Bhagavad-gita For Common Men.

66/05/27 New York, Bhagavad-gita 3.17-20


Prabhupada: All glories to the assembled devotees. All glories to the assembled devotees. Thank you very much.

yas tv atma-ratir eva syad
atma-trptas ca manavah
atmany eva ca santustas
tasya karyam na vidyate
 [Bg. 3.17]

Now, so far yajna, offering sacrifice for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord, as we were discussing for the last few days, now here, Lord Sri Krsna says that for a person who is already situated in the spiritual platform and is satisfied with his own self, he hasn't got to do anything. He has surpassed that stages of offering sacrifice, worship, prayers, everything -- one who is situated in self-satisfied state.

Just like Sukadeva Gosvami. He was, as the other day we were narrating the story of Sukadeva Gosvami, he was passing on naked, sixteen-years-old boy, young boy, and very nice feature of the body, peaceful. And he was passing naked, and the girls who were taking bath, naked on the river, they saw that innocent person, so they did not cover their body. But when the father was passing, such a learned sage, old man, Vyasadeva, who is the author of all Vedic literatures -- he is not an ordinary man. But because he was a worldly man, a householder, the girls, after seeing him, covered their body. That story the other day we have narrated before you. So the stage of Sukadeva Gosvami is atma-rati, self- satisfied, doesn't care for anything of the world. He is aloof from the world. We should not imitate Sukadeva Gosvami and become naked. (chuckles)

Simply by... There are many so-called mendicants in India. They, I mean to say, loiter in the street naked, and sometimes they are arrested by the police, like that. Imitation is not required. Imitation is not required. But there is a stage like that. Just like a madman. Sometimes a madman, he also, I mean to say, wanders the street naked. So he is also compact in some thought, but he is a madman. But similarly, a person who is completely compact in Krsna thought, Krsna consciousness, he is also a madman according to the calculation of this world.

I think there is a line in Shakespeare's literature, "The lunatic, mad, and the poet" or something like that, "all compact in thought." [The actual reference is A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act V, Scene I: "The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact."]. So a madman and a atma-rati person, self-satisfied man, outwardly, you will find there is no difference, but inwardly, oh, there is vast difference.

There is a story of Jada Bharata. Jada Bharata, a brahmana boy whose name was Jada Bharata. He was formerly the emperor of this world. His name was Maharaja Bharata. And by his name now India is called Bharatavarsa. Formerly this whole planet was named as Bharatavarsa. Before that, this planet was named as Ilavrtavarsa, long, long years, millions of years before. But Jada Bharata, he also lived atma-rati, self-satisfied. In the beginning of his spiritual life he left this world, a very young age. When he was only twenty-four years old he left his wife, children, and kingdom. It is not joke. An emperor with beautiful young wife, small children, and palace -- he left everything. There are many instances like that.

Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, about whom we pray daily, vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau, this Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, he was also a young man and very rich man's son. At that time, five hundred years before, his father's income was, I mean to say, ten millions of rupees. So there are many instances in India we have got. But this Jada Bharata, he left his kingdom and family and everything, and went for spiritual realization, self-realization. Unfortunately, he was again in affection with a cub of deer and he got next life... I think I have already narrated this story. While he died, he was thinking of that deer cub and he became a deer. Yam yam vapi smaran loke tyajaty ante kalevaram.

That is this... I mean, the technique of death. At the time of death, whatever you are thinking, that means you are preparing your next life like that. Therefore the whole life shall be so processed but at the same time, at the end of our life we can at least think of Krsna. Then sure and certain you go back to Krsna. This practice has to be done. Because unless we practice while we are strong and stout and our consciousness is right thinking. So instead of wasting time in so many things for sense gratification, if we go on concentrating on Krsna consciousness, that means we are making a solution of all the miseries of our material existence. That is the process, Krsna consciousness, always thinking of Krsna.

Therefore Krsna comes and He presents Himself just like ordinary man acting. Why? Just like here in the Bhagavad-gita Krsna is present in the battlefield of Kuruksetra. Oh, He had no necessity of presenting Himself in the battlefield of Kuruksetra. But it is for us because we are very much anxious to know where battle is going on, where fighting is going on, where detective is working, where murder is committed. All these literatures attract us very much. Stories and literatures, all these things, they attract very much. In a bookshop you go, if you ask them, "Supply me one copy of Bhagavad-gita," he will have to find out. But if you ask a bookseller, "Give me some novels," oh, he will present so many things. Because our inclination is like that. We are always anxious to learn these mundane affairs. We have no taste for spiritual upliftment. That taste we have lost.

That is the stage of our present existence -- forgetfulness. We do not know how our taste should be created, how our taste should be converted from material to spiritual. That we do not know. Therefore Lord is so kind, Krsna, that He creates a battlefield for you so that you may be anxious to know, "Who is fighting with whom? Who is fighting with whom." Because we are always very much anxious to learn stories, so all these Puranas...

Just this morning we were discussing that all these... Stri-sudra-dvijabandhunam trayi na sruti-gocara [SB 1.4.25]. Vyasadeva is so kind that he could understand that the next generation before, I mean to say, five thousands years before, when he was thinking... We should always know that great thinkers, great, I mean to say, sages, rsis, they are sitting in the secluded place, in a forest, not idly. They are always thinking how people should be benefited, how people should be benefited. Lokanam hita-karinau. Just like we sing daily about the Gosvamis.

nana-sastra-vicaranaika-nipunau sad-dharma-samsthapakau
 lokanam hita-karinau tri-bhuvane manyau saranyakarau
radha-krsna-padaravinda-bhajananandena mattalikau
vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau **

Now, just see. These gentlemen, they are... Some of them were big zamindar, some of them were learned scholars, some of them were ministers in the government service, but they left everything. And at Vrndavana they sat down? Nana-sastra-vicaranaika-nipunau. No, they were find out, making research by researching all kinds of Vedic literature how things should be presented to the people of this age so that they can take up the matter very seriously and easily and they can make progress. That was their business, not that they left home, become easy going, and take prasadam and go on sleeping. Oh. No, no, no, no. They had no time to sleep. They were always thinking, lokanam hita-karinau, how people should be benefited. As much as the Lord is very much anxious for our benefit, similarly, the devotees of the Lord, they are equally anxious for the benefit of the public.
So Lord Sri Krsna, He created. Now, this Mahabharata... Mahabharata... You have heard the name of Mahabharata. It is a history of the fighting between two parties, Kuru-Pandava. So this Mahabharata was especially made, I mean the story... Just like expert writer, they will pick up some historical facts and put it into fiction, so, to create more interest. In Bengal there is a famous writer who is compared with [Sir Walter] Scott of England. So Bankim Chandra Chatterjee. Oh, all his novels are picked up from some historical facts, historical facts. That makes the fiction very interesting. Similarly, Mahabharata, this is a history of fighting between two parties, and that was written especially, stri-sudra-dvijabandhunam trayi na sruti-gocara [SB 1.4.25].

We were just discussing this sloka this morning, that stri-sudra-dvijabandhunam. Stri means woman class. Woman and sudra and dvija-bandhu... Sudra means ordinary people, not intelligent class, ordinary people. And dvija-bandhu? Dvija-bandhu means born in higher caste family, but their qualification is nil, such persons.

Formerly, according to varnasrama-dharma, it is not that "Because I am a brahmana's son, therefore I am a brahmana," just as the practice is going on now in India, caste system. Oh, that was not the system. The system was different. So this Mahabharata was written for such persons who are claiming to be a brahmana because he is born in the brahmana family. But according to sastra, scripture, such persons are not called brahmanas. They are called dvija-bandhu, "a friend of a brahmana." So just like "I am," "I am the son of a high court judge." That does not mean I am also high court judge. I must be qualified to become a high court judge. But if I go on, that "Because my father is high court judge, therefore I am also high court judge..." So these things are going on now in India. Because his forefather was a brahmana, or his father was a brahmana -- and although he has no qualification of a brahmana, he also claims to be a brahmana. But the scripture, the Vedic scripture, that does not allow. They will call, "No, you are not a brahmana. You are brahmana's son. That's all. We can admit so far. There is no harm admitting you, that you are the son of a brahmana, but we cannot admit you a brahmana." That is quite reasonable. So the Mahabharata was written for such persons who are son of a brahmana, but actually, by qualification, he is less than sudra. So Mahabharata was written for them.

And in the middle of Mahabharata, Bhisma-parva, this Bhagavad-gita is inserted. Not inserted. Practically, in the battlefield of Mahabharata this Bhagavad-gita was spoken. And it is... You will be surprised. In those days television was in the heart, television. This, I mean to say, Battlefield of Kuruksetra was television in the heart of Sanjaya. Dhrtarastra, the father of one party, Duryodhana, and his secretary, Sanjaya, were sitting in the room, and they were discussing what happened after this. Just like you get television or radio message in the football ground what is going on by sound and picture, so the same thing was being reflected in his heart and he was in the room. He was explaining the activities of the battlefield. This is the story, like that. Sanjaya uvaca. Dhrtarastra uvaca. The beginning is

dharma-ksetre kuru-ksetre
samaveta yuyutsavah
mamakah pandavas caiva
kim akurvata sanjaya
 [Bg. 1.1]

Now, the old king and his secretary were sitting in a room, and the first question was, "Well, Sanjaya, what happened again, this, this and that?" And he was speaking like that. That was a television.

So anyway, now this Bhagavad-gita was written, was spoken to a family man, Arjuna, military man, and the whole Mahabharata is meant for stri-sudra-dvijabandhu, less qualified men. Just see. In those days less qualified men were meant for understanding Bhagavad-gita in half an hour. Just imagine what class of less intelligent persons were at that time. The same Bhagavad-gita, now scholars like Dr. Radhakrishnan, and others, so many big big scholars, they are scrutinizingly studying; still they cannot understand. But this Bhagavad-gita was meant for the less intelligent class of men of that time. Just you can imagine what class of less intelligent class and women were there. It is specially written, you will see, stri-sudra-dvijabandhunam trayi na sruti-gocara [SB 1.4.25]. Because woman class and less intelligent class, and these unworthy sons of the brahmanas and ksatriyas, they will not be able to understand the original Vedic literature, therefore it has been presented in a story form with historical facts so that they can understand. That was the origin of Mahabharata.

So Bhagavad-gita is not very high class Vedic literature. It is just the entrance, ABCD of Vedic literature. ABCD, entrance. Just like matriculation examination, school-leaving examination, then you enter into college, and then get your graduate, become a graduate, and then post-graduate, so the Bhagavad-gita is just entrance for, entrance examination for spiritual education. It is not very... It is written for the common men, common men, common men, householders, less intelligent men, woman class, like that.
And originally the Veda is one, Yajur Veda. And because it was very difficult to understand... Veda was spoken by Lord Himself to Brahma. So seeing, foreseeing the condition of the present age, Vyasadeva divided four Vedas, one Veda into four. The original Veda is Yajur Veda. Then he divided into Sama, Yajur, Rk, Atharva. Then again the Vedic literatures were explained in Puranas, eighteen Puranas. Then Mahabharata. Then again he summarized all the Vedic knowledge into Vedanta-sutra, Vedanta-sutra, summarized. Then again the Vedanta-sutra is explained by Srimad-Bhagavatam. These are the all Vedic literature. When you read this book, in the preliminary, those who have got books, you will find all this description.

So Krsna, for understanding of the common people, the highest truth of Vedic literature, the highest truth of Vedic literature is Krsna, and nothing else. You will find in the Bhagavad-gita the Lord says, vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah [Bg. 15.15]. The whole purpose of Veda is to understand Me. That's all. If one has understood Krsna, then he has understood all Vedic literature. He has nothing to understand anymore. He has passed all examination. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo vedanta-krd veda-vid eva caham.

And the Lord says that "I am the writer of Vedanta," because Vyasadeva is an incarnation of Krsna for writing this literature. His name is Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasa. Therefore, as incarnation of Vyasa, Krsna wrote all this Vedic literature.

So vedanta-krt and veda-vid eva caham: "And if anyone understands Veda, then it is I only who understands Veda." Therefore if we understand Krsna, then we understand everything. We understand Veda. Kasmin tu bhagavo vijnate sarvam idam vijnatam bhavati. If anyone understands one... Just like in arithmetic, if you understand one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, then you understand everything because in arithmetic or mathematics there is nothing than these nine figures. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven -- you make it a multiplication or subtraction or division, or whatever process you may. There is nothing but one, two, three, four, five, six, eight, nine. That's all. Similarly, if you understand Krsna, then you understand the whole Vedas.

And for understanding Krsna, here is the nutshell spoken by Krsna Himself about Himself. If I, what I am... You can go on thinking that Swamiji is... Like the other day Paul was speaking that somebody has informed that I have got fifteen children. Now, I do not know how one can understand that I have got fifteen children. I never told in this meeting, but he told me that somebody told him I have got fifteen children. This is misunderstanding. If I say... He asked me, "Swamiji, how many children you have got?" I told him I have got at home three boys and two girls. And he told me that "I understood that you have got fifteen children." So that means, anyway, if you want to know about me, then you must know from me. That is authentic. That is authentic. Or from a confidential person who is confidence of me. Similarly, if you want to know Krsna, then here is Bhagavad-gita, spoken by Krsna Himself. You just try to understand and you learn Krsna. Or you learn confirmation. Suppose if you cannot understand Krsna by reading Bhagavad-gita, or by hearing Bhagavad-gita, then you know that Bhagavad-gita was spoken to Arjuna, and Arjuna has admitted about his understanding in the Tenth Chapter. So just try to understand Arjuna. How he understands? Either you understand Krsna directly, or you understand through the authority who was spoken directly by the Lord.

So there is no difficulty to understand Krsna. And if you understand Krsna, your life is perfectly, I mean to say, all right. Then you get your life, complete perfection of your life. That is the whole literature. So here the Lord says, yas tu atma-ratir eva syat. Atma-rati, one whose focus of life is simply for self-understanding... Atma-ratih, syad atma-trptas ca manavah. He is simply satisfied with his self-understanding, that "I am pure consciousness. My relation with Krsna is such and such. My relation with this world is temporary. My real relation with Krsna because Krsna is permanent and I am permanent. I am His part and parcel," these simple things. So one who has understood these things nicely and he is satisfied in himself...

Just like Sukadeva Gosvami. He didn't care for anything, who is naked dancing, or naked bathing. No. He has no care. He is going on in the street. Yas tu atma-ratir eva syad atma-trptas ca manavah atmany eva ca santustah. He is satisfied in himself and with Krsna. Tasya karyam na vidyate: "He has nothing to do." Bas. He is free. Now, if you are not in that stage, then you have to perform sacrifice, as recommended in the Bhagavad-gita. Yajnarthe karmano 'nyatra loko 'yam karma-bandhanah [Bg. 3.9]. You have to work in such a way that your work will be purified gradually and you will come to this stage of atma-rati. But if you, from the very beginning, you are satisfied with your self-understanding, then you have nothing to do. You have nothing to do.

Just like aradhito yadi haris tapasa tatah kim naradhito yadi haris tapasa tatah kim antar bahir yadi haris tapasa tatah kim nantar bahir yadi haris tapasa tatah kim. Tapasa tatah kim: [Narada-pancaratra] "What is the use of this nonsense penance and meditation? What is the use?" There is no more use. For whom? Now, aradhito yadi harih. Hari means the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If His relationship is completely understood and one is engaged in Him, then for him all these penances, meditation, and jnana, yoga, all is nonsense. Nonsense means he has no requisition for all these things. He has come to the highest stage. Aradhito yadi harih.

And naradhito yadi harih. And after performing all these penances, and jnana, yoga, meditation, ultimately end there is no understanding of Krsna, then whole thing is spoiled. Tapasa tatah kim: "What is the use of all this nonsense if you have not understood the real thing?" If you understood the real thing, then also these things are nonsense. And if you have not understood the real thing, then these things are also nonsense.

So there are two stages. But that is the ultimate, but one has to come to that very point, understanding of Krsna, atma-rati, because he is Paramatma. He is the Supreme Soul, and I am atma. I am individual soul. I am part and parcel of Krsna. That relationship is there, eternal. And that is congenial, and that is my real happiness. We have forgotten that.

We have, by chance, fallen into this material contamination and we have made our relationship with so many material things, so that we have forgotten Krsna. Now, the whole process is to revive our consciousness to Krsna. For that purpose, Krsna comes Himself or Krsna keeps this Bhagavad-gita for you or Krsna sends His confidential devotees to you, to canvass you, "Come to the point and be happy." That is the whole process. So atma-rati, atma-rati, self-satisfaction.

You will find at Vrndavana, oh, so many great devotees. Just like these Gosvamis, about whom we pray daily. Now, about them it is stated, tyaktva turnam asesa-mandala-pati-srenim sada tuccha-vat. Now, these people were very aristocratic. Mandala-pati. Mandala-pati means leaders of great society. So they gave up. When they joined Lord Caitanya's movement they gave up everything. They resigned from ministership. The Nawab Shah was very much sorry. He was interned, that "You cannot resign from this post. Then whole thing will be, whole, my plan, whole, my kingdom will be lost. I cannot allow you to resign." But they decided that, "No. No more." Then the Nawab Shah told him, "Then I put you into, under internment." So they were put into jail. So anyway, they came out. So this fact is narrated. Tyaktva turnam asesa-mandala-pati-srenim sada tuccha-vat. Tuccha means insignificant. Such high post and position, they left everything. Left everything. Why? Bhutva dina-ganesakau karunaya kaupina-kanthasritau. And for doing good to the poor conditioned souls they came to Vrndavana and became just like niggardly, poor beggars. Their appearance... Their appearance became... The description is that living underneath a tree, one night underneath one tree, and next night another tree, and taking, I mean to say, dried, rejected breads given by the neighbors. In this way they were living.

But what was their happiness? The happiness was gopi-bhava-rasamrtabdhi-lahari-kallola-magnau muhur vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau. They were always absorbed in thoughts of Krsna, how Krsna is, I mean to say, having His pastimes, His activities, by thinking, by thinking, thinking. So they could be... They could forget their material prosperity in exchange of thinking Krsna.

So here it is said that yas tu atma-ratir eva syat. So they haven't got to do anything, sacrifice or this or that, because they are absorbed in Krsna thought, absorbed in Krsna thought. So here Krsna says that "Anyone who is absorbed in such thought of his self-realization, then he hasn't got to perform these rituals, this and that and that."

Now that atma-rati is this, Lord Caitanya's introduction:

Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Just like we give glories, "Thakura Haridasa ki jaya." Thakura Haridasa, he was a Mohammedan during this movement. He was a Mohammedan, old man. His photograph is also there. So his name was Abraham[?] and he liked to chant this

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

He took his only business of chanting this. He was chanting daily three lakhs. Three lakhs means three hundred thousands times. Three hundred thousands times he was chanting, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna. This

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

This is sixteen. By one stretch you can chant sixteen. Now you can make your arrangement if you want to increase. So that Thakura Haridasa, he used to chant three hundred thousand times daily, three hundred thousand times daily. Atma-ratir eva. Bas. He had no other business. He had no other business.

People become envious. One brahmana zamindar in the village, oh, he became very envious: "Oh, this man is Mohammedan and he is getting so much respect? Oh, I am a brahmana, I am a zamindar and nobody cares for me? Oh, he should be given some lesson." So he called a beautiful prostitute. "I shall give you such and such sum of rupees if you can, I mean to say, make a fall down of this man, this young man." He was young man. Thakura Haridasa was at that time about twenty-five years old, young man. So that prostitute, there was agreement. "Oh, it is easy thing for me. Sir, you give me such and such money. I shall get him. All right."

So one day that prostitute, very nicely dressed, and at midnight and when he was chanting,

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

And the prostitute sat down before him, and the Thakura said, "Why you have come?" She disclosed her intention, that "You are such a nice young man, so I have come to embrace you." "Oh, very good. Very good. You sit down. You sit down and let me finish. Let me finish my chanting, Hare Krsna, because I have got a vow for chanting so many. So it is now almost finished. But as soon as finished, we shall enjoy. Very good. You sit down." So by chanting, chanting, chanting, it became morning. Now, that prostitute became restless. "I am very sorry. Because I could not finish my chanting, therefore we could not enjoy life. All right. You come this evening, this night. We shall enjoy." So next also night she came in the same way and the same business, chanting. And he said, "Let me finish. Then I shall do."

Then in the three days, after three days the prostitute became wonderful and she fell down on his feet. "Sir, this is my intention. I was instructed by this man. So please excuse me and please save me from this nonsense business." Then Thakura Haridasa replied, "Yes, I could understand your intention and who has sent you. I knew everything. But because you have come to my shelter, I stayed here for three days just to convert you. Otherwise I would have gone the very same night from this place. So anyway, you have come to your senses. Now give up this nonsense business. Sit down here and you also chant Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare. I am going from this place." So that prostitute became a great devotee. She also. This is the touchstone. Touchstone. This is called atma-rati. Atma-rati.

If this movement is spread, then people will be self-satisfied. He'll be no more hankering for any artificial thing. As soon as he goes on realizing the transcendental nature of

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Oh, he will feel himself fully satisfied. Nothing can enchant him, nothing can drag him from this platform. And for him there is nothing to do. So that is the stage. That is a stage described by Lord Krsna, that if somebody comes to this stage of life, he hasn't got to do anything of religious rituals, this or that, meditation or reading or nothing.

naiva tasya krtenartho
nakrteneha kascana
na casya sarva-bhutesu
kascid artha-vyapasrayah
 [Bg. 3.18]

"If somebody comes to that stage of life, atmanandi, self-satisfaction, then his activities have also no reaction."

Reaction. Just like this Thakura Haridasa. Thakura Haridasa was a man in renounced order of life. Now for him, it is, there is injunction that those who are in renounced order of life, they should not sit down in a secluded place with woman. Why a renounced order of man? It is... The sastra injunction is that, so far Vedic literatures are concerned, they are very much strict about association, free association of man and woman. They are very much strict. They have compared woman as fire and man as the pot of butter. So, according to strict Vedic principle, except one's own wife, nobody sit down in a private place with woman, even she happens to be a mother, even she happens to be a daughter, even she happens to be a sister. So much restriction is there. Matra svasra duhitra va naviviktasano bhavet: [SB 9.19.17] "Either she is your mother, either she is your daughter, either she is your sister, don't sit down in a secluded place alone with woman." So such a stricture is there.

Now, Haridasa Thakura, at dead of night a woman came before him and she was sitting. She [he] was chanting. So according to this restriction or injunction, she [he] has committed wrong. No. She [He] has not committed wrong because he was trying for her benefit. He was sitting there not with the purpose of sense gratification. He was sitting with that woman with the purpose of converting him [her] for self-realization. He had no other intention. His only intention was: "Well, this poor creature has come to me. Never mind whatever her intention is. And if I am elevated, if I have anything, anything relationship with my Supreme Lord, I must do something good to this poor creature so that her life also may become successful. That was his intention. He had no other intention. Therefore, naiva tasya krtena arthah. Therefore for him there is no restriction.

And nakrtena iha kascana: And neither he has got any obligation that he has to do this or that. Neither by doing he has got any reaction, or neither by not doing he has to pay something, default, something like that. Na casya sarva-bhutesu kascid artha-vyapasrayah. And he has no relation with anybody to take anything from them.

But so far this self-satisfaction stage is concerned, Sukadeva Gosvami is the ideal person. He was living naked, and in the early in the morning he would stand up in any householder's door. Because in India still, I think here also the system is there, those who have got private cows, they milk the cow early in the morning. Early in the morning if the cow is milked, it gives the proper quantity of milk. That is the system, before sunrise. So Sukadeva Gosvami and... The whole day's business was that he would go to a householder. Because in India still the system is a householder keeps at least, in the village, at least ten to twelve cows. But he hasn't got to pay anything for keeping these. The cows go to the pasturing ground and in the evening comes back. And some grass, dry grass which is by-product of the grains, that is offered to her, and instead of, in place she offers milk. So milk in the village, still it is available very easily, without any expenses.

Now Sukadeva Gosvami, because his whole day's business was just to stand before a householder's door because every householder milking. And people know that this swamiji or this sage has come to take some milk. "Oh Baba, whatever you want you take." So what? Say one pound or less than one pound drinks and goes away. The whole day was finished business. So Sukadeva Gosvami was doing like that. He wouldn't go anywhere, and simply, early in the morning he would stand before a householder's door and take little milk and the whole day he would travel naked.

He has recommended that "Why you are anxious?" You, I mean to say, those who are in the renounced order of life, those who have left the world simply for self, spiritual realization... So Sukadeva Gosvami advises that "You, if you have actually left home for spiritual realization, then you haven't got any problem for maintaining your life. You have no problem." So he recommends, cirani kim pathi na santi. "Well, I am naked." Of course, you do not wish to run on as naked. You require some cloth. All right, find out some cloth in the street. There are so many cloth thrown in the street. So you can pick up one of them. So your cloth problem is there solved. Cirani kim pathi na santi disanti bhiksam naivanghripah. Anghripah means these trees. They have got fruits. So you can ask a tree, apple tree, to give you some apple to eat. So your clothing and eating problem is solved. All right, then your shelter... Ruddha guhah kim. Oh, you find out some cave. There is nice place. So the house problem is solved. Then water? There are many rivers. There is no water problem. So he has recommended like that.

And actually, in India, still there are persons who do not care for anything of the world. They are atma-rati, atma-rati. They are self-satisfied, doesn't care, doesn't care for anything. So for such person there is no need of doing any yajna or purifying their activities or so many things as recommended in the rituals. The Lord says that "They have nothing to do."

tasmad asaktah satatam
karyam karma samacara
asakto hy acaran karma
param apnoti purusah
 [Bg. 3.19]

Now, what is this meaning of this atma-rati? The meaning of atma-rati is that one has to be situated in full spiritual consciousness and aloof from material engagement. That is the sum and substance. So the same thing can be practiced by us also. Of course, we may find difficulty, we may think, "How it is possible to become like Sukadeva Gosvami?" No, it is not possible. The real fact which Krsna is explaining here, that don't be attached to your result of the activities. Just become free.

Now, for maintenance of your body you have to do something. That's all right. But you don't be attached to that work. You are simply to... Because you have got this body, you have to maintain it so that the body and soul can be maintained and you have to perform this spiritual realization just to keep the body nicely, not neglecting the body. But become detached from the bodily attachment. You just try to... Yuktahara. Yuktahara means to take food is not forbidden, but you have to take food only just to maintain your body, not for, I mean to say, taste of your palate or tongue. That should be practiced. You should live... You should eat to live. You should not live to eat. That should be your life principle.

Tasmad asaktah, tasmad asaktah satatam. Asakta: "Don't be attached." Karyam karma samacara: "Do your duty, as duty, as you are duty bound. But don't be attached to that work. Because you should always know that your real work is self-realization." Asakto hy acaran karma param apnoti purusah: "And if you practice like that, then the same perfection of life you will attain." Don't be attached to your work. Don't be attached, unattached. Nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe yuktam vairagyam ucyate. Anasaktasya visayan yatharham upayunjatah. The same advice is given in several places, that "Work, but do not work with attachment. Just to make the best use of a bad bargain, that's all. You go on working like that."

tasmad asaktah satatam
karyam karma samacara
asakto hy acaran karma
 param apnoti purusah
 [Bg. 3.19]

And if you continue your work unattached like that, then the result will be that you will also reach that perfectional stage of life, as Sukadeva Gosvami.

karmanaiva hi samsiddhim
asthita janakadayah
loka-sangraham evapi
sampasyan kartum arhasi
 [Bg. 3.20]

So you haven't got to give up your work, your duty. Go on doing your duty, but make your point that "My life's main business is self-realization." You give more importance to that point of life. Not to the point of, that "I shall earn more and enjoy life." No. That should be given up. That is called nonattachment. So if we go on working in non-attachment and culture our self-realization, then gradually we shall come to the perfectional point.
Thank you very much. Now if there is any question... (end)
Bhagavad-gita 3.17-20 -- New York, May 27, 1966