Infallibility and fallibility – this is an important distinction between God and ordinary conditioned living entities like us
senayor ubhayor madhye
ratham sthapaya me 'cyuta
yavad etan nirikse 'ham
kair maya saha yoddhavyam
Arjuna said: O infallible one, please draw my chariot between the two armies so that I may see who is present here, who is desirous of fighting, and with whom I must contend in this great battle attempt.
How are we fallen entities?
Here Krishna is addressed as Acyuta. Cyuta means “fallen,” and acyuta means “not fallen.” We all are fallen conditioned souls. In this material world we have come with an enjoying spirit. Therefore we are fallen. If one keeps his position rightly, he does not fall. Otherwise he is degraded. That is fallen condition. All the living entities within this material world, beginning from Brahma down to the small insignificant ant, are all fallen conditioned souls. Why are they fallen?
When the living entities are under the clutches of this material energy, he is considered fallen. Just like when a man is under police custody, it is to be understood that he is a criminal, a person who has fallen down from good citizenship. Similarly, we are all parts and parcels of Krishna . mamaivamso jiva-loke jiva-bhutah [Gita15.7]. As part and parcel, our position is to live with Krishna . Just like this finger, a part and parcel of my body. The finger must remain attached with this body. When this finger is cut off and fallen, although it is finger, it is no longer as important as it was formerly when it was attached with this body. So anyone who is not attached with the service of the Supreme Lord, he is fallen. This is the conclusion.
Whether in the dress of a man or a woman, all
living entities are considered to be prakrti, or female
Krishna's Infallible Position
Krishna , however, is not fallen. In fact, He comes to reclaim us from our fallen position. yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjamy aham [Gita 4.7]
Krishna says, “I appear when there are discrepancies in the occupational duties of the living entities.” Dharmasya glanir bhavati. The English dictionary says religion is “a kind of faith,” but we don’t translate dharma as religion. Faith can be changed, dharma is something that cannot be changed. If it is changed, it must be artificial. Just like the water: Water is liquid in its natural state, but when it is too cold, it becomes hard, and is called ice – an unnatural state.
Similarly when we are detached from the service of the Lord, we fall into an unnatural position. Our natural position is to remain engaged in the service of the Lord. Krishna says, bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram [Gita 5.29]: “I am the proprietor, I am the enjoyer.” This is the Krishna's position. He never falls down that position. Krishna is the real enjoyer, and He always remains in that position. He never falls down. He never comes to the position of being enjoyed. That is not possible. If you want to bring Krishna to the position of being enjoyed, then you are defeated. Being enjoyed means keeping Krishna in front, I want to get some profit of sense gratification. That is our unnatural position. Krishna will never agree. Krishna cannot be enjoyed. He is always the enjoyer and proprietor.
Therefore a Vaisnava kavi says Krishna bhuliya jiva bhoga vancha kare. When a living entity forgets Krishna , he falls into the unnatural position of enjoying sense gratification. Forgetting Krishna means to forget this position of Krishna , that He is the Supreme enjoyer and proprietor. As soon as I think that “I am enjoyer, I am proprietor,” this is my fallen stage. Krishna bhuliya jiva bhoga vancha kare. Then japatiya dhare: maya immediately captures us.
Therefore a conditioned soul is struggling for existence. He is trying to be the enjoyer, the proprietor. That is his artificial way of life. Just like a woman wanting to become a man is artificial. In the western countries sometimes we see women artificially dressing like men, with hat and coat, riding on horse. Similarly, our position here in this material world is artificial. We are trying to imitate the Supreme Man.
Who is Male and Female?
Actually the living entities are described in the Bhagavad-gita as prakrti. Prakrti means woman. And purusa means man. So the living entities are never described as purusa. The only purusa is Krishna . Purusam sasvatam. Krishna is always purusa. God cannot be female. God is always male, purusa. And we are prakrti.
Bhumir apo ’nalo vayur [Gita 7.4]: earth, water, air, fire – these are material elements. Krishna calls them prakrti, or female. Female means those who are controlled. In India we have got little experience. Women are always controlled, never given the position of controllers. Nowadays it is changing – just like Indira Gandhi, who is in the position of a controller. This is artificial. In the history of greater India, Mahabharata, you will never find that a woman has been given a position of controller.
We have to take things from the sastra. In the Bhagavad-gita also woman’s position has been equated with sudra. striyo vaisyas tatha sudras te 'pi yanti param gatim (Gita 9.32). But this position is artificial. Either woman or man – both are in artificial position. Because a woman may be in women’s dress, but her mind is like man; she also wants to enjoy. And others, the so-called men are also not men; theyare women, prakrti. apareyam itas tv anyam prakrtim viddhi me param (Gita 7.5). As the earth, water, air, fire, sky are energies controlled by Krishna , similarly the so-called man or woman in this material world is also controlled. Nobody can say that “I am not controlled.”
Material energies — earth, water, fire, air, ether — are said
to be Krishna’s separated energies
Therefore we see two prakrtis: para prakrti and apara prakrti. But all of them are controlled; none of them are the controllers. And that is the difference between purusa and prakrti. Purusa means controller, and prakrti means controlled. Purusa means predominator, and prakrti means predominated. This is the difference. So Krishna does not fall from his position of predominator. Therefore He is addressed as Acyuta.
The Lord Never Fails in His Promise
Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Arjuna knows that “I am not the controller; I am controlled.” He is a devotee; he knows his position. But here he is trying to control Krishna . He is ordering Krishna . Senayor ubhayor madhye ratham sthapaya. He is not addressing the Lord as Krishna , but as Acyuta. “Now you place my chariot between the two parties.” Arjuna is ordering Krishna and thus trying to control the Lord. And Krishna is becoming controlled – just the opposite! Despite knowing his subordinate position, Arjuna is asking Krishna to carry out his order. So indirectly he is begging Krishna to be excused: “My dear Krishna , I cannot order You. Order must come from You. But because You promised to carry out my order, You wanted to become my chariot driver, therefore I am ordering. I am not in a position of ordering You. You promised to carry out my order, and I think You are fixed up in Your that promise. Therefore I am asking you, O Acyuta. I know You don’t fall from Your promise.”
Thank you very much. Hare Krishna .