Article May 31, 2017
यत्र योगेश्वरः कृष्णो यत्र पार्थो धनुर्धरः ।तत्र श्रीर्विजयो भूतिर्ध्रुवा नीतिर्मतिर्मम ॥
भावार्थ : हे राजन! जहाँ योगेश्वर भगवान श्रीकृष्ण हैं और जहाँ गाण्डीव-धनुषधारी अर्जुन है, वहीं पर श्री, विजय, विभूति और अचल नीति है- ऐसा मेरा मत है ॥78॥
ॐ तत्सदिति श्रीमद्भगवद्गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्मविद्यायां योगशास्त्रे
श्रीकृष्णार्जुनसंवादे मोक्षसन्न्यासयोगो नामाष्टादशोऽध्यायः॥18॥
Wherever there is Kṛṣṇa, the master of all mystics, and wherever there is Arjuna, the supreme archer, there will also certainly be opulence, victory, extraordinary power, and morality. That is my opinion.
The Bhagavad-gītā began with an inquiry of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was hopeful of the victory of his sons, assisted by great warriors like Bhīṣma, Droṇa and Karṇa. He was hopeful that the victory would be on his side. But, after describing the scene in the battlefield, Sañjaya told the King, "You are thinking of victory, but my opinion is that where Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna are present, there will be all good fortune." He directly confirmed that Dhṛtarāṣṭra could not expect victory for his side. Victory was certain for the side of Arjuna because Kṛṣṇa was there. Kṛṣṇa's acceptance of the post of charioteer for Arjuna was an exhibition of another opulence. Kṛṣṇa is full of all opulences, and renunciation is one of them. There are many instances of such renunciation, for Kṛṣṇa is also the master of renunciation.
The fight was actually between Duryodhana and Yudhiṣṭhira. Arjuna was fighting on behalf of his elder brother, Yudhiṣṭhira. Because Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna were on the side of Yudhiṣṭhira, Yudhiṣṭhira's victory was certain. The battle was to decide who would rule the world, and Sañjaya predicted that the power would be transferred to Yudhiṣṭhira. It is also predicted here that Yudhiṣṭhira, after gaining victory in this battle, would flourish more and more because he was not only righteous and pious, but he was a strict moralist. He never spoke a lie during his life.
There are many less intelligent persons who take Bhagavad-gītā to be a discussion of topics between two friends in a battlefield. But such a book cannot be scripture. Some may protest that Kṛṣṇa incited Arjuna to fight, which is immoral, but the reality of the situation is clearly stated: Bhagavad-gītā is the supreme instruction in morality. The supreme instruction of morality is stated in the Ninth Chapter, in the thirty-fourth verse: manmanā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ. One must become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, and the essence of all religion is to surrender unto Kṛṣṇa, as stated, Sarva-dharmān. The instructions of Bhagavad-gītāconstitute the supreme process of religion and of morality. All other processes may be purifying and may lead to this process, but the last instruction of the Gītā is the last word in all morality and religion: surrender unto Kṛṣṇa. This is the verdict of the Eighteenth Chapter.
From Bhagavad-gītā we can understand that to realize oneself by philosophical speculation and by meditation is one process, but to fully surrender unto Kṛṣṇa is the highest perfection. This is the essence of the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā. The path of regulative principles according to the orders of social life and according to the different courses of religion may be a confidential path of knowledge in as far as the rituals of religion are confidential, but one is still involved with meditation and cultivation of knowledge. Surrender unto Kṛṣṇa in devotional service in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the most confidential instruction and is the essence of the Eighteenth Chapter.
Another feature of Bhagavad-gītā is that the actual truth is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. Absolute Truth is realized in three features-impersonal Brahman, localized Paramātmā, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. Perfect knowledge of the Absolute Truth means perfect knowledge of Kṛṣṇa. If one understands Kṛṣṇa, then all the departments of knowledge are part and parcel of that understanding. Kṛṣṇa is transcendental, for He is always situated in His eternal internal potency. The living entities are manifested and are divided into two classes, eternally conditioned and eternally liberated. Such living entities are innumerable, and they are considered fundamental parts of Kṛṣṇa. Material energy is manifested into twenty-four divisions. The creation is effected by eternal time, and it is created and dissolved by external energy. This manifestation of the cosmic world repeatedly becomes visible and invisible.
In Bhagavad-gītā five principal subject matters have been discussed: the Supreme Personality of Godhead, material nature, the living entities, eternal time and all kinds of activities. All of these are dependant on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. All conceptions of the Absolute Truth, namely, impersonal Brahman, localized Paramātmā, or any other transcendental conception, exist within the category of understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although superficially the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the living entity, material nature and time appear to be different, nothing is different from the Supreme. But the Supreme is always different from everything. Lord Caitanya's philosophy is that of "inconceivably one and different." This system of philosophy constitutes perfect knowledge of the Absolute Truth.
The living entity in his original position is pure spirit. He is just like an atomic particle of the Supreme Spirit. The conditioned living entity, however, is the marginal energy of the Lord; he tends to be in contact with both the material energy and the spiritual energy. In other words, the living entity is situated between the two energies of the Lord, and because he belongs to the superior energy of the Lord, he has a particle of independence. By proper use of that independence he comes under the direct order of Kṛṣṇa. Thus he attains his normal condition in the pleasure-giving potency.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the Eighteenth Chapter of the Śrīmad-Bhagavad-gītā in the matter of its Conclusions-the Perfection of Renunciation.
राजन्संस्मृत्य संस्मृत्य संवादमिममद्भुतम् ।केशवार्जुनयोः पुण्यं हृष्यामि च मुहुर्मुहुः ॥
तच्च संस्मृत्य संस्मृत्य रूपमत्यद्भुतं हरेः ।विस्मयो मे महान् राजन्हृष्यामि च पुनः पुनः ॥
भावार्थ : हे राजन! भगवान श्रीकृष्ण और अर्जुन के इस रहस्ययुक्त, कल्याणकारक और अद्भुत संवाद को पुनः-पुनः स्मरण करके मैं बार-बार हर्षित हो रहा हूँ ॥76॥
भावार्थ : हे राजन्! श्रीहरि (जिसका स्मरण करने से पापों का नाश होता है उसका नाम 'हरि' है) के उस अत्यंत विलक्षण रूप को भी पुनः-पुनः स्मरण करके मेरे चित्त में महान आश्चर्य होता है और मैं बार-बार हर्षित हो रहा हूँ ॥77॥
O King, when I remember the wonderful form of Lord Kṛṣṇa, I am struck with even greater wonder, and I rejoice again and again.
The understanding of Bhagavad-gītā is so transcendental that anyone who becomes conversant with the topics of Arjuna and Kṛṣṇa becomes righteous, and he cannot forget such talks. This is the transcendental position of spiritual life. In other words, one who hears the Gītā from the right source, directly from Kṛṣṇa, attains full Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The result of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is that one becomes increasingly enlightened, and he enjoys life with a thrill, not only for some time, but at every moment.
It appears that Sañjaya also, by the grace of Vyāsa, could see the universal form of Kṛṣṇa exhibited to Arjuna. It is, of course, said that Lord Kṛṣṇa never exhibited such a form before. It was exhibited to Arjuna only, yet some great devotees could also see the universal form of Kṛṣṇa when it was shown to Arjuna, and Vyāsa was one of them. He is one of the great devotees of the Lord, and he is considered to be a powerful incarnation of Kṛṣṇa. Vyāsa disclosed this to his disciple, Sañjaya, who remembered that wonderful form of Kṛṣṇa exhibited to Arjuna and enjoyed it repeatedly.
इत्यहं वासुदेवस्य पार्थस्य च महात्मनः ।संवादमिममश्रौषमद्भुतं रोमहर्षणम् ॥
व्यासप्रसादाच्छ्रुतवानेतद्गुह्यमहं परम् ।योगं योगेश्वरात्कृष्णात्साक्षात्कथयतः स्वयम्॥
भावार्थ :संजय बोले- इस प्रकार मैंने श्री वासुदेव के और महात्मा अर्जुन के इस अद्भुत रहस्ययुक्त, रोमांचकारक संवाद को सुना ॥74॥
भावार्थ :श्री व्यासजी की कृपा से दिव्य दृष्टि पाकर मैंने इस परम गोपनीय योग को अर्जुन के प्रति कहते हुए स्वयं योगेश्वर भगवान श्रीकृष्ण से प्रत्यक्ष सुना ॥75॥
In the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā, Dhṛtarāṣṭra inquired from his secretary Sañjaya, "What happened in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra?" The entire study was related to the heart of Sañjaya by the grace of his spiritual master, Vyāsa. He thus explained the theme of the battlefield. The conversation was wonderful because such an important conversation between two great souls never took place before and would not take place again. It is wonderful because the Supreme Personality of Godhead is speaking about Himself and His energies to the living entity, Arjuna, a great devotee of the Lord. If we follow in the footsteps of Arjuna to understand Kṛṣṇa, then our life will be happy and successful. Sañjaya realized this, and as he began to understand it, he related the conversation to Dhṛtarāṣṭra. Now it is concluded that wherever there is Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, there is victory.
Vyāsa was the spiritual master of Sañjaya, and Sañjaya admits that it was by his mercy that he could understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This means that one has to understand Kṛṣṇa not directly but through the medium of the spiritual master. The spiritual master is the transparent medium, although it is true that the experience is direct. This is the mystery of the disciplic succession. When the spiritual master is bona fide, then one can hear Bhagavad-gītā directly, as Arjuna heard it. There are many mystics and yogīs all over the world, but Kṛṣṇa is the master of all yoga systems. Kṛṣṇa's instruction is explicitly stated in Bhagavad-gītā-surrender unto Krṣṇa. One who does so is the topmost yogī. This is confirmed in the last verse of the Sixth Chapter. Yoginām api sarveṣām.
Nārada is the direct disciple of Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master of Vyāsa. Therefore Vyāsa is as bona fide as Arjuna because he comes in the disciplic succession, and Sañjaya is the direct disciple of Vyāsa. Therefore by the grace of Vyāsa, his senses were purified, and he could see and hear Kṛṣṇa directly. One who directly hears Kṛṣṇa can understand this confidential knowledge. If one does not come to the disciplic succession, he cannot hear Kṛṣṇa; therefore his knowledge is always imperfect, at least as far as understanding Bhagavad-gītā is concerned.
In Bhagavad-gītā, all the yoga systems, karma-yoga, jñāna-yoga and bhakti-yoga, are explained. Kṛṣṇa is the master of all such mysticism. It is to be understood, however, that as Arjuna was fortunate enough to understand Kṛṣṇa directly, similarly, by the grace of Vyāsa, Sañjaya was also able to hear Kṛṣṇa directly. Actually there is no difference in hearing directly from Kṛṣṇa or hearing directly from Kṛṣṇa via a bona fide spiritual master like Vyāsa. The spiritual master is the representative of Vyāsadeva also. According to the Vedic system, on the birthday of the spiritual master, the disciples conduct the ceremony called Vyāsa-pūjā.
कच्चिदेतच्छ्रुतं पार्थ त्वयैकाग्रेण चेतसा ।कच्चिदज्ञानसम्मोहः प्रनष्टस्ते धनञ्जय ॥
नष्टो मोहः स्मृतिर्लब्धा त्वप्रसादान्मयाच्युत ।स्थितोऽस्मि गतसंदेहः करिष्ये वचनं तव ॥
भावार्थ : हे पार्थ! क्या इस (गीताशास्त्र) को तूने एकाग्रचित्त से श्रवण किया? और हे धनञ्जय! क्या तेरा अज्ञानजनित मोह नष्ट हो गया?॥72॥
भावार्थ : अर्जुन बोले- हे अच्युत! आपकी कृपा से मेरा मोह नष्ट हो गया और मैंने स्मृति प्राप्त कर ली है, अब मैं संशयरहित होकर स्थिर हूँ, अतः आपकी आज्ञा का पालन करूँगा ॥73॥
O conqueror of wealth, Arjuna, have you heard this attentively with your mind? And are your illusions and ignorance now dispelled?(72)
Arjuna said, My dear Kṛṣṇa, O infallible one, my illusion is now gone. I have regained my memory by Your mercy, and I am now firm and free from doubt and am prepared to act according to Your instructions.(73)
The Lord was acting as the spiritual master of Arjuna. Therefore it was His duty to inquire from Arjuna whether he understood the whole Bhagavad-gītā in its proper perspective. If not, the Lord was ready to re-explain any point, or the whole Bhagavad-gītāif so required. Actually, anyone who hears Bhagavad-gītā from a bona fide spiritual master like Kṛṣṇa or His representative will find that all his ignorance is dispelled. Bhagavad-gītā is not an ordinary book written by a poet or fiction writer; it is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Any person, if he is fortunate enough to hear these teachings from Kṛṣṇa or from His bona fide spiritual representative, is sure to become a liberated person and get out of the darkness of ignorance.
The constitutional position of a living entity, represented by Arjuna, is that he has to act according to the order of the Supreme Lord. He is meant for self-discipline. Śrī CaitanyaMahāprabhu says that the actual position of the living entity is that of eternal servant of the Supreme Lord. Forgetting this principle, the living entity becomes conditioned by material nature, but in serving the Supreme Lord, he becomes the liberated servant of God. The living entity's constitutional position is to be servitor; he either has to serve the illusory māyā or the Supreme Lord. If he serves the Supreme Lord, he is in his normal condition, but if he prefers to serve the illusory external energy, then certainly he will be in bondage. In illusion the living entity is serving in this material world. He is bound by his lust and desires, yet he thinks of himself as the master of the world. This is called illusion. When a person is liberated, his illusion is over, and he voluntarily surrenders unto the Supreme to act according to His desires. The last illusion, the last snare of māyā to trap the living entity, is the proposition that he is God. The living entity thinks that he is no longer a conditioned soul, but God. He is so unintelligent that he does not think that if he were God, then how could he be in doubt? That he does not consider. So that is the last snare of illusion. Actually to become free from the illusory energy is to understand Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and agree to act according to His order. The word mohaḥ is very important in this verse. Mohaḥ refers to that which is opposed to knowledge. Actually real knowledge is the understanding that every living being is eternally servitor of the Lord, but instead of thinking oneself in that position, the living entity thinks that he is not servant, that he is the master of this material world, for he wants to lord it over the material nature. That is his illusion. This illusion can be overcome by the mercy of the Lord or by the mercy of a pure devotee. When that illusion is over, one agrees to act in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Kṛṣṇa consciousness is acting according to Kṛṣṇa's order. A conditioned soul illusioned by the external energy of matter does not know that the Supreme Lord is the master who is full of knowledge and who is the proprietor of everything. Whatever He desires He can bestow upon His devotees; He is the friend of everyone, and He is especially inclined to His devotee. He is the controller of this material nature and of all living entities. He is also the controller of inexhaustible time, and He is full of all opulences and all potencies. The Supreme Personality of Godhead can even give Himself to the devotee. One who does not know Him is under the spell of illusion; he does not become a devotee, but a servitor of māyā. Arjuna, however, after hearing Bhagavad-gītā from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, became free from all illusion. He could understand that Kṛṣṇa was not only his friend, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And he understood Kṛṣṇa factually. So to study Bhagavad-gītā is to understand Kṛṣṇa factually. When a person is in full knowledge, he naturally surrenders to Kṛṣṇa. When Arjuna understood that it was Kṛṣṇa's plan to reduce the unnecessary increase of population, he agreed to fight according to Kṛṣṇa's desire. He again took up his weapons-his arrows and bow-to fight under the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
श्रद्धावाननसूयश्च श्रृणुयादपि यो नरः ।सोऽपि मुक्तः शुभाँल्लोकान्प्राप्नुयात्पुण्यकर्मणाम् ॥
भावार्थ : जो मनुष्य श्रद्धायुक्त और दोषदृष्टि से रहित होकर इस गीताशास्त्र का श्रवण भी करेगा, वह भी पापों से मुक्त होकर उत्तम कर्म करने वालों के श्रेष्ठ लोकों को प्राप्त होगा ॥71॥
In the 67th verse of this chapter, the Lord explicitly forbade the Gītā's being spoken to those who are envious of the Lord. In other words, Bhagavad-gītā is for the devotees only, but it so happens that sometimes a devotee of the Lord will hold open class, and in that class all the students are not expected to be devotees. Why do such persons hold open class? It is explained here that although everyone is not a devotee, still there are many men who are not envious of Kṛṣṇa. They have faith in Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If such persons hear from a bona fide devotee about the Lord, the result is that they become at once free from all sinful reactions and after that attain to the planetary system where all righteous persons are situated. Therefore simply by hearing Bhagavad-gītā, even a person who does not try to be a pure devotee attains the result of righteous activities. Thus a pure devotee of the Lord gives everyone a chance to become free from all sinful reactions and to become a devotee of the Lord.
Generally those who are free from sinful reaction are righteous. Such persons very easily take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The word puṇya-karmaṇām is very significant here. This refers to the performance of great sacrifice. Those who are righteous in performing devotional service but who are not pure can attain the planetary system of the polestar, or Dhruvaloka, where Dhruva Mahārāja is presiding. He is a great devotee of the Lord, and he has a special planet which is called the polestar.
अध्येष्यते च य इमं धर्म्यं संवादमावयोः ।ज्ञानयज्ञेन तेनाहमिष्टः स्यामिति मे मतिः ॥
भावार्थ : जो पुरुष इस धर्ममय हम दोनों के संवाद रूप गीताशास्त्र को पढ़ेगा, उसके द्वारा भी मैं ज्ञानयज्ञ (गीता अध्याय 4 श्लोक 33 का अर्थ देखना चाहिए।) से पूजित होऊँगा- ऐसा मेरा मत है ॥70॥
And I declare that he who studies this sacred conversation worships Me by his intelligence.
न च तस्मान्मनुष्येषु कश्चिन्मे प्रियकृत्तमः ।भविता न च मे तस्मादन्यः प्रियतरो भुवि ॥
भावार्थ : उससे बढ़कर मेरा प्रिय कार्य करने वाला मनुष्यों में कोई भी नहीं है तथा पृथ्वीभर में उससे बढ़कर मेरा प्रिय दूसरा कोई भविष्य में होगा भी नहीं ॥69॥
There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear.
The difference between material and spiritual life is our perception. How we see the reality around us. According to our conditionings, the species of life we are in, the various designations we have identified with, our desires and our ego, everything is being filtered and creates a perception.
A simple analogy. If you wear rose colored glasses everything looks rosy. So we, the soul, are perceiving life through the ego, then the intelligence, then the mind and the five senses. So what is real? Spiritual life is not about interpreting reality according to our different conceptions and conditionings. Real spiritual life is about waking up to the internal underlying substance of truth that is within everything.
So how to go from illusion to reality? Be quite convinced of our present condition and the inaccuracies of what the world is so strongly generating today. When the blind lead the blind they both fall into the ditch. Therefore, the realizations from other conditioned souls are based upon an ascending form trying to figure things out. But ahoksaja means revealed knowledge, evidence that is revealed from God, descending down.
When you buy a complicated piece of machinery there is an owner’s manual from the manufacturer, as they know how it works and what it is for. The manuals for this world are called the Vedas or holy scriptures that have been revealed throughout the ages in different places at different times according to the capacity of people to digest. But the truth is the same.
Therefore, if you want to look for real substance, meaning and truth in life, then you have to come out from amongst men and be separate as the scriptures say. So anyone who sincerely and honestly questions their existence and leaves behind all their preconceived indoctrinations could easily understand I am not this body but the consciousness, the life force within this body seeing through the eyes, tasting through the tongue and loving through the heart.
This world is a place to cultivate life’s perfection rather than forget it. Our eternal nature is to serve God and in that nature we realize God’s love which is the essential aspiration of every living being – to find the pleasure of perfect love. Its why people murder, steal, drink and get intoxicated with drugs, gamble, watch TV and go to the movies, give charity to others, get married and have children or look into religion. If you examine every motivation that every human being has, its for the desire for pleasure or the reaction to the frustration of not getting pleasure. Yet there is only one pleasure that can truly satisfy the heart and that is pleasure of love. If you have everything else but you don’t have people who love you and you don’t have people you love, your life is miserable and lonely and empty.
So this is reality and why do we all have that in common? Because our nature is to love God and are seeking that love in everything and anything at all times and that love is within our own hearts. So reality is on the spiritual platform – to see everything in relationship to the truth in relation to God. This realization can be easily understood and realized through the same process we have been conditioned to forget the truth – by our association.
So we need to transform our conditioned habits to spiritual habits and the most powerful way is to chant the names of God. The names can reveal our true identity and uncover the blissful life that is buried within our hearts. So go deep into the contemplation of what you really want in life. Don’t be exploited by the jargon and propaganda of the illusions of this world. Search for light, truth and and real love. – Radhanath Swami
य इमं परमं गुह्यं मद्भक्तेष्वभिधास्यति ।भक्तिं मयि परां कृत्वा मामेवैष्यत्यसंशयः ॥
भावार्थ : जो पुरुष मुझमें परम प्रेम करके इस परम रहस्ययुक्त गीताशास्त्र को मेरे भक्तों में कहेगा, वह मुझको ही प्राप्त होगा- इसमें कोई संदेह नहीं है ॥68॥
Generally it is advised that Bhagavad-gītā be discussed amongst the devotees only, for those who are not devotees will neither understand Kṛṣṇa nor Bhagavad-gītā. Those who do not accept Kṛṣṇa as He is and Bhagavad-gītā as it is should not try to explain Bhagavad-gītā whimsically and become offenders. Bhagavad-gītā should be explained to persons who are ready to accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is a subject matter for the devotees only and not for philosophical speculators. Anyone, however, who tries sincerely to present Bhagavad-gītā as it is will advance in devotional activities and reach the pure devotional state of life. As a result of such pure devotion, he is sure to go back home, back to Godhead.