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730811 - Lecture BG 13.03 - Paris

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

730811BG-PARIS - August 11, 1973 - 40:44 Minutes

Pradyumna: (leads chanting of verse) (Prabhupāda and devotees repeat)

kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi
sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata
kṣetra-kṣetrajñayor jñānaṁ
yat taj jñānaṁ mataṁ mama
(BG 13.3)


kṣetrajñam—the knower; ca—also; api—certainly; mām—Me; viddhi—know; sarva—all; kṣetreṣu—in bodily fields; bhārata—O son of Bharata; kṣetra—field of activities (the body); kṣetrajñayoḥ—the knower of the field; jñānam—knowledge; yat—that which is taught; tat—that; jñānam—knowledge; matam—opinion; mama—that.

Translation: "O scion of Bhārata, you should understand that I am also the knower in all bodies, and to understand this body and its owner is called knowledge. That is My opinion."

Prabhupāda: So Arjuna inquired from Kṛṣṇa six things: kṣetra, kṣetrajña, prakṛti, puruṣa, jñānam, jñeyam. What is knowledge and what is the object of knowledge, jñānam jñeyam. And kṣetra, field of activities; kṣetrajña, the worker on that field; kṣetra, kṣetrajña and prakṛti, nature—and the puruṣa. Material nature and puruṣa means the enjoyer. Six question. Of course, Bhagavad-gītā is, each and every word and letter, is full of knowledge. But these six inquiries, if actually can understand the six items, he becomes the perfect knower. That is said by Kṛṣṇa: yat taj jñānaṁ mataṁ mama. Jñānam means knowledge. So if anyone can understand the six items, then he is in full knowledge.

Yat taj jñānaṁ mataṁ. "You have asked Me, Arjuna . . ." and bhagavān uvāca, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead speaking. Not only speaking; He says, just like a gentleman . . . whatever He says is perfect, but still He says: "This is My opinion." "This is My opinion." Now my opinion you can take or not take, that is up to you. But who can give better opinion than Kṛṣṇa? That is another knowledge. Why Kṛṣṇa? Arjuna is asking Kṛṣṇa. Because in the beginning he has said that, "Nobody can make solution of my problem. You are the best." So following the footsteps of Arjuna, if we accept Kṛṣṇa's words, not blindly but with good logic, good scientific research, if we actually try to understand what Kṛṣṇa speaks, then all our problems are solved.

Now in the previous verse, śrī bhagavān uvāca. Vyāsadeva would have said kṛṣṇa uvāca, "Kṛṣṇa said." No. He has purposefully says bhagavān. Kṛṣṇa, you may not like, but He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavān, with six opulences. One of the opulence is full knowledge. Aiśvaryasya samagrasya vīryasya yaśasaḥ sriyaḥ jñāna (Viṣṇu Purāṇa 6.5.47). Kṛṣṇa is complete in knowledge. Sarvajña. Janmādy asya yataḥ anvayad itarataś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ (SB 1.1.1). God means abhijñaḥ. He knows everything. You cannot hide anything from God. That is abhijñaḥ. Vāsudeva. Vāsudeva sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ. One who can understand Vāsudeva, sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ, such great saintly person is very rare who can understand Kṛṣṇa.

Now, preliminary understanding. Kṛṣṇa said in the previous verse that idaṁ śarīraṁ kaunteya kṣetram ity abhidhīyate (BG 13.2). Idaṁ śarīram, this body, is called kṣetra, field of activities. Idaṁ śarīraṁ kaunteya kṣetram ity abhidhīyate etad yo vetti: anyone who understands. (Tam) sa prāhuḥ kṣetrajñaḥ iti tad-vidaḥ. He is kṣetrajñaḥ, or the knower of the . . . just like we are sitting in this room. It is very easy; still the rascals, they cannot understand. We are sitting in this room. So the room, the floor is called kṣetra, field. It is also field, a small field. And every one of us, we know that we are sitting on this floor. Nobody will say: "I am the floor." Will anybody say, any sane man will say that, "I am the floor"? Nobody will say. It is common sense. So if you try to understand from this simple example, that I am one identity and this field, that is another identity; so I know that I am sitting on this floor.

Similarly, this body is one identity and I am another identity. So knowledge means when we can understand that it is "my body," not "I body." Not this nonsense. Nobody says: "I body." Everyone says: "my body." This is knowledge. But these rascals, these rascals of modern age, they are saying: "I body," "I am this body." What you are? "I am this body." What is your interest? "Now anything which is interested with my body." He's not "I body"—still, he's interested with everything with this bodily relation. There are thousands of girls, women, but a particular woman with whom I have got my bodily relation, that is my wife. That is mine. And combination, the child comes out, "my child." In this way, "my house," "my property," "my body," "my relative," "my friend," "my brother," "my nation," my, my, my, my, my. But the rascal does not understand that the beginning of "my" philosophy has begun from this body, which I am not.

This is knowledge. This is called brahma-jñāna. If anyone understands the simple thing that, "I am not this body . . ." But education is given, "No, I am this body." The . . . this nationalism, this nationalism also the same mistake, but they are fighting so much. Great, great, big, big men. In this country, Napoleon fought. In Germany, Hitler fought. And so many others, in our country Gandhi fought. But he is in ignorance. All these big, big leaders, they are ignorance, andha, blind. Blind. They do not know that he is not this body, and neither this land belongs to him. But they fight. The whole history of the world means this mistaken idea, "I" and "mine."

Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, yat taj jñānam. Kṣetra-kṣetrajñayor yat taj-jñānaṁ mataṁ mama. Kṛṣṇa is giving that one should know what he is and one should know what is his body; then he is in knowledge. The matter cannot understand this. The dogs, cats, cannot understand this. But a human being can understand this. Bhagavad-gītā is meant for the human being, not for the cats and dogs. Therefore, the human society should take care of this knowledge. Then his life will be successful.

So it is very simple thing, that kṣetra . . . as I have given the example, that I am sitting on this floor. The floor is different identity from me. No sane man will say that, "I am this floor" or "I am this room." Nobody will say. It is my room, my floor. Similarly, this body, we say: "my," "my finger," "my head," "my leg." Nobody says that "I leg," "I finger," "I head." No. This is knowledge. Don't identify yourself with this body. This is knowledge. This is beginning of spiritual life. The cats and dogs, they cannot understand. The cat cannot understand that he's not body. The dog cannot understand that he is not body. It is the human being who can understand. So if in the human life one does not try to understand this simple knowledge, then he remains like cats or dogs. He's no better than cats and dogs.

This is one point: that I am not this body; I am not this material world. I am a spiritual identity, part and parcel of God. Qualitatively we are one. As God is spirit, so I am also spirit. But His body is very big, gigantic, the universal body, which Kṛṣṇa showed to Arjuna, the virāṭa-rūpa. But my body is not gigantic. It is small. Maybe we call the elephant's body gigantic or similar other animal's body, but still God's body is still more gigantic. You cannot compare. Eleventh Chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā you'll know how gigantic body has Kṛṣṇa. So as I have got this body but my spiritual identity is very small, if we study in this way, it is very easy to understand what is God, what I am, what is this world.

Just like I am . . . I am not this body; I am within the body. Dehino 'smin yathā dehe (BG 2.13). I am the proprietor of the body. But what is my magnitude? Keśāgra-śata-bhāgasya śatadhā kalpitasya ca (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 5.9). You just take the top of the hair and divide it into ten thousand parts. That one part is your identity. So in these material ideas, we cannot understand that such a small particle, smaller than the atom, has got so power. Therefore, because it is so small, these so-called rascal scientist, they cannot find it, where it is; therefore say, "There is no soul." The rascals will not admit their inefficiency to know, and still they will say, "No soul." And if there is no soul, then how it is working? They have no even common sense.

Similarly, as I am very small, smaller than the atom, and I am living within this body and my body is working so nicely, my brain is working so nicely, similarly, Kṛṣṇa is also, according to our conception, Kṛṣṇa is person, individual, but He has got a very gigantic body. This is the material world, material expression. That is expressed in the next verse: kṣetra-jñaṁ cā . . . kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi. I am also kṣetrajñam. As you are knower of your body, the bodily pains and pleasure you know, I know. I do not know your bodily pains and pleasure, neither you know my bodily pains and pleasure. But Kṛṣṇa says that kṣetrajña, kṣetra-jñaṁ ca api māṁ viddhi: "I am also kṣetrajña," means "I also know the field."

So how He knows? Sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata. Sarva-kṣetreṣu. He is within every body. He knows what is the ant is doing. He knows what Brahmā is doing. He knows what you are doing. He knows what I am doing. Vedāhaṁ samatītāni (BG 7.26), Kṛṣṇa says in another place: "I know everything." Just like . . . it is very easy to understand. Just like you know everything—not everything, at least eighty percent you know what is going on in your body. You do not know everything. If I know everything, then why should I go to a physician when there is something wrong in my body? I do not know. I am eating, but I do not know how the eatables are being digested within the stomach, and they are being divided into different secretion. The rejected part is becoming stool and urine, and the other parts, they're becoming blood, and the blood is distributed all over the body, through the veins. How the veins are, what do we know, although I am claiming "my body"? But I do not know everything, what is going on in my body, in my brain. The brains are made of so fine tissues. What do we know?

But Kṛṣṇa is not like that. Kṛṣṇa knows everything in detail. Anvayad itarataś ca artheṣv abhijñaḥ (SB 1.1.1). Throughout the whole universe, throughout the whole creation, in any corner, in any place, whatever is going on, Kṛṣṇa knows. That is the difference between Kṛṣṇa and myself. I do not know even what is going on within my body, and still I am claiming I am God. How rascal, just see, imagine. God's one opulence is that His full knowledge. Aiśvaryasya samagrasya vīryasya yaśasaḥ sriyaḥ jñānam (Viṣṇu Purāṇa 6.5.47). This rascal God, so-called God, you ask him, "Can you say what I am feeling now, or what is my pains and pleasure?" Can he say? And still he's claiming God. But Kṛṣṇa says, kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata: "I am in every . . . every body." I am also within this body and Kṛṣṇa is also within this body. Kṛṣṇa . . . as you are within your body, similarly Kṛṣṇa is also within your body.

So myself, I am called ātmā, and Kṛṣṇa is called Paramātmā. Therefore there are two words: Paramātmā and ātmā. Ātmā is also individual. Paramātmā is also individual. But because both of us, we are knower, kṣetrajña, vibha, the living entity is kṣetrajna, he has got knowledge. And Kṛṣṇa says, kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi. "I am also knower." Both of them, we are knower. We have got knowledge. My knowledge may be limited; Kṛṣṇa's knowledge unlimited, complete. But both of us, we are knower. We can understand. We can know. Therefore, we are called kṣetrajña. But the difference is, Kṛṣṇa knows everything all over the creation; I even do not know what is going on in my body. That is the difference.

So how one can become God? Rascal. How one can become God? That is not possible. God knows everything. If one knows everything, then you can accept him as God. Otherwise, don't accept. As soon as somebody says: "I am God," kick him on his face. Yes. "Yes, you are God, I am God. I am the kicking God." (laughter) That should be the answer. "I am the shoe-beater God. Now you protect yourself if you are God." Don't accept this false God. Kṛṣṇa, kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28). Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam. That is the verdict, all. Just like Vyāsadeva, the giver of the Vedic knowledge, he says, bhagavān uvāca: God says. So we have to follow that. So:

kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi
sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata
(BG 13.3)

(aside) Don't do that.

And this perception, kṣetra-kṣetrajñayor jñānam, if we can understand what is kṣetra and what is kṣetrajña . . . kṣetra means field of activities. There are field of activities in so many ways, not only of this body: body, mind, intelligence. They are all kṣetra. I am living entity, I am working with them. Similarly, I am working outside also. Not within, not outside. I am running my car . . . that is also kṣetra. The world is kṣetra. The car is kṣetra. But the doer, the driver, is kṣetrajña. And that knowledge is lacking. A child may think that the airplane, big airplane, 447 is running. No, it is not running automatically. There is a pilot—kṣetrajña. He knows the machine, how to work on it. Everywhere you study, there is kṣetra and kṣetrajña.

So Kṛṣṇa says, kṣetra-kṣetrajñayor jñānam. One who knows how this kṣetra and kṣetrajña is working . . . not only in individual body, in gigantic body, in everything, there are two things: kṣetra and kṣetrajña. If one knows this secret of knowledge, that means he is in perfect knowledge. Taj-jñānam. That is jñānam. Not that a big professor says the . . . the, when after the finishing of this body, everything is finished. He's a rascal. Is he identifying . . . everyone is identifying, just like cats and dogs, with this body. The body is kṣetra. Body is not the person. A child in ignorance may say that this fine, nice motorcar is running automatically. But it is not running automatically. There is a driver. He does not know it. Similarly, the whole universal activities is going on. Don't think it is going on automatically. No, that is foolish knowledge, that nature is working automatically. No. There is kṣetrajña, Kṛṣṇa. Sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata. Everywhere is Kṛṣṇa is working.

In another place it is said, mayādhyakṣeṇa (BG 9.10). He is not working like foolish man. He is working as the superintendent. Every details He's taking account, how you are doing. That is said in the Bhagavad-gītā: mayā-adhyakṣeṇa. Kṛṣṇa says: "You do this"; immediately, nature will do that. Kṛṣṇa says: "You do this"; immediately . . . not only nature. We are also doing under Kṛṣṇa's direction. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, Fifteenth Chapter, sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo (BG 15.15): "I am sitting in everyone's heart." Here also, the same thing. Sarva kṣetreṣu. Not only I am sitting, but Kṛṣṇa is also sitting. So Kṛṣṇa is sanctioning. Kṛṣṇa is giving permission. Then I am doing. I cannot alone do it.

So Kṛṣṇa is always ready to give you direction. He's there for direction. But unfortunately, we do not obey Him. That is our material disease. If we obey Kṛṣṇa, if we act according to Kṛṣṇa, then there is no problem. Because Kṛṣṇa cannot be mistaken. I am imperfect; I can be mistaken. But Kṛṣṇa cannot be mistaken. Therefore, if we act according to the direction of Kṛṣṇa, then our life is successful. And to give you direction, Kṛṣṇa is sitting within your heart, side by side. As I am sitting, you are sitting within this heart, the soul is within the heart. Therefore when the soul goes away, these rascals say: "Heart failure." Not heart failure; the soul has gone from the heart. Heart is also a mechanical thing, but the sitting place of the soul is there. So heart failure means the soul has gone from the heart. Sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi. Hṛdi means heart. The location also being specified—here is soul and Supersoul. Find out, if you have got such scientific method. But they cannot find it out. Therefore, the rascal says there is no God, there is no soul, simply this lump of matter, that's all.

So anyone who thinks like that, he's described as go-khara. Go-khara means . . . go means cows and khara means asses. Those who are identifying with this body as the self, yasyātmā buddhi-kunape tri-dhātuke . . . kunape. This body is a bag of bones and flesh, with urine and stool and blood and so many other things. But if you are scientist, advanced, then I can supply you immense bones, immense blood, immense urine, immense stool. Manufacture one body, if you are scientist. I give you ingredient. Immense, any quantity. But you just manufacture one ant. And still you are thinking that, "science, science." You cannot do anything.

Prakṛteḥ kriyamānāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ (BG 3.27). Everything is done by prakṛti under the direction of Kṛṣṇa. This is the position. So there are so many thing. If you have got little brain, try to understand. Then knowledge is perfect. Even by studying . . . simply by studying these two or three lines in this Thirteenth Chapter, you can become a perfect knower. And if you follow Kṛṣṇa's instruction . . . He is giving you instruction. He's ready to give you instruction, from inside and outside also. Inside He's sitting. He's ready to give you instructions. Sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo (BG 15.15): "I am sitting in everyone's heart." Mattaḥ smṛtir jñānaṁ apohanaṁ ca: "From Me, one remembers, one forgets."

When you forget something, that is also Kṛṣṇa's trick. Because . . . just like there are some persons who are devotee and some persons who are demons. So if anyone wants to become a demon, Kṛṣṇa is within. He'll give him intelligence in such a way that he becomes a first-class demon. What is the duty of the first-class demon? That he'll never understand Kṛṣṇa. (laughter) That is first-class demon. And if you want to hear Kṛṣṇa, then He will give you such instruction as you will be relieved from this miserable condition of material life and go back to home, back to Godhead. He's ready.

But He does not speak, generally, to the nondevotee. If you become a devotee, pure devotee, without any motive, then Kṛṣṇa is sitting within your heart. He says, teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam (BG 10.10): "Persons who are twenty-four hours engaged in My service with love and faith," buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi tam, "I give him such intelligence by which he can come back to home, back to Godhead." He'll give you. Because He knows. But if you don't like to take His instruction, then He gives instruction to the material nature to get you all right.

And what is the main business of material nature? Just to beat you with shoes. That is the nature. Therefore we are suffering in this material world, because we have taken shelter of the material nature. Sadā samudvigna-dhiyam asad-grahāt (SB 7.5.5). We have taken shelter of this material nature; therefore we are full of anxieties and full of miserable condition of life. This is the position. So long you'll be under the control of the . . . you are under the control. You cannot be independent. You rascal, don't think that ever you shall be independent. Your position is to remain dependent. If you don't depend on Kṛṣṇa, then you have to depend on the material nature, that's all. You cannot become independent. That is not possible.

So these people, these rascals, they are trying to become independent. They are therefore thinking . . . one of our student has written "theomania." "Theomania." Therefore, one . . . because he cannot become independent, they artificially thinks, "Now let me become God, then I'll become independent." But artificial thinking God will help you—no. If you artificially think that, "This bank, this big bank belongs to me," so you can think like that, but does the bank belong to you? So these Māyāvādī philosophers are like . . . they meditate, "I am God. I am God. I am moving the world. I am moving the universe." They say like that. But actually does he do so? No. This is false thinking.

Real thinking is that I am also individual soul. Kṛṣṇa is also individual, but He is Supersoul, Supreme. I am also person, He is also person, but the Supreme Person. What is the difference between me and Him? I am also person, that's all right, but He is Supreme Person. That is explained in the Vedas, that eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). For providing myself, my body and soul together, I have to work so much. But Kṛṣṇa, He is providing millions and trillions of living entities without any endeavor. He is . . . in Africa, there are millions of elephants. Kṛṣṇa is supplying food. Yes. There are gorillas, Kṛṣṇa is supplying food. Why you are anxious for a morsel of bread? Will not supply Kṛṣṇa? He's perfect, He can supply huge quantity of food to the elephant, and a particular type of food to the gorillas. You know? We have read in a book that in Africa where the gorillas live, there are trees, the fruits of that tree, harder than the bullet. It is so hard. And the gorillas take those fruits and chews like peanuts. (laughter) Yes. Kṛṣṇa has given them. Kṛṣṇa's living entity. He's also living entity. He has got this body like a gorilla. So Kṛṣṇa: eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān. He supplies food for everyone. All the . . . not only food, all the necessities. Every life, the necessity.

What is that necessities? We require food, we require shelter, we require sex, we require defense. Kṛṣṇa provides. Kṛṣṇa provides. Even birds' and beasts' life. In every birds and beast there are so many children, both male and female. With the birth they are supplied. Because there is no marriage, there is no seeking out with, but with the birth of a bird and beast there is another male and female. And so far food is concerned, everyone is getting. Shelter is concerned, everyone is getting. So food, shelter, sex and defense. The defense . . . the birds and beasts they have got their defensing means. Even a small bird, even a small ant, he has got his defensing measures, six legs. And the birds, they have got their nails. And the tiger has got jaws, or the cats and . . . everyone has got defensive. You may have atom bomb, but it is defense. It is not intelligence.

Four things are already supplied you require to keep your body fit. That is supplied by God, by Kṛṣṇa. He has given everyone. Then why you are bothering? You are human being, you have got so much nice brain, civilized. Why you are so much busy for these four things? If God has supplied these four things to the animals, beasts, birds, is He very miserly that He'll not supply to the human being? No. There is food. You have got your particular type of teeth for eating fruits, flowers, grains. You haven't got canine teeth. Why you should eat meat? This is not your food.

So in this way we have to acquire knowledge. Not like blind men. But unfortunately, we prefer to become a servant of a blind leader instead of Kṛṣṇa. This is our disease. We shall serve. I asked this question to Professor Kotovsky that, "Your Communist philosophy and our Kṛṣṇa consciousness, where is the difference? You have selected your leader and you have sold yourself to the orders of Lenin. And we have also bowed down to Kṛṣṇa and we have sold ourselves to Kṛṣṇa. So on principle, where is the difference?" There is no difference. You have to select one leader. We have also selected one . . . now, if the leader is perfect, then my life is perfect. If the leader is wrong, then your life is wrong. So he could not answer it.

The principle is there. You have to select one leader and you have to act by his order. That is, that is our nature. Because Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, jīvera svarūpa haya nitya-kṛṣṇa-dāsa (CC Madhya 20.108-109). Every living entity is eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa. When he forgets Kṛṣṇa he becomes servant of māyā. That is our position. We have to serve. Therefore self-realization means to understand oneself that, "I am dependent on Kṛṣṇa. I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa. Let me engage myself to the service of the Lord." That is perfection of knowledge.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya . . . (cut) (end)