Go to Vaniquotes | Go to Vanipedia | Go to Vanimedia

Vanisource - the complete essence of Vedic knowledge

730807 - Lecture BG 02.07 - London

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

730807BG-LONDON - August 07, 1973 - 39:26 Minutes

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

pṛcchāmi tvam dharma-sammūḍha-cetāḥ
yac chreyaḥ syān niścitaṁ brūhi tan me
śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ tvāṁ prapannam
(BG 2.7)


Translation: "Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of weakness. In this condition, I am asking You to tell me clearly what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me."

Prabhupāda: Hmm. This is very important verse in Bhagavad-gītā. It is a turning point of life. Kārpaṇya-doṣa. Miserly. Doṣa means fault When one does not act according to his position, that is fault, and that is called miserly. So everyone has got his natural propensities, svabhāva. Yasya hi svabhāvasya tasyāso duratikramaḥ. Svabhāva, natural propensities. It is a common example, it is given, that yasya hi yaḥ svabhāvasya tasyāso duratikramaḥ. One . . . habit is the second nature.

One who has, who is habituated, or one whose nature, characteristic in some way, it is very difficult to change. The example is given: śvā yadi kriyate rājā saḥ kiṁ na so uparhanam. If you make a dog a king, does it mean that he'll not lick up shoes? Yes, dog's nature is to lick up shoes. So even if you dress him like a king and let him sit down on a throne, still, as soon as he'll see one shoe, he'll jump over and lick it. This is called svabhāva. Kārpaṇya-doṣa.

So in the animal life it is not possible to change one's nature, which is given by the material energy, prakṛti. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni (BG 3.27). Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo 'sya . . . kāraṇaṁ guṇa-sangaḥ asya sad-asad-janma-yoniṣu (BG 13.22). Why? All living entities are part and parcel of God. Therefore originally the characteristic of the living entity is as good as God. Simply it is a question of quantity. Quality is the same. Quality is the same. Mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ (BG 15.7).

The same example—if you take a drop of seawater, the quality, the chemical composition, is the same, but the quantity is different. It is a drop, and the sea is vast ocean. Similarly, we are exactly of the same quality as Kṛṣṇa. We can study. Why people say God is impersonal? If I am of the same quality, so God is also person, how He can be imperson? If qualitatively we are one, then as I feel individually, so why God should be refused individuality? This is another nonsense.

The impersonalist rascal, they cannot understand what is the nature of God. In the Bible also it is said: "Man is made after God." You can study God's quality by studying your quality, or anyone's quality. Simply the difference is the quantity's different. I have got some quality, some productive capacity. We also produce, every individual soul is producing something. But his production cannot be compared with the production of God. That is the difference. We are producing one flying machine. We are taking very much pride that, "Now we have discovered the sputnik. It is going to the moon planet." But that is not perfect. It is coming back. But God has produced so many flying planets, millions and trillions of planets, very heavy, heavy planets.

Just like this planet is carrying so many big, big mountains, sea, but still it is flying. It is floating in the air just like a cotton swab. This is God's power. Gām āviśya (BG 15.13). In the Bhagavad-gītā, you'll find: ahaṁ dhārayāmy ojasā. Who is sustaining all these big, big planets? We are explaining "gravity." And in the śāstra we find that it is being carried by Saṅkarṣaṇa.

So the quality is the same, but the quantity is different. So because the quality's same, so we have got all the propensities as God has, as Kṛṣṇa has. Kṛṣṇa has got loving propensities with His pleasure potency, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Similarly, because we are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, we have also got this loving propensity. So this is svabhava. But when we come in contact with this material nature . . . Kṛṣṇa does not come into the contact of the material nature. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa's name is Acyuta. He never falls down. But we are prone to fall down, to be under the . . . prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni. We are now under the influence of prakṛti.

Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ (BG 3.27). As soon as we fall down under the clutches of this prakṛti, material nature, which means . . . prakṛti's composed of three qualities: goodness, passion and ignorance. So we capture one of the quality. That is the cause, kāraṇaṁ, guṇa-sanga (BG 13.22). Guṇa-saṅga means associating with different quality, guna-saṅga, asya jīvasya, of the living entity. That is the cause. One can ask: "If the living entity is as good as God, why one living entity has become dog and one living entity has become god, demigod, Brahmā?" Now, the answer is kāraṇam. The reason is guṇa-saṅga asya. Asya jīvasya guṇa-saṅga: because he's associating with a particular guṇa: sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa.

So these things are described very vividly in Upaniṣad, how guṇa-sanga acts. Just like a fire; there are sparks. The . . . sometimes the sparks fall down from the fire. Now there are three condition of the fire spark falling down: If the spark falls down on dry grass, then it can immediately ignite the grass, the dry grass. If the spark falls down on ordinary grass, then it burns for some time, then again it becomes extinguished. But if the spark falls down on the water, immediately extinguished, the fiery quality. So those who are captured by the sattva-guṇa, sattva-guṇa, they are intelligent. They have got knowledge. Just like brāhmaṇa. And those who are captured by the rajo-guṇa, they are busy in material activities. And those who have captured tamo-guṇa, they are lazy and sleepy. That's all. These are the symptoms.

Tamo-guṇa means they're very lazy and sleepy. Rajo-guṇa means very active, but active like monkey. Just like monkey's very active, but they're all dangerous. As soon as the monkey . . . you'll never see inactive. Whenever it will sit down, it will make gat-ga-gat-gat. So these are activities, foolish activities. But when one is in goodness, he's sober. He can understand what is the value of life, how one should live, what is the aim of life, what is the goal of life. That goal of life is to understand Brahman. Brahma jānātīti brāhmaṇaḥ. Therefore the good quality means the brāhmaṇa. Similarly, kṣatriya.

So they are guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ. Guṇa. Guṇa has to be taken into account. Śrī Kṛṣṇa therefore said, catur vārṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). We have captured some kind of guṇa. It is very difficult. But we can immediately transcend all guṇas. Immediately. How? By bhakti yoga process. Sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate (BG 14.26). If you take the bhakti-yoga process, then you are no longer influenced by either of these three qualities, goodness, passion and ignorance. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: māṁ ca avyabhicāriṇī bhakti-yogena yaḥ sevate. Anyone who is engaged in the devotional service of Kṛṣṇa, avyabhicāriṇī, without any deviation—staunch, devout attention—such person, māṁ cāvyabhicāriṇī yogena . . . māṁ ca avyabhicāreṇa yogena bhajate māṁ sa guṇān samatītyaitān (BG 14.26), immediately he becomes transcendental to all the qualities.

So devotional service is not within these material qualities. They are transcendental. Bhakti is transcendental. Therefore, you cannot understand Kṛṣṇa, or God, without bhakti. Bhaktyā māṁ abhijānāti (BG 18.55). Only bhaktyā māṁ abhijānāti. Otherwise, it is not possible. Bhaktyā māṁ abhijānāti yāvan yas cāsmi tattvataḥ. Reality, in reality, if you want to understand what is God, then you have to adopt this bhakti process, devotional service. Then you transcend. Therefore, in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam Nārada says that tyaktvā sva-dharmaṁ caraṇāmbujaṁ harer (SB 1.5.17). If anyone, even by sentiment, gives such . . . gives up his occupational duty according to guṇa . . . that is called svadharma. Svadharma means one's duty according to the quality he has acquired. That is called svadharma. The brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, they are divided, guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13), by guṇa and karma.

So here Arjuna says that kārpaṇya-doṣopahataḥ-svabhāvaḥ (BG 2.7). "I am kṣatriya." He understands that, "I am doing wrong. I am refusing to fight. Therefore, it is kārpaṇya-doṣa, miserly." Miserly means I have got some means to spend, but if I don't spend, this is called miser. Kṛpaṇatā. So kṛpaṇatā. There are two classes of men: brāhmaṇa and śūdra. Brāhmaṇa and śūdra. Brāhmaṇa means he's not miser. He has got the opportunity, great asset of this human form of body, many millions of dollars' worth, this human . . . but he's not using it properly, simply seeing it: "How beautiful I am." That's all. Just spend your beauty or utilize your asset, the human . . . that is brāhmaṇa, to be liberal. And the . . . etad viditvā prayāti sa brāhmaṇaḥ (Gargopaniṣad). One who knows . . .

Therefore Prahlāda Mahārāja says, durlabhaṁ manuṣyaṁ janma adhruvam arthadam (SB 7.6.1). He was preaching amongst his class friends. He was born in a demonic family, Hiraṇyakaśipu. And his class friends, also, of the same category. So Prahlāda Mahārāja was advising them, "My dear brothers, let us cultivate Kṛṣṇa consciousness." So other boys, what do they know about Kṛṣṇa conscious . . .? Prahlāda Mahārāja is liberated from the very birth. So they said: "What is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness?" They could not understand. So he was convincing them: durlabhaṁ manuṣyaṁ janma tad apy adhruvam arthadam.

This human body is durlabhaṁ. Labdhvā sudurlabhaṁ idam bahu sambhavānte (SB 11.9.29). This human form of body is a great concession given by the material nature. People are so miscreant and foolish, they do not understand what is the value of this human form of life. They engage this body for sense gratification, like cats and dogs. The śāstra therefore says: "No. This human form of body is not meant for spoiling like the hogs and dogs." Nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛ-loke. Everyone has got a body, material body. But nṛ-loke, in the human society, this body is not to be spoiled. Nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛ-loke kaṣṭān kāmān arhati viḍ-bhujāṁ ye (SB 5.5.1). This human form of life, simply working uselessly hard, day and night, for sense gratification, this is the business of the hog and dog. They are doing also the same thing, whole day and night, working hard simply for sense gratification.

So therefore in the human society there must be a system of division. That is called varṇāśrama-dharma. That is Vedic civilization. That is real called ārya-samāja. Ārya-samāja does not mean to become rascal and fool and deny the existence of God. No. That is anārya. Just like Kṛṣṇa rebuked Arjuna, anārya-juṣṭam: "You are talking like anārya." One who is not Kṛṣṇa conscious, he's anārya. Anārya. Ārya means who is advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So really ārya-samāna means Kṛṣṇa conscious person. Otherwise, bogus, bogus ārya-samāna. Because here from the Bhagavad-gītā says, Kṛṣṇa says Arjuna, rebuking, because he was refusing to fight, because he does not know what is his duty, again Arjuna is admitting here that kārpaṇya-doṣopahata-svabhāvaḥ (BG 2.7): "Yes, I am anārya. I have become anārya, because I have forgotten my duty." So actually ārya samāja means Kṛṣṇa conscious Society, International Society for Kṛṣṇa . . . that is ārya. Not bogus.

So here, Arjuna is explaining, putting himself: "Yes, kārpaṇya-doṣo. Because I am forgetting my duty, therefore upahata-svabhāvaḥ, I am bewildered in my natural propensities." A kṣatriya should be always active. Whenever there is a war, there is fight, they must be very much enthusiastic. A kṣatriya, if another kṣatriya says: "I want to fight with you," he, oh, he cannot refuse: "Yes, come one. Fight. Take sword." Immediately: "Come one." That is kṣatriya. Now he's refusing to fight. Therefore he can understand . . .

(aside) You can stand this side, not in front.

He's forgetting his duty, kṣatriya duty. Therefore he's admitting, "Yes," kārpaṇya-doṣa, kārpaṇya-doṣopahata-svabhāvaḥ (BG 2.7), "my natural duty I am forgetting. Therefore I have become miser. Therefore my . . ."

Now, when you become miser, that is a diseased condition. Then what is your duty? Then go to a person who can . . . just like when you become diseased, you go to a physician and ask him, "What to do, sir? I am now suffering with this disease." This is your duty. Similarly, when we are perplexed in our duties, or we forget our duties, it is very nice to go to the superior person and ask him what to do. So who can be superior person than Kṛṣṇa? Therefore Arjuna says, pṛcchāmi tvām: "I am asking You. Because it is my duty. I'm now falling in my duty, faulty. So this is not good. So I must ask somebody who is superior to me." That is the duty.

Tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). This is the Vedic duty. Everyone is perplexed. Everyone is suffering in this material world, being perplexed. But he'll not search out a bona fide guru. No. That is kārpaṇya-doṣa. That is kārpaṇya-doṣa. Here, Arjuna is coming out of the kārpaṇya-doṣa. How? Now he's asking Kṛṣṇa. Pṛcchāmi tvām: "My dear Kṛṣṇa, You are the most superior person. That I know. You are Kṛṣṇa. So I am perplexed. Actually, I am forgetting my duty. Therefore I am asking You."

So you have to approach the Supreme Person, means Kṛṣṇa or His representative. All others are rascals and fools. If you approach a person, guru, who is not representative of Kṛṣṇa, you are approaching a rascal. How you'll be enlightened? You must approach Kṛṣṇa or His representative. That is wanted. Tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). So who is guru? Samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham. A guru is full Kṛṣṇa conscious. Brahma-niṣṭham. And śrotriyam. Śrotriyam means who has heard, who has received knowledge by the śrotriyaṁ paṭha, by hearing from superior authority. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayoḥ viduḥ (BG 4.2).

So here we have to learn from Arjuna that when we are perplexed, when we forget our real duty, and therefore we are puzzled, then our duty is to approach Kṛṣṇa, as Arjuna is doing. So if you say: "Where is Kṛṣṇa?" Kṛṣṇa is not there, but Kṛṣṇa's representative is there. You should approach him. That is the Vedic injunction. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). One must approach guru. And guru means Kṛṣṇa originally. Guru . . . tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ (SB 1.1.1). Janmādyasya yataḥ anvayāt itarataś ca artheṣu abhijñaḥ svarāt. You have to approach. That is guru.

So we consider . . . we take Brahmā. Because he's the first creature within this universe, he's accepted as the guru. He imparted . . . just like we belong to the Brahma-sampradāya. There are four sampradāyas: Brahma-sampradāya, Śrī-sampradāya, Rudra-sampradāya and Kumāra-samapradāya. They're all mahājanas. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We have to accept the line of action which is given by the mahājana.

So Brahmā is mahājana. You'll find Brahmā's picture with Veda in his hand. So he's the . . . he gave the first instruction of Veda. But wherefrom he got the Vedic knowledge? Therefore Vedic knowledge is apauruṣeya. It is not man-made; it is God-made. dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). So how God, Kṛṣṇa, gave to Brahmā? Tene brahma hṛdā. Brahma, brahma means the Vedic knowledge. Śabda-brahma. Tene. He injected Vedic knowledge from hṛdā. Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ pritī-pūrvakam (BG 10.10).

When Brahmā was created, he was perplexed: "What is my duty? Everything is dark." So he meditated, and Kṛṣṇa gave him knowledge, that "Your duty is this. You do like this." Tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye. Ādi-kavaye (SB 1.1.1). Brahmā is ādi-kavaye. So actual guru is Kṛṣṇa. And here is . . . Kṛṣṇa is advising the Bhagavad-gītā. These rascals and fools will not accept Kṛṣṇa as guru. They'll go to some rascal and fool and miscreants, sinful person, and accept guru. How he can be guru? So guru is Kṛṣṇa.

Here is the example given by Arjuna. Pṛcchāmi tvām. Who is that tvām? Kṛṣṇa. "Why you are asking Me?" dharma-sammūḍha-cetāḥ (BG 2.7). "I am bewildered in my duties, dharma." dharma means duty. dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). Sammūḍha-cetāḥ. "So what I have to do?" Yac chreyaḥ. "What is actually my duty?" Śreyaḥ. Śreyaḥ and preyaḥ. Preyaḥ . . . they are two things. Preya means which I like immediately, very nice. And śreya means ultimate goal. They are two things. Just like a child wants to play all day. That is childish nature. That is śreya.

And preya means he must take education so that in future his life will be settled up. That is preya . . . śreya. So Arjuna is asking not preya. He's asking instruction from Kṛṣṇa not for the purpose of confirming his śreya. Śreya means immediately he was thinking that, "I shall be happy by not fighting, not by killing my kinsmen." That, he was, like a child, he was thinking. Śreya. But when he came to his consciousness—not actually consciousness, because he's intelligent—he's asking for preya, uh, śreya. Yac chreyaḥ syāt. "What is the, actually, my ultimate goal of life?" Yac chreyaḥ syāt. Yac chreyaḥ syāt niścitaṁ (BG 2.7). Niścitam means fixed-up, without any mistake. Niścitam. In Bhāgavata there is, called niścitaṁ. Niścitam means you haven't got to make research. It is already settled up: "This is the decision." Because we, with our teeny brain, we cannot find out what is the actual niścitaṁ, fixed-up sreya. That we do not know. That you have to ask from Kṛṣṇa or His representative. These are the things. Yac chreya syāt niścitaṁ brūhi tan me.

So . . . "Kindly speak to me that." "So why shall I speak to you?" Here says, śiṣyas te 'ham (BG 2.7): "Now I am accepting You as my guru. I become Your śiṣya." Śiṣya means "Whatever you'll say, I'll accept." That is śiṣya. The śiṣya word comes from śas-dhātu. Śas-dhātu. Śāstra. Śastra. Śāsana. Śiṣya. These are from the same root. Śas-dhātu. Śas-dhātu means rule, ruling. So we can rule in various way. We can be ruled, becoming a śiṣya of a proper guru. That is śas-dhātu. Or we can be ruled by śastra, weapon. Just like king has got weapon. If you don't follow the king's instruction or government instruction, then there is police force, military force. That is śastra. And there is śāstra also. Śāstra means book, scripture, just like Bhagavad-gītā. Everything is there. So we must be ruled, either by śastra, śāstra or guru. Or becoming śiṣya. Therefore it is said, śiṣyas te 'ham (BG 2.7): "I become voluntarily . . . I surrender unto You." "Now you become śiṣya. What is the proof that you have become My śiṣya?" Śādhi māṁ tvāṁ prapannam: "Now I am fully surrendered." Prapannam.

So this knowledge required, how to find out real guru and how to surrender unto Him. The guru does not mean that I keep a guru, so, as order-supplier: "My dear guru, I am suffering from this. Can you give me some medicine?" "Yes, yes. Take this medicine." "Yes." Not that guru. If you are suffering from some disease, you go to a physician. It is not guru's business to give you some medicine. A guru's business is to give you Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa sei tomāra, kṛṣṇa dīte pāra (Bhajana-Lālasā, Song 7). A Vaiṣṇava is praying, guru: "Sir, you are devotee of Kṛṣṇa. You can give me Kṛṣṇa if you like." This is the position of śiṣya. Guru's business is how to give you Kṛṣṇa, not any material things. For material things, there are so many institution. But if you want Kṛṣṇa, then guru's required.

Who is . . . who requires a guru?

tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta
jijñāsu śreya uttamam
śābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ
brahmaṇy upasamāśrayam
(SB 11.3.21)

Who requires a guru? Guru is not a fashion, "Oh, I have got a guru. I shall make a guru." Guru means one who is serious. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta. One has to seek out a guru. Why? Jijñāsu śreya uttamam. One who is inquisitive of the Supreme. Not guru make a fashion, just like we keep a dog, fashion, similarly, we keep a guru. That is not guru dharma. "Guru will act according to my decision." Not like that. Guru means one who can give you Kṛṣṇa. That is guru. Kṛṣṇa sei tomāra. Because Kṛṣṇa is guru. That is stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā: vedeṣu durlabhaṁ adurlabhaṁ ātma-bhaktau (Bs. 5.33). Vedeṣu durlabhaṁ. If you want to search out . . . although Vedas means knowledge, and the ultimate knowledge is to understand Kṛṣṇa. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam (BG 15.15). This is the instruction.

So if you independently wants to study Vedas, just, there is, there are some rascals . . . they say: "We understand only Vedas." What do you understand Veda? How you'll understand Veda? So Vedas says, tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). You'll understand Vedas by taking one . . . purchasing one Vedas book, or taking it, you'll understand Vedas? The Veda is not so cheap thing. Without becoming a brāhmaṇa, nobody can understand a Veda, what is Veda.

Therefore, it is restricted. Without becoming brāhmaṇa, nobody is allowed to study Vedas. It's all nonsense. What you'll understand about the Vedas? Therefore Vyāsadeva, after compiling the four Vedas, dividing the four Vedas, he made Mahābhārata. Because the Vedas, subject matter of Vedas, is so difficult. Strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocarāḥ (SB 1.4.25): for women, for śūdras, and for the dvija bandhu. They cannot understand what is Vedas. So all these rascal dvija-bandhus and śūdras, they want to study Vedas. No. That is not possible.

One has to become first of all situated in the brahminical qualification, satyaṁ śamo damas titiksva ārjavaṁ jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma karma sva-bhāva . . . (BG 18.42). Then touch Veda. Otherwise, what you'll understand Vedas? Nonsense. Therefore, Vedas says, tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum (MU 1.2.12). You must approach a guru to understand Veda. And what is that Veda? Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam (BG 15.15). The Vedas means . . . to study Vedas means to understand Kṛṣṇa and surrender unto Him. This is Vedic knowledge.

Here Arjuna says that prapannam: "Now I am surrender unto You. I am now no more going to talk with You on equal level, just as if I know so many things." He was right, but he was thinking on the material platform. He was thinking that praduṣyanti kula-striyaḥ (BG 1.40). If everyone . . . this is material point. But Vedic knowledge is spiritual, uttamam. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsu śreya uttamam (SB 11.3.21). This śreya. Uttamam. Yac chreya syāt niścitaṁ. Fixed-up. There is . . . there is no question of changing. That instruction is now . . . will be given by Kṛṣṇa: sarva-dharmān parityaja mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). And this takes place—bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate (BG 7.19).

So therefore, in order to achieve the highest goal of life, one should fully surrender to Kṛṣṇa or His representative. Then his life is successful.

Thank you very much.

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