720817 - Lecture BG 07.01 - Los Angeles

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Bhagavad-gita - The Yoga System
Los Angeles, August 17, 1972



720817BG-LOS ANGELES - August 17, 1972 - 48:09 Minutes



Prabhupāda: I shall go?

Kṛṣṇa-kāntī: Yes, you may start.

Prabhupāda: Hmm.

(video start)

So this yoga system, bhakti-yoga, how to increase attachment for Kṛṣṇa, is being taught by our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.

mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha
yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ
(BG 7.1)

In this connection one has to learn this yogic system from Kṛṣṇa directly or from His representative. That is the meaning of mad-āśrayaḥ. One must take shelter either. So at the present moment it is not possible to take shelter of Kṛṣṇa directly; therefore one has to take shelter of His bona fide representative, and there are four parties, or sampradāya, who are Vaiṣṇavas: the Brahma-sampradāya, Rudra-sampradāya, Śrī-sampradāya and Kumāra-sampradāya. So one has to take shelter of either of these sampradāya, disciplic succession, and then learn the bhakti-yoga system from him. Then he will understand, or he will see, God.

Seeing God is not exactly seeing with the eyes. God's another name is anubhāva: realization, revelation, realization. So that is wanted. That revelation is made by Kṛṣṇa Himself to the bona fide devotee.

sevonmukhe hi jihvādau
svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ
(CC Madhya 17.136)

Kṛṣṇa, God, reveals Himself. Just like you cannot see the sun in the darkness of night. Sun is there in the sky, but somehow or other, when your planet is on the other side and it is darkness, you cannot see the sun. Not that the sun is not there, but you cannot see. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa is always present before us, but we cannot see Him. Just like Kṛṣṇa, when He was personally present, they were..., there were so many hundreds and millions of men on the surface of the globe; only few could see Him, that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

So even God, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, comes before somebody, it is not possible to see Him. That the seeing process is different. Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena (Bs. 5.38). One can see when the eyes are anointed with the ointment of bhakti. When the eyes are cleansed to see God, that is revelation. It is said that a pure devotee is seeing Kṛṣṇa every moment. Santaḥ sadaiva. Sadaiva means every moment. He is seeing, but that means he is a different person. His senses are purified, electrified, sanctified; therefore he is seeing. And one's eyes, if not sanctified, purified, then he cannot see.

There are so many examples. Just like a machine: A child is seeing, but he cannot see properly. He sees a lump of matter. But an engineer, when he sees, he immediately understands that this machine is made by such and such; it is working for this; a good machine, bad machine, nice. He can see in different way, because he has got the eyes to see. Similarly, to understand Kṛṣṇa, God, we require to purify our senses. That is defined by Nārada-pañcarātra, sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ (CC Madhya 19.170), being freed from all kinds of designation. Just like we are seeing Kṛṣṇa consciousness, accepting Kṛṣṇa consciousness, in a vision, and somebody else, ordinary man, suppose somebody is a Christian, he sees Kṛṣṇa consciousness as a movement of the Hindus. But actually it is not.

Therefore he has to become free from the designation of becoming an American. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ. One should be free from the designation, and this body is a designation. Actually there is no difference between American body and Indian body. The same physiological construction. There, there is blood, there is flesh, there is bone. If you see within the body, there is no difference. But still we have designated: "I am American; you are Indian," "You are black; I am white," "I am this," "I am that." These are all designation. False.

So one has to become freed from the designation. That is defined that when we are freed from the designation. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ, one should be freed from the designation. Actually designation has no value. The person is important, not the designation. So to see Kṛṣṇa means first business is to become free from the designation.

sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ
tat-paratvena nirmalam
(CC Madhya 19.170)

Here it is said mat-para, and Nārada says tat-para. Tat-para means to become Kṛṣṇa-ized, and mat-para means... Kṛṣṇa says you become mat-para, "intensely absorbed in Me." And the devotee says intensely absorbed in Kṛṣṇa. That is the aim, but actually the aim is the same.

So one has to become designation-free, and intensely in Kṛṣṇa, sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ mat-parat..., then he will be nirmala. Nirmala means purified, without any material contamination. I am thinking in terms of my bodily concept of life. That is material, because the body is material. So long I am thinking, "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am brāhmaṇa," "I am kṣatriya," "I am this," "I am that," they are all designation. That is not nirmalam, purified condition. Purified condition is when one understands that "I am spirit soul. Kṛṣṇa is the supreme spirit soul, and I am part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. We are one in quality." We may be different as individual. Kṛṣṇa is big individual; I am a small individual. Just like in this material world also, one man is very powerful, another man is less powerful, but both of them are men. They are not animals. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa, God, is qualitatively one with me. Quantitatively He is very, very powerful.

(Video break/end - 10:13)

His creative power... He has got creative power; I have got also creative power. I can utmost create a big aeroplane flying in the sky, but He has created big, big planets are floating in the sky. He has made such a nice arrangement that it is floating. And we have to float millions' times less important than the planet, suppose a sputnik, with so many machines. That is the difference between His power and our power. Kṛṣṇa... (break) ...there, but the quantity of creative power is different from Kṛṣṇa, my quantitative power of creation.

We are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, so although the quality is the same, but the quantity different. At the present moment, our difficulties are that, although we are part and parcel of God, we are now separated. Every one of us is trying to become a separate God. That is called materialism. Everyone is struggling. The materialistic theory: struggle for existence, survival of the fittest—a Māyāvāda theory that you go on struggling, and if you come to the fittest position, then you will survive. But actually nobody is fit in this material world. Nobody will survive. Everyone will be vanquished. Beginning from Brahmā down to the ant, nobody will survive. That is stated in the Śrīmad Bhāgavata..., Bhagavad-gītā that,

ā-brahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ
punar āvartino 'rjuna
(BG 8.16)

If, even if you go to the topmost planetary system, that it is called Brahmaloka, still you have to be under the stringent laws of material nature, namely birth, death, old age and disease. You cannot avoid. So we remain insignificant in any condition of life, either as a Brahmā... The duration of life of Brahmā is described that you cannot calculate even, so even if you get such position, still you cannot avoid death. That is not possible. You cannot avoid old age. You cannot avoid disease.

But if you... Our real problem is there, that every one of us, that nobody wants to become old, nobody wants to become diseased, nobody wants to meet death, nobody wants to take birth. Of course, in the modern civilization they take birth and they take death, but they do not believe that there is next birth. If there is not next birth, then wherefrom this birth takes place? So this is a subject matter to be dealt with separately.

Now the thing is that we, by comparison we can see that I am a human being; I have got my position. Another man is there, he has got his position, individual position. He may be greater than me; maybe, no. Actually we see, we see both ways. Somebody is greater than me, somebody is lesser than me, less important. In any position we can see that somebody is less important than me and somebody is more important than me. I am in the via media, in any position. Nobody can say, "I am the ultimate. Nobody is greater than me." That is not possible. That, that, that position is God's, Kṛṣṇa's position. Nobody is greater than Him.

Therefore, our problem of life is..., can be solved only by dovetailing ourself with Kṛṣṇa. That is called bhakti-yoga. Dovetailing. The example can be given, just like a, one man is going on, on a motorcar at sixty-mile speed and another man is going on cycle ten-mile speed. The ten-miles speed cycle cannot become one with the sixty-mile speed. That is not possible. But if the ten-mile speed man on the cycle catches the motorcar which is running at sixty miles, then he also gets sixty miles. That is called dovetailing. So if we want to be perfect, full freedom and full creative power, everything in fullness, then we must join with the supreme full, complete whole.

Just like a very rich man, the servants in the house of a rich man, they are also rich men. They're also eating in the same way, they are eating in the same palace. This is a crude example. So there is a spiritual world where Kṛṣṇa is there. Kṛṣṇa is everywhere, but here..., there, He is personally there. Here in this material world Kṛṣṇa is present by His energy. Just like the president of your country, he is in his White House, but at the same time, he is present everywhere. His energy, his power, is there. Nobody can deny it. Everywhere the picture of Mr. Nixon is there, and everyone is conscious that our ruler, or chief man, is Mr. Nixon.

Similarly, Kṛṣṇa is also everywhere by His power, but still He has got His own abode. So every one of us can go back to Him, in His abode, both ways. Here also, in this material world, if we remain in Kṛṣṇa's service, then we are protected under Kṛṣṇa's special energy. So anyone who is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he lives with Kṛṣṇa. That the government, government man, anywhere he goes, sometimes they go out of the country, embassies, the ambassadors. In India there is Mr. Keating, Ambassador of your country...

Devotee (2): Prabhupāda, one minute left.

Prabhupāda: ...so he is always in his own abode, any ambassador...

(aside) That's all?

Devotee (2): So we can do another ten minutes, tomorrow?

Prabhupāda: Mm. (break)

Kṛṣṇa-kāntī: Number 2.

Devotee (3): (background) Flowers are here.

Devotee (2): Put them in place right away. The camera's rolling. No, prabhu.

Kṛṣṇa-kāntī: No.

Devotee (2): Put them in place(?).

Kṛṣṇa-kāntī: Just one behind Prabhupāda, and only one.

Devotee (2): Do this quickly, please.

Devotee (2): Siddheśvara.

Devotee (4): Yes.

Devotee (3): Only one.

Devotee (2): Jaya. That's fine. You may begin, Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: Hmm. So, I shall speak on Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. The purpose of saying Bhagavad-gītā as it is, explained, that there are many editions of Bhagavad-gītā, they have interpreted in their own way, giving up the spirit of Bhagavad-gītā. So this particular name, "As It Is," significant.

Perhaps there is no other edition of Bhagavad-gītā where it is written, "As It Is." In this connection, Professor Dimock of Chicago University has written a foreword, and he very much appreciates the thing. He says, "Swami Bhaktivedanta comments upon the Gita from this point of view, and that is legitimate." So he accepts that Bhagavad-gītā As It Is is legitimate presentation of the great book of knowledge.

And he also says more than that. "In this translation the Western reader has the unique opportunity of seeing how a Kṛṣṇa devotee interprets His own text." So, about Kṛṣṇa, the devotees actually can interpret about Kṛṣṇa book. Others, if they are not devotee, how they can interpret on Kṛṣṇa? Just like a member of a family can say very nicely about the head of the family. How outsiders can say about the family? That is not possible. Similarly, about Kṛṣṇa a Kṛṣṇa devotee can speak nicely, not others. Others have no right to speak about Kṛṣṇa.

And Kṛṣṇa also admits Arjuna as the right student of Bhagavad-gītā. In the beginning Kṛṣṇa says that "I have selected you as my student, because you are My friend and you are My devotee." So, in other words, we can understand that Bhagavad-gītā can be understood who has intimate relationship with Kṛṣṇa. Just as Kṛṣṇa says, "You are My dear friend." That is intimate relationship with Kṛṣṇa. And without becoming a devotee, nobody can be intimately related with Kṛṣṇa. These are the factors to be understood.

So, this Bhagavad-gītā was spoken five thousand years ago to Arjuna in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, and the science of understanding God is there in this Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā is the science of God. Everything has got some science, scientific book to understand that particular subject matter. Similarly, there are different types of concept of God. Generally they take it as an idea, but we don't take it as idea. We take God as concrete fact. Just like you are seeing me, I am seeing you, this is concrete fact. Similarly, a God can be seen by you, and God is already seeing you. There is no doubt about it. But you can see also God.

So that process we have to understand: how to see God. That process is mentioned in all the Vedic scripture. That is called bhakti-yoga, that process. Kṛṣṇa also says in the Bhagavad-gītā,

bhaktyā mām abhijānāti
yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ
(BG 18.55)

If anyone wants to know Kṛṣṇa, what He is, then one has to accept the process of bhakti-yoga. There are different types of yogas. Yoga means linking oneself with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So speculative yoga will not help us. You have to take concrete yoga. Concrete yoga is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So we have given our Introduction of the Bhagavad-gītā, that one has to understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is directed in the Bhagavad-gītā.

There is direction how to read Bhagavad-gītā. People are reading Bhagavad-gītā without taking the direction. This we have explained in the manner that if you take some medicine, there is some direction on the bottle that "This is the dose. You take so many drops so many times." That is direction. Similarly, for understanding Bhagavad-gītā actually, you have to accept the direction as given by the author Himself, Kṛṣṇa. He says that the long, long ago, some forty millions of years ago, He first spoke this Bhagavad-gītā to the, to the sun-god. And sun-god transmitted the knowledge to his son, Manu. And Manu transmitted the knowledge to his son, Ikṣvāku.

imaṁ vivasvate yoga
proktavān aham avyayam
vivasvān manave prāha
manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt
(BG 4.1)

So the rājarṣis, they are all kings. Manu is king, Mahārāja Ikṣvāku is also king, and the sun-god, Vivasvān, he is also king. He is the king of the sun planet, and his grandson Ikṣvāku became the king of this planet, Mahārāja Ikṣvāku, and in this dynasty, which is known as Raghu-vaṁśa, Lord Rāmacandra appeared. It is very old monarchical family, Ikṣvāku-vaṁśa, Raghu-vaṁśa. Vaṁśa means family. So formerly the kings, the head of the administrative execution, executive, they used to learn the thesis, or the injunction, given by God, because a king is...

Kṛṣṇa-kāntī: Conclude. About half a minute left.

Prabhupāda: All right, you cannot do like that. Now you conclude here, that's all.

Kṛṣṇa-kāntī: (to other devotee) So you should just change over. We can change rolls. We can pick up right there from the (break)

(announcement:) Prabhupāda PA 8-72. (pause) All right, Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: Hmm. So according to Bhagavad-gītā, only a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, a person who is intimately related with Kṛṣṇa, he can understand what is Bhagavad-gītā. So Kṛṣṇa..., Arjuna, after hearing Bhagavad-gītā from Kṛṣṇa, he addressed Him as,

paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma
pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān
puruṣaṁśāśvataṁ divyam
ādi-devam ajaṁ vibhum
(BG 10.12)

He understood Kṛṣṇa as para-brahman. Para-brahman means the Supreme Truth, Absolute Truth, para-brahman. Brahman, the living entities they are also called Brahman, but living entities are not para-brahman. Para-brahman means supreme. So Arjuna addressed Him as para-brahman. And paraṁ dhāma. Paraṁ dhāma means the resting place of everything.

Everything is resting on the energy of the Supreme Lord; therefore He is called paraṁ dhāma. Just like all these planets are resting on the sunshine. Sunshine is the energy of the sun globe. Similarly, this material energy is Kṛṣṇa's energy, and everything is, material or spiritual, everything is resting on Kṛṣṇa's energy. The resting place is Kṛṣṇa's energy.

In another place Kṛṣṇa says,

mayā tatam idaṁ sarvaṁ
jagad avyakta-mūrtinā
mat-sthāni sarva-bhūtāni
nāhaṁ teṣv avasthitaḥ
(BG 9.4)

Kṛṣṇa says that "In My impersonal feature I am spread everywhere." All-pervading. God is all-pervading by His impersonal feature, namely His energy. The example is given, just like heat is the energy of fire. The fire spreads by his heat and light. The fire is one place, but the heat and light is spreading. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa is in His own abode, which is called Goloka Vṛndāvana. There is..., there is a planet in the spiritual world, the topmost planet. As the topmost planet within this universe is called Brahmaloka, similarly, in the spiritual sky there is the topmost planet, which is called Goloka Vṛndāvana. That is Kṛṣṇa's place.

Kṛṣṇa is there, but He can expand Himself by His different types of energies and by His different types of incarnation. It does not mean that when Kṛṣṇa was present on this planet that Kṛṣṇa was absent in Goloka Vṛndāvana. No, it is not like that. Just like I am now present here, I am absent in my apartment. But Kṛṣṇa is not like that. Kṛṣṇa can be present everywhere; at the same time He can remain in His own abode.

That is described in the Brahma-saṁhitā, goloka eva nivasaty akhilātma-bhūto (Bs. 5.37). Although He is in His abode, which is known as Goloka Vṛndāvana, He can expand Himself everyone, everywhere. And actually He has done it. So we must know how He has expanded, in which way He is in contact with us. That is the science. In Bhagavad-gītā these things are explained.

So Kṛṣṇa is addressed here as paraṁ dhāma, the resting place of everything. Everything is resting, Kṛṣṇa also says, mat-sthāni sarva-bhūtāni, everything, material manifestation, is resting on Him, nāhaṁ teṣu avasthitaḥ, "But I am not there." These contradictory things. Everything is resting on Him, but "I am not there." But it is not contradictory. It is very simple to understand. Just like the, all the planets, they are resting on sunshine, but the sun is far away from the planets, some millions of miles away. But resting on the sunshine means resting on the sun. That's a fact. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says,

mat-sthāni sarva-bhūtāni
nāhaṁ teṣu avasthitaḥ.
(BG 9.4)

Paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ. Pavitraṁ means uncontaminated. When we come to this material world, we are also spirit soul, Brahman, not exactly as good as Para-brahman, Kṛṣṇa, but still, because we are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, we are also Brahman. Pavitra, pavitra means pure. Just like the particle of gold is also gold. If gold is pure, the particle is also pure.

So Kṛṣṇa comes to this world, we also come to this world, but we are contaminated. But Kṛṣṇa is not contaminated. The example is, just like in the prison house there are many prisoners, but if the king or some king's representative, minister, goes into the prison to inspect things, how things are going on, it does not mean that the king or his minister is also a prisoner. He is not prisoner.

But we living entities, we have been entangled with these material modes of nature. But Kṛṣṇa never becomes involved in these modes of material nature. Therefore He is called pavitraṁ paramaṁ, absolute pure, bhavān. Bhavān means "You, Your Lordship." And puruṣaṁ. Puruṣaṁ, He is addressed as..., addressed as a person. God is never imperson. God is person, exactly a person like you and me. And when He appeared on this planet, exactly like a human being: two hands, two legs, walking like human being, talking, behaving like human being, everything.

So God is puruṣa. Puruṣa means man, I mean to say, male. Not female. Male. Without becoming male one cannot be enjoyer. In another place it is stated that Kṛṣṇa is the supreme enjoyer. As soon as the word is used "enjoyer," he must be puruṣa, male. So that is described. Arjuna understood it. He is a puruṣa, paraṁ puruṣa, the supreme person. In another place Kṛṣṇa is described as Puruṣottama, the best of the males. So, puruṣaṁ, śāśvataṁ. Śāśvataṁ means eternal. The Māyāvādī philosopher, they think that the Absolute Truth is imperson. (break) Begin?

Devotee (1): All right, Your Grace, you may begin.

Prabhupāda: Hmm.

mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha
yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ
asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ
yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu
(BG 7.1)

Arjuna is advised..., being advised by Kṛṣṇa what is God. The conception of God, however we may speculate, it cannot be perfect, because God is unlimited, all-pervading. We are limited, so actually, unless God Himself reveals Himself to the devotee, it is not possible to understand what is God. Therefore God Himself, Kṛṣṇa, is speaking about Himself. The process is mayy āsakta-manāḥ. One has to increase attachment for Kṛṣṇa. We have got now attachment for material things, and we have to divert that. Our position is that we must have attachment for something. That is fact.

So now, on the bodily concept of life, we have got attachment to this body, and anything pertaining to this body we have got attachment. Just like I have got attachment for my wife. Why? There are millions and thousands of women, beautiful women. I have no attachment for them. But my attachment for my wife, even though she may not be very beautiful, is a fact. Why? Because due to her relation with my body. And similarly, I have got attachment for my country, I have got attachment for my home, my..., so many things, because I am thinking I am this body and anything in connection with this body I am thinking "mine."

So at the present, my conception of "I" and "mine" is wrong. Therefore, if we divert that attachment to Kṛṣṇa, then we can understand Kṛṣṇa, or God, perfectly well. Kṛṣṇa is just like sun. When there is sunshine you can see the sun and yourself also. Without sunshine, in the darkness of night, neither you can see the sun nor yourself. Therefore the process is mayy āsakta-manāḥ, developing Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha
yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ
(BG 7.1)

This is the yoga. Yoga means connect. Yogaṁ yuñjan. That yoga should be practiced in connection with Kṛṣṇa. Therefore He said mad-āśrayaḥ. Mad means me or mine, and āśrayaḥ means taking shelter. So either you take shelter of Kṛṣṇa or Kṛṣṇa's representative. Of course, it is not possible for us to take shelter of Kṛṣṇa because Kṛṣṇa is not present at the present moment, but His representative is there.

So one has to take shelter of His representative and practice bhakti-yoga, concentrating his mind on Kṛṣṇa. This is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One has to take shelter of a person whose life is devoted to Kṛṣṇa, and under his direction we have to practice how to develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and then Kṛṣṇa will be revealed. The revelation, proportionate revelation, is proportionate advancement in seeing Kṛṣṇa directly. (break) (end)