661230 - Lecture BG 10.01 - New York

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



661230BG.NY - December 30, 1966


Prabhupāda

śrī-bhagavān uvāca
bhūya eva mahā-bāho
śṛṇu me paramaṁ vacaḥ
yat te 'haṁ prīyamāṇāya
vakṣyāmi hita-kāmyayā
(BG 10.1)

This verse we have been discussing last meeting. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is advising Arjuna that, "I am speaking to you again further, confidential part of knowledge. And why I am speaking to you? Because you are My dear friend."

Now in the beginning of the Bhagavad-gītā, in the fourth chapter, we have discussed this point that the Bhagavad-gītā was specifically instructed to Arjuna for his only one qualification that he was a devotee. Bhakto 'si priyo 'si me rahasyam etad uttamam (BG 4.3). The Lord said that "The mystery of Bhagavad-gītā is very confidential. So, without becoming a pure and unalloyed devotee of Mine, it is very difficult to understand." Actually it is so.

In, in the market you'll have so many commentaries of the Bhagavad-gītā. In India we have counted, there are about six hundred and forty-five different commentaries of Bhagavad-gītā. One Dr. Rele(?) of Bombay, he has interpreted Bhagavad-gītā as the talks between the patient and the medical practitioner. Yes. He has imposed on Kṛṣṇa as the physician and Arjuna as the patient. And in his commentary he has tried to, I mean to say, interpose all the meanings of anatomy, physiology, everything in his own imagination.

Similarly, at the present moment, there are so many commentaries and people have taken that anybody can interpret in his own way. This is the modern view. Everyone is perfect and he can interpret any scripture in his own way. But so far we are concerned, we are not agreeable to that point. We agree to read Bhagavad-gītā in terms of the instruction as it is given in the Bhagavad-gītā. The Bhagavad-gītā says that this knowledge has to be taken by the paramparā system or the disciplic succession. It is not that anyone can interpret. This viewpoint no bona fide student of Bhagavad-gītā will accept.

So this Bhagavad-gītā is being taught by the Supreme Personality of Godhead to Arjuna. He says again the same thing. He's repeating that yat te 'haṁ prīyamāṇāya vakṣyāmi hita-kāmyayā. "Because you are My dear friend, I desire that you become prosperous, you become happy. Therefore I am speaking to you." Do you think that Kṛṣṇa is not interested with others? To make them happy and prosperous? No. He's, He's equally disposed. He wants everyone to be happy and peaceful and prosperous. But they do not want it. That is the difficulty.

Just like the sunshine is open to everyone. Sunshine is not for any particular nation or particular country or particular person or community. It is open for everyone. But, if somebody wants to remain in darkness, closing his doors, do not come out, then what poor sunshine can do for him?

Similarly, this Bhagavad-gītā, the instruction of Bhagavad-gītā, is open to everyone, everyone. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:

māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya
ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrās
te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim
(BG 9.32)

Anyone, never mind what he is... There are different kinds of species of life. Some of them are considered as lower. Some of them are considered higher. That is our material conception. And actually, according to the different qualities, according to the different modes of nature, there are different situations and there are lower grade, higher grade understanding also. That is a fact. But Kṛṣṇa says that, "Anyone, never mind what he is, pāpa-yonayaḥ..." Pāpa-yonayaḥ means "those who are in the lower birth." So, so Bhagavad-gītā is transcendental subject matter. It does not depend on the qualification of the student. Anyone. Anyone can understand Bhagavad-gītā provided he agrees to understand according to the principles. That's all.

The principle is evaṁ paramparā prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). This is stated in the fourth chapter, that this Bhagavad-gītā is coming by disciplic succession from sun-god. Imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam (BG 4.1). "I first of all instructed this yoga system of Bhagavad-gītā to the sun-god." The sun planet, the Vivasvān... The present ruler of the sun planet is known as Vivasvān. So Vivasvān, his son was Manu, and Manu, the father of the mankind, his son was the king, Ikṣvāku, and King Ikṣvāku was the king of this earthly planet and, from him, this paramparā system or disciplic succession is coming down. But it has broken down. Lord said to Arjuna, sa kāleneha yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa. "In course of time, that disciplic succession has now broken. Therefore I make again you as My disciple."

He has already accepted Kṛṣṇa as spiritual master in the second chapter. In the beginning of the second chapter Kṛṣṇa said: śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam (BG 2.7). "So long we are talking as friends, but now I surrender myself as my spiritual master, Kṛṣṇa." So therefore Kṛṣṇa was speaking to Arjuna on the platform of spiritual master. So we should note it that the spiritual, perfect spiritual master is Kṛṣṇa. And anyone who is following the principles, as Kṛṣṇa says, he's also representative of Kṛṣṇa. And the teacher is Kṛṣṇa and the Arjuna is the student. Similarly, as the spiritual master is the representative of Kṛṣṇa, similarly a student must be also the representative of Arjuna. Then Bhagavad-gītā discussion will be nice.

What is that, Arjuna's position? You'll find in this chapter which we are now just beginning. He'll say sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye yad vadasi keśava (BG 10.14). "My dear Kṛṣṇa, whatever You are speaking, I accept. I accept it.' So that should be the process of understanding Kṛṣṇa, Bhagavad-gītā. Not that I don't like this. So I'll reject this portion. I like this portion, therefore I accept it. This sort of studying Bhagavad-gītā is useless, nonsense. Sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye (BG 10.14). "Whatever You have said, I accept it." That is stated.

Similarly, a teacher of Bhagavad-gītā should be a representative of Kṛṣṇa. Representative of Kṛṣṇa means a confidential devotee, unalloyed devotee of Kṛṣṇa. The same thing. He also accepted Kṛṣṇa as his... The student also should be like that. Then the study of Bhagavad-gītā is perfect. Otherwise, it is useless waste of time.

There is a nice verse in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. It is said,

satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido
bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ
taj-joṣaṇād āśv apavarga-vartmani
śraddhā ratir bhaktir anukramiṣyati
(SB 3.25.25)

If one, anyone wants to understand the spiritual science or the science of Kṛṣṇa, then he should associate himself with the satām, those who are pure devotees, those who are pure devotees. Satāṁ prasaṅgāt. When discussions take place between pure devotees, then the potency of spiritual knowledge, as they are depicted in the scriptures and sacred books, they become revealed. Simply armchair, I mean to say, mental speculators, discussing on Bhagavad-gītā, that is useless, futile. Here it is stated that satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ (SB 3.25.25). If it is discussed in the association of pure devotees, then the potency of that spiritual language will be revealed. Will be revealed.

In the Vedic literature also, in Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad, it is stated,

yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
prakāśante mahātmanaḥ
(ŚU 6.23)

It is said there that one who has got firm faith in God and similar faith in God's representative. Yasya deve parā bhaktiḥ. Deve means God. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau. Gurau means spiritual master. Spiritual master means a perfect devotee of God. He's spiritual master. Tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ. So all this, I mean to say, import of the Vedic language will be revealed to him. Will be revealed to him. We cannot understand Vedas simply by academic qualification. We have to, we must have the qualification of becoming a devotee of the Supreme Lord and His representative, the spiritual master or the saintly persons. These are recommended in all Vedic scripture.

Similarly, here it is stated by the Supreme Lord that "Because you have become My dear..." We have to cultivate such practice in Kṛṣṇa consciousness that we may become dear to God. My spiritual master used to say that, "You do not try to see God. Just act in such a way that God will see you." Just try to understand. This is very nice. If I want to see God, and I make God as my order-supplier, that "Please come and I'll see You." So God is not so small that He, at once I call Him and He'll come. No. We have to qualify ourselves. We have to qualify ourselves. Therefore by the qualification, by your qualification, God will Himself come and see you.

There are many instances. God is... Just like Dhruva Mahārāja. Dhruva Mahārāja, he went to the forest to undergo severe penances to see God. So when he was, God saw him or when he saw God, then God asked him, "What do you want? What benediction you want? I shall give you." The Dhruva Mahārāja, a small boy, five years old, he said, svāmin kṛtārtho 'smi varaṁ na yāce (CC Madhya 22.42). "Now I am so satisfied that I have nothing to ask from You." So one who sees, one who can perceive God, he has no more any demand because he's transcendental to all these material demands.

So long we are in the material sense, we are always dissatisfied. Na abhāvaḥ vidyate sataḥ, nāsato vidyate bhāvaḥ, nāsato vidyate bhāvaḥ. Asat. Asat means the circumstances which will not continue. Everything, any circumstances of this material world, is temporary. Suppose I am very happy. Oh. Then your happiness is temporary. Suppose you think or I think I am in very sorry plight, or I am in distress. That will also not exist for some time. Just like seasonal changes. So this, this is called duality. You are feeling happy or miserable, we are feeling cold and heat, everything duality. But these things are coming and going. So when one is in transcendental position, he is above this duality, he's in the absolute.

So in that absolute stage, if we want to go to that absolute stage, then this is the process. This is the process, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, gradually, as we develop, so Kṛṣṇa is within everyone, the Supersoul, the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Paramātmā, He's seated in everyone's heart, and, as we become purified, as we become sincere, all dictation will come from within and He will show you the path which following you shall be happy and prosperous and, at the end, by quitting this body, you shall reach the supreme abode of Kṛṣṇa in the spiritual sky. These are, all these have been discussed in the last chapters, eighth chapter, seventh chapter.

Now Kṛṣṇa says that,

na me viduḥ sura-gaṇāḥ
prabhavaṁ na maharṣayaḥ
aham ādir hi devānāṁ
maharṣīṇāṁ ca sarvaśaḥ
(BG 10.2)

Now He says that, "Nobody knows Me." Lord says, Lord Kṛṣṇa says, "Nobody knows Me." Na me viduḥ sura-gaṇāḥ. Sura-gaṇāḥ means the demigods, those who are in the higher planets, they are called demigods. Sura-gaṇāḥ. Na me viduḥ sura-gaṇāḥ prabhavam (BG 10.2). "My influence, or My activities, My power, My extensions, everything, prabhavam, na maharṣayaḥ." Maharṣayaḥ means great sages. Mahā-ṛṣayaḥ. Mahā means great. Ṛṣi means sages. They also do not know. What they do not know? Now ahaṁ hi, aham ādir hi devānām (BG 10.2). "I am the original person of all demigods and maharṣīṇāṁ ca sarvaśaḥ, I am the original person of all the ṛṣis."

Now suppose we had some forefather, ten generations before. So we do not know many things about him. We may hear something by paramparā or in the family history that our tenth, tenth generation before there was one forefather. So even we do not know. So from Kṛṣṇa, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, so many generations... In the beginning of this creation, the first beginning, Brahmā was created. Brahmā. So millions and millions and years before Brahmā was created. So what do we know about Brahmā and the demigods? So practically we do not know anything about God. It is not possible. Our teeny brain cannot approach such extensive, I mean to say, foremost platform where we can understand God.

In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also it is said, ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ (CC Madhya 17.136). Indriya means these material senses. We gather knowledge by sense. But these material senses are very limited. So it is not possible to understand God, or Kṛṣṇa, by speculating our mind. Mind is the center of all senses. So senses help mind gathers knowledge. So it is not possible. Because our senses are all imperfect. By imperfect senses we cannot reach to the perfect or to the unlimited. Therefore we cannot know. Ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ (CC Madhya 17.136). It is not possible by manipulating your different senses and knowledge and mind you can understand God.

Then how it is possible? The possibility is sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ. The, if you engage your senses in the service of the Lord, then He'll reveal to your senses. The same thing. We have to acquire knowledge of God through these senses. But, in our conditional life, the senses are all impure. Therefore these senses cannot understand God simply by speculating. It is not possible. Therefore Lord says, na me viduḥ sura-gaṇāḥ (BG 10.2). Now we have got developed senses. Suppose a child. A child, his understanding and his father's understanding, there is difference because his senses are not so developed. Father's senses are developed. Similarly, as we are here in this earthly planet, there are many, many other superior planets. Their senses are far, far improved. But still they cannot understand God. Still they cannot understand.

Similarly ṛṣayaḥ. Ṛṣayaḥ means great philosophers, saintly persons, sages; they also cannot understand God.

yo mām ajam anādiṁ ca
vetti loka-maheśvaram
asammūḍhaḥ sa martyeṣu
sarva-pāpaiḥ pramucyate
(BG 10.3)

Now people can say that, "What is the use of understanding God? Let God remain in His place. And let me remain in my place. What is the use?" Suppose... We cannot understand God. Now argument may be, "Yes, you don't understand God. There is no necessity of bothering for understanding God." But Kṛṣṇa says, "No." If you don't take that botheration, then you'll never be happy. Neither you'll be liberated. So it is your interest to understand God. Not that God will be profited if you understand Him. No. You'll be profited if you understand Him.

Therefore He says that yo mām ajam anādiṁ ca vetti loka-maheśvaram. "Anyone who can understand Me as the origin of everything and loka-maheśvaram, and the, I mean to, the proprietor or the master of everything, yo mām ajam anādiṁ ca vetti loka-maheśvaram." Loka-maheśvaram is the Supreme Proprietor or master of all planets or all, everything, asammūḍhaḥ, without any doubt, asammūḍhaḥ sa martyeṣu, even in this material world, sa martyeṣu sarva-pāpaiḥ pramucyate, he becomes free from all sinful reactions, simply by knowing, understanding that God is great, He's the proprietor of everything, He is the friend of everyone, and He's the origin of everything, these things. If one can understand, asammūḍhaḥ... Asammūḍhaḥ means... Not that because Bhagavad-gītā's speaking like that, not that because a swami is speaking like that, but you should understand yourself asammūḍhaḥ, without any doubt. When you understand doubtlessly that God is the proprietor of everything, then you'll be liberated and freed from all, I mean to say, anxieties and miseries.

So it is our interest to know God. We are always full of anxieties. Nobody is free from anxieties. Nobody's free from miseries of this material world. And here is the process. And Bhāgavata confirms it: na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (SB 7.5.31). We are making progress, but we do not know what is the ultimate goal of progress. That we do not know. Na te viduḥ.

So similarly, Bhāgavata also confirms: na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ durāśayā (SB 7.5.31). Durāśayā means some impossible hope. They are being conducted under the guidance of this illusory energy with some hope which is impossible to be fulfilled. Durāśayā. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ (SB 7.5.31). Why they are thinking of that impossibility? Impossible hope? Because they have taken, they are captivated by this material energy.

So Kṛṣṇa says that:

yo mām ajam anādiṁ ca
vetti loka-maheśvaram
asammūḍhaḥ sa martyeṣu
sarva-pāpaiḥ pramucyate
(BG 10.3)

Pāpaiḥ. Of course, in the modern civilization, there is no distinction between pious and impious, but, according to scripture, there are pious activities and impious activities. We are always engaged in some kind of activities, either pious or impious. If we are engaged in pious activities, then we become happy in future, not exactly happy, but a little of the upper stage than others. It is stated in the scripture that by pious activities, you can have your birth in a very good place, in a very good family. You can have, you can become highly educated. You can become very beautiful and, janmaiśvarya-śruta-śrī (SB 1.8.26). Janma, just like birth in good place, in good family, good country, and aiśvarya, and wealth and opulence. And śrī means beauty. And education. These things are result of pious activities.

Similarly, just the opposite number is impious or sinful activities. So by sinful activities you suffer. By... Suffering is always there, either in pious or impious, but there is some distinction between pious and impious. So here it is said that anyone who understands God, that He's the Supreme Proprietor, sarva-loka-maheśvaram (BG 5.29), vetti, without any doubt, then he becomes freed from all sinful reactions. Immediately. Thank you very much. Any question? (end)