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Bhagavad-gita 7.4

Nairobi, October 31, 1975
Harikesa: "Earth, water, fire, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego—altogether these eight comprise My separated material energies."
bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh
kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankara itiyam me
bhinna prakrtir astadha
[Bg. 7.4]
Krsna is explaining Himself. God is explaining what is God. That is real knowledge. If you speculate on God, it is not possible. You cannot understand. The God, Krsna, in the beginning said, asamsayam samagram mam yatha jnasyasi tac chrnu [Bg. 7.1]. Samagram. Samagra means whatever... Or samagra means complete. So whatever subject for study and knowledge there is, God is the sum total of everything, one. God is the sum total of everything. Therefore He begins to explain Himself that...
First of all, because we have no information of God but practically we see the vast land, the vast water, ocean, the vast sky, then fire, so many things, material things, material things also mind... Mind is also material. And then ego. Everyone is thinking that "I am something. I am..." Kartaham iti manyate. Ahankara-vimudhatma. This false ego. This ego means false ego. And there is pure ego. That pure ego is aham brahmasmi, and the false ego: "I am Indian," "I am American," "I am African," "I am brahmana," "I am ksatriya," "I am this," "I am that." This is false ego, ahankara. So at the present moment... Not at the present, always, we are surrounded by all these things. That is our beginning of philosophy: wherefrom this land came? Wherefrom this water came? Wherefrom the fire came? That is natural inquiry. Wherefrom the sky came? How the stars are situated, so many millions and millions? So these are the inquiries of the intelligent person. That is the beginning of philosophical life. Therefore those who are thoughtful human being, gradually they are inquisitive of understanding the Supreme Lord, Krsna.
So Krsna is there, and Krsna is explaining Himself, "I am like this." But unfortunately we'll not understand Krsna, but we'll try to speculate what is God. This is our disease. Krsna is explaining Himself; God is explaining Himself. We shall not take that statement, but either we shall deny or we shall accept God without any head and leg and so on, so many things. This is our disease. Therefore in the previous verse it has been explained,
Out of many millions and millions of persons, actually they are serious to understand, "What is the aim of life? What is God? What is my relation..." Nobody is interested. Just like... Sa eva go-kharah [SB 10.84.13]. Everyone is interested with this bodily conception of life like cats and dogs. This is the position. Not only now, always, this is the material condition. But somebody, manusyanam sahasresu, out of millions, one tries to understand, to make his life perfect. And out of such perfection...
Perfection means to understand his real constitutional position, that he is not this material body; he is spirit soul, Brahman. That is perfection, perfection of knowledge, brahma-jnana.
After brahma-jnana... Sometimes the Mayavadi philosophers they say, "By bhakti one gains brahma-jnana, and one becomes liberated, merged into Brahman," and so on, so on, because they say, "Bhakti is meant for the less intelligent class of men." Their accusation is like that. No. That is not the fact. Bhakti, kanistha-adhikari, in the lower stage of bhakti, that is also higher than the Mayavada philosophy. In the lower status of bhakti means that arca-vigraha, anyone, any person, he does not clearly understand what is God, but by the instruction of the spiritual master one is engaged in the service of the Lord. This morning we have explained the Deity worship. Here is God. Here is God, factually, but He has no realization that here is God. That is called kanistha-adhikari, in the lower stage of devotional service. But if he accepts even theoretically that "Here is God," then he becomes more advanced than the Mayavadi who are thinking of God without head and leg, nirvisesa-vadi.
So therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that one who has undergone the training by a Mayavadi philosopher, his life is finished. Mayavadi-bhasya sunile haya sarva-nasa [Cc. Madhya 6.169]. He says that he is finished because he'll never be able to advance in devotional service, and that is the ultimate goal of life. Mad-bhaktim labhate param. Brahma-bhutah prasannatma [Bg. 18.54]. After realization of Brahman, when he is actually on the Brahman platform, then the symptom is na socati na kanksati: he has no more lamentation and no more aspiration. Aham brahmasmi. Then he can see everyone one equal level. Samah sarvesu bhutesu. Because he does not see the outward body, he does not see that "Here is a Hindu, here is a Muslim, here is a Christian, here is an Indian, here is American, here is black and here is white." No. He sees within, within, introspection. He sees that within,
That is samah sarvesu bhutesu. Not artificially you can make samah sarvesu bhutesu. Artificially it is not possible. There will be some distinction, must be, bodily. So therefore, on the bodily platform, they are trying to become united. The United Nation is trying for the last forty years, but there is no unity; it is not possible—on the bodily platform. But on the spiritual platform there is unity. Just like in our movement, Krsna consciousness, you'll find all different nations, all different colors, all different religion, all different sex. They are all united in chanting Hare Krsna. This is united nation. There is no distinction. And this is not artificial, this is practical. So the people are trying to become united, oneness. That is not possible on the bodily platform. So this bodily concept of life can be vanquished, can be, I mean to say, rejected on the spiritual platform.
So here Krsna says that first of all our material conception of life... We are in the material world. We see everything as stone and wood and earth and water and fire and everything. We have got the capacity to see all these things. Here Krsna says that this bhumi, this earth; apa, this water; anala, this fire; vayu, air; kham, the sky, ether; mana, mind... That is still subtle. Up to ether, you can see, but the mind, which is still finer than the ether, mana, that you cannot see. Mind, everyone knows you have got mind, I have got mind, but you cannot see the mind, neither I can see your mind. Here is the subtle. First gross: bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh, up to ether. Ether also we cannot see, but we can understand here is ether by (claps) sound. As soon as there is sound, this is the understanding of ether. Ether, vayu, you can touch, but you cannot see. Then fire, you can see. And then water, you can see also, and then earth—gross. From the finer, we are coming to the gross. Begins from the finer.
So finer than the ether is the mind, and finer than the mind is intelligence, ego. And finer than the intelligence and ego is the soul. So how you can see soul? You cannot see even the material things, as soon it becomes finer. How you can see the soul? They cannot see, but soul is there. Therefore when the soul departs from the body we see the bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh kham mano buddhi-ahankara... [Bg. 7.4]. Buddhi-ahankara The man, the dead man, is lying. The gross thing we are seeing, but the mind, intelligence, ego, which is carrying that soul, that we do not see. How transmigration of the soul takes place, that we have no knowledge, poor fund of knowledge. We can simply think gross. Jada-darsana. It is called jada-darsana. Even there is no suksma-darsana. Although there is mind, but we cannot see. Then how you can see the soul?
So this is the defect of modern education. So what is beyond your perception, sense perception, that you have to hear. There are two kinds of knowledges: by practical experience, direct perception, and by hearing from authority, aitihya. According to Vedic system, there are three kinds of evidences: direct, and pratyaksa... Pratyaksa means direct. And then aitihya and sruti. Sruti. Sruti means hearing from the authority. Just like here we see that there is mind. Everyone knows mind, but it is confirmed by the sastra because we are hearing from Krsna which is called sruti. Similarly, when Krsna says in the Second Chapter,
dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
tatha dehantara-praptir
dhiras tatra na muhyati
[Bg. 2.13]
Asmin dehe, "Within this body, there is the proprietor of the body," that you have to learn by hearing. If you want to see immediately, "Let me see where it is in the...," oh, your so-called scientific research cannot help you. You have to learn it simply by hearing from the authority. This is called sruti, sruti-pramana, sruti-pramana, evidence from sruti.
So the Vedic knowledge is called sruti. You have to learn things beyond your perception simply by hearing from the authorities. So Vedic knowledge is the authority. Why we accept Vedas as authority? Because there is the perfect knowledge. I have discussed so many times the authority of the Vedas, accepting cow dung as pure although animal stool is impure. But Vedas accept that cow dung is pure; we accept it. Cow dung is pure. This is called sruti-pramana. Sruti-pramana means the real knowledge, perfect knowledge, is coming from the supreme perfect, Krsna. That perfect knowledge after creation... Brahma is the first created being, so Brahma was instructed the sruti, perfect knowledge, by Krsna. Krsna is the original spiritual master. Vedanta-vit. He says, Krsna, in the Bhagavad-gita,
sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto
mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca
vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedanta-krd veda-vid eva caham
[Bg. 15.15]
So Vedic knowledge means the instruction given by Krsna to the first living being, Lord Brahma. Janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1]. From Krsna everything is born, everything is emanated. He says in the Bhagavad-gita that aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate [Bg. 10.8]. Everything is coming from Him. So the first engineer of this universe, Lord Brahma, he comes from Krsna. Not directly Krsna, but from Garbhodakasayi Visnu. There is visnu-tattva: Krsna, Balarama, Sankarsana, Catur-vyuha, Narayana. Dvitiya-catur-vyuha: again Sankarsana; from Sankarsana, Maha-Visnu; Maha-Visnu to Garbhodakasayi Visnu; Garbhodakasayi Visnu, then Ksirodakasayi Visnu; in this way. So Krsna is the origin. Therefore Krsna says, aham sarvasya prabhavah [Bg. 10.8]. Sarvasya means even this Maha-Visnu, Garbhodakasayi Visnu, Ksirodakasayi Visnu, Narayana, Sankarsana, Aniruddha, Pradyumna—everything. Then again the material world—Brahma, Visnu, Mahesvara. Then from Brahma so many demigods, in this way, this way. Therefore He is the aham sarvasya prabhavah. This is the point. And the knowledge is also coming from Him. Knowledge is coming from Him.
It is explained in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, janmady asya: [SB 1.1.1] "The original person from whom everything is born," yatah, anvayad itaratas ca arthesu abhijnah, "He knows everything perfectly, indirectly and directly." Anvayad itaratas ca abhijnah. And wherefrom He got the knowledge? Now, svarat. That is His... God means svarat. He hasn't got to get any knowledge from anyone else. Everyone gets knowledge from Him, but He hasn't got to take knowledge from anyone, svarat, independent. So the Brahma, the first lord, first creature, living creature, so he got knowledge from Krsna. Tene brahma hrda adi-kavaye: [SB 1.1.1] "That Supreme Person gave the knowledge to the adi-kavi." Adi-kavi means Lord Brahma, the first learned man.
So our Vedic conception of life, creation, is not like the Darwin, that his first creation... I do not know what is, but they think that they'll get knowledge from monkey. But we do not take knowledge from monkey. (laughter) Therefore we do not keep ourself in darkness. If you take knowledge from monkey, then you remain always like monkey. You cannot be advanced. But here it is... Bhagavata says, tene brahma hrda adi-kavaye: We got knowledge directly from Krsna, the most perfect. Therefore Brahma is generated from Visnu. So the first living creature, the perfect person within this material world who got instruction there, that is the beginning of creation. Beginning of creation is not crude or ignorance. Beginning of creation is first-class knowledge. That is the Vedic conception.
So Krsna says that how you are thinking of the material. Material scientists, they are studying earth. What is called? Soil expert, they are studying soil: "Where is mine? Where is gold? Where is coal? Where is this, that?" So many thing, they are studying. But they do not know wherefrom these things came. Here is... Krsna explains that bhinna me prakrti: "This is My energy, My energy." How these different chemicals and earthly matters became manifested, everyone is inquisitive, any thoughtful man. Here is the answer. Here is the answer, that
bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh
kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankara itiyam me
bhinna prakrtir astadha
[Bg. 7.4]
Bhinna prakrtir astadha. Just like I am speaking, it is being recorded, recorded. But in my absence, if the record is played, it will exactly vibrate the same sound. So that is my energy or anyone's energy, but bhinna, separated from me. You have to understand like that. So everything is energy of God, Krsna, but this material world means we are missing Krsna. Wherefrom this energy has come? That point we are missing. Bhinna. One who knows... Just like the same example. In the record the play is going on, but one who does not know who has recorded this speech, he cannot find out. But one who knows voice, he can understand, "It is coming from Prabhupada, or the Swamiji." Similarly, the energy is there, but because we have forgotten the source of the energy or we do not know the source of the energy, therefore we take material things as final. This is our ignorance.
This prakrti, this material world, is composed of these things: bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh kham mano buddhir eva ca [Bg. 7.4]. So wherefrom this came? That Krsna explains, that "They are My energies." Because we have to know, so... To understand Krsna means one must know what is this earth, what is this water, what is this fire, what is this air, what is this sky, what is this mind, what is this ego. These material things, they should know that wherefrom these things came. They only theorize that water is combination of some chemical, hydrogen, oxygen. But wherefrom the chemical came, hydrogen, oxygen? That they cannot answer. So therefore this is called acintya-sakti. Acintya-sakti. If you do not apply, if you refuse, acintya-sakti, in God, acintya-sakti, inconceivable energy, then there is no God. Acintya-sakti-sampannah.
Now you can understand what is that acintya-sakti. Acintya-sakti you have got also, acintya-sakti, everyone, because we are part and parcel of God. Therefore minute... But we are... What is the ratio? The ratio is, it is said in the sastra... What is that? Kesagra-sata-bhagasya satadha kalpitasya ca jiva-bhagah sa vijneyah sa canantyaya kalpate [Cc. Madhya 19.140]. Kesagra-sata-bhagasya. Just giving an idea. What is that? The tip of the hair, just a small full stop, you divide this point into one hundred parts. And that one part again divide into one hundred parts. That is, mean, one ten-thousandth part of the tip of the hair. That is a full-stop-like. That is the magnitude of the jiva, spirit, spiritual spark, molecular parts, atomic parts. So kesagra-sata-bhagasya satadha kalpitasya ca jiva-bhagah sa vijneyah sa canantyaya kalpate [Cc. Madhya 19.140].
So there is magnitude, but because in the material eyes we can see simply the gross thing, the subtle things we cannot understand. But from the sastra you have to understand, from the sruti. Then you'll understand. There is verse in the Bhagavad-gita, indriyani parany ahur indriyebhyah param manah manasas tu para buddhih [Bg. 3.42]. Just like here it is said mano buddhih. Manasas ca para buddhih. Finer or superior than the mind is intelligence. That is... Another place it is also explained that gross thing means these senses. Indriyani parany ahuh. This is gross vision. I see a man means I see his body, his eyes, his ear, his hands and legs and everything. That is gross vision. But finer than these gross senses, there is mind which is controlling the senses. That you do not see. Indriyani parany ahur indriyebhyah param manah [Bg. 3.42]. Then mind is controlled by the intelligence. Manasas ca para buddhih. So you have to study like that. Simply like layman if you dismiss that "There is no God, there is no soul," this is simply rascaldom, simply rascaldom. Don't remain rascals. Here is Bhagavad-gita. Learn everything very particularly, very minutely. And it is open for everyone. Krsna spoke Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna, not for Arjuna. He came for everyone because He loves everyone. Everyone is son.
He is the seed-giving father. Don't take Krsna as a foreigner or something else. No. He is your father, original father, seed-giving father. And the material nature is the mother. Just like father and mother, the father giving seeds, similarly, God gives the seeds, and the mother, material nature, gives the body. That you have got experience. The father gives the seed in the womb of the mother, and mother creates the body. Similarly, all living entities, they are coming from Krsna. It is not possible to create by chemicals. That is not possible. But one who is not convinced, rascal, he tries to make chemical combination to create living beings. This is foolishness.
So because we are learning knowledge from sruti, from the perfect person, we will never be convinced. We shall challenge, "You create, rascal, create first of all. Then talk. Otherwise I shall kick." (laughter) This is our challenge because I know. We know very well that it will not be possible to create living being by combination of chemicals. He is talking nonsense. That is not possible. So we have to study from sruti. Then we become learned. Then we can know what is our constitutional position. Brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati [Bg. 18.54]. Then he does not lament and neither he aspires everything, because he knows everything is complete there, conducted by the Supreme Being. And the Supreme Being said, mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram [Bg. 9.10].
So this is the understanding of knowledge. So you take it very seriously, study Bhagavad-gita and learn everything nicely, become learned, and jnanavan. Bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate [Bg. 7.19]. And just try to surrender to Krsna. Then your life is successful.
Thank you very much. [break]
Devotee (1): Srila Prabhupada? What happens to the mind, intelligence and false ego when the soul is liberated?
Prabhupada: The soul has got its, his mind... What is this?
Indian man (2): Diwali festival.
Prabhupada: Diwali. The soul is original consciousness. Soul has got his body, his mind, intelligence, everything. So this mind, material mind, is covered. As the soul is covered by the material things, similarly, the mind is also covered. So the spiritual life means as we become liberated, the mind also becomes liberated. The intelligence also becomes liberated. Any other question?
Indian man (3): When the soul leaves the body does it go with the intelligence and ego and...
Prabhupada: This material covering, that forces him to get another body according to the mind desires. At the time of death the mind's desire—he gets the similar body. Yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajaty ante kalevaram [Bg. 8.6]. Therefore we have to practice how to remember Krsna at the time of death. Then immediately we are transferred to the spiritual world.
Indian man (4): At the time of death, soul goes with the actions, the past?
Prabhupada: Yes. This is action. If you... Mad-yajino 'pi yanti mam [Bg. 9.25]. If you practice devotional service, then at the time of death there is great possibility of understanding or remembering Krsna. Mad-yajino 'pi yanti mam. So you have to practice. This Krsna consciousness movement means we are leading person to make the mind absorbed in Krsna consciousness. Then there is chance of remembering Krsna at the time of death. And as Krsna says, tyaktva deham punar janma naiti: [Bg. 4.9] "That person, after giving up this body, he does not get any more material body." Then what kind of body? Mam eti. He gets the similar body as Krsna, sac-cid-ananda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1], for eternal life of blissfulness.
Indian man (2): But suppose a rascal remembers at the time of death Krsna.
Prabhupada: A rascal cannot. (laughter) But even if he remembers...
Indian man (2): He'll go to Krsna.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Indian man (2): But what if they die in coma? What if they die in deep unconsciousness?
Prabhupada: That is not very good. Coma is not good. That is the sign of sinful life. He must be conscious. That is good.
Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, originally the desires come from the subtle body or from the soul?
Prabhupada: No, mind.
Devotee: The mind.
Prabhupada: Soul is now dependent on the mind; therefore mind has to be trained up. That is called yoga. Those who are too much in the bodily concept of life, the hatha-yoga is recommended to control the mind. Yoga-indriya-samyamah: "Yoga means to control the senses." So senses... The mind is the master of the senses. Therefore controlling the mind, yoga-indriya-samyamah.
Devotee: Is there such a thing as having pure spiritual desires in the soul or not?
Prabhupada: Spiritual, you are spiritual... Unless you understand that you are spirit, there is no question of practicing yoga or jnana or bhakti. That is material platform, karmis, mudhas. Unless you understand that you are Brahman, aham brahmasmi, there is no question of other higher processes. Higher, other processes, there are four things: karma, jnana, yoga, bhakti. So karma is meant for the grossest persons who are simply interested with this body. That is karma. And who are baffled in this bodily concept of life, wants to know what is the actual life, that is jnana. And then practice of yoga. And the ultimate is bhakti. All these are yoga, karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, bhakti-yoga, hatha-yoga, but Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, yoginam api sarvesam: "Of all the yogis," mad-gatenantar-atmana, "one who is thinking of Me always," sraddhavan, "with faith." Bhajate. Bhajate means bhakti. From the word bhaja, bhakti comes. Bhaja seva. So bhaja-dhatu, it's called bhakti. So here the very word is used, bhajate mam. Sraddhavan bhajate mam. That means bhakti-yoga. So one who is engaged in bhakti-yoga, he is recommended as the first-class yogi.
yoginam api sarvesam
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah
[Bg. 6.47]
Krsna says, "He is first-class yogi." So this Krsna consciousness movement means we are trying to make all first-class yogis.
Devotee (4): If we do not finish our Krsna consciousness in this lifetime and we have to take birth in material world, can we worship the same spiritual master as our previous birth?
Prabhupada: Who is fallen is called yoga-bhrasta. So yoga-bhrasta means he has fallen from the instruction of the spiritual master. But a spiritual master sometimes is so kind that he delivers him in the next birth also. But it is not our duty to bring the spiritual master to save me again in the next life. It is not very good disciple. (laughter)
Indian man (5): At the time of death some people becomes unconscious...
Prabhupada: No unconscious. Consciousness there is. So long one is not death, mean, the soul is gone out of the body, his consciousness is there even in the sleeping condition.
Indian man (5): But can he hear? We say "Rama, Rama." Can he hear that?
Prabhupada: If he is fortunate.
Devotee (6): Srila Prabhupada, Krsna gives us five gross sense and then he wants us to control. How?
Brahmananda: Krsna gives us five gross senses and He wants us to control them. How can we do this?
Prabhupada: How you are being trained up? You do not know that? Why you are forbidden, "No illicit sex, no meat-eating, no intoxication, no gambling"? This is controlling. If you don't accept this controlling, then you are lost.
Indian man (7): Srila Prabhupada, from time immemorial we see that in India every time there has been a religious reform...
Prabhupada: Why you are bringing India? Is it meant we are simply for Indian, do you think?
Indian man (7): No, no.
Prabhupada: Then why bring in India?
Indian man (7): It is not as a nation. I'm just referring it because of the auspiciousness, that every time there has been a religious reformer or a prophet, he has been treated very nicely, but in other parts of the world, prophets or religious reformers have been mistreated.
Prabhupada: Anyone who does not know what is Bhagavad-gita and Krsna, he is a rascal. He is not a prophet. He's a rascal. Nobody can become prophet without full knowledge of Krsna. Not that everyone will become and be a prophet, no. That is stated in the Bhagavad... Na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah [Bg. 7.15]. Anyone who has not surrendered to Krsna, he is a naradhama. How he becomes a prophet? (laughter) Just see. Don't bring so-called prophets. They are all naradhamas, lowest of the mankind—and he is prophet. No. Prophet is not so cheap. Don't be misguided by these rascals. Krsna says—it is not our manufacture—the sign, that anyone who does not know about Krsna and he has not surrendered to Krsna, he is naradhama.
Indian man (8): Is it that a man becomes a man after the death?
Prabhupada: No guarantee.
Indian man (8): He may go to an animal.
Prabhupada: Species. He may become a dog, and he may become a demigod also, according to his karma. Mad-yajino 'pi yanti mam. Api. Yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr-vratah bhutejya yanti bhutani [Bg. 9.25]. So according to his karma, he gets the next body. There is no guarantee that he'll get human body. Therefore it is very risky civilization at the modern time. They do not know what is the goal of life. Simply like cats and dogs, they are eating, sleeping, having sex life and dying. That's all. They do not know. Very risky life. Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum [SB 7.5.31]. This is the statement of the sastra, "These rascals, they do not know that what is the goal of life, to understand Visnu or Krsna." Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum durasaya ye bahir-artha-maninah [SB 7.5.31]. In the external energy of Krsna, this bhumir apo... Bhinna prakrtir me astadha. Bhinna. Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum durasaya ye bahir-artha-maninah. Bahir artha means this external, separated energy, material en... They are trying to become happy by adjustment of this bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh [Bg. 7.4]. They are implicated with this bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh, external. Bahir-artha-maninah. So they are andha, blind. Andha yathandhair upaniyamanah. And they are leading other blind men. That's all.
Indian man (8): The Westerns are more unsure than the Easterns, or...?
Prabhupada: No, Eastern are more at the present moment. This is the world. Material world is andha, all blind. There is no question of Eastern or Western. This is our manufacture, that Eastern is better than the Western. Just like stool. Stool, upside, little dry, and the downside, it is moist. If you say, "This side is better than the downside," (laughter) it is, after all, stool. So what is better side or...? (laughter) We don't make such things as Eastern or Western. We test whether he's Krsna conscious. That's all. All right. Chant Hare Krsna. (end)

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