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ANNOUNCER: The following is a
class on the Bhagavad-gītā As It
Is, 2nd chapter, text number 16,
given by His Divine Grace A. C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupāda, recorded on August
22, 1973 in London, England.

PRADYUMNA: “Those who are
seers of the truth have concluded
that of the nonexistent there is
no endurance, and of the
existent there is no cessation.
This seers have concluded by
studying the nature of both.”

PRABHUPĀDA: There are two
things, sat and asat. Sat means
which exists, and asat means
which does not exist, temporary.
It appears and again disappears.
That is asat. The example is just
like the sky and the cloud. Cloud
appears, exists for some time,
again disappears. But the sky
remains always. This is the
distinction between sat and asat,
try to understand. Sky, this
material sky, this also does not
exist, but so far our experience is
concerned, we can understand
the distinction between sat and
asat. Permanent and temporary.
We cannot say “nonexistent”
exactly. Existing. When the cloud
comes, it has got some activities,
there is rainfall and, on account
of rainfall, on the ground there is
some new vegetation, new
flowers, everything looks very
green. In the rainy season we
get some products. So we cannot
say it is false, but we can say it is
temporary. Similarly, material
world, matter, is not false. But it
is nonpermanent. Bhūtvā bhūtvā
pralīyate. You’ll find it in the
Bhagavad-gītā. The Māyāvādī
philosopher says brahma satyaṁ
jagan mithyā. The spirit is truth,
and jagat, this material world, is
untruth, mithyā, false. We say
that everything is emanating
from the Supreme. Yato vā imāni
bhūtāni jāyante. Everything is
emanating from Brahman, the
Supreme Absolute Truth. So that
cannot be false. Because
Absolute Truth, how from truth,
false will come? This is our
philosophy. The matter may be
temporary, but it is not false. The
Vedic injunction is mā asataḥ. Mā
asato sad gamaya. Don’t try to
be entangled with the asat. Sad
asat. But try to come to the
platform of sat.

In the previous verse, yaṁ hi na
vyathayanty ete puruṣaṁ
puruṣarṣabha, Kṛṣṇa says:
“Those who are not disturbed by
the material changes…” Sama-
duḥkha-sukhaṁ dhīraṁ so
’mṛtatvāya kalpate. Our mission,
human mission, is to come to the
platform of amṛtatvam,
immortality. We have discussed
this point. Amṛtatvam,
immortality. The modern
civilization, the so-called
scientists, philosophers, they
cannot imagine even that there is
possibility of becoming immortal.
They cannot imagine. Their brain
is so dull that they cannot think
of, that we can become
immortal. Then how Kṛṣṇa is
speaking about immortality? Is
He speaking something
nonsense, utopian? No, He is
speaking the fact. Otherwise, if
Kṛṣṇa speaks something
nonsense, utopian, then nobody
would be interested to read
Bhagavad-gītā. We may be third-
class men, that we indulge in
Bhagavad-gītā, and Kṛṣṇa is
speaking something utopian,
nonsense. But there are big, big
Madhvācārya. Why they are
giving attention to the reading of
Bhagavad-gītā? Kṛṣṇa does not
speak anything nonsense. It is
fact. So if it is the fact that there
is possibility of becoming
immortal… That is sat.

So sat… Our business should be
to be engaged in the sat
platform, not in the asat
platform. Asat platform,
nonpermanent, or according to
somebody’s opinion, false. So
false or nonpermanent, whatever
it may be, the real human
civilization should be based on
the purpose of becoming
immortal, sat, not asat. That is
the distinction between India and
other countries. Now I am not
speaking of India of today, but
India as it is. Big, big ācāryas,
just like Vyāsadeva. Vyāsadeva is
the original ācārya. Therefore the
birthday of guru is called vyāsa-
pūjā. Vyāsa-pūjā means original
guru. Guru is the representative
of Vyāsadeva. This throne is
called vyāsāsana, sitting place of
Vyāsadeva. So one who is
representative of Vyāsadeva, he
can sit on this throne. So guru,
by paramparā system, guru is
seated on the vyāsāsana because
he is the representative. Just like
in the high court, the bench, it is
called bench. Actually, the bench
is to be used by the head of the
executive power, the king or the
president. But the high court
judge is the representative of the
head executive; therefore, he sits
on that bench.

So Vyāsadeva, so learned
scholar, everyone knows how
great scholar he was. He has
written so many books. Four
Vedas, eighteen Purāṇas, then
Vedānta-sūtra, then Upaniṣads.
So many things. Recorded, not
written, recorded. So such a big
scholar was residing… He was
guiding the whole society, but he
was living very humbly. Even
Cāṇakya Paṇḍita, he was prime
minister, but he was living in a
cottage. That is the distinction
between Vedic or Indian
civilization and the modern
civilization. The Indian civilization
means they are interested in sat,
and others they are interested in
asat. Asat means which will not
exist. I’ve already explained. In
India, of course, materially, five
hundred, five thousand years
ago, materially also, India was
very opulent. Why five thousand
years? Even five hundred years
or four hundred years, India was
so opulent that Europeans were
attracted to go to India. Even
during the time of Mogul Empire.
It was so opulent. Those who
have gone to India, you’ll find if
you visit in Delhi, the Red Fort.
Red Fort you’ll find there are
pictures of birds and trees on the
wall and the eyes of the bird is
now hole or some parts. Means it
was bedecked with jewel. On the
wall there was decoration of
birds. Just like we paint now.
There is also paint. But that is
not painting. Set up with stones,
and the eyes and other parts of
the bird, or trees, flowers, they
are bedecked with different types
of jewels. Now all these jewels
have been taken away when
British government was there,
and they are now protected in
the British museum. So far I have
heard. But the jewels were taken
away. That’s a fact. Anyone can
see that. So material opulence
and… Of course, in India, it was
not considered to have a big tin
car or plastic plates. Material
opulence means jewels, gold,
silk, butter, that is material
opulence. Not plastic pots or
plastic bucket, plastic cloth. It
has no value. So anyway, India
was concerned material
opulence, whatever is gotten
from the nature, not by industry,
not engaging oneself in industry.
Therefore, India, the leaders of
India now, they are finding that
on account of our negligence to
the material side of life, we have
become poor.

So the (purport) (?) purpose is
that the East and West difference
is that the Eastern people,
Eastern people means India, they
stressed on this sat portion, the
permanent portion, the spiritual
civilization. Their aim was “How
to make this life perfect so that I
can become immortal.” As I
explained the other day, aihistam
yat punar janmejaya, yat tat
punar janmajayaya.(?) The whole
effort was how to conquer over
birth and death. So modern
people they do not understand
that birth and death can be
conquered. They can imagine it.
Sometimes they say that “By
scientific advancement, someday
we shall become immortal.” They
also expect to become immortal.
But, expect or not expect, here is
the information from Bhagavad-
gītā. Kṛṣṇa says; He’s not
speaking something nonsense or
utopian. It is fact that we should
be interested in the permanent,
permanent life, not temporary
life. This life, this material life is
temporary. We may live for ten
years or ten hours. There are
living entities, they live for ten
minutes and there are living
entities who are living for ten
millions or ten billions of years.
Just like in the Brahmaloka, they
live billions of years. So all these
duration of life, different types of
duration of life, are there within
this material world, but still, it is
not permanent. Even if you live
for ten billions of years or you
live for ten minutes or ten
seconds, it is nonpermanent.
That is being explained here.
Nāsato vidyate bhāvaḥ. Asataḥ,
or this material body, it has no
endurance, it will not endure, it
will not be permanently existing.
Nābhāvo vidyate sataḥ: And the
soul is permanent. He, it has no
change; it will never be
nonexistent. Kṛṣṇa is explaining.
When Kṛṣṇa says, “My dear
Arjuna, you, Me, and all these
kings and soldiers assembled
here, it is not that we did not
exist in the past,” so what is
that? That means we are not this
body. This body was not existing
in the past in my past life, or
duration of life. But as I am soul,
I am existing now, I did exist in
the past, and I will exist in the
future. That is sat. Therefore,
spirit has no such change.

Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura has
sung, sat-saṅga chāḍi’ kainu
asate vilāsa te kāraṇa lagilā mora
karma-bandha-phāṅsa. Karma-
bandha-phāṅsa means
entangled. Sometimes we have
got experience, that threads,
they become entangled. It is very
difficult to find out where the
beginning is. Sometimes spoiled.
So, on account of our attachment
to this material body, we are
becoming entangled. Sat-saṅga
chāḍi’ kainu asate vilāsa. This
meeting, as we are holding, this
is called sat-saṅga. Sat-saṅga
because here there is no other
business, talking all nonsense,
some material things. Here only
we talk about the spirit soul,
about Kṛṣṇa, about relationship
with Kṛṣṇa, how to act to satisfy
Kṛṣṇa. This is the business here.
That is the difference. Formerly,
this place, Manor, was known as
Piggot’s Manor. Now we have
named Bhaktivedanta Manor.
What is the difference? Formerly,
it was for sense gratification.
Now it is meant for elevating one
to the spiritual standard of life.
So anything can be changed like
that for sat-saṅga. Sat-saṅgāt
mukta duḥsaṅga. If you continue
sat, as it is said, sat-saṅga, then
you advance in spiritual life. And
if you associate with asat, then
you become degraded. This is
the policy. Sat-saṅga chāḍi kainu
asate vilāsa te kāraṇe lagilā mora
karma-bandha-phāṅsa. Don’t be
entangled. Try to become
liberated from the entanglement.
That is the mission of life.

So these things cannot be
understood so long we are in the
darkness. Darkness means sinful
life. The more we are engaged in
sinful life, we cannot understand
what is sat-saṅga and what is
asat-saṅga. So we should be
purified. The whole human life is
meant for purification. Yasmāt
śuddhyet sattvam. Sattvam.
Sattvam means existence.
Śuddhyet. Śuddhyet means
becomes purified. Just like a
diseased man, contaminated by
some disease. The medical
treatment means he has to be
purified from the contamination.
Similarly, we are impure in this
material existence, by
contamination of the three
modes of material nature: sattva-
guṇa, rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa—
goodness, passion and
ignorance. So even if we are
contaminated by the quality of
goodness of this material world,
that is also contaminated. That is
also cause of our entanglement.
Goodness… A brāhmaṇa, if he
thinks that “Now I have
brahminical qualifications, I am
now educated, I am very
cleansed, I am very controlled”—
these things are brāhmaṇa
qualification—”I know what is
what,” jñānaṁ vijñānam, but he
does not try for becoming
immortal, then that kind of
thinking is also bondage, that “I
am this, I am that.” Even though
he is very learned, sattva śamo
damas titikṣā śuci, all these good
qualities are there. But if he does
not try to be, go further ahead,
how to become immortal, so this
type of fine entanglement is also
entanglement. And those who
are passionate, they are thinking,
“I am so rich, I am so powerful, I
have got so many nice business,
bank balance, I have got my big
family, nice wife.” These are
passion conception of life. So
they are certainly bound up. And
those who are ignorant, means
one does not know what is the
value of life, lying down
anywhere, lazy, sleeping,
unclean, do not know the value
of life, they are in ignorance.
They are very firmly bound up.

So liberation means the more you
are enlightened the value of life,
the more, then you become
liberated. The more you become
liberated, the more you are
advanced in your spiritual
knowledge, sat, sat, sat-saṅga.
Therefore, these meetings which
we hold every day, they are
meant for advancing in spiritual
life. Here, there is no program
how to become very rich, how to
possess more motorcars, how to
have more bank balance, how to
have nice dress. These are
material things. Or ignorance:
how to sleep thirty-four hours a
day, although we have got
twenty-four hours only. So here
we see big, big men, they sleep
up to two o’clock. Early rising
means two o’clock. That is also
early, but not at day two o’clock.
At night, two o’clock, if you rise,
that is nice. But they are
accustomed to get up, two
o’clock. Because they think “The
more we sleep, we enjoy life.”
Therefore, they are śūnyavādī.
They want to become zero,
sleeping always. Śūnyavādī.
“Make everything zero.” That is
called śūnyavādī. No, that is not
life. Śūnyavādī is not life. Activity
is life. Kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ [Cc.
adi 17.31]. Caitanya Mahāprabhu
says: “Don’t become zero, but be
engaged always in chanting Hare
Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.” That is
Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s cult. We
are not going to be zero. We
want to be very active, but active
not for sense gratification but for
Kṛṣṇa’s service.

Now what is Kṛṣṇa’s service?
That we are teaching, how to
worship Kṛṣṇa.

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
sakhyam ātma-nivedanam [SB

These are nine kinds of services.
They are sat. The more we are
engaged in these nine kinds of
different occupation of devotional
service, the more we are
elevated, and the more we are
engaged in activities of material
sense gratification, we are
degraded. Śrama eva hi kevalam.
You have got nice office, material
point of view, nice business. So if
you perform that business, office
work, your duty, very nicely, but
you have no Kṛṣṇa
consciousness, śāstra says that
śrama eva hi kevalam. It is
simply wasting time and laboring
hard. That’s all. Therefore Kṛṣṇa
says that this is the distinction
between sat and asat. And we
should not be very much
interested with the asat. Then
our life is spoiled. We should be
interested with sat. That will
make our life successful. Then we
make progress for amṛtatva.

Unfortunately, the people at the
present moment, they do not
know, neither they can imagine
even that there is possibility of
becoming immortal. This is very
important point. There is not
possibility, there is fact. And
kṛṣṇa-kīrtana is so important. In
the śāstra, many places, it is
said. Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya
mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet. That
param is, means spiritual. There
are two kinds of, parā and aparā-
prakṛti. Aparā-prakṛti, parā-
prakṛti. Apareyam. I am, this
material world is aparā, inferior
energy. Itas tu viddhi me
prakṛtiṁ parām. Besides this,
there is another prakṛti, another
nature, which is parā. Parā
means spiritual. So we should be
interested with the parā, not with
the aparā. Why? Now that is real
life. That is real life. Here it is
said ubhayor api. Considering
both this parā and aparā, the
superior and inferior. Tattva-
darśibhiḥ. Who will study?
Tattva-darśibhiḥ. Tattva-darśī
means those who have realized
the truth, tattva-darśī. And we
find this word tattva in various
places. Tattvataḥ.

manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid
yatati siddhaye yatatām api
siddhānāṁ kaścin māṁ vetti
tattvataḥ [Bg. 7.3]

In another place, janma karma
ca me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ
[Bg. 4.9]. Tato māṁ jñātvā
viśate tad-anantaram. Bhaktyā
mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi
tattvataḥ [Bg. 18.55] This word
tattvataḥ is very important.
Tattvataḥ means the absolute
truth. Truth. Tattva—means
truth. In the Bhāgavata also,
we’ll find vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvam [Bhāg. 1.2.11]. Tattva-
vidaḥ. Those who are aware of
the truth, they call this tattva.
What is that tattva? Brahmeti
paramātmeti bhagavān iti
śabdyate. That tattva is called
sometimes Brahman, sometimes
Paramātmā, and sometimes
Bhagavān. The Bhagavān is the
last word of tattva. Therefore,
you’ll find in every stanza,
Vyāsadeva is writing, but he’s
writing śrī bhagavān uvāca. Don’t
think… Vyāsadeva says, that
“Although I am writing, I am not
the speaker. The speaker is the
Supreme Personality of
Godhead.” Śrī bhagavān uvāca.
“The authority is the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, not I.”
The modern so-called
philosophers, scientists, scholars,
they say, “I think. I think.” What
is your value? The great
personalities, they will not say
like that. Never they will say.
Therefore Kṛṣṇa even says,
tattva-darśibhiḥ: “It has been
concluded by higher authorities.”
He is Himself authority; still He’s
not speaking that “I say.” No.
Sometimes He says mataṁ
mama: “That is My opinion.” But
He’s also following the principle,
authoritative, tattva-darśibhiḥ.
Tattva-darśibhiḥ saṅkhye (?)
ubhayor api dṛṣṭo ’ntaḥ,
conclusion. Although Kṛṣṇa is
saying that this is sat and this is
asat, this is permanent and this is
nonpermanent, but still, He is
giving evidences that tattva-
darśibhiḥ, those who have seen
the truth, they have concluded
like that. This is, means,
authority. “They have concluded
like that. Don’t think that I am
manufacturing something. No.”
Tattva-darśibhiḥ. This is the way
of understanding. Whether
tattva-darśibhiḥ. We also give
reference sometimes in the
modern age that such and such
professor says such and such.
But they are not tattva-darśibhiḥ.
They are all speculator. They are
not tattva-darśibhiḥ. But we have
to go to the tattva-darśī.

tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ jñāninas
tattva-darśinaḥ [Bg. 4.34]

So this tattva-darśī, tattva, this
word you should learn very
nicely. That that is authoritative,
and others they are not
authoritative. They are simply
speculation. Speculation means
mental platform; it has no value.
As this body is also
nonpermanent, the mind is also
flickering. Mind is flickering,
accepting something and
rejecting something. The same
thing now accepted, again
rejected. This is mind’s business.
So mind cannot be tattva-darśī.
Of course we have to think with
mind, but under the direction of
authority. Then we can reach real

vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvaṁ
yaj jñānam advayam brahmeti
paramātmeti bhagavān iti
śabdyate [Bhāg. 1.2.11]

The Bhagavān is the last word of

Thank you very much. Hare