Bhagavad-gītā 1.26–27 , London , 1973-07-21
Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [Prabhupāda and devotees repeat]
pitṝn atha pitāmahān
ācāryān mātulān bhrātṝn
putrān pautrān sakhīṁs tathā
śvaśurān suhṛdaś caiva
senayor ubhayor api
sarvān bandhūn avasthitān
viṣīdann idam abravīt
Prabhupāda: That's alright.
Pradyumna: tatra---there; apaśyat---he could see; sthitān---standing; pārthaḥ---Arjuna; pitṝn---fathers; atha---also; pitāmahān---grandfathers; ācāryān---teachers; mātulān---maternal uncles; bhrātṝn---brothers; putrān---sons ; pautrān---grandsons; sakhīn---friends; tathā---too, śvaśurān---fathers-in-law; suhṛdaḥ---wellwishers; ca---also; eva---certainly; senayoḥ---of the armies; ubhayoḥ---of both parties; api---including.
Translation = "There Arjuna could see, within the midst of the armies of both parties, his fathers, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons, friends, and also his father-in-law and well-wishers---all present there."
[leads chanting of synonyms] [break]
tān---all of them; samīkṣya---after seeing; saḥ---he; kaunteyaḥ---the son of Kuntī; sarvān---all kinds of; bandhūn---relatives; avasthitān---situated; kṛpayā---by compassion; parayā---of a high grade; āviṣṭaḥ---overwhelmed by; viṣīdan---while lamenting; idam---thus; abravīt---spoke.
Translation = "When the son of Kuntī, Arjuna, saw all these different grades of friends and relatives, he became overwhelmed with compassion and spoke thus."
Prabhupāda: Hm. This is the problem. Now Arjuna is facing the problem. What is this problem? Suppose you bring all my friends, my relatives, my sons, grandsons, my father-in-law, brother-in-law, friends, my animals... Because there were soldiers, senayor ubhayor api, there were animals also---horses, elephants. They are also within the membership. According to Vedic conception, the animals, they are also members of your family, because they are giving service.
Not that one section of the members of my family I give protection, and the other section, I take everything from them and then cut throat. This is not civilization. You keep your sons, wife, daughters, cows, dogs--- they are animals---asses, domestic animals, horses, elephants. If you are rich, you can keep elephants also. It does not mean... Either family-wise or state-wise, it does not mean that you give protection to some members and cut throat of the others. Oh, how horrible it is. So all of them were present now. And the problem is that he has to kill them, Arjuna. It is fight; it is a family fight.
So some of the family members on the other side, and some of the family members this side. So other side also, what are they? Tatrāpaśyat sthitān pārthaḥ pitṝn atha pitāmahān [Bg. 1.26]. Pitṝn, teachers, and pitṝn, also, pitṝn means those who are on the status of father. And Bhīṣmadeva was a grandfather, a real grandfather, pitāmahā. He is on the other side. Droṇācārya, he is on the other side, teacher. They had to be respected. Actually Arjuna did so. Before fighting with Droṇācārya, he first of all throw one arrow on his lotus feet, obeisances.
This is the etiquette. "My dear sir, you have taught me this fighting science, now it is being used against you, duty. So I offer my obeisances." And Droṇācārya also threw another arrow, touching his head = "My dear boy, become blessed." This is duty. How blessed? "By killing me. I know you will kill me, so I give you blessings that you kill me." This is duty. The disciple is fighting, touching the feet of Droṇācārya = "My dear sir, it is duty. Now we are face to face to fight. So give me your blessing." This is one side. The other side, blessing, "Yes, you have my all blessings."
So this is the problem. This material world is problematic, especially when we have got these family relationship. "Society, friendship and love, divinely bestowed upon man," they say. [laughs] It is not divinely bestowed. It is not. It is entanglement. It is entanglement. Dehāpatya. There is verse in the Second Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, dehāpatya.... What is that verse?
Prabhupāda: Dehāpatya-kalatrādi [SB 2.1.4]. Deha, first affection, is with our body. "I am this Mr. Such-and-such. This is I am, this body." I have got attraction for this body. Then the offsprings, the by-products of this body. Apatya. Apatya means children. And how this by-product is made? Kalatra, through wife. Strī. Strī means which expands. Vistara, expands. I am alone. I accept wife, strī, and with her cooperation I expand. So one who helps me to expand, that is called strī. Every Sanskrit word has got meaning.
Why woman is called strī? Because she helps, expanding myself. How expanding? Dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣu [SB 2.1.4]. I get my children. First of all I was affectionate to my body. Then, as soon as I get a wife, I become affectionate to her. Then, as soon as I get children, I become affectionate to children. In this way I expand my affection for this material world. This material world, attachment. It is not required. It is a foreign thing. This material body is foreign. I am spiritual. I am spiritual, ahaṁ brahmāsmi. But because I wanted to lord it over the material nature, Kṛṣṇa has given me this body. Daiva-netreṇa [SB 3.31.1]. He is giving you body. He is giving the body of Brahmā, He is giving you the body of ant---as you desire. As you desire.
If you want the body of a tiger, Kṛṣṇa will give you. If you want the body of a hog, He will give you. If you want the body of Brahmā, He will give you. If you want the body of a demigod, He will give you. If you want the body of American, He will give you. Englishman, He will give you. Indian, He will give you. That is Kṛṣṇa. He is so kind. Ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham [Bg. 4.11]. Kṛṣṇa is very kind. Just like a son disobedient to the father, but he wants to enjoy something. Still, father giving him, "All right, you take money and enjoy." Father is so kind. "You become free. Whatever you like, you can do. You take some money."
This is our concession. This material life is a concession to us, given by God, for gratifying our senses. This is material life. Kṛṣṇa does not want that you become entangled in this material world. That He doesn't want. Why He should want? Kṛṣṇa... Just like you produce your sons, children. Why? To remain in household life, enjoy in the company of wife, children, friends. This is... One can understand. Why I take so much responsibility of family? I was alone. Why I get married? Why I beget children? Why I make friends? Because I want to enjoy.
So Kṛṣṇa is also a person. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]. He has produced so many children, these living entities. Why? To enjoy along with them. Just try to understand the psychology. Yato vā imāni bhūtāni jayante [Taittirīya Upaniṣad 3.1], janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. Where this idea came from, that "I shall be happy within society, friendship and love, children"? Wherefrom this idea came? Where is the origin? The origin is there in Kṛṣṇa. Janmādy asya yataḥ. Janmādy asya yataḥ, the origin of love. Just like Kṛṣṇa is loving Rādhārāṇī. So the loving idea came from Kṛṣṇa. Anything that is within our experience, that is in Kṛṣṇa.
So Kṛṣṇa cannot be impersonal. That is nonsense. Kṛṣṇa is exactly a person like me, you, but the difference is that He's very, very, unlimitedly powerful; I am limited. This is the difference. So Kṛṣṇa also wants that to live with His family. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is just to train ourselves again to enter into the family of Kṛṣṇa. This is our movement. With these families, the so-called families, we are suffering. We are suffering. But this family idea is there. That is perfect in Kṛṣṇa, with Kṛṣṇa. The family idea, wherefrom family idea comes without it is being situated in Kṛṣṇa? Because nothing can be visible without being in Kṛṣṇa. He is the origin. Janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ [Bg. 10.8] = "I am the origin of everything."
So whatever we are seeing in this material world, the origin is in Kṛṣṇa. But here it is perverted. That is the only difference. Just like a tree. The original tree is standing erect. But when you see the perverted reflection of the tree, everything is topsy-turvied. The upside has gone downside. You have seen the reflection of the tree. So the upside, downside. When the upside of the tree becomes downside, that is called perverted reflection. So this material world is perverted reflection of the spiritual world. It is false in this sense = because it is reflection.
Otherwise, exactly the same thing are there in the spiritual world. Ūrdhva-mūlam adhah-śākham aśvatthaṁ avyayam vidhu [Bg. 15.1], there is. In the Bhagavad-gītā you will find in the Fifteenth Chapter. Ūrdhva-mūlam. Here, this material world, the origin---mūlam means root---is upside. Upside. Because it is reflection. This tree is erect, and this is reflection. So the root has gone upside.
So here is the problem. Because we are attached to our this so-called family, society, friendship and love... When Arjuna was faced, then he became kṛpayā parayāviṣṭo viṣīdann idam abravīt [Bg. 1.27]. "How it is possible, Kṛṣṇa, that I have to kill the other side---my fathers, my father-in-law, my grandfather, my sons, my grandsons, my brother, my so many friends?" So it is natural. Kṛpayā parayā āviṣṭaḥ. He becomes overwhelmed with compassion. Kṛpayā parayāviṣṭo viṣīdan, very morosely. "Oh, Kṛṣṇa, I will have to fight with them. I will have to kill them." Why this consciousness came? The other side also, Duryodhana, why he did not think in that way? Why Arjuna is thinking? Because he is devotee. That is the difference.
A devotee thinks like that. A devotee does not like to kill anyone, even an ant. Why he should be encouraged to kill his friends? A devotee is like that. Yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ [SB 5.18.12]. This is the result of devotional life. Arjuna was insulted. Arjuna was taken away all his belongings. Arjuna was banished for thirteen years. His wife was insulted. So many atrocities was done to him. Still, when the question of killing came, he was not very happy = "No." This is Vaiṣṇava. This is Vaiṣṇava. He is ready to excuse even the greatest enemy. But Kṛṣṇa does not want. If you insult His devotee, the devotee may excuse, but Kṛṣṇa will not excuse. This is Kṛṣṇa's position.
Therefore, be careful to insult a devotee. A devotee may excuse you, but Kṛṣṇa will not excuse you. Kṛṣṇa is so strict. He cannot tolerate any insult to His devotee. Therefore this arrangement of fighting. Arjuna wanted, "No, let them be excused." Kṛṣṇa wanted, "No, you must fight. You must kill them." This is the position. So he is within the dilemma. Kṛṣṇa is insisting that "You must fight and kill them," but he is thinking, "How shall I kill my kinsmen?" This is the problem. Therefore, tān samīkṣya sa kaunteyaḥ sarvān bandhūn avasthitān [Bg. 1.27]. All friends are there. Kṛpayā parayāviṣṭo viṣīdann idam abravīt. So this is one side, that if you want to please Kṛṣṇa, then you have to be prepared for killing your so-called relatives. If you want Kṛṣṇa. If you want to please Kṛṣṇa.
So this whole Vedic civilization is made just to train how you can be detached from this so-called family affection. This is Vedic training. First of all brahmacārī. Brahmacārī means to lead the life of austerity. A brahmacārī is supposed to live to serve the spiritual master at his home, and he has to work just like a menial. He may be a king's son or a very great brāhmaṇa's son, but as soon as he agrees to live with the spiritual master, he has to live just like a menial servant. Whatever the spiritual master will order, he has to do it. This is brahmacārī. And they will gladly do, because they are children.
Brahmacārī life begins from five years. So you ask any child do anything, he will do. They are learned. They are given education, "Go from door to door, house to house, and bring some alms." So brahmacārī means the neighborhood, their sons. So when the brahmacārī goes for begging, "Mother, give me something, alms," so immediately, some rice, some ḍāl, some āṭṭā is given, or some vegetables, sometimes some money. So they bring everything to the spiritual master, and it becomes the property of the spiritual master. Because he has begged, it is not his property. Sarvasvaṁ guru-veditam[?].
Everything is guru's property. So much so that after cooking everything, the spiritual master will call, "My dear boys, come on. Take prasādam." But if he forgets to call somebody, he will not touch. He will not touch. This is brahmacārī. "Oh, spiritual master has not called me, so I will fast." [laughter] He begged the rice and vegetables and āṭṭā and ḍāl. It is cooked. But when it is cooked, that is also spiritual master's property. If the spiritual master does not ask him to take, he cannot take. He cannot touch. This is brahmacārī life.
So therefore the first training is given to become austere, tolerate, how to tolerate, how to call other women as "mother." He is learning from the beginning, a small child. He is trained up to call any woman, even of his own age, not "sister"---"mother." This is the training. Mātṛvat para-dāreṣu. This is education. Mātṛvat para-dāreṣu. Cāṇakya Paṇḍita, the great politician, has given the definition of a learned scholar. Who is learned scholar? He has given the definition. What is this? Mātṛvat para-dāreṣu: to see every woman except his wife as mother. This is education. This is education, perfection of education, when you can see all women except your wife as mother. This is education.
Mātṛvat para-dāreṣu para-dravyeṣu loṣṭravat: and others' property, just like garbage in the street. Nobody is interested in the garbage. You throw. That is education. And ātmavat sarva-bhūteṣu: and thinking all living entities as your own self. If you feel pains and pleasure by something, you could not afflict the pains to others. If your throat is cut, if your head is cut, you feel so much pain, how you can cut the head of another animal? This is education. Samaḥ sarveṣu-bhūteṣu. This is education, three things. This is the test of education.
yaḥ paśyati sa paṇḍitaḥ
Where is? Where is that paṇḍita? There is no such thing now.
So this problem, attachment for this material world, gradually we have to cut it. That is the Vedic civilization. If you want to go back to home, back to Godhead, then at the same time, if you remain attached to this material world, so-called society, friendship and love, then it is not possible. So long you will have a pinch of attraction with this material world, there is no possibility of being transferred to the spiritual world. This is the position.
Therefore by training, by education, we have to become detached. Detached, this society, friendship and love. We have to understand the falsity of this so-called society, friendship and love. It is just like... Because we are being carried away by the waves of māyā. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has sung, māyār bośe, jāccho bhese, khāccho hābuḍubu bhāi. Just like we see sometimes in rainy season, so many plants and creepers and vegetable and so many other things are floating in the river, going. Similarly, we also are all floating in the waves of māyā. Māyār bośe, jāccho bhese, khāccho hābuḍubu. Sometimes drowned, sometimes on the surface, sometimes on the other shore, sometimes on this shore. This is going on.
So long we are in this material world, we are being tossed by different currents, and sometimes I am here as the master of some kingdom, and sometimes I am dog of somebody else. This is my position. The same thing, very good example, that we are being carried away by the waves of māyā. Sometimes we are gathering together. So many straws and vegetables, they gather together. And sometimes the same vegetable and straws are thrown asunder---one is there, one is here.
So here also, we assemble here as society, friendship and love exactly like that, in the waves of māyā. Then nobody is your father, nobody is your mother, nobody is your sister, nobody... It is simply māyic, illusory combination. Illusory combination, temporary combination. And we are so much attached to this combination that we are refusing to go back to home, back to Godhead. This is our position.
Therefore we have to meet them in the battlefield of Kurukṣetra, and if required, we have to kill them and execute the order of Kṛṣṇa. This is our position. If we are thinking that "In this material existence I shall be safe, assisted by my society, friendship, love, country, and politics and sociology," "No, no, sir, it is not possible." It is not possible. You have to take care of yourself. Your so-called society, friendship, love, country, nation and this, never will be able to help you. Because you are under the clutches of māyā. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā [Bg. 7.14].
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate
You are under the clutches of māyā. You have no independence. Neither anyone has got any independence to save you. That is not possible. The same example as I gave sometime, that you learn how to drive aeroplane. So you go high in the sky. But if you are in danger, no other aeroplane can help you. You are finished. Therefore you must be a very careful pilot to take care of yourself.
Similarly, in this material world everyone individually has to take care of himself, how he can be saved from the clutches of māyā. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. A teacher can give you hints. The ācārya can give you hints that "You can be saved in this way." But the execution of the duties, that is in your hand. If you perform the spiritual duties rightly, then you are saved. Otherwise, even ācārya gives you instruction, if you don't follow, so how he can save you? He can save you by instruction, by his mercy, as much as possible. But you have to take it in your hands seriously.
So this problem is... Arjuna is facing now this problem. That is general problem. Dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣu. Dehāpatya. Deha means this body. Apatya means children. Kalatra means wife. Dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣv ātma-sainyeṣv asatsv api [SB 2.1.4]. We are thinking that "We shall be protected by my these soldiers. I have got my sons, grandsons, my grandfather, my father-in-law, my brother-in-law, my so many society, friendship and love." Everyone is thinking like that. "My nation, my community, my philosophy, my politics." No. Nothing can save you. Dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣu asatsu api. They are all temporary. They come and go. Asatsu api.
Pramatto tasya nidhanaṁ paśyann api na paśyati. One who is too much attached to this society, friendship and love, he is pramatta. Pramatta means crazy, madman. Paśyann api na, tasya nidhanam. He does not see. Although he is seeing that "My father has died. When I was a child, my father was giving me protection. Now my father has gone away. Who is giving me protection? Is my father alive to give me protection? Who is giving me protection? My mother was giving me protection. Now who is giving me protection? I was in family, my sons, my daughters, my wife, but I left them. Now who is giving me protection?"
And actually Kṛṣṇa gives you protection always. Not your society, friendship and love. They will be finished. As your father is finished, as your grandfather is finished, similarly, your son, grandson will be finished. None of them will be able to give you protection. Only Kṛṣṇa will be giving you protection. Therefore you surrender to Kṛṣṇa. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣa... [Bg. 18.66] = "I shall give you protection."
Kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati [Bg. 9.31] = "My devotee is never vanquished." So the best thing is to take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, fully surrender unto Him, and you will be protected. Otherwise, there is no other way of being protected. We'll be carried away by the waves of māyā. This is the position.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Devotees: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. [end]