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ANNOUNCER: The following is a
class on the Bhagavad-gītā As It
Is, 16th chapter, text number 1
through 3, given by His Divine
Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupāda, recorded on
January 29, 1975 in Honolulu,


"The Blessed Lord said:
Fearlessness; purification of one's
existence; cultivation of spiritual
knowledge; charity; self-control;
performance of sacrifice; study of
the Vedas; austerity and
simplicity; nonviolence;
truthfulness; freedom from
anger; renunciation; tranquillity;
aversion to faultfinding;
compassion and freedom from
covetousness; gentleness;
modesty and steady
determination; vigor; forgiveness;
fortitude; cleanliness; freedom
from envy and the passion for
honor—these transcendental
qualities, O son of Bharata,
belong to godly men endowed
with divine nature."


śrī bhagavān uvāca abhayaṁ
sattva-saṁśuddhir jñāna-yoga-
vyavasthitiḥ dānaṁ damaś ca
yajñaś ca svādhyāyas tapa

aḥiṁsā satyam akrodhas tyāgaḥ
śāntir apaiśunam dayā bhūteṣv
aloluptvaṁ mārdavaṁ hrīr

tejaḥ kṣamā dhṛtiḥ śaucam
adroho nātimānitā bhavanti
sampadaṁ daivīm abhijātasya

The first thing is that bhagavān
uvāca. These things required for
purification. Sattva-saṁśuddhiḥ.
The human life is meant for
sattva. Sattva. Sattva means
existence. We are existing. I am
existing; you are existing. But we
are sometimes appear to be not
existing. That is called death. We,
every living entity, we are eternal.
That is stated in the Second
Chapter, that ajo nityaḥ śāśvataḥ,
na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre
[Bg. 2.20]. These things required
to understand, that “I am a living
being, not only I am, everyone.
We are eternal, nityaḥ śāśvataḥ.”
There are so many universities all
over the world and so-called
scientists and philosophers, but
they do not know that we are
eternal. Just see their knowledge,
advancement of knowledge.
Eternal, aja. There is no birth. Na
hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg.
2.20]. After this destruction of
this body, I am not finished. I still
exist. What is the destruction of
this body? Death means it is a
machine. It is called machine.
Yantrārūḍhāni māyayā. It is a
machine given to me.

Just like you take a car. That is a
machine. Now some way or
other, if the car stops, not
working, does it mean that you
are finished? No. I can take
another car. This is knowledge.
But this knowledge is lacking.
People are being educated, but
they are all rascals because they
have not this simple knowledge
that ajaḥ śāśvato ’yam, “I am aja.”
How it is aja proof? Yes, there is
proof. “How I am eternal?” If
somebody asks that “How I
am…?” (Aside:) Don’t move that
body, that. “How I am eternal?”
There is proof. And who is giving
the proof? Kṛṣṇa, Bhagavān
uvāca. The highest authority, not
ordinary person or any living
being, Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān
svayam. Kṛṣṇa means the
Supreme Personality of Godhead.
He is saying. He is giving the
proof. What is that proof?

dehino ’smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā tathā
dehāntara-prāptir [Bg. 2.13]

dhīras tatra na muhyati

Dehinaḥ. I am dehī. Dehī. This
body is deha, body, but I am not
this body. You think over. If you
take this finger, you study, am I
this finger? No, the conclusion
will come: “It is my finger, not I
finger.” Simply little knowledge
required. How? Now, Kṛṣṇa gives
this example, that dehinaḥ, asmin
dehe yathā dehinaḥ kaumāraṁ
yauvanaṁ jarā. He has explained
in different ways, but the
beginning is this, that this body is
changing. You had a small body,
baby’s body. Where is that body?
If I say, “Where is that body?”
what you will answer? But you
know that “I had a small body.” I
know. Everyone will know. But
where is that body? That body is
not existing. I was also young
man like you, but now I am an
old man. Old man means my
body is different, old body. Your
body is different. So Kṛṣṇa giving
this very nice example. As the
baby is changed into a boy, a
boy is changed into a youth, a
youth is changed into old man,
so this changing is going on, but
I or you, we know that “I had
such body.”

I have several times spoken to
you that in my, when I was about
six months old, I remember, I
remember I was lying down on
my eldest sister’s lap, and she
was knitting. I still remember it
very vividly. And so many things I
remember. But where is that
body, lying down on the lap of
mother or sister? You cannot
say… Either you say it has grown,
grown or not grown… According
to medical science, it is not
grown; it is changed. The body is
changing. Just like in a film spool,
you will find so many bodies.
One hand is like this, one hand is
like this, one hand is like this, and
when they are taken together, it
moves like this. This is the film.
Film means there are different
bodies in different position and
when they are taken at once, it,
likes that it moves. The picture is
not moving. Similarly, we are
changing of the different body,
but it is taking place so quickly
and so imperceptibly by Kṛṣṇa’s
energy. The machine is so nice
that we are thinking that it is
growing. It is not growing, all
different bodies, all different.
Every moment, every second.
That is the scientific. The blood
corpuscles are changing, and the
body is different.

So this is the preliminary
knowledge of advancing in
spiritual knowledge. You do not
know what is spirit and what is
the spiritual knowledge. This is
spirit, that spirit is there. Asmin
dehe, in this body, there is the
spirit soul, and the spirit soul is
permanent. The spirit soul is
permanent, and it is expressing
in different way according to the
change of body. Just like this
child is now just like ordinary
animal. But this body, when he
will change, he will express in a
different way. He will express in a
different way. Similarly, if you get
the cat’s body, you will express in
a different way. If you get a dog’s
body, you will express in a
different way. If you get the body
of a tree, that you cannot
express. You will have to stand
simply. You have to suffer. You
cannot protest. Somebody is
taking, cutting, take your fruit,
cutting your branch, but you
cannot protest.

So this is going on perpetually,
not perpetually, at least for many,
many millions of years, for many,
many millions of years. But we
are, because we are fool,
especially in this age of Kali, we
do not understand it. Therefore it
is said, sattva-saṁśuddhiḥ. You
require to be cured of your, this
disease, ignorance. That is
called… Just like when you
become infected with some
disease, you go to a physician,
and he gives you some injection
or some medicine so that you
may be cured of the extra fever
or extra pain due to your disease.
Similarly, those who are
advanced in knowledge, their
sattva, existence, is cured. That
we require. Or everyone requires
to be cured of this disease of
ignorance. The ignorance,
disease of ignorance, means “I
am this body. I am this body.” I
am not this body. So therefore it
is said, abhayaṁ sattva-
saṁśuddhiḥ, sattva-saṁśuddhiḥ.
And jñāna, this sattva-
saṁśuddhiḥ, this purification of
my existence, is possible. It is
simply jñāna. Jñāna means
knowledge. Because I am in
ignorance, therefore I am
thinking, “I am this body.” So it
requires a little jñāna, knowledge.
Then we will understand that “I
am not this body; I am different
from this body.” And because I
am in ignorance, therefore I am
thinking, “I am this body,” “I am
this white body,” “I am this black
body,” “I am this American body,”
“I am this Indian body,” “I am this
cat’s body” and “dog’s body,” so
many different consciousness on
account of this… Basic principle is
this ignorance. Ignorance. So that
we have to cure.

That is the special advantage of
human life. The dogs and the cat,
they cannot be cured. They
cannot be given the knowledge.
Because you are human being,
you are together here to get this
knowledge. The cats and dogs,
they cannot come. They cannot
take this knowledge. So we have
got the advantage of getting this
knowledge in this life, and again,
if we go back to the cats’ and
dogs’ knowledge, then what is
the benefit of getting this body?
So this civilization, this dog
civilization, is so spread all over
the world that it is very, very
difficult to cure it. We are making
little attempt, but the ignorance
is so deep, the disease is so
acute, it is very, very difficult. But
actually the disease is there.

And abhayam. Abhayam means
fearlessness. So long we are in
this body, material body, there
are four principles, out of which
one is bhayam, fearfulness,
“What will happen? What will
happen?” Because I am eternal,
na hanyate śarīre, but my body is
to be annihilated, but because I
am… This is the psychology.
Because I am eternal, I do not
want my body be annihilated. But
it will be. Therefore I am always
fearful, “When it will be
annihilated? When it will be
annihilated? Is the time come? Is
the time come?” This is called
bhayam. Bhayaṁ
dvitīyābhinniveṣataḥ syāt.
Because I am identifying with this
body, therefore there is
fearfulness. And if by knowledge
I can understand that “I am not
this body, I am spirit soul,” ahaṁ
brahmāsmi, and if you are
actually convinced, then there is
no fearfulness. In the Western
countries there is only one
philosopher, Socrates. He was
condemned to death because he
was speaking that “I am soul. I
am eternal.” That was his fault. So
the judges enquired, “Mr.
Socrates, now you are going to
die, so what kind of grave you
want?” So Socrates replied, “First
of all capture me. Then you put
me into the grave.” That is the
fact. “You rascal, you are talking
of my this body. So body is
already material. You put it in the
grave or in the hell. It doesn’t
matter. But I am eternal. You
cannot capture me.” So this is
knowledge. This abhayam. He
was going to be hanged or killed.
He is fearless: “But what is this
nonsense? He will kill my body.
That’s all.”

So it requires very firm
knowledge. Na hanyate
hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20] That
is possible. That is possible by
jñāna. Just like Prahlāda
Mahārāja. His father, demon
father Hiraṇyakaśipu, was
chastising him in so many ways.
But he was not afraid at all,
fearless, because he was
convinced that “I am not this
body. I am different from body.”
Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre
[Bg. 2.20]. “I will not die.” It is
simply knowledge, firm
knowledge. And as soon as you
come to that position, that “I am
not this body,” then
automatically you, become
abhayam, no fear. Everyone is
afraid of being killed. That is the
most fearful position. But if you
are convinced that “I am not
killed; I exist…”

That does not mean I shall be
voluntarily prepared to be killed.
No, that is not the idea. Idea is
that if we are… Jñānaṁ
vairāgyam. These two things
required in human life, jñānaṁ
vairāgyam. Jñānam means “I am
not this body.” This is jñānam.
And vairāgya means
renunciation: “If I am not this
body, then what I have got to do
with this material world? This
material world is important
because I am identifying myself
with this material body.
Therefore it is important. Where I
shall sit? Where shall I eat?
Where shall I sleep? How shall I
be protected?” So many things.
There are many instances, just
like Dhruva Mahārāja. A five year
old boy, he went to the jungle.
He was sitting alone there,
abhayam, abhayam, no
fearfulness. The more you
become spiritually conscious…
The highest stage of spiritual
consciousness is Kṛṣṇa
consciousness. Kṛṣṇa
consciousness means “I am
Kṛṣṇa’s, that’s all.” Kṛṣṇa says,
mamaivāṁśaḥ: “All these living
entities, they are my part and
parcel.” So you have to
understand this relationship with
Kṛṣṇa, that you are Kṛṣṇa’s. And
Kṛṣṇa, what is Kṛṣṇa? Bhagavān.
Bhagavān. What is Bhagavān?

aiśvaryasya samagrasya vīryasya
yaśasaḥ śriyaḥ jñāna-vairāgyayaś
caiva ṣaṇṇāṁ bhaga itīṅganā

Everything is definition there. In
our Vedic knowledge there is no
vague idea, rascal’s idea. All clear.
What is Bhagavān? Immediately
you get the enunciation,
definition, “This is Bhagavān,” not
that so-called Bhagavān,
incarnation, this Baba, this yogi.
These are all nonsense. Bhagavān
is different. God is different. God
means… Definition, you take the
definition, Vedic definition,
aiśvaryasya: all wealth. Who can
claim that “I am wealthy. I
possess all the wealth of the
universe”? Who can say? Only
Kṛṣṇa can say; nobody can say.
You may be millionaire. You may
be Rockefeller or this Tata or
Birla. That is very insignificant
position. But a Tata, Rockefeller
or this, they cannot say, “No, I
possess the whole wealth of the
universe.” That you cannot say.
But Kṛṣṇa can say. Therefore He
is Bhagavān. Aiśvaryasya
samagrasya. Samagra means as
much wealth there are. You may
imagine. All the wealth belongs
to Kṛṣṇa. When He was present
on this earth, He showed it.
Aiśvaryasya samagra… As much
as we can comprehend, He
showed. Sixteen thousand wives,
sixteen thousand palaces. Who
can show it? If we hear of sixteen,
we become surprised. We keep
one wife, and that is very difficult
for us. We have to think over
hundred times, “Whether I shall
accept a wife to maintain?” You
see? But Kṛṣṇa had sixteen
thousand wives. But not like us,
having more than wife: one wife
is crying and another wife is
enjoying, no. He also expanded
Himself in sixteen thousand
forms. Every wife is enjoying the
husband. That is Bhagavān. That
is Bhagavān. You try to
understand Bhagavān.
Aiśvaryasya samagrasya vīryasya.
And if you have got more than
wife, a few years after, you
become impotent. But Kṛṣṇa, in
each wife, He begotten ten
children. “I will give you ten
child.” Sixteen thousand into ten,
how much?

DEVOTEES: 160,000.

PRABHUPĀDA: Then they had ten
children again. This is Yadu
family. This is Yadu… This is
family, Kṛṣṇa’s family. So many,
one person. And that is called
Bhagavān. Show something,
Bhagavān. They simply cheap
Bhagavān, and rascal present as
cheap Bhagavān, and rascal
accepts them as Bhagavān. This is
not good. Try to find out the
actual Bhagavān. That is Kṛṣṇa.
That is…

He showed by practical example.
He is accepted by great, great
sages like Nārada, Vyāsadeva,
Devala, Asita. That is also stated
when Arjuna accept Him that
“You are the Supreme Lord. So
You are the Supreme Lord how?
Because people may say I am
Your friend; therefore I am
accepting. No. All the authorities
says that You are the Supreme
Lord. And I have understood by
Your personal explanation and I
accept You.” Sarvam etad ṛtaṁ
manye yad vadasi keśava: [Bg.
10.14] “Whatever You have said, I
accept it because You are
Bhagavān.” This is Bhagavān.

So if you accept Bhagavān’s word
with firm conviction, then your
life is perfect immediately.
Immediately you become perfect.
There is no difficulty. Because I
may be imperfect, but if I say that
“I have understood. This is glass.
This spectacle is spectacle. I have
learned it from authority,” that is
a fact. I may be imperfect, but
because I have learned from
authorities that “This is a
spectacle. This is called
spectacle,” then this statement is
correct. Similarly, we may be
imperfect, it doesn’t matter, but
because we are accepting the
words and statement of Kṛṣṇa
then our knowledge is
imperfect…, perfect. It is not
imperfect. (Scraping noise in
background) (aside to devotee:)
It does not shoot very…? All right.

So therefore Bhagavān uvāca. We
have to hear from Bhagavān, not
from rascals. Then your
knowledge is perfect. If you hear
from rascals, then you become
rascal. Don’t hear from any rascal.
Hear from Bhagavān and take it
and accept it. Then, gradually,
your existence will be purified.
Just like if somebody comes…
Recently it so happened. There is
a big Māyāvādī sannyāsī in India.
His name is Akshananda Swami.
Perhaps you know. Did you
know? No. Anyone? Anyway, he
is a Māyāvādī sannyāsī. So
Acyutānanda Swami went to sell
some books in their camp. So his
disciple requested him, “Why
don’t you ask some question
from Swamiji?” So he said, “What
I have to ask from him?” He was
so convinced that “What this
rascal can say to me? I know. I
have heard from Kṛṣṇa.” This is
knowledge. So if you stick to
Kṛṣṇa and hear from Him, you
haven’t got to hear from any
rascal, any rascal. Then you will
waste time. Don’t hear from any

Therefore we are presenting
Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, as it is,
without any change. Kṛṣṇa says,
man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru: [Bg.
18.65] “Just become My devotee.
Always think of Me.” We are
teaching the same thing. We
have no difficulty. What we are
requesting you? “You think of
Kṛṣṇa. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.” That’s
all. Where is the difficulty? We
don’t say, “You think of that, this
of that, to this demigod, that
demigod.” No. We don’t say.
What is the use of other
demigod? We show all respect to
everyone, even to the ant, but
that does mean that any
demigod, any damn, any rascal,
should be worshiped as God? No.
That is not possible. We can show
respect even to the insignificant
ant. Tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api
sahiṣṇunā. That may be another
thing. But we cannot accept
anyone as God. That is not
possible. That is knowledge. That
is knowledge. Be convinced
firmly, kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān
svayam: “Bhagavān means Kṛṣṇa,
nobody else.” Kāmais tais tair
hṛta-jñānāḥ yajante anya-
devatāḥ [Bg. 7.20]. Anya-devatāḥ,
accept as God, they are accepted
by the rascals, hṛta-jñānāḥ, those
who have lost their knowledge.
They have lost their… Hṛta-
jñānāḥ and naṣṭa-buddhayaḥ,
those who have lost their
knowledge. So don’t be lost of
your knowledge. Stick to Kṛṣṇa
and accept His words as it is.
Then you will be one day fearless,
abhayaṁ sattva-saṁśuddhiḥ.
Your existence will be purified,
spiritual existence. Purified
existence means spiritual
existence. We are spiritual; we
are not this material just like I am
not this shirt, you are not this
shirt. You are within the shirt.
Similarly, asmin dehe. Dehino
’smin yathā dehe. Dehino ’smin
yathā dehe [Bg. 2.13]. We are
within the shirt. This is the first
knowledge, that “I am not this
body.” Why I shall be puffed up
with this body? This is
superfluous. I am spirit soul. I am
part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa;
therefore my only business is
with Kṛṣṇa.

Just like your hand, part and
parcel of your body. Its only
business is with this body. I am
taking care of this body, I am
taking of this hand, this leg, this
head because there is intimate
relationship with this body and
with this head. I am not…
Suppose if you are in danger,
your head is in danger, I am not
going to protect. But when my
head is in danger, I prepared to
give life. Similarly, we are part
and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa is
all-powerful. He says, “I will give
you protection.” Just like I am
giving protection to my hands
and legs, so what about Kṛṣṇa?
Kṛṣṇa also prepared. But if you
deny His protection, that is a
different thing. But if you are
prepared to take His protection,
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyaḥ,
then you should immediately
attain abhayam, no more fear.
Rākhe kṛṣṇa māre ke māre kṛṣṇa
rākhe ke: “If Kṛṣṇa wants to kill
you, who can save you? Nobody
can save you. And if Kṛṣṇa wants
to protect you, who can kill you?”
This is… This is philosophy,
abhayam. So if you want to be
fearless, if you want to sanctify
your existence, take to Kṛṣṇa
consciousness, don’t be deviated.
Thank you very much. Hare