Lecture at Uppsala University Faculty, Bhagavad-gītā 13.1 , Stockholm , 1973-09-07

Prabhupāda: So I shall try to discuss Bhagavad-gītā, Thirteenth Chapter, in which nature, the enjoyer, and consciousness is described. [Bg. 13.1]

Śrī arjuna uvāca. Arjuna belonged to the royal family of the Pāṇḍavas, and he was friend of Kṛṣṇa. So there was a fight between two groups of cousin-brothers, the Kauravas and the Pāṇḍavas. So Arjuna... Kṛṣṇa was requested by both the parties to join either of them, but Kṛṣṇa decided not to take part in the fighting because both of them were equally related to Him. So after all, Kṛṣṇa divided His soldiers one side and Himself another side with the condition that if He joins, then He would not fight.

So Arjuna preferred to take Kṛṣṇa on his side, and the other party, Duryodhana, he decided to take Kṛṣṇa's soldiers. So while just the fighting was to begin, Arjuna declined to fight because the other party were all his relatives, friends, brothers, brothers' son, nephew, teacher and grandfather. So Arjuna took compassion, that "I don't want victory. Better not to fight." So that is the cause of describing the science of Bhagavad-gītā before Arjuna, just to induce him to act as a dutiful soldier. This is the background of Bhagavad-gītā.

So there were many questions and answers. There are seven hundred verses. So we shall discuss this evening about the nature, the enjoyer and the consciousness.

śrī arjuna uvāca
prakṛtiṁ puruṣaṁ caiva
kṣetraṁ kṣetra-jñam eva ca
etad veditum icchāmi
jñānaṁ jñeyaṁ ca keśava

[Bg. 13.1]

Those who have got this copy, it is page 619. Arjuna wanted to know prakṛti, the nature, the material nature, and puruṣa. Puruṣa means the enjoyer, the living entities. Here in this material world every living entity is trying to enjoy this material nature. Prakṛtiṁ puruṣaṁ caiva kṣetram. Kṣetra means field of activity, and kṣetra-jña means the knower of the field. Just like an agricultural field, the field is there and the cultivator is there. The cultivator knows that "It is my field of activity." So he's to be supposed as kṣetra-jña, one who knows about his field of activities. Etad veditum icchāmi. Because Kṛṣṇa has been accepted as the teacher. First of all, Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna were talking as friends.

But when Arjuna saw it that friendly talking will not make any solution of the problem, so at that time, he surrendered to Kṛṣṇa, that "I become Your disciple," śiṣyas te 'ham śādhi māṁ [tvāṁ] prapannam, "and I surrender unto You." That is the relationship between teacher and the student. The student must receive knowledge submissively, not by challenge. Therefore, one has to select a teacher where one can submit. That is the process. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā [Bg. 4.34]. Teacher must be approached with submission. Tad viddhi praṇipātena. Praṇipāt means submission; and paripraśnena, then question; and sevayā, and service also. These three things are the basic principle of receiving knowledge.

So submission means I must approach somebody who is actually in better position or higher position. Otherwise, what is the use of approaching? Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā. And sevā means service. You cannot challenge. You approach such person whose instruction you shall receive. You can inquire submissively, but you cannot challenge. That is not allowed in Vedic system. Samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham [MU 1.2.12]. Therefore before selecting a teacher, you must decide whether you can submit there. If you cannot submit there, don't approach, don't waste time. So that is the process. And Arjuna submitted to Arjuna, er, Kṛṣṇa.

So there are many questions. Here is another question = "Kṛṣṇa, I want to know this material nature and the living entities who are trying to enjoy the resources of this material nature." This whole world, every living entity, even birds and beasts, they are also trying to lord it over the material nature, what to speak of human being. They are trying to overcome the stringent laws of material nature by so many scientific improvements, but still, they are under material nature. That is the conclusion of Bhagavad-gītā. Daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī mama māyā duratyayā [Bg. 7.14]. This material nature is called māyā, energy. Actually, it is the energy, energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. From Vedic literature we get information = God has got many potencies or energies.

parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate
svābhāvikī jñāna-bala-kriyā ca
na tasya kāryaṁ karaṇaṁ ca vidyate
na tat-samaś cābhyadhikaś ca dṛśyate

[Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.8,
Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport]

These are the Vedic information. God means na tasya kāryaṁ karaṇaṁ ca vidyate. He has nothing to do; He has simply to desire. I think in your Christian Bible also it is said, "God said, 'Let there be creation,' and there was creation." He has to simply desire. Other things will be done by His energies. Just like big man, a king or president, his simply sanction order---"This must be done"---the things will be done by the subordinates, by... He has got so many energies, secretaries. So why not for God, the Supreme Being, God?

So therefore the Vedic instruction is, God has nothing to do, practically. Simply His desire is sufficient. Na tasya kāryaṁ karaṇaṁ ca vidyate na tasya samaś cābhyadhikaś ca dṛśyate. There is nobody equal to Him or above Him. Everyone must be below, subordinate. That is Vedic instruction. And that has been selected, or that has been concluded, who is that Supreme Being. That is we also get from Vedic information = īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ [Bs. 5.1], that Supreme Being means Kṛṣṇa. The Kṛṣṇa, the word, means "all-attractive." Therefore He is supreme. God must be all-attractive. It is not that God is attractive for the Hindus or God is attractive for the Muslims or the Christians. No. If He is God at all, then He must be attractive for all. That is the meaning of the word Kṛṣṇa, "all-attractive." So that is very nice word. Actually, God has no name, but we call Him by different holy names according to His activity. Just like we believe that God is great. So this is fact. The Vedic instruction is also there, na tasya samaś adhikaś ca dṛśyate: "Nobody is equal, nobody is greater than Him." Therefore God is great.

Now who is that great? That is decided = īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ [Bs. 5.1]. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Being. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ. Īśvaraḥ means controller. That is the exact equivalent for the word God. God means controller, supreme controller. So that supreme controller means He has nobody else to control Him. Here in this material world, or anywhere, we find one controller, he is controlling, but he is also being controlled. He is not absolute controller. Here we find some, say, a president, he's controlling the state, but he's also being controlled by popular votes. If the popular votes are against him, he cannot control any more. So here, you just analyze anyone; he may be controller, but at the same time he is controlled. Not that absolute controller. Nobody you can find. So if in this way you go on searching out where a person is not only controlled, controller, but He is not controlled by anyone, that is God. This is the simple definition of God. God controls everyone or everything, but He is not controlled by anyone. That is God.

Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1]. And He has got form; He's a person. He's not imperson. Because as soon as you speak of controller, it cannot be impersonal. Controller must be a person. He must have brain, He must have desire, He must have capacity to give orders. So many things. So therefore the Vedic information is the Supreme Absolute Truth is a person. He's not impersonal. The impersonal realization of God is realization of His different potencies. Just like this material world, this is the manifestation of one of the potencies of God. He has got many potencies. So all the many potencies have been grouped into three = the material potency, the spiritual potency and the marginal potency, between the material and spiritual.

The spiritual potency we can understand. Just like I am speaking. I am speaking means I am spiritual being. I am speaking. This material body is my covering, just like shirt and coat. So the... Now I'm existing. Somehow or other, I've been encaged in this material body, but I am spirit soul. That is spiritual potency. And as this material world is made of material ingredients, similarly, there is another world. That information you can get from Bhagavad-gītā. Paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo 'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ [Bg. 8.20]. There is another nature, another manifestation of nature. That is spiritual. What is the distinction? The distinction is when this material world will be annihilated, that will remain. Just like I am spirit soul. When this body is annihilated, I am not annihilated. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. After the destruction of this body, the soul is not destroyed. Soul remains there in the subtle body = mind, intelligence and ego. So that mind, intelligence and ego, that carries him to another gross body. That is called transmigration of the soul.

This gross body, this body, even in our experience during this lifetime, we have experienced so many gross bodies came and went away. Just like I was a child, so I possessed one gross body, child's body. That came and gone away. I had a boy's body; that came and gone away. A young man's body I had, but that came and gone away. Similarly, this body, old man's body, it has come, and it will also go. So as in spite of so many other bodies came and went, similarly, when this body will no longer exist, I'll transfer myself or transmigrate into another gross body. This is called transmigration of the soul.

So Kṛṣṇa, about Kṛṣṇa it is said that He is the supreme controller and He has got His form, His body, which is not made of these material ingredients. Sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1]. Vigrahaḥ means body. So He has got body. But what kind of body? Sac-cid-ānanda. It is, the ingredients are spiritual, not material. Here, the ingredients, gross body I have got, you have got---earth, water, air, fire, mind, intelligence, ego---these ingredients. But Kṛṣṇa's body, the ingredients are sac-cid-ānanda. Sat means eternity, cit means knowledge, and ānanda means blissfulness. That is His body, sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ. But He has got a body. He has got a form, transcendental form, sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ. Anādiḥ, anādiḥ means, because nobody is controller above Him, therefore He is the supreme controller. He has no beginning. Anādi, ādiḥ: and He is the beginning of everything. Anādir ādir govindaḥ---His name is Govinda. Kṛṣṇa, Govinda, there are many names. There are millions of names of God. We are just mentioning one or two. So anādir ādir govindaḥ sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam: the cause of all causes. Everything has got cause and effect.

So therefore Arjuna has decided to take knowledge from Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Being. And He has no material body; therefore His knowledge, whatever knowledge is given by Kṛṣṇa, that is perfect. Anyone who is giving knowledge in this material body, he has got four defects. The first defect is that a person in the material body must commit mistake. Must commit, less or more. And the..., anyone who possessing this material body, he must be illusioned. Illusioned means that accepting something for something. Just like we are accepting this body as self. But this is illusion. I'm not this body. I am spiritual spark, part and parcel of God. That is my position. But anyone identifying himself, he thinks that he's this body... Especially the animals. The animals have no knowledge that he's different from the body. Therefore a human being, if he's under the impression that he is this body, he's no better than the animal.

Therefore in the human form of life, one can understand his real identity, he can understand what is God, he can understand what is his relationship with God and act accordingly. If he does so, then his human life is perfect. Otherwise, he remains like animal, and he gets no benefit by this nature's gift, human form of life. By evolutionary process, we come to the human form of life, passing through 8,000,000..., about 8,300,000 species of life. Then we come to this form of life, civilized human being. So this should not be misused in the business of cats and dogs. This should be used for better purposes. This better purpose is to understand oneself, what he is actually, whether he is this body, whether he is this mind, or whether he's different from body and mind, a spiritual spark. That is real knowledge.

So Kṛṣṇa is delivering this knowledge in the Bhagavad-gītā, and Arjuna is receiving. The beginning of His instruction was that,

dehino 'smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
tathā dehāntara-prāptir
dhīras tatra na muhyati

Kṛṣṇa first began this lesson = "My dear Arjuna, you are not this body. Why you are lamenting about this body? You are not this body. Neither your so-called relatives, they are this body. They are different." Asmin dehe: in this body there is the proprietor of the body, the dehī. Just like you are not the coat and shirt, you are the proprietor of the coat and shirt. Similarly, this body is also covering, the subtle body and the gross body---coat and shirt. But we are different from this coat and shirt. That is the beginning of the instruction. It is going on, and again Arjuna is asking that prakṛtiṁ puruṣaṁ caiva kṣetraṁ kṣetra-jñam eva ca etad veditum icchāmi.

He's student. "My Lord Kṛṣṇa, I want to understand what is this material nature and puruṣam." Purusa means enjoyer, and prakṛti means enjoyed. Just like we have got little conception, male and female. So prakṛti means the female, the object of enjoyment, and puruṣa means the enjoyer. So here, although we are dressed in a different way, male or female, everyone is trying to enjoy. Therefore even a woman is just like woman, his [her] feature is woman's body, actually, she is trying to enjoy; therefore she is puruṣa. Puruṣa means enjoyer. So here in this material world, either male or female, it doesn't matter---everyone is trying to enjoy; therefore he is called puruṣa, or the living entity is called puruṣa.

So Arjuna's inquiry is, "What is this prakṛti?" Everyone is trying to... Now, yesterday we have lectured in the university, technology. One technologist questioned me. That technology means the process by which we can enjoy this material world. That is technology. So the spirit is how to enjoy. So prakṛtim puruṣaṁ caiva, and kṣetram. Kṣetra means the field of activities. Although everyone is trying to enjoy, but he cannot enjoy according to his whims. He is limited with the body. A man is trying to enjoy and a cat and dog is also trying to enjoy. But the enjoyment of the cats and dog are different from the man's enjoyment because on account of different body. The facility of enjoyment has been given by nature according to different body. Therefore we find intelligent man and less intelligent man; cats and dogs and human being and different types of men, different types of plants, different types of animals---varieties, 8,400,000's. The nature is so acute. As you try to enjoy this material world, he'll give you a suitable type of body.

Just like a pig. A pig means he has no discrimination of food. He can eat even stool. So similarly, persons who have no discrimination what kind of food we should eat, so he is given the next chance to become a pig so that there will be no discrimination. And he has got a particular type of body, a particular type of mouth so that he can enjoy any abominable things. A tiger, a tiger wants to suck fresh blood, so nature has given a suitable type of body with jaws and nails so that he can immediately attack an animal and suck the blood.

So in this way, prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ [Bg. 3.27]. We are trying to enjoy, but we have got different desires of enjoyment. So every particular thing is taken into account by the laws of nature. And the next life... Because if I try for something, I am absorbed in that thought, and at the time of my death, when I leave this gross body, my mental condition is there, and that mental condition carries me to a suitable position where I get a suitable body to fulfill the mental desires. This is the process of transmigration.

So our process is... This is also described in the Bhagavad-gītā:

yānti devā-vratāḥ devān
pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ
bhūtejyā yānti bhūtāni
mad-yājino 'pi yānti mām

There are many who worships demigods. So they will go to the planet where demigods reside. There are innumerable planets. This, according to Vedic literature, this moon planet is also a place where demigods reside. The sun planet also like that, and many other planets. The Bhagavad-gītā says, yānti deva-vratāḥ devān. If you want to go to the moon planet, sun planet, Venus planet or any other planet, you just prepare yourself in this life, and at the time of death, you'll be transferred to such-and-such condition of life. Similarly, pitṛ-vratāḥ, there are pitṛ-lokas; bhūtejyā, bhūtejya, ghost worshiper, they will also go to such planet. And mad-yājino 'pi yānti mām, Kṛṣṇa says. "Those who want to go to Me, back to home, back to Godhead, they can also go there. They can also go there."

Therefore our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is that if I have to prepare myself in this life... Actually, this life is preparation for the next life. That is a fact. So here is a chance, this human form of life. Either you go back to home, back to Godhead, or again you go to the cycle of different species of life. Bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate [Bg. 8.19]. You accept one type of body, live there for some time, then give it up, then accept another type of body, live for some time, then accept another type of body. In this way...

But we are so much illusioned that although this is botheration, to accept one type of body, again give it up, again accept another type of body, we are not disgusted with this business. Because actually we are eternal. Why should we accept one type of body, live there for some time and again change it? That we have experienced. Just like any one of us, we desire that my youthful body may remain. We try to keep that youthfulness by so many medicine, by so many means. But nature will not allow to keep yourself always youthful. That is not possible. You must change.

Therefore one should be inquisitive, that "I don't want this type of body, old body, feeble body, more conditioned, with rheumatic disease and other, so many disease, cough disease. I don't want it, but I'm forced to accept this body. This is real problem. I don't want to die, but death is forced upon me." So these question should be raised by really advanced human being, that "I don't want all these things. I want to enjoy this material world, but I am forced to change into a body I cannot enjoy. I cannot enjoy." This is real problem. That real problem has been discussed in the Bhagavad-gītā = janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam [Bg. 13.9]. We want to enjoy. Suppose I am a technologist. I want to enjoy this material world. I manufacture something, very good facility for living condition, as we are doing. But before finishing my desirable construction, nature takes me away. Just like I saw in France, Paris. What is that arch?

Devotees: Arc de Triomphe.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Napoleon wanted to construct that arch, and he was so, I mean to say, powerful man, but he could not see the arch beginning in his life; he was taken away. He did not like that, that he wanted to see something more, but he was taken away. But we are not seeing this point, that "I am trying to enjoy, and we are adopting so many means, but where is the certainty of my enjoyment? At any moment I shall be kicked out, 'Get out!' " That brain is lacking in the present civilization.

Therefore it is said in the Bhāgavatam, parābhavas tāvad abodha-jāto [SB 5.5.5]. Because these persons are abodha, have no full knowledge, therefore they are trying for something to enjoy which may not be allowed to him. It is not actually allowed to him. Nobody wants to die; he wants to enjoy, live here. But that is not possible. So this is the real problem, that we have accepted a condition of life in the material world which will not allow me to fulfill my desires to the fullest extent.

That is the real problem. And that is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā = janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānu... Those who are actually thoughtful, they should know these four principles of problem or unhappiness always in front. He should think that "I am trying to enjoy. I'm planning to enjoy this material world, but I have to die. I have to give up this body at any moment. There is no guarantee that I shall live so many years. There is no guarantee. At any moment."

Therefore the death has been described by Kṛṣṇa, mṛtyuḥ sarva-haraś ca aham. Mṛtyu means death, and sarva-haraś ca means one who takes away everything. Sarva-haraś ca. "That is I am," Kṛṣṇa says, or God says. Those who are demons, those who cannot see God or feel the presence of God, they are called demons. So sometimes we hear they say, "Can you show me God?" Well, God is everywhere. God is within your heart. Aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham [Bs. 5.35]. God is within this universe. God is within your heart. God is within the atom also. Now you have to make your eyes to see. Why do you say, "Can you show me God?" Have you got the eyes to see? Your eyes are imperfect. Why you are so much proud of your eyes? If there is no light, you cannot see, so what is the value of your eyes?

So your seeing power is under certain condition. Therefore, if you want to see God, then you have to fulfill the condition. That is, that condition is given in the Vedic literature:

santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti
yam śyāmasundaram acintya-guṇa-svarūpaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

[Bs 5.38]

If you have to see God, then you have to apply the ointment of love of God in your eyes, and then your eyes will be cleansed and you'll see God. This is the process. Premāñjana. Prema means love of God, and añjana means ointment. Just like sometimes we do not see correctly. In India, there is a kind of powder called surma. They apply it and they see clearly. Or some, any other. Similarly, there is possibility of seeing God with these eyes, provided you cleanse it. And what is the cleansing process? Love of Godhead, that's all. If you actually learn how to love God... That is practical. If you love somebody, in spite of being engaged in so many other occupation, you see your lover always---"When shall I meet? When shall I talk with him or with her?"

This is practical. So if it is materially possible, if you develop your loving tendency... You have got the loving tendency. That is natural. Because living being is part and parcel of God. God is loving, so we have got that propensity of love. But our loving propensity has turned into lust at the present moment due to material condition. So if you want to purify that lust tendency into love, then we can see God. That is the condition. That we'll have to learn. That is called bhakti-yogam, bhakti-yogam, which we are teaching, Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

The human life is meant for understanding God, for seeing God, for talking with God, for behaving with God. That is possible. But you require little training. From the animalistic life, the animal cannot talk of God, cannot understand of God, cannot see God. But if we remain in the animalistic way of life, then it is not possible to see God and talk with Him. But if we purify ourself, if we apply the ointment of love of God on the eye, then premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ, those who are saints... I think this "saint" word has come from the Sanskrit world santa. Santa is Sanskrit word. Santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti. Those who are saintly person, those who have trained themself in the affairs of love of Godhead, they can see God constantly within the heart. That is possible.

So here, Arjuna is also a saintly person. He's not ordinary man, because he's talking Kṛṣṇa personally. If Arjuna has got the chance of making friendship with God and talking with Him personally, everyone has got the same capacity, provided we elevate ourself to that standard of life, bhakti, bhakti-yoga. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, "If anyone wants to understand Me, then the process is bhakti, devotional service." The process means how to love God, that process. And in the Bhāgavatam it is said what is first-class religion. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje [SB 1.2.6]. That religion is first class which makes the follower a lover of God. This is simple definition of religion, first-class religion. If we do not awaken our dormant love for God, then śrama eva hi kevalam [SB 1.2.8] = then you follow any type of religion, you are simply wasting your time. That's all. That is not religion. Religion means to understand God and to learn how to love God.

So here Arjuna, he loves Kṛṣṇa, he's a lover of God; therefore he's asking question from Kṛṣṇa. But whatever question is answered by Kṛṣṇa, that is perfect, because He is perfect. So our process of receiving knowledge = from the perfect. Not one who is illusioned, who commits mistake, whose senses are imperfect and wants to cheat. Because how an imperfect person can take the position of a teacher if he has...? Now so many scientists, we ask so many things, and they simply reply that "Yes, we are trying," "In future." That means he is not yet perfect. So if you are not perfect, why you are taking the position of a teacher? First of all you be perfect. So that is not possible. Therefore, our process of receiving knowledge is from the perfect. And who can be more perfect than God Himself? That is our process of knowledge.

So Arjuna is asking from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And the answer, the next verse is = śrī bhagavān uvāca. It is not said kṛṣṇa uvāca. It is said śrī bhagavān uvāca: "The Supreme Personality of Godhead replied." What is that?

idaṁ śarīraṁ kaunteya
kṣetram ity abhidhīyate
etad yo vetti taṁ prāhuḥ
kṣetra-jña iti tad-vidaḥ

[Bg. 13.2]

He's replied the answer very nicely, that "This body is the field of activity." Idaṁ śarīram. Śarīram means this body. This body is the field of activity. Idaṁ śarīraṁ kṣetraṁ kaunteya, etad yo vetti taṁ prāhuḥ kṣetra-jña iti tad-vidaḥ. And the person who knows this field of activity... Just like if we meditate upon this body, if I see my finger, if I ask, "What is this?" "This is my finger." "What is this?" "This is my head." "What is this?" "This is my leg." Everything "mine." And where is the "I"? Where is the "I"? The "I" means who is questioning; that is "I." This is self-realization. Therefore I, the real I, the soul, is different from this body. He's given the chance of living a certain type of body. Just like a man is given chance to work under certain office or position, similarly, there are 8,400,000 forms of body, and each living entity has been given the chance to utilize it according to his desire.

Because God is within you, everyone, īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg. 18.61]. In the previous verse also, I recited, premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti. He sees God present in his heart. So because God is there in everyone's heart, He's there, He's simply waiting for the chance, "When you are coming back to Me?" He's so nice, so friendly. Because we have wanted to enjoy this material world, He's giving us the chance, "All right, enjoy, enjoy." "I want to enjoy this world as a tiger," "All right, take this body of a tiger." "I want to enjoy this world as a pig," "All right, take this." "I want to enjoy this life as Brahmā, a Lord Brahmā, who has got millions of years of age, duration," "All right, you become a Brahmā."

But Kṛṣṇa advises, ā-brahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino 'rjuna [Bg. 8.16] = "My dear Arjuna, even if you go the highest planetary system, the Brahmaloka, again you have to come back." This is the position of material world. You accept this, and again you accept another thing according to your karma. Just like you have got this human form of body. It is a great opportunity. But if we do not utilize as human being, if we utilize it as cats and dogs, again I'm going to be cats and dogs. This is the process. Idaṁ kṣetram. This body is the field of my activities, and I, the proprietor of the body, I am the knower of the body. Idaṁ śarīraṁ kaunteya kṣetram ity abhidhīyate etad yo vetti [Bg. 13.2]---this is real knowledge. Etad yo vetti, that is knowledge. The knowledge of technology is not knowledge. That is ignorance. The knowledge of self-realization is actual knowledge. That is possible in this human form of life. That is not possible by the cats and dogs. If we misuse this body for propensities like cats and dogs, we are misusing.

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.


Guest: ...variation[?] between the Bhagavad-gītā and the Vedic books?

Prabhupāda: Vedic, Vedic knowledge means to understand God, the whole Vedic knowledge. Knowledge means we are getting... Veda means knowledge. Vetti veda vido jñāne. Veda means knowledge. So we want to know so many things. That is knowledge. So you get all information from the Vedas. There is called Āyur-veda, Dhanur-veda, Yajur-veda. Veda means knowledge, but actually the Veda means, ultimately, to know God. That is called Vedānta. Anta means ultimate, and veda means knowledge. So ultimate knowledge is your, when... You know so many things. We have got so many subject matter for understanding. But ultimately, when you understand what is God, that is the end of knowledge. That is the end of knowledge. So that is Vedānta.

So Vedānta means to know the Absolute Truth, God. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaṁ vedānta-vid veda-kṛd ca aham [Bg. 15.15]. Kṛṣṇa says that "By all Vedic knowledge, ultimately one must come to the point of knowing God." Therefore another name of God is Brahman, Para-brahman. So brāhmaṇa, brāhmaṇa means one who knows Brahman. That is called brāhmaṇa. A brāhmaṇa is not a class which is to be found in India only. No. Anyone who knows God, who knows the Para-brahman, he is brāhmaṇa. Brahma jānātīti brāhmaṇaḥ.

So Vedic knowledge means ultimately to become a brāhmaṇa. That means to know God. That is Vedic knowledge. And the summary of Vedic knowledge is here in the Bhagavad-gītā, because here God directly is instructing about Himself. Therefore it is the essence of all Vedic knowledge. The ultimate goal of Vedic knowledge is to know God. But we cannot know God. We have blunt senses. Ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.136]. With these material senses, blunt senses, imperfect senses, we cannot understand God. That is not possible. But if we can please God by our service, by our love, He reveals Himself, revelation. That is the process.

So simply by our speculation, research work, we cannot find out God. That is not possible, although God is here, everyone's heart. Sarvasya cāham hṛdi sanniviṣṭo [Bg. 15.15]. God is there in everyone's heart. But who knows that? So there is a process by which one has to learn God, what is God. That is sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ [Brs. 1.2.234]. It is very peculiar process, that you have to learn God through the tongue. Through the tongue. They want to see God with the eyes, but the Vedic information is that you have to know God through the tongue. Sevonmukhe hi jihvā. Jihvā means tongue. When you employ your tongue in the service of the Lord, then He becomes revealed. The tongue's business is to glorify the Lord, chant the holy name of God. That is specially recommended in this age. You cannot follow all the rituals in any scripture. That is very difficult. We are now so fallen it is not possible. Therefore the general regulation is that you chant the holy name of the Lord.

It does not mean that we are requesting you to chant the name of Kṛṣṇa. We believe that Kṛṣṇa is the name of God, but if you have got another name... God has many names. God is unlimited, therefore He has got unlimited names. So if you chant that holy name of God, it doesn't matter, if it actually meaning... Just like "water." Water, if somebody says jala, he means water. If somebody says "water," he means water. If somebody says pāni, he means water. So actually, if the word you use as the name of God, if it's actually real name of God, then by chanting that holy name, you realize God.

Therefore tongue is the beginning of realization. Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau [Brs. 1.2.234]. As well as controlling the tongue, we have to spiritualize the tongue. If you keep the tongue materialized, then it is defective. So two things are done by the tongue = tasting foodstuff and chanting the glories of the Lord. If we engage our tongue in this way... Foodstuff means..., our process is to offer foodstuff to the Lord, and the remnants of foodstuff we eat, prasādam. So this is one process, this is one business of the tongue. And another business of the tongue is to chant the holy name of the Lord. So in this way, if you engage your tongue in the service of the Lord, then gradually your realize. You cannot realize, but God reveals Himself, what He is.

So Vedic knowledge means to realize God. That is ultimate aim of Vedic knowledge. And here, Bhagavad-gītā, He's revealing Himself to Arjuna, because he is a devotee. So if we take the words of Arjuna, then we also realize God. This is the process.

Guest (2): I would like to put a question about the relation between Kṛṣṇa, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Paramātmā and Brahman...

Prabhupāda: Brahman.

Guest (2): Brahman. Which is the relation between these concepts? They are, according to your commentaries in Bhagavad-gītā, different. But what is...

Prabhupāda: No. It is not different. Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān. The Absolute Truth is one, but He is realized by different persons differently. Just like there is a big hill. So from very distant place you see that hill just like something like cloud. But if you go forward, then you see something green. And if you go actually to the hill, you see there are so many trees, so many houses, so many living entities. The object is the same, but realization from different angle of vision is different. That is the description of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

The Absolute Truth is called tattva. Vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam [SB 1.2.11]. When I see the hill as a cloud, it is the same hill. When I see the hill as something green, that is the same hill. And when I see the hill actually, it is functioning, there are so many trees, so many animals, so many men, so many houses, this same hill. Similarly, Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān is the same thing, but it appears different according to persons' different realization. But ultimately, the Absolute Truth is Bhagavān, Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Guest (2): But what is this personality? It is not the same as our personality.

Prabhupāda: That I have already said, that He is different.

Guest (2): In which way do you use the concept of personality?

Prabhupāda: He is person. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. In the Second Chapter He says, "My dear Arjuna, I, you, and all these persons who are assembled, it is not that we were not existing in the past, it is not that, that we shall not exist in the future." When He says "I, you and all these person," they are all persons. God is also person, Arjuna is also person, and the all others who assemble in the battlefield, they are also persons. So Kṛṣṇa says, "All these persons, they were existing in the past, now they are existing, and in future they will exist." So there is past, present and future. In no time God is impersonal, neither we are impersonal. We are also person.

And that is also confirmed, nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān, Kaṭha Upaniṣad [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13], that He is the chief person amongst other persons. We living entities, we are many persons, and God is the chief person. And what is the difference between this person and that person, the singular number person, one, and the plural number person, many? That is explained = eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān. That one singular number person is supplying all the necessities of these different plural number persons. That is the distinction. These things are expressed in Upaniṣad, Vedānta-sūtra. So ultimately, God is person.

Guest (2): But in..., when Upaniṣads say there is...

Prabhupāda: Impersonal description.

Guest (2): The unity is unexpressible. It is,

Prabhupāda: Unexpressible...

Guest (2): Nothing can be said about...

Prabhupāda: No. Why not?

Guest (2): ...the Supreme.

Prabhupāda: Why not? Just like this is also Upaniṣad, nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]. So He's a person. Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam [Īśo mantra 1]. There are so many. Apāṇi-pādo javano grahītā [Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 3.19].

Sa aikṣata, sa asṛjata. So when they say... In Christian Bible also, they believe God created. So if He's a creator, He must be a person. But His body is different from our body. That I have explained. Sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1].


Swedish man: Well, I would like to thank you for your talk. Thank you very much.

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. [end]