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Bhagavad-gita 2.13

Hyderabad, November 19, 1972
Prabhupada: ...tatha dehantara-praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati [Bg. 2.13]. We began this verse yesterday. This is the criterion of understanding spiritual life. People generally do not understand that there is another element beyond this body. Generally, people, they are under the impression that "I am this body. I am Indian." Why I am Indian? Because this body's born in India. Therefore, I'm Indian. "I am American." Why? "Because body is born in America; therefore I am American." Similarly, this dehatma-buddhih, bodily concept of life, is going on all over the world. This is ignorance, ajnana. This is called ajnana. Jnana and ajnana. Jnana means one who knows that he is not this body. He's spirit soul. Aham brahmasmi. (aside:) (about microphone) It is... Little strong make it, yes. So when one is freed from the bodily concept of life, he called jnani. Otherwise, ajnani. They are so much proud of jnana. In our India, there are so-called Mayavadis. They think of themselves as jnani-sampradaya. What is that jnani? "I am Hindu. I am Indian. I am sannyasi." This is their jnana. But actually it is ajnana. If you think yourself that you are Indian, if you think yourself as Hindu, if you think yourself as brahmana, if you think yourself as a sudra, then you are ajnani. You are not jnani. Because you are giving your identification... (aside, about microphone:) Why it is stopped? If you are giving your identification on the ground of your body, then you are ajnani. Jnani means pandita. Panditah sama-darsinah.
Actually, who is jnani, who is pandita, he will not see: "Here is an Indian. Here is an American. Here is an Hindu. Here is a Muslim," or "Here is a cat. Here is a dog." No Because he will see not the outward bodily identification. Just like while I am talking with you, because your dress is white, and because my dress is saffron colored, it does not mean that we are different. Simply on the ground of dress, if we think we are different, then that is ajnana. Nobody does so. When a gentleman talks with another gentleman, none of them consider that "I am this dress." Similarly, if I consider about, about my identification on the ground of this dress, then am I not ajnani? Yes, I am ajnani. I do not know my identification.
Therefore sastra says, yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke [SB 10.84.13]. Anyone who is identifying himself with this body, which is made of tri-dhatu... Tri-dhatu means kapha-pitta-vayu. According to Ayur Veda system, this body is a combination of kapha-pitta-vayu, mucus, bile, and air. So sastra says, yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke. If anyone identifies himself with this bag of kapha-pitta-vayu, a bunch of bones and flesh and blood and stool, sva-dhih kalatradisu, and his own kinsmen, his wife and children, sva-dhih kalatradisu bhauma ijya-dhih, and worship, worshipable is the land, bhauma, yat-tirtha-buddhih salile, one who goes to the place of pilgrimage and takes the water as all in all, yat-tirtha-buddhih salile na karhicij janesu abhijnesu, but does not go to the actual learned saintly persons, sa eva go-kharah [SB 10.84.13], such person is no better than cow and ass. This is the injunction of the sastra, that our identification with the body is animal life. The animal, a dog, it knows that he is body. A cat knows that he is body. A tiger knows that he is body. A human being, also, if he knows like that, that he is body, then why, how he's advanced? He's no better than the cats and dogs. Yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke sva-dhih kalatradisu bhauma ijya-dhih [SB 10.84.13]. The whole world is going on on this misimpression, misidentification with the body. Therefore, there is fight between one nation to another, one man to another, and so many...
So jnani means one must be above this bodily concept of life. He's jnani. Therefore to become jnani, the first instruction, as Krsna is giving to Arjuna, He's pointing out that "You are not this body. My dear Arjuna. You are decline, declining to fight, because you are bodily infected. You are thinking that your bodily, blood relation with the other party, namely your brother, nephews and others, that is wrong conception. You are not this body." Because Arjuna surrendered to Krsna: sisyas te 'ham sadhi mam prapannam [Bg. 2.7]. When he was puzzled in the battlefield of Kuruksetra, he thought it wise to accept Krsna not as his friend, his friend, but at the same time, he accepted Him as his spiritual master. Sisyas te' ham sadhi mam prapannam. And the duty of the disciple is to fully surrender unto the spiritual master. Unless you can surrender, (you) do not accept anyone as spiritual master. If you want the spiritual master to abide by your order, then that acceptance of spiritual master is a farce. It is not acceptance. Acceptance of spiritual master means that one should surrender unto the spiritual master. Tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya [Bg. 4.34]. If you want to learn that transcendental science, tad viddhi, you try to understand. How? Pranipatena. Prakrsta-rupena nipata. Fully surrendering, falling flat. "Sir, I surrender unto you." Pranipatena pariprasnena. And then inquire question.
According to our Vedic principle, nobody has got the right to question anyone unless that person is accepted as spiritual master. Otherwise, it is waste of time. Spiritual... If you want to question somebody, you must accept his answer. You cannot argue. That is acceptance of authority. Just like in Vedas, whatever injunctions are there, we accept it without any argument. That is Vedic instruction. People sometimes say: "Is it Vedic instruction, that I have to accept it without argument?" Actually, that is Vedic instruction. Just like, for example, the Vedas says cow dung is pure. Now actually we are accepting, those who are following the Vedic principles, they accept cow dung as pure. Actually, it is pure. But if we argue: "How is that, that animal stool is impure, even human stool is impure. How cow dung, which is stool of another animal, is pure?" It is contrary. But actually, we accept. Actually we accept. Similarly, conchshell, conchshell is nothing but bone of an animal. According to our Vedic version, if you touch the bone of an animal, you become immediately impure. You have to take bath. But this bone of animal, conchshell, is taken to the Deity room. It is so pure. So from our human consciousness we find contradiction in the Vedic instruction, that in the Vedas, in one place, it says that the bone of an animal is impure; in another place says the bone of a particular animal is pure. The Vedas says the stool of an animal is impure, but in another place it says that the stool of the cow animal is pure. So apparently we find contradiction. But still, because we accept the authority of the Vedas, therefore we accept the statement also. We accept the bone of the conchshell, and we accept the stool of cow as pure. That is acceptance of authority. You cannot argue. Even though it appears it is contradictory, you cannot argue.
Similarly, acceptance of spiritual master means representative of God. Of course, he, he must be representative of God. If unfortunately I accept a bogus man as representative of..., that is my misfortune. But actually, acceptance of spiritual master means he's a bona fide representative of God. Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh [Bg. 4.2]. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, you'll find. That parampara system, disciplic succession, acarya. Acaryavan puruso veda. Just like we accept our philosophy, Vaisnava philosophy, or any Indian philosophy, they accept this parampara, guru-parampara. They accept it. Sampradaya. Just like we have got samprada..., Ramanuja-sampradaya, Madhva-sampradaya. So we have to accept the sampradaya, disciplic succession, to receive real knowledge. So that sampradaya begins from Krsna. Krsna is the original spiritual master of Lord Brahma, of Lord Siva, Narada, so many other authorities. There are twelve authorities, svayambhur naradah sambhuh [SB 6.3.20]. Svayambhu means Lord Brahma; Narada; and Sambhu, Lord Siva; Kumara; Kapila; Manu. They are all authorities. So that is the indication of the sastra, that if you want to understand the transcendental science, the science of God, then tad-vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. That is the injunction of the Vedas, that if you really interested to learn the transcendental science, you must approach. Abhigacchet. This is vidhilin. Vidhilin. This form of verb is used in Sanskrit grammar when it meant "You must." You cannot say "I may accept or may not accept." That will not do. You must accept. Tad, tad-vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigacchet, samit-panih srotriyam brahma-nistham [MU 1.2.12]. These are the injunctions of the Vedas.
So Arjuna accepted Krsna as spiritual master. In the beginning, he was talking like friend. Friend to friend, talking, sometimes it comes to nil, no conclusion, simply waste of time. It is called vitanda. That sort of argument has no value. Because it will never come into conclusion. But when we talk with authority, the spiritual master, representative of Krsna, then we cannot argue. We have to accept. Guru-vakya. Guru-vakya, you cannot deny it. It may not be agreeable to you in the beginning, but you cannot deny it. That is it: system of Vedic system. Here Arjuna has accepted Krsna as the spiritual master. Sisyas te aham. "I become Your disciple. Because we were talking till now as friends, but this will not decide the case. My case is very serious. My duty is to fight, but I do not like to fight. Some affection, some family relationship, is deterring me to fight, making me coward. So therefore it is a very complex position. And I find that You can make a solution of this complex position. I therefore accept You as my spiritual master. And I fall down under Your lotus feet as Your disciple." Sadhi mam prapannam. "I am surrendered. Now You kindly protect the surrendered soul."
So here Krsna is instructing. First of all, He chastised Arjuna: asocyan anvasocas tvam prajna-vadams ca bhasase [Bg. 2.11]. "My dear Arjuna, you are talking like a very learned man, but I find that you do not know in which case you have to lament and in which case you have to joyful. That you do not know." Gatasun agatasums ca nanusocanti panditah. Indirectly, He said that "You are not pandita; you are a fool. Because you are arguing in this way that 'If I kill my brothers, their wives will be widow, and they will become prostitute and there will be varna-sankara.' " These questions are very nice. If women become prostitute, then the population is varna-sankara. And varna-sankara means unwanted children. They become practically nuisance in the society. Narakayate. If varna-sankara population is increased, then the whole society becomes a hell. That's a fact. Actually, that is the position at the present moment. Therefore, according to the Vedic system, marriage is there. Without marriage, the population, increase of population, means varna-sankara.
So these things were discussed, but that was not the main case. The main case was whether Arjuna was to fight and to kill the other party. He was thinking very seriously. So Krsna in the beginning said that: "You are lamenting on the point that your brothers, your grandfather, they will die." That is the general impression of the people, that "I die, you die." But Bhagavad-gita says, na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. Nobody dies, even after the destruction of this body. This is the beginning of that instruction. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire. We are eternal. Nityah sasvato 'yam, na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. Now where is the knowledge? We are traveling all over the world. We have never seen any university or any department of knowledge where this technique is instructed, na hanyate hanyamane sarire. There is no such instruction. So just try to understand, in the name of education, how people are placed in ignorance. They are thinking that hanyamane sarire, hanyate. After killing the body, the body's finished, the man is finished. I was talking with a big professor in Moscow, Professor Kotovsky. He said: "Swamiji, after destruction of this body, there is nothing more. Everything is finished." So just see, a big professor, a responsible person, he has no knowledge about the soul, what is soul, what is body. He's superficially, he is studying that after this body is finished, everything's finished. But that is not the fact. And persons who do not know this fact, they are becoming leaders, they are becoming educators, they are becoming spiritual master, and so on. So how these people will be in knowledge? Because those who are teaching them, they are in ignorance. Andha yathandhair upaniyamanah [SB 7.5.31]. One blind man is leading so many blind men. So where is the education?
Here is the beginning of education, real education. What Krsna says. I have already explained that... (aside:) Why they are talking? I have already explained that our process of accepting knowledge is the parampara system. Avaroha-pantha. There are two ways of acquiring knowledge, aroha-pantha and avaroha-pantha. Knowledge coming from the authorities, that is perfect knowledge. And knowledge acquired by experimental knowledge, that is not perfect. Because we are imperfect. Suppose a big professor, just like that Russian Professor Kotovsky, they are trying to understand things by so-called inductive process, or aroha-pantha, going up by one's speculation, by speculative method. But our process of knowledge, Vedic process of knowledge: tad-vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. Their knowledge should be taken from the authority. Do not manufacture knowledge. Because how you can manufacture perfect knowledge? You are imperfect. Your senses are imperfect. You are defective in four ways. You are... To err is human. You must commit mistake. You must be illusioned. Your senses are imperfect, and you have got a cheating propensity. These four defects are there. Those who are not liberated, mukta-purusa, they have got four defects. What is that? He must commit mistake. Just like we can give you instance: Our Mahatma Gandhi, he was so great personality, but he also committed so many mistakes. Even on the day of his death, it is heard that he was forbidden not to go the meeting. The other persons, they scented some danger, but he forcibly went there and he was killed. So mistake, committing mistake. To err is human. That is not fault. That is our habit. We commit mistake. And we also, we are illusioned. Illusioned. Just like I am not this body. I am spirit soul. Aham brahmasmi. But we are giving identification with this body. "I am Indian," "I am American," "I am brahmana," "I am sudra." So this is illusion. So to commit mistake and to become illusioned and cheating propensity. Actually, I do not know things as they are, still, I am writing books. To educate people. Big, big scholars, they have no clear thought, clear understanding; still they write books. Even Darwin's theory. He's proposing, "Perhaps; it may be," and he's writing a big book, anthropology. And people are taking knowledge from that book. So if his knowledge based on "Perhaps; maybe," what is the value of that knowledge? So things are going on like that. The senses are imperfect. He has got a cheating propensity. Cheating propensity means he has no perfect knowledge; still, he wants to give knowledge, to become famous in the world, famous in the community. So what is the value of your writing books if you have no perfect knowledge? But because we have got a cheating propensity, we do like that. So Vedic knowledge is not like that. There is no cheating. There is no imperfection. There is no illusion. There is no error. That is Vedic knowledge.
So there... The author of Vedic knowledge... Who is the author of the Vedic knowledge? Not Lord Brahma. The author of Vedic knowledge is Krsna. As it is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam: tene brahma hrda adi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayah. He imparted the knowledge, brahma, sabda-brahma knowledge, into the heart of Lord Brahma. So Brahma is not self-sufficient. Factually, we are supposed to get knowledge, Vedic knowledge, from Brahma, beginning from Brahma. But actually it is not the, from Brahma. Brahma got the knowledge from Krsna. Tene brahma. Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya. Janmady asya yatah anvayat itaratas ca arthesu abhijnah svarat tene brahma hrda adi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayah [SB 1.1.1]. So actually knowledge is coming from Krsna. So our proposal is, we are receiving knowledge, this Bhagavad-gita, Krsna is directly giving you the knowledge. So we have to accept it as it is. We cannot interpret Bhagavad-gita in my own way. That is not Bhagavad-gita. That is something else. They take advantage of the Bhagavad-gita and put their own conclusion. That is not Bhagavad-gita. If you want to study Bhagavad-gita, then you have to study as it is. Then it is nice.
In the Bhagavad-gita it is said, Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Aham adir hi devanam [Bg. 10.2]. Aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate [Bg. 10.8], mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te, nanyat parataram [Bg. 7.14]. So these are the statements in the Bhagavad-gita. Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. If we do not accept Bhagavad-gita in terms of the statements given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then it is useless. It is simply waste of time. You cannot make any commentary of your poor knowledge. There is nothing very difficult to understand in the Bhagavad-gita. It is written in very simple Sanskrit word, and things are very clear. As clear as the sunlight. Where is the question of showing the sunlight or the sun-god with your lamp? Suppose now here is sunlight, sufficient light. We can see the sun and everything very clearly. If somebody brings some lamp and says, "Now I shall show you what is sun," it is useless. Bhagavad-gita is clear itself. Just like the sunlight. It does not require any lamp-bearer to show the Bhagavad-gita or Krsna. It does not require. You try to see Bhagavad-gita as it is. Then you will be benefited. Otherwise, you'll be misled.
Just like in the beginning of the Bhagavad-gita it is said, dharma-ksetre kuru-ksetre samaveta yuyutsavah, mamakah pandavas caiva kim akurvata sanjaya [Bg. 1.1]. It is very clear. Dharma-ksetre. Kuruksetra is dharma-ksetra. Still. There is Kuruksetra. All of you know. And it is dharma-ksetra. People go for pilgrimage. And in the Vedas also it is stated that kuru-ksetre dharmam acaret. One should go to Kuruksetra and perform religious rituals there. So it is dharma-ksetra by Vedic version, by practical example. Dharma-ksetre kuru-ksetre [Bg. 1.1]. But somebody's interpreting Kuruksetra as this body. From which dictionary he can get this meaning, that Kuruksetra means this body? This kind of interpretation is going on. But our proposition is that if you want to be benefited by reading Bhagavad-gita, don't read such malinterpretation. Read Bhagavad-gita as it is. Then you will be benefited. Kuru-ksetre dharma-ksetre. It is a fact. Kuruksetra is dharma-ksetra. Samaveta yuyutsavah: [Bg. 1.1] And the persons assembled there, namely, the Pandavas and the Kauravas, they wanted to fight. Yuyutsavah. That's all right. Where is the interpretation? They wanted to fight. They selected a nice place, dharma-ksetra, Kuruksetra, and there they fought. So it is, meaning is clear. Why there should be interpretation that "The Pandava means the five senses and the Kuruksetra means this body"? Why? Why? Where is the necessity of such interpretation? Interpretation is required where things are not clear. Actually, we do interpret. Just like in the law court, if some clause is not very clear, the lawyers interpret: "It may be like this, it may be like that." But when the things are clear, there is no question of interpretation. That is the system. Amongst the scholars, if things are clear, there should be no interpretation.
So Bhagavad-gita, in each and every verse, the things are very, very clear, as clear as the sunshine. So there is no question of interpretation. Our, this publication of Bhagavad-gita, we have therefore mentioned: Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Because there are six hundred and forty different editions of Bhagavad-gita, and almost every one of them has got a different interpretation. That is the system going on now. Therefore, before me, many persons, many swamis, went to Western countries and they presented Bhagavad-gita in their own way, but not a single person became a devotee of Krsna. Throughout the whole history. Now Bhagavad-gita is being presented as it is, and thousands of them are becoming devotee of Krsna. Practical. Thousands of them. The simple thing. I presented Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and they accepted it, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and by following the principles, within the four years, so many devotees of Krsna have come out. Because there was no adulteration. So our request is try to understand Bhagavad-gita without adulteration. Try to understand Bhagavad-gita as it is presented. Then you will get knowledge. Otherwise, you will remain in the same ignorance, before reading Bhagavad-gita and after reading Bhagavad-gita. This is our proposal.
Here Krsna says that dehino 'smin yatha dehe [Bg. 2.13]. Dehi, deha. Deha means this body, and dehi means the owner of the body. There is the owner of the body. Now, modern scientists, modern philosophers, hardly they do know that there is a proprietor, owner of this body. This body is not the person. The person is within. Asmin dehe. Within this body, there is the proprietor of the body, soul. Asmin dehe. Dehino 'smin yatha dehe [Bg. 2.13]. Now kaumaram yauvanam jara. The changes that are taking place, it is not of the owner of the body, but it is of the outward, external body. Just like if you live in a house. The house becoming older, it does not become, does not mean you are becoming older. The owner of the house does not become deteriorated. It is a crude example. Similarly, the changes, difference, the different types of body, the soul is migrating, transmigrating through different types of body.
Jalaja nava-laksani sthavara laksa-vimsati. There are 8,400,000 forms of body, and the living entity is transmigrating from one body to another, one body to another, one body to another. This is the evolution. Darwin's evolution theory is misplaced. Here is real... As it is stated in the Padma Purana: asatims caturams caiva laksams tan jiva-jatisu. The evolutionary theory is there in the Padma Purana. Asatims caturams caiva laksams tan jiva-jatisu. Jiva-jati. There are different forms of living entities, and they are 8,400,000. That is clearly stated. So one has to pass through from the beginning. Jalaja nava-laksani. Nine hundred thousand species of aquatics. So in this way, when we come to the human form of body, it is very rarely obtained. Manusam durlabham janma. It is very rarely obtained. Therefore, it should be very properly utilized. In the human form of life one should try to understand that he's not this body. He must know that "I am Brahman. I am spirit soul, part and parcel of God." That is the beginning of teaching of Bhagavad-gita.
Krsna says, dehino 'smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara, tatha dehantara-praptih [Bg. 2.13]. As the soul, dehi, is passing through different types of body, even in this life... First of all, he gets a small body within the womb of the mother. Just like a pea. And that pea changes into another form, another form, another form. Then when the form is complete with hands and legs, it comes out. Then again changes from babyhood to childhood, from childhood to boyhood, boyhood to youthhood. In this way, the living entity is changing the body. Not that the living entity itself is changing. It is changing simply body, according to the necessity. That is explained here. Dehino 'smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara, tatha dehantara-praptih [Bg. 2.13]. The point was to convince Arjuna that "Do not be bereaved because your

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