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At the present moment Bhagavad-gita is being interpreted by anyone and everyone according to his whims. That is not permissible. That is not Bhagavad-gita

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"At the present moment Bhagavad-gita is being interpreted by anyone and everyone according to his whims. That is not permissible. That is not Bhagavad-gita"


Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Dharma means the rules and regulation which is given by God. That is accepted everywhere. In Bible, in Koran also. The laws of God. You cannot manufacture. So Kṛṣṇa said that this principle of Bhagavad-gītā... At the present moment Bhagavad-gītā is being interpreted by anyone and everyone according to his whims. That is not permissible. That is not Bhagavad-gītā. We have to understand this. Simply Bhagavad-gītā is that which is received by the paramparā system. That is being explained.
Introduction to Bhagavad-gita As It Is -- Los Angeles, November 23, 1968 :

Prabhupāda: Now this bhagavān, you have heard, many times I have explained, bhaga. Bhaga means opulence. There are six kinds of opulences. What is that? Wealth, and then influence, strength, reputation and knowledge, beauty and renunciation. Is it not six? If a man is wealthy, very rich, just like in your country Rockefeller, Ford, there are many rich men in your, the..., your country is very rich. So if one is very rich he is called opulent. If a man is very reputed, famous man, he is also opulent. If a man is very influential, he is also opulent. If a man is very strong... Now the strong man, formerly strong men had request, ahh, respect. All the kings, they were respected on their personal strength. They used to..., they had to fight with the opponents. So that is also opulence. Then beauty. A very beautiful man or woman, that is also opulence. And wise, very learned, wise man, that is also opulence—scientist, philosopher, mathematician. So they are also opulent. And renouncer. Renouncer, that one who give up everything, he has everything in his possession, but he disposes himself, that is called renunciation. Just like king, Mahārāja Bharata, under whose name India is called Bhārata-varṣa. He was the emperor of the world, but at the age of twenty-four years only he gave up everything—his young wife, young children. Lord Buddha, Lord Buddha was prince, but very young boy, at the age of twenty years or something like that, he gave up everything, his father's kingdom. This is called renunciation. At the present moment (chuckles) hardly there is any sense of renunciation, but formerly there were many kings, many princes who renounced everything for spiritual advancement. So these six principles are called bhaga.

So these six principles are there. Just like we are minute part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. Fragment, very small fragment. So every one of us have got some money according to our capacity. Every one of us has got some strength or some reputation or some beauty or some knowledge. Comparatively it may be that your position may be greater than me or other's position may be greater than you, that not all of us on the same level. There are comparative positions. So bhagavān means you go on searching. When you find a person that nobody is richer than Him, nobody is stronger than Him, nobody is richer than Him, nobody is reputed than Him, nobody is wiser than him, nobody is beautiful, more beautiful than Him, and nobody is renouncer than Him, He is Bhagavān, He is God.

So all these you will find in Kṛṣṇa. That is the significance of Kṛṣṇa. When Kṛṣṇa was present on this material world so nobody could excel Him in any of these opulences. Nobody. So far richness is concerned, He exhibited His richness with His (indistinct). He married 16,108 wives, and each wife had a palace, and the palace did not require light. It was bedecked with valuable jewels, so at night the light from the jewels will illuminate the rooms. Can you imagine such house? (laughter) And not only that, that He married 16,000 wives and He was apart from them, no. With each wife He was present. With some wife He is talking, with some wife He is playing, with some wife He is looking after the children. In this way Nārada travelled all the houses, all the palaces, he saw Kṛṣṇa is there engaged. This is called opulence. So far power is concerned, there were so many fights with Kṛṣṇa, nobody could conquer. So far beauty is concerned, you know Kṛṣṇa's beauty, even from the picture. And the, all the gopīs, in Vṛndāana... Kṛṣṇa at the age of fifteen, sixteenth year, naturally at that time boys are very beautiful, any, any man even. So He was so beautiful that they, all the gopīs prayed to Yogamāyā. Everyone prayed, "My dear mother, please give me Kṛṣṇa as my husband." So this is, but (indistinct) significance is the, that the day they prayed the next day there was... Perhaps you know that Kṛṣṇa's vastraṇaṁ-līlā. Vastraṇaṁ-līlā means... In India still there are places in Punjab when girls and women take bath they keep their clothings in the river, I mean to say, not in the bathroom. In the rivers, they keep their clothings on the shore, on the bank, and they dip into the water completely naked. So that place is completely separate for the women. No man can go there. That is the system still somewhere. They will take bath fully and they will come and again dress. And woman, woman, they are all naked, there was no shame. They, no man and no boy can go there. This vastraṇaṁ-līlā was that Kṛṣṇa stealthily went there and tookup all their clothes, and got up on a tree, (laughter) (laughs) with the clothings. And they cannot come out of the water. "Kṛṣṇa, You are very naughty. Give us our clothes. Give us our clothes." That was vastraṇaṁ-līlā.(laughter) The purpose was the, the people interpret in a different way, but the purpose is very significant. Only devotees can understand that all these girls, day before, they prayed to Yogamāyā that, everyone prayed, that "Let us have Kṛṣṇa as our husband." Now Kṛṣṇa was at that time only 15, 16 years, no older. In India still the boys of 15, 16 years, they are not married. At least he must be 20, 22 years. And girls are married between 12 to 16 years. That is the Vedic system. Neither it was possible for Kṛṣṇa to marry all the girls, but they all prayed. So how to fulfil their desire? That was vastraṇaṁ-līlā. The vastraṇaṁ-līlā means that according to any human civilization, system, a woman can become naked only before husband. So Kṛṣṇa fulfilled that, that "You are naked, I am before you,so I am your husband." That's all. Wholesale acceptance. That was the purpose. But the nonsense people they differently, differently interpret.

So Kṛṣṇa's opulence, beauty, strength, and so far wisdom, at least you can test. Now the wisdom, see preliminary wisdom only. Preliminary talks on spiritual matter is discussed in this Bhagavad-gītā. And this book is still read, even after five thousand years, all over the world. Just see His wisdom. That is a test. Big scholars, big religionists, philosophers, they are bewildered still about Bhagavad-gītā. Therefore there are so many interpretations. But this, what is this Bhagavad-gītā? Bhagavad-gītā is the A B C D of spiritual knowledge. It is not very high depth of spiritual knowledge. High depth of spiritual knowledge is in the Srimad Bhagavatam. This is only entrance. Just like children are taught a b c d., or first book of knowledge. It is only the first book of knowledge. And what is that first book of knowledge? The first book of knowledge teaches from the very beginning that you are not this body. That is the beginning of knowledge, spiritual knowledge. And the whole world, great philosophers, the geat politicians... Now yesterday the boys gave me one paper. There is discussion about Transcendental Meditation. There was publication of our activities also, and some others are... So the so-called Transcendental Meditation they are discussing on the mind. And the Bhagavad-gītā, mind is immediately rejected as matter. So Transcendental Meditation, they're on the platform of the mind. Just see. And the Bhagavad-gītā says that mind is external nature only.

indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur
indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ
manasas tu parā buddhir
yo buddheḥ paratas tu saḥ

In the gross material concept of life we are under the impression that "I am this body." Therefore we are concerned with the senses. If our senses are gratified, we think we are now satisfied. So this is the gross type of existence, I mean to say, existence of ignorance. Illusion. Māyā. When one is under the thought that "I am this," this is illusion. Illusion means you accept something, something is presented as reality, and you accept it. Just like the example is given water in the desert. Mirage. There is no water, but a, an animal is hankering, is running after water in the desert. That is practical, that due to sunshine there is a reflection, it appears in the desert. Sometimes you might have seen—not here, in India we have seen several times—that exactly there is a vast water, and it is reflecting, the reflection. That is called mirage. There is not a drop of water, but the animal, when he is thirsty he..., it thinks that "There is water." He jumps into the desert and the water is going ahead, going ahed, and he is running after it and then dying. So this illusion, that "I am this body." So we are after this sense gratification. Body means the senses. So that is mirage, illusion. Just like the animal is running after water in the desert.

So even this yoga system, the haṭha yoga system, that is also based on this illusion. They are trying to put this water under certain exercise and thinking that they are elevating themselves in spirit. But Bhagavad-gītā, in the beginning, says that you are not this body, neither this mind. This is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā, and that is a b c d. Any person who does not know that I am not this body he has no even a-b-c-d knowledge of spiritual kingdom. If one is attracted with this bodily function or mind, mental function, he is outside the spiritual purview altogether. He rejected immediately. That test is in the Bhagavad-gītā. These people, the so-called yogis, so-called karmīs... Karmīs means the ordinary worker, those who are running in the street with motor car, this way and that way, very busy. You see. What are they? They are karmīs. Karmīs means under the bodily concept. They are thinking that comfort of this body and sense gratification is the end of life. That is karmī. If they have got very nice apartment, a nice wife and good bank balance and a very nice dress, oh, there is perfection. That's all. That is karmī. And jñānī means that when they are confused. Just like there are a section of people in your country, they have seen enough of this material affair, happiness, or they are searching after something wrongly. But actually those who are intelligent, they don't remain confused. Actually they want to see "What is my actual position." They are called jñānī, man of knowledge.

So jñāna, or knowledge, is on the mental plane and karma is on the bodily plane. So somebody, some section of people, they are engaged in this bodily platform, and some section of people are engaged in the mental platform. Whatever religion and process of elevation of life we have manufactured, they can be grouped in two ways: mental and bodily. That's all. And Bhagavad-gītā is transcendental. Neither on the mental plane nor on the bodily plane. Therefore the last instruction of Bhagavad-gītā is sarva-dharmān parityajya. Dharma, you have created so many religious principles, so many concocted spiritual ways of life or material ways of life. Somebody are materialists and somebody are so-called spiritualists. So Kṛṣṇa says that you have to give up all this nonsense—on the mental platform and bodily platform. You have come to the transcendental platform. And what is that transcendental platform? To understand your relationship with Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Read.

Devotee: "This is confirmed by all the great teachers, including Śaṅkara and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. In India there are many authorities on Vedic knowledge and they have virtually all accepted Śrī Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We should therefore accept the Bhagavad-gītā as it is, directed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead..."

Prabhupāda: And here is an important fact. The other day while I was walking, I saw one advertisement of tourist agent. India, (indistinct) can view wonderful land. The wonderful land. Anyway, so I asked Karttikeya(?), "So India is considered very wonderful?" He said "Yes." Anyway, India is still considered the land of spiritual cultivation. Even one Chinese author, he has written that if you want to study religion, then you have to go India. He is impartial. He is not Indian nor an American or any country. He is Chinese. Chinese are considered to be Communist country, but he has very impartially said that if you have to learn what is religion then you have to go to India. Anyway India, actually it is the land of religion, dharma-kṣetra, although it has gone down at the present moment. But anyway, there are two sections in the..., amongst the Indian, bona fide religionists. That means bona fide religionists means those who are following the Vedic principles. They are called bona fide. Anyway, that is, that wa the system in the bygone ages, even one thousand years ago. And now that, just like Buddha, Buddha religion. Buddha religion is also Indian religion. Lord Buddha, He was Indian. He, just like Lord Caitanya began His propaganda from Bengal, Lord Buddha made His propaganda from Bihar. He was Indian. But the defect was that He did not acknowledge the authority of the Vedas. Therefore His philosophy was considered atheism. And this Śaṅkarācārya drove away all the Buddhists from the land of India. Therefore they took shelter in China, Japan, Burma. Outside India. So anyway, strict religionists they are followers of Vedas, and they are divided into two groups: one group led by Śaṅkarācārya and the other group is led by the Vaiṣṇavas, or generally Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya or Lord Caitanya. They are all the same, Vaiṣṇava. Now all these two groups, following the Vedic principles, they accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So far India's authoritative persons are concerned, there is no two opinions, that Kṛṣṇa is not God. Both of them accept Kṛṣṇa the Supreme Personality. So far we are concerned, Vaiṣṇavas, we accept. There is no doubt about it. There are four different parties of Vaiṣṇavas. All of them accept Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are eight commentaries on the very authoritative, very large commentaries on the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam of these Vaiṣṇavas, and all of them accept Kṛṣṇa. So far the other party is concerned, the impersonalists led by Śaṅkarācārya, a great stalwart scholar, he also accepts Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He says, sa bhagavān svayaṁ kṛṣṇa: "The concept of Personality of Godhead, here is Kṛṣṇa." And people may misunderstand; therefore he has specifically mentioned Kṛṣṇa who has appeared as the son of Devakī and Vasudeva. Particularly, just like when you have to put your identification, you have to give the, your father's name or your husband's name. Similarly, the same principle as Śaṅkarācārya has followed. He has said "Kṛṣṇa, the Kṛṣṇa who is, wh has appeared as the son of Devakī and Vasudeva." So there is no two opinions. No, "Or this Kṛṣṇa, maybe another Kṛṣṇa." No. So that is stated here. Yes. Kṛṣṇa is accepted the Supreme Personality of Godhead by all the followers of Vedas. That is a fact. Yes.

Devotee: "Now in the Fourth Chapter the Lord tells Arjuna that this yoga system of the Bhagavad-gītā was first spoken to the sun-god. The Blessed Lord said, 'I instructed this imperishable science, imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvān, and Vivasvān instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Ikṣvāku. This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in the course of time the succession was broken and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost.' "

Prabhupāda: That is the instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā, that this science of Bhagavad-gītā has to be accepted by disciplic succession. That is the way of accepting any scientific thing. Just like even in material science, suppose if you have to become medical practitioner or a lawyer. So you have to study the law books by the previous lawyers, by the judgments of the courts. One who has studied the previous records of legal implications, he is best lawyer. Similarly a medical practicer, practitioner, who has studied the previous books and knowledge and experience, he is called experienced physician. The same principle is there that the spiritual knowl..., you cannot manufacture any spiritual knowledge. That is atheism. You cannot manufacture any religious principle. It is not possible. That is not accepted in Vedas. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇī. Dharma means the rules and regulation which is given by God. That is accepted everywhere. In Bible, in Koran also. The laws of God. You cannot manufacture. So Kṛṣṇa said that this principle of Bhagavad-gītā... At the present moment Bhagavad-gītā is being interpreted by anyone and everyone according to his whims. That is not permissible. That is not Bhagavad-gītā. We have to understand this. Simply Bhagavad-gītā is that which is received by the paramparā system. That is being explained.