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ANNOUNCER: The following is a
class on the Bhagavad-gītā As It
Is, 13th chapter, text number 4,
given by His Divine Grace A. C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupāda, recorded on April
20, 1974 in Bombay, India.


etad veditum icchāmi jñānaṁ
jñeyaṁ ca keśava

So to some extent we have
discussed from where we have to
receive knowledge, perfect
knowledge, without any mistake,
without any illusion. Our
knowledge… We are possessing
four defects: we commit
mistakes, we are illusioned, our
senses are imperfect, and we
have got a cheating propensity.
We are possessing these four
defects. However great a man
may be, he makes mistake in
calculation. “To err is human.”

Then we are illusioned. Illusioned
means we accept something for
something. Just like we are
accepting this body as myself.
This is illusion. The whole world
is illusioned. Everyone is thinking
in terms of the body. And
according to Vedic knowledge,
anyone who is under the concept
of this body as self, he is no
better than the cow and the
asses. Sa eva go-kharaḥ [SB

So these are our defects:
bhrama, pramāda, vipralipsa,
karaṇa-pāṭava. Karaṇa. Karaṇa
means senses, the instrument
through which we gather
knowledge. They are imperfect.
So with so many imperfectness,
how we can give right
knowledge? That is not possible.
So any knowledge received from
these defective persons is
imperfect. Therefore we should
receive knowledge from the

Nārāyaṇaḥ paraḥ avyaktāt.
Śrīpāda Śaṅkarācārya says,
“Nārāyaṇa is beyond this material
creation. He is, exists before the
material creation.” Aham eva
asam agre. Before the material
creation, the Nārāyaṇa is there,
and after the annihilation of this
material creation, the Nārāyaṇa is
there. Just like we are part and
parcel of Nārāyaṇa, living
entities, soul. We existed before
the creation of this body, this
present body, my body or your
body. And we shall remain also
after the destruction of this body.
Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre
[Bg. 2.20] The real we—means
the spirit soul, ahaṁ
brahmāsmi—I am not annihilated
even after the destruction of this
body. Similarly, the huge gigantic
material body also, when it is
destroyed, Nārāyaṇa exists. And
we are part and parcel of
Nārāyaṇa. Mamaivāṁśo jīva-
bhūtaḥ [Bg. 15.7].

Nārāyaṇa has got two kinds of
expansion. One is called svāṁśa,
personal expansion. Just like
there are so many incarnations.

rāmādi-mūrtiṣu kalā-niyamena
tiṣṭhan nānāvatāram akarod
bhuvaneṣu kintu kṛṣṇaḥ svayaṁ
samabhavat paramaḥ pumān yo
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam
ahaṁ bhajāmi [Bs. 5.39]

So Nārāyaṇa, He has got many
forms. Kṛṣṇa is the original
Nārāyaṇa. And from Kṛṣṇa, there
are expansion, catur-vyūha:
Vāsudeva, Śaṅkarṣaṇa,
Aniruddha, Pradyumna. Then
Nārāyaṇa. From Nārāyaṇa,
puruṣāvatāra: the Mahā Viṣṇu
avatāra, the Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu
avatāra, the Garbhodakaśāyī
Viṣṇu avatāra. In this way
Nārāyaṇa has got personal
expansion. Advaitam acyutam
anādim ananta-rūpam ādyaṁ
purāṇa-puruṣaṁ nava-yauvanaṁ
ca [Bs. 5.33]

We get this information from
Vedic literature. So Nārāyaṇa…
And we are also expansion of
Nārāyaṇa, vibhinnāṁśa. We are
called vibhinna, separated
particles, part and parcel of
Nārāyaṇa. And Nārāyaṇa has got
personal expansions. So we are
to get knowledge from Nārāyaṇa
or Kṛṣṇa. That is perfect. That is
perfect knowledge. The Vedas
means the knowledge from
Nārāyaṇa. Therefore it is perfect.
Tene brahma hṛdā ādi-kavaye.
He imparted the Vedic
knowledge. Lord Brahmā is not
independent. He received
knowledge from Nārāyaṇa. So if
you receive knowledge from
Nārāyaṇa, that is perfect
knowledge. That Nārāyaṇa, sa
bhagavān svayaṁ kṛṣṇaḥ
nārāyaṇaḥ. If you receive
knowledge from Kṛṣṇa, that is

Therefore Arjuna is putting
question, these questions, that
“What is this material nature?”
Prakṛtiṁ puruṣam. “What are
these living entities who are
trying to enjoy this material
nature?” Puruṣa wants to enjoy
prakṛti. So that I have explained
yesterday, that although we are
also prakṛti, we are now in the
mentality of puruṣa. Just like in
this material world, man and
woman. The man is trying to
enjoy the woman, and the
woman is trying to enjoy the
man. This attitude of enjoyment
is called puruṣa. Actually, we are
not puruṣa. We are also prakṛti.
Jīva-bhūtāṁ mahā-bāho
yayedaṁ dhāryate jagat.
Apareyam itas tu viddhi me
prakṛtiṁ parām. We are superior
prakṛti, but we are prakṛti. But
because we are trying to enjoy
the other prakṛti, which is dull
matter, therefore we are
sometimes called as puruṣa, the
mentality as puruṣa.

So Arjuna question is prakṛtiṁ
puruṣa, “What are these puruṣa?
What are the prakṛti?” Kṣetra-
kṣetra-jña. “What is this body,
kṣetra? And who is the owner of
the body?” That we must know.
That is the beginning of
Bhagavad-gītā. The beginning of
spiritual knowledge is to know
what is this body and who is the
owner of the body. That is the
beginning of spiritual knowledge.

When Kṛṣṇa began speaking
Bhagavad-gītā and Arjuna
accepted to become His disciple,
śiṣyas te ’haṁ śādhi māṁ
prapannam… when he said… So
Arjuna was bewildered whether
he would fight in the battle or
not. So the question was not
solved by friendly discussion.
Therefore Arjuna surrendered to
Kṛṣṇa as a śiṣya, as disciple, not
as friend.

So as spiritual master, as
teacher, immediately Kṛṣṇa
chastised Arjuna, aśocyān
anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś
ca bhāṣase: [Bg. 2.11] “You are
talking like a very learned man,
but you are lamenting on a
subject matter on which no
paṇḍita, learned man, laments.”
Gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca
nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ. He very
mildly chastised. Indirectly He
said that “You are not paṇḍita;
you are a fool, because you are
lamenting on this body,
nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ. Those who
are paṇḍita, those who are
learned, they do not consider this
body as very important.” They
are paṇḍita.

But at the present moment
everyone is thinking this body as
the most important. So according
to Bhagavad-gītā, not
Bhagavad…, on the Vedic
understanding, anyone who is
stressing too much on the body,
they are go-khara, asses and
cows and animals, what to speak
of becoming paṇḍita. But at the
present moment, the whole
educational system is
concentrated on this body, how
to keep this body comfortable.
Spiritual knowledge does not
mean that you neglect your
body. No. That is not the idea.

But the most important subject
matter of understanding is the
soul. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi. Brahma-
jñāna. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. So
far the body is concerned, that
has been taken care in so many
lives. In animal life, in bird’s life,
beasts’ life, aquatic life. Now
athāto brahma jijñāsā. This is the
Vedānta instruction: “Now we
should take care of the soul, of
the Brahman.” Ahaṁ brahmāsmi.
This is required.

That is spiritual knowledge.
Unfortunately, for want of
spiritual knowledge, for want of
studying Bhagavad-gītā properly,
we are simply taking care of this,
I mean to say, temporary body.
That is being explained. First of
all Kṛṣṇa said that this body is the
kṣetra. Kṣetra means field of
activities. We are acting
according to the body we have
received. And this owner of the
body is working; just like a
cultivator has got a certain
amount of land and he is
cultivating and producing
foodstuff according to his own
capacity. This is called karma-
kāṇḍa. We are working with this
body and reaping the result and
enjoying it. In this way we are
repeating again and again, again
and again, transmigration of the
soul from one body to another.
Tat kṣetraṁ yac ca yādṛk yad

Now Kṛṣṇa is explaining… First of
all He has explained that we, the
living entities, we are the
proprietor of this body. But there
is another proprietor. That is
Kṛṣṇa. Just like of a house,
rented house, one is the occupier
and another is the proprietor,
similarly, this body, I the soul,
you the soul, we are simply
occupier. The real proprietor is
Kṛṣṇa. Therefore Kṛṣṇa said,
kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi
sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata.

Just like a landlord has got
hundreds of house, and each
house is occupied by one tenant,
but the landlord is occupier of all
the houses, similarly, in each
body there are two living entities.
One living entity is the soul,
individual soul, and the other
living entity is the Supreme Lord.
Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-
deśe ’rjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg. 18.61]
He is situated, both of them are
situated within this heart. Hṛd-
deśe, it is pointed out. Now, you
have got… you, everyone knows,
from the heart the energy is
distributed to the whole body,
and as soon as the heart stops to
work, no more body existing.
Everyone will know. Therefore
the heart is the office, sitting
office, of both the soul and the
Supersoul. Ātmā and Paramātmā.

That is described in the
Upaniṣad, that two birds are
sitting in one tree. This one tree
is this whole body and the two
birds—one the individual soul and
the other is the Supersoul—both
of them are sitting as friends.
One bird is eating the fruits of
the tree, and the other bird is
simply onlooker. Upadraṣṭā
anumantā. The one bird who is
eating the fruit is asking, “Shall I
eat the fruit?” And the other bird
says, “No.” But he says, “No, I
shall eat.” “All right, you eat at
your risk.” This is going on.

This subject matter was written,
I think, by Milton, the Paradise
Lost. So the Paramātmā is sitting
within your heart to guide you.
And without His permission, you
cannot enjoy anything. But He
gives permission. When you are
persistent He gives permission,
“All right, you can do it—at your
own risk.” And when He is fed
up, he may come to God again,
“What shall I do?” But God’s
open declaration is that sarva-
dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ
śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. The
Supersoul bird is always
expecting when this individual
soul bird will turn towards Him.
He is so merciful. He is going,
“My dear friend, why you are
trying to become happy by
enjoying this material fruit
produced by your work in this

We are creating different types of
fruit? Karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa
jantur deha upapatti [SB 3.31.1].
We are getting different types of
body life after life, which is
created by our own karma. We
wanted a body like this. We get
it. If you want a body like tiger,
to eat meat and suck blood, then
Kṛṣṇa will give you a tiger’s body.
And if you want a body like
demigod you can get it.
Everything, you can get it.
Yathecchasi tathā kuru. Kṛṣṇa
says, “Whatever you like, I will
give you opportunity.”

But the best advice is that sarva-
dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ
śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. This
is your best way. It is up to me
to accept it or not to accept it.
Kṛṣṇa does not interfere with
your independence. Because you
are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, you
have got little independence,
minute quantity, not full
independence. As Kṛṣṇa is full
independent, we are not full
independent. Kṛṣṇa is sva-rāṭ,
fully independent. Janmādy asya
yataḥ anvayād itarataś ca
artheṣu abhijñaḥ sva-rāṭ [Bhāg.
1.1.1]. Sva-rāṭ means fully
independent. But we are, being
part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, we are
also little independent. So by
misusing our independence,
instead of serving Kṛṣṇa, we are
serving our senses. Therefore
bhakti-mārga means to rectify
the senses, to purify the senses.
By purifying senses, we come to
Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is the
definition of bhakti.

sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-
paratvena nirmalam hṛṣīkeṇa
hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate
[Cc. Madhya 19.170]

Bhakti means to come to our
original consciousness by
purifying the senses. How the
senses can be purified? This
bhakti-yoga process. Śravaṇaṁ
kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ [SB 7.5.23]
(aside:) Water.

This is the first process. You have
kindly come here; you are
hearing about Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa’s talk
with Arjuna. It is very good. If
you continue hearing like this,
you will be perfect, simply by
hearing, even if you do not do
anything. Kevala, only hearing.
Sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-
vāṅ-manobhiḥ. This is the
recommendation by Śrī Caitanya
Mahāprabhu, that people should
be given chance for hearing.
Especially in this age, Kali-yuga,
they cannot do anything, but if
they simply agree to hear, sitting
for some time… That can be
introduced in every house, every

The Bhagavad-gītā is there, and
everything is explained there. If
family-wise everyone sits down in
the evening or in the morning for
half an hour and reads
Bhagavad-gītā, chants Hare
Kṛṣṇa mantra, just see the result.
Every home will be happy. This is
our propaganda, Kṛṣṇa
consciousness movement. Simply
try to hear about Kṛṣṇa.

So about Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa is
personally speaking this
Bhagavad-gītā about Himself. So
why not take this opportunity?
Why you are losing the
opportunity given in this human
form of life to hear about Kṛṣṇa?
Everyone can do that. But don’t
misinterpret according to your
own, I mean to say, fertile brain.
No. Just hear Kṛṣṇa, what Kṛṣṇa
says, as it is. Kṛṣṇa… Don’t try to
interpret, mal-interpretation.
That will not make you profit?
Try to hear Kṛṣṇa.

Kṛṣṇa says that He is the
Supreme Personality of Godhead.
He says, mattaḥ parataraṁ
nānyat [Bg. 7.7]. There is
nothing superior than Kṛṣṇa. That
is, if you accept that, then you
immediately advance fifty
percent in spiritual knowledge,
immediately, if you simply accept
this, that Kṛṣṇa said that mattaḥ
parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti
dhanañjaya [Bg. 7.7]. And that is
the verdict of the śāstra.

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-
ānanda-vigrahaḥ anādir ādir
govindaḥ sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam
[Bs. 5.1]

This is statement of Brahma-
saṁhitā. And in the Śrīmad-
Bhāgavatam it is said, kṛṣṇas tu
bhagavān svayam. Ete cāṁśa-
kalāḥ puṁsaḥ kṛṣṇas tu
bhagavān svayam [Bhag. 1.3.28]
Again it is said, rāmādi-mūrtiṣu
kalā-niyamena tiṣṭhan
nānāvatāram akarod bhuvaneṣu
kintu, kṛṣṇaḥ svayaṁ
samabhavat paramaḥ pumān yaḥ
[Bs. 5.39] We have got
description of many avatāras,
incarnation. So they are Kṛṣṇa’s
expansion, by Rāma, Nṛsiṁha,
Varāha, Matsya. There are so
many incarnation, they are
comming. Incarnations of
hundreds and thousands. They
are all incarnations. But kṛṣṇaḥ
svayaṁ paramaḥ pumān: “Kṛṣṇa
is the Supreme Person.” In this
way accept Kṛṣṇa, the origin of
everything. Janmādy asya yataḥ
[Bhāg. 1.1.1]. Kṛṣṇa also

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ
sarvaṁ pravartate iti matvā
bhajante māṁ budhā bhāva-
samanvitāḥ [Bg. 10.8]

Those who are actually budhāḥ,
intelligent, and bhāva, with
ecstatic love, they worship Kṛṣṇa.
Bhajante mām. Catur-vidhā…
Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ
sarvaṁ pravartate [Bg. 10.8].
Sarvam means… Because in the
beginning of creation, there were
three Deities: Brahmā, Viṣṇu and
Maheśvara. So they are also
emanation from Kṛṣṇa. Mattaḥ
sarvam. Sarvam includes
Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva. Mattaḥ
sarvaṁ pravartate. Iti matvā:
“One who knows it very well.” Iti
matvā bhajante mām: “Those
who know, in the knowledge,
they worship Me,” budhāḥ,
“because they are expert, they
are actually in knowledge.”
Budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ: “with
ecstasy of love.”

This is wanted. This is perfection
of life. If we take to Kṛṣṇa
consciousness with love and
faith, full understanding of Kṛṣṇa,
that is the perfection of life. That
you can get, everyone of us can
get it if we study Bhagavad-gītā
very carefully, without any
malinterpretation. So success is
there. We have to take.

And another facility is that
because sometimes we cannot
understand what is actually
Bhagavad-gītā’s purpose. It is
very plain. Still, as we are very
much unfortunate, we cannot
understand. That misfortune can
be avoided by chanting this Hare
Kṛṣṇa mantra. It will cleanse the
heart. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ
[Cc. Antya 20.12] We are
suffering for misunderstanding—
misunderstanding that “I am this
body, I belong to this nation, I
belong to this family, I belong to
this, that, so many things.” All
misunderstanding, all
misunderstanding. My real
identity is ahaṁ brahmāsmi: “I
am spirit soul. Fortunately or
unfortunately, by my own work, I
have been put into the
encagement of this body,
temporary body, and I am
creating another body. In this
way I am traveling from one
body to another, from one planet
to another, from one place to
another. This is going on.”
Bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate. “I am
taking my birth and again I am
becoming annihilated, although I
am eternal.” Nityaḥ śāśvato ’yaṁ
na hanyate…

This is understand… People
should be little intelligent that “If
I am eternal,” na hanyate
hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20], “I
do not die even after the
destruction of this body…” Just
like if this shirt and coat is torn
out, we throw it away, that does
not mean I am also torn and
finished, similarly, this body…
This body means I am spirit soul.
I am covered with this gross
body and the subtle body. This
gross body is made of earth,
water, air, fire, sky, and the
subtle body is made of mind,
intelligence and ego. So I am
covered by these two shirts and
coat. So I am different from this.
That is knowledge. That is

That knowledge is being
explained. And when you come
to that real knowledge then you
become brahma-bhūtaḥ
prasannātmā [Bg. 18.54]. When
you actually understand that “I
am Brahman,” ahaṁ brahmāsmi,
“I am spirit soul. This is my shirt
and coat. Oh, so long I was busy
with this shirt and coat only? I
have no business with it.” Yes,
you have got business, but that
is not your main business. Your
main business is to take care of
yourself as soul. That is your
main business.

Thank you very much.
Hare Kṛṣṇa.