When To Approach A Guru.
75/10/17 Johannesburg, Bhagavad-gita 2.1-11
Prabhupada: I shall speak some verses from Bhagavad-gita, Second Chapter, in which the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krsna instructed. The beginning of instruction is the Second Chapter of Bhagavad-gita. So Arjuna, representing ourself, conditioned soul, covered with the material body and thinking in bodily conception of life... He was to fight with his brothers, nephews, grandfather, Bhismadeva, also teacher the military science, Dronacarya. In this way the business was not very palatable. Although he was forced to fight by the opposite party who were very near, thick and thin people, and he had to kill them, so it was not very satisfactory to him. Therefore he flatly denied to fight: "Krsna, I am not going to fight." He left his weapon, and then Krsna was surprised that "My friend, Arjuna, he is denying to fight in My presence."
So Sanjaya, the private secretary of Maharaja Dhrtarastra, he was relaying the message which was going on in the battle of Kuruksetra by higher process. Nowadays we have got experience of the television, but the another process, antar-drsti, that is also television. You can see the reflection of external activities within your heart, and you can explain. So Sanjaya, the private secretary of Maharaja Dhrtarastra, he explained that Arjuna was denying to fight. So,
tam tatha krpayavistam
visidantam idam vakyam
Madhusudana is Krsna's another name. So when Krsna saw that Arjuna is unnecessarily disturbed, then, tam tatha krpayavistam asru-purnakuleksanam [Bg. 2.1]. Asru-purna: his eyes was full with tears. "Krsna, I have to fight with my relatives." So he was crying, that "This is not very good business." So why he was crying? Krpayavistam: being merciful upon them. They were so cruel upon the Pandavas that they insulted their wife, they tricked how to take away their kingdom. All this injustice was done to them. Still, because Arjuna is a Vaisnava, a devotee, still, he was sympathetic: "No, no, let them do whatever they have done, but I am not going to kill them." So krpayavistam asru-purnakuleksanam [Bg. 2.1], visidantam. Bhagavan uvaca. Then, after Arjuna being silent not to fight, then Bhagavan... Krsna is Bhagavan. Bhagavan means the Supreme Personality of Godhead, full with all opulences. That is called Bhagavan. Generally in India we speak, bhagyavan. Bhagyavan means one who has got opulences. So Bhagavan means one who is full in opulences -- in wealth, in strength, in influence, in beauty, in education, in renunciation. In these six ways, when one is opulent fully then he can be called Bhagavan. Partially, if one is very opulent, sometimes he is also called Bhagavan, but real Bhagavan, according to sastra, is Krsna. Krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. Others, they may possess some of the opulences, not in full, partially. Just like Narada Muni or Lord Brahma, Lord Siva. They are also sometimes called Bhagavan. But real Bhagavan is Krsna. Krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. Ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam [SB 1.3.28]. So here Bhagavan, the Supreme Person, Krsna. Krsna means, as Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya: [Bg. 7.7] "There is no more superior person or element more than Me." And when Arjuna understood Krsna he also admitted, param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan [Bg. 10.12].
So Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the origin of Brahman. He is the origin of Paramatma. Brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate [SB 1.2.11]. The Absolute Truth is experienced in three ways -- Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. So Bhagavan is the last word of the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Person. Therefore Vyasadeva has purposefully written here, "sri bhagavan uvaca." Bhagavan uvaca mean you cannot exceed the Supreme Person. Nobody can be equal to the Supreme Person; nobody can be more than the Supreme Person. Everyone should be under the Supreme Person. That is the meaning of Bhagavan. So Bhagavan said,
kutas tva kasmalam idam
"My dear Arjuna, you are My friend, personal friend, and you are proposing this, which is befitting to the anarya." Anarya-justam: "This is not for the Aryan. You are ksatriya, you are meant for fighting for justice, and you are denying to fight? Oh, this is not good." Anarya-justam: "This kind of proposal, cowardice, can be proposed by the anarya." Arya means the advanced. One who is advanced in knowledge, in civilization, they are called arya, Aryan civilization. So in the Aryan civilization there are four divisions to maintain the society in the correct balance. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita. Catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. The society must be divided into four classes of men. The first-class means most intelligent class of men. They should be trained up as brahmana. Samo damah satyam saucam titiksa arjavam jnanam vijnanam astikyam brahma-karma svabhava-jam. So this is the beginning of civilization, not that all sudras as it is now in this age. Kalau sudra-sambhavah. Kali-yuga, there is no training how to qualify a section of person to become first-class brahmana. That training is not there, neither ksatriya, neither pure vaisya class. We are proud of our business, vaisya, but vaisya means krsi-go-raksya-vanijyam vaisya-karma svabhava-jam [Bg. 18.44]. Vaisya means they should take care of the cows, cow protection, go-raksya. Why go-raksya? Why not other animal raksya? Krsna has not said "animal raksya" or "janawal-(?) raksya." Go-raksya. The cow is very, very important animal. If you want to advance your spiritual consciousness, then you must have sufficient milk and sufficient grains. That is civilization. Therefore it is the duty of the vaisyas to produce food grain. Annad bhavanti bhutani [Bg. 3.14]. Annad. In the society, if you have got sufficient anna, both the animals and the man, they will be happy. These are the instruction in the Bhagavad-gita, everything practical. If we follow Bhagavad-gita from all angles of vision -- social, political, economical, religious, cultural -- you will be perfect. This is Bhagavad-gita. We are therefore taken up this mission, to preach Bhagavad-gita as it is to solve all the problems of the world. That is Aryan civilization. Aryan civilization means following the principles of Bhagavad-gita.
So here Krsna is addressing Arjuna, anarya: "Non-Aryan. You are ksatriya. Your service is now required to fight with persons who have created injustice. So what is this, that you are denying to fight?" Anarya justam. And asvargyam. Asvargyam means "By denying your duty you cannot be elevated in your next life or you cannot be elevated in the higher planetary system." For a ksatriya, it is the duty of the ksatriya to fight and lay down his life. Then he is promoted to the higher planetary system. That is the shastric injunction. If he becomes victorious, then he enjoys this material world, and if he dies, he is promoted to heaven. These things are there. Therefore Krsna is advising Arjuna, asvargyam: "If you deny to fight, then you will be refused to enter in the higher planetary system." Akirti-karam. "And you are known as a great fighter, great soldier and My friend, and this will be going against your reputation. Don't do this." Then He says,
klaibyam ma sma gamah partha
naitat tvayy upapadyate
"My dear friend, parantapa..." Parantapa means one who gives trouble to the enemies. This is the material world. A ksatriya cannot behave like a brahmana, to excuse. Brahmana business is to excuse. Ksama-rupa-tapasvinah. Those who are tapasvi, they can excuse, but those who are in the governmental post, to make justice, there is no question of excuse. Life for life. "You have killed one man; you must be killed." This is justice. A brahmana, he may excuse, "All right, you have killed my man. Never mind. I excuse you." That is a brahmana's business. But a ksatriya, the government, the ruling power, he cannot do so. It is his mercy. It is the government's mercy when a murderer is hanged. That is the injunction in the Manu-samhita. "So parantapa, you are ksatriya. Your business is to punish the unjust." Ksudram hrdaya-daurbalyam: "For a ksatriya this kind of poor-heartedness, that ‘I shall not fight...' Give it up. Don't indulge in such thing."
Then Arjuna replied,
katham bhismam aham sankhye
dronam ca madhusudana
He is addressing Krsna as arisudana, the killer of the enemies. He says, "But in my case, I have to fight with Bhisma, Dronacarya. They are my well-wisher, and how can I kill them? It is my duty to offer my respect, touching their feet, and You are enticing me to pierce their body with arrow? So, of course, You have killed so many enemies, but You have killed enemies. Why You are inducing me to kill my grandfather and my teacher?" Of course, Arjuna, also intelligent. He replied that "You cannot accuse me as anarya. This is the consideration. Therefore I am hesitating to fight." Then he says,
gurun ahatva hi mahanubhavan
sreyo bhoktum bhaiksyam apiha loke
hatvartha-kamams tu gurun ihaiva
bhunjiya bhogan rudhira-pradigdhan
"They are not only my grandfather. They are guru. And mahanubhavan, very great personality, Bhismadeva, Dronacarya. So if I kill them and if I live prosperously, taking the kingdom, do You think it is all right that I live on the blood of my guru and great personalities? Do You think it is all right?" Of course, he says,
na caitad vidmah kataran no gariyo
yad va jayema yadi va no jayeyuh
yan eva hatva na jijivisamas
te 'vasthitah pramukhe dhartarastrah
"Krsna, actually I am puzzled. It is my duty to fight, but now I am puzzled whether I shall fight or not fight because, after all, the other side, they are my relatives, family members, dhartarastrah. Dhrtarastra is my elder brother of my father, and his sons they are my cousin-brothers. So I am puzzled whether I shall fight." He plainly explained his position that "Not that I have become anarya. I have got sufficient strength. I can fight, but I am puzzled whether I shall fight in this case or not."
Then he submits,
prcchami tvam dharma-sammudha-cetah
yac chreyah syan niscitam bruhi tan me
sisyas te 'ham sadhi mam tvam prapannam
Then Arjuna decided to accept Krsna as his guru. He... Sisyas te 'ham: "I become your disciple." To become disciple means no more argument. When we talk friendly there is argument, counterargument. But when there is order from guru there is no more argument. Therefore Arjuna says that karpanya-dosopahata-svabhavah: "Actually my behavior should be exactly like a ksatriya, to fight for the just cause, but in this case I am denying. Therefore I am krpana." Krpana means one who does not properly use his position. One man is very rich, but he does not use his money, simply sees the money. He is called krpana. Similarly, Arjuna is powerful, he can fight, he is a ksatriya, but he is denying his ability. Therefore he is thinking that "I have become krpana, miser. Although I have got strength, I am denying to fight." "Although I have got money, I do not spend." These are called krpana. So karpanya-dosopahata: "Now I am infected with karpanya-dosa." Karpanya-dosopahata-svabhavah.
So when we become puzzled with these material affairs, what to do -- to do or not to do, this is the example -- at that time we must approach a guru. That is the instruction here, we see. Prcchami tvam dharma-sammudha-cetah. When we are bewildered, we do not distinguish what is religious and what is not religious, do not use our position properly. That is karpanya-dosopahata-svabhavah [Bg. 2.7]. At that time there is need of guru. That is the Vedic instruction. Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet srotriyam brahma-nistham [MU 1.2.12]. This is the duty. This is civilization, that we are meeting with so many problems of life. That is natural. In this material world the material world is problems of life. Padam padam yad vipadam. Material world means in every step there is danger. That is material world. So therefore we should take guide from guru, from the teacher, from the spiritual master how to make progress, because this... That will be explained later on, that the goal of our life, at least in this human form of life, in the Aryan civilization, the goal of life is to understand our constitutional position, "What I am. What I am." If we do not understand "What I am," then I am equal to the cats and dogs. The dogs, cats, they do not know. They think that they are the body. That will be explained. So in such condition of life, when we are puzzled... Actually we are puzzled every moment. Therefore it is necessary one should approach to a proper guru. Now Arjuna is approaching Krsna, the first-class guru. First-class guru. Guru means the Supreme Lord. He is guru of everyone, parama-guru. So anyone who represents Krsna, he is also guru. That will be explained in the Fourth Chapter. Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh [Bg. 4.2]. So Krsna is showing example, where we should offer our surrender and accept guru. Here is Krsna. So you have to accept Krsna or His representative as guru. Then your problems will be solved. Otherwise it is not possible, because he can say what is good for you, what is bad for you. He is asking, yac chreyah syan niscitam bruhi tat. Niscitam. If you want advice, instruction, niscitam, which is without any doubt, without any illusion, without any mistake, without any cheating, that is called niscitam. That you can get from Krsna or His representative. You cannot get right information from the imperfect person or a cheater. That is not right instruction. Nowadays it has become a fashion; everyone is becoming guru and he is giving his own opinion, "I think," "In my opinion." That is not guru. Guru means he should give evidences from sastra. Yah sastra-vidhim utsrjya vartate kama-karatah: "Anyone who does not give evidences, proof, from the sastra, then" na siddhim sa avapnoti, "he does not get at any time success," na sukham, "neither any happiness in this material world," na param gatim, "and what to speak of elevation in the next life." These are the injunction.
So we must select guru. Here it is, example, Arjuna. He's accepting Krsna as guru. Why he is accepting? Because, he says,
na hi prapasyami mamapanudyad
yac chokam ucchosanam indriyanam
avapya bhumav asapatnam rddham
rajyam suranam api cadhipatyam
So he has selected that the right person, guru, and he said that "Unless I hear from You what is right and wrong, I cannot decide whether I shall fight or I shall not fight. Which way is better for me I cannot understand." In this way,
evam uktva hrsikesam
na yotsya iti govindam
uktva tusnim babhuva ha
"After addressing Krsna that ‘You give me the right direction; otherwise I am not going to fight,' he left his weapon and became silent."
tam uvaca hrsikesah
prahasann iva bharata
senayor ubhayor madhye
visidantam idam vacah
Now, Krsna took the position of guru, and He began to instruct. Tam uvaca hrsikesah. Hrsikesa..., Krsna's another name is Hrsikesa. Hrsikesa means hrsika isa. Hrsika means the senses, and isa, the master. Therefore Krsna is the master of our senses, everyone's senses. That will be explained in the Thirteenth Chapter, that ksetra-jnam capi mam viddhi sarva-ksetresu bharata [Bg. 13.3]. In this body there are two living entities. One is myself, the individual soul, atma; and the other is Krsna, Paramatma. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese arjuna tisthati [Bg. 18.61]. So actually the proprietor is Paramatma. I am given the chance to use it, so my senses, so-called my senses, that is not my senses. I have not created my hand. The hand is created by God, or by Krsna, through the agency of this material nature, and I am given the hand to use it for my purpose, for my eating, for my collecting. But actually it is not my hand. Otherwise, when this hand becomes paralyzed, I am claiming, "my hand" -- I cannot use it because the power of the hand is withdrawn by the proprietor. Just like in a house, rented house, you are living. If the proprietor of the house, landlord, eject you, you cannot live there. You cannot use it. Similarly, we can use this body as long as the real proprietor of the body, Hrsikesa, allows me to stay here. Therefore Krsna's name is Hrsikesa. And this Krsna consciousness movement means that we have accepted the senses from Krsna. It should be used for Krsna. Instead of using it for Krsna, we are using it for our sense gratification. This is our miserable condition of life. Just like you are living in a place for which you have to pay rent, but if you don't pay rent -- you think that it is your property -- then there is trouble. Similarly, Hrsikesa means the real proprietor is Krsna. I have been given this property. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita.
hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati
Yantra: it is a machine. This machine has been given by Krsna to me because I desired that "If I get a machine like a human body, then I can enjoy like this." So Krsna fulfills your desire: "All right." And if I think, "If I get a machine in which I can directly suck blood of other animal," "All right," Krsna says, "you take the machine of a tiger's body and use it." So this is going on. Therefore His name is Hrsikesa. And when we understand properly that "I am not the proprietor of this body. Krsna is the proprietor of the body. I wanted a certain type of body to use it for my sense gratification. He has given it and I am not happy. Therefore I shall learn how to use this machine for the proprietor," this is called bhakti. Hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Because Krsna is the proprietor of the senses -- He is the proprietor of this body -- so when this body will be utilized for Krsna's service, that is our perfection of life. Hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate.
sevanam bhaktir ucyate
[Cc. Madhya 19.170]
If you want the definition of bhakti, the bhakti means to use the things for the proprietor. That is right use. If somebody use for another purpose, that is misuse. So bhakti means, when things are used properly, that is called bhakti. Now we are thinking that this machine, this body, "I am born in India, so it is Indian machine. It should be utilized for India's profit." Another person is thinking, "This machine, it is gotten from America, so it should be used for America." That is going on in the name of nationality or communism, or society or friendship and this and so on. We have invented so many "isms," but they are all misuse because actually the machine does not belong to the American or the Indian or the African. The machine belongs to Krsna. So this is misuse. So when we understand that we are misusing this machine improperly, that is called pure machine. That is called pure understanding, or Krsna consciousness. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. "I am not American. I am not Indian. I am not brahmana. I am not ksatriya. I am not human being." Aham brahmasmi: "I am Brahman." Not the Supreme Brahman, but part and parcel of Brahman. Supreme Brahman is Krsna, Parabrahman. He is addressed as Parabrahman. So we are part and parcel of Brahman. Therefore we are Brahman. So we have to realize this position. Aham brahmasmi: "I am Brahman." I am not this machine. I am put into this machine, but because the machine is gotten either from America or from India or from heaven or from hell, I am designating this machine as American machine or Indian machine. Actually this machine belongs to Krsna, and it should be used for Krsna. Therefore the definition of bhakti means hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. This is bhakti.
So Krsna, now He has taken the position of teacher. Now no more friendly talking because Arjuna has accepted Him as the teacher. So He's the teacher. It is the duty of the teacher to punish or to chastise the disciple when he is wrongly going on. That is the duty. So first teaching of Krsna, because Arjuna has accepted His leadership, His teachership, His instruction, accepted that he will follow His instruction, so first instruction is asocyan anvasocas tvam prajna-vadams ca bhasase: [Bg. 2.11] "You rascal, you are rascal. You are talking like a very learned man that ‘How shall I kill my, this grandfather? How shall I kill my brother, this and so on?' This is all bodily concept of life. You are talking on the bodily platform." So what is this body? It is to be neglected? "Yes." Asocyan anvasocas tvam: "It is not to be lamented."
asocyan anvasocas tvam
prajna-vadams ca bhasase
gatasun agatasums ca
Pandita means one who knows that "I am not this body." That is pandita. The body is a lump of matter, so what is the value of lump of matter? Either while it is moving or while it is not moving, it is a lump of matter. Suppose we are now moving with this body with nice coat, pant, hat. That's all right. But what it is? It is a lump of matter. Either coat, pant, or these bones and the skin and the blood and the stool and urine, whatever this body is composed of, it is all material. And when the living entity goes away from this body, the same lump of matter... Does it change? So we are not lamenting at the present moment because it is moving. And as soon as the movement is stopped, I say, "Oh, my father has gone. My son has gone," and we lament. So actually the body is the same. The same body is lying here as dead body, whom we are lamenting, "my father," but you have never seen your father. You have seen only the coats and pants and the body. That is your education. Therefore Krsna says, "Arjuna, you are thinking on terms of this coats and pants and bones and muscles and urine and stool. Therefore you are rascal number one." This is the first instruction, asocyan anvasocas tvam prajna... [Bg. 2.11]. "Do any gentlemen lament for this torn-up cloth, bones and skins and urine and stool? Does any sane man lament?" This is the first instruction. So asocyan anvasocas tvam prajna-vadams ca bhasase: "You are talking just like a very learned man to argue with Me, but you are fool number one because" -- gatasun agatasums ca nanusocanti panditah -- "this is not the business of the pandita."
So this is not the position of Arjuna only. The whole material civilization, the whole population of the whole world, they are like this asocyan anvasocas tvam [Bg. 2.11]. When the body is living, when the body is moving, they are busy how to make the body comfort. And when the body is not moving they are lamenting. That is the business. Therefore brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati [Bg. 18.54]. The..., our business is, the material civilization means, socati kanksati, two business. Kanksati means desiring. While the body is moving we are desiring, making plan: "I want this. I want this. My son requires this. My nation requires this. My community requires this." This is, means, kanksati, desiring to possess this, possess... And when the body is lost, then socati: "Oh, my father is lost. My brother is lost. My son is lost." Two business. So long there is no spiritual knowledge, we have got on the material conception of body two business -- socati, kanksati: desiring for things which we do not possess and lamenting for things which we have lost. This is our two business. But if you become self-realized, if you become aware actually what you are, then na socati na kanksati.
na socati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu
mad-bhaktim labhate param
This is the business. So our this Krsna consciousness movement is trying to educate people to give up this bodily concept of life. This is the sum and substance of this movement. And unless we come to understanding that "I am not this body; I am a spirit soul. My aim of life is missing," then we remain cats and dogs.
yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke
sva-dhih kalatradisu bhauma ijya-dhih
yat-tirtha-buddhih salile na karhicij
janesv abhijnesu sa eva go-kharah
Anyone who is leading his life on the bodily concept of life, he is no better than the dogs and hogs. So in order to stop this civilization of dogs and hogs, the Krsna consciousness movement is essential. Krsna consciousness means to take instruction from Krsna. This is the first instruction. Asocyan anvasocas tvam prajna-vadams ca bhasase [Bg. 2.11]. So gradually He will give instruction.
So it is our request that you try to study Bhagavad-gita as it is. Don't try to distort it by your so-called education. Try to understand Krsna as He is saying. Then you will be benefited. Your life will be successful. Thank you very much. Hare Krsna. [break]
Pusta-krsna: What is the meaning of sac-cid-ananda?
Prabhupada: That is spirit soul. Sat means eternal, and cit means knowledge, and ananda means bliss. So if we study ourself, this body is not eternal. Sat means eternal. So if you study this body... In the Bhagavad-gita you will find, antavanta ime deha nityasyoktah saririnah [Bg. 2.18]. This body is antavat; it will perish. Therefore it is not sat. Sat means eternal, and the body is not eternal. Therefore it is very difficult to understand what is sat because we have no education, no experience. Everything is annihilated, destroyed, anything material. So actually we have no experience what is sat. So... But Vedic instruction is sad gama asato ma: "Don't remain in asat, noneternal. Come to the platform of eternity." Sad gama asato ma. So that is our mission of life. The human form of life is distinct from the cats and dogs because if you instruct to the cats and dogs what is sat and what is asat, it is impossible for them to understand. It is not possible. Therefore Vedic instruction is asato ma: "Don't remain cats and dogs in the human form only. You come to the platform of eternity." Asato ma sad gama. So we must try what is eternal. So far in the present condition, as this material condition, we do not know what is actually eternal because our body is not eternal. Therefore the first instruction is that "You are lamenting on the body which is not eternal, but you are eternal. Your business is to understand the eternal." That is called sat. And cit. Cit means knowledge. At the present moment we are all in ignorance. We do not know what is the next step, "Whether I am going to live or to die." Everything in ignorance. Therefore this body is also not cit. It is full of ignorance. Then sat, cit and ananda, that we have got experience... Where is ananda? Ananda means blissfulness, joyfulness. There cannot be any joyfulness in this body. There are three kinds of miserable condition of material life: adhyatmika, adhibhautika, adhidaivika. So either these three or one or two is always there. Adhyatmika means miserable condition on account of the body and mind. So wherever we go, the body is there. So even if I am very opulent materially with wealth, we are getting experience that even the most rich, richest man in the society, he is committing suicide. Why? He has got every resources to enjoy. Why he is committing suicide? That means there is also no ananda, even you possess the material things. So there is no question of sac-cid-ananda in this material condition of life. If you understand what is spiritual life and if you practice how to come to the spiritual life, spiritual platform, as Krsna is, then we can become equal with Krsna, sac-cid-ananda. Otherwise we are in ignorance. This body is not sac-cid-ananda. (end)
Bhagavad-gita 2.1-11 -- Johannesburg, October 17, 1975