We have several times discussed in this meeting that a ordinary being, just like we are, we are subjected to four principles of imperfectness. But an incarnation of God or a real representative of God, they are above these, I mean, four principles of imperfectness. That is the way of... Why we are giving so much stress on the Bhagavad-gītā? There are many books available in the market, full of good instruction, knowledge, but why we are giving so much stress on the Bhagavad-gītā? Because it is spoken by a personality who is above all imperfections. What are these imperfections? The imperfections are that a conditioned soul just like we are, we are sure to commit mistake. There is nobody in the world, in this conditional state, who can boldly say that "I have never committed any mistake in my life." Is there anybody? No. We have committed so many mistakes. Even a perfect... I shall speak of our country. Our country, Mahatma Gandhi, he was supposed to be a very great, I mean to say, perfect leader of the country. He also committed mistakes, so many. And what to speak of us. What to speak of us. So a conditioned soul is sure to commit mistake. That is one imperfection.
And the next imperfection is to accept something in place of something. Just like we are accepting this body as myself, which I am not. Under this illusion... Everyone is under this illusion, nobody excepted. Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke (SB 10.84.13). When you ask me, "Swamiji, what you are?", oh, I'll say, "I am Indian." What sort of Indian I am? Because my this body is Indian, made in India or got in India. But I am not this body. I am not this body. So this, this is illusion. So second imperfection. First imperfection, that we must commit mistake. The second imperfection is accepting something which is not real. This is called illusion. The example of illusion is given generally: Just like in darkness, if you find some curling rope, you are afraid, "Oh, here is a snake!" Actually, that is not a snake. That means accepting the curling rope as a snake. This is the example of illusion.
The third imperfection is that cheating. Everyone thinks himself very clever and he can cheat others. Everyone thinks, "Oh, I am so clever. Oh, I shall do it. Oh, I shall cheat him." In every, our dealing, it is going on. The customer and the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper thinks that "I am giving him nonsense things and making profit," and the customer is thinking, "Oh, I am getting it very cheap." So this is going on, even in ordinary dealing. So this is called cheating process. Now, even in animal you'll find that they are searching after some food, and it is thinking, "Oh, I'm cheating my master and taking this food." That means in the conditional life this cheating propensity is there.
And the fourth imperfection is that our senses are blunt. We acquire knowledge by our senses. Just like we acquire knowledge by seeing. Everyone will say, "Can you show me God?" But the answer is "Can you see God?" How you can see God? You have no eyes to see God. Even I show you God, you cannot see. Our senses are so imperfect. Just like take for example the eyes. The eyes, it is seeing under certain condition. As soon as you put off this light, you cannot see. So what is the use of having this eyes? So therefore, we have got our imperfect senses.
We have got cheating propensity, we are prone to commit mistake, and we accept illusory things. These four principles of imperfect is in the conditioned soul. But who is liberated soul or who is God, they are not under these conditions. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is considered to be the highest perfectional personality, and Arjuna selected Him as the spiritual master. Śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam: (BG 2.7) "My dear Kṛṣṇa, we are talking on the platform of friendship." That will not make a solution. Because friendly talks, sometimes they are not taken seriously, friendly talks. But when there is talk between the spiritual master and disciple, there is some discipline and there is some gravity. So Arjuna created that gravity and discipline. He accepted Kṛṣṇa as the spiritual master.
And as soon as Arjuna accepted Kṛṣṇa as the spiritual master, so as master, He at once chastised him in these words,
- aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ
- prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase
- gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca
- nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ
- (BG 2.11)
"My dear Arjuna, you are posing yourself as a very great learned man, but I see that you are fool number one. You are fool number one." Why? "Now, because you are lamenting for things which are not to be lamented." This was the first answer of Kṛṣṇa. So a person like Arjuna, he was not an ordinary person; still, in the eyes of the perfect personality, he happened to be a fool. So this material knowledge, if anyone is very proud of his material knowledge...
Just like Sanātana Gosvāmī, a great devotee of Lord Caitanya, when he approached Lord Caitanya, he just inquired from Him, "My dear Sir, people address me that I am a very great learned man, but I am such a learned man that I do not know wherefrom I have come and where I have to go. I am such a learned man. That means I am fool number one. I have come to this world and I am staying here, say, for fifty years or eighty years or, at most, hundred years. Then after finishing this period of my life, where I am going? These two things I do not know. I do not know wherefrom I have come and where I have to go. Then what sort of learned, learned man I am? Although I am posing myself a very learned man, I do not know my past. I do not know my future. I am concerned with this present situation. That's all."
So therefore Kṛṣṇa advised Arjuna that avināśi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idaṁ tatam: "Arjuna, My dear Arjuna, you have, so long you have spoken, you have argued with Me in so many ways, but such argument is not for, not to be entertained in learned circle. Now just try to be a learned man." And what is that? Now, avināśi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idaṁ tatam: "You just try to understand. In your body there is some thing which is spread all over body, all over your body. And that is eternal. And what is that thing which is spread all over your body? That is your consciousness. Your consciousness."
Just like this electric bulb is here, and the light of the electric bulb is diffused all over the, I mean to say, room. We can see. Similarly, the spirit soul is within your heart. It is situated there. But it is so powerful that its light is spread all over this body so that wherever you pinch, you feel, by consciousness, "Oh, I am feeling some pain." That consciousness. And as soon as that consciousness is gone from this body, if your head is cut off, or your leg is cut off, by chopped off, you don't feel anything.
So this instruction was first given to Arjuna, that "Arjuna! You are arguing with Me just like a very learned scholar, but you are fool number one, and you just try to understand this first of all, that that thing which is spread all over..." Avināśi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idaṁ tatam. Yena sarvam idam. Sarvam means the whole body, idam. But your consciousness is not spread in others' bodies. You must know it. If you say that "My consciousness is spread all over the universe," that is also another mistake. Your consciousness is limited within your body. Just like my consciousness is limited within my body, your consciousness is limited within your body. And everyone... We are all living entities and we are, everyone, conscious, but our consciousness is limited. We should not falsely claim that "I am the supreme consciousness."
That is another mistake. I am not the supreme consciousness. Supreme consciousness means that... Just like with my consciousness I can feel what is happening in my body, but with my consciousness I cannot feel what is going on in your body, similarly, you also cannot feel what is going on in my body. But the supreme consciousness is that which can know what is going on in your body, which is going on in my body, which is going on universally, everyone's body; He is, He knows. That is supreme consciousness.