A true devotee of the Lord loves to hear about
all His activities, including those that seem violent.
A lecture given in London on July 10, 1973
atra sura mahesvasa
yuyudhano viratas ca
drupadas ca maha-rathah
"Here in this army are many heroic bowmen equal in fighting to Bhima and Arjuna: great fighters like Yuyudhana, Virata, and Drupada." Bhagavad-gita 1.4
PEOPLE MAY ASK, "What spiritual progress can we make by reciting the names of these great fighters? We understand that we can make spiritual advancement by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, but what do we gain by chanting these names ?"
The answer is nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe: whatever is connected with Krsna becomes Krsna. That is the subtle philosophical understanding. One class of so-called devotees, known as sahajiyas,do not read Bhagavad-gita but jump at once to reading about Krsna's rasa-lila His dancing with His cowherd girlfriends in the Tenth Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Such sahajiyas distinguish between Krsna's fighting pastimes and His rasa-lila. But the two pastimes are in fact the same, because Krsna is the center of both. And whatever is connected with Krsna becomes Krsna. That is the idea.
Srila Rupa Gosvami has taught, prapancikataya buddhya … Everything has a connection with Krsna because ultimately everything is Krsna's energy. Prapancikata means "material." The material world is a manifestation of Krsna's energy, made up of five gross elements (earth, water, air, fire, and sky) and three subtle elements (mind, intelligence, and ego). Krsna says, bhinna me prakrtir astadha:"These material elements are separated from Me, but they are My energy."
For example, a cloud is created by the sun's energy. Sea water evaporates and forms clouds. So the cloud is created by the energy of the sun, but when there is a cloud you cannot see the sun. The sun is covered. Similarly, the material energy is Krsna's energy, but when we become covered by the material energy, we do not see Krsna. That is our position.
Srila Rupa Gosvami writes,
vairagyam phalgu kathyate
"One who rejects anything without knowledge of its relationship to Krsna is incomplete in his renunciation." Mumuksu means those who are after the liberation of merging into the Supreme, such as the Mayavadis. The Mayavadis say, brahma satyam jagan mithya: "This world is false; only Brahman, spirit, is reality." But we ask why the world should be false if it is coming from the reality. We do not agree with the Mayavadis. We do not accept that this world is false. We can say that it is a temporary manifestation. But it is not false.
We are living in this house. If someone says, "It is false," we say, "Why is it false?" We are using the house. We are using the microphone. We are using the dictaphone. Why would they be false?
They are not false, because they have a relationship with Krsna sambandha. Anything material is made of earth, water, fire, and air, and these are Krsna's energies. Therefore everything has a direct relationship with Krsna. And if Krsna is reality, why should His energy be false? It is not false. We must know how to use it.
Krsna is on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra, and everything there soldiers, commanders-in-chief, chariots, ground is Krsna's energy.
If we remember that everything is a manifestation of Krsna's energy, there is no question of materialism. Everything is spiritual energy, so we have to use everything for Krsna.
Krsna Wanted the Battle
Many soldiers had gathered on the battlefield at Kuruksetra, and Krsna would display one of His energies. Paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam: He wanted to kill all the demons. That is a side of His business. As one of His sides is to give protection to the devotees (paritranaya sadhunam), the other side is to vanquish all the demons (vinasaya ca duskrtam). If you want to grow paddy in a field, first you have to destroy all the unwanted weeds. Then you sow the seeds, and the paddy will come out nicely.
These two are required: destruction and construction. Both are Krsna's activities or energies. We have to understand that both are working as different manifestations of Krsna's energy. Parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate. In the Vedas it is said that the Absolute has multi-energies. One energy works in one way; another energy works in another way. When we do something, we require varieties of energy to make that activity perfect. Everything Krsna, Krsna's material world and spiritual world is working in order under His different energies.
So we should not neglect hearing the names of these warriors. Krsna wanted to bring together on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra all the demoniac powers and kill them. That was His plan.
Krsna has His plan. We should not be attached to things as they are but should try to understand everything in its relationship with Krsna. As soon as we recognize anything's relationship with Krsna, we can use it properly. That is Krsna consciousness.
Everything for Krsna
Everything can be used for Krsna. Krsna is not a stereotyped, stagnant block. Krsna is a dynamic force. Therefore everything can be dovetailed in Krsna's service. One should simply learn the art of dovetailing, under proper guidance. That art will be the perfect form of Krsna consciousness.
Read the next verse. [A disciple reads:]
kasirajas ca viryavan5
purujit kuntibhojas ca
saibyas ca nara-pungavah
Translation: "There are also great heroic, powerful fighters like Dhrstaketu, Cekitana, Kasiraja, Purujit, Kuntibhoja, and Saibya."
[Srila Prabhupada continues:] In the Battle of Kuruksetra, great warriors from all parts of the world came and joined. Some of them joined one side, and others joined the other side. We have not given all the information on these great warriors in our Bhagavad-gita As It Is, because that would have increased the number of pages. But information about them is available in a book called The Personalities of Mahabharata.
Bhagavad-gita is part of the Mahabharata. Mahabharata means "greater India." Maha means "greater," and bharata refers to India. The whole planet was originally known as Bharata-varsa. There was only one flag. The whole planet was ruled by one king, from Hastinapura [modern-day Delhi]. The Battle of Kuruksetra would determine who would be the king Maharaja Yudhisthira or Duryodhana.
Krsna had decided, "Duryodhana is unfit. Maharaja Yudhisthira is fit." Krsna wanted Yudhisthira to be king. Therefore the Battle of Kuruksetra took place. Krsna wanted to wipe out all unwanted demons from the face of the world and enthrone Maharaja Yudhisthira because Yudhisthira was the exact representative of Krsna.
Krsna Conscious Monarchy
Monarchy or dictatorship is welcome. Now the Communists want dictatorship. That is welcome, provided the dictator is trained like Maharaja Yudhisthira. Not that simply by the votes of the rascal population one becomes a dictator, then another rascal comes, and another big rascal comes. The Communist dictator Stalin is said to have been the greatest criminal in the history of the world. He would not tolerate anyone going against him. As soon as he found that someone was against him, he would call that person before him and say, "Take poison, or I shall kill you." That was his policy. In that way he killed so many enemies, not only the Czar family. His business was killing.
That kind of dictatorship is not wanted. A dictator is wanted by whose direction the citizens will be so happy that they will not have any anxiety.
We read the other day in Srimad-Bhagavatam of the three miserable conditions of life: adhyatmika (miseries caused by one's own body and mind), adhibhautika (miseries caused by others), andadhidaivika. The adhidaivika miseries, such as famines and earthquakes, are caused by the higher beings, the demigods. These things are not under your control. At any time there may be earthquakes, famine, pestilence, floods. These are called daiva, "controlled by demigods." For example, Indra wanted to flood Vrndavana, being angry at the residents. But Krsna saved them as Giridhari the lifter of Govardhana Hill.
These disturbances are there adhyatmika, adhibhautika, adhidaivika the king or dictator should be so perfect and should guide the citizens in such a way that they will not feel these disturbances. That kind of dictatorship is wanted.
Adhibhautika means "You are envious of me; I am envious of you." There is always cold war, struggle. Under the dictator's rule this should be stopped. There should not even be excessive heat or cold. People should feel happy in all respects.
Such a condition existed under Maharaja Yudhisthira, his forefathers, and his grandson. The sons of the Pandavas all died in the Battlefield of Kuruksetra. Maharaja Pariksit, the grandson of the Pandavas, was within the womb of his mother, and he was saved. During his reign and the reigns of his ancestors the whole planet was very nicely governed by dictatorship.
We can bring in such dictatorship, provided the dictator is perfectly Krsna conscious. Then he will know how to conduct the kingdom, how to make everyone happy.
So here is another list of fighters. The real purpose of this battle is to bring all the big fighters of the world together, and under Krsna's guidance they would all be killed. Nimitta-matram bhava savya-sacin. When Arjuna declined to fight, Krsna ultimately said, "My dear Arjuna, whether you fight or not it doesn't matter. These people are not going back home. It is already settled. You can simply take credit that you have fought and killed. They are already killed, because that is My plan."
Krsna wanted to kill them, and the result was you will find in Bhagavad-gita they all attained svarupa, their eternal form. All who died on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra, in the presence of Krsna, attained their original, constitutional position, their spiritual form. They all went back home, back to Godhead.
Krsna is absolute, so His killing and His protecting are the same. Don't think that Krsna is killing. No. Anyone killed by Krsna gets liberation at once. The liberation for which great, great saintly persons, sages, undergo severe austerities life after life one gets that simply by being killed by Krsna.
So if by becoming Krsna's enemy one gets that benefit, just think of the benefit of becoming Krsna's friend. That is the Krsna consciousness. The Mayavadis, impersonalists, are after liberation. But that liberation is granted even to the enemies of Krsna.
The Mayavadis are also Krsna's enemies. Krsne aparadhi. They are offenders to Krsna because they do not accept the form of Krsna.
Everything studied in relationship with Krsna is perfect knowledge, and that is described in the Bhagavad-gita. We are not like sahajiyas, the sentimental pseudo devotees, who are interested in Krsna's rasa dance but not in His fighting on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra. That attitude is not wanted.
Thank you very much.