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690509 - Lecture BG 04.01-2 - Columbus

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(Redirected from Lecture on BG 4.1-2 -- Columbus, May 9, 1969)
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

690509BG-COLUMBUS - May 09, 1969 - 39:55 Minutes

Pradyumna: Bhagavad-gītā, chapter number four, "Transcendental Knowledge."

One: "The Blessed Lord said, I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvān, and Vivasvān instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind. And Manu in turn instructed it to Ikṣvāku."

Purport: "Herein we find the history of the Bhagavad-gītā traced from a remote time when it was delivered to the kings of all planets. The royal order is especially dedicated to the protection of the inhabitants, and as such, its members should also understand the science of the Bhagavad-gītā in order to rule the citizens and protect them from the onslaught of material bondage to lust. Human life is meant for cultivation of spiritual knowledge, an eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the executive heads of all states and all planets are obliged to impart this lesson to the citizens by education, culture and devotion."

Prabhupāda: Hmm.

Pradyumna: In other words . . ."

Prabhupāda: Stop. So in this verse the exact Sanskrit word is:

imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ
proktavān aham avyayam
vivasvān manave prāha
manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt
(BG 4.1)
evaṁ paramparā-prāptam
imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ
sa kāleneha (mahatā)
yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa
(BG 4.2)

So this Bhagavad-gītā, science of Bhagavad-gītā, is not a new presentation. Just from this verse we can understand that it was instructed to the sun-god. Sun-god, apart from what is the duration of age of sun-god, but from the Manu, because the next statement is vivasvān manave prāha . . . Vivasvān. The sun-god's name is Vivasvān.

Just like your the chief executive head is called the president, similarly, there is a chief executive head also in the sun planet, president. And the present president's name is . . . just like your present president's name is Mr. Nixon, similarly, the present predominating deity in the sun planet is known as Vivasvān.

So everything is in detail. This is called Vedic literature. Vedic literature is not concerned only with this planet. Vedic literature deals with all the universal planets. Just see, here is the statement. Kṛṣṇa says that "In the beginning I explained this science of Bhagavad-gītā to the present predominating deity of sun planet, whose name is Vivasvān."

So do you think that Kṛṣṇa is playing joke or speaking something lie, that he said to Vivasvān, the present presiding deity? No, that is not possible. Actually He has spoken. And Kṛṣṇa . . . one . . . others may think of Kṛṣṇa, avajānanti māṁ mūḍhāḥ (BG 9.11). Rascals and fools may think of Kṛṣṇa as ordinary man. But in India the great ācāryas, just like Śaṅkarācārya, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu—practically these ācāryas are guiding the whole destiny of the Hindu world—they have all accepted Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So whatever Kṛṣṇa is speaking, that is right.

Now, you can understand that if Kṛṣṇa spoke to the sun-god, and the sun-god spoke to his son Manu, then how old is this science of Bhagavad-gītā. Apart from sun-god's duration of age, if we simply take the present age, Vaivasvata Manu . . . Vaivasvata Manu, the age of Vaivasvata Manu is seventy-one multiplied by forty-three hundred thousands of years.

Forty-three hundred thousands of years multiplied by seventy-one. It is a very long duration of life. Now, at the present moment the Vivasvān . . . the Vaivasvata Manu's age is half-finished. That means the number, the numerical strength, forty-three hundred thousands of years into seventy-one, divide by two. So long years Bhagavad-gītā was spoken.

So Bhagavad-gītā is not a new thing, a new adventure. And the person who spoke Bhagavad-gītā to the sun-god, does it mean that He left something to be commented by some . . . these mundane man to understand the meaning of the Bhagavad-gītā? Such a great personality, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He told something which is to be understood by the interpretation of a mundane scholar? Do you think it is reasonable? No. Whatever He spoke, that is all right. And that is clear. There is no question of interpreting in a different way.

Just like here, "The Blessed Lord said: 'I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god Vivasvān.' " What is difficulty there? Is there any word which you cannot understand? Is anyone here who cannot understand these lines? It is clear. "The Blessed Lord said, 'I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god Vivasvān.' " Everyone can understand that Kṛṣṇa instructed this science of Bhagavad-gītā, or the yoga of Bhagavad-gītā, to the sun-god, whose name is Vivasvān. It is clear. How you can interpret?

Now the thing is, unless I think of Kṛṣṇa that, "He is an ordinary man. How He could say to the sun-god Vivasvān?" then the interpretation is required. But that sort of thinking is not bona fide, because if you want to study Bhagavad-gītā, you have to take the words of Bhagavad-gītā. The Blessed Lord . . . He is Lord. He can say.

The Lord is not like ordinary man that, "Because we cannot say to the sun-god, therefore Kṛṣṇa cannot say," that is our foolishness. Why should we calculate Kṛṣṇa's activity with my activities? Therefore all the commentaries who think Kṛṣṇa as ordinary man, they are null and void. Such commentaries should not be accepted.

We have explained in our introduction that all the commentaries in the market, they are simply presentation of the particular commentator's personal view. That is not Bhagavad-gītā. If you want to understand Bhagavad-gītā, then you should understand as they are said. You don't interpret in your own way.

Now, because there should be some doubt of the ordinary man that, "How Kṛṣṇa could say to the sun-god?" that is explained in the next verse. Because Arjuna was taking instruction from Kṛṣṇa, he knew Kṛṣṇa, what He is. Otherwise he would not have accepted Him as a spiritual master.

But because others would doubt, "This is fictitious that Kṛṣṇa said to the sun-god. How it is possible?" So you will find Arjuna said, "The sun-god Vivasvān is senior by birth to You. How am I to understand that in the beginning You instructed this science to him?"

Kṛṣṇa is taking our position, er, Arjuna. Persons who are thinking of Kṛṣṇa as ordinary person, so Arjuna is trying to clear that point, that Kṛṣṇa is not ordinary person; He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore he has put this question, that "The sun-god Vivasvān is senior by birth to You."

Sun-god, Vivasvān, the sun planet, father of Manu . . . Manu's age we cannot calculate. About forty millions of years ago Manu was born, and his father, we do not know what is his age. So how it is possible, if Kṛṣṇa is ordinary man, He spoke to him? That is being cleared.

So what He answered? "The Blessed Lord said: 'Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot." That is the difference between God and man. That is the difference between God and man. We cannot remember. Even we cannot remember what I did at this time yesterday. That is our . . . forgetfulness is our nature.

To commit mistake, to forget, to be illusioned, to be cheated, imperfection of the senses—these are our qualifications. Every one of us, anyone who is in this material world, they are subjected to these defects: he is sure to commit mistake—"To err is human"—he is subjected to be illusioned, and he has a cheating propensity. Just like a mundane scholar . . . I do not wish to name. A mundane scholar, he admits, his introduction, that it is very difficult to interpret Bhagavad-gītā in one's own way, it is so tightly fitted. Actually it is so. Unless you contradict yourself, you cannot interpret Bhagavad-gītā according to your own way.

So Arjuna is clearing that, and Kṛṣṇa is saying: "The difference is that I take, I appear . . ." As you will find later on, Kṛṣṇa says, yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata, tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham (BG 4.7) Whenever there is discrepancies in the procedure of religious function and there is predominance of irreligiosity, at that time God or God's representative comes to this world to make things nicely.

So Kṛṣṇa appears. Kṛṣṇa appears, and we also appear. But our appearance and Kṛṣṇa's appearance is different. We have accepted this body, we have appeared in this world, forced by our karma according to our past deeds. Just like we are sitting. Every one of us have different features of body. Why? According to different karma. The body is made according to karma.

That is the explanation of difference. So we cannot know. And we can understand that your mentality, my mentality, is different. You act in different way; I act in different way. That is the way, every one of us. Therefore we are forced to accept a certain type of body according to our own karma. But Kṛṣṇa does not.

We change our body. Just try to understand. This forgetfulness means change of body. Just like we had some certain type of body in our previous life, but we do not know. Forgotten. Because I have changed the body, therefore I have forgotten. What to speak of my last birth? Even in your childhood, when you were, say, three or four years old, you did so many things. But do you remember them? No.

Because you have changed the body. That body is gone. Therefore we have forgotten. Forgetfulness means change of body. We are changing body every second, every minute. Therefore we are forgetting. And Kṛṣṇa does not forget. That means he does not change body. This is pure understanding of Kṛṣṇa.

Kṛṣṇa said that, "Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them." Many, many. Thousands and thousands of times Kṛṣṇa appeared on this world, but He remembers everything. And I cannot remember about my childhood. So how can I become one with Kṛṣṇa? These Māyāvādī philosophers, they are declaring that, "I am God." How you can . . .? What is your qualification that you become God? God is not so cheap thing.

People have taken it that, "Everyone can become God. Every one of us God." This is another illusion, another māyā, because we do not know what is God. Here is God. He says that, "Many, many millions of years ago I spoke to sun-god. I remember it." This is God. Simple truth. This is the proof that He is God.

Read the explanation, purport. "In the Brahma-saṁhitā . . ." Read it.

Pradyumna: Oh. "In the Brahma-saṁhitā we have information of many, many incarnations of the Lord. It is stated there, 'I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead Govinda, Kṛṣṇa, who is the original person, absolute, infallible, without beginning, although expanded into unlimited forms, still the same, original, the oldest, and the person always appearing as a fresh youth."

Prabhupāda: The exact verse in Sanskrit word is:

advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam
ādyaṁ purāṇa-puruṣaṁ nava-yauvanaṁ ca
vedeṣu durlabham adurlabham ātma-bhaktau
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
(Bs. 5.33)

Advaita. Advaita means Kṛṣṇa expands Himself. Kṛṣṇa can expand Himself. That is God. Just like I am sitting here, you are sitting here. Suppose you are wanted by your some relative at home, but if somebody inquires that, "Mr. Such-and-such is at home," so the reply will be, "No. He's not at home." But Kṛṣṇa is not like that. Kṛṣṇa, goloka eva nivasaty akhilātma-bhūtaḥ (Bs. 5.37).

He is present everywhere. It is not that because Kṛṣṇa was speaking with Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukṣetra, therefore He was not in the Goloka or Vaikuṇṭha. Not only Goloka, Vaikuṇṭha—everywhere. You'll find in the Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa is here also, now. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). Kṛṣṇa is in everyone's heart. In your heart there is Kṛṣṇa. In my heart there is Kṛṣṇa. Everyone's heart. So Kṛṣṇa is not like that. Therefore, advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam (Bs. 5.33).

Ananta means unlimited—but one, advaita. There is no difference. Just like the electricity power. I give you a crude example. Unlimited factories are running in electricity. Different types of work is being utilized by electric energy, but the electricity is one. Similarly, God is one, but He can expand. That is His potency. Parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.8, CC Madhya 13.65, purport).

In the Bhagavad-gītā you will understand in the Thirteenth Chapter that Kṛṣṇa says, kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata (BG 13.3). The living entity . . . I am living entity; you are living entity, every one of us. I am living in this body; you are living in this body. We have got different bodies. So Kṛṣṇa said that "The living entity is the proprietor or the knower of the particular body." But He says again, kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi: "I am also knower of this particular body," sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata, "in every body." Aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham (Bs. 5.35). He is in every body, in every atom. That is Kṛṣṇa. Now, I am living in my body. If there is pain here, I can understand, "Here is a pain." But if there is some pain in your body, I cannot understand. Therefore I am different from you. But Kṛṣṇa can understand what is pain or pleasure in my body and what is pain or pleasure in your body and everyone's body. That is Kṛṣṇa. Sarva-kṣetreṣu.

That is God, not that simply by claiming, "I am God. I am the same God." And how you claim "God"? Can you tell what I am thinking? Can you tell what he is thinking? No. Then how . . . what kind of God you are? Don't accept a cheap God. These are the symptoms of God: advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam (Bs. 5.33).

He has got ananta, unlimited . . . there are unlimited living entities. In the Vedas it is stated, nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13) "There are unlimited living entities, unlimited eternals. But there is one, another, one supreme eternal, supreme entity."

What is the difference between this, the unlimited number, or plural number, and one singular number? That is also answered. Eko hi bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān: "That singular number one entity is supplying the . . . all the necessities of all the plural number entities."

We are plural number entities. The living entities, we are plural number, nityo nityānām. This nityānām is plural number, possessive case, in Sanskrit. And He is nitya. He is one, singular number. Eko bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān: "That one is supplying the necessities of all living entities."

Don't you see how God is supplying all the necessities of birds, beasts and everyone? Ours also. We don't acknowledge. Because we are civilized, we are . . . we do not acknowledge. The birds, beasts also do not acknowledge—but because they are birds and beast. So we are just becoming like birds and beasts, denying the existence of God, denying the authority of God.

We are taking advantage. Vidadhāti kāmān. If Kṛṣṇa does not supply you this light, sunlight, you will die. But He does not charge anything. But because you are human being, you should try to repay, "Oh, Kṛṣṇa is giving us so much facilities. Let me render some service unto Him." This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is to acknowledge, "O God, You are so kind. You are giving us so many things. So I have collected this fruit. It is Your fruit, I know. Still, please accept." This is finish, your business.

You are a great devotee, you are a great Kṛṣṇa conscious personality, and Kṛṣṇa says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26). Kṛṣṇa does not want you . . . from you very nice thing. Kṛṣṇa is complete in Himself. He can produce many, many nice things. He is not begging from you, but still, He is expecting something from you, because He is supplying so many things to you. Is it not?

Suppose if you have got a friend, you always give him. Don't you expect something, "Oh, I give so many things to my friend. He does not offer me anything?" Don't you feel, out of love? Father, mother, they do so many things for the children. If the children do not do anything for the father and mother, are they not happy? Are they happy? No. They are unhappy: "My children is so ungrateful."

Although He does not want—Kṛṣṇa is full in Himself—but if we supply something to Kṛṣṇa . . . Kṛṣṇa's goods is to be supplied to Kṛṣṇa. The fruit is not produced by you. Kṛṣṇa says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26):

"Anyone who offers Me a little fruit, a little water, and little leaf, oh, I accept." Tad aham aśnāmi, bhakty-upahṛtam: "Because he has brought with the devotional love, I accept it." If Kṛṣṇa accepts your offering, then your life becomes sublime. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Simply we should have to acknowledge. We are getting so many facilities from Kṛṣṇa. He is sitting in your heart, He is supplying you all necessities, He is giving you sunlight, He is giving you moonlight, He is giving you rainy . . . seasonal rains, fruits, flowers, grains, and you are so ungrateful that you do not acknowledge?

In your Christian Bible also it is said. You go to church, "O God, give us our daily bread." That's all right. Kṛṣṇa is supplying you bread. Otherwise wherefrom you are getting bread? You cannot manufacture bread in the factory, or wheat or rice. You can manufacture some iron tools, that's all, not eatable. But you cannot manufacture nice grains. That is not possible. It is supplied by Kṛṣṇa. Eko bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13).

So try to understand in this way Kṛṣṇa consciousness, God consciousness. Then your dormant relationship with God and Kṛṣṇa will be revived. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12, Śikṣāṣṭaka 1). Lord Caitanya says: "By revival of Kṛṣṇa consciousness means the dirty things accumulated on our heart will be dissipated, immediately vanished." Then we shall see, "Oh, this is my position. I am Kṛṣṇa's, and Kṛṣṇa is mine."

So although Kṛṣṇa is present everywhere, as it is stated here, advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam ādyam purāṇa-puruṣam (Bs. 5.33).

Ādyam means the original personality. Kṛṣṇa is the original father. You will find in the Bhagavad-gītā, sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya sambhavanti mūrtayo yāḥ (BG 14.4) "In every species of life, all types of forms of life, their mother is this material nature, and I am the seed-giving father." The father is the seed-giving agent, and mother gives the body.

So this material nature is our mother. According to Vedic conception, the material nature, mother, is worshiped. There are seven kinds of mother, not one mother.

ādau-mātā guroḥ patnī
brāhmaṇī rāja-patnikā
dhenur dhātrī tathā pṛthvī
saptaitā mātaraḥ smṛtāḥ
(Nīti Śāstra)

Ādau-mātā, real mother, from whom I have taken birth, ādau-mātā. Guroḥ patnī, the wife of spiritual master. Ādau-mātā guroḥ patnī brāhmaṇī. Brāhmaṇī, the wife of a brahmin, learned scholar. Ādau-mātā guroḥ patnī. Why learned scholar? He is also guru, because from learned scholar you learn so many things, and guru teaches us so many things. Therefore he is father, and his wife is mother.

Ādau-mātā guroḥ patnī brāhmaṇī rāja-patnikā. Rāja-patnikā means a queen. And now there is no king, queen, but formerly there was king and queen. So queen is also mother, because king is father. He is giving protection to the citizens. Ādau-mātā guroḥ patnī brāhmaṇī rāja-patnikā dhenuḥ, cow. Cow is our mother. Why? She is supplying milk. You are drinking milk. So you are killing cows? Oh, that's not good, killing mother. Ādau-mātā guroḥ patnī brāhmaṇī rāja-patnikā, dhenur dhātrī tathā pṛthvī. Pṛthvī, that material nature, is also mother, because by the material nature I got this body.

So if you study Vedic literature very nicely and if you try to understand, then your life will be sublime. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to give you all the authoritative information from Vedic literature. They are not manufacturing anything. They are not empiric philosophers presenting something mental concoction. No. Therefore this Bhagavad-gītā, we have presented: Bhagavad-gītā As It Is.

This is our business, just like a post peon's business is to deliver the envelope as it is. And if there is good news, it is for you. If it is bad news, it is for you. But the peon's business is to deliver as it is. Similarly, our business is to present Kṛṣṇa's message as it is. Then you become spiritual master. Spiritual master does not become grown just like tree. No.

It is carrying the message from higher authorities, as it is stated, "I told this message," Kṛṣṇa says: "to Vivasvān, the sun-god. He told to his son Manu. Manu told to his son Ikṣvāku. In this way this is coming down. Now it is broken. Therefore I am saying unto you, Arjuna."

So there is no difficulty in administering this Vedic message to the world, provided we simply carry the same message as it was delivered by Kṛṣṇa unto you. That is not very difficult. Anyone can do it. You simply try to understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is and distribute it, "Kṛṣṇa says this." That's all.

You haven't got to comment or add anything, something. But to present, you can speak something, but the central point should not be missed. Then people will be benefited. Then people will be benefited. They will receive the message as it is, and this is transcendental message.

Caitanya Mahāprabhu says:

āmāra ājñāya guru hañā tāra' ei deśa
yāre dekha, tāre kaha 'kṛṣṇa'-upadeśa
(CC Madhya 7.128)

Lord Caitanya says that, "Every one of you become the spiritual master. Every one of you. Why one, two? Every one of you." "Oh, spiritual master is very difficult job." No. No difficult job. Caitanya Mahā . . . Āmāra ājñāya: "Just try to carry out My order. That's all. Then you become spiritual master." And if you interpolate, if you put something nonsense, rubbish, to show your so-called rascal's education, then it is spoiled. Immediately spoiled. And if you present as it is, then it is pure.

Sarpocchiṣṭa-payo yathā. Avaiṣṇava-mukhodgirṇaṁ pūtaṁ hari-kathāmṛtam (Hari-bhakti-vilāsa). Hari-kathā. This message of Bhagavad-gītā is hari-kathā. Hari means the Supreme Lord. His word. Therefore it is warned that "Do not try to hear this message of Hari, or the Supreme Lord, from rascal non-devotee. Do not try to hear." Why?

Sarpocchiṣṭa-payo yathā. Just like milk is very nutritious food, but if a little milk is touched by the tongue of a serpent, whole thing is spoiled. A serpent, a very thin tongue, if he touches the milk, oh, the whole milk is spoiled. So if we take such milk, "Oh, milk is very nice," no. Because it is touched by the serpent's lip, it should not be taken.

Similarly, any transcendental message, any Vedic literature, unless it is presented by a self-realized devotee, it is poison. You simply misunderstand the whole thing, and you do not get the benefit. Rather, you become a victim of misunderstanding.

Therefore this paramparā system, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2) "The Blessed Lord said that 'I said to Vivasvān. Vivasvān said to Ikṣvāku. Ikṣvāku said to Manu. Manu said to his son.' " In this way, rājarṣi. Rājarṣi. Formerly the kings were taken instructions, the head of the state, because they were responsible for the citizens' spiritual life, not only material prosperity but spiritual prosperity. That is the verdict of Vedic literature.

The father is responsible, the teacher is responsible, the king is responsible, the husband is responsible for development of spiritual life of their dependent. Bhāgavata says that, "If you cannot develop the spiritual life of your dependent, then don't become a spiritual master, don't become a teacher, don't become a father, don't become a husband." These things are restricted.

So it is very nice culture, this Vedic culture. Try to understand. And Bhagavad-gītā is the essence of such Vedic knowledge. And it is being spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, Kṛṣṇa. Try to understand it as it is, then your life will be sublime. You will feel joyful always. Ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12). Abhyāsāt: "By nature we are joyful." But what is that nature? That spiritual nature, not this material nature. Material . . . Manaḥ ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni karṣati (BG 15.7).

If we remain in the material nature, then our whole struggle for existence will continue. It will never stop. But if you take to the spiritual nature, Brahman nature, brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā (BG 18.54), you immediately becomes joyful.

So everyone . . . (break) (end)