Why We Forget And God Doesn't.
74/03/24 Bombay, Bhagavad-gita 4.4
Pradyumna: Translation: "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?"
Prabhupada: Hm. Where is book?
aparam bhavato janma
param janma vivasvatah
katham etad vijaniyam
tvam adau proktavan iti
Arjuna knew it perfectly well that Krsna, his friend, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But to clarify the matter for others.... Because those who are not devotee, they cannot understand Krsna or Bhagavad-gita. That we have explained in the previous verse. Krsna says that "The subject matter of Bhagavad-gita is a great mystery, rahasyam, but because you are My devotee and because You are My friend, therefore I am again, speaking to you the same yoga system which was long long, millions of years ago I spoke to the sun-god." Imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1]. It is lost now. Sa kaleneha yogo nastah parantapa. "Because the parampara system has been diverted or misused, therefore it is now lost. But still, I shall again repeat the same yoga system, which is very, very old, puranam. Although I spoke it first to Vivasvan, the sun-god..."
Vivasvan is the present sun-god, or the president. Just like you have got the president in your country. The Americans, they have got their president. Similarly, each and every planet has got its president. The present president is called Vivasvan. Of course, their duration of life is very, very great, greater than ours. But still they are also human being. They are also living being, having a different type of body. They can live in that sun planet although it is fiery. That I have already explained. (children talking) The children must not talk.
So Arjuna knew it perfectly well. "But as there are foolish men like me..." They cannot understand that Krsna spoke this Bhagavad-gita millions of years ago to the sun-god. We immediately say, "Oh, these are all story." But it is not story. It is fact. Therefore Krsna, to clarify the matter, Arjuna, to clarify matter to the fools like us, he's asking this question that "My dear Krsna, we are contemporary. As I am born some years ago, You are also born some years ago. We are cousin-brothers. So how can I believe that You spoke this science, or the yoga system of Bhagavad-gita, to the sun-god?
Suppose if I say, "Just now I'm coming from sun planet and I talked with sun-god," will you believe me? "Now, he's talking nonsense. He's coming from sun planet." So this is possible to inquire by the layman because people understand, Krsna is like us. Avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam, param bhavam ajanantah [Bg. 9.11]. We accept Krsna, general people...
Sometimes we do not accept. There are many so-called scholars, they say that: There was no Krsna. It is all fictitious. There was no battlefield of Kuruksetra. It is all fictitious." They imagine their own meaning. But that is not the fact. Krsna is also historical, at the same time, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. These things cannot be understood unless one is a devotee. Therefore in the previous verse it has been said, bhakto 'si. The mystery of Bhagavad-gita can be opened, disclosed, to the devotees, not to the nondevotees. The nondevotees may speculate in their specific platform of activities, as politician or as mundane philosopher or mundane scientist, but that is not the fact. The fact should be learned from the devotees of Krsna.
Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and it is being accepted all over the world. We have the greatest sale of our edition, this Bhagavad-gita. Just three months before I got report. In London, in two months, we sold about thirty thousand copies. And the trades manager of Macmillan Company, he has sent me letter that while the other editions, they're diminishing, this edition is increasing by sale. Why? Because it is presented as it is, without any wrong interpretation. People are appreciating. This is a fact.
So people do not believe that Krsna is a historical person, at the same time, He's the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They think that He is a very learned man or a great politician, or a beautiful man. Like that. Avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam, param bhavam ajanantah [Bg. 9.11]. They do not understand the background of Krsna.
So this thing is being clarified by the question of Arjuna, aparam bhavato janma. "You are born along with me. You are my contemporary." And param janma vivasvatah. "And the sun-god, or the president of the sun, Mr. Vivasvan, he's long long ago. How can I believe that you talked with him?" This is the question. Aparam bhavato janma param janma vivasvatah, katham etad vijaniyam. "How I shall believe it?" Yes. This is possible, to inquire like that. Tvam adau proktavan iti. "You first of all spoke this." This is the difference between God and the living entity. The.... God does not forget. We forget. This answer will be in the next verse. Bahuni me vyatitani janmani tava carjuna tany aham veda sarvani. "I understand. I know everything." In another place Krsna..., that "I know the past, present, future." That is knowledge.
Knowledge means, perfect knowledge means past, present, and future. There are many foretelling in the Srimad-Bhagavatam about this Kali-yuga. They are stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Future.... Srimad-Bhagavatam was written five thousand years ago. Still, what was stated at that time, they're coming to be true. That is called sastra. Past, present, and future. So Krsna knows everything. Vedaham samatitani. He says that "I know everything, past, present, and future." That is perfect knowledge.
Why you are hankering after Krsna? Because He is perfect. We are not perfect. We have got so many deficiencies. We commit mistake, we are illusioned, we cheat and our senses are imperfect. We cannot acquire knowledge by sense perception perfectly. So with so many imperfectness, if we try to become a teacher, then I am a cheater. I am not a teacher. We must know first of all. So we are receiving knowledge from Krsna because Krsna is accepted the Supreme Personality of Godhead and with perfection of knowledge.
So here the matter is being clarified, and Krsna is answering also that bahuni me janmani vyatitani. Krsna appears.... Krsna says, yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata tadatmanam srjamy aham [Bg. 4.7]. He comes on this planet or in this universe. When He comes in this universe, He comes on this planet. There are innumerable universes. Not one, but innumerable. So there is a rotation of Krsna's coming here.
Just like the sun rotates every twenty hours.[?] He's visible in the morning. Just like here just now it is half past eight. At six o'clock in the morning the sun will be visible. Everyone can say. Any experienced man. This is not foretelling. By experience. Any child can say that "Tomorrow at six o'clock the sun will appear." Similarly, the sastras say, "At such and such time Krsna will come." One who knows. One who does not know, how he'll say? But there are indications, "In Brahma's one day Krsna appears on the Dvapara-yuga." So therefore Krsna says, bahuni me janmani. Bahuni me vyatitani janmani tava carjuna. "You have also passed many births, and I have also many times appeared, and because we are friends, we appear together. That is also fact.
But the difficulty is tany aham veda. I know all those things, when I appeared last, what did I do, and when I shall again appear. These things known to Me. Tany aham veda sarvani. Sarvani, past, present, and future, I know everything. Na tvam vettha parantapa. Although you are a great warrior, parantapa..." Parantapa means one who can get, one who can give trouble to the enemies. Param tapati. "So although you are a very great warrior, a great personality, but you cannot know this. You cannot know this. That is the difference between you and Me."
That is the difference between God and the living entity. We had our past life, because dehantara-praptih [Bg. 2.13], we have changed our body. And we shall change this body also. after annihilation of this body.... Vasamsi jirnani yatha vihaya [Bg. 2.22]. Old garments, old cloth, when it is too old, unuseable, then we give it up. We accept another new cloth. Similarly, when this body becomes unuseable, then we change our body. We get another new body. This is the way of transmigration of the soul. This is a fact.
dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
dhiras tatra na muhyati
So dehantara-praptih is there. But we have forgotten what I was in my last life. That I cannot say. Neither I can say what kind of body I am going to get next. That I cannot say. Our knowledge is so imperfect that we cannot say. But Krsna can say past, present, and future. It is said here, tany aham sarvani. Everything. Sarvani means, "I veda..." Sarvani means past, present, and future.
Now we can derive conclusion that how is that? Krsna appears like human being and we are also human being, the same two hands, two legs, one head. How is that He knows everything and I do not know? The conclusion should be derived like this, that we forget because we change our body. Just like I was a child, you were a child. Everyone of us. We did so many things in our childhood, but we have forgotten. With the change of the body, the activities of my past body is forgotten. This is a fact. Similarly when we change this body we get another body. We forget. But why Krsna has not forgotten? That means He does not change His body. This should be the conclusion. This should be the conclusion from right, logical point of view. I forget because I change my body. Krsna does not forget. He does not change His body. This should be the conclusion.
And Krsna says also that sambhavamy atma-mayaya [Bg. 4.6]. "I appear and disappear by My own energy." We are forced by the other energy. Just like I have got human body now. Now I shall have to change my body after my death. That change of body is not in my hand. Factually, it is in my hand, because according to karma, if I work nicely, then you get good body. And if you do not work nicely, then we get bad body. That we can understand from the sastra. Urdhvam gacchanti sattva-sthah [Bg. 14.18]. How we can understand? Sastra-caksusa. You have to see through the sastra. Otherwise, we have no eyes to see past, present, future.
Just like the astrology. Astrology, by calculation through the sastra, astrological calculation can say what you were in your past life and what you will become in your next life. There is an astrological system. They can say like that. So through the sastra, by right calculation, we can understand.
So what is that? The total is that urdhvam gacchanti sattva-sthah. Those who are situation in the modes of goodness, brahminical qualification.... Satyam samo damas titiksa arjavam, jnanam vijnanam astikyam brahma-karma svabhava-jam. If we remain perfectly a brahmana, truthful, clean, satyam saucam samah, sense-controlling mind-controlling, satyam saucam samo damas titiksa, tolerance: arjava, simplicity; jnanam, full knowledge; vijnanam, application of knowledge in life; vijnanam, astikyam, full knowledge of the Absolute Truth; astikyam brahma-karma svabhava-jam, if we remain in this qualification, brahminical qualification, this is called sattva-stha, situated in the sattva-guna. The rajo-guna and tamo-guna cannot conquer. In that situation you'll be elevated to the higher planets. This is sastra says.
Urdhvam gacchanti sattva-stha madhye tisthanti rajasah [Bg. 14.18]. And the middle planetary system, this earthly planet is the middle. Bhur bhuvah svah, up to Svargaloka. So if we remain in the modes of passion, then within these planets we may rotate.
And jaghanya-guna-vrtti-stha adho gacchanti tamasah. Those who are tamasah, because they have got very abominable characters.... The abominable character is described in the sastra, sinful life. Illicit sex, intoxication, meat-eating, and gambling. These are the four pillars of abominable life. Tamasi. The sastra says, tamasi ma jyotir gamaya. So if we remain in this tamasi, then jaghanya-guna-vrtti-stha adho gacchanti tamasah. Adho gacchanti means lower planetary system or animal life , degraded life, abominable life, low grade life. We shall get.
This is the sum and substance. But we do not know.... Although we do not know, but the nature's law will oblige me to accept a body like that. Karmana daiva-netrena jantur dehopapattaye [SB 3.31.1]. We get another body according to the karma we are performing now. So Arjuna is a devotee. That has been explained in the previous.... Bhakto 'si. Bhakto 'si me sakha ceti. Arjuna is not only a devotee, ordinary.... Not ordinary devotee but personal friend. Arjuna is personal friend of Krsna. Bhakto 'si sakha ceti. Therefore Krsna says tani. Bahuni me vyatitani janmani tava carjuna. "You are My bhakta and personal friend; so whenever I appear, you also appear with Me." Because he is bhakta. Bhakta, and Bhagavan, they must be together. That is the advantage of bhakta. Although he has got the frailty.... Because the living entity is the minute particle of God, mamaivamso jiva-bhutah [Bg. 15.7], therefore his intelligence, his power, is also very minute. But God's power is unlimited. By unlimited power Krsna knows the past, future, and present, everything perfectly. But our limited knowledge, we cannot know that. Therefore we have to receive knowledge from Krsna. This is our position. Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet, samit-panih srotriyam brahma-nistham [MU 1.2.12].
So we have to approach either Krsna or Krsna's representative. Then we can understand Krsna. Otherwise, simply by mental speculation, by so-called erudite scholarship, nobody can know.
panthas tu koti-sata-vatsara-sampragamyo
vayor athapi manaso muni-pungavanam
so 'py asti yat-prapada-simny-avicintya-tattve
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
Even.... Just like you go by airplane. This is air speed. There is another speed. Panthas tu koti-sata-vatsara-sampragamyo, vayor athapi manaso muni-pungavanam. There is another speed, mind speed. We have experience of the light speed, of the air speed, but we do not know what is the mind speed. Mind speed is so strong that within a second you can go many millions of miles. Within a second. And you can understand, if the mind speed is so strong, how much the speed of spirit is so strong. Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]. If you become fully conversant with Krsna consciousness, the result will be, tyaktva deham, just giving up this body, just immediately after death.... Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti [Bg. 4.9].
Otherwise, those who are not Krsna conscious, they will accept another material body. Immediately they'll have to enter into the womb of a mother, particular mother. Daiva-netrena. As soon as decision is made by superior power that "This living entity has done such and such thing, he should be promoted or degraded. He should enter into such mother's body through the semina of the father," so immediately he's given place in the material body of a mother.
But those who are Krsna conscious, immediately they are transferred where Krsna is there. This is the process. Immediately, by spiritual force.... Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]. Mam eti. "Immediately he comes to Me." Krsna is there.
Within this material world He's also there. In some of the universes. There are innumerable universes, I have already explained. Somewhere He is there. So a devotee just after giving this body, giving up this body, immediately he is transferred to that universe where Krsna is there. And when he's trained up, then he is, again, he's transferred to the Goloka Vrndavana, the spiritual sky. These are the description of Sanatana Gosvami in Brhad-bhagavatamrta, how a living entity...
So in this way we are changing our body but because we are minute particle of Krsna.... We have got qualities of Krsna not cent percent. Seventy-eight percent. When they are perfect, so minute quantity, then we can also become a little more advanced than at the present moment. But not like Krsna. Krsna is cent percent perfect. We can become minutely perfect, seventy-eight percent. These are all analyzed by the Gosvamis. So in the present stage, our conditioned stage, there is no comparison with Krsna, what to speak of becoming Krsna. The rascal foolish persons, they claim that they have become Krsna. It is not possible. This is the defect, that we forget. They ask so many the incarnation of God, about his past life. They cannot speak.
So this is the qualification of God. He knows past, present and future. And those who are false God, they cannot say. That is not possible. This is the test. They are claiming, falsely claiming. But God means, He knows. His body does not change. Past.... He knows past, present, future means His body does not change.
Why He does not change? That is described in the sastra. Isvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah [Bs. 5.1]. Vigrahah means body, form. This transcendental form is made of sac-cid-ananda. Sac-cid-ananda. Sat means eternal, eternity. Om tat sat. So sat, cit. Cit means full of knowledge. Full of knowledge here, tany aham veda sarvani. This is called cit. He knows everything, past, present and future. Sat, cit, and ananda. You see Krsna's form here, ananda. He's enjoying. This is real Krsna's form. He is always enjoying. Anandamayo 'bhyasat in the Vedanta-sutra it is said. He's anandamaya. Krsna, real form...
The Krsna's form in the battlefield of Kuruksetra, that is not Krsna's real form. That is Krsna's Vasudeva form. Krsna expands Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Aniruddha, in that say. So this is a great science, Krsna science. If you are interested, there are books you can study and you can understand what is Krsna. Janma karma (ca) me divyam yo janati tattvatah [Bg. 4.9]. So everyone should try to understand Krsna in truth. But people do not try to understand.
kascid yatati siddhaye
yatatam api siddhanam
kascin mam vetti tattvatah
Tattvatah means truth. That is very difficult. Krsna says, out of many millions of persons, one tries to become siddha. Siddha means perfect. Aham brahmasmi. When one knows that "I am not this material body, I am spirit soul, I am eternal servant of God, Krsna," that is perfection. So this, for this perfection, out of many millions of persons, one becomes perfect. One who knows.
na socati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu
mad-bhaktim labhate param
So this is also very difficult to become brahma-bhutah. We are now jiva-bhutah. But people are not interested to become brahma-bhutah or devotee of Krsna. They are interested to continue this material way of life, changing the body. They do not know. They think this body is all in all, but that is not the fact. That is the first instruction of Bhagavad-gita, dehantara-praptih [Bg. 2.13]. You have to change your body, as you are already changing. These are stated there. So yatatam api siddhanam kascin mam vetti tattvatah [Bg. 7.3]. Even those who are siddha... There are many big, big sannyasis, impersonalists. They cannot understand Krsna. It is a fact. They consider Krsna as ordinary human being. Avajananti mam mudhah [Bg. 9.11]. So it is very difficult to understand Krsna. But if you want to understand Krsna, try to understand Krsna from Krsna, not otherwise. Then you will understand Krsna.
kascid yatati siddhaye
yatatam api siddhanam
kascin mam vetti tattvatah
And how that process can be perfect? That is also explained. Bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah [Bg. 18.55]. Again tattvatah. So we have to understand Krsna tattvatah, in truth. So here is one explanation, that although Krsna appeared like human being, He is not a human being. He's the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And the test is that He knows everything. That is described in the Vedanta-sutra. Janmady asya yatah anvayad itaratas carthesv abhijnah sva-rat [SB 1.1.1]. He's abhijnah. He's fully conversant with all knowledge.
And wherefrom He got knowledge? Sva-rat. Sva-rat means independently. In the Vedas it is said, svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca.
na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate
na tat-samas cabhyadhikas ca drsyate
parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate
svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca
[Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport]
Svabhaviki. He doesn't require to tax His brain how to do things. Immediately He desires, everything is done. That is Krsna. Immediately what He wants, as soon as. Sa aiksata. As soon as He glanced over the material nature, there was creation. These are the Vedic statements.
Therefore here, to inquire about Krsna, to clarify the matter, that what is Krsna. Because He is all-powerful, all-cognizant, fully conversant, sva-rat, therefore He could speak millions of years ago to the sun-god. This is not story. This is fact. To clarify this matter, Arjuna inquired from Krsna, "How can I believe it?" And the answer is next verse, that "We, you, you and Me, both of them took many many times our birth, but you have forgotten because you are a living being and I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I have not forgotten. This is the difference between you and Me."
bahuni me vyatitani
janmani tava carjuna
tany aham veda sarvani
na tvam vettha parantapa
"Although you are a very great warrior, you can conquer over your enemies, but you can become.... You cannot become equal to Me." That is the difference between a living entity and Krsna. Thank you very much. (end)
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Bhagavad-gita 4.4 -- Bombay, March 24, 1974