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ANNOUNCER: The following is a
class on the Bhagavad-gītā As It
Is, 15th chapter, text number 1,
given by His Divine Grace A. C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupāda, recorded on the
28th of October, 1973 in Bombay,

PRADYUMNA: (Translation:) “The
Blessed Lord said: There is a
banyan tree which has its roots
upward and its branches down
and whose leaves are the Vedic
hymns. One who knows this tree
is the knower of the Vedas.”

PRABHUPĀDA: So this is the
description of Vedic literature.
Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva
vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. That will be
described. Veda means
knowledge. Vetti veda vida jñāne.
Vid-dhātu. From vid-dhātu, the
word Veda has come, which
means knowledge. There are
different kinds of knowledge, and
all kinds of knowledge you can
get perfectly from the Vedas.
There is Dhanur-veda, Āyur-veda,
Ṛg-veda, Sāma-veda, different
branches of Veda, but the
objective of studying Vedas
means to understand Kṛṣṇa.
Vedaiś ca sarvaiḥ. All kinds of
Vedas. Any book of knowledge.
There are different types of book
of knowledge. So if by studying
the books of different types of
knowledge one comes to the
understanding of knowing the
Supreme Personality of Godhead
Kṛṣṇa, then his knowledge is

Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, bahūnāṁ
janmanām ante [Bg. 7.19]. After
studying Vedas, speculative
knowledge, bahūnāṁ janmanām
ante jñānavān, when one is
actually a wise man, bahūnāṁ
janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ
prapadyate, he surrenders to
Kṛṣṇa. Why? Vāsudevaḥ sarvam
iti [Bg. 7.19]. Because Kṛṣṇa is
everything. Parasya brahmaṇaḥ
śaktiḥ. Whatever we see,
whatever we experience, that is,
everything, Kṛṣṇa’s energy. This
material world is also expansion
of Kṛṣṇa’s energy. Similarly, the
spiritual world is also expansion
of Kṛṣṇa’s energy. The
brahmajyoti is also expansion of
Kṛṣṇa’s energy. Paramātmā is
also expansion of Kṛṣṇa’s plenary
portion. In this way, when one
understands perfectly well that
whatever we are experiencing,
that is Kṛṣṇa’s energies… It is
described in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa,

eka-deśa-sthitasyāgner jyotsnā
vistāriṇī yathā parasya
brahmaṇaḥ śaktis tathedam
akhilaṁ jagat

This jagat, akhilaṁ jagat, is
nothing but manifestation of
Kṛṣṇa’s energy. Parasya
brahmaṇaḥ śaktiḥ. Parabrahman
is Kṛṣṇa. We may be Brahman…
Because we are part and parcel
of Kṛṣṇa, therefore we are
Brahman. Now we are identifying
with this matter. So mukti means
when we stop identifying with
this matter and we learn how to
realize ahaṁ brahmāsmi. Simply
realization not. To act as
Brahman, Brahman, that is
perfection of knowledge. Not to
simply realize. Just like for
example a person he feels that “I
am Indian.” That is very good. But
Mahatma Gandhi, he also was
Indian, but he acted as a first-
class Indian. Therefore Mahatma
Gandhi is so much adored.

So simply to realize that “I am
Brahman,” ahaṁ brahmāsmi, that
is not perfection. That is
uncleansed intelligence. Ye ’nye
’ravindākṣa vimukta-māninas
tvayy asta-bhāvād aviśuddha-
buddhayaḥ [SB 10.2.32]. Simply
understanding ahaṁ brahmāsmi
will not help us because it is
stated in the śāstra that āruhya
kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ
patanty adhaḥ [SB 10.2.32], even
by severe austerities and
penances one comes to the stage
of merging into Brahman, sāyujya
mukti, still, there is chance of
falling down. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa
paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty
adhaḥ [SB 10.2.32] Why? Now
anādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ. One
who has not realized the lotus
feet of the Supreme Personality
of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, he falls down.

We have seen many big, big
sannyāsīs in India, very learned
scholar, and very nicely they can
describe śāstra also, but they are
entangled in politics. Why? If this
world is mithyā, jagan mithyā,
you have rejected it, then why
you are again coming to politics?
Why you are coming in the
mithyā world? Because there is
no realization. Aviśuddha-
buddhayaḥ. Ye ’nye ’ravindākṣa
vimukta-māninaḥ. They are
thinking that “We have now
become liberated,” māninaḥ.
Actually, they are not liberated.
Because aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ,
their intelligence is not yet clear,
therefore, even after severe
austerities, penances, they come
to the point of Brahman
realization, because they have no
realization of the lotus feet of
Kṛṣṇa, they fall down. Because
there is no engagement. I do not
wish to name the big, big
sannyāsīs of India who fell down
in this way. But you know that the
Māyāvādī sampradāya, they take
this world as mithyā. Brahma
satyaṁ jagan mithyā. If jagat is
mithyā, then why you come
down again for philanthropic
activities, for political activities?
That is called māyā. That is the
last snare of māyā. Māyā dictates
that “Now we have failed to
become minister, to president,
and so many other big, big posts.
Now you become Brahman.” You
are already Brahman. Simply you
have to realize. That’s all. That is
knowledge, that I am not the…
Brahman realization means that
“I am not this body.” Because so
long one identifies with this
body, he is no better than animal.
That is the first lesson. Kṛṣṇa says
in the beginning of the
Bhagavad-gītā, dehino ’smin
yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ
jarā, tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ [Bg.
2.13]. Deha and dehinaḥ. So that
is preliminary knowledge of
Brahman realization. But if you
do not fix up in your Brahman
realization… That is parā-bhakti.

brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na
śocati na kāṅkṣati samaḥ sarveṣu
bhūteṣu mad-bhaktiṁ labhate
parām [Bg. 18.54]

When actually one is liberated
from the bodily concept of life
and he sees spiritual identity
everywhere, samaḥ sarveṣu
bhūteṣu, paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ
[Bg. 5.18], then he can be
situated in the activities of
Brahman. The bhakti-yoga is the
activities of Brahman. The
Māyāvādī philosophers, they are
thinking that after Brahman
realization there is no more
activity. But that is not the fact.
Real activity begins after
Brahman realization. That is
Brahman activity. That is bhakti-
yoga. Kṛṣṇa is Paraṁ Brahman,
and we are Kṛṣṇa’s part and
parcel. Naturally we are also
Brahman, because part and
parcel of gold must be gold.
There is no doubt about it. But it
does not mean that the small
particle of gold is equal to the
gold mine. That is not possible.
Part is never equal to the whole.

So Kṛṣṇa has already described
bhakti-yoga. Now He is
describing about the activities of
this material world. Traiguṇya-
viṣayā. Activities of the material
world means to act in such a way
that you become liberated at the
end and go back to home, back
to Godhead. That is real activities
of this material world, not to act
as the animals—eating, sleeping,
mating. So this material world is
now described, compared with a
banyan tree which has its root
upwards, above. That means this
material world is created from
the spiritual world. Eko nārāyaṇa
āsīt. In the spiritual world there is
always Nārāyaṇa. Even
Śaṅkarācārya, he says nārāyaṇaḥ
avyaktāt paraḥ. The spiritual
world has nothing to do with this
material world. This material
world is created. Just like the
banyan tree. It takes its root and
it is created. So the seed of the
creation is in the spiritual world.
Sa īkṣata, sa asṛjata. The creation
is coming from the spiritual
world. Spiritual world means the
kingdom of God, Nārāyaṇa, or
Kṛṣṇa. So here the material world
is described as ūrdhva-mūlam. In
other words, it is reflection of the
spiritual world. Just like if you
stand on the shore of a lake, you
will find all the trees reflected in
the water downwards. Real tree is
on the shore of the lake, and the
reflection is downwards. The
upper part of the tree has gone
down. So this material world is
compared with that reflection. It
is chāya. In Brahma-saṁhitā also,
it is said, sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-
sādhana-śaktir ekā chāyeva yasya
bhuvanāni bibharti durgā [Bs.
5.44] The superintending deity of
this material world is goddess
Durgā, durgā-śakti. So she
creates this material world. Sṛṣṭi-
ekāḥ. Kṛṣṇa’s energy. Kṛṣṇa also
says in the Bhagavad-gītā,
bhūmir āpo ’nalo vāyuḥ. This
material energy is His energy.
The energy is always compared
with feminine part. And the
energetic is always compared
with the male part. Male part and
female part. Kṛṣṇa also said in the
Bhagavad-gītā, ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ
pitā. So He is the seed-giving
father. Bījo ’haṁ sarva-bhūtānām.
So He is the original seed of this
material world. And from there,
from the spiritual world, it has
expanded. Ūrdhva-mūlam
adhah-śākham aśvatthaṁ prāhur
avyayam [Bg. 15.1]. Avyayam,
eternal. This material energy also

There are three kinds of energies
of the Supreme Personality of
Godhead: the material energy,
the spiritual energy and the
marginal energy. From the
material energy, bhūmir āpo
’nalo vāyuḥ, this material creation
is effected. And the spiritual
energy, the Vaikuṇṭha-loka, paras
tasmāt tu bhāvaḥ anyaḥ avyaktaḥ
avyaktāt sanātanaḥ [Bg. 8.20].
That is eternal. So that is spiritual
world. And in between the two
worlds, material and spiritual,
there is one energy. That is living
energy. We living entities, we are
marginal energy. We are also
energy. Apareyam itas tu viddhi
me prakṛtiṁ parām, jīva-bhūtāṁ
mahā-bāho yayedaṁ dhāryate
jagat. Kṛṣṇa describes the
marginal energy, the jīva-bhūta,
the living entities.

So jīva-bhūta, living entities, they
are actually prakṛti, not puruṣa.
Puruṣa is Supreme Personality of
Godhead. Puruṣa means enjoyer.
But Māyāvādī philosophy, they
want to turn the prakṛti into
puruṣa. The jīva. Jīva is described
as prakṛti, parā-prakṛti. Jīva-
bhūta. They are better than,
superior than the matter because
they adjust matter. The resources,
the material resources, they try to
enjoy it. They cannot enjoy, but
try to enjoy it. Therefore it is
called superior energy. But it is
energy, not the energetic. So this
material world is eternal, and the
living entities, they are also
eternal, avyaya. Na hanyate
hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. And
eternal. This material world is
eternal in this sense: because it is
Kṛṣṇa’s energy. If Kṛṣṇa is eternal,
His energy is also eternal. But the
manifestation of this energy is
temporary. Bhūtvā bhūtvā
pralīyate. Energy is there. Unless
the energy is there, how it is
manifested? Janmādy asya yataḥ
[Bhāg. 1.1.1]. There are so many
energies, within you, within me.
They are not always manifest. But
at times they are manifest. They
are called acintya-śakti. Things
are happening without our
calculation. That is acintya-śakti,
inconceivable energy. As Kṛṣṇa
has got inconceivable energy…
He creates this material world by
His inconceivable energy, vast
oceans, vast lump of matter, the

athāvalambya jīvanti loma-vilajā
jagad-aṇḍa-nāthāḥ viṣṇur mahān
sa iha yasya kalā-viśeṣo
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam
ahaṁ bhajāmi [Bs. 5.48]

So Mahā-Viṣṇu, by His breathing
only, unlimited number of
universes are coming and going
into. So such inconceivable
energies are there. And because
we are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa,
we have got also inconceivable
energy, which is not always
manifest, but at times it
manifests. Similarly, this material
world is avyaya, eternal energy,
but it is not false, as the
Māyāvādī philosophers say, jagan
mithyā. No. Jagat is not mithyā,
but it is fact, but it is temporary.
That is Vaiṣṇava philosophy. We
don’t say that this world is false.
Why it should be false? If has
come from the truth, actually
truth, how it can be? Pūrṇam
idaṁ pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idam,
pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate
[Īśopaniṣad, Invocation] It is
perfect. But it is being misused.
That is māyā. How it is being
misused? Kṛṣṇa says that He is
the enjoyer. Bhoktāraṁ yajña-
tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram
[Bg. 5.29]. He is the proprietor of
all the lokas, all the brahmāṇḍas,
but unfortunately, we are
dismissing Kṛṣṇa. We are trying
to be the enjoyer of this material
world. That is māyā. The world is
not māyā, but the intention of
the living entities to enjoy this
material world, to satisfy his
senses, that is māyā. He is
becoming entangled. Just to try
to enjoy this material world…
That the so-called scientists and
philanthropists and politicians,
they are trying to enjoy this
material world to their best
capacity, and they are inventing
devices how to enjoy it… This is
māyā. That is answered in the
Bhagavad-gītā: daivī hy eṣā
guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā
[Bg. 7.14]. They are allured by this
māyā, “Try to enjoy me,” and
these conditioned souls are after
that, how to enjoy.

Traiguṇya-viṣayā vedā
nistraiguṇyo bhavārjuna. So
Vedas also says that “If you make
such and such sacrifice, then you
will be elevated to such and such
higher planetary system to
become demigods and enjoy
beautiful woman, higher
standard of life.” So yām imāṁ
puṣpitāṁ vācam, veda-vāda-
ratāḥ pārtha nānyad astīti
vādinaḥ. So we must understand
what is this material world, how it
is working. That will be described
in this Fifteenth Chapter.

ūrdhva-mūlam adhah-śākham
aśvatthaṁ prāhur avyayam
chandāṁsi yasya parṇāni yas taṁ
veda sa veda-vit [Bg. 15.1]

One who understands what is the
constitution of this material
world, how it is working, what we
are, why we have come here, why
we are so struggling hard for
existence, what is our duty, how
to get out of this entanglement…
That is Vedic knowledge. Not
only to get out of this material
entanglement, but to be
engaged. Because simply to get
out is not the final business.
Suppose you are being employed
in a place you do not like. You
want to change. Simply if you
resign your post, that is not
good. You must take another
nice post. Then it is good.

Anyone who is engaged in the
eternal service of the Lord, he is
perfect, he is mukta. Muktir hitvā
anyathā rūpaṁ svarūpeṇa
vyavasthitiḥ. This is mukti. Mukti
means to be freed from the
useless activities. The material
activities, they are all useless
activities, because in the bodily
concept of life. Just like the
monkey. He is also very active. In
Vṛndāvana we have got good
experience, always active. But
useless. Therefore Śrīla Rūpa
Gosvāmī has described, phalgu-
vairāgya. The monkey is vairāgī.
He lives in the forest. He has no
cloth even. Other vairāgīs, they
have got little cloth, but these
monkeys have no cloth. And they
live in forest and eat fruits,
vegetarian, but rascal number
one. So therefore Rūpa Gosvāmī
has said,

prāpañcikatayā buddhyā hari-
mumukṣubhiḥ parityāgo
vairāgyaṁ phalgu kathyate

Phalgu means less valuable, less
important. Or there is Phalgu
river. Phalgu river, you know, in
Gayā there is a Phalgu river. On
the bed of the river you’ll find all
sand, dry, but if you push your
hand little below the sand, you
will find water. This is practi…
Therefore it is called phalgu-
vairāgya. Actually, outside, as
vairāgī, no cloth, even does not
touch even cloth, but inside,
every monkey has one dozen
wife at least. So this kind of
phalgu-vairāgī or markaṭa-vairāgī
is not required. Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī

prāpañcikatayā buddhyā hari-
mumukṣubhiḥ parityāgo
vairāgyaṁ phalgu kathyate

Vairāgya. Actually, we cannot
make actually vairāgya. Vairāgya
means to refrain from material
enjoyment or sense enjoyment.
That is vairāgya.

vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-
yogaḥ prayojitaḥ janayaty āśu
vairāgyaṁ jñānaṁ ca yad
ahaitukam [SB 1.2.7]

Jñāna and vairāgya, these two
things are required to purify our
existence. And that is made
possible simply by devotional
service to Lord Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa.
Vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-
yogaḥ prayojitaḥ, janayaty āśu
vairāgyam. Very soon one
becomes vairāgī.

Just like these European,
American boys. They are vairāgīs.
They were engaged in full
material enjoyment. But they
have given up for Kṛṣṇa’s sake
everything. No illicit sex life, no
intoxication, no meat-eating and
no gambling. They have given
up. This is vairāgya. But the
energy is utilized for Kṛṣṇa’s
service. They are preaching this
Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement
all over the world. It was the duty
of the Indians. Unfortunately, the
Indians are callous. They are now
after technology. Śrī Caitanya
Mahāprabhu advised all Indians,

bhārata-bhūmite haila manuṣya-
janma yāra janma sārthaka kari’
kara para-upakāra [Cc. Ādi 9.41]

The para-upakāra, to distribute
Kṛṣṇa consciousness… Everybody
is suffering for want of God
consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa
consciousness. Therefore it is the
greatest humanitarian work,
welfare activities, is to distribute
this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So it
was the duty of the Indians.
Bhārata-bhūmite haila manuṣya-
janma yāra [Cc. Ādi 9.41] Anyone
who has taken birth as a human
being in India, his duty is to
perfect his life by becoming
Kṛṣṇa conscious and distribute it
all over the world. That is his
duty. But they are not doing.
Some way or other, I have
collected some these young
Europeans and Americans. They
are helping in this movement. So
we have come to Vṛndāvana for
this purpose, that those who are
actually serious to render service
to Kṛṣṇa, they should join this
movement, heart and soul, and
help broadcasting this movement
all over the world. Thank you very
much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.