London ‐ August 15, 1973
Lord Krsna tells us how to find the fulfillment
of our natural desire to love and be loved.
evam uktva hrsikesam
na yotsya iti govindam
uktva tusnim babhuva ha
"Sanjaya said: Having spoken thus, Arjuna, chastiser of enemies, told Krsna, 'Govinda, I shall not light,' and fell silent." Bhagavad-gita 2.9
IN THE previous verse Arjuna said, "There is no profit in this lighting, because on the other side are my relatives, and by killing them, even if I become victorious, what is the value?" That kind of renunciation sometimes takes place in ignorance. It is not intelligently placed renunciation.
Evam uktva hrsikesam. Arjuna is speaking to Krsna, or Hrsikesa, "the master of the senses." In a previous verse Arjuna said, sisyas te 'ham . . . prapannam: "I am Your surrendered disciple." Krsna has become the guru, and Arjuna the disciple. Formerly they were talking as friends. But friendly talking cannot decide any serious question. When there is some serious matter, it must be spoken by authorities.
Hrsika means the senses, and isa means the master. Hrsika-isa. And they join together: Hrsikesa.
Arjuna is called Gudakesa. Gudaka means darkness. And, again, isa, means master. Darkness means ignorance. A disciple comes to the guru for enlightenment. Every living being is born foolish, even the human beings. Because they are coming from the animal kingdom by evolution, their birth is, like that of the animals, in ignorance.
Therefore, even though one is a human being, one requires education. An animal cannot take education, but a human being can. Therefore sastra, scripture, says, nayam deho deha-bhajam nrloke kastan kaman arhate vid-bhujam ye [Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.1]. In conditions of life lower than those of the human being, we have to work very hard simply for four necessities of life: eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. The main object of concern is sense gratification. Therefore everyone has to work very hard. But in the human form of life, Krsna gives us so much facility in the form of intelligence. We can make our standard of living very comfortable, but that should be done with the purpose of attaining perfection in Krsna consciousness. Live comfortably. That's all right. But don't live like animals, simply increasing sense gratification.
The human effort is going into living comfortably, but people want to live comfortably for sense gratification. That is the mistake of the modern civilization. Yuktahara-viharasya . . . yogo bhavati duhkha-ha. In the Bhagavad-gita (6.17) it is saidyuktahara. Yes, you must eat, you must sleep, you must satisfy your senses, you must arrange for defense. But as much as possible do not divert your attention too much to these things.
We have to eat yuktahara. That's a fact. But not atyahara, overeating. Rupa Gosvami has advised in his Upadesamrta that if you want to advance in spiritual consciousness the only worthy objective of life then you should not eat too much or acquire too much. That is our philosophy.
Krsna The Enjoyer
The other day in Paris a reporter from the Socialist Press came to see me. I informed him, "Our philosophy is that everything belongs to God." Krsna says bhoktaram: "I am the enjoyer." We become happy by working for His enjoyment. For example, the whole body is working to enjoy life, but where does the enjoyment begin? The stomach. You have to give sufficient nice food to the stomach. If there is sufficient energy, you can digest and all the senses become strong and you can enjoy sense gratification. But if you cannot digest, there is no question of sense enjoyment. So sense enjoyment begins from the stomach.
Another example: The luxuriant growth of the tree begins from the root if there is sufficient water. Therefore trees are called pada-pa: They drink water from the legs the roots not from the heads. We eat from the head. There are different arrangements, but one must eat.
As for Krsna, He can eat from anywhere. He can eat through His hands, His legs, His eyes, His ears anywhere because He is complete spiritual. There is no difference between His head and legs and ears and eyes. That is stated in the Brahma-samhita.
So in the body our sense enjoyment should begin from the stomach, and the tree begins developing luxuriantly from the root. Similarly, Krsna is the origin of everything, so without Krsna consciousness, without pleasing Krsna, you cannot be happy. That is the system.
How will Krsna be pleased? We are all Krsna's sons, God's sons. Everything is Krsna's property. These are facts. Because Krsna is the proprietor and the enjoyer, everything should be given first to Him, and then we can accept it from Him. That will make us happy.
That principle is stated in Bhagavad-gita (3.13). Bhunjate te tv agham papa ye pacanty atma-karanat: "Those who cook only for themselves, without offering the food first to the Lord, are simply eating sin." Everything should be done for Krsna, even your eating. You can enjoy all sense enjoyment but after Krsna has enjoyed. Then you can eat.
Therefore Krsna's name is Hrsikesa, the master of the senses. You cannot enjoy your senses independently. A servant may cook very, very nice food in the kitchen, but he cannot eat first. He will be dismissed. The master first of all must take, and then the servant can enjoy all the nice food.
The whole world is struggling for sense gratification. Here is the simple philosophy: "First of all let Krsna enjoy. He is the master. Then we enjoy."
The Isopanisad says, isavasyam idam sarvam: "Everything belongs to Krsna." Our mistake is that although everything belongs to Krsna, we are thinking, "Everything belongs to me." This is illusion. Janasya moho 'yam aham mameti. Everyone is thinking, "I am this body, and everything whatever we find in this world is to be enjoyed by me." That is the mistake of modern civilization.
The real knowledge is "Everything belongs to God. I can take only whatever He gives me, whatever He kindly allows for me." Tena tyaktena bhunjithah.
This is not just Vaisnava philosophy; this is fact. Nobody is the proprietor of anything. Isavasyam idam sarvam. Krsna says, "I am the enjoyer. I am the proprietor." Sarva-loka-mahesvaram. Maha-isvaram. Maha means great, and isvaram means controller. We can claim that we are also an isvaram, a controller, but Krsna is described as maha-isvaram, "controller of the controller." That is Krsna. Nobody else is an independent controller.
Definition Of Bhakti
Therefore Krsna is called Hrsikesa, and bhakti means to serve Hrsikesa by the hrsika, the senses. Krsna is the master of the senses. Therefore whatever senses I have, the master is Krsna. When our senses are engaged in the satisfaction of the master of the senses, that is called bhakti. That is the definition of bhakti, devotional service. And when the senses are engaged for sense gratification, not for the master, that is called kama, lust.
Two words: kama and prema. Prema means to love Krsna and do everything for His satisfaction. That is prema, love. And kama means doing everything for the satisfaction of my senses. That is the difference. Either you satisfy your senses, or you satisfy Krsna's senses. But when you satisfy Krsna's senses you become perfect, and when you satisfy your senses you become imperfect, illusioned. Because you cannot satisfy your senses without Krsna.
Therefore one has to purify the senses. At the present moment everyone is trying to satisfy his senses. There are two kinds of living entities, male and female. The male is trying satisfy his senses, and the female is trying to satisfy her senses. There is no love. It cannot be love, because neither the man nor the woman is trying to satisfy the other party's senses. Everyone is trying to satisfy his or her senses. A woman loves a man for satisfying her senses, and a man loves a woman for satisfying his senses.
Therefore, as soon as there is a little disturbance in the sense gratification, there is divorce. "I don't want this." Because the central point is personal sense gratification. But we can make a show: "Oh, I love you so much. I love you so much." There is no love. It is all kama, lust.
In the material world, there is no possibility of love. The so-called love is only cheating: "I love you. I love you because you are beautiful. You will satisfy my senses. Because you are young, you will satisfy my senses." That is the nature of the material world. The basic principle of the material world is sense gratification. In the material world, so-called society, friendship, and love depend on sense gratification, beginning with sex. Yan maithunadi grhamedhi-sukham hi tuccham. When one becomes free from maithunadi-sukham, happiness beginning with sex, he is liberated.
As long as one is attached to the sex impulse, he is neither a swami nor a goswami. Swami means master of the senses. As Krsna is the master of the senses, when one becomes Krsna conscious he becomes master of the senses. It is not that the senses should be stopped. No. They should be controlled. When I require, I shall use them; otherwise not. That is the position of a master of the senses. I shall not act impelled by the senses. The senses should act under my direction. That is the position of a swami.
Therefore Arjuna is called Gudakesa. He is a master of the senses. And he is not a coward, but he is compassionate because he is a devotee of Krsna. Anyone who becomes a devotee of Krsna has all the good qualities manifest in his body.
That is Arjuna's position. Otherwise how could he become an intimate friend of Krsna? They must be of the same position. Friendship becomes very strong when the friends are on an equal level: same age, same education, same prestige, same beauty. The more similar the position, the stronger the friendship. Arjuna is on the same level as Krsna. If somebody becomes the friend of the president or the friend of the king or the queen, he is not an ordinary man. He must be of the same position.
Giving Up Religion
In our line, Lord Caitanya's chief disciples Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami were big leaders, government ministers. They could associate with the governor because they were also important men. But as soon as they became acquainted with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, they decided, "We shall retire from this ministership and join Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to help Him." Rather, to serve Him, not to help Him. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu does not require anyone's help. But if we try to associate with Him and serve Him, then our life becomes successful.
Krsna came to teach Bhagavad-gita. That was His mission: "These rascals have become servants of so many things society, friendship, love, religion, nationality, community. They should stop all this nonsense." Sarva-dharman parityajya: "Give up all this nonsense. Simply surrender unto Me."
That is religion. Otherwise, why would Krsna advise, "Give up all religious systems?" He came to reestablish the principles of religion: dharma-samsthapanarthaya. Now He says, sarva-dharman parityajya: "Give up all religion." That means that anything without Krsna consciousness, without God consciousness, is a cheating religion. It is not religion.
Religion means the order of the Supreme Lord: dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam. If we do not know who is the Supreme Lord, if we do not know what is the order of the Supreme Lord, then where is religion? That is not religion. That may go on in the name of religion, but that is cheating. So Bhagavad-gita ends sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja, and the Srimad-Bhagavatam begins from that point.
Therefore Bhagavad-gita is the preliminary study of Srimad-Bhagavatam, which begins, dharmah projjhita-kaitavo 'tra: "Now, in this Bhagavatam, all cheating types of religion are rejected, projjhita."
Real religion means to love God. Therefore Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.6) says, sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje: "Devotion to the Supreme Lord is first-class religion." The Bhagavatam's definition doesn't say that you must follow this religion or that religion. You may follow any religion. It doesn't matter. Either Hindu religion or Christian religion or Muslim religion anything you like. But we have to test. For example, if a student has passed the M.A. examination, nobody inquires, "From which college have you passed your examination?" No. "You have passed the M.A. examination? That's all right. We are concerned whether you are a graduate. That's all." Nobody inquires, "From which college, from which country, from which religion have you passed your M.A. examination?"
Similarly, nobody should inquire, "To which religion do you belong?" One must see whether he has learned this art: how to love God. That's all. That is religion. Here is the religion: sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja. That is religion. The Bhagavatam says, dharmah projjhita-kaitavo 'tra: "All cheating types of reli-gion are kicked out from this Srimad- Bhagavatam."
The Bhagavatam is only for the nirmatsaranam, those who are not envious of God. The demons ask, "Why shall I love God? Why shall I worship God? Why shall I accept God?" But the Srimad-Bhagavatam is only for those who are actually serious about loving God.
Redirecting Our Love
Real success of life is when you have learned how to love Krsna. Then your heart will be satisfied. Krsna means God. If you have another name of God, that is also accepted. But you must love God, the Supreme Lord, the Supreme Person.
We all love somebody. The loving propensity is there in everyone, but it is misdirected. Therefore Krsna says, "Kick out all these love objects. Try to love Me." Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam. Misdirected love will never be able to satisfy you. If you want real satisfaction, you must love Krsna, God.
That is the whole Vedic philosophy or any philosophy you take. Because, after all, you want satisfaction of your self, full satisfaction of your mind. That can be achieved only when you love God. Therefore that religion is first-class which trains the candidate how to love God. And that love is without motive. Here in the material world we say, "I love you; you love me." But in the background is some motive. Love of God means no motive. All other desires become zero.
The pure nature of bhakti, love of God, is taught in the Bhagavad-gita. Somebody is working for knowledge, and somebody is working for sense gratification. That is the material world. Somebody is trying to become a very big scholar: "What is this? What is this? What is this?" He is not trying to understand God but to gain some superuous knowledge. That is called jnana. And karma means working day and night for sense gratification. But bhakti is transcendental. It is not tainted by all these contaminations, jnana and karma.
Therefore Narottama Dasa Thakura says, jnana-kanda, karma-kanda, kevala visera bhanda: "Whether you engage in karma or speculative knowledge, both are pots of poison. Whether you drink this one or that one, it doesn't matter."
If you follow karma-kanda, the path of karma, you'll get a body next life according to your karma. Jnana-kanda also leads to another material body. If you become very advanced in knowledge, you can get a body in a brahmana family, in a very educated family. But you'll have to go through the transmigration of the soul, the repetition of birth and death. There is that risk. You do not know what body you will get. It is not guaranteed. Even a little mistake can result in your getting a lower body. For example, at the time of death Bharata Maharaja was thinking of a deer, and next life he got the life of a deer.
Nature is so perfect that you will get a body similar to your mental condition at death. Krsna is with you. He will see, "Now he is thinking of becoming a king," or "Now he is thinking in such a way that he will become a dog." So Krsna immediately gives you the body of a dog or a lion or a king. You must take the body He gives you.
Similarly, if you are thinking of Krsna, you will take a body like Krsna's immediately. That is Krsna consciousness: to train the mind to die thinking of Krsna. Then your life is successful.
Therefore we have to chant Hare Krsna and always think of Krsna. Then our life is perfect.
Thank you very much.