"Intro 3 to Bhagavad-gita"
66/02/19-20 New York.
The example of shadow in the, shadow of water in the desert, suggests that in the desert there is no water, but there is water. Similarly, in the reflection of the spiritual world, or in this material world, there is undoubtedly, there is no happiness, there is no water. But the real water, or the actual happiness, is in the spiritual world. The Lord suggests that one has to reach that spiritual world in the following manner, nirmana-moha.
dvandvair vimuktah sukha-duhkha-samjnair
gacchanty amudhah padam avyayam tat
That padam avyayam, that eternal kingdom, can be reached by one who is nirmana-moha. Nirmana-moha. Nirmana means we are after designations. Artificially we want some designations. Somebody wants to become sir, somebody wants to become lord, somebody wants to become the president, or somebody wants to become a rich man, somebody wants to become something else, king. All these designations, so long we'll have attachment for all these designations... Because after all these designations belong to the body, and we are not this body. This is the first conception of spiritual realization. So one has no attraction for designation. And jita-sanga-dosa, sanga-dosa. Now we are associated with the three modes of material qualities, and if we become detached by devotional service of the Lord... So long we are not attracted by devotional service of the Lord, we cannot be detached from the three modes of material nature. Therefore the Lord says, vinivrtta-kamah, these designations or these attachments are due to our lust, desire. We want to lord it over the material nature. So, so long we do not give up this propensity of lording it over the material nature, up to that time there is no possibility of going back to the kingdom of the Supreme, the sanatana-dhama. Dvandvair vimuktah sukha-duhkha-samjnair gacchanty amudhah, amudhah padam avyayam tat [Bg. 15.5]. That eternal kingdom, which is never destructible like this material world, can be approached by amudhah. Amudhah means nonbewildered, one who is not bewildered by the attraction of this false enjoyment. And one is situated in the supreme service of the Lord, he is the right person to approach that eternal kingdom. And that eternal kingdom does not require any sun, any moon, or any electricity. That is a glimpse idea of approaching of the eternal kingdom. In another place in the Bhagavad-gita it is also said that
avyakto 'ksara ity uktas
tam ahuh paramam gatim
yam prapya na nivartante
tad dhama paramam mama
Avyakta means nonmanifested. Even the part of material world is not manifested before us. Our senses are so imperfect that we cannot see how many stars, how many planets there are in this material universe. Of course, through the Vedic literature we get information of all the planets. We may believe or not believe, but all the important planets in which we have connection, they are described in the Vedic literature, especially in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. But the spiritual world, which is beyond this material sky, paras tasmat tu bhavo 'nyo [Bg. 8.20], but that avyakta, that nonmanifested spiritual sky, is the paramam gatim, that is, one should desire, one should hanker after reaching that supreme kingdom. And once approaching that supreme kingdom, yam prapya, one approaching or one achieving that supreme kingdom, na nivartante, one hasn't got to return back to this material world. And that place which is the eternal abode of Lord, that from where we haven't got to return, that is our, that should be our... [break] Now a question may be raised, what is the way how to approach the supreme abode of the Lord. That is also described in the Bhagavad-gita. It is said on the 8th Chapter, verses 5, 6, 7, 8, the process of approaching the Supreme Lord or Supreme Lord's abode is also given there. It is said like this:
anta-kale ca mam eva
smaran muktva kalevaram
yah prayati sa mad-bhavam
yati nasty atra samsayah
Anta-kale, at the end of life, at the time of death. Anta-kale ca mam eva, one who thinks of Krsna, smaran, if he can remember. A dying person, at the time of death, if he remembers the form of Krsna and while remembering in that way, if he quits the present body, then surely he approaches the spiritual kingdom, mad-bhavam. Bhavam means the spiritual nature. Yah prayati sa mad-bhavam yati. Mad-bhavam means just like the nature or the transcendental nature of the Supreme Being. As we have described above, that the Supreme Lord is sac-cid-ananda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1]. He has His form, but His form is eternal, sat; and full of knowledge, cit; and full of bliss, ananda. Now just we can compare our present body, whether this body is sac-cid-ananda. No. This body is asat. Instead of being sat it is asat. Antavanta ime deha [Bg. 2.18], Bhagavad-gita says that this body is antavat, perishable. And... Sac-cid-ananda. Instead of becoming sat, it is asat, just the opposite. And instead of becoming cit, full of knowledge, it is full of ignorance. We have no knowledge of the spiritual kingdom, neither we have got any perfect knowledge of this material world. So many things unknown to us, therefore this body is ignorant. Instead of becoming full of knowledge it is ignorant. The body is perishable, full of ignorance, and nirananda. Instead of becoming full of bliss, it is full of miseries. All the miseries that we experience in this material world, it is all due to this body. The Lord says that anta-kale ca mam eva smaran muktva kalevaram [Bg. 8.5]. One who quits this material body, simply by remembering Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he at once gets the spiritual body of sac-cid-ananda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1]. The process of quitting this body and getting another body in the material world is also organized. A man dies after it has been decided what form of body he will have in the next life. But that is decided by higher authorities. Just like according to our service we are promoted or degraded. Similarly, according to our acts we are... Acts of this life, the activities of this life are preparation ground for the next life. We are preparing for our next life by our activities of this life. So if we can prepare our this life for getting promotion to the kingdom of God, then surely, after leaving, after quitting this material body... The Lord says yah prayati, one who goes, sa mad-bhavam yati [Bg. 8.5], mad-bhavam, he gets the same spiritual body as the Lord has or the same spiritual nature. Now, there are different kinds of transcendentalists as we have already explained above. The brahmavadi, paramatmavadi and the devotees. In spiritual sky or in the brahmajyoti there are spiritual planets, innumerable spiritual planets, we have already discussed. And the number of those planets are far, far greater than all the universes of this material world. This material world is ekamsena sthito jagat [Bg. 10.42]. This is one-fourth part manifestation of the whole creation. Three-fourths part of the creation is the spiritual world and in the one-fourth part of this creation there are millions of universes like this which we are experiencing at the present moment. And in one universe there are millions and billions of planets. So there are millions and billions of suns and stars and moons in all this material world, but all this material world constitute only one-fourth manifestation of the whole creation. The three-fourths manifestation is in the spiritual sky. Now, this mad-bhavam, one who desires to merge into the existence of the Supreme Brahman, they merge in the brahmajyoti of the Supreme Lord. Mad-bhavam means that brahmajyoti as well as the spiritual planets in the brahmajyoti. And the devotees, who want to enjoy in the association of the Lord, they enter into the planets, Vaikuntha planets. There are innumerable Vaikuntha planets, and the Lord, Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, by His plenary expansion as Narayana with four hands with different names, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, and Madhava, Govinda... There are many innumerable names of this four-handed Narayana. So one of the planets, that is also mad-bhavam, that is also within the spiritual nature. So any transcendentalist who at the end of life, either he thinks of the brahmajyoti or meditates upon the Paramatma or thinks of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna, in either case, they enter into the spiritual sky. But only the devotees, those who have practiced personal touch with the Supreme Lord, they enter into the Vaikuntha planets or in the Goloka Vrndavana planet. The Lord says, yah prayati sa mad-bhavam yati nasty atra samsayah [Bg. 8.5]. There is no doubt. One should not disbelieve. That is the question. So you are reading Bhagavad-gita throughout the whole life, but when the Lord speaks something which does not tally with our imagination, we reject it. That is not the process of Bhagavad-gita reading. Just like Arjuna said that sarvam etam rtam manye, "I believe in everything, whatever You have said." Similarly, hear, hearing. The Lord says that at the time of death, whoever thinks of Him, either as Brahman or Paramatma or the Personality of Godhead, certainly he enters into the spiritual sky and there is no doubt about it. One should not disbelieve it. And the process is, general rule is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita, how one can, how it is possible to get into the spiritual kingdom simply by thinking of the Supreme at the time of death. Because the general process is also mentioned:
yam yam vapi smaran bhavam
tyajaty ante kalevaram
tam tam evaiti kaunteya
There are different bhavas. Now, this material nature is also one of the bhavas, as we have already explained, that this material nature is also the display of one of the energies of the Supreme Lord. In the Visnu Purana the total energies of the Supreme Lord have been summarized.
visnu-saktih para prokta
ksetra-jnakhya tatha par
trtiya saktir isyate
[Cc. Madhya 6.154]
All the energies, potencies of the..., parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate [Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport]. The Supreme Lord has diverse energies, innumerable energies, which we cannot conceive. But great learned sages, liberated souls, they have studied and they have summarized the whole energies into three parts, into three headings. The first is... All the energies are visnu-sakti. All the energies, they are different potencies of the Lord Visnu. Now, that energy is para, transcendental. And ksetra-jnakhya tatha para, and the living entities, ksetra-jna, they are also belonging to the group of that superior energy, as it is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita also. We have already explained. And the other energies, the material energy is trtiya karma-samjnanya [Cc. Madhya 6.154]. The other energy is in the mode of ignorance. So that is material energy. So material energy is also bhagavad-(indistinct). So at the time of death, either we can remain in the material energy, or this material world, or we can transfer into the spiritual world. That is the criterion. So the Bhagavad-gita says,
yam yam vapi smaran bhavam
tyajaty ante kalevaram
tam tam evaiti kaunteya
Now, as we are accustomed to think either of this material energy or of the spiritual energy, now, how to transfer the thinking? The thinking of the material energy, how it can be transferred into thinking of the spiritual energy? So for thinking in the spiritual energy the Vedic literatures are there. Just like thinking in the material energies, there are so many literatures -- newspapers, magazines, novels, fictions, and so many things. Full of literatures. So our thinkings are absorbed in these literatures. Similarly, if we want to transfer our thinking in the spiritual atmosphere, then we have to transfer our reading capacity to the Vedic literature. The learned sages therefore made so many Vedic literatures, the Puranas. The Puranas are not stories. They are historical records. In the Caitanya-caritamrta there is a verse which reads as follows. anadi-bahirmukha jiva krsna bhuli' gela ataeva krsna veda-purana kaila [Cc. Madhya 20.117]. That these forgetful living entities, conditioned souls, they have forgotten the relationship with the Supreme Lord, and they are engrossed in thinking of the material activities. And just to transfer their thinking power to the spiritual capacity, the Krsna-dvaipayana Vyasa, he has made so many Vedic literatures. Vedic literatures means first he divided the Vedas into four. Then he explained them by the Puranas. Then for the incapable persons, just like stri, sudra, vaisya, he made the Mahabharata. And in the Mahabharata he introduced this Bhagavad-gita. Then again he summarized the whole Vedic literature in the Vedanta-sutra. And the Vedanta-sutra for future guidance, he made a natural commentation by himself which is called Srimad-Bhagavatam. Srimad-Bhagavatam is called bhasyo 'yam brahma-sutranam. It is the natural commentation of Vedanta-sutra. So all these literatures, if we transfer our thought, tad-bhava-bhavitah, sada. Sada tad-bhava-bhavitah [Bg. 8.6]. One who is engaged always... Just like the materialist is always engaged in reading some material literature like newspaper, magazines, and fiction, novel, etc., and so many scientific or philosophies, all these things of different degrees of thought. Similarly, if we transfer our, that reading capacity for these Vedic literatures, as presented by, as very kindly presented by Vyasadeva, then it is quite possible for us to remember at the time of death the Supreme Lord. That is the only way suggested by the Lord Himself. Not suggested, it is the fact. Nasty atra samsayah [Bg. 8.5]. Undoubtedly. There is no doubt about it. Tasmat, the Lord suggested therefore, tasmat sarvesu kalesu mam anusmara yudhya ca [Bg. 8.7]. He advises Arjuna that mam anusmara yudhya ca. He does not say that "You simply go on remembering Me and give up your present occupational duty." No. That is not suggested. The Lord never suggests something impractical. This material world, to maintain this body, one has to work. The work is divided into four divisions of social order: brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra. The intelligent class of the society, they are working in a different way, and the administrator class of society, they are also working in a different way. The mercantile society, the productive society, they are also working in a different way, and the laborer class, they are also working in different way. In the human society, either as laborer or as mercantile men, or as politicians, administrators, or as the highest class of intelligent class of men in literary career, scientific researches, everybody is engaged in some work, and one has to work, struggle for existence. So Lord advises that "You need not give up your occupation, but at the same time you can remember." Mam anusmara [Bg. 8.7]. That will make you, that will help you in remembering Me at the time of death. If you don't practice remembering Me always, along with your struggle for existence, then it is not possible." It is not possible. The same thing is advised by Lord Caitanya, kirtaniyah sada harih [Cc. Adi 17.31]. Kirtaniyah sada. One should practice to chant the name of the Lord always. The name of Lord and the Lord is not different. So here the instruction of Lord Krsna to Arjuna that mam anusmara [Bg. 8.7], "You just remember Me," and Lord Caitanya's instruction that "You chant always the name of Krsna." Here Krsna says that "You always remember Me," or you remember Krsna, and Lord Caitanya says, "You always chant the name of Krsna." So there is no difference because Krsna and Krsna's name are nondifferent in the Absolute. In the absolute status there is no difference between one thing to another. That is the absolute status. So the Lord being absolute, there is no difference between His name and Himself. So we have to practice like that. tasmat sarvesu kalesu [Bg. 8.7]. Always, twenty-four hours, we have to mold our activities of life in such way that we can remember it twenty-four hours. How it is possible? Yes, it is possible. It is possible. A very crude example is set by the acaryas in this connection. And what is that example? It is said that a woman who is attached to another man, although she has got a husband, still, she's attached to another man. And this sort of attachment becomes very strong. This is called parakiya-rasa. Either in case of man or woman. If man has got attachment for another woman besides his wife, or a woman has got attachment for another man besides her husband, that attachment is very strong. That attachment is very strong. So the acaryas give this example as a bad character woman who has got attachment for other's husband, she always thinks, at the same time, shows her husband that she is very much busy in the family affairs so that her husband may not doubt her character. So as she is always remembering the time of meeting with her lover at night, in spite of doing all this household work very nicely, similarly one has to remember the supreme husband, Sri Krsna, always in spite of doing his material duties very nicely. That is possible. It requires a strong sense of love. When you have got a strong sense of love for the Supreme Lord, then it is possible that we can go on discharging our duty, at the same time remember the Lord. So we have to develop that sense. Just like Arjuna was always thinking of Lord. He, out of twenty-four hours, not for a second he could forget Krsna. Constant companion of Krsna. At the same time, a warrior. Lord Krsna did not advise Arjuna to give up his fighting, go to the forest, go to the Himalaya and meditate. When yoga system was advised to Arjuna, Arjuna declined, that "This system is not possible for me." Then the Lord said, yoginam api sarvesam mad-gatenantaratmana [Bg. 6.47]. Mad-gatenantaratmana sraddhavan bhajate yo mam sa me yuktatamo matah. So one who thinks of the Supreme Lord always, he's the greatest yogi, he is the supermost jnani, and he is also the greatest devotee at the same time. The Lord advises that tasmat sarvesu kalesu mam anusmara yudhya ca [Bg. 8.7]. "As a ksatriya you cannot give up your fighting business. You have to fight. So at the same time if you practice remembering Me always, then it will be possible," anta-kale ca mam eva smaran [Bg. 8.5], "then it will be possible to remember Me also at the time of death." Mayy arpita-mano-buddhir mam evaisyasy asamsayah. Again He says that there is no doubt. If one is completely surrendered into the service of the Lord, into the transcendental loving service of the Lord, mayy arpita-mano-buddhir [Bg. 8.7]. Because we work not with our body actually. We work with our mind and intelligence. So if our intelligence and mind are always engaged in the thought of the Supreme Lord, then naturally our senses are also engaged in the service of the Lord. That is the secret of Bhagavad-gita. One has to learn this art, how one can be absorbed both by the mind and intelligence twenty-four hours thinking of the Lord. And that will help one to transfer himself into the kingdom of God or in the spiritual atmosphere after leaving this material body. The modern scientists, they are trying for years and years together for reaching the moon planet, and they have no approach as yet. But here in the Bhagavad-gita, here is a suggestion. Suppose a man lives for another fifty years and he... So nobody tries to elevate himself in the spiritual ideas for fifty years. That's a very good idea. But even for ten years or five years one sincerely tries for this practice, mayy arpita-mano-buddhir... [Bg. 8.7] It is simply a question of practice. And that practice can be very easily possible by the devotional process, sravanam. Sravanam. The easiest process is to hear.
sravanam kirtanam visnoh
arcanam vandanam dasyam
These nine processes. So the easiest process is simply hearing. Hearing of this Bhagavad-gita or Srimad-Bhagavatam from the realized person, that will train up oneself, one, into the thoughts of the Supreme Being twenty-four hours, which will lead one ultimately, anta-kale, to remember the Supreme Lord, and thus leaving this body, he will have a spiritual body, a spiritual body, just fit for association with the Lord. The Lord therefore says,
paramam purusam divyam
Anucintayan, constantly thinking of Himself only. It is not very difficult process. One has to learn this process from the experienced person in this line. Tad vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. One should approach a person who is already in the practice. So abhyasa-yoga-yuktena. This is called abhyasa-yoga, practicing. Abhyasa... How to remember the Supreme Lord always. Cetasa nanya-gamina. The mind, the mind is always flying to this, to that. So one has to practice to concentrate the mind into the form of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna always, or in the sound, in His name which is made easier. Instead of concentrating my mind -- my mind may be very restless, going hither and thither, but I can concentrate my ear into the sound vibration of Krsna and that will also help me. That is also abhyasa-yoga. Cetasa nanya-gamina paramam purusam divyam. Paramam purusa, that Supreme Personality of Godhead in the spiritual kingdom, in the spiritual sky, one can approach, anucintayan, constantly thinking. So these processes, the ways and means, all are stated in the Bhagavad-gita and there is no bar for anyone. It is not that a particular class of men can approach. Thinking of Lord Krsna is possible, hearing of Lord Krsna is possible by everyone. And the Lord says in the Bhagavad-gita,
mam hi partha vyapasritya
ye 'pi syuh papa-yonayah
striyo vaisyas tatha sudras
te 'pi yanti param gatim
kim punar brahmanah punya
The Lord says that even a human being in the lowest status of life, lowest status of life, or even a fallen woman, or a mercantile man, or a laborer class of man... The mercantile class of men, the laborer class of men, and the woman class, they are counted in the same category because their intelligence is not so developed. But the Lord says, they also, or even lower than them, mam hi partha vyapasritya ye 'pi syuh [Bg. 9.32], not only they or lower than them, or anyone, it does not matter who is he, or who is she, anyone who accepts this principle of bhakti-yoga and accepts the Supreme Lord as the summum bonum of life, the highest target, highest goal of life, mam hi partha vyapasritya ye 'pi syuh, te 'pi yanti param gatim, that param gatim in the spiritual kingdom and the spiritual sky, everyone can approach. Simply one has to practice the system. That system is hinted in the Bhagavad-gita very nicely and one can adopt it and make his life perfect and make a permanent solution of life. That is the sum and substance of the whole Bhagavad-gita. Therefore, the conclusion is that Bhagavad-gita is a transcendental literature which one should read very carefully. Gita-sastram idam punyam yah pathet prayatah puman. And the result will be, if he properly follows the instruction, then he can be freed from all miseries of life, all anxieties of life. Bhaya-sokadi-varjitah. All fears of life, in this life, as well as he'll get a spiritual life in the next life.
naiva santi hi papani
So another advantage is that if one reads Bhagavad-gita very sincerely and with all seriousness, then by the grace of the Lord, the reactions of his past misdeeds will not act upon him. The Lord says very loudly in the Bhagavad-gita in the last portion, aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah [Bg. 18.66]. The Lord takes the responsibility. One who surrenders unto the Lord, He takes the responsibility to indemnify, to indemnify from all reactions of sins.
maline mocanam pumsam
jala-snanam dine dine
One cleanses oneself daily by taking bath in the water, but one who takes once bath in the sacred Ganges water of Bhagavad-gita, his, the dirty material life is altogether vanquished.
gita su-gita kartavya
kim anyaih sastra-vistaraih
ya svayam padmanabhasya
Because Bhagavad-gita is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, therefore people should..., people may not read all other Vedic literatures. Simply if he attentively and regularly reads and hears Bhagavad-gita, gita su-gita kartavya... And one should adopt this means by all means. Gita su-gita kartavya kim anyaih sastra-vistaraih. Because at the present age people are embarrassed with so many things that it is hardly possible to divert his attention in all the Vedic literatures. This one literature will do because it is essence of all Vedic literature, and especially spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
punar janma na vidyate
As it is said that one who drinks the water of the Ganges, he also gets salvation, then what to speak of Bhagavad-gita? Bhagavad-gita is the nectar in the whole Mahabharata, and is spoken by Visnu. Lord Krsna is the original Visnu. Visnu-vaktrad vinihsrtam. It is coming out of the mouth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And gangodakam, the Ganges is said to be emanated from the lotus feet of the Lord, and Bhagavad-gita is emanated from the mouth of the Lord. Of course, there is no difference between the mouth and the feet of the Supreme Lord. Still, from neutral position we can study that Bhagavad-gita is even more important than the Ganges water.
partho vatsah su-dhir bhokta
dugdham gitamrtam mahat
Just... This Gitopanisad is just like a cow, and the Lord is famous as cow boy, and He was milking this cow. Sarvopanisado. And it is the essence of all Upanisads and represented as the cow. And the Lord being expert cow boy, He is milking the cow. And partho vatsah. And Arjuna is just like the calf. And su-dhir bhokta. And learned scholars and pure devotees, they are to take this milk. Su-dhir bhokta dugdham gitamrtam mahat. The nectar, the milk of Bhagavad-gita, is meant for learned devotees.
ekam sastram devaki-putra-gitam
eko devo devaki-putra ev
eko mantras tasya namani yani
karmapy ekam tasya devasya seva
Now the world should learn from the Bhagavad-gita, the lesson. Evam sastram devaki-putra-gitam. There is one scripture only, one common scripture for the whole world, for the people of the whole world, and that is this Bhagavad-gita. Devo devaki-putra eva. And there is one God for the whole world, is Sri Krsna. And eko mantras tasya namani. And one hymn, mantra, one hymn only, one prayer, or one hymn, is to chant His name, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Eko mantras tasya namani yani karmapy ekam tasya devasya seva. And there is one work only, that is to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If one learns from Bhagavad-gita, then the people are very much anxious to have one religion, one God, one scripture, and one business or one activity of life. This is summarized in the Bhagavad-gita. That one, one God, is Krsna. Krsna is not sectarian God. Krsna, from the name of Krsna... Krsna means, as we have explained above, Krsna means the greatest pleasure. So therefore... (break -- end)
First Tape Recording, Done by Srila Prabhupada Himself