Loading the player ...
Bhagavad-gita 2.11,
Rotary Club Address

Hotel Imperial, Delhi, March 25, 1976
Prabhupada: (prema-dhvani) Thank you very much.
sri bhagavan uvaca
asocyan anvasocas tvam
prajna-vadams ca bhasase
gatasun agatasums ca
nanusocanti panditah
[Bg. 2.11]
Our this Krsna consciousness movement, it is not something new, imaginary movement. It is very old movement. At least five thousand years ago this Bhagavad-gita was repeated by Lord Krsna in the Battlefield of Kuruksetra. Before that, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, Fourth Chapter,
Krsna said to Arjuna that "This science of understanding God, long, long ago I spoke to the sun-god Vivasvan." In the Vedic scripture we understand that every planet is inhabited by living entities. The sun is also one of the planets, and there are living entities. Otherwise how Krsna could go there and speak the predominating person, Vivasvan? The name of the person is also given, imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1]. And vivasvan manave praha. Vivasvan, the sun-god... Because in the higher planetary system the sun planet, moon planet, and many, many other planets, they are called the heavenly planets. The inhabitants of those planets are very opulent. The material happiness available in those planets are hundreds and thousand times better than in this planet. So it is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita that sun planet is also inhabited by living beings. But their body is made of fire. That is the difference. Just like here our body is made of earth. Earth, air... Earth, water, air, fire, ether—these are the five material elements. In some planet the earth is prominent; in some planet the water is prominent; in other planet the fire is prominent. So this is the creation of God, different varieties. That is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita:
athava bahunaitena
kim jnatena tavarjuna
vistabhyaham idam krtsnam
ekamsena sthito jagat
[Bg. 10.42]
This material world, composed of many millions of universes, that is one-fourth creation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Ekamsena sthito jagat.
So Bhagavad-gita means to understand what is God, the science of God. And God Himself is speaking about Himself. Otherwise it is not possible to understand what is God. So if we carefully understand the slokas and the passages mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita, we can understand what is God. And the human form of life is meant for understanding God. He has no other business. In the lower bodies, less than human form of body... According to Darwin's theory, the human form of body comes from monkey. But the evolution is accepted in the Vedic literature but not like Darwin's. The evolution, again according to Vedic scripture, is that the living entity is different from the body, and the living entity is passing through many forms of body. We shall read that. So the bodies are according to my desire. I am desiring something. Just like here we are sitting, so many ladies and gentlemen, but not one of them is similar to anyone else. They have got different bodies. That body is created according to one's desire. The mind, the subtle mind, is the creator of the next body. Yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajaty ante kalevaram [Bg. 8.6]. At the time of death whatever I am thinking, a similar body will be offered to me by the laws of nature. Subtle body. The mind, intelligence and ego, they are subtle body, and the gross body is made of earth, water, air, fire, ether. So when we give up this gross body, the subtle body carries me to another gross body. This is the way of transmigration of the soul. The prakrti, nature, nature's law, is very strict and stringent. The nature will immediately offer you a similar body according to the thinking at the time of your death. Tatha dehantara-praptih [Bg. 2.13].
Therefore this human form of body is meant for going back to home, back to Godhead. Yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama [Bg. 15.6]. We are eternal. As God is eternal, we are also eternal because we are part and parcel of God. As God is always blissful, jolly, similarly our nature is always blissful and jolly. Sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah [Bs. 5.1]. Sat, cit, ananda. Sat means eternal, and cit means blissful, cit means full of knowledge; and ananda. Ananda means blissfulness. That is our nature. Therefore we want to live. We do not wish to die. We do not wish... Nobody wishes to die, but we are forced to die. That is our punishment. Nityah sasvato 'yam na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. This instruction you will get in the Bhagavad-gita, that "The living entity is eternal," sasvata, "very, very old." Nityah sasvato 'yam na hanyate hanyamane sarire: [Bg. 2.20] "When the body is destroyed, is annihilated, the soul exists. It goes to another body." The example is just like every one of us... In the first day of intercourse of the father-mother, the secretion mix together, emulsified, and if the living entity is allowed to enter into that, it grows. That is the beginning of our body. But if the living entity is not allowed into the, that emulsified, small pealike form, then there is no pregnancy. So attempt is made to pollute that emulsification. Therefore the living entity cannot enter into it and there is no pregnancy. Otherwise there must be pregnancy. Then that pealike body grows, and in seven months it grows the hands and legs and head and everything, and consciousness comes back. When we die our consciousness becomes almost stopped, and we then lie down within the womb of the mother according to species of body, a status—take it for granted our human form of body—seven months. At that time body is grown up. In this way, in tenth month the body is fully grown. Then by nature's way the body comes out and another life begins. This is called transmigration of the soul.
So actually we are eternal. In the Vedic language it is said, nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam eko yo bahunam vidadhati kaman (Katha Upanisad 2.2.13). Nitya. Nitya means eternal. And nityanam. Nityanam means plural number of nityas. So there are many nityas, means many living entities, but there is one nitya Supreme. That is God. He is also a living entity like us. Then where is the difference? The difference is, we learn from the Vedic line, eko bahunam vidadhati kaman: "That singular number nitya, eternal, maintains the plural number nityas." We are within the plural number, nityanam. So conclusion is that God is the Supreme Being and we are living being. So our relation is very intimate. Qualitatively we are one because we are part and parcel. So God is eternal, full of knowledge, and blissful; therefore our position is also the same but in minute quantity. His knowledge is great. Therefore God is great. Our knowledge is limited. And because we have got limited potencies, therefore we are called living entities. And God has got unlimited potencies, therefore God is great and we are small. This is conclusion of the Bhagavad-gita. And we are in this material world being contaminated by the material nature. We are suffering because anything material, it has got limited period of existence. Anything you take, it is asat. Asat means "which will not exist," and sat means "which will exist." The Vedic injunction is asato ma sad gama: "You are sat. You revive your eternal life. Don't be entangled in this asat."
So we are transmigrating from one body to another. There is evolution.
Because in the beginning the whole planet was covered in water. The water is drying up and gradually land is coming out. So therefore in the beginning the aquatics, jalaja nava-laksani. So the aquatic animals, they are 900,000 species. Jalaja nava..., sthavara laksa-vimsati. Then trees and plants and herbs and grasses and so many, they are 2,000,000 forms. Then krmayo rudra-sankhyakah. Then insect life, reptile life, 1,100,000. Then paksinam dasa-laksanam, then birds, varieties of birds, 1,000,000. Then pasu, four-legged animals, 3,000,000 types. Then manusah catur-laksani. Then human form of life, uncivilized and civilized, that human form of life 400,000. So in comparison to the lower species of life, we are very small quantity. Together there are 8,400,000 species of life, living entities. The evolution process is from one body to another, another, another. In this way, when you come to the human form of life, it should be utilized for full knowledge about our eternal life. That is the opportunity. And if we don't take this opportunity, if we live like other animals—eating, sleeping, sex, and fearfulness, ahara-nidra-bhayam—but we do not care to understand what we are, what is God, what is our relationship with God, then we are missing the point.
That lesson, instruction, is given in the Bhagavad-gita. And it is very easy to understand. The perplexity which Arjuna met at the Battle, in the Battlefield of Kuruksetra... The fight was between two sector of family members. They're cousin-brothers, one family, but there was some trouble, who would occupy the throne. From Mahabharata we understand that the Pandavas, at least up to Maharaja Pariksit, he ruled over the whole world. Bharatavarsa means the whole world, and the capital was here, Hastinapura. This information we get, Mahabharata. Maha means greater, and bharata means India. Mahabharata. So there was trouble, who will occupy the throne. So there was fight. So when fight was arranged, then Arjuna... He was a devotee of Krsna. (aside to someone talking:) Please stop. He declined fight. He said to Krsna, "My dear Krsna"—Krsna was his friend—"I don't like this fight because they are my cousin-brothers. Although they have usurped my kingdom, let them enjoy it. I don't wish to fight with them." But Krsna declined. Krsna said, "No, you have to fight. Your duty is to fight." Then Arjuna placed before Him so many ideas that "If I kill my brother, then my brothers' wives will be widow and they may be polluted, then unwanted children, varna-sankara, will come out, and when the varna-sankara population is filling, then the whole world becomes a hell." So many arguments. So Krsna, when He saw that Arjuna is very much afflicted with the material ideas, so He wanted to teach him this Bhagavad-gita. So first punishment... Not punishment, chastisement. Because Arjuna accepted that "The perplexities which I am facing is not possible to be solved except Yourself." He knew that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So he surrendered himself to Krsna, sisyas te 'ham sadhi mam prapannam, karpanya-dosopahata svabhavah: [Bg. 2.7] "I am a ksatriya. It is my duty to fight in right cases, and I am declining. This is my weakness. So kindly instruct me how I can give up this weakness. I am accepting You as my guru." Sisyas te 'ham. Sisya means who voluntarily accepts to be ruled by a person who is guru. He is called sisya.
So Arjuna and Krsna, they were friends, but still, to take right instruction without any argument, he accepted He is guru. Then after the acceptance Krsna's first warning is,
asocyan anvasocas tvam
prajna-vadams ca bhasase
gatasun agatasums ca
nanusocanti panditah
[Bg. 2.11]
"My dear Arjuna, you are talking like a very learned man, but the subject matter which you have touched is not at all taken seriously by the pandita." Pandita means learned man. That means, "You are talking like a fool. You are taking this body as self." So actually this is not the fact. The body is not the self. The self is different. If you analyze this body, what you will find? Suppose we are breathing. What is this breathing? It is air only. Now, when the breathing is stopped, a man is dead. Now, you are so much advanced in science. Why don't you replace this breathing? It is nothing but air. So you can manufacture some machine working in electric battery and put some air and fix up, and that same air will come: "Woosh, woosh, woosh, woosh. "Will that give you life? No. Even if you artificially bring breathing, just like nowadays they, with oxygen gas, as if oxygen gas is life... That is not the fact. So if you analyze every part of the body, then you will find that there is no life. This is called education. This is called scientific knowledge. Simply abruptly taking something without any proper understanding, that is not knowledge. Therefore Krsna chastised him that "You are talking like very scientific, learned scholar, but you are a fool number one because you are accepting this material body as the self." This is ignorance. This is confirmed in another place, yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke [SB 10.84.13]. This kunape, this bag of three elements, kapha pitta vayu, or, take it, the skin, muscle, veins, bones, urine, stool, blood—what you will find if you dissect this body? They are all material things. What is blood? It is also water, red water. The urine, this is also water. And this bone, bone is nothing but earth hardened. If you take plaster of Paris... They sometimes show artificial bone also in the medical college. But that is not. That is bone. That is earth. So do you think this combination of this earth, water, air, fire, is life? Can you produce life? You take... You can get enough earth, water, air, pus, stool, urine, blood. You manufacture one life. That you cannot do. This is called analysis. And those who are engaged in understanding the self as the combination of these earth, water, air, fire—sa eva go-kharah [SB 10.84.13]. Such persons are defined in the sastra as no more intelligent than the cows and the asses. So from here spiritual knowledge begins. You analyze the body, but you won't find the real soul or real life, although it is within you. But why you cannot find? It is very, very small. Kesagra-sata-bhagasya satadha kalpitasya ca [Cc. Madhya 19.140]. The formation of the soul, measurement of the soul, is very, very... It is smaller than the atom. Kesagra-sata-bhagasya [Cc. Madhya 19.140]. The tip of the hair you divide into hundred part, and take one part. Again divide it into hundred parts. That one part is the measurement of the soul. That means one ten thousandth part of the top of the hair. So how you can see? But that small particle is giving you living force. This knowledge we get from Bhagavad-gita, and that is the fact. You cannot get life by analyzing this material body. That is not possible. You have to find out what is that small particle. You have to hear. Therefore you cannot get knowledge by your material activities. You have to hear it from the authorities; otherwise there is no possibility. Just like you cannot understand who is your father. You have to take the knowledge from your mother. If mother certifies, "This gentleman is your father," that is correct. But if you go on researching who is your father you will never be able to know who is your father. Similarly, what is life, what is soul, what is our, this body, what is the ultimate goal of life, why you are suffering—all this knowledge you have to take from the higher authorities. That is called Vedic process, not to endeavor by research. What you can research? Our fund of knowledge is very, very poor, limited. You cannot have perfect knowledge unless you hear from the authority. So Krsna is the authority. Our Krsna consciousness movement means you take knowledge from the best authority. Don't manufacture knowledge. That will not help you. That is Krsna consciousness movement.
So here Krsna says that "My dear Arjuna, you are talking like a very learned man." That is our disease. Everyone will talk as if... We manufacture, but that is useless. Ke ami kene amaya jare... You cannot make any solution. Therefore the whole world is in chaotic condition. We speak of our own country, India. Not only India, everywhere the chaotic condition is because they have no real knowledge. They are simply claiming to be very learned man, which is chastised here by Krsna. Asocyan anvasocas tvam prajna-vadan: [Bg. 2.11] "You are presenting yourself as very learned man, but the subject matter which you have taken, this body, this body is nothing but dead lump of matter." That is said here, that asocyan anvasocas tvam gatasun agatasums ca. This body, when it is living condition... Living condition means so long the soul is there, it looks like very bright, beautiful, moving here and there. And when the soul leaves this body, then what it is? It has no value, a lump of matter. Just like a motorcar. So long it is moving, it is worth one lakh, and so long it does not move, it is simply lump of iron and copper and something. Who cares for it? It is thrown away. Same thing. The body has no value. It has value so long the soul is there. Otherwise suppose a big man... They are lamenting such, "A great man has passed away." But what is that such great man? He is lying on the floor, on the bed, the same man. So why you are seeing that he has gone? Then who has gone? You have never seen him who has gone. This is knowledge. So our human life is meant for understanding what has gone from the body which makes the body a lump of matter... [break]
Dvapare paricaryayam kalau tad dhari-kirtanat. In the Satya-yuga, when the duration of life was very, very great, meditation was possible. And next yuga? Krte yad dhyayato visnum tretayam yajato makhaih [SB 12.3.52]. By performing the ritualistic ceremonies recommended in the Vedas, yajna... And the next yuga, by paricarya, by Deity worship. And next yuga, this Kali-yuga, hari-kirtanat, simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord. Otherwise... And meditation means krte yad dhyayato visnum. Meditation means to think of Visnu, Lord Visnu. That is the recommendation. Dhyanavasthita-tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yoginah [SB 12.13.1]. The yogis, they think of the Supreme Person, dhyanavasthita manasa, mind absorbed, surcharged with thinking of Visnu. That is called meditation. Dhyanavasthita-tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yoginah [SB 12.13.1]. And in the Bhagavad-gita this dhyana is recommended in the sixth chapter:
yoginam api sarvesam
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah
[Bg. 6.47]
Any yogi... There are different varieties of yogis. So of all the yogis, the bhakti-yogi who is thinking of Krsna within the mind, he is the first-class yogi. So in our movement we are creating first-class yogis because they are chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. So this is directly to create first-class yogis. Yoginam api sarvesam.
Indian: Swamiji, in our ancient books Krsna has also been projected as a person who has lived for a certain period of history, and who was associated with number of...
Prabhupada: Friends and relatives.
Indian: ...relatives for temporary time. Our books of literature also projected the Supreme Being as the perfect one. How do you reconcile the two things? How do we accept that... Your teachings are based on the assumption that that person who lived for that period of time is the perfect person. But how do you fundamentally assure that what He has said is correct? How do you reconcile the two points?
Prabhupada: That I have already explained, that one has to understand Krsna. Janma karma me divyam yo janati tattvatah [Bg. 4.9]. Before your asking, I have already explained that if that person, Krsna, whom you think that He lived for a certain period with friends and relatives just like ordinary man, if you simply study what is this person, then you'll be comforted (competent?). Janma karma ca me divyam yo janati tattvatah [Bg. 4.9]. To understand Him in fact, it is not so easily. That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gita:
Out of many millions of persons, one becomes siddha, perfect. So that perfection is not complete perfection. That perfection means aham brahmasmi: "I am not this material body; I am spirit soul." So one who understands this position of oneself is calculated as perfect, but yatatam api siddhanam [Bg. 7.3], in that perfect stage if one endeavors to understand Krsna, yatatam api siddhanam kascid, out of many such millions of persons who trying to understand Krsna in perfection, one may understand. So it is not so easy. Janma karma ca me divyam yo jana... [Bg. 4.9], again tattvatah. That factual understanding is possible. How it is possible? Bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah [Bg. 18.55]. Only through devotion you can understand. So these problems will be solved when you become a devotee. Then Krsna will reveal. Atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih [Cc. Madhya 17.136]. If you try to understand that Supreme Person Krsna, who comes before you as ordinary person, you can understand Him if you become His devotee. Otherwise it is not possible. Atah sri-krsna-namadi. You cannot understand Krsna or His name, His form, His pastimes, His activities—na bhaved grahyam indriyaih—by your imperfect senses. But sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphurati. When you are engaged in His service, then He reveals Himself: "Here I am." So this is the process. If you want to understand that person, Krsna, who is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then you have to take shelter of bhakti-yoga and associate with bhaktas. Then it is possible. Otherwise not.
Indian (2): Pranamas, Swamiji.
Prabhupada: Hare Krsna.
Indian (2): Shri Gandhiji was also great admirer of the Gita and a great scholar and a great..., made commentary also. But he at the time of the great war asked the great powers to let Hitler come in and not fight him at all. But where have you... He said that Hitler change of heart that would be effective and not that punishment. That means punishment is a fault, and I would like your enlightenment on this paradox.
Prabhupada: The punishment... Krsna does not personally punish. He has got many agents. Just like in the government, the president does not punish directly, but there are many departments. Similarly, parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate [Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport]. His potencies are manyfold. One of the potency is this material nature. It is called maya. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gita. Daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya [Bg. 7.14]. It is very difficult to surpass the jurisdiction of maya, duratyaya. But punishment will not be excused. Ignorance of law is no excuse. Similarly, this maya, this material nature, is very, very strong. If you eat little more... Your nature is to eat, say, two ounce. If you eat three ounce immediately you'll be punished. There will be indigestion. The nature is so strong. Therefore it is called daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya. So in this way you cannot surpass the stringent laws of maya, but if you want to avoid punishment, then you take shelter of Krsna. Mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te [Bg. 7.14]. Therefore Krsna consciousness is essential. If we become Krsna conscious, if we follow the instruction of Krsna, then there is no question of being harassed by the stringent laws of maya. This is the version.
Indian (3): President Jagadish, it is customary... (end)

Link to this page: https://prabhupadabooks.com/classes/bg/2/11/rotary_club_address/march/25/1976

If you Love Me Distribute My Books -- Srila Prabhupada