being acknowledged by the famous authorities renowned for their depth of knowledge in the transcendental science and situated in the godly qualities.”

Therefore,  1) the miscreants, 2) the grossly foolish persons, 3) the lowest among mankind, 4) the atheistic principled people , as above mentioned, never surrender unto the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead in spite of all scriptural and authoritative support to the fact. In other words persons who do not recognize the supreme authority of the Lord must belong to one of the above groups.

Text 7.16

O best among the Bharatas, four kinds of pious men begin their devotional service unto Me, the distressed, those in need of money, the inquisitive or those searching after the knowledge of the Absolute, 


As described in the previous verse, there are four kinds of miscreants who do not surrender to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But there are others, who are not miscreants but are adherents to the regulative principles according to the scriptues and hey are called sukritina, or obeing the rules and regulations of the different status and order of social requirements as well as morality and social laws. They are more or less devoted to the Suppreme Lord. Out of them there are four classes of men, who are sometimes distressed, in need of money and sometimes inquisitive and sometimes are searching for knowledge of the Absolute Truth. Such persons come to the Supreme Lord for devotional service. These four kinds of devotees are not pure devotees, because they have some aspiration to fulfill in devotional service. Pure devotional service is without aspiration and without any desire for material profit. In the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.1.11) the definition of pure devotion is given as follows: 

anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam
anukulyena krsnanu- silanam bhaktir uttama
( also quoted in Cc. Madhya 19.167)

“When  first class transcendental devotional service develops, one becomes free from all desires for material profit, fruitive activities and speculative knowledge.The devotee must constantly serve Krishna favorably, as He desires. That is called pure devotional service.”

These four kinds of persons who come to the Supreme Lord for devotional service also become pure devotees, when they are completely purified by the association of a pure devotee. So far the miscreants are concerned, for them devotional service is very difficult because their life is selfish, irregular and without any goal for perfection. By chance, some of them, when they come in contact with a pure devotee, they also become devotees. Those who are always busy with fruitve activities, when they are distressed and achieve the assocation of a pure devotee, in their distress they also be devotees of the Lord. Those who are simply frustrated, sometimes in the association of a pure devotee, become inquisitive to know about God. Similarly those who are not satisfied and frustrated in every field of knowledge, they sometimes want to find out either by imagination or by instruction of the scripture whether there is somebody who is God, they also come to the Supreme Lord for rendering service. But on the whole when they transcend knowledge of the impersonal Brahman and the localized Paramatma as incomplete and come to the personal conception of Godhead either by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead or by His pure devotee, when their illusory covering is removed, they also come  to the Supreme Personality of Godhead for rendering transcendental loving service. On the whole,when the distressed, the inquisitive and the seeker of knowledge and those who are in need of money are free from all material desires and when they fully understand that material remunaration has no value for spiritual imprvement, the they actually become pure devotees. As long as such purified stage is not attained, devotees in transcendental service to the Lord are mixed with fuitive activitie and with speculative knowledge and are tained with the time-serving mentality. So one has to transcend this time serving mentality before one can come to the pure stage of devotional service. 

Text 7.17

Out of the four pious conditioned devotees, the one who acquires full knowledge and becomes situated in pure devotional service, he is most dear to Me. Such a devotee is always engaged for the Supreme Lord and the Supreme Lord is very dear to him.


Free from all contaminations of material desires, the distressed, the inquisitive, those who are in need of money and the seeker of knowledge of the Supreme, all become pure devotees. But out of them, those who are knowledge of the Absolute Truth and free from all contaminations of material desires, they have really become pure devotees of the Lord. And out of the four orders, the devotee who is full knowledge and is at the same time engaged in devotional service, the Lord say that he is the best. The purport is that by search of knowledge one comes to realize that his self is different from the material body, through further advancement one comes to the knowledge of impersonal Brahman, Paramatma. When one is fully realized he comes to the pure stage of constitutitonal existence as the eternal servant of God. So by association with pure devotees, each one of them, the inquisitive, the distressed, the seeker of material amelioration and the seeker of knowledge, all become pure devotees. But in the preparatory stage, out of the four, he who is in full knowledge of the Supreme Lord and  at the same time executing devotional service, he is very dear to the Lord. He who is situated in pure knowledge of the transcendence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, becomes so protected in devotional service that nothing of the material contamination can touch him.

Text 7.18

All the above mentioned four types of devotees are undoubtedly maganimous souls, but out of them one who is situated in knowledge of Me, he is considered to be the best. He is situated in his transcendental position and therefore he is sure to attain Me.

It is not that other devotees who are not in full knowledge are not dear to the Lord. The Lord says that they are all magnanimous, because anyone who comes to the Lord for any purpose, because he comes to the Lord therefore he is called mahatma or magnanimous.The devotees who want some benefit out of devotional service are accepted by the Lord, because there is some exchange of affection. Out of affection they ask from the Lord some material benefit, and when they get it they become so much satisfied that they also advance in devotional service. The devotee in full knowledge is considered to be very dear to the Lord because he has no other purpose than to serve the Supreme Lord with love and devotion. Such a devotee cannot live a second without contact or service of the Supreme Lord. Similarly  the Supreme Lord is also very anxious for thee devotee and cannot be separated from such pure devotee. In the Vedic literatures, Srimad-Bhagavatam ( 9.4.68) the Lord says:

sadhavo hrdayam mahyam sadhunam hrdayam tv aham
mad-anyat te na jananti naham tebhyo manag api

“The devotees are always in My heart, and I am always in the hearts of the devotees. The devotee does not know anything beyond Me, and I also cannot forget the devotee. There is a very intimate relationship between Me and the pure devotees. Pure devotees in full knowledge are never out of spiritual touch, and therefore they are very much dear to Me.”

Text 7.19

After many, many births, one who is actually in knowledge of the Supreme Lord and surrenders unto Him with conclusion that Lord Sri Krishna is the cause of all causes, such a mahatma is very rare.


The living entities while executing devotional service or transcendental performances, after many, many birth may actually become situated in transcendental knowledge that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the ultimate goal of spiritual realization. In the beginning of spiritual realization, while just trying to give up attachment to material connection, there is some leaning towards impersonalism, because impersonalism is something like the opposite number of material activities. Therefore the beginners more or less pass to impersonalism. When they are far advanced then they can understand that there are activities in the spiritual life and that activities are called devotional service. Knowing that, they become attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and surrender to Him. Lord Sri Krishna’s mercy is everything. He is he cause of all causes. At that time the devotee understands that this material manifestation is not independent. It is a perverted reflection of the spiritual variegatedness and in everything there is relationship with the Supreme Lord Krishna. As such they think everything in relationtionship to Vasudeva or Sri Krishna. Such vision of the relationship with Vasudeva in everywhere and full surrender to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the highest goal, Such great souls are very rare to be seen. This verse is very nicely explained in the third chapter, verse 14 and 15 of the Svetasvatara Upanishad:

sahasra-sirsa purusah sahasraksah sahasra-pat
sa bhumim visvato vrtva- tyatisthad dasangulam
purusa evedam sarvam yad bhutam yac ca bhavyam
utamrtatvasyesano yad annenatirohati

“Lord Visnu has thousands of heads, thousands of eyes and thousands of feet. Entirely encompassing the whole universe, He still extends beyond it by ten fingers’ breadth. He is in fact this entire universe. He is all that was and all that will be. He is the Lord of immortality and of all that is nourished by food.” In the Chandogya Upanisad (5.1.15) it is said, na vai vaco na caksumsi na srotrani na manamsity acaksate prana iti evacaksate prano hy evaitani sarvani bhavanti: “In the body of a living being neither the power to speak, nor the power to see, nor the power to hear, nor the power to think is the prime factor; it is the life air which is the center of all activities.” Similarly what one can see superficially is not important, except that Lord Vasudeva, or the Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krsna, is the prime entity in everything. And be cause Vasudeva is all-pervading and everything is Vasudeva, the devotee surrenders in full knowledge. (cf Bhagavad-gita 7.17 and 11.40)

Text 7.20

Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto other demigods and following the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own nature, remain fixed up in that way.


Those who are freed from all material contaminations surrender unto the Supreme Lord and are engaged in devotional of the Supreme Lord. As long as the material contamination is not completely washed off, up to that time they are by nature nondevotees. Even those who have material desires to fulfill and resort to the Supreme Lord are not so much attracted by the external nature, because such persons approach the right goal, therefore very soon they become free from all material lust. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is recommended that wether one is free from all material desire or is full of material desires or desires liberation from material contamination or is a pure devotee without any desire for material sense gratification, all are recommended to surrender to Vasudeva and worship Him. It is said in the Bhagavatam (2.3.10) that less intelligent people who have lost their spiritual sense take shelter of little demigods for immediate fulfillment of material desires. Generally such people do not go to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.The reason is that they are situated in particular modes of nature of passion and ignorance and therefore take to the worship of various demigods and follow the rules and regulations and become satisfied. The little worshipers of other demigods are motivated by small desires and do not know how to reach the supreme goal. Therefore a devotee of the Supreme Lord is not misguided. In the Vedic literatures there is recommendation for worshiping different gods for different purposes.For example a diseased man is recommended to woship the sun. So those who are not devotees of the Lord think that for curing disease, the sun is better than the supreme Lord. But a pure devotee knows that the Supeme Lord Krishna is the master of all devotees. In the Caitanya Caritamrita (Adi 5.142)

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partial Purport of 7.21

If a person wants very sincerely to have facilities for material enjoyment from the material demigods, the Supreme Lord, as Supersoul sitting in everyone’s heart understands and gives facilitiess to such persons to have the desired result by His arrangement. As supreme father of all living entities, He does not interfere with the independence of the living entities, rather He gives them all facilities so that they can fulfill their material desires. Some may argue that if God is all-powerful why should He give facilities to the living entities for enjoying this material world and let them fall into the trap of the illusory energy. The answer is that if the Supreme Lord as Supersoul does not give such facilities to the living entities then there is no meaning to independence. Therefore He gives full independence –whatever one likes–but in His ultimate instruction, as we find in the Bhagavad-gita, God advises everyone that they should give up all other engagements and should fully surrender unto Him. That will makes them happy. As such the desire of the living entity to worship other demigods is also developed by the Supreme Lord as Supersoul and He also arranges for such worship of demigods. Both the living entity and the demigods are subordinate to the will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore the living entity cannot worship the demigods by his own desire and the demigod cannot bestow any benediction without the supreme will. Not a blade of grass moves without the will of the Supreme Lord. So it is a fact that neither the living entity nor the demigod can function without the will of the will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, generally persons who are distressed in the material world, go to the demigods as they are advised in the Vedic literature. A person desiring some particular thing may worship such and such demogod. For example, a diseased person is recommended to worship the sun, a person wanting education may worship the goddess of learning Sarasvati, a person wanting a beautiful wife may worship may worship the goddess Uma, the wife of Lord Shiva. In this way there are recommendations in the Shastras for different modes of worship for different demigods and because a particular living entity wants to enjoy a particular material facility, the Lord inspires him to achieve that benediction from that particular demigod and he becomes successful in receiving the benediction. The particular modes of devotional attitude of the living entity for a particular type of demigod is the arrangement of the Supreme Lord. The demigod cannot infuse the living entity with such affinity but because He is the Supreme Lord or the Supersoul who is present in the heart of all living entities, He endows and gives impetus for the strong inclination to worship that demigod. The demigods are just like different parts of the universal body of the Supreme Lord, therefore they have no independence. In the Vedic it is mentioned “The Supreme Personality of Godhead as Supersoul is also present within the heart of the demigod ; therefore He arranges through the demigod to fulfill he desire of the living entity. But both the demigod and the living are dependent on the supreme will. They are not independent.”

Text 7.22  

As such the living entity desires to worship a particular type of demigod and also achieve the result. That is arranged by Me.


The demigods cannot award any benedictions to their devotees without the permission of the Supreme Lord. The living entity may forget that everything is the property of the Supreme Lord, but the demigods do not forget. Therefore the demigods cannot award benedictions independently. So the worship of demigods and achievement of the different results is not due to the demigod, but it is due to arrangement of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The less intelligent living entity does not know this, therefore foolishly he goes to the demigods for some particular benefit. But the pure devotees, even in need of anything, do not go to any demigod for fullfilment of some particular purpose. They prefer to pray to the Supreme Lord for such benefit, even though such asking for material benefit is not the sign of a pure devotee. As described in the beginning, the living entity is mad after fulfilling his lust and therefore he goes to different types of demigods, because something undue desired by the living entity is not fulfilled by the Supreme Lord. In the Caitanya Caritamrita, it is said that one who worships the Supreme Lord and at the same time wants to have material enjoyment is contradictory in his desires. Devotional service to the Supreme Lord  and achievements obtained by worshiping a demigod cannot be equal because the achievement received from a demigod is material and the devotional service to the Supreme Lord is completely spiritual.

As such for the living entity who desires to go back to Godhead, such material desires are contradictory. A pure devotee of the Lord is therefore not awarded the material benefits desired by less intelligent living entities, who prefer to worship demigods of the material world rather than engage themselves in the devotional service of the Supreme Lord.

Text 7.23

The less intelligent persons, who worship other demigods achieve only limited results, because those who worship demigods can go to the different panets of the demigods, whereas the devotee of the Supreme Lord ultimately reaches the supreme planet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


There are some less intelligent commentators on the Bhagavad-gita, who give their opinion that anyone may worship any kind of demigod and he will reach the Supreme Lord. But here from this verse of the Bhagavad-gita, it appears that this is not a fact. It is clearly stated here that the worshipers of different demigods go to different planetary systems where different demigods are situated, just as a worshiper of the sun can achieve the sun planet, similarly a worshiper of the demigod of the moon can achieve the moon planet. Similarly if anyone wants to worship some other demigods like Indra, he can achieve that particular planet. It is not that all of them, whatever form of demigods they are worshipping will reach the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is contradicted here. It is clearly stated that the worshipers of demigods can go to different planets in the material world, but the devotee of the Supreme Lord does not go to any other planet but he does directly to the supreme planet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Here the question may be raised: if the demigods are different parts of the body of the Supreme Lord, why the same results should not be achieved? The answer is that the worsippers of the demigods are less intelligent. They do not know that these demigods are different parts of the universal body of the Supreme Lord. Their foolishness makes them believe that each and very demigod is a separate part and competitor of the Supreme Lord. Due to their less intelligence that do not understand that they are simply different parts of the universal body of the Supreme Lord. The worshipers of the demigods do not understand to which part of the body food has to be supplied.

Not only the demigods but all living entities are parts of the Supreme Lord. In the Srimad Bhagavatam it is stated that the Brahmins are the face of the Supreme Lord, the ksatriyas are the arms of the Supreme Lord, the vaishyas are the waist and the sudras are the legs of the Supreme Lord. As there are different parts of the body, similarly there are diferent functions associated. If all of us, regardless of our particular condition, know that both the demigods and he himself are part and parcels of the Supreme Lord, we have achieved perfect knowledge. Failing which, he achieves different planets of the demigods. This is not the same destination the devotee reaches.

The result achieved by the benediction awarded by the demigods are perishable because within this material world both the planets and the demigods are all perishable as much as is t he worshipers of the demigods. Therefore it is clearly stated in this verse that all the results achieved by worshiping demigods are perishable, therefore such worship is performed by the less intelligent living entity. The pure devotee who is engaged  in devotional service of the Supreme Lord, in Krishna consciousness, achieves eternal life, eternal blissful existence full of knowledge. Therefore their achievements and those of the common worshipers of demigods are not equal. The Supreme Lord is unlimited, His favor is unlimited, His mercy is unlimited. Therefore the persons who are engaged in Krishna consciousness and desiring some mercy from the Supreme Lord, their results are also unlimited.  

Text 7.24  

The less intelligent impersonalist also do not know Me perfectly. They think that I, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, was impersonal before and now I have assumed this personality. This conclusion is due to their poor fund of knowledge. They do not know My higher nature which is imperishable and supreme.


Those who are worshipers of demigods have been described a less intelligent persons. Not only the worshippers of demigods but even the impersonalists who do not believe in the personal existence of the Supreme Lord are also less intelligent. Lord Krishna in His personal form is speaking before Arjuna and still due to their poor fund of knowledge they will argue that ultimately the Supreme Lord has no form. A great devotee of the Lord known as Yamunacharya, in the disciplic sucession of Ramanujacarya has recited one very nice verse in this connection. He says:

tvam sila-rupa-caritaih parama-prakrstaih
sattvena sattvikataya prabalais ca sastraih
prakhyata-daiva-paramartha-vidam matais ca
naivasura-prakrtayah prabhavanti boddhum

“My dear Lord, personalities and devotees like Vyasadeva and Narada know You to be the Personality of Godhead. By understanding different Vedic literatures, one can come to know Your characteristics, Your form and Your activities, and one can thus understand that You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But those who are in the modes of passion and ignorance, called asuras, the nondevotees, cannot understand You. They are unable to understand You. However expert such nondevotees may be in discussing Vedanta and the Upanisads and other Vedic literatures, it is not possible for them to understand the Personality of Godhead.” (Stotra-ratna 12)

In the Brahma-samhita it is stated that the Personality of Godhead is not understood simply by studying the Vedic literatures. Only by the mercy of the Supreme Lord can the Personality of the Supreme be known. Therefore in this verse of the Bhagavad-gita it is clearly stated that not only the worshipers of other demigods are less intelligent, but those who are not devotees but are engaged in study of Vedanta and other Vedic literatures, without any tinge of Krisnha consciousness are also less intelligent and for them it is not possible to understand God’s personal nature. Such less intelligent persons who are under the impression that the Absolute Truth is impersonal are described as “abhuddhaya,” which means one who does not know actually the ultimate feature of the Absolute Truth. In the Srimad -Bhagavatam it is stated that the supreme realization begins frothe impersonal Brahman, then rises up to the localized Supersoul. But the ultimate last truth inthe Absolute Truth is the Personality of Godhead.

Modern impersonalists are still less intelligent, for they do not even follow Sankaracharya, who has admitted that Lord Sri Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He has specifically mentioned that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Impersonalists therefore, without knowing the Supreme Truth, think Krihsna tobe the son of Devaki and Vasudeva, or a prince, or some powerful living entity. This sort of idea is also condemned in the Bhagavad-gita (9.11): “Avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam: “Only the fools regard Me as an ordinary person.”
The fact is that no one can understand Krsna without rendering devotional service and without developing Krsna consciousness. The Bhagavatam (10.14.29) confirms this:

athapi te deva padambuja-dvaya-
prasada-lesanugrhita eva hi
janati tattvam bhagavan-mahimno
na canya eko ‘pi ciram vicinvan

“My Lord, if one is favored by even a slight trace of the mercy of Your lotus feet, he can understand the greatness of Your personality. But those who speculate to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead are unable to know You, even though they continue to study the Vedas for many years.”

Nobody can understand the Supreme Personality, Krishna or His form, quality or name simply b mental speculation or by discussing Vedic literature. One can understand Him simply by devotional service. When is fully engaged in Krishna consciousness, begining by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra–Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, it is then and then only that we can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Non devotees impersonalists think that Krishna has a body made of this material nature and all His activities and His form and everything are maya. The impersonalists are know as Mayavadis. They do not know the ultimate truth.

The beginning of the twentieth clearly states, kamais tais tair hrta-jnanah prapadyante ‘nya-devatah. Those who are blinded by their lusty desires surrender unto the different demigods. It is accepted that there are different demigods besides the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The twenty third verse states the same demigods have their different planets and the Lord has a different planet. It is stated, .devan deva-yajo yanti mad-bhakta yanti mam api:the worshipers of the demigods go to the different planets of the demigods and those who are devotees of Lord Krishna go to Krishna loka. It is clearly stated, but the foolish impersonalists will say that the Lord is formless and that these forms are impositions. Does it appear from the study of the Bhagavad-gita that demigods mentioned and their abodes are  impersonal? At least we do not think that they are impersonal. Neither are the demigods impersonal nor is Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead impersonal. They are all persons. The only difference is that Lord Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and He has His own planet, as the other demigods have theirs. Therefore the monist’s contention that the ultimate truth is formless and that the form is something imposed does not hold true. It is not imposed. This is clearly stated here. Impersonalists say that all forms of God are different impositions on the form of the ultimate reality which is impersonal. From the Bhagavad-gita we can clearly understand that the forms of the demigods and the forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are simultaneously existing. The difference is that the Lord is sac-cid-ananda or His form is eternal, blissful knowledge. The Vedas confirm that the Supreme Absolute Truth is knowledge and blissful pleasure, vijnanam anandam brahma (Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad 3.9.28), and that He is the reservoir of unlimited auspicious qualities, ananta-kalyana-gunatmako ‘sau (Visnu Purana 6.5.84). And in the Gita the Lord says that although He is aja (unborn), He still appears. These are the facts that we should understand from the Bhagavad-gita. We cannot understand how the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be impersonal; the imposition theory of the impersonalist monist is at least useless as far as the statements of the Gita are concerned. It is clear herein that the Supreme Absolute Truth, Lord Krsna, has both form and personality.

Text 7.25

I am never manifest to the foolish and the less intelligent impersonalists because for them I am covered by my internal potency and therefore they do not know that I am unborn and infallible. 


It may be argued that when Krishna was present on this earth, He was visible to everyone, then how can it be said that He was not manifest to everyone? Actually He was not manifest to everyone. When Krishna was present there were only a small number of persons who could understand Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In the assembly of the Kurus, when Sisupala spoke against Krishna being elected the president of the assembly, Bhisma supported Him and proclaimed Him to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Similarly, the Pandavas and a few others knew that He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But no others. He was covered to the nondevotees and the common man. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gita you will see that the Supreme Lord Krishna says that except for His devotees,  all of them considered Him to be a common man like themselves. He was manifest to His devotees only as the reservoir of pleasure. But to others, as well as to the less intelligent nondevotees He was covered by the internal potency of the Supreme Lord. In the prayers of Kunti in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.8.19), it is said that the Lord is covered by the curtain of yoga-maya and thus ordinary people cannot understand Him. This yoga-maya curtain s also confirmed in the Isopanishad, mantra 15, in which the devotee prays:

hiranmayena patrena satyasyapihitam mukham 

tat tvam pusann apavrnu satya-dharmaya drstaye

“O my Lord, You are the maintainer of the entire universe, and Your devotional service is the highest form of religious principle. Therefore, I pray that You will also maintain me. Your transcendental form is covered by the yoga-maya. The brahma-jyoti is considered the covering of the internal potency. May You kindly remove this glowing effulgence that impedes my seeing Your sac-cid-ananda-vigraha, Your eternal form of bliss and knowledge.” The Supreme Personality of Godhead in His transcendental form of bliss and knowledge is covered by the internal potency of the brahma-jyoti, and the less intelligent impersonalists cannot see the Supreme on this account. In the Srimad-Bhagavatm (10.14.7), Lord Brahma prays: 

“O Supreme Personality of Godhead, O Supersoul, O master of all mystery, who can calculate Your potency and pastimes in this world? You are always expanding Your internal potency, and therefore no one can understand You. Learned scientists and learned scholars can examine the atomic constitution of the material world or even the planets, but still they are unable to calculate Your energy and potency, although You are present before them.” The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krsna, is not only unborn but also avyaya, inexhaustible. His eternal form is bliss and knowledge, and His energies are all inexhaustible.

Text 7.26

O Arjuna, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I know everyhting that has happened in the past, all that is happening in the present and all things that are yet to come. I also know all living entities, but Me no one knows.  


Here the question of personality and impersonality is more clearly stated. If Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead were maya or material, as considered by the impersonalists, He should be changing body as an odinary living entity and with the change of body forget everythting of His past life. Anyone with a material body cannot say what happened in his past life, neither can he say what is will happen in his future life, nor can he says what will happen in his present life. We cannot say what is happening in the past, present and future. Unless one is liberated from material contamination, it is not possible to remember past, present and future. Lord Krishna is not exactly like the ordinary human being who changes body and forgets everthing past and say anything about the future. He says clearly that He completely knows what happened in the past and that He completely knows what will happen in the future and that He completely knows what is happening in the present. In the fourth chapter we have seen that Lord Krishna remembers instructing Vivasvan, the sun-god, millions of years ago. He knows every living entity. For Him to know every living entity means that He is situated in every living being’s heart as the Supersoul. But in spite of being present in every living entity as the Supersoul and even outside as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the less intelligent, even if they are able to realize the impersonal Brahman are still unable to realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. Certainly therefore, the transcendental body of Sri Krishna is not perishable. He is just like the sun. Maya is just like a cloud. In the practical world, we can see there is the sun and there are clouds and there are the different planets. The clouds can cover even an entire planet, but it is not possible to cover the sun. Therefore maya cannot the Supreme Lord. It is by His internal potency that He is not manifested to the less intelligent class of men. As it is stated in the third verse of this chapter: out of millions and millions of people, some of them try to become perfect in this human form of life, and out of such perfected men one can hardly understand what is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. Therefore even one perfected by realization of impersonal Brahman or localized Paramatma, without being situated in Krishna consciousness, it is not possible for him to undersand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krihna.

Text 7.27

O scion of Bharata, O conqueror of the foe, all living entities are born into delusion, deluded by the dualities of desire and hate.


The real constitutional position of the living entity is that he is subordinate to the Supreme Lord, Who is pure knowledge. When one is deluded into separation from his pure knowledge, then he becomes controlled by the illusory energy and no one under its influence can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The illusory energy is manifested in the duality of desire and hate. One account of this desire and hate the less intelligent person wants to become one with the Supreme Lord and he hates the fact that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Pure devotees who are not under the delusion of duality and who are not contaminated by the original desire and hate, can understand that Lord Krishna,  the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appears by His internal potency. But those who are deluded by duality and nescience understand that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is one of the creations of these material energies. This is their misfortune. The symptoms of these deluded persons are that they function under the dualities of miseries and happiness, woman and man, honor and dishonor. They think “this is my wife, this is my house, I am the master of this house, I am the husband of this wife.” These are the dualities. Those who are deluded by such dualities are designated as “completely foolish.” It is not possible for completely foolish persons to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Text 7.28

Persons who in previous lives and in this life also, have engaged in pious activities and whose sinful actions of life are completely eradicated, such persons being freed from the duality of delusion are engaged with determination in My devotional service, the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


This verse states who can be elevated from the delusion of duality to the transcendental position. For those who are sinful, atheistic, foolish, less than true persons, it is very difficult to transcend the duality of desire and hate. Those who have passed their lives in following the regulative principles of religion, those who have acted piously throughout their lives and those who have conquered the sinful reactions of life, only those can accept devotional service and gradually rise up to the pure knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and gradually they can meditate in trance on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the process of being situated on the spiritual platform. This elevation is possible in Krishna consciousness in the association of pure devotees. Deliverance from delusion is possible in the association of great devotees.

It is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (5.5.2) that if one actually wants to be liberated, he must render service to the devotees (mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimukteh) and one who associates with the materialistc people is on the path leading to the darkest region of existence (tamo-dvaram yositam sangi-sangam). All the devotees of the Lord traverse this earth just to recover the conditioned souls from their delusion. The impersonalists do not know that to forget one’s constitutional position as subordinate to the Supreme Lord is the greatest violation of God’s law and the greatest condition of sinful activity. Forgetfullness of one’s constitutional position is the greatest violation of law and unless one is reinstated in his own constitutional position, it is not possible to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead or fully engage in His ranscendental loving service with determination. 

Text 7.29 

The intelligent persons who are endeavoring for liberation from old age and death take shelter of Me in devotional service. They are actually Brahman because they entirely know everything about transcendental activities.


Birth, death, old age, and diseases take place in association with this material body. But there are no such things with the spiritual body of the living entity. There is no birth, death, old age and diseases for the spiritual body. So one who attains such a spiritual body and becomes one of the associates of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and is engaged in eternal devotional service enjoys real liberation. It is said that one should understand that he is Brahma. This Brahma conception of life…

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Text 7.30

Those who know in full Krishna consciousness that the Supreme Lord is the governing principle of the material manifestation, the demigods, and the sacrificial methods, such persons can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead even at the time of death.


Persons acting in Krishna consciousness shall never be deviated from the path of understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead entirely. In the transcendental association of Krishna consciousness one can understand how the Supreme Lord is the governing principle of the material manifestation and even of the demigods. Gradually by such transcendental association he becomes convinced of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and at the time of death such Krishna conscious persons can never forget the Supreme Personality and naturally they are promoted to the planet of the Supreme Lord, Goloka Vrindavan.

This seventh chapter is especially an explanation of how one can become a fully Krishna conscious person. The beginning of such Krishna consciousness is association of persons who are Krishna conscious. Such Krishna conscious assocation is spiritual and in direct touch with the Supreme Lord. By the grace of the Supreme Lord one can understand that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Simultaneously one can really understand the constitutional position of the living entity and how the living entity becomes forgetfull of Krishna consciousness and becomes entangled in material activities. By gradual development of Krishna consciousness in good association the living entity can understand that due to his forgetfulness of Krishna consciousness he has become conditioned by the laws of material nature. He can also understand that this human form of life is an oppurtunity. This opportunity for regaining Krishna consciousness should be fully utilized and it is the duty of every living entity to achieve the causeless mercy of the Supreme Lord in Krishna consciousness. Different terminological expressions of gradual development to Krishna consciousness have been discussed in this chapter: the man in distress, the inquisitive man, the man in want of material necessities, knowledge of Brahma, knowledge of Paramatma, liberation from birth, death and diseases and worship of the Supreme Lord in order to achieve liberation. Many things have been discussed in this chapter, but he who is actually elevated in Krishna consciousness doesnt care for all this nomenclature. He engages himself directly in activities of Krishna consciousness and thereby he factually attains his constitutional position of eternal servitorship of Lord Krishna. In such disposition of mind, he takes pleasure in the matter of hearing and glorifying the Supreme Lord in pure devotional service. He is convinced that by doing so, all his objectives will be fulfilled. This determined faith is called dridha-vrata or firm faith. Firm faith is the beginning of bhakti-yoga or transcendental loving service. That is the verdict of all Vedic scriptures. This seventh chapter of Bhagavad-gita is the substance of that conviction.  

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the Seventh Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita in the matter of Knowledge  of the Absolute.  



Text 8.1

Arjuna inquired: O my Lord, O Supreme Person, what is Brahman? What are fruitive activities? What is the material manifestation? And what are the demigods? Kindly explain this to me.


In this eighth chapter, Lord Krishna answers different questions, beginning with “What is Brahman?” The Lord also explains karma-yoga, devotional service and yoga principles, and devotional service in its pure form. The Srimad-Bhagavatam explains that the Supreme Absolute Truth is known as Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavan. The living entity, the individual soul, is also called Brahman, or spirit. Arjuna also inquires about atma, which refers to body, soul and mind. According to the Vedic dictionary atma refers to the mind, soul, body, and senses also.

Arjuna has addressed the Supreme Lord as Purushottam, which means that he was asking all these questions not as a friend but to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and as such Krishna is perfectly well informed. Therefore, Arjuna expected to receive the right answers from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. What is the material manifestation of the gigantic uinversal form or of this bodily form? What is the manifestation of the demigods, who are entrusted with different material affairs by the Supreme Lord through the agency of Brahma?

Text 8.2

How does this Lord of sacrifice live in the body, and in which part does He live, O Madhusudana? And how can those engaged in devotional service know You at the time of death?


The “Lord of sacrifice” may refer to either Indra or Vishnu. Vishnu is the head of the primal demigods, including Brahma and Shiva, and Indra is the head of the administrative demigods. Both Indra and Vishnu are worshiped by Yajna  performances. But Arjuna’s enquiry is: who is actually the Lord of Yajna (sacrifice), and how is it that Lord of Yajna is residing within the body of the living entity?  

Again, Arjuna addresses the Lord as Madhusudana, because Krishna is the killer of the Madhu demon. Actually, these questions which have arisen in the mind of Arjuna regarding these six items should not have arisen. These doubts are like demons, and Krishna is expert in killing demons. Therefore he is addressing Krishna as Madhusudana, so that Krishna can kill the doubts that arise in the mind of Arjuna.

Whatever we do will be tested at the time of death, and so Arjuna is very anxious to know of those who are constantly engaged in Krishna consciousness. What should be their position at the final moment? At the time of death all body functions become dislocated and the mind is not in proper condition. Thus disturbed by the bodily situation, one cannot even remember the Supreme Lord. Maharaja Kulashekar, a great devotee of the Lord, used to pray as follows: “My dear Lord…………

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Partial purport 8.3

……….  or spirit. Brahman means the living entity and Parabrahman is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The living entity’s constitutional position is different from the position he takes in the material world. In the material world, in material consciousness, his nature is to lord it over the material nature, but when he is in spiritual nature he is in Krishna consciousness. A living entity is to be understood as pure when he is Krishna conscious. But when the living entity is in material consciousness, then he has to take different kinds of body in this world, and that is called karma, or varied creations by the force of material consciousness.

In Vedic literature the living entity is called jivatma as well as Brahman, but he is never called Parabrahman. The living entity sometimes becomes merged into the dark material nature and identifies himself as one with that material nature, and sometimes he identifies himself with that superior or spiritual nature. Therefore the living entity is sometimes called marginal energy of the Supreme Lord. When he is in the spiritual nature he is in his constitutional position, but when in material nature he has the desire to be the lord over that nature. According to his identification either with the material or spiritual nature, he gets a different type of body. In the material nature there are 8 400 000 types of bodies, but in the spiritual nature he has got one body. In the material nature he is sometimes manifested as animal, sometimes as beast and bird, and these different changes of body are called karma. In the material world, he performs different sacrifices called by the name Yajna and thereby he attains the material heavenly planets and there he enjoys the facilities available on a heavenly planet. At the end of such activities he again comes into the world on the earth in the form of a man. This process is called karma and is very nicely described. By offering sacrifices by the sacrificial method described in the Vedic literature, the heavenly planets, clouds, the earth, man and woman are considered the five kinds of fire on the sacrificial altar. Faith, the moon planet, the rain, the grains and semen are considered the five kinds of offerings. In this way by interaction of five kinds of offering and five kinds of fire, the process of karma is described in the Vedic literature. The substance of this sacrificial process is that the living entity in the material world offers such sacrifices for attaining different kinds of heavenly planets and as a result of such sacrifice he reaches the destiny of different planetary systems and when the ascent of his pious activities is finished, he again falls down to earth in the form of rain and the rains take the form of grains, the grains are eaten by man and it is transformed into semen, this semen is again impregnated into a woman, and again the living entity comes to this human form to act on the material world. And again he performs sacrifice and again he is promoted to the heavenly kingdom. In this way he is coming and going, suffering the material pains perpetually.  

The Krishna conscious person avoids all the details of laborious sacrificial method, takes directly to Krishna consciousness and thereby prepares himself for going back to Godhead, back home. Impersonalist commentators on the Bhagavad-gita most unreasonably assume that Brahman takes the form of jiva in the material world and they refer in this connection to the seventh verse of the fifteenth chapter of the Bhagavad-gita. But this is not intelligently referred to because we find in the fifteenth chapter. seventh verse of Bhagavad-gits that the living entities are eternally parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord. so they can fall down in this material world. But the Supreme Lord of Whom they are parts and parcels never falls down. This assumption that the Supreme Brahman assumes the form of jiva is not accepted by the intelligent class of commentators. In the Vedic literature we find two kinds of Brahman, the Parabrahman and the ordinary Brahman. The living entity is the ordinary Brahman and the Supreme Lord is the Parabrahman.

Text 8.4

The physical nature is known to be endlessly mutable. The universe is the cosmic form of the Supreme Lord and I am that Lord represented as the Supersoul dwelling in the heart of every embodied being.

Text 8.4 (variant)

The mutable physical nature, which is constantly changing is called adhibutam. The universal form of the Supreme Lord, including all the demigods like sun and moon is called adhidaivatam. And I, the Supreme Lord, represented as the Supersoul in the heart of every embodied person, am called adhiyajna.


The physical nature is constantly changing just like our body has six changing processes, namely birth, growth, staying for sometime, producing some by-products, dwindling, and then vanishing. The physical nature is called adhibhutam. Because it is created at a certain point and it will be annihilated at a certain point, the conception of the universal form of the Supreme Lord, including the demigods and their different planets past and present is called adhidaivatam. So far this body is concerned along with the individual soul, there is the Supersoul, Who is a plenary portion representation of Lord Krishna. The Supersoul, situated in the heart is called Paramatma or adhiyajna. The word eva is particularly important because by using this word, the Lord means to say that the Paramatma is not different from Him. The Supersoul or the Supreme Personality of Godhead being seated along with the individual soul is the witness of the activities of the individual soul and therefore is the source of the different varieties of consciousness of the individual soul. The Supersoul gives the individual soul an opportunity to act freely and witnesses his activities. ( All these different manifestations of the Supreme Lord physical(?).. and Supersoul, )……………All knowledge  becomes automatically manifested to the person who is situated in full Krishna consciousness and is engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. The gigantic uinversal form of the Lord called adhidaivata is meant for contemplation by the neophyte or beginner. The beginner who wants to meditate on the Supreme cannot approach the Supreme Lord in His manifestation as the Supersoul. The neophyte is therefore advised to think of the universal form or virat-purusa, whose legs are considered the lower planets and whose eyes are considered the sun and moon and whose head is considered the upper planetary system.  

Text 8.5

Anyone who quits his body at the end of his life remembering Me, he attains immediately my nature, there is no doubt about it. 


This verse stresses the importance of Krishna consciousness. Anyone who quits his body in Krishna consciousness, is certainly at once transferred to the transcendental nature of the Supreme Lord.The Supreme Lord is the purest of the pure, therefore anyone who is constantly in Krishna consciousness is also the purest of the pure. The word smaran (remembering) is important. Remembrance of Krishna is not possible for a person who has never practiced it. Therefore Krishna consciousness should be practiced from the very beginning. The process of remembering Krishna is essential if anyone wants to achieve success at the end of his life. Therefore the maha-mantra Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare should be chanted constantly and without any stoppage. Lord Chaitanya has advised us that one should be as tolerant as a tree (taror api sahishnuna). There may be many impediments for a person who is chanting Hare Krishna, but still, tolerating all such impediments, one shoud continue to chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare so that at the end of his life he can have the full advantage of Krishna consciousness.

Text 8.6

Anyone who quits his body in a certain state of being, O son of Kunti, in his next life, he attains that particular state of being without fail.  


The process of changing one’s nature at the critical point of quitting his body is explained in the verse. It is not that a person quitting his body at the end of his life. A person quitting his body at the end of his life, thinking of Krishna attains the transcendental nature of the Supreme Lord. But it is not true that a person who thinks otherwise, not thinking of Krishna, attains the same state of being in his next life. This technical point should be noted by all of us very carefully: how to create the appropriate state of mind at the end of our life. There are many instances in history that even great personalities like Maharaja Bharata, because he was thinking of a deer at the end of his life, in his next life he was transferred into the animal life of a deer. Although he did not forget his past activites, still he had to accept the body of a deer. The state of being at the end of life is created by a person as he thinks during the course of his life. In other words this life is the process of creation of my next life. If I continue my present life in the mode of goodness and always think of Krishna, then it is possible to remember Krishna at the end of my life. That will help me for being transferred to the transcendental nature of Krishna. It is clearly stated here that one should always think of His particular nature. In other words the chanting of Hare Krishna Hare Krihna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare is the supermost process of changing the state of our being at the end of life.

Text 8.7

Therefore, Arjuna, you should always  think of Me in the form of Krishna and at the same time you should continue your prescribed duty of fighting. In that way all your activities will be dovetailed with Me and your ……mind(?) will be always in My intelligence. Everything should always be engaged in          …. will be that at the end you will attain Me without any doubt. 


This instruction of Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna is very important for all men engaged in material activites. The Lord does not say that one should give up one’s prescribed duties or engagements. He can continue his prescribed duty or his alloted engagement and at the same time think of Krishna by chanting Hare Krishna. This will create the platform for being free from material contamination, and the mind being always engaged in Krishna and the intelligence always in Krishna, it is certain such persons constantly thinking of Krishna will be transferred to the planet of Krishna without any doubt.  

Text 8.8 missing

Purport 8.8 missing  

Text 8.9

One should think of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as one Who knows everything, Who is the oldest, Who is the controller, Who is smaller than the smallest, Who is the maintainer of everything, Who is beyond any material conception, Who is inconceivable and Who is always a person like Krishna and Rama. He is luminous like the sun and He is transcendental, beyond this material nature. 


The process of thinking of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is mentioned in this verse. The fisrt and foremost thing is that He is not impersonal or void. Nobody can meditate on anything impersonal or void. That is a very troublesome job. Now this process of thinking of Krishna is very easy and it is factually stated in the Bhagavatam. The first and foremost thing is that He is purusha just like we think of Rama and Krishna, Hare Krishna etc, So either you think of Rama or Krishna, what He is like is described in this verse of Bhagavad-gita. It is described that the Lord is kavi, He knows everything, He knows past present and future. He is the oldest personality because He is the origin of everything. everything is born out of Him, therefore He is the oldest. And although He is the oldest, He is the supreme controller and instructor  for the benefit of human society. Just like Krishna is instructing the Bhagavad-gita for the human society. He is smaller than the smallest. The living enity is the smallest one at ten-thousandth part of the tip of t he hair but still the Lord is so inconceivably powerful that He enters into the heart of the smallest particle. Therefore He is smaller than the smallest.

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Text 8.10

One who, at the time of death, fixes up his life air between the two eyebrows and in full devotion engages himself in remembering the Supreme Lord, he certainly achieves the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


In this verse it is clearly stated that at the time of death the mind must be fixed up in devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. For those who are practiced in yoga, it is recommended that they raise the life air between the eyebrows (to the ajna-cakra). The process of sat cakra yoga practice is suggested here but a pure devotee of the Lord does not practice this sat-cakra-yoga. Still because he is always engaged in Krishna consciousness and thinking of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he can remember the Lord by His grace at the time of death. This is explained in verse fourteen.

The particular use of the word yogabalena is significant in this verse, because without practice of yoga, either sat-cakra-yoga or bhakti-yoga no body can come to this state of being at the time of death. Especially at the time of death, nobody can remember all of a sudden, the Supreme Personality of Godhead unless he has had previous practice of the yoga system, especially the bhakti yoga system. The condition at the time of death is very precarious, so one should practice transcendence before death.   

Text 8.11

Learned persons who utter Omkara and great sages in the renounced order enter into Brahman. Desiring such perfection of life, one practices the life of celibacy. I shall explain to you this process as the means for attaining salvation.


Lord Sri Krishna has recommended to Arjuna the practice of yoga i.e. sat-cakra-yoga and to put the air of life between the two eyebrows. Taking it for granted that Arjuna might not know the process how to practice sat-cakra-yoga, the Lord is trying to explain to him as far as possible the process in the following words. He says that Brahma although one without a second still has different manifestations and features, especially for the impersonalists the aksara, the combination of letters Omkara is also Brahma. At the same time, the impersonal Brahman, wherein the sages in the renounced order enter is explained. 

In the Vedic system of knowledge, the students from the very beginning are taught about this Brahma aksara Omkara (?) and the ultimate impersonal Brahman by practice of celibacy. The student is recommended to live with the spiritual master in. complete celibacy. That helps in realizing these two Brahman features. This principle of the brahmacari ashram for the sudent is very essential for advancement in spiritual life. But at the present moment such brahmacari life is not at all possible. The social structure of the world has changed so much that there is no more chance of practicing brahmacaria from the beginning of student life. All over the world there are so many institutions for different departement of knowledge. Unfortunately there is no such recognised institutions where students can be educated inthe brahmacaria principles of life. Without practicing this brahmacaria, advancement in spiritual life is very difficult. Therefore Lord Chaitanya has annouced according to the scriptural  injunctions for this age of Kali no process of realizing the Supreme is possible except the one which is practicd by chanting the holy name of Lord Krishna as in Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, because the students are not educated in the strict principles of leading a life of celibacy. Therefore no other process will be possible in this age besides the chanting of the holy names of God.

Text 8.12

The yogic situation is that of detachment from all sensual engagement and closing all doors of the senses, fixing the mind on the heart and fixing the air of life on the top of the head. Thus one is established  in yoga.


In the system of yoga recommemded here, the first thing is that had to close the doors of all sense enjoyement. This practice is called pratyahara, or withdrawing the senses from the sense objects. Especially the knowledge acquiring senses like the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and touch should be fully controlled and they should not be allowed in the gratification of the senses objects. Thus the mind is fixed on the heart and the air of life is raised to the top of the head. In the sixth chapter this 

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Text 8.13

After being situated in this yoga practice and vibrating the Omkara, which is called (?), the supreme conbination of letters, one who thinks of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and thus quits his body certainly reaches the spiritual planets. 


Here it is clearly stated that Omkar, the supreme combination of letters, Brahma and Lord Krishna are not different. The shortcut name of Krishna is Om, but one who always chants Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, there is no difference with Omkara. Rather the chanting of Hare Krishna is clearly recommended for this age and any person who quits his body at the end of life chanting Hare Krishna etc certainly achieves the spiritual planets, according to his mode of practice. Similarly those who are devotees of the Supreme Lord Krishna, they enter into the Krishna planet or Goloka Vrindavan, whereas those who are impersonalists remain in the Brahma-jyoti. But for those who are personalists there are many other innumerable planets in the spiritual sky and they become differently situated  in the Vaikuntha planets differently named. So one who quits his body in such situation enters into the spiritual kingdom.  

Text 8.14

Anyone who is always remembering Me, Krishna, without any deviation, for him I am easy to be obtained, O son of Pritha, because he is constantly engaged in devotional service.


In this verse especially, the final destination of the bhakti-yogi or unalloyed devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is described. Previous verses mentioned four kinds of different devotees like the distressed,  the inquisitive, those who want some material profit and the philosophers. Different processses of liberation from the entanglement of the material world such as karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, and hatha-yago systems have been described. But at the same time, bhakti is also added to such yoga principles. But this verse paricularly mentions pure bhakti yoga without any mixture of Jnana, karma or hatha. Pure bhakti is “ananya-cetah.” The devotee does not desire anything except Krishna. A pure devotee does not even desire to be promoted to the heanvenly planets or to become one with the brahma-jyoti or elevated salvation or liberation from the material entanglement. A pure devotee does not desire anything. In the Caitanya Caritamrita the pure devotee is called nishkama, which means he has no desire for self-interest. Perfect peace is the monopoly of the pure devotee and not for anyone else. A perfect devotee has no other desire than pleasing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whereas karma-, jnana- of hatha-yogis have their personal interests. The Lord of the pure devotee says that anyone who is unflinchingly devoted to Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for him I am always very easy to be achieved. Any pure devotee always engages in devotional service to Krishna in any of the different features of Krishna. Krishna means that He has many different plenary expansions and different incarnations, such as Rama, Narasimha etc..  So it is the choice of the devotee to fix up his mind in rendering transcendental loving service to any of these forms of the Supreme Lord and for such devotee there is no trouble as one has to suffer in the practice of hatha-yoga, jnana-yoga or any other form of yoga. Bhakti-yoga is very simple, pure and easy to perform. One can begin by simply chanting Hare Krishna etc. Generally, the Lord is very merciful, but as we have already explained, He is especially inclined to one who is always engaged in His service without deviation. The Lord especially helps such devotee in various ways. As stated in the Vedas (Katha Upanisad 1.2.23), yam evaisa vrnute tena labhyas / tasyaisa atma vivrnute tanum svam: one who is fully surrendered and engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Lord can understand the Supreme Lord as He is. And as stated in Bhagavad-gita (10.10), dadami buddhi-yogam tam: the Lord gives such a devotee sufficient intelligence so that ultimately the devotee can attain Him in His spiritual kingdom. The special qualification of the pure devotee is that he is always thinking of Krishna without any deviation and without any consideration of time and place. There is no impediment for a pure devotee wherever he is. Some devotees consider that a devotee should remain in Vrindavan or any such places where the Lord manifested Himself, but a pure devotee can remain everywhere and anywhere he can create the atmopshere of Vrindavan by his devotional service. The words satatam and nityasah are mentioned here. The meaning is “always”, regularly,” and every day. That is the specific function of a pure devotee: to remember and always think of Krishna. Those are the qualifications of a pure devotee and for him the Lord is very happily obtainable contrary to any other process of yoga recommended in Bhagavad-gita or any other Vedic scriptures. Such bhakti-yogis are generally of five different of 5 different types. They are called shanta-bhakta, engaged in devotional service in neutrality; dasya-bhakta, engaged in devotional service as servant; sakhya-bhakta, engaged as friend; vatsalya-bhakta, engage as parent and madhurya-bhakta, engaged in conjugal lover of the Lord. In either of these stages a pure devotee is always, constantly, without any deviation engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Supreme Lord. Therefore for him the Lord is very happily and easily attainable. A devotee cannot forget the Supreme Lord for a moment and similarly the Supreme Lord Krishna cannot forget His pure devotee even for a moment. This is the advantage of becoming Krishna conscious and chanting  Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

Text 8.15

After achieving Me, these mahatmas, who were yogis in devotion, never come back to this temporary material world full of miseries, because they attain the highest perfection.  


A concentrated mind engaged in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, is the  practical symptom of devotional service. Persons who engage their mind in such a way, giving up all expectations in the matter of practising ordinary yoga and holding empirical philosophical discussions, such persons only take to pure devotional service. The material world is full of miseries, the miseries of birth, death, old age and disease. It is also temporary. Naturally one who goes to the planet Krishnaloka or Goloka Vrindavan, where he achieves the highest perfection does not wish to come back to this miserable place. This supreme planet is described in the Vedic literatures as avyakta, aksara and parama gati. It is inexplicable and it is beyond our material vision, but it is the highest goal and destination for great souls who are known as mahatmas. They receive transcendental messages from the realized devotees and thus gradually develop devotional service , Krishna consciousness, and become so much absorbed in the transcendental loving service that they do not desire any elevation to any of the material planets, neither do they want any transferrence to any spiritual planet. They want only Krishna and Krishna’s association and nothing else. That is the highest perfection of life. This verse specifically stresses on the personal devotees of the Supreme Lord Krishna. Persons in Krishna consciousness consciousness achieve the highest perfection of life. In other words, they are the supreme souls.

Text 8.16

Beginning from the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest planet all of them are also places of miseries where repeated birth and death take place. But he who attains Krishnaloka, o son of Kunti, he never takes birth again.  


All kinds of yogis namely the karma-yogi, the hatha-yogi and the jnana-yogi, everyone of them has to attain this highest perfection of bhakti-yoga and when it is said that the yogis do not come again into this material world, it means that such yogis namely karma-yogis, jnana-yogis and hatha-yogis, when they achieve the devotional perfection in bhakti-yoga or Krishna consciousness, at that time it is possible that they can go to the transcendental spiritual world and never come back. Those who attain the highest planets or the planets of the demigods, they are again subjected to the repeated birth and death, old age and diseases. Persons of this earthly planet are promoted to the higer planets, similarly persons in the higher planets including Brahmaloka, Chandraloka or Indraloka are also degraded to his earthly planet. The sacrifice of pancagni-vidya, recommended in the Chandogya Upanishad can be performed and by such performance one can achieve Brahmaloka. But if one in Brahmaloka does not cultivate Krishna consciousness, he also again comes back to this earthly planet. Those who continue to practice Krishna consciousness even in the higher planets, they gradually get elevated to higher and higher planets and at the time of devastation of the universe he is transferred to the spiritual world, to the Krishnaloka. Baladeva Vidyabhusana, in his commentary on Bhagavad-gita, quotes this verse from the Kurma Purana (1.11.284):

brahmana saha te sarve samprapte pratisancare
parasyante krtatmanah pravisanti param padam

“When there is devastation of this material universe, Brahma and the devotees who are constantly engaged in Krsna consciousness are all transferred to the spiritual world to any of the spiritual planets, according to their desires.”

Text 8.17

According to human calculation, yuga means whole yuga (Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali. ) Such thousand yugas taken together is the duration of Brahma’s one day. Similarly, such period of a thousand yugas is te duration od Brahma’s night.


Brahma lives for one hundred years, according to the above calculation. That means one thousand times four yugas (4 320 000 000 years) is equal to twelve hours of the duration of Brahma’s one day. Similarly he has got one night, so it makes twenty four hours, one day and night. Such thirty days equal one month. Such twelve months equal one year and after such one hundred years, Brahma also dies according to the law of material nature. Nobody is free from the process of birth, death, old age and disease, including Lord Brahma. But the special facility for Brahma is that he is directly engaged in the service of the Supreme Lord for the management of the universe and he attains liberation at once. It is to be noted here that the perfected sannyasis are promoted to Brahmaloka, but should know that Brahma is also subjected to death and what to speak of the sannyasis who are elevated to that planet. This duration of Brahmaloka is not applicable even in the planets of the sun and moon or other heavenly planets in the upper stratum of the planetary system.  (This is the full purport 8.17 available on OT.)

Gap in OT

Text 8.19

On the manifestation of Brahma’s day, all living entities come into being and at the arrival of Brahma’s night everything is annihilated. 

Those who are less intelligent and try to remain within this material world being elevated to some higher planets and again come back to this earthly planet, all of them during the daytime of Brahma they can exhibit their ativities within the material world in either of these planets but during the nighttime they are all annihilated. During daytime, they get their different kinds of bodies and material activities and during night-time they have no body but remain compact in the body of Vishnu. They are again manifested in the daytime of Brahma. In this way bhutva bhutva praliyate —-during daytime they are manifested and during night-time they are again annihilated and ultimately when Brahma’s life is also finished, similarly they are annihilated for millions and millions of years and again they manifested when Brahma is born again in another millenium. In this way they are captivated under the spell of the material world. But intelligent persons who take to Krishna consciousness, they utilize this human form of life fully in devotional service of the Lord chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare and even in this life they transfer themselves to the planet of Krishna and become eternally blissful and happy there.

Text 8.20

There is another eternal nature which is transcendental to this manifested and unmanisfested material nature, which is supreme and never annihilated. When everything is annihilated within this material world, that part of the nature remains as it is eternally.


Transcendental to the material nature which is manifested and unmanifested at certain intervals during the daytime and night-time of Brahma there is another nature which is spiritual nature and the symptoms of that nature are completely opposite to this material nature.The superior and inferior natures are explained in the seventh chapter of the Bhagavad-gita.

Text 8.21

That supreme abode which is claimed by the Vedantists as unmanifested, infallible and the supreme destination, that transcendental abode, having attained it nobody never comes back, that is My supreme abode.  


The supreme abode of the Personality of Godhead, Krishna, is described in the Brahma-samhita as the chintamani dham. In the Brahma-samhita (5.29), the supreme dhama is described as follows: cintamani-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vrksa-. That supreme abode of the Lord, known as Goloka Vrindavan is full of palaces made of touchstones. There are trees also called “desire tees”, and there are cows as well which are called surabhi cows. And the Lord is being served there by hundreds and thousands of goddesses of fortune and His name is Govinda, the Primeval Lord  and the cause of all causes. The Lord is accustomed to blow His flute (venum kvanantam) and His eyes are just like lotus petals and the color of His body is just like very beautiful cloud. He is so attractive that He can compete with thousands of cupids. On the head of the Lord there is a peacock feather. Lord Krishna gives only a hint about his personal abode which is known as Goloka Vrindavan, which is the supermost planet in the spiritual kingdom. And a vivid description can be had from the Brahma-samhita. It is said also in Vedic literature ( Katha Upanishad 1.3.11) that there is nothing superior to the abode of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (purusan na param kincit sa kastha sa para gatih) and that abode is the supreme destination. When one attains that supreme destination naturally he never comes back tothis material world. Both the supreme abode and the Personality of Godhead are nondifferent. They are of the same quality. The Vrindavan Dhama on this planet earth is a replica of that supreme dhama and when Krishna descends on this earth, He descends on that particular tract of land known as Vrindavan dham, comprising about 168 square miles in the district of Mathura, India. 

Text 8.22

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Who is greater than all, is attainable by unalloyed devotion. Although He is present in His abode, still He is all-pervading and everything is situated within Himself.


It is clearly stated in this verse that the supreme destination, having attained it, one never comes back is cintamani dhama as described in the Braham-samhita and the supreme personality there is Krishna. It is clearly stated here that the ultimate goal of spiritual realization is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Brahma-samhita describes this supreme abode as ananda-cinmaya-rasa. Everything is made of spiritual mellow and bliss and whatever variegetedness is manifested there is also of the quality of spiritual bliss and nothing is made of matter. All variegetedness is expanded there. That is the spiritual expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. It is a manifestation of the spiritual or superior energy explained in the seventh chapter. As far as this material world is concerned, although the Lord is always in His superior abode, Goloka, still he is all pervading by His material energy. Both His spiritual energy and His material energy are spread everywhere, either in this material world or in the spiritual world, and ( Yasyantah-sthani ) everything is sustained within Himself that is within either of His energies, either spiritual or material energy. Whatever we see, everything is sustained within those two energies and He is all pervading by those two energies. Only by devotional service can one enter that supreme abode or similar other innumerable Vaikuntha planets. It is clearly stated here by the word “bhaktya”, that devotional service and no other process can help one to achieve that supreme abode. In the Vedas (Gopal-tapani Upanishad 1.21) also description of that supreme abode and the Supreme Personality is given as follows: Eko vasi sarva-gah krsnah. In that supreme abode there is only one Supreme Personality of Godhead and His name is Krishna. He is the supreme merciful Deity and although situated there as one, He has expanded Himself into millions and millions of plenary expansions. He is compared to a stading tree producing many varieties like fruits and flowers and changing leaves.That is the position of the Supreme Lord.The Brahma-samhita (5.37) also confirms it that (goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhutah) although He is always in the supreme abode, Goloka Vrindavan, He is all-pervading so that everything is going on nicely. In other places in the Vedas it is stated (Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.8), parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate / svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca: His enrgies are so expansive that everything is being conducted systematically and there is no flaw in that, although the Supreme Lord is far far away from those manifestations.

Text 8.23

O best of the Bharatas, I sall now explain to you the different times at which, passing away from this world, the yogi does or does not come back.


The unalloyed devotees of the Supreme Lord very easily and happily go back home, back to Godhead. But those who are not unalloyed devotees and depend on different kinds of spiritual realization like karma-yoga or jnana-yoga, for them there must be a suitable chance for leaving this body and then it will be assured whether or not they will be coming back.

If the yogi is perfect, he can select the time and situation for passing out of this material world. But if the yogi is no so expert, then it will depend on his accidental passing away at a certain suitable time. The suitable time at which one passes away and does not come back is explained by the Lord as follows: According to Acharya Baladeva Vidyabhusana the time (kale and kalam) mentioned in this verse is to be understood as the presiding deity of time. And when it is mentioned as agni, fire or jyoti, light it will be explained in the next verse the Acharya says that the fire and smoke there is no time limitation therefore according to the opinion of Baladeva Vidyabhusana there are different kinds of deities presiding over time, smoke and light as they are mentioned herewith. It is to be understood that the Lord is indicating the different demigods in relationship with such particular names. (?)

Text 8.24

Persons who know the Supreme Brahman pass away from this material world during the influence of the fiery god, in the light, at an auspicious moment, and during the six months when the sun passes to the northern side.


When fire and light are mentioned herewith, it is to be understood that the presiding deity over fire and light is mentioned. Similarly, when day is mentioned, the presiding deity of the day is to be understood. When the fortnight of the moon is mentioned, it is to be understood that the deity of the moon is indicated. The purport is as is stated in the verse. At the time of death, the mind carries one to the next life, so these are indications that when a man passes in such different situations, either accidentally or by arrangement, he also attains Brahman, the impersonal brahma-jyoti.

Those mystics who are advanced in the yogic principles, they can arrange at which time and which  occasion they should pass away. Others have to depend on accident. If by accident they can pass at such auspicious moment, it is sure they will not come back. But if they have no such power, then there is possibility of coming back again to this material world. But for the pure devotees who are constantly in Krishna consciousness, for them there is no such necessity of arrangement or accident, because their position is different as it will be explained. There is no fear of coming back for a person who is in Krishna consciousness.  

Text 8.25

The mystic who passes away from this material world during the smoke, the night, as well as the fortnight when there is no moonlight and during the six months period when the sun passes to the southern side, reaches the moon planet but comes back again.  


From this verse, we get some indication that people can go to the moon planet by executing specific sacrificial methods mentioned in the Vedic literatures. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam, third canto, Kapila muni describes how those who are very expert in fruitive activities here on this planet approch the moon planet after death. Such elevated persons live for about 10 000 years in demigod calculation on the moon planet where they enjoy drininkg soma-rasa and subsequently come back to this earth. This means that on the moon planet there are higher classes of living beings and that it is not possible for the modern scientists to reach the moon by means of sputnik. No ordinary man of common activities can reach the moon planet, therefore attempts by means of machines to reach the moon seem to be futile.

Text 8.26

According to Vedic opinion there are two ways of passing away from this world, –one in light and the other in darkness. Whe one passes in light, he does not come back and when one passes in darkness he does come back.


The description given here for returning and not returning appears exactly like the Vedic injunction described in the Chandogya Upanisad (5.10.3-5) by Acarya Baladeva Vidyabhusana. Those who are fruitive actors and philosophical speculators from time immemorial are going and coming back. Actually they do not obtain attain the ultimate salvation.

Text 8.27

Lord Krishna says: O Arjuna, although the devotees know these two different paths, they are never bewildered. Therefore the best thing for the devotee is to be always in Krishna consciousness and that will save him from all these accidental passing-aways.


Krishna is specifically advising Arjuna that he should not be disturbed by all these different paths of passing away from the material world. A devotee of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna is advised not to bother how to pass away, either by arrangement or by accident. Therefore his duty is to be always in Krishna consciousness and to chant Hare Krishna etc. A Krishna conscious person should know that either the path in light or the path in darkness are both troublesome. The best way is to always be absorbed in Krishna consciousness and to be dovetailed in His service. That will make a safe departure from the material world directly to the spiritual kingdom, directly to the spiritual abode Goloka Vrindavan and other planets which are known as Vaikunthas. The word yoga -yukto is especially significant in this connection. One has to become Krishna conscious without any deviation. Therefore one has to be engaged cent per cent always in the activities which are in relationship with Krishna. Sri Rupa Goswami states in that connection: anasaktasya visayan yatharham upayunjatah: that one should be non-attached in material affairs and everything should be done in Krishna consciousness and that will make him perfect. This system is called yukta-vairagya. The Krishan conscious person should not be disturbed by all these descriptions. He should be sure his destination to the supreme abode is garanteed by devotional service.

Text 8.28

A person who accepts the path of devotional service is not bereft of any results derived from studies of the Vedas, performances of sacrifices, undergoing austerities, giving charity and all activities comprising philosophical speculation and fuitive activities. Eveything is attained simply by performance of Krishna consciousness. And at the end he reaches the supreme abode of Krishna.

Here is the conclusion of the result derived from studying especially the seventh and eighth chapters of Bhagavad-gita, particularly dealing in Krishna consciousness and devotional service. One has to study the Vedas in the school of the spiritual master and undergo so many austerities and penances to live under the care of the spiritual master and take lessons from the Vedas. A brahmacari has to live at the house of the spiritual master just like a servant, has to go begging alms from door to door and has to bring them before the spiritual master. He has to take his food by the order of the spiritual master. It is said that if the spiriitual master forgets to call the student for taking food, the student would rather fast that day instead of taking food by his own initiative. These are some of the Vedic principles of observing brahmacarya. The result is that after studying the Vedas under the care of the spiritual master for a number of years, at least some five years up to twenty years he becomes a man of perfect character. Stydy of the Vedas is not a recreation for armchair speculators. The study of the Vedas means to form the character in the brahmacari ashram. And when the character is formed the brahmacari is allowed to enter into household life and marry a similar girl suitable for him and live a perfect life of a householder. When he is a householder, he also has to perform many sacrifices so that by sacrificial method his life becomes more enlightened. He has to give charity according to country, climate and candidate. There are different kinds of charity described in the Bhagavad-gita. There is charity in  the mode of goodness, charity in the mode of passion and charity in the mode of ignorance. One has to discriminate how to give charity. Then after retirement from household life, when he accepts the order of vanaprastha life, he has to undergo severe penances just like living in the forest wearing only tree bark, refraining from going to the barber and similar other severe penances. And after carrying out properly the brahmacari ashram, the householder life and the vanaprastha life, the one comes to the sannyasa life. By performing all these four stages of different orders of human society one becomes elevated to the perfection of life. Some of them are elevated to the heavenly kingdoms and those who are still more advanced they are liberated and placed in the spiritual sky either in the impersonal brahma-jyoti or they are elevated into the Vaikuntha planets or Krishna lokas. These things are mentioned in the Vedic literatures, but the beauty of Krishna consciousness is that by one stroke of taking to the path of Krishna consciousness and being engaged in devotional service of the Supreme Lord, one surpasses all the rituals of different orders of life as mentioned.

Now here the words “sarvam idam viditva” or by understanding the instructions given by Sri Krishna in this  chapter or combined in the seventh and eighth chapters, “viditva” by understanding, and how should one understand? The understanding of this chapter should be attempted in the association of devotees. These two chapters cannot be understood from the academic scholars or the mental speculators. The seventh, eighth, nineth, tenth, eleventh and twelveth, these six chapters are the essence of Bhagavad-gita. There are eighteen chapters altogther. The first six chapters and the last six chapters are considered as coverings of the middle six chapters. Therefore the middle six chapters are especially covered bythe Lord. If one is fortunate to understand Bagavad-gita in the association of devotees, especially these middle six chapters, his life at once becomes glorified and that glorified life surpasses all the above mentioned penances, sacrifices,, charities and everything. All the results recommended in these activities can be achieved simply by the Krishna consciousness process. One who has a little faith in the Bhagavad-gita, should learn Bhagavad-gita from the devotee only because in the beginning of the fourth chapter it is stated clearly that Bhagavad-gita can be understood simply by the devotees, nobody can understand perfectly what is the purpose of the Bhagavad-gita. Therefore one should take chance of learning Bhagavad-gita from a devotee of Krishna, not from a mental speculator. This called faith. Then when one is in search of such a devotee and forunately gets the association od such devotee, he actually  begins to study and undertand Bhagavad-gita. By advancement in the association of a devotee one is placed into devotional service and by peformance of those devotional services, all his misgivings about Krishna or God, His activities, His form, His pastimes, His name everything becomes clear. And after perfect clearance of these misgivings, one becomes fixed up in the study. And by being fixed up in that way, he relishes the study of Bhagavad-gita and then he acquires his taste of being of feeling always Krishna conscious. And after this feeling of Krishna consciousness, in the advanced stage he becomes completely in love with Krishna and that is the highest perfectionl stage of life, which makes the devotee being transferred to the Krishna abode in the spiritual sky, Goloka Vrindavan and then he becomes perpetually and eternally happy.                     

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the Eighth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita in the matter of Attaining the Supreme.


 The Most Confidential Knowledge

Text 9.1

The Supreme Lord said: Because you are never envious of Me, O Arjuna, I shall give you this most secret wisdom, knowing which you will be relieved of the miseries of this material existence. 


As a devotee hears more and more about the Supreme Lord, he becomes enlightened. This hearing process is recommended in the Srimad-Bhagavatam: “The messages of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are full of potencies, and these potencies can be realized if topics regarding the Supreme Godhead are discussed amongst devotees. This cannot be achieved by the association of mental speculators or academic scholars, it is realized knowledge.”

The devotees are constantly engaged in the Supreme Lord’s service. The Lord understands the mentality and sincerity of a particular living entity who is engaged in Krishna consciousness and gives him the intelligence to understand the science of Krishna in the association of the devotees. Discussion of Krishna is very potent and if a fortunate person has such association and tries to assimilate the knowledge, then he will surely make advancement toward spiritual realization. Lord Krishna, in order to encourage Arjuna to be elevated higher and higher in His potent service describes in the ninth chapter matters more confidential than He has already disclosed. The very beginning of Bhagavad-gita, the first chapter is more or less an introduction to the rest of the book and in the second chapter and third chapter,  the spiritual knowledge described is called confidential. Topics discussed in the seventh and eighth chapters are especially in relation with devotional service and because they carry enlightenment in Krishna consciousness, they are called more confidential. But matters which are described in the ninth chapter, deal with unalloyed, pure devotion. There this is called the most confidential. One who is situated in the most confidential knowledge of Krishna is naturally transcendental and therefore has no material pangs, although he is situated in the material world. In the Bhati-rasamrita-sindhu, it is said that  anyone who has a sincere desire to render loving service to the Supreme Lord may be situated in any conditional state of material existence, but he is to be considered liberated. Similarly, we shall find in the tenth chapter of Bhagavad-gita, that anyone who is engaged in that way is a liberated person.

Now this first verse has specific significance. This “idam jnanam” or “this knowledge” means pure devotional service consisting of nine different activities: hearing, chanting, remembering, serving, worshiping, praying, obeying, achieving friendship and surrendering everything. By the practice of these nine kinds of devotional service one is elevated to spiritual consciousness, Krishna consciousness, and therefore at the time when one’s heart is cleared of material contamination, one can understand this science of Krishna. That stage is called very confidential. Simply to understand that a living entity is not material is not sufficient. That may be the beginning of spiritual realization, but one should recognize the difference between activities of the body and activities in spiritual understanding that he is not the body.

In the seventh chapter we have already discussed the opulent potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, His different energies, the inferior and superior natures and all his material manifestations. We have sufficiently learned about the glories of the Lord inthese two chapters.

The Sanskrit word “anasuyave”is also very significant. The common commentators, even if they are highly scholarly, are all envious of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We have seen even the most erudite scholars, envious of Krishna, writing on Bhagavad-gita very inaccurately. Their commentariesare useless. The commentaries given by devotees of the Lord are bona fide. No one can explain Bhagavad-gita, or give perfect knowledge of Krishna if he is envious. One who criticizes the character of Krishna without knowing Him is a fool. Such commentaries should avoided very carefully.  For one who understands that Krishna is the Supreme Personality, the pure and transcendental  personality, these chapters will be very beneficial.

Text 9.2

This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting and is joyfully performed.  


Paragraphs not in proper sequence yet……analized. They are results of sin after sin activities and more or less those who are karmis or engaged in fuitive activities they are being entangled in different stages and forms of sinful activities, just like a seed of a particular tree is sown, the tree does not immediately grow but it takes time. It is fructified just like a sprouting plant, then assumes the form of a tree, then there is flower, then fruit, and when it complete the flowers and fruits are enjoyed by persons who have sown the tree. Similarly, when a man performs a sinful act in the form of seed it takes time to fructify and there are different stages which are called ( Upraa duct ta laur..???)The stages  The sinful reaction is already stopped within me but the result or the fruit of that sinful activity (activity is crossed out replaced with) reaction is still enjoyed.There are other sins which are still in the form of seed and there are other sins which are already fructified and which are already giving us the fruit and we are enjoying the fruit as distress and pains as explained in the twentieth verse of the 7th chapter (disunpatumpata ???) a person who has completely ended the rections of all sinful activities and fully engaged in pious activites, such persons being free from duality of the material world  become engaged in devotional service to the Supreme  Personality of Godhead Krishna. So in other words, those who are actually engaged in devotional service of the Supreme Lord, it is to be understood that they are already free from all reactions from  sinful activities and this statement is confirmed in the  … Purana. It is said……… Those who are engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead for them all kinds of sinful reactions either in the fructified or in the stock or in form of seed, everyhting as he makes progress in devotional service in Krishna consciousness, all such reacttions of sinful activities become gradually vanished. Therefore the purifying potency of devotional service is so strong and is called pavitram, the purest. Uttamam means the transcendental. Tamas means this material world or darkness and uttamam means that which is transcendental to these material activities. Devotional activities are never to be considered as material activities. Although sometimes it may appear that devotees are engaged just like ordinary men, but who see and is conversant with devotional service, they will see that they are not material activities. They are all spiritual and devotional and without any contamination of the material modes of nature.

Then it is said that the execution of devotional service is so perfect that one can perceive directly the results. This direct result is actually perceived as we have practical experience that any person who is chanting the holy name of Krishna, as in Hare Krishna  Hare Krishna krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare in the course of chanting without offenses he feels some transcendental position and very quickly he becomes purified of all material contamination. This is practically seen and if one engages furthermore as there are nine kinds of methods, (sravanam, kirtanam, smaranam, pada-sevanam, arcanam, vandanam, dasyam, sakhyam, atma-nivedanam ), not only hearing, if he tries to broadcast the message of devotional service, or if he engages himself in helping the missionary activities for broadcasting Krishna consciousness, he gradually feels some spritual progress that is practically experienced. This advancement in spiritual life or in Krishna consciousness dos not depend on any kind of previous education or qualification. The method itself is so nice and pure that by simply engaging in the process one becomes more and more pure.

In the Vedanta Sutra (3.2.26), this is also described in the following words: prakasas ca karmany abhyasat. Devotional service is so nice that simply by engagement in the activities of devotional service one becomes enlightened himself and without any doubt and practically we see the previous life of Narada, who happened to be the son of a maidservant. He had no education, he was not born in a high family, and the only oppurtunity he received was that his mother was engaged in serving great devotees and similarly the child was engaged along with the mother. Sometimes in the absence of his mother he used to serve the great devotees and is it said personally by Narada as follows:

ucchista-lepan anumodito dvijaih
sakrt sma bhunje tad-apasta-kilbisah
evam pravrttasya visuddha-cetasas
tad-dharma evatma-rucih prajayate

The purport of this verse is stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam, first canto, chapter 5, verse 25. Narada describes his previous life to his disciple Vyasadeva, that while he was as a boy servant of those purified devotees, during the four months of their stay he was intimately associating witht hem. What happened is that he wanted to taste the remnants of foodstuff which was left on the dishes that were given to him for washing. So he took permission of the great devotees whether he could eat them. And the great brahmins and devotees who were assembled there gave their permission: “Yes you can eat.” Narada says  that he was eating those remnants of foodstuff left by the great devotees and the result was that gradually he was freed from all sinful reactions and the reaction developed in a way that as he went on eating such remants of foodstuffs, gradually he became as pure hearted as the sages were. Those great devotees enjoyed the devotional service of the Lord  24 hours a day in the matter of hearing, chanting etc and Narada Muni developed the very same taste. He says further in Srimad-Bhagavatm 1.5.26:

tatranvaham krsna-kathah pragayatam
anugrahenasrnavam manoharah
tah sraddhaya me ‘nupadam visrnvatah
priya-sravasy anga mamabhavad rucih

So developing the taste like the sages and devotees, Narada got a taste for hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord and by this process of association with the sages, he developed a great desire for devotional service. Therefore, as described in the Vedanta-sutras: prakasas ca karmany abhyasat. If one is engaged simply in the acts of devotional service, the whole thing becomes revealed to him automatically and he can understan. This is called pratyaksa, directly perceived.

The word dharmyam means the path of religion. Narada was actually a son of a maidservant. He had no oportunity to go to school. He was simply assisting his mother. Fortunately his mother had the opportunity to engage in the service of the devotees. In his previous life, the child Narada, son of a maidservant had this opportunity and simply by association he achieved the highest goal of all religion. Devotional service is the highest goal of all religion. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said: sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje. Religious people generally do not know that the highest perfection of religion is to achieve the stage of devotional service. As we have already discussed in the last verse of the eighth chapter, (vedesu yajnesu tapahsu caiva), Vedic knowledge is required to understand the path of self-realization. Therefore it is understood that even without going to the school of the spiritual master or having Vedic understanding, Narada still acquired the highest result of the study of the Vedas. This process is so nice that even without performing the process of religion very regularly, one can be elevated to the highest perfection of religion. How is this possible? That is also confirmed in the Vedic literatures: acaryavan puruso veda. One who is in association with great Acaryas, even if he is not educated, even if he has not studied the Vedas at any time in his life  can become conversant with all necessary knowledge for realization.

Here it is said su-sukham. The process of devotional service is very happy. Why? Devotional service consists of sravanam kirtanam vishnoh etc so one can hear very nicely with musical accompaniment the glories of the Lord and attend philosophical lectures on transcendental knowledge from authorized Acaryas. Simply by sitting one can learn. Then one can eat the remnants of foofstuffs offered to the Lord, nice platable dishes. In every state it is very joyful to execute devotional service. One can execute devotional serice even in the most poverty stricken condition. The Lord says: patram puspam phalam toyam. The Lord is ready to accept from His devotee any kind of offering, never mind a leaf, a flower, or a bit of fruit, or a little water, which are available in every part of the world aaand can be offered by any person without any consideartion of social position. There are many instances in the history, simply by this method great sages like Sanat-kumara, simply by tasting the tulasi leaves offered to the lotus feet of the Lord, they become great devotees. Therefore the process is very nice. It can be executed in happy modes. God accepts only the love with which things are offered to Him. It is said here that this devotional service is eternally existing. It is not like the Mayavadi philosophers claim. They..


Genrally people are not educated in confidential knowledge, they are educated in external knowledge. So far material education is concerned, people are concerned with so many departements of knowledge, politics, sociology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, engineering, there are so many departments of knowledge all over the world and huge universities. But there is no university, no educational institution where the science of the spirit soul is instructed. Although the soul is the most confidential part of this body . Without the presence of the soul the body has no value. Still people are giving to much stress on the bodily necessities of life, without any care for the confidential soul. The Bhagavad-gita, especially the beginning from the 2nd chapter is stressing the importance of the soul. In the very beginning the Lord explained that this body is perishable but the soul is not perishable. That is the confidential part of knowledge. Simply knowing that the spirit soul is different from the body, its nature is that it is immutable, indestructible, eternal, but there is no positive information about the soul. Generally people are under impression that the soul is different from the body, but when the body is finished, when one is liberated from the body they think that the soul remains in voidness and becomes impersonal. But actually that is not the fact. How can the soul, which is so active within the body, be inactive after being liberated from the material body? It is always active. If it is eternal, then it is eternally active. And its activities in the spiritual kingdom are the most confidential knowledge of the spirit soul. The activities of the spirit soul are therefore indicated here as the king of all knowledge.

This knowledge is the purest form of all activities, as it is explained in the Vedic literature. In the Padma Purana, a man’s sinful activities have been ……….

times take to so-called devotional service, but their aim is that as long as they are no liberated they will continue such kinds of devotional service, but at the end when they become liberated they become one with God. Such kind of temporary time-serving devotional service is not accepted as pure devotional service. Actual devotional service continues even after liberation. When the devotee goes to the siritual planet in the kingdom of God, he is also engaged there in serving the Supreme Lord and not to become one with the Supreme Lord.

As it will be seen in the Bhagavad-gita, actual devotional service begins after liberation. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said (brahma-bhuta), after being liberated or being situated on the brahman platform, devotional service begins. (samah sarvesu bhutesu mad-bhaktim labhate param) and by execution of such devotional service one can understand the Supreme Lord. Nobody can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead by executing karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, hatha-yoga or any other yoga without making a little progress towards realization of bhakti-yoga. But by themselves independently by any of the yogic methods, without coming to the stage of devotional service nobody can understand what is the Personality of Godhead. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is also confirmed that when one becomes purified by executing the process of devotional service, especially by hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam or Bhagavad-gita from realized souls, then his heart becomes pure, then he science of Krishna or the science of God can be understood. Evam prasanna-manaso bhagavad-bhakti yogatah. When one becomes cleared of all nonsense in the heart, then he can understand what is God. Therefore the process of devotional service of Krishna consciousness, is the king of all education and the king of all confidential knowledge. It is the purest form of religion, and it can be executed in a happy mode without any difficulty. Therefore one should adopt it.  

Text 9.3

Persons who are not faithfull in this matter of devotional service, O killer of the enemies, cannot achieve Me. Therefore they come back to the path of birth and death in the material existence.


The purport of this verses is that faithless persons cannot realize this process of devotional service. Faith is created by association of devotees. Unfortunate persons, even after hearing all the evidence of the Vedic literatures and hearing from great personalities, still have no faith in God. They are hesitant and cannot stay be fixed in the devotional service of the Lord. Therefore faith is the most important factor in the progress of devotional service or Krishna consciousness. In the Caitanya Caritamrita it is said that faith means the complete conviction that simply by serving the Supreme Lord, one can achieve all kinds of perfection. That is called real faith. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam (4.31.14) it is stated:

yatha taror mula-nisecanena
trpyanti tat-skandha-bhujopasakhah
pranopaharac ca yathendriyanam
tathaiva sarvarhanam acyutejya

“By giving water to the root of a tree, the branches, twigs, leaves, everything becomes satisfiedand and by supplying foodstuff to the stomach all the senses of the body become satisfied. Similarly, if somebody engages himself in the transcendental service of the Supreme Lord then naturally all the demigods and all living entities automatically will become satisfied.” Therefore after reading Bhagavad-gita and coming to the conclusion of Bhagavad-gita that one should give up  all other engagements and be engaged in the service of the Supreme Lord, Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, if one is convinced of this philosophy of life, that is faith. Now the development of that faith is the process of Krishna consciousness. There are three divisions of such Krishna conscious persons. The first class Krishna conscious person, the second class Krishna conscious person and the third class Krishna conscious person. Those who have no faith, for them even if they are engaged in devotional service or officially for some purpose in Krishna consciousness they cannot achieve achieve the highest perfectional stage. Most probably they will slip, they cannot continue for many days. For some purpose they may be engaged in that way but because they have not the complete convictions and faith, it is very difficult for them to continue Krishna consciousness. We have practical experience while dicharging this missionary activity that some people come and stick to this Krishna consciousness principle for serving some ulterior and as soon as they are economically a little well situated , they give up this process and take to their old process. That we have seen. Therefore faih is the only thing that can make one advance in this Krishna consciousness or devotional service of Krishna. So far as the development of faith is concerned, those who is well versed in the literature about this devotional service and have attained the stage of firm faith, they are  called first class persons in Krishna  consciousness. In the next class is one who is not so much advanced in the matter of understanding the scriptures of devotional service but automatically he has taken a firm faith that Krishna bhakti or service to Krishna is the best and in good faith he has taken to it. He is called second class person in Krishna consciousness. Similarly, those  who have neither perfect knowledge of the scriptures, nor have any good faith, but by association and simplicity they are trying to follow. They are called third class. The difficulty is the third class persons in Krishna consciousness may fall down. But when one is on the second class patform, he does not fall down. And for the first class person in Krishna consciousness, there is no chance of falling down. They will surely make assured progress and achieve the result at the end. So far the third class person in Krishna consciousness is concerned, they have faith in the conviction that devotional service to Krishna is very good, but they have no complete knowledge of Krishna by studying different scriptures like Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita. Sometimes these third class persons in Krishna consciousness have some tendency in the matter of karma-yoga or jnana-yoga and sometimes they are disturbed. But as soon as such infection of karma-yoga or jnana-yoga is vanquished, they become second-class or first-class persons in Krishna consciousness. Such faith in Krishna is also divided into three stages and they are also described in Srimad-Bhagavatam, eleventh canto , first-class attachment, second-class attachment, and third-class attachment. Those who have no faith by hearing about Krishna or the excellence of devotional service, if they think that it is simply eulogy to devotional service, for them it is very difficult, even if they are so-called engaged in devotional service. For them there is very little hope to gain perfection. So faith is very important in discharging devotional service.

Text 9.4

In my transcendental feature, I am spread all over this creation, everything that exists all rests in Me, but I am not in them.


The Supreme Personality of Godhead is not perceivable by the present material senses. It is said:

atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah
( also quoted Cc. Madhya 17.136)
(Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.234)

Lord Sri Krishna, His name, His fame or His activities etc., cannot be understood by the material senses. Only to one who is engaged in pure devotional service under proper guidance, to him He becomes revealed. In the Brahma-samhita also it is stated: premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti. One who has developed the transcendental loving attitude towards Him, can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, always within himself and outside. Therefore for people in general He is not visible. Here it is said “avyakta-murtina.” Although He is all-pervading and present everywhere, still because He is not conceivable by our material senses, it is said here “avyakta-murtina.” But actually, although we cannot see Him, everything is resting on Him or His energy. As we have discussed in the seventh chapter, the whole material cosmic manifestation is only a combination of His two different types of energies, namely the superior spiritual energy and the inferior material energy. Just as the sunshine is spread all over the universe, similarly the energies of the Lord are spread all over the creation and everything is resting in that energy. One should not have concluded that because He is spread all over, therefore He has lost His personal existence. To refute such kind of argument or such kind of understanding by persons with a poor fund of knowledge the Lord says:”I am everywhere, everything is in Me, but I am not in them.” A crude example can be given in the matter. Just like a king and his government: his goverment is the manifestation of the king’s energy, different kinds of departments, there are nothing but the different kinds of energie of the king.The whole department is resting onthe king’s energy. But still one cannot expect that then king is present in every department personally. That is a crude example. Similarly all these manifestations that we see and everything that exists in this material world and spiritual world, everything is resting in the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.The creation takes place by diffusion of His different energies, and, as stated in the Bhagavad-gita, vistabhyaham idam krtsnam; He is present everywhere by His personal representation, the diffusion of His different energies. 

Text 9.5

Simultaneously, everything that is created does not rest in Me. Just see my mystic opulence! Although I am the maintainer of all living entities and although I am everywhere, still my Self is the source of creation.


The Lord says that everything is resting on Him (mat-sthani sarva-bhutani .Bg. 9.4) This should not be misunderstood that the Lord is directly concerned with the maintenance and sustenance of this material manifestation. Just like sometimes a picture of Atlas is given as a very strong man holding the big globe of the earthly on his shoulders, and he appears tobe very much tired. Such kind of image should not be entertained in connection with Krishna’s holding this whole ceated universe. He says that although. everything is resting on Him, still He is aloof. The planetary systems are floating in space and space is the energy of the Supeme Lord. But He is different from space. He is differently situated. Therefore the Lord says: ” Although they are situated on my inconceivable energy, still as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I am aloof from them. This the inconceivable energy of opulence of the Supreme Lord.

In the Vedic Nirukti dictionary, it is said: yujyate ‘nena durghatesu karyesu. “The Supreme Lord is performing inconceivable wonderful pastimes by display of His energy.” His person is full of different potential energies and His determination is an actual fact. In this way the Personality of Godhead is to be understood. Just like we think about doing something, but there are so many impediments. Sometimes it is not possible to do it. But Krishna when He wants to do something, simply by His willing everything is performed so nicely that one cannot understand how it is being done. The Lord  explains this fact: although He is the maintainer and sustainer of all material manifestations, still He is not in touch with these material manifestations. Simply by His supreme will everything is created, everything is sustained, everything is maintained and everyhting is annihilated. Although there no difference between His mind and Himself, unlike us who are different from our material mind, He has no such difference because He is Absolute Spirit. But still simultaneously, the Lord is present in everything and still everything is resting on Him. The common man cannot adjust how He is present personally, but remains different from this material manifestation. This fact is explained here as yogam aishvaram, the mystic power of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Text 9.6

As in the great (vast) sky, the great air (mighty wind) is always blowing everywhere, similarly every cosmic manifestation is situated in Me, as the biggest (vastest) sky.  


The fact how in Him everything is resting is so complex that for ordinary persons it is almost inconceivable how such huge affairs of material manifestation are resting in Him. But the Lord is trying to give a crude example which may help us understand how the functions are going on. Matters are compared to the sky. The sky is the biggest conceivable manifestation by us. And in that sky also, the air is the biggest manifestation of the cosmic world. The air is blowing, It is not only blowing it is conducting even the movement of the atoms up to the movement of the greatest planets like the sun and the moon and everything. So the great air is situated within the sky. It is not beyond the sky. Similarly, all manifold manifestations are wonderful things that are going on simply by the supreme will of the Personality of Godhead. All of them are subordinate to the supreme will. As we generally say not a blade of grass moves without the will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus everything is moving under His supreme will. By His supreme will, everything is being created, everyhting is being maintained and everything is bing annihilated. Still He is aloof from everything, as the sky is always aloof from the activities of the great air.

In the Upanisads it is stated, yad-bhisa vatah pavate: “It is out of the fear of the Supreme Lord that the air is blowing.” (Taittiriya Upanisad 2.8.1) In the Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (3.8.9) it is stated, etasya va aksarasya prasasane gargi surya-candramasau vidhrtau tisthata etasya va aksarasya prasasane gargi dyav-aprthivyau vidhrtau tisthatah. “By the supreme order, under the superintendence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the moon, the sun, and the other great planets are moving.” In the Brahma-samhita (5.52) also it is stated,

yac-caksur esa savita sakala-grahanam
raja samasta-sura-murtir asesa-tejah
yasyajnaya bhramati sambhrta-kala-cakro
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

This is a description of the movement of the sun. It is said that the sun is considered to be one of the eyes of the Supreme Lord and that it has immense potency to diffuse heat and light. Still it is moving in its prescribed orbit by the order and the supreme will of Govinda. So, from the Vedic literature we can find evidence that although this material manifestation appears to us very wonderful and great, still it is under the complete control of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as it will be explained in the later verses of this chapter. 

Text 9.7

O son of Kunti, at the end of the millenium every material manifestation enters into My nature, and at the beginning of another millenium, by My potency, by My nature, I create them again.


Therefore the creation, maintenance and annihilation of this material cosmic manifestation is completely dependent on the supreme will of the Personality of Godhead. At the end of the millenium means at the death of Brahma.We have already dicussed that Brahma lives for one hundred years and his one day is calculated to last four million and three hundred thousand years multiplied by one thousand. His night is of the same duration. His month consists of 30 such days and nights and his year of twelve months. Similarly after one hundred years of such calculation, when Brahma dies, then the devastation or annihilation takes place. That means that the energy manifested by the Supreme Lord is wound up in Himself. Then again when there is necessity of manifesting the cosmic world, by His simple will it is done. Bahu syam. “Although I am one, I shall become many.” This is the Vedic aphorism. (Chandogya Upanisad 6.2.3) He expands Himself with this material energy and the whole cosmic manifestation again takes place.

Text 9.8

The whole cosmic manifestation is under Me. Automatically under My will it is manifested again and again and under My will it is annihaled at the end.


That this material energy is the manifestation of the inferior energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead has already been explained several times. At the time of creation, the material energy is let loose as the mahat-tattva, in which the Lord by His first Purusha incarnation as Maha-Vishnu enters and lies within the causal ocean. By His breathing innumerable universes come out and in each universe the Lord enters as Gabhodaka-shayi Vishnu. Each universe is created in that way. And he also again manifests Himself as Ksirodaka-shayi Vishnu and that Ksirodaka-shayi Vishnu enters in everything, even into the atom. This fact is explained here. He enters into everything.

Now so far the living entities are concerned, they are impregnated into this material nature and by the results of their past deeds, they take different steps (?) and the activities of this material world begin. The activities of the different species of the living entities begins from the very beginning of the creation. It is not that they evolve. The different species of life are created immediately along with the creation. Men, animals, beasts, birds everyhting is simultaneously created. Whatever desires the living entities had in the past at the last annihilation is again manifested. And it is clearly stated here by the word “avasam” or “automatically” that the living entities are not in control of this process. Their state of being in their past life, in the past creation, is manifested again. And all these things are done simply by His will. This is the inconceivable potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, after the creation of different species of life, He has no connection with them. The creation takes place according to the old inclinations of the different living entities therefore the Lord has nothing to lament for them.

Text 9.9

O Dhananjaya, all this work cannot bind Me. I am always detached from all those material activites as if seated (situated) as neutral. 


One should not think, in this conection, that the Supreme Personality of Godhead has no engagement. We have several times mentioned in these explanation of Bhagavad-gita that in His spiritual world he is engaged always. In the Krishna abode, He is engaed in His activities. In the Brahma-samhita (5.6) it is stated, atmaramasya tasyasti prakrtya na samagamah: “He is always engaged in His eternal blissful spiritual activities. But He has nothing to do with these material activities.” Material activities are being carried on by His different potencies. The Lord is always neutral in His material activities of the created world. This neutrality is explained with the word “udasina-vat”, as if neutral.  Although He has control over every minute detail of the material activities, still He is sitting as if neutral. The very example of the high-court judge sitting on his bench can be given. By his order so many things are happening, somebody is being hanged, somebody is put into jail, somebody is awarded some huge amount of wealth by his judgement, still he is neutral. He has nothing to with all that gain, loss of life and everything else. Similarly, the Lord is always neutral, although He has got His hand in every sphere of activities. In the Vedanta sutra (2.1.34), there is a code: vaisamya-nairghrnye na. This means that He is not situated in the differential treatment of this material world. He is transcendental to this differential treatment, neither is He attached to the creation and annihilation of this material world. The living entities take their different forms of species of life according to their past deeds and the Lord has nothing to do with them. 

Text 9.10

This material nature is one of My energies and it is working under my direction, O son of Kunti. Under my superintendance it is producing all moving and nonmoving entities, but under its rule these material manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.


It is clearly stated here that the Supreme Lord, although aloof from all these activities of the material world, still is present as the Supreme Director. The Supreme Lord is the supreme-will-background of this material manifestation, while the whole management is being done by the material nature. Krishna also states in the Bhagavad-gita that of all living entities in different forms “I am the father.” Just like the father gives seeds to the womb of the mother for the child, similarly, the Supreme Lord by His glance only injects all the living entities into the womb of the material nature, and they come out in their different forms and species according to their last desires and activities. All these living enitites, although born under the glance of the Supreme Lord, still take their different bodies in terms of their past deed and desires. So the Lord is not directly attached to this material creation. He simply puts His glance over the material nature and the material nature is agitated and everything is created at this point. By glancing over material nature, there is undoubtedly activity of the Supreme  Lord. But directly He has nothing to do with the manifestation of the material world. The example is given in the smriti: when there is a fragrant flower before somebody and the fragrance is touched with the smelling power of the person, stiil the smelling and the flower are detached from one another. Similarly there is flavor like connection between the material world and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but actually He has noth