74/03/22 Bombay, Bhagavad-gita 4.2
Pradyumna: (leads chanting): Translation: "This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost."
imam rajarsayo viduh
sa kaleneha mahata
yogo nastah parantapa
So the teachings of Bhagavad-gita, how it has to be received, that is explained here. It is not to be understood by so-called scholarship. In the Vedic literature we find, nayam atma pravacanena labhyo na medhaya na bahuna srutena. If you're actually interested in atma-jnana, self-realization, then you cannot understand by your so-called academic education. No. Nayam atma pravacanena... Or because you are a big speaker, you can speak very nicely, decorating language, therefore you have understood. That is also not possible. The spiritual knowledge has to be understood by the grace of the Supreme Spirit. Yam evaisa vrnute tena labhyah -- labhyah Katha Upanisad 1.2.23. One who is favored by the Supreme... Here Krsna, the Supreme Being, God, He's explaining about Himself. So you have to learn about God, or Krsna, from Krsna, or through the parampara. As Krsna says, evam parampara.
Parampara means Krsna explained the knowledge, Vedic knowledge, to Lord Brahma, adi-kavaye. Janmady asya yatah anvayat itaratas ca arthesu abhijnah sva-rat tene brahma hrda [SB 1.1.1]. The spiritual knowledge, brahma, brahma-vidya, sabda-brahma, the Vedic knowledge... Just like in the Bhagavad-gita, the words written in this book, Bhagavad-gita, although it appears like ordinary letters, they are not like that. It is Vedic vibration. The things which are being spoken by Krsna, they are not ordinary language. Had it been ordinary language, how...? Because it was written five thousand years ago. How it is still going on? There are many literatures written by great, great poets within two thousand, two hundred years, three hundred years, or, say, thousands of years. But they are being forgotten. But therefore the character of the Vedic knowledge, they are not material things. They're all spiritual. Why we are giving so much importance to the words of Krsna? Because this language is absolute. Krsna and Krsna's words, Krsna and Krsna's language, or Krsna's words, they are the same. Krsna and Krsna's forms... We are worshiping Krsna's form. That is also Krsna. Otherwise, are we wasting our time by decorating a doll, a statue, and we are struggling so hard to establish a temple of Krsna? No.
This science is unknown to the atheist class of men. The atheist class of men, they do not know the absolute nature of Krsna. Krsna, His name, His form, His quality, His pastimes, His instruction -- anything of Krsna -- that is Krsna. That is not different from Krsna. Abhinnatvan nama-naminoh. The shastric injunction is:
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
svayam eva sphuraty adah
Just like we cannot understand what is Krsna, what is God, general people. They do not know, because they have got blunt senses, material senses. Even in material world, we are seeing the sun every day, but we do not know how big it is. Or even if we see this motorcar... A child sees: he sees that it is automatically going, without any horse. He's amazed. But one who can see, he knows that there is machine, there is brain. So this is our position. Even to understand material things we are not perfect. Our senses are not perfect. How we can understand God? That is not possible, because we have got defects. Our senses are not perfect: I cannot see perfectly. I cannot smell perfectly. I cannot touch perfectly. I cannot hear perfectly. So many defects. I commit mistake. I become illusioned. I accept something for something. In this way, our position is very imperfect.
But in spite of possessing imperfect senses, people are proud of their knowledge. That is mistake. We are not concerned with imperfect knowledge. We want perfect knowledge. Therefore we are going to Bhagavad-gita. Otherwise what is the use? If it is an ordinary book -- you can interpret in your own way, I can interpret in my own way -- then what is the value of Bhagavad-gita with other books? No. It is not like that. Therefore the words of Krsna should be understood through the devotees: perfect channel. As Krsna..., Krsna says, imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1]. Avyayam, the... It is eternal. It is spiritual, avyayam. Avyayam means "that does not perish." Anything material, it perishes. But spirit soul, or spiritual anything, everything, that is imperishable, avyayam. So knowledge of Bhagavad-gita, as Krsna is avyayam, the spirit whole, whole spirit, param brahma, param dhama [Bg. 10.12], Supreme Spirit, similarly His words, Bhagavad-gita, is also spirit, Supreme Spirit. Abhinna. There is no distinction. Therefore we are giving so much importance to the... The so-called scholars may take it as ordinary book, but one who is serious about Bhagavad-gita, he does not take Bhagavad-gita, the words of Bhagavad-gita or the teachings of Bhagavad-gita, as ordinary teachings. This is confirmed. Therefore it is so important.
And it has to be received through the parampara channel. That I was explaining, (that) as Krsna is going to speak to Arjuna... Here it is said: sa evayam maya te 'dya yogah proktah puratanah [Bg. 4.3]. Next verse, it will explain. Bhakto 'si me priyo 'si sakha ceti rahasyam etad uttamam. Krsna will say. Because it is so important... It is a complete spiritual. Unless one is devotee... Devotee means complete spiritual. Any other one, if he's not a devotee, he is material. Karmi, jnani, yogi, they are all material. They're trying to utilize the material possessions. Karmis, they are trying to utilize this body for happiness. Whole day, night, they are working like ass for some sense gratification. Maya-sukhaya bharam udvahato vimudhan [SB 7.9.43]. Prahlada Maharaja says, "These rascals, unnecessarily they are working so hard like an ass just to get a morsel of food." That's all. Unnecessarily. Everyone is eating four capatis, but he's working so hard, like an ass. Well, ass also can get his share of foodstuff anywhere. The ass is so fool that he can get grass anywhere. It is for a few pieces of grass only, he's loading on his back so much burden from the washerman. He thinks that "The washerman is giving me this morsel of grass." He's so foolish that he can see there are grasses so many here and there. Still, he has agreed to take the burden. Therefore, he's an ass. Similarly, the karmis, you see in Bombay. There are so many karmis. They are working so hard. What is that? He's also eating less. Four capatis, that's all. But he does not think that "Four capatis, why I am working so hard and wasting my time?"
The life is meant for understanding what is my relationship with God. Athato brahma jijnasa. This is the vision of life: what is Brahman, what is God, what I am, what is my relationship with God. And so far eating, sleeping concerned, that is done by the cats and dogs. But the modern civilization, they are busy. Because they are busy for eating, sleeping and mating, they, by the laws of nature, that is also being minimized. I have already explained. Because the nature wants to help us because we are now forgotten souls. We have forgotten God. The animals have also forgotten God. They are thinking they are this body, bodily concept of life. They have no knowledge. But when you come to the, by evolutionary process, come to the human form of life, then it is your duty to inquire about the Supreme Brahman. That is Vedanta-sutra. Athato brahma jijnasa. "Now you have to ask about Brahman." Not the matter. So that Brahman is Vedic knowledge. From the material standard, gradually we have to go upwards and come to the point of understanding Krsna. That is Vedic knowledge. That is Vedic knowledge. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah [Bg. 15.15]. To pursue Vedic knowledge means to understand Krsna. But if you do not understand Krsna and if you speak as, like so many nonsense things, and if you pose yourself as pandita, that is srama eva hi kevalam. That is stated. Srama eva hi. Simply wasting time and laboring for nothing. Vasudeve bhagavati...
dharmah svanusthitah pumsam
notpadayed yadi ratim
srama eva hi kevalam
Now, dharma, everyone is executing his particular occupational duty very nicely. Brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra. I am speaking the organized society, not this animal society as at present. Even organized society, a brahmana is discharging his duties just like a brahmana. Satyam samo damas titiksa arjavam, jnanam vijnanam astikyam brahma-karma svabhava-jam. Still... Dharmah svanusthitah, he is very nicely executing his duty as a brahmana, but by executing such duties, if he does not develop Krsna consciousness, then srama eva hi kevalam. This is the verdict. Then he has wasted time. Because to become brahmana, perfect brahmana, means to know Brahman. Athato brahma jijnasa. And the Parabrahman, Supreme Brahman, is Krsna. So if he does not understand Krsna, then what is the use of his executing this brahmana's duty? That is the verdict of the sastra. Srama eva hi kevalam, simply wasting time.
Therefore one has to learn this science from the parampara system. Evam parampara-praptam [Bg. 4.2]. You have to go to the right person who knows Krsna. Evam parampara... Just like Surya, the Vivasvan, he was instructed by Krsna. So if you take instruction from Vivasvan, from the sun-god, then you get the perfect knowledge. But you cannot go to the sun planet and ask Vivasvan, "What Krsna spoke to you?" Therefore Vivasvan transferred the knowledge to his son, Manu. This age is called Vaivasvata Manu, this age. Now, Vivasvan, because he's the son of Vivasvan, therefore this Manu is called Vaivasvata Manu. Vaivasvata Manu. Now the age is going of Vaivasvata Manu. Manur iksvakave 'bravit. So Manu also spoke to his son. So in this way, evam parampara-praptam [Bg. 4.2], He's giving some examples, but the knowledge has to be received by the parampara. But some way or other, the parampara being lost... Just like I have spoken something to my disciple. He says the same thing to his disciple. He says the same thing to his disciple. But some way or other, if it is distorted at a certain point, then the knowledge is lost. As soon as any of the disciples in the succession distort the knowledge, then it is lost. That is being explained.
Sa kalena mahata. The time is very powerful. It changes. That is the... Time means it changes, kills the original position. You have got experience. You purchase one anything. It is very fresh, new. But time will kill it. It will become shabby. It will be useless at a time, in due course of time. So time is fighting. This material time, it is called kala. Kala means death. Or kala means the black snake. So black snake destroys. As soon as touches anything, it is destroyed. Similarly, kala... This kala is also another form of Krsna. So kalena mahata. Therefore it is called mahata. It is very powerful. It is not ordinary thing. Mahata. Its business is to destroy. Sa kalena iha nasta. So by due course of time... Because how the kala can destroy? As soon as kala sees that you are distorting, then it will be lost. So don't try to understand Bhagavad-gita from persons who are under the influence of kala -- past, present, future. Don't try to understand Bhagavad-gita from so-called rascal philosophers, commentators, and... They will write Bhagavad-gita in a distorted way. Somebody will say, "There was no Krsna. There was no Mahabharata." Somebody says, "Krsna stressed on this point," "Krsna stressed on that point." Somebody will say, "Krsna stressed on karma, karma-kanda." Somebody will say on jnana, and somebody will say yoga. There are so many editions of Bhagavad-gita. Yogi cartha, jnana artha, Gitar gan artha...
So the real Gitar gan is spoken by the Supreme Person, we have to accept that. That is Gitar gan. (sound of drums in background becoming increasing louder.) Not that I manufacture something as Gitar gan. (above drums, sound of horns) What is this? (pause) Marriage procession or what? That's all right. Don't...
Devotee: Supposed to have religion.(?)
Prabhupada: (pause) (more noises, yelling, etc.) What is this? (pause) No, no. We cannot stop their procession. (drums, etc., continue) They will stand here? No, why they are doing? Let them come. Don't ask. [break] ...find in this verse that evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh [Bg. 4.2]. Rajarsayah means king, raja, and rsayah. Raja means king. Formerly, the government was monarchy. So all the kings, all the government head men, they understood Bhagavad-gita. That is needed. This science, Bhagavad-gita, must be learned by the leaders. The society is managed by the leaders, by the kings, by the brahmanas. That is Vedic culture. The brahmanas, they give guidance according to the sastra, and the king is trained up in such a way that he takes instruction from the saintly persons and brahmanas and rules over the kingdom. Therefore it was so perfect.
We are aspiring after rama-rajya. Why rama-rajya? What is the difference between rama-rajya and this rajya? There is difference. Rama-rajya means responsible government. Even during the time of Lord Ramacandra, one brahmana's son died. So he went to the king to challenge that "What kind of king you are that in the presence of the father the son is dying?" This is responsible government. Responsible government means that a son cannot die before the presence of father. In the Maharaja Yudhisthira's time also, there was no anxiety, adhibhautika, adhidaivika, adhyatmika. These are stated in the sastra. They were so free, so, I mean to say, carefree. There was no care, no anxiety. Everyone was happy. You'll find in the Bhagavatam. As soon as there was enemy attack in the Dvaraka city, immediately the kings, royal family, Krsna's family, Pradyumna, His son, and others, immediately go out of the city and combat with the enemies. This was the system. People were very carefree. No care, no anxiety. That is the duty of the government. And how to keep the citizens carefree? That you require authorized instruction. That instruction is Bhagavad-gita.
So it is the duty of the government, the government officers, the head of the government -- they should learn Bhagavad-gita. Here it is said, evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh [Bg. 4.2]. The rajas, the kings, the government, they understood. Therefore the kingdom was so peaceful, without any cares for the citizens. The citizens were also trained up very nicely, brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra. Everyone is employed. It is the duty of the government to see that everyone is engaged. Otherwise, idle brain will manufacture devil's brain. They will manufacture so many things, and there will be chaos. In every country nowadays, all over the world, there is so much unemployment. Why there... Why one should be unemployed? He must be trained up in such a way that he's employed, he's engaged. This is the duty. So if you understand Bhagavad-gita, then you'll be able to train your students, your citizens, your subordinates, how to remain engaged. Just like in our Krsna consciousness society, we are simply after the people, whether he is engaged or not. There must be engagement. If one remains idle, then it will be devil's workshop. Immediately maya will dictate, "Do this, do this nonsense, do that nonsense, do that nonsense."
So it is the duty of the brahmana, it is the duty of the father, it is the duty of the public leader, it is the duty of the government to see that everyone is engaged, everyone is employed. As a brahmana, he must be engaged in studying Vedic literature for instructing others. That is brahmana's business. And ksatriya's business is to give protection. Just like Krsna was playing as a ksatriya in Dvaraka. As soon as there is some attack, immediately whole family goes to fight -- Krsna, Balarama, Pradyumna. You have seen in the Bhagavata. Ksatriya's business is to give protection, and vaisya's business is to give protection to the cows. As ksatriya's business is to give protection to the citizens, human being, similarly, vaisya's business is to give protection to the cows, not to send them to the slaughterhouse -- to see the cows are very well-fed, they are fatty, strong, that they must be given food, sufficient food.
So because they do not read Bhagavad-gita, they do not know how to maintain the whole society, therefore there is now chaos. Therefore it is needed. Imam rajarsayo viduh. The raja, the kings, the government, or the government, they must study Bhagavad-gita. Then it will be nice. Imam raja... And rsayah. Rsayah will give you... Rsayah means great saintly persons, the brahmanas. They should give to the government men... But who is consulting the saintly persons? Just like we are trying to preach this Bhagavad-gita. We are trying to give the essence of knowledge. Satatam kirtayanto mam yatantas ca drdha-vratah [Bg. 9.14]. Mahatma. The symptoms of mahatma is that he is always engaged in chanting the glories of the Lord. Satatam kirtayanto mam [Bg. 9.14]. The Bhagavad-gita says that catur-vidha bhajante mam: "Four classes of men comes to worship Me." Bhajana means seva. Seva. So seva means bhakti. Sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam, arcanam vandanam... [SB 7.5.23]. These are the seva formula. So the devotees are engaged in seva, in service of the Lord.
So catur-vidha bhajante mam. Bhajana, this sravanam kirtanam, this is bhajana. And who takes this bhajana program? Sukrtinah. Sukrtinah means one who is very pious. And now we are accused of creating nuisance. Bhajana, because we are engaged in bhajana. If we are engaged in drinking wine and playing cards with some prostitute, that is very advanced. That is very advanced society. He's peacefully drinking and playing cards with prostitute. He's advanced. And because he's chanting Hare Krsna, he's creating nuisance. This is the government. Therefore the first teaching of Bhagavad-gita should be taken by the persons who are going to be elected in the government service. The public should be aware of this. If somebody comes to canvass for votes, you should first inquire, "Whether you have read Bhagavad-gita? Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi showed Bhagavad-gita. Why should you not? Do you know what is Bhagavad-gita? Then I shall give you vote. Otherwise get out." Rajarsayo viduh. This is required now, if you want to be saved from the crisis that is coming very gradually. Crisis means there will be... Now in black market you can get things, means eatables, rice, wheat. But if you don't take to Bhagavad-gita, there will be no more even if you pay black price. Just time it... That time is coming. There will be no more available. There will be no milk. There will be no more sugar, sugar. There will be no more rice. There will be no more wheat. No more fruits. Then you have to eat meat. Oh, beef shop. Then that will go on. Then human shop also. Gradually come. You have to eat the human being also. Carnivores. So it is therefore a great necessity that rajarsayo viduh, raja, those who are government men, they must study Bhagavad-gita. Otherwise don't give them vote.
Thank you very much. (end)
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Bhagavad-gita 4.2 -- Bombay, March 22, 1974