Bhagavad-gita 13.6-7

Montreal, October 25, 1968
(Prabhupada reads from commentary by Baladeva Vidyabhusana)
maha-bhutany ahankaro
buddhir avyaktam eva ca
indriyani dasaikam ca
panca cendriya-gocarah
This is more or less sankhya philosophy, analysis of material elements. We are embodied in material elements. Krsna is questioned by Arjuna, "What is this body and who is the owner of this body, and what is knowledge?" Krsna has answered that "The soul is the owner of this body, and I also, I am also the owner of this body." The owner of this body, one individual soul and the Supersoul. Just like owner of this storefront. The tenant is in one sense an owner; at the same time the landlord is also owner. These points we have discussed. Now, Krsna has also discussed that the knowledge by which we can understand the soul, the Supersoul, and the material embodiment, that is real knowledge.
People are after knowledge. So many there are, departments of knowledge. But according to Bhagavad-gita, real knowledge is to understand the soul, the Supersoul, and the material world. So He's analyzing these material elements: maha-bhutany ahankarah. Maha-bhutani. There are five gross elements, which are called maha-bhutani, great material elements. And what are those? Khadiny ahankaras tad-hetus tamaso bhutadi-samjno buddhis tad-hetur...pradhano mahan avyaktam tad-hetus tri-gunavastham pradhana indriyani srotradini,(?) one after another. This sky and false ego is due to the intelligence. Everything begins from the subtle. The most subtle element is the spirit soul, and little grosser than the spirit soul is the intelligence. And little grosser than the intelligence is the false ego identification. And little grosser than the false..., intelligence, is the mind. And from mind, then the senses. And the senses, next the grosser element is the body. So we have to analyze according to the sastra, because it is not possible. Suppose the modern scientist is given to find out where is the soul in this body. It is not possible.
So we may be very proud of advancement of knowledge, but actually we are not yet advanced, so far material science is concerned, to understand the basic principle of the moving force which is moving this body, the... On account of the presence of the soul, we have got so much intelligence, we have got so much thoughtful, psychological effect. So many things wonderful they are. But as soon as the soul is not there, everything collapses. So the Buddhist theory that the intelligence or consciousness takes place at a certain point of material mixture... But that may be an argument, but actually it is not a fact. Any amount of material mixture, you cannot produce soul. They have produced so many things by material mixture, but nobody has produced. In India, of course, we heard so many news that "In America they have produced life in chemical laboratory." And sometimes they say, "In Russia they are trying." But this is not possible. Nobody has found. And greatest scientists, they have admitted that the problem of life is beyond the scope of material science.
So we have to take it from authoritative scriptures like Bhagavad-gita, the Vedic literatures, that soul is different from this body, and... Of course, according to the mentality of the soul, we develop different kinds of body. And that is being described by Lord Krsna to Arjuna. Pradhanam indriyani srotradini panca vagadini ca panceti dasa bahyani rajasahankarakarya(?). Now, we have got ten different kinds of senses: five senses, working senses, and five senses acquiring knowledge. But these senses are also products of the ahankara, false ego. Suksmah sabdadi-tanmatrah khadi-visesa-gunataya vyaktah santah sthulah srotradi-pancaka-grahya-visaya.(?) So from the five senses which are acquiring knowledge, the sense organs acting, they are produced. In this way, this body is composition of twenty-four elements. That is the analytical study of Bhagavad-gita. And the sankhya philosophy, Kapila's sankhya philosophy, their analytical... The same thing. Revealed scriptures teach the same thing. There is no difference. But above these twenty-four elements, there is time, kala, time element. That is also representation of the Supreme Lord. And above this time, there is God.
So actually, there are twenty-six different elements which is conducting this material world. Etat ksetram samasena sa-vikaram udahrtam. Ksetra means this body. Either you take this body or this material world, they are interaction of these twenty-four elements. Either you take the gigantic body of this universe or you take the body of this planet or you take this your body, my body, or a cat's body, dog's body, all these bodies, they are formed of these twenty-four elements, sa-vikaram, by action and reaction. Just like chemically, if you mix one chemical with another chemical, a third element is produced, similarly, originally the reservation of all these elements is called mahat-tattva. It is called pradhana, upadhana. So gradually they manifest, they divide by three gunas. Three gunas means in the mahat-tattva, in the total material reservoir, three gunas, three modes of nature, first of all appear and they act with one another, and then gradually, one after another, the twenty-four elements become manifested. Etat ksetram samasena sa-vikaram udahrtam.
Now, of course, we can theoretically accept that this is the position, but actually to understand the position, to acquire the requisite knowledge, that requires many stages of development. And how that knowledge is developed, that is also described in the Bhagavad-gita by Krsna. What is that? The first principle of acquiring knowledge is described here: amanitvam. Amanitvam. Amanitvam means that we are very much proud of our material existence. That pride must be given up. That is the first principle of knowledge. Athoktam ksetrad vibhinnatvena jneyam ksetrajna-dvayam vistarena nirupayisyan taj-jnana-sadhanany amanitvadini vimsatim aha pancabhih.(?) Now, the body and the soul. Now, the body is analyzed. It is composition of twenty-four elements. Now, how to understand the soul as he is? We are now in the position of material consciousness, and we have to develop into spiritual consciousness or Krsna consciousness. What are the stages? That are being described. That means this is the general way of acquiring real knowledge of the soul and the body.
But Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has given us a special gift, but, that in spite of our not understanding everything very analytically, as they are described in the Vedic scriptures, one can understand himself by the simple process by chanting the holy name of the Lord. That is special gift of Lord Caitanya. He says that if you chant this Hare Krsna mantra, then automatically everything will be revealed unto you. Because in this age it is very difficult to follow the process of knowledge. Just like amanitvam, to give up the pride of one's existential, material existential condition, amanitvam. Amanitvam means... Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti: sva-sat-karanapeksatvam. Sva-sat-karana apeksatvam, adambhitvam dharmikatvam. First thing is that to deny the material existence, that "I am not this matter." So this is not ordinary thing, that "I am not matter." But Lord Caitanya says that this realization that "I am not matter" will be very easily realized if you chant Hare Krsna sincerely. He says that ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. If we chant Hare Krsna, the immediate, first installment of profit will be the understanding that ceto-darpana-marjanam.
I am identifying myself as belonging to this material world. This is misunderstanding. Actually, I don't belong to this material world. The whole concept of my material life is based on this misunderstanding that "I am matter. I am this body." So Lord Caitanya says that even if you do not follow the regulation of acquiring this knowledge, simply if you chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, then your first installment of profit will be vanishing this misunderstanding that "I am this body." Ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12], clearing the dust of the mirror of the mind. Darpana means mirror. Just like on the mirror if there is dust, you cannot see your face very nicely. If you wipe the mirror very nicely... So this Hare Krsna chanting is the process of wiping out the dust accumulated on the mirror of my mind. Mind, cetah. Cetah is consciousness. Mind is not exactly cetahconsciousness.
So our movement for Krsna consciousness is a process of clearing the consciousness. Originally, we are all Krsna conscious. Because in the Bhagavad-gita we understand that we are part and parcel of Krsna. Krsna says in the Fifteenth Chapter, mamaivamso jiva-bhutah jiva-loke sanatanah [Bg. 15.7], "These jivas, these living entities, they are My part and parcel." And sanatana, part..., but they are not whole. The Mayavadi philosophers, they claim to be the whole. But Vaisnava philosophy, we do not claim that we are the whole. The Mayavadi philosophers, they claim that "I am God." But we do not claim. We claim that we are part and parcel of God. As part and parcel of God, we have got the same quality. Just like minute particle of gold is also gold, but that part gold and the whole gold they are never equal. So I have got all the qualities. Qualitatively I am one, but quantitatively I am different. That is the version of Bhagavad-gita. And actually, if we falsely claim that "I am God," then we have to show godly power. Unless we show godly power, simply claiming that "I am God," that is dambha, that is false pride.
Therefore the first condition of acquiring knowledge is adambhitvam. Amanitvam adambhitvam. First of all to deny that "I am not matter. I am..." Then "If I am not matter, then I am God." Oh, then Krsna says, "No. That is your false pride. You are not God." Adambhitvam. Amanitvam adambhitvam ahimsa [Bg. 13.8]. Then nonviolence. As soon as one is a realized soul, he will be nonviolent. These are the different stages of acquiring knowledge. And when one is in full knowledge of Krsna consciousness, he becomes qualified with all the good qualities, all the good godly qualities. The Bhagavata says, yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akincana sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah [SB 5.18.12] If one is actually in Krsna consciousness, then all godly, good qualities will develop. Because we are part and parcel of God, the godly qualities are there. It is simply covered. Just like the fire is covered by ashes. If you fan out the ashes, then the fire comes out. Similarly, spirit soul is pure. So when he comes to Krsna consciousness, then he becomes pure soul. Amanitvam adambhitvam. Amanitvam sva-sat-karanam apeksatvam, adambhitvam dharmikatva-khyati-phalaka-dharmacarana-virahah.
Adambhitvam means one should not think... Suppose I am very much advanced in spiritual knowledge, but I should not be very much proud of it. Generally, in this age people want false, I mean to say, designations, that "I am very religious. I know everything. I am God." So many things. These are false pride. So actual knowledge is that "I am smaller than the straw in the street." That is the instruction of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that trnad api sahisnuna: one should be tolerant. One should be humbler than the straw in the street. Sunicena. One should think himself as smaller than the grasses on the street. And trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna. And one should be tolerant like the tree. Amanina, without claiming any respect from others. Amanina manadena, but one should give all respect to others. Manadena kirtaniyah sada harih [Cc. Adi 17.31]. In that stage one can chant Hare Krsna very nicely. Of course, it is very difficult, but Krsna will help us.
Now, this trnad api sunicena, one may think, "Oh, it is artificial to think that I am smaller than the grass in the street." But actually, it is not artificial. It is actually the fact. Why? From the Padma Purana, Vedic literature, we understand that the form of the soul is one ten-thousandth part of the upper portion of the hair. Now how much small we are, just we can imagine only. There is no instrument to divide the upper portion of the hair into ten thousand parts. And just to take one part as the magnitude of the soul, that is not... Actually, we are very small. That small particle of soul is within the ant and within the elephant. It is a bodily expansion only that we are, we appear..., the elephant appears to be the biggest animal, and the ant or the germ appears to be the smallest. But actually, these are bodily expansions. The soul as it is is really smaller than the grass or straw on the street.
So Vedic aphorism says that aham brahmasmi. Aham brahmasmi. So aham brahmasmi sometimes mistakenly is understood that "I am the Supreme God." Aham brahmasmi means "I am Brahman." Brahman means spirit. "I am spirit soul." This conception, this identification, is right. This is the right identification. As soon as I think that "I am elephant" or "I am ant," that is not my identification. That is my misidentification. My real identification is that "I am neither ant nor elephant, but I am spirit soul." But sometimes by identifying myself with the spirit soul, sometimes I falsely claim that "I am the supreme soul." Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that trnad api sunicena, "You are soul, you are spirit soul, but you are smaller than the smallest straw in the street." So actually, there is no miscalculation. The conclusion is there. So adambhitvam dharmikatva-khyati-phalaka-dharmacarana. Khyati. We should not be very much anxious about being famous. Not, "Oh, there is a great man who knows everything about spirit and who is perfect." No. We should be very sincere to understand things as they are. We should not falsely claim which I am not.
The most, I mean to say, prideful claim is that "I am God." This is strictly forbidden by our sampradaya, that "Don't claim." Caitanya Mahaprabhu especially, when He was talking with one of His devotees, Ramananda Raya... The subject matter was how to get perfection. Ramananda Raya was suggesting... Of course, from Vedic literature, perfection, the path of perfection, is to follow the institution of four varnas and four asramas. That is a fact. Four varnas and four asramas. What are the four varnas and four asramas? There are four division of social life and four divisions of spiritual life. The four divisions of social life is the intelligent class of men, the martial class of men, and the mercantile class of men, and the laborer class of men. You can divide any social system in any country, in any place, there are these four classes of men. One class of men, they are very intelligent. They are scientists, they are philosophers, they are great writers, poets, thinkers. Naturally, by nature, they are inclined to these kinds of work. They are called intelligent class. Similarly, there is a class of men who are interested to take part in politics, in diplomacy, or to stand for election as president or as governor. In every country, in every place. They are called administrator class, or martial-spirited. They are prepared to fight also. So there is a class. And the third class is the mercantile class. They want to do some business, trade, industry, and make some profit. And the laborer class, they are neither intelligent, nor, I mean to say, they want to take part in politics, nor they are able to do independent business. Under the circumstances, they are to give their labor and work under somebody and get some remuneration. So these classes are in every country. You call it by different names. In India, of course, these classes are named as the brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas, and the sudras. But in many places I was asked that "Why in India there is caste system?" So this caste system is not only in India. In everywhere the caste system is there. And enviousness between one community to another, that is also existing everywhere. This is human nature.
So this is the classification of a society. And there is another classification which is called spiritual developmental classification. The brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha, and sannyasi. Brahmacari means student life, student life to acquire knowledge. And grhastha life is householder. After acquiring knowledge, one may get himself married with a suitable girl and live peacefully in the societyfor spiritual cultivation. Everything for spiritual cultivation. And then vanaprastha, retired life; then sannyasa, renounced order of life. So Ramananda Raya explained these four principles, four divisions of social order and spiritual development, but Caitanya Mahaprabhu immediately said, "Oh, this is not for Me." Eho bahya age kaha ara. "This is external. If you know something better than this, then you explain."
Why Caitanya Mahaprabhu denied these social orders? Because He was to give immediately benefit to the fallen souls of this age. So He denied this system, not that He decried this system, but He knew that this system cannot be introduced strictly at the present moment in this age. So in this way, gradually, he presented jnana-misra-bhakti, devotional service with knowledge, renouncement of this material connection. In every step, Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "Oh, this is not suitable. This is not suitable." Then at last... Not at last, in the middle, Ramananda Raya suggested that jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva: "One should give up the false knowledge, false knowledge that 'I am God. I am God.' " This is false knowledge. So when this was recommended by Ramananda Raya to Caitanya, that "One should give up this false knowledge..." Jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva. "One should be very meek and humble," namanta eva jivanti, "and in that way if he lives," san-mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam, "and tries to receive knowledge from really self-realized persons..." The motto of life. He is describing the motto of life, that "One should not be falsely proud, one should be very much meek and humble, and try to receive knowledge from self-realized persons. If one continues, follows these principles, then one day he will find that God, who is ajita, who cannot be conquered by anyone, who cannot be known by anyone, God realization..."
Because God realization is not an ordinary job. It is very difficult. Manusyanam sahasresu [Bg. 7.3]. In the Bhagavad-gita you'll find that "Out of many, many thousands of men, one may be interested how to make perfect this human form of life. And out of many, many thousands of perfect persons, one may know actually what is God, what is Krsna." So God is unconquerable, cannot be conquered, or He cannot be understood by your puffed-up mentality that "I can know Him." No. God can be known by the meek and humble who is submissive and who takes the shelter of a God-realized person and tries to hear from him. Then Ramananda Raya... Not Ramananda Raya, it is a quotation from Bhagavata. Then the result is, although God is unapproachable by our limited knowledge, He becomes jita. Jita means He becomes conqueredsimply by this position.
So we are following that system. Caitanya Mahaprabhu approved this system, that one may remain in his position, never mind what he is. It doesn't matter, either he is Indian or American or a brahmana or a ksatriya or white or black. But a human being with common sense, if he simply gives up his false, puffed-up knowledge that "I am God," and becomes humble and meek, and tries to understand the science of God from a realized soul, then one day it will so happen that God has become within his hand. Prayaso 'jita jito 'pi. God cannot be conquered, God cannot be understood, but jito 'py asi, by following this process, God becomes conquered, or one can understand actually the nature of God by this process.
So our propagation for opening different centers is for this purpose, that we give chance. This is our duty. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Krsna also recommended this process, that if you give chance to the people to understand the real knowledge from the Bhagavad-gita... Now it remains to the people to accept it or not accept it. That is his choice. But our duty is... Just like representative of a business firm, he goes from door to door, from shop to shop, that "Here is a thing we are selling, and this is such and such." Now, it does not mean that wherever the representative will go the things will be sold. No. That is not expected. But maybe somebody may come and take to such transaction maybe seriously. But we cannot expect that everyone will understand the science of Krsna consciousness. It is not for ordinary man, not for the proud man, especially, who is thinking that "I am God." It is for the humble and meek who can actually submit to a God-realized person and receive knowledge from him. But he has the, I mean to say, liberty to inquire from him. One should not blindly accept the thesis or the theory which is put forward from Bhagavad-gita. Tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya [Bg. 4.34]. One should be asking questions by two principles. He should ask questions from a person whom he believes to be a man of knowledge. Otherwise it is simply waste of time. And at the same time, seva, by service. Then question is allowed. Otherwise, blind acceptance is no acceptance. One should understand, but with service and surrender. These are the processes, and we are trying to administer this Krsna consciousness under the principle of Bhagavad-gita and Lord Caitanya.
So you are all welcome, and if you put up questions to understand, we shall be very glad to serve you. Any questions? (end)

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