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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Suhotra Dasa Tapovanachari > Bhagavad Gita In Essence

Bhagavad-Gita in Essence
Suhotra Dasa Tapovanachari

Years ago I put together a seminar entitled "Bhagavad-gita in Essence." I believe I taught this only twice, in Radhadesh, Belgium, and in Perth, Australia in the early to mid-1990's. Just yesterday I found the files for the course on my hard disk and became absorbed in reading through them. The research I'd done to construct these course files is quite interesting. So I'm publishing the files here as a series.

Today we'll see 10 verses that, for reasons to be revealed in coming days, constitute the essence of the entire Bhagavad- gita. Srila Prabhupada's purports to these verses show us that Lord Krsna's confidential intention for speaking the Gita is encapsulated as follows:

Tri-sloki Gita from Chapter Fifteen

TEXT 16

dvav imau purusau loke
ksaras caksara eva ca
ksarah sarvani bhutani
kuta-stho 'ksara ucyate

dvau--two; imau--these; purusau--living entities; loke--in the world; ksarah--fallible; ca--and; aksarah--infallible; eva--certainly; ca--and; ksarah --fallible; sarvani--all; bhutani--living entities; kuta- sthah--in oneness; aksarah--infallible; ucyate--is said.

TRANSLATION

There are two classes of beings, the fallible and the infallible. In the material world every living entity is fal- lible, and in the spiritual world every living entity is called infallible.

PURPORT

As already explained, the Lord in His incarnation as Vyasadeva compiled the Vedanta-sutra. Here the Lord is giving, in summary, the contents of the Vedanta-sutra. He says that the living entities, who are innumerable, can be divided into two classes--the fallible and the infallible. The living entities are eternally separated parts and parcels of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When they are in contact with the material world they are called jiva-bhuta, and the Sanskrit words given here, ksarah sarvani bhutani, mean that they are fallible. Those who are in oneness with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, however, are called infallible. Oneness does not mean that they have no individuality, but that there is no disunity. They are all agreeable to the purpose of the creation. Of course, in the spiritual world there is no such thing as creation, but since the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as stated in the Vedanta- sutra, is the source of all emanations, that conception is explained. According to the statement of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krsna, there are two classes of living entities. The Vedas give evidence of this, so there is no doubt about it. The living entities who are struggling in this world with the mind and five senses have their material bodies, which are changing. As long as a living entity is conditioned, his body changes due to contact with matter; matter is changing, so the living entity appears to be changing. But in the spiritual world the body is not made of matter; therefore there is no change. In the material world the living entity undergoes six changes--birth, growth, duration, reproduction, then dwindling and vanishing. These are the changes of the material body. But in the spiritual world the body does not change; there is no old age, there is no birth, there is no death. There all exists in oneness. Ksarah sarvani bhutani: any living entity who has come in contact with matter, beginning from the first created being, Brahma, down to a small ant, is changing its body; therefore they are all fallible. In the spiritual world, however, they are always liberated in oneness.

TEXT 17

uttamah purusas tv anyah
paramatmety udahrtah
yo loka-trayam avisya
bibharty avyaya isvarah

uttamah--the best; purusah--personality; tu--but; anyah--another; parama--the supreme; atma--self; iti --thus; udahrtah--is said; yah--who; loka--of the universe; trayam--the three divisions; avisya--entering; bibharti--is maintaining; avyayah--inexhaus-tible; isvarah--the Lord.

TRANSLATION

Besides these two, there is the greatest living personality, the Supreme Soul, the imperishable Lord Himself, who has entered the three worlds and is maintaining them.

PURPORT

The idea of this verse is very nicely expressed in the Katha Upanisad (2.2.13) and Svetasvatara Upanisad (6.13). It is clearly stated there that above the innumerable living entities, some of whom are conditioned and some of whom are liberated, there is the Supreme Personality, who is Paramatma. The Upanisadic verse runs as follows: nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam. The purport is that amongst all the living entities, both conditioned and liberated, there is one supreme living personality, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who maintains them and gives them all the facility of enjoyment according to different work. That Supreme Personality of Godhead is situated in everyone's heart as Paramatma. A wise man who can understand Him is eligible to at in perfect peace, not others.

TEXT 18

yasmat ksaram atito 'ham
aksarad api cottamah
ato 'mi loke vede ca
prathitah purusottamah

yasmat--because; ksaram--to the fallible; atitah-- transcendental; aham--I am; aksarat--beyond the infallible; api--also; ca--and; uttamah--the best; atah-- therefore; asmi--I am; loke--in the world; vede--in the Vedic literature; ca--and; prathitah--celebrated; purusa- uttamah--as the Supreme Personality.

TRANSLATION

Because I am transcendental, beyond both the fallible and the infallible, and because I am the greatest, I am celebrated both in the world and in the Vedas as that Supreme Person.

PURPORT

No one can surpass the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna--neither the conditioned soul nor the liberated soul. He is therefore the greatest of personalities. Now it is clear here that the living entities and the Supreme Personality of Godhead are individuals. The difference is that the living entities, either in the conditioned state or in the liberated state, cannot surpass in quantity the inconceivable potencies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is incorrect to think of the Supreme Lord and the living entities as being on the same level or equal in all respects. There is always the question of superiority and inferiority between their personalities. The word uttama is very significant. No one can surpass the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

The word loke signifies "in the paurusa agama (the smrti scriptures)." As confirmed in the Nirukti dictionary, lokyate vedartho 'nena: "The purpose of the Vedas is explained by the smrti scriptures."

The Supreme Lord, in His localized aspect of Paramatma, is also described in the Vedas themselves. The following verse appears in the Vedas (Chandogya Upanisad 8.1 2.3): tavad esa samprasado 'mac charirat samutthaya param jyoti-rupam sampadya svena rupenabhinispadyate sa uttamah purusah. "The Supersoul coming out of the body enters the impersonal brahmajyoti; then in His form He remains in His spiritual identity. That Supreme is called the Supreme Personality." This means that the Supreme Personality is exhibiting and diffusing His spiritual effulgence, which is the ultimate illumination. That Supreme Personality also has a localized aspect as Paramatma. By incarnating Himself as the son of Satyavati and Parasara, He explains the Vedic know- ledge as Vyasadeva.

Chatuh-sloki Gita from Chapter Ten

TEXT 8

aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate
iti matva bhajante mam
budha bhava-samanvitah

aham--I; sarvasya--of all; prabhavah--the source of generation; mattah--from Me; sarvam--everything; pravartate--emanates; iti--thus; matva--knowing; bhajante--become devoted; mam--unto Me; budhah--the learned; bhava-samanvitah--with great attention.

TRANSLATION

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

PURPORT

A learned scholar who has studied the Vedas perfectly and has information from authorities like Lord Caitanya and who knows how to apply these teachings can understand that Krsna is the origin of everything in both the material and spiritual worlds, and because he knows this perfectly he becomes firmly fixed in the devotional service of the Supreme Lord. He can never be deviated by any amount of nonsensical commentaries or by fools. All Vedic literature agrees that Krsna is the source of Brahma, Siva and all other demigods. In the Atharva Veda (Gopala-tapani Upanisad 1.24) it is said, yo brahmanam vidadhati purvam yo vai vedams ca gapayati sma krsnah: "It was Krsna who in the beginning instructed Brahma in Vedic knowledge and who disseminated Vedic knowledge in the past." Then again the Narayana Upanisad (1) says, atha puruso ha vai narayano 'kamayata prajah srjyyeti: "Then the Supreme Personality Narayana desired to create living entities." The Upanisad continues, narayanad brahma jayate, narayanad prajapatih prajayate, narayanad indro jayate, narayanad astau vasavo jayante, narayanad ekadasa rudrajayante, narayanad dvadasadityah: "From Narayana, Brahma is born, and from Narayana the patriarchs are also born. From Narayana, Indra is born, from Narayana the eight Vasus are born, from Narayana the eleven Rudras are born, from Narayana the twelve Adityas are born." This Narayana is an expansion of Krsna.

It is said in the same Vedas, brahmanyo devaki-putrah: "The son of Devaki, Krsna, is the Supreme Personality." (Narayana Upanisad 4) Then it is said, eko vai narayana asin na brahma na isano napo nagni-samau neme dyav-aprthivi na naksatrani na suryah: "In the beginning of the creation there was only the Supreme Personality Narayana. There was no Brahma, no Siva, no fire, no moon, no stars in the sky, no sun." (Maha Upanisad 1) In the Maha Upanisad it is also said that Lord Siva was born from the forehead of the Supreme Lord. Thus the Vedas say that it is the Supreme Lord, the creator of Brahma and Siva, who is to be worshiped.

In the Moksa-dharma Krsna also says,

prajapatim ca rudram capy
aham eva srjami vai
tau hi mam na vijanito
mama maya-vimohitau

"The patriarchs, Siva and others are created by Me, though they do not know that they are created by Me because they are deluded by My illusory energy." In the Varaha Purana it is also said,

narayanah paro devas
tasmaijatas caturmukhah
tasmad rudro 'bhavad devah
sa ca sarva-jnatam gatah

"Narayana is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and from Him Brahma was born, from whom Siva was born."

Lord Krsna is the source of all generations, and He is called the most efficient cause of everything. He says, "Because everything is born of Me, I am the original source of all. Everything is under Me; no one is above Me." There is no supreme controller other than Krsna. One who understands Krsna in such a way from a bona fide spiritual master, with references from Vedic literature, engages all his energy in Krsna consciousness and becomes a truly learned man. In comparison to him, all others, who do not know Krsna properly, are but fools. Only a fool would consider Krsna to be an ordinary man. A Krsna conscious person should not be bewildered by fools; he should avoid all un- authorized commentaries and interpretations on Bhagavad-gita and proceed in Krsna consciousness with determination and firmness.

TEXT 9

mac-citta mad-gata-prana
bodhayantah parasparam
kathayantas ca mam nityam
tusyanti ca ramanti ca

mat-cittah--their minds fully engaged in Me; mat-gata- pranah---their lives devoted to Me; bodhayantah--preaching; parasparam---among themselves; kathayantah--talking; ca--also; mam--about Me; nityam--perpetually; tusyanti--become pleased; ca--also; ramanti--enjoy transcendental bliss; ca--also.

TRANSLATION

The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfac- tion and bliss from always enlightening one another and convers- ing about Me.

PURPORT

Pure devotees, whose characteristics are mentioned here, engage themselves fully in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Their minds cannot be diverted from the lotus feet of Krsna. Their talks are solely on the transcendental subjects. The symptoms of the pure devotees are described in this verse specifically. Devotees of the Supreme Lord are twenty-four hours daily engaged in glorifying the qualities and pastimes of the Supreme Lord. Their hearts and souls are constantly submerged in Krsna, and they take pleasure in discussing Him with other devotees.

In the preliminary stage of devotional service they relish the transcendental pleasure from the service itself, and in the mature stage they are actually situated in love of God. Once situated in that transcendental position, they can relish the highest perfection which is exhibited by the Lord in His abode. Lord Caitanya likens transcendental devotional service to the sowing of a seed in the heart of the living entity. There are innumerable living entities traveling throughout the different planets of the universe, and out of them there are a few who are fortunate enough to meet a pure devotee and get the chance to understand devotional service. This devotional service is just like a seed, and if it is sown in the heart of a living entity, and if he goes on hearing and chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, that seed fructifies, just as the seed of a tree fructifies with regular watering. The spiritual plant of devotional service gradually grows and grows until it penetrates the covering of the material universe and enters into the brahmajyoti effulgence in the spiritual sky. In the spiritual sky also that plant grows more and more until it reaches the highest planet, which is called Goloka Vrndavana, the supreme planet of Krsna. Ultimately, the plant takes shelter under the lotus feet of Krsna and rests there. Gradually, as a plant grows fruits and flowers, that plant of devotional service also produces fruits, and the watering process in the form of chanting and hearing goes on. This plant of devotional service is fully described in the Caitanya-- caritamrta (Madhya-lila, Chapter Nineteen). It is explained there that when the complete plant takes shelter under the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, one becomes fully absorbed in love of God; then he cannot live even for a moment without being in contact with the Supreme Lord, just as a fish cannot live without water. In such a state, the devotee actually attains the transcendental qualities in contact with the Supreme Lord.

The Srimad-Bhagavatam is also full of such narrations about the relationship between the Supreme Lord and His devotees; therefore the Srimad-Bhagavatam is very dear to the devotees, as stated in the Bhagavatam itself (12.13.18). Srimad- bhagavatam puranam amalam yad vaisnavanam priyam. In this narration there is nothing about material activities, economic development, sense gratification or liberation. Srimad- Bhagavatam is the only narration in which the transcendental nature of the Supreme Lord and His devotees is fully described. Thus the realized souls in Krsna consciousness take continual pleasure in hearing such transcendental literatures, just as a young boy and girl take pleasure in association.

TEXT 10

tesam satata-yuktanam
bhajatam priti-purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te

tesam--unto them; satata-yuktanam--always engaged; bhajatam--in rendering devotional service; priti-purvakam-- in loving ecstasy; dadami--I give; buddhi-yogam--real intelligence; tam--that; yena--by which; mam--unto Me; upayanti--come; te--they.

TRANSLATION

To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.

PURPORT

In this verse the word buddhi-yogam is very significant. We may remember that in the Second Chapter the Lord, instructing Arjuna, said that He had spoken to him of many things and that He would instruct him in the way of buddhi-yoga. Now buddhi- yoga is explained. Buddhi-yoga itself is action in Krsna consciousness; that is the highest intelligence. Buddhi means intelligence, and yoga means mystic activities or mystic elevation. When one tries to go back home, back to Godhead, and takes fully to Krsna consciousness in devotional service, his action is called buddhi yoga. In other words, buddhi-yoga is the process by which one gets out of the entanglement of this material world. The ultimate goal of progress is Krsna. People do not know this; therefore the association of devotees and a bona fide spiritual master are important. One should know that the goal is Krsna, and when the goal is assigned, then the path is slowly but progressively traversed, and the ultimate goal is achieved.

When a person knows the goal of life but is addicted to the fruits of activities, he is acting in karma-yoga. When he knows that the goal is Krsna but he takes pleasure in mental specula-tions to understand Krsna, he is acting in jnana-yoga. And when he knows the goal and seeks Krsna completely in Krsna consciousness and devotional service, he is acting in bhakti- yoga, or buddhi-yoga, which is the complete yoga. This complete yoga is the highest perfectional stage of life.

A person may have a bona fide spiritual master and may be attached to a spiritual organization, but still, if he is not intelligent enough to make progress, then Krsna from within gives him instructions so that he may ultimately come to Him without difficulty. The qualification is that a person always engage himself in Krsna consciousness and with love and devotion render all kinds of services. He should perform some sort of work for Krsna, and that work should be with love. If a devotee is not intelligent enough to make progress on the path of self-realiza- tion but is sincere and devoted to the activities of devotional service, the Lord gives him a chance to make progress and ultimately attain to Him.

TEXT 11

tesam evanukampartham
aham ajnana-jam tamah
nasayamy atma-bhava-stho
jnana-dipena bhasvata

tesam--for them; eva--certainly; anukampa-artham--to show special mercy; aham--I; ajnana jam--due to ignorance; tamah--darkness; nasayami--dispel; atma-bhava--within their hearts; sthah--situated; jnana--of knowledge; dipena--with the lamp; bhasvata---glowing.

TRANSLATION

To show them special mercy, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.

PURPORT

When Lord Caitanya was in Benares promulgating the chanting of Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, thousands of people were following Him. Prakasananda Sarasvati, a very influential and learned scholar in Benares at that time, derided Lord Caitanya for being a sentimentalist. Sometimes philosophers criticize the devotees because they think that most of the devotees are in the darkness of ignorance and are philosophically naive sentimen- talists. Actually that is not the fact. There are very, very learned scholars who have put forward the philosophy of devotion. But even if a devotee does not take advantage of their litera- tures or of his spiritual master, if he is sincere in his devotional service he is helped by Krsna Himself within his heart. So the sincere devotee engaged in Krsna consciousness cannot be without knowledge. The only qualification is that one carry out devotional service in full Krsna consciousness.

The modern philosophers think that without discriminating one cannot have pure knowledge. For them this answer is given by the Supreme Lord: those who are engaged in pure devotional service, even though they be without sufficient education and even without sufficient knowledge of the Vedic principles, are still helped by the Supreme God, as stated in this verse.

The Lord tells Arjuna that basically there is no possibility of understanding the Supreme Truth, the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, simply by speculating, for the Supreme Truth is so great that it is not possible to understand Him or to achieve Him simply by making a mental effort. Man can go on speculating for several millions of years, and if he is not devoted, if he is not a lover of the Supreme Truth, he will never understand Krsna, or the Supreme Truth. Only by devotional service is the Supreme Truth, Krsna, pleased, and by His incon- ceivable energy He can reveal Himself to the heart of the pure devotee. The pure devotee always has Krsna within his heart; and with the presence of Krsna, who is just like the sun, the darkness of ignorance is at once dissipated. This is the special mercy rendered to the pure devotee by Krsna.

Due to the contamination of material association, through many, many millions of births, one's heart is always covered with the dust of materialism, but when one engages in devotional service and constantly chants Hare Krsna, the dust quickly clears, and one is elevated to the platform of pure knowledge. The ultimate goal, Visnu, can be attained only by this chant and by devotional service, and not by mental speculation or argument. The pure devotee does not have to worry about the material necessities of life; he need not be anxious, because when he removes the darkness from his heart, everything is provided automatically by the Supreme Lord, who is pleased by the loving devotional service of the devotee. This is the essence of the teachings of Bhagavad-gita. By studying Bhagavad-gita, one can become a soul completely surrendered to the Supreme Lord and engage himself in pure devotional service. As the Lord takes charge, one becomes completely free from all kinds of materialis- tic endeavors.

The Gita-rahasya and Caran-sloki from Chapter Eighteen

TEXT 65

man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te
pratijane priyo 'si me

mat-manah--thinking of Me; bhava--just become; mat- bhaktah--My devotee; mat-yaji--My worshiper; mam--unto Me; namaskuru--offer your obeisances; mam--unto Me; eva-- certainly; esyasi--you will come; satyam--truly; te--to you; pratijane--I promise; priyah---dear; asi--you are; me--to Me.

TRANSLATION

Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.

PURPORT

The most confidential part of knowledge is that one should become a pure devotee of Krsna and always think of Him and act for Him. One should not become an official meditator. Life should be so molded that one will always have the chance to think of Krsna. One should always act in such a way that all his daily activities are in connection with Krsna. He should arrange his life in such a way that throughout the twenty-four hours he cannot but think of Krsna. And the Lord's promise is that anyone who is in such pure Krsna consciousness will certainly return to the abode of Krsna, where he will be engaged in the association of Krsna face to face. This most confidential part of knowledge is spoken to Arjuna because he is the dear friend of Krsna. Everyone who follows the path of Arjuna can become a dear friend to Krsna and obtain the same perfection as Arjuna.

These words stress that one should concentrate his mind upon Krsna--the very form with two hands carrying a flute, the bluish boy with a beautiful face and peacock feathers in His hair. There are descriptions of Krsna found in the Brahma-samhita and other literatures. One should fix his mind on this original form of Godhead, Krsna. One should not even divert his attention to other forms of the Lord. The Lord has multiforms as Visnu, Narayana, Rama, Varaha, etc., but a devotee should concentrate his mind on the form that was present before Arjuna. Concentration of the mind on the form of Krsna constitutes the most confidential part of knowledge, and this is disclosed to Arjuna because Arjuna is the most dear friend of Krsna's.

TEXT 66

sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah

sarva-dharman--all varieties of religion; parityajya-- abandoning; mam--unto Me; ekam--only; saranam--for surrender; vraja--go; aham--I; tvam--you; sarva--all; papebhyah--from sinful reactions; moksayisyami--will deliver; ma--do not; sucah--worry.

TRANSLATION

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

PURPORT

The Lord has described various kinds of knowledge and processes of religion--knowledge of the Supreme Brahman, know- ledge of the Supersoul, knowledge of the different types of orders and statuses of social life, knowledge of the renounced order of life, knowledge of nonattachment, sense and mind control, meditation, etc. He has described in so many ways different types of religion. Now, in summarizing Bhagavad- gita, the Lord says that Arjuna should give up all the processes that have been explained to him; he should simply surrender to Krsna. That surrender will save him from all kinds of sinful reactions, for the Lord personally promises to protect him.

In the Seventh Chapter it was said that only one who has become free from all sinful reactions can take to the worship of Lord Krsna. Thus one may think that unless he is free from all sinful reactions he cannot take to the surrendering process. To such doubts it is here said that even if one is not free from all sinful reactions, simply by the process of surrendering to Sri Krsna he is automatically freed. There is no need of strenuous effort to free oneself from sinful reactions. One should un- hesitatingly accept Krsna as the supreme savior of all living entities. With faith and love, one should surrender unto Him.

The process of surrender to Krsna is described in the Hari-bhakti vilasa (11.676):

anukulyasya sankalpah
pratikulyasya varjanam
raksisyatiti visvaso
goptrtve varanam tatha
atma-niksepa-karpanye
sad-vidha saranagatih

According to the devotional process, one should simply accept such religious principles that will lead ultimately to the devotional service of the Lord. One may perform a particular occupational duty according to his position in the social order, but if by executing his duty one does not come to the point of Krsna consciousness, all his activities are in vain. Anything that does not lead to the perfectional stage of Krsna conscious- ness should be avoided. One should be confident that in all circumstances Krsna will protect him from all difficulties. There is no need of thinking how one should keep the body and soul together. Krsna will see to that. One should always think himself helpless and should consider Krsna the only basis for his progress in life. As soon as one seriously engages himself in devotional service to the Lord in full Krsna consciousness, at once he becomes freed from all contamination of material nature. There are different processes of religion and purificatory processes by cultivation of knowledge, meditation in the mystic yoga system, etc., but one who surrenders unto Krsna does not have to execute so many methods. That simple surrender unto Krsna will save him from unnecessarily wasting time. One can thus make all progress at once and be freed from all sinful reactions.

One should be attracted by the beautiful vision of Krsna. His name is Krsna because He is all-attractive. One who becomes attracted by the beautiful, all-powerful, omnipotent vision of Krsna is fortunate. There are different kinds of transcenden- talists--some of them are attached to the impersonal Brahman vision, some of them are attracted by the Supersoul feature, etc., but one who is attracted to the personal feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and, above all, one who is attracted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Krsna Himself, is the most perfect transcendentalist. In other words, devotional service to Krsna, in full consciousness, is the most confidential part of knowledge, and this is the essence of the whole Bhagavad- -gita. Karma-yogis, empiric philosophers, mystics and devotees are all called transcendentalists, but one who is a pure devotee is the best of all. The particular words used here, ma sucah, "Don't fear, don't hesitate, don't worry," are very significant. One may be perplexed as to how one can give up all kinds of religious forms and simply surrender unto Krsna, but such worry is useless.

The Essence of Spiritual Endeavor from Chapter Eleven

TEXT 55

mat-karma-krn mat-paramo
mad-bhaktah sanga-varjitah
nirvairah sarva-bhutesu
yah sa mam eti pandava

mat-karma-krt--engaged in doing My work; mat-paramah-- considering Me the Supreme; mat-bhaktah--engaged in My devotional service; sanga-varjitah--freed from the contamination of fruitive activities and mental speculation; nirvairah--without an enemy; sarva-bhutesu--among all living entities; yah--one who; sah--he; mam--unto Me; eti--comes; pandava--O son of Pandu.

TRANSLATION

My dear Arjuna, he who engages in My pure devotional service, free from the contaminations of fruitive activities and mental speculation, he who works for Me, who makes Me the supreme goal of his life, and who is friendly to every living being--he certainly comes to Me.

PURPORT

Anyone who wants to approach the supreme of all the Personalities of Godhead, on the Krsnaloka planet in the spiritual sky, and be intimately connected with the Supreme Personality, Krsna, must take this formula, as stated by the Supreme Himself. Therefore, this verse is considered to be the essence of Bhagavad-gita. The Bhagavad-gita is a book directed to the conditioned souls, who are engaged in the material world with the purpose of lording it over nature and who do not know of the real, spiritual life. The Bhagavad-gita is meant to show how one can understand his spiritual existence and his eternal relationship with the supreme spiritual personality and to teach one how to go back home, back to Godhead. Now here is the verse which clearly explains the process by which one can attain success in his spiritual activity: devotional service.

As far as work is concerned, one should transfer his energy entirely to Krsna conscious activities. As stated in the Bhakti rasamrta-sindhu (2.255),

anasaktasya visayan
yatharham upayunjatah
nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe
yuktam vairagyam ucyate

No work should be done by any man except in relationship to Krsna. This is called krsna-karma. One may be engaged in various activities, but one should not be attached to the result of his work; the result should be done only for Him. For example, one may be engaged in business, but to transform that activity into Krsna consciousness, one has to do business for Krsna. If Krsna is the proprietor of the business, then Krsna should enjoy the profit of the business. If a businessman is in possession of thousands and thousands of dollars, and if he has to offer all this to Krsna, he can do it. This is work for Krsna. Instead of constructing a big building for his sense gratification, he can construct a nice temple for Krsna, and he can install the Deity of Krsna and arrange for the Deity's service, as is outlined in the authorized books of devotional service. This is all krsna-- karma. One should not be attached to the result of his work, but the result should be offered to Krsna, and one should accept as prasadam the remnants of offerings to Krsna. If one constructs a very big building for Krsna and installs the Deity of Krsna, one is not prohibited from living there, but it is understood that the proprietor of the building is Krsna. That is called Krsna consciousness. If, however, one is not able to construct a temple for Krsna, one can engage himself in cleansing the temple of Krsna; that is also krsna-karma. One can cultivate a garden. Anyone who has land--in India, at least, any poor man has a certain amount of land--can utilize that for Krsna by growing flowers to offer Him. One can sow tulasi plants, because tulasi leaves are very important and Krsna has recommended this in Bhagavad-gita. Patram puspam phalam toyam. Krsna desires that one offer Him either a leaf, or a flower, or fruit, or a little water--and by such an offering He is satisfied. This leaf especially refers to the tulasi. So one can sow tulasi and pour water on the plant. Thus, even the poorest man can engage in the service of Krsna. These are some of the examples of how one can engage in working for Krsna.

The word mat-paramah refers to one who considers the association of Krsna in His supreme abode to be the highest perfection of life. Such a person does not wish to be elevated to the higher planets such as the moon or sun or heavenly planets, or even the highest planet of this universe, Brahmaloka. He has no attraction for that. He is only attracted to being transferred to the spiritual sky. And even in the spiritual sky he is not satisfied with merging into the glowing brahmajyoti effulgence, for he wants to enter the highest spiritual planet, namely Krsnaloka, Goloka Vrndavana. He has full knowledge of that planet, and therefore he is not interested in any other. As indicated by the word mad-bhaktah, he fully engages in devotional service, specifically in the nine processes of devotional engagement: hearing, chanting, remembering, worshiping, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering prayers, carrying out the orders of the Lord, making friends with Him, and surrendering everything to Him. One can engage in all nine devotional proces-ses, or eight, or seven, or at least in one, and that will surely make one perfect.

The term sanga-varjitah is very significant. One should disassociate himself from persons who are against Krsna. Not only are the atheistic persons against Krsna, but so also are those who are attracted to fruitive activities and mental speculation. Therefore the pure form of devotional service is described in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.1.11) as follows:

anyabhilasita-sunyam
jnana-karmady-anavrtam
anukulyena krsnanu-
silanam bhaktir uttama

In this verse Srila Rupa Gosvami clearly states that if anyone wants to execute unalloyed devotional service, he must be freed from all kinds of material contamination. He must be freed from the association of persons who are addicted to fruitive activities and mental speculation. When, freed from such unwanted association and from the contamination of material desires, one favorably cultivates knowledge of Krsna, that is called pure devotional service. Anukulyasya sankalpah pratikulyasya varjanam (Hari-bhakti-vilasa 11.676). One should think of Krsna and act for Krsna favorably, not unfavorably. Kamsa was an enemy of Krsna's. From the very beginning of Krsna's birth, Kamsa planned in so many ways to kill Him, and because he was always unsuccessful, he was always thinking of Krsna. Thus while working, while eating and while sleeping, he was always Krsna conscious in every respect, but that Krsna consciousness was not favorable, and therefore in spite of his always thinking of Krsna twenty-four hours a day, he was considered a demon, and Krsna at last killed him. Of course anyone who is killed by Krsna attains salvation immediately, but that is not the aim of the pure devotee. The pure devotee does not even want salvation. He does not want to be transferred even to the highest planet, Goloka Vrndavana. His only objective is to serve Krsna wherever he may be.

A devotee of Krsna is friendly to everyone. Therefore it is said here that he has no enemy (nirvairah). How is this? A devotee situated in Krsna consciousness knows that only devotional service to Krsna can relieve a person from all the problems of life. He has personal experience of this, and therefore he wants to introduce this system, Krsna consciousness, into human society. There are many examples in history of devotees of the Lord who risked their lives for the spreading of God conscious-ness. The favorite example is Lord Jesus Christ. He was crucified by the nondevotees, but he sacrificed his life for spreading God consciousness. Of course, it would be superficial to understand that he was killed. Similarly, in India also there are many examples, such as Thakura Haridasa and Prahlada Maharaja. Why such risk? Because they wanted to spread Krsna consciousness, and it is difficult. A Krsna conscious person knows that if a man is suffering it is due to his forgetfulness of his eternal relation-ship with Krsna. Therefore, the highest benefit one can render to human society is relieving one's neighbor from all material problems. In such a way, a pure devotee is engaged in the service of the Lord. Now, we can imagine how merciful Krsna is to those engaged in His service, risking everything for Him. Therefore it is certain that such persons must reach the supreme planet after leaving the body.

In summary, the universal form of Krsna, which is a temporary manifestation, and the form of time which devours everything, and even the form of Visnu, four-handed, have all been exhibited by Krsna. Thus Krsna is the origin of all these manifestations. It is not that Krsna is a manifestation of the original visva-rupa, or Visnu. Krsna is the origin of all forms. There are hundreds and thousands of Visnus, but for a devotee no form of Krsna is important but the original form, two- handed Syamasundara. In the Brahma-samhita it is stated that those who are attached to the Syamasundara form of Krsna in love and devotion can see Him always within the heart and cannot see anything else. One should understand, therefore, that the purport of this Eleventh Chapter is that the form of Krsna is essential and supreme.

 

The First Essence: Tri-sloki Gita
(Bg 15.16-18)
The Essence of Vedanta in Three Verses

Focus on the Purport of Bhagavad-gita 15.16

As already explained, the Lord in His incarnation as Vyasadeva compiled the Vedanta-sutra. Here the Lord is giving, in summary, the contents of the Vedanta-sutra.

Notes:

1. From Teachings of Lord Caitanya Chapter 19: Any book that deals with conclusive Vedic knowledge is called Vedanta.

2. Quotation from Light of the Bhagavata:

The supreme spiritual master, Lord Sri Krsna, teaches us the import of the Vedas in the following verse of Bhagavad-gita (15.16):

dvav imau purusau loke
ksaras caksara eva ca
ksarah sarvani bhutani
kutastho 'ksara ucyate

The Lord says that in the Vedas it is mentioned that there are two kinds of living beings, called the fallible and the infallible. Those living beings who are materially encaged are all fallible, whereas those who are not conditioned and who are eternally situated in the spiritual realm are called aksara, or infallible. The Lord then says,

uttamah purusas tv anyah
pa ramatmety udahrtah
yo loka-trayam avisya
bibharty avyaya isvarah
yasmat ksaram atito 'ham
aksarad api cottamah
ato 'smi loke vede ca
prathitah purusottamah

"Besides these innumerable fallible and infallible living beings there is another, superior personality, known as the Paramatma. He pervades all the three worlds and exists as the supreme controller.

"And because I [Lord Sri Krsna] am transcendental to all of them, even those who are infallible, I am known in all the Vedas and histories [the Puranas, Mahabharata, Ramayana, etc.] as the Absolute Supreme Personality of Godhead." (Bg 15.17-18)

3. From Teachings of Lord Caitanya Chapter 19: Vedanta-sutra teaches sambandha (the relationship of the living entities and the Supreme Lord) in the first two chapters, abidheya (service to the Lord) in the third chapter, and prayojana (the relationship that develops out of service) in the fourth chapter.

The living entities are eternally separated parts and parcels of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When they are in contact with the material world they are called jiva-bhuta, and the Sanskrit words given here, ksarah sarvani bhutani, mean that they are fallible.

Notes:

1. Fallible means "subject to failure" or "defective." Vedanta, or Vedic knowledge, is not defective because it does not originate from conditioned souls who are subject to four defects. Its origin is the infallible Lord and His infallible servants in the disciplic succession.

Quotation from Srimad Bhagavatam 4.26.7 Purport:

The Vedic instructions are different because they do not have these four defects. Vedic instructions are not subject to mistakes. The knowledge of the Vedas is knowledge received directly from God, and there is consequently no question of illusion, cheating, mistakes or imperfect senses. All Vedic knowledge is perfect because it is received directly from God by the parampara, disciplic succession.

2. The fallible living entity is ignorant of Krsna due to his bewilderment by the three modes of material nature.

Bg 7.13:

Deluded by the three modes [goodness, passion and ignorance], the whole world does not know Me, who am above the modes and inexhaustible.

3. "Fallible soul" means "conditioned soul." The modes of nature condition fallible souls to duality and repeated birth and death.

Bg 7.27:

O scion of Bharata, O conqueror of the foe, all living entities are born into delusion, bewildered by dualities arisen from desire and hate.

Bg 13.22:

The living entity in material nature thus follows the ways of life, enjoying the three modes of nature. This is due to his association with that material nature. Thus he meets with good and evil among various species.

4. Fallible forms of karma, jnana and bhakti are generated by the three modes of material nature.

Bg 3.27 (fallible karma):

The spirit soul bewildered by the influence of false ego thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by the three modes of material nature.

Bg 7.24 (fallible jnana):

Unintelligent men, who do not know Me perfectly, think that I, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, was impersonal before and have now assumed this personality. Due to their small knowledge, they do not know My higher nature, which is imperishable and supreme.

Bg 7.20 (fallible bhakti):

Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender until demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures.

5. Varnasrama-dharma is created by Krsna for fallible human beings. But He is ever-infallible.

Bg 4.13:

According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me. And although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the nondoer, being unchangeable.

6. Within the four divisions of human society are pious and impious souls. Both are fallible. But pious souls may become infallible. Impious souls fall ever lower into illusion.

Bg 7.15-16 (impious and pious fallible beings):

Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, who are lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons do not surrender unto Me. O best among the Bharatas, four kinds of pious men begin to render devotional service unto Me--the distressed, the desirer of wealth, the inquisitive, and he who is searching for knowledge of the Absolute.

Quotation from Srila Prabhupada (the impious never surrender):

I believe on that formula. Na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah. I believe that verse very strongly, that anyone who has not surrendered to Krsna or is not Krsna conscious, he must be within this list: duskrtina, mudha, naradhama, mayayapahrta- jnana, asuram bhavam asritah. That's all.

Bg 7.14 (the pious can become infallible):

This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.

Bg 7.28:

Persons who have acted piously in previous lives and in this life and whose sinful actions are completely eradicated are freed from the dualities of delusion, and they engage themselves in My service with determination.

Bg 16.19-20 (the impious fall lower and lower):

Those who are envious and mischievious, who are the lowest among men, I perpetually cast into the ocean of material existence, into various demoniac species of life. Attaining repeated birth amongst the species of demoniac life, O son of Kunti, such persons can never approach Me. Gradually they sink down to the most abominable type of existence.

Oneness does not mean that they have no individuality, but that there is no disunity. They are all agreeable to the purpose of the creation.

Notes:

1. The purpose of creation is yajna.

Bg 3.10:

In the beginning of creation, the Lord of all creatures sent forth generations of men and demigods, along with sacrifices for Visnu, and blessed them by saying, "Be thou happy by this yajna [sacrifice] because its performance will bestow upon you everything desirable for living happily and achieving liberation."

2. Vedic sacrifice that does not rise above the influence of the three modes is fallible.

Bg 2.45:

The Vedas deal mainly with the subject of the three modes of material nature. O Arjuna, become transcendental to these three modes. Be free from all dualities and from all anxieties for gain and safety, and be established in the self.

3. Vedic sacrifice aimed at the Supreme, the threefold goal of Vedanta, is infallible.

Quotations from Bg 17.23, 26-27 Purports:

It has been explained that penance, sacrifice, charity and foods are divided into three categories: the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance. But whether first class, second class or third class, they are all conditioned, contaminated by the material modes of nature. When they are aimed at the Supreme--om tat sat, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the eternal--they become means for spiritual elevation.

... These three words are taken from Vedic hymns. Om ity etad brahmano nedistham nama (Rg Veda) indicates the first goal. Then tat tvam asi (Chandogya Upanisad 6.8.7) indicates the second goal. And sad eva saumya (Chandogya Upanisad 6.2.1.) indicates the third goal. Combined they become om tat sat. Formerly when Brahma, the first created living entity, performed sacrifices, he indicated by these three words the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

In all such activities it is recommended that one vibrate om tat sat. The words sad-bhave and sadhu-bhave indicate the transcendental situation. Acting in Krsna consciousness is called sattva, and one who is fully conscious of the activities of Krsna consciousness is called a sadhu.

Of course, in the spiritual world there is no such thing as creation, but since the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as stated in the Vedanta-sutra, is the source of all emanations, that conception is explained.

Notes: (Quotations from Srila Prabhupada)

1. "So on account of Krsna's bodily rays, the whole creation is coming out. That is Krsna's inconceivable power, brahmajyoti. Janmadyasya yatah. Atatho brahma-jijnasa. In the Vedanta sutra, you have to inquire about that param jyoti, brahmajyoti. And from that param jyoti, everything is coming out."

2. "Every planetary system there are many millions and trillions of living entities. They can see only when there is sunrise. This gayatri mantra is, therefore, offering prayer to the savita. Om bhur bhuvah svah tat savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi. Sunshine. So sunshine is.. But there are many suns, not only one sun. As there are many universes, yasya prabha prabhavato jagad-anda-koti. Koti means innumerable. Numberless universes. And in each and every universe there is sunshine. So this sunshine is reflection of the brahmajyoti. Yasya prabha prabhavato. When the bodily rays, shining rays, of Krsna is there, then all these universes are generated. The universes are also generated."

3. "Vedanta says also, janmadyasya yatah. Brahma, Paramatma, they are expansion of Krsna. Krsna is the original. Mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya. This is the truth. Therefore Krsna says that either you follow the Brahman path or Paramatma path, either as a jnani or yogi or as a bhakta... Therefore Krsna says, mama vartmanuvartante manusyah partha... Anyone actually who is seeking after self-realization, there are three divisions. Either you have to realize as impersonal Brahman or as localized Paramatma or as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But if you realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then automatically you realize impersonal Brahman and Paramatma also."

4. "So Krsna is not nirvisesa; He is savisesa. But this material world is actually nirvisesa, but it appears something like varieties. The same thing, the example, I have already given: a lump of matter--either you take earth or water or gold or silver--and you can make varieties of things, cause and effect. But that is nirvisesa. But the spiritual world, janmadyasya yatah, as it is said in the Vedanta-sutra, the origin of everything, the cause of all causes, that is full of spiritual varieties. That is not nirvisesa."

As long as a living entity is conditioned, his body changes due to contact with matter; matter is changing, so the living entity appears to be changing. But in the spiritual world the body is not made of matter; therefore there is no change. In the material world the living entity undergoes six changes--birth, growth, duration, reproduction, then dwindling and vanishing. These are the changes of the material body. But in the spiritual world the body does not change; there is no old age, there is no birth, there is no death. There all exists in oneness.

Notes:

1. We are all originally part and parcel of Krsna, but the living beings whose senses are uncontrolled cannot realize this.

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.

Bg 2.69:

What is night for all beings is the time of awakening for the self-controlled; and the time of awakening for all beings is night for the introspective sage.

2. Realization of Krsna's transcendental form restores us to our original transcendental nature.

Bg 11.51:

When Arjuna thus saw Krsna in His original form, he said: O Janardana, seeing this humanlike form, so very beautiful, I am now composed in mind, and I am restored to my original nature.

3. The infallible abode is Krsnaloka.

Bg 8.21:

That which the Vedantists describe as unmanifest and infallible, that which is known as the supreme destination, that place from which, having attained it, one never returns--that is My supreme abode.

Focus on the Purport of Bg 15.17

The Upanisadic verse runs as follows: nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam. The purport is that amongst all the living entities, both conditioned and liberated, there is one supreme living personality, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who maintains them and gives them all the facility of enjoyment according to different work.

Notes:

1. The conditioned souls depend upon the all-pervading Lord for material necessities. They approach Him through the Vedic sacrificial mantras. The liberated souls depend upon Him for transcendental knowledge. They approach Him through purified consciousness.

Bg 3.15:

Regulated activities are prescribed in the Vedas, and the Vedas are directly manifested from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Consequently the all-pervading Transcendence is eternally situated in acts of sacrifice.

SB 11.12.17:

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Uddhava, the Supreme Lord gives life to every living being and is situated within the heart along with the life air and primal sound vibration. The Lord can be perceived in His subtle form within the heart by one's mind, since the Lord controls the minds of everyone, even great demigods like Lord Siva. The Supreme Lord also assumes a gross form as the various sounds of the Vedas, composed of short and long vowels and consonants of different intonations.

Bg 13.25-26

Some perceive the Supersoul within themselves through meditation, others through the cultivation of knowledge, and still others through working without fruitive desires. Again there are those who, although not conversant in spiritual knowledge, begin to worship the Supreme Person upon hearing about Him from others (srutvanyebha upasate). Because of their tendency to hear from authorities, they also transcend the path of birth and death.

2. That all-pervading Lord who is worshiped through sacrifice is none other than Sri Krsna Himself.

Bg 9.15-16

Others, who engage in sacrifice by the cultivation of knowledge, worship the Supreme Lord as the one without a second, as diverse in many, and in the universal form. But it is I who am the ritual, I the sacrifice, the offering to the ancestors, the healing herb, the transcendental chant. I am the butter and the fire and the offering.

That Supreme Personality of Godhead is situated in everyone's heart as Paramatma. A wise man who can understand Him is eligible to attain perfect peace, not others.

Notes:

1. The Paramatma is the Lord of sacrifice, Lord Yajna. He is the goal of Vedas. Both matter and spirit are His energies. Those who know this can attain perfect peace.

Bg 15.15:

I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas, I am to be known, Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.

Bg 8.2-4:

Who is the Lord of sacrifice, and how does He live in the body, O Madhusudana?

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: The indestructible, transcendental living entity is called Brahman (aksaram brahma paramam), and his eternal nature is called adhyatma, the self. Action pertaining to the development of the material bodies of the living entities is called karma, or fruitive activities. O best of the embodied beings, the physical nature, which is constantly changing, is called adhibhuta [the material manifestation]. The universal form of the Lord, which includes all the demigods, like those of the sun and the moon, is called adhidaiva. And I, the Supreme Lord, represented as the Supersoul in the heart of every embodied being, am called adhiyajna [the Lord of sacrifice].

Bg 5.29:

A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.

Focus on the Purport of Bg 15.18

Now it is clear here that the living entities and the Supreme Personality of Godhead are individuals.

Notes:

1. The theme of the eternal individuality of the Lord and the living entities is stressed throughout the whole of the Bhagavad-gita.

Bg 2.12:

Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.

Bg 4.5:

The Personality of Godhead said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy!

Bg 13.23, 28:

Yet in this body there is another, a transcendental enjoyer, who is the Lord, the supreme proprietor, who exists as the overseer and permitter, and who is known as the Supersoul.

One who sees the Supersoul accompanying the individual soul in all bodies, and who understands that neither the soul nor the Supersoul within the destructible body is ever destroyed, actually sees.

The difference is that the living entities, either in the conditioned state or in the liberated state, cannot surpass in quantity the inconceivable potencies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Bg 10.12-15:

Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the ultimate abode, the purest, the Absolute Truth. You are the eternal, transcendental, original person, the unborn, the greatest. All the great sages such as Narada, Asita, Devala and Vyasa confirm this truth about You, and now You Yourself are declaring it to me. O Krsna, I totally accept all that You have told me. Neither the demigods nor the demons, O Lord, can understand Your personality. Indeed, You alone know Yourself by your own internal potency, O Supreme Person, origin of all, Lord of all beings, God of gods, Lord of the universe!

Bg 11.36:

Arjuna said: O master of the senses, the world becomes joyful upon hearing Your name, and thus everyone becomes attached to You. Although the perfected beings offer You their respectful homage, the demons are afraid, and they flee here and there. All this is rightly done.

The word loke signifies "in the paurusa agama (the smrti scriptures)." As confirmed in the Nirukti dictionary, lokyate vedartho 'nena: "The purpose of the Vedas is explained by the smrti scriptures."

Notes:

1. The paurusa agama are scriptures such as the Vaisnava Puranas that directly describe the Purusa, the Supreme Person, as the Lord of Sacrifice. Srila Vyasadeva extracted the paurusa agama from the original Yajur Veda so that these scriptures could be specially chanted during sacrificial offerings. They are known as smrti ("that which is to be remembered") because they help the priests engaged in sacrifice remember the Lord to whom they make the offerings.

Vayu Purana 6.16-18 and 21-22:

Originally there was only one Veda: the Yajur Veda. Vyasa divided that single Veda into four, and he also divided the sacrificial duties, so the Vedic sacrifices were conducted by not one, but four, priests. Vyasa assigned the texts of the Yajur Veda to be recited by the priest known as adhvaryu. In the same way the hota priest recited the Rg Veda, the udgata priest recited the Sama Veda, and the brahma priest recited the Atharva Veda. O best of the brahmanas, at that time Vyasadeva, who perfectly understood the accounts of the Puranas, took the stories, conversations, and poems of that original Yajur Veda and compiled the Puranas and histories. Therefore the Puranas and histories are parts of the original Yajur Veda.

2. The Mahabharata Adi Parva 1.268 states "Whoever approaches the Vedas without first studying the smrti (Itihasas and Puranas) frightens Vedic knowledge away" (itihasapuranabhyam vedam samupabrmhayet bibhetyalpasrutadvedo mamayam praharisyati).

3. Satvata Tantra 3.41-48 explains that only those who have faith in devotional service (bhakti-nistha) understand the paurusa agama. They know that Sri Krsna, whose form is of pure goodness and who resides in the spiritual world served by His devotees, is the Supreme Absolute Truth. Those who have faith in speculation (jnana-nistha) follow the Upanisads. They say the highest truth is the impersonal Brahman. And those who are karma-paramah (devoted to pious deeds) follow the three Vedas. They say the Supersoul (Hiranyagarbha) is the highest truth. [NB: according to Bg 6.3, the mystic yoga system includes karma- yoga in its aruruksa or beginning phase; at the arudha or advanced platform, karma is given up and the yogi simply meditates upon the Lord in the heart.]

4. Therefore Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.11 states, "Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan."

The following verse appears in the Vedas (Chandogya Upanisad 8.12.3): tavad esa samprasado 'mac charirat samutthaya param jyoti-rupam sampadya svena rupenabhinispadyate sa uttamah purusah. "The Supersoul coming out of the body enters the impersonal brahmajyoti; then in His form He remains in His spiritual identity. That Supreme is called the Supreme Personality." This means that the Supreme Personality is exhibiting and diffusing His spiritual effulgence, which is the ultimate illumination. That Supreme Personality also has a localized aspect as Paramatma. By incarnating Himself as the son of Satyavati and Parasara, He explains the Vedic knowledge as Vyasadeva.

Notes:

1. Krsna's eternal form is the basis of the brahmajyoti.

Bg 14.27:

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

2. That Krsna consciousness is beyond Brahman realization is illustrated by Chandogya 8.12.3, quoted in full from Baladeva Vidyabhusana's Vedanta-sutra commentary for Vs IV.4.1.

evam evaisa samprasado 'smac charirat samuttaya param jyotir upasampadya svena rupen abhinispadyate sa uttama purusah sa tatra paryeti jaksan kridan ramamanah stribhir va yanair va jnatibhir sa nopajanam smarann idam sariram sa yatha prayogya acarane yukta evam evayam asmic charire prano yuktah

He through whose grace this released soul, arising from his last body, and having approached the Highest Light, is restored to his own form is the Highest Person (Uttama Purusa). The mukta moves about there laughing, playing, and rejoicing, with women, with carriages, with other muktas of his own period or of the past kalpas. So great is his ecstacy that he does remember even the person standing near him, nor even his own body. And as a charioteer is appointed by his master to drive the carriage, just so it the prana appointed to drive this chariot of the body.

3. Srila Prabhupada's translation of the first line of the Chandogya sloka gives a different viewpoint--that soul who rises from the body into the spiritual sky is the Supersoul. The explanation is found in Satvata Tantra 1.36.

virad-dehe yad avasad
bhagavan pura-samjnake
atah purusa-namanam
avapa purusah parah

Because He resides (usa) in the home (pur) of the virata-deha (cosmic body of the universal form), the Supreme Lord is called purusa.

Therefore there is no contradiction. Just as the jiva leaves the physical body and passes through the Brahmajyoti on his way back to the abode of the Supreme Lord at the time of liberation, so the Uttama Purusa (Supersoul) leaves the universe at the end of the cosmic manifestation and passes through the brahmajyoti to return to Mahavisnu, the source of the Garbodakasayi and Ksirodakasayi purusa-avatara expansions.

Trisloki summary:

SB 11.11.1-9:

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Uddhava, due to the influence of the material modes of nature, which are under My control, the living entity is sometimes designated as conditioned and sometimes as liberated. In fact, however, the soul is never really bound up or liberated, and since I am the supreme Lord of maya, which is the cause of the modes of nature, I also am never to be considered liberated or in bondage. Just as a dream is merely a creation of one's intelligence but has no actual substance, similarly, material lamentation, illusion, happiness, distress and the acceptance of the material body under the influence of maya are all creations of My illusory energy. In other words, material existence has no essential reality. O Uddhava, both knowledge and ignorance, being products of maya, are expansions of My potency. Both knowledge and ignorance are begingingless and perpetually award liberation and bondage to embodied living beings. O most intelligent Uddhava, the living entity, called jiva, is part and parce of Me, but due to ignorance he has been suffering in material bondage since time immemorial. By knowledge, however, he can be liberated. Thus, My dear Uddhava, in the same material body we find opposing characteristics, such as great happiness and misery. That is because both the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is eternally liberated, as well as the conditioned soul are within the body. I shall now speak to you about their different characteristics. By chance, two birds have made a nest together in the same tree. The two birds are friends and are of a similar nature. One of them, however, is eating the fruits of the tree, whereas the other, who does not eat the fruits, is in a superior position due to His potency. The bird who does not eat the fruits of the tree is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who by His omniscience perfectly understands His own position and that of the condi- tioned living entity, represented by the eating bird. That living entity, on the other hand, does not understand himself or the Lord. He is covered by ignorance and is thus called eternal- ly conditioned, whereas the Personality of Godhead, being full of perfect knowledge, is eternally liberated. One who is enlightened in self-realization, although living within the material body, sees himself as transcendental to the body, just as one who has arisen from a dream gives up identification with the dream body. A foolish person, however, although not identical with his material body but transcendental to it, thinks himself to be situated in the body, just as one who is dreaming sees himself as situated in an imaginary body. An enlightened person who is free from the contamination of material desire does not consider himself to be the performer of bodily activities; rather he knows that in all such activities it is only the senses, born of the modes of nature, that are contacting sense objects born of the same modes of nature.

The Second Essence: The Catur-Sloki Gita
(Bg 10.8-10.11)

The Essence of God Realization in Four Verses

Focus on the Purport of Bg 10.8

A learned scholar who has studied the Vedas perfectly and has information from authorities like Lord Caitanya and who knows how to apply these teachings can understand that Krsna is the origin of everything in both the material and spiritual worlds, and because he knows this perfectly he becomes firmly fixed in the devotional service of the Supreme Lord. He can never be deviated by any amount of nonsensical commentaries or by fools. Lord Krsna is the source of all generations, and He is called the most efficient cause of everything. He says, "Because everything is born of Me, I am the original source of all. Everything is under Me; no one is above Me." There is no supreme controller other than Krsna.

Notes:

1. In this verse, Sri Krsna begins His explanation of how a Vedantist should move beyond intellectual theory to practical realization of the Absolute Truth.

Quotation from Srila Prabhupada:

Krsna says that mattah parataram nanyat, "There is no more superior existence than Myself." Aham sarvasya prabhavah. "I am the origin." Janmadyasya yatah. This verse, this code [of the Vedanta-sutra], is explained by Krsna Himself that "I am the origin of everything."

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.4-5 Purport:

In Bhagavad-gita (10.8), the Lord says, aham sarvasya prabhavo: "I am the origin of everything." Mattah sarvam pravartate: "whatever exists in the creation emanates from Me." Iti matva bhajante mam budha bhava-saman-vitah: "When one fully understands that I create everything by My omnipotence, one becomes firmly situated in devotional service and fully surrenders at My lotus feet." Unfortunately, the unintelligent cannot immediately understand Krsna's supremacy. Nonetheless, if they associate with devotees and read authorized books, they may gradually come to the proper understanding, although this may take many, many births.

2. Practical realization of God takes place through loving devotional service. That is indicated here by the words bhajante mam and bhava-samanvitah in this verse.

Quotation from Srila Prabhupada:

Krsna also explains, aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate, iti matva bhajante mam budha bhava-sammanvitah.... with ecstatic love, they worship Krsna. Bhajante mam.

3. The stage of transition from jnana to bhakti takes place in the santa-rasa, where there is appreciation for Krsna's greatness.

Quotation from Srila Prabhupada:

Prabhupada: "Yes. This is the actually essence of Bhagavad-gita. Aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate: 'I am the origin of everything.' Aham sarvasya prabhavo and mattah sarvam. Sarvam means including Brahma, Visnu, Mahesvara. Sarvam. Mattah sarvam pravartate iti matva. One who understands this. Bhajante. So just... The bhajana is for whom? Iti matva. When one understands that Krsna is the origin of everything, even the original demigods, Brahma, Visnu, Mahesvara, when one understands perfectly this thing, then his bhajana is perfect."

Dr. Patel: "Budha bhava-samanvitah."

Prabhupada: "Bhava, bhava. Bhava means love, feelings, feelings of love, 'Oh, Krsna is so great.'"

Bg 7.18:

All these devotees are undoubtedly magnanimous souls, but he who is situated in knowledge of Me I consider to be just like My own self. Being situated in My transcendental service, he is sure to attain Me, the highest and most perfect goal.

Bg 7.3:

Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.

Bg 4.10:

Being freed from attachment, fear and anger, being fully absorbed in Me and taking refuge in Me, man, many persons in the past became purified by knowledge of Me--and thus they all attained transcendental love for Me.

Bg 18.54:

One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments or desires to have anything. He is equally disposed toward every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me.

Bg 7.19:

After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.

Only a fool would consider Krsna to be an ordinary man.

Notes:

Bg 9.11:

Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature as the Supreme Lord of all that be.

Bg 7.24:

Unintelligent men, who do not know Me perfectly, think that I, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, was impersonal before and have now assumed this personality. Due to their small knowledge, they do not know My higher nature, which is imperishable and supreme.

Focus on the purport of Bg 10.9:

The symptoms of the pure devotees are described in this verse specifically. Devotees of the Supreme Lord are twenty-four hours daily engaged in glorifying the qualities and pastimes of the Supreme Lord.

Notes:

Bg 9.13, 14:

Oh son of Prtha, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible. Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion.

In the preliminary stage of devotional service they relish the transcendental pleasure from the service itself, and in the mature stage they are actually situated in love of God. Once situated in that transcendental position, they can relish the highest perfection which is exhibited by the Lord in His abode.

Notes:

1. The preliminary stage referred to here is the stage of ruci, as confirmed by the following quote from Madhurya-kadambini, the Fifth Shower of Nectar, by Srila Visvanatha Cakravati Thakura:

When the golden coin of bhakti, devotion, shining effulgently by the fire of steady practice and propelled by its own energy, becomes fixed in the devotee's heart, ruci or taste for devotional activities appears. When a person develops a taste for the activities of bhakti such as hearing and chanting , which is vastly greater than attraction to anything else, that is called ruci. Unlike the previous stages, at the state of ruci constant performance of hearing and chanting does not result in even the least fatigue. Ruci quickly produces a great attachment to the activities of bhakti. This is similar to a brahmana boy who, after diligently studying the scriptures daily, and in time grasping the meaning, finds no difficulties at all in applying himself to study, and moreover, develops a pleasure in the task.

2. The mature stage begins with asakti, as is seen in the quote below from the Fifth Shower of the Madhurya-kadambini. Asakti (transcendental attachment) is the threshold of raga-bhakti.

After this, when ruci (taste) which has bhajana (hearing chanting and other devotional activities) as its object of relish, reaches extreme depth, and makes Krsna the object of relish, that is called asakti or attachment. At the stage of asakti, the creeper of bhakti bears clusters of buds. These buds will in no time become flowers, at the stage of bhava and then fruits at the stage of prema. The statement that ruci has bhajan as the object and asakti has the Lord as the object is a designation signifying proportionate quantity. Actually both ruci and asakti have both components as objects, but by less intensity in taking bhajana as object and greater intensity in taking the Lord as object, asakti become distinguishable from ruci. Asakti polishes the mirror of the heart to such a condition that a reflection of the Lord may suddenly be visible there. Before the stage of asakti, the devotee, realizing that his mind has been overpowered by material objects and desires, after putting forth deliberate effort, withdraws his mind and fixes it on the Lord's form, qualities and activities. In the stage of asakti however, absorption of the mind in the Lord is automatic, without effort.

Lord Caitanya likens transcendental devotional service to the sowing of a seed in the heart of the living entity. There are innumerable living entities traveling throughout the different planets of the universe, and out of them there are a few who are fortunate enough to meet a pure devotee and get the chance to understand devotional service. This devotional service is just like a seed, and if it is sown in the heart of a living entity, and if he goes on hearing and chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, that seed fructifies, just as the seed of a tree fructifies with regular watering. The spiritual plant of devotional service gradually grows and grows until it penetrates the covering of the material universe and enters into the brahmajyoti effulgence in the spiritual sky. In the spiritual sky also that plant grows more and more until it reaches the highest planet, which is called Goloka Vrndavana, the supreme planet of Krsna. Ultimately, the plant takes shelter under the lotus feet of Krsna and rests there. Gradually, as a plant grows fruits and flowers, that plant of devotional service also produces fruits, and the watering process in the form of chanting and hearing goes on. This plant of devotional service is fully described in the Caitanya- caritamrta (Madhya-lila, Chapter Nineteen). It is explained there that when the complete plant takes shelter under the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, one becomes fully absorbed in love of God; then he cannot live even for a moment without being in contact with the Supreme Lord, just as a fish cannot live without water. In such a state, the devotee actually attains the transcendental qualities in contact with the Supreme Lord.

Notes:

1. In Bhagavad-gita 10.9, Sri Krsna glorifies sravanam-kirtanam in the association of pure devotees of the Lord. He is advising the wise Vedantists who have developed preliminary devotional sentiments by appreciating His greatness to take the association of His devotees and thus become perfect in Krsna consciousness.

Quotation from the first verse of Svetasvatara Upanisad:

Hari Om. The Brahmavadis say: What is the first, the great cause? From where were we born? How do we remain alive? Where do we go at death? O knowers of Brahman, by whose will are we subject to pleasure and pain?

Quotation from the last verse of the same Upanisad:

yasya deve para bhaktir
yatha deve tatha guaru
tasyaite kathita hy artha
prakasante mahatmanah

Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.

2. In the Fourth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, verses 25-33, Sri Krsna describes the various sacrifices of yogis, mystics, renunciates and philosophers to attain transcendental knowledge. In verse 34 he gives His own opinion how transcendental knowledge is to be attained:

Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.

3. As stated in the Mahabharata Vana-parva 313.117:

Dry arguments are inconclusive. A muni whose opinion does not differ from others is not considered a great sage. Simply by studying the Vedas, which are variegated, one cannot come to the right path by which religious principles are understood. The solid truth of religious principles is hidden in the heart of an unadulterated self-realized person. Consequently, as the satras confirm, one should accept whatever progressive path the mahajanas advocate (mahajano yena gatah sa panthah)."

Quotation from Srila Prabhupada:

So Caitanya Mahaprabhu also advised that jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva. Giving up the false speculation of understanding God in your calculation, just become humble and meek. Jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva san-mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam. And try to hear about God from realized souls. From Krsna or His bona fide representative. That is very nice qualification. Simply hear. Sthane sthitah sruti gatam tanu van manobhir. In this way you remain in your position, try to understand how great is God through the authoritative sources, and your life will be so successful that one day you'll find God is within your hand. It is so nice thing. Just like you keep a child within your hand, just mother Yasoda kept Krsna within his (her) arms always, you'll also have a similar position simply by hearing about Him.

The Srimad-Bhagavatam is also full of such narrations about the relationship between the Supreme Lord and His devotees; therefore the Srimad-Bhagavatam is very dear to the devotees, as stated in the Bhagavatam itself (12.13.18). Srimad-bhagavatam puranam amalam yad vaisnavanam priyam. In this narration there is nothing about material activities, economic development, sense gratification or liberation. Srimad-Bhagavatam is the only narration in which the transcendental nature of the Supreme Lord and His devotees is fully described. Thus the realized souls in Krsna consciousness take continual pleasure in hearing such transcen- dental literatures, just as a young boy and girl take pleasure in association.

Notes:

SB 1.7.10 (the Atmarama verse):

All different varieties of atmaramas (those who take pleasure in atma, or spirit self), especially those established on the path of self-realization, though freed from all kinds of material bondage, desire to render unalloyed devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead. This means that the Lord possesses transcendental qualities and therefore can attract everyone, including liberated souls.

SB 10.2.32:

O lotus-eyed Lord, although nondevotees who accept severe austerities and penances to achieve the highest position may think themselves liberated, their intelligence is impure. They fall down from their position of imagined superiority because they have no regard for your lotus feet.

Focus on Bg 10.10 purport

Buddhi means intelligence, and yoga means mystic activities or |mystic elevation.

Notes:

1. Sri Krsna, as Paramatma in the heart of all beings, is the source of buddhi. Becoming conscious of Him is the goal of yoga.

Quotation from the Purport of Bg 2.39:

This buddhi-yoga is clearly explained in Chapter Ten, verse ten, as being direct communion with the Lord, who is sitting as Paramatma in everyone's heart.

2. According to Renunciation Through Wisdom, page 15, the essence of buddhi-yoga is given in Bhagavad-gita Chapter 2, texts 39-40. That essence may be expressed in just one sentence from text 39: "O son of Prtha, when you act in such knowledge you can free yourself from the bondage of works." Hence, buddhi-yoga is action in knowledge of Krsna--knowledge that is revealed within the heart by Paramatma.

3. Such action in knowledge of Krsna may be executed in three ways under Vedic injunction. The Bhagavad-gita consists of Krsna's explanations of these three ways of buddhi-yoga.

Quotation from Renunciation Through Wisdom, page 16:

At the same time the Gita points out how to execute buddhi-yoga through jnana, or analytical study, and karma, or fruitive action. When buddhi-yoga is executed in conjunction with fruitive activity, it is known as karma-yoga. Similarly, when it is executed in conjunction with analytical study, then it is called jnana-yoga. And when buddhi-yoga, or devotional service, transcends both karma-yoga and jnana-yoga and becomes completely unalloyed, that devotion is called pure bhakti-yoga, or loving devotional service to the Supreme Lord.

The ultimate goal of progress is Krsna. People do not know this; therefore the association of devotees and a bona fide spiritual master are important. One should know that the goal is Krsna, and when the goal is assigned, then the path is slowly but progressively traversed, and the ultimate goal is achieved.

Notes:

1. In Vaisnava-siddhanta-mala ("A Garland of Vaisnava Truths"), Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains that there are two kinds of knowledge: self-evident knowledge (svatah-siddha-jnana), and knowledge that depends on the senses (indriya-paratantra jnana).

Quotations from Vaisnava-siddhanta-mala:

Self-evident knowledge is the natural truth that is inherently a feature of the pure spirit soul's original form.

The Veda is present in every pure spirit soul's existence in the form of svatah-siddha-jnana. According to the different levels of different souls in the materially conditioned state, this Veda will spontaneously manifest itself to someone, or it may remain veiled to someone else. Therefore, to help rewaken the forgetful conditioned souls to the eternally self-evident truths, the Veda has also incarnated in the form of written books which may be heard, recited and studied.

That which is called svatah-siddha-jnana is another name for bhakti. When speaking of topics relating to the supreme truth (para-tattva), some call it jnana and some call it bhakti.

The types of jnana that are condemned in the bhakti-sastras are indriya-paratantra-jnana (knowledge based on sense-perception) and nirvisesa-jnana (impersonal non-distinct knowledge), the latter of which is merely the absence of the former.

2. Direct perception of Sri Krsna through self-evident knowledge is the goal of the Vedas. Progress along the Vedic path means the cleansing of indriya-paratantra-jnana (also called visesa- jnana, knowledge of material distinctions) and nirvisesa-jnana from our consciousness so that the svatah-siddha-jnana may shine forth from within the heart. Thus, whether one executes the karma, jnana or bhakti yoga systems, Krsna must be understood as the goal. Attaining that goal, one attains pure bhakti.

Quotation from Vaisnava-siddhanta-mala:

By examining all the statements of the Vedas collectively, it is seen that they are all in agreement that other than Bhagavan, there is nothing else worth knowing. All the karma (fruitive activities) mentioned in the Vedas ultimately lead to Bhagavan. When jnana (speculative knowledge) fructifies into its pure condition, then one gives up all dualities that arise from both visesa-jnana and nirvisesa-jnana; one then aims for Bhagavan. The process of bhakti (devotional service) naturally cultivates a direct relationship with Bhagavan: therefore the Lord can be known by all the Vedas.

Bg 9.2:

This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.

A person may have a bona fide spiritual master and may be attached to a spiritual organization, but still, if he is not intelligent enough to make progress, then Krsna from within gives him instructions so that he may ultimately come to Him without difficulty. The qualification is that a person always engage himself in Krsna consciousness and with love and devotion render all kinds of services. He should perform some sort of work for Krsna, and that work should be with love. If a devotee is not intelligent enough to make progress on the path of self-realization but is sincere and devoted to the activities of devotional service, the Lord gives him a chance to make progress and ultimately attain to Him.

Notes:

1. It is priti-purvaka, the method of love, that is the essential means to attain pure buddhi-yoga.

Quotatation from the Purport to Bg 2.39:

One who is therefore situated in devotional or transcendental loving service to the Lord, or, in other words, in Krsna consciousness, attains to this stage of buddhi-yoga by the special grace of the Lord. The Lord says, therefore, that only to those who are always engaged in devotional service out of transcendental love does He award the pure knowledge of devotion in love. In that way the devotee can reach Him easily in the ever-blissful kingdom of God.

SB 11.14.22-25:

Neither religious activities endowed with honesty and mercy nor knowledge obtained with great penance can completely purify one's consciousness if they are bereft of loving service to Me. If one's hairs do not stand on end, how can the heart melt? And if the heart does not melt, how can tears of love flow from the eyes? If one does not cry in spiritual happiness, how can one render loving service to the Lord? And without such service, how can the consciousness be purified? A devotee whose speech is sometimes choked up, whose heart melts, who cries continually and sometimes laughs, who feels ashamed and cries out loudly and then dances--a devotee thus fixed in loving service to Me purifies the entire universe. Just as gold, when smelted in fire, gives up its impurities and returns to its pure brilliant state, similarly, the spirit soul, absorbed in the fire of bhakti-yoga is purified of all contamination caused by previous fruitive activities and returns to its original position of serving Me in the spiritual world.

SB 11.12.8:

The inhabitants of Vrndavana, including the gopis, cows, unmoving creatures such as the twin arjuna trees, animals, living entities with stunted consciousness such as bushes and thickets, and snakes such as Kaliya, all achieved the perfection of life by unalloyed love for Me and thus very easily achieved Me.

Quotation from Srila Prabhupada:

Tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam. Priti, with love. When you work, when you work for Krsna with love and enthusiasm, that is your Krsna conscious life. If you think that "It is hackneyed, it is troublesome, but what can I do? These people ask me to do it. I have to do it," that is not Krsna consciousness. You have to do it voluntarily and with great pleasure. Then you know.

2. But a doubt may be raised: in the quote from the Purport now under examination, Srila Prabhupada is stating that a disciple who is not intelligent enough to advance in self-realization under the direction of his spiritual master and in the association of other devotees may yet perform devotional service with love and receive instructions directly from Supersoul within the heart. How is this statement to be understood in the light of the following quotations?

Quotation from SB 4.28.41, Purport:

The Supreme Personality of Godhead speaks directly to the individual soul when the devotee has completely purified himself by rendering devotional service to the Lord. Lord Krsna confirms this also in Bhagavad-gita (10.10):

tesam satata-yuktanam
bhajatam priti-purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te

To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.

The Lord is the Supersoul seated in everyone's heart, and He acts as the caitya-guru, the spiritual master within. However, He gives direct instructions only to the advanced, pure devotees. In the beginning, when a devotee is serious and sincere, the Lord gives him directions from within to approach a bona fide spirit- ual master. When one is trained by the spiritual master according to the regulative principles of devotional service and is situated on the platform of spontaneous attachment for the Lord (raga-bhakti), the Lord also gives instructions from within. Tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam. This distinct advantage is obtained by a liberated soul.

Quotation from SB 7.15.76, Purport:

The Lord sends the spiritual master to train a devotee, and when the devotee is advanced, the Lord acts as the spiritual master within his heart.

tesam satata-yuktanam
bhajatam priti-purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te

To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.

Krsna does not become the direct spiritual master unless one is fully trained by His representative spiritual master.

3. There is no contradiction. The essence of following the order of the spiritual master is always love and sincerity, even if the disciple does not have the intelligence to understand the order fully. An example would be the illiterate brahmana of Sri Rangam who still tried to read the Bhagavad-gita daily on the order of his guru. He carried out this order with great enthusiasm and deep feelings of spiritual love. Thus he could see the form of Partha-sarathi within his heart, and got the shelter of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Quotation from Srila Prabhupada:

If he's sincere, it cannot be imperfect. Because... We are always imperfect, but Krsna will help us. Tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam, buddhi-yogam dadami tam. How he can be imperfect? Krsna will give him intelligence. Imperfect means whose intelligence is not perfect. But when Krsna is giving intelligence, how he can be imperfect? He may be imperfect, but he's being helped by Krsna. Therefore he's not imperfect.

Quotation from SB 4.28.51, Purport:

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur a remarks that unless one is very highly elevated in loving the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one cannot see Him as He is. Nonetheless, if one sticks to the principles enunciated by the spiritual master, somehow or other he is in association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Since the Lord is in the heart, He can advise a sincere disciple from within. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (10.10):

tesam satata-yuktanam
bhajatam priti-purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te

To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.

In conclusion, if a disciple is very serious to execute the mission of the spiritual master, he immediately associates with the Supreme Personality of Godhead by vani or vapuh. This is the only secret of success in seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Instead of being eager to see the Lord in some bush of Vrndavana while at the same time engaging in sense gratification, if one instead sticks to the principle of following the words of the spiritual master, he will see the Supreme Lord without difficulty.

4. Another point is that even a highly advanced devotee feels himself to be a fool and thus, in loving devotion, he depends upon Krsna for everything.

Quotation from CC Madhya 19.135, Purport:

An empowered devotee sees and feels himself to be the lowest of men, for he knows that whatever he does is due to the inspiration given by the Lord in the heart. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gita:

tesam satata-yuktanam
bhajatam priti-purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te

To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me. (Bg 10.10)

To be empowered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one has to qualify himself. This means that one must engage twenty- four hours daily in the loving devotional service of the Lord. The material position of a devotee doesn't matter because devotional service is not dependent on material considerations. In his earlier life, Srila Rupa Gosvami was a government officer and a grhastha. He was not even a brahmacari or sannyasi. He associated with mlecchas and yavanas, but because he was always eager to serve, he was a qualified recipient for the Lord's mercy. A sincere devotee can therefore be empowered by the Lord regardless of his situation.

5. To put Bg 10.10 into practice, the devotee simply has to do his very best for Krsna according to his own individual capacity.

Quotation from CC Antya 1.197, Purport:

The Supreme personality of Godhead is not partial to some and neutral to others. One can actually draw the attention of the Supreme Personality of Godhead by service. Then one is further empowered by the Lord to act in such a way that everyone can appreciate his service. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (4.11): ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamy aham. Krsna is responsive. If one tries to render his best service to the Lord, the Lord gives him the power to do so. Krsna also says in Bhagavad-gita:

tesam satata-yuktanam
bhajatam priti-purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te

To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me. (Bg. 10.10)

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu bestowed His special favor upon Srila Rupa Gosvami because Rupa Gosvami wanted to serve the Lord to the best of his ability. Such is the reciprocation between the devotee and the Lord in the discharge of devotional duties.

6. The bonafide spiritual master's instruction is that the disciple must take shelter of Krsna in the heart. If the disciple can do this much, his life will be successful.

Quotation from SB 8.16.20, Purport:

Whenever one is perplexed, let him take shelter of the lotus feet of Vasudeva, Krsna, who will give the devotee intelligence to help him surpass all difficulties and return home, back to Godhead. Kasyapa Muni advised his wife to seek shelter at the lotus feet of Vasudeva, Krsna, so that all her problems would be very easily solved. Thus Kasyapa Muni was an ideal spiritual master. He was not so foolish that he would present himself as an exalted personality, as good as God. He was actually a bona fide guru because he advised his wife to seek shelter at the lotus feet of Vasudeva. One who trains his subordinate or disciple to worship Vasudeva is the truly bona fide spiritual master.

Focus on Bg 10.11 purport

When Lord Caitanya was in Benares promulgating the chanting of Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, thousands of people were following Him. Prakasananda Sarasvati, a very influential and learned scholar in Benares at that time, derided Lord Caitanya for being a sentimentalist. Sometimes philosophers criticize the devotees because they think that most of the devotees are in the darkness of ignorance and are philosophically naive sentimentalists. Actually that is not the fact. There are very, very learned scholars who have put forward the philosophy of devotion.

Notes:

Quotation from Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.12:

tac chraddadhana munayo
jnana-vairagy-yuktaya
pasyanty atmani catmanam
bhaktya struta-grhitaya

The seriously inquisitive student or sage, well equipped with knowledge and detachment, realizes the Absolute Truth by rendering devotional service in terms of what he has heard from the Vedanta-sruti.

Quotation from Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.101:

sruti-smrti-puranadi
pancaratra-vidhim vina
aikantiki harer bhaktir
utpatayaiva kalpate

Devotional service to the Lord that ignores the authorized Vedic literatures like the Upanisads, Puranas, Narada-Pancaratra, etc., is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society.

But even if a devotee does not take advantage of their literatures or of his spiritual master, if he is sincere in his devotional service he is helped by Krsna Himself within his heart. So the sincere devotee engaged in Krsna consciousness cannot be without knowledge. The only qualification is that one carry out devotional service in full Krsna consciousness.

The modern philosophers think that without discriminating one cannot have pure knowledge. For them this answer is given by the Supreme Lord: those who are engaged in pure devotional service, even though they be without sufficient education and even without sufficient knowledge of the Vedic principles, are still helped by the Supreme God, as stated in this verse.

Notes:

1. This point is already explained. Since Vedic knowledge is svatah-siddhi-jnana, self-manifest within the soul, it is the natural property of the pure devotee who surrenders to the Lord in the heart.

Quotation from Srila Prabhupada:

Tesam. Who are those, tesam? Not all. Satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam, tesam. It is a special favor for them. Tesam evanukampartham. So if Krsna dissipates ignorance from the heart of a person, how he can be less intelligent? If somebody is guided by the most perfect intellect, intellectual, then how he can be less intelligent? So these Mayavadis' accusation that bhakti is meant for the less intelligent class and jnana is meant for the higher class of men, so this accusation is refuted that 'No, don't think that the devotees are less intelligent, because I am guiding them.

Dr. Patel: Nasayamy atma-bhava-stho, aham ajnana-jam tamah. Tamah nasayamy atma-bhava-stho.

Prabhupada: Tamah. No more ignorance, darkness. So how a devotee can be in darkness, in ignorance? This is refuted.

2. In any case, Vedic knowledge that analyzes the living entity's entanglement in the material energy is subordinate to the knowledge of the Personality of Godhead. Vedanta is mostly concerned with the former and only hints at the latter. Srimad-Bhagavatam says the former is to be given up upon attainment of the latter.

SB 11.12.24:

With steady intelligence you should develop unalloyed devotional service by careful worship of the spiritual master, and with the sharpened ax of transcendental knowledge you should cut off the subtle material covering of the soul. Upon realizing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, you should then give up that ax of analytic knowledge.

3. Surrender to the Lord and full realization of His transcendental personality does not depend upon the cultivation of analytic knowledge.

Quote from Srila Prabhupada:

No. There is no question of understanding. Suppose this process... Just like Krsna says, bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyante: "After many, many births of culture of knowledge, the person who has come to the highest point of knowledge, he surrenders unto Me." So similarly, if any person without any knowledge, if he surrenders only to Krsna, he acquires all the knowledge. He has surpassed all stages. He has surpassed all stages. And that is also confirmed. If you say, "How he has gone, surpassed all stage?" That answer in Bhagavad- gita you find, tesam evanukampartham aham ajnana-jam tamah, nasayamy atma-bhavastho jnana-dipena bhasvata. Tesam: "Because he is a devotee, just to give, just to show him a special favor," tesam evanukampartham, "simply for showing a special favor, I Myself, from within, I light up the knowledge, I mean to say, searchlight, and he becomes..." And you will be surprised that my guru maharaja's spiritual master was Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. He was completely illiterate. He did not know how to sign, and my spiritual master was the most learned man of his age. He accepted that guru who was completely illiterate. But when he would speak, that Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, he would speak with all Vedic references. And you will find in the Veda that yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau, tasyaite kathita hy arthah prakasante mahatmanah. So the spiritual knowledge becomes revealed. It is not subjected to any material acquisition. It is not subjected to any material acquisition of knowledge. It becomes revealed. How? Yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau. One who has a staunch faith in the Supreme Lord and staunch faith in the personality of his spiritual master, bona fide, then he gets all the things revealed in himself. Spiritual things are not just like material things. So according to Bhagavad-gita, sarva-guhyatamam, the Lord says that "The most confidential part of knowledge I am speaking to you, my dear Arjuna, because you are My very dear friend, that sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja." So one who has the conception of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and has surrendered unto Him, he is considered to be highest, topmost spiritualist.

4. The following two sections of the Purport to Bg 10.11 clearly establish that the knowledge Krsna reveals within the heart is the knowledge of His personal form, which is realized only through devotional service and which automatically dispells ignorance, as a flame destroys darkness.

Only by devotional service is the Supreme Truth, Krsna, pleased, and by His inconceivable energy He can reveal Himself to the heart of the pure devotee. The pure devotee always has Krsna within his heart; and with the presence of Krsna, who is just like the sun, the darkness of ignorance is at once dissipated. This is the special mercy rendered to the pure devotee by Krsna.

The ultimate goal, Visnu, can be attained only by this chant and by devotional service, and not by mental speculation or argument. The pure devotee does not have to worry about the material necessities of life; he need not be anxious, because when he removes the darkness from his heart, everything is provided automatically by the Supreme Lord, who is pleased by the loving devotional service of the devotee. This is the essence of the teachings of Bhagavad-gita.

Chatur-sloki summary:

SB 11.11.48:

My dear Uddhava, I am personally the ultimate shelter and way of life for saintly liberated persons, and thus if one does not engage in My loving devotional service, which is made possible by associating with My devotees, then for all practical purposes, one possesses no effective means for escaping from material existence.

The Third and Fourth Essences:

The Gita-rahasya and the Caran-sloki
(Bg 18.65 & 18.66)

The Essence of Devotion and the Essence of Surrender

Focus on the Purport of Bg 18.65

The most confidential part of knowledge is that one should become a pure devotee of Krsna and always think of Him and act for Him. One should not become an official meditator.

Notes:

1. The rahasya or secret of the Bhagavad-gita is revealed by Krsna only to His devotees.

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 and can therefore understand the transcedental mystery of this science.

2. The secret of the Bhagavad-gita is this: although Sri Krsna summarizes for Arjuna the karma, jnana and mystic yoga systems, His purpose in instructing Arjuna is to establish bhakti-yoga as not only the "topmost yoga system" but ultimately the only yoga system that returns the jiva to His original eternal position in the spiritual world.

Bg 6.47:

And of all yogis, the one with great faith who always abides in Me, thinks of Me within himself, and renders transcendental loving service to Me-- he is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all. That is My opinion.

Bg 12.2:

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Those who fix their minds on My personal form and are always engaged in worshiping Me with great and transcendental faith are considered by Me to be the most perfect.

Bg 18.55:

One can understand Me as I am, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of Me by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God.

SB 11.14.25:

Just as gold, when smelted in fire, gives up its impurities and returns to its pure brilliant state, similarly, the spirit soul, absorbed in the fire of bhakti-yoga, is purified of all contamination casued by previous fruitive activities and returns to its original position of serving Me in the spiritual world.

3. The other yoga systems outlined in the Bhagavad-gita are meant to prepare an unqualified person for the path of bhakti-yoga.

Bg 18.67:

This confidential knowledge may never be explained to those who are not austere, or devoted, or engaged in devotional service, nor to one who is envious of Me.

Quotation from Srila Prabhupada:

So drdham iti, isto'si me drdham iti tato vaksyami, "I am not speaking to the rascals. I am speaking to you because you are My most confidential friend." What is that? Man-mana bhava mad bhakto mad yaji mam namaskuru, mam evaisyasi satyam te pratijane priyo 'si me. "You are My dear friend." This is... Sarva dharman parityajya. "Whatever I've spoken, they are all nonsense. There is sense, but the truth which I am speaking to you just now, 'You just become My devotee, just think of Me, just offer your obeisances unto Me, just work for Me,' this is the most confidential." But those who are not able to understand, they are not to be spoken. They are to be instructed that you become a yogi, you practice your breathing, you sit like this, you sit like that. Because he's unable to understand. Therefore He says, idam te na atapaskaya. One who has not undergone severe austerities, don't speak this final knowledge. He'll not understand. He'll misunderstand. Just like scholars, like Radhakrishnan, misunderstands because he has no tapasya. It requires tapasya to understand this philosophy. Therefore Bhagavat says tapo divyam putraka yena suddhyed sattvam. "My dear boys, just accept austerity voluntarily. Restrain."

One should always act in such a way that all his daily activities are in connection with Krsna. He should arrange his life in such a way that throughout the twenty-four hours he cannot but think of Krsna.

Notes:

1. Bhagavad-gita 8.6-8 explains why we should always think of Krsna.

Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, oh son of Kunti, that state he will attain without fail. Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me in the form of Krsna 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 a doubt.

And the Lord's promise is that anyone who is in such pure Krsna consciousness will certainly return to the abode of Krsna, where he will be engaged in the association of Krsna face to face. This most confidential part of knowledge is spoken to Arjuna because he is the dear friend of Krsna. Everyone who follows the path of Arjuna can become a dear friend to Krsna and obtain the same perfection as Arjuna.

Notes:

1. "The path of Arjuna" refers to the path of practical engagement in devotional service as given in this verse. There are four items of practice mentioned--"Always think of Me", 'become My devotee", "worship Me" and "offer your homage to Me." From these four the nine processes of devotional service expand.

Quotations from Srila Prabhupada:

Sravanam kirtanam visnoh. Smaranam, also "always thinking of Me." Yoginam api sarvesam mad-gatenantaratmana, sraddhavan bhajate yo mam sa me yuktatamo matah. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru. That is sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam, always thinking of Krsna."

The simple thing is that you follow the instruction of Krsna, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru. So this is very natural. This temple worship is meant for that purpose. Actually, when we see the Deity, immediately our mind become Krsna conscious. At least, we think of Krsna, "Here is Krsna." So that is man-mana. Chanting also, chanting, that is Krsna-mana, man-mana. In this way you become bhakta. Regularly chanting, you become bhakta. Without becoming bhakta, nobody can chant. So man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji. And worship Deity. He has come very kindly to accept your service. You just dress Him, just bathe Him, just decorate Him with ornaments, with garland, with nice thing."

And what is that bhakti? Mad-bhakta. Devotional... Devotion means service. Mad-yaji. You render some service to the Lord. Just like we are engaged here always. Whenever you'll come, you find us engaged some duty. You see. We have manufactured some duty, just to think of Krsna only. Therefore our Society's name is Krsna Consciousness, Society for Krsna Consciousness. We have got so many literatures. Each and every boy is engaged. Somebody's printing, somebody's writing, somebody's typewriting, somebody's dispatching, somebody's attending letter, somebody's cooking. Twenty-four hours, we are thinking of Krsna. How? Because we are engaged in the duties of Krsna. So mad-yaji mam namaskuru. And what is that duty if you have no obedience? You have to obey. Therefore it is said namaskuru, you offer your respect. So bhakti minus respect, that is not bhakti. With love, with respect, with designated duties, if you be engaged in Krsna consciousness, then your life will be successful.

Quotation from SB 7.5.23-24, Purport:

Arcanam means worshiping Lord Visnu as one does in the temple, and vandanam means offering respectful obeisances. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru. Vandanam means namaskuru--offering obeisances or offering prayers. Thinking oneself to be nitya-krsna-dasa, everlastingly a servant of Krsna, is called dasyam, and sakhyam means being a well-wisher of Krsna. Krsna wants everyone to surrender unto Him because everyone is constitutionally His servant. Therefore, as a sincere friend of Krsna, one should preach this philosophy, requesting everyone to surrender unto Krsna. Atma-nivedanam means offering Krsna everything, including one's body, mind, intelligence and whatever one may possess. One's sincere endeavor to perform these nine processes of devotional service is technically called bhakti.

Quotation from Srila Prabhupada:

Question: What is the business of Krsna consciousness society?

Prabhupada: Always thinking of Krsna. As Krsna says. Man mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru. These four principles. Always think of Krsna, become Krsna's devotee, worship Krsna and offer your respect, obeisances to Krsna. That's all. This is Krsna consciousness. They are doing that. Nothing more, nothing less. These four principles.

These words stress that one should concentrate his mind upon Krsna--the very form with two hands carrying a flute, the bluish boy with a beautiful face and peacock feathers in His hair. There are descriptions of Krsna found in the Brahma-samhita and other literatures. One should fix his mind on this original form of Godhead, Krsna. One should not even divert his attention to other forms of the Lord. The Lord has multiforms as Visnu, Narayana, Rama, Varaha, etc., but a devotee should concentrate his mind on the form that was present before Arjuna. Concentration of the mind on the form of Krsna constitutes the most confidential part of knowledge, and this is disclosed to Arjuna because Arjuna is the most dear friend of Krsna's.

Notes:

1. Quotations from Prabodhananda Sarasvati's Sri Vrndavana-mahimamrta:

(2.19) Within the boundless, all-pervading effulgence of the brahmajyoti is the extremely blissful and effulgent realm of Lord Visnu. Within that realm of Lord Visnu is another effulgent realm of immeasurable transcendental bliss. Within that place is this forest of Vrndavana.

(14.22) When moon-faced Lord Krsnacandra places the flute to His splendid smiling lips and plays very sweetly, Sri Radha fixes her eyes upon Him, and the residents of Vaikuntha feel ecstasy and the hairs on their bodies stand erect with joy. However, when Lord Narayana, the master of Vaikuntha, fixes all His senses in meditation on this scene, He faints in the ecstasy of love. At that time the goddess of fortune becomes unhappy, and the residents of Vaikuntha cannot find the slightest happiness anywhere.

2. Quotation from Srila Jiva Gosvami's Sri Krsna-sandarbha 29.23:

The reason some people maintain that Krsna is a partial expansion of the Original Personality of Godhead, and not the Original Personality of Godhead Himself, is described by the Lord in Bhagavad-gita (7.25):

I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent. For them I am covered by My eternal potency (yogamaya), and so the deluded world knows Me not, who am unborn and infallible.'

Sri Krsna only partially reveals Himself to the ordinary living entities. Because of this partial revelation, ordinary people believe that Krsna is merely an expansion of the Original Godhead.

Focus on the Purport of Bg 18.66

Now, in summarizing Bhagavad-gita, the Lord says that Arjuna should give up all the processes that have been explained to him; he should simply surrender to Krsna.

Notes:

1. There are two paths to Krsna consciousness given in the Bhagavad-gita: the path of gradual elevation by knowledge, and the path of immediate, unconditional surrender. In 18.66 Sri Krsna declares that the path of unconditional surrender is the best, for in this way one attains all perfection without separate effort.

Quotation from Srila Prabupada:

First of all, one becomes jnanavan; then he surrenders to Vasudeva. Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja. This is one process. Another process is you become a devotee of Vasudeva, then jnana, vairagya, will automatically come.

SB 6.1.19:

Although not having fully realized Krsna, persons who have even once surrendered completely unto His lotus feet and who have become attracted to His name, form, qualities and pastimes are completely freed of all sinful reactions, for they have thus accepted the true method of atonement. Even in dreams, such surrendered shouls do not see Yamaraja or his order carriers, who are equipped with ropes to bind the sinful.

2. To surrender to Krsna even before having realized Him is itself the superior path of knowledge, because Krsna is the goal of all cultivation of knowledge. One who simply surrenders to Krsna begins his spiritual life at the point of full knowledge.

Quotation from Srila Prabhupada:

Therefore the whole world is confused. They do not know where to repose the love. That do not know. Therefore Krsna is canvassing: sarva dharman parityaja mam ekam. "Come here! Love Me! Increase your attachment for Me. Everything will be all right." Otherwise it is simply vague. Srama eva hi kevalam. Simply waste of time. Dharma svanusthitha pumsam visvaksena kathasu ya, notpada yed ratim yadi srama eva hi kevalam. It is simply waste of time.

3. The other processes of dharma explained in the Bhagavad-gita are based upon bhoga (enjoying separately from Krsna) or tyaga (renouncing separately from Krsna).

Quotation from Srila Prabhupada:

Krsna says: sarva dharman pari... You have to give up this bhoga dharma and tyaga dharma. Sarva dharman parityaja. You are now engaged in two kinds of dharma. Somebody, karmis, they are bhoga, bhoga dharmi. They want to enjoy. And tyagi, they want to renounce this bhoga. So both of these will not help you. Bhoga-tyaga. Then what? Seva. You have to take the dharma of seva. That is bhakti. Krsna-seva. For Krsna, you can accept anything. That is... it may appear bhoga. Just like Prahlada Maharaja, Prthu Maharaja, they were kings, very opulent kings. Dhruva Maharaja. So still they were great devotees. Not only ordinary devotees, mahajanas. So this bhoga-tyaga has no meaning. It has no benefit. One has to become devotee. Either in the bhoga field or in the tyaga field. It doesn't matter. Bhoga-tyaga is not required. Required service.

4. Unconditional surrender is the priti-purvaka, the method of love, which is vidhi-purvaka (the right method) as opposed to avidhi-purvaka (see Bg 9.23). For an example of the difference between the two, one may refer to the story of the wives of the brahmanas in Krsna Book.

Quotation from Srila Prabhupada:

They neglect this word, avidhi-purvakam. They simply say that to worship other demigods is also the same. No. It is not the... It is avidhi-purvaka. And if you... Suppose you are in trouble. You have to satisfy the police commissioner. But you are trying to satisfy the police commissioner by bribing the constable. That is avidhi-purvaka. If it is known, then you'll be punished. So don't try to satisfy Krsna--avidhi-purvakam. Vidhi-purvakam. That vidhi-purvakam is direct. Sarva-dharman parityaja mam ekam saranam vraja. That is wanted. That is vidhi-purvakam. Otherwise avidhi-purvakam. And how? The avidhi... The vidhi-purvaka, how? Just as the Ganges water is flowing automatically toward the sea, similarly, your devotional service like that, automatically, without any check... Then your life is perfect.

In the Seventh Chapter it was said that only one who has become free from all sinful reactions can take to the worship of Lord Krsna. Thus one may think that unless he is free from all sinful reactions he cannot take to the surrendering process. To such doubts it is here said that even if one is not free from all sinful reactions, simply by the process of surrendering to Sri Krsna he is automatically freed. There is no need of strenuous effort to free oneself from sinful reactions.

Notes:

1. Surrendering to Krsna destroys sin at its very roots.

Quotation from Srila Prabhupada:

This, these four kinds of stages of sinful activities, in stock, almost fructified, manifest, all the stages of sinful activities can be immediately nullified. Because it is assured by Krsna: aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami. It is not imagination. If we believe in the words of Krsna, then there is no question of denying this fact. Krsna personally says, aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksa... Sarva-papebhyo. The kutastha, phalonmukha, prarabdha, everything. It become immediately nullified. Simply by this process, by surrendering.

2. Other methods of religion cannot deliver one from the root of sin because they are essential man-centered, not God-centered. The root of sin is our very lack of surrender to Krsna; this unsurrendered attitude manifests in man-centered religions as the portrayal of God as mankind's order-supplier.

Quotations from Srila Prabhupada:

Therefore Krsna says, "First of all surrender. Then try to understand." Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja, aham tvam sarva papebhyo moksayisyami. When you surrender, and by that surrendering process, when you are free from the resultant action of sinful activities, then you can appreciate God, not that God is my order-supplier.

Sarva-dharman parityaja mam ekam saranam vraja: "You have manufactured so many rascaldom in the name of religion. Give up all this nonsense. Simply surrender unto Me." This is wanted. But Krsna knows that "If I say to the rascals, 'Surrender unto Me,' he'll take otherwise." A big scholar says, "Oh, this is too much, sophistry." Krsna is demanding: "Simply surrender unto me." And the commentor, commentator is remarking, "Oh, this is too much."

3. As one requires no preliminary knowledge to surrender to Krsna, similarly one requires no preliminary purity or piety.

Quotation from Srila Prabhupada:

So without being pavitra, without being pious, without being free from contamination of material activities, nobody can approach Krsna. That's a fact. But Krsna is so kind that He orders that "Even if you have got some kamana, some desire, material desire, still, you can take shelter upon Me." Sarva-dharman parityajya. "You do not take shelter of anything else. Simply depend on Me." Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja. "You haven't got to depend on anything else. I will give you protection." So we have to take faith in the words of Krsna and pitch our complete faith and devotion at the lotus feet of Krsna.

Bg 9.32:

O son of Prtha, those who take shelter of Me, though they be of lower birth--women, vaisyas [merchants] and sudras [workers]--can attain the supreme destination.

SB 11.14.18:

My dear Uddhava, if My devotee has not fully conquered his senses, he may be harrassed by material desires, but because of his unflinching devotion for Me, he will not be defeated by sense gratification.

The process of surrender to Krsna is described in the Hari-bhakti vilasa (11.676):

anukulyasya sankalpah
pratikulyasya varjanam
raksisyatiti visvaso
goptrtve varanam tatha
atma-niksepa-karpanye
sad-vidha saranagatih

Notes:

1. Just as the four items of Bg 18.65 take into account the nine processes of devotional service given in the sastra, so the method of surrender advised in 18.66 takes into account the sad vidha saranagati (sixfold method of surrender) given in the sastra.

Quotation from CC Madhya-lila 22.100:

One who is fully surrendered is qualified with the six following characteristics. (1) The devotee has to accept everything that is favorable for the rendering of transcendental loving service to the Lord. (2) He must reject everything unfavorable to the Lord's service. This is also called renunciation. (3) A devotee must be firmly convinced that Krsna will give him protection. No one else can actually give one protection, and being firmly convinced of this is called faith. This kind of faith is different from the faith of an impersonalist who wants to merge into the Brahman effulgence in order to benefit by cessation of repeated birth and death. A devotee wants to remain always in the Lord's service. In this way, Krsna is merciful to His devotee and gives him all protection from the dangers found on the path of devotional service. (4) The devotee should accept Krsna as his supreme maintainer and master. He should not think that he is being protected by a demigod. He should depend only on Krsna, considering Him the only protector. The devotee must be firmly convinced that within the three worlds he has no protector or maintainer other than Krsna. (5) Self-surrender means remembering that one's activities and desires are not independent. The devotee is completely dependent on Krsna, and he acts and thinks as Krsna desires. (6) The devotee is meek and humble.

One should be attracted by the beautiful vision of Krsna. His name is Krsna because He is all-attractive. One who becomes attracted by the beautiful, all-powerful, omnipotent vision of Krsna is fortunate. There are different kinds of transcendentalists--some of them are attached to the impersonal Brahman vision, some of them are attracted by the Supersoul feature, etc., but one who is attracted to the personal feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and, above all, one who is attracted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Krsna Himself, is the most perfect transcendentalist. In other words, devotional service to Krsna, in full consciousness, is the most confidential part of knowledge, and this is the essence of the whole Bhagavad- gita.

Notes:

1. Unreserved surrender to Krsna is the method of devotion of the gopis, who are the most perfect transcendentalists.

SB 11.12.13-15:

All those hundreds of thousands of gopis, understanding Me to be their most charming lover and ardently desiring Me in that way, were unaware of My actual position. Yet by intimately associating with Me, the gopis attained Me, the Supreme Absolute Truth. Therefore, My dear Uddhava, abandon the Vedic mantras as well as the procedures of supplementary Vedic literatures and their positive and negative injunctions. Disregard that which has been heard and that which is to be heard. Simply take shelter of Me alone, for I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead, situated within the heart of all contioned souls. Take shelter of Me wholeheartedly, and by My grace be free from fear in all circumstances.

2. Krsna's invitation to the living entities to surrender to Him under His full protection is the expression of His own unreserved love for His eternal parts and parcels. Quotation from Srila Prabhupada:

Krsna loves us more than we love Him. We do not love Him. But Krsna loves. Krsna loves every living being. He says, sarva-yonisu kaunteya sambhavanti murtayo yah: "Every living being, whatever form he is, that doesn't matter, I am the bija-pradah pitah, I am the seed-giving father." So the father is always affectionate to the sons. The sons may forget the father, but the father cannot forget. So Krsna comes here out of His love for us to deliver us, to give us the right path. Sarva-dharman parityajya: "My dear sons, why you are rotting in this miserable world? You come to Me. I'll give you all protection. You are the son of the Supreme. So you can enjoy life very supremely, very magnificently, without any death. Why you are rotting?" That is Krsna's mercy.

3. In Bg 18.66 Sri Krsna is inviting the living entities to enter into an intimate loving relationship with Him.

Quotation from Srila Prabhupada:

Everyone has prema, love. This propensity to love others. That is... There is, everywhere. But that prema, that love, is originally for Krsna. Nitya-siddha krsna-bhakti. That is the original prema. But because we are illusioned, that prema is being applied or used for so many maya. Prema I have got. I have got my love. That is a fact. But I do not know where to repose that love. That is my misfortune. Therefore Krsna says that sarva dharman parityaja mam ekam saranam vraja. "You have got prema. You apply it to Me. Then you'll be benefited." Prema is already there. You are simply misusing it. Therefore you are not happy. This is the process. Prema, you have got. But you are misusing it. But if you take Krsna's word, that "Give your prema unto Me..."

Gita-rahasya and Caran-sloki summary:

SB 11.11.33:

My devotees may or may not know exactly what I am, who I am and how I exist, but if they worship Me with unalloyed love, then I consider them to be the best of devotees.

Srila Prabhupada answers a doubt about BG 18.66

The doubt may be expressed thusly. Why, if Bg 18.66 is an essential verse of the Bhagavad-gita, did Lord Caitanya say "This is only external" when this verse was quoted by Sri Ramananda Raya during Ramananda's explanation of the ultimate goal of life?

So as I told you, Ramananda Raya, the discussion between Ramananda Raya and Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Ramananda Raya proposed different steps of spiritual advancement, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "Yes, this is good, but this is external. It is not very effective." Even sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja, that also Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "It is also not effect." It is not effective for these go-kharas. Otherwise it is effective. But in the beginning, they cannot. Otherwise in the Bhagavad-gita it is plainly said, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam. Who is taking it? Nobody is taking it. Therefore it is not effective for the go-kharas. It is effective for one who is actually human being, but they are not human being. They are all rascals, go-kharas. Therefore it is not effective. If you instruct a dog, "My dear dog, please surrender to Krsna," will he do that? So similarly, human being who does not surrender, he is no better than the dog. What is the difference between dog and this human being, go-kharas? The cats, the dogs, they cannot do it. And if you human beings, they cannot do also, then what is the difference? Ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam ca samanyam etad pasubhir naranam. Simply eating, sleeping, sex life and defending. These are common things of the cats and dogs and the human beings. The human being is specially benefited when he surrenders to Krsna. Otherwise he is cat and dog. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu knew that these cats and dogs, they are so degraded, they cannot understand what is the meaning of surrendering to Krsna. They cannot understand. Therefore He said, eho bahya, age kaha ara: "This is external. Please speak more, something effective."

The Fifth Essence:

The Essence of Spiritual Endeavor
(Bg 11.55)

Focus on the Purport of Bg 11.55

Anyone who wants to approach the supreme of Personalities of Godhead, on the Krsnaloka planet in the spiritual sky, and be intimately connected with the Supreme Personality, Krsna, must take this formula, as stated by the Supreme Himself. Therefore, this verse is considered to be the essence of Bhagavad-gita. The Bhagavad-gita is meant to show how one can understand his spiritual existence and his eternal relationship with the supreme spiritual personality and to teach one how to go back home, back to Godhead. Now here is the verse which clearly explains the process by which one can attain success in his spiritual activity: devotional service.

Notes:

1. Sambandha, abhideya and prayojana are indicated by the phrases "how one can understand his spiritual existence", "his eternal relationship with the supreme spiritual personality" and "how to go back home, back to Godhead."

CC Madhya 20.143

In Vedic scriptures, Krsna is the central point of attraction, and His service is our activity. To attain the platform of love of Krsna is life's ultimate goal. Therefore Krsna [sambandha], Krsna's service [abhideya] and love of Krsna [prayojana] are the three great riches of life.

No work should be done by any man except in relationship to Krsna. This is called krsna-karma. For example, one may be engaged in business, but to transform that activity into Krsna consciousness, one has to do business for Krsna. If Krsna is the proprietor of the business, then Krsna should enjoy the profit of the business.

If one constructs a very big building for Krsna and installs the Deity of Krsna, one is not prohibited from living there, but it is understood that the proprietor of the building is Krsna. This is called Krsna consciousness. If, however, one is not able to construct a temple for Krsna, one can engage himself in cleansing the temple of Krsna; that is also krsna-karma. One can cultivate a garden. Anyone who has land--in India, at least, any poor man has a certain amount of land--can utilize that for Krsna by growing flowers to offer Him. One can sow tulasi plants, because tulasi leaves are very important and Krsna has recommended this in Bhagavad-gita. Patram puspam phalam toyam. Krsna desires that one offer Him either a leaf, or a flower, or fruit, or a little water--and by such an offering He is satisfied. This leaf especially refers to the tulasi. So one can sow tulasi and pour water on the plant. Thus, even the poorest man can engage in the service of Krsna. These are some of the examples of how one can engage in working for Krsna.

Notes:

1. The word sambandha means "connection." One who connects his work to Krsna (mat-karma-krn) is established in his spiritual position.

Quotation from Message of Godhead:

When ordinary work aims at such a transcendental objective, this work is called karma-yoga. By this process of karma-yoga, one gradually attains self-purification, then transcendental knowledge, next perfect meditation, and ultimately transcendental service to the Personality of Godhead.

Quotation from Perfection of Yoga:

In the preliminary stage one is advised to always work for Krsna. One must be always searching out some duty or some engagement, for it is a bad policy to remain idle even for a second. When one actually becomes advanced through such engage ments, then he may not work physically, but he is always engaged within by constantly thinking of Krsna. In the preliminary stage, however, one is always advised to engage one's senses in the service of Krsna. There are a variety of activities one can perform in serving Krsna. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is intended to help direct aspirant devotees in these activities. For those working in Krsna consciousness, there are simply not enough hours in the day to serve Krsna. There are always activities, engagements both day and night, which the student of Krsna consciousness performs joyfully. That is the stage of real happiness--constant engagement for Krsna and spreading Krsna consciousness around the world.

The word mat-paramah refers to one who considers the association of Krsna in His supreme abode to be the highest perfection of life.

Notes:

1. The words mat-paramah indicates the prayojana (necessity), which is the essence of Lord Caitanya's mission.

Quotation from Srila Prabhupada:

Lord Caitanya says, abhidheya bhakti, prema----prayojana. Prayojana means it is necessary. Purusartha-siromani prema maha-dhana. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu's preaching was based on this principle: prema pumartho mahan. What is the objective of human life? He said that "Objective of human life is to attain love of God."

Quotation from Srila Prabhupada:

Prayojana, it is necessary, it is not optional, compulsory. If you don't take to Krsna consciousness, then you continue to suffer, therefore it is necessity. It is not that if you like, you can take it, if you don't like, you reject it. If you reject it, then you will suffer. And if you take it then actually you will enjoy life.

2. In Bhagavad-gita 18.68, Krsna promises parama-bhakti (pure devotional service in the spiritual world) to those who preach the message of Bhagavad-gita. Note the similarity of terminology between the two verses (11.55 and 18.68).

ya idam paramam guhyam
mad-bhaktesv abhidhasyati
bhaktim mayi param krtva
mam evaisyaty asamsayah

For one who explains this supreme secret to the devotees, pure devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me. (Bg 18.68)

As indicated by the word mad-bhaktah, he fully engages in devotional service, specifically in the nine processes of devotional engagement: hearing, chanting, remembering, worshiping, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering prayers, carrying out the orders of the Lord, making friends with Him, and surrendering everything to Him. One can engage in all nine devotional processes, or eight, or seven, or at least in one, and that will surely make one perfect.

Notes:

1. Abidheya refers to the nine-fold process of devotional service. According to Mahajana Prahlada Maharaja, one who engages in these processes is already established in transcendental knowledge.

SB 7.5.24-25:

Prahlada Maharaja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Visnu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words)--these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Krsna through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge.

2. According to Bg 4.35, when one is situated in transcendental knowledge, he sees that all living beings are within Krsna, and are His. Naturally, therefore, in his abidheya activities he is eager to engage other living entities in Krsna's service. Indeed, this is his duty and the test of his advancement in real Krsna consciousness.

Quotation from Srila Prabhupada:

So what is his duty? Janma sarthaka kari. First of all awaken your own Krsna consciousness, you understand Krsna, and then go out, kara para upakara, because people are in darkness. People are in darkness. They have forgotten Krsna. This is Krsna consciousness meant, not that "I have understood Krsna. Now pack it up in the box and see sometimes: 'Oh, I have become Krsna conscious.'" My guru maharaja condemned this. He said, man tumi kisera vaisnava: "My dear mind, you are thinking that you have become a very good Vaisnava and chanting Hare Krsna, immitating Haridasa Thakura, and smoking bidi." This imitation has no value. My guru maharaja condemned it. He said, man tumi kisera vaisnava: "What a rascal you are. You are thinking that you are Vaisnava." Nirjanera ghare... What is that. I forget now. Tava hari nama kevala kaitava. Pratisthara tare, nirjanera ghare, tava hari nama kevala kaitava: "My dear mind, you are very much proud of becoming Vaisnava. In a solitary place you are imitating Haridasa Thakura." Nirjanera ghare, pratisthara tare: "Your this solitary chanting of Hare Krsna means that you want cheap popularity--'Oh, he is chanting Hare Krsna.'" That is not possible. You cannot imitate Haridasa Thakura. So by imitating Haridasa Thakura, keeping connection with woman and doing all nonsense, you cannot imitate Haridasa Thakura. You must work. You must go out for chanting, for preaching. This is the real chanting. Yare dekha tare kaha krsna upadesa. This is wanted, Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has never said that "You may imitate Haridasa Thakura, and in a solitary place, 'Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna...Bidi, bidi, bidi.'" Not like that. Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "Go out." Yare dekha tare kaha krsna upadesa, amara ajnaya guru haya taro ei desa. So our request is, you all foreigners... So you have learned something about Krsna consciousness. This is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's order. Although He expected that every Indian should go out for parupakara, but anyway, some of the Indians, at least one... But you take this mission and go everywhere, in every corner. I am thankful to you. You are already doing that, in Europe and America, deep (?) asleep, because people are sleeping under misguidance, and they are becoming candidate for being carried away by the Yamaduta. This is the position of the whole world, Yamaduta. Palaye bara katha naya yo mache piche.(?) Yamaduta will not excuse you, however you may be very proud of becoming independent. This is not possible. To save the human civilization, the rascal civilization that "There is no life after death, and you go on enjoying as much as you like." This wrong civilization is killing civilization. So you save them. You save them. Otherwise the Yamaduta is there.

The term sanga-varjitah is very significant. One should disassociate himself from persons who are against Krsna. Not only are the atheistic persons against Krsna, but so also are those who are attracted to fruitive activities and mental speculation.

Notes:

1. Therefore, Sri Krsna says sarva-dharma parityajya..., give up fruitive activities and mental speculation and just surrender to and associate with Me.

2. In Bg 18.69 Sri Krsna says that no can be more dear to Him than the preacher. Therefore the preacher always has His association. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu made the same promise to the Kurma brahmana. If one has the constant association of Lord Krsna and Lord Caitanya, one is protected from all kinds of contaminated association.

Quotation from CC Adi 7.27 Purport:

Thus the more the Krsna consciousness movement spreads, the more the desire for material enjoyment decreases. The seed of material enjoyment automatically becomes impotent with the increase of the Krsna consciousness movement.

The remaining sections of the Purport to Bg 11.55 affirm points made before:

The pure devotee does not even want salvation. He does not want to be transferred even to the highest planet, Goloka Vrndavana. His only objective is to serve Krsna wherever he may be.

A devotee situated in Krsna consciousness knows that only devotional service to Krsna can relieve a person from all the problems of life. He has personal experience of this, and therefore he wants to introduce this system, Krsna consciousness, into human society. There are many examples in history of devotees of the Lord who risked their lives for the spreading of God consciousness. The favorite example is Lord Jesus Christ. He was crucified by the nondevotees, but he sacrificed his life for spreading God consciousness. Of course, it would be superficial to understand that he was killed. Similarly, in India also there are many examples, such as Thakura Haridasa and Prahlada Maharaja. Why such risk? Because they wanted to spread Krsna consciousness, and it is difficult. A Krsna conscious person knows that if a man is suffering it is due to his forgetfulness of his eternal relationship with Krsna. Therefore, the highest benefit one can render to human society is relieving one's neighbor from all material problems. In such a way, a pure devotee is engaged in the service of the Lord. Now, we can imagine how merciful Krsna is to those engaged in His service, risking everything for Him. Therefore it is certain that such persons must reach the supreme planet after leaving the body.

In summary, the universal form of Krsna, which is a temporary manifestation, and the form of time which devours everything, and even the form of Visnu, four-handed, have all been exhibited by Krsna. Thus Krsna is the origin of all these manifestations. It is not that Krsna is a manifestation of the original visva-rupa, or Visnu. Krsna is the origin of all forms. There are hundreds and thousands of Visnus, but for a devotee no form of Krsna is important but the original form, two-handed Syamasundara. In the Brahma-samhita it is stated that those who are attached to the Syamasundara form of Krsna in love and devotion can see Him always within the heart and cannot see anything else. One should understand, therefore, that the purport of this Eleventh Chapter is that the form of Krsna is essential and supreme.