Who Is Krishna?
Ahmedabad, Dec 7, 1972, Bhagavad-gita 2.1
tam tatha krpayavistam
visidantam idam vakyam
Madhusudana. Krsna is described here as Madhusudana, the killer of the demon Madhu. Madhu-kaitabha-ari. So Arjuna was attacked by a demon of forgetting his duty, being too much afflicted by bodily relationship. This is our position. In this material world, we are so much attached to this bodily relationship that it is to be considered just like we are ghostly haunted. In a poetry, Prema-vivarta, it is said that pisaci paile yena mati-cchanna haya, maya-grasta jivera haya se bhava udaya. Maya-grasta jiva. Maya-grasta. Maya means illusion, hallucination. So we are, in this material world, we are all illusioned. Illusioned means accepting something as fact which is not. Something... Just like in dream we see sometimes I am attacked with a tiger; my head is being cut off. So many things. So actually there is no tiger, my head is not being cut off, but still, I am crying: "Oh, here is a tiger, here is a tiger!" So our attachment for this world is like that. It is illusion. I am thinking that "Without me, everything will be spoiled. My presence is required." And so on, so on. Just like sometimes our political leaders. Each and every one of them thinks that without him, the whole situation will be spoiled. Even Mahatma Gandhi, he was so attached that he would not retire from political life -- unless he was killed. The attachment was so strong. But after passing away of Mahatma Gandhi or Jawaharlal Nehru or so many big, big leaders, the world is going on. There is a Bengali proverb that "When the king dies, it does not mean the kingdom stops." The kingdom goes on. But when, so long, the leader or the person in charge remains there, he thinks that "Without me, everything will be spoiled." This is called maya. This is called illusion.
According to Vedic system, therefore, there is forced renunciation. Nobody wants to retire from family life, but the Vedic injunction is that after one has passed fifty years, he must leave his family life. Pancasordhvam vanam vrajet. In the beginning, as a student life, he's trained up, brahmacari, undergoing severe austerities, penances, and taking instruction from the spiritual master about the temporary existence of this material world. In this way, he's trained up very nicely. And even after training, if he appears to be attached to this material world, he's allowed to go home and marry. And some of the brahmacaris are allowed to remain naisthika-brahmacari, without going home and accepting a wife. But one who cannot, he's allowed to accept wife and become a householder and remain there for twenty-five years. Because generally, the brahmacari was going home at the age of twenty-four years, twenty-five years. So after marriage, he may get a child. So living there for twenty-five years, means the child is grown up. Then the husband and wife takes leave, not leaving for good, but vanaprastha, traveling in pilgrimages like Vrndavana, Prayaga. That was the system. And after two months, again he comes back and remains home for another two months. Again goes out. In this way, the whole process is how to give up attachment from this family life, from this world. And when he's trained up fully, he takes sannyasa. That is our Vedic system.
So the attachment of this material world is very strong. That is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam by Rsabhadeva: Pumsah striya mithuni-bhavam etam. This whole material world is an attachment of male and female. Pumsah striya mithuni-bhavam, sex impulse, attachment. Tayor mitho hrdaya-granthim ahuh. And when they are married, when they are united, then it becomes a hard knot in the heart. Ato grha-ksetra-sutapta-vittair janasya moho 'yam aham mameti [SB 5.5.8]. Then gradually, after being united, one becomes attached to grha, home, apartment, ksetra,... Formerly there was no industry. So everyone must have some land to produce food. Grha-ksetra, suta, then children; apta, friends; vitta, then money, because without money, nothing can be maintained. Atah grha-ksetra-sutapta-vittair janasya mohah. He becomes more and more illusioned. And aham mameti: [SB 5.5.8] "Oh, this is my country. This is my family. This is my house. This is my children." So on, so on. Mama. "Mine." And "I am this person. I am this body." This is illusion.
So Arjuna appeared to be illusioned that "How I shall fight with my brothers and grandfather on the other side?" He became so much illusioned... Tam tatha krpayavistam [Bg. 2.1]. He became illusioned not unnecessarily. He was very much compassionate, compassionate with his family members. Krpayavistam, asru-purnakuleksanam [Bg. 2.1]. And he was crying. There was tears in his eyes. Visidantam idam vakyam. And he was lamenting in this way: "How shall I fight?" So Krsna then began to speak. Krsna saw that "My friend, Arjuna, has become too much illusioned." So He wanted to kill the demon of illusion. Therefore He's mentioned herein as Madhusudana. Krsna comes. He has got two business: paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam [Bg. 4.8]. Side by side, giving protection to His devotees, sadhu... Sadhu means devotee. Devotee of Krsna is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita as sadhu. Api cet su-duracaro bhajate mam ananya-bhak, sadhur eva sa mantavyah [Bg. 9.30]. One who is strictly a pure devotee of Krsna, he is mentioned as sadhu. Sadhur eva sa mantavyah samyag vyavasito hi sah [Bg. 9.30]. He is first-class sadhu. Even if he's a grhastha, it doesn't matter. Generally, we understand sadhu means with saffron cloth. No. Sadhu's qualification is that he must be a pure devotee of Krsna. Sadhavah sadhu-bhusanah. Sadhavah sadhu-bhusanah. So now Krsna speaks, sri bhagavan uvaca. Bhagavan. This Bhagavan means one who is full with six kinds of opulences. He's called Bhagavan.
viryasya yasasah sriyah
sannam bhaga itingana
(Visnu Purana 6.5.47)
Bhaga. Bhagavan and Krsna. Krsna means all-attractive. Bhagavan Sri Krsna. Krsnas tu bhagavan svayam [SB 1.3.28]. There are other great personalities. Lord Siva is also sometimes described as Bhagavan. Similarly, Lord Brahma, Narada, others are also sometimes described as Bhagavan. But real Bhagavan means Krsna. They are Bhagavan partially. All these things have been very much carefully analyzed by Srila Rupa Gosvami. He has analyzed in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, which we have translated into English: Nectar of Devotion. He has analyzed that Krsna is cent percent Bhagavan. And Narayana is ninety-four percent Bhagavan. And Lord Siva is eighty-four percent Bhagavan. And all other living entities, all living entities, we are, we are minutely seventy-eight percent Bhagavan. That means when you come to the perfection of life, when you are actually in the spiritual stage, then you are..., you have got the qualities of Bhagavan in minute quantity, but not all the qualities -- eighty, seventy-eight percent. These have been very nicely analyzed in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. And the sastra says also: krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam there is a list of all the incarnations, that "Such and such incarnation appears for such and such particular activities." In that incarnation list there is name of Lord Ramacandra also, Lord Buddha also. Buddha's name is also there. But in the conclusive portion it is declared there: ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam [SB 1.3.28]. In that list, the name of Lord Krsna, Lord Balarama is there also. But the conclusion is given by Vyasadeva that "Except Krsna, all others, they are plenary expansion of Krsna, or part of plenary expansion of Krsna." Amsa-kalah. Amsa means direct expansion. And kalah means expansion of the..., secondary expansions. So it is concluded there that ete camsa-kalah pumsah. All these incarnations, they are either amsa or kalah. But Krsna, the name Krsna, krsnas tu bhagavan svayam: He's the original Personality of Godhead, Krsna.
The same thing, here Vyasadeva describes: sri bhagavan uvaca. He's not ordinary person. Bhagavan speaking. Bhagavan means... What is Bhagavan? Aisvarya. Aisvarya means riches. Nobody can be richer than Bhagavan. We have got our ideas of richness. I may be rich, but you are richer than me. Somebody is richer than you. Somebody is richer than another, another, another. You go, make proceed. When you find out the final richest person, that is Bhagavan. Aisvaryasya sama... Samagrasya. All riches. Not that partial. One may have one thousand, another man, one lakh, one man, one crore, but nobody can say that "I have got all the monies." No, that is not possible. But Bhagavan has all the monies. Aisvaryasya samagrasya viryasya. Similarly, strength, bodily strength or power. Aisvaryasya samagrasya viryasya yasasah. And similarly, reputation. We are also reputed. But nobody can be reputed than Krsna. Just like five thousand years ago He spoke this Bhagavad-gita, and He's so reputed that Krsna spoke Bhagavad-gita and still it is running on. Not only in India, but we are traveling all over the world. There are so many editions of Bhagavad-gita. So He's so reputed. So aisvaryasya samagrasya viryasya yasasah sriyah (Visnu Purana 6.5.47). And beautiful. The most beautiful. Krsna, most attractive. Yasasah sri..., jnana, knowledge, the book of knowledge which He has given, this Bhagavad-gita, there is no comparison. There is no second book in the whole world which contains so full of knowledge. So jnana. And vairagya also. In spite of all the property of Krsna, Krsna doesn't care for this material world. He is busy in the spiritual world. Radha-madhava kunja-bihari. He's busy in Vrndavana. He has many servants. Just big man has got many secretaries, servants, they look after, similarly, in this material world. His representatives -- Brahma, Visnu, Mahesvara -- they are managing the affairs of this whole universe. But He's enjoying in Vrndavana. Jaya radha-madhava kunja-bihari. He has no concern. He doesn't care what is happening here. But it, it does not mean that He doesn't care, but He has no anxiety how the things are being managed. When it is mismanaged, then sometimes Krsna comes in His Vasudeva form. Not the original Krsna. Original Krsna never leaves Vrndavana. Padam ekam na gacchati. He's always in His abode.
laksavrtesu surabhir abhipalayantam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
He is very much adhered to His cows. Surabhir abhipalayantam. And He's surrounded by hundreds and thousands of goddesses of fortune, these gopis. He is surrounded. Laksmi-sahasra-sata-sambhrama-sevyamanam [Bs. 5.29]. We are, we are praying goddess of fortune to have some favor, but in the spiritual world, Krsna is served by hundreds and thousands of goddess of fortune. This is Krsna's position.
So I do not know why foolish people, they do not understand what is God. Everything is there. And He comes also, personally. Not only the God's name, address, activities, and everything is there, but He comes personally also. He proves Krsna. He proved that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When Krsna was present, He proved all these things. Aisvaryasya samagrasya viryasya yasasah sriyah (Visnu Purana 6.5.47). He proved. He had sixteen thousand wives, and each wife, a big palatial building of marble, bedecked with jewels and gardens with parijata flowers. These are description. Nobody can maintain sixteen thousand wives in sixteen thousand palaces. Not only that, not that if He enters in one palace, He lives with one wife, the other wives are vacant. No. He expanded Himself into sixteen thousand forms. And with each wife He was living comfortably. Each wife had ten children. And those children also had each ten children, grandsons. In this way, Krsna's family was more than one crore, Yadu-vamsa. So if you study from material point of view, when Krsna was present, He proved that He's Bhagavan. And Bhagavan means not a big beard and meditation. Krsna never became Bhagavan by meditation. He was not a manufactured God. He's God always. He's not manufactured. When He was on the lap of His mother Yasoda, He was God. The Putana came to kill Him, but Krsna killed him. In this way, if we read the life of Krsna, He's proved -- Bhagavan. And not only He proved Himself, but all others, great authorities, accepted Him Bhagavan. There are four Vaisnava acaryas in the recent years and one Mayavada acarya, Sankaracarya. Sankaracarya also, although he is inclined to the impersonal feature of the Lord, but he accepted Krsna: sa bhagavan svayam krsnah. He accepted: "Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana." Narayanah avyaktat. So other Vaisnava acaryas, Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Visnusvami, Nimbarka, lately Lord Caitanya, all of them accepted Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And Arjuna, he also, when he heard from Him Bhagavad-gita, he accepted Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan, purusam sasvatam [Bg. 10.12].
So Krsna is accepted universally the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Why people are making research, "Where is God?" I do not know. Why they are uselessly taking so much hard labor to search out God? Here is God, Krsna. Bhagavan uvaca. So there is no reason, there is no, I mean to say, chance of not accepting Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krsna personally says that mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya: [Bg. 7.7] "There is no more superior element above Me." Aham sarvasya prabhavah [Bg. 10.8]. "I am the origin of everything." Aham adir hi devanam [Bg 10.2]. Then... There are so many statements, "Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead." So anyone who is actually serious about understanding about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there is no difficulty. But because we are obstinate, because we are sinful, because we are lowest of the mankind, because our knowledge has been taken away by maya, and because we are atheists, we do not accept Krsna as the Supreme Personality. Otherwise, there is no reason. Krsna therefore describes: na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah [Bg. 7.15]. Unless one is duskrtina, always miscreants, full of sinful life, he cannot deny Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
So our, this Krsna consciousness movement is preaching all over the world that "You are all advanced in civilization, and advanced in scientific knowledge, and advanced in everything, but you are missing one thing -- God, Krsna. So here is God. Here is Krsna. You try to understand Krsna and be Krsna conscious and make your life successful." That is our propaganda. Thank you very much. Hare Krsna. [break]
Indian: May I ask you one question?
Indian: When there is bhajana singing...
Indian: ...which I can understand the words...
Prabhupada: Hare Krsna?
Indian: Or any bhajana of God. Then, you see, understand language and everything. You see, if it is just like Mirabhai and crying, tear comes from my face, and laughing, very instant laughing, laugh...
Indian: And there is no other progress.
Prabhupada: No, that is asta-sattvika-vikara.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is called vikara, transformation of spiritual platform. Yes.
Indian: But still there is something more, something more.
Prabhupada: No, that is the... When one cries, transformed, that means he's realizing Krsna.
Indian: Yes, yes...
Prabhupada: He's realizing like that. That is realization. Caitanya Mahaprabhu also used to do that. That is highest stage, maha-bhava.
Indian: Maha-bhava, yes...
Indian: So then I go in bhajana, wash out everything; I feel myself that there is only soul, no body. And then you see a man who sings or who are present, you see, they are also not their body. Simply soul.
Prabhupada: Yes, forget all material... Yes.
Indian: All these things. Then there is only soul.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is perfectional, liberated stage.
Indian: Liberated stage.
Indian: And have you explained anything about this in your Gita, in fifteen... You see? These three...?
Prabhupada: Gita is just to understand what is God. And then, when you are actually engaged in God's service, these things come. That is higher stage. Gita is the ABCD of understanding God.
Indian: So it will give you some more reflection... You see...
Prabhupada: Yes. But if we accept the ABCD, then we come to literature. Then we pass M.A. examination. Yes. So Gita is the preliminary step, first step of understanding God.
Indian: I am reading Gita from my childhood. I like it.
Prabhupada: Very good.
Indian: Yes. So I think your Gita will give me some more reflection.
Prabhupada: Yes. I am explaining as it is. I am not interpreting. So it is being accepted.
Indian: So I should read it.
Prabhupada: Thank you.
Indian: That's the inclination, that I should read the books.
Prabhupada: (laughing) Very good.
Indian: Very good.
Devotee: Hare Krsna!
Prabhupada: Jaya. (pause) Yes, let us discuss. [break]
Indian (2): ...the Pandavas. So if we do our work so perfect, we can't do it. Otherwise, we... So I am an imperfect devotee. But the question, you see, I was wondering ... all the worldly duties sincerely and honestly to our capacity pride is necessary or inevitable. "Oh, I'm a brahmana. I'm worshiping God." But pride is necessary that we must do in our own hand. I cannot.
Prabhupada: Yes. If your life is so made that in every step you are feeling presence of Krsna, then it is Krsna consciousness. That is the first-class yoga, as it is confirmed by Krsna:
yoginam api sarvesam
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah
Just like these boys, they are being trained up to think of Krsna twenty-four hours. Kirtaniyah sada harih [Cc. Adi 17.31]. Just like we have constructed this pandal. Our business is to preach Krsna. So the energy employed for constructing this temple, that is also Krsna, that energy. Somebody is doing... Anything... Nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe yuktam vairagyam ucyate. If our activities are always dovetailed for Krsna's satisfaction, that is called vairagya. Vairagya. A man is engaged in business. That's all right. But if the fruit of that business is made, is meant for Krsna, then sva-karmana tam abhyarcya. That is sva-karmana. Generally, we work for our sense gratification. "I have got this money. I must use for my sense gratification or for my relative's sense gratification or for my country's sense gratification, for my society's sense gratification." So this is materialism. But when the same thing is turned for Krsna's sense gratification, that is spiritual. That is the difference between prema and kama. Kama. It has been very simplified by Kaviraja Krsnadasa Gosvami in his Caitanya-caritamrta: atmendriya-priti-vancha tare bali ‘kama'. Atmendriya-priti. If you want to satisfy your senses, that is called kama, lust. Krsnendriya-priti-iccha dhare ‘prema' nama. The same thing, when you try to satisfy the senses of Krsna, that is called prema.
So we have to divert the activities for Krsna. That is Krsna consciousness. Just like Arjuna. Arjuna, he, in the beginning, he denied to fight. That, our subject matter. He was crying. "No, no, I cannot fight." So apparently Arjuna was very nice gentleman that he is forgetting his claim over the kingdom, he's nonviolent, he's not willing to fight with his brothers, and he was crying so compassionate. So from materialistic point of view, he was very nice. But immediately, as we'll begin tomorrow, Krsna says that "Why you are thinking like anarya?" Anarya. Anarya-justam. "This kind of thinking is not for aryas, Aryans. It is for the non-Aryans." He did not... And the whole Bhagavad-gita was spoken to Arjuna to make him arya. And at the end, Krsna inquired from Arjuna that "What is your decision?" Yathecchasi tatha kuru. But Arjuna replied, karisye tad-vacanam. Karisye vacanam tava. [Bg. 18.73] "Now I shall fight." And Krsna gave him certificate: bhakto 'si priyo 'si me. "You are very dear friend, and My great devotee." Now, fighting is not very good business, killing. But sometimes, by killing, one can become a great devotee of Krsna. He was a warrior, fighter. His business was to fight, but he fought for Krsna. Then he became a devotee. That is sva-karmana tam abhyarcya. He... Arjuna, brahmana and ksatriya. Similarly, our..., means sva-karma, guna-karma-vibhagasah. Our, according to Vedic system, there are four divisions. Catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. Not by birth, but by quality and actual activities. So there are brahmanas. There are ksatriyas. There are vaisyas. There are sudras. There are brahmacaris. There are grhasthas, vanaprasthas, sannyasa. So everyone should be engaged to satisfy Krsna. That is the whole philosophy. Sva-karmana tam abhyarcya. "You work as brahmana, you work as a ksatriya, you work as a vaisya or sudra. It doesn't matter." Even Krsna has advised that "If you, even if you think that I am working as a vaisya, it is not very good, because sometimes I have to speak lie for business's sake. And brahmana's business is very nice. No." Krsna has advised: sa-dosam api na tyajet: "Even in your profession there are so many faults, you should not give it up. You should go on." But the result must be given to Krsna. That is the secret. You may work as a brahmana, as a ksatriya, as a businessman, as an engineer, as a doctor, as a warrior, whatever you may be. It is, it is never condemned. No work is condemned. Every work is dignified provided it is meant for Krsna. That is Krsna consciousness. [break]
Bhagavad-gita 2.1 -- Ahmedabad, December 7, 1972