Bhagavad-gītā 9.14–15 , New York , 1966-11-28

Kīrtanānanda: [taps microphone] You'll have to play very quietly while Swami chants from the beginning and [indistinct].

Prabhupāda: Softly.

Prabhupāda: [prema-dhvani] All glories to the assembled devotees. All glories to the assembled devotees. All glories to the assembled devotees. Thank you very much.

Devotees: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. [taps microphone].

Kīrtanānanda: Anybody who would like to move up feel free to do so. [indistinct]. [moving sounds]



satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ
yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ
namasyantaś ca māṁ bhaktyā
nitya-yuktā upāsate

[Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion.]

We have been discussing the symptoms of mahātmā—great soul. Poor soul and great soul. Poor soul means, ah, they have got this opportunity of becoming great soul, but they misuse it, they are called poor soul. This human form of life the soul is equal in every living being, but it is covered by this material energy and as the covering is moved by enlightenment of knowledge, purity of consciousness. We become greater and greater and ultimately, we become great soul. Just like flower, in the beginning, in the bud stage then fructifies gradually and then one day it comes to be a very nice flower.

So, one who comes to the Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he is compared with a nice flower. So, he is called great soul—mahātmā. So, this opportunity is open for every one of us and if we take this advantage, especially in this human form of life. Then we are also open to become great soul. So, what is the qualification of great soul, that is defined here in the Śrīmad-Bhagavad-gītā. Satataṁ kīrtana, he is engaged 24 hours in glorifying the Lord. This is also kīrtana, just like we perform kīrtana with musical sign, sound. This is also.

This Bhagavad-gītā reading is also kīrtana and when you write something about God that is also kīrtana. Kīrtana means. The Sanskrit word is kīrtaye iti—glorifying. So anyway, when you glorify the Supreme Lord. Kīrtana does not mean that you can glorify anyone and everyone. No. That is not kīrtana. Kīrtana is defined in the śāstra as śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ—you have to hear and chant about the Supreme Lord. If you perform some musical performances glorifying some of your friends, or some of your leader. That is not kīrtana. That is not kīrtana.

Here also it is stated, satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ—the Lord says, "One who is glorifying Me." Not anyone else. Sometimes you are misled that we can glorify anyone of my imagination and that goes to God. No. Here it is specifically mentioned satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ. And kīrtana means glorifying the Lord. So:

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam

[SB 7.5.23]

[Prahlāda Mahārāja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Viṣṇu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words)—these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Kṛṣṇa through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge.]

This process, these devotional process they are meant, they are meant only for the Supreme Lord not for anyone else. So, he is mahātmā, he is I mean to say great soul. Who always who is always engaged in the performance of glorifying the Supreme Lord. His only business is how to glorify the Lord. That's all. He has no other business, 24 hours, cent percent engaged. He is mahātmā. So, satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ yatantaś ca, yatantaś ca means—with great care. How people will take up this. His only thinking is. He is only always engaged how people will take it. Because people are now aversed, not only now, always. Who are? We are material world, generally we are all aversed to God. Therefore, you are put into this material world. All wholesale, everyone we may be by degrees, little higher or lower. That doesn't matter. Just like in the prison house all the population they are condemned. They are condemned. It is to be understood that they are condemned. But there may be, some of them, they are first-class, some of them second-class, some of them, I mean to say. Officers of the jail but the officers of the jail they are not condemned. Don't mistake.

Similarly, those who come here on—on the mission of preaching the glories of Lord they are not condemned. They are glorified, they are mahātmā. And others they are condemned. The mahātmās they come to glorify the Lord and to reclaim these fallen conditioned souls back to Godhead. That is their business. So, they are not condemned. Otherwise in the material world whoever he maybe he is supposed to be condemned. This is the process. Dṛḍha-vratāḥ yatantaś ca, yatantaś ca means just like the politicians they make plan how to execute successfully his mission he has got a plan. Similarly, the great souls who come to glorify the Lord who come to reclaim the conditioned souls. They are also engaged yatantaś ca, they are trying making plan how people will accept it. How people will accept it. Just like Lord Caitanya. He made so many plans to give this transcendental message to the people. He left home at the age of 24 years only and just young boy and His wife was not more than 16 years old. And His mother was about 75 years old, but He did not care. He took sannyāsa and all over India He distributed this kīrtana movement. Since then every part of India they are chanting this:

Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

So, this mahātmās, they have also plan making but for Kṛṣṇa. For Kṛṣṇa not for any other person. Satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ namasyantaś ca, the mahātmā has only one obeisances. Obedience to the Lord. Namasyantaś ca māṁbhaktyā—with devotion. Not for any purpose. Bhakti means there is no purpose a person who approaches God in devotion he has no ulterior purpose. Bhakti means purity, bhakti does not mean, just like I flatter some friend or some person with a purpose. No, bhakti does not mean that. Bhakti means: without any purpose—as a matter of duty. As a matter of love. A devotee… A pure devotee offers his respect to the Lord not with a purpose, but he knows the Lord is great, I am his eternal servitor with this purpose he offers with love.

Similarly, God also loves his devotees more than anyone. So, this is reciprocation of transcendental love. So bhaktyā, bhaktyā means without any purpose. The devotee… The pure devotee takes pleasure in glorifying the Lord and the Lord also takes pleasure in thinking of his devotee. So, this is the relationship between the Lord and His bhaktyā. Bhaktyānitya-yuktā, and nitya-yuktā means: that devotional service not for temporary purpose because they have no purpose. So that is not temporary. Just like there are some persons who also present themselves chanting Hare Krishna. But they have a purpose they want to gain some material satisfaction. So that is not kīrtana. That is not kīrtana because they have got some purpose. Sometimes they describe that by kīrtana, "Oh I become such and such therefore I want." No. Kīrtana should be performed for the glorification of the Lord as a matter of duty—nitya-yuktā. The Māyāvādī's they also perform kīrtana but their performance of kīrtana that will be described in the next verse. They are taking kīrtana as the means for serving some purpose.

Yesterday when our function was going on initiations, I have described the purposeful kīrtana, Hare Krishna is offence. If you want to serve some purpose by chanting Hare Krishna that is an offence. That offence should be avoided. So, they have no purpose the mahātmā who are offering this respectful obeisances unto the Lord. They have no purpose bhaktyā nitya-yuktā upāsate. Their process is to worship the Lord out of love so that is not broken at any stage. The Māyāvādī they break, that at a certain stage they think that by kīrtana by performance of kīrtana when I reach to the highest stage then I become one with the Supreme there is no necessity of kīrtana. Stop kīrtana. No. The mahātmā those who are really mahātmā they do not do that. Their kīrtana will continue even after liberation. Nitya, nitya means eternal. You are eternal every living entity is eternal. So as after getting out of this body you also continue to exist, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg 2.20].

[For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.]

Due to destruction, annihilation of this material body you are not destroyed. In the material world we take another body but since spiritual world there is no question of changing the body. As soon as we get our spiritual life then there is no need of changing the body. You get your eternal body. So, because you are eternal and your body is eternal. Similarly, your kīrtana performance is also eternal. Your kīrtana performance is also eternal. Not that after you get liberation you stop it. Rather when you get liberation, oh you chant it with more devotion, with more ecstasy. Dṛḍha-vratāḥ, vratāḥ means— vow. So this is the process of kīrtana and one who performs kīrtana in this way without any purpose, anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ. Bhakti means without any purpose for material gain:


[Cc Madhya 19.167]

[When first-class devotional service develops, one must be devoid of all material desires, knowledge obtained by monistic philosophy, and fruitive action. The devotee must constantly serve Kṛṣṇa favorably, as Kṛṣṇa desires.]

Without being covered by speculative process and fruitive activities, ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-śīlanaṁ, favorably, just to please the Supreme Lord, that is bhakti, not with any purpose. Now the Lord says:

jñāna-yajñena cāpy anye
yajanto mām upāsate
ekatvena pṛthaktvena
bahudhā viśvato-mukham

[Others, who are engaged in the cultivation of knowledge, worship the Supreme Lord as the one without a second, diverse in many, and in the universal form.]

Now there are others, now here it is said: anye, anye means, "Others," or you can take it there are other mahātmās. But actually, so far these verses are concerned, in one verse He has said particularly that this is the symptom of mahātmā, great souls. In the next verse He says anye, others. Just like you sometimes say particularly that, "Such and such gentlemen," you particularly, I mean to say, say his name. But when you speak of others, those who are not important, you say, "And others." Others they are not. You are not taking so much importance of the others. So similarly, here it is said: anye, anye means, "Others." Those who are not actually in pure devotion but they are trying something in transcendental line and they are trying to gain at spiritual salvation.

So mahātmā means—who are directly in touch with the Supreme Lord in devotional service. Unalloyed without any adulteration. But others those who are of opinion that after salvation we shall become one with the Lord. They are described here as anye. Anye means others. They have not been specifically said that they are mahātmā. But Vaiṣṇava philosopher's this anye, this word they take it there are other mahātmās also. But in the Bhagavad-gītā it is not mentioned.

Anyway, they are also mahātmās because they are trying for transcendental realisation. So, their method is jñāna-yajñena. Jñāna-yajñena means they are trying to understand the Supreme Absolute Truth by philosophical speculation, jñāna-yoga.

Just in the fourth chapter we have learned it that there are four kinds of persons who begin devotional service. Catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ, sukṛtino 'rjuna [Bg 7.16].

[O best among the Bhāratas [Arjuna], four kinds of pious men render devotional service unto Me—the distressed, the desirer of wealth, the inquisitive, and he who is searching for knowledge of the Absolute.]

There are four kinds of persons who have got some background of pious life. They only—not others. Those who are miscreants they cannot approach God.

na māṁ prapadyante mūḍhāḥ
duṣkṛtino narādhamāḥ

[Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons, do not surrender unto Me.]

Those who are simply miscreants and fool they cannot approach God, that is stated. But those who are pious, those who are pious. Not miscreants. There are four classes amongst the pious and what are they? Pious. Ārto arthārthī jijñāsur jñānī. Ārtaḥ means those who are distressed, in distress. Pious, pious people are generally they are in distress. So, amongst the pious men those who are in distress. Those who are in wants of money and those who are inquisitive to know what is the Absolute Truth. And those who are searching after the transcendental knowledge. These four classes begin after the understanding what is God. They have heard that there is God and they begin their research. The ārtaḥ they pray for recovery from the distress. The man who is in want of money, he wants some money from the Supreme Lord, "I am in distress, I am, want some money." And the jñānī they are after knowledge they want to know what is God. And jijñāsur—inquisitive, "Oh let me enquire what is the science of God?"

So out of these four those who are in distress and those who want some material help. They may cease after their purpose is fulfilled. When their distress is over, or they have got some money. They may cease to worship the Supreme Lord. But the jñānī, they are not ceasing, they will continue. They will continue, unless they find where is the Supreme Lord. The last point they will know, they will go on. Therefore, in another verse we find: bahūnāṁ janmanām ante [Bg 7.19].

[After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.]

Bahūnāṁ janm. After many many births. The transcendental process is so nice that if you finish 50% in this life. So, you will begin in your next life from 51%. It will never be lost. Your material acquisition will be lost, will be finished with the loss of your body. But spiritual acquisition will not be finished. So, whatever you acquire 10%, 20%, 25%, 50%. But better to achieve cent percent in this life. Don't wait for the next life. Why not? It is so easy. Why should you work for another life to achieve the success? So anyway, this determination is there for those who are searching God out of knowledge.

So here it is said jñāna-yajñena, jñāna-yajñena means by sacrifice of knowledge. They are searching. So, what is their process of sur…

[Aside:] who is the gentleman going and coming, you can block it. His going and coming who will do?

Devotee: Nitāi-cānd.

Prabhupāda: Oh. Jñāna-yajñena cāpy anye. So, this jñāna-yajña this sacrifice of knowledge. The jñānīs, the philosophers they process it and what is their idea? Yajanto mām upāsate. That philosophical research, philosophical research is also accepted as sacrifice and that is also another kind of worship and devotional service to the Lord. That is also accepted but their method is ekatvena pṛthaktvena and bahudhā viśvato-mukham [Bg 9.15].

[Others, who are engaged in the cultivation of knowledge, worship the Supreme Lord as the one without a second, diverse in many, and in the universal form.]

Monism, pantheism and universal form that is their process. So out of these three classes those who are trying in the path of monism to become equal—one with the Supreme. Amongst these speculationists they are considered first-class. Ekatvena. Their process is that think of themselves that, "I am God, I am God," and they worship themselves. Not any other God. They garland themselves, in this way their process is called ahaṅgrahopāsanā. Himself he takes himself that I am the symbol of God.

The purpose of this ahaṅgrahopāsanā is that if you study yourself about your spiritual position. Then you can understand what is God, what is God. If you minutely study your spiritual position ekatvena. Because we are qualitatively one with God. So, if I analytically study myself what I am? What are my propensities? What I want to do? So many things we have got. If we simply make an analysis of ourselves then we can study also the Supreme Lord in greatness, that's all.

Take for example that I want to be independent. Nobody says that I can be dependent on you. No, I cannot accept any spiritual master. That means the spirit of independence. The spirit of independence is there because we are part and parcel of the supreme. He is supremely independent, He is described svarāṭ. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavat [1.1.1] He is described svarāṭ. Svarāṭ means complete independent. So, because we are part and parcel of the Supreme, so we have got our independence. But it is minute. So that minute independence, out of that minute independence sometimes we say, "No, why shall I accept a spiritual master, why shall I accept any authority? I shall search out." So, they undergo severe type of penances and regulative life, but they think of themselves that, "I am God." So, this is also accepted as one of the processes. But the process will end after many, many births. This process will not help him to get liberation in one life.

Otherwise why it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān. Jñānavān by this process of searching in knowledge has to take many, many births. Therefore, there is no liberation. Because he has to take many, many births that means that he does not gain liberation in one life. Then after many, many births when he comes to the point vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti. When he understands Vāsudeva, Lord Kṛṣṇa is everything.

bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ

[Bg 7.19]

[After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.]

Now here it is said mahātmā, mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha [Bg 9.13]. The mahātmās qualification is always chanting and always thinking, always glorifying Me. Now sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ, there it is said. That after many, many births of speculative service when he'll become a mahātmā and will be engaged in this service of constantly glorifying the Lord. Then his searching out will be perfect.

So, this jñāna-yajñena by the speculative process, thinking oneself that I am God. I am God, that's all right but I am God in quality. I am God not in quantity. Several times I have repeatedly placed before you. That just like the particle of gold, qualitatively one with gold. There is no difference of chemical composition in the particle of the gold and the lump of gold. Similarly, chemically we are one with God. All the qualities which God has got, we have also got. But He has got in greater quantity, I have got in smaller quantity that's all. Just like in this material world you also. You have got your bank account and some millionaire he has got also bank account. So as constituent of the bank you are also a member but you're not equal to the man who has got millions of dollars deposited in the bank. Similarly, you are God, you're God qualitatively that's all. So, these speculators the philosophical speculator they simply understand only one part of his situation. That is qualitatively one with God, but they cannot understand that they are different from the Supreme quantitatively. They do not understand.

So, they will require to… I mean to say incarnate or transmigrate many, many births to understand that he is not qualitat.. Quantitatively equal with God. And when he understands, oh quantitatively Lord is Supreme. Then he is prapadyate, prapadyate means he surrenders. So, you have to reach to that surrendering point. Although, mahātmā here it is accepted mahātmā but that is we are awaiting that surrendering process. And when we are actually in that surrendering process then we become actual mahātmā and it is accepted in the Bhagavad-gītā: sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ [Bg 7.19]. That sort of mahātmā is very rare to be found. To surrender unto Kṛṣṇa, to surrender unto the Supreme Lord. We may theoretically say and speculate but full surrender cent percent surrender that is a difficult job for ordinary man. But if in one life he can do that. Now as our.

This Kṛṣṇa consciousness prescribe that you become immediately Kṛṣṇa conscious. Satataṁ kīrtayan.. The process is very simple, but this speculation is the thing. "Oh, what is this they are simply chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa." Because it is very simple method, they think it is not very good. But actually, it is the highest method recommended by Lord Caitanya and recommended in authoritative scriptures. Just like I have several times repeated in this meeting. In the Bhāgavata it is said:

kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann
asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ
kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya....

[SB 12.3.51]

[My dear King, although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: Simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.]

Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya, it is particularly mentioned. That simply by chanting Hare Krishna mukta saṅga he becomes liberated. He becomes liberated. Mukta-saṅgaḥ and paraṁ vrajet and goes to the spiritual kingdom.

So, it is for out of mercy the Lord has given you this age. That you take this simple process because you cannot execute any other process very nicely. But this process you can execute very nicely anywhere, any circumstances, any place, any condition. There is no condition, no rules, no regulation. Simply chant:

Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa,
Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/
Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma,
Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare

So, and become at once a mahātmā.

Thank you very much.

Any question?

Devotee: [indistinct]. [End]