Bhagavad-gītā 2.11 -- Rotary Club Address at Hotel Imperial , Delhi , 1976-03-25

Prabhupāda: [prema-dhvani] Thank you very much.

śrī bhagavān uvāca
aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ
prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase
gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca
nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ

Our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, it is not something new, imaginary movement. It is very old movement. At least five thousand years ago this Bhagavad-gītā was repeated by Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. Before that, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, Fourth Chapter,

imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ
proktavān aham avyayam
vivasvān manave prāha
manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt

Kṛṣṇa said to Arjuna that "This science of understanding God, long, long ago I spoke to the sun-god Vivasvān." In the Vedic scripture we understand that every planet is inhabited by living entities. The sun is also one of the planets, and there are living entities. Otherwise how Kṛṣṇa could go there and speak the predominating person, Vivasvān? The name of the person is also given, imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1]. And vivasvān manave prāha. Vivasvān, the sun-god... Because in the higher planetary system the sun planet, moon planet and many, many other planets, they are called the heavenly planets. The inhabitants of those planets are very opulent. The material happiness available in those planets are hundreds and thousand times better than in this planet. So it is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā that sun planet is also inhabited by living beings. But their body is made of fire. That is the difference. Just like here our body is made of earth. Earth, air... Earth, water, air, fire, ether---these are the five material elements. In some planet the earth is prominent; in some planet the water is prominent; in other planet the fire is prominent. So this is the creation of God, different varieties. That is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā:

athavā bahunaitena
kiṁ jñātena tavārjuna
viṣṭabhyāham idaṁ kṛtsnam
ekāṁśena sthito jagat

This material world, composed of many millions of universe There is evolution.

jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi
sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati
kṛmayo rudra-saṅkhyakāḥ
pakṣiṇāṁ daśa-lakṣaṇam

[Padma Purāṇa]

Because in the beginning the whole planet was covered in water. The water is drying up and gradually land is coming out. So therefore in the beginning the aquatics = jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi. So the aquatic animals, they are 900,000 species. Jalajā nava..., sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati: then trees and plants and herbs and grasses and so many, they are 2,000,000 forms. Then kṛmayo rudra-saṅkhyakāḥ: then insect life, reptile life, 1,100,000. Then pakṣiṇāṁ daśa-lakṣaṇam: then birds, varieties of birds, 1,000,000. Then paśu, four-legged animals, 3,000,000 types. Then mānuṣāḥ catur-lakṣāṇi: then human form of life, uncivilized and civilized, that human form of life, 400,000. So in comparison to the lower species of life, we are very small quantity. Together there are 8,400,000 species of life, living entities. The evolution process is from one body to another, another, another. In this way, when you come to the human form of life, it should be utilized for full knowledge about our eternal life. That is the opportunity. And if we don't take this opportunity, if we live like other animal---eating, sleeping, sex and fearfulness, āhāra-nidrā-bhayam---but we do not care to understand what we are, what is God, what is our relationship with God, then we are missing the point.

That lesson, instruction, is given in the Bhagavad-gītā. And it is very easy to understand. The perplexity which Arjuna met at the Battle..., in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra... The fight was between two sector of family members. They're cousin-brothers, one family, but there was some trouble, who would occupy the throne. From Mahābhārata we understand that the Pāṇḍavas, at least up to Mahārāja Parīkṣit, he ruled over the whole world. Bhāratavarṣa means the whole world, and the capital was here, Hastināpura. This information we get, Mahābhārata. Mahā means greater, and bhārata means India. Mahābhārata. So there was trouble, who will occupy the throne. So there was fight. So when fight was arranged, then Arjuna... He was a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. [aside to someone talking:] Please stop. He declined to fight. He said to Kṛṣṇa, "My dear Kṛṣṇa"---Kṛṣṇa was his friend---"I don't like this fight because they are my cousin-brothers. Although they have usurped my kingdom, let them enjoy it. I don't wish to fight with them." But Kṛṣṇa declined. Kṛṣṇa said, "No, you have to fight. Your duty is to fight." Then Arjuna placed before Him so many ideas, that "If I kill my brother, then my brothers' wives will be widow and they may be polluted, then unwanted children, varṇa-saṅkara, will come out, and when the varṇa-saṅkara population is filling, then the whole world becomes a hell." So many arguments. So Kṛṣṇa, when He saw that Arjuna is very much afflicted with the material ideas, so He wanted to teach him this Bhagavad-gītā. So first punishment... Not punishment, chastisement. Because Arjuna accepted that "The perplexities which I am facing is not possible to be solved except Yourself." He knew that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So he surrendered himself to Kṛṣṇa, śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam, kārpaṇya-doṣopahata svabhāvaḥ [Bg. 2.7] = "I am a kṣatriya. It is my duty to fight in right cases, and I am declining. This is my weakness. So kindly instruct me how I can give up this weakness. I am accepting You as my guru." Śiṣyas te 'ham. Śiṣya means who voluntarily accepts to be ruled by a person who is guru. He is called śiṣya.

So Arjuna and Kṛṣṇa, they were friends, but still, to take right instruction without any argument, he accepted He is guru. Then after the acceptance Kṛṣṇa's first warning is,

aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ
prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase
gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca
nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ

"My dear Arjuna, you are talking like a very learned man, but the subject matter which you have touched is not at all taken seriously by the paṇḍita." Paṇḍita means learned man. That means, "You are talking like a fool. You are taking this body as self." So actually this is not the fact. The body is not the self. The self is different. If you analyze this body, what you will find? Suppose we are breathing. What is this breathing? It is air only. Now, when the breathing is stopped, a man is dead. Now you are so much advanced in science, why don't you replace this breathing? It is nothing but air. So you can manufacture some machine working in electric battery, and put some air and fix up, and that same air will come = woosh, woosh, woosh, woosh. Will you..., that give you life? No. Even if you artificially bring breathing, just like nowadays they, with oxygen gas, as if oxygen gas is life... That is not the fact. So if you analyze every part of the body, then you will find that there is no life. This is called education. This is called scientific knowledge. Simply abruptly taking something without any proper understanding, that is not knowledge. Therefore Kṛṣṇa chastised him that "You are talking like very scientific, learned scholar, but you are a fool number one because you are accepting this material body as the self." This is ignorance.

This is confirmed in another place, yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke [SB 10.84.13]. This kuṇape, this bag of three elements, kapha, pitta, vāyu, or, take it, the skin, muscle, veins, bones, urine, stool, blood---what you will find if you dissect this body? They are all material things. What is blood? It is also water, red water. The urine, this is also water. And this bone, bone is nothing but earth hardened. If you take plaster of paris... They sometimes show artificial bone also in the medical college. But that is not. That is bone. That is earth. So do you think this combination of this earth, water, air, fire is life? Can you produce life? You take... You can get enough earth, water, air, pus, stool, urine, blood. You manufacture one life. That you cannot do. This is called analysis. And those who are engaged in understanding the self as the combination of these earth, water, air, fire---sa eva go-kharaḥ [SB 10.84.13]. Such persons are defined in the śāstra as no more intelligent than the cows and the asses.

So from here spiritual knowledge begins. You analyze the body, but you won't find the real soul or real life, although it is within you. But why you cannot find? It is very, very small. Keśāgra-śata-bhāgasya śatadhā kalpitasya ca [Cc. Madhya 19.140]. The formation of the soul, measurement of the soul, is very, very... It is smaller than the atom. Keśāgra-śata-bhāgasya. The tip of the hair you divide into hundred part, and take one part. Again divide it into hundred parts. That one part is the measurement of the soul. That means one ten-thousandth part of the top of the hair. So how you can see? But that small particle is giving you living force. This knowledge we get from Bhagavad-gītā, and that is the fact. You cannot get life by analyzing this material body. That is not possible. You have to find out what is that small particle. You have to hear. Therefore you cannot get knowledge by your material activities. You have to hear it from the authorities; otherwise there is no possibility. Just like you cannot understand who is your father. You have to take the knowledge from your mother. If mother certifies, "This gentleman is your father," that is correct. But if you go on researching who is your father you will never be able to know who is your father. Similarly, what is life, what is soul, what is our this body, what is the ultimate goal of life, why you are suffering---all this knowledge you have to take from the higher authorities. That is called Vedic process, not to endeavor by research. What you can research? Our fund of knowledge is very, very poor, limited. You cannot have perfect knowledge unless you hear from the authority. So Kṛṣṇa is the authority. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means you take knowledge from the best authority. Don't manufacture knowledge. That will not help you. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.

So here Kṛṣṇa says that "My dear Arjuna, you are talking like a very learned man." That is our disease. Everyone will talk as if... We manufacture, but that is useless. Ke āmi kene āmāya jāre... [Cc. Madhya 20.102]. You cannot make any solution. Therefore the whole world is in chaotic condition. We speak of our own country, India. Not only India, everywhere the chaotic condition is, because they have no real knowledge. They are simply claiming to be very learned man, which is chastised here by Kṛṣṇa. Aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādān [Bg. 2.11] = "You are presenting yourself as very learned man, but the subject matter which you have taken, this body, this body is nothing but dead lump of matter." That is said here, that aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca. This body, when it is living condition... Living condition means so long the soul is there, it looks like very bright, beautiful, moving here and there. And when the soul leaves this body, then what it is? It has no value, a lump of matter. Just like a motorcar. So long it is moving, it is worth one lakh, and so long it does not move, it is simply lump of iron and copper and something. Who cares for it? It is thrown away. Same thing. The body has no value. It has value so long the soul is there. Otherwise, suppose a big man... They are lamenting, "Such a great man has passed away." But what is that such great man? He is lying on the floor, on the bed, the same man. So why you are seeing that he has gone? Then who has gone? You have never seen him who has gone. This is knowledge. So our human life is meant for understanding what has gone from the body which makes the body a lump of matter... [break]

Dvāpare paricaryāyāṁ kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt [SB 12.3.52]. In the Satya-yuga, when the duration of life was very, very great, meditation was possible. And next yuga? Kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ [SB 12.3.52] = by performing the ritualistic ceremonies recommended in the Vedas, yajña. And the next yuga, by paricarya, by Deity worship. And next yuga, this Kali-yuga, hari-kīrtanāt: simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord. Otherwise... And meditation means kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇum. Meditation means to think of Viṣṇu, Lord Viṣṇu. That is the recommendation. Dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ [SB 12.13.1]. The yogīs, they think of the Supreme Person, dhyānāvasthita manasā, mind absorbed, surcharged with thinking of Viṣṇu. That is called meditation. Dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ. And in the Bhagavad-gītā this dhyāna is recommended in the Sixth Chapter:

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ

Any yogī... There are different varieties of yogīs. So of all the yogīs, the bhakti-yogī who is thinking of Kṛṣṇa within the mind, he is the first-class yogī. So in our movement we are creating first-class yogīs because they are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. So this is directly to create first-class yogīs. Yoginām api sarveṣām.

Indian: Swāmījī, in our ancient books Kṛṣṇa has also been projected as a person who has lived for a certain period of history, and who was associated with number of...

Prabhupāda: Friends and relatives.

Indian: ...relatives for temporary time. Our books of literature also projected the Supreme Being as the perfect one. How do you reconcile the two things? How do we accept that... Your teachings are based on the assumption that that person who lived for that period of time is the perfect person. But how do you fundamentally assure that what He has said is correct? How do you reconcile the two points?

Prabhupāda: That I have already explained, that one has to understand Kṛṣṇa, janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ [Bg. 4.9]. Before your asking, I have already explained that if that person, Kṛṣṇa, whom you think that He lived for a certain period with friends and relatives just like ordinary man, if you simply study what is this person, then you'll become perfect. Janma karma ca me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ. But to understand Him in fact, it is not so easily. That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gītā:

manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścin vetti māṁ tattvataḥ

Out of many millions of persons, one becomes siddha, perfect. So that perfection is not complete perfection. That perfection means ahaṁ brahmāsmi: "I am not this material body; I am spirit soul." So one who understands this position of oneself is calculated as perfect. But yatatām api siddhānām [Bg. 7.3], in that perfect stage if one endeavors to understand Kṛṣṇa, yatatām api siddhānāṁ kaścid, out of many such millions of persons who trying to understand Kṛṣṇa in perfection, one may understand. So it is not so easy. Janma karma ca me divyaṁ yo jānā... [Bg. 4.9], again tattvataḥ. But that factual understanding is possible. How it is possible? Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ [Bg. 18.55]. Only through devotion you can understand.

So these problems will be solved when you become a devotee. Then Kṛṣṇa will reveal. Ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.136]. If you try to understand that Supreme Person, Kṛṣṇa, who comes before you as ordinary person, you can understand Him if you become His devotee. Otherwise it is not possible. Ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi. You cannot understand Kṛṣṇa or His name, His form, His pastimes, His activities---na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ---by your imperfect senses. But sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty [Brs. 1.2.234] = when you are engaged in His service, then He reveals Himself, "Here I am." So this is the process. If you want to understand that person, Kṛṣṇa, who is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then you have to take shelter of bhakti-yoga and associate with bhaktas. Then it is possible. Otherwise not.

Indian (2): Praṇāmas, Swāmījī.

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Indian (2): Shri Gandhijī was also great admirer of the Gītā and a great scholar and a great..., made commentary also. But he, at the time of the great war, asked the great powers to let Hitler come in and not fight him at all. But where have you... He said that Hitler..., the change of heart, that would be effective, and not that punishment. That means punishment is a fault, and I would like your enlightenment on this paradox.

Prabhupāda: The punishment... Kṛṣṇa does not personally punish. He has got many agents. Just like in the government, the president does not punish directly, but there are many departments. Similarly, parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate [Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport]. His potencies are manyfold. One of the potency is this material nature. It is called māyā. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā = daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā [Bg. 7.14]. It is very difficult to surpass the jurisdiction of māyā, duratyayā. But punishment will not be excused. Ignorance of law is no excuse. Similarly, this māyā, this material nature, is very, very strong. If you eat little more... Your nature is to eat, say, two ounce. If you eat three ounce, immediately you'll be punished; there will be indigestion. The nature is so strong. Therefore it is called daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā. So in this way you cannot surpass the stringent laws of māyā. But if you want to avoid punishment, then you take shelter of Kṛṣṇa. Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te [Bg. 7.14]. Therefore Kṛṣṇa consciousness is essential. If we become Kṛṣṇa conscious, if we follow the instruction of Kṛṣṇa, then there is no question of being harassed by the stringent laws of māyā. This is the process.

Indian (3): President Jagadish, it is customary... [end]