The Most Confidential Knowledge






 - CHAPTER 9 -

The Most Confidential Knowledge


TEXT 1

çré-bhagavän uväca

idaà tu te guhyatamaà

pravakñyämy anasüyave

jïänaà vijïäna-sahitaà

yaj jïätvä mokñyase ’çubhät

SYNONYMS

çré-bhagavän uväca—the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; idam—this; tu—but; te—unto you;guhya-tamam—the most confidential; pravakñyämi—I am speaking; anasüyave—to the nonenvious;jïänam—knowledge; vijïäna—realized knowledge;sahitam—with; yat—which; jïätvä—knowing; mokñyase—you will be released; açubhät—from this miserable material existence.

TRANSLATION

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Arjuna, because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart to you this most confidential knowledge and realization, knowing which you shall be relieved of the miseries of materialexistence.

PURPORT

As a devotee hears more and more about the Supreme Lord, he becomes enlightened. This hearing process is recommended in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam: “The messages of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are full of potencies, and these potencies can be realized if topics regarding the Supreme Godhead are discussed amongst devotees. This cannot be achieved by the association of mental speculators or academic scholars, for it is realized knowledge.”

The devotees are constantly engaged in the Supreme Lord’s service. The Lord understands the mentality and sincerity of a particular living entity who is engaged in Kåñëa consciousness and gives him the intelligence to understand the science of Kåñëa in the association of devotees. Discussion of Kåñëa is very potent, and if a fortunate person has such association and tries to assimilate the knowledge, then he will surely make advancement toward spiritual realization. Lord Kåñëa, in order to encourage Arjuna to higher and higher elevation in His potent service, describes in this Ninth Chapter matters more confidential than any He has already disclosed.

The very beginning of Bhagavad-gétä, the First Chapter, is more or less an introduction to the rest of the book; and in the Second and Third chapters, the spiritual knowledge described is called confidential. Topics discussed in the Seventh and Eighth chapters are specifically related to devotional service, and because they bring enlightenment in Kåñëa consciousness, they are called more confidential. But the matters which are described in the Ninth Chapter deal with unalloyed, pure devotion. Therefore this is called the most confidential. One who is situated in the most confidential knowledge of Kåñëa is naturally transcendental; he therefore has no material pangs, although he is in the material world. In the Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu it is said that although one who has a sincere desire to render loving service to the Supreme Lord is situated in the conditional state of material existence, he is to be considered liberated. Similarly, we shall find in the Bhagavad-gétä, Tenth Chapter, that anyone who is engaged in that way is a liberated person.

Now this first verse has specific significance. The words idaà jïänam (“this knowledge”) refer to pure devotional service, which consists of nine different activities: hearing, chanting, remembering, serving, worshiping, praying, obeying, maintaining friendship and surrendering everything. By the practice of these nine elements of devotional service one is elevated to spiritual consciousness, Kåñëa consciousness. When one’s heart is thus cleared of material contamination, one can understand this science of Kåñëa. Simply to understand that a living entity is not material is not sufficient. That may be the beginning of spiritual realization, but one should recognize the difference between activities of the body and the spiritual activities of one who understands that he is not the body.

In the Seventh Chapter we have already discussed the opulent potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, His different energies, the inferior and superior natures, and all this material manifestation. Now in Chapter Nine the glories of the Lord will be delineated.

The Sanskrit word anasüyave in this verse is also very significant. Generally the commentators, even if they are highly scholarly, are all envious of Kåñëa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Even the most erudite scholars write on Bhagavad-gétä very inaccurately. Because they are envious of Kåñëa, their commentaries are useless. The commentaries given by devotees of the Lord are bona fide. No one can explain Bhagavad-gétä or give perfect knowledge of Kåñëa if he is envious. One who criticizes the character of Kåñëa without knowing Him is a fool. So such commentaries should be very carefully avoided. For one who understands that Kåñëa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the pure and transcendental Personality, these chapters will be very beneficial.

TEXT 2

räja-vidyä räja-guhyaà

pavitram idam uttamam

pratyakñävagamaà dharmyaà

su-sukhaà kartum avyayam

SYNONYMS

räja-vidyä—the king of education; räja-guhyam—the king of confidential knowledge; pavitram—the purest; idam—this; uttamam—transcendental; pratyakña—by direct experience; avagamam—understood; dharmyam—the principle of religion; su-sukham—very happy; kartum—to execute; avyayam—everlasting.

TRANSLATION

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

PURPORT

This chapter of Bhagavad-gétä is called the king of education because it is the essence of all doctrines and philosophies explained before. Among the principal philosophers in India are Gautama, Kaëäda, Kapila, Yäjïavalkya, Çäëòilya and Vaiçvänara. And finally there is Vyäsadeva, the author of the Vedänta-sütra. So there is no dearth of knowledge in the field of philosophy or transcendental knowledge. Now the Lord says that this Ninth Chapter is the king of all such knowledge, the essence of all knowledge that can be derived from the study of the Vedas and different kinds of philosophy. It is the most confidential because confidential or transcendental knowledge involves understanding the difference between the soul and the body. And the king of all confidential knowledge culminates in devotional service.

Generally, people are not educated in this confidential knowledge; they are educated in external knowledge. As far as ordinary education is concerned, people are involved with so many departments: politics, sociology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, engineering, etc. There are so many departments of knowledge all over the world and many huge universities, but there is, unfortunately, no university or educational institution where the science of the spirit soul is instructed. Yet the soul is the most important part of the body; without the presence of the soul, the body has no value. Still people are placing great stress on the bodily necessities of life, not caring for the vital soul.

The Bhagavad-gétä, especially from the Second Chapter on, stresses the importance of the soul. In the very beginning, the Lord says that this body is perishable and that the soul is not perishable ( antavanta ime dehä nityasyoktäù çarériëaù). That is a confidential part of knowledge: simply knowing that the spirit soul is different from this body and that its nature is immutable, indestructible and eternal. But that gives no positive information about the soul. Sometimes people are under the impression that the soul is different from the body and that when the body is finished, or one is liberated from the body, the soul remains in a void and becomes impersonal. But actually that is not the fact. How can the soul, which is so active within this body, be inactive after being liberated from the body? It is always active. If it is eternal, then it is eternally active, and its activities in the spiritual kingdom are the most confidential part of spiritual knowledge. These activities of the spirit soul are therefore indicated here as constituting the king of all knowledge, the most confidential part of all knowledge.

This knowledge is the purest form of all activities, as explained in Vedic literature. In the Padma Puräëa,man’s sinful activities have been analyzed and are shown to be the results of sin after sin. Those who are engaged in fruitive activities are entangled in different stages and forms of sinful reactions. For instance, when the seed of a particular tree is sown, the tree does not appear immediately to grow; it takes some time. It is first a small, sprouting plant, then it assumes the form of a tree, then it flowers and bears fruit, and, when it is complete, the flowers and fruits are enjoyed by persons who have sown the seed of the tree. Similarly, a man performs a sinful act, and like a seed it takes time to fructify. There are different stages. The sinful action may have already stopped within the individual, but the results or the fruit of that sinful action are still to be enjoyed. There are sins which are still in the form of a seed, and there are others which are already fructified and are giving us fruit, which we are enjoying as distress and pain.

As explained in the twenty-eighth verse of the Seventh Chapter, a person who has completely ended the reactions of all sinful activities and who is fully engaged in pious activities, being freed from the duality of this material world, becomes engaged in devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kåñëa. In other words, those who are actually engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Lord are already freed from all reactions. This statement is confirmed in the Padma Puräëa:

aprärabdha-phalaà päpaà

küöaà béjaà phalonmukham

krameëaiva praléyeta

viñëu-bhakti-ratätmanäm

For those who are engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, all sinful reactions, whether fructified, in the stock, or in the form of a seed, gradually vanish. Therefore the purifying potency of devotional service is very strong, and it is called pavitram uttamam, the purest. Uttama means transcendental. Tamas means this material world or darkness, and uttama means that which is transcendental to material activities. Devotional activities are never to be considered material, although sometimes it appears that devotees are engaged just like ordinary men. One who can see and is familiar with devotional service will know that they are not material activities. They are all spiritual and devotional, uncontaminated by the material modes of nature.

It is said that the execution of devotional service is so perfect that one can perceive the results directly. This direct result is actually perceived, and we have practical experience that any person who is chanting the holy names of Kåñëa (Hare Kåñëa, Hare Kåñëa, Kåñëa Kåñëa, Hare Hare/ Hare Räma, Hare Räma, Räma Räma, Hare Hare) in course of chanting without offenses feels some transcendental pleasure and very quickly becomes purified of all material contamination. This is actually seen. Furthermore, if one engages not only in hearing but in trying to broadcast the message of devotional activities as well, or if he engages himself in helping the missionary activities of Kåñëa consciousness, he gradually feels spiritual progress. This advancement in spiritual life does not depend on any kind of previous education or qualification. The method itself is so pure that by simply engaging in it one becomes pure.

In the Vedänta-sütra (3.2.26) this is also described in the following words: prakäçaç ca karmaëy abhyäsät.“Devotional service is so potent that simply by engaging in the activities of devotional service one becomes enlightened without a doubt.” A practical example of this can be seen in the previous life of Närada, who in that life happened to be the son of a maidservant. He had no education, nor was he born into a high family. But when his mother was engaged in serving great devotees, Närada also became engaged, and sometimes, in the absence of his mother, he would serve the great devotees himself. Närada personally says,

ucchiñöa-lepän anumodito dvijaiù

sakåt sma bhuïje tad-apästa-kilbiñaù

evaà pravåttasya viçuddha-cetasas

tad-dharma evätma-ruciù prajäyate

In this verse from Çrémad-Bhägavatam (1.5.25) Närada describes his previous life to his disciple Vyäsadeva. He says that while engaged as a boy servant for those purified devotees during the four months of their stay, he was intimately associating with them. Sometimes those sages left remnants of food on their dishes, and the boy, who would wash their dishes, wanted to taste the remnants. So he asked the great devotees for their permission, and when they gave it Närada ate those remnants and consequently became freed from all sinful reactions. As he went on eating, he gradually became as pure-hearted as the sages. The great devotees relished the taste of unceasing devotional service to the Lord by hearing and chanting, and Närada gradually developed the same taste. Närada says further,

tatränvahaà kåñëa-kathäù pragäyatäm

anugraheëäçåëavaà manoharäù

täù çraddhayä me ’nupadaà viçåëvataù

priyaçravasy aìga mamäbhavad ruciù

By associating with the sages, Närada got the taste for hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord, and he developed a great desire for devotional service. Therefore, as described in the Vedänta-sütra, prakäçaç ca karmaëy abhyäsät: if one is engaged simply in the acts of devotional service, everything is revealed to him automatically, and he can understand. This is called pratyakña, directly perceived.

The word dharmyam means “the path of religion.” Närada was actually a son of a maidservant. He had no opportunity to go to school. He was simply assisting his mother, and fortunately his mother rendered some service to the devotees. The child Närada also got the opportunity and simply by association achieved the highest goal of all religion. The highest goal of all religion is devotional service, as stated in Çrémad-Bhägavatam ( sa vai puàsäà parodharmo yato bhaktir adhokñaje). Religious people generally do not know that the highest perfection of religion is the attainment of devotional service. As we have already discussed in regard to the last verse of Chapter Eight ( vedeñu yajïeñu tapaùsu caiva), generally Vedic knowledge is required for self-realization. But here, although Närada never went to the school of the spiritual master and was not educated in the Vedic principles, he acquired the highest results of Vedic study. This process is so potent that even without performing the religious process regularly, one can be raised to the highest perfection. How is this possible? This is also confirmed in Vedic literature: äcäryavän puruño veda.One who is in association with great äcäryas, even if he is not educated or has never studied the Vedas,can become familiar with all the knowledge necessary for realization.

The process of devotional service is a very happy one ( susukham). Why? Devotional service consists of çravaëaà kértanaà viñëoù [SB 7.5.23] so one can simply hear the chanting of the glories of the Lord or can attend philosophical lectures on transcendental knowledge given by authorized äcäryas. Simply by sitting, one can learn; then one can eat the remnants of the food offered to God, nice palatable dishes. In every state devotional service is joyful. One can execute devotional service even in the most poverty-stricken condition. The Lord says, patraà puñpaà phalaà toyam: He is ready to accept from the devotee any kind of offering, never mind what. Even a leaf, a flower, a bit of fruit, or a little water, which are all available in every part of the world, can be offered byany person, regardless of social position, and will be accepted if offered with love. There are many instances in history. Simply by tasting the tulaséleaves offered to the lotus feet of the Lord, great sages like Sanat-kumära became great devotees. Therefore the devotional process is very nice, and it can be executed in a happy mood. God accepts only the love with which things are offered to Him.

It is said here that this devotional service is eternally existing. It is not as the Mäyävädé philosophers claim. Although they sometimes take to so-called devotional service, their idea is that as long as they are not liberated they will continue their devotional service, but at the end, when they become liberated, they will “become one with God.” Such temporary time-serving devotional service is not accepted as pure devotional service. Actual devotional service continues even after liberation. When the devotee goes to the spiritual planet in the kingdom of God, he is also engaged there in serving the Supreme Lord. He does not try to become one with the Supreme Lord.

As will be seen in Bhagavad-gétä, actual devotional service begins after liberation. After one is liberated, when one is situated in the Brahman position ( brahma-bhüta), one’s devotional service begins ( samaù sarveñu bhüteñu mad-bhaktià labhate paräm). No one can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead by executing karma-yoga, jïäna-yoga, añöäìga-yoga or any other yoga independently. By these yogic methods one may make a little progress toward bhakti-yoga, but without coming to the stage of devotional service one cannot understand what is the Personality of Godhead. In the Çrémad-Bhägavatam it is also confirmed that when one becomes purified by executing the process of devotional service, especially by hearing Çrémad-Bhägavatam or Bhagavad-gétä from realized souls, then he can understand the science of Kåñëa, or the science of God. Evaà prasanna-manaso bhagavad-bhakti yogataù. When one’s heart is cleared of all nonsense, then one can understand what God is. Thus the process of devotional service, of Kåñëa consciousness, is the king of all education and the king of all confidential knowledge. It is the purest form of religion, and it can be executed joyfully without difficulty. Therefore one should adopt it.

TEXT 3

açraddadhänäù puruñä

dharmasyäsya parantapa

apräpya mäà nivartante

måtyu-saàsära-vartmani

SYNONYMS

açraddadhänäù—those who are faithless; puruñäù—such persons; dharmasya—toward the process of religion; asya—this; parantapa—O killer of the enemies; apräpya—without obtaining; mäm—Me;nivartante—come back; måtyu—of death; saàsära—in material existence; vartmani—on the path.

TRANSLATION

Those who are not faithful in this devotional service cannot attain Me, O conqueror of enemies. Therefore they return to the path of birth and death in this material world.

PURPORT

The faithless cannot accomplish this process of devotional service; that is the purport of this verse. Faith is created by association with devotees. Unfortunate people, even after hearing all the evidence of Vedic literature from great personalities, still have no faith in God. They are hesitant and cannot stay fixed in the devotional service of the Lord. Thus faith is a most important factor for progress in Kåñëa consciousness. In the Caitanya-caritämåta it is said that faith is the complete conviction that simply by serving the Supreme Lord, Çré Kåñëa, one can achieve all perfection. That is called real faith. As stated in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam (4.31.14), 

yathä taror müla-niñecanena

tåpyanti tat-skandha-bhujopaçäkhäù

präëopahäräc ca yathendriyäëäà

tathaiva sarvärhaëam acyutejyä

“By giving water to the root of a tree one satisfies its branches, twigs and leaves, and by supplying food to the stomach one satisfies all the senses of the body. Similarly, by engaging in the transcendental service of the Supreme Lord one automatically satisfies all the demigods and all other living entities.” Therefore, after reading Bhagavad-gétä one should promptly come to the conclusion of Bhagavad-gétä:one should give up all other engagements and adopt the service of the Supreme Lord, Kåñëa, the Personality of Godhead. If one is convinced of this philosophy of life, that is faith.

Now, the development of that faith is the process of Kåñëa consciousness. There are three divisions of Kåñëa conscious men. In the third class are those who have no faith. Even if they are officially engaged in devotional service, they cannot achieve the highest perfectional stage. Most probably they will slip, after some time. They may become engaged, but because they haven’t complete conviction and faith, it is very difficult for them to continue in Kåñëa consciousness. We have practical experience in discharging our missionary activity that some people come and apply themselves to Kåñëa consciousness with some hidden motive, and as soon as they are economically a little well situated they give up this process and take to their old ways again. It is only by faith that one can advance in Kåñëa consciousness. As far as the development of faith is concerned, one who is well versed in the literatures of devotional service and has attained the stage of firm faith is called a first-class person in Kåñëa consciousness. And in the second class are those who are not very advanced in understanding the devotional scriptures but who automatically have firm faith that kåñëa-bhakti, or service to Kåñëa, is the best course and so in good faith have taken it up. Thus they are superior to the third class, who have neither perfect knowledge of the scriptures nor good faith but by association and simplicity are trying to follow. The third-class person in Kåñëa consciousness may fall down, but when one is in the second class he does not fall down, and for the first-class person in Kåñëa consciousness there is no chance of falling down. One in the first class will surely make progress and achieve the result at the end. As far as the third-class person in Kåñëa consciousness is concerned, although he has faith in the conviction that devotional service to Kåñëa is very good, he has not yet gained adequate knowledge of Kåñëa through the scriptures like Çrémad-Bhägavatam and Bhagavad-gétä. Sometimes these third-class persons in Kåñëa consciousness have some tendency toward karma-yoga and jïäna-yoga,and sometimes they are disturbed, but as soon as the infection of karma-yoga or jïäna-yoga is vanquished, they become second-class or first-class persons in Kåñëa consciousness. Faith in Kåñëa is also divided into three stages and described in Çrémad-Bhägavatam. First-class attachment, second-class attachment and third-class attachment are also explained in Çrémad-Bhägavatam in the Eleventh Canto. Those who have no faith even after hearing about Kåñëa and the excellence of devotional service, who think that it is simply eulogy, find the path very difficult, even if they are supposedly engaged in devotional service. For them there is very little hope of gaining perfection. Thus faith is very important in the discharge of devotional service.

TEXT 4

mayä tatam idaà sarvaà

jagad avyakta-mürtinä

mat-sthäni sarva-bhütäni

na cähaà teñv avasthitaù

SYNONYMS

mayä—by Me; tatam—pervaded; idam—this; sarvam—all; jagat—cosmic manifestation; avyakta-mürtinä—by the unmanifested form; mat-sthäni—in Me;sarva-bhütäni—all living entities; na—not; ca—also;aham—I; teñu—in them; avasthitaù—situated.

TRANSLATION

By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them.

PURPORT

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is not perceivable through the gross material senses. It is said,

ataù çré-kåñëa-nämädi

na bhaved grähyam indriyaiù

sevonmukhe hi jihvädau

svayam eva sphuraty adaù

(Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu 1.2.234)

Lord Çré Kåñëa’s name, fame, pastimes, etc., cannot be understood by material senses. Only to one who is engaged in pure devotional service under proper guidance is He revealed. In the Brahma-saàhitä(5.38) it is stated, premäïjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaù sadaiva hådayeñu vilokayanti: one can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, always within himself and outside himself if one has developed the transcendental loving attitude towards Him. Thus for people in general He is not visible. Here it is said that although He is all-pervading, everywhere present, He is not conceivable by the material senses. This is indicated here by the word avyakta-mürtinä. But actually, although we cannot see Him, everything is resting in Him. As we have discussed in the Seventh Chapter, the entire material cosmic manifestation is only a combination of His two different energies—the superior, spiritual energy and the inferior, material energy. Just as the sunshine is spread all over the universe, the energy of the Lord is spread all over the creation, and everything is resting in that energy.

Yet one should not conclude that because He is spread all over He has lost His personal existence. To refute such an argument the Lord says, “I am everywhere, and everything is in Me, but still I am aloof.” For example, a king heads a government which is but the manifestation of the king’s energy; the different governmental departments are nothing but the energies of the king, and each department is resting on the king’s power. But still one cannot expect the king to be present in every department personally. That is a crude example. Similarly, all the manifestations that we see and everything that exists, both in this material world and in the spiritual world, are resting on the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The creation takes place by the diffusion of His different energies, and, as stated in the Bhagavad-gétä, viñöabhyäham idaà kåtsnam: He is everywhere present by His personal representation, the diffusion of His different energies.

TEXT 5

na ca mat-sthäni bhütäni

paçya me yogam aiçvaram

bhüta-bhån na ca bhüta-stho

mamätmä bhüta-bhävanaù

SYNONYMS

na—never; ca—also; mat-sthäni—situated in Me;bhütäni—all creation; paçya—just see; me—My;yogam aiçvaram—inconceivable mystic power; bhüta-bhåt—the maintainer of all living entities; na—never; ca—also; bhüta-sthaù—in the cosmic manifestation; mama—My; ätmä—Self; bhüta-bhävanaù—the source of all manifestations.

TRANSLATION

And yet everything that is created does not rest in Me. Behold My mystic opulence! Although I am the maintainer of all living entities and although I am everywhere, I am not a part of this cosmic manifestation, for My Self is the very source of creation.

PURPORT

The Lord says that everything is resting on Him ( mat-sthäni sarva-bhütäni). This should not be misunderstood. The Lord is not directly concerned with the maintenance and sustenance of this material manifestation. Sometimes we see a picture of Atlas holding the globe on his shoulders; he seems to be very tired, holding this great earthly planet. Such an image should not be entertained in connection with Kåñëa’s upholding this created universe. He says that although everything is resting on Him, He is aloof. The planetary systems are floating in space, and this space is the energy of the Supreme Lord. But He is different from space. He is differently situated. Therefore the Lord says, “Although they are situated on My inconceivable energy, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead I am aloof from them.” This is the inconceivable opulence of the Lord.

In the Nirukti Vedic dictionary it is said, yujyate ’nena durghaöeñu käryeñu: “The Supreme Lord is performing inconceivably wonderful pastimes, displaying His energy.” His person is full of different potent energies, and His determination is itself actual fact. In this way the Personality of Godhead is to be understood. We may think of doing something, but there are so many impediments, and sometimes it is not possible to do as we like. But when Kåñëa wants to do something, simply by His willing, everything is performed so perfectly that one cannot imagine how it is being done. The Lord explains this fact: although He is the maintainer and sustainer of the entire material manifestation, He does not touch this material manifestation. Simply by His supreme will, everything is created, everything is sustained, everything is maintained, and everything is annihilated. There is no difference between His mind and Himself (as there is a difference between ourselves and our present material mind) because He is absolute spirit. Simultaneously the Lord is present in everything; yet the common man cannot understand how He is also present personally. He is different from this material manifestation, yet everything is resting on Him. This is explained here as yogam aiçvaram, the mystic power of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

TEXT 6

yathäkäça-sthito nityaà

väyuù sarvatra-go mahän

tathä sarväëi bhütäni

mat-sthänéty upadhäraya

SYNONYMS

yathä—just as; äkäça-sthitaù—situated in the sky;nityam—always; väyuù—the wind; sarvatra-gaù—blowing everywhere; mahän—great; tathä—similarly; sarväëi bhütäni—all created beings; mat-sthäni—situated in Me; iti—thus; upadhäraya—try to understand.

TRANSLATION

Understand that as the mighty wind, blowing everywhere, rests always in the sky, all created beings rest in Me.

PURPORT

For the ordinary person it is almost inconceivable how the huge material creation is resting in Him. But the Lord is giving an example which may help us to understand. The sky may be the biggest manifestation we can conceive. And in that sky the wind or air is the biggest manifestation in the cosmic world. The movement of the air influences the movements of everything. But although the wind is great, it is still situated within the sky; the wind is not beyond the sky. Similarly, all the wonderful cosmic manifestations are existing by the supreme will of God, and all of them are subordinate to that supreme will. As we generally say, not a blade of grass moves without the will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus everything is moving under His will: by His will everything is being created, everything is being maintained, and everything is being annihilated. Still He is aloof from everything, as the sky is always aloof from the activities of the wind.

In the Upaniñads it is stated, yad-bhéñä vätaù pavate:“It is out of the fear of the Supreme Lord that the wind is blowing.” (Taittiréya Upaniñad 2.8.1) In the Båhad-äraëyaka Upaniñad (3.8.9) it is stated, etasya vä akñarasya praçäsane gärgi sürya-candramasau vidhåtau tiñöhata etasya vä akñarasya praçäsane gärgi dyäv-äpåthivyau vidhåtau tiñöhataù. “By the supreme order, under the superintendence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the moon, the sun, and the other great planets are moving.” In the Brahma-saàhitä (5.52) also it is stated,

yac-cakñur eña savitä sakala-grahäëäà

räjä samasta-sura-mürtir açeña-tejäù

yasyäjïayä bhramati sambhåta-käla-cakro

govindam ädi-puruñaà tam ahaà bhajämi

This is a description of the movement of the sun. It is said that the sun is considered to be one of the eyes of the Supreme Lord and that it has immense potency to diffuse heat and light. Still it is moving in its prescribed orbit by the order and the supreme will of Govinda. So, from the Vedic literature we can find evidence that this material manifestation, which appears to us to be very wonderful and great, is under the complete control of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This will be further explained in the later verses of this chapter.

TEXT 7

sarva-bhütäni kaunteya

prakåtià yänti mämikäm

kalpa-kñaye punas täni

kalpädau visåjämy aham

SYNONYMS

sarva-bhütäni—all created entities; kaunteya—O son of Kunté; prakåtim—nature; yänti—enter; mämikäm—My; kalpa-kñaye—at the end of the millennium;punaù—again; täni—all those; kalpa-ädau—in the beginning of the millennium; visåjämi—create; aham—I.

TRANSLATION

O son of Kunté, at the end of the millennium all material manifestations enter into My nature, and at the beginning of another millennium, by Mypotency, I create them again.

PURPORT

The creation, maintenance and annihilation of this material cosmic manifestation are completely dependent on the supreme will of the Personality of Godhead. “At the end of the millennium” means at the death of Brahmä. Brahmä lives for one hundred years, and his one day is calculated at 4,300,000,000 of our earthly years. His night is of the same duration. His month consists of thirty such days and nights, and his year of twelve months. After one hundred such years, when Brahmä dies, the devastation or annihilation takes place; this means that the energy manifested by the Supreme Lord is again wound up in Himself. Then again, when there is a need to manifest the cosmic world, it is done by His will. Bahu syäm: “Although I am one, I shall become many.” This is the Vedic aphorism (Chändogya Upaniñad 6.2.3). He expands Himself in this material energy, and the whole cosmic manifestation again takes place.

TEXT 8

prakåtià sväm avañöabhya

visåjämi punaù punaù

bhüta-grämam imaà kåtsnam

avaçaà prakåter vaçät

SYNONYMS

prakåtim—the material nature; sväm—of My personal Self; avañöabhya—entering into; visåjämi—I create; punaù punaù—again and again; bhüta-grämam—all the cosmic manifestations; imam—these; kåtsnam—in total; avaçam—automatically;prakåteù—of the force of nature; vaçät—under obligation.

TRANSLATION

The whole cosmic order is under Me. Under My will it is automatically manifested again and again, and under My will it is annihilated at the end.

PURPORT

This material world is the manifestation of the inferior energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This has already been explained several times. At the creation, the material energy is let loose as themahat-tattva, into which the Lord as His first Puruña incarnation, Mahä-Viñëu, enters. He lies within the Causal Ocean and breathes out innumerable universes, and into each universe the Lord again enters as Garbhodakaçäyé Viñëu. Each universe is in that way created. He still further manifests Himself as Kñérodakaçäyé Viñëu, and that Viñëu enters into everything—even into the minute atom. This fact is explained here. He enters into everything.

Now, as far as the living entities are concerned, they are impregnated into this material nature, and as a result of their past deeds they take different positions. Thus the activities of this material world begin. The activities of the different species of living beings are begun from the very moment of the creation. It is not that all is evolved. The different species of life are created immediately along with the universe. Men, animals, beasts, birds—everything is simultaneously created, because whatever desires the living entities had at the last annihilation are again manifested. It is clearly indicated here by the word avaçam that the living entities have nothing to do with this process. The state of being in their past life in the past creation is simply manifested again, and all this is done simply by His will. This is the inconceivable potency of the Supreme Personality of God. And after creating different species of life, He has no connection with them. The creation takes place to accommodate the inclinations of the various living entities, and so the Lord does not become involved with it.

TEXT 9

na ca mäà täni karmäëi

nibadhnanti dhanaïjaya

udäséna-vad äsénam

asaktaà teñu karmasu

SYNONYMS

na—never; ca—also; mäm—Me; täni—all those;karmäëi—activities; nibadhnanti—bind; dhanaïjaya—O conqueror of riches; udäséna-vat—as neutral;äsénam—situated; asaktam—without attraction; teñu—for those; karmasu—activities.

TRANSLATION

O Dhanaïjaya, all this work cannot bind Me. I am ever detached from all these material activities, seated as though neutral.

PURPORT

One should not think, in this connection, that the Supreme Personality of Godhead has no engagement. In His spiritual world He is always engaged. In the Brahma-saàhitä (5.6) it is stated,ätmärämasya tasyästi prakåtyä na samägamaù: “He is always involved in His eternal, blissful, spiritual activities, but He has nothing to do with these material activities.” Material activities are being carried on by His different potencies. The Lord is always neutral in the material activities of the created world. This neutrality is mentioned here with the word udäséna-vat. Although He has control over every minute detail of material activities, He is sitting as if neutral. The example can be given of a high-court judge sitting on his bench. By his order so many things are happening—someone is being hanged, someone is being put into jail, someone is awarded a huge amount of wealth—but still he is neutral. He has nothing to do with all that gain and loss. Similarly, the Lord is always neutral, although He has His hand in every sphere of activity. In the Vedänta-sütra (2.1.34) it is stated, vaiñamya-nairghåëye na: He is not situated in the dualities of this material world. He is transcendental to these dualities. Nor is He attached to the creation and annihilation of this material world. The living entities take their different forms in the various species of life according to their past deeds, and the Lord doesn’t interfere with them.

TEXT 10

mayädhyakñeëa prakåtiù

süyate sa-caräcaram

hetunänena kaunteya

jagad viparivartate

SYNONYMS

mayä—by Me; adhyakñeëa—by superintendence;prakåtiù—material nature; süyate—manifests; sa—both; cara-acaram—the moving and the nonmoving; hetunä—for the reason; anena—this; kaunteya—O son of Kunté; jagat—the cosmic manifestation;viparivartate—is working.

TRANSLATION

This material nature, which is one of My energies, is working under My direction, O son of Kunté, producing all moving and nonmoving beings. Under its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.

PURPORT

It is clearly stated here that the Supreme Lord, although aloof from all the activities of the material world, remains the supreme director. The Supreme Lord is the supreme will and the background of this material manifestation, but the management is being conducted by material nature. Kåñëa also states inBhagavad-gétä that of all of the living entities in different forms and species, “I am the father.” The father gives seeds to the womb of the mother for the child, and similarly the Supreme Lord by His mere glance injects all the living entities into the womb of material nature, and they come out in their different forms and species, according to their last desires and activities. All these living entities, although born under the glance of the Supreme Lord, take their different bodies according to their past deeds and desires. So the Lord is not directly attached to this material creation. He simply glances over material nature; material nature is thus activated, and everything is created immediately. Because He glances over material nature, there is undoubtedly activity on the part of the Supreme Lord, but He has nothing to do with the manifestation of the material world directly. This example is given in the småti: when there is a fragrant flower before someone, the fragrance is touched by the smelling power of the person, yet the smelling and the flower are detached from one another. There is a similar connection between the material world and the Supreme Personality of Godhead; actually He has nothing to do with this material world, but He creates by His glance and ordains. In summary, material nature, without the superintendence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, cannot do anything. Yet the Supreme Personality is detached from all material activities.

TEXT 11

avajänanti mäà müòhä

mänuñéà tanum äçritam

paraà bhävam ajänanto

mama bhüta-maheçvaram

SYNONYMS

avajänanti—deride; mäm—Me; müòhäù—foolish men; mänuñém—in a human form; tanum—a body;äçritam—assuming; param—transcendental; bhävam—nature; ajänantaù—not knowing; mama—My;bhüta—of everything that be; mahä-éçvaram—the supreme proprietor.

TRANSLATION

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

PURPORT

From the other explanations of the previous verses in this chapter, it is clear that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, although appearing like a human being, is not a common man. The Personality of Godhead, who conducts the creation, maintenance and annihilation of the complete cosmic manifestation, cannot be a human being. Yet there are many foolish men who consider Kåñëa to be merely a powerful man and nothing more. Actually, He is the original Supreme Personality, as is confirmed in the Brahma-saàhitä ( éçvaraù paramaù kåñëaù); He is the Supreme Lord.

There are many éçvaras, controllers, and one appears greater than another. In the ordinary management of affairs in the material world, we find some official or director, and above him there is a secretary, and above him a minister, and above him a president. Each of them is a controller, but one is controlled by another. In theBrahma-saàhitä it is said that Kåñëa is the supreme controller; there are many controllers undoubtedly, both in the material and spiritual world, but Kåñëa is the supreme controller ( éçvaraù paramaù kåñëaù). and His body is sac-cid-änanda, nonmaterial.

Material bodies cannot perform the wonderful acts described in previous verses. His body is eternal, blissful and full of knowledge. Although He is not a common man, the foolish deride Him and consider Him to be a man. His body is called here mänuñémbecause He is acting just like a man, a friend of Arjuna’s, a politician involved in the Battle of Kurukñetra. In so many ways He is acting just like an ordinary man, but actually His body is sac-cid-änanda-vigraha Bs. 5.1]—eternal bliss and knowledge absolute. This is confirmed in the Vedic language also. Sac-cid-änanda-rüpäya kåñëäya: “I offer my obeisances unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kåñëa, who is the eternal blissful form of knowledge.” (Gopäla-täpané Upaniñad 1.1) There are other descriptions in the Vedic language also.Tam ekaà govindam: “You are Govinda, the pleasure of the senses and the cows.” Sac-cid-änanda-vigraham: “And Your form is transcendental, full of knowledge, bliss and eternality.” (Gopäla-täpané Upaniñad 1.35)

Despite the transcendental qualities of Lord Kåñëa’s body, its full bliss and knowledge, there are many so-called scholars and commentators of Bhagavad-gétäwho deride Kåñëa as an ordinary man. The scholar may be born an extraordinary man due to his previous good work, but this conception of Çré Kåñëa is due to a poor fund of knowledge. Therefore he is called müòha. for only foolish persons consider Kåñëa to be an ordinary human being. The  foolish consider Kåñëa an ordinary human being because they do not know the confidential activities of the Supreme Lord and His different energies. They do not know that Kåñëa’s body is a symbol of complete knowledge and bliss, that He is the proprietor of everything that be and that He can award liberation to anyone. Because they do not know that Kåñëa has so many transcendental qualifications, they deride Him.

Nor do they know that the appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in this material world is a manifestation of His internal energy. He is the master of the material energy. As has been explained in several places ( mama mäyä duratyayä), He claims that the material energy, although very powerful, is under His control, and whoever surrenders unto Him can get out of the control of this material energy. If a soul surrendered to Kåñëa can get out of the influence of material energy, then how can the Supreme Lord, who conducts the creation, maintenance and annihilation of the whole cosmic nature, have a material body like us? So this conception of Kåñëa is complete foolishness. Foolish persons, however, cannot conceive that the Personality of Godhead, Kåñëa, appearing just like an ordinary man, can be the controller of all the atoms and of the gigantic manifestation of the universal form. The biggest and the minutest are beyond their conception, so they cannot imagine that a form like that of a human being can simultaneously control the infinite and the minute. Actually although He is controlling the infinite and the finite, He is apart from all this manifestation. It is clearly stated concerning His yogam aiçvaram, His inconceivable transcendental energy, that He can control the infinite and the finite simultaneously and that He can remain aloof from them. Although the foolish cannot imagine how Kåñëa, who appears just like a human being, can control the infinite and the finite, those who are pure devotees accept this, for they know that Kåñëa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore they completely surrender unto Him and engage in Kåñëa consciousness, devotional service of the Lord.

There are many controversies between the impersonalists and the personalists about the Lord’s appearance as a human being. But if we consult Bhagavad-gétä and Çrémad-Bhägavatam, the authoritative texts for understanding the science of Kåñëa, then we can understand that Kåñëa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is not an ordinary man, although He appeared on this earth as an ordinary human. In the Çrémad-Bhägavatam, First Canto, First Chapter, when the sages headed by Çaunaka inquired about the activities of Kåñëa, they said:

kåtavän kila karmäëi

saha rämeëa keçavaù

ati-martyäni bhagavän

güòhaù kapaöa-mäëuñaù

“Lord Çré Kåñëa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, along with Balaräma, played like a human being, and so masked He performed many superhuman acts.” (Bhäg. 1.1.20) The Lord’s appearance as a man bewilders the foolish. No human being could perform the wonderful acts that Kåñëa performed while He was present on this earth. When Kåñëa appeared before His father and mother, Vasudeva and Devaké, He appeared with four hands, but after the prayers of the parents He transformed Himself into an ordinary child. As stated in the Bhägavatam (10.3.46), babhüva präkåtaù çiçuù: He became just like an ordinary child, an ordinary human being. Now, here again it is indicated that the Lord’s appearance as an ordinary human being is one of the features of His transcendental body. In the Eleventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gétä also it is stated that Arjuna prayed to see Kåñëa’s form of four hands ( tenaiva rüpeëa catur-bhujena). After revealing this form, Kåñëa, when petitioned by Arjuna, again assumed His original humanlike form ( mänuñaà rüpam). These different features of the Supreme Lord are certainly not those of an ordinary human being.

Some of those who deride Kåñëa and who are infected with the Mäyävädé philosophy quote the following verse from the Çrémad-Bhägavatam(3.29.21) to prove that Kåñëa is just an ordinary man.Ahaà sarveñu bhüteñu bhütätmävasthitaù sadä: “The Supreme is present in every living entity.” We should better take note of this particular verse from the Vaiñëava äcäryas like Jéva Gosvämé and Viçvanätha Cakravarté Öhäkura instead of following the interpretation of unauthorized persons who deride Kåñëa. Jéva Gosvämé, commenting on this verse, says that Kåñëa, in His plenary expansion as Paramätmä, is situated in the moving and the nonmoving entities as the Supersoul, so any neophyte devotee who simply gives his attention to the arcä-mürti, the form of the Supreme Lord in the temple, and does not respect other living entities is uselessly worshiping the form of the Lord in the temple. There are three kinds of devotees of the Lord, and the neophyte is in the lowest stage. The neophyte devotee gives more attention to the Deity in the temple than to other devotees, so Viçvanätha Cakravarté Öhäkura warns that this sort of mentality should be corrected. A devotee should see that because Kåñëa is present in everyone’s heart as Paramätmä, every body is the embodiment or the temple of the Supreme Lord; so as one offers respect to the temple of the Lord, he should similarly properly respect each and every body in which the Paramätmä dwells. Everyone should therefore be given proper respect and should not be neglected.

There are also many impersonalists who deride temple worship. They say that since God is everywhere, why should one restrict himself to temple worship? But if God is everywhere, is He not in the temple or in the Deity? Although the personalist and the impersonalist will fight with one another perpetually, a perfect devotee in Kåñëa consciousness knows that although Kåñëa is the Supreme Personality, He is all-pervading, as confirmed in the Brahma-saàhitä. Although His personal abode is Goloka Våndävana and He is always staying there, by His different manifestations of energy and by His plenary expansion He is present everywhere in all parts of the material and spiritual creation.

TEXT 12

moghäçä mogha-karmäëo

mogha-jïänä vicetasaù

räkñasém äsuréà caiva

prakåtià mohinéà çritäù

SYNONYMS

mogha-äçäù—baffled in their hopes; mogha-karmäëaù—baffled in fruitive activities; mogha-jïänäù—baffled in knowledge; vicetasaù—bewildered; räkñasém—demonic; äsurém—atheistic; ca—and; eva—certainly; prakåtim—nature; mohiném—bewildering; çritäù—taking shelter of.

TRANSLATION

Those who are thus bewildered are attracted by demonic and atheistic views. In that deluded condition, their hopes for liberation, their fruitive activities, and their culture of knowledge are all defeated.

PURPORT

There are many devotees who assume themselves to be in Kåñëa consciousness and devotional service but at heart do not accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kåñëa, as the Absolute Truth. For them, the fruit of devotional service—going back to Godhead—will never be tasted. Similarly, those who are engaged in fruitive pious activities and who are ultimately hoping to be liberated from this material entanglement will never be successful either, because they deride the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kåñëa. In other words, persons who mock Kåñëa are to be understood to be demonic or atheistic. As described in the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gétä,such demonic miscreants never surrender to Kåñëa. Therefore their mental speculations to arrive at the Absolute Truth bring them to the false conclusion that the ordinary living entity and Kåñëa are one and the same. With such a false conviction, they think that the body of any human being is now simply covered by material nature and that as soon as one is liberated from this material body there is no difference between God and himself. This attempt to become one with Kåñëa will be baffled because of delusion. Such atheistic and demoniac cultivation of spiritual knowledge is always futile. That is the indication of this verse. For such persons, cultivation of the knowledge in the Vedic literature, like the Vedänta-sütra and theUpaniñads. is always baffled.

It is a great offense, therefore, to consider Kåñëa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to be an ordinary man. Those who do so are certainly deluded because they cannot understand the eternal form of Kåñëa. The Båhad-viñëu-småti clearly states:

yo vetti bhautikaà dehaà

kåñëasya paramätmanaù

sa sarvasmäd bahiñ-käryaù

çrauta-smärta-vidhänataù

mukhaà tasyävalokyäpi

sa-celaà snänam äcaret

“One who considers the body of Kåñëa to be material should be driven out from all rituals and activities of the çruti and the småti. And if one by chance sees his face, one should at once take bath in the Ganges to rid himself of infection. People jeer at Kåñëa because they are envious of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Their destiny is certainly to take birth after birth in the species of atheistic and demoniac life. Perpetually, their real knowledge will remain under delusion, and gradually they will regress to the darkest region of creation.”

TEXT 13

mahätmänas tu mäà pärtha

daivéà prakåtim äçritäù

bhajanty ananya-manaso

jïätvä bhütädim avyayam

SYNONYMS

mahä-ätmänaù—the great souls; tu—but; mäm—unto Me; pärtha—O son of Påthä; daivém—divine; prakåtim—nature; äçritäù—having taken shelter of; bhajanti—render service;ananya-manasaù—without deviation of the mind; jïätvä—knowing; bhüta—of creation; ädim—the origin; avyayam—inexhaustible.

TRANSLATION

O son of Påthä, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original andinexhaustible.

PURPORT

In this verse the description of the mahätmä is clearly given. The first sign of the mahätmä is that he is already situated in the divine nature. He is not under the control of material nature. And how is this effected? That is explained in the Seventh Chapter: one who surrenders unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Çré Kåñëa, at once becomes freed from the control of material nature. That is the qualification. One can become free from the control of material nature as soon as he surrenders his soul to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the preliminary formula. Being marginal potency, as soon as the living entity is freed from the control of material nature, he is put under the guidance of the spiritual nature. The guidance of the spiritual nature is called daivé prakåti, divine nature. So when one is promoted in that way—by surrendering to the Supreme Personality of Godhead—one attains to the stage of great soul, mahätmä.

The mahätmä does not divert his attention to anything outside Kåñëa, because he knows perfectly well that Kåñëa is the original Supreme Person, the cause of all causes. There is no doubt about it. Such amahätmä, or great soul, develops through association with other mahätmäs, pure devotees. Pure devotees are not even attracted by Kåñëa’s other features, such as the four-armed Mahä-Viñëu. They are simply attracted by the two-armed form of Kåñëa. They are not attracted to other features of Kåñëa, nor are they concerned with any form of a demigod or of a human being. They meditate only upon Kåñëa in Kåñëa consciousness. They are always engaged in the unswerving service of the Lord in Kåñëa consciousness.

TEXT 14

satataà kértayanto mäà

yatantaç ca dåòha-vratäù

namasyantaç ca mäà bhaktyä

nitya-yuktä upäsate

SYNONYMS

satatam—always; kértayantaù—chanting; mäm—about Me; yatantaù—fully endeavoring; ca—also;dåòha-vratäù—with determination; namasyantaù—offering obeisances; ca—and; mäm—Me; bhaktyä—in devotion; nitya-yuktäù—perpetually engaged;upäsate—worship.

TRANSLATION

Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion.

PURPORT

The mahätmä cannot be manufactured by rubber-stamping an ordinary man. His symptoms are described here: a mahätmä is always engaged in chanting the glories of the Supreme Lord Kåñëa, the Personality of Godhead. He has no other business. He is always engaged in the glorification of the Lord. In other words, he is not an impersonalist. When the question of glorification is there, one has to glorify the Supreme Lord, praising His holy name, His eternal form, His transcendental qualities and His uncommon pastimes. One has to glorify all these things; therefore a mahätmä is attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

One who is attached to the impersonal feature of the Supreme Lord, the brahmajyoti, is not described asmahätmä in the Bhagavad-gétä. He is described in a different way in the next verse. The mahätmä is always engaged in different activities of devotional service, as described in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam,hearing and chanting about Viñëu, not a demigod or human being. That is devotion: çravaëaà kértanaà viñëoù and smaraëam, remembering Him. Such amahätmä has firm determination to achieve at the ultimate end the association of the Supreme Lord in any one of the five transcendental rasas. To achieve that success, he engages all activities—mental, bodily and vocal, everything—in the service of the Supreme Lord, Çré Kåñëa. That is called full Kåñëa consciousness.

In devotional service there are certain activities which are called determined, such as fasting on certain days, like the eleventh day of the moon, Ekädaçé, and on the appearance day of the Lord. All these rules and regulations are offered by the great äcäryas for those who are actually interested in getting admission into the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the transcendental world. The mahätmäs, great souls, strictly observe all these rules and regulations, and therefore they are sure to achieve the desired result.

As described in the second verse of this chapter, not only is this devotional service easy, but it can be performed in a happy mood. One does not need to undergo any severe penance and austerity. He can live this life in devotional service, guided by an expert spiritual master, and in any position, either as a householder or a sannyäsé or a brahmacäré; in any position and anywhere in the world, he can perform this devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and thus become actually mahätmä, a great soul.

TEXT 15

jïäna-yajïena cäpy anye

yajanto mäm upäsate

ekatvena påthaktvena

bahudhä viçvato-mukham

SYNONYMS

jïäna-yajïena—by cultivation of knowledge; ca—also;api—certainly; anye—others; yajantaù—sacrificing;mäm—Me; upäsate—worship; ekatvena—in oneness;påthaktvena—in duality; bahudhä—in diversity; viçvataù-mukham—and in the universal form.

TRANSLATION

Others, who engage in sacrifice by the cultivation of knowledge, worship the Supreme Lord as the one without a second, as diverse in many, and in the universal form.

PURPORT

This verse is the summary of the previous verses. The Lord tells Arjuna that those who are purely in Kåñëa consciousness and do not know anything other than Kåñëa are called mahätmä; yet there are other persons who are not exactly in the position ofmahätmä but who worship Kåñëa also, in different ways. Some of them have already been described as the distressed, the financially destitute, the inquisitive, and those who are engaged in the cultivation of knowledge. But there are others who are still lower, and these are divided into three: (1) he who worships himself as one with the Supreme Lord, (2) he who concocts some form of the Supreme Lord and worships that, and (3) he who accepts the universal form, the viçvarüpa of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and worships that. Out of the above three, the lowest, those who worship themselves as the Supreme Lord, thinking themselves to be monists, are most predominant. Such people think themselves to be the Supreme Lord, and in this mentality they worship themselves. This is also a type of God worship, for they can understand that they are not the material body but are actually spiritual soul; at least, such a sense is prominent. Generally the impersonalists worship the Supreme Lord in this way. The second class includes the worshipers of the demigods, those who by imagination consider any form to be the form of the Supreme Lord. And the third class includes those who cannot conceive of anything beyond the manifestation of this material universe. They consider the universe to be the supreme organism or entity and worship that. The universe is also a form of the Lord.

TEXT 16

ahaà kratur ahaà yajïaù

svadhäham aham auñadham

mantro ’ham aham eväjyam

aham agnir ahaà hutam

SYNONYMS

aham—I; kratuù—Vedic ritual; aham—I; yajïaù— småti sacrifice; svadhä—oblation; aham—I; aham—I;auñadham—healing herb; mantraù—transcendental chant; aham—I; aham—I; eva—certainly; äjyam—melted butter; aham—I; agniù—fire; aham—I; hutam—offering.

TRANSLATION

But it is I who am the ritual, I the sacrifice, the offering to the ancestors, the healing herb, the transcendental chant. I am the butter and the fire and the offering.

PURPORT

The Vedic sacrifice known as jyotiñöoma is also Kåñëa, and He is also the mahä-yajïa mentioned in the småti. The oblations offered to the Pitåloka or the sacrifice performed to please the Pitåloka, considered as a kind of drug in the form of clarified butter, is also Kåñëa. The mantras chanted in this connection are also Kåñëa. And many other commodities made with milk products for offering in the sacrifices are also Kåñëa. The fire is also Kåñëa because fire is one of the five material elements and is therefore claimed as the separated energy of Kåñëa. In other words, the Vedic sacrifices recommended in the karma-käëòadivision of the Vedas are in total also Kåñëa. Or, in other words, those who are engaged in rendering devotional service unto Kåñëa are to be understood to have performed all the sacrifices recommended in the Vedas.

TEXT 17

pitäham asya jagato

mätä dhätä pitämahaù

vedyaà pavitram oàkära

åk säma yajur eva ca

SYNONYMS

pitä—father; aham—I; asya—of this; jagataù—universe; mätä—mother; dhätä—supporter;pitämahaù—grandfather; vedyam—what is to be known; pavitram—that which purifies; oà-kära—the syllable oà; åk—the Åg Veda; säma—the Säma Veda; yajuù—the Yajur Veda; eva—certainly; ca—and.

TRANSLATION

I am the father of this universe, the mother, the support and the grandsire. I am the object of knowledge, the purifier and the syllable oà. I am also the Åg, the Säma and the Yajur Vedas.

PURPORT

The entire cosmic manifestations, moving and nonmoving, are manifested by different activities of Kåñëa’s energy. In the material existence we create different relationships with different living entities who are nothing but Kåñëa’s marginal energy; under the creation of prakåti some of them appear as our father, mother, grandfather, creator, etc., but actually they are parts and parcels of Kåñëa. As such, these living entities who appear to be our father, mother, etc., are nothing but Kåñëa. In this verse the worddhätä means “creator.” Not only are our father and mother parts and parcels of Kåñëa, but the creator, grandmother and grandfather, etc., are also Kåñëa. Actually any living entity, being part and parcel of Kåñëa, is Kåñëa. All the Vedas, therefore, aim only toward Kåñëa. Whatever we want to know through the Vedas is but a progressive step toward understanding Kåñëa. That subject matter which helps us purify our constitutional position is especially Kåñëa. Similarly, the living entity who is inquisitive to understand all Vedic principles is also part and parcel of Kåñëa and as such is also Kåñëa. In all the Vedic mantras the word oà, called praëava, is a transcendental sound vibration and is also Kåñëa. And because in all the hymns of the four Vedas—Säma, Yajur, Åg and Atharva—the praëava, or oàkära, is very prominent, it is understood to be Kåñëa.

TEXT 18

gatir bhartä prabhuù säkñé

niväsaù çaraëaà suhåt

prabhavaù pralayaù sthänaà

nidhänaà béjam avyayam

SYNONYMS

gatiù—goal; bhartä—sustainer; prabhuù—Lord; säkñé—witness; niväsaù—abode; çaraëam—refuge; su-håt—most intimate friend; prabhavaù—creation;pralayaù—dissolution; sthänam—ground; nidhänam—resting place; béjam—seed; avyayam—imperishable.

TRANSLATION

I am the goal, the sustainer, the master, the witness, the abode, the refuge, and the most dear friend. I am the creation and the annihilation, the basis of everything, the resting place and the eternal seed.

PURPORT

Gati means the destination where we want to go. But the ultimate goal is Kåñëa, although people do not know it. One who does not know Kåñëa is misled, and his so-called progressive march is either partial or hallucinatory. There are many who make as their destination different demigods, and by rigid performance of the strict respective methods they reach different planets known as Candraloka, Süryaloka, Indraloka, Maharloka, etc. But all such lokas, or planets, being creations of Kåñëa, are simultaneously Kåñëa and not Kåñëa. Such planets, being manifestations of Kåñëa’s energy, are also Kåñëa, but actually they serve only as a step forward for realization of Kåñëa. To approach the different energies of Kåñëa is to approach Kåñëa indirectly. One should directly approach Kåñëa, for that will save time and energy. For example, if there is a possibility of going to the top of a building by the help of an elevator, why should one go by the staircase, step by step? Everything is resting on Kåñëa’s energy; therefore without Kåñëa’s shelter nothing can exist. Kåñëa is the supreme ruler because everything belongs to Him and everything exists on His energy. Kåñëa, being situated in everyone’s heart, is the supreme witness. The residences, countries or planets on which we live are also Kåñëa. Kåñëa is the ultimate goal of shelter, and therefore one should take shelter of Kåñëa either for protection or for annihilation of his distress. And whenever we have to take protection, we should know that our protection must be a living force. Kåñëa is the supreme living entity. And since Kåñëa is the source of our generation, or the supreme father, no one can be a better friend than Kåñëa, nor can anyone be a better well-wisher. Kåñëa is the original source of creation and the ultimate rest after annihilation. Kåñëa is therefore the eternal cause of all causes.

TEXT 19

tapämy aham ahaà varñaà

nigåhëämy utsåjämi ca

amåtaà caiva måtyuç ca

sad asac cäham arjuna

SYNONYMS

tapämi—give heat; aham—I; aham—I; varñam—rain;nigåhëämi—withhold; utsåjämi—send forth; ca—and;amåtam—immortality; ca—and; eva—certainly;måtyuù—death; ca—and; sat—spirit; asat—matter; ca—and; aham—I; arjuna—O Arjuna.

TRANSLATION

O Arjuna, I give heat, and I withhold and send forth the rain. I am immortality, and I am also death personified. Both spirit and matter are in Me.

PURPORT

Kåñëa, by His different energies, diffuses heat and light through the agency of electricity and the sun. During summer season it is Kåñëa who checks rain from falling from the sky, and then during the rainy season He gives unceasing torrents of rain. The energy which sustains us by prolonging the duration of our life is Kåñëa, and Kåñëa meets us at the end as death. By analyzing all these different energies of Kåñëa, one can ascertain that for Kåñëa there is no distinction between matter and spirit, or, in other words, He is both matter and spirit. In the advanced stage of Kåñëa consciousness, one therefore makes no such distinctions. He sees only Kåñëa in everything.

Since Kåñëa is both matter and spirit, the gigantic universal form comprising all material manifestations is also Kåñëa, and His pastimes in Våndävana as two-handed Çyämasundara, playing on a flute, are those of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

TEXT 20

trai-vidyä mäà soma-päù püta-päpä

yajïair iñövä svar-gatià prärthayante

te puëyam äsädya surendra-lokam

açnanti divyän divi deva-bhogän

SYNONYMS

trai-vidyäù—the knowers of the three Vedas; mäm—Me; soma-päù—drinkers of soma juice; püta—purified; päpäù—of sins; yajïaiù—with sacrifices; iñövä—worshiping; svaù-gatim—passage to heaven;prärthayante—pray for; te—they; puëyam—pious;äsädya—attaining; sura-indra—of Indra; lokam—the world; açnanti—enjoy; divyän—celestial; divi—in heaven; deva-bhogän—the pleasures of the gods.

TRANSLATION

Those who study the Vedas and drink the soma juice, seeking the heavenly planets, worship Me indirectly. Purified of sinful reactions, they take birth on the pious, heavenly planet of Indra, where they enjoy godly delights.

PURPORT

The word trai-vidyäù refers to the three Vedas—Säma, Yajur and Åg. brähmaëa who has studied these three Vedas is called a tri-vedé. Anyone who is very much attached to knowledge derived from these three Vedas is respected in society. Unfortunately, there are many great scholars of the Vedas who do not know the ultimate purport of studying them. Therefore Kåñëa herein declares Himself to be the ultimate goal for the tri-vedés. Actual tri-vedés take shelter under the lotus feet of Kåñëa and engage in pure devotional service to satisfy the Lord. Devotional service begins with the chanting of the Hare Kåñëa mantra and side by side trying to understand Kåñëa in truth. Unfortunately those who are simply official students of the Vedas become more interested in offering sacrifices to the different demigods like Indra and Candra. By such endeavor, the worshipers of different demigods are certainly purified of the contamination of the lower qualities of nature and are thereby elevated to the higher planetary systems or heavenly planets known as Maharloka, Janoloka, Tapoloka, etc. Once situated on those higher planetary systems, one can satisfy his senses hundreds of thousands of times better than on this planet.

TEXT 21

te taà bhuktvä svarga-lokaà viçälaà

kñéëe puëye martya-lokaà viçanti

evaà trayé-dharmam anuprapannä

gatägataà käma-kämä labhante

SYNONYMS

te—they; tam—that; bhuktvä—enjoying; svarga-lokam—heaven; viçälam—vast; kñéëe—being exhausted; puëye—the results of their pious activities;martya-lokam—to the mortal earth; viçanti—fall down; evam—thus; trayé—of the three Vedas; dharmam—doctrines; anuprapannäù—following; gata-ägatam—death and birth; käma-kämäù—desiring sense enjoyments; labhante—attain.

TRANSLATION

When they have thus enjoyed vast heavenly sense pleasure and the results of their pious activities are exhausted, they return to this mortal planet again. Thus those who seek sense enjoyment by adhering to the principles of the three Vedas achieve only repeated birth and death.

PURPORT

One who is promoted to the higher planetary systems enjoys a longer duration of life and better facilities for sense enjoyment, yet one is not allowed to stay there forever. One is again sent back to this earth upon finishing the resultant fruits of pious activities. He who has not attained perfection of knowledge, as indicated in the Vedänta-sütra ( janmädy asya yataù), or, in other words, he who fails to understand Kåñëa, the cause of all causes, becomes baffled about achieving the ultimate goal of life and is thus subjected to the routine of being promoted to the higher planets and then again coming down, as if situated on a Ferris wheel which sometimes goes up and sometimes comes down. The purport is that instead of being elevated to the spiritual world, from which there is no longer any possibility of coming down, one simply revolves in the cycle of birth and death on higher and lower planetary systems. One should better take to the spiritual world to enjoy an eternal life full of bliss and knowledge and never return to this miserable material existence.

TEXT 22

ananyäç cintayanto mäà

ye janäù paryupäsate

teñäà nityäbhiyuktänäà

yoga-kñemaà vahämy aham

SYNONYMS

ananyäù—having no other object; cintayantaù—concentrating; mäm—on Me; ye—those who; janäù—persons; paryupäsate—properly worship; teñäm—of them; nitya—always; abhiyuktänäm—fixed in devotion; yoga—requirements; kñemam—protection;vahämi—carry; aham—I.

TRANSLATION

But those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form—to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have.

PURPORT

One who is unable to live for a moment without Kåñëa consciousness cannot but think of Kåñëa twenty-four hours a day, being engaged in devotional service by hearing, chanting, remembering, offering prayers, worshiping, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, rendering other services, cultivating friendship and surrendering fully to the Lord. Such activities are all auspicious and full of spiritual potencies, which make the devotee perfect in self-realization, so that his only desire is to achieve the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such a devotee undoubtedly approaches the Lord without difficulty. This is called yoga. By the mercy of the Lord, such a devotee never comes back to this material condition of life. Kñema refers to the merciful protection of the Lord. The Lord helps the devotee to achieve Kåñëa consciousness by yoga,and when he becomes fully Kåñëa conscious the Lord protects him from falling down to a miserable conditioned life.

TEXT 23

ye ’py anya-devatä-bhaktä

yajante çraddhayänvitäù

te ’pi mäm eva kaunteya

yajanty avidhi-pürvakam

SYNONYMS

ye—those who; api—also; anya—of other; devatä—gods; bhaktäù—devotees; yajante—worship;çraddhayä anvitäù—with faith; te—they; api—also; mäm—Me; eva—only; kaunteya—O son of Kunté;yajanti—they worship; avidhi-pürvakam—in a wrong way.

TRANSLATION

Those who are devotees of other gods and who worship them with faith actually worship only Me, O son of Kunté, but they do so in a wrong way.

PURPORT

“Persons who are engaged in the worship of demigods are not very intelligent, although such worship is offered to Me indirectly,” Kåñëa says. For example, when a man pours water on the leaves and branches of a tree without pouring water on the root, he does so without sufficient knowledge or without observing regulative principles. Similarly, the process of rendering service to different parts of the body is to supply food to the stomach. The demigods are, so to speak, different officers and directors in the government of the Supreme Lord. One has to follow the laws made by the government, not by the officers or directors. Similarly, everyone is to offer his worship to the Supreme Lord only. That will automatically satisfy the different officers and directors of the Lord. The officers and directors are engaged as representatives of the government, and to offer some bribe to the officers and directors is illegal. This is stated here as avidhi-pürvakam. In other words, Kåñëa does not approve the unnecessary worship of the demigods.

TEXT 24

ahaà hi sarva-yajïänäà

bhoktä ca prabhur eva ca

na tu mäm abhijänanti

tattvenätaç cyavanti te

SYNONYMS

aham—I; hi—surely; sarva—of all; yajïänäm—sacrifices; bhoktä—the enjoyer; ca—and; prabhuù—the Lord; eva—also; ca—and; na—not; tu—but; mäm—Me; abhijänanti—they know; tattvena—in reality;ataù—therefore; cyavanti—fall down; te—they.

TRANSLATION

I am the only enjoyer and master of all sacrifices. Therefore, those who do not recognize My true transcendental nature fall down.

PURPORT

Here it is clearly stated that there are many types ofyajïa performances recommended in the Vedic literatures, but actually all of them are meant for satisfying the Supreme Lord. Yajïa means Viñëu. In the Third Chapter of Bhagavad-gétä it is clearly stated that one should only work for satisfying Yajïa, or Viñëu. The perfectional form of human civilization, known as varëäçrama-dharma, is specifically meant for satisfying Viñëu. Therefore, Kåñëa says in this verse, “I am the enjoyer of all sacrifices because I am the supreme master.” Less intelligent persons, however, without knowing this fact, worship demigods for temporary benefit. Therefore they fall down to material existence and do not achieve the desired goal of life. If, however, anyone has any material desire to be fulfilled, he had better pray for it to the Supreme Lord (although that is not pure devotion), and he will thus achieve the desired result.

TEXT 25

yänti deva-vratä devän

pitèn yänti pitå-vratäù

bhütäni yänti bhütejyä

yänti mad-yäjino ’pi mäm

SYNONYMS

yänti—go; deva-vratäù—worshipers of demigods;devän—to the demigods; pitèn—to the ancestors;yänti—go; pitå-vratäù—worshipers of ancestors; bhütäni—to the ghosts and spirits; yänti—go; bhüta-ijyäù—worshipers of ghosts and spirits; yänti—go;mat—My; yäjinaù—devotees; api—but; mäm—unto Me.

TRANSLATION

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

PURPORT

If one has any desire to go to the moon, the sun or any other planet, one can attain the desired destination by following specific Vedic principles recommended for that purpose, such as the process technically known as darça-paurëamäsé. These are vividly described in the fruitive activities portion of the Vedas, which recommends a specific worship of demigods situated on different heavenly planets. Similarly, one can attain the Pitä planets by performing a specific yajïa. Similarly, one can go to many ghostly planets and become a Yakña, Rakña or Piçäca. Piçäca worship is called “black arts” or “black magic.” There are many men who practice this black art, and they think that it is spiritualism, but such activities are completely materialistic. Similarly, a pure devotee, who worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead only, achieves the planets of Vaikuëöha and Kåñëaloka without a doubt. It is very easy to understand through this important verse that if by simply worshiping the demigods one can achieve the heavenly planets, or by worshiping the Pitäs achieve the Pitä planets, or by practicing the black arts achieve the ghostly planets, why can the pure devotee not achieve the planet of Kåñëa or Viñëu? Unfortunately many people have no information of these sublime planets where Kåñëa and Viñëu live, and because they do not know of them they fall down. Even the impersonalists fall down from thebrahmajyoti. The Kåñëa consciousness movement is therefore distributing sublime information to the entire human society to the effect that by simply chanting the Hare Kåñëa mantra one can become perfect in this life and go back home, back to Godhead.

TEXT 26

patraà puñpaà phalaà toyaà

yo me bhaktyä prayacchati

tad ahaà bhakty-upahåtam

açnämi prayatätmanaù

SYNONYMS

patram—a leaf; puñpam—a flower; phalam—a fruit;toyam—water; yaù—whoever; me—unto Me; bhaktyä—with devotion; prayacchati—offers; tat—that; aham—I; bhakti-upahåtam—offered in devotion; açnämi—accept; prayata-ätmanaù—from one in pure consciousness.

TRANSLATION

If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.

PURPORT

For the intelligent person, it is essential to be in Kåñëa consciousness, engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, in order to achieve a permanent, blissful abode for eternal happiness. The process of achieving such a marvelous result is very easy and can be attempted even by the poorest of the poor, without any kind of qualification. The only qualification required in this connection is to be a pure devotee of the Lord. It does not matter what one is or where one is situated. The process is so easy that even a leaf or a little water or fruit can be offered to the Supreme Lord in genuine love and the Lord will be pleased to accept it. No one, therefore, can be barred from Kåñëa consciousness, because it is so easy and universal. Who is such a fool that he does not want to be Kåñëa conscious by this simple method and thus attain the highest perfectional life of eternity, bliss and knowledge? Kåñëa wants only loving service and nothing more. Kåñëa accepts even a little flower from His pure devotee. He does not want any kind of offering from a nondevotee. He is not in need of anything from anyone, because He is self-sufficient, and yet He accepts the offering of His devotee in an exchange of love and affection. To develop Kåñëa consciousness is the highest perfection of life. Bhaktiis mentioned twice in this verse in order to declare more emphatically that bhakti, or devotional service, is the only means to approach Kåñëa. No other condition, such as becoming a brähmaëa. a learned scholar, a very rich man or a great philosopher, can induce Kåñëa to accept some offering. Without the basic principle of bhakti, nothing can induce the Lord to agree to accept anything from anyone. Bhakti is never causal. The process is eternal. It is direct action in service to the absolute whole.

Here Lord Kåñëa, having established that He is the only enjoyer, the primeval Lord and the real object of all sacrificial offerings, reveals what types of sacrifices He desires to be offered. If one wishes to engage in devotional service to the Supreme in order to be purified and to reach the goal of life—the transcendental loving service of God—then one should find out what the Lord desires of him. One who loves Kåñëa will give Him whatever He wants, and he avoids offering anything which is undesirable or unasked. Thus meat, fish and eggs should not be offered to Kåñëa. If He desired such things as offerings, He would have said so. Instead He clearly requests that a leaf, fruit, flowers and water be given to Him, and He says of this offering, “I will accept it.” Therefore, we should understand that He will not accept meat, fish and eggs. Vegetables, grains, fruits, milk and water are the proper foods for human beings and are prescribed by Lord Kåñëa Himself. Whatever else we eat cannot be offered to Him, since He will not accept it. Thus we cannot be acting on the level of loving devotion if we offer such foods.

In the Third Chapter, verse thirteen, Çré Kåñëa explains that only the remains of sacrifice are purified and fit for consumption by those who are seeking advancement in life and release from the clutches of the material entanglement. Those who do not make an offering of their food, He says in the same verse, are eating only sin. In other words, their every mouthful is simply deepening their involvement in the complexities of material nature. But preparing nice, simple vegetable dishes, offering them before the picture or Deity of Lord Kåñëa and bowing down and praying for Him to accept such a humble offering enables one to advance steadily in life, to purify the body, and to create fine brain tissues which will lead to clear thinking. Above all, the offering should be made with an attitude of love. Kåñëa has no need of food, since He already possesses everything that be, yet He will accept the offering of one who desires to please Him in that way. The important element, in preparation, in serving and in offering, is to act with love for Kåñëa.

The impersonalist philosophers, who wish to maintain that the Absolute Truth is without senses, cannot comprehend this verse of Bhagavad-gétä. To them, it is either a metaphor or proof of the mundane character of Kåñëa, the speaker of the Bhagavad-gétä. But, in actuality, Kåñëa, the Supreme Godhead, has senses, and it is stated that His senses are interchangeable; in other words, one sense can perform the function of any other. This is what it means to say that Kåñëa is absolute. Lacking senses, He could hardly be considered full in all opulences. In the Seventh Chapter, Kåñëa has explained that He impregnates the living entities into material nature. This is done by His looking upon material nature. And so in this instance, Kåñëa’s hearing the devotee’s words of love in offering foodstuffs is wholly identical with His eating and actually tasting. This point should be emphasized: because of His absolute position, His hearing is wholly identical with His eating and tasting. Only the devotee, who accepts Kåñëa as He describes Himself, without interpretation, can understand that the Supreme Absolute Truth can eat food and enjoy it.

TEXT 27

yat karoñi yad açnäsi

yaj juhoñi dadäsi yat

yat tapasyasi kaunteya

tat kuruñva mad-arpaëam

SYNONYMS

yat—whatever; karoñi—you do; yat—whatever;açnäsi—you eat; yat—whatever; juhoñi—you offer;dadäsi—you give away; yat—whatever; yat—whatever; tapasyasi—austerities you perform;kaunteya—O son of Kunté; tat—that; kuruñva—do;mat—unto Me; arpaëam—as an offering.

TRANSLATION

Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform—do that, O son of Kunté, as an offering to Me.

PURPORT

Thus, it is the duty of everyone to mold his life in such a way that he will not forget Kåñëa in any circumstance. Everyone has to work for maintenance of his body and soul together, and Kåñëa recommends herein that one should work for Him. Everyone has to eat something to live; therefore he should accept the remnants of foodstuffs offered to Kåñëa. Any civilized man has to perform some religious ritualistic ceremonies; therefore Kåñëa recommends, “Do it for Me,” and this is called arcana. Everyone has a tendency to give something in charity; Kåñëa says, “Give it to Me,” and this means that all surplus money accumulated should be utilized in furthering the Kåñëa consciousness movement. Nowadays people are very much inclined to the meditational process, which is not practical in this age, but if anyone practices meditating on Kåñëa twenty-four hours a day by chanting the Hare Kåñëa mantra round his beads, he is surely the greatest meditator and the greatest yogé. as substantiated by the Sixth Chapter ofBhagavad-gétä.

TEXT 28

çubhäçubha-phalair evaà

mokñyase karma-bandhanaiù

sannyäsa-yoga-yuktätmä

vimukto mäm upaiñyasi

SYNONYMS

çubha—from auspicious; açubha—and inauspicious;phalaiù—results; evam—thus; mokñyase—you will become free; karma—of work; bandhanaiù—from the bondage; sannyäsa—of renunciation; yoga—theyoga; yukta-ätmä—having the mind firmly set on;vimuktaù—liberated; mäm—to Me; upaiñyasi—you will attain.

TRANSLATION

In this way you will be freed from bondage to work and its auspicious and inauspicious results. With your mind fixed on Me in this principle ofrenunciation, you will be liberated and come to Me.

PURPORT

One who acts in Kåñëa consciousness under superior direction is called yukta. The technical term is yukta-vairagya. This is further explained by Rüpa Gosvämé as follows: anäsaktasya viñayän

yathärham upayuïjataù

nirbandhaù kåñëa-sambandhe

yuktaà vairägyam ucyate

(Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu 2.255)

Rüpa Gosvämé says that as long as we are in this material world we have to act; we cannot cease acting. Therefore if actions are performed and the fruits are given to Kåñëa, then that is called yukta-vairägya. Actually situated in renunciation, such activities clear the mirror of the mind, and as the actor gradually makes progress in spiritual realization he becomes completely surrendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore at the end he becomes liberated, and this liberation is also specified. By this liberation he does not become one with the brahmajyoti, but rather enters into the planet of the Supreme Lord. It is clearly mentioned here: mäm upaiñyasi, “he comes to Me,” back home, back to Godhead. There are five different stages of liberation, and here it is specified that the devotee who has always lived his lifetime here under the direction of the Supreme Lord, as stated, has evolved to the point where he can, after quitting this body, go back to Godhead and engage directly in the association of the Supreme Lord.

Anyone who has no interest but to dedicate his life to the service of the Lord is actually a sannyäsé. Such a person always thinks of himself as an eternal servant, dependent on the supreme will of the Lord. As such, whatever he does, he does it for the benefit of the Lord. Whatever action he performs, he performs it as service to the Lord. He does not give serious attention to the fruitive activities or prescribed duties mentioned in the Vedas. For ordinary persons it is obligatory to execute the prescribed duties mentioned in the Vedas, but although a pure devotee who is completely engaged in the service of the Lord may sometimes appear to go against the prescribed Vedic duties, actually it is not so.

It is said, therefore, by Vaiñëava authorities that even the most intelligent person cannot understand the plans and activities of a pure devotee. The exact words are täìra väkya, kriyä, mudrä vijïeha nä bujhaya(Caitanya-caritämåta, Madhya 23.39). A person who is thus always engaged in the service of the Lord or is always thinking and planning how to serve the Lord is to be considered completely liberated at present, and in the future his going back home, back to Godhead, is guaranteed. He is above all materialistic criticism, just as Kåñëa is above all criticism.

TEXT 29

samo ’haà sarva-bhüteñu

na me dveñyo ’sti na priyaù

ye bhajanti tu mäà bhaktyä

mayi te teñu cäpy aham

SYNONYMS

samaù—equally disposed; aham—I; sarva-bhüteñu—to all living entities; na—no one; me—to Me; dveñyaù—hateful; asti—is; na—nor; priyaù—dear; ye—those who; bhajanti—render transcendental service; tu—but; mäm—unto Me; bhaktyä—in devotion; mayi—are in Me; te—such persons; teñu—in them; ca—also;api—certainly; aham—I.

TRANSLATION

I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.

PURPORT

One may question here that if Kåñëa is equal to everyone and no one is His special friend, then why does He take a special interest in the devotees who are always engaged in His transcendental service? But this is not discrimination; it is natural. Any man in this material world may be very charitably disposed, yet he has a special interest in his own children. The Lord claims that every living entity—in whatever form—is His son, and so He provides everyone with a generous supply of the necessities of life. He is just like a cloud which pours rain all over, regardless of whether it falls on rock or land or water. But for His devotees, He gives specific attention. Such devotees are mentioned here: they are always in Kåñëa consciousness, and therefore they are always transcendentally situated in Kåñëa. The very phrase “Kåñëa consciousness” suggests that those who are in such consciousness are living transcendentalists, situated in Him. The Lord says here distinctly, mayi te: “They are in Me.” Naturally, as a result, the Lord is also in them. This is reciprocal. This also explains the words ye yathä mäà prapadyante täàs tathaiva bhajämy aham: “Whoever surrenders unto Me, proportionately I take care of him.” This transcendental reciprocation exists because both the Lord and the devotee are conscious. When a diamond is set in a golden ring, it looks very nice. The gold is glorified, and at the same time the diamond is glorified. The Lord and the living entity eternally glitter, and when a living entity becomes inclined to the service of the Supreme Lord he looks like gold. The Lord is a diamond, and so this combination is very nice. Living entities in a pure state are called devotees. The Supreme Lord becomes the devotee of His devotees. If a reciprocal relationship is not present between the devotee and the Lord, then there is no personalist philosophy. In the impersonal philosophy there is no reciprocation between the Supreme and the living entity, but in the personalist philosophy there is.

The example is often given that the Lord is like a desire tree, and whatever one wants from this desire tree, the Lord supplies. But here the explanation is more complete. The Lord is here stated to be partial to the devotees. This is the manifestation of the Lord’s special mercy to the devotees. The Lord’s reciprocation should not be considered to be under the law of karma. It belongs to the transcendental situation in which the Lord and His devotees function. Devotional service to the Lord is not an activity of this material world; it is part of the spiritual world, where eternity, bliss and knowledge predominate.

TEXT 30

api cet su-duräcäro

bhajate mäm ananya-bhäk

sädhur eva sa mantavyaù

samyag vyavasito hi saù

SYNONYMS

api—even; cet—if; su-duräcäraù—one committing the most abominable actions; bhajate—is engaged in devotional service; mäm—unto Me; ananya-bhäk—without deviation; sädhuù—a saint; eva—certainly;saù—he; mantavyaù—is to be considered; samyak—completely; vyavasitaù—situated in determination; hi—certainly; saù—he.

TRANSLATION

Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situatedin his determination.

PURPORT

The word su-duräcäraù used in this verse is very significant, and we should understand it properly. When a living entity is conditioned, he has two kinds of activities: one is conditional, and the other is constitutional. As for protecting the body or abiding by the rules of society and state, certainly there are different activities, even for the devotees, in connection with the conditional life, and such activities are called conditional. Besides these, the living entity who is fully conscious of his spiritual nature and is engaged in Kåñëa consciousness, or the devotional service of the Lord, has activities which are called transcendental. Such activities are performed in his constitutional position, and they are technically called devotional service. Now, in the conditioned state, sometimes devotional service and the conditional service in relation to the body will parallel one another. But then again, sometimes these activities become opposed to one another. As far as possible, a devotee is very cautious so that he does not do anything that could disrupt his wholesome condition. He knows that perfection in his activities depends on his progressive realization of Kåñëa consciousness. Sometimes, however, it may be seen that a person in Kåñëa consciousness commits some act which may be taken as most abominable socially or politically. But such a temporary falldown does not disqualify him. In the Çrémad-Bhägavatamit is stated that if a person falls down but is wholeheartedly engaged in the transcendental service of the Supreme Lord, the Lord, being situated within his heart, purifies him and excuses him from that abomination. The material contamination is so strong that even a yogé fully engaged in the service of the Lord sometimes becomes ensnared; but Kåñëa consciousness is so strong that such an occasional falldown is at once rectified. Therefore the process of devotional service is always a success. No one should deride a devotee for some accidental falldown from the ideal path, for, as explained in the next verse, such occasional falldowns will be stopped in due course, as soon as a devotee is completely situated in Kåñëa consciousness.

Therefore a person who is situated in Kåñëa consciousness and is engaged with determination in the process of chanting Hare Kåñëa, Hare Kåñëa, Kåñëa Kåñëa, Hare Hare/ Hare Räma, Hare Räma, Räma Räma, Hare Hare should be considered to be in the transcendental position, even if by chance or accident he is found to have fallen. The words sädhur eva, “he is saintly,” are very emphatic. They are a warning to the nondevotees that because of an accidental falldown a devotee should not be derided; he should still be considered saintly even if he has accidentally fallen down. And the word mantavyaù is still more emphatic. If one does not follow this rule, and derides a devotee for his accidental falldown, then one is disobeying the order of the Supreme Lord. The only qualification of a devotee is to be unflinchingly and exclusively engaged in devotional service.

In the Nåsiàha Puräëa the following statement is given: 

bhagavati ca haräv ananya-cetä

bhåça-malino ’pi viräjate manuñyaù

na hi çaça-kaluña-cchabiù kadäcit

timira-paräbhavatäm upaiti candraù

The meaning is that even if one fully engaged in the devotional service of the Lord is sometimes found engaged in abominable activities, these activities should be considered to be like the spots that resemble the mark of a rabbit on the moon. Such spots do not become an impediment to the diffusion of moonlight. Similarly, the accidental falldown of a devotee from the path of saintly character does not make him abominable.

On the other hand, one should not misunderstand that a devotee in transcendental devotional service can act in all kinds of abominable ways; this verse only refers to an accident due to the strong power of material connections. Devotional service is more or less a declaration of war against the illusory energy. As long as one is not strong enough to fight the illusory energy, there may be accidental falldowns. But when one is strong enough, he is no longer subjected to such falldowns, as previously explained. No one should take advantage of this verse and commit nonsense and think that he is still a devotee. If he does not improve in his character by devotional service, then it is to be understood that he is not a high devotee.

TEXT 31

kñipraà bhavati dharmätmä

çaçvac-chäntià nigacchati

kaunteya pratijänéhi

na me bhaktaù praëaçyati

SYNONYMS

kñipram—very soon; bhavati—becomes; dharma-ätmä—righteous; çaçvat-çäntim—lasting peace;nigacchati—attains; kaunteya—O son of Kunté; pratijänéhi—declare; na—never; me—My; bhaktaù—devotee; praëaçyati—perishes.

TRANSLATION

He quickly becomes righteous and attains lasting peace. O son of Kunté, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.

PURPORT

This should not be misunderstood. In the Seventh Chapter the Lord says that one who is engaged in mischievous activities cannot become a devotee of the Lord. One who is not a devotee of the Lord has no good qualifications whatsoever. The question remains, then, How can a person engaged in abominable activities—either by accident or by intention—be a pure devotee? This question may justly be raised. The miscreants, as stated in the Seventh Chapter, who never come to the devotional service of the Lord, have no good qualifications, as is stated in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam. Generally, a devotee who is engaged in the nine kinds of devotional activities is engaged in the process of cleansing all material contamination from the heart. He puts the Supreme Personality of Godhead within his heart, and all sinful contaminations are naturally washed away. Continuous thinking of the Supreme Lord makes him pure by nature. According to the Vedas, there is a certain regulation that if one falls down from his exalted position he has to undergo certain ritualistic processes to purify himself. But here there is no such condition, because the purifying process is already there in the heart of the devotee, due to his remembering the Supreme Personality of Godhead constantly. Therefore, the chanting of Hare Kåñëa, Hare Kåñëa, Kåñëa Kåñëa, Hare Hare/ Hare Räma, Hare Räma, Räma Räma, Hare Hare should be continued without stoppage. This will protect a devotee from all accidental falldowns. He will thus remain perpetually free from all material contaminations.

TEXT 32

mäà hi pärtha vyapäçritya

ye ’pi syuù päpa-yonayaù

striyo vaiçyäs tathä çüdräs

te ’pi yänti paräà gatim

SYNONYMS

mäm—of Me; hi—certainly; pärtha—O son of Påthä;vyapäçritya—particularly taking shelter; ye—those who; api—also; syuù—are; päpa-yonayaù—born of a lower family; striyaù—women; vaiçyäù—mercantile people; tathä—also; çüdräù—lower-class men; te api—even they; yänti—go; paräm—to the supreme;gatim—destination.

TRANSLATION

O son of Påthä, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth—women, vaiçyas [merchants] and çüdras [workers]—can attain thesupreme destination.

PURPORT

It is clearly declared here by the Supreme Lord that in devotional service there is no distinction between the lower and higher classes of people. In the material conception of life there are such divisions, but for a person engaged in transcendental devotional service to the Lord there are not. Everyone is eligible for the supreme destination. In the Çrémad-Bhägavatam(2.4.18) it is stated that even the lowest, who are called caëòälas(dog-eaters), can be purified by association with a pure devotee. Therefore devotional service and the guidance of a pure devotee are so strong that there is no discrimination between the lower and higher classes of men; anyone can take to it. The most simple man taking shelter of the pure devotee can be purified by proper guidance. According to the different modes of material nature, men are classified in the mode of goodness ( brähmaëas), the mode of passion ( kñatriyas, or administrators), the mixed modes of passion and ignorance ( vaiçyas, or merchants), and the mode of ignorance ( çüdras, or workers). Those lower than them are called caëòälas,and they are born in sinful families. Generally, the association of those born in sinful families is not accepted by the higher classes. But the process of devotional service is so strong that the pure devotee of the Supreme Lord can enable people of all the lower classes to attain the highest perfection of life. This is possible only when one takes shelter of Kåñëa. As indicated here by the word vyapäçritya, one has to take shelter completely of Kåñëa. Then one can become much greater than great jïänés and yogés.

TEXT 33

kià punar brähmaëäù puëyä

bhaktä räjarñayas tathä

anityam asukhaà lokam

imaà präpya bhajasva mäm

SYNONYMS

kim—how much; punaù—again; brähmaëäù— brähmaëas; puëyäù—righteous; bhaktäù—devotees;räja-åñayaù—saintly kings; tathä—also; anityam—temporary; asukham—full of miseries; lokam—planet;imam—this; präpya—gaining; bhajasva—be engaged in loving service; mäm—unto Me.

TRANSLATION

How much more this is so of the righteous brähmaëas, the devotees and the saintly kings. Therefore, having come to this temporary, miserable world, engage in loving service unto Me.

PURPORT

In this material world there are classifications of people, but, after all, this world is not a happy place for anyone. It is clearly stated here, anityam asukhaà lokam: this world is temporary and full of miseries, not habitable for any sane gentleman. This world is declared by the Supreme Personality of Godhead to be temporary and full of miseries. Some philosophers, especially Mäyävädé philosophers, say that this world is false, but we can understand from Bhagavad-gétä that the world is not false; it is temporary. There is a difference between temporary and false. This world is temporary, but there is another world, which is eternal. This world is miserable, but the other world is eternal and blissful.

Arjuna was born in a saintly royal family. To him also the Lord says, “Take to My devotional service and come quickly back to Godhead, back home.” No one should remain in this temporary world, full as it is with miseries. Everyone should attach himself to the bosom of the Supreme Personality of Godhead so that he can be eternally happy. The devotional service of the Supreme Lord is the only process by which all problems of all classes of men can be solved. Everyone should therefore take to Kåñëa consciousness and make his life perfect.

TEXT 34

man-manä bhava mad-bhakto

mad-yäjé mäà namaskuru

mäm evaiñyasi yuktvaivam

ätmänaà mat-paräyaëaù

SYNONYMS

mat-manäù—always thinking of Me; bhava—become; mat—My; bhaktaù—devotee; mat—My; yäjé—worshiper; mäm—unto Me; namaskuru—offer obeisances; mäm—unto Me; eva—completely; eñyasi—you will come; yuktvä—being absorbed; evam—thus; ätmänam—your soul; mat-paräyaëaù—devoted to Me.

TRANSLATION

Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.

PURPORT

In this verse it is clearly indicated that Kåñëa consciousness is the only means of being delivered from the clutches of this contaminated material world. Sometimes unscrupulous commentators distort the meaning of what is clearly stated here: that all devotional service should be offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kåñëa. Unfortunately, unscrupulous commentators divert the mind of the reader to that which is not at all feasible. Such commentators do not know that there is no difference between Kåñëa’s mind and Kåñëa. Kåñëa is not an ordinary human being; He is Absolute Truth. His body, His mind and He Himself are one and absolute. It is stated in the Kürma Puräëa. as it is quoted by Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Gosvämé in his Anubhäñya comments on Caitanya-caritämåta (Fifth Chapter, Ädi-lélä, verses 41–48), deha-dehi-vibhedo ’yaà neçvare vidyate kvacit. This means that there is no difference in Kåñëa, the Supreme Lord, between Himself and His body. But because the commentators do not know this science of Kåñëa, they hide Kåñëa and divide His personality from His mind or from His body. Although this is sheer ignorance of the science of Kåñëa, some men make profit out of misleading people.

There are some who are demonic; they also think of Kåñëa, but enviously, just like King Kaàsa, Kåñëa’s uncle. He was also thinking of Kåñëa always, but he thought of Kåñëa as his enemy. He was always in anxiety, wondering when Kåñëa would come to kill him. That kind of thinking will not help us. One should be thinking of Kåñëa in devotional love. That is bhakti. One should cultivate the knowledge of Kåñëa continuously. What is that favorable cultivation? It is to learn from a bona fide teacher. Kåñëa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and we have several times explained that His body is not material, but is eternal, blissful knowledge. This kind of talk about Kåñëa will help one become a devotee. Understanding Kåñëa otherwise, from the wrong source, will prove fruitless.

One should therefore engage his mind in the eternal form, the primal form of Kåñëa; with conviction in his heart that Kåñëa is the Supreme, he should engage himself in worship. There are hundreds of thousands of temples in India for the worship of Kåñëa, and devotional service is practiced there. When such practice is made, one has to offer obeisances to Kåñëa. One should lower his head before the Deity and engage his mind, his body, his activities—everything. That will make one fully absorbed in Kåñëa without deviation. This will help one transfer to the Kåñëaloka. One should not be deviated by unscrupulous commentators. One must engage in the nine different processes of devotional service, beginning with hearing and chanting about Kåñëa. Pure devotional service is the highest achievement of human society.

The Seventh and Eighth chapters of Bhagavad-gétähave explained pure devotional service to the Lord that is free from speculative knowledge, mystic yogaand fruitive activities. Those who are not purely sanctified may be attracted by different features of the Lord like the impersonal brahmajyoti and localized Paramätmä, but a pure devotee directly takes to the service of the Supreme Lord.

There is a beautiful poem about Kåñëa in which it is clearly stated that any person who is engaged in the worship of demigods is most unintelligent and cannot achieve at any time the supreme award of Kåñëa. The devotee, in the beginning, may sometimes fall from the standard, but still he should be considered superior to all other philosophers and yogés. One who always engages in Kåñëa consciousness should be understood to be a perfectly saintly person. His accidental nondevotional activities will diminish, and he will soon be situated without any doubt in complete perfection. The pure devotee has no actual chance to fall down, because the Supreme Godhead personally takes care of His pure devotees. Therefore, the intelligent person should take directly to the process of Kåñëa consciousness and happily live in this material world. He will eventually receive the supreme award of Kåñëa.

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the Ninth Chapter of the Çrémad Bhagavad-gétä in the matter of the Most Confidential Knowledge.




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