Prabhupāda: (tape begins with maṅgalācaraṇa prayers)

taṁ tathā kṛpayāviṣṭam
viṣīdantam idaṁ vākyam
uvāca madhusūdanaḥ
[Bg. 2.1]

So in the morning we shall discuss on the Bhagavad-gītā, and the… My students, they have requested to speak in English because they cannot understand Hindi. So I think gentlemen gathered here, they’ll also understand English. So kindly allow me to speak English. Now, in the first chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā, the…, it is the set-up, Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna. According to the order of Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna, Kṛṣṇa placed the chariot in between the two soldiers, two phalanxes of soldiers. Senayor ubhayor madhye rathaṁ sthāpaya me acyuta [Bg. 1.21]. Arjuna was respectful to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa has accepted to be charioteer, inferior position than Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is on the chariot, sitting on the throne, and, uh, Arjuna is sitting on the throne, and Kṛṣṇa has taken the inferior position, driving the chariot. So this is very nice position for devotional service. Those who are not devotees, they aspire to become Kṛṣṇa. Their aspiration is to merge into the existence of the Supreme, or to become one with Kṛṣṇa. But in devotional service it is not the desire of the devotee to become one with Kṛṣṇa, but sometimes to make Kṛṣṇa as the order-carrier of the devotee. To become one with Kṛṣṇa, it may be a very great position. But to become the, I mean to say, command, commander of Kṛṣṇa, that is another thing. That position is greater than to become one with Kṛṣṇa.

So there are five kinds of liberation. Sāyujya, the first liberation is supposed to be sāyujya, means, to become one with the Supreme. The Māyāvāda philosophers, monists, they aspire after sāyujya-mukti. But the devotees, Vaiṣṇavas, they do not aspire after sāyujya-mukti. Their, for them, there are other, four kinds of mukti: sārūpya, sālokya, sārṣṭi, sāmīpya. And those who are still further advanced, they do not want any kind of mukti, neither of these five kinds of muktis. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He prays, na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ kavitāṁ vā jagadīśa kāmaye [Cc. Antya 20.29, Śikṣāṣṭaka 4]. This is pure devotional prayer. The devotees does not approach the Supreme for any material gain. Pure devotion means without any aspiration of any kind of material gain. Or even spiritual gain.

ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-
śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā
[Brs. 1.1.11]

Uttamā-bhakti, first-class bhakti, what is that? Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam: without any kind of desire than to serve the Lord. And in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also, it is said, sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmaḥ. Paraḥ means transcendental, beyond this material conception. Kṛṣṇa, or the Absolute, Nārāyaṇa, that is para. Nārāyaṇaḥ paraḥ avyaktāt. Nārāyaṇa is not anything of this material world. Nārāyaṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Viṣṇu. The Absolute Personality of Godhead, He is not anything of this material world. When we use this word, nirākāra, that means His form is not anything of this material world. But He has got His form. That is a transcendental form. Sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1]. Nirākāra means He, He has no such form, as we have got this material form. This material form is neither of the three transcendental bliss, sac-cid-ānanda. This is asat, acit, and nirānanda. This body, this material body is asat, acit, and nirānanda. Therefore, when in the Vedic literature or in authorized statement we find “nirākāra,” that means His form does not belong to this asat, acit, or nirānanda. But He has His form. Divyam. Janma karma me divyam [Bg. 4.9]. Divyam, transcendental. And Śrīpāda Śaṅkarācārya also, who especially preached impersonalism, he also admits that nārāyaṇaḥ paraḥ avyaktāt: “Nārāyaṇa, the form of Nārāyaṇa, is beyond the range of this avyakta.” Avyakta and…

This world is creation… Avyaktād anya-sambhavaḥ. This world is creation of this avyakta. And beyond this avyakta, there is another nature. That is spiritual nature. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā: paras tasmāt tu bhāvaḥ anyaḥ avyaktaḥ avyaktāt sanātanaḥ [Bg. 8.20]. So this situation… Kṛṣṇa is advising… No. I mean to say, Arjuna advising, rathaṁ sthāpaya me acyuta. Acyuta. Kṛṣṇa is not cyuta. Kṛṣṇa is acyuta. Cyuta means those who are fallen in the material world. They are cyuta. We are fallen in the material world. Therefore we have accepted this material body. Icchā-dveṣa-samutthena sarge yānti parantapa [Bg. 7.27]. Icchā. Icchā means desire. And dveṣa means envy, enviousness. Icchā-dveṣa-samutthena. When we become envious of Kṛṣṇa and we want to enjoy this material world, then we come to this material creation. Icchā-dveṣa-samutthena sarge yānti parantapa.

So any one of us, we, who is in this material world, having a material body, beginning from Brahmā down to the ant, a small ant, anyone of them… In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is said that yas tv indra-gopam athavendra-maho sva-karma-bandhānurūpa-phala-bhājanam atanoti [Bs. 5.54]. Indra-gopa. There is a, there is a insect which is called in Sanskrit language as indra-gopa. It is a microbe. You cannot see with these naked eyes. So this microbe is called indra, and there is another Indra, the King of Heaven. So the Brahma-saṁhitā says, yas tu indra-gopa. And Mahendra, the King of Heaven… Beginning from this indra-gopa, up to the King of Heaven, everyone is subjected to enjoy or suffer the resultant action of his karma. By karma, by the resultant action of karma, one has become the King of Heaven, and by karma, resultant action of karma, one has become the microbic insect. This is the material world. There are 8,400,000 types or forms of this material body, and we are wandering, sarva-gata, in different planets, in different forms. This is material world. And in the material world, whatever form we may have, we have got attachment for this body. Not only attachment, we are under the impression that “I am this body.” Everyone. That is material conception of life.

So that thing happened to Arjuna. In the battlefield, he identified himself as the body. He thought himself that he belongs to the Kuru family, and his family relatives, his, other side, his brother, nephews, or his grandfather… So he refused to fight. “My dear Kṛṣṇa…” After placing the chariot between the two parties, senayor ubhayor madhye rathaṁ sthāpaya me acyuta [Bg. 1.21]. And then he become very much disturbed that “I have to kill the other side, my brother and my nephews, my grandfather. No, no. Kṛṣṇa, I cannot. No. This is not possible. I shall not fight.” This is the stage of Bhagavad-gītā. Kṛṣṇa became very much dissatisfied. Of course, Arjuna played the part of a conditioned soul. A conditioned soul is under the impression that he’s the body. That is animal life. In the śāstra it is said, “Anyone who is identifying himself with this material body, he is animal.” Go-kharaḥ. Sa eva go-kharaḥ. Go means cows, and khara means ass.

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]

Yasya. Anyone who is identifying this, himself, with this body, which is made of tri-dhātu… According to Āyur Vedic medical system, this body is production of kapha, pitta, vāyu. Or in our modern medical science, anatomy, physiology, this body is a combination of bones, muscles, skin, blood, urine, stool. That’s all. So śāstra says, “If anyone thinks that he is this lump of bones, flesh, blood, urine and stool,” yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke [SB 10.84.13], and sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu, “and the production of these bones and flesh, kalatrādiṣu…” Because we have got relationship here in this material world with wife. Kalatra means wife. Kalatra, kalatrādiṣu: “Beginning from wife.” Wife produces so many children, and therefore ādi, the beginning is wife. So sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu. “The wife and my children, they are my kith and kin.” Sva-dhīḥ kalatra, sva-dhīḥ. “They are my own.” Everyone is working… Even a great economist, Mr. Marshall, he says that economic development begins from family affection. Family affection. So unless one thinks that he has to maintain his wife, children, family, there is no question of economic development. Impetus. So yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu and bhauma ijya-dhīḥ [SB 10.84.13]. Bhauma, this earth, as worshipable. Bhauma ijya-dhīḥ yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile: “And for pilgrimage, one who thinks that the water is tīrtha…” Tīrtha means where one can get transcendental knowledge. Sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ, yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij janeṣv abhijñeṣu. “…but has no interest to associate with persons who is expert in transcendental knowledge. Such, these persons, they are called go-khara.” Go-khara means cows and asses. So Arjuna played the part of a go-khara. In the battlefield of Kurukṣetra, he played the part of an ordinary person, go-khara, who is identifying this body as self. Therefore he required instruction. Not only… He became so much overwhelmed that he gave up his arrows and bows and sat down, tightly: “My dear Kṛṣṇa, I am not, I cannot fight.” And he was crying. Not only he gave up his duty, he was kṣatriya, and he was crying: “Oh, I’ll have to kill my kinsmen. No, no, no. I cannot do it.”

This is the set-up in the first chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā. This is the summary. Now sañjaya uvāca. The Sañjaya is speaking to Dhṛtarāṣṭra. Sañjaya is seeing the battlefield within his heart. That is another television. And by the grace of Vyāsadeva, he learned the art, that he advanced… He was so much advanced that the… Just like we see television, relay from the battlefield, and he, Dhṛtarāṣṭra was blind. And his secretary, Sañjaya, he was speaking. He was seeing the activities in the battlefield.

Dhṛtarāṣṭra inquired from him:
dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre
samavetā yuyutsavaḥ
māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva
kim akurvata sañjaya
[Bg. 1.1]

He was asking Sañjaya: “What did they do?” Kim akurvata sañjaya. That was the question. And first of all, Sañjaya described the arrangement in the battlefield, and then he’s speaking. Now, sometimes Bhagavad-gītā is misinterpreted that this battle, I mean to say, dharma-kṣetra kuru-kṣetra means “this body.” We do not misinterpret in that way. There is no question of misinterpretation. We are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is. We do not change by our whimsical imagination, concoction. We do not interpret the words of the Bhagavad-gītā according to our own desire. No. Actually, from literary point of view, interpretation is required when things are not understood very clearly. The interpretation required. In the law court, when the lawyers try to interpret before the judge, when the terms are not very clear… That is the same way, in, in, amongst the associates and society of learned scholars. Interpretation is not required when the things are very clear. Just like the sun, sunshine, sunlight. There is no need of a lamp to show the sun. The sun is self-effulgent. It is already there. Light is there. Why one should take a lamp to show the sun? This misinterpretation has killed the spirit, the real essence, of Bhagavad-gītā.

So there was so many editions and so many misinterpretation. Our, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, our proposition is that we are, I mean to say, presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is. We do not misinterpret. So dharma-kṣetra kuru-kṣetra. Kurukṣetra is dharma-kṣetra, the place where religious ritualistic performances are done. Kuru-kṣetre dharmam ācaret. That is the Vedic version. So Kurukṣetra is always… Still people go for pilgrimage in Kurukṣetra, and the station is there, Kurukṣetra, and the place is there. People go there. Kurukṣetra. Why one should interpret that kuru-kṣetra means this body and Pāṇḍavas means these pañca-indriyas, so many things? There is no question of interpretation. And this Mahābhārata… Mahābhārata means “The History of Greater India.” That is Mahābhārata. History, it is history. It is not a fiction. It is history. Mahābhārata. This planet was formerly known as Bhārata-varṣa. This planet. The whole planet. Not that the piece of land, as we are calling now, Bhārata-varṣa. No. Before that, this planet was known as Ilāvṛta-varṣa. And after the reign of Mahārāja Bharata, the son of Ṛṣabhadeva, this planet became Bhārata-varṣa. So Bhārata-varṣa means the whole planet. But we have lost… Just like we have lost portion of the present Bhārata-varṣa as Pakistan. Everyone knows, twenty years before there was no such thing as Pakistan. But circumstantially we have lost. So…, so the whole Bhārata-varṣa has been partitioned as this portion is called America, this portion is called Europe, this portion is called Asia. These are modern names. Actually, the whole planet was Bhārata-varṣa. And the whole planet was being controlled by Vedic culture. So as we have lost our Vedic culture, as we could not control the others, other people in other part of the world, by our culture, by our political maneuver, we have lost. Even up to the day of Battlefield of Kurukṣetra… Why Kurukṣetra? Up to the time of Mahārāja Parīkṣit, the whole world was being controlled by one king in New Delhi, Hastināpura. There was no other kingdom. And when the battlefield was…, the battle was there, all people from all parts of body, all parts of the world, they joined, either this party or that party. That was the battlefield.

So this is the picture of the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, and Kṛṣṇa is ordered by Arjuna to place the chariot in between the two soldiers. Now, after seeing the soldiers and the kings and other party, Arjuna is aggrieved, so much so that he did not like to fight, and he was crying. Now, Dhṛtarāṣṭra asked Sañjaya: “Then what happened next?” Dhṛtarāṣṭra was very much anxious. He said: dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre samavetā yuyutsavaḥ [Bg. 1.1]. “Now these two parties, yuyutsavaḥ, they, they, they were, both of them were desirous of fighting, yuyutsavaḥ. So one party is māmakāḥ, my sons, and the other party is Pāṇḍavas, the sons of my brother, Pāṇḍu.” Māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva [Bg. 1.1]. Now, the word is used: yuyutsavaḥ. “They assembled for fighting.” Then what is the use of asking: kim akurvata, “Then what did they do?” It is natural to conclude that when they assemble for fighting, there must be fighting. But why he was asking: kim akurvata? The suspect was that because the parties assembled in the dharma-kṣetra, so they might have changed their ideas. Still, in India, if there is two fighting parties, they go to a temple and ask that “You say the right thing.” So in the temple, still, in the villages, they do not dare to speak lies. Yes. The fighting and the misunderstanding becomes settled up. So Dhṛtarāṣṭra was thinking whether the two parties, they have settled up. He did not like that. He wanted that “These Pāṇḍavas should be killed, and my sons,” I mean to say “the Kauravas, they should come out victorious so that there will be no enemy.” He was very much anxious to place his sons on the throne. Because he was blind, he could not acquire the throne. His younger brother was situated on the throne. Now, after the death of his younger brother, he thought that “I missed the opportunity of sitting on the throne. Why not my sons? They have got actual right.” That is the background of this Kurukṣetra battle. He was always devising some means, how the sons of Pāṇḍu, his nephews, could be separated and his sons would sit on the throne. That was his idea. Therefore he inquired, kim akurvata. Otherwise, there was no question of inquiring kim akurvata. They went there to fight. They’ll fight. But he was suspecting, “If they have made any compromise?” That he did not like. That he did not like. He wanted that “There must be fighting. And they are five brothers. My sons are one hundred in number. So they would be killed, and my sons will be without any rivalry.”

This is the background of Kurukṣetra. But another thing is the dharma-kṣetra, effect of dharma-kṣetra was visible in Arjuna. Dharma-kṣetra. He, because he’s devotee of Kṛṣṇa… Yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ [SB 5.18.12]. Because he’s devotee of Kṛṣṇa, therefore he felt: “What is this? Why shall I kill these, my brothers?” Because he was devotee. This sentiment came into the mind of Arjuna, not on the other side, Duryodhana. He never thought. Although they were placed, both of them placed at dharma-kṣetra. The effect of dharma-kṣetra was manifest in the body of Arjuna, not Duryodhana. This is the… If one is pure, then the effects of dharma becomes manifest very quickly. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ… [Bg. 7.15]. Kṛṣṇa says in… that those who are too much sinful, sinful, simply their life is sinful, duṣkṛtinaḥ. Duṣkṛtinaḥ. Kṛti. Kṛti means one who has got good brain. But duṣkṛtinaḥ, but the brain is applied for mischievous activities. For mischievous activities, it also requires good brain. And similarly, for pious activities, that also requires brain. But those who are applying their brain for mischievous activities, they are called duṣkṛtinaḥ. So duṣkṛtinaḥ… Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ. Why they do so? Because they are mūḍhāḥ, rascals. If one has got good brain, he should apply it for good work, but sometimes they are utilized… Just like a thief, he has got good brain. A rogue, he has got good brain, but he’s applying for mischievous activities, for making people unhappy. That is not the right use. Jñāna-khala. They are called jñāna-khala. One who has got nice knowledge, it should be utilized for better purpose.

So the effect of Kurukṣetra, dharma-kṣetra, was visible in the person of Arjuna, not in the person of Duryodhana. That is the difference. Therefore he was crying: “So I am put in such a position that I have to fight and I have to kill my brothers, my nephews, my grandfather.” He was too much affected. Although it is weakness, but it is not actually weakness. It is compassion. Arjuna was not a coward, neither he was less heroic than the other side. But out of compassion, because he was devotee… Devotees, they are para-duḥkha-duḥkhī. The, the symptom of a devotee is they are unhappy by seeing others unhappy. That is the symptom of devotee. Generally, a person, if he sees somebody happy, he becomes happy. Mātsaratā. That is the world situation. If I see my brother is very happy, he has improved in his material condition, then I become unhappy: “He has advanced so much, and I could not do so.” This is material civilization. Envious, gṛhamedhī. Everyone is envious. Either you take person to person or neighbor to neighbor, their sympathy is lip sympathy. Actually, everyone is envious. Businessman to businessman, nation to nation. This is material world. Therefore spiritual advancement means for person who is not envious. Not envious. Paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satāṁ vastavya-vastu vedyam [SB 1.1.2]. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said that if you want to know the real truth, vastavya-vastu, the one must become paramo nirmatsaram. Nirmatsara. Matsara, matsara means envious, and nirmatsara, not envious. And parama, first-class nirmatsara. Therefore Vyāsadeva says that: dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo ‘tra paramo nirmatsarāṇām [SB 1.1.2]. In the introduction of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Vyāsadeva says who are the candidates to understand this science of God, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam? It is not for the persons who are entangled in cheating religious system. Cheating, dharmaḥ kaitavaḥ. Kaitava means cheating. So cheating type of religious system are kicked out from this book, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, but it is meant for persons who are not envious, paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satām. Vastavya-vastu. One who wants to learn reality, not false reality. This, here, in this material world, everything is false reality. Just like we are trying to find out water in the desert. That is the example, mirage, false… There is no water. But the animal, he sees that there is water, vast water, and he runs after it and dies. So here in this material world also, every one of us, running after the false mirage, that “There is happiness, there is happiness, there is happiness.” This is called material condition, and we are envious. This is the position, and therefore Kṛṣṇa begins the Bhagavad-gītā to get out of this ignorance and enviousness, and this is the basic principle of Bhagavad-gītā.

So we shall discuss tomorrow again. Thank you very much. (end)