Bg 2.39 — September 12, 1973, London

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [leads chanting of verse, etc.] [Prabhupāda and devotees repeat]

eṣā te ‘bhihitā sāṅkhye
buddhir yoge tv imāṁ śṛṇu
buddhyā yukto yayā pārtha
karma-bandhaṁ prahāsyasi
[Bg. 2.39]



Translation: “Thus far I have declared to you the analytical knowledge of sāṅkhya philosophy. Now listen to the knowledge of yoga whereby one works without fruitive result. O son of Pṛthā, when you act by such intelligence, you can free yourself from the bondage of works.”


eṣā te abhihitā sāṅkhye
buddhir yoge tu imāṁ śṛṇu
buddhyā yukto yayā pārtha
karma-bandhaṁ prahāsyasi
[Bg. 2.39]

Karma-bandham. You act something, and there is reaction. That is called karma-bandha. We can understand very easily: whatever you act, there is reaction. Good act or bad act… There are two things. So if while in this body we act piously, then our future is very good. If we act impiously, then our future is not very good. So actually we should act piously, not impiously. That is human life. We should know what kind of action we should do. In the Sixteenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā you’ll find, pravṛttiṁ ca nivṛttiṁ ca na vidur āsura-janāḥ [Bg. 16.7]: “Those who are asuras, they do not know what kind of action should be done and what kind of action should not be done.” Not that “Anything I like, at my whims.” That is not… At least for human being, he should not do. Even in the state laws, if you act whimsically, whatever you like, you’ll be liable to so many difficulties, and what to speak of spiritual life?

So Kṛṣṇa has described so far… Sāṅkhya yoga means analytical study of the soul and the body. He has very nicely… So this analytical study of the soul and body means so far, He has described the activities of the body. That is sāṅkhya yoga. Just like a medical man has got full analysis—not full; to a portion—of this body, the anatomy, the physiology. They have studied how the veins are working, how different secretions are transforming into blood, how the heart is working. This is called analytical study. So eṣā te abhihitā sāṅkhye. So far the body is concerned, that is now fully analyzed.

Now, buddhir yoge tv imām, another department of knowledge, buddhi-yoga. Buddhi-yoga means spiritual life. That is buddhi-yoga. Just like you’ll find in the Tenth Chapter, Kṛṣṇa says to Arjuna, buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi tam. When there is talk between the spirit, supreme spirit, Kṛṣṇa, and the individual spirit, subordinate spirit, the living entity… Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Being, and we are subordinate being. So these people at the present moment, they do not know. But we have to take instruction from Vedas. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]. The Supreme Being, He is eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān. He is supplying the necessities of life, kāmān, whatever we require. There are so many things for birds, beasts, human being, different types of fruits, flowers, milk. Everything is being supplied by Kṛṣṇa. Therefore He’s Supreme Being. How He can be supreme? Just like in a family the father is considered to be supreme. Why? Because he takes care of the whole family, he is supreme. Similarly, the Supreme Person, Kṛṣṇa, He takes care of the whole creation, material and spiritual, innumerable universes, and therefore He’s sup…

So when we act according to the direction of the Supreme… Because we are subordinate. This is our position. A subordinate position is that he must act according to the direction of the master or the supreme. That is natural. Everyone is acting like that. So that is called buddhi-yoga. When you act according to the direction of the Supreme, Kṛṣṇa, or His representative, that is called buddhi-yoga. That is real… Buddhi means intelligence, and yoga means linking, connecting. In the Tenth Chapter you’ll find,

teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi taṁ
yena mām upayānti te
[Bg. 10.10]

There is the buddhi-yoga, one word, and here is also the buddhi-yoga.

So what is that buddhi-yoga? Kṛṣṇa says, teṣāṁ satata-yuktānām: “Persons who are twenty-four hours engaged,” satata. Satata means always. Engaged. What kind of engagement? Bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam. This engagement means always trying to render some service to the Lord. How? Prīti-pūrvakam: “with love and faith.” Not that “Oh, I have to do it? All right, let me do.” No. “Oh, I have to do it? Let me do it nicely.” Unless there is love, you cannot do it nicely, any matter. In the material world also, unless you have got some attachment for something, you cannot act it very nicely. Just like a musician. Because one has got a good attachment for music, he tries to perform it very perfectly. So love is the basis.

Similarly, when you serve Kṛṣṇa, if you have no love for Kṛṣṇa, you cannot serve Him very nicely. And Kṛṣṇa also does not accept your service if it is not done in great love and affection. That is the basic principle. Kṛṣṇa does not require your service. He is self-sufficient. He has got many servants, anywhere and everywhere. So Kṛṣṇa does not require our service. It is our interest. If we render service to Kṛṣṇa, then we become happy. That is the profit. Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam [Bg. 10.10].

Just like you’ll find in another verse Kṛṣṇa says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati [Bg. 9.26]. Yo me bhaktyā prayacchati: “Anyone who offers Me in love and faith a little flower, a little water, a little fruit,” patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam… Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati. This is the real point. Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Person who is giving all the necessities of all the living entities… He is actually the provider, maintainer of everyone. So why He is asking a little fruit, flower and water from you? Is He hungry? No. Yo me bhaktyā prayacchati. Just to induce you again to love Kṛṣṇa. That is the point.

Because your this material condition is bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate [Bg. 8.19], subjected to birth, death, old age, disease, and so many other material conditions. You have fallen in this condition because you have forgotten Kṛṣṇa. Just like last night so many people came to discuss with us, but they are not interested in talking of Kṛṣṇa. They are interested how their sense gratification will be disturbed by starting this temple. That is their concern. Here we have come to preach about Kṛṣṇa. They did not ask anything about Kṛṣṇa, “What is this philosophy? What is this Kṛṣṇa’s philosophy?” No. They are simply interested in their own sense gratification. That’s all. How their sense gratification will be disturbed—they are concerned in that way.

This is the position of the material world. Everyone is simply interested in sense gratification. That’s all. There is no question of asking, “What is God? What I am? What is this world?” Actually, these should be the questions of human life. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. They should be engaged always in inquiring about the Supreme Being, the Absolute Truth. That is their only business. But you see the whole world, they are simply busy how to satisfy their senses. This is the cause of falldown.

kṛṣṇa bhuliya jīva bhoga vañcha kare
pāśate māyā tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare
[Prema-vivarta 6.2]

There are many quotation. Because we have forgotten Kṛṣṇa, therefore we are now under the clutches of māyā.

So we have forgotten Kṛṣṇa, we are suffering, but because we are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa comes to canvass that “Why you are suffering? You just surrender unto Me, I’ll give you all protection.” No, they’ll not take. They’ll not take. Therefore, when one is trained up to…, how to surrender to Kṛṣṇa, that is called devotional service, practice, practicing. And when, actually, one is very sincere to serve Kṛṣṇa… Kṛṣṇa is within everyone’s heart. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg. 18.61]. So He can understand whether you are sincerely serving or with some motive you are serving. Even with a motive you serve Kṛṣṇa, it will never go in vain. Kṛṣṇa is so kind. Just like Pūtanā. Pūtanā wanted to serve Kṛṣṇa by feeding Kṛṣṇa with her breast, but the purpose was the breast was poison, so Kṛṣṇa would suck the milk and He would die. There is a different motive. But still, Kṛṣṇa is so kind that He thought that “This rascal Pūtanā, she wanted to kill Me, but she does not know that I am not a person to be killed. But still, although the motive was to kill Me, but she has served Me to suck her breast. I have drunk her milk. So she is My mother. So she is My mother. Never mind she came with a motive.”

So this is the Kṛṣṇa consciousness benefit. Of course, we should not have any mo… Kaṁsa. Kaṁsa, just like; he was simply thinking of Kṛṣṇa. He was Kṛṣṇa conscious fully, always thinking of Kṛṣṇa. But the motive was to kill. So still, Kaṁsa got liberation because he was constantly thinking of Kṛṣṇa. But ac… That is not bhakti. Bhakti is the same thinking of Kṛṣṇa—favorably. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. That is bhakti. To think of Kṛṣṇa as enemy, that is not required. One may think, but a devotee, how can he think of Kṛṣṇa as enemy? He thinks of Kṛṣṇa as friend, as son, as master, as lover. A devotee thinks like that, whereas a demon or an enemy of Kṛṣṇa, he’s always thinking of… This is the difference between demon and devotee. Demon is thinking how to wipe out, how to banish Kṛṣṇa, how to kill Kṛṣṇa. They don’t want Kṛṣṇa. That is demonic. So therefore they do not know that a demonic person is always suffering. That is due to his forgetfulness of Kṛṣṇa. But because he is demon, he is continuing the business. Therefore they do not know. Na te viduḥ… They… That is also… Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum [SB 7.5.31]. Pravṛttiṁ ca nivṛttiṁ ca na vidur āsura-janāḥ [Bg. 16.7]. Āsura-jana, those who are asuras, they do not know what to do and what not to do.

Therefore one has to learn how to live, what to know, what to forget. Every… Every educational or progressive method has got do’s and do not’s. So the asuras, they do not know what they should do and what they should not do. That is asura. And a devotee, he knows what to do and what not to do. There is no illicit sex. That is “do not.” But there is “do” also, that “If you want sex life, then get yourself married according to religious principle and get a wife and beget nice children.” That is “do.” And “No illicit sex,” that is “do not.” Side by side. “You do not take intoxicants”—that is “do not.” But “You take Kṛṣṇa prasādam and be intoxicated with Kṛṣṇa’s love”—that is “do.” Similarly, “You do not indulge in gambling,” but “You indulge in gambling.” What is that gambling? That gambling is “Dedicate your life to Kṛṣṇa and see the result.” That is also gambling. That is also gambling, because everyone is engaged in his own business, but if he’s advised, “You give up this business. You take to this Kṛṣṇa business,” that is also gambling, because he does not know what will happen.

So everything has “do” and “do not.” So we have to give up this “do not” and accept the “do,” positive and negative. Then… Therefore, in the Tenth Chapter it is said, teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam [Bg. 10.10]. By some way or other, who has become engaged in devotional service twenty-four hours, satata—satata means twenty-four hours—satata-yuktānām, with faith—“Now I am engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service. Kṛṣṇa will be… Actually He’ll be merciful upon me. He’ll deliver me from this miserable condition of material life”—teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam… [Bg. 10.10]. So Kṛṣṇa is within. You cannot deceive Kṛṣṇa. That is not possible. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme. If you are deceiver, Kṛṣṇa is also the supreme deceiver. And if you are lover, then Kṛṣṇa is the supreme lover. Ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham [Bg. 4.11]. You deal with Kṛṣṇa. As you deal, He’ll also… He reciprocates. That is Kṛṣṇa.

So Kṛṣṇa is describing now buddhi-yoga. Buddhi-yoga means bhakti-yoga. This, this word, buddhi-yoga… Buddhi means intelligence. One who is very intelligent, he can take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore bhakti-yoga’s another name is buddhi-yoga. Buddhi-yoga. Because buddhi-yoga… There are many verses in the Bhagavad-gītā, you’ll find. Just like Kṛṣṇa says,

bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ
[Bg. 7.19]

Kṛṣṇa says, “After many, many births’ endeavor…” Because everyone is trying to be happy. That is the struggle for existence. Why this struggle? To become happy. So sometimes they are karmīs, sometimes they are jñānīs, sometimes they are yogīs, sometimes… As soon as they become bhakta, that is success. But so long he is not bhakta but otherwise, karmīs, jñānīs… Generally they are divided: karmīs, jñānīs, yogīs.

Therefore Rūpa Gosvāmī has said,

piśācī yāvat hṛdi vartate
tāvad bhakti-sukhasyātra
katham abhyudayo bhavet
[Brs. 1.2.22, Cc. Madhya 19.176]

“So long in one’s heart there is a piśācī…Piśācī means, what is called, a witch? Yes. The witch is there, piśācī. What is that piśācī? Bhukti-mukti-siddhi. Bhukti means karmī, to…, one who wants to enjoy this material world by working. That is called bhukti. Bhoktā: “I want to enjoy.” Everyone is trying that. Struggle for existence. Everyone is trying to… “I want to enjoy this material world to the fullest extent.” So their struggle going on, competition. That is called bhukti. And another? Mukti. Mukti means those who are disappointed. Disappointed must be, because nobody can be happy here with this karmī plan. That is not possible. So he will be disappointed. But disappointed when? After many, many births’ struggle for existence, he’ll be disappointed. That’s a fact.

Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante [Bg. 7.19]. He continues to be, become karmī and sometimes jñānī, sometimes yogī, to become happy, but he’ll be confused. He’ll be defeated. Nature is so strong. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante: “After many, many births of this struggle”—sometimes karmī, sometimes jñānī, sometimes yogī, sometimes something else—“when one comes to be really wise,” jñānavān māṁ prapadyate, “he surrenders unto Me.” How he surrenders? Blindly? No. Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti [Bg. 7.19]. He at that time understands that “Kṛṣṇa is everything.” Therefore… That is a big mahātmā. Sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ: “It is very difficult to find out such a great person.” Therefore intelligent person, if he sees… Dekhe śekhara[?]. If I understand that “This person has surrendered to Kṛṣṇa from many, many births. If that is the ultimate goal, why not myself surrender immediately?” that is buddhi-yoga. “If one has to come to this point for perfection of life, why not my life be perfected in this life? Why I shall wait for many, many births?” And that is buddhi-yoga, intelligent. Kṛṣṇa yei bhaje, sei baḍa catura. Unless one is exceptionally intelligent, he cannot take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is buddhi-yoga.

Therefore Kṛṣṇa has described in sāṅkhya-yoga that “This is your duty. You are kṣatriya. You have… Why you are rejecting fighting?” In this way, in so many ways… “The soul is immortal, the body is perishable, so your grandfather or your kinsmen, they’ll not die.” So this is analytical study from the material point of view. And as soon as one comes to the point of serving Kṛṣṇa with love, without any understanding… Just like fire. Fire, you accept it. Without studying fire, analytical, if you touch fire, it will act. It will act. It doesn’t require to study fire, how, what is the composition of fire. This is knowledge, of course. But if you…

Just like gopīs in Vṛndāvana. They did not study what is Kṛṣṇa. They did not care even to study. But they wanted to love Kṛṣṇa. That is their only qualification. They were ordinary village girls. Similarly, the cowherds boy. They were tending cows. They had no Vedānta knowledge or any higher education, not very nicely cultured gentlemen, village cowherds boy, cowherds girl, but they did not know any other business than to love Kṛṣṇa. That is perfection.

Jñāna-śūnya, without any knowledge. They did not know. They… They saw Nārāyaṇa: “Oh, here is Nārāyaṇa. All right. I offer You…” But there is no love. Love is for Kṛṣṇa. Even Nārāyaṇa, four-handed Nārāyaṇa, there is no love for. They have got respect. You can offer respect to anyone, even you have no love. But love is different thing. That was… That is the typical examples in Vṛndāvana. That is the ultimate goal of buddhi-yoga.

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. [end]

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