Nitāi: “Arjuna said: O my dear Kṛṣṇa, I wish to know about prakṛti, nature, puruṣa, 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 is called the knower of the field.”
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
So Arjuna and Kṛṣṇa, they are two friends, but friendly talking does not come to any conclusion. Therefore, Arjuna knew that “Kṛṣṇa, although He is my friend, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” He knew it. Therefore, he selected Him as his spiritual master: “So we are not going to talk anymore as friends. Now I know that You can dissipate all my ignorance because You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So I accept You as my spiritual master.” Śiṣyas te ‘haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam [Bg. 2.7]. “I am now your śiṣya, disciple.”
Disciple means who voluntarily accepts the spiritual master to be…, regulate. Disciple means one who is regulated by higher authority. He is disciple. The higher authority is called the spiritual master, and the person who voluntarily submits to him for being regulated, he is called disciple. Everyone is very much puffed up. This is material condition. Even the most insignificant person, he thinks of himself as very important. Nobody wants to submit to anyone. This propensity is very prominent in this age, Kali-yuga.
Therefore it is called Kali-yuga, means disagreement. “Why shall I accept your proposition? I am also independent, I can think independently.” This is the general propensity. But to understand the transcendental subject matter, one has to become submissive. That is the first qualification because the disease is that nobody is submissive. Nobody wants to be lower than anybody else. Although he is insignificant, he has no value, but still—this is called māyā—he thinks himself to be very elevated, learned.
So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is teaching people to become submissive to the authority. That is the beginning of knowledge. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā [Bg. 4.34]. If you want to learn the transcendental subject matter which is beyond the scope of your thinking, feeling and willing… Mental speculation means thinking, feeling and willing, psychology. But subject matter which is beyond your thinking. So God or anything about God is beyond the limit of our thinking, speculation. Therefore, we have to learn it submissively. Tad viddhi praṇipātena, praṇipāta means submission. Prakṛṣṭa-rūpeṇa nipāta. Nipāta means submission. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena. First of all find out somebody where you can fully surrender. Then you enquire about transcendental subject matter.
Just like Arjuna is following strictly. He has first of all submitted to Kṛṣṇa. Śiṣyas te ‘haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam: [Bg. 2.7] “My dear Kṛṣṇa, we are talking friendly, so on equal level. So You will speak something, and I shall speak something. In this way we shall simply waste our time, and there will be no conclusion. Therefore, I submit as disciple. Whatever You will say, I will accept.”
This is the first condition. First of all find out such person whom, upon whom you have full faith that whatever he will say, you will accept. That is guru. If you think that you know better than your guru, then there is no use. First of all you find out the person that one who is better than you. Then you submit. Therefore the rules and regulation are that nobody should accept blindly any guru, and nobody should blindly accept any disciple. They must behave, one another, at least for one year so that the prospective disciple can also understand, “whether I can accept this person as my guru,” and the prospective guru also can understand, “whether this person can become my disciple.” This is the instruction by Sanātana Gosvāmī in his Hari-bhakti-vilāsa.
So here Arjuna has accepted Kṛṣṇa as his guru. And he submissively says that prakṛtiṁ puruṣaṁ caiva. Prakṛti, prakṛti means nature, and puruṣa means the exploiter of the nature. Just like here in this material world, especially in the Western countries they are very much fond of developing undeveloped countries. That means exploiting, or to become puruṣa, enjoyer. You Americans, you came from Europe, and now you have developed the whole America, very nice cities, towns, and very well developed. That is called the exploiting the resources.
So prakṛti, nature, and we are, living entities, especially the human being, they are puruṣa. But actually we are not enjoyer. We are false enjoyer. We are not enjoyer in this sense: Suppose you are Americans. You have developed this tract of land known as America very nicely. But you cannot enjoy. You are thinking that you are enjoying, but you cannot enjoy. After some time you will be kicked out, “Get out.” Then how you are enjoyer? You may think that “At least for fifty years or hundred years I am enjoying.” So you can say that you can enjoy, so-called enjoy. But you can not be permanent enjoyer. That is not possible.
Therefore this land was, American land, was there before your coming from Europe, your forefathers. And your forefathers have left. Mr. Washington, George Washington, he left. Many others who developed this land of America, they have left. Here or there. In France there was Napoleon Bonaparte, in Germany there was Kaiser, and in our country there was Gandhi or somebody else. So they come here. They falsely declare as enjoyer. But actually they are not enjoyer. They’re kicked out. They come to enjoy the nature, but the nature kicks them out. This is the fact.
So then who is the enjoyer? The real enjoyer is Kṛṣṇa because He is controlling the prakṛti and controlling you. We can very easily understand, two things are there, matter and living entities, but none of them are independent. There is a controller. That controller, supreme con…, is God, Kṛṣṇa. Therefore He is enjoyer. And it is declared in the Bhagavad-gītā,
jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati
Here we have taken the post, position of puruṣa, falsely. We are trying to exploit the material nature for a few days, and in due course of time we will be asked by prakṛti, the natural laws, “Now, sir, you have enjoyed me so much. Now you get out.”
Then how we are puruṣa? Puruṣa means enjoyer. If the puruṣa becomes under the ruling of prakṛti, then how he is puruṣa? He is not puruṣa. Therefore in Bhagavad-gītā the living entity has been described as prakṛti, not puruṣa. Apareyam itas tu viddhi me prakṛtiṁ parām. Kṛṣṇa says that this material nature, matter, dull matter… Earth, water, air, fire, sky, these are called gross material elements. So they are also prakṛti. Bhinnā prakṛtiḥ me aṣṭadhā. Kṛṣṇa says that “These material elements—earth, water, fire, air, sky, mind, intelligence and ego, eight—they are all material. Mind is also material. There is spiritual also. But whatever is within our experience, that is material. So that is claimed as Kṛṣṇa’s prakṛti or energy. Bhinnā me…
But they are separated energy. And Kṛṣṇa says, next verse, apareyam. Aparā means inferior. This is inferior nature. Itas tu viddhi me prakṛtiṁ parām: “Beyond this there is another prakṛti, nature. That is parā, superior.” What is that parā-prakṛti? Now, jīva-bhūtāṁ mahā-bāho yayedaṁ dhāryate jagat [Bg. 7.5]. So that jīva-bhūta, living entity, is also prakṛti, but superior prakṛti. In which way it is superior? Because the living entities are trying to exploit the dull material entity. So both of them are prakṛtis, but one is superior and one is inferior.
Just like one may have more than one wife, one or two. The husband is one, and the wife may be two or more than two. So actually that is the position. The Supreme Lord is the husband or the puruṣa. Husband means puruṣa, and prakṛti means strī. Strī means woman. Male, female, these two things… The supreme male is Kṛṣṇa, and everyone, either this dull matter or the living entities, they are called female, prakṛti. Prakṛti means female. And puruṣa means male.
So nobody is actually male except Kṛṣṇa. We are also female. We are dressed like male, and somebody has dressed like female. But all of us, we are female, prakṛti, enjoyable. The enjoyer is Kṛṣṇa. That we do not know. Here the so-called woman is also puruṣa because she is also trying to enjoy. Anyone who is trying to enjoy, he is called to be puruṣa. And the subject matter or object which is enjoyed, that is called prakṛti. So in the material world we are trying to exploit one another either in the dress of male or in the dress of female, because this body is dress. So originally we are all female, but falsely we are trying to enjoy one another or this material world. Therefore they are sometimes called puruṣa.
So this question is raised by Arjuna from his master because the master is accepted to acquire knowledge. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. To accept one guru is not a fashion. Nowadays it has become a fashion, that accept some guru, Guru Mahārāja. Whether he knows or does not know, it doesn’t matter, and whether one is inquisitive or not. It is a fashion. No. Guru is required for a person who is very inquisitive to know about the transcendental subject matter. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21]. It is not a fashion; it is necessary because human life is meant for understanding the real position of his identity. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. This is necessary.
The modern civilization is suffering from this defect, that they are not inquisitive about the Brahman. They are simply… Just like cats and dogs, they are interested with this body and the bodily necessities of life. They do not know beyond that. That is the defect. The other day in Caracas some psychiatrists came. Their question was that “The problems of the world are increasing, so what is your prescription to solve these problems?” So the problem is very easy to be solved. I gave the example that this body is there. And there is something which is moving the body, living force. So that living force is the driver of the body, and the body is also described in the Bhagavad-gītā as a machine. It is… Actually it is a machine.
hṛd-deśe ‘rjuna tiṣṭhati
Yantra means machine. So we are seated on this machine. This is the knowledge. The person who is seated in this car, on the machine, nobody knows. There are so many advancement of knowledge department, but where is the department to understand that the living force which is driving this machine, what is that living force? How it is working? There is no enquiry and no education. Therefore this education has no value. They do not know what is education. Education means to enquire about the living force which is moving this body. That is education. This is not education, that we have manufactured nice car or nice machine. That is called craftsmanship, that is not education.
Just like one electrician. He knows how to join the two wire and bring current. In India it is called mistri. Mistri means worker. Because he knows that technical art how to bring electric current, that does not mean he is educated. Education is different thing. The worker, they are just working so many wonderfully, but that does not mean they are educated. That is… In Sanskrit it is called… What is called? The English is “craftsmanship.” He knows the art, how to do it. So at the present moment the technical education is there.
Formerly this technical education was entrusted to the demons. Formerly they were also manufacturing big, big aeroplanes, but they were being done by the demons, not by the great saintly persons, sages, no. They were being done by the demons. And the yogis, they could produce such wonderful things by their yogic mystic power. That was another thing. But generally, when there is question of manufacturing, that was being done by the demons.
So actually, at the present moment, although we are manufacturing so many nice things for the comforts of the body, but that does not mean it is education. Education means brahma-vidyā, to understand what is that living force within this body that is working, what is his position, constitutional position, how it is working, wherefrom it has come, so many things. That is called brahma-jijñāsā, to enquire about the spirit. That is education. So that education is lacking. Therefore there are so many problems at the present moment.
The problems are created. Just like if I do not give food to the driver, and he is entrusted with a nice car, and he is not happy on account of not being properly taken care of, then he must create disaster. There will be car accident. So that is happening. Nobody is taking care of the driver of this body. No education is there. They are simply trying to rectify the defects in the body.
That is enquired here, kṣetraṁ kṣetra-jñaṁ ca. This body is kṣetra, field of activities. But the field worker is different. Therefore this is the enquiry. Kṣetraṁ kṣetra-jñam. We are taking care of this kṣetra, this body, but we do not take care of the occupier of the body or the owner of the body. There are two kṣetra-jña, you will find in this verse, two living entities. One is called the soul, and the other is called the Supersoul. In this body there are two souls. One is the occupier soul, and the other is the proprietor soul.
Proprietor soul… Just like in a house there are two kinds of persons: the occupier and the landlord. The landlord is actually the proprietor of the house, and the tenant is occupier. Similarly, there are two souls within this body. That is stated in the Vedic literature. Just like two birds on one tree. So the living entity, the individual soul, is there. He is also one bird. And the Supersoul, or God, is also there.
So God, the Supersoul is simply observing the activities of the individual soul. And He has given freedom to the individual soul. Because the individual soul has come in this material world to enjoy independent of the Supersoul. That is the material disease. He has to remain under the protection. He is already under the protection of the Supersoul, but he is thinking that he is independent. That is called māyā. He is not independent.
As soon as there is cause of death, he is no more independent. He cannot say that “I have got so many business to do, perform. Give me some time.” “No, immediately get out.” So he is under control, fully controlled. Still, he is thinking that he is independent and he can do whatever he like. In this way his life is being spoiled. And he is becoming entangled by the activities. And there is strong stringent laws of nature, exactly… Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgaḥ asya sad-asad-janma-yoniṣu. These things are all explained in the Bhagavad-gītā.
Why one is put into one type of body, and why one is put in another type of body? One body is enjoying very nicely. Not enjoying, he is also suffering. He is enjoying for a limited time. He is also suffering. But he… Comparatively, one is situated in a very nice comfortable position, and the other is not. Therefore other is envious, that “Why this man is in a comfortable situation, and I am put into…? So let us become communist or revolt against this person or this group of person.” In this way the struggle for existence is going on, and there is no solution.
How there can be solution because they are all uneducated, not educated? So if you want to be educated, make the solution of all the problems of the world, then you must take to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. This is the only solution. It will educate people the real identity, real position.
And as Arjuna is trying to understand what is prakṛti, what is puruṣa, what is kṣetra, what is kṣetra-jña, what is knowledge, what is knowable, these question are posed. Gradually we shall discuss.
That is wanted. In ignorance if we fight, there is no solution. In darkness if we fight, we may wound, I may wound you, you may wound me, but there will be no solution. So the whole world is in darkness. Therefore there is struggle. One is capitalist, one is communist, one is this, one is that, and there is struggle because everyone is in ignorance, māyā andhakāra, in darkness of ignorance. And Kṛṣṇa is light. Ignorance fighting will not make any solution of the problem. We must come to the light and take knowledge from the most enlightened, Kṛṣṇa, Bhagavān.
Bhagavān means He is endowed with six kind of opulence. He is the supreme rich. He is the supreme famous. He is supreme beauty and supreme wise. We have to take knowledge from the supreme wise. That knowledge is perfect. Therefore here it is said, bhagavān uvāca. He did not say kṛṣṇa uv… Vyāsadeva does not say Kṛṣṇa because Kṛṣṇa may be taken by the demons as something like us. So therefore he purposefully says, bhagavān uvāca. Bhagavān uvāca means the Supreme Personality of God. There cannot be any doubt about His knowledge. So bhagavān uvāca, whatever Bhagavān says, that is fact; that is not knowledge like that “It may be,” “Perhaps.” These are all rascaldom. “It may be, perhaps”—that is not knowledge. That is speculation. Speculation is different.
And knowledge is different. You cannot speculate about the absolute knowledge because our senses are imperfect. How we can speculate or come to the right conclusion? That is not possible. We must receive direct knowledge. This is this. Therefore it is said, bhagavān uvāca. So whatever Bhagavān will speak, that is absolute knowledge. And if we take it, then we shall be perfect. I may be imperfect, you may be imperfect, but when we take knowledge from the perfect, that knowledge is absolute.
Just like a child does not know something, what it is, but if he asks his father, “Father, what it is?” and the father will not cheat, he will give him the right knowledge, “This is this,” so he may be a small child, imperfect, but because he receives the knowledge from his father, who knows, that knowledge is perfect.
Similarly, we receive knowledge from Bhagavān, and we distribute that. We don’t make any addition or alteration. Therefore we present Bhagavad-gītā as it is. We don’t make any addition or alteration. Therefore it is perfect. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, whatever knowledge they are spreading, that is perfect. Don’t think the man who is spreading, he is imperfect. He may be imperfect. He is imperfect. I am imperfect. Every one of us is imperfect. But we are not spreading the imperfect knowledge because we are simply spreading what Kṛṣṇa has said. We are repeating. That’s all.
So this is our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, to distribute perfect knowledge, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and that will make the whole world happy. So try to distribute this knowledge to your best capacity. Kṛṣṇa will recognize you, that you are trying your best to work on His behalf because He comes down to distribute the knowledge. Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata, tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham [Bg. 4.7].
Because we are all His sons—we are suffering—so He wants to see that our sufferings are mitigated immediately. But we are obstinate. We don’t accept the supreme father’s advice. That is our difficulty. He says repeatedly,
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
But we will not accept it. This is our misfortune. So voluntarily we should try to accept the knowledge and instruction given by Kṛṣṇa. Then our life will be perfect. Thank you very much. (end)