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Bhagavad-gita 13.1-2

Bombay, September 25, 1973
So four questions Arjuna wanted to know from Krsna, the answers of four questions. First, prakrti, this material nature, purusam, the enjoyer of the material nature, ksetram, the field of enjoying, or field of activities, and ksetrajnam, one who is enjoying or one who is acting on the field. Etad veditum icchami jnanam jneyam ca kesava. Another two things: jnanam, what is knowledge, and jneyam, what is the object of knowledge, the aim of knowledge.
So Krsna replied, idam sariram kaunteya ksetram ity abhidhiyate: [Bg. 13.2] "This body is ksetra." Etad yo vetti tam prahuh ksetrajnah iti tad-vidah: "And one who knows this body, he's ksetrajna." The whole subject matter of Bhagavad-gita is to know who is the proprietor of this body. Generally everyone, ninety-nine-point-nine percent, everyone knows that "I am this body," but that is not the fact. The owner of the body: one who knows that "I am not this body, but I am the proprietor of the body."
Just like I am sitting on this throne. I am not this throne, but I am a different person who is sitting on the throne. Similarly, when somebody asks me, "What you are?" if I give my identification... (aside:) These children must be removed. ...with this body, that is my foolishness. In the sastra it is said,
yasyatma buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke
sva-dhih kalatradisu bhauma ijya-dhih
yat-tirtha-buddhih salile na karhicij
janesv abhijnesu sa eva go-kharah
[SB 10.84.13]
Go-kharah. Go means cows and kharah means asses. Person who is identifying this body as the self. This body is a bag of three dhatus: kapha, pitta, vayu. According to Ayurvedic treatment, this body is made of kapha, pitta, vayu. Otherwise, we can take it, this body is made of flesh, bone, blood, urine, stool, cough. If you analytically study this body, you'll find these are the ingredients of the body. Therefore these ingredients are not myself. This is the first ignorance. In spiritual knowledge, unless one understands fully that "I am not this flesh, blood, urine, or other things in this body, I am separate from..." One who knows that "I am separate from this body, I am spirit soul, I am the part and parcel of the Supreme Lord," as it is stated, mamaivamso jiva bhutah [Bg. 15.7], then my knowledge is complete.
So education is given to the students, but this knowledge is absent from the educational institution. Nobody knows that "I am not this body." Therefore sastra says, "Anyone who is identifying this body as his self," yasyatma buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke [SB 10.84.13], "and in relationship with the body, others also," sva-dhih, "thinking 'They are our own men,' " sva-dhih kalatradisu bhauma ijya-dhih, and bhauma, "the land of birth, is worshipable," ijya-dhih... So this is going on. At the present moment, throughout the whole world, everyone is identifying himself with this body and the land in which the body is born is taken as worshipable, bhauma ijya-dhih, and persons who are in relationship with this body, "They are our own men or kinsmen." This is going on. But according to sastra, anyone who is accepting this identification, body as self and the country or the land as worshipable and the kinsmen or relatives, "They are our only own men," in this way this misconception of life is being accepted...
Therefore, according to Vedic civilization, this is a civilization of the cows and the asses. Sa eva go-kharah [SB 10.84.13]. So in other words, it is an animal civilization. So you cannot be happy in animal civilization, in the societies of animals. Just like in the jungle there are animals. There is no peace. There is always struggle for existence, fight between one animal. Still, they are peaceful. But at the present moment, throughout the whole world, we have become less than the animals because we do not know what is the basic principle of civilization, what is the ultimate goal of life, what is our perfection. These things we are lacking in knowledge.
Therefore Arjuna inquires, "What is jnanam, what is knowledge, and what is the object of knowledge?" So Krsna replied that "This body, sariram, idam sariram ksetram, this is our field of activities." We have got different types of body. Yesterday I have explained. There are eight million four hundred thousand forms of body, and according to our desire, nature is supplying a type of body for our activity.
That is explained in another place in the Bhagavad-gita: isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati [Bg. 18.61]. The Lord is situated in everyone's heart. Krsna is situated outside and inside also. Krsna, antar bahih, He is situated outside and inside. Simply we have to make our eyes and senses perfect to see Him. Krsna is not invisible. He is visible. But one who has got the eyes to see Him, one can see; otherwise not. Therefore in the Brahma-samhita it is stated, premanjana-cchurita bhakti-vilocanena santah hrdayesu sadaiva vilokayanti [Bs. 5.38]. Those who have developed Krsna consciousness, love of Godhead, they can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, syama-sundaram acintya-guna svarupam, the reservoir of all transcendental qualities. Acintya-guna... Acintya means inconceivable. The qualities which Krsna has got, that is inconceivable by us. He has got qualities.
Just like Krsna says that patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati, tad aham asnami [Bg. 9.26]. Now, anyone offering Krsna, patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati, in devotion... So this quality, how Krsna is eating... Just like at the present moment Krsna is offered a dish. How Krsna is eating? That we cannot see, but He is eating. Otherwise Krsna becomes a liar. He says, tad aham asnami bhakty-upahrtam: "Anyone who is offering Me in devotion," tad aham asnami, "I eat." But how He is eating... It is not that He is not eating, but how He is eating, that you do not know. Therefore acintya-guna-svarupam. He has that quality which is inconceivable.
Just like our conception of eating, that we can eat through the mouth. Whatever eatables are offered to us, we pick them and put into the mouth. We know this is the process of eating. But Krsna, because He is acintya-guna-svarupam, His eating process is different from ours. That is also stated in the Brahma-samhita. Angani yasya sakalendriya-vrttimanti. He has the limbs of the body, different limbs of the body, they can work also for other limbs of the body. Just like with our eyes we can see. If I close our eyes, we do not see. But Krsna, even He closes His eyes, He can see everything with His hand. Now, this is inconceivable. Acintya-guna-svarupam. Therefore it is called acintya. Angani yasya sakalendriya-vrttimanti. So the foodstuff is offered there to Krsna. He is eating by seeing. He can eat through His eyes. Just like we can eat through our mouth, not with our eyes, but Krsna can eat through His eyes simply by seeing. Then you may argue that "The foodstuff is offered. If He has eaten, why it is lying as it is, as it was offered in the beginning?" That is answered in the Upanisad. Purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavasisyate [Iso Invocation]. Purnasya. Krsna can take the whole plate, but still the whole plate remains. It is not finished. That is spirituality. Purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavasisyate.
So this is a great science, spiritual science. Unfortunately, we have no educational system to understand this spiritual science. And especially in this age, everything is godlessness. Therefore people are not happy. Our, this Krsna consciousness movement is only to make people happy by becoming Krsna conscious, understanding everything in the right ways. That is our mission.
Therefore, that is the mission of every devotee. Just like Arjuna is asking herewith. He knows everything. He is Krsna's friend, personal friend. He is always living with Krsna. There cannot be any ignorance on the part of Arjuna. But he's asking this question just for our benefit. Krsna will answer this question.
Why Krsna's answers will be taken so seriously? Because He is the supreme authority, Supreme Personality of Godhead. If we receive knowledge from the Supreme, then it is perfect knowledge. Just like if you get some knowledge from the superior, one who is more educated than you, one who is more experienced, that knowledge is perfect. So in this material world there may be somebody supreme, but he is not ultimate supreme. But ultimate supreme is Krsna. Isvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda-vigraha, anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam [Bs. 5.1]. So if we receive knowledge from the ultimate supreme, isvarah paramah krsnah, then our knowledge is perfect. If we receive knowledge secondary, second-hand knowledge, that is also good. Second-hand knowledge means one who has received knowledge from Krsna. That knowledge is perfect. But one who speculates, "It may be like that, it may be like this," that knowledge is not perfect.
So in the modern world every knowledge is speculative, hypothetical. There is no perfect knowledge. So if you want to be perfectly in knowledge, then you have to take knowledge from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is here delivered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krsna in the form of Bhagavad-gita. Therefore Arjuna is asking this question so that people may receive the perfect knowledge from Krsna and their life may be perfect in that way.
This is jnanam. What is that jnanam? Jnanam means to know the ksetrajna, the owner of the body.
Just like in ordinary sense if you understand that the, this is a house and the proprietor of the house is such and such gentleman, then that knowledge is perfect, so similarly, if we understand what is this body and who is the proprietor of this body, then our knowledge is perfect. So Krsna says that this body, there is the proprietor, the soul, but there is another ksetrajna. Just like a house, there is an occupier and there is an owner. These are very easy to understand. Any house you take in Bombay, there are so many tenants or occupier, but there is a proprietor also. Similarly, in this body we are not actually the proprietor. We are simply occupier.
Just like if I give my motor car to you for use, you are not proprietor, you are occupier or driver. But the owner is different. Similarly, Krsna says that ksetrajnam ca api mam viddhi: I am also ksetrajna. I am the proprietor indirectly of this body." Therefore Krsna's name is Hrsikesa. Hrsika, means senses, and this body is full of senses. So actual proprietor is Krsna, Hrsikesa. We are given for use.
Therefore we are using this hand, but if the hand is paralyzed for some reason or other, we cannot repair it. This is not possible. Because the proprietor has withdrawn the power of this hand for activity, therefore it is no more workable, although I am claiming, "This is my hand." This is not "I hand;" this is my hand. Actually, it is not my hand. It is Krsna's hand. That is knowledge.
So long we are thinking that I am this body or my body, that is not perfect knowledge. When you understand that it is Krsna's body, then it is perfect knowledge. Ksetra-jnam capi mam viddhi sarva-ksetresu. Not that Krsna is the proprietor or ksetrajnam only of the human form of body. Sarva-ksetresu. There are eight million four hundred thousand different types of body. Krsna is present there. That is also explained in the fourteenth chapter:
Just like father makes the body, father gives the seed and mother gives the body, similarly, Krsna is the supreme father. He has given the seed. Just like the father impregnates within the womb of the mother, the seed is given by the father, the mother develops the body, similarly, in this material world we have come from Krsna. He is the seed-giving father, and the material nature has given us this body. This is compared with a yantra or a machine.
isvarah sarva-bhutanam
hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati
bhramayam sarva-bhutani
yantrarudhani mayaya
[Bg. 18.61]
Yantrarudhani mayaya. So Krsna has given us this body through the agency of material nature. So this is a body. This body is just like yantra. So we are seated in this yantra and we are traveling. Yantrarudhani mayaya, under the influence of maya, seated on this car, this yantra, bhramayan sarva-bhutani [Bg. 18.61], we are wandering throughout the whole creation.
Sometimes we are getting this body of human form, sometimes we are getting the body of a demigod's, sometimes we are getting the body of a rich man, sometimes we are getting the body of a poor man, sometimes we are getting the body of a cat, sometimes of a dog, sometimes so many things, trees, plants, aquatics. There are eight million four hundred... This is our position. Dehino 'smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara, tatha dehantara-praptih [Bg. 2.13]. As we are changing our body every moment, from childhood to boyhood, boyhood to youth-hood, similarly, by changing this body we get another body. Dehantara-praptih. But we do not know what kind of body we are going to get next life. We are blind. This is called ignorance.
Generally, they are thinking this body is all in all there is no rebirth. No. The example is given here in the Bhagavad-gita. Just like a child has his future, another body, boyhood body. The boy has got his future, another body, young man's body. The young man has got another future, old man's body. Similarly the old man has got another body after death. Tatha dehantara-praptih.
But people have become so irresponsible that they do not know what kind of body he's going to get next life. He's blind. Therefore this knowledge is required, how I'm getting this body, how I can get better body or lower body. This is knowledge, not that how to eat, how to sleep, and how to have sex life. This is not knowledge there in the animals. Ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam ca. Where to find out one's food, where to sleep, how to have sex life, how to defend, these animals also, they know how to do it. So if we devote our time only for these four principles of bodily wants, then we are not better than the cats and dogs.
The real knowledge is to know "What I am, what is this body, why I am suffering. I want to be happy but why sufferings are there, always some kind of suffering is always there." These are the questions. But people have become so foolish they do not inquire how to make solution of these sufferings, how to make solution of the problems of life. They are blindly being led.
andha yathandhair upaniyamanas
te 'pisa-tantryam uru-damni baddhah
na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum
durasaya ye bahir-artha-maninah
[SB 7.5.31]
Durasaya, they are hoping something, that by making arrangement in this material world they will be happy. That is not possible.
In the Western countries, Europe and America, they have made sufficient arrangement for living materially very happy, but that has not been possible. They are also disappointed, confused. So materially you cannot be happy. You must know. You must have full knowledge what you are, what is this body, how you'll be happy. Then your life is successful. If you live like cats and dogs and try to adjust things like cats and dogs, that is a waste of life, waste of time.
Therefore kindly try to understand Bhagavad-gita. There is full of knowledge. The knowledge is given by the most perfect, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is no deficiency. In the knowledge received from imperfect person there are four deficiencies: illusion, mistake, cheating and imperfectness. So from so many deficiencies... You cannot get full knowledge, perfect knowledge from an imperfect person. You have to receive knowledge from the perfect. Then your life will be successful.
Therefore Arjuna is putting so many questions to Krsna, and Krsna will answer these things in the thirteenth chapter. In all the chapters Krsna's answers are there. Especially in the Thirteenth Chapter, Krsna is giving the knowledge, the knowable objective, the subject matter, and what is this body, who is the owner of the body. So Krsna, here it is said that ksetrajnam capy mam viddhi, He is also there.
The Mayavadi philosopher [says] that there is only one spirit. No, there are two. Krsna says ca. Ca means another. "And as the living, individual living soul is the proprietor of this bodynot proprietor, he is the occupiersimilarly, I also, I have got interest in everybody." Just like a landlord. Landlord has got many houses. I may occupy one of the houses. So I have got only interest in that particular house where I am living. But the landlord has got interest in so many houses. So Krsna has got interest not only in my body or your body. He has got interest in each and every body. Because He says, sarva-yonisu, "in every species of life."
These things are to be understood very clearly. How Krsna is related. He is not related to the human society, He's related with the animal society, dog society, cat society, demigod society, aquatic society, tree society, plant society, insect society. Everywhere Krsna. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati [Bg. 18.61]. That is... Krsna is claiming here that "I am also one of the participators in this body." Ksetra-jnam capi mam viddhi, ksetra-ksetrajnayor jnanam yat taj jnanam matam. If only one tries to understand what is the relationship between this body and the soul, the body and the Supersoul, Krsna... Krsna, when He says that "I am also ksetrajnam," He's the Supersoul, Paramatma. He can know everyone's pains and pleasure. I am the occupier of this body, I know the pains and pleasure of my body, but I do not know the pains and pleasure of your body. Neither you know that the pains and pleasure of my body.
Therefore you are individual, localized, but Krsna is all pervading. Krsna knows the pains and pleasure of your body. Krsna knows the pains and pleasure of my body. Krsna knows the pains and pleasure of dog's body, cat's body, everyone's body. That is Krsna. Sarva-ksetresu bharata. Sarva-ksetresu. He knows everything. That is Paramatma feature. Paramatma feature means He is even within the atom. Andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-shtam govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami **.
So this subject matter is very interesting. Of course, Bhagavad-gita is the ABCD of spiritual knowledge. If we do not understand even the ABCD of spiritual knowledge, then where is the progress? Unfortunately we are neglecting, but it is our duty to propagate this knowledge of Bhagavad-gita. So we are doing our best and we wish that everyone, especially Indians, should cooperate with this movement. Thank you very much. Hare Krsna. (end)

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