Pradyumna: Translation: “The Blessed Lord said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy.”
Prabhupāda: Śrī bhagavān uvāca. We have already explained the meaning of bhagavān in connection with the first verse. Still, again, we are repeating, bhagavān… Bhaga means opulence, and when the Sanskrit affix is there, vat-pratyaya, one who possesses opulence, he’s called bhagavān. So it is described by Parāśara Muni that
vīryasya yaśasaḥ śriyaḥ
ṣaṇṇāṁ bhagam itīṅganā
(Viṣṇu Purāṇa 6.5.47)
“Bhagavān means who possesses these six opulences in full: all riches, all strength, all influence, all wisdom, all beauty, all renunciation.” So, it has been analyzed how we possess all these opulences, and it has been found by the great sages that Kṛṣṇa is the possessor of all opulences—all beauty, all wisdom. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ [Bs. 5.1]. The supreme possessor is Kṛṣṇa. Sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ, anādir ādir govindaḥ sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam [Bs. 5.1].
So Bhagavān is individual; we are also individual, part and parcel. Just like the father is individual, and the sons are also individuals. We are all sons of God. Mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ jīva-loke… [Bg. 15.7]. So we are all individual. In the Second Chapter, Kṛṣṇa said that “We all, you, Me, and all the soldiers and the kings who have assembled here, they were existing before as individual, and we are existing now as individual, and in future also we shall exist as individuals.” So that is being explained again.
Bahūni me vyatītāni janmāni tava cārjuna. As individuals, we are taking birth. That Kṛṣṇa’s birth will be explained in the next verse. Ajo ‘pi sann avyayātmā. Ajaḥ. Ajaḥ means “who does not take birth.” We are also aja. Na janma… What is that? Na jāyate na mriyate vā kadācin…na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20], nityaḥ śāśvato ‘yaṁ purāṇaḥ. That is the description of the living entities. A living entity, as we are, we also do not take birth. We are eternal, part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is eternal; we are also eternal. Kṛṣṇa is individual; we are also individual. The difference is that He is īśvaraḥ paramaḥ, He’s the supreme controller, and we are… We are also controller, but limited, very minute controller. That is the difference. God is great, and we are a small particle. That is the difference.
Therefore Kṛṣṇa said that “I also take My birth, and you also take your birth, but the difference is…” Tāny ahaṁ veda. “I know how many times I took birth, but you… You also took, many times, but you have forgotten.” That is the difference. Tāny ahaṁ veda sarvāṇi na tvaṁ vettha parantapa. You cannot remember. Actually, we do not remember. What I was in my last birth, I do not know. Death means forgetfulness. Death means to forget everything.
Just like daytime and nighttime. Nighttime also, when we sleep, we forget all our business in daytime. We have got everyday experience. We are different person at night. We are dreaming something, dreamland, somewhere I have gone, and forget that I have got a body which is lying on the bed, I am the father of such and such sons, I am the husband of such and such… No, you forget everything. And again, in the daytime, you forget everything, what you dreamed. This is our practical experience.
Similarly, we had our last birth, but we have forgotten. But Kṛṣṇa does not forget. That is the difference between Kṛṣṇa and the living entities. I have explained already. We forget because we change body. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ [Bg. 2.13]. Dehāntara-prāptiḥ, we do not know what kind of body I had in my last life or what kind of body I am going to accept next life, but there is the law: tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ. But Kṛṣṇa does not forget. He knows. That is perfect knowledge. And because we are imperfect, we do not… When we’ll be perfect also, we’ll remember. But that is, means, spiritual life, no more material body. That can be also possible.
It is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]. So when we go to Kṛṣṇa, we get the similar body. Although we are subordinate, still, the facility is almost the same, seventy-eight percent. So about Kṛṣṇa it is, in the Brahma-saṁhitā it is said,
advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam
ādyaṁ purāṇa-puruṣaṁ nava-yauvanaṁ ca
vedeṣu durlabham adurlabham ātma-bhaktau
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
Advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam. Kṛṣṇa can expand Himself—ananta-rūpam. Ananta means unlimited. Just like in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe ‘rjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg. 18.61]. Now, we are individual souls. So we are also associated with Kṛṣṇa, as Paramātmā within the heart. Paramātmā is there. Sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. Where the Paramātmā is there, that is also stated: hṛdi, “in the heart.” Sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ. There is no, I mean to say, mistake. Kṛṣṇa says, “I stay within the heart of everyone.”
They are sitting, two birds… That is stated in the Upaniṣads. Sitting on one tree. This body is tree, and Paramātmā and jīvātmā, both of them are sitting on the same tree. The jīvātmā is relishing the fruit of the tree, and Paramātmā is only observer. Paramātmā is observer. Anumantā upadraṣṭā. Upadraṣṭā, simply seeing our activities. Kṛṣṇa is so kind, God is so kind, that He is living with me just to turn my face towards Him. He’s so…. Just looking after the opportunity when this living entity….
He is struggling for existence in this material world with his concocted mind and senses. So Kṛṣṇa is looking for the opportunity when the living entity will come back to Him. Because we are all sons.
So father, if the son is bewildered, gone out of the home and loitering in the street, the father is very anxious to get him back, although the son has forgotten. This is the position. Therefore, as Paramātmā, He’s guiding us. Sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ. “I am sitting in everyone’s heart.” Mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca [Bg. 15.15]. From Him, we get the remembrance.
I wanted to enjoy something. Kṛṣṇa gives us full opportunity: “Now here is the opportunity. You can do it.” Anumantā. He’s so kind. But that is not our actual business. Our actual business is to go back to home, back to Godhead, not to enjoy in this material world. But still, because we want it, Kṛṣṇa gives us all facilities. Mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca [Bg. 15.15]. If we want to enjoy this material world, Kṛṣṇa will give us all the opportunities. You can become the topmost living entity like Lord Brahmā, and you can become an insignificant ant. According to your karma. Anumantā upadraṣṭā. So this is going on.
Therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, ei rūpe brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. In this way, we are wandering all over the universe as some body. Sometimes human being, sometimes demigods, sometimes cats, sometimes dogs, sometimes tree, sometimes plant, sometimes insect, sometimes Brahmā, sometimes ant, sometimes pig. Anything. There are 8,400,000 species of life. So this is our circulation. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says that tava cārjuna. “As Paramātmā, I am with you always. And you are changing so many bodies.”
Of course, Arjuna did not change because he’s devotee. He is accompanying Kṛṣṇa always. Sakhā ceti, bhakto ‘si sakhā ceti. So he’s friend. He takes his birth as human being whenever Kṛṣṇa wants. Kṛṣṇa has His associates. When He comes on this planet in this universe, He comes with His associates. So the Pāṇḍavas, they are Kṛṣṇa’s eternal associates. Although associate, still, Arjuna forgets about his previous birth because he’s human being, whereas Kṛṣṇa remembers.
So Kṛṣṇa also takes birth, very many incarnations.
rāmādi-mūrtiṣu kalā-niyamena tiṣṭhan
nānāvatāram akarod bhuvaneṣu kintu
kṛṣṇaḥ svayaṁ samabhavat paramaḥ pumān yo
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
This is stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā. Kṛṣṇa is appearing in so many incarnations. Just try to understand what is the position of Kṛṣṇa. He is situated as Paramātmā in everyone’s heart. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe ‘rjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg. 18.61]. And He’s giving direction to everyone. And there are unlimited, innumerable living entities. So He has to give instruction in different ways to so many living entities. How much busy He is, just try to imagine. Still, His position is the same. Goloka eva nivasaty akhilātma-bhūtaḥ [Bs. 5.37]. Goloka eva nivasati. Kṛṣṇa is still in His own original place, Goloka Vṛndāvana, and He’s enjoying in the company of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. That business is…. It is not the Māyāvādī philosophy. Because He has expanded Himself in so many hearts of the living entities, that does not mean that He is finished in His own abode. No. Still He’s there. That is Kṛṣṇa. Pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate [Īśo Invocation]. This is the Vedic information.
Even the… Here we have got material experience. If you have got one rupee, if you take one anna, then it is fifteen annas. Or if you take two annas, it is fourteen annas. If you take sixteen annas, it becomes zero. But Kṛṣṇa is not like that. He can expand Himself unlimited forms; still, the original Kṛṣṇa is there. That is Kṛṣṇa. We have got experience: one minus one equal to zero. But there, in the spiritual world… That is called Absolute. One minus, million times one minus, still, the original one is one. That is Kṛṣṇa. Advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam [Bs. 5.33].
So that Kṛṣṇa you cannot understand vedeṣu, simply by studying Vedic literature. Although the Vedas means, Vedānta means, to understand Kṛṣṇa. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. But unfortunately, because we do not take the shelter of Kṛṣṇa or His devotee, we cannot understand what is the purpose of Vedas. That will be explained in the Seventh Chapter. Mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha…. Mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ. Mad-āśrayaḥ. Asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu [Bg. 7.1]. If you want to understand Kṛṣṇa asaṁśayam, without any doubt, and samagram, and in full, then you have to practice this yoga system.
What is that yoga? Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. Mad-āśrayaḥ yogaṁ yuñj… Yogaṁ yuñjan, mad-āśrayaḥ. Mad-āśrayaḥ, this word is very significant. Mat means… “Either you take directly…”That is not very easy thing. “…shelter of Me, or one who has taken shelter of Me, you take shelter of him.” Just like there is electric powerhouse, and there is a plug. That plug is connected with the electric powerhouse, and if you push your wire in the plug, you also get electricity. Similarly, as it is stated in the beginning of this chapter, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. If you take shelter of the paramparā system…. The same example. If you take the shelter of the plug which is connected with the powerhouse, you get immediately electricity. Similarly, if you take shelter of a person who is coming in the paramparā system…
There is a paramparā system. Kṛṣṇa, He instructed Lord Brahmā. Lord Brahmā instructed Nārada. Nārada instructed Vyāsadeva. Vyāsadeva instructed Madhvācārya. Madhvācārya instructed in so many ways. Then Mādhavendra Purī. The Mādhavendra Purī, Īśvara Purī. From Īśvara Purī, Lord Caitanya. In this way, there is a paramparā system. There are four Vaiṣṇava sampradāyas. The Rudra-sampradāya, Brahma-sampradāya, Kumāra-sampradāya, and Lakṣmī-sampradāya, Śrī-sampradāya.
So sampradāya-vihīnā ye mantrās te niṣphalā matāḥ.(?) If you do not receive instruction of Kṛṣṇa from the sampradāya, then niṣphalā matāḥ, then whatever you have learned, it is useless. It is useless. That is the defect. So many people are studying Bhagavad-gītā, but they do not understand what is Kṛṣṇa. Because they do not receive through the evaṁ paramparā-prāptam [Bg. 4.2]. The paramparā, unless you go to the paramparā… The same example. If you do not take electricity from the plug which is connected with the powerhouse, what is the use of your bulb and wire? It has no use.
Therefore how Kṛṣṇa is expanding, it is vedeṣu durlabha. If you simply have got academic knowledge, then it will not be possible. Vedeṣu durlabham adurlabham ātma-bhaktau [Bs. 5.33]. This is the statement of Brahma-saṁhitā. Adurlabham ātma-bhaktau. One who is Kṛṣṇa’s devotee, pure devotee…
śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā
Pure devotee means he has no other desire, no material desire. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam, zero.
So what is that? Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. Jñāna and karma and bhakti. Bhakti is anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam, but jñāna is abhilāṣi…, there is desire for liberation, to become one with the Supreme. So that also should be given up. Jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. Not covered by the speculative process or fruitive activities. Jñāna-karma…. ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam. Simply favorably cultivating Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Ānukūlyena… That is bhaktir uttamā. That is first-class bhakti. And if it is mixed up, anyābhi…, with material desire or spiritual emancipation or fruitive activities, then it is not pure devotee.
So if you can approach such pure devotee… As it is stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā, adurlabham ātma-bhaktau. This is ātma-bhaktau, a pure devotee. He can deliver you Kṛṣṇa. “Take Kṛṣṇa. Here is Kṛṣṇa.” Kṛṣṇa-prema… That is…
The symbolic representation is Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He’s described by Rūpa Gosvāmī:
nāmne gaura-tviṣe namaḥ
[Cc. Madhya 19.53]
When Rūpa Gosvāmī… He was minister in the government of Nawab Hussain Shah. At that time, very exalted personality. He could understand Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mission. Therefore when he first met Him at Allahabad, Prayāga, he offered his respect with these words: namo mahā-vadānyāya, the most munificent incarnation. Why? Kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te. “You are distributing kṛṣṇa-prema. It is very difficult to understand Kṛṣṇa, but You are so kind that You are immediately delivering love of Kṛṣṇa.”
You can know one person. But to develop love for him, that is another transaction. So people cannot understand even Kṛṣṇa, and what is the saying of Kṛṣṇa’s love? But Caitanya Mahāprabhu is so kind that He’s immediately giving kṛṣṇa-prema, love of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore He is described as the most munificent incarnation. Kṛṣṇa Himself could not deliver Himself. He wanted. “First of all you surrender.” Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. But Caitanya Mahāprabhu is so kind. Simply through this chanting and dancing, He is distributing love of Kṛṣṇa.
You can see practically. These boys from European and American countries, means all over the world, why they are chanting and dancing in this way? Do you think they have become mad? And one says, “Yes, they have become mad.” Why? For love of Kṛṣṇa. Now they have began they have become lover of Kṛṣṇa. So kṛṣṇa-prema is like that. That is through the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the symbolic representation of devotee. Bhaktāvatāraṁ bhaktākhyaṁ namāmi bhakta-śaktikam. Namāmi bhakta-śaktikam. He can give the strength to the devotee so that he can develop his dormant love of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore in the Brahma-saṁhitā it is stated that adurlabham ātma-bhaktau. If one is pure devotee, for him, Kṛṣṇa is available very easy. He says in the Bhagavad-gītā. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ [Bg. 18.55]. “One can understand Me in truth…” Yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ. “Which is very, very difficult.”
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ
To understand Kṛṣṇa as He is, it is difficult. But if you take to this process of devotional service…
śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
Either of these process. All the process or either of these. You become successful to develop your dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and then your life becomes successful. Thank you very much. (end)