Bhagavad-gītā 13.6-7 , Montreal , 1968-10-25
buddhir avyaktam eva ca
indriyāṇi daśaikaṁ ca
saṅghātaś cetanā dhṛtiḥ
etat kṣetraṁ samāsena
[The five great elements, false ego, intelligence, the unmanifested, the ten senses, the mind, the five sense objects, desire, hatred, happiness, distress, the aggregate, the life symptoms, and convictions-all these are considered, in summary, to be the field of activities and its interactions.]
This is more or less sāṅkhya philosophy, analysis of material elements. We are embodied in material elements. Kṛṣṇa is questioned by Arjuna, "What is this body, and who is the owner of this body, and what is knowledge?" Kṛṣṇa has answered that "The soul is the owner of this body, and I also, I am also the owner of this body."
This owner of this body: one individual soul and the Supersoul. Just like owner of this storefront. The tenant is in one sense an owner; at the same time the landlord is also owner. These points we have discussed. Now, Kṛṣṇa has also discussed that the knowledge by which we can understand the soul, the Supersoul and the material embodiment, that is real knowledge.
People are after knowledge. So many there are, departments of knowledge. But according to Bhagavad-gītā, real knowledge is to understand the soul, the Supersoul and the material world. So He's analyzing these material elements: mahā-bhūtāny ahaṅkāraḥ. Mahā-bhūtāni. There are five gross elements, which are called mahā-bhūtāni, great material elements. And what are those?
[reads commentary] Khadiny ahaṅkāras tad-hetus tamaso bhūtādi-saṁjño buddhis tad-hetur...pradhāno mahān avyaktaṁ tad-hetus tri-guṇavasthaṁ pradhāna indriyāṇi śrotrādīni, one after another.
This sky and false ego is due to the intelligence. Everything begins from the subtle. The most subtle element is the spirit soul, and little grosser than the spirit soul is the intelligence. And little grosser than the intelligence is the false ego, identification. And little grosser than the false..., intelligence, is the mind. And from mind, then the senses. And the senses, next the grosser element is the body. So we have to analyze according to the śāstra, because it is not possible... Suppose the modern scientist is given to find out where is the soul in this body. It is not possible.
So we may be very proud of advancement of knowledge, but actually we are not yet advanced, so far material science is concerned, to understand the basic principle of the moving force which is moving this body, the... On account of the presence of the soul, we have got so much intelligence, we have got so much thoughtful, psychological effect. So many things wonderful they are. But as soon as the soul is not there, everything collapse.
So the Buddhist theory that this intelligence or consciousness take place at a certain point of material mixture. But that may be an argument, but actually it is not a fact. Any amount of material mixture, you cannot produce soul. They have produced so many things by material mixture, but nobody has produced... In India, of course, we heard so many news that "In America they have produced life in chemical laboratory." And sometimes they say, "In Russia they are trying." But it is not possible. Nobody has found. And greatest scientists, they have admitted that the problem of life is beyond the scope of material science.
So we have to take it from authoritative scriptures like Bhagavad-gītā, the Vedic literature, that soul is different from this body, and... Of course, according to the mentality of the soul, we develop different kinds of body. And that is being described by Lord Kṛṣṇa to Arjuna. Pradhānam indriyāṇi śrotrādīni pañca vagadini ca pañceti daśa bāhyāni rajasahaṅkārakarya[?].
Now, we have got ten different kinds of senses: five senses, working senses, and five senses acquiring knowledge. But these senses are also products of the ahaṅkāra, false ego. Sukṣmaḥ śabdādi-tanmātraḥ khadi-viśeṣa-guṇatayā vyaktaḥ santaḥ sthulaḥ śrotrādi-pañcaka-grāhya-viṣaya[?]. So from the five senses which are acquiring knowledge, the sense organs acting, they are produced.
In this way, this body is composition of twenty-four elements. That is the analytical study of Bhagavad-gītā. And the sāṅkhya philosophy, Kapila's sāṅkhya philosophy, their analytical... The same thing. Revealed scriptures teach the same thing. There is no difference. But above these twenty-four elements, there is time, kāla, time element. That is also representation of the Supreme Lord. And above this time, there is God.
So actually, there are twenty-six different elements which is conducting this material world. Etat kṣetraṁ samāsena sa-vikāram udāhṛtam [Bg. 13.6–7]. Kṣetra means this body. Either you take this body or this material world, they are interaction of these twenty-four elements.
Either you take the gigantic body of this universe or you take the body of this planet or you take this your body, my body or a cat's body, dog's body, all these bodies, they are formed of these twenty-four elements, sa-vikāram, by action and reaction. Just like chemically, if you mix one chemical with another chemical, a third element is produced, similarly, originally the reservation of all these elements is called mahat-tattva. It is called pradhāna, upadhāna.
So gradually they manifest, they divide by three guṇas. Three guṇas means in the mahat-tattva, in the total material reservoir, three guṇas, three modes of nature, first of all appear and they act with one another, and then gradually, one after another, the twenty-four elements become manifested. Etat kṣetraṁ samāsena sa-vikāram udāhṛtam.
Now, of course, we can theoretically accept that this is the position, but actually to understand this position, to acquire the requisite knowledge, that requires many stages of development. And how that knowledge is developed, that is also described in the Bhagavad-gītā by Kṛṣṇa. What is that? The first principle of acquiring knowledge is described here: amānitvam. Amānitvam. Amānitvam means that we are very much proud of our material existence. That pride must be given up. That is the first principle of knowledge.
[reads commentary] Athoktaṁ kṣetrād vibhinnatvena jñeyaṁ kṣetrajña-dvayaṁ vistareṇa nirūpayiṣyan taj-jñāna-sādhanāny amānitvādini viṁśatim aha pañcābhiḥ[?]. Now, the body and the soul. Now, the body is analyzed. It is composition of twenty-four elements. Now, how to understand the soul as he is?
We are now in the position of material consciousness, and we have to develop into spiritual consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness. What are the stages? That is being described. That means this is the general way of acquiring real knowledge of the soul and the body.
But Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu has given us a special gift, but, that in spite of our not understanding everything very analytically, as they are described in the Vedic scriptures, one can understand himself by the simple process by chanting the holy name of the Lord. That is special gift of Lord Caitanya. He said that if you chant this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, then automatically everything will be revealed unto you.
Because in this age it is very difficult to follow the process of knowledge. Just like amānitvam, to give up the pride of one's existentional, material existentional condition, amānitvam. Amānitvam means... Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī: sva-sat-kāraṇāpekṣatvam. Sva-sat-kāraṇa apekṣatvam, adambhitvam dharmikatvam.
First thing, that to deny the material existence, that "I am not this matter." So this is not ordinary thing, that "I am not matter." But Lord Caitanya says that this realization that "I am not matter" will be very easily realized if you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa sincerely. He says that ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12].
[“’Let there be all victory for the chanting of the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa, which can cleanse the mirror of the heart and stop the miseries of the blazing fire of material existence. That chanting is the waxing moon that spreads the white lotus of good fortune for all living entities. It is the life and soul of all education. The chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa expands the blissful ocean of transcendental life. It gives a cooling effect to everyone and enables one to taste full nectar at every step.’]
If we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, the immediate, first installment of profit will be the understanding that ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam.
I am identifying myself as belonging to this material world. This is misunderstanding. Actually, I don't belong to this material world. The whole concept of my material life is based on this misunderstanding that "I am matter. I am this body." So Lord Caitanya says that even if you do not follow the regulation of acquiring this knowledge, simply if you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, then your first installment of profit will be vanishing this misunderstanding that "I am this body."
Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12], clearing the dust of the mirror of the mind. Darpaṇa means mirror. Just like on the mirror if there is dust, you cannot see your face very nicely. If you wipe the mirror very nicely... So this Hare Kṛṣṇa chanting is the process of wiping out the dust accumulated on the mirror of my mind. Mind, cetaḥ. Cetaḥ is consciousness. Mind is not exactly cetaḥ—consciousness.
So our movement for Kṛṣṇa consciousness is a process of clearing the consciousness. Originally, we are all Kṛṣṇa conscious. Because in the Bhagavad-gītā we understand that we are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says in the Fifteenth Chapter, mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ jīva-loke sanātanaḥ [Bg. 15.7],
[The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.]
"These jīvas, these living entities, they are My part and parcel." And sanātana, part..., but they are not whole.
The Māyāvādī philosophers, they claim to be the whole. But Vaiṣṇava philosophy, we do not claim that we are the whole. The Māyāvādī philosophers, they claim that "I am God." But we do not claim. We claim that we are part and parcel of God. As part and parcel of God, we have got the same quality. Just like minute particle of gold is also gold, but that part gold and the whole gold, they are never equal.
So I have got all the qualities. Qualitatively I am one, but quantitatively I am different. That is the version of Bhagavad-gītā. And actually, if we falsely claim that "I am God," then we have to show godly power. Unless we show godly power, simply claiming that "I am God," that is dambha, that is false pride.
Therefore the first condition of acquiring knowledge is adambhitvam. Amānitvam adambhitvam, first of all to deny that "I am not matter. I am..." Then "If I am not matter, then I am God." Oh, then Kṛṣṇa says, "No. That is your false pride. You are not God." Adambhitvam. Amānitvam adambhitvam ahiṁsā [Bg. 13.8].
[Humility, pridelessness, nonviolence, tolerance, simplicity, approaching a bona fide spiritual master, cleanliness, steadiness and self-control; renunciation of the objects of sense gratification, absence of false ego, the perception of the evil of birth, death, old age and disease; nonattachment to children, wife, home and the rest, and evenmindedness amid pleasant and unpleasant events; constant and unalloyed devotion to Me, resorting to solitary places, detachment from the general mass of people; accepting the importance of self-realization, and philosophical search for the Absolute Truth—all these I thus declare to be knowledge, and what is contrary to these is ignorance.]
Then nonviolence. As soon as one is a realized soul, he will be nonviolent. These are the different stages of acquiring knowledge. And when one is in full knowledge of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he becomes qualified with all the good qualities, all the good godly qualities.
The Bhāgavata says, yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ [SB 5.18.12]
[All the demigods and their exalted qualities, such as religion, knowledge and renunciation, become manifest in the body of one who has developed unalloyed devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva. On the other hand, a person devoid of devotional service and engaged in material activities has no good qualities. Even if he is adept at the practice of mystic yoga or the honest endeavor of maintaining his family and relatives, he must be driven by his own mental speculations and must engage in the service of the Lord's external energy. How can there be any good qualities in such a man?]
If one is actually in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then all godly, good qualities will develop. Because we are part and parcel of God, the godly qualities are there. It is simply covered. Just like the fire is covered by ashes. If you fan out the ashes, then the fire comes out. Similarly, spirit soul is pure. So when he comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then he becomes pure soul. So amānitvam adambhitvam.
[reading commentary] Amānitvaṁ sva-sat-kāraṇam apekṣatvam, adambhitvam dharmikatva-khyāti-phalaka-dharmācaraṇa-virahaḥ. Adambhitvam means one should not think... Suppose I am very much advanced in spiritual knowledge, but I should not be very much proud of it. Generally, in this age people want false, I mean to say, designation, that "I am very religious," "I know everything," "I am God." So many things. These are false pride. So actual knowledge is that "I am smaller than the straw in the street." That is the instruction of Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Caitanya Mahāprabhu says that tṛṇād api sahiṣṇunā [Cc. Ādi 17.31]: one should be tolerant.
[“One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor yet is always prepared to give all respect to others can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.”]
One should be humbler than the straw in the street. Sunīcena. One should think himself as smaller than the grass on the street. And tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā: and one should be tolerant like the tree. Amāninā, without claiming any respect from others. Amāninā mānadena, but one should give all respect to others. Mānadena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ [Cc. Ādi 17.31]. In that stage one can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa very nicely. Of course, it is very difficult, but Kṛṣṇa will help us.
Now, this tṛṇād api sunīcena, one may think, "Oh, it is artificial to think that I am smaller than the grass in the street." But actually, it is not artificial. It is actually the fact. Why? From the Padma Purāṇa, Vedic literature, we understand that the form of the soul is one ten-thousandth part of the upper portion of the hair. Now how much small we are, just we can imagine only. There is no instrument to divide the upper portion of the hair into ten thousand parts. And just to take one part as the magnitude of the soul, that is not...
Actually, we are very small. That small particle of soul is within the ant and is within the elephant. It is a bodily expansion only that we are..., we appear..., the elephant appears to be the biggest animal, and the ant or the germ appears to be the smallest. But actually, these are bodily expansion. The soul as it is is really smaller than the grass or straw on the street.
So Vedic aphorism says that ahaṁ brahmāsmi. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi. So ahaṁ brahmāsmi sometimes mistakenly is understood that "I am the Supreme God." Ahaṁ brahmāsmi means "I am Brahman." Brahman means spirit. "I am spirit soul." This conception, this identification, is right. This is the right identification. As soon as I think that "I am elephant" or "I am ant," that is not my identification. That is my misidentification.
My real identification is that "I am neither ant nor elephant, but I am spirit soul." But sometimes by identifying myself with the spirit soul, sometimes I falsely claim that "I am the supreme soul." Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu says that tṛṇād api sunīcena: "You are soul, you are spirit soul, but you are smaller than the smallest straw in the street." So actually, there is no miscalculation. The conclusion is there.
So [reading commentary] adambhitvam dharmikatva-khyāti-phalaka-dharmācaraṇa. Khyāti. We should not be very much anxious about being famous. Not, "Oh, there is a great man who knows everything about spirit and who is perfect." No. We should be very sincere to understand things as they are. We should not falsely claim which I am not. The most, I mean to say, prideful claim is that "I am God." This is strictly forbidden by our sampradāya, that "Don't claim."
Caitanya Mahāprabhu especially, when He was talking with one of His devotees, Rāmānanda Rāya... The subject matter was how to get perfection. Rāmānanda Rāya was suggesting... Of course, from Vedic literature, that perfection, the path of perfection, is to follow the institution of four varṇas and four āśramas. That is a fact. Four varṇas and four āśramas. What is this four varṇas and four āśramas?
There are four division of social life and four division of spiritual life. The four division of social life is the intelligent class of men, the martial class of men and the mercantile class of men and the laborer class of men. You can divide any social system in any country, in any place, there are these four classes of men.
One class of men, they are very intelligent. They are scientists, they are philosophers, they are great writers, poets, thinkers. Naturally, by nature, they are inclined to these kinds of work. They are called intelligent class. Similarly, there is a class of men who are interested to take part in politics, in diplomacy, or to stand for election as president or as governor. In every country, in every place. They are called administrator class, or martial-spirited. They are prepared to fight also. So there is a class.
And the third class is the mercantile class. They want to do some business, trade, industry, and make some profit. And the laborer class, they are neither intelligent, nor, I mean to say, they want to take part in politics, nor they are able to do independent business. Under the circumstances, they are to give their labor and work under somebody and get some remuneration.
So these classes are in every country. You call it by different name. In India, of course, these classes are named as the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and the śūdras. But in many places I was asked that "Why in India there is caste system?" So this caste system is not only in India. In everywhere the caste system is there. And enviousness between one community to another, that is also existing everywhere. This is human nature. So this is the classification of the society.
And there is another classification, which is called spiritual developmental classification: the brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsī. Brahmacārī means student life, student life to acquire knowledge. And gṛhastha life is householder. After acquiring knowledge, one may get himself married with a suitable girl and live peacefully in the society—for spiritual cultivation. Everything for spiritual cultivation. And then vānaprastha, retired life; then sannyāsa, renounced order of life.
So Rāmānanda Rāya explained these four principles, four divisions of social order and spiritual development, but Caitanya Mahāprabhu immediately said, "Oh, this is not for Me." Eho bāhya āge kaha āra [Cc. Madhya 8.59].
[The Lord replied, “This is external. You had better tell Me of some other means.” Rāmānanda replied, “To offer the results of one’s activities to Kṛṣṇa is the essence of all perfection.”]
"This is external. If you know something better than this, then you explain." Why Caitanya Mahāprabhu denied these social orders? Because He was to give immediately benefit to the fallen souls of this age. So He denied this system. Not that He decried this system, but He knew that this system cannot be introduced strictly at the present moment in this age.
So in this way, gradually, he presented jñāna-miśra-bhakti, devotional service with knowledge, renouncement of this material connection. In every step, Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "Oh, this is not suitable. This is not suitable." Then at last... Not at last; in the middle, Rāmānanda Rāya suggested that jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva [SB 10.14.3]:
[Those who, even while remaining situated in their established social positions, throw away the process of speculative knowledge and with their body, words and mind offer all respects to descriptions of Your personality and activities, dedicating their lives to these narrations, which are vibrated by You personally and by Your pure devotees, certainly conquer Your Lordship, although You are otherwise unconquerable by anyone within the three worlds.]
"One should give up the false knowledge, false knowledge that 'I am God. I am God.' " This is false knowledge.
So when this was recommended by Rāmānanda Rāya to Caitanya, that "One should give up this false knowledge..." Jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva. "One should be very meek and humble," namanta eva jīvanti, "and in that way if he lives," san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām, "and tries to receive knowledge from really self-realized person..." The motto of life. He is describing the motto of life, that "One should not be falsely proud. One should be very much meek and humble, and try to receive knowledge from self-realized person.
If one continues, follows these principle, then one day he will find that God, who is ajita, who cannot be conquered by anyone, who cannot be known by anyone, God realization..." Because God realization is not an ordinary job. It is very difficult. Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu [Bg. 7.3].
[Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.]
In the Bhagavad-gītā you'll find that "Out of many, many thousands of men, one may be interested how to make perfect this human form of life. And out of many, many thousands of perfect persons, one may know actually what is God, what is Kṛṣṇa."
So God is inconquerable, cannot be conquered, or He cannot be understood by your puffed-up mentality that "I can know Him." No. God can be known by the meek and humble who is submissive and who takes the shelter of a God-realized person and tries to hear from him. Then Rāmānanda Rāya—not Rāmānanda Rāya; it is a quotation from Bhāgavata—then the result is, although God is unapproachable by our limited knowledge, He becomes jita. Jita means He becomes conquered—simply by this position.
So we are following that system. Caitanya Mahāprabhu approved this system, that one may remain in his position, never mind what he is. It doesn't matter, either he is Indian or American or a brāhmaṇa or a kṣatriya or white or black. But a human being with common sense, if he simply gives up his false, puffed-up knowledge that "I am God" and becomes humble and meek, and tries to understand the science of God from a realized soul, then one day it will so happen that God has become within his hand. Prāyaśo 'jita jito 'pi. God cannot be conquered, God cannot be understood, but jito 'py asi, by following this process, God becomes conquered, or one can understand actually the nature of God by this process.
So our propagation for opening different centers is for this purpose, that we give chance. This is our duty. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Kṛṣṇa also recommended this process, that if you give chance to the people to understand the real knowledge from the Bhagavad-gītā... Now, it remains to the people to accept it or not accept it. That is his choice. But our duty is... Just like a representative of a business firm, he goes from door to door, from shop to shop, that "Here is a thing we are selling, and this is such and such." Now, it does not mean that wherever the representative will go, the things will be sold. No. That is not expected.
But maybe somebody may come and take to such transaction maybe seriously. But we cannot expect that everyone will understand the science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is not for ordinary man, not for the proud man, especially, who is thinking that "I am God." It is for the humble and meek, who can actually submit to a God-realized person and receive knowledge from him. But he has the, I mean to say, liberty to inquire from him.
One should not blindly accept the thesis, or the theory, which is put forward from Bhagavad-gītā. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā [Bg. 4.34].
[Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.]
One should be asking questions by two principle. He should ask questions from a person whom he believes to be a man of knowledge. Otherwise it is simply waste of time. And at the same time, sevā, by service. Then question is allowed. Otherwise, blind acceptance is no acceptance. One should understand, but with service and surrender. These are the processes, and we are trying to administer this Kṛṣṇa consciousness under the principle of Bhagavad-gītā and Lord Caitanya.
So you are all welcome, and if you put up questions to understand, we shall be very glad to serve you. Any questions? [end]