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Bhagavad-gita 2.7

London, August 7, 1973
Pradyumna (leads chanting, etc.):
prcchami tvam dharma-sammudha-cetah
yac chreyah syan niscitam bruhi tan me
sisyas te 'ham sadhi mam tvam prapannam
[Bg. 2.7]
"Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of weakness. In this condition, I am asking You to tell me clearly what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me."
Prabhupada: This is very important verse in Bhagavad-gita. It is a turning point of life. Karpanya-dosa. Miserly, dosa means fault When one does not act according to his position, that is fault. And that is called miserly. So everyone has got his natural propensities, svabhava. Yasya hi svabhavasya tasyaso duratikramah. Svabhava, natural propensities. It is a common example, it is given, that yasya hi yah svabhavasya tasyaso duratikramah. One, habit is the second nature. One who has, who is habituated or one whose nature, characteristic in some way, it is very difficult to change. The example is given: sva yadi kriyate raja sah kim na so uparhanam. If you make a dog a king, does it mean that he'll not lick up shoes? Yes, dog's nature is to lick up shoes. So even if you dress him like a king and let him sit down on a throne, still, as soon as he'll see one shoe, he'll jump over and lick it. This is called svabhava. Karpanya-dosa.
So in the animal life, it is not possible to change one's nature, which is given by the material energy, prakrti. Prakrteh kriyamanani [Bg. 3.27]. Karanam guna-sango 'sya, karanam guna-sangah asya sad-asad-janma-yonisu [Bg. 13.22]. Why? All living entities are part and parcel of God. Therefore originally the characteristic of the living entity is as good as God. Simply it is a question of quantity. Quality is the same. Quality is the same. Mamaivamso jiva-bhutah [Bg. 15.7]. The same example. If you take a drop of sea water, the quality, the chemical composition is the same. But the quantity is different. It is a drop, and the sea is vast ocean. Similarly, we are exactly of the same quality as Krsna. We can study. Why people say God is impersonal? If I am of the same quality, so God is also person, how He can be imperson? If, qualitatively, we are one, then as I feel individually, so why God should be refused individuality? This is another nonsense. The impersonalist rascals, they cannot understand what is the nature of God. In the Bible also it is said: "Man is made after God." You can study God's quality by studying your quality, or anyone's quality. Simply the difference is quantity's different. I have got some quality, some productive capacity. We also produce, every individual soul is producing something. But his production cannot be compared with production of God. That is the difference. We are producing one flying machine. We are taking very much pride that: "Now we have discovered the sputnik. It is going to the moon planet." But that is not perfect. It is coming back. But God has produced so many flying planets, millions and trillions of planets, very, very heavy planets. Just like this planet is carrying so many big, big mountains, sea, but still it is flying. It is floating in the air just like a cotton swab. This is God's power. Gam avisya [Bg. 15.13]. In the Bhagavad-gita, you'll find: aham dharayamy ojasa. Who is sustaining all these big, big planets? We are explaining gravity. And in the sastra we find that it is being carried by Sankarsana.
So the quality is the same, but the quantity is different. So because the quality's same, so we have got all the propensities as God has, as Krsna has. Krsna has got loving propensities with His pleasure potency, Srimati Radharani. Similarly, because we are part and parcel of Krsna, we have also got this loving propensity. So this is svabhava. But when we come in contact with this material nature... Krsna does not come into the contact of the material nature. Therefore, Krsna's name is Acyuta. He never falls down. But we are prone to fall down, to be under the... Prakrteh kriyamanani. We are now under the influence of prakrti. Prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah [Bg. 3.27]. As soon as we fall down under the clutches of this prakrti, material nature, which means... Prakrti's composed of three qualities, goodness, passion and ignorance. So we capture one of the qualities. That is the cause, karanam guna-sanga [Bg. 13.22]. Guna-sanga. Means associating with different quality. Guna-sanga asya jivasya, of the living entity. That is the cause. One can ask: "If the living entity is as good as God, why one living entity has become dog, and one living entity has become god, demigod, Brahma?" Now the answer is karanam. The reason is guna-sanga asya. Asya jivasya guna-sanga. Because he's associating with a particular guna. Sattva-guna, rajo-guna, tamo-guna.
So these things are described very vividly in Upanisad, how guna-sanga acts. Just like a fire. There are sparks. The sometimes the sparks fall down from the fire. Now there are three conditions of the fire spark falling down. If the spark falls down on dry grass, then it can immediately ignite the grass, the dry grass. If the spark falls down on ordinary grass, then it burns for some time, then again it becomes extinguished. But if the spark falls down on the water, immediately extinguished, the fiery quality. So those who are captured by the sattva-guna, sattva-guna, they are intelligent. They have got knowledge. Just like brahmana. And those who are captured by the rajo-guna, they are busy in material activities. And those who have captured tamo-guna, they are lazy and sleepy. That's all. These are the symptoms. Tamo-guna means they're very lazy and sleepy. Rajo-guna means very active, but active like monkey. Just like monkey's very active, but they're all dangerous. You'll never see inactive. Whenever it will sit down, it will make gat gat gat gat.
So these are activities, foolish activities. But when one is in goodness, he's sober. He can understand what is the value of life, how one should live, what is the aim of life, what is the goal of life. That goal of life is to understand Brahman. Brahma janatiti brahmanah. Therefore the good quality means the brahmana. Similarly, ksatriya. So they are guna-karma-vibhagasah. Guna. Guna has to be taken into account. Sri Krsna therefore said: catur varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. We have captured some kind of guna. It is very difficult. But we can immediately transcend all gunas. Immediately. How? By bhakti yoga process. Sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate [Bg. 14.26]. If you take the bhakti-yoga process, then you are no longer influenced by either of these three qualities, goodness, passion, and ignorance. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita: mam ca avyabhicarini bhakti-yogena sevate. Anyone who is engaged in the devotional service of Krsna, avyabhicarini, without any deviation, staunch, devout attention, such person, mam cavyabhicarini yogena, mam ca avyabhicarena yogena bhajate mam sa gunan samatityaitan [Bg. 14.26]. Immediately, he becomes transcendental to all the qualities. So devotional service is not within these material qualities. They are transcendental. Bhakti is transcendental. Therefore, you cannot understand Krsna or God without bhakti. Bhaktya mam abhijanati [Bg. 18.55]. Only bhaktya mam abhijanati. Otherwise, it is not possible. Bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah. Reality, in reality, if you want to understand what is God, then you have to adopt this bhakti process, devotional service. Then you transcend. Therefore, in the Srimad Bhagavatam, Narada says that: tyaktva sva-dharmam caranambujam harer [SB 1.5.17]. If anyone, even by sentiment, gives such, gives up his occupational duty according to guna... That is called svadharma... Svadharma means one's duty according to the quality he has acquired. That is called svadharma. The brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, they are divided guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13], by guna and karma.
So here Arjuna says that karpanya-dosopahatah-svabhavah [Bg. 2.7]. "I am ksatriya." He understands that: "I am doing wrong. I am refusing to fight. Therefore, it is karpanya-dosa, miserly." Miserly means I have got some means to spend, but if I don't spend this is called miser. Krpanata. So krpanata. There are two classes of men, brahmana and sudra. Brahmana and sudra. Brahmana means he's not miser. He has got the opportunity, great asset of this human form of body, many millions of dollars worth, this human... But he's not using it properly, simply seeing it: "How beautiful I am." That's all. Just spend your beauty or utilize your asset, the human... That is brahmana, to be liberal. And the... Etad viditva prayati sa brahmanah, One who knows... Therefore Prahlada Maharaja says: durlabham manusyam janma adhruvam arthadam [SB 7.6.1]. He was preaching amongst his class friends. He was born in a demonic family, Hiranyakasipu. And his class friends, also, of the same category. So Prahlada Maharaja was advising them: "My dear brothers, let us cultivate Krsna consciousness." So other boys, what do they know about Krsna conscious...? Prahlada Maharaja is liberated from the very birth. So they said: "What is this Krsna consciousness?" They could not understand. So he was convincing them: durlabham manusyam janma tad apy adhruvam arthadam. This human body is durlabham. Labdhva sudurlabham idam bahu sambhavante [SB 11.9.29]. This human form of body is a great concession given by the material nature. People are so miscreant and foolish. They do not understand what is the value of this human form of life. They engage this body for sense gratification like cats and dogs. The sastra therefore says: "No, this human form of body is not meant for spoiling like the hogs and dogs." Nayam deho deha-bhajam nr-loke. Everyone has got a body, material body. But nr-loke, in the human society, this body is not to be spoiled. Nayam deho deha-bhajam nr-loke kastan kaman arhati vid-bhujam ye [SB 5.5.1]. This human form of life, simply working uselessly hard, day and night, for sense gratification. This is the business of the hog and dog. They are doing also the same thing, whole day and night, working hard simply for sense gratification. So therefore in the human society there must be a system of division. That is called varnasrama-dharma. That is Vedic civilization. That is really called Arya-samaja. Arya-samaja does not mean to become rascal and fool and deny the existence of God. No. That is Anarya. Just like Krsna rebuked Arjuna: anarya-justa. "You are talking like anarya." One who is not Krsna conscious, he's anarya. Anarya. Arya means who is advancing in Krsna consciousness. So really Arya-samana means Krsna conscious person. Otherwise, bogus, bogus arya-samana. Because here from the Bhagavad-gita says, Krsna says Arjuna, rebuking, because he was refusing to fight, because he does not know what is his duty, again Arjuna is admitting here that karpanya-dosopahata-svabhavah [Bg. 2.7]. "Yes, I am anarya. I have become anarya. Because I have forgotten my duty."
So actually aryan samaja means Krsna conscious society, International Society for Krsna... That is Arya. Not bogus. So here, Arjuna is explaining, putting himself: "Yes, karpanya-doso. Because I am forgetting my duty, therefore upahata-svabhavah, I am bewildered in my natural propensities." A ksatriya should be always active. Whenever there is a war, there is fight, they must be very much enthusiastic. A ksatriya, if another ksatriya says: "I want to fight with you," he, oh, he cannot refuse. "Yes, come one. Fight. Take sword." Immediately: "Come one" That is ksatriya. Now he's refusing to fight. He's forgetting his duty, ksatriya duty. Therefore, he's admitting: Yes, karpanya-dosa. Karpanya-dosopahata-svabhavah [Bg. 2.7]. "My natural duty I am forgetting. Therefore I have become miser. Therefore my..." Now when you become miser, that is a diseased condition. Then what is your duty? Then go to a person who can... Just like when you become diseased, you go to a physician and ask him "What to do, sir? I am now suffering with this disease." This is your duty. Similarly, when we are perplexed in our duties, or we forget our duties, it is very nice to go to the superior person and ask him what to do. So who can be superior person than Krsna? Therefore Arjuna says: prcchami tvam. "I am asking you. Because it is my duty. I'm now falling in my duty, faulty. So this is not good. So I must ask somebody who is superior to me." That is the duty. Tad vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. This is the Vedic duty. Everyone is perplexed. Everyone is suffering in this material world, being perplexed. But he'll not search out a bona fide guru. No. That is karpanya-dosa. That is karpanya-dosa. Here, Arjuna is coming out of the karpanya-dosa. How? Now he's asking Krsna. Prcchami tvam. "My dear Krsna, You are the most superior person. That I know. You are Krsna. So I am perplexed. Actually, I am forgetting my duty. Therefore, I am asking You."
So you have to approach the Supreme Person, means Krsna or His representative. All others are rascals and fools. If you approach a person, guru, who is not representative of Krsna, you are approaching a rascal. How you'll be enlightened? You must approach Krsna, or His representative. That is wanted. Tad vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. So who is guru? Samit-panih srotriyam brahma-nistham. A guru is full Krsna conscious. Brahma-nistham. And srotriyam. Srotriyam means who has heard, who has received knowledge by the srotriyam patha. By hearing from superior authority. Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayoh viduh [Bg. 4.2]. So here we have to learn from Arjuna that when we are perplexed, when we forget our real duty, and therefore we are puzzled, then our duty is to approach Krsna as Arjuna is doing. So if you say: "Where is Krsna?" Krsna is not there, but Krsna's representative is there. You should approach him. That is the Vedic injunction. Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. One must approach guru. And guru means Krsna originally. Tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayah [SB 1.1.1]. Janmadyasya yatah anvayat itaratas ca arthesu abhijnah svarat. You have to approach. That is guru. So we consider, we take Brahma... Because he's the first creature within this universe, he's accepted as the guru. He imparted... Just like we belong to the Brahma-sampradaya. There are four sampradayas, Brahma-sampradaya, Sri-sampradaya, Rudra-sampradaya and Kumara-samapradaya. They're all mahajanas. Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. We have to accept the line of action which is given by the mahajana.
So Brahma is mahajana. You'll find Brahma's picture with Veda in his hand. So he's the, he gave the first instruction of Veda. But wherefrom he got the Vedic knowledge? Therefore Vedic knowledge is apauruseya. It is not man-made. It is God-made. Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. So how God, Krsna gave to Brahma? Tene brahma hrda. Brahma, brahma means the Vedic knowledge. Sabda-brahma. Tene. He injected Vedic knowledge from hrda. Tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam [Bg. 10.10]. When Brahma was created, he was perplexed: "What is my duty? Everything is dark." So he meditated, and Krsna gave him knowledge that: "Your duty is this. You do like this." Tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye. Adi-kavaye [SB 1.1.1]. Brahma is adi-kavaye. So actual guru is Krsna. And here is... Krsna is advising the Bhagavad-gita. These rascals and fools will not accept Krsna as guru. They'll go to some rascal and fool and miscreants, sinful person, and accept guru. How he can be guru?
So guru is Krsna. Here is the example given by Arjuna. Prcchami tvam. Who is that tvam? Krsna. "Why you are asking Me?" Dharma-sammudha-cetah [Bg. 2.7]. "I am bewildered in my duties, dharma." Dharma means duty. Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. Sammudha-cetah. "So what I have to do?" Yac chreyah. "What is actually my duty?" Sreyah. Sreyah and preyah. Preyah... They are two things. Preya means which I like immediately, very nice. And sreya means ultimate goal. They are two things. Just like a child wants to play all day. That is childish nature. That is sreya. And preya means he must take education so that in future his life will be settled up. That is preya, sreya. So Arjuna is asking not preya. He's asking instruction from Krsna not for the purpose of confirming his sreya. Sreya means immediately he was thinking that: "I shall be happy by not fighting, not by killing my kinsmen." That, he was, like a child, he was thinking. Sreya. But when he came to his consciousness... Not actually consciousness, because he's intelligent. He's asking for preya, uh, sreya. Yac chreyah syat. "What is the, actually, my ultimate goal of life?" Yac chreyah syat. Yac chreyah syat niscitam [Bg. 2.7]. Niscitam means fixed-up, without any mistake. Niscitam. In Bhagavata, there is, called niscitam. Niscitam means you haven't got to make research. It is already settled up. "This is the decision:" Because we, with our teeny brain, we cannot find out what is the actual niscitam, fixed-up sreya. That we do not know. That you have to ask from Krsna. Or his representative. These are the things. Yac chreya syat niscitam bruhi tan me.
So... "Kindly speak to me that." "So why shall I speak to you?" Here says: sisyas te 'ham [Bg. 2.7]. "Now I am accepting You as my guru. I become Your sisya." Sisya means: "Whatever you'll say, I'll accept." That is sisya. The sisya word comes from sas-dhatu. Sas-dhatu. Sastra. Sastra. Sasana. Sisya. These are from the same root. Sas-dhatu. Sas-dhatu means rule, ruling. So we can rule in various ways. We can be ruled, becoming a sisya of a proper guru. That is sas-dhatu. Or we can be ruled by sastra, weapon. Just like king has got weapon. If you don't follow the king's instruction or government's instruction, then there is police force, military force. That is sastra. And there is sastra also. Sastra means book, scripture. Just like Bhagavad-gita. Everything is there. So we must be ruled, either by sastra, sastra or guru. Or becoming sisya. Therefore it is said: sisyas te 'ham [Bg. 2.7]. "I become voluntarily... I surrender unto You." "Now you become sisya. What is the proof that you have become My sisya?" Sadhi mam tvam prapannam. "Now I am fully surrender." Prapannam.
So this knowledge required, how to find out real guru and how to surrender unto Him. The guru does not mean that I keep a guru. So as order-supplier "My dear guru, I am suffering from this. Can you give me some medicine?" "Yes, yes. Take this medicine." "Yes." Not that guru. If you are suffering from some disease, you go to a physician. It is not guru's business to give you some medicine. A guru's business is to give you Krsna. Krsna sei tomara, krsna dite para. A Vaisnava is praying guru: "Sir, you are devotee of Krsna. You can give me Krsna if you like." This is the position of sisya. Guru's business is how to give you Krsna, not any material things. For material things, there are so many institutions. But if you want Krsna, then guru's required. Who is, who requires a guru?
tasmad gurum prapadyeta
jijnasu sreya uttamam
sabde pare ca nisnatam
brahmany upasamasrayam
[SB 11.3.21]
Who requires a guru? Guru's not a fashion. "Oh, I have got a guru. I shall make a guru." Guru means one who's serious. Tasmad gurum prapadyeta. One has to seek out a guru. Why? Jijnasu sreya uttamam. One who is inquisitive of the Supreme. Not guru make a fashion. Just like we keep a dog, fashion. Similarly, we keep a guru. That is not guru karma (?). "Guru will act according to my decision." Not like that. Guru means one who can give you Krsna. That is guru. Krsna sei tomara. Because Krsna is guru. That is stated in the Brahma-samhita. Vedesu durlabham adurlabham atma-bhaktau [Bs. 5.33]. Vedesu durlabham. If you want to search out... Although Vedas means knowledge, and the ultimate knowledge is to understand Krsna. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyam [Bg. 15.15]. This is the instruction. So if you independently wants to study Vedas, just, there is, there are some rascals... They say: "We understand only Vedas." What do you understand Veda? How you'll understand Veda? So Vedas says, tad vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. You'll understand Vedas by taking one, purchasing one Vedas book, or taking it, you'll understand Vedas? Vedanta is not so cheap thing. Without becoming a brahmana, nobody can understand a Veda, what is Veda. Therefore, it is restricted. Without becoming brahmana, nobody is allowed to study Vedas. It's all nonsense. What you'll understand about the Vedas? Therefore Vyasadeva, after compiling the four Vedas, dividing the four Vedas, he made Mahabharata. Because the Vedas, subject matter of Vedas is so difficult. Stri-sudra-dvija-bandhunam trayi na sruti-gocarah [SB 1.4.25]. For women, for sudras, and for the dvija bandhu. They cannot understand what is Vedas. So all these rascal dvija-bandhus and sudras, they want to study Vedas. No, that is not possible. One has to become first of all situated in the brahminical qualification, satyam samo damas titiksva arjavam jnanam vijnanam astikyam brahma karma sva-bhava... [Bg. 18.42]. Then touch Veda. Otherwise, what you'll understand Vedas? Nonsense. Therefore, Vedas says: tad vijnanartham sa gurum [MU 1.2.12]. You must approach a guru to understand Veda. And what is that Veda? Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyam [Bg. 15.15]. The Vedas means, to study Vedas means to understand Krsna. And surrender unto Him. This is Vedic knowledge. Where Arjuna says that: prapannam. "Now I am surrender unto You. I am now no more going to talk with You on equal level just as if I know so many things." He was right, but he was thinking on the material platform. He was thinking that pradusyanti kula-striyah [Bg. 1.40]. If everyone... This is material point. But Vedic knowledge is spiritual, uttamam. Tasmad gurum prapadyeta jijnasu sreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21]. Uttamam. This sreya. Uttamam. Yac chreya syat niscitam. Fixed-up. There is, there is no question of changing. That instruction is now, will be given by Krsna. Sarva-dharman parityaja mam ekam saranam vraja. And this takes place—bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate [Bg. 7.19].
So therefore in order to achieve the highest, goal of life, one should fully surrender to Krsna or His representative. Then his life is successful.
Thank you very much. (end)

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