Bhagavad-gītā 7.18

Oct 12
New York

Prabhupāda: id1

udārāḥ sarva evaite
jñānī tv ātmaiva me matam
āsthitaḥ sa hi yuktātmā
mām evānuttamāṁ gatim
[Bg. 7.18]

Now, we were discussing in our last meeting about the four classes of men who are adverse to the worship of God and four classes of men who take to the worship of God. So far four classes of men who take to worship of God, they are recommended as udārāḥ, “very magnanimous.” Such people are very magnanimous. Sarva evaite. Evaite. Out of them, out of that four classes of men… Just like distressed, poverty-stricken, inquisitive and philosophers. These four classes of men, if they are pious on the background, they begin worship of God. But the distressed and the poverty-stricken may give up worship of God if they are frustrated. But those who are inquisitive and philosopher, they do not give up worship of God or research work in the science of God. They do not give up. They continue. Therefore Lord Kṛṣṇa says that out of these four classes, one who is in really knowledge of the science of God and searching after the truth, he is very dear to Him. id2

Now, out of that researching scholars, the…, the Lord says, id3

bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ
[Bg. 7.19]

Now, this research work about the science of God has to be prosecuted for several births after births. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante—after many births. God realization, it is very easy, but at the same time, it is very difficult. Easy for them who accept it as truth, and those who are trying to understand by dint of his knowledge, advancement of knowledge, he has to create his faith after he finishes his research work. Then that takes many, many births. id4

Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante [Bg. 7.19]. There are different kinds of transcendentalists. They are called tattva-vit. Tattva-vit means one who knows the Absolute Truth. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavata it is said, vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam [SB 1.2.11]. Tattva-vit, the transcendentalists, call it Absolute Truth which is yaj jñānam advayam, where there is no duality. In the transcendental knowledge there is no duality. There is no…, nothing different from nothing. Everything is on the same level. That is called… One who knows that knowledge, he is called tattva-vit. Now, the tattva-vit says that the Supreme Absolute Truth is recognized in three aspects: brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate-brahmeti, impersonal Brahman; and Paramātmā, the localized Supersoul; and Bhagavān. Bhagavān means the Personality of Godhead. id5

So they are three angles of vision. Just like from a distant place, if you see one mountain, you'll see just like something cloudy. If you advance more, the same mountain you'll see something green. And if you enter into that mountain, you'll find so many variegatedness, so many trees, so many animals. So objective is the same. But under different angles of vision, from distance, different people have got different conception of the Absolute Truth. Another example: just like the sun—the sunshine and sun disc and the sun planet. One who is in the sunshine, or one who is studying the sunshine, or one who is studying the sun disc and one who is entering within the sun planet… Just like we are trying to enter into the moon planet, similarly, you can enter into the sun planet provided you have got the qualification. So in the sunshine, or in the sun disc or in the sun planet, they are in the sun, but there are degrees. One who is in the sunshine, he cannot claim that “I am in the sun planet.” He cannot claim that. So one who is in the sun planet, he is better situated than one who is in the sunshine. So sunshine is compared with the Brahman effulgence, brahma-jyotir. And sun disc is compared to the Supersoul. And the sun planet, within, that is compared with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. id6

Just like in this planet you have got so many personalities, similarly, according to Vedic literature, we understand in the sun planet also there are varieties of living entities, but their bodies are made of fire. As our body is made of earth, similarly, their bodies are made of fire. There are five elements in the material nature: earth, water, fire, air, and ether. So in different planets, there are different atmospheres and different bodies also. Don't think that each and every planet of the same quality. No. Same quality in the sense because these five elements are present there. Without these five elements, no material thing exists. So somewhere the fire is prominent. Somewhere the air is prominent. Somewhere water is prominent. Somewhere earth is prominent. So in this planet, or in some other earthly planet, earth is predominant. Similarly, there are other planets also. So don't think that other planets are vacant. No. So far Vedic literatures are concerned… Just like modern scientists. They are calculating that the moon is full of dust, but according to Vedic literature moon is not full of dust. There are also higher living entities. And from…, from your practical reason also, you can just understand that a lump of dust cannot be so brilliant so that it is illuminating the whole earth. It is not possible. Anyway, let the scientists go on with their own research work. So far we have got information from Vedic literature, all the planets—sun planet, moon planet, Venus—they are all full of living entities, and they have got different types of body. id7

So as it is not impossible with certain type of qualification to enter into different types of planets, similarly, you can enter into the planet where the Supreme Lord also there. That is also possible. You'll find in the Bhagavad-gītā: id8

yānti deva-vratā devān
pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ
bhūtāni yānti bhūtejyā
yānti mad-yājino 'pi mām
[Bg. 9.25]

Those who are worshiping, qualifying themself to enter into the higher planets, they can enter into the higher planets. Those who are trying to qualify themselves to enter into the pitṛ planets, oh, they can enter there. Similarly, those who are trying to qualify themselves to enter into the planet of the Supreme Lord, oh, they can also enter there. So our, this process, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is to qualify ourself to enter into the planet of Kṛṣṇa, which is known as Goloka Vṛndāvana. id9

Now, we have got description of that planet. Because anything, if you want to understand, you have to hear first of all. Just like when, before my coming to your country, I had some experience by hearing: “Oh, America is such and such. New York is such and such.” Somebody might have gone there, and he explains that “The climate of New York is like this.” So this is by hearing. So hearing is the first experience. Similarly, if you want to get experience of the planet where God lives, then you have to hear. There is no other way. You cannot immediately make experiment. That is not possible. You cannot make experiment even on this material planet. You have no knowledge what other planets are, but you can hear from a description of the scriptures. Similarly, we have got experience by hearing from authorized scriptures, the Kṛṣṇaloka: id10

cintāmaṇi-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vṛkṣa-
lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhīr abhipālayantam
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[Bs. 5.29]

So these are the description of the Kṛṣṇaloka. There are many, good many books, especially this book, Brahma-saṁhitā. There is description. So cintāmaṇi-prakara-sadmasu. There the houses are made of touchstone. In this way the trees and the cows, they're all… How, what kind they are, what is their quality, and what they, what profession He is engaged—all, everything is there. id11

So now here in the Bhagavad-gītā the Lord Kṛṣṇa says that bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate [Bg. 7.19]. There are so many transcendentalists. That means those who are trying to realize the Supreme Absolute Truth. There are many different kinds of spiritual process. So they have been analyzed into three groups. Although they are many, still, they have been put into three groups. What are they? The first are the impersonalists, brahmavādīs. Impersonal Brahman. Just like the same example: In the sunshine your eyes are dazzled. You do not see. If you go little over this planet, earth planet, by aeroplane, and if there is full sunshine, you don't see anything except sunshine. But that does not mean there is nothing beyond sunshine. But my eyes are dazzled by the sunshine. Just like in during daytime you do not find the stars due to the dazzling sunshine, but you don't think that because you do not see the planets or stars during daytime, they are vanquished, there is nothing. No. Similarly, those who are trying to understand the Absolute Truth, they first of all realize that brahma-jyotir. In the Bhagavad-gītā you'll find, about that brahma-jyotir, brahmaṇaḥ ahaṁ pratiṣṭhā. Just like the sunshine. id12

So the impersonalists, brahmavādīs, they realize about that brahma-jyotir. And the yogis, they realize the Supersoul, Supersoul. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati: [Bg. 18.61] “Īśvara, the Supreme Lord, by His plenary portions, He is situated in everyone's heart.” We are sitting together. Several times we have described this, that two birds are sitting in the same tree. The two birds means one, the Supersoul, and other, the individual living entity. So by yogic process, by concentrating our mind, focusing our mind to the Supersoul, one can experience that partial, plenary expansion of the Lord, Supersoul. Just like in the… The same example can be given, that the sun, at noontime, if you inquire thousands and thousands of people scattered over thousands and thousands of miles away, everyone will say that “The sun is on my head.” Similarly, the Supreme Lord is also represented by the Supersoul conception in everyone's heart. Not only in everyone's heart, but even in every atom He is represented. So that realization is the second stage. And the third stage is to realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. id13

Therefore it is said here that these stages… Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante [Bg. 7.19]. Bahūnām means after many, many, many births. Spiritual realization is not achieved in one birth. If one is fortunate, oh, he can achieve in one second. He can achieve in one second. But generally, it takes many, many years and many, many births to realize what is God, what is the Absolute Truth. Just like Kṛṣṇa says that id14

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ
budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ
[Bg. 10.8]

“I am the origin of everything.” Just like Vedānta-sūtra says that the Absolute Truth is that from whom everything is born or everything emanates. So in the Bhagavad-gītā you'll find, the Lord says, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ: “I am the origin of everything.” So if you believe that Kṛṣṇa is the…, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead is everything, and if you surrender, if you worship, then the whole thing, whole account, is closed in one second. But if you don't believe—“Oh, I want to see what is actually God is”—then you have to go by stages: first realization, this impersonal Brahman effulgence; then second realization, the Paramātmā; and then, in the third stage, you realize, “Oh, here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” So that will take time. So… But one has to continue. If one gives up the research work just after making a few steps advance, oh, that will not help. One has to go on, go on with it with steadiness, that “What is God? I shall see.” That is called jñānī, jijñāsu, philosopher, inquisitive. id15

So out of those inquisitive and philosophers, if they continue this research work, what God is, then there will be a time, after many, many births, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante [Bg. 7.19], not immediately, but after many, many births. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān. Jñānavān means those who are in knowledge—not fools—those who are in actually in knowledge, jñānavān. Jñāna means knowledge, and vān means one has got knowledge. So he's called jñānavān. Jñānavān māṁ prapadyate. He, by…, by the end of his research work, he finds that Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the destination. He is the root of everything. And when he understands fully by his philosophical research, then what does he do? id16

Now, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti [Bg. 7.19]. Vāsudeva, another name of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is Vāsudeva. Vāsudeva means “one who lives everywhere.” He's called Vāsudeva. So vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti [Bg. 7.19]. One… When he understands that “He is the Supreme Lord. God is the root of everything,” then what does he do? Now, māṁ prapadyate. He surrenders. He surrenders. That surrendering process is the ultimate goal. Either you do it immediately or you do it by research work of many, many births, but the process and the ultimate goal is that you have to surrender, that “You are great. I am Your subordinate.” That is the process. So any intelligent man can do it immediately. If one understands that “Ultimately I will have to surrender to the Supreme Lord, and the Supreme Lord is here, personally speaking Bhagavad-gītā, so why not surrender immediately? If ultimately, after many, many births, I have to come to this point, to surrender, so why should I take so much trouble for many, many births? Why not immediately?” So if we take up this principle, this intelligence, then God is realized in one second. But if you don't, then go on with research work for many, many, many, many births. But you have to come to that point. Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā [Bg. 7.19]. Vāsudeva, the Supreme Lord, Personality of God, is everything. He is the root. He is the origin of everything. Janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. The Vedānta-sūtra says, janmādy asya yataḥ anvayād itarataś ca artheṣu abhijñaḥ svarāṭ. These descriptions are there. id17

Now, here the same thing is being presented by the same Supreme Personality of Godhead by His unalloyed mercy to the conditioned souls. We are all conditioned souls. We are under the threefold miseries of this material world, and the Supreme Lord is giving us the opportunity to get out of it by this surrendering process. So if we take up the surrendering process immediately, then God realization is a business for one second. Otherwise, I'll have to go on with this research work for many, many, many, many, many births. Then another question is, may be raised, that “If the Supreme Personality is the ultimate goal and one has to surrender to Him, then why there are so many different processes of worship in the world?” That question may be raised. So that is answered here, in the next verse. id18

kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ
prapadyante 'nya-devatāḥ
taṁ taṁ niyamam āsthāya
prakṛtyā niyatāḥ svayā
[Bg. 7.20]

There are different kinds of men under different mixture of the modes of nature, and generally, they are not after liberation from this material stage. They want to gain something out of spiritual power. Just like somebody goes to a swami: “O Swamiji, can you give me a medicine? I am suffering from this disease.” He thinks, “A doctor is very expensive. Let us go to a swami who can play miracles, and my disease will be cured.” Yes. Sometimes we go and… Of course, in your country such swamis are not very easily found, but in India, there are so many so-called swamis. They go to innocent people and they preach that “If you can give me one ounce of gold, I can make it one hundred ounce of gold.” Oh, people think those… Everyone seeks, “How many ounce of gold I have got in my home?” So all bring. “I have got some, ten ounce. So give me five hundred ounce.” So in this way the swami collects all the gold of the village, and while performing the ceremony, he vanishes and… [laughter] id19

So this is our disease. When we go to a swami, when we go to a temple, when we go to church, our heart is full with material desires. We want some material profit out of… We practice yoga just to keep the health fit. That's all. That is… Well, for keeping your health, why do you take the shelter of yoga? Oh, you can keep your by ordinary exercise, by regulated diet and by following some health rules. There is no need of practicing yoga. But people are… Because kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ [Bg. 7.20]. That material desires, “I want to keep myself fit to enjoy life. Oh, let me take this yoga,” or “Let me go to the church,” “Let me have a swami as my spiritual master, order-supplier.” So these things are going on all over the world. id20

So such class of men, they worship different kinds of gods with a desire, with a material desire. They have no idea how to get out of this matter. They want to use this material world to the best capacity. That is their idea. Just like in…, in the Vedic literature there are different recommendations. “Oh, if you want to cure your disease, then you worship sun.” So that is fact. Suppose if you are diseased, you simply keep yourself in the sunshine. You'll be cured. You'll be cured. That's a fact. So similarly, “If you want to be beautiful, then you worship such-and-such god. If you want very good learning, education, then you worship such-and-such god.” id21

So there are different kinds of… Therefore sometimes it is misunderstood that “The Hindus have many, many gods, not one God, and they are heathens.” But actually this worship is to the God, but there are demigods, demigods. They are worshiped. They're not God—God is one—but they are demigods. Demigods means that they are also living entities just like you and me, but they have got some power. Just like here also we worship some demigods, some government officer. He's also man like me, but he has got some power, and in order to take some advantages of the power, I worship him. I want his favor. Similarly, these kinds of worship of different kinds of gods, the Bhagavad-gītā condemns them. They're not required. The Lord says, kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ prapadyante anya-devatāḥ [Bg. 7.20]. One person does not surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but they worship different kinds of gods. Why? Now, kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ: “They have lost their sense out of lust, material lust.” That's all. Because our life, this material life, is simply based on lust. We want to enjoy this world. We love this material world because I want to satisfy my senses. So this lust is the perverted reflection of my love of God. In my original constitution, I am made to love God, but because I have forgotten God, therefore I love matter. Love is there. Love is there. Either you love this matter or you love God, but you cannot get out of this loving propensity. Just like sometimes we see: one who hasn't got children, he loves a cat, loves a dog. You see? Why? Because he wants to love something. But in the absence of reality, he puts his faith and love into cats and dogs. So love is there, but that love is now represented in the form of lust. And this lust, when we are baffled in the lust, we become angry. We get wrath. And when we are in wrath, then next stage is illusion. And when we are illusioned, we are doomed. This process is going on. id22

So we have to reverse the process. Kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ [Bg. 7.20]. We should not be lost of all senses, influenced by this material lust. We have to revert ourself, we have to rectify the lust into love. And if we love God, then we love everything. And without loving God, if you want to love something else, that is nonsense. You cannot love. Therefore we find practically there is so much love between a boy and girl. And just after two years, oh, divorce: “Go to hell.” Because there is no love. It is simply lust. We do not know what is love. Simply you are playing with lust, and lust, as soon as you do not satisfy my senses to my satisfaction, then there is anger, krodha, or wrath. And out… Then illusion. Then out of wrath, you give…, you separate with me, I separate with you. So basically there is no love. id23

So these people who are, who have become the play dolls of this lust, they are called “lost all senses.” Kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ [Bg. 7.20]. Hṛta-jñānaḥ means “one who has lost his good sense.” They want to worship this or that or this or that, this or that. But taṁ taṁ niyamam āsthāya prakṛtyā niyatāḥ svayā. And there are rules and regulations. In the scriptures for worshiping many other demigods there are rules and regulations. So why? You can question, “Why the Vedic literature recommends the worship of other demigods?” There is necessity. There is necessity because people are… Generally, they want to love something, so they are given some opportunity. These demigods are just like treated as the different, I mean to say, officers of the Supreme Lord. Just like government has got so many officers in different branches of management, similarly… Those who do not know, that is a different thing. Similarly, for this material world, there are different directors, managers. Just like the Indra. He is controlling the clouds. Candra, he is controlling this light. Sūrya, he is controlling the heat. So they are all government officers, or Kṛṣṇa's officers. They are actually performing. We simply, I mean to say, flash away, “Oh, this is nature. This is nature. This is nature.” Oh, nature is not my father's servant. There is nature's father also, nature's master also. You'll find in the Bhagavad-gītā, mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram [Bg. 9.10]. Oh, there is rules. There are rules and regulations of conducting this nature's way. id24

So these demigods, they are some powerful officers. That's all. But they are not God. God is one. You can become… If you become so powerful, qualified, then you can become the, I mean to say, director of the sun planet. You can become the director of moon planet. There are innumerable, thousands and millions of planets, and they are… Just like here also, you select one president to control your country, or any other country, or one becomes the controller of the whole earth, similarly, there are different controllers. They are called demigods. id25

So kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ [Bg. 7.20]. So worshiping of the demigods means that gradually, when they… They will gradually develop into Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If you… If one is completely disobedient, then there is no chance. So obedience is taught there. Just like a police officer, he's standing on the crossroad. As soon as he shows his hand, oh, you have to stop. You may be a millionaire; that doesn't matter. But you have to show the respect to the policeman because he's a government officer. If you don't, then you'll be fined. He's a petty officer. Your position may be very high. That doesn't matter. You have to show respect. Similarly, these demigods, they are officers of the Supreme Lord. id26

So showing respect to the constable in the street means showing respect to the government, not to that particular person. So these things are there in the Vedic literatures. But if you want some favors from the police officer, then you are also entangled, and that police officer is also entangled. You have to go by the rules. But one who is directly in touch of the Supreme Lord, they do not require to worship any other… Because actually… Suppose a man is personally in contact with your President Johnson. That does not mean he'll disobey the constable. No. Naturally he will obey, although he's direct contact. Similarly, those who are in direct contact with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they have no disregard for these demigods, but they know the ultimate supreme power is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They have got that knowledge. So their surrender is there in the Supreme Lord, not here. But they are not going to show any disrespect. A real devotee, he does not show any disrespect even to the ant, and what to speak of the demigods, because he is in knowledge that “Every living entity is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. They're playing different parts only. So in relationship with the Supreme Lord they're all my respectables.” Therefore a devotee is taught to address all his contemporaries as “Prabhu, my dear sir, my dear lord.” That is the position of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They are not heartless. They are very submissive. id27

There are six, twenty-six qualifications of a factual devotee of the Lord. They are very kind. They are very obedient. They are sober, economic, everything, all good qualifications. Yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ [SB 5.18.12]. One, if he becomes the devotee of the Lord, all good qualities automatically will develop because he is good. By nature a living entity is the perfect good, but due to the contamination of the lust, he has become vicious. He has become vicious. By nature he's not vicious; he's perfect. Because he's part and parcel of the gold, he's gold. By outward covering he has become something nonsense. id28

So this is the process. We are trying to, I mean, to introduce in the modern society Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and that will make us all-perfect, happy, and after leaving this body we shall enter into the kingdom of God, where there is eternal life, bliss and full knowledge. id29

Thank you very much. If any questions, now… [end] id30

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