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SB 11.19.36-39

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Please note: The synonyms, translation and purport of this verse were composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda

TEXTS 36-39

śamo man-niṣṭhatā buddher
dama indriya-saṁyamaḥ
titikṣā duḥkha-sammarṣo
jihvopastha-jayo dhṛtiḥ
daṇḍa-nyāsaḥ paraṁ dānaṁ
kāma-tyāgas tapaḥ smṛtam
svabhāva-vijayaḥ śauryaṁ
satyaṁ ca sama-darśanam
anyac ca sunṛtā vāṇī
kavibhiḥ parikīrtitā
karmasv asaṅgamaḥ śaucaṁ
tyāgaḥ sannyāsa ucyate
dharma iṣṭaṁ dhanaṁ nṟṇāṁ
yajño 'haṁ bhagavattamaḥ
dakṣiṇā jñāna-sandeśaḥ
prāṇāyāmaḥ paraṁ balam


śamaḥ—mental equilibrium; mat—in Me; niṣṭhatā—steady absorption; buddheḥ—of the intelligence; damaḥ—self-control; indriya—of the senses; saṁyamaḥ—perfect discipline; titikṣā—tolerance; duḥkha—unhappiness; sammarṣaḥ—tolerating; jihvā—the tongue; upastha—and genitals; jayaḥ—conquering; dhṛtiḥ—steadiness; daṇḍa—aggression; nyāsaḥ—giving up; param—the supreme; dānam—charity; kāma—lust; tyāgaḥ—giving up; tapaḥ—austerity; smṛtam—is considered; svabhāva—one's natural tendency to enjoy; vijayaḥ—conquering; śauryam—heroism; satyam—reality; ca—also; sama-darśanam—seeing the Supreme Lord everywhere; anyat—the next element (truthfulness); ca—and; su-nṛtā—pleasing; vāṇī—speech; kavibhiḥ—by the sages; parikīrtitā—is declared to be; karmasu—in fruitive activities; asaṅgamaḥ—detachment; śaucam—cleanliness; tyāgaḥ—renunciation; sannyāsaḥ—the sannyāsa order of life; ucyate—is said to be; dharmaḥ—religiousness; iṣṭam—desirable; dhanam—wealth; nṟṇām—for human beings; yajñaḥ—sacrifice; aham—I am; bhagavat-tamaḥ—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; dakṣiṇā—religious remuneration; jñāna-sandeśaḥ—the instruction of perfect knowledge; prāṇāyāmaḥ—the yogic system of controlling the breath; param—the supreme; balam—strength.

Translation and purport composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


Absorbing the intelligence in Me constitutes mental equilibrium, and complete discipline of the senses is self-control. Tolerance means patiently enduring unhappiness, and steadfastness occurs when one conquers the tongue and genitals. The greatest charity is to give up all aggression toward others, and renunciation of lust is understood to be real austerity. Real heroism is to conquer one's natural tendency to enjoy material life, and reality is seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead everywhere. Truthfulness means to speak the truth in a pleasing way, as declared by great sages. Cleanliness is detachment in fruitive activities, whereas renunciation is the sannyāsa order of life. The true desirable wealth for human beings is religiousness, and I, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, am sacrifice. Religious remuneration is devotion to the ācārya with the purpose of acquiring spiritual instruction, and the greatest strength is the prāṇāyāma system of breath control.


Lord Kṛṣṇa here describes those qualities that are desirable for persons advancing in human life. Śama, or "mental equilibrium," means to fix the intelligence in Lord Kṛṣṇa. Mere peacefulness without Kṛṣṇa consciousness is a dull and useless state of mind. Dama, or "discipline," means first to control one's own senses. If one wants to discipline one's children, disciples or followers without controlling one's own senses, one becomes a mere laughingstock. Tolerance means to patiently endure unhappiness, such as that provoked by the insults or negligence of others. One must also sometimes accept material inconvenience to carry out the injunctions of scriptures, and that unhappiness must also be patiently endured. If one is not tolerant of the insults and abuse of others, nor tolerant of the inconveniences that may arise from following authorized religious scriptures, it is simply foolishness for him to make a whimsical show of tolerating extreme heat, cold and pain and so on, just to impress others. Concerning steadfastness, if one does not control the tongue and genitals, then any other steadfastness is useless. Real charity means to renounce all aggression toward others. If one gives money to charitable causes but at the same time engages in exploitative business enterprises or abusive political tactics, one's charity is worth nothing at all. Austerity means to give up lust and sense gratification and to observe prescribed vows such as Ekādaśī; it does not mean inventing whimsical methods of torturing the material body. Real heroism is to conquer one's lower nature. Certainly everyone likes to propagate his own fame as a brilliant person, but everyone is also subject to lust, anger, greed and so forth. Therefore, if one can conquer these lower characteristics generated from the modes of passion and ignorance, one is a greater hero than those who merely destroy their political opponents through intrigue and violence.

One can develop equal vision by giving up jealousy and envy and by recognizing the existence of the soul within every material body. This attitude pleases the Supreme Lord, who then reveals Himself, solidifying forever one's equal vision. Merely describing things that exist does not constitute the last word in the perception of reality. One must also see the true spiritual equality of all living entities and all situations. Truthfulness means that one should speak in a pleasing way so that there will be a beneficial effect. If one becomes attached to pointing out the faults of others in the name of truth, then such faultfinding will not be appreciated by saintly persons. The bona fide spiritual master speaks the truth in such a way that people can elevate themselves to the spiritual platform, and one should learn this art of truthfulness. If one is attached to material things, his body and mind are understood to be always polluted. Cleanliness therefore means to give up material attachment, not merely to frequently rinse one's skin with water. Real renunciation is giving up one's false sense of proprietorship over one's relatives and wife, and not just giving away material objects, while real wealth is to be religious. Sacrifice is the Personality of Godhead Himself, because the performer of sacrifice, to be successful, must absorb his consciousness in the Personality of Godhead and not in temporary, material rewards that may accrue from sacrifice. Real religious remuneration means that one should serve saintly persons who can enlighten one with spiritual knowledge. One may offer remuneration to his spiritual master, who has enlightened him, by distributing the same knowledge to others, thereby pleasing the ācārya. Preaching work thus constitutes the highest form of remuneration. By performing the prāṇāyāma system of respiratory control, one can easily subdue the mind, and one who can in this way perfectly control the restless mind is the most powerful person.

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