Bhagavad-gita Introduction

New York, February 19-20, 1966
Introduction to Gitopanisad
(Earliest Recording of Srila Prabhupada
in the Bhaktivedanta Archives)
om ajnana-timirandhasya
caksur unmilitam yena
tasmai sri-gurave namah
[I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, who with the torchlight of knowledge has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance.]
[When will Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?]
vande 'ham sri-guroh sri-yuta-pada-kamalam sri-gurun vaisnavams ca
sri-rupam sagrajatam saha-gana-raghunathanvitam tam sa-jivam
sadvaitam savadhutam parijana-sahitam krsna-caitanya-devam
sri-radha-krsna-padan saha-gana-lalita-sri-visakhanvitams ca
[I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master and of all the other preceptors on the path of devotional service. I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaisnavas and unto the six Gosvamis, including Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Jiva Gosvami and their associates. I offer my respectful obeisances unto Sri Advaita Acarya Prabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and all His devotees, headed by Srivasa Thakura. I then offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of Lord Krsna, Srimati Radharani and all the gopis, headed by Lalita and Visakha.]
[O my dear Krsna, ocean of mercy, You are the friend of the distressed and the source of creation. You are the master of the cowherdmen and the lover of the gopis, especially Radharani. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.]
radhe vrndavanesvari
vrsabhanu-sute devi
pranamami hari-priye
[I offer my respects to Radharani, whose bodily complexion is like molten gold and who is the Queen of Vrndavana. You are the daughter of King Vrsabhanu, and You are very dear to Lord Krsna.]
vancha-kalpatarubhyas ca
krpa-sindhubhya eva ca
patitanam pavanebhyo
vaisnavebhyo namo namah
[I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaisnava devotees of the Lord. They can fulfill the desires of everyone, just like desire trees, and they are full of compassion for the fallen souls.]
[I offer my obeisances to Sri Krsna Caitanya, Prabhu Nityananda, Sri Advaita, Gadadhara, Srivasa and all others in the line of devotion.]
[My dear Lord, and the spiritual energy of the Lord, kindly engage me in Your service. I am now embarrassed with this material service. Please engage me in Your service.]
Introduction to Gitopanisad by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, the author of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Easy Journey to Other Planets, editor of Back to Godhead, etc.
Bhagavad-gita is known also Gitopanisad, the essence of Vedic knowledge, and one of the most important of the various Upanisads in Vedic literature. This Bhagavad-gita, there are many commentations in English and what is the necessity of another English commentation of the Bhagavad-gita can be explained in the following way. One American lady, Mrs. Charlotte Le Blanc asked me to recommend an English edition of Bhagavad-gita which she can read. Of course, in America there are so many editions of English Bhagavad-gita, but so far I have seen them, not only in America but also India, none of them can be said strictly as authoritative because almost every one of them have expressed their own opinion through the commentation of the Bhagavad-gita without touching the spirit of Bhagavad-gita as it is.
The spirit of Bhagavad-gita is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita itself. It is just like this. If we want to take a particular medicine, then we have to follow the particular direction mentioned on the label of the medicine. We cannot take the particular medicine according to our own direction or by the direction of a friend, but we have to take the medicine under the direction given on the label of the bottle and as directed by the physician. Similarly, the Bhagavad-gita also should be taken or accepted as it is directed by the speaker Himself. The speaker of the Bhagavad-gita is Lord Sri Krsna. He is mentioned in every page of the Bhagavad-gita as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan. Of course, "bhagavan" is sometimes designated to any powerful person or any powerful demigod, but here bhagavan is certainly designated to Sri Krsna, a great personality, but at the same time we must know that Lord Sri Krsna, as He is confirmed by all the acaryas... I mean to say, even Sankaracarya, Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Nimbarka Svami and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and many others. In India there were many authoritative scholars and acaryas, I mean, authorities of the Vedic knowledge. All of them, including Sankaracarya, has accepted Sri Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord Himself has also established Himself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the Bhagavad-gita. He is accepted so in the Brahma-samhita and all Puranas, especially in the Bhagavata Purana, krsnas tu bhagavan svayam [SB 1.3.28]. So therefore we should take Bhagavad-gita as it is directed by the Personality of Godhead Himself.
So in the Fourth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita the Lord says,
sa evayam maya te 'dya
yogah proktah puratanah
bhakto 'si me sakha ceti
rahasyam hy etad uttamam
[Bg. 4.3]
The idea is the Lord said to Arjuna that "This yoga, this system of yoga, Bhagavad-gita, was first spoken by Me to the sun-god and the sun-god explained to Manu. Manu explained to Iksvaku, and in that way, by disciplic succession, one after another, this yoga system is coming, and in course of time this system is now lost. And therefore, I am speaking to you the very same yoga system again, the very same old yoga system of Bhagavad-gita, or Gitopanisad. Because you are My devotee and you are My friend, therefore it is possible for you only to understand."
Now the purport is that Bhagavad-gita is a treatise which is specially meant for the devotee of the Lord. There are three classes of transcendentalists, namely the jnani, the yogi and the bhakta. Or the impersonalist or the meditator or the devotees. So here it is clearly mentioned, the Lord says to Arjuna that "I am speaking or I am making you the first man of the parampara. Because the old parampara or disciplic succession is now broken, therefore I wish to establish again another parampara in the same line of thought as it was coming down from the sun-god to others. So you, you take it and you distribute it. Or the system, the yoga system of Bhagavad-gita may now be distributed through you. You become the authority of understanding Bhagavad-gita." Now here is a direction that Bhagavad-gita is especially instructed to Arjuna, the devotee of the Lord, the direct student of Krsna. And not only that, he is intimately in touch with Krsna as friend. Therefore Bhagavad-gita is understood by a person who has similar qualities like Krsna. That means he must be a devotee, he must be in relation, direct relationship with the Lord. As soon as one becomes a devotee of the Lord, he has a direct relationship also with the Lord. That is a subject matter very long, but briefly it can be stated that a devotee is in relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in five ways. One may be a devotee in a passive state, one may be a devotee in active state, one may be a devotee as a friend, one may be a devotee as parent, and one may be a devotee as conjugal lover.
So Arjuna was a devotee in relationship with the Lord as a friend. The Lord can become a friend. Of course, this friendship and the conception of friendship which we have got in the mundane world, there is a gulf of difference. This is transcendental friendship which... Not that everyone will have the relationship with the Lord. Everyone has got a particular relationship with the Lord and that particular relationship is evoked by the perfection of devotional service. At the present status of our life we have not only forgotten the Supreme Lord, but also we have forgotten our eternal relationship with the Lord. Every living being, out of many, many millions and billions of living beings, each and every living being has got a particular relationship with the Lord eternally. That is called svarupa. Svarupa. And by the process of devotional service one can revive that svarupa of oneself. And that stage is called svarupa-siddhi, perfection of one's constitutional position. So Arjuna was a devotee and he was in touch with the Supreme Lord in friendship.
Now, this Bhagavad-gita was explained to Arjuna and how Arjuna accepted it? That should also be noted. How Arjuna accepted the Bhagavad-gita is mentioned in the Tenth Chapter. Just like
ahus tvam rsayah sarve
devarsir naradas tatha
asito devalo vyasah
svayam caiva bravisi me
[Bg. 10.12-13]
Now, Arjuna says, after hearing Bhagavad-gita from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he accepts Krsna as param brahma, the Supreme Brahman. Brahman. Every living being is Brahman, but the supreme living being or the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the Supreme Brahman or supreme living being. And param dhama. Param dhama means He is the supreme rest of everything. And pavitram. Pavitram means He is pure from material contamination. And He's addressed as purusam. Purusam means the supreme enjoyer; sasvatam, sasvata means from very beginning, He's the first person; divyam, transcendental; devam, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ajam, never born; vibhum, the greatest.
Now one may doubt that because Krsna was the friend of Arjuna, therefore he might say all these things to his own friend. But Arjuna, just to drive out this kind of doubts in the mind of the readers of Bhagavad-gita, he establishes his proposition by the authorities. He says that Lord Sri Krsna is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead not only by himself, Arjuna, but He is so accepted by authorities like Narada, Asita, Devala, Vyasa. These personalities are great personalities in distributing the Vedic knowledge. They (are) accepted by all acaryas. Therefore Arjuna says that "Whatever You have spoken so far to me, I accept them as completely perfect." Sarvam etad rtam manye [Bg. 10.14]. "I take it, I believe it that whatever You have spoken, they are all right. And Your Personality, Your Personality of Godhead, is very difficult to understand. And therefore You cannot be known by even the demigods. You cannot be known even by the demigods." That means the Supreme Personality Godhead cannot be known even by greater personalities than the human being, and how a human being can understand Sri Krsna without becoming His devotee?
Therefore Bhagavad-gita should be taken up in a spirit of devotee of Lord Sri Krsna. One should not think that he is equal, on the same level of Sri Krsna, or one should not think that He is an ordinary personality, maybe a very great personality. No. Lord Sri Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So at least theoretically, on the statement of Bhagavad-gita or on the statement, assertion of Arjuna, the person who is trying to understand the Bhagavad-gita, we should accept Sri Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and then, with that submissive spirit... Unless one receives this Bhagavad-gita in a submissive spirit and aural reception, it is very difficult to understand Bhagavad-gita because it is a great mystery.
So in this Bhagavad-gita... We may survey what is this Bhagavad-gita. This Bhagavad-gita is meant for delivering persons, persons from the nescience of this material existence. Every man is in difficulty in so many ways, as Arjuna also was in difficulty in the matter of fighting the battle of Kuruksetra. And as such he surrendered unto Sri Krsna, and therefore this Bhagavad-gita was spoken. Similarly, not only Arjuna but every one of us is always full of anxieties due to our, this material existence. Asad-grahat. It is... Our existence is in the environment or atmosphere of nonexistence. But actually, we are not nonexistent. Our existence is eternal, but some way or other we are put into this asat. Asat means which does not exist.
Now out of so many human being who are actually inquiring about his position as to what he is, why he is put into this awkward position of suffering... Unless one is awakened to this position, that "Why I am suffering? I do not want all these sufferings. I have tried to make a solution of all these sufferings, but I have failed," unless one is in that position, he is not to be considered a perfect human being. Humanity begins when this sort of inquiries are awakened in one's mind. In the Brahma-sutra this inquiry is called brahma-jijnasa. Athato brahma jijnasa. And every activity of the human being is to be considered a failure without having this inquiry in his mind. So persons who have awakened this inquiry into his mind as to "What I am, why I am suffering, wherefrom I have come or where I shall go after death," when these inquiries come, are awakened in the mind of a sane human being, then he is practically the right student for understanding Bhagavad-gita. And he must be sraddhavan. Sraddhavan. He must have respect, a fond respect in the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such a person, as the ideal person was Arjuna.
So Lord Krsna, He descends, yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati [Bg. 4.7], just to establish the real purpose of life. When man forgets the real purpose of life, the mission of human form of life, then it is called dharmasya glanih, the disturbance of the occupation of human being. So in that circumstances, out of many, many human being, who awakens, one who awakens the spirit of understanding his position, for him this Bhagavad-gita is spoken. We are just like swallowed by the tigress of nescience, and Lord, being causelessly merciful upon the living entities, especially for the human being, He spoke Bhagavad-gita, making His friend Arjuna as the student.
Arjuna was certainly, being an associate of Lord Krsna, he was above all ignorance. But still, Arjuna was put into ignorance in the Battlefield of Kuruksetra just to question about the problems of life to the Supreme Lord so that the Lord can explain them for the benefit of future generation of human being to chalk out the plan of his life and act in that way so that his life, his mission of human life, can be perfect.
So in this Bhagavad-gita the subject matter is comprehending five different truths. The first truth is what is God. It is the preliminary study of the science of God. So that science of God is explained here. Next, the constitutional position of the living entities, jiva. Isvara and jiva. The Lord, the Supreme Lord, He is called isvara. Isvara means controller, and jiva, the living entities are... Jivas, the living entities, they are not isvara, or the controller. They are controlled. Artificially, if I say that "I am not controlled, I am free," this is not the sign of a sane man. A living being is controlled in every respect. At least, in his conditioned life he is controlled. So in this Bhagavad-gita the subject matter comprehends about the isvara, the supreme controller, and about the controlled living entities and prakrti, the nature, the material nature. And next, the time, or duration of existence of the whole universe, or this manifestation of the material nature, and the duration of time, or the eternal time, and karma. Karma means activity. Everything, the whole universe, whole cosmic manifestation is full of different activities. The living beings especially, they are all engaged in different activities. So we have to study from the Bhagavad-gita, isvara, what is God, jiva, what are these living entities, and prakrti, what is this cosmic manifestation, and how it is controlled by time, and what are these activities?
Now out of these five subject matter, in the Bhagavad-gita it establish that the Supreme Godhead or Krsna or Brahman or Paramatma... You may call whatever you like. But the supreme controller. There is a supreme controller. So the supreme controller is the greatest of all. And the living beings, they are in quality like the supreme controller. Just like the supreme controller, the Lord, He has control over the universal affairs, over the material nature, how the... It will be explained in the later chapters of Bhagavad-gita that this material nature is not independent. She is acting under the direction of the Supreme Lord. Mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram [Bg. 9.10]. "This material nature is working under My direction," mayadhyaksena, "under My superintendence." So we, we are mistaken. When we see wonderful things happening in the cosmic nature, we should know that behind these wonderful manifestations, there is a controller. Nothing can be manifested without being controlled. It is childish to, not to consider about the controller. Just like a very nice motor car with very good speed and very good engineering arrangement is running on the street. A child may think that "How this motor car is running without the help of any horse or any pulling agent?" But a sane man or an elderly person, he knows that in spite of all engineering arrangements in the motor car, without the driver it cannot move. That engineering arrangement of a motor car, or in electric powerhouse... Now at the present moment it is the day of machinery, but we should always know that behind the machinery, behind the wonderful working of the machinery, there is a driver. So the Supreme Lord is the driver, adhyaksa. He is the Supreme Personality under whose direction everything is working. Now these jiva, or the living entities, they have been accepted by the Lord in this Bhagavad-gita, as we'll know it in later chapters, that they are parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord. Mamaivamso jiva-bhutah [Bg. 15.7]. Amsa means parts and parcels. Now as a particle of gold is also particle, a drop of water of the ocean is also salty, similarly, we, the living entities, being part and parcels of the supreme controller, isvara, Bhagavan, or Lord Sri Krsna, we have got, I mean to say, qualitatively all the qualities of the Supreme Lord in minute. Because we are minute isvara, subordinate isvara. We are also trying to control. We are just trying to control over the nature. In the present days you are trying to control over the space. You are trying to float imitation planets. So this tendency of controlling or creating is there because partially we have got that controlling tendency. But we should know that this tendency is not sufficient. We have the tendency of controlling over the material nature, lording it over the material nature, but we are not the supreme controller. So that thing is explained in the Bhagavad-gita.
Then what is this material nature? The nature is also explained. The nature, material nature, is explained in the Bhagavad-gita as inferior, inferior prakrti. Inferior prakrti, and the living entities are explained as the superior prakrti. Prakrti means which is controlled, which is under... Prakrti, real meaning of prakrti is a woman or a female. Just like a husband controls the activities of his wife, similarly, the prakrti is also subordinate, predominated. The Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the predominator, and this prakrti, both the living entities and the material nature, they are different prakrtis, or predominated, controlled by the Supreme. So according to Bhagavad-gita, the living entities, although they are parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord, they are taken as prakrti. It is clearly mentioned in the Seventh Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita yes, apareyam itas tu viddhi apara [Bg. 7.5]. This material nature is apara iyam. Itas tu, and beyond this there is another prakrti. And what is that prakrti? Jiva-bhuta, these...
So this prakrti, the constitution of this prakrti is constituted by three qualities: the mode of goodness, the mode of passion, and mode of ignorance. And above these modes, three different kinds of modes, goodness, passion, and, I mean to say, ignorance, there is eternal time. There is eternal time. And by combination of these modes of nature and under the control, under the purview of this eternal time, there are activities. There are activities, which is called karma. These activities are being done from time immemorial and we are suffering or enjoying the fruits of our activities. Just like in the present life also, we enjoy the activities, the fruits of our activities. Suppose I am a businessman and I have worked very hard with intelligence and I have amassed a vast amount of bank balance. Now I am the enjoyer. Similarly, suppose I started my business with a vast amount of money, but I failed to make a successful..., I lost all the money. So I am sufferer. So similarly, in every field of our life we enjoy, we enjoy the result of our work. This is called karma.
So these things, isvara, jiva, prakrti, or the Supreme Lord, or the living entity, the material nature, the eternal time, and our different activities, these things are explained in the Bhagavad-gita. Now out of these five, the Lord, the living entities, and the material nature and time, these four items are eternal. Now manifestation, manifestation of prakrti may be temporary, but it is not false. Some philosophers say that this manifestation of material nature is false, but according to the philosophy of Bhagavad-gita or according to the philosophy of the Vaisnavas, they do not accept the manifestation of the world as false. They accept that the manifestation is real, but it is temporary. It is just like a cloud takes place in the sky and the rainy season begins, and after the rainy season there are so many new green vegetation all over the field, we can see. And as soon as the rainy season is finished, then the cloud is vanquished. Generally, gradually, all this vegetation dry up and again the land becomes barren. Similarly, this material manifestation takes place at a certain interval. We'll understand it, we'll know it, from the pages of the Bhagavad-gita. Bhutva bhutva praliyate [Bg. 8.19]. This manifestation becomes magnificent at a certain interval, and again it disappears. That is the work of the prakrti. But it is working eternally; therefore prakrti is eternal. It is not false. Because the Lord has accepted, mama prakrti, "My prakrti." Apareyam itas tu viddhi me prakrtim param [Bg. 7.5]. Bhinna prakrti, bhinna prakrti, apara prakrti, this material nature is a separated energy of the Supreme Lord, and the living entities, they are also energy of the Supreme Lord, but they are not separated. They are eternally related. So the Lord, the living entity, the nature, material nature, and time, they are all eternal. But the other item, karma, is not eternal. The effects of karma or activity may be very old. We are suffering or enjoying the results of our activities from a time immemorial, but still, we can change the result of our karma, or activity. That will depend on our perfect knowledge. We are engaged in various activities undoubtedly, but we do not know what sort of activities we shall adopt that will give us relief from the actions and reactions of all activities. That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gita.
Now, the position of isvara is supreme consciousness. Position of isvara, or the Supreme Lord, is supreme consciousness. And the jivas, or the living entities, being parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord, he is also conscious. A living entity is also conscious. The living entity is explained as prakrti, energy, and the material nature is also explained as prakrti, but amongst the two, one prakrti, the jivas, they are conscious. The other prakrti is not conscious. That is the difference. Therefore the jiva prakrti is called superior because the jivas has consciousness similar to the Lord. The Lord is supreme consciousness. One should not claim that a jiva, a living entity is also supremely conscious. No. A living being cannot be supremely conscious at any stage of his perfection. This is a misleading theory. This is misleading theory. But he is conscious. That's all. But he is not supreme conscious.
The supreme conscious, it will be explained in the Bhagavad-gita in the chapter where the distinction between the jiva and isvara is explained. Ksetra-ksetra-jna. This ksetra-jna has been explained that the Lord is also ksetra-jna, or conscious, and the jivas, or the living beings, they are also conscious. But the difference is that a living being is conscious within his limited body, but the Lord is conscious of all bodies. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati [Bg. 18.61]. The Lord lives within the core of heart in every living being, therefore He is conscious of the psychic movements, activities, of the particular jiva. We should not forget. It is also explained that the Paramatma, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is living in everyone's heart as isvara, as the controller and He is giving direction. He is giving direction. Sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisthah [Bg. 15.15], everyone's heart He is situated, and He gives direction to act as he desires. The living entity forgets what to do. First of all he makes his determination to act in a certain way, and then he is entangled in the actions and reactions of his own karma. But after giving up one type of body, when he enters another type of body... Just like we give up one kind of dress, one type of dress, for another type of dress, similarly, it is explained in this Bhagavad-gita that vasamsi jirnani yatha vihaya [Bg. 2.22]. One, as one changes his different dresses, similarly the living entities, they are also changing different bodies, transmigration of the soul, and pulling on the actions and reactions of his past activities. So these activities can be changed when a living being is in the mode of goodness, in sanity, and he understands what sort of activities he should adopt, and if he does so, then the whole action and reactions of his past activities can be changed. Therefore karma is not eternal. Other things, out of the four, five items—isvara, jiva, prakrti, kala, and karma—these four items are eternal, whereas the karma, the item known as karma, that is not eternal.
Now the conscious isvara, the supreme conscious isvara, and difference between the supreme conscious isvara, or the Lord, and the living being is, in the present circumstances, is like this. Consciousness, consciousness of, both of the Lord and the living entities, they are, this consciousness is transcendental. It is not that this consciousness is generated by the association of this matter. That is a mistaken idea. The theory that consciousness develops under certain circumstances of material combination is not accepted in the Bhagavad-gita. They cannot. Consciousness may be pervertedly reflected by the cover of material circumstances, just like light reflected through a colored glass may seem according to the color. Similarly, the consciousness of Lord, it is not materially affected. The Supreme Lord, just like Krsna, He says that mayadhyaksena prakrtih [Bg. 9.10]. When He descends in this material world, His consciousness is not materially affected. Had His consciousness been materially affected, He was unfit to speak about the transcendental subject matter in the Bhagavad-gita. One cannot say anything about the transcendental world without being free from the materially contaminated consciousness. So the Lord was not materially contaminated. But our consciousness, at the present moment, is materially contaminated. So whole thing, as the Bhagavad-gita teaches, we have to purify the materially contaminated consciousness and in that pure consciousness, the actions will be done. That will make us happy. We cannot stop. We cannot stop our activity. The activities are to be purified. And these purified activities are called bhakti. Bhakti means they are, they appear also just like ordinary activity, but they are not contaminated activities. They are purified activities. So an ignorant person may see that a devotee is working like an ordinary man, but a person with poor fund of knowledge, he does not know that the activities of a devotee or the activities of the Lord, they are not contaminated by the impure consciousness of matter, impurity of the three gunas, modes of nature, but transcendental consciousness. So our consciousness is materially contaminated, we should know.
Now when we are such materially contaminated, that is called our conditioned stage. Conditioned stage. And the false ego, the false consciousness... The false consciousness is exhibited under the impression that "I am one of the product of this material nature." That is called false ego. The whole material activities, yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke [SB 10.84.13]. Yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke, one who is absorbed in the thought of bodily conception. Now, the whole Bhagavad-gita was explained by the Lord because Arjuna represented himself with bodily conception. So one has to get free from the bodily conception of life. That is the preliminary activity for a transcendentalist who wants to get free, who wants to be liberated. And he has to learn first of all that he is not this material body. So this consciousness, or material consciousness, when we are freed from this material consciousness, that is called mukti. Mukti or liberation means to become free from material consciousness. In the Srimad-Bhagavata also the definition of liberation is said, muktir hitvanyatha rupam svarupena vyavasthitih [SB 2.10.6]. Svarupena vyavasthitih. Mukti means liberation from the contaminated consciousness of this material world and to become situated in pure consciousness. And the whole instruction, instruction of Bhagavad-gita, is targeted to awaken that pure consciousness. We'll find in the last stage of the instruction of Bhagavad-gita that Krsna is asking Arjuna whether he is now in purified consciousness. Whether he was in purified consciousness. The purified consciousness is to act according to the direction of the Lord. That is purified consciousness. That is the whole sum and substance of purified consciousness. Consciousness is already there, but because we are part and parcels, therefore we are affected. There is affinity of being affected by the material modes. But the Lord being Supreme, He is never affected. He is never affected. That is the difference between the Lord and the Supreme..., Supreme Lord and the...
Now this consciousness is... What is this consciousness? This consciousness is that "I am." What I am? When in contaminated consciousness this "I am" means that "I am the lord of all I survey." This is impure consciousness. And "I am the enjoyer." The whole material world is moving that every living being is thinking that "I am the lord and I am the creator of this material world." The consciousness has got two psychic movement or two psychic division. One is that "I am the creator," and the other is "I am the enjoyer." So the Supreme Lord is actually the creator and He is actually the enjoyer. And the living entities, being part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, he's not actually the creator or the enjoyer, but he's a cooperator. Just like the whole machine. The part of the machine is the cooperator, is the cooperator. Or if we can study just the constitution of our body. Now, in the body there are hands, there are legs, there are eyes, and all these instruments, working, but all these parts and parcels of the body, they are not enjoyer. The stomach is the enjoyer. The leg is moving from one place to another. The hand is collecting, the hand is preparing foodstuff, and the teeth is chewing, and everything, all parts of body, are engaged in satisfying the stomach because the stomach is the principle fact within the organization of this body. And everything should be given to the stomach. Pranopaharac ca yathendriyanam [SB 4.31.14]. Just like you can see a tree green by pouring water in the root. Or you can become healthy... The parts of the body—the hands, the legs, the eyes, the ears, the fingers—everything keeps in healthy stage when the parts of the body cooperate with the stomach. Similarly, the supreme living being, the Lord, He is the enjoyer. He is the enjoyer and He is the creator. And we, I mean to say, subordinate living beings, the products of the energy of the Supreme Lord, we are just to cooperate with Him. That cooperation will help. Just for example, a good foodstuff taken by the fingers. If the fingers think that "Why should we give it to the stomach? Let us enjoy." That is a mistake. The fingers are unable to enjoy. If fingers want the fruit of enjoyment of that particular foodstuff, the fingers must put it into the stomach. So the whole arrangement is that the central figure, central figure of creation, central figure of enjoyment, is the Supreme Lord, and the living entities, they are simply cooperator. By cooperation, by cooperation they enjoy. The relation is just like the master and the servant. If the master is satisfied, if the master is fully satisfied, the servants are automatically satisfied. That is the law. Similarly, the Supreme Lord should be satisfied, although the tendency for becoming creator and the tendency to enjoy this material world is, they are also in the living entities because it is there in the Supreme Lord. He has created, He has created the manifested cosmic world.
Therefore we shall find in this Bhagavad-gita that the complete whole, comprising the supreme controller, the controlled living entities, the cosmic manifestation, the eternal time, and the activities, all of them are completely explained. So the whole thing taking together completely is called the Absolute Truth. The complete whole, or the Supreme Absolute Truth, is therefore the complete Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna. As I have explained, that the manifestation are due to His different energies, and He is the complete whole.
The impersonal Brahman is explained in the Bhagavad-gita that impersonal Brahman is also subordinate to the complete person. Brahmano 'ham pratistha [Bg. 14.27]. Impersonal Brahman is also. It is... The impersonal Brahman is more explicitly explained in the Brahma-sutra as the rays. As there is the rays of the sunshine, sun planet, similarly, the impersonal Brahman is the shining rays of the Supreme Brahman or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore impersonal Brahman is incomplete realization of the absolute complete whole, and so also the conception of Paramatma. These things are also explained. Purusottama-yoga. When we shall read the chapter of Purusottama-yoga it will be seen that the Supreme Personality, Purusottama, is above the impersonal Brahman and partial realization of Paramatma.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is called sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah [Bs. 5.1]. In the Brahma-samhita, the beginning is started like this: isvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah/ anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam [Bs. 5.1]." Govinda, Krsna, is the cause of all causes. He is the primal Lord." So the Supreme Personality of Godhead is sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah. Impersonal Brahman realization is the realization of His sat part, eternity. And Paramatma realization is the realization of sat-cit, eternal knowledge part realization. But realization of the Personality of Godhead as Krsna is realization of all the transcendental features like sat, cit, and ananda, in complete vigraha. Vigraha means form. Vigraha means form. Avyaktam vyaktim apannam manyante mam abuddhayah [Bg. 7.24]. People with less intelligence, they consider the Supreme Truth as impersonal, but He is a person, a transcendental person. This is confirmed in all Vedic literature. Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam (Katha Upanisad 2.2.13). So, as we are also persons, individual living beings, we are persons, we have got our individuality, we are all individual, similarly the Supreme Truth, the Supreme Absolute, He is also, at the ultimate issue He is a person. But realization of the Personality of Godhead is realization of all the transcendental features like sat, cit, and ananda, in complete vigraha. Vigraha means form. Therefore the complete whole is not formless. If He is formless or if He is less in any other thing, He cannot be complete whole. The complete whole must have everything within our experience and beyond our experience. Otherwise He cannot be complete. The complete whole Personality of Godhead has immense potencies. Parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate [Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport]. That is also explained in Bhagavad-gita, how He is acting in different potencies. This phenomenal world, or the material world, where we are now put, is also complete by itself because purnam idam [Isopanisad, Invocation]. The 24 elements of which, according to Sankhya philosophy, the 24 elements of which this material universe is a temporary manifestation, are completely adjusted to produce complete things which are necessary for the maintenance and subsistence of this universe. No extraneous effort by any other unit is required for the maintenance of the universe. It's at its own time, fixed up by the energy of the complete whole, and when the time is complete, these temporary manifestations will be annihilated by the complete arrangement of the complete. There is complete facility for the small complete units, namely, the living entities, to realize the complete. And all sorts of incompleteness is experienced on account of incomplete knowledge of the complete. So the Bhagavad-gita is the complete knowledge of the Vedic wisdom.
The whole Vedic knowledge is infallible. There are different examples how we take Vedic knowledge as infallible. Take for example, so far the Hindus are concerned, and how they accept the Vedic knowledge as complete, here is an insignificant example. Just like the cow dung. The cow dung is the stool of an animal. According to smrti or Vedic wisdom, if one touches the stool of an animal he has to take his bath to purify himself. But in the Vedic scriptures the cow dung is as stated as pure. Rather, impure place or impure things are purified by touch of the cow dung. Now if one argues how it is that in one place it is said that the stool of the animal is impure and another place it is said that the cow dung which is also the stool of an animal, it is pure, so it is contradictory. But actually, it may appear to be contradictory, but because it is Vedic injunction, therefore for our practical purposes we accept it. And by that acceptance we are not committing mistake. It has been found by modern chemists, modern science, one Dr. Lal Mohan Gosal, he has very minutely analyzed the cow dung and he has found that cow dung is a composition of all antiseptic properties. So similarly, he has also analyzed the water of the Ganges out of curiosity. So my idea is that Vedic knowledge is complete because it is above all doubts and all mistakes. So, and Bhagavad-gita is the essence of all Vedic knowledge. The Vedic knowledge is therefore infallible. It comes down through the perfect disciplic succession.
Therefore Vedic knowledge is not a thing of research. Our research work is imperfect because we are searching everything with imperfect senses. Therefore the result of our research work is also imperfect. It cannot be perfect. We have to accept the perfect knowledge. The perfect knowledge is coming down, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, just we have begun, evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh [Bg. 4.2]. We have to receive the knowledge from the right source in disciplic succession of spiritual master beginning from the Lord Himself. So Bhagavad-gita is spoken by the Lord Himself. And Arjuna, the, I mean to say, the student who took lessons of the Bhagavad-gita, he accepted the whole story as it is, without any cutting. That is also not allowed, that we accept a certain portion of Bhagavad-gita and reject another portion. That is also not accepted. We must accept the Bhagavad-gita without interpretation, without any cutting, and without our own whimsical participation in the matter because it should be taken as the most perfect Vedic knowledge. The Vedic knowledge is received from the transcendental sources because the first word was spoken by the Lord Himself. The words spoken by the Lord is called apauruseya, or not delivered by any person of the mundane world, who is infected with four principles of imperfectness. A living being of the mundane world has four defective principles of his life, and they are 1) that he must commit mistake, 2) he must be sometimes illusioned, and 3) he must try to cheat others, and 4) he's endowed with imperfect senses. With all these four principles of imperfectness, one cannot deliver the perfect form of information in the matter of all-pervading knowledge. The Vedas are not like that. The Vedic knowledge was imparted in the heart of Brahma, the first created living being. And Brahma in his turn disseminated the knowledge to his sons and disciples as they were originally received from the Lord. The Lord, being purnam or all-perfect, there is no chance of His becoming subjected to the laws of material nature. One should therefore be intelligent enough to know that except the Lord, nobody is the proprietor of anything within the universe. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gita:
The Lord is the original creator. He is the creator of Brahma, He is the creator... That is also explained. He is the creator of Brahma. In the 11th Chapter the Lord is addressed as prapitamaha [Bg. 11.39] because Brahma is addressed as pitamaha, the grandfather, but He is the creator of the grandfather also. So nobody should claim to be the proprietor of anything, but he must accept things which are set aside by the Lord as his quota of maintenance. Now, there are many examples how we have to utilize the allotment of the Lord. That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gita. Arjuna, he decided in the beginning that he should not fight. That was his own contemplation. Arjuna said to the Lord that it was not possible for him to enjoy the kingdom after killing his own kinsmen. And that point of view was due to his conception of the body. Because he was thinking that the body was himself and the bodily relatives, his brothers, his nephews, his father-in-law or his grandfather, they were expansion of his body, and he was thinking in that way to satisfy his bodily demands. And the whole thing was spoken by the Lord just to change the view. And he agreed to work under the direction of the Lord. And he said, karisye vacanam tava [Bg. 18.73].
Therefore in this world the human being is not meant for quarreling like the cats and dogs. They must be intelligent enough to realize the importance of the human life and refuse to act like ordinary animal. He should... A human being should realize the aim of human life. This direction is given in all the Vedic literature, and the essence is given in the Bhagavad-gita. Vedic literature are meant for the human being and not for the cats and dogs. The cats and dogs can kill their eatable animals, and for that there is no question of sin on their part. But if a man kills an animal for the satisfaction of his uncontrolled taste, he must be responsible for breaking the laws of nature. And in the Bhagavad-gita it is clearly explained that there are three kinds of activities according to the different modes of nature: the activities of goodness, the activities of passion, the activities of ignorance. Similarly, there are three kinds of eatables also: eatables in goodness, eatables on passion, eatables on ignorance. They're all clearly described, and if we properly utilize the instructions of the Bhagavad-gita, then our whole life will become purified and ultimately we shall (be) able to reach the destination. Yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama [Bg. 15.6].
That information is given in the Bhagavad-gita, that beyond this material sky, there is another spiritual sky; that is called sanatana sky. In this sky, this covered sky, we find everything temporary. It is manifested, it stays for some time, gives us some by-product, and then it becomes dwindling, and then vanishes. That is the law of this material world. You take this body, you take a fruit or anything what is created here, it has got its annihilation at the end. So beyond this temporary world there is another world for which the information is there, that paras tasmat tu bhavah anyah [Bg. 8.20]. There is another nature which is eternal, sanatana, which is eternal. And the jiva, jiva is also described as sanatana. Mamaivamso jiva-bhutah jiva-loke sanatanah [Bg. 15.7]. Sanatana, sanatana means eternal. And the Lord is also described as sanatana in the 11th Chapter. So because we have got intimate relation with the Lord and we are all qualitatively one... The sanatana-dhama and the sanatana Supreme Personality and the sanatana living entities, they are on the same qualitatively plane. Therefore the whole target of Bhagavad-gita is to revive our sanatana occupation or sanatana..., that is called sanatana-dharma, or eternal occupation of the living entity. We are now temporarily engaged in different activities and all these activities being purified. When we give up all these temporary activities, sarva-dharman parityajya [Bg. 18.66], and when we take up the activities as desired by the Supreme Lord, that is called our pure life. [break] Therefore, sanatana-dharma, as mentioned above, that the Supreme Lord is sanatana, and the transcendental abode, which is beyond the spiritual sky, that is also sanatana. And the living entities, they are also sanatana. So association of the sanatana Supreme Lord, sanatana living entities, in the sanatana eternal abode is the ultimate aim of human form of life. The Lord is so kind upon the living entities because the living entities are claimed to be all sons of the Supreme Lord. The Lord declares sarva-yonisu kaunteya sambhavanti murtayo yah [Bg. 14.4]. Every living, every type of living entity... There are different types of living entities according to their different karma, but the Lord claims that He is the father of all living entities, and therefore the Lord descends to reclaim all these forgotten conditioned souls back to the sanatana-dhama, the sanatana sky, so that the sanatana living entity may again reinstall in his sanatana position in eternal association of the Lord. He comes Himself by different incarnations, He sends His confidential servitor as sons or associates or acaryas to reclaim the conditioned souls.
And therefore sanatana-dharma does not mean any sectarian process of religion. It is the eternal function of the eternal living entities in relationship with the eternal Supreme Lord. So far sanatana-dharma is concerned, it means the eternal occupation. Sripada Ramanujacarya has explained the word sanatana as "the thing which has neither any beginning nor any end." And when we speak of sanatana-dharma we must take it for granted on the authority of Sripada Ramanujacarya that it has no beginning, nor any end. The word religion is a little different from sanatana-dharma. Religion conveys the idea of faith. Faith may change. One may have faith in a particular process, and he may change the faith afterwards and adopt another faith. But sanatana-dharma means which cannot be changed, which cannot be changed. Just like water and liquidity. Liquidity cannot be changed from water. Heat and fire. Heat cannot be changed from fire. Similarly, the eternal function of the eternal living entity, which is known as sanatana-dharma, cannot be changed. It is not possible to change. We have to find out what is that eternal function of the eternal living entity. When we speak of sanatana-dharma therefore, we must take it for granted on the authority of Sripada Ramanujacarya that it has no beginning nor any end. The thing which has no end, no beginning, must not be any sectarian thing or limited by any boundary. When we hold on the conference on the sanatana-dharma, people belonging to some of the noneternal religious faiths may wrongly consider it that we are dealing in some sectarian thing. But if we go deep into the matter and take everything in the light of modern science, it will be possible for us to see sanatana-dharma as the business of all the people of the world, nay, all the living entities of the universe. Non-sanatana religious faith may have some beginning in the annals of the human society, but there cannot be any history of the sanatana-dharma because it continues to remain with the history of the living entities. So far living entities are concerned, we find it from the authority of the sastras that living entities have also no birth or death. In the Bhagavad-gita it is clearly stated that the living entity is never born, nor does it ever die. He's eternal, indestructible, and continues to live after the destruction of his temporary material body. With reference to the above concept of sanatana-dharma we may try to understand the concept of religion from the Sanskrit root meaning of the word dharma. It means that which is constantly with the particular object. As we have already mentioned, when we speak of fire it is concluded at the same time that there is heat and light along with the fire. Without heat and without light, there is no meaning of the word fire. Similarly, we must find out the essential part of a living being which is always companion with him. That part of constant companion of the living being is his eternal quality, and the eternal part of the living being's quality is his eternal religion. When Sanatana Gosvami asked Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu about the svarupa—we have already discussed about the svarupa of every living being—svarupa or real constitution of the living being, the Lord replied that the constitutional position of the living being is to render service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But if we analyze this part of the statement of Lord Caitanya, we can very well see that every living being is constantly engaged in the business of rendering service to another living being. A living being serves another living being in different capacities, and by doing so, the living entity enjoys life. A lower animal serves a human being, a servant serves his master, A serves B master, B serves C master, and C serves D master, and so on. Under the circumstances, we can see that a friend serves another friend, and the mother serves the son, or the wife serves the husband, or husband serves the wife. If we go on searching in that spirit, it will be seen that there is no exception in the society of the living being where we do not find the activity of service. The politician present his manifesto before the public and convinces voters about his service capacity. The voter also gives the politician his valuable vote on expectation that the politician will give service to the society. The shopkeeper serves the customer and the artisan serves the capitalist. The capitalist serves his family and the family serves the head man in terms of the eternal capacity of eternal being. In this way we can see no living being is exempted from the practice of rendering service to other living being, and therefore we can conclude that service is a thing which is the constant companion of the living being, and therefore it may be safely concluded that rendering of service by a living being is the eternal religion of the living being. When a man professes to belong to a particular type of faith with reference to the particular time and circumstances of birth, and thus one claims to be a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian, Buddhist, or any other sect, and sub-sect, such designations are non-sanatana-dharma. A Hindu may change his faith to become a Muslim, or a Muslim may change his faith to become a Hindu or a Christian, etc., but in all circumstances such change of religious faith does not allow a person to change his eternal engagement of rendering service to other. A Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian, in all circumstances, he is servant of somebody, and thus to profess a particular type of faith is not to be considered as sanatana-dharma, but the constant companion of the living being, that is, rendering of service, is the sanatana-dharma. So factually, we are related in the service relationship with the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord is the supreme enjoyer, and we living entities are eternally His supreme servitors. We are created for His enjoyment, and if we partake, participate in that eternal enjoyment with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that makes us happy, not otherwise. Independently, as we have already explained that independently, any part of the body, the hand, the feet, the fingers, or any part of the body, independently, cannot be happy without cooperation with the stomach, similarly, the living entity can never be happy without rendering his transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord. Now, in the Bhagavad-gita the worship of different demigods is not approved, is not approved because... It is said in the Bhagavad-gita [Bg. 7.20], the Lord says, kamais tais tair hrta-jnanah prapadyante 'nya-devatah. Kamais tais tair hrta-jnanah. Those who are directed by lust, only they worship the demigods other than the Supreme Lord, Krsna. We also may remember that when we speak of "Krsna" it is not a sectarian name. The "Krsna" name means the highest pleasure. It is confirmed that the Supreme Lord is the reservoir, is the storehouse of all pleasure. We are all hankering after pleasure. Anandamayo 'bhyasat (Vedanta-sutra 1.1.12). The living entities or the Lord, because we are full of consciousness, therefore our consciousness is after happiness. Happiness. The Lord is also perpetually happy, and if we associate with the Lord, cooperate with Him, take part in His association, then also we become happy. The Lord descends on this mortal world to show His pastimes in Vrndavana full of happiness. When Lord Sri Krsna was in Vrndavana, His activities with His cowherd boys friends, with His damsels, with His friends, damsel friends, and with the inhabitants of Vrndavana and His occupation of cowherding in His childhood, and all these pastimes of Lord Krsna were full of happiness. The whole of Vrndavana, the whole population of Vrndavana, was after Him. They did not know except Krsna. Even Lord Krsna restricted His father, Nanda Maharaja
in worshiping the demigod Indra because He wanted to establish that people need not worship any other demigod except the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because the ultimate aim of life is to return to the abode of the Supreme Lord. The abode of Lord Krsna is described in the Bhagavad-gita, 15th Chapter, 6th verse,
Now the description of that eternal sky... When we speak of sky, because we have material conception of the sky, therefore we think of sky with sun, moon, stars, like that. But the Lord says that the eternal sky, there is no need of sun. Na tad bhasayate suryo na sasanko na pavakah [Bg. 15.6]. Neither in that eternal sky there is need of moon. Na pavakah means neither there is necessity of electricity or fire for illuminating because the spiritual sky is already illuminated by the brahmajyoti. Brahmajyoti, yasya prabha [Bs. 5.40], the rays of the supreme abode. Now in these days when people are trying to reach other planets, it is not very difficult to understand the abode of the Supreme Lord. The abode of the Supreme Lord is in the spiritual sky, and it is named as Goloka. In the Brahma-samhita it is very nicely described, goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhutah [Bs. 5.37]. The Lord, although resides eternally in His abode, Goloka, still He is akhilatma-bhutah, He can be approached from here also. And the Lord therefore comes to manifest His real form, sac-cid-ananda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1], so that we may not have to imagine. There is no question of imagination. The Lord's presence, by His causeless mercy He presents Himself in His Syamasundara-rupa. Unfortunately, people with less intelligence deride at Him. Avajananti mam mudha [Bg. 9.11]. Because the Lord comes as one of us and just like plays with us as a human being, therefore we need not consider that Lord is one of us. It is His omnipotency that He presents Himself with His real form before us and displays His pastimes, just the prototype of His abode. So that abode of Lord, there are innumerable planets also in that brahmajyoti. Just like we have got innumerable planets floating on the sun rays, similarly, in the brahmajyoti, which is emanating from the abode of the Supreme Lord, Krsnaloka, Goloka, ananda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhavitabhis [Bs. 5.37], all those planets are spiritual planets. They are ananda-cinmaya; they are not material planets. So the Lord says,
Now anyone who can approach that spiritual sky will not be required to come back again in this material sky. So long we are in the material sky, what to speak of approaching the moon planet.... The moon planet, of course, is the nearest planet, but even we approach the highest planet, which is called Brahmaloka, there also we have the same miseries of material life, I mean to say, the miseries of birth, death, old age, and diseases. No planets in the material universe is free from the four principles of material existence. The Lord therefore says in the Bhagavad-gita, abrahma-bhuvanal lokah punar avartino 'rjuna [Bg. 8.16]. The living entities are traveling from one planet to another. It is not that we can simply go to other planets by the mechanical arrangement of the sputnik. Anyone who desires to go to other planet, there is process. Yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr-vratah [Bg. 9.25]. If anyone wants to go to any other planet, say, moon planet, we need not try to go by the sputnik. The Bhagavad-gita instructs us, yanti deva-vrata devan. These moon planets or sun planets or the planets above this Bhuloka, they are called Svargaloka. Svargaloka. Bhuloka, Bhuvarloka, Svargaloka. There are different status of planets. So Devaloka, they are known just like that. The Bhagavad-gita gives a very simple formula that you can go to the higher planets, Devaloka. Yanti deva-vrata devan. Yanti deva-vrata devan. Deva-vrata, if we practice the process of worshiping the particular demigod, then we can go to that particular planet also. We can go to the sun planet even, we can go to the moon planet, we can go to the heavenly planet, but Bhagavad-gita does not advise us to go to any one of these planets in the material world because even we go to the Brahmaloka, the highest planet, which is calculated by the modern scientist that we can reach the highest planet by traveling with sputniks for 40,000 years. Now it is not possible to live 40,000 years and reach the highest planet of this material universe. But if one devotes his life in the worshipment of the particular demigod he can approach the particular planet, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita: yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr-vratah [Bg. 9.25]. Similarly, there is Pitrloka. Similarly, one who likes to approach the supreme planet, supreme planet... The supreme planet means the Krsnaloka. In the spiritual sky there are innumerable planets, sanatana planets, eternal planets, which are never destroyed, annihilated. But of all those spiritual planets there is one planet, the original planet, which is called Goloka Vrndavana. So these informations are there in the Bhagavad-gita and we are given the opportunity for leaving this material world and get our eternal life in the eternal kingdom. Now in the 15th Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, the real picture of this material world is given. It is said there that
Now, this material world is described in the Fifteenth chapter of the Bhagavad-gita as a tree which has got its root upwards, urdhva-mulam. Have you experience of any tree which has its root upwards? We have got this experience of a tree, root upwards by reflection. If we stand on the bank of a river or any reservoir of water, we can see that the tree on the bank of the reservoir of water is reflected in the water as trunk downwards and the root upwards. So this material world is practically a reflection of the spiritual world. Just like the reflection of the tree on the bank of a reservoir of water is seen downwards, similarly, this material world, it is called shadow. Shadow. As in the shadow there cannot be any reality, but at the same time, from the shadow we can understand that there is reality. The example of shadow in the, shadow of water in the desert, suggests that in the desert there is no water, but there is water. Similarly, in the reflection of the spiritual world, or in this material world, there is undoubtedly, there is no happiness, there is no water. But the real water, or the actual happiness, is in the spiritual world. The Lord suggests that one has to reach that spiritual world in the following manner, nirmana-moha.
That padam avyayam, that eternal kingdom, can be reached by one who is nirmana-moha. Nirmana-moha. Nirmana means we are after designations. Artificially we want some designations. Somebody wants to become sir, somebody wants to become lord, somebody wants to become the president, or somebody wants to become a rich man, somebody wants to become something else, king. All these designations, so long we'll have attachment for all these designations... Because after all these designations belong to the body, and we are not this body. This is the first conception of spiritual realization. So one has no attraction for designation. And jita-sanga-dosa, sanga-dosa. Now we are associated with the three modes of material qualities, and if we become detached by devotional service of the Lord... So long we are not attracted by devotional service of the Lord, we cannot be detached from the three modes of material nature. Therefore the Lord says, vinivrtta-kamah, these designations or these attachments are due to our lust, desire. We want to lord it over the material nature. So, so long we do not give up this propensity of lording it over the material nature, up to that time there is no possibility of going back to the kingdom of the Supreme, the sanatana-dhama. Dvandvair vimuktah sukha-duhkha-samjnair gacchanty amudhah, amudhah padam avyayam tat [Bg. 15.5]. That eternal kingdom, which is never destructible like this material world, can be approached by amudhah. Amudhah means nonbewildered, one who is not bewildered by the attraction of this false enjoyment. And one is situated in the supreme service of the Lord, he is the right person to approach that eternal kingdom. And that eternal kingdom does not require any sun, any moon, or any electricity. That is a glimpse idea of approaching of the eternal kingdom. In another place in the Bhagavad-gita it is also said that
Avyakta means nonmanifested. Even the part of material world is not manifested before us. Our senses are so imperfect that we cannot see how many stars, how many planets there are in this material universe. Of course, through the Vedic literature we get information of all the planets. We may believe or not believe, but all the important planets in which we have connection, they are described in the Vedic literature, especially in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. But the spiritual world, which is beyond this material sky, paras tasmat tu bhavo 'nyo [Bg. 8.20], but that avyakta, that nonmanifested spiritual sky, is the paramam gatim, that is, one should desire, one should hanker after reaching that supreme kingdom. And once approaching that supreme kingdom, yam prapya, one approaching or one achieving that supreme kingdom, na nivartante, one hasn't got to return back to this material world. And that place which is the eternal abode of Lord, that from where we haven't got to return, that is our, that should be our... [break] Now a question may be raised, what is the way how to approach the supreme abode of the Lord. That is also described in the Bhagavad-gita. It is said on the 8th Chapter, verses 5, 6, 7, 8, the process of approaching the Supreme Lord or Supreme Lord's abode is also given there. It is said like this:
Anta-kale, at the end of life, at the time of death. Anta-kale ca mam eva, one who thinks of Krsna, smaran, if he can remember. A dying person, at the time of death, if he remembers the form of Krsna and while remembering in that way, if he quits the present body, then surely he approaches the spiritual kingdom, mad-bhavam. Bhavam means the spiritual nature. Yah prayati sa mad-bhavam yati. Mad-bhavam means just like the nature or the transcendental nature of the Supreme Being. As we have described above, that the Supreme Lord is sac-cid-ananda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1]. He has His form, but His form is eternal, sat; and full of knowledge, cit; and full of bliss, ananda. Now just we can compare our present body, whether this body is sac-cid-ananda. No. This body is asat. Instead of being sat it is asat. Antavanta ime deha [Bg. 2.18], Bhagavad-gita says that this body is antavat, perishable. And... Sac-cid-ananda. Instead of becoming sat, it is asat, just the opposite. And instead of becoming cit, full of knowledge, it is full of ignorance. We have no knowledge of the spiritual kingdom, neither we have got any perfect knowledge of this material world. So many things unknown to us, therefore this body is ignorant. Instead of becoming full of knowledge it is ignorant. The body is perishable, full of ignorance, and nirananda. Instead of becoming full of bliss, it is full of miseries. All the miseries that we experience in this material world, it is all due to this body. The Lord says that anta-kale ca mam eva smaran muktva kalevaram [Bg. 8.5]. One who quits this material body, simply by remembering Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he at once gets the spiritual body of sac-cid-ananda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1]. The process of quitting this body and getting another body in the material world is also organized. A man dies after it has been decided what form of body he will have in the next life. But that is decided by higher authorities. Just like according to our service we are promoted or degraded. Similarly, according to our acts we are... Acts of this life, the activities of this life are preparation ground for the next life. We are preparing for our next life by our activities of this life. So if we can prepare our this life for getting promotion to the kingdom of God, then surely, after leaving, after quitting this material body... The Lord says yah prayati, one who goes, sa mad-bhavam yati [Bg. 8.5], mad-bhavam, he gets the same spiritual body as the Lord has or the same spiritual nature. Now, there are different kinds of transcendentalists as we have already explained above. The brahmavadi, paramatmavadi and the devotees. In spiritual sky or in the brahmajyoti there are spiritual planets, innumerable spiritual planets, we have already discussed. And the number of those planets are far, far greater than all the universes of this material world. This material world is ekamsena sthito jagat [Bg. 10.42]. This is one-fourth part manifestation of the whole creation. Three-fourths part of the creation is the spiritual world and in the one-fourth part of this creation there are millions of universes like this which we are experiencing at the present moment. And in one universe there are millions and billions of planets. So there are millions and billions of suns and stars and moons in all this material world, but all this material world constitute only one-fourth manifestation of the whole creation. The three-fourths manifestation is in the spiritual sky. Now, this mad-bhavam, one who desires to merge into the existence of the Supreme Brahman, they merge in the brahmajyoti of the Supreme Lord. Mad-bhavam means that brahmajyoti as well as the spiritual planets in the brahmajyoti. And the devotees, who want to enjoy in the association of the Lord, they enter into the planets, Vaikuntha planets. There are innumerable Vaikuntha planets, and the Lord, Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, by His plenary expansion as Narayana with four hands with different names, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, and Madhava, Govinda... There are many innumerable names of this four-handed Narayana. So one of the planets, that is also mad-bhavam, that is also within the spiritual nature. So any transcendentalist who at the end of life, either he thinks of the brahmajyoti or meditates upon the Paramatma or thinks of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna, in either case, they enter into the spiritual sky. But only the devotees, those who have practiced personal touch with the Supreme Lord, they enter into the Vaikuntha planets or in the Goloka Vrndavana planet. The Lord says, yah prayati sa mad-bhavam yati nasty atra samsayah [Bg. 8.5]. There is no doubt. One should not disbelieve. That is the question. So you are reading Bhagavad-gita throughout the whole life, but when the Lord speaks something which does not tally with our imagination, we reject it. That is not the process of Bhagavad-gita reading. Just like Arjuna said that sarvam etam rtam manye, "I believe in everything, whatever You have said." Similarly, hear, hearing. The Lord says that at the time of death, whoever thinks of Him, either as Brahman or Paramatma or the Personality of Godhead, certainly he enters into the spiritual sky and there is no doubt about it. One should not disbelieve it. And the process is, general rule is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita, how one can, how it is possible to get into the spiritual kingdom simply by thinking of the Supreme at the time of death. Because the general process is also mentioned:
There are different bhavas. Now, this material nature is also one of the bhavas, as we have already explained, that this material nature is also the display of one of the energies of the Supreme Lord. In the Visnu Purana the total energies of the Supreme Lord have been summarized.
All the energies, potencies of the..., parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate [Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport]. The Supreme Lord has diverse energies, innumerable energies, which we cannot conceive. But great learned sages, liberated souls, they have studied and they have summarized the whole energies into three parts, into three headings. The first is... All the energies are visnu-sakti. All the energies, they are different potencies of the Lord Visnu. Now, that energy is para, transcendental. And ksetra-jnakhya tatha para, and the living entities, ksetra-jna, they are also belonging to the group of that superior energy, as it is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita also. We have already explained. And the other energies, the material energy is trtiya karma-samjnanya [Cc. Madhya 6.154]. The other energy is in the mode of ignorance. So that is material energy. So material energy is also bhagavad-(indistinct). So at the time of death, either we can remain in the material energy, or this material world, or we can transfer into the spiritual world. That is the criterion. So the Bhagavad-gita says,
Now, as we are accustomed to think either of this material energy or of the spiritual energy, now, how to transfer the thinking? The thinking of the material energy, how it can be transferred into thinking of the spiritual energy? So for thinking in the spiritual energy the Vedic literatures are there. Just like thinking in the material energies, there are so many literatures—newspapers, magazines, novels, fictions, and so many things. Full of literatures. So our thinkings are absorbed in these literatures. Similarly, if we want to transfer our thinking in the spiritual atmosphere, then we have to transfer our reading capacity to the Vedic literature. The learned sages therefore made so many Vedic literatures, the Puranas. The Puranas are not stories. They are historical records. In the Caitanya-caritamrta there is a verse which reads as follows. anadi-bahirmukha jiva krsna bhuli' gela ataeva krsna veda-purana kaila [Cc. Madhya 20.117]. That these forgetful living entities, conditioned souls, they have forgotten the relationship with the Supreme Lord, and they are engrossed in thinking of the material activities. And just to transfer their thinking power to the spiritual capacity, the Krsna-dvaipayana Vyasa, he has made so many Vedic literatures. Vedic literatures means first he divided the Vedas into four. Then he explained them by the Puranas. Then for the incapable persons, just like stri, sudra, vaisya, he made the Mahabharata. And in the Mahabharata he introduced this Bhagavad-gita. Then again he summarized the whole Vedic literature in the Vedanta-sutra. And the Vedanta-sutra for future guidance, he made a natural commentation by himself which is called Srimad-Bhagavatam. Srimad-Bhagavatam is called bhasyo 'yam brahma-sutranam. It is the natural commentation of Vedanta-sutra. So all these literatures, if we transfer our thought, tad-bhava-bhavitah, sada. Sada tad-bhava-bhavitah [Bg. 8.6]. One who is engaged always... Just like the materialist is always engaged in reading some material literature like newspaper, magazines, and fiction, novel, etc., and so many scientific or philosophies, all these things of different degrees of thought. Similarly, if we transfer our, that reading capacity for these Vedic literatures, as presented by, as very kindly presented by Vyasadeva, then it is quite possible for us to remember at the time of death the Supreme Lord. That is the only way suggested by the Lord Himself. Not suggested, it is the fact. Nasty atra samsayah [Bg. 8.5]. Undoubtedly. There is no doubt about it. Tasmat, the Lord suggested therefore, tasmat sarvesu kalesu mam anusmara yudhya ca [Bg. 8.7]. He advises Arjuna that mam anusmara yudhya ca. He does not say that "You simply go on remembering Me and give up your present occupational duty." No. That is not suggested. The Lord never suggests something impractical. This material world, to maintain this body, one has to work. The work is divided into four divisions of social order: brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra. The intelligent class of the society, they are working in a different way, and the administrator class of society, they are also working in a different way. The mercantile society, the productive society, they are also working in a different way, and the laborer class, they are also working in different way. In the human society, either as laborer or as mercantile men, or as politicians, administrators, or as the highest class of intelligent class of men in literary career, scientific researches, everybody is engaged in some work, and one has to work, struggle for existence. So Lord advises that "You need not give up your occupation, but at the same time you can remember." Mam anusmara [Bg. 8.7]. That will make you, that will help you in remembering Me at the time of death. If you don't practice remembering Me always, along with your struggle for existence, then it is not possible." It is not possible. The same thing is advised by Lord Caitanya, kirtaniyah sada harih [Cc. Adi 17.31]. Kirtaniyah sada. One should practice to chant the name of the Lord always. The name of Lord and the Lord is not different. So here the instruction of Lord Krsna to Arjuna that mam anusmara [Bg. 8.7], "You just remember Me," and Lord Caitanya's instruction that "You chant always the name of Krsna." Here Krsna says that "You always remember Me," or you remember Krsna, and Lord Caitanya says, "You always chant the name of Krsna." So there is no difference because Krsna and Krsna's name are nondifferent in the Absolute. In the absolute status there is no difference between one thing to another. That is the absolute status. So the Lord being absolute, there is no difference between His name and Himself. So we have to practice like that. tasmat sarvesu kalesu [Bg. 8.7]. Always, twenty-four hours, we have to mold our activities of life in such way that we can remember it twenty-four hours. How it is possible? Yes, it is possible. It is possible. A very crude example is set by the acaryas in this connection. And what is that example? It is said that a woman who is attached to another man, although she has got a husband, still, she's attached to another man. And this sort of attachment becomes very strong. This is called parakiya-rasa. Either in case of man or woman. If man has got attachment for another woman besides his wife, or a woman has got attachment for another man besides her husband, that attachment is very strong. That attachment is very strong. So the acaryas give this example as a bad character woman who has got attachment for other's husband, she always thinks, at the same time, shows her husband that she is very much busy in the family affairs so that her husband may not doubt her character. So as she is always remembering the time of meeting with her lover at night, in spite of doing all this household work very nicely, similarly one has to remember the supreme husband, Sri Krsna, always in spite of doing his material duties very nicely. That is possible. It requires a strong sense of love. When you have got a strong sense of love for the Supreme Lord, then it is possible that we can go on discharging our duty, at the same time remember the Lord. So we have to develop that sense. Just like Arjuna was always thinking of Lord. He, out of twenty-four hours, not for a second he could forget Krsna. Constant companion of Krsna. At the same time, a warrior. Lord Krsna did not advise Arjuna to give up his fighting, go to the forest, go to the Himalaya and meditate. When yoga system was advised to Arjuna, Arjuna declined, that "This system is not possible for me." Then the Lord said, yoginam api sarvesam mad-gatenantaratmana [Bg. 6.47]. Mad-gatenantaratmana sraddhavan bhajate yo mam sa me yuktatamo matah. So one who thinks of the Supreme Lord always, he's the greatest yogi, he is the supermost jnani, and he is also the greatest devotee at the same time. The Lord advises that tasmat sarvesu kalesu mam anusmara yudhya ca [Bg. 8.7]. "As a ksatriya you cannot give up your fighting business. You have to fight. So at the same time if you practice remembering Me always, then it will be possible," anta-kale ca mam eva smaran [Bg. 8.5], "then it will be possible to remember Me also at the time of death." Mayy arpita-mano-buddhir mam evaisyasy asamsayah. Again He says that there is no doubt. If one is completely surrendered into the se
rvice of the Lord, into the transcendental loving service of the Lord, mayy arpita-mano-buddhir [Bg. 8.7]. Because we work not with our body actually. We work with our mind and intelligence. So if our intelligence and mind are always engaged in the thought of the Supreme Lord, then naturally our senses are also engaged in the service of the Lord. That is the secret of Bhagavad-gita. One has to learn this art, how one can be absorbed both by the mind and intelligence twenty-four hours thinking of the Lord. And that will help one to transfer himself into the kingdom of God or in the spiritual atmosphere after leaving this material body. The modern scientists, they are trying for years and years together for reaching the moon planet, and they have no approach as yet. But here in the Bhagavad-gita, here is a suggestion. Suppose a man lives for another fifty years and he... So nobody tries to elevate himself in the spiritual ideas for fifty years. That's a very good idea. But even for ten years or five years one sincerely tries for this practice, mayy arpita-mano-buddhir... [Bg. 8.7] It is simply a question of practice. And that practice can be very easily possible by the devotional process, sravanam. Sravanam. The easiest process is to hear.
These nine processes. So the easiest process is simply hearing. Hearing of this Bhagavad-gita or Srimad-Bhagavatam from the realized person, that will train up oneself, one, into the thoughts of the Supreme Being twenty-four hours, which will lead one ultimately, anta-kale, to remember the Supreme Lord, and thus leaving this body, he will have a spiritual body, a spiritual body, just fit for association with the Lord. The Lord therefore says,
Anucintayan, constantly thinking of Himself only. It is not very difficult process. One has to learn this process from the experienced person in this line. Tad vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. One should approach a person who is already in the practice. So abhyasa-yoga-yuktena. This is called abhyasa-yoga, practicing. Abhyasa... How to remember the Supreme Lord always. Cetasa nanya-gamina. The mind, the mind is always flying to this, to that. So one has to practice to concentrate the mind into the form of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna always, or in the sound, in His name which is made easier. Instead of concentrating my mind—my mind may be very restless, going hither and thither, but I can concentrate my ear into the sound vibration of Krsna and that will also help me. That is also abhyasa-yoga. Cetasa nanya-gamina paramam purusam divyam. Paramam purusa, that Supreme Personality of Godhead in the spiritual kingdom, in the spiritual sky, one can approach, anucintayan, constantly thinking. So these processes, the ways and means, all are stated in the Bhagavad-gita and there is no bar for anyone. It is not that a particular class of men can approach. Thinking of Lord Krsna is possible, hearing of Lord Krsna is possible by everyone. And the Lord says in the Bhagavad-gita,
mam hi partha vyapasritya
ye 'pi syuh papa-yonayah
striyo vaisyas tatha sudras
te 'pi yanti param gatim
[Bg. 9.32]
The Lord says that even a human being in the lowest status of life, lowest status of life, or even a fallen woman, or a mercantile man, or a laborer class of man... The mercantile class of men, the laborer class of men, and the woman class, they are counted in the same category because their intelligence is not so developed. But the Lord says, they also, or even lower than them, mam hi partha vyapasritya ye 'pi syuh [Bg. 9.32], not only they or lower than them, or anyone, it does not matter who is he, or who is she, anyone who accepts this principle of bhakti-yoga and accepts the Supreme Lord as the summum bonum of life, the highest target, highest goal of life, mam hi partha vyapasritya ye 'pi syuh, te 'pi yanti param gatim, that param gatim in the spiritual kingdom and the spiritual sky, everyone can approach. Simply one has to practice the system. That system is hinted in the Bhagavad-gita very nicely and one can adopt it and make his life perfect and make a permanent solution of life. That is the sum and substance of the whole Bhagavad-gita. Therefore, the conclusion is that Bhagavad-gita is a transcendental literature which one should read very carefully. Gita-sastram idam punyam yah pathet prayatah puman. And the result will be, if he properly follows the instruction, then he can be freed from all miseries of life, all anxieties of life. Bhaya-sokadi-varjitah. All fears of life, in this life, as well as he'll get a spiritual life in the next life.
So another advantage is that if one reads Bhagavad-gita very sincerely and with all seriousness, then by the grace of the Lord, the reactions of his past misdeeds will not act upon him. The Lord says very loudly in the Bhagavad-gita in the last portion, aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah [Bg. 18.66]. The Lord takes the responsibility. One who surrenders unto the Lord, He takes the responsibility to indemnify, to indemnify from all reactions of sins.
mala-nirmocanam pumsam
jala-snanam dine dine
sakrd gitamrta-snanam
One cleanses oneself daily by taking bath in the water, but one who takes once bath in the sacred Ganges water of Bhagavad-gita, his, the dirty material life is altogether vanquished.
gita su-gita kartavya
kim anyaih sastra-vistaraih
ya svayam padmanabhasya
mukha-padmad vinihsrta
Because Bhagavad-gita is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, therefore people should..., people may not read all other Vedic literatures. Simply if he attentively and regularly reads and hears Bhagavad-gita, gita su-gita kartavya... And one should adopt this means by all means. Gita su-gita kartavya kim anyaih sastra-vistaraih. Because at the present age people are embarrassed with so many things that it is hardly possible to divert his attention in all the Vedic literatures. This one literature will do because it is essence of all Vedic literature, and especially spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
visnu-vaktrad vinihsrtam
gita-gangodakam pitva
punar janma na vidyate
As it is said that one who drinks the water of the Ganges, he also gets salvation, then what to speak of Bhagavad-gita? Bhagavad-gita is the nectar in the whole Mahabharata, and is spoken by Visnu. Lord Krsna is the original Visnu. Visnu-vaktrad vinihsrtam. It is coming out of the mouth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And gangodakam, the Ganges is said to be emanated from the lotus feet of the Lord, and Bhagavad-gita is emanated from the mouth of the Lord. Of course, there is no difference between the mouth and the feet of the Supreme Lord. Still, from neutral position we can study that Bhagavad-gita is even more important than the Ganges water.
sarvopanisado gavo
dogdha gopala-nandana
partho vatsah su-dhir bhokta
dugdham gitamrtam mahat
Just... This Gitopanisad is just like a cow, and the Lord is famous as cow boy, and He was milking this cow. Sarvopanisado. And it is the essence of all Upanisads and represented as the cow. And the Lord being expert cow boy, He is milking the cow. And partho vatsah. And Arjuna is just like the calf. And su-dhir bhokta. And learned scholars and pure devotees, they are to take this milk. Su-dhir bhokta dugdham gitamrtam mahat. The nectar, the milk of Bhagavad-gita, is meant for learned devotees.
Now the world should learn from the Bhagavad-gita, the lesson. Evam sastram devaki-putra-gitam. There is one scripture only, one common scripture for the whole world, for the people of the whole world, and that is this Bhagavad-gita. Devo devaki-putra eva. And there is one God for the whole world, is Sri Krsna. And eko mantras tasya namani. And one hymn, mantra, one hymn only, one prayer, or one hymn, is to chant His name, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Eko mantras tasya namani yani karmapy ekam tasya devasya seva. And there is one work only, that is to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If one learns from Bhagavad-gita, then the people are very much anxious to have one religion, one God, one scripture, and one business or one activity of life. This is summarized in the Bhagavad-gita. That one, one God, is Krsna. Krsna is not sectarian God. Krsna, from the name of Krsna... Krsna means, as we have explained above, Krsna means the greatest pleasure. So therefore... (break—end)

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