Bhagavad-gītā 1.44 , London , 1973-07-31

Pradyumna: Translation = "Alas, how strange it is that we are preparing to commit greatly sinful acts, driven by the desire to enjoy royal happiness."


aho bata mahat-pāpaṁ
kartuṁ vyavasitā vayam
yad rājya-sukha-lobhena
hantuṁ svajanam udyatāḥ

So, sometimes Arjuna is accused, Bhagavad-gītā is also accused, that "There is violence. There is violence. Bhagavad-gītā is full of violence." Yes, it is full of violence, the warfield. But here the Vaiṣṇava thinking..., Arjuna is thinking that it was arranged for his rājya-sukha. Yad rājya-sukha-lobhena. Lobhena. It was arranged for the satisfaction of Arjuna so that he could enjoy the kingdom and the happiness thereof. Actually, it was not so. It was arranged by Kṛṣṇa for His satisfaction, not for Arjuna's satisfaction.

So that is the difference between ordinary work and devotional service. Devotional service and ordinary work, they look almost equal. Just like we are living in this house. The neighbors, they may think that "Some people are living here, chanting, dancing. We also dance. We also sometimes sing. And eating, they are also eating. Then where is the difference?" They may think that "Where is the difference between devotional service and ordinary work?" It looks almost equal.

Therefore people misunderstand that Bhagavad-gītā is ordinary warfare, violence. But it is not that. It is arranged by Kṛṣṇa because, to fulfill His mission. His mission is paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtam [Bg. 4.8]. That is His satisfaction, not Arjuna's satisfaction, not anyone's satisfaction. It is His plan. He comes, He descends on this planet, in this universe, just to establish the real purpose of religious life and to kill, to vanquish those who are opposing the real purpose of life, human life. That is His mission, simultaneously two things. Paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtam.

So svajanam...

aho bata mahat-pāpaṁ
kartuṁ vyavasitā vayam
yad rājya-sukha-lobhena
hantuṁ svajanam udyatāḥ

Svajanam means kinsmen. So kinsmen does not mean, in higher sense, only my brother or my sister or my father or my uncle. No. Svajanam means all living entities. Because one who hasn't got Kṛṣṇa consciousness, with ordinary consciousness, material consciousness, he cannot think in terms of svajanam. "My kinsmen, all living entities," he cannot think. Actually, everyone is our svajana, because if God is father, as Kṛṣṇa claims, ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā [Bg. 14.4], if He is the supreme father...

Not only He claims; at least, any fine religious system claims, "God is the original father." That's a fact. Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvam pravartate [Bg. 10.8]. Everything has come from Him. He is the supreme father. So if Kṛṣṇa is the supreme father, He is father of everyone. Sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya [Bg. 14.4]. In all species of life, in all forms of life, they are all our svajana, kinsmen. How it cannot be? Because Kṛṣṇa is the original father. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Therefore a devotee of Kṛṣṇa does not want to commit a little harm to any living entity. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ

Paṇḍitā, one who is learned, he is sama-darśinaḥ, equal vision. Not that... Just Kṛṣṇa has equal vision. That picture, Kṛṣṇa, He's embracing the calf. He is not only embracing the gopīs, but He is embracing the calf also, cows also. Sama-darśinaḥ. For Kṛṣṇa the gopīs, the calf and the cows, or anyone in Vṛndāvana who has come to serve Him, they are all equal to Him. Somebody wants to serve Kṛṣṇa as calf, somebody wants to serve Kṛṣṇa as cow, somebody wants to serve Kṛṣṇa as gopī, somebody wants to serve Kṛṣṇa as cowherd boy, somebody wants to serve Kṛṣṇa as His father, somebody wants to serve Kṛṣṇa as His mother. These are the different mellows, different taste. Every living entity has got his own taste, how to love Kṛṣṇa. But the central point is to love Kṛṣṇa.

Kṛṣṇa also reciprocates. He has no discrimination that "Here is gopīs, beautiful girl. Therefore I shall love her more than the calf." No. Kṛṣṇa is not so partial. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa's devotees also, because he has... Kṛṣṇa consciousness means he has got now in minute quantity Kṛṣṇa's quality. Therefore he is also equal to everyone. He thinks everyone svajana, the same..., member of the same family. It does not matter if one has become ant or one has become elephant. The living spark, the soul, is the same dimension, either within the ant or in the elephant. This dimension of the soul we have several times discussed, one ten-thousandth part of the top of the hair.

śatadhā kalpitasya ca
jīvo bhāgaḥ sa vijñeyaḥ
sa cānantyāya kalpate

[Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 5.9]

That is the dimension. In śāstra we get the dimension of the soul---very, very minute = one ten-thousandth part of the top of the hair. Just imagine. So that portion is within the ant and within Brahma and within elephant. Therefore, one who is paṇḍita, one who knows what are these souls, spiritual sparks, part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, if he has got full knowledge, then his vision is,

brāhmane gavi-hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
paṇḍitāh sama-darśinaḥ

Sama-darśinaḥ means equal vision. A learned brāhmaṇa, he is most intelligent man in the human society, so, and a dog... Superficially, externally, there is much difference. Here is a dog, a street dog, and here is a learned brāhmaṇa. But one who is paṇḍita, one who is Kṛṣṇa conscious, he sees that the paṇḍita and the dog, they are the same, because they are also the same spiritual spark. By his karma, he has become a learned paṇḍita, and by his karma, he has become a dog. But within the different body, dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ [Bg. 2.13], asmin dehe, in this body there is the soul.

That is his vision. Of course, externally, it is not that I shall behave equally with the brāhmaṇa and the dog. That is external behavior. But internally, we should know that both the brāhmaṇa and the dog, they're a spiritual spark. This is called brahma-jñāna. Brahma-jñāna means the knowledge of spiritual self. That is called brahma-jñāna. So when one attains this brahma-jñāna, then brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati, samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu [Bg. 18.54]. Samatā, equal. That is brahma-jñāna.

So in this verse Kṛṣṇa says, er, Arjuna says that yad rājya-sukha-lobhena hantuṁ svajanam udyatāḥ [Bg. 1.44]. So when we are killing animals for the satisfaction of our tongue, this is mahat pāpam. Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna says, aho bata mahat pāpam. Mahat pāpam, great sinful act. Great sinful act. If we want to kill anyone, any living entity, for my satisfaction, either my tongue satisfaction or any sense satisfaction, it is mahā-pāpam, great sinful act. Because they are all svajana. You cannot kill, either you take this sense or that sense. But Arjuna is speaking in a limited sense; he is thinking of his own family members. But if one is actually in knowledge, brahma-jñāna, he thinks in the same way, that "The lower animals, they are also our family members. And if I kill him for my satisfaction, my sense satisfaction, it is great sinful act."

Unfortunately, everyone is killing for his sense gratification in the name of religion. In the name of religion, although it is prohibited, still they are killing. Just imagine how much sinful activities they are doing. And how they can be happy? Happiness, of course, a hog also thinks that he is very happy that he is eating stool, living in filthy place, and because he has got the facility of sex life without any discrimination, he may think happy life. But that is not happiness. Happiness is different thing. Sukham ātyantikaṁ yat tad atīndriya-grāhyam [Bg. 6.21]. If you want to feel happiness by your these blunt material senses, that is not happiness. Happiness is beyond your material senses. Ātyantikam. That is real happiness. Real happiness means it will never end, and you will never feel satiation, that "I no more want." That is real happiness. Material happiness, there is no such thing that you will feel immediately satiation. After enjoying any material happiness a few minutes, you will feel, "Again another, again another, again another."

So therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, sukham ātyantikaṁ yat tat [Bg. 6.21]. So real, what is real happiness, that is not felt by these blunt material senses. So what is that sense? That is purified senses. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. When our senses are purified, tat-paratvena, for the sake of Kṛṣṇa, when our senses are employed for the sake of Kṛṣṇa, that is purified senses. Hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate. That is wanted.

So here, in the beginning, Arjuna, he's thinking in terms of his blunt senses. But the same thing he will do. Ātyantikam, atīndriya, purified senses. Just try to understand. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Arjuna is now thinking, yad rājya-sukha-lobhena [Bg. 1.44] = "For the matter of getting kingdom and sense gratification, I am going to kill my kinsmen. So it is great sin." That's a fact. If the warfare in the Kurukṣetra battlefield was for Arjuna's sense satisfaction, then it was a great sin. But actually, it is not being done for Arjuna's satisfaction. It is to be done for Kṛṣṇa's satisfaction. So therefore the conclusion should be that whatever we do, if we do it for our own sense satisfaction, that is mahā-pāpam, sinful activities. But if we do the same thing for Kṛṣṇa's satisfaction, that is spiritual advancement. This is the difference.

So outsider, they think that... A karmī is working for his own satisfaction, and a devotee is working for Kṛṣṇa's satisfaction. Although two things are similarly, externally it appears the same thing, but there is great difference. Whatever you do for your own satisfaction, for the satisfaction of your whims, that is mahā-pāpa, great sin. The same thing, when you do for Kṛṣṇa, that is opening your path to liberation, back to home, back to Godhead. This is difference. You have to change the consciousness. What you are doing? For whom you are doing? For yourself or for Kṛṣṇa? This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And that is the perfection of life. In whatever position you are, whatever you are doing, it doesn't matter.

That is confirmed in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:

ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭha
svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya
saṁsiddhiṁ hari-toṣaṇam

Hari-toṣaṇam means to satisfy the Supreme Lord, Hari. That is perfection. It doesn't matter what you are doing. Varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ. First of all, "whatever doing," it does not mean whatever nonsense you are doing, that will be accepted. No. Varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ. According to Vedic civilization, there is division of varṇa = brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. So activities must be done according to the varṇāśrama prescription. A brāhmaṇa is ordered to do like this = satyaḥ śamo damas titikṣa ārjavam. You should practice this. A kṣatriya should practice this. And a vaiśya should practice this. So therefore it is called varṇāśrama---the prescribed duties are already there.

Therefore perfect human society means... First of all there must be this division, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya. And when they act the duties of that particular position, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa, that is perfection of life. It doesn't matter whether you are śūdra or you are brāhmaṇa, but if you act for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa according to the prescription of your position, then your life is perfect. That is wanted. The whole human civilization should be based on this principle. There must be division.

The division is already there. They should be coordinated, systematized. Not that everyone is brāhmaṇa. Brāhmaṇa means the intelligent man. So we should pick up the intelligent men. They should be trained as brāhmaṇa. Those who are martial, having fighting spirit, they should be selected as kṣatriya. Those who are for increasing money, mercantile mentality, they should be also collected. Similarly, śūdras. And they should be trained, everyone, to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. Varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ. Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya saṁsiddhiṁ hari-toṣaṇam [SB 1.2.13].

So here Arjuna is a fighter; he is engaged in fighting. Now he is thinking. That is proper. He is Vaiṣṇava. He is devotee. He is properly thinking that "For my sense gratification I am going to kill my kinsmen? Oh, what a great sinful activity I am going to do." But actually, Kṛṣṇa is not engaging His devotee to act sinfully. No. That is not Kṛṣṇa's business. Although superficially it appears that Kṛṣṇa is engaging Arjuna to fight in the sinful activities, no, that is not sinful. Whatever Kṛṣṇa does, it is not sinful; it is transcendental, the most pure activity. Therefore one...

The rascals who do not understand Kṛṣṇa, they say that Kṛṣṇa is immoral. They do not know what is Kṛṣṇa and what is Kṛṣṇa's action. They do not know. They think, "Now, Kṛṣṇa is engaging Arjuna to fight. Oh, it is immoral. Why Kṛṣṇa should engage Arjuna in the fighting business?" So therefore... Or "Why Kṛṣṇa is engaged in dancing with the gopīs? They are wives and sister of other men. It is sinful." If we enjoy with other's wife or other's daughter or other's sister, who is not bona fide my wife, if I want to enjoy life, that illicit sex... Kṛṣṇa is not doing that. But artificially, those who are nonsense, they see that "Kṛṣṇa is dancing at dead of night with others' daughters and girls. Therefore He is immoral."

But that means he does not know what is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa can do anything. Tejīyasaṁ na doṣāya. Tejīyasaṁ na doṣāya [SB 10.33.29]. Just like the sun is very powerful. As you see in this material world a sun, a material thing, and it is very powerful, but the sun is soaking water, taking water from the sea as well as from filthy place. So he is also taking... What is called? Soaking, or...?

Devotee: Evaporating.

Prabhupāda: Evaporating, yes. Evaporating water from urine also. In filthy place, sewer ditches, he is evaporating water, as well as from the sea. But it does not mean by evaporating water from the sewer ditch and urine, the sun is becoming polluted. No. Rather, he is turning that place, what is called, prophylactic, antiseptic, by his sunshine. Similarly, even though somebody comes to Kṛṣṇa with some purpose which is not moral, but the man or woman who comes there, he becomes..., he or she becomes purified. And Kṛṣṇa does not become immoral. This science has to be known by the rascals before calling Kṛṣṇa immoral.

Therefore Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā,

manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścid vetti māṁ tattvataḥ

These rascals, they do not know what is Kṛṣṇa. They think Kṛṣṇa is ordinary man. "Why He is engaging Arjuna in the fighting? Why He is dancing with others' daughter and girls? These are immoral thing." Therefore this rāsa dance should not be discussed among the fools and rascals. They'll misunderstand. Although the professional reciters, they take part, whenever they speak of Bhāgavata, they immediately jump over the rāsa dance. That is not to be done. Caitanya Mahāprabhu never indulged in such thing. For mass of people He engaged Himself in saṅkīrtana. And when Kṛṣṇa's dealing with the gopīs were discussed, He was discussing amongst three selected devotees = Rāmānanda Rāya, Svarūpa Dāmodara and Śikhi Māhati.

He had thousands and thousands of devotees, but He never discussed Kṛṣṇa's rāsa-līlā in the mass of people. Never did it. Therefore it is restricted. Kṛṣṇa... Because they will misunderstand. These rascals, they do not know what is Kṛṣṇa, and they will misunderstand. They will be polluted. Of course, not polluted, because after all, they will hear about Kṛṣṇa. But they may misunderstand. That is against their making progress to the spiritual life.

So Kṛṣṇa is not immoral. Kṛṣṇa is not engaging Arjuna to commit such sinful activities, svajanaṁ hatvā. No. Kṛṣṇa is engaging him in His service. So one has to understand that. So when Arjuna will understand that "This war, this fighting is not for my sense gratification, it is for Kṛṣṇa's sense gratification..." then he agreed, because he is a devotee. Kariṣye vacanaṁ tava [Bg. 18.73] = "Yes I shall now act." This is the proposition.

So ātmendriya-tṛpti-vāñchā dhare tāra nāma kāma. Kāma means lust. What is lust? Lust means whenever you try to satisfy your senses, that is called lust. And the same, whenever you try to satisfy Kṛṣṇa's senses, that is love. Practically the same business, but personal and Kṛṣṇa. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means we have to act everything for Kṛṣṇa under proper direction. We cannot manufacture that "I am doing for Kṛṣṇa." Then that is another misleading. Therefore we require the guidance of the spiritual master. Kṛṣṇa... Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. It is Caitanya-caritāmṛta, that you have to seek the mercy both of Kṛṣṇa and guru, not that you have become so advanced that you are directly in connection with Kṛṣṇa, and whatever you are doing, it is mercy. No. Don't think like that. It must be guided, it must be confirmed by guru. Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. Bhakti line is there.

So our business is, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, is that we have to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. That reference by that Professor Zaehner, that one rogue, he did by his whims, and he alleged that "After reading Bhagavad-gītā violence, he committed this violence," so did he take permission from Kṛṣṇa or Kṛṣṇa's representative? But he does not know the technique. He has unnecessarily accused, committed a great offense to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. So therefore un..., inexperienced person, they should not try to teach Bhagavad-gītā to others, because he has no knowledge. This knowledge has to be received by paramparā system. Evam paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. So simply by academic career, by knowledge of A-B-C-D, you cannot understand Bhagavad-gītā. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, bhakto 'si priyo 'si me [Bg. 4.3], without becoming bhakta...

Therefore Sanātana Gosvāmī has forbidden that "Don't hear anything about Kṛṣṇa from a person who is not a Vaiṣṇava." Avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇa-pūta-hari-kathāmṛtaṁ śravanaṁ na karta... This is prohibited. You cannot hear. But this audience or the students, they also do not know that "Here is a rascal. He is not a devotee; he is not a Vaiṣṇava. Why shall we hear from him Bhagavad-gītā?" The first condition is bhakto 'si. And the prohibition is also by ācāryas.

Avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇa-pūta-hari-kathāmṛtaṁ śravanaṁ na kartavyam. Pūta-hari-kathāmṛtam. Hari-kathā, talks of Kṛṣṇa, they are by themselves pure. But still, it is prohibited that if it is spoken by avaiṣṇava, nondevotee, one should not hear. Should not hear. Must immediately reject. First of all, we have to see who is going to speak about Kṛṣṇa. Is it a devotee of Kṛṣṇa? Is he a Vaiṣṇava or not? If he is not, then immediately reject = "Oh, we are not going to hear from you."

But people do not know. Any rascal speaking about Bhagavad-gītā we hear. That is not the process. Then you will misunderstand. Avaiṣṇava-mukhod..., sarpocchiṣṭaṁ payo yathā. Just like milk is very good food, everyone knows. But when it is touched by the tongue of the serpent, it is poison, immediately. So we cannot drink poison. Don't hear Bhagavad-gītā or any talk about Kṛṣṇa from a person who is not a Vaiṣṇava, who is not a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. We'll misunderstand.

Just like they will say, then will say, "Oh, Kṛṣṇa is engaging Arjuna for fighting, for committing so many sinful activities." No, that is not the fact. Kṛṣṇa is engaging Arjuna fighting, to fighting, just to serve His purpose. Paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtam [Bg. 4.8]. And Kṛṣṇa [Arjuna] is executing the mission of Kṛṣṇa not for his personal benefit. These are the things.

That's all right. Thank you very much.

Devotees: All glories... [end]