Bhagavad-gītā 1.31 , London , 1973-07-24

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [leads chanting of verse] [Prabhupāda and devotees repeat]

na ca śreyo 'nupaśyāmi
hatvā svajanam āhave
na kāṅkṣe vijayaṁ kṛṣṇa
na ca rājyaṁ sukhāni ca

[break] [leads chanting of synonyms]

na---nor; ca---also; śreyaḥ---good; anupaśyāmi---do I foresee; hatvā---by killing; svajanam---own kinsmen; āhave---in the fight; na---nor; kānkṣe---do I desire; vijayam---victory; kṛṣṇa---O Kṛṣṇa; na---nor; ca---also; rājyam---kingdom; sukhāni---happiness thereof; ca---also.


Translation = "I do not see how any good can come from killing my own kinsmen in this battle, nor can I, my dear Kṛṣṇa, desire any subsequent victory, kingdom or happiness."

Prabhupāda: So there are two things = śreya and preya. Here Arjuna is speaking of śreya. Śreya means ultimate good, and preya means immediately palatable. That is called preya. So everyone should be interested for śreya, not for preya. Just like a child = he likes to play all day and night, naturally. Playful child. So that is called preya. He likes immediate pleasure. But his father says, "My dear child, just go to school or read book."

So father is asking for śreya, ultimate good. If he is not educated at the, at childhood, then how he will prosper in his future life? So considering the future prospect, ultimate good, that is called śreya. And preya means immediate. Just like we eat something which I may not digest, or it may have some bad effect later on. But people are interested the immediate benefit, without calculation of future benefit.

So Arjuna is considering with reference to his future, that "If I kill my kinsmen, what benefit there will be? I want victory, I want kingdom, to become happy, but if my all kinsmens are killed, then what is the value of my victory? With whom I shall enjoy?" He is thinking like that. Society... The same thing = society, friendship and love. Everyone wants to enjoy life with society, friends. Nobody wants to enjoy life alone. That is not possible. This is not natural.

So wherefrom we got this idea that I cannot enjoy alone? Just like generally a person is alone, but he gets a wife with a hope for enjoying family life---children, wife, friends. Gṛha-kṣetra, ataḥ gṛha-kṣetra-sutāpta-vittaiḥ. Gṛha means apartment, and kṣetra means land. Gṛha-kṣetra-suta. Suta means children. Ataḥ gṛha-kṣetra-suta āpta. Āpta means friends, society. Ataḥ gṛha-kṣetra-sutāpta-vittaiḥ. Āpta means friends, society, and to support all these things---gṛha, kṣetra, suta, āpta---there is required money, vitta. Vitta means money. Ataḥ gṛha-kṣetra-sutāpta-vittair janasya moho 'yam ahaṁ mameti [SB 5.5.8]. This is material life. Gṛha, kṣetra. "I must have gṛha." Gṛha means with wife. Na gṛhaṁ gṛham ity uktam, gṛhiṇī gṛham ity āhuḥ. Gṛha. Gṛha means house.

So we are also living in house, very nice house. But still, we are not gṛhastha. A gṛha, to live in a house, does not mean a gṛhastha. Na gṛhaṁ gṛham ity āhuḥ. Gṛhastha means gṛha. Gṛhe tiṣṭhati iti gṛhastha. Every Sanskrit word has got elaborate meaning. Gṛhastha means one who stays in gṛha, in house. He is called gṛhastha. So we can be called gṛhastha also. We are living in house. No. Śāstra says, na gṛhaṁ gṛham ity āhuḥ: "Simply a house is not gṛha." There must be the housewife. That means wife. Gṛhiṇī gṛham ity āhuḥ. In Hindi this word is used, ghar-wāli, means if there is no wife, that is not gṛhastha. And another, Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says, putra-hīnaṁ gṛhaṁ śūnyam: "You have got wife, but if you have no children, that gṛha is also void."

So gṛhastha means to live with wife and children, and cultivating spiritual life. That is called gṛhastha. It doesn't matter, you live with your wife and children, or you live with brahmacārī, sannyāsī. Anything. It doesn't matter. Therefore there are so many divisions of life. Whichever status of life is suitable for you, you can accept---brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, sannyāsa āśrama. Āśrama. When the word is added, āśrama, that means it has got reference with cultivation of spiritual life. So gṛhastha-āśrama. One can live at home with wife and children, but the business should be Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

We don't accept the Māyāvādī sannyāsī, because there is no Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Simply by becoming sannyāsī... Brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā: "This world is false. Brahman is truth. So I give up this world." That kind of sannyāsī we do not accept. Either you become gṛhastha or sannyāsī or brahmacārī, there must be Kṛṣṇa. Then it will be called āśrama. Gṛhastha-āśrama, sannyāsa-āśrama, brahmacārī-āśrama. Therefore this word is added, āśrama.

So Arjuna is in gṛhastha-āśrama. He wants to serve Kṛṣṇa. He's Kṛṣṇa's friend. He is a devotee. Kṛṣṇa has already recommended. In the Fourth Chapter He will declare, bhakto 'si priyo 'si me [Bg. 4.3] = "You are My dear friend. You are My devotee." So he is qualified, gṛhastha-āśramī. He is devotee of Kṛṣṇa, but he is also family man. He has his wife, children.

So here the problem is what is śreya? What is ultimate good? That is mistaken here. Therefore Bhagavad-gītā is required. He is thinking that "Kṛṣṇa is not so important. My family is important. My family." Although he is devotee. Therefore kaniṣṭha-adhikārī, in the lower stage of devotion. In the lower stage of devotion, one may be interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but his real interest is how to improve this material life. Just like "O God, give us our daily bread." So he has gone to God not to serve God, but to take bread. Ārtaḥ arthārthī [Bg. 7.16]. That is also good. But he... Because he has gone to God to ask for bread, he is better than the rascals who do not care for God. He has gone to God.

That is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā. Ārto arthārthī jijñāsur jñānī ca bharatarṣabha. Catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ sukṛtino 'rjuna [Bg. 7.16]. "Arjuna, four kinds of people, they become devotee." Who are they? Ārta. Ārta means distressed. Arthārthī, one who is poor, wants some money; jijñāsu, inquisitive; and jñānī, and man of knowledge. So ārtaḥ arthārthī, this is meant, this is referred to the gṛhastha. The gṛhastha, they become sometimes distressed. The gṛhastha-āśrama means unless there is Kṛṣṇa or full consciousness of Kṛṣṇa, it is simply miserable. Simply miserable. Duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam [Bg. 8.15]. Simply working hard day and night, then there is..., child is sick, then wife is not satisfied, the servant is not satisfied... So many things, problem. But if there is Kṛṣṇa in the center, the all problems will be solved.

But people do not know this. They think that "I shall be happy with wife, children, servants, house, and this and that." No. That is not possible. Therefore one should be in gṛhastha-āśrama, not only in family life. Family, the dogs have got family life. He has got wife, children. The cats and the hogs, a big family. Because a hog begets, at a time, one dozen children. What you beget? You are afraid of begetting one child even, this contraceptive method. But they are not afraid. They beget one dozen children at a time, twice in a year. So to live with family, wife, children... Then the hog accepts family life. No. That is not family life. You live with wife, children, peacefully, if you like, but bring in Kṛṣṇa in the center. That is gṛhastha-āśrama.

So Arjuna is talking of the ultimate good. But he is talking ultimate good with the point of view from material conception. He does not know... He knows, but he is playing the part of a person who does not know that ultimate śreya, ultimate good, is Kṛṣṇa. Ultimate good is not that "We live with family---that is good." No. When you live with family because you cannot renounce, so that is allowed. But you live with family with Kṛṣṇa.

So Kṛṣṇa is there, but he is thinking in terms of material role, that "If my kinsmen are dead, I kill them, then where is my good? It is no good. What shall I do with the victory and happiness? Where is happiness? I cannot live without them." This is the conception. Ataḥ gṛha... Ataḥ gṛha-kṣetra-sutāpta-vittair janasya moho 'yam [SB 5.5.8]. This is illusion. Everyone is trying to become happy with society, friendship and love---children, wife, friends, money and house and land. This is the conception of material....

So Arjuna is thinking in material concept of life. He is not thinking that "My ultimate good is to satisfy Kṛṣṇa." This is the Bhagavad-gītā's purport. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One has to change to satisfy Kṛṣṇa, not to satisfy himself or the family or the society or the nation. No. Whether Kṛṣṇa is satisfied, that is the criterion. That is ultimate goal. Tasmin tuṣṭe jagat tuṣṭam. If Kṛṣṇa is satisfied, then other things will be automatically satisfied. But they do not know. They are thinking that "I can bring Kṛṣṇa in the midst of my family, provided Kṛṣṇa helps me to enjoy this material life." They are thinking like that. That is ārta. But that is also good.

Just like Dhruva Mahārāja, he was ārta. Ārta, means he wanted something material, benefit. His stepmother insulted him, that "You cannot sit down on the lap of your father because you were not born in my womb." He was kṣatriya; he took it insult. So his father had two wives. So he was born the eldest queen. The father was not very much attached to the eldest queen; the father was attached to the junior queen. And the junior queen was very proud that "The king is in my hand." So she insulted.

The father was not happy. The... Although Dhruva Mahārāja was born of the eldest queen... And it is sometimes liking. So that does not mean he did not like his son. So he wanted to sit down on the lap of his father and the stepmother insulted. So he took it very seriously. And he wanted to have the kingdom. This is arthārthī. He wanted something. And his mother advised that "You take shelter of Kṛṣṇa. He can fulfill your desire." So therefore ārtaḥ arthārthī. He was distressed; at the same time, he wanted a kingdom by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. That was his purpose. So because he went to worship Kṛṣṇa for some material benefit, he is to be taken as pious.

Catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ sukṛtina [Bg. 7.16]. Sukṛtina means pious. Kṛtī means very expert in acting worldly activities. So one who are engaged in pious activities, they are called sukṛtina. There are two kinds of activities = impious activities, sinful activities; and pious activities. So one who goes to pray in the church or in the temple, "O God, give us our daily bread" or "God, give me some money" or "God, give me relief from this distress," they are also pious. They are not impious. The impious people, they will never surrender to God, Kṛṣṇa. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ, prapadyante narādhamāḥ [Bg. 7.15]. These class of men, sinful men, rascal, lowest of the mankind, whose knowledge has been taken away by māyā, and demon---these classes of men will never surrender to God. Therefore they are duṣkṛtina, impious.

So [sic:] Kṛṣṇa is pious, but still he wants the family benefit. This is his defect. Er, Arjuna. Family prosperity. He wants to be happy with society, friendship and love. Therefore he says that na kāṅkṣe vijayam... This is called vairāgya. Śmaśāna-vairāgya. It is called śmaśāna-vairāgya. Śmaśāna-vairāgya means that in India, the Hindus, they burn the dead body.

So relatives take the dead body for burning to the burning ghāṭa, and when the body is burned, everyone present there, for the time being, they become little renounced = "Oh, this is the body. We are working for this body. Now it is finished. It is burnt into ashes. So what is the benefit?" This kind of vairāgya, renouncement, is there. But as soon as he comes from the burning ghāṭa, he again begins his activities. In the śmaśāna, in the burning ghāṭa, he becomes renounced. And as soon as come home, again he is vigorous, vigorous how to earn, how to get money, how to get money, how to get money.

So this kind of vairāgya is called śmaśāna-vairāgya, temporary. He cannot become vairāgī. And he said, na kāṅkṣe vijayam [Bg. 1.31] = "I don't want victory. I don't want this." This is temporary sentiment. Temporary sentiment. These people, they attach to family life. They may say like that, that "I don't want this happiness, don't want this very nice position, victory. I don't want," but he wants everything. He wants everything. Because he does not know what is the śreya. Śreya is Kṛṣṇa. Actually when one gets Kṛṣṇa, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then he can say that "I don't want this." They will not say that. Why they will say, "Don't want this"? Here, what we have got? Suppose I have got a kingdom. So that is my kingdom? No. That is Kṛṣṇa's kingdom. Because Kṛṣṇa says, bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram [Bg. 5.29]. He is the proprietor. I may be His representative. Kṛṣṇa wants that everyone should be Kṛṣṇa conscious.

So the king's duty is, as representative of Kṛṣṇa, to make every citizen Kṛṣṇa conscious. Then he is doing nice duty. And because the monarchs did not do so, therefore now monarchy is abolished everywhere. So again the monarchs, wherever there is monarchy, little, at least show of monarchy, just like here in England there is, actually if the monarch becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, actually becomes representative of Kṛṣṇa, then the whole face of the kingdom will change. That is required. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is for that purpose.

We don't very much like this so-called democracy. What is the value of this democracy? All fools and rascals. They vote another fool and rascal, and he becomes prime minister, or this or that. Just like..., in so many cases. That is not good for the people. We are not for this so-called democracy, because they are not trained. If the king is trained... That was the system of monarchy. Just like Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja or Arjuna or anyone. All the kings. Rājarṣi. They were called rājarṣi.

imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ
proktavān aham avyayam
vivasvān manave prāhur
manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt

Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. Rājarṣayaḥ. Rāja, kin, means he is not only king; he is a great ṛṣi, saintly person, just like Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira or Arjuna. They're saintly person. They are not ordinary, this drunkard kings, that "I have got so much money. Let me drink and let there be dancing of the prostitute." Not like that. They were ṛṣi. Although they were king, they were ṛṣis. That kind of king wanted, rājarṣi. Then people will be happy. In Bengali there is a proverb, rāja pāpī rājya naṣṭa gṛhiṇī doṣī gṛhastha bhraṣṭa. In gṛhastha life, in household life, if the wife is not good, then nobody will be happy in that home, gṛhastha life, household life. Similarly, in a kingdom, if the king is impious, then everything..., everyone will suffer. This is the proverb.

So Kṛṣṇa..., Arjuna is thinking of the śreya and preya. Actual śreya means to achieve Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is wanting in Arjuna. He is showing that feature of life, that he wants better the society, friendship and love. He does not want to kill them. Then everything will be finished. But actually, the fact is that even after killing the so-called kinsmen, if he can satisfy Kṛṣṇa, that is his śreya. That is his śreya. That he does not know. And because he does not know, therefore this Bhagavad-gītā is there. He is playing the part that he does not know that Kṛṣṇa is the ultimate goal of life, not this so-called society, friendship and love. He is playing that part, that he does not know. He is thinking that "Kṛṣṇa is not important." Kṛṣṇa has already asked him to fight, but he is considering that "Kṛṣṇa, You are asking me to fight, and I have to kill my own kinsmen. Then where is my victory?"

So therefore he said... Here in the previous verse, he has said, paśyāmi viparītāni keśava [Bg. 1.30] = "You are asking me to fight, for my victory, for my happiness, but I see it will be just the opposite." Paśyāmi viparītāni. This is his problem. And to solve this problem, Arjuna became the disciple of Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa advised him this Bhagavad-gītā, and that is the prelude. Unless Arjuna plays like that, ordinary man...

Anyone..., everyone wants to be happy with this gṛha-kṣetra-sutāpta-vittaiḥ [SB 5.5.8], household life, and having some land. Now in those days there was no industry. Therefore industry is not meant. Land. If you get land, then you can produce your food. But actually that is our life. Here in this village we find so much land lying vacant, but they are not producing their food. They make their food the cows, poor cows, to kill them and eat. This is not good. Gṛha-kṣetra.

You become gṛhastha, but you produce your food from the land, gṛha-kṣetra. And when you produce food, then beget children, gṛha-kṣetra-suta-āpta-vitta. In India in village, there is, still the system is amongst the poor men, the cultivators, that if the cultivator cannot provide to keep a cow, he will not marry. Jaru and goru. Jaru means wife, and goru means cow. So one should keep a wife if he is able to keep a cow also. Jaru and goru. Because if you keep a wife, immediately there will be children. But if you cannot give them cows' milk, the children will be rickety, not very healthy. They must drink sufficient milk. So cow is therefore considered mother. Because one mother has given birth to the child, the another mother is supplying milk. So everyone should be obliged to mother cow, because she is supplying milk.

So according to our śāstra there are seven mothers. Ādau mātā, real mother, from whose body I have taken my birth. Ādau mātā, she is mother. Guru-patnī, the wife of teacher, she is also mother. Ādau mātā guru-patnī, brāhmaṇī. The wife of a brāhmaṇa, she is also mother. Ādau mātā guru-patnī brāhmaṇī rāja-patnikā: the queen is mother. So how many? Ādau mātā guru-patnī brāhmaṇī rāja-patnikā, then dhenu. Dhenu means cow. She is also mother. And dhātrī. Dhātrī means nurse. Dhenu dhātrī tathā pṛthvī, also the earth. Earth is also mother. The people are taking care of mother land, where he is born. That is good. But by the by, they should take care of mother cows also. But they are not taking care of mother. Therefore they are sinful. They must suffer. They must have..., there must be war, pestilence, famine. As soon as people become sinful, immediately nature's punishment will come automatically. You cannot avoid it.

Therefore Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means solution of all problem, teaching people not to become sinful. Because a sinful man cannot become Kṛṣṇa conscious. To become Kṛṣṇa conscious means that he has to give up his sinful activities = no illicit sex life, no meat-eating, no intoxication, no gambling. These are the four pillars of sinful life. So people are not ready to give up this. But we do not make any compromise, that you go on with your sinful life, at the same time I sanction that you have become Kṛṣṇa conscious. No, that we cannot do. There is no compromise on this point. You must give up all this sinful life. Because there is no chance of becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious. Why you shall make a show? There is no benefit by making a show. Just like Arjuna. Arjuna is trying to make a show of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He has good attachment for other things. And the whole Bhagavad-gītā is taught to Arjuna to give up that attachment.

So ultimately it is said that..., Sañjaya said, yatra yogeśvaraḥ kṛṣṇaḥ.

yatra yogeśvaraḥ kṛṣṇo
yatra pārtho dhanur-dharaḥ
tatra śrīr vijayo bhūtir..., bhuva
dhruvā nītir matir mama

This is the conclusion of Bhagavad-gītā. Sañjaya uvāca. And at last Sañjaya said to his master, Dhṛtarāṣṭra, "My dear master, you are expecting victory between the fight, fight between your sons and..., but don't expect it. It is," matir mama, "in my opinion," yatra kṛṣṇaḥ yogeśvara, "the party where Kṛṣṇa the Yogeśvara..." Yogeśvara.

Yoga, yoga, there are powerful mystic power. Yoga means mystic power. Not this yoga, this playing some gymnastic. That is not. Yoga means when one becomes perfect in yoga, he gets many siddhis. They are called aṣṭa-siddhi, eight kind of siddhi. Aṇimā, laghimā, prāpti-siddhi, like that, so many. Īśitva, vaśitva. So a yogī, aṇimā, he can become the smaller than the smallest. We are already smaller than the smallest, because our real dimension, spiritual dimension, is one ten-thousandth part of the tip of the hair. This is our dimension. This is only outward covering, this body. Keśāgra-śata-bhāgasya śatadhā kalpitasya ca [Cc. Madhya 19.140]. So a yogī can give up this body and come to his original, spiritual body, and it is so small that you can..., cannot keep yogī in prison, anywhere. Because there is some hole, he'll get out. This is yogī. This is mystic power.

What do they know about mystic power? They simply press the nose, that's all. [laughter] This kind of yoga... Of course, these are preliminary processes, dhyāna, dhāraṇā, prāṇāyāma. This prāṇāyāma requires to get the breathing from the opposite side. We have got experience. The two holes of the nostril, one is blocked, one is open. So prāṇāyāma means to try to open the blocked side. That is called [indistinct], therefore. So there are so many processes. But ultimate yoga means to get this power. That is yoga. So all these powers, they are simply fragmental. The yogīs, they can attain. Although they can become, they are already smaller than the smallest.

So Kṛṣṇa is the supreme master of all mystic power. Therefore He is called Yogeśvara. He is called Yogeśvara. So if Kṛṣṇa is on your side, then you do not require to practice yoga. If you are a devotee of Kṛṣṇa... Because how much power you shall get? You may gain some power by this mystic process, but you cannot be equal with Kṛṣṇa's power. Just like aṇimā, laghimā. To make everything very light, or become very light, the yogī can fly in the air without an aeroplane. He can go even in the sun planet, moon planet, without any sputnik. Simply...

[break] ...his wife. But he was a yogī, and she was devoted, so became lean and thin, because she could not eat very nicely. A yogī cannot supply nice food. Simply starvation, starvation. [laugh] That is yogī. So he thought that "This poor girl came to me, his [her] father is king. She is not accustomed to so much trouble," so he asked her, "What you want?" "No, because I have come to you, I want some children and a little comfortable life." "All right." So he made a aeroplane by yogic power, a big town. Not this 747. The 747 is the biggest plane, but not like this. A big town with lake, with palatial building, maidservants, servants, and that big plane went all round the universe. He showed all the planets to his wife. This is yogic power. This is yogic power. So where is that yogī?

So here, Yogeśvara. All these mystic powers can be attained by ordinary man if he wants; there is process. But Kṛṣṇa is the master of all yogic power, Yogeśvara. So who can get victory? Kṛṣṇa can do anything. Just like we sing every day, jaya rādhā-mādhava kuñja-bihārī gopī-jana-vallabha giri-vara-dhārī [Jaya Rādhā-Mādhava]. Giri-vara-dhārī. People may take it that Kṛṣṇa is fond of some gopīs, but they do not take care of the Kṛṣṇa's other business. As soon as the gopīs are in danger, he can lift the Govardhana Hill, Giri-vara-dhārī. That is Kṛṣṇa. The rascal, they do not know. They think that Kṛṣṇa is after the gopīs, therefore He is immoral. But the rascal has no eyes to see that Kṛṣṇa may be immoral in his eye, but here is Yogeśvara. At the same time, Yogeśvara.

So without becoming a disciple in the bhakti-yoga, nobody can study Kṛṣṇa. It is not possible. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ [Bg. 18.55]. So the whole thing, Bhagavad-gītā is there, how to understand Kṛṣṇa. As soon as you understand Kṛṣṇa, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9] = there is no more again birth in this material world. You go back to home, back to Godhead.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Haribol. [end]