Tag Archives: bhagvadgita

Drowning man and fallen soul

Material compassion, lamentation and tears are all signs of ignorance of the real self. Compassion for the eternal soul is self-realization. The word “Madhusudana” is significant in this verse. Lord Krishna killed the demon Madhu, and now Arjuna wanted Krishna to kill the demon of misunderstanding that had overtaken him in the discharge of his duty. No one knows where compassion should be applied. Compassion for the dress of a drowning man is senseless. A man fallen in the ocean of nescience cannot be saved simply by rescuing his outward dress — the gross material body. One who does not know this and laments for the outward dress is called a sudra, or one who laments unnecessarily. Arjuna was a kshatriya, and this conduct was not expected from him. Lord Krishna, however, can dissipate the lamentation of the ignorant man, and for this purpose the Bhagavad-gita was sung by Him. This chapter instructs us in self-realization by an analytical study of the material body and the spirit soul, as explained by the supreme authority, Lord Sri Krishna. This realization is possible when one works without attachment to fruitive results and is situated in the fixed conception of the real self

Driver and Lord

Out of these five basic subject matters in Bhagavad-gita it is established that the Supreme Godhead, or Krishna, or Brahman, or the supreme controller, or Paramatma — you may use whatever name you like — is the greatest of all. The living beings are in quality like the supreme controller. For instance, the Lord has control over the universal affairs of material nature, as will be explained in the later chapters of Bhagavad-gita. Material nature is not independent. She is acting under the directions of the Supreme Lord. As Lord Krishna says, mayadhyakshena prakritih suyate sa-caracaram: “This material nature is working under My direction.” When we see wonderful things happening in the cosmic nature, we should know that behind this cosmic manifestation there is a controller. Nothing could be manifested without being controlled. It is childish not to consider the controller. For instance, a child may think that an automobile is quite wonderful to be able to run without a horse or other animal pulling it, but a sane man knows the nature of the automobile’s engineering arrangement. He always knows that behind the machinery there is a man, a driver. Similarly, the Supreme Lord is the driver under whose direction everything is working. Now the jivas, or the living entities, have been accepted by the Lord, as we will note in the later chapters, as His parts and parcels. A particle of gold is also gold, a drop of water from the ocean is also salty, and similarly we the living entities, being part and parcel of the supreme controller, isvara, or Bhagavan, Lord Sri Krishna, have all the qualities of the Supreme Lord in minute quantity because we are minute isvaras, subordinate isvaras. We are trying to control nature, as presently we are trying to control space or planets, and this tendency to control is there because it is in Krishna. But although we have a tendency to lord it over material nature, we should know that we are not the supreme controller. This is explained in Bhagavad-gita

Cloud and material nature

Isvara (the Supreme Lord), jiva (the living entity), prakriti (nature), kala (eternal time) and karma (activity) are all explained in the Bhagavad-gita. Out of these five, the Lord, the living entities, material nature and time are eternal. The manifestation of prakriti may be temporary, but it is not false. Some philosophers say that the manifestation of material nature is false, but according to the philosophy of Bhagavad-gita or according to the philosophy of the Vaishnavas, this is not so. The manifestation of the world is not accepted as false; it is accepted as real, but temporary. It is likened unto a cloud which moves across the sky, or the coming of the rainy season, which nourishes grains. As soon as the rainy season is over and as soon as the cloud goes away, all the crops which were nourished by the rain dry up. Similarly, this material manifestation takes place at a certain interval, stays for a while and then disappears. Such are the workings of prakriti. But this cycle is working eternally. Therefore prakriti is eternal; it is not false. The Lord refers to this as “My prakriti.” This material nature is the separated energy of the Supreme Lord, and similarly the living entities are also the energy of the Supreme Lord, although they are not separated but eternally related. So the Lord, the living entity, material nature and time are all interrelated and are all eternal. However, the other item, karma, is not eternal. The effects of karma may be very old indeed. We are suffering or enjoying the results of our activities from time immemorial, but we can change the results of our karma, or our activity, and this change depends on the perfection of our knowledge. We are engaged in various activities. Undoubtedly we do not know what sort of activities we should adopt to gain relief from the actions and reactions of all these activities, but this is also explained in the Bhagavad-gita.

Child and devotee

Out of these five basic subject matters in Bhagavad-gita it is established that the Supreme Godhead, or Krishna, or Brahman, or the supreme controller, or Paramatma — you may use whatever name you like — is the greatest of all. The living beings are in quality like the supreme controller. For instance, the Lord has control over the universal affairs of material nature, as will be explained in the later chapters of Bhagavad-gita. Material nature is not independent. She is acting under the directions of the Supreme Lord. As Lord Krishna says, mayadhyakshena prakritih suyate sa-caracaram: “This material nature is working under My direction.” When we see wonderful things happening in the cosmic nature, we should know that behind this cosmic manifestation there is a controller. Nothing could be manifested without being controlled. It is childish not to consider the controller. For instance, a child may think that an automobile is quite wonderful to be able to run without a horse or other animal pulling it, but a sane man knows the nature of the automobile’s engineering arrangement. He always knows that behind the machinery there is a man, a driver. Similarly, the Supreme Lord is the driver under whose direction everything is working. Now the jivas, or the living entities, have been accepted by the Lord, as we will note in the later chapters, as His parts and parcels. A particle of gold is also gold, a drop of water from the ocean is also salty, and similarly we the living entities, being part and parcel of the supreme controller, isvara, or Bhagavan, Lord Sri Krishna, have all the qualities of the Supreme Lord in minute quantity because we are minute isvaras, subordinate isvaras. We are trying to control nature, as presently we are trying to control space or planets, and this tendency to control is there because it is in Krishna. But although we have a tendency to lord it over material nature, we should know that we are not the supreme controller.

Body and Lord

3.14 ; 4.21 ; 6.1 ; 7.23

Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana, a great commentator on the Bhagavad-gita, writes as follows: ye indrady-angatayavasthitam yajnam sarvesvaram vishnum abhyarcya tac-chesham asnanti tena tad deha-yatram sampadayanti, te santah sarvesvarasya yajna-purushasya bhaktah sarva-kilbishair anadi-kala-vivriddhair atmanubhava-prati bandhakair nikhilaih papair vimucyante. The Supreme Lord, who is known as the yajna-purusha, or the personal beneficiary of all sacrifices, is the master of all the demigods, who serve Him as the different limbs of the body serve the whole. Demigods like Indra, Candra and Varuna are appointed officers who manage material affairs, and the Vedas direct sacrifices to satisfy these demigods so that they may be pleased to supply air, light and water sufficiently to produce food grains. When Lord Krishna is worshiped, the demigods, who are different limbs of the Lord, are also automatically worshiped; therefore there is no separate need to worship the demigods. For this reason, the devotees of the Lord, who are in Krishna consciousness, offer food to Krishna and then eat — a process which nourishes the body spiritually. By such action not only are past sinful reactions in the body vanquished, but the body becomes immunized to all contamination of material nature. When there is an epidemic disease, an antiseptic vaccine protects a person from the attack of such an epidemic. Similarly, food offered to Lord Vishnu and then taken by us makes us sufficiently resistant to material affection, and one who is accustomed to this practice is called a devotee of the Lord. Therefore, a person in Krishna consciousness, who eats only food offered to Krishna, can counteract all reactions of past material infections, which are impediments to the progress of self-realization. On the other hand, one who does not do so continues to increase the volume of sinful action, and this prepares the next body to resemble hogs and dogs, to suffer the resultant reactions of all sins. The material world is full of contaminations, and one who is immunized by accepting prasadam of the Lord (food offered to Vishnu) is saved from the attack, whereas one who does not do so becomes subjected to contamination.