Bhagavad-gītā 9.2 , New York , 1966-11-11
pavitram idam uttamam
susukhaṁ kartum avyayam
[This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.]
This is called...
[aside:] Bruce! Come on. Sit down. Yes.
Rāja-vidyā. Vidyā means education, and rāja means king. So what is the king of education? Just like we have got a different status of life in the material world, similarly, in the education also, somebody is M.A., somebody is B.A., somebody is school-leaving certificate, somebody three years, somebody four years. There are different grades of education. Now, what is the summum bonum, highest, topmost education? This topmost education is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, topmost education. Rāja-vidyā. Jīvātmā yathātmādi-rahasyānāṁ rājaḥ. Real knowledge is: "So what I am." This is real knowledge. Unless we come to this point, that "What I am," that is not knowledge.
Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu, when He began His preaching, His first disciple was Sanātana Gosvāmī. He was a finance minister of Nawab Hussain Shah, but being attracted with Caitanya Mahāprabhu's movement, he retired from service and he joined Lord Caitanya. So at that time, when he came to Caitanya for the first time, his enquiry was that "What is education?" "What is education?"
He was educated. He was highly educated. In those days, Persian language was being taught in England, er, in India. Just like during British rule English language was taught to us, similarly, during Pathan rule, Persian language was state language. Besides that, Sanātana Gosvāmī was a great scholar in Sanskrit also. Still, he inquired that "What is education?" "What is education?" Why he inquired like that? He placed before the Lord that "People in general, they call me very educated, and I am also so fool that I accept that I am educated."
So the next question is, "Then why do you think that you are not educated? You are great scholar in Sanskrit, you are great scholar in Persian language. Why do you think that you are not educated?" He replied that "I am thinking 'not educated' because I do not know what I am. I do not know what I am. I do not wish to be a suffering member, but these material miseries is enforced upon me. I do not know wherefrom I have come, where I have to go, and still people, they think that I am very much educated, and they designate me that I am a great scholar, and I am satisfied. But I am such a fool that I do not know what I am."
Actually, this is the position of our present situation. We are very much proud of our advancement of education. But if you enquire from various persons that "What you are?" hardly some will answer what he is. Everyone is under the conception of this body. But we are not actually this body. This question we have discussed various times, many times. So this, after passing this examination that "I am not this body," then one who..., one comes into the real knowledge. That is real knowledge, "What I am." That is the beginning.
So the knowledge about which Lord Kṛṣṇa is now imparting, giving instruction to Arjuna, He says, "This is rāja-vidyā." Rāja-vidyā means to know oneself what he is and act accordingly. That is called rāja-vidyā. If I do not know what I am, what is my position, then if I am in..., mistaken about my situation, then all activities what I am doing, they are all mistaken; they are all illusion. Therefore this position, rāja-vidyā, means one should know himself what he is, and act accordingly. Simply by knowing that "I am not this material body," that is not sufficient. You must act accordingly, that you are not material; you are spiritual. That spiritual activity is called Kṛṣ..., act in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and that is called rāja-vidyā, the king of all education.
Rāja-vidyā rāja-guhyam. Rāja-guhyam. Rāja-guhyam means confidential, very confidential. It is not possible to accept this Kṛṣṇa consciousness very easily, but by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa and by the mercy of Lord Caitanya, it is very easily delivered to us through this chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare / Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
Lord Caitanya has discussed a very analytical study of the living entity. He has analyzed that the living entities... There are innumerable living entities all over the universe. If you dig earth, you'll find many living entities. If you make a study of the air, you'll find many living entities. If you go deep into the water, you'll find living entities.
So all over the universe there are full of different types of living entities. And He has divided all these living entities into two classes. Some are moving and some are not moving. That we can experience. Just like trees, plants, grass, they cannot move. Stone. Stone has also life, but it is not developed conscious. It is too much covered, stone life. Similarly, a person, even in human body, if he does not understand his position, he's almost stonelike.
So these are stones, trees, grass and so many others. They are "not-moving" living entities. And there are moving entities, just like aquatics, beasts, birds, reptiles, human being, demigods, oh, celestial angels—so many. There are moving. So out of the moving entities, very small number are human beings. There are 8,400,000's of species of life. Out of that, only 400,000 species of life are this human body.
So Lord Caitanya says, "Out of these 400,000 species of life, some of them are civilized. And out of many civilized person, they are actually devoted to the scriptures, not all." Some of them, they agree that "I belong to Christian religion," "I belong to Hindu religion," or "I belong to Muhammadan religion," but at the present age, mostly they simply claim that "I belong to this religion" but do not believe in the scriptures, mostly.
So those who are believing in the scriptures, they are mostly attracted by pious, philanthropic activities. They, some of them, those who actually believe that charity is very good thing, and... Religious means these three things: yajña-dāna-tapaḥ. Yajña-dāna-tapaḥ. Yajña means sacrifice, dāna means charity and tapaḥ means penance. Just like brahmacārī: it is tapasya. Tapasya. A sannyāsī, it is tapasya. Tapaḥ. Tapaḥ means penance, voluntarily accepting very rigid principles of life. That is called tapasya. And charity. Charity means voluntarily giving away his material possessions. That is charity. And yajña, sacrifice.
Sacrifice, of course, you have no experience. Not you, but we all. Nowadays, in the present days, there is no sacrifice. But we get information from such historical literature as Mahābhārata. Mahābhārata is called history in the Vedic literature. So the kings were performing very big sacrifices. Millions of rupees, millions of valuable gold and silver, they were distributed. Oh, that is not possible. That was being done by the kings. Kings used to collect tax from the citizens, but at the same..., at the time when they performed sacrifice, they are distributed to all the citizens. Always.
So that process is not. Nowadays the state simply collects taxes but never distributes. So we have no idea what is yajña. But this yajña is the performance of kings or the heads of the state, and dāna of the general householders, and tapasya for brahmacārī, sannyāsī, vānaprastha. So these are different kinds of rules in religious life.
So those who believe in scriptures, they adopt; not all. Just like I explained that mostly people, they simply accept a certain faith. Mouth, in mouth only. Actually, they do not do anything. Do not do anything. So out of that many millions of people like that, somebody are religious, really religious, who perform this sacrifice, charity and penance. So Lord Caitanya says, "Out of many millions of persons who are actually engaged in charity, and," I mean to..., "penance and sacrifice, some of them become in perfect knowledge what he is."
So this knowledge is... Just see how He's making analytical study of the living entities. Beginning from eighty-eight, er, eight hundred..., 8,400's millions species of life, He's selecting only few human civilized life; then addicted to the, I mean to say, certain kind of faith; then extracting them who are actually believing; and then those who are actually believing. Out of them, those who are sacrificing, making charities and adopting penances, out of many millions of like, persons like that, some of them are actually in knowledge what he is. You'll find in your country also. There are many foundations, they are making charities. But hardly you'll find amongst them that he knows that what he is.
So out of many millions of these religious person, some of them know what he is: "I am not this body." Now, simply theoretically knowing that "I am not this body; I am spirit soul," that is not perfect. You have to actually become liberated from the material entanglement. That is called mukti, liberation. So out of many thousands of persons who are in the knowledge what they are or what he is, some of them are actually liberated. Liberated. And out of many thousands of people who are liberated, they can understand what is Kṛṣṇa.
So Kṛṣṇa understanding is not very easy job. But Kṛṣṇa is so kind, because He knows that in this age, in this age of Kali, it will be very difficult for person to become liberated under the process—first to become civilized, then to become religious, then to perform this charity, sacrifices, then come to the platform of knowledge; then, after coming to the platform of knowledge, you come to the platform of liberation, and after being liberated, you can know what is Kṛṣṇa.
That is stated in Bhagavad-gītā,
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
[And of all yogīs, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.]
This is the sign of liberation. A man who is liberated, his signs are explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā. His first symptom is that he's very happy. One who is liberated, his first symptom is that you'll never find him morose. He is happy. Prasannātmā. Na śocati na kāṅkṣati. He has no anxiety. "Oh, this thing I haven't got. I have to secure this thing. This bill I have to pay. Oh, this I have to do." So many anxieties. We are full of anxieties. So he has no anxieties.
And then does it mean, because he has no anxieties, he is very rich man? No. Not necessarily. He may be the poorest man. He has no anxiety. Then he has no lamentation. He does not think, "I am poor." Why he should think poor? Poor, when I think that "I am this material..., some, I am a part of this material world. I haven't got this possession, material possession," then I think, "I am poor" or "rich." But one who is liberated from the material conception of life, then he has nothing to do what he's possessing, what he's not possessing. He has nothing to do. That is liberation.
If one is free from the material conception of life, then factually, either he possesses or not possesses, he has nothing to do with them. Therefore he's prasannātmā, he's joyful: "Oh, I have nothing to lose, nothing to gain. I am completely separate from here." This is liberation.
And samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu: and his vision of life is that he does not see anybody rich, poor, or fool, or educated, or so many dualities there are in the material world. He has nothing. His vision is completely on the spiritual platform. He sees that every living entity is a part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore he tries to take them back to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He has no distinction that "He is brāhmaṇa," "He is śūdra," "He is Indian," "He's American," or "He's black," "He's white," or "He's educated" "He's noneducated." No. "Everyone should come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness." That is his viewpoint. Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu. When one is qualified in that way, then mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām. Lord Kṛṣṇa says, "Then he becomes eligible for becoming a pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa."
So practically this process, under regulative principle, is not very easy, especially in this age. In this age, the description of the people are that prāyeṇa alpāyuṣaḥ: "Their duration of life is very short." And prāyeṇālpāyuṣaḥ mandāḥ. Manda means very slow. Sleeping, out of twenty-four hours, sleeping twelve hours, and out of twelve hours, they're busy in earning money ten hours. Then two hours left. What he can do for spiritual understanding? You see? There's no time.
So mandāḥ sumanda-matayaḥ. And if somebody has got some intention to make spiritual progress, then there are so many pseudo-spiritual, I mean to say, societies. They're entrapped by some of them. So manda-matayaḥ..., sumanda-matayaḥ, manda-bhāgyāḥ: "And most of them are unfortunate. Unfortunate." Most of them.
If you count the population, take a statistic, they are so unfortunate that the primary principles of life—eating, sleeping, defending and mating—they haven't got sufficient arrangement. Oh. These are only primary principles. They are available even in animal life. So, but in this age even these primary principle... No one has got shelter, no one has arrangement for eating nicely, no one has got the mating or wife, and everyone is afraid of "When there will be war declared, and I'll have to go to the war field?" This is the position. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyāḥ [SB 1.1.10].
[O learned one, in this iron Age of Kali men almost always have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed.]
Unfortunate. And upadrutāḥ: "In spite of all this, he's always disturbed with diseases and so many other things." This is disturb. This is the position.
Therefore Lord Kṛṣṇa, He thought that if these people are allowed, if they have to come to the point of liberation under the regulative process, it is impossible. So out of His causeless mercy, He came as Lord Caitanya, Lord Caitanya, and distributed this highest perfection of life, ecstasy, spiritual ecstasy, by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare / Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
This is practical. This is practical. It does not depend whether you are now liberated or non-liberated, what is your position, what is your condition. Doesn't matter. Just come and take part in it, and you'll feel spiritual ecstasy. Therefore it is called rāja-vidyā rāja-guhyaṁ pavitram. Pavitram: "It is very pure." Anyone who takes to this process, he becomes immediately purified. Or the purification process begins immediately. Immediately. Pavitram. And uttamam. Uttamam means the highest, or transcendental. Last day we have already explained uttamam.
So the commentator, he says, aprārabdha...
kūtaṁ bījaṁ phalonmukham
[There are different stages of dormant reactions to sinful activities to be observed in a sinful life. Sinful reactions may be just waiting to take effect [phalonmukha], reactions may be still further dormant [kūṭa], or the reactions may be in a seedlike state [bīja]. In any case, all types of sinful reactions are vanquished one after another if a person engages in the devotional service of Lord Viṣṇu.]
Viṣṇu-bhakti-ratātmanā. That means one who is in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then the, eh, gradually he is the seed of all reaction of his sins, that becomes vanquished. Just like in the Bhagavad-gītā we have studied. Just like in the fire, if you put anything... You go on putting everything, it makes into, turns it into ashes. Similarly, this fire of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, as soon as it is begun, then all our reactions of sinful activities in our past life...
Mind that. Our suffering is due to sinful activities. And sinful activities are due to our ignorance. Ignorance. Sinful activities are done by persons who do not know what is what. Just like a child: A child does not know what is the result of catching fire, because he is ignorant. But as soon as the child catches fire, his hand becomes burned immediately. The fire does not allow any concession for the child. It will act as fire.
Similarly, we do not know how this material world is going on, what are the laws, who is the controller, how it is being controlled. Due to our ignorance, we act in some way, but nature is so stringent that it will never excuse you, either you do it knowingly or unknowingly. Just the same example: the child does not know that the fire will burn, but if the child catches the fire, the fire will not excuse because it is child. Therefore ignorance is the cause of suffering.
And one should be put into proper knowledge. Proper knowledge means to know things as they are: "What I am. What is this world. What is God. What is our relation." These things we should know, not that simply becoming a technical expert or some departmental expert, we become a man of knowledge. That is not knowledge. Here is knowledge. You should know what you are and how you act. And this knowledge can be achieved in this human form of life, not in the animal form of life.
Therefore, to give you knowledge, to give you proper direction, there are so many scriptures in all parts of the civilized world. They should not be neglected. The Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, kṛṣṇa bhuliyā jīva, er,
ataeva kṛṣṇa veda-purāṇa karilā
[Cc Madhya 20.117]
[Forgetting Kṛṣṇa, the living entity has been attracted by the external feature from time immemorial. Therefore the illusory energy [māyā] gives him all kinds of misery in his material existence.]
The meaning of this stanza is that people are forgetful since time immemorial about his relationship with the Supreme Lord. Forgetful. Bhuli' gelā. Bhuli' gelā means he has forgotten. Ataeva kṛṣṇa veda-purāṇa karila. Therefore Lord has sent so many representative to give them these literatures, these scriptures.
So we should take advantage of these scripture, especially the Bhagavad-gītā, which is accepted as the prime scripture in the modern world. And you'll find everything nicely. You can put your arguments, you can try to understand with your knowledge, with your intelligence. Everything will be clear. So we should take advantage of this Bhagavad-gītā, and our power of intaking will be increased if we begin with this transcendental sound vibration, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare / Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
Thank you very much. Any question? [end]