Bombay – March 21, 1974:

Why Lord Krsna is the authority we must turn to
for faultless answers to the questions of life.

sri-bhagavan uvaca
imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam
vivasvan manave praha manur iksvakave 'bravit

The Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krsna, said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvan, and Vivasvan instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Iksvaku. Bhagavad-gita 4.1

Srila Prabhupada

Bhagavad-gita is the preliminary study of the science of Godhead. The word bhagavan, from which the name Bhagavad-gita comes, means the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Generally, a fortunate or opulent man is called bhagyavan, which comes from the word bhaga. Bhaga means six kinds of opulence: wealth, strength, influence, wisdom, beauty, and renunciation. These are opulences. If a man is wealthy, he's attractive. Similarly, he's attractive if he's very strong, very influential, very learned, wise, or beautiful. He or she it doesn't matter. Or if he's a great renouncer. Naturally we become attracted to one who has renounced everything for the benefit of the public.

In the material world we find some wealthy man, some rich man, some strong man, some beautiful man, some wise man, some renounced man, but they possess only a very small quantity of the total of these opulences. Take a rich man. He may be very rich, but he cannot claim, "I am the richest man." Nobody can claim, "I am the wisest man." Nobody can claim, "I am the strongest man." However strong one may be, he is under the rules and regulations of material nature. He cannot go beyond that.

Therefore, in this world you cannot find a Bhagavan, a supreme person possessing all these opulences. That is not possible. But here it is said, bhagavan uvaca. That means Krsna is the richest, the strongest, the most beautiful, the wisest, and the most renounced. He proved that by His actions when He was present in the material world, on this globe.

In this age, at the present moment, if a person can provide for his family nicely nice apartment or nice house, good dress, good food he's considered to be a very successful man. That is mentioned in the sastra [scripture]: daksyam kutumba-bharanam. Kutumba means "family." If one can provide for his family very comfortably, he is considered very expert. But family maintenance is done by cats and dogs. They also maintain their family, their wife and children, very nicely, according to their standard. But this age is so fallen that one is considered expert if he can obtain the preliminary necessities of life: eating, sleeping, sex, and protection from fear.

The age is so fallen that people have no food even. We all know how things are going on. People are hungry. No food. They have difficulty sleeping. Nobody's married timely, either boys or girls. And nobody's secure. Nobody knows what will happen at the next moment. These are symptoms of the current age, Kali-yuga.

Kali-yuga means:

prayenalpayusah sabhya
kalav asmin yuge janah
mandah sumanda-matayo
manda-bhagya hy upadrutah

"O learned one, in this iron age of Kali men have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky, and, above all, always disturbed." Alpa ayusah: people live a very short time. The duration of life is reducing. Anyone can see that. His forefather, his grandfather, lived for, say, a hundred years. His father lived for eighty years. And he's going to live for sixty years. In this way, the duration of life will be reduced to twenty years. That has been foretold. If a man lives for twenty to thirty years, he will be considered a very old man.

That day is coming. Because how will they live? There is no eating, there is no sleeping. These are required. Annad bhavanti bhutani. Simply by hearing dry lectures, how will people feel happy? There must be sufficient food grains so that people may live happily and the animals may live happily. Especially in India you will see. No animal is fatty, either cat, dog, or cow. They have no food.

Annad bhavanti bhutani. Everyone must be given sufficient food. Krsna does not say, "Fast and chant Hare Krsna." Krsna is not so impractical. He says, "Eat very nicely, maintain yourself very nicely, and chant Hare Krsna. Make your life successful." That is the program of the Krsna consciousness movement.

The Krsna consciousness movement is not one-sided it is all-embracing. Sarve sukhino bhavantu. The Krsna consciousness movement wants to see everyone happy. Without being happy, how you can remain peaceful? That is not possible.

Therefore: bhagavan uvaca. Take lessons from Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the all-perfect. What will you gain by hearing this rascal or that rascal? Try to hear from the Supreme Personality without any fault, without any deviation. There are four kinds of defects in conditional life: we have imperfect senses, and we have the tendency to commit mistakes, to be in illusion, and to cheat. We are all infected with these four deficiencies of life, or material conditions of life.

One who is free from these defects is called mukta, liberated. Those infected with these defects cannot give you perfect knowledge. That is not possible. How can anyone gather perfect knowledge with imperfect senses? They can simply say, "Perhaps," "It may be," "Most probably." That's all. Theories. Nobody can say, "It is like this."

On the other hand, in the Vedas it is said, for example, exactly how many varieties of life there are. Jalaja nava-laksani sthavara laksa-vimsati, krmayo rudra-sankhyakah . . . Exact numbers: 900,000 species of life in the water, 2,000,000 varieties of trees and plants, 1,100,000 varieties of insects, 1,000,000 types of birds, 3,000,000 types of animals, and 400,000 types of humans. Everything is exactly calculated. That is Vedic knowledge.

How does this perfect knowledge come? Here Krsna says, imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam. Avyayam means "that which does not deviate, that which is perfect." If you want to know perfect knowledge, you have to hear from Krsna.

Therefore: bhagavan uvaca. Bhagavan means the supreme wise, the most powerful, the most influential, the most beautiful, the most learned, the most renounced. Just see Bhagavan's renunciation. If we construct a building, how attached we become to that building! But Krsna has constructed the whole universe. We have no idea what the universe is. We have no idea what this planet is. We are trying to go to the moon, but we have no exact idea even of the moon. And there are innumerable planets. Yasya prabha prabhavato jagad-anda-koti-kotisu vasudhadi-vibhuti-bhinnam. Each planet is of a different type, a different climate, a different standard of life, different facilities. And there are innumerable planets. You cannot even count them all. This is only one universe, and there are millions of universes.

So Krsna, or the Supreme Lord, is the creator of these all universes. Still, He does not come here. Or, rather, He comes occasionally. But He does not claim this place. You utilize. He has given it to you. "You living entities, you wanted to enjoy this material world. All right, I give it to you. Enjoy."

Beginning from Brahma, down to the ant, all living entities are enjoying, and they're creating their own karma-phala, karmic reactions. And because the soul is creating his karma-phala, he's getting another body: sometimes an ant's body, sometimes Brahma's body, sometimes a cat's body, sometimes an American body, sometimes an Indian body, sometimes a monkey's body. In this way we are wandering all over the universes. This is called the material disease.

One who is wise, learned, should try to understand how to get out of the cycle of birth and death. Now you have got this American body, a body from a very nice, rich nation. And we have got an Indian body. That's all right. But what is the next life? People do not know. You prepare for the future by education, but how are you preparing for the next life? People do not know whether or not there is life after death. Such fools we are that we do not know.

Therefore we have to hear from the perfect person, Krsna. Krsna says, dehino 'smin yatha dehe. That is the first instruction. Dehino 'smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara, tathadehantara-praptih. That is the beginning of spiritual education. Dehantara-praptih. We have to change this body, transmigrate from this body to another body. Transmigration is subtle, but no university teaches how the soul transfers from one body to another or what kind of body you are going to get next. There is no such science being taught. But the change of body is our real problem.

Therefore we have to hear from Krsna, Bhagavan, the Supreme, the person who can give us perfect knowledge. That is the process. If we really want knowledge, we have to hear from Krsna. And Krsna is so kind, He came personally.

yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya
tadatmanam srjamy aham

"Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion at that time I descend Myself." Krsna comes. He's so kind. He comes, He personally gives instruction, and He leaves the instruction recorded. Bhagavad-gita was spoken by Krsna to Arjuna, and it was recorded by Sanjaya, by the grace of Vyasadeva. And then Vyasadeva put the conversation in the Mahabharata. Mahabharata means "The History of Greater India." The whole planet is called Bharata, or Bharata-varsa. And the history of the whole planet is called Mahabharata.

Gita Is for Everyone

The Bhagavad-gita is set in the Mahabharata for the enlightenment of all human beings. It is not meant for the Hindus, for the Indians, for the brahmanas. No. It is meant for everyone, so that they can take perfect knowledge from Krsna and be happy. If you actually want to become happy, then accept Krsna's instructions. If you want to save yourself from this fallen condition, take instruction from Krsna. Do not deviate. Do not try to interpret Krsna's instructions in your own whimsical way. Simply try to understand what Krsna says. That's all. Then your life will be perfect.

Therefore Krsna says, "Try to understand Bhagavad-gita by this process." What is that process? Imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam: "I first of all spoke to the sun-god, Vivasvan." The sun is there, but nobody knows what is in the sun. The so-called scientists and philosophers don't know. But it is possible to talk with the sun-god personally, provided you become qualified by Krsna's grace. Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He can go anywhere. The sun is a fiery planet. The bodies there are made of fire, just as here the bodies are made of earth. There are also planets where the bodies are made of water. These are the material elements. Bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh. Earth, water, fire, air they are all material. I may have a suitable body to live on this earthly planet. The fish has a certain body to live in the water. The fish cannot live on the land. You cannot live in the water. That does not mean it is impossible to live in the water. Similarly, because you cannot live in the fire, that does not mean it is impossible for others. To think it is impossible is foolishness. The sun planet is made of fire. Those who have a suitable body can live there.

The atmosphere is different on every planet. The atmosphere in the water is different from that of the land, but we know there are living entities within the water, on the land, in the air, within the earth, within the ether. Therefore the living entity is called sarva-ga, "present everywhere." The body is differently made for different atmospheres, but the spirit soul is the same. Your spirit soul and my spirit soul are the same. But your body is called an American body, and my body is called an Indian body. That is the difference. Similarly, you and I are dressed differently. The body is just like a dress for the soul.

The first point of spiritual knowledge is this: "I am not this body." Then spiritual knowledge begins. Otherwise there is no possibility of spiritual knowledge. One who is thinking, "I am this body; this body is my self," is a rascal, an animal. That's all. This rascal animalism is going on all over the world. "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am a brahmana," "I am ksatriya." This is rascaldom. You have to go above this. Then there is spiritual knowledge. That is bhakti-yoga.

mam ca yo 'vyabhicarena
bhakti-yogena sevate
sa gunan samatityaitan
brahma-bhuyaya kalpate

"One who engages in full devotional service, unfailing in all circumstances, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman." Only by bhakti-yoga can you come to the spiritual platform. Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "I am not a brahmana, I am not a ksatriya, I am not a sudra, I am not a brahmacari, I am not a grhastha, I am not a vanaprastha . . ." Our Vedic civilization is based on varna [occupation] and asrama [spiritual order]. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu denied all these things: "I do not belong to any one of these." Then what is Your position? Gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah: "I am eternally the servant of Krsna, the maintainer of the gopis [cowherd girls]." And Caitanya Mahaprabhu preached: jivera svarupa haya krsnera nitya-dasa. That is our identity: We are eternal servants of Krsna.

The servants who have rebelled against Krsna have come to the material world. To reclaim these servants, Krsna comes. And Krsna says,

paritranaya sadhunam
vinasaya ca duskrtam
sambhavami yuge yuge

"To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium."

Krsna comes. He's so kind.

Let us take advantage of Krsna's coming here, leaving behind the Gita. Read it perfectly, and make your life perfect. That is the purpose of the Krsna consciousness movement. It is not a bogus movement. It is a most scientific movement. Outside India, the Europeans and Americans are taking advantage of it. Why not the Indian youth? What is wrong? That is not good. Let us join together, start the Krsna consciousness movement very seriously, and deliver suffering humanity. That is our purpose.

People are suffering for want of knowledge. All necessities of life are available, but they are being mismanaged by the rogues and thieves. Become perfect in Krsna consciousness, take the management, and make your life successful.

Thank you very much.