720405 - Lecture BG 13.02 - Melbourne

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

720405BG-MELBOURNE - April 05, 1972 - 48:14 Minutes


idaṁ śarīraṁ kaunteya
kṣetram ity abhidhīyate
etad yo vetti taṁ prāhuḥ
kṣetra-jñaḥ iti tad-vidaḥ
(BG 13.2)

We are discussing about this body and the owner of the body. Just like this room and the occupier of the room. Because we are all occupying this room just now, it does not mean the room and we are identical. Try to understand this point. The room is matter, but we are living entities. If you simply try to understand that two things are visible: one, matter, and one, living force... It is very easy. Simply we require a little intelligence.

What we are seeing in this material world? Something material and something spiritual. Material means which has no sense or which has no moving power, and spiritual means which has got sense and which has got moving power. That is the difference between material and spiritual. So if we try to understand simply our body, actually that is meditation. Meditation means to understand what is this body and what I am. If you know these things... (break)

Kṣetra means field. Just like a tiller, agriculturist, he is given a certain tract of land, and he tills and produces grains or some vegetables or something eatable. And according to his capacity, there is production, and he makes profit out of it. Similarly, this body is the field, and I am, or you are, who is occupying this body, we are tillers. This body is given by nature, and I am spirit soul. As I want... Just like one may possess a very valuable land, one may possess not so valuable, ordinary, and one may possess a third-class field, similarly, we living entities, we are given a certain type of body to work with it and enjoy or suffer the resultant action.

We are part and parcel of God. As we are living beings, similarly Kṛṣṇa, or God, is also living being. But He is Supreme; we are subordinate. God is great, and we are under Him. Just like in a family the father is the chief man, and the next important is my mother, and we all children, they are all subordinate to the father and mother. The father earns. The mother distributes. We eat. We live.

Just try to understand in this way. God is the supreme father, and this material nature is the mother. The father... As this father injects the seed of living being within the womb of the mother, similarly, God injects the living being within this material world, and they come out under different forms with the material body. That varieties of material bodies are 8,400,000's of species. As we get according... Yathā yoni yathā bījam. As we are getting life here according to the father's semina and mother's secretion, the body and situation... Somebody is very highly intelligent; somebody is not so intelligent. Somebody is very rich; somebody is poor. Somebody is middle class. Somebody is animal. Somebody is tree. Somebody is insect. Somebody is aquatic. Varieties of life.

Don't think that the animals or living entities other than the human being, they have no soul. No. That's a wrong conception. They have got souls. How you can say there is no soul? The same symptoms of life there. Just like the symptoms of life means it takes birth at a certain date, then it grows, it stays, it gives some by-products, then dwindles, then vanishes. Take any. Either you take tree or you take a human body or you take an animal body, or if you take a insect body or take the demigod's body—any body you take, there is a certain date of birth, everyone, certain date of birth. And then there is a certain duration of life. Somebody lives for ten years. Somebody lives for one year. Somebody lives for six hours, five hours. There are many germs, they live for five hours, six hours, or even less than that. And there are living entities like Brahmā, whose life is millions and millions of years.

There are so many varieties of life. We have no information. There are so many universities, so many educational institutions, but they cannot say exactly how many varieties of life are there. They cannot say. Their education is not perfect. They cannot say. But we can see there are so many varieties of life, and each of them is a living entity. But if you consult Vedic literature, you'll find exactly the number. Just like in the Vedic literature you'll find jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi (Padma Purāṇa): "In the water the aquatic living beings are 900,000 different bodies." So I don't think there is any biologist or botanist who can say exactly how many forms of life are there within the water. But you'll find the information exact in number, jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi: "The aquatics, the living entities within the water, there are 900,000's of forms."

We have got information from Vedic literature, there is a fish which is called timiṅgila. Timiṅgila. Timi means... Timi is also another fish. That is Sanskrit name. The English name is whale fish. It is very, very big, just like one small house. And there is another fish which is called timiṅgila. These timiṅgila fish swallow up these whale fish like, like this. (laughter) Such a big fish. These informations are there. Therefore try to understand how much perfect knowledge is there in the Vedas.

So similarly, right information is there: sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati. Sthāvarāḥ means the living entities who cannot move. That means trees, plants, like that. They cannot move. Here by the side of wall, this house, there is a tree. It has grown. Just see: that tree is not even within the jungle. In a small space it has grown all sides surrounded by house, and it is alone. Just see how much condemned life. Other trees, they are at least in the jungle in the society of trees. (laughter) But this tree is alone. We have to consider this, how this tree has been so much condemned.

Tree is condemned life because... You are human being. You are sitting here. If you like, you can move immediately. But the tree cannot move. "Stand up there." By whose order? By whose order? By God's order. "You must stand up." Don't take it, I mean to say, neglectfully. It is very serious. According to Vedic calculation, this tree which is grown here, that living entity was sometimes owner or occupier of this house, and it had so much attachment that it cannot go out of this house. Therefore he has been given this body, tree: "All right, you live here and stand up."

Sometimes we become ghost. If we become too much attached, we cannot leave. Therefore too much opulent apartment, opulent life, is not very good for spiritual advancement because we get too much attached to it. My Guru Mahārāja used to advise us that "It is better to live in rented house than to possess own house." Why? Because if we possess our own house, we'll be more attached.

Because the life's program is jñāna-vairāgya, knowledge and renouncement. One should have sufficient knowledge to understand his constitutional position as a living entity. And he must develop renouncement, vairāgya. Because attachment sometimes leads me to become a tree, to become a mouse, to become a serpent in the same house. Attachment. After all, you may decorate your house. You may purchase a nice house; you decorate it very nicely. But you have to leave it. You cannot live here permanently. That is not possible. Either make your country very nice, very nice city, very decorated city, or your house, apartment, wife, children, very nice decorated, but you'll not be allowed to remain.

We don't think that, that "Why you are forced to leave?" That we do not think. But that's a fact. I am living very comfortably with my society, family. "Society, friendship and love, divinely bestowed upon man," there is one poetry. That's all right. But it is so nice, it is so pleasing, but one day comes, "Please get out." Finished. You cannot protest. You cannot say that "I have worked so hard. I have made my country, my family, my house so nice. Why I shall get out?" "No. You must." Or "Let me stay here for some days more." "No, not even a second. You must get out."

We cannot consider all these points. We are simply attached: "Oh, this is my country. This is my family. This is my land. This is my kinsmen. This is..." So many "this is my, my, my, my, my." But if it is yours, why you are forced to get out of these things? What is the answer? Who will answer this? Huh? And there is no certainty. Suppose you are making a very nice house, very nice apartment. There is no guarantee that you will be able to enjoy this family life, house and everything. Not forever; that is no question. Even you do not know how many years you will be allowed. Any moment you can be driven out. Any moment.

So this is intelligence. This is intelligence. When a man comes to inquire this point, that "Why I am forced to leave my comfortable position?" I may be now American or Australian, very nice living, very nice motorcar, roads, everything, but why I am forced to leave immediately? This is the problem of life. Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam (BG 13.9). Bhagavad-gītā says that "You may think of yourself as very happy within this material condition. You may think. That is called māyā. Actually, it is not happiness. I am working very hard day and night to decorate my country, my society, my family, my house, everything. That is not very happiness, working very day and night. But it is māyā. I am working day and night very hard, and I am still thinking I am very happy.

Natural tendency is that not to work. Therefore as soon as one man gets some money, he wants to live peacefully in a country place, a nice bungalow, without any working, without any turmoil. That is our natural tendency, peaceful. But we are forced to work, especially in this modern world—so many factories, so many work, so many... Unless we work, we cannot get the so-called comforts of life. So for the comforts of life, the so-called comforts of life I shall be able to enjoy, I am forced to work day and night, and I am thinking I am happy. This is called māyā. He is not happy, but he is distressed, but he is thinking, "I am happy." This is called māyā.

So this knowledge is required, that "Why I am forced?" Just like he is fanning me. Why? Because I am feeling unhappy due to warmth of this room. Then again, in winter season, I'll not like this fanning. This fanning will be uncomfortable. So a thing which is now comfortable, a few days after, it will be uncomfortable. So whether that thing is, particular thing, is comfortable or uncomfortable? The fan may be comfortable at the present moment, but if there is cold, severe cold, it will be uncomfortable. So whether the fan is comfortable or uncomfortable? The fan is neither comfortable or uncomfortable. It is the situation of my body that makes me comfortable and uncomfortable. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, idaṁ śarīram. This body is the cause of my comfortable, uncomfortable position. This body.

In another place, when Arjuna inquired from Kṛṣṇa that "Whatever You are saying, it is all right. Still, we sometimes feel pains and pleasures," so Kṛṣṇa answered,

mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
āgamāpāyino 'nityās
tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata
(BG 2.14)

Mātrā-sparśāḥ. "It is due to the skin. The skin." It is sometimes comfortable or uncomfortable according to the atmosphere. Just like we feel cold during winter season. We do not like to take bath. It is very cold. And again, in the summer season, we feel very warm; we want to enjoy taking bath. Therefore the water, the water, in some season it is comfortable; in some season it is uncomfortable. The water is what actually? A chemical. But the atmosphere makes it comfortable and uncomfortable.

But that comfortableness or uncomfortableness is not permanent, that the summer season does not continue permanently, neither the winter season continue permanently. It comes and goes. So there are so many things, they come and go. And being attached to so many things, I become comfortable or uncomfortable. Therefore Arjuna was advised that tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata. This material world is like that. Pains and pleasure, they come and go. They stay for some time but again go away. But we cannot give up our duty. That is not possible.

Sometimes people say that we are now... Just like in India they have taken this point very seriously, that "India is now poverty-stricken. There is no question of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Europeans and Americans, they are now comfortable, so they can take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness." When I go to India, sometimes they speak like that, that "India does not require Kṛṣṇa consciousness," because they are in a very awkward condition so far economic condition is there. But that is not the actual fact.

The other day, where? I think in Sydney. Some boy, present, he was..., "We have to supply food to the hungry who are dying without food, in starvation." Then when I asked him, "How many men you have seen dying out of starvation?" he could not reply. He said, "No. I have not seen." Still, these are pleas, that "People are dying of starvation, people are dying naked." As soon as I ask, "How many people you have seen dying of starvation and naked?" the reply is "No. I have not seen."

Actually, nobody is dying out of starvation, nobody, not even an animal, not even a bird dying of starvation, not a beast. God is supplying everyone's food. Eko bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). He is supplying food to the elephant. In Africa there are millions of elephants. They take food, at a time, forty kilos. But they are also being supplied with food. But who is supplying food? We have not arranged food for the elephants, or we have not arranged any food for the ant within our room, but they are being fed by the laws of nature, by God's arrangement. So that is not question. This is our false, I mean to say, idea, that "We shall die out of starvation if we do not make economic condition better." You do it, but you must know that food is already there.

As soon as you take your birth, the food is there. For example, when a child takes birth, a young girl gives birth, just a moment before the birth of the child, there is no milk in the breast, but as soon as the child take birth, immediately immense supply of milk. So who makes this arrangement? There is already arrangement.

This is the fact, because we get it from Vedic information that nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām eko bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13): "God is the chief living entity amongst all living entities. God is the most intelligent personality than all of us. He is supplying the necessities of life to everyone." These are the Vedic injunction. That is the difference between God and ourself.

I think, last night there was a question where, "So what is the difference between God and ourself?" I replied that on this verse, that... Just like you are the proprietor of your body; I am the proprietor of my body. I know the business and affairs of my body; you know the business and affairs of your body. You do not know the business and affairs of my body; I do not know the business and affairs of your body. This is living entity. But God, He knows your business, your affairs of the body, and he knows my business and affairs of the body. That is God. That is the difference between. That will be explained in the next verse.

So God is omnipotent in this way. I do not know what is pains and pleasure is going on within your body. That is not possible for me to understand. Neither you can understand what pains and pleasure I am feeling. But God knows. God knows the pains and pleasure of your body; He knows pains and pleasure of my body. That is the difference between God and ourself.

So the problem... Here it is said that "Try to understand what you are. Are you this body, or you are something separate from the body?" We are separate, from the very beginning of Bhagavad-gītā. The first lesson given to Arjuna was this:

aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ
prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase
gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca
nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ
(BG 2.11)

Arjuna was hesitating to fight: "How can I kill my nephew, my brother, my grandfather," and so on, so on. So Kṛṣṇa was instructing him that "It is your duty. As a kṣatriya, when there is battle, you should fight. You should not deviate from your duty." That was the conversation was going on. But Arjuna was thinking only in terms of this body. "He is my grandfather. He is my brother. He is my countryman. He is my this." Why? Because they have got some bodily relation.

You are thinking one boy here, because he is Australian, you are thinking more intimate relationship with him, and because I am Indian, you may not think more..., in such intimacy. Because the bodily connection is there. But Kṛṣṇa said that "This is not very intelligent knowledge." Gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca. A person who does not lament for this body, he is actually learned. Gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ (BG 2.11). Paṇḍita means learned scholar. So either this body is in living condition or it is in dead condition, a paṇḍita, a learned scholar, one who knows things as they are, he does not take care of this body. Not take care actually; he does not think very seriously about this body. That was the answer given by...

Because this body is, after all, a lump of matter. Actually, so long the soul is there, it is moving. It is growing or changing bodies or so many importance is there due to... Therefore, unless we come to this understanding, that "I am not this body. I am spirit soul," ahaṁ brahmāsmi, there is lack of knowledge. That is being instructed by Kṛṣṇa.

That is not knowledge. Anyone... Just like dog and cat. Dogs and cats, they have no idea that the dog is not this body. It is a soul also. It has taken a dog's body. Cat is also a soul, but by his karma, by his destiny, by his past work, he has to accept this body. A tree, that is also a soul, but by his past karma or action, he has taken this body of the tree. So we should understand from the authority, as Kṛṣṇa says, that idaṁ śarīraṁ kṣetram: "It is a field. It is a concession or..." Field is exactly the term. "Field of work," as we say generally, "in the field of activities." So it is field. And I have given a chance to occupy this field and act accordingly.

Try to understand. I have got a different type of field, and I have to work on it and reap the result out of it and suffer pains and pleasure. That is already settled up. As soon as I have got a particular type of body, my pains and pleasures are already settled up. Already settled up. You cannot make any improvement or degradation.

Therefore śāstra says that..., Vedic literature says that,

sukham aindriyakaṁ daityā
deha-yogena dehinām
sarvatra labhyate...
yathā duḥkham ayatnataḥ
(SB 7.6.3)

These are very important instructions. Prahlāda Mahārāja says... He was instructing his class friends—he was a five-years-old boy—and he said, "My dear friends," that "the material happiness..." Material happiness means sense gratification. This is material happiness. Everyone is materialistic, or materially advanced, means he has got better facility for satisfying the senses. That is material life. And spiritual life means that he does not satisfy his own senses, but he satisfies the senses of God. That is spiritual life.

Just try to understand. Senses, as I have already explained... God is also living entity. He is the chief living entity, chief intelligent man or god, whatever you say, and we are subordinate. Now, material life means... God... And what is our relationship? God is the supreme father; we are all children. So as in the family—the father is one, the children are many, say ten—if the children are very obedient to the father, then that family is very nice. Is very nice. If every children is obedient to the father, then father is happy and they are also happy. The father is also very open to satisfy the children. Father knows what is the needs of the children. He automatically supplies. And if the children become disobedient, the father is not satisfied. He may do as duty, to give them some food, but he is not satisfied. The same relationship with our relationship with God.

You know, those who are Christian, you pray in the church, "O Father." So God is actually the father. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is also it is said, "Father." Ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā (BG 14.4). Pitā means father. Ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā. So actually, God supplies everything through the material agent. That's all. Just as God supplies..., the father supplies the money in the hands of the mother and mother expends for the children, similarly, God is the supreme father of the whole living entities, and the material nature is the agent of the Supreme Lord, and she produces food for you.

You may have tractor; you may have very good arrangement for producing food, machinery; but still, if the land or earth does not produce food, your this tractor or all other arrangements will be failure. So after all, we should know the supply of things are in the hands of the material nature. And material nature works under the direction of God. That is stated in Bhagavad-gītā: mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram (BG 9.10). Prakṛti means this material nature.

You don't think material nature is blind. Material nature has got her intelligence, and she is taking intelligence from the Supreme Lord. And according to that, she is supplying food or grains and everything. Because you get everything from the earth. Either you take metal or this wood or water or food grains, whatever you are taking, using, you are exploiting the resources of material nature, but material nature is the agent of God. Material nature is an energy of God. So if God does not wish to supply you, however you may bring tractor and anything... Just like in desert. In desert you cannot make it fertile because there that particular tract of land is forbidden by God: "No, nothing should be produced." You cannot do it. If you have got producing power, then why don't you produce sufficient grains and vegetables in the desert? That is not possible.

So after all, we have to accept the supreme authority, the Personality of Godhead. Even if you study scrutinizingly, very scientifically or, whatever you may say, philosophically, you will have to accept a supreme arrangement, a supreme hand over everything. That is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa consciousness means a person who is Kṛṣṇa conscious, he can see everything. He can see in everything the hand of God. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If you see... A Kṛṣṇa conscious person sees a flower. He sees the flower—created..., creation of God, Kṛṣṇa. "Oh, Kṛṣṇa is so artistic that He has created this flower by His energy so nicely, so decorately, so good flavor. So it is Kṛṣṇa's thing. Let me offer it to Kṛṣṇa." This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

If you become in everything Kṛṣṇa conscious, then your life is successful. That we are teaching. It is a very scientific movement. Actually, that is the position. You cannot create a flower so nicely fragrant, so beautifully made. It is not in your power. But it must have been done by somebody. You cannot say, "By nature." What is this nature? They say, foolish persons say, "It is nature." But you explain what is nature. Nature means God's nature, God's energy. That is nature. God's energy is so fine and so subtle that we cannot see it, how it is working, but it is working. The energy of God is working there.

Just like nowadays the electronic age, when you have got a television machine within our room, you simply put a button, push on a button, and immediately the photo is there, the sound is there. But do not think that it is being done automatically. No. There is a good brain. There is a good brain who has discovered this machine. You do not know. You are simply pushing on this button, you are seeing. But don't think it has come automatically by nature. That is not possible. You do not know how it is working. That is your ignorance. But that is not working without direction. There is direction. There is a television house who are broadcasting their direction; they know how to work the machine and everything. The brain is working, but it is so advanced that in your room, as soon as you push on a button you see everything. But don't think it is becoming automatically done. No, that is not the fact.

Similarly, you take anything. You do not know the method how it is being worked, but there is method. It is so quick and it is so perfect that even without my knowledge it is coming out. It is scientific. Therefore the Vedas says, parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate, para: "The Supreme Lord has got multi-varieties of energy, and they are working." Parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate svābhāvikī jñāna-bala-kriyā ca (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.8, CC Madhya 13.65, purport). Na tasya kāryaṁ karaṇaṁ ca vidyate: "He has nothing to do."

Just like a big man. A big man is sitting in his office. He wants to do something. Some business man has come, talking, and he wants to sign. So he simply pushes one button, and everything, agreement and everything, comes immediately signed. So because his management is so perfect, his business is so perfect that so many men are working in his office. He has to simply desire, pushing a button, and everything is accom... Similarly, we have to understand. These are the Vedic description, parāsya śaktir vividhaiva: "The Supreme Lord has got multi-various energies. They are acting. He hasn't got to do anything personally." Just like the big man in establishment, he hasn't got to do anything personally. But he has got so many energies, so many servants, secretaries, that everything is done quick, at once.

The Vedic information is also that: parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate, na tasya kāryaṁ karaṇaṁ ca vidyate. He has nothing to do with, personally. We want to see that "If God has created this flower, why don't you see? Why I do not see that He has created?" That is nonsense. You cannot see God in that way, but you can see Him by His work. Just like you cannot go and see the sun. But when it arises, when it diffuses, the sunshine is there, you can immediately understand that the sun is there in the sky. The sun is always there in the sky.

So it requires intelligence how to understand the existence of God. The Vedic information says, parāsya śaktiḥ..., na tasya kāryaṁ karaṇaṁ ca vidyate: "He has nothing to do." Na tat-samaś cābhyadhikaś ca dṛśyate: "Nobody is better expert or craftsman than God." Adhika, sama: "neither equal to Him, nor greater than Him." Parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate: "His energies are working in so many ways," svābhāvikī jñāna-bala-kriyā ca, "that it appears that he has got perfect knowledge and perfect workmanship." Everything is perfect. You see. Either a flower or anything, nature's product, it is perfectly done.

In this way you have to develop your God consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness. There are books. There are explanation. There are teachers. So the human life is meant for this purpose, to understand how God is working, what is God, even what is His name, where does He live, what is our relationship with Him, how things are being managed. These are... Athāto brahma jijñāsā. Therefore the Vedānta-sūtra says that "This life is simply meant for inquiring about the Supreme." That's all.

The animal cannot do it. So simply if I waste our time just like the animals... The animals' life is simply busy for four things: eating, sleeping, mating and defense. That's all. They do not know anything more than that. So human life, if we simply... Of course, so long we have got this body, we have to be seeking after eating, sleeping, mating and defending. But not that we shall waste our time simply for these four things. There is a fifth platform, which is brahma-jijñāsā, inquiry about the Supreme. And there are information, prayer(?), I mean, perfect knowledge. If you want to consult, you want to take it, then your life will be perfect.

Otherwise, if you simply waste our time for the animal propensities of life, then again we glide down to the animal life. That is a great loss. After many, many births, we have got this human form of life. If we simply waste like cats and dogs, then again we become cats and dogs or tree or anything. There are so many species of life. That will be great mistake, great loss! Havoc! it will be. Therefore our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to educate people to God consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, so that his life may be success.

Thank you. (end)