730820 - Lecture BG 02.14 - London
(Redirected from Lecture on BG 2.14 -- London, August 20, 1973)
Pradyumna: Translation: "O son of Kuntī, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed." (BG 2.14)
Prabhupāda: This is very important verse. In the previous verse it has been described, dehino 'smin yathā dehe (BG 2.13). Actually, we living entities, we are within the body. The bodily pains and pleasure are not the pains and pleasure of the soul within. It is simply abhiniveśa. It is called abhiniveśa, absorption or misidentify. The example I have given many times, just like you are sitting in a nice motorcar; another man is sitting on a rickshaw. I have seen in India.
So the rickshaw has come in front of the nice motorcar, and the driver is asking that man who is drawing the rickshaw, "You rickshaw!" Means he is thinking he is sitting in a nice motorcar, so he has become a motor, and the man who is drawing the rickshaw, he has become rickshaw. This is the position. Actually, the man who is drawing that rickshaw, he is also human being.
And the man who is sitting in a nice Rolls-Royce car, he is also human being. But the rascal, because he is sitting on a Rolls-Royce car, he is thinking, "I am a Rolls-Royce and he is rickshaw." This is material conception of life, that according to the body, we are becoming designated, not as the soul. Just try to understand this very good example. Because that poor fellow is drawing rickshaw, he has been taken as rickshaw. And because I am sitting in a Rolls-Royce car, I am thinking, "I am Rolls-Royce."
So this bodily conception of life, when we get out of it, that is real knowledge, paṇḍita. Paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ.
- brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
- śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
- paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ
- (BG 5.18)
Paṇḍita means those who are learned. Learned means brāhmaṇa, not śūdra. Śūdras, they are not learned. Mlecchas, yavanas, śūdras, kirāta-hūṇāndhra-pulinda-pulkaśā ābhīra (SB 2.4.18), so many. Learned means brāhmaṇa. Learned means that one who knows that Brahman, Brahman, the spirit soul, is part and parcel of the Supreme Brahman. So one who has come to that knowledge, that "I am not this body; I am spirit soul, ahaṁ brahmāsmi," that is knowledge. Knowledge begins from there. If one does not reach to that point, ahaṁ brahmāsmi, then he is animal.
The animal thinking like that, "I am rickshaw," "I am motorcar," "I am cat," "I am dog," "I am this," "I am that." That is animal thinking. But a person . . . learned thinking is that, "I am not this body; I am part and parcel of the Supreme Brahman, ahaṁ brahmāsmi." And when you are farther advanced from Brahman knowledge . . . the knowledge begins from there. When you make further advancement, then you can understand that "I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa." This is perfect knowledge.
First of all knowledge begins that "I am not this body."
- tat-paratvena nirmalam
- hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-
- sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate
- (CC Madhya 19.170)
So long we have got this bodily concept of life—"I am-Rolls Royce car," "I am rickshaw," "I am American," "I am Englishman," "I am this," "I am that"—so long we are in ignorance. The same example: The man is not rickshaw, I am not motorcar, but I am thinking like that. I am asking that poor fellow, rickshaw-wala, scornfully, because I am sitting in a very nice car. This is going on. But when you become learned, then paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18). Sama-darśinaḥ means one who is learned, he knows that "Although he is pulling rickshaw, poor man, he is also a human being, and I am, although sitting in a very nice, costly Rolls-Royce, I am also human being. As human being, we are the same."
So dehino 'smin yathā dehe (BG 2.13). All of us, the living entity, soul, is within this body, not this body I am. So one who has realized this thing that, "I am not this body, I am spirit soul, and living by nature's arrangement, I have been allowed to live in such-and-such body," then he is learned. That is the beginning. So Kṛṣṇa, from the previous verse . . . that is actual spiritual education. In the world, these rascals are going on, spiritualists. They do not know the very first thing of spiritual knowledge, that "I am not this body." They are doing so many sinful acts on account of this body; still, they are going as religious or spiritualist. Nobody is spiritualist unless one understands his spiritual identification, neither one is religious.
Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā the last word is sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66), because you rascal fools, you have created so many religious system simply on the differences of body. That is not religion. Real religion is that "I am the Supreme Soul, Parambrahma, Kṛṣṇa. And you are My part and parcel. So we have intimate relation, like father and son. So it is the son's duty to obey the father. That is perfection of life." That's all. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja. You have created so many religious system on the bodily concept of life—bodily concept of life so strong that even big, big learned so-called religionists, they say that the animal has no soul. The bodily concept of . . .
Because a human body is very much advanced, has got the power to kill animals, therefore they are speaking this nonsense that the animal has no soul. Why the animal has no soul? What is the symptom of possessing soul? I am spirit soul; I am within this body. Everyone can understand. Understand or no understand, if I am a human being, if I have got my soul, why this poor animal has no soul? Why, where is the difference, that you say that the animal has no soul? Where is the difference? Let us analyze. Soul . . . the, I mean to say, existence of the soul within the body, how we can understand? That is very easy. Because yena sarvam idam . . . everything is described in the Bhagavad-gītā. Yena sarvam idaṁ tatam (BG 2.17): The soul is existing, spreading its influence all over the body, just like the sun is existing, spreading the sunshine all over the universe. Similarly, God is existing, spreading His consciousness all over the universe, all over the creation.
Therefore He knows everything. Similarly, I am also part and parcel of God. I am also soul, like the sun. My shining, my consciousness, is spread all over the body. Yena sarvam idaṁ tatam. Avināśi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idam. These things, ślokas, will come. "That thing which is spreading all over the body, that is avināśi; that is eternal." Antavanta ime dehāḥ: "But this body is antavat; it is perishable. But within the body, the soul, which is spreading its consciousness all over the body, that is eternal." We shall come to that verse later on. Avināśi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idaṁ tatam.
Therefore the proof of the soul existing is that the consciousness is spread all over my body. As soon as I pinch any part of my body, I feel pain. Therefore I understand a soul is there. Just like a man who is going to die. So doctor is examining. He sees the pulse. He sees the heart—"Yes, it is beating." That is the sign that still the man is living. Similarly, the soul is there. The proof is that I can feel pains and pleasure on my body. That is explained in this verse, mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya (BG 2.14). Actually the body in touch with the consciousness feeling pains and pleasure. Otherwise body, what is this body? It is a lump of matter. It is a lump of matter—earth, water, fire, air, material combination of matter. Just like you make one doll, combination of matter, earth, water, fire . . . or no fire. Yes, still there is fire, because you dry it in the sunshine; therefore there is fire. Earth, water, fire, and there is air, there is sky—but there is no soul. That is the difference. You can prepare a doll with earth, water, air, fire, all these things, material elements. But you cannot give the soul. That is not possible. That is possible only by Kṛṣṇa. Ahaṁ garbhaṁ dadāmy aham.
Just like man and woman. Actually the woman is giving the ingredients of developing body of the child. But when it is possible? When the man gives the seed. Otherwise a woman could produce a child without the aid of a man. No, that is not possible. When the seed . . . with the seed the soul comes, and when the soul is situated in the womb of the woman, the woman can assist by supplying the ingredients to develop the body. Janmanā . . . karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa jantur deha upapattaye (SB 3.31.1). So by nature's process, when one gives up this material body, the subtle body is there: mind, intelligence and ego. The subtle body carries the soul, and it is just . . . now, this soul, where it will go? Then the whole calculation is taken: what is his asset and liabilities of the life, daiva-netreṇa, by superior judgment.
Just like a man in an office, in a business concern, when increment is given or promotion is given, the whole assets and liabilities are taken. Anywhere. Anywhere, a man is promoted or degraded when all the liabilities and assets are taken and judged, "Yes, this man has done nice, so give him promotion." And if he has not done nice, "Degrade him" or "Don't give him promotion." Similarly, we are getting different types of body according to our karma. karmaṇā . . . otherwise why all living entities are not of the same merit, same feature of the body, same position, same edu . . .?
Why there are differences? This is common sense. So varieties of body, varieties of position, is due . . . just like the same example: The poor man has got only rickshaw, and the rich man has got a Rolls-Royce car because he has paid more. Similarly, if your work is nice, then you are promoted, promoted to higher standard of life, just like in the heaven—ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ—or in the Brahmaloka. But your . . . if your work is sinful and abominable, then you are degraded to cats and dogs. Ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthāḥ (BG 14.18).
Those who are advanced end this. Because here everything is quality. Everything. You go to purchase anything in the market, you will see the quality—first quality, second quality, third quality. Similarly, all living entities, all souls, they have got qualitative body. Qualitative body. So the first quality body you can get in the higher planetary system. The second quality of body means you have to remain in the middle planetary system. And the third quality body, you go down. Or . . . "Go down" means you become animals, trees, insects, birds, beasts, like that. This is going on.
So mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ (BG 2.14). So that, according to the body, you get pains and pleasure of this material world. A very rich man, living very comfortably, a little painful thing is intolerable by him, because he has got a such body, so delicate body. Just like a child: because he has got delicate body, little pinching makes him crying, uncomfortable. So it is all due to this body. But the soul is different from the body. So Kṛṣṇa is trying to convince Arjuna that "Why you are hesitating to fight? Do your duty. Your so-called grandfather or so-called guru, as you say, your teacher, they are not this body. So in this fight, if your grandfather or teacher is killed, why you are lamenting? They are eternal." That is also explained that, "They were existing in the past, they are existing at present, and they will continue to exist. Simply the body will change. So why you are lamenting? Rather, it is a great facility that your grandfather has got now old body, he is not very comfortable, but he will get next life a very new body. So it is good for him if you kill him."
Of course, that is not the point. (laughter) You cannot kill without any reason. That is not point. But here, "It is fight. It is duty. They have come to kill you." And the kṣatriyas, when their determination is, when they go to fight, either to own victory or die, not returning back, sir. No. If a kṣatriya is hurt on the back side, he is degraded. He must be hurt on the chest, front side. That is kṣatriya. That means he has fought nicely. There is injury on the chest, not in the back side. Back side injury means he was fleeing. So kṣatriya's determination is, either you own the battle or die in the battle. That will be explained. "If you own the battle, then enjoy. You have got the kingdom. But if you die in the battle, you go to the heaven. Because you have fought for the right cause, you will go to the heaven."
So killing, killing is very bad, but killing for the sake of right cause of fighting or killing in the sacrifice, they are not sinful. Sometimes in the Vedas killing is recommended, just like in the fight or in the sacrifice, but that is not sinful. Sometimes a brāhmaṇa is sacrificing, offering, performing great sacrifice, and the animal is put into the fire just to give him renovated, new life; not for killing, just to test how Vedic mantras are being properly pronounced. That will be the test. When sacrifice is done, the fire is there, and old animal is put into the sacrifice, and he comes out with a new body. That means the Vedic mantras are being pronounced very properly, and it is being carried out. This is the experiment, not for killing. Although in the Vedas there are recommendation that paśu-vadha system . . . just like in the modern age also, when some experiment is made, it is made on the life of the animal. But they are killed. But when there is recommendation of putting an animal in the fire, that is not for killing—that is to see that this animal has got a new body.
So on the whole one has to understand that this . . . we are not this body, "I am not this body." And if we feel bodily pains and pleasure, that is bodily pains and pleasure; that is not the pleasure and pains of the soul. The soul pains and pleasure is being put into different body. And out of ignorance, because he is identifying, out of ignorance that, "I am this body," therefore soul is in pains and pleasure. Otherwise the soul has no pains and pleasure. Asaṅgo 'yaṁ puruṣaḥ. In the Vedas it is said that "The soul has nothing to do with this body." Asaṅga. Asaṅga means "without any touch." But out of ignorance he is thinking . . .
The same example: out of ignorance, the rascal is thinking that he has become Rolls-Royce, and if the Rolls-Royce is broken by some accident, he becomes overwhelmed: "Oh, I am lost." Where you are lost? Your car is lost. This is going on. The car is lost. Therefore, when one becomes brahma-bhūta (SB 4.30.20), actually realized—self-realization, that is called—na śocati na kāṅkṣati (BG 18.54): there is no more lamenting, no more hankering. "Because I am not this body, why I shall hanker after this bodily comfort? Whatever Kṛṣṇa has given, that's all right." But they are absorbed in the bodily concept, therefore they are simply seeking bodily and sensuous enjoyment. That's all.
This is material world, all fools and rascals. All materialists are fools and rascals, mūḍha. They are called mūḍha. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ (BG 7.15). Because they are fools and rascals, they are committing sinful life, becoming entangled in the transmigration of the soul in different types of bodies, and perpetually suffering. Because as soon as you get this body, you'll suffer, either white body or black body or yellow body, it doesn't matter. Either man's body or animal's body, as soon as you get this body, you must suffer. This is the punishment of nature. You must suffer. A king cannot say that "Because I have got this queen's body, king's body, there is no suffering." This is nonsense. You have to suffer. Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9). At least these sufferings must be there: the sufferings of birth, sufferings of death, sufferings of disease and sufferings of old age. There must be. Either you become king or you become a dog or you become a cat, it doesn't matter—even if you become Brahmā. Ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino 'rjuna (BG 8.16). This is the philosophy.
Therefore the problem is how to get out of this bodily entanglement. I am spirit soul. Somehow or other, I have fallen in this entanglement of bodily transformation. Then, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says, anādi karama-phale, pori' bhavārṇava-jale, toribāre nā dekhi upāy (Anādi Karama Phale): "Somehow or other I have fallen in this ocean of birth and death. I do not know how to get out of it." Just like if you are thrown into the ocean, however expert swimmer you may be, that is not your comfortable life. You have to swim all along, otherwise immediately drown. Similarly, as soon as you get yourself in this material world, you have to struggle for existence. You have to. If you want to stop this struggle for existence, then you must get out of this material existence. That is the problem of life. Anādi karama-phale, pori' bhavārṇava-jale, toribāre nā dekhi upāy.
Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu teaches us, ayi nanda-tanuja patitaṁ kiṅkaraṁ māṁ viṣame bhavāmbudhau (CC Antya 20.32, Śikṣāṣṭaka 5): "My dear Lord, Nanda-tanuja, son of Nanda Mahārāja, Kṛṣṇa, I am Your eternal servant. Somehow or other, I am now fallen in this material ocean." Ayi nanda-tanuja patitaṁ kiṅkaraṁ māṁ viṣame bhavāmbudhau. Viṣame: "Very ferocious danger, ocean of this material existence, I am fallen. Although I am Your servant, some way or other I have forgot. I have fallen down." Then, ayi nanda-tanuja patitaṁ kiṅkaraṁ māṁ viṣame bhava, kṛpayā: "Now I am seeking Your mercy." Kṛpayā tava pāda-paṅkaja-sthita-dhūlī-sadṛśaṁ vicintaya: "Now take me again. Pick me, and make me the one particle of dust of Your lotus feet." This should be our prayer, no other prayer. No other prayer. Caitanya Mahāprabhu does not teach any other. Na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ kavitāṁ vā jagad-īśa kāmaye (CC Antya 20.29, Śikṣāṣṭaka 4).
People generally pray for material benefits, "O God, give us our daily bread. Give me nice position. Give me nice wife. Give me nice following or this or victory," so on, so on, so on, simply for material existence. My Guru Mahārāja used to say that if we pray to God for all these nonsense things, it is just like a man goes to a king and the king says: "Whatever you want you can ask from me," and if the man says: "Kindly give me a pinch of ashes." It is like that. If we ask from God for some material benefit, it means that I am asking from a king a pinch of ash. When king says that, "You ask whatever you want," he can say: "So give me half the kingdom."
That should be the prayer. And why a pinch of ash? Similarly, it is our foolishness when we ask for bread, "O God, give us our daily bread." That means I am asking; the bread is already there. Why for you? For everyone, for all living entities, the bread is already there given by God. Eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān. The elephant is not going to the church for praying, "Give me food." He is supplied in the jungle, food. A tiger is supplied food. Even ant is supplied food within the hole. Who is going to supply food there? How they are eating? How they are living? How they are begetting children? The same thing is there. Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithuna—everything is there in the ant, in the elephant. Who is supplying their necessities?
So this is not the problem, these rascals. They are simply perplexed with this problem, how to eat, how to sleep, how to defend. This is already fixed up according to your karma. You simply try—save your time—how to advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is your own business. Otherwise you are spoiled. And so far these things are concerned, that how to eat, how to sleep, how to have sex life and how to defend, this is already arranged. You cannot make betterment in this way. That is already fixed up. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ (BG 3.27). According to your lot, according to your karma, you have been fixed up that, "You shall eat like this, you shall sleep like this, you'll have sex life like this, and you will be able to defend like this, not more than that." That is not possible. That is called destiny. So by destiny this is already fixed up. Don't spoil your life for these things. But people are anxious for these things. This is called ignorance.
Therefore the śāstra says, tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovidaḥ. You are transmigrating from so many bodies, this body to that body. Now you have got the chance, human body. Now you can read Bhagavad-gītā. Now you can learn from Kṛṣṇa what is the problem of life. Utilize for that purpose. Don't be perplexed with this problem of this body. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ (BG 2.14). You should know . . . just like the summer season comes. You should know, "It has come; it will go away. The winter season has come. It has come; it will go away." So just to try to protect yourself as far as possible, but you are not affected by such summer season or winter season.
You should not be affected. Just like in India the temperature is sometimes 120 during summer season. Does it mean people will stop all their work? Or in your country, in the Western country, the winter is so strong that sometimes below zero, 30 degree. Does it mean that all of his work, everything, will be stopped? No. You have to do your duty. Similarly, although Arjuna is advised, "Although you are feeling little pains that you have to kill your own men, so that is coming and going. You have to do your duty, because it is real fight. This fight is under My guidance. You must fight. That is your duty. Don't be bothered of this mātrā-sparśāḥ." Mātrā means the skin, touch.
But people are after the skin disease. Just like sex life. What is the sex life? This is also another skin disease, itching of the skin, and you satisfy by rubbing it. That's all. Therefore in the śāstra it is advised, viṣaheta dhīraḥ. Yan maithunādi-gṛhamedhi-sukhaṁ hi tuccham (SB 7.9.45). Gṛhamedhi. These rascals who are very much attached to so-called family life, gṛhamedhi . . . Gṛhastha is different. Gṛhastha means he knows everything, but he is not so advanced, but he wants to live with wife and children, but for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is gṛhastha. And those who are not Kṛṣṇa conscious, simply living like animal and has got children and wife, they are animals; they are gṛhamedhi.
The gṛhastha means he is making the best use of a bad bargain. And the gṛhamedhi means he is animal. Therefore this is spoken about the gṛhamedhi. Mostly people now, they are showing that "I am very beautiful man," showing family, but he is called gṛhamedhi. So what is the happiness of the gṛhamedhi? Yan maithunādi, that sex pleasure, that's all. Otherwise they have no other happiness, working day and night like ass. The only hope is, at night they will enjoy sex. That's all. Yan maithunādi-gṛhamedhi. What is that sex? That itching. Mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ (BG 2.14). That itching sensation.
Therefore śāstra says that "Tolerate that itching. Don't be implicated with this repetition of birth and death." First thing, brahmacārī—"Tolerate this itching. You'll avoid so much displeasure, so much unhappiness of life. Be careful." That is brahmacārī life. Mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya. It is simply itching, satisfying the itching sensation, little happiness. What is that happiness? Just like there is itching in your body. If you itch it, you feel some pleasure. It is like that.
So viṣaheta dhīraḥ. Dhīra, one who is sober, one is advanced, he will little tolerate that itching sensation and be happy. Because this is not my necessity. This is only of the skin. This is my skin disease. Now I am not the skin. I am soul. My duty is how to serve Kṛṣṇa.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Devotees: Jaya . . . (end)