Becoming Spiritually Masterful.
London, August 3, 1973, Bhagavad-gita 2.6
Pradyumna (leads chanting, etc.):
sri bhagavan uvaca
kutas tva kasmalam idam
Translation: "The Supreme Person, Bhagavan, 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."
Prabhupada: So in this verse Vyasadeva is writing. Of course, the speaking is through Sanjaya, but the original writer is Vyasadeva. In other slokas he writes arjuna uvaca, sanjaya uvaca, like that. Similarly, he could write here krsna uvaca. He could write. No. He's writing bhagavan uvaca. So Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By this writing, it is established. Sri-bhagavan uvaca. He cannot be equal with Arjuna or Sanjaya or anybody else. Asammaurdhva. Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is supreme. Nobody is equal to Him, nobody is higher than. Everyone is lower. That is the meaning of Bhagavan. Nobody can claim "I am Bhagavan." But nowadays there are so many rascals, they are claiming that everyone is Bhagavan. So Vyasadeva is mistaken? Actually, these Mayavadi philosophers, they are so great rascals they sometimes say like that, that Vyasadeva is also mistaken. They have got the audacity to say Vyasadeva, he is accepted as incarnation of Narayana, who has given us the Vedic literature, so many books he has given, the Vedas, the Puranas, the Mahabharata, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Vedanta-sutra. Everything is given by Vyasadeva in writing, and we'll accept it, Narayana, incarnation of Narayana, mahamuni-krte. He is also Vyasa-muni, but He is also mahamuni-krte. So there cannot be any mistake in the words of Vyasadeva. This is the difficulty. If one does not come through the channel of disciplic succession, so they are in so many ways mistaken. Vyasadeva is above all this. He is not an ordinary writer, material description or material name and faith. He cannot be mistaken. As Bhagavan, Krsna cannot be mistaken. Similarly, Vyasadeva, incarnation of Bhagavan, he also cannot be mistaken. Neither devotee of Krsna can be mistaken. Devotee of Krsna, he does not say anything as his own opinion. He never says. What Krsna says, he says. He may be not perfect, but what Krsna has said, that is perfect.
Therefore, a pure devotee, who does not say anything beyond which was spoken by Krsna, therefore his statement is also without mistake. Common man within this material world, he commits mistake: "To err is human." Even big, big personalities, they commit mistake. But narayana parah. He is transcendental. Krsna is transcendental. There cannot be any mistake; there cannot be any illusion. Those who are in this material world, they have got four defects: they commit mistake, they are illusioned, and their senses are imperfect, bhrama, pramada, vipralipsa, and they're cheaters. Because... Just like modern-day scientists and philosophers, they propogate so many branches of knowledge, but when, on the crucial point, they are caught, they say, "I do not know perfectly. I do not know perfectly. We are trying to know. In future, we shall tell you the perfect." But if you are not in perfect knowledge, why should you take the post of a teacher? If your knowledge is imperfect, then whatever you speak, that is imperfect. Therefore with imperfect knowledge, why you should become a teacher? That is cheating. That is cheating. Therefore purposefully Vyasadeva is writing, sri-bhagavan uvaca, where there is no cheating, no imperfection, no illusion, no mistake. Four things. No mistake, no illusion, no cheating and no imperfection. This is Bhagavan. Why we are taking Bhagavad-gita so seriously? There are so many other books we can read, so many theories, so many philosophers, big, big philosophers. But we cannot take them because they are defective. The author is sure to commit mistake. He is illusioned. Because his senses are not perfect, therefore imperfection.
So with all these defects, we cannot accept anyone's knowledge. This is Vedic process. This is called parampara system, disciplic succession. We receive knowledge perfectly from the Supreme Bhagavan. And if I receive the knowledge from Bhagavan, and if I distribute the same knowledge as Bhagavan has said, without any interpretation of my cheating policy, then the knowledge which I distribute, that is also perfect. I may not be perfect, but the knowledge which I have taken from Krsna, if I present it as it is, without any interpretation, then what I give you, that is perfect. It is very easy to understand. I have given several times... Just like a peon has brought a money order for you, thousand dollars. So he's giving you. So you cannot say, "Oh, here is a peon. He's a poor man. How he can give me one thousand dollars?" He's not giving; the money is sent by somebody else. He's simply handing you. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, amara ajnaya guru haya tara sarva-desa, tara ei desa. He's asking everyone to become a spiritual master. So how everyone can become a spiritual master? A spiritual master must have sufficient knowledge, so many other qualifications. No. Even without any qualifications, one can become a spiritual master. How? Now the process is, Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, amara ajnaya: "On My order." That is the crucial point. One does not become spiritual master by his own whims. That is not spiritual master. He must be ordered by superior authority. Then he's spiritual master. Amara ajnaya. Just like in our case. Our superior authority, our spiritual master, he ordered me that "You just try to preach this gospel, whatever you have learned from me, in English." So we have tried it. That's all. It is not that I am very much qualified. The only qualification is that I have tried to execute the order of superior authority. That's all. This is the secret of success.
bahu-sakha hy anantas ca
Bahu-sakha hy anantas ca. Vyavasayatmika-buddhih, niscayatmika-buddhih. If one has got unflinching faith in Krsna and guru, guru-krsna-krpaya... We have to receive mercy both from the spiritual master and Krsna. We cannot jump over to Krsna. That is another nonsense. We must approach Krsna through guru. That is parampara system. Krsna is not so cheap thing that you can jump over. Somebody says, "Oh, why shall I accept guru? I can approach Krsna directly." No. Krsna does not accept such... Mad-bhaktah pujabhyadhikah. Krsna says that "First of all you become devotee of My devotee." Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasa-dasanudasah: "I am the servant of the servant of the servant of Krsna [Cc. Madhya 13.80]." This is called parampara system. You have to learn how to become servant of the servant of Krsna. The more you become in the lower position -- servant, servant, servant, servant, servant, hundreds times servant, servant -- then more you are advanced. Here in this material world everyone is trying to be master of the master. Just opposite. And the spiritual world, the endeavor is to become servant's servant. This is the secret.
yasya deve para bhaktir
yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah
This is Vedic instruction.
So Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, in connection with the verse, vyavasayatmika-buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana, niscayatmika-buddhih... [Bg. 2.41] So Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that "The instruction which I have received from my spiritual master, that is my life and soul." This is called niscayatmika-buddhih, means assurance: "Whatever I have received, the order from my spiritual master, that will give me salvation." Or even no salvation. It doesn't matter. A real devotee, a servant, does not expect anything, but karyam: "It is my duty. It is my duty." If one takes in such spirit... Anasritah karma-phalam karyam karma karoti ya. Karyam. Karyam means "It is my duty. It must be done. That's my duty." Without any result. Anasrita-karma-phalam. Karma-phalam. Every action, there is a result. Bad or good, it doesn't matter. There must be some result. So anasritah karma-phalam. Don't take shelter of the result of your work. Generally we work; if the result is very good, then we like to work. If the result is not very good, then we don't like to work. But a devotee should not take...(Aside:) Why you are moving so fast?
Devotee: I have got difficulty in my body. So I stand...
Prabhupada: So by moving you shall be cured?
Devotee: Well... I'm sorry.
Prabhupada: Anasritah karma-phalam karyam karma karoti yah. Do not take shelter of your result of your activities. You must take it as duty. He is sannyasi. Anasritam karma-phalam karyam karma karoti yah, sa sannyasi. He's actually sannyasi. A sannyasi does not become simply by changing dress. No. Sannyasi means he's to work for Krsna. Without taking shelter of the result. It doesn't matter. "Krsna has ordered, and Krsna's representative has ordered. Therefore I have to do it." Karyam karma karoti yah. sa sannyasi.
So here, bhagavan uvaca. Vyasadeva does not say that krsna uvaca. If, if he would have said, "Krsna," then people would have misunderstood. He's directly speaking, bhagavan uvaca, "the Supreme Personality of Godhead." So anyone who is impersonalist, how he can understand Bhagavad-gita? Bhagavan means person. Bhagavan is not imperson. The Absolute Truth is manifested in three features: Brahman, Paramatma, Bhagavan. Brahman is the beginning, impersonal. Sarvam khalv idam brahma. Because... Just like fire. Fire is burning somewhere, but its heat and light is impersonal. Suppose here is big fire. Just like we got fireplace. That is in one corner. But the whole room you are feeling heat. That heat is impersonal. But the fireplace, where there is blazing fire, that is personal. So impersonal conception is the offshoot of the person. That will be explained in the Thirteenth Chapter: maya tatam idam sarvam [Bg. 9.4]. Krsna says that "Everyone, everywhere I am spread. I exist everywhere." How does He exist? By His energy. That energy is impersonal. But the Supreme Person, He's not impersonal. He's person. Therefore it is said, sri-bhagavan uvaca. Bhagavan means who is full with six kinds of opulence, aisvarya: the richest, the most famous, the most learned, the most beautiful, the most strong, and the most renouncer. He's Bhagavan. So Bhagavan is the ultimate understanding of the Absolute Truth. Just like when you feel temperature... Just like we feel temperature from the sunshine, heat. And light. The sun is giving heat and light. We enjoy the light and heat. But if you trace wherefrom this heat and light is coming, then you go to the sun planet. That is localized. That is not impersonal. And again, if you enter into the sun planet, then you will see the sun-god, Vivasvan. So we should not conclude final simply by heat and light. So Brahman understanding, impersonal understanding of the Absolute Truth, is imperfect understanding, partial understanding. It is not full understanding. Full understanding is Bhagavan. Therefore it is stated here, sri-bhagavan uvaca. There cannot be any mistake. That is final.
So Bhagavan is criticizing. Arjuna became a very good man: "Why shall I...? Oh, I cannot kill my kinsmen." From material point of view, people will very much appreciate, "Oh, here is Arjuna. He's so nice, nonviolent. He is foregoing his claim. He has given up his astra, bow and arrows. He's no, no longer fighting. He has decided not to fight with kinsmen, kill his own men." So from material point of view, Arjuna is supposed to be very, very good man. But the Supreme Person, Krsna, what does He say? Anarya-justam: "You rascal, you are speaking like anarya." He'll say rascal later on. He posed himself to be very good man, but when he comes to the test of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He refuses to accept him as a good man. He's saying that "You are anarya." There are two kinds of men: anarya and arya. Aryan. Aryan means advanced in knowledge. He's called Aryan. And anarya means uncivilized. So immediately He rebukes him, anarya-justam. "You are talking just like non-Aryan, uncivilized person." People are very much, nowadays, eager how to stop war. But Krsna says... [break] ... at any case is not required. There is necessity of war. Just like He's trying to convince Arjuna. Our war means... According to Vedic civilization, that is dharma-yuddha, religious fight. When the actual need is there to fight, we must fight. Not that when there is need of fight, one becomes nonviolent. Just like yesterday in the evening, when we were talking with Dr. Shoemaker, so they were supporting that "Why should you kill any animal who is coming to... If you are determined not to kill..." We were talking of not killing, that why should you kill one animal who is coming to attack? No. You must kill. That is necessity. You should not go to the forest to find out some living entities, living beings, to kill. That is not your business. That is himsa. But if a tiger comes to attack you, you must kill. That is self-defense. And that is not himsa. So a devotee knows, a Krsna conscious person knows when to kill and when not to kill. But it is not that because we accept not killing, therefore in every case, killing should be stopped. No. If there is necessity, killing should be accepted. Therefore Arjuna decided not to kill, not to fight. And Krsna says that "This is anarya-justam. this kind of decision is made by the uncivilized rascal." Anarya-justam asvargyam akirti-karam. So many things, He says. Asvargyam. Because the aim of human life should be to make progress. That is called arya, progressive march.
Now we have got this human form of body, progressing from the lowest species of life in aquatics, then trees, plants, insects, birds, beasts, 8,400,000... Now I have got this civilized form of body. Then, the, my endeavor should be how to make further progress. The further progress is described in the Bhagavad-gita, that you can go to the higher planetary system. Urdhvam gacchanti sattva-sthah [Bg. 14.18]. Urdhvam, higher planetary system. Madhye tisthanti rajasah. Madhye, in the middle planetary system, those who are contaminated with the passion quality, they remain. And jaghanya-guna-vrtti-stha adho gacchanti tamasah. And those who are miscreants, jaghanya-guna-vrtti-sthah, most hatefully accustomed, these hatefully accustomed, illicit sex, meat-eating, gambling, intoxication... These are habits of hateful nature. So jaghanya-guna-vrtti-sthah adho gacchanti tamasah, they go down. Either become animals or... There are seven kinds of lower planetary systems: tala, atala, nitala, patala, talatala, rasatala, like that. So arya means must make progress. Anarya means one who does not know what is progress of life. They think there is no life after death. "So I have got this life now. Let me enjoy my senses to the best capacity." This is anarya, demon. "Eat, drink, be merry and enjoy." Because as soon as the body will be finished, the senses also will be finished. Now let me use the senses. (?). So anarya, they do not know that there is life after death. They think that as soon as... [break] Big, big professors, in Europe, they say like that, "After death, everything is finished." Carvaka Muni's theory. This kind of theory was accepted long, long ago. In the Vedic culture. Not accepted, was heard. Never it was accepted. Carvaka theory. Carvaka theory was atheist. He was not... [break] So his philosophy was atheistic philosophy. He used to say that bhasmi bhutasya dehasya kuto punar agamah, means bodily concept of life, talking of this body, deha, that it is burned into ashes. So he used to say, "When the body is burned into ashes, then where is the chance of coming back?" That means he had no information of the soul. [break]
...accepted by the Vedic civilization. The anarya... [break] The Aryan theory is that what is next life, what is next life, progressive. That is arya. Civilized man. They may think like that. But you are belonging to the Aryan family, Pandava family. Akirti-karam. You are celebrated as Krsna's friend. [break] So people will say that "Krsna's friend, he's not fighting." Therefore akirti-karam, reputation defamation it is. "Don't do this." And He says, kutah-kasmalam idam visame samupasthitam. "And in this, at this time of danger... There is fighting; you have to fight. And visame, at this time of danger, you are so much bewildered that you given up your weapons down. And now you promise that ‘No, I shall not fight.' " So immediately Arjuna was condemned.
Therefore the so-called good men of this world, who are engaged in so many welfare activities, humanitarian activities, by mental concoction, they may be all foolish activities in the estimation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They are very much puffed up, that "We are doing this, opening hospital and school, and philanthropism, nationalism." Is there any such thing in the Bhagavad-gita? Is there any advice that "You open hospital, school and do this philanthropic work"? No. If you have got anything to give in charity, you are charitably disposed, Krsna says, "Give it to Me. If you are so rich and if you have got this good intention to give in charity, give it to Me." Yat karosi yaj juhosi yad asnasi yat tapasyasi dadasi yat. Dadasi yat means "whatever you give in charity." Kurusva tad mad-arpanam: "Give it to Me. Yes, I am expanding My hand. Come on." But they have forgotten Krsna or Krsna's advice, and they remain puffed up, that "I am engaged in this activity, that activity, this activity." Thousands of millions of such activities may be very good in the estimations of the fools and rascals, but it may not be accepted by Krsna. That is the crucial point. But our point is that unless accepted by Krsna, it is simply srama eva hi kevalam, simply waste of time. Our philosophy says. We have to satisfy Krsna. We haven't got to satisfy ourself that "I am doing very nice work in this way." So all these people, they are manufacturing concocted ideas. Mano-rathena asato dhavato bahih. By mental concoction. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna mano-rathena asato dhavato bahih [SB 5.18.12]. One who is not Krsna conscious, not devotee of Krsna, he has no good qualification. "No, he's a very big man. He has opened such big, big hospitals, big, big schools, big, big, big..." Yes, that may be good from the material estimation, but because he's not a devotee of Krsna, these are not good qualifications. Harav a... This one word: Harav abhaktasya, harav abhaktasya. If one has no devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he cannot have any good qualities. These are not good qualities. Actually that is so. Suppose if you, the... According to karma-kanda vicara, if you open a school, so in the next time, you will have good education. It is pious activities from material point of view. So the benefit will be that you will have good education in your next life. Accepting that it is very nice, next life I shall be very learned scholar, but to become that learned scholar I'll have to take my birth. But he does not know that how much difficulties are there to take birth. Krsna says, janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanu-darsanam [Bg. 13.9]. One should see to the duhkha, unhappiness, on account of birth and death. So suppose you will get next life in the heavenly planet, or you shall become very rich man, or you shall become very learned man, but you have to go through these distresses, janma. They do not consider this. Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanu-dar... Those who are actually learned, they, they should know that "Why shall I go again in the process of birth and death?" We have forgotten how much difficulty it is, how much troublesome it is, how much distress it is to remain in the womb of the mother for taking birth again. That we have forgotten. Therefore this kind of conclusion is not very intelligent conclusion. The intelligent conclusion is: tyaktva deham punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]. That is intelligent. After giving up this body, no more coming to material world. That is intelligence.
So how many people do understand this intelligence? And where is the teaching? Therefore one who is not devotee, he has no good qualifications. If he's still under the distresses of this material world, that is not very intelligent question. Therefore Krsna says, bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan [Bg. 7.19]. Jnanavan means intelligent, wise. What does he do? Bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate. He surrenders to Krsna. This is intelligence. This is wisdom. So here also, the same thing. Krsna has already expressed that "You must fight." But he is showing himself as very good man, nonviolent: "I shall not kill. I shall not do this. I shall not do this." So immediately Krsna very strongly criticizing him that "You are talking just like anarya, not civilized man." Krsna, still He has not used very strong words. He has simply mildly rebuked his doing to Arjuna that "You are not talking just like a intelligent man or advanced in civilization. You are talking like uncivilized man." Anarya-justam.
So these things are there in the Bhagavad-gita. We may be very much puffed up by our mental concoction, that "I am doing very nice work." but it may not be accepted by God. It may not be accepted by Krsna. You may concoct. And naturally, one who is not guided by Krsna, one who is not guided by the Krsna's representative, he's fool. He must be misguided. He must be misguided. Anarya. Arya, anarya, yes. Therefore we have to take shelter of Krsna through His representative so that we may become Arya. Arya, aryan. Aryan civilization means being guided by the Supreme Person, Vedic culture. That is called Aryan civilization. Vedic culture. And what is the purpose of Vedas? Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyam [Bg. 15.15]. Therefore the ultimate goal of civilization should be, Aryan civilization, progressive civilization, how to understand Krsna. That is perfect civilization. And Krsna, everything minus Krsna, that is not civilization. This is anarya-justam asvargyam akirti-karam. We should not waste our time in such thing which is devoid of Krsna consciousness. This is first-class civilization.
Thank you very much. (end)
Bhagavad-gita 2.2 -- London, August 3, 1973