ISKCON Press


Bhagavad-gītā 5.14–22

Type:
Bhagavad-gītā
Date:
August 28
Year:
1966
Place:
New York

Prabhupāda:

na kartṛtvaṁ na karmāṇi
lokasya sṛjati prabhuḥ
na karma-phala-saṁyogaṁ
svabhāvas tu pravartate
[Bg. 5.14]

Now, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, says that “The Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is not responsible for anyone’s activities.” He does not create. He does not say that “You act in this way.” Not exactly He does not say. He says that “You act in this way,” but the living entity, out of his individual independence sometimes, or always, so long he is conditioned, he does not carry out the orders of the Lord. Therefore he is responsible for his own work. Although the sanction is there by the Lord, still the Lord is not responsible for his work.

na kartṛtvaṁ na karmāṇi
lokasya sṛjati prabhuḥ
na karma-phala-saṁyogaṁ
svabhāvas tu pravartate
[Bg. 5.14]

Svabhāva. Svabhāva means “his own nature.” We are accustomed to the three modes of nature. Some of us are under the spell of the modes of goodness, and some of us under the spell of the modes of passion, and some of us are in the modes of ignorance. So according to our own position in relationship with the modes of nature we create our work. Nādatte kasyacit pāpam…

nādatte kasyacit pāpaṁ
na caiva sukṛtaṁ vibhuḥ
ajñānenāvṛtaṁ jñānaṁ
tena muhyanti jantavaḥ
[Bg. 5.15]

Now, here everyone is addressed as jantu. Jantu means animals. Of course, in logic also, human being is called rational animal. They are classified among the animals, but they are called rational animals So here also, in the Bhagavad-gītā, the Lord says, jantavaḥ. Jantavaḥ is the plural number of jantu. Jantu means animal. So nādatte kasyacit pāpam. A… Somebody is engaged in the activities of sinful activities, but he is not induced by the Lord that he should be engaged in sinful activities. Similarly, somebody is engaged in virtuous activities. So that virtuous activity is according to his own, I mean to say, association with the modes of material nature. Ajñānena āvṛtaṁ jñānaṁ tena muhyanti jantavaḥ [Bg. 5.16]. But in this material world, either in the modes of ignorance or in the modes of passion or in the modes of goodness, they are all… Total, sum total, is ignorance. Sum total… Even a man is in the modes of goodness, that is also considered as ignorance because real knowledge, real knowledge is to know his relationship with the Supreme Lord. That is real knowledge. Unless one is elevated to that position, that what is his relation with the Supreme Lord, then all his so-called knowledge is also understood as ignorance.

Just like at the present moment… Not present moment. Always. People are engaged in the matter of economic development for sense gratification. So that is also ignorance. That is also ignorance. Because advancement of economic development… There is a nice song by a Vaiṣṇava. He says that jaḍa-vidyā, saba māyāra vaibhava. Jaḍa-vidyā means the material advancement of knowledge is a manifestation of this illusory energy. The illusory energy manifests herself in different ways, and that is called material advancement of knowledge. The material advancement of knowledge means we are becoming more and more illusioned. Illusioned. Just like today one of our students, he had been to some doctor for some business. He had some talks with him. So when the student said that “We believe in personal God,” then the doctor answered that “Oh, we believe… The world believed seven hundred years before like that.” Now people have advanced so far that they cannot believe in the Personality of Godhead. Now, people think, think that they have made very much advance in the material science. Well, actually, if we scrutinizingly study how much advancement they have made, then we can know that practically we have been more illusioned than we have made advancement.

Now, seven hundred years before, people were dying. Death was there. So has the advancement of material science during the seven hundred years, has stopped death? No. That is not possible. People were suffering from diseases seven hundred years before. Then has the material science so much advanced, stopped diseases? No. People were embarrassed with increase of population. Has that been stopped? No. People were embarrassed with so many death rate. Has that been stopped? No. That is now… Now, seven hundred years before, the sun was rising on the eastern side. Has the material science stopped the sun rising on the eastern side? Has it gone to the western side? No. Then what is this advancement? Simply defying the existence of God, is that the advancement of knowledge? If we materially calculate that… Practically the major questions which are embarrassing us… Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi [Bg. 13.9]. We are embarrassed with the material miseries of life. That has not been solved. The major questions have been set aside. Simply by thinking that “There is no God. We are God. Science is everything,” oh, do you think that is advancement of knowledge? No.

So therefore ajñānena āvṛtaṁ jñānam. This is, this sort of advancement of knowledge in the material science is also another type of ignorance. The Lord says, ajñānena āvṛtaṁ jñānam: “Real knowledge is now covered. Real knowledge, being covered by nescience,” ajñānena tena muhyanti jantavaḥ, “therefore they are actually perplexed.” So by the name of so-called advancement of knowledge the whole population of the world, they are now perplexed. Even we do not go into the details, but any sane man will admit that we are not advancing. Actually we are degraded in so many ways.

jñānena tu tad ajñānaṁ
yeṣāṁ nāśitam ātmanaḥ
teṣām ādityavaj jñānaṁ
prakāśayati tat param
[Bg. 5.16]

Tat param. This tat param word is very significant. Tat param means “in relationship with the Supreme Lord.” That is called tat param. That knowledge is real knowledge. So jñānena, by spiritual advancement of knowledge, when you are advancing in spiritual advancement of knowledge, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then our, this ajñāna, or ignorance, that “I am the product of this material world,” and therefore identifying myself with this body extensively and, I mean to say, centrally also… When we are not so much advanced in the material science we think extensively for other also to be in that category of knowledge. So jñānena tu ajñānaṁ yeṣāṁ nāśitam ātmanaḥ. Any person who has advanced in the spiritual knowledge, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then his, that covering of material knowledge is dissipated. How? Now, teṣām ādityavaj jñānam. Just like sun rising, the darkness of the night at once dissipated, similarly, when we advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, spiritual knowledge, then our material conception of life is at once dissipated.

tad-buddhayas tad-ātmānas
tan-niṣṭhās tat-parāyaṇāḥ
gacchanty apunar-āvṛttiṁ
jñāna-nirdhūta-kalmaṣāḥ
[Bg. 5.17]

If actually we can advance in the spiritual knowledge of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then tad-buddhayaḥ, by that intelligence, tad-ātmānaḥ, being identified with Kṛṣṇa, tan-niṣṭhāḥ, having faith, good faith, tat-parāyaṇāḥ, and just a surrendered soul to that Supreme Personality of Godhead, gacchanty apunar-āvṛttim, then the result will be that after leaving this body he is not coming back again. Punar-āvṛtti means this repeated birth and death is stopped altogether. Gacchanty apunar-āvṛttim. Gacchanti means he goes to that place wherefrom he hasn’t got to return back. Gacchanty apunar-āvṛttim. Punar-āvṛttiṁ jñāna-nirdhūta-kalmaṣāḥ. How that position can be attained? Now, jñāna-nirdhūta-kalmaṣāḥ. Kalmaṣāḥ means reactions of sinful activities has been washed completely, then, by that knowledge, by advancement of spiritual knowledge, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we are eligible now to enter into the kingdom of God from where we need not come back again.

vidyā-vinaya-sampanne
brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ
[Bg. 5.18]

When one is actually advanced in spiritual knowledge, he is in transcendental position. In transcendental position he is called paṇḍita, or the real learned man. And what is that real learned man? How does he visualize this phenomenal world? He… Lord says that vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmaṇe gavi hastini: “When one is in the transcendental position, then he sees equally everyone, every living entity.” How is that? Now, vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmaṇa [Bg. 5.18]. A learned brāhmaṇa, a learned intelligent man, who is very advanced with material academical knowledge, vidyā-vinaya-sampanne, and he is very gentle and cultured, such a intelligent man, vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmaṇe gavi, a cow, hastini, an elephant, and śuni… śuni… śuni means a dog. And śva-pāke, and the dog-eater. Dog-eater. There is a class who eat dog, dog-eater. So paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ [Bg. 5.18]. One who is in the transcendental position, he does not discriminate in that way because he understands that they are different living entities under dress only, but he sees, visualize, the spiritual identity, and he has nothing to do with their activities. He is in transcendental position, and he is concerned with the Kṛṣṇa consciousness in his activities. He becomes callous with the activities of this world.

Just like in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta the author says that in this material world, which is illusion, our division that “This is good; this is bad,” these are all mental speculation only. In the higher stage they see that in the material bondage nobody is in goodness. Everyone is in trouble. So this material calculation that “This is good, this is bad, and this is happy, and this is miserable,” in the transcendental position they think that they are all equal. Ihaiva tair jitaḥ sargo yeṣāṁ sāmye sthitaṁ manaḥ [Bg. 5.19]. Now, one who is situated in such transcendental position of mind, then, ihaiva tair jitaḥ sargaḥ, then in this very body he has conquered rebirth. He has conquered rebirth. The whole position is that we want to stop rebirth, rebirth in this material world. Now, there is a story in the Rāmāyaṇa. In the Rāmāyaṇa there is a story. When Mahārāja Daśaratha… Daśaratha was the father of Lord Rāma. When Rāma was a boy, say about ten years, twelve years old, or about fifteen or sixteen years old… He was simply a boy. Now, one sage, his name is… He’s very famous sage. He came to Mahārāja Daśaratha, asking the help of Rāmacandra for killing one demon in the forest. Because the sages used to remain in forest, they were… That demon was creating some disturbance, so he approached the king. King is the lord of both the city and the forest. So he prayed that “Please send your son and help me.” Now, at that time this king inquired from that sage, aihisthaṁ yat taṁ punar-janma-jayāya.[?] Now, just like in our worldly affairs we, for gentleman’s etiquette we ask, “How are you? How things are going on?” now, here the king was asking the sage, aihisthaṁ yat taṁ punar-janma-jayāya: “You are… You have… You have become mendicant. You have become sage just to conquer over death, conquer over death.” Aihisthaṁ yat taṁ punar-janma-jayāya.[?] So that is this highest knowledge. Highest knowledge is to conquer over the death. This sort of idea… Of course, now it has become a story, but to conquer over the death, that was the main problem in, at least in the former Vedic civilization days. Everyone, any highest, I mean to say, highly situated person in knowledge, his main business was how to conquer death. Now, at the present moment that question has become subordinate thing only, how to conquer death. “Let death there be. So long death does not come, let me enjoy and have sense gratification.” That has become the standard of civilization at the present moment. But real problem is how to conquer death.

They think… The scientists say, “Oh, death, that cannot be conquered. Set aside. Set aside. Now let us prepare something, atomic bomb, so that death can be accelerated.” This is scientific advancement. Death is there, and the problem… Formerly people used to think of how conquering death, but at the present moment they are thinking, accelerating death, and they call it advancement of knowledge, advancement of science. So this is going on. So practically this is ignorance. Real solution… There is no real solution, but whatever they are doing, we are thinking they are making too much advancement. But Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa says that ihaiva tair jitaḥ sargaḥ. Sarga means repetition of birth. Icchā-dveṣa-samutthena sarge yānti parantapa [Bg. 7.27]. The sarga, the repetition of birth, is due to our strong desire for material enjoyment. So long we do not discard this desire of material enjoyment, we have to take our birth repeatedly, either in the human form or in the form of a demigod or in the form of a tiger or in the form of a dog or cat. There are so many forms. They are all different forms in different categories of sense gratification. So one who has developed this transcendental knowledge of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he conquers death even in this life.

Ihaiva tair jitaḥ sargo yeṣāṁ sāmye sthitaṁ manaḥ [Bg. 5.19]. Sāmye means equilibrium. Equilibrium. Just a person in transcendental position, he sees equally the intelligent man and the dog equal. Intelligent man and the dog equally. A brāhmaṇa, a dog, a cow, an elephant, and a dog-eater. So all these categories… There are different categories of life, but one who is situated in the transcendental position, they do not see any difference because in the material world this, I mean to say, this position is higher and this position is lower. They are all simply mental speculation. Actually, one who is not situated in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness, his higher and lower calculation—all so-called speculation. That’s all. So ihaiva tair jitaḥ sargo yeṣāṁ sāmye sthitaṁ manaḥ. Sāmye sthitaṁ manaḥ. One who has cultured himself that these different activities of the material world has nothing to do with him, his only business is to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. Then it is to be understood that he has conquered death even in this present life, ihaiva. Nirdoṣaṁ hi samaṁ brahma tasmād brahmaṇi te sthitāḥ. Nirdoṣam. This sort of equilibrium in the transcendental stage of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, nirdoṣam, faultless, it is called faultless life. Nirdoṣaṁ hi samaṁ brahma. And when it is faultless, or beyond the spell of the material nature, then that is the stage of Brahman. Brahman…. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi. And the Vedic literature and…, I mean to say, gives us instruction that “You are Brahman; you are not this matter.” And this is the position of Brahman, how when one is in transcendental position. Nirdoṣaṁ hi samaṁ brahma tasmād brahmaṇi te sthitāḥ. And one who is situated in such condition of life, he’s already in Brahman perfection. Brahmaṇi te sthitāḥ. Na prahṛṣyet priyaṁ prāpya nodvijet prāpya cāpriyam [Bg. 5.20].

Now, what are the signs? Now Kṛṣṇa describes the symptoms of this stage. Simply superficially, if we think that “I am already in the Brahman stage of life,” no, there should be symptoms. Now here Kṛṣṇa says to the symptoms of Brahman. Simply if I say that “I have now hundred millions of dollars in my bank,” that will not do. There must be some symptom that actually I have got. I am doing something which requires money. I am spending like that. Then one can trust, “Oh, yes, this man has got some money.” Similarly, simply by understanding that “I am in brahman sthiti,” oh, no… “I am brahmāsmi.” Then I am doing all the nonsense, ordinary work. No, that is not. Here Kṛṣṇa gives the symptom how one is situated in the Brahman situation. Na prahṛṣyet priyaṁ prāpya. When one is situated in Brahman conception of life or Kṛṣṇa consciousness life, suppose all of a sudden he gets some hundred millions of dollars. Suppose he is a poor man, but all of a sudden… There was a case in… There are many case. In India there was a case in Calcutta. One… What is called? The caretaker of the horse? What is this called? What is his name?

Devotee: Groom. A groom.

Prabhupāda: Groom, yes. He, with his master, purchased some lottery ticket, and the master did not get anything, but the groom, he got some ten lakhs of rupees or something like that. His name was there. So when he was informed by the master, “Oh, you have got this money,” he at once failed his heart and died. So he thought, “Oh, so much money I have got.” So thinking that, there was heart failure and died. [laughter] Yes. All of a sudden this happened. You see. It is a shock. Just like you get some horrible shock, so this is pleasure shock. This is pleasure shock. Shock it was really… Poor man, ordinary man, when he understood that “I have got ten millions of dollars in my bank now,” oh, he became shocked and at once died.

So here the same thing: one who is actually in the stage of equilibrium—na prahṛṣyet priyaṁ prāpya. Suppose something… There are… In our present stage of life, although we may be situated in a transcendental position, still, so long this material body is there, we are materially connected. Under the circumstances there are so many worms, so many, I mean to say, requisition. That is…, perforce [?] is. But one who is actually situated in the transcendental position…, na prahṛṣyet priyaṁ prāpya. If something favorable for…, he does not become too much happy. He thinks, “All right, by Kṛṣṇa’s grace I have got this. Let me engage it in the Kṛṣṇa’s service.” That’s it. Because he has dedicated his life, he dedicated his life, he does not claim anything. Everything, Kṛṣṇa’s property. So if something is obtained, achieved, some favorable thing, he engages that thing in the service of the Lord. Na prahṛṣyet priyaṁ prāpya. That… That is his happiness. That is his happiness. Just like family man. Whatever he earns, if he can spend for the family, then he becomes happy because his affection is there in the family. Similarly, some great man of the country, if he can give some service to the people, to the country, he is… He feels happy. Similarly, a man who is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, if he gets some opportunity to serve more, I mean to say, accelerately in the service of the Lord, then he feels happy. But not materially.

Na prahṛṣyet priyaṁ prāpya nodvijet prāpya ca apriyam [Bg. 5.20]. This is our disease. In the material conception of life we do not want what is unfavorable, but we want simply favorable. But the laws of nature, they are so cruel that they enforce upon us unfavorable things. But one who is transcendentally realized, he does not care for the unfavorable or the favorable. He knows that “When the time will come, either the favorable things will come or unfavorable things will come in the law of nature. Let me be engaged in my own business, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Yes.” Sthira-buddhir asammūḍhaḥ brahma-vid brahmaṇi sthitaḥ. Sthira-buddhiḥ. He is steady. He is steady in his conclusion. He is not changing, steady in his conclu… Asammūḍhaḥ. Asammūḍhaḥ means he is not bewildered, brahma-vit, because he knows what is Brahman and brahmaṇi sthitaḥ, and he is situated in Brahman. Sthira-buddhir asammūḍhaḥ brahma-vid brahmaṇi sthitaḥ.

bāhya-sparśeṣv aksaktātmā
vindaty ātmani yat sukham
sa brahma-yoga-yuktātmā
sukham akṣayam aśnute
[Bg. 5.21]

Now, the one who is situated in that transcendental position, he is not attached… Bāhya-sparśeṣu asaktātmā. Now, those who are materially situated, they take pleasure outside, which is in contact with my senses. In contact with my senses. And the highest contact of senses in the material world is the sex contact. So one who is situated in this Brahman, so he has no connection with the external things and enjoy with the sense attachment, bāhya-sparśa. Sparśa means touch, and bāhya means external. So he is not interested in such sort of happiness. Bāhya-sparśeṣu asakta. He is detached. He is detached from. His ātmā, his, I mean to say… Ātmā means mind, ātmā means body, and ātmā means soul. So you take either way, either body, soul, or mind, he is detached from such external. He is not attached to that external happiness. Vindaty ātmani yat sukham: “He enjoys within himself.” Enjoys within him… That is real happiness. This word rāma… We chant Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare, Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare. This rāma… he rāma means that unlimited enjoyment in real happiness. There is another meaning of rāma. Rāma, Lord Rāma, that is all right. And also some grammatical meaning that rāma means ramante. Ramante means to enjoy. So there is a verse in Bhāgavata,

ramante yogino ‘nante
satyānande cid-ātmani
iti rāma-padenāsau
paraṁ brahmābhidhīyate
[Cc. Madhya 9.29]

Ramante yoginaḥ. Yoginaḥ means those who are advancing in spiritual science and advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They are called yogi. So ramante yoginaḥ. The yoginaḥ, they take pleasure, satyānande. Satyānande means “in actual happiness.” Because the living entity, he is, I mean, sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1], happiness—his prerogative. He cannot… Why shall he be put into miseries? That is not his position. He should be always in happiness. So their happiness they do not know here. In the material conception of life we do not what is happiness. So those who are yogi, those who are transcendentalists, advanced in spiritual life, they know what is happiness. So ramante yoginaḥ anante [Cc. Madhya 9.29]. Anante… Happiness mean which has no end. That is happiness. According to Vedic literature, happiness has no end. Unlimited happiness. Here in the material world whatever we consider happiness, that is limited. That has its end. But spiritual happiness is calculated… Just like spirit is unlimited, similarly spiritual happiness is also unlimited.

So ramante yoginaḥ anante satyānande. Satyānanda means real happiness. Satyānande. And what is that satyānande? Cid-ātmani. Cit. Cit means knowledge. And ātmā. When the ātmā is developed in full knowledge of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that sort of happiness is real happiness. Now, bāhya-sparśeṣu asakta, asaktātmā vindaty ātmani. Ātmani means with the soul, with the Supersoul, the relation between the soul and the Supersoul. That is called ātmā. That is called rāsa dance. You have heard about Kṛṣṇa’s rāsa dance. That is happiness. In the field of spiritual platform that happiness is realized. So sa brahma-yoga-yuktātmā sukham akṣayam aśnute. Akṣayam means that does not pass away, not flickering, not flickering. Here in the material world all happiness, the so-called happiness, they are all flickering. They come and go. Therefore one who is transcendentally situated, he does not care for happiness or distress because he knows, “Either this happiness or this distress, it has appeared and it will go. It will go. So why I shall be disturbed in distress also?” Because this nature of this world… Just like snowfall in your country. Snowfall… Now we are expecting snowfall. Last year there was snowfall. It has gone away. Again they are coming. So anything of this world, they come and go. They come and go. So we shall not be disturbed. In Bhagavad-gītā also, Lord Kṛṣṇa advised Arjuna that

mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ
āgamāpāyino ‘nityās
tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata
[Bg. 2.14]

Even there are distress in this material world, we should learn to tolerate because these are ephemeral. They are not neither real distress, neither real ha… We should be callous either of this happiness or distress. So one who is like that, he… Sa brahma-yoga-yuktātmā sukham akṣayam. Akṣayam means “which does not deteriorate.” That sort of happiness he enjoys. Ye hi saṁsparśajā bhogā duḥkha-yonaya eva te [Bg. 5.22]. And one who is attached with the touchstone, I mean to say, sense touch, he must know that he is inviting miseries of life. He’s inviting miseries of life. Ye hi saṁsparśajā bhogāḥ. Any enjoyment which is derived out of the touch of the senses, we should know that is meant for our miserable life. Ye hi saṁsparśajā bhogā duḥkha-yonaya eva te. Duḥkha-yonayaḥ means that in future I’ll have to suffer for that. Therefore sense control is very essential in the material advance, er, in the spiritual advancement of life. Saṁsparśajāḥ. The happiness derived, material happiness derived out of the touch of senses, oh, it is clearly stated here that duḥkha-yonayaḥ: “They are the mother of all miseries. Mother of all miseries.” There are so many instances.

In the Bhāgavata also, we have got a very nice śloka, verse. It was spoken by Prahlāda Mahārāja. Yan maithunādi-gṛhamedhi-sukhaṁ hi tucchaṁ kaṇḍūyanena karayor iva duḥkha-duḥkham [SB 7.9.45]. He says that “In this material world the people are thinking that they are happy. Why? Now, because they have that sex happiness.” Yan maithunādi-gṛhamedhi-sukhaṁ hi tuccham. And what is that sex happiness? It is kaṇḍūyanena karayor iva duḥkha-duḥkham. Suppose you have got some itches in your hand, and you itch it very…, according to your satisfaction. Then, after the effect, the effect of such itching is very horrible. Oh. So similarly, this is a kind of itching sensation. So kaṇḍūtivan manasijaṁ viṣaheta dhīraḥ. So one who wants to cure these itches, he should be a little tolerant. Tolerant. And then he’ll be cured of this itching. Itching, if you stop itching, then it automatically cures. Similarly, the sparśajā sukham, the happiness which is enjoyed by sense touch, that is duḥkha-yonayaḥ. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa says that is, I mean to say, generating, generating distress only, generating distress only. Duḥkha-yonaya eva te, ādy-antavantaḥ kaunteya na teṣu ramate budhaḥ [Bg. 5.22]. “Oh, no,” somebody may say, “no, this is very good happiness.” But Kṛṣṇa says, “That is distress in the beginning, and that is distress at the end, Kaunteya.” Na teṣu ramate budhaḥ: “Therefore those who are intelligent, they refrain from such happiness. Refrain from such happiness.” Ādy-a… Ādau antavantaḥ. In the beginning also, for arrangement of sex life, there is so many distress, and at the end also, there is so many distress. So sense gratification, they should be so… So long we are in this material world, there is need, but that should be regulated. That should not be extravagant or unrestricted. Then we call for distress. That is the instruction. That is the instruction of Kṛṣṇa. Thank you very much. Now if there is any question, you can ask. [end]

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