Bhagavad-gita As It Is

Та самая Гита, отпечатанная в 1972 году в издательстве Макмиллан. Оригинальный английский текст.



Глава 1

Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra


धृतराष्ट्र उवाच | धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे समवेता युयुत्सवः | मामकाः पाण्डवाश्चैव किमकुर्वत सञ्जय ||१-१||

dhṛtarāṣṭra uvāca . dharmakṣetre kurukṣetre samavetā yuyutsavaḥ . māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāścaiva kimakurvata sañjaya ||1-1||

dhrtarastra uvaca
dharma-ksetre kuru-ksetre
samaveta yuyutsavah
mamakah pandavas caiva
kim akurvata sanjaya
dhrtarastrah —King Dhrtarastra; uvaca —said; dharma-ksetre —in the place
of pilgrimage; kuru-ksetre —in the place named Kuruksetra; samavetah —
assembled; yuyutsavah —desiring to fight; mamakah —my party (sons);
pandavah —the sons of Pandu; ca —and; eva-certainly; kim —what; akurvata
— did they do; sanjaya —O Sanjaya.

Dhrtarastra said: O Sanjaya, after assembling in the place of
pilgrimage at Kuruksetra, what did my sons and the sons of Pandu do,
being desirous to fight?

Bhagavad-gTta is the widely read theistic science summarized in the GTta-
mahatmya (Glorification of the Gita). There it says that one should read
Bhagavad-gTta very scrutinizingly with the help of a person who is a devotee
of Sri Krsna and try to understand it without personally motivated
interpretations. The example of clear understanding is there in the Bhagavad-
gTta itself, in the way the teaching is understood by Arjuna, who heard the
GTta directly from the Lord. If someone is fortunate enough to understand
Bhagavad-gTta in that line of disciplic succession, without motivated
interpretation, then he surpasses all studies of Vedic wisdom, and all scriptures
of the world. One will find in the Bhagavad-gTta all that is contained in other
scriptures, but the reader will also find things which are not to be found
elsewhere. That is the specific standard of the GTta. It is the perfect theistic
science because it is directly spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
Lord Sri Krsna.
The topics discussed by Dhrtarastra and Sanjaya, as described in the
Mahabharata, form the basic principle for this great philosophy. It is
understood that this philosophy evolved on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra,
which is a sacred place of pilgrimage from the immemorial time of the Vedic
age. It was spoken by the Lord when He was present personally on this planet
for the guidance of mankind.
The word dharma-ksetra (a place where religious rituals are performed) is
significant because, on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra, the Supreme Personality
of Godhead was present on the side of Arjuna. Dhrtarastra, the father of the
Kurus, was highly doubtful about the possibility of his sons` ultimate victory.
In his doubt, he inquired from his secretary Sanjaya, "What did my sons and
the sons of Pandu do?" He was confident that both his sons and the sons of his
younger brother Pandu were assembled in that Field of Kuruksetra for a
determined engagement of the war. Still, his inquiry is significant. He did not
want a compromise between the cousins and brothers, and he wanted to be
sure of the fate of his sons on the battlefield. Because the battle was arranged
to be fought at Kuruksetra, which is mentioned elsewhere in the Vedas as a
place of worship—even for the denizens of heaven—Dhrtarastra became very
fearful about the influence of the holy place on the outcome of the battle. He
knew very well that this would influence Arjuna and the sons of Pandu
favorably, because by nature they were all virtuous. Sanjaya was a student of
Vyasa, and therefore, by the mercy of Vyasa, Sanjaya was able to envision the
Battlefield of Kuruksetra even while he was in the room of Dhrtarastra. And
so, Dhrtarastra asked him about the situation on the battlefield.
Both the Pandavas and the sons of Dhrtarastra belong to the same family,
but Dhrtarastra`s mind is disclosed herein. He deliberately claimed only his
sons as Kurus, and he separated the sons of Pandu from the family heritage.
One can thus understand the specific position of Dhrtarastra in his relationship
with his nephews, the sons of Pandu. As in the paddy field the unnecessary
plants are taken out, so it is expected from the very beginning of these topics
that in the religious field of Kuruksetra where the father of religion, Sri Krsna,
was present, the unwanted plants like Dhrtarastra`s son Duryodhana and others
would be wiped out and the thoroughly religious persons, headed by
Yudhisthira, would be established by the Lord. This is the significance of the
words dharma-ksetre and kuru- ksetre, apart from their historical and Vedic


सञ्जय उवाच | दृष्ट्वा तु पाण्डवानीकं व्यूढं दुर्योधनस्तदा | आचार्यमुपसंगम्य राजा वचनमब्रवीत् ||१-२||

sañjaya uvāca . dṛṣṭvā tu pāṇḍavānīkaṃ vyūḍhaṃ duryodhanastadā . ācāryamupasaṃgamya rājā vacanamabravīt ||1-2||

sanjayah —Sanjaya; uvaca —said; drstva —after seeing; tu —but; pandava-
arukam —the soldiers of the Pandavas; vyudham —arranged in military
phalanx; duryodhanah —King Duryodhana; tada —at that time; acaryam — the
teacher; upasangamya —approaching nearby; raja —the king; vacanam —
words; abravit —spoke.

Sanjaya said: O King, after looking over the army gathered by the sons
of Pandu, King Duryodhana went to his teacher and began to speak the
following words:

Dhrtarastra was blind from birth. Unfortunately, he was also bereft of
spiritual vision. He knew very well that his sons were equally blind in the
matter of religion, and he was sure that they could never reach an
understanding with the Pandavas, who were all pious since birth. Still he was
doubtful about the influence of the place of pilgrimage, and Sanjaya could
understand his motive in asking about the situation on the battlefield. He
wanted, therefore, to encourage the despondent King, and thus he warned him
that his sons were not going to make any sort of compromise under the
influence of the holy place. Sanjaya therefore informed the King that his son,
Duryodhana, after seeing the military force of the Pandavas, at once went to
the commander-in-chief, Dronacarya, to inform him of the real position.
Although Duryodhana is mentioned as the king, he still had to go to the
commander on account of the seriousness of the situation. He was therefore
quite fit to be a politician. But Duryodhana`s diplomatic veneer could not
disguise the fear he felt when he saw the military arrangement of the


पश्यैतां पाण्डुपुत्राणामाचार्य महतीं चमूम् | व्यूढां द्रुपदपुत्रेण तव शिष्येण धीमता ||१-३||

paśyaitāṃ pāṇḍuputrāṇāmācārya mahatīṃ camūm . vyūḍhāṃ drupadaputreṇa tava śiṣyeṇa dhīmatā ||1-3||

pasya —behold; etam —this; pandu-putranam —of the sons of Pandu; acarya
—0 teacher; mahatim —great; camum —military force; vyudham —arranged;
drupada-putrena —by the son of Drupada; tava —your; sisyena — disciple;
dhimata —very intelligent.

O my teacher, behold the great army of the sons of Pandu, so expertly
arranged by your intelligent disciple, the son of Drupada.

Duryodhana, a great diplomat, wanted to point out the defects of
Dronacarya, the great brahmana commander-in-chief. Dronacarya had some
political quarrel with King Drupada, the father of Draupadi, who was Arjuna`s
wife. As a result of this quarrel, Drupada performed a great sacrifice, by
which he received the benediction of having a son who would be able to kill
Dronacarya. Dronacarya knew this perfectly well, and yet, as a liberal
brahmana, he did not hesitate to impart all his military secrets when the son of
Drupada, Dhrstadyumna, was entrusted to him for military education. Now, on
the Battlefield of Kuruksetra, Dhrstadyumna took the side of the Pandavas,
and it was he who arranged for their military phalanx, after having learned the
art from Dronacarya. Duryodhana pointed out this mistake of Dronacarya`s so
that he might be alert and uncompromising in the fighting. By this he wanted
to point out also that he should not be similarly lenient in battle against the
Pandavas, who were also Dronacarya`s affectionate students. Arjuna,
especially, was his most affectionate and brilliant student. Duryodhana also
warned that such leniency in the fight would lead to defeat.


अत्र शूरा महेष्वासा भीमार्जुनसमा युधि | युयुधानो विराटश्च द्रुपदश्च महारथः ||१-४||

atra śūrā maheṣvāsā bhīmārjunasamā yudhi . yuyudhāno virāṭaśca drupadaśca mahārathaḥ ||1-4||

atra —here; surah —heroes; mahesvasah —mighty bowmen; bhfma-arjuna —
Bhlma and Arjuna; samah —equal; yudhi —in the fight; yuyudhanah —
Yuyudhana; viratah —Virata; ca —also; drupadah —Drupada; ca —also;
maharathah —great fighter.

Here in this army there are many heroic bowmen equal in fighting to
Bhlma and Arjuna; there are also great fighters like Yuyudhana, Virata
and Drupada.

Even though Dhrstadyumna was not a very important obstacle in the face of
Dronacarya`s very great power in the military art, there were many others who
were the cause of fear. They are mentioned by Duryodhana as great stumbling
blocks on the path of victory because each and every one of them was as
formidable as Bhlma and Arjuna. He knew the strength of Bhlma and Arjuna,
and thus he compared the others with them.


धृष्टकेतुश्चेकितानः काशिराजश्च वीर्यवान् | पुरुजित्कुन्तिभोजश्च शैब्यश्च नरपुंगवः ||१-५||

dhṛṣṭaketuścekitānaḥ kāśirājaśca vīryavān . purujitkuntibhojaśca śaibyaśca narapuṃgavaḥ ||1-5||

dhrstaketuh —Dhrstaketu; cekitanah —Cekitana; kasirajah —Kasiraja; ca —
also; viryavan —very powerful; purujit —Purujit; kuntibhojah —Kuntibhoja; ca
—and; saibyah —Saibya; ca —and; nara-pungavah —heroes in human society.

There are also great, heroic, powerful fighters like Dhrstaketu,
Cekitana, Kasiraja, Purujit, Kuntibhoja and Saibya.


युधामन्युश्च विक्रान्त उत्तमौजाश्च वीर्यवान् | सौभद्रो द्रौपदेयाश्च सर्व एव महारथाः ||१-६||

yudhāmanyuśca vikrānta uttamaujāśca vīryavān . saubhadro draupadeyāśca sarva eva mahārathāḥ ||1-6||

yudhamanyuh —Yudhamanyu; ca —and; vikrantah —mighty; uttamaujah —
Uttamauja; ca —and; viryavan —very powerful; saubhadrah —the son of
Subhadra; draupadeyah —the sons of DraupadI; ca —and; sarve —all; eva —
certainly; maha-rathah —great chariot fighters.

There are the mighty Yudhamanyu, the very powerful Uttamauja, the
son of Subhadra and the sons of DraupadI. All these warriors are great
chariot fighters.


अस्माकं तु विशिष्टा ये तान्निबोध द्विजोत्तम | नायका मम सैन्यस्य संज्ञार्थं तान्ब्रवीमि ते ||१-७||

asmākaṃ tu viśiṣṭā ye tānnibodha dvijottama . nāyakā mama sainyasya saṃjñārthaṃ tānbravīmi te ||1-7||

asmakam —our; tu —but; visistah —especially powerful; ye—those; tan —
them; nibodha —just take note, be informed; dvijottama —the best of the
brahmanas; nayakah —captains; mama —my; sainyasya —of the soldiers;
samjha-artham —for information; tan —them; bravfmi —I am speaking; te —

O best of the brahmanas, for your information, let me tell you about
the captains who are especially qualified to lead my military force.


भवान्भीष्मश्च कर्णश्च कृपश्च समितिञ्जयः | अश्वत्थामा विकर्णश्च सौमदत्तिस्तथैव च ||१-८||

bhavānbhīṣmaśca karṇaśca kṛpaśca samitiñjayaḥ . aśvatthāmā vikarṇaśca saumadattistathaiva ca ||1-8||

bhavan —yourself; bhfsmah —Grandfather Bhlsma; ca —also; karnah —
Kama; ca —and; krpah —Krpa; ca —and; samitihjayah —always victorious in
battle; asvatthama —Asvatthama; vikarnah —Vikarna; ca —as well as;
saumadattih —the son of Somadatta; tatha —and as; eva —certainly; ca —and.

There are personalities like yourself, Bhlsma, Karna, Krpa,
Asvatthama, Vikarna and the son of Somadatta called Bhurisrava, who
are always victorious in battle.

Duryodhana mentioned the exceptional heroes in the battle, all of whom are
ever-victorious. Vikarna is the brother of Duryodhana, Asvatthama is the son
of Dronacarya, and Saumadatti, or Bhurisrava, is the son of the King of the
BahlXkas. Kama is the half brother of Arjuna, as he was born of KuntI before
her marriage with King Pandu. Krpacarya married the twin sister of


अन्ये च बहवः शूरा मदर्थे त्यक्तजीविताः | नानाशस्त्रप्रहरणाः सर्वे युद्धविशारदाः ||१-९||

anye ca bahavaḥ śūrā madarthe tyaktajīvitāḥ . nānāśastrapraharaṇāḥ sarve yuddhaviśāradāḥ ||1-9||

anye —many others; ca —also; bahavah —in great numbers; surah-heroes;
mad-arthe-for my sake; tyakta-jivitah —prepared to risk life; nana —many;
sastra-weapons; praharanah —equipped with; sarve —all of them; yuddha —
battle; visaradah —experienced in military science.

There are many other heroes who are prepared to lay down their lives
for my sake. All of them are well equipped with different kinds of
weapons, and all are experienced in military science.

As far as the others are concerned-like Jayadratha, Krtavarma, Salya, etc-
all are determined to lay down their lives for Duryodhana`s sake. In other
words, it is already concluded that all of them would die in the Battle of
Kuruksetra for joining the party of the sinful Duryodhana. Duryodhana was,
of course, confident of his victory on account of the above-mentioned
combined strength of his friends.


अपर्याप्तं तदस्माकं बलं भीष्माभिरक्षितम् | पर्याप्तं त्विदमेतेषां बलं भीमाभिरक्षितम् ||१-१०||

aparyāptaṃ tadasmākaṃ balaṃ bhīṣmābhirakṣitam . paryāptaṃ tvidameteṣāṃ balaṃ bhīmābhirakṣitam ||1-10||

aparyaptam —immeasurable; tat —that; asmakam —of ours; balam —
strength; bhlsma —by Grandfather Bhlsma; abhiraksitam —perfectly protected;
paryaptam —limited; tu —but; idam —all these; etesam —of the Pandavas;
balam —strength; bhima —by Bhlma; abhiraksitam —carefully protected.

Our strength is immeasurable, and we are perfectly protected by
Grandfather Bhlsma, whereas the strength of the Pandavas, carefully
protected by Bhlma, is limited.

Herein an estimation of comparative strength is made by Duryodhana. He
thinks that the strength of his armed forces is immeasurable, being specifically
protected by the most experienced general, Grandfather Bhlsma. On the other
hand, the forces of the Pandavas are limited, being protected by a less
experienced general, Bhlma, who is like a fig in the presence of Bhlsma.
Duryodhana was always envious of Bhlma because he knew perfectly well
that if he should die at all, he would only be killed by Bhlma. But at the same
time, he was confident of his victory on account of the presence of Bhlsma,
who was a far superior general. His conclusion that he would come out of the
battle victorious was well ascertained.


अयनेषु च सर्वेषु यथाभागमवस्थिताः | भीष्ममेवाभिरक्षन्तु भवन्तः सर्व एव हि ||१-११||

ayaneṣu ca sarveṣu yathābhāgamavasthitāḥ . bhīṣmamevābhirakṣantu bhavantaḥ sarva eva hi ||1-11||

ayanesu —in the strategic points; ca —also; sarvesu —everywhere;
yathabhagam —as they are differently arranged; avasthitah —situated;
bhismam — unto Grandfather Bhlsma; eva —certainly; abhiraksantu —support
may be given; bhavantah —all of you; sarve —respectively; eva —certainly; hi
—and exactly.

Now all of you must give full support to Grandfather Bhlsma, standing
at your respective strategic points in the phalanx of the army.

Duryodhana, after praising the prowess of Bhlsma, further considered that
others might think that they had been considered less important, so in his
usual diplomatic way, he tried to adjust the situation in the above words. He
emphasized that Bhlsmadeva was undoubtedly the greatest hero, but he was
an old man, so everyone must especially think of his protection from all sides.
He might become engaged in the fight, and the enemy might take advantage
of his full engagement on one side. Therefore, it was important that other
heroes would not leave their strategic positions and allow the enemy to break
the phalanx. Duryodhana clearly felt that the victory of the Kurus depended on
the presence of Bhlsmadeva. He was confident of the full support of
Bhlsmadeva and Dronacarya in the battle because he well knew that they did
not even speak a word when Arjuna`s wife Draupadi, in her helpless condition,
had appealed to them for justice while she was being forced to strip naked in
the presence of all the great generals in the assembly. Although he knew that
the two generals had some sort of affection for the Pandavas, he hoped that all
such affection would now be completely given up by them, as was customary
during the gambling performances.


तस्य सञ्जनयन्हर्षं कुरुवृद्धः पितामहः | सिंहनादं विनद्योच्चैः शङ्खं दध्मौ प्रतापवान् ||१-१२||

tasya sañjanayanharṣaṃ kuruvṛddhaḥ pitāmahaḥ . siṃhanādaṃ vinadyoccaiḥ śaṅkhaṃ dadhmau pratāpavān ||1-12||

tasya —his; sanjanayan —increasing; harsam —cheerfulness; kuru-vrddhah
—the grandsire of the Kuru dynasty (Bhlsma); pitamahah —the grandfather;
simha-nadam —roaring sound, like a lion; vinadya —vibrating; uccaih —very
loudly; sahkham —conchshell; dadhmau —blew; pratapavan —the valiant.

Then Bhlsma, the great valiant grandsire of the Kuru dynasty, the
grandfather of the fighters, blew his conchshell very loudly like the sound
of a lion, giving Duryodhana joy.

The grandsire of the Kuru dynasty could understand the inner meaning of
the heart of his grandson Duryodhana, and out of his natural compassion for
him he tried to cheer him by blowing his conchshell very loudly, befitting his
position as a lion. Indirectly, by the symbolism of the conchshell, he informed
his depressed grandson Duryodhana that he had no chance of victory in the
battle, because the Supreme Lord Krsna was on the other side. But still, it was
his duty to conduct the fight, and no pains would be spared in that connection.


ततः शङ्खाश्च भेर्यश्च पणवानकगोमुखाः | सहसैवाभ्यहन्यन्त स शब्दस्तुमुलोऽभवत् ||१-१३||

tataḥ śaṅkhāśca bheryaśca paṇavānakagomukhāḥ . sahasaivābhyahanyanta sa śabdastumulo.abhavat ||1-13||

tatah —thereafter; sahkhah —conchshells; ca —also; bheryah —bugles; ca —
and; panava-anaka —trumpets and drums; go-mukhah —horns; sahasa —all of
a sudden; eva —certainly; abhyahanyanta —being simultaneously sounded; sab
—that; sabdah —combined sound; tumulah —tumultuous; abhavat —became.

After that, the conchshells, bugles, trumpets, drums and horns were all
suddenly sounded, and the combined sound was tumultuous.


ततः श्वेतैर्हयैर्युक्ते महति स्यन्दने स्थितौ | माधवः पाण्डवश्चैव दिव्यौ शङ्खौ प्रदध्मतुः ||१-१४||

tataḥ śvetairhayairyukte mahati syandane sthitau . mādhavaḥ pāṇḍavaścaiva divyau śaṅkhau pradadhmatuḥ ||1-14||

tatah —thereafter; svetaih —by white; hayaih —horses; yukte —being yoked
with; mahati —in the great; syandane —chariot; sthitau —so situated; madhavah
—Krsna (the husband of the goddess of fortune); pandavah — Arjuna (the son
of Pandu); ca —also; eva —certainly; divyau —transcendental; sankhau
—conchshells; pradadhmatuh —sounded.

On the other side, both Lord Krsna and Arjuna, stationed on a great
chariot drawn by white horses, sounded their transcendental conchshells.

In contrast with the conchshell blown by Bhlsmadeva, the conchshells in
the hands of Krsna and Arjuna are described as transcendental. The sounding
of the transcendental conchshells indicated that there was no hope of victory
for the other side because Krsna was on the side of the Pandavas. Jay as tu
pandu-putranam yesarh pakse janardanah. Victory is always with persons like
the sons of Pandu because Lord Krsna is associated with them. And whenever
and wherever the Lord is present, the goddess of fortune is also there because
the goddess of fortune never lives alone without her husband. Therefore,
victory and fortune were awaiting Arjuna, as indicated by the transcendental
sound produced by the conchshell of Visnu, or Lord Krsna. Besides that, the
chariot on which both the friends were seated was donated by Agni (the fire-
god) to Arjuna, and this indicated that this chariot was capable of conquering
all sides, wherever it was drawn over the three worlds.


पाञ्चजन्यं हृषीकेशो देवदत्तं धनञ्जयः | पौण्ड्रं दध्मौ महाशङ्खं भीमकर्मा वृकोदरः ||१-१५||

pāñcajanyaṃ hṛṣīkeśo devadattaṃ dhanañjayaḥ . pauṇḍraṃ dadhmau mahāśaṅkhaṃ bhīmakarmā vṛkodaraḥ ||1-15||

pahcajanyam —the conchshell named Pancajanya; hrsikesah —Hrslkesa
(Krsna, the Lord who directs the senses of the devotees); devadattam —the
conchshell named Devadatta; dhanahjayah —Dhananjaya (Arjuna, the winner
of wealth); paundram —the conch named Paundram; dadhmau — blew; maha-
sahkham —the terrific conchshell; bhima-karma —one who performs
Herculean tasks; vrkodarah —the voracious eater (Bhlma).

Then, Lord Krsna blew His conchshell, called Pancajanya; Arjuna
blew his, the Devadatta; and Bhlma, the voracious eater and performer of
Herculean tasks, blew his terrific conchshell called Paundram.

Lord Krsna is referred to as Hrslkesa in this verse because He is the owner
of all senses. The living entities are part and parcel of Him, and, therefore, the
senses of the living entities are also part and parcel of His senses. The
impersonalists cannot account for the senses of the living entities, and
therefore they are always anxious to describe all living entities as sense-less,
or impersonal. The Lord, situated in the hearts of all living entities, directs
their senses. But, He directs in terms of the surrender of the living entity, and
in the case of a pure devotee He directly controls the senses. Here on the
Battlefield of Kuruksetra the Lord directly controls the transcendental senses
of Arjuna, and thus His particular name of Hrslkesa. The Lord has different
names according to His different activities. For example, His name is
Madhusudana because He killed the demon of the name Madhu; His name is
Govinda because He gives pleasure to the cows and to the senses; His name is
Vasudeva because He appeared as the son of Vasudeva; His name is Devakl-
nandana because He accepted DevakI as His mother; His name is Yasoda-
nandana because He awarded His childhood pastimes to Yasoda at Vrndavana;
His name is Partha-sarathi because He worked as charioteer of His friend
Arjuna. Similarly, His name is Hrslkesa because He gave direction to Arjuna
on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra.
Arjuna is referred to as Dhananjaya in this verse because he helped his elder
brother in fetching wealth when it was required by the King to make
expenditures for different sacrifices. Similarly, Bhlma is known as Vrkodara
because he could eat as voraciously as he could perform Herculean tasks, such
as killing the demon Hidimba. So, the particular types of conchshell blown by
the different personalities on the side of the Pandavas, beginning with the
Lord`s, were all very encouraging to the fighting soldiers. On the other side
there were no such credits, nor the presence of Lord Krsna, the supreme
director, nor that of the goddess of fortune. So, they were predestined to lose
the battle-and that was the message announced by the sounds of the


अनन्तविजयं राजा कुन्तीपुत्रो युधिष्ठिरः | नकुलः सहदेवश्च सुघोषमणिपुष्पकौ ||१-१६||

anantavijayaṃ rājā kuntīputro yudhiṣṭhiraḥ . nakulaḥ sahadevaśca sughoṣamaṇipuṣpakau ||1-16||

sahadevah —Sahadeva; ca —and; sughosa-manipuspakau —the conches
named Sughosa and Manipuspaka; kasyah —the King of KasI (Varanasi); ca —
and; paramesvasah —the great archer; sikhandl —Sikhandl; ca —also; maha-
rathah —one who can fight alone against thousands; dhrstadyumnah —
Dhrstadyumna (the son of King Drupada); viratah —Virata (the prince who
gave shelter to the Pandavas while they were in disguise); ca —also; satyakih
—Satyaki (the same as Yuyudhana, the charioteer of Lord Krsna); ca —and;
aparajitah —who were never vanquished before; drupadah —Drupada, the
King of Pancala; draupadeyah —the sons of Draupadi; ca —also; sarvasah —
all; prthivT-pate —O King; saubhadrah —the son of Subhadra (Abhimanyu);
ca —also; maha-bahuh —greatly armed; sahkhan —conchshells; dadhmuh —
blew; prthak prthak —each separately.

King Yudhisthira, the son of KuntI, blew his conchshell, the
Anantavijaya, and Nakula and Sahadeva blew the Sughosa and
Manipuspaka. That great archer the King of KasI, the great fighter
Sikhandl, Dhrstadyumna, Virata and the unconquerable Satyaki,
Drupada, the sons of Draupadi, and the others, O King, such as the son of
Subhadra, greatly armed, all blew their respective conchshells.

Sanjaya informed King Dhrtarastra very tactfully that his unwise policy of
deceiving the sons of Pandu and endeavoring to enthrone his own sons on the
seat of the kingdom was not very laudable. The signs already clearly indicated
that the whole Kuru dynasty would be killed in that great battle. Beginning
with the grandsire, Bhlsma, down to the grandsons like Abhimanyu and
others-including kings from many states of the world —all were present there,
and all were doomed. The whole catastrophe was due to King Dhrtarastra,
because he encouraged the policy followed by his sons.


काश्यश्च परमेष्वासः शिखण्डी च महारथः | धृष्टद्युम्नो विराटश्च सात्यकिश्चापराजितः ||१-१७||

kāśyaśca parameṣvāsaḥ śikhaṇḍī ca mahārathaḥ . dhṛṣṭadyumno virāṭaśca sātyakiścāparājitaḥ ||1-17||


द्रुपदो द्रौपदेयाश्च सर्वशः पृथिवीपते | सौभद्रश्च महाबाहुः शङ्खान्दध्मुः पृथक्पृथक् ||१-१८||

drupado draupadeyāśca sarvaśaḥ pṛthivīpate . saubhadraśca mahābāhuḥ śaṅkhāndadhmuḥ pṛthakpṛthak ||1-18||


स घोषो धार्तराष्ट्राणां हृदयानि व्यदारयत् | नभश्च पृथिवीं चैव तुमुलोऽभ्यनुनादयन् (or लोव्यनु) ||१-१९||

sa ghoṣo dhārtarāṣṭrāṇāṃ hṛdayāni vyadārayat . nabhaśca pṛthivīṃ caiva tumulo.abhyanunādayan (lo vyanu)||1-19||

sah —that; ghosah —vibration; dhartarastranam —of the sons of Dhrtarastra;
hrdayani —hearts; vyadarayat —shattered; nabhah —the sky; ca —also;
prthivim —the surface of the earth; ca —also; eva —certainly; tumulah —
uproarious; abhyanunadayan —by resounding.

The blowing of these different conchshells became uproarious, and
thus, vibrating both in the sky and on the earth, it shattered the hearts of
the sons of Dhrtarastra.

When Bhlsma and the others on the side of Duryodhana blew their
respective conchshells, there was no heart-breaking on the part of the
Pandavas. Such occurrences are not mentioned, but in this particular verse it is
mentioned that the hearts of the sons of Dhrtarastra were shattered by the
sounds vibrated by the Pandavas` party. This is due to the Pandavas and their
confidence in Lord Krsna. One who takes shelter of the Supreme Lord has
nothing to fear, even in the midst of the greatest calamity.


अथ व्यवस्थितान्दृष्ट्वा धार्तराष्ट्रान् कपिध्वजः | प्रवृत्ते शस्त्रसम्पाते धनुरुद्यम्य पाण्डवः | हृषीकेशं तदा वाक्यमिदमाह महीपते ||१-२०||

atha vyavasthitāndṛṣṭvā dhārtarāṣṭrān kapidhvajaḥ . pravṛtte śastrasampāte dhanurudyamya pāṇḍavaḥ ||1-20||

atha —thereupon; v yavasthitan —situated; drstva —looking on;
dhartarastran —the sons of Dhrtarastra; kapi-dhvajah —one whose flag is
marked with Hanuman; pravrtte —while about to be engaged; sastra-sampate
—the arrows released; dhanuh —bow; udyamya —after taking up; pandavah —
the son of Pandu (Arjuna); hrsikesam —unto Lord Krsna; tada —at that time;
vakyam —words; idam —these; aha —said; mahi-pate —O King.

O King, at that time Arjuna, the son of Pandu, who was seated in his
chariot, his flag marked with Hanuman, took up his bow and prepared to
shoot his arrows, looking at the sons of Dhrtarastra. O King, Arjuna then
spoke to Hrslkesa [Krsna] these words:

The battle was just about to begin. It is understood from the above
statement that the sons of Dhrtarastra were more or less disheartened by the
unexpected arrangement of military force by the Pandavas, who were guided
by the direct instructions of Lord Krsna on the battlefield. The emblem of
Hanuman on the flag of Arjuna is another sign of victory because Hanuman
cooperated with Lord Rama in the battle between Rama and Ravana, and Lord
Rama emerged victorious. Now both Rama and Hanuman were present on the
chariot of Arjuna to help him. Lord Krsna is Rama Himself, and wherever
Lord Rama is, His eternal servitor Hanuman and His eternal consort Slta, the
goddess of fortune, are present. Therefore, Arjuna had no cause to fear any
enemies whatsoever. And above all, the Lord of the senses, Lord Krsna, was
personally present to give him direction. Thus, all good counsel was available
to Arjuna in the matter of executing the battle. In such auspicious conditions,
arranged by the Lord for His eternal devotee, lay the signs of assured victory.


अर्जुन उवाच | सेनयोरुभयोर्मध्ये रथं स्थापय मेऽच्युत ||१-२१||

hṛṣīkeśaṃ tadā vākyamidamāha mahīpate . arjuna uvāca . senayorubhayormadhye rathaṃ sthāpaya me.acyuta ||1-21||

arjunah —Arjuna; uvaca —said; senayoh —of the armies; ubhayoh —of both
the parties; madhye —in between them; ratham —the chariot; sthapaya —
please keep; me —my; acyuta —0 infallible one; yavat —as long as; etan — all
these; nirikse —may look; aham —I; yoddhu-kaman —desiring to fight;
avasthitan —arrayed on the battlefield; kaih —with whom; maya —by me; saha
—with; yoddhavyam —to fight with; asmin —in this; rana —strife; samudyame
—in the attempt.

Arjuna said: O infallible one, please draw my chariot between the two
armies so that I may see who is present here, who is desirous of fighting,
and with whom I must contend in this great battle attempt.

Although Lord Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, out of His
causeless mercy He was engaged in the service of His friend. He never fails in
His affection for His devotees, and thus He is addressed herein as infallible.
As charioteer, He had to carry out the orders of Arjuna, and since He did not
hesitate to do so, He is addressed as infallible. Although He had accepted the
position of a charioteer for His devotee, His supreme position was not
challenged. In all circumstances, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
Hrslkesa, the Lord of the total senses. The relationship between the Lord and
His servitor is very sweet and transcendental. The servitor is always ready to
render a service to the Lord, and, similarly, the Lord is always seeking an
opportunity to render some service to the devotee. He takes greater pleasure in
His pure devotee`s assuming the advantageous postion of ordering Him than
He does in being the giver of orders. As master, everyone is under His orders,
and no one is above Him to order Him. But when he finds that a pure devotee
is ordering Him, He obtains transcendental pleasure, although He is the
infallible master of all circumstances.
As a pure devotee of the Lord, Arjuna had no desire to fight with his
cousins and brothers, but he was forced to come onto the battlefield by the
obstinacy of Duryodhana, who was never agreeable to any peaceful
negotiation. Therefore, he was very anxious to see who the leading persons
present on the battlefield were. Although there was no question of a
peacemaking endeavor on the battlefield, he wanted to see them again, and to
see how much they were bent upon demanding an unwanted war.


यावदेतान्निरीक्षेऽहं योद्धुकामानवस्थितान् | कैर्मया सह योद्धव्यमस्मिन् रणसमुद्यमे ||१-२२||

yāvadetānnirikṣe.ahaṃ yoddhukāmānavasthitān . kairmayā saha yoddhavyamasmin raṇasamudyame ||1-22||


योत्स्यमानानवेक्षेऽहं य एतेऽत्र समागताः | धार्तराष्ट्रस्य दुर्बुद्धेर्युद्धे प्रियचिकीर्षवः ||१-२३||

yotsyamānānavekṣe.ahaṃ ya ete.atra samāgatāḥ . dhārtarāṣṭrasya durbuddheryuddhe priyacikīrṣavaḥ ||1-23||

yotsyamanan —those who will be fighting; avekse —let me see; aham —I; ye
—who; ete —those; atra —here; samagatah —assembled; dhartarastrasya — the
son of Dhrtarastra; durbuddheh —evil-minded; yuddhe —in the fight; priya
—well; cikfrsavah —wishing.

Let me see those who have come here to fight, wishing to please the
evil-minded son of Dhrtarastra.

It was an open secret that Duryodhana wanted to usurp the kingdom of the
Pandavas by evil plans, in collaboration with his father, Dhrtarastra.
Therefore, all persons who had joined the side of Duryodhana must have been
birds of the same feather. Arjuna wanted to see them in the battlefield before
the fight was begun, just to learn who they were, but he had no intention of
proposing peace negotiations with them. It was also a fact that he wanted to
see them to make an estimate of the strength which he had to face, although he
was quite confident of victory because Krsna was sitting by his side.


सञ्जय उवाच | एवमुक्तो हृषीकेशो गुडाकेशेन भारत | सेनयोरुभयोर्मध्ये स्थापयित्वा रथोत्तमम् ||१-२४||

sañjaya uvāca . evamukto hṛṣīkeśo guḍākeśena bhārata . senayorubhayormadhye sthāpayitvā rathottamam ||1-24||

sahjayah —Sanjaya; uvaca —said; evam —thus; uktah —addressed; hrsTkesah
—Lord Krsna; gudakesena —by Arjuna; bharata —O descendant of Bharata;
senayoh —of armies; ubhayoh —of both; madhye —in the midst of; sthapayitva
—by placing; rathottamam —the finest chariot.

Sanjaya said: O descendant of Bharata, being thus addressed by
Arjuna, Lord Krsna drew up the fine chariot in the midst of the armies of
both parties.

In this verse Arjuna is referred to as Gudakesa. Gudaka means sleep, and
one who conquers sleep is called gudakesa. Sleep also means ignorance. So
Arjuna conquered both sleep and ignorance because of his friendship with
Krsna. As a great devotee of Krsna, he could not forget Krsna even for a
moment, because that is the nature of a devotee. Either in waking or in sleep, a
devotee of the Lord can never be free from thinking of Krsna`s name, form,
quality and pastimes. Thus a devotee of Krsna can conquer both sleep and
ignorance simply by thinking of Krsna constantly. This is called Krsna
consciousness, or samadhi. As Hrslkesa, or the director of the senses and mind
of every living entity, Krsna could understand Arjuna`s purpose in placing the
chariot in the midst of the armies. Thus He did so, and spoke as follows.


भीष्मद्रोणप्रमुखतः सर्वेषां च महीक्षिताम् | उवाच पार्थ पश्यैतान्समवेतान्कुरूनिति ||१-२५||

bhīṣmadroṇapramukhataḥ sarveṣāṃ ca mahīkṣitām . uvāca pārtha paśyaitānsamavetānkurūniti ||1-25||

bhisma —Grandfather Bhisma; drona —the teacher Drona; pramukhatah —
in the front of; sarvesam —all; ca —also; mahiksitam —chiefs of the world;
uvaca —said; partha —O Partha (son of Prtha); pasya —just behold; etan —all
of them; samavetan —assembled; kurun —all the members of the Kuru
dynasty; id —thus.

In the presence of Bhlsma, Drona and all other chieftains of the world,
Hrslkesa, the Lord, said. Just behold, Partha, all the Kurus who are
assembled here.

As the Supersoul of all living entities, Lord Krsna could understand what
was going on in the mind of Arjuna. The use of the word Hrslkesa in this
connection indicates that He knew everything. And the word Partha, or the
son of KuntI or Prtha, is also similarly significant in reference to Arjuna. As a
friend, He wanted to inform Arjuna that because Arjuna was the son of Prtha,
the sister of His own father Vasudeva, He had agreed to be the charioteer of
Arjuna. Now what did Krsna mean when He told Arjuna to "behold the
Kurus"? Did Arjuna want to stop there and not fight? Krsna never expected
such things from the son of His aunt Prtha. The mind of Arjuna was thus
predicated by the Lord in friendly joking.


तत्रापश्यत्स्थितान्पार्थः पितॄनथ पितामहान् | आचार्यान्मातुलान्भ्रातॄन्पुत्रान्पौत्रान्सखींस्तथा ||१-२६||

tatrāpaśyatsthitānpārthaḥ pitṝnatha pitāmahān . ācāryānmātulānbhrātṛnputrānpautrānsakhīṃstathā ||1-26||

tatra —there; apasyat —he could see; sthitan —standing; parthah —Arjuna;
pitfn —fathers; atha —also; pitamahan —grandfathers; acaryan —teachers;
matulan —maternal uncles; bhratfn —brothers; putran —sons; pautran
—grandsons; sakhm —friends; tatha —too, svasuran —fathers-in-law; suhrdah
—wellwishers; ca —also; eva —certainly; senayoh —of the armies; ubhayoh
—of both parties; api —including.

There Arjuna could see, within the midst of the armies of both parties,
his fathers, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons,
grandsons, friends, and also his father-in-law and well-wishers—all
present there.

On the battlefield Arjuna could see all kinds of relatives. He could see
persons like Bhurisrava, who were his father`s contemporaries, grandfathers
Bhlsma and Somadatta, teachers like Dronacarya and Krpacarya, maternal
uncles like Salya and Sakuni, brothers like Duryodhana, sons like Laksmana,
friends like Asvatthama, well-wishers like Krtavarma, etc. He could see also
the armies which contained many of his friends.


श्वशुरान्सुहृदश्चैव सेनयोरुभयोरपि | तान्समीक्ष्य स कौन्तेयः सर्वान्बन्धूनवस्थितान् ||१-२७||

śvaśurānsuhṛdaścaiva senayorubhayorapi . tānsamīkṣya sa kaunteyaḥ sarvānbandhūnavasthitān ||1-27||

tan —all of them; samfksya —after seeing; sah —he; kaunteyah —the son of
KuntI; sarvan —all kinds of; bandhun —relatives; avasthitan —situated; krpaya
—by compassion; par ay a —of a high grade; avistah —overwhelmed by;
visfdan —while lamenting; idam —thus; abravit —spoke.

When the son of KuntI, Arjuna, saw all these different grades of friends
and relatives, he became overwhelmed with compassion and spoke thus:


कृपया परयाविष्टो विषीदन्निदमब्रवीत् | अर्जुन उवाच | दृष्ट्वेमं स्वजनं कृष्ण युयुत्सुं समुपस्थितम् ||१-२८||

kṛpayā parayāviṣṭo viṣīdannidamabravīt . arjuna uvāca . dṛṣṭvemaṃ svajanaṃ kṛṣṇa yuyutsuṃ samupasthitam ||1-28||

arjunah —Arjuna; uvaca —said; drstva —after seeing; imam —all these;
svajanam —kinsmen; krsna —O Krsna; yuyutsum —all in fighting spirit;
samupasthitam —all present; sidanti —quivering; mama —my; gatrani —limbs
of the body; mukham —mouth; ca —also; parisusyati —drying up.

Arjuna said: My dear Krsna, seeing my friends and relatives present
before me in such a fighting spirit, I feel the limbs of my body quivering
and my mouth drying up.

Any man who has genuine devotion to the Lord has all the good qualities
which are found in godly persons or in the demigods, whereas the nondevotee,
however advanced he may be in material qualifications by education and
culture, lacks in godly qualities. As such, Arjuna, just after seeing his
kinsmen, friends and relatives on the battlefield, was at once overwhelmed by
compassion for them who had so decided to fight amongst themselves. As far
as his soldiers were concerned, he was sympathetic from the beginning, but he
felt compassion even for the soldiers of the opposite party, foreseeing their
imminent death. And so thinking, the limbs of his body began to quiver, and
his mouth became dry. He was more or less astonished to see their fighting
spirit. Practically the whole community, all blood relatives of Arjuna, had
come to fight with him. This overwhelmed a kind devotee like Arjuna.
Although it is not mentioned here, still one can easily imagine that not only
were Arjuna`s bodily limbs quivering and his mouth drying up, but that he was
also crying out of compassion. Such symptoms in Arjuna were not due to
weakness but to his softheartedness, a characteristic of a pure devotee of the
Lord. It is said therefore:
yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akihcana
sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah
harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna
mano-rathenasati dhavato bahih
"One who has unflinching devotion for the Personality of Godhead has all the
good qualities of the demigods. But one who is not a devotee of the Lord has
only material qualifications that are of little value. This is because he is
hovering on the mental plane and is certain to be attracted by the glaring
material energy." (Bhag. 5.18.12)


सीदन्ति मम गात्राणि मुखं च परिशुष्यति | वेपथुश्च शरीरे मे रोमहर्षश्च जायते ||१-२९||

sīdanti mama gātrāṇi mukhaṃ ca pariśuṣyati . vepathuśca śarīre me romaharṣaśca jāyate ||1-29||

tvak —skin; ca —also; eva —certainly; paridahyate —burning.

My whole body is trembling, and my hair is standing on end. My bow
Gandlva is slipping from my hand, and my skin is burning.

There are two kinds of trembling of the body, and two kinds of standings of
the hair on end. Such phenomena occur either in great spiritual ecstasy or out
of great fear under material conditions. There is no fear in transcendental
realization. Arjuna`s symptoms in this situation are out of material fear-
namely, loss of life. This is evident from other symptoms also; he became so
impatient that his famous bow Gandlva was slipping from his hands, and,
because his heart was burning within him, he was feeling a burning sensation
of the skin. All these are due to a material conception of life.


गाण्डीवं स्रंसते हस्तात्त्वक्चैव परिदह्यते | न च शक्नोम्यवस्थातुं भ्रमतीव च मे मनः ||१-३०||

gāṇḍīvaṃ sraṃsate hastāttvakcaiva paridahyate . na ca śaknomyavasthātuṃ bhramatīva ca me manaḥ ||1-30||

na —nor; ca —also; saknomi —am I able; avasthatum —to stay; bhramati —
forgetting; iva —as; ca —and; me —my; manah —mind; nimittani —causes; ca
—also; pasyami —I foresee; viparTtani —just the opposite; kesava —O killer of
the demon KesI (Krsna).

I am now unable to stand here any longer. I am forgetting myself, and
my mind is reeling. I foresee only evil, O killer of the KesI demon.

Due to his impatience, Arjuna was unable to stay on the battlefield, and he
was forgetting himself on account of the weakness of his mind. Excessive
attachment for material things puts a man in a bewildering condition of
existence. Bhayarh dvitTyabhinivesatah: such fearfulness and loss of mental
equilibrium take place in persons who are too affected by material conditions.
Arjuna envisioned only unhappiness in the battlefield—he would not be happy
even by gaining victory over the foe. The word nimitta is significant. When a
man sees only frustration in his expectations, he thinks, "Why am I here?"
Everyone is interested in himself and his own welfare. No one is interested in
the Supreme Self. Arjuna is supposed to show disregard for self-interest by
submission to the will of Krsna, who is everyone`s real self-interest. The
conditioned soul forgets this, and therefore suffers material pains. Arjuna
thought that his victory in the battle would only be a cause of lamentation for


निमित्तानि च पश्यामि विपरीतानि केशव | न च श्रेयोऽनुपश्यामि हत्वा स्वजनमाहवे ||१-३१||

nimittāni ca paśyāmi viparītāni keśava . na ca śreyo.anupaśyāmi hatvā svajanamāhave ||1-31||

na —nor; ca —also; sreyah —good; anupasyami —do I foresee; hatva —by
killing; svajanam —own kinsmen; ahave —in the fight; na —nor; kankse —do I
desire; vijayam —victory; krsna —O Krsna; na —nor; ca —also; rajyam
—kingdom; sukhani —happiness thereof; ca —also.

I do not see how any good can come from killing my own kinsmen in
this battle, nor can I, my dear Krsna, desire any subsequent victory,
kingdom, or happiness.

Without knowing that one`s self-interest is in Visnu (or Krsna), conditioned
souls are attracted by bodily relationships, hoping to be happy in such
situations. Under delusion, they forget that Krsna is also the cause of material
happiness. Arjuna appears to have even forgotten the moral codes for a
ksatriya. It is said that two kinds of men, namely the ksatriya who dies
directly in front of the battlefield under Krsna`s personal orders and the person
in the renounced order of life who is absolutely devoted to spiritual culture,
are eligible to enter into the sun-globe, which is so powerful and dazzling.
Arjuna is reluctant even to kill his enemies, let alone his relatives. He thought
that by killing his kinsmen there would be no happiness in his life, and
therefore he was not willing to fight, just as a person who does not feel hunger
is not inclined to cook. He has now decided to go into the forest and live a
secluded life in frustration. But as a ksatriya, he requires a kingdom for his
subsistence, because the ksatriyas cannot engage themselves in any other
occupation. But Arjuna has had no kingdom. Arjuna`s sole opportunity for
gaining a kingdom lay in fighting with his cousins and brothers and
reclaiming the kingdom inherited from his father, which he does not like to do.
Therefore he considers himself fit to go to the forest to live a secluded life of


न काङ्क्षे विजयं कृष्ण न च राज्यं सुखानि च | किं नो राज्येन गोविन्द किं भोगैर्जीवितेन वा ||१-३२||

na kāṅkṣe vijayaṃ kṛṣṇa na ca rājyaṃ sukhāni ca . kiṃ no rājyena govinda kiṃ bhogairjīvitena vā ||1-32||

kim —what use; nah —to us; rajyena —is the kingdom; govinda —O Krsna;
kim —what; bhogaih —enjoyment; jfvitena —by living; va—either; yesam —for
whom; arthe —for the matter of; kahksitam —desired; nah —our; rajyam
—kingdom; bhogah —material enjoyment; sukhani —all happiness; ca —also;
te —all of them; ime —these; avasthitah —situated; yuddhe —in this battlefield;
pranan —lives; tyaktva —giving up; dhanani —riches; ca —also; acaryah
—teachers; pitarah —fathers; putrah —sons; tatha —as well as; eva — certainly;
ca —also; pitamahah —grandfathers; matulah —maternal uncles; svasurah
—fathers-in-law; pautrah —grandsons; syalah —brothers-in-law;
sambandhinah —relatives; tatha —as well as; etan —all these; na —never;
hantum — for killing; icchami —do I wish; ghnatah —being killed; api —even;
madhusiidana —O killer of the demon Madhu (Krsna); api —even if; trailokya
—of the three worlds; rajyasya —of the kingdoms; hetoh —in exchange; kim
—what to speak of; nu —only; mahT-krte —for the sake of earth; nihatya —by
killing; dhartarastran —the sons of Dhrtarastra; nah —our; ka —what; pritih —
pleasure; syat —will there be; janardana —O maintainer of all living entities.

O Govinda, of what avail to us are kingdoms, happiness or even life
itself when all those for whom we may desire them are now arrayed in
this battlefield? O Madhusudana, when teachers, fathers, sons,
grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law
and all relatives are ready to give up their lives and properties and are
standing before me, then why should I wish to kill them, though I may
survive? O maintainer of all creatures, I am not prepared to fight with
them even in exchange for the three worlds, let alone this earth.

Arjuna has addressed Lord Krsna as Govinda because Krsna is the object of
all pleasures for cows and the senses. By using this significant word, Arjuna
indicates what will satisfy his senses. Although Govinda is not meant for
satisfying our senses, if we try to satisfy the senses of Govinda then
automatically our own senses are satisfied. Materially, everyone wants to
satisfy his senses, and he wants God to be the order supplier for such
satisfaction. The Lord will satisfy the senses of the living entities as much as
they deserve, but not to the extent that they may covet. But when one takes the
opposite way-namely, when one tries to satisfy the senses of Govinda without
desiring to satisfy one`s own senses-then by the grace of Govinda all desires
of the living entity are satisfied. Arjuna`s deep affection for community and
family members is exhibited here partly due to his natural compassion for
them. He is therefore not prepared to fight. Everyone wants to show his
opulence to friends and relatives, but Arjuna fears that all his relatives and
friends will be killed in the battlefield, and he will be unable to share his
opulence after victory. This is a typical calculation of material life. The
transcendental life is, however, different. Since a devotee wants to satisfy the
desires of the Lord, he can, Lord willing, accept all kinds of opulence for the
service of the Lord, and if the Lord is not willing, he should not accept a
farthing. Arjuna did not want to kill his relatives, and if there were any need to
kill them, he desired that Krsna kill them personally. At this point he did not
know that Krsna had already killed them before their coming into the
battlefield and that he was only to become an instrument for Krsna. This fact
is disclosed in following chapters. As a natural devotee of the Lord, Arjuna
did not like to retaliate against his miscreant cousins and brothers, but it was
the Lord`s plan that they should all be killed. The devotee of the Lord does not
retaliate against the wrongdoer, but the Lord does not tolerate any mischief
done to the devotee by the miscreants. The Lord can excuse a person on His
own account, but He excuses no one who has done harm to His devotees.
Therefore the Lord was determined to kill the miscreants, although Arjuna
wanted to excuse them.


येषामर्थे काङ्क्षितं नो राज्यं भोगाः सुखानि च | त इमेऽवस्थिता युद्धे प्राणांस्त्यक्त्वा धनानि च ||१-३३||

yeṣāmarthe kāṅkṣitaṃ no rājyaṃ bhogāḥ sukhāni ca . ta ime.avasthitā yuddhe prāṇāṃstyaktvā dhanāni ca ||1-33||


आचार्याः पितरः पुत्रास्तथैव च पितामहाः | मातुलाः श्वशुराः पौत्राः श्यालाः सम्बन्धिनस्तथा ||१-३४||

ācāryāḥ pitaraḥ putrāstathaiva ca pitāmahāḥ . mātulāḥ śvaśurāḥ pautrāḥ śyālāḥ sambandhinastathā ||1-34||


एतान्न हन्तुमिच्छामि घ्नतोऽपि मधुसूदन | अपि त्रैलोक्यराज्यस्य हेतोः किं नु महीकृते ||१-३५||

etānna hantumicchāmi ghnato.api madhusūdana . api trailokyarājyasya hetoḥ kiṃ nu mahīkṛte ||1-35||


निहत्य धार्तराष्ट्रान्नः का प्रीतिः स्याज्जनार्दन | पापमेवाश्रयेदस्मान्हत्वैतानाततायिनः ||१-३६||

nihatya dhārtarāṣṭrānnaḥ kā prītiḥ syājjanārdana . pāpamevāśrayedasmānhatvaitānātatāyinaḥ ||1-36||

papam —vices; eva —certainly; asrayet —must take upon; asman —us; hatva
—by killing; etan —all these; atatayinah —aggressors; tasmat —therefore; na —
never; arhah —deserving; vayam —us; hantum —to kill; dhartarastran —the
sons of Dhrtarastra; svabandhavan —along with friends; svajanam —kinsmen;
hi —certainly; katham —how; hatva —by killing; sukhinah —happy; syama —
become; madhava —O Krsna, husband of the goddess of fortune.

Sin will overcome us if we slay such aggressors. Therefore it is not
proper for us to kill the sons of Dhrtarastra and our friends. What should
we gain, O Krsna, husband of the goddess of fortune, and how could we
be happy by killing our own kinsmen?

According to Vedic injunctions there are six kinds of aggressors: 1) a
poison giver, 2) one who sets fire to the house, 3) one who attacks with deadly
weapons, 4) one who plunders riches, 5) one who occupies another`s land, and
6) one who kidnaps a wife. Such aggressors are at once to be killed, and no sin
is incurred by killing such aggressors. Such killing of aggressors is quite
befitting for any ordinary man, but Arjuna was not an ordinary person. He was
saintly by character, and therefore he wanted to deal with them in saintliness.
This kind of saintliness, however, is not for a ksatriya. Although a responsible
man in the administration of a state is required to be saintly, he should not be
cowardly. For example, Lord Rama was so saintly that people were anxious to
live in His kingdom, (Rama-rajya), but Lord Rama never showed any
cowardice. Ravana was an aggressor against Rama because he kidnapped
Rama`s wife, SIta, but Lord Rama gave him sufficient lessons, unparalleled in
the history of the world. In Arjuna`s case, however, one should consider the
special type of aggressors, namely his own grandfather, own teacher, friends,
sons, grandsons, etc. Because of them, Arjuna thought that he should not take
the severe steps necessary against ordinary aggressors. Besides that, saintly
persons are advised to forgive. Such injunctions for saintly persons are more
important than any political emergency. Arjuna considered that rather than kill
his own kinsmen for political reasons, it would be better to forgive them on
grounds of religion and saintly behavior. He did not, therefore, consider such
killing profitable simply for the matter of temporary bodily happiness. After
all, kingdoms and pleasures derived therefrom are not permanent, so why
should he risk his life and eternal salvation by killing his own kinsmen?
Arjuna`s addressing of Krsna as "Madhava," or the husband of the goddess of
fortune, is also significant in this connection. He wanted to point out to Krsna
that, as husband of the goddess of fortune, He should not have to induce
Arjuna to take up a matter which would ultimately bring about misfortune.
Krsna, however, never brings misfortune to anyone, to say nothing of His


तस्मान्नार्हा वयं हन्तुं धार्तराष्ट्रान्स्वबान्धवान् | स्वजनं हि कथं हत्वा सुखिनः स्याम माधव ||१-३७||

tasmānnārhā vayaṃ hantuṃ dhārtarāṣṭrānsvabāndhavān . svajanaṃ hi kathaṃ hatvā sukhinaḥ syāma mādhava ||1-37||

yadi —if; api —certainly; ete —they; na —do not; pasyanti —see; lobha —
greed; upahata —overpowered; cetasah —the hearts; kula-ksaya —in killing the
family; krtam —done; dosam —fault; mitra-drohe —quarreling with friends; ca
—also; patakam —sinful reactions; katham —why; na —shall not; jneyam —
know this; asmabhih —by us; papat —from sins; asmat —ourselves; nivartitum
—to cease; kula-ksaya —the destruction of a dynasty; krtam —by so doing;
dosam —crime; prapasyadbhih —by those who can see; janardana —O Krsna.

O Janardana, although these men, overtaken by greed, see no fault in
killing one`s family or quarreling with friends, why should we, with
knowledge of the sin, engage in these acts?

A ksatriya is not supposed to refuse to battle or gamble when he is so
invited by some rival party. Under such obligation, Arjuna could not refuse to
fight because he was challenged by the party of Duryodhana. In this
connection, Arjuna considered that the other party might be blind to the
effects of such a challenge. Arjuna, however, could see the evil consequences
and could not accept the challenge. Obligation is actually binding when the
effect is good, but when the effect is otherwise, then no one can be bound.
Considering all these pros and cons, Arjuna decided not to fight.


यद्यप्येते न पश्यन्ति लोभोपहतचेतसः | कुलक्षयकृतं दोषं मित्रद्रोहे च पातकम् ||१-३८||

yadyapyete na paśyanti lobhopahatacetasaḥ . kulakṣayakṛtaṃ doṣaṃ mitradrohe ca pātakam ||1-38||


कथं न ज्ञेयमस्माभिः पापादस्मान्निवर्तितुम् | कुलक्षयकृतं दोषं प्रपश्यद्भिर्जनार्दन ||१-३९||

kathaṃ na jñeyamasmābhiḥ pāpādasmānnivartitum . kulakṣayakṛtaṃ doṣaṃ prapaśyadbhirjanārdana ||1-39||

adharmah —irreligious; abhibhavati —transforms; uta —it is said.

With the destruction of dynasty, the eternal family tradition is
vanquished, and thus the rest of the family becomes involved in
irreligious practice.

In the system of the varnasrama institution there are many principles of
religious traditions to help members of the family grow properly and attain
spiritual values. The elder members are responsible for such purifying
processes in the family, beginning from birth to death. But on the death of the
elder members, such family traditions of purification may stop, and the
remaining younger family members may develop irreligious habits and
thereby lose their chance for spiritual salvation. Therefore, for no purpose
should the elder members of the family be slain.


कुलक्षये प्रणश्यन्ति कुलधर्माः सनातनाः | धर्मे नष्टे कुलं कृत्स्नमधर्मोऽभिभवत्युत ||१-४०||

kulakṣaye praṇaśyanti kuladharmāḥ sanātanāḥ . dharme naṣṭe kulaṃ kṛtsnamadharmo.abhibhavatyuta ||1-40||

adharma —irreligion; abhibhavat —having been predominant; krsna — O
Krsna; pradusyanti —become polluted; kula-striyah —family ladies; strTsu —of
the womanhood; dustasu —being so polluted; varsneya —O descendant of
Vrsni; jayate —it so becomes; varna-sankarah —unwanted progeny.

When irreligion is prominent in the family, O Krsna, the women of the
family become corrupt, and from the degradation of womanhood, O
descendant of Vrsni, comes unwanted progeny.

Good population in human society is the basic principle for peace,
prosperity and spiritual progress in life. The varnasrama religion`s principles
were so designed that the good population would prevail in society for the
general spiritual progress of state and community. Such population depends on
the chastity and faithfulness of its womanhood. As children are very prone to
be misled, women are similarly very prone to degradation. Therefore, both
children and women require protection by the elder members of the family. By
being engaged in various religious practices, women will not be misled into
adultery. According to Canakya Pandit, women are generally not very
intelligent and therefore not trustworthy. So, the different family traditions of
religious activities should always engage them, and thus their chastity and
devotion will give birth to a good population eligible for participating in the
varnasrama system. On the failure of such varnasrama-dharma, naturally the
women become free to act and mix with men, and thus adultery is indulged in
at the risk of unwanted population. Irresponsible men also provoke adultery in
society, and thus unwanted children flood the human race at the risk of war
and pestilence.


अधर्माभिभवात्कृष्ण प्रदुष्यन्ति कुलस्त्रियः | स्त्रीषु दुष्टासु वार्ष्णेय जायते वर्णसङ्करः ||१-४१||

adharmābhibhavātkṛṣṇa praduṣyanti kulastriyaḥ . strīṣu duṣṭāsu vārṣṇeya jāyate varṇasaṅkaraḥ ||1-41||

sahkarah —such unwanted children; narakaya —for hellish life; eva —
certainly; kula-ghnanam —of those who are killers of the family; kulasya — of
the family; ca —also; patanti —fall down; pitarah —forefathers; hi — certainly;
esam —of them; lupta —stopped; pinda —offerings; udaka —water; kriyah —

When there is increase of unwanted population, a hellish situation is
created both for the family and for those who destroy the family tradition.
In such corrupt families, there is no offering of oblations of food and
water to the ancestors.

According to the rules and regulations of fruitive activities, there is a need
to offer periodical food and water to the forefathers of the family. This
offering is performed by worship of Visnu, because eating the remnants of
food offered to Visnu can deliver one from all kinds of sinful actions.
Sometimes the forefathers may be suffering from various types of sinful
reactions, and sometimes some of them cannot even acquire a gross material
body and are forced to remain in subtle bodies as ghosts. Thus, when remnants
of prasadam food are offered to forefathers by descendants, the forefathers are
released from ghostly or other kinds of miserable life. Such help rendered to
forefathers is a family tradition, and those who are not in devotional life are
required to perform such rituals. One who is engaged in the devotional life is
not required to perform such actions. Simply by performing devotional
service, one can deliver hundreds and thousands of forefathers from all kinds
of misery. It is stated in the Bhagavatam:
devarsi-bhutapta-nmam pitfnam
na kinkaro nayamrm ca rajan
sarvatmana yah saranam saranyam
gato mukundarh parihrtya kartam
"Anyone who has taken shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, the giver of
liberation, giving up all kinds of obligation, and has taken to the path in all
seriousness, owes neither duties nor obligations to the demigods, sages,
general living entities, family members, humankind or forefathers." ( Bhag .
11.5.41) Such obligations are automatically fulfilled by performance of
devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


सङ्करो नरकायैव कुलघ्नानां कुलस्य च | पतन्ति पितरो ह्येषां लुप्तपिण्डोदकक्रियाः ||१-४२||

saṅkaro narakāyaiva kulaghnānāṃ kulasya ca . patanti pitaro hyeṣāṃ luptapiṇḍodakakriyāḥ ||1-42||

dosaih —by such faults; etaih —all these; kula-ghnanam —of the destroyer of
a family; varna-sahkara —unwanted children; karakaih —by the doers;
utsadyante —causes devastation; jati-dharmah —community project; kula-
dharmah —family tradition; ca —also; sasvatah —eternal.

Due to the evil deeds of the destroyers of family tradition, all kinds of
community projects and family welfare activities are devastated.

The four orders of human society, combined with family welfare activities
as they are set forth by the institution of the sanatana-dharma or varnasrama-
dharma, are designed to enable the human being to attain his ultimate
salvation. Therefore, the breaking of the sanatana-dharma tradition by
irresponsible leaders of society brings about chaos in that society, and
consequently people forget the aim of life—Visnu. Such leaders are called
blind, and persons who follow such leaders are sure to be led into chaos.


दोषैरेतैः कुलघ्नानां वर्णसङ्करकारकैः | उत्साद्यन्ते जातिधर्माः कुलधर्माश्च शाश्वताः ||१-४३||

doṣairetaiḥ kulaghnānāṃ varṇasaṅkarakārakaiḥ . utsādyante jātidharmāḥ kuladharmāśca śāśvatāḥ ||1-43||

utsanna —spoiled; kula-dharmanam —of those who have the family
traditions; manusyanam —of such men; janardana —0 Krsna; narake —in hell;
niyatam —always; vasah —residence; bhavati —it so becomes; id —thus;
anususruma —I have heard by disciplic succession.

O Krsna, maintainer of the people, I have heard by disciplic succession
that those who destroy family traditions dwell always in hell.

Arjuna bases his argument not on his own personal experience, but on what
he has heard from the authorities. That is the way of receiving real knowledge.
One cannot reach the real point of factual knowledge without being helped by
the right person who is already established in that knowledge. There is a
system in the varnasrama institution by which one has to undergo the process
of ablution before death for his sinful activities. One who is always engaged in
sinful activities must utilize the process of ablution called the prayascitta.
Without doing so, one surely will be transferred to hellish planets to undergo
miserable lives as the result of sinful activities.


उत्सन्नकुलधर्माणां मनुष्याणां जनार्दन | नरके नियतं वासो भवतीत्यनुशुश्रुम (or नरकेऽनियतं) ||१-४४||

utsannakuladharmāṇāṃ manuṣyāṇāṃ janārdana . narake niyataṃ vāso bhavatītyanuśuśruma ||1-44||

ahah —alas; bata —how strange it is; mahat —great; papam —sins; kartum —
to perform; v yavasitah —decided; vayam —we; yat —so that; rajya —kingdom;
sukha-lobhena —driven by greed for royal happiness; hantum —to kill;
svajanam —kinsmen; udyatah —trying for.

Alas, how strange it is that we are preparing to commit greatly sinful
acts, driven by the desire to enjoy royal happiness.

Driven by selfish motives, one may be inclined to such sinful acts as the
killing of one`s own brother, father, or mother. There are many such instances
in the history of the world. But Arjuna, being a saintly devotee of the Lord, is
always conscious of moral principles and therefore takes care to avoid such


अहो बत महत्पापं कर्तुं व्यवसिता वयम् | यद्राज्यसुखलोभेन हन्तुं स्वजनमुद्यताः ||१-४५||

aho bata mahatpāpaṃ kartuṃ vyavasitā vayam . yadrājyasukhalobhena hantuṃ svajanamudyatāḥ ||1-45||

yadi —even if; mam —unto me; apratikaram —without being resistant;
asastram —without being fully equipped; sastra-panayah —those with
weapons in hand; dhartarastrah —the sons of Dhrtarastra; rane —in the
battlefield; hanyuh —may kill; tat —that; me —mine; ksemataram —better;
bhavet — become.

I would consider it better for the sons of Dhrtarastra to kill me
unarmed and unresisting, rather than fight with them.

It is the custom-according to ksatriya fighting principles-that an unarmed
and unwilling foe should not be attacked. Arjuna, however, in such an
enigmatic position, decided he would not fight if he were attacked by the
enemy. He did not consider how much the other party was bent upon fighting.
All these symptoms are due to softheartedness resulting from his being a great
devotee of the Lord.


यदि मामप्रतीकारमशस्त्रं शस्त्रपाणयः | धार्तराष्ट्रा रणे हन्युस्तन्मे क्षेमतरं भवेत् ||१-४६||

yadi māmapratīkāramaśastraṃ śastrapāṇayaḥ . dhārtarāṣṭrā raṇe hanyustanme kṣemataraṃ bhavet ||1-46||

sanjayah —Sanjaya; uvaca —said; evam —thus; uktva —saying; arjunah —
Arjuna; sankhye —in the battlefield; ratha —chariot; upasthah —situated on;
upavisat —sat down again; visrjya —keeping aside; sa-saram —along with
arrows; capam —the bow; soka —lamentation; samvigna —distressed; manasah
—within the mind.

Sanjaya said: Arjuna, having thus spoken on the battlefield, cast aside
his bow and arrows and sat down on the chariot, his mind overwhelmed
with grief.

While observing the situation of his enemy, Arjuna stood up on the chariot,
but he was so afflicted with lamentation that he sat down again, setting aside
his bow and arrows. Such a kind and softhearted person, in the devotional
service of the Lord, is fit to receive self-knowledge.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the First Chapter of the Srimad-
Bhagavad-glta in the matter of Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of


सञ्जय उवाच | एवमुक्त्वार्जुनः सङ्ख्ये रथोपस्थ उपाविशत् | विसृज्य सशरं चापं शोकसंविग्नमानसः ||१-४७||

sañjaya uvāca . evamuktvārjunaḥ saṅkhye rathopastha upāviśat . visṛjya saśaraṃ cāpaṃ śokasaṃvignamānasaḥ ||1-47||

Глава 2

Contents of the Gita Summarized


सञ्जय उवाच | तं तथा कृपयाविष्टमश्रुपूर्णाकुलेक्षणम् | विषीदन्तमिदं वाक्यमुवाच मधुसूदनः ||२-१||

sañjaya uvāca . taṃ tathā kṛpayāviṣṭamaśrupūrṇākulekṣaṇam . viṣīdantamidaṃ vākyamuvāca madhusūdanaḥ ||2-1||

sahjayah uvaca —Sanjaya said; tam —unto Arjuna; tatha —thus; krpaya — by
compassion; avistam —overwhelmed; asru-purna —full of tears; akula —
depressed; Tksanam —eyes; visTdantam —lamenting; idam —this; vakyam
—words; uvaca —said; madhusudanah —the killer of Madhu.

Sanjaya said: Seeing Arjuna full of compassion and very sorrowful, his
eyes brimming with tears, Madhusudana, Krsna, spoke the following

Material compassion, lamentation and tears are all signs of ignorance of the
real self. Compassion for the eternal soul is self-realization. The word
"Madhusudana" is significant in this verse. Lord Krsna killed the demon
Madhu, and now Arjuna wanted Krsna to kill the demon of misunderstanding
that had overtaken him in the discharge of his duty. No one knows where
compassion should be applied. Compassion for the dress of a drowning man is
senseless. A man fallen in the ocean of nescience cannot be saved simply by
rescuing his outward dress-the gross material body. One who does not know
this and laments for the outward dress is called a sudra, or one who laments
unnecessarily. Arjuna was a ksatriya, and this conduct was not expected from
him. Lord Krsna, however, can dissipate the lamentation of the ignorant man,
and for this purpose the Bhagavad- gita was sung by Him. This chapter
instructs us in self-realization by an analytical study of the material body and
the spirit soul, as explained by the supreme authority, Lord Sri Krsna. This
realization is made possible by working with the fruitive being situated in the
fixed conception of the real self.


श्रीभगवानुवाच | कुतस्त्वा कश्मलमिदं विषमे समुपस्थितम् | अनार्यजुष्टमस्वर्ग्यमकीर्तिकरमर्जुन ||२-२||

śrībhagavānuvāca . kutastvā kaśmalamidaṃ viṣame samupasthitam . anāryajuṣṭamasvargyamakīrtikaramarjuna ||2-2||

srT bhagavan uvaca —the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; kutah —
wherefrom; tva —unto you; kasmalam —dirtiness; idam —this lamentation;
visame —this hour of crisis; samupasthitam —arrived; anarya —persons who do
not know the value of life; justam —practiced by; asvargyam —that which does
not lead to higher planets; akfrti —infamy; karam —the cause of; arjuna —O

The Supreme Person [Bhagavan] said: My dear Arjuna, how have
these impurities come upon you? They are not at all befitting a man who
knows the progressive values of life. They do not lead to higher planets,
but to infamy.

Krsna and the Supreme Personality of Godhead are identical. Therefore
Lord Krsna is referred to as "Bhagavan" throughout the Gita. Bhagavan is the
ultimate in the Absolute Truth. Absolute Truth is realized in three phases of
understanding, namely Brahman or the impersonal all-pervasive spirit;
Paramatma, or the localized aspect of the Supreme within the heart of all
living entities; and Bhagavan, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord
Krsna. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam this conception of the Absolute Truth is
explained thus:
vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam yaj jhanam advayam
brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate.
"The Absolute Truth is realized in three phases of understanding by the
knower of the Absolute Truth, and all of them are identical. Such phases of the
Absolute Truth are expressed as Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavan." ( Bhag .
1.2.11) These three divine aspects can be explained by the example of the sun,
which also has three different aspects, namely the sunshine, the sun`s surface
and the sun planet itself. One who studies the sunshine only is the preliminary
student. One who understands the sun`s surface is further advanced. And one
who can enter into the sun planet is the highest. Ordinary students who are
satisfied by simply understanding the sunshine-its universal pervasiveness and
the glaring effulgence of its impersonal nature-may be compared to those who
can realize only the Brahman feature of the Absolute Truth. The student who
has advanced still further can know the sun disc, which is compared to
knowledge of the Paramatma feature of the Absolute Truth. And the student
who can enter into the heart of the sun planet is compared to those who realize
the personal features of the Supreme Absolute Truth. Therefore, the bhaktas,
or the transcendentalists who have realized the Bhagavan feature of the
Absolute Truth, are the topmost transcendentalists, although all students who
are engaged in the study of the Absolute Truth are engaged in the same subject
matter. The sunshine, the sun disc and the inner affairs of the sun planet
cannot be separated from one another, and yet the students of the three
different phases are not in the same category.
The Sanskrit word Bhagavan is explained by the great authority, Parasara
Muni, the father of Vyasadeva. The Supreme Personality who possesses all
riches, all strength, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation is
called Bhagavan. There are many persons who are very rich, very powerful,
very beautiful, very famous, very learned, and very much detached, but no one
can claim that he possesses all riches, all strength, etc., entirely. Only Krsna
can claim this because He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No living
entity, including Brahma, Lord Siva, or Narayana, can possess opulences as
fully as Krsna. Therefore it is concluded in the Brahma-samhita by Lord
Brahma himself that Lord Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No
one is equal to or above Him. He is the primeval Lord, or Bhagavan, known as
Govinda, and He is the supreme cause of all causes.
Tsvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah
anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam
"There are many personalities possessing the qualities of Bhagavan, but Krsna
is the supreme because none can excel Him. He is the Supreme Person, and
His body is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss. He is the primeval Lord
Govinda and the cause of all causes." (Brahma- samhita 5.1)
In the Bhagavatam also there is a list of many incarnations of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, but Krsna is described as the original Personality of
Godhead, from whom many, many incarnations and Personalities of Godhead
ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam
indrari-vyakulam lokarh mrdayanti yuge yuge
"All the lists of the incarnations of Godhead submitted herewith are either
plenary expansions or parts of the plenary expansions of the Supreme
Godhead, but Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself." (Bhag.
Therefore, Krsna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, the
Absolute Truth, the source of both the Supersoul and the impersonal Brahman.
In the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Arjuna`s
lamentation for his kinsmen is certainly unbecoming, and therefore Krsna
expressed His surprise with the word kutas, "wherefrom." Such unmanly
sentiments were never expected from a person belonging to the civilized class
of men known as Aryans. The word aryan is applicable to persons who know
the value of life and have a civilization based on spiritual realization. Persons
who are led by the material conception of life do not know that the aim of life
is realization of the Absolute Truth, Visnu, or Bhagavan, and they are
captivated by the external features of the material world, and therefore they do
not know what liberation is. Persons who have no knowledge of liberation
from material bondage are called non-Aryans. Although Arjuna was a
ksatriya, he was deviating from his prescribed duties by declining to fight.
This act of cowardice is described as befitting the non-Aryans. Such deviation
from duty does not help one in the progress of spiritual life, nor does it even
give one the opportunity to become famous in this world. Lord Krsna did not
approve of the so- called compassion of Arjuna for his kinsmen.


क्लैब्यं मा स्म गमः पार्थ नैतत्त्वय्युपपद्यते | क्षुद्रं हृदयदौर्बल्यं त्यक्त्वोत्तिष्ठ परन्तप ||२-३||

klaibyaṃ mā sma gamaḥ pārtha naitattvayyupapadyate . kṣudraṃ hṛdayadaurbalyaṃ tyaktvottiṣṭha parantapa ||2-3||

klaibyam —impotence; ma —do not; sma —take it; gamah —go in; partha —O
son of Prtha; na —never; etat —like this; tvayi —unto you; upapadyate —is
befitting; ksudram —very little; hrdaya —heart; daurbalyam — weakness;
tyaktva —giving up; uttistha —get up; parantapa —O chastiser of the enemies.

O son of Prtha, do not yield to this degrading impotence. It does not
become you. Give up such petty weakness of heart and arise, O chastiser
of the enemy.

Arjuna was addressed as the "son of Prtha," who happened to be the sister
of Krsna`s father Vasudeva. Therefore Arjuna had a blood relationship with
Krsna. If the son of a ksatriya declines to fight, he is a ksatriya in name only,
and if the son of a brahmana acts impiously, he is a brahmana in name only.
Such ksatriyas and brahmanas are unworthy sons of their fathers; therefore,
Krsna did not want Arjuna to become an unworthy son of a ksatriya. Arjuna
was the most intimate friend of Krsna, and Krsna was directly guiding him on
the chariot; but in spite of all these credits, if Arjuna abandoned the battle, he
would be committing an infamous act; therefore Krsna said that such an
attitude in Arjuna did not fit his personality. Arjuna might argue that he would
give up the battle on the grounds of his magnanimous attitude for the most
respectable Bhlsma and his relatives, but Krsna considered that sort of
magnanimity not approved by authority. Therefore, such magnanimity or so-
called nonviolence should be given up by persons like Arjuna under the direct
guidance of Krsna.


अर्जुन उवाच | कथं भीष्ममहं सङ्ख्ये द्रोणं च मधुसूदन | इषुभिः प्रतियोत्स्यामि पूजार्हावरिसूदन ||२-४||

arjuna uvāca . kathaṃ bhīṣmamahaṃ saṅkhye droṇaṃ ca madhusūdana . iṣubhiḥ pratiyotsyāmi pūjārhāvarisūdana ||2-4||

arjunah uvaca —Arjuna said; katham —how; bhismam —unto Bhisma; aham
—I; sahkhye —in the fight; dronam —unto Drona; ca —also, madhusudana —O
killer of Madhu; isubhih —with arrows; pratiyotsyami —shall counterattack;
puja-arhau —those who are worshipable; arisudana —O killer of the enemies.

Arjuna said: O killer of Madhu [Krsna], how can I counterattack with
arrows in battle men like Bhisma and Drona, who are worthy of my

Respectable superiors like Bhisma the grandfather and Dronacarya the
teacher are always worshipable. Even if they attack, they should not be
counterattacked. It is general etiquette that superiors are not to be offered even
a verbal fight. Even if they are sometimes harsh in behavior, they should not
be harshly treated. Then, how is it possible for Arjuna to counterattack them?
Would Krsna ever attack His own grandfather, Ugrasena, or His teacher,
Sandlpani Muni? These were some of the arguments by Arjuna to Krsna.


गुरूनहत्वा हि महानुभावान् श्रेयो भोक्तुं भैक्ष्यमपीह लोके | हत्वार्थकामांस्तु गुरूनिहैव भुञ्जीय भोगान् रुधिरप्रदिग्धान् ||२-५||

gurūnahatvā hi mahānubhāvān śreyo bhoktuṃ bhaikṣyamapīha loke . hatvārthakāmāṃstu gurūnihaiva bhuñjīya bhogān rudhirapradigdhān ||2-5||

gurun —the superiors; ahatva —by killing; hi —certainly; maha-anubhavan —
great souls; sreyah —it is better; bhoktum —to enjoy life; bhaiksyam —begging;
api —even; iha —in this life; loke —in this world; hatva —killing; artha —gain;
kaman —so desiring; tu —but; gurun —superiors; iha —in this world; eva —
certainly; bhuhjiya —has to enjoy; bhogan —enjoyable things; rudhira —blood;
pradigdhan —tainted with.

It is better to live in this world by begging than to live at the cost of the
lives of great souls who are my teachers. Even though they are avaricious,
they are nonetheless superiors. If they are killed, our spoils will be tainted
with blood.

According to scriptural codes, a teacher who engages in an abominable
action and has lost his sense of discrimination is fit to be abandoned. Bhlsma
and Drona were obliged to take the side of Duryodhana because of his
financial assistance, although they should not have accepted such a position
simply on financial considerations. Under the circumstances, they have lost
the respectability of teachers. But Arjuna thinks that nevertheless they remain
his superiors, and therefore to enjoy material profits after killing them would
mean to enjoy spoils tainted with blood.


न चैतद्विद्मः कतरन्नो गरीयो यद्वा जयेम यदि वा नो जयेयुः | यानेव हत्वा न जिजीविषामस्- तेऽवस्थिताः प्रमुखे धार्तराष्ट्राः ||२-६||

na caitadvidmaḥ kataranno garīyo yadvā jayema yadi vā no jayeyuḥ . yāneva hatvā na jijīviṣāmaḥ te.avasthitāḥ pramukhe dhārtarāṣṭrāḥ ||2-6||

na —nor; ca —also; etat —this; vidmah —do know; katarat —which; nah —us;
gariyah —better; yat —what; va —either; jayema —conquer us; yadi —if; va —or;
nah —us; jay eyuh —conquer; yan —those; eva —certainly; hatva —by killing; na
—never; jijivisamah —want to live; te —all of them; avasthitah —are situated;
pramukhe —in the front; dhartarastrah —the sons of Dhrtarastra.

Nor do we know which is better-conquering them or being conquered
by them. The sons of Dhrtarastra, whom if we killed we should not care to
live, are now standing before us on this battlefield.

Arjuna did not know whether he should fight and risk unnecessary violence,
although fighting is the duty of the ksatriyas, or whether he should refrain and
live by begging. If he did not conquer the enemy, begging would be his only
means of subsistence. Nor was there certainty of victory, because either side
might emerge victorious. Even if victory awaited them (and their cause was
justified), still, if the sons of Dhrtarastra died in battle, it would be very
difficult to live in their absence. Under the circumstances, that would be
another kind of defeat for them. All these considerations by Arjuna definitely
prove that he was not only a great devotee of the Lord but that he was also
highly enlightened and had complete control over his mind and senses. His
desire to live by begging, although he was born in the royal household, is
another sign of detachment. He was truly virtuous, as these qualities,
combined with his faith in the words of instruction of Sri Krsna (his spiritual
master), indicate. It is concluded that Arjuna was quite fit for liberation.
Unless the senses are controlled, there is no chance of elevation to the
platform of knowledge, and without knowledge and devotion there is no
chance of liberation. Arjuna was competent in all these attributes, over and
above his enormous attributes in his material relationships.


कार्पण्यदोषोपहतस्वभावः पृच्छामि त्वां धर्मसम्मूढचेताः | यच्छ्रेयः स्यान्निश्चितं ब्रूहि तन्मे शिष्यस्तेऽहं शाधि मां त्वां प्रपन्नम् ||२-७||

kārpaṇyadoṣopahatasvabhāvaḥ pṛcchāmi tvāṃ dharmasammūḍhacetāḥ . yacchreyaḥ syānniścitaṃ brūhi tanme śiṣyaste.ahaṃ śādhi māṃ tvāṃ prapannam ||2-7||

karpanya —miserly; dosa —weakness; upahata —being inflicted by;
svabhavah —characteristics; prcchami —I am asking; tvam —unto You; dharma
— religion; sammudha —bewildered; cetah —in heart; yat —what; sreyah —all¬
good; syat —may be; niscitam —confidently; bruhi —tell; tat —that; me —unto
me; sisyah —disciple; te —Your; aham —I am; sadhi —just instruct; mam —me;
tvam —unto You; prapannam —surrendered.

Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because
of weakness. In this condition I am asking You to tell me clearly what is
best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You.
Please instruct me.

By nature`s own way the complete system of material activities is a source
of perplexity for everyone. In every step there is perplexity, and therefore it
behooves one to approach a bona fide spiritual master who can give one
proper guidance for executing the purpose of life. All Vedic literatures advise
us to approach a bona fide spiritual master to get free from the perplexities of
life which happen without our desire. They are like a forest fire that somehow
blazes without being set by anyone. Similarly, the world situation is such that
perplexities of life automatically appear, without our wanting such confusion.
No one wants fire, and yet it takes place, and we become perplexed. The Vedic
wisdom therefore advises that in order to solve the perplexities of life and to
understand the science of the solution, one must approach a spiritual master
who is in the disciplic succession. A person with a bona fide spiritual master is
supposed to know everything. One should not, therefore, remain in material
perplexities but should approach a spiritual master. This is the purport of this
Who is the man in material perplexities? It is he who does not understand
the problems of life. In the Garga Upanisad the perplexed man is described as
yo va etad aksaram gargy aviditvasmal lokat praiti sa krpanah
"He is a miserly man who does not solve the problems of life as a human and
who thus quits this world like the cats and dogs, without understanding the
science of self-realization." This human form of life is a most valuable asset
for the living entity who can ultilize it for solving the problems of life;
therefore, one who does not utilize this opportunity properly is a miser. On the
other hand, there is the brahmana, or he who is intelligent enough to utilize
this body to solve all the problems of life.
The krpanas, or miserly persons, waste their time in being overly
affectionate for family, society, country, etc., in the material conception of life.
One is often attached to family life, namely to wife, children and other
members, on the basis of "skin disease." The krpana thinks that he is able to
protect his family members from death; or the krpana thinks that his family or
society can save him from the verge of death. Such family attachment can be
found even in the lower animals who take care of children also. Being
intelligent, Arjuna could understand that his affection for family members and
his wish to protect them from death were the causes of his perplexities.
Although he could understand that his duty to fight was awaiting him, still, on
account of miserly weakness, he could not discharge the duties. He is
therefore asking Lord Krsna, the supreme spiritual master, to make a definite
solution. He offers himself to Krsna as a disciple. He wants to stop friendly
talks. Talks between the master and the disciple are serious, and now Arjuna
wants to talk very seriously before the recognized spiritual master. Krsna is
therefore the original spiritual master of the science of Bhagavad-gTta, and
Arjuna is the first disciple for understanding the Gita. How Arjuna
understands the Bhagavad-gTta is stated in the Gita itself. And yet foolish
mundane scholars explain that one need not submit to Krsna as a person, but
to "the unborn within Krsna." There is no difference between Krsna`s within
and without. And one who has no sense of this understanding is the greatest
fool in trying to understand Bhagavad-gTta.


न हि प्रपश्यामि ममापनुद्याद् यच्छोकमुच्छोषणमिन्द्रियाणाम् | अवाप्य भूमावसपत्नमृद्धं राज्यं सुराणामपि चाधिपत्यम् ||२-८||

na hi prapaśyāmi mamāpanudyād yacchokamucchoṣaṇamindriyāṇām . avāpya bhūmāvasapatnamṛddhaṃ rājyaṃ surāṇāmapi cādhipatyam ||2-8||

na —do not; hi —certainly; prapasyami —I see; mama —my; apanudyat —
they can drive away; yat —that; sokam —lamentation; ucchosanam —drying up;
indriyanam —of the senses; avapya —achieving; bhumau —on the earth;
asapatnam —without rival; rddham —prosperous; rajyam —kingdom; suranam
—of the demigods; api —even; ca —also; adhipatyam —supremacy.

I can find no means to drive away this grief which is drying up my
senses. I will not be able to destroy it even if I win an unrivalled kingdom
on the earth with sovereignty like the demigods in heaven.

Although Arjuna was putting forward so many arguments based on
knowledge of the principles of religion and moral codes, it appears that he was
unable to solve his real problem without the help of the spiritual master, Lord
Sri Krsna. He could understand that his so-called knowledge was useless in
driving away his problems, which were drying up his whole existence; and it
was impossible for him to solve such perplexities without the help of a
spiritual master like Lord Krsna. Academic knowledge, scholarship, high
position, etc., are all useless in solving the problems of life; help can only be
given by a spiritual master like Krsna. Therefore, the conclusion is that a
spiritual master who is one hundred percent Krsna conscious is the bona fide
spiritual master, for he can solve the problems of life. Lord Caitanya said that
one who is master in the science of Krsna consciousness, regardless of his
social position, is the real spiritual master.
kibavipra, kiba nyasT, sudra kene naya
yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei `guru` hay a.
(Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 8.127)
"It does not matter whether a person is a vipra [learned scholar in Vedic
wisdom] or is born in a lower family, or is in the renounced order of life-if he
is master in the science of Krsna, he is the perfect and bona fide spiritual
master." So without being a master in the science of Krsna consciousness, no
one is a bona fide spiritual master. It is also said in Vedic literatures:
sat-karma-nipuno vipro mantra-tantra-visaradah
avaisnavo gurur na syad vaisnavah svapaco guruh
"A scholarly brahmana, expert in all subjects of Vedic knowledge, is unfit to
become a spiritual master without being a Vaisnava, or expert in the science of
Krsna consciousness. But a person born in a family of a lower caste can
become a spiritual master if he is a Vaisnava, or Krsna conscious."
The problems of material existence—birth, old age, disease and death—
cannot be counteracted by accumulation of wealth and economic
development. In many parts of the world there are states which are replete
with all facilities of life, which are full of wealth, and economically
developed, yet the problems of material existence are still present. They are
seeking peace in different ways, but they can achieve real happiness only if
they consult Krsna, or the Bhagavad-gTta and SrTmad-Bhagavatam —which
constitute the science of Krsna-or the bona fide representative of Krsna, the
man in Krsna consciousness.
If economic development and material comforts could drive away one`s
lamentations for family, social, national or international inebrieties, then
Arjuna would not have said that even an unrivalled kingdom on earth or
supremacy like that of the demigods in the heavenly planets would not be able
to drive away his lamentations. He sought, therefore, refuge in Krsna
consciousness, and that is the right path for peace and harmony. Economic
development or supremacy over the world can be finished at any moment by
the cataclysms of material nature. Even elevation into a higher planetary
situation, as men are now seeking a place on the moon planet, can also be
finished at one stroke. The Bhagavad-gTta confirms this: ksme punye
martyalokam visanti "When the results of pious activities are finished, one
falls down again from the peak of happiness to the lowest status of life." Many
politicians of the world have fallen down in that way. Such downfalls only
constitute more causes for lamentation.
Therefore, if we want to curb lamentation for good, then we have to take
shelter of Krsna, as Arjuna is seeking to do. So Arjuna asked Krsna to solve
his problem definitely, and that is the way of Krsna consciousness.


सञ्जय उवाच | एवमुक्त्वा हृषीकेशं गुडाकेशः परन्तप | न योत्स्य इति गोविन्दमुक्त्वा तूष्णीं बभूव ह ||२-९||

sañjaya uvāca . evamuktvā hṛṣīkeśaṃ guḍākeśaḥ parantapaḥ . na yotsya iti govindamuktvā tūṣṇīṃ babhūva ha ||2-9||

sahjayah uvaca —Sanjaya said; evam —thus; uktva —speaking; hrsTkesam —
unto Krsna, the master of the senses; gudakesah —Arjuna, the master at
curbing ignorance; parantapah —the chastiser of the enemies; na yotsye —I
shall not fight; iti —thus; govindam —unto Krsna, the giver of pleasure; uktva
—saying; tusnim —silent; babhuva —became; ha —certainly.

Sanjaya said: Having spoken thus, Arjuna, chastiser of enemies, told
Krsna, "Govinda, I shall not fight," and fell silent.

Dhrtarastra must have been very glad to understand that Arjuna was not
going to fight and was instead leaving the battlefield for the begging
profession. But Sanjaya disappointed him again in relating that Arjuna was
competent to kill his enemies (parantapah). Although Arjuna was for the time
being overwhelmed with false grief due to family affection, he surrendered
unto Krsna, the supreme spiritual master, as a disciple. This indicated that he
would soon be free from the false lamentation resulting from family affection
and would be enlightened with perfect knowledge of self-realization, or Krsna
consciousness, and would then surely fight. Thus Dhrtarastra`s joy would be
frustrated, since Arjuna would be enlightened, by Krsna and would fight to the


तमुवाच हृषीकेशः प्रहसन्निव भारत | सेनयोरुभयोर्मध्ये विषीदन्तमिदं वचः ||२-१०||

tamuvāca hṛṣīkeśaḥ prahasanniva bhārata . senayorubhayormadhye viṣīdantamidaṃ vacaḥ ||2-10||

tam —unto him; uvaca —said; hrsfkesah —the master of the senses, Krsna;
prahasan —smiling; iva —like that; bharata —O Dhrtarastra, descendant of
Bharata; senayoh —of the armies; ubhayoh —of both parties; madhye —
between; visTdantam —unto the lamenting one; idam —the following; vacah

O descendant of Bharata, at that time Krsna, smiling, in the midst of
both the armies, spoke the following words to the grief-stricken Arjuna.

The talk was going on between intimate friends, namely the Hrslkesa and
the Gudakesa. As friends, both of them were on the same level, but one of
them voluntarily became a student of the other. Krsna was smiling because a
friend had chosen to become a disciple. As Lord of all, He is always in the
superior position as the master of everyone, and yet the Lord accepts one who
wishes to be a friend, a son, a lover or a devotee, or who wants Him in such a
role. But when He was accepted as the master, He at once assumed the role
and talked with the disciple like the master— with gravity, as it is required. It
appears that the talk between the master and the disciple was openly
exchanged in the presence of both armies so that all were benefitted. So the
talks of Bhagavad-gTta are not for any particular person, society, or
community, but they are for all, and friends or enemies are equally entitled to
hear them.


श्रीभगवानुवाच | अशोच्यानन्वशोचस्त्वं प्रज्ञावादांश्च भाषसे | गतासूनगतासूंश्च नानुशोचन्ति पण्डिताः ||२-११||

śrībhagavānuvāca . aśocyānanvaśocastvaṃ prajñāvādāṃśca bhāṣase . gatāsūnagatāsūṃśca nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ ||2-11||

srT bhagavan uvaca —the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; asocyan —
that which is not worthy of lamentation; anvasocah —you are lamenting; tvam
—you; prajha-vadah —learned talks; ca —also; bhasase —speaking; gata —
lost; asun —life; agata —not past; asun —life; ca —also; na —never; anusocanti
— lament; panditah —the learned.

The Blessed Lord said: While speaking learned words, you are
mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament
neither for the living nor the dead.

The Lord at once took the position of the teacher and chastised the student,
calling him, indirectly, a fool. The Lord said, you are talking like a learned
man, but you do not know that one who is learned—one who knows what is
body and what is soul—does not lament for any stage of the body, neither in
the living nor in the dead condition. As it will be explained in later chapters, it
will be clear that knowledge means to know matter and spirit and the
controller of both. Arjuna argued that religious principles should be given
more importance than politics or sociology, but he did not know that
knowledge of matter, soul and the Supreme is even more important than
religious formularies. And, because he was lacking in that knowledge, he
should not have posed himself as a very learned man. As he did not happen to
be a very learned man, he was consequently lamenting for something which
was unworthy of lamentation. The body is born and is destined to be
vanquished today or tomorrow; therefore the body is not as important as the
soul. One who knows this is actually learned, and for him there is no cause for
lamentation, regardless of the condition of the material body.


न त्वेवाहं जातु नासं न त्वं नेमे जनाधिपाः | न चैव न भविष्यामः सर्वे वयमतः परम् ||२-१२||

na tvevāhaṃ jātu nāsaṃ na tvaṃ neme janādhipāḥ . na caiva na bhaviṣyāmaḥ sarve vayamataḥ param ||2-12||

na —never; tu —but; eva —certainly; aham —I; jatu —become; na —never;
asam —existed; na —it is not so; tvam —yourself; na —not; ime —all these;
janadhipah —kings; na —never; ca —also; eva —certainly; na —not like that;
bhavisyamah —shall exist; sarve —all of us; vayam —we; atah param —

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.

In the Vedas, in the Katha Upanisad as well as in the Svetasvatara
Upanisad, it is said that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the maintainer
of innumerable living entities, in terms of their different situations according
to individual work and reaction of work. That Supreme Personality of
Godhead is also, by His plenary portions, alive in the heart of every living
entity. Only saintly persons who can see, within and without, the same
Supreme Lord, can actually attain to perfect and eternal peace.
nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam
eko bahunarh yo vidadhati kaman
tam atmastham ye `nupasyanti dhTras
tesam santih sasvatT netaresam.
(Katha 2.2.13)
The same Vedic truth given to Arjuna is given to all persons in the world
who pose themselves as very learned but factually have but a poor fund of
knowledge. The Lord says clearly that He Himself, Arjuna, and all the kings
who are assembled on the battlefield, are eternally individual beings and that
the Lord is eternally the maintainer of the individual living entities both in
their conditioned as well as in their liberated situations. The Supreme
Personality of Godhead is the supreme individual person, and Arjuna, the
Lord`s eternal associate, and all the kings assembled there are individual,
eternal persons. It is not that they did not exist as individuals in the past, and it
is not that they will not remain eternal persons. Their individuality existed in
the past, and their individuality will continue in the future without
interruption. Therefore, there is no cause for lamentation for anyone.
The MayavadI theory that after liberation the individual soul, separated by
the covering of maya or illusion, will merge into the impersonal Brahman and
lose its individual existence is not supported herein by Lord Krsna, the
supreme authority. Nor is the theory that we only think of individuality in the
conditioned state supported herein. Krsna clearly says herein that in the future
also the individuality of the Lord and others, as it is confirmed in the
Upanisads, will continue eternally. This statement of Krsna is authoritative
because Krsna cannot be subject to illusion. If individuality is not a fact, then
Krsna would not have stressed it so much —even for the future. The MayavadI
may argue that the individuality spoken of by Krsna is not spiritual, but
material. Even accepting the argument that the individuality is material, then
how can one distinguish Krsna`s individuality? Krsna affirms His individuality
in the past and confirms His individuality in the future also. He has confirmed
His individuality in many ways, and impersonal Brahman has been declared to
be subordinate to Him. Krsna has maintained spiritual individuality all along;
if He is accepted as an ordinary conditioned soul in individual consciousness,
then His Bhagavad-gTta has no value as authoritative scripture. A common
man with all the four defects of human frailty is unable to teach that which is
worth hearing. The GTta is above such literature. No mundane book compares
with the Bhagavad-gTta. When one accepts Krsna as an ordinary man, the Gita
loses all importance. The MayavadI argues that the plurality mentioned in this
verse is conventional and that it refers to the body. But previous to this verse
such a bodily conception is already condemned. After condemning the bodily
conception of the living entities, how was it possible for Krsna to place a
conventional proposition on the body again? Therefore, individuality is
maintained on spiritual grounds and is thus confirmed by great acaryas like
Sri Ramanuja and others. It is clearly mentioned in many places in the Gita
that this spiritual individuality is understood by those who are devotees of the
Lord. Those who are envious of Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead
have no bona fide access to the great literature. The nondevotee`s approach to
the teachings of the Gita is something like bees licking on a bottle of honey.
One cannot have a taste of honey unless one opens the bottle. Similarly, the
mysticism of the Bhagavad-gTta can be understood only by devotees, and no
one else can taste it, as it is stated in the Fourth Chapter of the book. Nor can
the GTta be touched by persons who envy the very existence of the Lord.
Therefore, the MayavadI explanation of the GTta is a most misleading
presentation of the whole truth. Lord Caitanya has forbidden us to read
commentations made by the Mayavadls and warns that one who takes to such
an understanding of the MayavadI philosophy loses all power to understand
the real mystery of the Gita. If individuality refers to the empirical universe,
then there is no need of teaching by the Lord. The plurality of the individual
soul and of the Lord is an eternal fact, and it is confirmed by the Vedas as
above mentioned.


देहिनोऽस्मिन्यथा देहे कौमारं यौवनं जरा | तथा देहान्तरप्राप्तिर्धीरस्तत्र न मुह्यति ||२-१३||

dehino.asminyathā dehe kaumāraṃ yauvanaṃ jarā . tathā dehāntaraprāptirdhīrastatra na muhyati ||2-13||

dehinah —of the embodied; asmin —in this; yatha —as; dehe —in the body;
kaumaram —boyhood; yauvanam —youth; jara —old age; tatha —similarly;
dehantara —transference of the body; praptih —achievement; dhTrah —the
sober; tatra —thereupon; na —never; muhyati —deluded.

As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to
youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The
self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.

Since every living entity is an individual soul, each is changing his body
every moment, manifesting sometimes as a child, sometimes as a youth, and
sometimes as an old man. Yet the same spirit soul is there and does not
undergo any change. This individual soul finally changes the body at death
and transmigrates to another body; and since it is sure to have another body in
the next birth—either material or spiritual—there was no cause for lamentation
by Arjuna on account of death, neither for Bhlsma nor for Drona, for whom he
was so much concerned. Rather, he should rejoice for their changing bodies
from old to new ones, thereby rejuvenating their energy. Such changes of body
account for varieties of enjoyment or suffering, according to one`s work in
life. So Bhlsma and Drona, being noble souls, were surely going to have either
spiritual bodies in the next life, or at least life in heavenly bodies for superior
enjoyment of material existence. So, in either case, there was no cause of
Any man who has perfect knowledge of the constitution of the individual
soul, the Supersoul, and nature—both material and spiritual—is called a dhTra
or a most sober man. Such a man is never deluded by the change of bodies.
The MayavadI theory of oneness of the spirit soul cannot be entertained on the
ground that spirit soul cannot be cut into pieces as a fragmental portion. Such
cutting into different individual souls would make the Supreme cleavable or
changeable, against the principle of the Supreme Soul being unchangeable.
As confirmed in the Gita, the fragmental portions of the Supreme exist
eternally (sanatoria) and are called ksara; that is, they have a tendency to fall
down into material nature. These fragmental portions are eternally so, and
even after liberation, the individual soul remains the same—fragmental. But
once liberated, he lives an eternal life in bliss and knowledge with the
Personality of Godhead. The theory of reflection can be applied to the
Supersoul who is present in each and every individual body and is known as
the Paramatma, who is different from the individual living entity. When the
sky is reflected in water, the reflections represent both the sun and the moon
and the stars also. The stars can be compared to the living entities and the sun
or the moon to the Supreme Lord. The individual fragmental spirit soul is
represented by Arjuna, and the Supreme Soul is the Personality of Godhead
Sri Krsna. They are not on the same level, as it will be apparent in the
beginning of the Fourth Chapter. If Arjuna is on the same level with Krsna,
and Krsna is not superior to Arjuna, then their relationship of instructor and
instructed becomes meaningless. If both of them are deluded by the illusory
energy (maya), then there is no need of one being the instructor and the other
the instructed. Such instruction would be useless because, in the clutches of
maya, no one can be an authoritative instructor. Under the circumstances, it is
admitted that Lord Krsna is the Supreme Lord, superior in position to the
living entity, Arjuna, who is a forgotten soul deluded by maya.


मात्रास्पर्शास्तु कौन्तेय शीतोष्णसुखदुःखदाः | आगमापायिनोऽनित्यास्तांस्तितिक्षस्व भारत ||२-१४||

mātrāsparśāstu kaunteya śītoṣṇasukhaduḥkhadāḥ . āgamāpāyino.anityāstāṃstitikṣasva bhārata ||2-14||

matra —sensuous; sparsah —perception; tu —only; kaunteya —O son of
KuntI; sfta —winter; usna —summer; sukha —happiness; duhkha-dah —giving
pain; agama —appearing; apayinah —disappearing; anityah —nonpermanent;
tan —all of them; titiksasva —just try to tolerate; bharata —O descendant of the
Bharata dynasty.

O son of KuntI, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and
distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance
and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense
perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them
without being disturbed.

In the proper discharge of duty, one has to learn to tolerate nonpermanent
appearances and disappearances of happiness and distress. According to Vedic
injunction, one has to take his bath early in the morning even during the
month of Magha (January- February). It is very cold at that time, but in spite
of that a man who abides by the religious principles does not hesitate to take
his bath. Similarly, a woman does not hesitate to cook in the kitchen in the
months of May and June, the hottest part of the summer season. One has to
execute his duty in spite of climatic inconveniences. Similarly, to fight is the
religious principle of the ksatriyas, and although one has to fight with some
friend or relative, one should not deviate from his prescribed duty. One has to
follow the prescribed rules and regulations of religious principles in order to
rise up to the platform of knowledge because by knowledge and devotion only
can one liberate himself from the clutches of maya (illusion).
The two different names of address given to Arjuna are also significant. To
address him as Kaunteya signifies his great blood relations from his mother`s
side; and to address him as Bharata signifies his greatness from his father`s
side. From both sides he is supposed to have a great heritage. A great heritage
brings responsibility in the matter of proper discharge of duties; therefore, he
cannot avoid fighting.


यं हि न व्यथयन्त्येते पुरुषं पुरुषर्षभ | समदुःखसुखं धीरं सोऽमृतत्वाय कल्पते ||२-१५||

yaṃ hi na vyathayantyete puruṣaṃ puruṣarṣabha . samaduḥkhasukhaṃ dhīraṃ so.amṛtatvāya kalpate ||2-15||

yam —one who; hi —certainly; na —never; vyathayanti —are distressing; ete
— all these; purusam —to a person; purusarsabha —is best among men; sama
— unaltered; duhkha —distress; sukham —happiness; dhTram —patient; sah
—he; amrtatvaya —for liberation; kalpate —is considered eligible.

O best among men [Arjuna], the person who is not disturbed by
happiness and distress and is steady in both is certainly eligible for

Anyone who is steady in his determination for the advanced stage of
spiritual realization and can equally tolerate the onslaughts of distress and
happiness is certainly a person eligible for liberation. In the varnasrama
institution, the fourth stage of life, namely the renounced order (sannyasa) is a
painstaking situation. But one who is serious about making his life perfect
surely adopts the sannyasa order of life in spite of all difficulties. The
difficulties usually arise from having to sever family relationships, to give up
the connection of wife and children. But if anyone is able to tolerate such
difficulties, surely his path to spiritual realization is complete. Similarly, in
Arjuna`s discharge of duties as a ksatriya, he is advised to persevere, even if it
is difficult to fight with his family members or similarly beloved persons.
Lord Caitanya took sannyasa at the age of twenty-four, and His dependants,
young wife as well as old mother, had no one else to look after them. Yet for a
higher cause He took sannyasa and was steady in the discharge of higher
duties. That is the way of achieving liberation from material bondage.


नासतो विद्यते भावो नाभावो विद्यते सतः | उभयोरपि दृष्टोऽन्तस्त्वनयोस्तत्त्वदर्शिभिः ||२-१६||

nāsato vidyate bhāvo nābhāvo vidyate sataḥ . ubhayorapi dṛṣṭo.antastvanayostattvadarśibhiḥ ||2-16||

na —never; asatah —of the nonexistent; vidyate —there is; bhavah
—endurance; na —never; abhavah —changing quality; vidyate —there is; satah
—of the eternal; ubhayoh —of the two; api —verily; drstah —observed; antah —
conclusion; tu —but; anayoh —of them; tattva —truth; darsibhih —by the seers.

Those who are seers of the truth have concluded that of the nonexistent
there is no endurance, and of the existent there is no cessation. This seers
have concluded by studying the nature of both.

There is no endurance of the changing body. That the body is changing
every moment by the actions and reactions of the different cells is admitted by
modern medical science; and thus growth and old age are taking place in the
body. But the spirit soul exists permanently, remaining the same despite all
changes of the body and the mind. That is the difference between matter and
spirit. By nature, the body is ever changing, and the soul is eternal. This
conclusion is established by all classes of seers of the truth, both impersonalist
and personalist. In the Visnu Purana it is stated that Visnu and His abodes all
have self-illuminated spiritual existence. "JyotTmsi visnur bhavanani
vzsnuh.`The words existent and nonexistent refer only to spirit and matter.
That is the version of all seers of truth.
This is the beginning of the instruction by the Lord to the living entities
who are bewildered by the influence of ignorance. Removal of ignorance
involves the reestablishment of the eternal relationship between the worshiper
and the worshipable and the consequent understanding of the difference
between the part and parcel living entities and the Supreme Personality of
Godhead. One can understand the nature of the Supreme by thorough study of
oneself, the difference between oneself and the Supreme being understood as
the relationship between the part and the whole. In the Vedanta-sutras, as well
as in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the Supreme has been accepted as the origin of
all emanations. Such emanations are experienced by superior and inferior
natural sequences. The living entities belong to the superior nature, as it will
be revealed in the Seventh Chapter. Although there is no difference between
the energy and the energetic, the energetic is accepted as the Supreme, and
energy or nature is accepted as the subordinate. The living entities, therefore,
are always subordinate to the Supreme Lord, as in the case of the master and
the servant, or the teacher and the taught. Such clear knowledge is impossible
to understand under the spell of ignorance, and to drive away such ignorance
the Lord teaches the Bhagavad-gTta for the enlightenment of all living entities
for all time.


अविनाशि तु तद्विद्धि येन सर्वमिदं ततम् | विनाशमव्ययस्यास्य न कश्चित्कर्तुमर्हति ||२-१७||

avināśi tu tadviddhi yena sarvamidaṃ tatam . vināśamavyayasyāsya na kaścitkartumarhati ||2-17||

avinasi —imperishable; tu —but; tat —that; viddhi —know it; yena —by
whom; sarvam —all of the body; idam —this; tatam —widespread; vinasam
—destruction; avyayasya —of the imperishable; asya —of it; na kascit —no one;
kartum —to do; arhad —able.

Know that which pervades the entire body is indestructible. No one is
able to destroy the imperishable soul.

This verse more clearly explains the real nature of the soul, which is spread
all over the body. Anyone can understand what is spread all over the body: it
is consciousness. Everyone is conscious of the pains and pleasures of the body
in part or as a whole. This spreading of consciousness is limited within one`s
own body. The pains and pleasures of one body are unknown to another.
Therefore, each and every body is the embodiment of an individual soul, and
the symptom of the soul`s presence is perceived as individual consciousness.
This soul is described as one ten-thousandth part of the upper portion of the
hair point in size. The Svetasvatara Upanisad confirms this:
balagra-sata-bhagasya satadha kalpitasya ca
bhagojivah sa vijheyah sa canantyaya kalpate.
"When the upper point of a hair is divided into one hundred parts and again
each of such parts is further divided into one hundred parts, each such part is
the measurement of the dimension of the spirit soul." (Svet . 5.9) Similarly, in
the Bhagavatam the same version is stated:
kesagra-sata-bhagasya satamsah sadrsatmakah
jivah suksma-svarupo `yam sahkhyatito hi cit-kanah
"There are innumerable particles of spiritual atoms, which are measured as
one ten-thousandth of the upper portion of the hair."
Therefore, the individual particle of spirit soul is a spiritual atom smaller
than the material atoms, and such atoms are innumerable. This very small
spiritual spark is the basic principle of the material body, and the influence of
such a spiritual spark is spread all over the body as the influence of the active
principle of some medicine spreads throughout the body. This current of the
spirit soul is felt all over the body as consciousness, and that is the proof of the
presence of the soul. Any layman can understand that the material body minus
consciousness is a dead body, and this consciousness cannot be revived in the
body by any means of material administration. Therefore, consciousness is not
due to any amount of material combination, but to the spirit soul. In the
Mundaka Upanisad the measurement of the atomic spirit soul is further
eso `nuratma cetasa veditavyo
yasmin pranah pancadha samvivesa
pranais cittam sarvam otam prajanam
yasmin visuddhe vibhavaty esa atma.
"The soul is atomic in size and can be perceived by perfect intelligence. This
atomic soul is floating in the five kinds of air [prana, apana, vyana, samana
and udana], is situated within the heart, and spreads its influence all over the
body of the embodied living entities. When the soul is purified from the
contamination of the five kinds of material air, its spiritual influence is
exhibited." (Mund. 3.1.9)
The hatha-yoga system is meant for controlling the five kinds of air
encircling the pure soul by different kinds of sitting postures—not for any
material profit, but for liberation of the minute soul from the entanglement of
the material atmosphere.
So the constitution of the atomic soul is admitted in all Vedic literatures,
and it is also actually felt in the practical experience of any sane man. Only
the insane man can think of this atomic soul as all-pervading Visnu-tattva.
The influence of the atomic soul can be spread all over a particular body.
According to the Mundaka Upanisad, this atomic soul is situated in the heart
of every living entity, and because the measurement of the atomic soul is
beyond the power of appreciation of the material scientists, some of them
assert foolishly that there is no soul. The individual atomic soul is definitely
there in the heart along with the Supersoul, and thus all the energies of bodily
movement are emanating from this part of the body. The corpuscles which
carry the oxygen from the lungs gather energy from the soul. When the soul
passes away from this position, activity of the blood, generating fusion,
ceases. Medical science accepts the importance of the red corpuscles, but it
cannot ascertain that the source of the energy is the soul. Medical science,
however, does admit that the heart is the seat of all energies of the body.
Such atomic particles of the spirit whole are compared to the sunshine
molecules. In the sunshine there are innumerable radiant molecules. Similarly,
the fragmental parts of the Supreme Lord are atomic sparks of the rays of the
Supreme Lord, called by the name prabha or superior energy. Neither Vedic
knowledge nor modern science denies the existence of the spirit soul in the
body, and the science of the soul is explicitly described in the Bhagavad-gTta
by the Personality of Godhead Himself.


अन्तवन्त इमे देहा नित्यस्योक्ताः शरीरिणः | अनाशिनोऽप्रमेयस्य तस्माद्युध्यस्व भारत ||२-१८||

antavanta ime dehā nityasyoktāḥ śarīriṇaḥ . anāśino.aprameyasya tasmādyudhyasva bhārata ||2-18||

antavantah —perishable; ime —all these; dehah —material bodies; nityasya —
eternal in existence; uktah —it is so said; sarTrinah —the embodied souls;
anasinah —never to be destroyed; aprameyasya —immeasurable; tasmat —
therefore; yudhyasva —fight; bharata —O descendant of Bharata.

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

The material body is perishable by nature. It may perish immediately, or it
may do so after a hundred years. It is a question of time only. There is no
chance of maintaining it indefinitely. But the spirit soul is so minute that it
cannot even be seen by an enemy, to say nothing of being killed. As
mentioned in the previous verse, it is so small that no one can have any idea
how to measure its dimension. So from both viewpoints there is no cause of
lamentation because the living entity can neither be killed as he is, nor can the
material body, which cannot be saved for any length of time, be permanently
protected. The minute particle of the whole spirit acquires this material body
according to his work, and therefore observance of religious principles should
be utilized. In the Vedanta-sutras the living entity is qualified as light because
he is part and parcel of the supreme light. As sunlight maintains the entire
universe, so the light of the soul maintains this material body. As soon as the
spirit soul is out of this material body, the body begins to decompose;
therefore it is the spirit soul which maintains this body. The body itself is
unimportant. Arjuna was advised to fight and sacrifice the material body for
the cause of religion.


य एनं वेत्ति हन्तारं यश्चैनं मन्यते हतम् | उभौ तौ न विजानीतो नायं हन्ति न हन्यते ||२-१९||

ya enaṃ vetti hantāraṃ yaścainaṃ manyate hatam ubhau tau na vijānīto nāyaṃ hanti na hanyate ||2-19||

yah —anyone; enam —this; vetti —knows; hantaram —the killer; yah —
anyone; ca —also; enam —this; manyate —thinks; hatam —killed; ubhau —both
of them; tau —they; na —never; vijamtah —in knowledge; na —never; ayam
—this; hand —kills; na —nor; hanyate —be killed.

He who thinks that the living entity is the slayer or that he is slain, does
not understand. One who is in knowledge knows that the self slays not nor
is slain.

When an embodied living entity is hurt by fatal weapons, it is to be known
that the living entity within the body is not killed. The spirit soul is so small
that it is impossible to kill him by any material weapon, as is evident from the
previous verses. Nor is the living entity killable because of his spiritual
constitution. What is killed, or is supposed to be killed, is the body only. This,
however, does not at all encourage killing of the body. The Vedic injunction is,
"mahimsyat sarva-bhutani" never commit violence to anyone. Nor does
understanding that the living entity is not killed encourage animal slaughter.
Killing the body of anyone without authority is abominable and is punishable
by the law of the state as well as by the law of the Lord. Arjuna, however, is
being engaged in killing for the principle of religion, and not whimsically.


न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचिन् नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूयः | अजो नित्यः शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे ||२-२०||

na jāyate mriyate vā kadācin nāyaṃ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ . ajo nityaḥ śāśvato.ayaṃ purāṇo na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre ||2-20||

na —never; jayate —takes birth; mriyate —never dies; va —either; kadacit —
at any time (past, present or future); na —never; ayam —this; bhutva —came
into being; bhavita —will come to be; va —or; na —not; bhuyah —or has come
to be; ajah —unborn; nityah —eternal; sasvatah —permanent; ayam —this;
puranah —the oldest; na —never; hanyate —is killed; hanyamane —being
killed; sarTre —by the body.

For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does
he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and
primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.

Qualitatively, the small atomic fragmental part of the Supreme Spirit is one
with the Supreme. He undergoes no changes like the body. Sometimes the soul
is called the steady, or kutastha. The body is subject to six kinds of
transformations. It takes its birth in the womb of the mother`s body, remains
for some time, grows, produces some effects, gradually dwindles, and at last
vanishes into oblivion. The soul, however, does not go through such changes.
The soul is not born, but, because he takes on a material body, the body takes
its birth. The soul does not take birth there, and the soul does not die.
Anything which has birth also has death. And because the soul has no birth, he
therefore has no past, present or future. He is eternal, ever-existing, and
primeval-that is, there is no trace in history of his coming into being. Under
the impression of the body, we seek the history of birth, etc., of the soul. The
soul does not at any time become old, as the body does. The so-called old
man, therefore, feels himself to be in the same spirit as in his childhood or
youth. The changes of the body do not affect the soul. The soul does not
deteriorate like a tree, nor anything material. The soul has no by-product
either. The by-products of the body, namely children, are also different
individual souls; and, owing to the body, they appear as children of a
particular man. The body develops because of the soul`s presence, but the soul
has neither offshoots nor change. Therefore, the soul is free from the six
changes of the body.
In the Katha Upanisad also we find a similar passage which reads:
na jayate mriyate va vipascin
nayam kutascin na vibhiiva kascit
ajo nityah sasvato `yam purano
na hanyate hanyamane sarTre.
(J Katha 1 . 2 . 18 )
The meaning and purport of this verse is the same as in the Bhagavad-gTta, but
here in this verse there is one special word, vipascit, which means learned or
with knowledge.
The soul is full of knowledge, or full always with consciousness. Therefore,
consciousness is the symptom of the soul. Even if one does not find the soul
within the heart, where he is situated, one can still understand the presence of
the soul simply by the presence of consciousness. Sometimes we do not find
the sun in the sky owing to clouds, or for some other reason, but the light of
the sun is always there, and we are convinced that it is therefore daytime. As
soon as there is a little light in the sky early in the morning, we can understand
that the sun is in the sky. Similarly, since there is some consciousness in all
bodies—whether man or animal—we can understand the presence of the soul.
This consciousness of the soul is, however, different from the consciousness
of the Supreme because the supreme consciousness is all-knowledge-past,
present and future. The consciousness of the individual soul is prone to be
forgetful. When he is forgetful of his real nature, he obtains education and
enlightenment from the superior lessons of Krsna. But Krsna is not like the
forgetful soul. If so, Krsna`s teachings of Bhagavad-gita would be useless.
There are two kinds of souls—namely the minute particle soul ( anu- atma)
and the Supersoul (the vibhu-atma). This is also confirmed in the Katha
Upanisad in this way:
anor aniyan mahato mahTyan
atmasya jantor nihito guhayam
tam akratuh pasyati vfta-soko
dhatuh prasadan mahimanam atmanah
(Katha 1.2.20)
"Both the Supersoul [Paramatma] and the atomic soul [jivatma] are situated
on the same tree of the body within the same heart of the living being, and
only one who has become free from all material desires as well as
lamentations can, by the grace of the Supreme, understand the glories of the
soul." Krsna is the fountainhead of the Supersoul also, as it will be disclosed
in the following chapters, and Arjuna is the atomic soul, forgetful of his real
nature; therefore he requires to be enlightened by Krsna, or by His bona fide
representative (the spiritual master).


वेदाविनाशिनं नित्यं य एनमजमव्ययम् | कथं स पुरुषः पार्थ कं घातयति हन्ति कम् ||२-२१||

vedāvināśinaṃ nityaṃ ya enamajamavyayam . kathaṃ sa puruṣaḥ pārtha kaṃ ghātayati hanti kam ||2-21||

veda —in knowledge; avinasinam —indestructible; nityam —always; yah —
one who; enam —this (soul); ajam —unborn; avyayam —immutable; katham —
how; sah —he; purusah —person; partha —O Partha (Arjuna); kam —whom;
ghatayati —hurts; hand —kills; kam —whom.

O Partha, how can a person who knows that the soul is indestructible,
unborn, eternal and immutable, kill anyone or cause anyone to kill?

Everything has its proper utility, and a man who is situated in complete
knowledge knows how and where to apply a thing for its proper utility.
Similarly, violence also has its utility, and how to apply violence rests with the
person in knowledge. Although the justice of the peace awards capital
punishment to a person condemned for murder, the justice of the peace cannot
be blamed because he orders violence to another person according to the
codes of justice. In Manu-samhita, the lawbook for mankind, it is supported
that a murderer should be condemned to death so that in his next life he will
not have to suffer for the great sin he has committed. Therefore, the king`s
punishment of hanging a murderer is actually beneficial. Similarly, when
Krsna orders fighting, it must be concluded that violence is for supreme
justice, and, as such, Arjuna should follow the instruction, knowing well that
such violence, committed in the act of fighting for Krsna, is not violence at all
because, at any rate, the man, or rather the soul, cannot be killed; so for the
administration of justice, so- called violence is permitted. A surgical operation
is not meant to kill the patient, but to cure him. Therefore the fighting to be
executed by Arjuna at the instruction of Krsna is with full knowledge, so there
is no possibility of sinful reaction.


वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय नवानि गृह्णाति नरोऽपराणि | तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णा- न्यन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही ||२-२२||

vāsāṃsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya navāni gṛhṇāti naro.aparāṇi . tathā śarīrāṇi vihāya jīrṇāni anyāni saṃyāti navāni dehī ||2-22||

vasamsi —garments; jimani —old and worn out; yatha —as it is; vihaya —
giving up; navani —new garments; grhnati —does accept; narah —a man;
aparani —other; tatha —in the same way; sarTrani —bodies; vihaya —giving up;
jimani —old and useless; anyani —different; samyati —verily accepts; navani
—new sets; dehi —the embodied.

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

Change of body by the atomic individual soul is an accepted fact. Even
some of the modern scientists who do not believe in the existence of the soul,
but at the same time cannot explain the source of energy from the heart, have
to accept continuous changes of body which appear from childhood to
boyhood and from boyhood to youth and again from youth to old age. From
old age, the change is transferred to another body. This has already been
explained in the previous verse.
Transference of the atomic individual soul to another body is made possible
by the grace of the Supersoul.The Supersoul fulfills the desire of the atomic
soul as one friend fulfills the desire of another. The Vedas, like the Mundaka
Upanisad, as well as the Svetasvatara Upanisad, compare the soul and the
Supersoul to two friendly birds sitting on the same tree. One of the birds (the
individual atomic soul) is eating the fruit of the tree, and the other bird (Krsna)
is simply watching His friend. Of these two birds—although they are the same
in quality—one is captivated by the fruits of the material tree, while the other
is simply witnessing the activities of His friend. Krsna is the witnessing bird,
and Arjuna is the eating bird. Although they are friends, one is still the master
and the other is the servant. Forgetfulness of this relationship by the atomic
soul is the cause of one`s changing his position from one tree to another or
from one body to another. The jiva soul is struggling very hard on the tree of
the material body, but as soon as he agrees to accept the other bird as the
supreme spiritual master-as Arjuna agreed to do by voluntary surrender unto
Krsna for instruction-the subordinate bird immediately becomes free from all
lamentations. Both the Katha Upanisad and Svetasvatara Upanisad confirm
samane vrkse puruso nimagno
`nfsaya socati muhyamanah
justam yada pasyaty anyam Tsam asya
mahimanam iti vfta-sokah
"Although the two birds are in the same tree, the eating bird is fully engrossed
with anxiety and moroseness as the enjoyer of the fruits of the tree. But if in
some way or other he turns his face to his friend who is the Lord and knows
His glories-at once the suffering bird becomes free from all anxieties." Arjuna
has now turned his face towards his eternal friend, Krsna, and is
understanding the Bhagavad-gTta from Him. And thus, hearing from Krsna, he
can understand the supreme glories of the Lord and be free from lamentation.
Arjuna is advised herewith by the Lord not to lament for the bodily change
of his old grandfather and his teacher. He should rather be happy to kill their
bodies in the righteous fight so that they may be cleansed at once of all
reactions from various bodily activities. One who lays down his life on the
sacrificial altar, or in the proper battlefield, is at once cleansed of bodily
reactions and promoted to a higher status of life. So there was no cause for
Arjuna`s lamentation.


नैनं छिन्दन्ति शस्त्राणि नैनं दहति पावकः | न चैनं क्लेदयन्त्यापो न शोषयति मारुतः ||२-२३||

nainaṃ chindanti śastrāṇi nainaṃ dahati pāvakaḥ . na cainaṃ kledayantyāpo na śoṣayati mārutaḥ ||2-23||

na —never; enam —unto this soul; chindanti —can cut into pieces; sastrani
—all weapons; na —never; enam —unto this soul; dahati —burns; pavakah —
fire; na —never; ca —also; enam —unto this soul; kledayanti —moistens; apah
—water; na —never; sosayati —dries; marutah —wind.

The soul can never be cut into pieces by any weapon, nor can he be
burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind.

All kinds of weapons, swords, flames, rains, tornadoes, etc., are unable to
kill the spirit soul. It appears that there were many kinds of weapons made of
earth, water, air, ether, etc., in addition to the modern weapons of fire. Even
the nuclear weapons of the modern age are classified as fire weapons, but
formerly there were other weapons made of all different types of material
elements. Firearms were counteracted by water weapons, which are now
unknown to modern science. Nor do modern scientists have knowledge of
tornado weapons. Nonetheless, the soul can never be cut into pieces, nor
annihilated by any number of weapons, regardless of scientific devices.
Nor was it ever possible to cut the individual souls from the original Soul.
The MayavadI, however, cannot describe how the individual soul evolved
from ignorance and consequently became covered by illusory energy. Because
they are atomic individual souls (sanatana) eternally, they are prone to be
covered by the illusory energy, and thus they become separated from the
association of the Supreme Lord, just as the sparks of the fire, although one in
quality with the fire, are prone to be extinguished when out of the fire. In the
Varaha Purana, the living entities are described as separated parts and parcels
of the Supreme. They are eternally so, according to the Bhagavad-gTta also.
So, even after being liberated from illusion, the living entity remains a
separate identity, as is evident from the teachings of the Lord to Arjuna.
Arjuna became liberated by the knowledge received from Krsna, but he never
became one with Krsna.


अच्छेद्योऽयमदाह्योऽयमक्लेद्योऽशोष्य एव च | नित्यः सर्वगतः स्थाणुरचलोऽयं सनातनः ||२-२४||

acchedyo.ayamadāhyo.ayamakledyo.aśoṣya eva ca . nityaḥ sarvagataḥ sthāṇuracalo.ayaṃ sanātanaḥ ||2-24||

acchedyah —unbreakable; ayam —this soul; adahyah —cannot be burned;
ay am —this soul; akledyah —insoluble; asosyah —cannot be dried; eva
—certainly; ca —and; nityah —everlasting; sarva-gatah —all-pervading;
sthanuh — unchangeable; acalah —immovable; ayam —this soul; sanatanah
—eternally the same.

This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither
burned nor dried. He is everlasting, all-pervading, unchangeable,
immovable and eternally the same.

All these qualifications of the atomic soul definitely prove that the
individual soul is eternally the atomic particle of the spirit whole, and he
remains the same atom eternally, without change. The theory of monism is
very difficult to apply in this case, because the individual soul is never
expected to become one homogeneously. After liberation from material
contamination, the atomic soul may prefer to remain as a spiritual spark in the
effulgent rays of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but the intelligent souls
enter into the spiritual planets to associate with the Personality of Godhead.
The word sarva-gatah (all-pervading) is significant because there is no
doubt that living entities are all over God’s creation. They live on the land, in
the water, in the air, within the earth and even within fire. The belief that they
are sterilized in fire is not acceptable, because it is clearly stated here that the
soul cannot be burned by fire. Therefore, there is no doubt that there are living
entities also in the sun planet with suitable bodies to live there. If the sun
globe is uninhabited, then the word sarva-gatah- living everywhere-becomes


अव्यक्तोऽयमचिन्त्योऽयमविकार्योऽयमुच्यते | तस्मादेवं विदित्वैनं नानुशोचितुमर्हसि ||२-२५||

avyakto.ayamacintyo.ayamavikāryo.ayamucyate . tasmādevaṃ viditvainaṃ nānuśocitumarhasi ||2-25||

avyaktah —invisible; ayam —this soul; acintyah —inconceivable; ayam —
this soul; avikaryah —unchangeable; ayam —this soul; ucyate —is said; tasmat
—therefore; evam —like this; viditva —knowing it well; enam —this soul; na —
do not; anusocitum —may lament over; arhasi —you deserve.

It is said that the soul is invisible, inconceivable, immutable, and
unchangeable. Knowing this, you should not grieve for the body.

As described previously, the magnitude of the soul is so small for our
material calculation that he cannot be seen even by the most powerful
microscope; therefore, he is invisible. As far as the soul`s existence is
concerned, no one can establish his existence experimentally beyond the proof
of sruti or Vedic wisdom. We have to accept this truth, because there is no
other source of understanding the existence of the soul, although it is a fact by
perception. There are many things we have to accept solely on grounds of
superior authority. No one can deny the existence of his father, based upon the
authority of his mother. There is no other source of understanding the identity
of the father except by the authority of the mother. Similarly, there is no other
source of understanding the soul except by studying the Vedas. In other words,
the soul is inconceivable by human experimental knowledge. The soul is
consciousness and conscious-that also is the statement of the Vedas, and we
have to accept that. Unlike the bodily changes, there is no change in the soul.
As eternally unchangeable, the soul remains atomic in comparison to the
infinite Supreme Soul. The Supreme Soul is infinite, and the atomic soul is
infinitesimal. Therefore, the infinitesimal soul, being unchangeable, can never
become equal to the infinite soul, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
This concept is repeated in the Vedas in different ways just to confirm the
stability of the conception of the soul. Repetition of something is necessary in
order that we understand the matter thoroughly without error.


अथ चैनं नित्यजातं नित्यं वा मन्यसे मृतम् | तथापि त्वं महाबाहो नैवं शोचितुमर्हसि ||२-२६||

atha cainaṃ nityajātaṃ nityaṃ vā manyase mṛtam . tathāpi tvaṃ mahābāho naivaṃ śocitumarhasi ||2-26||

atha —if, however; ca —also; enam —this soul; nitya-jatam —always born;
nityam —forever; va —either; manyase —so think; mrtam —dead; tathapi —still;
tvam —you; maha-baho —O mighty-armed one; na —never; enam —about the
soul; socitum —to lament; arhasi —deserve.

If, however, you think that the soul is perpetually born and always dies,
still you have no reason to lament, O mighty-armed.

There is always a class of philosophers, almost akin to the Buddhists, who
do not believe in the separate existence of the soul beyond the body. When
Lord Krsna spoke the Bhagavad-gTta, it appears that such philosophers
existed, and they were known as the Lokayatikas and Vaibhasikas. These
philosophers maintained that life symptoms, or soul, takes place at a certain
mature condition of material combination. The modern material scientist and
materialist philosophers also think similarly. According to them, the body is a
combination of physical elements, and at a certain stage the life symptoms
develop by interaction of the physical and chemical elements. The science of
anthropology is based on this philosophy. Currently, many pseudo-religions-
now becoming fashionable in America-are also adhering to this philosophy, as
well as to the nihilistic nondevotional Buddhist sects.
Even if Arjuna did not believe in the existence of the soul—as in the
Vaibhasika philosophy—there would still have been no cause for lamentation.
No one laments the loss of a certain bulk of chemicals and stops discharging
his prescribed duty. On the other hand, in modern science and scientific
warfare, so many tons of chemicals are wasted for achieving victory over the
enemy. According to the Vaibhasika philosophy, the so-called soul or atma
vanishes along with the deterioration of the body. So, in any case, whether
Arjuna accepted the Vedic conclusion that there is an atomic soul, or whether
he did not believe in the existence of the soul, he had no reason to lament.
According to this theory, since there are so many living entities generating out
of matter every moment, and so many of them are being vanquished every
moment, there is no need to grieve for such an incidence. However, since he
was not risking rebirth of the soul, Arjuna had no reason to be afraid of being
affected with sinful reactions due to his killing his grandfather and teacher.
But at the same time, Krsna sarcastically addressed Arjuna as maha-bahu,
mighty-armed, because He, at least, did not accept the theory of the
Vaibhasikas, which leaves aside the Vedic wisdom. As a ksatriya, Arjuna
belonged to the Vedic culture, and it behooved him to continue to follow its


जातस्य हि ध्रुवो मृत्युर्ध्रुवं जन्म मृतस्य च | तस्मादपरिहार्येऽर्थे न त्वं शोचितुमर्हसि ||२-२७||

jātasya hi dhruvo mṛtyurdhruvaṃ janma mṛtasya ca . tasmādaparihārye.arthe na tvaṃ śocitumarhasi ||2-27||

jatasya —one who has taken his birth; hi —certainly; dhruvah —a fact;
mrtyuh —death; dhruvam —it is also a fact; janma —birth; mrtasya —of the
dead; ca —also; tasmat —therefore; apariharye —for that which is unavoidable;
arthe —in the matter of; na —do not; tvam —you; socitum —to lament; arhasi

For one who has taken his birth, death is certain; and for one who is
dead, birth is certain. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your
duty, you should not lament.

One has to take birth according to one`s activities of life. And, after
finishing one term of activities, one has to die to take birth for the next. In this
way the cycle of birth and death is revolving, one after the other without
liberation. This cycle of birth and death does not, however, support
unnecessary murder, slaughter and war. But at the same time, violence and
war are inevitable factors in human society for keeping law and order.
The Battle of Kuruksetra, being the will of the Supreme, was an inevitable
event, and to fight for the right cause is the duty of a ksatriya. Why should he
be afraid of or aggrieved at the death of his relatives since he was discharging
his proper duty? He did not deserve to break the law, thereby becoming
subjected to the reactions of sinful acts, of which he was so afraid. By
avoiding the discharge of his proper duty, he would not be able to stop the
death of his relatives, and he would be degraded due to his selection of the
wrong path of action.


अव्यक्तादीनि भूतानि व्यक्तमध्यानि भारत | अव्यक्तनिधनान्येव तत्र का परिदेवना ||२-२८||

avyaktādīni bhūtāni vyaktamadhyāni bhārata . avyaktanidhanānyeva tatra kā paridevanā ||2-28||

avyaktadmi —in the beginning unmanifested; bhiitani —all that are created;
vyakta —manifested; madhyani —in the middle; bharata —0 descendant of
Bharata; avyakta —nonmanifested; nidhanani —all that are vanquished; eva —
it is all like that; tatra —therefore; ka-what; paridevana —lamentation.

All created beings are unmanifest in their beginning, manifest in their
interim state, and unmanifest again when they are annihilated. So what
need is there for lamentation?

Accepting that there are two classes of philosophers, one believing in the
existence of soul and the other not believing in the existence of the soul, there
is no cause for lamentation in either case. Nonbelievers in the existence of the
soul are called atheists by followers of Vedic wisdom. Yet even if, for
argument`s sake, we accept the atheistic theory, there is still no cause for
lamentation. Apart from the separate existence of the soul, the material
elements remain unmanifested before creation. From this subtle state of
unmanifestation comes manifestation, just as from ether, air is generated; from
air, fire is generated; from fire, water is generated; and from water, earth
becomes manifested. From the earth, many varieties of manifestations take
place. Take, for example, a big skyscraper manifested from the earth. When it
is dismantled, the manifestation becomes again unmanifested and remains as
atoms in the ultimate stage. The law of conservation of energy remains, but in
course of time things are manifested and unmanifested-that is the difference.
Then what cause is there for lamentation either in the stage of manifestation or
unmanifestation? Somehow or other, even in the unmanifested stage, things
are not lost. Both at the beginning and at the end, all elements remain
unmanifested, and only in the middle are they manifested, and this does not
make any real material difference.
And if we accept the Vedic conclusion as stated in the Bhagavad- gita
(antavanta ime dehah) that these material bodies are perishable in due course
of time (nityasyoktah saririnah) but that soul is eternal, then we must
remember always that the body is like a dress; therefore why lament the
changing of a dress? The material body has no factual existence in relation to
the eternal soul. It is something like a dream. In a dream we may think of
flying in the sky, or sitting on a chariot as a king, but when we wake up we
can see that we are neither in the sky nor seated on the chariot. The Vedic
wisdom encourages self-realization on the basis of the nonexistence of the
material body. Therefore, in either case, whether one believes in the existence
of the soul, or one does not believe in the existence of the soul, there is no
cause for lamentation for loss of the body.


आश्चर्यवत्पश्यति कश्चिदेन- माश्चर्यवद्वदति तथैव चान्यः | आश्चर्यवच्चैनमन्यः शृणोति श्रुत्वाप्येनं वेद न चैव कश्चित् ||२-२९||

āścaryavatpaśyati kaścidenam āścaryavadvadati tathaiva cānyaḥ . āścaryavaccainamanyaḥ śṛṇoti śrutvāpyenaṃ veda na caiva kaścit ||2-29||

ascaryavat —amazing; pasyati —see; kascit —some; enam —this soul;
ascaryavat —amazing; vadad —speak; tatha —there; eva —certainly; ca —also;
anyah —others; ascaryavat —similarly amazing; ca —also; enam —this soul;
anyah — others; srnoti —hear; srutva —having heard; api —even; enam —this
soul; veda —do know; na —never; ca —and; eva —certainly; kascit —anyone.

Some look on the soul as amazing, some describe him as amazing, and
some hear of him as amazing, while others, even after hearing about him,
cannot understand him at all.

Since GTtopanisad is largely based on the principles of the Upanisads, it is
not surprising to also find this passage in the Katha Upanisad.
sravanayapi bahubhiryo na labhyah
srnvanto `pi bahavo yah na vidyuh
ascaryo vakta kusalo `sya labdha
ascaryo jhata kusalanusistah.
The fact that the atomic soul is within the body of a gigantic animal, in the
body of a gigantic banyan tree, and also in the microbic germs, millions and
billions of which occupy only an inch of space, is certainly very amazing.
Men with a poor fund of knowledge and men who are not austere cannot
understand the wonders of the individual atomic spark of spirit, even though it
is explained by the greatest authority of knowledge, who imparted lessons
even to Brahma, the first living being in the universe. Owing to a gross
material conception of things, most men in this age cannot imagine how such
a small particle can become both so great and so small. So men look at the
soul proper as wonderful either by constitution or by description. Illusioned by
the material energy, people are so engrossed in subject matter for sense
gratification that they have very little time to understand the question of self¬
understanding, even though it is a fact that without this self-understanding all
activities result in ultimate defeat in the struggle for existence. Perhaps one
has no idea that one must think of the soul, and also make a solution of the
material miseries.
Some people who are inclined to hear about the soul may be attending
lectures, in good association, but sometimes, owing to ignorance, they are
misguided by acceptance of the Supersoul and the atomic soul as one without
distinction of magnitude. It is very difficult to find a man who perfectly
understands the position of the soul, the Supersoul, the atomic soul, their
respective functions, relationships and all other major and minor details. And
it is still more difficult to find a man who has actually derived full benefit
from knowledge of the soul, and who is able to describe the position of the
soul in different aspects. But if, somehow or other, one is able to understand
the subject matter of the soul, then one`s life is successful. The easiest process
for understanding the subject matter of self, however, is to accept the
statements of the Bhagavad-gTta spoken by the greatest authority, Lord Krsna,
without being deviated by other theories. But it also requires a great deal of
penance and sacrifice, either in this life or in the previous ones, before one is
able to accept Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krsna can,
however, be known as such by the causeless mercy of the pure devotee and by
no other way.


देही नित्यमवध्योऽयं देहे सर्वस्य भारत | तस्मात्सर्वाणि भूतानि न त्वं शोचितुमर्हसि ||२-३०||

dehī nityamavadhyo.ayaṃ dehe sarvasya bhārata . tasmātsarvāṇi bhūtāni na tvaṃ śocitumarhasi ||2-30||

dehi —the owner of the material body; nityam —eternally; avadhyah —
cannot be killed; ayam —this soul; dehe —in the body; sarvasya —of everyone;
bharata —O descendant of Bharata; tasmat —therefore; sarvani —all; bhutani
—living entities (that are born); na —never; tvam —yourself; socitum —to
lament; arhasi- deserve.

O descendant of Bharata, he who dwells in the body is eternal and can
never be slain. Therefore you need not grieve for any creature.

The Lord now concludes the chapter of instruction on the immutable spirit
soul. In describing the immortal soul in various ways, Lord Krsna establishes
that the soul is immortal and the body is temporary. Therefore Arjuna as a
ksatriya should not abandon his duty out of fear that his grandfather and
teacher-Bhlsma and Drona-will die in the battle. On the authority of Sri
Krsna, one has to believe that there is a soul different from the material body,
not that there is no such thing as soul, or that living symptoms develop at a
certain stage of material maturity resulting from the interaction of chemicals.
Though the soul is immortal, violence is not encouraged, but at the time of
war it is not discouraged when there is actual need for it. That need must be
justified in terms of the sanction of the Lord, and not capriciously.


स्वधर्ममपि चावेक्ष्य न विकम्पितुमर्हसि | धर्म्याद्धि युद्धाच्छ्रेयोऽन्यत्क्षत्रियस्य न विद्यते ||२-३१||

svadharmamapi cāvekṣya na vikampitumarhasi . dharmyāddhi yuddhācchreyo.anyatkṣatriyasya na vidyate ||2-31||

svadharmam —one`s own religious principles; api —also; ca —indeed;
aveksya —considering; na —never; vikampitum —to hesitate; arhasi —you
deserve; dharmyat —from religious principles; hi —indeed; yuddhat —of
fighting; sreyah —better engagements; any at —anything else; ksatriyasya —of
the ksatriya; na —does not; vidyate —exist.

Considering your specific duty as a ksatriya, you should know that
there is no better engagement for you than fighting on religious
principles; and so there is no need for hesitation.

Out of the four orders of social administration, the second order, for the
matter of good administration, is called ksatriya. Ksat means hurt. One who
gives protection from harm is called ksatriya (trayate- to give protection). The
ksatriyas are trained for killing in the forest. A ksatriya would go into the
forest and challenge a tiger face to face and fight with the tiger with his sword.
When the tiger was killed, it would be offered the royal order of cremation.
This system is being followed even up to the present day by the ksatriya kings
of Jaipur state. The ksatriyas are specially trained for challenging and killing
because religious violence is sometimes a necessary factor. Therefore,
ksatriyas are never meant for accepting directly the order of sannyasa or
renunciation. Nonviolence in politics may be a diplomacy, but it is never a
factor or principle. In the religious law books it is stated:
ahavesu mitho `nyonyam jighamsanto mahfksitah
yuddhamanah pararh saktya svargam yanty aparahmukhah
yajhesu pasavo brahman hanyante satatarh dvijaih
samskrtah kila mantrais ca te `pi svargam avapnuvan.
"In the battlefield, a king or ksatriya, while fighting another king envious of
him, is eligible for achieving heavenly planets after death, as the brahmanas
also attain the heavenly planets by sacrificing animals in the sacrificial fire."
Therefore, killing on the battle on the religious principle and the killing of
animals in the sacrificial fire are not at all considered to be acts of violence,
because everyone is benefitted by the religious principles involved. The
animal sacrificed gets a human life immediately without undergoing the
gradual evolutionary process from one form to another, and the ksatriyas
killed in the battlefield also attain the heavenly planets as do the brahmanas
who attain them by offering sacrifice.
There are two kinds of svadharmas, specific duties. As long as one is not
liberated, one has to perform the duties of that particular body in accordance
with religious principles in order to achieve liberation. When one is liberated,
one`s svadharma- specific duty-becomes spiritual and is not in the material
bodily concept. In the bodily conception of life thereare specific duties for the
brahmanas and ksatriyas respectively, and such duties are unavoidable.
Svadharma is ordained by the Lord, and this will be clarified in the Fourth
Chapter. On the bodily plane svadharma is called varnasrama-dharma, or
man`s steppingstone for spiritual understanding. Human civilization begins
from the stage of varnasrama-dharma, or specific duties in terms of the
specific modes of nature of the body obtained. Discharging one`s specific duty
in any field of action in accordance with varnasrama- dharma serves to
elevate one to a higher status of life.


यदृच्छया चोपपन्नं स्वर्गद्वारमपावृतम् | सुखिनः क्षत्रियाः पार्थ लभन्ते युद्धमीदृशम् ||२-३२||

yadṛcchayā copapannaṃ svargadvāramapāvṛtam . sukhinaḥ kṣatriyāḥ pārtha labhante yuddhamīdṛśam ||2-32||

yadrcchaya —by its own accord; ca —also; upapannam —arrived at; svarga
—heavenly planet; dvaram —door; apavrtam —wide open; sukhinah —very
happy; ksatriyah —the members of the royal order; partha —O son of Prtha;
labhante —do achieve; yuddham —war; Tdrsam —like this.

O Partha, happy are the ksatriyas to whom such fighting opportunities
come unsought, opening for them the doors of the heavenly planets.

As supreme teacher of the world, Lord Krsna condemns the attitude of
Arjuna who said, "I do not find any good in this fighting. It will cause
perpetual habitation in hell." Such statements by Arjuna were due to ignorance
only. He wanted to become nonviolent in the discharge of his specific duty.
For a ksatriya to be in the battlefield and to become nonviolent is the
philosophy of fools. In the Parasara-smrti or religious codes made by
Parasara, the great sage and father of Vyasadeva, it is stated:
ksatriyo hi praja raksan sastra-panih pradandayan
nirjitya parasainyadi ksitim dharmena palayet.
"The ksatriya`s duty is to protect the citizens from all kinds of difficulties, and
for that reason he has to apply violence in suitable cases for law and order.
Therefore he has to conquer the soldiers of inimical kings, and thus, with
religious principles, he should rule over the world."
Considering all aspects, Arjuna had no reason to refrain from fighting. If he
should conquer his enemies, he would enjoy the kingdom; and if he should die
in the battle, he would be elevated to the heavenly planets whose doors were
wide open to him. Fighting would be for his benefit in either case.


अथ चेत्त्वमिमं धर्म्यं संग्रामं न करिष्यसि | ततः स्वधर्मं कीर्तिं च हित्वा पापमवाप्स्यसि ||२-३३||

atha cettvamimaṃ dharmyaṃ saṃgrāmaṃ na kariṣyasi . tataḥ svadharmaṃ kīrtiṃ ca hitvā pāpamavāpsyasi ||2-33||

atha —therefore; cet —if; tvam —you; imam —this; dharmyam —religious
duty; sangramam —fighting; na —do not; karisyasi —perform; tatah —then;
svadharmam —your religious duty; kfrtim —reputation; ca —also; hitva —
losing; papam —sinful reaction; avapsyasi —do gain.

If, however, you do not fight this religious war, then you will certainly
incur sins for neglecting your duties and thus lose your reputation as a

Arjuna was a famous fighter, and he attained fame by fighting many great
demigods, including even Lord Siva. After fighting and defeating Lord Siva in
the dress of a hunter, Arjuna pleased the Lord and received as a reward a
weapon called pasupata- astra. Everyone knew that he was a great warrior.
Even Dronacarya gave him benediction and awarded him the special weapon
by which he could kill even his teacher. So he was credited with so many
military certificates from many authorities, including his adopted father Indra,
the heavenly king. But if he abandoned the battle, he would not only neglect
his specific duty as a ksatriya, but he would lose all his fame and good name
and thus prepare his royal road to hell. In other words, he would go to hell, not
by fighting, but by withdrawing from battle.


अकीर्तिं चापि भूतानि कथयिष्यन्ति तेऽव्ययाम् | सम्भावितस्य चाकीर्तिर्मरणादतिरिच्यते ||२-३४||

akīrtiṃ cāpi bhūtāni kathayiṣyanti te.avyayām . sambhāvitasya cākīrtirmaraṇādatiricyate ||2-34||

akirtim —infamy; ca —also; api —over and above; bhutani —all people;
kathayisyanti —will speak; te-of you; avyayam —forever; sambhavitasya —for
a respectable man; ca —also; akfrtih —ill fame; maranat —than death;
atiricyate —becomes more than.

People will always speak of your infamy, and for one who has been
honored, dishonor is worse than death.

Both as friend and philosopher to Arjuna, Lord Krsna now gives His final
judgement regarding Arjuna`s refusal to fight. The Lord says, "Arjuna, if you
leave the battlefield, people will call you a coward even before your actual
flight. And if you think that people may call you bad names but that you will
save your life by fleeing the battlefield, then My advice is that you`d do better
to die in the battle. For a respectable man like you, ill fame is worse than
death. So, you should not flee for fear of your life; better to die in the battle.
That will save you from the ill fame of misusing My friendship and from
losing your prestige in society."
So, the final judgement of the Lord was for Arjuna to die in the battle and
not withdraw.


भयाद्रणादुपरतं मंस्यन्ते त्वां महारथाः | येषां च त्वं बहुमतो भूत्वा यास्यसि लाघवम् ||२-३५||

bhayādraṇāduparataṃ maṃsyante tvāṃ mahārathāḥ . yeṣāṃ ca tvaṃ bahumato bhūtvā yāsyasi lāghavam ||2-35||

bhayat —out of fear; ranat —from the battlefield; uparatam —ceased;
mamsyante —will consider; tvam —unto you; maha-rathah —the great generals;
yesam —of those who; ca —also; tvam —you; bahu-matah —in great estimation;
bhutva —will become; yasyasi —will go; laghavam —decreased in value.

The great generals who have highly esteemed your name and fame will
think that you have left the battlefield out of fear only, and thus they will
consider you a coward.

Lord Krsna continued to give His verdict to Arjuna: "Do not think that the
great generals like Duryodhana, Kama, and other contemporaries will think
that you have left the battlefield out of compassion for your brothers and
grandfather. They will think that you have left out of fear for your life. And
thus their high estimation of your personality will go to hell."


अवाच्यवादांश्च बहून्वदिष्यन्ति तवाहिताः | निन्दन्तस्तव सामर्थ्यं ततो दुःखतरं नु किम् ||२-३६||

avācyavādāṃśca bahūnvadiṣyanti tavāhitāḥ . nindantastava sāmarthyaṃ tato duḥkhataraṃ nu kim ||2-36||

avacya —unkind; vadan —fabricated words; ca —also; bahun —many;
vadisyanti —will say; tava —your; ahitah —enemies; nindantah —while
vilifying; tava —your; samarthyam —ability; tatah —thereafter; duhkhataram
—more painful; nu —of course; kim —what is there.

Your enemies will describe you in many unkind words and scorn your
ability. What could be more painful for you?

Lord Krsna was astonished in the beginning at Arjuna`s uncalled-for plea
for compassion, and He described his compassion as befitting the non-
Aryans. Now in so many words, He has proved His statements against
Arjuna`s so-called compassion.


हतो वा प्राप्स्यसि स्वर्गं जित्वा वा भोक्ष्यसे महीम् | तस्मादुत्तिष्ठ कौन्तेय युद्धाय कृतनिश्चयः ||२-३७||

hato vā prāpsyasi svargaṃ jitvā vā bhokṣyase mahīm . tasmāduttiṣṭha kaunteya yuddhāya kṛtaniścayaḥ ||2-37||

hatah —being killed; va —either; prapsyasi —you gain; svargam —the
heavenly kingdom; jitva —by conquering; va —or; bhoksyase —you enjoy;
mahim —the world; tasmat —therefore; utdstha —get up; kaunteya —O son of
KuntI; yuddhaya —to fight; krta —determination; niscayah —uncertainty.

O son of KuntI, either you will be killed on the battlefield and attain the
heavenly planets, or you will conquer and enjoy the earthly kingdom.
Therefore get up and fight with determination.

Even though there was no certainty of victory for Arjuna`s side, he still had
to fight; for, even being killed there, he could be elevated into the heavenly


सुखदुःखे समे कृत्वा लाभालाभौ जयाजयौ | ततो युद्धाय युज्यस्व नैवं पापमवाप्स्यसि ||२-३८||

sukhaduḥkhe same kṛtvā lābhālābhau jayājayau . tato yuddhāya yujyasva naivaṃ pāpamavāpsyasi ||2-38||

sukha —happiness; duhkhe —in distress; same —in equanimity; krtva — doing
so; labhalabhau —both in loss and profit; jayajayau —both in defeat and
victory; tatah —thereafter; yuddhaya —for the sake of fighting; yujyasva —do
fight; na —never; evam —in this way; papam —sinful reaction; avapsyasi —you
will gain.

Do thou fight for the sake of fighting, without considering happiness or
distress, loss or gain, victory or defeat—and, by so doing, you shall never
incur sin.

Lord Krsna now directly says that Arjuna should fight for the sake of
fighting because He desires the battle. There is no consideration of happiness
or distress, profit or gain, victory or defeat in the activities of Krsna
consciousness. That everything should be performed for the sake of Krsna is
transcendental consciousness; so there is no reaction to material activities. He
who acts for his own sense gratification, either in goodness or in passion, is
subject to the reaction, good or bad. But he who has completely surrendered
himself in the activities of Krsna consciousness is no longer obliged to
anyone, nor is he a debtor to anyone, as one is in the ordinary course of
activities. It is said:
devarsi-bhutapta-nmam pitrnam
na kihkaro nayamrni ca rajan
sarvatmana yah saranam saranyam
gato mukundam parihrtya kartam
(Bhag. 11.5.41)
"Anyone who has completely surrendered unto Krsna, Mukunda, giving up all
other duties, is no longer a debtor, nor is he obliged to anyone-not the
demigods, nor the sages, nor the people in general, nor kinsmen, nor
humanity, nor forefathers." That is the indirect hint given by Krsna to Arjuna
in this verse, and the matter will be more clearly explained in the following


एषा तेऽभिहिता साङ्ख्ये बुद्धिर्योगे त्विमां शृणु | बुद्ध्या युक्तो यया पार्थ कर्मबन्धं प्रहास्यसि ||२-३९||

eṣā te.abhihitā sāṅkhye buddhiryoge tvimāṃ śṛṇu . buddhyā yukto yayā pārtha karmabandhaṃ prahāsyasi ||2-39||

esa —all these; te —unto you; abhihita —described; sahkhye —by analytical
study; buddhih —intelligence; yoge —work without fruitive result; tu —but;
imam-this; srnu —just hear; buddhya —by intelligence; yuktah —dovetailed;
yaya —by which; partha —O son of Prtha; karma-bandham —bondage of
reaction; prahasyasi —you can be released from.

Thus far I have declared to you the analytical knowledge of sankhya
philosophy. Now listen to the knowledge of yoga whereby one works
without fruitive result. O son of Prtha, when you act by such intelligence,
you can free yourself from the bondage of works.

According to the Nirukti, or the Vedic dictionary, sankhya means that which
describes phenomena in detail, and sankhya refers to that philosophy which
describes the real nature of the soul. And yoga involves controlling the senses.
Arjuna`s proposal not to fight was based on sense gratification. Forgetting his
prime duty, he wanted to cease fighting because he thought that by not killing
his relatives and kinsmen he would be happier than by enjoying the kingdom
by conquering his cousins and brothers, the sons of Dhrtarastra. In both ways,
the basic principles were for sense gratification. Happiness derived from
conquering them and happiness derived by seeing kinsmen alive are both on
the basis of personal sense gratification, for there is a sacrifice of wisdom and
duty. Krsna, therefore, wanted to explain to Arjuna that by killing the body of
his grandfather he would not be killing the soul proper, and He explained that
all individual persons, including the Lord Himself, are eternal individuals;
they were individuals in the past, they are individuals in the present, and they
will continue to remain individuals in the future, because all of us are
individual souls eternally, and we simply change our bodily dress in different
manners. But, actually, we keep our individuality even after liberation from
the bondage of material dress. An analytical study of the soul and the body has
been very graphically explained by Lord Krsna. And this descriptive
knowledge of the soul and the body from different angles of vision has been
described here as sankhya, in terms of the Nirukti dictionary. This sankhya has
nothing to do with the sankhya philosophy of the atheist Kapila. Long before
the imposter Kapila`s sankhya, the sankhya philosophy was expounded in the
Srimad-Bhagavatam by the true Lord Kapila, the incarnation of Lord Krsna,
who explained it to His mother, Devahuti. It is clearly explained by Him that
the Purusa, or the Supreme Lord, is active and that He creates by looking over
the prakrti. This is accepted in the Vedas and in the Gita. The description in
the Vedas indicates that the Lord glanced over the prakrti, or nature, and
impregnated it with atomic individuals souls. All these individuals are
working in the material world for sense gratification, and under the spell of
material energy they are thinking of being enjoyers. This mentality is dragged
to the last point of liberation when the living entity wants to become one with
the Lord. This is the last snare of maya or sense gratificatory illusion, and it is
only after many, many births of such sense gratificatory activities that a great
soul surrenders unto Vasudeva, Lord Krsna, thereby fulfilling the search after
the ultimate truth.
Arjuna has already accepted Krsna as his spiritual master by surrendering
himself unto Him: sisyas te `ham sadhi mam tvam praparmam. Consequently,
Krsna will now tell him about the working process in buddhi-yoga, or karma-
yoga, or in other words, the practice of devotional service only for the sense
gratification of the Lord. 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. But such communion does not take place
without devotional service. 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.
Thus the buddhi-yoga mentioned in this verse is the devotional service of
the Lord, and the word sahkhya mentioned herein has nothing to do with the
atheistic sahkhya-yoga enunciated by the impostor Kapila. One should not,
therefore, misunderstand that the sahkhya-yoga mentioned herein has any
connection with the atheistic sahkhya. Nor did that philosophy have any
influence during that time; nor would Lord Krsna care to mention such
godless philosophical speculations. Real sahkhya philosophy is described by
Lord Kapila in the SrTmad-Bhagavatam, but even that sahkhya has nothing to
do with the current topics. Here, sahkhya means analytical description of the
body and the soul. Lord Krsna made an analytical description of the soul just
to bring Arjuna to the point of buddhi-yoga, or bhakti-yoga. Therefore, Lord
Krsna`s sahkhya and Lord Kapila`s sahkhya, as described in the Bhagavatam;
are one and the same. They are all bhakti-yoga. He said, therefore, that only
the less intelligent class of men make a distinction between sahkhya-yoga and
Of course, atheistic sahkhya-yoga has nothing to do with bhakti-yoga, yet
the unintelligent claim that the atheistic sahkhya-yoga is referred to in the
One should therefore understand that buddhi-yoga means to work in Krsna
consciousness, in the full bliss and knowledge of devotional service. One who
works for the satisfaction of the Lord only, however difficult such work may
be, is working under the principles of buddhi-yoga and finds himself always in
transcendental bliss. By such transcendental engagement, one achieves all
transcendental qualities automatically, by the grace of the Lord, and thus his
liberation is complete in itself, without his making extraneous endeavors to
acquire knowledge. There is much difference between work in Krsna
consciousness and work for fruitive results, especially in the matter of sense
gratification for achieving results in terms of family or material happiness.
Buddhi-yoga is therefore the transcendental quality of the work that we


नेहाभिक्रमनाशोऽस्ति प्रत्यवायो न विद्यते | स्वल्पमप्यस्य धर्मस्य त्रायते महतो भयात् ||२-४०||

nehābhikramanāśo.asti pratyavāyo na vidyate . svalpamapyasya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt ||2-40||

na —there is not; iha —in this world; abhikrama —endeavoring; nasah —
loss; asti —there is; pratyavayah —diminution; na —never; vidyate —there is;
svalpam —little; api —although; asya —of this; dharmasya —of this occupation;
trayate —releases; mahatah —of very great; bhayat —from danger.

In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement
on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.

Activity in Krsna consciousness, or acting for the benefit of Krsna without
expectation of sense gratification, is the highest transcendental quality of
work. Even a small beginning of such activity finds no impediment, nor can
that small beginning be lost at any stage. Any work begun on the material
plane has to be completed, otherwise the whole attempt becomes a failure. But
any work begun in Krsna consciousness has a permanent effect, even though
not finished. The performer of such work is therefore not at a loss even if his
work in Krsna consciousness is incomplete. One percent done in Krsna
consciousness bears permanent results, so that the next beginning is from the
point of two percent; whereas, in material activity, without a hundred percent
success, there is no profit. Ajamila performed his duty in some percentage of
Krsna consciousness, but the result he enjoyed at the end was a hundred
percent, by the grace of the Lord. There is a nice verse in this connection in
SrTmad- Bhagavatam:
tyaktva sva-dharmarh caranambujarh barer
bhajan na pakko `tha patet tato yadi
yatra kva vabhadram abhud amusya kirn
ko vartha apto `bhajatarh sva-dharmatah
"If someone gives up self-gratificatory pursuits and works in Krsna
consciousness and then falls down on account of not completing his work,
what loss is there on his part? And, what can one gain if one performs his
material activities perfectly?" (Bhag. 1.5.17) Or, as the Christians say, "What
profiteth a man if he gain the whole world yet suffers the loss of his eternal
Material activities and their results end with the body. But work in Krsna
consciousness carries the person again to Krsna consciousness, even after the
loss of the body. At least one is sure to have a chance in the next life of being
born again as a human being, either in the family of a great cultured brahmana
or in a rich aristocratic family that will give one a further chance for elevation.
That is the unique quality of work done in Krsna consciousness.


व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिरेकेह कुरुनन्दन | बहुशाखा ह्यनन्ताश्च बुद्धयोऽव्यवसायिनाम् ||२-४१||

vyavasāyātmikā buddhirekeha kurunandana . bahuśākhā hyanantāśca buddhayo.avyavasāyinām ||2-41||

vyavasayatmika —resolute Krsna consciousness; buddhih —intelligence; eka
—only one; iha —in this world; kuru-nandana —O beloved child of the Kurus;
bahu-sakhah —various branches; hi —indeed; anantah —unlimited; ca —also;
buddhayah —intelligence; avyavasayinam —of those who are not in Krsna

Those who are on this path are resolute in purpose, and their aim is
one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are
irresolute is many-branched.

A strong faith in Krsna consciousness that one should be elevated to the
highest perfection of life is called vyavasayatmika intelligence. The Caitanya-
caritamrta states:
`sraddha`-sabde visvasa kahe sudrdha niscaya
krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya.
Faith means unflinching trust in something sublime. When one is engaged in
the duties of Krsna consciousness, he need not act in relationship to the
material world with obligations to family traditions, humanity, or nationality.
Fruitive activities are the engagements of one`s reactions from past good or
bad deeds. When one is awake in Krsna consciousness, he need no longer
endeavor for good results in his activities. When one is situated in Krsna
consciousness, all activities are on the absolute plane, for they are no longer
subject to dualities like good and bad. The highest perfection of Krsna
consciousness is renunciation of the material conception of life. This state is
automatically achieved by progressive Krsna consciousness. The resolute
purpose of a person in Krsna consciousness is based on knowledge
("Vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma sudurlabhah") by which one comes to
know perfectly that Vasudeva, or Krsna, is the root of all manifested causes.
As water on the root of a tree is automatically distributed to the leaves and
branches, in Krsna consciousness, one can render the highest service to
everyone-namely self, family, society, country, humanity, etc. If Krsna is
satisfied by one`s actions, then everyone will be satisfied.
Service in Krsna consciousness is, however, best practiced under the able
guidance of a spiritual master who is a bona fide representative of Krsna, who
knows the nature of the student and who can guide him to act in Krsna
consciousness. As such, to be well-versed in Krsna consciousness one has to
act firmly and obey the representative of Krsna, and one should accept the
instruction of the bona fide spiritual master as one`s mission in life. Srlla
Visvanatha CakravartI Thakur instructs us, in his famous prayers for the
spiritual master, as follows:
yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado
yasyaprasadanna gadh kuto `pi
dhyayam stuvams tasya yasas tri-sandhyam
vande guroh srT-caranaravindam.
"By satisfaction of the spiritual master, the Supreme Personality of Godhead
becomes satisfied. And by not satisfying the spiritual master, there is no
chance of being promoted to the plane of Krsna consciousness. I should,
therefore, meditate and pray for his mercy three times a day, and offer my
respectful obeisances unto him, my spiritual master."
The whole process, however, depends on perfect knowledge of the soul
beyond the conception of the body-not theoretically but practically, when
there is no longer chance for sense gratification manifested in fruitive
activities. One who is not firmly fixed in mind is diverted by various types of
fruitive acts.


यामिमां पुष्पितां वाचं प्रवदन्त्यविपश्चितः | वेदवादरताः पार्थ नान्यदस्तीति वादिनः ||२-४२||

yāmimāṃ puṣpitāṃ vācaṃ pravadantyavipaścitaḥ . vedavādaratāḥ pārtha nānyadastīti vādinaḥ ||2-42||

yam imam —all these; puspitam —flowery; vacam —words; pravadand —
say; avipascitah —men with a poor fund of knowledge; veda-vada-ratah —
supposed followers of the Vedas; partha —O son of Prtha; na —never; anyat
—anything else; asd —there is; id —this; vadinah —advocates; kama- atmanah
—desirous of sense gratification; svarga-parah —aiming to achieve heavenly
planets; janma-karma-phala-pradam —resulting in fruitive action, good birth,
etc.; kriya-visesa —pompous ceremonies; bahulam —various; bhoga —sense
enjoyment; aisvarya —opulence; gatim —progress; prati — towards.

Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words
of the Vedas, which recommend various fruitive activities for elevation to
heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power, and so forth. Being
desirous of sense gratification and opulent life, they say that there is
nothing more than this.

People in general are not very intelligent, and due to their ignorance they
are most attached to the fruitive activities recommended in the karma-kanda
portions of the Vedas. They do not want anything more than sense
gratificatory proposals for enjoying life in heaven, where wine and women are
available and material opulence is very common. In the Vedas many sacrifices
are recommended for elevation to the heavenly planets, especially the
jyotistoma sacrifices. In fact, it is stated that anyone desiring elevation to
heavenly planets must perform these sacrifices, and men with a poor fund of
knowledge think that this is the whole purpose of Vedic wisdom. It is very
difficult for such inexperienced persons to be situated in the determined action
of Krsna consciousness. As fools are attached to the flowers of poisonous
trees without knowing the results of such attractions, similarly unenlightened
men are attracted by such heavenly opulence and the sense enjoyment thereof.
In the karma-kanda section of the Vedas it is said that those who perform
the four monthly penances become eligible to drink the somarasa beverages to
become immortal and happy forever. Even on this earth some are very eager
to have somarasa to become strong and fit to enjoy sense gratifications. Such
persons have no faith in liberation from material bondage, and they are very
much attached to the pompous ceremonies of Vedic sacrifices. They are
generally sensual, and they do not want anything other than the heavenly
pleasures of life. It is understood that there are gardens called nandana-
kanana in which there is good opportunity for association with angelic,
beautiful women and having a profuse supply of somarasa wine. Such bodily
happiness is certainly sensual; therefore there are those who are purely
attached to material, temporary happiness, as lords of the material world.


कामात्मानः स्वर्गपरा जन्मकर्मफलप्रदाम् | क्रियाविशेषबहुलां भोगैश्वर्यगतिं प्रति ||२-४३||

kāmātmānaḥ svargaparā janmakarmaphalapradām . kriyāviśeṣabahulāṃ bhogaiśvaryagatiṃ prati ||2-43||


भोगैश्वर्यप्रसक्तानां तयापहृतचेतसाम् | व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः समाधौ न विधीयते ||२-४४||

bhogaiśvaryaprasaktānāṃ tayāpahṛtacetasām . vyavasāyātmikā buddhiḥ samādhau na vidhīyate ||2-44||

bhoga —material enjoyment; aisvarya —opulence; prasaktanam —those who
are so attached; tayd —by such things; apahrta-cetasam —bewildered in mind;
vyavasayatmika —fixed determination; buddhih —devotional service of the
Lord; samadhau —in the controlled mind; na —never; vidhTyate —does take

In the minds of those who are too attached to sense enjoyment and
material opulence, and who are bewildered by such things, the resolute
determination of devotional service to the Supreme Lord does not take

Samadhi means "fixed mind." The Vedic dictionary, the Nirukti, says,
samyag adhTyate `sminn atmatattva-ydthatmyam: "When the mind is fixed for
understanding the self, it is called samadhi." Samadhi is never possible for
persons interested in material sense enjoyment, nor for those who are
bewildered by such temporary things. They are more or less condemned by
the process of material energy.


त्रैगुण्यविषया वेदा निस्त्रैगुण्यो भवार्जुन | निर्द्वन्द्वो नित्यसत्त्वस्थो निर्योगक्षेम आत्मवान् ||२-४५||

traiguṇyaviṣayā vedā nistraiguṇyo bhavārjuna . nirdvandvo nityasattvastho niryogakṣema ātmavān ||2-45||

traigunya —pertaining to the three modes of material nature; visayah — on
the subject matter; vedah —Vedic literatures; nistraigunyah —in a pure state of
spiritual existence; bhava —be; arjuna-0 Arjuna; nirdvandvah —free from the
pains of opposites; nitya-sattva-sthah —ever remaining in sattva (goodness);
niryoga-ksemah —free from (the thought of) acquisition and preservation;
atmavan —established in the Self.

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

All material activities involve actions and reactions in the three modes of
material nature. They are meant for fruitive results, which cause bondage in
the material world. The Vedas deal mostly with fruitive activities to gradually
elevate the general public from the field of sense gratification to a position on
the transcendental plane. Arjuna, as a student and friend of Lord Krsna, is
advised to raise himself to the transcendental position of Vedanta philosophy
where, in the beginning, there is brahma-jijnasa, or questions on the Supreme
Transcendence. All the living entities who are in the material world are
struggling very hard for existence. For them the Lord, after creation of the
material world, gave the Vedic wisdom advising how to live and get rid of the
material entanglement. When the activities for sense gratification, namely the
karma-kanda chapter, are finished, then the chance for spiritual realization is
offered in the form of the Upanisads, which are part of different Vedas, as the
Bhagavad-gTta is a part of the fifth Veda, namely the Mahabharata. The
Upanisads mark the beginning of transcendental life.
As long as the material body exists, there are actions and reactions in the
material modes. One has to learn tolerance in the face of dualities such as
happiness and distress, or cold and warmth, and by tolerating such dualities
become free from anxieties regarding gain and loss. This transcendental
position is achieved in full Krsna consciousness when one is fully dependant
on the good will of Krsna


यावानर्थ उदपाने सर्वतः सम्प्लुतोदके | तावान्सर्वेषु वेदेषु ब्राह्मणस्य विजानतः ||२-४६||

yāvānartha udapāne sarvataḥ samplutodake . tāvānsarveṣu vedeṣu brāhmaṇasya vijānataḥ ||2-46||

yavan —all that; arthah —is meant; udapane —in a well of water; sarvatah
—in all respects; sampluta-udake —in a great reservoir of water; tavan
—similarly; sarvesu —in all; vedesu —Vedic literatures; brahmanasya —of the
man who knows the Supreme Brahman; vijanatah —of one who is in complete

All purposes that are served by the small pond can at once be served by
the great reservoirs of water. Similarly, all the purposes of the Vedas can
be served to one who knows the purpose behind them.

The rituals and sacrifices mentioned in the karma-kanda division of the
Vedic literature are to encourage gradual development of self-realization. And
the purpose of self-realization is clearly stated in the Fifteenth Chapter of the
Bhagavad-gita (15.15): the purpose of studying the Vedas is to know Lord
Krsna, the primeval cause of everything. So, self-realization means
understanding Krsna and one`s eternal relationship with Him. The relationship
of the living entities with Krsna is also mentioned in the Fifteenth Chapter of
Bhagavad-gTta. The living entities are parts and parcels of Krsna; therefore,
revival of Krsna consciousness by the individual living entity is the highest
perfectional stage of Vedic knowledge. This is confirmed in the Srimad-
Bhagavatam (3.33.7) as follows:
aho bata svapaco`to garTyan
yaj-jihvagre vartate nama tubhyam
tepus tapas tejuhuvuh sasnur dry a
brahmanucur nama grnanti ye te.
"O my Lord, a person who is chanting Your holy name, although born of a
low family like that of a candala [dog eater], is situated on the highest
platform of self-realization. Such a person must have performed all kinds of
penances and sacrifices according to Vedic rituals and studied the Vedic
literatures many, many times after taking his bath in all the holy places of
pilgrimage. Such a person is considered to be the best of the Aryan family."
So one must be intelligent enough to understand the purpose of the Vedas,
without being attached to the rituals only, and must not desire to be elevated to
the heavenly kingdoms for a better quality of sense gratification. It is not
possible for the common man in this age to follow all the rules and regulations
of the Vedic rituals and the injunctions of the Vedantas and the Upanisads. It
requires much time, energy, knowledge and resources to execute the purposes
of the Vedas. This is hardly possible in this age. The best purpose of Vedic
culture is served, however, by chanting the holy name of the Lord, as
recommended by Lord Caitanya, the deliverer of all fallen souls. When Lord
Caitanya was asked by a great Vedic scholar, Prakasananda Sarasvatl, why He,
the Lord, was chanting the holy name of the Lord like a sentimentalist instead
of studying Vedanta philosophy, the Lord replied that His spiritual master
found Him to be a great fool, and thus he asked Him to chant the holy name of
Lord Krsna. He did so, and became ecstatic like a madman. In this age of Kali,
most of the population is foolish and not adequately educated to understand
Vedanta philosophy; the best purpose of Vedanta philosophy is served by
inoffensively chanting the holy name of the Lord. Vedanta is the last word in
Vedic wisdom, and the author and knower of the Vedanta philosophy is Lord
Krsna; and the highest Vedantist is the great soul who takes pleasure in
chanting the holy name of the Lord. That is the ultimate purpose of all Vedic


कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन | मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि ||२-४७||

karmaṇyevādhikāraste mā phaleṣu kadācana . mā karmaphalaheturbhūrmā te saṅgo.astvakarmaṇi ||2-47||

karmani —prescribed duties; eva —certainly; adhikarah —right; te—of you;
ma —never; phalesu —in the fruits; kadacana —at any time; ma —never; karma-
phala —in the result of the work; hetuh —cause; bhuh —become; ma — never; te
—of you; sangah —attachment; astu —be there; akarmani —in not doing.

You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not
entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself to be the cause of
the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your

There are three considerations here: prescribed duties, capricious work, and
inaction. Prescribed duties refer to activities performed while one is in the
modes of material nature. Capricious work means actions without the sanction
of authority, and inaction means not performing one`s prescribed duties. The
Lord advised that Arjuna not be inactive, but that he perform his prescribed
duty without being attached to the result. One who is attached to the result of
his work is also the cause of the action. Thus he is the enjoyer or sufferer of
the result of such actions.
As far as prescribed duties are concerned, they can be fitted into three
subdivisions, namely routine work, emergency work and desired activities.
Routine work, in terms of the scriptural injunctions, is done without desire for
results. As one has to do it, obligatory work is action in the mode of goodness.
Work with results becomes the cause of bondage; therefore such work is not
auspicious. Everyone has his proprietory right in regard to prescribed duties,
but should act without attachment to the result; such disinterested obligatory
duties doubtlessly lead one to the path of liberation.
Arjuna was therefore advised by the Lord to fight as a matter of duty
without attachment to the result. His nonparticipation in the battle is another
side of attachment. Such attachment never leads one to the path of salvation.
Any attachment, positive or negative, is cause for bondage. Inaction is sinful.
Therefore, fighting as a matter of duty was the only auspicious path of
salvation for Arjuna.


योगस्थः कुरु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा धनञ्जय | सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योः समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते ||२-४८||

yogasthaḥ kuru karmāṇi saṅgaṃ tyaktvā dhanañjaya . siddhyasiddhyoḥ samo bhūtvā samatvaṃ yoga ucyate ||2-48||

yoga-sthah —steadfast in yoga; kuru —perform; karmani —your duty;
saiigam —attachment; tyaktva —having abandoned; dhananjaya —O
Dhananjaya; siddhi-asiddhyoh —in success and failure; samah —the same;
bhutva —having become; samatvam —evenness of mind; yogah-yoga; ucyate
—is called.

Be steadfast in yoga, O Arjuna. Perform your duty and abandon all
attachment to success or failure. Such evenness of mind is called yoga.

Krsna tells Arjuna that he should act in yoga. And what is that yoga? Yoga
means to concentrate the mind upon the Supreme by controlling the ever-
disturbing senses. And who is the Supreme? The Supreme is the Lord. And
because He Himself is telling Arjuna to fight, Arjuna has nothing to do with
the results of the fight. Gain or victory are Krsna`s concern; Arjuna is simply
advised to act according to the dictation of Krsna. The following of Krsna`s
dictation is real yoga, and this is practiced in the process called Krsna
consciousness. By Krsna consciousness only can one give up the sense of
proprietorship. One has to become the servant of Krsna, or the servant of the
servant of Krsna. That is the right way to discharge duty in Krsna
consciousness, which alone can help one to act in yoga.
Arjuna is a ksatriya, and as such he is participating in the varnasrama-
dharma institution. It is said in the Visnu Purana that in the varnasrama-
dharma, the whole aim is to satisfy Visnu. No one should satisfy himself, as is
the rule in the material world, but one should satisfy Krsna. So, unless one
satisfies Krsna, one cannot correctly observe the principles of varnasrama-
dharma. Indirectly, Arjuna was advised to act as Krsna told him.


दूरेण ह्यवरं कर्म बुद्धियोगाद्धनञ्जय | बुद्धौ शरणमन्विच्छ कृपणाः फलहेतवः ||२-४९||

dūreṇa hyavaraṃ karma buddhiyogāddhanañjaya . buddhau śaraṇamanviccha kṛpaṇāḥ phalahetavaḥ ||2-49||

durena —by discarding it at a long distance; hi —certainly; avaram —
abominable; karma —activities; buddhi-yogat —on the strength of Krsna
consciousness; dhananjaya —O conqueror of wealth; buddhau —in such
consciousness; saranam —full surrender; anviccha —desire; krpanah —the
misers; phala-hetavah —those desiring fruitive action.

O Dhananjaya, rid yourself of all fruitive activities by devotional
service, and surrender fully to that consciousness. Those who want to
enjoy the fruits of their work are misers.

One who has actually come to understand one`s constitutional position as
the eternal servitor of the Lord gives up all engagements save working in
Krsna consciousness. As already explained, buddhi-yoga means
transcendental loving service to the Lord. Such devotional service is the right
course of action for the living entity. Only misers desire to enjoy the fruit of
their own work just to be further entangled in material bondage. Except for
work in Krsna consciousness, all activities are abominable because they
continually bind the worker to the cycle of birth and death. One should
therefore never desire to be the cause of work. Everything should be done in
Krsna consciousness for the satisfaction of Krsna. Misers do not know how to
utilize the assets of riches which they acquire by good fortune or by hard
labor. One should spend all energies working in Krsna consciousness, and that
will make one`s life successful. Like the misers, unfortunate persons do not
employ their human energy in the service of the Lord.


बुद्धियुक्तो जहातीह उभे सुकृतदुष्कृते | तस्माद्योगाय युज्यस्व योगः कर्मसु कौशलम् ||२-५०||

buddhiyukto jahātīha ubhe sukṛtaduṣkṛte . tasmādyogāya yujyasva yogaḥ karmasu kauśalam ||2-50||

buddhi-yuktah —one who is engaged in devotional service; jahati —can get
rid of; iha —in this life; ubhe —in both; sukrta-duskrte —in good and bad
results; tasmat —therefore; yogaya —for the sake of devotional service;
yujyasva —be so engaged; yogah —Krsna consciousness; karmasu —in all
activities; kausalam —art.

A man engaged in devotional service rids himself of both good and bad
actions even in this life. Therefore strive for yoga, O Arjuna, which is the
art of all work.

Since time immemorial each living entity has accumulated the various
reactions of his good and bad work. As such, he is continuously ignorant of
his real constitutional position. One`s ignorance can be removed by the
instruction of the Bhagavad-gTta which teaches one to surrender unto Lord Sri
Krsna in all respects and become liberated from the chained victimization of
action and reaction, birth after birth. Arjuna is therefore advised to act in
Krsna consciousness, the purifying process of resultant action.


कर्मजं बुद्धियुक्ता हि फलं त्यक्त्वा मनीषिणः | जन्मबन्धविनिर्मुक्ताः पदं गच्छन्त्यनामयम् ||२-५१||

karmajaṃ buddhiyuktā hi phalaṃ tyaktvā manīṣiṇaḥ . janmabandhavinirmuktāḥ padaṃ gacchantyanāmayam ||2-51||

karma-jam —because of fruitive activities; buddhi-yuktah —being done in
devotional service; hi —certainly; phalam —results; tyaktva —giving up;
mamsinah —devotees who are great sages; janma-bandha —the bondage of
birth and death; vinirmuktah —liberated souls; padam —position; gacchanti
—reach; anamayam —without miseries.

The wise, engaged in devotional service, take refuge in the Lord, and
free themselves from the cycle of birth and death by renouncing the fruits
of action in the material world. In this way they can attain that state
beyond all miseries.

The liberated living entities seek that place where there are no material
miseries. The Bhagavatam says:
samasrita ye padapallava-plavam
mahat-padam punya-yaso murareh
bhavambudhir vatsa-padam pararh padam
pararh padam yad vipadarh na tesam
(Bhag. 10.14.58)
"For one who has accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the
shelter of the cosmic manifestation and is famous as Mukunda or the giver of
mukti, the ocean of the material world is like the water contained in a calf`s
hoofprint. Param padam, or the place where there are no material miseries, or
Vaikuntha, is his goal, not the place where there is danger in every step of
Owing to ignorance, one does not know that this material world is a
miserable place where there are dangers at every step. Out of ignorance only,
less intelligent persons try to adjust to the situation by fruitive activities,
thinking that resultant actions will make them happy. They do not know that
no kind of material body anywhere within the universe can give life without
miseries. The miseries of life, namely birth, death, old age and diseases, are
present everywhere within the material world. But one who understands his
real constitutional position as the eternal servitor of the Lord, and thus knows
the position of the Personality of Godhead, engages himself in the
transcendental loving service of the Lord. Consequently he becomes qualified
to enter into the Vaikuntha planets, where there is neither material, miserable
life, nor the influence of time and death. To know one`s constitutional position
means to know also the sublime position of the Lord. One who wrongly thinks
that the living entity`s position and the Lord`s position are on the same level is
to be understood to be in darkness and therefore unable to engage himself in
the devotional service of the Lord. He becomes a lord himself and thus paves
the way for the repetition of birth and death. But one who, understanding that
his position is to serve, transfers himself to the service of the Lord, at once
becomes eligible for Vaikunthaloka. Service for the cause of the Lord is called
karma-yoga or buddhi-yoga, or in plain words, devotional service to the Lord.


यदा ते मोहकलिलं बुद्धिर्व्यतितरिष्यति | तदा गन्तासि निर्वेदं श्रोतव्यस्य श्रुतस्य च ||२-५२||

yadā te mohakalilaṃ buddhirvyatitariṣyati . tadā gantāsi nirvedaṃ śrotavyasya śrutasya ca ||2-52||

yada —when; te —your; moha —illusory; kalilam —dense forest; buddhih —
transcendental service with intelligence; vyatitarisyati —surpasses; tada —at
that time; gantasi —you shall go; nirvedam —callousness; srotavyasya —all that
is to be heard; srutasya —all that is already heard; ca —also.

When your intelligence has passed out of the dense forest of delusion,
you shall become indifferent to all that has been heard and all that is to be

There are many good examples in the lives of the great devotees of the Lord
of those who became indifferent to the rituals of the Vedas simply by
devotional service to the Lord. When a person factually understands Krsna
and his relationship with Krsna, he naturally becomes completely indifferent
to the rituals of fruitive activities, even though an experienced brahmana. Sri
Madhavendra Purl, a great devotee and acarya in the line of the devotees,
sandhya-vandana bhadram astu bhavato bhoh snana tubhyam namo
bho devah pitaras ca tarpana-vidhau naharh ksamah ksamyatam
yatra kvapi nisadya yadava-kulottamasya kamsa-dvisah
smararh smaram agham harami tad alam manye kim anyena me.
"O Lord, in my prayers three times a day, all glory to You. Bathing, I offer my
obeisances unto You. O demigods! O forefathers! Please excuse me for my
inability to offer you my respects. Now wherever I sit, I can remember the
great descendant of the Yadu dynasty [Krsna], the enemy of Kaiiisa, and
thereby I can free myself from all sinful bondage. I think this is sufficient for
The Vedic rites and rituals are imperative for neophytes: comprehending all
kinds of prayer three times a day, taking a bath early in the morning, offering
respects to the forefathers, etc. But, when one is fully in Krsna consciousness
and is engaged in His transcendental loving service, one becomes indifferent
to all these regulative principles because he has already attained perfection. If
one can reach the platform of understanding by service to the Supreme Lord
Krsna, he has no longer to execute different types of penances and sacrifices
as recommended in revealed scriptures. And, similarly, if one has not
understood that the purpose of the Vedas is to reach Krsna and simply engages
in the rituals, etc., then he is uselessly wasting time in such engagements.
Persons in Krsna consciousness transcend the limit of sabda-brahma, or the
range of the Vedas and Upanisads.


श्रुतिविप्रतिपन्ना ते यदा स्थास्यति निश्चला | समाधावचला बुद्धिस्तदा योगमवाप्स्यसि ||२-५३||

śrutivipratipannā te yadā sthāsyati niścalā . samādhāvacalā buddhistadā yogamavāpsyasi ||2-53||

sruti —Vedic revelation; vipratipanna —without being influenced by the
fruitive results of the Vedas; te —your; yada —when; sthasyati —remains;
niscala —unmoved; samadhau —in transcendental consciousness, or Krsna
consciousness; acala —unflinching; buddhih —intelligence; tada —at that time;
yogam —self-realization; avapsyasi —you will achieve.

When your mind is no longer disturbed by the flowery language of the
Vedas, and when it remains fixed in the trance of self-realization, then you
will have attained the Divine consciousness.

To say that one is in samadhi is to say that one has fully realized Krsna
consciousness; that is, one in full samadhi has realized Brahman, Paramatma
and Bhagavan. The highest perfection of self-realization is to understand that
one is eternally the servitor of Krsna and that one`s only business is to
discharge one`s duties in Krsna consciousness. A Krsna conscious person, or
unflinching devotee of the Lord, should not be disturbed by the flowery
language of the Vedas nor be engaged in fruitive activities for promotion to the
heavenly kingdom. In Krsna consciousness, one comes directly into
communion with Krsna, and thus all directions from Krsna may be understood
in that transcendental state. One is sure to achieve results by such activities
and attain conclusive knowledge. One has only to carry out the orders of
Krsna or His representative, the spiritual master.


अर्जुन उवाच | स्थितप्रज्ञस्य का भाषा समाधिस्थस्य केशव | स्थितधीः किं प्रभाषेत किमासीत व्रजेत किम् ||२-५४||

arjuna uvāca . sthitaprajñasya kā bhāṣā samādhisthasya keśava . sthitadhīḥ kiṃ prabhāṣeta kimāsīta vrajeta kim ||2-54||

arjunah uvaca —Arjuna said; sthita-prajnasya —of one who is situated in
fixed Krsna consciousness; ka —what; bhasa —language; samadhi-sthasya —of
one situated in trance; kesava —O Krsna; sthita-dhTh —one fixed in Krsna
consciousness; kim —what; prabhaseta —speak; kim —how; asTta —does
remain; vrajeta —walk; kim —how.

Arjuna said: What are the symptoms of one whose consciousness is
thus merged in Transcendence? How does he speak, and what is his
language? How does he sit, and how does he walk?

As there are symptoms for each and every man, in terms of his particular
situation, similarly one who is Krsna conscious has his particular nature-
talking, walking, thinking, feeling, etc. As a rich man has his symptoms by
which he is known as a rich man, as a diseased man has his symptoms, by
which he is known as diseased, or as a learned man has his symptoms, so a
man in transcendental consciousness of Krsna has specific symptoms in
various dealings. One can know his specific symptoms from the Bhagavad-
gita. Most important is how the man in Krsna consciousness speaks, for
speech is the most important quality of any man. It is said that a fool is
undiscovered as long as he does not speak, and certainly a well-dressed fool
cannot be identified unless he speaks, but as soon as he speaks, he reveals
himself at once. The immediate symptom of a Krsna conscious man is that he
speaks only of Krsna and of matters relating to Him. Other symptoms then
automatically follow, as stated below.


श्रीभगवानुवाच | प्रजहाति यदा कामान्सर्वान्पार्थ मनोगतान् | आत्मन्येवात्मना तुष्टः स्थितप्रज्ञस्तदोच्यते ||२-५५||

śrībhagavānuvāca . prajahāti yadā kāmānsarvānpārtha manogatān . ātmanyevātmanā tuṣṭaḥ sthitaprajñastadocyate ||2-55||

srT bhagavan uvaca —the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; prajahati
—gives up; yada —when; kaman —desires for sense gratification; sarvan —of
all varieties; partha —O son of Prtha; manah-gatan —of mental concoction;
atmani —in the pure state of the soul; eva —certainly; atmana —by the purified
mind; tustah —satisfied; sthita-prajhah —transcendentally situated; tada —at
that time; ucyate —is said.

The Blessed Lord said: O Partha, when a man gives up all varieties of
sense desire which arise from mental concoction, and when his mind finds
satisfaction in the self alone, then he is said to be in pure transcendental

The Bhagavatam affirms that any person who is fully in Krsna
consciousness, or devotional service of the Lord, has all the good qualities of
the great sages, whereas a person who is not so transcendentally situated has
no good qualifications, because he is sure to be taking refuge in his own
mental concoctions. Consequently, it is rightly said herein that one has to give
up all kinds of sense desire manufactured by mental concoction. Artificially,
such sense desires cannot be stopped. But if one is engaged in Krsna
consciousness, then, automatically, sense desires subside without extraneous
efforts. Therefore, one has to engage himself in Krsna consciousness without
hesitation, for this devotional service will instantly help one on to the platform
of transcendental consciousness. The highly developed soul always remains
satisfied in himself by realizing himself as the eternal servitor of the Supreme
Lord. Such a transcendentally situated person has no sense desires resulting
from petty materialism; rather, he remains always happy in his natural position
of eternally serving the Supreme Lord.


दुःखेष्वनुद्विग्नमनाः सुखेषु विगतस्पृहः | वीतरागभयक्रोधः स्थितधीर्मुनिरुच्यते ||२-५६||

duḥkheṣvanudvignamanāḥ sukheṣu vigataspṛhaḥ . vītarāgabhayakrodhaḥ sthitadhīrmunirucyate ||2-56||

duhkhesu —in the threefold miseries; anudvigna-manah —without being
agitated in mind; sukhesu —in happiness; vigata-sprhah —without being too
interested; vita —free from; raga —attachment; bhaya —fear; krodhah —anger;
sthita-dhih —one who is steady; munih —sage; ucyate —is called.

One who is not disturbed in spite of the threefold miseries, who is not
elated when there is happiness, and who is free from attachment, fear and
anger, is called a sage of steady mind.

The word muni means one who can agitate his mind in various ways for
mental speculation without coming to a factual conclusion. It is said that every
muni has a different angle of vision, and unless a muni differs from other
munis, he cannot be called a muni in the strict sense of the term. Nasau munir
yasya matam na binnam. But a sthita-dhT-muni as mentioned herein by the
Lord, is different from an ordinary muni The sthita-dhT-muni is always in
Krsna consciousness, for he has exhausted all his business of creative
speculation. He has surpassed the stage of mental speculations and has come
to the conclusion that Lord Sri Krsna, or Vasudeva, is everything. He is called
a muni fixed in mind. Such a fully Krsna conscious person is not at all
disturbed by the onslaughts of the threefold miseries, for he accepts all
miseries as the mercy of the Lord, thinking himself only worthy of more
trouble due to his past misdeeds; and he sees that his miseries, by the grace of
the Lord, are minimized to the lowest. Similarly, when he is happy he gives
credit to the Lord, thinking himself unworthy of the happiness; he realizes that
it is due only to the Lord`s grace that he is in such a comfortable condition and
able to render better service to the Lord. And, for the service of the Lord, he is
always daring and active and is not influenced by attachment or aversion.
Attachment means accepting things for one`s own sense gratification, and
detachment is the absence of such sensual attachment. But one fixed in Krsna
consciousness has neither attachment nor detachment because his life is
dedicated in the service of the Lord. Consequently he is not at all angry even
when his attempts are unsuccessful. A Krsna conscious person is always
steady in his determination.


यः सर्वत्रानभिस्नेहस्तत्तत्प्राप्य शुभाशुभम् | नाभिनन्दति न द्वेष्टि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता ||२-५७||

yaḥ sarvatrānabhisnehastattatprāpya śubhāśubham . nābhinandati na dveṣṭi tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā ||2-57||

yah —one who; sarvatra —everywhere; anabhisnehah —without affection;
tat —that; tat —that; prapya —achieving; subha —good; asubham —evil; na
—never; abhinandati —prays; na —never; dvesti —envies; tasya —his; prajha
—perfect knowledge; pratisthita —fixed.

He who is without attachment, who does not rejoice when he obtains
good, nor lament when he obtains evil, is firmly fixed in perfect

There is always some upheaval in the material world which may be good or
evil. One who is not agitated by such material upheavals, who is unaffected by
good and evil, is to be understood to be fixed in Krsna consciousness. As long
as one is in the material world there is always the possibility of good and evil
because this world is full of duality. But one who is fixed in Krsna
consciousness is not affected by good and evil because he is simply concerned
with Krsna, who is all good absolute. Such consciousness in Krsna situates
one in a perfect transcendental position called, technically, samadhi.


यदा संहरते चायं कूर्मोऽङ्गानीव सर्वशः | इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेभ्यस्तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता ||२-५८||

yadā saṃharate cāyaṃ kūrmo.aṅgānīva sarvaśaḥ . indriyāṇīndriyārthebhyastasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā ||2-58||

yada —when; samharate —winds up; ca —also; ayam —all these; kurmah —
tortoise; ahgani —limbs; iva —like; sarvasah —altogether; indriyani —senses;
indriya-arthebhyah —from the sense objects; tasya —his; prajna
—consciousness; pradsthita —fixed up.

One who is able to withdraw his senses from sense objects, as the
tortoise draws his limbs within the shell, is to be understood as truly
situated in knowledge.

The test of a yogi, devotee, or self-realized soul is that he is able to control
the senses according to his plan. Most people, however, are servants of the
senses and are thus directed by the dictation of the senses. That is the answer
to the question as to how the yogi is situated. The senses are compared to
venomous serpents. They want to act very loosely and without restriction. The
yogi, or the devotee, must be very strong to control the serpents-like a snake
charmer. He never allows them to act independently. There are many
injunctions in the revealed scriptures; some of them are do-not`s, and some of
them are do`s. Unless one is able to follow the do`s and the do-not`s, restricting
oneself from sense enjoyment, it is not possible to be firmly fixed in Krsna
consciousness. The best example, set herein, is the tortoise. The tortoise can at
any moment wind up his senses and exhibit them again at any time for
particular purposes. Similarly, the senses of the Krsna conscious persons are
used only for some particular purpose in the service of the Lord and are
withdrawn otherwise. Keeping the senses always in the service of the Lord is
the example set by the analogy of the tortoise, who keeps the senses within.


विषया विनिवर्तन्ते निराहारस्य देहिनः | रसवर्जं रसोऽप्यस्य परं दृष्ट्वा निवर्तते ||२-५९||

viṣayā vinivartante nirāhārasya dehinaḥ . rasavarjaṃ raso.apyasya paraṃ dṛṣṭvā nivartate ||2-59||

visayah —objects for sense enjoyment; vinivartante —are practiced to be
refrained from; niraharasya —by negative restrictions; dehinah —for the
embodied; rasa-varjam —giving up the taste; rasah —sense of enjoyment; api
—although there is; asya —his; param —far superior things; drstva —by
experiencing; nivartate —ceases from.

The embodied soul may be restricted from sense enjoyment, though the
taste for sense objects remains. But, ceasing such engagements by
experiencing a higher taste, he is fixed in consciousness.

Unless one is transcendentally situated, it is not possible to cease from
sense enjoyment. The process of restriction from sense enjoyment by rules
and regulations is something like restricting a diseased person from certain
types of eatables. The patient, however, neither likes such restrictions, nor
loses his taste for eatables. Similarly, sense restriction by some spiritual
process like astahga-yoga, in the matter of yama, niyama, asana, pranayama,
pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, etc., is recommended for less intelligent
persons who have no better knowledge. But one who has tasted the beauty of
the Supreme Lord Krsna, in the course of his advancement in Krsna
consciousness, no longer has a taste for dead material things. Therefore,
restrictions are there for the less intelligent neophytes in the spiritual
advancement of life, but such restrictions are only good if one actually has a
taste for Krsna consciousness. When one is actually Krsna conscious, he
automatically loses his taste for pale things.


यततो ह्यपि कौन्तेय पुरुषस्य विपश्चितः | इन्द्रियाणि प्रमाथीनि हरन्ति प्रसभं मनः ||२-६०||

yatato hyapi kaunteya puruṣasya vipaścitaḥ . indriyāṇi pramāthīni haranti prasabhaṃ manaḥ ||2-60||

yatatah —while endeavoring; hi —certainly; api —in spite of; kaunteya —O
son of KuntI; purusasya —of the man; vipascitah —full of discriminating
knowledge; indriyani —the senses; pramathmi —stimulated; haranti —throws
forcefully; prasabham —by force; manah —the mind.

The senses are so strong and impetuous, O Arjuna, that they forcibly
carry away the mind even of a man of discrimination who is endeavoring
to control them.

There are many learned sages, philosophers and transcendentalists who try
to conquer the senses, but in spite of their endeavors, even the greatest of them
sometimes fall victim to material sense enjoyment due to the agitated mind.
Even Visvamitra, a great sage and perfect yogi, was misled by Menaka into
sex enjoyment, although the yogi was endeavoring for sense control with
severe types of penance and yoga practice. And,of course, there are so many
similar instances in the history of the world. Therefore, it is very difficult to
control the mind and the senses without being fully Krsna conscious. Without
engaging the mind in Krsna, one cannot cease such material engagements. A
practical example is given by Sri Yamunacarya, a great saint and devotee,
who says: "Since my mind has been engaged in the service of the lotus feet of
Lord Krsna, and I have been enjoying an ever new transcendental humor,
whenever I think of sex life with a woman, my face at once turns from it, and I
spit at the thought."
Krsna consciousness is such a transcendentally nice thing that automatically
material enjoyment becomes distasteful. It is as if a hungry man had satisfied
his hunger by a sufficient quantity of nutritious eatables. Maharaja Ambarlsa
also conquered a great yogi, Durvasa Muni, simply because his mind was
engaged in Krsna consciousness.


तानि सर्वाणि संयम्य युक्त आसीत मत्परः | वशे हि यस्येन्द्रियाणि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता ||२-६१||

tāni sarvāṇi saṃyamya yukta āsīta matparaḥ . vaśe hi yasyendriyāṇi tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā ||2-61||

tani —those senses; sarvani —all; samyamya —keeping under control; yuktah
—being engaged; asTta —being so situated; mat-parah —in relationship with
Me; vase —in full subjugation; hi —certainly; yasya —one whose; indriyani
—senses; tasya —his; prajha —consciousness; pradsthita —fixed.

One who restrains his senses and fixes his consciousness upon Me is
known as a man of steady intelligence.

That the highest conception of yoga perfection is Krsna consciousness is
clearly explained in this verse. And, unless one is Krsna conscious, it is not at
all possible to control the senses. As cited above, the great sage Durvasa Muni
picked a quarrel with Maharaja Ambarisa, and Durvasa Muni unnecessarily
became angry out of pride and therefore could not check his senses. On the
other hand, the King, although not as powerful a yogi as the sage, but a
devotee of the Lord, silently tolerated all the sage`s injustices and thereby
emerged victorious. The King was able to control his senses because of the
following qualifications, as mentioned in the SrTmad-Bhagavatam:
sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayor
vacarhsi vaikuritha-gurianavarriane
karau barer mandira-marjanadisu
srutim cakaracyuta-sat-kathodaye
mukunda-liiigalaya-darsane drsau
ghranam ca tat-pada-saroja-saurabhe
srimat-tulasya rasanam tad-arpite
padau hareh ksetra-padanusarpane
siro hrsikesa-padabhivandane
kamam ca dasye na tu kama-kamyaya
yathottamasloka-janasraya ratih
"King Ambarlsa fixed his mind on the lotus feet of Lord Krsna, engaged his
words in describing the abode of the Lord, his hands in cleansing the temple
of the Lord, his ears in hearing the pastimes of the Lord, his eyes in seeing the
form of the Lord, his body in touching the body of the devotee, his nostrils in
smelling the flavor of the flowers offered to the lotus feet of the Lord, his
tongue in tasting the tulasT leaves offered to Him, his legs in traveling to the
holy place where His temple is situated, his head in offering obeisances unto
the Lord, and his desires in fulfilling the desires of the Lord ... and all these
qualifications made him fit to become a mat-par ah devotee of the Lord."
(.Bhdg . 9.4.18-20)
The word mat-parah is most significant in this connection. How one can
become a mat-parah is described in the life of Maharaja Ambarlsa. Srlla
Baladeva Vidyabhusana, a great scholar and acarya in the line of the mat-
parah, remarks: "mad-bhakti-prabhavena sarvendriya-vijaya-purvika svatma
drstih sulabheti bhavah." "The senses can be completely controlled only by
the strength of devotional service to Krsna." Also, the example of fire is
sometimes given: "As the small flames within burn everything within the
room, similarly Lord Visnu, situated in the heart of the yogi, burns up all kinds
of impurities." The Yoga-siitra also prescribes meditation on Visnu, and not
meditation on the void. The so-called yogis who meditate on something which
is not the Visnu form simply waste their time in a vain search after some
phantasmagoria. We have to be Krsna conscious-devoted to the Personality of
Godhead. This is the aim of the real yoga.


ध्यायतो विषयान्पुंसः सङ्गस्तेषूपजायते | सङ्गात्सञ्जायते कामः कामात्क्रोधोऽभिजायते ||२-६२||

dhyāyato viṣayānpuṃsaḥ saṅgasteṣūpajāyate . saṅgātsañjāyate kāmaḥ kāmātkrodho.abhijāyate ||2-62||

dhyayatah —while contemplating; visayan —sense objects; pumsah —of the
person; saiigah —attachment; tesu —in the sense objects; upajayate —develops;
saiigat —attachment; sanjayate —develops; kamah —desire; kamat —from
desire; krodhah —anger; abhijayate —becomes manifest.

While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops
attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from
lust anger arises.

One who is not Krsna conscious is subjected to material desires while
contemplating the objects of senses. The senses require real engagements, and
if they are not engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, they
will certainly seek engagement in the service of materialism. In the material
world everyone, including Lord Siva and Lord Brahma—to say nothing of
other demigods in the heavenly planets—is subjected to the influence of sense
objects, and the only method to get out of this puzzle of material existence is
to become Krsna conscious. Lord Siva was deep in meditation, but when
Parvatl agitated him for sense pleasure, he agreed to the proposal, and as a
result Kartikeya was born. When Haridasa Thakur was a young devotee of the
Lord, he was similarly allured by the incarnation of Maya Devi, but Haridasa
easily passed the test because of his unalloyed devotion to Lord Krsna. As
illustrated in the above-mentioned verse of Sri Yamunacarya, a sincere
devotee of the Lord shuns all material sense enjoyment due to his higher taste
for spiritual enjoyment in the association of the Lord. That is the secret of
success. One who is not, therefore, in Krsna consciousness, however powerful
he may be in controlling the senses by artificial repression, is sure ultimately
to fail, for the slightest thought of sense pleasure will agitate him to gratify his


क्रोधाद्भवति सम्मोहः सम्मोहात्स्मृतिविभ्रमः | स्मृतिभ्रंशाद् बुद्धिनाशो बुद्धिनाशात्प्रणश्यति ||२-६३||

krodhādbhavati sammohaḥ sammohātsmṛtivibhramaḥ . smṛtibhraṃśād buddhināśo buddhināśātpraṇaśyati ||2-63||

krodhat —from anger; bhavati —takes place; sammohah —perfect illusion;
sammohat —from illusion; smrti —of memory; vibhramah —bewilderment;
smrti-bhramsat —after bewilderment of memory; buddhi-nasah —loss of
intelligence; buddhi-nasat —and from loss of intelligence; pranasyati —falls

From anger, delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of
memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when
intelligence is lost, one falls down again into the material pool.

By development of Krsna consciousness one can know that everything has
its use in the service of the Lord. Those who are without knowledge of Krsna
consciousness artificially try to avoid material objects, and as a result,
although they desire liberation from material bondage, they do not attain to the
perfect stage of renunciation. On the other hand, a person in Krsna
consciousness knows how to use everything in the service of the Lord;
therefore he does not become a victim of material consciousness. For
example, for an impersonalist, the Lord, or the Absolute, being impersonal,
cannot eat. Whereas an impersonalist tries to avoid good eatables, a devotee
knows that Krsna is the supreme enjoyer and that He eats all that is offered to
Him in devotion. So, after offering good eatables to the Lord, the devotee
takes the remnants, called prasadam. Thus everything becomes spiritualized
and there is no danger of a downfall. The devotee takes prasadam in Krsna
consciousness, whereas the nondevotee rejects it as material. The
impersonalist, therefore, cannot enjoy life due to his artificial renunciation;
and for this reason, a slight agitation of the mind pulls him down again into
the pool of material existence. It is said that such a soul, even though rising up
to the point of liberation, falls down again due to his not having support in
devotional service.


रागद्वेषविमुक्तैस्तु विषयानिन्द्रियैश्चरन् | (or वियुक्तैस्तु) आत्मवश्यैर्विधेयात्मा प्रसादमधिगच्छति ||२-६४||

rāgadveṣavimuktaistu viṣayānindriyaiścaran . orviyuktaistu ātmavaśyairvidheyātmā prasādamadhigacchati ||2-64||

raga —attachment; dvesa —detachment; vimuktaih —by one who has been
free from such things; tu —but; visayan —sense objects; indriyaih —by the
senses; caran —acting; atma-vasyaih —one who has control over; vidheyatma
—one who follows regulated freedom; prasadam —the mercy of the Lord;
adhigacchad —attains.

One who can control his senses by practicing the regulated principles of
freedom can obtain the complete mercy of the Lord and thus become free
from all attachment and aversion.

It is already explained that one may externally control the senses by some
artificial process, but unless the senses are engaged in the transcendental
service of the Lord, there is every chance of a fall. Although the person in full
Krsna consciousness may apparently be on the sensual plane, because of his
being Krsna conscious, he has no attachment to sensual activities. The Krsna
conscious person is concerned only with the satisfaction of Krsna, and nothing
else. Therefore he is transcendental to all attachment. If Krsna wants, the
devotee can do anything which is ordinarily undesirable; and if Krsna does not
want, he shall not do that which he would have ordinarily done for his own
satisfaction. Therefore to act or not to act is within his control because he acts
only under the direction of Krsna. This consciousness is the causeless mercy
of the Lord, which the devotee can achieve in spite of his being attached to the
sensual platform.


प्रसादे सर्वदुःखानां हानिरस्योपजायते | प्रसन्नचेतसो ह्याशु बुद्धिः पर्यवतिष्ठते ||२-६५||

prasāde sarvaduḥkhānāṃ hānirasyopajāyate . prasannacetaso hyāśu buddhiḥ paryavatiṣṭhate ||2-65||

prasade —on achievement of the causeless mercy of the Lord; sarva —all;
duhkhanam —material miseries; hanih —destruction; asya —his; upajayate —
takes place; prasanna-cetasah —of the happy-minded; hi —certainly; asu —
very soon; buddhih —intelligence; pari —sufficiently; avadsthate —established.

For one who is so situated in the Divine consciousness, the threefold
miseries of material existence exist no longer; in such a happy state, one`s
intelligence soon becomes steady.


नास्ति बुद्धिरयुक्तस्य न चायुक्तस्य भावना | न चाभावयतः शान्तिरशान्तस्य कुतः सुखम् ||२-६६||

nāsti buddhirayuktasya na cāyuktasya bhāvanā . na cābhāvayataḥ śāntiraśāntasya kutaḥ sukham ||2-66||

na asti —there cannot be; buddhih —transcendental intelligence; ayuktasya
—of one who is not connected (with Krsna consciousness); na —neither; ca
—and; ayuktasya —of one devoid of Krsna consciousness; bhavana —mind
fixed in happiness; na —neither; ca —and; abhavayatah —one who is not fixed;
santih —peace; asantasya —of the unpeaceful; kutah —where is; sukham —

One who is not in transcendental consciousness can have neither a
controlled mind nor steady intelligence, without which there is no
possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?

Unless one is in Krsna consciousness, there is no possibility of peace. So it
is confirmed in the Fifth Chapter (5.29) that when one understands that Krsna
is the only enjoyer of all the good results of sacrifice and penance, and that He
is the proprietor of all universal manifestations, that He is the real friend of all
living entities, then only can one have real peace. Therefore, if one is not in
Krsna consciousness, there cannot be a final goal for the mind. Disturbance is
due to want of an ultimate goal, and when one is certain that Krsna is the
enjoyer, proprietor and friend of everyone and everything, then one can, with a
steady mind, bring about peace. Therefore, one who is engaged without a
relationship with Krsna is certainly always in distress and is without peace,
however much one may make a show of peace and spiritual advancement in
life. Krsna consciousness is a self-manifested peaceful condition which can be
achieved only in relationship with Krsna.


इन्द्रियाणां हि चरतां यन्मनोऽनुविधीयते | तदस्य हरति प्रज्ञां वायुर्नावमिवाम्भसि ||२-६७||

indriyāṇāṃ hi caratāṃ yanmano.anuvidhīyate . tadasya harati prajñāṃ vāyurnāvamivāmbhasi ||2-67||

indriyanam —of the senses; hi —certainly; caratam —while herding over; yat
—that; manah —mind; anuvidhiyate —becomes constantly engaged; tat — that;
asya —his; harati —takes away; prajham —intelligence; vayuh —wind; navam
—a boat; iva —like; ambhasi —on the water.

As a boat on the water is swept away by a strong wind, even one of the
senses on which the mind focuses can carry away a man`s intelligence.

Unless all of the senses are engaged in the service of the Lord, even one of
them engaged in sense gratification can deviate the devotee from the path of
transcendental advancement. As mentioned in the life of Maharaja Ambarlsa,
all of the senses must be engaged in Krsna consciousness, for that is the
correct technique for controlling the mind.


तस्माद्यस्य महाबाहो निगृहीतानि सर्वशः | इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेभ्यस्तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता ||२-६८||

tasmādyasya mahābāho nigṛhītāni sarvaśaḥ . indriyāṇīndriyārthebhyastasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā ||2-68||

tasmat —therefore; yasya —of one`s; maha-baho —O mighty-armed one;
nigrhTtani —so curbed down; sarvasah —all around; indriyani —the senses;
indriya-arthebhyah —for the sake of sense objects; tasya —his; prajna —
intelligence; pratisthita —fixed.

Therefore, O mighty-armed, one whose senses are restrained from their
objects is certainly of steady intelligence.

As enemies are curbed by superior force, similarly, the senses can be curbed
not by any human endeavor, but only by keeping them engaged in the service
of the Lord. One who has understood this—that only by Krsna consciousness
is one really established in intelligence and that one should practice this art
under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master—is called sadhaka, or a
suitable candidate for liberation.


या निशा सर्वभूतानां तस्यां जागर्ति संयमी | यस्यां जाग्रति भूतानि सा निशा पश्यतो मुनेः ||२-६९||

yā niśā sarvabhūtānāṃ tasyāṃ jāgarti saṃyamī . yasyāṃ jāgrati bhūtāni sā niśā paśyato muneḥ ||2-69||

ya —what; nisa —is night; sarva —all; bhutanam —of living entities; tasyam
in that; jagarti —wakeful; sarhyamT —the self-controlled; yasyam —in which;
jagrati —awake; bhutani —all beings; sa —that is; nisa —night; pasyatah —for
the introspective; muneh —sage.

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.

There are two classes of intelligent men. The one is intelligent in material
activities for sense gratification, and the other is introspective and awake to
the cultivation of self-realization. Activities of the introspective sage, or
thoughtful man, are night for persons materially absorbed. Materialistic
persons remain asleep in such a night due to their ignorance of self-
realization. The introspective sage remains alert in the "night" of the
materialistic men. The sage feels transcendental pleasure in the gradual
advancement of spiritual culture, whereas the man in materialistic activities,
being asleep to self-realization, dreams of varieties of sense pleasure, feeling
sometimes happy and sometimes distressed in his sleeping condition. The
introspective man is always indifferent to materialistic happiness and distress.
He goes on with his self-realization activities undisturbed by material reaction.


आपूर्यमाणमचलप्रतिष्ठं समुद्रमापः प्रविशन्ति यद्वत् | तद्वत्कामा यं प्रविशन्ति सर्वे स शान्तिमाप्नोति न कामकामी ||२-७०||

āpūryamāṇamacalapratiṣṭhaṃ samudramāpaḥ praviśanti yadvat . tadvatkāmā yaṃ praviśanti sarve sa śāntimāpnoti na kāmakāmī ||2-70||

apuryamanam —always filled; acala-pratistham —steadily situated;
samudram —the ocean; apah —water; pravisanti —enter; yadvat —as; tadvat
—so; kamah —desires; yam —unto one; pravisanti —enter; sarve —all; sah
—that person; santim —peace; apnoti —achieves; na —not; kama-kamT —one
who desires to fulfill desires.

A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desires—that
enter like rivers into the ocean which is ever being filled but is always still
— can alone achieve peace, and not the man who strives to satisfy such

Although the vast ocean is always filled with water, it is always, especially
during the rainy season, being filled with much more water. But the ocean
remains the same-steady; it is not agitated, nor does it cross beyond the limit
of its brink. That is also true of a person fixed in Krsna consciousness. As long
as one has the material body, the demands of the body for sense gratification
will continue. The devotee, however, is not disturbed by such desires because
of his fullness. A Krsna conscious man is not in need of anything because the
Lord fulfills all his material necessities. Therefore he is like the ocean-always
full in himself. Desires may come to him like the waters of the rivers that flow
into the ocean, but he is steady in his activities, and he is not even slightly
disturbed by desires for sense gratification. That is the proof of a Krsna
conscious man-one who has lost all inclinations for material sense
gratification, although the desires are present. Because he remains satisfied in
the transcendental loving service of the Lord, he can remain steady, like the
ocean, and therefore enjoy full peace. Others, however, who fulfill desires
even up to the limit of liberation, what to speak of material success, never
attain peace. The fruitive workers, the Salvationists, and also the yogis who are
after mystic powers, are all unhappy because of unfulfilled desires. But the
person in Krsna consciousness is happy in the service of the Lord, and he has
no desires to be fulfilled. In fact, he does not even desire liberation from the
so-called material bondage. The devotees of Krsna have no material desires,
and therefore they are in perfect peace.


विहाय कामान्यः सर्वान्पुमांश्चरति निःस्पृहः | निर्ममो निरहङ्कारः स शान्तिमधिगच्छति ||२-७१||

vihāya kāmānyaḥ sarvānpumāṃścarati niḥspṛhaḥ . nirmamo nirahaṅkāraḥ sa śāntimadhigacchati ||2-71||

vihaya —after giving up; kaman —all material desires for sense gratification;
yah —the person; sarvan —all; pumdn —a person; carad —lives; nihsprhah —
desireless; nirmamah —without a sense of proprietorship; nirahahkarah —
without false ego; sah —all; sandm —perfect peace; adhigacchad —attains.

A person who has given up all desires for sense gratification, who lives
free from desires, who has given up all sense of proprietorship and is
devoid of false ego-he alone can attain real peace.

To become desireless means not to desire anything for sense gratification.
In other words, desire for becoming Krsna conscious is actually
desirelessness. To understand one`s actual position as the eternal servitor of
Krsna, without falsely claiming this material body to be oneself and without
falsely claiming proprietorship over anything in the world, is the perfect stage
of Krsna consciousness. One who is situated in this perfect stage knows that
because Krsna is the proprietor of everything, therefore everything must be
used for the satisfaction of Krsna. Arjuna did not want to fight for his own
sense satisfaction, but when he became fully Krsna conscious he fought
because Krsna wanted him to fight. For himself there was no desire to fight,
but for Krsna the same Arjuna fought to his best ability. Desire for the
satisfaction of Krsna is really desirelessness; it is not an artificial attempt to
abolish desires. The living entity cannot be desireless or senseless, but he does
have to change the quality of the desires. A materially desireless person
certainly knows that everything belongs to Krsna (Tsavasyam idarh sarvam),
and therefore he does not falsely claim proprietorship over anything. This
transcendental knowledge is based on self-realization-namely, knowing
perfectly well that every living entity is the eternal part and parcel of Krsna in
spiritual identity, and therefore the eternal position of the living entity is never
on the level of Krsna or greater than Him. This understanding of Krsna
consciousness is the basic principle of real peace.


एषा ब्राह्मी स्थितिः पार्थ नैनां प्राप्य विमुह्यति | स्थित्वास्यामन्तकालेऽपि ब्रह्मनिर्वाणमृच्छति ||२-७२||

eṣā brāhmī sthitiḥ pārtha naināṃ prāpya vimuhyati . sthitvāsyāmantakāle.api brahmanirvāṇamṛcchati ||2-72||

esa —this; brahmi —spiritual; sthitih —situation; partha —O son of Prtha; na
—never; enam —this; prapya —achieving; vimuhyati —bewilders; sthitva —
being so situated; asyam —being so; anta-kale —at the end of life; api —also;
brahma-nirvanam —spiritual (kingdom of God); rcchati —attains.

That is the way of the spiritual and godly life, after attaining which a
man is not bewildered. Being so situated, even at the hour of death, one
can enter into the kingdom of God.

One can attain Krsna consciousness or divine life at once, within a second-
or one may not attain such a state of life even after millions of births. It is only
a matter of understanding and accepting the fact. Khatvanga Maharaja attained
this state of life just a few minutes before his death, by surrendering unto
Krsna. Nirvana means ending the process of materialistic life. According to
Buddhist philosophy, there is only void after the completion of this material
life, but Bhagavad-gita teaches differently. Actual life begins after the
completion of this material life. For the gross materialist it is sufficient to
know that one has to end this materialistic way of life, but for persons who are
spiritually advanced, there is another life after this materialistic life. Before
ending this life, if one fortunately becomes Krsna conscious, he at once attains
the stage of Brahma-nirvana. There is no difference between the kingdom of
God and the devotional service of the Lord. Since both of them are on the
absolute plane, to be engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord
is to have attained the spiritual kingdom. In the material world there are
activities of sense gratification, whereas in the spiritual world there are
activities of Krsna consciousness. Attainment of Krsna consciousness even
during this life is immediate attainment of Brahman, and one who is situated
in Krsna consciousness has certainly already entered into the kingdom of God.
Brahman is just the opposite of matter. Therefore brahmT sthitih means "not
on the platform of material activities." Devotional service of the Lord is
accepted in the Bhagavad- gita as the liberated stage. Therefore, brahmT-
sthitih is liberation from material bondage.
Srlla Bhaktivinode Thakur has summarized this Second Chapter of the
Bhagavad-gTta as being the contents for the whole text. In the Bhagavad- gita,
the subject matters are karma-yoga, jhana-yoga, and bhakti-yoga. In the
Second Chapter karma-yoga and jhana-yoga have been clearly discussed, and
a glimpse of bhakti-yoga has also been given, as the contents for the complete
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the Second Chapter of the Srlmad-
Bhagavad-glta in the matter of its Contents.

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अर्जुन उवाच | ज्यायसी चेत्कर्मणस्ते मता बुद्धिर्जनार्दन | तत्किं कर्मणि घोरे मां नियोजयसि केशव ||३-१||

arjuna uvāca . jyāyasī cetkarmaṇaste matā buddhirjanārdana . tatkiṃ karmaṇi ghore māṃ niyojayasi keśava ||3-1||

arjunah —Arjuna; uvaca —said; jyayasT —speaking very highly; cet —
although; karmanah —than fruitive action; te —your; mata —opinion; buddhih
—intelligence; janardana —O Krsna; tat —therefore; kim —why; karmani —in
action; ghore —ghastly; mam —me; niyojayasi —engaging me; kesava —O

Arjuna said: O Janardana, O Kesava, why do You urge me to engage in
this ghastly warfare, if You think that intelligence is better than fruitive

The Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna has very elaborately
described the constitution of the soul in the previous chapter, with a view to
deliver His intimate friend Arjuna from the ocean of material grief. And the
path of realization has been recommended: buddhi-yoga, or Krsna
consciousness. Sometimes Krsna consciousness is misunderstood to be inertia,
and one with such a misunderstanding often withdraws to a secluded place to
become fully Krsna conscious by chanting the holy name of Lord Krsna. But
without being trained in the philosophy of Krsna consciousness, it is not
advisable to chant the holy name of Krsna in a secluded place where one may
acquire only cheap adoration from the innocent public. Arjuna also thought of
Krsna consciousness or buddhi -yoga, or intelligence in spiritual advancement
of knowledge, as something like retirement from active life and the practice of
penance and austerity at a secluded place. In other words, he wanted to
skillfully avoid the fighting by using Krsna consciousness as an excuse. But as
a sincere student, he placed the matter before his master and questioned Krsna
as to his best course of action. In answer, Lord Krsna elaborately explained
karma-yoga, or work in Krsna consciousness, in this Third Chapter.


व्यामिश्रेणेव वाक्येन बुद्धिं मोहयसीव मे | तदेकं वद निश्चित्य येन श्रेयोऽहमाप्नुयाम् ||३-२||

vyāmiśreṇeva vākyena buddhiṃ mohayasīva me . tadekaṃ vada niścitya yena śreyo.ahamāpnuyām ||3-2||

vyamisrena —by equivocal; iva —as; vakyena —words; buddhim
—intelligence; mohayasi —bewildering; iva —as; me —my; tat —therefore;
ekam —only one; vada —please tell; niscitya —ascertaining; yena —by which;
sreyah —real benefit; aham —I; apnuyam —may have it.

My intelligence is bewildered by Your equivocal instructions.
Therefore, please tell me decisively what is most beneficial for me.

In the previous chapter, as a prelude to the Bhagavad- gita, many different
paths were explained, such as sahkhya-yoga, buddhi-yoga, control of the
senses by intelligence, work without fruitive desire, and the position of the
neophyte. This was all presented unsystematically. A more organized outline
of the path would be necessary for action and understanding. Arjuna,
therefore, wanted to clear up these apparently confusing matters so that any
common man could accept them without misinterpretation. Although Krsna
had no intention of confusing Arjuna by any jugglery of words, Arjuna could
not follow the process of Krsna consciousness—either by inertia or active
service. In other words, by his questions he is clearing the path of Krsna
consciousness for all students who seriously want to understand the mystery
of the Bhagavad-gTta.


श्रीभगवानुवाच | लोकेऽस्मिन् द्विविधा निष्ठा पुरा प्रोक्ता मयानघ | ज्ञानयोगेन साङ्ख्यानां कर्मयोगेन योगिनाम् ||३-३||

śrībhagavānuvāca . loke.asmina dvividhā niṣṭhā purā proktā mayānagha . jñānayogena sāṅkhyānāṃ karmayogena yoginām ||3-3||

srT bhagavan uvaca —the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; loke —in
the world; asmin —this; dvi-vidha —two kinds of; nistha —faith; pura —
formerly; prokta —was said; maya —by Me; anagha —O sinless one; jnana-
yogena —by the linking process of knowledge; sahkhydnam —of the empiric
philosophers; karma-yogena —by the linking process of devotion; yoginam
—of the devotees.

The Blessed Lord said: O sinless Arjuna, I have already explained that
there are two classes of men who realize the Self. Some are inclined to
understand Him by empirical, philosophical speculation, and others are
inclined to know Him by devotional work.

In the Second Chapter, verse 39, the Lord explained two kinds of
procedures-namely sahkhya-yoga and karma-yoga, or buddhi-yoga. In this
verse, the Lord explains the same more clearly. Sahkhya-yoga, or the
analytical study of the nature of spirit and matter, is the subject matter for
persons who are inclined to speculate and understand things by experimental
knowledge and philosophy. The other class of men work in Krsna
consciousness, as it is explained in the 61st verse of the Second Chapter. The
Lord has explained, also in the 39th verse, that by working by the principles of
buddhi-yoga, or Krsna consciousness, one can be relieved from the bonds of
action; and, furthermore, there is no flaw in the process. The same principle is
more clearly explained in the 61st verse-that this buddhi- yoga is to depend
entirely on the Supreme (or more specifically, on Krsna), and in this way all
the senses can be brought under control very easily. Therefore, both the yogas
are interdependant, as religion and philosophy. Religion without philosophy is
sentiment, or sometimes fanaticism, while philosophy without religion is
mental speculation. The ultimate goal is Krsna, because the philosophers who
are also sincerely searching after the Absolute Truth come in the end to Krsna
consciousness. This is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita. The whole process is
to understand the real position of the self in relation to the Superself. The
indirect process is philosophical speculation, by which, gradually, one may
come to the point of Krsna consciousness; and the other process is directly
connecting with everything in Krsna consciousness. Of these two, the path of
Krsna consciousness is better because it does not depend on purifying the
senses by a philosophical process. Krsna consciousness is itself the purifying
process, and by the direct method of devotional service it is simultaneously
easy and sublime.


न कर्मणामनारम्भान्नैष्कर्म्यं पुरुषोऽश्नुते | न च संन्यसनादेव सिद्धिं समधिगच्छति ||३-४||

na karmaṇāmanārambhānnaiṣkarmyaṃ puruṣo.aśnute . na ca saṃnyasanādeva siddhiṃ samadhigacchati ||3-4||

na —without; karmanam —of the prescribed duties; anarambhat —non¬
performance; naiskarmyam —freedom from reaction; purusah —man; asnute
—achieve; na —nor; ca —also; sannyasanat —by renunciation; eva —simply;
siddhim —success; samadhigacchati —attain.

Not by merely abstaining from work can one achieve freedom from
reaction, nor by renunciation alone can one attain perfection.

The renounced order of life can be accepted upon being purified by the
discharge of the prescribed form of duties which are laid down just to purify
the heart of materialistic men. Without purification, one cannot attain success
by abruptly adopting the fourth order of life ( sannyasa ). According to the
empirical philosophers, simply by adopting sannyasa, or retiring from fruitive
activities, one at once becomes as good as Narayana. But Lord Krsna does not
approve this principle. Without purification of heart, sannyasa is simply a
disturbance to the social order. On the other hand, if someone takes to the
transcendental service of the Lord, even without discharging his prescribed
duties, whatever he may be able to advance in the cause is accepted by the
Lord (buddhi-yoga). Svalpam apy asya dharmasya tray ate mahato bhayat.
Even a slight performance of such a principle enables one to overcome great


न हि कश्चित्क्षणमपि जातु तिष्ठत्यकर्मकृत् | कार्यते ह्यवशः कर्म सर्वः प्रकृतिजैर्गुणैः ||३-५||

na hi kaścitkṣaṇamapi jātu tiṣṭhatyakarmakṛt . kāryate hyavaśaḥ karma sarvaḥ prakṛtijairguṇaiḥ ||3-5||

na —nor; hi —certainly; kascit —anyone; ksanam —even a moment; api —
also; jatu —even; tisthati —stands; akarma-krt —without doing something;
karyate —forced to work; hi —certainly; avasah —helplessly; karma —work;
sarvah —everything; prakrti-jaih —out of the modes of material nature;
gunaih —by the qualities.

All men are forced to act helplessly according to the impulses born of
the modes of material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing
something, not even for a moment.

It is not a question of embodied life, but it is the nature of the soul to be
always active. Without the presence of the spirit soul, the material body
cannot move. The body is only a dead vehicle to be worked by the spirit soul,
which is always active and cannot stop even for a moment. As such, the spirit
soul has to be engaged in the good work of Krsna consciousness, otherwise it
will be engaged in occupations dictated by illusory energy. In contact with
material energy, the spirit soul acquires material modes, and to purify the soul
from such affinities it is necessary to engage in the prescribed duties enjoined
in the sastras. But if the soul is engaged in his natural function of Krsna
consciousness, whatever he is able to do is good for him. The SrTmad-
Bhagavatam affirms this:
tyaktva sva-dharmarh caranambujam barer
bhajarm apakvo `tha patet tato yadi
yatra kva vabhadram abhud amusya kirn
ko vartha apto `bhajatarh sva-dharmatah.
"If someone takes to Krsna consciousness, even though he may not follow the
prescribed duties in the sastras nor execute the devotional service properly,
and even though he may fall down from the standard, there is no loss or evil
for him. But if he carries out all the injunctions for purification in the sastras,
what does it avail him if he is not Krsna conscious?" (Bhag. 1.5.17) So the
purificatory process is necessary for reaching this point of Krsna
consciousness. Therefore, sannyasa, or any purificatory process, is to help
reach the ultimate goal of becoming Krsna conscious, without which
everything is considered a failure.


कर्मेन्द्रियाणि संयम्य य आस्ते मनसा स्मरन् | इन्द्रियार्थान्विमूढात्मा मिथ्याचारः स उच्यते ||३-६||

karmendriyāṇi saṃyamya ya āste manasā smaran . indriyārthānvimūḍhātmā mithyācāraḥ sa ucyate ||3-6||

karma-indriyani —the five working sense organs; samyamya —controlling;
yah —anyone who; aste —remains; manasa —by mind; smaran —thinking;
indriya-arthan —sense objects; vimudha —foolish; atma —soul; mithya-acarah
—pretender; sah —he; ucyate —is called.

One who restrains the senses and organs of action, but whose mind
dwells on sense objects, certainly deludes himself and is called a

There are many pretenders who refuse to work in Krsna consciousness but
make a show of meditation, while actually dwelling within the mind upon
sense enjoyment. Such pretenders may also speak on dry philosophy in order
to bluff sophisticated followers, but according to this verse these are the
greatest cheaters. For sense enjoyment one can act in any capacity of the
social order, but if one follows the rules and regulations of his particular
status, he can make gradual progress in purifying his existence. But he who
makes a show of being a yogi, while actually searching for the objects of sense
gratification, must be called the greatest cheater, even though he sometimes
speaks of philosophy. His knowledge has no value because the effects of such
a sinful man`s knowledge are taken away by the illusory energy of the Lord.
Such a pretender`s mind is always impure, and therefore his show of yogic
meditation has no value whatsoever.


यस्त्विन्द्रियाणि मनसा नियम्यारभतेऽर्जुन | कर्मेन्द्रियैः कर्मयोगमसक्तः स विशिष्यते ||३-७||

yastvindriyāṇi manasā niyamyārabhate.arjuna . karmendriyaiḥ karmayogamasaktaḥ sa viśiṣyate ||3-7||

yah —one who; tu —but; indriyani —senses; manasa —by the mind; niyamya
—regulating; arabhate —begins; arjuna —O Arjuna; karma-indriyaih —by the
active sense organs; karma-yogam —devotion; asaktah —without attachment;
sah —he; visisyate —by far the better.

On the other hand, he who controls the senses by the mind and engages
his active organs in works of devotion, without attachment, is by far

Instead of becoming a pseudo-transcendentalist for the sake of wanton
living and sense enjoyment, it is far better to remain in one`s own business and
execute the purpose of life, which is to get free from material bondage and
enter into the kingdom of God. The prime svartha-gati, or goal of self-interest,
is to reach Visnu. The whole institution of varna and asrama is designed to
help us reach this goal of life. A householder can also reach this destination by
regulated service in Krsna consciousness. For self- realization, one can live a
controlled life, as prescribed in the sastras, and continue carrying out his
business without attachment, and in that way make progress. Such a sincere
person who follows this method is far better situated than the false pretender
who adopts show-bottle spiritualism to cheat the innocent public. A sincere
sweeper in the street is far better than the charlatan meditator who meditates
only for the sake of making a living.


नियतं कुरु कर्म त्वं कर्म ज्यायो ह्यकर्मणः | शरीरयात्रापि च ते न प्रसिद्ध्येदकर्मणः ||३-८||

niyataṃ kuru karma tvaṃ karma jyāyo hyakarmaṇaḥ . śarīrayātrāpi ca te na prasiddhyedakarmaṇaḥ ||3-8||

niyatam —prescribed; kuru —do; karma —duties; tvam —you; karma —work;
jyayah —better; hi —than; akarmanah —without work; sarira —bodily; yatra —
maintenance; api —even; ca —also; te —your; na —never; prasiddhyet —
effected; akarmanah —without work.

Perform your prescribed duty, for action is better than inaction. A man
cannot even maintain his physical body without work.

There are many pseudo-meditators who misrepresent themselves as
belonging to high parentage, and great professional men who falsely pose that
they have sacrificed everything for the sake of advancement in spiritual life.
Lord Krsna did not want Arjuna to become a pretender, but that he perform his
prescribed duties as set forth for ksatriyas. Arjuna was a householder and a
military general, and therefore it was better for him to remain as such and
perform his religious duties as prescribed for the householder ksatriya. Such
activities gradually cleanse the heart of a mundane man and free him from
material contamination. So-called renunciation for the purpose of maintenance
is never approved by the Lord, nor by any religious scripture. After all, one
has to maintain one`s body and soul together by some work. Work should not
be given up capriciously, without purification of materialistic propensities.
Anyone who is in the material world is certainly possessed of the impure
propensity for lording it over material nature, or, in other words, for sense
gratification. Such polluted propensities have to be cleared. Without doing so,
through prescribed duties, one should never attempt to become a so-called
transcendentalist, renouncing work and living at the cost of others.


यज्ञार्थात्कर्मणोऽन्यत्र लोकोऽयं कर्मबन्धनः | तदर्थं कर्म कौन्तेय मुक्तसङ्गः समाचर ||३-९||

yajñārthātkarmaṇo.anyatra loko.ayaṃ karmabandhanaḥ . tadarthaṃ karma kaunteya muktasaṅgaḥ samācara ||3-9||

yajha-arthat —only for the sake of Yajna, or Visnu; karmanah —work done;
anyatra —otherwise; lokah —this world; ayam —this; karma-bandhanah —
bondage by work; tat —Him; artham —for the sake of; karma —work; kaunteya
—O son of KuntX; mukta-saiigah —liberated from association; samacara —do
it perfectly.

Work done as a sacrifice for Visnu has to be performed, otherwise
work binds one to this material world. Therefore, O son of KuntI,
perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you
will always remain unattached and free from bondage.

Since one has to work even for the simple maintenance of the body, the
prescribed duties for a particular social position and quality are so made that
that purpose can be fulfilled. Yajna means Lord Visnu, or sacrificial
performances. All sacrificial performances also are meant for the satisfaction
of Lord Visnu. The Vedas enjoin: yajho vai visnuh. In other words, the same
purpose is served whether one performs prescribed yajhas or directly serves
Lord Visnu. Krsna consciousness is therefore performance of yajna as it is
prescribed in this verse. The varnasrama institution also aims at this for
satisfying Lord Visnu. "Varnasramacara-vata purusena parah puman/visnur
aradhyate..." (Visnu Purana 3.8.8) Therefore one has to work for the
satisfaction of Visnu. Any other work done in this material world will be a
cause of bondage, for both good and evil work have their reactions, and any
reaction binds the performer. Therefore, one has to work in Krsna
consciousness to satisfy Krsna (or Visnu); and while performing such
activities one is in a liberated stage. This is the great art of doing work, and in
the beginning this process requires very expert guidance. One should therefore
act very diligently, under the expert guidance of a devotee of Lord Krsna, or
under the direct instruction of Lord Krsna Himself (under whom Arjuna had
the opportunity to work). Nothing should be performed for sense gratification,
but everything should be done for the satisfaction of Krsna. This practice will
not only save one from the reaction of work, but will also gradually elevate
one to transcendental loving service of the Lord, which alone can raise one to
the kingdom of God.


सहयज्ञाः प्रजाः सृष्ट्वा पुरोवाच प्रजापतिः | अनेन प्रसविष्यध्वमेष वोऽस्त्विष्टकामधुक् ||३-१०||

sahayajñāḥ prajāḥ sṛṣṭvā purovāca prajāpatiḥ . anena prasaviṣyadhvameṣa vo.astviṣṭakāmadhuk ||3-10||

saha —along with; yajhah —sacrifices; prajah —generations; srstva —by
creating; pura —anciently; uvaca —said; praja-patih —the Lord of creatures;
anena —by this; prasavisyadhvam —be more and more prosperous; esah —
certainly; vah —your; astu —let it be; ista —all desirable; kama-dhuk —

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 all desirable things."

The material creation by the Lord of creatures (Visnu) is a chance offered to
the conditioned souls to come back home-back to Godhead. All living entities
within the material creation are conditioned by material nature because of
their forgetfulness of their relationship to Krsna, the Supreme Personality of
Godhead. The Vedic principles are to help us understand this eternal relation
as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gTta: vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah. The
Lord says that the purpose of the Vedas is to understand Him. In the Vedic
hymns it is said: patim visvasyatmesvaram. Therefore, the Lord of the living
entities is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu. In the SrTmad-
Bhagavatam also Srlla Sukadeva GosvamI describes the Lord as pad in so
many ways:
sriyah-padr yajha-padh praja-padr
dhiyarh padr loka-padr dhara-padh
padr gads candhaka-vrsni-satvatarh
prasTdatarh me bhagavan satarh patih
(Bhdg. 2.4.20)
The praja-pad is Lord Visnu, and He is the Lord of all living creatures, all
worlds, and all beauties, and the protector of everyone. The Lord created this
material world for the conditioned souls to learn how to perform yajnas
(sacrifice) for the satisfaction of Visnu, so that while in the material world
they can live very comfortably without anxiety. Then after finishing the
present material body, they can enter into the kingdom of God. That is the
whole program for the conditioned soul. By performance of yajha, the
conditioned souls gradually become Krsna conscious and become godly in all
respects. In this age of Kali, the sankTrtana-yajna (the chanting of the names
of God) is recommended by the Vedic scriptures, and this transcendental
system was introduced by Lord Caitanya for the deliverance of all men in this
age. SankTrtana-yajna and Krsna consciousness go well together. Lord Krsna
in His devotional form (as Lord Caitanya) is mentioned in the SrTmad-
Bhagavatam as follows, with special reference to the sankTrtana-yajna:
krsna-varnarh tvisakrsnarh sangopahgastra-parsadam
yajnaih sahkTrtana-prayairyajand hi su-medhasah
"In this age of Kali, people who are endowed with sufficient intelligence will
worship the Lord, who is accompanied by His associates, by performance of
sankTrtana-yajna." (Bhdg. 11.5.29) Other yajnas prescribed in the Vedic
literatures are not easy to perform in this age of Kali, but the sankTrtana-yajna
iseasy and sublime for all purposes.


देवान्भावयतानेन ते देवा भावयन्तु वः | परस्परं भावयन्तः श्रेयः परमवाप्स्यथ ||३-११||

devānbhāvayatānena te devā bhāvayantu vaḥ . parasparaṃ bhāvayantaḥ śreyaḥ paramavāpsyatha ||3-11||

devan —demigods; bhavayata —having been pleased; anena —by this
sacrifice; te —those; devah —the demigods; bhavayantu —will please; vah
—you; parasparam —mutual; bhavayantah —pleasing one another; sreyah
—benediction; param —the supreme; avapsyatha —do you achieve.

The demigods, being pleased by sacrifices, will also please you; thus
nourishing one another, there will reign general prosperity for all.

The demigods are empowered administrators of material affairs. The supply
of air, light, water and all other benedictions for maintaining the body and soul
of every living entity are entrusted to the demigods, who are innumerable
assistants in different parts of the body of the Supreme Personality of
Godhead. Their pleasures and displeasures are dependant on the performance
of yajhas by the human being. Some of the yajhas are meant to satisfy
particular demigods; but even in so doing, Lord Visnu is worshiped in all
yajhas as the chief beneficiary. It is stated also in the Bhagavad-gTta that
Krsna Himself is the beneficiary of all kinds of yajhas: bhoktaram yajha-
tapasam. Therefore, ultimate satisfaction of the yajhapad is the chief purpose
of all yajhas. When these yajhas are perfectly performed, naturally the
demigods in charge of the different departments of supply are pleased, and
there is no scarcity in the supply of natural products.
Performance of yajnas has many side benefits, ultimately leading to
liberation from the material bondage. By performance of yajnas, all activities
become purified, as it is stated in the Vedas:
ahara-suddhau sattva-suddhih sattva-suddhau
dhruva smrtih smrti-lambhe sarva-granthmam vipra-moksah
As it will be explained in the following verse, by performance of yajha, one`s
eatables become sanctified, and by eating sanctified foodstuffs, one`s very
existence becomes purified; by the purification of existence, finer tissues in
the memory become sanctified, and when memory is sanctified, one can think
of the path of liberation, and all these combined together lead to Krsna
consciousness, the great necessity of present-day society.


इष्टान्भोगान्हि वो देवा दास्यन्ते यज्ञभाविताः | तैर्दत्तानप्रदायैभ्यो यो भुङ्क्ते स्तेन एव सः ||३-१२||

iṣṭānbhogānhi vo devā dāsyante yajñabhāvitāḥ . tairdattānapradāyaibhyo yo bhuṅkte stena eva saḥ ||3-12||

istan —desired; bhogan —necessities of life; hi —certainly; vah —unto you;
devah —the demigods; dasyante —award; yajha-bhavitah —being satisfied by
the performance of sacrifices; taih —by them; dattan —things given; apradaya
—without offering; ebhyah —to the demigods; yah —he who; bhuhkte —enjoys;
stenah —thief; eva —certainly; sah —is he.

In charge of the various necessities of life, the demigods, being satisfied
by the performance of yajna [sacrifice], supply all necessities to man. But
he who enjoys these gifts, without offering them to the demigods in
return, is certainly a thief.

The demigods are authorized supplying agents on behalf of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, Visnu. Therefore, they must be satisfied by the
performance of prescribed yajnas. In the Vedas, there are different kinds of
yajnas prescribed for different kinds of demigods, but all are ultimately
offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. For one who cannot
understand what the Personality of Godhead is, sacrifice to the demigods is
recommended. According to the different material qualities of the persons
concerned, different types of yajnas are recommended in the Vedas. Worship
of different demigods is also on the same basis—namely, according to
different qualities. For example, the meat-eaters are recommended to worship
the goddess Kali, the ghastly form of material nature, and before the goddess
the sacrifice of animals is recommended. But for those who are in the mode of
goodness, the transcendental worship of Visnu is recommended. But
ultimately, all yajnas are meant for gradual promotion to the transcendental
position. For ordinary men, at least five yajnas, known as panca-mahayajna,
are necessary.
One should know, however, that all the necessities of life that the human
society requires are supplied by the demigod agents of the Lord. No one can
manufacture anything. Take, for example, all the eatables of human society.
These eatables include grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, sugar, etc., for the
persons in the mode of goodness, and also eatables for the nonvegetarians,
like meats, etc., none of which can be manufactured by men. Then again, take
for example heat, light, water, air, etc., which are also necessities of life-none
of them can be manufactured by the human society. Without the Supreme
Lord, there can be no profuse sunlight, moonlight, rainfall, breeze, etc.,
without which no one can live. Obviously, our life is dependant on supplies
from the Lord. Even for our manufacturing enterprises, we require so many
raw materials like metal, sulphur, mercury, manganese, and so many essentials
—all of which are supplied by the agents of the Lord, with the purpose that we
should make proper use of them to keep ourselves fit and healthy for the
purpose of self-realization, leading to the ultimate goal of life, namely,
liberation from the material stmggle for existence. This aim of life is attained
by performance of yajnas. If we forget the purpose of human life and simply
take supplies from the agents of the Lord for sense gratification and become
more and more entangled in material existence, which is not the purpose of
creation, certainly we become thieves, and therefore we are punished by the
laws of material nature. A society of thieves can never be happy because they
have no aim in life. The gross materialist thieves have no ultimate goal of life.
They are simply directed to sense gratification; nor do they have knowledge of
how to perform yajhas. Lord Caitanya, however, inaugurated the easiest
performance of yajna, namely the sahkirtana-yajha, which can be performed
by anyone in the world who accepts the principles of Krsna consciousness.


यज्ञशिष्टाशिनः सन्तो मुच्यन्ते सर्वकिल्बिषैः | भुञ्जते ते त्वघं पापा ये पचन्त्यात्मकारणात् ||३-१३||

yajñaśiṣṭāśinaḥ santo mucyante sarvakilbiṣaiḥ . bhuñjate te tvaghaṃ pāpā ye pacantyātmakāraṇāt ||3-13||

yajha-sista —food taken after performance of yajna; asinah —eaters; santah
—the devotees; mucyante —get relief from; sarva —all kinds of; kilbisaih
—sins; bhunjate —enjoy; te —they; tu —but; agham —grievous sins; papah
—sinners; ye —those; pacanti —prepare food; atma-karanat —for sense

The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because
they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food
for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin.

The devotees of the Supreme Lord, or the persons who are in Krsna
consciousness, are called santas, and they are always in love with the Lord as
it is described in the Brahma-samhita: premahjana-cchurita-bhakti-
vilocanena santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti. The santas, being always in
a compact of love with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda (the
giver of all pleasures), or Mukunda (the giver of liberation), or Krsna (the all-
attractive person), cannot accept anything without first offering it to the
Supreme Person. Therefore, such devotees always perform yajnas in different
modes of devotional service, such as sravanam, kfrtanam, smaranam,
arcanam, etc., and these performances of yajnas keep them always aloof from
all kinds of contamination of sinful association in the material world. Others,
who prepare food for self or sense gratification, are not only thieves, but are
also the eaters of all kinds of sins. How can a person be happy if he is both a
thief and sinful? It is not possible. Therefore, in order for people to become
happy in all respects, they must be taught to perform the easy process of
sahkirtana-yajha, in full Krsna consciousness. Otherwise, there can be no
peace or happiness in the world.


अन्नाद्भवन्ति भूतानि पर्जन्यादन्नसम्भवः | यज्ञाद्भवति पर्जन्यो यज्ञः कर्मसमुद्भवः ||३-१४||

annādbhavanti bhūtāni parjanyādannasambhavaḥ . yajñādbhavati parjanyo yajñaḥ karmasamudbhavaḥ ||3-14||

annat —from grains; bhavanti —grow; bhutani —the material bodies;
parjanyat —from rains; anna —food grains; sambhavah —are made possible;
yajhat —from the performance of sacrifice; bhavati —becomes possible;
parjanyah —rains; yajhah —performance of yajha; karma —prescribed duties;
samudbhavah —born of.

All living bodies subsist on food grains, which are produced from rain.
Rains are produced by performance of yajna [sacrifice], and yajna is
born of prescribed duties.

Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana, a great commentator on the Bhagavad- gita,
writes as follows: ye indrady-anga-tayavasthitamyajnam sarvesvaram visnum
abhyarccya tacchesam asnanti tena taddeha-yantram sampadayanti te santah
sarvesvarasya bhaktah sarva-kilvisair anadi-kala-vivrddhair atmanubhava-
pradbandhakair nikhilaih papair vimucyante. The Supreme Lord, who is
known as the yajna-purusah, or the personal beneficiary of all sacrifices, is
the master of all demigods who serve Him as the different limbs of the body
serve the whole. Demigods like Indra, Candra, Vanina, etc., are appointed
officers who manage material affairs, and the Vedas direct sacrifices to satisfy
these demigods so that they may be pleased to supply air, light and water
sufficiently to produce food grains. When Lord Krsna is worshiped, the
demigods, who are different limbs of the Lord, are also automatically
worshiped; therefore there is no separate need to worship the demigods. For
this reason, the devotees of the Lord, who are in Krsna consciousness, offer
food to Krsna and then eat-a process which nourishes the body spiritually. By
such action not only are past sinful reactions in the body vanquished, but the
body becomes immunized to ah contamination of material nature. When there
is an epidemic disease, an antiseptic vaccine protects a person from the attack
of such an epidemic. Similarly, food offered to Lord Visnu and then taken by
us makes us sufficiently resistant to material affection, and one who is
accustomed to this practice is called a devotee of the Lord. Therefore, a person
in Krsna consciousness, who eats only food offered to Krsna, can counteract
ah reactions of past material infections, which are impediments to the progress
of self- realization. On the other hand, one who does not do so continues to
increase the volume of sinful action, and this prepares the next body to
resemble hogs and dogs, to suffer the resultant reactions of ah sins. The
material world is full of contaminations, and one who is immunized by
accepting prasadam of the Lord (food offered to Visnu) is saved from the
attack, whereas one who does not do so becomes subjected to contamination.
Food grains or vegetables are factually eatables. The human being eats
different kinds of food grains, vegetables, fruits, etc., and the animals eat the
refuse of the food grains and vegetables, grass, plants, etc. Human beings who
are accustomed to eating meat and flesh must also depend on the production
of vegetation in order to eat the animals. Therefore, ultimately, we have to
depend on the production of the field and not on the production of big
factories. The field production is due to sufficient rain from the sky, and such
rains are controlled by demigods like Indra, sun, moon, etc., and they are all
servants of the Lord. The Lord can be satisfied by sacrifices; therefore, one
who cannot perform them will find himself in scarcity-that is the law of
nature. Yajha, specifically the sahkirtana-yajha prescribed for this age, must
therefore be performed to save us at least from scarcity of food supply.


कर्म ब्रह्मोद्भवं विद्धि ब्रह्माक्षरसमुद्भवम् | तस्मात्सर्वगतं ब्रह्म नित्यं यज्ञे प्रतिष्ठितम् ||३-१५||

karma brahmodbhavaṃ viddhi brahmākṣarasamudbhavam . tasmātsarvagataṃ brahma nityaṃ yajñe pratiṣṭhitam ||3-15||

karma —work; brahma-Vedas; udbhavam —produced from; viddhi —one
should know; brahma —the Vedas; aksara —the Supreme Brahman
(Personality of Godhead); samudbhavam; directly manifested; tasmat
—therefore; sarva-gatam —all-pervading; brahma —Transcendence; nityam
—eternally; yajhe —in sacrifice; pratisthitam —situated.

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.

Yajhartha karma, or the necessity of work for the satisfaction of Krsna only,
is more expressly stated in this verse. If we have to work for the satisfaction of
the yajha-purusa, Visnu, then we must find out the direction of work in
Brahman, or the transcendental Vedas. The Vedas are therefore codes of
working directions. Anything performed without the direction of the Vedas is
called vikarma, or unauthorized or sinful work. Therefore, one should always
take direction from the Vedas to be saved from the reaction of work. As one
has to work in ordinary life by the direction of the state, similarly, one has to
work under direction of the supreme state of the Lord. Such directions in the
Vedas are directly manifested from the breathing of the Supreme Personality
of Godhead. It is said: asya mahato bhutasya nasvasitam etad yad rg-vedo
yajur-vedah sama-vedo `tharvan girasah. "The four Vedas —namely the Rg-
veda, Yajur-veda, Sama-veda and Atharva-veda —are all emanations from the
breathing of the great Personality of Godhead." The Lord, being omnipotent,
can speak by breathing air, as it is confirmed in the Brahma-samhita, for the
Lord has the omnipotence to perform through each of His senses the actions of
all other senses. In other words, the Lord can speak through His breathing, and
He can impregnate by His eyes. In fact, it is said that He glanced over material
nature and thus fathered all living entities. After creating or impregnating the
conditioned souls into the womb of material nature, He gave His directions in
the Vedic wisdom as to how such conditioned souls can return home, back to
Godhead. We should always remember that the conditioned souls in material
nature are all eager for material enjoyment. But the Vedic directions are so
made that one can satisfy one`s perverted desires, then return to Godhead,
having finished his so-called enjoyment. It is a chance for the conditioned
souls to attain liberation; therefore the conditioned souls must try to follow the
process of yajna by becoming Krsna conscious. Even those who cannot follow
the Vedic injunctions may adopt the principles of Krsna consciousness, and
that will take the place of performance of Vedic yajhas, or karmas.


एवं प्रवर्तितं चक्रं नानुवर्तयतीह यः | अघायुरिन्द्रियारामो मोघं पार्थ स जीवति ||३-१६||

evaṃ pravartitaṃ cakraṃ nānuvartayatīha yaḥ . aghāyurindriyārāmo moghaṃ pārtha sa jīvati ||3-16||

evam —thus prescribed; pravartitam —established by the Vedas; cakram —
cycle; na —does not; anuvartayati —adopt; iha —in this life; yah —one who;
aghayuh —life full of sins; indriya-aramah —satisfied in sense gratification;
mogham —useless; partha —O son of Prtha (Arjuna); sah —one who does so;
jivati —lives.

My dear Arjuna, a man who does not follow this prescribed Vedic
system of sacrifice certainly leads a life of sin, for a person delighting only
in the senses lives in vain.

The mammonist philosophy of work very hard and enjoy sense gratification
is condemned herein by the Lord. Therefore, for those who want to enjoy this
material world, the above-mentioned cycle of performing yajhas is absolutely
necessary. One who does not follow such regulations is living a very risky life,
being condemned more and more. By nature`s law, this human form of life is
specifically meant for self-realization, in either of the three ways-namely
karma-yoga, jhana-yoga, or bhakti-yoga. There is no necessity of rigidly
following the performances of the prescribed yajhas for the transcendentalists
who are above vice and virtue; but those who are engaged in sense
gratification require purification by the above-mentioned cycle of yajha
performances. There are different kinds of activities. Those who are not Krsna
conscious are certainly engaged in sensory consciousness; therefore they need
to execute pious work. The yajha system is planned in such a way that sensory
conscious persons may satisfy their desires without becoming entangled in the
reaction of sense-gratificatory work. The prosperity of the world depends not
on our own efforts but on the background arrangement of the Supreme Lord,
directly carried out by the demigods. Therefore, the yajhas are directly aimed
at the particular demigod mentioned in the Vedas. Indirectly, it is the practice
of Krsna consciousness, because when one masters the performance of yajhas,
one is sure to become Krsna conscious. But if by performing yajhas one does
not become Krsna conscious, such principles are counted as only moral codes.
One should not, therefore, limit his progress only to the point of moral codes,
but should transcend them, to attain Krsna consciousness.


यस्त्वात्मरतिरेव स्यादात्मतृप्तश्च मानवः | आत्मन्येव च सन्तुष्टस्तस्य कार्यं न विद्यते ||३-१७||

yastvātmaratireva syādātmatṛptaśca mānavaḥ . ātmanyeva ca santuṣṭastasya kāryaṃ na vidyate ||3-17||

yah —one who; tu —but; atma-ratih —takes pleasure; eva —certainly; syat —
remains; atma-trptah —self-illuminated; ca —and; manavah —a man; atmani —
in himself; eva —only; ca —and; santustah —perfectly satiated; tasya —his;
karyam —duty; na —does not; vidyate —exist.

One who is, however, taking pleasure in the self, who is illumined in the
self, who rejoices in and is satisfied with the self only, fully satiated—for
him there is no duty.

A person who is fully Krsna conscious, and is fully satisfied by his acts in
Krsna consciousness, no longer has any duty to perform. Due to his being
Krsna conscious, all impiety within is instantly cleansed, an effect of many,
many thousands of yajha performances. By such clearing of consciousness,
one becomes fully confident of his eternal position in relationship with the
Supreme. His duty thus becomes self-illuminated by the grace of the Lord,
and therefore he no longer has any obligations to the Vedic injunctions. Such a
Krsna conscious person is no longer interested in material activities and no
longer takes pleasure in material arrangements like wine, women and similar


नैव तस्य कृतेनार्थो नाकृतेनेह कश्चन | न चास्य सर्वभूतेषु कश्चिदर्थव्यपाश्रयः ||३-१८||

naiva tasya kṛtenārtho nākṛteneha kaścana . na cāsya sarvabhūteṣu kaścidarthavyapāśrayaḥ ||3-18||

na —never; eva —certainly; tasya —his; krtena —by discharge of duty; arthah
—purpose; na —nor; akrtena —without discharge of duty; iha —in this world;
kascana —whatever; na —never; ca —and; asya —of him; sarva-bhutesu —in
all living beings; kascit —any; artha —purpose; v yapa-asrayah —taking shelter

A self-realized man has no purpose to fulfill in the discharge of his
prescribed duties, nor has he any reason not to perform such work. Nor
has he any need to depend on any other living being.

A self-realized man is no longer obliged to perform any prescribed duty,
save and except activities in Krsna consciousness. Krsna consciousness is not
inactivity either, as will be explained in the following verses. A Krsna
conscious man does not take shelter of any person-man or demigod. Whatever
he does in Krsna consciousness is sufficient in the discharge of his obligation.


तस्मादसक्तः सततं कार्यं कर्म समाचर | असक्तो ह्याचरन्कर्म परमाप्नोति पूरुषः ||३-१९||

tasmādasaktaḥ satataṃ kāryaṃ karma samācara . asakto hyācarankarma paramāpnoti pūruṣaḥ ||3-19||

tasmat —therefore; asaktah —without attachment; satatam —constantly;
karyam —as duty; karma —work; samacara —perform; asaktah
—nonattachment; hi —certainly; acaran —performing; karma —work; param
—the Supreme; apnoti —achieves; purusah —a man.

Therefore, without being attached to the fruits of activities, one should
act as a matter of duty; for by working without attachment, one attains
the Supreme.

The Supreme is the Personality of Godhead for the devotees, and liberation
for the impersonalist. A person, therefore, acting for Krsna, or in Krsna
consciousness, under proper guidance and without attachment to the result of
the work, is certainly making progress toward the supreme goal of life. Arjuna
is told that he should fight in the Battle of Kuruksetra for the interest of Krsna
because Krsna wanted him to fight. To be a good man or a nonviolent man is a
personal attachment, but to act on behalf of the Supreme is to act without
attachment for the result. That is perfect action of the highest degree,
recommended by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna. Vedic
rituals, like prescribed sacrifices, are performed for purification of impious
activities that were performed in the field of sense gratification. But action in
Krsna consciousness is transcendental to the reactions of good or evil work. A
Krsna conscious person has no attachment for the result but acts on behalf of
Krsna alone. He engages in all kinds of activities, but is completely


कर्मणैव हि संसिद्धिमास्थिता जनकादयः | लोकसंग्रहमेवापि सम्पश्यन्कर्तुमर्हसि ||३-२०||

karmaṇaiva hi saṃsiddhimāsthitā janakādayaḥ . lokasaṃgrahamevāpi sampaśyankartumarhasi ||3-20||

karmana —by work; eva —even; hi —certainly; samsiddhim —perfection;
asthitah —situated; janaka-adayah —kings like Janaka and others; loka-
sahgraham —educating the people in general; eva —also; api —for the sake of;
sampasyan —by considering; kartum —to act; arhasi —deserve.

Even kings like Janaka and others attained the perfectional stage by
performance of prescribed duties. Therefore, just for the sake of
educating the people in general, you should perform your work.

Kings like Janaka and others were all self-realized souls; consequently they
had no obligation to perform the prescribed duties in the Vedas. Nonetheless
they performed all prescribed activities just to set examples for the people in
general. Janaka was the father of SIta, and father-in-law of Lord Sri Rama.
Being a great devotee of the Lord, he was transcendentally situated, but
because he was the King of Mithila (a subdivision of Behar province in India),
he had to teach his subjects how to fight righteously in battle. He and his
subjects fought to teach people in general that violence is also necessary in a
situation where good arguments fail. Before the Battle of Kuruksetra, every
effort was made to avoid the war, even by the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, but the other party was determined to fight. So for such a right
cause, there is a necessity for fighting. Although one who is situated in Krsna
consciousness may not have any interest in the world, he still works to teach
the public how to live and how to act. Experienced persons in Krsna
consciousness can act in such a way that others will follow, and this is
explained in the following verse.


यद्यदाचरति श्रेष्ठस्तत्तदेवेतरो जनः | स यत्प्रमाणं कुरुते लोकस्तदनुवर्तते ||३-२१||

yadyadācarati śreṣṭhastattadevetaro janaḥ . sa yatpramāṇaṃ kurute lokastadanuvartate ||3-21||

yat —whatever; yat —and whichever; acarati —does he act; sresthah —
respectable leader; tat —that; tat —and that alone; eva —certainly; itarah —
common; janah —person; sah —he; yat —whichever; pramanam —evidence;
kurute —does perform; lokah —all the world; tat —that; anuvartate —follow in
the footsteps.

Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men follow in
his footsteps. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the
world pursues.

People in general always require a leader who can teach the public by
practical behavior. A leader cannot teach the public to stop smoking if he
himself smokes. Lord Caitanya said that a teacher should behave properly
even before he begins teaching. One who teaches in that way is called acarya,
or the ideal teacher. Therefore, a teacher must follow the principles of sastra
(scripture) to reach the common man. The teacher cannot manufacture rules
against the principles of revealed scriptures. The revealed scriptures, like
Manu-sarhhita and similar others, are considered the standard books to be
followed by human society. Thus the leader`s teaching should be based on the
principles of the standard rules as they are practiced by the great teachers. The
SrTmad-Bhagavatam also affirms that one should follow in the footsteps of
great devotees, and that is the way of progress on the path of spiritual
realization. The king or the executive head of a state, the father and the school
teacher are all considered to be natural leaders of the innocent people in
general. All such natural leaders have a great responsibility to their
dependants; therefore they must be conversant with standard books of moral
and spiritual codes.


न मे पार्थास्ति कर्तव्यं त्रिषु लोकेषु किञ्चन | नानवाप्तमवाप्तव्यं वर्त एव च कर्मणि ||३-२२||

na me pārthāsti kartavyaṃ triṣu lokeṣu kiñcana . nānavāptamavāptavyaṃ varta eva ca karmaṇi ||3-22||

na —none; me —Mine; partha —O son of Prtha; asti —there is; kartavyam —
any prescribed duty; trisu —in the three; lokesu —planetary systems; kincana
—anything; na —no; anavaptam —in want; avaptavyam —to be gained; varte
—engaged; eva —certainly; ca —also; karmani —in one`s prescribed duty.

O son of Prtha, there is no work prescribed for Me within all the three
planetary systems. Nor am I in want of anything, nor have I need to
obtain anything—and yet I am engaged in work.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is described in the Vedic literatures as
tarn Tsvaranam paramam mahesvaram
tarn devatanam paramam ca daivatam
patirh patmam paramam parastad
vidama devarh bhuvanesam Tdyam
na tasya karyarh karanam ca vidyate
na tat-samas cabbyadhikas ca drsyate
parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate
sva-bhavikT jhana-bala-kriya ca.
"The Supreme Lord is the controller of all other controllers, and He is the
greatest of all the diverse planetary leaders. Everyone is under His control. All
entities are delegated with particular power only by the Supreme Lord; they
are not supreme themselves. He is also worshipable by all demigods and is the
supreme director of all directors. Therefore, He is transcendental to all kinds
of material leaders and controllers and is worshipable by all. There is no one
greater than Him, and He is the supreme cause of all causes.
"He does not possess bodily form like that of an ordinary living entity.
There is no difference between His body and His soul. He is absolute. All His
senses are transcendental. Any one of His senses can perform the action of
any other sense. Therefore, no one is greater than Him or equal to Him. His
potencies are multifarious, and thus His deeds are automatically performed as
a natural sequence." (Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.7-8)
Since everything is in full opulence in the Personality of Godhead and is
existing in full truth, there is no duty for the Supreme Personality of Godhead
to perform. One who must receive the results of work has some designated
duty, but one who has nothing to achieve within the three planetary systems
certainly has no duty. And yet Lord Krsna is engaged on the Battlefield of
Kuruksetra as the leader of the ksatriyas because the ksatriyas are duty-bound
to give protection to the distressed. Although He is above all the regulations of
the revealed scriptures, He does not do anything that violates the revealed


यदि ह्यहं न वर्तेयं जातु कर्मण्यतन्द्रितः | मम वर्त्मानुवर्तन्ते मनुष्याः पार्थ सर्वशः ||३-२३||

yadi hyahaṃ na varteyaṃ jātu karmaṇyatandritaḥ . mama vartmānuvartante manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ ||3-23||

yadi —if; hi —certainly; aham —I; na —do not; varteyam —thus engage; jatu
—ever; karmani —in the performance of prescribed duties; atandritah —with
great care; mama —My; vartma —path; anuvartante —would follow; manusyah
—all men; partha —O son of Prtha; sarvasah —in all respects.

For, if I did not engage in work, O Partha, certainly all men would
follow My path.

In order to keep the balance of social tranquility for progress in spiritual
life, there are traditional family usages meant for every civilized man.
Although such rules and regulations are for the conditioned souls and not Lord
Krsna, because He descended to establish the principles of religion, He
followed the prescribed rules. Otherwise, common men would follow in His
footsteps because He is the greatest authority. From the SrTmad- Bhagavatam
it is understood that Lord Krsna was performing all the religious duties at
home and out of home, as required of a householder.


उत्सीदेयुरिमे लोका न कुर्यां कर्म चेदहम् | सङ्करस्य च कर्ता स्यामुपहन्यामिमाः प्रजाः ||३-२४||

utsīdeyurime lokā na kuryāṃ karma cedaham . saṅkarasya ca kartā syāmupahanyāmimāḥ prajāḥ ||3-24||

utsideyuh —put into ruin; ime —all these; lokah —worlds; na —do not;
kuryam —perform; karma —prescribed duties; cet —if; aham —I; sankarasya —
of unwanted population; ca —and; karta —creator; syam —shall be; upahanyam
—destroy; imah —all these; prajah —living entities.

If I should cease to work, then all these worlds would be put to
ruination. I would also be the cause of creating unwanted population, and
I would thereby destroy the peace of all sentient beings.

Varna-sankara is unwanted population which disturbs the peace of the
general society. In order to check this social disturbance, there are prescribed
rules and regulations by which the population can automatically become
peaceful and organized for spiritual progress in life. When Lord Krsna
descends, naturally He deals with such rules and regulations in order to
maintain the prestige and necessity of such important performances. The Lord
is the father of all living entities, and if the living entities are misguided,
indirectly the responsibility goes to the Lord. Therefore, whenever there is
general disregard of regulative principles, the Lord Himself descends and
corrects the society. We should, however, note carefully that although we have
to follow in the footsteps of the Lord, we still have to remember that we
cannot imitate Him. Following and imitating are not on the same level. We
cannot imitate the Lord by lifting Govardhana Hill, as the Lord did in His
childhood. It is impossible for any human being. We have to follow His
instructions, but we may not imitate Him at any time. The SrTmad-
Bhagavatam affirms:
naitat samacarej jatu manasapi hy amsvarah
vinasyaty acaran maudhyad yatha `rudro `bdhijarh visam
Tsvaranam vacah satyarh tathaivacaritarh kvacit
tesarh yat sva-vaco yuktam buddhimams tat samacaret
"One should simply follow the instructions of the Lord and His empowered
servants. Their instructions are all good for us, and any intelligent person will
perform them as instructed. However, one should guard against trying to
imitate their actions. One should not try to drink the ocean of poison in
imitation of Lord Siva." (Bhag. 10.33.30)
We should always consider the position of the Tsvaras, or those who can
actually control the movements of the sun and moon, as superior. Without
such power, one cannot imitate the Tsvaras, who are superpowerful. Lord Siva
drank poison to the extent of swallowing an ocean, but if any common man
tries to drink even a fragment of such poison, he will be killed. There are
many psuedo-devotees of Lord Siva who want to indulge in smoking ganja
(marijuana) and similar intoxicating drugs, forgetting that by so imitating the
acts of Lord Siva they are calling death very near. Similarly, there are some
psuedo-devotees of Lord Krsna who prefer to imitate the Lord in His rasa-lila,
or dance of love, forgetting their inability to lift Govardhana Hill. It is best,
therefore, that one not try to imitate the powerful, but simply follow their
instructions; nor should one try to occupy their posts without qualification.
There are so many "incarnations" of God without the power of the Supreme


सक्ताः कर्मण्यविद्वांसो यथा कुर्वन्ति भारत | कुर्याद्विद्वांस्तथासक्तश्चिकीर्षुर्लोकसंग्रहम् ||३-२५||

saktāḥ karmaṇyavidvāṃso yathā kurvanti bhārata . kuryādvidvāṃstathāsaktaścikīrṣurlokasaṃgraham ||3-25||

saktah —being attached; karmani —prescribed duties; avidvamsah —the
ignorant; yatha —as much as; kurvanti —do it; bharata —O descendant of
Bharata; kuryat —must do; vidvan —the learned; tatha —thus; asaktah —
without attachment; cikfrsuh —desiring to; loka-sahgraham —leading the
people in general.

As the ignorant perform their duties with attachment to results,
similarly the learned may also act, but without attachment, for the sake of
leading people on the right path.

A person in Krsna consciousness and a person not in Krsna consciousness
are differentiated by different desires. A Krsna conscious person does not do
anything which is not conducive to development of Krsna consciousness. He
may even act exactly like the ignorant person, who is too much attached to
material activities, but one is engaged in such activities for the satisfaction of
his sense gratification, whereas the other is engaged for the satisfaction of
Krsna. Therefore, the Krsna conscious person is required to show the people
how to act and how to engage the results of action for the purpose of Krsna


न बुद्धिभेदं जनयेदज्ञानां कर्मसङ्गिनाम् | जोषयेत्सर्वकर्माणि विद्वान्युक्तः समाचरन् ||३-२६||

na buddhibhedaṃ janayedajñānāṃ karmasaṅginām . joṣayetsarvakarmāṇi vidvānyuktaḥ samācaran ||3-26||

na —do not; buddhi-bhedam —disrupt the intelligence; janayet —do;
ajnanam —of the foolish; karma-sanginam —attached to fruitive work; josayet
—dovetailed; sarva —all; karmani —work; vidvan —learned; yuktah — all
engaged; samacaran —practicing.

Let not the wise disrupt the minds of the ignorant who are attached to
fruitive action. They should not be encouraged to refrain from work, but
to engage in work in the spirit of devotion.

Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah: that is the end of all Vedic rituals. All
rituals, all performances of sacrifices, and everything that is put into the
Vedas, including all directions for material activities, are meant for
understanding Krsna, who is the ultimate goal of life. But because the
conditioned souls do not know anything beyond sense gratification, they study
the Vedas to that end. Through sense regulations, however, one is gradually
elevated to Krsna consciousness. Therefore a realized soul in Krsna
consciousness should not disturb others in their activities or understanding,
but he should act by showing how the results of all work can be dedicated to
the service of Krsna. The learned Krsna conscious person may act in such a
way that the ignorant person working for sense gratification may learn how to
act and how to behave. Although the ignorant man is not to be disturbed in his
activities, still, a slightly developed Krsna conscious person may directly be
engaged in the service of the Lord without waiting for other Vedic formulas.
For this fortunate man there is no need to follow the Vedic rituals, because in
direct Krsna consciousness one can have all the results simply by following
the prescribed duties of a particular person.


प्रकृतेः क्रियमाणानि गुणैः कर्माणि सर्वशः | अहङ्कारविमूढात्मा कर्ताहमिति मन्यते ||३-२७||

prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ . ahaṅkāravimūḍhātmā kartāhamiti manyate ||3-27||

prakrteh —of material nature; kriyamanani —all being done; gunaih —by the
modes; karmani —activities; sarvasah —all kinds of; ahahkara-vimudha —
bewildered by false ego; atma —the spirit soul; karta —doer; aham —I; iti —
thus; manyate —thinks.

The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of
material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities, which are in
actuality carried out by nature.

Two persons, one in Krsna consciousness and the other in material
consciousness, working on the same level, may appear to be working on the
same platform, but there is a wide gulf of difference in their respective
positions. The person in material consciousness is convinced by false ego that
he is the doer of everything. He does not know that the mechanism of the
body is produced by material nature, which works under the supervision of the
Supreme Lord. The materialistic person has no knowledge that ultimately he
is under the control of Krsna. The person in false ego takes all credit for doing
everything independently, and that is the symptom of his nescience. He does
not know that this gross and subtle body is the creation of material nature,
under the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and as such his bodily
and mental activities should be engaged in the service of Krsna, in Krsna
consciousness. The ignorant man forgets that the Supreme Personality of
Godhead is known as Hrslkesa, or the master of the senses of the material
body, for due to his long misuse of the senses in sense gratification, he is
factually bewildered by the false ego, which makes him forget his eternal
relationship with Krsna.


तत्त्ववित्तु महाबाहो गुणकर्मविभागयोः | गुणा गुणेषु वर्तन्त इति मत्वा न सज्जते ||३-२८||

tattvavittu mahābāho guṇakarmavibhāgayoḥ . guṇā guṇeṣu vartanta iti matvā na sajjate ||3-28||

tattvavit —the knower of the Absolute Truth; tu —but; maha-baho —O
mighty-armed one; guna-karma —works under material influence; vibhagayoh
—differences; gunah —senses; gunesu —in sense gratification; vartante —
being engaged; id —thus; matva —thinking; na —never; sajjate —becomes

One who is in knowledge of the Absolute Truth, O mighty-armed, does
not engage himself in the senses and sense gratification, knowing well the
differences between work in devotion and work for fruitive results.

The knower of the Absolute Truth is convinced of his awkward position in
material association. He knows that he is part and parcel of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, Krsna, and that his position should not be in the
material creation. He knows his real identity as part and parcel of the
Supreme, who is eternal bliss and knowledge, and he realizes that somehow or
other he is entrapped in the material conception of life. In his pure state of
existence he is meant to dovetail his activities in devotional service to the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. He therefore engages himself in the
activities of Krsna consciousness and becomes naturally unattached to the
activities of the material senses, which are all circumstantial and temporary.
He knows that his material condition of life is under the supreme control of
the Lord; consequently he is not disturbed by all kinds of material reactions,
which he considers to be the mercy of the Lord. According to Srimad-
Bhagavatam, one who knows the Absolute Truth in three different features-
namely Brahman, Paramatma, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead-is
called tattvavit, for he knows also his own factual position in relationship with
the Supreme.


प्रकृतेर्गुणसम्मूढाः सज्जन्ते गुणकर्मसु | तानकृत्स्नविदो मन्दान्कृत्स्नविन्न विचालयेत् ||३-२९||

prakṛterguṇasammūḍhāḥ sajjante guṇakarmasu . tānakṛtsnavido mandānkṛtsnavinna vicālayet ||3-29||

prakrteh —impelled by the material modes; guna-sammudhah —befooled by
material identification; sajjante —become engaged; guna-karmasu —in
material activities; tan —all those; akrtsna-vidah —persons with a poor fund of
knowledge; mandan —lazy to understand self-realization; krtsna-vit —one who
is in factual knowledge; na —may not; vicalayet —try to agitate.

Bewildered by the modes of material nature, the ignorant fully engage
themselves in material activities and become attached. But the wise
should not unsettle them, although these duties are inferior due to the
performers` lack of knowledge.

Persons who are unknowledgeable falsely identify with gross material
consciousness and are full of material designations. This body is a gift of the
material nature, and one who is too much attached to the bodily consciousness
is called mandan, or a lazy person without understanding of spirit soul.
Ignorant men think of the body as the self; bodily connections with others are
accepted as kinsmanship; the land in which the body is obtained is the object
of worship; and the formalities of religious rituals are considered ends in
themselves. Social work, nationalism, and altruism are some of the activities
for such materially designated persons. Under the spell of such designations,
they are always busy in the material field; for them spiritual realization is a
myth, and so they are not interested. Such bewildered persons may even be
engaged in such primary moral principles of life as nonviolence and similar
materially benevolent work. Those who are, however, enlightened in spiritual
life, should not try to agitate such materially engrossed persons. Better to
prosecute one`s own spiritual activities silently.
Men who are ignorant cannot appreciate activities in Krsna consciousness,
and therefore Lord Krsna advises us not to disturb them and simply waste
valuable time. But the devotees of the Lord are more kind than the Lord
because they understand the purpose of the Lord. Consequently they
undertake all kinds of risks, even to the point of approaching ignorant men to
try to engage them in the acts of Krsna consciousness, which are absolutely
necessary for the human being.


मयि सर्वाणि कर्माणि संन्यस्याध्यात्मचेतसा | निराशीर्निर्ममो भूत्वा युध्यस्व विगतज्वरः ||३-३०||

mayi sarvāṇi karmāṇi saṃnyasyādhyātmacetasā . nirāśīrnirmamo bhūtvā yudhyasva vigatajvaraḥ ||3-30||

mayi —unto Me; sarvani —all sorts of; karmani —activities; sannyasya —
giving up completely; adhyatma —with full knowledge of the self; cetasa —
consciousness; nirasih —without desire for profit; nirmamah —without
ownership; bhutva —so being; yudhyasva —fight; vigata-jvarah —without
being lethargic.

Therefore, O Arjuna, surrendering all your works unto Me, with mind
intent on Me, and without desire for gain and free from egoism and
lethargy, fight.

This verse clearly indicates the purpose of the Bhagavad-gTta. The Lord
instructs that one has to become fully Krsna conscious to discharge duties, as
if in military discipline. Such an injunction may make things a little difficult;
nevertheless duties must be carried out, with dependence on Krsna, because
that is the constitutional position of the living entity. The living entity cannot
be happy independant of the cooperation of the Supreme Lord because the
eternal constitutional position of the living entity is to become subordinate to
the desires of the Lord. Arjuna was, therefore, ordered by Sri Krsna to fight as
if the Lord were his military commander. One has to sacrifice everything for
the good will of the Supreme Lord, and at the same time discharge prescribed
duties without claiming proprietorship. Arjuna did not have to consider the
order of the Lord; he had only to execute His order. The Supreme Lord is the
Soul of all souls; therefore, one who depends solely and wholly on the
Supreme Soul without personal consideration, or in other words, one who is
fully Krsna conscious, is called adhyatma- cetasa. Nirasih means that one has
to act on the order of the master. Nor should one ever expect fruitive results.
The cashier may count millions of dollars for his employer, but he does not
claim a cent for himself. Similarly, one has to realize that nothing in the world
belongs to any individual person, but that everything belongs to the Supreme
Lord. That is the real purport of mayi, or unto Me. And when one acts in such
Krsna consciousness, certainly he does not claim proprietorship over anything.
This consciousness is called nirmama, or nothing is mine. And, if there is any
reluctance to execute such a stern order which is without consideration of so-
called kinsmen in the bodily relationship, that reluctance should be thrown off;
in this way one may become vigata-jvara, or without feverish mentality or
lethargy. Everyone, according to his quality and position, has a particular type
of work to discharge, and all such duties may be discharged in Krsna
consciousness, as described above. That will lead one to the path of liberation.


ये मे मतमिदं नित्यमनुतिष्ठन्ति मानवाः | श्रद्धावन्तोऽनसूयन्तो मुच्यन्ते तेऽपि कर्मभिः ||३-३१||

ye me matamidaṃ nityamanutiṣṭhanti mānavāḥ . śraddhāvanto.anasūyanto mucyante te.api karmabhiḥ ||3-31||

ye —those; me —My; matam —injunctions; idam —this; nityam —eternal
function; anutisthanti —execute regularly; manavah —humankind;
sraddhavantah —with faith and devotion; anasuyantah —without envy;
mucyante — become free; te —all of them; api —even; karmabhih —from the
bondage of the law of fmitive action.

One who executes his duties according to My injunctions and who
follows this teaching faithfully, without envy, becomes free from the
bondage of fruitive actions.

The injunction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, is the
essence of all Vedic wisdom, and therefore is eternally true without exception.
As the Vedas are eternal, so this truth of Krsna consciousness is also eternal.
One should have firm faith in this injunction, without envying the Lord. There
are many philosophers who write comments on the Bhagavad- gita but have
no faith in Krsna. They will never be liberated from the bondage of fruitive
action. But an ordinary man with firm faith in the eternal injunctions of the
Lord, even though unable to execute such orders, becomes liberated from the
bondage of the law of karma. In the beginning of Krsna consciousness, one
may not fully discharge the injunctions of the Lord, but because one is not
resentful of this principle and works sincerely without consideration of defeat
and hopelessness, he will surely be promoted to the stage of pure Krsna


ये त्वेतदभ्यसूयन्तो नानुतिष्ठन्ति मे मतम् | सर्वज्ञानविमूढांस्तान्विद्धि नष्टानचेतसः ||३-३२||

ye tvetadabhyasūyanto nānutiṣṭhanti me matam . sarvajñānavimūḍhāṃstānviddhi naṣṭānacetasaḥ ||3-32||

ye —those; tu —however; etat —this; abhyasuyantah —out of envy; na —do
not; anutisthanti —regularly perform; me —My; matam —injunction; sarva-
jhana —all sorts of knowledge; vimudhan —perfectly befooled; tan —they are;
viddhi —know it well; nastan —all ruined; acetasah —without Krsna

But those who, out of envy, disregard these teachings and do not
practice them regularly, are to be considered bereft of all knowledge,
befooled, and doomed to ignorance and bondage.

The flaw of not being Krsna conscious is clearly stated herein. As there is
punishment for disobedience to the order of the supreme executive head, so
there is certainly punishment for the disobedience of the order of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead. A disobedient person, however great he may be, is
ignorant of his own self, of the Supreme Brahman, and Paramatma and the
Personality of Godhead, due to a vacant heart. Therefore there is no hope of
perfection of life for him.


सदृशं चेष्टते स्वस्याः प्रकृतेर्ज्ञानवानपि | प्रकृतिं यान्ति भूतानि निग्रहः किं करिष्यति ||३-३३||

sadṛśaṃ ceṣṭate svasyāḥ prakṛterjñānavānapi . prakṛtiṃ yānti bhūtāni nigrahaḥ kiṃ kariṣyati ||3-33||

sadrsam —accordingly; cestate —tries; svasyah —in one`s own nature;
prakrteh —modes; jnanavan —the learned; api —although; prakrtim —nature;
yanti —undergo; bhutani —all living entities; nigrahah —suppression; kim —
what; karisyati —can do.

Even a man of knowledge acts according to his own nature, for
everyone follows his nature. What can repression accomplish?

Unless one is situated on the transcendental platform of Krsna
consciousness, he cannot get free from the influence of the modes of material
nature, as it is confirmed by the Lord in the Seventh Chapter (7.14).
Therefore, even for the most highly educated person on the mundane plane, it
is impossible to get out of the entanglement of maya simply by theoretical
knowledge, or by separating the soul from the body. There are many so- called
spiritualists who outwardly pose to be advanced in the science, but inwardly
or privately are completely under the particular modes of nature which they
are unable to surpass. Academically, one may be very learned, but because of
his long association with material nature, he is in bondage. Krsna
consciousness helps one to get out of the material entanglement, even though
one may be engaged in his prescribed duties. Therefore, without being fully in
Krsna consciousness, no one should suddenly give up his prescribed duties
and become a so-called yogi or transcendentalist artificially. It is better to be
situated in one`s position and to try to attain Krsna consciousness under
superior training. Thus one may be freed from the clutches of maya.


इन्द्रियस्येन्द्रियस्यार्थे रागद्वेषौ व्यवस्थितौ | तयोर्न वशमागच्छेत्तौ ह्यस्य परिपन्थिनौ ||३-३४||

indriyasyendriyasyārthe rāgadveṣau vyavasthitau . tayorna vaśamāgacchettau hyasya paripanthinau ||3-34||

indriyasya —of the senses; indriyasya arthe —in the sense objects; raga —
attachment; dvesau —also in detachment; vyavasthitau —put under regulations;
tayoh —of them; na —never; vasam —control; agacchet —one should come; tau
—those; hi —certainly are; asya —his; paripanthinau —stumbling blocks.

Attraction and repulsion for sense objects are felt by embodied beings,
but one should not fall under the control of senses and sense objects
because they are stumbling blocks on the path of self-realization.

Those who are in Krsna consciousness are naturally reluctant to engage in
material sense gratifications. But those who are not in such consciousness
should follow the rules and regulations of the revealed scriptures. Unrestricted
sense enjoyment is the cause of material encagement, but one who follows the
rules and regulations of the revealed scriptures does not become entangled by
the sense objects. For example, sex enjoyment is a necessity for the
conditioned soul, and sex enjoyment is allowed under the license of marriage
ties. For example, according to scriptural injunctions, one is forbidden to
engage in sex relationships with any women other than one`s wife. All other
women are to be considered as one`s mother. But, in spite of such injunctions,
a man is still inclined to have sex relationships with other women. These
propensities are to be curbed; otherwise they will be stumbling blocks on the
path of self-realization. As long as the material body is there, the necessities of
the material body are allowed, but under rules and regulations. And yet, we
should not rely upon the control of such allowances. One has to follow those
rules and regulations, unattached to them, because practice of sense
gratifications under regulations may also lead one to go astray-as much as
there is always the chance of an accident, even on the royal roads. Although
they may be very carefully maintained, no one can guarantee that there will be
no danger even on the safest road. The sense enjoyment spirit has been current
a very long, long time, owing to material association. Therefore, in spite of
regulated sense enjoyment, there is every chance of falling down; therefore
any attachment for regulated sense enjoyment must also be avoided by all
means. But action in the loving service of Krsna detaches one from all kinds
of sensory activities. Therefore, no one should try to be detached from Krsna
consciousness at any stage of life. The whole purpose of detachment from all
kinds of sense attachment is ultimately to become situated on the platform of
Krsna consciousness.


श्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुणः परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात् | स्वधर्मे निधनं श्रेयः परधर्मो भयावहः ||३-३५||

śreyānsvadharmo viguṇaḥ paradharmātsvanuṣṭhitāt . svadharme nidhanaṃ śreyaḥ paradharmo bhayāvahaḥ ||3-35||

sreyan —far better; sva-dharmah —one`s prescribed duties; vigunah —even
faulty; para-dharmat —from duties mentioned for others; svanusthitat —than
perfectly done; sva-dharme —in one`s prescribed duties; nidhanam —
destruction; sreyah —better; para-dharmah —duties prescribed for others;
bhaya-avahah —dangerous.

It is far better to discharge one`s prescribed duties, even though they
may be faulty, than another`s duties. Destruction in the course of
performing one`s own duty is better than engaging in another`s duties, for
to follow another`s path is dangerous.

One should therefore discharge his prescribed duties in full Krsna
consciousness rather than those prescribed for others. Prescribed duties
complement one`s psychophysical condition, under the spell of the modes of
material nature. Spiritual duties are as ordered by the spiritual master, for the
transcendental service of Krsna. But both materially or spiritually, one should
stick to his prescribed duties even up to death, rather than imitate another`s
prescribed duties. Duties on the spiritual platform and duties on the material
platform may be different, but the principle of following the authorized
direction is always good for the performer. When one is under the spell of the
modes of material nature, one should follow the prescribed rules for particular
situations and should not imitate others. For example, a brahmana, who is in
the mode of goodness, is nonviolent, whereas a ksatriya, who is in the mode
of passion, is allowed to be violent. As such, for a ksatriya it is better to be
vanquished following the rules of violence than to imitate a brahmana who
follows the principles of nonviolence. Everyone has to cleanse his heart by a
gradual process, not abruptly. However, when one transcends the modes of
material nature and is fully situated in Krsna consciousness, he can perform
anything and everything under the direction of the bona fide spiritual master.
In that complete stage of Krsna consciousness, the ksatriya may act as a
brahmana, or a brahmana may act as a ksatriya. In the transcendental stage,
the distinctions of the material world do not apply. For example, Visvamitra
was originally a ksatriya, but later on he acted as a brahmana, whereas
Parasurama was a brahmana, but later on he acted as a ksatriya. Being
transcendentally situated, they could do so; but as long as one is on the
material platform, he must perform his duties according to the modes of
material nature. At the same time, he must have a full sense of Krsna


अर्जुन उवाच | अथ केन प्रयुक्तोऽयं पापं चरति पूरुषः | अनिच्छन्नपि वार्ष्णेय बलादिव नियोजितः ||३-३६||

arjuna uvāca . atha kena prayukto.ayaṃ pāpaṃ carati pūruṣaḥ . anicchannapi vārṣṇeya balādiva niyojitaḥ ||3-36||

arjunah uvaca —Arjuna said; atha —hereafter; kena —by what; prayuktah —
impelled; ayam —one; papam —sins; carati —acts; purusah —a man; anicchan
— without desiring; api —although; varsneya —O descendant of Vrsni; balat
—by force; iva —as if; niyojitah —engaged.

Arjuna said: O descendant of Vrsni, by what is one impelled to sinful
acts, even unwillingly, as if engaged by force?

A living entity, as part and parcel of the Supreme, is originally spiritual,
pure, and free from all material contaminations. Therefore, by nature he is not
subjected to the sins of the material world. But when he is in contact with the
material nature, he acts in many sinful ways without hesitation, and sometimes
even against his will. As such, Arjuna`s question to Krsna is very sanguine, as
to the perverted nature of the living entities. Although the living entity
sometimes does not want to act in sin, he is still forced to act. Sinful actions
are not, however, impelled by the Supersoul within, but are due to another
cause, as the Lord explains in the next verse.


श्रीभगवानुवाच | काम एष क्रोध एष रजोगुणसमुद्भवः | महाशनो महापाप्मा विद्ध्येनमिह वैरिणम् ||३-३७||

śrībhagavānuvāca . kāma eṣa krodha eṣa rajoguṇasamudbhavaḥ . mahāśano mahāpāpmā viddhyenamiha vairiṇam ||3-37||

srT bhagavan uvaca —the Personality of Godhead said; kamah —lust; esah
—all these; krodhah —wrath; esah —all these; rajo-guna —the mode of
passion; samudbhavah —born of; maha-sanah —all-devouring; maha-papma
—greatly sinful; viddhi —know; enam —this; iha —in the material world;
vairinam — greatest enemy.

The Blessed Lord said: It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact
with the material modes of passion and later transformed into wrath, and
which is the all-devouring, sinful enemy of this world.

When a living entity comes in contact with the material creation, his eternal
love for Krsna is transformed into lust, in association with the mode of
passion. Or, in other words, the sense of love of God becomes transformed
into lust, as milk in contact with sour tamarind is transformed into yogurt.
Then again, when lust is unsatisfied, it turns into wrath; wrath is transformed
into illusion, and illusion continues the material existence. Therefore, lust is
the greatest enemy of the living entity, and it is lust only which induces the
pure living entity to remain entangled in the material world. Wrath is the
manifestation of the mode of ignorance; these modes exhibit themselves as
wrath and other corollaries. If, therefore, the modes of passion, instead of
being degraded into the modes of ignorance, are elevated to the modes of
goodness by the prescribed method of living and acting, then one can be saved
from the degradation of wrath by spiritual attachment.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead expanded Himself into many for His
ever-increasing spiritual bliss, and the living entities are parts and parcels of
this spiritual bliss. They also have partial independence, but by misuse of their
independence, when the service attitude is transformed into the propensity for
sense enjoyment, they come under the sway of lust. This material creation is
created by the Lord to give a facility to the conditioned souls to fulfill these
lustful propensities, and when they are completely baffled by prolonged
lustful activities, the living entities begin to inquire about their real position.
This inquiry is the beginning of the Vedanta-sutras, wherein it is said,
athato brahma-jijhasa: one should inquire into the Supreme. And the
Supreme is defined in Srimad-Bhagavatam as janmadyasya yato `nvayad
itaratas ca, or, "The origin of everything is the Supreme Brahman." Therefore,
the origin of lust is also in the Supreme. If, therefore, lust is transformed into
love for the Supreme, or transformed into Krsna consciousness-or, in other
words, desiring everything for Krsna-then bothlust and wrath can be
spiritualized. Hanuman, the great servitor of Lord Rama, engaged his wrath
upon his enemies for the satisfaction of the Lord. Therefore, lust and wrath,
when they are employed in Krsna consciousness, become our friends instead
of our enemies.


धूमेनाव्रियते वह्निर्यथादर्शो मलेन च | यथोल्बेनावृतो गर्भस्तथा तेनेदमावृतम् ||३-३८||

dhūmenāvriyate vahniryathādarśo malena ca . yatholbenāvṛto garbhastathā tenedamāvṛtam ||3-38||

dhumena —by smoke; avriyate —covered; vahnih —fire; yatha —just as;
adarsah —mirror; malena —by dust; ca —also; yatha —just as; ulbena —by the
womb; avrtah —is covered; garbhah —embryo; tatha-so; tena —by that lust;
idam —this; avrtam —is covered.

As fire is covered by smoke, as a mirror is covered by dust, or as the
embryo is covered by the womb, similarly, the living entity is covered by
different degrees of this lust.

There are three degrees of covering of the living entity by which his pure
consciousness is obscured. This covering is but lust under different
manifestations like smoke in the fire, dust on the mirror, and the womb about
the embryo. When lust is compared to smoke, it is understood that the fire of
the living spark can be a little perceived. In other words, when the living
entity exhibits his Krsna consciousness slightly, he may be likened to the fire
covered by smoke. Although fire is necessary where there is smoke, there is
no overt manifestation of fire in the early stage. This stage is like the
beginning of Krsna consciousness. The dust on the mirror refers to a cleansing
process of the mirror of the mind by so many spiritual methods. The best
process is to chant the holy names of the Lord. The embryo covered by the
womb is an analogy illustrating a helpless position, for the child in the womb
is so helpless that he cannot even move. This stage of living condition can be
compared to that of the trees. The trees are also living entities, but they have
been put in such a condition of life by such a great exhibition of lust that they
are almost void of all consciousness. The covered mirror is compared to the
birds and beasts, and the smoke covered fire is compared to the human being.
In the form of a human being, the living entity may revive a little Krsna
consciousness, and, if he makes further development, the fire of spiritual life
can be kindled in the human form of life. By careful handling of the smoke in
the fire, the fire can be made to blaze. Therefore the human form of life is a
chance for the living entity to escape the entanglement of material existence.
In the human form of life, one can conquer the enemy, lust, by cultivation of
Krsna consciousness under able guidance.


आवृतं ज्ञानमेतेन ज्ञानिनो नित्यवैरिणा | कामरूपेण कौन्तेय दुष्पूरेणानलेन च ||३-३९||

āvṛtaṃ jñānametena jñānino nityavairiṇā . kāmarūpeṇa kaunteya duṣpūreṇānalena ca ||3-39||

avrtam —covered; jnanam —pure consciousness; etena —by this; jnaninah —
of the knower; nitya-vairina —eternal enemy; kama-rupena —in the form of
lust; kaunteya — O son of KuntI; duspurena —never to be satisfied; analena —
by the fire; ca —also.

Thus, a man`s pure consciousness is covered by his eternal enemy in the
form of lust, which is never satisfied and which burns like fire.

It is said in the Manu-smrti that lust cannot be satisfied by any amount of
sense enjoyment, just as fire is never extinguished by a constant supply of
fuel. In the material world, the center of all activities is sex, and thus this
material world is called maithunya-agara, or the shackles of sex life. In the
ordinary prison house, criminals are kept within bars; similarly, the criminals
who are disobedient to the laws of the Lord are shackled by sex life.
Advancement of material civilization on the basis of sense gratification means
increasing the duration of the material existence of a living entity. Therefore,
this lust is the symbol of ignorance by which the living entity is kept within
the material world. While one enjoys sense gratification, it may be that there is
some feeling of happiness, but actually that so-called feeling of happiness is
the ultimate enemy of the sense enjoyer.


इन्द्रियाणि मनो बुद्धिरस्याधिष्ठानमुच्यते | एतैर्विमोहयत्येष ज्ञानमावृत्य देहिनम् ||३-४०||

indriyāṇi mano buddhirasyādhiṣṭhānamucyate . etairvimohayatyeṣa jñānamāvṛtya dehinam ||3-40||

indriyani —the senses; manah —the mind; buddhih —the intelligence; asya
—of the lust; adhisthanam —sitting place; ucyate —called; etaih —by all these;
vimohayati —bewilders; esah —of this; jnanam —knowledge; avrtya
—covering; dehinam —the embodied.

The senses, the mind and the intelligence are the sitting places of this
lust, which veils the real knowledge of the living entity and bewilders him.

The enemy has captured different strategic positions in the body of the
conditioned soul, and therefore Lord Krsna is giving hints of those places, so
that one who wants to conquer the enemy may know where he can be found.
Mind is the center of all the activities of the senses, and thus the mind is the
reservoir of all ideas of sense gratification; and, as a result, the mind and the
senses become the repositories of lust. Next, the intelligence department
becomes the capital of such lustful propensities. Intelligence is the immediate
next-door neighbor of the spirit soul. Lusty intelligence influences the spirit
soul to acquire the false ego and identify itself with matter, and thus with the
mind and senses. The spirit soul becomes addicted to enjoying the material
senses and mistakes this as true happiness. This false identification of the
spirit soul is very nicely explained in the Srimad-Bhagavatam:
yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke
sva-dhfh kalatradisu bhauma idyadhfh
yat-tirtha-buddhih salite na karhicij
janesv abhijhesu sa eva gokharah.
"A human being who identifies this body made of three elements with his self,
who considers the by-products of the body to be his kinsmen, who considers
the land of birth as worshipable, and who goes to the place of pilgrimage
simply to take a bath rather than meet men of transcendental knowledge there,
is to be considered as an ass or a cow."


तस्मात्त्वमिन्द्रियाण्यादौ नियम्य भरतर्षभ | पाप्मानं प्रजहि ह्येनं ज्ञानविज्ञाननाशनम् ||३-४१||

tasmāttvamindriyāṇyādau niyamya bharatarṣabha . pāpmānaṃ prajahi hyenaṃ jñānavijñānanāśanam ||3-41||

tasmat —therefore; tvam-you; indriyani —senses; adau —in the beginning;
niyamya —by regulating; bharatarsabha —O chief amongst the descendants of
Bharata; papmanam —the great symbol of sin; prajahi —curb; hi —certain ly;
enam —this; jhana —knowledge; vijhana —scientific knowledge of the pure
soul; nasanam —destroyer.

Therefore, O Arjuna, best of the Bharatas, in the very beginning curb
this great symbol of sin [lust] by regulating the senses, and slay this
destroyer of knowledge and self-realization.

The Lord advised Arjuna to regulate the senses from the very beginning so
that he could curb the greatest sinful enemy, lust, which destroys the urge for
self-realization, and specifically, knowledge of the self. Jnanam refers to
knowledge of self as distinguished from non-self, or, in other words,
knowledge that the spirit soul is not the body. Vijnanam refers to specific
knowledge of the spirit soul and knowledge of one`s constitutional position
and his relationship to the Supreme Soul. It is explained thus in the SrTmad-
Bhagavatam: jnanam parama-guhyam me yad-vijnana- samanvitam /
sarahasyam tad-angam ca grhana gaditam maya: "The knowledge of the self
and the Supreme Self is very confidential and mysterious, being veiled by
maya, but such knowledge and specific realization can be understood if it is
explained by the Lord Himself." Bhagavad-gTta gives us that knowledge,
specifically knowledge of the self. The living entities are parts and parcels of
the Lord, and therefore they are simply meant to serve the Lord. This
consciousness is called Krsna consciousness. So, from the very beginning of
life one has to learn this Krsna consciousness, and thereby one may become
fully Krsna conscious and act accordingly.
Lust is only the perverted reflection of the love of God which is natural for
every living entity. But if one is educated in Krsna consciousness from the
very beginning, that natural love of God cannot deteriorate into lust. When
love of God deteriorates into lust, it is very difficult to return to the normal
condition. Nonetheless, Krsna consciousness is so powerful that even a late
beginner can become a lover of God by following the regulative principles of
devotional service. So, from any stage of life, or from the time of
understanding its urgency, one can begin regulating the senses in Krsna
consciousness, devotional service of the Lord, and turn the lust into love of
Godhead—the highest perfectional stage of human life.


इन्द्रियाणि पराण्याहुरिन्द्रियेभ्यः परं मनः | मनसस्तु परा बुद्धिर्यो बुद्धेः परतस्तु सः ||३-४२||

indriyāṇi parāṇyāhurindriyebhyaḥ paraṃ manaḥ . manasastu parā buddhiryo buddheḥ paratastu saḥ ||3-42||

indriyanT —senses; parani —superior; ahuh —is said; indriyebhyah —more
than the senses; param —superior; manah —the mind; manasah —more than the
mind; tu —also; para —superior; buddhih —intelligence; yah —one which;
buddheh —more than the intelligence; paratah —superior; tu —but; sah —he.

The working senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher than the
senses; intelligence is still higher than the mind; and he [the soul] is even
higher than the intelligence.

The senses are different outlets for the activities of lust. Lust is reserved
within the body, but it is given vent through the senses. Therefore, the senses
are superior to the body as a whole. These outlets are not in use when there is
superior consciousness, or Krsna consciousness. In Krsna consciousness the
soul makes direct connection with the Supreme Personality of Godhead;
therefore the bodily functions, as described here, ultimately end in the
Supreme Soul. Bodily action means the functions of the senses, and stopping
the senses means stopping all bodily actions. But since the mind is active,
then, even though the body may be silent and at rest, the mind will act—as it
does during dreaming. But, above the mind there is the determination of the
intelligence, and above the intelligence is the soul proper. If, therefore, the
soul is directly engaged with the Supreme, naturally all other subordinates,
namely, the intelligence, mind and the senses, will be automatically engaged.
In the Katha Upanisad there is a passage in which it is said that the objects of
sense gratification are superior to the senses, and mind is superior to the sense
objects. If, therefore, the mind is directly engaged in the service of the Lord
constantly, then there is no chance of the senses becoming engaged in other
ways. This mental attitude has already been explained. If the mind is engaged
in the transcendental service of the Lord, there is no chance of its being
engaged in the lower propensities. In the Katha Upanisad the soul has been
described as mahan, the great. Therefore the soul is above all—namely, the
sense objects, the senses, the mind and the intelligence. Therefore, directly
understanding the constitutional position of the soul is the solution of the
whole problem.
With intelligence one has to seek out the constitutional position of the soul
and then engage the mind always in Krsna consciousness. That solves the
whole problem. A neophyte spiritualist is generally advised to keep aloof from
the objects of senses. One has to strengthen the mind by use of intelligence. If
by intelligence one engages one`s mind in Krsna consciousness, by complete
surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then, automatically, the
mind becomes stronger, and even though the senses are very strong, like
serpents, they will be no more effective than serpents with broken fangs. But
even though the soul is the master of intelligence and mind, and the senses
also, still, unless it is strengthened by association with Krsna in Krsna
consciousness, there is every chance of falling down due to the agitated mind.


एवं बुद्धेः परं बुद्ध्वा संस्तभ्यात्मानमात्मना | जहि शत्रुं महाबाहो कामरूपं दुरासदम् ||३-४३||

evaṃ buddheḥ paraṃ buddhvā saṃstabhyātmānamātmanā . jahi śatruṃ mahābāho kāmarūpaṃ durāsadam ||3-43||

evam —thus; buddheh —of intelligence; param —superior; buddhva —so
knowing; samstabhya —by steadying; atmanam —the mind; atmana —by
deliberate intelligence; jahi —conquer; satrum —the enemy; maha-baho —O
mighty-armed one; kama-rupam —the form of lust; durasadam —formidable.

Thus knowing oneself to be transcendental to material senses, mind
and intelligence, one should control the lower self by the higher self and
thus— by spiritual strength—conquer this insatiable enemy known as

This Third Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita is conclusively directive to Krsna
consciousness by knowing oneself as the eternal servitor of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, without considering impersonal voidness as the
ultimate end. In the material existence of life, one is certainly influenced by
propensities for lust and desire for dominating the resources of material
nature. Desire for overlording and sense gratification are the greatest enemies
of the conditioned soul; but by the strength of Krsna consciousness, one can
control the material senses, the mind and the intelligence. One may not give
up work and prescribed duties all of a sudden; but by gradually developing
Krsna consciousness, one can be situated in a transcendental position without
being influenced by the material senses and the mind-by steady intelligence
directed toward one`s pure identity. This is the sum total of this chapter. In the
immature stage of material existence, philosophical speculations and artificial
attempts to control the senses by the so-called practice of yogic postures can
never help a man toward spiritual life. He must be trained in Krsna
consciousness by higher intelligence.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the Third Chapter of the Srimad-
Bhagavad-glta in the matter of Karma-yoga, or the Discharge of One`s
Prescribed Duty in Krsna Consciousness.

Глава 4

Transcendental Knowledge


श्रीभगवानुवाच | इमं विवस्वते योगं प्रोक्तवानहमव्ययम् | विवस्वान्मनवे प्राह मनुरिक्ष्वाकवेऽब्रवीत् ||४-१||

śrībhagavānuvāca . imaṃ vivasvate yogaṃ proktavānahamavyayam . vivasvānmanave prāha manurikṣvākave.abravīt ||4-1||

srT bhagavan uvaca —the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; imam —
this; vivasvate —unto the sun-god; yogam —the science of one`s relationship to
the Supreme; proktavan —instructed; aham —I; avyayam —imperishable;
vivasvan —Vivasvan (the sun-god`s name); manave —unto the father of
mankind (of the name Vaivasvata); praha —told; manuh —the father of
mankind; iksvakave —unto King Iksvaku; abravit —said.

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

Herein we find the history of the Bhagavad-gTta traced from a remote time
when it was delivered to the royal order, the kings of all planets. This science
is especially meant for the protection of the inhabitants, and therefore the
royal order should understand it in order to be able to rule the citizens and
protect them from the material bondage to lust. Human life is meant for
cultivation of spiritual knowledge, in eternal relationship with the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, and the executive heads of all states and all planets
are obliged to impart this lesson to the citizens by education, culture and
devotion. In other words, the executive heads of all states are intended to
spread the science of Krsna consciousness so that the people may take
advantage of this great science and pursue a successful path, utilizing the
opportunity of the human form of life.
In this millennium, the sun-god is known as Vivasvan, the king of the sun,
which is the origin of all planets within the solar system. In the Brahma-
samhita it is stated:
yac-caksur esa savita sakala-grahanam
raja samasta-sura-murttir asesa-tejah
yasyajhaya bhramati sambhrta-kalacakro
govindam adi-purusam tarn aham bhajami
"Let me worship," Lord Brahma said, "the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
Govinda [Krsna], who is the original person and under whose order the sun,
which is the king of all planets, is assuming immense power and heat. The sun
represents the eye of the Lord and traverses its orbit in obedience to His
The sun is the king of the planets, and the sun-god (at present of the name
Vivasvan) rules the sun planet, which is controlling all other planets by
supplying heat and light. He is rotating under the order of Krsna, and Lord
Krsna originally made Vivasvan His first disciple to understand the science of
Bhagavad-gita. The Gita is not, therefore, a speculative treatise for the
insignificant mundane scholar but is a standard book of knowledge coming
down from time immemorial. In the Mahabharata (Santi-parva 348.51-52) we
can trace out the history of the Gita as follows:
treta-yugadau ca tato vivasvan manave dadau
manus ca loka-bhrty-artham sutayeksvakave dadau
iksvakuna ca kathito vyapya lokan avasthitah
"In the beginning of the Treta-yuga [millennium] this science of the
relationship with the Supreme was delivered by Vivasvan to Manu. Manu,
being the father of mankind, gave it to his son Maharaja Iksvaku, the King of
this earth planet and forefather of the Raghu dynasty in which Lord
Ramacandra appeared. Therefore, Bhagavad-gita existed in the human society
from the time of Maharaja Iksvaku."
At the present moment we have just passed through five thousand years of
the Kali-yuga, which lasts 432,000 years. Before this there was Dvapara- yuga
(800,000 years), and before that there was Treta-yuga (1,200,000 years). Thus,
some 2,005,000 years ago, Manu spoke the Bhagavad-gita to his disciple and
son Maharaja Iksvaku, the King of this planet earth. The age of the current
Manu is calculated to last some 305,300,000 years, of which 120,400,000
have passed. Accepting that before the birth of Manu, the Gita was spoken by
the Lord to His disciple, the sun-god Vivasvan, a rough estimate is that the
Gita was spoken at least 120,400,000 years ago; and in human society it has
been extant for two million years. It was respoken by the Lord again to Arjuna
about five thousand years ago. That is the rough estimate of the history of the
Gita, according to the Gita itself and according to the version of the speaker,
Lord Sri Krsna. It was spoken to the sun-god Vivasvan because he is also a
ksatriya and is the father of all ksatriyas who are descendants of the sun-god,
or the surya-vamsa ksatriyas. Because Bhagavad-gita is as good as the Vedas,
being spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, this knowledge is
apauruseya, superhuman. Since the Vedic instructions are accepted as they
are, without human interpretation, the Gita must therefore be accepted without
mundane interpretation. The mundane wranglers may speculate on the Gita in
their own ways, but that is not Bhagavad-gTta as it is. Therefore, Bhagavad-
gTta has to be accepted as it is, from the disciplic succession, and it is
described herein that the Lord spoke to the sun-god, the sun-god spoke to his
son Manu, and Manu spoke to his son Iksvaku.


एवं परम्पराप्राप्तमिमं राजर्षयो विदुः | स कालेनेह महता योगो नष्टः परन्तप ||४-२||

evaṃ paramparāprāptamimaṃ rājarṣayo viduḥ . sa kāleneha mahatā yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa ||4-2||

evam —thus; parampara —disciplic succession; praptam —received; imam —
this science; rajarsayah —the saintly kings; viduh —understood; sah —that
knowledge; kalena —in the course of time; iha —in this world; mahata —by
great; yogah —the science of one`s relationship with the Supreme; nastah —
scattered; parantapa —O Arjuna, subduer of the enemies.

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

It is clearly stated that the Gita was especially meant for the saintly kings
because they were to execute its purpose in ruling over the citizens. Certainly
Bhagavad-gTta was never meant for the demonic persons, who would dissipate
its value for no one`s benefit and would devise all types of interpretations
according to personal whims. As soon as the original purpose was scattered by
the motives of the unscrupulous commentators, there arose the need to
reestablish the disciplic succession. Five thousand years ago it was detected
by the Lord Himself that the disciplic succession was broken, and therefore
He declared that the purpose of the Gita appeared to be lost. In the same way,
at the present moment also there are so many editions of the Gita (especially
in English), but almost all of them are not according to authorized disciplic
succession. There are innumerable interpretations rendered by different
mundane scholars, but almost all of them do not accept the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, Krsna, although they make a good business on the
words of Sri Krsna. This spirit is demonic, because demons do not believe in
God but simply enjoy the property of the Supreme. Since there is a great need
of an edition of the Gita in English, as it is received by the parampara
(disciplic succession) system, an attempt is made herewith to fulfill this great
want. Bhagavad-gTta -accepted as it is-is a great boon to humanity; but if it is
accepted as a treatise of philosophical speculations, it is simply a waste of


स एवायं मया तेऽद्य योगः प्रोक्तः पुरातनः | भक्तोऽसि मे सखा चेति रहस्यं ह्येतदुत्तमम् ||४-३||

sa evāyaṃ mayā te.adya yogaḥ proktaḥ purātanaḥ . bhakto.asi me sakhā ceti rahasyaṃ hyetaduttamam ||4-3||

sah —the same ancient; eva —certainly; ayam —this; maya —by Me; te —unto
you; adya —today; yogah —the science of yoga; proktah —spoken; puratanah
—very old; bhaktah —devotee; asi —you are; me —My; sakha — friend; ca
—also; id —therefore; rahasyam —mystery; hi —certainly; etat —this; uttamam

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

There are two classes of men, namely the devotee and the demon. The Lord
selected Arjuna as the recipient of this great science owing to his becoming
the devotee of the Lord, but for the demon it is not possible to understand this
great mysterious science. There are a number of editions of this great book of
knowledge, and some of them have commentaries by the devotees, and some
of them have commentaries by the demons. Commentation by the devotees is
real, whereas that of the demons is useless. Arjuna accepts Sri Krsna as the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, and any commentary on the Gita following
in the footsteps of Arjuna is real devotional service to the cause of this great
science. The demonic, however, concoct something about Krsna and mislead
the public and general readers from the path of Krsna`s instructions. One
should try to follow the disciplic succession from Arjuna, and thus be


अर्जुन उवाच | अपरं भवतो जन्म परं जन्म विवस्वतः | कथमेतद्विजानीयां त्वमादौ प्रोक्तवानिति ||४-४||

arjuna uvāca . aparaṃ bhavato janma paraṃ janma vivasvataḥ . kathametadvijānīyāṃ tvamādau proktavāniti ||4-4||

arjunah uvaca —Arjuna said; aparam —junior; bhavatah —Your; janma —
birth; param —superior; janma —birth; vivasvatah —of the sun-god; katham —
how; etat —this; vijamyam —shall I understand; tvam —You; adau —in the
beginning; proktavan —instructed; id —thus.

Arjuna said: The sun-god Vivasvan is senior by birth to You. How am I
to understand that in the beginning You instructed this science to him?

Arjuna is an accepted devotee of the Lord, so how could he not believe
Krsna`s words? The fact is that Arjuna is not inquiring for himself but for
those who do not believe in the Supreme Personality of Godhead or for the
demons who do not like the idea that Krsna should be accepted as the
Supreme Personality of Godhead; for them only Arjuna inquires on this point,
as if he were himself not aware of the Personality of Godhead, or Krsna. As it
will be evident from the Tenth Chapter, Arjuna knew perfectly well that Krsna
is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the fountainhead of everything and
the last word in Transcendence. Of course, Krsna also appeared as the son of
DevakI on this earth. How Krsna remained the same Supreme Personality of
Godhead, the eternal, original person, is very difficult for an ordinary man to
understand. Therefore, to clarify this point, Arjuna put this question before
Krsna so that He Himself could speak authoritatively. That Krsna is the
supreme authority is accepted by the whole world, not only at present, but
from time immemorial, and the demons alone reject Him. Anyway, since
Krsna is the authority accepted by all, Arjuna put this question before Him in
order that Krsna would describe Himself without being depicted by the
demons who always try to distort Him in a way understandable to the demons
and their followers. It is necessary that everyone, for his own interest, know
the science of Krsna. Therefore, when Krsna Himself speaks about Himself, it
is auspicious for all the worlds. To the demons, such explanations by Krsna
Himself may appear to be strange because the demons always study Krsna
from their own standpoint, but those who are devotees heartily welcome the
statements of Krsna when they are spoken by Krsna Himself. The devotees
will always worship such authoritative statements of Krsna because they are
always eager to know more and more about Him. The atheists, who consider
Krsna an ordinary man, may in this way come to know that Krsna is
superhuman, that He is sac-cid-ananda-vigraha —the eternal form of bliss and
knowledge—that He is transcendental, and that He is above the domination of
the modes of material nature and above the influence of time and space. A
devotee of Krsna`s, like Arjuna, is undoubtedly above any misunderstanding
of the transcendental position of Krsna. Arjuna`s putting this question before
the Lord is simply an attempt by the devotee to defy the atheistic attitude of
persons who consider Krsna to be an ordinary human being subject to the
modes of material nature.


श्रीभगवानुवाच | बहूनि मे व्यतीतानि जन्मानि तव चार्जुन | तान्यहं वेद सर्वाणि न त्वं वेत्थ परन्तप ||४-५||

śrībhagavānuvāca . bahūni me vyatītāni janmāni tava cārjuna . tānyahaṃ veda sarvāṇi na tvaṃ vettha parantapa ||4-5||

srT bhagavan uvaca —the Personality of Godhead said; bahuni —many; me
—of Mine; vyatitani —have passed; janmani —births; tava —of yours; ca — and
also; arjuna —O Arjuna; tani —all those; aham —I; veda —do know; sarvani
—all; na —not; tvam —yourself; vettha —know; parantapa —O subduer of the

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

In the Brahma-samhita we have information of many, many incarnations of
the Lord. It is stated there:
advaitam acyutam anadim ananta-rupam
adyarh purana-purusarh nava-yauvanam ca
vedesu durllabham adurllabham atma-bhaktau
govindam adi-purusarh tam aham bhajami.
(Bs. 5.33)
"I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda [Krsna], who is
the original person-absolute, infallible, without beginning, although expanded
into unlimited forms, still the same original, the oldest, and the person always
appearing as a fresh youth. Such eternal, blissful, all- knowing forms of the
Lord are usually understood by the best Vedic scholars, but they are always
manifest to pure, unalloyed devotees."
It is also stated in Brahma-sarhhita:
ramadi murttisu kala-niyamena tisthan
nanavataram akarod bhuvanesu kintu
krsnah svayarh samabhavat paramah puman yo
govindam adi-purusarh tam aham bhajami
(Bs. 5.39)
"I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda [Krsna], who is
always situated in various incarnations such as Rama, Nrsimha and many sub¬
incarnations as well, but who is the original Personality of Godhead known as
Krsna, and who incarnates personally also."
In the Vedas also it is said that the Lord, although one without a second,
nevertheless manifests Himself in innumerable forms. He is like the vaidurya
stone, which changes color yet still remains one. All those multi- forms are
understood by the pure, unalloyed devotees, but not by a simple study of the
Vedas: vedesu durllabham adurllabham atma-bhaktau. Devotees like Arjuna
are constant companions of the Lord, and whenever the Lord incarnates, the
associate devotees also incarnate in order to serve the Lord in different
capacities. Arjuna is one of these devotees, and in this verse it is understood
that some millions of years ago when Lord Krsna spoke the Bhagavad-gita to
the sun-god Vivasvan, Arjuna, in a different capacity, was also present. But
the difference between the Lord and Arjuna is that the Lord remembered the
incidence, whereas Arjuna could not remember. That is the difference between
the part and parcel living entity and the Supreme Lord. Although Arjuna is
addressed herein as the mighty hero who could subdue the enemies, he is
unable to recall what had happened in his various past births. Therefore, a
living entity, however great he may be in the material estimation, can never
equal the Supreme Lord. Anyone who is a constant companion of the Lord is
certainly a liberated person, but he cannot be equal to the Lord. The Lord is
described in the Brahma- samhita as infallible (acyuta), which means that He
never forgets Himself, even though He is in material contact. Therefore, the
Lord and the living entity can never be equal in all respects, even if the living
entity is as liberated as Arjuna. Although Arjuna is a devotee of the Lord, he
sometimes forgets the nature of the Lord, but by the divine grace a devotee
can at once understand the infallible condition of the Lord, whereas a
nondevotee or a demon cannot understand this transcendental nature.
Consequently these descriptions in the Gita cannot be understood by demonic
brains. Krsna remembered acts which were performed by Him millions of
years before, but Arjuna could not, despite the fact that both Krsna and Arjuna
are eternal in nature. We may also note herein that a living entity forgets
everything due to his change of body, but the Lord remembers because He
does not change His sac-cid-ananda body. He is advaita, which means there is
no distinction between His body and Himself. Everything in relation to Him is
spirit-whereas the conditioned soul is different from his material body. And,
because the Lord`s body and self are identical, His position is always different
from the ordinary living entity, even when He descends to the material
platform. The demons cannot adjust themselves to this transcendental nature
of the Lord, as the Lord explains in the following verse.


अजोऽपि सन्नव्ययात्मा भूतानामीश्वरोऽपि सन् | प्रकृतिं स्वामधिष्ठाय सम्भवाम्यात्ममायया ||४-६||

ajo.api sannavyayātmā bhūtānāmīśvaro.api san . prakṛtiṃ svāmadhiṣṭhāya sambhavāmyātmamāyayā ||4-6||

ajah —unborn; api —although; san —being so; avyaya —without
deterioration; atma —body; bhutanam —all those who are born; Tsvarah —the
Supreme Lord; api —although; san —being so; prakrtim —transcendental form;
svam — of Myself; adhisthaya —being so situated; sambhavami —I do
incarnate; atma-mayaya —by My internal energy.

Although I am unborn and My transcendental body never deteriorates,
and although I am the Lord of all sentient beings, I still appear in every
millennium in My original transcendental form.

The Lord has spoken about the peculiarity of His birth: although He may
appear like an ordinary person, He remembers everything of His many, many
past "births," whereas a common man cannot remember what he has done
even a few hours before. If someone is asked what he did exactly at the same
time one day earlier, it would be very difficult for a common man to answer
immediately. He would surely have to dredge his memory to recall what he
was doing exactly at the same time one day before. And yet, men often dare
claim to be God, or Krsna. One should not be misled by such meaningless
claims. Then again, the Lord explains His prakrti or His form. Prakrti means
nature as well as svarupa, or one`s own form. The Lord says that He appears
in His own body. He does not change His body, as the common living entity
changes from one body to another. The conditioned soul may have one kind of
body in the present birth, but he has a different body in the next birth. In the
material world, the living entity has no fixed body but transmigrates from one
body to another. The Lord, however, does not do so. Whenever He appears,
He does so in the same original body, by His internal potency. In other words,
Krsna appears in this material world in His original eternal form, with two
hands, holding a flute. He appears exactly in His eternal body, uncontaminated
by this material world. Although He appears in the same transcendental body
and is Lord of the universe, it still appears that He takes His birth like an
ordinary living entity. Despite the fact Lord Krsna grows from childhood to
boyhood and from boyhood to youth, astonishingly enough He never ages
beyond youth. At the time of the Battle of Kuruksetra, He had many
grandchildren at home; or, in other words, He had sufficiently aged by
material calculations. Still He looked just like a young man twenty or twenty-
five years old. We never see a picture of Krsna in old age because He never
grows old like us, although He is the oldest person in the whole creation-past,
present, and future. Neither His body nor His intelligence ever deteriorates or
changes. Therefore, it is clear that in spite of His being in the material world,
He is the same unborn, eternal form of bliss and knowledge, changeless in His
transcendental body and intelligence. Factually, His appearance and
disappearance are like the sun`s rising, moving before us, and then
disappearing from our eyesight. When the sun is out of sight, we think that the
sun is set, and when the sun is before our eyes, we think that the sun is on the
horizon. Actually, the sun is always in its fixed position, but owing to our
defective, insufficient senses, we calculate the appearance and disappearance
of the sun in the sky. And, because His appearance and disappearance are
completely different from that of any ordinary, common living entity, it is
evident that He is eternal, blissful knowledge by His internal potency-and He
is never contaminated by material nature. The Vedas also confirm that the
Supreme Personality of Godhead is unborn, yet He still appears to take His
birth in multi- manifestations. The Vedic supplementary literatures also
confirm that even though the Lord appears to be taking His birth, He is still
without change of body. In the Bhagavatam, He appears before His mother as
Narayana, with four hands and the decorations of the six kinds of full
opulences. His appearance in His original eternal form is His causeless mercy,
according to the Visvakosa dictionary. The Lord is conscious of all of His
previous appearances and disappearances, but a common living entity forgets
everything about his past body as soon as he gets another body. He is the Lord
of all living entities because He performs wonderful and superhuman
activities while He is on this earth. Therefore, the Lord is always the same
Absolute Truth and is without differentiation between His form and self, or
between His quality and body. A question may now be raised as to why the
Lord appears and disappears in this world. This is explained in the next verse.


यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत | अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् ||४-७||

yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānirbhavati bhārata . abhyutthānamadharmasya tadātmānaṃ sṛjāmyaham ||4-7||

yada —whenever; yada —wherever; hi —certainly; dharmasya —of religion;
glanih —discrepancies; bhavati —manifested, becomes; bharata —O
descendant of Bharata; abhyutthanam —predominance; adharmasya —of
irreligion; tada —at that time; atmanam —self; srjami —manifest; aham —I.

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

The word srjami is significant herein. Srjami cannot be used in the sense of
creation, because, according to the previous verse, there is no creation of the
Lord`s form or body, since all of the forms are eternally existent. Therefore
srjami means that the Lord manifests Himself as He is. Although the Lord
appears on schedule, namely at the end of Dvapara-yuga of the twenty-eighth
millennium of the eighth Manu, in one day of Brahma, still He has no
obligation to adhere to such rules and regulations because He is completely
free to act in many ways at His will. He therefore appears by His own will
whenever there is a predominance of irreligiosity and a disappearance of true
religion. Principles of religion are laid down in the Vedas, and any discrepancy
in the matter of properly executing the rules of the Vedas makes one
irreligious. In the Bhagavatam it is stated that such principles are the laws of
the Lord. Only the Lord can manufacture a system of religion. The Vedas are
also accepted as originally spoken by the Lord Himself to Brahma, from
within his heart. Therefore, the principles of dharma, or religion, are the direct
orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (dharmam tu saksat-bhagavat-
pramtam). These principles are clearly indicated throughout the Bhagavad-
gita. The purpose of the Vedas is to establish such principles under the order
of the Supreme Lord, and the Lord directly orders, at the end of the Gita, that
the highest principle of religion is to surrender unto Him only, and nothing
more. The Vedic principles push one towards complete surrender unto Him;
and, whenever such principles are disturbed by the demonic, the Lord appears.
From the Bhagavatam we understand that Lord Buddha is the incarnation of
Krsna who appeared when materialism was rampant and materialists were
using the pretext of the authority of the Vedas. Although there are certain
restrictive rules and regulations regarding animal sacrifice for particular
purposes in the Vedas, people of demonic tendency still took to animal
sacrifice without reference to the Vedic principles. Lord Buddha appeared to
stop this nonsense and to establish the Vedic principles of nonviolence.
Therefore each and every avatara, or incarnation of the Lord, has a particular
mission, and they are all described in the revealed scriptures. No one should
be accepted as an avatara unless he is referred to by scriptures. It is not a fact
that the Lord appears only on Indian soil. He can advent Himself anywhere
and everywhere, and whenever He desires to appear. In each and every
incarnation, He speaks as much about religion as can be understood by the
particular people under their particular circumstances. But the mission is the
same— to lead people to God consciousness and obedience to the principles of
religion. Sometimes He descends personally, and sometimes He sends His
bona fide representative in the form of His son, or servant, or Himself in some
disguised form.
The principles of the Bhagavad-gTta were spoken to Arjuna, and, for that
matter, to other highly elevated persons, because he was highly advanced
compared to ordinary persons in other parts of the world. Two plus two equals
four is a mathematical principle that is true both in the beginner`s arithmetic
class and in the advanced class as well. Still, there are higher and lower
mathematics. In all incarnations of the Lord, therefore, the same principles are
taught, but they appear to be higher and lower in varied circumstances. The
higher principles of religion begin with the acceptance of the four orders and
the four statuses of social life, as will be explained later. The whole purpose of
the mission of incarnations is to arouse Krsna consciousness everywhere.
Such consciousness is manifest and nonmanifest only under different


परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् | धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे ||४-८||

paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṃ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām . dharmasaṃsthāpanārthāya sambhavāmi yuge yuge ||4-8||

paritranaya —for the deliverance; sadhunam —of the devotees; vinasaya —
for the annihilation; ca —also; duskrtam —of the miscreants; dharma
—principles of religion; sarhsthapana-arthaya —to reestablish; sambhavami —I
do appear; yuge —millennium; yuge —after millennium.

In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as
to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after

According to Bhagavad-gTta, a sadhu (holyman) is a man in Krsna
consciousness. A person may appear to be irreligious, but if he has the
qualifications of Krsna consciousness wholly and fully, he is to be understood
to be a sadhu. And duskrtam applies to one who doesn`t care for Krsna
consciousness. Such miscreants, or duskrtam, are described as foolish and the
lowest of mankind, even though they may be decorated with mundane
education; whereas another person, who is one hundred percent engaged in
Krsna consciousness, is accepted as sadhu, even though such a person may
neither be learned nor well cultured. As far as the atheistic are concerned, it is
not necessary for the Supreme Lord to appear as He is to destroy them, as He
did with the demons Ravana and Kamsa. The Lord has many agents who are
quite competent to vanquish demons. But the Lord especially descends to
appease His unalloyed devotees, who are always harassed by the demonic.
The demon harasses the devotee, even though the latter may happen to be his
kin. Although Prahlada Maharaja was the son of Hiranyakasipu, he was
nonetheless persecuted by his father; although Devaki, the mother of Krsna,
was the sister of Kamsa, she and her husband Vasudeva were persecuted only
because Krsna was to be born of them. So Lord Krsna appeared primarily to
deliver Devaki, rather than kill Kamsa, but both were performed
simultaneously. Therefore it is said here that to deliver the devotee and
vanquish the demon miscreants, the Lord appears in different incarnations.
In the Caitanya-caritamrta of Krsnadasa Kaviraja, the following verses
summarize these principles of incarnation:
srsti-hetu yei murti prapahce avatare
sei Tsvara-murti `avatara` nama dhare
mayatita paravyome savara avasthana
visve ` avatari` dhare `avatara` nama.
"The avatara, or incarnation of Godhead, descends from the kingdom of God
for material manifestation. And the particular form of the Personality of
Godhead who so descends is called an incarnation, or avatara. Such
incarnations are situated in the spiritual world, the kingdom of God. When
they descend to the material creation, they assume the name avatara."
There are various kinds of avataras, such as purusavataras, gunavataras,
lilavataras, saktyavesa avataras, manvantara-avataras and yugavataras —all
appearing on schedule all over the universe. But Lord Krsna is the primeval
Lord, the fountainhead of all avataras. Lord Sri Krsna descends for the
specific purposes of mitigating the anxieties of the pure devotees, who are
very anxious to see Him in His original Vrndavana pastimes. Therefore, the
prime purpose of the Krsna avatara is to satisfy His unalloyed devotees.
The Lord says that He incarnates Himself in every millennium. This
indicates that He incarnates also in the age of Kali. As stated in the SrTmad-
Bhagavatam, the incarnation in the age of Kali is Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu,
who spread the worship of Krsna by the sahkfrtana movement (congregational
chanting of the holy names), and spread Krsna consciousness throughout
India. He predicted that this culture of sahkirtana would be broadcast all over
the world, from town to town and village to village. Lord Caitanya as the
incarnation of Krsna, the Personality of Godhead, is described secretly but not
directly in the confidential parts of the revealed scriptures, such as the
Upanisads, Mahabharata, Bhagavatam, etc. The devotees of Lord Krsna are
much attracted by the sahkfrtana movement of Lord Caitanya. This avatara of
the Lord does not kill the miscreants, but delivers them by the causeless mercy
of the Lord.


जन्म कर्म च मे दिव्यमेवं यो वेत्ति तत्त्वतः | त्यक्त्वा देहं पुनर्जन्म नैति मामेति सोऽर्जुन ||४-९||

janma karma ca me divyamevaṃ yo vetti tattvataḥ . tyaktvā dehaṃ punarjanma naiti māmeti so.arjuna ||4-9||

janma —birth; karma —work; ca —also; me —of Mine; divyam
—transcendental; evam —like this; yah —anyone who; vetti —knows; tattvatah
—in reality; tyaktva —leaving aside; deham —this body; punah —again; janma
—birth; na —never; eti —does attain; mam —unto Me; eti —does attain; sah
—he; arjuna —O Arjuna.

One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and
activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this
material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.

The Lord`s descent from His transcendental abode is already explained in
the 6th verse. One who can understand the truth of the appearance of the
Personality of Godhead is already liberated from material bondage, and
therefore he returns to the kingdom of God immediately after quitting this
present material body. Such liberation of the living entity from material
bondage is not at all easy. The impersonalists and the yogis attain liberation
only after much trouble and many, many births. Even then, the liberation they
achieve-merging into the impersonal brahmajyoti of the Lord-is only partial,
and there is the risk of returning again to this material world. But the devotee,
simply by understanding the transcendental nature of the body and activities
of the Lord, attains the abode of the Lord after ending this body and does not
run the risk of returning again to this material world. In the Brahma-samhita it
is stated that the Lord has many, many forms and incarnations: advaitam
acyutam anadim ananta-rupam. Although there are many transcendental
forms of the Lord, they are still one and the same Supreme Personality of
Godhead. One has to understand this fact with conviction, although it is
incomprehensible to mundane scholars and empiric philosophers. As stated in
the Vedas:
eko devo nitya-hlanurakto bhakta-vyapi hrdy antaratma.
"The one Supreme Personality of Godhead is eternally engaged in many,
many transcendental forms in relationships with His unalloyed devotees." This
Vedic version is confirmed in this verse of the Gita personally by the Lord. He
who accepts this truth on the strength of the authority of the Vedas and of the
Supreme Personality of Godhead and who does not waste time in
philosophical speculations attains the highest perfectional stage of liberation.
Simply by accepting this truth on faith, one can, without a doubt, attain
liberation. The Vedic version, "tattvamasi," is actually applied in this case.
Anyone who understands Lord Krsna to be the Supreme, or who says unto the
Lord, "You are the same Supreme Brahman, the Personality of Godhead" is
certainly liberated instantly, and consequently his entrance into the
transcendental association of the Lord is guaranteed. In other words, such a
faithful devotee of the Lord attains perfection, and this is confirmed by the
following Vedic assertion:
tam eva viditvatimrtyumeti nanyah pantha vidyate ayanaya.
One can attain the perfect stage of liberation from birth and death simply by
knowing the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is no
alternative because anyone who does not understand Lord Krsna as the
Supreme Personality of Godhead is surely in the mode of ignorance.
Consequently he will not attain salvation, simply, so to speak, by licking the
outer surface of the bottle of honey, or by interpreting the Bhagavad-gita
according to mundane scholarship. Such empiric philosophers may assume
very important roles in the material world, but they are not necessarily eligible
for liberation. Such puffed up mundane scholars have to wait for the causeless
mercy of the devotee of the Lord. One should therefore cultivate Krsna
consciousness with faith and knowledge, and in this way attain perfection.


वीतरागभयक्रोधा मन्मया मामुपाश्रिताः | बहवो ज्ञानतपसा पूता मद्भावमागताः ||४-१०||

vītarāgabhayakrodhā manmayā māmupāśritāḥ . bahavo jñānatapasā pūtā madbhāvamāgatāḥ ||4-10||

vita —freed from; raga —attachment; bhaya —fear; krodhah —anger; mat-
maya —fully in Me; mam —unto Me; upasritah —being fully situated; bahavah
—many; jhana —knowledge; tapasa —by penance; putah —being purified;
mat-bhavam —transcendental love for Me; agatah —attained.

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

As described above, it is very difficult for a person who is too materially
affected to understand the personal nature of the Supreme Absolute Truth.
Generally, people who are attached to the bodily conception of life are so
absorbed in materialism that it is almost impossible for them to understand
that there is a transcendental body which is imperishable, full of knowledge
and eternally blissful. In the materialistic concept, the body is perishable, full
of ignorance and completely miserable. Therefore, people in general keep this
same bodily idea in mind when they are informed of the personal form of the
Lord. For such materialistic men, the form of the gigantic material
manifestation is supreme. Consequently they consider the Supreme to be
impersonal. And because they are too materially absorbed, the conception of
retaining the personality after liberation from matter frightens them. When
they are informed that spiritual life is also individual and personal, they
become afraid of becoming persons again, and so they naturally prefer a kind
of merging into the impersonal void. Generally, they compare the living
entities to the bubbles of the ocean, which merge into the ocean. That is the
highest perfection of spiritual existence attainable without individual
personality. This is a kind of fearful stage of life, devoid of perfect knowledge
of spiritual existence. Furthermore there are many persons who cannot
understand spiritual existence at all. Being embarassed by so many theories
and by contradictions of various types of philosophical speculation, they
become disgusted or angry and foolishly conclude that there is no supreme
cause and that everything is ultimately void. Such people are in a diseased
condition of life. Some people are too materially attached and therefore do not
give attention to spiritual life, some of them want to merge into the supreme
spiritual cause, and some of them disbelieve in everything, being angry at ah
sorts of spiritual speculation out of hopelessness. This last class of men take to
the shelter of some kind of intoxication, and their affective hallucinations are
sometimes accepted as spiritual vision. One has to get rid of all three stages of
attachment to the material world: negligence of spiritual life, fear of a spiritual
personal identity, and the conception of void that underlies the frustration of
life. To get free from these three stages of the material concept of life, one has
to take complete shelter of the Lord, guided by the bona fide spiritual master,
and follow the disciplines and regulative principles of devotional life. The last
stage of the devotional life is called bhava, or transcendental love of Godhead.
According to Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, the science of devotional service:
adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sahgo `tha bhajana-kriya
tato `nartha-nivrttih syat tato nistha rucis tatah
athasaktis tato bhavas tatah premabhyudahcati
sadhakanam ayam premnah pradurbhave bhavet kramah.
"In the beginning one must have a preliminary desire for self-realization. This
will bring one to the stage of trying to associate with persons who are
spiritually elevated. In next stage one becomes initiated by an elevated
spiritual master, and under his instruction the neophyte devotee begins the
process of devotional service. By execution of devotional service under the
guidance of the spiritual master, one becomes free from all material
attachment, attains steadiness in self-realization, and acquires a taste for
hearing about the Absolute Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna. This taste leads
one further forward to attachment for Krsna consciousness, which is matured
in bhava, or the preliminary stage of transcendental love of God. Real love for
God is called prema, the highest perfectional stage of life." In the prema stage
there is constant engagement in the transcendental loving service of the Lord.
So, by the slow process of devotional service, under the guidance of the bona
fide spiritual master, one can attain the highest stage, being freed from ah
material attachment, from the fearfulness of one`s individual spiritual
personality, and from the frustrations resulting from void philosophy. Then
one can ultimately attain to the abode of the Supreme Lord.


ये यथा मां प्रपद्यन्ते तांस्तथैव भजाम्यहम् | मम वर्त्मानुवर्तन्ते मनुष्याः पार्थ सर्वशः ||४-११||

ye yathā māṃ prapadyante tāṃstathaiva bhajāmyaham . mama vartmānuvartante manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ ||4-11||

ye —all of them; yatha —as; mam —unto Me; prapadyante —surrender; tan
—unto them; tatha —so; eva —certainly; bhajami —do I reward; aham —I;
mama —My; vartma —path; anuvartante —do follow; manusyah —all men;
partha —O son of Prtha; sarvasah —in all respects.

All of them—as they surrender unto Me—I reward accordingly.
Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prtha.

Eveyone is searching for Krsna in the different aspects of His
manifestations. Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is partially
realized in His impersonal brahmajyoti effulgence and as the all-pervading
Supersoul dwelling within everything, including the particles of atoms. But
Krsna is only fully realized by His pure devotees. Consequently, Krsna is the
object of everyone`s realization, and thus anyone and everyone is satisfied
according to one`s desire to have Him. In the transcendental world also, Krsna
reciprocates with His pure devotees in the transcendental attitude, just as the
devotee wants Him. One devotee may want Krsna as supreme master, another
as his personal friend, another as his son, and still another as his lover. Krsna
rewards all the devotees equally, according to their different intensities of love
for Him. In the material world, the same reciprocations of feelings are there,
and they are equally exchanged by the Lord with the different types of
worshipers. The pure devotees both here and in the transcendental abode
associate with Him in person and are able to render personal service to the
Lord and thus derive transcendental bliss in His loving service. As for those
who are impersonalists and who want to commit spiritual suicide by
annihilating the individual existence of the living entity, Krsna helps also by
absorbing them into His effulgence. Such impersonalists do not agree to
accept the eternal, blissful Personality of Godhead; consequently they cannot
relish the bliss of transcendental personal service to the Lord, having
extinguished their individuality. Some of them, who are not situated even in
the impersonal existence, return to this material field to exhibit their dormant
desires for activities. They are not admitted in the spiritual planets, but they
are again given a chance to act on the material planets. For those who are
fruitive workers, the Lord awards the desired results of their prescribed duties,
as the yajnesvara; and those who are yogis seeking mystic powers are
awarded such powers. In other words, everyone is dependant for success upon
His mercy alone, and all kinds of spiritual processes are but different degrees
of success on the same path. Unless, therefore, one comes to the highest
perfection of Krsna consciousness, all attempts remain imperfect, as is stated
in the SrTmad-Bhagavatam:
akamah sarva-kamo va moksa-kama udaradhTh
tivrena bhakd-yogena yajeta purusam param
"Whether one is without desire [the condition of the devotees], or is desirous
of all fruitive results, or is after liberation, one should with all efforts try to
worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead for complete perfection,
culminating in Krsna consciousness." (Bhag . 2.3.10)


काङ्क्षन्तः कर्मणां सिद्धिं यजन्त इह देवताः | क्षिप्रं हि मानुषे लोके सिद्धिर्भवति कर्मजा ||४-१२||

kāṅkṣantaḥ karmaṇāṃ siddhiṃ yajanta iha devatāḥ . kṣipraṃ hi mānuṣe loke siddhirbhavati karmajā ||4-12||

kahksantah —desiring; karmanam —of fruitive activities; siddhim
—perfection; yajante —worship by sacrifices; iha —in the material world;
devatah —the demigods; ksipram —very quickly; hi —certainly; manuse —in
human society; loke —within this world; siddhih bhavati —becomes successful;
karmaja —the fruitive worker.

Men in this world desire success in fruitive activities, and therefore
they worship the demigods. Quickly, of course, men get results from
fruitive work in this world.

There is a great misconception about the gods or demigods of this material
world, and men of less intelligence, although passing as great scholars, take
these demigods to be various forms of the Supreme Lord. Actually, the
demigods are not different forms of God, but they are God`s different parts and
parcels. God is one, and the parts and parcels are many. The Vedas say, nityo
nityanam: God is one. Isvarah paramah krsnah. The Supreme God is one-
Krsna-and the demigods are delegated with powers to manage this material
world. These demigods are all living entities (nityanam) with different grades
of material power. They cannot be equal to the Supreme God-Narayana,
Visnu, or Krsna. Anyone who thinks that God and the demigods are on the
same level is called an atheist, or pasandl Even the great demigods like
Brahma and Siva cannot be compared to the Supreme Lord. In fact, the Lord
is worshiped by demigods such as Brahma and Siva (siva-virihci-nutam). Yet
curiously enough there are many human leaders who are worshiped by foolish
men under the misunderstanding of anthropomorphism or zoomorphism. Iha
devatah denotes a powerful man or demigod of this material world. But
Narayana, Visnu or Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, does not
belong to this world. He is above, or transcendental to, material creation. Even
Srlpada Sankaracarya, the leader of the impersonalists, maintains that
Narayana, or Krsna, is beyond this material creation. However, foolish people
(hrt-ahjana) worship the demigods because they want immediate results. They
get the results, but do not know that results so obtained are temporary and are
meant for less intelligent persons. The intelligent person is in Krsna
consciousness, and he has no need to worship the paltry demigods for some
immediate, temporary benefit. The demigods of this material world, as well as
their worshipers, will vanish with the annihilation of this material world. The
boons of the demigods are material and temporary. Both the material worlds
and their inhabitants, including the demigods, and their worshipers, are
bubbles in the cosmic ocean. In this world, however, human society is mad
after temporary things such as the material opulence of possessing land,
family and enjoyable paraphernalia. To achieve such temporary things, they
worship the demigods or powerful men in human society. If a man gets some
ministership in the government by worshiping a political leader, he considers
that he has achieved a great boon. All of them are therefore kowtowing to the
so-called leaders or "big guns" in order to achieve temporary boons, and they
indeed achieve such things. Such foolish men are not interested in Krsna
consciousness for the permanent solution to the hardships of material
existence. They are all after sense enjoyment, and to get a little facility for
sense enjoyment they are attracted to worship empowered living entities
known as demigods. This verse indicates that people are rarely interested in
Krsna consciousness. They are mostly interested in material enjoyment, and
therefore they worship some powerful living entity.


चातुर्वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टं गुणकर्मविभागशः | तस्य कर्तारमपि मां विद्ध्यकर्तारमव्ययम् ||४-१३||

cāturvarṇyaṃ mayā sṛṣṭaṃ guṇakarmavibhāgaśaḥ . tasya kartāramapi māṃ viddhyakartāramavyayam ||4-13||

catur-varnyam —the four divisions of human society; maya —by Me; srstam
—created; guna —quality; karma —work; vibhagasah —in terms of division;
tasya —of that; kartaram —the father; api —although; mam —Me; viddhi —you
may know; akartaram —as the non-doer; avyayam —being unchangeable.

According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed
to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me. And,
although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet
the non-doer, being unchangeable.

The Lord is the creator of everything. Everything is born of Him,
everything is sustained by Him, and everything, after annihilation, rests in
Him. He is therefore the creator of the four divisions of the social order,
beginning with the intelligent class of men, technically called brahmanas due
to their being situated in the mode of goodness. Next is the administrative
class, technically called the ksatriyas due to their being situated in the mode of
passion. The mercantile men, called the vaisyas, are situated in the mixed
modes of passion and ignorance, and the sudras, or laborer class, are situated
in the ignorant mode of material nature. In spite of His creating the four
divisions of human society, Lord Krsna does not belong to any of these
divisions, because He is not one of the conditioned souls, a section of whom
form human society. Human society is similar to any other animal society, but
to elevate men from the animal status, the abovementioned divisions are
created by the Lord for the systematic development of Krsna consciousness.
The tendency of a particular man toward work is determined by the modes of
material nature which he has acquired. Such symptoms of life, according to
different modes of material nature, are described in the Eighteenth Chapter of
this book. A person in Krsna consciousness, however, is above even the
brahmanas, because a brahmana by quality is supposed to know about
Brahman, the Supreme Absolute Truth. Most of them approach the impersonal
Brahman manifestation of Lord Krsna, but only a man who transcends the
limited knowledge of a brahmana and reaches the knowledge of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krsna, becomes a person in Krsna
consciousness-or, in other words, a Vaisnava. Krsna consciousness includes
knowledge of all different plenary expansions of Krsna, namely Rama,
Nrsimha, Varaha, etc. However, as Krsna is transcendental to this system of
the four divisions of human society, a person in Krsna consciousness is also
transcendental to all divisions of human society, whether we consider the
divisions of community, nation or species.


न मां कर्माणि लिम्पन्ति न मे कर्मफले स्पृहा | इति मां योऽभिजानाति कर्मभिर्न स बध्यते ||४-१४||

na māṃ karmāṇi limpanti na me karmaphale spṛhā . iti māṃ yo.abhijānāti karmabhirna sa badhyate ||4-14||

na —never; mam —unto Me; karmani —all kinds of work; limpanti —do
affect; na —nor; me —My; karma-phale —in fruitive action; sprha —aspiration;
iti —thus; mam —unto Me; yah —one who; abhijanati —does know; karmabhih
—by the reaction of such work; na —never does; sah —he; badhyate —become

There is no work that affects Me; nor do I aspire for the fruits of
action. One who understands this truth about Me also does not become
entangled in the fruitive reactions of work.

As there are constitutional laws in the material world stating that the king
can do no wrong, or that the king is not subject to the state laws, similarly the
Lord, although He is the creator of this material world, is not affected by the
activities of the material world. He creates and remains aloof from the
creation, whereas the living entities are entangled in the fruitive results of
material activities because of their propensity for lording it over material
resources. The proprietor of an establishment is not responsible for the right
and wrong activities of the workers, but the workers are themselves
responsible. The living entities are engaged in their respective activities of
sense gratification, and these activities are not ordained by the Lord. For
advancement of sense gratification, the living entities are engaged in the work
of this world, and they aspire to heavenly happiness after death. The Lord,
being full in Himself, has no attraction for so-called heavenly happiness. The
heavenly demigods are only His engaged servants. The proprietor never
desires the low-grade happiness such as the workers may desire. He is aloof
from the material actions and reactions. For example, the rains are not
responsible for different types of vegetation that appear on the earth, although
without such rains there is no possibility of vegetative growth. Vedic smrti
confirms this fact as follows:
nimitta-matram evasau srjyanarh sarga-karmani
pradhana-karam-bhuta yato vai srjya-saktayah.
In the material creations, the Lord is only the supreme cause. The
immediate cause is material nature by which the cosmic manifestation is
visible. The created beings are of many varieties, such as the demigods,
human beings and lower animals, and all of them are subject to the reactions
of their past good or bad activities. The Lord only gives them the proper
facilities for such activities and the regulations of the modes of nature, but He
is never responsible for their past and present activities. In the Vedanta-sutras
it is confirmed that the Lord is never partial to any living entity. The living
entity is responsible for his own acts. The Lord only gives him facilities,
through the agency of material nature, the external energy. Anyone who is
fully conversant with all the intricacies of this law of karma, or fruitive
activities, does not become affected by the results of his activities. In other
words, the person who understands this transcendental nature of the Lord is an
experienced man in Krsna consciousness, and thus he is never subjected to the
laws of karma. One who does not know the transcendental nature of the Lord
and who thinks that the activities of the Lord are aimed at fruitive results, as
are the activities of the ordinary living entities, certainly becomes entangled
himself in fruitive reaction. But one who knows the Supreme Truth is a
liberated soul fixed in Krsna consciousness.


एवं ज्ञात्वा कृतं कर्म पूर्वैरपि मुमुक्षुभिः | कुरु कर्मैव तस्मात्त्वं पूर्वैः पूर्वतरं कृतम् ||४-१५||

evaṃ jñātvā kṛtaṃ karma pūrvairapi mumukṣubhiḥ . kuru karmaiva tasmāttvaṃ pūrvaiḥ pūrvataraṃ kṛtam ||4-15||

evam —thus; jnatva —knowing well; krtam —performed; karma —work;
purvaih —by past authorities; api —although; mumuksubhih —who attained
liberation; kuru —just perform; karma —prescribed duty; eva —certainly;
tasmat —therefore; tvam —you; purvaih —by the predecessors; purvataram —
ancient predecessors; krtam —as performed.

All the liberated souls in ancient times acted with this understanding
and so attained liberation. Therefore, as the ancients, you should perform
your duty in this divine consciousness.

There are two classes of men. Some of them are full of polluted material
things within their hearts, and some of them are materially free. Krsna
consciousness is equally beneficial for both of these persons. Those who are
full of dirty things can take to the line of Krsna consciousness for a gradual
cleansing process, following the regulative principles of devotional service.
Those who are already cleansed of the impurities may continue to act in the
same Krsna consciousness so that others may follow their exemplary activities
and thereby be benefitted. Foolish persons or neophytes in Krsna
consciousness often want to retire from activities without having knowledge
of Krsna consciousness. Arjuna`s desire to retire from activities on the
battlefield was not approved by the Lord. One need only know how to act. To
retire from the activities of Krsna consciousness and to sit aloof making a
show of Krsna consciousness, is less important than actually engaging in the
field of activities for the sake of Krsna. Arjuna is here advised to act in Krsna
consciousness, following in the footsteps of the Lord`s previous disciples, such
as the sun-god Vivasvan, as mentioned hereinbefore. The Supreme Lord
knows all His past activities, as well as those of persons who acted in Krsna
consciousness in the past. Therefore He recommends the acts of the sun-god,
who learned this art from the Lord some millions of years before. All such
students of Lord Krsna are mentioned here as past liberated persons, engaged
in the discharge of duties allotted by Krsna.


किं कर्म किमकर्मेति कवयोऽप्यत्र मोहिताः | तत्ते कर्म प्रवक्ष्यामि यज्ज्ञात्वा मोक्ष्यसेऽशुभात् ||४-१६||

kiṃ karma kimakarmeti kavayo.apyatra mohitāḥ . tatte karma pravakṣyāmi yajjñātvā mokṣyase.aśubhāt ||4-16||

kim —what is; karma —action; kim —what is; akarma —inaction; iti —thus;
kavayah —the intelligent; api —also; atra —in this matter; mohitah
—bewildered; tat —that; te —unto you; karma —work; pravaksyami —I shall
explain; yat —which; jnatva —knowing; moksyase —be liberated; asubhat
—from ill fortune.

Even the intelligent are bewildered in determining what is action and
what is inaction. Now I shall explain to you what action is, knowing which
you shall be liberated from all sins.

Action in Krsna consciousness has to be executed in accord with the
examples of previous bona fide devotees. This is recommended in the 15th
verse. Why such action should not be independant will be explained in the text
to follow.
To act in Krsna consciousness, one has to follow the leadership of
authorized persons who are in a line of disciplic succession as explained in the
beginning of this chapter. The system of Krsna consciousness was first
narrated to the sun-god, the sun-god explained it to his son Manu, Manu
explained it to his son Iksvaku, and the system is current on this earth from
that very remote time. Therefore, one has to follow in the footsteps of
previous authorities in the line of disciplic succession. Otherwise even the
most intelligent men will be bewildered regarding the standard actions of
Krsna consciousness. For this reason, the Lord decided to instruct Arjuna in
Krsna consciousness directly. Because of the direct instruction of the Lord to
Arjuna, anyone who follows in the footsteps of Arjuna is certainly not
It is said that one cannot ascertain the ways of religion simply by imperfect
experimental knowledge. Actually, the principles of religion can only be laid
down by the Lord Himself. Dharmam hi saksat- bhagavat-pranTtam. No one
can manufacture a religious principle by imperfect speculation. One must
follow in the footsteps of great authorities like Brahma, Siva, Narada, Manu,
Kumara, Kapila, Prahlada, Bhlsma, Sukadeva GosvamI, Yamaraja, Janaka,
etc. By mental speculation one cannot ascertain what is religion or self-
realization. Therefore, out of causeless mercy to His devotees, the Lord
explains directly to Arjuna what action is and what inaction is. Only action
performed in Krsna consciousness can deliver a person from the entanglement
of material existence.


कर्मणो ह्यपि बोद्धव्यं बोद्धव्यं च विकर्मणः | अकर्मणश्च बोद्धव्यं गहना कर्मणो गतिः ||४-१७||

karmaṇo hyapi boddhavyaṃ boddhavyaṃ ca vikarmaṇaḥ . akarmaṇaśca boddhavyaṃ gahanā karmaṇo gatiḥ ||4-17||

karmanah —working order; hi —certainly; api —also; boddhavyam —should
be understood; boddhavyam —to be understood; ca —also; vikarmanah —
forbidden work; akarmanah —inaction; ca —also; boddhavyam —should be
understood; gahana —very difficult; karmanah —working order; gatih —to
enter into.

The intricacies of action are very hard to understand. Therefore one
should know properly what action is, what forbidden action is, and what
inaction is.

If one is serious about liberation from material bondage, one has to
understand the distinctions between action, inaction and unauthorized actions.
One has to apply oneself to such an analysis of action, reaction and perverted
actions because it is a very difficult subject matter. To understand Krsna
consciousness and action according to the modes, one has to learn one`s
relationship with the Supreme; i.e., one who has learned perfectly knows that
every living entity is the eternal servitor of the Lord and that consequently one
has to act in Krsna consciousness. The entire Bhagavad-gTta is directed
toward this conclusion. Any other conclusions, against this consciousness and
its attendant reactions, are vikarmas, or prohibitive actions. To understand all
this one has to associate with authorities in Krsna consciousness and learn the
secret from them; this is as good as learning from the Lord directly.
Otherwise, even the most intelligent person will be bewildered.


कर्मण्यकर्म यः पश्येदकर्मणि च कर्म यः | स बुद्धिमान्मनुष्येषु स युक्तः कृत्स्नकर्मकृत् ||४-१८||

karmaṇyakarma yaḥ paśyedakarmaṇi ca karma yaḥ . sa buddhimānmanuṣyeṣu sa yuktaḥ kṛtsnakarmakṛt ||4-18||

karmani —in action; akarma —inaction; yah —one who; pasyet —observes;
akarmani —in inaction; ca —also; karma —fruitive action; yah —one who; sah
—he; buddhiman —is intelligent; manusyesu —in human society; sah —he;
yuktah —is in the transcendental position; krtsna-karma-krt —although
engaged in all activities.

One who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, is intelligent
among men, and he is in the tranecendental position, although engaged in
all sorts of activities.

A person acting in Krsna consciousness is naturally free from the bonds of
karma. His activities are all performed for Krsna; therefore he does not enjoy
or suffer any of the effects of work. Consequently he is intelligent in human
society, even though he is engaged in all sorts of activities for Krsna. Akarma
means without reaction to work. The impersonalist ceases fruitive activities
out of fear, so that the resultant action may not be a stumbling block on the
path of self-realization, but the personalist knows rightly his position as the
eternal servitor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore he engages
himself in the activities of Krsna consciousness. Because everything is done
for Krsna, he enjoys only transcendental happiness in the discharge of this
service. Those who are engaged in this process are known to be without desire
for personal sense gratification. The sense of eternal servitorship to Krsna
makes one immune to all sorts of reactionary elements of work.


यस्य सर्वे समारम्भाः कामसङ्कल्पवर्जिताः | ज्ञानाग्निदग्धकर्माणं तमाहुः पण्डितं बुधाः ||४-१९||

yasya sarve samārambhāḥ kāmasaṅkalpavarjitāḥ . jñānāgnidagdhakarmāṇaṃ tamāhuḥ paṇḍitaṃ budhāḥ ||4-19||

yasya —one whose; sarve —all sorts of; samarambhah —in all attempts;
kama —desire for sense gratification; sahkalpa —determination; varjitah —are
devoid of; jhana —of perfect knowledge; agni —fire; dagdha —being burnt by;
karmanam —the performer; tarn —him; ahuh —declare; panditam —learned;
budhah —those who know.

One is understood to be in full knowledge whose every act is devoid of
desire for sense gratification. He is said by sages to be a worker whose
fruitive action is burned up by the fire of perfect knowledge.

Only a person in full knowledge can understand the activities of a person in
Krsna consciousness. Because the person in Krsna consciousness is devoid of
all kinds of sense-gratificatory propensities, it is to be understood that he has
burned up the reactions of his work by perfect knowledge of his constitutional
position as the eternal servitor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is
actually learned who has attained to such perfection of knowledge.
Development of this knowledge of the eternal servitorship of the Lord is
compared to fire. Such a fire, once kindled, can burn up all kinds of reactions
to work.


त्यक्त्वा कर्मफलासङ्गं नित्यतृप्तो निराश्रयः | कर्मण्यभिप्रवृत्तोऽपि नैव किञ्चित्करोति सः ||४-२०||

tyaktvā karmaphalāsaṅgaṃ nityatṛpto nirāśrayaḥ . karmaṇyabhipravṛtto.api naiva kiñcitkaroti saḥ ||4-20||

tyaktva —having given up; karma-phala-asahgam —attachment for fruitive
results; nitya —always; trptah —being satisfied; nirasrayah —without any
center; karmani —in activity; abhipravrttah —being fully engaged; api —in
spite of; na —does not; eva —certainly; kincit —anything; karoti —do; sah —he.

Abandoning all attachment to the results of his activities, ever satisfied
and independant, he performs no fruitive action, although engaged in all
kinds of undertakings.

This freedom from the bondage of actions is possible only in Krsna
consciousness when one is doing everything for Krsna. A Krsna conscious
person acts out of pure love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and
therefore he has no attraction for the results of the action. He is not even
attached to his personal maintenance, for everything is left to Krsna. Nor is he
anxious to secure things, nor to protect things already in his possession. He
does his duty to his best ability and leaves everything to Krsna. Such an
unattached person is always free from the resultant reactions of good and bad;
it is as though he were not doing anything. This is the sign of akarma, or
actions without fruitive reactions. Any other action, therefore, devoid of Krsna
consciousness, is binding upon the worker, and that is the real aspect of
vikarma, as explained hereinbefore.


निराशीर्यतचित्तात्मा त्यक्तसर्वपरिग्रहः | शारीरं केवलं कर्म कुर्वन्नाप्नोति किल्बिषम् ||४-२१||

nirāśīryatacittātmā tyaktasarvaparigrahaḥ . śārīraṃ kevalaṃ karma kurvannāpnoti kilbiṣam ||4-21||

nirasTh —without desire for the results; yata —controlled; citta-atma —mind
and intelligence; tyakta —giving up; sarva —all; parigrahah —sense of
proprietorship over all possessions; sarTram —in keeping body and soul
together; kevalam —only; karma —work; kurvan —doing so; na —never; apnoti
does not acquire; kilbisam —sinful reactions.

Such a man of understanding acts with mind and intelligence perfectly
controlled, gives up all sense of proprietorship over his possessions and
acts only for the bare necessities of life. Thus working, he is not affected
by sinful reactions.

A Krsna conscious person does not expect good or bad results in his
activities. His mind and intelligence are fully controlled. He knows that he is
part and parcel of the Supreme, and therefore the part played by him, as a part
and parcel of the whole, is not his by choice but is chosen for him by the
Supreme and is done only through His agency. When the hand moves, it does
not move out of its own accord, but by the endeavor of the whole body. A
Krsna conscious person is always dovetailed with the supreme desire, for he
has no desire for personal sense gratification. He moves exactly like a part of a
machine. As a machine part requires oiling and cleaning for maintenance,
similarly, a Krsna conscious man maintains himself by his work just to remain
fit for action in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. He is therefore
immune to all the reactions of his endeavors. Like an animal, he has no
proprietorship even over his own body. A cruel proprietor of an animal
sometimes kills the animal in his possession, yet the animal does not protest.
Nor does it have any real independence. A Krsna conscious person, fully
engaged in self- realization, has very little time to falsely possess any material
object. For maintaining body and soul, he does not require unfair means of
accumulating money. He does not, therefore, become contaminated by such
material sins. He is free from all reactions to his actions.


यदृच्छालाभसन्तुष्टो द्वन्द्वातीतो विमत्सरः | समः सिद्धावसिद्धौ च कृत्वापि न निबध्यते ||४-२२||

yadṛcchālābhasantuṣṭo dvandvātīto vimatsaraḥ . samaḥ siddhāvasiddhau ca kṛtvāpi na nibadhyate ||4-22||

yadrccha —out of its own accord; labha —gain; santustah —satisfied;
dvandva —duality; atitah —surpassed; vimatsarah —free from envy; samah —
steady; siddhau —in success; asiddhau —failure; ca —also; krtva —doing; api —
although; na —never; nibadhyate —is affected.

He who is satisfied with gain which comes of its own accord, who is free
from duality and does not envy, who is steady both in success and failure,
is never entangled, although performing actions.

A Krsna conscious person does not make much endeavor even to maintain
his body. He is satisfied with gains which are obtained of their own accord. He
neither begs nor borrows, but he labors honestly as far as is in his power, and
is satisfied with whatever is obtained by his own honest labor. He is therefore
independent in his livelihood. He does not allow anyone`s service to hamper
his own service in Krsna consciousness. However, for the service of the Lord
he can participate in any kind of action without being disturbed by the duality
of the material world. The duality of the material world is felt in terms of heat
and cold, or misery and happiness. A Krsna conscious person is above duality
because he does not hesitate to act in any way for the satisfaction of Krsna.
Therefore he is steady both in success and in failure. These signs are visible
when one is fully in transcendental knowledge.


गतसङ्गस्य मुक्तस्य ज्ञानावस्थितचेतसः | यज्ञायाचरतः कर्म समग्रं प्रविलीयते ||४-२३||

gatasaṅgasya muktasya jñānāvasthitacetasaḥ . yajñāyācarataḥ karma samagraṃ pravilīyate ||4-23||

gata-sahgasya —unattached to the modes of material nature; muktasya —of
the liberated; jnana-avasthita —situated in transcendence; cetasah —of such
wisdom; yajhaya —for the sake of Yajna (Krsna); acaratah —so acting; karma
—work; samagram —in total; pravilTyate —merges entirely.

The work of a man who is unattached to the modes of material nature
and who is fully situated in transcendental knowledge merges entirely
into transcendence.

Becoming fully Krsna conscious, one is freed from all dualities and thus is
free from the contaminations of the material modes. He can become liberated
because he knows his constitutional position in relationship with Krsna; and
thus his mind cannot be drawn from Krsna consciousness. Consequently,
whatever he does, he does for Krsna, who is the primeval Visnu. Therefore, all
his works are technically sacrifices because sacrifice involves satisfying the
Supreme Person, Krsna. The resultant reactions to all such work certainly
merge into transcendence, and one does not suffer material effects.


ब्रह्मार्पणं ब्रह्म हविर्ब्रह्माग्नौ ब्रह्मणा हुतम् | ब्रह्मैव तेन गन्तव्यं ब्रह्मकर्मसमाधिना ||४-२४||

brahmārpaṇaṃ brahma havirbrahmāgnau brahmaṇā hutam . brahmaiva tena gantavyaṃ brahmakarmasamādhinā ||4-24||

brahma —spiritual nature; arpanam —contribution; brahma —the Supreme;
havih —butter; brahma —spiritual; agnau —in the fire of consummation;
brahmana —by the spirit soul; hutam —offered; brahma —spiritual kingdom;
eva —certainly; tena —by him; gantavyam —to be reached; brahma —spiritual;
karma —activities; samadhina —by complete absorption.

A person who is fully absorbed in Krsna consciousness is sure to attain
the spiritual kingdom because of his full contribution to spiritual
activities, in which the consummation is absolute and that which is
offered is of the same spiritual nature.

How activities in Krsna consciousness can lead one ultimately to the
spiritual goal is described here. There are various activities in Krsna
consciousness, and all of them will be described in the following verses. But,
for the present, just the principle of Krsna consciousness is described. A
conditioned soul, entangled in material contamination, is sure to act in the
material atmosphere, and yet he has to get out of such an environment. The
process by which the conditioned soul can get out of the material atmosphere
is Krsna consciousness. For example, a patient who is suffering from a
disorder of the bowels due to overindulgence in milk products is cured by
another milk product, namely curds. The materially absorbed conditioned soul
can be cured by Krsna consciousness as set forth here in the Gita. This process
is generally known as yajha, or activities (sacrifices) simply meant for the
satisfaction of Visnu or Krsna. The more the activities of the material world
are performed in Krsna consciousness, or for Visnu only, the more the
atmosphere becomes spiritualized by complete absorption. Brahman means
spiritual. The Lord is spiritual, and the rays of His transcendental body are
called brahmajyoti, His spiritual effulgence. Everything that exists is situated
in that brahmajyoti, but when the jyoti is covered by illusion (maya) or sense
gratification, it is called material. This material veil can be removed at once by
Krsna consciousness; thus the offering for the sake of Krsna consciousness,
the consuming agent of such an offering or contribution, the process of
consumption, the contributor, and the result are-all combined together-
Brahman, or the Absolute Truth. The Absolute Truth covered by maya is
called matter. Matter dovetailed for the cause of the Absolute Truth regains its
spiritual quality. Krsna consciousness is the process of converting the illusory
consciousness into Brahman, or the Supreme. When the mind is fully
absorbed in Krsna consciousness, it is said to be in samadhi, or trance.
Anything done in such transcendental consciousness is called yajha, or
sacrifice for the Absolute. In that condition of spiritual consciousness, the
contributor, the contribution, the consumption, the performer or leader of the
performance, and the result or ultimate gain-everything-becomes one in the
Absolute, the Supreme Brahman. That is the method of Krsna consciousness.


दैवमेवापरे यज्ञं योगिनः पर्युपासते | ब्रह्माग्नावपरे यज्ञं यज्ञेनैवोपजुह्वति ||४-२५||

daivamevāpare yajñaṃ yoginaḥ paryupāsate . brahmāgnāvapare yajñaṃ yajñenaivopajuhvati ||4-25||

daivam —in worshiping the demigods; eva —like this; apare —some; yajnam
—sacrifices; yoginah —the mystics; paryupasate —worship perfectly; brahma
—the Absolute Truth; agnau —in the fire of; apare —others; yajnam —sacrifice;
yajhena —by sacrifice; eva —thus; upajuhvati —worship.

Some yogis perfectly worship the demigods by offering different
sacrifices to them, and some of them offer sacrffices in the fire of the
Supreme Brahman.

As described above, a person engaged in discharging duties in Krsna
consciousness is also called a perfect yogi or a first-class mystic. But there are
others also, who perform similar sacrifices in the worship of demigods, and
still others who sacrifice to the Supreme Brahman, or the impersonal feature
of the Supreme Lord. So there are different kinds of sacrifices in terms of
different categories. Such different categories of sacrifice by different types of
performers only superficially demark varieties of sacrifice. Factual sacrifice
means to satisfy the Supreme Lord, Visnu, who is also known as Yajna. All
the different varieties of sacrifice can be placed within two primary divisions:
namely, sacrifice of worldly possessions and sacrifice in pursuit of
transcendental knowledge. Those who are in Krsna consciousness sacrifice all
material possessions for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord, while others,
who want some temporary material happiness, sacrifice their material
possessions to satisfy demigods such as Indra, the sun-god, etc. And others,
who are impersonalists, sacrifice their identity by merging into the existence
of impersonal Brahman. The demigods are powerful living entities appointed
by the Supreme Lord for the maintenance and supervision of all material
functions like the heating, watering and lighting of the universe. Those who
are interested in material benefits worship the demigods by various sacrifices
according to the Vedic rituals. They are called bahv-Tsvara-vadT, or believers
in many gods. But others, who worship the impersonal feature of the Absolute
Truth and regard the forms of the demigods as temporary, sacrifice their
individual selves in the supreme fire and thus end their individual existences
by merging into the existence of the Supreme. Such impersonalists spend their
time in philosophical speculation to understand the transcendental nature of
the Supreme. In other words, the fruitive workers sacrifice their material
possessions for material enjoyment, whereas the impersonalist sacrifices his
material designations with a view to merging into the existence of the
Supreme. For the impersonalist, the fire altar of sacrifice is the Supreme
Brahman, and the offering is the self being consumed by the fire of Brahman.
The Krsna conscious person, like Arjuna, however, sacrifices everything for
the satisfaction of Krsna, and thus all his material possessions as well as his
own self—everything—is sacrificed for Krsna. Thus, he is the first-class yogi;
but he does not lose his individual existence.


श्रोत्रादीनीन्द्रियाण्यन्ये संयमाग्निषु जुह्वति | शब्दादीन्विषयानन्य इन्द्रियाग्निषु जुह्वति ||४-२६||

śrotrādīnīndriyāṇyanye saṃyamāgniṣu juhvati . śabdādīnviṣayānanya indriyāgniṣu juhvati ||4-26||

srotra-admi —hearing process; indriyani —senses; anye —others; samyama —
of restraint; agnisu —in the fire; juhvati —offers; sabda-adm —sound vibration,
etc.; visayan —objects of sense gratification; anye —others: indriya —of sense
organs; agnisu —in the fire; juhvati —sacrifice.

Some of them sacrifice the hearing process and the senses in the fire of
the controlled mind, and others sacrifice the objects of the senses, such as
sound, in the fire of sacrifice.

The four divisions of human life, namely the brahmacarT, the grhastha, the
vanaprastha, and the sannyasT, are all meant to help men become perfect
yogis or transcendentalists. Since human life is not meant for our enjoying
sense gratification like the animals, the four orders of human life are so
arranged that one may become perfect in spiritual life. The brahmacarTs, or
students under the care of a bona fide spiritual master, control the mind by
abstaining from sense gratification. They are referred to in this verse as
sacrificing the hearing process and the senses in the fire of the controlled
mind. A brahmacarT hears only words concerning Krsna consciousness;
hearing is the basic principle for understanding, and therefore the pure
brahmacarT engages fully in barer namanukTrtanam —chanting and hearing
the glories of the Lord. He restrains himself from the vibrations of material
sounds, and his hearing is engaged in the transcendental sound vibration of
Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna. Similarly, the householders, who have some license
for sense gratification, perform such acts with great restraint. Sex life,
intoxication and meat eating are general tendencies of human society, but a
regulated householder does not indulge in unrestricted sex life and other sense
gratifications. Marriage on principles of religious life is therefore current in all
civilized human society because that is the way for restricted sex life. This
restricted, unattached sex life is also a kind of yajna because the restricted
householder sacrifices his general tendency toward sense gratification for
higher transcendental life.


सर्वाणीन्द्रियकर्माणि प्राणकर्माणि चापरे | आत्मसंयमयोगाग्नौ जुह्वति ज्ञानदीपिते ||४-२७||

sarvāṇīndriyakarmāṇi prāṇakarmāṇi cāpare . ātmasaṃyamayogāgnau juhvati jñānadīpite ||4-27||

sarvani —all; indriya —senses; karmani —functions; prana-karmani
—functions of the life breath; ca —also; apare —others; atma-samyama
—controlling the mind; yoga —linking process; agnau —in the fire of; juhvati
—offers; jhana-dipite —because of the urge for self-realization.

Those who are interested in self-realization, in terms of mind and sense
control, offer the functions of all the senses, as well as the vital force
[breath], as oblations into the fire of the controlled mind.

The yoga system conceived by Patanjali is referred to herein. In the Yoga-
sutra of Patanjali, the soul is called pratyag-atma and parag-atma. As long as
the soul is attached to sense enjoyment, it is called parag-atma. The soul is
subjected to the functions of ten kinds of air at work within the body, and this
is perceived through the breathing system. The Patanjala system of yoga
instructs one on how to control the functions of the body`s air in a technical
manner so that ultimately all the functions of the air within become favorable
for purifying the soul of material attachment. According to this yoga system,
pratyag atma is the ultimate goal. This pratyag atma is a withdrawal from
activities in matter. The senses interact with the sense objects, like the ear for
hearing, eyes for seeing, nose for smelling, tongue for tasting, hand for
touching, and all of them are thus engaged in activities outside the self. They
are called the functions of the prana-vayu. The apana-vayu goes downwards,
vyana-vayu acts to shrink and expand, samana-vayu adjusts equilibrium,
udana-vayu goes upwards-and when one is enlightened, one engages all these
in searching for self-realization.


द्रव्ययज्ञास्तपोयज्ञा योगयज्ञास्तथापरे | स्वाध्यायज्ञानयज्ञाश्च यतयः संशितव्रताः ||४-२८||

dravyayajñāstapoyajñā yogayajñāstathāpare . svādhyāyajñānayajñāśca yatayaḥ saṃśitavratāḥ ||4-28||

dravya-yajhah —sacrificing one`s possessions; tapo-yajhah —sacrifice in
austerities; yoga-yajhah —sacrifice in eightfold mysticism; tatha —thus; apare
—others; svadhyaya —sacrifice in the study of the Vedas; jhana- yajhah
—sacrifice in advancement of transcendental knowledge; ca —also; yatayah
—enlightened; samsita —taken to strict; vratah-vows.

There are others who, enlightened by sacrificing their material
possessions in severe austerities, take strict vows and practice the yoga of
eightfold mysticism, and others study the Vedas for the advancement of
transcendental knowledge.

These sacrifices may be fitted into various divisions. There are persons who
are sacrificing their possessions in the form of various kinds of charities. In
India, the rich mercantile community or princely orders open various kinds of
charitable institutions like dharmasala, anna-ksetra, atithi-sala, anathalaya,
vidyapitha, etc. In other countries, too, there are many hospitals, old age
homes and similar charitable foundations meant for distributing food,
education and medical treatment free to the poor. All these charitable activities
are called dravyamaya-yajna. There are others who, for higher elevation in
life or for promotion to higher planets within the universe, voluntarily accept
many kinds of austerities such as candrayana and caturmasya. These
processes entail severe vows for conducting life under certain rigid rules. For
example, under the caturmasya vow the candidate does not shave for four
months during the year (July to October), he does not eat certain foods, does
not eat twice in a day and does not leave home. Such sacrifice of the comforts
of life is called tapomaya-yajna. There are still others who engage themselves
in different kinds of mystic yogas like the Patanjali system (for merging into
the existence of the Absolute), or hatha-yoga or astanga-yoga (for particular
perfections). And some travel to all the sanctified places of pilgrimage. All
these practices are called yoga-yajna, sacrifice for a certain type of perfection
in the material world. There are others who engage themselves in the studies
of different Vedic literatures, specifically the Upanisads and Vedanta-sutras,
or the sankhya philosophy. All of these are called svadhyaya-yajha, or
engagement in the sacrifice of studies. All these yogis are faithfully engaged
in different types of sacrifice and are seeking a higher status of life. Krsna
consciousness, is, however, different from these because it is the direct service
of the Supreme Lord. Krsna consciousness cannot be attained by any one of
the above-mentioned types of sacrifices but can be attained only by the mercy
of the Lord and His bona fide devotee. Therefore, Krsna consciousness is


अपाने जुह्वति प्राणं प्राणेऽपानं तथापरे | प्राणापानगती रुद्ध्वा प्राणायामपरायणाः ||४-२९||

apāne juhvati prāṇaṃ prāṇe.apānaṃ tathāpare . prāṇāpānagatī ruddhvā prāṇāyāmaparāyaṇāḥ ||4-29||

apane —air which acts downward; juhvati —offers; pranam —air which acts
outward; prane —in the air going outward; apanam —air going downward;
tatha —as also; apare —others; prana —air going outward; apana —air going
downward; gatT —movement; ruddhva —checking; pranayama —trance
induced by stopping all breathing; parayanah —so inclined; apare —others;
niyata —controlled; aharah —eating; pranan —outgoing air; pranesu —in the
outgoing air; juhvati —sacrifices.

And there are even others who are inclined to the process of breath
restraint to remain in trance, and they practice stopping the movement of
the outgoing breath into the incoming, and incoming breath into the
outgoing, and thus at last remain in trance, stopping all breathing. Some
of them, curtailing the eating process, offer the outgoing breath into itself,
as a sacrifice.

This system of yoga for controlling the breathing process is called
pranayama, and in the beginning it is practiced in the hatha-yoga system
through different sitting postures. All of these processes are recommended for
controlling the senses and for advancement in spiritual realization. This
practice involves controlling the air within the body to enable simultaneous
passage in opposite directions. The apana air goes downward, and the prana
air goes up. The pranayama yogi practices breathing the opposite way until
the currents are neutralized into puraka, equilibrium. Similarly, when the
exhaled breathing is offered to inhaled breathing, it is called recaka. When
both air currents are completely stopped, it is called kumbhaka-yoga. By
practice of kumbhaka-yoga, the yogis increase the duration of life by many,
many years. A Krsna conscious person, however, being always situated in the
transcendental loving service of the Lord, automatically becomes the
controller of the senses. His senses, being always engaged in the service of
Krsna, have no chance of becoming otherwise engaged. So at the end of life,
he is naturally transferred to the transcendental plane of Lord Krsna;
consequently he makes no attempt to increase his longevity. He is at once
raised to the platform of liberation. A Krsna conscious person begins from the
transcendental stage, and he is constantly in that consciousness. Therefore,
there is no falling down, and ultimately he enters into the abode of the Lord
without delay. The practice of reduced eating is automatically done when one
eats only Krsna prasadam, or food which is offered first to the Lord. Reducing
the eating process is very helpful in the matter of sense control. And without
sense control there is no possibility of getting out of the material


अपरे नियताहाराः प्राणान्प्राणेषु जुह्वति | सर्वेऽप्येते यज्ञविदो यज्ञक्षपितकल्मषाः ||४-३०||

apare niyatāhārāḥ prāṇānprāṇeṣu juhvati . sarve.apyete yajñavido yajñakṣapitakalmaṣāḥ ||4-30||

sarve —all; api —although apparently different; ete —all these; yajha-vidah
—conversant with the purpose of performing; yajha —sacrifices; ksapita —
being cleansed of the result of such performances; kalmasah —sinful reactions;
yajha-sista —as a result of such performances of yajha; amrta-bhujah —those
who have tasted such nectar; yanti —do approach; brahma —the supreme;
sanatanam —eternal atmosphere.

All these performers who know the meaning of sacrifice become
cleansed of sinful reaction, and, having tasted the nectar of the remnants
of such sacrifice, they go to the supreme eternal atmosphere.

From the foregoing explanation of differents types of sacrifice (namely
sacrifice of one`s possessions, study of the Vedas or philosophical doctrines,
and performance of the yoga system), it is found that the common aim of all is
to control the senses. Sense gratification is the root cause of material
existence; therefore, unless and until one is situated on a platform apart from
sense gratification, there is no chance of being elevated to the eternal platform
of full knowledge, full bliss and full life. This platform is in the eternal
atmosphere, or Brahman atmosphere. All the above-mentioned sacrifices help
one to become cleansed of the sinful reactions of material existence. By this
advancement in life, one not only becomes happy and opulent in this life, but
also, at the end, he enters into the eternal kingdom of God, either merging into
the impersonal Brahman or associating with the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, Krsna.


यज्ञशिष्टामृतभुजो यान्ति ब्रह्म सनातनम् | नायं लोकोऽस्त्ययज्ञस्य कुतोऽन्यः कुरुसत्तम ||४-३१||

yajñaśiṣṭāmṛtabhujo yānti brahma sanātanam . nāyaṃ loko.astyayajñasya kuto.anyaḥ kurusattama ||4-31||

na —never; ayam —this; lokah —planet; asd —there is; ayajnasya —of the
foolish; kutah —where is; anyah —the other; kuru-sattama —O best amongst
the Kurus.

O best of the Kuril dynasty, without sacrifice one can never live happily
on this planet or in this life: what then of the next?

Whatever form of material existence one is in, one is invariably ignorant of
his real situation. In other words, existence in the material world is due to the
multiple reactions to our sinful lives. Ignorance is the cause of sinful life, and
sinful life is the cause of one`s dragging on in material existence. The human
form of life is the only loophole by which one may get out of this
entanglement. The Vedas, therefore, give us a chance for escape by pointing
out the paths of religion, economic comfort, regulated sense gratification and,
at last, the means to get out of the miserable condition entirely. The path of
religion, or the different kinds of sacrifice recommended above, automatically
solves our economic problems. By performance of yajna we can have enough
food, enough milk, etc.—even if there is a so-called increase of population.
When the body is fully supplied, naturally the next stage is to satisfy the
senses. The Vedas prescribe, therefore, sacred marriage for regulated sense
gratification. Thereby one is gradually elevated to the platform of release from
material bondage, and the highest perfection of liberated life is to associate
with the Supreme Lord. Perfection is achieved by performance of yajna
(sacrifice), as described above. Now, if a person is not inclined to perform
yajna according to the Vedas, how can he expect a happy life? There are
different grades of material comforts in different heavenly planets, and in all
cases there is immense happiness for persons engaged in different kinds of
yajna. But the highest kind of happiness that a man can achieve is to be
promoted to the spiritual planets by practice of Krsna consciousness. A life of
Krsna consciousness is therefore the solution to all the problems of material


एवं बहुविधा यज्ञा वितता ब्रह्मणो मुखे | कर्मजान्विद्धि तान्सर्वानेवं ज्ञात्वा विमोक्ष्यसे ||४-३२||

evaṃ bahuvidhā yajñā vitatā brahmaṇo mukhe . karmajānviddhi tānsarvānevaṃ jñātvā vimokṣyase ||4-32||

evam —thus; bahu-vidhah —various kinds of; yajhah —sacrifices; vitatah —
widespread; brahmanah —of the Vedas; mukhe —in the face of; karma-jan —
born of work; viddhi —you should know; tan —them; sarvan —all; evam —thus;
jhatva —knowing; vimoksyase —be liberated.

All these different types of sacrifice are approved by the Vedas, and all
of them are born of different types of work. Knowing them as such, you
will become liberated.

Different types of sacrifice, as discussed above, are mentioned in the Vedas
to suit the different types of worker. Because men are so deeply absorbed in
the bodily concept, these sacrifices are so arranged that one can work either
with the body, the mind, or the intelligence. But all of them are recommended
for ultimately bringing about liberation from the body. This is confirmed by
the Lord herewith from His own mouth.


श्रेयान्द्रव्यमयाद्यज्ञाज्ज्ञानयज्ञः परन्तप | सर्वं कर्माखिलं पार्थ ज्ञाने परिसमाप्यते ||४-३३||

śreyāndravyamayādyajñājjñānayajñaḥ parantapa . sarvaṃ karmākhilaṃ pārtha jñāne parisamāpyate ||4-33||

sreyan —greater; dravyamayat —than the sacrifice of material possessions;
yajnat —knowledge; jnana-yajnah —sacrifice in knowledge; parantapa —O
chastiser of the enemy; sarvam —all; karma —activities; akhilam —in totality;
partha —O son of Prtha; jnane —in knowledge; parisamapyate —ends in.

O chastiser of the enemy, the sacrifice of knowledge is greater than the
sacrifice of material possessions. O son of Prtha, after all, the sacrifice of
work culminates in transcendental knowledge.

The purpose of all sacrifices is to arrive at the status of complete
knowledge, then to gain release from material miseries, and, ultimately, to
engage in loving transcendental service to the Supreme Lord (Krsna
consciousness). Nonetheless, there is a mystery about all these different
activities of sacrifice, and one should know this mystery. Sacrifices sometimes
take different forms according to the particular faith of the performer. When
one`s faith reaches the stage of transcendental knowledge, the performer of
sacrifices should be considered more advanced than those who simply
sacrifice material possessions without such knowledge, for without attainment
of knowledge, sacrifices remain on the material platform and bestow no
spiritual benefit. Real knowledge culminates in Krsna consciousness, the
highest stage of transcendental knowledge. Without the elevation of
knowledge, sacrifices are simply material activities. When, however, they are
elevated to the level of transcendental knowledge, all such activities enter onto
the spiritual platform. Depending on differences in consciousness, sacrificial
activities are sometimes called karma- kanda, fruitive activities, and
sometimes jhana-kanda, knowledge in the pursuit of truth. It is better when
the end is knowledge.


तद्विद्धि प्रणिपातेन परिप्रश्नेन सेवया | उपदेक्ष्यन्ति ते ज्ञानं ज्ञानिनस्तत्त्वदर्शिनः ||४-३४||

tadviddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā . upadekṣyanti te jñānaṃ jñāninastattvadarśinaḥ ||4-34||

tat —that knowledge of different sacrifices; viddhi —try to understand;
pranipatena —by approaching a spiritual master; pariprasnena —by
submissive inquiries; sevaya —by the rendering of service; upadeksyand
—initiate; te —unto you; jhanam —knowledge; jhaninah —the self-realized;
tattva —truth; darsinah —the seers.

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 he has seen the truth.

The path of spiritual realization is undoubtedly difficult. The Lord therefore
advises us to approach a bona fide spiritual master in the line of disciplic
succession from the Lord Himself. No one can be a bona fides piritual master
without following this principle of disciplic succession. The Lord is the
original spiritual master, and a person in the disciplic succession can convey
the message of the Lord as it is to his disciple. No one can be spiritually
realized by manufacturing his own process, as is the fashion of the foolish
pretenders. The Bhagavatam says: dharmarh hi saksad-bhagavat-pramtam-
the path of religion is directly enunciated by the Lord. Therefore, mental
speculation or dry arguments cannot help one progress in spiritual life. One
has to approach a bona fide spiritual master to receive the knowledge. Such a
spiritual master should be accepted in full surrender, and one should serve the
spiritual master like a menial servant, without false prestige. Satisfaction of
the self-realized spiritual master is the secret of advancement in spiritual life.
Inquiries and submission constitute the proper combination for spiritual
understanding. Unless there is submission and service, inquiries from the
learned spiritual master will not be effective. One must be able to pass the test
of the spiritual master, and when he sees the genuine desire of the disciple, he
automatically blesses the disciple with genuine spiritual understanding. In this
verse, both blind following and absurd inquiries are condemned. One should
not only hear submissively from the spiritual master, but one must also get a
clear understanding from him, in submission and service and inquiries. A bona
fide spiritual master is by nature very kind toward the disciple. Therefore
when the student is submissive and is always ready to render service, the
reciprocation of knowledge and inquiries becomes perfect.


यज्ज्ञात्वा न पुनर्मोहमेवं यास्यसि पाण्डव | येन भूतान्यशेषेण द्रक्ष्यस्यात्मन्यथो मयि (var अशेषाणि) ||४-३५||

yajjñātvā na punarmohamevaṃ yāsyasi pāṇḍava . yena bhūtānyaśeṣāṇi drakṣyasyātmanyatho mayi ||4-35||

yat —which; jnatva —knowing; na —never; punah —again; moham —illusion;
evam —like this; yasyasi —you shall go; pandava —O son of Pandu; yena —by
which; bhutani —all living entities; asesani —totally; draksyasi —you will see;
atmani —in the Supreme Soul; atho —or in other words; mayi —in Me.

And when you have thus learned the truth, you will know that all living
beings are but part of Me-and that they are in Me, and are Mine.

The result of receiving knowledge from a self-realized soul, or one who
knows things as they are, is learning that all living beings are parts and parcels
of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krsna. The sense of a
separated existence from Krsna is called maya (ma- not, ya-this). Some think
that we have nothing to do with Krsna, that Krsna is only a great historical
personality and that the Absolute is the impersonal Brahman. Factually, as it is
stated in the Bhagavad-gTta, this impersonal Brahman is the personal
effulgence of Krsna. Krsna, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the
cause of everything. In the Brahma-samhita it is clearly stated that Krsna is
the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all causes. Even the
millions of incarnations are only His different expansions. Similarly, the living
entities are also expansions of Krsna. The MayavadI philosophers wrongly
think that Krsna loses His own separate existence in His many expansions.
This thought is material in nature. We have experience in the material world
that a thing, when fragmentally distributed, loses its own original identity. But
the MayavadI philosophers fail to understand that Absolute means that one
plus one is equal to one, and that one minus one is also equal to one. This is
the case in the absolute world.
For want of sufficient knowledge in the absolute science, we are now
covered with illusion, and therefore we think that we are separate from Krsna.
Although we are separated parts of Krsna, we are nevertheless not different
from Him. The bodily difference of the living entities is maya, or not actual
fact. We are all meant to satisfy Krsna. By maya alone Arjuna thought that the
temporary bodily relationship with his kinsmen was more important than his
eternal spiritual relationship with Krsna. The whole teaching of the Gita is
targetted toward this end: that a living being, as His eternal servitor, cannot be
separated from Krsna, and his sense of being an identity apart from Krsna is
called maya. The living entities, as separate parts and parcels of the Supreme,
have a purpose to fulfill. Having forgotten that purpose, since time
immemorial they are situated in different bodies, as men, animals, demigods,
etc. Such bodily differences arise from forgetfulness of the transcendental
service of the Lord. But when one is engaged in transcendental service
through Krsna consciousness, one becomes at once liberated from this
illusion. One can acquire such pure knowledge only from the bona fide
spiritual master and thereby avoid the delusion that the living entity is equal to
Krsna. Perfect knowledge is that the Supreme Soul, Krsna, is the supreme
shelter for all living entities, and giving up such shelter, the living entities are
deluded by the material energy, imagining themselves to have a separate
identity. Thus, under different standards of material identity, they become
forgetful of Krsna. When, however, such deluded living entities become
situated in Krsna consciousness, it is to be understood that they are on the path
of liberation, as confirmed in the Bhagavatam: muktir hitvanyatha rupam
svarupena vyavasthitih. Liberation means to be situated in one`s constitutional
position as the eternal servitor of Krsna (Krsna consciousness).


अपि चेदसि पापेभ्यः सर्वेभ्यः पापकृत्तमः | सर्वं ज्ञानप्लवेनैव वृजिनं सन्तरिष्यसि ||४-३६||

api cedasi pāpebhyaḥ sarvebhyaḥ pāpakṛttamaḥ . sarvaṃ jñānaplavenaiva vṛjinaṃ santariṣyasi ||4-36||

api —even; cet —if; asi —you are; papebhyah —of sinners; sarvebhyah —of
all; papa-krttamah —the greatest sinner; sarvam —all such sinful actions;
jhana-plavena —by the boat of transcendental knowledge; eva —certainly;
vrjinam —the ocean of miseries; santarisyasi —you will cross completely.

Even if you are considered to be the most sinful of all sinners, when you
are situated in the boat of transcendental knowledge, you will be able to
cross over the ocean of miseries.

Proper understanding of one`s constitutional position in relationship to
Krsna is so nice that it can at once lift one from the struggle for existence
which goes on in the ocean of nescience. This material world is sometimes
regarded as an ocean of nescience and sometimes as a blazing forest. In the
ocean, however expert a swimmer one may be, the struggle for existence is
very severe. If someone comes forward and lifts the struggling swimmer from
the ocean, he is the greatest savior. Perfect knowledge, received from the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the path of liberation. The boat of Krsna
consciousness is very simple, but at the same time the most sublime.


यथैधांसि समिद्धोऽग्निर्भस्मसात्कुरुतेऽर्जुन | ज्ञानाग्निः सर्वकर्माणि भस्मसात्कुरुते तथा ||४-३७||

yathaidhāṃsi samiddho.agnirbhasmasātkurute.arjuna . jñānāgniḥ sarvakarmāṇi bhasmasātkurute tathā ||4-37||

yatha —just as; edhamsi —firewood; samiddhah —blazing; agnih —fire;
bhasmasat —turns into ashes; kurute —so does; arjuna —O Arjuna; jhana-
agnih —the fire of knowledge; sarva-karmani —all reactions to material
activities; bhasmasat —to ashes; kurute —it so does; tatha —similarly.

As the blazing fire turns firewood to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of
knowledge burn to ashes all reactions to material activities.

Perfect knowledge of self and Superself and of their relationship is
compared herein to fire. This fire not only burns up all reactions to impious
activities, but also all reactions to pious activities, turning them to ashes.
There are many stages of reaction: reaction in the making, reaction fructifying,
reaction already achieved, and reaction a priori. But knowledge of the
constitutional position of the living entity burns everything to ashes. When
one is in complete knowledge, all reactious, both a priori and a posteriori, are
consumed. In the Vedas it is stated: ubhe uhaivaisa ete taraty amrtah sadhv-
asadhiinT: "One overcomes both the pious and impious interactions of work."


न हि ज्ञानेन सदृशं पवित्रमिह विद्यते | तत्स्वयं योगसंसिद्धः कालेनात्मनि विन्दति ||४-३८||

na hi jñānena sadṛśaṃ pavitramiha vidyate . tatsvayaṃ yogasaṃsiddhaḥ kālenātmani vindati ||4-38||

na —never; hi —certainly; jhanena —with knowledge; sadrsam —in
comparison; pavitram —sanctified; iha —in this world; vidyate —exists; tat
—that; svayam —itself; yoga —devotion; samsiddhah —matured; kalena —in
course of time; atmani —in himself; vindati —enjoys.

In this world, there is nothing so sublime and pure as transcendental
knowledge. Such knowledge is the mature fruit of all mysticism. And one
who has achieved this enjoys the self within himself in due course of time.

When we speak of transcendental knowledge, we do so in terms of spiritual
understanding. As such, there is nothing so sublime and pure as transcendental
knowledge. Ignorance is the cause of our bondage, and knowledge is the cause
of our liberation. This knowledge is the mature fruit of devotional service, and
when one is situated in transcendental knowledge, he need not search for
peace elsewhere, for he enjoys peace within himself. In other words, this
knowledge and peace are culminated in Krsna consciousness. That is the last
word in the Bhagavad-gTta.


श्रद्धावाँल्लभते ज्ञानं तत्परः संयतेन्द्रियः | ज्ञानं लब्ध्वा परां शान्तिमचिरेणाधिगच्छति ||४-३९||

śraddhāvā.Nllabhate jñānaṃ tatparaḥ saṃyatendriyaḥ . jñānaṃ labdhvā parāṃ śāntimacireṇādhigacchati ||4-39||

sraddhavan —a faithful man; labhate —achieves; jhanam —knowledge; tat-
parah —very much attached to it; samyata —controlled; indriyah —senses;
jhanam —knowledge; labdhva —having achieved; param —transcendental;
santim —peace; acirena —very soon; adhigacchati —attains.

A faithful man who is absorbed in transcendental knowledge and who
subdues his senses quickly attains the supreme spiritual peace.

Such knowledge in Krsna consciousness can be achieved by a faithful
person who believes firmly in Krsna. One is called a faithful man who thinks
that, simply by acting in Krsna consciousness, he can attain the highest
perfection. This faith is attained by the discharge of devotional service, and by
chanting "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama,
Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare," which cleanses one`s heart of all
material dirt. Over and above this, one should control the senses. A person
who is faithful to Krsna and who controls the senses can easily attain
perfection in the knowledge of Krsna consciousness without delay.


अज्ञश्चाश्रद्दधानश्च संशयात्मा विनश्यति | नायं लोकोऽस्ति न परो न सुखं संशयात्मनः ||४-४०||

ajñaścāśraddadhānaśca saṃśayātmā vinaśyati . nāyaṃ loko.asti na paro na sukhaṃ saṃśayātmanaḥ ||4-40||

ajnah —fools who have no knowledge in standard scriptures; ca —and;
asraddadhanah —without faith in revealed scriptures; ca —also; samsaya —
doubts; atma —person; vinasyati —falls back; na —never; ayam —this; lokah —
world; asti —there is; na —neither; parah —next life; na —not; sukham —
happiness; samsaya —doubtful; atmanah —of the person.

But ignorant and faithless persons who doubt the revealed scriptures
do not attain God consciousness. For the doubting soul there is happiness
neither in this world nor in the next.

Out of many standard and authoritative revealed scriptures, the Bhagavad-
gfta is the best. Persons who are almost like animals have no faith in, or
knowledge of, the standard revealed scriptures; and some, even though they
have knowledge of, or can cite passages from, the revealed scriptures, have
actually no faith in these words. And even though others may have faith in
scriptures like Bhagavad-gTta, they do not believe in or worship the
Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna. Such persons cannot have any standing in
Krsna consciousness. They fall down. Out of all the abovementioned persons,
those who have no faith and are always doubtful make no progress at all. Men
without faith in God and His revealed word find no good in this world, nor in
the next. For them there is no happiness whatsoever. One should therefore
follow the principles of revealed scriptures with faith and thereby be raised to
the platform of knowledge. Only this knowledge will help one become
promoted to the transcendental platform of spiritual understanding. In other
words, doubtful persons have no status whatsoever in spiritual emancipation.
One should therefore follow in the footsteps of great acaryas who are in the
disciplic succession and thereby attain success.


योगसंन्यस्तकर्माणं ज्ञानसञ्छिन्नसंशयम् | आत्मवन्तं न कर्माणि निबध्नन्ति धनञ्जय ||४-४१||

yogasaṃnyastakarmāṇaṃ jñānasañchinnasaṃśayam . ātmavantaṃ na karmāṇi nibadhnanti dhanañjaya ||4-41||

yoga —devotional service in karma-yoga; sannyasta —renounced;
karmanam —of the performers; jhana —knowledge; sahchinna —cut by the
advancement of knowledge; samsayam —doubts; atma-vantam —situated in
the self; na —never; karmani —work; nibadhnanti —do bind up; dhananjaya —
O conquerer of riches.

Therefore, one who has renounced the fruits of his action, whose doubts
are destroyed by transcendental knowledge, and who is situated firmly in
the self, is not bound by works, O conqueror of riches.

One who follows the instruction of the Gita, as it is imparted by the Lord,
the Personality of Godhead Himself, becomes free from all doubts by the
grace of transcendental knowledge. He, as a part and parcel of the Lord, in full
Krsna consciousness, is already established in self-knowledge. As such, he is
undoubtedly above bondage to action.


तस्मादज्ञानसम्भूतं हृत्स्थं ज्ञानासिनात्मनः | छित्त्वैनं संशयं योगमातिष्ठोत्तिष्ठ भारत ||४-४२||

tasmādajñānasambhūtaṃ hṛtsthaṃ jñānāsinātmanaḥ . chittvainaṃ saṃśayaṃ yogamātiṣṭhottiṣṭha bhārata ||4-42||

tasmat —therefore; ajhana-sambhiitam —outcome of ignorance; hrt-stham
—situated in the heart; jhana —knowledge; asina —by the weapon of; atmanah
—of the self; chittva —cutting off; enam —this; samsayam —doubt; yogam —in
yoga; atistha —be situated; uttistha —stand up to fight; bharata — O
descendant of Bharata.

Therefore the doubts which have arisen in your heart out of ignorance
should be slashed by the weapon of knowledge. Armed with yoga, O
Bharata, stand and fight.

The yoga system instructed in this chapter is called sanatana-yoga, or
eternal activities performed by the living entity. This yoga has two divisions of
sacrificial actions: one is called sacrifice of one`s material possessions, and the
other is called knowledge of self, which is pure spiritual activity. If sacrifice of
one`s material possessions is not dovetailed for spiritual realization, then such
sacrifice becomes material. But one who performs such sacrifices with a
spiritual objective, or in devotional service, makes a perfect sacrifice. When
we come to spiritual activities, we find that these are also divided into two:
namely, understanding of one`s own self (or one`s constitutional position), and
the truth regarding the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One who follows the
path of the Gita as it is can very easily understand these two important
divisions of spiritual knowledge. For him there is no difficulty in obtaining
perfect knowledge of the self as part and parcel of the Lord. And such
understanding is beneficial for such a person who easily understands the
transcendental activities of the Lord. In the beginning of this chapter, the
transcendental activities of the Lord were discussed by the Supreme Lord
Himself. One who does not understand the instructions of the Gita is faithless,
and is to be considered to be misusing the fragmental independence awarded
to him by the Lord. In spite of such instructions, one who does not understand
the real nature of the Lord as the eternal, blissful, all-knowing Personality of
Godhead, is certainly fool number one. Ignorance can be removed by gradual
acceptance of the principles of Krsna consciousness. Krsna consciousness is
awakened by different types of sacrifices to the demigods, sacrifice to
Brahman, sacrifice in celibacy, in household life, in controlling the senses, in
practicing mystic yoga, in penance, in foregoing material possessions, in
studying the Vedas, and in partaking of the social institution called
varnasrama-dharma. All of these are known as sacrifice, and all of them are
based on regulated action. But within all these activities, the important factor
is self-realization. One who seeks that objective is the real student of
Bhagavad-gita, but one who doubts the authority of Krsna falls back. One is
therefore advised to study Bhagavad-gita, or any other scripture, under a bona
fide spiritual master, with service and surrender. A bona fide spiritual master is
in the disciplic succession from time eternal, and he does not deviate at all
from the instructions of the Supreme Lord as they were imparted millions of
years ago to the sun-god, from whom the instmctions of Bhagavad-gita have
come down to the earthly kingdom. One should, therefore, follow the path of
Bhagavad-gita as it is expressed in the Gita itself and beware of self-
interested people after personal aggrandizement who deviate others from the
actual path. The Lord is definitely the supreme person, and His activities are
transcendental. One who understands this is a liberated person from the very
beginning of his study of the Gita.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the Fourth Chapter of the Srimad-
Bhagavad-glta in the matter of Transcendental Knowledge.

Глава 5



अर्जुन उवाच | संन्यासं कर्मणां कृष्ण पुनर्योगं च शंससि | यच्छ्रेय एतयोरेकं तन्मे ब्रूहि सुनिश्चितम् ||५-१||

arjuna uvāca . saṃnyāsaṃ karmaṇāṃ kṛṣṇa punaryogaṃ ca śaṃsasi . yacchreya etayorekaṃ tanme brūhi suniścitam ||5-1||

arjunah uvaca —Arjuna said; sannyasam —renunciation; karmanam —of all
activities; krsna —O Krsna; punah —again; yogam —devotional service; ca
—also; samsasi —You are praising; yat —which; sreyah —is beneficial; etayoh
—of these two; ekam —one; tat —that; me —unto me; bruhi —please tell;
suniscitam —definitely.

Arjuna said: O Krsna, first of all You ask me to renounce work, and
then again You recommend work with devotion. Now will You kindly tell
me definitely which of the two is more beneficial?

In this Fifth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gTta, the Lord says that work in
devotional service is better than dry mental speculation. Devotional service is
easier than the latter because, being transcendental in nature, it frees one from
reaction. In the Second Chapter, preliminary knowledge of the soul and its
entanglement in the material body were explained. How to get out of this
material encagement by buddhi-yoga, or devotional service, was also
explained therein. In the Third Chapter, it was explained that a person who is
situated on the platform of knowledge no longer has any duties to perform.
And, in the Fourth Chapter, the Lord told Arjuna that all kinds of sacrificial
work culminate in knowledge. However, at the end of the Fourth Chapter, the
Lord advised Arjuna to wake up and fight, being situated in perfect
knowledge. Therefore, by simultaneously stressing the importance of both
work in devotion and inaction in knowledge, Krsna has perplexed Arjuna and
confused his determination. Arjuna understands that renunciation in
knowledge involves cessation of all kinds of work performed as sense
activities. But if one performs work in devotional service, then how is work
stopped? In other words, he thinks that sannyasam, or renunciation in
knowledge, should be altogether free from all kinds of activity because work
and renunciation appear to him to be incompatible. He appears not to have
understood that work in full knowledge is nonreactive and is therefore the
same as inaction. He inquires, therefore, whether he should cease work
altogether, or work with full knowledge.


श्रीभगवानुवाच | संन्यासः कर्मयोगश्च निःश्रेयसकरावुभौ | तयोस्तु कर्मसंन्यासात्कर्मयोगो विशिष्यते ||५-२||

śrībhagavānuvāca . saṃnyāsaḥ karmayogaśca niḥśreyasakarāvubhau . tayostu karmasaṃnyāsātkarmayogo viśiṣyate ||5-2||

sri bhagavan uvaca —the Personality of Godhead said; sannyasah —
renunciation of work; karma-yogah —work in devotion; ca —also; nihsreyasa-
karau —all leading to the path of liberation; ubhau —both; tayoh —of the two;
tu —but; karma-sannyasat —in comparison to the renunciation of fruitive
work; karma-yogah —work in devotion; visisyate —is better.

The Blessed Lord said: The renunciation of work and work in devotion
are both good for liberation. But, of the two, work in devotional service is
better than renunciation of works.

Fruitive activities (seeking sense gratification) are cause for material
bondage. As long as one is engaged in activities aimed at improving the
standard of bodily comfort, one is sure to transmigrate to different types of
bodies, thereby continuing material bondage perpetually. SrTmad- Bhagavatam
confirms this as follows:
nunarin pramattah kurute vikarma yad-indriya-pritaya aprnoti
na sadhu manyeyata atmano `yam asann api klesada asa dehah
parabhavas tavad abodha-jato yavanna jijnasata atma-tattvam
yavat kriyas tavad idam mano vai karmatmakam yena sarfra-bandhah
evarh manah karma vasam prayunkte avidyayatmany upadhTyamane
pritir na yavan mayi vasudeve na mucyate deha-yogena tavat
"People are mad after sense gratification, and they do not know that this
present body, which is full of miseries, is a result of one`s fruitive activities in
the past. Although this body is temporary, it is always giving one trouble in
many ways. Therefore, to act for sense gratification is not good. One is
considered to be a failure in life as long as he makes no inquiry about the
nature of work for fruitive results, for as long as one is engrossed in the
consciousness of sense gratification, one has to transmigrate from one body to
another. Although the mind may be engrossed in fruitive activities and
influenced by ignorance, one must develop a love for devotional service to
Vasudeva. Only then can one have the opportunity to get out of the bondage
of material existence." (Bhag . 5.5.4-6)
Therefore, jnana (or knowledge that one is not this material body but spirit
soul) is not sufficient for liberation. One has to act in the status of spirit soul,
otherwise there is no escape from material bondage. Action in Krsna
consciousness is not, however, action on the fruitive platform. Activities
performed in full knowledge strengthen one`s advancement in real knowledge.
Without Krsna consciousness, mere renunciation of fruitive activities does not
actually purify the heart of a conditioned soul. As long as the heart is not
purified, one has to work on the fruitive platform. But action in Krsna
consciousness automatically helps one escape the result of fruitive action so
that one need not descend to the material platform. Therefore, action in Krsna
consciousness is always superior to renunciation, which always entails a risk
of falling. Renunciation without Krsna consciousness is incomplete, as is
confirmed by Srlla Rupa GosvamI in his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu.
prapancikataya buddhya hari-sambandhi-vastunah
mumuksubhih parityago vairagyam phalgu kathyate.
"Renunciation by persons eager to achieve liberation of things which are
related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, though they are material, is
called incomplete renunciation." Renunciation is compete when it is in the
knowledge that everything in existence belongs to the Lord and that no one
should claim proprietorship over anything. One should understand that,
factually, nothing belongs to anyone. Then where is the question of
renunciation? One who knows that everything is Krsna`s property is always
situated in renunciation. Since everything belongs to Krsna, everything should
be employed in the service of Krsna. This perfect form of action in Krsna
consciousness is far better than any amount of artificial renunciation by a
sannyasT of the MayavadI school.


ज्ञेयः स नित्यसंन्यासी यो न द्वेष्टि न काङ्क्षति | निर्द्वन्द्वो हि महाबाहो सुखं बन्धात्प्रमुच्यते ||५-३||

jñeyaḥ sa nityasaṃnyāsī yo na dveṣṭi na kāṅkṣati . nirdvandvo hi mahābāho sukhaṃ bandhātpramucyate ||5-3||

jneyah —should be known; sah —he; nitya —always; sannyasT —renouncer;
yah —who; na —never; dvesti —abhors; na —nor; kanksati —desires;
nirdvandvah —free from all dualities; hi —certainly; maha-baho —O mighty-
armed one; sukham —happily; bandhat —from bondage; pramucyate
—completely liberated.

One who neither hates nor desires the fruits of his activities is known to
be always renounced. Such a person, liberated from all dualities, easily
overcomes material bondage and is completely liberated, O mighty-
armed Arjuna.

One who is fully in Krsna consciousness is always a renouncer because he
feels neither hatred nor desire for the results of his actions. Such a renouncer,
dedicated to the transcendental loving service of the Lord, is fully qualified in
knowledge because he knows his constitutional position in his relationship
with Krsna. He knows fully well that Krsna is the whole and that he is part
and parcel of Krsna. Such knowledge is perfect because it is qualitatively and
quantitatively correct. The concept of oneness with Krsna is incorrect because
the part cannot be equal to the whole. Knowledge that one is one in quality yet
different in quantity is correct transcendental knowledge leading one to
become full in himself, having nothing to aspire to nor lament over. There is
no duality in his mind because whatever he does, he does for Krsna. Being
thus freed from the platform of dualities, he is liberated-even in this material


साङ्ख्ययोगौ पृथग्बालाः प्रवदन्ति न पण्डिताः | एकमप्यास्थितः सम्यगुभयोर्विन्दते फलम् ||५-४||

sāṅkhyayogau pṛthagbālāḥ pravadanti na paṇḍitāḥ . ekamapyāsthitaḥ samyagubhayorvindate phalam ||5-4||

sankhya —analytical study of the material world; yogau —work in
devotional service; prthak —different; balah —less intelligent; pravadanti —do
talk; na —never; panditah —the learned; ekam —in one; api —even though;
asthitah —being situated; samyak —complete; ubhayoh —of both; vindate —
enjoys; phalam —result.

Only the ignorant speak of karma-yoga and devotional service as being
different from the analytical study of the material world [sankhya]. Those
who are actually learned say that he who applies himself well to one of
these paths achieves the results of both.

The aim of the analytical study of the material world is to find the soul of
existence. The soul of the material world is Visnu, or the Supersoul.
Devotional service to the Lord entails service to the Supersoul. One process is
to find the root of the tree, and next to water the root. The real student of
sahkhya philosophy finds the root of the material world, Visnu, and then, in
perfect knowledge, engages himself in the service of the Lord. Therefore, in
essence, there is no difference between the two because the aim of both is
Visnu. Those who do not know the ultimate end say that the purposes of
sahkhya and karma-yoga are not the same, but one who is learned knows the
unifying aim in these different processes.


यत्साङ्ख्यैः प्राप्यते स्थानं तद्योगैरपि गम्यते | एकं साङ्ख्यं च योगं च यः पश्यति स पश्यति ||५-५||

yatsāṅkhyaiḥ prāpyate sthānaṃ tadyogairapi gamyate . ekaṃ sāṅkhyaṃ ca yogaṃ ca yaḥ paśyati sa paśyati ||5-5||

yat —what; sahkhyaih —by means of sahkhya philosophy; prapyate —is
achieved; sthanam —place; tat —that; yogaih —by devotional service; api —
also; gamyate —one can attain; ekam —one; sahkhyam —analytical study; ca
—and; yogam —action in devotion; ca —and; yah —one who; pasyati —sees;
sah —he; pasyati —actually sees.

One who knows that the position reached by means of renunciation can
also be attained by works in devotional service and who therefore sees
that the path of works and the path of renunciation are one, sees things as
they are.

The real purpose of philosophical research is to find the ultimate goal of
life. Since the ultimate goal of life is self-realization, there is no difference
between the conclusions reached by the two processes. By sahkhya
philosophical research one comes to the conclusion that a living entity is not a
part and parcel of the material world, but of the supreme spirit whole.
Consequently, the spirit soul has nothing to do with the material world; his
actions must be in some relation with the Supreme. When he acts in Krsna
consciousness, he is actually in his constitutional position. In the first process
of sahkhya, one has to become detached from matter, and in the devotional
yoga process one has to attach himself to the work of Krsna. Factually, both
processes are the same, although superficially one process appears to involve
detachment and the other process appears to involve attachment. However,
detachment from matter and attachment to Krsna are one and the same. One
who can see this sees things as they are.


संन्यासस्तु महाबाहो दुःखमाप्तुमयोगतः | योगयुक्तो मुनिर्ब्रह्म नचिरेणाधिगच्छति ||५-६||

saṃnyāsastu mahābāho duḥkhamāptumayogataḥ . yogayukto munirbrahma nacireṇādhigacchati ||5-6||

sannyasah —the renounced order of life; tu —but; maha-baho —O mighty-
armed one; duhkham —distress; aptum —to be afflicted with; ayogatah —
without devotional service; yoga-yuktah —one engaged in devotional service;
munih —thinker; brahma —Supreme; na —without; cirena —delay;
adhigacchati —attains.

Unless one is engaged in the devotional service of the Lord, mere
renunciation of activities cannot make one happy. The sages, purified by
works of devotion, achieve the Supreme without delay.

There are two classes of sannyasTs, or persons in the renounced order of
life. The MayavadI sannyasTs are engaged in the study of sahkhya philosophy,
whereas the Vaisnava sannyasTs are engaged in the study of Bhagavatam
philosophy, which affords the proper commentary on the Vedanta-sutras. The
MayavadI sannyasTs also study the Vedanta-sutras, but use their own
commentary, called SarTraka-bhasya, written by Sankaracarya. The students
of the Bhagavata school are engaged in devotional service of the Lord,
according to pahcaratrikT regulations, and therefore the Vaisnava sannyasTs
have multiple engagements in the transcendental service of the Lord. The
Vaisnava sannyasTs have nothing to do with material activities, and yet they
perform various activities in their devotional service to the Lord. But the
MayavadI sannyasTs, engaged in the studies of sahkhya and Vedanta and
speculation, cannot relish transcendental service of the Lord. Because their
studies become very tedious, they sometimes become tired of Brahman
speculation, and thus they take shelter of the Bhagavatam without proper
understanding. Consequently their study of the SrTmad-Bhagavatam becomes
troublesome. Dry speculations and impersonal interpretations by artificial
means are all useless for the MayavadI sannyasTs. The Vaisnava sannyasTs,
who are engaged in devotional service, are happy in the discharge of their
transcendental duties, and they have the guarantee of ultimate entrance into
the kingdom of God. The MayavadI sannyasTs sometimes fall down from the
path of self-realization and again enter into material activities of a
philanthropic and altruistic nature, which are nothing but material
engagements. Therefore, the conclusion is that those who are engaged in
Krsna consciousness are better situated than the sannyasTs engaged in simple
Brahman speculation, although they too come to Krsna consciousness, after
many births.


योगयुक्तो विशुद्धात्मा विजितात्मा जितेन्द्रियः | सर्वभूतात्मभूतात्मा कुर्वन्नपि न लिप्यते ||५-७||

yogayukto viśuddhātmā vijitātmā jitendriyaḥ . sarvabhūtātmabhūtātmā kurvannapi na lipyate ||5-7||

yoga-yuktah —engaged in devotional service; visuddha-atma —a purified
soul; vijita-atma —self-controlled; jita-indriyah —having conquered the senses;
sarvabhuta-atmabhuta-atma —compassionate to all living entities; kurvan api
—although engaged in work; na —never; lipyate —is entangled.

One who works in devotion, who is a pure soul, and who controls his
mind and senses, is dear to everyone, and everyone is dear to him.
Though always working, such a man is never entangled.

One who is on the path of liberation by Krsna consciousness is very dear to
every living being, and every living being is dear to him. This is due to his
Krsna consciousness. Such a person cannot think of any living being as
separate from Krsna, just as the leaves and branches of a tree are not separate
from the tree. He knows very well that by pouring water on the root of the
tree, the water will be distributed to all the leaves and branches, or by
supplying food to the stomach, the energy is automatically distributed
throughout the body. Because one who works in Krsna consciousness is
servant to all, he is very dear to everyone. And, because everyone is satisfied
by his work, he is pure in consciousness. Because he is pure in consciousness,
his mind is completely controlled. And, because his mind is controlled, his
senses are also controlled. Because his mind is always fixed on Krsna, there is
no chance of his being deviated from Krsna. Nor is there a chance that he will
engage his senses in matters other than the service of the Lord. He does not
like to hear anything except topics relating to Krsna; he does not like to eat
anything which is not offered to Krsna; and he does not wish to go anywhere
if Krsna is not involved. Therefore, his senses are controlled. A man of
controlled senses cannot be offensive to anyone. One may ask, "Why then was
Arjuna offensive (in battle) to others? Wasn`t he in Krsna consciousness?"
Arjuna was only superficially offensive because (as has already been
explained in the Second Chapter) all the assembled persons on the battlefield
would continue to live individually, as the soul cannot be slain. So, spiritually,
no one was killed on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra. Only their dresses were
changed by the order of Krsna, who was personally present. Therefore Arjuna,
while fighting on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra, was not really fighting at all;
he was simply carrying out the orders of Krsna in full Krsna consciousness.
Such a person is never entangled in the reactions of work.


नैव किञ्चित्करोमीति युक्तो मन्येत तत्त्ववित् | पश्यञ्शृण्वन्स्पृशञ्जिघ्रन्नश्नन्गच्छन्स्वपञ्श्वसन् ||५-८||

naiva kiñcitkaromīti yukto manyeta tattvavit . paśyañśruṇvanspṛśañjighrannaśnangacchansvapañśvasan ||5-8||

na —never; eva —certainly; kincit —anything; karomi —do I do; iti —thus;
yuktah —engaged in the divine consciousness; manyeta —thinks; tattvavit —
one who knows the truth; pasyan —by seeing; smvan —by hearing; sprsan —by
touching; jighran —by smelling; asnan —by eating; gacchan —by going;
svapan —by dreaming; svasan —by breathing; pralapan —by talking; visrjan —
by giving up; grhnan —by accepting; unmisan —opening; nimisan —closing;
api —in spite of; indriyani —the senses; indriya-arthesu —in sense gratification;
vartante —let them be so engaged; iti —thus; dharayan —considering.

A person in the divine consciousness, although engaged in seeing,
hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving about, sleeping, and
breathing, always knows within himself that he actually does nothing at
all. Because while speaking, evacuating, receiving, opening or closing his
eyes, he always knows that only the material senses are engaged with
their objects and that he is aloof from them.

A person in Krsna consciousness is pure in his existence, and consequently
he has nothing to do with any work which depends upon five immediate and
remote causes: the doer, the work, the situation, the endeavor and fortune.
This is because he is engaged in the loving transcendental service of Krsna.
Although he appears to be acting with his body and senses, he is always
conscious of his actual position, which is spiritual engagement. In material
consciousness, the senses are engaged in sense gratification, but in Krsna
consciousness the senses are engaged in the satisfaction of Krsna`s senses.
Therefore, the Krsna conscious person is always free, even though he appears
to be engaged in things of the senses. Activities such as seeing, hearing,
speaking, evacuating, etc., are actions of the senses meant for work. A Krsna
consciousness person is never affected by the actions of the senses. He cannot
perform any act except in the service of the Lord because he knows that he is
the eternal servitor of the Lord.


प्रलपन्विसृजन्गृह्णन्नुन्मिषन्निमिषन्नपि | इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेषु वर्तन्त इति धारयन् ||५-९||

pralapanvisṛjangṛhṇannunmiṣannimiṣannapi . indriyāṇīndriyārtheṣu vartanta iti dhārayan ||5-9||


ब्रह्मण्याधाय कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा करोति यः | लिप्यते न स पापेन पद्मपत्रमिवाम्भसा ||५-१०||

brahmaṇyādhāya karmāṇi saṅgaṃ tyaktvā karoti yaḥ . lipyate na sa pāpena padmapatramivāmbhasā ||5-10||

brahmani —the Supreme Personality of Godhead; adhaya —resigning unto;
karmani —all works; sahgam —attachment; tyaktva —giving up; karoti
—performs; yah —who; lipyate —is affected; na —never; sah —he; papena —by
sin; padma-patram —lotus leaf; iva —like; ambhasa —in the water.

One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the
results unto the Supreme God, is not affected by sinful action, as the lotus
leaf is untouched by water.

Here brahmani means in Krsna consciousness. The material world is a sum
total manifestation of the three modes of material nature, technically called the
pradhana. The Vedic hymns, sarvam etad brahma, tasmad etad brahma
nama-rupam armarh ca jayate, and, in the Bhagavad-gTta, mama yonir mahad
brahma, indicate that everything in the material world is the manifestation of
Brahman; and, although the effects are differently manifested, they are
nondifferent from the cause. In the Isopanisad it is said that everything is
related to the Supreme Brahman or Krsna, and thus everything belongs to Him
only. One who knows perfectly well that everything belongs to Krsna, that He
is the proprietor of everything and that, therefore, everything is engaged in the
service of the Lord, naturally has nothing to do with the results of his
activities, whether virtuous or sinful. Even one`s material body, being a gift of
the Lord for carrying out a particular type of action, can be engaged in Krsna
consciousness. It is beyond contamination by sinful reactions, exactly as the
lotus leaf, though remaining in the water, is not wet. The Lord also says in the
Gita: mayi sarvani karmani sarmyasya: "Resign all works unto Me [Krsna]."
The conclusion is that a person without Krsna consciousness acts according to
the concept of the material body and senses, but a person in Krsna
consciousness acts according to the knowledge that the body is the property of
Krsna and should therefore be engaged in the service of Krsna.


कायेन मनसा बुद्ध्या केवलैरिन्द्रियैरपि | योगिनः कर्म कुर्वन्ति सङ्गं त्यक्त्वात्मशुद्धये ||५-११||

kāyena manasā buddhyā kevalairindriyairapi . yoginaḥ karma kurvanti saṅgaṃ tyaktvātmaśuddhaye ||5-11||

kayena —with the body; manasa —with the mind; buddhya —with the
intelligence; kevalaih —purified; indriyaih —with the senses; api —even with;
yoginah —the Krsna conscious persons; karma —actions; kurvanti —they act;
sahgam —attachment; tyaktva —giving up; atma —self; suddhaye —for the
purpose of purification.

The yogis, abandoning attachment, act with body, mind, intelligence,
and even with the senses, only for the purpose of purification.

By acting in Krsna consciousness for the satisfaction of the senses of Krsna,
any action, whether of the body, mind, intelligence or even of the senses, is
purified of material contamination. There are no material reactions resulting
from the activities of a Krsna conscious person. Therefore, purified activities,
which are generally called sadacara, can be easily performed by acting in
Krsna consciousness. Sri Rupa GosvamI in his Bhakti-rasamrta- sindhu
describes this as follows:
Tha yasya barer dasye karmana manasa gird
nikhilasv apy avasthasu jfvanmuktah sa ucyate
A person acting in Krsna consciousness (or, in other words, in the service of
Krsna) with his body, mind, intelligence and words is a liberated person even
within the material world, although he may be engaged in many so-called
material activities. He has no false ego, nor does he believe that he is this
material body, nor that he possesses the body. He knows that he is not this
body and that this body does not belong to him. He himself belongs to Krsna,
and the body too belongs to Krsna. When he applies everything produced of
the body, mind, intelligence, words, life, wealth, etc.-whatever he may have
within his possession-to Krsna`s service, he is at once dovetailed with Krsna.
He is one with Krsna and is devoid of the false ego that leads one to believe
that he is the body, etc. This is the perfect stage of Krsna consciousness.


युक्तः कर्मफलं त्यक्त्वा शान्तिमाप्नोति नैष्ठिकीम् | अयुक्तः कामकारेण फले सक्तो निबध्यते ||५-१२||

yuktaḥ karmaphalaṃ tyaktvā śāntimāpnoti naiṣṭhikīm . ayuktaḥ kāmakāreṇa phale sakto nibadhyate ||5-12||

yuktah —one who is engaged in devotional service; karma-phalam —the
results of all activities; tyaktva —giving up; santim —perfect peace; apnoti —
achieves; naisthikfm —unflinching; ayuktah —one who is not in Krsna
consciousness; kama-karena —for enjoying the result of work; phale —in the
result; saktah —attached; nibadhyate —becomes entangled.

The steadily devoted soul attains unadulterated peace because he offers
the result of all activities to Me; whereas a person who is not in union
with the Divine, who is greedy for the fruits of his labor, becomes

The difference between a person in Krsna consciousness and a person in
bodily consciousness is that the former is attached to Krsna, whereas the latter
is attached to the results of his activities. The person who is attached to Krsna
and works for Him only is certainly a liberated person, and he is not anxious
for fruitive rewards. In the Bhagavatam, the cause of anxiety over the result of
an activity is explained as being due to one`s functioning in the conception of
duality, that is, without knowledge of the Absolute Truth. Krsna is the
Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead. In Krsna consciousness,
there is no duality. All that exists is a product of Krsna`s energy, and Krsna is
all good. Therefore, activities in Krsna consciousness are on the absolute
plane; they are transcendental and have no material effect. One is, therefore,
filled with peace in Krsna consciousness. One who is, however, entangled in
profit calculation for sense gratification cannot have that peace. This is the
secret of Krsna consciousness—realization that there is no existence besides
Krsna is the platform of peace and fearlessness.


सर्वकर्माणि मनसा संन्यस्यास्ते सुखं वशी | नवद्वारे पुरे देही नैव कुर्वन्न कारयन् ||५-१३||

sarvakarmāṇi manasā saṃnyasyāste sukhaṃ vaśī . navadvāre pure dehī naiva kurvanna kārayan ||5-13||

sarva —all; karmani —activities; manasa —by the mind; sannyasya —giving
up; aste —remains; sukham —in happiness; vasT—one who is controlled; nava-
dvare —in the place where there are nine gates; pure —in the city; dehT —the
embodied soul; na —never; eva —certainly; kurvan —doing anything; na —not;
karayan —causing to be done.

When the embodied living being controls his nature and mentally
renounces all actions, he resides happily in the city of nine gates [the
material body], neither working nor causing work to be done.

The embodied soul lives in the city of nine gates. The activities of the body,
or the figurative city of body, are conducted automatically by the particular
modes of nature. The soul, although subjecting himself to the conditions of the
body, can be beyond those conditions, if he so desires. Owing only to
forgetfulness of his superior nature, he identifies with the material body, and
therefore suffers. By Krsna consciousness, he can revive his real position and
thus come out of his embodiment. Therefore, when one takes to Krsna
consciousness, one at once becomes completely aloof from bodily activities.
In such a controlled life, in which his deliberations are changed, he lives
happily within the city of nine gates. The nine gates are described as follows:
nava-dvare pure dehT harhso lelayate bahih
vasT sarvasya lokasya sthavarasya carasya ca.
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is living within the body of a
living entity, is the controller of all living entities all over the universe. The
body consists of nine gates: two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, one mouth, the
anus and the genital. The living entity in his conditioned stage identifies
himself with the body, but when he identifies himself with the Lord within
himself, he becomes just as free as the Lord, even while in the body." ( Svet .
3 . 18 )
Therefore, a Krsna conscious person is free from both the outer and inner
activities of the material body.


न कर्तृत्वं न कर्माणि लोकस्य सृजति प्रभुः | न कर्मफलसंयोगं स्वभावस्तु प्रवर्तते ||५-१४||

na kartṛtvaṃ na karmāṇi lokasya sṛjati prabhuḥ . na karmaphalasaṃyogaṃ svabhāvastu pravartate ||5-14||

na —never; kartrtvam —proprietorship; na —nor; karmani —activities;
lokasya —of the people; srjati —creates; prabhuh —the master of the city of the
body; na —nor; karma-phala —results of activities; sarhyogam —connection;
svabhavah —modes of material nature; tu —but; pravartate —acts.

The embodied spirit, master of the city of his body, does not create
activities, nor does he induce people to act, nor does he create the fruits of
action. All this is enacted by the modes of material nature.

The living entity, as will be explained in the Seventh Chapter, is one in
nature with the Supreme Lord, distinguished from matter, which is another
nature—called inferior—of the Lord. Somehow, the superior nature, the living
entity, has been in contact with material nature since time immemorial. The
temporary body or material dwelling place which he obtains is the cause of
varieties of activities and their resultant reactions. Living in such a conditional
atmosphere, one suffers the results of the activities of the body by identifying
himself (in ignorance) with the body. It is ignorance acquired from time
immemorial that is the cause of bodily suffering and distress. As soon as the
living entity becomes aloof from the activities of the body, he becomes free
from the reactions as well. As long as he is in the city of body, he appears to
be the master of it, but actually he is neither its proprietor nor controller of its
actions and reactions. He is simply in the midst of the material ocean,
struggling for existence. The waves of the ocean are tossing him, and he has
no control over them. His best solution is to get out of the water by
transcendental Krsna consciousness. That alone will save him from all


नादत्ते कस्यचित्पापं न चैव सुकृतं विभुः | अज्ञानेनावृतं ज्ञानं तेन मुह्यन्ति जन्तवः ||५-१५||

nādatte kasyacitpāpaṃ na caiva sukṛtaṃ vibhuḥ . ajñānenāvṛtaṃ jñānaṃ tena muhyanti jantavaḥ ||5-15||

na —never; adatte —accepts; kasyacit —anyone`s; papam —sin; na —nor; ca
— also; eva —certainly; sukrtam —pious activities; vibhuh —the Supreme Lord;
ajhanena —by ignorance; avrtam —covered; jnanam —knowledge; tena —by
that; muhyanti —bewildered; jantavah —the living entities.

Nor does the Supreme Spirit assume anyone`s sinful or pious activities.
Embodied beings, however, are bewildered because of the ignorance
which covers their real knowledge.

The Sanskrit word vibhuh means the Supreme Lord who is full of unlimited
knowledge, riches, strength, fame, beauty and renunciation. He is always
satisfied in Himself, undisturbed by sinful or pious activities. He does not
create a particular situation for any living entity, but the living entity,
bewildered by ignorance, desires to be put into certain conditions of life, and
thereby his chain of action and reaction begins. A living entity is, by superior
nature, full of knowledge. Nevertheless, he is prone to be influenced by
ignorance due to his limited power. The Lord is omnipotent, but the living
entity is not. The Lord is vibhu, or omniscient, but the living entity is anu, or
atomic. Because he is a living soul, he has the capacity to desire by his free
will. Such desire is fulfilled only by the omnipotent Lord. And so, when the
living entity is bewildered in his desires, the Lord allows him to fulfill those
desires, but the Lord is never responsible for the actions and reactions of the
particular situation which may be desired. Being in a bewildered condition,
therefore, the embodied soul identifies himself with the circumstantial
material body and becomes subjected to the temporary misery and happiness
of life. The Lord is the constant companion of the living entity as Paramatma,
or the Supersoul, and therefore He can understand the desires of the individual
soul, as one can smell the flavor of a flower by being near it. Desire is a subtle
form of conditioning of the living entity. The Lord fulfills his desire as he
deserves: Man proposes and God disposes. The individual is not, therefore,
omnipotent in fulfilling his desires. The Lord, however, can fulfill all desires,
and the Lord, being neutral to everyone, does not interfere with the desires of
the minute independant living entities. However, when one desires Krsna, the
Lord takes special care and encourages one to desire in such a way that one
can attain to Him and be eternally happy. The Vedic hymn therefore declares:
esa u by eva sadhu karma karayati tarn yamebhyo lokebhya unnimsate
esa u evasadhu karma karayati yamadho nimsate.
ajno jantur anTso `yam atmanah sukha-duhkhayoh
Tsvara-prerito gacchet svargarh vasvabhram eva ca.
"The Lord engages the living entity in pious activities so he may be elevated.
The Lord engages him in impious activities so he may go to hell. The living
entity is completely dependant in his distress and happiness. By the will of the
Supreme he can go to heaven or hell, as a cloud is driven by the air."
Therefore the embodied soul, by his immemorial desire to avoid Krsna
consciousness, causes his own bewilderment. Consequently, although he is
constitutionally eternal, blissful and cognizant, due to the littleness of his
existence he forgets his constitutional position of service to the Lord and is
thus entrapped by nescience. And, under the spell of ignorance, the living
entity claims that the Lord is responsible for his conditional existence. The
Vedanta-sutras also confirm this:
vaisamya-nairghrnye na sapeksatvat tatha hi darsayad.
"The Lord neither hates nor likes anyone, though He appears to."


ज्ञानेन तु तदज्ञानं येषां नाशितमात्मनः | तेषामादित्यवज्ज्ञानं प्रकाशयति तत्परम् ||५-१६||

jñānena tu tadajñānaṃ yeṣāṃ nāśitamātmanaḥ . teṣāmādityavajjñānaṃ prakāśayati tatparam ||5-16||

jhanena —by knowledge; tu —but; tat —that; ajhanam —nescience; yesam
—of those; nasitam —is destroyed; atmanah —of the living entity; tesam —of
their; adityavat —like the rising sun; jhanam —knowledge; prakasayad
—discloses; tat param —in Krsna consciousness.

When, however, one is enlightened with the knowledge by which
nescience is destroyed, then his knowledge reveals everything, as the sun
lights up everything in the daytime.

Those who have forgotten Krsna must certainly be bewildered, but those
who are in Krsna consciousness are not bewildered at all. It is stated in the
Bhagavad-gTta, "sarvarh jnana-plavena,” "jhanagnih sarva karmani" and "na
hi jhanena sadrsam." Knowledge is always highly esteemed. And what is that
knowledge? Perfect knowledge is achieved when one surrenders unto Krsna,
as is said in the Seventh Chapter, 19th verse: bahunam janmanam ante
jhanavan mam prapadyate. After passing through many, many births, when
one perfect in knowledge surrenders unto Krsna, or when one attains Krsna
consciousness, then everything is revealed to him, as the sun reveals
everything in the daytime. The living entity is bewildered in so many ways.
For instance, when he thinks himself God, unceremoniously, he actually falls
into the last snare of nescience. If a living entity is God, then how can he
become bewildered by nescience? Does God become bewildered by
nescience? If so, then nescience, or Satan, is greater than God. Real
knowledge can be obtained from a person who is in perfect Krsna
consciousness. Therefore, one has to seek out such a bona fide spiritual master
and, under him, learn what Krsna consciousness is. The spiritual master can
drive away all nescience, as the sun drives away darkness. Even though a
person may be in full knowledge that he is not this body but is transcendental
to the body, he still may not be able to discriminate between the soul and the
Supersoul. However, he can know everything well if he cares to take shelter of
the perfect, bona fide Krsna conscious spiritual master. One can know God
and one`s relationship with God only when one actually meets a representative
of God. A representative of God never claims that he is God, although he is
paid all the respect ordinarily paid to God because he has knowledge of God.
One has to learn the distinction between God and the living entity. Lord Sri
Krsna therefore stated in the Second Chapter (2.12) that every living being is
individual and that the Lord also is individual. They were all individuals in the
past, they are individuals at present, and they will continue to be individuals in
the future, even after liberation. At night we see everything as one in the
darkness, but in day when the sun is up, we see everything in its real identity.
Identity with individuality in spiritual life is real knowledge.


तद्बुद्धयस्तदात्मानस्तन्निष्ठास्तत्परायणाः | गच्छन्त्यपुनरावृत्तिं ज्ञाननिर्धूतकल्मषाः ||५-१७||

tadbuddhayastadātmānastanniṣṭhāstatparāyaṇāḥ . gacchantyapunarāvṛttiṃ jñānanirdhūtakalmaṣāḥ ||5-17||

tad-buddhayah —one whose intelligence is always in the Supreme; tad-
atmanah —one whose mind is always in the Supreme; tat-nisthah —whose
mind is only meant for the Supreme; tat-parayanah —who has completely
taken shelter of Him; gacchanti —goes; apunah-avrtdm —liberation; jhana —
knowledge; nirdhiita —cleanses; kalmasah —misgivings.

When one`s intelligence, mind, faith and refuge are all fixed in the
Supreme, then one becomes fully cleansed of misgivings through complete
knowledge and thus proceeds straight on the path of liberation.

The Supreme Transcendental Truth is Lord Krsna. The whole Bhagavad-
gita centers around the declaration of Krsna as the Supreme Personality of
Godhead. That is the version of all Vedic literature. Paratattva means the
Supreme Reality, who is understood by the knowers of the Supreme as
Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. Bhagavan, or the Supreme Personality
of Godhead, is the last word in the Absolute. There is nothing more than
that.The Lord says, mattah parataram nanyat kihcit asd dhanahjaya.
Impersonal Brahman is also supported by Krsna: brahmano pradsthaham.
Therefore in all ways Krsna is the Supreme Reality. One whose mind,
intelligence, faith and refuge are always in Krsna, or, in other words, one who
is fully in Krsna consciousness, is undoubtedly washed clean of all misgivings
and is in perfect knowledge in everything concerning transcendence. A Krsna
conscious person can thoroughly understand that there is duality
(simultaneous identity and individuality) in Krsna, and, equipped with such
transcendental knowledge, one can make steady progress on the path of


विद्याविनयसम्पन्ने ब्राह्मणे गवि हस्तिनि | शुनि चैव श्वपाके च पण्डिताः समदर्शिनः ||५-१८||

vidyāvinayasampanne brāhmaṇe gavi hastini . śuni caiva śvapāke ca paṇḍitāḥ samadarśinaḥ ||5-18||

vidya —education; vinaya —gentleness; sampanne —fully equipped;
brahmane —in the brahmana; gavi —in the cow; hastini —in the elephant; suni
—in the dog; ca —and; eva —certainly; svapake —in the dog-eater (the
outcaste); ca —respectively; panditah-those who are so wise; sama-darsinah
—do see with equal vision.

The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a
learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater
[outcaste] .

A Krsna conscious person does not make any distinction between species or
castes. The brahmana and the outcaste may be different from the social point
of view, or a dog, a cow, or an elephant may be different from the point of
view of species, but these differences of body are meaningless from the
viewpoint of a learned transcendentalist. This is due to their relationship to the
Supreme, for the Supreme Lord, by His plenary portion as Paramatma, is
present in everyone`s heart. Such an understanding of the Supreme is real
knowledge. As far as the bodies are concerned in different castes or different
species of life, the Lord is equally kind to everyone because He treats every
living being as a friend yet maintains Himself as Paramatma regardless of the
circumstances of the living entities. The Lord as Paramatma is present both in
the outcaste and in the brahmana, although the body of a brahmana and that
of an outcaste are not the same. The bodies are material productions of
different modes of material nature, but the soul and the Supersoul within the
body are of the same spiritual quality. The similarity in the quality of the soul
and the Super soul, however, does not make them equal in quantity, for the
individual soul is present only in that particular body, whereas the Paramatma
is present in each and every body. A Krsna conscious person has full
knowledge of this, and therefore he is truly learned and has equal vision. The
similar characteristics of the soul and Supersoul are that they are both
conscious, eternal and blissful. But the difference is that the individual soul is
conscious within the limited jurisdiction of the body, whereas the Supersoul is
conscious of all bodies. The Supersoul is present in all bodies without


इहैव तैर्जितः सर्गो येषां साम्ये स्थितं मनः | निर्दोषं हि समं ब्रह्म तस्माद् ब्रह्मणि ते स्थिताः ||५-१९||

ihaiva tairjitaḥ sargo yeṣāṃ sāmye sthitaṃ manaḥ . nirdoṣaṃ hi samaṃ brahma tasmād brahmaṇi te sthitāḥ ||5-19||

iha —in this life; eva —certainly; taih —by them; jitah —conquered; sargah —
birth and death; yesam —of those; samye —in equanimity; sthitam —so situated;
manah —mind; nirdosam —flawless; hi —certainly; samam —in equanimity;
brahma —the Supreme; tasmat —therefore; brahmani —in the Supreme; te
—they; sthitah —are situated.

Those whose minds are established in sameness and equanimity have
already conquered the conditions of birth and death. They are flawless
like Brahman, and thus they are already situated in Brahman.

Equanimity of mind, as mentioned above, is the sign of self-realization.
Those who have actually attained to such a stage should be considered to have
conquered material conditions, specifically birth and death. As long as one
identifies with this body, he is considered a conditioned soul, but as soon as he
is elevated to the stage of equanimity through realization of self, he is
liberated from conditional life. In other words, he is no longer subject to take
birth in the material world but can enter into the spiritual sky after his death.
The Lord is flawless because He is without attraction or hatred. Similarly,
when a living entity is without attraction or hatred, he also becomes flawless
and eligible to enter into the spiritual sky. Such persons are to be considered
already liberated, and their symptoms are described below.


न प्रहृष्येत्प्रियं प्राप्य नोद्विजेत्प्राप्य चाप्रियम् | स्थिरबुद्धिरसम्मूढो ब्रह्मविद् ब्रह्मणि स्थितः ||५-२०||

na prahṛṣyetpriyaṃ prāpya nodvijetprāpya cāpriyam . sthirabuddhirasammūḍho brahmavid brahmaṇi sthitaḥ ||5-20||

na —never; prahrsyet —rejoice; priyam —pleasant; prapya —achieving; na —
does not; udvijet —agitated; prapya —obtaining; ca —also; apriyam
—unpleasant; sthira-buddhih —self-intelligent; asammudhah —unbewildered;
brahmavit — one who knows the Supreme perfectly; brahmani —in the
Transcendence; sthitah —situated.

A person who neither rejoices upon achieving something pleasant nor
laments upon obtaining something unpleasant, who is self-intelligent,
unbewildered, and who knows the science of God, is to be understood as
already situated in Transcendence.

The symptoms of the self-realized person are given herein. The first
symptom is that he is not illusioned by the false identification of the body with
his true self. He knows perfectly well that he is not this body, but is the
fragmental portion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is therefore not
joyful in achieving something, nor does he lament in losing anything which is
related to his body. This steadiness of mind is called sthira-buddhi, or self¬
intelligence. He is therefore never bewildered by mistaking the gross body for
the soul, nor does he accept the body as permanent and disregard the existence
of the soul. This knowledge elevates him to the station of knowing the
complete science of the Absolute Truth, namely Brahman, Paramatma and
Bhagavan. He thus knows his constitutional position perfectly well, without
falsely trying to become one with the Supreme in all respects. This is called
Brahman realization, or self- realization. Such steady consciousness is called
Krsna consciousness.


बाह्यस्पर्शेष्वसक्तात्मा विन्दत्यात्मनि यत्सुखम् | स ब्रह्मयोगयुक्तात्मा सुखमक्षयमश्नुते ||५-२१||

bāhyasparśeṣvasaktātmā vindatyātmani yatsukham . sa brahmayogayuktātmā sukhamakṣayamaśnute ||5-21||

bahya-sparsesu —in external sense pleasure; asakta-atma —one who is not
so attached; vindati —enjoys; atmani —in the self; yat —that which; sukham
—happiness; sah —that; brahma-yoga —concentrated in Brahman; yukta- atma
—self-connected; sukham —happiness; aksayam —unlimited; asnute — enjoys.

Such a liberated person is not attracted to material sense pleasure or
external objects but is always in trance, enjoying the pleasure within. In
this way the self-realized person enjoys unlimited happiness, for he
concentrates on the Supreme.

Sn Yamunacarya, a great devotee in Krsna consciousness, said:
yadavadhi mama cetah krsna-padaravinde
nava-nava-rasa-dhamanudyata rantum asit
tadavadhi bata narT-sahgame smaryamane
bhavati mukha-vikarah sustu nisthivanam ca
"Since I have been engaged in the transcendental loving service of Krsna,
realizing ever-new pleasure in Him, whenever I think of sex pleasure, I spit at
the thought, and my lips curl with distaste." A person in brahma-yoga, or
Krsna consciousness, is so absorbed in the loving service of the Lord that he
loses his taste for material sense pleasure altogether. The highest pleasure in
terms of matter is sex pleasure. The whole world is moving under its spell,
and a materialist cannot work at all without this motivation. But a person
engaged in Krsna consciousness can work with greater vigor without sex
pleasure, which he avoids. That is the test in spiritual realization. Spiritual
realization and sex pleasure go ill together. A Krsna conscious person is not
attracted to any kind of sense pleasure due to his being a liberated soul.


ये हि संस्पर्शजा भोगा दुःखयोनय एव ते | आद्यन्तवन्तः कौन्तेय न तेषु रमते बुधः ||५-२२||

ye hi saṃsparśajā bhogā duḥkhayonaya eva te . ādyantavantaḥ kaunteya na teṣu ramate budhaḥ ||5-22||

ye —those; hi —certainly; samsparsajah —by contact with the material
senses; bhogah —enjoyment; duhkha —distress; yonayah —sources of; eva —
certainly; te —they are; adi —in the beginning; antavantah —subject to;
kaunteya —O son of Kunti; na —never; tesu —in those; ramate —take delight;
budhah —the intelligent.

An intelligent person does not take part in the sources of misery, which
are due to contact with the material senses. O son of Kunti, such
pleasures have a beginning and an end, and so the wise man does not
delight in them.

Material sense pleasures are due to the contact of the material senses, which
are all temporary because the body itself is temporary. A liberated soul is not
interested in anything which is temporary. Knowing well the joys of
transcendental pleasures, how can a liberated soul agree to enjoy false
pleasure? In the Padma Purana it is said:
ramante yogino `nante satyananda-cid-atmani
iti rama-padenasau param brahmabhidhiyate
"The mystics derive unlimited transcendental pleasures from the Absolute
Truth, and therefore the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead,
is also known as Rama."
In the Srimad-Bhagavatam also it is said:
nayam deho deha-bhajam nr-loke
kastan kamanarhate vid-bhujam ye
tapo divyarh putraka yena sattvam
suddhyed yasmad brahma-saukhyam tv anantam.
"My dear sons, there is no reason to labor very hard for sense pleasure while
in this human form of life; such pleasures are available to the stool-eaters
[hogs]. Rather, you should undergo penances in this life by which your
existence will be purified, and, as a result, you will be able to enjoy unlimited
transcendental bliss." (Bhag . 5.5.1)
Therefore, those who are true yogis or learned transcendentalists are not
attracted by sense pleasures, which are the causes of continuous material
existence. The more one is addicted to material pleasures, the more he is
entrapped by material miseries.


शक्नोतीहैव यः सोढुं प्राक्शरीरविमोक्षणात् | कामक्रोधोद्भवं वेगं स युक्तः स सुखी नरः ||५-२३||

śaknotīhaiva yaḥ soḍhuṃ prākśarīravimokṣaṇāt . kāmakrodhodbhavaṃ vegaṃ sa yuktaḥ sa sukhī naraḥ ||5-23||

saknoti —able to do; iha eva —in the present body; yah —one who; sodhum
—to tolerate; prak —before; sarTra —body; vimoksanat —giving up; kama
—desire; krodha —anger; udbhavam —generated from; vegam —urge; sah —he;
yuktah —in trance; sah —he; sukhT —happy; narah —human being.

Before giving up this present body, if one is able to tolerate the urges of
the material senses and check the force of desire and anger, he is a yogi
and is happy in this world.

If one wants to make steady progress on the path of self-realization, he must
try to control the forces of the material senses. There are the forces of talk,
forces of anger, forces of mind, forces of the stomach, forces of the genitals,
and forces of the tongue. One who is able to control the forces of all these
different senses, and the mind, is called gosvamT, or svamT. Such gosvamTs live
strictly controlled lives, and forego altogether the forces of the senses.
Material desires, when unsatiated, generate anger, and thus the mind, eyes and
chest become agitated. Therefore, one must practice to control them before
one gives up this material body. One who can do this is understood to be self-
realized and is thus happy in the state of self-realization. It is the duty of the
transcendentalist to try strenuously to control desire and anger.


योऽन्तःसुखोऽन्तरारामस्तथान्तर्ज्योतिरेव यः | स योगी ब्रह्मनिर्वाणं ब्रह्मभूतोऽधिगच्छति ||५-२४||

yo.antaḥsukho.antarārāmastathāntarjyotireva yaḥ . sa yogī brahmanirvāṇaṃ brahmabhūto.adhigacchati ||5-24||

yah —one who; antah-sukhah —happy from within; antah-aramah —active
within; tatha —as well as; antah-jyotih —aiming within; eva —certainly; yah
—anyone; sah —he; yogi —mystic; brahma-nirvanam —liberated in the
Supreme; brahma-bhutah —self-realized; adhigacchati —attains.

One whose happiness is within, who is active within, who rejoices
within and is illumined within, is actually the perfect mystic. He is
liberated in the Supreme, and ultimately he attains the Supreme.

Unless one is able to relish happiness from within, how can one retire from
the external engagements meant for deriving superficial happiness? A
liberated person enjoys happiness by factual experience. He can, therefore, sit
silently at any place and enjoy the activities of life from within. Such a
liberated person no longer desires external material happiness. This state is
called brahma-bhuta, attaining which one is assured of going back to
Godhead, back to home.


लभन्ते ब्रह्मनिर्वाणमृषयः क्षीणकल्मषाः | छिन्नद्वैधा यतात्मानः सर्वभूतहिते रताः ||५-२५||

labhante brahmanirvāṇamṛṣayaḥ kṣīṇakalmaṣāḥ . chinnadvaidhā yatātmānaḥ sarvabhūtahite ratāḥ ||5-25||

labhante —achieve; brahma-nirvanam —liberation in the Supreme; rsayah
—those who are active within; ksma-kalmasah —who are devoid of all sins;
chinna —torn off; dvaidhah —duality; yata-atmanah —engaged in self-
realization; sarva-bhiita —in all living entities; hite —in welfare work; ratah —

One who is beyond duality and doubt, whose mind is engaged within,
who is always busy working for the welfare of all sentient beings, and who
is free from all sins, achieves liberation in the Supreme.

Only a person who is fully in Krsna consciousness can be said to be
engaged in welfare work for all living entities. When a person is actually in
the knowledge that Krsna is the fountainhead of everything, then when he acts
in that spirit he acts for everyone. The sufferings of humanity are due to
forgetfulness of Krsna as the supreme enjoyer, the supreme proprietor, and the
supreme friend. Therefore, to act to revive this consciousness within the entire
human society is the highest welfare work. One cannot be engaged in first-
class welfare work without being liberated in the Supreme. A Krsna conscious
person has no doubt about the supremacy of Krsna. He has no doubt because
he is completely freed from all sins. This is the state of divine love.
A person engaged only in ministering to the physical welfare of human
society cannot factually help anyone. Temporary relief of the external body
and the mind is not satisfactory. The real cause of one`s difficulties in the hard
struggle for life may be found in one`s forgetfulness of his relationship with
the Supreme Lord. When a man is fully conscious of his relationship with
Krsna, he is actually a liberated soul, although he may be in the material


कामक्रोधवियुक्तानां यतीनां यतचेतसाम् | अभितो ब्रह्मनिर्वाणं वर्तते विदितात्मनाम् ||५-२६||

kāmakrodhaviyuktānāṃ yatīnāṃ yatacetasām . abhito brahmanirvāṇaṃ vartate viditātmanām ||5-26||

kama —desires; krodha —anger; vimuktanam —of those who are so liberated;
yatmam —of the saintly persons; yata-cetasam —of persons who have full
control over the mind; abhitah —assured in the near future; brahma- nirvanam
—liberation in the Supreme; vartate —is there; vidita-atmanam —of those who
are self-realized.

Those who are free from anger and all material desires, who are
selfrealized, self-disciplined and constantly endeavoring for perfection,
are assured of liberation in the Supreme in the very near future.

Of the saintly persons who are constantly engaged in striving toward
salvation, one who is in Krsna consciousness is the best of all. The
Bhagavatam confirms this fact as follows:
karmasayam grathitam udgrathayanti santah
tadvan na rikta-matayo yatayo `pi ruddha-
srotoganas tarn aranam bhaja vasudevam.
"Just try to worship, in devotional service, Vasudeva, the Supreme Personality
of Godhead. Even great sages are not able to control the forces of the senses
as effectively as those who are engaged in transcendental bliss by serving the
lotus feet of the Lord, uprooting the deep grown desire for fruitive activities."
(Bhag. 4.22.39)
In the conditioned soul the desire to enjoy the fruitive results of work is so
deep-rooted that it is very difficult even for the great sages to control such
desires, despite great endeavors. A devotee of the Lord, constantly engaged in
devotional service in Krsna consciousness, perfect in self-realization, very
quickly attains liberation in the Supreme. Owing to his complete knowledge in
self-realization, he always remains in trance. To cite an analagous example of
darsana-dhyana-samsparsair matsya-kurma-vihangamah
svanya patyani pusnanti tathaham api padmaja.
"By vision, by meditation and by touch only do the fish, the tortoise and the
birds maintain their offspring. Similarly do I also, O Padmaja!"
The fish brings up its offspring simply by looking at them. The tortoise
brings up its offspring simply by meditation. The eggs of the tortoise are laid
on land, and the tortoise meditates on the eggs while in the water. Similarly, a
devotee in Krsna consciousness, although far away from the Lord`s abode, can
elevate himself to that abode simply by thinking of Him constantly-by
engagement in Krsna consciousness. He does not feel the pangs of material
miseries; this state of life is called brahma-nirvana, or the absence of material
miseries due to being constantly immersed in the Supreme.


स्पर्शान्कृत्वा बहिर्बाह्यांश्चक्षुश्चैवान्तरे भ्रुवोः | प्राणापानौ समौ कृत्वा नासाभ्यन्तरचारिणौ ||५-२७||

sparśānkṛtvā bahirbāhyāṃścakṣuścaivāntare bhruvoḥ . prāṇāpānau samau kṛtvā nāsābhyantaracāriṇau ||5-27||

sparsan —external sense objects, such as sound, etc.; krtva —doing so; bahih
—external; bahyan —unnecessary; caksuh —eyes; ca —also; eva —certainly;
antare —within; bhruvoh —of the eyebrows; prana-apanau —up-and down-
moving air; samau —in suspension; krtva —doing so; nasa-abhyantara
—within the nostrils; carinau —blowing; yata —controlled; indriya —senses;
manah —mind; buddhih —intelligence; munih —the transcendentalist; moksa —
liberation; parayanah —being so destined; vigata —discarded; iccha —wishes;
bhaya —fear; krodhah —anger; yah —one who; sada —always; muktah
—liberated; eva —certainly; sah —he is.

Shutting out all external sense objects, keeping the eyes and vision
concentrated between the two eyebrows, suspending the inward and
outward breaths within the nostrils-thus controlling the mind, senses and
intelligence, the tranecendentalist becomes free from desire, fear and
anger. One who is always in this state is certainly liberated.

Being engaged in Krsna consciousness, one can immediately understand
one`s spiritual identity, and then one can understand the Supreme Lord by
means of devotional service. When he is well situated in devotional service,
one comes to the transcendental position, qualified to feel the presence of the
Lord in the sphere of one`s activity. This particular position is called liberation
in the Supreme.
After explaining the above principles of liberation in the Supreme, the Lord
gives instruction to Arjuna as to how one can come to that position by the
practice of mysticism or yoga, known as astahga-yoga, which is divisible into
an eightfold procedure called yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara,
dharana, dhyana, and samadhi. In the Sixth Chapter the subject of yoga is
explicitly detailed, and at the end of the Fifth it is only preliminarily
explained. One has to drive out the sense objects such as sound, touch, form,
taste and smell by the pratyahara (breathing) process in yoga, and then keep
the vision of the eyes between the two eyebrows and concentrate on the tip of
the nose with half closed lids. There is no benefit in closing the eyes
altogether, because then there is every chance of falling asleep. Nor is there
benefit in opening the eyes completely, because then there is the hazard of
being attracted by sense objects. The breathing movement is restrained within
the nostrils by neutralizing the up- and down-moving air within the body. By
practice of such yoga one is able to gain control over the senses, refrain from
outward sense objects, and thus prepare oneself for liberation in the Supreme.
This yoga process helps one become free from all kinds of fear and anger
and thus feel the presence of the Supersoul in the transcendental situation. In
other words, Krsna consciousness is the easiest process of executing yoga
principles. This will be thoroughly explained in the next chapter. A Krsna
conscious person, however, being always engaged in devotional service, does
not risk losing his senses to some other engagement. This is a better way of
controlling the senses than by the astahga-yoga.


यतेन्द्रियमनोबुद्धिर्मुनिर्मोक्षपरायणः | विगतेच्छाभयक्रोधो यः सदा मुक्त एव सः ||५-२८||

yatendriyamanobuddhirmunirmokṣaparāyaṇaḥ . vigatecchābhayakrodho yaḥ sadā mukta eva saḥ ||5-28||


भोक्तारं यज्ञतपसां सर्वलोकमहेश्वरम् | सुहृदं सर्वभूतानां ज्ञात्वा मां शान्तिमृच्छति ||५-२९||

bhoktāraṃ yajñatapasāṃ sarvalokamaheśvaram . suhṛdaṃ sarvabhūtānāṃ jñātvā māṃ śāntimṛcchati ||5-29||

bhoktaram —beneficiary; yajha —sacrifices; tapasam —of penances and
austerities; sarva-loka —all planets and the demigods thereof; mahesvaram —
the Supreme Lord; suhrdam —benefactor; sarva —all; bhutanam —of the living
entities; jnatva —thus knowing; mam —Me (Lord Krsna); santim — relief from
material pangs; rcchati —achieves.

The sages, knowing Me as the ultimate purpose of all sacrifices and
austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and the
benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attain peace from the
pangs of material miseries.

The conditioned souls within the clutches of illusory energy are all anxious
to attain peace in the material world. But they do not know the formula for
peace, which is explained in this part of the Bhagavad-gTta. The greatest peace
formula is simply this: Lord Krsna is the beneficiary in all human activities.
Men should offer everything to the transcendental service of the Lord because
He is the proprietor of all planets and the demigods thereon. No one is greater
than He. He is greater than the greatest of the demigods, Lord Siva and Lord
Brahma. In the Vedas the Supreme Lord is described as tam Tsvaranarh
paramam mahesvaram. Under the spell of illusion, living entities are trying to
be lords of all they survey, but actually they are dominated by the material
energy of the Lord. The Lord is the master of material nature, and the
conditioned souls are under the stringent rules of material nature. Unless one
understands these bare facts, it is not possible to achieve peace in the world
either individually or collectively. This is the sense of Krsna consciousness:
Lord Krsna is the supreme predominator, and all living entities, including the
great demigods, are His subordinates. One can attain perfect peace only in
complete Krsna consciousness.
This Fifth Chapter is a practical explanation of Krsna consciousness,
generally known as karma-yoga. The question of mental speculation as to how
karma-yoga can give liberation is answered herewith. To work in Krsna
consciousness is to work with the complete knowledge of the Lord as the
predominator. Such work is not different from transcendental knowledge.
Direct Krsna consciousness is bhakti-yoga, and jnana-yoga is a path leading
to bhakti-yoga. Krsna consciousness means to work in full knowledge of one`s
relationship with the Supreme Absolute, and the perfection of this
consciousness is full knowledge of Krsna, or the Supreme Personality of
Godhead. A pure soul is the eternal servant of God as His fragmental part and
parcel. He comes into contact with maya (illusion) due to the desire to lord it
over maya, and that is the cause of his many sufferings. As long as he is in
contact with matter, he has to execute work in terms of material necessities.
Krsna consciousness, however, brings one into spiritual life even while one is
within the jurisdiction of matter, for it is an arousing of spiritual existence by
practice in the material world. The more one is advanced, the more he is freed
from the clutches of matter. The Lord is not partial toward anyone. Everything
depends on one`s practical performance of duties in an effort to control the
senses and conquer the influence of desire and anger. And, attaining Krsna
consciousness by controlling the above-mentioned passions, one remains
factually in the transcendental stage, or brahman-nirvana. The eightfold yoga
mysticism is automatically practiced in Krsna consciousness because the
ultimate purpose is served. There is gradual process of elevation in the
practice of yama, niyama, asana, pratyahara, dhyana, dharana, pranayama,
and samadhi. But these only preface perfection by devotional service, which
alone can award peace to the human being. It is the highest perfection of life.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the Fifth Chapter of the Srimad-
Bhagavad-glta in the matter of Karma-yoga, or Action in Krsna

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श्रीभगवानुवाच | अनाश्रितः कर्मफलं कार्यं कर्म करोति यः | स संन्यासी च योगी च न निरग्निर्न चाक्रियः ||६-१||

śrībhagavānuvāca . anāśritaḥ karmaphalaṃ kāryaṃ karma karoti yaḥ . sa saṃnyāsī ca yogī ca na niragnirna cākriyaḥ ||6-1||

sri bhagavan uvaca —the Lord said; anasritah —without shelter; karma-
phalam —the result of work; karyam —obligatory; karma —work; karoti —
performs; yah —one who; sah —he; sannyasT —in the renounced order; ca —
also; yogi —mystic; ca —also; na —not; nir —without; agnih —fire; na —nor; ca
—also; akriyah —without duty.

The Blessed Lord said: One who is unattached to the fruits of his work
and who works as he is obligated is in the renounced order of life, and he
is the true mystic: not he who lights no fire and performs no work.

In this chapter the Lord explains that the process of the eightfold yoga
system is a means to control the mind and the senses. However, this is very
difficult for people in general to perform, especially in the age of Kali.
Although the eightfold yoga system is recommended in this chapter, the Lord
emphasizes that the process of karma-yoga, or acting in Krsna consciousness,
is better. Everyone acts in this world to maintain his family and their
paraphernalia, but no one is working without some self-interest, some
personal gratification, be it concentrated or extended. The criterion of
perfection is to act in Krsna consciousness, and not with a view to enjoying
the fruits of work. To act in Krsna consciousness is the duty of every living
entity because all are constitutionally parts and parcels of the Supreme. The
parts of the body work for the satisfaction of the whole body. The limbs of the
body do not act for self-satisfaction but for the satisfaction of the complete
whole. Similarly, the living entity who acts for satisfaction of the supreme
whole and not for personal satisfaction is the perfect sannyasT, the perfect
The sannyasfs sometimes artificially think that they have become liberated
from all material duties, and therefore they cease to perform agnihotra yajhas
(fire sacrifices), but actually they are self-interested because their goal is
becoming one with the impersonal Brahman. Such a desire is greater than any
material desire, but it is not without self-interest. Similarly, the mystic yogi
who practices the yoga system with half-open eyes, ceasing all material
activities, desires some satisfaction for his personal self. But a person acting in
Krsna consciousness works for the satisfaction of the whole, without self-
interest. A Krsna conscious person has no desire for self-satisfaction. His
criterion of success is the satisfaction of Krsna, and thus he is the perfect
sannyasT, or perfect yogi Lord Caitanya, the highest perfectional symbol of
renunciation, prays in this way:
na dhanarh na janam na sundarim kavitam vajagadisa kamaye.
mama janmani janmanisvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi.
"O Almighty Lord, I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor to enjoy
beautiful women. Nor do I want any number of followers. What I want only is
the causeless mercy of Your devotional service in my life, birth after birth."


यं संन्यासमिति प्राहुर्योगं तं विद्धि पाण्डव | न ह्यसंन्यस्तसङ्कल्पो योगी भवति कश्चन ||६-२||

yaṃ saṃnyāsamiti prāhuryogaṃ taṃ viddhi pāṇḍava . na hyasaṃnyastasaṅkalpo yogī bhavati kaścana ||6-2||

yam —what; sannyasam —renunciation; id —thus; prahuh —they say; yogam
—linking with the Supreme; tarn —that; viddhi —you must know; pandava —O
son of Pandu; na —never; hi —certainly; asannyasta —without giving up;
sahkalpah —self-satisfaction; yogi —a mystic transcendentalist; bhavad
—becomes; kascana —anyone.

What is called renunciation is the same as yoga, or linking oneself with
the Supreme, for no one can become a yogi unless he renounces the desire
for sense gratification.

Real sannyasa-yoga or bhakti means that one should know his
constitutional position as the living entity, and act accordingly. The living
entity has no separate independant identity. He is the marginal energy of the
Supreme. When he is entrapped by material energy, he is conditioned, and
when he is Krsna conscious, or aware of the spiritual energy, then he is in his
real and natural state of life. Therefore, when one is in complete knowledge,
one ceases all material sense gratification, or renounces all kinds of sense
gratificatory activities. This is practiced by the yogis who restrain the senses
from material attachment. But a person in Krsna consciousness has no
opportunity to engage his senses in anything which is not for the purpose of
Krsna. Therefore, a Krsna conscious person is simultaneously a sannyasT and
a yogi The purpose of knowledge and of restraining the senses, as prescribed
in the jnana and yoga processes, is automatically served in Krsna
consciousness. If one is unable to give up the activities of his selfish nature,
then jnana and yoga are of no avail. The real aim is for a living entity to give
up all selfish satisfaction and to be prepared to satisfy the Supreme. A Krsna
conscious person has no desire for any kind of self- enjoyment. He is always
engaged for the enjoyment of the Supreme. One who has no information of
the Supreme must therefore be engaged in self- satisfaction because no one
can stand on the platform of inactivity. All these purposes are perfectly served
by the practice of Krsna consciousness.


आरुरुक्षोर्मुनेर्योगं कर्म कारणमुच्यते | योगारूढस्य तस्यैव शमः कारणमुच्यते ||६-३||

ārurukṣormuneryogaṃ karma kāraṇamucyate . yogārūḍhasya tasyaiva śamaḥ kāraṇamucyate ||6-3||

aruruksoh —of one who has just begun yoga; muneh —of the sage; yogam
—the eightfold yoga system; karma —work; karanam —the cause; ucyate —is
said to be; yoga —eightfold yoga; arudhasya —one who has attained; tasya —
his; eva —certainly; samah —cessation of all material activities; karanam —the
cause; ucyate —is said to be.

For one who is a neophyte in the eightfold yoga system, work is said to
be the means; and for one who has already attained to yoga, cessation of
all material activities is said to be the means.

The process of linking oneself with the Supreme is called yoga, which may
be compared to a ladder for attaining the topmost spiritual realization. This
ladder begins from the lowest material condition of the living entity and rises
up to perfect self-realization in pure spiritual life. According to various
elevations, different parts of the ladder are known by different names. But all
in all, the complete ladder is called yoga and may be divided into three parts,
namely jhana-yoga, dhyana-yoga and bhakd-yoga. The beginning of the
ladder is called the yogaruruksa stage, and the highest rung is called
Concerning the eightfold yoga system, attempts in the beginning to enter
into meditation through regulative principles of life and practice of different
sitting postures (which are more or less bodily exercises) are considered
fruitive material activities. All such activities lead to achieving perfect mental
equilibrium to control the senses. When one is accomplished in the practice of
meditation, he ceases all disturbing mental activities.
A Krsna conscious person is, however, situated from the beginning on the
platform of meditation because he always thinks of Krsna. And, being
constantly engaged in the service of Krsna, he is considered to have ceased all
material activities.


यदा हि नेन्द्रियार्थेषु न कर्मस्वनुषज्जते | सर्वसङ्कल्पसंन्यासी योगारूढस्तदोच्यते ||६-४||

yadā hi nendriyārtheṣu na karmasvanuṣajjate . sarvasaṅkalpasaṃnyāsī yogārūḍhastadocyate ||6-4||

yada —when; hi —certainly; na —not; indriya-arthesu —in sense
gratification; na —never; karmasu —in fruitive activities; anusajjate —does
necessarily engage; sarva-sahkalpa —all material desires; sannyasT
—renouncer; yoga- arudhah —elevated in yoga; tada —at that time; ucyate —is
said to be.

A person is said to have attained to yoga when, having renounced all
material desires, he neither acts for sense gratification nor engages in
fruitive activities.

When a person is fully engaged in the transcendental loving service of the
Lord, he is pleased in himself, and thus he is no longer engaged in sense
gratification or in fruitive activities. Otherwise, one must be engaged in sense
gratification, since one cannot live without engagement. Without Krsna
consciousness, one must be always seeking self-centered or extended selfish
activities. But a Krsna conscious person can do everything for the satisfaction
of Krsna and thereby be perfectly detached from sense gratification. One who
has no such realization must mechanically try to escape material desires
before being elevated to the top rung of the yoga ladder.


उद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत् | आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मनः ||६-५||

uddharedātmanātmānaṃ nātmānamavasādayet . ātmaiva hyātmano bandhurātmaiva ripurātmanaḥ ||6-5||

uddharet —one must deliver; atmana —by the mind; atmanam —the
conditioned soul; na —never; atmanam —the conditioned soul; avasadayet
—put into degradation; atma —mind; eva —certainly; hi —indeed; atmanah —of
the conditioned soul; bandhuh —friend; atma —mind; eva —certainly; ripuh —
enemy; atmanah —of the conditioned soul.

A man must elevate himself by his own mind, not degrade himself. The
mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well.

The word atma denotes body, mind and soul-depending upon different
circumstances. In the yoga system, the mind and the conditioned soul are
especially important. Since the mind is the central point of yoga practice, atma
refers here to the mind. The purpose of the yoga system is to control the mind
and to draw it away from attachment to sense objects. It is stressed herein that
the mind must be so trained that it can deliver the conditioned soul from the
mire of nescience. In material existence one is subjected to the influence of
the mind and the senses. In fact, the pure soul is entangled in the material
world because of the mind`s ego which desires to lord it over material nature.
Therefore, the mind should be trained so that it will not be attracted by the
glitter of material nature, and in this way the conditioned soul may be saved.
One should not degrade oneself by attraction to sense objects. The more one is
attracted by sense objects, the more one becomes entangled in material
existence. The best way to disentangle oneself is to always engage the mind in
Krsna consciousness. The word hi isused for emphasizing this point, i.e., that
one must do this. It is also said:
mana eva manusyanarh karanam bandha-moksayoh
bandhaya visayasahgo muktyai nirvisayarh manah.
"For man, mind is the cause of bondage and mind is the cause of liberation.
Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and mind detached
from the sense objects is the cause of liberation." Therefore, the mind which is
always engaged in Krsna consciousness is the cause of supreme liberation.


बन्धुरात्मात्मनस्तस्य येनात्मैवात्मना जितः | अनात्मनस्तु शत्रुत्वे वर्तेतात्मैव शत्रुवत् ||६-६||

bandhurātmātmanastasya yenātmaivātmanā jitaḥ . anātmanastu śatrutve vartetātmaiva śatruvat ||6-6||

bandhuh —friend; atma —mind; atmanah —of the living entity; tasya —of
him; yena —by whom; atma —mind; eva —certainly; atmana —by the living
entity; jitah —conquered; anatmanah —of one who has failed to control the
mind; tu —but; satrutve —because of enmity; varteta —remains; atma eva —the
very mind; satruvat —as an enemy.

For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends;
but for one who has failed to do so, his very mind will be the greatest

The purpose of practicing eightfold yoga isto control the mind in order to
make it a friend in discharging the human mission. Unless the mind is
controlled, the practice of yoga (for show) is simply a waste of time. One who
cannot control his mind lives always with the greatest enemy, and thus his life
and its mission are spoiled. The constitutional position of the living entity is to
carry out the order of the superior. As long as one`s mind remains an
unconquered enemy, one has to serve the dictations of lust, anger, avarice,
illusion, etc. But when the mind is conquered, one voluntarily agrees to abide
by the dictation of the Personality of Godhead, who is situated within the heart
of everyone as Paramatma. Real yoga practice entails meeting the Paramatma
within the heart and then following His dictation. For one who takes to Krsna
consciousness directly, perfect surrender to the dictation of the Lord follows


जितात्मनः प्रशान्तस्य परमात्मा समाहितः | शीतोष्णसुखदुःखेषु तथा मानापमानयोः ||६-७||

jitātmanaḥ praśāntasya paramātmā samāhitaḥ . śītoṣṇasukhaduḥkheṣu tathā mānāpamānayoḥ ||6-7||

jita-atmanah —of one who has conquered his mind; prasantasya —of one
who has attained tranquility by such control over the mind; paramatma —the
Supersoul; samahitah —approached completely; sita —cold; usna —heat; sukha
—in happiness; duhkhesu —in distress; tatha —also; mana —honor;
apamanayoh —in dishonor.

For one who has conquered the mind, the Supersoul is already reached,
for he has attained tranquility. To such a man happiness and distress,
heat and cold, honor and dishonor are all the same.

Actually, every living entity is intended to abide by the dictation of the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is seated in everyone`s heart as
Paramatma. When the mind is misled by the external illusory energy, one
becomes entangled in material activities. Therefore, as soon as one`s mind is
controlled through one of the yoga systems, one is to be considered as having
already reached the destination. One has to abide by superior dictation. When
one`s mind is fixed on the superior nature, he has no other alternative but to
follow the dictation of the Supreme. The mind must admit some superior
dictation and follow it. The effect of controlling the mind is that one
automatically follows the dictation of the Paramatma or Supersoul. Because
this transcendental position is at once achieved by one who is in Krsna
consciousness, the devotee of the Lord is unaffected by the dualities of
material existence, namely distress and happiness, cold and heat, etc. This
state is practical samadhi, or absorption in the Supreme.


ज्ञानविज्ञानतृप्तात्मा कूटस्थो विजितेन्द्रियः | युक्त इत्युच्यते योगी समलोष्टाश्मकाञ्चनः ||६-८||

jñānavijñānatṛptātmā kūṭastho vijitendriyaḥ . yukta ityucyate yogī samaloṣṭāśmakāñcanaḥ ||6-8||

jnana —acquired knowledge; vijnana —realized knowledge; trpta —satisfied;
atma —living entity; kutasthah —spiritually situated; vijita-indriyah —sensually
controlled; yuktah —competent for self-realization; id —thus; ucyate —is said;
yogi —the mystic; sama —equiposed; lostra —pebbles; asma —stone; kancanah

A person is said to be established in self-realization and is called a yogi
[or mystic] when he is fully satisfied by virtue of acquired knowledge and
realization. Such a person is situated in transcendence and is self-
controlled. He sees everything—whether it be pebbles, stones or gold—as
the same.

Book knowledge without realization of the Supreme Truth is useless. This
is stated as follows:
atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hijihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah.
"No one can understand the transcendental nature of the name, form, quality
and pastimes of Sri Krsna through his materially contaminated senses. Only
when one becomes spiritually saturated by transcendental service to the Lord
are the transcendental name, form, quality and pastimes of the Lord revealed
to him." (Padma Pur ana)
This Bhagavad-gTta is the science of Krsna consciousness. No one can
become Krsna conscious simply by mundane scholarship. One must be
fortunate enough to associate with a person who is in pure consciousness. A
Krsna conscious person has realized knowledge, by the grace of Krsna,
because he is satisfied with pure devotional service. By realized knowledge,
one becomes perfect. By transcendental knowledge one can remain steady in
his convictions, but by mere academic knowledge one can be easily deluded
and confused by apparent contradictions. It is the realized soul who is actually
self-controlled because he is surrendered to Krsna. He is transcendental
because he has nothing to do with mundane scholarship. For him mundane
scholarship and mental speculation, which may be as good as gold to others,
are of no greater value than pebbles or stones.


सुहृन्मित्रार्युदासीनमध्यस्थद्वेष्यबन्धुषु | साधुष्वपि च पापेषु समबुद्धिर्विशिष्यते ||६-९||

suhṛnmitrāryudāsīnamadhyasthadveṣyabandhuṣu . sādhuṣvapi ca pāpeṣu samabuddhirviśiṣyate ||6-9||

suhrt —by nature a well-wisher; mitra —benefactor with affection; ari —
enemy; udasma —neutral between the belligerents; madhyastha —mediator
between the belligerents; dvesya —envious; bandhusu —among the relatives or
well-wishers; sadhusu —unto the pious; api —as well as; ca —and; papesu —
unto the sinners; sama-buddhih —having equal intelligence; visisyate —is far

A person is said to be still further advanced when he regards all—the
honest well-wisher, friends and enemies, the envious, the pious, the sinner
and those who are indifferent and impartial-with an equal mind.


योगी युञ्जीत सततमात्मानं रहसि स्थितः | एकाकी यतचित्तात्मा निराशीरपरिग्रहः ||६-१०||

yogī yuñjīta satatamātmānaṃ rahasi sthitaḥ . ekākī yatacittātmā nirāśīraparigrahaḥ ||6-10||

yogi —a transcendentalist; yunjita —must concentrate in Krsna
consciousness; satatam —constantly; atmanam —himself (by the body, mind
and self); rahasi —in a secluded place; sthitah —being so situated; ekakT
—alone; yata-cittatma —always careful in mind; nirasTh —without being
attracted by anything else; aparigrahah —free from the feeling of

A transcendentalist should always try to concentrate his mind on the
Supreme Self; he should live alone in a secluded place and should always
carefully control his mind. He should be free from desires and feelings of

Krsna is realized in different degrees as Brahman, Paramatma and the
Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krsna consciousness means, concisely, to
be always engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. But those
who are attached to the impersonal Brahman or the localized Supersoul are
also partially Krsna conscious, because impersonal Brahman is the spiritual
ray of Krsna and Supersoul is the all-pervading partial expansion of Krsna.
Thus the impersonalist and the meditator are also indirectly Krsna conscious.
A directly Krsna conscious person is the topmost transcendentalist because
such a devotee knows what is meant by Brahman or Paramatma. His
knowledge of the Absolute Truth is perfect, whereas the impersonalist and the
meditative yogi are imperfectly Krsna conscious.
Nevertheless, all of these are instructed herewith to be constantly engaged
in their particular pursuits so that they may come to the highest perfection
sooner or later. The first business of a transcendentalist is to keep the mind
always on Krsna. One should always think of Krsna and not forget Him even
for a moment. Concentration of the mind on the Supreme is called samadhi or
trance. In order to concentrate the mind, one should always remain in
seclusion and avoid disturbance by external objects. He should be very careful
to accept favorable and reject unfavorable conditions that affect his
realization. And, in perfect determination, he should not hanker after
unnecessary material things that entangle him by feelings of possessiveness.
All these perfections and precautions are perfectly executed when one is
directly in Krsna consciousness because direct Krsna consciousness means
self-abnegation, wherein there is very little chance for material
possessiveness. Srlla Rtipa GosvamI characterizes Krsna consciousness in this
anasaktasya visayan yatharham upayunjatah
nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe yuktam vairagyam ucyate
prapancikataya buddhya hari-sambandhi-vastunah
mumuksubhih parityago vairagyam phalgu kathyate.
(Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 2.255-256)
"When one is not attached to anything, but at the same time accepts
everything in relation to Krsna, one is rightly situated above possessiveness.
On the other hand, one who rejects everything without knowledge of its
relationship to Krsna is not as complete in his renunciation."
A Krsna conscious person well knows that everything belongs to Krsna, and
thus he is always free from feelings of personal possession. As such, he has no
hankering for anything on his own personal account. He knows how to accept
things in favor of Krsna consciousness and how to reject things unfavorable to
Krsna consciousness. He is always aloof from material things because he is
always transcendental, and he is always alone, having nothing to do with
persons not in Krsna consciousness. Therefore a person in Krsna
consciousness is the perfect yogi


शुचौ देशे प्रतिष्ठाप्य स्थिरमासनमात्मनः | नात्युच्छ्रितं नातिनीचं चैलाजिनकुशोत्तरम् ||६-११||

śucau deśe pratiṣṭhāpya sthiramāsanamātmanaḥ . nātyucchritaṃ nātinīcaṃ cailājinakuśottaram ||6-11||

sucau —in sanctified; dese —in the land; pratisthapya —placing; sthiram —
firm; asanam —seat; atmanah —self-dependant; na —not; ad —too; ucchritam
—high; na —nor; ad —too; nfcam —low; caila-ajna —soft cloth and deerskin;
kusottaram-kusa grass; tatra —thereupon; ekagram —one attention; manah —
mind; krtva —doing so; yata-citta —controlling the mind; indriya —senses;
kriyah —activities; upavisya —sitting on; asane —on the seat; yuhjyat —
execute; yogam —yoga practice; atma —heart; visuddhaye —for clarifying.

To practice yoga, one should go to a secluded place and should lay
kusa-grass on the ground and then cover it with a deerskin and a soft
cloth. The seat should neither be too high nor too low and should be
situated in a sacred place. The yogi should then sit on it very firmly and
should practice yoga by controlling the mind and the senses, purifying the
heart and fixing the mind on one point.

Sacred place refers to places of pilgrimage. In India the yogis, the
transcendentalists or the devotees all leave home and reside in sacred places
such as Prayag, Mathura, Vrndavana, Hrslkesa, and Hardwar and in solitude
practice yoga where the sacred rivers like the Yamuna and the Ganges flow.
But often this is not possible, especially for Westerners. The so-called yoga
societies in big cities may be successful in earning material benefit, but they
are not at all suitable for the actual practice of yoga. One who is not self-
controlled and whose mind is not undisturbed cannot practice meditation.
Therefore, in the Brhan-NaradTya Purana it is said that in the Kali-yuga (the
present yuga or age) when people in general are short-lived, slow in spiritual
realization and always disturbed by various anxieties, the best means of
spiritual realization is chanting the holy name of the Lord.
barer nama barer nama barer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha.
"In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting
the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way.
There is no other way."


तत्रैकाग्रं मनः कृत्वा यतचित्तेन्द्रियक्रियः | उपविश्यासने युञ्ज्याद्योगमात्मविशुद्धये ||६-१२||

tatraikāgraṃ manaḥ kṛtvā yatacittendriyakriyaḥ . upaviśyāsane yuñjyādyogamātmaviśuddhaye ||6-12||


समं कायशिरोग्रीवं धारयन्नचलं स्थिरः | सम्प्रेक्ष्य नासिकाग्रं स्वं दिशश्चानवलोकयन् ||६-१३||

samaṃ kāyaśirogrīvaṃ dhārayannacalaṃ sthiraḥ . samprekṣya nāsikāgraṃ svaṃ diśaścānavalokayan ||6-13||

samam —straight; kaya-sirah —body and head; grivam —neck; dharayan —
holding; acalam —unmoved; sthirah —still; sampreksya —looking; nasika —
nose; agram —tip; svam —own; disah —all sides; ca —also; anavalokayan —not
seeing; prasanta —unagitated; atma —mind; vigata-bhih —devoid of fear;
brahmacari-vrate —in the vow of celibacy; sthitah —situated; manah —mind;
samyamya —completely subdued; mat —unto Me (Krsna); cittah
—concentrated; yuktah —actual yogi; asTta —being so; mat —unto Me; parah
—ultimate goal.

One should hold one`s body, neck and head erect in a straight line and
stare steadily at the tip of the nose. Thus with an unagitated, subdued
mind, devoid of fear, completely free from sex life, one should meditate
upon Me within the heart and make Me the ultimate goal of life.

The goal of life is to know Krsna, who is situated within the heart of every
living being as Paramatma, the four-handed Visnu form. The yoga process is
practiced in order to discover and see this localized form of Visnu, and not for
any other purpose. The localized Visnu-murti is the plenary representation of
Krsna dwelling within one`s heart. One who has no program to realize this
Visnu- murti is uselessly engaged in mock -yoga practice and is certainly
wasting his time. Krsna is the ultimate goal of life, and the Visnu-murti
situated in one`s heart is the object of yoga practice. To realize this Visnu-
murti within the heart, one has to observe complete abstinence from sex life;
therefore one has to leave home and live alone in a secluded place, remaining
seated as mentioned above. One cannot enjoy sex life daily at home or
elsewhere and attend a so-called yoga class and thus become a yogi. One has
to practice controlling the mind and avoiding all kinds of sense gratification,
of which sex life is the chief. In the rules of celibacy written by the great sage
Yajnavalkya it is said:
karmana manasa vaca sarvavasthasu sarvada
sarvatra maithuna-tyago brahmacaryam pracaksate.
"The vow of brahmacarya is meant to help one completely abstain from sex
indulgence in work, words and mind—at all times, under all circumstances,
and in all places." No one can perform correct yoga practice through sex
indulgence. Brahmacarya is taught, therefore, from childhood when one has
no knowledge of sex life. Children at the age of five are sent to the guru-kula,
or the place of the spiritual master, and the master trains the young boys in the
strict discipline of becoming brahmacarTs. Without such practice, no one can
make advancement in any yoga, whether it be dhyana, jhana or bhakti. One
who, however, follows the rules and regulations of married life, having sexual
relationship only with his wife (and that also under regulation), is also called
brahmacarT. Such a restrained householder brahmacarT may be accepted in
the bhakti school, but the jhana and dhyana schools do not admit even
householder brahmacarTs. They require complete abstinence without
compromise. In the bhakti school, a householder brahmacarT is allowed
controlled sex life because the cult of bhakti-yoga is so powerful that one
automatically loses sexual attraction, being engaged in the superior service of
the Lord. In the Bhagavad-gTta it is said:
visaya vinivartante niraharasya dehinah
rasa-varjam raso `py asya param drstva nivartate
Whereas others are forced to restrain themselves from sense gratification, a
devotee of the Lord automatically refrains because of superior taste. Other
than the devotee, no one has any information of that superior taste.
VigatabhTh. One cannot be fearless unless one is fully in Krsna
consciousness. A conditioned soul is fearful due to his perverted memory, his
forgetfulness of his eternal relationship with Krsna. The Bhagavatam says,
bhayam dvitTyabhinivesatah syad Tsad apetasya viparyayo `smrtih: Krsna
consciousness is the only basis for fearlessness. Therefore, perfect practice is
possible for a person who is Krsna conscious. And since the ultimate goal of
yoga practice is to see the Lord within, a Krsna conscious person is already
the best of all yogTs. The principles of the yoga system mentioned herein are
different from those of the popular so-called yoga societies.


प्रशान्तात्मा विगतभीर्ब्रह्मचारिव्रते स्थितः | मनः संयम्य मच्चित्तो युक्त आसीत मत्परः ||६-१४||

praśāntātmā vigatabhīrbrahmacārivrate sthitaḥ . manaḥ saṃyamya maccitto yukta āsīta matparaḥ ||6-14||


युञ्जन्नेवं सदात्मानं योगी नियतमानसः | शान्तिं निर्वाणपरमां मत्संस्थामधिगच्छति ||६-१५||

yuñjannevaṃ sadātmānaṃ yogī niyatamānasaḥ . śāntiṃ nirvāṇaparamāṃ matsaṃsthāmadhigacchati ||6-15||

yuhjan —practicing like this; evam —as mentioned above; sada —constantly;
atmanam —body, mind and soul; yogi —the mystic transcendentalist; niyata-
manasah —regulated mind; santim —peace; nirvana-paramam —cessation of
material existence; mat-samstham —in the spiritual sky (the kingdom of God);
adhigacchad —does attain.

Thus practicing control of the body, mind and activities, the mystic
transcendentalist attains to the kingdom of God [or the abode of Krsna]
by cessation of material existence.

The ultimate goal in practicing yoga is now clearly explained. Yoga practice
is not meant for attaining any kind of material facility; it is to enable the
cessation of all material existence. One who seeks an improvement in health
or aspires after material perfection is no yogi according to Bhagavad-gTta. Nor
does cessation of material existence entail one`s entering into "the void,"
which is only a myth. There is no void anywhere within the creation of the
Lord. Rather, the cessation of material existence enables one to enter into the
spiritual sky, the abode of the Lord. The abode of the Lord is also clearly
described in the Bhagavad-gTta as that place where there is no need of sun,
moon, nor electricity. All the planets in the spiritual kingdom are self-
illuminated like the sun in the material sky. The kingdom of God is
everywhere, but the spiritual sky and the planets thereof are called param
dhama, or superior abodes.
A consummate yogi, who is perfect in understanding Lord Krsna, as is
clearly stated herein (mat-cittah, mat-parah, mat-sthanam) by the Lord
Himself, can attain real peace and can ultimately reach His supreme abode,
the Krsna-loka known as Goloka Vrndavana. In the Brahma-samhita it is
clearly stated (goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma- bhutah) that the Lord, although
residing always in His abode called Goloka, is the all-pervading Brahman and
the localized Paramatma as well by dint of His superior spiritual energies. No
one can reach the spiritual sky or enter into the eternal abode (Vaikuntha
Goloka Vrndavana) of the Lord without the proper understanding of Krsna
and His plenary expansion Visnu. Therefore a person working in Krsna
consciousness is the perfect yogi, because his mind is always absorbed in
Krsna`s activities. Sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayoh. In the Vedas also we
learn: tam eva viditvadmrtyum eti: "One can overcome the path of birth and
death only by understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna." In
other words, perfection of the yoga system is the attainment of freedom from
material existence and not some magical jugglery or gymnastic feats to befool
innocent people.


नात्यश्नतस्तु योगोऽस्ति न चैकान्तमनश्नतः | न चातिस्वप्नशीलस्य जाग्रतो नैव चार्जुन ||६-१६||

nātyaśnatastu yogo.asti na caikāntamanaśnataḥ . na cātisvapnaśīlasya jāgrato naiva cārjuna ||6-16||

na —never; ad —too much; asnatah —of one who eats so; tu —but; yogah —
linking with the Supreme; asd —there is; na —nor; ca —also; ekantam —very
low; anasnatah —abstaining from eating; na —nor; ca —also; ad —too much;
svapna-silasya —of one who sleeps too much; jagratah —or one who keeps
night watch too much; na —not; eva —ever; ca —and; arjuna —O Arjuna.

There is no possibility of one`s becoming a yogi, O Arjuna, if one eats
too much, or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep enough.

Regulation of diet and sleep is recommended herein for the yogis. Too
much eating means eating more than is required to keep the body and soul
together. There is no need for men to eat animals because there is an ample
supply of grains, vegetables, fruits and milk. Such simple foodstuff is
considered to be in the mode of goodness according to the Bhagavad- gita.
Animal food is for those in the mode of ignorance. Therefore, those who
indulge in animal food, drinking, smoking and eating food which is not first
offered to Krsna will suffer sinful reactions because of eating only polluted
things. Bhunjate te tv agharh papa ye pacanty atma-karanat. Anyone who eats
for sense pleasure, or cooks for himself, not offering his food to Krsna, eats
only sin. One who eats sin and eats more than is allotted to him cannot
execute perfect yoga. It is best that one eat only the remnants of foodstuff
offered to Krsna. A person in Krsna consciousness does not eat anything
which is not first offered to Krsna. Therefore, only the Krsna conscious person
can attain perfection in yoga practice. Nor can one who artificially abstains
from eating, manufacturing his own personal process of fasting, practice yoga.
The Krsna conscious person observes fasting as it is recommended in the
scriptures. He does not fast or eat more than is required, and he is thus
competent to perform yoga practice. One who eats more than required will
dream very much while sleeping, and he must consequently sleep more than is
required. One should not sleep more than six hours daily. One who sleeps
more than six hours out of twenty-four is certainly influenced by the mode of
ignorance. A person in the mode of ignorance is lazy and prone to sleep a
great deal. Such a person cannot perform yoga.


युक्ताहारविहारस्य युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु | युक्तस्वप्नावबोधस्य योगो भवति दुःखहा ||६-१७||

yuktāhāravihārasya yuktaceṣṭasya karmasu . yuktasvapnāvabodhasya yogo bhavati duḥkhahā ||6-17||

yukta —regulated; ahara —eating; viharasya —recreation; yukta —regulated;
cestasya —of one who works for maintenance; karmasu —in discharging
duties; yukta —regulated; svapna-avabodhasya —regulated sleep and
wakefulness; yogah —practice of yoga; bhavati —becomes; duhkha-ha
—diminishing pains.

He who is temperate in his habits of eating, sleeping, working and
recreation can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system.

Extravagance in the matter of eating, sleeping, defending and mating—
which are demands of the body—can block advancement in the practice of
yoga. As far as eating is concerned, it can be regulated only when one is
practiced to take and accept prasadam, sanctified food. Lord Krsna is offered,
according to the Bhagavad-gTta (Bg. 9.26), vegetables, flowers, fruits, grains,
milk, etc. In this way, a person in Krsna consciousness becomes automatically
trained not to accept food not meant for human consumption, or which is not
in the category of goodness. As far as sleeping is concerned, a Krsna
conscious person is always alert in the discharge of his duties in Krsna
consciousness, and therefore any unnecessary time spent sleeping is
considered a great loss. A Krsna conscious person cannot bear to pass a
minute of his life without being engaged in the service of the Lord. Therefore,
his sleeping is kept to a minimum. His ideal in this respect is Srlla Rupa
GosvamI, who was always engaged in the service of Krsna and who could not
sleep more than two hours a day, and sometimes not even that. Thakura
Haridasa would not even accept prasadam nor even sleep for a moment
without finishing his daily routine of chanting with his beads three hundred
thousand names. As far as work is concerned, a Krsna conscious person does
not do anything which is not connected with Krsna`s interest, and thus his
work is always regulated and is untainted by sense gratification. Since there is
no question of sense gratification, there is no material leisure for a person in
Krsna consciousness. And because he is regulated in all his work, speech,
sleep, wakefulness and all other bodily activities, there is no material misery
for him.


यदा विनियतं चित्तमात्मन्येवावतिष्ठते | निःस्पृहः सर्वकामेभ्यो युक्त इत्युच्यते तदा ||६-१८||

yadā viniyataṃ cittamātmanyevāvatiṣṭhate . niḥspṛhaḥ sarvakāmebhyo yukta ityucyate tadā ||6-18||

yada —when; viniyatam —particularly disciplined; cittam —the mind and its
activities; atmani —in the Transcendence; eva —certainly; avatisthate —
becomes situated; nisprhah —devoid of; sarva —all kinds of; kamebhyah —
material desires; yuktah —well situated in yoga; id —thus; ucyate —is said to
be; tada —at that time.

When the yogi, by practice of yoga, disciplines his mental activities and
becomes situated in Transcendence—devoid of all material desires—he is
said to have attained yoga.

The activities of the yogi are distinguished from those of an ordinary person
by his characteristic cessation from all kinds of material desires—of which sex
is the chief. A perfect yogi is so well disciplined in the activities of the mind
that he can no longer be disturbed by any kind of material desire. This
perfectional stage can automatically be attained by persons in Krsna
consciousness, as is stated in the SrTmad-Bhagavatam (9.4.18-20):
sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayor vacamsi vaikuntha-gunanuvarnane
karau barer mandira-marjanadisu srutirh cakaracyuta-sat-kathodaye
mukunda-lingalaya-darsane drsau tad-bhrtyagatra-sparse `nga-
ghranam ca tat-pada-saroja-saurabhe srimat tulasya rasanarh tad-
padau hareh ksetra-padanusarpane siro hrsikesa-padabhivandane
kamam ca dasye na tu kama-kamyaya yathottama-sloka-janasraya
"King Ambarisa first of all engaged his mind on the lotus feet of Lord Krsna;
then, one after another, he engaged his words in describing the transcendental
qualities of the Lord, his hands in mopping the temple of the Lord, his ears in
hearing of the activities of the Lord, his eyes in seeing the transcendental
forms of the Lord, his body in touching the bodies of the devotees, his sense
of smell in smelling the scents of the lotus flower offered to the Lord, his
tongue in tasting the tulasT leaf offered at the lotus feet of the Lord, his legs in
going to places of pilgrimage and the temple of the Lord, his head in offering
obeisances unto the Lord and his desires in executing the mission of the Lord.
All these transcendental activities are quite befitting a pure devotee."
This transcendental stage may be inexpressible subjectively by the
followers of the impersonalist path, but it becomes very easy and practical for
a person in Krsna consciousness, as is apparent in the above description of the
engagements of Maharaja Ambarisa. Unless the mind is fixed on the lotus feet
of the Lord by constant remembrance, such transcendental engagements are
not practical. In the devotional service of the Lord, therefore, these prescribed
activities are called arcana, or engaging all the senses in the service of the
Lord. The senses and the mind require engagements. Simple abnegation is not
practical. Therefore, for people in general—especially those who are not in the
renounced order of life— transcendental engagement of the senses and the
mind as described above is the perfect process for transcendental achievement,
which is called yukta in the Bhagavad-gTta.


यथा दीपो निवातस्थो नेङ्गते सोपमा स्मृता | योगिनो यतचित्तस्य युञ्जतो योगमात्मनः ||६-१९||

yathā dīpo nivātastho neṅgate sopamā smṛtā . yogino yatacittasya yuñjato yogamātmanaḥ ||6-19||

yatha —as; dTpah —a lamp; nivatasthah —in a place without wind; na —does
not; iiigate —waver; sa upama —compared to that; smrta —likened; yoginah —
of the yogi; yata-cittasya —whose mind is controlled; yuhjatah —constantly
engaged in; yogam —meditation; atmanah —on Transcendence.

As a lamp in a windless place does not waver, so the transcendentalism
whose mind is controlled, remains always steady in his meditation on the
transcendent Self.

A truly Krsna conscious person, always absorbed in Transcendence, in
constant undisturbed meditation on his worshipable Lord, is as steady as a
lamp in a windless place.


यत्रोपरमते चित्तं निरुद्धं योगसेवया | यत्र चैवात्मनात्मानं पश्यन्नात्मनि तुष्यति ||६-२०||

yatroparamate cittaṃ niruddhaṃ yogasevayā . yatra caivātmanātmānaṃ paśyannātmani tuṣyati ||6-20||

yatra —in that state of affairs; uparamate —when one feels transcendental
happiness; cittam —mental activities; niruddham —restrained from matter;
yoga-sevaya —by performance of yoga; yatra —in that; ca —also; eva
—certainly; atmana —by the pure mind; atmanam —self; pasyan —realizing the
position; atmani —in the self; tusyati —becomes satisfied; sukham —happiness;
atyantikam —supreme; yat —in which; tat —that; buddhi —intelligence;
grahyam —acceptable; atmdriyam —transcendental; vetti —knows; yatra —
wherein; na —never; ca —also; eva —certainly; ayam —in this; sthitah
—situated; calati —moves; tattvatah —from the truth; yam —that which;
labdhva —by attainment; ca —also; aparam —any other; labham —gain;
manyate —does not mind; na —never; adhikam —more than that; tatah —from
that; yasmin —in which; sthitah —being situated; na —never; duhkhena —by
miseries; gurunapi —even though very difficult; vicalyate —becomes shaken;
tarn —that; vidyat —you must know; duhkha-samyoga —miseries of material
contact; viyogam —extermination; yoga-samjnitam —trance in yoga.

The stage of perfection is called trance, or samadhi, when one`s mind is
completely restrained from material mental activities by practice of yoga.
This is characterized by one`s ability to see the self by the pure mind and
to relish and rejoice in the self. In that joyous state, one is situated in
boundless transcendental happiness and enjoys himself through
transcendental senses. Established thus, one never departs from the truth,
and upon gaining this he thinks there is no greater gain. Being situated in
such a position, one is never shaken, even in the midst of greatest
difficulty. This indeed is actual freedom from all miseries arising from
material contact.

By practice of yoga one becomes gradually detached from material
concepts. This is the primary characteristic of the yoga principle. And after
this, one becomes situated in trance, or samadhi which means that the yogi
realizes the Supersoul through transcendental mind and intelligence, without
any of the misgivings of identifying the self with the Superself. Yoga practice
is more or less based on the principles of the Patanjali system. Some
unauthorized commentators try to identify the individual soul with the
Supersoul, and the monists think this to be liberation, but they do not
understand the real purpose of the Patanjali system of yoga. There is an
acceptance of transcendental pleasure in the Patanjali system, but the monists
do not accept this transcendental pleasure out of fear of jeopardizing the
theory of oneness. The duality of knowledge and knower is not accepted by
the nondualist, but in this verse transcendental pleasure—realized through
transcendental senses—is accepted. And this is corroborated by the Patanjali
Muni, the famous exponent of the yoga system. The great sage declares in his
Yoga-sutras: purusartha—sunyanam gunanam pratiprasavah kaivalyam
svarupa-pratistha va citi-saktir id.
This citi-sakti, or internal potency, is transcendental. Purusartha means
material religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and, at the end,
the attempt to become one with the Supreme. This "oneness with the
Supreme" is called kaivalyam by the monist. But according to Patanjali, this
kaivalyam is an internal, or transcendental, potency by which the living entity
becomes aware of his constitutional position. In the words of Lord Caitanya,
this state of affairs is called ceto-darpana-marjanam, or clearance of the
impure mirror of the mind. This "clearance" is actually liberation, or bhava-
mahadavagni-nirvapanam. The theory of nirvana —also preliminary
—corresponds with this principle. In the Bhagavatam this is called svarupena
vyavasthitih. The Bhagavad-gTta also confirms this situation in this verse.
After nirvana, or material cessation, there is the manifestation of spiritual
activities, or devotional service of the Lord, known as Krsna consciousness. In
the words of the Bhagavatam, svarupena vyavasthitih: this is the "real life of
the living entity." Maya, or illusion, is the condition of spiritual life
contaminated by material infection. Liberation from this material infection
does not mean destruction of the original eternal position of the living entity.
Patanjali also accepts this by his words kaivalyam svarupa-pratistha va citi-
saktir iti. This citi-sakti or transcendental pleasure, is real life. This is
confirmed in the Vedanta-sutras as anandamayo `bhyasat. This natural
transcendental pleasure is the ultimate goal of yoga and is easily achieved by
execution of devotional service, or bhakti-yoga. Bhaktiyoga will be vividly
described in the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gTta.
In the yoga system, as described in this chapter, there are two kinds of
samadhi, called samprajnata-samadhi and asamprajnata-samadhi. When one
becomes situated in the transcendental position by various philosophical
researches, it is called samprajnata-samadhi. In the asamprajnata-samadhi
there is no longer any connection with mundane pleasure, for one is then
transcendental to all sorts of happiness derived from the senses. When the yogi
is once situated in that transcendental position, he is never shaken from it.
Unless the yogi is able to reach this position, he is unsuccessful. Today`s so-
called yoga practice, which involves various sense pleasures, is contradictory.
A yogi indulging in sex and intoxication is a mockery. Even those yogis who
are attracted by the siddhis (perfections) in the process of yoga are not
perfectly situated. If the yogis are attracted by the by-products of yoga, then
they cannot attain the stage of perfection, as is stated in this verse. Persons,
therefore, indulging in the make-show practice of gymnastic feats or siddhis
should know that the aim of yoga is lost in that way.
The best practice of yoga in this age is Krsna consciousness, which is not
baffling. A Krsna conscious person is so happy in his occupation that he does
not aspire after any other happiness. There are many impediments, especially
in this age of hypocrisy, to practicing hatha- yoga, dhyana-yoga, and jhana-
yoga, but there is no such problem in executing karma-yoga or bhakti-yoga.
As long as the material body exists, one has to meet the demands of the
body, namely eating, sleeping, defending and mating. But a person who is in
pure bhakti-yoga or in Krsna consciousness does not arouse the senses while
meeting the demands of the body. Rather, he accepts the bare necessities of
life, making the best use of a bad bargain, and enjoys transcendental happiness
in Krsna consciousness. He is callous toward incidental occurrences—such as
accidents, disease, scarcity and even the death of a most dear relative—but he
is always alert to execute his duties in Krsna consciousness or bhakti-yoga.
Accidents never deviate him from his duty. As stated in the Bhagavad-gTta,
agamapayino `nityas tarns titiksasva bharata. He endures all such incidental
occurences because he knows that they come and go and do not affect his
duties. In this way he achieves the highest perfection in yoga practice.


सुखमात्यन्तिकं यत्तद् बुद्धिग्राह्यमतीन्द्रियम् | वेत्ति यत्र न चैवायं स्थितश्चलति तत्त्वतः ||६-२१||

sukhamātyantikaṃ yattad buddhigrāhyamatīndriyam . vetti yatra na caivāyaṃ sthitaścalati tattvataḥ ||6-21||


यं लब्ध्वा चापरं लाभं मन्यते नाधिकं ततः | यस्मिन्स्थितो न दुःखेन गुरुणापि विचाल्यते ||६-२२||

yaṃ labdhvā cāparaṃ lābhaṃ manyate nādhikaṃ tataḥ . yasminsthito na duḥkhena guruṇāpi vicālyate ||6-22||


तं विद्याद् दुःखसंयोगवियोगं योगसंज्ञितम् | स निश्चयेन योक्तव्यो योगोऽनिर्विण्णचेतसा ||६-२३||

taṃ vidyād duḥkhasaṃyogaviyogaṃ yogasaṃjñitam . sa niścayena yoktavyo yogo.anirviṇṇacetasā ||6-23||


सङ्कल्पप्रभवान्कामांस्त्यक्त्वा सर्वानशेषतः | मनसैवेन्द्रियग्रामं विनियम्य समन्ततः ||६-२४||

saṅkalpaprabhavānkāmāṃstyaktvā sarvānaśeṣataḥ . manasaivendriyagrāmaṃ viniyamya samantataḥ ||6-24||

sah —that yoga system; niscayena —with firm determination; yoktavyah —
must be practiced; yogah —in such practice; anirvinna-cetasa —without
deviation; sankalpa —material desires; prabhavan —born of; kaman —sense
gratification; tyaktva —giving up; sarvan —all; asesatah —completely; manasa
—by the mind; eva —certainly; indriya-gramam —the full set of senses;
viniyamya —regulating; samantatah —from all sides.

One should engage oneself in the practice of yoga with undeviating
determination and faith. One should abandon, without exception, all
material desires born of false ego and thus control all the senses on all
sides by the mind.

The yoga practitioner should be determined and should patiently prosecute
the practice without deviation. One should be sure of success at the end and
pursue this course with great perserverance, not becoming discouraged if there
is any delay in the attainment of success. Success is sure for the rigid
practitioner. Regarding bhakti-yoga, Rupa Gosvami says:
utsahan niscayad dhairyat tat tat karma-pravartanat
sanga-tyagat satovrtteh sadbhir bhaktih prasidhyati
"The process of bhakti-yoga can be executed successfully with full-hearted
enthusiasm, perseverance, and determination by following the prescribed
duties in the association of devotees and by engaging completely in activities
of goodness."
As for determination, one should follow the example of the sparrow who
lost her eggs in the waves of the ocean. A sparrow laid her eggs on the shore
of the ocean, but the big ocean carried away the eggs on its waves. The
sparrow became very upset and asked the ocean to return her eggs. The ocean
did not even consider her appeal. So the sparrow decided to dry up the ocean.
She began to pick out the water in her small beak, and everyone laughed at her
for her impossible determination. The news of her activity spread, and at last
Garuda, the gigantic bird carrier of Lord Visnu, heard it. He became
compassionate toward his small sister bird, and so he came to see the sparrow.
Garuda was very pleased by the determination of the small sparrow, and he
promised to help. Thus Garuda at once asked the ocean to return her eggs lest
he himself take up the work of the sparrow. The ocean was frightened at this,
and returned the eggs. Thus the sparrow became happy by the grace of
Similarly, the practice of yoga, especially bhakti-yoga in Krsna
consciousness, may appear to be a very difficult job. But if anyone follows the
principles with great determination, the Lord will surely help, for God helps
those who help themselves.


शनैः शनैरुपरमेद् बुद्ध्या धृतिगृहीतया | आत्मसंस्थं मनः कृत्वा न किञ्चिदपि चिन्तयेत् ||६-२५||

śanaiḥ śanairuparamed buddhyā dhṛtigṛhītayā . ātmasaṃsthaṃ manaḥ kṛtvā na kiñcidapi cintayet ||6-25||

sanaih —gradually; sanaih —step by step; uparamet —hesitated; buddhya —
by intelligence; dhrti-grhTtaya —carrying the conviction; atma-samstham —
placed in transcendence; manah —mind; krtva —doing so; na —nothing; kihcit
—anything else; api —even; cintayet —be thinking of.

Gradually, step by step, with full conviction, one should become
situated in trance by means of intelligence, and thus the mind should be
fixed on the Self alone and should think of nothing else.

By proper conviction and intelligence one should gradually cease sense
activities. This is called pratyahara. The mind, being controlled by
conviction, meditation, and cessation of the senses, should be situated in
trance, or samadhi. At that time there is no longer any danger of becoming
engaged in the material conception of life. In other words, although one is
involved with matter as long as the material body exists, one should not think
about sense gratification. One should think of no pleasure aside from the
pleasure of the Supreme Self. This state is easily attained by directly
practicing Krsna consciousness.


यतो यतो निश्चरति मनश्चञ्चलमस्थिरम् | ततस्ततो नियम्यैतदात्मन्येव वशं नयेत् ||६-२६||

yato yato niścarati manaścañcalamasthiram . tatastato niyamyaitadātmanyeva vaśaṃ nayet ||6-26||

yatah —whatever; yatah —wherever; niscalati —verily agitated; manah —
the mind; cancalam —flickering; asthiram —unsteady; tatah —from there;
tatah — and thereafter; niyamya —regulating; etat —this; atmani —in the self;
eva — certainly; vasam —control; nayet —must bring in.

From whatever and wherever the mind wanders due to its flickering
and unsteady nature, one must certainly withdraw it and bring it back
under the control of the Self.

The nature of the mind is flickering and unsteady. But a self-realized yogi
has to control the mind; the mind should not control him. One who controls
the mind (and therefore the senses as well) is called gosvamT, or svamT, and
one who is controlled by the mind is called godasa, or the servant of the
senses. A gosvamT knows the standard of sense happiness. In transcendental
sense happiness, the senses are engaged in the service of Hrslkesa or the
supreme owner of the senses—Krsna. Serving Krsna with purified senses is
called Krsna consciousness. That is the way of bringing the senses under full
control. What is more, that is the highest perfection of yoga practice.


प्रशान्तमनसं ह्येनं योगिनं सुखमुत्तमम् | उपैति शान्तरजसं ब्रह्मभूतमकल्मषम् ||६-२७||

praśāntamanasaṃ hyenaṃ yoginaṃ sukhamuttamam . upaiti śāntarajasaṃ brahmabhūtamakalmaṣam ||6-27||

prasanta —mind fixed on the lotus feet of Krsna; manasam —of one whose
mind is so fixed; hi —certainly; enam —this; yoginam —the yogi; sukham
—happiness; uttamam —the highest; upaiti —attains; santa-rajasam —pacified
passion; brahma-bhutam —liberated by identification with the Absolute;
akalmasam —freed from all past sinful reaction.

The yog! whose mind is fixed on Me verily attains the highest
happiness. By virtue of his identity with Brahman, he is liberated; his
mind is peaceful, his passions are quieted, and he is freed from sin.

Brahma-bhuta is the state of being free from material contamination and
situated in the transcendental service of the Lord. Mad-bhaktim labhate param
(Bg. 18.54). One cannot remain in the quality of Brahman, the Absolute, until
one`s mind is fixed on the lotus feet of the Lord. Sa vai manah krsna-
padaravindayoh. To be always engaged in the transcendental loving service of
the Lord, or to remain in Krsna consciousness, is to be factually liberated from
the mode of passion and all material contamination.


युञ्जन्नेवं सदात्मानं योगी विगतकल्मषः | सुखेन ब्रह्मसंस्पर्शमत्यन्तं सुखमश्नुते ||६-२८||

yuñjannevaṃ sadātmānaṃ yogī vigatakalmaṣaḥ . sukhena brahmasaṃsparśamatyantaṃ sukhamaśnute ||6-28||

yuhjan —thus being engaged in yoga practice; evam —thus; sada —always;
atmanam —self; yogi —one who is in touch with the Supreme Self; vigata —is
freed from; kalmasah —all material contamination; sukhena —in transcendental
happiness; brahma-samsparsam —being in constant touch with the Supreme;
atyantam —highest; sukham —happiness; asnute —attains.

Steady in the Self, being freed from all material contamination, the yogi
achieves the highest perfectional stage of happiness in touch with the
Supreme Consciousness.

Self-realization means knowing one`s constitutional position in relationship
to the Supreme. The individual soul is part and parcel of the Supreme, and his
position is to render transcendental service to the Lord. This transcendental
contact with the Supreme is called brahma-samsparsa.


सर्वभूतस्थमात्मानं सर्वभूतानि चात्मनि | ईक्षते योगयुक्तात्मा सर्वत्र समदर्शनः ||६-२९||

sarvabhūtasthamātmānaṃ sarvabhūtāni cātmani . īkṣate yogayuktātmā sarvatra samadarśanaḥ ||6-29||

sarva-bhuta-stham —situated in all beings; atmanam —the Supersoul; sarva
—all; bhutani —entities; ca —also; atmani —in the Self; Tksate —does see; yoga-
yukta-atma —one who is dovetailed in Krsna consciousness; sarvatra —
everywhere; sama-darsanah —seeing equally.

A true yog! observes Me in all beings, and also sees every being in Me.
Indeed, the self-realized man sees Me everywhere.

A Krsna conscious yogi is the perfect seer because he sees Krsna, the
Supreme, situated in everyone`s heart as Supersoul (Paramatma). Isvarah
sarva-bhutanarh hrd-dese `rjuna tisthati. The Lord in His Paramatma feature
is situated within both the heart of the dog and that of a brahmana. The
perfect yogi knows that the Lord is eternally transcendental and is not
materially affected by His presence in either a dog or a brahmana. That is the
supreme neutrality of the Lord. The individual soul is also situated in the
individual heart, but he is not present in all hearts. That is the distinction
between the individual soul and the Supersoul. One who is not factually in the
practice of yoga cannot see so clearly. A Krsna conscious person can see
Krsna in the heart of both the believer and nonbeliever. In the smrti this is
confirmed as follows: atatatvac ca matrtvad atma hi paramo harih.
The Lord, being the source of all beings, is like the mother and the
maintainer. As the mother is neutral to all different kinds of children, the
Supreme Father (or Mother) is also. Consequently the Supersoul is always in
every living being. Outwardly, also, every living being is situated in the
energy of the Lord. As will be explained in the Seventh Chapter, the Lord has,
primarily, two energies—the spiritual (or superior) and the material (or
inferior). The living entity, although part of the superior energy, is conditioned
by the inferior energy; the living entity is always in the Lord`s energy. Every
living entity is situated in Him in one way or another. The yogi sees equally
because he sees that all living entities, although in different situations
according to the results of fruitive work, in all circumstances remain the
servants of God. While in the material energy, the living entity serves the
material senses; and while in spiritual energy, he serves the Supreme Lord
directly. In either case the living entity is the servant of God. This vision of
equality is perfect in a person in Krsna consciousness.


यो मां पश्यति सर्वत्र सर्वं च मयि पश्यति | तस्याहं न प्रणश्यामि स च मे न प्रणश्यति ||६-३०||

yo māṃ paśyati sarvatra sarvaṃ ca mayi paśyati . tasyāhaṃ na praṇaśyāmi sa ca me na praṇaśyati ||6-30||

yah —whoever; mam —Me; pasyati —sees; sarvatra —everywhere; sarvam
everything; ca —and; mayi —in Me; pasyati —he sees; tasya —his; aham —I; na
—not; pranasyami —am lost; sah —he; ca —also; me —to Me; na —nor;
pranasyad —is lost.

For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never
lost, nor is he ever lost to Me.

A person in Krsna consciousness certainly sees Lord Krsna everywhere, and
he sees everything in Krsna. Such a person may appear to see all separate
manifestations of the material nature, but in each and every instance he is
conscious of Krsna, knowing that everything is the manifestation of Krsna`s
energy. Nothing can exist without Krsna, and Krsna is the Lord of everything
—this is the basic principle of Krsna consciousness. Krsna consciousness is
the development of love of Krsna—a position transcendental even to material
liberation. It is the stage beyond self—realization at which the devotee
becomes one with Krsna in the sense that Krsna becomes everything for the
devotee, and the devotee becomes full in loving Krsna. An intimate
relationship between the Lord and the devotee then exists. In that stage, the
living entity attains his immortality. Nor is the Personality of Godhead ever
out of the sight of the devotee. To merge in Krsna is spiritual annihilation. A
devotee takes no such risk. It is stated in the Brahma-samhita:
santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti
yam syamasundaram acintya-guna-svarupam
govindam adi-purusam tarn aham bhajami
"I worship the primeval Lord, Govinda, who is always seen by the devotee
whose eyes are anointed with the pulp of love. He is seen in His eternal form
of Syamasundara situated within the heart of the devotee." (Bs. 5.38)
At this stage, Lord Krsna never disappears from the sight of the devotee,
nor does the devotee ever lose sight of the Lord. In the case of a yogi who sees
the Lord as Paramatma within the heart, the same applies. Such a yogi turns
into a pure devotee and cannot bear to live for a moment without seeing the
Lord within himself.


सर्वभूतस्थितं यो मां भजत्येकत्वमास्थितः | सर्वथा वर्तमानोऽपि स योगी मयि वर्तते ||६-३१||

sarvabhūtasthitaṃ yo māṃ bhajatyekatvamāsthitaḥ . sarvathā vartamāno.api sa yogī mayi vartate ||6-31||

sarva-bhuta-sthitam —situated in everyone`s heart; yah —he who; mam —
unto Me; bhajati —serves in devotional service; ekatvam —oneness; asthitah
—thus situated; sarvatha —in all respects; vartamanah —being situated; api —
in spite of; sah —he; yogi —transcendentalist; mayi —unto Me; vartate —

The yogi who knows that I and the Supersoul within all creatures are
one worships Me and remains always in Me in all circumstances.

A yogi who is practicing meditation on the Supersoul sees within himself
the plenary portion of Krsna as Visnu—with four hands, holding conchshell,
wheel, club and lotus flower. The yogi should know that Visnu is not different
from Krsna. Krsna in this form of Supersoul is situated in everyone`s heart.
Furthermore, there is no difference between the innumerable Supersouls
present in the innumerable hearts of living entities. Nor is there a difference
between a Krsna conscious person always engaged in the transcendental
loving service of Krsna and a perfect yogi engaged in meditation on the
Supersoul. The yogi in Krsna consciousness— even though he may be
engaged in various activities while in material existence—remains always
situated in Krsna. This is confirmed in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu of Srila
Rupa GosvamI: nikhilesu avasthasu jivanmukta sa ucyate. A devotee of the
Lord, always acting in Krsna consciousness, is automatically liberated. In the
Narada-pahcaratra this is confirmed in this way:
dik-kalady-anavacchinne krsne ceto vidhaya ca
tanmayo bhavati ksipram jivo brahmani yojayet.
"By concentrating one`s attention on the transcendental form of Krsna, who is
all-pervading and beyond time and space, one becomes absorbed in thinking
of Krsna and then attains the happy state of transcendental association with
Krsna consciousness is the highest stage of trance in yoga practice. This
very understanding that Krsna is present as Paramatma in everyone`s heart
makes the yogi faultless. The Vedas confirm this inconceivable potency of the
Lord as follows:
eko `pi san bahudha yo `vabhati
aisvaryad rupam ekam ca suryavad bahudheyate.
"Visnu is one, and yet He is certainly all-pervading. By His inconceivable
potency, in spite of His one form, He is present everywhere. As the sun, He
appears in many places at once."


आत्मौपम्येन सर्वत्र समं पश्यति योऽर्जुन | सुखं वा यदि वा दुःखं स योगी परमो मतः ||६-३२||

ātmaupamyena sarvatra samaṃ paśyati yo.arjuna . sukhaṃ vā yadi vā duḥkhaṃ sa yogī paramo mataḥ ||6-32||

atma —self; aupamyena —by comparison; sarvatra —everywhere; samam —
equality; pasyati —sees; yah —he who; arjuna —O Arjuna; sukham
—happiness; va —or; yadi —if; va — or; duhkham —distress; sah —such; yogi —
transcendentalist; paramah —perfect; matah —considered.

He is a perfect yogi who, by comparison to his own self, sees the true
equality of all beings, both in their happiness and distress, O Arjuna!

One who is Krsna conscious is a perfect yogi; he is aware of everyone`s
happiness and distress by dint of his own personal experience. The cause of
the distress of a living entity is forgetfulness of his relationship with God. And
the cause of happiness is knowing Krsna to be the supreme enjoyer of all the
activities of the human being. Krsna is the proprietor of all lands and planets.
The perfect yogi is the sincerest friend of all living entities. He knows that the
living being who is conditioned by the modes of material nature is subjected
to the threefold material miseries due to forgetfulness of his relationship with
Krsna. Because one in Krsna consciousness is happy, he tries to distribute the
knowledge of Krsna everywhere. Since the perfect yogi tries to broadcast the
importance of becoming Krsna conscious, he is the best philanthropist in the
world, and he is the dearest servitor of the Lord. Na tasmat kascid me priyakrt
tamah. In other words, a devotee of the Lord always looks to the welfare of all
living entities, and in this way he is factually the friend of everyone. He is the
best yogi because he does not desire perfection in yoga for his personal
benefit, but tries for others also. He does not envy his fellow living entities.
Here is a contrast between a pure devotee of the Lord and a yogi interested
only in his personal elevation. The yogi who has withdrawn to a secluded
place in order to meditate perfectly may not be as perfect as a devotee who is
trying his best to turn every man toward Krsna consciousness.


अर्जुन उवाच | योऽयं योगस्त्वया प्रोक्तः साम्येन मधुसूदन | एतस्याहं न पश्यामि चञ्चलत्वात्स्थितिं स्थिराम् ||६-३३||

arjuna uvāca . yo.ayaṃ yogastvayā proktaḥ sāmyena madhusūdana . etasyāhaṃ na paśyāmi cañcalatvātsthitiṃ sthirām ||6-33||

arjunah uvaca —Arjuna said; yah —the system; ayam —this; yogah —
mysticism; tvaya —by You; proktah —described; samyena —generally;
madhusiidana —O killer of the demon Madhu; etasya —of this; aham —I; na —
do not; pasyami —see; cancalatvat —due to being restless; sthitim —situation;
sthiram —stable.

Arjuna said: O Madhusiidana, the system of yoga which you have
summarized appears impractical and unendurable to me, for the mind is
restless and unsteady.

The system of mysticism described by Lord Krsna to Arjuna beginning with
the words sucau dese and ending with yogiparamah is here being rejected by
Arjuna out of a feeling of inability. It is not possible for an ordinary man to
leave home and go to a secluded place in the mountains or jungles to practice
yoga in this age of Kali. The present age is characterized by a bitter struggle
for a life of short duration. People are not serious about self-realization even
by simple, practical means, and what to speak of this difficult yoga system,
which regulates the mode of living, the manner of sitting, selection of place,
and detachment of the mind from material engagements. As a practical man,
Arjuna thought it was impossible to follow this system of yoga, even though
he was favorably endowed in many ways. He belonged to the royal family and
was highly elevated in terms of numerous qualities; he was a great warrior, he
had great longevity, and, above all, he was the most intimate friend of Lord
Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Five thousand years ago, Arjuna
had much better facilities then we do now, yet he refused to accept this system
of yoga. In fact, we do not find any record in history of his practicing it at any
time. Therefore this system must be considered generally impossible in this
age of Kali. Of course it may be possible for some very few, rare men, but for
the people in general it is an impossible proposal. If this were so five thousand
years ago, then what of the present day? Those who are imitating this yoga
system in different so-called schools and societies, although complacent, are
certainly wasting their time. They are completely in ignorance of the desired


चञ्चलं हि मनः कृष्ण प्रमाथि बलवद् दृढम् | तस्याहं निग्रहं मन्ये वायोरिव सुदुष्करम् ||६-३४||

cañcalaṃ hi manaḥ kṛṣṇa pramāthi balavad dṛḍham . tasyāhaṃ nigrahaṃ manye vāyoriva suduṣkaram ||6-34||

cancalam —flickering; hi —certainly; manah —mind; krsna —O Krsna;
pramathi —agitating; balavat —strong; drdham —obstinate; tasya —its; aham
—I; nigraham —subduing; manye —think; vayoh —of the wind; iva —like;
suduskaram —difficult.

For the mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, O Krsna,
and to subdue it is, it seems to me, more difficult than controlling the

The mind is so strong and obstinate that it sometimes overcomes the
intelligence, although mind is supposed to be subservient to the intelligence.
For a man in the practical world who has to fight so many opposing elements,
it is certainly very difficult to control the mind. Artificially, one may establish
a mental equilibrium toward both friend and enemy, but ultimately no worldly
man can do so, for this is more difficult than controlling the raging wind. In
the Vedic literatures it is said:
atmanam rathinam viddhi sarirarh ratham eva ca
buddhintu sarathim viddhi manah pragraham eva ca
indriyani hayanahur visayams tesu gocaran
atmendriya-mano-yukto bhoktety ahur manTsinah.
"The individual is the passenger in the car of the material body, and
intelligence is the driver. Mind is the driving instrument, and the senses are the
horses. The self is thus the enjoyer or sufferer in the association of the mind
and senses. So it is understood by great thinkers." Intelligence is supposed to
direct the mind, but the mind is so strong and obstinate that it often overcomes
even one`s own intelligence. Such a strong mind is supposed to be controlled
by the practice of yoga, but such practice is never practical for a worldly
person like Arjuna. And what can we say of modern man? The simile used
here is appropriate: one cannot capture the blowing wind. And it is even more
difficult to capture the turbulent mind. The easiest way to control the mind, as
suggested by Lord Caitanya, is chanting "Hare Krsna," the great mantra for
deliverance, in all humility. The method prescribed is sa vai manah krsna-
padaravindayoh: one must engage one`s mind fully in Krsna. Only then will
there remain no other engagements to agitate the mind.


श्रीभगवानुवाच | असंशयं महाबाहो मनो दुर्निग्रहं चलम् | अभ्यासेन तु कौन्तेय वैराग्येण च गृह्यते ||६-३५||

śrībhagavānuvāca . asaṃśayaṃ mahābāho mano durnigrahaṃ calam . abhyāsena tu kaunteya vairāgyeṇa ca gṛhyate ||6-35||

srT bhagavan uvaca —the Personality of Godhead said; asamsayam —
undoubtedly; maha-baho —O mighty-armed one; manah —mind; durnigraham
—difficult to curb; calam —flickering; abhyasena —by practice; tu —but;
kaunteya —O son of KuntI; vairagyena —by detachment; ca —also; grhyate —
can be so controlled.

The Blessed Lord said: O mighty-armed son of KuntI, it is undoubtedly
very difficult to curb the restless mind, but it is possible by constant
practice and by detachment.

The difficulty of controlling the obstinate mind, as expressed by Arjuna, is
accepted by the Personality of Godhead. But at the same time He suggests that
by practice and detachment it is possible. What is that practice? In the present
age no one can observe strict rules and regulations, such as placing oneself in
a sacred place, focusing the mind on the Supersoul, restraining the senses and
mind, observing celibacy, remaining alone, etc. By the practice of Krsna
consciousness, however, one engages in nine types of devotional service to the
Lord. The first and foremost of such devotional engagements is hearing about
Krsna. This is a very powerful transcendental method for purging the mind of
all misgivings. The more one hears about Krsna, the more one becomes
enlightened and detached from everything that draws the mind away from
Krsna. By detaching the mind from activities not devoted to the Lord, one can
very easily learn vairagya. Vairagya means detachment from matter and
engagement of the mind in spirit. Impersonal spiritual detachment is more
difficult than attaching the mind to the activities of Krsna. This is practical
because by hearing about Krsna one becomes automatically attached to the
Supreme Spirit. This attachment is called paresanubhud spiritual satisfaction.
It is just like the feeling of satisfaction a hungry man has for every morsel of
food he eats. Similarly, by discharge of devotional service, one feels
transcendental satisfaction as the mind becomes detached from material
objectives. It is something like curing a disease by expert treatment and
appropriate diet. Hearing of the transcendental activities of Lord Krsna is
therefore expert treatment for the mad mind, and eating the foodstuff offered
to Krsna is the appropriate diet for the suffering patient. This treatment is the
process of Krsna consciousness.


असंयतात्मना योगो दुष्प्राप इति मे मतिः | वश्यात्मना तु यतता शक्योऽवाप्तुमुपायतः ||६-३६||

asaṃyatātmanā yogo duṣprāpa iti me matiḥ . vaśyātmanā tu yatatā śakyo.avāptumupāyataḥ ||6-36||

asamyata —unbridled; atmana —by the mind; yogah —self-realization;
dusprapah —difficult to obtain; iti —thus; me —My; matih —opinion; vasya —
controlled; atmana —by the mind; tu —but; yatata —while endeavoring; sakyah
—practical; avaptum —to achieve; upayatah —appropriate means.

For one whose mind is unbridled, self-realization is difficult work. But
he whose mind is controlled and who strives by right means is assured of
success. That is My opinion.