Sunday, 1 July 2012

Bhagavad-gita Day 1 Part-1

Hare Krishna! So did everybody get the summary of the first six chapters? So today I will cover all the six chapters in one go. Are you all ready for that? With rapt attention? What is Bhagavad-Gita? Bhagavad-Gita is the essence of the Vedas. The Vedas are vast, therefore Vyasadeva considered, or Krishna actually considered, that the essence of theVedas should be given, presented for the conditioned souls, for the fallen degraded souls of the age of Kali. And that’s why He presented that in the Mahabharata, in the form of advising Arjuna. At a very critical time when the battle of Kurukshetra was about to begin, at that time Arjuna decided not to fight. He dropped his bow and arrows and he told Krishna, ‘Krishna I cannot fight in that way.’ And at that time Krishna started to advise Arjuna. And that advice that Krishna gave is the Bhagavad-Gita.Why Krishna wanted Arjuna to fight? There are two reasons. One is, this battle was Krishna’s arrangement. You remember that verse, yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata? (4.7) Then what does Krishna do? Paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam.(4.8) Krishna protects the sadhus, Krishna protects the devotees and he annihilates the demons. Therefore Krishna made that arrangement. During His 
Vrindavana pastimes He killed all the demons, then He left Vrindavana and went to Mathura and killed Kamsa. And then He killed many, many demons one after another. Then He made many other demons to be killed by His devotees like Bhima and Arjuna. And then finally that battle was arranged where all the demons put in one side and all devotees on the other side. And He caused a mass annihilation in order to re-establish 
dharma. Now, all this battle was arranged and now Arjuna said that he is not going to fight. That is why Krishna wanted to provoke Arjuna.Another reason is, that all the endeavours were made by so many devotees to stop the battle. So many learned, wise individuals advised them. Vyasadeva personally came to 
advise Duryodhana. Bhisma told, Vidura told, Gandhari told – but Duryodhana was adamant. Finally Krishna Himself went as a messenger with a peace proposal. But Duryodhana what to speak of listening to Him, he decided to arrest Krishna. He thought if Krishna is not there with the Pandavas, then the Pandavas will become absolutely week and to win over them will be easy for us. So he thought that he will arrest Krishna. At that time Krishna showed His universal form.All the efforts had already been made, and Duryodhana was adamant, completely adamant to fight the battle. And now when the battle is all set, after all these efforts of peace proposals, then Arjuna said that he will not fight. So Krishna started to advice 
Arjuna about Bhagavad-Gita. And the apparent objective of Bhagavad-Gita was to provoke Arjuna into the battle. But the ulterior purpose of Bhagavad-gita is to give it to us, so that we can receive that knowledge. That has been very wonderfully described in the Gita-mahatmya. ‘Sarvopanishado gavo dogdha Gopalanandanaha, vatsaha partho sudhirbhokta dugdham Gitamritam mahat. Sarvopanishado gavo. All the Upanishads are like a cow and Krishna is the cowherd boy who milks the cow, making Arjuna the object 
of that milking. The cow gives milk for the sake of the calf. Because of the calf the cow gives the milk. But the calf doesn’t drink all the milk. Who drinks the milk? Human beings drink milk. So here Arjuna is the nimitte. Arjuna is the objective through whom the Gita was presented. But who drinks this Bhagavad-gita? This nectar of BhagavadGita? Su-dhih. Those, who have very advanced intelligence. Those, who have very 
beautiful intelligence,. This word ‘su’ can indicates ‘sundara’ which is beautiful intelligence; another is advanced intelligence. People with advanced intelligence can relish Bhagavad-Gita. So that is the purpose of Bhagavad-Gita and in this way, Krishna actually derives the essence of the Vedas.The Vedas have two branches: one branch is Upanishads and the other branch is Puranas. So the essence of Upanishads is Bhagavad-gita and the essence of all the Puranas is the Srimad Bhagavatam. That is why these two scriptures are absolutely essential. If anybody wants to understand the wisdom of the Vedas, the teachings of the Vedas, then these are the two scriptures that are absolutely essential. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu established these teachings through Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. All our Acaryas have 
done that and finally Srila Prabhupada also established the Krishna Consciousness
movement on the basis of these two scriptures. You see the importance of these two
scriptures. In the morning we study Srimad Bhagavatam and in the evening we study
Bhagavad-Gita. So in this way Srila Prabhupada established the importance of these two
scriptures. Bhagavad-Gita is very, very important. Bhagavad-Gita is a preliminary study.
You begin your spiritual study with Bhagavad-gita. And then the advanced course is
Srimad-Bhagavatam. And the post graduate course is Caitanya-Caritamrita.
In the first chapter it has been described how Arjuna decided not to fight but Krishna
insisted that he must. He convinced him. Arjuna is actually telling Krishna that he is not
going to fight. Then, from the second chapter onwards Krishna’s instructions begin. So
Krishna lets Arjuna speak. …
Second chapter of Bhagavad-Gita is known as Sankhya-yoga. But Srila Prabhupada
actually titled it as ‘the summary of the Bhagavad-Gita summarized’. The second chapter
gives the summary of the Bhagavad-Gita. Now, Sankhya is the analytical study, you
analyse. We see that’s what Krishna is doing. Krishna is telling Arjuna the difference
between the body and the soul. Arjuna gives various reasons why he won’t be able to
fight this battle. Why he should not fight this battle. And it is a very difficult battle to
fight as it is. Battle is a serious business. When a warrior, when a ksatriya goes into a
battlefield he goes there only with two options open to him – either he will win the battle
or he will die. He goes to the battlefield of course with an intention to win but at the same
time he knows and his family members know, when somebody goes into a battle the
chances of his not coming back is also there. The ksatriya accordingly it seems so they
are enjoying so much, they are having a living a royal life, and so much enjoyment and so
much fun, but actually the ksatriyas lives are very, very critical and crucial. Can you
imagine, the young man goes to the battlefield, and not only the king but all his soldiers
and many of them die. And sometimes the king himself dies. And all of a sudden the
whole family lost everything. They lost their kingdom because they have been defeated
by their enemy. It is actually very painful. That is what has been pointed out in
Bhagavad-gita. What does the mode of passion lead to? Mode of passion actually leads to
suffering. The effort is there, the endeavour is there to enjoy but eventually it ends up in
suffering. Mode of passion leads to suffering. It is only in the mode of goodness that one
can be situated in happiness. The real happiness is in the mode of goodness. And the
spiritual bliss is even beyond the mode of goodness, in the mode of pure goodness,
visuddha tattva. Therefore an intelligent person becomes situated in the mode of
goodness and transcends the mode of goodness and comes to the spiritual goodness or
pure goodness.
Arjuna is there in the battlefield and he says that he can not kill his guru, his grandfather.
He is saying. He is telling Krishna, ‘how can I kill my grandfather? How could I shot
arrows – katham bhismam aham sankye dronam ca madhusudana isubhih pratiyotsyami
(2.4), isubhih means with arrows, pratiyosyami with contest. Not only that I will shot
arrows at them, they will also shot arrows at me. It’s a very difficult situation. So he said,
I’m not going to fight this battle. And Krishna heard, Krishna heard, Krishna heard
silently. Then finally when Arjuna says, ‘Krishna, I do not know what to do. I am
completely confused. Now You please tell me what I should do. I’m assuming the role of
Your disciple. I’m becoming Your disciple which means I am accepting You as my
spiritual master.’ So when Arjuna submitted himself to Krishna then only Krishna started
to advise him. So here also we learn one lesson, unless and until we surrender to Krishna,
Krishna is not going to take our responsibility. Sometimes people say, why Krishna is
doing this to me, why Krishna is not doing that to me? But the point is, are you
surrendering yourself to Krishna? If you are surrendering yourself to Krishna, Krishna
will take your responsibility. There is no doubt about that. Krishna Himself is giving that
assure. So you surrender and Krishna will take control.
When Arjuna surrendered himself to Krishna, and accepted Him as his spiritual master,
then Krishna started to advise him. And those advices are so wonderful. And that is what
constitutes Bhagavad-Gita. When Krishna started to speak, the first thing Krishna told
Arjuna, ‘Arjuna, you are speaking like a wise man but you don’t know anything.
Asocyan anvasocas tvam – you are lamenting over things that one should not lament for.
And yet prajna-vadams ca bhasase – you are speaking like a wise man. So He just
smashed him straight away. And then He started to give him the advice. ‘Arjuna, you are
lamenting that you will kill your grandfather, you will kill these kings and your friends
and relatives, but there was never a time when they were not here and there will never be
a time when they will not be here. There was never a time when you, I, all these kings
were not here and there will never be a time when they will not be here.’ Now, who is
that, that will always be here? Who has been in the past, has presented at the moment and
will continue to be there in the future? Who is that? The soul. And then Krishna made
that point also very clear. The difference between the body and the soul. That is why
Bhagavad-Gita is actually very scientific. Bhagavad-Gita is a science. It is the science of
the spiritual reality. We have different sciences, sciences of physics, science of chemistry,
science of mathematics. There are so many different sciences. Those are the sciences of
material subject matters. But this is the science of the spiritual reality. The science of the
soul. The science of the soul will lead to the spiritual nature. And eventually it will lead
to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore study this subject properly. Then
Krishna actually makes this point in very simple way. It is so simple, yet so profound.
Just see, the body and the soul. Krishna is establishing the two different elements. He is
saying that the body changes from childhood to boyhood to youth, to old age. The body
changes but the person doesn’t change. So in spite of the change of the body you are not
changing. None of us is changing. Our body is changing but we are the same persons. I at
a five year old, I at the age of fifteen, I at the age of twenty-five and I at the age of sixtyfour. I am the same person although my body changed. And so Krishna is making a
conclusion, that in spite of the changing of the body the person does not change. So when
the body will not be there, still the person will be there. In this way He is establishing the
eternity of the soul. Dehino ‘smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara tatha dehantarapraptir. (2.13) Tatha – just as the body changes. But in spite of the change of the body the
person doesn’t change. So when the person will leave the body he will take up another
body. Dehantara-praptir. And dhiras tatra na muhyatia, a person situated in knowlage
doesn’t lament over that change of the body. And then He establishes the characteristics
of the soul. Na jayate mriyate va kadacin. (2.20) The soul is never born nor the will ever
die. The soul cannot be destroyed by anything. The body can be killed but soul cannot be
killed. The body can be killed by weapons, the body can be killed by fire, the body can be
drowned in water. In this way, the can be killed in so many ways. Nainam chindanti
sastrani nainam dahati pavakah. (2.23) The soul cannot be cut by any weapon, the soul
cannot be burned by fire, the soul cannot be drowned in water, the soul cannot be dried
by air. Avinasi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idam tatam. (2.17) So therefore you recognize
that the soul is indestructible. The soul is eternal, first He established, then He established
that the soul is indestructible. And in this way, Krishna dealt with the initial aspect of the
differentiating the soul from the body. Unfortunately in the material nature we identified
ourselves with the body. And that is the cause of our suffering, the cause of our distress.
Because we are identified ourselves with the body we are so frustrated. Frustrated why?
Because we are actually hankering for the, our hankerings are spiritual. Our hankerings
are from the soul. We are conscious beings, we are desiring. There is another
consideration. The characteristic of the soul is consciousness. The characteristic of the
soul is to desire. And when the desire is fulfilled, there is happiness. Now the problem is
that our desires are spiritual and we are trying to achieve those desires, fulfil those desires
through this material body. So that is why our desires are never fulfilled. And we are
always ending up in disappointment and frustration. And that is the cause of our
suffering. The soul is eternal, we don’t want to die. Because we are eternal by nature. We
want to be eternal. But we are trying to attain that immortality or eternity through the