Lecture: Bhagavad-gita 10.8
Simhacala Farm, Germany (5 September 2005)
om namo bhagavate vasudevaya . . .
Bhagavad-gita, Chapter Ten, Text Eight:
aham – I; sarvasya – of all; prabhava – the source of generation; mattah – from Me; sarvam – everything; pravartate – emanates; iti – thus; matva – knowing; bhajante – become devoted; mam – unto Me; budhah – the learned; bhava-samanvitah – with great attention.
So, Krishna explains and Prabhupada gives his very nice purport. Krishna is saying:
I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.
Purport by Srila Prabhupada:
A learned scholar who has studied the Vedas perfectly and has information from authorities like Lord Caitanya and who knows how to apply these teachings can understand that Krsna is the origin of everything in both the material and spiritual worlds, and because he knows this perfectly he becomes firmly fixed in the devotional service of the Supreme Lord. He can never be deviated by any amount of nonsensical commentaries or by fools. All Vedic literature agrees that Krsna is the source of Brahma, Siva and all other demigods. In the Atharva Veda (Gopala-tapani Upanisad 1.24) it is said, yo brahmanam vidadhati purvam yo vai vedams ca gapayati sma krsnah: "It was Krsna who in the beginning instructed Brahma in Vedic knowledge and who disseminated Vedic knowledge in the past." Then again the Narayana Upanisad (1) says, atha puruso ha vai narayano ’kamayata prajah srjeyeti: "Then the Supreme Personality Narayana desired to create living entities." The Upanisad continues, narayanad brahma jayate, narayanad prajapatih prajayate, narayanad indro jayate, narayanad astau vasavo jayante, narayanad ekadasa rudra jayante, narayanad dvadasadityah: "From Narayana, Brahma is born, and from Narayana the patriarchs are also born. From Narayana, Indra is born, from Narayana the eight Vasus are born, from Narayana the eleven Rudras are born, from Narayana the twelve Adityas are born." This Narayana is an expansion of Krsna.
Just as an aside here, before we continue and finish the purport –
Prabhupada explains in the Sixth Canto Bhagavatam purport that first you have Krishna. And then from Krishna comes Balarama; from Balarama comes Sankarsana; and then from Sankarsana comes Narayana. Then from that Narayana comes a second Sankarsana, from whom comes Mahavisnu, and then Garbhodakasayi Visnu, and then Ksirodakasayi Visnu. So, all of these different personalities – Lord Siva, Lord Brahma – are coming from Narayana, who is an expansion of an expansion of an expansion of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The point is that Krishna is the origin. Krishna is the source of everything.
So Prabhupada now continues his purport. He says:
It is said in the same Vedas, brahmanyo devaki-putrah: "The son of Devaki, Krsna, is the Supreme Personality." (Narayana Upanisad 4) Then it is said, eko vai narayana asin na brahma na isano napo nagni-samau neme dyav-aprthivi na naksatrani na suryah: "In the beginning of the creation there was only the Supreme Personality Narayana. There was no Brahma, no Siva, no water, no fire, no moon, no stars in the sky, no sun." (Maha Upanisad 1) In the Maha Upanisad it is also said that Lord Siva was born from the forehead of the Supreme Lord. Thus the Vedas say that it is the Supreme Lord, the creator of Brahma and Siva, who is to be worshiped.
In the Moksa-dharma Krsna also says,
"The patriarchs, Siva and others are created by Me, though they do not know that they are created by Me because they are deluded by My illusory energy."
So as another side note in this connection: If even these great personalities are deluded – if they do not understand that Krishna is their origin – then what is our position? Even these big, big personalities don’t understand. It is only by the mercy of the pure devotee that we can understand. It is only by Prabhupada’s mercy that we can understand.
And now Prabhupada concludes his beautiful purport with one more paragraph. He says:
In the Varaha Purana it is also said,
"Narayana is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and from Him Brahma was born, from whom Siva was born."
Lord Krsna is the source of all generations, and He is called the most efficient cause of everything. He says, "Because everything is born of Me, I am the original source of all. Everything is under Me; no one is above Me." There is no supreme controller other than Krsna. One who understands Krsna in such a way from a bona fide spiritual master, with references from Vedic literature, engages all his energy in Krsna consciousness and becomes a truly learned man. In comparison to him, all others, who do not know Krsna properly, are but fools. Only a fool would consider Krsna to be an ordinary man. A Krsna conscious person should not be bewildered by fools; he should avoid all unauthorized commentaries and interpretations on Bhagavad-gita and proceed in Krsna consciousness with determination and firmness.
om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya
What is Prabhupada doing? What is he doing here in this purport? Prabhupada wants to make sure that we are not fools. Just see how much information he’s giving us. Actually, the verse itself, the words of Krishna Himself, are sufficient evidence. But in case someone were to think, “Well, Krishna is biased because He’s talking about Himself - He’s an egotist,” so many other references are then given. Someone might just say that Krishna is an egomaniac, that He’s just spouting off about Himself. So many people spout off about themselves. So Prabhupada is giving so many other evidences, not only Krishna’s. Everyone says Krishna is the Supreme. Brahmaji says:
Brahmaji is a great authority, and he is saying this. All the great authorities say that Krishna is the Supreme. So we have to take it from the authorities. That is our system in the Vedic culture. In the modern-day culture, the system is that of speculation. One simply speculates and tries to come up with what is the Absolute Truth. But the difficulty is that our brainpower is very limited. Even Brahmaji, who has four heads – he has a huge brain! – even Brahmaji cannot speculate to know what is the truth. He is depending on Krishna from within. Tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye. He is depending on Lord Krishna from within to enlighten him with transcendental knowledge. So what is our position? How tiny we are! How very, very tiny we are. What can we realize with these speculative brains of ours, trying to figure out what is what?
There are two methods of acquiring knowledge. There is aroha pantha and there is avaroha pantha. Aroha pantha is called the ascending process. In Texas, where I come from, there’s a saying: “You can’t pick yourself up by your own bootstraps.” Cowboy boots are hard to get on, so there are some straps to help pull them on. There are even some little holders that go into the straps so you can pull up really hard and get them on your feet – somehow squeeze into them. But although you can reach down and pull up on your straps, you cannot pick yourself up with your own straps. The mental speculators are trying to pick themselves up philosophically with their own bootstraps. It’s not possible; you simply cannot do that. Now, if someone else comes along and grabs your bootstraps, they can pick you up. If there is an outside force that is picking you up, then you can be picked up. But on your own you cannot be picked up. So mental speculation means the ascending process by which you try to pick yourself up by your own philosophical bootstraps. You cannot do that. You can try from now until Doomsday, and you will not be successful. From now until the end of the universe you can try to do that, and you will not be successful.
So the actual method of acquiring knowledge is avaroha pantha. That is descending knowledge. Some outside force is coming and picking you up. That is the system. So this is how we acquire our knowledge: we take help from the outside source. If you are drowning in the middle of the ocean, you may very proudly think, “I will swim to the shore.” But how much energy do you have to swim to the shore? You may swim one half mile, maybe even one mile, but eventually you will become exhausted. But if some helicopter comes, or some boat comes, and they throw you a life raft and say, “Just grab on!” – then you are saved. So this is how we actually become delivered. This is how we get out of our miserable condition in this material existence. We take help from Krishna. We take help from the Vaisnavas. We take help from the spiritual master. We take help from the scriptures. Why? Because these deliver us from our fallen, perverted position – our miserable, ignorant position. How fortunate we are that Prabhupada’s mercy has come to us to deliver us from this entangled position. Karma-cakra.
A very common question that people have is, “What is the purpose of life? What is the meaning of existence?” Of course, it’s only a small, small percentage of people that ask such a question. They are a very small minority, but a lot of people do ask such questions. Manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye: Out of thousands among men only one will endeavor for the Truth. [Bg 7.3] So you will find that there will be that number of persons who inquire about the Absolute Truth. But only very, very few will actually find it. So, if a person is actually sincere to find out the Absolute Truth, Krishna within the heart will know the sincerity of that person. If that person really, really wants to know, “Who am I? Where have I come from? What is the purpose of my existence? How can I achieve perfection?” - if that desire is very, very strong within the heart; if it is a very genuine, very sincere desire within the heart - then Krishna will bring that person in contact with Krishna consciousness. Somehow or other he’ll get a book, or he’ll meet a devotee or senior devotee – somehow or other he will get the opportunity. Brahmanda brahmite kona bhagyavan jiva / guru-krnsa-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija. [Cc Madhya 19.151] If one is actually serious to get out of the difficult, bewildering situation of this material existence, Krishna will bring him in contact with the process of Krishna consciousness. Then that person will get the seed of bhakti planted in the heart.
Now what he does with that seed is up to him. One can understand, “I have now gotten the opportunity to get out.” Then one takes it with full seriousness. We take up the regular chanting of Hare Krishna – Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. We avoid the sinful activities: illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication and gambling. We avoid committing vaisnava-aparadha – we learn how to be very respectful to all the devotees, even if we disagree with them sometimes. In this way, if one takes up the process with all seriousness, following the directions of the scriptures, the spiritual master and the Vaisnavas, the result will be that one will make tangible advancement on the pathway back to home, back to Godhead. And that day will come when one will actually penetrate the coverings of this material world. One will actually penetrate the coverings of the material universe and enter into that sublime, transcendental Goloka Vrindavana and take shelter of the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna, Sri-Sri Radha-Krishna.
It all begins right here. If you want to achieve that supreme destination, then you have to focus on what is your mentality right now, at this very instant. What is your mentality right here, right now, at this very moment, in this class? That is what you have to focus on. Am I serious to become a humble devotee of the Lord; am I serious to be rectified of all my faults, whatever they may be? We have to come to that position of complete humility, where nothing is sacred except for Krishna consciousness. We have to be willing to give up everything that we may be attached to, everything that we may consider very near and dear to us – we have to be willing to give it all up for Krishna. That is pure devotional service: no karma, no jnana, no yoga – all material desires, zero. We have to come to that position.
Lord Nrsimhadeva will help us. Prabhupada has given us a very nice translation for this bahir nrsimho. He says the meaning is, “My dear Lord Nrsimhadeva, you sit within my heart and purify it of all the dirt. You completely purify my heart of all the bad propensities.” And then, “Bless me that I can spread Krishna consciousness.” So bahir nrsimho hrdaye nrsimho means “Nrsimha within and Nrsimha without.” So the prayer is, “Nrsimha within, purify me” and “Nrsimha without, may I spread Krishna consciousness all over the world.” This is a prayer which we sing every day. This is how Srila Prabhupada teaches us to meditate: to take this mood of worshiping Nrsimhadeva to purify us of all of our wicked mentalities, our faults, our diseased ideas, our diseased attitudes. We sincerely pray to Lord Nrsimhadeva to free us of these and to bless us that we can attract the whole world to His glories. Purification through Krishna consciousness and expansion of Krishna consciousness: these are the two rails on the track back to home, back to Godhead. If we will take them with all seriousness, all dedication, all determination, all patience, all enthusiasm, all enlivenment, and with great joy in our hearts, then nothing will stop us from becoming pure devotees and spreading Krishna consciousness like anything. Nothing can stop us. So we simply have to take that mercy of Lord Nrsimhadeva and Srila Prabhupada. Take that mercy of Guru and Krishna; put our heads at Their lotus feet and take full advantage of Their mercy. Then our lives will be absolutely, inconceivably sublime.
What do you think? Am I right or wrong?
Are there any questions? . . . Everyone already knows all the answers? You’re all learned brahmanas; you already know all the answers?
You talk about being really serious and determined to make the desire strong in our hearts . . . so how can we do that?
How to become strongly desiring Krishna consciousness? That’s a very good question. It has a very good answer also. How we can increase our determination: there are so many nice examples. Actually, determination is one of the most wonderful things. Dridha vratah: determined vow. It is a very nice thing, determination.
What is the example of determination given by Srila Prabhupada? Does everybody remember that example in the Bhagavad-gita of the little sparrow? That little sparrow was so determined! The big, nasty ocean had stolen the eggs from the little sparrow – ha-ha-ha-ha! The cruel ocean stole the eggs away from the little sparrow, and would not give them back. So cruel and wicked was that ocean! Yet the little sparrow was very determined: “I will get my eggs back - I will dry up that ocean!” So she ran down to the ocean, picked up a mouthful of water, and ran back to deposit that water on the shore. She continued to go running back down to the ocean again and again, each time taking up that water in her tiny beak and running back to the shore. In this way she was determined, “I will dry up that ocean!” And everybody around was laughing. “Aha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Look at that stupid little bird - she thinks she’s going to dry up the ocean!” The little sparrow became a laughingstock. Everyone was having a big, big laugh.
Then Garuda heard what was going on. He’s the king of the birds. He thought, “My little sister is being offended in this way? The ocean has stolen her eggs and everyone is making fun of her? Ahhh . . .” He became very angry. So he came swooping in and told the ocean, “You’d better give those eggs back right now or I’m going to destroy you!” Garuda has great mystic powers. He threatened to destroy the ocean, and he could have done it. He could have completely destroyed that ocean by his mystic power. So in great fear, the ocean returned the eggs.
So if you want to become determined, you should never feel that there is some obstacle which is too great to overcome. And if you want to be determined, you must also become celibate – brahmacari. And that means if you are a married man, you can only have sex for procreation; that is also brahmacari. You must regulate your sex life; that will make you determined. If we overindulge in sex pleasure we lose our power of determination. We become weak. That’s why we have our principle: no illicit sex. Now, if we indulge in illicit sex we will lose our power of determination and become weak-minded. So if we remember the little sparrow and practice brahmacari principles, we will become very determined and very powerful. And we can accomplish great things, like controlling our minds. That is the greatest accomplishment. If you can bring your mind under control, you will become the greatest hero.
You know, there’s actually a Hindi saying: “If you can conquer your mind, you can conquer the whole world.” Conquering over the mind is not an easy thing. If we can conquer the mind, then there’s no limit to what we can accomplish. That’s a fact. That’s why Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura says, “Every morning when you wake up, you take one pair of shoes; and what do you do? You beat that rascal mind one hundred times! And every night what do you do? Leave your shoes aside; now you grab one broom – and again, you beat that rascal mind one hundred times!” If we follow these instructions we will become very determined and very powerful in Krishna consciousness. We’ll be able to revolutionize our own hearts. And once we accomplish that, we will factually be able to revolutionize this planet. That’s a fact. We first have to revolutionize our hearts. The spiritual revolution begins here: right there in our hearts.
So you had a question?
I had a similar question.
And it already got answered; all right. Are there any other questions? Yes, Prabhu?
We often hear this example of beating the mind with a stick. What can you give for a practical example . . . ?
This is obviously allegorical – otherwise we really would be a weird cult, if we required all our members to beat with a broomstick, literally. So what does that mean? It means you have to follow the in pathway of the poet Govinda das. He says, bhajahu re mana sri-nanda-nandana
abhaya-caranaravinda re. He says, “My dear mind” - or you can call your mind a rascal, also; either way, same thing - “My dear mind” or “My rascal mind, stop this nonsense; stop this nonsense!” You have to grab your mind like a mother training a child. When you see that your mind is not thinking in the proper way, you have to stop it from thinking in that way. If your mind is thinking about some woman, for example, you say, “Okay, mind. Just stop this nonsense. Hare Krishna.” If you see that your mind is thinking some bad thing about a devotee, some angry thought against a devotee, you say, “This is nonsense. This is vaisnava-aparadha. Stop it! You think of Krishna.”
In this way you have to watch your mind and see whenever it deviates, because everything begins from the mind. Thinking, feeling, willing, acting. The mind is the most crucial point. If you can train your mind to always think in the most proper way, then everything else will follow automatically. If your mind is always thinking properly, then your feelings will be proper, what you will will be proper, and what you actually do will be proper. If you think properly then you will speak properly and you will act properly. If you try to act properly without thinking properly, then it’s just a false show. If you try to act properly and speak properly without thinking properly, again it’s a false show - you want to make a show of being an advanced devotee. You may go on for some time with your little charade, but sooner or later you’ll be exposed, and it won’t work anyway. If you want to be steady on the pathway back to home, back to Godhead, you have to train the mind how to be always absorbed in Krishna consciousness, from the moment you wake up in the morning to the moment you take rest at night. And then you will naturally dream of Krishna conscious things. Yato yato niscalati manas cancalam asthiram. [Bg 6.26] From whatever that mind wanders due to its flickering and unsteady nature, you grab it and bring it back. “What?? Mind, come on. Nonsense – get back here! Come on – back here. Back on track, to Krishna consciousness.”
So that is the actual beating of the mind. You catch it doing nonsense, and you bring it back to Krishna consciousness. And in due course of time (as we studied in Wiesbaden the other day) the mind will become the best friend, because actually, your true nature is that you are a pure devotee of Krishna. You’ve forgotten it, that’s all. You are covered by a deep, dense fog of modes of nature. So by taking this process very seriously, the reawakening of that dormant, enlightened consciousness, your Krishna consciousness, will become – gradually, gradually – an irrevocable fact.
So, anything else? Questions?
We thank you so much for your so nicely receiving us. This is your kindness; so we thank you for your mercy. We hope that we can reciprocate nicely. My wife, Visnupriya Mataji, came with me from America. Of course, Helen and Eddie have come; they are taking us around Germany. So we are very happy that you are receiving us here very nicely. Thank you very much. Hare Krishna. Srila Prabhupada ki jaya – raja-vidya Srimad Bhagavad-gita ki jaya!
Transcribed by Her Grace Labangalatika devi dasi