Introduction to Gītopaniṣad
[Earliest Recording of Śrīla Prabhupāda
in the Bhaktivedanta Archives]


oṁ ajñāna-timirāndhasya
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ

[I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master who, with the torchlight of knowledge, has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance.]

sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale
svayaṁ rūpaḥ kadā mahyaṁ
dadāti sva-padāntikam

[When will Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?]

vande 'haṁ śrī-guroḥ śrī-yuta-pada-kamalaṁ śrī-gurūn vaiṣṇavāṁś ca
śrī-rūpaṁ sāgrajātaṁ saha-gaṇa-raghunāthānvitaṁ taṁ sa-jīvam
sādvaitaṁ sāvadhūtaṁ parijana-sahitaṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanya-devaṁ
śrī-rādhā-kṛṣṇa-pādān saha-gaṇa-lalitā-śrī-viśākhānvitāṁś ca

[I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master and of all the other preceptors on the path of devotional service. I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaiṣṇavas and unto the six Gosvāmīs, including Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, Jīva Gosvāmī and their associates. I offer my respectful obeisances unto Śrī Advaita Ācārya Prabhu, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and all His devotees, headed by Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura. I then offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and all the gopīs, headed by Lalitā and Viśākhā.]

he kṛṣṇa karuṇā-sindho
dīna-bandho jagat-pate
gopeśa gopikā-kānta
rādhā-kānta namo 'stu te

[O my dear Kṛṣṇa, ocean of mercy, You are the friend of the distressed and the source of creation. You are the master of the cowherd men and the lover of the gopīs, especially Rādhārāṇī. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.]

rādhe vṛndāvaneśvari
vṛṣabhānu-sute devi
praṇamāmi hari-priye

[I offer my respects to Rādhārāṇī, whose bodily complexion is like molten gold and who is the Queen of Vṛndāvana. You are the daughter of King Vṛṣabhānu, and You are very dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa.]

vāñchā-kalpatarubhyaś ca
kṛpā-sindhubhya eva ca
patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo
vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ

[I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaiṣṇava devotees of the Lord. They can fulfill the desires of everyone, just like desire trees, and they are full of compassion for the fallen souls.]

śrī-advaita gadādhara

[I offer my obeisances to Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, Prabhu Nityānanda, Śrī Advaita, Gadādhara, Śrīvāsa and all others in the line of devotion.]

hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare

[My dear Lord, and the spiritual energy of the Lord, kindly engage me in Your service. I am now embarrassed with this material service. Please engage me in Your service.]

Introduction to Gītopaniṣad by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, the author of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Easy Journey to Other Planets, editor of Back to Godhead, etc.

Bhagavad-gītā is known also Gītopaniṣad, the essence of Vedic knowledge, and one of the most important of the various Upaniṣads in Vedic literature. This Bhagavad-gītā, there are many commentations in English, and what is the necessity of another English commentation of the Bhagavad-gītā can be explained in the following way. One...

[break] One American lady, Mrs. Charlotte Leblanc, asked me to recommend an English edition of Bhagavad-gītā which she can read.

Of course, in America there are so many editions of English Bhagavad-gītā, but so far I have seen them, not only in America but also India, none of them can be said strictly as authoritative, because almost every one of them have expressed their own opinion through the commentation of the Bhagavad-gītā without touching the spirit of Bhagavad-gītā as it is.

The spirit of Bhagavad-gītā is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā itself. It is just like this: If we want to take a particular medicine, then we have to follow the particular direction mentioned on the label of the medicine. We cannot take the particular medicine according to our own direction or by the direction of a friend, but we have to take the medicine under the direction given on the label of the bottle and as directed by the physician. Similarly, the Bhagavad-gītā also should be taken or accepted as it is directed by the speaker Himself.

The speaker of the Bhagavad-gītā is Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. He is mentioned in every page of the Bhagavad-gītā as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavān. Of course, "bhagavān" is sometimes designated to any powerful person or any powerful demigod, but here bhagavān is certainly designated to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, a great personality, but at the same time we must know that Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, as He is confirmed by all the ācāryas..., I mean to say, even Śaṅkarācārya, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Nimbārka Svāmī and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and many others.

In India there were many authoritative scholars and ācāryas, I mean, authorities of the Vedic knowledge. All of them, including Śaṅkarācārya, has accepted Śrī Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord Himself has also established Himself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the Bhagavad-gītā. He is accepted so in the Brahmā-saṁhitā and all Purāṇas, especially in the Bhāgavata Purāṇam: kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam [SB 1.3.28].

[All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists.]

So therefore we should take Bhagavad-gītā as it is directed by the Personality of Godhead Himself. So in the Fourth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā the Lord says,

imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ
proktavān aham avyayam
vivasvān manave prāha
manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt

[Bg 4.1]

[The Blessed Lord said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvān, and Vivasvān instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Ikṣvāku.]

evaṁ paramparā-prāptam
imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ
sa kāleneha mahatā
yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa

[Bg 4.2]

[This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost.]

sa evāyaṁ mayā te 'dya
yogaḥ proktaḥ purātanaḥ
bhakto 'si me sakhā ceti
rahasyaṁ hy etad uttamam

[Bg 4.3]

[That very ancient science of the relationship with the Supreme is today told by Me to you because you are My devotee as well as My friend; therefore you can understand the transcendental mystery of this science.]

The idea is the Lord said to Arjuna that "This yoga, this system of yoga, Bhagavad-gītā, was first spoken by Me to the sun-god, and the sun-god explained to Manu. Manu explained to Ikṣvāku, and in that way, by disciplic succession, one after another, this yoga system is coming, and in course of time this system is now lost. And therefore, I am speaking to you the very same yoga system again, the very same old yoga system of Bhagavad-gītā, or Gītopaniṣad. Because you are My devotee and you are My friend, therefore it is possible for you only to understand."

Now, the purport is that Bhagavad-gītā is a treatise which is specially meant for the devotee of the Lord. There are three classes of transcendentalists, namely the jñānī, the yogī and the bhakta, or the impersonalist or the meditator or the devotees. So here it is clearly mentioned, the Lord says to Arjuna that "I am speaking, or I am making you the first man of the paramparā. Because the old paramparā, or disciplic succession, is now broken, therefore I wish to establish again another paramparā in the same line of thought as it was coming down from the sun-god to others. So you, you take it and you distribute it." Or "The system, the yoga system of Bhagavad-gītā, may now be distributed through you. You become the authority of understanding Bhagavad-gītā."

Now, here is a direction that Bhagavad-gītā is especially instructed to Arjuna, the devotee of the Lord, the direct student of Kṛṣṇa. And not only that; he is intimately in touch with Kṛṣṇa as friend. Therefore Bhagavad-gītā is understood by a person who has similar qualities like Kṛṣṇa. That means he must be a devotee, he must be in relation, direct relationship with the Lord.

As soon as one becomes a devotee of the Lord, he has a direct relationship also with the Lord. That is a subject matter very long, but briefly it can be stated that a devotee is in relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in five ways. One may be a devotee in a passive state, one may be a devotee in active state, one may be a devotee as a friend, one may be a devotee as parent, and one may be a devotee as conjugal lover.

So Arjuna was a devotee in relationship with the Lord as a friend. The Lord can become a friend. Of course, this friendship and the conception of friendship which we have got in the mundane world, there is a gulf of difference. This is transcendental friendship, which... Not that everyone will have the relationship with the Lord. Everyone has got a particular relationship with the Lord, and that particular relationship is evoked by the perfection of devotional service.

At the present status of our life we have not only forgotten the Supreme Lord, but also we have forgotten our eternal relationship with the Lord. Every living being, out of many, many millions and billions of living being, each and every living being has got a particular relationship with the Lord eternally. That is called svarūpa. Svarūpa. And by the process of devotional service one can revive that svarūpa of oneself, and that stage is called svarūpa-siddhi, perfection of one's constitutional position. So Arjuna was a devotee and he was in touch with the Supreme Lord in friendship.

Now, this Bhagavad-gītā was explained to Arjuna, and how Arjuna accepted it, that should also be noted. How Arjuna accepted the Bhagavad-gītā is mentioned in the Tenth Chapter. Just like,

arjuna uvāca
paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma
pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān
puruṣaṁ śāśvataṁ divyam
ādi-devam ajaṁ vibhum

[Bg 10.12]

āhus tvām ṛṣayaḥ sarve
devarṣir nāradas tathā
asito devalo vyāsaḥ
svayaṁ caiva bravīṣi me

[Bg 10.13]

[Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Brahman, the ultimate, the supreme abode and purifier, the Absolute Truth and the eternal divine person. You are the primal God, transcendental and original, and You are the unborn and all-pervading beauty. All the great sages such as Nārada, Asita, Devala, and Vyāsa proclaim this of You, and now You Yourself are declaring it to me.]

sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye
yan māṁ vadasi keśava
na hi te bhagavan vyaktiṁ
vidur devā na dānavāḥ.

[Bg 10.14]

[O Kṛṣṇa, I totally accept as truth all that You have told me. Neither the gods nor demons, O Lord, know Thy personality.]

Now, Arjuna says, after hearing Bhagavad-gītā from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he accepts Kṛṣṇa as paraṁ brahma, the Supreme Brahman. Brahman. Every living being is Brahman, but the supreme living being, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the Supreme Brahman, or supreme living being. And paraṁ dhāma. Paraṁ dhāma means He is the supreme rest of everything. And pavitram. Pavitram means He is pure from material contamination. And He's addressed as puruṣam. Puruṣam means the supreme enjoyer; śāśvatam, śāśvata means from very beginning, He's the first person; divyam, transcendental; devam, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ajam, never born; vibhum, the greatest.

Now, one may doubt, that because Kṛṣṇa was the friend of Arjuna, therefore he might say all these things to his own friend. But Arjuna, just to drive out this kind of doubts in the mind of the readers of Bhagavad-gītā, he establishes his proposition by the authorities. He says that Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead not only by himself, Arjuna, but He is so accepted by authorities like Nārada, Asita, Devala, Vyāsa. These personalities are great personalities in distributing the Vedic knowledge, accepted by all ācāryas.

Therefore Arjuna says that "Whatever You have spoken so far to me, I accept them as completely perfect." Sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye [Bg 10.14].

[O Kṛṣṇa, I totally accept as truth all that You have told me. Neither the gods nor demons, O Lord, know Thy personality.]

"I take it, I believe it that whatever You have spoken, they are all right. And Your personality, Your personality of Godhead, is very difficult to understand. And therefore You cannot be known by even the demigods. You cannot be known even by the demigods." That means the Supreme Personality Godhead cannot be known even by greater personalities than the human being. And how a human being can understand Śrī Kṛṣṇa without becoming His devotee?

Therefore Bhagavad-gītā should be taken up in a spirit of devotee of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. One should not think that he is equal, on the same level of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, or one should not think that He is an ordinary personality, maybe a very great personality. No. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So at least theoretically, on the statement of Bhagavad-gītā or on the statement, assertion, of Arjuna, the person who is trying to understand the Bhagavad-gītā, we should accept Śrī Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and then, with that submissive spirit... Unless one receives this Bhagavad-gītā in a submissive spirit and aural reception, it is very difficult to understand Bhagavad-gītā, because it is a great mystery.

So in this Bhagavad-gītā... We may survey what is this Bhagavad-gītā. This Bhagavad-gītā is meant for delivering persons..., persons from the nescience of this material existence. Every man is in difficulty in so many ways, as Arjuna also was in difficulty in the matter of fighting the battle of Kurukṣetra. And as such, he surrendered unto Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and therefore this Bhagavad-gītā was spoken. Similarly, not only Arjuna, but every one of us is always full of anxieties due to our this material existence. Asad-grahāt. It is... Our existence is in the environment or atmosphere of nonexistence. But actually, we are not nonexistent. Our existence is eternal, but some way or other we are put into this asat. Asat means which does not exist.

Now out of so many human being who are actually inquiring about his position as to what he is, why he is put into this awkward position of suffering... Unless one is awakened to this position, that "Why I am suffering? I do not want all these sufferings. I have tried to make a solution of all these sufferings, but I have failed," unless one is in that position, he is not to be considered a perfect human being. Humanity begins when this sort of inquiries are awakened in one's mind.

In the Brahma-sūtra this enquiry is called brahma-jijñāsā. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. And every activity of the human being is to be considered a failure without having this enquiry in his mind. So persons who have awakened this enquiry into his mind as to "What I am, why I am suffering, wherefrom I have come or where I shall go after death," when these inquiries come, are awakened in the mind of a sane human being, then he is practically the right student for understanding Bhagavad-gītā. And he must be śraddhāvān. Śraddhāvān. He must have respect, a fond respect in the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such a person, as the ideal person was Arjuna.

So Lord Kṛṣṇa, He descends, yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati [Bg 4.7],

[Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion—at that time I descend Myself.]

just to establish the real purpose of life. When man forgets the real purpose of life, the mission of human form of life, then it is called dharmasya glāniḥ, the disturbance of the occupation of human being. So in that circumstances, out of many, many human being, who awakens, one who awakens the spirit of understanding his position, for him this Bhagavad-gītā is spoken. We are just like swallowed by the tigress of nescience, and Lord being causelessly merciful upon the living entities, especially for the human being, He spoke Bhagavad-gītā, making His friend Arjuna as the student.

Arjuna was certainly, being an associate of Lord Kṛṣṇa, he was above all ignorance. But still, Arjuna was put into ignorance in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra just to question about the problems of life to the Supreme Lord so that the Lord can explain them for the benefit of future generation of human being to chalk out the plan of his life and act in that way so that his life, his mission of human life, can be perfect.

So in this Bhagavad-gītā the subject matter is comprehending five different truths. The first truth is what is God. It is the preliminary study of the science of God. So that science of God is explained here. Next, the constitutional position of the living entities, jīva. Īśvara and jīva. The Lord, the Supreme Lord, He is called īśvara. Īśvara means controller, and jīva, the living entities, are... Jīvas, the living entities, they are not īśvara, or the controller. They are controlled. Artificially if I say that "I am not controlled, I am free," this is not the sign of a sane man. A living being is controlled in every respect. At least, in his conditioned life he is controlled.

So in this Bhagavad-gītā the subject matter comprehends about the īśvara, the supreme controller, and about the controlled living entities and prakṛti, the nature, the material nature. And next, the time, duration of existence of the whole universe, or this manifestation of the material nature, and the duration of time, or the eternal time; and karma. Karma means activity. Everything, the whole universe, whole cosmic manifestation, is full of different activities. The living being, especially, they are all engaged in different activities. So we have to study from the Bhagavad-gītā īśvara, what is God; jīva, what are these living entities; and prakṛti, what is this cosmic manifestation; and how it is controlled by time; and what are these activities.

Now out of these five subject matter, in the Bhagavad-gītā it establish that the Supreme Godhead, or Kṛṣṇa, or Brahman, or Paramātmā—you may call whatever you like—but the supreme controller. There is a supreme controller. So the supreme controller is the greatest of all. And the living beings, they are in quality like the supreme controller. Just like the supreme controller, the Lord, He has control over the universal affairs, over the material nature, how the... It will be explained in the later chapters of Bhagavad-gītā that this material nature is not independent. She is acting under the direction of the Supreme Lord. Mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram [Bg 9.10]:

[This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kuntī, and it is producing all moving and unmoving beings. By its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.]

"This material nature is working under My direction," mayādhyakṣeṇa, "under My superintendence."

So we, we are mistaken. When we see wonderful things happening in the cosmic nature, we should know that behind these wonderful manifestations there is a controller. Nothing can be manifested without being controlled. It is childish to..., not to consider about the controller. Just like a very nice motorcar with very good speed and very good engineering arrangement is running on the street. A child may think that "How this motorcar is running without the help of any horse or any pulling agent?" But a sane man, or an elderly person, he knows that in spite of all engineering arrangements in the motorcar, without the driver it cannot move.

That engineering arrangement of a motorcar, or in electric powerhouse... Now at the present moment it is the day of machinery, but we should always know that behind the machinery, behind the wonderful working of the machinery, there is a driver. So the Supreme Lord is the driver, adhyakṣa. He is the Supreme Personality under whose direction everything is working.

Now these jīva, or the living entities, they have been accepted by the Lord in this Bhagavad-gītā, as we'll know it in later chapters, that they are parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord. Mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ [Bg 15.7].

[The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.]

Aṁśa means parts and parcels. Now, as a particle of gold is also particle, a drop of water of the ocean is also salty, similarly, we, the living entities, being part and parcels of the supreme controller, īśvara, Bhagavān, or Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, we have got, I mean to say, qualitatively all the qualities of the Supreme Lord in minute. Because we are minute īśvara, subordinate īśvara. We are also trying to control. We are just trying to control over the nature. In the present days you are trying to control over the space; you are trying to float imitation planets.

So this tendency of controlling or creating is there because partially we have got that controlling tendency. But we should know that this tendency is not sufficient. We have the tendency of controlling over the material nature, lording it over the material nature, but we are not the supreme controller. So that thing is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā.

Then what is this material nature? The nature is also explained. The nature, material nature, is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā as inferior, inferior prakṛti. Inferior prakṛti. And the living entities are explained as the superior prakṛti. Prakṛti means which is controlled, which is under... Prakṛti, real meaning of prakṛti is a woman or a female. Just like a husband controls the activities of his wife, similarly, the prakṛti is also subordinate, predominated. The Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the predominator, and this prakṛti, both the living entities and the material nature, they are different prakṛtis, or predominated, controlled by the Supreme.

So according to Bhagavad-gītā, the living entities, although they are parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord, they are taken as prakṛti. It is clearly mentioned in the Seventh Chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā, yes, apareyam itas tu viddhi aparā [Bg 7.5].

[Besides this inferior nature, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is a superior energy of Mine, which are all living entities who are struggling with material nature and are sustaining the universe.]

This material nature is aparā iyam. Itas tu, and beyond this there is another prakṛti. And what is that prakṛti? Jīva-bhūta, these...

So this prakṛti, the constitution of this prakṛti, is constituted by three qualities: the mode of goodness, the mode of passion and mode of ignorance. And above these modes, three different kinds of modes, goodness, passion and, I mean to say, ignorance, there is eternal time. There is eternal time. And by combination of these modes of nature and under the control, under the purview, of this eternal time, there are activities. There are activities, which is called karma.

These activities are being done from time immemorial, and we are suffering or enjoying the fruits of our activities, just like in the present life also, we enjoy the activities, the fruits of our activities. Suppose I am a businessman and I have worked very hard with intelligence, and I have amassed a vast amount of bank balance. Now I am the enjoyer. Similarly, suppose I started my business with a vast amount of money, but I failed to make a successful..., I lost all the money. So I am sufferer. So similarly, in every field of our life we enjoy, we enjoy the result of our work. This is called karma.

So these things, īśvara, jīva, prakṛti, or the Supreme Lord, or the living entity, the material nature, the eternal time, and our different activities, these things are explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. Now out of these five, the Lord, the living entities, and the material nature and time, these four items are eternal. Now manifestation, manifestation of prakṛti, may be temporary, but it is not false. Some philosophers say that this manifestation of material nature is false, but according to the philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā or according to the philosophy of the Vaiṣṇavas, they do not accept the manifestation of the world as false. They accept that the manifestation is real, but it is temporary.

It is just like a cloud takes place in the sky and the rainy season begins, and after the rainy season there are so many new green vegetation all over the field, we can see. And as soon as the rainy season is finished, then the cloud is vanquished. Generally, gradually, all this vegetation dry up and again the land becomes barren. Similarly, this material manifestation takes place at a certain interval.

We'll understand it, we'll know it, from the pages of the Bhagavad-gītā. Bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate [Bg 8.19].

[Again and again the day comes, and this host of beings is active; and again the night falls, O Pārtha, and they are helplessly dissolved.]

This manifestation becomes magnificent at a certain interval, and again it disappears. That is the work of the prakṛti. But it is working eternally; therefore prakṛti is eternal. It is not false. Because the Lord has accepted, mama prakṛti, "My prakṛti." Apareyam itas tu viddhi me prakṛtiṁ parām [Bg 7.5]. Bhinnā prakṛti, bhinnā prakṛti, aparā prakṛti, this material nature is a separated energy of the Supreme Lord, and the living entities, they are also energy of the Supreme Lord, but they are not separated. They are eternally related.

So the Lord, the living entity, the nature—material nature—and time, they are all eternal. But the other item, karma, is not eternal. The effects of karma, or activity, may be very old. We are suffering or enjoying the results of our activities from a time immemorial, but still, we can change the result of our karma, or activity. That will depend on our perfect knowledge. We are engaged in various activities undoubtedly, but we do not know what sort of activities we shall adopt that will give us relief from the actions and reactions of all activities. That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gītā.

Now, the position of īśvara is supreme consciousness. Position of īśvara, or the Supreme Lord, is supreme consciousness. And the jīvas, or the living entities, being parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord, he is also conscious. A living entity is also conscious. The living entity is explained as prakṛti, energy, and the material nature is also explained as prakṛti, but amongst the two, one prakṛti, the jīvas, they are conscious; the other prakṛti is not conscious. That is the difference.

Therefore the jīva prakṛti is called superior, because the jīvas has consciousness similar to the Lord. The Lord is supreme consciousness. One should not claim that a jīva, a living entity, is also supremely conscious. No. A living being cannot be supremely conscious at any stage of his perfection. This is a misleading theory. This is misleading theory. But he is conscious. That's all. But he is not supreme conscious.

The supreme conscious, it will be explained in the Bhagavad-gītā in the chapter where the distinction between the jīva and īśvara is explained. Kṣetra-kṣetra-jña. This kṣetra-jña has been explained that the Lord is also kṣetra-jña, or conscious, and the jīvas, or the living beings, they are also conscious. But the difference is that a living being is conscious within his limited body, but the Lord is conscious of all bodies. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg 18.61].

[The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.]

The Lord lives within the core of heart in every living being, therefore He is conscious of the psychic movements, activities, of the Lord..., of the particular jīva. We should not forget.

It is also explained that the Paramātmā, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is living in everyone's heart as īśvara, as the controller, and He is giving direction. He is giving direction. Sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭhaḥ [Bg 15.15],

[I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas am I to be known; indeed I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.]

everyone's heart He is situated, and He gives direction to act as he desire. The living entity forgets what to do. First of all he makes his determination to act in a certain way, and then he is entangled in the actions and reactions of his own karma. But after giving up one type of body, when he enters another type of body... Just like we give up one kind of dress, one type of dress, for another type of dress, similarly, it is explained in this Bhagavad-gītā that vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya [Bg 2.22]:

[As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, similarly, the soul accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.]

one, as one changes his different dresses, similarly the living entities, they are also changing different bodies, transmigration of the soul, and pulling on the actions and reactions of his past activities.

So these activities can be changed when a living being is in the mode of goodness, in sanity, and he understands what sort of activities he should adopt. And if he does so, then the whole action and reactions of his past activities can be changed. Therefore karma is not eternal. Other things, out of the four..., five items—īśvara, jīva, prakṛti, kāla and karma—these four items are eternal, whereas the karma, the item known as karma, that is not eternal.

Now the conscious īśvara, the supreme conscious īśvara, and difference between the supreme conscious īśvara, or the Lord, and the living being is, in the present circumstances, is like this. Consciousness, consciousness of..., both of the Lord and the living entities, they are, this consciousness is transcendental. It is not that this consciousness is generated by the association of this matter. That is a mistaken idea.

The theory that consciousness develops under certain circumstances of material combination is not accepted in the Bhagavad-gītā. They cannot. Consciousness may be pervertedly reflected by the cover of material circumstances, just like light reflected through a colored glass may seem according to the color. Similarly, the consciousness of Lord, it is not materially affected. The Supreme Lord, just like Kṛṣṇa, He says that mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ [Bg 9.10].

[This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kuntī, and it is producing all moving and unmoving beings. By its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.]

When He descends in this material world, His consciousness is not materially affected. Had His consciousness been materially affected, He was unfit to speak about the transcendental subject matter in the Bhagavad-gītā. One cannot say anything about the transcendental world without being free from the materially contaminated consciousness. So the Lord was not materially contaminated. But our consciousness, at the present moments, is materially contaminated.

So whole thing, as the Bhagavad-gītā teaches, we have to purify the materially contaminated consciousness, and in that pure consciousness, the actions will be done. That will make us happy. We cannot stop. We cannot stop our activity. The activities are to be purified. And these purified activities are called bhakti. Bhakti means they are..., they appear also just like ordinary activity, but they are not contaminated activities. They are purified activities.

So a ignorant person may see that a devotee is working like an ordinary man. But a person with poor fund of knowledge, he does not know that the activities of a devotee or the activities of the Lord, they are not contaminated by the impure consciousness of matter, impurity of the three guṇas, modes of nature, but transcendental consciousness.

So our consciousness is materially contaminated, we should know. Now, when we are such materially contaminated, that is called our conditioned stage. Conditioned stage. And the false ego, the false consciousness... The false consciousness is exhibited under the impression that "I am one of the product of this material nature." That is called false ego. The whole material activities, yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke [SB 10.84.13].

[One who identifies his self as the inert body composed of mucus, bile and air, who assumes his wife and family are permanently his own, who thinks an earthen image or the land of his birth is worshipable, or who sees a place of pilgrimage as merely the water there, but who never identifies himself with, feels kinship with, worships or even visits those who are wise in spiritual truth—such a person is no better than a cow or an ass.]

Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke: one who is absorbed in the thought of bodily conception. Now, the whole Bhagavad-gītā was explained by the Lord because Arjuna represented himself with bodily conception. So one has to get free from the bodily conception of life. That is the preliminary activity for a transcendentalist who wants to get free, who wants to be liberated. And he has to learn first of all that he is not this material body.

So this consciousness, or material consciousness, when we are freed from this material consciousness, that is called mukti. Mukti, or liberation, means to become free from material consciousness. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavata also the definition of liberation is said, muktir hitvānyathā rūpaṁ svarūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ [SB 2.10.6].

[The merging of the living entity, along with his conditional living tendency, with the mystic lying down of the Mahā-Viṣṇu is called the winding up of the cosmic manifestation. Liberation is the permanent situation of the form of the living entity after he gives up the changeable gross and subtle material bodies.]

Svarūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ. Mukti means liberation from the contaminated consciousness of this material world and to become situated in pure consciousness. And the whole instruction, instruction of Bhagavad-gītā, is targeted to awaken that pure consciousness.

We'll find in the last stage of the instruction of Bhagavad-gītā that Kṛṣṇa is asking Arjuna whether he is now in purified consciousness—whether he was in purified consciousness. The purified consciousness is to act according to the direction of the Lord. That is purified consciousness. That is the whole sum and substance of purified consciousness. Consciousness is already there, but because we are part and parcels, therefore we are affected. There is affinity of being affected by the material modes. But the Lord, being Supreme, He is never affected. He is never affected. That is the difference between the Lord and the Supreme..., Supreme Lord and the...

Now this consciousness is... What is this consciousness? This consciousness is that "I am." What I am? When in contaminated consciousness this "I am" means that "I am the lord of all I survey." This is impure consciousness. And "I am the enjoyer." The whole material world is moving that every living being is thinking that "I am the lord and I am the creator of this material world." The consciousness has got two psychic movement, or two psychic division. One is that "I am the creator," and the other is "I am the enjoyer."

So the Supreme Lord is actually the creator and He is actually the enjoyer. And the living entities, being part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, he's not actually the creator or the enjoyer, but he's a cooperator. Just like the whole machine. The part of the machine is the cooperator. Is the cooperator. Or if we can study just the constitution of our body, now, in the body there are hands, there are legs, there are eyes and all these instruments working, but all these parts and parcels of the body, they are not enjoyer. The stomach is the enjoyer.

The leg is moving from one place to another. The hand is collecting, the hand is preparing foodstuff, and the teeth is chewing, and everything, all parts of body, are engaged in satisfying the stomach, because the stomach is the principle fact within the organization of this body. And everything should be given to the stomach. Prāṇopahārāc ca yathendriyāṇām [SB 4.31.14].

[As pouring water on the root of a tree energizes the trunk, branches, twigs and everything else, and as supplying food to the stomach enlivens the senses and limbs of the body, simply worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead through devotional service automatically satisfies the demigods, who are parts of that Supreme Personality.]

Just like you can see a tree green by pouring water in the root. Or you can become healthy... The parts of the body—the hands, the legs, the eyes, the ears, the fingers—everything keeps in healthy stage when the parts of the body cooperate with the stomach.

Similarly, the supreme living being, the Lord, He is the enjoyer. He is the enjoyer and He is the creator. And we, I mean to say, subordinate living beings, the products of the energy of the Supreme Lord, we are just to cooperate with Him. That cooperation will help. Just, for example, a good foodstuff taken by the fingers. If the fingers think that "Why should we give it to the stomach? Let us enjoy," that is a mistake. The fingers are unable to enjoy. If fingers want the fruit of enjoyment of that particular foodstuff, the fingers must put it into the stomach.

The whole arrangement is that the central figure, central figure of creation, central figure of enjoyment, is the Supreme Lord, and the living entities, they are simply cooperator. By cooperation, by cooperation they enjoy. The relation is just like the master and the servant. If the master is satisfied, if the master is fully satisfied, the servants are automatically satisfied. That is the law. Similarly, the Supreme Lord should be satisfied, although the tendency for becoming creator and the tendency to enjoy this material world is..., they are also in the living entities, because it is there in the Supreme Lord. He has created. He has created the manifested cosmic world. [break]

Therefore we shall find in this Bhagavad-gītā that the complete whole, comprising the supreme controller, the controlled living entities, the cosmic manifestation, the eternal time and the activities, all of them are completely explained. So the whole thing taking together completely is called the Absolute Truth. The complete whole, or the Supreme Absolute Truth, is therefore the complete Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa, as I have explained, that the manifestation are due to His different energies, and He is the complete whole.

The impersonal Brahman is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā that impersonal Brahman is also subordinate to the complete person. Brahmaṇo 'haṁ pratiṣṭhā [Bg 14.27].

[And I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness, and which is immortal, imperishable and eternal.]

Impersonal Brahman is also. It is... The impersonal Brahman is more explicitly explained in the Brahma-sūtra as the rays. As there is the rays of the sunshine, sun planet, similarly, the impersonal Brahman is the shining rays of the Supreme Brahman, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore impersonal Brahman is incomplete realization of the absolute complete whole, and so also the conception of Paramātmā. These things are also explained. Puruṣottama-yoga. When we shall read the chapter of Puruṣottama-yoga it will be seen that the Supreme Personality, Puruṣottama, is above the impersonal Brahman and partial realization of Paramātmā.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is called sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ. In the Brahma-saṁhitā, the beginning is started like this:

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ

[Bs 5.1]

[Kṛṣṇa who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes.]

"Govinda, Kṛṣṇa, is the cause of all causes. He is the primal Lord." So the Supreme Personality of Godhead is sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ. Impersonal Brahman realization is the realization of His sat part, eternity. And Paramātmā realization is the realization of sat-cit, eternal knowledge part realization. But realization of the Personality of Godhead as Kṛṣṇa is realization of all the transcendental features like sat, cit and ānanda, in complete vigraha. Vigraha means form. Vigraha means form.

Avyaktaṁ vyaktim āpannaṁ manyante mām abuddhayaḥ [Bg 7.24].

[Unintelligent men, who know Me not, think that I have assumed this form and personality. Due to their small knowledge, they do not know My higher nature, which is changeless and supreme.]

People with less intelligence, they consider the Supreme Truth as impersonal. But He is a person, a transcendental person. This is confirmed in all Vedic literature. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13].

[The Supreme Lord is eternal and the living beings are eternal. The Supreme Lord is cognizant and the living beings are cognizant. The difference is that the Supreme Lord is supplying all the necessities of life for the many other living entities.]

So, as we are also persons, individual living being, we are person, we have got our individuality, we are all individual, similarly the Supreme Truth, the Supreme Absolute, He is also, at the ultimate issue, He is a person. But realization of the Personality of Godhead is realization of all the transcendental features like sat, cit and ānanda, in complete vigraha. Vigraha means form. Therefore the complete whole is not formless. If He is formless or if He is less in any other thing, He cannot be complete whole. The complete whole must have everything within our experience and beyond our experience. Otherwise He cannot be complete.

The complete whole Personality of Godhead has immense potencies. Parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate [Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.8].

[The Supreme Lord has nothing to do. Nothing is equal to Him or greater than Him. He acts in different phases by manifesting His parts and parcels, which are all simultaneously differently situated by His unlimited, variegated potencies. Each potency acts quite naturally in sequences, providing Him full knowledge, power and pastimes.]

That is also explained in Bhagavad-gītā, how He is acting in different potencies. This phenomenal world, or the material world, where we are now put, is also complete by itself, because pūrṇam idam [Īśopaniṣad, Invocation].

[The Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete, and because He is completely perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped as complete wholes. Whatever is produced of the Complete Whole is also complete in itself. Because He is the Complete Whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance.]

The twenty-four elements of which, according to Sāṅkhya philosophy, the twenty-four elements of which this material universe is a temporary manifestation are completely adjusted to produce complete things which are necessary for the maintenance and subsistence of this universe. No extraneous effort by any other unit is required for the maintenance of the universe. It's at its own time, fixed up by the energy of the complete whole, and when the time is complete, these temporary manifestations will be annihilated by the complete arrangement of the complete.

There is complete facility for the small complete units, namely, the living entities, to realize the complete. And all sorts of incompleteness is experienced on account of incomplete knowledge of the complete. So the Bhagavad-gītā is the complete knowledge of the Vedic wisdom. The whole Vedic knowledge is infallible. There are different examples how we take Vedic knowledge as infallible.

Take, for example, so far the Hindus are concerned, and how they accept the Vedic knowledge as complete, here is an insignificant example. Just like the cow dung. The cow dung is the stool of an animal. According to smṛti, or Vedic wisdom, if one touches the stool of an animal he has to take his bath to purify himself. But in the Vedic scriptures the cow dung is stated as pure. Rather, impure place or impure things are purified by touch of the cow dung.

Now, if one argues how it is that in one place it is said that the stool of the animal is impure and another place it is said that the cow dung, which is also the stool of an animal, it is pure, so it is contradictory. But actually, it may appear to be contradictory, but because it is Vedic injunction, therefore for our practical purposes we accept it. And by that acceptance we are not committing mistake.

It has been found by modern chemist, modern science, one Dr. Lal Mohan Ghosa, he has very minutely analyzed the cow dung, and he has found that cow dung is a composition of all antiseptic properties. So similarly, he has also analyzed the water of the Ganges out of curiosity. So my idea is that Vedic knowledge is complete because it is above all doubts and all mistakes. So..., and Bhagavad-gītā is the essence of all Vedic knowledge. The Vedic knowledge is therefore infallible. It comes down through the perfect disciplic succession. Therefore Vedic knowledge is not a thing of research. Our research work is imperfect, because we are searching everything with imperfect senses. Therefore the result of our research work is also imperfect. It cannot be perfect. We have to accept the perfect knowledge.

The perfect knowledge is coming down, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, just we have begun, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg 4.2].

[This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost.]

We have to receive the knowledge from the right source in disciplic succession of spiritual masters beginning from the Lord Himself. So Bhagavad-gītā is spoken by the Lord Himself. And Arjuna, the, I mean to say, the student who took lessons of the Bhagavad-gītā, he accepted the whole story as it is, without any cutting.

That is also not allowed, that we accept a certain portion of Bhagavad-gītā and reject another portion. That is also not accepted. We must accept the Bhagavad-gītā without interpretation, without any cutting, and without our own whimsical participation in the matter, because it should be taken as the most perfect Vedic knowledge. The Vedic knowledge is received from the transcendental sources, because the first word was spoken by the Lord Himself. The words spoken by the Lord is called apauruṣeya [not made by man], or not delivered by any person of the mundane world, who is infected with four principles of imperfectness.

A living being of the mundane world has four defective principles of his life, and they are:

1) that he must commit mistake,
2) he must be sometimes illusioned,
3) he must try to cheat others, and
4) he's endowed with imperfect senses.

With all these four principles of imperfectness, one cannot deliver the perfect form of information in the matter of all-pervading knowledge. The Vedas are not like that.

The Vedic knowledge was imparted in the heart of Brahmā, the first created living being. And Brahmā in his turn disseminated the knowledge to his sons and disciples as they were originally received from the Lord. The Lord, being pūrṇam, or all-perfect, there is no chance of His becoming subjected to the laws of material nature. One should therefore be intelligent enough to know that except the Lord, nobody is the proprietor of anything within the universe.

That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā:

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ
budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ

[Bg 10.8]

[I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who know this perfectly engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.]

The Lord is the original creator. He is the creator of Brahmā, He is the creator... That is also explained. He is the creator of Brahmā. In the Eleventh Chapter the Lord is addressed as prapitāmaha [Bg 11.39]

[You are air, fire, water, and You are the moon! You are the supreme controller and the grandfather. Thus I offer my respectful obeisances unto You a thousand times, and again and yet again!]

Because Brahmā is addressed as pitāmaha, the grandfather, but He is the creator of the grandfather also. So nobody should claim to be the proprietor of anything, but he must accept things which are set aside by the Lord as his quota of maintenance.

Now, there are many examples how we have to utilize the allotment of the Lord. That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. Arjuna, he decided in the beginning that he should not fight. That was his own contemplation. Arjuna said to the Lord that it was not possible for him to enjoy the kingdom after killing his own kinsmen. And that point of view was due to his conception of the body. Because he was thinking that the body was himself and the bodily relatives—his brothers, his nephews, his father-in-law or his grandfather—they were expansion of his body, and he was thinking in that way to satisfy his bodily demands. And the whole thing was spoken by the Lord just to change the view. And he agreed to work under the direction of the Lord. And he said, kariṣye vacanaṁ tava [Bg 18.73].

[Arjuna said, My dear Kṛṣṇa, O infallible one, my illusion is now gone. I have regained my memory by Your mercy, and I am now firm and free from doubt and am prepared to act according to Your instructions.]

Therefore in this world the human being is not meant for quarreling like the cats and dogs. They must be intelligent enough to realize the importance of the human life and refuse to act like ordinary animal. He should... A human being should realize the aim of human life. This direction is given in all the Vedic literature, and the essence is given in the Bhagavad-gītā. Vedic literature are meant for the human being and not for the cats and dogs. The cats and dogs can kill their eatable animals, and for that there is no question of sin on their part. But if a man kills an animal for the satisfaction of his uncontrolled taste, he must be responsible for breaking the laws of nature.

And in the Bhagavad-gītā it is clearly explained that there are three kinds of activities according to the different modes of nature: the activities of goodness, the activities of passion, the activities of ignorance. Similarly, there are three kinds of eatables also: eatables in goodness, eatables on passion, eatables on ignorance. They're all clearly described, and if we properly utilize the instructions of the Bhagavad-gītā, then our whole life will become purified and ultimately we shall [be] able to reach the destination: yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama [Bg 15.6].

[That abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by electricity. One who reaches it never returns to this material world.]

That information is given in the Bhagavad-gītā, that beyond this spiritual..., material sky, there is another, spiritual sky; that is called sanātana sky. In this sky, this covered sky, we find everything temporary. It is manifested, it stays for some time, gives us some by-product, and then it becomes dwindling and then vanishes. That is the law of this material world. You take this body, you take a fruit or anything what is created here, it has got its annihilation at the end.

So beyond this temporary world there is another world, for which the information is there, that paras tasmāt tu bhāvaḥ anyaḥ [Bg 8.20].

[Yet there is another nature, which is eternal and is transcendental to this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all in this world is annihilated, that part remains as it is.]

There is another nature which is eternal, sanātana. Which is eternal. And the jīva, jīva is also described as sanātana. Mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ jīva-loke sanātanaḥ [Bg 15.7].

[The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.]

Sanātana. Sanātana means eternal. And the Lord is also described as sanātana in the Eleventh Chapter.

So because we have got intimate relation with the Lord and we are all qualitatively one... The sanātana-dhama and the sanātana Supreme Personality and the sanātana living entities, they are on the same qualitatively plane. Therefore the whole target of Bhagavad-gītā is to revive our sanātana occupation, or sanātana..., that is called sanātana-dharma, or eternal occupation of the living entity. We are now temporarily engaged in different activities, and all these activities being purified, when we give up all these temporary activities, sarva-dharmān parityajya [Bg 18.66], and when we take up the activity as desired by the Supreme Lord, that is called our pure life.

[Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.]


Therefore, sanātana-dharma, as mentioned above, that the Supreme Lord is sanātana, and the transcendental abode, which is beyond the spiritual sky, that is also sanātana. And the living entities, they are also sanātana. So association of the sanātana Supreme Lord, sanātana living entities in the sanātana eternal abode, is the ultimate aim of human form of life.

The Lord is so kind upon the living entities, because the living entities are claimed to be all sons of the Supreme Lord. The Lord declares, sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya sambhavanti mūrtayo yāḥ [Bg 14.4]:

[It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kuntī, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.]

Every living..., every type of living entity... There are different types of living entities according to their different karma, but the Lord claims that He is the father of all living entities, and therefore the Lord descends to reclaim all these forgotten conditioned souls back to the sanātana-dhāma, the sanātana sky, so that the sanātana living entity may again reinstall in his sanātana position in eternal association of the Lord. He comes Himself by different incarnations, He sends His confidential servitor as sons or associates or ācāryas to reclaim the conditioned souls. And therefore sanātana-dharma does not mean any sectarian process of religion. It is the eternal function of the eternal living entities in relationship with the eternal Supreme Lord.

Now, so far sanātana-dharma is concerned, it means the eternal occupation. Śrīpāda Rāmānujācārya has explained the word sanātana as "the thing which has neither any beginning nor any end." And when we speak of sanātana-dharma we must take it for granted on the authority of Śrīpāda Rāmānujācārya that it has no beginning, nor any end.

The word "religion" is a little different from sanātana-dharma. "Religion" conveys the idea of faith. Faith may change. One may have faith in a particular process, and he may change the faith afterwards and adopt another faith. But sanātana-dharma means which cannot be changed. Which cannot be changed. Just like water and liquidity. Liquidity cannot be changed from water. Heat and fire. Heat cannot be changed from fire. Similarly, the eternal function of the eternal living entity, which is known as sanātana-dharma, cannot be changed. It is not possible to change. We have to find out what is that eternal function of the eternal living entity.

When we speak of sanātana-dharma, therefore, we must take it for granted on the authority of Śrīpāda Rāmānujācārya that it has no beginning nor any end. The thing which has no end, no beginning, must not be any sectarian thing or limited by any boundary. When we hold on the conference on the sanātana-dharma, people belonging to some of the noneternal religious faith may wrongly consider it that we are dealing in some sectarian thing. But if we go deep into the matter and take everything in the light of modern science, it will be possible for us to see sanātana-dharma as the business of all the people of the world, nay, all the living entities of the universe. Non-sanātana religious faith may have some beginning in the annals of the human society, but there cannot be any history of the sanātana-dharma, because it continues to remain with the history of the living entities.

So far living entities are concerned, we find it from the authority of the śāstras that living entities have also no birth or death. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is clearly stated that the living entity is never born, nor does it ever die. He's eternal, indestructible, and continues to live after the destruction of his temporary material body.

With reference to the above concept of sanātana-dharma we may try to understand the concept of religion from the Sanskrit root meaning of the word dharma. It means that which is constantly with the particular object. As we have already mentioned, when we speak of fire, it is concluded at the same time that there is heat and light along with the fire. Without heat and without light, there is no meaning of the word fire. Similarly, we must find out the essential part of a living being which is always companion with him. That part of constant companion of the living being is his eternal quality, and the eternal part of the living being's quality is his eternal religion.

When Sanātana Gosvāmī asked Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu about the svarūpa—we have already discussed about the svarūpa of every living being—svarūpa, or real constitution of the living being, the Lord replied that the constitutional position of the living being is to render service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But if we analyze this part of the statement of Lord Caitanya, we can very well see that every living being is constantly engaged in the business of rendering service to another living being.

A living being serves another living being in different capacities, and by doing so, the living entity enjoys life. A lower animal serves a human being; as servant serves his master. A serves B master, B serves C master and C serves D master, and so on. Under the circumstances, we can see that a friend serves another friend and the mother serves the son, or the wife serves the husband, or husband serves the wife. If we go on searching in that spirit, it will be seen that there is no exception in the society of the living being where we do not find the activity of service.

The politician present his manifesto before the public and convinces voters about his service capacity. The voter also gives the politician his valuable vote on expectation that the politician will give service to the society. The shopkeeper serves the customer and the artisan serves the capitalist. The capitalist serves his family and the family serves the head man in terms of the eternal capacity of eternal being. In this way we can see no living being is exempted from the practice of rendering service to other living being, and therefore we can conclude that service is a thing which is the constant companion of the living being, and therefore it may be safely concluded that rendering of service by a living being is the eternal religion of the living being.

When a man professes to belong to a particular type of faith with reference to the particular time and circumstances of birth, and thus one claims to be a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian, Buddhist, or any other sect and sub-sect, such designations are non–sanātana-dharma. A Hindu may change his faith to become a Muslim, or a Muslim may change his faith to become a Hindu or a Christian, etc., but in all circumstances such change of religious faith does not allow a person to change his eternal engagement of rendering service to other. A Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian, in all circumstances he is servant of somebody, and thus to profess a particular type of faith is not to be considered as sanātana-dharma, but the constant companion of the living being, that is, rendering of service, is the sanātana-dharma.

So factually, we are related in the service relationship with the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord is the supreme enjoyer, and we living entities are eternally His supreme servitors. We are created for His enjoyment, and if we partake, participate, in that eternal enjoyment with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that makes us happy; not otherwise. Independently..., as we have already explained that independently, any part of the body—the hand, the feet, the fingers, or any part of the body—independently cannot be happy without cooperation with the stomach, similarly, the living entity can never be happy without rendering his transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord.

Now, in the Bhagavad-gītā the worship of different demigod is not approved, is not approved, because... It is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, Seventh Chapter, twentieth verse, the Lord says, kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ prapadyante 'nya-devatāḥ [Bg 7.20].

[Those whose minds are distorted by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures.]

Kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ. Those who are directed by lust, only they worship the demigods other than the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa.

We also may remember that when we speak of "Kṛṣṇa" it is not a sectarian name. The "Kṛṣṇa" name means the highest pleasure. It is confirmed that the Supreme Lord is the reservoir, is the storehouse, of all pleasure. We are all hankering after pleasure. Ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt [Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12].

[By nature, the Supreme Lord is blissful.]

The living entities or the Lord, because we are full of consciousness, therefore our consciousness is after happiness. Happiness. The Lord is also perpetually happy, and if we associate with the Lord, cooperate with Him, take part in His association, then also we become happy.

The Lord descends on this mortal world to show His pastimes in Vṛndāvana full of happiness. When Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa was in Vṛndāvana, His activities with His cowherd boys friend, with His damsels, with His friend..., with His damsel friends and with the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, and His occupation of cowherding in His childhood, and all these pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa was full of happiness. The whole of Vṛndāvana, the whole population of Vṛndāvana, was after Him. They did not know except Kṛṣṇa. Even Lord Kṛṣṇa restricted His father, Nanda Mahārāja, in worshiping the demigod Indra, because He wanted to establish that people need not worship any other demigod except the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because the ultimate aim of life is to return to the abode of the Supreme Lord. [break]

The abode of Lord Kṛṣṇa is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, Fifteenth Chapter, sixth verse,

na tad bhāsayate sūryo
na śaśāṅko na pāvakaḥ
yad gatvā na nivartante
tad dhāma paramaṁ mama

[Bg 15.6]

[That abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by electricity. One who reaches it never returns to this material world.]

Now the description of that eternal sky... When we speak of sky, because we have material conception of the sky, therefore we think of sky with sun, moon, stars, like that. But the Lord says that the eternal sky, there is no need of sun. Na tad bhāsayate sūryo na śaśāṅko na pāvakaḥ. Neither in that eternal sky there is need of moon. Na pāvakaḥ means neither there is necessity of electricity or fire for illuminating, because the spiritual sky is already illuminated by the brahma-jyoti. Brahmajyoti, yasya prabhā [Bs 5.40], the rays of the supreme abode.

[I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, whose effulgence is the source of the nondifferentiated Brahman mentioned in the Upaniṣads, being differentiated from the infinity of glories of the mundane universe appears as the indivisible, infinite, limitless, truth.]

Now in these days, when people are trying to reach other planets, it is not very difficult to understand the abode of the Supreme Lord. The abode of the Supreme Lord is in the spiritual sky, and it is named as Goloka. In the Brahmā-saṁhitā it is very nicely described, goloka eva nivasaty akhilātma-bhūtaḥ [Bs 5.37].

[I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, residing in His own realm, Goloka, with Rādhā, resembling His own spiritual figure, the embodiment of the ecstatic potency possessed of the sixty-four artistic activities, in the company of Her confidantes [sakhīs], embodiments of the extensions of Her bodily form, permeated and vitalized by His ever-blissful spiritual rasa.]

The Lord, although resides eternally in His abode, Goloka, still He is akhilātma-bhūtaḥ. He can..., He can be approached from here also. And the Lord therefore comes to manifest His real form, sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs 5.1],

[Kṛṣṇa who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes.]

Eternal, blissful and full of knowledge, then your botheration of thisso that we may not have to imagine. There is no question of imagination. The Lord's presence, by His causeless mercy He presents Himself in His Śyāmasundara rūpa.

Unfortunately, people with less intelligence deride at Him. Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā [Bg 9.11].

[Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature and My supreme dominion over all that be.]

Because the Lord comes as one of us and just like plays with us as a human being, therefore we need not consider that Lord is one of us. It is His omnipotency that He presents Himself with His real form before us and displays His pastimes, just the prototype of His abode.

So that abode of Lord, there are innumerable planets also in that brahma-jyoti. Just like we have got innumerable planets floating on the sun rays, similarly, in the brahma-jyoti, which is emanating from the abode of the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇaloka, Goloka, ānanda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhāvitābhis [Bs 5.37], all those planets are spiritual planets.

[I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, residing in His own realm, Goloka, with Rādhā, resembling His own spiritual figure, the embodiment of the ecstatic potency possessed of the sixty-four artistic activities, in the company of Her confidantes [sakhīs], embodiments of the extensions of Her bodily form, permeated and vitalized by His ever-blissful spiritual rasa.]

They are ānanda-cinmaya; they are not material planets.

So the Lord says,

na tad bhāsayate sūryo
na śaśāṅko na pāvakaḥ
yad gatvā na nivartante
tad dhāma paramaṁ mama

[Bg 15.6]

[That abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by electricity. One who reaches it never returns to this material world.]

Now, anyone who can approach that spiritual sky will not be required to come back again in this material sky. So long we are in the material sky, what to speak of approaching the moon planet... The moon planet, of course, is the nearest planet, but even we approach the highest planet, which is called Brahmaloka, there also we have the same miseries of material life, I mean to say, the miseries of birth, death, old age and diseases. No planets in the material universe is free from the four principles of material existence.

The Lord therefore says in the Bhagavad-gītā, ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino 'rjuna [Bg 8.16].

[From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kuntī, never takes birth again.]

The living entities are traveling from one planet to another. It is not that we can simply go to other planets by the mechanical arrangement of the sputnik. Anyone who desires to go to other planet, there is process. Yānti deva-vratā devān pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ [Bg 9.25].

[Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors; and those who worship Me will live with Me.]

If anyone wants to go to any other planet, say moon planet, we need not try to go by the sputnik. The Bhagavad-gītā instructs us, yānti deva-vratā devān. These moon planets or sun planets or the planets above this Bhūloka, they are called Svargaloka. Svargaloka. Bhūloka, Bhuvarloka, Svargaloka, they are different status of planets. So... Devaloka. They are known just like that.

The Bhagavad-gītā gives a very simple formula that you can go to the higher planets, Devaloka. Yānti deva-vratā devān. Yānti deva-vratā devān. Deva-vratā, if we practice the process of worshiping the particular demigod, then we can go to that particular planet also. We can go to the sun planet even, we can go to the moon planet, we can go to the heavenly planet.

But Bhagavad-gītā does not advise us to go to any one of these planets in the material world, because even we go to the Brahmaloka, the highest planet, which is calculated by the modern scientist that we can reach the highest planet by traveling with sputniks for 40,000's of years...

Now it is not possible to live 40,000's of years and reach the highest planet of this material universe. But if one devotes his life in the worshipment of the particular demigod he can approach the particular planet, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: yānti deva-vratā devān pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ. Similarly, there is Pitṛloka.

Similarly, one who likes to approach the supreme planet... Supreme planet. The supreme planet means the Kṛṣṇaloka. In the spiritual sky there are innumerable planets, sanātana planets, eternal planets, which are never destroyed, annihilated. But of all those spiritual planets there is one planet, the original planet, which is called Goloka Vṛndāvana. So these informations are there in the Bhagavad-gītā, and we are given the opportunity for leaving this material world and get our eternal life in the eternal kingdom.

Now in the Fifteenth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā, the real picture of this material world is given. It is said there that,

ūrdhva-mūlam adhaḥ-śākham
aśvatthaṁ prāhur avyayam
chandāṁsi yasya parṇāni
yas taṁ veda sa veda-vit

[Bg 15.1]

[The Blessed Lord said: There is a banyan tree which has its roots upward and its branches down and whose leaves are the Vedic hymns. One who knows this tree is the knower of the Vedas.]

Now, this material world is described in the Fifteenth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā as a tree which has got its root upwards, ūrdhva-mūlam. Have you experience of any tree which has its root upwards? We have got this experience of a tree, root upwards, by reflection. If we stand on the bank of a river or any reservoir of water, we can see that the tree on the bank of the reservoir of water is reflected in the water as trunk downwards and the root upwards.

So this material world is practically a reflection of the spiritual world. Just like the reflection of the tree on the bank of a reservoir of water is seen downwards, similarly, this material world, it is called shadow. Shadow. As in the shadow there cannot be any reality, but at the same time, from the shadow we can understand that there is reality. The example of shadow in the..., shadow of water in the desert, suggests that in the desert there is no water, but there is water. Similarly, in the reflection of the spiritual world, or in this material world, there is undoubtedly there is no happiness, there is no water. But the real water, or the actual happiness, is in the spiritual world.

The Lord suggests that one has to reach that spiritual world in the following manner, nirmāna-mohā.

nirmāna-mohā jita-saṅga-doṣā
adhyātma-nityā vinivṛtta-kāmāḥ
dvandvair vimuktāḥ sukha-duḥkha-saṁjñair
gacchanty amūḍhāḥ padam avyayaṁ tat

[Bg 15.5]

[One who is free from illusion, false prestige, and false association, who understands the eternal, who is done with material lust and is freed from the duality of happiness and distress, and who knows how to surrender unto the Supreme Person, attains to that eternal kingdom.]

That padam avyayam, that eternal kingdom, can be reached by one who is nirmāna-mohā. Nirmāna-mohā. Nirmāna means we are after designations. Artificially we want some designations. Somebody wants to become sir, somebody wants to become lord, somebody wants to become the president, or somebody wants to become a rich man, somebody wants to become something else, king. All these designation, so long we'll have attachment for all these designation... Because after all, these designation belong to the body, and we are not this body. This is the first conception of spiritual realization. So one has no attraction for designation.

And jita-saṅga-doṣā. Saṅga-doṣā. Now we are associated with the three modes of material qualities, and if we become detached by devotional service of the Lord... So long we are not attracted by devotional service of the Lord, we cannot be detached from the three modes of material nature. Therefore the Lord says, vinivṛtta-kāmāḥ: these designations or these attachments are due to our lust, desire. We want to lord it over the material nature. So, so long we do not give up this propensity of lording it over the material nature, up to that time there is no possibility of going back to the kingdom of the Supreme, the sanātana-dhāma.

Dvandvair vimuktāḥ sukha-duḥkha-saṁjñair gacchanty amūḍhāḥ..., amūḍhāḥ padam avyayaṁ tat [Bg 15.5].

[One who is free from illusion, false prestige, and false association, who understands the eternal, who is done with material lust and is freed from the duality of happiness and distress, and who knows how to surrender unto the Supreme Person, attains to that eternal kingdom.]

That eternal kingdom, which is never destructible like this material world, can be approached by amūḍhāḥ. Amūḍhāḥ means nonbewildered, one who is not bewildered by the attraction of this false enjoyment. And one [who] is situated in the supreme service of the Lord, he is the right person to approach that eternal kingdom. And that eternal kingdom does not require any sun, any moon or any electricity. That is a glimpse idea of approaching of the eternal kingdom.

In another place in the Bhagavad-gītā it is also said that,

avyakto 'kṣara ity uktas
tam āhuḥ paramāṁ gatim
yaṁ prāpya na nivartante
tad dhāma paramaṁ mama

[Bg 8.21]

[That supreme abode is called unmanifested and infallible, and it is the supreme destination. When one goes there, he never comes back. That is My supreme abode.]

Avyakta means nonmanifested. Even the part of material world is not manifested before us. Our senses are so imperfect that we cannot see how many stars, how many planets there are in this material universe. Of course, through the Vedic literature we get information of all the planets. We may believe or not believe, but all the important planets in which we have connection, they are described in the Vedic literature, especially in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

But the spiritual world, which is beyond this material sky, paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo [Bg 8.20],

[Yet there is another nature, which is eternal and is transcendental to this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all in this world is annihilated, that part remains as it is.]

but that avyakta, that nonmanifested spiritual sky, is the paramāṁ gatim, that is, one should desire, one should hanker after reaching that supreme kingdom. And once approaching that supreme kingdom, yaṁ prāpya, one approaching or one achieving that supreme kingdom, na nivartante, one hasn't got to return back to this material world. And that place which is the eternal abode of Lord, that from where we haven't got to return, that is our..., that should be our... [break]

Now a question may be raised, what is the way how to approach the supreme abode of the Lord. That is also described in the Bhagavad-gītā.
It is said on the Eighth Chapter, verses 5, 6, 7, 8,

[And whoever, at the time of death, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.]

[Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.]

[Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me in the form of Kṛṣṇa and at the same time carry out your prescribed duty of fighting. With your activities dedicated to Me and your mind and intelligence fixed on Me, you will attain Me without doubt.]

[He who meditates on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his mind constantly engaged in remembering Me, undeviated from the path, he, O Pārtha [Arjuna], is sure to reach Me.]

the process of approaching the Supreme Lord, or Supreme Lord's abode, is also given there. It is said like this:

anta-kāle ca mām eva
smaran muktvā kalevaram
yaḥ prayāti sa mad-bhāvaṁ
yāti nāsty atra saṁśayaḥ

[Bg 8.5]

[And whoever, at the time of death, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.]

Anta-kāle: at the end of life, at the time of death. Anta-kāle ca mām eva, one who thinks of Kṛṣṇa, smaran, if he can remember. A dying person, at the time of death, if he remembers the form of Kṛṣṇa, and while remembering in that way if he quits the present body, then surely he approaches the spiritual kingdom, mad-bhāvam. Bhāvam means the spiritual..., the nature. Yaḥ prayāti sa mad-bhāvaṁ yāti. Mad-bhāvam means just like the nature, of the transcendental nature, of the Supreme Being.

As we have described above, that the Supreme Lord is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs 5.1].

[Kṛṣṇa who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes.]

He has His form, but His form is eternal, sat; and full of knowledge, cit; and full of bliss, ānanda. Now just we can compare our present body, whether this body is sac-cid-ānanda. No. This body is asat. Instead of being sat it is asat. Antavanta ime dehā [Bg 2.18].

[Only the material body of the indestructible, immeasurable and eternal living entity is subject to destruction; therefore, fight, O descendant of Bharata.]

Bhagavad-gītā says that this body is antavat, perishable. And... Sac-cid-ānanda. Instead of becoming sat, it is asat, just the opposite. And instead of becoming cit, full of knowledge, it is full of ignorance. We have no knowledge of the spiritual kingdom, neither we have got any perfect knowledge of this material world. So many things unknown to us; therefore this body is ignorant. Instead of becoming full of knowledge it is ignorant.

The body is perishable, full of ignorance, and nirānanda. Instead of becoming full of bliss, it is full of miseries. All the miseries that we experience in this material world, it is all due to this body. The Lord says that anta-kāle ca mām eva smaran muktvā kalevaram [Bg 8.5].

[And whoever, at the time of death, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.]

One who quits this material body, simply by remembering Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he at once gets the spiritual body of sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs 5.1].

The process of quitting this body and getting another body in the material world is also organized. A man dies after it has been decided what form of body he will have in the next life. But that is decided by higher authorities. Just like according to our service we are promoted or degraded, similarly, according to our acts we are... Acts of this life, the activities of this life, are preparation ground for the next life. We are preparing for our next life by our activities of this life. So if we can prepare our this life for getting promotion to the kingdom of God, then surely, after leaving..., after quitting this material body... The Lord says yaḥ prayāti, one who goes, sa mad-bhāvaṁ yāti [Bg 8.5], mad-bhāvam, he gets the same spiritual body as the Lord has, or the same spiritual nature.

Now, there are different kinds of transcendentalist, as we have already explained above: the brahmavādī, paramātmavādī and the devotees. In spiritual sky, or in the brahma-jyoti, there are spiritual planets, innumerable spiritual planets, we have already discussed. And the number of those planets are far, far greater than all the universes of this material world. This material world is ekāṁśena sthito jagat [Bg 10.42].

[But what need is there, Arjuna, for all this detailed knowledge? With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire universe.]

This is one-fourth part manifestation of the whole creation. Three-fourth part of the creation is the spiritual world. And in the one-fourth part of this creation there are millions of universes like this which we are experiencing at the present moment. And in one universe there are millions and billions of planets. So there are millions and billions of suns and stars and moons in all this material world, but all this material world constitute only one-fourth manifestation of the whole creation. The three-fourth manifestation is in the spiritual sky.

Now, this mad-bhāvam, one who desires to merge into the existence of the Supreme Brahman, they merge in the brahma-jyoti of the Supreme Lord. Mad-bhāvam means that brahma-jyoti as well as the spiritual planets in the brahma-jyoti. And the devotees, who want to enjoy in the association of the Lord, they enter into the planets, Vaikuṇṭha planets. There are innumerable Vaikuṇṭha planets, and the Lord, Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, by His plenary expansion as Nārāyaṇa with four hands, with different names, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, and Mādhava, Govinda... There are many innumerable names of this four-handed Nārāyaṇa. So one of the planets, that is also mad-bhāvam, that is also within the spiritual nature.

So any transcendentalist who, at the end of life, either he thinks of the brahma-jyoti or meditates upon the Paramātmā or thinks of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa, in either case, they enter into the spiritual sky. But only the devotees, those who have practiced personal touch with the Supreme Lord, they enter into the Vaikuṇṭha planets or in the Goloka Vṛndāvana planet. The Lord says, yaḥ prayāti sa mad-bhāvaṁ yāti nāsty atra saṁśayaḥ [Bg 8.5].

[And whoever, at the time of death, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.]

There is no doubt. One should not disbelieve. That is the question. You are reading Bhagavad-gītā throughout the whole life, but when the Lord speaks something which does not tally with our imagination, we reject it. That is not the process of Bhagavad-gītā reading. Just like Arjuna said that sarvam etaṁ ṛtam manye [Bg 10.14],

[O Kṛṣṇa, I totally accept as truth all that You have told me. Neither the gods nor demons, O Lord, know Thy personality.]

"I believe in everything, whatever You have said." Similarly, hear, hearing. The Lord says that at the time of death, whoever thinks of Him, either as Brahman or Paramātmā or the Personality of Godhead, certainly he enters into the spiritual sky, and there is no doubt about it. One should not disbelieve it.

And the process is, general rule, is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, how one can..., how it is possible to get into the spiritual kingdom simply by thinking of the Supreme at the time of death. Because the general process is also mentioned:

yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ
tyajaty ante kalevaram
taṁ tam evaiti kaunteya
sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ

[Bg 8.6]

[Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.]

There are different bhāvas. Now, this material nature is also one of the bhāvas, as we have already explained, that this material nature is also the display of one of the energies of the Supreme Lord. In the Viṣṇu Purāṇa the total energies of the Supreme Lord has been summarized.

viṣṇu-śaktiḥ parā proktā
kṣetra-jñākhyā tathā para
tṛtīyā śaktir iṣyate

[Cc Madhya 6.154]

[The internal potency of the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu, is spiritual, as verified by the śāstras. There is another spiritual potency, known as kṣetra-jña, or the living entity. The third potency, which is known as nescience, makes the living entity godless and fills him with fruitive activity.]

All the energies, potencies of the..., parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate. The Supreme Lord has diverse energies, innumerable energies, which we cannot conceive. But great learned sages, liberated souls, they have studied and they have summarized the whole energies into three parts, into three headings.

The first is... All the energies are viṣṇu-śakti. All the energies, they are different potencies of the Lord Viṣṇu. Now, that energy is parā, transcendental. And kṣetra-jñākhyā tathā parā, and the living entities, kṣetra-jña, they are also belonging to the group of that superior energy, as it is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā also. We have already explained. And the other energies, the material energy, is tṛtīyā karma-saṁjñānyā [Cc Madhya 6.154]. The other energy is in the mode of ignorance. That is material energy. So material energy is also bhagavad-dhama[?].

So at the time of death, either we can remain in the material energy, or this material world, or we can transfer into the spiritual world. That is the criterion. So the Bhagavad-gītā says,

yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ
tyajaty ante kalevaram
taṁ tam evaiti kaunteya
sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ

[Bg 8.6]

[Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.]

Now, as we are accustomed to think either of this material energy or of the spiritual energy, now, how to transfer the thinking? The thinking of the material energy, how it can be transferred into thinking of the spiritual energy?

So for thinking in the spiritual energy the Vedic literatures are there. Just like thinking in the material energies, there are so many literatures—newspapers, magazines, novels, fictions and so many things. Full of literatures. So our thinkings are absorbed in these literatures. Similarly, if we want to transfer our thinking in the spiritual atmosphere, then we have to transfer our reading capacity to the Vedic literature. The learned sages therefore made so many Vedic literatures, the Purāṇas. The Purāṇas are not stories; they are historical records.

In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta there is a verse which reads as follows: anādi-bahirmukha jīva kṛṣṇa bhuli' gela, ataeva kṛṣṇa veda-purāṇa kailā [Cc Madhya 20.117],

[Forgetting Kṛṣṇa, the living entity has been attracted by the external feature from time immemorial. Therefore the illusory energy [māyā] gives him all kinds of misery in his material existence.]

that these forgetful living entities, conditioned souls, they have forgotten the relationship with the Supreme Lord, and they are engrossed in thinking of the material activities. And just to transfer their thinking power to the spiritual capacity, the Kṛṣṇa-dvaipāyana Vyāsa, he has made so many Vedic literatures.

Vedic literatures means first he divided the Vedas into four. Then he explained them by the Purāṇas. Then for the incapable persons, just like strī, śūdra, vaiśya, he made the Mahābhārata. And in the Mahābhārata he introduced this Bhagavad-gītā. Then again he summarized the whole Vedic literature in the Vedānta-sūtra. And the Vedānta-sūtra, for future guidance, he made a natural commentation by himself which is called Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is called bhāṣyo 'yaṁ brahma-sūtrāṇām [Cc Madhya 25.143]. It is the natural commentation of Vedānta-sūtra.

[The meaning of the Vedānta-sūtra is present in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The full purport of the Mahābhārata is also there. The commentary of the Brahma-gāyatrī is also there and fully expanded with all Vedic knowledge. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the supreme Purāṇa, and it was compiled by the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His incarnation as Vyāsadeva. There are twelve cantos, 335 chapters and eighteen thousand verses.]

So all these literatures, if we transfer our thought, tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ, sadā. Sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ [Bg 8.6].

[Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.]

One who is engaged always... Just like the materialist is always engaged in reading some material literature like newspaper, magazines and fiction, novel, etc., and so many scientific or philosophies, all these things of different degrees of thought; similarly, if we transfer our that reading capacity for these Vedic literatures, as presented by..., as very kindly presented by Vyāsadeva, then it is quite possible for us to remember at the time of death the Supreme Lord.

That is the only way suggested by the Lord Himself. Not suggested; it is the fact. Nāsty atra saṁśayaḥ [Bg 8.5].

[And whoever, at the time of death, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.]

Undoubtedly. There is no doubt about it. Tasmāt, the Lord suggested, therefore, tasmāt sarveṣu kāleṣu mām anusmara yudhya ca [Bg 8.7].

[Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me in the form of Kṛṣṇa and at the same time carry out your prescribed duty of fighting. With your activities dedicated to Me and your mind and intelligence fixed on Me, you will attain Me without doubt.]

He advises Arjuna that mām anusmara yudhya ca. He does not say that "You simply go on remembering Me and give up your present occupational duty." No. That is not suggested. The Lord never suggests something impractical.

This material world, to maintain this body, one has to work. The work is divided into four divisions of social order: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. The intelligent class of the society, they are working in a different way, and the administrator class of society, they are also working in a different way. The mercantile society, the productive society, they are also working in a different way, and the laborer class, they are also working in different way. In the human society, either as laborer or as mercantile men or as politicians, administrators, or as the highest class of intelligent class of men in literary career, scientific researches, everybody is engaged in some work, and one has to work, struggle for existence.

So Lord advises that "You need not give up your occupation, but at the same time you can remember." Mām anusmara [Bg 8.7]. That will make you..., that will help you in remembering Me at the time of death. If you don't practice remembering Me always, along with your struggle for existence, then it is not possible." It is not possible. The same thing is advised by Lord Caitanya, kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ [Cc Ādi 17.31].

[One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor yet is always prepared to give all respect to others can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.]

Kīrtanīyaḥ sadā. One should practice to chant the name of the Lord always. The name of Lord and the Lord is not different.

So here the instruction of Lord Kṛṣṇa to Arjuna that mām anusmara [Bg 8.7], "You just remember Me," and Lord Caitanya's instruction that "You chant always the name of Kṛṣṇa..." Here Kṛṣṇa says that "You always remember Me," or you remember Kṛṣṇa, and Lord Caitanya says, "You always chant the name of Kṛṣṇa." So there is no difference, because Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa's name are nondifferent in the Absolute. In the absolute status there is no difference between one thing to another. That is the absolute status. The Lord being absolute, there is no difference between His name and Himself.

So we have to practice like that. Tasmāt sarveṣu kāleṣu. Always, twenty-four hours, we have to mold our activities of life in such way that we can remember, twenty-four hours. How it is possible? Yes, it is possible. It is possible. A very crude example is set by the ācāryas in this connection. And what is that example? It is said that a woman who is attached to another man, although she has got a husband, still, he's [she's] attached to another man. And this sort of attachment becomes very strong. This is called parakīya-rasa, either in case of man or woman. If a man has got attachment for another woman besides his wife, or a woman has got attachment for another man besides his [her] husband, that attachment is very strong. That attachment is very strong.

So the ācāryas give this example: As a bad character woman who has got attachment for other's husband, she always thinks, at the same time, shows her husband that she is very much busy in the family affairs so that her husband may not doubt her character. So as she is always remembering the time of meeting with her lover at night, in spite of doing all this household work very nicely, similarly, one has to remember the supreme husband, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, always, in spite of doing his material duties very nicely. That is possible. It requires a strong sense of love. When you have got a strong sense of love for the Supreme Lord, then it is possible that we can go on discharging our duty, at the same time remember the Lord.

So we have to develop that sense. Just like Arjuna was always thinking of Lord. He, out of twenty-four hours, not for a second he could forget Kṛṣṇa. Constant companion of Kṛṣṇa, at the same time, a warrior. Lord Kṛṣṇa did not advise Arjuna to give up his fighting, go to the forest, go to the Himalaya and meditate. When yoga system was advised to Arjuna, Arjuna declined, that "This system is not possible for me." Then the Lord said, yoginām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gatenāntarātmanā [Bg 6.47].

[And of all yogīs, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.]

Mad-gatenāntarātmanā śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ sa me yuktatamo mataḥ. So one who thinks of the Supreme Lord always, he's the greatest yogī, he is the supermost jñānī, and he is also the greatest devotee at the same time.

The Lord advises that tasmāt sarveṣu kāleṣu mām anusmara yudhya ca [Bg 8.7]: "As a kṣatriya you cannot give up your fighting business. You have to fight. So at the same time if you practice remembering Me always, then it will be possible," anta-kāle ca mām eva smaran [Bg 8.5], "then it will be possible to remember Me also at the time of death."

[And whoever, at the time of death, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.]

Mayy arpita-mano-buddhir mām evaiṣyasy asaṁśayaḥ [Bg 8.7].

[Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me in the form of Kṛṣṇa and at the same time carry out your prescribed duty of fighting. With your activities dedicated to Me and your mind and intelligence fixed on Me, you will attain Me without doubt.]

Again He says that there is no doubt. If one is completely surrendered into the service of the Lord, into the transcendental loving service of the Lord, mayy arpita-mano-buddhir.

Because we work not with our body actually; we work with our mind and intelligence. So if our intelligence and mind are always engaged in the thought of the Supreme Lord, then naturally our senses are also engaged in the service of the Lord. That is the secret of Bhagavad-gītā. One has to learn this art, how one can be absorbed both by the mind and intelligence twenty-four hours thinking of the Lord. And that will help one to transfer himself into the kingdom of God, or in the spiritual atmosphere, after leaving this material body.

The modern scientist, they are trying for years and years together for reaching the moon planet, and they have no approach as yet. But here in the Bhagavad-gītā, here is a suggestion. Suppose a man lives for another fifty years and he... So nobody tries to elevate himself in the spiritual ideas for fifty years. That's a very good idea. But even for ten years or five years one sincerely tries for this practice, mayy arpita-mano-buddhir... It is simply a question of practice. And that practice can be very easily possible by the devotional process, śravaṇaṁ. Śravaṇaṁ.

The easiest process is to hear.

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
sakhyam ātma-nivedanam

[SB 7.5.23]

[There are six principles favorable to the execution of pure devotional service: (1) being enthusiastic, (2) endeavoring with confidence, (3) being patient, (4) acting according to regulative principles [such as śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇam—hearing, chanting and remembering Kṛṣṇa], (5) abandoning the association of nondevotees, and (6) following in the footsteps of the previous ācāryas. These six principles undoubtedly assure the complete success of pure devotional service.]

These nine processes. So the easiest process is simply hearing. Hearing of this Bhagavad-gītā or Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from the realized person, that will train up oneself, one, into the thoughts of the Supreme Being twenty-four hours, which will lead one ultimately, anta-kāle, to remember the Supreme Lord, and thus leaving this body, he will have a spiritual body, a spiritual body, just fit for association with the Lord.

The Lord therefore says,

cetasā nānya-gāminā
paramaṁ puruṣaṁ divyaṁ
yāti pārthānucintayan

[Bg 8.8]

[He who meditates on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his mind constantly engaged in remembering Me, undeviated from the path, he, O Pārtha [Arjuna], is sure to reach Me.]

Anucintayan, constantly thinking of Himself only. It is not very difficult process. One has to learn this process from the experienced person in this line. Tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet [Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.2.12].

[To understand these things properly, one must humbly approach, with firewood in hand, a spiritual master who is learned in the Vedas and firmly devoted to the Absolute Truth.]

One should approach a person who is already in the practice.

So abhyāsa-yoga-yuktena. This is called abhyāsa-yoga, practicing. Abhyāsa... How to remember the Supreme Lord always. Cetasā nānya-gāminā. The mind, the mind is always flying to this, to that. So one has to practice to concentrate the mind into the form of the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa always, or in the sound, in His name, which is made easier. Instead of concentrating my mind—my mind may be very restless, going hither and thither—but I can concentrate my ear into the sound vibration of "Kṛṣṇa," and that will also help me. That is also abhyāsa-yoga. Cetasā nānya-gāminā paramaṁ puruṣaṁ divyaṁ [Bg 8.8]. Paramaṁ puruṣa, that Supreme Personality of Godhead in the spiritual kingdom, in the spiritual sky, one can approach, anucintayan, constantly thinking.

So these processes, the ways and means, all are stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, and there is no bar for anyone. It is not that a particular class of men can approach. Thinking of Lord Kṛṣṇa is possible; hearing of Lord Kṛṣṇa is possible by everyone. And the Lord says in the Bhagavad-gītā,

māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya
ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
striyo śūdrās tathā vaiśyās
te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim

[Bg 9.32]

[O son of Pṛthā, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth—women, vaiśyas [merchants], as well as śūdras [workers]—can approach the supreme destination.]

kiṁ punar brāhmaṇāḥ puṇyā
bhaktā rājarṣayas tathā
asukhaṁ..., anityam asukhaṁ lokam
imaṁ prāpya bhajasva mām

[Bg 9.33]

[How much greater then are the brāhmaṇas, the righteous, the devotees and saintly kings who in this temporary miserable world engage in loving service unto Me.]

The Lord says that even a human being in the lowest status of life, lowest status of life, or even a fallen woman or a mercantile man or a laborer class of man... The mercantile class of men, the laborer class of men and the woman class, they are counted in the same category, because their intelligence is not so developed. But the Lord says they also, or even lower than them, māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye 'pi syuḥ—not only they or lower than them, or anyone, it does not matter who is he, or who she is—anyone who accepts this principle of bhakti-yoga and accepts the Supreme Lord as the summum bonum of life, the highest target, highest goal of life, māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye 'pi syuḥ, te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim [Bg 9.32], that parāṁ gatim in the spiritual kingdom and the spiritual sky, everyone can approach. Simply one has to practice the system. That system is hinted in the Bhagavad-gītā very nicely, and one can adopt it and make his life perfect and make a permanent solution of life. That is the sum and substance of the whole Bhagavad-gītā.

Therefore, the conclusion is that Bhagavad-gītā is a transcendental literature which one should read very carefully. Gītā-śāstram idaṁ puṇyaṁ yaḥ paṭhet prayataḥ pumān [Gītā-māhātmya 1].

[One who, with a regulated mind, recites with devotion this Bhagavad-gītā scripture which is the bestower of all virtue, will attain to a holy abode such as Vaikuntha, the residence of Lord Viṣṇu, which is always free from the mundane qualities based on fear and lamentation.]

And the result will be, if he properly follows the instruction, then he can be freed from all miseries of life, all anxieties of life. Bhaya-śokādi-varjitaḥ. All fears of life, in this life, as well as he'll get a spiritual life in the next life.

prāṇāyama-parasya ca
naiva santi hi pāpāni
pūrva-janma-kṛtāni ca

[Gītā-māhātmya 2]

[If one reads Bhagavad-gītā very sincerely and with all seriousness, then by the grace of the Lord the reactions of his past misdeeds will not act upon him.]

So another advantage is that if one reads Bhagavad-gītā very sincerely and with all seriousness, then by the grace of the Lord, the reactions of his past misdeeds will not act upon him. The Lord says very loudly in the Bhagavad-gītā in the last portion, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ [Bg 18.66].

[Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.]

The Lord takes the responsibility. One who surrenders unto the Lord, He takes the responsibility to indemnify, to indemnify from all reactions of sins.

mala-nirmocanaṁ puṁsāṁ
jala-snānaṁ dine dine
sakṛd gītāmṛta-snānam

[Gītā-māhātmya 3]

[One may cleanse himself daily by taking a bath in water, but if one takes a bath even once in the sacred Ganges water of Bhagavad-gītā, for him the dirt of material life is altogether vanquished.]

One cleanses oneself daily by taking bath in the water, but one who takes once bath in the sacred Ganges water of Bhagavad-gītā, his..., the dirty material life is altogether vanquished.

gītā su-gītā kartavyā
kim anyaiḥ śāstra-vistaraiḥ
yā svayaṁ padmanābhasya
mukha-padmād viniḥsṛtā

[Gītā-māhātmya 4]

[Because Bhagavad-gītā is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one need not read any other Vedic literature. One need only attentively and regularly hear and read Bhagavad-gītā. In the present age, people are so absorbed in mundane activities that it is not possible for them to read all the Vedic literatures. But this is not necessary. This one book, Bhagavad-gītā, will suffice, because it is the essence of all Vedic literatures and especially because it is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.]

Because Bhagavad-gītā is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, therefore people should..., people may not read all other Vedic literatures. Simply if he attentively and regularly reads and hears Bhagavad-gītā, gītā su-gītā kartavyā... And one should adopt this means by all means. Gītā su-gītā kartavyā kim anyaiḥ śāstra-vistaraiḥ. Because at the present age people are embarrassed with so many things that it is hardly possible to divert his attention in all the Vedic literatures. This one literature will do, because it is the essence of all Vedic literature, and especially spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

viṣṇu-vaktrād viniḥsṛtam
gītā-gaṅgodakaṁ pītvā
punar janma na vidyate

[Gītā-māhātmya 5]

[By drinking the Ganges waters of the Gītā, the divine quintessence of the Mahābhārat emanating from the holy lotus mouth of Lord Viṣṇu, one will never take rebirth in the material world again. In other words, by devotionally reciting the Gītā, the cycle of birth and death is terminated.]

As it is said that one who drinks the water of the Ganges, he also gets salvation, then what to speak of Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā is the nectar in the whole Mahābhārata, and is spoken by Viṣṇu. Lord Kṛṣṇa is the original Viṣṇu. Viṣṇu-vaktrād viniḥsṛtam. It is coming out of the mouth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And gaṅgodakaṁ, the Ganges is said to be emanated from the lotus feet of the Lord, and Bhagavad-gītā is emanated from the mouth of the Lord. Of course, there is no difference between the mouth and the feet of the Supreme Lord. Still, from neutral position we can study that Bhagavad-gītā is even more important than the Ganges water.

sarvopaniṣado gāvo
dogdhā gopāla-nandana
pārtho vatsaḥ su-dhīr bhoktā
dugdhaṁ gītāmṛtaṁ mahat

[Gītā-māhātmya 6]

[All the Upanisads are like a cow, and the milker of the cow is Sri Kṛṣṇa, the son of Nanda. Arjuna is the calf, the beautiful nectar of the Gita is the milk, and the fortunate devotees of fine theistic intellect are the drinkers and enjoyers of that milk.]

Just... This Gītopaniṣad is just like a cow, and the Lord is famous as cow boy, and He was milking this cow. Sarvopaniṣado. And it is the essence of all Upaniṣads and represented as the cow. And the Lord being expert cow boy, He is milking the cow. And pārtho vatsaḥ: and Arjuna is just like the calf. And su-dhīr bhoktā: and learned scholars and pure devotees, they are to take this milk. Su-dhīr bhoktā dugdhaṁ gītāmṛtaṁ mahat: the nectar, the milk of Bhagavad-gītā, is meant for learned devotees.

ekaṁ śāstraṁ devakī-putra-gītam
eko devo devakī-putra eva
eko mantras tasya nāmāni yāni
karmāpy ekaṁ tasya devasya sevā

[Gītā-māhātmya 7]

[There need be only one holy scripture—the divine Gītā sung by Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa: only one worshipable Lord—Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa: only one mantra—His holy names: and only one duty—devotional service unto that Supreme Worshipable Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa.]

Now, the world should learn from the Bhagavad-gītā the lesson. Evaṁ śāstraṁ devakī-putra-gītam: there is one scripture only, one common scripture for the whole world, for the people of the whole world, and that is this Bhagavad-gītā. Devo devakī-putra eva: and there is one God for the whole world, is Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

And eko mantras tasya nāmāni: and one hymn, mantra, one hymn only, one prayer, or one hymn, is to chant His name: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare / Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Eko mantras tasya nāmāni yāni karmāpy ekaṁ tasya devasya sevā: and there is one work only, that is to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

If one learns from Bhagavad-gītā, then the people are very much anxious to have one religion, one God, one scripture and one business or one activity of life. This is summarized in the Bhagavad-gītā. That one, one God, is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is not sectarian God. Kṛṣṇa, from the name of Kṛṣṇa... Kṛṣṇa means, as we have explained above, Kṛṣṇa means the greatest pleasure. So therefore... [break] [end]