730904 - Lecture BG 02.36-37 - London

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



730904BG-LONDON - September 04, 1973 - 26:37 Minutes



Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. (leads chanting of verse, etc.) (Prabhupāda and devotees repeat)

avācya-vādāṁś ca bahūn
vadiṣyanti tavāhitāḥ
nindantas tava sāmarthyaṁ
tato duḥkhataraṁ nu kim
(BG 2.36)

(break)

hato vā prāpsyasi svargaṁ
jitvā vā bhokṣyase mahīm
tasmād uttiṣṭha kaunteya
yuddhāya kṛta niścayaḥ
(BG 2.37)

(break)

(02:02)

Translation: "Your enemies will describe you in many unkind words and scorn your ability. What could be more painful for you?"

Prabhupāda: Niścayaḥ, "uncertainty"?

Pradyumna: Should be "certainty."

Translation: "O son of Kuntī, either you will be killed on the battlefield and attain the heavenly planets, or you will conquer and enjoy the earthly kingdom..."

Prabhupāda: You are noting down the mistakes and...? Noting down the mistakes in here.

Pradyumna: "Therefore get up and fight with determination."

Prabhupāda: So Arjuna's position is very precarious. There is a Bengali proverb, naste bose guṇṭhata. A girl, he..., she is very famous dancing girl. So it is the system, as we have introduced, the girls and ladies, they have their veil, guṇṭha. It is called guṇṭha in Indian language. So a dancing girl, when she was on the stage, she saw that so many of her relatives are there as visitors, so she began to draw the veil. So this is not required. You are a dancing girl. Now you have to dance. You cannot be shy. You must freely dance. That is your duty.

So Arjuna... Some rascal has killed some man giving the reason that killing is not sinful, because in the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated there. Yes. Apparently, to the rascals it appears like that, that Kṛṣṇa is encouraging Arjuna to fight. And He says there is no sin. But the rascal does not see under what condition He is advising. Sva-dharmam api cāvekṣya. The sva-dharma, the principle is a kṣatriya's duty to fight, is to kill in fight. If you are in fight, you become sympathetic, then the same example: the dancing girl, when on the stage if she is shy, it is like that. Why she should be shy? She must dance freely. That will be credit. So in the warfield, you cannot be compassionate. That is not required. In so many ways. Ahiṁsā ārjava, these are good qualities. In the Thirteenth Chapter, Kṛṣṇa has described ahiṁsā, nonviolence. Nonviolence is generally accepted. And actually Arjuna was nonviolent. He was not a coward. Not that because he was coward, therefore he was refusing to fight. No. As a Vaiṣṇava, naturally he is nonviolent. He does not like to kill anyone, and especially his own family men. He was taking a little compassion. Not that he was a coward.

So Kṛṣṇa is encouraging, inducing Arjuna to observe the duty. You cannot deviate from duty. That was the point. When there is fight, you must fight regularly, and kill the enemies. That is your credit. When you are fighting with the enemies, if you become compassionate, "How shall I kill?" that is cowardice. Therefore Kṛṣṇa concludes here, hato vā prāpsyasi svargaṁ jitvā vā bhokṣyase mahīm. There are two alternatives. For a fighter, for a kṣatriya, to fight in the battle: either gain victory or die. No via media. Fight to the last point if you are able, then become victorious. Or die. No stoppage. All this fighting were meant like that. According to the Vedic culture, the kṣatriyas... Not the brāhmaṇas. The brāhmaṇas are not encouraged to fight or kill. No. They should remain always nonviolent. Even there is required violence, a brāhmaṇa will not kill personally. He will bring the matter to the kṣatriya, royal order.

Just like Viśvāmitra. Viśvāmitra was being disturbed by some demons in the forest. They used to live in the forest. So Viśvāmitra was able to kill such demon, many demons, by his will. But he did not do so. He went to Mahārāja Daśaratha, father of Lord Rāmacandra, to request him that "Give your sons, Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa. I will take them with me. They will kill that demon." The killing is there, but the brāhmaṇa is not going to kill personally. Or the vaiśya is not meant for killing, neither the śūdras. Only the kṣatriyas. The kṣatriyas should be so trained up.

Just like in USA there is some trouble in recruiting soldiers, because... Why the difficulty is? The difficulty is the training is like śūdras. The young men are trained up like śūdras—how they can fight? Therefore they are afraid. They try to avoid fighting. Because there is no division. Everyone, in this age, everyone is śūdra. How you can expect a śūdra will be encouraged to fight? That is not possible. Therefore real social structure should be four divisions: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. Brāhmaṇa, fully engaged for enlightenment of the people, knowledge, spiritual knowledge. They are meant for that. They will cultivate that knowledge personally, paṭhana pāṭhana, and make students, brahminical class. Similarly kṣatriya. They should be trained up in politics, in fighting, not to flee away from fighting. These are the training of the kṣatriyas. Similarly, vaiśyas, they should be trained up how to cultivate, grow food grains, how to give protection to the cows. And śūdras are meant for simply serving these higher class, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. That is the program.

So Kṛṣṇa is encouraging Arjuna because he is a kṣatriya. Sva-dharmam api cāvekṣya. It is his duty. The rascals should not take example that "Kṛṣṇa encouraged killing. Therefore everyone should kill. There is no sin," without understanding. This is the difficulty. The rascals, they do not understand what is Bhagavad-gītā. They interpret for their favorable condition. That's all. Here is Bhagavad-gītā. They do not read the whole thing from ācārya—misunderstand. Bhagavad-gītā is not encouraging violence. That is not the Bhagavad-gītā's purpose. But a kṣatriya, when there is fight, dharma-yuddha, yuddha dharma... What is that, before we...? Sukhinaḥ kṣatriyāḥ pārtha labhante yuddham īdṛśam. A kṣatriya becomes very satisfied to get such fighting opportunity, yuddham īdṛśam, yadṛcchayā copapannaṁ svarga-dvāram apāvṛtam, labhante yuddham īdṛśam. And another place,

sva-dharmam api cāvekṣya
na vikampitum arhasi
dharmyād dhi yuddhāc chreyo 'nyat
kṣatriyasya na vidyate
(BG 2.31)

Dharmyāddhi-yuddha. There are two kinds of fighting. Dharma-yuddha... Dharma-yuddha means right, righteous fighting, and adharma-yuddha means political. That is... One politician, he wants to keep his position; he engages the people in fighting, declares war. That is another thing. But when right thing, violence is required. So Arjuna... Kṛṣṇa is encouraging Arjuna in dharma-yuddha, not unnecessarily killing in the slaughterhouse. Do not misunderstand Kṛṣṇa. The rascals, they misunderstand. By killing, by his whims, he gives the evidence of... Another rascal, although he is learned professor, he says that because this man has killed on the basis of Bhagavad-gītā, therefore Kṛṣṇa is immoral. Just see. This is going on. Without understanding Bhagavad-gītā, even a so-called learned scholar also talking of Kṛṣṇa as immoral: He has encouraged killing. Just see. Such envious persons. And he is teaching Bhagavad-gītā. This is going on.

So this is not the fact. The fact is that there must be in the society four classes of men. Because sometimes violence is required. Just like why government is maintaining the police force, the military force? It is required for keeping law and order. So violence is bad, that's all right; but sometimes it is required. Just like poison. Poison is bad, but sometimes it is required for administering medicine. Even poison is administered. When one's heart is... According to Āyur-vedic system, when the man's heart is almost to fail, at that time, poison is given, so the heart becomes again agitated. In the medical science also. So poison is poison, but sometimes it requires as medicine administration. Similarly violence, killing, is bad. But there is circumstances where violence is righteous, religious. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, dharmyāddhi-yuddha.

So it is the kṣatriya. Kṣatriya means who gives protection the citizens from being hurt by the irreligious person. That is called kṣatriya. Kṣat. Kṣat means injury, and tra means deliverance. Just like Mahārāja Parīkṣit. When he saw that a black man, Kali, was going to kill a cow, so he was going to inflict injury to the cow, and immediately Mahārāja Parīkṣit took his sword, that to give protection to the cow from the injury of the black man. So that is violence required. Tit for tat. One who is going to commit violence unnecessarily, the king, government, should immediately take the sword and kill that person. That is government's duty. Had it been Vedic culture prevailing now, all these persons who are unnecessarily killing the cows in the slaughterhouse, they would have been killed by the king: "You have done so sinful." So that kind of killing is pious. To give protection innocent citizen or animal from being injured by the rascals, the government or the king should take his sword and kill immediately. This kind of killing is there in the Bhagavad-gītā. Not that general killing; you can capriciously kill anyone and give the evidence, "Oh, it is Bhagavad-gītā. It is there." How... See how rascals, they are interpreting. Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is, without interpreting in a rascal's way.

So Kṛṣṇa says in two ways that "If you don't fight, then your enemies will blaspheme you." Avācya-vādāṁś ca vadiṣyanti bahūn. "They'll concoct, manufacture some blasphemy against you. You are becoming very much sorry to fight with your kinsmen. Undoubtedly you are very sorry. But if you are blasphemed, defamed by your enemies, better, before getting that, you better die in the fight. And dying, by dying, you are not loser. Because hato vā prāpsyasi svargam. Even if you die, don't think that you are loser, because immediately you are promoted to the heavenly planet. Because you are fighting for the right cause, it becomes puṇyavān," puṇyavān, righteous. The heavenly planet is meant for righteous persons. "So by dying, by your death in this righteous fighting, you'll be promoted to the heavenly planet. So both ways you will be profited." Hato vā prāpsyasi svargam and jitvā vā bhokṣyase mahīm. "And if you become victorious, then you enjoy the kingdom. So both ways you are profited. There is no loss on your part." Tasmāt, "Therefore," uttiṣṭha kaunteya yuddhāya kṛta niścayaḥ, kṛta niścayaḥ, "definitely decide it that 'I must fight. Fighting must be there,' " yuddhāya, for matter of fighting. Uttiṣṭha, "Get up. Why are you sitting like coward?" Encouraging.

hato vā prāpsyasi svargaṁ
jitvā vā bhokṣyase mahīm
tasmād uttiṣṭha kaunteya
yuddhāya kṛta niścayaḥ
(BG 2.37)

That's all right. We can read another verse. There is little time.

Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)

sukha-duḥkhe same kṛtvā
lābhālābhau jayājayau
tato yuddhāya yujyasva
naivaṁ pāpam avāpsyasi
(BG 2.38)

(break)

Prabhupāda:

sukha-duḥkhe same kṛtvā
lābhālābhau jayājayau
tato yuddhāya yujyasva
naivaṁ pāpam avāpsyasi
(BG 2.38)

Here, in this material world, when you work, there are two things: either loss or gain. Either happiness or distress, sukha-duḥkha. Loss or gain, victory or... What is called, the opposite?

Devotees: Defeat.

Prabhupāda: Defeat. Because it is the world of duality. There must be something dual: black-white, darkness-light, sukha, happiness, distress, father-son. There must be. This is called relative world. One thing, if you understand one thing, you must know the other thing, opposite. Otherwise, it has no meaning. In the absolute world there is no such thing, opposite elements. So here, Kṛṣṇa is suggesting about the absolute duty, lābhālābhau. When there is loss or gain, you are the same. Generally, when there is gain, we are very jubilant, and when there is loss, we become morose. But here, Kṛṣṇa is teaching that "You remain in one position, either it is loss or gain, either it is victory or defeat, either it is happiness or distress." This is brahma-bhūta.

Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati (BG 18.54). A devotee is always prasannātmā, because his happiness is to serve Kṛṣṇa. His only business is to see Kṛṣṇa happy, that's all. This is devotion. There may be loss or gain, there may be victory or defeat, there may be distress or happiness, it doesn't matter. He's not affected with this duality. That is being taught now. Real Bhagavad-gītā begins here. Kṛṣṇa is teaching. In the last also... This will go on in different languages up to the end of the Bhagavad-gītā. Mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). That's all. Saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam (SB 1.2.13). Bhāgavata also confirms this. You do not look after whether it is loss or gain, but you have to see whether Kṛṣṇa is satisfied. That's all. That is your only business. That is your only business.

That is explained in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:

ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā
varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ
svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya
saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam
(SB 1.2.13)

Hari-toṣaṇam. The real perfection of life is whether, by your action, Kṛṣṇa is satisfied. That is perfection. You don't consider of your personal victory, defeat, loss or gain, or distress or happiness. Therefore Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has sung that "When I work very difficult task for Kṛṣṇa, that difficult task becomes very happiness for me. That difficult task becomes very happiness for me." That is the standard of happiness. In the material world, there is duality. In the absolute world, there is simply happiness. There is nothing else. Just like when Kṛṣṇa is going to Mathurā, all the gopīs become very, very distressed, crying. But we cannot understand what is the happiness of that distress. That we cannot understand from this material point of view. That is greatest happiness.

When the gopīs were crying in separation from Kṛṣṇa, that is greater happiness than meeting Kṛṣṇa. Than meeting Kṛṣṇa. This is Kṛṣṇa philosophy. That is now beginning.

sukha-duḥkhe same kṛtvā
lābhālābhau jayājayau
tato yuddhāya yujyasva
naivaṁ pāpam avāpsyasi
(BG 2.38)

Thank you very much.

Devotees: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda... (end)