Bhagavad-gītā 4.19–22

August 8
New York



yasya sarve samārambhāḥ
tam āhuḥ paṇḍitaṁ budhāḥ
tyaktvā karma-phalāsaṅgaṁ
nitya-tṛpto nirāśrayaḥ
karmaṇy abhipravṛtto ‘pi
naiva kiñcit karoti saḥ

Now, how one can work without any lust? This process is being described by Śrī Kṛṣṇa to Arjuna. In our last meeting we have discussed the previous verse, that we have to… We may begin any gorgeous task. It doesn’t matter. But we have to work in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, not for sense gratification. That will make us free from the interaction of the activities. So long we are attached to work for sense gratification, so long we shall be under this obligation of reaction. 

Now, if we want to get out of the reaction of material activity, then this is the formula given by Śrī Kṛṣṇa: kāma-saṅkalpa-varjitāḥ. Kāma means one’s sense gratification. “I want to do this thing for my sense gratification.” That is materialism. But if I want to do something which will be satisfactory, which will give satisfaction to Kṛṣṇa, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This very simple thing we are discussing in a different way. And this Kṛṣṇa consciousness is attained by jñānāgni-dagdha-karmāṇam. Yes? 

Devotee: If you look from this angle, the pane is broken. 

Prabhupāda: No. Just like a fire burns everything, similarly, when we act in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, after attainment of full knowledge of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then just like fire burns everything, similarly, the reaction of our activities will be burned. Jñānāgni-dagdha-karmāṇam. This verse we have already discussed. And the next verse is further explanation of this verse. Tyaktvā karma-phalāsaṅgaṁ nitya-tṛpto nirāśrayaḥ. 

Now, whatever we do, we desire some fruit out of it. Anything we do, we expect some result out of it. Sometimes the result may be bad, or sometimes the result may be very good. But a person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness should not be attached either to the good result or bad result because even if I want good result, that is my attachment. And of course, if there is bad result, we haven’t got any attachment, but sometimes we lament. That is our attachment. That is our attachment. So one has to transcend both from the good result and the bad result. 

How it can be done? It can be done. Just like if you are working on account of some big firm. Suppose you are a salesman. You are working on behalf of that big firm. Now, suppose if you make one million dollars profit, you have no attachment for that because you know that “This profit goes to the proprietor.” You have no attachment. Similarly, if there is some loss, you also know that “I have nothing to do with the loss. It goes to the proprietor.” 

Similarly, if we work on account of Kṛṣṇa, then I shall be able to give up the attachment for the result of the work. Tyaktvā karma-phalāsaṅgaṁ nitya-tṛpto nirāśrayaḥ. Nitya-tṛpta, always satisfied: “Either there is good result or there is bad result, it doesn’t matter. I shall remain satisfied in the sense that I am working under the direction of Kṛṣṇa. So I have nothing to think of the result.” Karmaṇy evādhikāras te mā phaleṣu kadācana. 

Just like Arjuna. Arjuna did not like to fight with his relatives, with his grandfather, but because Kṛṣṇa wanted it, he fought, and he was satisfied. Because the principle was that “Kṛṣṇa wants it, and Kṛṣṇa is satisfied. Although I do not like to fight, but Kṛṣṇa is satisfied; therefore I have to fight.” This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Nitya-tṛpta. He is not dissatisfied: “Oh, I have to fight against my relatives, my grandfather, my teacher.” Nirāśraya. Nirāśraya means he is not under the obligation of any good result or bad result. Nirāśraya. “In this way, if we engage ourself in any activity,” karmaṇy abhipravṛtto ‘pi, “if one is engaged in such a spirit of neutrality, simply for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa, then the result will be,” karmaṇy abhipravṛtto ‘pi, “although he is engaged in every sort of work,” naiva kiñcit karoti saḥ, “he is free from that work. He is free from the result or reaction of such work.” 

So this is the process, that we, we have simply to act in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and by doing so, the reaction of such work will not affect me. 

nirāśīr yata-cittātmā
śārīraṁ kevalaṁ karma
kurvan nāpnoti kilbiṣam

Kilbiṣam. Kilbiṣam means sin. We are materially so much entangled that even if we do not want to commit any sin, consciously or unconsciously we are obliged to commit some sort of sins. We are in such a circumstances. 

Say for example, just like animal killing. Animal killing, according to Buddhist philosophy, or even according to Hindu philosophy, animal killing is a sort of sin. Now, suppose I am not inclined to kill animals or I do not kill animals. I avoid it. But intentionally or unintentionally, sometimes we have to kill animals. How is that? Now, suppose we are walking on the street. There are many ants who are being killed by the pressure of our legs unintentionally. Now, suppose… Of course, here you have got gas oven, but in India they have got ordinary country oven and that is worked daily. And sometimes in the oven some small germs and flies they take shelter. But when you fire the oven, they die. So that is unintentional. Sometimes we kill… The jug of water, and underneath the jug of water, there are many, I mean to say, small germs and flies. They take shelter. But when you take the jug, they are killed. In this way there are so many processes, unintentionally or intentionally, we have to kill. But they are taken into account; they are also sin. According to strict Vedic literature, if you kill even a bug, oh, you are sinful. You cannot kill even a bug. These are mentioned in the scriptures. Now, how we can avoid? How we can avoid? 

That is the distinction[?]. I do not like to kill, but sometimes unintentionally they are killed. Therefore, according to Vedic literature, there are five kinds of yajña performed to get oneself free from this unintentional killing of animals. Now, here Kṛṣṇa says that śārīraṁ kevalaṁ karma kurvan nāpnoti kilbiṣam. If you make your principle of life that “I have to work simply for maintaining my body and soul together.” Śārīram. Śarīram means body. Because I have to execute, I have to understand, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but without this body, how can I understand or culture Kṛṣṇa consciousness? So my body must be maintained. And if I want to maintain my body, intentionally or unintentionally, I have to commit so many sins. 

Take for example those who are vegetarians. They may think that “We are not killing animals.” No. They are also committing sins because vegetables, they have also got life. So the nature’s law is that to keep up your body you have to kill another body. Never mind it is vegetable or, I mean to say, animal or some fish or something else. You see? Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam: “One living entity is the subsistence, life-giving subsistence, for another living being.” That is the nature’s law. You’ll find. Ahastāni sahastānām. The everything has been very nicely discussed in Vedic literature. They have discussed all the points. 

Ahastāni sahastānām: “Those who have got hands, they are eating,” I mean to say, “living entities who have no hands.” That means we are human being, we have got hands, and we are eating animals. They have got only legs; they have no hands. So sahastānām ahastāni: “Those who have got hands, they are eating the animals which have no hands.” And apadāni catuṣ-padām: “Those who have no legs, they are being eaten by the four-legged.” Just like a cow eating grass. So grass cannot move. It has life, but it cannot move. So and… phalgūni tatra mahatām. Phalgūni, “those who are weak, they are being eaten by the…” Just like we find lizards. In your country you don’t find lizards. In India we have got many lizards in the walls. They are eating small ants. Phalgūni mahatāṁ tatra. And in the snake, snake kingdom, you will find the small snakes are being by the big snake. Similarly, in sea water also, you will find small fishes are being eaten by the big fishes. 

And the same law is applicable in human society. A big nation is trying to swallow up a small nation. You see? This is going on. This is nature’s law. Nature’s law. You cannot avoid it. But there are those who are Kṛṣṇa conscious. They… It is said that śārīraṁ kevalaṁ karma kurvan nāpnoti kilbiṣam: “Those who are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they are not entangled in these sinful acts.” How? They are also maintaining their body. So when they are maintaining their body, they have to commit sins. They have to eat other animals or vegetables. Never mind. So how they are not committing sins? These are very intelligent questions. There is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. 

A devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa, he does not eat anything which is not offered to Kṛṣṇa. Just like you take the remnants of your master. Just like servant takes the remnants of master. The master eats. In India the process is that husband and wife, that after the husband eats, the remnants are taken by the wife. The wife does not eat along with the husband. That is the old system. Now it is being changed. The husband and wife, they do not… The husband is supplied by the wife all kinds of good dishes, and when the husband is satisfied, some foodstuff is left, and that is taken by the wife. So similarly, a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, he does not take anything, does not accept anything, which is not offered to Kṛṣṇa. This is the process. Because his life is full of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. 

And Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, you will find… Suppose if you want to take things which have been eaten by Kṛṣṇa, then you have to ask Kṛṣṇa, “What do You desire to eat, sir?” Suppose if you want me, to feed, give me some foodstuff, naturally you ask me, “Swamiji, what sort of foodstuff you’ll like?” I have got experience here in your country. I was invited in Butler, here also, by some churches, and they wanted to give me some food. So they asked me, “Swamiji, what do you desire to eat?” So I told them, “I eat… I am strictly vegetarian. I shall accept fruits and milk. That’s all.” Similarly, if anyone invites somebody, it is natural that the guest is asked what sort of foodstuff he would like. 

Similarly, Kṛṣṇa, if you want to offer something Kṛṣṇa, you must know what sort of foodstuff He wants. How you will know? Kṛṣṇa is not just present in your front. How you will know that Kṛṣṇa wants this foodstuff? Oh, that is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Just like you can understand, what government expects from me, you can know from the lawbooks, from the civil court, similarly, what Kṛṣṇa wants, it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Kṛṣṇa says, 

patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ
yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam
aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ
[Bg. 9.26]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 9.26

If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.

Now, Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, He is not hungry. He is not hungry that I shall supply Him foodstuff, and therefore He will be maintained. It is not like that. But still, Kṛṣṇa says that patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ bhaktyā prayacchati: “Any devotee, if he offers Me patram…” Patram means leaf. Puṣpam means flower. Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalam. Phalam means fruit. Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam. Toyam means milk or water. Generally, it is meant water. 

Now, just see. To satisfy Kṛṣṇa is not very difficult thing. Even the poorest man in the world, he can satisfy Kṛṣṇa by these four items. Anyone can secure from any part of the world. It doesn’t matter that because Kṛṣṇa was, I mean to say, Kṛṣṇa appeared in India, therefore He wanted Indian food. No. Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam. Leaf, and flower, and fruit, and water. Oh, that is available in America, that is available in Czechoslovakia and Greenland, everywhere. 

So this is the universal form of satisfying Kṛṣṇa. Anyone—it doesn’t matter however poor he is—he can satisfy Kṛṣṇa. You do not require, “Oh, Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I have invited Him, so I must arrange very nice foodstuff.” Of course, if you have got means to supply very nice foodstuff, you must. Otherwise you will be understood that you are miser. If for your own eating you prepare very nice dishes, and because Kṛṣṇa says, “I will be satisfied with leaf and fruits,” so you supply Kṛṣṇa, “All right, sir. You take leaf and fruit. And for me, I shall take these palatable dishes,” no. Kṛṣṇa is very, I mean to say, intelligent also. He is more intelligent than… Then you are cheating Him. It is for the, I mean to say, poorest man. If you have got means… 

In India there are many thousands of Kṛṣṇa temples all over India, especially in Vṛndāvana. I have several times told you that Vṛndāvana is the city, only fifty thousand people, not even one hundred thousand, fifty thousand people within a small city. But there are five thousand temples, five thousand, all Kṛṣṇa temples. Now, in each and every temple you will find how nice foodstuff. According to the capacity of the temple owner, oh, very, I mean to say costly foodstuff are being offered. And those foodstuff is distributed amongst the poor class men. 

Now, at the present moment, after the, we have got sva-rāja, or independence, the government has interfered with this sort of service. They say that “This is waste of money. Why you are offering?” They are becoming atheist. But this is not waste of money. At the cost of the rich men, the prasādam was being distributed to the poor class of men at a nominal cost. You see? Now, poor men, they go to hotel. But if they take prasādam in a temple, oh, the far better quality foodstuff is supplied to him only at nominal cost. In a hotel, what will be charged, one dollar, he can have it in the temple for ten cents. So this is still more sane. 

In our childhood, when I was a boy of eight or ten years, sometimes I used to accompany my father. My father was a great devotee. He would take prasādam from the temple. So I have got experience that we paid for two dishes, four annas. Four annas means, according to modern exchange, it is five cents only, five cents according to your exchange value. For five cents we were, very nice prasādam we can get. Two persons we were fed. Still there is a place which is called Nāthadvāra. Nāthadvāra, if you pay there two annas, you will get worth prasādam, two dollars worth. So this system is going on still. 

So if one has got sufficient means, he should supply Kṛṣṇa to his best capacity. But when Kṛṣṇa wants that “You give Me…” He says… This is the lowest common factor. Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam [Bg. 9.26]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 9.26

If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.
. Anyone, any poor man in any part of the country, they can supply Kṛṣṇa and take the prasādam. So that by taking that prasādam, you become free from the, I mean to say, responsibility of being sinful. That is the point. That you will find in Bhagavad-gītā, that yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ: “If you take the remnants after offering Kṛṣṇa, that foodstuff makes you free from all kinds of sin.” 

So anyone—it doesn’t matter what he is—he can prepare foodstuff either family-wise or… Just like I am here, Hindu. I am cooking my foodstuff, and I am offering to Kṛṣṇa, and I am taking, and as far as possible, some of the remnants is distributed to the devotees. So this process we can adopt, everyone, because we have to maintain this body. So if we do not take kṛṣṇa-prasāda, then I become responsible for all kinds of sins. But if we take, accept, kṛṣṇa-prasāda, then I have no responsibility because Kṛṣṇa is taking. 

Just like Arjuna is fighting. Arjuna was afraid of sinful acts by killing his kinsmen and, I mean to say, grandfather. But when he understood that “I am fighting on Kṛṣṇa’s account, so I am free.” Śārīraṁ kevalaṁ karma kurvan na āpnoti kilbiṣam. If you simply don’t try to increase your artificial demands for maintaining this body… You have every right to live, and everyone has got right to live, not only myself. Even the ant has got the right to live. But in human society, so-called civilization, we give all protection to the human society, but we don’t give any protection to the animal society. 

Because it is due to want of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. When we shall be Kṛṣṇa conscious, then naturally we shall feel for every living entity because we shall know… Because in the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated, mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ: [Bg. 15.7]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 15.7

The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.
“All these living entities, they are all My fragments.” They are part and parcels of Kṛṣṇa. Under circumstances, some of them have become lower animals, some of them have become big men, some of them become higher demigods, some of them become small germs. It doesn’t matter. But they are all parts and parcels of Kṛṣṇa. So a person who is under Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he cannot make any injustice to any living entity. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. 

Therefore, one who has dedicated his life for acting on account of Kṛṣṇa, under Kṛṣṇa consciousness, nirāśīr yata-cittātmā, he has no other hope except, save and except, to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. Nirāśīr yata-cittātmā tyakta-sarva-parigrahaḥ: “He doesn’t like to make, exploit, the resources of the material nature.” Whatever is obtained easily, as gift of nature, he accepts and he maintains his body and soul together for Kṛṣṇa’s satisfaction, and he eats everything which is offered to Kṛṣṇa. Then he is freed from all kinds of sinful reactions. 

Now, by the next śloka, it is more nicely explained. 

dvandvātīto vimatsaraḥ
samaḥ siddhāv asiddhau ca
kṛtvāpi na nibadhyate

Now, the process of life described here, yadṛcchā-lābha-santuṣṭaḥ: “One should be satisfied with things which comes very easily.” We should not try for anything too much to obtain it. No. We shall be satisfied. Whatever comes automatically or by the will of Kṛṣṇa, we may be satisfied in that way. Yadṛcchā-lābha. For gaining something, we should not be too much endeavoring. Then I shall be deviated from Kṛṣṇa consciousness. 

There are six formulas which can deviate us from Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and there are six formulas which can encourage us, which can enhance, advance us in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And what are they? Now, first of all let me state what are “against” principles, against Kṛṣṇa consciousness, against the principle of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. What are they? 

atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca
prajalpo niyamāgrahaḥ
jana-saṅgaś ca laulyaṁ ca
ṣaḍbhir bhaktir vinaśyati
[NoI 2]

Ṣaḍbhir bhaktir vinaśyati. Vinaśyati means is lost. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is lost. How? By these six processes. What are the six processes? Atyāhāra. Atyāhāra means to eat more than you require, and atyāhāra means to accumulate wealth more than what you require. 

The whole trouble of the world is that nobody is satisfied. If he’s a poor man, if he thinks, “Oh, my income is $100. If I get $400 per month, then I will be very happy.” But when he gets $400, he expects, “Oh, if I get $1,000, then I shall be happy.” In this way it is going on. Nobody is satisfied. But here it is said, yadṛcchā-lābha-santuṣṭaḥ. That automatically comes, as we make progress in the matter of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then our demand for more enjoyment, more accumulation of wealth, diminishes. That is the symptom of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Yadṛcchā-lābha-santuṣṭaḥ. 

So atyāhāra. Atyāhāra means to acquire more than we need. Because we have to maintain this body and soul together, then we must earn something or acquire something to keep my health and body fit. That is all right. But we should not try unnecessarily for accumulating more. Suppose if I am satisfied by some grains and vegetables and fruits and milk, if my health is properly kept, why should I eat more than that simply for satisfying the palate, my tongue? Oh, no. We should not do that. Yadṛcchā-lābha-santuṣṭaḥ. So atyāhāra, atyāhāra, to accept more than what we need, that is against Kṛṣṇa consciousness. 

And prayāsa. Prayāsa means we have to acquire something, but if it requires a heavy work, heavy, I mean to say, endeavor, we should avoid it. We should avoid it. 

Atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca prajalpaḥ [NoI 2]. Prajalpa means for nothing talking nonsense. People are accustomed to talk so many things unnecessarily just in clubs, amongst friends’ circle, which has no benefit either spiritually or materially. So that sort of talking should be avoided. 

Atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca prajalpo niyamāgrahaḥ. Niyamāgraha means to stick to the rules regulation. Suppose in your faith or in my faith there are certain rules and regulations to be observed. But if I go to some other place where the rules and regulations cannot be strictly observed, and if I want to observe such rules and regulations, then my main business is suffering. So we should not stick to the rules and regulations. We should see to the business. 

Just like I am an Indian sannyāsī. I have come to your country, at your country. Oh, there are many rules and regulations in India which is different from your rules and regulations. But if I follow, if I stick to rules and regulations of Indian conception, then it is impossible to remain here. So I have to propagate this mission, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, so I am not so much attached to the rules and regulations, but I am attached to the preaching work. So therefore niyamāgraha. Atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca prajalpo niyamāgrahaḥ [NoI 2]. This four, this niyamāgraha, is also against Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And niyamāgraha. And when you are in a quite convenient position, if you do not observe the rules and regulations, that is also against Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca prajalpo niyamāgrahaḥ. 

And laulyam. Laulyam means greediness. That is against Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Laulyam, and jana-saṅgaś ca. Jana-saṅga means to associate with persons who are not interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We should avoid. We should avoid association of persons who are not interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If we make more association with persons who are not interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then it will go against me. 

So these are six “against” rules. Similarly, there are six favorable rules. What are they? 

utsāhān niścayād dhairyāt
saṅga-tyāgāt sato vṛtteḥ
ṣaḍbhir bhaktiḥ prasidhyati
[Upadeśāmṛta 3]

Prasidhyati means it flourishes. The cause is advanced. How? Utsāhāt. We should be very much enthusiastic: “Oh, Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so nice. We have heard about Kṛṣṇa consciousness so nice things. It is so beneficial for successful human mission, so I must have it. I must execute this Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” This is called utsāhāt, to become energetic, not lethargic but energetic. So utsāhād dhairyāt. Dhairyāt means with patience. Suppose I have begun immediately. So if there are so many impediments, I am not immediately successful, oh, that does not matter. I must be patient. 

Utsāhād dhairyān niścayāt. Niścayāt means with confidence. Confidence. Because Kṛṣṇa says this is this, so I must have confidence. “So Kṛṣṇa says like this, so it is sure it is successful.” I must have that confidence. Utsāhād dhairyān niścayāt, and tat-tat-karma-pravartanāt. And you have to do, you have to act accordingly, as Kṛṣṇa says. If you do not act, then… So tat-tat-karma-pravartanāt sato vṛtteḥ, and your profession should be very honest. Sato vṛtteḥ. 

And sādhu-saṅge, and you should associate. Just like the “against” rule is to associate with persons who are not Kṛṣṇa conscious, similarly, sādhu-saṅge. Sādhu-saṅga [Cc. Madhya 22.83]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 22.83

"The root cause of devotional service to Lord Kṛṣṇa is association with advanced devotees. Even when one's dormant love for Kṛṣṇa awakens, association with devotees is still most essential.
means… Sādhu means who are culturing Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They are called sādhu. You will find in the Bhagavad-gītā, api cet su-durācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk, sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ [Bg. 9.30]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 9.30

Even if one commits the most abominable actions, if he is engaged in devotional service, he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated.
. About sādhu I have explained several times. So sādhu-saṅga, we have to make association with persons who are spiritually interested and who are trying to culture Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that association. 

So these six things will elevate me to the path of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And the other six formulas, they will go against me. So yadṛcchā-lābha-santuṣṭaḥ means that my principle should be how to… [incomplete] [end]