661221 - Lecture BG 09.29-32 - New York

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



661220BG.NY - December 20, 1966



Prabhupāda:

samo 'haṁ sarva-bhūteṣu
na me dveṣyo 'sti na priyaḥ
ye bhajanti tu māṁ bhaktyā
mayi te teṣu cāpy aham
(BG 9.29)

The Lord says that, "I am . . . although I am equal to everyone . . ." the God is nobody's enemy and nobody's special friend, just like the king, the government—nobody's enemy, nobody's friend. As you act, so you get result. Similarly, for common man, there is no special favor from God. Ye tu bhajanti māṁ bhaktyā. Ye tu. This tu means "but." Here is a word, "but." But means just like we sometimes say that "I am such and such, but . . ." "But" means there is something special. So this word is used here, tu. Tu means "but."

What is that "but?" Ye tu bhajanti māṁ prītyā: "Anyone who is engaged in devotional service of Me, so for him I have got special attention." Ye tu mām . . . ye bhajanti tu māṁ bhaktyā mayi te teṣu cāpy aham: "As he is always, constantly engaged in My service, similarly, I am also engaged always in his service," the Lord says.

Here one passage is quoted by a great commentator, Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, that bhagavān bhakta-bhaktimān. Just like we become devoted, similarly, God also becomes devoted to us. You don't think that one-sided devotion. No. Just like love is never one-sided. Love is reciprocation. Reciprocation. Similarly, although God is great, He becomes a devotee of the devotee. He takes pleasure in that way. It is clearly stated that, "I also try to devote Myself for his service." As we take pleasure in serving God, similarly, God also takes pleasure by serving the devotee. That is reciprocation. Now, this śloka we have already discussed the last day. Next śloka is:

api cet su-durācāro
bhajate mām ananya-bhāk
sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ
samyag vyavasito hi saḥ
(BG 9.30)

So now somebody may say that, "If a devotee is engaged in the service of the Lord, that's all right, but if his behavior is not up to the standard, then what happens to him?" Of course, a devotee is naturally developed . . . developing the twenty-six good qualities, but even if he does not develop those qualities . . . of course, that very quality, that he is a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, that is sufficient. But still, if somebody is not up to the point, but he is unflinching, mean to say, not moving, he is perfect devotee of Kṛṣṇa, then Lord Kṛṣṇa says, api cet su-durācāraḥ. Api cet su-durācāraḥ. Durācāraḥ means his conduct is not good, and su-durācāraḥ means still further.

So api cet su-durācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk. Ananya-bhāk means "Without deviating his attention to any other demigod or any other business, if one is simply cent percent engaged in My service, but his character is . . . general activities are not so to the point, still," the Lord says, sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ. Sādhu means a pious man or a religious man. Sādhu means the honest man and all good qualities. Still, although he is found that he is not to the standard, but his only qualification is that he is acting in Kṛṣṇa consciousness sincerely . . .

It may be . . . suppose I have got some bad character from the beginning of my life, but I have understood that, "Kṛṣṇa consciousness is very nice. I shall take to it." So I am trying, trying my best. But at the same time, because I am habituated to something, I cannot give it up. Although I know that this my habit is not good, but still, habit is the second nature; I cannot give it up.

So Lord Kṛṣṇa recommends that, "Still, he is good. There is no question that he is not a sādhu or he is not an honest, he is not religious man. That simple one qualification, that he is Kṛṣṇa conscious, and he is acting sincerely, but failing sometime, but still, he is to be taken as sādhu." Sādhu means honest, religious, pious. Sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ (BG 9.30).

And one may say that, "Yes, because he is devotee of God, devotee of Kṛṣṇa, we may call him sādhu, but not cent percent." But Kṛṣṇa says: "No, cent percent sādhu. In spite of his that bad character, he is cent percent sādhu." So this is the recommendation. Why? Why is Kṛṣṇa stressing on this point, that "Whatever he may be, still he is honest, he is sādhu, he is religious, he is pious"? Why? That is to be understood in the next . . .

So this su-durācāraḥ . . . su-durācāraḥ means that according to time, according to circumstances, according to so many . . . there are influences. Just like I have come to your country. So, so far rigid regulation and rules are concerned, in the beginning, of course, we do not find such opportunities to strictly follow. But still, we should not give so much attention for the regulation or strict rules and regulation. But we must see how much a person is advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That we have to see. And if we go on criticizing everyone, "Oh, you are not doing this. You are not doing this," so many things according to Vedic culture . . . there may be so many things, but we are not concerned. As far as possible, people should be given chance to develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Rūpa Gosvāmī, one of the big ācāryas, he says, yena tena prakāreṇa manaḥ kṛṣṇe niveśayet: "The first business is somehow or other people should be Kṛṣṇa conscious." So far rules and regulations are concerned . . .

yena tena prakāreṇa
manaḥ kṛṣṇe niveśayet
sarve vidhi-niṣedhā syur
etayor eva kiṅkarāḥ
(Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.4)

If one takes to that line of activities, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then all things, all regulation, will follow, just like a servant follows a master. If the master starts, the servant follows. Similarly, these things, rules and regulation, that will follow automatically. In the next śloka the Lord says, kṣipraṁ bhavati dharmātmā: "Because he has taken to that Kṛṣṇa consciousness, very soon he will be perfect pious man." This process will help him.

Don't be too much anxious, "Oh, I am not in such a way. I am not in such way." Whatever way you may be, you just take to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, very easy thing. If you take this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare / Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare very sincerely and regularly as far as possible, by following the rules and regulation, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness will help you to become a perfect and pious man very soon. Kṣipram. Kṣipram means very soon.

Just like in the material world, suppose if you want to sit on the bench of a high-court judge, you will have to acquire so many qualifications. You have to be a very big lawyer, and government must recognize that you are good lawyer. Then there will be so many recommendation by the Bar Association, by the lawyers. Then you can be recommended. But here the process is just that any way you sit down on the high-court judge, then all education will come to you. Don't you see how nice it is? Any way, if somebody takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, naturally and generally it will be found that he is becoming gradually a perfect pious man, perfect honest man. That is the thing.

Kṣipraṁ bhavati dharmātmā śaśvac-chāntiṁ nigacchati. Śaśvac-chānti. Because he will relish. He will relish this Kṛṣṇa consciousness so nicely that he will give up all nonsense automatically, "I don't like this, don't like." This is the process. He will give up automatically. Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate (BG 2.59). Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate. The whole world is after sense gratification, but a Kṛṣṇa conscious person, just very soon he will find that, "All these nonsense, oh, there is no happiness." He will give it up. He will give it up. It is so nice thing.

Some way or other, if you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, your, I mean, reluctance for sense gratification will automatically come. Automatic . . . you haven't got to train yourself that, "How to stop my sense gratification?" If you simply go on chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa sincerely. And what is that process? Chanting and hearing. When you chant, you hear, and you will enjoy. And you will enjoy so nicely that you will give up all that is not wanted in the advancement of his spiritual life. Kṣipram.

This is recommendation by Kṛṣṇa Himself, not that I am advertising— because I am preaching here Kṛṣṇa consciousness, therefore I am advertising, "The candidate may take it." But Kṛṣṇa Himself says. Kṣipraṁ bhavati dharmātmā śaśvac-chāntiṁ nigacchati. Śānti means he very soon he attains that perfect eternal happiness. Perfect peaceful life, eternal life, blissful life, he very soon attains.

And why? Kaunteya pratijānīhi. Pratijānīhi: "My dear Arjuna, you can declare this to the world. You declare." Why Kṛṣṇa is not declaring? Kṛṣṇa is declaring through His devotee, because Kṛṣṇa has a promise that, "I shall protect My devotee." If a promise is there by the devotee, that cannot be violated. Kṛṣṇa can . . . because He is God, He can violate His own promise because He is supreme. But He wants to protect His devotee; therefore He is trying to give the declaration through His devotee that, "It will be protected."

I will give you one example how Kṛṣṇa sometimes breaks His promise. It is very nice story. Kṛṣṇa, when He joined Arjuna, He promised from His own side that, "Because the fight is between your brothers, so it is not My duty . . . because both of you are My relatives, so it is not My duty to join one party and not to join another. But because I have divided Myself—Myself one side, and other side, My soldiers—but Duryodhana has decided to take My soldiers, not Me, so I shall join you. But I shall not fight. I shall not fight. I may take some work which may assist you." So Arjuna offered, "Whatever work You like, You can take." So He said: "All right. I shall drive your chariot."

So Kṛṣṇa's promise was that He will not fight. But at a time when Arjuna was perplexed by fighting with Bhīṣma . . . Bhīṣma was the greatest fighter, although he was very old man. Duryodhana incited him that, "Because the other side are your very pet grandsons, you are not fighting fully." That was the complaint of Duryodhana. So in order to encourage him, Duryodhana . . . Bhīṣma said to Duryodhana, "All right, tomorrow I shall finish all these five brothers. Tomorrow I shall finish. And I have got now special arrows for killing these five chivalrous brothers."

So Duryodhana was very intelligent. He told, "All right, please keep these five arrows with me for the night. I shall deliver you tomorrow in the morning." "All right, you take it." And Kṛṣṇa understood. Kṛṣṇa is, everything knows, past, present and future. Kṛṣṇa knew it that "Bhīṣma has now promised. He will kill." So He asked Arjuna—this is also politics—that, "You go to Duryodhana. Do you remember that Duryodhana"—Duryodhana is elderly than Arjuna—"that he would keep some promise which he has offered to you?" Duryodhana told him, "Arjuna, whenever you want something, I shall give you." "Now this is the time. You can go." "And what is that?" "Now, he has got five arrows for killing you. You should take and come to Me."

So after fight, they were friends. So Arjuna went to the camp of Duryodhana, and he was well received. "Well, Arjuna, come on. What do you want? Come on. Sit down. Do you want anything from me? If you want, I can stop this fight. I can return you this . . ." Arjuna said: "No. I have not come to you for begging my kingdom. Fighting will go on. But I want . . . you promised something." "Yes. I know. I offer you. What do you want?" "Now, I want those five arrows." At once he delivered.

And this information was carried to, I mean to say, Bhīṣma. Bhīṣma knew that, "Kṛṣṇa is very cunning also. He will save His devotee. So He has done this. All right, in spite of Kṛṣṇa . . . He has broken my promise, and tomorrow I shall see. If Kṛṣṇa does not break His promise, then His friend will be killed. I will fight in such a way."

So he was fighting in such a way that Arjuna became almost dead. Then at that time, Kṛṣṇa . . . the chariot was torn into pieces, and Arjuna fell down. And then Kṛṣṇa took up one of the wheel of the chariot and came before, "Now, Bhīṣma, you stop this fighting; otherwise I will kill you." Bhīṣma at once gave up his arrow, and he offered, "All right. Kill me."

So thing is that because Bhīṣma promised that "I shall kill Arjuna tomorrow," and Kṛṣṇa also promised not to fight, just to save these two devotees, Arjuna and Bhīṣma—Bhīṣma also was a great devotee—just to show him that, "I am breaking My promise. Please stop . . ." He wanted that, "Either I shall break My promise or you shall kill Arjuna. So better see that I have broken My promise." So in this way, sometimes, for devotee, He sometimes breaks His own promise.

So here Kṛṣṇa says, kaunteya pratijānīhi. "You promise, so I shall protect your promise." And what is that? Na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati: "Anyone who has taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he will be never destroyed. He will never be destroyed." Na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati. What is that destruction? The destruction is . . . of course, a living entity is never destroyed so far his constitution is concerned. Na hanyate hanyamāne (BG 2.20). The destruction of this body is not his destruction. The real destruction is that when we lose our spiritual consciousness, we lose our identity. That is destruction.

That is destruction, that now, in our material conception of life, we are practically destroyed because, destroyed in this way, because as spiritual being, I have got my eternal life, I have got my blissful life, I have got my knowledge, full knowledge, but here I am living in a wretched condition that my life is not eternal, I am not blissful, and I am not in full knowledge.

So don't you think that we are already destroyed? We are thinking that, "I am very much advancing in civilization," but unless you revive your original life of eternity and full knowledge and bliss, you should know that you are not advancing; you are being defeated by the illusory energy. This is destruction. Destruction of my real life is materialism.

So here Kṛṣṇa says, kaunteya pratijānīhi: "Please declare in the world that anyone who has taken to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness will never be destroyed. He will never go back again to that material life of sense gratification and pull on this material existence full of miseries. He will be taken out. He will be taken out sooner or later. As he has taken to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he will be never destroyed."

Our destruction is . . . you always remember: our destruction means material existence is the destruction of our spiritual existence. Because destroyed does not mean that as spiritual being, I will be nowhere. No. This is my position, nowhere. I do not know. Just like I am being kicked like a football. I have no place. You have seen football playing. The football has no place. As soon as comes somebody's feet, he kicks. He goes to another body. He kicks. He's another body—kicking. His only situation is being kicked, football.

So we are just like football. We are being kicked up. Now I am American. Next time I shall be kicked up to China. And from China, I will be kicked up to India. And from India, I shall be kicked up to Burma or kicked up to another place. This is going on. We do not know how we are being kicked up like a football from one place to another, one place to another. This is all false notion. How long I shall remain here?

Therefore this is the only way, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, to become perfect. Perfection means to attain spiritual life, eternity, blissful, and full of knowledge. That is waiting us. That is waiting us. Why should we refuse it? It is not a theory. Don't think that Bhagavad-gītā is something imaginary thing. No. People have taken to it. They have practiced. They have attained success. It is coming on since a very, very long time. It was first advised to the sun-god. Then, after many, many millions of years, again, five thousand years before, it was advised to Arjuna.

So it is coming down. It is accepted by all great ācāryas of India, and it is being followed, still being followed. So take it. Don't be destroyed. Take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and you will be saved. You will be saved from this destruction in the material . . .

Suppose if I am thrown into the ocean, that is practically my destruction. I may be very good swimmer, but that is no hope. That is no hope of my life. Any moment, I can go down into the depth of the ocean. Similarly, we are struggling very hard in this material ocean of existence. Simply struggling.

Just like a man is trying to save himself in the Atlantic Ocean, similarly, we are also trying here. This is not the process of getting yourself from the struggle-for-existence ocean. The thing is one must get you out from the ocean. Teṣām ahaṁ samuddhartā mṛtyu-saṁsāra-sāgarāt (BG 12.7). So Kṛṣṇa promises—you will find in the later, Tenth Chapter, that "Those who are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, I promise I shall take him from this ocean of birth and death."

māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya
ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrās
te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim
(BG 9.32)

Now, somebody may enquire, "Now, to become a Kṛṣṇa conscious person, is there any qualification required? Bhagavad-gītā was spoken by Lord Kṛṣṇa. He was . . . He appeared to be a Hindu, and it was spoken in India. And all the ācāryas, they are very learned men; they have adopted. But how we can take to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness? I am not . . . I do not belong to such particular creed or, say, particular country."

Now Kṛṣṇa says: "No, that is not disqualification." Māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ. Pāpa-yonayaḥ . . . of course, according to Vedic literature, there are mentions of pāpa-yoni. Yoni means species. Pāpa-yoni. Just like it is mentioned here, striyaḥ śūdrāḥ, striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrās te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim. Even the striyaḥ, even women, they are also classified amongst the pāpa-yoni. Pāpa-yoni means those who have got little facility for advancing themselves in spiritual life. So it is particularly mentioned here, striyaḥ, the woman class; śūdra—śūdra means the laborer class—and the vaiśya, mercantile class. Or less than that.

Because in India, according to the caste system, or varṇāśrama-dharma, the brahmin and kṣatriyas are considered to be the highest in the society, and the vaiśya, a little less than them, and śūdra, they are not taken into account. In the similarly, woman class, they are taken as śūdra. Śūdra. Just like the thread ceremony is given to the brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, but there is no thread ceremony for the woman class. Although the woman is born in the brahmin family, she has no that reformation. Because striyaḥ, woman class, are taken less intelligent, they should be given protection, but they cannot be elevated.

But here in the Bhagavad-gītā, He surpasses all these formalities. Lord Kṛṣṇa surpasses all these formalities. He is giving facility to everyone, never mind what he is. In the social structure, you may consider that woman is less intelligent or śūdra . . . or less purified, but in spiritual consciousness there is no such bar. Here Kṛṣṇa accepts everyone. Either you become woman or you are śūdra or a vaiśya or whatever you may be, that doesn't matter. If you simply take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the Lord is there. He will give you all protection, all protection, and gradually He will help you. You are already . . . one who is in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness platform, he is already in the liberated platform. Simply kṣipram: it will take some time only, kṣipram, but very soon he will be all right.

So this is the proposal of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and this is the facility of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So we should take this advantage of being Kṛṣṇa conscious—never mind what we are—and that will help us in attaining the perfection of life. Māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ (BG 9.32). This is very clearly declared here. Never mind what he is or she is. Just take to this process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness and your progress and advancement of spiritual life is guaranteed.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Any question? (end)