Bhagavad-gītā 2.11

Type:
Bhagavad-gītā
Date:
February 11
Year:
1975
Place:
Mexico City

Nitāi: [leads chanting of verse, etc.] 

śrī bhagavān uvāca
aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ
prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase
gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca
nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ
[Bg. 2.11]

[break] 

Hṛdayānanda: [leads chanting of synonyms in Spanish] 

Prabhupāda: 

[01:30] [translated throughout into Spanish] 

śrī bhagavān uvāca
aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ
prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase
gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca
nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ
[Bg. 2.11]

Śrī bhagavān uvāca. Bhagavān means the Supreme Being. In the English dictionary when you consult the word God, it is stated there, “the Supreme Being.” What is that Supreme Being? We are all living being, but amongst ourself there is comparative, superlative positions. I am here; you are here; he is there. So you may be better than me, he may be better than you, and somebody else may be better than him. In this way you go on searching after one better than the other. When you ultimately come to a point that nobody is better then him, that is Bhagavān. 

Bhaga means opulence. So there are six kinds of opulences. One opulence is to become very rich, another opulence is to become very powerful, another opulence is to become very strong, another opulence is to become very famous, another opulence is to become very wise, and another opulence is to become very much renounced. So these six kinds of opulences, when present in the superlative degree, that is Bhagavān. This means, as it is stated in the Vedic literature, na tasya samaḥ adhikaś ca dṛśyate: “Nobody is found equal to Him or greater than Him.” In this material world any person you take, you’ll next moment you’ll find somebody equal to him and somebody greater than him. But the Vedic information is: God means who has no equal and who has no greater person than Him. Actually, Bhagavad-gītā was spoken by Kṛṣṇa, and here it is said, bhagavān uvāca. So Bhagavān, the Supreme God, means Kṛṣṇa. That is the statement in all Vedic literature. 

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ
sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam
[Bs. 5.1]

Means that īśvara, controller, the supreme controller, is Kṛṣṇa. We are also controller. I control a few people, you control a few men, another control more men, another, more men, or… You can go on. But the supreme controller, who controls everyone, all big controllers, that is Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, when it is said, bhagavān uvāca, that means the version which is presented herewith was spoken by the supreme controller. 

So our process of receiving knowledge is from the supreme controller because, according to the definition already given: wise, the most wise. Kṛṣṇa, or Bhagavān, is the most wise. Therefore, if we receive knowledge from the most wise, then there is no flaw. That is our principle, that we are receiving from Kṛṣṇa, the supreme controller, directly. Just like when there is some misunderstanding, we take help from the law books, because in the law book or in the law court, the decision is obligatory to both the parties. So to give knowledge there are many, many parties, but when we receive knowledge from the Supreme, that is all-inclusive. So here Kṛṣṇa says, aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase [Bg. 2.11]. Arjuna has accepted the guidance of Kṛṣṇa. He has said previously that “The position is very perplexing. Therefore I accept You as my spiritual master, and You kindly give me enlightenment.” This is the process. We should approach the Supreme or the representative of the Supreme. Just like the same example: when there is any controversy, we refer to the law book or to the lawyer, or we take the decision of the law court, and that is final. 

So here Kṛṣṇa says to Arjuna that… Because he has accepted the leadership of Kṛṣṇa, therefore Kṛṣṇa is chastising him in this way. He is chastising in this way, that Arjuna was talking with Kṛṣṇa as friends. So friends means equal status. But he gave up that status. He took the status of a disciple. A disciple means who voluntarily agrees to be disciplined by the spiritual master. When one becomes disciple, he cannot disobey the order of the spiritual master. Śiṣya. Śiṣya, this word comes from the root śās-dhātu, means “I accept your ruling.” So previously Arjuna has accepted, śiṣyas te ‘haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam [Bg. 2.7]: “I am now surrendered to You, and I agree voluntarily to accept Your ruling.” This is the relationship between the spiritual master and the disciple. 

So we have got ten kinds of offenses in chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. So the first offense is guror avajñā, means to disobey the orders of guru, spiritual master. One cannot disobey the orders of guru. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, although He is Kṛṣṇa Himself, he also says, guru more mūrkha dekhi’ karila śāsana [Cc. Ādi 7.71]: “My guru, My spiritual master, saw Me a fool, and therefore he has chastised Me.” So therefore Kṛṣṇa… Because Arjuna has accepted Kṛṣṇa as guru, therefore He is chastising him that “You are lamenting on a subject matter which is not done by any learned man.” That means, “You are not a learned man. You are fool.” “The learned man does not do like this”—that means, “You are not learned man because you are doing this.” So Kṛṣṇa said that “You… Practically you are not in the knowledge of things. Still, you are lamenting on the bodily concept of life.” Anyone who accepts this body as self, he is not only unlearned, but he is compared with the animal. That is the statement in the Vedic literature, 

yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke
sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ
yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ
[SB 10.84.13]

Go means cow, and khara means ass. 

So anyone who accepts this body as self, he is animal, he is not human being. That is the beginning of knowledge. People are accepting knowledge from a school, college, university, but at the present moment at least, how many people know that he is not body? Unless we understand this first principle of knowledge, there is no question of spiritual advancement of life. 

So the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā is to give lesson that we are not this body. It will be later on explained that the spirit soul, or the real person, is within this body. Just like we are here. We are within this shirt and coat, but we are not the shirt and coat. So if the shirt and coat is stolen and if somebody becomes mad after it and lamenting, that is not very good sense. Therefore He is saying that aśocyān anvaśocas tvam [Bg. 2.11]: “You are lamenting on the subject matter which is never done by any learned man.” 

So we shall go further on? 

Hṛdayānanda: Purport? 

Prabhupāda: Yes? Read it, you, purport in Spanish. [break] 

Hṛdayānanda: [translating question from Spanish] …one does not follow the instructions of guru. 

Prabhupāda: Then he’s misguided. A ship without rudder, or without captain. A ship without captain. 

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] He wants to know why Lord Caitanya is not mentioned in the Bhāgavatam with the other incarnations. 

Prabhupāda: He has not mentioned, but Bhāgavata has mentioned. No, you don’t bring any other question. You talk about this, which we have lectured. In this way, if you bring other question, that is not… We are discussing one verse. You can put question on this, not irrelevant question. Of course, that is not irrelevant, but not in connection with this verse. So question means in connection with this verse. 

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] How can we come to understand perfectly the guru? 

Prabhupāda: Hmm? 

Hṛdayānanda: How can we understand the guru perfectly? 

Prabhupāda: How do you understand? When you go for treatment to a physician, how do you understand that “Here is a physician”? How do you understand? Tell me? 

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] He says by reputation. He says by the title and reputation. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. Some way or other, you know that he is a physician. So similarly, you have to find out guru. Guru… First of all, who requires a guru? That is the question. Because guru is not a fashion… The… It is said in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta [SB 11.3.21]: “On account of this, you should go to a guru.” What is that account? Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam: “One who is very much inquisitive to know about spiritual affair, he requires a guru.” Spiritual affair means that… We are in this material world. We are suffering. When the question will come in one’s mind, “Why I am suffering?” that is spiritual. Just like an animal is being taken to the slaughterhouse. He cannot inquire, “Why I am being taken to the slaughterhouse?” But if a man is being taken forcibly, he’ll protest, he will cry, he’ll call crowd. Therefore human being can inquire about spiritual affair. 

So when there is spiritual inquiry, then one requires a guru. And by going to guru, as it is stated, tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā [Bg. 4.34]. One has to learn by surrendering, praṇipāta. So first of all there must be a strong impulse to inquire about the transcendental subject matter. Then one requires a guru. Not that to follow a fashion that one has guru. Ācāryavān puruṣo veda. Unless one becomes under the control of ācārya, he has no perfect knowledge. Therefore the Vedas says, tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]: “For understanding that transcendental science, one must approach a guru.” And what is the symptom of guru? Samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham: guru means one who has complete knowledge of Vedic version; and not only that, he is a staunch or fixed-up devotee of the Supreme Lord. These are the qualification. The guru strictly follows the Vedic injunction and teaches the same thing to his disciple. That is guru. 

So first thing is: one must be inquisitive to understand about the spiritual subject matter. Just like you have come here in this temple. You know that here nothing like political meeting is going on. Here something spiritual matter is being discussed. Therefore you have come. This inclination is the beginning of spiritual life. This is called śraddhā. Śraddhā means faith. So this śraddhā has to be developed further, and to develop this śraddhā, or faith, one has to associate with persons who are keeping with this faith. Therefore it is said, ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgaḥ [Cc. Madhya 23.14-15]: “First of all faith, then to associate with persons who are devotees and faithful.” In this way, when further development is done, then atha bhajana-kriyā, means the learning the process of devotional service. 

[break] …no gambling, no meat-eating. These are not wanted. In the beginning of life nobody smokes or nobody becomes intoxicated. It is learned by bad association. Similarly, it can be given up by good association. They are called anarthas. Anartha means unwanted bad habits. So when we are children, innocent, we have no bad habits, but as we grow and associate with bad company, we also acquire all these bad habits. So to give up all these bad habits means we have to associate with sādhus or devotees, saintly person. Then we can give it up. This is called anartha-nivṛtti, means giving up all unwanted bad habits. These things are not wanted. Nobody dies if he does not smoke or drink. Nobody dies. So artificially we learn it, so by good association we can give it up. So when we are purified out of all the bad habits, then we become fixed up in spiritual knowledge. So in this way we make advance in spiritual life, and at the last stage we become lover of God. This is the process, and one who teaches this process, he is guru. This is the definition of guru. 

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] It says here in this verse that a devotee is not [indistinct]. On the other hand, a devotee is also compassionate. So the question is what is the [indistinct]? Not being sentimental, but not being impersonal, callous. 

Prabhupāda: I do not know what you said. What he said? 

Devotee: She said that if a devotee does not lament for the [indistinct] death, but at the same time it is also said that the devotee is compassionate towards the living beings. So she asked here what is the difference between the sentimentality and impersonalism? [devotee tries to explain again what she means—indistinct] 

Prabhupāda: What is that? I cannot follow. 

Paramahaṁsa: Well, there’s a tendency for someone who hears this verse to think that one should become callous to the sufferings of others. 

Prabhupāda: Where it is? 

Paramahaṁsa: Well, there’s a tendency to misunderstand it in that way. 

Prabhupāda: No, when we are teaching, it is because the people are suffering on account of ignorance. Therefore we are teaching. How we are callous? We are not callous; we are very much sympathetic to give them knowledge. How do you say? The devotees are not callous. Why they are touring all over the world, accepting so much trouble, opposition? Because they are very much sympathetic with the people who are suffering out of ignorance. They are the most sympathetic friend of the human society. So this is not true that they are callous. Hmm? So any other question? 

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] If we’ve already committed so many offenses to chanting, now, at this point, how can we purify ourselves? 

Prabhupāda: If you don’t commit offense. Why do you voluntarily commit offense? You should not commit offense. Then it will be all right, purified. 

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] He wants to know how we can increase our desire for saṅkīrtana process. 

Prabhupāda: By performing saṅkīrtana. Just like if a man drinks, and if he drinks, drinks, then he become a drunkard. [laughter] Drink more and you become drunkard. Similarly, chant more and you become perfect chanter. 

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] He wants to know if the greatest offense is to disobey the spiritual master. 

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is the first offense. Guror avajñā, śruti-śāstra-nindanam. Śruti-śāstra-nindanaṁ guror avajñā [Padma Purāṇa]. If you accept guru and again disobey him, then what is your position? You are not a gentleman. You promise before guru, before Kṛṣṇa, before fire, that “I shall obey your order; I shall execute this,” and again you do not do this. Then you are not even a gentleman, what to speak about devotee. This is common sense. 

Hṛdayānanda: [trying to understand Spanish question] 

Prabhupāda: You cannot understand? What is that? 

Hṛdayānanda: A devotee, how can he control his tongue? 

Prabhupāda: He can take prasādam. [laughter] Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has said like that, tā’ra madhye jihwā ati, lobhamoy sudurmati, tā’ke jetā kaṭhina saṁsāre: “Out of all the senses, the tongue sense is very powerful. So it is very difficult to control it.” So he says, tā’ra madhye jihwā ati, lobhamoy sudurmati: “The tongue is very greedy and very difficult to be controlled. Therefore Kṛṣṇa has given us one weapon.” What is that? Kṛṣṇa baṛo doyāmoy, koribāre jihwā jay, swa-prasād-anna dilo bhāi: “Kṛṣṇa is very kind. Therefore He has given us His remnants of foodstuff.” So if we make this promise, that “I shall not take anything which is not offered to Kṛṣṇa,” then your tongue will be controlled. And in the śāstra it is said that you cannot understand Kṛṣṇa… Ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi. Not only Kṛṣṇa; even His name you cannot understand with these imperfect senses. 

ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi
na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ
sevonmukhe hi jihvādau
svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ
[Cc. Madhya 17.136]

But when you engage your tongue in the service of Kṛṣṇa, then Kṛṣṇa reveals Himself. So the tongue’s business is twofold. One is with tongue we speak—we vibrates sound—and another business is with tongue we taste nice foodstuff. So if you engage this tongue in the matter of Kṛṣṇa’s service by vibrating Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, and if you don’t allow your tongue to touch anything which is not offered to Kṛṣṇa, then you become immediately Kṛṣṇa-realized soul. So when the tongue is controlled, all other senses are automatically controlled. This is the process. 

Now again engage your tongue, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. [end]