Bhagavad-gītā 2.26–27 , London , 1973-08-29

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [devotees repeat] [leads chanting of verse, etc.]

atha cainaṁ nitya-jātaṁ
nityaṁ vā manyase mṛtam
tathāpi tvaṁ mahā-bāho
nainaṁ śocitum arhasi



Translation = "If, however, you think that the soul is perpetually born and always dies, still you have no reason to lament, O mighty-armed."


atha cainaṁ nitya-jātaṁ
nityaṁ vā manyase mṛtam
tathāpi tvaṁ mahā-bāho
nainaṁ śocitum arhasi

So Kṛṣṇa is putting forward the modern scientific view. The modern scientific view is that there is no soul; life is generated from matter. By combination of material elements at a... Just like chemical combination. You mix acid and soda, alkaline and acid, there will be some reaction, effervescence, movement. Similarly, the Buddhist philosophy, mostly they do not believe in the existence of the soul. The Buddhist philosopher thinks that the combination of matter makes a living symptom. Their ultimate goal is nirvāṇa. Nirvāṇa means stop this combination. Due to this combination, we feel pains and pleasure. Therefore, if we disintegrate the combination, there will be no more pains and pleasure. Materialistic.

Their solution, pains and pleasure... Any philosophy or any religious system ultimately aims at ātyantika-duḥkha-nivṛtti. Duḥkha means pain, and nivṛtti, nivṛtti means stop. Why people go to the church? Because they feel some pain, they go to church or temple to appeal, "If there is somebody as God..." They think like that. "Let me appeal to the Supreme Person so that my distress may be mitigated." So aim is ātyantika-duḥkha-nivṛtti. We are also cultivating this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Our aim is also the same = duḥkha-nivṛtti. Kṛṣṇa says, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam [Bg. 13.9]. We keep always in view that in this material existence there are four kinds of miserable condition, primarily, and to stop this. Duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam [Bg. 8.15]. So everyone's aim is duḥkha-nivṛtti. It may be presented in a different ways. So the Buddha philosophy is also duḥkha-nivṛtti, stop pains.

Ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt [Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12]. We are, by nature, we want blissfulness. But we do not know how to become actually happy and blissful. That is ignorance. In the material world, they also want to enjoy, everyone. They are thinking that "This wine, woman, meat-eating, gambling, intoxication, these things will give me pleasure." So ātyantika-duḥkha-nivṛtti. The Bhāgavata says that ātyantika-duḥkha-nivṛtti, means ultimate solution of miserable condition, is in the fact that we realize God and we go back to home, back to Godhead. This is our philosophy. And persons who cannot understand what is God, what is kingdom of God, they want to adjust. The aim is the same, ātyantika-duḥkha-nivṛtti, ultimately solution of all miseries, in a different way.

So Kṛṣṇa says, putting forward the Buddha philosophy, which was formerly known as lokāyatikas and vaibhāṣikas... These two kinds of philosophers, they did not believe. Mostly the materialistic philosopher, they have no understanding of the soul. Therefore they have different kinds of theories, which we do not accept. Kṛṣṇa says that if you are not Sanātanist, or followers of the Vedic principle, if you think that your principle and views are different, that by combination of matter this existence coming, atha cainaṁ nitya-jātam... Nitya means by combination of... Just like so many things are taking place by interaction of different material elements. Similarly, if you don't believe in this existence of the soul, if you think that there is no soul, the life is the result of combination of matter, nitya-jātam, and when this combination of matter is some way or other dismantled, then there is no more soul, it is finished---it began at a point by combination of matter, and it ends in a point by disintegration of matter, if you think like that, then also tathāpi tvaṁ mahā-bāho.

Kṛṣṇa is criticizing Arjuna, mahā-bāhu. Actually he is mahā-bāhu. Mahā-bāhu means mighty-armed. One who has got a very strong, mighty arm, he can fight very strongly. Then also, why should you give up your fighting spirit? Why should you lament for combination of chemicals and material elements? Suppose this house is a combination of material elements. So some way or other, if it is dismantled, who laments for it? No sane man will lament. Similarly, if you have no idea of the existence of soul, then also you do not require to lament. Tathāpi tvaṁ mahā-bāho nainaṁ śocitum arhasi.

Next verse. [break]

Pradyumna: [leads chanting of verse, etc.]

jātasya hi dhruvo mṛtyur
dhruvaṁ janma mṛtasya ca
tasmād aparihārye 'rthe
na tvaṁ śocitum arhasi


Translation = "For one who has taken his birth, death is certain; and for one who is dead, birth is certain. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should not lament."

Prabhupāda: This is karma-vāda. In the previous verse, Kṛṣṇa tried to explain bauddha-vāda, nāstika-vāda, atheism. Atheist means one who does not believe in the soul and God. These are co-relative terms. If you understand what is soul, then you can understand what is God. If you understand what is God, then you can understand what is soul. But those who are agnostic, atheist, they neither believe in God nor in the soul.

So combination of matter... Here Kṛṣṇa says in a different way that combination of matter is taking place, and again it is being dismantled. That is going on. Either there is soul or not soul... Just like Darwin's theory, evolution of material body. So that is going on. One body is created, and the same body again annihilated, another body created, another body, the same body annihilated, it is going on. So where is the cause of lament? You cannot stop. You cannot stop this process. Jātasya hi dhruvo mṛtyur dhruvaṁ janma mṛtasya ca tasmād aparihārye 'rthe. Duty. The same thing is going on. Duty is very important thing. Kṛṣṇa is stressing on it, that one cannot stop his duty. Then he becomes sinful. That is karma-vāda.

If, just like so many people, they argue that if we discharge our duties nicely, then where is the need of accepting God? The karma-vāda philosophy is that if there is God, then he's giving us the result of our activities, and if I do nicely, then He gives me nice opportunity, and if I do not do things very nicely, I am put into suffering. So there is a karma-phala-datta, decides... Just like the high-court judge, he is giving judgment according to the case, different cases. Similarly, our goodness or badness will be decided according to our karma. That is also fact. Then what is the use of accepting one God? If I do my duties very nicely, then He must give me nice result. So why shall I worship Him? Why shall I become a devotee of God? It is His duty. This is karma-vāda.

Everyone is trying to avoid the principle of devotional service. It is only we, the Kṛṣṇa conscious person, we are advocating the philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. Kṛṣṇa says that "Always think of Me." These karma-vādīs, they will say, "Why shall I waste my time thinking of Kṛṣṇa? If I do my duty nicely, then I will get good result. Why shall I be devotee of Kṛṣṇa?" This is their argument.

One Ārya-samājī postmaster, long ago... Not very long ago; 1956, 1956. In Delhi at that time I was publishing this Back to Godhead. So we had concession rate for posting, and it was to be delivered to the postmaster. So the postmaster was talking with me about the paper, Back to Godhead. He raised the same question. He said, "If we do our duty nicely, then what is the use of worshiping God? If we become honest, if we become moral, if we do not do anything which is harmful to anyone, in this way, if we act, then where is the...?" Because our paper's name was Back to Godhead. So he was indirectly protesting that "What is the use of propagating this philosophy of Godhead if we act nicely?"

The Ārya-samājists' view... They are called... There is a English name. What is called? I forget now. Moralists. The technical name there is. Anyway, this is their point of view = how to avoid God. So I replied that if one is not God conscious, he cannot be moralist, he cannot be truthful, he cannot be honest. This is our point of view. You study the whole world only on these three points = morality, honest and dutiful. So many nice things are there. But if he's not God conscious, he cannot continue such thing. He must fail. Even the...

There are so many instances, even amongst the devotees, because this material world is made so that you cannot continue this principle perpetually. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, you'll find. Because the three modes of material nature is working, even if you are on the platform of goodness, the other modes of material nature will try to attack you. And your goodness, morality, honesty, these things will be polluted by the onslaught of the other two inferior modes of nature. Therefore, sometimes we find that a very nice man committing some sinful activities.

So the decision of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ [SB 5.18.12]. Mahad-guṇāḥ. We can find it easily, just like we say that no illicit sex, no meat-eating, we consider this is sinful. But there are others, big, big leaders, politicians, philosophers, even religious priest, they do not think that this is immoral or this is sinful. Meat-eating is sinful. "Why? What is the sin there?" Illicit sex, "What is the wrong there?" Intoxication, "What is wrong there?" They do not find any immorality. So this standard of morality there cannot be fixed up if one is not God conscious. There cannot be. Standard of morality, standard of goodness cannot be. That is the decision of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ. Lack of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They think that animal has no soul. They do not accept this morality that animal cannot be killed, it is sinful, it is immoral. They have created their own theory.

So without being standardized by Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or God consciousness, you cannot find the standard platform of morality, honesty. These things you cannot find. This is not possible. Therefore, the verdict of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ. Just like if you do not follow a standard law, how you can fix up, "This is morality" or "This is honesty" or "dishonesty"? There must be standard law. And who can give you the law unless he is the greatest authority? So law changes according to different countries, climate, situation. So man-made law cannot give you standard morality, honesty or... It is not possible. Because one will think, "This is morality," another will think, "No, this is not morality." Same thing = "Keep to the left," "Keep to the right." Somebody says, " 'Keep to the left' is right," somebody says " 'Keep to the left,' it is wrong." Manorathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ [SB 5.18.12]. Because those who are not Kṛṣṇa conscious, they are hovering on the mental plane. They cannot be..., there cannot be any fixed-up morality, honesty, dishonesty. No. And rascals will also say, yato mata tato patha. Means, whatever you think is all right, that is all right. According to you, your conception this is right, and according to my conception, both of them are right. How both of them can be right?

So this contradiction, opposing elements, will continue unless there is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So this is not a fact, that the karma-vādīs, simply by discharging your duties nicely... This is... On principle, it is all right. But we must know what is actual morality. There are so many examples. Just like when there is war, to kill the enemies, that is morality. But in peaceful condition if you kill a person, that is immorality, or sinful. The process is the same; morality or immorality, the process is the same. But sometimes it is moral, sometimes immoral. So how it will be standardized? Therefore Bhāgavata says, dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19]. Real dharma, real religion, morality, honesty, they can be decided on the words of the Supreme Lord. That is the... When Kṛṣṇa says, "This is all right," then it is all right. When Kṛṣṇa says it is not right, then it is not right. This is our decision. We Kṛṣṇa conscious men, we simply accept.

And that is a fact. That is a fact in this way = because Kṛṣṇa is the greatest authority, Supreme Being. Supreme means the greatest authority. Just like state says, "Now it is wartime. If you kill a number of enemies then you will be awarded with gold medal." The same process of killing. But at another time, when there is no war, if you kill one person you'll be hanged. The killing process is the same, but the judgment is given by the greatest authority, the government = "This is all right," "This is not right." Therefore, standard of morality means to abide by the orders of the greatest authority. That is standard of morality. This is the conclusion. You cannot make your own morality. No. If Kṛṣṇa says, "This is all right," then it is all right. Otherwise, it is not.

Kṛṣṇa says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati [Bg. 9.26] = "If somebody offers Me vegetables, leaves, grains, milk, water, flowers, then I accept." So this is nice foodstuff, it is to be accepted. Because Kṛṣṇa likes to eat this. Kṛṣṇa can eat anything, because He is the supreme, He is omnipotent, He can eat anything, but He particularly mentions this. Therefore, foodstuff made of these ingredients is nice, sāttvika, goodness. So the karma-vāda, that you follow morality you'll get good results... But where is your morality? Because you are disobedient to God. In the beginning of your life, you are immoral. You are disobeying the greatest authority.

There is another example, a story, that a gang of thieves, they stolen some property from different houses, then out of the village they are dividing amongst themselves the booties. So one thief is saying, "Please divide it morally so that one may not be cheated." Now just imagine, the property is stolen. Where is the morality there? But when dividing, they are thinking of morality. The basic principle is immoral. Where you can have morality? Similarly, according to Vedic injunction, īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam [Īśo mantra 1] = everything belongs to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is His property. So the whole planet is God's property, whole universe is God's property. But when we are claiming that "This is my property," then where is morality? If you claim others' property as your property, then where is the morality?

So in this material world, such kind of morality, honesty, is going on. But our morality is if Kṛṣṇa is satisfied, then it is honesty, morality, everything. There are many example. Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja. Prahlāda Mahārāja is standing, and his father is being killed by Nṛsiṁha-deva in his presence. So do you think it is morality that one's father is being killed in the presence of his son, and the son, without protest, is seeing, with a garland, that "As soon as my father is killed, I shall offer this garland to Nṛsiṁha-deva"? Is it morality? From material point of view? We are worshiping... Prahlāda Mahārāja has become mahājana, the greatest authority in devotional service, but if we study his morality, that he did not protest the killing of his father, rather he was waiting with a garland, that "As soon as the killing business is finished I'll reward this." You see? Where is material morality? There is no morality.

The gopīs, they were young girls, wife of somebody, sister of somebody, daughter of somebody, but when Kṛṣṇa was playing on His flute at dead of night, they gave up all their engagement and began to run, "Where Kṛṣṇa is present?" So from Vedic standard of view, this is immorality. They are going to another young boy and leaving family. Even somebody, some of the gopīs, they left their sons also and went to Kṛṣṇa. From material point of view this is immoral.

So you'll find in such a way that what is from material point of view immoral, it is the most magnificent morality in relationship with Kṛṣṇa. And similarly, from material point of view, what is moral, that is most, I mean to say, abominable from the point of... Just like Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja. Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja became very moral. Kṛṣṇa advised him, "Just go and tell Droṇācārya that 'Your son is dead,' " although his son was not dead. Because Droṇācārya will not die. Unless he hears the news of the death of his son, he'll not die. So he would not believe anyone, but Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja is famous, very moral. So Kṛṣṇa asked him that "You go, otherwise he'll not believe anyone." So Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja hesitated, "How can I say lies?" So for this he had to see hell. He became immoral. Man-nimitte kṛtaṁ pāpaṁ puṇyāya eva kalpate.

So our standard of morality and immorality is to see whether Kṛṣṇa is satisfied. If Kṛṣṇa is satisfied, then it is morality. If Kṛṣṇa is dissatisfied, then it is immoral. And Kṛṣṇa's representative also. Therefore it is said, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto 'pi. Our morality is to satisfy Kṛṣṇa or His representative, guru. Yasya prasāda. If he's satisfied, then it is moral. If he's not satisfied, then it is immoral. Na gatiḥ kuto 'pi.

So this karma-vāda, that you act nicely and you'll get nice result, that is all right, but there may be some mistakes. There are so many instances. One very great charitable king, he was giving in charity so many cows to the brāhmaṇas. So there was some mistake, and for that purpose, although he was all throughout his whole life he was giving in charity, a little mistake, he became a big lizard in the well. Therefore the conclusion is that this material morality-immorality has no value. Spiritual morality. Spiritual morality means to abide by the order of Kṛṣṇa. That is morality. Whatever Kṛṣṇa says, if we accept, saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam. Many places.

ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā
svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya
saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam

In many places. Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam. In another place, that, if you execute your morality principles, but if by executing such morality principle you do not, I mean to say, awaken your Kṛṣṇa consciousness, it is simply waste of time. Wherever you go, the Bhāgavata conclusion, harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ. We have to keep in point of view that to become... Kṛṣṇa also says in Bhagavad-gītā = api cet su-durācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ [Bg. 9.30]. Even one is found su-durācāraḥ, not very strictly following moral principles, but he is an unflinching devotee of Kṛṣṇa, he's sādhu. These things are there.

Therefore the point should be that we should not accept this karma-vāda or the bauddha-vāda or Māyāvāda---there are so many vādas. We shall simply take kṛṣṇa-vāda. Simply, simply accept Kṛṣṇa. And whatever He orders, whatever He likes, for His satisfaction, we shall do anything and everything. That is our morality.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. [end]