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661109 - Lecture BG 08.28-09.02 - New York

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

661109BG.NY - November 09, 1966

Prabhupāda: (leads kīrtana) (prema-dhvani). All glories to the assembled devotees. All glories to the assembled devotees. All glories to the assembled devotees. Thank you very much.

Devotee: There is some room up front. You will be able to hear much better.


vedeṣu yajñeṣu tapaḥsu caiva
dāneṣu yat puṇya-phalaṁ pradiṣṭam
atyeti tat sarvam idaṁ viditvā
yogī paraṁ sthānam upaiti cādyam
(BG 8.28)

The Lord says that the purpose of all Vedic instruction is to achieve the highest goal of life: back to Godhead. Any scripture of any country, not only of this Bhagavad-gītā, but any scripture, they are aiming simply how to get us back to Godhead. That is the purpose.

Take for any ex . . . take for example any of the great religious reformer or ācāryas of any country. In your country, Lord Jesus Christ or Lord Buddha. Of course, Lord Buddha, he advented himself in India, but later on his philosophy was broadcast all over Asia.

Then Lord Kṛṣṇa or Hazrat Muhammad—anyone take. Nobody will say that, "You make your best plan in this material world and live peacefully." That is a common factor. There may be little difference according to country, climate and situation in the scriptural injunction, but the main principle—that we are not meant for this material world; we have our destination in the spiritual world—that is accepted by everyone. Therefore Lord Kṛṣṇa says:

vedeṣu yajñeṣu tapaḥsu caiva
dāneṣu yat puṇya-phalaṁ pradiṣṭam
atyeti tat sarvam idaṁ viditvā
yogī paraṁ sthānam upaiti cādyam
(BG 8.28)

Ah, the yogī, the transcendentalist, his chief aim of life is how to get into the spiritual kingdom. That is the highest ambition of the yogī, or the transcendentalist.

Now we begin the Ninth Chapter. We have finished the Eighth Chapter. We are beginning Ninth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā. Śrī bhagavān uvāca. The Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is speaking. Śrī Bhagavān. I have several times described what this word bhagavān means. Bhaga means "opulence," and vān means "who possesses."

So bhagavān. There is . . . everything has definition. So in the Vedic scripture we'll find the definition of God. We have got some conception of God, but in the Vedic literature you'll find definite description, what do we mean by "God." That what do we mean by "God" is described in one word: śrī bhagavān. Bhagavān. Bhaga means opulence, and vān means "one who possesses."

So what are the opulences? The opulences are that riches, wealth, and strength and influence and beauty, education, knowledge and renunciation. These are opulences. Therefore Vedic literature says:

aiśvaryasya samagrasya
vīryasya yaśasaḥ śriyaḥ
jñāna-vairāgyayoś caiva
bhaga itī ṣaṇṇāṁ ganā
(Viṣṇu Purāṇa 6.5.47)

Bhaga. These are opulences. Aiśvarya means opulence, and . . . aiśvaryasya samagrasya vīryasya. Vīryasya means strength. And yaśasaḥ. Yaśasaḥ means fame. And . . . aiśvaryasya vīryasya yaśasaḥ śriyaḥ. Śriyaḥ means beauty. And jñāna. Jñāna means knowledge. And renunciation, vairāgya. Renunciation. These six opulences, when when you find presented in a personality in full, He is God. He is God. That is the description of God.

You have many rich men here in your New York City, but nobody can claim that he is the richest of all, he has got all the riches of the world. Nobody can claim. But if you find somebody who claims that, "All the riches of the world or the universe belongs to Me," He's God. He is God, just like Kṛṣṇa claims. In the Bhagavad-gītā you'll find:

bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ
suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati
(BG 5.29)

The Lord says that, "I am the enjoyer. I am the enjoyer of all kinds of activities." He's the benefactor of all kinds of activities. Bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram: "I am the proprietor of all planets." Loka means planets. We are proprietor of certain extent of land here, and we are very much proud. But God says that "I am the proprietor of all the planets." And suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām: and He is the friend of all living entities.

And suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati: "When a person understands that God is the proprietor of everything, God is the friend of everyone, God is the enjoyer of everything—by knowing these three things, one becomes very peaceful." That is the peace formula. You cannot become in peace so long you think that, "I am the proprietor." You are not actually the proprietor.

You cannot claim proprietorship. Just like, take for example, this land of America. Say four hundred years before, the Red American, Red Indians, they were the proprietor. Now you are the proprietor. Now, after, say, four hundred years or thousand years, somebody will come, they'll become proprietor. So actually, we are not proprietor. The land is there, we come here, and we claim falsely that "I am proprietor."

So this philosophy, as it is stated in the Īśopaniṣad, that īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam (Īśo mantra 1): "Everything belongs to God . . ." Everything belongs to God. Nothing belongs to me. Actually, this is the fact. But under illusion we are thinking that "I am the proprietor." So God is proprietor. Therefore He is the richest man. He is the richest man. He's not man, of course, He's God. But He is the richest. So if you find somebody . . . there are many "incarnation" of God. Nowadays you'll find, especially in India, there are dozens of incarnation of God. But if you ask him, "Are you the proprietor of everything?" oh, that that is very difficult to answer.

These are the checks how you can understand that who is God. God must be the proprietor of all, everything. And He must be powerful than anyone. When Kṛṣṇa was present on this earth, nobody could conquer Him. There is not a single instance that Kṛṣṇa was defeated. So He, He belonged to the kṣatriya family. He identified Himself as kṣatriya. The kṣatriyas are meant for giving protection to the poor, weak. So He belonged to the royal family. So there were so many fightings in His . . . so long He remained on this earth, so in no fight He was defeated. Therefore He was the most powerful.

And so, so far His opulence is concerned, from Bhāgavatam we find that He married 16, 108 wives, and every wife had a different palace. These palaces are described. And He expanded Himself into 16, 108 divisions also. These things we have got in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. If we believe, it is all right, but great ācāryas, great scholars of India, they have accepted this fact, that Kṛṣṇa is God.

Therefore, bhagavān uvāca. Vyāsadeva . . . this Bhagavad-gītā was written by Vyāsadeva, spoken by Lord Kṛṣṇa. It was noted by Vyāsadeva, and therefore Vyāsadeva says, śrī bhagavān uvāca: "The Supreme Personality of Godhead said." What does He says?

idaṁ tu te guhyatamaṁ
pravakṣyāmy anasūyave
jñānaṁ vijñāna-sahitaṁ
yaj jñātvā mokṣyase 'śubhāt
(BG 9.1)

"My dear Arjuna, now I shall speak to you the topmost part of knowledge." Idaṁ tu te guhyatamam. Guhyatamam means "most confidential." There are different kinds, grades of knowledge. But here the Lord says, "Just I am going to explain what is the most confidential part of knowledge." Idaṁ tu te guhyatamaṁ pravakṣyāmy anasūyave.

Anasūyave. This very word is used. Anasūyave means "who does not envy." Does not envy. Just like the Lord says: "I am the proprietor of all planets." Somebody may say: "Oh, Kṛṣṇa is claiming the proprietorship of everything. How is that?" Because in the material world we are always envious.

If somebody is greater than me—I am envious, "Oh, he's . . . in that way he has so much progressed." We are envious. This is the disease of material world, envious. So we are envious of God also. When God says that "I am the proprietor," we disbelieve it. So here this very word is used, anasūyave.

Arjuna is hearing from Lord Kṛṣṇa without any enviousness. He's accepting what He, what does He say. This is the way of understanding. We cannot understand by our mental speculation what is God. We have to hear, and we have to accept. Otherwise, there is no way to understand what is God. So God says that "Because you are not envious, therefore, I speak to you about the most confidential part of knowledge." Jñānaṁ vijñāna-sahitam. Vijñāna-sahitam means this knowledge is not theoretical, but it is scientific. Whatever knowledge we get from Bhagavad-gītā, we should not think that it is sentimentalism or fanaticism. No. They're all vijñānam, science.

Jñānaṁ vijñāna-sahitaṁ yaj jñātvā: "If you become well versed in this confidential part of knowledge, then the result will be mokṣyase aśubhāt." Aśubhāt. Aśubha means inauspicious. Our stage of life, our existence in this material world, is aśubha, inauspicious, always miserable. Mokṣyase: "You shall be liberated from this miserable life of material existence if you understand this knowledge." So let us carefully understand what Lord says to Arjuna about this knowledge. He says:

rāja-vidyā rāja-guhyaṁ
pavitram idam uttamam
pratyakṣāvagamaṁ dharmyaṁ
susukhaṁ kartum avyayam
(BG 9.2)

Now, this process of knowledge or this process of activities which we are trying to propagate as Kṛṣṇa consciousness . . . knowledge means, the topmost knowledge means Kṛṣṇa consciousness according to Bhagavad-gītā. Because in the Bhagavad-gītā you'll find that a person who is learned, who is in actually in knowledge, his symptoms will be that he has surrendered unto God. That is the symptom of knowledge.

So long we go on speculating about God but do not surrender, that is not perfection of knowledge. Perfection of knowledge is bahūnāṁ janmanām ante (BG 7.19): "After many, many births' mental speculation, philosophical speculation, when one understands what is actually God, God, then he surrenders there. He surrenders there." So long we do not surrender, we cannot understand God. So bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate. The Lord says, "One who is actually in knowledge, that knowledge is achieved after many, many births, not all of a sudden."

Of course, if we accept that "God is great. Let me surrender," then we can accept in a second. But our present position is to become envious of any great. So we are also envious of God, so "Why shall I surrender unto God? I am independent. I shall work independently." These things are there. Therefore, for rectifying these misgivings we have to wait many births. And Lord says: "After many, many births, one who is actually in knowledge, he surrenders unto Me. He surrenders." Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate.

How? How does he show? Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ: "Because after many, many births' philosophical research, he can understand, 'God is everything. God is everything.' " The whole Bhagavad-gītā teaches this very science. God is everything. We are also part and parcel of God. So vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti: "One who understands that 'Vāsudeva, God, or Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa . . .' " Śrī Kṛṣṇa means God. If there is any perfect name of God, that is Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Why?

kṛṣir bhū-vācakaḥ śabdo
ṇaś ca nirvṛti-vācakaḥ
tayor aikyaṁ paraṁ brahma
kṛṣṇa ity abhidhīyate
(Mahābhārata, Udyoga-parva 71.4)

Kṛṣi. Kṛṣi means cultivation, and kṛṣi means very great. Kṛṣ-dhātu. So kṛṣṇa or kṛṣ means who repeated repetition of birth. Repetition of birth. So kṛṣi, "repetition of birth;" ṇa means "one who checks." He is Kṛṣṇa. "Repetition of birth, one who checks," He is Kṛṣṇa. Therefore our repetition of birth can be checked only by God. Otherwise not possible. Hariṁ vinā na mṛtiṁ taranti: "Nobody can stop his repetition of birth and death without having the causeless mercy of God."

So therefore Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa is a scientific name of God. So Vāsudeva, that Kṛṣṇa's another . . . Kṛṣṇa has many names. Vāsudeva. Vāsudeva means "all-pervading." So vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ. After many, many births, if one comes to this understanding that "Vāsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is everything," that is his perfection of knowledge. That is his perfection of knowledge. And at that time he surrenders. Sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ. That sort of, I mean to say, great soul, mahātmā . . . Mahātmā means great soul.

You have . . . perhaps you have heard mahātmā, the word, Indian word. Mahātmā is a designation of a person who is a surrendered soul to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He's called mahātmā. He's not . . . mahātmā means "great," "expanding, expanded," heart. So one who becomes a devotee of the Lord, automatically he becomes expanded. Therefore mahātmā means one whose heart is expanded.

Here Kṛṣṇa says that rāja-vidyā. Rāja-vidyā: "The knowledge which I am just trying to impart, this is rāja-vidyā, the king of all knowledge." Rāja-vidyā. Rāja means "king," and vidyā means "knowledge." There are . . . just like in our ordinary course of life we find somebody king, somebody subject, similarly, He's comparing this knowledge as the topmost, the king of all knowledge. Rāja-vidyā rāja-guhyam. Rāja-guhyam means "very confidential."

And pavitram. Pavitram means "very pure"; idam, "this knowledge." And uttamam. Uttamam means "which is transcendental." Ut means "trans-," and tama means "darkness." So uttama means "the knowledge which is beyond this material darkness." This material world is called darkness, and when the knowledge surpasses this material world . . . material knowledge, that is really called uttama. Udgata-tamaṁ yasmāt: "from which the darkness has been separated." Light, the knowledge of light. So uttamam. Pratyakṣa avagamam (BG 9.2).

Pratyakṣa avagamam means if you follow this path, then you will personally understand how far you are advancing. How far you have become on the path of perfection, you will yourself understand. Nobody will require to certify that "You have advanced so much." You'll understand yourself. Pratyakṣa avagamaṁ dharmyam. Dharmyam means the religious principles. Pratyakṣa avagamaṁ dharmyaṁ susukham. Susukham means that it is very happy to execute. Very happy to execute. Susukhaṁ kartum avyayam. And if you perform it, it will have never any lapse. It is permanent. Permanent.

We do many things which is . . . which has no permanent effect. Which has no permanent . . . suppose we work in this material world for some perfection of education or perfection of business. We get, amass, a vast amount of money. But that is not avyayam. That is not eternal. As soon as your body is finished, everything is finished. Your education finished, your M.A. degree finished, your bank balance finished, and everything, your family finished—everything finished. Now again begin life. Vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya (BG 2.22).

So therefore anything, whatever you are doing in this material world, that is not avyayam. That is not eternal. Temporary. Temporary. So this knowledge is not like that. Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt: "The Kṛṣṇa consciousness knowledge is so perfect that even if you do one percent, two percent execute, then it can help you to . . . help you protection from the greatest danger." Svalpam apy asya dharmasya.

And besides that, suppose in this life I perform work in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, say twenty-five percent. I am not perfect. My next life will begin from twenty-sixth point. So much, what I have acquired in this life, that is not lost. These are the formulas we get from authoritative scripture.

But material achievement, that is due . . . because it is pertaining to this body, this designation, therefore it finishes with the finish of this designation. These are our all designation. This body . . . I am thinking, "I am American." I am thinking, "I am Indian." These are all our designations. So designation will finish, and there is no certainty what sort of body I am going to get . . . have in my next life. There are . . . any thing, any material acquisition, that is not permanent.

But this knowledge, this devotional service of the Lord, to act in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is permanent, whatever you do. If you can do it perfectly, this is the . . . this very life you get entrance into the kingdom of God. But even if you are not able to make it perfection, still, whatever you do, that will go with you, because you are spirit soul. So your spiritual activities will be with you. And because and matter, material body, will remain in this material world, therefore any work, any assessment of this material body, will remain in this material world. This is the formula.

So Kṛṣṇa will explain by and by about this formula, which is described here as the king of knowledge and the very confidential and transcendental and very happily done. Happily done.

Now, to act in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the devotional service, you can understand it, how happily it is done. Now, take for example what we are doing here. We are singing, we are dancing, you are taking nice prasādam offered to Kṛṣṇa, and chanting and discussing Bhagavad-gītā philosophy. Oh, these are the process. These are the process. We are not meant for any stringent rules and regulation or gymnastic or breathing control, so many things, as they are described and performed by many different sections. But here it is very easy and happily done.

Everyone wants to dance. Everyone wants to sing. Everyone wants to eat. Through this formula—dancing, singing and eating kṛṣṇa-prasāda and hearing philosophical discussion, transcendental topics from Bhagavad-gītā—so don't you think it is very happy, susukham? And whatever we acquire, it is permanent. Whatever knowledge you acquire, that is permanent. That is not going to be finished with the finish of your body. It is such a nice thing.

So we are trying to impart this philosophy in your country. So we invite your cooperation. As Lord Kṛṣṇa says, it is very nice thing. Susukhaṁ kartum avyayam. And vijñānam. Vijñānam means it is scientific. It is not a sentiment or fanaticism; it is scientific. So try to understand this philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness from Bhagavad-gītā and help yourself, help your countrymen, help the world. There will be peace and prosperity.

Thank you very much. Any question? (end)