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ANNOUNCER: The following is a
class on the Bhagavad-gītā As It
Is, 1st chapter, text number 36,
given by His Divine Grace A. C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupāda, recorded on July 26,
1973 in London, England.


Translation: “Sin will overcome us
if we slay such aggressors.
Therefore it is not proper for us
to kill the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra and
our friends. What should we gain,
O Kṛṣṇa, husband of the goddess
of fortune, and how could we be
happy by killing our own

PRABHUPĀDA: So pāpam eva.
Pāpam means sinful activities,
and puṇyam is pious. So people
should consider in every activity,
whether it is pāpam or puṇyam,
whether it is virtuous or sinful
activities. But the asuras, they do
not know. Pravṛttiṁ ca nivṛttiṁ
ca na vidur asurā janāḥ. Those
who are asuras, they do not care
what is sinful or what is right. “I
like it; I must do it.” This is asura.
There is no reference to the
authorities, whether the action
which I am going to do, whether
it is pious or impious. Because by
impious activities I will be
degraded. Adho gacchanti
tamasaḥ. Jaghanya-guṇa-vṛtti-
sthāḥ. If we become addicted to
sinful activities, the result will be
we shall be degraded. But they
do not know. Even so-called
religious priests, they support
killing, condone it. Killing is
impious, sinful activity, but in the
name of religion, killing is also
going on. If someone says, “It is
my religion to cut throat,” will it
be accepted very nice thing?
Sometimes… Just like here is the
war. This is also religious war.
But still, discrimination. Arjuna,
because he is a Vaiṣṇava, a
Vaiṣṇava means devatā,
demigod. Viṣṇu-bhakto bhaved
daiva āsuras tad viparyayaḥ.
What is the difference between
deva and asura? Who is called a
devata, and who is called an
asura? There are two kinds of
men. One class is called deva,
devata. The other class is called
asura. Devāsura.

So there is always fight between
deva and asura. Now at the
present moment, the number of
asuras have increased. Formerly
the number of devatās were
greater. So Arjuna is devatā
because he is Viṣṇu-bhakta. Dvau
bhūta-sargau loke (’smin) daiva
āsura eva ca. There are two
classes of men within this
creation. Viṣṇu-bhakto bhaved
daivaḥ. Those who are devotees
of Lord Viṣṇu, they are called
devatā. Just like the demigods
like Indra, Candra, Sūrya, and
many others. There are thirty-
three krores of devatās in the
higher planetary system. They
are all Viṣṇu-bhakta. They will
abide by the orders of Viṣṇu and
Vaiṣṇava. Just like Indra. He is
devatā. There was fight between
Hiraṇyakaśipu and the Indra’s
party. So when Hiraṇyakaśipu
was defeated, naturally the…
Afterward, if the other party is
defeated, the victorious party
makes some, so many
aggression, especially aggression
of women. That is still current.
Innocent women, they are very
much harassed after the war by
the victorious party. You know,
the soldiers are given freedom to
rape the women. And plunder the
property. So many things they
have. So when Hiraṇyakaśipu
was defeated, all the devatās,
they did not make such
aggression, but the wife of
Hiraṇyakaśipu—Kāyadhu, I
think—she was arrested by Indra
and was taken. She was crying,
just usual, woman. But she was
being dragged by Indra. So
Nārada was passing. Now, he
said, “What are you doing this?”
“No, there is no question of
harassing this woman. But I am
taking her in my custody because
she is pregnant and the child is
begotten by asura,
Hiraṇyakaśipu. Therefore I shall
wait for the birth of the child, and
as soon as she gives birth, I will
kill that child.” Yes. So Nārada
said, “No, no. That child is not
asura child. He is coming, a great
devotee, mahā-bhāgavata of
Kṛṣṇa.” Because Nārada knew
that when… Not before. After all,
he knew. But before also, he
knew. Because they are saintly
persons, they can understand
that here is a child is coming who
will be a great devotee of Kṛṣṇa.
So mahā-bhāgavata. So “Don’t
try that. You don’t take her to
your custody. Better give her in
my custody. I shall take care.” So
immediately he abided by the
order of Nārada, immediately. He
released. And not only released,
circumambulated the woman. So
here is a mahā-bhāgavata, in the
womb of this woman. So let us
offer our obeisances. This is
Vaiṣṇava. As soon as understood,
that there is a Vaiṣṇava mahā-
bhāgavata, in the womb of this
woman, “She is to be respected,
offered obeisances.” This is called
Vaiṣṇava. But the asura would
not do that. Asura would not do
that. That is the difference
between devatā and asura. In
the Bhagavad-gītā, Sixteenth
Chapter, you will find the
description of the asura:
pravṛttiṁ ca nivṛttiṁ ca na vidur
asurā janāḥ. Pravṛtti. Pravṛtti
means what sort of activities we
shall do, and what sort of
activities we shall not do. The
asuras, they do not know. The
asuras, they do not know.
Anything they do. “For my sense
gratification I must do
everything.” Therefore they
become entangled. So long they
are strong in this life, they do not
take care of anyone. Śāstra,
sādhu or guru. They do not care
for anything. So that means…
But the asuric civilization, the
living entities become entangled
because he may not care for any
action, the asura, but the nature
is there.

prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ
karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ ahaṅkāra-
vimūḍhātmā kartāham iti
manyate [Bg. 3.27]

Rascals, they are thinking that
they are free to act anything he
likes. That is not possible. So
long we are in this material
world, we are conditioned.
Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ
karmāṇi. As we are associating
with the particular quality of this
material nature…

There are three varieties of
quality. Goodness, passion and
ignorance. So we have to
associate with either of these
qualities. Unless we are Kṛṣṇa
conscious. Unless one is engaged
in devotional service, he must be
influenced by these three kinds of
qualities. Goodness… Somebody
may be very good man,
according to the estimation of
the… Just like Arjuna, he is
talking in the modes of goodness,
considering, considering.
“Although they are ātatāyinaḥ…”
Pāpam eva āśrayed asmān hatvā
etān ātatāyinaḥ. Ātatāyinaḥ
means aggressor. According to
law, if somebody comes to attack
you, or if somebody comes to
kidnap your wife, these are
ātatāyinaḥ. Or somebody comes
to set fire in your house,
especially they are called
aggressors. So these aggressors
are to be immediately killed.
There is no question of
nonviolence. You must kill
immediately. There is no sin.
Ātatāyinaḥ. But here, although
the other party is ātatāyinaḥ,
aggressor, still, Arjuna is
considering whether they should
be killed or not. That is the
difference between devatā. In
every action, they are calculating.
But he is considering that “This
kind of aggressor, because they
are my kinsmen, they are my
family men, whether this kind of
aggressor should be killed or
not?” It is common sense.
Suppose your son has done
something mischievous. The
same thing. Same thing means to
attack the father. Still, the father
will consider, “Whether I shall kill
my son or not?” That is natural.
“If my son sets fire in the house,
whether I shall kill him or not?”
So Arjuna’s position is like that.
“Although they are ātatāyinaḥ,
aggressor, still, because they
belong to the same family,
whether I shall kill them?” He is
considering, pāpam eva āśrayed:
“If I kill this kind of aggressor, I
will be attacked with sinful
activities. I have to suffer the
result of sinful activities.” And he
is explaining why. Pāpam eva
āśrayed asmān. “Because these
are bāndhavān.” Sva-bāndhavān
dhārtarāṣṭrān. The dhārtarāṣṭrān
means the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra,
Duryodhana and others. So sva-
bāndhavān. “They are our family
members, bāndhavān.” Sva-
janaṁ hi kathaṁ hatvā sukhinaḥ
syāma mādhava. “Mādhava, my
dear Mādhava, You are the
husband of the goddess of
fortune. So you are always very
happy. Do you think I shall
become happy by killing my own
men? Do you think like that?”
Because friend and friend talking.

So this is the position. Just see,
they were ātatāyinaḥ, aggressor.
There is no doubt about it.
Because these dhārtarāṣṭrān, the
sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, they insulted
Draupadi. Arjuna’s wife. There
was betting. The wife was
betting. So they defeated, they
were defeated in the chess play,
and the wife was taken by the
other party. So Karṇa took the
opportunity. Because during
Draupadi’s svayamvara, Karṇa
was insulted by Draupadi. The
piercing of the eyes of the fish,
Karṇa was greater, what is
called, arrowman. So when Karṇa
came to touch the arrow for
piercing the eyes of the fish,
Draupadi objected, objected
because she wanted Arjuna to
become her husband. But she
knew that “If Karṇa comes to this
combat, he will be victorious.
Then I will have to go to Karṇa.”
So she was also very intelligent
daughter of kṣatriya king. So
Karna, nobody knew that he is
kṣatriya. He was supposed to be
son of a carpenter. Karṇa was
born before Kuntī’s marriage.
Therefore she… Karṇa remained
hidden, whose son. But he was
kṣatriya. So it was unknown. So
Draupadi took this opportunity
that “This competition is meant
for the kṣatriyas, not for the non-
kṣatriyas.” Because he was
supposed to be son of a
carpenter, śūdra. So he was not
given the opportunity to gain
Draupadi. But if he was given the
opportunity, he would have come
out victorious. So now Karṇa took
this opportunity. When Draupadi
was lost in the game, so he
immediately… Karṇa was
Duryodhana’s friend. He
immediately advised, “Now she is
our property. We can do
whatever we like with. Arjuna has
lost his wife.” So he advised that
“Make her naked in this
assembly.” To become naked in
the, so many people, that is a
great insult for woman. So
actually, they tried to insult. Not
tried, it was fact. But Kṛṣṇa
saved. You know, Draupadi’s
vastra-haraṇa. She was tried to
become naked, but these people
could not make her naked. The
sārī was supplied by Kṛṣṇa, one
after another, one after another,
heaps of sārī. Then they become
fed up, gave up that business,
that “She cannot be made

So they were actually ātatāyinaḥ.
Because ātatāyinaḥ means one
who comes to kidnap your wife,
insults your wife. You should
immediately kill. Just like Lord
Rāmacandra. He was so pious
king, but when it so happened
that his wife, Sītā, was insulted…
Sītā was taken away by Rāvaṇa.
Lord Rāmacandra could marry
hundreds and thousands of Sītās.
He is the Supreme Personality of
Godhead. He could create Sītā,
Rādhārāṇī, Lakṣmī. They are the
pleasure potency of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead. The
Supreme Personality of Godhead
cannot have a material wife or
material companion. Kṛṣṇa’s
Rādhārāṇī or Lord Rāmacandra’s
Sītādevī, Nārāyaṇa’s Lakṣmīdevī,
they are pleasure potency of the
Supreme Personality of Godhead.
āhlādinī-śaktir asmāt. Āhlādinī-
śakti. Kṛṣṇa, God, has got many
potencies. One of the potencies is
called āhlādinī-śakti, pleasure
potency. So Kṛṣṇa’s consort, Lord
Rāmacandra’s consort, they are
pleasure potency, exhibited. So
to show the example, Lord
Rāmacandra, because Sītā was
kidnapped, Sītā was insulted, or
Rāmacandra was insulted, the
retaliation was Lord Rāmacandra
killed not only Rāvaṇa, but the
whole dynasty, finished. Only for
one woman. He could create so
many. No. Because ātatāyinaḥ,
aggressed over. Just to teach
people that anyone, if he is
aggressor, he must be killed. This
is the position.

But Arjuna is considering whether
it will be pious or impious. This is
devatā. In every action, they will
consider, “What I am going to
do, whether it is pious or
impious.” That is devatā. “If it is
pious, then it will elevate me.
And if it is impious, then it will
degrade me.” Nobody wants
degradation. The human life
should be especially meant for
elevation, not for degradation.
You have come to this human
form of life from the lower status
of life. Jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi
sthavarā lakṣa-viṁśati kṛmayo
rudra-saṅkhyakāḥ. Through so
many status of life: the aquatics,
the trees, the plants, the insects,
the reptiles, the birds, the beasts.
In this way… Bahūnāṁ
janmanām ante. Bahūnāṁ
sambhavante [Bg. 7.19] This
human form of life is gotten, we
have received, after many, many
births. These people, they do not
know. It is very rare. Therefore
Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura sings,
manuṣya janama pāiya, rādhā-
kṛṣṇa nā bhajiyā, jāniyā suniyā
viṣa khāinu. Hari hari viphale
janama goiṅu. He is lamenting,
“My dear Kṛṣṇa, I am so
unfortunate. I got this human
form of life. It was meant for
developing Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
But I have wasted my time
otherwise. So how it is so? Jāniyā
suniyā viṣa khāinu. Knowingly I
have taken poison. Knowingly.”
Labdhvā sudurlabhaṁ idam
bahu-sambhavante, manuṣyam
artha-dam. These people, they
do not know. Because they are
asuras, they do not know what to
do in this human form of life and
what not to do. They are killing
animals without any hesitation.
They do not know these rascals.
And still they are spiritual leaders.
How horrible condition is this, in
this Kali-yuga. Just imagine.
Without any restriction, without
any hindrance, they are
committing sinful life. They do
not know, next life, all this
boastfulness, pride, will be
finished. He will have to accept
another body, which will be
offered by the material nature.
You cannot say that “I will not
accept this body; I want this
body.” No. Nature is not under
your dictation. You have to abide
by the dictation of nature.
Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni. This verse
of Bhagavad-gītā is very

prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ
karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ ahaṅkāra-
vimūḍhātmā kartāham iti
manyate [Bg. 3.27]

Ahāṅkāra, by false ego. The
asuras, they think, “I am
independent. I can do whatever I
like.” No. You cannot do so. If
you do so, then you will be

daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama
māyā duratyayā mām eva
prapadyante māyām etān taranti
[Bg. 7.14]

For every little action, you are
responsible. It is being noted by
the material nature. And you will
be forced to accept a kind of
body for suffering. In so many
types of bodies. Therefore
Arjuna, being devatā, he is
considering that “Although they
are ātatāyinaḥ, at the same time,
they are family men. Whether it
is good to kill family?” He is
asking Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is there. He
is considering, he is consulting
with Kṛṣṇa that “Do you think
that killing this kind of aggressor,
I will be benefitted or not?”
Therefore in the last line he said,
sva-janaṁ hi kathaṁ hatvā
sukhinaḥ syāma mādhava: “My
dear Kṛṣṇa, do you think by
killing my family men, my
relatives, shall I be happy? You
are Mādhava. You are always
happy because You are husband
of goddess of fortune. But do you
think I shall be happy in this
way?” This is consultation.

So this is the proof of Arjuna’s
character, a devotee’s character.
A devotee is always devatā,
demigod. So one who is devotee,
one who is Kṛṣṇa conscious,
sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate
surāḥ. Sura means devatā. All the
good qualities of devatā. A
devotee of Kṛṣṇa will never
accept that killing is very good.
No. “For the satisfaction of my
tongue, I shall kill so many
animals.” A devotee will never
accept. Ahiṁśa. Ahiṁśa. That is
the third quality. Amānitvam
adambhitvaṁ ahiṁśā kṣāntir
ārjavam. These are… Everything
is there in the Bhagavad-gītā.
Amānitvam. Amānitvam means to
accept this body as “I am.” This
is amānitvam, er, not to accept.
That is amānitvam. Everyone is
proud that “I am Indian,” “I am
American,” “I am Englishman.”
So it is boastful, very proud of
this body. So knowledge means
“I am not this body. I am not this
body.” That is amānitvam.
Adambhitvam. As soon as we
become aware that “I am not this
body,” then my false pride
immediately goes. Amānitvam
adambhitvam ahiṁśā. Then
ahiṁśā, nonviolence. Ārjavam,
simplicity. There are eighteen
qualifications of the demigods. So
one who becomes a devotee of
Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa conscious, these, all
these good qualities develop. So
here is the proof, that Arjuna,
because he is a devotee of Kṛṣṇa,
he is considering, “Whether I
shall kill them or not?” Ahiṁsā. It
is consideration, not that it is final

So people are trying to elevate
the status of the society by so
many things. But they do not
know the secret. The secret is
that if one is trained only to
become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, all
good qualities automatically will
be visible in his person. There is
no need of separate endeavor,
how to make a man honest, how
to make a man religious, how to
make a man high-thinking,
simple living. These are good…
Śamo damas, titikṣa ārjavaṁ
jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyam. All
these qualities immediately
develop. Because a living entity,
spirit soul, he is part and parcel
of Kṛṣṇa. Mamaivāṁśo jīvaḥ.
Kṛṣṇa says all this. Ahaṁ bīja-
pradaḥ pitā. “They have come to
this material world. I am the
seed-giving father. They wanted
to enjoy. So I have given them
chance. But actually I am the
father. The material nature is the
mother.” Just like we have got
experience, the father injects the
living entity in the womb of the
mother. And the mother, by her
blood, develops the body of the
child. Similarly, all these living
entities, 8,400,000 species, the…
Bījo ’haṁ sarva-bhūtānām. The
father is Kṛṣṇa. He has given the
seed in the womb of this material
nature. And the material nature
has given the body. Somebody
has got the body of fish,
somebody has got the body of
tree, plant, somebody has got
insect, reptile, somebody bird,
sometimes beasts, somebody
human being, somebody
demigod. But all these materials
have been supplied by the
mother. It is very easy to
understand. Just like the child
grows, the mother supplies the
bodily ingredients. Caitanya
Mahāprabhu therefore… This is
very scientific. When He took
sannyāsa and the mother came…
Advaita Prabhu arranged to see
for the last time her son. Because
a sannyāsī is no more coming
home. So at that time, mother
became overwhelmed: “Such
beautiful body. He has nice hair.
Now it is shaven.” So she became
very much overwhelmed and was
crying. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu
immediately fell down on her
lotus feet and He said, “My dear
mother, this body is yours. My
dear mother, this body is yours.
This body should have been
engaged for your service, but
some way or other, I mistake, I
have taken this sannyāsī. Kindly
excuse Me.” Caitanya
Mahāprabhu said that “This body
belongs to you. This is your
body.” Every son should think like
that. This is Vedic culture.
Actually, the body supplied,
mother. From the very beginning,
after sex… These are all
described in the Bhāgavata. The
two secretions become
emulsified, and a body is formed
just like a pea, and gradually
develops. The ingredients, the
energy is supplied by the mother.
So the same thing. The whole
creation, the body is supplied by
material nature, mother.
Therefore she is called “mother.”
Material nature is called
“mother.” Mother Durgā. Sṛṣṭi-
sthiti-pralaya-sādhana-śaktir eka
[Bs. 5.44] The material nature…,
and her name is Durgā.

ekā chāyeva yasya bhuvanāni
vibharti durgā icchānurūpam api
yasya ca ceṣṭate sa govindam
ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi.
[Bs. 5.44]

This is description of Durgā. So
Kṛṣṇa also says. So we should
not think like that, that animals
or trees or birds and beasts, they
are other than ourself. They are
our brothers. Because the seed-
giving father is Kṛṣṇa, and the
mother is material nature. So we
have got the same father and
same mother. So if we have got
the same father and mother,
they are all our brothers.

So unless one is advanced in
spiritual consciousness, how he
can think of universal
brotherhood? This is nonsense.
There is no possibility. The so-
called universal brotherhood is
possible when he is Kṛṣṇa
conscious, when one knows that
Kṛṣṇa is the common father of
everyone. The father will not
tolerate. Suppose father has got
ten sons. Out of them one or two
sons are useless. So those who
are very capable sons, if they say
to the father, “My dear father,
these two sons of yours, they are
useless. So let us cut their throat
and eat.” So father will say, “Yes,
you do that”? No. Father will
never say. The father will say,
“Let them be useless, but let
them live at my cost. Why…? You
have no right to infringe on their
rights.” This is common sense.
But these rascals, they think that
animals are to be killed for the
satisfaction of the tongue of the
human being. 

Thank you very much. Hare