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Bhagavad-gita 7.1

Los Angeles, December 2, 1968
Prabhupada: (sings) Cintamani-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vrksa-laksavrtesu... govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami [Bs. 5.29]. (devotees respond) So we are worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda. That is our business. What is the effect of worshiping Govinda? Just like people are trying to go to the moon planet, very tiny effort. Even they go to the moon planet, they'll be not very much benefited, because the scientists say the moon planet is below 200 degrees zero point. So we cannot tolerate the cold climate of this planet, how we shall be benefited even we go to the moon planet? And moon planet is the nearest planet. There are millions of other planets also, and the scientists say that to reach the highest, topmost planet, it will take forty thousands of years. And who is going to live for forty thousand years to go and come back?
These are practical difficulties, and therefore we are called conditioned souls. Our activities are conditioned, not free. But you can attain a life of freedom, life of unlimited energy, unlimited happiness, unlimited bliss. There is possibility. This is not story or fiction. We see so many planets within this universe. We have got so many flying vehicles, but we cannot approach even to the nearest. We are so much limited. But if we worship Govinda, then it is possible. You can go anywhere. We have written these statements in our small booklet, Easy Journey to Other Planets. This is possible. Don't think that this planet is all and all. There are many, many millions of other very nice planets. There the standard of happiness, standard of enjoyment is many more times greater than what we are enjoying here. So how this is possible?
I shall read the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, which is spoken by Govinda Himself. Bhagavad-gita, Seventh Chapter. Lord Krsna says,
Now, here the word yogam is also explained. What sort of yoga Krsna is recommending? Mayy asakta-manah. Keeping the mind always attached to Krsna, this yoga system. This Krsna consciousness is yoga system. At the present day, they are concentrating their mind on something void, impersonal, according to their own prescription. The real process is to concentrate the mind on something. But that something, if we make it void, it is very difficult to concentrate our mind in that way. That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gita in the Twelfth Chapter: kleso 'dhikataras tesam avyaktasakta-cetasam [Bg. 12.5]. Those who are trying to meditate on something impersonal and void, their trouble is greater than those who are meditating on the Supreme Person. This is explained. Why? Avyakta hi gatir duhkham dehavadbhir avapyate. We cannot concentrate our mind (on) something impersonal. If you think of your friend, if you think of your father, mother, or somebody whom you love, you can continue such thinking for hours together. But if you have no objective to fix up your mind, then it is very difficult. But people are being taught to concentrate on something void and impersonal.
So in reply to that mode of yoga, Krsna is directly speaking here: mayy asakta-manah. If you try to concentrate your mind on the form of Krsna, so beautiful... He's enjoying with Radharani and His associates. Then, mayy asakta-manah partha yogam, if you practice this yoga, mad-asrayah, yunjan mad-asrayah... You have to practice this yoga, at the same time, you have to take shelter of Krsna. Mad-asrayah. Asrayah means "under My protection." This is called surrender. If you go to a friend in a difficult position and you surrender to your friend, "My dear friend, you are so great, so powerful, so influential. I am in this great danger. So I surrender unto you. You please give me protection..." So you can do that to Krsna. Here in the material world, if you surrender to a person, however very big he may be, he may refuse. He may say, "Well, I am unable to give you protection." That is the natural reply. If you are in danger and if you go even to your intimate friend, "Please give me protection," he will hesitate, because his power is very limited. He'll first of all think that "If I give protection to this person, whether my interest will not be jeopardized?" He'll think like that, because his potency is limited. But Krsna is so nice that He's so powerful, He's so opulent... He declares in the Bhagavad-gita, everyone, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: [Bg. 18.66] "You leave aside everything. You simply surrender unto Me." And what is the result? The result is aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami: "I shall get you released from all kinds of reaction of your sinful life."
This material world, our activities are all sinful activities. There is action and reaction. Whatever you are doing, there is action and reaction. Even there is good reaction, still it is sinful. Still it is sinful. Just like according to Vedic literature, pious activities, the result of pious activities... Janmaisvarya-sruta-sribhih [SB 1.8.26]. Suppose you are not acting anything sinful in this life, you are very pious in every respect. You are charitable, you are benevolent, everything is all right. But Bhagavad-gita says that it is karma-bandhana. If you give in charity somebody, say, some amount of money, you'll get that money back four times, five times, or ten times more in your next life. That is a fact. So Vaisnava philosophy says that this is also sinful. Why sinful? Because you have to take your birth to receive that compound interest. That is sinful. Now suppose you are born in a very rich family. The trouble of being in the womb of the mother, that is the same. Either you are pious man or the impious man, when you are in the womb of your mother the difficulties and the pains perceived within the womb of the mother is the same, either you are black or white, either you are Indian or American or cat or dog or anyone. Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanudarsanam [Bg. 13.9]. The troubles of birth, the troubles of death, and the troubles of disease, and the troubles of old age are everywhere the same. It is not that because you are born in a very rich family, you'll be immune from diseases. It is not that you'll not become old. It is not that you'll be saved from the troubles of birth or you'll be saved from the troubles of death.
So these things are to be understood very clearly. But people have become so unintelligent, they do not care for... "Oh, death, all right. Death. Let it come." Birth... Now especially in these days, a child is in the womb of the mother, so many killing processes are there. So many. So why? Because people are becoming so much entangled that such person even do not get birth in the womb of the mother. He's placed and he's killed, again he's placed in another womb of mother, again he is killed. In this way, he does not see even the light. You see. So to become in the womb of the mother and to again accept death, to accept old age, accept disease, is not a very good business. If you are rich man, you have to accept all these troubles of material existence, or if you are poor man... It doesn't matter. Anyone who comes into this material world in this material body, he has to take all these troubles. It may be that you are American, the richest nation in the world. That does not mean there is no disease, there is no old age, there is no birth and there is no death. So the intelligent person is he who can make a solution of these problems. He's intelligent. Others who are making patchwork, patching, trying to make a solution of the problems of material life, although they are unable... It is not possible.
If you want to make a solution of material existence by the material way, it is not possible. That is also clearly stated. In the Bhagavad-gita you'll find, daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya [Bg. 7.14]. This material nature which is accepted, claimed by Krsna as "My energy," mama maya... This is also another energy of Krsna. Everything will be explained in the Seventh Chapter. So it is very difficult to get out of this energy. Practically we are seeing what we are. Our efforts are very tiny to conquer over the laws of the material nature. It is simply waste of time. You cannot become happy by conquering over the material nature. Now science have discovered so many things. Just (as) the airplane from India. It would have taken months together to reach your country, but by airplane we can come here overnight. These advantage are there. But along with these advantages, there are so many disadvantages. When you are on the plane on the sky, you know you are in the midst of desert..., of danger. At any moment there can be crash. You may fall down on the sea, you may fall down anywhere. So it is not very safe. So similarly, any method we manufacture, we discover, to conquer over the laws of material nature, it is backed by another set of dangerous things. That is the law of nature. That is not the way to get out of this material pangs of life.
The real way is to stop these four functions of my conditional life. The four functions of conditional life means birth, death, old age, and disease. Actually, I am a spirit soul. That is explained in the beginning of Bhagavad-gita, that the spirit soul is never born or is never dead. He continues his life even after the destruction of this particular type of body. This body is only a flash, for some years only. But it will be finished. It is being finished by degrees. Just like I'm an old man of seventy-three years old. Suppose if I live eighty years or a hundred years, these seventy-three years I have already died. That is finished. Now a few years I may remain. So we are dying from the date of our birth. That is a fact. So Bhagavad-gita gives you the solution of these four problems. And Krsna here is suggesting, mayy asakta-manah partha yogam yunjan mad-asrayah. If you take shelter of Krsna and if you think of Krsna always, your consciousness becomes always overwhelmed with Krsna thoughts, then Krsna says the result will be asamsayam samagram mam yatha jnasyasi tac chrnu [Bg. 7.1]. "Then you will understand Me perfectly, without any doubt."
Everyone is hankering after what is God, what is the nature of God. Somebody says there is no God, somebody says God is dead. These are all doubts. But here Krsna says, asamsaya. You'll be doubtless. You'll feel, you'll know perfectly well that God is there, Krsna is there. And He is the source of all energies. He is the primeval Lord. These things you will learn without any doubt. The first thing is we do not make progress in transcendental knowledge on account of doubts, samsayah. These doubts can be removed by culture of real knowledge, by real association, by following the real methods, the doubts can be removed. So Krsna consciousness persons, they are not after will-o'-the-wisp, phantasmagoria. No. They're actually making progress to the concrete Supreme Personality of Godhead.
As it is stated in the Brahma-samhita, cintamani-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vrksa-laksavrtesu surabhir abhipalayantam [Bs. 5.29]. There is a planet which is called cintamani-dhama, Goloka Vrndavana. So in that dhama... As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, mad dhama. Dhama means His abode. Krsna says, "I have got an abode, particular." How we can deny? How is that abode? That is also described in Bhagavad-gita and in many other Vedic literatures. Yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama [Bg. 15.6]. Here, any dhama, any planet you go... Just like we have got in this planet. But we have to go back from this planet. You'll not be allowed to stay here. You are Americans, that's all right; but how long you shall remain American? These people, they do not understand it. You'll have to go back in some other planet, in some other place. You cannot say, "No, I shall remain here. I have got my visa or my permanent citizenship." No. This will not allow you. One day death will come, "Please exit." "No, sir, I have got so much business." "No. Damn your business. Come on." You see? But if you go to Krsnaloka, Krsna says, yad gatva na nivartante, you haven't got to come back again. Yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama [Bg. 15.6].
This is also Krsna's dhama, because everything belongs to God, Krsna. Nobody's proprietor. This claim that "This land, America, belongs to us, United States," this is false claim. It does not belong to you, nobody else. Just like some years ago, four hundred years ago, it belonged to the Indians, Red Indians, and someway or other, you have now occupied. Who can say that others will not come here and occupy? So this is all false claim. Actually, everything belongs to Krsna. Krsna says that sarva-loka-mahesvaram: [Bg. 5.29] "I am the supreme proprietor, controller, of all planets." So everything belongs to Him. But Krsna says everything belongs to Him. So everything is His dhama, His place, His abode. So why should we change here? But He says yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam [Bg. 15.6]. Paramam means the supreme. In this dhama also, they are Krsna's dhama, Krsna's planets, but here it is not parama, the supreme. There are troubles. Just like this birth, death, disease, and old age. But if you return to Krsna's personal abode, Goloka Vrndavana, cintamani-dhama [Bs. 5.29], then you get eternal life, blissful life, full of knowledge.
And how that can be attained? Here it is, beginning... Krsna says that mayy asakta-manah: simply you increase your attachment for Krsna. Simply this method. These, all these, we are chanting, we are hearing, we are dancing, we're enjoying. Why? Just to detach our life from all nonsense things and attach to Krsna. This is the process. This is Krsna consciousness. You have to make your mind attached to something. But if you make your mind attached to something nonsense, then the same thing, janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi [Bg. 13.9], birth, death, old age, disease. You have to suffer. You have to suffer. Your science, your material science, or nothing... No. Nobody can make any solution of these sufferings. But if you want real solution, permanent solution, permanent life, then you become attached to Krsna. Simple method. Mayy asakta-manah partha yogam yunjan. That is the perfect form of yoga. All other yogas, they may help you to come to this platform of Krsna consciousness, but if you fail to come to this platform of Krsna consciousness, then all those troubles will be useless labor. That is not possible. If you take that slow process of yoga, it is not possible in this age. Not only in this age, five thousand years ago also. This is not possible. You may do your gymnastic feats, but it will never be successful. This yoga process, as it is confirmed by Krsna in the last chapter... This is Seventh Chapter. In the Sixth Chapter also, He has said the very thing, that yoginam api sarvesam: [Bg. 6.47] "The first-class yogi is he whose mind is always attached to Me, Krsna."
So this is Krsna consciousness. Try to understand Krsna consciousness. Simply by practicing this, some way or other, you become attached to Krsna. Some way. Yena tena prakarena, any way. Just like if you love somebody, any way, you try to get it... It is not very difficult. We know the tactics. Even an animal, an animal, he knows how to get his things tactfully. The struggle for existence means that everyone is trying to get his objective. So many tactfully. So you also try, instead of after this material will-o'-the-wisp, you some way tactfully try to capture Krsna. That will make your life successful. Some way. Mayy as...
Now, there are so many in Krsna consciousness..., this process, there are so many. I am just introducing one after another, little by little, but those who are practicing this Krsna consciousness in India, there are so many rules and regulations. Somebody says that "Swamiji is very conservative. He has got so many rules and regulations," but I have not introduced one percent. One percent. Because it is not possible to introduce all those rules and regulations in your country. My policy is following the footstep of Rupa Gosvami. He says that somehow or other, let them become first of all attached to Krsna. So this is the yoga. Krsna is explaining, mayy asakta-manah partha. So try to be attached to Krsna. And why you shall not be attached to Krsna? So many nice things in Krsna consciousness? We have got arts, we have painting, we have got dancing, we have got music, we have got first-class food, we have got first-class dress, first-class health, everything first class. It is only the foolish rascal that he'll not be attached to these first-class things. Everything. And it is easy at the same time. What is the reason that one should not be attached to this process? The reason is that he's a first-class rascal. That's all. I tell you frankly. Let anyone come, argue with me whether he's not a first-class rascal by not accepting Krsna consciousness. I'll prove it.
So don't be first-class rascal. Become first-class intelligent man. As Caitanya-caritamrta author says, krsna yei bhaje sei bada catura. Anyone who has taken to Krsna consciousness, he's first-class intelligent man. So don't be first-class fool, but become first-class intelligent man. That is my request.
Thank you very much. (obeisances) Any question?
The other day so many students came, now nobody. Because they want to remain the first-class rascal, that's all. That is... It is a fact. So unless one is very intelligent, they cannot take to Krsna consciousness. They want to be bluffed, cheated, in this way or that way. That's all. Plain thing, simple thing. And result is very great, they'll not agree to accept. Yes.
Visnujana: There are so many stories of Lord Caitanya converting so many rascals. By just His presence, they would chant Hare Krsna. How can we get His mercy so that we can help the people around us to chant Hare Krsna?
Prabhupada: If you chant sincerely this mantra, everything will be clear. It is the clearing process. Even if you have got some rascal ideas, rascal association, it doesn't matter. Simply if you chant... You know practically, everyone, that this chanting process is the only method that will make people advanced. So this is the method, chanting and hearing. Hear the lectures from Bhagavad-gita or Srimad-Bhagavatam, try to understand, and chant, and follow the rules and regulation. So rules and regulation later on. First of all, you try to hear and chant. Srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah. Punya-sravana-kirtanah [SB 1.2.17]. Anyone who hears Hare Krsna, he becomes pious simply by hearing. He becomes purified. So at a stage, he will accept. But people think that "What is this Hare Krsna chanting?" You see? If you give them some bluff, kundalini-yoga and all these humbugs, they'll be very much pleased. You see? So they want to be cheated. And some cheaters come, "Yes, you take this mantra, give me thirty-five dollars, and within six months you'll become God, you'll have four hands." (laughter)
So we want to be cheated. That is, cheating process is one of the items of conditional life. There are four defects of conditional life. One defect is that we commit mistake, and another defect is that we accept something which is not that. Just like commit mistake, that is not to be very difficult to understand. Every one of us know how we commit mistake, blunder. Even great men, they also commit blunder, you see. Just like there are so many instances amongst the politicians, a little mistake or a blunder, great blunder... So mistake, "To err is human," mistake is there. Similarly, accepting something as fact which is not fact. How it is? Just like everyone in the conditioned life, they think that "This body is my self." But I'm not this. I'm not this body. So this is called illusion, pramada. The best example is to accept a rope as a snake. Suppose in the darkness there is a rope like this, and you are..., "Oh, here is a snake." This is the best example of illusion. Accepting something which is not that.
So this defect is there in conditioned life. And to make error and mistake, that defect is there. And the third defect is that we want to cheat and we want to be cheated. We are also very expert. We are always thinking how I shall cheat somebody. And naturally, he's also thinking to cheat me. So the whole conditional life is the association of cheaters and cheated, that's all. So this is another defect. And the fourth defect is that our senses are imperfect. Therefore all knowledge that we receive, that is imperfect knowledge. A man may speculate, but he may speculate with his mind. That's all. But his mind is imperfect. However he may speculate, he'll produce something nonsense, that's all. Because his mind is imperfect. It doesn't matter that if you add thousands of zeros, it makes one. No. It is still zero. So this speculation process, to understand the Supreme, is nothing but zero. Therefore with all these defects of our conditional life, it is not possible to come to the real life. Therefore we have to take it from personalities like Krsna and His bona fide representative. That is real knowledge. Then you'll get perfection.
Madhudvisa: Prabhupada, what is the difference between an incarnation and an avatara?
Prabhupada: Avatara is incarnation. Avatara means incarnation. Incarnation, in your dictionary, is "accepting some body"? Is that...? But avatara... Of course, there are different grades of avatara. Avatara means one who comes... The real world is avatarana descending. Avatara means who comes from a higher sphere, higher planet. They are not living entities of this world, this material world. They come from spiritual world. They are called avatara. So these avatara grades are different. There are saktyavesavatara, gunavatara, lilavatara, yugavatara, so many. So avatara means one who comes directly from the spiritual world. And incarnation, of course, this avatara is translated with the word incarnation, but I think real meaning of incarnation means "who accepts a body." Is it not? So that incarnation, everyone accepts a material body. But avatara, there are avatara of Visnu and avatara of devotees also. There are different grades of avatara. You'll read it in the Teachings of Lord Caitanya, which is coming out. Yes.
Jaya-gopala: In Chapter Four in Bhagavad-gita As It Is, it is said that Arjuna was present at the speaking of Bhagavad-gita to the sun-god so many years ago. What position did he have there?
Prabhupada: He was also present, but he has forgotten.
Jaya-gopala: Which position did he have, if it wasn't spoken at the Battle of Kuruksetra? Which position?
Prabhupada: Arjuna was put into that position by the supreme will of the Lord. Unless... Just like in the theatrical stage, both the father and the son, they are playing some part. The father is playing a king, and the son is playing another king. Both are inimical. But actually they are playing as such. Similarly, Arjuna is eternal friend of Krsna. He cannot be in delusion. How he can be delusioned if Krsna is his constant friend? But he was supposed to be in delusion so that he played the part of a conditioned soul and Krsna explained the whole thing. He played that ordinary person; therefore all his questions were just like ordinary man. Unless... Because the teachings of Gita was lost. That is explained. So Krsna wanted to deliver again the yoga system of Gita. So somebody must ask. Just like you are asking, I'm answering. Similarly Arjuna, although he was not to be supposed in illusion, he placed himself as representative of this conditioned soul and he inquired so many things, the answers were given by Lord.
Tamala Krsna: Prabhupada, when I'm serving you sometimes I feel very nice, but then when I think of how bad and imperfect this service is, I feel terrible. Which is right to feel?
Prabhupada: (chuckles) You feel terrible?
Prabhupada: Why? When you feel terrible?
Tamala Krsna: When I see all the blunders I make, all the mistakes.
Prabhupada: Sometimes... This is nice. To accept the blunders... Even there is no blunder. This is the symptom of sincere service. Just like a father is very beloved to his son or the son is very beloved to the father. A little ailments of the son, the father is thinking, "Oh, my son my die. I may be separated." It is the sign of intense love. Not always that the son is dying immediately, you see, but he's thinking like that. Separation. You see? So that is a good sign. We should not think that we are doing very nicely. We should always think that "I am unable." This is not bad. We should never think that "I am perfect." Because the maya is so strong, as soon as you are a little confident, immediately there is attack. You see? In a diseased condition... Just like one who takes very precautionary method, there is little chance of relapse. So this is not bad. We should always think like that, that "Maybe I am not doing nicely." But as far as it is in our power, let us execute our business nicely, but we should never think that it is very perfect. That is nice.
Tamala Krsna: If maya takes a hold on one, what is the quickest way to go back to Krsna?
Prabhupada: Oh, that Krsna, Krsna... Simply whenever there is maya's attraction, just pray to Krsna, "Please save me. Please save me." This is the only way. And He'll save you. We are in maya's kingdom, so maya is strong very here, but if we catch Krsna very strongly, maya cannot do anything. Yes. That we should be fixed up in catching Krsna very tightly. Then there is no falldown. Yes.
Madhudvisa: Prabhupada, when we're out on sankirtana, chanting, what would be the best way for us to engage the crowd to become participants in the chant with us? What would be the best of...
Prabhupada: Best way you go on chanting. Your business is not to, I mean to say, satisfy the crowd. Your business is satisfy Krsna, and then crowd will be automatically satisfied. We are not going to please the crowd. We are going to give them something, Krsna. So you should be very much careful whether you are delivering Krsna in the right way. Then they'll be satisfied. Your only business should be to satisfy Krsna. Then everything will be satisfied. Tasmin tuste jagat tusta. If Krsna is satisfied, then whole world is satisfied. If you pour water on the root, then it is automatically distributed in every parts of the tree. So Krsna is the big tree, root of the big tree, and you take to watering Krsna, chant Hare Krsna and follow the rules and regulation, everything will be all right. Now, yes, any questions?
Jaya-gopala: Is taking prasadam one of the exchanges of love, where we accept food from a lover?
Prabhupada: Yes. You offer and you take. Dadati pratigrhnati bhunkte bhojayate guhyam akhyati prcchati ca. You disclose your mind to Krsna and Krsna will give you direction also. You see. You offer Krsna, that "Krsna, You have given us so many nice things. So You first of all taste. Then we shall take." Krsna will be pleased. Yes, that's all. Krsna eats, and Krsna puts again in the same way. Purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavasisyate [Iso Invocation]. We are offering Krsna, that does not mean that Krsna... Krsna is eating, but Krsna is so full, complete, that He's leaving the whole thing complete. So people do not even understand these things that we are not loser by offering Krsna. We become gainer only. Gainer only. You decorate Krsna nicely, you see. Then your desire for seeing beautiful thing will be satisfied. You no more will be attracted by the so-called beauties of the world. You keep Krsna in comfortable state, You offer Krsna nice foodstuff, you'll eat it. So just like if I decorate my face, I cannot see how it is beautiful, but if I bring one mirror before me, the reflection of my face is beautiful. Similarly, you are reflection of Krsna. Man is made after God. So if you make happy Krsna, then you'll see that your reflection, you are happy. Krsna does not require your service to become happy. He is complete in Himself. But if you try to supply, make happy Krsna, then you'll be happy. This is the Krsna consciousness movement. So try to decorate nicely Krsna, try to give all foodstuff to Krsna, try to keep Krsna in all comfortable position. In this way you will reciprocate all the things that you offer to Him. This is Krsna consciousness.
All right. Chant. (pause) The disease is that... Material disease is just like the tail of the dog. You see. The dog's tail is like this. And however oil it and try to make it straight, it comes like this. (laughter) You see. So these people, they want material enjoyment. "If Swamiji can offer us material enjoyment cheaply by some mantra," they'll come. You see. "When Swamiji says 'This is all rascaldom; come to Krsna,' this is not good. This is not good." Because he wants to keep the tail like this. However apply ointment, it comes like this. (laughter) This is the disease. They want material things. That's all. "If by mantra, if by some tricks, we can enhance our material enjoyment, oh, it is very nice. Let us take some drug and become in the fools' paradise and think, 'Oh, I am in the spiritual world.' " They want like this. They want to remain in fools' paradise. But when we offer real paradise, they reject.
All right. Chant. (kirtanaprema-dhvani)
Girl: Prabhupada? That rose grew out on one of our rose bushes outside.
Prabhupada: Hmm?
Girl: That grew on a bush outside in our yard.
Prabhupada: Oh, that's nice. Very nice. (end)

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