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Bhagavad-gita 2.2-6

Ahmedabad, December 11, 1972
Anarya-justam, "not at all befitting a man who knows the progressive values of life." Aryan. Aryan means who are progressive. So this dejection of Arjuna in the battlefield is described as befitting a non-Aryan. Aryan, according to Aryan civilization as described in the Bhagavad-gita, there are four divisions inaugurated by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As we have already explained, dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. Any systematic religious process is to be understood: "It is given by God." Man cannot make any religious system. So this Aryan system, progressive system, is catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. Krsna says, "It is introduced by Me for very good management of the social order." Brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra. So Arjuna belonged to the ksatriya family. Therefore his hesitation to fight in the battlefield is not befitting the Aryans. For the royal order to become nonviolent, this is not good. The ksatriyas, when they are fighting in the battlefield, the killing is not a sin for them. Similarly, a brahmana, when he's offering sacrifice, sometimes animals are sacrificed; so that does not mean that he is committing sin. This animal sacrifice was made not for eating the animals. It was for testing the Vedic mantra. Whether the brahmanas who were engaged in offering sacrifice, whether they were chanting the Vedic mantra in right way, that was tested by offering one animal and again giving the animal a new youth life. That was animal sacrifice. Sometimes horses, sometimes cows were offered. But in this age, Kali-yuga, they are forbidden because there is no such yajnika-brahmana. All kinds of sacrifices are forbidden in this age.
Asvamedha sacrifice, gomedha sacrifice, sannyasa, and to get child by devara, husband's younger brother, these things are forbidden in this age.
So it was the duty of the ksatriya to fight. Therefore Krsna is condemning his behavior, that "This is not befitting a ksatriya. By this action, you will be defamed." Akirti-karam arjuna [Bg. 2.2]. "You are such a nice fighter, soldier, and if you cease to fight, then the other party will defame you in so many ways. What you are thinking of? Especially you are My friend. I am standing here. Despite My becoming your chariot driver, if you decline to fight, certainly it will be a great havoc. Don't do this." Therefore He says, anarya-justam asvargyam. Asvargyam means "You cannot be promoted to the heavenly planet." It is said that a ksatriya who dies in the fight is immediately promoted to the heavenly planet. But because he is dying for the good cause, therefore he is promoted. Asvargyam akirti-karam. "It is defamation on your part." So
Parantapa means one who can give trouble to the enemies. It is the duty of the ksatriya. Enemies, aggressor, they should be killed. There is no atatayi. Atatayi means one who is aggressor. One who kidnaps one's wife, one who take away by force one's wealth, one who sets fire in one's house, these are called aggressor. So aggressor should be killed. Aggressor should be given trouble. So Krsna does not teach unnecessarily nonviolence. If ksatriya becomes nonviolent, then the whole state will be in chaos. They must learn how to kill any criminal. He should be immediately killed.
Just like Maharaja Pariksit, Arjuna's grandson, when he was touring in his empire... The whole world was at that time Indian empire. Not Indian exactly. Bharata-varsa. Now we have imitated some name, Bharata, the "Indian," "Hindustan." But formerly the whole planet was known as Bharata-varsa. So when he saw that one black man was trying to kill one cow, immediately he took his sword: "Immediately I shall kill you. Who are you, killing cows in my kingdom?" This is ksatriya's business. So... But there is no ksatriya now because so many cows are being killed. Nobody is protesting. It is the duty of the ksatriya to protect every living entity born in the land, in his kingdom. It is not that, as it is going on now, that only the human beings should be protected and not the animals. No animal could be killed except in sacrifice, as prescribed. Unnecessarily, there was no need of killing animals. That is great sin. Dyutam panam striyah suna yatradharmas catur-vidhah [SB 1.17.38]. Striya, illicit connection with woman, is sinful life. Unnecessarily killing animals, that is sinful life. Intoxication, that is sinful life. Gambling, that is also sinful life. When this Kali was excused, he surrendered himself to Maharaja Pariksit that "You have asked me to go out of your kingdom, but where is out of your kingdom? The whole world is your kingdom. So kindly give me some place where I can stay." So Maharaja Pariksit gave him these four places, that "You can stay where illicit sex life is going on." That mean prostitution. "And unnecessary animals are killed, slaughterhouse." Striya-suna-pana-dyuta [SB 1.17.38]. "Where intoxicants are indulged in or gambling. In these four places you can stay." So at that time, Kali could not find out such place, throughout the whole world. So he was disturbed. So there was conspiracy to kill Maharaja Pariksit because the Kali could understand that so long Maharaja Pariksit would live, it is impossible to find out a slaughterhouse or a brothel or a drinking house or gambling place. No.
So the kingdom was so nice. We have got description from Srimad-Bhagavatam. Maharaja Pariksit, Maharaja Yudhisthira, many. The monarchy was so nice that because they were trained up, rajarsi... They were not ordinary kings. They were as good as great sages and great saintly person. Imam rajarsayo viduh [Bg. 4.2]. Krsna said, imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1]. Krsna said to the sun-god Vivasvan. And so He said, "The sun-god transferred the teaching to his son Manu, and Manu transferred the teaching to Maharaja Iksvaku." Evam parampara-praptam [Bg. 4.2]. In this way, the point is that the philosophy of Bhagavad-gita was especially taught to the royal order because they would know. They should know. Because a king is supposed to be representative of God, nara-deva. King is addressed as nara-deva. Even in 500 years ago when Sanatana Gosvami was minister of Nawab Hussein Shah... Sanatana Gosvami wanted to resign. He wanted to join Caitanya Mahaprabhu's movement. So when the Nawab understood that Sanatana Gosvami... His name was Dabir Khas. He changed his name. So he said, "No, you cannot resign. Then my whole kingdom will be topsy-turvied. I completely depend, dependent on you." So Sanatana Gosvami said, "My, Your Majesty, I am no more able to serve you. Kindly excuse me." Then the Nawab said that "Then I shall punish you. I am Nawab. I am king." So Sanatana Gosvami said, "Yes, you can punish me because you are representative of God." He never protested "Oh, you are Mohammedan, I am this, Hindu or..." No. He accepted him, that "You can punish me." So the idea is that formerly the monarch, the king, was actually representative of God. They used to rule in such a nice way that nobody was unhappy. During Maharaja Yudhisthira's ruling, reign, you will find in the Bhagavatam that people were so happy that they had no anxiety. Not only they were free from all anxieties, but they had not to bear even scorching heat or shivering cold. No. So they were so happy.
That is the duty of the government. It may be monarchy or democracy. The first duty of the government is to see that all the citizens, they are feeling happy. That is the duty of the government. Not simply collecting taxes and: "All the citizens may go to hell. It doesn't matter." This is not good government. Good government is to see there are... It may be secular government. The secular government does not mean that the whole citizens should be less religious, godless. Secular government should see that even there are many religious sects, just like Hindus or Muslim and Christians, so secular government does not mean that they should neglect. They should see that the Hindus are strictly following the principles of Hindu religion, the Mohammedans are strictly following the principles of Mohammedan religion or... That is government's duty. Nobody should remain unemployed. That is government's duty. There are so many things. They are all described in connection with Maharaja Prthu, one noble king.
So in Bhagavata you'll find everything. Politics, sociology, religion, culture, philosophy—everything you will find. Vidya bhagavata vadnih.(?) All kinds of cultural and educational instruction are there in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. So
"Give up this cowardice habit. You get up and prepare for your fight. This is ksatriya's business. You should not go behind." Arjuna uvaca. "Arjuna replied."
Now Krsna was encouraging to fight; Arjuna was also very intelligently replying. He addressed Krsna as Madhusudana, Arisudana. Madhusudana means "the killer of Madhu demon" or "the killer or enemy." So his purpose is that "I have to kill Bhismadeva, who is my so kind grandfather, and I have to kill Dronacarya, who is my teacher, from whom I have learned this military art. So You have killed the demons and Your enemy, and why You are inducing me to kill my guru and my grandfather?" This is his argument. Katham bhismam aham sankhye dronam ca madhusudana, isubhih pratiyotsyami: [Bg. 2.4] "They, my grandfather, my teacher, may chastise me, but how I can pierce with arrows their body?"
So this is the problem: duty. Arjuna was forgetting duty. And Krsna was inducing him: "Never mind. According to ksatriya rules and regulation, even the opposite party is your own son, you should not hesitate to kill him. This is ksatriya's business." If the opposite party is your own son, but when there is fight, there must be decided: one party must be killed. This is ksatriya's business. So he says, gurun ahatva hi mahanubhavan [Bg. 2.5]. "These guru, this Dronacarya and Bhisma, they are not ordinary men." Mahanubhavan. Bhisma, everyone knows. Bhisma is one of the authorities, authorities of religious principle. There are twelve authorities.
svayambhur naradah sambhuh
kumarah kapilo manuh
prahlado janako bhismo
balir vaiyasakir vayam
[SB 6.3.20]
There are four, twelve authorities. One of them is Bhisma. Prahlado janako bhismo balir vaiyasakir vayam. So Bhisma is not ordinary person. Therefore he said, katham, gurun ahatva hi mahanubhavan sreyo bhoktum bhaiksyam apiha loke [Bg. 2.5]. "I do not like to kill my guru, who is so great, and my grandfather. Better I shall become a beggar." A ksatriya's business is not to beg. A brahmana can beg. A brahmana can accept charity, but ksatriya cannot accept any charity from anyone else. Neither he can come down to do business like the vaisyas. That is not. Everyone should stick to his own principle. If this is followed, then it is really secular government. A government must see whether—you are claiming as a brahmana—whether you are actually discharging your duties as a brahmana. That is secular government. You are claiming as a ksatriya; whether you are discharging your duties as a ksatriya? You are a vaisya; whether you are discharging your duties as vaisya? This is government's duty. That is catur-varnyam maya srstam [Bg. 4.13]. Now they are eager to wash off this social system. They want classless society. But in the material world there cannot be any classless society. It is not possible. Classless society can be established in the spiritual world. Just like we are propagating this Krsna consciousness movement. This is classless society. Here you will find Europeans, Americans, Indians, Africans, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, but they have forgotten that they are Hindus, Muslims or Christians or Americans or Indians. They are all identifying, "We are all servant of Krsna." This is classless society. This is classless society. There is no distinction. Here a Hindu coming from very respectable brahmana family and another man is coming from the dog-eater's family. It doesn't matter. As soon as one becomes Vaisnava he is classless society. Therefore it is forbidden, vaisnave jati-buddhih. Arcye visnau sila-dhir gurusu nara-matir vaisnave jati-buddhih, naraki. Just like we should not consider this Deity before us as made of some metal or wood. No. Arcye sila-dhih. No. Here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead standing. We should take it like that. Otherwise, does it mean that we are offering our obeisances to a metal doll? We have become so fool? No. We take it, "Here is Krsna personally standing." That is the, that, if one cannot feel like that... The sastra says you should feel like that. Arcye sila-dhir gurusu nara-matih. Guru, a spiritual master, should not be considered as ordinary human being. Gurusu nara-matih. The Ganges water, one should not think that it is ordinary water. Or caranamrta. These are forbidden. Similarly, vaisnave jati-buddhih. One should not think, "He is American Vaisnava, he is brahmana Vaisnava, he is African Vaisnava, he is black Vaisnava, he is white Vaisnava." No. Vaisnava is Vaisnava, servant of God. Just like in the Ganges water. There are so many... In Calcutta I have seen so many mill water coming, sewer ditches' water is coming. But when it falls down on the Ganges water, it is no more any other water. Everything is Ganges water. Practically we accept it. In Calcutta there are many rigid Hindus, brahmanas. They are taking bath in the Ganges, but even stool is floating there, they set it aside and take bath. Ganges water. Actually, you see chemically, although so many unclean water is coming there, it is still pure. Similarly, Vaisnava, he may come from any family, it doesn't matter. He becomes immediately transcendental. Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita:
mam ca yo 'vyabhicarena
bhakti-yogena sevate
sa gunan samatityaitan
brahma-bhuyaya kalpate
Immediately he becomes. We are trying to become, to understand aham brahmasmi. So this realization immediately become effective if one is a pure devotee. Mam ca yo 'vyabhicarena bhakti-yogena sevate, sa gunan samatityaitan [Bg. 14.26]. He is above all these three qualities.
So if actually you want to make classless society, then you have to accept this Krsna consciousness movement. There is no other way. If you make artificially classless society, it will never be effective. The Communists are trying to make classless society. That classless society can be formed on spiritual platform, not on the material platform. This will be artificial. Panditah sama-darsinah [Bg. 5.18]. When one is actually advanced in knowledge... Advanced with knowledge means one should understand that "I am eternal servant of Krsna, or God." That is advancement of knowledge. Aham brahmasmi: "I am not this body, I am spirit soul. And Krsna is the supreme soul. I am part and parcel of Krsna." Brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati [Bg. 18.54]. Simply by understanding that "I am spirit soul, I am Brahman," will not help us. You must act like Brahman. Then it will be... Janma, guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. There must be realization; that is guna. At the same time, there must be practical work. That is Vedic civilization. You should not claim falsely. If you are actually brahmana, you must act as a brahmana. If you are a ksatriya, you must act as a ksatriya. Guna-karma-vibhagasah. Not that "I am a brahmana; now I have become something else." Just like in Calcutta we have seen there are small slaughterhouses, and they have posted one deity, Goddess Kali, and have got sacred thread, and the signboard is: "This meat is slaughtered by a brahmana. Therefore it is pure. Therefore it is pure." And that is going on. Oh, the meat-eaters, they take all this meat, and they think, "It is the prasada of Goddess Kali, and it is slaughtered by a brahmana. There is no sin; it is all right." This is going on. No. Brahmana is not meant for becoming a slaughterer, a killer. No. Brahmana should be truthful, brahmana should be cleansed, no sinful life. Brahmana should be controlling the senses, controlling the mind. Brahmana must be well-educated, jnana, and he must apply the knowledge in practical life and believe in the Vedic injunctions. These are the qualifications of brahmana. Similarly, there are qualification of ksatriyas, vaisyas. We should follow that. And it is the duty of the government to see that "This man is claiming as a brahmana, whether he is actually executing the duties of brahmana?" That is government's duty. Not that they should simply fight that "I am brahmana," "I am ksatriya," "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim." No. The government's duty is to see that actually whether he is as he claims to be.
So Arjuna says that "I do not like to kill my grandfather or my guru." Not only ordinary guru. Guru is never ordinary. Guru... That I have explained. Never we should consider guru as ordinary human being. Guru means as king is the representative for giving protection to the people, similarly, a guru or brahmana is also meant for giving protection to the people from spiritual side. The king, ksatriya, is meant for giving protection to the people from material side. The vaisya is to produce from the material side. Everything is systematically arranged. So brahmana means the intelligent class of men, ksatriya means the administrative class of men, and vaisya means the productive class of men, and the sudra means ordinary worker. These divisions are everywhere. You cannot say that only the brahmanas and ksatriyas and vaisyas are in India. No. When it is a creation of Krsna, or God, it must be everywhere—in every planet, in every country, every city. Because anywhere you go, either in Europe or America, you will find some classes of men, very intelligent class. They are interested in philosophy, science. Similarly, there is a class of men who are interested in politics. They are ksatriyas you can say. Similarly, there are persons who are interested in making money, vaisyas. And there are ordinary class of men, they neither brahmana nor ksatriya nor... They cannot live independently. Sudra means he must find out a master. A master. Paricaryatmakam karma sudra-karma svabhava-jam [Bg. 18.44]. Sudra's business is to find out a master. Just like a dog. A dog must find out a nice master. Otherwise it is a street dog. Its condition is not very good. Similarly, a sudra means he must have a nice paying master. Otherwise his life is at risk. So if you consider in that way, the sastra says, kalau sudra-sambhavah. In this Kali-yuga, everyone is a sudra. You hardly find a real brahmana or real ksatriya or vaisya. Because they are after service. In the sastra it is said that a brahmana, if he is in difficulty, he may take the profession of a ksatriya or up to a vaisya, but never take the business of a sudra like a dog. That is prohibited. And nowadays we are claiming to become brahmana and going here and there with application, "If there is any vacancy, sir?"
So these things are topsy-turvied. Simply it has become a farce. Actually if we want to establish Vedic civilization, then we must follow strictly the principles of Vedas as it is described in the Bhagavad-gita. And if it is practiced, then daiva-varnasrama-dharma. That is required. Daiva-varnasrama-dharma. There must be the four divisions. Just like we have got four divisions in our body: the head division, the arm division, the belly division, and the leg division. The leg division is the sudra, the belly division is the vaisya, and the arm division is the ksatriya, and the head division is the brahmana. So these divisions are now lost. Actually, there is no ksatriya, no brahmana. Maybe there are some vaisyas and sudras. So suppose if your whole body there is only belly and leg, then what is the body? If you have no head and no arm, then how it is? What kind of body it is? So therefore, in the social order of the present day, there is no brahmana, no ksatriya. Only there are some few vaisyas and sudras. So therefore there is chaos all over the world. So this Krsna consciousness movement is meant for creating some real brahmana. At least, there may be head. They are all mad after the influence of the material energy. So there is need of some brahmana who can give advice to the people how to live, how to become God conscious, how to become happy. There is great need of this movement. Simply so-called classless society will not help us. That is not Vedic civilization.
Hatvartha-kamams tu gurun ihaiva bhunjiya bhogan rudhira-pradigdhan. [Bg. 2.5] So Arjuna is giving his nice argument that "If I kill my such great-grandfather and such noble, my teacher, then after killing them, if I enjoy this world, it will be mixed with blood and fire. So I cannot fight. I can..." Arjuna clearly declined to fight. Then again he said,
na caitad vidmah kataran no gariyo
yad va jayema yadi va no jayeyuh
yan eva hatva na jijivisamas
te 'vasthitah pramukhe dhartarastrah
[Bg. 2.6]
He said that "After killing my family men..." Dhrtarastra, dhartarastrah, pandavah... Dhrtarastra and Pandu, they were two brothers, and their sons, cousin-brothers. So generally, people want to increase his material opulence to show to his friends and relatives. When one person constructs a very new, very nice house, he invites his relatives and his friends to show them that "Now I have become so opulent." So Arjuna is thinking in that term, that "Suppose I conquer over and I get the kingdom. But if my relatives and brothers are dead, whom shall I show?" This is another kind of vairagya. How this material relationship makes one foolish, Arjuna is playing the part of a foolish man, and Krsna will chastise him. We shall see later on. Thank you very much. Hare Krsna. [break]
Question (Indian man): I have got a doubt about this Hiranyaksa, Prahlada's father...
Prabhupada: Hiranyakasipu.
Indian: Hiranyakasipu. Because God has taken the shape of a Narasimha Swami and then He finishes him by tearing his stomach. And then He takes all the intestines and pushes out. That is the picture normally shown. What is the significance and how this is actually, what it is meaning? Why He is this sort of picture is being given and everywhere I see this picture in town and everywhere right from my childhood. I have been seeing this. What does this signify?
Prabhupada: It is no significant. Kesava dhrta-nara-hari-rupa.
So Krsna assumed the nara-hari, nrsimha-rupa, half-man, half-lion. So these are description in the sastras.
So there is no significance. This Hiranyakasipu wanted to become immortal. Then, when he was refused by Lord Brahma that "You cannot become immortal, that is not possible," then, in a roundabout way, he took benediction from Lord Brahma that he would not die on land, on water, on the sky, no weapon can kill him, no demigod can kill him. In this way, roundabout way, he thought now he has become immortal. So to keep the words of Brahma as it is, the Lord assumed a form which is not within his description. And instead of killing him with a weapon He killed him by the nails. Nail is not considered as a weapon. So He killed him between day and night, because he also took benediction that "I shall not die during daytime or nighttime." So God, Krsna, is so intelligent that we may try to become immortal by so many scientific brain, but there will be some flaw and he wants, must be killed. This is God's intelligence
Indian lady: Swamiji, what would happen if a person (unintelligible)
Prabhupada: I cannot follow.
Indian lady: (unintelligible)
Pradyumna: In college if they start to study biology or zoology, it involves killing animals, dissection. Is that a sin?
Prabhupada: Yes, certainly. You cannot kill even an ant.
Indian lady: Then you could give up such study?
Prabhupada: That is your business. What can I say? (laughter) But any kind of animal killing is sin, sinful. [break] Krsna says, sarva-yonisu sambhavanti murtayo yah, tasam mahad yonir brahma aham bija-pradah pita [Bg. 14.4]. Krsna says that "I am the seed-giving father of all living entities in any form." Sarva-yonisu. Sarva means all, 8,400,000 species and forms. So Krsna is the father, and all living entities are part and parcel of the Lord. They have different dresses according to different karma, but actually, every living entity is part and parcel of God, sons. So suppose a father has got ten sons and one of them or two of them are useless. So if the elder brother wants to make some experiment by killing the younger brother, would the father be pleased? No. Father will be sorry even the intelligent boy is killed or the dull boy is killed. For father, there is no such distinction. Similarly, you cannot kill animals without being sanctioned. That sanction is in the sacrifice. I have already explained, for testing. According to Vedic system, if you kill anybody, then you must be responsible for the sinful life. (end)

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