ERROR: Your browser does not support scripts.

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
February 27, 1975 in Miami,

NITĀI: “Now please hear My brief
description of this field of activity
and how it is constituted what its
changes are, whence it is
produced, who that knower of
the field of activities is, and what
his influences are.”


tat kṣetraṁ yac ca yādṛk ca yad
vikāri yataś ca yat sa ca yo yat
prabhāvaś ca tat samāsena me

We have discussed that this body
is the field of activity. We are
acting according to the body. I
am the same person, but when I
had my boyhood body or
childhood body, I was acting
differently. This child, they are
acting now some way, but when
they will get another body, they
will act in a different way.

Similarly, not only this human
form of body, but there are eight
million four hundred thousand
different types of bodies. We
have explained several times.
Jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi: “In the water
there are nine hundred thousand
different forms of body.” How
many do we know? We do not
know all the details. We know
there are different types of
fishes, and say, a hundred
thousand we have seen or
experimented, the zoologist. But
from the Vedic literature we
understand that there are nine
hundred thousand forms of body
within the water.

So this is called Vedic knowledge.
Perfect information is given
there. Doesn’t say nine hundred
one or nine hundred fifty.
Exactly, nine hundred thousand.
Jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi. Then next,
sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati. Then,
after aquatic, when the water
dries, the vegetation comes out,
and that vegetation grow
gradually into plants, trees, herbs
and so many, big, big trees. Here
we have got big, big trees. So
from aquatic life they have come
to this vegetable life. And one
tree standing for thousands of
years. They cannot move an
inch. This is also life. There is life.

The trees, these banyan trees,
they are making their
arrangement how to stand fixed
up very strong. Nobody can
move. The same struggle for
existence is going on. As we are
struggling to make our position
secure, similarly, the trees are
also making their position secure.
The cats and dogs, they are also
making attempt to make their
position secure. This is called
struggle for existence. So from
this tree, just try to remember
that there are nine hundred
thousand species of aquatics.

We get information from śāstra.
There is a fish which is called
timiṅgila which swallows big, big
whales just like big fish swallows
a small fish. This is struggle for
existence. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam.
Phalgūni mahatāṁ tatra jīvo
jīvasya jīvanam.

The natural law is that ahastāni
sahastānām: “The animals which
has no hands”—that means four-
legged animals; they have got
legs, no hand—”so they are food
for animals with two legs and
two hands.” That means human
being. Human being is also
animal, more powerful, more
intelligent than the lower
animals. So the śāstra says,
ahastāni, “The animals who
hasn’t got hands, they are food
for the animals with two hands.”
Ahastāni sahastānām and
apadāni catuṣ-padām: “And the
animals or the living entities
which cannot move, apadāni…”
Pada means legs.

Just like the trees, plants, grass.
They cannot move. They have no
leg. They have got leg, but they
cannot move. They are eating
through the legs. Therefore they
are called pada-pa, means
“collecting waters through the
leg.” Just these trees. They are
drinking water from within the
earth with their legs. Therefore
they push their roots very deep
to find out where is water. And if
you put little water on the root of
the tree, they live. They drink
water. They are standing on the
river side drinking water and
becoming very flourished. But
although they are drinking the
same water, still, they are
differently constituted with
different fruits, different flowers.
This is God’s creation, we have to
understand that.

So apadāni sapadānām, apadāni
catuṣ-padām. Apadāni means
those who cannot move, these
trees, plants, grass, they are
eatables for the four-legged
animals, catuṣ-padām. Catuḥ
means four. Similarly, phalgūni
mahatāṁ tatra. Those who are
weak, they are food for the
strong. That is going on. “Might
is right.” In the human society
also. Just like you Europeans,
Americans… Europeans they
have come. You come this land
of America. Because you are
strong, you have eaten up all the
original inhabitants. (laughs) So
this is going on. This is called
struggle for existence.

Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, tat
kṣetraṁ yac ca yādṛk ca. Why we
find so many varieties of life?
How it has come into being? It
is… Everything will be explained
by Kṛṣṇa. He says, tat samāsena
me śṛṇu: “From Me you hear.”
Everyone is inquisitive, “Why
there are varieties of life?” I do
not know what the modern
scientist says, but they do not
understand that there is soul in
these different types of body.
That we have already discussed,
that idaṁ śarīraṁ kṣetram ity
abhidhīyate. Every different
particular living entity… Not
particular. We are all living
entities, part and parcel of God.
But we have entered into
different types of bodies
according to our desire. That’s it.
According to… We have got
desires, different types of
desires. The eight million four
hundred thousand bodies means,
at least, we have got eight
million four hundred thousand
different types of desires. That
we have to learn from authorities
like Kṛṣṇa.

Therefore He says, tat samāsena
me śṛṇu: “You try to
understand.” You cannot
speculate. Is there any
psychologist who can say that
how many different types of
thinking, feeling, willings are
there? No, they cannot say. But
we must know from Kṛṣṇa, the
Supreme Personality of Godhead,
that these eight million four
hundred thousand species or
forms of life are there because
there are eight million four
hundred thousand different types
of desires, exactly eight million
four hundred thousand.

This is called Vedic knowledge.
Exactly what is the fact, that is
stated there. So our process of
understanding, this Kṛṣṇa
consciousness movement—we do
not hear from any bogus person.
We hear from Kṛṣṇa. Therefore
Kṛṣṇa says for us, those who are
Kṛṣṇa conscious, tat samāsena
me śṛṇu: “From Me because I am
the supreme authority, Kṛṣṇa.”
Kṛṣṇa says that mattaḥ
parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti
dhanañjaya: [Bg. 7.7] “There is
no more superior authority than
Me.” So we get knowledge from
superior authority. That is the
process of acquiring knowledge.

We go to school, colleges,
teachers. So why? To receive
knowledge. So teacher or school,
college, they are in higher
authority. Similarly, you go on,
higher authorities, higher
authorities, higher authorities.
You reach to Brahmā because he
is the original creature and he
described the Vedic knowledge.
So he is also not higher authority.
He also received knowledge from
God. Tene brahma hṛdā ādi-
kavaye. That is stated in the
Śrīmad-Bhāgavata. Ādi-kavaye,
the original person.

We have got this body,
expanding, expanding. The
original person is Brahmā. From
Brahmā there was Lord Śiva, and
from Śiva there were so many,
then these Dakṣas and
Pracetasas and many sages
gradually. So we are descendant,
Manu. Manu also, one of the sons
of Brahmā, and from manuṣya,
Manu, the name has come,
manuṣya. Manuṣya means man.
In English also it is called “man.”
Manu, man. So we are all
descendants from the original
person, the supreme father,
original. So we are not different.

Here we have created out of
ignorance, “I am Indian; you are
European; he is American; he is
African; he is black; he is white.”
That we have created. “He is cat;
he is dog.” But actually, we are
all living entities. Because we
have got different types of desire
and that is calculated eight
million four hundred thousand
types of desires, so we are now
in different types of body. This is
understanding. Samaḥ sarveṣu

So when we get that spiritual
knowledge, brahma-bhūtaḥ
prasannātmā [Bg. 18.54],
prasannātmā, then there is no
difference. A learned person who
has realized Brahman, spiritual
realization, he looks everyone on
the equal level. He knows that it
is a dog or it is a cat on account
of this body. He is neither cat,
neither dog, neither I am human
being. We are all spirit soul,
ahaṁ brahmāsmi. This is
understanding. This is real

brāhmaṇe gavi hastini śuni caiva
śva-pāke ca paṇḍitāḥ sama-
darśinaḥ [Bg. 5.18]

Those who are learned, they see
that “Here is a learned
brāhmaṇa, and here is a dog,
and here is a hog, and he is a
dog-eater. There is an elephant.
There is a cow. So they are in
different dresses only, and the
real occupier of the dress, or the

That is explained that, idaṁ
śarīraṁ kaunteya kṣetram ity
abhidhīyate [Bg. 13.2] This is
only, we have got… According to
different desires, we have got
these different types of body.
Kṣetra. Just like field. The
cultivator, the farmer, works on
the field and gets some result.
Similarly, we have got different
types of body and we are
working on this body in the
bodily concepts of life. That is not
advanced life. If we are in the
bodily concept of life, that is
animal life. When we understand
that “I know that I am not this
body; I am working with this
body,” that is knowledge.

And not only I. One should
understand. It is clearly stated
here. There is no difficulty. Kṛṣṇa
says that “The living entity and
Myself, we are both within this
body.” Kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ
viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu. The
difference—we are individual
soul. We are living, every one of
us, living within this body, and
there is another living entity. God
is also living entity like you and
me. The difference is that He is
great, and we are subordinate.
Otherwise… Just like you have
got your president. He is a big
man of your nation, and we are
small men or you are a small
man. But he is also a human
being; I am also a human being
or you are also. Similarly, God is
exactly like us, with two hands
and two legs. To see Kṛṣṇa, He
hasn’t got a hundred legs or a
hundred… He has got the same,
two legs and two hands, exactly
like our body. In the Bible also it
says, I think, that “Man is made
after the feature of God”? So it is
not that we have imagined God
with two legs and two hands like
us, no. Our this body is made
imitating God’s body. And the
animals, they are also imitating
God’s body. God has got many
forms. Advaitam acyutam anādim
ananta-rūpam ādyaṁ purāṇa-
puruṣaṁ nava-yauvanaṁ ca [Bs.
5.33]. He has got many other
forms, innumerable.

So anyway, this is knowledge,
that “I am occupying this body, I
have got this body according to
my desire, and this desire has
been fulfilled by God. God is with
me, with you. He is within your
heart. He understands what you
desire. You have come, we have
come in this material world to
satisfy our different desires.
Therefore, there are so many
different forms of body.” Now
you can calculate also. What is
that? There are three qualities
within this material world. You
know, everyone. Some are in
goodness, and some are in
passion, and some are in
ignorance. In the animal or in the
vegetable kingdom, in the human
society, you will find these three
types of men.

Take our human society. Some of
them are very good men, very
truthful, very honest, very
learned, and knows what is God.
You find such men also. And you
will find also very much
passionate. And you will find also
men like cats and dogs, no
knowledge, blind. So there are
three types of men. Why?
Because there are three qualities
or modes of material nature:
goodness, passion and
ignorance. Now, you mix up
these three qualities with another
three varieties of qualities. Just
like the painter, they mix up
different colors. The original color
is blue, yellow and red. Now, you
mix up these colors. You can…
Hundreds and thousands of
colors you can make. It requires
expert handling. Similarly,
originally these three qualities,
goodness, passion and
ignorance. Now, three into three
equal to nine, and nine into nine
equal to eighty-one. So we get
immediately account for eighty-
one varieties, and each variety is
thousand and millions. Therefore
eight million four hundred
thousand, that is calculated.

And we have got so many
varieties of life. Jalajā nava-
lakṣāṇi sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati
kṛmayo rudra-saṅkhyakāḥ,
means the aquatics, there are
nine hundred thousand, and the
trees and plants, two millions,
and eleven hundred thousand,
these flies and insects. Kṛmayo
rudra-saṅkhyakāḥ. And then
birds, one million types of birds.
Then three million types of
beasts. Then four hundred
thousand of human being,
civilized, uncivilized, white, red,
black, so many varieties. In this
way, the whole calculation is
eight million four hundred
thousand different types of body.

Now Kṛṣṇa will explain that tat
kṣetraṁ yac ca yādṛk, why there
are so many varieties. The living
entity is the same, a spiritual
spark, part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa,
or God, but why they have
assumed these different types of
body calculated to be eight
million and four hundred
thousand forms. But each form is
part and parcel of God. Not each
form, or you can say form also,
each living entity. That is stated
in the Bhagavad-gītā,

sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya mūrtayaḥ
sambhavanti yāḥ tāsāṁ brahma
mahad yonir ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ
pitā [Bg. 14.4]

Kṛṣṇa says—I think in the
fourteenth chapter it is there—
that “I am the seed-giving father
of all these forms of life. All these
forms of life. They are not
automatic, come from anywhere.
I am the original father.”

Therefore those who are fully
Kṛṣṇa conscious or fully advanced
in spiritual consciousness, they
do not make any difference
between an insect and a
elephant because he knows very
well that the same spirit soul is
there within the elephant and
within insect, within the microbe,
because the dimension of the
spirit soul is very small. You
cannot imagine. It is one ten-
thousandth part of the tip of the
hair. Keśāgra-śata-bhāgasya
śatadhā kalpita [Cc. Madya
19.140], everything is there. So
such minute particle is so
powerful that it is managing the
body of the elephant and it is
managing the body of the ant.

You will find even an ant. He has
got all the propensities, just like
human being. You can study how
they are struggling, how they
have organized their society, how
they are eating, how they are
sleeping, how they are begetting
children. Everything is there in
every life. The four principles of
bodily demands, namely eating,
sleeping, sex and defense, you
will find in the insect, smallest
insect, like full stop. I sometimes
see at night. They wander on the
page of the book, very small. But
they have got all the
propensities. All the propensities.
You can study. Anyone, minute
study, you can see. So these
things are there everywhere,
even to the ant or even to the
elephant or to the demigod or
any Brahmā or in everything.
That’s all. That is clear.

So when we get by evolutionary
process, come to this human
form of life by God’s grace,
nature’s mercy, we can
understand what is what.
Therefore Kṛṣṇa is explaining to
Arjuna, a human being, not to a
cat and dog. Therefore He says,
tat kṣetram, “That body,” how it
has become varieties, what is the
ingredients. The ingredients are
the same. This material body, the
ingredients are the four primary
gross elements, means earth,
water, air, fire and ether or sky,
the mind, intelligence and ego.
This is the composition of this
body. And beyond this
composition, I am there, soul.
Indriyāṇi parāṇy āhuḥ.

Those who are in the bodily
concept of life they are thinking,
“The senses are everything. So
let us enjoy the senses. That is
our happiness.” No, that is not.
Therefore we are not happy
actually. Although we are trying
to gratify our senses profusely,
still, we are unhappy because
that is not actually happiness.
The actual happiness is of the
soul. Unless you satisfy the soul,
you cannot be happy because my
real identity is the soul, not this

The same example, as I have
already said many times, that
within the cage there is the bird.
You don’t take care of the bird,
and you simply cleanse this
cage—the bird will not be
satisfied. He will cry always,
“Give me food. Give me food.”
The another example I gave the
another psychiatrist, that this
body is a machine. Actually it is a
machine. And it is being driven
by two persons. One is God and
one is the living entity, individual.
The God is giving direction. The
living entity, individual soul,
wants to enjoy, so he is on the
carriage, same carriage, the
Supersoul and the soul. So the
Supersoul knows what I want to
enjoy, and He is giving facility:
“Oh, you want this facility? Now
drive your car in this way. You
want this facility? All right, drive
this way, this way.”

Actually Supersoul, or God, does
not want, but He is so kind. Just
like a gentleman. He gives the
dog all facility, sometimes going
this side, sometimes going this
side, sometimes passing stool,
sometimes passing urine, and he
is standing. He is controlling, but
he is giving some facilities: “This
dog is my servant. Let him have.”
This is going on. Without God’s
sanction, we cannot do anything.

Then why does He give sanction
for our sinful activities? Because
we want to do it. Because we
want to do it. God does not want
that you become implicated in
sinful life. Therefore thief, he
steals very stealthily. God says
from within, “Don’t steal. You will
be implicated. You will be
arrested. You will be punished.
Why you are stealing?” But he
will do. He will do. That is ajñāna.
That is ignorance. God is always
helping us, but we do not care
for God. That is our disease.
Therefore we are getting
different types of bodies and
suffering. This is the philosophy,
real philosophy, that God is there
with me in the same bird, in the
same, exactly the same, that the
driver is there and the proprietor
is there in the same car. The car
is a machine. Similarly, this body
is a machine.

It is stated in the Bhagavad…,
machine. Yantrārūḍhāni māyayā.

īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe
’rjuna tiṣṭhati bhrāmayan sarva-
bhūtāni yantrārūḍhāni māyayā
[Bg. 18.61]

”Īśvara, the Supreme Lord, God,
is situated in everyone’s heart,
and He is directing the travel, or
wandering, of the living entity.”

How? Yantrārūḍhāni: “sitting on
the machine of this body.” And
who has supplied this machine?
Māyayā: “the material nature.”
The material nature, according to
the order of God, has given me,
you or me or anyone, the cats,
dogs, a particular type of
machine, this body. And the
living entity is driving the
machine or driving the car and
God, the Supersoul, is reminding
him, “You wanted to enjoy like
this? Now you drive your car in
this way. You drive your… You
wanted to eat everything without
any discrimination? Now I have
given you the car of a hog. Now
you go and eat the stool.” And he
is very glad. He is enjoying. He is
enjoying he is thinking “I am
eating very nice thing.” This is
going on.

Nānā joni sadā phire, kadarjya
bhakṣaṇa kore, tāra janma
adhah-pāte jāya. Narottama dāsa
Ṭhākura is singing that “Those
who have taken this path of
fruitive activities, they are forced
to accept different forms of life
and eat all abominable things,
and thus he is lost in this material
world.” So if we become God
conscious, if we become faithful
to Kṛṣṇa, or God, then He will
give right direction so that you
may go again back to home,
back to Godhead. And that is our

teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ
prīti-pūrvakam dadāmi buddhi-
yogaṁ taṁ yena mām upayānti
te [Bg. 10.10]

Now, according to my whims,
according to my different desires
I am going deep and deep to the
hellish condition of life. I am
becoming the worms of the stool
beginning from Brahmā. Now,
if… When we have got this
human form of life, we should
understand, “How things are
happening? How I am getting
different types of body? How I
am dictated according to the
body and I am not happy? Now
what is the reason? Then what I
am? I do not want distress. Why
distress is forced upon me? I do
not want to die. Why death is
forced upon me? I do not want
to become old. I want to remain
perpetually young. Why old age
is forced upon me?” There are so
many things. In this way, when
we become intelligent enough
and approach Kṛṣṇa or a Kṛṣṇa’s
representative, then our life
becomes reformed.

This Kṛṣṇa consciousness
movement is for this purpose.
They are giving the opportunity
to the human society that “You
are suffering on account of your
whimsical desires. Now you learn
how to purify your desire. Then
you become happy.” This is
Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
Desire cannot be stopped. That is
not possible. You have to purify
your desire. That’s all.
Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-
paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya
19.170] I am thinking that “I am
this American,” I am thinking, “I
am this Indian,” or I am thinking
this and that, and creating my
desires accordingly. “It is my
duty because I am American.” “It
is my duty because I am Russian.
So let us fight.” So this is going
on. So you have to change your

That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness
movement. Sarvopādhi-
vinirmuktam [Cc. Madhya
19.170] You have to understand
that “I am not this body. I am
neither Indian, nor American, nor
Russian. I am part and parcel of
God. Therefore my business is to
serve God.” This is called bhakti.
When you are self-realized… That
is definition of bhakti. Sarva
upādhi-vinirmuktam. You have to
get yourself cleansed from all
these designations, that “I am
Hindu,” “I am Muslim,” “I am
Christian,” “I am American,” “I
am this,” “I am cat,” “I am dog.”
These are all designations
because I am pure soul, ahaṁ
brahmāsmi. And these
conceptions are designation. So
you have to be educated how to
become free from the
designation. That is sarvopādhi-
vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena
nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170],
that when we become free from
the designation…

It does not mean because I
become free from the
designation, therefore I become
zero. No, I remain because I am
spirit soul, eternal. I may become
sometimes American, sometimes
Indian, sometimes cat, sometime
dog, but that is change of
designation or body. But as spirit
soul, I am eternal. Na jāyate na
mriyate vā kadācit. Na hanyate
hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20].
These things are all clearly

So our request is that all over the
world they should take
advantage of this knowledge.
This Kṛṣṇa consciousness
movement is not a bluffing
movement. It is scientific
movement for the benefit of the
whole world. They are suffering.
So that is our request, that let us
wash ourself from the
designation. Then how it will be
possible? It will be possible. What
is that?

śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ hṛdy
antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi
vidhunoti suhṛt satām [Bhāg.

Hṛdy an… This I am thinking,
“American, Indian, Hindu,
Muslim,” this is all dirty things in
my heart. You cleanse your
heart. Hṛdy antaḥ-sthaḥ
abhadrāṇi. The dirty things are
within my heart, so if we cleanse
our heart, then we become free
from this designation. Naṣṭa-
prāyeṣu abhadreṣu nityaṁ
bhāgavata-sevayā [SB 1.2.18].
Naṣṭa-prāyeṣu. These dirty things
will be cleansed if we regularly
hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or
Bhagavad-gītā. Nityaṁ

And bhāgavata means the book
Bhāgavata and the person
bhāgavata. The person
bhāgavata is spiritual master or
any exalted devotee. He is
bhāgavata, mahā-bhāgavata,
bhāgavata. So bhāgavata-sevayā
means not only reading
Bhagavad-gītā and Bhāgavatam,
but we have to study from the
person bhāgavata. That is
required. Caitanya Mahāprabhu
advised, bhāgavata paṛā giyā
bhāgavata-sthāne: “If you want
to learn Bhāgavata, then go to
the person bhāgavata who is
realized soul.”

Not professional. That will not
help you. Official professional—I
go to a temple, to a church, and
go back again to hellish condition
of…, no. You just associate with
the person bhāgavata who is
realized soul and hear from him
this the same book, the same
knowledge. Kṛṣṇa’s
representative. Just like Kṛṣṇa
says, tat samāsena me śṛṇu. Me
śṛṇu: “Hear from Me or My
representative. Then you will

So these centers are being
opened just to give the
opportunity to the people who
are suffering not only in this life,
life after life.

ei rūpe brahmāṇḍa bhramite
kona bhāgyavān jīva guru-kṛṣṇa-
kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja [Cc.
Madhya 19.151]

So it is our duty, we have taken
this duty on behalf of Kṛṣṇa.
Kṛṣṇa personally comes to teach.
Just like He left His Śrīmad-
Bhāgavatam. Then He entrusts
His devotees to explain to the
people in general. We are
attempting to do that. We have
not manufactured anything or we
have got anything of our own.
The asset and the property is
there. We are simply distributing
as peon. That’s all.

And we have no difficulty. If we
simply present Bhagavad-gītā,
the instruction of Kṛṣṇa, as it is,
then our duty finished. We
haven’t got to manufacture
anything; neither we have power
to manufacture anything. Just
like there are so many others.
They manufacture new type of
ideas, new type of philos…, all
nonsense. That will not help.
Take the real knowledge. Tat
śṛṇu. What is called? Tat
samāsena me śṛṇu. Try to
understand from the Supreme
Personality of Godhead or the
real servant of Godhead who will
present simply what Kṛṣṇa has
said. He will not say anything
more or less.

That is the identification of real
servant. Just like you have got a
servant. You say, “My dear boy,
you go this errand. Inform him
this.” So his duty is to carry your
news and deliver to the person.
Similarly, we who are now in the
Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement,
we should simply take, tat
samāsena me śṛṇu. We should
hear from Kṛṣṇa and distribute
this knowledge. We have no
difficulty. Then those who will
hear, they will be benefited and
we will be benefited. This is
Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.

Thank you very much. Hare