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ANNOUNCER: The following is a
class on the Bhagavad-gītā As It
Is, 2nd chapter, text number 15
given by His Divine Grace A. C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupāda, recorded on August
21, 1973 in London, England.

PRADYUMNA: Translation. ”O
best among men [Arjuna], the
person who is not disturbed by
happiness and distress and is
steady in both is certainly eligible
for liberation.”

addressing Arjuna, puruṣarṣabha,
the best of the men. “O the best
of the men.” Certainly, Arjuna is
the best of the mankind. Because
he is directly friend of Kṛṣṇa, who
can be better man than him? The
best of the men. So the best of
the men, why he’s distressed in
executing his duty? Therefore,
this very word is used, that “You
are the best of the men.”
Actually, the best of the men
should not be disturbed by any
material condition. He should
discharge his duties. And what is
the duty? Duty is to become
immortal. This is the duty. The
lowest of the men does not know
how to become immortal, amṛta.
Mṛta means death and amṛta
means no death. The modern
rascal civilization cannot
understand that there is
possibility of becoming immortal.
They have taken it, accepted it;
“Well, who can stop?” They are
simply scientifically calculating
that “Some day will come, by
science, we shall be immortal,
there will be no death.” The
formula is given here by Kṛṣṇa
how to become immortal. That
means you should be callous of
this so-called happiness and
distress of this material world.
That is the first qualification. One
who doesn’t care what is the
distress and happiness of this
body, he must execute Kṛṣṇa
consciousness. That is the
qualification. “Oh, I cannot
execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness
because there are so many
inconveniences,” he’s not fit for
becoming immortal.

People do not know that there
can, we can become immortal.
Immortal we are, but we have
been embodied in this material
body. Therefore we have to
accept mortality, birth and death.
These things stated in the
Bhagavad-gītā, this is the
beginning of spiritual life.
Spiritual life means how to
become immortal. They come to
ask me, “Sir, do you know some
spiritual magic? Kuṇḍalinī, yoga?
This? That?” All for material
benefit. Spiritualist means
something magic so that you can
get some material benefit. If by
stretching your hand you can get
some little quantity of gold, then
you are spiritualist: “Oh, here is
a man, wonderful spiritualist. He
can create gold. He can cure
disease by simply…” What is
called? Fooing (?). Like that.
They want to see magic only for
material benefit. What is called?
Miracles. That is spiritualist.
(aside:) Not in that way; let him
sit backside this. Spiritual life
means how to become immortal.
Amṛtatvāya. So ’mṛtatvāya
kalpate. Kṛṣṇa has explained,

mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
āgamāpāyino ’nityās tāṁs
titikṣasva bhārata

Tāṁs titikṣasva. Don’t be
disturbed by the sensuous
disturbance of the body. Become
dhīra. Dhīras tatra na muhyati.
Become dhīra.

So one who has practiced to
become dhīra, not to become
disturbed by the sensuous or
bodily sensations, he’s supposed
to be kalpate, he’s supposed to
be, to become immortal at the
end. And the Bhāgavata says also
that you do not become a
spiritual master, you do not
become a father, you do not
become a mother, you do not
become a friend, a relative, in
this way, if you cannot make
your subordinate immortal. Pitā
na sa syāt, gurur na sa syāt,
gurur na sa syāt, jananī na sā
syāt pitā na sa syāt. In this way,
there is a list. You become father
of hundreds of children. That’s all
right. No restriction. You beget
children. But you must make
your children immortal. That is
the injunction. You have become
guru. That’s all right, Guruji
Mahārāja. That’s all right. But
make your disciples immortal.
Otherwise, don’t, don’t cheat
others. Cheaters. Illicit father,
illicit mother. As we say, illicit
sex. Similarly illicit father, illicit
mother. Who is illicit father, illicit
mother? Who cannot make his
children immortal. That is the aim
of human life. How to become
immortal. How… Not to become,
we are immortal. Just like a
person, he’s diseased, attacked
by fever. Fever is not his natural
condition, but somehow or other,
he has got fever. Similarly, we
are immortal. That will be
explained. Na jāyate na mriyate
vā. The living entity never takes
birth, never dies. Therefore
immortal. Immortal means no
birth, no death. That is immortal.
Whenever there is birth, there is
death. If there is no birth, there
is no death. That is immortality.

So the whole scheme is Vedic
scheme, not otherwise: how to
become immortal. You find in
Bhagavad-gītā, yad gatvā na
nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ
mama [Bg. 15.6]. In many
places, the śāstra only aims at. In
another place, in Bhāratī-kāvya
(Bhakti-kāvya) (?), when
Viśvāmitra Muni came to see
Mahārāja Daśaratha to ask his
son, Rāmacandra and Lakṣmaṇa,
to take them, they were boys at
that time, and there was a
demon disturbing in the forest.
So Viśvāmitra… (aside:) Not back
side … Viśvāmitra Muni came to
Mahārāja Daśaratha for help.
Viśvāmitra Muni could kill that
demon immediately, but that is
not the business of the
brāhmaṇa. Killing business is for
the kṣatriya. Just see how… He
was quite powerful. He could kill
that demon simply by saying that
“You die.” He was so powerful,
Viśvāmitra Muni. But still, he
came to the king for help.

So when Viśvāmitra Muni came
to Mahārāja Daśaratha, as we
ask, “How are you?” so
Daśaratha, Mahārāja Daśaratha
inquired from Viśvāmitra Muni,
aihistam yad punar janmajaya:
(?)“My dear sir, if there is
anything disturbance in your
occupation? Because you are
trying to conquer over death.” All
the great ṛṣis and saintly persons,
all spiritual realization means to
conquer over death. So this was
the question. ihistam yad tam
punar janmajaya.(?) Punar
janma, you are trying to own
over repetition of birth. The
modern civilization, they do not
know that it is possible. It is
possible to become immortal, to
have eternal blissful life of
knowledge. That is called
immortality. Sac-cid-ānanda. Sat
means eternity and cit means
knowledge and ānanda means
pleasure, bliss. We are part and
parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is sac-cid-
ānanda vigraha [Bs. 5.1]. His
transcendental body is eternal,
blissful and complete knowledge,
His body. Therefore He’s
speaking Bhagavad-gītā. If He’s
an ordinary man, what is the use
of hearing Him? Ordinary man
will commit mistake, will cheat,
will be illusioned. His senses are
imperfect; how he can give
complete knowledge? That is not
possible. Therefore we are not
concerned to hear any rascal. We
want to hear Kṛṣṇa. We are not
prepared to hear any rascal, so-
called scientists and so-called
philosopher, so-called God. No.
We are not prepared. Because
everyone is rascal. Everyone is
full of mistakes, everyone is
trying to cheat others, everyone
is illusioned, and everyone’s
senses are imperfect. How he
can give knowledge perfect? That
is not possible.

Therefore, we have to select
guru. Guru means Kṛṣṇa. As
Arjuna has selected guru, śiṣyas
te ’haṁ śādhi māṁ tvāṁ
prapannam: “I am, I become
Your śiṣya, disciple, and I
surrender unto You.” So to get
perfect knowledge, we have to
find out Kṛṣṇa or Kṛṣṇa’s bona
fide representative. Then there is
perfect knowledge. Then we can
become immortal. Unless we get
perfect knowledge. So Kṛṣṇa is
sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ [Bs.
5.1], immortal. Kṛṣṇa is full of
bliss, full of knowledge, and we
are also part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa.
So we have also the same
quality, sac-cid-ānanda, the
spiritual body. But because we
have contacted this material
nature, our blissfulness, our
eternity, our knowledge,
everything is now disturbed.
Everything is now disturbed. We
cannot be completely blissful.
Anything you take, any
pleasurable thing you take, it
cannot give you always pleasure.
It is not possible. This is not
possible in this material world.
However you may try
scientifically to prolong your
duration of life, live forever, it is
not possible. And however you
may pose yourself, cheat others,
that you are the best man in
knowledge, philosopher, scientist,
you are a fool. That is not
possible. Sac-cid-ānanda
vigrahaḥ is Kṛṣṇa only [Bs. 5.1].
So we can also become like Kṛṣṇa
along with Kṛṣṇa. Not outside.
We can be living force along with
Kṛṣṇa. So Kṛṣṇa is also very much
anxious to take us back to Him.
Therefore He comes. Yadā yadā
hi dharmasya glānir bhavati
bhārata abhyutthānaṁ sṛjāmy
aham [Bg. 4.7]. When these
rascals forget that unless he goes
back to home, goes back to
Kṛṣṇa he’ll never be happy, that
is the discrepancy of occupational
duty. They have come here,
kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha hañā bhoga
vāñchā kare, he has come here
to enjoy, to lord it over the
material nature, and has become
entangled. So Kṛṣṇa comes,
descends, to save us, to give us
shelter at His lotus feet so that
we may also become immortal
like Kṛṣṇa, full of bliss and full of
knowledge. That is called

So unless we have got our aim,
target of life, then what is the
value of life? This is amṛtatvāya.
Is there any institution, is there
educational institution or
university or college where this
teaching is given, that how you
can become immortal? Is there
any institution in the world?
Throughout the whole world? No.
They are simply teaching that
you live like animal and die like
animal. That’s all. You live like
cats and dog and you die like
cats and dogs and again become
cats and dogs. Punaḥ punaś
carvita-carvaṇānām [SB 7.5.30].
Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi
viṣṇuṁ durāśayā ye bahir-artha-
māninaḥ [SB 7.5.31]. Andhā
yathāndhair upanīyamānās te
’pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni

matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā
mitho ’bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām
adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ
punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām
[SB 7.5.30]

naiṣāṁ matis tāvad
urukramāṅghriṁ spṛśaty
anarthāpagamo yad-arthaḥ
mahīyasāṁ pāda-rajo-’bhiṣekaṁ
niṣkiñcanānāṁ na vṛṇīta yāvat

This is Prahlāda Mahārāja’s
instruction, that the… He was
instructing his father, materialist,
first-class materialist. So, when
he inquired that “What is your
purpose that you have become
Kṛṣṇa conscious? How you have
become Kṛṣṇa conscious?” So he
answered. He did not ask him,
addressed him, as “My father.”
He addressed him, asura-varya,
the first-class demon. He never
addressed him, “My dear father.”
“My dear first-class demon.” This
little boy, five years old, because
he’s Kṛṣṇa conscious, and the
father is threatening always to
kill, still he’s not afraid. When he
says that “Wherefrom you have
got this courage, Prahlāda?” “My
dear father,” or “My dear demon,
I have got this courage
wherefrom you have got this
courage. But you are forgetting.
That is the difference. You have
got so much power that you can
defeat anyone, even the
demigods. You should know that
you have got this power from the
powerful. But you are not
obedient to the powerful.” That is
demon. Demons, when they get
power, they think that “I have
got it, I have earned it. It is my
thing. Who can challenge me?”
But he forgets that everything
can be withdrawn within a
second by the powerful. That is
demoniac. And Vaiṣṇava, devotee
means although he is very, very
powerful, he never thinks that “I
am powerful.” He thinks that “I
am acting simply by the order of
the powerful.” This is the

So Prahlāda Mahārāja said
“People do not know the aim of
life.” The aim of life is here,
amṛtatva, as good as Kṛṣṇa, as
good as the Supreme Personality
of Godhead. Blissful, full of
knowledge and eternal. That is
the aim of life. But people do not
know. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ
hi viṣṇum [SB 7.5.31] Viṣṇu
means the Supreme Lord who is
eternal, full of bliss and full of
knowledge. So our aim should be
how to approach Viṣṇu. Then we
get the same power, same
eternity, same blissfulness. Just
like a motorcar is running at the
speed of sixty miles, and if a
cyclist someway or other catches
the motorcar, he can also go at
the speed of sixty miles.
Sometimes boys do that.
Similarly, you approach Kṛṣṇa.
You approach Viṣṇu. You get all
the powers because you become
under protection. Protection of
the… That… Tulasī dāsa has said
that in the ocean, the waves of
the ocean, if you put one
elephant very powerful, very
strong, the elephant will be
washed away by the waves. But
a small fish, a teeny fish, it is
swimming against the waves.
They take pleasure. The fish,
when the waves are coming this
way, the fish go in that way. Now
see. You put against the waves
an elephant. It will be washed
away. Why elephant? Any strong
thing you give. Even big, big
ships, oh, it will be washed away.
But a small fish, it doesn’t care
the waves; it goes against the
waves. Why? It has taken the
shelter. It has taken the shelter
of the ocean. Similarly, all power
belongs to Kṛṣṇa. Yatra
yogeśvaraḥ hariḥ. But if anyone
takes shelter of Kṛṣṇa, he
becomes as powerful as Kṛṣṇa.
This is the process.

So, but we do not know. We
want to become powerful here by
so-called science, so-called yoga,
kuṇḍalinī and what other
nonsense they are think… They
are trying to be immortal,
powerful. No, sir, that is not
possible. It is not possible.
Therefore, people do not know.
Na te viduḥ. They do not know.
Svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum. Our aim
should be how to approach
Viṣṇu. How to go back to home,
back to Godhead. Na te viduḥ
svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ durāśayā
[SB 7.5.31]. They’re hoping, very
durāśayā, means very badly,
wrongly, that they want to be
happy by adjustment of this
material world. The yogic process
is also another material
gymnastic. We have not heard
any yogi has become successful
to get immortality. No, that is not
possible. Na te viduḥ svārtha-
gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ durāśayā ye
bahir-artha-māninaḥ [SB 7.5.31].
Those who are trying to adjust
this material world by science or
yoga, without caring for Viṣṇu,
what they are? Andha. They are
blind. Andha. And their leaders?
They are also blind. Andhā yathā
upanīyamānāḥ andhena. One
blind man is trying to lead
another blind man. So what is
the wrong there? Te ’pīśa-
tantryāṁ baddhāḥ: They are
bound up by the laws of nature,
hand and legs tight. How they
can become free and happy by
such endeavor? That is not
possible. So, so simply by taking
Kṛṣṇa consciousness it will be
nice? Yes.

So how to take Kṛṣṇa
consciousness? That is also
answered by Prahlāda Mahārāja.
Matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā
mitho ’bhipadyeta gṛha-
vratānām. Kṛṣṇa consciousness
cannot be awakened for a person
who wants to stay in this material
world and become happy. He
cannot become Kṛṣṇa conscious.
Gṛha-vratānām. Gṛha means
home, and vratānām means one
who has taken the house or
home or this body as everything.
Vrata. Vrata means… Just like
you are observing this today, a
Janmāṣṭamī-vrata, under vow.
We shall fast, an austerity. The
aim is different from the gṛha-
vrata. Gṛha-vrata’s aim is how to
decorate the home, how to
become happy in this home, in
this world, in this material world.
That is their… So they cannot
become Kṛṣṇa conscious. One
who has become callous of this
material happiness, he can
become Kṛṣṇa conscious.
Therefore it is said here, yaṁ hi
na vyathayanty ete. These
material things, seasonal
changes, so-called happiness, so-
called distress, if one is not
disturbed… There is no cause of
disturbance. This is another
foolishness. Why one should be
disturbed? Because the so-called
happiness or happiness or
distress, whatever you are
destined to receive, you must get
it. You try or do not try, it doesn’t
matter. Whatever portion of
happiness you are destined to
get, you’ll get it. And whatever
portion of… Because this material
life is mixture. You cannot get
unadulterated happiness or
unadulterated distress. No. That
is not. You’ll get distress and
happiness both.

Therefore Kṛṣṇa has explained in
the previous verse, here also:
yaṁ hi na vyathayanty ete.
Mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha. Here in
this material world there is winter
and the counterpart summer
also. In the winter we aspire, “If
it would have been warmer.”
That means you want summer.
And again summer you’ll require,
you aspire had it been, I mean to
say, cooler. You apply cooling
machine. So this is our struggle.
In the summer, we apply cooling
machine, and in the winter, we
apply heating machine. So
undisturbed happiness, either in
coolness or warmth, you cannot
have. This is not possible.
Therefore we have to become
callous. But the materialist
persons, they are disturbed. A
little winter, little chilliness,
immediately, “Bring electric
heater, immediately.” Or if there
is too much hot, “Bring fan, bring
cooler.” So they are busy how to
adjust these material
disturbances. But they do not
think that “Why these material
disturbances are disturbing me? I
do not want them.” That
question do not come… They
simply struggle how to
counteract it. Struggling like fool.
But here is the solution. Here is
the solution. The solution is that
don’t be disturbed with this
cooling and heating machine. Be
pleased in whatever condition
Kṛṣṇa has placed you. Of course,
there is no harm if you can put
yourself in a comfortable… But
simply for putting yourself in
comfortable situation, don’t
forget Kṛṣṇa. That is our aim.
Simply for making adjustment of
this material condition of life, if
you forget Kṛṣṇa, then you’ll lose
everything. That in the Bible also,
what is, there is a… (devotee
speaks) Yes. Repeat it.

HAṀSADŪTA: “What profiteth a
man who gains the whole world
but he loses his eternal soul?”

PRABHUPĀDA: That’s it. That
should be the aim. That we are
eternal soul. We must be again
replaced in our eternal life. But if
you forget this mission of life and
simply become engaged how to
become happy in this material
world, how to avoid distress and
how to get happiness… People
are engaged in that way. Simply
trying to get happiness and avoid
distress, and forgetting that he
has got a mission of life, to
realize his self and go back to
home, back to Godhead. This is
the defect of the modern

So… bahir-artha-māninaḥ. Na te
viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi… matir na
kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā mitho
’bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām. So
their conferences, their United
Nation, their scientific
advancement, their educational
system, philosophy, and so on,
so on, everything is meant for
how to become happy in this
material world. Gṛha-vratānām.
The aim is how to become happy
here. And that is not possible.
These rascals they cannot
understand. If you want to
become happy, then you must
come to Kṛṣṇa. Mām upetya tu
kaunteya duḥkhālayam
aśāśvataṁ nāpnuvanti [Bg.
8.15]. Kṛṣṇa says, “If somebody
comes to Me, then he does not
again get this place which is full
of miseries,” duḥkhālayam. This
material world is explained by
Kṛṣṇa as duḥkhālayam. Ālayam
means place, and duḥkha means
distress. Everything is distressful
here, but fools being illusioned,
covered by the illusory māyā,
that distress he accepts as
happiness. That is māyā. Simply
chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa,
Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/Hare
Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma,
Hare Hare, and gradually you’ll
realize how to become immortal.

Thank you very much.