BG 9 (1968)
THE MOST CONFIDENTIAL KNOWLEDGE
1: THE SUPREME LORD SAID, Because you are never envious of Me, O Arjuna, I shall give you this most secret wisdom, knowing which you will be relieved from the miseries of material existence.
AS A DEVOTEE hears more and more about the Supreme Lord, he becomes enlightened. This hearing process is recommended in The Srimad Bhagwatam: "The messages of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are full of potencies, and these potencies can be realized if topics regarding the Supreme Godhead are discussed amongst devotees. This cannot be achieved by the association of mental speculators or academic scholars; it is realized knowledge." The Lord understands the mentality and sincerity of a particular living entity who is engaged in Krishna consciousness, and He gives him the intelligence to understand the Science of Krishna in the association of the devotee. Discussion of Krishna is very potent, and if a fortunate person has such association and tries to assimilate the knowledge, then he will surely make advancement toward spiritual realization. Lord Krishna, in order to encourage Arjuna to be elevated higher and higher in His potent service, is describing in this Ninth Chapter things more confidential than He has already disclosed.
2: This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and joyfully performed.
3: Those who are not faithful on the path of devotional service, O Killer of the enemies, cannot achieve Me. Therefore, they come back to birth and death in this material world.
4: In My transcendental Form I pervade all this creation. All things are resting in Me, but I am not in them.
THE SUPREME PERSONALITY of Godhead is not perceivable through the gross material senses. It is said that Lord Sri Krishna's Name, Fame, and Pastimes cannot be understood by the material senses. Only to one who is engaged in pure devotional service under proper guidance is He revealed. In The Brahma Samhita it is stated that one can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, always within himself and outside, if one has developed the transcendental loving attitude toward Him. Therefore, for people in general, He is not visible. Here it is said that although He is all-pervading, everywhere present, still He is not conceivable to our material senses. But actually, although we cannot see Him, everything is resting in Him. As we have discussed in the Seventh Chapter, the whole material cosmic manifestation is only a combination of His two different types of energies: the superior, or spiritual energy, and the inferior, material energy.
Now, one should not have concluded that, because He is spread all over, the Lord has therefore lost His Personal existence. To refute such arguments by those with a poor fund of knowledge, the Lord says, "I am everywhere, and everything is in Me, but still I am aloof." A crude example can be given in this manner: A king has his government. His government is the manifestation of the king's energy; the different departments are nothing but the energies of the king, and each department is resting on the king's power. But still, one cannot expect the king to be present in every department personally. That is a crude example. Similarly, all the manifestations that we see, and everything that exists in both this material world and in the spiritual world, is resting on the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The creation takes place by the diffusion of His different energies; and, as is stated in The Bhagavad Gita, He is everywhere present by His Personal representation, this diffusion of energies.
5: Again, everything that is created does not rest on Me. Behold My mystic opulence: Although I am the Maintainer of all living entities, and although I am everywhere, still My Self is the very Source of creation.
6: As in the great sky the air is blowing everywhere, so all cosmic manifestation is situated in Me.
FOR THE ORDINARY person it is almost inconceivable how everything is resting in Him, these huge affairs of the material manifestation. But the Lord is giving an example which may help us to understand how these things are going on. The similarity is with the sky: The sky (space) is the biggest manifestation conceivable by us; and in that sky the air is the biggest manifestation of the cosmic world. So, although the greatess of the air is there, still it is situated within space. It is not beyond the sky. Similarly, all the manifold manifestations of wonderful things are going on by the simple Supreme Will of God, and all of them are subordinate to that Supreme Will. By His Will everything is being created, everything is being maintained, and everything is being annihilated. Still, He is aloof from everything, as the sky is always aloof from the activities of the great air. In the Upanishads it is stated, "It is out of the fear of the Supreme Lord that the air is blowing." In The Garga Upanishad also it is stated that "By the Supreme Order, under the superintendence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the moon, the sun, and other big planets are moving." In The Brahma Samhita also this is stated. There is a description of the movement of the sun, and it is said that the sun is considered to be one of the eyes of the Supreme Lord; and that it has immense potency to diffuse heat and light. Still, it is moving in its prescribed orbit by the order, by the Supreme Will, of Govinda. So, from the Vedic literature we can find evidence that, although this material manifestation appears to us very wonderful and great, still it is under the complete control of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as will be explained in the later verses of this chapter.
7: O son of Kunti, at the end of the millennium every material manifestation enters unto My nature, and at the beginning of another millennium, by My potency I again create.
AT THE END of the millennium means at the death of Brahma. Brahma lives for 100 years, and his one day is calculated at 4,300,000,000 of our earthly years. His night is of the same duration. His month consists of 30 such days and nights, and his year of 12 such months. After 100 such years, when Brahma dies, the devastation or annihilation takes place; which means that the energy manifested by the Supreme Lord is again wound up in Himself. Then again, when there is a necessity to manifest the cosmic world, by His simple Will: "Although I am one, I shall become many." This is the Vedic aphorism. He expands Himself in this material energy, and the whole cosmic manifestation again takes place.
8: The whole cosmic order is under Me. By My Will is it manifested again and again, and by My Will is it annihilated at the end.
9: O Dhananjaya, all this work cannot bind Me. I am ever detached, seated as though neutral.
ONE SHOULD NOT THINK, in this connection, that the Supreme Personality of Godhead has no engagement. In His spiritual world He is always engaged. In The Brahma Samhita it is stated: "He is always involved in His eternal, blissful, spiritual activities; but He has nothing to do with these material activities." Material activities are being carried on by His different potencies. The Lord is always neutral in the material activities of the created world. This neutrality is explained here: Although He has control over every minute detail of matter, He is sitting as if neutral. The example can be given of a high court judge sitting on his bench. By his order so many things are happening: somebody is being hanged, somebody is being put into jail, somebody is awarded a huge amount of wealth; but he is neutral. He has nothing to do with all that gain and loss. Similarly, the Lord is always neutral, although He has His hand in every sphere of activity. In The Vedanta Sutra there is a code which says that He is not situated in the differential treatment of this material world. He is transcendental to this differential treatment; neither is He attached to the creation and annihilation of this world. The living entities take their different forms as species of life according to their past deeds, and the Lord doesn't interfere with that.
10: This material Nature is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, producing all the moving and unmoving beings; and by its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.
11: The foolish mock at Me, at My descending like a human being. They do not know My transcendental Nature, and My Supreme dominion over all that be.
12: Those who are thus bewildered are attracted by demonic and atheistic views. In that deluded condition, their hopes for liberation, their fruitive activities, and their culture of knowledge are all defeated.
13: O son of Pritha, those who are not deluded, the Great Souls, are under the protection of the Divine Nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible.
14: They are always engaged in chanting My glories. Endeavoring with great determination, offering homage unto Me, they worship Me with devotion.
THE MAHATMA, or Great Soul, cannot be manufactured by rubber-stamping an ordinary man. His symptoms are described here: A Mahatma is always engaged in chanting the glories of the Supreme Lord Krishna, the Personality of Godhead. He has no other business. When the question of glorification is there, that means one has to glorify the Supreme Lord, praising His Holy Name, His Eternal Form, His Transcendental Qualities, His Uncommon Pastimes. One has to describe all these things. One who is attached to the impersonal Feature of the Supreme Lord, the Brahmajyoti, is not described as Mahatma in The Bhagavad Gita. He is described in a different way, as will appear in the next verse.
15: Others, who are engaged in the cultivation of knowledge, worship the Supreme Lord as the One without a second, diverse in many; and in the Universal Form.
16: But it is I Who am the ritual, I the sacrifice, the offering to the ancestors, the healing herb, the transcendental chant; I am the butter and the fire and the offering;
17: I am the father, mother, maintainer, and grandfather of all this universe. I am what is to be known, I am purity and I am the syllable Om. I am the Rik, Sama, and Yajur [Vedas];
18: the goal, the upholder, the master; witness, home, shelter, and the most dear friend. I am the creation and the annihilation, the basis of everything, the resting place and the eternal seed.
19: O Arjuna, I control heat, the rain, and the drought. I am immortality and I am Death personified; both being and non-being are in Me.
20: Those who study the Vedas and drink the some juice worship Me indirectly, seeking the heavenly planets. They take birth on the Indraloka where they enjoy godly delights.
21: When they have thus enjoyed heavenly sense pleasure, they return to this mortal planet again. Thus, through the Vedic principles, they achieve only flickering happiness.
22: But those who devote themselves steadfastly to Me, meditating on My transcendental Form, receive all bounties and securities from Me.
23: Whatever a man may sacrifice to other gods, O son of Kunti, is really meant for Me alone, offered without true understanding.
24: For I am the only Enjoyer and the only object of sacrifice. They fall down who do not recognize My true transcendental Nature.
25: Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings, and those who worship Me will live with Me.
26: If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit, or water, I will accept it.
FOR THE INTELLIGENT PERSON, it is essential to be in Krishna consciousness, engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, in order to achieve a permanent blissful abode for eternal happiness. The process of achieving such a marvelous result is very easy, and can be attempted even by the poorest of the poor without any kind of qualification. The only qualification required in this connection is to be a pure devotee of the Lord, and it does not matter what one is, or where one is situated. The process is so easy that even a leaf or a little water or fruit can be offered to the Supreme Lord—in genuine love—and the Lord will be pleased to accept. Nobody, therefore, can be barred from Krishna consciousness, because it is so easy and universal. Who is such a fool that he does not want to be Krishna conscious by this simple method, and then attain the highest perfectional life of eternity, bliss, and knowledge? Krishna wants only loving service and nothing more. Krishna accepts even a little flower from his pure devotee. He does not want any kind of offering from a nondevotee. He is not in need of anything from anyone, because He is Self-sufficient; and yet He accepts the offering of His devotee, in an exchange of love and affection. To develop Krishna consciousness is the highest perfection of life. Bhakti is mentioned twice in this verse in order to declare more emphatically that Bhakti, or devotional service, is the only means to approach Krishna. No other condition—to become a Brahmin, to become a learned scholar, to become a very rich man or a great philosopher—can induce Krishna to accept some offering. Without the basic principle of Bhakti nothing can induce the Lord to agree to accept anything from anyone. Bhakti is never casual. The process is eternal before and after, and is the direct action in service of the Absolute Whole.
Here Lord Krishna, having established that He is the only Enjoyer, the Primeval Lord, and the real object of all sacrificial offerings, reveals what types of sacrifices he desires. If one wishes to engage in devotional service to the Supreme, in order to be purified and to reach the goal of life—the transcendental loving service of God—then he should find out what the Lord desires of him. One who loves Krishna will give him whatever He wants; but he should avoid offering anything which is undesirable or unasked for. Thus, meat, fish, and eggs should not be offered to Krishna. If he desired such things as an offering, the Lord would have said so; but instead He clearly requests that a leaf, fruit, flowers, and water be given to Him. And He says of this offering, "I will accept it." Therefore, we should understand that He will not accept meat, fish, and eggs. Vegetables, grains, fruits, milk, and water are the proper foods for human beings, as is here prescribed by Lord Krishna Himself. Whatever else we may eat cannot be offered to Him, since He will not accept it; and thus we cannot be acting on the level of loving devotion if we offer such foods. In the Third Chapter, verse thirteen, Sri Krishna explains that only the remains of sacrifice are purified and fit for consumption by those who are seeking advancement in life and release from the clutches of the material entanglement. Those who do not make an offering of their foodstuffs, in the same verse, are said to be eating only sin. In other words, their every mouthful is simply deepening their involvement in the complexities of material Nature. But to prepare nice, simple vegetable dishes and to offer them before the picture or deity of Lord Krishna, bowing down and praying for Him to accept such a humble offering, is to advance steadily in life, to purify the body, and to create fine brain tissues which will lead to clear thinking. Above all, the offering should be made with an attitude of love. Krishna has no need of food, since He already possesses everything that is, but still He will accept the offering of one who desires to please Him in that way. So the important element, in preparation, in serving, and in offering, is to act with love for Krishna.
The impersonalist philosophers, who wish to maintain that the Absolute Truth is without senses, cannot comprehend this verse of The Bhagavad Gita. To them, it is either a metaphor, or else it is proof of the mundane character of Krishna, the Speaker of The Gita. But, in actuality, Krishna, the Supreme Godhead, has senses; and it is stated that His senses are interchangeable; in other words, one sense can perform the function of any other. This is what it means to say that Krishna is Absolute. Lacking senses, He could hardly be considered full in all opulences. In the Tenth Chapter, Krishna will explain that He impregnates the living entities into the material Nature by His glance. And so in this instance, Krishna's hearing the devotee's words of love in offering foodstuffs is wholly identical with His eating and actually tasting. This point should be emphasized: Because of His absolute position, this hearing is wholly identical with eating and tasting. Only the devotee, who accepts Krishna as He describes Himself to be, without personal interpolations, can understand that the Supreme Absolute Truth can eat food and enjoy it.
27: O son of Kunti, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me.
28: Thus you will be freed of all reactions to good and evil deeds; and by this principle of renunciation you will be liberated, and come to Me.
29: No one is envied by Me, neither am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all; yet whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me; and I am a Friend to him.
ONE MAY QUESTION here that, if Krishna is equal to everyone and nobody is His special friend, then why does He take special interest in the devotees who are always engaged in His transcendental service? But this is not discrimination; it is natural. Any man in this material world may be very charitably disposed; but still he has a special interest in his own children. The Lord claims every living entity—in whatever form—as His son; and as such He provides everyone with a generous supply of the necessities of life. He is just like a cloud which pours rain all over, never minding whether it is rock or land or water. But for the devotees of the Lord He has specific attention. Such devotees are mentioned here: They are always in Krishna consciousness, and therefore they are always transcendentally situated in Krishna. The very phrase, Krishna consciousness, suggests that one is a living transcendentalist, situated in Him. And the Lord is also in them. This is reciprocal, this is the nice explanation of the words: Anyone who surrenders unto Me, proportionately do I take care of him. This transcendental reciprocation exists because both the Lord and the devotee are conscious.
30: One who is engaged in devotional service, despite the most abominable action, is to be considered saintly because he is rightly situated.
IN THE SRIMAD BHAGWATAM it is stated that, if a person falls down, but is wholeheartedly engaged in the transcendental service of the Supreme Lord, the Lord, being situated within his heart, purifies him and he is excused from that abomination. The material contamination is so strong that even a yogi fully engaged in the service of the Lord is sometimes ensnared; but Krishna consciousness is so strong that such an occasional fall-down is at once rectified.
31: Very shortly does he become righteous, and attain to lasting peace. O son of Kunti, it is My promise that My devotee will never perish.
32: O son of Pritha, anyone who will take shelter in Me, whether a woman, or a merchant, or born in a low family, can yet approach the Supreme Destination.
33: How much greater then are the Brahmins, the righteous, the devotees, and saintly kings! In this miserable world, these are fixed in devotional service to the Lord.
34: Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, engage your body in My service; and surrender unto Me. Completely absorbed in Me, surely will you come to Me.
IN THIS VERSE it is clearly indicated that Krishna consciousness is the only means of being delivered from the clutches of the contamination of this material world. Sometimes, unscrupulous commentators eschew the meaning of what is clearly stated here: that all devotional service should be offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. Unfortunately, unscrupulous commentators divert the mind of the reader to some other thing which is not at all feasible. Such commentators do not know that there is no difference between Krishna's Mind and Krishna. Krishna is not an ordinary human being; He is Absolute Truth. His Body, Mind, and He Himself are One and Absolute. But, because they do not know this Science of Krishna, they hide Krishna and divide His Personality from His mind, or from His body. This is sheer ignorance of the Science of Krishna; but some men make a profit out of misleading the people. There are some who are demonic; they also think of Krishna—but enviously; just as King Kamsa, Krishna's uncle, did. He was also thinking of Krishna always, because he thought of Krishna as his enemy. He was ever in anxiety as to when Krishna would come and kill him. That kind of thinking will not help us. One should be thinking of Krishna in devotional love. That is Bhakti. One should cultivate the knowledge of Krishna continually. The favorable cultivation is to learn from a bona fide teacher. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and we have several times explained that His body is not material, but is eternal, blissful knowledge. This kind of talk about Krishna will help one to become a devotee.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the Ninth Chapter of The Srimad Bhagavad Gita, in the matter of the Most Confidential Knowledge.