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ANNOUNCER: The following is a
class on the Bhagavad-gītā As It
Is, 13th chapter, text number 35,
given by His Divine Grace A. C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupāda, recorded on June 6,
1974 in Geneva, Switzerland.

NITĀI: “One who knowingly sees
this difference between the body
and the owner of the body and
can understand the process of
liberation from this bondage also
attains to the supreme goal.”

PRABHUPĀDA: In the beginning
of this chapter, Arjuna inquired,

prakṛtiṁ puruṣaṁ caiva kṣetraṁ
kṣetra-jñam eva ca etad veditum
icchāmi jñānaṁ jñeyaṁ ca keśava

Yesterday evening, those
gentlemen who came from
Protestant Church?


PRABHUPĀDA: So they’re talking
about what is knowledge. Yes.
This is very good question, what
is knowledge. So Arjuna wanted
to know this knowledge from
Kṛṣṇa. Knowledge means to
understand this body and the
soul. Kṣetra-kṣetra-jña. Kṣetra
means this body, and kṣetra-jña
means the owner of the body.
Just like if you study your body…
“What is this?” Just like we ask
any child. Sometimes we play
with the child. We ask, “What is
this?” He’ll say, “My hand,” or
“My head.” So even the child can
say that the hand is different
from him. We also say, “This is
my hand,” “This is my leg,” “This
is my head.” We never say, “I
head,” or “I hand.” No. “My
hand.” It is very simple thing.

So Kṛṣṇa, being asked by Arjuna,
He’s giving the knowledge that
this body is called kṣetra. Kṣetra
means field of activities. Just like
in agricultural land. You get a
piece of land, and you produce
your own food grain, or as you
like. The government gives you a
piece of land, and you have to
pay a little tax, and you can grow
your food grains as you like.
Similarly, as we wanted, Kṛṣṇa
has given us this body. Now we
can work with this body as we
like. If you want, you can utilize
this body for higher elevation, or
you can utilize this body for your
nonsense purpose and go to hell.
That is your choice.

Just like somebody is using this
body, undergoing austerities,
penance, according to the
spiritual, regulative life, and one
man is using this body only for
sense gratification, drinking and
sex. So it is my choice, to utilize
this body as I like, and I also reap
the result. The same example:
You are given a field, a piece of
land. You can grow twice, thrice
in a year very nice foodstuff,
sometimes pulses, sometimes
paddy, sometimes the mustard
seed. Any land… In India, we have
seen that a cultivator produces
three, four kind of food grains in
a year. That is the system…
(aside:) Not this…

That is the system that in India
every man is producing his food
grains independently. Now it is
stopped. Formerly, all these men,
they used to produce their food
grain. So they used to work for
three months in a year, and they
could stock the whole year’s
eatable food grains. Life was very
simple. After all, you require to
eat. So this Vedic civilization was
that keep some land and keep
some cows. Then your whole
economic question is solved.

Now, in this country, Geneva, I
heard there is… I am tasting the
milk, first-class milk. I think the
world’s best milk. Unless one has
got his own cows, one cannot get
such nice milk. But I hear also
that because there is excess
production of milk, they have
decided to kill twenty-thousand

DEVOTEE: Last year, they decided
to do it, but apparently they
didn’t do it. They wanted to do it.

PRABHUPĀDA: Just see how
much foolish proposal it is. So for
want of God consciousness, this
mischievous intelligence can be
found. The whole economic
question can be solved. If you
have got excess, then you can
trade, you can send to some
place where there is scarcity. But
every man should produce his
own food. That is Vedic culture.
You get a piece of land and
produce your family’s foodstuff.

But they are… What they are
doing? In Australia, in Africa, they
have got enough land, but the
government… Maybe they have
no sufficient men to utilize the
land, but they won’t allow any
outsider to go there who can
produce. I have seen in Africa.
Very, very large tract of land was
lying vacant, nobody is
producing any food. They are
producing coffee. That is not the
local men. The Britishers who
have gone there, They are
producing coffee, tea, and
keeping some cows for
slaughtering. This is going on. In
Australia, also, I have seen.

Even some priestly class. They
invited me, received me, received
me very well. So one of the
priests, he inquired that “Why
our Christian religion is
dwindling? What we have done?”
And actually, that’s a fact. I have
seen, in London at least, the
churches are for sale. Nobody’s
going to the church. Some of the
churches have been taken for
making go-down, storehouse or
some factory. Many hundreds of
thousands… In London there are
many churches. Churches are
there in New York also, other
places. Formerly, people were
religious. It doesn’t matter
whether one constructed temple
or church. It doesn’t matter.
There was prayer to the
Supreme. But now people are

I don’t find many churches here
in Geneva. They don’t like to go
to church here?

GURU GAURĀṄGA: They say they


GURU GAURĀṄGA: They say they

PRABHUPĀDA: No, but don’t find
many churches here. So this is
not very good sign. People
should eat sumptuously, not
overeating. Overeating is bad.
Not undereating. Yuktāhāra-
vihārasya yogo bhavati siddhaye.
Yuktāhāra, as much as you
require, you must eat. Yajñārthe…
Annād bhavanti bhūtāni. Either
human being or an animal, they
must get sufficient food, and that
means anna, food grains. So I
have studied it very thoroughly. If
people produce food grain in all
the lands available all over the
world, they can feed ten times
population than it is at present.
Kṛṣṇa has made such

In the Īśopaniṣad, it is said,
pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaṁ
pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate
[Īśopaniṣad, Invocation]. In the
creation of Kṛṣṇa, there cannot
be any scarcity. Everything is
sufficiently there. Pūrṇam, it is
complete, perfectly made, either
this planet, that planet.
Everywhere, the living entities are
there, and Kṛṣṇa has made
provision for every one of them.
There is no question of scarcity.
But people are not obeying the
orders of Kṛṣṇa or the authorities,
that “You produce…” Annād
bhavanti bhūtāni. Even in Bible, it
is said, “Thou shalt not kill.” They
are not producing food grains,
and they are killing the animals
and eating.

How they will be happy? It is not
possible. Most sinful activities.
You produce your food. The bull
will help you. And the cows will
supply you milk. They are
considered to be father and
mother. Just like father earns
money for feeding the children,
similarly, the bulls help
producing, plowing, producing
food grains, and the cow gives
milk, mother. And what is this
civilization, killing father and
mother? This is not good
civilization. It will not stay. There
will be catastrophe, waiting.
Many times it has happened, and
it will happen because
transgressing the law of nature,
or laws of God, is most sinful.
That is sinful.

Just like you become criminal by
transgressing the law of state,
similarly, when you transgress
the law of God, then you are
sinful. So this example is given:
idaṁ śarīraṁ kṣetram. That
means to own a certain piece of
land is the basic civilization.
Everyone must have a portion of
land to produce his food. There
will be no economic problem.

And we have seen even in our
childhood that poor men, the
laborer class, servant, they came
from village in the town. We were
residents of town, Calcutta, The
servants class, they would come…
Everywhere, not in Calcutta,
everywhere. The villagers would
come, and the small salary. Even
in our young days, we were
paying salaries to the servants,
twelve rupees, fourteen rupees,
without any food. And still they
would save at least ten to twelve
rupees out of that. And this
money, the servant would send
to his wife at home, and as soon
as there is two hundred rupees,
he’ll purchase a piece of land.
And in this way, when he has got
sufficient land for producing
food for the whole family, then
he would no more come to city
for working. We have seen it.

That means as soon as one has a
land sufficient to produce, he is
safe. His food problem—that is
the real problem—is solved. So
people are not being trained up
to… In America, I have seen. Now
the farmers, the father is working
on the farm, and the sons, they
do not come. They live in the city.
This is the tendency all over the
world. They are not producing
food grains. Therefore there is
scarcity. There is scarcity of…

Especially in a country like India
where the population is very big
and there is no land available,
there must be scarcity of food.
Especially the Britishers, they
have divided India: Pakistan and
Hindustan. So all the food grains
are there on the Pakistan side,
and in the Hindustan side all the
industries are there. So they are
fighting. They have no industrial
facilities, and they have no
agricultural facilities. All policies.
They would fight all along. The
Britishers wanted that “You have
taken your independence. All
right, you’ll suffer all the time,
fighting between your…” This was
a policy. So it is going on nicely.

So anyway, the whole world
situation is degrading, that
people are not producing their
own food. This is the problem,
real problem. Kṣetra-kṣetra-jña.
This example is given. As every
man must possess a piece of
land… Therefore this… Because it
is very common thing, this
example has been given. Kṣetra-

So as we till our land and gets
foodstuff according to my labor,
according to my intelligence…
Food grains I can produce once
twice, thrice, if I work hard.
Generally, they work two times:
three months, three months. And
those who are very lazy, they
work three months. But even
working for three months, they
can acquire foodstuffs for the
whole year. That I have seen. So
similarly, as we get some land
and work for ourself, similarly,
this body is also like that land.
And I am… This “I,” the soul, I can
reap good result or bad result as
I work with this body. This is very

This is knowledge. Kṛṣṇa says,
idaṁ śarīraṁ kaunteya kṣetram
[Bg. 13.2]. Kṛṣṇa does not say
that “Arjuna, you are this body.”
That is the beginning of
Bhagavad-gītā. Dehino ’smin
yathā dehe [Bg. 2.13]. Within this
body, the owner of the body is
there. This is the beginning of
knowledge. So this knowledge is
lacking. Nobody knows that “I am
within this body.” Everyone is
thinking, “I am this body.” I am
American, I am Indian, I am
Czechoslovakian, or I am Swiss,
and… Everyone is thinking. That
means they have no knowledge.
All fools and rascals. So the all
fools and rascals civilization, how
we can be happy?

There must be intelligence. They
have no intelligence. They are
thinking of philanthropic work,
but still thinking that “I am this
body.” So what that philanthropic
work will do? We… With
ignorance, with no knowledge,
whatever you do, it is foolish. As
there are… Sometimes they
divide, four classes of men: lazy
intelligent, active intelligent, and
lazy fool and active fool. The
active fool is fourth-class because
whatever he’ll do, it is foolish. So
result will not be very good.
Active fool. So lazy fool is better
than the active fool.

Just like the monkey. It is active
fool. In your country, in the
Western country, you don’t see
many monkeys. But in India,
there are many monkeys. As
soon as a monkey will come, he
will create some mischief. He’s
very busy, jumping here, there,
here, here, there, but always
creating mischief. So modern
civilization… And the Darwin’s
theory is that they have come
from monkey. (laughter) So they
are also doing like that, jumping
like monkey, this way, that way,
this way, that way, but always
creating mischief.

So this is very good example,
that idaṁ śarīraṁ kṣetram. He
has given, God has given you a
piece of land, this body. Now you
work. You make your future with
this body. Karmaṇā… Because the
body is produced according to
my karma. Otherwise, why there
are so many varieties of body?
We are all human beings.
Everyone, we are, we possess two
hands, two legs. Still, the bodies
are different. We don’t find
anybody’s body is exactly equal
to the other. No. Because we
have got different mentality.
Every one of us, we are individual
soul; we have got different
mentality, different propensities,
different ideas. So in this way we
have got different bodies. This is
the science.

Science, they are searching out
so many things, but they do…
Why they cannot explain that
why there are varieties of body.
Why not exactly equal human
being exactly of the same
feature, same…? Just like we do
some… In mold, the, all the dolls
come out of the same body. It is
not like that. For each and every
living entity, Kṛṣṇa has to prepare
a different type of body.
Therefore we have got different
types of body according to

So this is knowledge, that “I have
got this body as field.” As one
gets the land for cultivating his
food grains, according to his
labor, according to his choice,
similarly, we have got this field of
activity. Now we can make our
future good or bad according to
our choice. Idaṁ śarīraṁ
kaunteya kṣetram iti abhidhīyate
[Bg. 13.2]. This is called kṣetra,
working land.

Just like father gives some capital
to the son: “You do some
business.” Now, you lose the
money or increase it hundred
times; that depends on you.
Similarly, Kṛṣṇa has given us. We
wanted to enjoy this material
world, and Kṛṣṇa has given us.
The first beginning body is
Brahmā, very exalted body. But
on account of our abominable
activities, from Brahmā, we come
down to become the worm of
stool. This is called karma, kṣetra.

There are eight million four
hundred thousand species of life,
and according to our work, we
get some body, some type of
body. And if we work in the
modes of goodness, then we get
still better body in higher
planetary system, long duration
of life, better standard of living
condition, more and more,
thousand times, thousand times.
Whatever comforts and facilities
we have got here on this planet,
if we work in the modes of
goodness, then we get more and
more facilities.

Similarly, if we work just like
animals, then we are degraded
more and more downwards. Tala,
Atala, Talātala, Pātāla, like that.
There are planetary systems, and
similarly, there are higher
planetary system. You can see
every day. Each and every star
means they are different
planetary system. So according
to your work, you are promoted
or degraded or you keep here.

ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthā
madhye tiṣṭhanti rājasāḥ
jaghanya-guṇa-vṛtti-sthā adho
gacchanti tāmasāḥ [Bg. 14.18]

It is up to you. In another place,
Kṛṣṇa says,

yānti deva-vratā devān pitṝn
yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ bhūtāni yānti
bhūtejyā yānti mad-yājino ’pi
mām [Bg. 9.25]

The same thing. If you desire, you
can promote yourself to the
higher—that is within the
material world—higher planetary
system for better comfort of life,
better, long duration of life. That
you can go. Yānti deva-vratā

Just like if you come to Europe…
At least… Of course, we are
different men. We are preaching.
But other Indians, they come,
they come here by dressing like
European, European coat, pant.
So just we have to arrange for
going to another country,
passport, visa and dress and so
many things. Similarly, if you
want to go to the planets of the
demigods, you have to prepare
yourself. Yānti deva-vratā devān
[Bg. 9.25]. Deva-vratāḥ, they can
go. Similarly, pitṛ-vratāḥ, they can
go Pitṛloka. There are other
planets. And bhūtejyāḥ, if you
want to remain here, then you
become nationalist and this, that,
so many…

“And if you like, you can go to
Me also.” Mad-yājino ’pi yānti
mām. Those who are trying to
promote themselves in Kṛṣṇa
consciousness, Kṛṣṇa says mad-
yājinaḥ, “Those who are
worshiping Me, they come to
Me.” So now it is your choice.
This body is given to you. Now
you make your choice whether
you want to have, in this material
world, better facilities, better
duration of life, or if you want to
degrade yourself to the animal
life, or if you want to go to
Kṛṣṇaloka, everything, whatever
you want, you can get. And this is
the chance, this human form of
body. You make your choice.
Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, idaṁ
śarīraṁ kaunteya kṣetram iti
abhidhīyate [Bg. 13.2] It is just
like the land of cultivation. Now
you cultivate.

idaṁ śarīraṁ kaunteya kṣetram
ity abhidhīyate etad yo vetti taṁ
prāhuḥ kṣetra-jñaḥ iti tad-vidaḥ
[Bg. 13.2]

And… Just like the land and the
proprietor of land. The proprietor
of the land knows that “This is my
land.” It is not “I land.” That is
ignorance. So people are taking
this, that “I am this body.” That is
ignorance. If they know, if one
knows that “I am not this body; I
am proprietor of this body, I’ll
have to work with this body for
my future,” then that is
knowledge. Etad yo vetti kṣetra-
jña, knower, one who knows. That
is the beginning of knowledge.
Then Kṛṣṇa says,

kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi
sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata kṣetra-
kṣetra-jñayor jñānaṁ yat taj
jñānaṁ mataṁ mama

Kṛṣṇa is giving His opinion, the
Supreme Authority, that “If you
want to know, if you want to be
in knowledge, this is knowledge.”
What is that? “That this body, you
are not this body; you are the
owner of the body.

And you should know also that
the there is another person. As
you are a person, you are owner
of this body, there is another
person.” Who is that? “That is I
am.” Kṛṣṇa says. Kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi
māṁ viddhi: “I am also owner of
this body.” Actually Kṛṣṇa is the
owner of the body. Just like in a,
in an apartment, there is the
occupier and the landlord. So
there are two men concerned. I
do not know what is the system
here. In India, there are two kinds
of taxes, the occupier tax and the
landlord’s tax. Two kinds of taxes.
So similarly, this body, I, the
living entity, I am the occupier. I
am not the owner. Although
occupier is, to some extent,
owner. But the real owner is the

Similarly, Kṛṣṇa is the real owner
of this body because Kṛṣṇa has
given me this body just to
occupy it and work. So far. Not
that I am the actual proprietor of
this body. So when actually, one
comes to this knowledge that “I
am not this body”—this is one
knowledge—and one comes to
know also that “I am not
proprietor, actual proprietor, of
this body”… How can I be actual
proprietor of this body? If you
have got knowledge… Because
this body is made of material

So what are these material
ingredients? Earth, water, fire, air,
ether—they are physical
elements. They are Kṛṣṇa’s
energies. So this body made by
Kṛṣṇa’s energy. And I, the person,
I am also part and parcel of
Kṛṣṇa. We are two energies. I, as
living entity, I am also the energy,
superior energy. And this
material body, that is also Kṛṣṇa’s
energy. I cannot prepare this
body if I like. No. The body is
made by Kṛṣṇa through the
agency of this material energy,
prakṛti. Prakṛti means the
material energy. Kṛṣṇa will say
that mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ
sūyate sa-carācaram [Bg. 9.10]
This body is made by the
material nature under the order
of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is with you.
Therefore He says, kṣetra-jñaṁ
cāpi māṁ viddhi, that “I am also
one of the occupiers of this
body.” That is Paramātmā. So
Kṛṣṇa is so kind that He is taking
note of my all desires, and as I
desire, Kṛṣṇa orders the material
energy to prepare a suitable
body for me, and I live there. This
is knowledge. This is knowledge,
that within this body…

In the Upaniṣads also it is
explained that in this tree—the
body’s taken as tree—there are
two birds sitting as friends. One,
the living entity, and the other is
the Supersoul, Paramātmā, ātmā
and Paramātmā.

So Kṛṣṇa is so kind that actually
He’s supplying my order. I want
to eat like tiger. Kṛṣṇa is ordering
material nature, “Well, he wants a
tiger’s body. Give him a tiger’s
body.” I want to eat like hogs and
dogs. Kṛṣṇa orders material…,
“Give him a body like a hog. He
can eat very peacefully all kinds
of stools.” That’s all. This is going
on. This is going on. And if I want
a body to serve Kṛṣṇa, he’ll give
us. Ye yathā mām… This is the
meaning of ye yathā māṁ
prapadyante. “As you desire, I
give you. If you want a body to
serve Me, you’ll get a Vaiṣṇava
body, and you will be able to
serve Kṛṣṇa.” And if you want to
serve cats and dogs, then you get
a cats and dogs body.

Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo ’sya. Guṇa
means… According to the guṇa,
you make your desire, That is
contamination. And as there is
contamination, as there is similar
disease, similarly, as we desire
similar body, we can get by the
order of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa gives order
because we want it. Kṛṣṇa does
not force you to enter into the
dog’s body or hog’s body or
demigod’s body or human
being’s body, but as we create
situation by desire, Kṛṣṇa gives us
the facility to possess such body,
and we work on, and we reap
another result. This is called
material existence. Thank you
very much.