mayy asakta-manah partha
yogam yunjan mad-asrayah
asamsayam samagram mam
yatha jnasyasi tac chrnu
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Now hear, O son of Prtha, how by practicing yoga in full consciousness of Me, with mind attached to Me, you can know Me in full, free from doubt.” Bhagavad-gita 7.1
If you learn from the supreme authority without any deficiency, then the knowledge is perfect. Ordinary persons have four deficiencies: they commit mistakes, they are in illusion, their senses are imperfect, and with imperfect knowledge they try to teach others about the ultimate truth that is cheating. We have to receive knowledge from the person who knows past, present, and future. So the best persons from whom to receive knowledge are Krishna and His representatives. Krishna is perfect, no doubt, and one who speaks what Krishna speaks is also perfect. A human being, or a living being, is not expected to become as perfect as Krishna. That is not possible. But if a person sticks to the instructions of Krishna, without addition or alteration, he is also perfect.
Unfortunately, people alter and add to Krishna’s version. Socalled scholars and politicians misinterpret Bhagavad-gita. For example, in the Bhagavad-gita (1.1) it is said, dharma-ksetre kuru-ksetre samaveta yuyutsavah:
“Assembled to fight in the place of pilgrimage at Kurukshetra . . .” Somebody interprets, “This dharmaksetra is this body.” Why should one interpret in that way? Interpretation is required when things are not very clear. Kurukshetra still exists. People go to Kurukshetra to execute religious rituals. And in the Vedas it is stated, kuru-ksetre dharmam acaret: “One should go to Kurukshetra to perform religious acts.” Why should dharma-ksetra be interpreted as “body”? Where is the dictionary where dharma-ksetra means “body”?
If we interpret Bhagavad-gita, then we spoil the whole thing. I spoil myself and others. We should accept Bhagavad-gita as it isas it is spoken by Krishna.
Here the Supreme Personality of Godhead is speaking. So we should take it without any interpretation. Krishna, the supreme authority, says, “You must transfer your asakti, attachment, to Me.” Everyone has asakti, material attachment. Someone is attached to his family, someone to society, someone to nation, someone to businessso many things. We have asakti, but to make our life perfect, we have to transfer the asakti to Krishna. I have seen in the Western countries that many people have no family but because the asakti is there, they keep a dog. They are accustomed to place their asakti in cats and dogs. That means that asakti does not go away. But we must transfer that asakti, that tendency of attachment, to Krishna.
That is Vrindavana life. In Vrindavana the center of asakti is Krishna. Nanda Maharaja and Yasoda have asakti for Krishna. The young girls have asakti for Krishna. The cowherd boys have asakti for Krishna.
The trees have asakti for Krishna. The fruits and flowers have asakti for Krishna. The Yamuna River has asakti for Krishna. If we make Krishna our central point of asakti, then we can create Vrindavana everywhere. This is the success of life. We have to transfer our asakti to Krishna. That is the highest form of mystic yoga. Krishna has already explained in the previous verse:
yoginam api sarvesam
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah
There are many yogis and many forms of yoga practice, but the yogi who always thinks of Krishna is the first-class yogi.
Krishna Draws Our Attention
Our Krishna consciousness movement aims to educate people to become attached to Krishna. But if one does not know what Krishna is, there is no question of increasing one’s asakti for Krishna. So to help us understand Him, Krishna personally appears to draw our attention to Him. When we forget our asakti for Krishna, that causes our material life; we struggle for existence in material life. Krishna says [Bg. 4.7],
yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
tadatmanam srjamy aham
Dharmasya glani means deviation from the occupational duty. When we deviate from our duties toward Krishna, out of His causeless mercy He appears to teach us how to divert our attention and asakti to Him. Dharmasya glanideviation from the path of religion means to forget our eternal relationship with Krishna. Therefore ultimately at the end of the Bhagavad-gita (18.66)Krishna, the Supreme Person, orders, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: “Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me.” Krishna did not come to establish so-called Hindu dharma or Muslim dharma or Christian dharma or this dharma or that dharma. He came to establish the real dharma: to surrender to Krishna.
In Srimad-Bhagavatam [1.1.2] cheating types of dharma are kicked out. Srimad-Bhagavatam explains real dharma as established by Krishna. Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: “Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me.” According to some scriptures on dharma, one should progress from dharma (religion) to artha (economic development) to kama (sense gratification) and finally to moksa (liberation).
In this connection Sridhara Swami, the great commentator on Srimad-Bhagavatam, says, atra moksa-vancha api nirasta: “In the Srimad-Bhagavatam there is no chance or opportunity to think of so-called liberation.” The purport is that one immediately becomes liberated when one fully surrenders to Krishna. Bilvamangala Thakura says, muktih svayam mukulitanjali sevate ’sman: Why should a devotee be anxious for mukti, liberation; mukti is always standing at his door, ready to give him service mukulitanjali seva, with folded hands.
A devotee doesn’t have to endeavor separately for mukti. As soon as the devotee is engaged in devotional service, mukti is already there. If a man becomes rich, automatically his poverty is gone away. A rich man does not have to endeavor separately to drive away poverty. So the central point is that Krishna is advising here, “Just increase your asakti, attachment, for Me. Then everything will come.”
The word mad-asrayah in this verse is very important, because you cannot increase your attachment for Krishna without being madasrayah. Mad-asrayah means to be directly under the direction of Krishna or to be directly under the direction of somebody who has taken shelter of Krishna. Therefore Krishna recommends mad-asrayah. You cannot execute the yoga system devotional service, bhaktiyoga without being under the control of somebody who is under the control of Krishna.
Srila Sukadeva Gosvami has therefore recommended, yad upasrayasraya. One has to take shelter of a pure devotee; then he becomes purified.
abhira-sumbha yavanah khasadayah
ye ’nye ca papa yad-apasrayasrayah
sudhyanti tasmai prabhavisnave namah
“Kirata, Huna, andhra, Pulinda, Pulkasa, abhira, Sumbha, Yavana, members of the Khasa races, and even others addicted to sinful acts can be purified by taking shelter of the devotees of the Lord, due to His being the supreme power. I beg to offer my respectful obeisances unto Him.” [Srimad- Bhagavatam 2.4.18] Even persons considered lowborn can be purified if they take shelter of a pure devotee. Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita (9.32),
mam hi partha vyapasritya
ye ’pi syuh papa-yonayah
striya vaisyas tatha sudras
te ’pi yanti param gatim
“Anyone, even if lowborn, gets the supreme perfection if he takes shelter of Me.”
It is the duty of a devotee of Krishna to expand the progressive march toward devotional service. Otherwise, how will people learn? This expansion is para-upakara, welfare work, and it is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission:
manusya janma yara
janma sarthaka kari kara
[Caitanya-caritamrta, adi 9.41]
“Every human being born in India should first of all make his life successful by understanding Krishna, and then he must preach outside to render service to others as welfare activities.”
Krishna appeared as Caitanya Mahaprabhu to teach us practically how to preach Krishna consciousness and how to deliver lowborn persons. Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura, an acarya of the Gaudiya sampradaya, Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s spiritual lineage, sings, sri-nanda-nandana yei, sachi-suta haila sei: “Krishna, the Personality of Godhead who appeared as the son of Maharaja Nanda, has now appeared as Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the son of Mother Sachi.” And balarama haila nitai: “Balarama has appeared as Nityananda Prabhu.” Now, what is Their business? Narottama sings: dina-hina yata chilo, hariname uddharilo, tara saksi jagai madhai. He is giving evidence how the fallen are delivered. “Here is the example Jagai and Madhai.” Jagai and Madhai were born in a good brahmana family, but by bad association they became drunkards, thieves, woman-hunters, and so on. But they were delivered by Caitanya Mahaprabhu and became first-class Vaishnavas.
The Attachment Is Dormant Our aim should be to increase our attachment to Krishna. That attachment is there naturally. It is not artificial. It is said in the Caitanya caritamrta (Madhya 22.107),
‘sadhya’ kabhu naya
Krishna-bhakti, attachment for Krishna, is quite natural. It is already there. It simply has to be awakened.
If you engage yourself in hearing about Krishna, then your heart will be purified and your original Krishna consciousness will be awakened. For this purpose Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu also advises, param vijayate sri-Krishna-sankirtanam: “All glories to the sankirtana movement,” because simply by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra everything will automatically come. The more you chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra, the more your heart disease material enjoyment will decrease. Then you will understand your position and you will gradually be attracted by Krishna.
This is the test of bhakti: If you engage yourself twenty-four hours a day in devotional service, then immediately you become liberated. Liberation means to detest material enjoyment.
Attachment to Krishna is so nice. In the beginning Dhruva Maharaja was attracted by material enjoyment. He wanted a kingdom greater than his father’s, and to get that benediction he went to the forest to meet the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But when he saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he refused to accept any benediction. That is the benefit of Krishna asakti. If you actually become attached to Krishna, then you’ll think yourself completely filled up. There will be no more asking for any material benefit.
Therefore in the scripture it is recommended,
akamah sarva-kamo va
yajeta purusam param
Even if you have material desires, if you are attached to Krishna your material aspirations will be fulfilled; at the same time, you’ll get Krishna.
When Dhruva Maharaja refused to take any benediction, Lord Vishnu informed him, “Don’t bother. You had some desire for material fulfillment, so you may have your own planet, Dhruvaloka. Enjoy there, and when your life is finished you’ll come to Vaikuntha, the spiritual world.”
Krishna is so nice, so liberal, that if you have a little tinge of aspiration He will fulfill it, and at the same time you’ll go back to Godhead. Therefore it is recommended, yajeta purusa param. If you have some material desire, still you should worship Krishna. He’ll fulfill your desire, and you will be able to go back home, back to Godhead.
Krishna is all-powerful, almighty, full with six opulences. So if you have any material desire, Krishna can fulfill it, but stick to Krishna so that your asakti will increase. If you divert your attention to the demigods, then your asakti will fail.
A devotee who places his faith in Krishna has no chance to worship demigods. A devotee of Krishna has no scope for worshiping some other Deity, because that will not help him increase his attachment for Krishna. We have to give up all material desires and simply stick to Krishna, to always be ready to serve Him. Arjuna was ready to serve Krishna. Similarly, everyone should be ready to serve Krishna. That is the perfection of life.
One has to execute the process of devotional service. As Krishna says, mad-asraya: “Take shelter of Me or My devotee.” In Bhagavad-gita Krishna is personally instructing. So let us take shelter of His personal instructions and make our life successful.
As it is said here, a pure devotee understands Krishna asamsayam samagram: not partially but fully. It is, of course, not possible to understand Krishna fully. Still, a devotee can understand Krishna almost fully. That is also confirmed in the last chapter of the Bhagavad-gita:
bhaktya mam abhijanati
yavan yas casmi tattvatah
tato mam tattvato jnatva
“One can understand Me as I am, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of Me by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God.” [Bg. 18.55] If we want to go back home, back to Godhead, then we must increase our attachment for Krishna, and by that process we can understand Krishna. Then our door to go back home, back to Godhead, is clear. The conclusion is, therefore, that we should take to the bhakti process as it is enunciated in authoritative scripture by Krishna and the acaryas. Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: “Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto me.” [Bg. 18.66]. That is the only way for our perfection of life.
Thank you very much.