Bhagavad-gītā 1.32–35 , London , 1973-07-25

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

kiṁ no rājyena govinda
kiṁ bhogair jīvitena vā
yeṣām arthe kāṅkṣitaṁ no
rājyaṁ bhogāḥ sukhāni ca
ta ime 'vasthitā yuddhe
prāṇāṁs tyaktvā dhanāni ca
ācāryāḥ pitaraḥ putrās
tathaiva ca pitāmahāḥ
mātulāḥ śvaśurāḥ pautrāḥ
śyālāḥ sambandhinas tathā
etān na hantum icchāmi
ghnato 'pi madhusūdana
api trailokya-rājyasya
hetoḥ kiṁ nu mahī-kṛte
nihatya dhārtarāṣṭrān naḥ
kā prītiḥ syāj janārdana

[Bg. 1.32-35]

[break] [leads chanting of synonyms]

kim---what use; naḥ---to us; rājyena---is the kingdom; govinda---O Kṛṣṇa; kim---what; bhogaiḥ---enjoyment; jīvitena---by living; ---either; yeṣām---for whom; arthe---for the matter of; kāṅkṣitam---desired; naḥ---our; rājyam---kingdom; bhogāḥ---material enjoyment; sukhāni---all happiness; ca---also; te---all of them; ime---these; avasthitāḥ---situated; yuddhe---in this battlefield; prāṇān---lives; tyaktvā---giving up; dhanāni---riches; ca---also; ācāryāḥ---teachers; pitaraḥ---fathers; putrāḥ---sons; tathā---as well as; eva---certainly; ca---also; pitāmahāḥ---grandfathers; mātulāḥ---maternal uncles; śvaśurāḥ---fathers-in-law; pautrāḥ---grandsons; śyālāḥ---brothers-in-law; sambandhinaḥ---relatives; tathā---as well as; etān---all these; na---never; hantum---for killing; icchāmi---do I wish; ghnataḥ---being killed; api---even; madhusūdana---O killer of the demon Madhu (Kṛṣṇa); api---even if; trailokya---of the three worlds; rājyasya---of the kingdoms; hetoḥ---in exchange; kim---what to speak of; nu---only; mahī-kṛte---for the sake of earth; nihatya---by killing; dhārtarāṣṭrān---the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra; naḥ---our; ---what; prītiḥ---pleasure; syāt---will there be; janārdana---O maintainer of all living entities.


Translation = "O Govinda, of what avail to us are kingdoms, happiness or even life itself when all those for whom we may desire them are now arrayed in this battlefield? O Madhusūdana, when teachers, fathers, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law and all relatives are ready to give up their lives and properties and are standing before me, then why should I wish to kill them, though I may survive? O maintainer of all creatures, I am not prepared to fight with them even in exchange for the three worlds, let alone this earth."

Prabhupāda: So Arjuna is thinking in terms of his own sense gratification. He is posing himself as if he does not know what is the plan of Kṛṣṇa. Yes. The plan of Kṛṣṇa is explained by Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā:

yadā yadā hi dharmasya
glānir bhavati...
abhyutthānam adharmasya
tad ātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham
paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ
vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām
yuge yuge sambhavāmi

The plan is already known to everyone how the management of the cosmic manifestation is going on. The cosmic manifestation is there, this material world. It is, although temporary, it has got a purpose. The purpose is to give chance to the living entities who are rotting in this material world to revive his Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or original consciousness, and go back to home, back to Godhead. This is the plan.

This material cosmic manifestation is there, bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate [Bg. 8.19]. The nature is, it is sometimes manifested and sometimes it is dissolved, annihilated. Everything material, that is the way. Just like our body = it is created at a certain date, and it will be annihilated at a certain date. Similarly, this gigantic body... That is also body of the Supreme Lord, virāt body. Virāt means gigantic. Kṛṣṇa will show His virāt-rūpa to Arjuna.

So this external body, exactly just like we have got our this external body, internal body. The soul is covered by two bodies = the external and internal. External means these gross elements---earth, water, air, fire, sky. And internal means the mind, intelligence and ego. They are also material. Within that two covering... Just like our body is covered by shirt and coat, similarly, the soul is encaged in two kinds of bodies. When this gross body is finished, the subtle body, mind, intelligence and ego, they are there. The soul is covered. The gross body is finished. That is called death. But people do not know that there is no death for the soul. The outward cover is finished, the inward cover is there, and the inward cover will carry the soul to another gross body. That is called transmigration. The mind is creating. As we are making our consciousness in this life, so we are making our next life also. Yānti deva-vratā devān pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ [Bg. 9.25].

So we have got two kinds of bodies, gross and subtle, and within that, I am living, you are living, soul. Dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā [Bg. 2.13]. Asmin dehe, within this body, there is the dehī, the proprietor of the body. So people do not understand that this finishing of this gross body is not actually death or annihilation of the soul. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. Even annihilation of the subtle body does not mean death of the soul. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre. There are two kinds of bodies. So when the gross body is annihilated, the subtle body carries me to another gross body, just like the air carries the flavor of a certain place. If the air is passing over rose garden, it carries the flavor. Although we cannot see, but we can smell. We can understand the breeze is so fragrant, means it is coming over a rose garden. Similarly, filthy place, a bad smell, the air carries.

So the subtle body carries the mental situation of the soul and puts him into a particular body according to that mental situation. Yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran loke tyajaty ante kalevaram [Bg. 8.6]. At the time of death, the mental situation will give me chance for another gross body. If we have created my mind Kṛṣṇa conscious, then he will give me..., the mental situation will give me a body by which I can make further progress. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā = śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭo sanjāyate [Bg. 6.41]. Yoga-bhraṣṭaḥ. Suppose one has begun yoga. Yoga means attempt to link with the Supreme. That is called yoga. And viyoga means without any relationship, or without any attachment for the Supreme. Yoga means plus, and viyoga means minus. So plus. Plus means one plus one equal to two.

So when we try to connect with the Supreme, then we can understand there is God and I am also there; we have got intimate relationship. That is explained in the Vedas. Two birds are sitting on the same tree. One bird is eating the fruit and the other bird is simply witnessing. The witnessing bird is God, Kṛṣṇa, and the eating bird is the living entity. So God is witnessing all our activities and our mental situation. So He orders māyā, the external energy, prakṛti, that "He requires to be given a body like this," and the material nature gives the living entity a particular type of body, and they are numbering 8,400,000s.

So there is no certainty what kind of body I am going to get next life. But in the Bhagavad-gītā it is explained that if you are situated on the mode of goodness, then you will get your place in the higher planetary system.

ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthā
madhye tiṣṭhanti rājasāḥ
adho gacchanti tāmasāḥ

There are three qualities, material nature. They are working. And we are under the influence of either of them---either in the influence of goodness, or in the influence of passion or in the influence of ignorance. So when we are under the influence of ignorance, jaghanya-guṇa-vṛtti, then our behavior and activities becomes very abominable, very, very much abominable. And especially in this Kali-yuga, it is stated that people will have no fixed time for eating or sleeping or taking bath. In this way, their bodily features will be like ghost. That we are seeing actually. The hippies, they are becoming. Practically in this age there will be no place even for taking daily bath. That we see especially in this country. The apartment, there is no bathing place. They have to go outside.

So things are deteriorating very, very much. Adho gacchanti tāmasāḥ. Therefore the human civilization means to make progress towards the quality of goodness. That will help him for making further progress. Ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthāḥ [Bg. 14.18]. Ūrdhvam means higher planetary system. Here it is said that api trailokya-rājyasya hetoḥ. Trailokya. Oṁ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ. This is bhūr-loka. Above this, bhuvar-loka, and above that, svar-loka, heavenly planets. Oṁ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ tat savitur vareṇyam. This is Gāyatrī-mantra.

So Arjuna is speaking of trailokya-rājyasya. He is ascertaining that "Even if I get the kingdom of the three worlds, what to speak of only this earthly planet, what is the insignificant, even if I get the kingdom of trailokya---svarga, martya, pātāla, like that---still, I am not prepared to fight with my kinsmen, what to speak of this earthly planet." He decided like that. This is called family attachment. He is speaking, "Even in exchange of kingdom of the three worlds, I am not prepared to fight."

api trailokya-rājyasya
hetoḥ kiṁ nu mahī-kṛte
nihatya dhārtarāṣṭrān naḥ
kā prītiḥ syāj janārdana

[Bg. 1.35]

"What I shall get by killing my cousin-brothers? And along with them, there are so many relatives."

ācāryāḥ pitaraḥ putrās
tathaiva ca pitāmahāḥ
mātulāḥ śvaśurāḥ pautrāḥ
śyālāḥ sambandhinas tathā

etān na hantum icchāmi

[Bg. 1.33-34]

"My dear Kṛṣṇa, Madhusūdana." He is not addressing Kṛṣṇa as "Kṛṣṇa." He is addressing Him, "Madhusūdana." He is reminding Him that "You also kill, but You kill Your enemies, Madhu." Madhu was a demon. Madhu-kaiṭabha-bhare hari-murāre. Madhu-kaiṭabha-bhare. So, "You are Madhusūdana. You are the killer of Madhu demon, who was Your enemy. You are not Nanda-sūdana or Yaśodā-sūdana." That is reminding Him, little critically, that "You are Yourself Madhusūdana. You kill only Your enemies. Why You are inducing me to kill my kinsmen?" This is the criticism.

So etān na hantum icchāmi. So "You may induce me, but I am not going to kill them." Etān na hantum. Hantum, "To kill, I am not willing." Then the question may be that "It is fight. If you do not kill, if you stand still, then they will kill you. Because it is fight. Then what you will do?" "Yes, I agree." Ghnato 'pi. "If they kill me, I agree. Still, I will not kill them." Ghnato 'pi. "Even they kill me, I will not fight, I will not kill them. But if they kill me, that is also agreed; still, I will not kill." Just see how much determination. This is called family attraction.

So he is preparing the ground for teaching Bhagavad-gītā. We are so much attached to our bodily conception of life, and expansion of bodily conception of life. He is thinking in terms of bodily conception of life. Śyālāḥ bandhuḥ pitaraḥ pitāmahāḥ. Because somebody happens to be... Just like there are many thousands of women. One woman with whom I have got my bodily connection, I take, "She is my wife. I have to give protection." This is all based on bodily connection. So long there was no bodily connection with that woman, you didn't care for her. But as soon as there is bodily connection, immediately the attachment is there. Tayor... Tayor mitho hṛdaya-granthim āhuḥ [SB 5.5.8]. Generally, everyone has got attraction for woman. Woman has got attraction for man. That is general. But when they are united by marriage, the attraction becomes very acute, hṛdaya-granthim āhuḥ. Hṛdaya-granthi means very hard knot. Hṛdaya-granthim āhuḥ. So this is called family attraction. Then I get my attraction for my children, for my society, for my home.

So the Arjuna's description of this means bodily concept of life. The sum and substance of this whole passage described by Arjuna, kiṁ no rājyena govinda kiṁ bhogair jīvitena vā [Bg. 1.32]. Everyone works so hard to acquire money. Why? The family attraction. We were student of economics, and there was a book, Marshall's Economics. That Mr. Marshall is explaining that economic impetus begins from family affection. Family affection. Unless one has got family, he will not try to earn. He will not try to earn money. He will be irresponsible. Therefore it is essential. When one is given some responsible post... Some... I know some English firm in India; I had some connection with him.

So he was simply trying to know, "The man who is going to work for us, whether he is family man?" Because unless he is a family man, he has no attraction. He can give up the job at any moment, because there is no family attraction. This is the psychology. Therefore according to Vedic civilization, it is the duty of the parents to get the sons and daughters married so that they will have family attraction, they will be established, they will be organized, things will go nicely. If there is no family attraction, no responsibility, then the things will not go nicely. This is the basic principle.

So anyway, the family attraction is required for regulated life. If there is no family attraction, there is no regulated life. We have got very good experience of these things. So family attraction required. It is not that it is rejected. It is required for regulated life. Unregulated life cannot make any progress. Therefore, in the Vedic civilization, the gṛhastha-āśrama is recommended. Everyone should be married and everyone should live. If possible, let him live a brahmacārī. First of all the brahmacārī-āśrama is given there, austerity, under the guidance of the spiritual master. So the idea is not to be entangled. Brahmacārī has no connection with worldly affairs. He's simply interested with the order of the spiritual master. That is called brahmacārī. So one is trained up as a brahmacārī, and he is sufficiently given knowledge that "Don't be entangled with these material affairs. Don't be entangled. Try to avoid. But if you are still unable, your sex impulse is very strong, all right, then you go and marry." This is the process.

First of all he is taught to be vairāgī. Vairāgya. This whole Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement may be called vairāgya-vidyā. Sarvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, he wrote one verse on Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He wrote one hundred verses. Out of that, two verses or four verses are available. When he composed the verses eulogizing Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and it was shown to Him, because it was self-eulogization, He immediately torn up the paper. So still, the devotees collected and got two or four verses. So one of the verses written by Sarvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya is, vairāgya-vidyā-nija-bhakti-yogam [Cc. Madhya 6.254]. This bhakti-yoga is vairāgya-vidyā, how to teach people to be detached from this material attraction. This is vairāgya-vidyā. In another place, in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, it is said,

vāsudeve bhagavati
bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ
jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam

In the human life, two things required = jñāna and vairāgya. Jñāna means that "I am not this body." This is jñāna. Not that so-called scientific knowledge, more attachment for this body. That is not... That is ajñāna. That is not jñāna. Jñāna means how to achieve the status of vairāgya. That is jñāna. Jñāna-vairāgya-yuktayā [SB 1.2.12]. So the brahmacārī is taught vairāgya-vidyā. Vairāgya-vidyā-nija-bhakti-yoga-śikṣārtham ekaḥ puruṣaḥ purāṇaḥ [Cc. Madhya 6.254].

Sarvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya says that "This Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who has taken sannyāsa, very early age, only at the age of twenty-four years, very young man, He has got His young wife at home, sixteen years old, and He has got His mother, old, seventy years old. So He has given up all responsibility, and there is no other male member in the family to look after them, the mother and the young wife. Still, He has taken sannyāsa. So therefore He is the purāṇa-puruṣa, the Supreme Person, but He has come to teach us this vairāgya-vidyā." Vairāgya-vidyā-nija-bhakti-yoga-śikṣārtham ekaḥ puruṣaḥ purāṇaḥ [Cc. Madhya 6.254]. Puruṣaḥ purāṇaḥ, Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is described = puruṣaḥ purāṇaḥ. Śāśvataṁ purāṇaḥ. Divyam, ādi-puruṣam. So puruṣaḥ purāṇaḥ. Vairāgya-vidyā-nija-bhakti-yogam: "He has come to teach the bhakti-yoga, which is vairāgya-vidyā." Vairāgya-vidyā-nija-bhakti-yoga-śikṣārtham ekaḥ puruṣaḥ purāṇaḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya-śarīra-dhārī [Cc. Madhya 6.254]. "Now He has assumed the body of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu." Tam ahaṁ prapadye: "I offer my respectful obeisances to this person. He has come to teach us vairāgya-vidyā."

So vairāgya-vidyā. This family attachment, and just the opposite thing is vairāgya-vidyā, how to become detached. This is the whole process of Vedic civilization. Everyone has got this attachment for the body and expansion of the body. So vairāgya-vidyā means to be detached. That is called brahma-jñāna. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati [Bg. 18.54]. That is brahma-jñāna. As soon as you understand ahaṁ brahmāsmi, "I am not this body; I am spirit soul," this is called brahma-jñāna. So long you do not get this knowledge, you are in ignorance. That ignorance, there are degrees. In the sattva-guṇa, or in the modes of goodness, you can simply theoretically understand that "I am not this body." That is sattva-guṇa. Brahminical qualities. Śamo damas titikṣā ārjavaṁ jñāna, jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam [Bg. 18.42]. When you... Brahma-jānātīti brāhmaṇaḥ. Brāhmaṇa means who has got the knowledge of brahma. Veda-paṭhād bhaved vipro brahma-jānātīti brāhmaṇaḥ, janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ saṁskārād bhaved dvijaḥ.

So everyone is born śūdra, but by cultivation of knowledge and culture, one can become... Saṁskārāt. Therefore, according to Vedic system, there are ten kinds of saṁskāra, reformatory method. This upanayana-saṁskāra, this is also one of the saṁskāra, sacred thread. Upanayana. Upa means near, and nayana means bringing. When the spiritual master brings nearer to spiritual consciousness, a person is given the upanayana, or the sacred thread. The sacred thread is the indication that "This man is now under the control of the spiritual master for advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness." This thread ceremony. This is called upanayana. Similarly, there is reformatory method, marriage... There are ten kinds of reformatory... The first beginning is garbhādhāna.

So these things are impossible to introduce now in this Kali-yuga. Therefore the only reformatory method is:

harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā

[Cc. Ādi 17.21]

In this age of Kali, people are so fallen, so degraded, that it is not possible to introduce systematically the whole Vedic principle. It is not possible. That is not possible. It is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's grace, mercy, that He has given us mercifully, vairāgya-vidyā-nija-bhakti [Cc. Madhya 6.254], just to teach very short-cut method. What is that? Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Simple. Simple.

Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni [Cc. Antya 20.12]. You are suffering in this material world, dāvāgni, now, forest fire. This material world is forest fire. But they are so ignorant, they cannot understand that "We are burning in the blazing fire of this material existence. Our attempt should be how to get out of it." But there is no such knowledge. Just like animal. The animal are suffering. They are being taken to the slaughterhouse. There is no, I mean, strength of protesting. They are being slaughtered. So we are being also being slaughtered by the laws of nature. We are also being slaughtered. So we do not know how to make progress. That is slaughtering.

So this is going on, very abominable condition of this age, mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ [SB 1.1.10]. First of all, they are very much slow, or bad. Manda means bad or slow. Slow means the human form of life is meant for making progress in spiritual understanding. So in this age every man is very slow. They do not know that there is need of spiritual understanding, there is need of making progress in spiritual life. They have forgotten. They have become just like animals. Therefore they are called mandāḥ. Sumanda-matayaḥ. And if one is little interested, he accepts something bogus which has no meaning. "I belong to this 'ism'; I belong to that 'ism,' that 'ism,' that..." "Ism," what is that "ism"? Dharma, or "ism," what is that required? Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam... [SB 6.3.19]. It is simple thing that the dharma means, religious code means, the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We have to obey. That is called dharma.

But they have no knowledge what is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, what is His order. They are here in the Bhagavad-gītā. The Supreme Personality of Godhead comes down to teach us, yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati [Bg. 4.7] = "When people forget their regulative life, I come down." So He has come down. He has come down. He will teach Arjuna that "You are so much family-wise attached." Then He will teach. From the Second Chapter He will begin the teaching. Prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase. Aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase [Bg. 2.11]. When Kṛṣṇa..., Arjuna accepted Kṛṣṇa, that "I am now puzzled what to do. So I know I am puzzled. I am kṣatriya. It is my duty to fight, but I am hesitating. So it is very embarrassing puzzle. Therefore I am surrendering unto You." Śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam [Bg. 2.7] = "I am becoming Your disciple, not friend. Now let us talk as master and disciple, not as friend and friend."

So when he accepted Kṛṣṇa as the ma... Kṛṣṇa is always master, but it is simply acceptance. So at that time Kṛṣṇa will speak, aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase [Bg. 2.11], that "You are..." Gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca nānu paṇḍitāḥ śocanti. Paṇḍita. "You are posing yourself..." He will speak so many things. That is like paṇḍita, learned. It is very nice thing. "Kṛṣṇa..." Arjuna is saying that "How can I kill my kinsmen? There is my grandfather, there is my teacher, there are my kinsmen." It is not bad. For worldly men this is very nice consideration, that "I am not going to kill my kinsmen."

That is a very good consideration. Prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase. But spiritually, it is ignorance, it is foolishness. Materially, it may be very nice thing, he's talking very nice. Therefore the first chastisement was... Kṛṣṇa took the position of spiritual master. So spiritual master has the right to chastise the disciple. So immediately He chastised. Aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase [Bg. 2.11] = "My dear Arjuna, you are talking, you are lamenting so badly, and at the same time you are talking just like a very learned man." So this is the position of the world. One talks very high words, but his behavior is very abominable.

So gradually we shall come to that point. So let us finish. Kṛṣṇa... Now Arjuna is promising... Kṛṣṇa arranged this fight to execute His purpose. Paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām [Bg. 4.8]. That was His purpose. "Duṣkṛtām, all these sinful rascals, they are ruling over the world. I want to kill them."

Therefore this battle was arranged so that all the rascals and demons will come there and it will be killed, in one place. And the right person, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, will be installed on the throne. That was his plan. The right person. Kṛṣṇa wants His representative to rule over the... King means representative of God. [break] [end]