śrī bhagavān uvāca
mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha
yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ
asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ
yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu
This is a verse from the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā which we have published: Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. There are many editions of Bhagavad-gītā, but most of them, they have been edited to push forward the editor’s own personal philosophical views. But we do not accept Bhagavad-gītā in that light. Bhagavad-gītā is supposed to be spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore it is stated here, bhagavān uvāca. Those who are Sanskrit scholar, they will understand what is meant by the word bhagavān. Bhagavān. Bhaga means opulence, and one who possesses opulences, he is called vān. The vat-pratyaya. From vat-pratyaya, the word comes, vān. So bhagavān means “one who possesses all opulences.”
There are six kinds of opulences: wealth, I mean to say, reputation, strength, knowledge, renunciation, beauty. These are called opulences. If one person is very rich, he is opulent, he attracts attention of many persons. Similarly, if one person is very influential, strong, he also attracts. Similarly, if one man is very famous for his activities, he also attracts attention. Similarly, if one man is very beautiful or a woman is very beautiful, he or she attracts attention. If one is very wise, learned, he also attracts attention. These are called six opulences, and these opulences are possessed by us in small quantity. Every one of us may possess some riches, maybe little wise or very… Not very strong, little strong. Little, little quantity of these opulences are there in every person. But when you find a person that nobody possesses more than him all these opulences… The Sanskrit word is asama ūrdhva. Asama means “equally,” and asama means “without being equal.” And ūrdhva means “above.” When you find somebody, above him or equal to him, anyone else is as rich, as famous, as opulent, as wise, as beautiful, that person is called God. This is the definition of God. God is great means nobody is equal to Him, nobody is above Him in any kinds of opulences. That is called bhagavān.
So here it is said… Vyāsadeva, he writes… This Bhagavad-gītā is one of the chapter of Mahābhārata. Mahābhārata means the history of greater India. Formerly Bhārata… “India” is given name by the Westerners, but real name is Bhārata, Bhārata-varṣa. This planet was formerly known as Ilāvṛta-varṣa, and later on, after the Emperor Bharata, this planet was known as Bhārata-varṣa. So Bhārata-varṣa means not only India, but the whole planet. At least five thousand years ago it was known as Bhārata-varṣa. Bhārata-varṣa name is there, but it indicates only India. So this Bhagavad-gītā is a chapter of Mahābhārata. Perhaps you know the book Mahābhārata, “Greater Bhārata-varṣa,” “The History of the Greater Bhārata-varṣa.” That is Mahābhārata. So the background of this Bhagavad-gītā is that there was worldwide fight, battle, called the Battle of Kurukṣetra. Kurukṣetra, the place is still there. If some of you went to India, (you) might have seen it is near Delhi, New Delhi. The railway station is called also Kurukṣetra. So there was a battle five thousand years ago. The parties were two cousin-brothers, and this Bhagavad-gītā was spoken by Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavān. Therefore it is called bhagavān uvāca.
So He is teaching Arjuna bhakti-yoga. Yoga means the means by which you can contact the Supreme. That is called yoga. Another, yoga means linking. So there are many types of yoga system for linking ourself with the Supreme Absolute Truth. The Absolute Truth is realized in three phases: impersonal, localized, and personal. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said that the Absolute Truth is realized by different persons according to different angle of vision. Just like if you see from a distant place one mountain, you find something cloudy. If you go nearer, then you find it is something green. And if you enter actually the mountain, then you find there are so many varieties. There are trees, there are houses, there are living entities, animals, everything. The object is one, but according to the vision of the person, from length of distance, the same object is realized in different phases. Therefore the Bhāgavata says, vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam [SB 1.2.11]. The object is one, but according to the understanding of the same one, somebody is realizing the Absolute Truth as impersonal Brahman, and somebody is realizing the Absolute Truth as localized Paramātmā, and somebody is realizing the same Absolute Truth as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Ultimately, the Absolute Truth is Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavān. Therefore Vyāsadeva, the compiler of Mahābhārata, he says, śrī bhagavān uvāca.
So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement… The bhagavān is called Kṛṣṇa. He has got many millions of name, but “Kṛṣṇa” name is the chief. “Kṛṣṇa” name means the all-attractive. God must be all-attractive. It is not that God is attractive for one person, not for the other. No. God is attractive for all living entities. Therefore you see the picture of Kṛṣṇa, He is loving the calves and cows, He is loving the trees, He is loving the gopīs, He is loving the cowherds boy. For Him, for God, everyone is lovable object because everyone is son of God. That is stated in this Bhagavad-gītā. Sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya sambhavanti mūrtayo yāḥ [Bg. 14.4]. There are different species of life and different forms of life. Sarva-yoniṣu. “As many forms are there,” Kṛṣṇa says… Tāsāṁ mahad yonir brahma ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā: “Their mother is this material nature, and I am the seed-giving father.” So God is attractive for everyone and God is equal to everyone. There is no distinction for God that “Here is an animal, here is a man, here is a tree.” No. Every living entity is part and parcel of God. That is our understanding of God consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So we are practicing this bhakti-yoga… Amongst the… There are different types of yoga system. As I have already explained that God is realized as impersonal Brahman, as localized Paramātmā or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore the process of linking with Him, it is called yoga, and there are different processes of yoga system, out of which three are principle: jñāna-yoga, haṭha-yoga and bhakti-yoga. So bhakti-yoga is the topmost. That is described in the Bhagavad-gītā:
yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ
Of all the yogis, the yogi who is always thinking of Kṛṣṇa with love and faith… It is not very difficult. Kṛṣṇa says, “He is first-class yogi.” So how to become the first-class yogi, that is described in this Seventh Chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā. Kṛṣṇa says personally. If you want to understand God, it is better to understand from God Himself. Instead of speculating what is God, better to understand God from the words of God.
So Kṛṣṇa is accepted by the… Just like Vyāsadeva. Vyāsadeva is the compiler of all Vedic knowledge. He accepts Kṛṣṇa, (as) the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Later on, all the ācāryas—Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī, Lord Caitanya—they have all accepted Kṛṣṇa. So far our Vedic culture is concerned, Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Here it is also said, śrī bhagavān uvāca. So He is teaching how to become first-class yogi in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is His teaching. He is saying, mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ. Mayi, “unto Me,” āsakta, “attachment.” The Kṛṣṇa consciousness yoga means to increase the attachment for Kṛṣṇa. That’s all. We have got attachment for something, every one of us. So everyone has got attachment, either for His family, either for some friend or for some house or some hobby or for some cats, some dogs. There is attachment. That is not to be learned. We cannot… There is no need of explaining what is attachment. Attachment is there, existing in everyone’s heart. He wants to be attached to somebody else or he… Everyone wants to love somebody else. Love does not mean oneness. Love must be two, the lover and the beloved. So attachment is there. That is natural. Everyone knows. Now, this yoga system, Kṛṣṇa consciousness yoga system, means to increase your attachment for Kṛṣṇa. That’s all.
Therefore it is said here, mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha, “Increasing gradually the attachment for Me.” Kṛṣṇa says, mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha yogaṁ yuñjan, “practicing this yoga system,” mad-āśrayaḥ, “taking shelter of Me.” The mad-āśrayaḥ means two things. You can take directly shelter of Kṛṣṇa or you can take shelter of a person who has taken shelter of Kṛṣṇa. That is meaning of mad-āśrayaḥ. That is the system of paramparā. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. If you increase your attachment for Kṛṣṇa, that attachment, and if you increase your attachment for a person who is devotee of Kṛṣṇa, it is the same. Just like electricity. If one thing is charged with the electricity power, if somebody touches it, he also becomes electrified. We have got daily experience that from the electric powerhouse, the electric wires are distributed, and as soon as we join the plugs, immediately it is electrified. Similarly, paramparā system… Kṛṣṇa is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead. The words given by Kṛṣṇa. If you carry as it is carried by other disciplic succession, then you are in touch with Kṛṣṇa. That is called yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ, always being linked up with Kṛṣṇa.
mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha
yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ
asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ mām…
Asaṁśayam means “without doubt,” and samagram means “in completeness.” Asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ mām. Kṛṣṇa says… Mām means the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ yathā jñāsyasi: “As you can understand, please try to hear from Me.” Kṛṣṇa is speaking personally. So if we accept Bhagavad-gītā as it is, as instructed by Kṛṣṇa Himself, then we understand what is God without any doubt. Asaṁśayam and samagram, in completeness. Asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu.
In our present position, with blunt material senses, with four defects, it is not possible to understand what is God. We have got four defects in this material condition. We commit mistake, every one of us; we are illusioned; we accept something for something for something. So to commit mistake, illusioned, and our senses are imperfect. The knowledge we gather through our senses, that is imperfect because our senses are imperfect. Just like we see every day the sun with our eyes, but because our senses are imperfect, we see the sun like a disc, although it is fourteen hundred thousand times bigger than this earth. In this way, if we analyze our senses, it will be found that our senses are imperfect. By the imperfect senses speculating, that is not perfect. Therefore all the speculators, they, so-called scientists, philosophers, they put forward theories: “Perhaps,” “It may be,” like that. That means it is not perfect knowledge. But if we receive knowledge from the supreme perfect God, that it is actually perfect. Our process is like that.
In the Fourth Chapter of the Śrīmad-Bhagavad-gītā you will find, Kṛṣṇa says, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. Imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1]. Kṛṣṇa said this philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā first to the sun-god, and he spoke to his son Manu, he spoke to his son Ikṣvāku. In this way, disciplic succession, this Bhagavad-gītā has come down to this earthly planet, and if we accept that disciplic succession, do not unnecessarily interpret, then we understand what is Bhagavad-gītā. That is the process. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to understand the Supreme Person, Kṛṣṇa, as He is, without any interpretation. That is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness yoga. That can be achieved, as Kṛṣṇa says, always keeping center Kṛṣṇa.
mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha
yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ
asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ
yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu
You can understand. If you practice this yoga, keeping Kṛṣṇa in the center, always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, the form of the Kṛṣṇa, then it will be revealed. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau [ŚU 6.23]. This is the yoga system of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So next verse He says,
jñānaṁ te ‘haṁ sa-vijñānam
idaṁ vakṣyāmy aśeṣataḥ
yaj jñātvā neha bhūyo ‘nyaj
“I am speaking to you a process of knowledge, jñānam.” Jñānam means knowledge. Te: “unto you.” Ahaṁ sa-vijñānam. Sa-vijñānam means… Jñānam is theoretical, and vijñānam means practical. Just like in scientific knowledge, the student has to pass both theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge. Theoretical… “Combination of this chemical and that chemical makes this chemical,” this is theoretical knowledge. But when you mix these two chemicals or three chemicals and produce that object, that is practical. Recently, I may say, in California University, one learned professor came there to speak about the evolutionary theory of chemicals, and he said that life is produced, perhaps you know, from four chemicals. But when one student he said that “If I supply these four chemicals, whether you can produce life?” In answer to this, he said, “That I cannot say.” That is imperfect knowledge. If you say, “Life is produced from chemicals,” then you must make experimental demonstration, by mixing those chemicals, you produce life. That is called vijñānam, practical demonstration. Otherwise it is not perfect. Scientific knowledge means observation, then experiment. If you fail in your experiment, that is not scientific knowledge. It must be experimented.
So here also, it is said, jñānaṁ te ‘haṁ sa-vijñānam: “I am speaking to you this knowledge which you can practically experience.” Not theoretical simply. Jñānaṁ te ‘haṁ sa-vijñānam idaṁ vakṣyāmy aśeṣataḥ [Bg. 7.2]. Aśeṣataḥ means “without any reservation, as far as possible.” “As far as you can understand, I am explaining.” Yaj jñātvā, “If you understand this,” na iha bhūyaḥ anyaj jñātavayam avaśiṣyate… “If you can understand this knowledge with practical experience, then there will be nothing to know anymore.” That means your knowledge is complete, perfect. In the Vedas also, it is stated that yaj jñātvā, kasmin tu bhagavo vijñāte sarvam idaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati. If you simply try to understand what is God… Not try to understand. If you understand scientifically what is God then you understand everything. Because God is everything. God is the central point of everything. Yato vā imāni bhūtāni jāyante. These are the Vedic versions. “From whom all this material cosmic manifestation has come into being.” In the Vedānta-sūtra it says janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. The Absolute Truth is that from which everything has come down. So if you understand the Absolute Truth, kasmin vijñāte, sarvam idaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati, then you can understand all other departments of knowledge. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says that jñānaṁ te ‘haṁ sa-vijñānam idaṁ vakṣyāmy aśeṣataḥ: “Explicitly, elaborately I am saying.” Yaj jñātvā, “If you understand,” na iha, “in this world,” anyat bhūyaḥ, “again,” anyat, “anything else,” jñātavyam avaśiṣyate, “there is anything remains to understand. Everything is understood.”
So Kṛṣṇa said,
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ
Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu. There are living entities, 8,400,000 species or forms. And nine… Jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi, 900,00 forms in the water. Jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati. Two million forms of the trees and plants. In this way there are, altogether, different forms of life, 8,400,000. Don’t think that the plants and trees, they have no life. They are also living entities. We do not accept this theory that the animals have no soul. No. Everyone has got soul. Even the plants, trees, everyone has got soul. They have got different bodies only. It is not that only human being has got the soul, not others. No. Actually if we make analysis what is the symptoms of possessing soul, you will find everywhere. Even in plants’ life you will find. Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, one of the greatest scientist of the world, he has proved by machine that when you cut the trees or the leaves, they feel sensation, pain, and that is recorded by machine. So everyone has got soul.
Therefore Kṛṣṇa says,
mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ
tāsāṁ brahma mahad yonir
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā
So here it is said that manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye [Bg. 7.3]. There are millions and millions, human beings. Out of them, one is very much anxious how to get perfection of life. Because everyone is carried by the animal propensities. What are the animal propensities? Eating, sleeping, sex life and defense. Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca, sāmānyam etat paśubhir narāṇām. These are the common formulas both to the animals and the human being. What is that? Eating, sleeping, mating, sex life and defending. Defense. Everyone is doing that according to his own capacity. Cats and dogs, they also eat, they also sleep, they also have sex life, and they also try to defend when there is danger, when there is enemy. So these things are common formulas both for the animal and human being. But what is the especial prerogative for the human being? That is siddhi, how to make life perfect. Therefore here it is said, manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye [Bg. 7.3]. Siddhaye means “for perfection.” What is the perfection of life? Perfection of life is no more birth, no more death, no more disease, no more old age. That is perfection. That the people do not know, that there is possibility of attaining stage when there is no more birth, no more death, no more old age. There are so many universities, so many educational institution all over the world, but nowhere there is department of understanding this science, how to stop birth, death, old age and disease. In the chemical laboratory, they are trying to manufacture chemicals for stopping birth, contraceptive. But there is no medicine that after taking this medicine or these chemicals, there will be no more death or no more birth, no more old age and no more disease. You can manufacture chemical or combination of medicine as counteracting the disease. Just like in the Western countries the cancer disease. There are so many chemicals and medicines they are discovering, but there is no medicine, no chemical, which can say that no more cancer disease. That is not possible.
So actual siddhi means to overcome these four principles of miserable condition of life. That is perfection. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam [Bg. 13.9]. Everything is being attempted to suppress our miserable condition of life. That is going on. All advancement of science, knowledge, philosophy, theology, anything—the idea is how to stop the miserable condition of life. But the real miserable condition of life according to Bhagavad-gītā is birth, death, old age and disease. Don’t go, take seriously, the side—miserable condition. Just like people are very much anxious to feed the hungry, the hungry men. Well, that you can do. That is nice business. But why don’t you try that… The hungry man and the welfare man both will die. You cannot stop death, either you feed him well or he is hungry. Death is there. “As sure as death.” So actual benefit is… If you can stop death, that is actual benefit. So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to stop death. You will be surprised. You may not be very much pleased, but it is possible. It is possible. Because we are eternal. We living entities, soul, we are part and parcel of God, we are eternal. Nityaḥ śāśvato ‘yaṁ na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. These are the statements. First of all we have to understand the constitutional position of ourself. That is self-realization. Our nature, we are eternal. We are not dying. When this body dies or is annihilated, it does not mean I die. I exist. Just like my childhood body is no more existing. It is died. My youthhood body is no more existing. So many bodies I had in the past, they are no more existing. But I am existing. I remember. Therefore I am eternal.
So siddhi means when you seriously understand that “I am eternal, so why death is taking place?” That is serious understanding of self-realization. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says that manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye [Bg. 7.3]. Siddhi means, perfection means, to stop… Because I am eternal. Just like when you are diseased, your siddhi, perfection means how to cure the disease, how to become healthy. That is your problem. Not that simply curing the disease, simply eating the medicine. No. The object is how to become in healthy condition. So our healthy condition is no more birth, no more death, no more old age, no more disease. That is healthy condition. So who is trying for that? Nobody is seriously educated on this point, and because one is not educated, he does not know that there is possibility, such possibility, that no more death, no more birth, no more disease. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu: [Bg. 7.3] “Out of many, many millions of persons.” Just like our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. We are trying to teach this perfection of life—how to become free from these four kinds of miserable conditions: birth, death, old age and disease. But how many are joining with us? Some of them are thinking these are fictitious. No, it is fact. It is scientific. It is scientific. But people have no interest in these things. They are simply interested in sense gratification. Nūnaṁ pramattaḥ kurute vikarma [SB 5.5.4]. This is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. They have become mad, simply mad, to gratify senses. But they are forgetting that this human life is meant for making a solution for all the problems of life. They are not interested in that. They are thinking, “By increasing the volumes of sense gratification, that is perfection.” That is not perfection. You may improve the material condition of life, but you cannot live here. Just like you have constructed very nice city, Stockholm, or any European city. That is very good. But you’ll not be allowed to stay here. You’ll be kicked out at any moment. What is the solution for that? You construct a nice place. That’s all right, very good. But you stay here. But you cannot stay. That is your problem. If you can solve that problem… “Yes, I have constructed nice place, nice city, nice country, and everything is nice, but I will stay and enjoy,” but that is not allowed. Then where is your perfection? This is the problem.
So Kṛṣṇa says therefore, manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye, yatatām api siddhānām [Bg. 7.3]. There are many persons, they are trying to attain that perfectional stage of life by jñāna-yoga, dhyāna yoga or haṭha-yoga. There are many processes. But there is no system… Or there is system, but people are not interested. What is that system? Yatatām api siddhānāṁ kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ [Bg. 7.3]. Nobody is trying to understand what is God. They are trying to understand so many things, but that will not solve their problems. But nobody is trying to understand God. Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu [Bg. 7.3]. Out of many thousands, millions of persons, one may try to attain perfection of life. And out of such persons who are trying to attain perfection of life, some may understand what is God, what is Kṛṣṇa. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is trying to speak about Himself in the Seventh Chapter especially.
So it is not possible to describe all the verses. One or two, three verses we can explain. Then He says,
bhūmir āpo ‘nalo vāyuḥ
khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca
ahaṅkāra itīyaṁ me
bhinnā prakṛtir aṣṭadhā
Prakṛti, nature. Now, first of all we have to study the material nature. Just like the scientists, physicist and chemists, they are trying to understand the material nature. So what is this material nature? The material nature is described here as eight varieties. Five varieties gross, and three varieties subtle. The five gross varieties are the bhūmi… Bhūmi means this earth. Āpaḥ, the water. Bhūmir āpaḥ anala, the fire. Bhūmir āpo ‘nalo vāyuḥ, the air. And bhūmir āpo ‘nalo vāyuḥ kham. Kham means the sky, ether. Then manaḥ, mind. Then buddhi, intelligence. Ahaṅkāra, then self-consciousness, “I,” “I am.” “I am American,” “I am Englishmen,” “I am Swedish,” and… This “I” consciousness.
So these are eight: earth, water, fire, air, sky, mind, intelligence and “I” consciousness. These are material eight elements. Mind is also material. Intelligence also material. So there is cultivation of knowledge of the gross material. Just like soil expert, there are, trying to understand the earth, where there is mine, where there is something, something. That is analyzing the earth. Similarly, somebody is studying the light or the air—they are all material things. There is no spiritual understanding. So bhūmir āpo ‘nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ manaḥ. Mind… Psychologists, they are also studying the mind, the activities, thinking, feeling and willing, and their varieties. That is also material. And ethereal understanding. So many things are going on, but they are all material. Kṛṣṇa says,
bhūmir āpo ‘nalo vāyuḥ
khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca
ahaṅkāra itīyaṁ me
bhinnā prakṛtir aṣṭadhā
Kṛṣṇa is claiming, “They are My manifestation of energy.” So there is connection with Kṛṣṇa with this earth, water, physical science. But we do not know Kṛṣṇa. We simply (are) studying externally. Just like medical science. He is studying the external body, but within the body there is a spiritual spark, soul. He does not know that.
dehino ‘smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
dhīras tatra na muhyati
Who is accepting another body? The Darwin’s theory is that the body is changing to another body. That is nonsense. That is not the fact. The soul is transmigrating from one body to another. That is knowledge. This is fact. So we can discuss if it is needed, but this is the fact. There is the soul, and these eight elements, material elements, they are outer covering. That you have got… As you have got shirt and coat, the shirt is the inner covering, the coat is outer covering. Similarly, the body is made of earth, water, air, fire. This lump of matter is nothing but distribution of the material elements. Just like we make some machine by manipulating the material elements. This is also just like a machine. And it is stated here in the Bhagavad-gītā, yantrārūḍhāni māyayā. We have been given this machine to move. By whom it is given? By māyā, by the illusory energy.
hṛd-deśe ‘rjuna tiṣṭhati
We are given a certain type of machine, certain type of body, according to our desire, and we are moving. Just like if we have got a car, we can move from here to there. Similarly, by this body we are moving not only within this planet, but sometimes in other planet also—but within the universe. With this material body we can move within the universe, material world. But if we want to go to the spiritual world—there is another universe, spiritual world—then we have to get rid from this material encagement and transfer ourself in the spiritual body, in the spiritual world. Then we get actually eternal life, blissful life, full of knowledge. This is our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
So we request you to read our books. We have got many volumes of books, but we are giving information to the people of the world that “You can get out of this entanglement of birth, death, old age and disease and be transferred to the spiritual world, where you can live eternally with blissful life and full of knowledge.”
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. [break]
Devotee: This man wants to know something about the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement in Europe.
Prabhupāda: Yes, we have got many branches in Europe. In England we have got about six branches, in Paris we have got one branch, in Amsterdam we have got one. And now this branch is opened newly in Sweden, and in Germany we have got four branches. You can give some account of your German activities.
Haṁsadūta: In Berlin, in Munchen, in Hamburg and Heidelberg we have centers, and we have published Śrī Īśopaniṣad, Easy Journey to Other Planets and the Topmost Yoga book. We publish a magazine bi-monthly, Back to Godhead magazine, and we are distributing a hundred thousand magazines every two months. Of course, many, many books. There are at least sixty, seventy students like myself and these boys and girls here. So we follow very strictly four principles. We don’t take any meat, fish, or eggs; no intoxicants, not even tea or coffee, cigarettes; no gambling; and no illicit sex life. And besides that, we are always engaged in different kinds of devotional activities. Mainly we are engaged in distributing the books which are translated by His Divine Grace, like Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Īśopaniṣad, Caitanya-caritāmṛta. These are standard books of knowledge, Vedic books. Not manufactured, standard. [break]
Guest: …spiritual thinking can be used to cure bodily sickness?
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is not very difficult to understand. Just like a living man and a dead man. Living man means the body is carrying the spirit soul, and dead man means the body is there, but there is no spirit soul. But as soon as the body is dead or the spirit soul is out of it, immediately it begins to decompose. The same body, as long as carrying the soul, there is no such thing. Therefore if you keep your body spiritualized, then there is no question of decomposition or diseases. Another example: just like if you take an iron rod and put into the fire, it becomes warm, warmer, and at the end, it becomes red-hot. When it is red-hot, it is no more iron rod, but it is fire. You touch that iron rod, red-hot, anyplace, it will burn. Similarly, if you make your body spiritualized by Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then there is no question of disease.
Swedish man (1): (Swedish)
Devotee: (translating) He is requesting Śrīla Prabhupāda to read the verses in Sanskrit in Second Chapter, verse eight and five verses on.
Prabhupāda: Hm. Find out. Second Chapter, eighth verse?
Devotee: Verse number ten, Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: Ten. What is the reading there?
Devotee: “While lamenting…” (someone translates)
Prabhupāda: What is that verse number?
Devotee: Number ten, Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: What is the reading?
Devotee: This is number eleven. “While speaking learned words…”
Prabhupāda: Eleven. Yes.
śrī bhagavān uvāca
aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ
prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase
gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca
The translation reads, “The Blessed Lord said, While speaking learned words…” Arjuna accepted Kṛṣṇa as the spiritual master. First of all he was talking just like friends, but when he saw that by friendly talkings the problem which was present before him, that cannot be solved, therefore he accepted Kṛṣṇa as the spiritual master, and the spiritual master, Kṛṣṇa, first of all chastised him in this way, that aśocyān anvaśocas tvam: [Bg. 2.11] “You are lamenting on the subject matter which is not object of lamentation.” Aśocyān. Aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś… “But you are talking like a very learned scholar.” So He mildly rebuked him that “This kind of lamentation is not done by paṇḍita, by learned scholar.” That means “You are rascal number one. You are fool. You are talking like learned scholar, but you are a fool.” Indirectly He says that gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ. “Paṇḍitāḥ, those persons who know…” Just like this body. Paṇḍitaḥ, those who are learned scholar, they know that his body is the lump of matter. Just like a nice Rolls Royce car. It is very nice car, very valuable car. But it is after all a lump of matter. The car is important so long the driver is there. Otherwise, it is lump of matter. So those who are fools… Suppose if there is accident in the car. They become bewildered, “Oh, I am lost, I am lost.” What you are lost? You are not this car. You are not this car. You are not this car. You get another car. Where is the cause of lamentation? That is being put, that “Why you are lamenting for this body? The body is not the object of lamentation. Either it is living or dead, it is a lump of matter.” This is the meaning.
Devotee: Next verse, Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: Next verse? Next verse is
na tv evāhaṁ jātu nāsaṁ
na tvaṁ neme janādhipāḥ
na caiva na bhaviṣyāmaḥ
sarve vayam ataḥ param
He explained that “I, you, and all these persons, the kings and the soldiers who have assembled here, it is not that they were not existing previously. They were existing as individual souls. Or as I am also individual God, and you all people, individual souls, we were existing in the past; we are now existing. I am existing, you are existing. The soldiers and other kings, they are also… And in the future also, we shall exist. The body may change. Just like in the past we were existing. The body has changed now. Similarly, at present also, when this body will be changed, we will exist in another body. So what is the cause of lamentation?” This is the translation. “Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you.” That means “You existed, I existed, and all of them existed.” Because we are eternal. This is the point. We are soul: we are not this body. Just like in childhood I existed. In my boyhood I existed. In my youthhood I existed. And now I am existing. Therefore the right conclusion is “When this body will not exist, I will exist in another body.” So one should not lament for the lump of matter. One should be serious to understand what is that ever-existing eternal thing, soul. That is education. Superficially, we are overwhelmed with this external body. That is ignorance. We should be serious to understand what is that eternal thing which is existing within this body.
Swedish man (1): I may ask you, you see, that this foundation is a Christian foundation, and I wonder what is your personal opinion about the main figure in the Gospel, Jesus Christ.
Prabhupāda: I do not know much about him. What is that? You know? Anybody knows?
Haṁsadūta: The main feature of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Guest: No, Jesus Christ.
Haṁsadūta: What is your opinion about his main teaching?
Prabhupāda: Yes. But main teaching, so far we read Bible, Jesus Christ said, “Thou shalt not kill.” But they are, you are, everyone is killing. That’s all. The first commandment is violated. It is clearly said, “Thou shalt not kill.” But when I ask any Christian, “Why you are killing?” He cannot give me any satisfactory answer.
Swedish man (1): But in himself, Christ himself. I mean not the…
Prabhupāda: Christ. We offer our all respect to Jesus Christ. Yes. We call “Lord.” We offer our sincere respects to him. That is all right. His teaching is all right. He gives you the message of God. We are doing the same thing. So therefore he is bona fide. Anyone who is spreading the knowledge of God, he is bona fide representative of God. That we admit. But unfortunately, his instructions are not being followed. That is our lamentation. Otherwise it is very nice.
Swedish man (2): Now, a question concerning the 8,400,000’s of lives which man has to evolve through. A spiritual being, having entered, or placed(?), the way of man, can he ever gain a reincarnate in the kingdom of animals?
Swedish man (2): What happens to his consciousness which he has achieved as a man during that time which he is in the animal kingdom?
Prabhupāda: Yes, consciousness is according to the body. Just like when you were a child, your consciousness was different because you had a different body. In your childhood you might have talked so many nonsense things. Your father, mother did not care. “He is a child.” But if you talk such nonsense things now, then you will be differently considered. Because the body is different. So consciousness is there according to different types of body. So in this human form of body we have got our consciousness very developed. Now we should utilize this consciousness to understand what is God, what is our relationship with God, and act accordingly. Then we become perfect. But if we do not take advantage of this human form of life, we keep our dog’s consciousness, eating, sleeping, mating only, then we do not know what kind of body we are going to get next.
Swedish man (2): If I come in contact with Kṛṣṇa movement now, will that in my next life get me a human body?
Prabhupāda: Not only human body. We are getting… You have got already the spiritual body. Now it is covered by this material body. So if you develop your Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then you are not going to be covered by material body again. You keep in your spiritual body, so that in spiritual body you go to the spiritual world and live with Kṛṣṇa. That is the highest perfection.
Swedish devotee: Śrīla Prabhupāda, if meeting you here now would make sure that he would get a human form in his next life?
Prabhupāda: Yes. If you are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, even though you cannot finish it properly, still, you get the chance of getting a human, a higher standard human form of life. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭo ‘bhijāyate [Bg. 6.41]. One who could not finish this yoga system of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he gets his life again as a human being in very rich family or in a very pure family. So at least human body is guaranteed, even one fails to complete the Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Because he gets another chance. To get birth in a rich family means he has no economic problem. He can completely engage himself to understand what is God. But people are not doing that. As soon as he gets birth in a rich family, he thinks that “For nothing I have got so much money. Let me engage in sense gratification.” No guide. Otherwise there is a chance. Similarly, in a pure brāhmaṇa family also, the family is already enlightened. Just like the children of our students. From the very beginning they are getting chance to understand Kṛṣṇa. That is a very good chance. From childhood. Fortunately, we got such father and mother. So two alternatives. If a Kṛṣṇa conscious person could not complete the course, then he gets another chance. Śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭo ‘bhijāyate. Yoga-bhraṣṭa, means one who falls down… But there is no cause of falling down if we are strict. Just like if a student is studying nicely, he will pass his examination. Where is the difficulty there? If he neglects, he may fail. But even if he fails, then he gets the chance of getting a human body. Otherwise there is no guarantee. Kṛṣṇa says, tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ [Bg. 2.13]. You have to change this body. But what kind of change? That will depend on your work. You are being educated with the expectation of being situated, posted in some nice occupation, but that occupation will depend on your work in student life. You may become a high-court judge, you can become a great engineer, you can get so many things, or you could not get anything, such post. That will depend on your work. Similarly, this life is preparation for the next life. So best thing is that you prepare, heart and soul, for going back to home, back to Godhead, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the highest perfection of life. Our students are being taught in that way, highest perfection of life.
Swedish man (3): Is there free will?
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. Just like you are sitting here. If you don’t like, you can go away. That’s your free will. There is free will. Because we are part and parcel of God, God is completely free to do anything. And because we are part and parcel of God, therefore we have got minute quantity of freedom. Just like a drop of ocean water, it is also salty, but the quantity of salt in that drop is not equal to the salt in the ocean. Similarly, you have got a little quantity of freedom, but not as freedom as God has got. That is not possible. You are subordinate. Your freedom is subordinate to God’s freedom. Therefore if you misuse your freedom, then you become punishable. The government gives you freedom, but if you misuse your freedom, if you violate the laws, then you are criminal. Yes?
Swedish man (4): Couldn’t we say that we as men are determined to freedom, determined to indeterminism, so to say, determined to take some responsibility?
Prabhupāda: Yes. That determination required. We must know that we have got little freedom, so we may not misuse it. That is determination. If you misuse it, that is not good determination. Yes?
Swedish woman (5): Will I ever, in another life, will I feel my “I,” my ego? Will I feel that again?
Prabhupāda: Yes, you are already feeling. So next life also you will feel, and the past also you felt. That is described. You are always individual. That is described, that “In the past we were existing in the past, your feeling was also there. As you are existing now, your feeling is already there, and in the future also, you will exist. The feeling will be there.”
Swedish woman (5): You say that our souls are…, we will always go on. But you are getting more and more people.
Prabhupāda: That is your misunderstanding.
Swedish woman (5): No, we are getting more people, aren’t we?
Prabhupāda: (laughs) You are getting more people. That is also another illusion. I shall give you one example, that in a village there is a marketplace. So thousands of men gather there, and one village woman, old lady, she began to cry that “Where shall I accommodate so many people?” So his (her) son came, “Mother, you don’t worry. In the evening I shall show you.” So in the evening, the mother came. There was nobody. So you are thinking just like village lady, “Where we shall accommodate so many men?” They come and go. This conception of increasing, that is your misconception. There is no question of increasing and decreasing.
Swedish woman (5): No, but it’s not. We can see it everyday. We are getting more and more.
Prabhupāda: No. That seeing is imperfect. Because you have no perfect vision, therefore you are seeing like that. Just like even from your room you will find from a hole many thousands of ants will come out. Are you worried for that? Have you seen it, experienced?
Swedish woman (5): No.
Prabhupāda: No. We have got experience. (laughter) But if you become worried, “Oh, so many ants have come here. Where shall I accommodate?” It is like that. There is ample arrangement for accommodating them. You should not worry. You better mind your business, how to become God conscious and go back to home, back to Godhead.
Swedish woman (5): Yes, but you can’t neglect that there are.
Prabhupāda: No, we are not neglecting. We have come here to teach you. Therefore we are not neglecting you.
Swedish woman (5): Yes, I see that you can’t neglect that.
Prabhupāda: Yes, we are not neglecting. We are not neglecting. But we are not worried. That is the difference. We are trying to serve you, but we are not worried about you. Because I know that you will be provided with everything by God. Eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān. It is stated, nityo nityānāṁ cetanaḥ. God is not very poor man that He cannot maintain you. He will maintain you. There may be millions of population. God is quite able to feed them. Why do you think that God is so poor? We have already explained that He is full with all opulences. So it does not matter whether there is increase of population. But if the people are unfaithful, they must be punished with starvation. That is God’s will. It is not that they will not be fed. There is no question of overpopulation.
Swedish man (6): But the number of human bodies increase.
Prabhupāda: No, that is also your misconception. Human bodies increasing may think that from evolutionary process they are coming to the human body. But they are not going to be liberated. Therefore we see that human, congestion of human body. You can explain like that. But even there is increase of population of human body, there is no problem if you believe in God. That is another thing. But if you think that you have taken the responsibility of feeding them, that is another thing.
Swedish man (6): Do you have any sort of teachers in your centers, and how do they get their education if you have any teachers?
Prabhupāda: Yes, we have got our books. You can see in our books, every word, Sanskrit word, is given, the equivalent English. We give the roman transliteration, explanation, so there is no difficulty. Just like here is one of my students. He has learned Sanskrit now. He can read, he can write, he can edit. So it is a question of learning. There is no difficulty.
Swedish man: (Swedish) [break]
Devotee: He’s asking if this religion is a matter of reason or is it a matter of feeling?
Prabhupāda: Because it is a science. Religion means a kind of faith. It is not faith. It is a science. Science must be based on logic and philosophy. Science means that. And religion means sometimes sentiments. So religion without philosophy is sentiment, and philosophy without religion is mental speculation. Both must be combined. Then it is perfect. You cannot have religion without philosophy. That is sentiment, fanaticism. And if you simply take philosophy without religion, without sense of God, this is mental speculation. So religion must be on the basis of science and logic. That is first-class religion.
All, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. (end)