The Missing Self-Understanding.
Los Angeles, November 25, 1968, Bhagavad-gita 2.1-10
Tamala Krsna: "Sanjaya said, Seeing Arjuna full of compassion and very sorrowful, his eyes brimming with tears, Madhusudana, Krsna, spoke the following words [Bg. 2.1]. The Supreme Personality said, ‘My dear Arjuna, how have these impurities come upon you? They are not at all befitting a man who knows the progressive values of life. They do not lead to higher planets but to infamy [Bg. 2.2].'
Prabhupada: Now, Arjuna was sympathetic with his brothers and relatives and he was practically crying, with tears in his eyes, and Krsna said that it is non-Aryan. It is not befitting for an Aryan. Just see. He was so compassionate, but still, it is not approved by Krsna. Go on.
Tamala Krsna: Purport. "The Sanskrit word Bhagavan is explained by the great authority, Parasara Muni, the father of Vyasadeva. The Supreme Personality who possesses all riches, entire strength, entire fame, entire beauty, entire knowledge, and entire renunciation is called Bhagavan. There are many persons who are very rich, very powerful, very beautiful, very famous, very learned, and very much detached, but no one can claim that he is possessor of all these opulences entirely. Such a claim is applicable to Krsna only, and as such He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No living entity, including Brahma, can possess such opulence. Neither Lord Siva nor even Narayana can possess such opulence as fully as Krsna. By analytical study of such possessions it is concluded in the Brahma-samhita by Lord Brahma himself that Lord Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Nobody is equal to or above Him. He is the primeval Lord or Bhagavan known as Govinda, and He is the supreme cause of all causes. It is stated as follows: There are many personalities possessing the qualities of Bhagavan, but Krsna is Supreme over all of them because none can excel Him. He is the Supreme Person and His body is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss. He is the primeval Lord Govinda and the cause of all causes. In the Bhagavatam also there is a list of many incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but Krsna is described therein as the original Personality from whom many, many incarnations and Personalities of Godhead expand. It is stated in this way: All the lists of the incarnations of Godhead submitted herewith are either plenary expansions or parts of the plenary expansions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. Therefore Krsna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, the source of both Supersoul and the impersonal Brahman. In the presence of the Supreme Person, Arjuna's lamentation for his kinsmen is certainly unbecoming, and therefore Krsna expressed His surprise with the word kutas, wherefrom. Such unmanly sentiments were never expected from a person belonging to the civilized class of men known as Aryans. The word Aryan is applicable to persons who know the value of life and have a civilization based on spiritual realization. Persons who are led by the material conception of life do not know that the aim of life is realization of the Absolute Truth, Visnu, or Bhagavan. Such persons are captivated by the external features..."
Prabhupada: But at the present moment they claim that "We belong to the Aryan family," but they have not the qualification of an Aryan. The Aryan qualification is described there. Simply Arjuna was little flickering, he showed his little weakness, and he was at once condemned as non-Aryan. "Oh, you are just showing your symptom of a non-Aryan." You see. And by Krsna. So the Aryan word is not ordinary. To become Aryan means a perfect human being, as far as possible. That is Aryan civilization. Go on.
Tamala Krsna: "Such persons are captivated by the external features of the material world, and therefore they do not know what liberation is. Persons who have no knowledge of liberation from material bondage are called non-Aryans. Arjuna was trying to deviate from his prescribed duties, declining to fight, although he was a ksatriya or warrior. This act of cowardice is described as befitting the non-Aryans. Such deviation from duty does not help one in the progress of spiritual life, nor does it even give one the opportunity of becoming famous in this world. Lord Krsna did not approve of the so-called compassion of Arjuna for his kinsmen."
Prabhupada: So-called compassion. He was thinking that by showing that compassion he'll be, I mean to say, eulogized by Krsna. But Krsna condemned it. Yes. Just the opposite. In other words, Krsna is very strict also. That is the qualification of Krsna and His associates. Vajrad api kathora and kusumad api kamala. Softer than the flower and harder than the thunderbolt. Two sides. When Krsna is strict He's harder than the thunderbolt, and when He's soft, He's softer than the flower. These two examples are given. Vajrad api kathora, kusumad api kamala. So Krsna is not lenient to His friend or to His devotee. Because that leniency will not help him, will not help him. Sometimes He appears to be very hard for the devotee, but He's not hard. Just like father sometimes becomes very strict. That is good. That will be proved, how Krsna's hardness will prove his salvation. At the end Arjuna will admit, "By Your mercy, my illusion is now over." So this sort of stricture by..., from God on the devotee is sometimes misunderstood. Because we are always accustomed to accept what is immediately very pleasing, but sometimes we'll find that we are not getting which is immediately very pleasing, but we should not be disappointed. We shall stick to Krsna. That is Arjuna's position. Go on.
Tamala Krsna: "O son of Prtha, do not yield to this degrading impotence [Bg. 2.3]."
Prabhupada: Hm. Degrading impotence. He doesn't want to see (chuckling) His devotee a coward and impotent. So this so-called qualification, impotency and niggard, that is not qualification for devotee. He must be very, in every way, very expert and fit. Krsna wants to see. Yes. Go on.
Tamala Krsna: "It does not become you. Give up such petty weakness of heart and arise, O chastiser of the enemy."
Prabhupada: He's specially addressing, "chastiser of the enemy." Where there is no excuse, you must be chastiser. Not that "Because I have become Krsna conscious, I'll be very humble." You must be humble, but in need, if there is need, you shall be thunderbolt. That is Krsna instructing.
Tamala Krsna: "Arjuna said: O killer of Madhu, Krsna, how can I counterattack with arrows in battle personalities like Bhisma and Drona, who are worthy of my worship [Bg. 2.4]?"
Prabhupada: Of course, all explanation are not there. Here, these words, Krsna addressed Arjuna, "chastiser of enemies." And Arjuna addresses Krsna, "Madhusudana," or the killer of the demon Madhu. "Yes, You are addressing me as chastiser of enemy, but do You think my grandfather, my teacher, they are my enemies? You killed demon Madhu, therefore Your name is Madhusudana, but You are asking me to kill my grandfather and teacher." That is the hint. "It is all right that Your name is Madhusudana. You killed one demon whose name was Madhu, but You are asking me, Bhismasudana? Bhisma is my grandfather. And Dronasudana?" Sudana means killer. "So how can I be that?" That is the answer.
Tamala Krsna: "It is better to live in this world by begging than to live at the cost of the lives of great souls who are my teachers. Even though they are avaricious, they are nonetheless superiors. If they are killed, then our spoils will be tainted with blood [Bg. 2.5]."
Prabhupada: This is another indication how superiors should be shown respect. Arjuna says, "Although they have become avaricious, still, they are my superior." Avaricious, why? "They have got full affection for me. My grandfather Bhisma has got full affection for me. And Dronacarya, I am his very dear student so he has also my very affection... good affection for me. But because Duryodhana has paid them, he has accepted their service. Paid them. So avaricious. Simply for money, in spite of so much affection and intimate relationship, they have accepted the service of Duryodhana, counting on money. So therefore they are avaricious. But in spite of their being avaricious, they are my respectful." This is respect. This is respect, that the respectful person who is my respectful, even there are some characteristics who does not command respect, still respect should be offered. This is a respectful offering. Yes. Sometimes it may be. The example is given. In the Bhagavad-gita you'll find, api cet sudaracaro bhajate mam ananya-bhak sadhur eva sa mantavyah [Bg. 9.30]. "Even a devotee is sometimes found not acting properly, but because he has got that unflinching faith and devotion upon Me," Krsna says, "therefore he is saint." Only for that one qualification -- he does not know except Krsna. So to such person, even some flaws are found in their character... Just like we have imposed some rules that illicit sex relationship and intoxication, meat-eating, so many things. So... Of course, intentionally one should not break these laws. But even sometimes we may find that there is some flaw in one's part... Suppose if I see somebody smoking, but he is doing Krsna consciousness very nicely. So we should not deride. We shall give him concession to reform. It does not mean that because he has accidentally smoked, smoking, that does not mean he has become immediately disqualified. As Arjuna is showing: "Although they have become avaricious, still, they are my superiors. Still. Still, they are my superiors." This is called unflinching faith. In spite of seeing my respectful superior abominable, not willingly, but by accident, still, I should not withdraw my respect. That is the... Hmm.
Tamala Krsna: "Nor do we know which is better, conquering them or being conquered by them. The sons of Dhrtarastra, whom if we killed we should not care to live, are now standing before us on this battlefield [Bg. 2.6]." Purport. "Arjuna became perplexed in this connection, not knowing whether he should execute the fighting with the risk of committing unnecessarily violence, although it is the duty of the ksatriyas, or whether he should not and prefer instead to live by begging, because if he did not conquer the enemy, begging would be the only means left for his living. There was no certainty of victory because either side might emerge victorious."
Prabhupada: These are his causes of perplexities, how he was thinking, that has been tried to be explained. Yes, go on.
Tamala Krsna: "Even if there were victory awaiting them, because their cause was justified, still if the sons of Dhrtarastra should die in battle, it would be very difficult to live in their absence. Under the circumstances that would be another kind of defeat. All these considerations by Arjuna definitely proved that he was not only a great devotee of the Lord but that he was also highly enlightened and had complete control over his mind and senses. His desire to live by begging although he was born in the royal household is another sign of detachment. He was fully in the quality of forbearance as all these qualities combined with his faith in the words of instruction of Sri Krsna, his spiritual master, give evidence. It is concluded that Arjuna was quite fit for liberation. Unless the senses are controlled, there is no chance of elevation to the platform of knowledge, and without knowledge and devotion there is no chance of liberation. Arjuna was competent in all these attributes over and above his enormous attributes in his material relationships."
Prabhupada: Go on. (coughs)
Tamala Krsna: "Now I am confused about..."
Prabhupada: Yes, what is there?
Tamala Krsna: "Now I am confused about duty and have lost all composure because of weakness. In this condition I am asking You to tell me clearly what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me [Bg. 2.7]." Purport. "By nature's own way, the complete system of material activities is a source of perplexity for everyone. In every step there is perplexity, and it behooves one therefore to approach a bona fide spiritual master who can give one the proper guidance for executing the purpose of life. All Vedic literatures advise us to approach a bona fide spiritual master to get free from the perplexities of life which happen without our desire. They appear like a forest fire which takes place without being set by anyone. Similarly, the world situation is such that perplexities of life automatically appear without our wanting such confusion. Nobody wants fire, and yet it takes place and we are perplexed. The Vedic wisdom therefore advises that in order to solve the perplexities of life and to understand the science of the solution one must approach a spiritual master who is in disciplic succession. A person with a bona fide spiritual master is supposed to know everything. One should not therefore remain in..."
Prabhupada: This is a translation of a Vedic version, acaryavan puruso veda. Acaryavan, one who has acarya as his guidance, he is supposed to know everything. Acaryavan puruso veda. That is given there.
Tamala Krsna: "One should not therefore remain in material perplexities but should approach such a teacher. This is the purport of this verse. Who is the man in material perplexities? It is he who does not understand the problems of life. In the Garga Upanisad this is described as follows. He is a miserly man who does not solve the problems of life as a human and who thus quits this world like the cats and dogs without understanding the science of self-realization. He is called a miserly man. This human form of life is the most valuable asset for the living entity who can utilize it for solving the problems of life. Therefore one who does not utilize this opportunity is a miser."
Prabhupada: As a miser does not properly use his asset. Suppose you have got one million dollars, you keep it only, you do not use it properly or you spoil it. Then you are called miser. But if you utilize it properly and gain out of it, then you are intelligent. Similarly, Garga Upanisad says, he makes distinction, two classes. One class of men he says krpana. Krpana means miser. And another class of men he says brahmana, brahmanas. So he classifies, etad viditvasmat ya praiti sa brahmanah. This self-realization process... We shall die. It is sure. Every one of us, we'll die. But we should not die like cats and dogs. That is the difference. We may die. We must die. Nobody can escape death, but before death we must know what is self and self-realization. They are brahmanas. Those who are trying to understand what he is, what is his relation with God and how he should live, they are called brahmanas. And those who are living like cats and dogs, simply eating, sleeping, mating and dying, so they are dying like cats and dogs. So death is inevitable. That is also advised by Prahlada Maharaja in his instruction to his class fellows. Kaumara acaret prajno dharman bhagavatan iha [SB 7.6.1]. "My dear friends, from this beginning of life... We are now five years old. From this life we should try to understand bhagavata-dharma." Bhagavata-dharma means to understand our relationship with the Supreme Lord. That is called bhagavata-dharma. Manusam adhruvam. Tad apy adhruvam. Although the life is temporary, but it is very suitable for self-realization. So therefore one should begin this process from childhood. Just like modern education system, if children are given some playthings, engineering... I've seen in your country especially. He's given railway line and so many things. He can understand how railway system is working, or engineering, so that from the very beginning of his life he's getting idea and he may catch up some line of activities. Similarly this Krsna conscious education also should be given from the very beginning of life. That is the mistake of the modern civilization. Everyone is becoming engineering, technologist, or medical man or so many. But the real problem of life is to understand the self. But there is no educational system throughout the whole world what is the self, what is his need, how it is constituted, how it is working, so many things. In Boston, there was a Massachusetts Technological...
Devotee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Prabhupada: You know that? Yes. So I explained there that "Here is a nice technological institute, but where is your, this technological department, to understand?" So the students very much appreciated it. Factually, this is the defect. We know... This will be the beginning of Bhagavad-gita, that there is something which minus, this body is useless. But nobody is trying to understand what is that something. There is no technological institute to understand what is that something. Is it not defective? And still, they are very much proud of advancement of education. The real thing is missing. You have got all departments for comforts of this body, for maintaining this body, but the thing which minus this body, the body is useless, what about that thing? That is Bhagavad-gita. That is Bhagavad-gita. Bhagavad-gita is teaching that technology. You should try to understand this Bhagavad-gita is not technology for the external body. Bhagavad-gita is the technology of the dehi which is within the body, which is moving the body, which is keeping the body fit. This body is fit very nice, very beautiful, very attractive. How long? So long the spirit soul is there. As soon as the spirit soul is off, immediately it begins to decompose. There may be a nice, beautiful young girl, everyone is hankering after her, but as soon as the spirit soul is gone, nobody will like to accept it. Immediately it becomes useless. (laughs) Huh? So nobody is very serious what is that thing? That is Bhagavad-gita. Yes.
Srimati: Is that what age is then, as the spirit soul is leaving the body, do you become older?
Prabhupada: No, spirit soul is not old. The body is changing, that is the process. That will be explained,
dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
dhiras tatra na muhyati
Spirit soul is evergreen. The body is changing. That is to be understood. Body is changing. That everyone can understand. Just like in your childhood your body was different. Just like this child, a different body. And when that child will be young girl, that will be a different body. But the spirit soul is there in this body and that body. So this is the proof that spirit soul does not change, the body changed. This is the proof. I am thinking of my childhood. That means I am the same "I" which I was existing in my childhood, and I remember in my childhood I was doing this, I did that. But that childhood body is no longer. That is gone. Therefore it is conclusion that my body has changed, but I am the same. Is it not? This is simple truth. So this body will change, still I shall remain. I may enter into another body, that doesn't matter, but I shall remain. Tatha dehantara-praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati [Bg. 2.13]. As I am changing my body even in the present circumstances, similarly, the ultimate change does not mean I am dead. I enter into another... That also explained, vasamsi jirnani yatha, that I change. Just like when I was not sannyasi, I was dressing like any gentleman. Now I have changed my dress. That does not mean that I have died. No. I have changed my body, that's all. I have changed my dress. Go on. Not now. Yes. Krpanas, yes, you were reading there.
Tamala Krsna: "The krpanas, or miserly persons, waste their time in being overly affectionate for family, society, country, etc., in the material conception of life. One is often attached to family life, to wife and children and other members on the basis of 'skin disease.' The krpanas think that they are able to protect their family members from death, or the krpana thinks that his family or society can save him from death. Such family attachment can be found even in the lower animals, who also take care of children. Being intelligent, Arjuna could understand that his affection for family members and his wish to protect them from death were the causes of his perplexities. Although he could understand that his duty to fight was awaiting him, still on account of miserly weakness he could not discharge the duty. He is therefore asking Lord Krsna, the supreme spiritual master, to make a definite solution. He offers himself to Krsna as a disciple. He wants to stop friendly talks. Talks between a master and disciple are serious, and now Arjuna wants to talk very seriously before the recognized spiritual master. Krsna is therefore the original..."
Prabhupada: Here is a technique. The same Krsna and same Arjuna, they are talking as friends. Then what was the necessity of Arjuna accepting Krsna as spiritual master? The same Arjuna and same Krsna, they'll talk, but what is the necessity of accepting as spiritual master? That means after accepting spiritual master he'll not argue. He'll simply accept whatever He says. That is the technique. Friendly talks, equal level, He, Krsna was talking something and he was replying. So that argument has no end. But when he accepts Him as spiritual master, there is no more argument. One has to accept whatever He says. Therefore he's accepting as spiritual master. After this, Arjuna will never say, "This is wrong, this is, no," or "I don't agree." No. He'll accept. So acceptance of spiritual master means to accept anything, whatever he says. Therefore one has to select a spiritual master whom he can completely surrender. That is the technique. Veda-vakya. Just like in the Vedic injunction, nobody can deny. Similarly, spiritual master is also representative of Veda. Acaryavan puruso veda. So similarly, it is just like Vedic injunction. So spiritual master has also got the great duty. He has to instruct the disciple in such a way that he may not be misled, and that is not possible because a spiritual master is he who will simply speak from authoritative sources. He'll speak from Bhagavad-gita, Bhagavata, or what was spoken by Narada, Vyasa, that is his authority. He does not say, "In my opinion it is..." No. Therefore it is perfect, it is coming from the disciplic succession, and if one agrees to such instruction, then he's also perfectly advancing. It is not difficult to understand. So he's accepting. "Now I accept You as my spiritual master. You teach me." Is that the statement? Yes. What is that?
Tamala Krsna: "He offers himself to Krsna as a disciple. He wants to stop friendly talks. Krsna is therefore the original spiritual master in the science of the Bhagavad-gita, and Arjuna is the original disciple in understanding the Gita. How Arjuna understands the Bhagavad-gita is stated in the Gita itself, and yet foolish mundane scholars explain that one need not submit to Krsna as a person but to the unborn within Krsna. There is no difference between Krsna's within and without, and one who has no sense of this understanding is the greatest fool, the greatest pretender."
"I can find no means to drive away this grief which is drying up my senses. I will not even be able to destroy it if I win an unrivalled kingdom on the earth with sovereignty like the demigods in heaven [Bg. 2.8].
"Sanjaya said: Having spoken thus, Arjuna, chastiser of enemies, told Krsna, ‘Govinda, I shall not fight,' and fell silent [Bg. 2.9].
O descendant of Bharata, at that time Krsna, smiling in the midst of both the armies, spoke the following words to the grief-stricken Arjuna [Bg. 2.10]."
Prabhupada: So Arjuna was so serious, and Krsna was smiling. (laughs) "Just see the fool, what he is doing." Therefore there was necessity of instructing Bhagavad-gita. The fool has to be instructed. Yes. This is the... He was smiling. This is childish. He was very serious, "Oh." Just like sometimes a child is very serious, and the father is smiling. Yes. So now Bhagavad-gita will be spoken. He has accepted Krsna as spiritual master. Now He'll teach. So what does He teach? Next?
Tamala Krsna: "The Blessed Lord said: While speaking learned words, you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor the dead [Bg. 2.11]."
Prabhupada: This is the first version of Krsna as teacher. What is that? Read it again?
Tamala Krsna: "Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor the dead."
Prabhupada: Yes. Asocyan anvasocas tvam prajna-vadams ca bhasase [Bg. 2.11], that "You are lamenting for a thing which no learned man does. That means you are not learned, but you are talking just like learned man." What is that? "You are talking"?
Tamala Krsna: "While speaking learned words you are..."
Prabhupada: Yes. "You are speaking learned words, but your behavior shows that you are not learned because you are lamenting on a subject which no learned man laments." Politely He says that "You are not learned, but you are talking just like a learned man." That you will find. Dr. Frog, (laughs) speaking like a very great philosopher. Just like here, that Dr. Radhakrishnan, that says, "It is not to Krsna but within Krsna." That fool does not know that there is no within or without of Krsna. Rather, Krsna is within and without. That he does not know. And he's accepted as a very great learned man. Dr. Frog, or Dr. Radhakrishnan. You see? This is going on in the world. They are posing themself as very learned, but... This can be detected by devotees, who is learned and who is not learned. Others cannot detect. Others will be misled. The devotees, they have got such eyes to see that they can immediately discriminate who is a fool, who is learned. There is a story that one man was searching after the truth. So he met some person, saintly person. So he gave him one feather, that "You try to see within the feather who is a human being and who is not." So when he began to see within the feather, he saw, "There is no human being." Similarly,
caksur unmilitam yena
tasmai sri-gurave namah
Guru or the spiritual master... [break] ...means pure devotee.
Virabhadra: In the asrama, and before that when you said that a brahmana is... Do you mean, when you say brahmana, do you mean... I mean are they... the devotees who are not pure but...
Prabhupada: Yes, they're also pure devotees because they're following my instruction. Just like a technician, he is expert, but somebody is assisting him. So the assistants, because they are following the instruction of the expert, therefore their work is also complete. So it is not necessarily that one has to become pure devotee immediately. Just like we are also following the instruction of our spiritual master. I don't claim that I am pure devotee or perfect, but my only qualification is that I am trying to follow the instruction of the perfect. Similarly... This is called disciplic succession. Just like here it is stated that Krsna is the original spiritual master and Arjuna is the original student. So Arjuna said that sarvam etad rtam manye yad vadasi kesava [Bg. 10.14]. "My dear Krsna, whatever You are saying, I accept in toto," in the Tenth Chapter. Just like Dr. Radhakrishnan says, "It is not to Krsna, it is something else." He does not accept in that way. He says that "Whatever You are saying, I accept it. You are saying that You are the Supreme, I accept it. I don't say that You have got a separate thing within. That is Supreme, You are not Supreme, as person." This is impersonalist. They do not know that Krsna has no such... A conditioned soul... Just like we are, I am different from my soul. "I am" means my body, or I am soul, different from the body. So Krsna has no such differentiation. He does not know that. Because he's not following Krsna, the perfect spiritual master. He's following some rascal spiritual master. Therefore he has this mistake. But if we follow Arjuna and Krsna, then we get the perfect knowledge. We may not be cent percent perfect, but as far as possible, if we follow the instruction as it is, that much perfect. In this way one will get perfection.
So one has to follow. The same example, try to understand, that a perfect, expert technologist or technician or mechanic is working, and somebody is working under his instruction. So this somebody, because he is strictly working under the instruction of the expert, he's also expert. He may not be cent percent expert, but his work is expert. Is that clear? Because he is working under the expert. Do you follow? So if you follow pure devotee, then you are also pure devotee. It may not be one is cent percent pure. Because we are trying to raise ourself from the conditional life. But if we strictly follow the pure devotee, then we are also pure devotee. So far we do, that is pure. So pure devotee does not mean one has to become immediately cent percent pure. But if he sticks to the principle that "We'll follow a pure devotee," then his actions are... He is as good as a pure devotee. It is not I am explaining in my own way. It is the explanation of Bhagavata. Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. We have to follow the footprints of pure devotees. It is said that tarkah apratisthah. If you want to become pure by your arguments and logic, that is not possible. I may be defeated by another strong man who is stronger in argument than me, so this is not the way of becoming purified, tarka, simply arguing. Tarkah apratisthah smrtayo vibhinnah. Srutayah, scriptures. Suppose somebody sticks to the scriptures. So scriptures, there are different types of scripture. So they are vibhinna. Vibhinna means different types. So how we can become purified by, even by following the scriptures? Tarko 'pratisthah smrtayo vibhinna na casav rsir yasya matam na bhinnam. Muni means thoughtful, philosophers. If we follow a particular type of philosopher, that is also not perfect because I may be under the care of a philosopher, frog philosopher. So that is also not sure. Tarko 'pratisthah smrtayo vibhinna na casav rsir yasya matam na bhinnam, dharmasya tattvam nihitam guhayam.
Therefore to become pure or to understand the essence of purity is very confidential. It is not to be acquired by our own efforts, by argument or by being expert in scripture or by becoming a philosopher or a similar way. It is very confidential. Then how? Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. You have to follow a pure devotee, acknowledged devotee. Similarly, in the Bhagavad-gita, if we follow Arjuna, then we understand Bhagavad-gita as it is. But if we don't follow Arjuna, if we follow somebody, Dr. Frog, or create our own interpretation, then we remain impure. So mahajano yena gatah sa panthah. We have to follow the footprints of mahajana, great soul. So here is directly you are meeting great soul, Arjuna. He is directly being taught Bhagavad-gita by the original teacher. Who can be greater authority than Arjuna? So as Arjuna accepts Bhagavad-gita, if you accept Bhagavad-gita in that way, then your study of Bhagavad-gita is perfect. It is very simple. Therefore I'm saying here that Krsna is the original teacher, and Arjuna is the original student. So you follow the original student, you understand Bhagavad-gita. Even Krsna is not present before you. He is present by His words. This is the way of following what is pure. Yes?
Tamala Krsna: Can Krsna give us the ability to someday remember every word that you are saying to us now? Because I myself, I forget so much. I want to hear just how you are talking and I can't.
Prabhupada: What is that? I don't follow.
Tamala Krsna: I want to be able to hear you saying exactly what you're saying now. I want to always be able to hear it, but I forget. My memory is very poor.
Prabhupada: Why? No. If we try... Memory may be poor. Everything depends on cultivation. If you cultivate something, your memory increases. Everyone becomes expert not in one day but by cultivation. Similarly, if you try to remember, then your memory will help you to remember. It is not difficult. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, that we have to try to remember Krsna. He's so beautiful, His instructions are so nice. If we simply remember Krsna... That was the perfection approved by Lord Caitanya. I think I have narrated the story. When Lord Caitanya was traveling in South India in a big temple, Ranganatha temple, He went to see the Deity, and He saw one brahmana was reading Bhagavad-gita. And people were joking him, "Oh, Mr. brahmana, how you are reading Bhagavad-gita?" Because they were the neighbors, they knew that this brahmana was illiterate and he was studying Bhagavad-gita. So they were joking. But the brahmana did not care them. He was taking the book and in his own way he was reading. Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw this incident, He came to the brahmana. So He asked the brahmana, "My dear brahmana, what you are reading?" So he could understand "This persons is not joking with me; He is serious." So he explained, "My dear sir, I am reading Bhagavad-gita. Unfortunately, I am illiterate. I do not know even the alphabets." "Why you are reading Bhagavad-gita?" So he said that, "My spiritual master knows that I am illiterate, but still, he has asked me to read Bhagavad-gita. What can I do? Therefore I have taken this book. I am seeing simply. I do not know how to read." "Oh, that's all right. You cannot read. But I see that you are crying. How you are crying if you are not reading?" "Yes, I am crying. Of course, there is cause." "What is that?" "As soon as I take this Bhagavad-gita, I remember Krsna. Krsna is sitting as driver and Arjuna is hearing. I have heard the story. I know something of the instruction but cannot read. So as soon as I take this book, this picture comes before me and I simply think, ‘Oh, how Krsna is nice that He has become a charioteer of His devotee. He is so great. Still, He has accepted a menial service of His devotee.' This gives me so much pleasure that I cry." Caitanya Mahaprabhu embraced him, "Your Bhagavad-gita reading is perfect. You have taken the essence." So this is the thing. If you simply remember Krsna is teaching Arjuna and Arjuna is hearing, if you simply remember the picture, that is sufficient. Even if you think that you cannot read. Because after all we have to become Krsna conscious. We haven't got to become a learned man to argue with another learned man. If it is possible we can do that, but that does not make any difference if I cannot argue with others or if I cannot teach very nicely Bhagavad-gita to others. Simply if I remember this picture, that is perfection. Because we have to become Krsna conscious. We have to simply think of Krsna. You think in any way. That is your perfection. Smartavyah satatam visnuh. This is the injunction. You have to think of Visnu always. This is samadhi; this is meditation; this is yoga siddhi, perfection of yoga.
So one who has learned to think of Krsna always, he is already on the perfectional stage. Aradhito yadi haris tapasa tatah kim [Narada-pancaratra]. If one has come to this stage, just to understand Krsna the great, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and he's surrendered soul, "Krsna, whatever You like You do. I am surrendered."... This is aradhana. Then he doesn't require to undergo any austerities or penance. His everything is finished. And naradhito yadi haris tapasa tatah kim. And if he does not come to this stage, his so-called scholarship, learned argument, this or that -- all nonsense, finished. Useless. One has to come to this stage. Therefore Lord Caitanya embraced the brahmana, "Yes, your study of Bhagavad-gita is perfect." Because one has to come to this stage, thinking of Krsna always. So if one does not come to this stage, simply by academic education, he says "It should be like this. The interpretation should be like this," he's simply wasting time. Frog philosopher. One has to come to this stage. Aradhito yadi haris tapasa tatah kim, naradhito yadi haris tapasa tatah kim [Narada-pancaratra]. So that is the perfection. Krsna and gopis. They were cowherds girl. Their father, mother, they were only ordinary village men, keeping cows. That's all. What was their education? They were not Vedantists. But they learned to love Krsna. That was their qualification. And Caitanya Mahaprabhu certifies, ramyad upasana vraja-vadhu-vargena va kalpita. "Oh, there is no better worship than that which was contemplated by the gopis." Because they did not know what is Krsna but they loved Krsna. That's all. They loved Krsna, that because Krsna was God or Krsna was something great? No. Their natural affection was for Krsna. They could not stay even for a moment without seeing Krsna. That was their qualification. This is Krsna consciousness.
Boy: How come a lotus flower is so great?
Prabhupada: He will explain, he will explain. So, one has to come to perfect Krsna consciousness some way or other. That is perfection. That is everything. If one always thinks of Krsna, then he is perfect. We should not forget. We have presented so many formulas. Why? Not the formulas are important, but the formulas will help me to remember Krsna always. Just like you are going to sell our magazines. So this magazine selling or taking some contribution is not our business. Our business is that we are spreading Krsna consciousness, people are hearing something about Krsna. And because we are helping, we are also hearing. We are also benefiting. When you speak somebody about Krsna, then I hear also Krsna. Sravanam kirtanam. The first preliminary steps, hearing and chanting, is going on. So in this way we shall take all opportunities so that twenty-four hours, whether awakened or sleeping, we shall always think of Krsna. That is perfection. This chanting means always remembering Krsna -- Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Rama, Hare Rama. Cooking, I am cooking for Krsna, I am typing for Krsna, I am going to preach for Krsna, I'm distributing Back to Godhead for Krsna. In this way (laughs) always remember Krsna, that's all. That will make you perfect. Yes?
Devotee: Did Krsna have children by the gopis?
Prabhupada: No. Krsna's love was not this love, sex love. That was different thing. Yes?
Visnujana: When we're engaged in spreading Krsna consciousness by this singing or selling Back to Godheads or speaking with people, if through our senses, like seeing or hearing or touching and smelling, our mind gets distracted even while we're engaged in selling Back to Godhead, then how can we always, how can we always return to that point of remembering even though our senses are being dragged by billboard signs and so many...
Prabhupada: No, suppose you are selling Back to Godhead. Does it not remind you (of) Krsna? Does it not remind you about Krsna? What for you are selling Back to Godhead? You could sell another popular magazine which could sell very nicely, quickly, thousands of copies. Why you have taken this Back to Godhead? For Krsna. You are not for business, you are not ordinary, I mean to say, newspaper seller. Why you have taken Back to Godhead? Your motive is that people may know about Krsna. That is your motive. If magazine selling is your business, you can take any other sense gratificatory magazine. There are so many. And you can sell, you can make some profit. So we have to mold our life in such a way that we shall always remember Krsna. Therefore remembering Krsna is my primary business. And we have to act in such a way that we may not forget Krsna. That should be the principle. That is the secret. Therefore it is equally good for anyone because we can engage anyone in the business of Krsna. If somebody has no, I mean to say, knowledge, he can simply sweep over the floor of Krsna's temple. That will make him remembering Krsna, that "I am cleansing the floor of Krsna's temple." He's as good as the editor of Back to Godhead. Yes?
Devotee: How does the devotee go about practicing this Krsna consciousness when he's asleep?
Prabhupada: Yes, Sleep means your gross senses are stopped, but your mind works. Therefore you dream. So if you practice your mind to be engaged in Krsna consciousness, in dream also you'll see that you are preparing prasadam. "I am going to sell Back to Godhead." (chuckles) That's all. Sometimes some nights when I feel hungry, I dream that I'm eating Krsna prasadam very sumptuous. (laughing)
Devotee: Oh, haribol! (laughing)
Prabhupada: (laughs) Somebody is supplying me nice parata and I am eating. (laughs) But, being hungry, oh, my hunger is not satisfied. I'm eating, eating, till the dream is end. So if you practice, this is the technique. We have to practice in this way, that when all functions of this body will be stopped at the time of death, oh, we shall remember some way or other, Krsna. Then successful. Immediately successful. That is the technique. Therefore Kulasekhara is praying,
adyaiva visatu me manasa-raja-hamsah
kanthavarodhana-vidhau smaranam kutas te
The devotee, a great devotee, King Kulasekhara. He has a nice book, Mukunda-mala-stotra. I began translating, commenting, this line in Vrndavana. So the first verse is he's comparing his mind with the swan. I think you have seen, Jayananda, when we were walking in Seattle in that park, in a lake the swan were diving near the lotus. You have seen? Yes. That is the practice. The swan takes pleasure where there is, I mean to say, what is called, lotus or lily, lilies. There's a stem. They dive and they entangle their long neck with the... That is their sporting. So Krsna's lotus feet, we call, lotus feet. So he says that "My mind may be entangled with the stem of Your lotus feet just like the swan. Immediately. I can do that now because I am in healthy state. Otherwise at the time of death, kapha-vata-pittaih, when mucus, bile, everything will be disordered, and my throat will be choked up, I will not be able to speak or chant. So why shall I wait for that time? Now I am fit. Let my mind be absorbed with Your thought and let me die." That is the technique. That our mind should be always absorbed in Krsna thought. So if by Krsna's grace, at the time of that last moment of quitting this body, when every function of the body will be disordered we can remember Krsna, then our life is successful. So we have to practice this. This, everything, whatever we are doing, it is practicing for the last moment. There is a Bengali proverb, bhajana kara sadhana kara matte janle haya.(?) How you are advancing in Krsna consciousness, that will be tested at the time of your death. The examination will be at that time. So if that technique becomes perfect, then our life is perfect. At once you are transferred to the Krsnaloka. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]. "My dear Kaunteya, My dear Arjuna, that person, after quitting this body, he never comes back again to this nonsense material world, but he comes to Me." That is perfection. People have no knowledge who is transferred, where it is transferred, what is God, what is... No, nothing of the sort. Simply eat, drink, be merry and enjoy, and die like cats and dogs. That's all.
So we have tried to explain all these things in this Bhapgavad-gita As It Is. Try to read it repeatedly and you get all information, all techniques. This life should not be misused. That should be the first point. It should be very properly utilized in Krsna consciousness. Consciousness is there. Just absorb it in Krsna. Consciousness must be absorbed in some thought. Make it Krsna thought always. Make your program in such a way that you cannot go out of Krsna thought. Just like businessmen, they're always thinking, "What profit is there? What is the bank balance? And how the business is going? How the profit is going?" They're always thinking of that. Somebody is thinking something. Everyone. If one is after some woman, he's thinking of that woman always. If one is after some man, he's also thinking of that man. So thinking must be there, some subject matter of thinking. That we have to change to Krsna thinking some way or other. Transferring the thinking or consciousness to Krsna. You do it in whatever way you like, but there are some standard way. If you follow, that will be easier. People have some idea of God, they accept. But simply having some idea of God one cannot think. But here is a solid God, Krsna, with two hands playing flute, and one can think of Him. Premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti yam syamasundaram [Bs. 5.38]. They're thinking of whom? Syamasundara. Syama, blackish, but very beautiful. Syamasundaram acintya-guna-svarupam. With transcendental qualities. Govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami. "I am worshiping that Govinda." So we have to mold our life. This is Krsna consciousness. Chant Hare Krsna. So you have got another good assistant?
Tamala Krsna: Expert.
Prabhupada: Yes. Now take some contribution and purchase one temple. (laughs) The sankirtana's party's responsibility is increasing. Just find out some person, and give us a temple.
Tamala Krsna: I found someone who will give us a big garage, but it's not a temple. A nice man.
Prabhupada: Never mind garage. Let him begin. We shall sit down there in garage. He's giving for good or...
Tamala Krsna: No. He is volunteering. He's a businessman who has started to chant.
Tamala Krsna: He's very nice.
Prabhupada: So let him give us and we shall make our temple there in the garage. Where it is?
Tamala Krsna: He says it's nearby here. He said fifty people can come in.
Prabhupada: Oh, that's all right.
Tamala Krsna: He said we should hold kirtana there now.
Prabhupada: And immediately.
Tamala Krsna: Yes, he's suggested it.
Prabhupada: So do it immediately. It is Krsna's grace. Never mind garage. We shall turn hell into heaven. (laughter)
na kutascana bibhyati
Svargapavarga, heaven or the Brahman effulgence, or hell, all these are equal to a devotee. A devotee does not make any distinction because he has always within his heart Krsna. So either he goes to hell or heaven, it doesn't matter. You see? If Krsna goes with him then it is no longer hell. (laughs) Just like isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati [Bg. 18.61]. The Lord as Supersoul is in everyone's heart, so He's in the heart of the hog or He is in the heart of the worm in the stool. Does it mean Krsna is living in the stool? No. Wherever He lives, He lives in Vrndavana. That is His inconceivable potency. He can live everywhere, but He does not live there. He lives in Vrndavana. Goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhutah [Bs. 5.37]. So it doesn't matter whether it is garage or anything. If somebody is voluntarily offering that, immediately accept that. We shall sit down there, and fifty people can sit. It is sufficient. We can decorate it nicely. Immediately. Near this place?
Tamala Krsna: Yes, he says it's nearby here.
Prabhupada: Very good.
Tamala Krsna: He's a very nice man. He started to chant when he came to our other temple, and every day he chants while he goes to work...
Prabhupada: Very good.
Tamala Krsna: ...when he's walking the street.
Prabhupada: So he is devotee.
Tamala Krsna: He said he was smoking two and a half packs of cigarettes. Now he only smokes three or four. Soon he will stop.
Prabhupada: (laughs) You see? How practical. Yes. This is practical. One of my Godbrothers, he narrated his life history, that he was distilling wine for drinking. And he said that all kinds of intoxicants he has passed. He is graduate of all kinds of intoxication. (laughs) But when he came to Guru Maharaja, he left everything. He has not even smoking a bidi, cigarette. Papi tapi yata chilo, hari-name uddharilo, tara saksi jagai madhai. The witness is Jagai and Madhai. So you accept it.
Tamala Krsna: He'll have to call me. He said he would call tomorrow.
Prabhupada: Very good.
Dayananda: Well, did he donate it?
Tamala Krsna: No. We'll have a phone by tomorrow.
Dayananda: You said he came to the other temple.
Tamala Krsna: Remember the Indian people came that night? I'll tell you who he is.
Dayananda: With the twelve-year-old boy?
Tamala Krsna: No. He came with his wife that night.
Prabhupada: He's Indian?
Tamala Krsna: No. No. There was another Indian people there that night, but he was separately with his wife. We had a kirtana. That was that very rich man, Indian man who came, and then there was another couple there.
Prabhupada: So he's also rich man?
Tamala Krsna: I don't think so. But he has a wife and he says many things have been changing since he chanted. He says he doesn't know whether he should attribute it to the chant, but he's going to keep chanting. And he looks very, ah, he looks much happier.
Prabhupada: That's all right. So, chant. (end)
Bhagavad-gita 2.1-10 and Talk -- Los Angeles, November 25, 1968