Bhagavad-gītā 4.2 , Bombay , 1974-03-22
Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [Prabhupāda and devotees repeat] [leads chanting of verse]
imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ
sa kāleneha mahatā
yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa
Translation = "This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost."
imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ
sa kāleneha mahatā
yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa
So the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā, how it has to be received, that is explained here. It is not to be understood by so-called scholarship. In the Vedic literature we find, nāyam ātmā pravacanena labhyo na medhayā na bahunā śrutena [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.2.23]. If you're actually interested in ātma-jñāna, self-realization, then you cannot understand by your so-called academic education. No. Nāyam ātmā pravacanena... Or because you are a big speaker, you can speak very nicely, decorating language, therefore you have understood---that is also not possible. The spiritual knowledge has to be understood by the grace of the Supreme Spirit. Yam evaiṣa vṛṇute tena labhyaḥ [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.2.23]. One who is favored by the Supreme... Here Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Being, God, He's explaining about Himself. So you have to learn about God, or Kṛṣṇa, from Kṛṣṇa, or through the paramparā. As Kṛṣṇa says, evaṁ paramparā.
Paramparā means Kṛṣṇa explained the knowledge, Vedic knowledge, to Lord Brahmā, ādi-kavaye. Janmādy asya yataḥ anvayāt itarataś ca artheṣu abhijñaḥ sva-rāṭ tene brahma hṛdā [SB 1.1.1]. The spiritual knowledge, brahma, brahma-vidyā, śabda-brahma, the Vedic knowledge... Just like in the Bhagavad-gītā, the words written in this book, Bhagavad-gītā, although it appears like ordinary letters, they are not like that. It is Vedic vibration. The things which are being spoken by Kṛṣṇa, they are not ordinary language. Had it been ordinary language, how...? Because it was written five thousand years ago. How it is still going on? There are many literatures written by great, great poets within two thousand..., two hundred years, three hundred years, or, say, thousands of years. But they are being forgotten. But therefore the character of the Vedic knowledge, they are not material things. They're all spiritual. Why we are giving so much importance to the words of Kṛṣṇa? Because this language is absolute. Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa's words, Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa's language, or Kṛṣṇa's words, they are the same. Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa's form... We are worshiping Kṛṣṇa's form. That is also Kṛṣṇa. Otherwise, are we wasting our time by decorating a doll, a statue, and we are struggling so hard to establish a temple of Kṛṣṇa? No.
This science is unknown to the atheist class of men. The atheist class of men, they do not know the absolute nature of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa, His name, His form, His quality, His pastimes, His instruction---anything of Kṛṣṇa---that is Kṛṣṇa. That is not different from Kṛṣṇa. Abhinnatvān nāma-nāminoḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.133]. The śāstric injunction is:
na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ
sevonmukhe hi jihvādau
svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ
[Cc. Madhya 17.136]
Just like we cannot understand what is Kṛṣṇa, what is God, general people. They do not know, because they have got blunt senses, material senses. Even in material world, we are seeing the sun every day, but we do not know how big it is. Or even if we see this motorcar... A child sees = he sees that it is automatically going, without any horse. He's amazed. But one who can see, he knows that there is machine, there is brain. So this is our position. Even to understand material things... We are not perfect. Our senses are not perfect. How we can understand God? That is not possible, because we have got defects. Our senses are not perfect = I cannot see perfectly. I cannot smell perfectly. I cannot touch perfectly. I cannot hear perfectly. So many defects. I commit mistake. I become illusioned. I accept something for something. In this way, our position is very imperfect.
But in spite of possessing imperfect senses, people are proud of their knowledge. That is mistake. We are not concerned with imperfect knowledge. We want perfect knowledge. Therefore we are going to Bhagavad-gītā. Otherwise what is the use? If it is an ordinary book---you can interpret in your own way, I can interpret in my own way---then what is the value of Bhagavad-gītā with other books? No. It is not like that. Therefore the words of Kṛṣṇa should be understood through the devotees = perfect channel. As Kṛṣṇa..., Kṛṣṇa says, imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1]. Avyayam, the... It is eternal. It is spiritual, avyayam. Avyayam means "that does not perish." Anything material, it perishes. But spirit soul, or spiritual anything, everything, that is imperishable, avyayam. So knowledge of Bhagavad-gītā, as Kṛṣṇa is avyayam, the spirit whole, whole spirit, paraṁ brahma, paraṁ dhāma [Bg. 10.12], Supreme Spirit, similarly His words, Bhagavad-gītā, is also spirit, Supreme Spirit. Abhinna. There is no distinction. Therefore we are giving so much importance to the... The so-called scholars may take it as ordinary book, but one who is serious about Bhagavad-gītā, he does not take Bhagavad-gītā, the words of Bhagavad-gītā or the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā, as ordinary teachings. This is confirmed. Therefore it is so important.
And it has to be received through the paramparā channel. That I was explaining. As Kṛṣṇa is going to speak to Arjuna... Here it is said = sa evāyaṁ mayā te 'dya yogaḥ proktaḥ purātanaḥ [Bg. 4.3]. Next verse, it will explain. Bhakto 'si me priyo 'si sakhā ceti rahasyaṁ hy etad uttamam, Kṛṣṇa will say. Because it is so important... It is a complete spiritual. Unless one is devotee... Devotee means complete spiritual. Any other one, if he's not a devotee, he is material. Karmī, jñānī, yogī, they are all material. They're trying to utilize the material possession. Karmīs, they are trying to utilize this body for happiness. Whole day, night, they are working like ass for some sense gratification. Māyā-sukhāya bharam udvahato vimūḍhān [SB 7.9.43]. Prahlāda Mahārāja says, "These rascals, unnecessarily they are working so hard like an ass just to get a morsel of food." That's all. Unnecessarily. Everyone is eating four cāpāṭis, but he's working so hard, like an ass. Well, ass also can get his share of foodstuff anywhere. The ass is so fool that he can get grass anywhere. It is for a few pieces of grass only, he's loading on his back so much burden from the washerman. He thinks that "The washerman is giving me this morsel of grass." He's so foolish that he can see there are grasses so many here and there, still, he has agreed to take the burden. Therefore he's an ass. Similarly, the karmīs, you see in Bombay, there are so many karmīs. They are working so hard. What is that? He's also eating less. Four cāpāṭis, that's all. But he does not think that "Four cāpāṭis, why I am working so hard and wasting my time?"
The life is meant for understanding what is my relationship with God. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. This is the vision of life = what is Brahman, what is God, what I am, what is my relationship with God. And so far eating, sleeping concerned, that is done by the cats and dogs. But the modern civilization, they are busy. Because they are busy for eating, sleeping and mating, they, by the laws of nature, that is also being minimized. I have already explained. Because the nature wants to help us, because we are now forgotten soul. We have forgotten God. The animals have also forgotten God. They are thinking they are this body, bodily concept of life. They have no knowledge. But when you come to the..., by evolutionary process, come to the human form of life, then it is your duty to inquire about the Supreme Brahman. That is Vedānta-sūtra. Athāto brahma jijñāsā: "Now you have to ask about Brahman." Not the matter.
So that Brahman is Vedic knowledge. From the material standard, gradually we have to go upwards and come to the point of understanding Kṛṣṇa. That is Vedic knowledge. That is Vedic knowledge. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. To pursue Vedic knowledge means to understand Kṛṣṇa. But if you do not understand Kṛṣṇa and if you speak as..., like so many nonsense things, and if you pose yourself as paṇḍita, that is śrama eva hi kevalam. That is stated, śrama eva hi... Simply wasting time and laboring for nothing. Vāsudeve bhagavati...
notpādayed ratiṁ yadi
śrama eva hi kevalam
Now, dharma..., everyone is executing his particular occupational duty very nicely = brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. I am speaking the organized society, not this animal society as at present. Even organized society, a brāhmaṇa is discharging his duties just like a brāhmaṇa. Satyaṁ śamo damas titikṣā ārjavam, jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam [Bg. 18.42]. Still... Dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ, he is very nicely executing his duty as a brāhmaṇa, but by executing such duties, if he does not develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then śrama eva hi kevalam. This is the verdict. Then he has wasted time. Because to become brāhmaṇa, perfect brāhmaṇa, means to know Brahman. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. And the Para-brahman, Supreme Brahman, is Kṛṣṇa. So if he does not understand Kṛṣṇa, then what is the use of his executing this brāhmaṇa's duty? That is the verdict of the śāstra. Śrama eva hi kevalam, simply wasting time.
Therefore one has to learn this science from the paramparā system. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam [Bg. 4.2]. You have to go to the right person who knows Kṛṣṇa. Evaṁ paramparā... Just like Sūrya, the Vivasvān, he was instructed by Kṛṣṇa. So if you take instruction from Vivasvān, from the sun-god, then you get the perfect knowledge. But you cannot go to the sun planet and ask Vivasvān, "What Kṛṣṇa spoke to you?" Therefore Vivasvān transferred the knowledge to his son, Manu. This age is called Vaivasvata Manu, this age. Now, Vivasvān... Because he's the son of Vivasvān, therefore this Manu is called Vaivasvata Manu. Vaivasvata Manu. Now the age is going of Vaivasvata Manu. Manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt. So Manu also spoke to his son. So in this way, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam [Bg. 4.2], He's giving some examples; but the knowledge has to be received by the paramparā. But some way or other, the paramparā being lost... Just like I have spoken something to my disciple. He says the same thing to his disciple. He says the same thing to his disciple. But some way or other, if it is distorted at a certain point, then the knowledge is lost. As soon as any of the disciple in the succession distort the knowledge, then it is lost. That is being explained.
Sa kālena mahatā. The time is very powerful. It changes. That is the... Time means it changes, kills the original position. You have got experience = You purchase one anything. It is very fresh, new. But time will kill it. It will become shabby. It will be useless at a time, in due course of time. So time is fighting. This material time, it is called kāla. Kāla means death. Or kāla means the black snake. The black snake destroys. As soon as touches anything, it is destroyed. Similarly, kāla... This kāla is also another form of Kṛṣṇa. Sa kālena mahatā. Therefore it is called mahatā. It is very powerful. It is not ordinary thing, mahatā. Its business is to destroy. Sa kālena iha naṣṭa. So by due course of time... Because how the kāla can destroy? As soon as kāla sees that you are distorting, then it will be lost. So don't try to understand Bhagavad-gītā from person who are under the influence of kāla---past, present, future. Don't try to understand Bhagavad-gītā from so-called rascal philosophers, commentators, and... They will write Bhagavad-gītā in a distorted way. Somebody will say, "There was no Kṛṣṇa. There was no Mahābhārata." Somebody says, "Kṛṣṇa stressed on this point," "Kṛṣṇa stressed on that point." Somebody will say, "Kṛṣṇa stressed on karma, karma-kāṇḍa." Somebody will say on jñāna, and somebody will say yoga. There are so many editions of Bhagavad-gītā. Yogīc artha, jñāna artha, Gītār gān artha...
So the real Gītār Gān is spoken by the Supreme Person. We have to accept that. That is Gītār Gān. [sound of processional drums in background, becoming increasingly louder] Not that I manufacture something as Gītār Gān. [drums, sound of horns] What is this? [pause] Marriage procession or what?
Prabhupāda: That's all right. Don't...
Devotee: Supposed to [indistinct].
Prabhupāda: [long pause, waiting for them to pass on] [more noise, yelling, etc., as procession stands outside] What is this? [pause] No, no. We cannot stop their procession. [drums, etc., continue] They will stand here? No, why they are doing? Let them come. Don't ask. [break] ...find in this verse that evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. Rājarṣayaḥ means king, rāja, and ṛṣayaḥ. Rāja means king. Formerly, the government was monarchy. So all the kings, all the government head men, they understood Bhagavad-gītā. That is needed. This science, Bhagavad-gītā, must be learned by the leaders. The society is managed by the leaders, by the kings, by the brāhmaṇa. That is Vedic culture. The brāhmaṇa, they give guidance according to the śāstra, and the king is trained up in such a way that he takes instruction from the saintly persons and brāhmaṇas and rules over the kingdom. Therefore it was so perfect.
We are aspiring after rāma-rājya. Why rāma-rājya? What is the difference between rāma-rājya and this rājya? There is difference. Rāma-rājya means responsible government. Even during the time of Lord Rāmacandra, one brāhmaṇa's son died. So he went to the king to challenge that "What kind of king you are that in the presence of the father the son is dying?" This is responsible government. Responsible government means that a son cannot die before the presence of father. In the Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira's time also, there was no anxiety, adhibhautika, adhidaivika, adhyātmika. These are stated in the śāstra. They were so free, so, I mean to say, carefree. There was no care, no anxiety. Everyone was happy. You'll find in the Bhāgavatam, as soon as there was enemy attack in the Dvārakā city, immediately the kings, royal family, Kṛṣṇa's family, Pradyumna, His son and others, immediately go out of the city and combat with the enemies. This was the system. People were very carefree. No care, no anxiety. That is the duty of the government. And how to keep the citizens carefree? That you require authorized instruction. That instruction is Bhagavad-gītā.
So it is the duty of the government, the government officers, the head of the government, they should learn Bhagavad-gītā. Here it is said, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. The rājas, the kings, the government, they understood. Therefore the kingdom was so peaceful, without any care for the citizens. The citizens were also trained up very nicely---brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. Everyone is employed. It is the duty of the government to see that everyone is engaged. Otherwise, idle brain will manufacture devil's brain. They will manufacture so many things, and there will be chaos. In every country nowadays, all over the world, there are so much unemployment. Why there... Why one should be unemployed? He must be trained up in such a way that he's employed, he's engaged. This is the duty. So if you understand Bhagavad-gītā, then you'll be able to train your students, your citizens, your subordinates, how to remain engaged. Just like in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness Society, we are simply after the people whether he is engaged or not. There must be engagement. If one remains idle, then it will be devil's workshop. Immediately māyā will dictate, "Do this, do this nonsense, do that nonsense, do that nonsense."
So it is the duty of the brāhmaṇa, it is the duty of the father, it is the duty of the public leader, it is the duty of the government to see that everyone is engaged, everyone is employed. As a brāhmaṇa, he must be engaged in studying Vedic literature for instructing others. That is brāhmaṇa's business. And kṣatriya's business is to give protection. Just like Kṛṣṇa was playing as a kṣatriya in Dvārakā. As soon as there is some attack, immediately whole family goes to fight---Kṛṣṇa, Balarāma, Pradyumna. You have seen in the Bhāgavata. Kṣatriya's business is to give protection, and vaiśya's business is to give protection to the cows. As kṣatriya's business is to give protection to the citizens, human being, similarly, vaiśya's business is to give protection to the cows---not to send them to the slaughterhouse---to see the cows are very well fed, they are fatty, strong, that they must be given food, sufficient food.
So because they do not read Bhagavad-gītā, they do not know how to maintain the whole society; therefore there is now chaos. Therefore it is needed, imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ. The rāja, the kings, the government or the government men must study Bhagavad-gītā. Then it will be nice. Imaṁ rāja... And ṛṣayaḥ. Ṛṣayaḥ will give you... Ṛṣayaḥ means great saintly persons, the brāhmaṇas. They should give to the government men... But who is consulting the saintly person? Just like we are trying to preach this Bhagavad-gītā. We are trying to give the essence of knowledge. Satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ [Bg. 9.14]. Mahātmā. The symptoms of mahātmā is that he is always engaged in chanting the glories of the Lord. Satataṁ kīrtayanto mām. The Bhagavad-gītā says that catur-vidhā bhajante mām: "Four classes of men comes to worship Me." Bhajana means sevā. Sevā. So sevā means bhakti. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam, arcanaṁ vandanam... [SB 7.5.23]. These are the sevā formula. So the devotees are engaged in sevā, in service of the Lord.
So catur-vidhā bhajante mām. Bhajana, this śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam, this is bhajana. And who takes this bhajana program? Sukṛtinaḥ. Sukṛtinaḥ means one who is very pious. And now we are accused of creating nuisance, bhajana, because we are engaged in bhajana. If we are engaged in drinking wine and playing cards with some prostitute, that is very advanced. That is very advanced society. He's peacefully drinking and playing cards with prostitute, he's advanced. And because he's chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, he's creating nuisance. This is the government. Therefore the first teaching of Bhagavad-gītā should be taken by the persons who are going to be elected in the government service. The public should be aware of this. If somebody comes to canvass for votes, you should first inquire, "Whether you have read Bhagavad-gītā? Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi, showed Bhagavad-gītā. Why should you not? Do you know what is Bhagavad-gītā? Then I shall give you vote. Otherwise get out." Rājarṣayo viduḥ. This is required now, if you want to be saved from the crisis that is coming very gradually. Crisis means there will be... Now in black market you can get things, means eatables---rice, wheat. But if you don't take to Bhagavad-gītā, there will be no more even if you pay black price. Just time is... That time is coming. There will be no more available. There will be no milk. There will be no more sigar..., sugar. There will be no more rice. There will be no more wheat. No more fruits. Then you have to eat meat. Oh, beef shop. Then that will go on. Then human shop also. Gradually come. You have to eat the human being also. Carnivores. So it is therefore a great necessity that rājarṣayo viduḥ, rāja, those who are government men, they must study Bhagavad-gītā. Otherwise don't give them vote.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda. [end]