750226 - Lecture BG 13.03 - Miami

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

750226BG-MIAMI - February 26, 1975 - 41:18 Minutes

Nitāi: "O scion of Bharata, you should understand that I am also the knower in all bodies, and to understand this body and its owner is called knowledge. That is My opinion."


kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi
sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata
kṣetra-kṣetrajñayor jñānaṁ
yat taj jñānaṁ mataṁ mama
(BG 13.3)

So last night we discussed about the questions by Arjuna to Lord Kṛṣṇa. He had six questions. One question is: What is this nature, material nature, prakṛti? And another question is puruṣaṁ, the living being, or the human being. The human being, or the living being. Actually living being, but especially the humankind, they are trying to exploit this material nature. So what is this material nature, and what are these living beings who are trying to exploit? Two questions. The third: kṣetram, the field of activities. Take it as body or as your country or as your property. Whatever you. . . That is called kṣetra. And kṣetra-jña means the proprietor or the knower. Four questions. And the jñānam and jñeyam: knowledge and the subject matter of knowledge, what is the subject matter of knowledge? These six questions are put before Kṛṣṇa, the spiritual master of Arjuna.

The first answer was there, that Kṛṣṇa said, idaṁ śarīraṁ kaunteya kṣetram ity abhidhīyate (BG 13.2). This body. It is very simple question and simple answer. One has to ponder over it, then things will be very clear. He said that kṣetra means "field of activities." Kṣetra… It is called kṣetra. Just like a plowman, it is called the…, what is called, plowman? The kṛśan? The agriculturalist who works in the field?

Devotee: Farmer?

Prabhupāda: Farmer, yes. The farmer and the field. The farmer knows that "I am working on this farm, and there will be some production, and I will enjoy it." So the farmer and the farm, two different things. The farmer never thinks that "I am the farm." He never mistakes this. We also do not commit mistake. Just like if I see this finger, I say, "It is my finger." Nobody says "I finger." Nobody says. Even you ask a child, ask him, "My dear child, what is this?" he'll reply immediately, "My finger." So the knower, that "I am not this body. I am the proprietor or the owner or the occupier of the body," it is simple knowledge. Who says that "I am this body"? Everyone says "my body," "my head," "my hand," "my leg." And still he is confusing, that "I am this body." Just see, simple thing. Who says that "I body"? Everyone says "my body." And still he identifies himself with this body. This is called illusion, māyā.

So the whole world is going on on this misconception of life, that "I body." Nobody. . . He knows "my body," but still he says "I body." "I am Indian," "I am American," "I am white," "I am black," "I am this," "I am that." No. You are neither Indian nor American nor white nor black nor fat nor thin. It is your body which is black, white, fatty, thin or something. This is knowledge. This is knowledge. But the whole world is lacking this knowledge. Therefore there is confusion. Everyone, although he knows that he is not this body, everyone knows. When the father dies, the children cry, "My father has gone." Where is your father gone? Your father is lying on the bed. Why do you say father gone? But he knows actually that father is gone; this is father's body. But during the lifetime he never thought that "My father is different from this body." This is ignorance.

So one who understands this fact, that "My father is different from the body of my father," or "I am different from my body. . ." Therefore Kṛṣṇa, kṣetra-kṣetrajñayor jñānaṁ yat taj jñānaṁ mataṁ mama (BG 13.3). That is real knowledge. Unless one comes to this point, that he is not this body, he is the occupier of the body or the owner of the body… Not owner; occupier. Owner is God. Just like in the house—I have explained already—there are two persons. One occupier, the tenant; and the owner, the landlord. Similarly, this body I have been given by God to use it. Just like the farmer takes some land from the government and he tills over it and produces his foodstuff, grain. But he knows that "Although I am occupier of this field, the real owner is the landlord." Similarly, if we understand this fact, that God has given me this body to work according to my desire, but the body is not my property; it is the property of God, Kṛṣṇa—this is knowledge. So if the property is Kṛṣṇa's, then it should be utilized for Kṛṣṇa's benefit, not my benefit. I can take some profit out of it as Kṛṣṇa's prasādam, whatever Kṛṣṇa gives me, kindly. Just like the landlord gives the house, so the house is utilized for the landlord because I pay rent. I pay rent. The rent is not mine; it is for the benefit of the landlord. Or I occupy some land from the government. So I work on it, but the profit goes to the government; I take little profit out of it. Simple thing. So if we understand that "I am not the proprietor of this body; I am simply occupier, tenant. The rent must be paid to the landlord for his benefit," similarly, either you take this body or this whole world—nobody's property. It is God's property. Actually it is the fact. You European, Columbus came to America, but it was not his property, neither his father's property. It was God's property. So you have come here. You have occupied it. That's all right. But you cannot claim that it is your property. No land anywhere, either America, anywhere. But unfortunately, we are claiming, "This is my property," "This is our property. Why you should come here?" How it is your property?

So this is Kṛṣṇa consciousness: if we understand factually that anything which you are using in this world, everything belongs to God. Īśāvāsyam idaṁ. . . This is the Vedic philosophy. Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam (ISO 1). Sarvam, everything. Everything belongs to God. This is real philosophy. Unfortunately, every one of us, we are claiming, "This is my property," "This is our property," "This is my nation's property," "This is my community's property." But that is not the fact. The fact is everything is God's property. The real proprietor is God. I am simply given lease or tenancy to use it properly and pay taxes or rent to the landlord. That is my duty.

Therefore, according to Vedic principle one has to offer sacrifices. Yajñārthāt karmaṇo 'nyatra loko 'yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ (BG 3.9). Yajña means sacrifice, offering sacrifice to the Lord. In every religion there is a process of sacrifice according to their ritualistic ceremony. Sacrifice means to satisfy the real proprietor or government. That is called sacrifice. I earn something; some percentage of my income I sacrifice for the benefit of the government or the landlord. So why not for God, who is the actual proprietor? What is the reason that you deny to satisfy God, the supreme proprietor? What is the reason? This is called ignorance. Actually, everything belongs to God. I have not manufactured this land, neither this water in the sea, nor the air, nor the sky. So everything is made of these five elements, whatever you should think. Just like this microphone. What is this microphone? It is a product mixing this earth, water, air, fire, sky, that's all. The metal, metal is earth, and you have melted it in fire. The fire belongs to God; the material belongs to God. And because you have manufactured, it becomes to yours? No. Suppose a carpenter manufactures some furniture. The person, he gives him wood, he gives him salary, laboring charges. So when it is manufactured, whose property it will be? It will belong to the carpenter or to the proprietor who has given him facilities? These are very simple things.

So therefore Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to make people understand that everything belongs to God, Kṛṣṇa. Nothing to you. You can simply work on His behalf. But the result of your work must go to God. Karmaṇy evādhikāras tu mā phaleṣu kadācana (BG 2.47). That is. . . You can work honestly for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord. Sva-karmaṇā tam abhyarcya saṁsiddhir labhyate naraḥ (BG 18.46). If you want perfection of your life, then you work, and the result must go to God, or God must be satisfied by your work. That is the perfection of your life.

ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā
svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya
saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam
(SB 1.2.13)

Everyone is working according to his capacity, that's a fact. But nobody is trying to see that "Whether I am getting perfection by working like this?" That is wanted. And how this perfection can be understood? Saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam. If you can satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead by your working, that is your perfection. That is your perfection. Just like ordinarily we work: I want to see that master is satisfied. Similarly, the supreme master, Supreme Lord, is God, Kṛṣṇa. So if you can satisfy by your work, then your labor is successful. Otherwise, śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8)—simply wasting time and energy. This is the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and this is the fact.

So Kṛṣṇa therefore says in the next verse that kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata (BG 13.3). Just like a big landlord, he has got fifty houses. So the tenant is occupier, but the proprietor of the fifty houses is the landlord. So here it is Kṛṣṇa saying, God saying, that the living entity who is occupying this body, he is kṣetra-jñaṁ, knower of the occupation. Everyone knows that I am occupying this; I have already explained. This is my body, this is my head, this is my leg; I am here. So this knower is also kṣetra-jñaṁ, one who knows. Another person also, that is Kṛṣṇa, God. Therefore He says, kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi: "I am also one of the occupier or the proprietor of this body." Therefore there are two persons—one person is the occupier, and the another person is the proprietor. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, māṁ ca viddhi: "Also understand that I am also in this body."

There is Supersoul within this body, everyone's body. So I am individual person, you are individual person. You know about your body. You do not know, I do not know—but so far we know that it is my body. I do not know what is going on within this body. We are eating foodstuff. How it is transformed into blood and then from blood to muscle and bone and so many things, big factory is going on, we do not know. But Kṛṣṇa knows, God knows, because He has given this body. He knows everything. Therefore He said, kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi. Janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). This body is manufactured by the agent, the material nature. We do not manufacture. The father, mother, they gives us, they give us this body, but he does not know; neither the father knows, neither the mother knows how this body is manufactured. That is known to God, Kṛṣṇa. He has set up the machine. So therefore He says, kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi: "You are also knower of this body. Also, I am also knower of this body," sarva-kṣetreṣu. "But you are simply knower of your body; he knows about his body. But I know about your body, his body, others' body, others' body, that. . ." That is called God: omniscient, omnipotent. My pains and pleasure, I understand; your pains and pleasure, you understand. But I do not understand your pains and pleasure, and you do not understand what is my pains and pleasure. But God knows your pains and pleasure, my pains and pleasure; therefore He is all-pervading. Otherwise, why do we go to God for offering our prayers and submit, "My Lord, this is my pains and pleasure. Kindly give me relief"? He knows. He can give relief. He is all-powerful. He can give you relief. Otherwise why there is process: go to the church or go to the temple or go to the mosque, offer your prayers? That is religion. In every human society there is some kind of religion to offer prayer to the Lord—everyone knows, anyone who is religious—because He knows everything, and He can mitigate.

So that God comes to inform us how we shall be happy. He comes personally or He sends His son or His devotee. This is going on. We are misled by the illusory energy. We wanted to forget Kṛṣṇa, or God, to live independently. And Kṛṣṇa gives us immense opportunity, that "You live independently, as you like you can do. I shall give you all facilities." That facility is given, because He is within. Sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata. He is sitting in everyone's heart. So I want, I pray to God, "My Lord, give me this facility. I shall enjoy." God does not say that you will be happy by your proposal. He says, "No, this is not good proposal. You do not ask Me anything manufactured by you. You act as I say; then you will be happy." Just like a child. If a child says, "Father, I shall touch this fire," the father will never say, "My dear child, yes, you touch." Father will say, "No, no. Don't touch fire. You'll suffer." But if he persists, then He gives sanction, "All right, you touch your finger with fire, and at your risk." This is going on. We pray to God for our sense gratification the same way: "Father, let me touch this fire." But he does not know. The father does not say. So similarly, this whole material world is going on, this foolish child asking from father, "Give me this facility." Father says, "No, this will not make you happy. You just become obedient to Me." Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). That is His desire. But I'll not do that. So then father says, "All right, you want this; you do it at your risk. What can I do?"

So when we act according to our whims, according to our sense gratificatory process, that is our material bondage. It is called conditional life. We are given the facility under certain condition. We have got this body; we have got these senses. They can work under certain condition, because we are not independent. I have got the eyes—God has given me the eyes—but I can see when there is light, condition. When there is darkness, it is not possible to see. Similarly, in every activity we are conditioned. Just like people are now trying to go to the moon planet. So many conditions they could not fulfill; therefore they are not successful. Why you should go to the moon planet? It is not meant for you. But they will go by force. They are thinking that "We have become independent now by so-called scientific knowledge." So they have not been successful. Every planet is meant for every other, different kinds of living entities. How you can go there by force? Just like any man outside America, he cannot come here by force. He must take the permission of the American government, visa; then he can come. So how you can go to the moon planet without taking the visa? Simply by your bodily strength? That will not be allowed.

Everything is made for a different. . . It is said in the Vedic literature,

yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi-
koṭiṣv aśeṣa-vasudhādi vibhūti-bhinnam
tad brahma niṣkalam anantam aśeṣa-bhūtaṁ
(Bs. 5.40)

Just like if you go. . . If you want to go to the sun planet, the sun planet is there; but you cannot go, because you are not fit to enter into the sun planet. Similarly, you are not also fit to enter in the moon planet or any other planet. Your body is made differently. Why sun planet, moon planet? If you want to live within the water, can do you that? These are the conditions. The fish, they cannot live on the land. You cannot live in the water. You have to abide by the condition. The fish can live very freely in the water, and you can live very freely on the land. But if you by force want to enter the water, you will die. Similarly, if the fish want to live by force on the land, he will die. Everything, we are conditioned.

prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate
(BG 3.27)

The foolish persons, they are all conditioned. But they want to live independently. How it is possible? That is not possible.

So for want of knowledge, for want of understanding our relationship with God, with this world, we are suffering. Nobody can say that "I am not suffering." Everyone, we are suffering. That is our conditional life. Nobody can say that "I am not suffering." How you are not suffering? You are suffering from your bodily condition, by your mental condition, by some obstruction offered by other living entities, by obstruction offered by nature. Where you are free? But still, everyone is thinking, "I am independent. I am free. I can do whatever you like." This called material life of ignorance. Mūḍhā. That has been described in the Bhagavad-gītā, na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ (BG 7.15). Narādhamāḥ. Narādhamāḥ…, nara means the human being, and adhama means the lowest. The narādhamāḥ, the lowest of the human kind, he does not accept the authority of God. Why? Miscreants. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino. Because we are engaged only in sinful activities, we cannot understand God. Neither we, I mean, surrender to God. These are the formulas. And mūḍhā. Mūḍhā means rascal, fool. He is in every step dependent, and still he is thinking independent. Every moment he is dependent, and he is thinking, "Ah, I am independent. What is God? I don't care for Him." Therefore mūḍhā, one rascal. He is beaten with shoes every moment by the material nature, the agent of God, and he is, still he is thinking that he is free.

Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ (BG 7.15). Narādhamāḥ means the lowest of the mankind. Why lowest of the mankind? Because this human form of body is meant for understanding God. The cats and dogs, they cannot understand God. That is not possible. They have no intelligence. But a human being, if he likes, he can understand what is God, what I am, what is my relationship with God, how I shall act. Therefore one who does not do this, although nature has given you the opportunity to understand all these things, and if you do not do this, you simply act like cats and dogs—eating, sleeping, mating and defending—then we become mūḍhā, duṣkṛtina.

Now, one can say that "All these people are mūḍhās, or rascals, who have passed this university education, B.Sc., D.Sc. and so many things? They are all mūḍhās?" Kṛṣṇa says, "Yes, they are mūḍhās." Why? Now, māyayāpahṛta-jñānā. They have struggled for education, for so many things, but he does not know what is God. Therefore real knowledge is taken away. He is proud of his false knowledge. Real knowledge is, kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata (BG 13.3). Etaj jñānam. This is knowledge. God is sitting within everyone's heart, but the so-called educated person, he does not know what is God. So what is the value of his knowledge? Therefore māyayāpahṛta-jñānā. Māyā, the illusory energy, has taken away his knowledge. He is a fool. So real knowledge is that. . . This technological knowledge, that is not knowledge. Kṛṣṇa says, "This is knowledge." What is that knowledge? That one should know that "I am not this body; I am the proprietor or occupier of the body." Similarly, God is also the supreme proprietor of this body. If you know these three things, then that is knowledge. Otherwise, all simply illusion, ignorance. This is the fact.

So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to give this knowledge to the whole world. We have no such discrimination that "This knowledge should be denied to this man or that man." No. Everyone is son of God. Kṛṣṇa says, mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ (BG 15.7). "Everyone, all living entities, they are My part and parcel, but they are differently dressed." Just like we are sitting here differently dressed. Similarly, any living being—it doesn't matter whether he is man or beast or bird or demigod, higher or lower—everyone is living entity, the spiritual spark of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, part and parcel. But according to their desire, according to their motive, they have got this different dress, body. And this body is subjected to the nature's law—birth, death, old age and disease. And we are not happy. Nobody wants to die, either he is a cat or dog or human being or demigod or minister or anyone. Nobody wants to die, but nature forces him: "You must die." This is conditional.

So if we want to become unconditional, then we must surrender to God. That is the demand of Kṛṣṇa: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). And if we take His instruction. . . It doesn't matter whether you take from Bhagavad-gītā or from Bible or from Koran, but take His instruction and abide by it. Then your life will be successful. Otherwise, if you cannot satisfy God, then whatever you are doing, endeavoring to do, it is simply waste of time and waste of energy. It will not be successful. Therefore people are suffering. They have become godless. They do not surrender to God. They have become so-called independent, and simply they are becoming entangled in the laws of nature. Yajñārthāt karmaṇo 'nyatra loko 'yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ (BG 3.9). If you do not act for the satisfaction of God, then you will be entangled. You will be entangled life after life. That is not very good thing.

So we are trying to preach this philosophy all over the world. I request all ladies and gentlemen present here to take advantage of this philosophy and try to understand. We have got many books. Simply we are describing about this philosophy. We have got about fifty books like this—big, big books. Either you accept immediately, or if you want to understand through philosophy, science, we have got these books. You can understand. But the fact is this: that unless we surrender to God, unless we act according to His desire, all our activity is simply baffled and waste of energy.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda!

Prabhupāda: Any question? (break) . . .just like this body to another body. That body may not be human body. There are 8,400,000's of different kinds of body. So at the time of death your mentality at the moment will give you a similar type of body. It may be higher than human being or lower than human being or the same body. That depends on your mental situation at the time of death.

Devotee (1): Prabhupāda? How long will it take for the soul to transfer from one body to the next body?

Prabhupāda: Within a second. Because the soul is transferred through mind, intelligence and ego. So suppose. . . You can study your mind. You are sitting here. Within a second you can go ten thousand miles away. That is the law of nature. Similarly, according to your mentality you will be immediately transferred to the soul—the small particle—into the semina of the father, and sex is going on. So you are transferred to the suitable father, and he injects to the womb of the mother, and new body immediately begins to develop. And when it is finally developed, you come out and work out.

Devotee (2): Śrīla Prabhupāda, in one of the verses it states that taking birth means accepting this body as oneself.

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Devotee (2): And does this mean that liberation means simply one understands he is not this body? Does that means he dies and. . .

Prabhupāda: That is the beginning of knowledge, jñānam. Then you have to develop this knowledge. Then if you act that you are not this body, you are spirit soul, and you act as spirit soul, then you are liberated. That is liberation. The definition is given, muktir hitvānyathā rūpaṁ sva-rūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ (SB 2.10.6) Mukti, liberation, means we are now engaged in the bodily concept of life. This is called bondage. And if we give up working on the bodily concept of life, if we actually work on the transcendental platform as spirit soul, that is liberation.

Indian man: Prabhupāda, if we chant. . . When we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, we gain happiness, peace of mind, here on earth. Should we then desire to live here on earth a long time?

Prabhupāda: That is not in your hands, long time or short time. That you are dependent on nature. As soon as nature will call you, "Get out," you have to go out. It will not depend on your whim. Long time, short time—that is not. . . But you have to leave this place, that's a fact. Either today or tomorrow or hundred years after, you have to leave. So before leaving this body, we must be fully Kṛṣṇa conscious. That is successful life. Therefore because we do not know how long I shall live in this body, therefore we should begin this business immediately. That is intelligence. Because I do not know how long. It is not under me; it is under the control of the nature. So just like some train is coming. You do not know when it is coming, then you have to finish your business to get the train so that you may not miss the train. Similarly our this human form of life is given to us by God to face the spiritual understanding of life, so that before the death comes I am completely prepared for my spiritual transfer. That is success of life. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That is the real business.

You cannot find out the history, but the answer is that as soon as you desire to live independently, then you have begun your journey in this material world. When you have begun. . . Just like if a man is diseased and he goes to the physician, there is no such question, "When you began that disease?" You might have begun one week ago, infected some disease. That is not very important question. You have got disease: you treat it and be cured. When we have begun. . . You might have begun three hundred years ago or three days before; it doesn't matter. But you are infected with the disease. Just get treatment and be cured.

Young child: How can I be Kṛṣṇa consciousness?

Prabhupāda: (laughs) He also questions? What. . . (break) (end).