arjuna uvāca
prakṛtiṁ puruṣaṁ caiva
kṣetraṁ kṣetra-jñam eva ca
etad veditum icchāmi
jñānaṁ jñeyaṁ ca keśava

śrī-bhagavān uvāca
idaṁ śarīraṁ kaunteya
kṣetram ity abhidhīyate
etad yo vetti taṁ prāhuḥ
kṣetra-jñaḥ iti tad-vidaḥ
[Bg. 13.2]

Translation: “Arjuna said: O my dear Kṛṣṇa, I wish to know about prakṛti, nature, puruṣa, or the enjoyer, and the field and the knower of the field, and of knowledge and the end of knowledge. The Blessed Lord then said: This body, O son of Kuntī, is called the field, and one who knows this body, who knows this body is called the knower of the field.”

Prabhupāda: Kṣetra-kṣetra-jñam. Just like we are living in this apartment and we know that I am not this apartment, but I am living in this apartment. The people say that because the Supersoul or the soul is living within this body therefore the body is soul. This is not very good argument. That is being cleared by Kṛṣṇa Himself. Idaṁ śarīraṁ kaunteya kṣetram ity abhidhīyate [Bg. 13.2]. Kṣetra. Kṣetra means land or a place. So idaṁ śarīraṁ kaunteya kṣetram ity abhidhīyate [Bg. 13.2]. And, the next line?

Pradyumna: Etad yo vetti tam…

Prabhupāda: Etad yo vetti, and one who knows it, he’s kṣetra-jñaḥ. Jñaḥ means in knowledge. So we should know this, that I am not this body. It is my body. If we analyze the body, I say it is my hand, it is my leg, it is my head. Nobody says: “I head,” or “I hand.” “I” is different from this body. I am living in this apartment, but I am not this apartment. But the modern civilization is going on on the basic idea that “I am this body.” “I am American.” “I am Indian.” “I am brāhmaṇa.” “I am kṣatriya.” “I am man.” “I am woman.” This is condemned. This is condemned.

This is… This is the consideration of the animals. The animals, they do not know that the dog, the body-dog, and the soul who has obtained the body of a dog… The soul is different from the body. This is the Vedic information: asaṅgo ‘yaṁ puruṣaḥ. (static) The living entity, soul, is not this material body. Asaṅga. He has no, I mean to say, association. He’s put into that condition, but he’s different from the body. (Child crying in background; aside:) What is that? She has gone out and cannot come.

So this should be clearly understood. This is knowledge, that I’m not this body. What is the next, second line?

Pradyumna: Kṣetram ity abhidhīyate.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Next?

Pradyumna: Etad yo vetti taṁ prāhuḥ…

Prabhupāda: Etad yo vetti. So if you study, if you meditate on our body, so “I am this body. I am this finger.” No. The answer will come: “No, I am not this body. I am… It is my body. It is my finger. It is my head.” This is simple thing. And here it is confirmed by the Supreme Authority, Kṛṣṇa. And we can experiment it, that how it is that I am identifying myself with this body? Therefore śāstra says: yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke [SB 10.84.13]. This body is a, a product of the three dhātus. According to Ayurvedic system, kapha-pitta-vāyu. So anyone who is accepting this body made of three elements, kapha-pitta-vāyu, he is no better than go-kharaḥ. Sa eva go-kharaḥ [SB 10.84.13]. An animal.

yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke
sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ
yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ
[SB 10.84.13]

Go-kharaḥ. Go means cow, and kharaḥ means ass. So people are identifying with this body, but śāstra says such persons are no better than the cows and the asses. Now just try to understand what is this civilization. Just try to understand. It is this… It is a combination of cows and asses. Because everyone is identifying: “I am this body.” “I am American.” “I am Russian.” “I am China.” “Let us fight.” “I am Hindu.” “I am Muslim.” This is going on.

The simple knowledge is lacking. The simple knowledge, that “I am not this body. I am…” Ahaṁ brahmāsmi. The Vedic language. So ‘ham. So ‘ham means I am the same spirit soul as the Supersoul, as Kṛṣṇa. I am qualitatively one. As Kṛṣṇa is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha, similarly I am also sac-cid-ānanda, part and parcel. The difference is that I am very minute. As we have several times explained, the minute particle of gold is also gold. That is not different. Minute, a drop of the sea water is also the same, qualitatively. The same chemicals. Similarly, we, being part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, we are not subjected to the material conditions. But we have put ourself in this material condition. That is called māyā. We wanted to enjoy separately, de, separated from Kṛṣṇa, and therefore we are put into a condition which is illusion.

That I have already explained several times. At night, we forget all this body. Although in daytime I identify myself that “I am American,” “I am Indian,” “I am brāhmaṇa,” at night, when I sleep, I forget whether I am American, Indian, or brāhmaṇa, and kṣatriya. This is our daily experience. I am in different atmosphere. I am dreaming something. But again at daytime I forget what I dreamt at night. So sometimes we go very unknown place, very nice place, nice building, nice atmosphere. And at, as soon as the dream is over, then again I am on my bed. You see. And when I dream, I forget. I’m not in my bed, but I’m in the surrounding of palaces, of gardens. So this is our daily experience.

So because we wanted to imitate Kṛṣṇa, kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha hañā bhoga vāñchā kare, the Kṛṣṇa has given us a place which is illusion. Which is not fact. Temporary. Illusion. Just like we sometimes see water in the desert. That is illusion. Practically there is no illusion, uh, there is no water. But we see: “Oh, here is water, vast water.” The animals, they run after the water. Similarly we are also running after this illusion. “There is happiness. There is happiness.” Therefore there is no happiness.

At the fag end of life, we are disappointed, we are frustrated. Brdhya kala aula saba sukha pāgala.(?) When we cannot again, no more, we can enjoy with our senses, then we become very much depressed. Old men. You’ll find old men, those who are not spiritually inclined, they’re very morose. Morose because they cannot use anymore the senses. They sometimes take medicine. But how it can be done? So drdhya kala aula.(?) So we are under this illusion. This is called māyā. We should understand that we are not this body. We are not this body. Our bodily enjoyment, sense gratification, that is illusion. In another place in the Bhagavad-gītā you’ll find, it is said: sukham ātyantikaṁ yat tat atīndriyaṁ grāhyam. Find out that verse. Sukham ātyantikaṁ yat tad atīndriyaṁ grāhyam. We are trying to enjoy life with these material senses, but that is illusion, that is temporary. Temporary and illusion. Real enjoyment is with our spiritual senses. What is it…? Have you got?


sukham ātyantikaṁ yat tad
buddhi-grāhyam atīndriyam
vetti yatra na caivāyaṁ
sthitaś calati tattvataḥ
[Bg. 6.21]

Prabhupāda: What is the translation?

Pradyumna: There’s a few verses together… “The stage of perfection is called trance or samādhi when one mind, when one’s mind is completely restrained from material mental activities by practice of yoga. This is characterized by one’s ability to see the self by the pure mind and to relish and rejoice in the self. In that joyous state, one is situated in boundless transcendental happiness and enjoys himself through transcendental senses. Established thus, one never departs from the truth, and upon gaining this, he thinks there is no greater gain.”

Prabhupāda: So every information is there. If we want actually happiness, then we have to purify the material consciousness. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. [break] …have come to the point of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That Kṛṣṇa consciousness can be achieved by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa consciousness… Athāpi te deva padāmbhuja-dvaya-prasāda-leśānugṛhīta eva hi [SB 10.14.29]. Kṛṣṇa cannot be understood by any other method than the Kṛṣṇa method. Kṛṣṇa is absolute. Therefore if one wants to understand Kṛṣṇa, he must take the Kṛṣṇa method. Kṛṣṇa method. Because Kṛṣṇa is absolute, there is no difference between Kṛṣṇa and the method of attaining Kṛṣṇa. They are the same. Method… The bhakti method means Kṛṣṇa method. Bhakta-bhagavān. And the method to approach Bhagavān is called bhakti.

The whole thing is based on one root, bhaj. Bhaj-dhātu. Bhaj-dhātu. That means offering loving service to the Lord. And Kṛṣṇa says: bhaktyā mām abhijānāti [Bg. 18.55]. Bhajate mām ananya-bhāk. These words are there: sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ [Bg. 9.30], api cet su-durācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk. Bhajate, this very… Bhajate. Catur-vidhā bhajante mām. This word, bhaja is very important thing. From bhaja, the word bhakti comes. Bhaja dhātu ukti. [?] So bhakti means bhajana. Bhajate mām ananya-bhāk. Mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ, bhajanty ananya-manasaḥ [Bg. 9.13]. Again: bhajanti.

Mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ [Bg. 9.13]. This bhajana is for mahātmānaḥ, not for the durātmās. Or kṣudrātmā. Mahātmā. One whose ātmā has been expanded, ma hātmā. Not crippled. Those who are thinking in terms of society, nationality, country, religion, or so many things, they are not mahātmās. They are kṣudrātmās, small, crippled minded. Those, those who are thinking in broader way. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He says: pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi grāma. He’s not thinking in terms of… Pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi grāma. As many towns and villages are there all over the world. He’s not thinking in terms of “My village, my country, my society.” Everyone is thinking like that. But those who are mahātmā actually, they are thinking in a broader way. Pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi grāma.

Kṛṣṇa is thinking in terms of all living entities. Sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya sambhavanti mūrtayaḥ yāḥ [Bg. 14.4]. All living entities, in all species of life, in all forms of life. Ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā. “I am their father.” So this is called mahātmā. Kṛṣṇa is thinking in terms of all living entities. People are saying that Kṛṣṇa, Indian, Hindu God. Why Hindu God? The dictionary, it is said, in English dictionary that Kṛṣṇa is one Hindu God. He’s not. In the dictionary. Why Hindu God? He says that “I am the father of all living entities.” Why He should be the father of the Hindus, Indians? He’s father of everyone. He says. But they write in the dictionary: “Kṛṣṇa is Hindu God.” Misinterpretation. Kṛṣṇa does not say. He…

And Kṛṣṇa Himself, as Caitanya Mahāprabhu says: pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi grāma. “As many villages and towns are there, sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma, that My name will be celebrated in every village, every town.” So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is not a crippled movement. It is very broad movement, claiming all living entities to come to Kṛṣṇa, back to home, back to Godhead. Therefore we should not be bodily conscious. Kṛṣṇa, here says: the body is not I am this body. Idaṁ śarīraṁ kṣetram. It is a field of activities. Kṣetram. Field of activities. Just like one who is bodily conscious, he undergoes many severe exercises. So body becomes very stout and strong and he’s happy. He’s happy. Because he thinks: “I am this body.”

Similarly you can make your body spiritually stronger. As you make your body materially strong, similarly you can make your body… Because this is kṣetra. Kṣetra means the field, or the land. You, in the land by tilling the land, by cultivating the land, you can produce nice grain also, and inferior grain also. As you work. Because the land is in your possession. You can cultivate as you like. Similarly this body is land, and I am the tiller. I am the kṛṣaka, or agriculturist. So by using the land, I can become spiritually advanced, or I can become materially advanced. It is up to me. Spiritually advanced means gradually you forget that I am this material body. I am Kṛṣṇa’s. I am Brahman. That is spiritually advanced. And material advance means “I am this body.” “I am American.” “I am Indian.” “I am brāhmaṇa.” “I am kṣatriya.” “I am man, woman.” This is materially advanced. Both ways. This human form of life… Because it is not animal life. Always remember that I’m not animal. I’m now human being. So I can utilize… these things will be explained in this chapter, how I can utilize this body.

Both ways, I can utilize. If I simply limit myself with the bodily necessities of life… Just like the animals. Eating, sleeping, sex intercourse, and defending. These are common to the human body and the cats and dogs body. But because I am human being, I can utilize my body in a different way. The cats and dogs cannot do. That is the difference between a human being and an animal. If you don’t utilize my body as human beings then I am no better than cats and dogs. Actually I am cats and dogs. If we simply limit myself, how to eat very nicely, how to sleep very nicely, how to have sex intercourse very nicely and how to defend myself very nicely, then you are no better than animal. But this is the business of the animals.

The ani, animal cannot be invited to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. That is not possible. Even if he’s invited, he cannot sit down, he cannot hear. Therefore those who are very much advanced in animal propensities, they cannot take part in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Who are, those who are to say frankly, no better than animals, they cannot take any interest in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. That is not possible.

Therefore Kṛṣṇa says who can take? He says… We take from Kṛṣṇa all the words. You don’t believe me. Kṛṣṇa says that:

yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ
janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām
te dvandva-moha-nirmuktā
bhajante māṁ dṛḍha-vratāḥ
[Bg. 7.28]

So animal life means sinful life. Animal life. Even this human form of life is also sinful unless we come to the Kṛṣṇa consciousness platform. We come to the… Animal life means sinful life. If I act as sinful, like hogs and dogs… Just like if I don’t discriminate of eating. Just like the hogs, they have no discrimination. They accept even stool. “Come on. I shall eat.” You get the body of hogs or dogs.

And if you utilize this body according to the śāstra to purify it… Because human body is meant for purification. Yasmāt śuddhyet sattvam. That is the given, instruction given by Ṛṣabhadeva. Tapo divyaṁ putrakā yasmāt śuddhyet sattvaṁ yena śuddhyet sattvaṁ yasmād brahma-saukhyam anantam. Nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛloke kaṣṭān kāmān arhati viḍ-bhujāṁ ye [SB 5.5.1]. He advised instructed his sons: “My dear sons, don’t use this body like the hogs and dogs. Whole day and night searching after stool. Eating, for eating. don’t use this.” And, after eating, as soon as there is the sex is strong, then sex life. That is hogs life. We have seen. These are the examples. Nature’s. They are very stout and strong, fatty, eating stool. And as soon as fatty, immediately sex life, without any discrimination, mother, sister, or anyone. That is hogs. You see from nature’s example. Dogs and hogs. The dog has no, I mean to say, courtesy or shame. At, in the street, they’re having sex life.

So human civilization is coming to that. Already it has come. In Western countries, at least, in our country, it has not come still. And Western, it is common affair. Young man, young woman is embracing, kissing, and everything. And sometimes sexually also engaged on the sea beach. In the garden. We have seen it. So practically you are coming to the hogs and dogs life. This is our advancement of civilization. Why? On account of this bodily concept of life. “I am this body. I am this body.” Therefore this should be first of all understood. As Kṛṣṇa says: idaṁ śarīraṁ kaunteya kṣetram ity… [Bg. 13.2]. It has been awarded to you for utilizing it for different purposes as you like. You can utilize it like cats and dogs and hogs and you can utilize it as devatā, as demigod. That is up to you. We have got little independence. We can utilize or misuse this independence. But the śāstra says that this body is not to be utilized as cats and dogs and hogs. Śāstra says.

Therefore Kṛṣṇa says: yaḥ śāstra-vidhim utsṛjya vartate kāma-kārataḥ [Bg. 16.23]. Anyone who does not care for the instruction given in the śāstras… Śāstra. Just like anyone who doesn’t care for the law of the state, what kind of man he is? He’s a loafer, a outlaw. He’s not a respectable citizen. Similarly anyone who does not follow the shastric in… Śāstras are meant for human being, not for the cats and dogs and hogs. As law is meant for the human being, not for the cats and dogs. Therefore we have to follow the shastric injunction.

As Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, or Vyāsadeva says in the Purāṇas, in the Vedānta-sūtra, they are meant for… As Caitanya Mahāprabhu says: anādi bahirmukha jīva kṛṣṇa bhuli’ gelā, ataeva kṛṣṇa veda-purāṇa karila [Cc. Madhya 20.117]. What for these Vedas and Purāṇas are meant? Because we have forgotten Kṛṣṇa. We have forgotten Kṛṣṇa. Therefore to revive our Kṛṣṇa consciousness, so many Vedic literatures are there. So many.

So this life is meant for utilizing this body… Tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyet sattvam [SB 5.5.1]. Sattva. Sattva, our sattva, or existence, is not now pure. It is, because it is not pure, therefore we have to migrate, transmigrate from one body to another according to our desire, according to our karma. Nature is giving you… Bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni yantrārūḍhāni māyayā [Bg. 18.61]. We have been given a vehicle. Now we have got this nice vehicle, this human body, vehicle, moving. But if we don’t utilize it as human being, then it, we shall get another vehicle like dogs and hogs. Sometimes no movement, stand up for seven thousand years as a tree. Not as a tree, as tree. Yes. So this is going on. So the first essential knowledge, to know that “I am not this body.” We are working so hard…

Body means the senses. The senses. Indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ, manasas tu parā buddhiḥ [Bg. 3.42]. So we have to transcend this bodily concept of life. Bodily concept of life means sense gratification. That’s all. The, the bodily… I am, because I’m thinking I am this body, therefore I must satisfy my eyes by seeing something beautiful. I must satisfy my tongue by eating so many things which are even forbidden in the śāstras. But my tongue wants it. I must take it. So bodily concept of life means satisfying these gross material senses. That is bodily concept of life. But gradually, by Kṛṣṇa consciousness, by training ourself, how to become Kṛṣṇa conscious, then our business will be how to satisfy Kṛṣṇa.

Now we are satisfying our senses. That is bodily concept of material existence. And when we train ourself how to satisfy Kṛṣṇa, oh, then, that is our perfection of life. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The process is there. Either you satisfy your senses or you satisfy the proprietor of the senses. Kṛṣṇa is called Hṛṣīkeśa. Hṛṣīka. Hṛṣīka means “the senses.” And Kṛṣṇa is called Hṛṣīkeśa. Senayor ubhayor madhye rathaṁ sthāpaya me ‘cyuta [Bg. 1.21]. Hṛṣīkeśa. Tvayā hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣṭitena.(?) So Hṛṣīkeśa. So bhakti means hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Now hṛṣīka means indriya. At the present moment, we are satisfying the senses. For the sense only. We have no other higher objective. Sense wants to eat something palatable. Although it is not good for me, either from health point of view, or spiritual point of view…

Just like eating meat or drinking intoxication. This is not good, either for health or for my spiritual advancement. But because my tongue wants it, I have become my servant of my tongue. I want should be satisfied. This is the material condition. Because I, I don’t want to serve Kṛṣṇa, I want to serve my tongue. Tā’ra madhye jihwā ati, lobhamoy sudurmati tā’ke jetā kaṭhina saṁsāre. We have got different senses. Out of all the senses, this tongue is very strong. Tongue is very strong. Therefore śāstra says: ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.136]. By these blunt senses, we cannot understand Kṛṣṇa. We cannot understand what is Kṛṣṇa. What is Kṛṣṇa’s name, what is Kṛṣṇa’s fame, what is Kṛṣṇa’s form, what is Kṛṣṇa’s quality… We cannot understand. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says:

manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ
[Bg. 7.3]

To understand Kṛṣṇa is not so easy.

So śāstra says that it can be made easy. It can be made easy. How? Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ [Brs. 1.2.234]. If you simply engage your tongue in the service of the Lord. This one method. Simply engage your tongue in the service of the Lord. God will be revealed. (aside:) Come on. God will reveal Himself. You cannot see God. You cannot see Kṛṣṇa. But when He reveals Himself… Just like at night you cannot see the sun. But when the sun reveals himself, it is not by your effort. In due course of time, sun will arise in the morning. You can see the sun, you can see yourself, you can see the whole world. So try to reveal Kṛṣṇa. Don’t try to see Kṛṣṇa. Because with your eyes. with your senses, these material blunt senses we cannot see. It is not… Ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi… (end)