Bhagavad-gītā 4.28 , Bombay , 1974-04-17

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [Prabhupāda and devotees repeat] [leads chanting of verse]

dravya-yajñās tapo-yajñā
yoga-yajñās tathāpare
svādhāya-jñāna-yajñāś ca
yatayaḥ saṁśita-vratāḥ

Prabhupāda: [aside:] [Hindi]

Pradyumna: [break] [02:48]

Translation = "There are those who, enlightened by sacrificing their material possessions in severe austerities, take strict vows and practice the yoga of eightfold mysticism, and others study the Vedas for the advancement of transcendental knowledge."

Prabhupāda: Hmm. You can read the purport also.

Pradyumna: "These sacrifices may be fitted into various divisions. There are persons who are sacrificing their possessions in the form of various kinds of charities. In India, the rich mercantile community or princely orders open various kinds of charitable institutions like dharma-śālā, anna-kṣetra, atithi-śālā, anāthalaya, vidyāpīṭha, etc.... In other countries also there are many hospitals, old age homes and similar charitable foundations meant for distributing food, education and medical treatment free to the poor. All these charitable activities are called dravyamaya-yajña. There are others who, for higher elevation in life or for promotion to higher planets within the universe, voluntarily accept many kinds of austerities such as cāndrāyaṇa and cāturmāsya. These processes entail severe vows for conducting life under certain rigid rules. For example, under the cāturmāsya vow the candidate does not shave for fours months during the year, July to October, and does not eat certain foods, does not eat twice in a day and does not leave home. Such sacrifices of the comforts of life is called tapomaya-yajña. There are still others, who engage themselves in different kinds of mystic yoga like the Patañjali system for merging into the existence of the Absolute, or haṭha-yoga or aṣṭāṅga-yoga, for particular perfections. And some travel to all the sanctified places of pilgrimage. All these practices are called yoga-yajña, sacrifice for a certain type of perfection in the material world. There are others, who engage themselves in the studies of different Vedic literatures, specifically the Upaniṣads and Vedānta-sūtras, or the Sāṅkhya philosophy. All of these are called svādhyāya-yajña, or engagement in the sacrifice of studies. All these yogīs are faithfully engaged in different types of sacrifice and are seeking a higher status of life. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is, however, different from these because it is the direct service of the Supreme Lord. Kṛṣṇa consciousness cannot be attained by any one of the above-mentioned types of sacrifices but can be attained only by the mercy of the Lord and His bona fide devotee. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa consciousness is transcendental."


dravya-yajñās tapo-yajñā
yoga-yajñās tathāpare
svādhyāya-jñāna-yajñāś ca
yatayaḥ saṁśita-vratāḥ

So charity, or sacrificing your possession for the benefit of others, this is also yajña. But they are called karma-kāṇḍa yajña, fruitive activities. By such performance of yajña, one can elevate his material position. Just like feeding the poor, it is also yajña. But the same thing, if it is dovetailed in consciousness, that becomes perfect. People are very much inclined to feed the poor with sumptuous food, but it can be done in a little different way, that the foodstuff offered to Viṣṇu, prasāda, that distribution foodstuff is better than ordinary distribution of foodstuff. Ordinarily, that is puṇya, pious activities, but when it is in connection with Kṛṣṇa, this is called yajña. Dravya-yajña. To distribute food and cloth, that is called dravya-yajña, but yajña can be said when it is done, dovetailing the activities with Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is yajña. Yajña means Viṣṇu. Yajñārthe karmaṇo 'nyatra loko 'yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ [Bg. 3.9].

So our the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we are also distributing food in our about one hundred branches all over the world, but not directly, but through nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yuktaṁ vairāgyam ucyate. If we simply act piously, that is good, but it is not perfect. Suppose I execute many pious activities in my life. Then due to my pious activities, I will get birth in good family, janmaiśvarya-śruta-śrīḥ [SB 1.8.26]. I may get my birth in good family, high family. That is called janma. Then aiśvarya, opulence, wealth; śrī, beautiful body; and education also. I have several times explained that to become highly educated, that is also due to previous pious activities. To be highly rich, that is also due to previous pious activities. But Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says that karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa, sakale biṣera bhāṇḍa. Karma-kāṇḍa vicāra, fruitive activities for getting better position of life, better body... [break] ...though I get my birth in a good family, there is still risk of degradation. Because sometimes we get our birth in rich family, and due to opulence we are associated with bad company. Then we begin to act sinfully. That means again degradation.

Therefore the Vaiṣṇava philosophy does not very much approve even pious activities. What to speak of impious activities, they do not approve pious activities also. They are simply after Kṛṣṇa consciousness, simply interested in the service of Kṛṣṇa. That is real yajña. Because in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that those who are engaged in devotional service... To hear, devotional service, I have explained several times, to hear about Kṛṣṇa. Simply by hearing Kṛṣṇa, if we simply try to understand Kṛṣṇa, that is also better than dravyamaya-yajña, dravya, in charity. But because we cannot devote ourself... Pure devotional service means śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam [SB 7.5.23]. Just like Haridāsa Ṭhākura, he was simply engaged in śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam. He was chanting three hundred thousand times Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. We cannot imitate that. That is not possible. But pure devotional service is like that.

Just like our Gosvāmīs, the six Gosvāmīs in Vṛndāvana, how they executed devotional service is described by Śrīnivāsa Ācārya:

kṛṣṇotkīrtana-gāna-nartana-parau premāmṛtāmbho-nidhī
dhīrādhīra-jana-priyau priya-karau nirmatsarau pūjitau
śrī-caitanya-kṛpā-bharau bhuvi bhuvo bhārāvahantārakau
vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau

Kṛṣṇotkīrtana-gāna-nartana. They always engaged them in chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Utkīrtana, very loudly. Kṛṣṇotkīrtana. Utkīrtanam. Kṛṣṇotkīrtana-gāna-nartanau-parau, dancing also. Just like here the boys, they are chanting and dancing. This is very good, following the footsteps of the Gosvāmīs. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He was also engaged in chanting and dancing. That is a... His dancing description is there in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, during the Ratha-yātrā festival. So chanting, dancing, chanting of the holy name, and in ecstasy dancing, that is also yajña. That is the most perfectional yajña. Yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyaiḥ. This is called saṅkīrtana-yajña. Bahubhir militvā gāyantīti saṅkīrtanam. Saṅkīrtana means when we combine together, many persons, and chant and dance. That is called saṅkīrtana-yajña. So those who are engaged in the saṅkīrtana-yajña, they are also performing yajña. That is better than dravyamaya-yajña, dravya-yajña. Dravya-yajña, charity. Suppose one man has no money. Then his life is spoiled? No. In any condition we can execute this yajña, saṅkīrtana-yajña. There is no need of money. Ahaituky apratihatā. This saṅkīrtana-yajña is so nice that it cannot be checked by any material condition. If one is interested, he can perform saṅkīrtana-yajña or the bhakti-yoga system, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam [SB 7.5.23], in any condition of life.

In the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu there is a story... Not story; fact. It is described there that one brāhmaṇa---he was a great devotee---he wanted to offer very brilliant service, arcanā, in the temple worship. But he had no money. But some day he was sitting in a Bhāgavata class and he heard that Kṛṣṇa can be worshiped even within the mind. So he took this opportunity because he was thinking since a long time how to worship Kṛṣṇa very gorgeously, but he had no money. So he, when he got this point, that one can worship Kṛṣṇa within the mind, so after taking bath in the Godāvarī River he was sitting underneath a tree, and within his mind he was constructing very gorgeous siṁhāsana, throne, bedecked with jewels, and keeping the Deity on the throne, he was bathing the Deity with water of Ganges, Yamunā, Godāvarī, Narmadā, Kāverī. Then he was dressing the Deity very nicely, then offering worship with flower, garland. Then he was cooking very nicely, and he was cooking paramānna, sweet rice. So he wanted to taste it, whether it was very hot. Because paramānna is taken cold. Paramānna is not taken very hot. So he put his finger on the paramānna and his finger burned down. Then his meditation broken, because there was nothing; he was simply within the mind he was doing everything. So... But he saw that his finger is burned. So he was astonished. In this way, Nārāyaṇa from Vaikuṇṭha, He was smiling. Lakṣmījī asked, "Why You are smiling?" "One of My devotee is worshiping like this. So send My men to bring him immediately to Vaikuṇṭha."

So the bhakti-yoga is so nice that even if you have no means to offer the Deity gorgeous worship, you can do it within the mind. That is also possible. Therefore it is said that ahaituky apratihatā [SB 1.2.6]. In any position of life you can engage yourself in bhakti-yoga system, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam [SB 7.5.23]. But the prime or the topmost perfection of bhakti-yoga is śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam, fully absorbed in the thought of Kṛṣṇa. That is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā also. Yoginām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā [Bg. 6.47]. This is the simplest process. You have to practice always thinking of Kṛṣṇa. That is also, Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. Mad-yājī. Now, suppose if you have nothing to offer, still, you can, man-manāḥ, by thinking of Kṛṣṇa, by thinking of all materials for worshiping, testing them, sitting in one place, you can go on. That is called man-manāḥ, thinking, thinking of. You can offer Kṛṣṇa, as I described, so many things.

But Kṛṣṇa wants to see how much you are devoted to Him. Dravya-yajña... Kṛṣṇa is not hungry that you have to offer something, very nice foodstuff. That is, you must do that. But if you have no such thing in possession, you can do it within the mind. But not that you have got everything to offer... You can offer Kṛṣṇa very nice foodstuff; in that case if you think that "I can do it in mind," that is cheating. That will not be done. But in case you have nothing to offer materially, but still, you can offer in the mind. That is called vitta-sārtha. And actually we have seen in many places, a rich man has got Deity. The other day we went to a place, the Deity is there, but Deity is not worshiped. Deity is not offered anything. That is not good. That man is very rich man. According to his position, one must offer prepared foodstuff, distribute prasādam, not that... Generally, the impersonalists, they do so. There are many big, big temples, big, big Deities, but the Deity is offered a little elaichi-dana. That is not good. If you establish Deity, you must worship to the best capacity of your possession. That is Deity worship. But if one hasn't got to offer anything, he can offer everything within the mind. This facility is there.

Therefore it is apratihatā, it cannot be checked, apratihatā. Because bhakti can be executed practically also within the mind. It cannot be checked. But if you have got something to offer to Kṛṣṇa, don't think that "I shall offer in my mind." That is... Kṛṣṇa is also very intelligent, that "He is cheating Me." Kṛṣṇa wants how much you are sacrificing in devotion, bhaktyā. Kṛṣṇa is not after your goods. That is explained in the Bhagavad, tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam aśnāmi. Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam [Bg. 9.26]. Kṛṣṇa is prepared to accept from you even a little leaf, patram, even a little flower, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalam, a little fruit. Anyone can secure these. Even if you cannot secure, if you are so poor or unable, you can offer Kṛṣṇa everything within the mind.

But if you are in possession, then that will not be successful. Then it be cheating. That is called mithya-sārtha. According to one's means, ye yathā mām pra..., according to one's position, they should worship Kṛṣṇa, maybe without any dravya or with dravya. Yajña is performed. Dravya-yajñās tapo-yajñāḥ. The svādhyāya. The Gosvāmīs, they also used to perform svādhyāya-yajña. That is also mentioned. Nānā-śāstra-vicāraṇaika-nipuṇau sad-dharma-saṁsthāpakau. They were studying all Vedic literature, all Vedic literature. That is called svādhyāya, svādhyāya-yajña, to read Vedic literature, to understand Vedic literature, to act according to the direction of the Vedic literature. This is called svādhyāya-yajña. Svādhyāya-yajña, jñāna-yajña. By reading Vedic literature, you enlighten yourself with knowledge. So this is also yajña. There are so many... Kṛṣṇa is available in so many ways, according to your position. It is not that He is conditioned. He is not conditioned. Therefore it is called ahaituky apratihatā. The svādhyāya-yajña.

The Gosvāmīs, they were not only dancing and chanting. That was also part of their business, kṛṣṇotkīrtana-gāna-nartana-parau. But they were also good scholars. Nānā-śāstra-vicāraṇaika-nipuṇau sad-dharma-saṁsthāpakau. Just like in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we are trying to publish our books in different languages. Already we have got in European and American, English, French, German, Spanish, Swedish, Japanese, Chinese. This is required.

Nānā-śāstra-vicāraṇaika-nipuṇau sad-dharma. Because people are misled. So they should be given opportunity to study, to understand what is God consciousness, what is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So through the śāstras. That is also required. Nānā-śāstra-vicāraṇaika-nipuṇau sad-dharma... The Gosvāmīs practically demonstrated in their life everything. Caitanya Mahāprabhu taught them. They were the first disciples of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Rūpa Gosvāmī was given lesson for ten days continually at Allahabad, Prayāga, Daśāśvamedha-ghāṭa. As a result of his instruction, he first wrote this Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, which we have translated into English, Nectar of Devotion. Similarly, Sanātana Gosvāmī was given instruction for two months at Benares, Vārāṇasī.

So bhakti is not that it is something sentiment, without any basic principle of knowledge. No. It is fully based on Vedic knowledge. Bhaktyā śruta-gṛhītayā. Śruta. Śruta means Veda. Bhakti, after studying the Vedic knowledge---that is perfect bhakti. Vedānta-sūtra. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He talked on Vedānta-sūtra at Benares. And because the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs, they were criticizing Caitanya Mahāprabhu, that "He is sentimental sannyāsī, devotee. He does not study Vedānta-sūtra..." The Lord was criticized like that. So some of His devotees requested that "We know that You do not mix with the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs, but they are criticizing You. If You kindly meet them." So Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu met all the Vārāṇasī Māyāvādī sannyāsīs. Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, he had sixty thousand disciples. So they asked... The Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī asked Caitanya Mahāprabhu that "You are a sannyāsī. So You do not study Vedānta-sūtra. It is the," I mean to say, "vow of the sannyāsīs that they must." Vedānta-sūtra is the crucial point of sampradāya. One sampradāya must give his commentation on the Vedānta-sūtra; otherwise he is not a bona fide sampradāya. So especially in the Śaṅkara sampradāya, they are very much fond of studying Sāṅkhya philosophy and Vedānta-sūtra.

So Caitanya Mahāprabhu, when He went to Vārāṇasī, He was simply dancing and chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. So people began to criticize. Not people; this sannyāsī-sampradāya. So His devotees, they became little sorry, that "Our Lord is being criticized." Therefore He accepted their invitation, and there was Vedānta talk with Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu became victorious, and they became all disciples. These are statement in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta.

So it is not that those who are bhaktas, they... That is also complete, chanting and dancing Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇotkīrtana-gāna-nartana-parau. There is direct process. But if somebody wants to understand this Kṛṣṇa consciousness philosophy through Vedānta philosophy, through Upaniṣads, so they are prepared. They are prepared. Therefore we are publishing so many books. We are discussing Vedānta philosophy, Upaniṣad, all the Vedic literature. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the essence of all Vedic literature. It is stated, nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalam idam [SB 1.1.3]. Nigama. Nigama means Vedic literature. Kalpa-taru. Kalpa-taru means desire tree. Desire tree... We have got experience = from the mango tree we get mango, and from coconut tree we get coconut. But desire tree means whatever you want, you can get. Even you can get purīs and halavā from the tree. That is called desire tree. So the Vedic literature is called nigama-kalpa-taru. Nigama, Vedic literature, desire tree, kalpa-taru, taru, kalpa-taru. In the Vedic literature every knowledge is there. Veda means knowledge, perfect knowledge, either material or spiritual. The Vedas are there for the benefit of the human society. Because the living entity has come here in this material world to enjoy, so direction is there, "All right, you have come here to enjoy. So enjoy materially under direction, then gradually you become spiritual, and then take liberation." That is the purpose. Karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa. Jñāna-kāṇḍa is the path of liberation, then upāsanā-kāṇḍa.

So it is not that devotees are sentimental. It is not that. Bhaktyā śruta-gṛhītayā [SB 1.2.12]. Bhakti devotional service, after complete Vedic literature understanding... But bhakti is nice thing that if one takes to bhakti directly, he understands Vedic version automatically.

vāsudeve bhagavati
bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ
jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam

This is Kṛṣṇa's mercy. Even one is illiterate, if he sincerely takes to bhakti-yoga, so the Vedic philosophical conclusion automatically awakens.

yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
prakāśante mahātmanaḥ

[ŚU 6.23]

These are the statement, and actually... Just like these boys. These boys, they were not educated in Vedic literature. Never. But how they have taken to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness? This is the magic of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is not dependant on studying of Vedas, but if you take seriously to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the Vedic knowledge is automatically awakened.

yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite hy kathitā arthāḥ
prakāśante mahātmanaḥ

[ŚU 6.23]

This is the secret. If one has unflinching faith in Kṛṣṇa and unflinching faith to his devotion..., to his spiritual master, then automatically the Vedic knowledge becomes awakened. This is a fact, you can see. They never knew what is Vedic life, Vedic knowledge, but how they have become so nice, perfect devotee? That unflinching faith. That is required. Viśvāse milaya vastu tarke bahu-rūpa.[?] And that viśvāsa, that is explained, viśvāsa, faith, in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, viśvāsa-śabde, viśvāsa sudṛḍha niścaya, kṛṣṇe bhakti kaile sarva-karma kṛta [Cc. Madhya 22.62]. Śraddhā-śabde viśvāsa sudṛḍha niścaya. This is statement of Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī. He said śraddhā. Because to become a devotee, the begin is śraddhā, faith.

Just like you all ladies and gentlemen, you are coming. It is the śraddhā: "Let us hear something, what they are speaking about Kṛṣṇa." This is the beginning. So this śraddhā, as it grows and becomes firmly fixed up, that is devotion. Śraddhā means, devotion means, gradually making the śraddhā more and more fixed up. Ādau śraddhā. Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅga [Cc. Madhya 23.14-15]. First of all śraddhā, faith. Then association with the devotees. Atha bhajana-kriyā tato 'nartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt tato niṣṭhā rucis tataḥ, athāsaktis tato bhāvaḥ [Cc. Madhya 23.14-15]. Bhāva. So we have to come to the stage of bhāva, budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ. Kṛṣṇa says,

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ
budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ

So this bhāva, the ecstatic stage of devotional service, one has to reach. That is the perfection, or that the priority stage of love of Godhead.

So these things are recommended. Kṛṣṇa is personally explaining. Why should we not take advantage of these things? Why we are neglecting? It is suicidal. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is personally instructing how to become Kṛṣṇa conscious, how to become perfect in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and then, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma [Bg. 4.9], then you can go back to home, back to Godhead. Why we should not take advantage of this opportunity? This is not very good. We should take advantage. We have got this human form of body. We have got intelligence. And the statement and explanation is being given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead personally. Why we should not take advantage? This is suicidal policy.

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotees: Jaya Prabhupāda. [end]