Devotee: [introducing recording] Lecture, evening 25th September, in Nairobi.
kṣetram ity abhidhīyate
etad yo vetti taṁ prāhuḥ
kṣetra-jña iti tad-vidaḥ
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is instructing Arjuna about the knowledge of kṣetra and kṣetra-jña. Kṣetra means the field, just like here, agricultural land, and there is cultivator. So this body is called the field, and the soul, which is the proprietor of this body, is the cultivator.
[feedback sound from microphone]
[aside:] What is this, this sound?
Devotee: Turn it down. Down.
Prabhupāda: So we have got this body, and we have to cultivate. That is called karma, or work. Just like while coming to your place we saw so many cultivating land—somewhere coffee is being cultivated, somewhere peas, somewhere others, corns.
So we have been given this particular type of body for cultivating and getting the required produce according to our desire. That is the gift of God. God is very kind.
ye yathā māṁ prapadyante
tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham
Everyone who wants something from God, God is very kind; He awards, "All right, you take this." Actually, just like father and the son: the son insists upon getting something from father. Father says, "My dear son, don't take this. This is not good for you." But when he insists upon: "Father, I want this," then the affectionate father gives him, "All right, you take it, try for it."
Similarly, we are all part and parcel of God. Just like your sons, daughters and children are part and parcel of your body, similarly, we are... All living entities—not only human beings. Human being is one of the 8,400,000 species of forms. There are 8,400,000 species of forms, and the human body is one of them. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:
sambhavanti mūrtayaḥ yāḥ
"My dear Kaunteya, Arjuna, as many forms are there in all species of life," tāsāṁ mahad yonir brahma, "this material world is their mother and," ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā, "I am the seed-giving father." Exactly in the same way that we are born, the father gives the seed within the womb of the mother and mother develops the body.
So we living entities, we are coming from God in this material world, and the mother, material world, prakṛti, jarā prakṛti, the dull material world, is giving us this body. And there are 8,400,000 species of body. Jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi: in the water there are 900,000 species of life. Jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati [Padma Purāṇa].
And there are 2,000,000 species of life, plants and trees. They're all living entities. And don't think that they have no soul. It is a wrong theory that only human being has got soul and not other living entities. No. Everyone has got soul…
[baby making noises]
[aside:] The child is... It is disturbing.
So there are 2,000,000 species of forms, plants and trees: jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati kṛmayo rudra-saṅkhyakāḥ. Insects. From plant life the development is insect and reptiles. There are eleven lakhs, eleven hundred thousand species of life of insects, sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati kṛmayo rudra-saṅkhyakāḥ. Rudra-saṅkhyakāḥ means eleven hundred thousands, and daśa-lakṣaṇi, birds, ten lakhs.
One million species of birds, and 3,000,000 species of beast and 400,000 species of human being. These are the definition of different species of life. And Kṛṣṇa says that "They are all My parts and parcel." Not that only human being are parts and parcels of God, not the animal. Therefore this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is especially meant for understanding the position of the soul and his relationship with God. Sambandha. Sambandha means relationship.
This human form of life, that is explained here,
idaṁ śarīraṁ kaunteya
kṣetram ity abhidhīyate
We are not this body, but we are placed in this body. Exactly the same as I already explained: that the father gives the seed within the womb of the mother, yathā bījaṁ yathā yoni [SB 6.1.54]. Bījaṁ means the semina of the father, and yoni is the mother. So in this way, we are put into this material world and then we develop different types of body according to our desire. This is the understanding of kṣetra and kṣetra-jña.
Kṣetra-jña means one who understands his body. Just like if you meditate upon your body—you study your finger, whether I am this finger—you come to the conclusion that "I am not this finger; it is my finger." Similarly, if you study your hands, legs and all parts of the body, you will come to the conclusion that you are not this body but the body is belonging to you. It is your body.
So the modern civilization do not know "What I am." They are working under the impression that I am body. If I ask you, "What you are, gentleman?" he'll say, "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am Sikh," "I am Christian," like that. But these are the identification of the body. But I am not this body. Kṣetra, kṣetra-jña: body is the field of my activities, different bodies.
Just like dog is engaged in one kind of activity, and the cat is engaged in one kind of activity, or the human being is engaged in another kind of activity, so these differences of activities are due to the difference of body, kṣetra. But when you come to the platform of soul, when you understand that "I am not this body," then the activity is different. That activity is called spiritual activity. The material activity and spiritual activity.
So material activity and spiritual activity. So long we are under the concept of bodily life, our activities are material. But as soon as you understand that "I do not belong to the body. I am not this body, but I am spirit soul, ahaṁ brahmāsmi…" The exact Vedic language in this connection is called ahaṁ brahmāsmi: "I am spirit soul." This knowledge is perfect. So long we are under the concept of body, that "I am this body," that is ignorance.
In the śāstra it is said,
yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke
sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ
yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
janeṣv sa abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ
So long we are in this bodily concept of life, then as long as we are feeling like that, all our activities are our defeat. Parābhava. Parābhavas tāvad abodha-jāto [SB 5.5.5]. Abodha-jātaḥ. The animals or the human beings—everyone, just like this child—abodha-jātaḥ: born ignorant. Similarly, human being, if he remains under the bodily concept of life, then he is ignorant. That is called śūdra. Janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ: the Vedic culture says that everyone born is a śūdra. Therefore he has to be given knowledge, exactly like we send our children to schools, colleges. Why? To get knowledge.
Similarly, if we remain satisfied simply with the birth by our father or mother, that is śūdra condition. One has to be raised to the brahminical condition. Janmanā…, there is a process. The process is janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ. Everyone is born śūdra by birth. It is not that by birth one becomes brāhmaṇa; otherwise the śāstra would not have stated like this, that janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ, "By birth everyone is śūdra." Saṁskārād dhi bhaved dvijaḥ: but when he has executed the purificatory process, sanctifying process…
There are ten kinds of sanctifying process. Even when the father is going to give birth to the child, he has to undergo a ritualistic ceremony, which is called garbhādhāna-saṁskāra, seed-giving ceremony. That is the Vedic function, garbhādhāna. But in the Kali-yuga all these saṁskāras are not followed strictly. Otherwise, according to śāstra, if these garbhādhāna-saṁskāra is not done… Garbhādhāna-saṁskāra is especially recommended for the brāhmaṇas, the kṣatriyas and the vaiśyas—especially the brāhmaṇas.
So now in this age no saṁskāra is adopted; therefore he remains a śūdra, janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ, because the purificatory processes are not practised. Therefore, janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ. And in this age, Kali-yuga, the processes are not observed; therefore śāstra says, kalau śūdra-sambhava. In this age, Kali-yuga, it is everyone is śūdra: kalau śūdra-sambhava.
So this process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is making everyone a brāhmaṇa from the śūdra stage. This is a purificatory process. Just like you see these European and American boys, they are undergoing purificatory process. Purificatory process means to avoid sinful activities. That is purificatory. If you don't act sinfully, then you are pure.
So the basic principles of sinful life are four: striya sūnā pāna dyūta yatra pāpaś catur-vidhā [SB 1.17.38]. Catur-vidhā means four kinds of sinful activities are… Striya means to have illicit sex life. According to Vedic principles, sex life cannot be performed without a married life that is sanctioned by religion. Therefore in human society there is system of marriage.
Not that you keep a woman, you keep a man, like cats and dogs; no human society. May be Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh—it doesn't matter—any civilized form of society has got this system of marriage, because without marriage sex life is irreligious. Therefore this is one of the sinful activities: to have illicit sex life.
And sūnā, sūnā means killing of animals. Killing of animals… Even in Christian religion it is forbidden: "Thou shall not kill." Out of the Ten Commandments the first commandment is, "Thou shall not kill." In the Buddha religion there is also the same thing: ahiṁsā paramo dharmaḥ. So in other religions, Hindu religion, they are…, there are sometimes killing of animals in sacrifices. But that is not for eating purpose. The test of Vedic mantra was, I mean to say, verified how the mantras are being chanted. So sometimes the animals were put into the fire, and the animal would come out again with new life. That was the test of Vedic mantras.
In this age, Kali-yuga, there is no such qualified brāhmaṇa to perform the sacrifices; therefore all kinds of animal sacrifices are forbidden.
kalau pañca vivarjayet
[Cc. Ādi 17.164]
So sūnā, sūnā means unnecessary animal-killing. Unnecessary. Human society should be sober and continent. If I can…, I require to eat something, if I have got sufficient grains, fruits, milk, flour, vegetables, why should I kill unnecessarily a poor animal? So this is sinful.
Striya sūnā pāna. Pāna means intoxication. Therefore those… Of course, in this country, it is not very much so, but in India pān, betel, betel nut, and pān eating. The pāna means drinking; pāna means intoxication. So even drinking tea, chewing pān is also intoxication, what to speak of drinking wine and other things. Striya sūnā pāna dyūta. And dyūta means gambling. So if we want to be purified, then we must give up these four principles of sinful activities.
So these boys are being trained up for their purification, and although from their birth they are habituated to all these habits, they have given up. They have no other bad habits. Nothing. They don't take even tea, and smoke. This is purificatory process. Janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ saṁskārād bhaved dvijaḥ. By this purificatory process one becomes brāhmaṇa.
So this path is open for everyone—to become brāhmaṇa or to become purified. Brāhmaṇa means truthful and purified: satya, śauca, śama, dama, titikṣa, ārjavam jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ, brahma-karma svabhāva-jam [Bg. 18.42]. Truthfulness, purity—satyam, śaucam; śama—controlling the mind; dama—controlling the senses. Śama, dama; titikṣa—tolerance; ārjavam—simplicity; jñānaṁ—learning; vijñānam—practical application of learning in life; āstikyaṁ—full faith in God. Brahma-karma svabhāva-jam. These are the symptoms when one becomes a brāhmaṇa.
So at the present moment, there is necessity of creating some brāhmaṇa—creating some brāhmaṇa. Because as I have already told that in this age almost everyone is a śūdra because the purificatory processes are not adopted. Everyone's busy only for maintaining this body, āhāra-nidra-bhaya-maithuna ca. Āhāra-nidra-bhaya-maithuna: eating, sleeping, fearing and defending. But this is the business of the animals and the śūdras.
But the society cannot be peaceful unless there are four principles, four divisions of human being: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra. Just like your body is complete when there is head, when there are arms, when there is abdomen and when there are legs. If you keep simply the head and no trunk, hands or legs, that is useless.
Similarly, if there are simply brāhmaṇas, then the human society is incomplete. If there are simply kṣatriyas, or the arms, that is also incomplete. If there is only abdomen, or the vaiśya—vaiśyas are concerned only filling of the belly—so that is also incomplete. And if you simply have legs, that is also. The four things must be there to make a complete body.
Therefore Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā,
cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ
"Under the division of quality and work." These four divisions of human society is there. What is that? There must be some people, some section of the human society, must be brāhmaṇa, or very intelligent class of men, having spiritual knowledge. Intelligent class of men means having spiritual knowledge. Non-intelligent class of men means "I am this body," and intelligent class of men means "I am soul," brahma-bhūtaḥ.
So there must be a… Just like a living body must have the head, similarly, there must be a class of men brāhmaṇa, very intelligent class. That intelligent class of men are the Kṛṣṇa-ites, or Kṛṣṇa conscious men. Just like Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā,
bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
"After many, many births, one, when he is jñānavān, very wise, he prapadyate, he surrenders unto Me." How? Without any reason he surrenders? No. Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti [Bg. 7.19]. He understands that Kṛṣṇa is the root of everything, He is the origin of everything, īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ [Bs. 5.1]. There are many īśvaras; īśvaraḥ means controller. Every one of you may be a controller, and you are some controller—you are controller of family also, controller. But there, that controller means īśvaraḥ, or God. But Kṛṣṇa is the supreme controller, īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ.
So Kṛṣṇa consciousness is wisdom.
bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
That is actually wisdom. People do not know it: na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ [SB 7.5.31]. They do not know their self-interest. They are thinking, "My self-interest is to maintain this body." Such kind of self-interest is there in the society of cats, dogs and hogs. They are also trying to maintain this body, somehow or other. But another thing is from the Vedic knowledge you can understand that you don't require to labor very much for maintaining your body. Because from the Vedic instruction we understand that eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān.
nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām,
eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān
[Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]
A bird is also living entity like you and me, and we are also living entities, because we are part and parcel of God. Just like you are part and parcel of your father, so you are a person, then your father must be a person, and your father's father must be a person, his father must be a person… In this way, if you go to the original father, He must be a person. He cannot be imperson.
So when we understand that supreme person from whom we are all emanations, as in the Vedānta-sūtra it is said, the first question is brahma jijñāsā: "What is Brahman, or the Absolute Truth?" The answer is, janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]: wherefrom everything is born. God, or the Absolute Truth, Absolute Personality of Godhead, is the father. From Him everything is emanating, everything is born. The material nature is born from the supreme father. We, the spirit souls, we are also one of the spiritual nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. These things are very nicely explained in the Bhagavad-gītā:
bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ
khaṁ buddhir mano eva ca
prakṛtir me bhinnā aṣṭadhā
apareyam itas tv viddhi
me prakṛtiṁ parām
yayedaṁ dhāryate jagat
So there are two prakṛtis, nature: one spiritual nature, another, material nature. Both of them are coming from the same source, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just like fire and heat, er, light and heat, the source is the fire. From the fire emanating heat and light also. Similarly, from God, Kṛṣṇa, two prakṛtis, natures, are coming out. One is called material nature and one is called spiritual nature.
Just like we are combination of material and spiritual—not only we; the whole cosmic manifestation is combination of these two natures, material and spiritual. Just like both of us—you, me and everyone—we are combination of the spiritual nature, the soul, and the material nature, the body—the subtle body and the gross body. As soon as the spiritual nature is out of this body, the body is called dead. Therefore this spiritual nature is called superior nature, jīva-bhūtāṁ mahā-bāho, apareyam itas tu viddhi me prakṛtiṁ parām.
So this material nature is aparā, inferior, and the spiritual nature is parā, or superior. Why superior? Because the spiritual nature is controlling over the material nature. This table is material nature, but I am spirit soul—I can move this table from here to there. The table has no power to move. Just like a big aeroplane, it is moving at the rate of one thousand miles per hour, but because the pilot is a spiritual nature, he is pushing the button; therefore it is moving. Otherwise it has no power to move. In spite of all mechanical arrangements, if there is no pilot, the big aeroplane will lie down on the street.
Therefore this spiritual nature is superior, and as we have explained already, nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]. As we are spirit soul, cetana, living force, so there is a supreme living force: that is God, that is Kṛṣṇa, nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām.
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is very scientific movement for spiritual understanding. At the same time, the modern society requires such intellectual persons who can broadcast spiritual knowledge all over the world. That is the necessary. So our request is that you also kindly join with us, kindly try to understand this movement—scientifically, philosophically or with your best of knowledge and judgment—and then try to cooperate with us. That will bring peace and prosperity all over the world.
And the method is very simple, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. If you simply chant these sixteen words and follow the regulative principles—no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no intoxication, no gambling—that means you avoid the four pillars of sinful life; and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra—that means associate with Kṛṣṇa, or God, constantly—you become purified. And as soon as you become purified, that means you become free from the material contamination; then you are immediately transferred to the spiritual world.
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti kaunteya
yad gatvā na nivartante
tad dhāma paramaṁ mama
These are descriptions. There is a spiritual world. As in this body there is spiritual spark and material body, similarly there are two kinds of creation. This cosmic manifestation, universe, material—this is made of material energy. Similarly, there is another world. The information is there in the Bhagavad-gītā:
paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo
'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ
So that spiritual world never annihilates. So we are spirit souls, God is supreme spirit soul, and there is a spiritual world. When you combine together, when we meet God face to face in the spiritual world, then we get our eternal, blissful life of knowledge, sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ.
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is for giving chance everyone to come to his original form of life, sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ, and meet God face to face and engage oneself in His service. And the life becomes very blissful, eternal and full of knowledge. So… And the method is very simple: chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, that's all.
Even a child can take up this bhakti-yoga process of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. There is no need of education or vast knowledge. Simply you agree. You do not lose anything, but if there is a gain, why should you neglect it? That is our request.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. [end]