Collaborate with us to invoke and fully manifest Srila Prabhupada's Vani-presence.
680824 - Lecture BG 04.01 - Montreal
Prabhupāda: Dr. Murti, how are you?
Dr. Murti: Fine.
Prabhupāda: Thank you. So come forward. All come forward.
Janārdana: Swāmījī, you'll have to excuse me just a few minutes early. I have an appointment with many people this evening. (indistinct)
Janārdana: I'm trying to convince them to make the temple (indistinct).
Prabhupāda: At 8 o'clock you want to leave? That's all right. This is microphone for speaking, like this? Hare Kṛṣṇa. (someone begins to play harmonium)
Janārdana: (indistinct) pitch? Not too high and not too low?
Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. It has to be like this. All right. I can try. This is also the same?
(tests microphone:) Hare Kṛṣṇa. So, just begin kīrtana.
(kīrtana) (prema-dhvani) (devotees offer obeisances)
(referring to microphone)
But there is no support? Keep it like this.
Govinda dāsī: Do you want me to hold it for you?
Prabhupāda: Oh, that is nice.
Young man: It may go around the neck, on a chain. (adjusting microphone)
Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. Yes. That's fine.
(pause) Hare Kṛṣṇa. We shall begin Bhagavad-gītā. So I request you to come regularly so long I shall speak on the Bhagavad-gītā, and from the very beginning I shall try to make you understand the process of reading Bhagavad-gītā and the conclusion of the Bhagavad-gītā. By analytical study, I shall try to present.
So Bhagavad-gītā is the science of God. Everything has scientific process of understanding. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said, jṣānaṁ me parama-guhyaṁ yad vijṣāna-samanvitam (SB 2.9.31). Knowledge, or science of God, is very confidential. This science is not ordinary science. It is very confidential. Jṣānaṁ me parama-guhyaṁ yad vijṣāna-samanvitam. Vijṣāna means... Vi means specific. It is a specific knowledge, and it has to be understood by specific process.
Generally we understand, we acquire, knowledge by direct perception, experimental knowledge, direct perception. But bhagavad-vijṣāna, the science of God, is so extensive and so intricate that it is not possible to apply our imperfect senses to understand the science of God. Then we have to understand with our senses. Otherwise what is the meaning of understanding? Hear.
Therefore these senses, when they will be purified, then we can understand. Just like a man cannot see due to some cataract complication, but if the cataract portion is surgically operated, he can see all. Treatment. Similarly, it is said in the śāstras that ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmAdi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ (CC Madhya 17.136). Our senses are very imperfect. That we can understand. For example, we are daily seeing the sun globe, but our experience is just like a disc, because my eyes cannot see things placed in long distance, neither can see which is very near. Just like the eyelid is just attached to the eye, but I cannot see. This is imperfect. Neither we can see very close, neither we can see very long distance, neither we can see in darkness.
There are so many conditions. If those conditions are fulfilled, then our senses can act. Therefore it is to be understood that our senses are imperfect. Therefore Bhāgavata says ataḥ, therefore, śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmAdi (CC Madhya 17.136, Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.234), Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, nāmAdi... Nāma means His name, His holy name; Adi, that is the beginning. To understand Kṛṣṇa is to begin chanting His name, nāma. NāmAdi. Adi means in the beginning. Therefore we recommend the students to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmAdi. Nāma means after you understand or realize nāma, then you'll understand His qualities, transcendental qualities.
When, in the Vedic scripture, when it is said that the Absolute Truth is nirguṇa... Nirguṇa means..., guṇa means quality, and nir means negative. And nir, nir, na arthe. Nir also used to ascertain. So nirguṇa can be used in two senses. The first sense is negative, "no guṇa, no quality," and the second is "it is difficult to ascertain."
So both can be applied in the understanding of the Absolute Truth. How? First thing, He has no quality. He has no quality means He has no material quality. He has no material quality. In the Vedic literature it is said that apāṇi pādo javano grahītā (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 3.19): The Absolute Truth has no hands or legs, but He accepts everything. Now this acceptance... Suppose if you are giving me something, if I accept, then it is supposed that I have got hands or I have got senses. So when in the Vedic literature it is said that the Absolute Truth has no hand or leg, that means He has no hand and leg as we conceive in this material world.
When we speak of hand, immediately I think "my hand" or "your hand," but this is limited. So when we cannot adjust that God has got hands and also legs... In the Upaniṣads it is said that God, the Absolute Truth, Brahman, can walk so fast that even air cannot go so fast. In this way, there are description.
So that means, as stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā, that īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ (Bs. 5.1). His form—He has got form undoubtedly—but His form is different. The Māyāvādī philosopher, whenever they think of form, they think in terms of his own form. That is their defect. Therefore it is said in the Bhāgavata, ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmAdi. Śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāma is not ordinary nāma, name. Nāma means name. Śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāma is transcendental, absolute.
There is no difference between the name and the person and object. Here, there is difference. The name and the object is different. Water and the name "water" and the substance water—different. I cannot satisfy my thirst simply by chanting "water, water." But by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, I can realize God. That is the difference.
Therefore we have to purify our senses. These senses will give you opportunity to hear His transcendental name, to see His transcendental form, to understand His transcendental quality, and so many things. He has got His name, He has got His qualities, He has got His form. Then He has got His associates. Everything. Whatever we see in this material world, they are simply perverted reflection of the reality. Real form is there.
Real name is there in the spiritual world. Just like my name, "such and such," your name, "Mr. John." This "John" is not actually your name, because you are spirit soul, eternal. But this "John" name is in relationship with this temporary body. As soon as this body is finished, the "John" name is finished. Then again, you take another body, you have got another name. Therefore this is not your name.
But Kṛṣṇa, His name in the spiritual world and in this world, the same. His name does not change. Ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmAdi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ sevonmukhe hi jihvādau (CC Madhya 17.136). By service attitude. Svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ. The name, form, quality, associates, when we are in service attitude, they become revealed to us. It is not that... Just like we ask you, "What is your name?" So if I ask God, "O God, what is Your name?" God is not subject to our such, I mean to say, challenging. You see? He will not reveal His name. You cannot understand.
If you want to know God by your challenge, that "I can understand, I can see; therefore I shall see God, then I'll...," you'll never see Him. You'll never see. God is not under your challenge. Therefore the qualification of understanding God is surrender. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). And the process of understanding God is from God, not from others. He's so great, how can you understand by your mental speculation?
So here in the Bhagavad-gītā, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is revealing Himself by His causeless mercy. So how does He reveal, we shall try to explain from the Fourth Chapter:
- imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ
- proktavān aham avyayam
- vivasvān manave prāha
- manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt
- (BG 4.1)
The Lord says that "This confidential yoga system was explained by Me formerly to the sun-god, Vivasvān." There is, in every planet, there is a chief man or chief deity, and he has got different names. Just like in heavenly planet there is also chief man or chief deity, who is called Indra. Or the moon planet, he is called Candra. The sun planet, he is called Vivasvān. This is the name of the chief man. Just like in your country the chief man is called the president, or in other countries they call him so many... In some countries the chief man is called the king or the president, like that. So this is post.
You can also occupy that post. If you are qualified, you can become the president of your country. Similarly, the post of sun-god, Vivasvān, also you can occupy if you are qualified. You can occupy the post of Brahmā. This is... They are also living entities like us. Just like President Johnson is also a living entity like you, but he is elevated to that position for his quality, similarly, if you attain such quality, you can become the chief deity or chief man in many other planets. Yānti deva-vratā devān pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ (BG 9.25). These things are described.
So when we speak, as Kṛṣṇa is saying, that imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam (BG 4.1), that means this Bhagavad-gītā was spoken long, long before. It is not that Arjuna is the first man who heard Bhagavad-gītā from Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa said that "This yoga system I spoke to Vivasvān, sun-god." And vivasvān manave prāha: "And the sun-god explained this science to his son, Manu."
Manu is the forefather of the mankind. In Sanskrit, from manu, it has come manuṣya or mānava. Mānava-jāti, in Sanskrit. So manu from "man." And similarly, in English also, from manu the mankind or the man. The original word is Manu. Here it is said that vivasvān manave prāha.
Formerly, there were transportation service from one planet to another. That transportation service is still existing, but not with this planet. But higher planetary system there is transportation service from one planet to another by different kinds of airplanes. And in the Siddhaloka... There is another planet, which is called Siddhaloka. In the Siddhaloka the living entities or human beings are so advanced in yogic practice that they can travel with this body from one planet to another. These description are there in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Second Canto.
And in this planet also there are many yogīs even still existing, they can travel in this planet very swiftly by yogic power. There are many yogīs who daily take bath in four places: in Prayāga, in Rāmeśvaram, in Jagannātha Purī and in Haridwar. Still there are some yogīs in India. So they can transfer themselves, transport themselves, from one place to another very quickly. So there was no difficulty in communicating with Manu or Manu's son, Ikṣvāku. The communication was there, or the radio system was so nice that communication could be transferred from one planet to another.
So here it is said that vivasvān manave prāha manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt. First of all, this was spoken to sun-god, Vivasvān, and Vivasvān spoke to his son, Manu, and Manu spoke to his son, Ikṣvāku. This Mahārāja Ikṣvāku happened to be ancient emperor on this planet, and in his dynasty Lord Rāmacandra appeared, Mahārāja Ikṣvāku. He is kṣatriya. These are all kṣatriya. Sūrya, Vivasvān, is also kṣatriya. There are two kṣatriya families: one from the sun and one from the moon, candra-vaṁśa and sūrya-vaṁśa. They're existing.
And the Indo-European stock, they are also coming from the kṣatriyas. From the history of Mahābhārata we can understand the Āryan families who migrated to Europe, they also belonged to this sūrya-vaṁśa or candra-vaṁśa. Anyway, that is another department of knowledge. Here it is said that..., Kṛṣṇa says that "I spoke this philosophy, or this system, or this doctrine of Bhagavad-gītā, yoga."
This is also yoga. This is bhakti-yoga. Bhakti-yoga is the direct method of approaching God. Imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam (BG 4.1). This yoga is infallible. It is never lost. Avyayam. Avyayam means it has no annihilation, because it is transcendental. Anything spiritual, transcendental, has no annihilation. Even matter has no annihilation. Modern science says conservation of the energy. So in God's creation there is no question of annihilation. But the difference between matter and spirit is this, that matter is, the nature of matter is, bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate (BG 8.19). It appears; it manifests. Just like you prepare a pot from clay, and some day the pot will be annihilated, but it will go to the clay again, and again you can prepare from clay, pot. Just like the garbages. You are throwing daily, and again you are getting material from earth to manufacture so many things. So this is going on.
This karma-yoga... This world is so made that the matter is there. You simply take it and transform the shape. That is your activity. Avidyā-karma-saṁjṣānyā tṛtīyā śaktir iṣyate (CC Madhya 6.154). In the Viṣṇu Purāṇa it is said that this material world is full of ignorance. Just like children, they make so many playthings from earth or clay and again break it. And this practice is very prominent in your country. I see in big cities like New York, Boston, very nice buildings, well built with stone and iron, breaking it, and again some skyscraper.
And it is suggested in your Almanac, World Almanac, that next hundred years they will break all these buildings and they will go underground. Yes. Because atomic age. So nobody will... I have read it in the World Almanac. The prediction is there that world, next hundred years, nobody will live on the surface of the earth. Everyone go subway. And when they want some pure air, they'll come out to see what is the surface of the world. It is suggested. You can read it.
So this nature of material world is like that. Punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām (SB 7.5.30). Chewing the chewed. You chew something, you throw it, and again somebody comes, chewing it. You see? Punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām. Bhāgavata says that they are engaged with this material body and material activities. Just like you are changing, bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate, we are changing our body from one body to another. Similarly, as with the change of my body my activities are also changed. The material is supplied by the material nature, and my activities are different. In this way I am going on. Bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate.
But we cannot come to the conclusion that if there is any possibility for eternal life or eternal activity or no change... Because you don't want change. Even at the time of death you are very sorry because you have to change the body. Even for changing one apartment for another apartment we are sorry. Therefore for a sannyāsī it is recommended that he should not live more than three days in a place. Because as soon as he lives more than three days, he'll get some attachment. Attachment. So he is forbidden. But at the present moment everything has changed.
So bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate. We are in the existence of changing, always transforming from one platform to another, one form to another, one business to another. But our nature is eternal. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). This is..., all this explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. So how we can get that eternal life, eternal nature, eternal happiness and eternal knowledge—the Bhagavad-gītā is meant for that purpose. If you are interested for eternity, then Bhagavad-gītā is very congenial.
So this science was spoken first of all to Vivasvān, the sun-god. He spoke to his son Manu, and Manu spoke to his son Ikṣvāku. And in the second verse, the Lord says, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam: "In this way, by disciplic succession," evaṁ paramparā-prāptam (BG 4.2). That means the process of understanding this particular type of yoga...
(break) ...any yoga or this yoga—is to understand from disciplic succession. Paramparā. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). Rājarṣayaḥ means all the names mentioned here, either Vivasvān or Manu or Ikṣvāku, they were all great emperors and kings. Formerly the emperors and kings were familywise. Just like... At least, in England we have got the king by familywise, in every country it was... Now monarchy is abolished. So these kṣatriyas, they were qualified.
There was no question of democracy. At the present moment, by democracy if somebody can some way or other acquire some votes, he becomes the chief man. But formerly the practice was that a qualified man who is trained, a king, he was on the seat. They were called rājarṣi. Rājarṣi means practically they were sages. Just like Mahārāja Janaka.
There were many kings, ideal kings: Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, Mahārāja Rāmacandra. Many kings. Even Mahārāja Parīkṣit, five thousand years before, he was so responsible king that when he was on tour he saw that one cow was being attempted to be killed, and the cow was crying.
And at once the king stopped, "Who are you? In my kingdom a cow is crying? I shall immediately kill you." So the king was so responsible that even animal was not allowed to be dissatisfied, what to speak of man. So they were so responsible. Therefore they were called rājarṣi. Rājarṣi. And it is particularly, everything, knowledge is meant for high class of men. Low class of men, what they will understand?
So this Bhagavad-gītā was spoken to the rājarṣis, the great kings who were just like saints and sages. They were on the throne, but they were all, I mean to say, dedicated souls for the peace and prosperity of the people. Just like Mahārāja Parīkṣit. When he was born, this Mahārāja Parīkṣit is the... What is called? Posthumous son? Born after the death of his father? What is called, English word?
Prabhupāda: Posthumous. So his father died before his birth. In the Battle of Kurukṣetra there were two parties, cousin-brothers, fighting. So Mahārāja Parīkṣit's father, Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna, he was only sixteen-years-old boy, but he was fortunately married. His marriage is also very peculiar. The daughter was... Uttarā was offered to Arjuna, but Arjuna said that "This girl, I have treated her as my student." He was teacher. "I cannot marry. She is my daughter."
So then Arjuna said, "I have got grown-up son. I'll arrange her marriage with my son." So Uttarā was married with his son at the age of sixteen years. The boy and the girl, both were sixteen years old, and they were married. Fortunately, when the battle was going on, this boy was also called to fight, and the girl was pregnant. But the boy never returned. He died in the battlefield. So Parīkṣit Mahārāja remained in the womb of his mother.
So after the Battle of Kurukṣetra, everyone died. That child was the only, I mean to say, descendant of the whole Kuru dynasty. So he was very carefully protected, and the attempt was made to kill this child also by the other party, but Kṛṣṇa saved him. Anyway, when the child was born, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, his grandfather... Five grandfathers, no son, only one grandson. So the system is when a child is born, great paṇḍitas and brāhmaṇas are called to ascertain the future history of the child. Nāma-karaṇa. What is called? There is a particular name.
So Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira was very much anxious to know how this child will be affectionate to his prajā. Just see. The astrologer was speaking so many things about the child, that "He'll be like this, he'll be like this, he'll be like this." But he was anxious that "Whether he'll be worthy of our dynasty." Because in this dynasty, this sūrya-vaṁśa, all the kings were just like father of the citizens. "Whether he'll be like that or he'll be exploiter?" Then the brāhmaṇas explained, "No, this child will be like this," and actually he was that.
So these rājarṣis, they were great personalities. They were, although on the royal throne, they were not for luxury and tax collecting. No. They were just exactly like real father, always thinking of the happiness of the prajās. It was actual democracy. There was committee of the brāhmaṇas who guided the king, and the king was, I mean to say, control over the citizens by the guidance of the brāhmaṇas. This was the system. So here it is said, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). This system for understanding Bhagavad-gītā was current. Kṛṣṇa says to Arjuna.
Now He says also, sa kālena iha mahatā yogaḥ...
(break) ...spoke the secret of this Bhagavad-gītā to his son Manu. Manu spoke the secret of the Bhagavad-gītā to his son Ikṣvāku. So now that system is now lost. Kālena mahatā: by the great power. Kāla means time. Time has got his influence, very great influence. Time's business is, whatever you make, time will try to kill it. That's all.
You make a nice house, very nice house, but as soon as it becomes older it is being killed. You have very good body, nice body, but the influence of time is trying to kill you. That is the influence of time. So in the Bhagavad-gītā you'll also find that when Arjuna saw the universal form of Kṛṣṇa, he asked that "Who are You?" And Kṛṣṇa said in that universal form that "I am Kāla. I have come to kill." That's it. This was the answer.
So kāla's business is—kāla, time—to kill. So here also it is said, sa kālena iha, kālena mahatā. Mahatā is also kāraṇa, and kālena, by the influence of..., that is now lost. Because it is a struggle. Our struggle for existence means we are trying to exist, but kāla is fighting to kill. That is going on. So kāla's business, time's business is to kill, but that system is now lost, is now killed by the influence of time. Sa kāleneha..., yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa.
Then, what is to be done? Sa eva ayaṁ mayā te adya yogaḥ proktaḥ purātanaḥ (BG 4.3). "So I have already begun to teach you about this Bhagavad-gītā. So it is not a new doctrine that I'm presenting before you." That, called... Sa eva ayaṁ mayā te 'dya yogaḥ proktaḥ purātanaḥ. Purātanaḥ means the same old system, purātana. Purātana means purāṇa. Purāṇa means the old, historical events. Purāṇa. And this Mahābhārata, Mahābhārata is also... Mahābhārata, great history. And the Śrīmad-Bhāgavata is also called Mahā-Purāṇa, the great history of olden days.
So here also, the same word is used, that Kṛṣṇa says sa eva ayam: "This yoga system, the Bhagavad-gītā yoga system which I am now speaking to you, is very old. How old you can imagine, that I first spoke it to the sun-god." If you calculate only the age of Manu, it is about forty millions of years ago, to speak the minimum. So anyway, it is very, very old. Not that it is doctrine which is presented...
Just like in the modern educational system somebody is presenting some doctrine, and he's getting the title "Doctor," some new thesis. It is not like that. There is nothing to be researched. Eternal knowledge has nothing to be researched. There is no question of research. It is already established. Otherwise there is no meaning of eternal.
So this knowledge of Bhagavad-gītā is eternal. It is not a product of modern research or doctrine. Purātanaḥ sa eva. Sa evāyaṁ mayā te adya. Adya means "today." "Today I am speaking on the battlefield." Yogaḥ proktaḥ purātanaḥ.
"Why You are selecting me? Why You are selecting me and why this battlefield? You are speaking a philosophical doctrine and the science of God, and You are speaking to me. I am not a Vedāntist, I am not even a brāhmaṇa, I am not even sannyāsī. Ordinary gṛhastha. Of course, I have got the privilege that I am Your friend. So much so. Otherwise, yoga system is not to be spoken to me. Why You are speaking to me?" This may be questioned. Why specifically it was spoken to Arjuna? The reply is, bhakto 'si: "The only qualification is that you are My devotee. That's all."
Therefore from the very beginning it is to be understood one who is not a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, he cannot understand what is Bhagavad-gītā. Those who are not devotees... There are different classes of men. Some of them are karmīs, some of them are jṣānīs, some of them are yogīs and some of them are bhaktas. The enlightened, cultivated persons, they can be divided into four groups. Those who are ordinary men, they do not know anything except to keep this body comfortably. They're materialistic, more or less. In this life or next life they simply want material comfort. They are called karmīs.
And jṣānīs... Jṣānīs means they are disgusted with this karma. Because there is a time, a point, when they become disgusted. Just like the American young men, they are now disgusted with this material civilization. So they are searching after knowledge. But unfortunately, the state is also not very enthusiastic, and there are many who are exploiting. But here is the knowledge. And that point comes, when the karmīs become disgusted, confused. Because the spirit soul, he wants spiritual life. He cannot be happy with any amount of materialistic life.
In our childhood we read one poetry that a boy has brought one bird, and the bird is talking with the boy. "My dear bird, you live with me. I shall give you very nice fruits. I shall talk with you," and so many things. But the bird says, "No, I want to go away. I want to go away." "No, I shall give you a golden cage. You don't go away." So he says, "No, no. I don't like golden cage. I want freedom." So that was talk. So similarly, if a bird is kept in golden cage and if golden foodstuff is supplied to him, it is not happy. It is not possible.
Similarly, we are spirit soul. Any amount of material happiness will never make me happy. That is a fact. But due to our ill faith, we do not know what is happiness. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (SB 7.5.31). They do not know what is the ultimate aim of life, what is the goal of life. They are trying to be happy with this matter, and the material happiness means sex life, and they are trying to squeeze the sex life in different ways. Yan maithunAdi-gṛhamedhi-sukhaṁ hi tuccham (SB 7.9.45). That is not possible. That is not possible. Therefore this Bhagavad-gītā yoga system, which is very old... Forty millions of years before, ago, it was spoken. And before that it was also spoken. That is not stated here. Because it is eternal. Avyaya, purātanaḥ, old.
So who is qualified to understand Bhagavad-gītā? You can understand. Those who are not bhaktas, they can also understand superficially. Just like one has got the bottle of honey. If one thinks that "I have got the bottle of honey. Let me lick up the bottle," so licking the bottle, what taste you will get?
The bottle has to be opened and see what is there. (laughter) And if a rascal thinks that "I am licking this bottle, I am eating honey, I am tasting honey," he's a rascal number one. Simply. So similarly, if one is not bhakta, if one is not Kṛṣṇa's devotee, that rascal cannot understand Bhagavad-gītā. Plainly. Plainly it is stated here.
First of all, try to become the devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Then try to understand what is Bhagavad-gītā—not by your scholarship or by your speculation. Then you'll never understand Bhagavad-gītā. If you have to understand Bhagavad-gītā, then you have to understand by the process as stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, not by your own mental speculation. This is the process of understanding. Bhakto 'si me sakhā ceti (BG 4.3). Bhakta means... Who is bhakta? Bhakta means one who has revived his eternal relationship with God. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam (CC Madhya 19.170).
Now in this body I am thinking, "I am American." But how long I am American? I am American so long this body is there. That's all. I am thinking, "I am Indian." I am thinking, "I am brāhmaṇa," "I am this or that," whatever I may think. How long? So long this body is there. And the next life? If you get a dog's body, then you'll think "I am dog." If you get a cat's body, then you'll think "I am cat."
So bhakta means not that superficial relationship. My relationship with the society, family, country or humanity, they're all superficial because my body is superficial. The real relationship is with Kṛṣṇa. Mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ (BG 15.7). "All these living entities are My part and parcel," Kṛṣṇa claims. Sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya sambhavanti mūrtayaḥ yāḥ (BG 14.4): "In each and every species of life, as many forms as there are, they're all My parts and parcels." Kṛṣṇa explaining like that.
So bhakta means when we revive our relationship how I am connected with Kṛṣṇa. Then he is bhakta. Then he is bhakta. That relationship is pervertedly reflected in this material world. That relationship. As somebody is related with Kṛṣṇa as master and servant, that is reflected here also. There is master and servant, but the both of them are cheating one another.
The master is trying to exploit the servant, and the servant is trying to exploit the master. They are also forming unions, how to exact money from the capitalist, and the capitalist trying to exploit this labor from the laborers. So here, that master and servant is there, but both of them are cheaters and cheated. That's all.
So if we really want to be master and servant, the supreme master is Kṛṣṇa, and you engage yourself in His service, you'll never be cheated. You'll never be cheated. You want to love. You love Kṛṣṇa as your husband or lover, you'll never be cheated. You love children. You love Kṛṣṇa as your child—just like Yaśodāmāyi accepted Kṛṣṇa as his (her) child—you'll never be cheated.
So the same relationship is there, but it is perverted reflection, and there is no happiness. But when we become bhakta or establish one's relationship with Kṛṣṇa... Just like Arjuna. Arjuna is bhakta. What kind of bhakta? Bhakto 'si me sakhā, sakhā ceti (BG 4.3): "You are bhakta, at the same time My friend." So to become bhakta means either you become a friend of Kṛṣṇa or a servant of Kṛṣṇa or a lover of Kṛṣṇa or father of Kṛṣṇa or mother of Kṛṣṇa. In this way, there are so many. Or you become enemy of Kṛṣṇa, just like Hiraṇyakaśipu.
So this is the process of understanding Bhagavad-gītā. Therefore I am speaking from this Fourth Chapter. The secret of understanding Bhagavad-gītā is here, and if you follow these principle... Just like when you purchase one bottle of medicine from the, I mean to say, drug shop, there is dose. Read, "This medicine is to be taken by this dose." If you follow the direction of the bottle label then you get benefit. Similarly, here is the direction: evaṁ paramparā-prāptam (BG 4.2). ou have to understand Bhagavad-gītā from the disciplic succession, and that means one who is devotee, a devotee. Devotee. This disciplic succession, devotee. Otherwise there is no possibility. If that disciplic succession is something else than devotional service, then he cannot understand Bhagavad-gītā.
There are many practical experiences, and so many scholars, books we have studied, and their commentary is all nonsense because they are not bhakta. They try to understand Bhagavad-gītā simply by their academic qualification. That is not possible. That is not possible. If somebody is trying to (understand) Bhagavad-gītā by his academic qualification... What is the value of this academic qualification? It has no value in the presence of spiritual science. It is a different thing. It is to be understood in a different process.
So we shall discuss this Bhagavad-gītā how Arjuna understood. If... This is a clear fact mentioned here, that before Arjuna, before meeting Arjuna, the science of Bhagavad-gītā was lost. Here it is clearly said. Sa kāleneha yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa (BG 4.2). That was lost. Although it is eternal, still, because the paramparā system, or the disciplic succession, broke, therefore the real meaning or real purport of Bhagavad-gītā was not received. It was broken.
Naṣṭa means the paramparā system broken. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is appointing Arjuna to understand because he is devotee and friend. So if you accept Bhagavad-gītā as Arjuna understood it, then you are directly hearing from Kṛṣṇa. That is the process.
Thank you very much. Any question?
Indian man: (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: The same thing. Same thing. In the four verses Lord Kṛṣṇa informed about the Bhagavad-gītā. Jṣānaṁ me parama-guhyaṁ yad vijṣāna-samanvitam (SB 2.9.31). The same thing. When Kṛṣṇa says either to Brahmā or Arjuna, He says the same thing. He does not change.
Guest: And that disciplic succession from Lord Brahmā, that was not broken?
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is also bona fide. There is no difference between the disciplic succession from Brahmā or disciplic succession of Arjuna. There is no difference. Because the message is the same. Here, naṣṭa means that paramparā is naṣṭa. The disciplic succession was broken. It is not found, somebody who is coming in that disciplic succession.
The disciplic succession, either from Brahmā... There are four disciplic succession of the devotees—the Brahma-sampradāya, the Rudra-sampradāya, the Śrī-sampradāya and the Kumāra-sampradāya. So they are all the same.
Mr. Balakrishna, you have got any question? No? (chuckles) All right.
Mr. Mukherjee? Dr. Murti? No? Yes.
Devotee: The yoga systems in the Bhagavad-gītā, karma and jṣāna... Karma turns into karma-yoga, jṣāna system is jṣāna-yoga with bhakti, and they can't be...
Prabhupāda: Yes, when you add this word yoga, that means bhakti. Yoga means bhakti. Somebody is addicted to these material activities, so they are advised to act in the terms of karma-yoga. What is that karma-yoga? The karma-yoga, if somebody is describing the Bhagavad-gītā, yat karoṣi. "Whatever you are doing, kuruṣva tad mad-arpaṇam (BG 9.27). You are working? All right. What you have earned?" "One thousand dollars." "Give Me." Are you prepared? Kṛṣṇa is asking, kuruṣva tad mad-arpaṇam.
So if anyone is agreed, "Yes, Kṛṣṇa, here is the money for You," then he's a karma-yogī. Otherwise he's a karmī. And the difference between karma-yogī and karmī means he has to suffer the result, good or bad, and karma-yogī has nothing to suffer, because he's doing everything for Kṛṣṇa. Just like Arjuna.
In the beginning he considered that "If I kill my kinsmen and my grandfather, I'll be sinful." Yes. But the same thing he acted under the direction of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa wanted. So he's free.
So karma-yogī means he is free from the reaction of activities. He is karma-yogī. Similarly jṣāna-yogī. Somebody is addicted to work very hard. Somebody is addicted to speculate philosophically. So for the speculator, Kṛṣṇa says, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jṣānavān māṁ prapadyate (BG 7.19). The persons who are addicted to speculative knowledge, after many, many births, he comes to the understanding, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti (BG 7.19): "Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, is everything." That means termination of knowledge. That is jṣāna-yoga. If by his research work he tries to understand what is Kṛṣṇa by philosophy or by science or anything, by chemistry, by physics...
That is recommended in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:
- ataḥ pumsam dvija-śreṣṭhā
- svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya
- saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam
- (SB 1.2.13)
Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam. It doesn't matter in whatever activities you are engaged, but if you want to know whether your engagement is leading to perfection, then this is the test of perfection. What is that test of perfection? Saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam: whether by your work the Supreme Personality of Godhead is satisfied. Just like Arjuna did. Arjuna, in the beginning, he wanted to satisfy himself by not fighting, and he fought to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. That is perfection. Saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam. Yes.
Indian man: I wonder what is the (indistinct) of the śloka where it states that,
- prāṇa-karmāṇi cāpare
- juhvati jṣāna-dīpite
- (BG 4.27)
Prabhupāda: Yes. What is the number? Here.
- prāṇa-karmāṇi cāpare
- juhvati jṣāna-dīpite
- (BG 4.27)
Now you have studied. What is your understanding?
Indian man: I have no understanding. I want to know this. (laughter)
Prabhupāda: Sarvāṇīndriya-karmāṇi ātma-saṁyama. This yoga, the haṭha-yoga system, means to control the senses and control the mind. Sarvāṇi karmāṇi indriyāni, karmendriya. The yoga system's basic principle is to stop the material activities. Sarvāṇīndriya karmāṇi prāṇa-karmāṇi cāpare.
There are the controlling of different airs passing within this body: apāna-vāyu, prāṇa-vāyu, vyāna-vāyu. That is the yoga system, controlling the breathing. Ātma-saṁyama. The whole thing is for ātma-saṁyama, for controlling the mind and senses. If one is unable to control the mind and senses, then he is simply wasting time. And that ātma-saṁyama can be directly practiced by bhakti-yoga.
What is that? Now the same example can be given, that Arjuna was a fighter. So in the beginning he was considering, "Whether I shall fight or not." That was also ātma-saṁyama. But actually ātma-saṁyama was when he did not fight for his sense gratification. That is. Similarly, when we engage our senses...
Because senses means they want some activity. Just like our eyes. If... The eyes want to see something beautiful. The tongue, tongue wants to taste something very sweet. The ear, it wants to hear something very melodious. In this way we have got our different senses. But the yoga system is trying to stop them. Now, just try to understand.
Now, here, the bhakti-yoga system is that if you stick to the hearing of Hare Kṛṣṇa and the music, melodious music of khol, karatāla, then naturally you become detestful for hearing other songs. So this is practically indriya-saṁyama. The bhakti process is that sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam (CC Madhya 19.170). You cannot stop the senses to work. That is the negative process. Because the senses are meant for working. Therefore you have to give better engagement to the senses. That will be explained in the... It is already explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, Second Chapter, paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate (BG 2.59). Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate. If you force one... If you force one to stop, it is very difficult. Therefore so many yogīs also failed.
Just like Viśvāmitra Muni. By force, he was trying to control his senses, but as soon as the sense got opportunity, one Menakā, a heavenly society girl, came before him, he became captivated. He became captivated. These examples are there. And the child was born, Śakuntalā. You know, everyone. So he was a great yogī. He also failed, because it was artificially being tried.
But there is another instance, Ṭhākura Haridāsa. He was to be... He was also enticed by a prostitute at night, but he turned the prostitute to be a devotee. You see. At night, she came. She was induced by some of Haridāsa's opponent's party, and she came, very beautifully dressed, at night, and Haridāsa Ṭhākura said, "How you have come here?" "Oh, you are so nice, so beautiful, so young. So I have come to embrace you." Like that, whatever. So "All right. Please sit down. I shall fulfill your desire. Let me finish my chanting, then we shall enjoy life." (laughter)
So he was chanting, the morning came. So the prostitute became disturbed. "It is now..." "All right. I could not finish my chanting. So come this night, I shall fulfill." In this way, second night, third night, when she came, she surrendered: "Sir, I came with this purpose. Please save me. This is my business." So Ṭhākura Haridāsa told, "Yes, I know that. But because you came to me, therefore I stayed for three days..., three days to purify you. Now I'm glad that you are purified. You sit down here, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. I am going from this place."
(break) ...Viśvāmitra failed, but this bhakti-yogī, he conquered. This is karmendriya. If you want to force your senses to stop work, it is very difficult. But if you engage your senses for transcendental loving service of the Supreme Lord, it will be automatically, automatically stopped. That is stated. Ātma-saṁyama juhvati jṣāna-dīpite (BG 4.27). That jṣāna, that jṣāna means knowledge. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti (BG 7.19). If that stage of knowledge is achieved, that "Kṛṣṇa, or Vāsudeva, is everything, and I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa," that is perfection of jṣāna.
So when that perfection of jṣāna comes, then he engages his senses. Hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate (CC Madhya 19.170). When your senses are purified and you engage them in the service of the Supreme Lord, Hṛṣīkeśa, the master of the senses, that is called bhakti. That is the highest perfection. So we have to engage our sense, sarvāṇīndriya-karmāṇi, by understanding, by coming to the, I mean to say, mature platform of knowledge. If you engage your senses in the Supreme, that is real controlling senses. Artificially if we want to control our senses, it is very difficult.
So any other question?
We are inviting that you come, and let us discuss. This is a very great science, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and it is the, I mean to say, the necessity for the human being. Why? When there is opportunity... This temple is here. We are opening different centers. Why? Just to give opportunity to the people to understand this science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is not a bluff. We have got authority behind this movement. Whole Vedic literature, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā, we are supported. It is nothing.
The same thing. Just like Arjuna said, or Kṛṣṇa said that yogaḥ proktaḥ purātanaḥ. Purātana, it is very old. But the time is so cruel that sometimes it is... Just like by time sometimes a clear sky is overclouded, covered with cloud. But that does not stay.
Similarly, this cloud of ignorance at the present moment, it will not stay. As soon as people are anxious to get this knowledge, ignorance will go away. Jṣāna-dīpita. Jṣāna-dīpika. So that jṣāna-dīpika, that is also explained in the Bhagavad-gītā,
- teṣām evānukampārtham
- aham ajṣāna-jaṁ tamaḥ
- nāśayāmy ātma-bhāvastho
- jṣāna-dīpena bhāsvatā
- (BG 10.11)
Indian man: (asks indistinct question about (BG 6.47)
Prabhupāda: Perfection? Yes, that is the highest perfection of yoga.
Indian man: (asks indistinct question about (BG 6.46)
- tapasvibhyo 'dhiko yogī
- jṣānibhyo 'pi mato 'dhikaḥ
- karmibhyaś cādhiko yogī
- tasmād yogī bhavārjuna
- (BG 6.46)
This yogī means bhakti-yogī. Bhakti-yogī.
Indian man: Yoginām api sarveṣām...
Prabhupāda: Then yoginām api sarveṣām. Here He recommends that you become a yogī. And who is the perfect yogī, topmost yogī? That is explained in the next verse:
- yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
- śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
- sa me yuktatamo mataḥ
- (BG 6.47)
He is the highest yogī. This is yoga. Who is always constantly thinking of Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, he is the first-class yogī.
Indian man: This is the conclusion of the whole of Gītā.
Prabhupāda: It is the conclusion of whole Bhagavad-gītā. Yes. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65). It is very simple thing.
Indian man: But it is (indistinct).
Prabhupāda: Everywhere the same thing is. (laughter) Everywhere the same thing. But it is concluded that sarva-guhyatamam: "I am speaking to you," in the Eighteenth Chapter. Just open at Eighteenth Chapter. Sarva guhyatamaṁ bhūyaḥ śṛṇu me paramaṁ vacaḥ (BG 18.64). "Most confidential I am speaking to you. The most confidential and topmost of knowledge." Why? Iṣṭo 'si me: "Because you are My..." The same thing. Iṣṭo 'si. "I want your welfare." Iṣṭo 'si me dṛḍham iti: "Because you are My devotee, so I want that you be benefited." That is Kṛṣṇa's... As soon as you become devotee, bhakto 'si priyo 'si me (BG 4.3).
Just like here also, if you have got a very intimate friend, he wants how you can be happy. So dṛḍham iti, iṣṭo 'si me dṛḍham iti tato vakṣyāmi: "I am not speaking to the rascals. I am speaking to you, because you are My most confidential friend." What is that?
- man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
- mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
- mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te
- pratijāne priyo 'si me
- (BG 18.65)
"You are My dear friend." This is... Sarva-dharmān parityajya (BG 18.66). "Whatever I've spoken, they are all nonsense. There is sense, but the truth which I am speaking to you just now, 'You just become My devotee, just think of Me, just offer your obeisance unto Me, just work for Me,' this is the most confidential."
But those who are not able to understand, they are not to be spoken. They are to be instructed that "You become a yogī, you practice your breathing, you sit like this, you sit like that." Because he's unable to understand. Therefore He says, idaṁ te na atapaskāya (BG 18.67).
One who has not undergone severe austerities, don't speak this final knowledge. He'll not understand. He'll misunderstand. Just like scholars, like Radhakrishnan, misunderstands because he has no tapasya. It requires tapasya to understand this philosophy. Therefore Bhāgavata says, tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyet sattvam (SB 5.5.1): "My dear boys, just accept austerity voluntarily. Restrain."
So these boys, they are undergoing tapasya. Don't you think that—in this country, they are giving up meat-eating, giving up all kinds of intoxicants including coffee and tea, they are giving up illicit sex life—don't you think this is not tapasya? Great tapasya, at least for this country. So idaṁ te nātapaskāya. Without undergoing austerity, this science is difficult to understand. Therefore it is warned, idaṁ te nātapaskāya.
Now people ask us, "Swāmījī, why you make condition?" The condition..., if I don't make condition, he'll not be able to understand it. But I don't make condition in the beginning. I invite everyone to come and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Then you automatically accept all condition. This is so nice. Because he becomes purified. When he's a little bit purified, he immediately accepts all conditions.
So those who are not tapasvīs, or voluntarily accepting some, I mean to say, inconvenience... Suppose I am habituated to doing something, liquor or something. If I am stopped, there is inconvenience. But if somebody accepts voluntarily, "Yes, for Kṛṣṇa's sake I shall accept it," that is tapasya.
Just like Arjuna, he was very much painful to kill his kinsmen, but for Kṛṣṇa's sake he agreed. That is tapasya. It was not very happy for him to kill his grandfather and nephews, but for Kṛṣṇa he accepted. That is tapasya.
So people cannot understand, "Oh, he was a fighter. How he was a tapasvī?" But that is... Anything which you do not like, but for Kṛṣṇa's sake if you accept, that is tapasya. Because your the central point is, you love Kṛṣṇa; therefore you have sacrificed.
The point is that for Kṛṣṇa's sake, you are voluntarily accepting this inconvenience. That is tapasya. And as soon as you become tapasvī, your whole existentional condition becomes purified. Tapo divyaṁ yena śuddhyet sattvaṁ yasmād brahma-saukhyaṁ tv anantam (SB 5.5.1). So there is a link between one Vedic literature to another. There is no contradiction. But different things are there for different classes of men. But this is for the highest class. Bhakto 'si priyo 'si (BG 4.3). That is the highest position.
Guest: What is the value of accepting this sacrifice for the human being?
Prabhupāda: For better benefit.
Guest: But now can it be accepted as a kind of masochism?
Prabhupāda: What he's speaking? Masochism? What is this masochism?
Devotee: Self-inflicted pain. "I want to hurt myself."
Prabhupāda: No. It is not like that. Just like if you are diseased, doctor says that "You don't eat this." So that is not self-inflicted. The idea is that just to become cured from your disease you accept the instruction of the physician. So unnecessarily, that is also condemned. If you simply fast unnecessarily, that is condemned. No. For a better purpose, paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate (BG 2.59).
Yes. You can take some..., accept some painstaking—for better purpose. If there is no purpose, what is the use of painstaking? Śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8).
That is simply labor of love. That's all. So here everything is recommended for understanding Kṛṣṇa. That is not very difficult. By Kṛṣṇa's grace it is not at all difficult, but it appears to be difficult for a person who is accustomed to do such things. Otherwise it is not difficult. Yes.
Guest: But you're suggesting, I think, forgoing not just that which is the disease(?), but also that which one wants. I mean that somehow one should know that if one has love for something... And yet to come to that, give it up (indistinct).
Prabhupāda: Yes. If you love something and for that love's sake, if you give up something, that is also taken in account, that you're doing the same thing on account of love. The whole philosophy is for a better position you can accept some voluntary inconvenience. For better thing.
Devotee (2): We are absorbed in performing bhakti-yoga, devotional service. Now you stated in the lecture that the purport of bhakti-yoga is real activity of the spirit soul, whereas in jṣāna-yoga is of the mind, and karma-yoga is the activities of the body. Now, in our service of bhakti-yoga, how... I don't exactly understand. If we actually are the spirit soul, because (indistinct) performing action.
Prabhupāda: Just give me some practical example. What you are doing?
Devotee (2): Preparing prasādam.
Prabhupāda: So it is not bhakti-yoga? So why don't you understand? Your prasādam you are not cooking for yourself. You are cooking for Kṛṣṇa.
Devotee (2): Yeah, well, what I'm getting at is we're performing actions with our body.
Prabhupāda: But first of all try to understand this, this cooking... If you are cooking for Kṛṣṇa, that is bhakti-yoga, and if you are cooking for yourself, for your sense gratification, that is karma. The same process. Why don't you take the example of Arjuna?
For himself, he was considering, "Whether I shall fight or not." But as soon as he understood Bhagavad-gītā, he decided, "Oh, Kṛṣṇa wants me to fight." That is bhakti-yoga. So you can perform bhakti-yoga by fighting, by cooking, by going to the office, everything, if that purpose is for Kṛṣṇa. That is bhakti-yoga. Is it clear?
Devotee (2): And karma-yoga, then?
Prabhupāda: Karma means sense gratification and bhakti-yoga means Kṛṣṇa's satisfaction.
Devotee (2): Well, karma-yoga...
Prabhupāda: Karma-yoga means just to dovetail your karma with yoga principles to arrive to the bhakti-yoga.
Devotee (2): To eventually arrive.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is karma-yoga. That is not bhakti-yoga. But the aim is to arrive at the bhakti-yoga. Is it clear? That's all. Just try to understand in this way. It is very good.
Devotee (3): Is it the same thing with haṭha-yoga?
Prabhupāda: No, haṭha-yoga is not bhakti-yoga.
Devotee (3): No, but (indistinct).
Prabhupāda: Haṭha-yoga is a process for making the mind under control if it is properly performed. But generally it is in the name "haṭha-yoga." I have several times... In the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated, haṭha-yoga, how it is to be performed, that you have to perform in a sacred place, alone in a secluded place, sitting like this, seeing like this, eating like this. Who is following those regulations? Nobody is following. So they are..., smply it is going on under the name of yoga, but actually, nobody is following the principles. That is difficult. That is not possible in this age.
Now suppose if you have to perform haṭha-yoga in a secluded place, in a sanctified place and alone. Who is fulfilling these three conditions? Ekākī yata-cittātmā (BG 6.10). Ekākī. Ekākī means alone. Śucau deśe. Śucau deśe means very sanctified place. Samaṁ grīvam. This body and the, I mean to say, neck, and the śiraḥ, śiraḥ means this head—they should be in a straight line. And you cannot close your eyes fully. You have to half-close and see the top of your nose. In this way, you sit down always, never go to sleep.
I have seen in my childhood yogī in Calcutta, Kālīghāṭa. He was twenty-four hours sitting. When he was feeling uncomfortable, he had a wooden cot, like that. But he was never sleeping. That is yoga practice. Who is going to do that? It is very difficult.
Therefore Arjuna said, "Kṛṣṇa, You are recommending this yoga practice, but it is impossible for me to do." Five thousand years ago, a person like Arjuna declined, "Oh, it is not possible for me." And so many rascals, they are trying that yoga system. That is not possible. Yes.
Indian man: To know whether my karma or my life is for satisfying the senses, how it is going to help for Kṛṣṇa. (indistinct) To connect Kṛṣṇa through devotion. Then you can know that what I am doing.
Prabhupāda: Yes, first of all you have to connect yourself with Kṛṣṇa, then you act according to the direction of Kṛṣṇa.
Indian man: And if I surrender to the devotion?
Prabhupāda: Certainly. Yes.
Indian man: Not that you can expect immediately, because that is very difficult, like Hiraṇyakaśipu.
Prabhupāda: That is also under the Kṛṣṇa's direction, because when they were condemned to go to the material world, they pray that "How we shall be delivered?" Then Kṛṣṇa's giving..., Kṛṣṇa gave him direction that "If you treat Me as your enemy, then three..." Yes, quickly. "And if you treat Me as friend, then you'll take long time." They preferred, "Yes, we shall treat You like enemy, because our aim is to come quickly." (laughter)
Indian man: But to understand about our relationship with...
Prabhupāda: So that means he is following Kṛṣṇa's direction. That's all. He doesn't mind that "I am going to be enemy of Kṛṣṇa." The principle is that he's following. If Kṛṣṇa says that "You become My enemy," I can become His enemy. That is bhakti-yoga. (laughter)
Yes. I want to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. Just like a master is asking servant that "You knock me here." So he's knocking like this. So that is service. The others may see, "Oh, he's knocking and he's thinking, 'I am serving'? What is this? He's knocking." But master wants that "You knock me." That is service. Service means that you obey the order of the master. It doesn't matter what it is.
There is very nice example in Lord Caitanya's life, that He had His personal servitor, Govinda. So after Lord Caitanya would take prasādam, then Govinda would take. So one day, Lord Caitanya, after taking prasādam, He laid down Himself on the threshold. What is called? Threshold? Door?
Indian man: Doorway.
Prabhupāda: Doorway. So Govinda crossed Him. Govinda used to massage His legs after, when He was taking rest. So Govinda crossed Lord Caitanya and massaged His legs. Then Lord Caitanya was sleeping, and, say, after half an hour, when He got, He saw, "Govinda, you have not taken your prasādam as yet?" "No, sir." "Why?" "I cannot cross You. You are lying down here." "Then how you came?" "I came across." "How you first of all came across, why not again crossing?" "But that I came to serve You. And now I cannot cross You to take my prasādam. That is not my duty. That is for myself. And it is for You."
So for Kṛṣṇa's pleasure you can become His enemy, you can become His friend, you can become anything. That is bhakti-yoga. Because your aim is how to please Kṛṣṇa. And as soon as the point comes to please your senses, then you come to material world, immediately.
- kṛṣṇa bhuliya jīva bhoga vaṣcha kare
- pāśate māyā tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare
As soon as we forget Kṛṣṇa and we want to do things for our sense gratification, that is māyā. And as soon as we give up this process of sense gratification and do everything for Kṛṣṇa, that is liberation.
Indian man (2): I want to know whether the devotion of Hanumān was bhakti-yoga.
Prabhupāda: Yes, certainly.
Indian man (2): Because he also followed(?) catur-bhuja Nārāyaṇa and (indistinct).
Prabhupāda: That doesn't matter, but his activities were bhakti-yoga. He set fire to the house and capital of Rāvaṇa. That is bhakti-yoga. People will say, "How it is by setting fire in others' house bhakti-yoga?" But practically see. What Hanumān's business was? Just to punish Rāvaṇa, that's all. That is bhakti-yoga. And he was considered to be the greatest devotee of Lord Rāmacandra. He never studied Vedānta-sūtra, because he was animal, so he had no opportunity, but still, he became the greatest devotee, rāma-bhakta.
Why? By setting fire to the Rāvaṇa's house. That's all. These are practical example. By setting fire to the house of Rāvaṇa, he became the great devotee of Rāma. And similar, same case is Arjuna. Arjuna also fought. He killed his kinsmen and he became a great bhakta. Somebody in Bengal, some gentleman, criticized that "Lord Caitanya introducing this bhakti-yoga has," what is called, "(indistinct) the population of Bengal." And you do not know what is bhakti-yoga.
Indian man (2): (indistinct) I know a Doctor who published the life called Life of Śrī Caitanya. That book?
Prabhupāda: I do not know this Doctor who (indistinct) says.
Indian man (2): (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: So we are not concerned with any scholarly book. We are concerned whether it is written by a devotee. Yes. We don't care for any scholarly writing, because they will commit mistake. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ (SB 5.18.12). One who is not devotee, he cannot have any good qualification. Reject it immediately.
Indian man (2): So what is (indistinct)?
Prabhupāda: Yes. I told that "You do not know bhakti-yoga. The two greatest fights in India, Rāmāyaṇa fight and Mahābhārata fight, was conducted by Vaiṣṇavas, Arjuna and Hanumān. Therefore "You do not know what is bhakti-yoga," I told him. The bhakta, for Kṛṣṇa's sake, he can do anything. But by nature, he's perfect; he does not commit any violence. Just like see Arjuna's character. He was so much harassed by the opposite party, his wife was insulted, his kingdom was, I mean to say, by unlawful means taken away, he was sent to forest for thirteen years.
After so many troubles, he never tried to retaliate. He said, "All right, Kṛṣṇa, I don't want my kingdom. I cannot fight with my kinsmen." This is Vaiṣṇava nature. But as soon as he understood that "This fight is liked by Kṛṣṇa. Oh, then I'll continue, stay. I must fight." It is not his cowardice. He was quite competent to fight, but out of his Vaiṣṇava compassion he was avoiding it in the beginning. But when he understood that "My master, Kṛṣṇa, He wants it," he gave up his decision.
So Vaiṣṇava... That is Vaiṣṇavism. Devotee means he can act anything and everything for the Lord. That is bhakti-yoga. But under the direction. Not whimsically. Yes. Either Arjuna or Hanumān, he did not set fire to the Rāvaṇa's house whimsically. Under the direction of Rāma. Arjuna also fought under the direction of Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, we have to take the direction of Kṛṣṇa or His representative. Then it will be nice.
Indian man (2): And in Mahābhārata we see Hanumān is also (indistinct).
Prabhupāda: Yes. He's given so much respect.
Indian man (2): And Kṛṣṇa Himself was the charioteer.
Prabhupāda: Just see how much honor was given to Hanumān. Why? Because he's a devotee. Like, a personality like Arjuna, he's keeping on his head the flag marked with Hanumān, that "Hanumān, you are great devotee and fighter. Please help me." This is...
All right. Any other question? Dr. Murti, you have no question?
Dr. Murti: (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: That's all right. Very good. (Hindi with Indian man) Hare Kṛṣṇa. Then chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. (break) (end)