Introduction to Bhagavad-gītā As It Is , Los Angeles , 1968-11-23

Prabhupāda: Somebody come read Bhagavad-gītā. You will read? Come on. Our publication by Macmillan Company, Bhagavad-gītā, is out.

Devotee: Where shall I read from?

Prabhupāda: Introduction.

Devotee: This is the introduction to Bhagavad-gītā As It Is.

nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine

"The Bhagavad-gītā is also known as the Gītopaniṣad. It is the essence of the Vedic knowledge and one of the most important Upaniṣads in Vedic literature. There are many commentaries on the Bhagavad-gītā, and the necessity for another should be explained in the following basis. An American lady asked me to recommend an English edition of the Bhagavad-gītā which she could read. I was unable to do so in good conscience.

"Of course, there are many translations, but of those I have seen, not only in America but those also in India, none can be said to be authoritative, because in almost every one of them the author has expressed his personal opinion through the commentaries without touching the spirit of the Bhagavad-gītā as it is.

"The spirit of the Bhagavad-gītā is mentioned in the Gītā itself. It is like this: If we want to take a particular medicine, then we have to follow the directions written on the label of the bottle. We cannot take the medicine according to our own directions or the directions of a friend not in knowledge of this medicine.

"We must follow the directions on the label or the directions of our physician. The Bhagavad-gītā also should be accepted as it is directly by the speaker Himself. The speaker is Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. He is mentioned on every page as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or Bhagavān. Bhagavān sometimes means any powerful person or demigod, but here it means Kṛṣṇa."

Prabhupāda: Most of you must have read some editions of Bhagavad-gītā. I will give you instances. One of the English translations, commentaries by Dr. Radhakrishnan, in the Ninth Chapter the Lord says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65], mām evaiṣyasi kaunteya asaṁśaya...

[Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.]

The Lord says that "You just always remain thinking of Me." That means always remain in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Simply this Kṛṣṇa consciousness means some way or other you have to think of Kṛṣṇa always. Some way or other you just engage yourself in some activities so that it can remind you about Kṛṣṇa. That is the process.

Therefore those who are elevated devotees, they, in everything, they remember Kṛṣṇa. That is the perfection. [Bengali] Here is a light. A perfect devotee sees the light, not the light as it is, but he sees some relationship with Kṛṣṇa or Kṛṣṇa in the light.

This is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā also, that prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ. Raso 'ham apsu kaunteya prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ [Bg. 7.8].

[O son of Kuntī [Arjuna], I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man.]

Kṛṣṇa says that, "I am the taste of the water." Now the..., when you are thirsty, you want water. You feel some nice taste in the water by which your thirst is satisfied, "Yes, now I am satisfied." Kṛṣṇa says, "I am that taste."

Similarly, He says, prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ: "The light in the sun, in the moon, that I am that light." In this way He has described. So when one is highly elevated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, in everything, in every action and every phenomenon he will see only Kṛṣṇa. That is the perfection of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

So that is being taught in the Ninth Chapter, and in this verse, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto, "Always think of Me." This is the sum and substance of all spiritual advancement. What is that? Smartavyaṁ satato viṣṇuḥ [Cc Madhya 22.113].

[“‘Kṛṣṇa is the origin of Lord Viṣṇu. He should always be remembered and never forgotten at any time. All the rules and prohibitions mentioned in the śāstras should be the servants of these two principles.’]

One should always be absorbed in the thought of Viṣṇu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is called samādhi. That is perfection of yoga.

The yoga system is the practice of the most lower class of men—I mean to say spiritually, not materially. Because their mind is so much distracted from here and there, they have to concentrate the mind by practice and focus the mind on Viṣṇu. That is the yoga perfection, real.

Now they are manufacturing so many other things, but the real yoga practice is this, that you have to draw your attention from everything and focus the same on Viṣṇu form. That is yoga system. Dhyānāvasthita manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ [SB 12.13.1].

[Sūta Gosvāmī said: Unto that personality whom Brahmā, Varuṇa, Indra, Rudra and the Maruts praise by chanting transcendental hymns and reciting the Vedas with all their corollaries, pada-kramas and Upaniṣads, to whom the chanters of the Sāma Veda always sing, whom the perfected yogīs see within their minds after fixing themselves in trance and becoming fully absorbed in thoughts of Him, and whose limit can never be found by any demigod or demon—unto that Supreme Personality of Godhead I offer my humble obeisances.]

This is the definition of yogī. They are in meditation, dhyānāvasthita. Dhyānāvasthita means meditation. So those who are yogīs... You have heard so much about meditation—there is very popular word in your country—and what is that meditation? The meditation is to focus the mind on the form of Viṣṇu. Dhyānāvasthita manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ.


So this instruction you will find in the Ninth Chapter, man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ [Bg. 9.34],

[Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, offer obeisances and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.]

"Always think of Me." That is the perfection of life, always thinking of Viṣṇu. But one commentator, very big commentator, he says, "This meditation is not up to Kṛṣṇa." Just see. Kṛṣṇa says, "That meditate upon Me" in the Bhagavad-gītā, and the commentator says, "It is not up to Kṛṣṇa."

In this way, in similar way or a different way, every commentary on Bhagavad-gītā so far published I have seen, their business is how to divert one's attention from Kṛṣṇa, although in the Bhagavad-gītā the main factor is Kṛṣṇa. That is mentioned here.

What is that? Read on. "This Bhagavad-gītā has come..." Yes.

Devotee: The last sentence was, "Bhagavān sometimes mean any..., any..., means any powerful person or demigod, but here it means Kṛṣṇa. This is confirmed by all the ..."

Prabhupāda: Now this bhagavān, you have heard, many times I have explained, bhaga. Bhaga means opulence. There are six kinds of opulences. What is that? Wealth, and then influence, strength, reputation and knowledge, beauty and renunciation. Is it not six? If a man is wealthy, very rich—just like in your country Rockefeller, Ford, there are many rich men in your, the..., your country is very rich—so if one is very rich he is called opulent.

If a man is very reputed, famous man, he is also opulent. If a man is very influential, he is also opulent. If a man is very strong... Now the strong man, formerly strong men had request, ahh, respect. All the kings, they were respected on their personal strength. They used to..., they had to fight with the opponents. So that is also opulence.

Then beauty. A very beautiful man or woman, that is also opulence. And wise, very learned, wise man, that is also opulence—scientist, philosopher, mathematician. So they are also opulent. And renouncer. Renouncer, that one who gives up everything—he has everything in his possession, but he disposes himself—that is called renunciation. Just like king, Mahārāja Bharata, under whose name India is called Bhārata-varṣa.

He was the emperor of the world, but at the age of twenty-four years only he gave up everything—his young wife, young children. Lord Buddha, Lord Buddha was prince, but very young boy, at the age of twenty years or something like that, he gave up everything, his father's kingdom. This is called renunciation. At the present moment [chuckles] hardly there is any instance of renunciation, but formerly there were many kings, many princes who renounced everything for spiritual advancement. So these six principles are called bhaga.

So these six principles are there. Just like we are minute part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. Fragment, very small fragment. So every one of us have got some money according to our capacity. Every one of us has got some strength or some reputation or some beauty or some knowledge. Comparatively it may be that your position may be greater than me or other's position may be greater than you, that not all of us on the same level.

There are comparative position. So bhagavān means you go on searching; when you find a person that nobody is richer than Him, nobody is stronger than Him, nobody is reputed than Him, nobody is wiser than him, nobody is beautiful, more beautiful than Him, and nobody is renouncer than Him, He is Bhagavān, He is God.

So all these you will find in Kṛṣṇa. That is the significance of Kṛṣṇa. When Kṛṣṇa was present on this material world, so nobody could excel Him in any of these opulences. Nobody. So far richness is concerned, He exhibited His richness—which is dream now. He married 16,108 wives, and each wife had a palace, and the palace did not require light; it was bedecked with valuable jewels, so at night the light from the jewels will illuminate the rooms.

Can you imagine such house? [laughter] And not only that, that He married 16,000 wives and He was apart from them—no. With each wife He was present. With some wife He is talking, with some wife He is playing, with some wife He is looking after the children. In this way Nārada traveled all the houses, all the palaces, he saw Kṛṣṇa is there engaged. This is called opulence.

So far power is concerned, there were so many fights with Kṛṣṇa, nobody could conquer. So far beauty is concerned, you know Kṛṣṇa's beauty, even from the picture. And the, all the gopīs, in Vṛndāvana... Kṛṣṇa at the age of fifteen, sixteenth year, naturally at that time boys are very beautiful, any, any man even. So He was so beautiful that they, all the gopīs prayed to Yogamāyā. Everyone prayed, "My dear mother, please give me Kṛṣṇa as my husband." So this is... This is very nice—significance is the, that the day they prayed, the next day there was...

Perhaps you know that Kṛṣṇa's vastraṇaṁ-līlā. Vastraṇaṁ-līlā means... In India still there are places in Punjab when girls and women take bath they keep their clothings... In the river, I mean to say, not in the bathroom. In the rivers, they keep their clothings on the shore, on the bank, and they dip into the water completely naked.

So that place is completely separate for the women. No man can go there. That is the system still somewhere. They will take bath fully, and they will come and again dress. And woman, woman, they are all naked, there was no shame. They..., no man and no boy can go there.

This vastraṇaṁ-līlā was that Kṛṣṇa stealthily went there and took up all their clothes and got up on a tree, [laughter] [laughs] with the clothings. And they cannot come out of the water. "Kṛṣṇa, You are very naughty. Give us our clothes. Give us our clothes." That was vastraṇaṁ-līlā. [laughter] The purpose was... The, the people interpret in a different way, but the purpose is very significant.

Only devotees can understand that all these girls, day before, they prayed to Yogamāyā that..., everyone prayed that "Let us have Kṛṣṇa as our husband." Now Kṛṣṇa was at that time only fifteen, sixteen years, no older. In India still, the boys of fifteen, sixteen years, they are not married.

At least he must be twenty, twenty-two years. And girls are married between twelve to sixteen years. That is the Vedic system. Neither it was possible for Kṛṣṇa to marry all the girls, but they all prayed. So how to fulfil their desire? That was vastraṇaṁ-līlā.

The vastraṇaṁ-līlā means that according to any human civilization, system, a woman can become naked only before husband. So Kṛṣṇa fulfilled that, that "You are naked, I am before you, so I am your husband." That's all. Wholesale acceptance. That was the purpose. But the nonsense people, they differently, differently interpret.

So Kṛṣṇa's opulence, beauty, strength, and so far wisdom, at least you can test. Now the wisdom, the preliminary wisdom only. Preliminary talks on spiritual matter is discussed in this Bhagavad-gītā. And this book is still read, even after five thousand years, all over the world. Just see His wisdom. That is a test. Big scholars, big religionists, philosophers, they are bewildered still about Bhagavad-gītā.

Therefore there are so many interpretation. But this, what is this Bhagavad-gītā? Bhagavad-gītā is the A-B-C-D of spiritual knowledge. It is not very high depth of spiritual knowledge. High depth of spiritual knowledge is in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. This is only entrance. Just like children are taught A-B-C-D, or first book of knowledge. It is only the first book of knowledge.

And what is that first book of knowledge? The first book of knowledge teaches from the very beginning that you are not this body. That is the beginning of knowledge, spiritual knowledge. And the whole world, great philosophers, the great politicians... Now yesterday the boys gave me one paper.

There is discussion about Transcendental Meditation. There was publication of our activities also, and some others are... So the so-called Transcendental Meditation they are discussing on the mind. And the Bhagavad-gītā, mind is immediately rejected as matter.

So Transcendental Meditation, they're on the platform of the mind. Just see. And the Bhagavad-gītā says that mind is external nature only.

indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur
indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ
manasas tu parā buddhir
buddhes tu yaḥ paratas saḥ

[Bg. 3.42]

[The working senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher than the senses; intelligence is still higher than the mind; and he [the soul] is even higher than the intelligence.]

In the gross material concept of life we are under the impression that "I am this body." Therefore we are concerned with the senses. If our senses are gratified, we think we are now satisfied. So this is the gross type of existence, I mean to say, existence of ignorance. Illusion. Māyā. When one is under the thought that "I am this," this is illusion. Illusion means you accept something, something is presented as reality, and you accept it.

Just like the example is given, water in the desert. Mirage. There is no water, but a..., an animal is hankering, is running after water in the desert. That is practical, that due to sunshine there is a reflection, it appears in the desert. Sometimes you might have seen—not here; in India we have seen several times—that exactly as vast water, and it is reflecting, the reflection.

That is called mirage. There is not a drop of water, but the animal, when he is thirsty, he..., it thinks that "There is water." He jumps into the desert and the water is going ahead, going ahead, and he is running after it and then dies. So this illusion, that "I am this body." So we are after this sense gratification. Body means the senses. So that is mirage, illusion, just like the animal is running after water in the desert.

So even this yoga system, the haṭha yoga system, that is also based on this illusion. They are trying to put this water under certain exercise and thinking that they are elevating themselves in spirit. But Bhagavad-gītā, in the beginning, says that you are not this body, neither this mind. This is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā, and that is A-B-C-D.

Any person who does not know that "I am not this body," he has no even A-B-C-D knowledge of spiritual kingdom. If one is attracted with this bodily function or mind, mental function, he is outside the spiritual purview altogether, rejected immediately. That test is in the Bhagavad-gītā.

So these people, the so-called yogīs, so-called karmīs... Karmīs means the ordinary worker, those who are running in the street with motorcar, this way and that way, very busy. You see. What are they? They are karmīs. Karmīs means under the bodily concept. They are thinking that comfort of this body and sense gratification is the end of life. That is karmī.

If they have got very nice apartment, a nice wife and good bank balance and a very nice dress, oh, there is perfection. That's all. That is karmī. And jñānī means when they are confused. Just like there are a section of people in your country, they have seen enough of this material affair, happiness, or they are searching after something, wrongly. But actually those who are intelligent, they don't remain confused. Actually they want to see, "What is my actual position." They are called jñānī, man of knowledge.

So jñāna, or knowledge, is on the mental plane, and karma is on the bodily plane. So somebody, some section of people, they are engaged in this bodily platform, and some section of people are engaged in the mental platform. Whatever religion and process of elevation of life we have manufactured, they can be grouped in two ways: mental and bodily. That's all. And Bhagavad-gītā is transcendental—neither on the mental plane nor on the bodily plane.

Therefore the last instruction of Bhagavad-gītā is sarva-dharmān parityajya [Bg. 18.66].

[Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.]

Dharma... You have created so many religious principles, so many concocted spiritual ways of life or material ways of life. Somebody are materialist and somebody are so-called spiritualist. So Kṛṣṇa says that you have to give up all this nonsense—on the mental platform and bodily platform. You have come to the transcendental platform. And what is that transcendental platform? To understand your relationship with Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.


Devotee: "This is confirmed by all the great teachers, including Śaṅkara and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. In India there are many authorities on Vedic knowledge, and they have virtually all accepted Śrī Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We should therefore accept the Bhagavad-gītā as it is, directed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead..."

Prabhupāda: And here is an important fact. The other day while I was walking, I saw one advertisement of tourist agent: India's pictures can—wonderful land. The wonderful land. Anyway, so I asked Kārttikeya, "So India is considered very wonderful?" He said "Yes." Anyway, India is still considered the land of spiritual cultivation.

Even one Chinese author, he has written that if you want to study religion, then you have to go India. He is impartial. He is not Indian nor an American or any country. He is Chinese. Chinese are considered to be Communist country. But he has very impartially said that if you have to learn what is religion, then you have to go to India.

Anyway India, actually it is the land of religion, dharma-kṣetra, although it has gone down at the present moment. But anyway, there are two sections in the..., amongst the Indian, bona fide religionist. That means bona fide religionist means those who are following the Vedic principles. They are called bona fide. Anyway, that is..., that was the system in the bygone ages, even one thousand years ago. And now that, just like Buddha, Buddha religion.

Buddha religion is also Indian religion. Lord Buddha, He was Indian. He, just like Lord Caitanya began His propaganda from Bengal, Lord Buddha made His propaganda from Bihar. He was Indian. But the defect was that He did not acknowledge the authority of the Vedas. Therefore His philosophy was considered atheism. And this Śaṅkarācārya drove away all the Buddhists from the land of India. Therefore they took shelter in China, Japan, Burma. Outside India.

So anyway, strict religionists, they are followers of Vedas, and they are divided into two groups: one group led by Śaṅkarācārya and the other group is led by the Vaiṣṇavas, or generally Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya or Lord Caitanya. They are all the same, Vaiṣṇava. Now all these two groups, following the Vedic principle, they accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So far India's authoritative persons are concerned, there is no two opinions, that Kṛṣṇa is not God.

Both of them accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality. So far we are concerned, Vaiṣṇavas, we accept. There is no doubt about it. There are four different parties of Vaiṣṇavas. All of them accept Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are eight commentaries on the..., very authoritative, very large commentaries on the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam of these Vaiṣṇavas, and all of them accept Kṛṣṇa.

So far the other party is concerned, the impersonalists led by Śaṅkarācārya, a great stalwart scholar, he also accepts Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He says, sa bhagavān svayaṁ kṛṣṇa [SB 1.3.28]:

[All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists.]

"The concept of Personality of Godhead, here is Kṛṣṇa." And people may misunderstand; therefore he has specifically mentioned Kṛṣṇa who has appeared as the son of Devakī and Vasudeva.

Particularly, just like when you have to put your identification, you have to give the your father's name or your husband's name. Similarly, the same principle as Śaṅkarācārya has followed. He has said, "Kṛṣṇa, the Kṛṣṇa who is..., who has appeared as the son of Devakī and Vasudeva." So there is no two opinions. No "Or this Kṛṣṇa, maybe another Kṛṣṇa." No. So that is stated here. Yes. Kṛṣṇa is accepted the Supreme Personality of Godhead by all the followers of Vedas. That is a fact.


Devotee: "Now in the Fourth Chapter the Lord tells Arjuna that this yoga system of the Bhagavad-gītā was first spoken to the sun-god. The Blessed Lord said, 'I instructed this imperishable science..., imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvān, and Vivasvān instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Ikṣvāku. This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in the course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost.' "

Prabhupāda: That is the instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā, that this science of Bhagavad-gītā has to be accepted by disciplic succession. That is the way of accepting any scientific thing. Just like even in material science, suppose if you have to become a medical practitioner or a lawyer.

So you have to study the law books by the previous lawyers, by the judgments of the courts. One who has studied the previous records of legal implications, he is best lawyer. Similarly, a medical practicer, practitioner, who has studied the previous books and knowledge and experience, he is called experienced physician.

The same principle is there that the spiritual knowl..., you cannot manufacture any spiritual knowledge. That is atheism. You cannot manufacture any religious principle. It is not possible. That is not accepted in Vedas. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇī... [SB 6.3.19]

[Real religious principles are enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although fully situated in the mode of goodness, even the great ṛṣis who occupy the topmost planets cannot ascertain the real religious principles, nor can the demigods or the leaders of Siddhaloka, to say nothing of the asuras, ordinary human beings, Vidyādharas and Cāraṇas.]

Dharma means the rules and regulation which is given by God. That is accepted everywhere. In Bible, in Koran also. The laws of God. You cannot manufacture. So Kṛṣṇa said that this principle of Bhagavad-gītā... At the present moment Bhagavad-gītā is being interpreted by anyone and everyone according to his whims.

That is not permissible. That is not Bhagavad-gītā. We have to understand this. Simply Bhagavad-gītā is that which is received by the paramparā system. That is being explained.

Go on.

Devotee: "Arjuna was neither a great scholar nor a Vedāntist, but a great soldier. A soldier is not supposed to be scholarly, and so Arjuna was selected to understand the Bhagavad-gītā because of one qualification only: he was a devotee of the Lord. This indicates that the Bhagavad-gītā is especially meant for the devotee of the Lord."

Prabhupāda: So this point is described that just like this yogī Maharishi, he has also written one Bhagavad-gītā. And what right he has got? He has no right to say anything about Bhagavad-gītā, because he is not a devotee. Bhagavad-gītā is taught to Arjuna. He was neither a yogī nor a scholar nor a Vedāntist nor a brāhmaṇa even.

He was kṣatriya. Nor a sannyāsī even. He was gṛhastha. He had three wives and so many children. And he was fighting for kingdom. What is the qualification that Bhagavad-gītā was taught to him?

Because he was devotee.

People have to see how Bhagavad-gītā is to be accepted. Specially Kṛṣṇa mentions in the Fourth Chapter that "I am speaking to you. The disciplic succession is now broken. Therefore I am speaking to you the old system of yoga, Bhagavad-gītā, again, unto you." "Why unto me, Kṛṣṇa?" "Because you are My devotee." That was the answer.

So only qualification to understand Bhagavad-gītā is to become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa; otherwise it is not possible. Just give this challenge to everyone: "So what do you understand about Bhagavad-gītā? You don't..., you are not devotee of Kṛṣṇa. How you can understand Bhagavad-gītā? So you are speaking of Bhagavad-gītā and cheating people."

So bring all the books which is..., which are published in your country and find out a single man who is a Kṛṣṇa's devotee. Nobody of them. Then what authority he has got to write on Bhagavad-gītā? He has no right. It is simply poking your nose in other's business. Nonsense. You see? Just challenge these persons, "What right you have got?" He has no right.

These, these, these rascals, they say that everyone is God. And how they can be devotee? Does a devotee say that everyone is God? They say, "God is one." Huh? So we are realizing by meditation, "I am God, you are God, my brother is God, my father is God, my these are God, everyone is God." That's all. This is the..., going on. We want to stop all this rascaldom. That is our challenge.

We may not have many followers. We don't care for that. We don't want these nonsense followers, many thousands. What they will do? But if we can turn one man into Kṛṣṇa consciousness perfectly, he can do tremendous work in the world. That is our principle. We don't want nonsense. So this is the principle of understanding Bhagavad-gītā.

Go on.

Devotee: "There are three kinds of transcendentalists: the yogī, the impersonalist and the bhakta, or devotee. Kṛṣṇa says to Arjuna, 'I am making you the first man of disciplic succession. The old succession is broken. I wish to reestablish the line of teaching which was passed down from the sun-god. So you become the authority of the Bhagavad-gītā.'

"The Bhagavad-gītā is directed to the devotee of the Lord who is directly in touch with the Lord as a friend. To learn the Bhagavad-gītā one should be like Arjuna, a devotee having a direct relationship with the Lord. This is more helpful than yoga or impersonal philosophical speculation. A devotee can be in relationship with the Lord in five different ways. He may have passive..., have a passive relationship..."

Prabhupāda: Now here is explained who is a devotee. That is explained.


Devotee: "He may have a passive relationship, he may have an active relationship. Three, he may be in friendship. Four, he may have the relationship of a parent. And five, he may have the relationship of a conjugal lover of the Lord. Arjuna was a devotee in relationship..."

Prabhupāda: The passive relationship is simply realizing, "Oh, how God is great." "God is great." One is thunderstruck with the greatness of God. That is passive relationship: "God, God is great." When that relationship is enhanced a little more, the next stage is that "If God is great, why not give Him some service?" Just like we are accustomed to give some service to some person who is greater than me.

That is the laws of nature. Just like the animals. The animals are giving service to the man, because the man is supposed to be greater than the animal. Similarly, one man is greater than the other, so the smaller man is giving service to the greater man. That is the law of nature.

So when this sense comes, "If God is so great..." Not that "God is great; therefore exact from God the things of my sense gratification." No. The real love is that "God is great, God is supplying us so many things, all our necessities, why not render some service to God?" This consciousness is part of development.

The next development is to give service to God as friend, just like Arjuna is giving. And the next development is to render service to God as parents. And the highest platform of service rendering to God is conjugal love. So there are different stages. That is explained.

Go on.

Devotee: "Arjuna was a devotee in relationship with the Lord as a friend. This friendship is different from friendship in the mundane world. This kind of friendship is transcendental. Everyone has some relationship with the Lord. Unfortunately, in our present status, we have forgotten that eternal tie. Yet each of the millions upon millions of living beings has his particular relationship. By the process of service one can revive one's original status with the Lord. Now ..."

Prabhupāda: This relationship is already established. Because I am eternal, God is eternal, therefore my relationship with God is also eternal. That relationship is there. Now, due to my covering of this material body, or influence of material energy, I have forgotten. This is my position. In the conditioned state, in this material condition of life, our position is that I..., we have forgotten our relationship with God.

But therefore we are trying to establish so many relationship with this material world. I am trying to find some relationship with particular type of society, particular type of community, particular type of nation, particular type of family or individuals. So many ways I am searching where is my relationship, because I have lost my relationship with God.

Therefore I have to reestablish, I have to revive my old relationship with Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness process is to... Just like in darkness you are finding your things, your watch, you cannot find it out. Sometimes you are touching this, sometimes touching this, sometimes touching this, but the real thing you are not touching. So you are bewildered, you are harassed.

And now you, if you touch Kṛṣṇa consciousness, these harassments will be stopped. It is so nice thing. We are giving you your lost relationship, which you are searching out life after life. And you are confused. Take this. You will be happy. You will find your relationship, eternal relationship, with Kṛṣṇa.

Devotee: "Now Arjuna was a devotee, and he was in touch with the Supreme Lord in friendship. Thus the Bhagavad-gītā was explained to him. How he accepted it should be noted. This is mentioned in the Tenth Chapter. After hearing the Bhagavad-gītā from the Lord, Arjuna accepted Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Brahman. Every living being is Brahman, or spirit, but the supreme living being is the Supreme Brahman."

Prabhupāda: Now here is another point, that everyone is reading Bhagavad-gītā. The... It is clearly stated how Bhagavad-gītā should be accepted. Bhagavad-gītā was spoken to Arjuna, and Arjuna accepted it in his own understanding, whatever he understood. That is also stated.

Therefore we have to place ourselves in the position of Arjuna and accept the truth as Arjuna directly received it. That is understanding of Bhagavad-gītā. That is stated in the Tenth Chapter, how Arjuna accepted Bhagavad-gītā and Kṛṣṇa. That is explained. Yes.

Devotee: "Arjuna accepted Kṛṣṇa as pure, free from all material contamination, as the supreme enjoyer, as the foremost person, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, never born, the greatest. Now one may say that..., one may say that since Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna were friends, Arjuna was only saying these things to his friend. But Arjuna mentions that Kṛṣṇa is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead not only by himself but by Nārada, Vyāsa and numerous other great persons."

Prabhupāda: Authorities. He accepted Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead not because Kṛṣṇa happened to be his intimate friend but on the authorities of others—and on the statement of Kṛṣṇa, and by understanding Him fully. He, he did not accept Him blindly. So this is the process of understanding Bhagavad-gītā.

And although he understood fully, because in future so many rascals will come and proclaim himself that "I am also incarnation of Godhead," therefore in the Eleventh Chapter Arjuna requested Kṛṣṇa that "If you think, You can show me Your universal form," so that in future others will accept some bogus rascal as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he may test by seeing the, I mean to say, universal form of the person. So who can exhibit this universal form except Kṛṣṇa?

So we have explained this Bhagavad-gītā in the paramparā system as we have heard from authoritative sources. So it may be a new contribution to your country, because in every edition they have concocted some ideas about Bhagavad-gītā, but we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is. That's all.

So, any question?

Devotee (2): You commented that, Swami Prabhupāda, that everyone has a natural desire to have relationship with Kṛṣṇa, but that because...

Prabhupāda: Not desire, but he is already established.

Devotee (2): Established.

Prabhupāda: That is covered. Just like your relationship with somebody as father and son, it is established. You might have forgotten. You might have left your home since a very, very long time, and you do not know who is your father. But there is some father. That is a fact. Nobody can say, "No. I, I have..., I am born without father."

Nobody can say. One has father, but it may be that he has forgotten his father. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is that we have got some relationship with the Supreme Lord. That we have now forgotten.

So it is not the question of desire. It is there. You don't desire to become one's son; you are already one's son. You simply do not know. Similarly, your relationship with Kṛṣṇa is there, every one of us, but I have forgotten; I do not know. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness practice will revive your relationship in what way..., in which way you are related with Kṛṣṇa. It is not that you have to desire. No. It is already there. You have to desire only how to revive it, that's all. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

It is not an artificial thing. Just like we are establishing some relationship with somebody or you are my father or you are my wife or you are my husband. No. It is already there. Simply we have to find out. That will be revealed when you are perfect in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati [Bg. 18.54],

[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.]

You are freed from all material contamination, and you are perfectly situated in devotional service; it will be at once revealed: "Oh, you are related to Kṛṣṇa." You will have to wait for that.

Vīrabhadra: Who was Jesus's father?

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Vīrabhadra: Who was Jesus's father?

Prabhupāda: God.

Vīrabhadra: Oh, that's right.

Prabhupāda: You do not know that? Oh, he said that "I am son of God." How is that, you are asking for..., of Jesus? You do not know this? He said himself that "I am son of God." You do not know this?

Vīrabhadra: Well, I didn't really [indistinct]. I didn't really... I didn't... I wasn't thinking about God the father. But don't we all have...?

Prabhupāda: What is that, he said?

Vīrabhadra: Aren't we all the sons of God?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Devotee (2): [to child] You're thinking that Lord Jesus Christ had a relationship with Joseph. Joseph was married to his mother Mary. And so he's thinking what is his.., what is Jesus's relationship with Joseph, since Jesus is son of God, and Joseph raised him up from little boy?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like every spirit soul is son of God, but materially we think that some..., somebody as father. But real father is God. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:

sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya
sambhavanti mūrtayaḥ yāḥ
tāsāṁ mahad yonir brahma
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā

[It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kuntī, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.]

This mahat-tattva, this material world, just like a child, a child is born, the father gives the seed and mother develops the body. The child's body is developed... Actually all, all of us, we have got this body from mother. Therefore we have got very natural affinity with mother.

The child can forget his father, but he cannot forget his mother. Mother's relationship is so intimate. Similarly, this material body we have got from the material energy; therefore we are so much materialist. We are thinking of this country, that community, this family, all materialistic, because this body is material. But so far spirit soul I am concerned, I am the son or the part and parcel of the Supreme.

So material nature is the mother and God is the father. And we are exhibited in so many forms, 8,400,000's of forms. So one who has understood this truth, that God is father, he no more looks, "Ah, this is cat," "This is dog," "This is cow," "This is black," "This is white," "This is Chinese," "This is American." No. That is universal brotherhood: "Oh, they are my brothers." Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā.

No more enmity. "They are all my brothers." Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu. With everyone he sees on the equal level, for "They are spiritual part, part and parcel of my father." This vision makes one advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is fact. This is realization. This is universal brotherhood. Everything this is, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Nara-Narayan: What is the proper relationship of the devotee to Rādhā, Rādhikā?

Prabhupāda: Rādhārāṇī is daivī-māyā. Just like we are, in our material conditional life, we are under the material energy. Similarly, in our liberated state we have to become under the spiritual energy. That spiritual energy is Rādhārāṇī. We are acting at the present moment under material energy, because our body is made of material energy. So when you are liberated you will develop your body of spiritual energy. That spiritual energy is Rādhārāṇī.

So you have to become under some..., under the control of some energy. You are also energy; you are marginal energy. Marginal energy means you may be under the control of the spiritual energy or you may be under the control of material energy—your marginal position. But when you are under the control of the material energy, that is your precarious condition, struggle for existence.

And when you are under spiritual energy, that is your life of freedom. Rādhārāṇī is spiritual energy, and Durgā, or Kālī, is material energy. So those who are materialist, they worship Durgā, Kālī, the material, different forms of material energy.

And, so in both the cases... There is a word in Sanskrit, it is called śakta, śakta. Śakta, the word comes from śakti. Śakti means energy. So there is a division, that those who are worshiper of the Supreme as mother—just like the worshiper of Goddess Kālī—that means those who are accepting the Absolute as mother, they are called śakta. The śakta...

The Vaiṣṇava, they are also śakta, because they are also accepting another pure energy, personal energy, or internal energy of Kṛṣṇa. That is also śakti. And the materialist also, they are also accepting another energy. The one energy, spiritual energy, is in our normal condition, and material energy in..., is our abnormal condition.

The Kṛṣṇa consciousness practice means you have to transfer yourself from this material energy to the..., under the control..., from the control of material energy, under the control of spiritual energy. That's all. That spiritual energy is Rādhārāṇī. You have to become under the control.

That, I'll give you one concrete example. Just like a person is always under the control of government as citizen. When he is outlaw, he is under the criminal law, and who is law-abiding, he is under civil law. He cannot say that "I cannot remain within the law of the government." He has to. That is his position. Artificially he may deny, but he will be forced.

Similarly, our position is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. And as part and parcel we have to render service. If we voluntarily render service, out of love, that is spiritual energy. And we are forced to render service under pressure, that is material energy. In the material energy we are forced. Who wants to become... Suppose you are American. If somebody says, "Would you like to become a dog next life?" Would you like? Anybody would like? What do you think? [laughter] [laughs] But according to his work, he will be forced to accept.

There is no saying, "No, no. I don't like this sort of life." No. He will be forced. That is material energy. Forced, just like criminal law. "Oh, you have to go to the prison." "I don't want." Oh, you will be forced. "Why don't want." He will be arrested, immediately. There is sufficient power. There is police, there is military, there is so many things. You cannot say no.

So this is intelligence, that I have to serve. Now in my material condition I am serving so many things, especially my senses. So neither my senses are satisfied nor I am satisfied. So this intelligence is not coming to us. They are going on, carvita-carvaṇānām, chewing the chewed. The senses, same sense gratification in different way. In theater, in stage, in..., at home, at club—everywhere. Simply changing the platform and trying to be happy. How you can be happy?

They already distasted. Does it mean that sense satisfaction in an apartment and sense satisfaction in the club is different? It is simply imagination. "Let me go to the club, let me go to the stage, let me go to this Florida beach, and let me go there, let me see the naked dance, let me see that, let me..." That's all. But the platform is there, sense gratification.

But he is not intelligent that "I have satisfied my senses in so many different ways. I have served my senses in so many different ways; neither I am satisfied, neither my senses are satisfied." Therefore the intelligent man says, "I am no more going to satisfy my senses, I will satisfy Kṛṣṇa." That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Then he gets full satisfaction. This is voluntary. This is called surrender, that "I have tried to satisfy my..., the whims of my senses so many lives. I have become frustrated, confused. Let me try this life to satisfy the senses of Kṛṣṇa." That's all. At least let me give a trial one life, and let me see the result.

So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means that we are requesting everyone that give a trial this life at least. You have satisfied your senses in so many forms of life, huh? The dogs also satisfied their senses, the cat also satisfied his senses, the tiger, and these civilized, uncivilized, these god, everyone. Now you don't try to satisfy your senses, you try to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. That's all.

And Kṛṣṇa, being full, complete, if Kṛṣṇa is satisfied, your senses will be satisfied automatically. Therefore His name is Govinda. Govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi. Govinda means who satisfies the senses. Don't think that your senses will remain unsatisfied. It will be completely satisfied. That is the secret of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

So, have saṅkīrtana. Hare ... [end]