Bhagavad-gītā 4.26 , Bombay , 1974-04-15

Pradyumna: Translation = "Some of them sacrifice the hearing process and the senses in the fire of the controlled mind, and others sacrifice the objects of the senses, such as sound, in the fire of sacrifice."

Prabhupāda: Read the purport.

Pradyumna: "The four divisions of human life, namely the brahmacārī, the gṛhastha, the vānaprastha and sannyāsī, are all meant to help men become perfect yogīs, or transcendentalists. Since human life is not meant for our enjoying sense gratification like the animals, the four orders of human life are so arranged that one may become perfect in spiritual life. The brahmacārīs, or students under the care of a bona fide spiritual master, control the mind by abstaining from sense gratification. They are referred to in this verse as sacrificing the hearing process and the senses in the fire of the controlled mind. A brahmacārī hears only words concerning Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Hearing is the basic principle for understanding, and therefore the pure brahmacārī engages fully in harer nāmānukīrtanam---chanting and hearing the glories of the Lord. He restrains himself from the vibrations of material sounds, and his hearing is engaged in the transcendental sound vibration Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, the householders, who have some license for sense gratification, perform such acts with great restraint. Sex life, intoxication and meat-eating are general tendencies of human society, but a regulated householder does not indulge in unrestricted sex life and other sense gratification. Marriage on principles of religious life is therefore current in all civilized human society because that is the way for restricted sex life. This restricted, unattached sex life is also a kind of yajña because the restricted householder sacrifices his general tendency towards sense gratification for higher, transcendental life."


śrotrādīnīndriyāṇy anye
saṁyamāgniṣu juhvati
śabdādīn viṣayān anya
indriyāgniṣu juhvati

So indriya-saṁyama, yoga. Yoga means indriya-saṁyama. Yoga indriya-saṁyamaḥ. The yogic practice is recommended for persons who are too much in the bodily concept of life. Anyone... Why anyone? Practically any person. Therefore this yogic practice was recommended for general population so that they can control the senses. Gradually, one has to take to this platform of indriya-saṁyama, or sattva-guṇa. Rajo-guṇa, sattva-guṇa and tamo-guṇa. So one has to promote himself to the platform of sattva-guṇa.

Generally, people are in the rajas-tamo-guṇa. I was explaining yesterday in the morning,

tadā rajas-tamo-bhāvāḥ
kāma-lobhādayaś ca ye
ceta etair anāviddhaṁ
sthita sattve prasīdati

Everyone is trying to be very peaceful and happy. That is possible when one is promoted to the platform of sattva-guṇa. The yoga practice means that. Yoga practice means by controlling the airs within the body... That will be explained. There are five kinds of air, vāyu. When the airs are not controlled in old age, according to Āyurvedic system, it is called vāyu-roga. The muscles become slackened, old man, because the air control or air circulation is not proper. There are many medicines, many practice of yoga.

So the real purpose is, yoga practice means, to control the senses.

indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur
indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ
manasas tu parā buddhir
buddhes tu yo para saḥ

This is the study of the whole structure. Grossly, our body means the senses. We are, everyone, animal and less intelligent men, they are busy only for sense gratification. Indriyāṇi parāṇ... They think the sense gratification, "This is enjoyment, this is happiness." But actually that is not happiness. Sukham ātyantikaṁ yat tad atīndriyam [Bg. 6.21]. What is actual happiness, ātyantikam, that is atīndriya. Atīndriya means beyond the senses. But because we have no such knowledge, because we are in the bodily concept of life, "I am this body," so I am interested in the matter of gratifying my senses. Indriyāṇi parāṇy āhuḥ. And those who are little advance, they are in the enjoyment of the mind, mental speculation, philosophy or theosophy. So many "sophies" are there---somebody putting some theories, this theory, that theory, that theory. Mental speculation. They derives poetry, writing poetry, nice poetry. They are not on the gross platform of sense gratification but on the subtle platform of sense... Mind is also sense. Mind is also sense.

Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca, bhinnā me prakṛtir aṣṭadhā [Bg. 7.4] = "These eight elements, they are also My prakṛti, but bhinnā, separated, separated prakṛti." Prakṛti means subordinate to the puruṣa. As soon as the prakṛti... Generally, we understand that the husband and wife, wife is called prakṛti, and the husband is called puruṣa. So puruṣa means enjoyer, and prakṛti means enjoyed. So similarly, when Kṛṣṇa says, bhinnā me prakṛtir aṣṭadhā, that all these elements, gross and subtle---earth, water, air, fire, and these are gross elements, and the mind, intelligence and ego, subtle elements... Then Kṛṣṇa says, apareyam: "These elements are inferior prakṛti." Apareyam itas tu viddhi me prakṛtiṁ parām. There is another prakṛti. What is that? Jīva-bhūtāṁ mahā-bāho yayedaṁ dhāryate jagat [Bg. 7.5]. Jīva-bhūta, the living entity.

The living entity is also prakṛti. We are not puruṣa. But we forget this. Prakṛti means to be used by the puruṣa. Therefore our position is, real position is, we should be used by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, puruṣa, Puruṣottama. This is our position. But artificially we are trying to become the puruṣa. That is māyā. Instead of being utilized by the puruṣa, we are trying to become the puruṣa, to utilize the material nature. Yayedaṁ dhāryate jagat. The world is going on, the material world, because the living entities in the attitude of becoming puruṣa, they are trying to exploit the resources of this material nature. This is going on. [aside:] You sit down, you people, on the chair.

So this is our material disease. And how we are trying to be master or enjoyer of this material world? By the senses, by the mind. Manaḥ ṣaṣṭhāni prakṛti-sthāni karṣati. Manaḥ... Mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ [Bg. 15.7]. "The living entities," Kṛṣṇa says, "they are My part and parcel." So instead of serving Kṛṣṇa, they are trying to..., utilizing, they are trying to utilize the material nature for their sense gratification. This is called struggle for existence, prakṛti-sthāni karṣati. Karṣati means hard struggle. Manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni karṣati [Bg. 15.7]. This is going on. And this karṣati means struggling for existence. Because you cannot be happy. You cannot be happy by this artificial way of life. This is artificial way of life. Just like both of them have been described as prakṛti. Bhinnā me prakṛtir aṣṭadhā. And apareyam itas tu viddhi me prakṛtiṁ parām. The parā, it is prakṛti. Suppose there are two prakṛtis, two women. One has dressed as man and one has dressed as woman. But how they can enjoy? Because actually they are prakṛtis. Simply by changing the dress, there is no possibility of enjoyment. Prakṛti. Therefore, manaḥ-ṣaṣṭh..., it is simply mental concoction. Manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni karṣati [Bg. 15.7]. This is going on.

Therefore those who are too much engrossed in the bodily concept of life, for them, this yoga system = dhyāna, dhāraṇa, prāṇāyāma, āsana, ity ādi. Different methods. Yama-niyama. But that yoga process also requires saṁyama. Saṁyamāgni, it is said. Saṁyamāgniṣu juhvati. This yoga practice means you have to control the senses, saṁyamāgni, sacrifice. The spirit of enjoying spirit should be sacrificed in the fire of saṁyama. That is required. Saṁyamāgniṣu juhvati śabdādīn indriyāgniṣu juhvati. By controlling the senses, indriyāgni... This is also very significant. Indriyāgni. Indriyāgni, that is described in the Nārada-Pañcarātra, hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Hṛṣīka means indriya, and hṛṣīkeśa means Kṛṣṇa. So when the indriyas, the senses, will be engaged in the service of the master of the senses, that is indriyāgniṣu juhvati... You cannot control the senses simply by artificial means, by dhyāna, dhāraṇa, prāṇāyāma, yama-niyama, āsana, pratyāhāra. There are so many systems.

Big, big yogīs, they failed. Just like Viśvāmitra Muni. He was practicing yoga, that indriya-saṁyama. He was especially... Because he was king, so especially he was very sexually inclined. In the yoga process, he was trying to control the sex. But what was the result? The result was that Menakā, a society girl of the heaven, she appeared, and she was traveling there---there have been many instances like that---and tinkling of bangles, oh, immediately his yoga practice was broken, and he become attached by Menakā and there was birth of Śakuntalā. There is a drama written by Kālidāsa Kavi, "Śakuntalā." This is the subject matter, how a yogī failed to control his senses and was attached by a beautiful woman girl, and how Śakuntalā, the beautiful girl, was born. That is the subject matter.

So this is sometimes impossible. There are many, many instances. So this is artificial way of yoga system. But when actually, as it is recommended, śabdādīn indriyāṇy anya indriyāgniṣu juhvati. That indriyāgniṣu means the indriya of Kṛṣṇa. When we satisfy the indriya, the senses of Kṛṣṇa, then automatically our indriyas become satisfied, engaged. There is another verse, written by Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī. He said, kaivalyaṁ narakāyate tridaśa-pūr ākāśa-puṣpāyate durdāntendriya-kāla-sarpa-paṭalī protkhāta-daṁṣṭrāyate [Caitanya-candrāmṛta 5]. Protkhāta-daṁṣṭrāyate. Just like dentist, when there is some pain in the teeth, they extract. That is called protkhāta, extracted. So the indriyas have been compared with kāla-sarpa, kāla-sarpa, means a venomous snake. As soon as the kāla-sarpa, or snake, touches in any part of your body, because the venomous teeth is there, death is there immediately. Therefore they're called kāla-sarpa. Kāla means death. Kāla-sarpa. Therefore we are so much afraid of a snake. So..., but if the kāla-sarpa's poison teeth is taken away, then it is no more, I mean, fearful. It is no more dangerous. Therefore Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī says that "By the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, our indriyas, the senses, which are compared with the kāla-sarpa, may be kāla-sarpa, but the poison teeth is extracted." Durdāntendriya-kāla-sarpa-paṭalī protkhāta-daṁṣṭrāyate.

So that is bhakti-yoga process. Indriyas cannot be, I mean to say, controlled unless you engage your indriyas in the service of the master of indriyas. That is called bhakti-yoga. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. If you want to purify your indriyas, then you have to accept to be free from upādhi. At the present moment, because we are in bodily concept of life, I am thinking that "I belong to this family. So if I do not satisfy the family members..." I have to satisfy. This is my real position. Jīvera 'svarūpa' haya---nitya-kṛṣṇa-dāsa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]. My position is servant of Kṛṣṇa. That is my constitutional position. So "Kṛṣṇa" means to serve Kṛṣṇa's desire, what Kṛṣṇa says. As Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekam [Bg. 18.66]. He is demanding. But if we do not do that, that means we are not willing to serve Kṛṣṇa. Then... My position is serve, to serve. Then I have to serve in my designation = "I am the master of this family, I am the..., belong to this society, to this nation, to this, that," so many. Gṛha-kṣetra-sutāpta-vittair janasya moho 'yam [SB 5.5.8]. Illusory master you have to serve. Because you have to serve.

So these indriyas, unless they are purified by becoming without any designation... Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, "I am not a brāhmaṇa, I am not a sannyāsī, I am not a kṣatriya, I am not a brahmacārī." Because these are designation, varṇāśrama-dharma, four varṇas and four āśramas. Of course, now we do not know even this designation. We are simply animals at the present moment. Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunam [Hitopadeśa]. But human society means to divide the whole human society into these eight divisions, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha. Then it is systematic. But you have to go above that. That systematic division of the society is also sense gratification. That is not real life. That is also sense gratification. But it is systematized.

Just like I have several times said, the marriage is sense gratification, sex life. But somebody may say... They say that "Marriage is legalized prostitution." It may be, but still, there is some control. Although it is called "legalized prostitution"---there is no difference between prostitution and married life---but there is some control. People become responsible. By responsible life, they can make advance. Irresponsible life will not help. Therefore loke vyavāyāmiṣa-madya-sevā nityā hi jantoḥ. So our tendency for sense gratification is controlled. Therefore it is called license. Gṛhastha life means a license for sense gratification. But then we must know that sense gratification means material life. It may be systematic or not systematic, sense gratification means material life. But our aim is to transcend this material life and come to the spiritual life, platform of spiritual life. That is required.

So there are so many processes. So that is being discussed by Kṛṣṇa. Here He is especially referring to the mystic yoga system, indriyāgniṣu juhvati, controlling the senses. So this controlling the senses, the simple method is that artificially if you want to practice yoga like Viśvāmitra Muni or Durvāsā Muni, very great... There are many big, big stories about these munis who were big, big yogīs. This Durvāsā Muni traveled all over the universe, and he went beyond the universe in the spiritual world. He saw Lord Viṣṇu personally. Still, he was defeated. There are many stories. Ambarīṣa Mahārāja. So these indriyas cannot be controlled. Durdāntendriya-kāla-sarpa-paṭalī. But these indriyas cannot do any harm to you if you take the poison teeth of this deadly snake. Poison teeth. Indriya-kāla-sarpa-paṭalī protkhāta... What is that? What is the process of taking away the poison teeth? That is bhakti-yoga. That is bhakti-yoga. That means sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam, hṛṣīkeṇa... [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Hṛṣīkeśa means indriya. Hṛṣīkeśa-sevanam. You cannot control the senses unless you engage your senses in the service of the senses of the Lord.

The Lord has got senses. He is also a living being like us. But less intelligent class, they cannot understand. They think that something must be opposite. No. The Vedic information is nityo nityānām: "The Absolute Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is also eternal." That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā also. Bhagavān says that "Arjuna, you and Me and all these people who have gathered here, we are nitya. We were present in the past, and we are now in the battlefield, and when we give up this body, we shall again remain the same, individual." That is explained in the Second Chapter. This individuality continues. There is no such information that all of them become one by amalgamation. That is not possible, because in the Bhagavad-gītā it..., mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ jīva-loke sanātanaḥ [Bg. 15.7]. Aṁśaḥ, the particles of the Supreme, they are sanātanaḥ. It is not that by chance the spirit, whole spirit, has been broken into pieces. No. That is not possible. Because in the Bhagavad-gītā you will find, acchedyo 'yam: "It cannot be broken into pieces." Then how it became pieces? Therefore these piecemeal, the small particles of the original whole, they are sanātanaḥ. It is not that by circumstance it has become small pieces. No. And when they amalgamate... Just like they give the example that the water, when it is put into the water, again it becomes one. But scientifically, they are molecules. They remain separate. Even the sunshine, they are simply combination of shining molecules. Similarly, we are also like that, shining spiritual molecules. So sanātanaḥ, these particles are sanātanaḥ.

So they must have engagement. Because... Because we small particles of the Supreme, we are also engaged. Kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha hañā bhoga vāñchā [Prema-vivarta]. We are engaged in material affairs. So our business is to finish this material affair, or not to be attracted by the material affairs, but to be attracted by the spiritual affairs. That is required. Not that finishing. It cannot be finished. Therefore in the śāstra says, ye 'nye 'ravindākṣa vimukta-māninas tvayy asta-bhāvād aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ [SB 10.2.32] = "Those who are thinking that 'Now we have brahma-jñāna, knowledge, and we have become one with Brahman, therefore we are now liberated, vimukta-māninaḥ,' that is not liberation." The liberation is not there, because tvayy asta-bhāvāt, because the senses are not yet engaged in the service of the Lord. They do not know the Personality of... Tvayy asta-bhāvād aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ. They cannot be liberated.

Why not? They have already become liberated? No. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adho 'nādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ [SB 10.2.32]. Āruhya. They have undergone severe penances, austerities. That is right. And they have come to the paraṁ padam, brahmapāda, but patanty adhaḥ, because... Ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt [Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12]. Everyone wants ānanda, and part and parcel of ānanda, Kṛṣṇa, he wants ānanda. So simply realization ahaṁ brahmāsmi will not stay, will not stay. Because simply knowing, "I am such and such," simply knowing that "I am a millionaire," or simply knowing that "I am a big man," that will not help him. He must also have activities. Ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt. Abhyāsāt means there must be activities. If you stop activities, there will be no ānanda. Then you will again search out where is activities. And because you have no spiritual activities, you will come down to the material activities.

So this artificial type of saṁyamāgniṣu juhvati, it may help you for the time being to stop the activities of the indriya, but that will not be permanently done. Therefore this process, that sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam... [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. When you become free from all designation... As Caitanya Mahāprabhu said---I was going to explain---that "I am not a brāhmaṇa, I am not a śūdra, I am not a kṣatriya, I am not a vaiśya, I am not..." This is negation. Then what You are? Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ [Cc. Madhya 13.80]. There is activities. As soon as we accept dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ, there must be activities. A dāsa has got activities. So dāsa, when these activities are there, then hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. That is called bhakti. If you adopt this means, to engage the senses in the service of the master of the senses... We possess some senses, but we are not master. Suppose I have got this touch sense, hand, I am working with, but actually I am not master. If the hand is paralyzed, you cannot work.

So how you can be master of the senses? It is dependent on something else, the master of senses. When Kṛṣṇa says, sarvataḥ pāṇi-pādas tat... Kṛṣṇa has got hands and legs everywhere, or Brahman has got hands and legs. What is that hands and legs? Your hand, my hand, it is the Brahman's hand, because you are part and parcel of Brahman. So now your hands and legs are engaged with upādhi. Everyone is working "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am brāhmaṇa," "I am śūdra," "I am this family's head," "This," "That," so many... So you have to forget this, that "I don't belong to this material world and so nice division," either you call brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, or American, Indian, these are... "No. Purely I am spirit soul, and my business is to serve Kṛṣṇa." Then you will be able to control your senses.

Because senses want engagement. If you artificially stop, it will not stay. For the time being it may be appearing, but it is not possible. You cannot be desireless. Sometimes we say that "We should be desireless." That is not possible. When you are desireless, then you are dead man. That is not possible. The whole process should be purifying desire. Purifying desire, mind. Mind is the source of desires. Therefore the bhakti process is first of all engage the mind. Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ [SB 9.4.18]. If you engage your mind, always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru... [Bg. 18.65]. This is the recommendation given by Kṛṣṇa.

So if you first of all engage your mind to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, then Kṛṣṇa says you become first-class yogī.

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ

He is first-class yogī who is always engaged in thinking of Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet = Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma Hare Rāma... That is first-class yogī. Then you perfect your this yogic process, indriyāgniṣu juhvati. Indriyāgniṣu [Bg. 4.26]. In the indriya, in the senses of Kṛṣṇa, in the fire of Kṛṣṇa's senses, when you engage, you cooperate with your indriya, that is your perfect life.

Thank you very much. [end]