Bhagavad-gītā 7.1–3 , Paris , 1974-06-13

[translated into French throughout]

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

śrī-bhagavān uvāca
mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha
yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ
asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ
yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu


Translation = "Now hear, O son of Pṛthā, Arjuna, how by practicing yoga in full consciousness of Me, with mind attached to Me, you can know Me in full, free from doubt."



śrī-bhagavān uvāca
mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha
yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ
asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ
yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu

We are speaking from Bhagavad-gītā. I think most of you know this book, Bhagavad-gītā. The Bhagavad-gītā is sometimes translated in foreign languages, "The Song of God." In other words, God Himself speaking. So far we are concerned, we cannot understand God by mental speculation. Even in this material world, we cannot understand what is there in the planetary system.

So our knowledge is very, very limited. Besides that, we have got four deficiencies. The one deficiency is that we commit mistake. Anyone, any big man of this material world, he commits mistake. Besides that, he is illusioned. Illusioned means to accept something what is not fact. Just like... [coughs] [aside:] Water. We accept this body as self. This is called illusion. According to Vedic understanding, anyone who thinks of this body as the self, he's animal. Just like a dog, he thinks that he is the body, similarly, if a man thinks that he is this body---he is American or Indian or Frenchman or German or Hindu or Muslim, with this bodily concept of life---so, according to Vedic understanding, this conception is animal conception. So this is called illusion.

Then next item is cheating. Cheating means with imperfect knowledge one takes the place of a teacher. And the last deficiency is that our senses are imperfect. It is not independent; still, we are very much proud of our senses. For example, atheist class of men, they say that "Can you show me God?" He does not think whether he has got any power to see. So far our eyes are concerned, we can see so long when the conditions are fulfilled. Just like here we are speaking. As soon as the light will be off, we cannot see one another. So what is the value of these eyes? You simply see under certain condition. You simply smell under certain condition. You can hear under certain condition. So therefore your materialistic life is conditional life.

So with these imperfect senses, we cannot understand what is God. The only sense is very, I mean to..., usable, just is this ear. Just like man is sleeping, and some enemy has come to attack him or to kill him. So still he's nicely sleeping. But if some friend cries, "Mr. Such-and-such, wake up, wake up! Here is enemy. He'll kill you, kill you!" he can rise up. So when all other senses are useless, the ear can work. Therefore, to understand God, we have to use this ear. And we have to receive the sound vibration and it will act.

So as you are all ladies and gentleman interested in the yoga system, so the first-class yoga system is bhakti-yoga. In this Bhagavad-gītā, just now I am trying to explain the first verse of the Seventh Chapter. The Seventh Chapter begins after concluding the Sixth Chapter. In the Sixth Chapter, the yoga system has been explained. It is said that one has to select a very sacred, secluded place. He has to sit down there in a posture just like a perpendicular, a straight line, the neck and the body. And then he has to think of Kṛṣṇa, or Viṣṇu. The thinking should be so careful that one cannot divert his attention to any other subject matter. In the Pātañjali yoga system, it is said, yoga indriya-saṁyama = yoga means to control all the senses. Because unless the senses are controlled, the mind will be flickering, go this way, that way, that way. So mind is the leader of all other senses. If you control the mind, concentrate on the feature of the Supreme Lord, that is the yoga system. The, in the... Therefore, describing the yoga system, Kṛṣṇa prescribes so many methods, but after hearing the system of practicing yoga, Arjuna replied that "Kṛṣṇa, this system is so difficult I cannot practice it."

So point is that Arjuna was not ordinary person. He was specifically friend of Kṛṣṇa. So he said that "This practice of yoga, haṭha-yoga, is not possible by me." So Kṛṣṇa therefore concluded the yoga system that "Don't be discertained[?]. There is another yoga system, bhakti-yoga system. You can adopt it." The bhakti-yoga is summarized in the Sixth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā:

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ

[aside:] You find out this last verse of the Sixth Chapter.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Last verse of Sixth Chapter.

Prabhupāda: This here.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Forty-seven.

Prabhupāda: Yoginām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā. So this is the topmost system of yoga, bhakti-yoga, always thinking of Kṛṣṇa. So that system, bhakti-yoga system, is being described in the Seventh Chapter as,

bhagavān uvāca
mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha
yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ
asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ
yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu

"My dear Arjuna, the..." Mayy āsakta-manāḥ: "Just try to divert your attachment to Me." Attachment, we have got attachment. Everyone has got attachment to something. So this yoga system, bhakti-yoga system, means simply divert the attachment to Kṛṣṇa. That's all. When the mind is fully diverted for increasing attachment of Kṛṣṇa, that is called bhakti-yoga.

So yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ. This yoga system should be practiced, the mad-āśraya... Mad-āśraya means "under My direct supervision." This yoga system means it is not impersonal---personal. And therefore the word is used, bhagavān uvāca: "The Supreme Personality of Godhead said." Bhagavān, the Absolute Truth, He's a person. Sometimes we think... There are many, they think the Absolute Truth is impersonal. But the Absolute Truth is person. Impersonal realization of the Absolute Truth is partial. It is not complete realization. Therefore it is mentioned here, asaṁśayam, "without any doubt," and samagram, "in full." After all, yoga system means an endeavor to understand the Absolute Truth. Yoga means linking, connecting. So when you connect with the Absolute Truth, that is called yoga.

Yoga... Another meaning is "plus," adding something else. Just like two plus two. This is also called yoga. Similarly, God is one; I am also one. When we join together, that is called yoga. There are many methods of yoga practice, but the direct method is bhakti-yoga. I am a person, and God is also a person. When we intermingle together, or we join together, that is called bhakti-yoga. Bhakti means the process of connecting with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As soon as we use the word bhakti, means the process of devotion, there must be bhakta and Bhagavān. The Bhagavān is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and bhakta is Arjuna. So Bhagavān is personally teaching Arjuna the process how he can understand Him fully and without any doubt. Therefore it is mentioned here, bhagavān uvāca. Bhagavān uvāca means "the Supreme Personality of Godhead said."

So the Absolute Truth is realized in three angle of vision. It is said in the Vedic literature,

vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
brahmeti paramātmeti
bhagavān iti śabdyate

The Absolute Truth is the ultimate truth, tattva. Tattva means Absolute Truth. So those who are aware of the Absolute Truth, they say that Absolute Truth is one, but He's realized in three angle of vision, namely, Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān. Those who are trying to speculate and understand the Absolute Truth, they can reach up to impersonal Brahman. So generally, speculators means big, big philosophers. They can understand that impersonal Brahman. These impersonalists are generally known as jñānīs. Jñānīs means the wise men or persons who are very much aware of everything. So they can understand the impersonal feature of the Absolute Truth. But there are other class, who are called yogīs. The yogīs can understand the Paramātmā feature of the Absolute Truth. Paramātmā means the Supersoul, who is situated within everyone's heart. And the personal feature of the Lord is realized by the bhaktas, or the devotees.

So the jñānīs and the yogīs, they cannot understand perfectly what is God. God is transcendental, sat-cit-ānanda, combination of eternity, knowledge and blissfulness. So if we realize the Absolute Truth partially, simply the eternity knowledge, that is called brahma-jñāna. And when one is further advanced and he realizes the Absolute Truth as the localized aspect, Paramātmā, or Lord Viṣṇu within anyone's heart, by the yogic practice, that is called paramātma-jñāna, or knowledge of the Absolute Truth. Actually, the objective is one, but different degrees of understanding.

One example can be given in this connection = Just like the sun globe and the sun-god and the sunshine. The sunshine is also light, and there is temperature; and the sun globe is also light, and there is temperature; and within the sun globe, there is the personality known as sun-god, that is also light and temperature. But all this light and temperature, there are degrees. The sunshine degree of temperature light is less than the sun globe, and the sun globe temperature light is less than the sun-god. So when you reach the sun-god, then you understand the complete temperature and light. That completeness is realized by this word bhagavān. Therefore the words are used here, asaṁśayaṁ samagram: "You can understand Me in full, asaṁśayam, and without any doubt." So if you are interested to understand the Absolute Truth, God, then you must take to bhakti-yoga. And if we want to understand the Absolute Truth with some doubt, and not in complete, then we may take jñāna-yoga or dhyāna-yoga.

So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is meant for understanding the Absolute Truth in complete, without any doubt and without any incompleteness. This is also confirmed in the Eighteenth Chapter, that if you want to know God in completeness and without any doubt, then you have to take to bhakti-yoga process. It is said,

bhaktyā mām abhijānāti
yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ
tato māṁ tattvato jñātvā
viśate tad-anantaram

The meaning is that "One can understand Me only by this bhakti-yoga process. And when one is fully aware of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then he becomes fit to enter into the kingdom of God." So the purpose of yoga practice is to promote, or to leave this material atmosphere, and enter into the spiritual atmosphere, all the yogīs. The jñāna-yogīs, they remain in the impersonal feature of the Absolute Truth; the dhyāna-yoga is practicing the localized aspect; but the bhakti-yogī, he is promoted directly in the planet which is called Goloka Vṛndāvana, and there he associates with the Supreme Personality of Godhead and enjoys life blissfully, eternally.

So there are different planetary systems within this material world. Just like we are situated, it is called Bhūrloka. Above this, there is Bhuvarloka. Above that, there is Svarloka, there is Janaloka, there is Maharloka, Satyaloka. In this way, there are seven steps of planetary system up, and similarly, seven planetary system down. So by jñāna-yoga, by bhakti-yoga..., dhyāna-yoga, means mystic yoga system, we can be promoted to the higher system, but if you practice the bhakti-yoga, then you go to the transcendental world directly and associate with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The dhyāna-yogī and jñāna-yogī can also go to the Brahmaloka or brahma-jyotir, but there is chance of falling down again to this material world.

But generally, jñāna-yogī remains a speculator within this material world, and dhyāna-yogī, they, as soon as they get some material miracle power, they become implicated with this power, no more going to the spiritual world. But bhakti-yogī, being perfectly the yogī, the topmost yogī, he can enter the kingdom of God, or the planet where God is there. God is everywhere, but He has got a special planet, which is called Goloka Vṛndāvana. You can enter there and mix with the Supreme Lord just like we are here mixing one another, I can see you, you can see me. Similarly, you can go directly, see God and live with Him, dance with Him, play with Him, eat with Him. That is the perfection of life.

This perfection of yoga can be achieved by practicing bhakti-yoga as it is recommended here, mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ: under the guidance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead or His representative, bona fide. If you practice this yoga, then you can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead in complete, without any doubt. And if you practice this yoga in this life, and try to understand Kṛṣṇa, what He is, then, after giving up this body---you have to give up this body, today or tomorrow---then you go directly to Kṛṣṇa. It is therefore explained in the Fourth Chapter, janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9] = "My dear Arjuna, anyone, if he simply tries to understand why I come in this material world, what is My mission, what do I do, if he simply one understands, then he immediately becomes fit for being transferred to the spiritual world."

So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to educate people how to understand Kṛṣṇa, and then make his life perfect.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya Prabhupāda. [break]

Prabhupāda: Any question?

Translator: [translating question from guest] So he's saying that many people are wondering why we are making so much propaganda for our Kṛṣṇa conscious movement. Because usually India doesn't make propaganda for philosophy.

Prabhupāda: He does not know what is India. In India, he'll see, village to village, they're chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. In every village, in every town, there is a place which is called hari-sabhā. Or every neighborhood, there is... Now, after the British rule, they have forgotten this culture, but they, originally, every village, every town, there is a club or society where this Hare Kṛṣṇa chanting is going on. And besides that, five hundred years ago, when Caitanya Mahāprabhu was there, He, all over India, He traveled and preached this saṅkīrtana movement. Not only that, He has ordered to His followers, to His devotees... Not only devotees; He has ordered to every Indian to preach the saṅkīrtana movement all over the world. So He has said in these words that,

bhārata-bhūmite haila manuṣya-janma yāra
janma sārthaka kari' kara para-upakāra

[Cc. Ādi 9.41]

Means "Anyone who has taken birth in India as human being, he must make his life perfect and preach this cult all over the world." And He has also said,

pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi grāma
sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma

[CB Antya-khaṇḍa 4.126]

Means that "As many villages and towns are there on the surface of the globe, everywhere this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra will be preached." So this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, has just begun. You will see in future, in every village, every town, they'll chant and dance. So it is the Caitanya Mahāprabhu's prediction that is being fulfilled. Nobody can check it. Already we have got about hundred branches all over the world, and all kinds of people taking part to this movement. [break]

Translator: So his question is that how can Catholic people, without rejecting their own religion, take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Prabhupāda: Well, it is not rejecting; it is reforming. The Catholic religion also teaches love of God, or love of Christ. So if I say the truth, it will not be very palatable, but this movement is reformation. But another thing is, Catholic, Hindu, Muslim, or whatever you may be, everyone accepts there is God. So we are teaching not to formally accept there is God, but know what is God and love Him. So those who are interested for higher knowledge of God, they'll take it. The point is simply officially to accept God, there is God---no. You know what is God, what is His feature, what He is doing, what He is acting, what is His name, where His address. Everything you know, and try to love Him. That we are teaching.

So those who are actually serious to know about God, they'll come to this movement. And those who simply know God officially = "There is God, that's all," that is different thing. That is also good. But if you want to know more, then you have to take this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We are therefore presenting these books, eighty books, four hundred pages each, and just to explain what is God. So it is a great science. Any intelligent man will appreciate. And we are getting good response. Especially in America, big, big university, college, professors, they are now purchasing. We have proposed to publish Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in sixty volumes, but we have published only fourteen. But still, the big, big professors, they are giving us order, forward order, for all the sixty volumes. As soon as scholarly people, they read these books, they'll welcome this movement all over the world.

Is that all right, or any more? Any more question?

Translator: She would like to know if our religion can bring something more than the other religions.

Prabhupāda: There is one religion. One who knows God, he is religious. One who does not know God, that religion has no meaning. Religion means to understand the order of God. That is religion. But if you do not know what is God, and how you can hear His order? So religion without understanding of God philosophically and logically is sentiment. And philosophy without understanding of God is mental speculation. So when philosophy and religious sentiments combine, that is called religion. Otherwise, it is not religion.

Bhagavān: Have kīrtana?

Prabhupāda: Yes. [end]