The Most Important Knowledge.
69/01/03 Los Angeles, Bhagavad-gita 4.1-6
Prabhupada: Where is the book? All right. Page?
Madhudvisa: Page 108.
Madhudvisa: One hundred eight. The beginning of Chapter Four.
Prabhupada: All right. Begin. Read.
Madhudvisa: Chapter Four: "Transcendental Knowledge."
One: "The Blessed Lord said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvan, and Vivasvan instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Iksvaku."
Prabhupada: Transcendental knowledge. There are two kinds of knowledges: mundane knowledge and transcendental knowledge. Mundane knowledge means how to maintain this body, ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam, to meet the demands of this body. What are the demands of this body? We require to eat something. Eating, sleeping. We require rest after working hard. After eating sumptuously, we require sleeping. Eating, sleeping, and during sleeping we sometimes dream, fearing, or without dream, fearing. So we take protection. While sleeping, we close our doors. So eating, sleeping, fearing, and mating -- sense gratification. So to arrange for these necessities of life of the body, the knowledge that we require, that is called mundane knowledge.
Just like in the modern materialistic civilization, we have very good arrangement for eating, for sleeping, for defending, and for sense gratification. The modern material civilization is simply based on this mundane knowledge, but there is no arrangement or university for imparting transcendental knowledge. There is no section in the university, practically, that, what is called brahma-jijnasa, the science of knowing the spirit soul. That is called transcendental knowledge.
So we are busy with mundane knowledge, but the most important part of knowledge is transcendental knowledge. "What I am? Wherefore I have come? What is my constitutional position? Am I this body or I am beyond this body?" These are transcendental knowledge. So Krsna is beginning the transcendental knowledge. Go on.
Madhudvisa: Purport. "Herein we find the history of the Bhagavad-gita traced from a remote time when it was delivered to the kings or all planets. The royal order is especially dedicated to the protection of the inhabitants, and as such, its members could also understand the science of the Bhagavad-gita in order to rule the citizens and to protect them from the onslaught of material bondage to lust. Human life is meant for the cultivation of spiritual knowledge in eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the executive heads of all states and all planets are obliged to impart this lesson to the citizens by education, culture, and devotion. In other words, the executive heads of all states are intended to spread the science of Krsna consciousness so that people may take advantage of this great science and pursue a successful path, utilizing the opportunity of the human form of life."
Prabhupada: Yes. In the Bhagavad-gita it is stated... (babies making noises) Oh, you should remove, yes.
Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh [Bg. 4.2]. This knowledge, this transcendental knowledge, was imparted formerly to the kings because the kings were very responsible for the welfare of the citizens. When the kings were not responsible, then gradually the government by the people was introduced. Otherwise, formerly, the kings were very responsible, especially for the advancement of transcendental knowledge of the citizens. Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayah. Rajarsayah means "the sages among the kings." Although they were in royal order, they were very saintly persons. There are many examples, just like Maharaja Yudhisthira, Maharaja Pariksit. They were emperor of the world, but still, so pious, so religious, and so advanced in transcendent knowledge that there is no comparison. So especially meant that this was taught to the kings, to the royal order who were very pious and advanced in spiritual knowledge. Go on.
Madhudvisa: "This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession and the saintly kings understood it in that. But in the course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost."
Three: "That very ancient science of the relationship with the Supreme is today told by Me to you. Because you are My devotee as well as My friend, therefore you can understand the transcendental mystery of this science."
Purport: "There are two classes of men, namely the devotee and the demon. The Lord accepted Arjuna as the recipient of this great science owing to his being a devotee of the Lord. But for the demons it is not possible to understand this great, mysterious science. There are a number of editions of this great book of knowledge and some of them are commented upon by the devotees, and some of them are commented upon by the demons. Commentary by the devotees is real, whereas that of the demons is useless."
Prabhupada: Because it is said here that "that very ancient science of the relationship with the Supreme is today told by Me to you because you are My devotee," so this transcendental science cannot be understood simply by academic education. It is not possible. There is a secret. Just like in the ordinary educational field, nobody is allowed to study law unless he is a graduate of the degree college. At least in India that is the law. Nobody can be admitted in the law college unless he is a graduate because he will not be able to understand.
Similarly, in the Vedas it is also said, "Unless one has acquired brahminical qualifications, he should not study Vedas." So in every department, if you want to take education in a particular line, you have to qualify yourself to enter that school or college. Similarly, if you want to study Bhagavad-gita, then you have to become a devotee. Simply academic educational qualification will not help you, because it was spoken to the devotee.
Krsna says that "That very ancient science of relationship with the Supreme is today told by Me to you because you are My devotee." So how the nondevotees can understand? Nondevotee cannot understand. And who is a devotee? And who is a nondevotee? Devotee means one who accepts the supremacy of the Supreme Lord, and he is convinced, his eternal relationship with God.
Just like Lord Jesus Christ. He was threatened with death punishment. He was crucified. Still, he was convinced, his relationship with God. Here is a devotee, example of devotee. Devotee means he is firmly convinced about his relationship with God. And what is that relationship? That relationship is on the basis of love. The devotee loves God, and God loves devotee. This is the only relationship. That's all. God is after devotee, and devotee after God. This is relationship.
So one has to establish this relationship. Just like Arjuna is in relationship with Krsna as a friend, similarly, you can be in relationship with God as a lover. You can be in relationship with God as master and servant. You can be in relationship with God as father and son. There are so many relationships. As we have got relationship within this material world, this is only perverted reflection of that five relationship with God. But we have forgotten that. This Krsna consciousness movement is to revive that consciousness. It is nothing new. To forget God means that is abnormal condition, and to have relationship with God is normal condition. So Krsna consciousness means to be reestablished in our normal condition of life. Go on. "Arjuna is..."
Madhudvisa: "Arjuna is recognized by the Lord as a devotee. Therefore one who follows the line of Arjuna in understanding the Gita will derive benefit from it. Otherwise one will simply waste his valuable time in reading commentaries. Arjuna accepts Sri Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and any commentary of the Gita following in the footsteps of Arjuna is real devotional service to the cause of this great science. But the demons do not accept Lord Krsna as He is. The demons concoct something out of their imagination about Krsna's instructions. Here is a warning regarding such misleading paths. One should try to follow the disciplic succession from Arjuna and thus be benefited by this great science of the Srimad-Bhagavad-gita."
Prabhupada: Yes. If we want to study Bhagavad-gita, then we follow the principles. Just like we have explained this in the introduction, that when you take a bottle of medicine, there is some direction that "Two tablets, twice in a day after meals." So you have to follow the instruction. Then you get benefit. You cannot take any instruction about taking that medicine from a friend or from an expert educationist. No. You have to take direction only from the physician. He is the expert in that line.
Similarly, here is the direction, the bottle of Bhagavad-gita. Krsna says, "It should be understood by the devotee, or you have to understand Bhagavad-gita from a devotee." This is the direction of this medicinal bottle. How you can go otherwise? Then you will get the benefit. That is explained.
Madhudvisa: "Arjuna said: The sun-god Vivasvan is senior by birth to You. How am I to understand that in the beginning You instructed this science to him? The Blessed Lord said..."
Prabhupada: Yes. Now, here Arjuna... Krsna said that "Long, long ago I spoke this science, transcendental knowledge, to the sun-god." Now, generally, if I say that "The other day I was speaking this Bhagavad-gita in the sun planet," oh, you will immediately understand that "Swamiji is an insane man." You see? "You were speaking to the sun-god." Yes. That is natural. Now, Krsna says that "I spoke to sun-god." So others will say, "Oh, this Krsna is also another insane person." That is natural. So in order to clear this idea, Arjuna is asking, "How it is that You spoke this science to sun-god? Because I know that You took Your birth just about, say, seventy or eighty years ago." When Krsna was speaking this Bhagavad-gita, He was not less than ninety years old. He remained on this earth for 125 years. So Arjuna was His contemporary friend and cousin-brother.
Therefore he is surprised: "Krsna, how You are saying that You spoke this science to sun-god?" That is a question of millions and millions of years ago because if we take, accept this statement, that means Bhagavad-gita was spoken not less than forty millions of years ago. Vivasvan manave praha. Because "The sun-god said to his son, Manu," and if you simply calculate the age of this present Manu, Vaivasvata Manu, it comes to four hundred millions of years or more than that. So he is surprised. So he is clearing the matter: "How You spoke it?" Go on.
Madhudvisa: "The Blessed Lord said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy."
Prabhupada: Yes. The difference is that Arjuna, being constant companion of Krsna, he was also present when Krsna said to sun-god, but he has forgotten. But Krsna, being the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he has not forgotten. Just like a, my child. I say, "My dear child, twenty-five years ago you fell down and you were hurt in this way." Although the child has forgotten, but the incident is fact. The father knows. Similarly, Krsna, the supreme father, He knows everything, and Arjuna might have forgotten. Because one has forgotten, one cannot give details. Just like we had many, many births before this form of body, but we have forgotten that. That does not mean that it did not take place. We had to pass through millions and millions of births. The other day I was explaining. Jalaja nava-laksani sthavara laksa-vimsati. Simply we had to live in the water to pass through 900,000 species of life. Two millions species of life, plant and trees. In this way we have passed through. So we might have forgotten, but that does not mean it did not take place. Go on.
Madhudvisa: Purport: "In the Brahma-samhita we have information of many, many incarnations of the Lord. It is stated there, ‘I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, Krsna, who is the original person, absolute, infallible, without beginning, although expanded into unlimited forms, still the same original, the oldest, and the person always appearing as a fresh youth. Such eternal, blissful, all-knowing forms of the Lord are usually understood by the best Vedic scholars, but they are always manifest to pure, unalloyed devotees.'
It is also stated in the same scripture, ‘I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, Krsna, who is always situated in various incarnations, such as Rama, Nrsimha, and many subincarnations as well, but who is the original Personality of Godhead known as Krsna, and who incarnates personally also.'
In the Vedas too it is said that the Lord, although He is one without a second nevertheless manifests Himself in innumerable forms. He is like the vaidurya stone, which changes colors variously yet still is one, although His multiforms are understood..."
Prabhupada: There is a valuable jewel stone. If you turn, you will find many colorful manifestations, although that stone is one. Similarly, although God is one, He can manifest Himself in many forms. That is the prerogative of God. Goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhutah [Bs. 5.37]. He can expand Himself in millions and trillions of forms; still, He is one. The same example: that vaidurya stone, jewel, although one, but you will find it in many colors at the same time. So this example is very nice. Go on.
Madhudvisa: "...although His multiforms are understood by the pure unalloyed devotees but not by the simple study of the Vedas. Devotees like Arjuna are constant companions of the Lord, and whenever the Lord incarnates, the associate devotees also incarnate in order to serve the Lord in different capacities. Arjuna is one of these devotees, and in this verse it is understood that when Lord Krsna spoke the Bhagavad-gita to the sun-god Vivasvan, Arjuna in a different capacity was also present there some millions of years before. But the difference between the Lord and Arjuna is that the Lord remembered the incident whereas Arjuna could not remember. That is the difference between the part and parcel living entity and the Supreme Personality of Godhead."
Prabhupada: Yes. Here is... Nowadays there are many gods. Especially anyone comes from India in the name of so many saintly persons, and they claim that they are gods. Everyone says, "I am God." Or somebody says that "Everyone is God." But here is the difference between God and ordinary living entity. What is that? God does not forget and we forget.
If I ask you just exactly at this time what you were doing last evening, you will have to remember. You have forgotten. And what to speak of one week ago or one year ago? That is our nature, forgetfulness.
So here Arjuna and Krsna, although they are on the level of friendship, one is God and another is ordinary living entity. God does not forget; living entity forgets. That is the distinction. How you can say that you are God? You are so forgetful that you cannot say what you were doing a few hours before, and you claiming that you are God? They have made God as very cheap thing. Everyone is claiming, "I am God." They do not know what is God.
Now, here try to understand what is the difference between God and dog. A dog forgets. A dog comes to your place to eat something. You give it a slap. He goes away, again comes. He forgets that slapping. You see? That is the dog's nature. And God's nature is different.
So if we increase our memory, then we approach godly nature. In this age we are decreasing our memory. Formerly, when this Bhagavad-gita was written by Vyasadeva, before that, people were so sharp in their memory that there was no need of publication of books. As soon as one hears from the spiritual master of any instruction, they remember for life. Now, gradually, that memory is decreasing. That means we are not advancing. We are decreasing in our duration of life. We are decreasing in our memory. We are decreasing in our prosperity.
There are eight kinds of decreasing process in this age. Out of that, this memory will be decreased more and more, and the duration of life also will be decreased. Now, you can take history of the past years. Your forefathers were living eighty years, ninety years, hundred years. Now, generally, they live sixty years, seventy years. And gradually it will decrease so much that -- these are all statement of the Srimad-Bhagavatam -- that if a man lives for twenty to thirty years, he will be considered a grand old man. You see? That time also will come very soon. So we are not improving actually. We are not improving. We are decreasing in every respect, and we are proud of advancement of civilization. Go on.
Madhudvisa: "Arjuna is addressed herein as a mighty hero who could subdue the enemy. At the same time, he is unable to recall what has happened in his various past births."
Prabhupada: Yes. We are addressed as Dr., Ph.D., D.A.C., but if you ask him, a Ph.D., D.A.C., "My dear sir, what you are? Wherefrom you have come? Where you are going next?" oh, he cannot answer. Similarly, Arjuna is addressed here as the most powerful, but he cannot remember. Go on.
Madhudvisa: "Therefore a living entity, however great he may be in material estimation, can never equal the Supreme Lord."
Prabhupada: Yes. They cannot be. Nobody can be equal with God. God's another name is asamaurdhva. Sanskrit name is. Asama means nobody is equal with God, and urdhva, nobody is greater than Him. That means everybody is lower than Him. One may be very great in the estimation of our knowledge, but nobody can be equal with God. God is great. That is the real version, "God is great." And nobody can be greater. Then he is not God. If somebody becomes greater than God, then what kind of God He is? God is great. Yes. Go on.
Madhudvisa: "Anyone who is a constant companion of the Lord is certainly a liberated person, but he cannot be equal to the Lord."
Prabhupada: You may be very much elevated, you may be very much... You may be liberated completely. Still, you cannot be equal with God. God is always great. Go on.
Madhudvisa: "The Lord is described above in the Brahma-samhita as infallible, acyuta, which means He never forgets Himself, even though He is in the material contact."
Prabhupada: The Mayavadi philosopher says that "I am God, but I have forgotten myself, that I am God." So how God can forget? Here it is the evidence. How God can forget? If you forget, then you are not God, immediately. There is no other argument. God cannot forget. God remembers always. Acyuta. Acyuta means infallible. God cannot be entrapped by maya. The Mayavadi philosopher says that "I am God. Now I am under illusion of maya. I have forgotten myself, that I am God, and by meditation I shall become God." This is all nonsense. Nobody... God cannot forget Himself. Then He is not God, immediately. God cannot forget Himself. Go on.
Madhudvisa: "The Lord and the living entity can never be equal in all respects even if the living entity is as liberated as Arjuna. Although Arjuna is a devotee of the Lord, he sometimes forgets the nature of the Lord. But by the divine grace a devotee can at once understand the infallible condition of the Lord, whereas a nondevotee or a demon cannot understand this transcendental nature. Consequently these descriptions in the Bhagavad-gita cannot be understood by demonic brains."
Prabhupada: There are six opulences, transcendental qualification of God. One is that He is full of knowledge. So if God is full of knowledge, how He can be in forgetfulness? That is impossible. Go on.
Madhudvisa: "Krsna remembered acts which were performed by Him millions of years before, but Arjuna could not, despite the fact that both Krsna and Arjuna are eternal in nature. We may note herein that a living entity forgets everything due to his change of body."
Prabhupada: Yes. Another thing to be noted here, that why we forget? We living entities, why we forget? It is a fact that from my past life I have transmigrated to this body. Now I cannot say in my my past life what was my body. This is my nature because I change my body. Just like you can remember some years, say, twenty years, twenty-five years. Or suppose I am now seventy-three years old. I can remember some accident when I was only three years old, that, because it is in this life. But I cannot remember what I was in my past life.
That means if you change your body, then you forget. But Krsna remembers. That means Krsna does not change His body. That is another argument. Krsna remembers means He... And it is said... You will find in the Bhagavad-gita. He says, tadatmanam srjamy aham: "I appear. I appear as I am," atma-mayaya, "by My own internal energy." Just like I appear or any living entity appears in this material world. That is not under my control. As soon as I give up this body, I am fully under the control of nature. The nature will offer me a particular type of body according to my work. That is the way. Prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah [Bg. 3.27].
Just like you have got this body, American body, I have got this Indian body, and the dog has got dog body. These are all manufactured by the law of nature. According to my mind, according to my activities, the body is developed. But Krsna's body is not like that. He appears. There is no distinction between His body and Himself. The same thing. The nondevotees, they cannot understand. They cannot understand that there is no difference between Krsna and His body. We are different. I am soul, but I am different from this body. These things will be explained in this chapter of transcendental knowledge. Go on.
Madhudvisa: "The Lord remembers because He does not change His sac-cid-ananda body. He is advaita."
Prabhupada: Sac-cid-ananda body. Sat means eternal. Cit means full of knowledge. Sat, cit, ananda. Ananda means blissful. That is His body. Our body is just the opposite. It is not sat; it is not eternal. It is temporary. And it is not full of knowledge. We are full of ignorance. We do not know what is there beyond this wall. Therefore it is full of ignorance. We are proud of our eyes. If the electricity is immediately gone, we cannot see. So we see, we act, under some conditions offered by the material nature. So we are not fully aware of everything; neither our body is eternal; neither we are blissful. This body is the source of so many diseases. The body is subjected to birth, death. The body is forgetful. The body is suffering old age. So this is not blissful body. But Krsna's body -- just opposite. His body is blissful, full of knowledge, and eternal. So how can you compare with Krsna? It is not possible. Go on.
Madhudvisa: "He is advaita, which means there is no distinction between His body and Himself. Everything is spirit, whereas the conditioned soul is different from His material body. And because the Lord is identical in His body and self, His position is always different from the ordinary living entities, even when He descends to the material platform. The demons cannot adjust themselves to this transcendental nature of the Lord, as the Lord explains in the following verse."
Prabhupada: Therefore, if we try to understand God by our limited knowledge, it will be a failure. We have to understand God from God. Then that will be perfect knowledge. So this Bhagavad-gita is the science of God where God is speaking about Himself. And it is accepted by all great scholars, philosophers, and, I mean to say, religionists, everyone. Go on.
Madhudvisa: "Although I am unborn and My transcendental body never deteriorates, and although I am the Lord of all sentient beings, I still appear in every millennium in My original transcendental form."
Madhudvisa: Purport: "The Lord has spoken about the peculiarity of this verse. Although He may appear like an ordinary person, He remembers everything of His many, many past births, whereas a common man cannot remember what he has done even a few hours before. If somebody is asked what he did exactly at the same time one day earlier, it would be very difficult for him to answer immediately. He would have to dredge his memory to recall what he was doing. And yet men often dare to claim to be God or Krsna. One should not be misled by such meaningless claims. Then again, the Lord explains His prakrti or His form. Prakrti means nature as well as svarupa, or one's own form. The Lord says that He appears in His own body. He does not change His body as the common living entity does from one to another. The conditioned soul may have one kind of body in the present birth, but he has a different one in the next birth. In the material world the living entity transmigrates in this way. The Lord, however, does not do so. Whenever He appears, He does so in the same original body by His internal potency. In other words, Krsna appears in this material world in His original eternal form with two hands and holding a flute."
Prabhupada: Yes. In your Bible also it is said that "Man is made after God," not that God is made after man. The atheist class, they say that "You have created a God according to your own feature," but no scripture says like that. God has eternal two hands, two legs. So man... God is so kind that man is also made according to His form. That is a special facility given to man, not that somebody imagines God, "Because man has two hands, therefore God has two hands." No. That is not a fact. Here it is explained nicely. Go on.
Madhudvisa: "He appears exactly in His eternal body, uncontaminated by this material world. Although He appears in the same transcendental body, it still appears that He has taken His birth like an ordinary living entity, although in fact He is the lord of the universe. Despite the fact that Lord Krsna has grown up from childhood to boyhood and from boyhood to youth, astonishingly enough, He never ages beyond youth-hood. On the battlefield of Kuruksetra when He was present, He had many grandchildren at home, or, in other words, He had sufficiently aged by material calculations. Still, He looked just like a young man, twenty or twenty-five years old. We have never seen a picture of Krsna in old age because He never grows old like us, although He is the oldest person in the whole creation, past, present, and future. Neither His body nor His intelligence ever deteriorates or changes. Therefore it is clear herein that in spite of His being in the material world, He is the same unborn, eternal form of bliss and knowledge, changeless in His transcendental body and intelligence. Factually His appearance and disappearance are like the sun rising, moving before us and then disappearing from our eyesight. When the sun is out of sight, we think that the sun is dead. And when the sun is before our eyes, we think that the sun is on the horizon. Actually the sun is always there. But owing to our defective, insufficient eyesight we must calculate the appearance and disappearance of the sun in the sky. And because His appearance and disappearance are completely different from that of any ordinary common living entity, it is evident that He is eternal in blissful knowledge by His internal potency, and He is not contaminated by material nature. The Vedas confirm that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is unborn, and yet He still appears to be taking His birth in multi-manifestations. The Vedic supplementary literature also confirms that even though the Lord appears to be taking His birth, He is still without change of body. In the Bhagavatam He appears before His mother as Narayana with four hands and the decorations of the six kinds of full opulences. His appearance in His original eternal form is His causeless mercy, according to the Visvakosa dictionary. The Lord is conscious of all His previous appearances and disappearances, but a common living entity forgets everything about his past body as soon as he gets another. He shows that He is the Lord of all living entities by performing wonderful and superhuman activities while on this earthly planet. The Lord is always the same Absolute Truth, and is without differentiation between His form and self, or between His quality and body. A question may now be raised as to why the Lord appears and disappears in this world at all. This is explained in the next verse."
Prabhupada: All right. Stop. We shall discuss next. Hare Krsna. Very nice. All right. Any question regarding this discussion?
Balabhadra: I thought Krsna was sixteen only.
Balabhadra: But in the Bhagavad-gita it said that He was twenty or twenty-five.
Prabhupada: Yes. Just like you see the sun, you say, "Twelve o'clock," or "Sun is older." But sun is the same thing. It is your calculation. Sun at twelve o'clock, midday, is not older than it was in the morning, but it is our calculation that "Sun is now, say, six hours older from His appearance. That is our calculation. So Krsna is always sixteen, but we calculate like that.
Devotee: Prabhupada? Does Lord Jesus Christ appear in the spiritual sky with the body he manifested on the earth?
Prabhupada: Yes. Otherwise how there can be resurrection? Ordinary body cannot be resurrected. He appeared in his spiritual body, certainly. Jesus Christ told, if I remember, that "Lord, excuse these persons," who were crucifying him. Is it not? He knew that "These rascals, they are killing me, but... They are offending certainly. So they do not know that I cannot be killed, but they are thinking that they are killing." You see? But that was offensive, therefore he begged Lord to be excused because God cannot excuse to the offenders of the devotee. He can excuse one who is offender to God, but if somebody is offender to the devotee, God never excuses. Therefore he prayed for them. That is devotee's qualification. He prays for everyone, even of his enemy. And he could not be killed. That he knew. But those rascals, they thought they were killing Jesus Christ.
That's all. All right. If there is no question, chant Hare Krsna. (end)
Bhagavad-gita 4.1-6 -- Los Angeles, January 3, 1969