Pradyumna: (leads chanting) Translation: “Abandoning all attachment to the results of his activities, ever satisfied and independent, he performs no fruitive action, although engaged in all kinds of undertakings.”
karmaṇy abhipravṛtto ‘pi
naiva kiñcit karoti saḥ
First of all I shall translate this into Hindu. Then I shall speak in English. [Hindi] So tyaktvā karma-phalāsaṅgam. This is very difficult task. Everyone is expected some result for his personal benefit. “How much I have gained by this business?” That is our disease. Everyone. Idam adya mayā labdham imaṁ prāpsye punar dhanam. All the people of the world, they are struggling hard for existence, simply calculating that “This much I have achieved today, and this much I’ll achieve tomorrow. In this way my bank balance will be increased more and more.” That is very much explained in the Sixteenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā, āsuri pravṛttiṁ ca nivṛttiṁ ca janā vidur āsura-janāḥ [Bg. 16.7]. Āsura-janāḥ. (aside:) Just find out the page, Sixteenth Chapter. Āsura-janāḥ. [Hindi] Oh, I will continue in English. Asuric means non-devotees. Atheist. Asuric. What is the page?
Pradyumna: Pravṛttiṁ ca nivṛttiṁ ca janā na vidur āsurāḥ, na śaucam…
Prabhupāda: What is the page number?
Prabhupāda: So in the Sixteenth Chapter it has been explained that what is the difference between atheist and theist, or persons with God consciousness and persons without God consciousness. So it is said,
dvau bhūta-sargau loke ‘smin
daiva āsura eva ca
daivo vistaraśaḥ prokta
āsuraṁ pārtha me śṛṇu
Kṛṣṇa is explaining that there are two classes of men, loke, in every place or every planet. Some planets are full of asuras. They are called asura-loka. And another place it is said that “Who are the asuras and who are the devas?” Viṣṇu-bhakto bhaved daiva āsuras tad-viparyayaḥ. Even a…
There are many demigods. The demigods worshiper are also demons. Only viṣṇu-bhakto bhaved daivaḥ. Viṣṇu-bhakta, those who are devotee of the Supreme Lord Personality of Godhead, daiva. Viṣṇu… Oṁ tad viṣṇoḥ paramaṁ padaṁ sadā paśyanti sūrayaḥ. This is Ṛg Veda mantra. Sūrayaḥ and asūrayaḥ. Those who are sūraya, deva, demigods, they are simply worshiping, tad viṣṇoḥ paramaṁ padam, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And āsuras tad-viparyayaḥ. And asura means just opposite number. Opposite number means those who are not interested in Viṣṇu worship. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum [SB 7.5.31]. They do not know that ultimate goal of life—to approach Viṣṇu, Lord Viṣṇu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
So asuras, they are engaged for fruitive result. They are working, but they are expecting that “I shall enjoy the result.” So that freedom is given to everyone, that “You can work at your responsibility and enjoy or suffer.” Just like state has given everyone individuality, everyone freedom, “You act as you like. But if you act criminally, then you will be punished.” That you cannot avoid. You have been given freedom, “You act whatever you like,” but if you violate the laws of the state, then you are to be punished, criminal.
Similarly, the same thing is there in God’s kingdom, that we have been given freedom, we have got little freedom because we are part and parcel of God. Mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ [Bg. 15.7]. Kṛṣṇa says, “All these living entities, they are My minute particles, minute part of My body.” Just like father is the part of the body, er, son is the part of body of father, similarly, we are also part and parcel of the transcendental body of Kṛṣṇa. That is our real identity, spiritual identity.
So therefore Kṛṣṇa has got freedom, full freedom. So we have got also freedom in minute quantity. That is our position. That freedom, if we use properly, then we are happy, and if we misuse improperly, then we are unhappy. But freedom is there. Kṛṣṇa says that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. He is requesting Arjuna that “You just surrender unto Me.” He is all-powerful. He can force anyone and everyone to be surrendered to Him, but that He does not do. That is not Kṛṣṇa’s business. He gives freedom. Because Kṛṣṇa has given you little freedom, so He does not want to interfere with your freedom. Then what is the meaning of giving freedom? That is Kṛṣṇa’s business. Yathecchasi tathā kuru [Bg. 18.63].
Kṛṣṇa says, Arjuna, “Now I have explained to you the whole Bhagavad-gītā. Now what is your decision? You can do whatever you like.” Because Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna’s decision was that “I shall not fight. I am not going to kill my brothers and nephews and teachers and grandfather. Kṛṣṇa, excuse me. I will not fight.” So therefore Kṛṣṇa instructed him the whole Bhagavad-gītā science. Now, after hearing Bhagavad-gītā, he asked, because he has got the freedom, “Now what is your decision?” Yathecchasi tathā kuru [Bg. 18.63]. “Whatever you like, you can do. You can reject My proposal or you can accept.” This is freedom. Then Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna said, “Yes,” kariṣye vacanaṁ tava [Bg. 18.73], “I shall accept Your proposal.”
This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa is giving instruction to everyone. This is the way of life, to come gradually to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. All these things are being explained by Kṛṣṇa, how to work, how to gradually come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Because Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the original consciousness. Now it is polluted. Just like originally when the rain falls, it is pure distilled water. And as soon as touches the ground, it become polluted. Immediately dirty.
Similarly, as spirit soul, we are pure. As Kṛṣṇa is pure… Kṛṣṇa has explained in the Tenth Chapter, paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān, puruṣaṁ śāśvataṁ divyam [Bg. 10.12]. So pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān. Kṛṣṇa is paraṁ pavitram, complete pure. And we are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa; we are also pure. That is our real identity. We are pure, but we have been contaminated by the touch of this material world. The same example: The rainfall, it is pure distilled water, but when it touches the surface of the earth, it becomes dirty. Therefore we see the rivers are full of dirty water. That is not the water is dirty, but because it is mixed up with the dirty dirts of the surface of the globe…
So we fall down when we deny to accept Kṛṣṇa as the supreme or we try to imitate Kṛṣṇa, “Why Kṛṣṇa shall be enjoyer? We shall also enjoy. Why Kṛṣṇa shall have rāsa dance? We shall also [have] rāsa dance. Why Kṛṣṇa will marry sixteen thousand wives? We shall at least sixteen wives.” When this competition spirit comes, then we fall down. Fall down means Kṛṣṇa gives the chance. “All right, you also go. You also dance in the hotel, ball dance, and he complicated[?].” Because he does not know what is rāsa dance, he imitates ball dance. So everything, what is going on in this material world, it is imitation of Kṛṣṇa’s activities. Janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. The Vedānta-sūtra says. Everything that is going on, it is simply generated from that original. So… But it is contaminated.
Because in the in touch with the material three qualities. Some of them are goodness, some of them are passion and some of them are ignorance. The example is given: Just like fire, big fire, and the sparks are coming out from the fire. That is natural. Similarly, the big fire is Kṛṣṇa, and we are small sparks. So the sparks sometimes fall down from the original fire, “phut! phut!” falls down. So falls down… When the fire sparks falls down on the dry grass, it creates fire. And if it is fallen down on the land, it keeps the fiery element for some time. But if it falls down on the water, immediately it is extinguished.
Similarly, when we fall down from Kṛṣṇa’s association, the fire, big fire and the sparks, if we be in touch with the modes of goodness, then we keep some Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Just like the brāhmaṇas. The quality of satyaṁ śamo damas titikṣā. And if we fall down on the ground, then we keep sometimes the fiery quality. That is passion. Three qualities, goodness and passion. And if we fall down in the ignorance, just like the spark falls down on the water, then it is extinguished, no Kṛṣṇa consciousness, finished. But it can be revived. That is explained in the Prema-vivarta,
kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha hañā bhoga vāñchā kare
nikaṭa-stha māyā tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare
As soon as we want to imitate, even in the material world, those who are trying to go up again, back to home, back to Godhead…. There are different processes, karma, jñāna, yoga. Kṛṣṇa is explaining the karma. How to go back again to the original consciousness, that is being described, karma, how to work.
So even those who are trying for that, because that original disease is there, therefore even one who has advanced spiritually, he also says, “I am God. I am God.” The same spirit, to make competition with Kṛṣṇa. The māyā is there. “Why you are going to worship Kṛṣṇa? You are God.” “Oh, yes, I am God.” This is the last snare of māyā. Therefore they are Māyāvādīs. Nobody can become Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya [Bg. 7.7]. Nobody can be equal to Kṛṣṇa; nobody can be greater than Kṛṣṇa. Then what is the meaning of God? If there are so many rascal Gods, then what is the specific personality of God? So this is the last snare of māyā, if one is trying to become God. That is not possible. That is asuric. Āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ. They never will…
Kṛṣṇa’s desire is that you surrender. Sarva-dharmān… You have manufactured so many things within this material world to become happy. This is all foolishness. You will never be happy. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, because Kṛṣṇa loves, that you sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. But māyā says, “No. Why? You become Kṛṣṇa. You become God.” This is going on. This is asuric, āsuraṁ bhāvam. So it is very difficult to give up the āsuraṁ bhāvam.
na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ
āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ
On the basis of āsuraṁ bhāvam, one is always constantly engaged in duṣkṛtina, I mean to say, sinful activities, and mūḍha, falsely thinking that he is God. Therefore he is a mūḍha. That is the sign. A big mūḍha. Small mūḍhas, they are working hard only to become happy, and the big mūḍha, he wants to become God. The small mūḍha wants to become a minister or a president, and the big mūḍha wants to become God. The disease is the same: “I shall become the most powerful.” But that is not possible.
Therefore these big mūḍhas who simply falsely thinking that “I have become now liberated by meditation or by some jugglery of powers,” so they have been described in the Bhāgavatam as vimukta-māninaḥ. They are falsely thinking that they have become liberated, they have become Nārāyaṇa. How you can become Nārāyaṇa? The śāstra says,
yas tu nārāyaṇaṁ devaṁ
sa pāṣaṇḍī bhaved dhruvam
[Cc. Madhya 18.116]
Nārāyaṇaṁ devam. Even Śaṅkarācārya, he says, nārāyaṇaḥ avyaktāt paraḥ: “Nārāyaṇa is transcendental. He has nothing to do with this material world.”
So Vaiṣṇavas also say, yas tu nārāyaṇaṁ devaṁ brahma-rudrādi-daivataiḥ. Brahmā, Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, they are demigods of this material world. So if one puts Nārāyaṇa even with the label of Brahmā and Rudra, Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā… They are very exalted, big demigods. Lord Śiva is almost like Nārāyaṇa. Nārāyaṇa is ninety-five percent complete God, and Lord Śiva is eighty-five percent and Kṛṣṇa is cent percent. There is analysis. So yas tu nārāyaṇaṁ devaṁ brahma-rudrādi-daivataiḥ, samatvenaiva vīkṣeta. Samatvena, equal “Well, whatever is Nārāyaṇa, that is also Lord Śiva, that is also Lord Brahmā, that is also goddess Kālī.” This is Māyāvāda. Because the Māyāvāda philosophy is that “The Absolute Truth is impersonal. That is the final understanding. So because we cannot think of impersonal, meditate upon that, let us imagine some form.” Sādhakānāṁ hitvārthāya brahmaṇo rūpa-kalpanaḥ.(?) The Māyāvādī philosophers, they say that kalpana, “You just imagine any form.” Therefore they especially recommend the five forms, the five form: the Sūrya, sun-god, Gaṇeśa and Durgā, Viṣṇu and Lord Śiva.
There is also Viṣṇu. But this Viṣṇu and the Vaiṣṇava conception of Viṣṇu is different. This Viṣṇu is imagination, and Vaiṣṇava conception of Viṣṇu is reality. Kṛṣṇa is reality. Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam [Bg. 9.11]. Those are mūḍhas, the same mūḍhas, because He has come in the form of a human being, they say, “This is māyā. This Kṛṣṇa has come…. The impersonal Brahman has assumed a body, accepting this body given by māyā.” This is the Māyāvāda philosophy. But actually Kṛṣṇa does not come. Because Kṛṣṇa says, daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī mama māyā [Bg. 7.14]. Māyā is controlled by Him. How He can accept subordinance of māyā? No.
So Vaiṣṇava philosophy is very perfect philosophy according to the śāstra and Vedas. All the ācāryas confirm. So we have to follow this. Then our life will be successful.
So Kṛṣṇa is teaching how to work, how to work. Now, here He says that tyaktvā karma-phala. Now, who will be ready to work? Suppose you are doing some business and there is expectation of profit, one lakh of rupees. Now profit comes. Then if I say, “Now here is, in Bhagavad-gītā it is said, tyaktvā karma-phala. You give it up,” are you ready? No. “I have with so much hard labor I have earned. Why shall I give it up?” But here it is said, tyaktvā karma-phala. Then immediately his impetus to work will be finished, that these ordinary persons, those who are karmīs, if I say that “Yes, you earn, I mean, lakhs of rupees, but you will not be allowed to take it…”
Just like the communist country. The communist country, they are engaging people to work, but you cannot take the result. The government will take. And therefore they are not very enthusiastic. I have been in your communist country. They are not very enthusiastic. That is, unless one can enjoy personally, he is not interested in any business. “Why shall I work so hard?” This is natural. But here it is said, tyaktvā karma-phala. What is the difference between the communist philosophy and Vaiṣṇava philosophy? The communist also says that everyone should work without expecting the result. The result will go to the government. Similarly, where the result will go? It is communist proposal? No. That will be explained later on. Kariṣye… [break] …is it meaning that, tyaktvā karma-phala. No. Tyaktvā karma-phala means that you should give it to Kṛṣṇa. That is tyaktvā karma-phala.
So those who are devotees, although tyaktvā karma-phala, they are not touching the fruit, still, they are nitya-tṛptaḥ, very satisfied. The karmīs are dissatisfied, “So I worked so hard. Now I have to give up whatever I have earned?” He becomes very, very sorry. But who becomes nitya-tṛptaḥ? Working like this, without taking the result, still nitya-tṛptaḥ, very satisfied. That is devotion. That is devotee.
You will see these boys, these American, European boys… Also some of them are Indian. They are working day and night. They are getting money also. They are getting money also. They are making life members. They are selling some books. There is no scarcity of money. But they do not touch even a single paise. It is for Kṛṣṇa. And still, they are happy. This is tyaktvā karma-phalāsaṅgam. Asaṅga means no attachment. They are bringing money and giving to me. I spend it like anything. So this is tyaktvā karma-phala-āsaṅgaṁ nitya-tṛptaḥ, very much satisfied. “I have been able to collect so much and give it to Kṛṣṇa.” This is their satisfaction. Tyaktvā karma-phala-āsaṅgaṁ nitya…, nirāśrayaḥ. Don’t expect any profit, no dividend. As soon as there is dividend, immediately it is material. Immediately he’ll be complicated. As so long there is no expectation of dividend, then he is pure devotee. This is the difference.
Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam [Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.11]. Jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. This karma-phala… A devotee doesn’t want karma-phala. Therefore he is not implicated. He doesn’t want. Therefore it is said, karmaṇy abhipravṛtto ‘pi. Although he is engaged in karma… Because superficially it looks like karma…. Karma and bhakti looks the same thing. But the difference is that the result is for Kṛṣṇa and the karmī’s result is for “myself.” That is the difference. That is the difference. Karmaṇy abhipravṛtto ‘pi naiva kiñcit karoti saḥ. This is the…. Although he is doing day and night, but he is still doing nothing. Doing nothing means doing, but he is not becoming entangled with the results. That is…. Because karma and karma-phala, one has to accept the karma-phala, but this man who is doing everything for Kṛṣṇa, he is not becoming entangled.
That is explained in the Second Chapter also. Yajñārthāt karmaṇo ‘nyatra karma-bandhanaḥ. If you don’t act for Kṛṣṇa, then you will be entangled by the resultant action. But if you do it for Kṛṣṇa, then you will not be entangled. Your everything will be taken as devotion. Everything. Everything will be taken on account of devotion. And devotion means you are making progress.
māṁ ca yo ‘vyabhicāreṇa
sa guṇān samatītyaitān
So activities on the platform of devotional service, without expecting any result for his personal satisfaction, means on the platform of liberation. Thank you very much. (end)