Bombay, March 31, 1971
Prabhupada: (chants mangalacarana prayers) Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you very much for your participating in this meeting, Krsna consciousness movement. This Krsna consciousness movement is very much authorized. It is nothing like concocted mental speculation. It is authorized on the basis of Vedic knowledge, specifically, directly from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krsna, five thousand years ago when there was no history of other religion. In the modern age, any religion you can take into consideration, they are not older than 2,600 years. But so far this Bhagavad-gita is concerned, it was spoken in the Battlefield of Kuruksetra five thousand years ago.
We should consider what are the religion of the world 2,600 years ago because modern history cannot place before you any chronological list of religious evolution within 2,600 years. There was human society before 2,600 years. And what was their religion? We think, from Vedic evidences, the whole world was in Krsna consciousness. There was one God, Krsna; one scripture, Bhagavad-gita; one consciousness, Krsna consciousness; and one work, service of the Lord. From Mahabharata, the great history of India, we can understand that up to Maharaja Pariksit, the whole world was ruled by one flag, this Vedic culture. Gradually it deteriorated, as we have practical experience. Twenty years ago there was no Pakistan, but now Pakistan is existing. Similarly, the whole planet was known as Bharata-varsa. This Bharata-varsa name was after the king Maharaja Bharata, the son of Rsabhadeva. Before that, this planet was known as Ilavrta-varsa. And after the king Maharaja Bharata—he was a great king—he also left his kingdom at the age of twenty-four years, very young boy, for searching after spiritual realization, self-realization. That is the way of Vedic culture or Indian culture. Not that up to the last point of our death we shall stick to the worldly affairs. The Vedic culture divides the whole society into four social orders and four spiritual orders. The four social orders is division of intelligence. The most intelligent class of men are called the brahmanas. And next than the brahmanas are the ksatriyas. It is all calculated on the basis of intelligence. There are different kinds of people all over the world on account of more or less intelligence. So brahmana means the most intelligent class of men. The scientists, the poets, the philosophers, like that. The religionists, they are called brahmanas. And the administrator class is called the ksatriyas, and the productive class are called the vaisyas, and the laborer class, or the working class, is called the sudra. That is natural division.
In the Bhagavad-gita... We are trying to understand Bhagavad-gita as it is. Our, this Krsna consciousness movement is to preach Bhagavad-gita. We have not invented something, but we are preaching Bhagavad-gita as it is, without any malinterpretation. Therefore, because we are presenting pure Bhagavad-gita, people are accepting it very quickly. Unfortunately, before this in the Western countries there was so many translation of Bhagavad-gita, but everyone's attempt is to make Krsna—minus Bhagavad-gita. They are commenting Bhagavad-gita without Krsna; kingdom of God without God. That is their attempt. But we are presenting Bhagavad-gita as it is. In the Bhagavad-gita the Supreme Personality of Godhead is Krsna. We are presenting in that way. We are presenting Krsna in the Western world. When I first went there the people were saying, "God is dead." Exactly in the same way as in our country also. We have been misled by so-called leaders. Andha yathandhair upaniyamanas te 'pisa-tantryam uru-damni baddhah. There is a statement in the Srimad-Bhagavatam,
na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum
durasaya ye bahir-artha-maninah
andha yathandhair upaniyamanas
te 'pisa-tantryam uru-damni baddhah
But actually we are misled by the so-called blind leaders. They have no vision what is the actual goal of life. Not only in a particular country—everywhere the same mischief is going on. Therefore, as a blind man, if he leads other blind men, there will be catastrophe, similarly, because we are led by blind men, the whole world is in catastrophe. Nobody is in peace. Everyone is unsatisfied in spite of so much material education, advancement of material education, because the missing point is Visnu. Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum [SB 7.5.31].
So the Vedic literatures, the Vedic civilization, is pointing out to Visnu. As you know in the Rg mantra, Rg Veda: tad visnum paramam padam sada pasyanti surayah. Those who are actually intelligent, brahmanas, they are looking after self-realization, making the target on the Supreme Lord, Visnu. That is the missing point. In the Bhagavad-gita we are taught by the Lord Himself to give us enlightenment, what is the aim of life. That aim of life the Lord Krsna says Himself in the Bhagavad-gita: vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyam [Bg. 15.15]. The ultimate target of life is to understand Krsna. That is Bhagavad-gita's teaching. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyam.
sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto
mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca
vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyam
vedanta-vid vedanta-krd caham
Unfortunately, we do not understand or do not try to understand or do not like to understand Bhagavad-gita as it is. If we try to understand Bhagavad-gita as it is, then we have to accept a certain prescribed process. Not that because one is very erudite scholar academically, because one has got some degrees of the university he will be able to understand Bhagavad-gita. It is not like that. Even a very layman, illiterate man, without any understanding of the Vedas, if he is a devotee, he can understand Bhagavad-gita, whereas a person, very erudite scholar, with reputation, he cannot understand Bhagavad-gita. I shall cite one example when Lord Caitanya was traveling in the South India. When He was in the Ranganatha temple of South India, one brahmana was reading Bhagavad-gita, and his friends and neighbors knew that the brahmana was illiterate. He could not know even what is written there, but still he was trying to read Bhagavad-gita. So some of his friends were criticizing him: "Hello, brahmana. How you are reading Bhagavad-gita?" He knew that "They are criticizing," so he remained silent. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw that he was reading Bhagavad-gita with transcendental ecstasy. He therefore approached him, "My dear brahmana, what you are reading?" The brahmana could understand that this gentleman, or this sannyasi—Caitanya Mahaprabhu at that time was a sannyasi—He was not joking. He was serious. So he informed Him, "My dear sir, I am reading Bhagavad-gita, but I am illiterate. My Guru Maharaja asked me to read Bhagavad-gita a few chapters daily, although he knew that I am illiterate. So I am trying to read Bhagavad-gita, but I cannot actually read it." But Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "But I sometimes see that you are in full ecstasy and sometimes you are crying." He said, "Yes, sir. I feel some ecstasy." "What is that?" He said that "As soon as I take this Bhagavad-gita in my hand I feel that Krsna is the chariot driver of Arjuna. So I feel that how Krsna is kind that He has accepted a menial service of His devotee. He is driving the chariot and Arjuna is ordering Him, senayor ubhayor madhye ratham sthapaya me 'cyuta: [Bg. 1.21] 'My dear Krsna, Acyuta, please put up my chariot between the two soldiers.' And He is carrying out the order. So when I see that Krsna is so kind that He can become an order carrier of His devotee, that is giving me feeling, and I am therefore crying." Caitanya Mahaprabhu immediately embraced him and said, "My dear brahmana, you are actually reading Bhagavad-gita." That is the fact. If after reading Bhagavad-gita we do not realize what is Krsna, what is our relationship with Krsna, what is our duty towards Krsna, and what is the ultimate goal of life, then it is useless study. It has no meaning. Therefore Lord Krsna prescribed it, how to read Bhagavad-gita. Don't try to read Bhagavad-gita made by some commentator who has no knowledge of Krsna. One who is not a devotee of Krsna, he has no business to comment on the Bhagavad-gita.
That is the purport stated in the Bhagavad-gita. You'll find in the Fourth Chapter, Bhagavad-gita, Krsna says to Arjuna,
So Krsna said to Arjuna, "My dear Arjuna, this Bhagavad-gita was first spoken by Me to the sun-god, Vivasvan. Vivasvan spoke to his son Manu. And Manu, by his turn, spoke to his son Maharaja Iksvaku." So if you take the history of Manu, then it becomes 400,000's millions of years ago Bhagavad-gita was spoken. So Bhagavad-gita is not a new thing. If we accept Bhagavad-gita as it is, if we believe in the words of Bhagavad-gita, or Krsna, then Bhagavad-gita is the oldest. It is not a new thing. It was long, long ago spoken to the sun-god Vivasvan. The sun-god, the president or the predominating Deity in the sun planet, is known as Vivasvan. So we have to study Bhagavad-gita as it is by the parampara system. As Sri Krsna says, evam parampara-praptam [Bg. 4.2]. Not that whimsically somebody purchases a book from the market and he takes his pleasure to make an interpretation of his own intelligence. Bhagavad-gita was spoken by Krsna. He did not leave it for being interpreted by an ordinary man. There is no need of explaining Bhagavad-gita in a different way.
Just like in the beginning of the Bhagavad-gita we understand the statements very clearly:
The meaning is very clear. Dharma-ksetre: the land of pilgrimage, the holy land of pilgrimage; kuru-ksetre: the land which is known as Kuruksetra. It is not fictitious. It is actual fact. Still there is Kuruksetra, and people go there to perform religious ritualistic ceremonies. And in the Vedas it is written clearly, kuruksetre dharmam acaret. That is the statement of the Vedas. So from time immemorial this Kuruksetra, land of Kuruksetra is known as dharma-ksetra. So what is the difficulty to understand dharma-ksetre kuru-ksetre [Bg. 1.1]? There is no difficulty. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous commentator says that "Kuruksetra means this body." Where is the chance of interpreting like that, "Kuru-ksetre is meaning body"? In no dictionary you will find that kuru-ksetra is meant by body. Neither there is any chance. Interpretation is required when you cannot understand the word very clearly. In that case you can interpret. Just like the example is gangayam ghosapali: "There is a neighborhood which is known as ghosapali on the Ganges." Now one may question how on the Ganges, Ganges is water, there can be a neighborhood? Then you can interpret that "It is not on the Ganges water, but it is on the bank of the Ganges." Then there is chance of interpretation. But when you can clearly understand that "The thing is like this: Kuruksetra is a place, and that is a place of pilgrimage," why should you interpret that Kuruksetra means the body? In this way Bhagavad-gita is being misinterpreted. In the Ninth Chapter, when Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65], one great commentator, very erudite scholar, he says, "It is not to Krsna; it is to the unborn principle which is within Krsna." But he does not know what is Krsna, and he has the audacity to comment on the Bhagavad-gita. Krsna is not different from within and without. Krsna, being Absolute, there is no such difference. As we have got difference, I, the spirit soul, is different from my body, but Krsna is not like that. There is no such difference that Krsna's soul and Krsna's body. Krsna is complete whole, purna. There is no such difference. The person who does not know what is Krsna, if he tries to comment upon the transcendental knowledge imparted by Krsna, that is simply impudent. So in this way, if we try to understand Bhagavad-gita as it is, then we become liberated, we become a devotee of Krsna, we become fully Krsna conscious. That is the objective of Bhagavad-gita. Krsna therefore says, "Arjuna, I am trying to deliver this knowledge of Bhagavad-gita unto you because you are My devotee." Bhakto 'si priyo 'si me rahasyam hy etad uttamam [Bg. 4.3]. "Without you, nobody can understand what is the mystery of this Bhagavad-gita knowledge."
Therefore we should understand that Bhagavad-gita is meant for a person who is a devotee and dear to Krsna, not for the demons, who are against Krsna. The demons are trying to kill Krsna. Just like Kamsa: his only business is making plan how to kill Krsna. Just like Ravana: his only business is how to kill Lord Rama. So there are two classes of men. One class of men is called demigod, devata, and the other class is called demon. And who is demon and who is devata? Visnu-bhakto bhaved deva asuras tad-viparyayah. One who is devotee of Lord Visnu, he is called deva, demigod. All the demigods like Surya, Candra, Indra, and many others, they are all appointed servants of Krsna. In the Caitanya-caritamrta, therefore, it is said,
Very simple language: "The only master, only isvara, paramesvara, is Krsna." That is confirmed in the Brahma-samhita also:
In the Srimad-Bhagavatam also it is confirmed, ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam [SB 1.3.28]. Even Sankaracarya, whom we call impersonalist, he has accepted in his comment on Bhagavad-gita that "Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead appearing as the son of Devaki and Vasudeva." Similarly, all other acaryas-Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Visnu Svami, Nimbarka, and lately, Caitanya Mahaprabhu... Of course, Caitanya Mahaprabhu is both acarya and Krsna Himself. Apart from His being Krsna, if we take the part which He played as acarya, that is, He also accepts Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayas tad-dhama vrndavanam. So we are to follow the acaryas, not these casual interpretations, interpreters, to understand Bhagavad-gita. Then we will be misled. We cannot understand. Because Krsna says that "The mystery of Bhagavad-gita will be understood by you because you are My very dear friend." So... "Because you are My devotee." So unless one is devotee, how one can understand Bhagavad-gita and Krsna? That is not possible. Krsna says plainly in the Bhagavad-gita, bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah: [Bg. 18.55] "Only through devotional service one can understand." Although Krsna has explained in the Bhagavad-gita jnana, yoga, karma, and other things, dhyana, but He specifically recommends that simply by devotional service you can understand Him. Bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam also, the same thing is confirmed:
Bhagavat-tattva-vijnanam. It is a science. It is not a mental speculation or whimsical theorizing, that "God may be like this, God may be like that," and different philosophers will differ from one another. It is not like that. It is a great science. As two plus two equal to four, nobody can make it "Two plus two equal to five" or "Two plus two equal to three." Anywhere, science is science, fact. Similarly, Bhagavad-gita you cannot interpret differently. Just like "Two plus two equal to five"—that cannot be. You have to accept "Two plus two equal to four."
So if you try to understand Bhagavad-gita as it is, then you will be benefited. Our process of preaching this Krsna consciousness movement is only that we are presenting Bhagavad-gita as it is, without any malinterpretation. And you are practically seeing that all over the world this Bhagavad-gita principles, Krsna the Supreme Lord, is being accepted. All these boys and girls who are dancing in Krsna consciousness, four years ago, four years back, they never heard of Krsna. Of course, some of them knew Bhagavad-gita, because Bhagavad-gita is very widely read. But because Bhagavad-gita was not properly presented, although for the last hundred or two hundred or more than that years, Bhagavad-gita is widely read all over the world, there was not a single Krsna-bhakta. But since Bhagavad-gita is being presented as it is, within four years there are hundreds and thousands of Krsna-bhaktas. That is our point, that you present the thing as it is, without any adulteration. Just like milk, pure milk, if you supply, automatically there will be many customers. But if you sell milk adulteration, adulterating with water, you can cheat somebody for some time, but you cannot cheat all for all the time. That is not possible. So it is now necessary. It is India's culture. People are hankering after this culture, Krsna culture. So you should prepare yourself to present Bhagavad-gita as it is. Then India will conquer all over the world by this Krsna culture. Be... Rest assured. We are hankering after help from others. Our government men go there in America: "Please give us wheat. Please give us money. Please give us soldiers." Simply begging business. But here is a thing which (you) can give to them. Simply begging does not glorify your country. Try to give something to the others, to other countries. That is the mission of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. (applause)
We are meant for doing welfare activities to the whole world. We are not meant for exploiting. We have something to give to the whole world. That is Krsna consciousness. That is the mission of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He says, "Everyone who has taken birth as a human being of this, in this country, Bharata-varsa..." Specifically He said,
Without being human being, nobody can perfect his life. Animal, they cannot make perfect his life. It is not possible. By nature they are stopped. But a human being, he can perfect his life. And especially in India there is treasure of knowledge, Vedic knowledge. Why you neglect it? And the summarized knowledge is Bhagavad-gita. So if we simply try to understand Bhagavad-gita as it is, we understand immediately the science of God. And because we are all parts and parcels of God, we are actually hankering after uniting with God. That is our seeking. Anandamayo 'bhyasat (Vedanta-sutra 1.1.12). God is anandamaya, and we, being part and parcel of God, or Krsna, we are also anandamaya. But we are seeking ananda in a different atmosphere, in the material atmosphere. Therefore we are being baffled. The only remedy is that you take to Krsna consciousness and you will be happy.
So it is the duty of every Indian to understand this science. It is a science, and spoken by the Lord Himself, and understood by all the acaryas. Krsna says acaryopasanam. We have to understand things through the acaryas. Acaryavan puruso veda. One who is not following the footsteps of the acaryas, he cannot understand anything. Krsna also says tad-vijnanartham. No, Krsna... That is said in the Kathopanisad: tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. Krsna says, tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya [Bg. 4.34]. So everywhere the same instruction is there, that "You approach a person who is coming in disciplic succession," evam parampara-praptam [Bg. 4.2], "and try to learn Bhagavad-gita as it is. Your life will be sublime. Your life will be successful." That is our mission. We have given so many important books. We have got magazines. If you want to understand through intelligence and philosophy, we have got volumes of books we can deliver. You try to understand. If you simply read our book Krsna in two parts, I am sure you will become Krsna conscious, undoubtedly. Or if you feel that you cannot read or you have no money to purchase book, never mind. Lord Caitanya has given you very simple path: chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. If you chant this mantra with faith and devotion, without any offense, but simply by chanting you will realize yourself, you will realize God, Krsna, and your life will be successful. Ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. These are the statements of Vedic literature. Simply by chanting Hare Krsna mantra, one can cleanse his heart of all the dirty things. And as soon as the dirty things are moved, then you become liberated. Bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam. Immediately the blazing fire of material existence is extinguished.
These are the processes recommended in the Vedas. We are simply preaching the authorized principles of the Vedas, and we request you all to accept it. Not accept it blindly, but take it with all your reason and intelligence. Just like Caitanya-caritamrta says,
It is not that we are forcing something. By force you cannot do anything. That is artificial. That is not... But it is a fact that in everyone's heart there is Krsna consciousness because that is pure consciousness. Because we are part and parcel of Krsna, naturally, just like father and the son, there is an eternal relationship. Similarly, Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we have got eternal relationship with Krsna. That is now covered by the dirty things of maya. But as soon as we remove, we cleanse these dirty things from our heart, then immediately we can understand what is Krsna and what is our relationship with spirit.
Everyone's heart, there is Krsna bhakti. Otherwise, how these Europeans, Americans, Canadians, Japanese, they are taking to Krsna consciousness? We have Muhammadans also. Many Muhammadans, they are taking to Krsna consciousness. Therefore it is to be understood that Krsna consciousness, or love for Krsna, is existing in everyone's heart. It is simply to be awakened. Nothing more. How it is awakened? Sravanadi-suddha-citte karaye udaya. if you simply give your aural reception to the Krsna katha. Krsna katha means what is spoken by Krsna, the Bhagavad-gita, and Krsna katha means speeches and words which are spoken about Krsna. The Srimad-Bhagavatam is also Krsna katha, and Bhagavad-gita is also Krsna katha. One is directly spoken by Lord Krsna, end one is spoken by Lord, I mean to say, Vyasadeva, the great saint Vyasadeva, about Krsna. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that "You preach this Krsna katha to everyone and then you become a spiritual master under My order."
So if we strictly follow these principles, if we simply say what Krsna says, what Krsna desires... Krsna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. If you cannot do anything, simply speak to your friend, "My dear friend, please surrender unto Krsna." You surrender first of all yourself and speak to others, "Please surrender unto Krsna." Your life becomes sublime and successful.
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