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731010 - Lecture BG 13.16 - Bombay

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

731010BG-BOMBAY - October 10, 1973 - 30:40 Minutes


bahir antaś ca bhūtānām
acaraṁ caram eva ca
sūkṣmatvāt tad avijñeyaṁ
dūrasthaṁ cāntike ca tat
(BG 13.16)

The Supreme Truth, Absolute Truth, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead . . . we should always remember the Supreme Truth in the ultimate issue is the person. Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate. Without understanding this tattva, we cannot understand the Absolute Truth. The first realization is impersonal Brahman. Then still further, advanced realization is localized Paramātmā, and still further, advanced realization is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate.

vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
brahmeti paramātmeti
bhagavān iti śabdyate
(SB 1.2.11)

The Absolute Truth, the same objective, to the less intelligent class of men or in the beginners, He appears to be impersonal, Brahman, impersonal Brahman.

Just like, the same example, as we are very, very far away, ninety millions miles away from the sun planet, we can touch the sunshine, not the sun planet. That is not possible. We have no such power that we can touch the . . . although the sun planet is there, everyone can go and touch it, but it is beyond our power. This is the position of our material experience, and what to speak of spiritual experience.

About the spiritual experience, it is stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā:

panthās tu koṭi-śata-vatsara-sampragamyo
vāyor athāpi manaso muni-puṅgavānām
so 'pyasti yat prapada-sīmny avicintya-tattve
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
(Bs. 5.34)

There is a planet . . . just like you see the sun planet. It is in your front, you are daily seeing it, but you have no power to go there. This is about the material planet. And how you can approach the spiritual planet where Kṛṣṇa lives, Goloka Vṛndāvana? Goloka eva nivasati. Everything is there, but you require power to reach.

So we can realize in the beginning the sunshine. Then, if we are able to approach the sun planet . . . that also not possible, but still, we can hope. But still, you have to enter the sun planet, and there is sun-god. From the sun-god the glaring effulgence, the sunshine, is coming. Although the sunshine and the sun globe, and the within the sun globe the sun-god, they are of the same thing, quality, light and heat, still, there are degrees of light and heat. You can touch the sunshine, but you cannot touch the sun globe, neither you can enter the sun globe. That requires a different power. So this is material. And now this sun shining and the sun globe is also stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā that:

yac cakṣur eṣa savitā sakala-grahāṇāṁ
rājā samasta-sura-mūrtir aśeṣa-tejāḥ
yasyājñayā bhramati sambhṛta-kāla-cakro
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
(Bs. 5.52)

Now this sun globe, it is very powerful planet within this universe. Therefore it is called the king of all planets. Yac cakṣur eṣa savitā. Savitā means the sun planet. Sakala-grahāṇāṁ rājā samasta-sura-mūrtir aśeṣa-tejāḥ. Unlimited power, aśeṣa-tejāḥ. But still, this sun planet is also moving in its orbit. The sun planet has got its orbit. All planets, they have got their orbit. Yasyājñayā bhramati sambhṛta-kāla-cakraḥ. Kāla-cakraḥ. It is moving like that, sixteen thousand miles per second, the speed of sun planet. Everything is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

So still, such a big planet, powerful planet, it is rotating under someone's order. That is Govinda. Yasyājñayā bhramati sambhṛta-kāla-cakro govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi. There must be someone directing. Don't think it is automatically moving. There is direction. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:

mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ
sūyate sa-carācaram
hetunānena kaunteya
jagad viparivartate
(BG 9.10)

So we are not so intelligent to understand that the material nature is working, moving, under the direction of the Supreme Personality. But we can experience it.

Just like a machine, computer, a very subtle machine, it is working wonderfully. But there is a person who is pushing the button. Without that, the machine is useless. It is lump of matter. Similarly, this gigantic universe, cosmic manifestation, nature is working very wonderfully. The sun is moving, moon is moving and the earth is moving, everything in right direction and minute time, and not a single inch is moving here and there. Everything is going on nicely. How? That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā:

mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ
sūyate sa-carācaram
hetunānena kaunteya
jagad viparivartate
(BG 9.10)

It is under the direction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

So jñeyam. Kṛṣṇa is explaining the subject matter of knowledge. First of all Kṛṣṇa has explained the process of knowledge. Amānitvam adambhitvaṁ kṣāntir ārjavam (BG 13.8).

Mayi cānanya-yogena bhaktir avyabhicāriṇī (BG 13.11). Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam (BG 13.9). These are the process of knowledge, to know. If we remain befooled, ignorant, that we are missing the chance.

Everything we can know. This human form of body is specially meant for that purpose. You can understand what you are, what is this material nature, what is God and how we are related, how things are going on. Everything is there, but we are so foolish that we do not take care. We live like cats and dogs, eat something and sleep and have sexual intercourse, and then we are afraid always and then die. This is cats' and dogs' life. Real life is to know, athāto brahma jijñāsā. That is real life, human life. One must be inquisitive to understand the Absolute Truth, brahma-jijñāsā, not inquiring in the market, "What is the rate of share?" "What is the rate of rice?" No, not for this inquiry. Jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam: to inquire about the Absolute Truth, uttamam, beyond this material nature. Udgata tamam. This material nature is called tama. Tamaso mā jyotir gama. These are the Vedic injunction.

You have to enter, you have to understand the world of light. This world is the world of darkness. It is simply . . . we require, therefore, sunlight, moonlight, electric light. Otherwise it is dark. It is called tamaḥ. But there is another world, which is full of light. It is so full of light that you do not require the sunlight, moonlight or electric light there.

na tad bhāsayate sūryo
na śaśāṅko na pāvakaḥ
yad gatvā na nivartante
tad dhāma paramaṁ mama
(BG 15.6)

The spiritual world there is. Paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo 'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ (BG 8.20). Everything is there, but we do not take care. We think that "We have understood three bīghās of land, my neighborhood" or "this, my India" or "my America," "this planet—that is sufficient knowledge." No, that is not sufficient knowledge. You have to know so many things. But if you understand Kṛṣṇa, to understand Kṛṣṇa means to understand everything. Yasmin vijñāte sarvam idaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.3). If you try to . . . this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is that try to understand Kṛṣṇa, as Kṛṣṇa is speaking in the Bhagavad-gītā. Don't mal-interpret. Don't be foolish that, "Kṛṣṇa means this, Kurukṣetra means that," manufacture some words, and you be also foolish and make others foolish. No. Try to understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is. Then you'll understand everything.

Now here Kṛṣṇa says, bahir antaś ca bhūtānām. The Absolute Truth is there, bahir antaś ca, not that it is in a different position or different angle of vision. You are already in the Absolute Truth, even materially conception. Bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ buddhir manaḥ (BG 7.4). These are the material elements, five gross elements and three subtle elements. So even taken materially, so what is this material? We have already explained. The materials are different energies of the Supreme Lord. Bhinnā me prakṛtir aṣṭadhā. Kṛṣṇa says, "These eight kinds of material nature, subtle and gross, they are My energy, inferior energy." Itas tu viddhi me prakṛtiṁ parām.

So the mind is within, the intelligence is within, the soul is within, and outside your body . . . so this body made of five elements, they are also Kṛṣṇa's energy, and within, the mind, intelligence and the soul, that is also Kṛṣṇa's energy. Two kinds of energies: supreme, er, inferior and superior. Therefore He is outside and inside, both. Bahir antaś ca bhūtānām. Every living entity, Kṛṣṇa is existing outside and inside. Therefore we have to purify both outside and inside. That is our human life. Human life means to become purified. Because we are not purified, therefore we have to accept birth, death, old age and disease. This is the problem.

Because we are not purified . . . that is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyet sattvam (SB 5.5.1). Ṛṣabhadeva advised His sons, "My dear sons," tapo divyam, "just undergo austerities." This life, human life, is for austerities, penance. Therefore you'll find in the Vedic civilization, big, big saintly persons, big, big brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, rājarṣis, they are engaged. Just like Lord Buddha. Lord Buddha was the prince, royal family, but still he left everything and underwent meditation to understand himself. There are many others. Bharata Mahārāja, under whose name this country is called Bhārata-varṣa, at the twenty-fourth years of his age, he left his kingdom, his wife, little children, and went for austerity, penance. This is meant for.

This life is meant for not to live extravagantly without any responsibility, like cats and dogs. We should be very responsible. Austerity. Little austerity. In the Kali-yuga you cannot undergo severe austerity, but even if you follow little austerity, little something must be done. Little austerity. Just like you do not commit any sinful life. What is that? No illicit sex, no meat-eating, no intoxication, no gambling. This much austerity. If you simply accept these four principles. Now these Europeans and Americans, they are accepting. You see how they are advancing. You cannot understand the supreme pure, Absolute Truth, keeping yourself impure. It is not possible. You can understand God when you are pure. Yeṣām anta-gataṁ pāpam. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. You cannot understand God if you are sinful.

Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ (BG 7.15). Those who are not purified, sinful acting, sinful, acting only sinfully, such person is called duṣkṛtina. Kṛtina, they are . . . kṛti means meritorious. But these rascals are meritorious in doing all sinful activities. Sinful activities also require merit. Even if you become a very expert thief, this stealing is sinful activity, but it requires some brain. It requires some brain. Therefore the word is used kṛtina. Kṛtina means meritorious. But duṣkṛtina. Their merit is being applied for sinful activity. Similarly, there is another word, sukṛtina. You can employ your merit for pious activities. The merit is the same.

Just like money. Money you can utilize for duṣkṛtina and for sukṛtina. You can utilize your money for drinking wine, illicit sex, meat-eating and gambling. And you can utilize your money for Kṛṣṇa's service, for offering yajñas, for constructing temple, sacrifices, push on the saṅkīrtana movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. So money is not good or bad. As you utilize it. Similarly merit, merit also, there. You have got already merit better than the animals, but you have to utilize it for proper service. That is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Consciousness we have got, merit we have got. Simply we have to utilize.

Now, here Kṛṣṇa says that bahir antaś ca bhūtānām. You have to undergo austerities to see Kṛṣṇa both outside and inside. If you understand this philosophy, then your life is successful. Antar bahiḥ. Antar bahiḥ.

ārādhito yadi haris tapasā tataḥ kim
nārādhito yadi haris tapasā tataḥ kim
antar-bahir yadi haris tapasā tataḥ kim
nāntar-bahir yadi haris tapasā tataḥ kim
(Nārada Pañcarātra)

If you can see Kṛṣṇa antaḥ, within, and bahiḥ, outside, then your all tapasya finished. You are perfect now. Tapasā tataḥ kim. No more tapasya. And if you cannot see the Supreme Lord inside and outside, then you may undergo various types of tapasya and education—it is all useless, useless waste of time.

dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ
viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ
notpādayed ratiṁ yadi
śrama eva hi kevalam
(SB 1.2.8)

If you cannot understand the viṣvaksena . . . Viṣvaksena is another name of Kṛṣṇa, or God. Viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ, dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsām. "I am a learned brāhmaṇa," "I am very expert kṣatriya," or "I am expert vaiśya," this is called dharma, varṇāśrama-dharma. Even if you execute your varṇāśrama-dharma . . . nobody is executing nowadays. Everyone is śūdra. Kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ. But even if you execute your dharma, brāhmaṇa-dharma, kṣatriya-dharma, vaiśya-dharma, but even after doing so very perfectly, very orderly, if you do not develop your Kṛṣṇa consciousness, viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ, na ratim, if you do not feel attraction . . .

Just like here, viṣvaksena-kathā, kṛṣṇa-kathā is going on, but nobody is interested. Nobody is interested. Viṣvaksena-kathāsu ratiṁ na utpādayet. There are so many educated person, but they are not interested. They'll be interested to go to cinema, to the drinking house, to the meat-eating hotel. They are interested.

This is the position of Kali-yuga. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ (SB 1.1.10). Therefore they are so unfortunate, always disturbed. Always disturbed. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayaḥ. Prāyeṇālpāyuṣaḥ kalāv asmin yuge janāḥ. First qualification is they do not live long. A very short period of life. And still manda, very bad. Manda-matayaḥ. And they have got their philosophy, something rascaldom. Mandāḥ matayo, sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyāḥ, and all unfortunate. They cannot eat even properly. There is no milk, there is no ghee, there is no rice. This is the position of Kali-yuga.

So therefore in this age, if we want to save ourself from this onslaught of this age, the proposition is, kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ (SB 12.3.51). Parīkṣit Mahārāja was informed by Śukadeva Gosvāmī, "My dear King, I have described about the faulty nature of this age." Kaler doṣa-nidhi. Doṣa-nidhi means an ocean of faults. "But there is one good opportunity." Kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ. "There is one good quality." What is that? Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet (SB 12.3.51). Simply by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, one can become free from all this contamination and he can go back to home, back to Godhead. This is another advantage of Kali-yuga. In other yuga one has to undergo so much severe austerity, penances; then one can realize. But in this age the things have been made easy. That is also mercy of Kṛṣṇa, because these people are so much disturbed and fallen, downtrodden, they cannot undergo very severe austerity. Simply chant.

harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
(CC Adi 17.21)

These are the śāstric injunction. And actually it is happening. In Europe and America they are simply chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, they are advancing very quickly to understand. This Bhagavad-gītā, they are now reading as it is. Latest report is, in London we are selling fifteen thousand copies per month. So they are taking interest, because it is presented as it is, Bhagavad-gītā as it is, no rascal interpretation, "This meaning is this, this meaning that." What authority you have got to make like that? Try to understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is. Then you'll be benefited.

So one has to understand the Supreme Absolute Truth both outside and inside. Antar bahiś ca bhūtānām caram acaraṁ eva. There are two things: some of them are moving, or with life, and some of them are not moving. Even living beings . . . here it is called bhūtānām. Bhūtānām means living entities. So there are some living entities which are moving, just like we. Cats, dogs, human beings and flies and so many living beings, they are moving. And other living beings, just like trees, plants, they are standing one place. Sthāvara-jaṅgama. Sthāvara means one place. Caram acaram.

So sūkṣmatvāt, in every living being there is the Supreme Lord. Aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham (Bs. 5.35). Even within the atom. Sūkṣmatvāt avijñeyam. Because it is so small, minute . . . that minute means that Kṛṣṇa's part and parcel. Kṛṣṇa is the gigantic virāṭ, or vibhu, and we living entities, we are aṇu. Sūkṣmatvāt. So . . .

(aside) Don't talk.

Sūkṣmatvāt tad avijñeyam. Because we have got . . . we have already explained this, that our eyes, they cannot see the subtle things, minute things. We require some instrument, just like microscope. But even with microscope, our my so-called microscope cannot see what is that soul. It is very, very, very minute. Ten-thousandth part of the upper portion of the hair. Jīva-bhāgaḥ sa vijñeyaḥ. Keśāgra-śata-bhāgasya (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 5.9). Keśāgra, the tip of the hair, you, śata-bhāgasya, you divide into hundred, and then take one part, again divide into hundred. Keśāgra-śata-bhāgasya śatadhā kalpitasya ca. That ten . . . one ten-thousandth part of the tip of the hair, it is so minute.

But there is the thing, very minute. Just like a small grain of poison, venomous poison. If it is injected in your body, you will die immediately. It has got so power. Similarly, the minute spirit soul is so minute, one ten-thousandth part. Still, because that minute spirit soul is there, you are moving, you are acting, your brain is working, you are denying the existence of God, you are doing all these things.

Sūkṣmatvāt tad avijñeyaṁ dūrastham, dūrasthaṁ cāntike ca tat. Dūrastham. Now, you cannot calculate where this abode of God is there. Dūrastham. Panthās tu koṭi-śata-vatsara. If you go with your plane with the speed of mind, panthās tu koṭi-śata-vatsara-sampragamyo vāyor athāpi (Bs. 5.34), by aeroplane, vāyu-ratha—this vāyu, aeroplane, is mentioned in the Brahma-saṁhitā—vāyor athāpi manaso, and with the speed of mind, muni-puṅgavānām, discovered by great scientists, still, avicintya-tattve, it is so far away. Avicintya-tattve. Therefore it is called dūrastham. And at the same time, antike, very near, very near, just like Kṛṣṇa is standing here. One has to understand. Very near.

He has kindly come to you, near, so near that you can touch His lotus feet, you can offer Him some foodstuff, you can decorate. He's agreeing, "Yes, I will accept your . . ." Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26). And before this, Kṛṣṇa has said, sarvataḥ pāṇi-pādaṁ tat (BG 13.14): He has got hands and leg everywhere. In the Vedas also it is confirmed, apāṇi-pādo javana-gṛhītaḥ. Apāṇi-pāda, He has no hands and legs, but whatever you offer in sacrifice, He immediately accepts. How He accepts? How He accepts? That is called dūrastham. Very, very far away; at the same time, antike. Immediately, provided you know the means. If you know, then you can see. Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti (Bs. 5.38). That is God's power. He can remain far, far away, but He can immediately be approachable by the devotees.

There is another verse, advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam ādyaṁ purāṇa-puruṣaṁ nava-yauvanaṁ ca, vedeṣu durlabham adurlabham ātma-bhaktau (Bs. 5.33). Vedeṣu durlabham. If you want to understand the Absolute Truth by simply studying the Vedas, although the Vedas means vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ . . . (BG 15.15). Kṛṣṇa is to be understood. That is the Vedic object. But if you have no devotional feeling, then even if you go on reading Vedic literature for many millions of years, you'll not understand what is Kṛṣṇa. Vedaiś ca sarvaiḥ. Although it is the objective of Vedic study is to understand Kṛṣṇa, so vedeṣu durlabham adurlabham ātma-bhaktau, but if you go, if you go through the mercy of a devotee, ātma-bhaktau . . . or He is very easily available to the devotees. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ (BG 18.55).

If you simply speculate, He'll remain dūre. Dūrastham antike ca. But if you surrender as Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja . . . (BG 18.66). Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65). Simply by this process. He confirms it, that "Anyone who has taken this process . . ." Janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ. So simply by this process, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya (BG 4.9). These are things in the Bhagavad-gītā, plainly said.

Unfortunately, we do not read it, or even if we read it, we misinterpret it, or somebody mislead me. So-called scholars and so-called rascals mislead us, and we remain in the darkness. So try to understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is, and your life will be successful. Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotees: Jaya . . . (end)